...about this, at all. Aside from the defense, this team has a ton of issues to correct going into the rest of the season. Special teams are abysmal. The fact that the team didn't know the ball was live after the blocked FG is purely a coaching issue. C'mon guys, there are too many loose ends. I'm rambling now...
Postgame Presser Notes: Iowa
David Molk and Mike Martin were "a little bit banged up during the week," and both came out during the game. Denard's shoulder was bothering him during the week, but he felt better in pregame. He took a shot on it and Tate had to come in. "I would hope. I would think... Molk, Martin, Denard with an open week should be good to go for the next one." Mike Shaw has been a little banged up the past couple weeks. The extra rest should help him.
"Turnovers, it's ridiculous. We were so good earlier in the year at taking care of the ball. We're not good enough to make mistakes and beat anybody." The turnovers and field goals were major wasted opportunities. Penalties also really hurt the team, particularly in the first half.
"Denard Robinson's our starting quarterback. Tate Forcier's a pretty good quarterback too, and so is Devin Gardner." All three quarterbacks get plenty of reps every week. Tate made some good throws and good decisions, some he'd like to have back.
What was said when you had kickoffs go OOB? "Do you really want me to say? Twice? I don't think I should repeat what I was saying to myself." That hadn't happened in practice.
The team should be able to get stops even when they start in bad field position. "When you know they're gonna run it and need to run it, you gotta stop 'em."
Defensive staff will be disappointed with the cutbacks that opened up for Adam Robinson. "That seemed to happen 4-5 times - let him out of there." The crowd was providing enthusiasm for the defense, and they couldn't close.
Lewan penalties - He's a little anxious to get on some good d-linemen. He just needed a few minutes to settle down. "We ran the ball OK, we threw the ball at times ok, but we just didn't finish drives. That's the thing that killed us today."
"A loss is a loss, and you know it's going to hurt. Our team fought to the end. I'm proud of our guys, but we've gotta correct the mistakes we had and bounce back the next week."
"It was just a few missed reads. I think that comes with repetition, working with those guys. I think that will come throughout the weeks."
Junior had the DB beat on the bomb to the 2. "After I saw what Junior did for Denard against Indiana, I trusted him. So I just threw it up there and he went up and got it."
"That's what they do, they try to prepare all three of us." Got a few more reps this week with Denard banged up. Never thought during the week Denard wouldn't be able to go. For the next game "I think he'll be alright. He'll be alright." Coach Rod will make QB decisions. "I don't have any say in that. I'm just going to keep working hard and doing what I have to do."
"I think we need it as a team." The extra week will help correct mistakes and prepare for PSU. "When we get that corrected, we should be good."
It felt good to get on the field, but the loss still hurts. "I'm just happy to be a part of this team. I think this is a special team and I'm happy to be a part of it."
Iowa wasn't expecting to play against Tate. Michigan threw the ball a bit more with him in the game. "I think that's when we started moving the ball a lot." Iowa defense is good enough to adjust.
Tate stays warm on the sidelines each week in case his name gets called. This week, it was.
Will there be another second-half collapse? "It's a different team. Our team, we keep fighting. This isn't last year's team, it's just not."
Tate's been in the rotation in practice all week. When he gets into the game, he does his job.
"I just saw the ball in the air and knew that I just had to get position on him and make a play on it." Used basketball skills to box out.
"We lost to two really good teams the past two weeks." Need to use the bye week to clean up the mistakes they made.
The offense doesn't change when the backup QB comes in. All three QBs can throw as well as run.
The bye week falls at a good time to help the team get better, because the last two games were physical, gives some guys who are beat up a chance to rest. Losses will serve as motivation during the week off. "Coming off a loss, obviously we have a bad taste in our mouth so we're gonna get after it this week." They're hungry after two losses, and this will prevent a spiral. The team will be ready for Happy Valley in two weeks.
"I just saw the quarterback throwing the ball and realized that I had to make the play." On the interception he couldn't snag. "I felt like I could have made it."
Never happy after a loss. "Obviously we're disappointed, but we did show some good things out there. We fought, you know we played hard."
Being on a short field gives you a disadvantage, but the defense has to be ready to make stops no matter where they start.
