The Wolverine

October 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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OCTOBER 2018 THE WOLVERINE 5   FROM OUR READERS is winning, it is one thing, but when your lunch is being handed to you, it may be time to get ready for the next great stop, interception, first down, re- turn for a touchdown, etc. Is the team tough enough to take a great play for granted and move on to the next one? Is it out of order to expect the team to maintain focus on the next great play to be made? The game-ending feelings and emo- tions are predominately of disappoint- ment. Michigan is not as bad as they showed in the first half. The team at this point is not good enough to give up 14 points in less than 10 minutes and come back against a good team. And yet, they almost did. The missed opportunities at the beginning of the second half were huge. Add some experience, some focus and some toughness, play the schedule one game at a time. Do not overlook any team on the schedule. That has to be the mentality going forward. The Notre Dame game counts as one, and not against the Big Ten championship. Go Blue! J. Richard Jaconette, M.D. Battle Creek, Mich. BACKING BRAYLON Dear The Wolverine, I totally agree with Braylon Ed- wards' critique of the current program. While M continues to churn out NFL-quality linemen, they seem mis- used at Michigan. Bring back Brady Hoke, whose only deficiency was his loyalty to some underperforming as- sistants. Decent, humble and a gen- uinely good person, I would much rather defend him than a Bo wannabe. Bill Western Via the Internet LAST FAN STANDING Dear The Wolverine, Coach H for life in review? I think not. There is nothing to re- view. Coach Jim Harbaugh is without question the best man for the job, now and through the foreseeable future! Yes, it was a tough loss to open the season. But do we really want to be an- other WAACOE U? We already have MSU, OSU, Ole Miss, Baylor and on and on. Michigan is different in that of course we also have to win, but a big part of the M difference has always been to win the right way. WAACOE U is "win at any cost or else," and that clearly is not us. I have read the news including The Wolver- ine's reader columns from Jaconette and Oade, and those were before the game one loss. The pouring out of na- tional broadcasts, talk radio, Braylon Edwards again (c'mon man), and just about everybody but Jim Brandstatter for cryin' out loud, that the season is done and Harbaugh is finished is flat- out ludicrous. Yes, we have problems at tackle and we lost our best receiver for a while. Yes, our defense was a little overly aggressive with penalties early in the game and we fell behind 21-3. No, the new QB was not an All-American in his first outing. Yes, we fell down at the end of last year albeit with a third-string redshirt freshman QB not being able to win with a beat up O-line that was ques- tionable to start with. I could go on, but there is plenty found on that else- where. Why 'Coach H for life?' We fought to the very end of the Notre Dame loss like champions and had a chance on the last drive to win. Handling ad- versity is how a team gets measured, and the 'Men in Blue' gave it their all, got back in the game, outplayed ND clearly in the second half with par- tial play once again from a redshirt freshman QB, Dylan McCaffery, who played admirably in what can be de- scribed as the one of the most hostile environments imaginable. Our QB stable is 400 percent better than when 'Coach H for life' arrived, and this is the guy who made Andrew Luck, and took Colin Kaepernick to the Super Bowl and was one pass 12 inches short from winning the game. Our starter, Shea Patterson, com- pleted nearly 70 percent of his passes despite heavy pressure. He looks like the real deal to me — gosh, give the guy a chance. My bet is he is likely at least an All-Big Ten performer before he is done. Most important, Coach H is all about winning and doing every- thing the right way. He is truly a new and improved version of Bo. Beating up 'Coach H for life' about recruiting seems nonsensical to me. Imagine a simple redshirt on OT Ma- son Cole instead of being a freshman starting OL and no gruesome injury to recently retired Grant Newsome. What a tackle combo they would be this year — a helluva OL. Were we off last year? Sure, but that's what happens when any coach deals with previously recruited QBs and has to play three of them. Our de- fensive recruiting has been amazing, and defense will rule the day this year with the great Don Brown, who can be a 'DC for life' in my opinion. While true Michigan fans hold the line, many quasi-bandwagon jumpers (on and off) offer the alternative coach, whose name is 'I don't know, but …' — and I got to say, Coach 'I don't know, but …' is very popular all over the country but has never recruited a player or won even a single game. For those frustrated fans on the fence, just think back to the 10 years before Harbaugh, including coaches Brady Hoke, Rich Rodriguez and the very end of Lloyd Carr, as well as AD Dave Brandon. There is a price to pay — we don't get to determine the time or the amount. When fair-weather fans join Braylon and jump off the bandwagon because they hurt so bad after a tough loss to start the season, I can only say wake up and smell the roses, yeah those Roses (as in Rose Bowl or better). When you start to think it hurts you so bad, you really have no idea how bad it hurts the coaches, players and staff as well as their families — there's no comparison. You may wish to be proactive and patient, and there is little of that even amongst some Michigan fans. But turning this into WAACOE U takes us down several notches and a place we should not go. Whose got a better Coach than us? NOBODY!!!!!!!! Paul Janiak Fort Worth, Texas Through 42 games, Jim Harbaugh is 30-12 with an 18-8 Big Ten record and a pair of national top-12 finishes. However, last year's 8-5 mark and the season-opening loss to Notre Dame has some fans restless. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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