So basically you've given up hope before we've even lined up? You do realize that Borges and staff have tape on MSU and can scout them too, right?
Borges' State gameplan - Indiana or new?
I asked the MGoCommunity for their thoughts on how Al will scheme and the likelihood he sticks with the Indiana plan. I clearly haven't given up hope if I am enquiring what others think.
I don't usually neg OPs, but I did yours...
Thanks JDon. Initiating a discussion about how Borges will adapt to MSU sure is a dumb topic. Your neg made me realize this. I'll ignore the countless comments in this thread that have actually provided some real good insight on the topic because your neg is everything to me.
MSU isn't Indiana.
I think Al Borges is capable of realizing this. Thus, we will game plan for...MSU. Of this I'm fairly certain.
I loved your role in the I hate Borges threads. Anyway, what do you think of challenging Dennard with intermediate to deep plays when he is guarding Funchess. He has a problem with pass interference and it would be a good indicator early on in the game as to whether the refs will be holding onto their flags or not. I'll hang up and listen.
I like the idea. Personally, I don't think MSU is going to get flagged a lot at home; I do think every I-form run will be a wasted down. I would have Gardner chuck it close to 40 times on slants, screens, etc. and make MSU pay for ceahting up with counters and draws. If we can get to around 21 - 24 points...
I love the idea but don't know if we have the personnel to implement the counters and draws. Definitely not the counters seeing as we have serious problems with pulling from our guards. Draws would be tough with the A gaps seemingly blitzed on every play from them. What an awesome chess match this will be for the coaches.
This is a self serving thread so you can continue to bash your favorite team's OC.
False. This thread is only self-serving in wanting the MGoCommunity to help me adjust my Borges expectations going into this, arguably the most pivotal game on the calendar. I mentioned my initial expectation (low) to get it started, but thanks to a number of awesome responses, I'm enlightened. So to that extent sure I guess it was self-serving.
enough. appologies for sounding dickish. The Borgess discussion is painful for me because he has way more credibility than "internet guys", and my perception is that too many cooks with too many opinions make all the criticism ridiculous, imo... but that's probably why we have Internet boards.
I will just go back to avoidance of these discussions, because they annoy the hell out of me.
Al has game-planned differently for every team we've faced this year. No game-plan has been the same. For example, against Indiana, knowing we'd need a lot of points, we went back to predominantly spread concepts. But against a team like Minnesota (and Akron and UConn), Al's tried to establish some confidence in Power pro. Ultimately, I think the coaches want this team to fundamentally be able to do a bit of everything; so we can unleash hell on Ohio.
Really, I think the long and short of it is Hoke's demand that he be able to call Fitz's number on the goal-line, like he did on Saturday on 4th and 2; and in other key short yardage circumstances. To that end, he's going to use "weak" teams to practice power on, and against "strong" teams (or teams scouting assures will require lots of points to beat), more often than not, we'll play to strengths.
I'm writing PSU off as an anomoly. I think Hoke & Co. wanted the team to prove itself adept at playing a power offense start to finish. Maybe that game was supposed to establish identity and confidence? I honestly don't know what the hell that BS performance was.
But on Saturday, I saw something good; the framework for an identity. I saw deception screens setting up nice chunks of yardage on the ground. I saw throwback screens doing what throwback screens can do in this offense. I saw Devin in the gun, where he is most dangerous. I saw some deceptive short yardage passes come out from under center in what looked like power run formations. I saw pass set up run, and then I saw a decent-good run game emerge.
And as a result, I saw Hoke/Al call Fitz's number on 4th and 2, and I saw Michigan score the TD. If that's the goal, to let power prevail when you need a short-yardage conversion, then I think last week's offense (perhaps with better pacing to not wear out defense) is the identity of this offense. But those deception screens from under center are absolute necessities in keeping that identity.
Recap: the quick pass must set up the run with this team. We have to start fast and assure ourselves short yardage 3rd downs. How Michigan will continue to keep defenses guessing on 3rd and short will be the identity of this team.
really get why people don't see considerable flexibility in Borges. It's an almost willful denial.
With the experience that Borges (and all the coaches) have had against Sparty, there is no excuse to not be prepared for this one. This year's game is monumental for the division race. With two weeks to prepare for this game, there should be a lot of things that Sparty folks have not seen on before in other games. Also, for the love of CHRIST, will the coaches and players PLEASE expect to see a trick play or two? Watch for the fake field goal or punt...this is Dantonio and he loves to do that stuff.
Shouldn't the fake be guarded against on every special teams possession for State? We haven't shown that we have the players to break anything loose on our return teams so it would just make sense to play the fake everytime. More to lose than there is to gain.
Hopefully Al builds off this week. A lot more passing and a lot less zone stretch whatever. I think Gallon and Funchess will find their way open (or in Funchess' case, he is just naturally always open) so a decent gameplan should find guys open downfield. I think the key matchups are
Al Borges v Crippling Addiction to the Zone Stretch
Devin Gardner v Terrible Decisions
Not Gallon one on one with Dennard and Funchess on Waines? That's what I'll be focused on at least.
Game plan: Pass heavy. Why? Because we just had a passgasm in the last game and it looks to be our best means of moving the skin of the pig down the painted lines of the grassy rectangle.
Where should we be throwing the magic bean? I would say over the middle when we do play action since we get so many A gap blitzes from them and there should be openings since that area is being vacated and I'll also say down the sidelines to Chesson and Funchess. Gallon can take deep middle with his cloaked crossing routes and Butt can occupy the area over the short middle being vacated by the blitzing backers. Focusing on this should empty the box to 7 so we can develop a balanced attack with Toussaint and Green.
I think anything but sticking with the Indiana gameplan is calling for trouble. What made the Indiana gameplan so good was that Michigan's offense wasn't all that predicatable. We passed on some early downs which helped out the running game later in the game. Let State stack the box and and force Gardner to throw. I believe he is capable of airing it out to our guys and forcing State's defense to back off some.
with you, that they need to stick to this sort of gameplan generally speaking, but Indiana's D also helped the gameplan look good.
The problem with this is Gardner won't have near the time to throw that he had vs the Hoosiers. He had all year back there. That probably won't work vs Sparty. Al will probably need a counter.
Crucial game? Tough defense? Road game? History has thought us that Borges will go immediately into his shell once the first ounce of resistance is meet to an Indiana type game plan, and we'll end up with a 27 for 15.
only calling 2 good games all year does not make me sleep soundly...He will most likely resort to calling runs up the middle....I hope he opens up the pass game out of shotgun and let Devin pick apart Sparty's secondary (much like the Indiana game)...but history is telling me that he will do the exact opposite, hope im dead wrong about that
Serious question requiring a serious answer. Do you really lose sleep or not have good sleep because a man is calling plays that haven't been working to an area close to perfection for the majority of the games this season?
Your question is about as serious as his use of that particular figure of speech is. I have seen this pointed out before "why are you losing sleep over blank?" It is a well known, oft used figure of speech, just take it as such. We all know he means he has little confidence in what follows that statement.
Blue in Yarmouth for (what I assumed) was a pretty fair figure of speech to use in this context...but apparently some posters on this board take everything literally, or are completely lacking in good examples of sarcasm....either way, I have very little confidence in Borges, to clarify your question
I think it's a crappy analogy. Borges's play calling isn't something that brings worry into my life so the question at its base was does that occur for you? He answered below. Things are not always what they seem.
Will you ever be able to live with the idea that people care about sports? We don't need you to jump in and berate someone every time they communicate how much they care about the sport. Look down on him however much you want, but here you are every day posting away.
Habits are hard to break. Like I said to the guy going apeshit during the ND game, "it's just a fucking game." Some people take it too seriously and, in my eyes, should be called out for it. Why should they be called out for it? Mainly because I want to see what their response will be. They aren't directly affecting me like the crazy man who was hitting the guy sitting in front of him with his baseball cap and generally making the game less enjoyable because of his outbursts, but I am always curious to hear the opposing rationale. I don't feel that way so me asking or inticing a response through rude methods (sorry!) is my way of trying to get that person to explain it to me so I can better understand. I will try to do better in the future as to not attack the person to get this desired outcome. Thanks for saying all of that in a pretty innocuous way.
Up until about 5 years ago I was as crazy about UM football as a person could be and I wouldn't literally lose sleep over thinking about a particular game, but it definitely impacted my life in a very real way.
After a loss I would find myself in a funk for days, so much so that my wife would simply avoid even talking to me for a couple of days after a UM loss. I don't think anything had the ability to negatively impact my life the way a UM loss did.
Five years ago all that chaged. I don't know if it was the fact that losing became the norm or that I had quadruplets (or more likely a bit of both), but I started to realize there were more important things in life than whether my favorite sports team won a game.
I remember it taking a while to sink in though. Immediately after the games I would have that same feeling until I kind of shook myself and remembered that, in the grand scheme of things, my life was pretty damn good even if my favorite team lost.
The point of my post is some people have a real connection with sports (and lots of those people are UM fans). Given the past I described I can easily relate to those type of fans, even though now it doesn't have the same devestating effect when UM loses.
People are all different and wanting to try to get inside someone elses head to try to figure out what makes them feel the way they do is an admirable trait, but the way you go about it is more often times going to start a fight, not get the results you say you want.
If you are serious about your intention of wanting to know why people think the way they do, my advice would be to ask in a less sarcastic and judgemental way and you'll probably have more success.
CMU, Notre Dame, Minnesota, and Indiana did you have problems with?
Minny and CMU were filled with terrible play-calling, however it didn't matter because both teams were so bad/our defense played so good that the outcome would have been the same regardless: a blow-out win
As nervous as I am about this game I think it comes down to whether our defense can stop the sparty offense. If we can shut them out offensively (purdue almost did) it gives us some leeway on offense as I expect a trick special teams play and probably a defensive touchdown against us. If either team scores 20 points they will win this game. Dantonio loves to play the field position game and Hoke will oblige him much like Ferentz did in the Iowa-MSU game earlier in the year.
I think it has more to do with not turning the ball over. MSU has 5 defensive TDs this year and while they have improved, they are still pretty bad at moving the ball. They only scored 1 offensive TD against Purdue...at home.
At this point I expect around 2 catastrophic turnovers every game. Garnder averages 1.5 INTs per start and has fumbled it away probably 0.5 times per start. It is blatant homerism to think that we won't turn the ball over against MSU. The question is can the defense totally shutdown msu's weaker offense.
but I think stopping MSU's offense won't be a problem. They can run the ball reaosnably well but we defend the run well against pro sets (see: anytime Minnesota tried to run with their RB) and their QBs are all bad. They'll pull out some trickeration no doubt but I think scoring 15 pts is enough to beat their offense
Howeva...Devin Gardner will probably give MSU a short field once or twice...or thrice. If we avoid that, I think 15 pts wins the game.
Even with the bend but don't break style of defense Mattison has seemed to employ this year, I'm not expecting to see to many long drives by the MSU offense. My big concern is the offense or special teams setting up MSU's offense with a short field.
The offense will set MSU up with a short field certainly one time possibly more. How our defense responds in these situations will be the difference. I'd love to see us take MSU out of field goal range with a big 3rd down sack. Or hold them to a field goal from first and goal.
I hope Dileo is able to play, because we'll need to hit some stuff over the middle. I expect State to bring pressure to try and cause Gardner to make mistakes, and to play tight on Gallon so we can't make quick throws to the perimeter.