When they're missing stops on run plays. "Guys just coming downhill hard, and maybe somebody wasn't in the right gap."
Excited to make the plays when they were only down 7, but couldn't get it done.
What did he see from Kenny Demens? "Good things. You know, Kenny's a good ballplayer. He stuck his nose in a few times and made some big plays for us. You know, I think he's got a bright future here."
I think this is something we need to look at in the offseason. Specials teams are ugh, secondary is pretty bad and both those areas are coached by Tony Gibson who is also our associate head coach. I'm not saying Gibson is a bad coach, but we need to find some what to reduce his workload. IMHO all those true freshman DBs should have a dedicate coach, not a quy splitting time between them and our poor special teams.
That's right, I forgot we were starting several multi-year starters in the secondary, all of whom were 5-star recruits.
Thanks for the reminder.
In the context of this thread one would think the team was 0-7. And while the turnovers the last two games have been killers, I'm not sure how you can look at the games actually played so far and lament a lack a progress in that category.
Your right we are showing signs.......Of consistency not improvement! Here we sit again 1-2 in the Big Ten with a signature win over Indiana! Maybe we should get Delaware State back on the schedule, so we can talk about how many yards we gain.
...is why you think that RR and his staff ARE NOT putting an emphasis on ball security?!? Everyy coach, at every level -- from Pop Warner to the NFL -- puts a HUGE emphasis on ball security as they all know emphatically that if you turn the ball over, you're likely going to lose. We saw in the first 5 game a lot of improvement in that area, but then in the last two especially, things have slipped a little. This is a very young team, and the QB's are trying to make plays when they probably should have tucked it and run (DR) and/or thrown the ball away.
Do you watch CFB? Have you seen elite teams like Alabama, Florida, Texas, and OSU lose because they turn the ball over? It is part of the game, and something that even with top senior QBs happen -- Ryan Mallett has 6 INTs and cost Arkansas a chance to beat Bama early on.
Yes., Michiagn gave BOTH the MSU and the Iowa games away with turnovers, but at least we can see that we had a chance but for those mistakes -- even with the lackluster defense. In a few seasons when all these underclassmen are upperclassmen, on both sides of the ball, I don't see Michigan making the same mistakes. I see the offense being even more efficient and productive, minimizing the turnovers, and I see the defense becoming very stout, or at least stout enough to give the ball back to the offense after getting the other team in 3rd and long.
If I had to identify one thing that has been plaguing M's defense since well before the RR era, it is that...the inability to get off the field after doing all that great work to get the other team in a 3rd and long. It's rather pathetic. It's like knocking your iron shot close, and missing the putt. A few of those, followed by an offensive turnover, and you're cooked.
As RR says over and over, "Michigan is not yet good enough to play poorly and still win..."
Calm down Beavis!
I am not trying to be "snarky" I am trying to point out that teams are losing all over the place this year -- i.e., it's getting harder and harder to go undefeated -- not that it was ever easy. I should have said, "have you been watching CFB this season?" because it seems to me from my observations that some very good teams have had some very bad let downs, and some historically good teams are looking very very average.
I have no problem with a fan saying we're not good enough to play poorly and win, what i have a problem with is when fans continually deride a coach for his team not being good enough to play poorly and win when the mitigating factors are so plainly obvious. The numbers that you so painstakingly assembled tell the tale (IMO) of a very young team that has had it's average level of recruit drop due to years of negative recruiting on the part of other Big 10 programs (MSU) and is in the midst of a long-term (4-5 year) total rebuild of the program. I have a problem with people that think that because a player throws a stupid INT in the game that it MUST be because the coach somehow neglected to tell him NOT to do that in practice. What is very typical of young players, and RR has mentioned this repeatedly, is that they make mistakes in the games that they NEVER make in practice. Games are typically faster, there is more on the line, etc. and esp. young players tend to mess up. That is why coaches HATE playing young players, esp. en mass and in key poistions. Your table proves nothing more than that and "proves" is a bit strong IMO.
