Mlive: Nuss, DG, and the O-line.
"He took what the defense gave him". This is what is most encouraging to thing about compared to the way Borges generally ran the offense. Watching Gardner make checks at the line like that was awesome to see.
Al took whatever the defense wanted him to do.
Thanks for the link. I hope Devin has that same comfortable look and feel next week in South Bend.
It's good, Devin is still a work in progress as far as mechanics go, I'm sure Nuss will continue to coach him up! Great to hear!
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It's going to be a great test for sure. This would be a great road win for this team.
Especially at night. There have not been a lot of them - '82', '88, '90, '12 that I recall - but we've never won there at night.
Whats a run check! Is it an audible to a run. ?
I'm probably wrong but I believe it's checking out of a certain run, possibly changing the hole, blocking assignments.
Where's somebody who actually knows what they're talking about? Space Coyote I'm looking at you.
"Michigan showed spread formations, I-formations and double-tight end looks. But at the end of the day, everything was based on simply taking what was there -- rather than forcing something that wasn't."
This might have been the most visible difference, and it was nice to see. You saw checks into other plays, decisions being made right in the formation, things that were virtually absent last year. Most importantly, that run check mentioned in the article came on one of the many plays where Gardner did indeed "MIKE before the hike", and it worked out quite nicely. I really do like Nussmeier's presence on the sideline - trying to study his players and see how they are doing in realtime and coaching them on the spot. It seems to make a huge difference with this offense.
"I feel like (Nussmeier) is simplifying everything, and making it so I can understand (what's going on) and help the younger guys."
"He got the most excited when I (made) a run check," Gardner laughed after Michigan's convincing 52-14 win over Appalachian State on Saturday. "He was screaming at me, and I was like 'what, did I do it wrong?'
"He was so hyped ... he said that was the best play I made all day."
This makes me very happy
I hate it. Why check to a different play when you can just run someone over with the play already called? Just seems like unnecessary thinking.
Damn chess match, that is. No thank you.
Good day sir.
That it took three years for Hoke to figure out that Borges' coaching style was a problem is scary and a real shame in terms of player development. Our recruits deserved better.
If Michigan had beaten the Buckeyes last year, and the team had finished 8-5, and the offense did what it did in that game in comparison to the rest of the year, would there have been as much as an outcry for Borges firing? Maybe, maybe not.
I rewatched the game against the Buckeyes yesterday before App State, and Michigan's failure to execute certain calls that fooled the Buckeyes, would have made the difference. In fact, it was the defense, not the offense, that gave up big play after big play and couldn't stop Miller and Hyde that doomed the team in that loss.
I have no qualms about what has transpired and the changing of OCs. I think yesterday checked all the question mark boxes going in. The efficiency was there, obviously, in the run and pass game. The defense was pretty much as advertised with the exception of some mental breakdowns on run gap coverage.
I like this team period and its direction. It will be fun of they can carry on this development to greater heights through the season.
You can call the right plays all you want, but if the players haven't been properly trained, then how are they going to execute? There seemed to be a lot of confused players, bad technique, plays that weren't practiced enough before employing, etc etc ... Al was trying to go straight from Pre-Algebra to Calculus. Nuss is taking baby steps.
Nuss is getting the benefit of having a lot of growing pains out of the way and the majority of a roster recruited around a pro-style offense. He still might be a better coach but in no way is he dealing with the same challenges.
I think that this is true, and bears remembering. However, it also bears remembering that Borges consistently denied that the scheme that couldn't be executed was partly at fault for the failure to execute. I simply don't think that Borges was compensating adequately for the youth of the offense. I thionk a young offense, especially one young on the line, simply needs to be drilled in the base plays until they can adequate;y execute them, before adding the wrinkles. Maybe Borges simply hadn't had to deal with that before, and so couldn't see it.
I don't think that Borges's coaching style was the problem when Michigan went 10-2 and then won the Sugar Bowl. It took two years of failure for Hoke to realize that, which is about what you would expect.
