I originally began this article with the intention of discussing the similarities between Michigan and Rutgers heading into tonight’s game. I noted that both were 1-3, that both had begun the year with impressive wins and that both have lost three straight games since. The article was going to be a breakdown of three key areas that I would be focusing on during the game.
Forget all that.
The only thing I care about tonight is whether or not this team will play inspired football. I’m not looking for X’s and O’s tonight, I’m looking for dawgs. I’m looking for a pulse, for some aggression and for this team to play some flat out angry football. I’m looking for players to assert themselves as field generals and to lead the effort in destroying what is an unquestionably inferior opponent. In short, I’m looking for some real Wolverines.
I’ve previously addressed areas of concern for this team and we’ve plowed that ground fairly well at this point. Whether it’s the subpar corner play, the inability to get pressure up front by the defensive line, the drops, the reads, the running back carousel or any of the other problems we’ve seen play out on the field during these last four weeks - none of that matters to me tonight.
Michigan is a blueblood program, the winningest team in all of college football. This is the place where guys like Bo, Woodson, Howard, and Brady all made a name for themselves. This is a football program that has earned the lofty expectation that it receives year after year and a program that deserves to be represented accordingly by those who wear the uniform.
So tonight, I’m forgetting about the details. I’m putting away my pen and paper, and I won’t be recording stats as the game progresses. It doesn’t matter to me at this point. The only thing I’m going to be watching for tonight is whether or not this team can play some inspired football and, more importantly, who is leading in that effort.