The team did not have a 1000 yard rusher last season, now they do -- IMPROVEMENT. The team in 2008 could barely field a punt, now they aren't getting great returns, but at least they're not dropping every other one. If you cannot see the improvement in this team then I don't know if you can I are watching the same games.
I agree that vs. MSU and Iowa (two of the best teams in the conference that are LOADED with upperclassmen) Michigan has seemed to regress into old bad habits. However, Michigan gained 500 yards against a very stout Iowa defense , and but for a few miscues in both games, had a chance to win. I don't think you have that discerning of an eye based on your comments. I don't know how old you are, nor how long you've been a fan...but I've Michigan football has been a huge part of my life for a long time and I am so glad to see the path that Michigan is taking. I am willing to take the two steps backwards (which we took in 2008-9) to take the three steps forward (we're taking step #1 this season) that I think were needed to take Michigan into the new era of CFB. I watch for years as senior-laden teams under Carr were about right here...5-2 and who made bascially the same mistakes as these young kids are making.
The learning curve was very steep and things came quickly vs. the weaker part of the schedule, and against MSU, Iowa, Wisconsin, and OSU everyone knew (or should have known) that it was going to slow down, and that the mistakes were going to be more glaring. Accept it for what it is, and stop with all the complaining and admonishment. Enjoy the process as it will make the fruits at the other end that much sweeter!
Once again, CALM DOWN BEAVIS!
You're just going to come out and say that I am a freaking idiot huh? Ok fine. I never said that I was more of a Michigan Man than you, I just said that I don't know how old you are nor how long you've been a fan, but that I have been an avid Michigan football fan for a long time...since 1976. Why am I an idiot for asking you a question. I asked it because there seem to be a lot of people that are have been watching Michigan football since 2000 who seem to be very vocal in their desire to see RR fired.
You'd rather take more steps backwards than forwards, fine. I'd rather see Michigan get some wins in Big 10 games. Progress should be measured in Ws.
You didn't read what I said dude. Can you count? I said that Michigan is taking 2 steps backwards to take 3 steps forward...last I checked 3 is MORE than 2. You're staement that you want Michigan to "get some wins Big 10 games" is overly simplistic, and indicative of the mindset displayed by many haters. Why is Michigan not winning in the Big 10? Could it be that Michigan has slipped down below the talent and experience level of the teams that are beating them? Personally, I see a great mountain of evidence that indicates that this is indeed the case. Michigan, since 2005 has suffered from horrible recruiting and development. If you are as learned in CFB as you profess to be, you should know that recrutiing and development are the life blood of a program. If, as seems to have been the case, your head coach stops going on in-home visits, the level of recruit drops, and then several of the top recruits bust or don't qualify or get injured...and BOOM, 4-5 years later you have a complete cluster-fuck in which the roster is 20+ scholarships short,there are very few upperclassmen, those that there are aren't very talented nor well developed, and the depth chart is chocked full of underclassmen.
They've left a lot of wins and close games on the field for reasons that should be more preventable TWO AND A HALF YEARS into a program.
Yes, but WHY? You seem to think that it is somehow because of either negligence or a lack of skill on the part of the coaching staff. Although I will not eliminate those as possible causes; the problem is that one CANNOT know if the issue is the players (and their lack of talent and/or experience) or the coach UNTIL such time as you eliminate the experience factor from the mix. I am NOT ruling out that it's that RR just sucks, but what if it's not? What if he is the best coach in the nation, and the problem is that Michigan is down talent wise, and has had to play a lot of underclassmen (more than any other team in the nation) and he's fired by disgruntled and impatient alum. You're emphatic expression of discontent associated with 2.5 years evidences that you fall within that group. So, in 2.5 years has the experience factor been eliminated? Are we still playing lots and lots of underclassmen, and are the upperclassmen that are playing sub-standard? So, he's let go....then what? Are you willing to take that risk? Are you willing to cast Michigan into that "toxic sea" of programs that are going to fire their coach every couple of years until they find one that works out? I don't want to see Michigan go that way. I want to see Michigan redevelop the roster, get the depth chart chocked full of developed upperclassmen, and reopen the pipelines to the top HS talent in the nation. You just have to understand just haw far down Michigan fell of late. Until such time as the PLAYERS are back at Michigan, NO COACH is going to be able to compete with programs like Iowa, MSU, WISC., and OSU. They're too good, they have too much continuity, and they have developed their program systems too well.
