Sunday, September 21, 2014

Five Things To Take Away From Utah's 26-10 Win Over Michigan

Here are five things to take away from Utah’s 26-10 win over Michigan:
1) Weather:
A sunny and steamy fall afternoon morphed into hurricane-like conditions as the two-plus hour delay that started at the 7:51 mark of the fourth quarter after Morris threw his first interception of the 2014 season turned into a de-facto Utah home game as it defeated Michigan by 16.
After the interception, the overpowering voice of the PA announcer came through the crisp speakers of Michigan Stadium informing fans that the game had been suspended.
Even then, approximately half of the fans already had enough of Michigan’s showing on offense, but the rains hurried the leftover supporters into the shelter area and eventually out of the stadium.
2) Brady Hoke’s Job Security:
Even the 2-hour, 24-minute weather delay could not get Brady Hoke out of the hot seat after Saturday’s loss. With the quarterback situation in flux for next week’s game against Minnesota, an intense Hoke wouldn’t give an immediate answer as to who would start between Gardner and Morris.
“We will have a quarterback for the Minnesota game and we’ll assess that during the week,” Hoke said. If the Utah game was any tool for evaluating the quarterbacks, then it might not matter at all as Gardner went 14-of-26 passing for 148 yards and threw two interceptions, while Morris, in relief completed 4-of-13 passes for 42 yards along with an interception and a fumble— all within a half of the fourth quarter.
Hoke and linebacker Jake Ryan emphasized that the Big Ten Championship is Michigan’s main priority, but with its inconsistencies on both sides of the ball through the first four games, taking one game at a time might suit this team better.
3) Travis Wilson:
Utah’s quarterback showed grit and determination after leaving in the second quarter after taking a jarring hit from Michigan’s Joe Bolden forced him into the locker room. Wilson managed to return in the third quarter and lead Utah to a scoring drive as he found wide receiver Dres Anderson for a 28-yard touchdown pass.
Wilson finished 14-of-20 passing for 172 yards and a touchdown despite missing almost a full quarter of action.
4) Andy Phillips:
Outside of a 41-yard missed field goal attempt with 6:03 left in the game, Utah placekicker Andy Phillps managed to score more points than Michigan’s entire team making 4-for-5 field goals, with his longest from 50 yards.
5) No Longer The Top Dog In The Yard:
Saturday’s loss to Utah drives the point even further that Michigan is no longer the top dog in its own yard and resembles the look of a cameo appearance in an A-list Hollywood movie.
Michigan is now 1-7 in its last eight games against Power Five schools. In the lone win against Northwestern last season, Michigan failed to score a touchdown in regulation and resorted to overtime.
With an ice cream scoop of fans left to see Michigan’s downfall under the lights, is this a sign that the fan base has had enough of Hoke? Only time will tell.
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Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.