I have some concerns about the D, but the 3-3-5 is a scapegoat. We don't use it as much as people think. Lately we've been using a 4-2-5 about as often. I haven't noticed much of a difference in effectiveness between the two.
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The 3-3-5 is the worst thing ever. It exposes our weakside to explosive runs. That's right, I said WEAKSIDE!!! I yell that 15 times a game.
I don't think the scheme is causing our LBs to regularly run themselves out of plays. I don't know exactly what is causing that, but I don't think it has to do with where they line up at the snap.
To be fair, the lack of consistent tackling by the LBs is the reason weakside runs are explosive. The defense works if the LBs can read the play effectively and hit the gaps that open up.
Like anyone could know that.
We can't put corners right on recievers because they aren't talented or experienced enough right now not to mention the lack of the same two skills at the safety postion behind them. When we do try to man up its near the red zone which has usually resulted in touchdowns on slants. Second of all, I can think of a pass to a running back (see first touchdown of the game to Vincent Smith)
We tried going man and the end result was Mcnutt/DJK prancing into the endzone. Gerg tried to mix it up today, we just aren't good on that side of the ball.
I am pretty sure that Vincent Smith is a RB, and that our first TD pass was to him. Does that count?
Using a 3 man front on the 4 yard line (Iowa's first td) is just inexcusable. Everyone in the stadium knew it was going to be a run and 5 o-linemen pushed 3 d-linemen back an the running back went in practically untouched.
I don't know if that was a problem. What really killed us there was that Mouton took himself out of the play by trying to fill a gap that a DL was already occupying and tripping over his feet.
Vinny Smith caught a TD pass, and almost a second one yesterday.
Trix are for kids!
But seriously.. there was a point today where we had legit 8 underclassman on the field for defense
Defensively, we played ok against a brusing rushing attack, and I feel that we were legitimately one openfield tackle away from having a shot to tie this up.
And we did use press coverage occassionally, I think as a fan I'm more concerned about the TE flats plays they ran consecutively on us.
My favorite line of this "You know what's hard? Gaining 522 yards of offense against one of the best defenses in America, with two seniors on the field and your best lineman out of the game"
It is kind of incredible, that without the MVPs of both the defensive and offensive lines in for large parts of the game, the team didn't give up over 400 yards.
The real question is, does that mean the D is making improvements, or that Iowa's O just isnt that great? They also didn't have long fields on multiple posessioins due to turnovers.
Bottom line is at the end of the game the defense had two third and longs to defend and crumbled both times, leading to Iowa getting a Fg and making it a two posession game, which may have pressed Tate into going making bad decisions to try and move the ball ASAP.
BUT, at the end of the first half you would tell me the game would end 38-28, I would have laughed. The team fought hard today against a very good team, and I think it's very encouraging gonig into the bye, and then an extremely mediocre Penn State next. Gerg better use more 4 man fronts and blitzes to get the true freshman QB flustered into making bad decisions.
It was not a good defensive performance. The point total says it all. But the D definitely was put in a bad position with Martin's absence and consistent poor field position. In short, I don't think many conclusions can be drawn about it from today's game.
We can, however, conclude that our offense is pretty good.
Watching the replay, and the defense when in the 3-3-5 seemed to get gashed constantly. When they put 4 guys down on the line, the run game got stuffed consistantly.
And the D missed 2 picks, one hitting Kovacs right in the hands that prolly woulda been another legendary Rick Six.
Denard needs to learn that going for the homerun ball isn't always the best option, because against a defense like iowa, they'll make you pay. He is young, and will learn.
And I am still a supporter of GERG overall, but he needs to man up and tell Rod the 3-3-5 isn't working, and Rod needs to man up and can his WVU buddy Gibson.
It's amazing to me how people assume that one, Kovacs had an easy INT and that two, he could have possibly had enough speed to return it for a TD, let alone getting over the 50.
I prefer the term TAINT - 'Touchdown After INT'
hahaha, thank you for that!
For those who would accuse Chait of drinking too much RichRod Kool Aid:
"It's possible Rodriguez is the best offensive mind in college football but cannot master the full responsibilities of head coaching. Or it's possible he has suffered from youth and a run of bad luck. I honestly don't know theanswer yet."
- - -
Why is it that RichRod's detractors can't present anything reasonable when they're trashing him? They always seem to say the dumbest things.