We're getting back there, but the offense is a year (maybe more) ahead of the defense. It's the SHOULD that gets youi dude. You're judging, you're not discerning. You're playing the woulda shoulda coulda game, and in doing so, you're blinded to the REASONS WHY! Again, I am not saying that it's NOT RR, but we're not going to know for a while. But, from what I have seen, he's going to have a lethal offense when they grow up, and he's seeming to get more and more top recruits and is thus doing what I said is essential for Michigan's long term future -- he's REBUILDING THE DEPTH CHART and REOPENING THE PIPELINES. Michigan is "back on the list" of the top players (and beleive me, it was OFF the list in Carr's last few years, and in the beginning of the RR era).
Let the man work, enjoy a chance to get to watch a great group of young men grow up before your eyes....They going to be very hard to beat in time.
Take your own advice and learn to read. I never said that I didn't want RR to work out. I did say two things. This team has not progressed. I also said for all the people who say stupid things against RR, the pro-RR fans come out of the woodwork and exhibit the same behavior which they critique... and you've illustrated my point perfectly!
Dude, I've not read anything that you've written save your one post about the tiurnovers and when you've responded to me directly. I know what you've said about the temam not progressing, and I commented that we have a 1000 yard rusher for the first time since Mike Hart and you replied, "so what...we've lost to MSU three times..." The facts are right there in front of you...this team is a better team than the team in 2008 most certainly, and than 2009 -- mostly b/c of OL play, WR play, QB play, and the punt return. So...you're wrong dude, just flat out wrong.
I don't think that it's fair to assess my opposition to your comments as you do. I am asking for evidence, I am talking about long-term trends, I am attempting to engage in a discussion of actual causes, not hyperbole and hysteria. I am not pro RR, I am pro Michigan and right now Michigan is sick and was very close to dying and at this point, IMO ANY coach will do. But, now that we have RR, we MUST keep him until such time as the depth and experience of the roster is rebuilt. Simple as that. I like RR's offense a lot, but I think this program is going to only go as far as the defense allows it to go. If, after the depth chart is rebuilt and Michigan is again a place that players go and EXPECT to red-shirt and wait their turn to play, and RR isn't cutting it and is still struggling in the Big 10, then I am all for letting him go. But, before such a time, Michigan is setting itself and it's new coach up for another very difficult transition. Simple as that dude.
My JV defensive backs know they can't let a receiver release to the inside when there's no safety help.
I would imagine many of your JV kids actually enjoy bringing their hips/legs with them on tackles unlike Obi Ezeh, JT Floyd, and basically anyone other than Jordan Kovacs/Mike Martin. I don't think I've ever seen a D-IA defense that is as clearly afraid of contact and/or finishing tackels as ours.
RichRod's Rahm Emanuel and will be able to do anything he wants until he says "fuck the
Ton of talent, ton of potential, i still have a lot of faith we bring it to 7-8 wins like i was expecting, but jesus special teams are bad.
are a universal category, without distinction, then you're right - this team has not found a way to correct "its problems." If, that is, the "problem" is losing instead of winning. Someone should alert the team that they're supposed to win, not lose.
Otherwise, I don't see how you can look at the team and not realize that it has new issues this year. I'm not sure if you noticed back in August, but the season looked like doom about a week before play began. Did you look at our defense on August 30 and expect a win against Iowa?
(I'm not sure if this post meets the imposed cogency standard, so I'll leave it to the mods to referee.)
... or this team collectively has a giant learning disability. 7 games into the season, there shouldn't be this many stupid, stupid penalties. And the FG attempt... I don't even want to think about it. I don't care how young this team is. At this point of the season, a lot of this crap should have been worked out by the coaching staff.
all the players were admitted to Michigan, so I'm guessing they don't have a learning disability. Which unfortunately means their coach is the one that's clueless...
all players were admitted to Michigan therefore they don't have a learning disability? lol. I do know a couple of players who have a learning disabilty yet plays for Michigan. They're admitted to Michigan on the basis of football ability, not academic prowness.
