On the bright side, he doesnt make that hit, then crists last throw doesnt go out of the endzone..
5 Best/Worst of Today
I saw on another diary that people were talking about Ezeh's game and I thought it'd be interesting to see who people thought were the best 5 and worst 5 today.
1. Denard: Duh! 3 TDs and 0 turnovers. He averaged 7.38 yards per play (502 total yards / (40 passes + 28 runs), which is just sick. Stretched ND out and put pressure on ND's defense. Forced the safeties to come down allowing 1 on 1 coverage outside. I had a ton of confidence he'd drive down the field and score when we needed a TD late.
2. Roh/Martin/RVB Combo: Constantly got to the 3 QBs. Even when we sent just 3. Even on the 95 yard TD throw these 3 forced Crist to move his feet and allowed Michigan to drop 8 into coverage. Unless I am incorrect most of the game Roh put his hand down, which is pretty interesting and probably in response to ND's spread offense. Martin blew up his double team at least 50% of the time, RVB knocked down numerous passes and chased down Allen when he ran to the right, and Roh burned the LT time and time again. They helped create 2 of the turnovers, knocked the QB down and just made sure the QBS were never really comfortable in the pocket.
3. Mouton: Huge momentum turning pick. Good job reading the QBs and dropping deep into zone coverage. Very few open targets across the middle for ND. Had a couple of huge hits and helped blitz the quarterback successfully. Seems to really be stepping it up. Only had a couple of plays where his aggressiveness took him out of position.
4. GERG Robinson: Not only did he decide (correctly) to move Roh up front but he also decided that those 3 could handle the OL most of the time. He also clearly went after Crist on the first drive and while ND did score on that drive, they clearly knocked him out before the TD sneak. On the 2 big touchdowns he had guys in that area and clearly had the right protection/coverage on. Players just messed up. Did a good job with what he had. Also, decided to not let the RBs beat them. Especially when Crist got knocked out. Held Floyd to 66 yards (and 0 TDs) and 4.8 yards per carry.
5. Kovacs and Thomas Gordon: Kovacs had a great pick and almost grabbed another. He got beat a couple of times but nothing deep. Barely heard him or Thomas Gordon mentioned, which is a great thing for a safety. Gordon was impressive, had a nice sack, and some big hits. He also never got beat deep. Very good first start for him. I think we might see a 2 0 2 out of him on the UFR.
* Disclaimer: While I might list these guys as the worst 5 I do realize that they are all kids and I am not attacking them personally. It's just my observation and yes I do realize that I couldn't touch 1 of these guys as a football player.
1. Gibbons: You can't miss 2 mid-range FGs. 1/4 on the year is bad. This game reminded me of Washington from 2002. You can't miss a FG within 40 yards in a game like this, nevermind twice. He clearly has a good leg, now we need some accuracy. I know he's a RS Freshman, but he has 1 job to do, make FGs. With that said, he did a good job on kickoffs.
2. Gordon: I know he's young and not a natural FS but you can't let anyone behind you when you are the last line of defense. I was hoping his size and WR skills would let him pick off the 95 yard TD pass. He seems like he doesn't trust his skills yet. He jumped on the 53 yard TD but was well short of the ball (and let Jones behind him). At the end of the first half he also completely ignored the wheel route and helped double team the seam route, leaving Riddick wide open for Montana. ND should have gotten 3 here. So (and I hate writing this) about 17 points are on him. I really know he has the talent and size to be good at that spot. He just needs to realize he is the last guy back and give up a 20 yard catch instead of going for the pick. That or actually get the pick.
3. Omameh: Another bad game. Really did a bad job in my mind. He got pushed around and picked up dumb penalties. Our middle 3 didn't do great but Molk and Shilling at least blocked their guy 90% of the time. Omameh getting blown up constantly killed the inside draw on the QB read. He also slowed up Molk, not allowing him to slip to the 2nd level, meaning the ND LBs got more shots on Denard then they should have. The third and inches stop was on him and Molk getting beat back. 3rd and inches. AHHH.
4. Banks/Sagesse: It's not what they did, it's what they didn't do. When one of these guys was up front instead of RVB or Martin the D-line did nothing. We had tons of pressure when they weren't on and it disappeared when we subbed on one of these guys. They just don't have the pass rushing skills that the other 3 do, which I think is why GREG kept them off the field as much as possible. We need them to be better from here on out. We'll need to be able to sub for Martin and RVB when we are playing teams like Wisconsin and OSU.
