Running over to student section definitely began in the RR era. He told the players to go over and sing the victors with the students to celebrate the win.
Mailbag: Run Denard, Don't Run Denard, Carbon Dating, Funchess and Black Moves, Fakez
JUST RUN THE BALL
I know you've touched on this before, but why isn't Denard scrambling on at least 25 percent of our called pass plays? I mean, can't Borges just tell him, "If your first and second reads aren't immediately open, run"? It seems like a win-win situation. If guys are wide open, great. If not, the holes are likely to be bigger than on our usual designed QB keepers. I know Denard seems to have problems with this, but has Borges ever actually said this is a problem that they're actively working to remedy? I don't get it.
Nobody knows why, but it's just never happening. I'm sure they've attempted to remedy this in multiple ways, like:
- screaming RUNNNNN at him in practice when he should scramble
- screaming RUNNNNNN at him in games when he should scramble
- calling him at 3 AM and screaming RUNNNNNN at him
- popping out of oversized birthday cakes screaming RUNNNNNN [note: works on children]
- plopping down with despair and saying "I give up and welcome the sweet oblivion soon to follow"
Ain't happening. E-fact.
Student section celebration thing: can we carbon date this?
Regarding the whole rushing the field debate I have a question about the reverse: when the team runs over to party with the student section. You gave a list of when people rushed the field, but when was the first time the players ran over to the student section? I was in the band at the turn of the century (Boom. Old-timed.) and I don't remember that ever occurring. The first time I remember it happening was the Manningham TD against Penn State. Was that the first? When else can you remember it happening?
I do not actually know. 2005 Penn State sounds pretty good as a plausible start for that but I have this feeling it was more something that started in the RR era. I throw it open to readers: when did Michigan going over to the student section after home wins become a thing?
Funchess at WR?
My cousin brought up a scenario during the MSU game that I haven't seen discussed much: could Funchess move to WR next year if no one proves to be an adequate replacement for Gardner? He has proven that he has great hands, leaping and size. Along with this, if the idea is to give matchup issues for the defense, I see no bigger matchup problem than a 5'10" CB covering him. If he has blocking trouble, I don't see the sense in Ricardo Miller-ing him, but obviously I'm no coach. What say you?
For a guy like Funchess that's kind of a distinction without a difference. He's already lining up at WR in a lot of sets, and I imagine he'll continue to do so throughout his career. He is a flex tight end.
But Michigan shouldn't and almost certainly won't try to keep pounds off of him so that he's more of a downfield threat/WR guy instead of a tight end. He's already too big to be a guy who threatens CBs and safeties over the top, and he'll still be too fast for linebacker sorts to reliably cover. Bulking him up to NFL flex TE size—250, 260—makes him a more credible blocker and gets him more open when he does go out to catch passes.
Besides, Michigan's got a slightly smaller Funchess coming in. His name is Jaron Dukes. If there's a role for that on the outside he or Jehu Chesson can fill it.
[AFTER THE JUMP! MORE THINGS! ABOUT STUFF! /bradyhokeinjuryreport'd]
Black at SDE?
REACH OUT AND TOUCH FACE
With Craig Roh gone after this year and Jibreel Black not really working out at DT; would it make sense to transition him now to SDE to be the starter at that position next year?
The 4-3 under has three positions that are pretty close to each other in terms of requirements and will often see guys flip from one to the other without adverse effect: the two ILB spots, WDE/SAM, and SDE/3-tech. There are differences between each, but the general techniques are the same. If Black needs to move next year it won't be a shocking transition for him—and Michigan's still trying for a Rose Bowl so anything that helps out more this year is well worth hypothetical future costs.
Black's current position is helping Michigan. They need him at three-tech more. Roh is approaching RVB-like ironman status, something Will Campbell is never going to. Roh's also got a plausible backup in Heitzman. The only guys behind Black at three-tech are true freshmen who are being redshirted.
I do think Black is better than 50/50 to move to SDE next year as Michigan lets Henry, Godin, and Wormley claw at each other for the starting three-tech spot, or maybe moves Washington or Pipkins over. But he'll be able to deal with that when the time comes.
Does Denard do a go od job of carrying out fakes on the read-option/inverted veers/zone-reads/etc ?