Did Greg Robinson finally break his silence and speak to the media? I really wish that he would speak at some point.
I really was just wondering. I was kind of making an allusion to Joe Stapleton's column in the Daily from Thursday. I didn't mean to offend you...
Fumbles, Interceptions, and bad special teams. I support RR and the team, and I want 8 wins and a bowl this year. In all three of RR's years with Michigan his special teams have been horrid, and we turnover the ball like our lives depend on it Let's hope the next two weeks are dedicated to ball securiy and special teams. Go Blue
Um... special teams were pretty darn good last year.
Over 500 yards on offense. I wasn't expecting that against Iowa.
I'm not totally surprised by that. My best friend from the Navy is from IA; he's more of a Cyclones fan, but generally roots for IA in the B10. Anyway, he shot me an email this morning saying that he felt that IA's D was good, but not great. He thought that Denard would chew them up. I thought that, too. I thought that the O would bounce back from last week in one form or another.
No, what I was afraid of was the D and penalties. I was hoping that the To's from last week was an aberration.
Hey guys, I think this team showed some really good heart to stay in it until the end. A lot of stupid errors that should not be happening to a team like this. Not sure if it's just poor coaching where the coaches don't know how to correct, or maybe they can't teach and inspire?
I feel the D played better? Got a few critical stops, some 3 and outs which i liked to see. I didn't even realize that Martin came out...
I did like seeing Coach Rod "coaching" Tate when he came in rather than yelling at him like he normally does.
Here's hoping to quick recovery for Molk, Martin, Denard, and Mouton...
Agreed. This wasn't the sort of disaster the above posters are making it out to be. Our defense is not good, but had some decent moments. That and M brought it back to within a touchdown. I really thought we were going to pull it off.
He just sounds like a coach.
I am a Michigan fan by locale (did not attend UofM, but moved here almost 9 years ago and have gone full BLUE) so I often get the "you don't understand" logic when I try to remain positive about this team. I know there are those who feel we should win the game because we are Michigan and that's what we have done for the last 400 years. While I would love that to be the case, it's just not logical and makes us look arrogant.
I come from teams where you may have a down year here and there, but you ALWAYS support your team. My high school football team sucked for 30 years where ANY win was a big deal...TDs were special! :-) However, you don't get up and walk out when they are down. You don't ever boo your team. You can be frustrated when things don't go well, but you have to exhibit the same short memory we ask of our players when they make a bad play. The most depressing thing for me is knowing the visiting team and fans have the pleasure of watching SOME "fans" turn on our team and coaches during the game.
I am ALL IN for this team. I will be there early, and I will not leave until the final whistle blows. I will remain hopeful and supportive because that is what a fan does. We will be back, and there are so many things (even in losses) that are proof of this.
THOSE WHO STAY WILL BE CHAMPIONS! GO BLUE!
Just before half, I told my wife to listen for the boos at halftime. Sure enough, as the players were leaving the field, I heard UofM fans booing our team. You can point fingers at the players or the coaches, but our fans missed a golden opportunity to help us spring an upset. Yeah, we were down 21-7 at half, and I guess the fans were expressing displeasure at RichRod for not going for it at the end of the half, but we were at midfield. If we miss, that gives Iowa, yet again, a short field. It was way too early in the game to get crazy going for it there. Had the fans showed some enthusiasm in the first half like they did during the comeback in the 4th quarter, maybe we rattle Stanzi a little bit, maybe a WR doesn't hear an audible and turns the wrong way. Instead, on 3rd and long, ESPN shows our fans tinkling their keys. Yeah, I get it, it's a key play. I did that too 20 years ago. But how about screaming your lungs out at the same time? Like you were in the 4th quarter. Sometimes the players need the fans to get them going instead of the other way around. I thought the new stadium was supposed to lead to more crowd noise. One quarter isn't enough people.
just wish we had a kicker and a bit more discipline. I'm caulking it up to youth. We have a down week then the Frosh are almost Sophs and Sophs are almost Juniors. Need to see some improvement. Call me crazy but I love Tater at QB and would love to see Denard all over the field ... RB, slot, WR, wildcat. I want them both on the field. That missed FG that turned into at TD before the half just kills me. Anyway, I'm still with the team. We can get at least 3 more wins. Never give up !!!! Good things are coming.