Remember that one of Borges's problems was that he was, like Hoke, in love with manball. He didn't have team that could play manball, though, and didn't adjust. Most of Borges's failure was on him, but part of it was on Hoke for encouraging the whole "this is Michigan, we play manball here" approach that Borges couldn't get done.
So, nothing particularly scary about how long it took to realize that Borges was the problem, and no real loss to player development except in that the line wasn't able to gel around a single concept and single identity. Given how young the line was, that's not as big a loss as it might seem; they were still getting college-best strength and conditioning coaching,
Molk was a much better zone-blocking center than a man-blocking center.
Borges was not "in love with MANBALL." Hoke described him as a "mad scientist" when he first got here. DB is in love with MANBALL and apparently mandates it to the coaching staff.
Anyway, I am tired of seeing people bitch about former coaches who came here, did there best and represented the University with class. Have some class and try not to turn MGB into RCMB.
I am not at all blaming Borges alone. He was part of the problem, whether you want to acknowledge that or not, but I specifically said that he wasn't the sole problem. He didn't have the personnel to run the scheme he wanted to run and was instructed to run (which was MANBALL), and, while he compensated for that to a large degree, it was increasingly difficult to keep the players on the same page when average player experience when down as the team entered Attrition Valley.
DB is in love with winning without scandal, and I very much doubt he cares what offensive scheme is used to get wins without scandal.
Anyway, I am sick of posters who try to tell other posters what mature, considered opinions they are and are not allowed to express. Have some class and take that petty shit to RCMB.
See and I don't understand this either. 2012 wasn't a failure it wasn't even a bad year.
In the regular season we lost to 3 undefeated teams (2 of them by relatively close margins) and Nebraska when Denards arm exploded. When that season ended, especially with what Gardner did at the end of that year, I was super excited for what was being built. Even closing out with the loss to a very good SCAR team.
If Denard doesn't get hurt and we beat Neb we are playing for the BIG title and the season is a total success even if we lose to Wisky.
Last season however was a total debacle, as a great man once said. Yeah after 2013 you look back at 2012 and say maybe the offensive gameplan should have been better and maybe there should have been more improvement but realistically it was one year that got Borges the axe and was a reasonable reaction by Hoke/Brandon.
I don't know; every time Borges would obviously blow it, he would come back with an great game plan. I was livid after 2012 Ohio, but thought the Jan 2013 Outback Bowl was a brilliant offensive game plan. 2013 ND and Ohio were pretty amazing too. At the end of the day, Borges was too inconsistent and predictable, but he was occasionally brilliant. Ok, brilliant might be a stretch. Anyways, I've made a personal decision not to write, think, or speak badlly about Borges anymore, even if he mucked some things up (and he did badly enough that he should have been fired). He gave his best and it occasionally resulted in good (i.e. record breaking) production.
Take what the defense gives you rather than try to force a system just to prove a point...that's my favorite thing.
Also the fact Gardner could be a QB rather than a hero ball QB. I am sure that will change in the next game but even in the CMU slaughter Devin basically looked like taller Denard out there with so many scrambles. Yesterday he could just relax and be a QB other than the busted play when Green went the wrong way. Will be interesting to see how many designed QB runs we have waiting for ND.
I don't think green went the wrong way
Yeah. I think that was a designed play. An interesting play too. The announcers got it all wrong during the game.
Never mind, anything else would probably be illegal. I bow to your level-headedness.
Right, as opposed to Borges: "personnel, formation and situation tip defense off to play call. Defense adjusts. Borges runs same play anyway"
Great to see DG being given tools (and TIME) to logically assess and react to situation presnap.
ND will hide defense better than AppSt obviously. But this is a good step up in DGs development.
Interesting to see Alabama playcalling in reverse initially: easy passes to set up runs rather than other way around.
Feels like this is going to be a team that, for now, can pass more consistently for first down from third and short rather than run. This will change if OL gels....
That's what was so great about the offense. We set up the run by taking what was there vs forced play calls. The good passing broke our run game open. A well rounded offense needs to do both well.
Loved how he was on the field to coach DG up, ask what he's seeing, etc.
Let's revisit this subject after next week.
