"What (Michigan coaches) told me is that they're focusing on point guards right now, but if anything opens up, they'll definitely come back on and recruit me as hard as they were," said Towns
Which team do you hate less? Either way, they've got fantastic athletes and this should be fun to watch. Hopefully we see neither in a bowl game.
Sorry, no extra section this week, as the game didn't really deserve one. It was neither an embarrassing loss nor a heartbreaker...it was just a loss. We were behind all day, and even though we almost made that 3rd TD at the end, we still would have faced the uncertainty of a 2 pt conversion just to put it into overtime. It was a puncher's duel, and we were the one who went home with the extra cut above the eye.
So what happened? We played away, and played like we were playing away. I figure if this were at home, the final score would have been reversed. But it wasn't, so here we are.
1. Countess, Van Bergen and Martin. UFR will tell a more accurate story, but I felt these guys all played their hearts out, and were bright spots in an otherwise disappointing defensive performance.
2. Toussaint’s first half. He ran really well out of the I-form in the first half.
3. Gaining some street cred back towards the end of the game. Didn’t mean much, but it made a sour game taste a little less sour.
4. The offense, which wasn't great, really, but actually outgained Iowa. So I guess that's got to count for something.
1. The defense. We had our plays, but Iowa also had their way with us for most of the game. Ferentz' ultra-conservative MANBALL approach to offensive football partially papered over the fact that this was, in my opinion at least, our worst defensive performance of the year.
2. Denard’s running. I’m loathe to blame him for this, and I suspect some combination of poor blocking and a still-unknown injury are to blame. But he’s not turning on the jets like he used to, and not pivoting like he used to. Could be a psychological issue too—he does seem to be unusually “in” or “out of” the zone.
3. The Devin interludes. More evidence that this worked against Minnesota, but is of limited usefulness otherwise. Again, all the usual disclaimers apply--good kid, going to be a good QB, nice to see him get some reps, etc.--but I'm not seeing great results here. He had a whopping 2 yards total on his 5 carries and 1 pass. Why are we still doing this again?
4. Road errors. The fumble, the drops, etc. Those go the other way, and it's a different ballgame.
1. Not punching it in from the goalline in 4 tries. No way to sugar coat that.
I am starting to believe that Borges thinks he is a genius (just like Mike Martz), when clearly he is not (also, like Mike Martz). His inabilaty to not use the "fritz" package is driving me crazy. This play has not worked since the Minnesota game, and even then it wasn't that great. I can see him thinking "this play is working great, now I am going to try something completely different". Touissant up the middle was working fine, and what is with all the "bombs away" shit, when a short passing game makes more sense. Denard isn't a bad passer, but he isn't a pocket passer because he has the tendency to pass off of his back foot, when pressured. Every fucking time that we had a good gain on offense, Al brought in Gardner to throw a giant bucket of crap on our momentum. I am not going to whine about the officiating, because if Al wouldn't have burried his head in his gigantic ass, we would have won easily.
I blame this guy, more than the officials ^^^
Aside from a couple of wild Denard overthrows, the offensive philosophy employed by M on that last drive should be used as the base offense. Denard's strength as a passer is to give him multiple options, contrary to a really accurate drop back passers who can pin-point a pass to a designated receiver running a predictable route. In addition, take away the time crunch and that type of old-school moderate length pass happy "Charlie Ward spread" gives Denard substantially more lanes to run through with the secondary more focussed on covering multiple receivers spreading the field out. M had some success from the i today with one or two wideouts, but IMO, M should try to spread teams out early and often. The wide receivers are not apt to make the the big play deep off playaction, thus, the threat of the run does not intimidate defenses because there is really no deep threat there. And don't tell me that the success was due to a "prevent" by Iowa, they run the same defense all game.
The offense is searching for an identity. After watching that fourth quarter, I say run the "two minute" from the jump.
Let's try it at least...
It sucks when Michigan loses. I feel it all week. But I think it takes character and strength to pick yourself up, whether you're a fan/alum or a player, and move on. So next week is Illinois, another team of dorks. Who's with me? Let's drink, watch more football today, and look forward to next week's game. I like our team, and I like Brady Hoke. Not sure yet about Uncle Festus. I do think Denard can pass the ball for what it's worth.