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Michigan Football: The tough get going. At least they better.

Matt Parker Profile PicTeam 134 has a couple games left to play. There’s Saturday’s game at Iowa and then home to finish the regular season against Ohio State. As a fan, I really want the Wolverines to win the final two games, that goes without saying, yet I say it.

The odds are currently against the Wolverines going 2-0 in their next two games and plenty of good things will have to happen for Michigan to win both.

We know that Big Ten road wins have been tough to come by in the Hoke era at Michigan. That’s an unfortunate fact. Beating Northwestern last week regardless of how was a much needed boost to this program and keeps Michigan in line for a 10-win season. Yet now, winning at home is looking to be a challenge as Nebraska stopped Hoke’s undefeated home streak at 19.

It would still be a good accomplishment for Hoke and his staff to get this team to 10 wins with everything team 134 has gone through. Folks around town are even talking about making a coaching change? What?!

I can’t imagine the fallout should the Wolverines lose their next two games.. For sure offensive coordinator Al Borges would be in great trouble to keep his job should that happen. It’s been the offense that has shouldered the blame for the poor performances against perceived  inferior competition this year. Play calling seems to be the scapegoat right now and if Blue fails to register a win against Iowa and OSU and the offense struggles to score, I don’t see how Borges survives. And he probably shouldn’t!

Brady Hoke will have to search deep as to what he wants to do. He will have to decide if a change is warranted.  I also think that offensive line coach Darrell Funk might also get fired if the offensive line struggles the next couple of games.  I think that Funk is a good coach and has been working with a lot of young talent which has slowed down the progress of the offensive line.

In addition if Michigan drops the last two games Hoke himself will definitely be on the hot seat more than he is right now. It could get very bad, very soon. Hoke has his supporters for sure, but it’s getting pretty vocal with non-supporters too.

Now, if  Michigan beats Iowa and gets beat by OSU, that probably won’t help much. Michigan could finish then with an 8 win season and that’s not the progress fans have been expecting in year three. Losing to OSU is not the way to end this season. But if it happens, it will be ugly.

The defense has been playing pretty good the last few games even though I know some people will not agree with that. If the Wolverines play solid defense and keep the game respectable against OSU, then defensive coordinator Greg Mattison and his coordinators should be safe. Michigan is currently 52nd for points allowed.

I don’t know the magic number of points that the offense needs to score to show improvement but its clear that improvement is still needed . Borges must have the offense in position to at least be competitive with Ohio. I

If Michigan beats Iowa and beats Ohio all of the coaches will be safe and the fans will be happy. Things will be just fine in Ann Arbor and folks will be once again singing The Victory through the streets. Beating OSU will make this season and really, it’s the only thing that can save it.

Michigan will need to run the ball better than their 95th best ranking states they can. The offense will need to be able to convert on third down in both games to give the Wolverines a chance to win. But win is what I believe they will do. They have to!

I’m sure many will still call to replace Borges running the offense and I expect many will still call for Brady Hoke to put on a headset too.

No matter what though I will still be screaming GO BLUE!

Matt Parker

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Hokeamaniac.com - May the Hoke be with you! © January 11th, 2011
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