there would have to be some to wash away
Let's all sear this into our craniums/a, and have it tatooed on our chests, what do you say? 43-37 since Lloyd. When was the last time you saw this team play with swagger?
We need a new coach with fire. We need to shut up about the tradition for half a decade. And then--if we've got anywhere--let's quietly reference it as something we're trying to live up to. The 1940s are well and truly over.
Everyone talks about Gardner's poor performance last year and about him being a turnover machine. Does it surprise anyone that he had three (3) interceptions in B1G play? How about 1 INT in the last 6 games? While he struggled in out of conference play, he cleaned up considerably once the conference started.
Is it unreasonable to expect this kind of improvement or is it wishful thinking?
If the play calling could help Gardner out (less under center play action where he doesn't see the defense for 3 seconds at a time, more screens and quick slants to defeat blitzes, etc.). We saw how Utah played against our blitzes - most of the time the ball was out before we could get close to the QB.
Looking at Devin's numbers from last year, consider that we didn't have anything close to the running attack we have this year.
From Mlive's Nick Baumgartner...
ANN ARBOR -- It's Little Brown Jug week in Ann Arbor. And Michigan, despite an ugly home loss Saturday against Utah, will enter Big Ten play as a favorite. The Wolverines (2-2) opened as a seven-point favorite over visiting Minnesota (3-1) for next Saturday's game at Michigan Stadium (3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2), per VegasInsider.com. After dropping a 30-7 decision at TCU two weeks ago, Minnesota got back in the win column last week with a 24-7 win over lowly San Jose State in Minneapolis. Michigan is 39-3 against Minnesota since 1968. Minnesota currently ranks No. 107 nationally in total offense (336 yards per game) and No. 67 nationally in total defense (383.3 yards allowed per game). Minnesota's passing offense ranks No. 124 nationally (99.8 yards per game), but its rush offense current sits at No. 30 with 236.25 yards per game.
Nick Baumgardner has several interesting observations on the team. Here are a few that just blew my mind;
Nussmeier says an "explosive play" is either a 12-yard run or a 16-yard pass, by the way.
By Nussmeier's definition, Michigan had as many explosive plays (8) as it did tackles for loss allowed (8) on Saturday.
Michigan faced 19 third downs on Saturday ... average chain reading was 3rd and 9.2 ... 0.0% chance this offense ever wins with #s like that
At this point, I'm wondering if there's something wrong with Devin Gardner's arm. Zero zip on any of these throws, underthrew people all day
I said it after App game that DG is just floating his passes. Is he hurt?
Michigan ranks No. 8 nationally in total defense, No. 81 nationally in total offense.
And most of that offense came against worst defenses.
10 men on a punt return TD, four turnovers, 0 offensive TDs, 0 trips to the red zone. ... This is a poorly-coached football team. Period.
To start: losing sucks. Period. This has been heart and gut wrenching start to my favorite time of year. But a question:
Is this start all that off from what was predicted?
Brian's offseason analysis:
- Improved Run Defense with a strong front 7 (check)
- Improved Secondary (TBD - Lewis has been a revelation, Countess has been eh. Peppers and Taylor have been rotating through injuries)
- Overall Defense: Good but not Awesome (check)
- An offensive identity (Check)
- Offensive line moving from awful to almost OK, despite losing two NFL tackles (check)
- Problems still caused by offensive linemen making mental errors (check)
- Gardner being superman under Nuss (Nope)
- Improvement from WR & RB (would be a check, but the WRs bit the big one yesterday)
-Overall Offense: Signs of moving in the right direction, but not enough to overcome youth and adapting/implementing to a new system (check)
Looking Game-by-Game, this has held up, with Gardner, and a bad day of WR drops, and Taylor's injury being the only major changes. This has led to games where the defense keeps us in, the offense moves the ball, but then the mistakes happen and the offense falls apart. The team is too young and the system too new to have the full bevy of plays in the playbook to effectively counter the defenses when the defenses sell out. The Good-But-Not-Awesome nature of the defense leads to the eventual scores, and game over.
This has led to a 2-2 start.
All of this follows what we knew would be the script but didn't want to believe. Actually, this script has been predicted for ~2.5 seasons. On the other hand, the same script also said that 2015 being a very positive year positive. The offense will continue to grow this season, correct the mental mistakes, build its identify/knowledge of zone/playbook, and start to capitalize on the opportunities it is creating... especially if Morris is given the reigns or Gardner gets the wake up call and overcomes his Football PTSD (or if Gardner book ends Funchess to create a deadly WR combo.... )
It is frustrating. I do not like it but there is little that can be done to rush/fix it.
Ira said there were a lot of bowl game reps in the booth at yesterday's game.
Michigan vs USC in a California bowl game.......most would think the Rose Bowl.
|Bowl||Talking Head 1||Talking Head 2|
|Fiesta||State vs South Carolina||Wisconsin vs Notre Dame|
|Cotton||No B1G team||State vs Baylor|
|Capital One||Wisconsin vs Miss. State||Ohio vs Miss. State|
|Outback||Ohio vs Mississippi||Nebraska vs LSU|
|TaxSlayer||No B1G team||Penn State vs Mississippi|
|Holiday||Nebraska vs Stanford||Iowa vs UCLA|
|Pinstripe||Penn State vs Ga Tech||Maryland vs Ga Tech|
|Music City||Iowa vs Tennessee||No B1G team|
|Independence||Michigan vs Pittsburgh||No B1G team|
|San Fran||Maryland vs Arizona State||Michigan vs USC|
|Quick Lane||Minnesota vs North Carolina||Rutgers vs BC|
|Heart of Dallas||Illinois vs UAB||Indiana vs UTEP|
What the hell is Duck Commander?
|Cotton||State vs Baylor|
|Capital One||Wisconsin vs Georgia|
|Outback||Ohio vs Missouri|
|TaxSlayer||Iowa vs South Carolina|
|Holiday||Nebraska vs USC|
|Pinstripe||Michigan vs Pittsburgh|
|San Fran||Penn State vs Arizona State|
|Quick Lane||Indiana vs North Carolina|
Yeah, yeah, I know. "who cares about bowl games?"