This isn't going to end well
Al Borges = Mike Martz
Yes, we are 7-2 but we could have won the two loses. Al is failing as he is not making Denard better, and his use of Devin is is a momentum brake. However, there is another issue brewing – can Hoke make the hard decisions to fire people or demote players? I like loyalty, but he must hold players and coaches accountable .
Am I a bad person if I laughed at the last sentence?
and rich rod was Jim Colleto the man responsible for the 0-16 season for the lions at least with martz we occassionally won a game
Rich Rod have to do with this post?
while this isn't going to end well. I agree on the gardner part. its a momentum killer.
I'm so glad you started this thread to share your unique, and previously undiscussed, opinion on these matters.
Big Al had another bad game. Let's not run him out of town too quickly now.
I think 3 years is the established timeline for excellence is it not?
I mean he DID have true sophomores didn't he? He should have been able to win multiple NCs with true sophomores. Wait, who are we talking about? Al? He had a bad game. Let's not run him out of town too early now.
When I see Borges calling plays with this offense I visualize an award-winning, critically renowned Chinese resturant who just hired an ITALIAN chef and told him to get back in the kitchen and start whipping up some egg rolls and such.
And the chef is telling everybody "don't worry that I'm going to make the Peking Duck with pasta. It's going to taste just fine in the end."
My God this analogy is incredible.
It was disgusting. He hasn't wowed in any game but against Minnesota.
a very good coordinator but he has a tendency to overthink, far too often.
Key word, "Another".
I would start shopping the bargains for South American travel on Hotwire about now. Just saying. If you can bum such a ride, flying cargo or charter isn't a bad option either.
4 fucking plays from the 3 yard line and you dont roll out the most elusive qb one time? Ya, I know we didnt have any time outs left, but let him rollout and give him a run/pass option and let him make a play. That was unreal. In the two biggest games of the year, Borges maked some horrendous calls. The refs did not help, but damnit, it is his job to put Denard in the best position for him and the team to succeed. Now with Nebraska losing, Im even more pissed than I was before.
Yeah, the truth isn't pretty but people have to deal with it. This is the second game that we lost because of Borges. He faced these same accusations at every other place he's been and it's what got him run out of town.
A bootleg is right up there with a 7 step drop as one of the slowest developing offensive plays/concepts. When you have 16 seconds to get the ball into the endzone, the realistic mindset has to be "what can score while still leaving time for more oppurtunities if it doesn't." That sound logic accompanied by the fact that Iowa was doing absolutely incredible job on contain the whole game is why we didn't dare have Denard roll out.
Umm a bootleg is not a roll out. A roll out is not a slow developing play, especially when Denard is your qb. A bootleg occurs off a playaction, not a roll out. So not sure what your logic is.
You do realize that a rollout is a type of bootleg, right? What you just said is the equivalent of someone getting upset that I called their square a rectangle. And yes it is slow developing, because it most often consists of the quarterback ROLLING outside of the box before he even begins to make his read. I'm not sure what else about my logic doesn't make sense to you.
Look, I admittedly don't know about a lot of things in life, but I do know football and more specifically the offensive side of it. Don't go there with me.
who gives a damn how long it takes! In that final drive they rolled Denard to the left twice IIRC.
I'm curious what your background/experience is on offense? Also curious how that specifically applies to these players.
He calls a mean game on the xbox
I played football 8 years, all of which were on O-line as a center. Granted it was mostly spent in a west coast style offense, but we did have a dual threat qb, so the option was something we occasionally ran. This experience specifically applies to this type of play because as an offensive lineman, whenever the QB is rolling out of the box for a run/pass option, not only do you have to seal block for the most part while he gets to his read point but you have to know how long you have to hold it before you break it off and look downfield to run block if the qb takes off. Believe me, lineman are very aware of how long they have to stay on blocks, and the shorter, the better.
Is this sufficient enough experience for you?
But the last 4 plays weren't really on him. 16 seconds no timeouts and our final three plays went TD, drop, PI. I don't put that on Al.
the 8 second runoffs everytime the clock stopped because we werent ready IS on him.
we lost 24 seconds that last drive on plays that the clock was stopped and the play was stopped due to outside actions, no excuse. if you have first and goal from the 3 with 40 seconds left its a little easier...
I forgot about that part.
Nebraska lost too. Hoping Iowa and Northwestern can pull off some more of the magic against Sparty so winning out seals the deal for us.
I keep seeing people making this complaint over and over but the reality is three of those 4 plays worked.
1. hemingway catch that is obviously caught and obserdly called incomplete
2. Vincent Smith drops a very catchable ball
3. Uncalled P.I. on the last play of the game
I somewhat agree with you in that it doesn't seem to make sense not to give denard a chance to use his legs if he can but the reality is still that the play call was not the problem on three of the four.
I do wish we would have at least given Denard an option to tuck it on 4th down - probably the best chance to score on that play. But remember - he was playing hurt, and I'm guessing the coaches didn't want him to throw his body into the fray at the goal line. What if that's the call, and we score the TD but now Denard is out for the rest of the game - or for some of the upcoming games? Was it worth it?
I'm frustrated with the lack of rhythm our offense had for most of the game, but I understand wanting to protect Denard in that situation. The bigger problem is why our offense didn't look a bit more like that last possession during the rest of the game.
