Oh, What a Night.
You've seen the stories on MSN and Yahoo about those small tribes somewhere in the secluded jungles of South America that continue to exist in blissful unawareness of the outside world. They have never seen a telephone. They might fear a flashlight. They do not know what jeans are.
These might very well be the only people on earth who do not know who Denard Robinson is, and even then they probably heard someone's stories at the watering hole about Michigan's amazing fourth quarter comeback against the Irish on Saturday night.
You stayed up to watch the entire game. If you were among the 114,804 luckiest people on the planet, you were actually there. And you will never, ever forget what you experienced on September 10, 2011. And, of course, now you need a shirt.
The pride you are still feeling today can now be worn with this exclusive UGP MGoShirt design. For a limited time the "OH WHAT A NIGHT" shirt can be yours, available in S-3XL for this week only. This is indeed a short run and will not be featured in the regular MGoStore or at Moe's. Just like Brian Kelly's patience and Notre Dame's BCS hopes, this opportunity will be gone before you know it!!
I got dressed early on Friday afternoon and sat down in my parents’ living room with a couple of hours to kill. My father had passed away earlier that week and I was nervously awaiting our departure for his wake. As I waited, I surfed the hype threads and tailgaiting threads on MGoBlog and realized that my game day experience was going to be unique. I wanted to share some thoughts with all of you about life, loss, and sports.
Last Monday my dad succumbed to a two and a half year battle with leukemia. He was 61. My sister and I were by his side as he drew his last breath. A year before he was diagnosed with cancer he had an attack of acute pancreatitis, spent 2 weeks in a coma, 4 months in the hospital, lost 1/3 of his pancreas, and lost his abdominal wall due to the multiple surgeries. I thought we had seen it all. Little did I know that his struggle was just starting. The next 2.5 years were filled with chemo treatments, transfusions, a bone marrow transplant, and too many procedures to count. During the last 8 months or so we had to bring my dad to the hospital on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule for blood and platelets transfusions. The hospital was an hour away in Boston and the transfusions would take all day. I never looked forward to bringing him in but I couldn’t complain in the face of the bravery and resolve that he displayed on a daily basis. My dad taught me many lessons in life. The final lesson was how to die with dignity.
My dad raised me as a Boston sports fan. I don’t have a definitive first memory of Fenway Park because I was too young and was going there too frequently. From the cold bleachers at Foxboro Stadium, to the obstructed views of the Garden, to the cigar smoke in Fenway, my childhood was largely spent watching and talking sports with my Dad. His favorite sport was baseball but when I started focusing exclusively on soccer he tried to immerse himself in the game. We took a couple of trips to visit family in England and saw two Arsenal games. I got a VHS highlight tape of the 1994 World Cup for Christmas and watched that thing too many damn times to count.
Whenever the conversation paused or we couldn’t figure out what to say next one of us would bring up sports. I watched countless games with him in the hospital and they provided a welcome distraction and a good excuse for me to visit constantly. I’d call him up to remind him that the Sox were on tonight and he’d better get his game face on. His new hospital didn’t carry the channel that our beloved Celtics were on so we dived headfirst into the Bruins during the winter. The tv’s were standard definition and impossibly small but I enjoyed every game that we saw. Well, except for 2009 against Ohio State. I think I might have scared one or two nurses that day.
I was fortunate enough to attend the same university as my dad and we commiserated with each other about the frustrations of following a middling mid-major basketball program. In the last ten years we saw them play in two conference finals for a ticket to the Big Dance but they couldn’t bring it home. I called him from the conference tournament last year. We finally had the #1 seed and home court advantage but got bounced in the semis. “We’ll get ‘em next year”, he’d always say.
My dad viewed my increasing obsession with Michigan with a sort of curious fascination. Being from the Northeast he wasn’t much of a college football fan. He cheered for Notre Dame because we are Irish Catholics and he also had a soft spot in his heart for the Wisconsin Badgers. He’d laugh as he listened to me rave about the Maize and Blue. When Denard was setting the world on fire last year I couldn’t wait to see him on Sunday and make him watch the latest jaw-dropping play. He told me, “It looks like Rich Rod has found his guy”. We wanted to get out to the Big House to see a game together but it wasn’t to be.
