Note: Before each game we break down what needs to happen for it to be a good day for the Michigan Wolverines.
Wolverine Nation Held Hostage: Day 301
So this isn’t as somber as Walter Cronkite counting down the Iranian hostage crisis when I was but a munchkin, but Saturday will mark 301 days since the winningest program in college football history last won a college football game. It’s time for this long, national nightmare to be over. At this point we’ll take a win—any win. Western Michigan is just the Mark Grace slumpbuster we need.
If at first you don’t succeed, lower your expectations
Gerry DiNardo of The Big Ten Network, himself a former All-American offensive lineman, told us Michigan’s much-maligned offensive line was vastly improved when he saw it in fall camp. Our own coaches and players said the same whenever they were given the opportunity. Then they went out there and gave us the "Talking Heads" treatment in South Bend last week—as in “same as it ever was.”
So since it sadly still appears as if returning to the dominant front walls of yesteryear remains beyond our grasp, let’s lower our expectations. Can we settle for just competent? As in cutting the number of quarterback hits we gave up against the Irish (a way too high 11) in half maybe? Is that asking for too much against a Broncos defense that made Syracuse look like the New England Patriots last week?
Can Chris come out and play?
You don’t have to be the second coming of Vince Lombardi to understand that barely providing any touches for perhaps your most dangerous offensive weapon is counter-productive to igniting a stagnant offense. So if we again don’t see junior tailback Chris Evans in the game until after halftime -- he received his first touch against Notre Dame at 10:17 of the third quarter -- I’m not saying I’ll be angry, I’m simply suggesting a restraining order may need to be filed in Washtenaw County.
Make. It. Stop.
I'm not saying it’s been too long since a Michigan wide receiver last caught a touchdown pass, but I’m pretty sure Brady Hoke was still wearing a headset (U-M has now gone 12 straight games without a TD by a wideout, last doing so in week 2 of the 2017 season against Cincinnati when both senior Grant Perry and former Wolverine Kekoa Crawford each had one).
These are the sorts of ugly trends that just feed the anti-Harbaugh media narrative, which does wonders for our fan excitement and recruiting—if you’re Michigan State or Ohio State. Make. It. Stop. It’s hard enough winning titles in this league right now, without handing our haters spoon-fed talking points like this.