Let's look at Michigan's OL recruiting from '09-'11 and discuss diabetes with owls
I agree that the recruiting was down and O-Linemen should not be depended on until they are redshirt sophomores. However there are ways to help a bad o-line, if the CB is playing off the receiver audible and throw a bullet to the outside. The last thing you want to do is make the o-line block for long periods of time, so don't run play action pass with deep routes.
MSU takes away short stuff though, basically saying, "Go long if you can." I was frustrated that Borges didn't take short yards with short passes against PSU, but MSU doesn't make that an option.
They played off Gallon all day at least make the pass a couple times to get them thinking, plus where were the short slants to the middle? That is where all the blitzes came from, Funch on a slant route was there to. What killed this team was Al calling play action time and time again.
How about those quick pop passes that Funchess dropped two of and Gardner missed one or two as well.
Not "defending" Borges, but when your line can't block and you receivers can't catch.... Makes for a rough day for anyone
is designed to take away the slants and routes over the short middle. Their LBs play run first, and then inside out on pass coverage.
The holes in MSU's D are deep (especially the deep middle) and short outs. These are exactly the routes Borges called.
Play action is important, even if the running game sucks. This is especially true against a team like State where the LBs are super aggressive in their run reads. This helps keep the LBs close to the line and the Safeties up which opens up the deep passes Michigan had success with. Ignoring play action and just lining up in the gun with 5 wide every time tells the D that you're passing. This makes Gardner's job that much more difficult because now the LBs don't worry about a run read and can just play inside out and the Safeties are back 10-12 yards taking away the deep stuff.
on one of the sacks of Gardner, i think the third or fourth. There where 3 michigan WR lined to the right of Gardner and 2 MSU DB's. Pressure came up the middle kind of fast but Gardner would had time to make the throw. Some of those sacks where due to Gardner holding the ball too long plain and simple. Yea the O line played poorly but it was the entire offense. Gardner held the ball to long and was off on some throws, the WR's dropped catchable balls and Fitz had issues not only running the ball but blocking too. You can blame who you want and you'ld prolly be right because everyone played like crap today....... hey maybe we have a sign we take to road games like ND has at home.
On one play, there was time and space to move up into the pocket, inside of the oncoming rush. Instead, Gardner stepped to the outside, directly into the path of Calhoun. He literally stepped into a sack.
There is a reason Hoke signed 6 OL in one class.
There isn't 1 spot on that line that is set in stone for next year which is scary.
Just for giggles I looked at Alabama is the same time frame of the RichRod classes. They took 7 OL in 2009. Since then theyve alternated between taking 3 and 4 OL per class.
But but but...it's the coaches, fire Borges, fire Funk, fire Hoke rabble, rabble...
Our recruiting of OL 2009-2011
Analysis: Way too few guys, especially when one of them is on our defensive line right now.
Analysis: RichRod fucked up. Big time. Pace didn't play a snap for the team outside of practice, eventally getting a career ending injury. This is the class I point to in general for a lot of our problems, since only 9 guys out of a class of 27 are still in the program.
Analysis: Good God the minimal OL continues. Posada hardly even practiced before he decided football wasn't for him. Bryant would be, and still could be, a very good guard for us. But his knee and shoulder need to be 100% first.
So in three classes we recruited 6 offensive linemen. One plays on defense now, one quit football, and another got a career ending injury. After this year, we will have one OL lineman left from three classes. That, my fellow Wolverine fans, is absolutely unacceptable.
Now, look at OL recruiting 2012-now
Jon Runyan Jr.
So in 2013 alone we got as many guys for the OL than RichRod did in three years. So yeah, I am willing to cut a break on OL play here because the depth overall is pretty laughable, especially when, no matter how talented and highly regarded, it is generally viewed that OL don't/shouldn't see the field until they're at least a RS Sophomore. That means currently we have Bryant, Lewan, Schofield, Glassgow. That's. It. People are tending to shit all over Kalis, but remember he's a RS Frosh. As Brian said on a pod cast once, OL recruit rating is almost like a crap shoot. I have full confidence though that Kalis will pull through and become a good to great OL for the team over the next three years.
Also Pace was supposed to be quite a find at the Center position. Kinda hurts even more.
I blame the inability to land a better class squarely on the shoulders of that sorry excuse for journalistic integrity.
However, it's Coach Rod's fault for not getting the depth numbers right.
Yeah, Michigan Basketball was TERRIBLE in the early 90s. I mean, they don't have a single banner in the rafters at
Unless you're implying that a coach who's successful with another coach's players makes them more prone to looking the other way toward NCAA violations. Which, uh, okay.
You're blaming Carr for our 2009, 2010 and 2011 OL recruiting?
It's not like we signed 6 QBs a year under RichRod. There were spots available for OL if we wanted to recruit more of them. I don't think we ever even had 85 scholarship guys in his tenure.
