Sloppy offensive play by Michigan and Army’s signature offense draining the clock has caused some nervousness in Ann Arbor this afternoon. The Michigan Wolverines trail Army at halftime, 14-7, with the Black Knights looking to do to Michigan what they were unable to pull off last season against Oklahoma.
Fumbles (and penalties) have once again been a problem for the Wolverines to start the season. After four fumbles last week in the opener, Michigan has already lost three fumbles in the first half against Army. Shea Patterson has been responsible for two of those fumbles, and he has also struggled at times with his passing accuracy.
Michigan should have scored a second touchdown late in the first quarter to take a lead into the second quarter when Josh Metellus recovered a loose ball and ran to the end zone. The officials ruled Metellus recovered the ball with his knee down on the ground, however video replay clearly showed the fumble recovery occurred with Metellus not down on the field. Unfortunately for Michigan, the play was not reviewable and there was no chance to have the touchdown added with a video replay review. Adding to the frustration of the moment, Army’s Elijah Riley came off the edge to knock the football out of Patterson’s hands on the very next play to recover the football for the Black Knights.
Credit the Army defense for playing aggressive and not allowing Patterson to feel comfortable in the backfield. Michigan’s offensive line is having some issues creating space and gaining the kind of advantage that was expected against Army. As Army continues to work to minimize the number of possessions Michigan gets, we could be in for some tense moment sin the second half for the maize and blue. If Michigan can’t clean up their mistake son offense, could we see a sizable upset in Michigan Stadium?