3 Takeaways from the turnover plagued Wolverines
Going into the locker room down 14-3 at the half, proved to be too much for the Wolverines offense to overcome.
Last night’s game was a hard one to watch for the Michigan fan base from the second possession on. As a fan of the Wolverines, the morning frustration isn’t the same as last years loss to Ohio State, no, in fact that was more understandable as Michigan had got finessed out of some calls late in that game but last night, that was just poor offensive play from beginning to end. In actuality, we beat ourselves especially considering how we were given more chances than the guy with the naive girlfriend.
Michigan (now 4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) was only able to do as much as quarterback John O’Korn could do…and it wasn’t much. O’Korn was only able to connect on 16 of his 35 pass attempts and seen as many as three costly turnovers (all interceptions). While there a PLENTY of things deserving of harsh criticism and critique from coaching and play calling to quarterback play and consistency in the run game, but the biggest eyesore on the stat sheet has to be turnovers.
A team can get away with one, sometimes maybe two but when a team commits three plus, you might as well kiss winning the game goodbye. Three interceptions and two fumbles only added to the plagued Michigan offense as two of the five turnovers occurred in the red zone, squandering potential points and possibly a different outcome. I’ve been saying it all year, Michigan is a second half team, but even that proved to be false last night as O’Korn and the offense got their lights shut off, throwing three interceptions on three straight drives. The defense can only do so much to bail the offense out and while holding Michigan State to zero points in the second half sounds great, saying they held them scoreless and produced some touchdowns would have sounded better, but at that point, it would be asking too much.
O’Korn is the guy at Michigan:
Love it or hate it, O’Korn will most likely be the starter progressing through the rest of the season as former starting quarterback Wilton Speight is still dealing with an injury he suffered from two weeks ago in the Purdue game. Unsure of who the third stringer Brandon Peters is or what he brings to the table, but it’s clear he isn’t ready to orchestrate the Michigan offense (understandable) as Harbaugh decided to stick it out with O’Korn. In all fairness, Michigan returned only five starters on offense, are now playing with the backup quarterback and in a rainstorm at that. Moving forward, we can expect some growing pains not just in last night’s situation but down the stretch as well, especially in crucial games in Death Valley and week 12 against Ohio State.
I’m certain the people of Ann Arbor still love Harbaugh and are anticipating great things, but none of the future plans and “what ifs” matter as we have to look at what has happened in the past and what is happening now. The problem now, is that we as Michigan fans, alumni and supporters etc. put Harbaugh on this high pedestal that we all expected oven results in microwave time, so now that the product is not up to standards, we’re all pointing the finger at the guy in charge…which isn’t necessarily wrong given that Michigan has now dropped to 1-4 against the team’s biggest annual opponents so I think questioning some things is fair.
Offensive coordinator Tim Drevno should be ashamed of himself from the plays he strung together. Even though we left some points in the red zone on our first drive and settled for three, I was pleased with the way we stayed committed to the run. After that, it became nonexistent and then started to do too much in the pass game in what looked like hopes for getting big yard plays versus focusing on the first downs. Given the inconsistency between the quarterback and wide receivers, I thought there was too much trust put into the passing game midway through the second half.
As far as Harbaugh, being winless against Ohio State, a team the city of Ann Arbor have been dying to beat for years hurts, but having to wait until 2019 to prove that you can beat Michigan State at home is just cringe worthy. Extending from that, if there’s one thing we know about Harbaugh, it’s his emphasis / connection to the quarterback position, and so far, I can’t say I’ve seen him tap into the potential of the few quarterbacks we’ve seen shuffle through the offense. I know it seems like I’m bashing a guy I say is a great fit for the program but adding insult to injury, as of right now, our statement game came against a Florida team that had 14 suspended players and just lost to an LSU team at home who paid Troy University almost $1 million to beat them in front of their own crowd on homecoming…now that’s something.
It’s far too early to want to jump ship, but halfway through year three, Harbaugh and the Wolverines are left standing with a pair of third place finishes in the Big Ten and are 1-1 in bowl games.