Not sure how he has a better line next year losing hIs tackles. That unit seems lost.
landing spot. will be interesting to see how he does.
Not sure how he has a better line next year losing hIs tackles. That unit seems lost.
I didn't even think about that, but you're right. Yeah we have some talented linemen waiting in the wings, but you're losing Schofield, a regular starter and senior, as well as arguably the best left tackle in America in Lewan. Yikes.
I began to wonder last night if Funk should start thinking about packing his bags and finding another job. Regardless of Miller and Glasgow's abilities, there's little reason for the line to perform as poorly as it has, and to give up 10 TFL against a hapless UConn team.
not even close... got flat out beaten on a speed rush that resulted in a sizable sack, and blew what looked like an easy block in the flats that would have sprung Fitz for a big gain.
The one sack was a mental thing. Not sure if it was a missed check or what, but he clearly takes a step inside only to realize the guy speed rushing didn't have anyone on him. Other than that he was pretty damn good and dependable as always.
The OL is young in the middle but the state they're in seems like it rests on the coaches shoulders moreso than theirs. I really liked how Beilein replaced his assistants when he thought they weren't maximizing his players abilities through their teachings. Maybe Hoke will do that if this continues because right now Funk is suspect.
That's two years in a row with six different players and the interior line looks completely lost. Maybe worse this year. I know line takes the longest time to develop from when they're brought in as freshmen but they're barely serviceable. I'm having my doubts about Funk as well. Wonder who would be worthwhile to replace him?
Barely servicable? That's not at all what the data says in Brians UFRs. They have their moments to be sure and definitely need some consistency/improvement inside, but barely servicable is a bit overdramatic.
We are about to find out which one of you is right now that we are heading into the meat of our B10 schedule. I'm not confident we will be able to handle MSU or OSU if we can't keep Devin clean against the second worst team in the FBS.
I don't believe it is far to throw funk under the bus. While the line doesn't look the best you can just as easily say this is on Devin and Toussaint. Devin has zero pocket prescience. He is provided a pocket a lot of the time but moves out of said pocket. This results in added pressure and gets blamed on the line. Not only this but when he feels any type of pressure instead of stepping up into the pocket, keeping his eyes down field he does a reverse spin move which causes him to lose sight of his WR and D. As a result of this the line has to hold the block for even long so he can make reads all over again.
Fitzgerald Toussaint is to blame for many of the running failures also. He does not trust his line to establish anything for him. You saw late in the game when he began to run what was given to him. The O line was establishing an edge the majority of times. He decided to cut up into the Defense instead of just taking what the oline is creating. He needs to locate a hole and take it rather than just run up hole 1 because that’s what AL called. Many of his TFL were a result of him being single minded and trying to run exactly at the hole called. I do believe this is a result of him being out so long. His vision during the game was diminished greatly, but late in the game you could tell it was starting to come back. I hope that is a sign of things to come though because it will make everyone look better.
That would be awesome, gotta work on that one.
But seriously, almost everything you just said there is wrong, and that is impressive.
The O-Lineman are not catching on to the blocking scheme (zone blocking, right?). If they are not able to execute the current blocking scheme, the coaches have to adapt and change the blocking scheme up to something they are able to execute.
With this observation. Just re-watched the game again. Things that jumped out at me were:
-we stink at zone blocking. If we never ran another zone blocked play this year, that would not be soon enough for me. Linemen running sideways while dline and linebackers take running starts at them is a recipe for tfl's.
