The best way to stop Denard is to collapse running lanes before he even gets started. The O-line has been awesome so far. They are the bedrock to any successful offense. Agree with the OP 100%
Dude. Thats awesome. I have to ask, do you have nightmares thinking about facing someone like Martin?
Let me clarify...Division 3.....so I would have soiled myself if Martin showed up in front of me. But the truth is that there were teams that after the first series, we knew we had the game in the bag....it was just a matter of not beating ourselves with penalties and turnovers.
You know very quickly how tough the opposing player/s are and if it is going to be a long day. I have some funny stories about guys who were HUGE and I was very intimidated, but then you punch them in the mouth once and you own them all day. I also had days where I got my tail kicked on every play and knew that if I could just hold him up for a second I was successful. One guy from Adrian told me that he was kicking my butt all over the field and I told him that as long as my team was ahead on the scoreboard he could continue to do so. He was just better than me. But that is the beauty of the O-line and zone blocking.....you have 4-5 helpers.
We all know it's about the highly talked about lineman. I mean we see the highlights every week of the pancake blocks and double teams. I think this game comes down to the guys you don't read about the unsung heroes of the field. The Denard Robinsons, Shaws, and Roundtrees of the world.
Fair enough. That is awesome though. Thanks for sharing.
very good points, it seems like the only person that has been giving credit to that O line has been Denard. The man constantly thanks them in every interview and it's deserved. We obviously notice the O line but no one in the nation media seems to. agree 100% this game will be won in the trenches. Whoever wins up front wins this game. Great post!
I think a guy wrote into one of Rittenberg's mailbag's(I want to say Mark from Washington) and said as much. I wanted to +1 him but unfortunately that isn't possible on the ESPN website.
I'd like to see a review of MSU's lines. I haven't heard anything specific about either, and trying to find useful information on the RCMB is an epic waste of time. (I did learn that they hate us, FWIW.) I'm sure there will be some sort of scouting report in the Friday preview, but some in-depth analysis would be fantastic, especially on their offensive line. I want to know if their running success is a product of great oline play, terrible defense, or just extreme awesomeness from Bell and Caper.
This years o-line has been so impressive. Just by watching the game on tv you can see the huge holes Denard and the backs are running through. In 2008, the line was getting used to the spread offense and it was a make-shift line trying to find the right people in the right spot. Last year Molk's injury killed Michigan. This year with Lewan, Schilling, Molk, Omameh, and Dorrestein the line is so solid and just moves the defense where they want to. Of course it helps have Shoelace running faster than the speed of light but huge credit goes to the o-line.
The job that the O-Line has done this year makes me wonder what might have been possible if Molk had not been injured last year. They seem to have taken just as great of strides as Denard has this year in their development.
Molk's injury last year seemed to be what sparked the freefall last year. They don't get hype, and names are rarely recognizable outside your true fans and Jake Long's, but the OP had a great point--the line wins game. This is the most surprising change from last year to this year in my opinion--the consistency on the line. It is amazing what keeping players at the same position will do for performance.
in general, i agree that games are won in the trenches. and UM's O-line has improved over the past couple years, obviously. but to say they are the key, i'm not sure i agree. i say this because Denard's game has improved so much over my (or anyone's) expectations. basically, the O-line just has to hit someone in front of them anymore. Denard is awesome at reading any block and finding a seam. it makes the O-lines job that much easier. it is also nice, however, seeing downfield blocks, both by the line and by WRs. it is those blocks that turn 10 yd gains into 70 yd TDs by Denard.
to think this O will be even better next year is crazy.
although i do agree that DRob can create. i disagree that the O-line is not our key!
1) the offense is drawn up in a certain way for a reason and each player has an assignment 2) to run the play to its specifics helps the O-line, our backs/recievers and DRob somewhat be able to expect who is coming and from where
3) WHEN that takes place--not just putting a hat on someone --DRob will take less of a beating and even better less surprising hits.
so i believe the trench battle is extremely important to be on point so that we can move the ball and protect our QB!
GO BLUE BEAT green!
The downfield and perimeter blocking has been incredible this year. It's great to see the receivers getting down and dirty and sacrificing their bodies in the plays. I especially wanna give a shout out to Tay for this, because I think this is where his biggest impact has been seen so far this year.
I agree with the OP. Although, I disagree about putting too much stock in Denard. Yes the O-line allows him to make plays, but Denard is truly a special talent.
I've been very impressed with the Offensive and Defensive line thus far. The coaches really seem to know what they are doing. I'm eager to see what the future holds.
Speaking of the trenches... I'd like to see Roh rush the passer more often. Having Roh rush along with Martin, Van Bergen, and Banks/Black seems to be our best way to force a quick throw (as long as the offense doesn't max protect). It looks to me that we're playing soft in the secondary anyway, so why not force a quicker pass?
I just hate to see all the pressure on Denard. My feelings during the game hinge on if he gets up after being tackled or if that bomb is going to get picked, etc. After I thought about it, I had to check myself and remind myself that the O-line is a very large contributing factor to his success.
I don't know if that makes sense, I have trouble articulating sometimes.
or does "The Heavies" sound like either a reforming of The Fat Boys or some sort of tanking superhero group?
Agreed, the play of the offensive line has been exceptional (It still brings joy to my heart when I remember Omameh's 2 for 1 that helped spring Dilithium on the 85 yard run against the Domers).
But as others have suggested, you don't put up video game numbers offensively without everyone doing their job well:
- RichRod and Brother Magee are offensive masterminds and have develped a set of schemes and strategies that form the blueprint for one of the most (if not the most) prolific offenses in the modern era of NCAA football.
- Dilithium - Could Denard be a more perfect fit for RichRod's offense? His humility, leadership, competitive fire on the field, smiles of starshine and warm cuddly kittens off the field...
- Outstanding blocking by the OL.
- Excellent blocking RB's and WR's downfield on runs.
- Great route running and YAC by the RB's out of the backfield and WR's.
It's a well-oiled machine.
Dilithium's teammates are going to have to keep it up for 4 quarters Saturday and minimize the shots Denard takes. We can't afford to have Dilithium on the bottom of a pile.
I can't wait to see an O-Lineman plant Greg Jones into the ground on a Denard run.
to pull a T'eo on him, except more. Oh, I will laugh and laugh and laugh.
With Millen providing color-commentary, we should hea much praise for the OL.
from one former O lineman to another: great post
pretty sure he played LB
Someone convince me that our D-Line is going to HULKSMASH their O-Line saturday. I have to think that D-Line is the primary position where guys really benefit from being totally raging on adrenaline. We're going to see the best D-line play of the year, no? We're gonna watch mike martin rape/pillage/plunder, craig roh will draw all kinds of holding penalties, and kirk cousins will complete passes to our safties. Cousins sort of has a history of shitting the bed on the road and he's never played here. Please be gentle with my optimism, it's fragile.
a good write up on the oline: