1. People will inevitably talk about how we were slaughtered at every aspect of the game. And we were. But, we played a team that could probably beat a crappy NFL team. Take nothing away from this other than that we do my have nearly the talent of Alabama, perhaps the most talented team in the history of cfb with 6 years of saban recruiting and over-signing. This has little relevance to how we will perform against almost any othe team that we will face.
2. RB - the drop off from fitz to smith or rawls is significant. We simply have no running game without fitz. If he plays, we still lose, but we look a lot better on offense. Watching bama's backs, I couldn't help but be jealous. These guys are studs and reinforce why hoke likes his backs to be bigger. These guys rarely went down on first contact other than D. Hart.
3. WR - I like devin here. A lot. He is raw as hell and his routes are sloppy, but man the potential is there. He and Gallon were the only receivers whoanaged to ge open, and devin did so repeatedly. Hands need work (and some of the throws to him were not the best) but this could be a huge benefit to us. Other than these two, however, we need help here. Hopefully the freshmen will push for some playing time.
4. Penalties - Lewan, come on man, don't go all 2010 on us. Bot that it made a huge difference but those penalties hurt us. I am willin to chalk it up to first game jitters against a way superior opponent, but let's hope that it doesn't become a habit.
5. Norfleet - wow. Kid can fly. Why was he not at least getting some reps at rb? He is goin to take a few to the house, I think. The Brian cook hype train seems justified here.
6. Denard - yeah, his numbers weren't amazing, but he actualy looked like a qb. Some throws were off, but a lot of that is the result of a scary, insane defense throwing NFL packages at him. He won't face that again, and having done so, he will likely be unfazed by what he does see. I may be in the minority, but I was encouraged by his play. As for his lack of rushing, thee were simply no holes for him.
Anyway, those are my thoughts. anyone agree/ disagree/ have anything to add?
Well, I'm glad that we sat Toussaint. We now have the moral high ground, AND we can reasonably say it would be a completely different game if he suited up. Right? .... right?
A different game, perhaps, bit the outcome - and perhaps the score - would have been the same. The only difference is that we could have actually taken some pressure off of Denard and run our actual offense with a contributing ground game. Smith is a great team guy and a great blocker but against any real defense, he just can't produce. Not insulting the guy, but the results have been the same for 3 years. He just is not that good of a rb against better teams.
As for Rawls, it is still early, but he looks to be a typical bull moose of a back that can ground out 3 yards on the ground routinely but who will be brought down behind the LOS frequently as well. You need those guys, but I am not sure he will ever be a feature back. I am still hoping that either Hayes or Norfleet emerge a the fitz backup.
The problem with Rawls is that he was used very poorly in my opinion. He's not gonna be effective running sweeps out to the edge. You can't run angry if you're running away from the contact. And Smith is not going to be anything more or less than he was last year. Without Fitz and with Borges presumably babying Denard the run game is just too predictable. We just did not put our best foot forward on Offense.
I agree that the running calls could have been better but our interior OL was getting blown up so getting to the edge was really our only shot at establishing any run game.
I wished they woulda run Smith's plays with Rawls and Rawls' plays with Smith
My wife said to me during the game "you are always bitching that they run him too much!".
There is a difference between running him too much and runnig him 5-7 times. Either Al was convinced that we couldn't run him successfully or he was enamoured with what he would love to do in the future with a QB. Benard is not a pure passer - same as Tim Tebow - and they ignored that potential in the game plan IMO.
The last QB that "took 'Bama to school" was Cam Newton and Al seemed like he was game-planning for Tom Brady as QB. Not that I think it would have made a difference.
'Bama outclassed us (by about 1 full class per oversigning.com) and it showed.
I have great hopes for the rest of the season, but Al B. has to unleash the Beast at QB from now on.
Only way the game would've been different is if we had played later in the season. Offense clicking, team playing together, rotations established, Denard and receivers in synch, and 2012 Alabama fully scouted.
Let's all post an individual thread and give our individual thoughts.
