It's not my intention with this thread to start another who's fault was it thread about last night. Perhaps I'm naive in that, but I'm just pasing along that when I watched College Football Final, Rece Davis, Mark May and Holtz all agreed that in their opinion the offensive game plan called for way too much pocket passing from Denard, and they criticized Borges by name, particularly May. IMO May is wildly inconsistent and Holtz is a parody (I admit to liking Rece Davis) so that critique does nothing for me, but since it's a national show I thought I'd pass it on. As for me, 6 turnovers does not necesarily equal poor game plan, but WTF. I think there may be some strategy changes made in the bye week.
FWIW ESPN's College Football Final Crew criticizes Borges.
It was both Borges and Denard's fault.
The Vincent Smith thing is probably what I'm most angry about with Borges. Denard, I'm just upset after all these years he still can't plant his feet when he throws.
... I didn't have a problem with the call. Smith just made a terrible throw. Receiver was open.
I guess you could blame borges for putting smith in the position, but I'm sure they practiced it all week and they felt good enough to go with it. Just needed better execution.
Everyone loved it when Smith threw the TD pass against Minnesota last year and they would have loved the play call if it had worked. The receiver was open and it was a bad throw. You take that risk with trick plays. However, to blame Borges for that game is ridiculous. We were moving the ball just fine all night and there is nothing that Borges can do to prevent interceptions except not call passing plays. If that happens, then we aren't going to move the ball anymore.
Thank you. How can you blame turnovers on play calling? Losing a fumble?
We out gained ND and we actually outplayed them. We were in the game until the end of the 4th.
"You take that risk with trick plays." That's exactly the point. It was not a risk we needed to take at that point in the game. Our offense was moving the ball just fine.
in hindsight of course it didn't work. but while we were moving the ball fine, we were struggling mightily in the redzone with a compressed field. i think borges recognized that and went for the trick play.
borges and denard are both to blame, but i think denard deserves more of the blame. borges called plenty of runs for denard. we can't just not throw the ball.
denard just made some bad decisions/throws. and in denard's defense he has to throw into some awfully tight windows because while I love our receivers, they don't exactly get much separation.
We weren't struggling in the red zone yet, not at that point. It was an unnecessary call, and it cost us huge. There were many more chances to put this game away, and I thought the rest of the game plan was ok, if a little long pass heavy. Unfortunately, this one is on Denard. He's my favorite player by a long shot, but he just had a bad game.
the first redzone possession was ruined by the first pitch run, which was meant to set up the pitch pass. but since the pitch run failed so miserably, it didn't set up the pitch pass at all.
why force the play call? unnecessary trickery ruined first two redzone possessions, which set the tone for offensive incompetence.
overthought both of the first red zone possessions. First and ten at anybody's ten yard line, and Denard Robinson in your quarterback, you run Denard on first down, run him on second, and if by some miracle he is not in the end zone yet, you run him on third down or roll him out with a run pass option. I am just going to say it like it is, Borges is being stubborn and he is costing us big time. He called terrible games against MSU and Iowa last year, Alabama was what it was but last night was an abomination. He is so obsessed with making Denard a pocket passer that he is not accepting the fact that we don't need him to be to win games against almost everybody we play. It's true that Denard ran a fair share last night, but everytime Denard is put in a position to be a drop back passer, Borges is doing a disservice to the team and to Denard. If he wants to call that kind of game, the team is actually better off playing Bellomy. He is trying to fit a round peg into a square hole and it is not working, and it is really wearing on my patience.
I don't think borges called a terrible overall game against either MSU or Iowa, and no gameplan against Alabama would have made my soul happy.
I would say that in the iowa game, he stalled our offense by switching to gardner seemingly every time denard started clicking. In this game, the failed trick play was extremely costly.
But to say that his overall gameplan in this game, or iowa, etc. were bad is too simplistic, and ignores the fact that we had 300 yards of offense even after 6 turnovers.
turnovers did not just happen independent of Borges. He is insisting that Denard do something he cannot do. He is placing him in positions where failure is all but assured. I do not know why he is insisting on doing this. Look at it like dunking a basketball, you can either do it or you can't. Denard cannot read defenses. Denard is a very smart, charming, articulate individual with what appears to be a heart of gold and ridiculous wheels, but he cannot do what is being asked of him. It is not a secret or a mystery anymore. So, either adapt to your quarterback or change quarterbacks, but don't keep banging your head against a brick wall. Doing the same thing over and over again with the same conditions present and expecting a difficult result = insanity. Enough.
They should know by now what Denard can and cannot do.
He did it brilliantly against Ohio State. He did it well against Nebraska. There was every reason to think this year would be a great leap forward in his passing. BUT Denard doesn't seem to be able to do it well on the road. It is hard to think of a road game against a good opponent in which he has played well since teams wised up and realized you have to make him beat you with passing.
Overall I like Borges' game plans EXCEPT for red zone play calls. I just don't understand the need for "trick plays: in the red zone. If you can't out football the other team ... take the 3 points and kickoff. Wasted red zone trips = losing football games.
Too many times Borges has taken the best player on the field (Denard) and has given him ONLY 1 option. Give me the ball at the 10 yard line and I'm rolling Denard on every play .... he then has the option to run or throw ... or even handoff on the counter or throw back against the grain to the TE floating to the other corner. And wait a minute .... we have 2 guys that are 6'4" (Gardner) and 6'5" (Funchess) that could EASILY go up and get a jump ball over a 5'10" corner !!!!
Argh ... throwing from the pocket is not using Denard in the most effective manner. Unfortunately, the list of of our red zone failures is growing ... and it really needs to be addressed, and I think Coach Hoke will.
We were up 14-0 already against a clearly overmatched team and at home. You could run the risk then. Doing this in a scoreless game against an impotent offense when points could be at a premium was stupid risk that didn't need to be taken.
And we were not moving the ball fine all night. We spent almost the entire second quarter throwing picks in our end of the field with an inaccurate passer. As much as I disliked Carr, he was famous for not chucking the ball on the road on his end of the field. The offensive gameplan was poor.
we were moving the ball fine and didn't need a trick play called at that time. ND hadn't stopped our O on that drive so why put your 5'6" RB in that position.
Re the Smith part of your post, four things:
1) Minnesota does not have ND's defense. While I don't think ND's defense is great, one thing it does have is a good front 7 that bring pressure (as shown in their last two games). Vincent Smith is also short. So you are asking a RB, who very rarely throws, to throw the ball in the face of likely pressure. Not a recipe for good decision or execution.
2) It is always harder to complete a pass in the red zone, and in particular, within the last 10 yards as there is less space for the defense to cover. Smith's pass last year was actually thrown last year from about the 23 yard line, about 10 yards further out than the pass against ND.
3) Last year, Dileo was completely wide open. If you look at Smith's pass, http://youtu.be/Q_1249Nr75I?t=8s, he just nicely lolli-popped it to him, which was doable b/c there was no one within 10 yards of Dileo (or within 5 yards of Smith). Against ND, while the WR was open, it would have taken a nice throw that actually led the player and had the proper amount of arc over a defender - not too much, not too little. Again, a tough throw for an RB.
