The Wolverine

November 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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NOVEMBER 2018 THE WOLVERINE 5   FROM OUR READERS it another way, we are more of what we do than what we say. At this juncture, Michigan has played five games and in three of them — Notre Dame, SMU and Northwest- ern — the team started the games as if they were taking the opponent for granted. They went on to win two of those games, but came up short against ND, a team of a higher caliber than the other two. When the team plays Wisconsin, Penn State, Michigan State and Ohio State, this Michigan team can ill afford to dig a hole like those instances. Where is the discipline to avoid drive-stopping penalties on offense and drive-continuing penalties on de- fense? The October-November season is upon us, and the usual patsies of Maryland and Indiana could prove to be challenges that require a 60-minute effort in order to gain victory. Wait a minute you say — Michigan beat SMU and Northwestern. Or, no team can be expected to play their best every game from beginning to end. History from recent years illus- trates that winning against the patsies at home does not result in victories against better teams on the road or even at home. With the exception of Rutgers, ev- ery team remaining on the schedule is capable of winning, and there are some who would take exception to my exclusion of Rutgers from that group. We see upsets every week by teams of lesser talent defeating those of greater talent. Winning at Northwestern was great, and the team deserves accolades for finding a way to win. Much could be written about the penalties in that game and the Nebraska game. Bad calls keep coming, often at inop- portune times. That is why focus and discipline are so important in avoiding a bad outcome. Unless something changes, Michi- gan is looking at a record of 8-4 with a chance of 9-3 with a victory over Michigan State. We now have evidence that Nebraska is not very good, but we need to check what was it that sparked the Michigan team effort in that game? Was it simply that Nebraska was bad, or did Michigan stay focused through- out the game, spurred by the com- ments of Scott Frost when he was at UCF? "Take no team for granted" means maintaining focus, discipline and good technique on assignments for 60 min- utes. Anything less will not beat sev- eral of the good teams on the schedule. Go Blue! J. Richard Jaconette, M.D. Battle Creek, Mich. On Desmond Howard returning to campus as part of ESPN's College GameDay Oct. 13 … • I enjoy listening to him. He has good content, appears to know what he is talking about and then delivers it with- out too many "you knows," "hmmmms" or "ahhhs." Yeah, he is a supporter of Michigan (and not just football), but also realistic in his understanding where the team and coaches are. vanreads • What a wonderful ambassador for our great University! Fred Derf • Desmond is the star of GameDay. Love that guy. BoulderMBlue • Desmond came up with a nice way to say [when he spoke with the media Oct. 12] offensively the cupboard was bare when Jim Harbaugh took over the program, and it takes time to rebuild. In the rebuilding process, Harbaugh still kept the program competitive. UCLA and Nebraska are going through that process now and are getting smashed while building for the future. Harbaugh stayed competitive as much as possible while rebuilding the pro- gram. People have been riding him for an 8-5 season with one of the youngest teams in the FBS last year. Football minds know usually teams take a step back when there is lots of inexperience on both sides of the ball. He has this thing ready to go now. Shea Patterson was a gift, but he had to get him up to speed on the scheme … that's what happened in South Bend. Last year if this team goes down by 17 in the first half on the road, they'd be done. The team is seasoned now with a QB that can flat-out play and is not scared of the moment! wrapcd On the upcoming basketball sea- son, which tips off Nov. 6 against Norfolk State, and some of the news surrounding the team that came out of the Big Ten's media day Oct. 11 … • You think about where Michigan basketball was 15 years ago and where it is now, it's just awesome. bluex2 • John Beilein's program is everything that's right in the world. Voltron_Blue • I love the mismatch Brandon Johns can present at the 5 on offense. I'm thinking against [Michigan State's Nick] Ward he would be awesome of- fensively. However, defensively I'm skeptical. If Charles Matthews shoots 40 per- cent from three and Zavier Simpson can shoot just 35 percent, this team will be real tough … assuming the defense is as good as it sounds it is. Wolverine 4 life • Really, really excited by the prospect of Johns at the 5. As others have men- tioned, as long as he can hold his own defensively there, that could be a game changer on offense and really raise the ceiling on that side of the ball. -Buddy • Brandon Johns at the 5 makes my heart skip a beat. … Talk about a change-of-pace lineup from what ap- pears to be a soul-crushing defense fea- turing Zavier, [junior center Jon] Teske and Matthews to a run-and-gun with Johns and [fellow freshman] Ignas Braz- deikis at the 5-4 and fill in the rest 1-3. Sophomore Jordan Poole is such an X factor. I can honestly see him breaking out to a first-round grade or struggling mightily trying to take on too much. No matter what happens, I am re- serving ALL judgment until at least … March. I will not fall into the early sea- son overreaction (which I do every year and will probably still do again). ILikeJakeButtICannotLie • I'm so excited for basketball season, but I'm not going full-in on the Kool-Aid too early. I know they will have some growing pains early, but I think by the Jan./Feb. schedule they'll be extremely tough to beat. Love this team! WolverineChip • Great time of year — football is into the heart of the schedule and basket- ball is on deck. SouthpawBlue6 From Our Website

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