I feel like he doesn't make a hard run as if he has the ball after he gives on read-option type plays. Do you agree with that and if so, do you think that Denard could facilitate things for Toussaint if he would carry out the fakes?
I think he could (or almost certainly would) draw defenders away from the play. On the other hand I guess there is an injury risk where a linebacker may clean his clock if he thinks Denard has the ball. Maybe what leads me to this is that I had felt like the camera guy would get faked out by zone-reads a lot more frequently in the rich rod days.
Do you think there is anything to this idea?
Michigan didn't actually run much read option in 2010, and never tried the veer. I remember complaining about its absence with gusto. So any comparisons to the RR days are invalid—the kind of mesh point riding that you'll see on veer plays isn't really part of the plain old zone read. RR's Denard offense was heavy on called runs alternating downhill running (iso, Michigan's belly series) with stretch plays. The read element was relatively minor.
Denard does an okay job of running plays out, and as you say if you go extremely hard with those fakes you can get lit up—RBs often get tackled despite not having the ball in this offense. Meanwhile, if Denard has chosen to give he should already have gotten the relevant guy to commit to him.
His bigger issue is making the wrong decision. That's not necessarily unusual—Ross Fulton's breakdowns at 11 Warriors point out a heap of missed reads by Braxton Miller. It is a drag on an offense that already has quite a lot of drag.
I was just listening to the podcast [ed: the one
threefour weeks ago. timely!] and heard you mention our linebackers, and their role in our defense; how our current and future nose tackles will be looking to eat blocks, as opposed to tearing through the o-line and forcing a pitch on a speed option, as you so aptly put it, and allow our linebackers to fill-in the holes and make plays at or near the line of scrimmage. Knowing this, and assuming this is something we're likely to see lots more of in the coming years, what observations might you make about our linebacker recruiting classes under Mattison?
Well, if Michigan can get its hands on Mike Martin again I think they'll take him. Pipkins was a five star because his upside as a guy who can play at 320 and still run to the sideline, so… yeah. Getting that disruption from the nose tackle is something you take if you can get it. What Michigan's doing now—occupying blockers—is probably plan B for a Mattison-style defense. Ideally they'd be getting more impact from that three-tech spot.
So I don't think it'll have much impact on how the linebackers recruit and play. It's still about diagnosing quickly and getting to a gap. When you've got occupiers in the middle the gaps are predictable and you flow fast to a hole. When you've got Martin types you have to hold up more for cutbacks, but either way you've got to read, shed blocks, and tackle.
"Don't go and be a scheme coach"
ILBs are just kind of ILBs.
I'm wondering if Denard's injury might cause Borges and Hoke to re-think their conservative approach to the offense?
I'm not a doctor but since it appears this is what caused him to come out of the Illinois game, it seems like UM is playing with a time bomb - one good hit or fall to the turf could re-aggravate the injury and cause UM to play the rest of the game with a back up QB. Do you think Hoke/Borges might open up the offense from the start to try and get as many points on the board early so that if Denard does have to come out, UM is playing with the lead rather than trying to stage a comeback with a back-up QB?
If anything I'd think it would be the opposite: more called runs to the tailback and passing, which bizarrely counts as conservative in this iteration of What To Do With Michigan's Offense since it is less likely to result in Denard's arm falling off because it got banged wrong.
Unfortunately, none of that crap works. But at least you've got a better shot at it when defenses have to respect the threat Denard poses. I'm guessing we see a lot of zone "read" type plays to Gallon and Toussaint against the Gophers and relatively few Denard runs unless there is crunch time. At this point you have to keep Denard upright at all costs, even if that means risking another interception festival. DAMN YOUR RAMBLIN' WAYS, TATE FORCIER.
Was the first time that happened during the 2008 Wisconsin game? I wasn't there but I thought someone mentioned that at some point.
As sad as it is (although kind of a microcosm) I am almost positive it was after the Miami game. That was the first win of the RR era after all.
I defintely recall that the players going to the student section was RR's idea. I never saw it before that. I don't know about the Miami game in 2008 (you are probably right), but I was there for Wisconsin and they definitely did it then. It was the first time I ever saw it in person.
in support...the UofA players immediately went to and celebrated with their student section after the USC upset last weekend.