Time to come into the dugout from left field. What does Carr have to do wtih RR's failure to understand recruiting? And to recruit depth Much less any linemen? Moreover, Carr did not leave the cupboard empty. In fact, the class that RR inherited from Carr makes the current situation makes it look like RR inherited an all big 10 lineup head to tail.
but it's hard to see how he could have improved on Coach Hoke's first year here had he been given another year. The improvement in the defense alone justified the move as far as I was concerned. I think he would have improved on his previous year but the progress was way too slow and the ceiling looking way too low. Certainly Coach Rod's situation could have been better but he ultimately he was his worst enemy by not improving well enough or fast enough.
Cupboard empty? Brandon graham was a 5 star Lloyd got. Ryan mallet would have been a star for Lloyd. RR's best receiver was jr Hemingway, who Lloyd pulled. Carr didn't leave it empty, just had a completely different set if players. That's not on Carr
2008 team was stacked with talent you're nuts. There was Graham and some decent players. But there weren't 11 scholarship level players on either side of the ball. After you get about 5-6 players deep there was a cliff of talent drop.
I went to the 2007 spring game where Henne/Hart/Crable did not play and there was no one. The physical difference between the star level players and the reserves made it look like I was standing out there by Crable.
Ok, I never said the teams were stacked. There's a big difference between stacked and bare. The 2005 class had one 5 star and about 10 4 stars - the 2006 recruiting class had 2 five stars and about ten 4 stars. 2007 was a little weak with two 5 stars and about five 4 stars. We would be perfectly content if not ecstatic about 2005 and 2006 numbers nowadays. I'm not saying these teams were stacked, but its not like there were just a bunch of 2 stars like you're implying. A lot of these players left or, more likely, were far les useful in the spread system. But thats different than Lloyd "leaving the cupboard bare". If, for example, we got Les Miles in 2008, I bet he comes in and we go 8-4 in a rebuilding year. We would have had a young but talented QB (Mallet) behind a line anchored by Schilling and Boren. There would be no talk of the cupboard being bare. RR however needed a completely different set of players. I don't think its any sign of RR not developing guys at all. I'm just saying Lloyd could have pulled in a Nick Saban-esque class of manballers and it just would have been similar results. I just think the Lloyd left the cupborad bare argument is way overblown at best, downright wrong at worst. He left the cupboard with what probably could have been a weaker but solid team for his system
In a class of 27 with that few linemen signed this is somehow a "luxury" because it's Lloyd's fault on depth?
Come on man.
Another lucid, logical post. Ban him and grab your pitchfork!
most of the board so quickly ignores. Thanks for posting and having reasonable expectations!.
Can we institute a new rule that anyone wishing to ridicule Hoke, Funk, or Borges must first read the OP and your post? It just seems . . so simple. Yet people want people fired because they don't want to think about the issues, and how turrible a state Rodriguez left us in.
Oh believe me I was one of them during the game. I had to back away, take a breathe and do some research though before I was going to continue. Good God that 2010 class is screwing us.
Everyone was quick to pile on the praise for how great Hoke was in his first year....but then 2 years later and people want to say that we are only bad because of RichRod....What gives?
Well, the truly amazing thing about his first year was the Lazarus-like resurrection of our defense. Coach Rod was never going to do that. So, Coach Hoke gets a lot of credit, and he deserves it.
As for now, I don't think anyone is blaming Coach Rod for everything. But there IS a missing class of offensive lineman bookended by classes of 2 and 2. This IS Coach Rod's fault, as Brady would have broken NCAA rules had he recruited for Michigan in 2008-2010. It happens that this is our team's biggest problem. But no one blames any defensive problems on Coach Rod, nor do they blame them for other things like Funk and Borges.
To me it's about missed assignments and bad blocking schemes, forced myself to rewatch that and and msu was blitzing and double twisting a lot and our guys looked confused and the result were a lot of free rushers. And I also noticed a lot of responsibility to block the defensive end was on toussaint which is a huge mismatch. I'm not sure why a block scheme would have the tackle defer the end to the rb. Our pass plays also take a long time to develop Gardner could barely get his three step drop before getting pressure. Not good to call deep throws with a lot of blitzes.
This right here. The long passes worked unless MSU brought pressure and then the OL and RBs could not pick up the blitzes. They are young but they did not look prepared.
The gameplan should have had a lot more short and underneath stuff. I would have loved to see 2-backs out of the pistol or shotgun with some block-release or option plays. You can't just isolate a shaky interior OL against a defense that is almost wholly defined by blitzing up the middle.
Those things that Sparty D is schemed to prevent?
I got sucked into a back-and-forth on the 247 site with a contrarian/troll poster after I had the gall to suggest that Michigan wasn't an elite team and wouldn't be for a few years - even IF they went 11-1 or 12-0 this year. This was solely based on the fact that you need both talent AND depth/experience to truly be an elite team. O-line is the most glaring example but you also see it at TE, DL, DB, and WR. With the recruiting success M is having all but OL should be close by 2014 but I fear that OL won't be squared away until 2015. This is not to say I don't have some issues with the Offensive scheme/playcalling, but the OL (and WR) limitations play a major factor. Last year's OL was arguably less talented but the experience made it (slightly) better than what we see this year. (sorry paragraphs not working for me either tonight.)
this team is two years away from dominance. i was curious if a 'switch' was waiting to be flipped yet apparently there is no switch. assuming recruiting doesn't drop off and we close the way expected (hand/mcdowell)...
