Just some thoughts that I chose to jot down while watching the big game today:
-Northern Illinois' first TD today came on their only really big play of the day. It was a Wolfe run for 77 yards. If you watch the replay, Mundy overpursues and that opened it up for the big gain. Englemon was not on the field.
-Henne showed no touch on the deep ball as he overthrew Steve Breaston on two sure touchdowns and threw another out of bounds and another into double coverage. The first two blown passes probably would have been caught by Braylon, but no biggie because Henne later connected with Avant and Hart respectively. Just a little more touch and this would have been a laugher early.
-Avant looked like an All-American and displayed the Hands of Glue. He is very, very good at finding soft spots in opposing zone coverages.
-Englemon forced and recovered a fumble on separate plays. He and Hall were the only solid members of the secondary today.
-Ross Ryan showed great aggressiveness in recovering that fumble. How often do you see the punter downfield, let alone diving in for a loose ball?
-Most of the productivity for NIU came on the run when the Michigan D surrendered the corner. This needs to improve before we play ND and Wisconsin as they will eat us alive.
-Kevin Grady looked to me to be more explosive than Michael Hart today, but he needs to learn to hold on to the football.
-If you look at the Leon Hall INT, the defensive line has a great coordinated rush that forces the QB to get rid of the ball too soon and Massey tips it. In my opinion that and the Woodley FF were the two best plays of the day for the line.
-Englemon was off the field for another big play in the second half where his replacement Jamar Adams misses an easy tackle and a 15 yard pass turned into a 27 yard one.
-Finally, Gutierrez looked very good today throwing on the run. He will be the best backup QB in the Big Ten.