As a kid I used to love watch Bo Schembechler prowl the sidelines of Michigan Stadium. Just like his mentor Woody, he had no problem telling an official how he felt things were going or instructing a player on the importance of flawless execution. The thing I loved most about watching Bo during these moments was there was no question on how he felt and what he was thinking. He was all-in. As a result, his teams played with fire and emotion.
Watching Rich Rodriguez closely now over the past five games gives me the same sense of emotional transparency. I have no idea on how Bo would have dealt with the 2008 Illinois game if he had been the coach. I like to believe that he would not have needed to deal with it because his defenses would have played better. In any case, RR was not be pleased and is not afraid to show it.
1. Late 1st quarter. Toney Clemons has just caused an illegal man downfield penalty because he lined up incorrectly as a wide receiver. This cost Michigan a touchdown (we scored few plays later). This is the same penalty that gave Michigan the win against Wisconsin.
2. As the momenteum shifted to Illinois in the 2nd quarter, Michigan tried to get the offense back on track. Brandon Minor did not run the correct route, costing the team a chance at a big play and needed to punt again.
3. Again in the mind melting 2nd quarter, the usually spectacular Zoltan Mesko punted the ball into the endzone rather than "pooch" it into a corner.
4. Things don't get better in the 3rd quarter... coming off of a time out, Sam McGuffie was somehow the 12th man on the football field causing an illegal substituation flag.
5. The offense eventually gets a couple of first downs late in the 3rd quarter when Steven Threet and Michael Shaw just fumbled the ball on a simple handoff. Shaw got the most of this lesson, personally I think the error was on Threet.
6. Michigan finally answers after 28 straight points from Illinois with a 4th quarter touchdown. The game is still within reach if we play perfectly from here on out. All momenteum is lost with a blocked extra point.
7. 4th quarter, need a defensive stop. John Thompson gets a pass interference (incorrectly called on Obi Ezeh). Illini receiver was at least 2 yards short of the first down marker. Extended back breaking drive.
8. 4th quarter, Juice Williams has just run 50 yards up the middle of the field in a QB draw. He is caught just short of the endzone. The defense stops them for 2 plays, but gives up a TD on an option play. Game over.