For all those who claim that those criticizing Borges after the Penn State game were just mindlessly agin him (besides not really be football people like the manball crowd), this game proves to the contrary IMHO. The play-calling at Penn State, particularly at the end, was horrible--and cost us a win. Here, one can hardly criticize the play-calling or plan (not saying either was good), but we were simply whupped. No game plan would have changed the result. But Borges is the Offensive Coordinator (and QB coach) and he is responsible for the failings and lack of progress of the offense--along with Funk and Hoke. I don't care if you look at it micro or macro, it ain't getting done.
I Expected This, Just Not So Much Of It
11/2/2013 – Michigan 6, Michigan State 29 – 6-2, 2-2 Big Ten
You put a brave face on, but some point your jersey is so dirty and your ribs so inflamed that you have to take a moment as you exit the field to breathe. You suck in, and it fucking hurts. You breathe out, and it fucking hurts. Everything fucking hurts.
You've looked like a coal miner after an explosion for the better part of four quarters and everything you do reminds your over-exerted nerves that in fact they have a job to do even if they really wanted to stop doing it two hours ago, and they raise their hand and say OH BY THE WAY THIS FEELS LIKE DEATH, and at some point you have to obey them. Space is infinite and cold and bereft of hope, and Devin Gardner is in it, waiting to die.
I didn't need a half-dozen people to tell me that they'd talked to people or had met the guy. I knew it. They all said Devin Gardner was a cocky son-of-a-gun and they all had different opinions about whether this boded well or terribly; none of them needed to tell me. All you need to know is Gardner's sense of humor, how he bobs his head during his starting-lineup intro at Michigan Stadium when he says "I'm a Michigan grad."
I know that bob. I was 19, in Canada, ordering "whiskey on the rocks" with that head-bob. I'd never had anything to drink, ever, and the table exploded with laughter. The waitress checked our IDs, saw that we were all 19 year old Americans, and got me some whiskey on the rocks. I am a cocky son-of-a-gun. I know that head bob.
I do not know what it's like to have dozens of 250-to-300-pound people deposit their helmeted heads into my ribs over the course of a few hours. I played Quiz Bowl in high school. It was slightly less demanding, physically. I have a comeback victory story in the Michigan tournament that I could tell you if you wanted to hear about nerd triumph. But that's not important.
What is: Gardner has had that cockiness literally beaten out of him by this football season. It started with the insane interception against Notre Dame and steadily built through interception after interception; Michigan resorted to running him a lot to actually move the offense forward, and he started having moments where you wondered if he'd get up. He laid on the turf after he took one particular shot to the chest against Minnesota, and it was a surprise when he got up and continued playing football. By Penn State his coaches were so afraid of him that they curled up into a ball in overtime.
In this game Pat Narduzzi paid his five dollars to the carnie and whipped linebackers at him until he cracked. Pat Narduzzi is now the proud owner of a St. Bernard-sized Marvin the Martian. Devin Gardner is no longer bobbing his head, because doing so sends shooting pain down his right side. And his left side. And other sides that don't actually exist but still manage to send shooting pain signals to his brain. Cockiness has left the building.
Michigan fans have endured a similar trial, albeit without the helmets impacting us like bullets on kevlar and with the aid of sweet, sweet beer. Over the course of two months Michigan has gone from a program on a rapid upward sweep towards another Ten Year War, Jabrill Peppers in hand, to a shambles much worse than its 6-2 record and seemingly adrift. There's been no whisper of a program that seems as good as Michigan State is right now for seven years, and counting.
The nadir of nadirs was Taylor Lewan turning into Will Gholston, down to the helmet twist on a prone player. That's where this program is right now: talking tough, failing utterly, and taking out their anger on whoever happens to be around.
Anyone still deploying the "little brother" rhetoric should be hit on the head with an oversized mallet and mailed to Waziristan. That was definitive. We're going to need a bigger countdown clock.
Brady Hoke Epic Double Point Of The Week. Dennis Norfleet was pretty good on punt coverage. But no points are awarded.
Honorable mention: LOL.
Epic Double Point Standings.
2.0: Jeremy Gallon (ND, Indiana)
1.0: Devin Gardner (ND), Desmond Morgan(UConn), Devin Funchess(Minnesota), Frank Clark(PSU)
0.5: Cam Gordon (CMU), Brennen Beyer (CMU)
Brady Hoke Epic Double Fist-Pump Of The Week. The clock expires to end the game.