-fitz does a poor job of reading holes
-fitz pass blocking is weak
-funchess and dilio both are liabilities when on the field and asked to block
-miller is not good at pass blocking
-chesson should be moved to safety asap. Kid likes to hit people. ;-)
I saw the same things. Funchess is still doing his whirling dervish thing as guys run by him. Dileo is a sore spot in an otherwise solid blocking receiving corp. I actually thought the interior guys run blocked pretty well for the most part. UConn was stacking against the run so they always had someone free to make the tackle. Fitz had 3 plays where he made bad reads, IMO. Otherwise he was much more better about running where the play was designed (sometimes to his detriment). Miller was getting stood up and chucked by the NT consistently on pass plays, he has a real problem staying low after snapping the ball. Fitz had some solid blitz pick-ups but too many bad ones as well. He seems to be closing his eyes as he dives at guys and isn't getting clean cut blocks that put guys down.
too bad for you
zone blocking is a staple of a pro-style offense
Funk is fail, but this is on Borges for implementing a scheme that puts so much pressure on his O line to perform in order to succeed. Al Borges expects NFL caliber offensive line play and QB decision making from college kids. That's the fundamental problem. His schemes can hit every few years when he happens to get lucky and have a full cupboard, but college teams are almost always refilling the O line and QBs are seldom NFL caliber.
Without a much finer offensive line coach, Borges' overall pro style scheme just can't be counted on to work consistently at the college level the way more flexible attacks like those at Northwestern, Ohio State and Oregon can. Ohio puts in their second string QB and boom, 6 TD passes and back to back Heisman level wins against the same level of cupcake as an Akron or UCONN. MUST BE THE TALENT??? My ass. It's the scheme and coaching.
Borges' scheme will fail this year. BUT THE LINE IS YOUNG??? INEXPERIENCED?? What thenl next year when we lose two senior tackles. The line still YOUNG? And it will fail the year after that when we break in the decision making of a new starting QB. THE QB IS YOUNG!!! It'll always be something.
Simply put, Al Borges has to go at the end of this year, and he can take Funk with him. 2007 was HORROR followed by Oregon Massacre. At least those were two damn good teams. This year, in Hoke's THIRD YEAR, UM barely staved off back-to-back HORRORS against teams that 2007 App State and Oregon would have destroyed. Brandon should throw a ton of money at Northwestern's offensive coordinator to come over.
The "we're 4-0 shut up" meme and the apologizing need to take off the homer blinders. This team will be lucky to go 4-4 in the mediocre BIG unless Al Borges shocks the world and pulls a rabbit out of his ass in two weeks, and somehow evidences a magnitude leap in competence at O line and QB play.
I'm going to root for my team and prey Borges shocks me, but sadly, my expectation level for this season, and for the next two seasons minimum, is deeply curtailed.
I’m sorry but you cannot blame this on scheme. This type of Offense does work. You have examples of this throughout the NCAA. Borges has had great play calling thus far. It is not up to him if the team produces on the field. I have seen more variation this year and I’m still excited to see what it will be in the future. He is getting explosive player involved (Northfleet end around) and other play calls. Why would you be calling for a new Offensive coordinator when he is doing what’s asked of him. While many have forgotten what was once Michigan, this offensive is the extremely expanded version of the three yards and a cloud of dust. If anyone is to blame it’s Funk. I’m not at that level yet though, as described in my previous post. Teams such as Stanford and Alabama run this system with great success. The offensive line has not developed into that caliber yet, but you see glimpses. The problem is we have zero depth. The Dline subs in and out all game to stay fresh. You don’t see that on the Oline. This is what I’m most worried about with the line. They’re not willing to go all out on every play because you don’t have anyone waiting to come in once you need a breather. That will come in the future with recruiting and player maturation. A dominate Oline does not establish over night, and to reach Alabama and Stanford level three years is pushing it. You only have a certain about of recruits from each class, if you thought someone was better than they turned out to be – it will set you back another year. That’s why the recruiting process is such a big part of the game.
I’m sure you’ll respond with something like MSU does it with nobodies. My response to that is the fact that MSU has to make them work. Not only that but he’s been in Lansing for a very long time. Their system is a well oiled machine. The problem though is the limited upside they have with this process. They will never be a national title team. They can be a good team, a top big ten team, but will never consistently be in the running for the championship. That is what we are striving for.
