spoiler alert: i linked this
That was an unbelievable experience, watching the game with my family, unwittingly teaching my 4yo son a bad word or three, watching Michigan rewrite the 2009 script to include the new answer to all that ails Michigan Football. Because that is what Denard Robinson is, The Answer. Not just an answer, but instead The one and only Answer that you will need right about now. Let's demonstrate:
Q. Why is the sky blue?
A. Because Denard Robinson.
Q. What is the sound of one hand clapping?
A. De-Nard Rob-In-Son.
Q. Why do Michigan fans have a shit-eating grin on their faces?
A. The answer is The Answer, and he'll be here all season, just ask away.
Seriously though, enjoy this everyone. Denard Robinson is making Michigan Football history and for the first time I can remember we have a new script.
Other things I learned:
- Rich Rodriguez is old school. To hell with the latest in game theory, he will punt on fourth down and makable in the opponents end of the field, even on 4th and 2, if he wants to. No amount me ranting about it in my living room will make him change his mind. And let's not get started on trusting the leg of Gibbons a second time. Of course there was an answer to my frustration, see above.
- Michigan now has, I believe, the toughest group of players I have ever seen play anywhere. Roy Roundtree comes back a week after serious internal bruising, gets crushed again in this game, and gets back up to catch arguably the most important ball thrown all day. Odoms took a couple wicked shots as well. Of course Denard Robinson defies what every hater has said all week, getting up time and again and channeling the beating he is receiving into pure awesome. Credit to the almighty Barwis.
- Tate looks like he has decided to be a team player. His hug with RR at the beginning of the game looked a tad scripted ("Is the camera looking yet? OK now!") but it was nice to see him with the headset on, ready to help out. Others mentioned in various comments that he was getting the team huddled up during time outs and generally was with his teammates. I am glad to see this.
- This season our defense no longer looks incompetent, it merely looks young and inexperienced. Big plays burned us over and over, but for the majority of the plays faced, the defense appeared to be improving if anything. Man this Kool-Aid tastes good...
- Cam Gordon can really hit, but he needs to improve quickly as the deep contain. One bad angle and one letting a man behind him = burn crispy twice. Future opponents are definitely going to try to exploit him.
The best-case scenario has come true through two games. Denard Robinson's amazing displays have shoved all talk about RR's hot seat and the NCAA investigation out the window, and we are looking at a probable 4-0 start (I don't like adding Indiana into that figure after last year's game). Pretty much everyone of note is healthy and I think this team is showing improvement on defense despite some issues giving up the long ball. Take away the two touchdowns totaling 148 yards and Michigan has at least an average day on defense.
It was easy after this game to get very concerned about our reliance on one player. With Denard Robinson accounting for 502 of 532 total yards on offense, what happens if he goes down? Let's not forget that the OLine is getting great push, creating holes, and protecting the QB. Let's not overlook that the receivers are getting open, catching the football, and blocking well. And most of all, take solace that in Tate Forcier we have a more than capable starter waiting in the wings, and that he appears to have adopted a team-first mentality.
Enjoy this time fellow fans.
**Note: Sorry if some of this is redundant with any other posts/diaries. I'm short on time**
I was able to attend the Alumni Association Tailgate before the Michigan-ND game today (great game)! AD Brandon did a Q&A session at it. I thought I'd pass on a few of his thoughts/answers. Nothing to earth shattering, but probably of interest to at least a few folks. I'm trying to provide the answers as quotes, but this was transcribed on my phone as he was talking, so it's bound to contain some paraphrasing.
From his opening remarks:
Sorry this isn't really 'original' from the perspective of me creating it, but it seemed kind of long to put in a Board.
Thank you James Madison for your amazing victory at Va Tech today. No longer will THE HORROR be considered the single biggest upset in college football history. You have now attached Va Tech/JMU game, doubling the all time most embarrassing games to 2. Sure Va Tech is coming off just 6 days of rest but you holding Tyrod Taylor 210 total yards and 16 points makes Michigan's offense look competent in THE HORROR. What ever happened to Beamer's amazing defenses? They got run over by Boise and followed that up by allowing JMU to score on a 77 yard pass and have their unathletic slow QB run for 2 TDs (7 and 12 yards) in the 2nd half.
Thank you for also making Boise State look like nothing special. I really hate teams that play 1-2 hard games a year and expect a BCS bowl. Now, VA Tech can't be considered a big win. Boise, just join the Big 12 already and try and beat some real teams besides TCU.
