For the second week in a row, the Michigan Wolverines had to scratch and claw to beat a team they were heavily favored over. Two weekends ago it was Akron, and on Saturday night, it was Michigan scoring 17 unanswered points to rally past the Connecticut Huskies, 24-21.
At the end of the day, a win is a win. There are some huge questions looming for Brady Hoke's bunch, though, and things could get rough once Big Ten play starts up.
Our Michigan blog, Maize N Brew, was not happy at all with the way the team played despite the win:
This was the same game as last week. Michigan struggled for most of the game behind an anemic offense. Devin Gardner continued to melt down as a passer, throwing 13/25 for 111 yards and two interceptions. He also added a fumble because we can't have nice things.
The run blocking was questionable and the pass blocking left Gardner in some tough situations, but overall this was a complete failure by the offense to produce for long stretches of game. If it wasn't turnovers it was penalties that would wipe out long games or sacks that would stall drives.
Even with the rough loss, the guys over at The UConn Blog couldn't have been any prouder of the way the Huskies fought on Saturday night in front of a national audience:
It was electric, everyone in the stadium was on their feet, and you could probably hear the ensuing U-C-O-N-N chant from miles away. Better yet, it was like that for the whole game from start to finish. With the national spotlight fixed on East Hartford, UConn Country stepped up and produced without question the most exciting atmosphere I've ever seen at Rentschler Field.
In the end, it wasn't meant to be, and Michigan was able to cement their reputation as college football's greatest escape artists with a 24-21 win on a late field goal. But as disappointing as the ending was, UConn fans can take solace in knowing that while the team lost the game, the school won back some badly needed respect, which in the political landscape of college football can be just as important as individual wins and losses.
Our Big Ten hub wasn't too impressed with the Wolverines either, but they did like what they saw from their running game:
Also winning ugly: Michigan. Unlike Northwestern, though, Michigan needed a comeback to beat UConn on the road. Unlike Northwestern (who at least lead throughout), this was troubling given that it's just one week after almost dropping to Akron. Michigan's offense was not good at all (only 284 total yards against UConn?), Devin Gardner had 3 turnovers (this is starting to be a troubling trend), and Michigan once again struggled to come back and beat an allegedly "inferior" opponent. Good news? Desmond Morgan's INT was beautiful, and the Michigan running game (including Fitzgerald Toussaint's 120 yards rushing and 2 TDs) got on track.