By the way, I moved from my season tickets to section 10 since I traded 1 ticket for 4. The fans in 10 need to get in to the game. I sometimes feel some "fans" only think they need to get into the game and actually cheer the team when we score. Fire it up people. Go Bluuuuuueeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee !!!
You can point fingers at the players or the coaches, but our fans missed a golden opportunity to help us spring an upset.
I can't imagine ever booing my team. You'd never catch me doing it. However, fan's reactions as the team heads to the locker room for half could not have less impact on the outcome of the game.
the Hawkeyes as they left the field. The Iowa fans were cheering and the M crowd was booing over them
I don't think that crowd left the team at all that game. It was crazy in the 4Q, especially after Tate scored. Iowa had some trouble on those final drives to run out the clock, a lot of it due to the crowd
in the stands back then. Hell people used to bring coolers to the games. It was louder back then because so many more of the fans were completely bombed.
When I was 12 I used to walk around the inside of the stadium after a game through a sea of whiskey, schnapps, vodka bottles and beer cans. Now its plastic water bottles and pizza boxes.
I am angrier about this game than I thought I would be before it started. This team isn't playing well, it isn't executing well, and that's mostly on the offense and special teams, not the defense. The defense has shown improvement. Our coaching staff needs to do more with these kids and their mentality re: mistakes. Don't bitch to the media. Fix it with the team.
I cannot remember this team executing well at any point in RR's tenure (in the Big 10). That has to change. Those stupid freaking penalties can't happen. We have to be able to kick the freaking ball in bounds and above the line so at least the field goals have a freaking shot.
On the other hand, Will Hagerup has looked pretty good the last few weeks. So there's that.
This is the lowest I have felt about this team's future in the RR era. Is that an overreaction? I don't know. I felt so hopeless today, and I really, really don't believe it was a talent thing.
Our WRs looked good at the end of the game.
On the other hand, Will Hagerup has looked pretty good the last few weeks. So there's that.
Terrific, just terrific.
RichRod in Big Ten: 4-15
MSU at the Big House 2 wins
RichRod at the Big House 2 wins
The bye week doesn't come at a better time. We've got a pile of players with nagging injuries and we've got mistakes that need to be corrected. We have to win at Penn State in 2 weeks.
Is anyone else paranoid about not getting a sixth win? I want my bowl eligibility dammit!
... the extra practice this youthful team really really needs for next years is so critical! Never understood why teams that don't get to go to a bowl aren't allowed to practice those same days that teams that do go get... somewhat of an unfair disadvantage to teams that need the help not getting an equal opportunity to improve.
Let's give Iowa quite a bit of credit for their win today. I know people keep saying that Michigan blew this game with turnovers and penalties, but the turnovers were at least part due to Iowa's pressure and solid secondary, and the penalties (at least the false starts by Lewan) were due to a being matched up against a talented DLine and jumping a bit as a result. Iowa won that game, just like MSU did last week. That said, they team has lost two games to teams with a combined 1 loss, and that 1 loss was to a top-15ish team on the road. It happens. Again, if these mistakes are still popping up against the Illinois/Purdue/PSUs of the world, then freak out. But this team still has a chance at 7-8 wins, and with more playing time and maturation I expect them to show improvement. The bye week will also help.
and if we had a guy who kick the ball worth a damn we wouldn't have to worry about bone-headed plays like that now would we? Bottom line...the guy can coach (offense that is), but I wonder sometimes about our defensive coaches. More specifically...GERG???
the seconday has been terrible the last three years. Zero improvement in the defensive backfield.
Because with all of that talent returning to the backfield, and the seasoned veterans on the 2-deep, you expected this unit to be the bulkhead for the defense?
Even with the talent we've had, they haven't improved much (see Justin Turner, Cissoko before they left and Donovan Warren). Those guys were 4/5* recruits and the best one (Warren)was better than anything else we had, but didn't even get drafted. Note: I'm not saying I agree with his post, just playing devil's advocate here.