I want to say it started in RR's first year. I was in the band at the time and vividly remember Perry Dorrenstein standing up on one of the band's portable stair dealys after a big win. I want to say '08 Wisco. He was saying fun things.
I believe it actually started in the RR years.
And it was a great idea. I hope it keeps happening.
No it didn't.
They ran to the student section after Brabbs kicked the game-winner against Washington in 2002, and against in 2002, when we beat PSU in OT.
was at the Washington game and watched it happen.
Yup. Came to the comments to just to post this. I think I still have the picture from the lead story in the AA News from the next day, it's just Brabbs being engulfed by students. 5 minutes of Googleing couldn't turn up that exact picture, but I did find a some other photographic evidnece:
I don't know when it became a repeated tradition, but this was the first time I saw it happen.
But Rodriguez made it a point for the team to sing the Victors with the student section after victories. At first I didn't like this because ND does it, but I got over it quickly.
...I didn't like this because ND does it...
I haven't really changed my mind much about it, either.
I believe the team coming to the student section was started by Rich Rodriguez early on.
Surprisingly, there was little protocol prior to that as to what should happen post-game with the players. After the 2005 Penn State game, a good portion of the band got so excited they ran on the field to celebrate with the players. In 2006 vs. ND at ND, the players ran to the band while we were still playing "The Victors Waltz," and seemed visibly confused for a moment until they realized it was a version of the fight song. They were hurried away away before "The Victors" was actually played.
Miami (Ohio) 2008 was the first time. It was a rich rod thing. I think it's an awesome idea.
Probably way before the 2005 season. But if the writer means when did the team regularly start going over to the student section, I'd agree that it was some time during the Rich years. Which one I can't say.
At least one spur of the moment was the 2002(?) Washington game that was won with a final second field goal. The image was captured in the following weeks sports illustrated as background on the index page. Players rushed to the student section and jumped in the stands. But yes. As a non-spur-of-the-moment, I agree it was a RR thing
Michigan did run the inverted veer in 2010. I THINK it debuted in the Penn State game if my memory is correct. I know it was run multiples times in that game, just not sure if they used it at all before that.
Check the tape. Tape = UFR in this case.
Watch that video of a Sophmore Denard on the road against a good defense. That was considered a bad game for the offense because of the slow start. How the standards they do change.
7-6 Penn State with their 43rd ranked defense was a good defense?
"I'm guessing we see a lot of zone "read" type plays to Gallon and Toussaint against the Gators and relatively few Denard runs unless there is crunch time."
Holy crap! I didn't know we are playing Flordia this week!
(Backs packed, ready for the trip to Bolivian!)
[EDIT - I got a typo corrected on MGoBlog! Take that all you teachers who said I would never accomplish anything!]
My freshman year was 07, the players never came to the student section until Miami of Ohio in 08 under Rich Rod. I particularly remember everyone having a collective feeling of "Ok, now what?" for a few moments before the band started playing the victors and the players left.
congrats on the whole worst 4 years of Michigan football thing
And that's why I failed a bunch of classes and took a 5th
Remember when Denard was asked to pass a lot and everyone was like "WTF Borges?!" and "Enough with the arm punts, just have Denard run the damn ball!!!" and some people were like, "maybe running Denard that much will lead to injury" only to be shouted down by lizard brains who couldn't comprehend how much worse this offense would be if Denard got injured (what could be worse than 4 INTs in a non-conference game, amirite?)? Yeah, me either.
That's because everyone on MGoBlog is a better OC than Borges. And most of them are better QBs than Bellomy. Not two years ago they were all better kickers than Gibbons, but that might have changed.
A talented group, here.
If Denard gets hurt (wait for it) put in Gibbons.
I remember the first time the team came to us, that was the first win of the RR era, not Utah (the opener). Did we beat Miami OH that next game? That was the game.
Anyway, I remember Brandon Minor scored the winning TD on his only snap (McGuffie Mania was in effect). Game was over and I was turning around with other students to head up the steps, when suddenly "whoa look, the team is coming over here!" they chanted the Victors with us, if I remember.
