Tennessee is not recruiting well just because they got 18 dudes
Just wanted to share...many of you, like myself, have wondered where our defense has stacked up in the nation thus far. There are tabs for offense and special teams as well.
I am trying to figure out why we didnt see Gardner until he got some meaningless snaps at the end of the game. I thought after the 3rd quarter when we had the game in hand we would see Gardner for the 4th quarter or Denard would stop running the ball and go under center and the actual running backs would try to get going. We didnt see any of that. Any suggestions?
Edit: Thanks to those of you with insightful answers to the question and didnt neg vote me for asking a serious question. The snarks on here just cant resist a neg vote I guess. The whole voting by people who think they know everything is why I hardly read this blog anymore. It ruins it for the rest of us who want to have a serious conversation. Thanks
This is just damn funny with extra plusses for using a current event. Potential for spitting coffee/water onto your keyboard, you have been warned.
There has been a lot of angst on the board over offensive play calling, whether Borges can adjust to the player personnel on hand, the spread vs. power & manball, protecting Denard, his passing skills and ability in the pocket, whether or not a "go-to" running back will emerge, whether the OL is creating lanes, etc., etc., etc.
I think these are legitimate concerns. But I also am reminded of something Hoke said in the pre-season, in so many words: the offense is only 1/3 of the team. The defense and special teams also make a huge difference.
Even with our defensive liabilities, I see this side of the ball becoming a strength.
- Mattison's ability to make adjustments to other teams and shut them down as the game goes on is huge. Against both ND & EMU, it looked bleak in the first quarter. But the defense adjusted, and gave our offense time to perform.
- I haven't parsed the numbers, but I think our defense is way up over the last few years of Michigan teams in causing turnovers. Even with Denard's miscues, we still are way up on turnovers this year, a huge credit to the defense.
- On the DL, the play of Martin has been great, Roh is finally healthy, VanBergen is solid, BWC shows glimpses of promise.
- The secondary has been great, with Troy, Floyd, Avery, Kovacs, and Gordon bending yet not breaking, and stopping most of the home runs.
- With the emergence of Hawthorne and Jake Ryan, alongside Demens, LB play has been solid. And Cam Gordon should be contributing anytime now.
Admittedly, there isn't enough depth. But if the defense stays healthy, I think they're going to be able to play with most of the teams we will face, and even win us a game or two.
Special Teams has been under the radar, but I am very, very encouraged.
- Wile adds something to the mix, and has been solid, if unspectacular.
- Hagerup will return in one more game, and will give us more range on punts.
- Gibbons hasn't missed a field goal yet this year! Ok, this is overstating things, but at least this doesn't appear to be the huge liability of a year ago. Hoke sure doesn't seem concerned. Hitting a field goal last Saturday was a step in the right direction.
- Gallon has done a great job in returns. It was beautiful seeing him return a punt a long way (only to have it called back by an illegal block to the back.)
With the return of Hagerup, we are going to see our opponents pinned deep more often, with a long field ahead of them. Sustaining a drive of more than 80 yards is not easy. If the defense continues to generate turnovers, this will be a great thing.
With the emergence of Gallon, and the ability of our defense to stop the opponent on 3rd and 4th down, we are going to see a short field for Michigan's offense more often this year.
Having a solid defense and good special teams play will make a huge difference in our overall play and record. Even with our offense stepping down a level, it is more than compensated for by our defense and special teams stepping up. As entertaining as it may have been, I don't want to see a repeat of last year's Illinois game, where our only chance of winning was being the last one to score a TD.
Rumor has it that Craig James has Michigan ranked the highest of all the AP voters, at 16.
See what I did there?
Edit: Google search for "rumors about craig james". We've made history here, folks...
One of my roles on this board is to mention that sometimes kids are forced to play before they are ready and give them some time they are only freshmen and shouldn't be playing.
It seems I've seen 1 or 15 or 20 comments about why is Gallon returning kicks? Gallon can't catch. Gallon is a bust. Etc..
He's looked smooth all 3 games returning the ball. Made a great return that got called back and obviously made some big plays on offense.
You can make your apologies here.