"Northwestern fans can be both heartened and disheartened by the loss to Minnesota just like how nineteenth-century resurrectionists were heartened when they pried a heart from a freshly-buried corpse and then disheartened it when they sold it to a disreputable anatomist."
This is a message I recieved from an unnamed person over the Internet two weeks before the season opener against Utah. I had told him not to expect much out of this season, and that Michigan State could very likely beat Michigan at the Big House for the first time since the (Insert hilarious choice of past leader) administration.
"let me lay it out for you. here's why the Wolverines will beat the Spartans by 21 points in 2008:
1. Michigan state never has an answer for Michigans runningame, and 2008 will be no different, as the Spartans lose all their good players on defense (except for Otis Wiley), and as Michigan has Brown and Minor, among others, to pound the ball down MSU's throats for 250 yards.
2. Michigan always wins by at least two TD's at the Big House against MSU.
3. Michigan states secondary always gets burned by Michigans wide receivers (read: Marquis Walker, Braylon Edwards, Jason Avant, Mario Manningham), and in 2008, its Mathews and TE Butlers turn to make a joke out of the Spartans laughable secondary.
4. Brian Hoyer is still MSU's QB. Nough said
5. All MSU has on offense is Ringer, and Michigans defense can just stuff the box with 8 guys and stop or contain Ringer.
For these 5 reasons, Michigan will beat MSU by 3 TD's.
Now. let me explain what Michigan has on offense for 2008:
-Steven Threet: He is a transfer from Georgia Tech. He can’t run, and he will only be a redshirt freshmen. But, he has a lot of raw talent. He has a cannon of an arm, has great size at 6’6, 228, was a 4 star prospect coming out of high school, and was rated as the 9th best QB in the nation from the class of 2007. He has the heads up on the starting job going into summer camp. Running RR’s offense, Threet has a chance to be the next Shaun King (who was the pocket passing QB at Tulane in 1998 when RR was the o-coordinator, and when Tulane went 12-0)
-Justin Feagin: In a sentence, Feagin is the poor mans Terrell Pryor. He will only be a true freshmen, and he is only a 3 star prospect. However, he IS an electrifying athlete, and he has a pretty good arm.
When RR wants to run the zone read or triple option (his bread and butter plays) he can bring in Feagin as a substitute, just like Tebow was bought in Florida for 2006, and Perriloux was bought in for LSU in 2007. If Feagin ends up being the starter, he could be the next Pat White. Either way, as a substitute or a starter, Feagin should be an asset.
-Carlos Brown: Brown is Michigan’s best athlete at the tailback position, and is even a better athlete then Mike Hart. Blessed with blazing speed and agility, Brown was a 4 star prospect coming out of high school and was rated as the 5th best running back in the nation from the class of 2006. After hardly playing at all as a true freshmen in 2006, Brown was much improved as true sophomore in 2007. As the featured substitute for Hart, Brown carried the ball 75 times for 382 yards (averaging 5.1 YPC), scored 4 TD’s on the ground, and he ran for 100 yards twice when Hart was hurt (one of those times was against Illinois on the road). As a junior in 2008, Brown has the best chance of being the featured TB in RR’s offense, and he should explode for 1500 yards and 15 TD’s.
-Brandon Minor: Just like Brown, Minor is blessed with raw talent. He is more of a power back, but he has very nice straight-line speed, and he was also a 4 star prospect coming out of high school. Minor has been a regular substitute at TB for the last two seasons, gaining 42 carries for 238 yards (5.7 YPC) in 2006, and 90 carries for 385 yards in 2007. He has two career 100-yard games under his belt. As a junior in 2008, Minor should have another solid season as the main substitute at TB, and if he starts, he should break loose for 1200 yards and 10 TD’s.