Super tight coverage with intense pressure on Gardner will be the State gameplan, and rightfully so since that recipe causes turnovers for all QB's, and apparently, ours especially. We will not have the time for Gardner to wait on all those double moves to develop downfield. The constant use of check down receivers can get pretty boring, but I think we will have to resort to dinking and dunking our way down the field and hope that we can get a few red zone TD's from Gardner's ability to improvise. What we cannot do is play in third and long situations all day where we are forced to throw the ball further downfield under pressure. I think the IU philosophy is the one we need, but it obviously needs to be adjusted for the fact that we're not running for 170 yds on the ground or having the time to throw bombs to wide open receivers all day.
I want to see us throw the ball a lot early, and hopefully open up the run game a bit. MSU plays the tightest coverage I've seen, and that's why Denard interferes so often (gets called maybe once a game).
We will need plenty of short routes so Devin doesn't have to hold the ball, but I'd like to see us throw the ball up to Funch a lot in this one. Even if covered, he has a chance to come down with it. After what just happened, Gallon will draw saftey help a lot, which could free Funch or Chesson even more.
A different Michigan team seems to exist outside of Ann Arbor that plays our road games for us. It's expected to a degree, but the past few years the difference has been unsettling. BoilerSpartyQuest on Saturday backed me off the cliff a bit.
Michigan's gonna trot out the triple option.
In a sea of great responses that have provided significant enlightenment about the challenges Borges faces and the options he might turn to heading into this key game, sure enough there's you to add clutter with your standard gibberish.
If the DBs for State get away with their pass interference on every play style defense, it won't matter what Borges does. If it gets called like it did vs. ND, then I think we will be fine, and win by 10-11 points.
Can we really just cut it with the "Staee" business? We're not the RCMB.
I'm actually okay with STAEE. There are a few terms for Sparty that are rightfully frowned upon, but this one in particular was an own goal on their part. Maybe it's not a good idea to use it in things like thread titles, where information should be clear and concise, but if you're going to highlight a facepalm-worthy MSU moment, it's my pejorative of choice.
But it's so subtle. It's not like other pejoratives. It's an arrogant dig, at best.
But...overmoderation and suppression of speech is where we're at now. Unfortunate, but I've accepted it.
When a State fan spray paints a car with Staee because they are too inebriated to spell it correctly isn't that worthy of ridicule for at least 5 years if not forever? It's classic in the same way that all of those comeback games against them were. They were all set up for victory with the lead and should win just like the man all by his lonesome with that fresh can of paint that can be used in the most artistic of ways. Then adversity strikes, the Michigan team begins to make plays and the Spartans lose control over what they had previously had control over much like the effects of the grain alchol eventually clouding the prefrontal cortex in a way that it is rendered impotent and unable to help make rational and correct decisions. Then it strikes, you know when because your body expels the proof of its existance for all to hear. Sparty No! You see this in the game and the proof of this with the artist is left with his finished masterpiece of Staee. It is proof that Sparty No is not just subject to on the field now, it has crossed into the world we all occupy.
He should pretty much use the 2011 MSU gameplan. Our execution of that plan was not good, but it was a sound strategy. You have to throw the ball downfield to loosen up the MSU defense, because they love to keep everything near the line of scrimmage. That's something that we've mostly failed to do over the past five years against them, so they've loaded up the run. This year the downfield game is clearly the strength of the offense anyway. We just have to find ways to protect Gardner.
Max protect with two backs and use a few screens to keep them honest? MSU DLine tends to be aggressive, so we should find ways to use that against them.
Any thoughts on the game time's for these next two games??
There have been two games where Gardner has looked like an All American. In both cases Gallon has a million receptions for a trillion yards. Is it reasonable to assume that unless up against a shutdown corner that UCONN, Arkon, and PSU do not have Gallon will be open. I know Gallon is only five feet eight and thus an abomination to Borges. However, it seems like taking advantage of his openess will introduce vulnerabilities if teams concentrate their defenses on Gallon or a lesser extend Funches. If you cannot run the ball, what is wrong with setting up the run with the pass?
I understand our coaching staff is all about domination, asserting will, power football, etc. However football is also about deception, misdirection and generating matchup advantages. The former works great when you have a dominant team. But the later is how you beat a team of equal or superior talent.
It almost seems like the Michigan staff is beating their heads in the wall just to prove a point.
Darqueze Dennard on Gallon. Dennard is one of the better CB in the country and will provide a big test for Gallon. If MSU can shut down Gallon, I would expect MSU to concentrate on shutting down their running game with their tough front 7.
I honestly don't think there's a corner in college that can shut down Gallon. I saw him embarass the Alabama secondary last year with a double move (the only good thing in a horrible game), jump over much taller corners to catch jumpballs and break ridiculous tackles against ND. The only time I've seen Gallon not have a huge impact is when Gardner can't find him or we seem to not call plays in his direction.
If the pass rush doesn't get to Gardner, there's no reason Gallon can't have a great game.
the refs swallow their whistles/eat their flags. All of the attention Gallon's garnering/Gardnering right now cannot hurt in that regard. Will be very interesting to watch.
EDIT: In some recent games we have been flat-out intimidated in EL. The early going will set the tone.
Super agree regarding our hesitancy against MSU. I really hope that was due more to Denard getting jarred by the blitzing but Gardner hasn't looked as good at handling pressure this year.
Gardner's deep pass accuracy should convince Borges to call a way more aggressive game and punish them for blitzing.
The refs seem to ignore obvious penalties and violence from MSU so it wouldn't surprise me if they let Gallon get held on every play. Another guy who gets away with everything is Roby on OSU. I was very unimpressed when Abberdeis (wisconsin) owned him. PI was Roby's only chance at stopping him and the refs let it happen.
as a WR. If he's uncoverable, we'd be talking about him as a 1st rounder but he's not. He's a very good WR, but not elite.
