“I’m way more comfortable,” Gardner said. “Last year was my first year starting, and it was rough, a lot of ups and downs, a lot of adversity. A lot of adversity I fought through, and I feel like I did a really good job of never giving up, never giving up on myself and my teammates. I feel my teammates recognized that, and my coaches recognized that, and I feel like that will help me.”
The king of tight camera angles was really feeling it this time around, so we don't get a whole lot of detail, but it's April. Events are not thick on the ground.
Play 1: Denard fires a TE out to Brandon Moore, immediate tackle by Kenny Demens and Jake Ryan. Ricardo Miller comes into the frame late: 2TE set from the shotgun, or Miller's splitting his time between TE and WR.
Play 2: What looks like an inside zone from the shotgun breaks big. Ryan is coming around the backside and gets butt-blocked by Lewan, and that's all she wrote. Where is the SDE?
Play 3: Similar but Toussaint hits his gap closer to the frontside between Omameh and Barnum. Black gets handled one-on-one by Barnum and Toussaint jukes a filling safety I can't identify to dance into the endzone. I think that was probably Marvin Robinson since he was not a white guy and Gordon comes into the frame at the end of the play. Bolden and Talbott are also in with what seems like the first unit.
Play 4: Denard zips a deep slant just over the outstretched hand of Brennen Beyer that Jeremy Gallon snags impressively:
That's Countess to the left. He's concentrating on the interception instead of the tackle and gives up a bunch of YAC as a result.
Play 5: Marvin Robinson clubs a quick TE out for little gain. Second unit there: Ringer and Mike Jones are on the field.
Play 6: More 2-on-2s action as an inside zone to Rawls is well defended on the front side; Rawls cuts back behind Quinton Washington for a big gain. Washington is a three-tech next to NT Ash, so it's not really his fault. Where is the WDE?
Play 7: Denard under center. Iso handoff to Toussaint goes nowhere as Ryan makes a nice play. Campbell beat Barnum and forced Toussaint behind the A-gap where Hopkins was leading into; Morgan thumped the FB at the LOS. Bolden now running with the first team. probably because this is after Demens did this:
He took the opportunity to claim he'd be out for the season as an April Fools joke before revising that down to a few weeks and then a couple days.
Play 8: Vincent Smith power from under center goes nowhere. Bolden ends up tackling near the LOS. He does not bring his feet, causing someone to cry out "bring your feet!"
Play 9: Gardner launches a deep fly to Gallon; Countess is all over it, knocking it away.
Play 10: Under center power is pretty much stuffed until Ryan can't quite make a tackle on Toussaint as he breaks outside containment. He did a good enough job of stringing him out and slowing him down that Countess and other members can rally and hold it down. Michigan still can't run power from under center.
It is possible that Toussaint had a decent gain if he slammed it up in the hole.
Play 11: Denard sits in the pocket, getting no pressure, then runs around being all fast and stuff.
Play 12: Gardner waggle does not meet pressure on the edge. Gardner lofts a nice touch pass over Frank Clark to walk-on former DE Chris Eddins.
Interlude:Man, is Elliot Mealer's forehead red.
Also he has a great mountain man beard going on. Some potential here for Mealer to be Mike Hart's Pet Viking down the road.
Play 13: Another under center run should be consumed until Toussaint makes it into a decent gain. Toussaint has to dodge Beyer in the backfield. Campbell is stunting behind this and overruns the play a little bit; he's got help to the frontside and lets Fitz behind him. He gets enough of Toussaint to put him to the ground but not before the play gets six or seven.
Play 14: Denard hangs in the pocket and zings it to Gallon; ball is well behind him and Gallon has to make a moderately difficult catch. I don't think this is that bad of a throw—at the coaches' clinic Borges said he wants his QBs to hold the receiver up when throwing against zone, which this is. He doesn't want the QB to lead the WR into a defender. So this is somewhat intentional.
Talbott still out there with the first team.
Play 15: Another TE out, this one from Gardner to Jordan Paskorz and a bit deeper. Jarrod Wilson appears for the first time.
Play 16: Denard zings a TE in to Moore for a first down. Gordon tackles.
Play 17: Taylor Lewan blocks Ryan. We don't see the ball.