5. Christian: 1 play and 1 huge mistake. Yeah, the shot wasn't hard and the guy was just barely out but you can't do that. I know he's really young and super excited to be out there playing, but he can't take a personal foul there then. The play goes from a so-so 15 yards gained to 30. ND moved from the 42 to the 27. From the 42 ND might not be able to get the ball into the endzone besides just throwing it up. There are plenty of college passes that gain 27 yards. Changes the chances of success from 1 in 50 (god damn you Kordell) to 1 in what 15? 20? Big difference, especially when it's Michigan-ND, and we have Rich Rod's luck.
I didn't think about that. Funny stuff.
had Cullen not picked up that 15 yard penalty, Crist's hail mary might have landed in the end zone :)
Hey if Christian doesn't get that late hit crist's pass would not have landed with the band, everything happens for a reason.
Atleast we're all in agreement
Anyone else see anyone that deserved a big shout out? Roundtree would have been #6 for me. Well him and Odoms. But I think everyone else was average,.
should have been even higher, the wideouts played great but way too many drops...i'm not going to harp on roundtree too much but he did drop a catchable touchdown pass
Personally I can only think of 1 bad drop and that was on Koger. Besides that and Roundtree in the back of the endzone, which I don't think is a drop, I can't think of anything else that anyone could consider a drop.
Plus, who cares if his stats should have been better? I'd much rather have our RBs put up 70-80 more yards then Denard put up more yards.
I don't think either of our TE's had an especially great day. If they can step it up it could definitely add another dimension to our offense.
The penalty on Christian was just a terrible call, which almost certainly would not have been made in Ann Arbor. I don't fault him.
He hit the guy when the guy was out. I understand not wanting a flag because it allows the officials to change the outcome of the game but he was clearly out. But if that hit was against Michigan I'd want a flag. When the offensive player thinks he's out, they don't expect a hit, and leave themselves vulnerable to a huge hit that could result in injury, to the player who was hit or players/personel around the play (like Charlie Weis was last year).
If any late hit was bogus it was on Kovacs. The guy he hit was still running upfield. He's coming from the inside of the field and has no chance of seeing the ND player step out unless the player quits on the play or the official signales he's out. Neither happened and Kovacs hit the guy. I think that one was a harsher call.
In either case he got called on it. If he didn't touch the guy there would be 0 risk of being called for a late hit.
This is ND, they seem to always get a lucky call. I know he's young but he needs to know he can't risk it.
I think it was the right call becaused when I saw the hit real-time I thought DAMN why did he do that. B10 refs so I don't think they would have called it if it wasn't warranted.
With that being said I think the officials missed 3 or 4 shots to the head of Denard. ND blitzers jumped up to block his throws and seemed to consistently come down on his helmet. Should be 15 yards every time. I don't care if it wasn't really hard. Fair is fair.
I saw several forearm shivers to Denard's helmet after the play was over. It wasn't called all game.
our d line/qb pressure is in 5 worst category. another blogger mentioned crist threw for 277 (which was done in in about 2 1/2 quarters. he was not consistently pressured but was not spectacular as a passer, which tells me passing lanes were open more often then they were closed. maybe in best 5 should be holding onto the rock! i am loving that we are not turning the ball over. also in the top 5 is team resolve, winning in a hostile environment! imo way more positives in this game then negatives which equalled a deserved win rather than a lucky win! Go Blue (side note it seemed to me that tate was a much better team player on the sidelines today, which is important for the future say maybe d rob gets hurt and d gard cannot handle pressure).
Well take off 95 for the TD. That's not the front 3's fault. All day we got to Crist with 3. This let us drop 8 back. I can't think of a single time where Crist stood still for more than 3 seconds in the pocket. He either had to throw the ball quickly or run around the pocket. But because we had 3 guys only, we didn't necessarily get to him. But that's not the point. They did their job.
If we had to bring 4 or 5 every time then Crist would have had much more room in the secondary. I think most of the passing yardage is on the secondary sucking, not the front 3. Just imagine if we only had 6 guys back instead of 8 on most plays. ND would have torched us for a lot more, like on the first drive, when we brought blitzers every play.
this is the right view of things, I think. There was some sloppiness, sure, but look how this team overcame their own mistakes and came back to win this game.
dont get on my boy cullen. Hes a freshmen, and as stated his penalty sent touchdown jesus into the third row
I mentioned he was a freshman. I like him too. But you can't ignore the penalty because Crist sailed the ball. Still a dumb move.
