I think people are losing sight of the fact that Alabama probably didn't give a shit about Western Kentucky.
"Jim's a tough guy and you can see his personality is all over this football team," Fitzgerald said.
I think people are losing sight of the fact that Alabama probably didn't give a shit about Western Kentucky.
Yeah, fans have a tendency to forget that the players are human beings and prone to emotional letdowns.
I appreciate this thread for talking me down off the ledge!
It was fun to watch Denard Robinson become the first player to have 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing in three games throughout his career. Part of that is because Dilithium is always fun to watch, and part of that is because it bests Vince Young, who did this twice.
Devin Funchess looked great out there - 106 yards of receiving on 4 attempts and 1 TD is an excellent first appearance. It was also great to see Devin Gardner effective out there as well to the tune of 63 receiving yards and 1 TD. Norfleet was averaging about 25 yards per return yesterday, giving Michigan decent field position on a couple drives - he'll be fun to watch as he develops and gets more time.
As others mentioned, offensive line play was a little disconcerting and probably contributed some to Fitz's un-Fitz-like performance. Going into this game, I was pretty sure that we could push around AFA's undersized line a little bit, but we didn't really block enough for Fitz to get good holes to pound through.
I don't know if we know a lot about the defense until we play a more typical opponent for us like ND. The linebackers should probably be getting some more stops than they appear to be - right now, two of our leading tacklers are safeties, and even though Kovacs and Gordon were near the top of this list last year anyway, they are doing an inordinate amount of the stopping right now, it seems.
Bearing that in mind, as Hoke said after the game: "It's always good to win. Sometimes they're not very pretty, and this would be one."
for a game that close by an opponent that UM should have handled easily. Felt like I was the only guy yelling when the D was on the field until the last 2 drives for AFA.
I definitely wanted it to be louder but at the same time I left w a hoarse voice from yelling.
It got pretty boisterous where I was, we had people yelling and singing The Victors with gusto. Depends on where you are in the stadium, I guess.
I think Borges deserves some credit.
Funchess had big numbers, but on at least three of them, there wasn't a soul within shouting distance of him.
Unfortunately, I believe now that people have seen what Funchess can do, this will no longer be the case (him being able to get so much space). I would love to be wrong, so I guess we will see what happens moving forward.
Note: This is not meant to be a knock on Funchess at all. I think he has an incredible amount of talent that is just waiting to be tapped, and I think he will really be able to leave his "mark" on the program.
That's okay. He probably can't be covered with a linebacker, so if teams back off their strong safety when he's in the game, that will open things up for the ground game.
Hi all, I think this is my first post despite being an mgoblog follower for years. Here goes:
vs. #5 Boise State they put down: 264y rushing, RB w/ most carries (RBMC) avg 6ypc
#25 TCU: 249y rushing, RBMC 6.6ypc
#7 Oklahoma: 351y rushing(!), RBMC 4.4ypc
#8 Utah: 210y rushing, RBMC 4.2ypc
Also, most of those games were within a possesion or two of being wins.
I'm with most in that I have concerns with our D-line, but I don't think this last game is a good game to glean information from. Air Force does one thing but they execute it really well with undersized guys year after year. I get the feeling we're in for more nervous diarrhea moments and, I'll say it, even losses that are tough to swallow, but I remain optimistic about where our coaching staff is trying to take this team: outstanding O-lines and defenses teams fear. GO BLUE!
Maybe you can make the leap from lurker to poster.
Thanks for posting. Helpful to see it all in one place.
DG is going to be crazy good once he figures out how to run proper routes.
2 defensive holdings on Campbell. What was happening with that?
Was it roh or ryan that had a personal foul? What happened on that?
We are still seeing how good molk really was, as the first time in 4 years he is not calling blocking schemes at the line.
Freshmen everywhere except the o line tells me coaches want to let this group gel for a while. Only 5 OL played all day.
Only 2 rbs played, only 1 touched the ball also tells me the coaches were looking to get Fitz going specifically, rather than plugging in Rawls or some of the others.