Let's keep it going. Can't wait read about how Devin has grown throughout the whole season.
This is concerning to me. We should be able the line up, let the defense know what we are doing, and then execute anyway. I mean, when a defense puts 9 guys in the box, we should view that as a challenge right?
Oh yes, couldn't agree more! I mean afterall, it worked for Bo and dag nabbit it'll work for us if we just execute! It's not like the college football landscape has changed at all in the last 25 years.
I thought that early-on, when Devin either missed the handoff to Green on a zone stretch play or it was a designed run, and then Green followed that up with a run in which he basically ran up the backs of his blockers and failied to take advantage of a huge cut-back lane that would have yielded huge yardage, that he needed to come out.
And in the next possession, Smith was inserted into the game and started making a difference in the attack. So, that by the time Green came back in, he was a different runner.
The point is, the holes were there, and its the rb's job to take what they are getting in terms of openings and space and run through it. The Oline did a tremendous job of staying with blocks and there were ample examples of wideouts, especially Chesson blocking his cover 15 to 20 yards downfield on some of those long runs. Kalis blocked his man ahead of a scoring fun by Green after Green had already crossed the goal line. They finished blocks yesterday.
Did anyone notice how Gardner was stepping up into the pocket, as opposed to rolling right, or pulling his against-the-grain spin move? He looked like he'd been coached up. He was one misfire from having a perfect day, and that misfire was a play where he stepped up, found the open guy, and simply missed a lay-up. There were no near-picks or sacks 15 yards behind the LOS. I'm sure he can still scramble, but now it looks to be a last resort instead of a first instinct. There were several times when he could have stepped up and ran, but he stepped up, kept his eyes upfield, and found open guys instead. I really liked what I saw.
but I think that play was more a miscommunication than anything else. The D was in zone and my guess is that in that situation Funchess was supposed to sit down into the zone's open space. Either way, it was an all-around solid performance on both sides of the ball.
Agree on Nuss being on the sideline. They way Hoke said it, it sounds like it may be temporary or situational. Definitely good in our case--installing a new system, young OLine etc. It also seems like Gardner has a tendency to beat himself up too much when errors are made, and then want to play hero ball to make up for it. I think Nuss being on the sideline to put his arm around him and coach him up will help when the chips are down.
If/when we get the offense fully installed and our OLine and QB play is steady & veteran, I could see him being up in the booth so he can get a better over all view of things.
As everybody's said, next week will be a much truer test, but if like what I see.
The other thing that just occurred to me is ---if we win and the offense performs well at ND next week---how valuable the additional BUY-IN will be from the players. Up to now it was just kids wanting to win and being good players and dutifully listening to their new coach. But it was largely faith based. But you get a few 200/300 rushing yard games against ND and big ten teams, and it will accelerate.
They'll be like fat kids eating snickers bars as they devour every morsel of WIN from Nussmeier's offensive scheme--both on the practice field and in the film/meeting rooms.
There is something very significant to be said for the team (and the OL in particular) being able to hold their heads high this week. Not getting cocky (it's only App St after all), but knowing that what Nuss has been preaching and repping really works -- silencing the naysayers (the OL sucks), at least a bit, has to feel good.
I wasn't worried about DG nor the WR's, but this was exactly what the OL and RB's needed to build confidence going forward. Obviously the competition picks up significantly next week, but the rushing game has been so maligned for so long that it was in desperate need of something positive to get it over the hump.
From my prime vantage point 500 miles away watching on TV, to me, it looks like the team (especially the offense) is 100 times more relaxed and unafraid of making mistakes. The trust that was essentially gone last year, in my opinion, between the offensive line and DG, is back, and it is reinforced by Nuss' presence on the sideline. I also think (and please correct me if I am wrong, but I'm pretty sure Funk was on the sideline), that Funk is benefitting by being on the field with Nuss too.
I know yesterday was a glorified scrimmage, and even the Notre Dame result can mislead us to either extreme about how the team really stacks up (see the past seven years). My point is that the environment for the offense is way more positive, and I can see huge strides being made in the development of the OL and the RB's specifically.