Honorable mention: Raymon Taylor's interception gives Michigan a sliver of hope; Michigan completes some passes early, moving the ball-type object some distance-type measures.
Epic Double Fist-Pumps Past.
8/31/2013: Dymonte Thomas introduces himself by blocking a punt.
9/7/2013: Jeremy Gallon spins through four Notre Dame defenders for a 61-yard touchdown.
9/14/2013: Michigan does not lose to Akron. Thanks, Thomas Gordon.
9/21/2013: Desmond Morgan's leaping one-handed spear INT saves Michigan's bacon against UConn.
10/5/2013: Fitzgerald Toussaint runs for ten yards, gets touchdown rather easily.
10/12/2013: Devin Funchess shoots up the middle of the field to catch a 40 yard touchdown, staking Michigan to a ten-point lead they wouldn't relinquish. (Right?)
10/19/2013: Thomas Gordon picks off an Indiana pass to end the Hoosiers' last drive that could have taken the lead.
11/2/2013: Clock expires.
[After THE JUMP: brimstone.]
The pile. Brady Hoke has coached 34 games at Michigan. 27 of these have been against opponents from major conferences or Notre Dame. In eight of these games, Michigan has failed to acquire 300 yards of offense. The list:
- 2011 Michigan State: L 28-14
- 2012 Sugar Bowl: W 23-20 (OT)
- 2012 Alabama: L 41-14
- 2012 Notre Dame: L 13-6
- 2012 Nebraska: L 23-9
- 2012 Ohio State: L 26-21
- 2013 UConn: W 28-24
- 2013 MSU: L 29-6
I would like to add the 2011 Iowa game, in which Michigan had 166 yards of offense before they ended up down two scores in the fourth and went hurry up shotgun passing, to the pile. That makes it an even third of games against real opponents (or UConn) in which Michigan has been utterly incompetent in. The disturbing thing is that they are not getting less frequent as the years progress. There were 3 in 2011, four in 2012, and three and counting in 2013, one of which was against UConn.
Everyone has a plan until they get disemboweled and look down at their entrails burning. As for what the gameplan: yeah, that is what they had to attempt. Toussaint got eight carries, and that was about the right number of carries. Michigan tried to go deep to Chesson, Funchess, and Gallon because that was what they had to do to move the ball.
Good prepared teams beat Borges. That one drive where Michigan State snuffed out a throwback screen, was all over all-hitches, and ate an inverted veer alive was ballgame before it was officially ballgame. Michigan had a bye week and Narduzzi/Dantonio still ate Borges's lunch. The throwback screen was especially illuminating, as Toussaint's fake block attempt was read all the way by three(!!!) Michigan State defenders, forcing Gardner to start running around as he does.
The sack of Gardner after the Taylor interception was a perfect example. It's second and fifteen, and this is what Michigan does:
note Bullough screaming up the pocket in the dead center without a blocker
Play action on which Gardner turns his back to everybody and Bullough rips up the pocket unblocked, leaving Toussaint one on one with the guy in no position to deal with him. Glasgow and Bosch both get owned on other blocks so when Gardner evades the first two attempts to tackle him he still gets sacked. Yes, OL disaster is disastrous; this was reminiscent of watching T'eo in last year's ND game on a similar budding disaster on play action. MSU had this dead to rights presnap, probably because Funchess on the LOS is a big flag waving "pass" and, oh, right, it's second and fifteen.
This continues a pattern: Michigan puts something nonsensical on tape one week against a weak defense, finds success with it, and then runs the same thing at a more competent outfit, which destroys it. Minnesota tackle over turned into PSU tackle over. Indiana twins play action that is never going to be a run turns into the above frame. MSU had a few issues, and then adjusted, and it was over.
It looked like Michigan State was the team that had a bye.
Offensive line debacles. Well, it's a tire fire. I provide this valuable analysis to you, person who cannot see with his own eyes that it is a tire fire. Everyone wants to fire Funk, and I guess okay you can want that and it's not insane. It's not happening, though. I bet you a dollar. You are left to hope that next year there will be more guys ready and some of them get a lot better at football.
