Chad Henne Will Go Down Unfairly in Michigan Lore

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Henne, Hart, Lloyd combo of the past four years has been the subject of much ridicule. 4 losses to Ohio St. and up until the thrilling Capital One Bowl victory an 0 for in the Bowls. Hart for the most part has gotten off the easiest in the line of criticism while Henne and Lloyd have shared the brunt of the criticism and blame. As disappointing as it is to have a 4 year starter go winless against your archrival Henne should go down favorably in Michigan Lore but unfortunately he will not.

Chad Henne will forever go down as a loser of a quarterback but after a significant look at all of his losses its easy to conclude that this label is quite unfair.

2004 20-28 At Notre Dame

The biggest knock on Henne in this game was his inablity to lead the Wolverines in the end zone, but in reality he was a true freshman quarterback playing in the second game of the season and after three quarters the Wolverines held a 12-7 lead. The defense, combined with a punt block, gave up 21 unanswered points at the start of the 4th quarter to lose to ND.

2004 21-37 At Ohio State

Henne helped the Wolverines to a 14-7 lead in the Shoe only to be stifled for the next two quarters and watch his defense get torched by Troy Smith's emergence into the world of fame. After three quarters the Wolverines were down by 20 and the game was effectively over.

2004 37-38 vs. Texas in The Rose Bowl

Chad Henne and the Wolverines offense played phenomanally. Henne finished the game with 4 touchdowns to no interceptions, but in a game where the team with the ball last was bound to win, the legend of Vince Young was started. After the Wolverines managed to kick a field goal with 3 minutes left to take the lead, Young helped lead the Longhorns down the field to seal the deal with a last second field goal.

2005 10-17 vs. Notre Dame

To start the season that most Michigan fans would like to eviscerate from their memories, the Wolverines helped give Charlie Weis a solid startup at Notre Dame. Henne played like garbage completing less than 50% of his passes and having an incomprehensible fumble at the goal line while attempting a QB sneak.

2005 20-23 at Wisconsin

Chad played pretty well in this game helping lead the Wolverines to a 13-7 halftime lead. The Wolverines stifled in the 3rd and early fourth quarter but with 7 minutes to go Henne lead the Wolverines on a td drive to retake the lead at 20-16. The Wolverines defense proceeded to give up an 11 play 52 minute drive allowing the Badgers to score a td with 26 seconds left. Game over.

2005 20-23 vs. Minnesota

Chad Henne didn't turn the ball over in the game but that's the only thing positive he did. Henne's numbers were highly unspectacular in a game that was meant for overtime. With the Gophers rushing the ball in attempt to kill the clock in the final minutes of the game the Wolverines allowed a 61 yard rush allowing the Gophers to kick a game ending field goal. In Henne's defense he did lead a drive in the mid fourth resulting in a field goal attempt shanked by Garret Rivas.

2005 21-25 vs. Ohio St.

Another case of the 2005 Michigan Wolverines defense once again let the team down in the 4th quarter. Up 21-12 after a field goal with 7:41 to play the defense gave up a lightning fast touchdown drive to cut the lead to two. Then with a 4th and 4 on the following drive at the Ohio St. 35 the ultra conservative Carr punted the ball. The Buckeyes proceeded to drive the length of the field and score the game clinching touchdown with seconds remaining.

2005 28-32 vs. Nebraska in The Alamo Bowl

Another game another defensive collapse. Up 28-17 after a fourth quarter touchdown the defense once again gave up 2 touchdowns in the final period to close out the worst of the Henne Hart years.

2006 39-42 at Ohio St.

Henne and Hart both had terrific games helping the Wolverines put 39 points on the board against OSU. The problem? The defense couldn't stop shit. Troy Smith solidified his Heisman bid and the Buckeyes finished off their undefeated regular season with an explanation point.

2006 18-32 vs. USC in The Rose Bowl

Henne had solid statistics, 309 yards 2 tds, however most of these numbers came after the Wolverines had forgotten how to cover fly routes and the Trojans were up 19-3. What Henne did in this game really didn't matter cause the Trojans offense was not going to be stopped by the Wolverines.

2007 32-34 vs. Appalachian St.

Henne didn't play a terrific game but he did make the terrific pass completion to Manningham at the end of the game to set up the final field goal attempt. Again the moral of the story is that 32 points is a lot of points and your defense should not need more than that against a D1-AA school.

2007 7-39 vs. Oregon

Henne received his first injury of the season and was unable to finish the game but it didn't matter after the spread offense shredded the Wolverines for 32 first half points.

2007 7-39 at Wisconsin

Henne played only in the first quarter and was taken out for the remainder of the game. The Wolverines defense got pummeled and the offense behind Mallett was able to spark an unsuccesful early 4th quarter comeback.

2007 3-14 vs. Ohio St.

This will easily go down as Henne's worst performance of his career, however in retrospect perhaps it wasn't his fault. Quickly any observer could tell that Henne was in fact still injured and completely trying to gut it out in an effort to pick up his first win over the Buckeyes. Henne should not have played a down in this game, he wasn't physically able to play and Lloyd stupidly gave him the opportunity. This game fell on the shoulders of the head coach.

Conclusion

In most of these games Henne certainly could have played better however the overriding them to the majority of Michigan's losses in the past 4 years was their inability to play defense. Whether it be for the entirety of a game or the closing minutes, the defense was the largest culprit for the losses of the past 4 years. In reality Henne was a very good quarterback for Michigan and won three times the games that he lost.

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1 comments:

2005 20-23 at Wisconsin

...The Wolverines defense proceeded to give up an 11 play 52 minute drive allowing the Badgers to score a td with 26 seconds left. Game over.


52 minute drive, ouch. Technicalities, blah blah blah. Good post none the less.

kowisja said...
11:16 AM  

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