[Melanie Maxell photos from the article page.]
Physicalness (translated from the vernacular): Wide receivers who tackle.
Speed. Linebackers who score. (Ben Gedeon)
Chesson just creamed the punt returner on our one punt. It was a miracle that didn't result in a fumble.
Couldn't edit my typo in Melanie MaxWell's name, so you've given me an excuse to post her other Chesson picture. I obsessed about which to choose. Chose the one above because it seemed to show his surprising linebackerish strength and power. But love this photo, capturing his expected athleticism. (Or is that "athletic-ness?")
how long does Nuss stay? If he thrives this year and next, with a third year hear having a senior dominant online, a junior Jabrill and a Senior Morris and two senior RBs, that's time I expect us to be competing for a NC. I think he is gone after that.
If the results continue to be impressive throughout the season, i would be nervous he bolts after this year. No matter what i don't see him staying longer than 3 seasons tops.
it means Nuss has succeeded. And if I, too, can speculate, maybe his next job is a HC position somewhere he can prove himself and then a chance to step up to the job as Hoke's successor at Michigan in 8-10 years or so .
Assuming that Brady Hoke is still here three years from now, I don't think replacing Nuss will be a problem. He has shown a remarkable ability to attract talented players and coaches to the organization. It is entirely justifiable to say "What about Al," but I think his track record with personnel has been strong. Even with Al, he was loyal to a fault, but made the decision to change coordinators when something better became available.
He wants to be a head coach, so he will leave sooner or later. As long as he has a significant part in picking his successor at Michigan, I'll be happy. Game recognize Game.
A few things:
- First thing's first. We creamed App State. Yes, in the manner in which we WANTED to--getting holds in the OL and on the ground, but it's still App State. As others have said, we could also beat ND and we really won't know much until Penn State and MSU.
- If this does bring a new era of success at Michigan, and Nuss is in fact a major part of that, then good for him and us. If another program poaches him for a HC spot in a few years because Michigan is now suddenly a national power and in the 4 team playoff, then that's a high class problem for us to have. As others have said, I think Hoke could develop a reputation of attracting young coaching talent, giving them room to succeed on their own, thus creating a launching platform/pipeline for future HC's around the country. That would not be a bad thing. Maybe Nuss gets poached by, say, a Purdue or Northwestern as a HC, and then in 8-10 years Hoke steps back and we bring Nuss back as the next HC.
- Ideally though, this is what I'd love to see---we experience a return to greatness under Hoke. Other programs come sniffing around for Nuss in 2-3 years, and we essentially lay out a 5 year plan. Don't even let Nuss get off campus because there's no guarantee we would ever get him back. He's got three young kids in grade school or younger. Make the sales pitch that rather than being a journey man coach, he should stick around Ann Arbor--a GREAT place to raise a family--at least until his kids are grown and out of the house. Make Nuss one of--if not the--highest paid coordinators in college football, and add the title of Assistant Head Coach to his job description so he starts seeing the other elements of the team in a more holistic way. Mattison has no designs on ever being a HC, so essentially make Nuss the heir apparent. But do it WITH the explicit understanding that Hoke would be stepping back in another 5 years (7-8 years from now). It wouldn't be some vague promise. Hoke would be in his mid-60's and you'd obviously have to get buy-in from him. Dave Brandon will have completed his massive $$ raising and infrastructure building campaign, so much of the difficult-yet-necessary-work will have been already done. At some point he'll want to leave to run for governor or US senator or something anyway. The athletic facilities will be set for a generation, and yet the student & season ticket holders will need some serious fence-mending once Brandon is gone. Hoke is known as a "player's coach", so you get him to step back and become a "fan's AD" to basically rebuild the goodwill of the fans. People say one of Hoke's greatest assets is just being a giant cheerleader for Michigan. I could see him being an excellent "peace ime" AD for the school.
But this was App State. Things are looking about as well as we would have expected in the most perfect scenario. Only time will tell, but it is fun to fantasize/speculate about being at the dawn of a successful era of Wolverine Football.