4) Minnesota was Smith's first ever pass. Doubtful Minnesota would have been looking for it. However, he also threw a pass against Purdue later. So ND, if they did some scouting, would likely not have been as fooled by a Smith pass.
In short, it was very dumb playcall. All trick plays are risks, but that had too many factors working against it.
We weren't playing MINNESOTA!!! We were playing Notre Dame...on the ROAD...and most of all the score was 0-0.
If we were up 21-0 in the 2nd half, I have NO problem with that playcall. None whatsoever.
But to make a boneheaded decision like Borges made when they score is 0-0 and they're basically GIVING you 7 point is ridiculous.
If we're up 14-0 like we should've been, the rest of the game is completely different.
We weren't playing MINNESOTA!!! We were playing Notre Dame...on the ROAD...and most of all the score was 0-0.
If we were up 21-0 in the 2nd half, I have NO problem with that playcall. None whatsoever.
But to make a boneheaded decision like Borges made when they score is 0-0 and they're basically GIVING you 7 point is ridiculous.
If we're up 14-0 like we should've been, the rest of the game is completely different.
Actually marched down the field with the Pass.
Play by Play:
Gallon 8 yard Run
Denard 6 yard loss
Denard to Gardener 18 yard pass
Denard to Roundtree 9 yards Pass
Denard 2 yard run
Fitz 0 yard run
Denard to Roundtree 11 yard pass
Denard to Gallon 12 yard pass
Denard to Gardener 9 yard Pass
Denard 15 yard run
So 59 yards passing and 19 yards Rushing
They have run that play before with Smith to great effect. Teo just blew it up and forced a bad throw.
poorly executed by smith
don't be the guy who thinks the play call is good if successful but the same call is bad when unsuccessful
Ya, smith has to realize with Teo sprinting at him that a jump pass over Teo is not going to work. It's too risky a throw. Smith needs to set his feet on that throw so that way any miss hopefully goes long. If the defense reads the play-as Teo did-you tuck it and take the 3 yard loss. Poor judgment as much if not moreso than a poor play call. An unnecessary play call though.
obviously, this particularly refers to Te'o, but it was shown throughout the game.
This is reason #1 for me that the wide, wide sweep call and then the ridiculous HB option on a compressed field were unforgivably terrible calls.
I just can't see any word for this strategy other than "stupid."
Yeah, lets ignore the fact that ND's secondary is inexperienced and they were hoping to get them to bite on the run. Or the fact that it is a run/pass option and Smith made a bad decision compounded by a bad throw. I like the aggressive play calling, it sure beats getting beaten like a drum in a Rose Bowl because the defense knows what play you are running every time. Borges, I am sure, was trying to loosen up the front 7 and put pressure on an inexperienced secondary. Lets not forget the notion that sometimes you call a play to set up another play. Sometimes you succeed and sometimes you fail. This over analysis of every play ignores the fact that the offense put up nearly 300 yards of offense with 6 TOs...against a good front 7. Every play does not have to be a home run...thinking like this is why Denard makes bad decisions...Live to Play another Down.
On one hand, it's not unreasonable to expect a senior QB (and three-year starter) to make better decisions with the ball than Denard Robinson made. On the other hand, it's the coaches' job to recognize the skill sets their players have an adjust their game plans accordingly.
I recognize what Borges is trying to do with Denard, but maybe after this game, U-M will have to go with a more run-heavy offense (with maybe some short passes thrown in here and there). Of course, defenses will then stack against the run, but Michigan may just have to accept that and find a way around that.
i've been getting negged on the Denard thread for saying this same thing.
It's not my intention with this thread to start another who's fault was it thread about last night.
You just did. Way to go. If you didn't want to start another thread about it, there are a few other places you could have put it.
Yeah, but whose fault is it that he started the thread about whose fault it was?
that is one ugly predator or i guess arnold would say "your one ugly mother fucka"
I have a hard time blaming Borges. Denard has shown through 3 games he was a better passer and completely regressed this last one. This entire game was lost by him, and he knows it.
The thing is, he looked fine when he had time to throw. When he had ND in his face, instead of taking a sack or chucking the ball out of bounds, he threw it downfield.
Hopefully during practice these two weeks Hoke will instruct the O line not to block and have Denard deal with all the pressure. He's got to get that out of his head. Stop trying to make plays like that.
Denard did in fact throw some excellent passes when he had time.
I think that the changes Borges has made to the offense have begun to set in and Denard is so focused on an improved passing game he tries to pass more than any quarterback might in pressure situations. He has a good arm and as long as he knows he has the freedom to run I think he will more quickly know when to run vs. throw.
Disagree...I thought it was a well balanced game plan. I can't fault Borges for poor throws. It is concerning that DR doesn't throw the ball away enough when there is nothing there. I think Borges could take some blame for that though.
People have criticized Denard's mechanics as a passer and those posters would be much more knowledgable about passing mechanics than me.
My biggest concern is the judgement and knowing it is better to throw the ball away some downs than turn the ball over and give the opponent some momentum.
Denard can throw the ball he just has to make better decisions including when to know when to fold the hand he is dealt. His other option would be to use his legs (part of his dynamism as a player) in those situations where it is pass but no player got open.
Denard plays with a lot of emotion and I think he feels the pressure of carrying the offense on his shoulders more than other QB's do. That can lead to too much energy and/or anxiety then what you would typically want your QB to feel. It almost seems to manifest itself in later starting games than the normal noon starts. It would be nice to establish a run game early to take some pressure off him, but usually he is the running game.
but as a senior he should know better by now and be able to adjust accordingly to any game time. I think he forces throws a lot to try and create something for the offense, but it'd be interesting to see how the offense would do without him forcing anything, take a sack or throw it away and move on. I'm interested to see how he improves after this game, I think he'll come back strong against Purdue but will never be an elite QB until his football IQ and decision making improves on the field.
When that HB pass called. Denard was on fire and the 2 Guns INT broke the offensive rhytm..
lolwat? one play doesn't break an offense for the rest of the game.
It sure looked like it did. We marched down the field with no problem passing the ball. Then the next 4 passes were interceptions.
But when it stalled and we had to pass we threw an interception. But it didn't stop us from moving the ball.
I don't even know what to say to people who think one play in the first half "breaks" an offense.
And really, if we had kept running it and didn't score, everyone would be like "why you so Debord?!?!" People love what works. Don't try anything "Too Conservative!" Try something "Why you do that then?!" Can't win with people unless you win (and with Michigan fans, only if you're doing so perfectly).
I don't know if we watched the same game. On the drive with the HB pass we drove 70 yards down the field mostly by passing. I believe Denard was like 5/6 passing the ball on that drive. Vincent Smith interception, boom Denard throws 4 straight intercsptions. I'm not saying that the hb pass took Denard out of rhythm, but something sure as hell did. One way or the other the offense stopped working after that drive.
Correlation does not equal causation. Many things play into the outcome of football plays/drives/games. Making the claim that one busted play significantly altered the outcome of the next X plays is pretty silly if your best justification is just your gut.
What a tired line. When you're trying to determine causation you often look for correlative patterns.
Denard didn't start throwing interceptions because the offense stopped working. It's simple, really.