2015 will likely see a team QB'd by Morris, with Green/Harris at RB, Drake/Campbell/Canteen/Funch at WR, and huge depth and experience on the OL. The defense will also have upgrades everywhere. ohio and msu will be at home, and a non-con sked of oregon state, utah, byu, and unlv seems pretty doable if we trend up.
i hate losing like everyone else here. seems like it's gut-check time. maybe borges has to go, i don't know or maybe the line comes together and we'll all be wondering why it didn't sooner. i dunno, yet i'm of the opinion to unite, support the team and coaches, and give hoke two years to have a full roster with the blue-chippers that are/have been joining.
While I agree we are trending upward, what makes us believe in the development. Throw out the recruiting stars, -48 rushing yards (yes I know, sacks) is inexcusable. All the talent in the world and we display that. Something had to change up front.
If there was such a situation, it would be only having 2 players with any starting experience on the OL. If something could have been done differently, maybe it was not getting Kalis, Magnuson, or Braden ANY experience last year - but that may have meant taking a further hit in our record.
I just caught part of the Cal-AZ game on the PAC-12 network and Cal has inserted 3 RS-Frosh or Frosh starters to bite-the-bullet for next year. Of course they are 1-7.......
Agree Randy. The post you responded to said 2015 will be dominant. Based on what? Recroooooting stars. There is no evidence at this point that this coaching staff will develop that talent. People who think suddenly in April 2015 there will be a switch and suddenly all these underclassmen turn into upperclassmen and UM turns into OSU on a dime are taking a massive leap of faith. There is a distinct lack of progres among many players and that is coaching at the position level. Maybe everything turns on a dime suddenly in 18 months but to believe that blindly based on RECROOOOOTING STARS is a major leap of faith.
Have you watched this team this season? They are awful and there has been no improvement . Coach them up. Other coaches get more out of their players with less talent. We are trending down. At this point I do not have confidence that the o-line will be better next year. That Gardner will be better next year, that the defensive front will actually be able to generate a rush. Give me some evidence that we are trending upward.
You need to put together a string of good years to call yourself "elite"
2006 and 2011 were the last two and now we are hoping for a good year in 2014.
Nope not elite anymore
Posada actually committed to RichRod
For a visual of what the Junior and Senior depth on OLine (and sadly elsewhere, too) looks like, take a look at the MGoBlog created chart: http://mgoblog.com/content/michigan-depth-chart-class-0
MICHIGAN FOOTBALL DEPTH BY CLASS 2013
|QB (3 + 1)||W. Speight (EE)||R. Bellomy*||D. Gardner*|
|RB (6 - 1)||J. Hayes*||T. Rawls||F. Toussaint*|
|FB (2 + 0)||
|WR (6 + 0)||A. Darboh|
|Slot (3 + 0)||F. Canteen (EE)||D. Jones||D. Norfleet||D. Dileo|
|TE (5 + 1)||I. Bunting||J. Paskorz*|
|OT (6 - 1)||Bushell-Beatty||
|OG (5 + 1)||
M. Cole (EE)
|C (3 + 0)||P. Kugler||
|DT (4 - 1)||J. Black|
|NT (4 - 0)||B. Mone (EE)||M. Hurst Jr.||O. Pipkins||R. Ash*|
|SDE (3 + 0)||K. Heitzman*|
|WDE (3 + 1)||L. Marshall||F. Clark|
|SLB (5 - 0)||C. Winovich||
|MLB (2 + 2)||J. Bolden||D. Morgan||
|WLB (3 + 1)||
|CB (9 + 1)||
B. Watson (EE)
|FS (4 - 1)||
|SS (2 - 0)||J. Wilson|
|P/K/LS (4 - 1)||
|Total (82 + 3)||15||39||18||13||12|
projected starters in bold, returning starters in italics.
I follow things pretty close but I am shocked by this. I admit it.
One of the things about charts that I wished more people appreciated is that they can say so much without really needing words. In this case, by eligibility as outlined here, you have on this offensive line:
Freshman - 10
Sophomore - 3
Junior - 1
Senior - 2
While I agree that we might not want to lean on the "youth" argument too much, there it is, I would say. You have "youth" and it cannot be ignored as an issue.
The most obvious answer tends to be the correct one...so youth it is.
So, we’re probably 2 years out form having a decent OL built from the existing players and incoming recruits...
The coaches need to seriously look at bringing in some JC or grad-transfer OL talent to shore things up & buy time for the youth to develop without getting their confidence blow to crap!
The argument against JC transfers has been that they tend to lose too many credits when transferring into Michigan. That would not be the case if they came from GRCC because ofThe MACRAO Transfer Agreement.
If we did find a couple gems-in-the-rough at GRCC, they would in effect replace a couple busts from the earlier classes & allow us to redshirt more of the incoming class.
It's easier for so many "fans" to just pile on Hoke/Borges/Funk about the O-Line underperforming versus a rational analysis of the "youth" being a problem.