I'll bet Tom Brady already has him on his list -- they'll probably pick him up in the 2nd or 3rd round. He'll be a good fit in New England I think.
in Amendola and Edelman.
2nd/3rd round is too high for Gallon. I bet he goes 4th round.
What more does the guy have to do?
Frankly, I'd much rather have Gallon and his crazy numbers than a less-productive 6'2" guy headed for the NFL.
in the draft like Sammy Watkins, Marquise Lee, Brandin Cooks, Jordan Matthews, etc. who are all better prospects than Gallon.
Gallon is short and lacks the speed to run away defenders. His hands is a bit inconsistent and doesn't always separate from DBs which is important in the NFL. You can get away with lack of separation if you're a bigger WR but Gallon is 5'8"(maybe 5'7") and that will hurt him as a prospect.
The point is, Gallon is an elite college receiver. Michigan is a college team that plays college football against other college teams, so that's all that really matters right now.
I freely acknowledge that Gallon doesn't have the NFL measurables. Maybe he will be drafted, maybe he won't. Maybe he will have a successful NFL career, maybe he won't. But right now, in the college game, Gallon gets open and puts up huge numbers. That makes him "elite" AFAIC. I kind of view Gallon similarly to Mike Hart, who was unquestionably an "elite" college RB, even though he didn't do much in the pros.
He's a very good college WR, but not on elite level. You're overrating Gallon as a WR.
The guy who ran the offense that made Gallon the leading Big Ten single game receiver of all time is hating him? What?
we actually have fans who would post that two days after the Indiana game.
I seriously doubt that Hoke is just some clueless oaf standing on the sideline with zero input on the offensive philosophy. I'm pretty sure Hoke has a gameplan for each game that includes offense, defense, and special teams. In a game in front of a hostile crowd against a defense that sometimes scores as many points as the offense, I'm guessing Hoke will move more towards the Penn St. game plan: minimize risk on offense and depend on your defense to win. I really think if Michigan opens up the offense they could score in the mid 20s or higher against State, but I suspect that won't be the case, and the game will end up something like 17-14 or 14-10.
I don't think many give Borges enough credit. He is trying to establish a downhill running game. It didn't work, and won't work, this year with the current personnel, and he sees that now. Still, I don't blame him for continuing with the scheme as long as he didn't have any losses. When you're trying to establish something new, you expect that it won't work that well until you've done it a lot and have all the kinks out. After the PSU debacle, it was clear there had to be a change (go back to the recent past and abandon power.)
While power probably won't work against MSU, I'm sure that Borges has to do something different than the plan against Indiana. I don't have mathlete's charts in fronty of me, but iirc, Michigan State is the best team in the conference defensively, and Indiana is the worst. Some of the things that worked against Indiana aren't going to work against MSU.
If there is anything that is going to work, it probably will be for Michigan NOT to be predictable. I have horrible memories of MSU timing our snap count, for instance. (too predictable.) I think that the more Borges can surprise and catch MSU unprepared for a play, the better. For instance, I'd imagine that MSU will blanket Gallon and Funchess, because they are proven threats. That in itself will be hard to do. But perhaps that means that passing more to Dileo or Chesson will work. Maybe Borges sets up the run with the pass, catching MSU unawares on an "obvious" passing down. (Borges calls for 5 passes in a row, then a run.) Regardless of the details, the less predictable Michigan's offense, the better.
We're supposed to give Al Borges credit just for being a functioning human being? I sort of see what you're trying to say, but maybe that wasn't the best way to word it.
We're not going for 751 yards against State, but thematically, the Indiana game plan emphasized our strengths. Scoring early will be a key to success.
I get your point, but your last sentence struck me as funny. Obviously, the goal is not to maximize randomness, otherwise you'd do stupid stuff like punt on first down and run off tackle on 2nd and long deep in your own zone during the two minute drill.
play close to the vest and grind out a win with field position(using our Iform RB running weakness). Or play to our offensive strength (shotgun, gardner, make plays).
btw,you can't blanket funchess and gallon as well as commit #s to the run (which is what MSU does). Not enough players on the field.
Given the gallon explosion they will shade a safety to his side, load the box to stop the run, and let the dice roll on our other WRs. This IS EXACTLY what they are going to do. We know it, coaches know it, my gf probably knows it. How Borges attacks this will determine the game.
When they are not doing the above, they will rush less and player quarters behind it.
They will switch between both hopping to catch gardner offguard and get a INT or 2.
When the power game failed against both akron and uconn (and we nearly lost both games) it should have been evident change was needed. There was no reason to think it would work against PSU. btw, our young o line is still young next year as we lose our two best and most experienced blockers. Don't look for power to work until at least 2015.
a running play on an obvious passing down, I predict the play after that will be a PUNT.
Your point about the snap count is interesting though. At the end of last year, Devin was drawing opposing defenses offsides using varied snap counts. Why haven't we seen any of that? MSU should be good for at least two free first downs if it's done right.
but we've already switched centers before half the season is over. Devin and (fill-in-the-blank) need some experience/chemistry to be truly effective doing that.
They also need more than 2 seconds left on the play clock.
I'm sure that Borges has to do something different than the plan against Indiana
Once Borges finds something that works he seems to use it until it fails horribly. Then he concocts something new which works great until someone shows emphatically that it no longer works.
That was a lot of writing to say that Manball is not ready, MSU isn't Indiana, and Borges needs to be more creative against State because they have such a good defense.
we are now doomed...........thank you
What's the proper punctuation for possessive Borges?
Either Borges' or Borges's, but the latter looks a bit clunky to me.
Thanks for the knowledge!
Borges' is plural, as in "Borges' family values." Borges's is singular, as in "Borges's favorite play."
I fully expect Borges and Hoke to go conservative and play into MSU's hands by doing I form runs up the gut. Hoping to manage field position with our D and score on a short field vs. MSU (and minimize turnovers).