I think that Gardner is good enough at WR for now, but that as chesson and darboh mature and the wear increases on
Denard, I think he gets more time as a qb. I think there is no way UM starts 2013 with Bellomy or Morris starting, so I think they will need devin back at qb then.
I am ok with norfleet only at kr this year. With a year to bulk up and learn pass protection though, he could be a nice 3rd down option.
I really like jeremy Jackson as a possession WR. Had 2 crucial first down catches. Good routes, big target, good hands.
I like the quick seam route they run, seems to be open but Denard to dileo is going to be tough on that, as dileo is a small target and I don't think Denard sees over the line very well to see lurking safeties or lbs. like this better with funchess or even roundtree once he moves in from the outside.
maybe yesterday's struggles bear fruit against the likes of ND and MSU.
Morris or Bellomy will start next year, IMO.
Like Roundtree, Craig Roh has disappeared since his freshman year.
Respectfully disagree. Roh has been fiddle-fucked around, asked to change positions more than once in four years. He made a lot of big plays for this D last year, maybe you missed them. Roh has been a steady player for us and will have a good year.
Roh has had a rough go of things.
Perhaps he hasn't lived up to his hype, but he certainly hasn't been bad.
Through my hand wringing and anger at not being able to stop the option - one thing I did think about after the game was over - was the lack of any kind of defensive pressure. I didn't notice/remember one blitz from our defense.
It seemed like we were content to have the db's and lb's sit back and wait. I understand we don't want to get burned deep by commiting to early especially with the triple option - but this was a bit surprising. The D line couldn't penetrate, but I didn't see any safety or LB blitzes all day.
I was wondering the same thing. Why didn't we get more agressive a few times and blitz? If we got burned for 20 years, so what, they were getting chunks of yards anyway.
I'm not sure what kind of blitz we could have run against that offense. Their QB was a 5th-year senior, and he's going to mercilessly exploit any vulnerabilities he sees in our alignment. If we are not in position to defend the triple-option, then presumably they are going to run that for a big play. If we move people up on the LOS to bring pressure, I imagine they would just throw the ball over our heads. I think you just have to play assignment football and do a better job beating blocks on the edge.
You don't blitz a triple-option team. That's a great way to get gashed for long TDs.
Denard ran well obviously but seemed locked in on his primary target many times. We saw several instances where he had a WR deep, wide open, and would throw to someone a bit more covered. I think he just needs to let the game slow back down for himself. Maybe the speed of Bama last week has him a bit impatient when in the pocket still.
I really liked what Funchess did yesterday, as well as Gardner and Jackson. It appears that we have several large targets now, something that ha been missing the last few years.
Defensively it seemed like our Line got some penetration but many of the runs were outside and our ends an LBs bit on the inside and or crashed down on the qb almost every time. Without someone staying home to contain, we left it up to a CB, who had to beat a lead blocker in most cases, to make the tackle. We should have cheated to the pitchman to force it inside where we had more bodies and a better chance of making the play.
and the board seems to have missed that most of the time that open guy was Roundtree. He can't catch a ball not thrown to him.
While Rountree hasn't exactly been tearing it up, this obvservation is quite true. I believe it was in the 3rd quarter (on of our stalled drives?) where he was VERY open (to the wide side of the field?) on two or three consecutive plays. I think Denard still get's a bit of "tunnel vision" in some of the more obvious passing situations.
I took in the game from probably the best seats I have ever had (50 yard line behind M's bench 25 rows up). My observations in no particular order:
Joe Bolden is a star in the making - very good at diagnosing plays and really instinctive. Struggled with counters and play action. Several times I watched him solely, much better than Morgan or Demens and taking a block, shedding it and making a tackle for less than 5 yards gained.
Jake Ryan's nickname should be Jekyl and Hyde. The guy makes great plays but still has those moments where you wonder what he is doing. Examples of great plays are the last play to the last two drives where he single handedly ended their drives on the option sweep and deflecting the desperation heave at the end. Most of his downfall is similar to Bolden in that he overruns plays and is easily out of position by play action and counters.