Keep in mind that Funk is not only working with mostly freshmen and has two walk-ons competing seriously, or at least did until Burzynski tore his ACL, but has had to deal with GERG-RR level whiplash. Michigan wanted to run the stretch this year after not running the stretch at all the last two years, and then they wasted three weeks of practice screwing around with tackle over, and they're still doing that. Michigan's blitz pickups were completely broken in this game. While that may be because most of the guys making the pickups are young, flipping guys from one position to the other and constantly moving them not only week to week but during the damn game seems like a recipe for disaster no matter who the OL coach is. Erik Magnuson is a redshirt freshman already moved midseason to guard, and now sometimes he's a tackle with another tackle next to him, and well no shit sometimes those guys forget where they are.
We always hear about how unit chemistry is such a big deal with OL. Would Michigan's actions be any different if they were deliberately trying to destroy it?
I will admit that part of this comes from seeing Funk at a coaches clinic and being impressed by his level of detail, ability to answer questions cogently, and distinct lack of exasperated swearing. That latter separates him from every other offensive line coach in history. I feel that he is not bad at his job for squishy reasons.
Toussaint can't block. I mean no offense to Vincent Smith when I say this, but I didn't expect that I'd be missing him deeply halfway through this year. I am, because Smith was a great pass blocker and Toussaint is at least below average and probably terrible. Derrick Green still doesn't know what he's doing in that department either and apparently no one else on the team is worth trying as a third down back, so we're stuck with Toussaint. MSU attacked that over and over, finding success.
NOBODY CAN BLOCK. NOBODY
Funchess still developing, still intimidating. He did not come down with a couple of balls that were something less than flat drops but were catches you want him to make; he came down with a couple others and wasn't targeted enough because Gardner was busy dodging missiles in the pocket. When he was targeted, he looked pretty good, especially on the post above that Gardner just missed. He sold a fade route to Waynes, chucked him outside once he'd started to turn upfield, and got a good couple yards of separation on what would have been a pretty badass play if Gardner just could have gotten it there.
I would like it if Michigan stopped pretending he was a tight end at all, though.
no comment on bubble screen. At this point talking about it is counterproductive. It is there sometimes and not there other times. It is a way to get yards that is pretty easy. I like easy yards. Any yards, really.
Par for the course. You thought "ballgame" when Michigan acquired –21 yards in the aftermath of the Raymon Taylor interception, and the defense apparently had similar thoughts.
10 DRIVES BEFORE –21 YARDS AFTER INT: 237 yards, INT, TD, 3 FG drives, one 26 yards, one fluky fullback throwback thing.
2 DRIVES AFTER INT: 56 yard TD drive, 97 yard TD drive.
That was a textbook "defense crumbles late in the face of utter offensive ineptitude" game. Five of those ten drives faced started at about midfield, and Michigan gave up three points on them. The opening field goal drive was one fluke cross-field throw to a fullback and then a three-and-out. MSU is a bad offense that is no longer a horrible offense; Michigan has a B defense. That's about what you would expect.
The late collapse sucks, sure, but I was expecting it. When you get in one of these games where the offense is totally incompetent but the defense is holding you in it, the moment where the offense blows the last best chance to get back in it is often followed by the defense giving up the ghost.
Fullback throwback. I don't even know man. I've never seen anything like that, OSU twitter blew up with jokes about how a Bollman offense is always at its best when it's pulling butt out of its butt, and the announcers were equally flabbergasted. It's just one of those things that can happen to anyone when the opposing quarterback is flushed to the left and decides to throw it—without even looking first—back to a fullback who cut a defensive end and then leaked out into the flat. Brilliant because it worked; a total fluke.
Crossing routes. Man does MSU love them some crossing routes short of the sticks on third down. This would cause me to set my hair on fire, except MSU fans probably enjoy punting at this point. That puts the defense on the field again. I remember that 1997 feeling.
This was the result of rushing three: MSU dropping passes. [Fuller]
Rushing three on third and long. Like everyone else, this was my main complaint. I don't actually mind it so much when Michigan shows pressure and then backs out, but when they go nickel and don't even threaten with the linebackers and then rush three guys who all get doubled, argh argh argh. MSU whiffed on a couple of big plays; that has nothing to do with how Michigan executed.
At least Mattison adjusted, sending a variety of zone blitzes at Cook later, which he didn't do too well with. The general lack of mean okie blitzes and passivity of this year's defense is pretty odd given that they do pretty well when they load up on opponents. Is it just not having Kovacs around anymore? Are we imagining it? I don't know.
Jourdan Lewis curse watch. Connor Cook can't hit the broadside of a barn until a third and fifteen conversion that happens to be an NFL throw against a guy Jourdan Lewis is in the back pocket of. Apologize to the gypsy, Jourdan. I know it's not rational; just do it.