-Kevin Grady: He was the nations number 1 rated TB and a 5 star prospect coming out of high school in 2005. He hasn’t lived up to the hype so far, but considering he’s had running backs like Hart, Brown, Minor, and Jerome Jackson in front of him, you can’t say its all Grady’s fault that he hasn’t lived up to his potential. Grady blew out his knee in the spring of 2007, missing all of last season. He will be a redshirt junior in 2008, and now that’s he’s made a full recovery, he will be an effective substitute yet again for the Wolverines, and he has a good chance to be the starter. As a true freshmen in 2005, Grady started several games when Hart was hurt and had 121 carries for 483 yards and 5 TD’s, along with 14 catches for 113 yards receiving. And as a true sophomore in 2006, he had 55 carries for 187 yards and 3 TD’s
-Sam McGuffie. He will only be a true freshmen, but he has amazing speed, not to mention Barry Sanders like moves.
-Greg Mathews: a 4 star prospect with 4.3 speed coming out of high school, Mathews has seen extended playing time in each of the last two years. As the fourth receiver as a true freshmen in 2006, he only had 7 catches for 68 yards, but then when Steve Breaston graduated, Mathews was moved to the 3rd receiver as a true sophomore in 2007, and his numbers spiked to 39 catches for 366 yards and 3 TD’s. Technically speaking, he is a returning starter, and as the primary receiver as a junior in 2008, Mathews should be the next great product of WR University
-Junior Hemingway: He is a 6’1, 214 pound possession receiver, but he runs a 4.4 40, so he can get open on deep balls. He had a measly 4 catches for 37 yards last season as a true freshmen, but that was as the 4th receiver. As the starter opposite Mathews, Hemingway should see his numbers spike as a true sophomore in 2008, just like Mathews numbers spiked last season.
-Toney Clemons: Just like Hemingway, Clemons is a possession receiver at 6’3, 201. The cousin of Terrell Pryor, and a 4 star prospect from the class of 2007 who has been compared to David Terrell by Lloyd Carr’s previous coaching staff (source: Oakland Press), Clemons will be Michigan’s 3rd receiver as a true sophomore in 2008, and just like every other one of Michigan’s third receivers, Clemons should put up solid numbers and be a big asset in 2008 after only having 1 paltry catch for 5 yards in mop up duty last season
-Carson Butler: a returning starter at tightend, Butler will be a junior in 2008, and according to rivals.com, Michigan great Jim Mandich predicts that Butler will have a monster season in RR’s spread offense. As a substitute as a redshirt freshmen in 2006, Butler had 19 catches for 166 yards and a TD, then as a starter as a redshirt sophomore last season, Butler had 20 catches for 246 yards and 2 TD’s. He has great size at 6’5 250, but has he proved with his 65-yard catch against Florida and his 16-yard run against Wisconsin, he can really move for his size. I’m with mandich on this one: Butler will have a monster season in 2008, and along with Mathews, he will more then make up for the loss of Manningham and Arrington
LT=Stephen Schilling, redshirt sophomore(returning starter at RT who's moving over to LT to replace Jake long. he's a former 5 star prospect)
LG=Tim McAvoy, redshirt junior (saw some decent playing time last year when Alex Mitchell was injured)
C=David Moosman, redshirt junior(former 4 star prospect who finally has a chance to shine)
RG=Cory Zirbel, redshirt junior (just like moosman, he's a former 4 star prospect wh finally has a chance to shine)
RT=Mark Orttman, redshirt junior (he say some nice playing time last year when schilling was banged up)
three of our 5 starters on the o-line DO have experience. The other two projected starters-Zirbel and Moosman-have plenty of raw talent, as they were former 4 star prospects, and technically they are redshirt juniors, so nobody can liken them to freshmen despite their lack of game experience. Those guys have watched and learned from the sidelines for 3 years. I think they've picked up plenty of hints on how to be successful.Plus, under R's coaching, I really am not worried about them. Heck, i'm not worried about the O-line period. People make it sound like our o-line is a bunch of freshmen with no talent, and nothnig could be further from the truth
As for their defense, they have 7 of 11 starters returning overall from a unit that was ranked 24th in the nation in total defense. They return 2 three-year starters in DT Terrance Taylor and CB Morgan Trent; all four starters on the defensive line (including two DE's that combined for 14 sacks in Brandon Graham and Tim Jamison); a dominant middle linebacker in Obi Ezeh; and two shutdown cornerbacks in Trent and Donovan Warren. Defense wins championships, and Michigans defense is gonig to be arguably the best in the Big Ten in 2008, and one of the best in the nation
I think Michigan is going to go 11-2, win the Big Ten outright, and beat Ohio State for the first time since 2003"
Yes, he was serious. After the Notre Dame game, however, I recieved a new message in my mailbox.
"Michigan is the worst team in college football right now. Their offense is non-existent, and when it DOES get some decent yardage (like it did today with 388 total yards) it turns the ball over 6 times. Our defense is trash to. 0 sacks against a team that gave up 58 sacks last season. Obi Ezeh has disappeared the last two games. The entire secondary is pathetic. Morgan Trent? Trash. Donovan Warren? Trash. Stevie Brown? Trash. Brandon Harrison? One game wonder.....trash. Our DE's are trash to. Tim Jamison has the biggest mouth ever, and he never backs it up. Ditto Terrance Taylor (apparently losing all that weight hurt him instead of helping him. he was much more explosive lasts season). Brandon graham was impressive last season but this year he’s been a colossal bust. Will Johnson is the only player on defense who's lived up to the hype thus far. Our offense and defense are trash. Our special teams are trash as well. No punt return and kick return unit, and terrible return coverage. Thank god we have lopata and mesko
All that talent laid to waste....what a -expletive-ing shame. RR should be fired right now. Growing pains is one thing, but this is not growing pains. This is a -expletive-ing disaster. Michigan will get crushed in each of their remaining games save Toledo, and they might not win that game either. a 1-11 season is quite realistic. in case you haven’t noticed, Minnesota and Northwestern are much-improved teams. the wildcats will run up 600 total yards in a 45-10 route against us, and Minnesota will notch a solid victory against us as well. the Toledo game will be an overtime toss up. And don't tell me to 'wait" for RR to develop his team. That’s what Bill Callahan tried to tell Nebraska fans and look where that got the Cornhuskers. Michigan is going down the exact same road as the Cornhuskers, and they better fire RR right now that way they get off that road.
they need to do what’s worked for 40 years now: go in house. Michigan will never bee a powerhouse again. That was probably confirmed with the loss to App State. But at least when we hire "in house" and go with a Bo schembechler product (like mike Debord or ideally Les Miles) then Michigan can still win at least 8 games every year and make it to a Bowl game (and forget about Ohio State, the buckeyes will own us until tressell retires. Its about time Michigan stops focusing on trying to get to Ohio states level. It’s no longer realistic anymore. the Buckeyes permenently own Michigan). And if we go in house, then at least we'll have a 1997 or 1999 every once in awhile. But under a new coach like RR, we'll be nothing more then a horrible 3-9 team.
RR is trash. his offense is trash. His cultural mentality is trash. and his assistants are trash (Calvin Magee is such a fat -expletive-). I’d transfer if I was Sam Mcguffie,. there's ain;t no hope at Michigan. No wonder Newsome decommited. Forcier and Beaver will probably decommit by February as well."
What's the deal with this polar opposite expectation swap? Have some faith in your team. It makes me sick to see this kind of thing, yet it's increasingly the prevalant attitude of UM fans. Yeah, I hate the Walmart Wolverines, but this kind of thing is ridiculous. Stand by your team, even if you just adopted them so you could brag to your neighbors who attended MSU.
It's been what? Five games for UM? Did you expect to go to a championship in RR's first year, like this poor sucker? Give him some time, he's a good coach. He needs players suited to the spread, and he'll bring you back to Big Ten prominence.
