My guy is JT Floyd. He has taken charge of the young-uns and has realy improved his game.
things go poorly
I almost cried when I found out he was starting. I really hoped it would be one of the true freshman who would just have to learn on the fly. 2 games in and James has played really solid.
Outside of that one lapse at the end of the first half against ND, he has blown away all expectations, especially for a, as Brian likes to put it "positional vagabond" who had never gotten any significant PT up to this season. I'm waiting for Wayne Larivee or another mediocre announcer to declare his side of the field "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood."
Absolutely has to be Rogers as well, the corners have played admirably in the absence of Woolfolk. Really the defense in general has played very well despite a few long plays and breakdowns. Bend but don't break is a much better philosophy then a break... then break some more which is what a lot of people anticipated prior to the UCONN game.
Keep it up D
I'm liking mouton--the pick against nd was huge, and he seems to be in better position this year.
Thomas Gordon. I was shocked to see Carvin beat him out, and props to Carvin, because he played well vs. UConn in the short time he played. But Thomas Gordon has really impressed me. He played even better last weekend.
For me, I think it's the whole defense. I know we have let some BIG plays the first two games but that's football. Obviously, Roh and Martin and some others were expected to do well, but the whole defense has exceeded what I expected entering the UConn game.
While others have played well, I expected gaping holes form these two.
Please refrain from using the term "gaping holes" unless it's absolutely necessary.
I was a lot more optimistic than a lot of people, and I was sure that there were enough athletes to step up and perform for the team. Really, this year's attitude may be the team's greatest strength. Rumors of players not being "all in" aren't really happening this year. This team has apparently taken pretty much every cliche in the coachspeak lexicon to heart, and is playing like it.
This year, we may end up watching a team where Denard is the only player who emerges as a superstar, but a lot of players make valuable contributions. As long as Denard stays humble, this team is well on its way to being one of "those" teams that "overachieves" because it is buying in a hundred percent to what the coaching staff is teaching.
Once again, though, I was more optimistic than many. If this team gets to ten or more wins, it will have exceeded my expectations. So far, though, it is doing pretty much what I had hoped it would.
I know all in all we've got a long road ahead of us and the secondary is still the weak link in the armor, but after Woolfolk went down I thought the cornerback situation was instant death. They've both worked hard on the outside and have made some pretty nice plays, against some receivers who were clearly more seasoned athletes than they were. If they can keep up with serviceable play it does change the forecast a bit.
Agreed. Gotta give a lot of credit to the coaches too for putting the corners in a position to be successful.
Rogers is a late position-switcher and Floyd a sophomore who looked overmatched as a freshman, but they've been adequate.
Odoms has always been consistent in the past but I wasn't sure how he would fare at the outside receiver postion. He has made some really good catches.
Definitely Floyd and Rogers.
I've been extremely impressed with his downfield blocking. From what I've seen, he has no problem throwing his little frame into d-backs and safeties to help spring Denard into open field. Reminds me of a Steve Smith (Carolina Panthers) kind of guy that goes all out on every play, regardless of his size.
Yeah, but if you're surprised by this, where have you been?
I know, I know - these guys aren't lighting it up. But Stonum has caught everything thrown his way (not sure it's his fault the downfield passing game hasn't gotten going yet), and seems to be taking blocking very seriously. Shaw? Whatever is ailing the running game, it's not a lack of tough running between Smith and Shaw. And I really like Shaw splitting out into the slot - before that bone crushing tackle on the last drive (where his foot had been out of bounds), he had displayed on about 3 catches a willingness to take contact and fight for more yards. I love it.
along with the front four. I always include Roh in the front four. IMO, even sans sacks, they're getting a ton of pressure that has resulted in balls being thrown into the dirt or too high for receivers. I'm not talking about the backup qbs, but the genuine 4* and 5* ND recruits who have played for our first two opponents.