Of course, now what I'm seeing is a bit of flip flop from those individuals when challenged with these sort of data points to "if they are so highly rated they should play better". Of course these are the same idiots who, in how many threads, repeatedly say "starzzzz don't matter...just wins".
At this point, regardless of the data points, I think there is a sectio of the fanbase...a truly trying and completely imbecilic section...that you just can't reach).
Lewan decided to stay when he saw this depth chart, lol. Wow
Nearly as big a hole as the other side.
I’m done with the ‘youth’ excuse. Michigan has been practicing for close to 13 weeks now and they still are not ‘targeting’ the right guy to block. Football isn’t that complicated where it should take 13 weeks to figure out who to block.
I really would like to know from those who think youth is the issue this year what was the main issue last year? Michigan started three redshirt seniors on the interior of the offensive line along with two redshirt juniors and still couldn’t do much of anything. Was that just talent?
It’s no coincidence the best coaches always seem to have the better players no matter how old they are.
Excellent Post, i totally agree, nothing else needs to be said. Just don't think the team is good.
The team is not very good. Part of the reason is because of the youth on the offensive line. Did you guys not watch the game last night? Any discussion not pertaining to the offensive line is just noise. It has been our Achilles heel all year.
Its never binary.
Last year we had problems:
1. Barnum couldn't snap, making Mealer the center. His calls were bad.
2. The players didn't really fit the scheme. None of the interior guys were gap blockers, they were zone blockers.
3. Inexperience, although to a lesser degree. Schofield making first starts at tackle. Mealer making first starts period. Barnum had more experience, but not much. They were older and thus stronger and more practiced, but they didn't have a ton of in-game snaps. More importantly, is that for all of them, even Lewan and Omameh, this was their first season running mostly gap blocking. So, all of them were inexperienced in such a scheme.
And, lo, that line was a lot better than this years edition, even with those problems. Why? Because the interior were all seniors. They had played more football than this group of Sophomore, Freshman, True Freshman.
The litmus test for me... They are young but they aren't improving. We are 2/3 of the way through the year . They are lost. No push... No improvement regardless of who we play.
Do other teams all have 4* + seniors at every position? Does state? If so, then good work. It's all about context.
4/5 of their OL are seniors--3 of those being 5th year players.
I'd have to look up Sparty, but they did refer to them as"experienced"on the broadcast yesterday.
And Akron? OSU is a top 3 team, so I get that they will have a lot of everything, but if Borges always needs NFL draft pick Seniors at every position, then we are doomed.
He doesn't. The line was good in 2011, when we were So, So, Sr, Jr, Sr.
Molk was drafted late. Omameh made a roster. Lewan will be drafted but he was a sophomore. Same for Schofield, and he was also out of position as a guard. Huyge never saw the league and only played one year at Michigan.
Borges, and any other coordinator, need experienced lineman. NFL quality is a bonus, but we made due in 2011 because no one was younger than red shirt sophomore.
It's all freshman and redshirt freshman on the interior OLine. Yes, there are a few other teams that have gotten by with that. We are not one of them. We are sorely lacking in upperclassmen interior OLinemen.
People saying, "Hurrr, where be all dem 'cruits Hoke wers sposta be bringing in, dem 5 star? LOL!" are dumb.
fuck that, Indiana had 93 rushing yards against MSU, we had -48, thats bullshit, we have 2 5th year seniors and highly ranked recruits, we should at least be able to match Indiana's rushing output. All the elite teams seem to plug in inexperienced OL on an almost yearly basis and they seem to be ok
I hate this number b/c it includes that over the head snap. Not saying we had a good day or anything, but people are using it in their arguments as if we actually rushed the ball (RB or QB trying to gain yards on the ground) for -48 yards.
-48 rushing yards is misleading because we took a ton of sacks and had that ridiculous snap fiasco.
I'm pretty sure all of the elite teams aren't shuffling freshman and walk ons at both guard spots and center.
The rest of your post is just kind of your standard, angry nonsense ("Indianer lawst 42 to 28. How come we cudn't lost by 14?").
so I should be ok with having michigan statistially inferior to indiana?
Yeah, sure. It doesn't matter what Indiana does. We beat them.
I will take being statistically inferior to Indiana and undefeated over statistically superior to Indiana and losing games.
"Yes, there are a few other teams that have gotten by with that."
People keep saying that, then they throw out names that, when you check the depth chart, have third-year-plus scholarship players at every position on the line. (Sometimes a younger guy has passed one and is playing, but the older guys are there on the roster.)
There's UCLA, whose offense is worse than Michigan's. Who else?
I totally buy the youth factor, it's huge. And I'm one of the biggest boosters of the staff here.
But it is fair to ask if it was more than that. As noted above, some rushers simply ran free as if no one were assigned to them, and Fitz was taking on monsters. It could be the confusion with Sparty's schemes was fed by inexperience, but I still wonder if the staff and O-line were adaquately prepared.
I posted the 2009-2011 OL classes because they're almost shocking. However (and as you indicate), they don't preclude the presence of other problems, and I am out of my depth as far as judging the OL coaching. I hope youth is the issue, obviously, but I fear that Michigan's struggles may be born of more than that.
