The Wolverine

February 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  from our readers sistent execution in all three phases of the game to attain the team's objectives. This year's five losses accentuated these needs — from the opening Cowboys Stadium Crimson Tide debacle, the six turnovers at South Bend, the lost opportunity to field the best team in Lincoln after Denard Robinson went down, the second-half collapse in Columbus, to the final deluge of South Carolina big plays in the painful Outback defeat. The good news is that the program should continue to improve steadily with more experience, an influx of new players, and solid leadership from its skilled coaching staff. How about back-to-back wins by Team 134 over the Bucks in 2013, followed by a solid Rose Bowl victory to get back on track? Go Blue! Uldis Sipols Norwell, Mass. That scenario would produce all kinds of smiles right through New Year's Day 2014 and beyond, Uldis. But like you and Hoke noted, the Wolverines have some work to do. Sifting Through The Season Dear The Wolverine: The national college football champion has been crowned, and the University of Alabama football team put on quite a display of superiority over Notre Dame. Watching the game made me feel like I was in Cowboys Stadium in Texas, only this time the Crimson Tide seemed even more surgical in the national championship game. The Outback Bowl was the better bowl game, because Michigan and South Carolina were more evenly matched. It seems strange to be saying that, since South Carolina had only two losses — at LSU and at Florida, playing in the "super" SEC, and Michigan had four — Alabama, Notre Dame, Nebraska and OSU, all away games, playing in the "weak" Big Ten. Note all of the teams' losses were on the road. As a "homer," I look at the Outback Bowl result and play the "woulda, shoulda, coulda" game and believe that Michigan could have easily won the game. For example, do not fake punt on fourthand-five — and I might add do not run to the short side of the field to boot. I know they got the first down anyway, because of a boot this time by the official. And, for example, do not give up big pass plays, especially in the last 11 seconds. There you have it. Easy win. My recollection is that Michigan did not give up a lot of big plays during the regular season except for the Alabama game. Did the fact that Michigan played Alabama and South Carolina without arguably their best cornerbacks, Blake Countess and J.T. Floyd (respectively) contribute to some of those big plays? There is that "woulda, shoulda, coulda" thing again. Maybe if they coulda played … well, you get the idea. Big plays of the season on our side

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