On Saturday we held his funeral. I tried to stay stoic for my mom, my sister, and my aunt. After the burial and the reception my mom and I went back to the gravesite for some closure. We talked about what he meant to us and I was finally able to cry. Then my friends picked me up and we went out to a sports bar in town and saw the most amazing football game of our lives. As Roundtree came down with the game winning TD I got up and screamed “that’s what I’m fucking talking about baby yeah!!!”. I know my dad was up there laughing and smiling at my reaction. I’ll never forget the range of emotions that I went through on that day.
Sports are such a big part of the bond between a family. Do me a favor and go watch a game with your old man or give him a call. A lot of you are fathers yourselves. Take time to share with your kids what Michigan means to you. It may be the most important thing that you ever share with them. I’ll close with a quote from one of my dad’s favorite bands, the Moody Blues:
Time, take this sadness from me
Time, bring my heart back safely
Hold on to warm September
Cause life can be like December Snow.
Let's just take a short, much deserved moment to step back out of the normal game week things we do, and look at the big picture. Now, I understand that the big picture has been looked at multiple times on this blog, In fact, my eyes are burning. But please permit me this.
Last Saturday was a surreal experience, even when witnessed from my couch in Evansville, Indiana, 500 miles south from where most of you got to sit. I'll just say that I firmly believe most of the Irish fans that are calling us lucky. No matter which way you look at it, when there were 30 seconds on the clock, I knew that even Christ Jesus couldn't pull it off by himself, but I knew we were going to, somehow.
This whole season is one big transition, which is kind of awesome, and kind of blows. On one hand, while there is still a glimmer of hope that we'll be smelling roses in a few months, most of us realists have come to terms with the fact that that just won't be the case, no matter how wrong we'd like to be. On the other hand, we don't have to spend every minute of every game tight-sphinctered wondering if we're finally going to have ten wins, if this is the game that got our coach ousted (whether we wanted it or not) or who was going to be the next man to take the field as Head Coach this coming September.
Folks, we are indeed playing with house chips.
We've already played a game that officially never happened. We also played another game that was so exciting that inmates in third world countries are talking about it. But as far as the rest of the season, what say we just enjoy this short amount of time when irrational expectations, over amped theories on what WE SHOULD DO THIS YEAR, and the general hub-bub of those amazing ESPN sooth seers who can not only predict the future, but don't lose their head at the request of the king after they are wrong year after year, when all of this nonsense that is sure to come, has decided to leave us alone for at least a little while.
Let's just sit back, and crack open our cans, and sing "The Victors" for the first time in a while, without a doom cloud hanging over us.
Here's to Hoke, in all of his stoic glory.
Here's to Denard, who I'd let date my daughter and I don't even have one yet.
Here's to that defense that wants so badly to be better at what they do.
And here's to waking up at 8am on that chilly late-November morning, my stomach wrenched in nervous tension, waiting for Ohio, and the only expectation i have of this season, or any season ever....winning on that day, that can be both macabre or marvelous, in every sense of the word.
Okay, so I’ve watched the Michigan/Notre Dame game 4 times now (3 times too many on offense). I will admit that the first two were for enjoyment…obviously; the last two were to really get a feel for what exactly happen. Also, I wanted to try to figure out where we go from here. So here it goes…
DE: D+(I'm going to do my best not to rip Craig Roh so bad everyone hates me. Plus I know recruits parents read these board as well as some players. With that said...Craig must still be sick. I really wish he would've redshirted this year.
Can Koger play WDE? I'm serious. No really, I'm serious. I'd try him out; if he could play 15-20 plays and be effective it would help us SO much. I don't think he would be effective, but I'd try it...can't get any worse.
And with THAT said...can Roh catch? His brother is a possession WR. If HE could give us 15-20 plays at TE or H-Back it would help us SO much. I don't think he would be effective, but I'd try it...at least he'd be contributing.
I'm sorry this is mean, but the truth can hurt...and what hurt was watching Craig bear hug OTs all game. He may have gotten off 2 blocks, seriously. Something is wrong, he's sick, right? Or he need to get in the weight room...OR he should switch to offense. He doesn't even provide a pass rush even though he has moves and good technique...he can't get pass OTs. *sad face*
JiBreel Black IS the pass rusher, barring the other team doesn't run a lot of screens or draws. THAT kid can get to the QB, however he over runs the play a lot and can be schemed against easily because he has NO contain. So we'd be crazy to start him over Roh because teams would just read-option, screen, counter, draw and misdirection us to death and Black would be out of position every time. Black is the PERFECT pass rushing WDE. But be sure it’s a pass. Like REALLY sure, not "it could be a screen/draw, but we think it’s a pass" sure. Black still plays too high and struggles vs. the run. I’d run right at him or Roh every down if I had the chance. We’re going to have to move Campbell in, RVB out, and Heininger over in run situations.
Brian keeps saying we have no WLB, no Brian, we have no WDE! Just a hard worker and a situational pass rusher. Can Heininger or Brink play there? Don't think they're athletic enough to be better, but that would be my move.
Speaking of those two, they're average. Average in every sense of the word. We would be SO much better off if we had a DT that could play inside all game, move RVB to the SDE position and then play Heininger/Brink against the run at WDE and Black against the pass...SO much better. Heininger got BURIED on one play in the 1st quarter when ND was about to go up 14-0. He’s kind of just “there,” good enough to take advantage if teams try to cheat off him, but not good enough to make a play on his own.)
DT: A(Martin is a beast. 2nd or 3rd team All American, first team All-Big Ten. He did get caught dropping into a zone, they ran a draw and he was missing. Van Bergen works his behind off, he'd just be better holding down the edge. He's like Huyge of the defense when he plays DT...maybe a little better. Nothing too great, nothing horrendous. He needs to be on the outside where he can hold down the run and still make more plays pass rushing than Heininger or Brink can.
Mr. William Campbell, welcome. Will played a GREAT game. Sigh, finally. Hopefully he gets better because if he can move RVB to SDE and the to SDE's to WDE in run situations, we just got a lot better. I’ve said this like 5 times now, but Heininger/Brink v. run downs, Roh v. regular downs, Black v. passing down at WDE gets me tingly inside. Because I know we’re better at SDE with RVB there and we’re bigger at DT with Campbell there.
However, it's like a dream because BWC, Q and Ash can't play consistent enough to hold down that DT spot next to Martin. If only, if only...)
Q got knocked on his ass one play, .5 seconds into the play…shows what good technique can or can’t do. Hopefully he gets better and if 75% Will and 25% Q can equal a whole defensive tackle, we’ll be in good shape.)
LB: B+(Brandin Hawtorne, good work. Gold star. Did you make every play? No. Did you over run some plays? Yup. Were you out of position on some plays? Uh huh. Did you make every tackle? Nope. But what you did do is bring an effort and energy to this defense that was in desperate need of. Also, the speed. Hawthorne plays FAST. You know how you hear coaches say "if you miss, miss fast?” Well, that's what Brandin did...he was flying around and when he did mess up, it wasn't a lack of effort or him just standing there...(I'm looking at YOU Mr. Ezeh!) It was awesome to watch a LB actually move. Actually get across the line of scrimmage. Brandin has a lot to work on, but if he puts work in during practice and film, I think we have a starter at WLB. He made plays in pass coverage (more than I realized until I watched for the 4th time…he definitely got after the QB, and he helped stuff the run).
Demens still makes me mad. Not because he did anything wrong, seems like a great kid, parents should be proud. He's just so good and consistent that I still can't figure out why it took so long for him to play. So it’s a good mad. He DOES have to play better in pass coverage though, he just floats around a lot and doesn’t have a tight zone.
Cam Gordon must be really good if he's still over Jake Ryan at SLB. I truly believe he was at the beginning of the year, but like Hawthorne will get, Jake's now got experience. IMO, that position is now his. Move Cam to WLB and let him battle it out with Hawthorne. Then slide him to SLB in passing situations UNLESS you're rushing the passer, in that case, Ryan needs to be in. ORRRR play both on passing downs, Gordon at SLB and Ryan at WDE. He (Ryan) is better and stronger than Roh (sorry, another shot...won't happen again, it honestly hurts me cause I love Roh, I want him to play well as much as anyone).
Back to the LBs, they played pretty well as a unit; however they need tighter zones in pass coverage. Speaking of pass coverage? Where is Mike Jones? He was always a pretty good LB in passing situations.
I told everyone Desmond Morgan was gonna be a player when we got him, loved his film. However, I wasn't talking about in game #2 as a true freshman vs. Notre Dame - under the lights!!! He's not even close to ready and I don't think anyone thought he could've been. He's the most ready LB to contribute because he's smart and has the size. But that game was too fast for him. He should’ve started vs. EMU not Notre Dame. Poole has to get bigger, Beyer and Clark too for their roles. Morgan can hold up now...but he's simply not good enough yet. I was expecting him to be like Bobby Carpenter at OSU a few flashes and then boom, huge RS junior and senior years. Special teams NFL player.)