I have been exasperated with some of the recent threads even mentioning the firing of RR five games into his tenure at Michigan. Anybody with half a mind could see that this year would be a struggle. We sustained the loss of all time record holders in passing and rushing, the loss of a number one draft pick on the line, two explosive receivers and instituted a brand new system with players often ill equipped to run it. Hell, if Lloyd Carr were here, can we honestly say our record would be different? The recruiting class looks to be awesome.
I decided to review some of RRs pressers for some reassurance or to see what some of these naysayers are picking up on to suggest such a brash, ill-conceived course. Then it hit me. I, like Colonel Kurtz “… realized--like I was shot...like I was shot with a diamond...a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought, "My God, the genius of that, the genius, the will to do that." Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure”. RR does need to be fired, and fast. But not for the reasons our Friends would suggest.
Rich Rodriquez is going bald. Sure, he can cover it up with a hat. He can try to fool himself and others with his oh, so short haircut, but the end is coming. Soon he will display, in the words of George Costanza “the classic horseshoe pattern”. No big deal, right? It doesn’t take hair to win football games. WRONG! Hair and winning college football go together like Joe Paterno and a change of underwear.
Let’s look at the all time win leaders in college football. John Gagliardi at St. Johns College in MN, 453 wins and going strong and pretty good hair for an old guy. Eddie Robinson had a nice natural going. When it receded with age, so did his success. Amos Alonzo Stagg had some wiry Mark Twain lettuce. Bear Bryant had some good hair under that hounds tooth hat. Three words for Pop Warner—thick, thick, thick. Delaware’s Tubby Raymond (a former Wolverine under Fritz Crisler) was, and is, a silver fox. E. Kentucky’s Roy Kidd and Pacific Lutheran’s Frosty Westering were receding and bald, respectively but they were 1AA and lower—THIS IS DIVISION 1 FOOTBALL! Paterno will begin to lose skin before he loses any hair and Bowden has lost more games than strands of hair in the last few years.
If we were talking basketball there would be no worries. Your Tarkanians and Auerbachs glorious pates reflected well upon their programs. One might feel the need to bring up Knute Rockne. Yes, he was quite successful for a follicularly-challanged coach. I will address that in another piece entitled “Why Knute Rockne had to die”. I would also counter with Jimmy Fuckin’ Johnson.
Therefore, I am a flip flopper. I was wrong. Despite all rational arguments to the contrary, RR needs to go. I will join the ranks of those calling for his soon to be shiny head. Begin the next coaching search in a barber shop. Might I suggest one in Baton Rouge?
It is obvious Michigan's season hasn't started out the way we all would have
liked. However, things were put in perspective for me today as I watched
the Dow take the largest dip since 1987 and GM's stock devalue by over thirty
percent. Certainly we all can agree that the recent lag (substitute halt,
explosion, or absolute meltdown for the word "lag") in the American
economy is of much larger importance than the recent lag in Michigan's
offensive numbers. But it got me thinking about commonalities in these
situations... I mean, let’s face it, the world and college football are both
changing rapidly. This isn’t our grandparents America, just like it isn't
our Grandparent's Michigan.
There are a myriad of reasons for the recent struggles in the automobile
industry. One such reason is the fact that companies are building and
selling 20th Century cars in the 21st Century. The world we live in today
requires cars with better technology leading to increased fuel
efficiency. In other words, the market has changed and so too must GM,
Ford, and Chrysler. It’s not going to be easy. Adapting to new
circumstances never is but adapt they must. And it may even get worse
before it gets better. But...they'll do it. They just need to
commit to it.
Prior to this year our beloved Wolverines were much like the struggling
companies. We had a great team that we loved, but before we could even
realize it, the college football "market" passed us by. Suddenly our run-run-pass-punt style of play wasn't as effective as it once was. Yes, we
are now in the process of adapting just like the auto industry must
Its terribly difficult and, at times, downright painful. (Does anyone
else find themselves screaming out in the middle of the night?) And if
bad enough, it may get worse before it gets better. But they'll do
it. They just have to commit to it. As fans its on us to be there
supporting them in this time of transition.
