The only possible complaint is 'why didn't you do it sooner?'
Now fire Mattison! /s
Al Borges Appreciation?
The only possible complaint is 'why didn't you do it sooner?'
We'll see in November and in a road game.
hysteria hands down.
pretty sure kyle bosch burned his redshirt. Did he enroll early?
You can draw no conclusions from today on either side. It was Indiana.
Sparty put up big numbers on them. Nuff said.
whoop the holy shit out of MSU and then, and only then, will i start to reconsider my position.
IU is freaking terrible on defense.
can barely catch a break while the defense gives up 90 and nobody has a problem with that.
The defense was responsible for some of that production. They caused a fumble and returned for a touchdown. Still larger point stands.
Not to mention Al's offense caused so many turnovers which led to points for the opposition that it forced us to keep on trying to score until the very end of both games, one of which included 4 extra periods.
It's never that the defense is getting off the field quickly enough or getting the ball back so they can have more opportunities to score. Or gets the stop that allows the offense to pull away or close it out.
It works both ways on a team.
What planet are you on?
I waited and saw how well Borges had Bellomy prepared for the second half of Nebraska.
I waited and saw how much better the offense got with Gardner at QB and not as a receiver when Al thought we needed him far more at receiver.
I waited and saw the second half of Ohio where the universe put the blame not on the players, but on Al's play calls.
I waited and saw how he got his tight ends prepared to block this year.
I waited and saw how he got his offensive line ready to block this year.
I waited to see how he'd groom Gardner into an efficient QB that didn't turn the ball over.
I waited to see him develop an RB heavy ground game as Hoke wants.
I waited and saw his offense struggle vs mighty Akron and UCONN.
I waited to see Al's stellar play calls vs a half scholarship PSU team getting 27 yards on 27 RB carries.
Can't wait to see all the greatness Al has in store at MSU and vs Ohio this year, and can't wait even more until next year when we lose Lewan and Schofield.
Simply put, one impressive outting vs the worst defense in the Big Ten doesn't negate the fact that Al is about 12+ more on the failure's side of the ledger vs successes.
We're all waiting and seeing, but foregive us for actually forming an opinion about him for the timebeing based upon the above.
Good, right. Obviously, you've identified all of his successes (one, by your count... today) and failures, making this a really good, well reasoned, balanced look at his performance. My apologies for using aggregate statistics and, you know, sanity.
Credit or UTL one and two, won with lots of points.
Scoring 42 and 38 to beat Northwestern.
Drooping 45 on the first conference meeting with Nebraska.
Beating Ohio State for te only time in ages when the defense didn't show up.
Playing well enough to win against an excellent South Carolina defense and missing out on te upset when the D let's them down.
Taking Gardner from a guy who made bloggers horrified every Spring Game into a dangerous talent.
Seeing Fitz develop into a good running back.
Having a sophomore TE/WR be a big weapon.
Turning Gallon from a journeyman to the leading game receiver in Big Ten history.
You see what you want to see.
"You see what you want to see."
It appears you both do.
He focuses on the huge mass of negatives, and you focus on the huge mass of positives - and both seem to want to ignore the obvious on the other side.
Al Borges can call a good game. Al Borges can call a bad game. Problem is - his game calls seem to follow a bimodal distribution instead of a normal one, and have HUGE standard deviation.
I'd prefer not to be heading into a game wondering which Borges will rear it's face.
He's just picking out random dats and acting like it's the preponderance of the evidence rather than examples that are equally offset. And all the games that are in-between are the ones that are just "fine." So the majority are satisfactory. So it's silly to deal in absolutes at this point.
Yet none of the items listed above evidences Al successfully implementing a single facet of his pro-style attack. Of course you can point to some positives man, but that's like saying someone who gets a D+ in a class did well because they got 68%, so let's focus on that 68. This is Michigan, where a D+ doesn't cut it. The development of 2 or 3 players like Funchess and FItz while the rest of players you're in charge of developing flounder, like the line and the QB, doesn't get you a pass under the "you see what you want to see" card.
WIth Michigan's laughable schedule these first 7 games, AL's offense has the most turn overs in D1, an abysmal O line, and set an all time low in rush average vs a half scholarship team last week. Yet people are giving him a pass for putting up big numbers against the tirefire that is Indiana's defense, which also gave up 40+ to woeful Sparty attack.
