Michigan's Khalid Hill can't quite make the catch under coverage from Cincinnati's Perry Young during Saturday's game, what some fans viewed was a lackluster 36-14 victory for the Wolverines. BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
ANN ARBOR — After Michigan punted for a fourth consecutive possession Saturday, clinging to a three-point lead over a significantly overmatched Cincinnati team during what would become a 36-14 win, a chorus of boos came cascading down Michigan Stadium until reaching the field.
Usually players say they don’t hear anything on the field. That convenient excuse wasn’t used while discussing Saturday’s dissatisfaction.
“We heard the boos,” senior fullback Khalid Hill said. “That’s dealing with Michigan fans, though. They always have been that way. I was a part of that 5-7 year when we weren’t good. We didn’t even make it to a bowl game and were getting booed by the home crowd all the time.”
There’s long been a debate about the merits of booing. But when fans are ponying up the money they spend to attend games, it’s hard to argue with their right to complain about the product of their favorite team. After all, booing is harmless. And it often motivates a team.
Hill would prefer that fans cheer him and his teammates because he says it gets them hyped. The fans’ transition from booing to cheering doesn’t sit well with him. But as he pointed out, it’s better to make mistakes now than late in the season.
“We can fix the mistakes now,” Hill said. “When we get into Big Ten play, we want to prevent those mistakes from happening. In other games, we can’t just depend on our defense to get us out of situations like that. As an offense, we are making plays, but it is little small mistakes that are kind of holding us back.”