There was a time when Michigan was Champions of the West and America
championed industry around the free world. Both will be back. Both will
rise from the ashes of what seems to be their lowest point in our lifetimes.
So, how am i so confident? I don’t know. Maybe I feel like we need some
optimism in this world and around these boards. But mainly, it’s because I believe in the
resiliency of this country and this team. Thus, I concur with Coach Rod
that, Michigan football will be back.
London Times Online
October 9, 2008
University top 200 in full
The list in full:
1 HARVARD University United States
2 YALE University United States
3 University of CAMBRIDGE United Kingdom
4 University of OXFORD United Kingdom
5 CALIFORNIA Institute of Technology (Calt... United States
6 IMPERIAL College London United Kingdom
7 UCL (University College London) United Kingdom
8 University of CHICAGO United States
9 MASSACHUSETTS Institute of Technology (M... United States
10 COLUMBIA University United States
11 University of PENNSYLVANIA United States
12 PRINCETON University United States
13= DUKE University United States
13= JOHNS HOPKINS University United States
15 CORNELL University United States
16 AUSTRALIAN National University Australia
17 STANFORD University United States
18 University of MICHIGAN United States
19 University of TOKYO Japan
20 MCGILL University Canada
21 CARNEGIE MELLON University United States
22 KING'S College London United Kingdom
23 University of EDINBURGH United Kingdom
24 ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of T... Switzerland
25 KYOTO University Japan
26 University of HONG KONG Hong Kong
27 BROWN University United States
28 École Normale Supérieure, PARIS France
29 University of MANCHESTER United Kingdom
30= National University of SINGAPORE(NUS) Singapore
30= University of CALIFORNIA, Los Angeles (U... United States
32 University of BRISTOL United Kingdom
33 NORTHWESTERN University United States
34= ÉCOLE POLYTECHNIQUE France
34= University of BRITISH COLUMBIA Canada
36 University of California, BERKELEY United States
37 The University of SYDNEY Australia
38 The University of MELBOURNE Australia
39 HONG KONG University of Science & Techno... Hong Kong
40 NEW YORK University (NYU) United States
41 University of TORONTO Canada
42 The CHINESE University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
43 University of QUEENSLAND Australia
44 OSAKA University Japan
45 University of NEW SOUTH WALES Australia
46 BOSTON University United States
47 MONASH University Australia
48 University of COPENHAGEN Denmark
49 TRINITY College Dublin Ireland
50= Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de LAUSANNE... Switzerland
50= PEKING University China
50= SEOUL National University Korea, South
53 University of AMSTERDAM Netherlands
54 DARTMOUTH College United States
55 University of WISCONSIN-Madison United States
56 TSINGHUA University China
57 HEIDELBERG Universität Germany
58 University of CALIFORNIA, San Diego United States
59 University of WASHINGTON United States
60 WASHINGTON University in St. Louis United States
61 TOKYO Institute of Technology Japan
62 EMORY University United States
63 UPPSALA University Sweden
64 LEIDEN University Netherlands
65 The University of AUCKLAND New Zealand
66 LONDON School of Economics and Political... United Kingdom
67 UTRECHT University Netherlands
68 University of GENEVA Switzerland
69 University of WARWICK United Kingdom
70 University of TEXAS at Austin United States
71 University of ILLINOIS United States
72 Katholieke Universiteit LEUVEN Belgium
73 University of GLASGOW United Kingdom
74 University of ALBERTA Canada
75 University of BIRMINGHAM United Kingdom
76 University of SHEFFIELD United Kingdom
77 NANYANG Technological University Singapore
78= DELFT University of Technology Netherlands
78= RICE University United States
78= Technische Universität MÜNCHEN Germany
81= University of AARHUS Denmark
81= University of YORK United Kingdom
83= GEORGIA Institute of Technology United States
83= The University of WESTERN AUSTRALIA Australia
83= University of ST ANDREWS United Kingdom
86 University of NOTTINGHAM United Kingdom
87 University of MINNESOTA United States
88 LUND University Sweden
89 University of CALIFORNIA, Davis United States
90 CASE WESTERN RESERVE University United States
91= Université de Montréal Canada
91= University of HELSINKI Finland
93= Hebrew University of JERUSALEM Israel
93= Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Germany
95 KAIST - Korea Advanced Institute of Scie... Korea, South
96 University of VIRGINIA United States
97 University of PITTSBURGH United States