The whole Fitz issue was kind of baffling. I'm not sure what to make of a scheme that has Lewan leaving the DE to Fitz so that he (Lewan) can block air. That just seems like we were out schemed.
At other times, though, Fitz was required to pick up blitzers in a much more conventional manner, and they simply ran through him. I realize he's a freshman with all that entails, but I would have liked to see Derrick Green in there to see if a bigger body would have held up better.
Fitz is not a freshman. I assume you meant Green is a freshman. The reason that Green was not in the game, nor has played any significant time on passing downs this year, is that he does not know the pass protection. Again, this happens with freshmen. The altenative was to play the fullback as the only back. I doubt that would have gone any better.
I'll tell you what those plays are about. They are full slide protections that are made on quick three step drops. They are great against the blitz, as they cover all gaps really well, if only for a short time. The weakness is on the edge away from the slide where the RB is 1-1 versus a DE. This is theoretically mitigated by this protection only being called on quick 3 step drops. You don't need a great block, as the ball is coming out quick. The problem is that Devin didn't get rid of it. Call it a coverage sack, call is a mistake by the QB. Whatever. There is nothing wrong with this protection qua protection.
It is nice that you admitted you don't know what to make of the protection rather than just saying, "what kind of coordinator calls that?" Its a fine call. In fact, on two occasions I saw Devin audible into it. Its made to stop an interior blitz on a quick throw. The key is making the quick throw.
Now you know the thinking behind it. And you know that every team calls these. Make of it what you will.
We ran the same protection against Penn State and Lewan, when he realized there was no threat for him to block to his inside, came back to chip the DE. Is that how it's taught?
Yes. But if the team is blitzing heavily inside, you give some more time inside before kicking back out. I wish I could draw something up, but basically, each guy slides right and is responsible for that gap. So if Lewan slides right to help on the 3 and State brings a linebacker into the left A gap, Bosch has to pick up the linebacker and leave the 3 to Lewan. So Lewan can't bail unless he's sure the 3 is blocked.
Stuff like this takes time to get a feel for. This is why experience is so crucial on the line. There are literally hundreds of looks that linemen face if you count the whole playbook and all of the probable defensive alignments.
Thank you. I am one of the biggest Borges defenders around here, but this is a totally lucid and valid criticism.
Oh and thanks for this post. Waiting sucks and yesterday was embarassing. But I still firmly believe in time we will get where we want this program to be.
Amazing how I typed it & you heard it even though I'm an armless mute!
Actually, from what I saw, Narduzzi did have to adapt. Thing is, he had much better cards -- if your middle O line is a glaring weakness, and their pressure D backed by good LB & DB play is their strength -- isn't much coordinator can do but try what he did on opening. Once they adjusted to take that away too, and our line's adrenaline stopped carrying them beyond themselves (there were actually holes & time first couple of series), we were done. Barring > 1 blown assignment or something by them
The idiocy on this board is getting really tiresome.
I would think an armless deaf mute would be very creative. In a world designed for people who aren't armless deaf mutes, an armless deaf mute would need to devise creative solutions for the most mundane tasks in order to get anything done.
OMG WTF what game were you watching? We passed becuase we couldn't run. I guess we could have punted on 3rd down, maybe that would have suited you?
I was hoping someone would post (or repost: thanks to the below depth-chart repost also) what the specifics & numbers were on that O-line relative to the incoming classes they represent. Wow! It's worse than I thought/remembered from the last RR classes to first/transition Hoke class. For me: that's most of the story. Your offense is only going to manage the occasional fluke hit a quick pass & break one or somehow get a miracle hole to run through with that. They're not even worse, in fact OK overall numbers b/c of top talent in maybe 4 guys: Gardner, Lewan, Gallon, Funchess.
For me, it's clear. This is NOT on the coaches. And we've very good reason to expect upward trend. & by the way, if this is worst Hoke season, it roughly matches RR's best. Just saying. And for folks still finding some way to blame the current coaches on this and scream for fire Hoke & go get some big name Michigan man or not: I refer you to the last two searches. We swung (or so it seemed) & missed on at least our first & second names pursued (or at least much rumored). Miles, Schiano, & xxx (can't recall, but pretty sure at least one other) before RR. Miles again, Harbough, (probably others), & Hoke. Many folks are uninterested, turning us down. Probably looked at what they'd be getting into in terms of what left in underclassmen. Maybe wouldn't be as bad this time, but that just means Hoke & company should do well in next couple years also!
I haven't watched the game a second time (a I wont be putting myself through that) but when I was watching live it really just seemed like State was doing a good job of stunting and disguising their rushers and our young Offensive line was having a difficult time figuring out who to block.
Now I don't know if thats because they weren't prepared well enough, or if because they are young the game is still moving to fast for them and they aren't able to read and react fast enough. Or maybe MSU's defense is really good and they did an outstanding job of mixing up rushes. My guess is its probably a combination of all of the above.
For those who continue to complain about Borges, I just want to know what he's supposed to call when the Line can't block a 4 year old on a sugar high? In the MSU preview Brian quoted football study hall and said with regards to the MSU Defense (I can't figure out the fancy yellow box)
"The nature of this approach to pass coverage invites three particular throws from the offense: the quick out to take advantage of the linebackers' inside leverage, a go route up the seam matching a dangerous slot receiver with a safety, and the deep fade down the sideline against the press corner.
