All this talk of Brady Hoke being on the hotseat needs to slow down just a little bit. Sure, I’ll admit that 2013 was a disappointment, but it was not as horrible as it might have seemed. A closer look at the last five games can give Michigan fans hope for 2014.
The final score of the Nebraska game was 17 -13, but if you look deeper, Michigan spotted the Huskers 10 points to start the game and then fought back to take the lead in the 4th before giving up a late touchdown. The defense had a solid day, while the offense struggled a little bit. The team fought hard and with one or two plays, the game could have gone the other way.
For all you Brady Hoke killers out there, this was his first ever loss at the Big House.
Northwestern was a very exciting game and took until overtime for both offenses to score some points. Michigan pulled it out for a good road win.
As far as the Iowa game goes, Iowa City is never an easy place to play. In the first half, it looked like the boys in blue were going to roll to a solid win. I think the gameplan got a little conservative at the start of the 2nd half and the defense looked a little tired in the 4th quarter. Despite that, they still had a chance to tie or win. Unfortunately, Michigan fumbled on the Iowa 39 with a little over two minutes to play. Not a horrible loss, but a game that was there for the taking. It was not a game to hang Hoke over.
Ohio State was a heart breaking loss — 42-41 — especially on a two point conversion attempt to try and win it without overtime. Personally, I loved this move. The season was all but shot and they had played a good game and a great 4th up to that point. It was Devin Gardner’s best game — one that he can build on for 2014 if he wins the starting job, which I think he will do.
The bowl game against Kansas State was a throw away and Michigan did not want to be there — evident in the starting of their backup quarterback. Hoke should get some blame for being unprepared and outcoached — even though Bill Snyder for my money is one of the better coaches in the country.
Looking at those last five games, Michigan won one and lost by one on a two point attempt. The other games were lost by seven points. If the ball bounces the right way three or four times, Michigan is 4-1 to end the season and we would not even be talking about Brady Hoke being in the hotseat.
Flipping the Calendar to 2014…
We have a new offensive coordinator who has been winning games in the SEC. We have brought in one of the top recruits in the country with Jabrill Peppers — who happens to fill a spot in one of our softest positions. We’ve also returned a 5th year senior at quarterback who has been quite up and down, but hopefully with his last chance to shine goes out a winner.
Given those facts and the schedule Michigan faces, I’m confident we’ll see this hotseat talk slowly go away as we progress through 2014.
BY JAMES NEEDHAM ON AUGUST 19, 2014
James is a Michigan native, die-hard Michigan sports fan and our resident Michigan Wolverines homer.