Blake Countess loss provides chance for others, but it's still a devastating blow for Michigan
ANN ARBOR -- Michigan took shots to both its pride and its health report last weekend in Texas.
It remains to be seen which area gets better quicker for the Wolverines, but one thing seems clear: The loss of starting cornerback Blake Countess hurts, and it might not be something Michigan can completely overcome this season.
"Blake Countess is a tremendous young man," Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison said earlier this week. "He’s a very gifted athlete. He’s played some outstanding football for us at a young age. Now the next guy’s going to have to step up, and that’s the nature of football.
"When you’re in a university setting where you only get so many guys and their numbers are such, you can’t go out and get a free agent or anything like that. ... Now you’re going to have our next guy come up there.”
Countess played one defensive series for the Wolverines against Alabama before tearing an ACL while covering a punt in the first quarter. He'll have surgery on the injured knee in the next two weeks, and will be gone for the season because of it.
He'll be replaced in the starting lineup this week by junior Courtney Avery, though sophomore Raymon Taylor and freshman Terry Richardson will likely get a chance to play as well.
Countess' injury, and the repeated hits to Michigan's overall pride and swagger, against Alabama was discussed in our "Issue of the Week."
Can the Wolverines move forward without their top cornerback? Will Michigan be able to regain the confidence it lost in Arlington, Texas?
- rwbill: Really tough for the team and more importantly for Blake. Work out hard for 9 months since the Sugar Bowl after a sterling freshman year and then gone on a freak injury his second time on the field this season.
- tcflint: We will not have additional losses because we do not have Countess! Was he good? Yes. However, he had not arrived yet as a total lock-down corner, as was evidence in the game against OSU and Virginia Tech. Sure we will miss him, however, some combination of Richardson, Taylor, and Avery will do just fine.
- TulsaTom: I hope someone can step up and get the job done in his place, although Avery seemed like a big downgrade by his performance the other night.
- Mark Hoge: Blake should have NEVER been on Special Teams to begin with......... He's my fav player on Team133. Hope he recovers quickly.
As for that whole pride thing? Well, that's a different story altogether. Some fans don't think Michigan should have ever scheduled the game to begin with, while others are now ready to chalk this season up to a "rebuilding year."
Others aren't too worried. And some choose to blame Rich Rodriguez.
- Robert Babcock: This game should not have ever been scheduled in Coach Hoke's second year. The person who scheduled the game should resign.
- faithfulblu: Michigan football team has a long way to get back to being Michigan, it's not going to take one week or one season. The recruiting is years behind due to the past coaching staffs. The coaches are going to have to adapt to the players they have on the roster that have experience at their positions. Furthermore, this team needs to take one play at a time and not worry about the season ahead of them, it will fall into place if they just concentrate on just the fundamentals.
- azwolverine1: Michigan is definitely better than they were under RR and, while not "back," are certainly on the way back with better coaching and recruiting. I still think we'll find that UM is among the best teams in the B10 and that, unfortunately, Alabama would crush just about everyone in our conference at this point. It's actually amazing when you think about how badly UM lost, though, that it was only 6 points worse than LSU lost to Bama in the NC and 15 points CLOSER than MSU came to them when they played.