98 University of CALIFORNIA, Santa Barbara United States
99= PURDUE University United States
99= University of SOUTHAMPTON United Kingdom
101 - 200
101 VANDERBILT University United States
102= University of NORTH CAROLINA United States
102= University of SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA United States
104 University of LEEDS United Kingdom
105 PENNSYLVANIA STATE University United States
106= University of ADELAIDE Australia
106= University of ZURICH Switzerland
108 University College DUBLIN Ireland
109 TECHNION - Israel Institute of Technolog... Israel
110 GEORGETOWN University United States
111 MAASTRICHT University Netherlands
112 TOHOKU University Japan
113 FUDAN University China
114 TEL AVIV University Israel
115 University of VIENNA Austria
116 Université catholique de LOUVAIN (UCL) Belgium
117= MCMASTER University Canada
117= QUEEN'S University Canada
119 University of ROCHESTER United States
120 NAGOYA University Japan
121 OHIO STATE University United States
122= DURHAM University United Kingdom
122= University of MARYLAND United States
124= National TAIWAN University Taiwan
124= University of OTAGO New Zealand
126 ERASMUS University Rotterdam Netherlands
127 STONY BROOK University United States
128 EINDHOVEN University of Technology Netherlands
129 University of WATERLOO Canada
130 University of SUSSEX United Kingdom
131 University of BASEL Switzerland
132 University of CALIFORNIA, Irvine United States
133= CARDIFF University United Kingdom
133= Technical University of DENMARK Denmark
133= University of LIVERPOOL United Kingdom
136 University of GHENT Belgium
137= Freie Universität BERLIN Germany
137= TEXAS A&M University United States
139 HUMBOLDT-Universität zu Berlin Germany
140 Ecole normale supérieure de LYON France
141 University of Science and Technology of ... China
142 WAGENINGEN University Netherlands
143 NANJING University China
144= SHANGHAI JIAO TONG University China
144= University of GRONINGEN Netherlands
146 University of ARIZONA United States
147= CITY University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
147= Universität FREIBURG Germany
149 Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie PARIS V... France
150 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México ... Mexico
151 RUTGERS, The State University of New Jer... United States
152 University of BATH United Kingdom
153 University of ABERDEEN United Kingdom
154 Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (II... India
155= Eberhard Karls Universität TÜBINGEN Germany
155= VU University AMSTERDAM Netherlands
157 TUFTS University United States
158 KYUSHU University Japan
159 The University of WESTERN ONTARIO Canada
160 QUEEN MARY, University of London United Kingdom
161 University of LAUSANNE Switzerland
162= CHALMERS University of Technology Sweden
162= NEWCASTLE University, NEWCASTLE Upon Tyn... United Kingdom
164 SIMON FRASER University Canada
165 University of FLORIDA United States
166= CHULALONGKORN University Thailand
166= Universität GÖTTINGEN Germany
168 University of NOTRE DAME United States
169 Universität FRANKFURT am Main Germany
170= INDIANA University Bloomington United States
170= University of CALGARY Canada
170= University of LANCASTER United Kingdom
173 KTH, ROYAL Institute of Technology Sweden
174= HOKKAIDO University Japan
174= Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (I... India
174= RENSSELAER Polytechnic Institute United States
177= University of LEICESTER United Kingdom
177= University of OSLO Norway
179 University of CAPE TOWN South Africa
180= University of COLORADO at Boulder United States
180= WASEDA University Japan
182 MACQUARIE University Australia
183= Lomonosov MOSCOW STATE University Russia
183= Université Libre de BRUXELLES (ULB) Belgium
185 BRANDEIS University United States
186= University of BARCELONA Spain
186= University of CANTERBURY New Zealand
188= POHANG University of Science and Technol... Korea, South
188= Technische Universität BERLIN Germany
190 Universität STUTTGART Germany
191 University of MASSACHUSETTS, Amherst United States
192= University of BERN Switzerland
192= University of BOLOGNA Italy
194 University of READING United Kingdom
195 University of ANTWERP Belgium
196 University of SAO PAULO Brazil
197= DALHOUSIE University Canada
197= University of BUENOS AIRES Argentina
199 KOBE University Japan
200= University of ATHENS Greece
Dear Ann Arbor News,
You have a job to fill. Sports columnist. The problem with your last one (Jim Carty): not enough of a homer. You could go the traditional, boring route: hire some other dude with the "right" credentials. And watch us all hate him.