CB: C-(Floyd, sigh, same ol’ CB, just a different game...too cocky for my liking, too slow for CB, and can't tackle for SHIT so he's worthless at safety. Where do you play him? I'm not just talking about him going against one of the best 3 WRs in the country. To me Floyd is STRICTLY a zone CB. Do not let him play man! Ever! Play zone, let him get physical and jam a WR and fall back into his zone and read the QB, that's where he's actually pretty good. That’s how he got his interception. He’s a ZONE CB, hear me?! A ZONE CORNERBACK! Everything else? Not so much.
Woolfolk, dude, stay healthy!
Avery...I keep saying this, but Avery is not an outside CB. He's amazing in the slot, love the fluid hips. He's also great in man coverage. But he's too small to play on the outside. He goes from good/great to average when you put him outside.
Woolfolk should play wide-side CB and back off the WR. Floyd should play short-side CB and jam the WR. Avery should play the slot. They should never switch because seriously those are like the only spots at CB that any of them can play. (If anyone can change its T-Woolf, but the other two are locked in.)
We need to get Countess and Anderson on the field to give these guys a rest and to provide flexibility at CB.
Obviously Michael Floyd killed them, Riddick had a big day. But they weren't god awful, they just weren't good and they were playing roles I don't think puts them at their strengths.
Again, I would lock Woolfolk to that wide spot, lock Avery into the slot...even as a nickelback. I'd pay Floyd primarily in zone and then Countess/Anderson in his place primarily when we run man.)
S: B+(Not too many gigantic plays, Kyle Rudolph isn't still running down the field #camgordon@deepsafetyfail! Kovacs is still the man, he's such a smart player, we really have to stop talking about him as a walk-on and start talking about him as a potential late NFL pick (he'd be perfect with the Patriots)...he has no speed to keep up with even average college WRs, however is so smart that he's always in position, he reads the offense well and he makes sure the defense is set (assuming they can at least halfway lined up, unlike the first two drives of WMU)...he's got a shot. He played well against ND. I’m serious about the NFL, a late round or undrafted FA safety, special teams/practice squad player…commentating on BTN/ESPNU or coaching for a MAC school in 5-7 years.
Thomas Gordon is like Brandent Englemon 2.0, just a safe player, but not going to make many plays or get you killed. He's the exact opposite of Cam Gordon last year who was going to get a wild INT or give up a 95 yard pass.
I'd prefer Ed Reed, but whatever, I'll take it.
Marvin Robinson should only play if he's stopping the run or rushing the passer (which he doesn't do much, but I'd love to see him blitz) Using him as a 3rd safety and taking Ryan off the field was a fail. That last ND TD wasn't his fault, he was asked to do too much, even though it was his assignment.
Where is Carvin Johnson? He'd be better as the 3rd safety than M-Rob unless M-Rob was brought on in a linebacker’s type role like they did with Tommy Hendricks back in the day (see Rose Bowl vs. Wazzou). That would be a good fit for him actually.)
Overall: C+(Average night, would like to see less than 31 points…but some of that was playcalling rather than the players screwing up. Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs aren’t walking through those doors.
Like many have said…we show blitzes too early and don’t make checks after the offense makes checks.
We do a good job of slanting and bringing blitzes behind it to stop the cut back. Also a solid job of making adjustments to the offense.
Tackling was “okay.” Some good sticks…some Desmond Morgan misses.
Cover 3 failed…I wrote this regarding it yesterday: “On the last TD, we ran Cover 3 and had Marvin Robinson up at the line disguising a blitz and dropping to the deep middle and he couldn't get back in time.
It was a smart call on 3rd and short because you drop 5 guys short and cover the quick out, hitch, slant, etc. However, you can't disguise the deep safety and expect him to get back...M-Rob was in a dead sprint and wasn't even close. Like one blogger said, Ed Reed is the ONLY person in football that can make that play. The ONLY one.
IMO you disguise it like it's Cover 2 or Cover 4 with 2 deep safeties...then you run one of them up into one of the short zones and have the other slide to the deep middle if you're playing Cover 3. You can still have 7 guys in the box and make it look like you're going man on all the WRs and sending the house. It's very possible Rees reads man or cover 2 and checks to a quick slant or hitch, you bail out at the snap and drop a LB right into his passing lane for the INT (see this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=et3_UXSHugc&feature=related (we didn't disguise shit on that play, but we rushed 3, dropped 8) ...it's the opening play).
