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Westsider Rider

Monday, October 23, 2006

Gauntlet Completed

As this season unfolded following the Notre Dame game, low expectations started getting higher. Although I always thought this team could make some noise this year, I was very concerned with the schedule and how we would hold up considering there was no break at any point from weeks 4-8. I had been adamant with my friends in not discussing the potential for the game of the millenium on November 18th until this week was completed. Now it's done.

The defense has been stifling throughout while the offense has gotten the job done without Super Mario and Michigan is now 8-0. I know a lot of fans had already written this game off as an easy W considering our previous performances and I was partially on that side of the fence. However I knew that Iowa would come out and play a good game and try to knock us off. For some reason though while watching the game I never really thought this game was in doubt. I've had feelings like this on occasion but this is the first time it's happened during a Michigan football game. The last time I remember this type of confidence was when I was at Game 7 of the Lakers-Blazers 2000 Western Conference Finals. Even though the Lakers were down 15 going into the 4th quarter for some reason I just knew we weren't going to lose that game and fortunately I was correct. Hopefully I'll have this same feeling for a couple of games later in the season.

I also want to note the performance of Greg Mathews. With rumors swirling about Adrian Arrington's possible suspension late on Friday I pointed to Mathews as one of the guys that would need to step up if it was true. Thankfully it wasn't but Mathews still did make a couple plays and I can't wait to see him develop down the line. He only caught 3 balls but 2 of them were on 3rd down for key 1st downs. Especially the one that he bobbled but kept his concentration long enough to catch the ball and get the first down. Justin Boren also did a great job filling in on the line when Rueben Riley went down. It shows why the coaches thought it was necessary to burn his redshirt during the Michigan State game and he will definitely be a big part of this OL the next few years.

Standing in the way of the Game of the Millenium are Northwestern, Ball State and Indiana. Normally one would be worried about looking too far ahead but we know Mike Hart won't allow the players to do so and the remaining schedule should allow us fans to look forward to November 18th. I booked my flight for that weekend, now I just need a ticket to the game, I'm willing to pay a lot but I don't know if I can handle these prices on Ebay which are currently over $1600 per pair but if push comes to shove I'll probably have to. Anyone got any extras?

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