That all sounds good in theory BUT...
it's asking the UM O to play to its own weakness. Undercenter RB carries vs good DLs. MSU is more PSU then it is MINN. We should have learned from that game but I'm sure we did not. Now MSU secondary is >>>> than IU but IMO playing our weakness against MSU strength (UM RB carries vs MSU run D) is a mistake.
Now I HOPE Borges decides to spread the field more and let Gardner operate out of the shotgun.We turn to this when the shit hits the fan and we have to score anwyays. A nugget from ESPN:
-Gardner’s completion percent out of the gun against Indiana was 16 percent higher than it was when he was under center.
-Gardner completed 9 of 14 passes when he was under center and averaged 35.7 yards per completion.
-All four of running back Fitzgerald Toussaint's touchdowns came while Gardner was under center, though his personal average per carry under center is nearly half of what it is when Michigan runs the shotgun.
-Michigan rushed the ball 23 times for 118 yards (5.1 yards per carry) out of shotgun.
What do those stats tell me? Gardner is more comfortable passing in shotgun and we stand a better chance to move the change (esp against a team committed to stopping the run) via shotgun passing.
Use our offenses "change up" effectively like we did vs. IU. By that I mean:
1] Use i form packages for PA, especially on 1st down. These are where the homerun plays to Funchess and Gallon will come. These are how we flip the field. Now this does not mean go PA every I form, but we HAVE to use pa passing on 1st down. 1 out of every 3 1st downs should be a pass IMO. Some for quick dinks to 5 yds. 4-5 bombs to funchess/gallon. Hoke should express "concern" to the media about the amount of PI MSU does as well. plant the seed with the refs early and often in the game too.
2] If we have committed to consistent use of shotgun to move the chains (via short passing), Now is a good time to run the delayed draws, inverted veers, or simply 4 wide with a QB keeper. IE use shotgun to run the ball. Pref on 3rd down on their side of the 40.
Gibbons has been shaky so 40+yd FGs should be a no go. this means more 4th down calls for us in and around their 30-40yd line. knowing this we should run a couple times on 3rd and medium knowing that we have 2 plays.
I think it's pretty clear that the run game does better from shotgun, but what is it about 35 yards per pass attempt that leads you to believe Gardner isn't comfortable enough passing from under center?
this despite having TONS of time to throw since most of these were off PA in the IU game. also gallon was WIDE WIDE open. niether of those to will happen vs MSU on a consistent basis.
now gardners lower % can be attributed to the length of these passes (further throw, lower comp%) but we know he will not have this amount of time vs MSU like he did IU. hence my aprehension to go to the iform "PA go DEEP" well toooo much. don't get me wrong, we have to do it several times... 5-6 bombs at least. I'd say once we approach mid field the bomb should be firmly in the 1st down playbook. also, IMO it seems like gardner does worse in the short passing game on drop back passing. perhaps sees the field less.
Also, his 16% higher comp% in shotgun vs IU tells me he is more comfortable there. as well as the entire ND game.
The MSU game has to be all about moving the chains. I actually agree with the coaches that it will be about field position and points will be a premium. I just know that we cannot move the chains and get goof field position, or flip the field after an MSU drive by running under center with the RB. this will directly lead to TFLs, 3rd and longs, and INTs. at this point its a fact IMO.
shotgun, dink and dunk. 1st down PA bomb 5-6 times is the way to go. that will move the chains and loosen it up for Tousiant runs. Garder will have 10-15 carries hopefully to move the chains on critical 3rd downs or get to the endzone in the redzone.
TOTALS - 21-29, 503 yyds 2 TD.
So, if he was 9-14 for 322 under center, he was 12-15 for 181.
Ignoring the tiny sample size, those numbers look way better under center. I don't know why people keep trying to pretend we passed better out of the gun. We did run better, but the old I-form was the key to the Indiana win.
one out of every three first downs should be a RUN. We should pass far more often than not on 1st down, especially against MSU. I would honestly like to see about 15-20 run plays all day, not counting scrambles.
In case you missed it, our run game sucks against not Indiana.
Would like to see a bit of no-huddle or hurry up offense. Even though the coaches seem allergic to it, I think it could be advantageous. Continue to pass more frequently on first downs (as we did last week) because it keeps the defense off-balance, IMO.
You have to give him credit for being able to do that with 2 weeks to prepare for State. I would expect to see more of an open style than we saw against Penn State. If he can't run, I don't think he will try to do it 27 times more.
it to rain and be windy, as it has been in east lansing the last two trips there. i think this makes for some ball control issues.
I see it like this: With no turnovers, it'll take 14-17 points to win this game. With 2-3 turnovers, it's going to take 24-27 points. Hoke/Borges will think that spreading the field and cutting Gardner loose = 2 to 3 TO's, while the Penn St. game plan could = 0 TO's. The question becomes, are you more confident in the IU gameplan generating 24-27 points or the PSU gameplan generating 14-17 points. I'd say the former, but I think the coaching staff will lean towards the latter.
The Penn State gameplan DID result in 2 turnovers from Gardner (but none when they took off the handcuffs in the 3rd quarter) while the IU plan generated 2 of a different (fluky) variety, neither of which was really Gardner's fault.
Don't disagree with you, just trying to think like the coaching staff. We sort of had all been working under the assumption that Hoke/Borges reined in Gardner and the spread passing look due to Gardner TO concerns. I don't think the coaching staff is going to look at the Indiana game and think its solved, even though the last two games would indicate that Gardner is more comfortable with shotgun/spread looks.
Execution of the game plan is on the players. The crappy game plan is on Borges. You can't blame the coaches when the players do not execute it. No matter how bad it is.
The lesson is that going with a conservative gameplan doesn't seem to prevent turnovers, and I think (read: hope) the coaches realize this.
You can execute perfectly on every play, but if the coaches tell you to run into 8-9 man fronts, even perfect execution will fail.
