things go poorly
Outside of Martin, Mouton and Roh (only when he is on the line) we seem to be "catching" on a good number of our tackles. I thought we were supposed to finally start playing faster with the scheme changes to simplify the reads. If we need better athletes out there, where is Furman or MRob? I am just not sure it is a technique thing for individual players, the fact we are adjusting to another scheme change which is causing too much thinking or this defense has been kicked around for the last two years and just doesn't have the swagger. Yes, UMass has 300lb lineman, but I also saw their freshman TE get off the line, deliver a blow to Kovacs and finish running his out. Yes, Kovacs made the eventual tackle, but that seemed to epitomize to me the mentality. Obi flashes occasionally and seems to be regularly be caught in the wash with both end positions rarely collapsing the pocket to deliver hits or pressure. Maybe this will just be the way we will play the rest of the year, but I would love to see us playing more downhill.
EDIT: Yes, we have freshmen playing in a couple positions so that is not the answer I am looking for. The front 7 should at least be fearsome to a FCS school.
From yesterday's game, the offense did a good job as expected. Obviously the defense needs a lot of work. There's no doubt about that, and it certainly isn't the first time that it's been discussed.
Despite all the defense's problems, the thing that made me the most mad was special teams. Field goal kicking, as everyone knows, is nonexistent. It is a big problem for a coach not being able to get three points on the board after a decent drive. Rich Rod said that they'll hold another round of tryouts for kickers to hopefully fix the problem. We really haven't had a good kicker for the past few years and to be honest it's quite embarrassing.
The punt returns are also a huge concern, as Gallon is still making terrible decisions. He tipped the ball on one of the punts yesterday and almost caused a turnover and gave UMass possession starting in the red zone. You can't win a big game making stupid decisions like that. I'm sure he thought about how good of a return he could have if he grabbed the ball, but in that situation there's still very little reason to go up for that grab. I was having Odoms failed punt return flashbacks, and that's definitely not a good thing. Hold on to the damn ball. As far as the turnover numbers are concerned, we've been pretty lucky. With ball security like this, they could be a lot higher.
I apologize for the pessimism, I still have very high hopes for the rest of this season. At least these mistakes were made before Big Ten play to give us a chance to correct them.
Last month I posted on the forum asking the MGoBlogosphere to goad me into naming my youth team the Wolverines. It worked, and as the picture from yesterday's game shows, we've pulled out all the stops.
Does anyone know why Direct TV blacks out the reverse mirror game that is supposed to be on ESPN2 (209)? It is shown on an ESPN overflow channel (211), but it is not in HD. It happened during both the 3:30 and 8:00 games yesterday.