Oh, thank you for explaining that randyfloyd > Al Borges, Mike Martz.
but his thinking is clearly unthinkable at times (drinking makes me write in oxymoron, or some kind of moron). By the way your name fits.....
Actually, I don't think he has used the Fritz formation since Minnesota. He repeatedly calls the Denard Jet Sweep play.
Fritz was what we called the diamond formation with Devin as qb, and Robinson, Smith and Toussaint as backs. Why hasn't he brought that back?
call any play, where Denard doesn't line up as QB, "fritz". I actually liked the diamond play, more than the jet sweep.
Okay. I agree he seems to call the jet sweep too much and ignores the diamond backfield. I'd love to see that again if he insists on playing Devin. Personally I'd rather have Denard be the qb on 100% of the plays with 90% or more out of the shotgun.
I have a suspicion (maybe this has already been discussed -- I haven't seen it though) that they're trying to keep Devin happy and keep him from transferring. I think that's why they play Devin so much.
Anyway, for whatever reason they keep playing Devin but why is the Fritz Diamond gone?
My guess is that they're playing Gardner not so much to keep him happy (he's Denard's roommate, so presumably they can coexist), as to get him reps in case of an injury to Denard. Last year we had injury insurance in Forcier. When he was out there, I felt like we still could move the ball. This year a potential injury to Denard is much scarier.
The coaches probably see the "two" formation as a low-pressure way for Gardner to get his feet wet, since the presence of Denard should draw the defense over to wherever he goes and open up things for Gardner. Unfortunately, he just doesn't seem ready for prime time and the plays are becoming wasted downs.
Seeing as how Drob was pretty much the top running back in tha nation last year you'd assume he'd, ya know, run every once and a while in this offense instead of playing an elaborate decoy for an underclassman fresh off the bench.
Borges isn't doing anything right.
....then explain how we're 7-2? If it is sarcasm, then it was fairly amusing.
The only comparison is that yes Al likes to chuck it downfield a little bit to much for my taste...at least he does now with the players he has.
I mean the only true downfiled threat is redshirted because of his own mistakes, and then you add in that our QB is woefully inaccurate outside of 10 yds, it's not a good combo at all.
Borges is definitely calling too many deep balls for my liking but I would like to see Denard hit at least ONE receiver on a deep ball in stride every one in a while. I can't believe he still has no touch on his passes.
Right now, he's all like..."HEY HEY HEYYY"
Al just needs to keep it simple, stupid.
Was he ever banished to the Mountain West?
The problem is that Borges has said he wants to throw over the top to force the safeties out of the box. This is an issue for obvious reasons. The one concept(bubble screens) that would do the same thing( get safety's out of the box) and the one constraint Denard can execute is the same concept that Borges "won't talk about". I think he is incredibly intelligent, but he might be equally stubborn. Intelligence without flexibility is wasted.
Why is this seemingly so hard for him to try? He has shown that there is a ton of stuff that he isn't afraid to tinker with, it just doesn't seem to jibe.
to see me some bubble screen madness, from our team not the other team.
I agree with the stubbordness. He reminds me a lot of Rodriguez who never seemed to make adjustments or see the obvious answer. Really frustrating...
we beat Iowa, 3 years in a row are you kidding me? Before they could beat us. Why is it we can't beat the physical teams of the Big Ten. Did Rich Rod leave us that bad off? 4 in a row to Michigan State 8 in a row to Ohio State teams that we regularly beat we lose to. We better hope those recurits stick with us.
Post sober next time.
I didn't like the hire to begin with and I still don't like it now. Rarely has he shown great playcalling and he continuously uses the talent incorrectly. Denard has obviously be taught to pretty much never scramble, which is where he's the most dangerous for a defense. Borges, I'd assume, keeps calling plays where Denard ends up chucking the ball down the field, most of the time off his back foot (I don't know if these long balls are planned or not). Devin coming into the game ever four plays only ruins momenteum and Denard is not a threat downfield (when he's playing WR) because he's never caught the ball; it's always either a handoff or Devin rolls out and ends up running it after the pass isn't open.
It took him way to long to finally figure out that Denard isn't the only person who can run the ball. We haven't thrown a screen to Vincent Smith in awhile, which is almost certainly our best play. We haven't worked with Molk on waiting a second to see if anyone is over him and our offensive line seems to have regressed some (especially Omameh).
In the end, yeah we've scored points and gained yards but not like we should in my opinion. I'd rarely bring in Devin, throw short passes with lots of screens and let Denard scramble for the big run when in trouble. On the goal line today, we should have rolled Denard to the right and threw it to Koger on a delayed route. We could've also thrown a WR screen and let our receivers fight for the touchdown. Instead we throw over-the-shoulder fade passes and a slant where we KNOW Denard can't throw with coverage that close.
Denard has hardly ever ran on a pass play. Where are people getting this from? His unwillingness to take off and run has been maddening for the past two years. He's rarely done it. He most always either throws at his first option(even if triple covered), thrown a fade away if pressured, or stood back there for waaaaay too long. This was the problem last year, and it's more of the same this year.
... into this thread. It will reject it like poison.
We win this game if denard had basic qb awareness to pull up and run. Maddening. I really hope he is being told this. Otherwise it means his brain power is only slightly above that of Pryor.
We're a team that plays hard and with heart, but we have limits. We need better players. Borges will be a lot smarter looking at that point. Name me a division 1 program that we would like to be as good as, which offered Denard as a quarterback. Name me a legit consensus 4-star or higher recruit on our offense not named Gardner. Molk maybe? Lewan possibly?
