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.
The Wolverines’ defense looked shaky on its opening series, surrendering a 42-yard touchdown pass and putting Michigan in a hole. But the Wolverines responded after faltering early, shutting out the Hoosiers until the middle of the fourth quarter. Indiana was limited to 63 rushing yards, and the Hoosiers’ quarterbacks combined to go just 13-of-30 for 147 yards. Linebacker Prescott Burgess also intercepted a pass deep in Indiana territory, but the Wolverines’ offense was unable to convert on its red-zone attempt.
Carr was excited after the game, and for good reason. It looked as if the Michigan offense was in top form, and the defense looked solid as well. Carr did make a point of mentioning Indiana’s first drive in his opening statement, making it clear he was not pleased about the way the Wolverines started the game. But for most of the presser, he had fun with reporters, joking that he could reveal his gameplan for Ohio State if anyone really wanted it. He had nothing but praise for Breaston, whom he called “fearless” numerous times.
It was a little difficult to assess how hyped the crowd was this week because so many of you left halfway through the game – and because most of you didn’t show up until after kickoff. During the limited time you were actually inside the stadium, you didn’t make your presence known. Even worse, the biggest cheer of the game came when backup quarterback Matt Gutierrez took the field after halftime. Your job is to vocally support your team – and your quarterback – and you didn’t do it well on Saturday. You better bring your ‘A’ game this weekend.
The Michigan running game was solid yet again on Saturday despite the absence of Mike Hart from the lineup. The Wolverines picked up 216 yards on the ground. Kevin Grady led the attack with 94 yards and two touchdowns, including an impressive and powerful 32-yard scoring run where he burst through the line and raced downfield in the open. Alijah Bradley, Steve Breaston, Jerome Jackson and Antonio Bass also contributed to the shared effort. Even backup quarterback Matt Gutierrez made a nice 11-yard scramble in the second half. A nice job all around.