Though this is a funny thread to point out that we were marching it down the field with Denard passing....I wonder if he rolled out every play...
I was chewing Wrigley's Doublemint gum on the morning of September 11, 2001.
Never again. Fuck you, Wrigley's Doublemint!
One play can swing momentum drastically. Two questions for you. 1) did we have momentum before the HB pass? 2) did we have it after? The play call is just as important as the people executing the plays. I thought Borges has had great game plans all year. It seems we have a guy open every pass play, its just whether Denard can a) find the guy and b) accurately throw it. Anyone that knows sports whether MMA, boxing, basketball or football knows that one moment can change an entire game. Our moment was the INT by 2 Guns...
As we had after. All game we moved the ball effectively and had drives die in the redzone because Denard threw a pick or took a sack. Not sure how moving the ball later isn't having momentum because it ends in a turnover while having it early because we moved the football isn't negated by a turnover.
There wasn't a lot of momentum period. It was an ugly, mistake filled game. ND hardly rolled with momentum after the trick play. They just made less mistakes than we did.
7-0 vs. 0-0 in a defensive battle is huge for momentum...
And the momentum after a long drive that ends in a turnover in the 1st half is no different than a long drive that ends in a turnover in the second half. It's not like they stopped us from moving the ball after the trick play. And considering we couldn't capitalize on any of the later ones assuming we would have on that drive is a leap. For all we know that could have been Denard's first turnover instead of Vincent. We moved the ball before and after it; we didn't score touchdowns before or after it. That it drastically changed how the game went isn't really based on anything.
momentum swing after a long drive in the 1st half is no different than a long drive that ends in a turnover in the second isn't really based on anything either. I could explain why I don't think that is true, but I doubt my opinion will add much of substance.
I do see your point about not knowing what would happen had the play not been called, etc.
I have no idea what you were watching, but 5-6 before that and then 4 out of next 5 passes picked. Im not saying its all Borges fault, but that play call and the results changed the game drastically.
Why would Vincent Smith throwing an inaccurate pass cause Denard Robinson to suddenly force a bunch of crappy throws into coverage?
It sounds to me like you're uncomfortable criticizing Denard's play and are fishing for some alternate explanation. "Momentum" is cheap buzzword. Momentum can shift on any play. I don't believe that a senior who has started 30 games would have his confidence so shaken by his teammate throwing a pick that he'd suddenly start throwing them.
Because getting somebody upset on this blog would send me into a deep depression and Denard pays my bills. Get the hell outta here. I'm saying exactly how I feel. The play call was bad, and whether you want to accept it or not, it was the start of one of the worse series of Offensive plays in UM football history. I'll be the first to admit that Denard played bad and probably should have been yanked for Gardner or Bellomy, but the kid has been crushed enough.
Even while the play was developing I was saying to myself "this crap better work" because immediately I thought it was a horrible play call.
I'm not defending the trick play. I didn't think it was a great call. I just don't see the connection between that play and Denard throwing four picks. ND didn't do anything on their next possession and in fact, they pulled their QB from the game not long after. If they had killer "momentum," why would they do that?
I wasn't in love with the halback pass, but the idea that it created some soul-crushing loss of momentum that lasted half the game is absurd. You know what happened after that pick? ND punted it back to us.
Denard has always been interception-prone. It's not a phenomenon that started last night. At some point we have to accept that it is what it is. He has shaky footwork, stares down his receivers frequently and too often tries to force passes into coverage instead of throwing it away. Guys who do those things will throw interceptions. no matter how much momentum is on their side.
I am less interested in his opinion than I am in the opinion of my neighbor's dog.
Interestingly, your neighbor's dog and Mark May also have other things in common.
They both have the same football IQ
Both get groomed with hair clippers and a #6 guard
They slobber slightly less than Lou Holtz
They both can lick their own balls...and do
so there's that
Hey now, your neighbor probably wouldn't appreciate you insulting his dog like that. Dogs are smart animals and shouldn't be referred to in such ways.
what did Lee Corso think about the LB play?
Yeah, trying to take advantage of what should have been the biggest mismatch in our favor (our WRs versus their DBs) is bad coaching. Borges didn't make Denard throw the ball to ND a million times. Other than the HB pass call I didn't mind the play calling.
The turnovers were on quite a few people, but I questionsed Borges' playcalling too. I can blame Te'o being an unblocked blitzer on a few turnovers, Denard for a few, receivers not running their routes, or letting balls go through their hands for a few, ect. I wouldn't really exclusively blame Borges for Denards turnovers, but the HB pass into good coverage? That was unnecessary by any measure.
I thought it was a pretty sweet play, but I question the timing of it. We were moving the ball pretty effectively at the point and that play seemed unnecessary at the time. I imagine they were executing that play pretty well in practice or Borges wouldn't have called it.
The receiver(Dileo I think) was wide open, Smith just massively threw it behind him. Which is understandable when Teo is right in your face.
when you are a 5' 6" Vincent Smith with Teo in your face. Should have used a 6' 4" Devin Gardner running the same sort of play on a jet sweep type play action.... Good play idea. Just bad timing and use of personnel on the play from Borgess.
The reason you run that play with a tailback is to sell the fake. It starts out like a conventional pitch play. If you run that play with a guy like Gardner (who had thrown a pass on a trick play earlier in the game), it's much more of a red flag to the defense. Smith is supposed to have the best throwing ability of our backs, so he's the guy there.
I didn't think it was necessary to run that play at that point in the game, but I understand the personnel choice.
I don't blame borges. The game plan was working. The execution was lacking.
I don't think he told Vincent Smith "hey, if you see pressure, do a blind jump pass into the end zone"
And while Holtz was once a good football mind bring up Notre Dame and he becomes someone better suited for a ND posting board.
I'm not sure where all this started this week (maybe May read Bacon) but Denard is not a better passer rolling out (How can you be on MGoBlog and not realize this after all of Brian's analysis), it makes it harder for him to run, and we JUST had a tread and front page post showing Denard throws better from under center.
Just because stupid people say it doesn't mean we have to repeat it.
How about the announcers last night calling him "Desmond" Robinson? wtf, really?
Denard is not a pocket passer. But he is a gifted college quarterback. Borges needs to utilize his strengths. These still include passing the ball.
We successfully utilize Denard and we can win any game. It's really that simple.
If Denard doesn't throw the picks, the game isn't lost. Break it down any way you want, but Denard had a terrible game. Everyone has a bad day. Time to move on.
Other than that, I thought it was a well called game. When your QB is averaging an INT EVERY 6 THROWS, plus fumbling, there isn't much you can do. Denard was turning the ball over running and turning it over throwing.
The UFR and other things my say otherwise, but I am not putting one ounce of blame on Borges. Even in the second half, when Denard fumbled, we put an excellent drive together. We had lots of promising drives. This was NOT Alabama all over again.
Recognizing the limitiations of your quarterback is one thing, but just giving up on the pass altogether? I'm sorry, but just throwing the ball away when it isn't there isn't advanced quaterbacking. It is QB 101. Which a senior, three-year starter should have under their belt at this point.
