Nittany Lions-Wolverines: Michigan Fades Again after Fast Start

Jason BarczyCorrespondent IOctober 20, 2008

I'm not even going to bother grading each and every unit this week. The entire team gets an "F" across the board and I'm just going to rant here for a little bit.

I'm so sick of this. Sick of Michigan teasing us with fast first quarter starts only to disappear right at the start of the second quarter almost on schedule.

The Utah game, Illinois game, Toledo, and now Penn State can be added to fast first quarter starts for the Wolverines only to lose in the end.

The 46-17 loss to the Nittany Lions Saturday was actually the most heartbreaking. It seemed different than the three games mentioned above.

Maybe that was because most of us expected Michigan to win those games. No one expected Michigan to beat Penn State, but when they jumped out to a 17-7 lead, I thought it was possible.

Phone calls were being made, questions were raised, and a slight glimmer of hope emerged in Michigan fans minds when the halftime whistle blew.

But then the inexplicable happened. The "Human White Flag" entered the game. I don't care anymore if this kid is just 18-19-20-years old and it's wrong to criticize college freshmen. Nick Sheridan equals death.

That guy cannot play at the junior varsity high school football level. He is the worst thing to happen to the quarterback position at Michigan in all the team's history.

I don't care if Steven Threet can barely lift his arm. He's better than Sheridan. And with putting "Human White Flag" in the game, questions were raised as to why Justin Feagin was not put in the game?

Rich Rodriguez made him available before the game by not red shirting him, so why not put him in and see what he's made of?

He's done it with Sam McGuffie, Michael Shaw, and numerous other freshmen to see what they're made of, so why not see what Feagin can do?

Don't give me that crap that he's not ready and doesn't know the playbook. We're now seven games in, and he better know something by now.

Speaking of being seven games in, I am finally glad to see that Rich-Rod realized who his best running back is, like I've been preaching all season. You think maybe he reads my work? Yeah right.

Brandon Minor should start the rest of the season. I don't care if opposing defenses put nine in the box—give him the ball. Sam McGuffie needs to put on more weight/muscle and will get his due when the time comes.

Rich-Rod has made a huge mistake by not playing upperclassmen like Minor and Kevin Grady and has even alienated them a little in favor of playing new guys he recruited.

Just how well coached is this team, anyway? Apparently not very well considering it only plays well enough to win a quarter of football.

I'm sick of defending Rich-Rod and Scott Schafer could very well take the fall for this season especially after Saturday's performance. I wouldn't mind seeing him go anyway. Schafer is not really a Rich-Rod guy and Schafer has not lived up to the billing of being an aggressive, blitz-happy defensive guru.

I put a lot of Saturday's loss on the defense. Sure, Sheridan's to blame for the safety, but after that it took Penn State four plays to reach the end zone. That falls on the defense.

It took Penn State five plays or less to score touchdowns on four different occasions and two of those touchdowns were made in three plays or less.

It also falls on the defense for allowing Evan Royster to average nearly 10 yards per carry with 174 yards on just 18 carries. Giving up a touchdown on a 80-yard running back screen pass and Morgan Trent getting burned I don't know how many times all falls on the defense.

The offense did its job in the first half holding onto the ball for 17 minutes and the defense should've been rested enought to play well in the second half, but they laid a huge egg and might as well have not shown up.

Now Brandon Graham is talking trash to Michigan State. Where does he get the nerve?

I'm sure a lot of us expected Michigan to get blown out Saturday and weren't surprised by the final score. Penn State sure lived up to the billing (for once) and got the nine-game losing streak off their back.

Overall Team Grade: F

Looking forward to rivalry week against MSU. Humor column coming tomorrow.