Monday, 3 October 2011

Michigan 58 - Minnesota 0: Will Campbell Upgraded to Space Marine

Serious question here.  Did Jerry Kill suffer from seizures before* coaching the Gophers?  Does the Minnesota job need to be classified as a health hazard?  Should their coaches get hazard pay?  Do their former coaches go to psychologists and immediately get diagnosed with PTSD and high blood pressure?  Am I asking too many questions?  Do you want me to stop?  Minnesota is not good at football, is what I'm saying.

*I know coach Kill had seizures prior to coaching Minnesota and has battled cancer.  I wish him all the best and I'm sure he'll get the Gophers on the right track at some point in the future.

On Saturday the Wolverines beat the Gophers by 58 in a game that wasn't as close as the score, if that's possible.  Michigan dominated all phases of the game (the kick coverage is still a concern but THREE FIELD GOALS!!) in what may have been the teams most complete performance of the season.  Denard Robinson was able to get in a rythm early with the short passing game, Fitzgerald Toussaint continued his development into a feature back with his first 100 yard rushing game and the defense was excellent, getting Michigan's first shutout since 2007.  The Wolverines are ranked #12 by the AP and #11 by the coaches.

How about some other numbers?

National rankings.  All numbers from

Scoring defense: T2nd (!)
Rush defense: 56th
Pass defense: 16th (!)
Total defense: 31st
Takeaways: 6th

Scoring offense: 25th
Rush offense: 7th
Pass offense: 104th (What are you gonna do?)
total offense: 33rd

They might have played just about nobody, but if you had told me before the season that Michigan would be ranked 2nd (!!) in points allowed and 16th in pass defense after the first five games I would have punched you square in the nose for your cruel mockery.


Speaking of defense, you may remember I previously compared Will Campbell to Conan the Barbarian, and posted this picture (which I'm posting again because it's awesome).

"I love you Will Campbell!"
"Silence wench, I have an offensive lineman to slay!"

Well after absolutely killing the Gophers center en route to flattening Minnesota QB Max Shortell, I'm upgrading him to Imperium Space Marine:

*Artists rendering* Pretty accurate I'd say, although the sword should be bigger

Ok, so I'm going completely overboard here and I know it.  But Campbell has made some plays this year that make you say "whoa" and start wishing he had competent coaching the last two years.  When you can go from getting blown 10 yards off the ball to destroying offensive linemen, that's called progress.  And yes, Mike Martin has been doing this kind of thing for four years, but he always does it.  You just come to expect it from him.  Plus Martin isn't really a Space Marine.  Mike Martin is Wolverine.  He's a rolling ball of knives that comes at you with a relentless ferocity and no matter what you do to him eventually he's going to stab you in the face. 

I see the resemblance

Maybe Will Campbell will continue to improve and by his senior year will be Galactus, Eater of Worlds.  And maybe he'll be a guy who just makes a couple great plays a game but can't sustain it.  For now though, it looks like the lightbulb might be flickering.

Up next: Why Troy Woolfolk is the greatest Wolverine.....

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