Battle of The Big House: Week Two

Jeff ContizanoCorrespondent ISeptember 6, 2008

The second week of Michigan football began with many fans and alumni both curious and nervous to how the wolverines would perform. After a good week of practice, it seemed that Rich Rodriguez had his players much more prepared.

The first play of the game featured a terrific 50-yard pass from Steven Threet to Martavious Odoms. Then many Michigan fans became excited when they watched Threet fake a handoff to McGuffie and dart into the endzone untouched for a rushing touchdown.

After that, Miami got the ball and on a strange play Daniel Raudabaugh fumbled and Michigan recovered, only to move the ball 5 yards and kick a field goal. Still, things were looking great! The wolverines had moved the ball, and absolutely shut the Miami offense down. On the next Wolverine Drive Michael Shaw ran twice, for 30 and 15 yards and Michigan's offensive line and offense appeared to be clicking. Sadly, the drive ended with a missed field goal.

By the second quarter Miami's defense made some adjustments, and the wolverine offense stalled, amassing only 30 yards in the quarter. Steven Threet was benched and Nick Sheridan was brought in, but it was to no avail. Miami put some points on the board and really started to move the ball well through the air, though Michigan's run defense remained pretty stout as it did through most of the game.

The third quarter saw Steven Threet returning to the lineup, but it was Miami's quarterback Daniel Raudabaugh that seemed to be stealing the show, marching his team down the field until the wolverine defense stood them up on the 5 yard line. With the third quarter coming to a close, Rodriguez chose Nick Sheridan to take over once more, and with the score at 10-6, the wolverines needed to score.

Sheridan marched his troops down the field, featuring another great run by Sam McGuffie, followed by a 27 yard pass from Sheridan to McGuffie later on the drive. Brandon Minor capped the drive with a solid 15 yard touchdown run, and after that, the Wolverine defense took over. Miami tried twice to convert on fourth down and both times Terrance and the boys stood strong, and the game was won 16-6.

Overall it was an improvement over last week, but there is still plenty of work for the wolverines to do. Sam Mcguffie saw a majority of the carries, and at times really showed a lot of potential with his speed. He finished with 17 rushes for 74 yards, and 3 receptions for 32 yards. Martavious Odoms was the leading receiver for the wolverines amassing 57 yards on three catchs.

For the quarterbacks, Steven Threet finished 6/13 for 63 yards, but also had 26 yards rushing and a touchdown. Sheridan, meanwhile, was a bit more accurate, going 4-of-5 for 40 yards and really managing the game well. The offensive line showed a lot of improvements, giving the running backs and quarterbacks plenty of time and opening many more holes than we saw last week. Sheridan proved that he is still the more accurate passer, but Threet really showed nice mobility at times, he needs to work on not over-throwing open receievers.

The defense played very well against the run, only giving up 47 total yards. But like last week against Utah, Miami was able to move the ball effectively through the air for 205 yards. Michigan needs to shore up its pass defense, and with more work the offense will be able to continue to improve. Overall, I was pretty impressed.

Next Week: Michigan @ Notre Dame (3:30 ET)