Michigan Has to Pull Itself Together

The WolverineCorrespondent INovember 2, 2009

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 19:  Head coach Rich Rodriguez of the Michigan Wolverines talks with quarterback Tate Forcier #5 during the game with the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Michigan Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Michigan won 45-17.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

That was just an awful, awful loss.

It appears that the Wolverines have regressed or at the very least their opponents have figured out the secrets to stopping this team.

Tate Forcier has been contained in the pocket, where he appears to be less comfortable than on the run. His confidence appears to be waning. He still says he's making the wrong reads.

The line is not jelling without David Molk. The defense has not improved and appears to be getting worse at the LB and S positions. Teams are exploiting those two positions with much success. The team is not tackling as well as it did in the first few games.

The play calling has been questionable of late (not sticking to the run in the PSU game; using Carlos Brown three times in a goal-line situation instead of big backs Brandon Minor and Kevin Grady; consistently giving up six to eight yards on bubble screens as a result of our reverse cover two; not playing our backups at safety and linebacker).

The Purdue game is now a must win for the Wolverines, who need the win to become bowl eligible. With games against Wisconsin and Ohio State on the horizon, the time to win is now.

Yes, we are still a young team. Yes, we have talent at several important positions. But it's really hard to believe that one key injury to Molk has led to this team's slide.

It's not officially an implosion, yet. Michigan can still theoretically win the last few games, assuming the team can pull itself together. When jelling, they are capable of beating anyone.

All hope is not lost, but with a dangerous Purdue team coming into Ann Arbor, we'll see what the 2009 team is made of.

Coming into the season, we expected to see improvement from 3-9. When the team went 4-0, we expected more, but the team wasn't able to deliver. Finishing 7-5 is still my expectation. I'll be disappointed with 6-6, pleased with 7-5, and very happy with 8-4.