Michigan @ Minnesota - Post game

"We've lost two tough games in a row but we are a 7-3 team.  Last year we were a 1-11 team.  I don't want to diminish the significance of the improvement that we've made.  Obviously we are disappointed but we are a much improved football team."

Does this 7-3 football team feel more like an 0-2 team?  Brewster is right that we have shown significant improvement over 2007's team.  But have we seen much improvement over the last month? 

Our offense is really struggling lately and has scored 20, 17, 10 and 6 offensive points in the last four games (not counting defensive touchdowns).  And this struggling offense was facing a defense that has given up 35 or more points five times this year.  This was the day to get things back on track.  But it was not to be.

"We certainly can look in the mirror today and see were we are vulnerable, where we need to improve and we'll certainly look at those areas and get better."

Last week I sat in the media room and heard him tell us that they'd go over the film and make the necessary corrections this week in practice.  Unfortunately improvement was not shown on the field as the team came out struggling for the first two quarters.  Brandon Green's term for our offensive start was "sluggish."  Brewster thought it was a lack of confidence that compounded when we continued to struggle through the first half.

"I don't think anybody was very sharp on the offensive side.  Adam wasn't his sharpest to begin the game and I think he'd be the first to tell you that.  We didn't get anything going offensively to give us some confidence and that's what we needed today.  Cause our defense did a decent job of forcing them to kick field goals, but we never really got any juice going on the offensive side."

This game was very disappointing because we all wanted to see them hoist the Jug and have it in TCF Stadium for all of us to see next year.  We also wanted to see some improvement in the offensive line and the run game.  We wanted to play well and get this building fired up with so many significant recruits in the building.  None of that happened as Michigan played their most complete game of the year and didn't just win, they dominated.

The offense was strugling and looked unprepared but the breakdown was clearly on the offensive line.

Mike Max had the question of the day when he asked...

MM - "It looked like Adam's confidence like he was always feeling the heat and he was looking for somebody to sack him.  Doesn't it really just come down to the offensive line and the rest of it will take care of itself?"

TB "Again, it's everybody, Mike.  The whole group offensively, but obviously it starts with the offensive line.  What we've got to be able to run the football better in order take the pressure off of us.  Then when we throw the football we've got to be able to protect better.  But again, it's not all those guys.  Recievers have to do a better job of running routes and getting open, we've gotta be able to separate from somebody adn give Adam a chance."

While Brewster wanted to say this falls on the entire offense I think he was saying that Max nailed it.  The receivers maybe need to run better routes and do a better job blocking themselves, but right now the offensive line is just not giving Weber or Eskridge a chance to succeed right now.

Defensively, like Brewster said, they did an OK job.  Yards were given up but the held Michigan to field goals for the most part.  Right now their achilles heal is the cut back run.  Too many big runs occured today on the cutback and this is the same kind of thing that hurt us last week when it was the Northwestern QB that was cutting back and beating us on the weakside of plays.

"You look at the number of big runs we've given up and they are cut back kind of runs where we are missing a tackle at the line of scrimmage or at the linebacker level and it's turning into a big play.  We've just got to do a better job of tackling at the line of scrimmage."

There are clearly areas of improvement and improvement has not been made over the last few weeks.  We better figure some things out this week or all anyody is going to remember is 0-4, not 7-5. 

NOTES:

* Brewster on Eric Decker

"He wasnt' near 100% going into the game adn he got banged around a little during the game and it was best for him to sit it out."

I don't have a problem with this.  He is your most dynamic player on offense if he can go at all you have to give him a shot.  But when it became clear that he was just no productive yo have to sit him and hope he is healthier next week for Wisconsin.

* Troy Stoudermire when asked about being one missed tackle away from returning a kick off for a TD on a number of occasions this year. 

"I always think about that when watching film, it'd be one guy or two guys who have to miss.  One game I'm just gonna run through everybody."

TDG - "Can you house one next week in Madison? - "For sure, I'm gonna house one next week."

* Brandon Green when I asked him about the initial game plan and adjustments made at halftime.

"Run the ball and pass the ball.  Pound it, pound it, pass it.  There were no adjustments (at halftime), coaches came and talked to us and everybody came out fired up but we couldn't finish it off."

Not rocket science but clearly it was poorly executed.

* And finally, don't think the Daily Gopher Curse isn't being lost on the U of MN's Athletic Communications Associate Director, Andy Sealy.  As I was chatting with Green he points at me and says...

"This is your fault."

Maybe he's right.  But hopefully Brewster can recruit some kids talented enough to overcome the firm grip TDG has on this program's success.

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