Lewis did have the recovery speed to get in on that fade to Fowler that ended up incomplete after getting burned, at least.
I think he will be good once he APOLOGIZES TO THE GYPSY PLEASE.
(Stribling didn't appear to get any snaps, it was all Lewis.)
Raymon Taylor are you actually good watch. Well… I don't know man. On the one hand, another interception that was pretty badass. That's huge. On the other, led the team in tackles with 12, which is always a sign they're picking on you as a cornerback. I lean towards Taylor being pretty good when not getting tempoed.
Henry had a good day, probably. Judgment always reserved for linemen, but Henry kept popping up in spots after beating down-blocks and seemed to make a real impact. He has been coming on this year; next year he's probably your starting three-tech and an upgrade on Black on the ground. Pass rush is still pending.
The solution to the Jake Ryan thing. Michigan said screw it and played Brennen Beyer at SDE much of the day.
This, too, seemed to work out okay. MSU got two long runs, one on a reverse, the other that 40 yarder that effectively ended the game. Neither of those seemed to be Beyer's issue. Before the late collapse MSU was trundling along at two yards a carry.
As a feminist. I've always wanted to start as sentence "as a feminist." As a feminist, I find "little sister" chants disappointing. Tut tut. Tut tut tut tut. Also Blurred Lines enrages me. I am done being a feminist now. I find Blurred Lines annoying for having hashtags in the video again.
FIRE EVERYTHING, says the internet. Judging from boards around the internet, the aftermath of this game has started fire coach X talk in earnest. That is not happening. There's about a 90% chance this staff stays intact going into next year, for many reasons. Some of them are good—transition costs suck, wouldn't Jake Fisher be nice to have, recruiting is going very well, especially on the OL—and some are not so good, but it's not happening so it's pointless to talk about.
Next year is an obvious improve-or-die season, and it features road games against MSU, OSU, and Notre Dame. Uh.
Best And Worst has bests, apparently, but I think we'll go with a worst here.
Worst: Downs and Distances
Here are some downs and distances from this game:
3rd and 20
4th and 21
3rd and 18
4th and 24
2nd and 30
3rd and 29
4th and 48
3rd and 24
They had three drives of more than 50 yards, two of which ended in FGs and the third in Gardner’s interception. For every other drive combined, UM ended with –7(!!!)yards of total offense. That’s right; with two weeks of preparation and countless promises to adapt, UM produced the worst offensive performance any of us will probably ever see out of the Wolverines. They punted or turned the ball over on downs with 4 or fewer plays 8 times this game. After Raymon Taylor’s interception of Cook late in the 3rd quarter, UM’s subsequent drive resulted in –21 yards of offense and, according to ESPN’s official boxscore, was the end of the game despite there being a whole quarter to go. And honestly, I don’t think that was a misprint.
Inside The Boxscore is a doozy, obviously:
Burst of Impetus
* For Michigan, there was one glimmer of hope. With Michigan trailing by 10 late in the 3rd quarter, Raymon Taylor intercepted a pass and returned it 17 yards to State's 41. The boxscore lists this as the "H41." This could refer to the "Home" team, but I'm going to call it the "hated one's" 41. This was our best starting field position by 24 yards. It's hard to score against the nation's top ranked defense or thereabouts, when you are always facing a long field. Five of our 13 positions started inside our 20, and all but one started from no better than our 35. Why is this important? Well, if you throw a 58 yard bomb to Chesson, you'd like to think that a TD might result, but not if you're starting well inside your own half of the field. After Taylor's INT, the next three plays went for -5, -9, and -7 yards. Impetus bursted.
I will throw up game reactions later in a UV. It will not surprise you to hear that I have not ventured other places on the internet much yet.
I'm not sure if this is a references to Borges's game plan, this thread, or the thoughts going through your head, but to me it describes some of the offensive playcalling quite well.
Sticking with Brian's example, what is the purpose of play action on 2nd and 15 against a defense that isn't worried about the run? It's things like this that make we wonder whether Borges can get it done at Michigan.
Clearly, the OL is the big problem. I know their young, but I'm just worried that the OL's performance is still worse than it should be.
This pretty well sums it up for me. There is a systemic problem on the offensive side of the ball, mostly in terms of player development on the O-line but also in terms of exactly what we are trying to be offensively. Even Hoke couldn't answer that question last week in his presser.