Notwithstanding the above, I think Roundtree will wear no.1 next year, and has picked up where he left off last season. His block on DRob's 87 yd gallop, although pretty was more an indicator of his overall game and work ethic. Kid just goes after it so hard on every play, he's exceeded my expectations to the point where I can say he's the best overall receiver on the team, and I have big love for Tay.
I have really liked Odoms. I just love seeing him out there. I swear he was a DB in his former life the way he seems to love blocking downfield. I know there was some concern with him moving outside, but he has some of the surest hands since possibly Avant, and just seems to be about doing what he can to get himself or others into space. He definately displays the team attidude this year about not caring who gets the yards as long as the team is winning.
They have made some big catches when they needed to and haven't had the drops so far. The most impressive thing though has been their downfield blocking during Denard's big runs. This shows me that they have really bought into the system and are willing to do whatever it takes to make the team succeed. Great stuff.
already mentioned like Floyd, Rogers, etc., Dorrestein looks solid to me. Pleasantly surprised. I haven't watched Huyge as much, but it seems he's really picked up his game too.
had a bad game against ND. He was rock solid against UConn but regressed against ND. He should bounce back in the next three games.
In a similar vein, Omameh seemed to have a solid game (although I'm open to being corrected by the UFR) against ND. He threw a key block on the 87-yard TD in which he knocks one player about five yards back INTO another player, who was the only guy left with an angle on Denard.
several times not so much to look at the streak of Denard zipping down the field but to enjoy the total yard sale Omameh created.
Gotta give some love to V. Smith, not for his yardage production, which has not been necessary thus far, but for his blocking out of the backfield. He has opened up holes for one Denard Robinson on many big plays. His blocking has been, dare I say it, Hart-like.
The answer has to be James Rogers. There have been other pleasant surprises, but none that come close to Rogers.
but he hasn't seen the field yet.
I'd go with James Rogers
Has Denard really exceeded your expectations?
Don't get me wrong--Denard has played phenomenally the first two games. He was nearly perfect against UConn and clutch as can be against ND. But anyone who saw the spring game should have known this was coming...and that was playing against a defense who knew exactly what he was capable of. Not to mention the 1-finger-touch rule that really cut down on his running ability.
Like I said, this isn't a dig on Denard at all. He's playing Heisman-worthy football. But after watching the spring game a few times, this is exactly what I expected him to do.
Back to the original question: James Rogers.
But I could never have imagined these results, and for that matter, I doubt many others could have without being called the biggest homers in Ann Arbor. I mean, 885 yards of offense in two games? Heisman hype in his second start? That's just ri-godamn-diculous by any measure.
I was at the spring game and I'm surprised at how well Robinson is playing. Our defense is horrible and he went against the second team most of the time. Last year Tate Forcier looked like Payton Manning in the spring game. I'll take Denard's early production though.
our D was horrible last year and had no depth. If you can say you expected this out of the spring game against our second team D (basically high schoolish in the spring game) then I would like to get some stock tips from you.
I know he hasn't played, but I think Troy really stepped up the leadership in the offseason. I think that much of the improvement of the CBs can be tied to Troy's attitude and desire for that unit to improve. I know JT Floyd was one of those guys last year who didn't seem to have committed himself fully to the system, but I think Troy helped get him focused and motivated all of the CBs by elevating his effort as a senior. Hurts to lose him (no question), but I think that some of what we're seeing on the field is T-Woolf's influence.
I think you mean T-Wilf.
I would have to say the entire O-Line. Over the spring and summer I thought that they would be much better this year, but it was more wishful thinking than actually having a rational reason for them being better (with the big exception of returning a healthy Molk).
They have absolutely exceded my expectations and I believe they will continue to improve as they get more games under their belts.
Casting a vote for David Molk, only because it's hard to know sometimes how a guy will come back from an injury, and I am becoming more and more convinced that his absence was a larger factor in the late season swoon than many realized at the time. The whole O-Line has been playing quite well, and I think that starts with Molk and Schilling.
and Big man Roy
"Lockdown" James "The Blanket" Rogers
The two corners floyd and rogers absolutely.
has exceeded my expectations, which were high anyway after the spring game. But holy cats he's been amazing. Not in anyone's wildest dreams.