Not to mention one can crater many of your items above. UTL 1? Really? AL's offense was shut down for 3 quarters and going into the fourth it took miracles, mostly thanks to Reese's goalline fumble derp and Denard's escapability to win that game. Watch that game again and tell me AL called a great game...
Having three or four well called games out of 35 games doesn't put AL on the plus side of the ledger with so many blemishes on the other side.
but whos to say there won't be another brain-shit later this year?
I want him fired less after this game, but lets see what happens when we go through the meat of our schedule.
I think his track record thus far justifies a change, but the season isn't over yet... roll the dice
think of anything to complain about from a play calling standpoint tonight. Obviously some exuction and turnover stuff needs to improve before we get into November, but Borges called a very good game tonight. Great way to respond after that whole thing last week.
I give Al all the credit in the world against this horrendous defense this game. It's also a huge positive that we pretty much abandoned what didn't work against PSU (tackle over, I form runs). We still ran stretch without much success but hey, 63 points and 700+ yards of offense. Frustrations still linger because as a highly touted offensive coordinator, these adjustments should have been applied to his play calling real-time against PSU instead of lighting the first downs we had on fire with the little success we had. So props to Al for this gameplan, just wish it was sooner to keep us undefeated.
I think the key disclaimer is that we of course should not be expecting this level of success in our next game against MSU, but this game showed what will give us the best chance of success and keep the excellent MSU defense on their heels: allowing the pass to open up the run and having a good balance to keep Narduzzi and co. honest. Protect Gardner, build his confidence on the road slowly and prevent horrendous mistakes against a good secondary.
All Al has proven is his offense can work against the worst defense in the BIG. If we can put up over 30 vs MSU then an Al Appreciation thread might be merited, not vs freaking Indiana's lowly D.
If anything, the offensive performance today makes me MORE pissed about having to endure that chickenshit, bash-head-into-wall playcalling last week. Hoke and Borges (and, yeah, it's both of them) decide to play timid, conservative football on the road, time and time again. Pass to set up the run at home, success. Run into walls of defenders on the road, failure. Who'd have thought that would happen?
Not to mention, Borges is still trotting out the stupid tackle-over formation that doesn't work, and he's still running the zone stretch play that Michigan's OL can't block for. Pass to set up the run, and run from the shotgun/pistol and Michigan sets records.
Yes, yes, I know Indiana has a horrible defense. But Penn State's wasn't all-world; this gameplan may well have led to a comfortable win. But hey, why should Borges try? On the road, it might lead to turnovers, and we may lose.....wait....crap, well, then that's definitely on execution.
Bullshit. When you allow players to do things they have a prayer of doing, results are generally better.
Borges appreciation? When he comes out with a gameplan like this on the road, consistently, I'll appreciate him. When he stops being bi-polar depending on the location of the game, I'll appreciate him. Hell, dump the stretch play, it'll be a start....
as evidenced by hitting Funchess for the clinching first down instead of trying to run Fitz into the tacklers that would have been assembled to stop him. But the mere mention of Debord's plan vs. Fl makes me question everything about that season. Yes, we were humiliated at home twice before the conference slate ever began and then, after our annual loss to OSU he opens up a can of "whupp ass" that ORE and Appy diagrammed for us in our occ and saves it for his last game? WTF? Why did we not see that against OSU and the other teams on our schedule that year? Yes, FL came off a natty, but damn they had sent so many people to the pros, they were as young as we are now. I totally agree with you in the respect it was his best game plan. But the thing that really pisses me off is we could have done it all year and no one could have stopped us. It was not surprising that we won when we fully utilized all our weapons. I just can't help wondering how the season might have been had we done so the entire year. I guess there might be some redemption for LC and MD to saving their best for last, but watching us tear apart that FL defense just made me wonder, and I bet you did too.
We had what could accurately be called an "injury-riddled" season in 2007.
Mike Hart was out quite a bit and poor Chad Henne had his shoulder attached with a piece of gristle!
I hated DeBored with fire of a thousand suns, he never had much of a chance to utilize his offensive weapons during the season, and probably wouldn't have anyway. But one everyone got healthy & Carr was half out the door . . .
it took more than one game to get Borges into the mess he is in, it will take more than one to get him out of it. That being said the O line played a lot better today..... Like i told my friend yea it was against Indiana but did you see how they played vs. Akron and uconn. The offense needed today in a big way so i'm happy for them and hope they build off this for November 2nd
and skip this manball meme, keep the spread and score lots of points! If Al has changed, I think we can win half our next 6 games and have a decent season at 9-3. Face it there is no great team in the B1G. Michigan can beat any team or lose to just about any team.
