After every game of the 2005 season, The Michigan Daily’s football writers will take you for a ride in Lloyd’s car. The gauges all refer to different variables that will fluctuate from week to week, depending on how the team and fans perform.
Defensive Intensity is a measure of – you guessed it – how well the Wolverines manage to stop their opponents.
The Carr-o-meter is a rough gauge of head coach Lloyd Carr’s opinion of his team’s play, as judged from his postgame comments.
The Hypemeter provides our opinion of how well you, the fans, supported the Wolverines. Volume, consistency and awareness will all be considered.
Rush Yards is a straightforward measure of Michigan’s ground yardage total in each game. Since an effective running game is crucial to postseason success – especially for this year’s squad, which is loaded at running back – this statistic figures to be a consistently important indicator.
For three quarters, the Michigan defense looked like a top-10 unit. Led again by redshirt junior David Harris, the linebackers were flying all over the field. Even with two players making their first career starts at safety, the Wolverines held the Nittany Lions to three points and thoroughly dominated before the final 15 minutes. But then something happened: The defense softened a bit when it mattered most. On Penn State’s final drive, Michigan could not stop Michael Robinson’s legs. In the end, the offense bailed the defense out, but the defense needs to play the whole game.
Carr was very happy with his team’s last-second win. Shocking – we know. He called the defense “sensational,” praised his defensive coaches (including much-maligned coordinator Jim Herrmann) and marveled at Chad Henne’s poise at the end of the game. It’s hard to fault Carr for his nearly limitless glee. After all, Mario Manningham will be suiting up in Maize and Blue for the next few years. Carr did take some time out to criticize the media for their treatment of Henne, but overall, it seemed as if nothing could rain on Carr’s parade.
You guys really like the 3:30 starts. Hey, we don’t blame you; you can drink more and then be louder. Much like the game, the first three quarters were nothing to get too excited about. Without much offense, we can’t be too hard on you for not being real vociferious. But once the game got interesting, the crowd got into it. Sure there was some dejection after the fumble recovery by Penn State, but on the Nittany Lions’ last drive you gave Michigan a real home-field advantage. And once Manningham caught the game-winner, you went wild. Well done.
Michigan’s ground game had a decent outing against Penn State. Mike Hart was his usually remarkable self. The sophomore carried just 23 times for 108 yards and a score, but his blocking was typically excellent and his tough runs – especially his jaw-dropping, grueling, 11-yard third-down run on the Wolverines’ final drive – were particularly memorable. Kevin Grady and Antonio Bass also got involved, combining for 51 yards and averaging over seven yards per carry. Bass’s runs from the quarterback position gave Michigan a boost earlier in the game.