This summer did anyone really think Denard would lead Michigan on a 70+ yard jaunt with under 4 minutes to go AT ND after a 94 yard TD pass and a fuking rainbow appeared? Oh yeah and have 800 yards of total offense and lead the nation in rushing after 2 games.
Other mentions, James Rogers, JT Floyd, Tay Odoms
Roundtree, when he came in he was listed at 157, 157!!! Not sure what he weighs now but you could probably walk past him and not even think the guy plays sports let alone go out on the biggest stage in college football and compete. Dude is a gamer and when the game is on the line he has an mistique about him that he seems a step faster, 15lbs heavier and a couple inches taller. Plain and simple he makes plays
The play of the defensive backfield has been a lot better than I expected. Except for the 2 mistakes by the safety, the score and total yardage for N.D. would have been much better. So kudos to Gibson.
Mouton is playing like a beast, and even Ezeh is playing better. Kudos to Robinson for getting the LBs to play better.
Kudos to RichRod for recognizing the problem was Hopson & moving him out.
He's taking his 3rd string status like a champ. I'm not being sarcastic at all. I haven't meet Tate or don't know him much, but from what I read he has somewhat of an ego. To see him hug Rich Rod at the beginning of the game with his headset on, and doing stuff like putting pads back in Stonum's jersey makes it obvious that he got Bo-ed and is not playing for the team instead of himself. Very impressed with that.
On the offensive side of the ball, Roundtree. He has taken some bi hits the last two games and comes back for more. I figured he would miss the ND game after that shot from UConn, but there he was willing to take more punishment for the team's sake.
On the defensive side of the ball, it could be any of them. I am most impressed with JT Floyd, James Rogers, and Obi Ezeh. Floyd has come up big at times for being a young guy with limited experience. Rogers has come out of nowhere to keep teams honest. Ezeh got a ton of criticism last year for not being the player we all expected him to be. All three of them have been pretty solid so far with only two games under their belts. Give them the next three games to work on some technique items and hopefully they will feel even more comfortable with the daunting task they have been asked to handle.
The man deserve a ton of credit so far. Ezeh and Mouton seem improved and he deserves at least some of the credit for Rogers and Floyd's play so far. They have been way better than just about anyone thought which is too their credit obvs, but they are both somewhat limited athletically for the position and GERG's scheme has thus far covered for that and put them in position where they can make plays. Surprsingly satisfying to watch so far.
It is the first time in almost a decade that I have seen one our linebackers actually drop into coverage and do something other than flail aimlessly. Even more rare was that he turned around a few plays later and stuffed the RB for a loss with a bone crushing hit. He is night and day different then the Mouton from last year and can be All-Big Ten if he can keep this up.
Runner-Up: James Rogers. The guy was slated to never see the football field for anything other then clean-up duty...if that. He has shown that he actually has game, and has made some key plays for us. Not flawless, but not the perpetual problem that I thought he would be.
Honorable Mentions: Pick a secondary member. The whole WR core for their toughness, sticky fingers, and willingness to block downfield which turns first downs into touchdowns no matter the distance. Huyge and Dorrenstein (sp): So far they have shown up and in a big way, phantom penalties aside.
Offense - Odoms. Catching everything thrown his way, good YAC, and EXCELLENT downfield blocking. No man his size should be able to block that well.
Defense - Jonas Mouton and KOVACS. Both are flowing to the ball well, expecially against the run, and delivering the wood. Kovacs did have one stupid late hit vs. ND on their first drive. Floyd and Rogers are holding up their end well too.
James Rogers and Cam Gordon have made me wonder why T-Wolf was slotted in at cornerback. And what's with Denard getting so little love here? I mean I was as high on him as anyone, but I wasn't expecting him to be the clear cut Heisman frontrunner after two weeks. And the guy being chosen most on the offense is Odoms? Seriously?
"Other than Denard....."