Michigan took two steps forward to start the season and has now taken one step back following the crushing defeat to Penn State.
The season started out so well for the men in blue; winning four straight. Since that start, they lost two heart-breakers at Iowa and at Michigan State. Today, though, was nothing like those games.
They played as if it were spring ball; looking young and raw. Penn State dominated the defense, their fans dominated the Big House, and Michigan was over-matched and outplayed today.
Michigan's defense couldn't stop Daryll Clark and the Nittany Lions offense. Big plays and turnovers highlighted this game. Penn State played like they belong in the Top Ten today.
Rich Rodriguez has a lot of work to do if he wants his team to play in a decent bowl game or one at all.
They play Illinois in Champaign next week and must get a victory. If any game this year is a must win, it's next week. Rodriguez is not on the hot seat, but if his team continues to regress, his status could get too hot.
I realize they are in the second year of a brand new system, but that team that played Penn State today looked awful. The defensive line seemed to be the only thing that was impressive, if you can call it that.
Brandon Graham and Co. got pressure, forced three-and-outs, and yet Clark was able to tear them up in the secondary. Greg Robinson, sans talent, still needs to fix the leak that is the secondary. Today's loss magnified the inability of that defensive backfield to cover anyone 20 yards downfield.
Woolfolk, Kovacs, Williams, and even Warren need to be closer than six feet to the wide receivers. Clark killed them on the screen plays and the deep ball. It was frustrating to watch, and it must have been even more frustrating on the field.
Rodriguez better put his players through one of those 10-hour killer Sundays he did last year after that mess yesterday. They need a ton of work.
There was one good thing that happened today. Former coach Lloyd Carr spoke during the first half of the radio call. Frank Beckman and Jim Brandstatter had the pleasure to speak to Carr regarding a few Michigan topics.
Carr was quoted as saying, "What we're seeing here offensively throughout this season is a great thing for the future of Michigan football...Certainly what we have here is exciting. I'm excited for the future."
"I did not want to be a coach who's at practice and hanging around and answering questions from the media about what I saw. I didn't think that was good for Rich or our program."
Since Bill Martin announced his retirement last week, Carr's name has come up in the replacement conversations. He reiterated his sentiments from earlier reports that said he was not a candidate and that he loves Michigan, "I've been here 30 years almost."
And lets hope Rich Rodriguez can just make it to year three. He is going to take a beating this week, a deserved one, and the detractors will put on a full-court press for his firing.
Stay true to the team in blue; they will prevail.