No excuses, Michigan stank up the field, but I really dislike the offensive gameplan. It went out of its way to have Denard throw...he isn't a good throwing QB. He never was, nor will he be. I am disappointed in the fact that Borges couldn't or wouldn't adjust. There are no positives to take from this game. Nothing. There was so little we did right it was embarassing on a national scale.
Scheme, sphmeeme. Blocking and Tackling. They have guys who are better at it currently and were way better at it tonight.
I can already foresee complaints on here that Denard didn't run enough. Bull. When you play teams like Alabama, you have to win the one on one matchups and make plays when they are there. Michigan didn't do any of those things.
Playcalling was fine.
This. Offensive playcalling was horrendous. Denard was not utilized to his strengths and there was way too much running out of the I. I do see some positives from this game, though. Gardner looked solid at WR aside from his hands needing some work. This would've been a lot closer with Fitz and Countess IMO. Still would've lost, just wouldn't have been as embarrassing.
He really did not look that bad. He was frequently rushed and facing pretty complex blitzing packages all game. Few qbs look good against this defense. Had we rushed him, I am not sure he would have been more successful an he may have gotten even more seriously injured. Without a real RB threat, Denard can only do so mug, as defenses can easily focus in on him.
Denard's first carry came when the score was 21-0. His second made it 31-7. I know what Borges was trying to do and there were plays to be made (dropped some and Denard missed a number) but we've had trouble implementing similar pass-happy gameplans before (ND, MSU, etc.) and I'd at least like to make a team defend the greatest rushing QB in history once before the game is out of hand.
On the other hand, the game looked a lot worse than it was. Bama was the better team but we didn't execute early on offense when we had chances to get into a back and forth game, Countess went out and Avery slipped to give them a free TD, and then the picks gave them two more free scores and at that point it was over pretty much before it got started.
Actually, the score was not indicative of the true disparity between the teams. Bama could have put up 60 on us. They were playing third-stringers for much of the fourth quarter.
Agree. The tackling was bad too. It will get cleaned up. Playing this level of competition will really help Michigan for league play.
I've never understood the rule about when a redshirt is burned. Them having played here ... does that rule out redshirt? Or is there some cutoff point?
If you play at all you need to get a medical redshirt (basically an exception from the NCAA to not burn your whole year), and to do that you need to have played in something like less than 20-25% of your team's games and you need a verifiable, documented injury.
Thanks. So in essence those freshmen you listed are not likely to redshirt.
That's rather telling to my eye ... it says to me Hoke sees them as the very near-term future.
So -- in the spirit of celebrating the glass half-full -- we take this as an excellent learning experience and move to the next opponent. And has been said by many others, Alabama will likely be the toughest opponent we face all year.
I'm tired off people saying play good teams... Let's play 4 cupcakes to start the season to prepare us for Big Ten play...this was embarrassing
jesus you're stupid. Or a troll. Play the toughest competition out there. You either meaure uyp or you don't. QED.
I think there is a difference between playing a good team - ala Nebraska or MSU in week one - and the potential best team in the nation this year (Tbd). Unfortunately my I lost my crystal ball and was unable to loan it to the U of M athletic department to schedule 3 yrs in advance.
I can dream of a RR offense with a Mattison-level D this year giving Alabama a game (but losing)- which was the dream of Mr. Martin when scheduling it. Silly Mr. Martin!
See Tebow 2010 SEC title game. Saban also had a huge lead on Newton before the Tide crested and let Newton go all Frank Reich on their asses. Saban knows how to stop this offense.
Some throws were off, but a lot of that is the result of a scary, insane defense throwing NFL packages at him. He won't face that again, and having done so, he will likely be unfazed by what he does see.
Actually, MSU and OSU have defenses that will probably be just about as good as Bama's. Maybe UM can rent the QB coach who made Taylor Martinez look like Joe Montana today.
No way. There are a half dozen future pros on that Bama defense minimum. Ohio you are getting closer. State no way.