The point is that the Big Ten is a tight fit. A game like today at Iowa is won or lost on having some horses to outtalent their good but not great talent. Having a receiver to make plays and passer who makes them pay when they generate no pass rush. Where are those players on Michigan? MIke Martin and Countess. Jake Ryan has promise. All defense
Today's bottom line: We needed to play good for 4 quarters to beat a team that has about the same overall talent as we have (maybe better. I'd rather have pretty much every player on Iowa's starting offense right now) and we didn't. I think we are kidding ourselves thinking that schemes and playcalling could have brought us a blowout today.
It was winnable if we played a good 4 quarters. I watch a lot of college football. You almost never see a team play 4 good quarters when they are playing against a team with equal talent. Especially on the road.
is overrated. Hemmingway is a very good D1 talent, and our other recievers, if used correctly (bubble screens, short passes), would be better. Smith is an excellent back to throw screens to, or short passes but Al doesn't like throwing short passes or bubble screens.
Star system is overrated. Mike Hart, 3 star. Kept 5 star Kevin Grady on the bench.
Not enough talent...? That's the excuse? Iowa has way less "4 stars" than us, so why did they beat us? And judging prospects just on the star system is stupid anyways. We have capable receivers, a decent offensive line, a good runningback and two talented quarterbacks. You don't need straight 5* prospects to beat Iowa. To use that excuse is hilarious and should never be brought up. Maybe you could have said 'the players dont fit the system' but talent level? That's just silly to say.
"we have capable receivers..." I'm not sure I agree with this at this point. Both Hemingway and Roundtree are not very good at creating seperation which makes the window Denard needs to throw into even tighter. Gallon seems to be the best at creating seperation but he's only 5'8" and not a burner.
I also do not see them being very good at finding zones and sitting down in them. None of the receivers have the speed to be a deep threat. All of their long passes have come on jump balls. (except for Hemingway's one long catch and run against Notre Dame).
I'm amazed how few times we have seen a wide receiver running wide open (even against poor defenses). I believe this is a combination of play calling, route design, wide receiver capability, and QB accuracy.
Roundtree should have had a touchdown today where he had beat his man on a post with no over the top support. Denard missed it by 3 yards. Last week Roundtree was behind his man by a couple yards and Denard threw it 3 yards short allowing Roundtree to be tackled instead of scoring. These two, the above mentioned catch and run by Hemingway, and Gallon's catch and run against ND at the end are the only examples I can think of off the top of my head all season. Not good.
that Iowa is equally talented. There is reason why Iowa lost to Minnesota and Iowa State. The fact of the matter is that Michigan is still on paper, more talented than many of the teams in the Big Ten, despite what happened the last three years.
And using recruiting stars to try and downplay what Borges has to work with this year is bailing him out,espcially when your facing an Iowa team with a team full of 2 and 3 star players. Does this team neccassarily have one or two great players? Not really, but what the offense does have is a lot of players who are solid to good players. Your acting like he is working with inferior talent compared to the majority of the teams in the country ,and that simply isn't the case. The issue comes down to how you use some of the guys, and the 70-80% i-formation power playcalls we saw today is an ineffective way to do that. It isn't in line with what we have seen most of the season where the spread concepts/Shotgun were prevelant and the i-formation power was used as a compliment. That has been the more effective way to approach things.
WTF. We returned basically everyone from one of the top five offenses in the country in 2010 and you're going to use lack of talent as an excuse for lack of production this year? Pull your head out of your ass.
give the man a fucking break. This is not an easy situation for him.
Specific to the game, I agree he went away from what was working in the first half, but when he tried to come out in the second half and run Toussaint, it didn't work. People want to think good play calling always results in 450 yards and 5 TDs, but how do you account for four dropped passes, multiple missed pass interference calls, and a QB who cannot hit an open WR deeper than 10-15 yards?
the ball deep? How about you use some easy throws such as as bubble screens to achieve the same effect (getting guys out of the box). Why Borges refuses to use the bubble screen is beyond me, considering it is used by almost every college team to some extent and it is used by some NFL teams as well.
You know what makes the situation easier, not making a team an i-formation power team for three quarters that is not euqip to do so. I am not going to give him a pass, when he tries to force the team into being something there not for the majority of the game, and as a result the offense only scores 16 points against an Iowa defense, which was in the bottom 3rd of the country in defense.
that think two bubble screens a game would fix all our problems are delusional.
do with a qb that can't hit downfield throws at the moment. A viable option instead to get guys out of the box is the bubble screen and is used by most teams for that purpose. It is a reasonable alternative instead of giving away a down.
The bubble screen thing is just part of the bigger picture though. The playcalling is this game was not even in line with what we had seen for most of year, from Borges. For whatever reason, Borges decided to go with 70-80% i-formation plays in this game, as opposed to still being in the Shotgun at least 50% of the time. Not just that, but he stuck with into the 4th quarter, when it wasn't producing points. Other than Purdue this team has not been effective from the i-formation. There is literally no reasonable explanation for trying to be a i-formation power team for three quarters in this game when it wasn't working, and when you have other formations in your playbook that have been more effective all year.
offensive success in the first half came from running Toussaint up the middle from under center. Sure we had success at the end of the game with a pure air attack, but is that really sustainable with a QB who throws an INT every 15 passes? Look everyone wants Borges to be Chip Kelly or RR, but he's not. People just refuse to acknowledge that it might be difficult for a coach to give up on everything he's done for 30 years. Your expectations are unreasonable.
it is unreasonable to think Borges would maintain the same ratio of Spread/Shotgun and prostyle as many other games this season? It is unreasonable to expect them to run a universal play in college football( the bubble screen) considering the experience Borges has? Other than the bubble screen, I am not even talking about adding anything new to the playbook, just doing more of what has worked this season. So please explain how it is unreasonable to expect them to run plays that are already in the playbook and that they have run this season?
