RR said in his presser that ND saw the whole defense. Does that concern anyone? I am sure that there are other wrinkles that GERG can introduce, but it caught me a little off guard.
Defensive wrinkles -vs- ND
I'm sure RR is hoping that Charlie will believe this. GERG shut down Notre Dame last year so I am sure he will have a good game plan to figure out how to stop them this year with a better defense.
It had momentarily slipped my mind that Robinson was the coach of Syracuse and that they beat them last year. HOWEVA, seeing as I didn't watch that game and was only shocked to see the score, I'm curious of those who did watch it if they got the feeling that ND's offense couldn't figure out the D or if they just had a poor game?
I did watch that game and I can't really say if it was the Syracuse D or the ND O that was responsible. ND was incredibly inconsistent last year with more than one game where they looked completely incapable on offense. Somebody can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't remember the game being very "fluky." I remember Syracuse simply beating them in a tight game.
One of the big keys of this game will be whether ND's offense has finally made the leap to what their supposed talent level is, or if the last two games are just a result of playing WAC level competition.
The ND OL was manhandled like usual last year against SU. With Floyd out, SU simply double covered Tate. With both Tate and Floyd on the field the defense couldn't cheat. When one of them is off the field, ND couldn't move the ball. ND's offense was very reliant on those two guys being healthy last year.
as Graham is chasing Clausen around in the backfield like a zookeeper chasing a misbehaving Emu. That guy needs to spend some time getting acquainted with our FieldTurf.
I doubt that we showed the entire defense. We'll do things to prepare for ND specifically that was not shown on Saturday vs Western.
I'm excited and confident after the Western game and going into the ND game for a number of reasons:
1. We looked well prepared for Western with a great game plan.
2. Gerg shut down ND last year when he coached Syracuse. Syracuse has to have less defensive talent than us.
3. Our young players looked to have stepped up (ie Roh, Demens, Cissoko).
4. Our players on D that changed positions looked great (ie Stevie Brown).
5. Our offense was not turning the ball over, nor having 3 and outs the entire game. This was a huge problem last year because our D was on the field for a majority of the time last season.
To me, if we limit the turnovers, give our defense adequate rest, and double cover Floyd/Tate we will be fine.
Great comments. I especially liked the insight about the players that changed positions. You are the first person I have seen that mentioned it.
My guess is that we saw everything that they practiced for WMU :. we have seen the entire defense. However, this week they will add a new wrinkle to the defense that ND will not be able to prepare for.
The intensity was off the charts, the tackling for the first time in years was solid, fly to the ball type of thing and the whole team was focused. Thanks FreeP, that may have helped set the tone for what will be a consistent NC hunt, circa 2011 and beyond.
We definitely didn't see the entire defense on Saturday. Michigan really didn't reveal a lot in the second half, and it's practically impossible to call every stunt, blitz, alignment, and coverage combination in one game, let alone one half.
Notre Dame might have seen all the alignments (3-4, 4-3, 4-2, etc.) but not everything we can do with them.
Also, I could be wrong, but did we ever see a real goal line or short yardage defense? I don't think we did. Not that such an alignment would necessarily make or break the ND game, but it's something to consider...
The one thing that kept coming to my mind over and over again on Saturday was how well they tackled. The other thing I was thinking that is this type of performance will only reinforce to the players to believe in their coaches....I do not buy in that the Freep Article "brought the team together". I 100% believe it was the coaches that have developed this team to get the best out of the players by putting them in position to make plays. The competition (depth eventually) will keep the players on the field focused to make the plays.
Its not a wrinkle, but more like a key: Brandon Graham vs Sam Young.
The D looked great on Saturday and Graham dominated without needing any stats to prove it. He destroyed the right tackle over and over again. If Graham can can come close to repeating that, then Claussen will have the same happy feet Hiller had from the first play of the game.
you believed him when he said that?
One thing that does give me confidence going in to the ND game is the improved tackling. My number one complaint about the D for the last 5 or 6 years, through multiple cordinators, has been the poor tackling. If we continue to tackle so well, especially in space, it will go a long way in containing any offense we play.
Just watching the ND/NV game via YouTube and Hulu highlights, and I think that if we play the kind of detailed, quick defense we did in the first half, we've got a legitimate shot at beating Notre Dame.
A number of Clausen's passes would be deflected or picked off against a secondary (even a Michigan secondary) with enough coverage skill to hang just a little better. While the O-line held NV off, to be sure, the ND running backs clearly picked up an extra 4-5 yards per play due to defensive confusion and poor tackling (which, based on the WMU game, are much less of a problem for Michigan than they were last year).
Clausen threw 150 of his yards on two passes, and ALL of his four touchdown passes for longer than 15 yards. TD 1 for 25 yards into the end zone, TD 2 for 35 yards into the end zone, TD 5 a 50-yard bomb + 50 yards on a broken tackle, etc. That was against the straight-up WORST pass defense in the country from 2008. Agreed, the only points we gave up last Saturday came against just such a play. But Greg's got better eyes than I do, and what I'm seeing from here is a somewhat less daunting and oh-shoot-robot-passing-game-that-is-impossible-to-plan-for offense than 35-0 would seem to suggest.
#1 Nevada's corners were caught in 1on1 coverage quite a few times and they actually did do a much better job staying with our WRs than I expected. Our WR corp was labeled as one of the best in the country for a reason. I would be surprised if they weren't much better this year, and thats not just because they have only one direction to go.
#2 WMUs only TD came on a 30 yard pass (about) which went for 73 yards, and it was by far the longest they attempted.
I agree, you guys have two devastatingly good wide-outs. Both will go in the first two rounds, if not the first, when they go out.
I guess all I was trying to say was that 'wrinkles' (different stunts, blitz packages, etc.) might be nice, but that what it looks like GERG needs to plan for most starts and ends with long balls.
To be fair, one of our starting corners (cissoko) was pulled for precautionary reasons in the second half. His replacement (Floyd) seems to lack the inherent speed that you'd like to see in a corner. The long touchdown by WMU was in part the result of Floyd getting burned on a deep route.
As has been noted, our defensive depth is very scary at some positions. If the starters are healthy, I think our secondary will be pretty effective. One injury though and it could get ugly.