The gameplan itself was fine Saturday; going deep was the only way we were gonna produce points against that defense. But the fact that, coming off a bye, our best option in the game that was going to decide our season was completely obliterated/eviscerated/(choose your own painful term here) by a team with comparable or lesser talent across the ball should be a flashing red light that this offense is a mess, one that isn't going to improve with another nine months of experience from an O-line that has gotten no better (and arguably worse) over the course of this season.
...the only state capital that has the letter "e" in it 3 times from Quiz Bowl.
I wish that could've help us on Saturday.
My #98 jersey looks almost as bad as Devin's in that pic.
Only one? There are many capitals with "e" in them - Phoenix, Tallahassee, Cheyenne, Salem, Montpelier, Providence, Nashville...
I think he said the letter "e" in it 3 times...not simply the letter "e" in it.
Huh. Coulda swore it was Laensiengue, MI.
Whoops. I read it as he has to recall the answer to the question three times during quiz bowl.
Having done a bit of quiz bowl, you tend to get a few repeat questions. I will always remember that there is such a thing as "scud clouds" and that sapphires and rubies are both forms of corundum.
See, to me the "Little Brother" thing is about a lot more than just who is dominating in the win column. It's their whole complex about Michigan. This is more on their fans than anyone else. Even if they would go on to win 10 straight, add a few B1G trophies, and even a national championship or two, they would sit there comparing themselves to Michigan.
"See mom, look! I did it!"
"That's nice, Jonny."
Sometimes little brother kicks your ass. It happens.
I should note that I live in Lansing and am constantly bombarded by MSU fans. My expirience may differ from yours.
"Sometimes little brother kicks your ass. It happens."
Er no it doesn't.
When I was 12 and my brother was 10, he couldn't. But when I was 25 and he was 23, he could rip me apart. That said, he's still little brother!
The fans here are becoming accustomed to winning. They are more tolerant because they don't see a threat either, and with good reason. The little brother meme died on its own last Saturday. Mike Harts reality and this current one aren't the same unfortunately.
there is less smack talking on the Spartan side, which I would suggest is worse--cuz it likely means they have now simply come to expect to beat us.
We are set up poorly for next year by schedule alone. @ND, @MSU, @OSU. Ah well, current road performance be damned!
Honest question: Does Hoke not making any changes after this season make all that "fire Funk/Borges" talk of this season transition into "FIRE HOKE" next season if things go poorly?
For me it does. Not sure how anyone tasked with the longterm success of our program could watch what Funk and Borges have done this year and think they've been good enough to deserve another year. Maybe you only fire Borges if you think his schemes aren't even putting the line in a position to succeed. But something has to change or else we'll never even make the Big Ten Championship.
Does Borges watch film on opponents defesens or just watch gamefilm of Michigan's previous game and create his gameplan from that? Veer option read on 3rd and 2, Play action undercenter on 2nd and 15 and other examples are just plain examples of bad schemes, play calling and preparation. Does Hoke know what each play call is before the snap? If he does, he needs to step in.
I remember Heiko asking Borges if he had a plan to counter the A-gap blitzing and he indicated he in fact did but would not be sharing that information...does it count as arrogance if he neglected to reveal his plan to his own team? Is he saving this scheme for another year? What the hell happened there?
He claims that he does.
I don't think you are, but the "as a feminist" hurr hurring can easily come off as mocking feminists, which obviously isn't a good look.
Please go back to fire and brimstone calls for coach-heads a la 2010. It was an essential part of the coping process.
and (rough, unscientific guesstimate here) no one else with the ability to have a coherent thought does either. Why bring it up?
Oh, please. Go get a sense of humor or hang out at a politics blog where everyone takes themselves too seriously.
I bet you lie in bed at night worried of offending people
The talent thing is just not ringing true, or based entirely on faith at this point. The talent was supposed to get better with guys like Kalis, Green, and Pipkins (who is hurt, but wasn't setting the world on fire before that). If we were getting the kind of superstar production from young players that, say, OSU got with Clarett, or USC got with Mike Williams, Dwayne Jarrett, Bush/White, Robert Woods, Marqise Lee, Leonard Williams, etc. as even true freshmen, this team would be much, much better. That isn't happening. In 2+ recruiting classes we haven't found a competent lineman (much less a guy who can play at the level Lewan, Omameh, or going back further, Molk and Long played at as young players) or a RB that Hoke trusts to ever give the ball to.
