Hawthorne made his presence known in the 4th Quarter, Demens was solid, and Jake Ryan had a great play on 3rd and Short to get us the ball back.
There is no WAY you pull Ryan from starting at this point. Dude has been a beast.
Props to all of the LB's though. The only times ND looked unstoppable on the rush is when we walked all of the LB's up into a sort of goal line front. I hated that.
on the 3rd and short. that was a great stop for our D. look forward to seeing more of that. our D line did not win every battle, or a lot of em, but won some BIG ones.
Linebackers played shoddy in the first half. Really the whole defense did besides the secondary.
The second half, though...was a COMPLETELY different animal. I have not seen Michigan play that gap sound of football in 5 years and such aggresive play in the secondary.
Also, take away about 130 yards of passing from Notre Dame that came from bullshit calls. There were quite a few fake pass interference calls and that call where they said floyd caught the ball in bounds even though the ball continued to move in his hands until both feet were out of bounds.
our linebackers were aweful tonight. aside from demens, they were all consistently out of position all night. If the game was two hand touch, their running backs still would have made it to our secondary on every run play
Demens played pretty damn good IMO. Ryan and Hawthorne showed some flashes.
You obviously did not watch the 2nd half. The refs made some pretty terrible calls and given a more impartial crew, I think we wouldn't have seen ND score in the 2nd half. At least 3 pass interference calls against us should not have been called, 1 35 yard completion to Floyd should have been ruled out-of-bounds, 1 defensive holding call on a ND run did not actually happen, Gallon deserved a pass interefence flag on Denard's 2nd pick.
The linebackers worked the gaps like pros in the 2nd half. The rushing stats will show you.
While I won't say they were great as a whole, I have to hand it to the LB's in the fourth. (Granted, ND went away from the ground game late)
They were far from perfect - but there's no way we get that many opportunities in the fourth quarter without some impressive stops on third and short. Nonetheless, I loved the heart they put on display LATE with the game on the line.
Seemed like they forced a lot of minimal gains on the ground and came up big in short yardage. Saw a ton of BWC too.
Floyd was always going to have a big day but other than that the players did a great job. If anything, blame for lots of the big gains has to go to Mattison getting the pointy end of the RPS (0 coverage on the last TD, dropping Martin into zone coverage while they run right up the gut two times, etc.).
I think that coverage was clearly blown, but I agree, that might not have been the safe call...But bc he seems to be able to evolve our D in a game, I will let him off of the hook
There were a lot of good things happening on defense. We still aren't a great defense, but we're lightyears better than we were last season. Also, I was watching Big Will when he was in on defense. He played pretty well. He'd be huge if he could improve enough to get into the starting lineup.
did craig roh not play tonight?
Didn't make the stat sheet for the second week in a row though.
Michigan sometimes has no LBs lined up over the opposing team's center or guards. WMU gashed Michigan at least once with a draw up the middle on such a play. Tonight, ND appeared to check into draws when Michigan was lined up like that at least three times. They got big gains each time.
I thought the LBs played pretty well tonight especially in the second half. I'm awfully worried about the D-line though. They were getting abused up the middle...
Where the hell had they been hiding Hawthorne all this time? We hardly heard a peep about him all summer.
Our LBs were indeed impressive, espcially Hawthorne who basically came out of nowhere. He's definitely earned the right to start next week. I do have one question however; Herron had an amazing, record setting performance last week (granted, they were the result of being in the right place at the right time), so why didn't he get into the game tonight? In hindsight Hawthorne was clearly a playmaker in his place, I just think it's odd to bench a guy a week after scoring two defensive TDs. Was he hurt?
The coaches mentioned they basically keep their own UFR (different points scale, but still). Assuming they grade the players about the same as Brian, they may have come to a similar conclusion that his plusses didn't even come close to outweighing his minuses last week.
Glad to see Hawthorne in there. He might struggle against power teams, but his speed gives Mattison some flexibility with coverage drops and blitzes.
Love the LB play later in the game - there were some questionable calls, but the backers made plays when they needed to. And let's no forget Kovacs, who had another great game with 8 tackles and a pick. I know people will say that UM got lucky in this game and the defense looked lost at times, but this team looks better coached than in years past and the players seem to be getting far more pressure. Also, ND has a very talented offensive unit.
The linebacker UFRs will be really interesting this week.
I think Jake Ryan definitely needs to stay on the field. All I ever see that guy doing is making plays in the backfield.