at least it's not just us?
This post started as me wondering if we could be seeing Kugler and/or Bosch with the revelation from Borges' presser that they are giving shots to other OL in the wake of the PSU debacle.
Currently on the 1st page of topics for the board there are 8 threads focusing on Borges/Offensive philosophy/etc. I deem to make it 9. To try and come up with something new and entertaining and keep from it being just another Fire Borges/we can't block/Y we no innovate? post, I present to you:
Pick Your Poison (an MGoGameshow which allows you to select your least terrible solution to the offensive issues we've had, that, if enacted TODAY, would be the best possible fix for our offensive ineptitude). This may be stupid and pointless, but at least it's different. You may only choose 1, so choose wisely...
1. Fire Borges
Easy to say, but doing this midseason will cause issues before it fixes any, so you better have a good replacement/plan ready. Then again, putting ANYONE in the box that is ok with getting plays in quicker, not huddling, instituting quick checks and giving Devin the power to utilize them, taking free yards on the outside instead of running into 9 man boxes, etc. may be better than what we have. But we would be firing our OC and QB Coach mid season, which can never be considered "good". Y U No Use Constraints? Y U Hate Free Yards? (This assumes Borges is 100% responsible for our offensive philosophy, game plan, play calling, etc and Hoke has nothing to do with it - would anyone really pick "Fire Hoke" for their one option?)
2. Fire Funk
You sure you want to leave Borges here to call the same terrible plays / refuse to take free yards with a new OL coach? Maybe a new/better OL coach could give us some shot of executing perfectly to help make up for imperfect gameplan and play calling. Firing the OL coach midseason can't be "good" but it shakes things up "less" and maybe is just enough for a fresh start and a new look at things in the trenches.
3. Start Kugler and Bosch at C and LG, respectively.
This can't get any worse with Borges and Funk still around, right? Might as well get some experience for next year's presumed interior OL. (This assumes they aren't any worse than the current starters skill-wise, and the only reason they're not playing is to preserve their redshirts and gain experience in the system before being thrown into the fire.)
4. Keep everything exactly as it is, and trust in Borges/Hoke to figure it out. All is ok.
Everything is going to be fine. Funk will coach 'em up. We trust that Borges (maybe with Hoke's urging) will get more creative and be more open minded. Current OL just needs some more time to gel. Borges may just wear a bubble screen smiley face tee shirt in the box! By the time we get to MSU and OSU we'll be a road-gradin' terror that noone wants to stand across from and try to stop. Stop This? Oh, well here are all my constraints! Plus with JMFR back and promises of a practice-ball-hawkin' Stribling getting more time, the defense will continue to improve. Maybe we can win without any serious changes on O. At the end of the season we'll think "Thank goodness we didn't fire anyone or shake up the OL again in a panic move after a tough 4OT road loss only 2 games into conference schedule". Stay the course, trust the coaches, and all will be ok.
Due to process of elimination, which is best when you're talking "least terrible" solutions, I would go with #3. If I had faith that they'd be able to commit to/execute #4, I'd go with that, but does anyone actually believe any of that could happen? #1 solves the most of our problems if you have a viable replacement mid-season, but who would that be? Plus, like, that's not happening, right? #2 doesn't fix enough IMO.
If this is a long, failed attempt at a gameshow post then at least give me your thoughts on Kugler/Bosch playing and risking burning their redshirts to "see if they're better".
Lots of reps for Michigan commits in this video. Hard to tell with a video like this because it seems like the DL has the advantage, but Kugler and Dawson looked solid. LTT is still raw. Poggi looks quick. Hunt looks good.
Dorian Johnson did not look like the #2 OT in those reps.
Patrick Kugler, the last of Michigan's 2013 recruiting class still playing HS football, was profiled in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review today after his North Allegheny team won its 3rd straight WPIAL AAAA Championship last week and advanced to the state semifinals last night after pummeling Erie McDowell 56-6.
Mixed bag for our recruits still in playoff action tonight.
Channing Stribling and Matthews Butler edged East Forsyth 25-15 to advance to the Regional round (NC State Semifinals) where they will play Mallard Creek (Marquez North - 2013 top 10 WR).
Patrick Kugler and North Allegheny crushed Seneca Valley 47-17 to advance to the WPIAL Quad A Finals at Heinz Field next week against Woodland Hills.
Mike McCray and Trotwood Madison cruised over Turpin 42-14 to win their Regional Final and advance to the OH Division II State Semis. McCray had an INT.
Jaron Dukes and Marion Franklin's comeback attempt came up short in a 32-30 loss to New Albany & OSU commit Darron Lee. Lee intercepted a pass intended for Dukes with less than a minute left in the game. Dukes caught a 2pt conversion in the loss.
Ross Douglas and Avon lost 42-14 to Toledo Catholic Central (S Jayme Thompson (OSU commit), 2014 QB DeShone Kizer, TE Keith Towbridge (Louisville)) in a rematch from last year's playoffs. Douglas had a 20 yd TD run.