No doubt Denard's been coached up about taking care of the ball; he just made awful, awful decisions and poor throws. Coaches can only do so much, at some point it's on the players to put into practice what they get taught and harped on in practice for.
When they were executing the game plan, we drove 60, 70 yards. We just kept DERPing in the redzone.
i really can't think of any play where Denard has just thrown the ball away when he's pressured. i find it hard to believe that they drill that into him in practice only to see him never do it in a game. it's possible but i doubt its' "stressed" in practice.
Do you really think that any QB coach or offensive coordinator worth his salt doesn't try to drill into his QB to throw the ball away when the pocket collapses and no one is open? Do you think that any coach can make it to this level without appreciating the importance of such a fundamental concept and emphasizing it to his QB?
that's what makes it frustrating. i can't believe that Denard consistently throws the ball away in practice when pressured, only to never throw it away in a game. i literally can't remember a single play where he has just thrown it away.
The thing about halfback passes is, when they work you are a genius, and when they don't you are an idiot.
Of course, if we'd run a more conventional play and turned the ball over, then the ESPN people would be saying, "That gameplan was way too vanilla. When your QB is struggling in the red zone, that's when you need to get creative or run a trick play to change things up..."
IMO, it was a reasonable call. Whatever.
the offense was struggling, not when we had just driven down the field with ease.
He called a good game, but he was outmanned and Notre Dame's Defensive Coordinator pitched an almost perfect game. I think that UFR will show that Notre Dame took advantage of their talent edge and identified the key weaknesses of this offense. Someone referred to Notre Dame as "Alabama Light" and I totally saw that. Their linebackers are just unbelieveable.
Wait untill UFR. I would bet the RPS score is almost as bad as Denard's passing chart score. You can't run roll outs into outside pressure and not expect throws into coverage. The QB has absolutely no time to make a decision that will not lead to something bad happening.
The person who compiles the UFR is one of the most biased people in the Borges/Denard discussion and RPS is the most subjective/least quantifiable (thanks David from Wyoming, this is what I was looking for) measure on the UFR. There is nothing wrong with that and the UFR is interesting to read, but relying on the UFR to determine who deserves the blame is foolish.
I've accused Brian of bias in the past, but at least with UFR you have something tangible to look at to examine or dismiss that bias.
Look, let me give it to you this way: I assert that Notre Dame absolutely whipped our asses in that football game, and not because of the turnovers. The score doesn't show it, and the yards don't show it. But if I'm right, the game plan, as expressed by scheme, and the matchups are easier to see when you do charting than when you just talk about the game. Brian does the charting. FOR FREE.
If you just skip to his scoring summary, you're basically taking Brian's word for it. But you can also go through it play by play and have the conversation with Brian as he describes what he sees. Sometimes you agree, sometimes you don't. But there's nothing of comparable quality, detail, or insight in college football.
I'm not criticizing the UFR. I'm criticizing the reliance on the RPS results from the UFR to determine whether Borges or Denard is more to blame for the outcome of game.
out of the UFR. Actually, sounds like we're agreed. Sorry if I unfairly overextended your perspective on RPS to the rest of the analysis
We're on the same page. There is certainly value in the UFR.
Trying to find one source to place the blame for a loss is more foolish than arguing the subjectivity of one man's review of the game (i.e. a UFR, or anyone else's opinion on this board, yes, even those with a football background).
My comment was simply stating that my opinion was that Borges made some poor choices as well as Denard. I also was stating that Brian may have the same opinion after reviewing each play in more painstaking detail than I ever will. We will have to wait to see.
Glad you got so insightful about it.
You understand that that RPS score is just Brian's guess at quantifying something that is very, very hard to quantify, right? Don't put all of your faith in any one metric, even if it is better than going by your gut.
Edit, beaten by OMG Shirtless
Keeping him in the pocket or rolling him out to throw? This thread is sooooo confusing.
It's obvious that everyone thinks the following:
(1) Denard should've rolled out on all of his drop-back pocket passes.
(2) Denard should've stayed in the pocket every time he rolled out.
Victory would have been ours if these rules had been followed. Yesterday's turnover debacle was clearly Borges' fault, except on the following plays:
(1) When it was Denard's fault for a bad read or throwing into double coverage with no WR in the area;
(2) When it was the OL's fault for not blocking well enough;
(3) When it was the WR's fault for not running the correct, or crisper, routes;
I think that covers it all.
trying to make DRob a pocket passer bullshit. Get him out in open space and cut him loose. Roll him out on every pass and stop the Tom Brady shit.
Better yet: Move Gardner to QB and DRob to slot or TB. That way Al can really get Robinson ready for the NFL.
Holy shit, you really think moving Denard to the slot is a good idea for the team? Is this 2010 again?
Denard was a good pocket passer for most of the game except for when he threw those 3 or 4 consecutive picks. Borges had a good game plan. It would've freakin won us the game if we hadn't turned the ball over a million times
Other than that Mrs Lincoln, how was the play?
but for all those damn INTs.
I've never seen a Coordinator get a free pass like Borges is getting from this fan base. I've seen this fanbase crush countless coaches for much less than this but Al seems to be the exception.
Can someone possibly tell me what I am missing? I'm not really for him or against him..I'm a guy that will slightly wait until a Pro Style big Arm QB is here. But i will also say his lack of adjustments for the QB and personnel he has now scares me for a guy with 20 plus years under his belt.
the fan base did it to richrod when he had steven threet running the spread option. we wanted him to adapt but borges doesnt have too?
RichRod won 8 games in two years. RichRod also had historically bad defenses to jump ontop of what was already bad on offense.
the situations are opposite. sherithreet had done nothing in any system. denard was 1st team all american as a sophomore.
I'm not sure I really believe you, since you think he gets a "free pass", but I can't say I see what you're seeing. He's the scapegoat every week, win or lose. Mattison gets a free pass, and has probably earned it. Borges is the one guy who hasn't, because to some he's not Rich Rod. And while Rich was a great offensive mind, that's no reason to blame Borges or things that are obviously player error and not scheme. It's not like we were throwing and everyone was covered. Just some horrid throws. But why is probably because people want to see him blamed for what he oes, not who he isn't. But if you think he gets a free pass, around here at least, Debord and GERG must be the only guys you think has ever gottened hammered.
Borges didn't have many friends here after that game. I was never a huge Borges person, but I'm basing that on him not staying at one place for a long number of years. If you're that good, I would think that you should be able to stay one place for a long time, especially since he was in the SEC for a while. I don't know if he was calling the offensive plays in his previous stops, but it seems like the playcalling is an issue, not necessarily the plays/formations they run.
Considering the length of his previous stops didn't exceed five years, odds are Shane will have a new OC during his tenure. Who knows what the offense will look like then.
Even when Denard was running a pure spread the team hit these walls. When they faced a defense that was strong enough to take away the run option, a la Wisconsin/Sparty, we were doomed. At some point the quarterback on a football team simply has to be able to make decisions, including when and where to throw the football. The strogest part of NDs defense is their front seven; the weakest part of NDs defense is their secondary. They played to their strength and we couldn't take advantage of what was left. I don't care if it's the spread, West Coast, or ground and pound, when the defense commits to taking away the run, a quarterback must be able to take what has necessarily been given.