Or you could hire Brian Cook. Brian, as you may know, happens to run the best damn Michigan blog in the land. He would make an excellent hire, and would make a splash (the mixing of new and old media, and all that).
So, a choice. Hire some lame dude/dudette. Or hire Brian (if he's willing). Don't miss the opportunity!
These words are here in order to meet the 200-word diary minimum that Brian so ruthlessly enforces. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them. Especially these words: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0.
I think gsimmons has covered many of the problems of the defense in the comments section, so I'm just going to write about a few things I saw out of the offense.
- I saw more man blocking on the O-line this game that what I noticed the last few weeks. The counters with Moundrous coming across the line of scrimmage produced a couple big gains. The line looked much better in the man scheme than the zone. They were getting a decent push and getting to the second level. The timing on the zone scheme just doesn't look quite right yet. We may see more man blocking as the year progresses if the zone scheme continues to struggle.
- Although they struggled more in the zone scheme, it was not always to the play side. There were a few plays where I thought Threet should have kept the ball. The DE had his shoulders completely turned, and Threet still handed the ball off. The DE was then able to run down the play from the back side for minimal gain. The corners were also pretty agressive on the running plays. I thought the zone read where Threet has the wideout as a third option may have worked well in the game.
- One of the ways Illinois was defending the zone read was to immediately bring the backside linebacker to tackle the QB. So you have an unblocked DE to take the RB, and an unblocked linebacker to take the QB. In this case, the QB should immediately throw the bubble screen. Against Illinois, Michigan already had an advantage by alignment with a safety 10 - 15 yards off the ball. With a linebacker going after the QB, there is no inside out flow to the play. If its a good throw, its probably a 6-7 yard gain every time.
- I thought we would see more bubble screens, but its probably better we did not. The blocking by our wide recievers was probably the worst I've seen all year. The basic idea behind stalk blocking as a wideout is to sell vertical until the DB stops his back pedal. If if he starts to come up under control, you stay in front of him, hit him, get your hands on the breast plate of his shoulder pads, keep your feet moving and drive him back. If he comes up hard, cut him and keep him on the ground. The wideouts looked very tentative in their blocks, and you have to be aggressive but under control when blocking as a wideout. If Matthews gets a block on the play that Minor fumbled, it probably goes for a big gain.
- The play in the first half where Threet threw it to the middle of the field was probably a mistake by Odoms. Miller was running with him down the middle on his release, and thats a good mismatch for us. Threet thought he was going to keep running, but he broke off over the middle. Either he just ran the wrong play, or he thought Miller was going to stay over top of him. Either way, I think Odoms was wrong on that play.
- I think we will see more shake up on the left side of the line. Ortmann is a step slow at guard, and I thought Dorrestein was consistently standing up off the snap instead of driving out of his stance low. He was blown backwards several times as a result. This is a fundamental thing that should be fixed this week in practice.
Overall, the offense did some good things, but they also did a lot of bad things. If we hit on the long passes to Savoy and Odoms at the end of the first half, maybe that changes the game. I don't want to beat a dead horse with things that have already been discussed, but I thought I'd point out a few things that I haven't seen in the comments section.