That running up the middle success from the first half wasn't exactly lighting up the scoreboard. Even without out the int and missed extra point that is still only 10 or 14 points in the first half. Besides I am talking about what has been more effective for the majority of the season. Michigan has been more effective from the Shotgun than from the i-formation trying to run power this season, that is something that is indisputable.
And why do you think you have to go to an air attack, if your using more Shotgun. That makes no sense at all. You can still get the ball to Touissant and Robinson to run it from the Shotgun, as well.
Basically with the exception of the bubble screen (which is a fairly simple play to implement) your argument boils down to that it is somehow unreasonable to expect Borges to keep a balance between the old stuff and the new stuff, which he has been doing almost the entire year, rather than going 70-80% new, with an emphasis on the i-formation like he did for most of this game.
...run a no-huddle spread offense.
So Al fucked up again. Let's be honest did anyone honestly think before the season started that we would all be bitching because we potentially lost a shot at going to Indy??? Don't get me wrong I'm pissed but let's not forget that "in theory" we shouldn't even be here yet! Hopefully Al gets the play calling together because this shit won't fly when TSIO comes to town and at this point all I care about is winning our last game! Fuck the rest
For all this talk, be it negative or whatever, about Borges not calling the correct plays, the bottom line is the players still have to execute. I love Denard Robinson but why doesn't try to bounce it to the outside more often with all that speed. Last week vs Purdue that's all Fitz did was bounce it to the outside for huge gains. He's not faster than Denard, is he? Nope. Denard just needs to take over the game. Period.
it was extremely successful last week and averaged 9.3 ypp on the four plays it was used in the MSU game. Iowa had an answer for it today, which is why Borges stopped running it in the second half. But you have to at least try things out to see what's working.
I'm not saying here that Borges called a perfect game, but placing all the blame on him is a little harsh. We had drops all over the place that could have kept drives alive. Also had a drop in the endzone. If Denard could hit a wide open Roundtree we probably aren't having this discussion. A couple of missed PI's (one for an INT) don't help the situation.
Not to mention the botched extra point that is hard to put directly on the coaches, unless you say they didn't give it enough reps or pay attention to details, which is a reasonably legit complaint I guess.
My point is, there is plenty of blame to go around for the loss today. Borges wasn't good, but making him the scapegoat is a little harsh. Especially considering its year 1 of a transition.
Al, but his play calling was terrible again. He has this incredible ability to ruin momentum, and it is just so frustrating. Sure the drops, lack of scrambling, D. Morgan playing the wrong gaps, and Touissant getting hurt (as well as the home field advantage officials) were also a big part of us losing, but to me Al was the biggest disappointment.
I agree about the Devin insertion, but that's the offense and they are assets that the team needs to take advantage of. Like Volk pointed out, it's a team with limitations and mismatched parts, and I'm not sure what they can really do beyond keep recruiting. I do think that Borges calls plays that would work, but execution at times is lacking and leads to the "bombs away" approach we see from both QBs. The running games needs to be more of a focus, but with Denard you don't want to make him a simple handoff machine because he is better than that.
I'm not sure what is going to happen with this offense, but Borges is no Martz. Martz didn't recognize the limitations of the offense, and still tried to run the same basic packages he did with Warner and co. He is an innovator but one who needs a specific cast of characters. Borges has shown an ability to meld his offense with the players available, but they need to meet him halfway. Along the way, both sides will struggle at times, and we are seeing it today. But this was a winnable game despite bad offense, and that gives me hope.
Wish I had written that.
really, really bothered me. A guy who's been doing his job for as long as he has should not be as hard-headed about a play that so many teams (including past Michigan) run successfully.
I thought they actually tried a bubble screen today, but it got knocked down by a lineman. It was early and I might not be remembering that right.
I think that was a modified tunnel, which Borges is obsessed with. I think it blows unless the O-line coming out get miracle blocks a la Northwestern.
it wasn't bubble screen. It was the same screen they have been running occasionally in other games, it is more a middle screen.
Rodriguez's offense is based on forcing the defense to try to tackle guys in space, which he says is the hardest thing to do in football. Borges just doesn't share that philosophy. His formations seem more clogged (e.g., lots of two TE's). He doesn't emphasize spreading the field horizontally; he wants to go vertical more.
All of which may be fine, but the players we have were recruited and taught to run the spread. It shouldn't be a surprise that they're not doing well at Borges-ball against better than mediocre opposition. I suppose it will work out eventually, but eventually could be three years away. Meanwhile one of the great talents in Michigan history is getting squandered.
My hat's off to Denard, Molk, Patrick O, Roundtree, Vincent and other spread shredder type players. They're doing their damnedest in a tough situation. I will always remember them as one of my favorite groups to come through Michigan in my time (early 70s to now). They deserve better, but of course life has nothing to do with what you deserve.