Also.... does anyone else feel slightly better after UCONN destroyed Texas Southern 62-3. I'm watching a replay of the game now and man does UCONN's offense and defense look 10x better than last week. UCONN's O-line is creating huge holes even when Texas Southern sends 6-7 guys. UCONN's RB just gashed the defense for 45 yards. Wow. Makes Michigan's defensive play seem even better. UCONN's defense has also stopped Texas Southern twice, TWICE, on 3rd and long. Either they were really nervous playing in the Big House and were just off or our defense is better than I thought. Yes, I know it's Texas Southern, but UCONN has easily moved the ball down the field twice and put up 10 points in 1/2 of the 1st quarter. 7 minutes and nearly 150 total yards.
I saw on another diary that people were talking about Ezeh's game and I thought it'd be interesting to see who people thought were the best 5 and worst 5 today.
1. Denard: Duh! 3 TDs and 0 turnovers. He averaged 7.38 yards per play (502 total yards / (40 passes + 28 runs), which is just sick. Stretched ND out and put pressure on ND's defense. Forced the safeties to come down allowing 1 on 1 coverage outside. I had a ton of confidence he'd drive down the field and score when we needed a TD late.
2. Roh/Martin/RVB Combo: Constantly got to the 3 QBs. Even when we sent just 3. Even on the 95 yard TD throw these 3 forced Crist to move his feet and allowed Michigan to drop 8 into coverage. Unless I am incorrect most of the game Roh put his hand down, which is pretty interesting and probably in response to ND's spread offense. Martin blew up his double team at least 50% of the time, RVB knocked down numerous passes and chased down Allen when he ran to the right, and Roh burned the LT time and time again. They helped create 2 of the turnovers, knocked the QB down and just made sure the QBS were never really comfortable in the pocket.
3. Mouton: Huge momentum turning pick. Good job reading the QBs and dropping deep into zone coverage. Very few open targets across the middle for ND. Had a couple of huge hits and helped blitz the quarterback successfully. Seems to really be stepping it up. Only had a couple of plays where his aggressiveness took him out of position.
4. GERG Robinson: Not only did he decide (correctly) to move Roh up front but he also decided that those 3 could handle the OL most of the time. He also clearly went after Crist on the first drive and while ND did score on that drive, they clearly knocked him out before the TD sneak. On the 2 big touchdowns he had guys in that area and clearly had the right protection/coverage on. Players just messed up. Did a good job with what he had. Also, decided to not let the RBs beat them. Especially when Crist got knocked out. Held Floyd to 66 yards (and 0 TDs) and 4.8 yards per carry.
5. Kovacs and Thomas Gordon: Kovacs had a great pick and almost grabbed another. He got beat a couple of times but nothing deep. Barely heard him or Thomas Gordon mentioned, which is a great thing for a safety. Gordon was impressive, had a nice sack, and some big hits. He also never got beat deep. Very good first start for him. I think we might see a 2 0 2 out of him on the UFR.
* Disclaimer: While I might list these guys as the worst 5 I do realize that they are all kids and I am not attacking them personally. It's just my observation and yes I do realize that I couldn't touch 1 of these guys as a football player.
1. Gibbons: You can't miss 2 mid-range FGs. 1/4 on the year is bad. This game reminded me of Washington from 2002. You can't miss a FG within 40 yards in a game like this, nevermind twice. He clearly has a good leg, now we need some accuracy. I know he's a RS Freshman, but he has 1 job to do, make FGs. With that said, he did a good job on kickoffs.
2. Gordon: I know he's young and not a natural FS but you can't let anyone behind you when you are the last line of defense. I was hoping his size and WR skills would let him pick off the 95 yard TD pass. He seems like he doesn't trust his skills yet. He jumped on the 53 yard TD but was well short of the ball (and let Jones behind him). At the end of the first half he also completely ignored the wheel route and helped double team the seam route, leaving Riddick wide open for Montana. ND should have gotten 3 here. So (and I hate writing this) about 17 points are on him. I really know he has the talent and size to be good at that spot. He just needs to realize he is the last guy back and give up a 20 yard catch instead of going for the pick. That or actually get the pick.
3. Omameh: Another bad game. Really did a bad job in my mind. He got pushed around and picked up dumb penalties. Our middle 3 didn't do great but Molk and Shilling at least blocked their guy 90% of the time. Omameh getting blown up constantly killed the inside draw on the QB read. He also slowed up Molk, not allowing him to slip to the 2nd level, meaning the ND LBs got more shots on Denard then they should have. The third and inches stop was on him and Molk getting beat back. 3rd and inches. AHHH.
