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.
Key players: Any offensive Michigan blocker
1. Chris Perry, Brian Thompson and Kevin Dudley should all be
receiving major thanks and props from John Navarre and the
offensive line. All three laid out to make last-second blocks on
Michigan State defenders.
Defensive end Greg Taplin talked a good game during the week,
but he was taken out of plays repeatedly by Perry, who is 40 pounds
lighter than the Spartans’ trash-talking lineman.
2. It is amazing how much difference there was between the
Spartans and the Wolverines. While it was apparent Michigan State
was having a bad case of the drops, there was little doubt that the
Spartans were hardly moving the ball at all. Credit the once-again
Marlin Jackson-less secondary for stepping up huge in another big
game. Jeremy LeSueur was hardly challenged during the game, an
obvious show of respect for the senior cornerback who did produce
big plays anytime Jeff Smoker decided to go his way.
3. Garrett Rivas missed his first extra point this weekend.
Those making a big deal out of it shouldn’t. The freshman has been
clutch this season and just had a bad kick.
Explanation: It would be pointless to diagram what
Michigan did well, as it was straight-up toughness and grit that
was the “key play” of its win over Michigan State. This game
belonged to Michigan’s offensive linemen. Any time guards David
Bass or Matt Lentz pulled through a hole, Michigan State’s
linebackers were receiving the hit instead of trying to meet it
head on. Tackles Adam Stenavich and Tony Pape had easily their best
games of the season against the best pass rush in the nation (in
terms of sacks). There really isn’t any spectacular reason as to
why Michigan’s offensive line was better than ever, as this line
was playing well all season – just not to the standards they had
set for themselves. My hat is off to an outsanding job done.