I'd be willing to have a discussion with some of them, especially since I have mixed feelings about the guy myself. I don't see it happening any time soon, though.
Was Chait an example of the dumbest things? Or a counterexample?
I think anyone blindly for or against present some pretty dumb arguments. Not just detractors. It's those in the middle that can see some shades of gray.
Sorry for the lack of clarity; I'm definitely not lumping Chait with the dummies.
Chait is a clown. He writes what he wishes would happen, and disregards his own predictions for what would happen. It's always some nefarious, unpredictable force that prevents the good guys from performing well.
If you follow Chait's work, you'll notice he spends 90% of his time defending either Rodriguez or Obama, and neither one of them is even close to Chait's predictions on what they would achieve. Why does he do this? I don't know, maybe because if he didn't he'd have to admit he was just flat out wrong.
Chait is a shill, that should be pretty obvious to anyone who pays attention.
the problem is there is no quick fix. Rich botched the defense and this is the first year under this system. The defense will not be up to par until 2012 and that is a brutal schedule. We have to hope like hell Rich lands some of these 4/5 star studs or we are in for the same ole crap next year with Gibby on staff. ARGH!
How can you tell anything about our defensive scheme when we are forced to trot out a bunch of freshmen? They will make huge strides during the course of the year and the offseason, and our defense should approach competence next year. With our offense, that may be all it takes to contend for the Big Ten title next year.
Halfway through the season these aren't really freshmen any more. Baptism by fire, but they need to start growing up and get better each week.
Just because someone plays seven games, doesn't mean they have been through the level of weightlifting, conditioning, and simple physical growth that a 21-year-old redshirt junior has. A simple look at our defense, compared to much of the rest of the Big Ten, shows that we are just smaller and slower on defense than just about everyone else.
that would be happy starting mostly sophomores, either.
When Iowa receivers are walking into the endzone by running simple slant routes or drags all the way across the field with not one DB picking them up... my guess is it's not the scheme. The coaching just needs to be better. I mean even if you're not talented, you should still be position to make plays, right?
Need to consider that Martin played very little in the game. I am not a 3-3-5 fan but it can work if Martin is in there blowing shit up. I liked what Demens brought to the table and the decision to go out of the I-formation was nice in that it showed we can do a lot of things on offense. Not having Mike Shaw is a huge problem that a lot of people overlook. I think people are pissed off because before the season started everyone thought we would lose this game but while it was going on it was apparent, short of the mistakes, that we could have won. We should be able to get some mistakes fixed, get Shaw, Martin and Denard healthy and come out with some new shit for Penn State coming off the bye.
Missing Odoms couldn't have helped either.
When Michigan (we) was down three touchdowns today, I was disappointed. The game had been handed away in a tidy basket, and I was having flashbacks of last week/the season which shall be forgotten. As they battled back, I have to say that even though they lost, I was able to state (and did so) that I am a proud Michigan fan.
Many of the perceived issues I believe amount to a failure in perception. If a machine has 500 parts, and one fails, the machine fails. From an offensive perspective, this was often the case. Whether it be the Lewan penalties, or the poor throws resulting in interceptions, the offensive machine which is Michigan football is really close to running on full cylinders, and really close to 7-0.
The defense is another issue. Not all of the parts fit (Roh), some are too damaged (T-Wolf), and some are cheap and should have been replaced (Ezeh). Speaking of Ezeh, Demens made me smile today. He made some big time tackles. All in all, a loss is unfortunate, but my optimism remains.
We should lose to Iowa and we did. This was not a game we should have won by every metric out there.
Having said that - we were close in a game we shouldn't have been when our turnover margin was that abhorred. We were close in a game where Mike Martin essentially didn't play. Imagine how good Kenny Demens would have looked if Mike Martin was in the game.
I actually feel very good about this team going forward. The games with Wisky and OSU are going to be closer than people believe.
Anyone else remember the countdown to KO video from last season where one of the linemen (i think BG) was saying how much time GERG had to spend teaching tackling technique rather than scheme? Well if that stuff hadn't been a focus for the previous few years it then it will take a few years to get it back with such young/inexperienced kids. Not that GERG couldn't spend a many hours with another refresher course...
Judging from the predictions posted here over the last few days, the vast majority of MGoBloggers were confidently predicting a Michigan win. Why, I don't know.