And for the record, I don't like the play at ALL when it's 3rd and 9 like it was during the Kovacs INT. IMO we got away with one. The LT for ND was too busy trying to think of the 2nd line to the chorus of Katy Perry - Firework and totally didn't see Black or whoever that is coming off the edge. If he's even half blocked that's a potential touchdown.”)
Michigan State will actually wear this (HT: allinforM) when they host Michigan on October 15. The Fulmer Cup runs, the Florida Atlantic "home" and home series, replacing Sparty with Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino: these were just the precursors to MSU's ultimate goal of Becoming South Florida.
Ohio State also gets the Ken-doll-in-a-hospital-for-the-criminally-insane treatment for their game against Wisconsin. At least they got the bird poop off the helmets:
In other Pro Combats released today, Stanford and Georgia are auditioning for the cover of the next White Stripes album. Navy came through pretty unscathed (history buffs/tea partiers will be likin' the "Don't Tread on Me" undershirt), as did Army. The relative normality of these uniforms has nothing to do with the Ranger division that's been camping near Portland, nor the carrier group stationed several miles off Cape Meares. Really. LSU already uses purple in its scheme so it's not like they can get much worse.
That is all.
Okay, so I’ve watched the Michigan/Notre Dame game 4 times now (3 times too many on offense). I will admit that the first two were for enjoyment…obviously; the last two were to really get a feel for what exactly happen. Also, I wanted to try to figure out where we go from here. So here it goes…
QB: C-/B+ (obviously it was a tale of two games for Denard, so he's got to have two grades. Now, before you rip them apart, I'll just say that I don't think he was so "hot/cold" or opposite ends of the spectrum as many think...OR like the stats show (those 4th quarter numbers are silly). Denard didn't fail the first 3 quarters, the playcalling failed him. Even with that said, he didn't always make the best reads, he forced some throws...and he missed on a few more. He should've completed his first two passes of the 2nd quarter.
His 4th quarter wasn't Tom Brady MNF amazing either; it was a lot of soft defense or blown coverage. The best thing he did was use his legs more to buy time, but he wasn't reading coverage and slicing and dicing the defense by any means (his best read/react/throw may have been one that got called back deep in Michigan territory in the 4th quarter). He was just chucking the ball up half the time. It was more freshman Henne/Braylon vs. MSU than anything else. Denard's passes could've easily been knocked away, dropped or picked...luckily most of the time, they weren't.
With that said, wasn't as bad or as good as people thought. We have to get him out of the pocket more and we have to throw quick passes more.
As for running the ball, I thought he ran the ball very well.)
RB: D+ (Shaw is soft, but fast, but has no balance and gets knocked over easily. Hopkins is tough, but slow and has no vision or ball security. Smith is tougher, has amazing vision, but isn't fast.
We NEED Fitz to stay healthy, he has the power to run the ball with force and enough vision and balance to stay on his feet and hit the right hole. Speed is good enough.
Smith might be my short yardage back, no joke. He's runs so hard and he has awesome vision and ball security. He's like Mike Hart at 70%, which isn't bad, but isn't going to take over or win a ton of games by himself.
Shaw needs to be a spread back only. I watched every play, Shaw can't run in the I-formation, he can't run power type plays unless it’s out of the shotgun. He's fast though; I'd use him like Reggie Bush and split him out wide more or throw him some screen plays.
Hopkins is just Hopkins. What you see is what you get. For better, or sometimes for worse.
All in all, after watching every snap over again, Fitz is the starter, Shaw should get playing time in the spread (assuming he's not supposed to have a key block, because he can't block for shit), Smith in short yardage situations or when you need a blocking RB...such a smart football player.)
FB: B+ (McColgan's catch and run was very impressive. He looks like a FB for sure. Blocking was average to above average.)
WR: A- (Denard has to get more accurate, even some of the drops we had weren't the WRs fault. However as a whole they had one hell of a game! Great catches all over. They get a minus because of the blocking. It was "meh" at times.
Hemingway's body control is ridiculous...why did we throw a fade to Gallon and not him? He's got tremendous strength too. If he was fast he'd be a definite NFL player. As of now, he's 75-80% Marquise Walker/Jason Avant. If that second fade to Gallon that got picked off was at Hemingway, I think he comes down with it.