If anything we look a lot worse on paper when this senior class leaves and we're just hoping a bunch of guys finally live up to some recruiting hype, both to replace them and fill the positions that are struggling now. Or we're hoping guys who don't set foot on campus for a year or two will make all the difference.
Kyle Kalis -- RS Freshman
Derrick Green -- Freshman
Ondre Pipkins -- Sophomore (and currently injured now)
Do you expect them to really make a significant difference at this level? This isn't basketball. Perhaps you have an argument suggesting Hoke/Borges/Funk or whoever else you want to pin blame on isn't getting enough out of them, but the reality is they (and much of our team) are young.
Maybe it's a cop-out or a non-answer, but I'm not sure what you expectations are (or should be for that matter) with young guys like that.
And is it truly fair to judge whether or not they're being coached properly before they're even juniors?
Taylor Lewan started as a RS Freshman and was a freshman All-American. Patrick Omameh started as a RS sophomore and was a solid player. They weren't riding the pine while a 6'1" walk-on took their place in the lineup midseason. I mentioned a ton of skill players who have been stars right out of the gate (and I only looked at two schools). Mike Hart was pretty much as good as he ever got right out of the gate here.
If nobody in the current crop of guys on campus is as good as the good guys at other schools or the ones who have played here in the past, why are you so convinced that we are super talented, or will be down the road?
I'd also invite you to look out West and see the job that SOPHOMORE Andrus Peat is doing as Stanford's STARTING LEFT TACKLE. On balance, it's definitely fair to say that it takes time for even highly regarded talent to really "get it" on the offensive line, but we seem to be whiffing big time in our estimation of the kids we are recruiting.
Wait, who else is on that Stanford line? I'm sure it's filled with RS-freshmen, right? Same for all of the other people you listed, I'm sure they all had equally-young guys littered all over their offense.
Wouldn't Kalis look better if he were playing between Schofield and a good, experienced center? Michigan is running with the youngest offensive line in the B1G and it shows.
Taylor Lewan wasn't sandwiched by other great players when he was a freshman All-American. Kyle Kalis flat out isn't as good as he was. He isn't, according to the coaching staff, as good as Joey Burzynski was before he got hurt. We heard he was college ready in high school. We saw the stars next to his name. We heard he should have played last year and "Oh boy, we almost pulled his redshirt but we saved him for this year so you guys don't have to worry that we can't coach anybody on the interior of the o-line."
Now he's a backup TE basically, and has looked lost or unable to play the position pretty much all year. Did Lewan look like that? Or did he look super talented and productive with the occasional bonehead play?
Rodriguez had two of his guys starting on the o-line in year three. So does Hoke (with a walk-on who is better than the recruited guys filling the fifth spot). One line is putting up negative yardage numbers. The other racked up nearly 2,900 rushing yards (nearly all of which came from guys RR recruited, unlike Rawls, Hayes, Green, Smith, etc. who haven't gotten as many meaningful carries as I have fingers).
If guys like Kalis and Bryant are WAY behind where Omameh and Lewan were at the same age, why do you think they'll be better down the road? If they're not better, why will the team get better when the dudes like Lewan and Schofield aren't around any more?
If the great recruiting we've supposedly been doing was fact rather than myth, this team would be pretty damn near unstoppable. Instead Kyle Kalis isn't Taylor Lewan (even as a young player) and Derrick Green isn't a true freshman equivalent of Bush/White, Peterson, Clarett, etc.
People are bitching about this being a young team because the few young guys out there aren't pulling their weight.
A valid point, BUT Peat also played well LAST year as a freshman. This year he's STARTING and having a fantastic season. That's not all due to the other players on the line. I think you might be able to say that success as a young person playing on the line at positions less critical than center or left tackle is largely attributable to the seniorty elsewhere on the line, but not at left tackle or center. I guess what I am saying is that it is alarming that not ONE of the newbies on the line seems to be "getting it" this year and that leads me to think that we (Michigan) are not developing our linemen well.
USC is starting a 3-star RS Freshman at LT right next to a 4-star true sophomore at LG. Their QB is zero running threat. Yet their backs have posted nearly 1,700 yards on the ground at 5.5 per carry.
And that is with getting ten fewer bites at the apple every year in recruiting. And that is with Lane Fucking Kiffin coaching the team (and you know, actually getting fired without anyone batting an eye).
i think we are just hoping that one or two young guys could step in on offense and be competent out of a pool of about 20-30 guys(of which about 10 are OL). i don't think that is asking a lot.