OSU has talent, but not 2-deep 4-5 stats at every position on D. State is a huge drop off.
They have defenses that may be statistically as good as Bama's. This does not account for the fact that Bama has a much stronger strength of schedule than either of those teams. We will be able to move the ball much easier against either of those defenses- key word being easier relatively and not necessarily easy overall.
Sorry, I just watched MSU's defense get picked apart by Boise at times. They are not Alabama.
Boise had 206 yards of total offense, averaged 3.7 yards/play and scored 6 points on offense (their only TD was a Pick-6). That is not "picking apart" a team's defense.
Well, Boise were also playing 10 new starters on offense. There probably isn't a BAMA-level defense in the B1G.
While I cannot dispute the production, the motion seemed very similar to last year to me.
I reserve judgment on TM until I have a few more games proof to support a marked improvement.
- That said, If Burkhead is out for a significant period Nebraska is screwed. There is no "D" in Nebraska.
Well now we know what an experienced and monstrous offensive line does for a team. Can't wait to see the team in about 2-3 years when Hoke's offensive lineman haul starts to click. The tackling was bad but Barrett Jones was at the second level the entire game and rarely did any of our d-linemen make first contact to keep the runners from getting up to full speed. Yeah we took our lumps in this one. But now we have a little better sense of where the team is and where it needs to be.
Answer to number 5, see 2.
Top 10 team. Not by a mile
Look, it was going to take a stellar performance to beat Bama. We did not come close to that. Here are some quick takeaways:
Does Countess prevent the long touchdown pass? Is he going to be okay? Avery is a steep drop from Blake.
Denard simply missed on some open routes especially in the crucial first half. He had decent pass protection...just didn't make the good throw.
Gardner is legit. Just imagine if he had spent last year as WR. We are talking all B1G.
I saw some legit running lanes for Denard had he tucked and ran. I would like to see more of that. Why did we not call his number more often?
Missed tackles.....missed tackles......missssssssssed tackles.
Bama's WR did a great job of blocking down field. Some blocks were devastating.
Northfleet. Yes, please!
Wow, we missed Fitz. Severe drop off with him out.
If denard ran much Bellomy would be the starter bama's D was like robots of destruction, take the L, learn from it, come back hungry
It doesn't matter if you have Barry Sanders or Jim Brown if the defense is in your backfield before your RB even gets up to the LOS. Our OL didn't block anybody on running plays. Rawls looked really slow-footed, but it's not fair to judge him or Smith tonight.
My thoughts are that Oregon had a pretty good season after getting slaughtered by LSU in the Cowboy Classic last year. Let's let this season play out.
Was there a invisible leash on Denard??
1. I thought Campbell looked more then solid at the 3 tech. A lot of penetration, okay against the run, and will only get better. Especially against worse o lines.
2. With Gardner out there, are recieving core is fine. He has a presence out there we need.
Bout it. No one else looked special or eye opening. We are gonna be fine (if lewan and countess are back).
Alabama and the entire sec aren't competing with the same rules in recruiting that the rest of the NCAA is. That's not me being angry, that's a reality. The whole country knows it, it's just a matter of time before justice will be done upon them. I'm really not even mad, because anyone with any sense knows that something extremely shady is going down at Alabama and the rest of the SEC. They're getting cards from the bottom of the deck, and of course the league has risen up. What else could explain the medioric rise of SEC football? The athletes haven't changed, the emphasis on football hasn't been made any bigger. The only thought that gives me total comfort, is that one day these practices will be punished, and college football will be returned to the student athlete.
the LB did not play well at all. no instinct and poor tacklin. we were able to pass protect but our run blocking sucks. the coaches didnt spend enough time in fall camp to prepare or game plan for this game and it showed. team needs to work on tackling.
awful. Couldn't fight blocks, constant arm tackles, poor angle, wrong reads. As I also said above, they will improve mightily in coming weeks, due to great coaching anbd notplaying 'Bama.