"Rodriguez's offense is based on forcing the defense to try to tackle guys in space, which he says is the hardest thing to do in football. "
He must be basing that theory off of his defense's performance.
And drum rims, not rim rims.
to all the players for making the best of a difficult situation, but clearly evil Borges is doing his best to make it miserable for them. I'm sure he loves losing.
Thats the best comment i have read all night. One of the first things this coaching staff said was, "they didnt look at last yrs tape". Offensively thats a huge mistake, so he might want to be in his man cave this week looking at old tape. Maybe then he'll see Denard cant throw in the red zone.
The bread and butter. TB ISO plays (with a FB). Curl routes by the WR and TEs. Is something wrong with Denard? He looks slower and less explosive this year. What is Borges doing? Call plays that Gardner can complete. On the last drive, move the pocket and give Drob an option.
that Borges has come up with two horrific game plans in our last two road games.
Dude. If you couldn't see that not changing up the snap count was an issue against Sparty, then I don't know what to tell you. Go watch Molk's response at the press conference after the MSU game. I don't see what that has to do with this game, though.
The bubble screen issue. I am a proponent of giving Denard throws he can make. I wish he could throw the long ball more accurately, but he hasn't done it with any consistency. So, why not TRY a different way to stretch the defense? Why not go back to the QB oh noes? Why not try something that we know Denard can do to make the defense pay instead of basically conceding a down? Can you offer up anything that would justify your dissatisfaction with the talk of "snap counts and bubble screens"?
I'm not blaming the game on Borgess at all, I actually like his concepts. I just think he should bend a little on his choice of constraints.
even though i get some negative feedback from it...one of the biggest things a football team needs is CONTINUITY...and we just dont have it.
We went from Lloydball to RR to Borges in a very short period of time. The scheme keeps changing and the players dont quite match up with what the coaches want to do.
This team was built to run the offense RR installed and would have been in year 4 had we kept him and i have little doubt it would be a much smoother running offense. Would that have been enough? Hell i dont know....get off me...
Borges and Hoke seem lost and searching for an identity. I was not a fan of RR when he was hired...but i learned to like him and his scheme.
I was even less of a fan of the Hoke hire as i think his record proves he is a very average, so-so coach when its all said and done. No matter how much he points or says "manball" he is still a mediocre coach at best. The play calling and substitutions (Gardner) are some of the worst i have seen in 45+ years of watching Michigan football. As much as i love Denard...this offense has proven he is not an elite or even better than average QB in this league. He IS an elite ATHLETE...but he too is totally lost in this offense.
I said last week there is a very real chance we lose our last 4 games. I really thought the Iowa game was the most winnable of the last 4.
Yeah, we lose a game we should win. So everbody is an idiot and/or otherwise incompetent. Let's all go kill ourselves.
except one lil difference. name me one play maker on that 08 offence.
I am not going to start calling for the head of a first-year OC who has contributed to a 7-2 record (last time I mention that tonight, I promise) despite trying to shift our offensive philosophy utilizing players he did not know previously and who were recruited by a guy with a vastly different take on offense (trying to be polite there). Once you see players who were, if you will, born and bred in his system and we're still flubbing it inexplicably once in a while via poor execution, then we can revisit this topic. Deal?
I understand the "has contributed to a 7-2 record" thought, I really do. I don't dislike Al, I just think he is not calling a good game right now. The coaches talk about "execution" a lot, when it comes to bad calls. I am sure the "execution" was off, on our failed goal line attempt. The 4th down play against MSU was "execution" as well, so our coaches have told us. The problem I have is Denard is the most mobile QB in the history of the game (arguably), so lets make him a pocket passer and just go "bombs away". It just doesn't make sense, and it is very frustrating. Al was calling good playsearly in the year and getting lucky with his "bombs away" aproach, but it hasn't worked since the ND game (with a couple of minor exceptions).
Borges has been around forever so that first year OC doesn't hold water wherever he's at and remind me again who those 7 wins came against.
First-year OC with these players for this team. As for the seven wins, I know - against non-conference teams and the dregs of our own conference. I suppose the question is this - what were your own expectations given the situation into which he walked?
What situation did he walk in to? 10 returning starters on a team that averaged 35 per game. That isn't a bad situation.
....I was wondering specifically what the issue was. There are a few things out there that I don't place at the foot of Al Borges, and there are a few things that I would place there. I suppose the question really should be - did we expect 2011 to be a total 180 merely based on the coaching change, or did we expect it to be a step in the right direction?
The talent is obviously there at several positions, and we obviously can blow the scoreboard up when we're on all cylinders, but in my own opinion, at least some of what we're seeing is bad execution which has more to do with the change in offensive philosophy and the learning curve associated with that. I think Borges is doing a good job, for the most part, in dealing with some of the limitations that this creates.
Admittedly, I was a little dismayed by the underutilization of Denard today, but I think they are struggling with the question of "How much is enough?" when it comes to using his ability to distort space and time with his legs. They even try TOO hard to take him out of it sometimes, or at least I think so. The QB position is just one example though.
Our lack of QB depth may also be a factor in the playcalling. Last year we could throw some caution into the wind because we had a starting-caliber QB (Forcier) backing up Denard. This year there's a huge dropoff behind him. I think the staff is trying to get Gardner experience where it can (hence the 2-QB formations), but he's just not a serviceable QB right now. Accordingly, Denard has to be protected from injury as much as possible.