Michael Ferns (2014) and St. Clairsville won 37-29 over Johnstown to win their Regional Final and advance to the OH Division IV State Semis.
Chris Fox and Ponderosa are shooting themselves in the foot right now down 19-7 at the half with 3 lost fumbles, a punt blocked, and a punt snapped out of the end zone for a safety. Rough start.
EDIT: Fox's Ponderosa got upset last night 19-14 in a crazy finish. Tough loss for the kid.
#cspreps INSANITY! Ponderosa fumbles on 1st and goal from the 1, down by 5, with 53 seconds left. Mesa Ridge can take knees and win it. Wow!
Life intervened last weekend, preventing me from scouting a high school game in person. Thankfully, the amazing MGoBlog community came through in the last couple weeks, so I have scouting reports to post on 2013 commit Patrick Kugler and 2014 prospects Montae Nicholson (offer), Mason Cole (offer), and Artavis Scott.
We'll start with reader Eric, who attended the Gateway/North Allegheny game a few weeks back and delivered this report on senior line commit Patrick Kugler:
Patrick Kugler looked definitely larger then most of the other students. Gateway spent most of the night running away from him when he was covering the D tackle position. Kugler, who plays both ways, definitely looked winded as the first quarter and early second quarter wore on. His pad level on defense leaves something to be desired but a solid first step allowed him to push double teams in the backfield on a few snaps. His offensive line work is a completely different animal. The kid switches gears and is a brick wall at left tackle. Great hand work (from what I could see) and good leverage on single coverages. Consistently gets to the [defensive] backfield for second level blocks. Has a tendency to stop once the play is not headed his way, a lot of standing around and watching (playing both ways leads to energy conservation at all costs). North Allegheny definitely a solid run scheme, a lot of off tackle running, and misdirection bubble screens etc.
Gateway's Montae Nicholson and Ricky Rogers WR tandem was a lethal combination (sort of). The two have slender long frames that could definitely use some more weight but they looked the part of D1 WRs. Nicholson was the smoother route runner of the two, coming out of routes and cutting sharply. Rogers more of the slot style slice and dice his way to several 10+yd gain catches near the sideline. Gateway was having some success on the ground so the air attack never really got going negating any real flashy WR play from either guys.
A hard fought victory for North Allegheny of 14-3 but the score isn’t as lop sided as you may think. Gateway is a very good squad and there is a reason it was the Pittsburgh game of the week. A lot of talent all over that field, Michigan is getting something they can mold into a tough O Lineman in Kuglar for sure.
And here's reader Mike, who caught Cole and Scott in action last weekend:
I caught a portion of Mason's game on Friday night... Let me start with the limitations of my review... My daughter cheers for the East Lake team so my attention is split (when you have daughters, you will understand). I got to the game after the first quarter started. As I was walking towards the ticker booth East Lake scored and the announcer attributed the TD to Artavis Scott. I didn't see the play so I'm not sure if it was a pass play or not, I assume it was. The stats for Scott are based on what I saw except I am including that first score in his TD total.
Mason once again dominated. I did not see any pressure on the EL QB that could be attributed to Mason not blocking his man. As I was seated in the lower level, I didn't have much of a view on the running plays (not that EL ran often).
Scott was a stud. I saw 7 throws in his direction of which he caught 6. His one drop was on him, square to the throw, right in his chest. And while I am pointing out this one glaring muff, let me note that two of his catches were highlight reel candidates. The first was a sideline catch and an impressive 25 YAC. The next was a one foot in bounds end zone grab for a TD. Three TD's in the first half. Not bad.
I did not see the second half so that's all I have... In summary, these two were men amongst boys.
No stats for Cole—not a surprise, given that he's a lineman—but I found Scott's: nine receptions, 189 yards, four touchdowns. Not bad.
Thanks to Eric and Mike for taking the time to check out these games and write them up. If anybody else knows of a game in their area for which they'd like to do the same, or want to know if there's a prospect nearby that they could check out, please email me.
Over at Tremendous there is a great interview with PATRICK KUGLER. He has given very few interviews, and this one is a very nice read. You can see why Patrick is such a critical recruit, and why he is rated so highly. Having a father coaching OL in the NFL and a brother playing in the Big 10 puts him way ahead of the pack in football intelligence. Kugler is one of those guys, like Molk and Kovacs, who have an edge and will play way beyond what might be expected.
Here is an insightful quote that shows Kugler's maturity and understanding of what is involved in playing center at Michigan:
Tremendous: The belief is that you are Michigan's center of the future. How do you prepare yourself mentally knowing you might be called upon earlier in your career than maybe the other guys in the class?
Patrick: I know every kid wants to get on the field as early as they can, but I am really looking forward to redshirting. Center is a difficult position and I want to use that year to develop a college-ready body and learn the system as best I can so that when I am called upon I am ready to go from the start.
This is a long interview, but if you're starved for info, it is well worth the time to read it.