Now, I'm worried about our defense!
Indiana's defense is awful. AWFUL. They have a decent offense. We litterally had to break records to win this game. It's a good thing we got those picks late---especially the first one when Indiana had a chance to take the lead, which probably would've happened the way this game went.
Not sure what to take from this game:
I guess the gameplan worked---offensively. Do you even need a gameplan to score on IU?? I have no idea what to expect out of this team, as they surprise me every week... good and bad. There's a lot of "ifs" out there and that's more concerning to me than what I'd like it to be.
I can't wait to see what happens next game. It'll be VERY interesting.
I'm not going to respond to any one comment because I'm pretty sick of all the fighting that went on last week and we just won, so let's enjoy this.
What I will say for my part is that this game didn't do much Al Borges in my eyes and I'll briefly explain why. I never said (and I don't believe many others did either) that Al Borges didn't know how to call plays, the anger was from the plays he did call during the game and an unwillingness to adapt to what was gong on in front of him.
This game actually bothers me even more because it shows that Al obviously has the potential to call great games, but for some reason he only puts all together once or twice a year.
Again, I'm pretty happy with what went on offensively last night but all I keep hearing in the back of my head is "remember, this was Indiana". What will go much further toward me being happy with AB as the long-term solution for this offense is if he can keep this up down the stretch against better defenses or if he reverts (as he has in the past after calling good games) to what we all know doesn't work.
Would this team be without 10 turnovers against Akron, UCONN and PSU? Top 10? Top 5? Cut out turnovers and we are all having a different discussion??
It's Indiana, fergodsakes. Last in Big Ten defense. Show up in two weeks against State and then we'll have this discussion.
When the offense executes the Borges critics say awe shucks lets save the praise till he beats MSU. When the offense seems incapable of executing the very same plays it's fire Borges. The funniest thing about the awe shucks mentality is that if that offense had executed this week like it had last week that would have been the final straw for Al I am sure. The awe shucks people would have been acting like he sang a Josh Groben song. Now before anyone says yeah but the Indiana defense sucks well they didn't suck against PSU. Indiana spanked Penn State good and proper.
I don't think that's quite right. The "aw shucks" crowd (which I would be in BTW) are extremely pleased with the game he called yesterday and if you read the comments, virtually everyone says basically props to Al for the game. I don't see anyone, in this thread or any other posted yesterday after the game, that doesnt give Al credit for an increadible performance.
The difference IMO between the Pro-Al crowd (formally known as the "Apologists" and the Anti-Al crowd (now known as the "Aw Shucks") is that we arent willing to forgive and forget the past gameplan clunkers just quite yet. We still remember vididly 27 carries for 27 yards a week ago and the other well documented offensive gameplan failures over the past few years. ESPECIALLY against good defenses and ESPECIALLY on the road.
Now - Al has a bye week coming up and the chance to radically change at least one poster's opinion of him (me) coming up. We're playing a huge game....on the road...against the B1G best defense. I'm not looking for a performance like yesterday's (although that would be nice) but if we can put up over 350 yards of offense and score in the mid 20's I think we win.
And that would do a lot more to impress the "Aw Shucks" than all the record-setting performances against Indiana ever will.
The offense played well and they play calling was good against Indiana. I am still upset about the Penn State game. The PSU corners played 10 yards off our receivers and stacked the box. We ran at them repeatedly for no gain. Against Indiana, Al had Devin get the ball out to the receivers in space. This resulted in a pretty good day for our QB and for Gallon. My biggest beef with Al is that he does and exceeding poor job of making in game adjustments. He he called some quick throws to Gallon against PSU, we would be sitting at 7-0.
What's the deal with calling the "fire screen" to the WR against IU and not PSU? Decisions like that are what prompts an "aw shucks" mentality, from me anyway.
Borges was able to "take what the defense was giving" against IU largely due to the fact that the IU defense was giving everything away. Against PSU, he showed zero ability to do so.
out of a different formation. It went for like 12 yards
Too bad he didn't continue that. UM would still be undefeated.