Ross was out there a lot too (his presence clearly being a reflection on those two, but not sure he did better). It will be interesting to see the UFR on D. Don't think the safeties acquitted themselves well either.
Not sure how it will look, but if I had to guess I'd say the "we got mauled up front" consensus is as much a reflection of some missed opportunities by the second level guys, which is frustrating with so much experience coming back.
It seemed that 'Bamas OL was able to get to the second level and block LB's effectively. (There is no B1G OL close to this per my viewing experience this week.) Also Kovacs had several opportunities that brought down B1G backs last year that Bama backs just seemed to bounce off from. My guess this is a level of competition variance versus a Kovacs (or Gordon) drop off.
Actually made a number of TFL (think I counted 9) and 3 sacks, which is pretty impressive against that line, especially considering they ran it so well. Kovacs and Gordon were the leading tacklers (always bad news) followed closely by Morgan. Kenny Demens with just 3. Will be interesting to see what those who break down the tape have to say (Did Demens play poorly? Did he just have to eat blocks while others failed to clean things up? Did our d-line just get trucked completely?).
At the end of the day though, the defense didn't lose the game for us. They gave things up but this wasn't a Vince Young or Troy Smith (and certainly not Dennis Dixon) type performance where we just couldn't stop the opposition no matter what. If the offense does anything in the first quarter we are talking about a much different game. As it was things were pretty much over before we even got our feet wet and at that point I don't think you'd find many volunteers to keep getting pounded by Bama's o-line.
We did run one trick play. Not even a WR end around nothing fancy. Just Vinny Smith dives into a group of bulldozers
Because once we saw that the game was out of hand, why waste a trick play that can be used to surpass sparty or Ohio later this year? Would we have l won had we broken out a double reverse?
Denard definitely seemed A LOT calmer in the pocket to me, and he was staring down a better defense than any others he will see. This can only mean good things for the rest of the season. The first two slants he threw got batted down by diving DBs who will play in the NFL someday. The bomb to Gallon was right in stride. Several other passes were just out of reach, and again, he was staring down a destructive defense. We're not as talented as Bama, but Denard's play does not worry me moving forward.
crazy here. Alabama, while possessing a ton of NFL talent could not come anywhere near playing NFL level. Even as I write this I think you must have made that point sarcastically and I missed it, but oh well.
Obviously they would lose to an NFL team - just exaggerating to make a point.
.....where UM got beat tonite.
Alabama's D-linemen were making penetration across the line of scrimmage all night long, which made it stupid to run it up the middle. It also allowed their linebackers to play more off the ball and looser from sideline to sideline, which shutdown any attempts at outside runs.
Alabama's O-linemen were moving our guys off the line and sealing off the running lanes exceptionally well.
Alabama's O-line was tremendous, their backs weren't getting hit till they were atleast 5+ yards up field, and they fell forward everytime. I know Mattison's plan was to stop the run and allow McCarron to win this game on his own, but that didn't happen. And of course Herbstreit and Musberger rode his dick the whole time and talked about how great he was, makes me sick.
I was really liking the first few series, where we were getting rid of the ball quick. The wr's just made a few drops, but we immedieately went away from that and just let Denard do his usual "HEY SOMEONE CATCH THIS" throw. Granted there seem to be a litle illegal contact on some of his throws, but honestly Denard looked like Denard.
Not that we would have won, but there were a ton of missed holding penalties on Bama. Every team would have All American linemen if they got away with hold as much as Bama.
Amen! They held like CRAZY and never got called for it. #1 line + holding with impunity = unstoppable. Yes we would've lost regardless but damn it was ridiculous.
why is Borges trying to make DR a pocket passer? I just didn't care for the offensive play calling.
On the defensive side: tacking and penalties. Lots of work to do this week to prepare for Air Force
I feel bad about singling long out kovacs earlier ( but true). This game has jeopardized our entire season w/ injuries+confidence hit. Hoke's toughest job yet. He will need to dig deep after this debacle.ale us proud, Brady. Go Blue!
denard seemed like he threw to his primary receiver almost every time, and if not he just threw a long ball up for grabs
I think this game showed us how far RR set us back talent wise. I do agree with the poster who said that the fact we played so many true freshmen shows how much potential hoke thinks this class has
This is not a "bash rr" comment, but if you look at the talent that he brought in, we are closer to a big east team than an sec team.