Two major complaints from last night:
1.) Under center way more than we should have been, particurarly in the first half. (Didn't we learn that last year the first three quarters vs Notre Dame?)
2.) The Vincent Smith call was stupid. I think it was first down? We should not have our back up RB throwing passes in the red zone.
If Smith threw the ball 6 inches to yhe right it was an easy TD. Dude was open.
More like six feet... That throw was turrible.
dileo was wiiiiiiiide open on that call. vinny just got a dude in his face and tried to make a play throwing it way behind the reciever had he thrown it anywhere near the sideline that play was an easy touchdown
Regarding your point about last year's game and being under center too much, about 70% of the plays in the first three quarters of last year's game were from the shotgun. When they started stringing together some drives laced with the I-Form, things began to happen. About 80% of our passing came in the last 20 minutes of the game that time. Further, Denard has been shown to be quite efficient under center (something on the order of a 65% completion rate) - the fact that it would tend to make Denard less of a contributor in the run game is one of Borges' quandaries, and probably one of the better ones he has had in an offense. It's been mentioned in other threads, but 13-25 for 138 yards last night for about 10 yards per completion is indicative of how the offense - save for turnovers - really was giving ND headaches otherwise. Under center works just fine by the numbers.
Borges ran Denard and he fumbled...he threw the ball and he was picked off. I guess there could've been more Fitzgerald carries, but you can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit
I hope you're not speaking from experience?!!!
borges game plan looked similar to one versus alabama except we couldnt run against bama so denard had to be a passer. we were able to run against ND so denard in the pocket so much was unneccessary. denard looks hesitant to run when nothing is there in the passing game so he forces things. coaching may play a role in that.
there is more than one way to skin a cat and calling a guy with 9 of the top 10 total offense games in school history a poor qb is ridiculous.
there was whining when an actual guru's offense wasn't suited to Sherithreet, 2 guys who have never done anything. now a guy who built his own rep on the legs of Ronnie brown and Cadillac Williams wont change his to fit a guy with 8000 yards and 60 tds, and people are justifying it.
So you don't think that Borges has alterred his offensive philosophy with Denard? I think that is laughable. Let me ask you another question, let's say he did design an offense around Denard...that means next year or following two more years he is doing a complete overhaul of the offense again to comform to his preferences...how patient would you be then. He is taking concepts that benefit Denard while at the same time trying to develop Denard to posible run some of his offense and help Denard develop into a future NFL quarterback. You do not design an offense around 1 person...because when he gets hurt, or graduates, you have no offence
you undermine yourself but making silly personal attacks. I mean, if I said your "guru" built his rep on the legs of Steve Slayton and Pat White, that wouldn't be fair. No coach is enough of a genius to look good with bad players.
I think we need to run it out of the Ace formation more frequently. Almost every time we came out in that set, the ND linebackers were all over the PA pass. Yeah, the offensive line gave Denard a lot of time to throw, but ND was dropping linebackers into zone coverages that allowed the Irish secondary too outperform our previous expectations. I was surprised that wasn't one of our second half adjustments, running Fitz out of the Ace when ND consistently was playing the pass would have probably been a good way to earn yardage in a secure manner.
The people who think Borges deserves no blame probably didn't watch Denard's sophmore season.
Everyone that has a different opinion from you has clearly just started watching Michigan football and, hence, as less of a fan then you. Is that really what you are saying? Come on TheGhostofYost.
Note, I don't really have a opinion on the 'who is to blame' question, but I think we can have a civil debate on this.
Probably didn't watch Denard score 7 points vs. Ohio State in 2010 and 40 in 2011.
See how silly that is?
that 2011 OSU game where we ran 50 times and passed 17? ya, that one.
We ran 41 times in 2010, for a yard less a carry. The difference was we were 16 of 33 in 2010, and completed 14 of those 17 in 2011 (for almost 10 yards a play). The fact that you are hurting them on the pass means they have to cover it, which opens up what you want to do, and that's run. And in return running opens up the pass, but you have to show you can pass first, because in a Denard offense, they're going to try and take away the run first. When Denard can't beat them in the air, you get Notre Dame. When he does, they have to play honest, and you get Ohio State.
Denard made horrible decisions in 2010 as well.
First-year starting QBs tend to make horrible decisions. What's your point?
Among the four of you who responded, you would think at least one would get the point. Oh well.
why make the switch to a rs freshman qb with no meaningful snaps? how hard is it as a coordinator to put ur qb in position to complete short pass early to open up everything else.
what else would you do? ND had a supposedly weak secondary and a strong front 7, logically you would gameplan to thow the ball. ND was getting a lot of edge pressure on most of the rollouts borges called so really what else could he have done? the best drives seemed to be denard in the pocket with more of a max protect look to keep the pressure off him.
Sorry, but Borges didn't make those terrible throws. Even in 2010 Denard made atrocious decisions.
He is the most dynamic player on the roster. But he hasn't improved his decision making at all.
I blame The Knowledge. He predicted the win and it didnt happen. Is this another alter universe dimension problem?
We didn't lose this game because of Borges. We lost this game because we had 6 turnovers and shitpoor execution as an offense. Yet even so, we managed to move the ball fairly well on a relatively good defense.
Its not like just one person is to blame. The whole team is too blame. Denard executed poorly. Borges got too creative. The receivers didnt get much separation. No one really did anything exceptional. Even the defense, who played great all game, couldnt make a stop when they had to.
I have confidence that they learn from this and move forward. While it would have been great to beat our rival, winning the B1G is really what matters given that after the Alabama debacle, any shot of national honors was out the window.
the one regarding the defense not making a stop when they had to. Yes, you did admit the defense played great all game (which they did), but to say they choked when the pressure was on I think is unfair. We turned the ball over SIX TIMES and gave up one touchdown. There was an incredible amount of pressure on that defense the entire game because of that, with little-to-no momentum on our side on ND's home turf, and they came away with 13 points when they should have had 30+. I mean hell, even when we kept vomiting out turnovers on offense I had some hope we'd eek (sp?) out a win just because our D kept stonewalling them and get the ball back for us.
The defense 100% did their job. There certainly some mistakes (hmmm PI in the redzone = no good) but dude, they did a helluva job considering the circumstances. I know you didn't mean to imply a whole lot of blame on the D for the loss, but I feel really strongly that the D did a bang up job given the position they kept getting put in.
Not 100% of the job. You can say they did 95% of their job and I'd agree, but we needed one more possession and they couldn't get it. I was disappointed that ND was able to pick up six yards on its first two plays (when everyone in the stadium knew a run was coming). That set up a 3rd down in which they could either run or pass. Floyd was alone with no safety help on Eifert because we were bringing our safeties up in case of a run. We really needed to shut down the run on those first two plays to set up an obvious passing situation on 3rd down.
They played a good game overall, but we needed one more series out of them and they didn't have it in them. (And let's be honest: ND is not an offensive juggernaut. They've scored 53 points in their last three games combined.)
I cannot imagine as meticulous as the coaching staff is with development and preparation that they're NOT coaching Denard on how to handle the inevitable blitz up the middle. This one play has been in complete and utter nemisis. I just don't understand.
