The story heading into the game was all about Head Coach Brady Hoke going up against his former team- the San Diego State Aztecs. SDSU wanted nothing more than to take the wind out of the Wolverines’ sails and stomp their former coach’s team. Michigan wanted nothing more than to prove that Coach Hoke made the right decision by taking his dream job at Michigan.
Michigan got off to a fast start for once led by QB Denard Robinson. Robinson ran for three touchdowns in the 1st half to give the Wolverines at 21 – 0 lead. Sand Diego St. did get on the board when QB Ryan Lindley hit WR Colin Lockett for a 16-yard touchdown pass with seconds left in the 3rd quarter to close the gap 21 – 7. Michigan later answered on a 7-yard touchdown run by RB Vincent Smith to bring the score to 28 – 7 and earn the victory.
It’s easy to get excited about the game…it was a victory. The defense only gave up 7 points to a good offense with a very good quarterback, which is encouraging. However, there are still areas that concern me as a Michigan fan. While the defense did hold Lindley and the Aztec offense to only 7 points, they looked more like a “bend but don’t break” defense as they gave up 376 yards of total offense (253 passing yards and 123 rushing yards). The Wolverines were also fortunate that Lindley missed some wide open Aztec receivers and never really looked comfortable till it was too late. Then there’s the Michigan offense, who put up 413 yards of total offense and scored 28 points. The Wolverines had 320 yards on the ground, but 200 of those yards came from the quarterback. Robinson also went 8-for-17 for 93 yards and 2 interceptions. When the ground game and Robinson’s feet are effective, I can understand staying with what is working. The problem is when Michigan comes across a team that can stop Robinson and the ground game. Robinson has not quite evolved yet as a passer to give Michigan the balanced offense it needs when it plays the tougher teams that will gameplan to shut down the Wolverines ground attack. And with the Big Ten season starting next week against Minnesota, Michigan really needs find more balance or they will fall to the top teams in the Big Ten again this season.