Last year the 5th year seniors were supposedly the problem. One made 1st team all-conference and the other two were 4-star recruits. But it was pretty much implied that they were soft doughy balls from the RichRod pussy factory. Bryant would have started if he'd been healthy. They really thought long and hard about playing Kalis as a true freshman.
Now those guys are on the bench and folks are talking about the 2013 class being the one that is really super "talented" in the trenches. Devin Funchess is the only offensive guy I've seen on the field who matches the recruiting hype we've heard about, and we spent a year and a half trying to get him to block defensive ends from a three point stance. MANBALL!
You're right about the concern over the senior class leaving and not being replaced by quality young players, but I don't think the issue is talent; there are plenty of young guys on this team who were highly sought after and seem to have the physical capabilities to be good players.
To me, it's all about development, or a lack thereof, primarily on the offensive side of the ball (and especially on the O-line, obviously). I don't think it's fair to lump Green into that category yet, and while I agree with your point about Pipkins being not as dominant as hoped for, he seemed to be pretty raw when he played last year, so the jury's still out on exactly what he can be. But on the offensive line and at tight end (to a slightly lesser extent) -- basically any position where guys are expected to execute a blocking scheme -- I don't feel like we've seen any tangible improvement from even the guys who do have the talent to be special, and that's the most concerning part.
Again, redshirt freshmen/sophomores etcetera etcetera, and I know it's too soon to expect them to be really good players, but in almost two full years in the program and with some of these guys now having most of a season of playing time, I'd expect a baseline level of competence, and we're certainly not seeing it.
is very concerning. I am worried about the Oline because during the game it does not seem that they are getting beat because of lacking physical maturity. They are getting beat because they either do not target the right player in pass pro or the blocking scheme does not account for a pass rusher. If they were engaging players up front and getting beat by the player they were blocking I'd be less concerned because theoretically 1-2 more years in a college S&C program and getting older would fix this. My concern is that they either don't know what their assignment is, can't get to their assignment, or the scheme is just that bad. These things won't get that much better with maturity. Blocking assignments change week to week based on what the other team is going to throw at you so being in a system for an extra year shouldn't really help with that, at least with pass pro. Run blocking may get better with time and reps. I fear that our offensive coaches don't prep the players well during the week. I hope I'm wrong but I know what I am seeing. Unfortunately I don't think there will be any coaching changes in the next year or maybe never because I think Hoke is very loyal and won't let his guys go. It's probably going to be like this for awhile and I don't see our offense ever winning us many big games. Our only chance at being elite or even good (as good as MSU this year) is finally getting a lock down D on the field. (Sigh)
Brian, I find it interesting that you say there's a 90% chance that this staff stays intact in the offseason, is there something you know that we don't? It seems like getting rid of Borges would be the obvious move to right the ship before next season and like many fans I'll be really disappointed if that doesn't happen. Should I not bother getting my hopes up? Thanks, great writing as always.
The only thing that could make me feel worse is if OSU plays MSU in the B1G championship game and shreds them.
I don't get the offense....even hold someone if you have to, but do something. Watching Devin getting destroyed was horrible to watch. Put a FB in the backfield or Green and tell them to block anyone coming through the line. Jesus......
We couldn't do jack against Akron.
Something is just plain wrong and we all sense it. I almost wonder if Borges has lost the offense.
we had a bye week. we couldn't come up with a better way to max protect??? why not JUST a FB in the backfield on obvious pass downs. then, maybe even throw him a pass or two in the flat? nope. nothing really new here.
Pretty sure M had 5 bills (or thereabouts) of O against Akron but killed themselves with turnovers.
We got sonned. Whacked. Stunted on, styled on, outcoached and slapped around. Rich Rodriguez would have questioned our toughness on both lines.
I've never read a parental obvservation as damning as the parent who posted on the Scout board wrote about the difference between UM/ MSU in player prep and warmups.
Funk should have lost his job today. Cruel? Naw man. Trotting out Devin Gardner to get the piss beaten out of him on every drive is pitiful. He's probably too sore to even go to class right now.
Could you give a brief synopsis of the parental observation?
[ED:BISB - posting paywalled content is an obvious no-no]
Can someone point to which thread it is?
Is this verifiable?
Because I want to go set something on fire now.