August 30, 2008


YOU KNOW, ONE OF THESE DAYS, Michigan will actually win its home opener and stay in contention for the national championship for longer than, oh, three hours.

Today's 25-23 loss to Utah was not the way I wanted to start the college football season. Although the loss was nowhere near the magnitude of last year's horrific loss to Appalachian State, today's game brought with it plenty of pain and suffering for Wolverine fans. Still, it could have been worse, for the following reasons:

* We were down 25-10, but managed to score two touchdowns set up through great defensive play, making it 25-23 before our "offense" decided to collapse again.
* For much of the game, we did not have -- to use the technical term -- an "offense."
* For much of the game, our quarterbacks -- to use the technical term -- were "incompetent."
* We could still have had Mike DeBord as offensive coordinator, in which case the final score would have been Utah 25, Michigan 3.

I will say this, though -- I am pleased with Coach Rodriguez. There were some positives, I thought, during the game: such as the excellent second-half play of our defense; the speed and quickness I saw among the players; and clever playcalling that would have worked if our offense had been, you know, effective. And even though our quarterbacks were pretty awful, neither one of them had actually ever played a full game before, so hopefully they will settle down as the season goes on.

Next week we have Miami of Ohio, which should be an easier opponent than Utah. From there it gets pretty tough, but we'll just have to work our way through it. We have not had a losing season since 1967 and there is no reason we should start now.

Also, in the spirit of friendly competition, I would congratulate the Utah Utes on their victory and leave them with a friendly message:

SPACE, you rotten scoundrels! SPACE!

In further news, I should note that -- unlike last year -- Michigan was not alone in sharing the pain today. No. 25 Pittsburgh lost to Bowling Green, 27-17.

This somewhat disappointed Mr Kepple, who for decades has been rooting for Pitt. Save for a few bright shining moments in the late Seventies and early Eighties, Dad has had his hopes and dreams crushed every year before and since. (He also roots for Penn State, which is a story for another post). Today, he summed up the team's loss with the rueful quip that it was yet another strong start for the Panthers.

Also, No. 17 Virginia Tech lost to East Carolina, 27-22. Oh, how wonderful was that? Less than two minutes left and the Pirates block a punt and return it for a touchdown? Good for East Carolina. That brought a little joy to my day today, that's for sure.

Well, now it's time for the evening games. Let's see how Clemson does against Alabama.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at August 30, 2008 08:10 PM | TrackBack
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