One play doesn't get you on this list. I don't know who I'd put in there, but that play by Christian gets called differently 50% of the time.
With fewer dropped passes, DR might have made a better impression.
Better impression? The guy rocked. He's my #1. What more do you want from him?
Can anyone point to a drop from a WR? Koger dropped one. And Roundtree could have caught the one in the endzone but it's not a drop.
As for the drops, I think the UFR will reveal more miscues by the receivers than you think and you apparently think it will reveal fewer than I think. I'll defer to Brian.
EDIT: I chose my words with such shocking imprecision that I verge on being wrong. It would be more accurate to say that I think several of the early incompletions were catchable, rather than being dropped.
DR will be player of the week again. He has done more than could reasonably be asked of him.
He reminds me of a young Ronnie Lott. Give him a full year with Barwis and he's going to be destroying guys. Denard's first road game as a freshman was only so-so. Look at him now. Cam's going to be a 3 year All-American when it's all said and done.
What exactly have you seen to compare Gordon to perhaps the greatest safety in NFL history?
One play doesn't make up for getting beat consistently but to his credit he did flatten his man to the ground and in the process picked off a safety tying to get over on denard's 87 yard td.
Big Win. Go Blue!
It seems that denard's biggest runs are to the right, which suggests that he can get it done.
Also, this may be one for the tackles, but giving denard time to throw (helped, as he was, by not taking many deep drops that required a lot of time), support denard's own words that the o-line played really well yesterday.
I know what I would put @ 5 instead of Cullen...the penalties in general. Clipping, holding, whatever...they're just about drive killers. Going from a 2nd and 2 to a 1st and 25 is deflating. They limited them against UConn but I'm sure Coach Rodriguez will stress this to them during the week.
In general you're on the money in the 5 best and the 5 worst, although I'd love to see Rich Rod somewhere in there, he actually had some great calls on offense, some blown up assignments on offense and defense had us not get some yards on some plays and had some drives die early. Also a couple of penalties killed us.
I really respect that you have not blamed any of these athletes, I completely agree, they are kids at the end of the day, gibbons, Gordon and Christian are all either true or RS freshmen, 17 or 18 yearsold, I think that at that point I was living in eastquad scarred shitless and overwhelmed by the 3 easy courses I was taking and concerned about the fact that I'm away from home and that there ain't no home cooking waiting for me. These guys have to deal with all that, plus mike brawis's conditioning, plus general training, 113,000 people at Michigan stadium, the media, the millions watching around the world, the weird distant cousin who calls to give tips about how he should play in the next game, this can be an endless list. I really think they are under a lot of pressure but agree that they need to quickly grow up, today before tomorrow!!
I could accept the mistakes by all of them but think that the most concerning for me is the field goal kicking, it's scary to be in a situation where we are on the 17 yard line thinking that a game tying field goal with 1 minute to go is not even an option. I would guess that if Michigan was on on 4th and 1 from the 15, rich rod might have went for it, and not to go for the win but so as to not go 0 for 3 on field goals. Note, another team down south's fg kicker was 5 of 6 on fg in their game. 15 points there, that dependability is important and could be huge in building momentum and makes a huge difference in points and situations we're put in at the end of the game. Adding 6 points to the game would've had us up by 10 points with 6 seconds left rather than scarred shitless of that hail Mary at the end.
In general, these freshmen are playing their hearts out, I am sure of it, the guys who are still on this team, whether playing or on the sidelines are heroes in my eyes, no doubt about it, I just hope they grow up sooner than later and I hope the next 2 to 3 games are a good time to do that.
Again great job on this diary, always feels great to leave with a W, go blue and hail to the victors.
In the Best:
TURNOVERS. For the second week in a row, Michigan had NO turnovers. Meanwhile, they forced 3. If they can continue to be this careful about keeping the ball, it will go a long way towards winning extra games down the road.
In the Worst:
The real question is how we could have had so many yards, and so little points to show for it.
PENALTIES. After keeping penalties to a bare minimum last week, this week we had 8 of them, losing 99 yards because of it. That's 70 yards more than Notre Dame lost. Say what you will about the refs, but we have to clean this up a little.