The dip shits on ESPN can criticize Borges all they want, but the ND adjustment was a desperation one, and one that likely left them without another bullet to fire. They weren't moving the ball, and they saw that their "stop Denard from running, make him pass" wasn't working because he was, in fact passing.
It wasn't the "pocket passing" that was the issue. It was poor blitz recognition, pick up, and just flat out bad decisions with the football. Had those issues gone even marginally better, Michigan wins going away as ND's offense was being held in check by an inspired Michigan defensive performance.
Aside from the turnovers and a few painful events (whistle from the stands), offsides, taking some bad sacks deep in their end, our offense moved the ball very well against them. Also our defense I thought overall played very well.
I'm in the minority on the Vincent Smith interception also. I really liked the call. It is easy to label this "a trick play" with therefore bad connotations but with the way the ND linebackers were crashing down on the run this was a perfect response at a perfect time to uncork this on them. It really was just the execution, Smith simply needed to throw the ball more to the outside, not just hang it up for grabs inside. Either its caught or its incomplete....
Also I don't really blame Borges as Mark May and others are doing. Again his offensive plan was working very well. Borges still has to rely on Denard to not make those mistakes. He is still the quarterback, he has to throw the ball, BUT he has to know when to throw it away versus getting it intercepted or taking a sack. Or know when to tuck it and scramble for what he can get - none of which it seems like he does at all. On pretty much all of those picks he is clearly not setting his feet bc he has pressure in his face. That right there is how to beat Michigan. Come all out against Denard, speed things up for him. You will tackle him running or you will almost certainly force a bad throw.
The other critical mistake was not throwing the ball in bounds for Gardner to even have a chance to catch it on the play he got hurt. I don't expect he would catch it though. He hasn't shown the Hemingway ability to catch a ball in traffic with any expected contact. Again Denard not getting time and Denard not setting his feet.
Those interceptions were all on Denard. The fumble was just crippling bad luck. I mean we were really in this game late despite giving the ball away as much as we did. I thought we were going to win up until that fumble....
I don't fully understand the big bright line people want to draw between blame on Borges vs. Denard...in part because Borges is the quarterbacks coach.
So are we talking about blaming Borges the OC or Borges the quarterbacks coach? There could be a case for three elements here.
Hole, al and Greg are a group package. They'll be fine. As much as we want to criticize and bitch, we had 5 TO's. That is on the players. Throw that shit outta bounce!!!
Hoke, not hole. Although I do like Courtney Love.
We had six turnovers.
Out of bounds, as in boundary. Not bounce.
That was a chuck-and-pray attempt that had absolutely no impact on the outcome of the game, because the alternative was to essentially take a knee. So really there was only 5 turnovers of significance.
I only ask this from Borges play calling with a clear limited passer. Teams (bama doesn't count for obvious reasons) are constantly 10 yds off the WR's...at what point can we at least give denard 3 step drops and get rid of it. I'm sorry asking someone who has not been able to read coverage's very well for 3 yrs to suddenly take huge drops and drop passes in windows he cant drop them in is not a good combo.
I love the fact Al wants to get vertical and make teams pay for cheating up and that is fine and dandy if your QB has ever been able to make that pass.
Borges may not like it but maybe the best offense for Denard is to dink and dunk and make his reads extremely easy. The threat of a Denard run is always going to keep teams at bay and should open easy throws for him instead of some of the naked boots that get him in trouble.
Here's my take: I don't blame anyone. Michigan needed to establish the throw early to win. Needed to create some room to run. ND put pressure on Denard, who did not have his best game throwing the ball. Credit ND defenders rather than blame our guys. And look on the bright side: our defense got better. We need to stop the run to win the Big Ten. We did that last night.
our first drive took us to the ND 43 before the punt. Denard was 0-3 passing and we got the PI. we ran the ball pretty well throughout the game.
Fire Hoke? Take it easy, not even Vince Lombardi could help this team
the source of your quote could
Television sports commentators thrive on sound bites and instant analyses, and the Mark Mays of the world are only too happy to supply them, no matter how ignorant or simplistic they may be.
Since when does a football TEAM tailor thier entire offensive philosophy around one player? Moreover, since when does a football team tailor their entire offensive philosophy around one player who posseses a limited set of skills? Can you say.... suicidal?
What happens if that one player (out of 22) gets hurt?
What happens if other teams decide to focus on neutralizing that skill? (Perhaps this is where we find ourselves...?)
What happens to the TEAM when that TEAM repeatedly hears talking heads like May imply that their TEAM can only go as far as that one player can take them?
One player cannot take twenty-two as far as we'd like to see them go (and I would love to see them go far), but one player sure as hell can sink the ship all by himself. Time for Denard to check the ego and play within his limitations, because like it or not the limitations are there.
Time for May to take a realistic look at the limitations that a one-dimensional quarterback puts on a TEAM, NOT the other way around. Listen closley to May's comments and you'll hear the insinuation that quarterbacks like Denard, Troy Smith, Vince Young, Terrelle Pryor, Kordell Stewart, Quincy Carter, Charlie Ward, etc., etc., etc., can't go far because of some kind of stereotypical unfairness. Piss on Mark May
Time for Denard to check his ego and play within his limitations? What the eff are you talking about? I've never seen anything to indicate he's egotistical--quite the contrary, in fact. And even if he were, you think Denard's ego is driving the play calls and how he performs? Reallly?
How many times have we heard it, time and again, "Denard is trying to do too much." I don't care what the nature of his intentions are. The fact of the matter is, many, many of the throws that we see are from someone who feels they should be playing (and trying to prove as much) quarterback in the NFL next year. That's EGO dude.
You should probably look up the definition of the word ego. In fact how about I give ya a little help...http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ego
Which part doesn't fit? I don't care how beloved he is, cause I'm tellin you that I puked in my mouth this summer when the debate began: can you play quarterback in the NFL Denard? Hell yes, haven't you heard there's a rumor goin around that I may even tenter the draft early.
Are you shitting me!? Is there anyone here who doesn't see the NFL stars swirling around his head? Those are selfish throws and selfish decisions (i.e. "I'll show them") cause you know damn well he's been told not to make them countless times. What part of ego is missing?
The part where Al Borges , not Denard, is calling the plays.
Get it straight: its not what Denard is being asked to do, its Denard doing what he is asked NOT to do, such as throw into double coverage, throw into triple coverage, throw off his back foot, back out of the pocket instead of into it....
What in the hell does play-calling have to do with that???
what are u watching cause it looks more like hes been coached to run less instead of force throws. denard is denard and u wouldnt for a tom brady type to run spread option so why force denard to run a pro-style offense. also most offenses are geared around the strengths of the qb especially in college. why u think certain schools recruit certain types of qb's?