Play 18: Unidentifiable leaping guy (probably Ryan or Beyer) dissuades Denard from throwing the throwback screen. Instead he takes off and is fast and stuff.
Any takeaways here? It feels like the offensive line depth chart is approaching ink: Barnum has won the center job and Mealer is the guy at left guard. We haven't seen a snap that would suggest otherwise yet. Things can change when the cavalry arrives in fall; for now it looks like the veterans have the edge.
There are a lot of plays featuring tight ends, which is kind of odd since everyone's claiming their tight ends are a major issue and won't feature much during the year. Eddins, Moore, and Paskorz all feature. This may be the Johnny Sears move where you promote the weakest link on the team in an effort to keep spirits buoyed.
Other bits: Bolden passed Mike Jones the minute he showed up. Terrence Talbott could be a viable option at corner and may be pressing for some time. Also he has six arms and an FTL drive. /BOOM FredJackson'd. Campbell isn't getting blown up by Barnum. They've got some edge issues. Big ones, issues where you wonder if they weren't playing with ten guys on the field.
Denard is fast. Their under center running game is still poor. Jeremy Gallon is making some nice downfield catches, and Toussaint is on another level from Rawls and Smith. You can see the difference immediately in these tight-frame closeups.
It often is. There are at least a couple stupid burned redshirts each season - Rawls, Hollowell, Gardner, Stokes, Rogers, etc. I have a hard time believing Hopkins, Smith, Shaw, and Cox couldn't have picked up those 13 carries.
I thought Sam said on his sunday show, that Fred wanted to play him and he was going to get some time at the ND game but they got behind early and didnt want to put the freshman in that position. He was going to play more but then got injured. with the RB's we have and may get, i dont think they will lost any sleep over redshirting him or not.
Lewan is destroying Roh time and time again. I don't know if he's strong enough to hold the edge out there. Granted Roh may face ONE LT that's as good as Lewan all year. But still, it's a clear mismatch.
I'm not sure if he sticks at SDE (5-Tech), IMO he could bounce back and forth between both DE spots the way RVB bounced between the 3-tech (DT) and 5-tech (SDE) spots last year. Which exactly that I think Black will do this year.
IMO we're going to see this:
NG : Campbell
obviously other guys are going to rotate in...but as of now that's my guess for the two DL lineups that get the most snaps. Assuming you're in a base defense...I think you go with the top combo vs. regular down and distance & passing downs. The bottom vs. running down and distance. Again, that's with your base defense...obviously when you're talking BEAR, Goalline, Nickel and Dime it all changes.
“True loyalty is that quality of service that grows under adversity and expands in defeat. Any street urchin can shout applause in victory, but it takes character to stand fast in defeat. One is noise — the other, loyalty.”
What is with the three yellow Adidas stripes on the home jerseys? I notice some had them and some not. Is this a new thing? I know we have begun the slipery slope of novelty jerseys, but letting the home jersey become an Adidas billboard might be a bit much.
Cranky, long-time MGoBlogger, prone to shooting his mouth off from time-to-time, missing the days of the neg-bang and a proud member of the "06/30/2008 Club".
I'd be interested to hear your justification behind your claim that Gordon and/or a freshman is going to take Jake Ryan's spot. He was pretty solidly one of our best defenders last year and kept (albeit injured) Cam Gordon behind him after he started in place of him early in the year. I think you're going to be hard pressed to get him out of the lineup the rest of his career here.
successfully achieved 1 year self-imposed posting ban 4/10/13
Jake Ryan is a hell of a good football player and only a redshirt freshman last year. If Cam Gordon is starting to seem like a practice all american. Every year we hear how great he is doing but so far it hasn't translated. I will take the proven commodity with Ryan.
not to belabor the point but...Hoke also talked about Nathan Brink all last preseason and how many snaps did he get in actual, important game time? And using such sound reasoning as "I also just think RJS is going to be really good" is just dynamite there kiddo. RJS may be a very good player, but he would have to be ultra-amazing-wholly-5-star-lock to start over a dude who has 2 years colleged S&C and practice on him AND who played very well last year.
successfully achieved 1 year self-imposed posting ban 4/10/13