I am sure there are things Borges would love to do if the depth chart didn't have questions marks and large disparities. This alone limits what you are willing to do because of the risk of losing someone to injury.
are yet to archive bowl eligibility!
This game Denard was clearly told not to scamper or improvise beyond the line of scrimmage. Because that's in his very nature and he didn't even attempt it.
I don't know why people assume this. Denard has never been a scrambler. Under two different coaching staffs, he's always been hesitant to take off when it's been a designed pass play.
for the last two years when the pocket breaks down, Denard's way more likely to force a pass than to tuck it and run. I can't think of one big gain the last two years by Denard when he's scrambled.
what can i say, we have ups and downs. We are 7-2...and we really only played two good teams(MSU and IOWA), we can say we have beat nobody. I hate to bring up RR as comparison but i guess this is a rebuilding team so cannot expect a NC, BUT atleast beat OSU this please.
i second tht. this group has never won a meaningful game outside of nd (which doesnt really count). but beat osu this year...and i will love them forever
a team that we beat 58-0, so I wouldn't include them in the "good teams" catagory.
To be fair, Minnesota is clearly a different team with MarQueis Gray playing QB, and they are no longer going through a scare about their coach's health.
My point is that I wouldn't consider Iowa one of the "good teams".
I don't know what happened in the Minnesota game but today Iowa certainly showed they can out tough anyone in the B1G. Im predicting Iowa will win against MSU and maybe rest of their schedule. And all I'm saying is that Hoke and Michgan cannot win against a legit team right now. The first day he got the job, he emphasised what it means to beat MSU&OSU and win Big Ten Championships, I'm just hoping he can deliver. I personal believe it doesn't matter if you're a first year coach or a ten years coach, MSU&OSU are can't lose games.
I think that Denard should have been chucking it downfield in the 1st quarter. Maybe he can get a rhythm down to hit a few later. We needed more room to operate before 15 minutes left in the game and the passes did that but they were ALL really off target. Hard to believe that you can throw that many bad passes. Somehow we need a WR that can separate. I guess if we had one on the field the passes would be missed, case in point Roundtree. Haven't seen any underclassmen yet to see if there is potential anywhere. We do miss Stonum more than originally realized.
The constant running against 8 or 9 just doesn't make sense with this line but we persist in trying. Mayber I am missing something. The safeties are 10 yds downfield and we try to throw quick slants into a crowd.
Was it me or was this a really slow track. The grass looked long and damp. I would certainly water down the field when facing DR. I think that impacted the inability to get wide. The OL was beating DR to the edge.
Keeping my fingers crossed that this was an abberation but the trend persists, especially on the road. We need to avoid 3 and out on the opening drive! Can't we have a coherant plan that avoids that. The opening 2 drives looked to be drawn in the dirt...very conservative...do not turn the ball over.
Grass? I believe that was Fieldturf, same as we have. Maybe the Iowa soil is so rich in nutrients it even makes fake grass grow.
The man made a McNown and Soupp Can Campbell first round draft picks. I think he can hang on to that genius tag.
UCLA and Auburn had QB coaches....
Do you think the Auburn OC job was just a stepping stone for a coveted OC position in the Mountain West?
Getting rid of Borges was the first step to Tuberville's firing. (And I like Tuberville.).
I think he's a great OC. I just wish he'd chill on the long ones...for now.
Agreed back at you.
TT fired him to save his own skin for another year. We all know how well that went.
It was inevitable that the fall was going to be a hard one. 8-4 is still looking like a good bet, but if our eighth victory isn't OSU, there's going to be a good amount of complaining around here about Hoke and his staff. Most of it won't be remotely justified, but regardless I'm sure some knucklehead is getting ready to start up firebradyhoke.com
He's made some bad calls this year, but every coach does. His calling has us at the same or a little more points produced than last year.
We still have 2 of the toughest defenses we will see all year on the schedule. And I don't know if you can really give Borges all the credit, considering the turnovers/defensive touchdowns we have had this year.
Al has had many moments that have made me happy this year. However, he seemed to abandon the plays that work, for the ones that only kinda, maybe, sorta, could work if the execution is perfect. I would just like him to let Denard roll out, throw bubble screens and encourage him to tuck and run, instead of "throw it as far as you can, when the pocket breaks down".
I think Greg and Brady have done a very good job, and I am excited for the future.
Looks like somebody registered that name in February ... lol
EDIT: reply to Don -- how did THAT happen?
who see poor execution. From Denard, from the blown routes, to the rest of things you all mention. UM"s two losses could have been wins with a fairly small number of plays well executed, a lack of turnovers at critical times, and so on. I like Borges, and I think we will be singing his praises in unison when the richer talent base is intact, and Denard is playing a position more suited to his skills, which is not a pocket passer. I agree that is Denard is going to continue to play quarterback, Borges should modify the game plan to unleash his blazing running skills more often. Otherwise, we will have several losses (3/4/5) this year, playing a QB that simply does not have the capacity to be consistent in the passing game over 10-15 yards. Yeah, I love Denard like everyone else. No, he will not deliver a Big Ten championship at quarterback IMO.
Is not Matt Millen
How is that an apt comparison?
Brandon has nothing to do with scouting, recruiting(i.e. "drafting," if you will), player development, et al.