You're not the only one to say it, I just decided to reply here, but why are people acting like Denard was a scrambling machine under RR? One of the biggest gripes fans/mgobloggers had with Denard during 2010 was the fact that he didn't tuck the ball and run when no one was open. To say that it looks like he is being coached to run less is ridiculous
But I have to listen to your reasoning. At first I was up at arms with that theory, but it would explain why every game is a roller coaster with him. Rarely throws the ball away, but sometimes his supposedly inaccurate throws, are put in an area for the receivers protection. Twice in the game last night he threw the ball behind or low to the receiver when defenders were in a position to put a good hit on. Sometimes the announcers blame him, and the receivers broke off, ran wrong route...Rambling but, it's a theory that speaks to the forced passes, like was said before, I'm sure it's not coached
Your username fits this post perfectly...
first of all, quincy carter? wtf. those other players you listed are players a whole offense was built around, and their teams thrived. you managed to ramble so long that you came all the way back full circle and invalidated your own argument.
second of all, denard didn't ask to be the only transcendent playmaker on this team and doesn't request that the media makes note of it. if the team has hurt feelings about it then it's time to grow up.
No, those are all quarterbacks who thrived until it came time to THROW THE FOOTBALL. We just go to great pains to avoid saying so. See Mark May.
I thought the drives were looking good. We should of blown those scrubs out, there were only a couple drives that we didn't get somethin goin. And now I already have ND fans tellin me how good their defense looked. Honestly I was happy with the way the offense played minus Denard's stupid throws.
And asking the line to do the same -- in an offense where the reads are simpler and the throws simpler, Denard excels. Yesterday was Iowa and Sparty 2011 redux. This line doesn't play power that well, but is athletic enough to zone block and get to the second level. Focusing line blocking on the first level is good for 5 yards, but doesn't help Denmark or Fitzgerald pop long, high variance runs. Pass protection was pretty good, but Denard holds the ball too long. He's a great, great Wolverine, but reading stuff ain't his strength. Give him bubbles, slants, circles and wheels and the fast decisions needed by the defense gets the defense killed. More Borges-like-Borges is bad for Denard and the team. This is not a WCO group on offense. It would be a shame if in Denard's senior year Brady is playing for the future.
my take also.
The Iowa game and MSU game. Calling trick plays at the right time is a skill.
Trick plays are a gamble no matter when you call them. It ultimately comes down to execution. No one's mad about the Gardner pass because it drew a pass interference. If that had been picked off, people would be talking about how it was a terrible decision to call it on the first possession of the game, etc.
I was not thrilled with the HB pass but it could have worked. Dileo was open, but Smith rushed the throw.
We are in a weird transitional situation with a spread offense QB and a pro style coordinator. Both Denard and Borges are working outside of their respective comfort zones. There have been some painful moments and there will continue to be painful moments, but they'll make it work. They did last year, and they will this year.
Why are we always looking for someone to blame? Not every loss has to be someone's fault.
but in the games we struggled last year; like iowa and msu, Denard threw 35+ passes per game. the run/pass split was almost 50/50. and it's not like we were getting blown out in those games.
in our signature wins (nebraska and osu), our run/pass ratio was 61/19 and 50/17, respectively.
i thought, like many, that Borges finally altered his offense during the latter half of the season, and we had more success because of it. i'm not forgetting about VaTech. but like Ala, they owned the line of scrimmage. it's hard to design any scheme to beat that.
this year Denard has thrown 24 or more passes each game thus far. so i think there is a correlation that when we focus on the run and sprinkle in the quick pass (and occassional arm punt to keep the safeties honest), this offense clicks much better.
is the most informative/well thought out/ argument I've read on here in the last few days re: the ND game and Denard.
I think you really hit the nail on the head here as the mixture has been off this year so far. Now, to be fair - I think Borges knows with DG at WR he's a little thin, so 1. He's trying to keep Denard alive and healthy and 2. I think Borges felt Denard was a better passer this year than last - and technically speaking he may be - but his decision making seems to have gotten worse. Something that masked that last year was Hemmingway. Spare the pass in the back of the endzone at the Nebraska game (which Brady couldn't have thrown any better) Junior bailed Denard quite often last year and that helped considerably. That, combined with a little better Oline in 11 than 12, leads us to the current state of affairs.
I'd upvote you if I could my friend - great post.
What Borges needs to do I decide which way he wants to take us. Are we a spread offense or more of a West Coast offense. You can't be mixing both.
Why can't you do a mixture of both?
let's kill the messenger as usual! Thanks for posting this, 1987. As a big-time fan of Borges who thinks there's a certain inevitable tragedy in Denard's sticking with Michigan, whatever a lot of well-intentioned people do, I think you're generally correct that 6 INTs in a game we almost undoubtedly would have won without them suggests Borges shouldn't be made the scapegoat. But the overall startergery is a legitimate topic for discussion.
For example--would there have been some way to spring Denard last night? How many times was he under center? Is that when we laid eggs? I for one would like to see more running, but I think (tragedy part) Denard is just kind of frozen in between.
of borges, and could easily be labeled a hater. the trick plays remind me of the msu game 4th and 1 play call...i.e. why?
but his actual "game plans" have been more or less stellar. our offense was effective at moving the ball, and denard's int's are on denard, and that's whatever.
now that we have all these pieces coming into place, you have to let borges do his thing. i just hope he stops overthinking individual play calls
Terrible play calling..The RB pass from smith was stupid..We were inside the 10 two times in the first 3 mins and came away with nothing.IMO it was a call that didnt need to be made.We had all the time in the world.. Also, Denard needs to quit throwing so damn much and RUN more..Good thing the Big Ten looks weak
But I believe that Denard is our Michael Vick. He is a great person and he has some explosive plays at times. However, he is very poor in the pocket and struggles to correctly read the defense. This makes it nearly impossible to gameplan. If the OC thinks that he will get nothing out of the passing game what is he to do? Teams load the box and force DR to throw. It takes away the rest of the run game. Denard will have moments of greatness, but we will never be a consistent threat against the better teams while he is our QB.
Did you just technically say Michael Vick is a great person?
I said that Denard's impact on the field is like his. Nice reach though.
But I believe that Denard is our Michael Vick. He is a great person and he has some explosive plays at times.
I don't think he even believed you really meant that was the comparison, but you can't really think it was a reach for him to find the wording funny....
haha i thought the same thing.
They should have just got into range and kicked FGs all night after Denard's second INT. I admit, it is a different strategy, but a wins a win!
Better yet, we should have just stayed home. That way, we wouldn't have risked injury or had to spend time and money on traveling to South Bend.
Yes, we should have won. But the half back pass wasn't a good call. U shady ran a trick play earlier. The defense will be ready for the 2nd trick play. Should have just kept running Denard in the red zone. And the missed field goal. 3 plays. All negative yards. Smh
Have Dumb and Dumber ever said anything insightful? The fact that May and Holtz are criticizing Borges only strengthens my faith in him.
As we are discussing much further below, I think that the asshole May should understand that its not what Denard is being asked to do, its what he is being asked NOT to do such as: throw into double-coverage, throw into triple coverage, throw off his back foot, back out of the pocket instead of stepping up into it.
Quick May, name a play for me that cures those issues....
[Sorry, post supposed to be up top....]
I get pissed at Borges, too. But really, all hes in control of are the x's and o's. It was the jimmies & joes that had a bad game. And i'll be glad when we can have a consistent and balanced offense, but as bad a night as Denard had, I'm still gonna enjoy all the games hes got left to play at Michigan. Hes earned that from me.
