I did not make this headline up
I know that every Michigan fan considers OSU to be the biggest rival but I think it's time for MSU to be held in the same regard. They are a bunch of thugs that are coached to do anything possible to gain an advantage over Michigan.
Say what you want about morals, but sometimes you do have to play down to your enemies level. I do not condone William Gholston-esque style of football. Michigan State was a zillion times more aggressive in this game because they absolutely hate Michigan. I don't feel like the hate is reciprocal. Obviously Brady Hoke and Company want to beat MSU but until the aggressive nature of this game is met by the Wolverines in a professional manner, the Spartans will keep having their way in this rivalry.
Part of me wonders if I'm in denial, but I somehow don't feel THAT bad about the game on Saturday because it seems like the offensive woes are mostly down to some coachable problems. Parts number 1-19038109283 of those problems is down to Denard not setting his freaking feet when he throws on so many of his passes, with the game Saturday being the most stark example of this.
I know it's easier said than done, especially when the kid is constantly thinking "should I run it now?" the instant protection breaks down at all but at the same time it seems like something a QB coach can drill like crazy during the bye week to reaffirm things that were empahsized during the summer. Denard threw like crap on Saturday but the list of people who can throw accurately without setting their feet in a trash tornado is very, very, very short. I can think of Cutler, Favre in his prime, and that's about it although I'm sure there are a couple more. The point is most people need good mechanics to be successful at all throwing the football, especially in those conditions.
That's something that's totally coachable and if our QBs hit a couple more of the WIDE FREAKING OPEN RECEIVERS on some of those plays, who knows how the game turns out? I am curious upon seeing UFR (as painful as that will be for Brian to do) just how much more we should have been calling designed runs. My instinct watching the game, especially the first half, is that we were just missing a ton of wide open passes and that Borges was getting us touchdown plays that the kids just weren't executing. I hated that 4th and 1 call but all in all I thought Borges wasn't being rewarded for his great calls and getting killed on his quesitonable calls. Again, this is what UFR is for.
Until we see UFR though: did people have this same impression about the offense (especially in the first half)? Am I totally fixating on something that isn't anywhere near as important as some other stuff? Do people think the coaches can right the ship during the bye week so we see markedly better execution in the next game?
On the ill fated 4th and 1 did anyone notice if we for had the 1st down on the pass to Gallon and got a bad mark? I thought Gallon had the 1st down on the catch. I was walking out of the room with my head in my hand as soon as they lined up under center, but I thought it was pretty clear he was over and then pushed back as he caught it.
Sorry if this was already covered I went dark until this morning and didn't see it anywhere. I'm waiting for Boys to get me every snap so I can see for myself. Everything got deleted when I got home in a blind rage.
More than halfway through the year, thought it might be a good idea to see how next year's matchups will stack up. All info comes from Rivals...I throw in some minimal commentary, but thought others might find this interesting.
Umich returns 8.5 on offense (loses FB and swaps Stonum for Hemmingway, loses Koger and Molk). Returns 8.5 on D depending on how you view Heinenger.
Sparty returns 6.5 on offense with all the loses huge (QB, WR1/2, best O lineman and .5 for Fullback) They return 9 on Defense and that assumes Worthy heads to NFL.
OSU returns 8 on offense with all 3 loses on the O-Line. They retrurn 10 on D with LB Sweat hitting the road.
Nebraska returns 9 on offense (only losing 2 lineman) and 9 on D (Crick is not counted since as of today he is done playing in college)
ND returns 7 on O (lose Floyd + 3 starting O lineman and 2 of their top 5 lineman backups) and 5 on D (I show Lynch as a starter and rivals has him as a backup)
Alabama returns 6 on offense (I assume T. Rich is gone) and 5 on D (the D starts 6 seniors and 5 juniors and I assume one Junior goes Pro - will possibly be 2 or 3).
Summary of returning players out of 22:
Umich: 17/22 or 77%
Sparty:15.5/22 or 70%
OSU:18/22 or 82%
Nebraska: 18/22 or 82%
Notre Dame: 12/22 or 55%
Alabama: 11/22 or 50%
Again my disclaimer: data is only as good as Rivals depth chart data.
Summary: Sparty's D will be very good again next year. Notre Dame loses a lot and so does Alabama, but Alabama has All Big Ten caliber talent on their bench.
Just thought I'd put this out there to avoid a meltdown tomorrow when Heiko does not post coordinator recaps. The Hoke presser today is the only one they are having during the bye week. The normal media schedule will resume next week.
Kinda sucks that we have to wait a week. I really want to see how Borges responds to the game from Saturday.
So with the game going the way it did I have seen countless posts calling for Denard to be benched and starting DG.
Reasons for . . .
Deving fits the Borges system much better and is a better passer than Denard which is true. He is 6' 4" and has throwing lanes that quite honestly Denard does not. Devin is very gifted and would be great in a true west coast scheme because he does have the athletic ability to be called more than just a scrambler. His elusivness would cause huge problems and open up some great things down field for him to use his just a little stronger arm than Denard.
Reasons why not . . .
The primary reason that I dont think DG should start is because of our offensive line. I dont know what the deal is, but they look as though they are pretty stagnet, and not really improving. In the the games we played where the other team actually had a Defensive Line (ND, MSU) our unning game was horrible. Yes, yes recruited for a different system I know, and there is truth to that. However, they have not done as well as I hoped they would. There is still time so we'll see. The primary reason that we are using the Spread/Zone read offense is not because Denard cant go under center, but rather we have a group of Lineman that dont have the consistent ability to blow some holes open. This season as you listen to game commentators they say that they are running the Spread to keep Denard involved and that is partly true, but to me its a line situation more than anything else. Thus Denard is the only real running game we have so he has to be in the game. With DG in the game we would be one dimensional. Like I said, elusive, but not a runner. Couple that with the fact that we have a bunch of OK RB's and its obvious Denard has to be in.
Denard has to start. From what I read thats why they are recruiting the crap out of Dunn, as they have other Ohio commits on his tail too. next year will most probably be more of the same with some give and take running both systems. Alot depends on the emergence or recruitment of a solid back, improvement of both our QB's in a pro style system, weight gain and strength of current O-line, and how game ready guys like Bryant, Kalis, and others will be.
IMO 2013 will be a great year. DG at QB with a solid mix of Vets and Youth on the O-line and the defensive recruiting and coaching starting to come to fruition. I'm sure there will be many who disagree with some of my take but thats th fun of MGOBLOG!!
[Ed - PGB: I took the liberty of adding the parenthetical to the title to broadcast to everyone that if you have thoughts/comments on this topic you should get them in while the gettin' is still good. I will be deleting all future threads on this topic for the next two weeks as being redundant. If something happens after the next game to warrant a discussion, so be it. But until then, no moar please.]