WE WILL RUN DAMMIT will fail against MSU. You think more rushing = less turnovers, but I disagree. I say a poor rushing game leads to MORE turnovers when the QB faces 3rd and long all day and has to press to make plays.
Edit: didn't see Zok's post below where he basically says the same exact thing.
I think this is exactly how the coaches feel.
I happen to think its wishful thinking to believe that this team will go on the road and have zero turnovers vs an aggressive D. conservative gameplan or not. What some are missing is that two safe runs for a total of 2 yds on 1st and 2nd down leads to a 3rd and long. prob more like 3rd and 14 with our OL and running game. There is NOTHING safe about 3rd and longs. Those generate TOs... Not first down passing.
To your point, I am confident that if UM scores 24-27 points they will win the game. so long as TOs are under 3 and none of them go for pick six or sack-fumble-TDs. big IF but I really don't see MSU scoring 28pts without at least 1 defensive Touchdown. so IMO, our goal should be get to 24 pts...
so to me, the answer is play it safe inside our own 40. Open it up once we approach midfield. Hopefully our D and the special teams will be good enough to limit our O plays inside our own 20.
about being a tad conservative inside our 40. The problem is that we need to make first downs so our D doesn't get too tired. We might actually make MSU's offense look good if we don't at least move the chains once or twice before punting.
MSU brings pressure and they play man-to-man.
Mix the IU gameplan with the ND gameplan.
Short quick throws, back shoulder fades, screens, max protected double moves, some shotgun PA pass to freeze the LB.
MOAR spread, LESS MANBALL.
No naked bootlegs. No stretch runs.
...seems pretty cut and dry to me!
They play a lot of Cover 3 scheme whether if it's straight Cover 3 or Cover 3 Buzz/Sky/cloud. They like to play press coverage. You think they're aggressive, but in reality, they're pretty conservative and doesn't like to take a lot of risk in terms of playcall. MSU defense plays disciplined and does a good job of having defenders reading proper keys.
If it is so cut and dry then why has their defense been so dominant this season? That seems like an easy gameplan to implement.
I think this game comes down to who can run the ball better......as most of the games between these two teams, the team that runs the ball better wins 9 out of 10 times. This doesn't bode well for us, having an inexperienced and young O-Line who has struggled to create holes for the running backs. MSU is the #1 Defense in the country giving up 58.6 rushing yards per game. Devin will probably have to run the ball a lot in this game.
I think this game is the one time out of ten where rushing yards are not decisive. I don't think either team is going to fnd much success running the ball. I agree with everyone who says that turnover margin is probably going to be the key to victory, with third-down conversion % also being very significant.
My general impression is that Sparty is going to stack the box, blitz Gardner like hell to try and rattle him, and dare him to beat them with his arm. I think the coaching staff looks at this game and will try to go very conservative to minimize turnovers and giving MSU's offense a short field.
If we had a Wisconsin/Bama-esque O-Line, a conservative game plan wouldn't bother me. But unfortunately, we don't. And I feel like a conservative game plan plays right into MSU's hands. I guess all I can say is thankfully we have two weeks to get ready for this game.
On hopes the gameplan is "score more points than MSU". MSU will be a slog, and things that worked against IU will not do so against the Spartans. I don't foresee him asking Gardner to throw downfield as much, but Funchess and Gallon will be the best two WRs MSU has seen all year, and this remains a defensive unit that can struggle if the referees are calling PIs and all of the tugging guys like Dennard do throughout the game. If the defense is allowed to play the rough style we've seen in the past, though, I suspect UM will play a conservative offensive style much like last year, as MSU's offense is still pretty much a tire fire with occassional bouts of competency. Limit those and I suspect UM will win.
Conservative offensive gameplan and hope that the defense can hold them? Sounds like we'll be playing the exact game that MSU plays if that is done. That sounds like a recipe for disaster for this team seeing as how that is the antithesis of this team's identity.
It worked last year. Not saying it is any sort of guarantee this year, bit it wasn't a recipe for disaster then and might not be now.
I would like to see the shotgun, read option and short passing because I believe it is our best chance to move the ball and score, but Hoke makes a gameplan with both sides of the ball in mind. He let Borges air it out more against Indiana because he knew we would need to score to keep pace. If he believes MSU can't score against our Defense, he will probably go very conservative on Offense to avoid turnovers. It will likely be a very frustrating game to watch.
I doubt Borges just independently comes up with the game plan with no input from Hoke or conversations with the defensive staff. I'm guessing part of the reason for the wide open attack against IU is because the coaching staff knew the odds of it being a 24-14 game were very low. In all likelihood they knew they were going to need to score some points.
I'd bet that Mattison/Hoke and defensive staff probably feel pretty good about the defense's ability to keep MSU's offense in check. With a QB that has been prone to turnovers, I'm guessing we're going to see a more conservative approach on offense. I'd like to think the coaches realize that based upon the results so far this year, the chances of UM getting a lot of production from the rb's on the ground isn't very good. Hopefully, we aren't going to see Fitz consistently getting blown up in the backfield, but I doubt we're going to see the wide open offense that we saw against IU.
Most of you guys are crediting Borges with the intelligence of an ashtray. Power running didn't work at all against Penn State. It barely worked against Indiana's non-defense. Why do any of you think he would think it would work against MSU, who has arguably the best run defense in the nation? If they stack the box, any handoff is just a waste of a down.
I could see us running a conservative game plan, but it would be a sane conservative plan such as: run the scoring offense with handoffs only as a constraint play, but have Gardner scramble or throw it away instead of throwing into coverage.
...and i will predict a michigan win this time, too, but it's pretty easy to imagine our offensive coordinator looking at that defense and deciding to do whatever it takes to eliminate any and all risks...so i don't expect us to do much more than the usual conservative game plan. especially on the road, where...uh...we haven't pulled out too many stops during his tenure.