SPECIAL TEAMS. Not just the field goal kicking, but the special teams as a whole were horrendous. At one point in the endgame, we had 500 yards of offense, but only 3 scores to show for it. Even subtracting the penalty yardage, we still should have had 6 or 7 scores by then. The field goals only account for 2 of those missing scores. The rest were from doing terribly in the battle for field position. Especially in the first half, where given the yards we were stacking up on offense, we should have had a much better average starting position than Notre Dame. Instead, we averaged 4 yards behind them.
You were picking out best/worst individuals, not aspects of the game. Sorry.
In that vein, there's one addition to the worst that I forgot too though:
Shaw/Smith: 12 carries for 29 yards. 2.4 yds/carry. And we can't put this on the O-line either, if DRob is praising the O-Line as the reason for his success. Can't have it both ways. Michigan is not a 1-man team; but it's sure going to seem like one until we can find someone to step up and run the ball besides Robinson.
What about bad, shanked, angled punts when trying to pin ND? Several of them went sailing out of bounds and gave ND field position at the 25 or 30 or worse instead of say the 10-15. He got better in the second half with a couple long punts that weren't returned, and high kicks toward the end of the game where ND had to fair-catch them inside the 20.
RR keeps saying that he is not worried about punting. Maybe Hagerup was just scared shitless as he has a right to be in his first away game and it is out of his system. That's all I think it is. Sounds like RR feels the same way.
1. Denard, Denard, Denard
2. The CBs. They made some mistakes and put more pressure on Gordon in a couple of situations, but overall were solid against good WR.
3. The WR. I know there were some drops, including the perfectly thrown ball to Roundtree in the endzone that would have been a tough catch, but overall they had a solid day, made clutch catches, and made some tough ones in traffic too.
4. The LB. I'm sure we'll see plenty of mistakes in UFR, but I didn't really notice obvious blown plays and I think they made some good ones, especially Mouton. Kovacs struggled at times, but the other guys were solid.
5. Coaching. Let's give some credit to RIch Rod and his staff. They struggled in the second half (though Gibbons could have bailed them out), but they had a good game plan on both sides of the ball and took advantage of the Irish.
1. The kickers. I'm not worried about Hagerup because he had a mix of good and bad punts. But Gibbons needs to get it together or go to the bench. The strength is there, just not the accuracy.
2. Gordon. I really like this kid and I think he's going to be good (though the commenter comparing him to Ronnie Lott is smoking something). He made some good plays yesterday, but he got exposed in a few cases, though part of that was......
3. Pass Rush. I disagree completely with the original post. Early in the game I thought the DL and Roh did well, but they struggled the entire second half to get pressure. Anyone who thinks they pressured Crist on the 95-yard throw wasn't paying attention. He had ALL DAY to throw and let Rudolph get DEEP on that play. I also was frustrated by the amount of 3-man rush when Crist was in the game.
4. The Running Game (non-Denard version). I have been bummed by the OL on running plays. Smith and Shaw are running hard and I realize the box is stacked because of Denard, but still. He's running too much and the RB aren't getting into space. Something needs to improve or Cox/Fitz/Hopkins need a chance.
5. Uhh......well.......I ran out. How about the refs? That Cullen penalty had to be called and was tough, but the right call. But the Grady crack-back block? I have watched it a few times and don't see it. The fumbled TD? There were two times i saw an ND defender put their hands on Denard's face while trying to pressure him in the pocket and got not calls.
There are no worsts from that game. Big rivalry, road win. All good.
Twelve carries between them and 29 yards to show for it. This is really, really, unacceptable. Maybe C. Magee saw the way ND crowded the line and declined to call S & Ss's numbers that often. Maybe the O-line could not get to the second level fast enough to spring either of these guys for decent yardage. But basically giving up on the running backs to carry the running game and giving the ball to the QB 29 times shows a lot of work is yet to be done in the M ground attack department. Think maybe Trent Richardson would consider a transfer?
Nah, probably not. These next two games against opponents who are not ND or even MSU are a great opportunity to work on improving blocking schemes and finding running lanes for someone other than DR. And maybe Fitz T will heal up sufficiently to get some snaps in the next couple weeks as well. What I do know is that M cannot go into the B10 season with only one effective running back who happens to operate from the QB position.
Can we just put Va Tech as 1-5.