You don't get it..... or perhaps you are quite all right flipping the "which Al Borges is going to show up?" coin prior to every kick off.
will come when he stops putting Gardner under center.
Every coach has a bad game here or there. So did Rich Rod--the person some people seem to be pining away for. Does no one remember being down 28-7 against Iowa in 2010? That would be the offense that failed to score a second time until the 4th quarter. Or how about only scoring 14 in the Gator Bowl--against a not exactly great MIssissippi State team?
I'm not knocking Rich Rod's ability to the offense by saying that--all offensive teams over the past decade have had some crappy games here and there--including some with, say, really good and experienced OLs (i.e. the key ingredient to offensive succes, which we lack). And all teams, at some point, lose games they should win. I mean--Pitt beating WVU in 2007 anyone??
Sure Borges' playcalling was frustrating against PSU. But it was brilliant against IU and now we're 6-1. What matters from this point is whether and to what degree we can build off of this offensive performance.
I kept reminding myself how bad that IU defense was. Borges does not get a pass from me for creating a track meet at home against easily the worst D in the B1G. Receivers were so ridiculously wide open it would have been a travesty if we didn't score at least 40 points. And there were many times where Fitz strolled untouched into the second level. Let's see next week.
To the people lamenting Indianas poor defense
-Our offense couldn't perform against similarly terrible defenses (UConn, Akron)
-Lots of people play lots of games against bad defenses, but they don't usually break records for offense (school and conference) in doing it.
-IIRC, way better play calling... Passing on first downs much more often, passing more out of different formations which were previously de facto running only plays, etc.
Speaketh the truth.
Show me in East Landfill.
I wish we knew how much of this was on Al. This season Hoke appears to be setting an offensive gameplan or an overall aggressiveness based on opponent and our defense's ability to stop said opponent.
For teams with meh offenses (Uconn, Akron and PSU), Hoke selects a less aggressive, less risky and lower deviation offensive gameplan. For teams with more dynamic offenses(ND with Rees or IU), Hoke is willing to open up the playbook and take more risks. I'm sure the decision isn't specific, i.e. for PSU we will use level X. However, Hoke seems to guess at the flow of a game beforehand and base his gameplan on this. I imagine many or all coaches use this philosophy, but Hoke seems to overdo it, particularly this season. It reminds me of the latter years of the Carr era, 2006 OSU and 2008 Capital One bowl come to mind.
Hoke seems to be more willing to risk underestimating an opponent or overestimating our defense than taking additional risks with the offense and gameplan.
I prefer he would keep the aggressiveness regardless of opponent, or at least be more willing to alter the aggressiveness or gameplan in instances where he has predicted the wrong flow. However, he seems to predict a flow for the game prior to the game and stick with it regardless.
Well said, Moxiechicago. I was thinking something similar and then read your post. I think it could be said that this goes to identity, somewhat. With Harbaugh, for instance, you know exactly the identity of his teams. They will be tough. They will be agressive. They will make generally quick and decisive adjustments. Or take Urban Meyer. You know that he is a master of analysis and on the fly adjustment. He can analyze what is happening real time and adjust better than the majority of coaches at this level.
Which leads to my second point. I think the whole polar opposite argument is short-sighted. The guys who are getting uptight as if it is wrong to criticize Borges and then turn around and give him credit. It's as if they think you have to adhere to one end of the hate Borges or love Borges spectrum. My reality is that you have to have a point of reference for your expectations. That point of reference for me is the Ohio State Buckeyes. They have a coach that is very astute and who will kick your ass if you come into the game hell bent on your drawing board strategy and cannot adjust on the fly.
I suspect that a week of viewing film of Indiana got our identity challenged staff thinking offensively. Which pours directly into the 'plays to the level of competition' argument. I agree with previous posters that would like to see the aggressive approach full time. For me, the style of play displayed by the 1997 squad is the template. That defense came to hurt you.
All three years there's a lose because Al Borges is too damn stubborn. Need we forget the Iowa game the first year. Look at his unwillingness to use the bubble screen, even with it clearly wide open during the Penn State game in overtime he still refuses to use it. The closest we will ever get to see it used will be the bubble fake, which will only work for so long. He refuses to adapt to the players that he has and he will be a continuous cancer on the program. He is even too damn stubborn to get a quarterback coach. Think about this, how many quick slants have we even ran this year?