The biggest problem with the OL is they are slow. Denard had to come to a stop more than 6 times to allow a blocker to get to his spot (most of the time it was a pulling G). This group would be way more effective zone blocking, but I know, I know.....
Funchess looked good, don't know that he will ever be a WR - probably a hybrid TE type
I am not reading too much into Fitz, no holes and again I think some adjustments will be made to the OL blocking schemes.
I really want to see how we do with Notre Dame and Purdue before declaring the season one way or the other. We could be anything from 6-6 to 9-3 at this point. Starting to become nervous about playing Sparty.
You can try to explain it away, but the bottom line is we have to be better on defense, especially the line. We just got pushed around and beat up by an offensive line that averages 253 lbs and a team that only returned 6 starters total from offense and defense combined.
This type of effort isn't going to get it done the rest of the year. We just have to hope these guys develop. One thing that is killing us are the injuries, our depth on the D line iss not what it should be because of it.
It's the beginning of rebuilding and it shows. The losses on both lines are pretty glaring, and we can only hope that there's enough talent to allow coaching to build them up over the course of the year. It was two difficult games to really analyze the lines, but the subpar run blocking is a huge concern. It means that Denard will have to throw to open up the running game.
At least on that front it looks like he's worked hard and significantly improved his mechanics. He can't get taller, but if he gets calmer, then i think he'll do some really good things as a passer and greatly reduce his mistakes. I expect Gardner and Funchess to improve visibly from game to game, and they'll help Robinson a lot ... as well as potentially opening up room for Roundtree, Dileo, and Gallon.
I don't think we have last year's defense, but again it was two tough, early games to judge it on and i expect to see improvement in technique and positioning throughout the year ... because Mattison.
No need to classify the guy who had 20 more tackles than anyone else on defense last year cause he had a bad game. I'm not defending his play yesterday as he looked bad, but give the guy a break before you throw him into the Ezeh category. BIg time over reaction.
admission you say he has two years that were "huge". I'm not advocating his continual play if it continues to be poor. What I am saying is that playing against Alabama (best team in the country) and Air Force (funky option play) and having him play poorly in both of those games is not enough for me to totally write him off as you have.
I appreciate the comparison with Ezeh, and you may not be wrong. Where we disagree is that in my opinion, after two bad showings I don't think it's time for the bench just yet.
I'm just not ready to let him ride the pine for the rest of the year in favor of Bolden just yet as you would seem to imply/prefer.
It may feel like 2010, but as many people have pointed out:
AFA does this year in and year out against good teams.
2010 Oklahoma, 2011 Boise State, 2012 Michigan (I hope).
Last year on defense, we looked bad through three games. Even against WMU and EMU when we gave up 10 and 3 points, I didn't feel confident, it felt more like dumb luck that we kept them out of the endzone. Then they had a big day against a pretty good SDSU offense and it went pretty well the rest of the year, with only the Ohio game providing any sort of GERG flashbacks.
So I feel like we need to hold off a bit on proclaiming it 2010 all over again.
I'll put it this way: I might be in total agreement with your opinion after the Notre Dame game.
I just think its a little too early to tell.
Maybe Bolden/Ross ends up being Demens/Countess from your example.
Maybe the DL holds up against teams that aren't Alabama or AFA's unique style.
Or maybe Notre Dame beats us 45-28 and its just not gonna happen for the defense this year.
property fail. Each game is different, so comparing total points scored, IMO is pretty pointless.
That being said, I agree the Dline is not good. As we know everything starts in the trenches and I too am concerned we don't have the players to facilitate winning the big ten championship.
I was concerned with some of the game management. When you are showing no ability to consistently stop the other team, I would like to be more aggressive on offense. Between the punt from the 34, the wimp out when pinned against our goal line and not rushing after the drop, I feel like the coaches gave up three possessions.