The latter play is one that Michigan State loves to see, as it's generally a low percentage throw for collegiate offenses. The vertical-minded Brian Kelly and his Notre Dame Fighting Irish threw endless fade routes against the Spartans and were rescued only by a cascade of pass interference flags flying from the officials' hands. Most opponents have not been so lucky."
We tried and completed some quick outs early. We went over the top on the few occasions where devin had enough time. And we tried pop passes up the seam and got a couple of completions and a couple of drops. We did the things that their defense is vulnerable to, but we couldn't overcome the constant pressure because we can't block anyone. There really wasn't much we could do. We hit a few of our shots, like the first drive and the ball over top to Chesson. We had the long drive into MSU territory that ended in an INT. This defense is legit, so those opportunities need to be capitalized on and we simply couldn't do it.
Said it was the same blitz packages from last two years.
Now you may amp up your loathing of the coaching staff.
Yes they were the same blitz packages, but this was the first time that the three (or 4 in some instances) young interior lineman have seen them live. You can prepare in practice all you want, but its not the same as in the game. Those kids hadn't seen a defense like this before, they certainly didn't see it going against scout D in practice.
I'm not trying to completely absolve the coaching staff from any blame, I think there needs to be a long hard look at what is going on in regards to teaching our O line, but for people to completely write off the youth we have upfront and call it a lame excuse is being blinded by rage and a need for someone to "pay" for what is perceived as an agregious assault on their love of michigan football.
The fact is that Michigan State is a better football team than we are right now. They are an above average/good team that beat our average team. It is what it is. The scheme and playcalling couldn't have changed that. We are simply too weak up front to be considered anything above average.
Don't go being thoughtful and intelligent in your analysis. There are torches and pitchforks to carry.
Don't go being thoughtful and intelligent in your analysis. There are torches and pitchforks to carry.
Anyone who thinks this years OL issues or blocking issues in general (here's looking at you Fitz), should put down the kool-aid. Yes, with the questions on the line we should be shaky at times and not good overall. BUT, we should not be the absolute worst OL in the history of Michigan with two stud tackles. We should be at least AVERAGE to POOR not WORST EVER...
If we were Purdue or Akron, then having 3 unproven OL would prove to be a real challenge. BUT, we're Michigan ferrgodsakes... at least if you drink the kool-aid...
STOP blaming youth or inexperience for awful coaching.... Or keep on believing and come back here in 2015 when you can't use that EXCUSE and the OL is still AWFUL/HORRIBLE . This is the worst damn coaching job I've ever seen.
How many times was Fitz left one on one with Calhoun? How many times was Devin getting crushed while Lewan blocked air? Yes, occasionally defense blitzes work and we take a sack or TFL. However, when it happens every play - that is not the defense scheme winning. That is piss poor offensive scheming and/or coaching.
With respect due to you (I'm not sure how much given the content) I cannot imagine what kool aid, or 'shrooms you may be drinking/eating. To say that was teh worst coacing job youve ever seen forgets every year that Rodriguez coached for Michigan. I am tired tired tired of people being upset about yesterday's performance without any acknowledgement of the ginromous hole that guy left the program with.
I'm tired of people accepting this crap display on Saturdays when we pay good money for tickets, merchandise, and donations. Shouldn't we have a fielded a better team with the resources we have available? YES.... This isn't about MSU yesterday - this is about UConn, Akron, IU, MSU - just this year! Yes, the RR years sucked too...
YES this was the worst coaching I've seen in 20+ years of watching UM football. 2 weeks to prepare, 3 years in the program, and that shit show was the best we could do? I'm not buying it. This OL issue is by far the biggest coaching gaff I've seen here - yes even the GERG defense is not as bad as that.
We only have one stud tackle and he didn't have his best game yesterday.
Last time I checked Schoefield was on the radar for All Big Ten (preseason 4th team), but that was before he was coached up this season...
I've seen some draft prognostications and such, but I'm pretty confused about why Schofield has been mentioned as potential All-Big Ten or a high NFL draft pick. I've never been super high on Schofield, and I still don't see him dominating anyone, regardless of talent. If we had Mark Huyge in there instead, I'm not sure anyone would notice.
I agree. But he is a three years starter, so he will be All B1G. That's how these things work.
Using the phrase kool aide is like using the word haters. Everyone who doesn't flip out after a couple of losses isn't drinking the kool aide just as someone who isn't a fan of a team you cheer for isn't a hater.
Using the term kool-aid is slang for misguided, blind old codgers who make excuses rather than face reality.
Roster issues due to poor recruiting from the previous regime are not "excuses," they're causative facts. You can belly ache and hurl hyperbole all you want, but if you say "those issues shouldn't matter..." you're ignoring the reality of how football programs work. If you want to do that, go ahead. But it seems childish to have such an obvious and important factor on display for all to see, and because you're angry you just refuse to acknowledge it, and then call those that do "kool aide drinkers."
It doesn't matter what level of football you're dealing with, if the pipeline breaks down, results are sure to follow. Now, if the pipeline is in tact, and there is still a lack is success, then change are in order. Michigan is not in that situation yet, no matter what you say.
"How many times was Devin getting crushed while Lewan blocked air?"
Lewan can't pick up and move elsewhere. Part of Michigan State's philosophy is to overload one side of the line, basically trying to make one guy block two while leaving Lewan unchallenged. It's a good strategy on obvious passing downs.
I actually have a question for the owls: is it true that there are ways to check on one's diabetes without poking your finger?
" We need to improve or he'll be out on his ass within 2 years..."
Not a chance in hell buddy. Brandon understands the issues implicitly, and he also understands what it takes to fix them. He's going to stay the course, let Hoke recruit and develop, and then (and only then) will he evaluate him critically.
I certainly hope not. Hoke hasn't shown anything but an ability to recruit thus far. Took a team filled with RR's players and had one great season, and has consistently made them worse evey season since.
Yes, he took a team with the worst defense in Michigan history and made them a good one.
I think there are a lot of factors, youth is certainly one on the offensive line.
However, I don't know how you watch that game yesterday and come away with a conclusion other than that we were out coached. I'm not looking to fire Hoke and the defensive side did an OK job, but offensively we were just outcoached by Dantonio and Narduzzi.
Move the pocket, misdirection, more bubbles, 5 wide to spread the field, hurry up...something. There is no way this team should look that bad. Losing I understand, MSU is pretty good. But not that embarrassment.
Going five wide with this team is a questionable decision. I mean, not many teams have five studs at receiver to put out there at once, but the top five wideouts (with Dileo unavailable) probably includes guys like Jeremy Jackson and Joe Reynolds. It was a terrible decision to recruit Jeremy Jackson in the first place because he's such a mediocre athlete, but that's what we've got.
Youth is a factor, but the S&C program needs extra scrutiny. MSU was the bigger, stronger team and we don't appear more imposing than the last couple of years.
Excluding Lewan, our OL cannot physically impose any control. Our TEs are not strong at the POA. Our inside LBs are under 230 lbs (MSU has Bullough at 252 and Allen at 232) and adding minimal weight between seasons. Black, Wormley, Clark, Heitzman, QWash - lack the size + explosiveness to terrorize the LOS. Our secondary is finesse with undersized CBs.
S&C is problematic as we are simply not a physical team. It simply shows the most on the OL.
We are going to have to let it play out. I don't think it makes sense to panic. I have been frustrated too, but I do agree with that we need to allow this staff to develop the young line and players. Just looking for signs of progress.
All the guys saying only, "but..." and, "should..." need to take a long look at what FACTS of Michigan's roster issues. The issue is clear a day: 6 OLinemen in 3 classes; 2 play, one is always hurt, another plays DL and 2 are no longer on the team. That is the antithesis of a successful formula.
This kind of issue takes time, continued top notch recruiting, and continuity to fix.
I appreciate the calm tone of this post. But, in re: scheming around a weak middle of the OL, I'm not quite sure there is such a thing. Maybe I'm wrong, but OT's aren't the most important pieces of the puzzle. Michigan's OT's are good, but defenses seem to in the backfield immediately up the middle. Further, the Center is the "QB of the OL" and if he is elite, a la Molk in '11, the line can function well. If he's weak, it's a cluster fuck right from the snap.
I hate the fact that we're in this spot. But, we are, and if we want Michigan football to be relevant again (because it's not now, sadly) we MUST stay the course. If we get impatient, start the coaching revolving door, it's all but over, IMO.
Because it's a fucking michigan man
For the record I was NOT in favor of firing RR before he had a chance to complete a full recruiting cycle -- you could check out the debates that raged during that time if HailVictors.com was still around.
Wanting to "stay the course" has nothing to do with Hoke being a "Michigan Man," and everything to do with understanding that roster depth is the essential element to a successful football program. I would go so far as to say if, like at MSU, that depth isn't "elite" but the program maintains continuity that team can "overachieve."
I think it was the right thing to get rid of RR, not because he wasn't winning, per se, but because he wasn't able to elevate recruiting to anything close to Michigan's historic level. In Hoke first two full classes he HAS been able to bring in top 10 classes, and in doing so, is building for the future.
"That being said, we do have two stud tackles, so you would expect us to at least devise a scheme highlighting our strengths"
Isn't that what tackle-over was for? It isn't easy coming up with a scheme that highlights your two tackles, especially when your tight ends aren't particularly good blockers either.
Exactly. If you have a good interior line, you can mask some weak tackles by running up the middle. The problem with football, though, is that the ball has to start by going to the quarterback directly behind the center. Almost inevitably, some penetration from guard to guard is going to mess up your timing, reads, etc.
I feel like we're in the same place with the OL as we were on defense under RR. Is it youth, talent, or coaching? All of the above?
There's no doubt that RR didn't recruit enough linemen. It's still unfathomable why he thought we could go two consecutive years with so few OL recruits. No matter what offense you run, you need five of them (plus depth) . . . I don't get it.
