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Westsider Rider

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Late Pregame Thoughts against Bucky

The Wolverines travel to the land of cheese and brats this weekend as we taken on the Badgers of Wisconsin. It's pretty much been determined that Mike Hart will not be playing this week as well although there is talk that Tim Massaquoi might be back. Rumblings online have stated that Kevin Grady will be getting the start this week and not Max Martin who did a decent job stepping in for Hart last week to the tune of 117 yards and 2 TD's versus Eastern. Did Max have another bad week of practice, did Grady step it up that much? Those outside the Fort do not know but that's what's been said so I expect that to happen. I expect us to have decent success running the ball especially considering the decimation of the Badger DL. If Henne can actually start passing with some semblance of accuracy we should be fine since there is only one experienced corner for the Badgers, one Brett Bell who all Michigan fans remember the kid that we recruited heavily, he was definitely near the top of my wish list for recruits his year, but made the egregious error of trying to block Brandon Williams on a punt return only to have the oblong ball take a funny bounce and hit him on the leg and allowed Michigan to recover. I remember it well as I was watching it from the Wisconsin student section on the side closest to us. Wisconsin had taken the momentum from us and had we gone to overtime it would have been a tough road to go. Luckily the ball bounced our way and me and all my friends escaped Camp Randall with just popcorn thrown on us along with the 20-17 win.

Continuing with the game, Omar Jacobs torched the Badger secondary with ease and Matt Baker of UNC should have had 300+ yards too if some of those Tar Heel WR's could catch. So I believe we can pass on this team, although we haven't shown much success doing it this year. With the difficulty that Steve Breaston is having this season I expect, like I predicted before the season that Mario Manningham will step up into that #3 WR slot and make some plays for the Maize and Blue. Also Antonio Bass got his first playing time this year and we will see if he continues to be a part of the offense, we ran a direct snap to him at QB like we have done with Breaston in the past.

Now onto the difficult question to answer of the day, can the Michigan D contain Brian Calhoun? Calhoun, the transfer from Colorado following the scandal there, has been running all over the place this season. I watched the Bowling Green game and was amazed at how easy he was running all over the place, granted the Bowling Green defense is not the best team to measure a quality back but it was still an impressive performance nonetheless. He also put up 171 on NC last week so he must be contained because the Wisconsin passing offense awful. With Stocco at QB they are not a big threat to pass the ball. If we can contain Calhoun with the standard 4-3 it will be a long day for Wisconsin but most likely what will happen is we will need to stack 8 in the box and then it becomes another question.

Camp Randall is not an easy place to play, I've been there firsthand and can tell you that place gets loud and those kids get really drunk before the game. Add to the fact that it is a late kickoff so that means more pre-partying for everyone in Badgerville. However I think our offense will be too much for their defense in this game and we will come out victorious. Anyone that follows the Michigan program closely knows this is what will happen, Michigan will look very good this week against Wisconsin to get everyone hyped up for the rest of the year only to go blow it against Michigan State next week. Hopefully I'm proven wrong on the second point but we need to get through this one first this week and as always Go Blue!


  • I have a theory that Chad Henne is drunk. Always. Kidding. However, was Braylon so good last year that he masked all Henne's shortcomings? Does Carr have so little confidence in Chad that he has closed the play book? Probably a little of both.
    I think Manningham is the real deal. When is Mike Hart coming back?


    By Anonymous Nathan Campbell, at 6:15 PM  

  • Hart should be back this week, he was cleared to practice, we shall see. I think it's a combination of both Henne and Braylon, last year Henne was an unknown quantity and because of that had an advantage on teams, but now that no longer exists. I think some of it is on Chad as well since he can't seem to hit the throws as well as he did last year.

    I knew Manningham had star written all over him when I saw his clips from HS, I figured he would be the #3 by the middle/end of the year and I guess I have one prediction to be proud of this year.

    By Blogger Kenny, at 1:42 PM  

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