Lou Holts would pick Notre Dame over the NFL All Pro team
The only thing I know about Dicky V. is that he was pwned by Red Auerbach in the trade for M.L. Carr. Dicky made it clear how badly he wanted Bob McAdoo in trade, who by then was in his declining years, and Red got both Carr and the first pick in the next year's draft in trade.
We've discussed this at length, and even more so as of the Bama game. When you have a player like Denard, who is such a threat running, you know that the opposing defense's #1 objective is going to be to stop him from running. Knowing this, Borges MUST implement a strategy to counter this scheme. If he doesn't, he's not doing his job.
The problem for Borges, and for Michigan, is that the counter to the "stop Denard from running" is to have Denard pass, and as we know, this is a "feast of famine" proposition. The issue, as I see it, is not Denard's passing, as he passes very well when not pressured, it's how he reacts to blitzes. One would think, with as mobile as Denard is, that he'd be very adept at evasion. But, unfortunately, that is not the case. Every QB would prefer a clean pocket with nobody in their face. But, a blitzer in Denard's face blocks his vision, because he's relatively short, his mechanics fail, and he throws INT's.
There is NO WAY that he's doing this in practice -- OC's call plays that the players execute well in practice, NOT one's they don't. As I said earlier, I cannot imagine that the coaching staff doesn't coach Denard on how to handle blitzes. I cannot put this loss or really any of the blame on Borges as what he saw from Denard in practice lead him to believe that Denard was ready to execute the pass first scheme. Obviously, Denard wasn't.
Aside from Denard's odd inabilty/unwillingness to evade blitzes, I think there is a very significant recognition issue, which is on Denard, but also on the center. Molk was "very active" and smart, and could QB the OL to pick many of those up, maybe not so much with Mealer this year. Further, blitz recognition for the QB involves seeing it, and then knowing the out. Obviously the defense tries to disguise their blitzes, but I think Denard needs a lot more work on this nuance of the game.
So much time was spent getting him to where he could even throw the ball properly, and there is only so much time in a day. Unfortunately, Denard is still a bit "raw" in term of all the nauances of being an elite QB. I am sure Borges is trying his best to make it as simple as possible for him, but QB is a very complicated position, especially when you're not running the up-tempo spread where the QB looks to the sidelines every play to get the "read."
Will he get there? I don't know. But what I do know for certain, is that Borges sees him doing it well in practice, it just didn't translate into the game last night, as Denard was too hyped and tried to do too much.
It's about time they pointed out what horrible passer he is.
To grossly oversimplify, it looked like Brian Kelly or his DC figured out exactly where Denard was going to throw the ball under pressure and had people stand there. Sometimes, you just have to give the guys on the other side of the field credit. This is one of those times.
My guess is that Borges will make the necessary adjustments. Denard is still a spread option QB trying to run the WCO. It makes no sense for any coach to change his entire system for one player, because it slows progress in the long run. Consequently, any changes Borges makes will be within his system.
I just hope that the whiners among the fanbase don't turn on yet another coach before his has had time to get his first class of fifth-year seniors.
I am wondering why they use vincent smith so much? He to me is not that good of a running back and if they were going to do a trick play why not have gardner throw the ball. I can say I kind of agree with Espn on the play calling of borges. I wonder though if they know denard cant throw out of the pocket and instead should scramble when he is pressured. Back to borgess though in the alabama game we saw rawls for a very short period of time and borgess kept calling the same denard hands off to smith and fakes the pass straight down the middle. I think michigans offense as of lately is to predictable. What are you thoughts guys am I right about this one?
I have a few, but overall i thought this was a well-called game because if the turnovers are even lessened, Michigan probably wins. And most of those turnovers had nothing to do with the plays being called.
Denard will never be Tom Brady, but he still has to be able to throw to keep defenses from just stacking the box. Borges may force him to stretch the field vertically with his arm too much for Denard's skill set. OTOH, we've seen Borges really start using screens this year so it's not like Borges is just pounding on the square peg to make it fit the round hole. The only other thing i can see that might help the fusion cusine is to have hot reads built into every play like Harbaugh did at Stanford to simplify some aspects of the passing game for Denard.
When pressured, Denard needs to throw it away, run, or take the sack. I can believe that those things are practiced but not applied given that i'm sure footwork is practiced a lot and that gets forgotten in games.
I think Borges does deserve some criticism. He has the most explosive offensive player in the country under center. We should never ever ever ever ever ever ever be in the I formation. Play to the young mans strength's.
I will say that I don't really have any concerns about Borges as the offensive coordinator going forward. The guy has proved over and over again that he knows how to coach an offense.
I don't think it's very likely we will see Denard throw passes away under pressure very much. If he has enough room to make a throw, even out of bounds to Tacopants, he still has enough room to attempt to escape. I just think he is always going either attempt the pass play or try to get away with his feet. It goes back to what we've said before: if the pass isn't there, tuck and run.
Mark May and Daffy Duck can go to hell! I was only unhappy with the HB pass call. Other than that I felt like we moved the ball pretty well and even if Denard only throws 3 picks we win the game. It was just an ugly show by Denard, but he'll be alright. Going forward I believe in Gorgeous Borges. BTW does it bother anyone else that Hoke never wears a headset??
Denard is what he is. Against ranked teams over the last 2 1/2 season here are the average stat lines he has given us:
Passing: 11 of 24 (46%) 162 yards 1 TD 2 INT
Rushing: 18 carries 67 yards (3.7 ypc) 0TD
That is his average against 2010 MSU, 2010 IOWA, 2010 WISCO, 2010 OSU, 2010 MISS ST, 2011 MSU, 2011 NEB, 2011 VT, 2012 BAMA, and 2012 ND.
So that's 3 different seasons with 2 different coordinators. Everyone has false expectations of Denard because of the insane stat lines he has put up against the UConn, UMass, Bowling Green and Indianas' of the world. He played just as poorly under Rich Rod against good teams as he does under Borges. So the play calling doesnt have much to do with it.
It comes down to the fact that good teams are going to take away Denards running game and force him to pass. Whether thats drop back passes under Borges and Spread option passes under Rich Rod the results have been very similar. Denard does not use good technique and makes poor decisions on about 50% of his passes. Sometimes he gets bailed out by his WR and other times they are ugly picks.
Everyone thinks the obvious solution is for Borges to stop being "stubborn" and let Denard "do what he does". Well what Denard does is light up bad teams and struggle against good teams. No matter what the offense. Any other QB in the country with any other fan base would be ripped for these perfomances but somehow here no one is allowed to point the finger at Denard. He is a great kid and a great Michigan Man. He is an outstanding athlete. But he is a below average QB who has put up ridiculous numbers against poor teams. It is what it is.
after the ND game did you go all Dennis Green and say "Denard... is.. who I THOUGHT, he was..."?
All kidding aside - you make a good point. Although I think Denard's legacy will be keeping us afloat in a time of transition and lack of talent. Despite his seemingly Jekyl and Hyde type games, he's a huge reason why the program hasn't fallen back into the stone age - and I'll forever be thankful for that and the memory I have of being at the UTL game 2011.