4. Banks/Sagesse: It's not what they did, it's what they didn't do. When one of these guys was up front instead of RVB or Martin the D-line did nothing. We had tons of pressure when they weren't on and it disappeared when we subbed on one of these guys. They just don't have the pass rushing skills that the other 3 do, which I think is why GREG kept them off the field as much as possible. We need them to be better from here on out. We'll need to be able to sub for Martin and RVB when we are playing teams like Wisconsin and OSU.
5. Christian: 1 play and 1 huge mistake. Yeah, the shot wasn't hard and the guy was just barely out but you can't do that. I know he's really young and super excited to be out there playing, but he can't take a personal foul there then. The play goes from a so-so 15 yards gained to 30. ND moved from the 42 to the 27. From the 42 ND might not be able to get the ball into the endzone besides just throwing it up. There are plenty of college passes that gain 27 yards. Changes the chances of success from 1 in 50 (god damn you Kordell) to 1 in what 15? 20? Big difference, especially when it's Michigan-ND, and we have Rich Rod's luck.
Author's note: This started out as a response to Boyz n da Pahokee's 'Monster Saturday' Hype Video, but it quickly expanded into something that might have a bit more value. Given the democratization of video production thanks to cheap HD handi-cams, somewhat usable OS-baked-in edit software and free distribution channels like YouTube and Vimeo, web video has exploded lately. This season has seen an up-tick of user-generated media, so I hope this will be useful for the rest of the season.
Hello all, I am professor MGauxBleu. You may remember me from such ironic-kitsch, sadly-relevant and oft front-paged photoshop collages such as Never Forget:
If my computer hadn't exploded, I would have added Van Slyke and Vlad the Transferor to this by now...
Or sadly-derivative DB Hope poster featuring a pseudo-defensive Kelvin Grady:
I am here to transmit some of my film school learnings to the MGoMasses. I am going to make some suggestion for all you future hype video editors. Believe it or not, the moving picture has its own language. This primarily affects editing, which really is the most important aspect of putting a video/movie/film together. If you were shooting your own footage, then the same rules would apply as you plan your shot composition as well as editing. If you are just grabbing other footage, apply these rules to your initial selection of said footage. Follow these rules and people will be psychologically sucked into your video, regardless of what else is going on [though your content will still determine the final impact]. Breaking these rules is what makes "lo-budget" seem crappy.Trust me, your audience will have no idea why they feel the way the do, but the effect is real. We say cinematic language for two reasons: 1) we like to think about "reading a film" just to sound pretentious and 2) because these rules and their use really mimic grammar usage.
Note about the videos: I did not make this video, just citing mgvideo's latest offering. I have tried to queue each video to the right time, but keyframes are a bitch. Just watch the shot I am referencing then pause when the shot changes. No need to watch that whole video a bunch of times.
Screen direction: If you are cutting for a left-to-right reading audience, put things you like—Michigan—on the left side of the screen facing the right. Put things you don't like—opponents, priests, Freakbass—on the right facing left. Hollywood always does this, so that is one of the reasons why you always know who the bad guy is in a movie even from his first shot.
My suggestion: Pick shots of Michigan players moving from left to right, or framed screen left. For drives, Michigan moving left-to-right. Opposite for the opposition. This is a quick rule because then the networks will do your job for you—they will instictually compose shots that look good and follow the rules.
It is composition, not his strange outlook on contraception, that make Jesus so foreboding in this shot.
DRob is heroic, even in warm-ups.
Screen direction, part 2: Things that move from top-to-bottom or left-to-right feel natural and good. Things that move from bottom-to-top or right-to-left feel unnatural and introduce tension. Michigan driving left-to-right, or TRob streaking from top-left to bottom-right = inevitable huge play. Michigan driving right-to-left, or player cutting upwards through the frame is tense; you are not sure if how this is going to turn out but it seems bad.
My suggestion: This is pretty much the same rule as above, but I wanted to emphasize motion through the frame differently. Bonus: A sack will seem extra crushing coming from the left, especially the top.
Aside: if your audience is based in right-to-left reading—Yiddish, for example—or top-to-bottom—Japanese—adjust the above two rules accordingly. Again, things that mimic reading eye motion feel easy and natural; the opposite direction feels difficult and creates tension. Gravity, being universal, means that downward motion = good/easy, upward = bad/hard/tense.