Between Brian/Jibreel showing a little love for Depeche Mode, how about some Shirley Manson and Garbage doing "Run, Baby, Run" for the DR sequence?
The SDE spot is certainly the most interesting position battle going into next year, but I don't think Black will be the answer there. If he doesn't play the 3-Tech all that well, and it's a very similar position to the 5-Tech, how is he going to hold up any better there?
Long term I would still love to see Beyer moved over there. Maybe he'll be too small next year, but he's not a pass rusher and his strengths seem to be his intelligence and coachability. His senior year he could be fantastic.
The problem with Beyer moving to SDE is that if he's not ready next fall, he only has one year left after that. Also, outside of Beyer, we only have two WDE's, plus true frosh Charlton who won't be ready. Beyer might be built well for SDE, but I don't know if it's in the cards. I bet he finishes his career as a beefy WDE like 2011 Roh.
Comments from the Nebraska game was that Black had played an excellent game. I see him playing SDE in running situations and NT in passing situations.
I was at 2 games in 2002 when the team ran into the student section after winning.
The first time players ran to the student section to celebrate was the 2002 Penn State game. It was the first Overtime game in Michigan Stadium history, and after the Chris Perry scored the game winning touchdown, the players had an impromptu celebration by running over to the student section, which had never been seen before and was considered a special moment. This was also done after the win over Penn State in 2005 and maybe Michigan State in 2004 (I wasn't there for that one but think I remember reading about it). It did not become a regular thing until Rich Rodriguez got here. He wanted the players to sing the fight song with the student section after every home win. So it started after we beat Miami (OH) in 2008 and continued all through his tenure. When Hoke got here, the players were used to running to the student section after every home win so they continued doing it.
Personally, I don't think players need to celebrate like that after wins over the likes of Eastern Michigan, but that's just me.
I believe the reason they are not telling Denard to scramble on every play is because they do not want him to get injured.
Except, as Brian is pointing out, and has pointed out on numerous occasions, Denard hanging in the pocket too long is just an idiosyncracy that Denard has. It was true in 2010, true again in 2011, and remains true in 2012. It has nothing to do with what coaches are telling him.
The first I remember was 2002 Penn State (first Big House overtime game, a win) - I have a picture from the newpaper with players up in the stands posing with the student section in celebration (I was in the 2nd row for it).
Coming over after every d*mned home win was definitely a RichRod thing.
They did do it at the 2002 PSU game - but actually did it earler that year against Washington as well.
David Underwood was in my lap following a 2004 win. Not site which one, but Hart had already surpassed him as the starter by that point. Maybe Minnesota or MSU?
"Ain't happening. E-fact."
Agreed but why? That absolutely baffles me and I wonder if its just Denard, for all his amazing positives as a player and a person, simply doesnt possess good decison-making skills under pressure. And lets face it, a collapsing pocket, surrounded by guys twice your weight wanting to throw you to the ground as hard as they can, is pressure.
I think we see that too with some of his zone read challenges and the aforementioned "arm punts" as well. When Denard is given time to do anything (run, pass, give interviews, etc) he is insanely talented and performs at the highest level imaginable. But when he's rushed....when he's not given time and has to improvise (think run/pass option in a collapsing pocket) he tends to perform poorly.
I also wonder if this may too be a reason why he isnt given the audible check downs by Borges. Borges has seen the "chess match" in practice every day and realizes that decision-making under pressure is not his QB's strength.
Are we already destined for the Capital One Bowl agains Florida or does Gators == Gophers (for this weekend).
Popping out of birthday cakes and screaming RUNNNNN...sounds like something out of a horror movie.
...has become more prevalent recently, and I will allow that RR probably encouraged it...but my goodness it has happened many times and should continiue to happen. It happened during the 1997 season culminating in the entire team saluting the students as they filed onto the field after the osu game. I would have to guess it happened many times before then as well, but I do admit that the Bo Era had the team generally heading to the locker room right away.
I forgot I referenced Mike Martin in that email. Just gave myself a huge sad.
Because Mike Williams and stuff....
FWIW, the team came over to the wall to celebrate after they beat PSU in 1993 at Beaver Stadium. Granted, it was an away game...but man was it a great finish to the day!