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Purdue Reaction

So, with a little more time to let this game stew, it's time to make a few more observations.

First, what was up with the defense? It hasn't been good this year by any means, but it has never been quite that bad. Plus, the base scheme switched from the 4-3 (or the 3-4 nickel) to a pretty standard 3-3-5 stack. I'm not sure if RR decided to go with something he was used to, since Shafer's schemes haven't been lighting the world on fire. The 3-3-5 has developed something of a reputation for being good against the run, but bad against the pass. On Saturday, it was subpar against each. I'm not one to rag on Shafer, as most of the defensive woes are from players being in position, but missing tackles (re-watch the game if you want to torture yourself in that department) or being otherwise John Thompson-y, but the perforfmance the other day still has me scratching my head.

Steven Threet is obviously a lot more hurt than either he or the coaching staff wants to admit. Ever since the elbow bruise, he has been alternatingly mediocre and bad. On Saturday, he was 9-21 for 123 yards. What's more disturbing than that? He is still infinitely better than Nick Sheridan. Sheridan's numbers would have likely been similar, except trading the two touchdowns for interceptions.

Martavious Odoms, Darryl Stonum, and Boubacar Cissoko had something of a coming out party, though Odoms had flashes of brilliance earlier in the year. Stonum's touchdown catch-and-run was nothing short of awesome, and both Odoms and Cissoko looked more than competent returning kicks and punts.

Justin Feagin played on special teams. What is the point of holding a guy out most of the year, then switching his position and burning his redshirt? It doesn't make much sense, though I wouldn't be surprised if it had something to do with trick play ability in the last few games.

With Brandon Minor proving himself to be something of a competent back when he doesn't fumble, I wonder if Sam McGuffie will see a little more time in the slot. Michigan currently has an absolute dearth of bodies at the position, and he could be useful there. I don't think it would be a permanent change, just something to fill a gap.

I wonder how different his year could have been if we'd gotten one of the games early in the year against Utah or Notre Dame. I don't think the team is as bad as they've played of late, but there confidence has shattered, and the coaches may be trying to do too much stuff, and changing things around as they scramble for wins. At this point, I don't think Purdue is really a better team (particularly with their third-string quarterback), but Michigan is just stuck in a downward spiral that probably won't end until next year.

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“Purdue Reaction”