This is just a bad situation. Denard can't execute the offense that Borges wants him to. Borges won't call the offense that Denard can execute. So frustrating, so needless. There was very little wrong with the offense last year in the first place. Now the moment we get a good defense and so-so special teams, our offense takes a few steps back. It's really frustrating.
Hoke will go exactly as far as his coordinators will take him, and his coordinator is not a good fit for these personnel. I hope by the time he gets his guys in place he will not have been fired like Rich Rod.
an issue with Hoke or Mattison and Borges has shown flashes. However, al needs to realize what he has, and what he has is a special talent that doesn't come around very often. He needs to use Denard, not hinder him.
... this board continues to amaze me... and not in a good way. Borges has never run an offense with the types of tools he has now. He has shown far more flexibility than RR in adapting his style to suit his pieces. Is he RR? No. I'd venture to guess offensively there are very few people who are as good as he was.
But to place all the blame on him when we had multiple drive stopping drops, several poor referre decisions, absolutely horrible deep passes when at times the receivers were open (and I'm pretty sure Denard has permission to check down), your best running back banged up with a head injury, and still have 4 chances to tie it up in Iowa from the 3. Yeah, it's time to bust out the fat jokes.
Stop your whining. Bunch of ninnies on this board.
I only whine for one day after a loss, and I believe my disappointment in Al is more than justified...
I guess I didn't realize, until I started digging my own trench in this thread, that a simple coaching change meant we should suddenly go 1997 on everyone's ass (save for, oddly enough, the Iowa game, except we won that time).
call plays that this team is capable of "executing" easily. To me it should be much easier for a coach to change, than a player.
You're talking about a situation where you are essentially trying to slowly deprogram another guy's personnel and REprogram them in the manner of your choosing, at the same time installing new plays, new formations (at least for this group), and trying to erase certain habits. You're asking them to do things that they haven't necessarily done before. If you were the OC, how long do you think this process should take? These are not necessarily the personnel you would have in your offense, but you're asking them to run at least bits and pieces of it. What are realistic expectations then? How fast do you think you can erase three years of a totally different approach to the game (two years, or one year, however long a given player was in that coaching regime)?
I think he is giving them plays that, in his opinion, he should be able to execute given what they've learned about Borgesland and its offense to date, as well as a hint of what they know. I would say that's a fairly realistic approach to the situation.
and it's because I've never coached football, so I don't know:
Given the personnel we had - I mean, no one else even recruited Denard to be a QB - would it have been completely outrageous for Al Borges to try and learn the spread n' shred from January to August? Is that enough to time to get I mean, he's already got all the tools in place on the field, he's got ample evidence in film from the year before to work with...and don't coaches talk? Couldn't he have gotten ahold of Rodriguez - who seems like the type who would want to help his former players, especially Denard - or any other spread experts for help?
I agree it makes no sense to try and pull what Notre Dame did in 2007, but when you already have everything in place...I feel like this is a situation where the coach should have tried his best to adapt to the system.
Many of you are romanticizing last year. Sure we ran up and down the field against the Illinois and Indiana's of the world ( we looked pretty good against minny and others this year), how bout msu, osu, miss St, psu (until we were down 3 tds).
when people judge the 2010 offense like it was a finished product and not an offense with a first year starter at QB, forced to carry the entire team because the defense and special teams were miserable and put them in position to fail.
This is freaking ridiculous. Everyone screams for RR's head. They get it (over my objections FWIW).They bring in a new staff. The staff proves flexible and willing to adapt. Shoot me if you want, but Borges has put the offense in positions to make many plays this year that they have not. It comes with changing programs. Anyone would have taken a 7-2 record at the beginning of the year. But we finally lose one against a team we should beat and Borges is being called Mike Freaking Martz. I am officially disgusted. Not with the team and not with the coaches. With morons in the fan base who make us sound like we're couch burners from West Virginia.
If you can't see the terrible play calling, than I am dissapointed in you. If you want to whine about officials, that is fine as well. I am not calling for anyones head, I just want him to use the talent we have. We just went through this and I don't want to go through it again. We have the talent to be one of the best offenses in the B1G, but we don't have a pocket passer, we don't have a guy that can chuck it accurately 40 yards. It seemed that Al knew this, he was saying all the right things before the season. However, he has forgotten and I just want him to do the right thing and use the talent we have. I need to see short passes, rollouts, screens to Smith, bubble screens, and the QB Oh-No's...
a predictable i-formation as your primary offense, when you have only run it with any real effectiveness in one game all year( Purdue) putting the players in their best position to succeed? Look, I have liked Borges playcalling in every game other game with the exception of the MSU game, and you know why because he is done a good job of emphasizing what this team does best (Shotgun), while still mixing in some new things as changeups here and there(i-formation) He got away from that mix today, and made the changeup the primary offense. Not only that, but he used less formations than we have seen in other games.
Borges has shown flexible this season, but that was't the case today. He tried to ram the offense he wants to run down the players throat's today. I don't see how somebody watching the game couldn't see that. I hope Borges learns from this and get's back to that mix from other games this season, otherwise the last three games could be pretty depressing.
For the most part agree, except against Iowa I thought running Fitz from the I-formation was the most effective part of their offense. Fitz getting hurt was a huge blow.
If not for our special teams and two awful turnovers in the first half, that last drive may have been for the win. So you can't pin that on Borges.
