After only going 15-22 in the Rich Rodriguez era (2008-10), the Michigan football program was in dire need of a change. That's when a man named Brady Hoke was hired. He didn't disappoint, either.
During his first season as the head coach of the Wolverines last year, Hoke led his team to an 11-win season, their first win over arch-rival Ohio State in eight years and their first-ever win in a BCS bowl game. Pretty impressive, right? So what's up with his squad this year?
I totally get why the Wolverines had a rough time getting things going versus Alabama. But when you barely squeak past an Air Force team that lost to 1-4 UNLV, and generate just 299 yards against Notre Dame while turning the ball over six times, it raises a bit of concern.
Here, in his post-game interview after the Alabama game, Hoke addresses some of the issues that need corrected:
Have these issues really been corrected yet after four games into the season? After all, the Wolverines have turned the ball over 10 times while only forcing 4 turnovers themselves. On top of that, they have only out-gained their foes by just 229 total yards (57 yards per game) on the year, and they have had more total penalties and penalty yards than their opponents.
In his opening statement on media day, Hoke said “Thanks for coming out. It's great to see this enthusiasm for the University of Michigan.”
How long will this enthusiasm last if the Wolverines continue to play worse than we all know they're capable of playing? To elaborate, Michigan has had more turnovers than anyone in the conference. This interception by Denard Robinson sums up some of their frustrations:
At this writing, the Wolverines are No. 93 in the country in terms of total offensive yards, and they're sixth in the Big Ten in terms of yards gained per game. Their defense hasn't played too much better either, despite having a decent effort against the Fighting Irish.
While the Wolverines took a big step up last season on defense, they have already given up 728 rushing yards on the ground (182 yards per game) this year, while only outscoring their opponents by a total of 22 points (5.5 points per game).
We'll see if they can turn things around this week versus a Purdue team that has lit up the scoreboard with 42.5 points per game. This game will be the measuring stick of where this Michigan squad is and what we can expect from them henceforth.
So the question remains, is Brady Hoke the right guy for the head coaching position at Michigan? He's already done a hell of a job recruiting stud players thus far. How much of an impact will that have on the team's progression?
What do you think about Hoke and the future of the Michigan football program? Was last year merely a fluke? Leave your comments below and as always, God bless!!!
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