There were definitely a lot of questions about the Michigan Wolverines football team coming into this season, most of them centered around a defense that was very inexperienced. However, popular opinion was that the returning stars on offense (Chad Henne, Mike Hart, and Mario Manningham among others) would be so robust that it wouldn't matter, to the point that Michigan began the season ranked 5th in the country.
Now we have to add one more to that list of questions: What the hell happened?
After getting outplayed last week by Division I-AA Appalachian State, Michigan stayed at home in the Big House for the second consecutive week, and were dominated once again, this time by the Oregon Ducks, by a final score of 39-7.
The game could have been much worse, considering that it was 32-7 by halftime. Michigan managed to stop Oregon on 4th and goal from the one yard line at the beginning of the fourth quarter (at which point the entire defense was wildly celebrating), or this game could have been much worse.
Those who said Michigan's offense would be fine were indeed correct, as Michigan piled up 368 yards of offense (including 125 yards for Mike Hart, who sat out a large chunk of the third quarter for the second time). Unfortunately, the defense gave up an incredible 630 yards to Oregon.
Who knows where Michigan goes from here. They have two more consecutive home games against Notre Dame and Penn State, and I doubt either of those games will be any easier based on what we've seen thus far.
Other ranked teams worth a peek at the box score:
- Miami's road trip to Oklahoma didn't go so well. Miami trailed 21-13 part way through the third quarter, only to fall apart and wind up on the wrong end of a 51-13 final score.
- Boise State's brief honeymoon is now probably over after they were shut out the entire second half and lost 24-10 to Washington.
- Cal nearly blew a 20 point lead in the fourth quarter, but managed to stave off a late charge by Colorado State, 34-28.
- Ohio State held Akron to a measly 71 yards of total offense (and half of it on the game's first drive), but needed two late touchdowns to pull away for a 20-2 victory.
- Texas A&M let a 19-0 halftime lead slip away, but managed to find their defense just in time, holding off Fresno State for a 47-45 triple overtime victory.
- The kicker and the mascot were about the only Bulldogs that showed up for Georgia today, as the Gamecocks of South Carolina took home a 16-12 win in the always competitive SEC.
- Auburn continued a very Michigan-esque slide, losing their second game of the season, 26-23 in overtime, to Jim Leavitt's up and coming South Florida Bulls.
- Last, but not least, it looks like Virginia Tech may not have been over-emotional, just overrated. They were absolutely obliterated by LSU, 48-7, in a game that was never close.