Light on fire the couch the OL is sitting on!
I'd love to see a lot downfield passing that we saw versus Indiana. Problem is, MSU is going to blitz and blitz and blitz, and Gardner isn't going to have as much time to complete those double-move passes to Gallon.
One of the things that I'd love to see (but most likely won't) is when Borges calls power runs (which I think should be very few vs. MSU) run them up tempo. Come to the line, run power, quickly back to the line, run power, quickly back to the line run power -- don't give the defense time to set up. Then, right when their tongues are hanging out, and they're selling out on your up tempo power run, hit them with a nice little play pass or QB boot run/pass option.
I have a sneaking suspicion that Borges will, despite all of his doubters in here, come out with something well conceived to stop MSU's psycho defense. I am looking forward to it!
Are you arriving at this conclusion because of last week, his larger body of work, or simply hope?! To date, I have not seen Borges create a competent game plan against a rival on the road. I am grasping at straws to have a positive attitude about him in this game.
I am arriving at this conclusion for several reasons. First, he's going to have a full week of practice to implement something different. Second, he just called a game (even if against IU) in which he "opened it up" and had record setting success. Lastly, Borges knows that MSU's defense is not only good and uber aggressive, but is especially jacked up against Michigan. He knows that running the ball up the middle, at least from under center, just isn't going to work. Unless, he comes out and does the classic "break tendency" scheme.
Breaking tendency, however, requires execution. If Devin & Co. can execute early, get MSU's defense wondering, Michigan should win. I think Borges knows he cannot line up against MSU and go toe-to-toe with them, so he won't try.
I'll vote for the opposite. This line is not one they should be hurried. They have a hard time blocking the right guy as it is. Your idea is OK in a general sense, but not with this M team. Gotta put your players in position to succeed, remember?
and I am still not convinced that Borges/Hoke will be able to gameplan well enough to beat Ohio or even Sparty. I hope I am wrong, but we will see.
Borges/Hoke have done pretty badly on the road. Now, this time they have two weeks, if they still cannot get the job done, i am not surprised that Borgers is asked to leave by DB.
Hoke has been unable to win a big road game. IMO, this is the biggest game of Hoke's tenure.
Just because Al Borges comes up with a proper gameplan against a terrible defense doesn't mean he gets my confidence or the benefit of the doubt. He's shit the bed in far too many big games for me to have any confidence that he'll show up with a prepared offense for one of the nation's best defenses. I hope he proves me wrong.
What about the big games where he did NOT shit the bed? It's seems that people that have the least confidence in Borges have a selective memory and never give him credit for his successes. Not very fair to me.
because I don't seem to remember any.
UTL2? People were lauding him, and worried that Devin was going to the NFL? Remember?
I don't think it's necessarily selective memory here. We have had very limited offensive success on the road against half-way decent team with our current coaching staff. Notice all the awesome game Borges called were at home (and Bowl game last year, which I was overall happy with the offense). This is what makes me nervous about the next MSU game. I sincerely hope that Borges will prove me wrong.
I liked our plan at MSU in 2011. It was basically exactly what everyone is calling for this year. I thought we had a chance to beat undefeated Ohio in Columbus last season, which a bed-shitting game plan would not have been able to do. I even liked the plan against ND last year. We all want aggression now; last year he was passing it all over the field in South Bend. And we all hate conservatism; hows a HB pass for you? Borges didn't turn it over 5 times, our QB did.
Its funny that Borges has been skewered for being too aggressive (MSU 2011, ND 2012) AND too conservative (Ohio 2012, PSU 2013). What does he have to do?
State is not going to do anything differently than they have been on defense. They'll play cover four, frequently use the double-A-gap blitzes, and use press coverage.
Their defense is not unpredictable; it is simple, it is smart, it is well-executed. We have to win some match-ups to score points:
- Gallon and Funchess need to beat press coverage and get open
- The O-Line needs to provide DG time to throw
- The O-Line needs to prevent TFLs when we do run
- At least one role player will have to step-up (ie Dileo last year)
Basically, we have to win our match-ups with their very good secondary, keep their very good D-Line and LBs out of backfield, and have Butt, Chesson, Dileo (if healthy), Norfleet, or someone step up. All of these things are really hard to do.
- Change up the snap count. (noted in thread)
- Limit QB runs (cheap shots)
- Get play call in sooner (hot read/audible)
- Gameplan as if UM is down 10-14 points (1.5 int / .5fumble) to start game.
But it has to have more bubble screen play/ short pass play when they stack the box. Those long-time developed play action play will result in SACK, SACK and SACK! and should not be used that frequently.
Agreed. Some short screens and slants would be good to see. The long developing PA will lead to Gardner scrambling backwards.
IMO, Fitz is the team's best runner. But like anyone else, he needs at least a little bit of space in which to operate. Therefore, I would like to see a few swing passes to him, kind of like the one in the ND game. Bottom line: get Fitz in position to succeed, and get the ball in his hands.
Also, as noted above, Gallon and Funchess will likely get lots of attention, so could this be the game in which Chesson breaks out? I love his special teams play, but there is tons more potential with this kid we haven't seen yet. Secret weapon - we need one.
Edited to add: if not (or maybe in addition to) Chesson, how great would it be to see Jake Butt hopefully having a break out game as the new "secret weapon"?
I really hope Dileo is healthy. He will be needed.
This is not a spread team no matter how much you all want it to be. We do not have coaches for that and we actually play defense. Part of that is by keeping the other team off the field. This is not fantasy football and no points are given for most yards, most plays or the speed they are ran. The model is get more talent keep the other team on the side line and beat them doing what you do. Boring, maybe, but I would rather be bored winning than flashy and lose.