It was like 4th and 12 and was very windy for a 51 yd kick.
Also, the wimp out. As I recall they ran the ball twice for nothing and had an incomplete pass. This is pretty standard fare. Remember last week what happened when they were backed up to their own endzone.
Go for the 4th and 12. If you gain 6 yards and turn the ball over, what have you lost? They'll get it on the 28 instead of the 10-20. Our offense owned them. At worst, you lose 15 yards. There's also a very legit shot to keep the drive alive and score.
That call disappointed me, but IIRC, Denard passed from our endzone, right? I can't fault the coaching staff for that series. What I can fault them for is the atrocious clock management.
Clock management issues bug the shit out of me, strictly because even my (non-sports watching) wife has the common sense of when to call a TO. Why can't guys making 100's of thousands of dollars have that same sense?
4th and 19, I believe. I'm all for being aggressive, but the only real options there are (a) punt, or (b) field goal. It was into the wind, so punting is a perfectly defensible option.
I can't remember which punt this was... was it a touchback?
If so, is gaining 10 yards and not converting a truly bad thing? That would be a net loss of 4 yards. Consider how many mid range passes we converted, or how many times Denard got to the second level, I'm not sure there is not a third option, even on 4th and 19.
The mentality has to be, let's get at least 8 yards. The D would likely play a little soft to prevent the big play. If I were coach for a down, I would treat it like a 4th and 8, and hope for some YAC. A slant pass or screen would give one of our guys some room to possibly convert. Worst case scenario is they have the ball on the 34. This is only a 14 yard loss, given an incompletion or broken play.
If this was from the 44, I agree wholeheartedly. But that was a throw away fourth down. Not converting wouldn't have hurt us much at all, and converting would have been a turning point.
Sounds like an interesting case study for our very own Mathlete...
AFA fair-caught the punt around the 10 yard-line. We gained 24 yards on the punt and pinned them deep (though we failed to take advantage of the field position). Reasonable people can disagree about what to do there, but I think it was the right call. We wouldn't have made a FG from that distance and you are not going to convert a 4th & 19 very often.
I really think that going for it on 4th and 19 would have been a low risk, low probability, high reward gamble. With the way the defenses played, 24 yards was like a few feet. That's also making a large assumption that we wouldn't gain at least SOME of that 24 yards and not get the first down. So not converting on 4th down would have been a net loss of between 6-24 yards, likely between 10-18 yards.
But, you're right. This is definitely in the realm of debatable topics.
IIRC, Air Force had scored only three points at the time of that punt. Pinning them deep in their own territory made sense. There was a point in the second quarter when it looked like we'd blow the game open. The interception (which happened around midfield when we led 14-3) changed the field position around and gave them the break they needed to stay in the game.
Also, the wimp out. As I recall they ran the ball twice for nothing and had an incomplete pass. This is pretty standard fare
Actually, we ran once and then threw two (incomplete) passes.
Aggressive on offense so we can put out defense back on the field? I disagree there.
If you do you will be "neged".
Better "renege" your statement.
Spend far less time worrying about being "neged". You might invest a moment or two in fear of being "negged", but press on, don't let fear stop you. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that no one has died because someone didn't like a post.
Respectively disagree. For the most part if you defend your arguments and/or be respectful people act in kind. There always a few posters who neg people but such is life.
Also never ever talk about points unless it is about bringing back the pos and neg bangs.
I liked the fact that the defense stiffened up in the Red Zone a few times which made all the difference. I'm ok giving up some field goals with the offense that we have since I'm confident we can find ways to manufacture points with our personnel. The next few games should be telling. Hoping for a blowout next week but if we continue to get a lot of true freshman experience next week that could have an impact. Not great to use transitive property but Indiana's pasting of UMass at their place may leave a lot of us hungry for blood next week.
Also how is UMass a part of the Mac? Realignment lol.
Not for nothing, plenty of people said negative stuff, but yours is the ONLY POST in this entire thread that got negged. And none were neged, whatever that is.