Gallon CAN catch?! Wow, he used to drop everything, good to see him hold onto the ball. He's not as fast as I thought though, however he's tougher AND has better hops and body control than I thought (and that's not just referring to one play).
Grady is faster than I thought, but he can't block.
Roundtree, like Hemingway is just "slow." (I put quotes because both of them would dust 99.9% of this board if not all of us). But Roundtree didn't get much faster after his Illinois mishap a couple years ago. In fact Te'o outran him to force Gallon out of bounds and he didn't really have the angle over Roundtree. I said Shaw should be used like Reggie Bush...well, Roundtree to me should be used like Wes Welker/Steve Breaston, but that's just me. Put him in the slot, get him the ball, let him pick up the first down for you. Send him on slants on 3rd and medium.
Where are Jackson and J-Rob? We need outside WRs with some height! We also need better blocking!)
TE: A- (Koger is, wow. You can tell he just wants it. He had an edge to him when he blocks. He focuses and makes the hard catch. IMO he'll have the 2nd longest NFL career of anyone on offense. #1? Taylor Lewan (notes on him in a few). Koger is a very modest type player that every team needs. Above average pass blocker and receiver. He can also lead block very well. Koger had a very solid game; he and Kovacs may be the two smartest guys on the team when it comes to “football smarts.”
The other TE's are just "meh." Moore did have a couple good blocks.)
OL: B- (This could've been a B, but I'm a tough grader and nitpicky when it comes to the lines because a lot of what they're graded on has to do with the opposing OL/DL...for example, if you pancake a LB, so what? He's a LB...otherwise Omameh is all world in 2010 after what he did to Te'o, or if an OT misses a block and you get a sack, that doesn't tell me much other than the other guy f’d up.
Anyway, I mentioned Lewan. The kid is a beast. He completely screwed up (twice) on the V. Smith screen for a TD, but other than that, he pretty much had a lights out game. I'll take him 1v1 against anyone in the country. ANYONE. Now when you send two, or blitz on his side, or stunt/twist...then he can improve. But man on man? Lewan is going to own you. It was boring watching him, he seriously wouldn't let DEs by him in pass pro and he just ran them over a lot of the time when he was run blocking. He’s gotten better because he’s gotten consistent.
Interior line struggles in the power situations. They're definitely a spread interior line, they need space to operate, they can't line up and knock DTs off the ball and back 3 yards to save their lives. (And THIS is why I see the problem with our run game...we have no interior OL push, it's just a stalemate and LBs fill any holes and we rush for 1-2 yards. It happened over and over…and over).
Huyge is Huyge --- a typical Lloyd Carr 5th year senior type OL. Not going to really help or hurt you. Won't get drafted. The kinda guy that you'll see on the Lions roster as a practice squad player for like 5 years or something. After that, he’ll be playing in the flag football game as a TE before the spring game. I’m calling it now, watch.)
Offense: B- (you can't be mad at 35 points...however you can be at 90 yards and 7 points in the first half. You can be mad at your WRs having to make crazy catches to move the ball. You can be mad that the other team's DBs tried to play the entire game with their backs to the ball. So despite the 28 points and gaudy 4th quarter numbers, I wasn't that impressed. We had no flow.
Also we couldn't re-establish the line of scrimmage. Our QB had to buy time by running around (which he's actually good at --- no sarcasm, his pocket presence is better than people give him credit for).
The run game was horrible from the RBs and the interior line couldn't open up a hole all game. The black line for the line of scrimmage was like a magnet, the lines would smash into each other and then the RBs would slam into the lines, it was stupid to watch.
Lastly, we HAVE to get Denard out of the pocket. Yes, sprint outs shrink the field in half, but he can actually see. We need to do it more, sprint him out and throw a quick out or hitch. Or stop and throw it back for the screen like we did. Maybe send a WR on a reverse? The first TD play ND scored with, why can't we run that with Denard?
Also, where was the quick pass? The snap the ball and fire it out to the WR and let him run? Borges did a TERRIBLE job of getting Denard in rhythm. We need to nickel and dime and dink and dunk more. MUCH more. Then again our WRs have to be bigger than 5'2 and they gotta block better. This is why we need more Jackson and J-Rob, or split Koger and/or Moore out. So they can block for a quick snap'n'fire play to Roundtree or Shaw outside. This takes away the inability of the interior line, but brings up the safeties as if you were running the ball.)