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.
Eh, lackluster at best. The defense forced five turnovers, which is obviously impressive, but that is the only reason the tank wasn’t completely on Empty. The goal this year was to eliminate the big play, but Huskies running back Garrett Wolfe took the ball to the house on the first play of the second quarter. The secondary gets a pass because it was the first game with three new starters, but the front seven should be better than this. Rush linebacker LaMarr Woodley got the team’s only sack, and 411 yards would be unacceptable in any other game.
It didn’t take a genius to tell that Carr was not pleased with the defense yesterday at his weekly press conference. He called the defense out for not showing enough effort and for not being physical enough. Instead of sleeping, Carr said he spent Saturday and Sunday nights tossing and turning. And that’s the fault of Jim Herrmann’s squad. On Saturday, Carr managed to rev the offensive engine, which put up 33 points and 419 yards. But until his defense gains a little horsepower, it looks like Carr will be counting sheep.
So the 3:30 p.m. start gave you extra time to play beer pong and get drunk. You got off to a good start. The stadium looked pretty full before kickoff, those yellow pom-poms added a certain flair, and most of you were screaming your butts off. But something happened once the ball was in the air. Maybe your hangovers hit a little earlier than expected. Maybe you were too busy trying to get cell phone reception in the Big House. All we know is you didn’t bring in da noise. And you didn’t bring in da funk, either.
The Wolverines’ ground game looked pretty strong against Northern Illinois, rolling up 208 yards on 48 carries. Sophomore Mike Hart looked solid, leading the way with 117 yards and a score. And freshman Kevin Grady bolstered the attack with 42 yards and a touchdown in his Michigan debut. This was far from a perfect outing, however. Grady fumbled on the two yard line in the third quarter, and, although Hart was impressive, his 4.3 yards per carry average was almost a full yard below his mark from last year.