While I am as optimistic as any fan out there, the reality is that for this season and next we are going to be playing at a major talent disadvantage (especiay gor upper classmen) to the top 10 teams across the lines, at WR, at TE, and throughout the defense. I expect the rr effect to fully pass by 2014, but no sooner.
Is rawls a bit banged up still? Just curious as he would seem to be the go to guy at any down and short... Why was vinny in those packages all 150 lbs soaking wet? Btw i was here all day.. Tailgating since 11am. Its fucking HOT
1. Sitting Toussaint and Clark was the right thing to do and it would have made no difference in the outcome of the game had they played. I am glad Hoke kept program integrity in this case. Watching this game, it was tough to judge our RBs too much given what they were up against, but Fitz is clearly a significant upgrade from Smith and Rawls and we will benefit greatly from his return.
2. I thought that the offense could have tried some delayed runs with Denard. Have him drop back in the pocket like a designed pass play with the idea of taking off and running as soon as he felt the defense commit to the pass rush. I don't know how successful it would have been or if Denard would be laying in the hospital right now or not but I kept waiting for something unconventional from the running game. Conventional runs out of the i-form were not going to work against the Bama defense.
3. There is a large disparity in talent level between the two teams. The lines for Alabama are by far the best in college football (LSU's DL is probably comparable). I think it is a great thing that Michigan would schedule a program of Alabama's calibre. This game, however, showed that Michigan is probably 3 years away of Hoke's recruiting and developing players to be able to seriously compete with Alabama.
4. Dennis Norfleet and Devin Gardner. Not a whole lot positive to say about this performance but 2 players who caught my attention were Norfleet and Gardner. Gardner did not make a lot of catches but he looked like a big stud athlete with a ton of potential at the position. With more experience to help clean up the route running and consistency with his hands, he could be a force at WR in the Big 10. Dennis Norfleet looked to be on the verge of hitting a homerun on most of his kick returns. I kept saying that if we were playing any other team on our schedule, he probably would have broken one or two. I am anxious to watch him return kicks against future opponents and would love for Borges to find a way to get this kid the football on offense. Wow....he looks explosive.
5. We have to hope that Countess and Lewan do not miss much time. I am not aware of the severity of either of their injuries. I am fearing a ligament tear for Countess as that's what it appeared the trainers were testing him for on the table on the sidelines. Regardless, my biggest goal for the team this year was to win the Big 10 and play in the Rose Bowl. The loss last night does not affect this team's chances to accomplish this goal. I watched most of the Big 10 teams play their games this weekend and was far from impressed. The team that probably looked the best was Ohio but they played garbage competition and are not eligible to win the Big 10 anyway. Sparty will now be the highest ranked Big 10 team after beating a "ranked" Boise St. team. Sparty did not look impressive in my opinion. That was easily the worst Boise St. team I have watched in the last 10 years. LeVeon Bell was a beast and the defense looked solid. Those were the only 2 positives from them. Bell will be one of the best in the Big 10 but he was running over guys that were 2-star back-ups from last year. Sparty's run game and defense pale in comparison to Bama's. Wisconsin and Iowa did not impress either. It is hard to compare Michigan to the other teams in the conference based on who we played last night but I am not scared by anything I saw from the rest of the Big 10. If this team can rebound from last night, both mentally and physically, they may still be able to win the Big 10 this season.
The first defensive series had me excited, but Alabama's line was just too good. Also, their backs hit the holes with explosion, and they were very sound at tackling and taking proper angles on defense. Norfleet and Gardner really impressed me, and I would love to seen a little of Justice Hayes at RB when the game was out of hand. It would have been a good experience for him, and it is clear that we need more speed back there.