“On the offense last year, they had great spacing. That’s what I remember. Great spacing, great shooters, like Nik Stauskas, who’s not there right now. But they always have someone to fill the roles. They have a cutting offense, kind of hard to guard.”
Can anyone help me find a specific picture of Denard that I'm looking for? My futile attempts at Google image searching have turned up nothing.
The picture is of him standing in Schembechler Hall admiring one of the Heisman trophies on display. I believe he is wearing his high school varsity jacket. I thought I found it on mgoblue.com some time ago but can't find it now. Any help is appreciated.
We've all discussed the issues we've seen through on the defensive side of the ball during the first five weeks of the season, as well as the 3-3-5 scheme that's been used. The defense is currently 73rd in scoring defense and ranked 102 in total defense (37th in rushing, and dead last at 120 in passing, http://statistics.ncaafootball.com/merge/tsnform.aspx?c=ncaa-football&pa...). Not good.
Understandably, the defense is very young and inexperienced, particularly in the secondary. I'm willing to accept this for now. However, at some point this season I think it's reasonable to expect to see some improvement from the defense and some better play. Aside from "just enough defense to win", how much improvement is reasonable to expect? And, at what point can we expect to see this?
Given the numbers the offense has put up, it seems that if they play just average, middle of the pack defense (scoring and yardage), it could make the difference between 8-4 and a better record, like 11-1.
As many of you know, MSU's defense is pretty ordinary. I know someone here recently compared the UConn and ND defenses as pretty similar (once their numbers are adjusted for Michigan's top level O).
Specifically, MSU has had a pretty bad pass D (sound familiar?). I believe they were rated around the same place as UM's pass defense prior to last weekend's games. Then, Michigan ran into an accurate 5th year QB who threw 64 times....and Sparty ran into an off-day by Tolzien on a run-frist team.
Otherwise, Sparty has a similarly bad pass D, but they look better on paper now because of mistakes by Tolzien and dropped passes. And it wasn't MSU's strong rush either. MSU did not put great pressure on the QB. I think they had one sack and a couple of hurries (worse tham UM).
They basically looked like a Michigan D. They allowed Tolzien to throw and let him try to be mistake-free and he wasn't. We allowed Chappel to throw and he was accurate (and threw a lot more).
Is it a low-risk or high-risk strategy? I don't know. But, it can work I guess....
While looking at both Scout and Rivals, I noticed that Scout has us listed at 11 commits for 2011. The one that stood out to me was Antonio Kinard. Now, I realize that he is at Hargrave Military Academy playing post graduate football, but I wasn't aware that the scholarship was being held for him while he does this. In a past UV, Brian stated that UM has taken Military Academy kids (including Chris Perry), but I wasn't quite sure how their commitments went as far as failing to qualify, but keeping a scholarship for when they do qualify. I am also confused on why Rivals would not be saying he is a commit if he was a sure thing to come to UM. Can anyone offer any insight on this type of thing?
No one is happy with the state of the D. Okay. But this is not a recent phenomenon. Go back to the 2006 OSU game, that D gave up 503 yards and 42 points. The next game, USC played it conservative in the first half until they started throwing the ball at which point they completed @ 12 straight (not attempted, completed). The following fall brought us "The Horror" which yielded 34 points to a 1AA tam. And then came a lovely 39 point, 624 yard game to Oregon. Later that year Wisconsin topped it off with a 37 point, 477 yard performance. And that was all under Lloyd's watch (a Defense minded, conservative coach). We all know the early RichRod era results.
My point is, the D has been susceptible to passing AND running attacks since the end of the 2006 season. There are many reasons but one key one is: Michigan has traditionally had LB's that were geared to stop the run and hopefully not hurt you in passing situations. That doesn't cut it anymore. Obi Ezeh (bless his run stopping heart), even in his interviews speaks to the fact that he comes off the field in passing downs now. Jonas Mouton is the best coverage LB (remember he was a safety in high school). If you blitz Mouton, who do you have left in the LB group to play coverage (Ezeh, Roh, Leach, Demens, Fitzgerald). All of them are run stopping LB's.
It's easy to argue a 4-2 would be better, but that would assume you have 5 DB's who would count as your best 11 players. Maybe next year or the year after.
Sadly, I think this adds up to the coaches are doing the best with what they have. If you want to blame the coaches for lack of recruiting, fine, but start where it all began, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009.
Hopefully, Jack Ryan, Isiah Bell, Mike Jones, and others start the trend LB's who can stop the run and cover people. Until then, enjoy the offense.