But fans are fans and this is what they do. Shoot, fan is short for fanatical or some derivative of that so they're playing their part. But the execution by the offense today? Bad. The coaching decisions regarding their use of Denard? Highly questionable. No reason to be disgusted, but excuse me if I'm starting to see the beginning of Lloydball coming back after I thought I was finally rid of it. For that, now I'm disgusted.
It appears that Al has too much "They're going to be expecting A, so I'll give them B" in him.
Probably what happens when you spend a career coordinating in programs that don't have that "F you, we're going to do this even though you know we're going to do this, try and stop us."
Two road losses where Ftiz's carries disappear for no reason that we can tell.
I also can't understand the use of the "two" formations after big plays. I guess to try and take advantage of a confused defense. I'd rather we run a quick snap with Denard in there and run one of the 2010 plays.
Sometimes the beaks beat the boys. When was the last time you guys watched a game without blaming anyone? Without reacting with anger and outrage? I think you are all underestimating the portion of a football game that is determined by sheer luck.
I know you've all got your own reasons to attack Borges, but honestly that was as much of a "team loss" as I have ever seen.
You have to be considerably better than your opponent to win on the road, and like it or not officiating is part of that. Michigan is not considerably better than Iowa just yet. But they fought until the end, and I'm okay with that.
Most of my anger came on 2 of the last 3 plays, and had little to do with the coaches. That shit was unreal.
Yeah, nobody has any problem with Mattison. He's a miracle worker as far as I'm concerned. Also, I love the recruiting job that Hoke has done, I like how Hoke handles the media, and I'm grateful that he generally isn't a puntasaur. Also, he seems to defer to his coordinators on playcalling, which is good, because it's pretty clear that he's not a guru.
But Borges...how do you solve a problem like Al Borges? He had a good offense at Auburn in his first couple years (although Auburn's defense was really what made them great). Most of us know he was forced out of Auburn, but we should also note that the offense got worse the following year and Tommy Tuberville was fired, and the guy who replaced him was replaced after the first six games.
I think he'll be good once he gets his guys, but until then, he just is who he is. Which is really too bad. Because in the short term, there's a lot of people who could do a lot better.
completely agree with you, if the offense playcalling had been 70-80% i-formation/undercenter all year. I am just wondering if the people saying that today's game is what your going to get with Borges, take it or leave it, have actually been paying attention all season. Literally all season long, Borges has utilized a good mix of Shotgun and undercenter, with Shotgun plays making up more of the snaps overall. For some reason he got away from that, but those games showed that he is fully capable of using the players talent's better than he did today.
That's a pretty good point. I think it has to do with Fitz being able to run power, maybe. What we saw from Fitz looked like something of a breakthrough in the Purdue game.
but i suspect that we may find out that Denard has an injury that they are not publicizing (for obvious reasons) which is affecting the play calling. Could be wrong, but he does not look like his normal self when he is running.
on the recruiting class coming in either.
We have no idea how it will turn out and wont for at least 2-3 years.
The people that think Hoke is some fantastic recruiter need to get real. Until the FIRST of his classes plays out...we have no idea how he and his staff are at judging talent.
Some of the kids we have coming in were going to be here regardless of who the coach is simply because its MICHIGAN.
When and IF this class turns out to be a good/great one... i will be the first to say what a great job coach Hoke did. But until then....they are just a bunch of high-school kids coming into a high profile and high-pressure football program that needs a lot of help.
I've been bitching about coaches on um boards for over 15 years but give me a break.
His qb is playing terrible, he's got one decent back who got hurt, he's got wrs dropping passes.
Today denard made bad to terrible throws and decisions constantly. He dials up a te screen (using the much complained about gardner package) right before the pick, that goes for a td if lewan doesn't whiff. Then denard throws the ball into traffic. What's Borges supposed to do when his qb cant throw a dump pass over a de to a wide open smith, when jr is dropping bunnies on 3rd down. Denard missing wide open round tree deep, and he looks slow and indecisive on the run.
People are even bitching about the end. It was a mistake to call the to IMO. Regardless the 4plays went ...denard throws the ball 5 yards out of the end zone, dropped td, td, and pass interference. Would I have rolled him on 4th, yes, but to kill the o coordinator in a game where your qb had tons of opportunities and was simply horrible, the wrs didnt help, and the refs killed you, it's ridiculous.
are his insistence on throwing Devin into the game after Denard makes a play, which I feel ruins Denard's flow and, in the two losses, the overabundance of deep balls for the reason you state above. Denard has not been good on those passes this year, but he has been decent on the midrange stuff (in all honesty, if you take the deep balls, the drops, the PI calls and the fact that two of those incompletions on the last drive shouldn't have counted, Denard probably ends up completing about 60% of his passes with no picks and three TDs), yet we still continue to run these long routes with no hope of completing the pass, unless Hemingway wins a jump ball.
is understandable, but my problem is Borges doesn't seem to know how to use the talent we have. The bombs away, pocket passing, and switching QB at wrong times are just terrible calls (not to mention the 4th and unches call against sparty).
We were a tipped pass (on PI) and a bad call (two in 16 seconds really) from 30 points in this game. I don't think the play calling is what got us.
I agree with OP
Im willing to give Borges more time. The problem in the Iowa game was turnovers and dropped passes. Denard actually made better decisions today than previous games. I would like to see him stop forcing passes and start tucking and running when nothing is there.