At the same time, I can't say I was thrilled with how Omameh, Barnum and Mealer developed (Omameh in particular seemed to regress), and the decision not to give Khoury a fifth year was a headscratcher. I don't fault the staff now for shuffling guys in to try something different, but was there a problem with our preseason talent evaluation when the line is changing this much? I don't know enough about Funk's track record to know if he's a proven commodity or not, but thus far there are definite concerns.
...the key to protecting our inexperienced interior linemen is slow developing plays.
Funny, but if you really believe this, you need to think a little. Just a little. Tiny bit.
He was trying to beat State. Beating them over the top is how he thought he could do it. Beating them over the top requires slow developing plays. So, he was running slow developing plays to win the game, not to mitigate the youth on the interior. For the record, he did a lot of things in an effort to protect those guys. Full slides. QB oh noes out of the pistol or shotgun. Read option. They didn't work, and it makes us all sad. The best of us, though, aren't throwing temper tantrums and making ourselves look like simpletons.
I ask b/c there seems to be an air of fatalism like, "Yep, look at those classes. Nothing to do but be below average (and worse, against good teams) as an OL in 2013."
Hoke, whose specialty is the line, obviously knew that there was going to be a serious lack of depth/experience in the interior in 2013. He apparently thought by recruiting high school players, along with players on the roster like Miller, that they would be OK this year. Well, he was wrong -- so that's on him and his roster development/management.
There's nothing in the rules against recruiting junior college players when you need to get some guys with experience (and just plain 'ol physical development -- a 21-year old is, on avg, going to be bigger/stronger than a 19-year old). Go look at the top JC OT and OG's -- schools like Alabama, Texas A&M, FSU, OSU, etc are taking these guys. Why weren't we? I know U of M traditionally hasn't done it, but U of M also traditionally didn't pay their Asst Coaches and that changed with Brandon/Hoke.
It's understandable that the OL isn't great, or even very good this year. But, third year in, to have a line that looks this below average to bad, against a wide array of teams, is not a good sign for Hoke and his staff.
I am sorry, but after watching Sparty plow through our O line all day like a fat kid in the buffet line, will someone tell me where we are improving? I get it...wait until 2015 and see how all the recruits pan out. At some point, I would like to see the staff coach these kids up and develop talent. Nothing I have seen the past two years would lead me to believe that we are trending upward. I guess in the meantime, I will buy into Hoke's hooplah and wait, and wait some more until the power football returns. Just curious what anyone else sees (and don't say recruiting) that this team is improving on and how next year could be any better with the same line and Gardner at the helm. I am a fan for life, but just curious where the silver lining is for this program struggling to be relevant in any way, shape or form.
"Nothing I have seen the past two years would lead me to believe that we are trending upward."
Nor should you, to be honest. As difficult as that is to accept, it's the truth of the situation. In 2011 Hoke inherited a few pretty decent OLinemen, one of whom was selected as the best Center in the Nation -- that helped Fitz turn and Denard turn in 1,000 yard performances. Remember, Molk was in the 2007 recruiting class. As the OP detailed perfectly, since that time forward, Michigan's OL recruiting has been an abomination by ANY programs standards, let alone by Michigan's historic standards. So, the reason why you shouldn't see much "trending upwards" is because Hoke's first real class -- the one in which he hauled in the top OL class in the nation -- are RS Freshmen. Michigan's, especially in the center, has been populated by "default" or "least worse" and/or totally young and inexperienced starters since 2012.
In medicine there is a phenomenon called a "healing crisis" during which an ailing patient seems to get worse before they get better. I think that is what is going on right now with Michigan's program. '11 showed us a glimpse of what Hoke & Co. are capable of, and it got us all very excited. Unfortunately, that OL (especially) was the best Michigan was going to have for 3 - 4 years as the depth was unpresedentedly low. Now Michigan is in its "healing crisis." The depth is there, it's just all very young. Nothing can make the healing speed up -- rebuilding depth just takes time (unless you can oversign like the do in the SEC).
I am still optimistic about where the program is headed. I do think the youth on the line is THE main issue, MSU has 3 5th year seniors on the line but also not only the starters but also back ups. MSU can rotate bodies in, keep bashing away and wear down defenses. Borges certainly has made mistakes (I remember Carr's crew making quite a few and some folks calling for heads to roll in 2006) but just seeing him over his career, he is flexible and adapts, this is not DeBord 2.0. However, one other issue is Gardner, he keeps allowing 1 mistake to turn into 2, 3 etc. To me, it seems all mental, maybe they need a sports psychologist or a full time QB coach.
In my humble opinion, I think we should at least give this staff one full recruiting cycle to see where we stand. I know RR wasn't given the same timeline, but his overall record and the spiral the defense was in, predicated a change. Hoke has a BCS bowl win and a competitive bowl loss to a talented SC team under his belt. UM won't face another defense like MSU this year, so let's see how our remaining games play out before we light the torches and grab the pitchforks.
ain't gonna happen, for as long as I have been following UM football I can count on one hand how many JC transfers have been allowed to come through UM. The Berlin Wall was easier to traverse than to be excepted into UM as a junior college tranfer.