Michigan Daily Sports Editor Kyle O’Neill is not a collegiate
athlete, nor is he a collegiate coach. But he was a starting wide
receiver for his winless team at Garber High School, was third in
Bay County in receptions his senior year and claims to know
something about the game of football. So each game, we’ll let him
and his 5-foot-10, 158-pound frame break down why Michigan either
succeeded or failed.

Janna Hutz
Janna Hutz

Key play: First-and-10; 11:12, Third quarter

3 Observations

1. Give credit to Michigan’s offensive line, it came up
huge when it needed to — mainly during Michigan’s
shotgun offense. Holes were opened up for John Navarre to pass
through, even to the point where Navarre was able to step up to the
line and deliver his throws uncontested. Considering the line was
having difficulties moving the ball on the ground early on —
thanks in part to Minnesota loading up defenders in the box —
the successes the line had at the end of the game showed the
All-American line that was promised at the beginning of the
season.

2. It was LaMarr Woodley’s time to shine. On a day when it
was tough for any of the front seven to be spectacular —
giving up over 400 yards on the run will do that — Woodley
shined. He had nine tackles, but it was when he wasn’t making
a play that made him good. He’d take up two offensive linemen
at a time, which should have freed up for tackles for loss. It was
just that Asad Abdul-Khaliq was an elusive quarterback for many of
Michigan’s defenders.

3. Can’t dominate with the run? No problem. Michigan
offensive coordinator Terry Malone went right to the screen and
swing passes that gave Chris Perry the freedom he needed to make
big plays. The same that he would usually make through holes in the
line. Kudos to Malone for keeping Perry a large part of the
offense.

Explanation: The double pass worked for a few
reasons. The first was that it had been set up all game (and all
season)
by the quick passes that John Navarre would throw to
his wideouts before they even crossed the line of scrimmage. The
previous play, Braylon Edwards had caught the same ball that Steve
Breaston did, except Edwards ran with it. Minnesota’s defenders –
all but two – followed Navarre’s original pass, expecting the play
to be designed for Breaston. Not even Tim Massaquoi’s slant over
the middle of the field garnered any attention (Breaston could
have hit him in stride for a touchdown as well
). Give credit to
Michigan’s offensive line for moving down field so well. Only two
blocks needed to be made – David Baas on Minnesota’s Eli Ward and
Matt Lentz on Ukee Dozier – but they were made well. Well, there’s
only so much I can say about Minnesota completely biting on this
play and how Michigan sold it so well … so here’s a few takes on
how Navarre scored:

Michigan quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler: “That was a
phenomenal call. It’s a big joke in the staff room … out of all
the quarterbacks (who have run that play) I can’t believe he scored
it, to be honest with you. He’s been waiting five years to run that
play. Stevie Breaston – gosh – I might have to start recruiting him
to play quarterback.”

Michigan offensive coordinator Terry Malone: “Maybe
Henson is a lot slower than Navarre.”

Michigan running back Chris Perry: “It took him a long
time to get there. But he got there and that’s all that matters. I
was like, ‘Come on, man, come on,’ but he took his time. I guess he
wanted to look up to the crowd and wave – but he did what he had to
do to get in the endzone.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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