Aside 2: I don't recommend it, but if you super careful, you can "flop" a shot, flip it so that something that is on the right side is switched to the left. Short shots are probably fine, and this isn't up for an academy award, so take my caution with a grain of salt. However, since I am anal and aesthetically sensitive, I would never ever everflop an iconic shot. If people have seen it a million times they will know when it doesn't look right. It will create unease, which likely was the opposite of what you wanted.
Obvious TRob HUGE PLAY
Literally running down hill.
Think Tay scores here?
Nope. A very "tough" play where he guts out every yard.
Graphical matches: If you can effectively cut adjacent shots so that a line can be drawn naturally from your main subject in shot A to main subject in shot B, your audience will jump into the second shot more quickly. Quick is important because we are talking about montages full of short clips; any time trying to "decode" the shot is time not spent getting the point of why you included it.
Add this rule to 2 above to get cut-on-action. Edits tend to be less visible if the audience has something in motion to follow from shot A into shot B. In narrative, this often means that you transition from outside a space inside by cutting at the mid-point of the entrance, showing a little motion in each shot. But this action needs to match graphically to be fully effective.
My suggestion: Perhaps ignore this initially. It is less obvious and harder to convey in text than the other points, but logically, it fits here in the order I am presenting. If you master everything else, watch your cut with this in mind and see if it "feels right" or not. If not, something might be strange about how your eye transitions between shots.
Color: Good guy is in white, bad guys in black. This rule has some very famous exceptions, but that too has a message. Dirty Harry, while technically the hero, is not a good person. He can be in black all he wants once it is established that he is the protagonist (in this case, just being played by Clint Eastwood is establishment enough.) Consistency is probably more important here than sticking with the light = good, dark = bad. More about that below.
My (very light) suggestion: Michigan in road whites when possible, opponents in home darks.
Time to molest the boys!
Consistency: Once you have established one of the above, or even other conventions, try to stick with it. If both teams have similar colors, then flip-flopping their home and roads will make it harder to follow along. As mentioned above, your shots will likely be so brief that your audience will spend too long trying to figure who they are watching without getting enough time to figure out what you are trying to convey. The obvious X factor in football hype vids are the helmets. Most of the time helmets will be unique by team, but also each team will always be wearing the same ones.
My suggestion: If you feel like you have some momentum early in your piece, stick with it. Your vid will build and your audience will stay engaged. If you happen to be an Oregon fan, good fucking luck. Twenty-five million uniform combinations are not your friends, though, you can take solace in the fact that your team will always be the worst looking one in the video. I guess that counts for consistency...
Break the rules: If you had all the resources in the world, you could follow this to a T. However, that isn't going to happen. So, do what you have to. That ridiculous one-handed Woodson pick in East Lansing is iconic and will work no matter how many rules it may seem to break. Additionally, if I were cutting a hype video for OSU week, I would probably keep UM in home darks and and have OSU in white. We want to be hard in that game and the dark will keep the edge on. Further, OSU's red unis say a lot—blood, violence, even some regal tones. These are not things I want establishing about OSU. Additionally, Brandon Graham, Woodley, guys like that are dangerous, murderous battering rams of death in my videos. They would always be in dark blue if I could help it.
There are some other basic things I could cover here, and some slightly more advanced stuff, but I think that this is enough for now. One "tip" that I have not included is: HAVE A DAMN POINT. This is not a tip, it is a must. Every video should have a story line. ESPN's actual game coverage is master of this, even if it is annoying. For ND and OSU the storyline is obvious: HATE. For MSU, I would focus on the fact that they are clown shoes. Other teams may have less historic stories, so you may focus on one element of the game. For instance, god forbid Denard go down at some point, you could cut a video of the likely starter to emphasize that the game rests on said player. If John Clay is averaging 225 YPG coming in, I would focus on him being a beast and us destroying ball carriers to setup that as the most important question of the day: Monster world crushing running back or our run defense, who will come out on top?
If you are thinking of trying your hand at a hype video, watch the 96 tiny vignettes that the networks put together before and during the game. The canned pre-game ones tend to focus on what ever ESPN has been hyping all week/season [Tebow]. In game ones tend to be game recaps. Even if they aren't showing every big play of the game, the will tend to represent the essence. If it is a whooping, expect the team coverage to be one-sided. It will be a little more even if it is a dog fight.
