Saturday, September 10, 2005

Michigan vs. Notre Dame - 1st Impressions

It's 7-0 Notre Dame, with 34 seconds remaining in the first quarter. For the first two series, Notre Dame's offense looked dangerous, and it looked like Michigan could not contain them. At the other end, Michigan was not able to move the football.

Thankfully, Michigan's defense is starting to step up. The defensive line is starting to put some pressure on the quarterback, Brady Quinn, which resulted in several throws that are just a little bit off.

On the offensive side, Michigan has so far had trouble establishing themselves. Notre Dame has been able to pressure Henne on almost every play, with several blocked passes and a sack. Notre Dame relied heavily on a no-huddle offense early long, and to me, it appeared that they were attempting to establish early momentum. Weiss' offensive schemes are going to keep Michigan's defense on their toes all game long, but I think their first few sets of downs were pre-established, and that they won't be able to continue to surprise the Wolverines with the no-huddle offense.

For me, the best news has been that Michigan has been involving Breaston in several plays. If they continue to involve Breaston, he will easily put up 150 yards offense.

Wait -- I just saw the double-reverse to Breaston to end the first quarter -- beautiful play. They just announced the Hart may be injured, as rookie Kevin Grady has stepped in. With Ecker stepping in for the missing Tim Massaquoi, and Hart possibly injured, the Wolverines are going to have to rely heavily on Avant, Grady and Breaston.

In any case, this is shaping up to be a very entertaining football game. It looks like Notre Dame has the early edge, but if Michigan's defense can keep up the same intensity level, and pressure Quinn all game long, the Wolverines should be able to pull out the win.