Saturday, October 07, 2006

On the shoulders of small men

"Mike Hart is going to lead you," Carr added. "At least that's what he's done since he's been here."

He had 22 carries and rushed for at least 5 yards on nine of them. Michigan had 20 first downs; Mike Hart had nine of them. Six of his 13 carries on first down either went for first downs or put Michigan in second and less than 5. Basically, 50% of the time Mike touched the ball on first down he either gave Michigan a new set of downs or put them in second and short. You should realize that Mike also has the most carries in America. He said his left ankle’s fine, and he said it candidly, with an eagerness that implied he wasn’t hiding anything. But he is human, no matter how close he comes to proving otherwise. Chad and his marauding triumvirate will breathe fear onto the necks of any secondary in the land, but it’s Mike whose six-yard jabs can patiently bleed confidence from an entire defense. Without a passing game, Michigan loses a dimension. Without Mike, Michigan loses an offense. Michigan is perfect through a half-season for the first time in nine years, and yet in an instant, a limp to the sideline and an ace bandage made us forget all of that. For right now, that’s far more daunting than a secondary that lets us down too often.