On an average defense, Floyd would be a nickel or dime back. Rogers, C Gordon, Avery, Talbott, and Christian would play only on special teams or in garbage time (the last 3 would be locks to redshirt on almost any team). On this defense, they all play regularly because they're all we have. There isn't a coach in the country who could turn them into a decent secondary. Collectively they have average talent and very, very little experience.
Kovacs and T Gordon, if you want to count them as DBs, are overachieving relative to their talent and experience.
At times I see our D improving but those cutback runs are killing us. The screens and playaction passes are continuing to kill us. When we put up 500 yds of offense it seems like we should win.....right? I definitely think Denard is wearing down. I think its time to rotate he and Tate at quarterback during games. Forcier is very accurate on the run and seems to have a better touch on the ball. He def. looks to throw and finds the recievers a lot faster.
special teams horrible.
Is our D really going to be that much better next year? At best it seems like it will be average. Dont get me wrong, I will be here cheering them on through thick and thin but, jeez, how did it get this bad. Hopefully this "learning" year for all these freshmen will be our foundation. Just hope people chill the h*ll out and give rich rod time to right the ship. I think he has a future here we just have to get the foundation laid on both sides of the ball.
I'm optimistic. The defense actually played respectably in this game (relatively speaking, anyway); it was our 4 turnovers that killed us. Kenny Demens probably displaced Obi Ezeh on the depth chart with his performance today (though it's not like Ezeh set the bar all that high), so that's a good thing. We're playing so many true freshman, and players improve more between their freshmen and sophomore seasons than any other offseason.
Am I the only one who doesn't feel horrible about this loss? The defense actually showed signs of improvement. They lost this game because of turnovers, and turnovers are correctible problems. They only turned the ball over once through the first five games, so these are not completely self-inflicted errors. They just need to protect the ball better against Big Ten defenses.
There have been 4 games played so far that were regarded as tossups going into the season (though UConn probably shouldn't have been), and they've gone 2-2 in them. Michigan State might actually win the Big Ten this year, and Michigan had a chance to win that game. They've got a bye week now and an opportunity to correct some of their execution problems. Going into this season, most people thought 8-4 was a reasonable expectation, and they're still on target to hit that goal (wins over Penn State, Illinois, and Purdue).
Good effort from the defense, one of their better outings of the year, against a very good team.
Offense rebounded from the stinkeroo versus MSU last week and showed a lot of guts in coming back and making a game of it.
I was expecting to lose this game, but we might have won it. We lost due to dumb things that young, inexperienced players do. Making good decisions under pressure is something you learn in games more than practice, and there's a certain amount of pain you have to endure as these guys mature.
I feel very good about the program at this point. We ought to win our next three games and finish with the 8 wins I anticipated before the season started. I just can't get down on these guys for being exactly what I thought they would be in August.
Next year I'm looking for a much improved defense, and a more polished offense leading to 10 wins. The only controversy remaining is Tate versus Denard, just where we were last year. Tate is the better tactition and field general - he clearly understands the ebb and flow of the offense and can make it all work better than Denard. Denard is just a freak who doesn't have to be good at running the offense to make it work just as well.
I guess I want Denard to start, take risks and run wild while he can. Late in a close game, I want Tate under center. He seems a lot more calm and centered at this point.
What was calm and centered about the last drive, which ended with a 3rd & 19 pass to nobody? I really don't see him making the offense work better - he scrambles out of his protection until he finds a random guy open. That's not running an offense, its completely unpredictable. Blocking for him has to be a nightmare, you never know where he's going to be.
I agree: let's not forget - Molk, Martin out for much of the game. There were 7/8 freshman on the field for us on certain plays - yet we were close to knocking off top 15 team despite numerous unforced errors. Those freshman will be better, if we get Molk & Martin back for PSU we can do some real damage.
I just wish the coaches would show a little more flexibility in game plan, Iowa with an extra week will of course be ready for Denard, I would have started Tate earlier, especially since their pass D is weaker than run D. Would have also put Campbell in a little on D just given the Iowa O-line size - would have done these with MSU also. Of course, I have earned cumulatively $0 coaching college ball.