We only score points out of the shot gun and although it's not really the read option as much as Gardner running when the pocket collapses , we look much more like a spread team than a man ball team. Sorry.
but you're ignornig reality. If winning is really what you want than you should be hoping for more play out of the gun and less under center because this staff (and this team) has shown that they perform much better when playing out of the gun and not under center. You sound a lot like what I imagine AB sounds like except he says "I'd rather lose while running my offense than win while running something else." That is the impresion I had prior to the Indiana game, though at least now I have hope.
My point is, as a fan you should be happy with your team winning whether they are doing it the way you want them to or not. If that's the case, then you desire to see them run a "boring" gameplan isn't going to yeild the results you want (if history is any indication).
Not sure why all the downvotes - seems like a legitimate question to me. And as somebody said over the weekend (sorry cant remember who but it wasnt me) "Michigan's offense seems like it's under House Arrest and isnt allowed to leave home".
That was brilliant IMO.
Maybe the tether has a radius that exceeds the grasp of Ann Arbor and extends to East Lansing. I'll get the techs to do some toggling to make this happen. Legs need to be stretched afterall.
I am hopeful about all you said, but I am a little hesitant in believing that Al and Co "know they won't be able to run the ball up the middle". I am not sure they "know" this and am willing to bet they try. Hopefully they don't try 30 times like they have in the past.
iPhone mess up, the above post was a reply to someone below.
Didn't Indiana score their first TD against State on a run up the middle? I'm not saying we should do it all the time, but, it definitely needs to stay in the playbook, just not always on first down or third and short.
It seems to me that IU's running game works because it's such a surprise. They spread you out, sling it around, and then right when you adjust, they hit you up the middle. Not saying it's not a feather in IU's cap in scoring a rushing TD agaist MSU, but it's not that amazing.
The best way to beat an aggressive, blitzing defense is to run right at them. First of all, blitzes are not great against the run as they can leave open gaps and make for poor fits in the run game. If we could Iso them to death, this would open up the passing game in a huge way, as those DL wouldn't be able to come upfield as fast and the LB would always be looking run fits first.
Unfortunately, I don't see us being able to do that. The next best thing is a short passing game featuring the TEs. Attack them where they aren't, and their LBs aren't in the middle of the field on all of those double A blitzes.
Also, lots of screens and draws. The draws could potentially be very effective if we get a decent passing game early. Fitz is a patient runner, the line can just use MSUs aggressiveness against them by letting them fly upfield.
to see something with Gardner split out wide and Morris at qb if Gardner comes back very healthy from the bye week.
I honestly cannot conceive of one single argument for how this would be a good idea.
Staee's D is super aggressive. Hopefully we have some plays lined up to punish them for it. A few counters, throwback screens, etc... Maybe Norfleet on a reverse. I don't think our usual PA from the I is going to cut it.
I agree 100%!
To add to that, MSU's defense seems to go insane when the play Michigan -- it's like they cannot help themselves and get all kinds of personal fouls. I think Hoke & Co. need to make sure that their guys remain under control, and call a game that utilizes MSU's hyper-aggresive scheme against them. DO NOT play to their hand, and DO NOT get retaliation penalties.
on Sparty including a long rushing TD right up the middle.
MSU attacks the LOS with their lbs. They are quick to read and adjust. Their corners play press coverage and use their hands a lot to disrupt routes and stay close.
Gardner will most likely be throwing into tight windows. He will face a lot of pressure from a series of delayed and double gap blitzes. Bullough will likely be employed as a spy and then shoot gaps on certain pass plays.
Sparty gets good push from its front four which is both tall and quick.
How do you attack an attacking defense? You attack it straight on and on the perimeter with quick-hitting plays. You throw to backs out of the backfield and you use screens and draws to curb line and blitzing pressure. You spread out the defense and go after mismatches.
The best way to beat this team is with an offensive barrage not a defensive struggle. MSU wants a grinder game in which it controls the clock, and pounds your defense with its run game and quick bubble screens, pick routes, slants and crossing patterns. It will go deep on Michigan with Fowler or Kings, because everyone has with certain success.
Michigan needs to dial up its defense, and come with pressure packages that MSU hasn't seen Michigan use much this year. I'd like to see Ryan get more rotation action, but I guess that depends on his health and ability to make himself a disruptive force.
No question, this game is the season for both teams.
Big Al I'm pulling for you. I liked your Indiana game plan. I especially liked the faked pass and then a draw play. That will come in handy for staee. Please give me some slants.
Just win dammit. This is the biggest game of Hoke's tenure.
But my game plan would rely heavily on 12 and 22 personnel - two TE sets. If State is going to attack our A gaps all day, the place to attack them is in the vacated short middle. Get Funchess, Butt, and AJ Williams running short crossing patterns, sticks, slants, and the occasional seam. I think that is our best chance for a consistent passing attack, as their secondary is pretty good and very liable to hold and not get flagged. I'm worried that a lot of the max protect, 2-man routes wont work as well against State because I think their pressures can still get home against our line and their DBs will leave people open many fewer times than Indiana and their ilk.
The bad thing is that this personnel grouping hasn't been conducive to a good running game for us. Sucks. We have to spread to run, but the spread might not be the best way to attack their aggression. I trust we'll have a good plan. I loved the plan in 2011, which was destroyed by inclement weather and poor passing.
I'd like to see them come out swinging, pedal to the metal, and put up 5 touchdowns. Make them keep up with us in a sense (Indiana did this, tried anyway). That MAY help garner some respect from the rest of the country, as a side note, scoring a bunch of points on this defensive juggernaut.
Play ball control when needed but never be afraid to attack and throw the ball on these guys; as good as they may be, they're vulnerable to a good Devin and very good recieving corps. Use Fitz in the passing game too, moresoe than the swing route up the sideline, but screens and circle routes. Rabble rabble "this is what I want to see", aside....Just move the ball and score on these guys.
And then kick em' while they're down (not literally, we'll leave that up to them).