Down with OPP - not what you might think - I'm going for Other People's Pressers... Get it? Do ya?? If I have the time, I'll try to do this for all the upcoming opponent press conferences during game week. I mean, I've already come up with a snazzy name for it and everything. No sense in wasting it now! I'm going to try to go by theme, not necessarily following the questions in chronological order, fyi.
These are my key takeaways from the Brian Kelly press conference on Wednesday, Sept 8. For your reference, the full transcript can be found here:
On Denard Robinson:
Althought Marve was athletic, very different from Denard (duh). "They're setting up the run obviously for him. You're running quarterback iso," and that "He's going to be the focal point of the running game."
He makes mention of the "zone read" in a couple of spots. Apparently, Purdue pulled Marve at one point for another guy (I think a WR who played some QB in HS, although don't know who) in order to run a read option.
Oh, when they ran the read option. Oh, very similar. Yeah, there are some similarities to that scheme. Obviously we didn't handle that very well. So we'll clearly spend a little more time on that. But there are some similarities to the read that Purdue went to when they brought the other quarterback in.
Has a couple of guys on the scout team they're looking at to play the role of Denard in practices, but that "[he doesn'nt] know that you ever can prepare for Denard Robinson at the same speed that he plays."
On their defense:
On defending the Michigan defense, particularly with the schemes and style of play, he says the foundation is always going to be getting the "assignment correct when you play a team that has certainly some of the instruments of options within its package." He also say that, "you wouldn't think blitzing would be the first call of duty when you play a team like this."
On the defensive capabilities and schemes, he says they "needed to play a structure of defense that pulls together all of the basics of good defense. That is containing the football, gap integrity, great tackling." I immediately wondered what that says about the philosophy or coaching compared to the prior regime, and he actually responds to a question about this later on:
I don't know what they did or didn't do last year. I didn't spend much time analyzing. I didn't know what we wanted to do. And certainly one of our goals defensively is to minimize big plays. So call structure, all of those things are talked about from day one back before we got here in December. That is clearly the message.
Then he again mentions "Good fundamentals." Just sayin'.
On adjusting to Purdue's switch to the read option look, suggested they were a little caught off guard the first time, but that they adjusted "the next series and we were prepared for anything if they went into that as an offense."
Mentioned that they only gave up one play over 20 yards all day - a 23 yd TD.
On their offense:
He has some weird 88%/12% metric he uses to measure on-field success. I guess it's a little higher target than your typical 80/20 rule? Anyway, I don't really get it, but he calls out penalties and ball security as the two biggest things he looks at.
I generally focus on those two things from an offensive standpoint. If we hit those two, we're generally in a position to do some good things. To me it's as important as anything offense.
On time of possession, he said he played an up-tempo, outscore-your-opponents style at Cincy, although not because he likes that style. Look for them to be more "traditional" in terms of the tempo at which their offense operates.
I don't like to play that way, but it was the way we needed to play. I would certainly like to play the game and manage the game in a more textbook fashion, if you will. And that is relative to the time of possession and keeping your defense off the field, and making sure they operate in the long field.
Other random notes:
On the rivalry: "I've never prepared football teams in a manner that we focus on a particular rivalry. But this is all eggs in one basket. I try to keep a steady enthusiastic to approach to every game. ... I respect the history and tradition of it. But what I really used was our guys, letting them know that this team's going to be ready for you. Same thing with Michigan, same thing with Purdue, and every team that we're going to play with that rivalry so they have historical respect that and we're going to focus on ourselves.
On injuries: "Shembo, (Darius) Fleming, fine. No issues there. Had some cramping. Slaughter, we were concerned after the game of the quote unquote high ankle sprain. Found out that wasn't the case. He's been in rehab the past 48 hours, we'll take him out of the walking boot and get him moving today. Some precursors to really an evaluation would be very minimal swelling and emotion. Positive signs I'm not ready to say he's going to be 100% for Saturday, but some of the signs point toward someone who is making good progress. That is it for injuries."
On his relationship with RR: "We also have the same financial advisor, so that probably makes us really close friends. Rich and I know each other, and I have respect rich for the work that he's done. We don't get a chance to see each other in the off season. We've both got young families that we're chasing around. But I know rich very well, and obviously we have some friends in Butch Jones as well."
On recruits visiting for the game: "I think it's important, there is no question. Winning helps it. There is no question about that. The experience at Notre Dame, getting a chance to be around a game day atmosphere is the most important thing for these young men that are going to be making arguably the biggest decision of their lives. So, yes, we are holding a recruiting weekend. We think that the experience of game day for them is really very important in the process."