Also on a side note the OSU thing is dumb. You see this with every single spread team. They're built to exploit weakness. Why do you think RR and every other teams kill lesser opponents. It's not because the scheme is amazing, it's because they have better athletes. This is the same reason why when they face Alabama they get shut down. The spread is a pretty system but will not work against a just opponent. If OSU played Alabama in the championship last year they would have gotten destroyed, just like any other spread team.
You mean like Texas A&M?
We have no excuse not to be able to bring in top notch assistants. We know that DB has the money.
Say what you will about Carr, but he had the balls to cut someone loose if they weren't working out. I hope Brady can see the big picture and make the tough calls.
As far as I know, Urban is showing no signs of another breakdown. Sorry boys but it looks like he will be at OSU for a while. I don't see us outshooting OSU with fatty running the offense and whatever you call the development of our O-line.
How about some advice for Jack Miller. After you snap the ball, you actually have to block someone.
Everyone knew Miller is not a good blocker. Wasn't going to be a good blocker.
Note is a surprise he's not a good blocker. Hoke well not tell us that. He will not throw a player under the bus, which it seems many people are looking for.
Is there ANY chance Kugler is ready yet?
Obviously no way in hell I'd want a true frosh starting at C. But do you think Kugler could seriously threaten to start next year? Or is C a position where that would be very bad if we had to play a RS freshman, regardless of how smart and talented he might be?
Well, we're playing a redshirt sophomore at center this year, and two redshirt freshmen at guard. I'd say things aren't going well right now. Kugler might be able to play next year, but generally, that's a bad idea.
What's your take on two true freshmen (3 star recruits no less) playing all year last year on the OL for Indiana under Coach Frey, and doing quite well?
What was so great about Indiana's line last year? I didn't see much of them, but it doesn't seem to have left an obvious trace on their statitstics--they didn't run the ball well (<4 ypc, Michigan's getting 4.65 so far this year), sacks per game were about the same as Michigan this year and were worse than Indiana had had the two years prior. They scored a lot of points, I suppose, but not as many as Michigan's been scoring with their supposed disaster of a line this year.
What was it you saw?
The point wasn't that Indiana is the epitome of what we should aim for -- we recruit at a much higher level, for instance. The point was that our old OL coach had to play two true freshmen all season last year, both of whom were 3 star talents with almost no other Big Ten offers. Yet those two guys received post-season accolades (e.g., All Big Ten honorable mentions, etc.). I just do not understand this mindset that it should take four or five years of Funk coaching 4 or 5 star linemen before they learn how to pull, etc.
You're also assuming all things equal in terms what they were asked to do. I think UM runs a more diverse style of offense than Indiana, thus we ask our linemen to not be as specialized in both scheme and how to block those schemes. Kind of a "jack of all trades, master of none" if you will. A west coast scheme in general is a bit more complex than the air-raid style spread, and it seems like we ask our linemen to do everything really good instead of being really great at one thing with the occasional dip into a different pool here and there. But of couse, I'm not anywhere close to an expert at this and could be completely off.
I think there is some merit to your point though.
I'm not sure who you're talking about, and I never watch Indiana. I don't know.
Run left was the best play M had besides QB draw/scramble. Run right/middle was where the line struggled. And I honestly can't make out why. Perhaps the interior aren't seasoned enough to handle D-Line slants. Seen it with many young O-Lines in the past.
Run left where Gardner fumbled was completely blown up - the line was going in reverse at the snap. Maybe that was the exception but it sure stood out.
Bringin the calm
That was like those unbelievably frustrating unreasonable video game LB interceptions. So unfair (to UCONN...)
Hopefully, the OP doesn't mind, but in an effort to manage what will be a long day of threads about this and other topics most likely, this will become the Sunday Snowflake Thread. Other threads will be considered on a case-by-case basis, but the bar for uniqueness will be higher than normal today. Again, trying to keep things semi-manageable.
Jack Miller looks like he wouldn't be starting for a MAC team. Being able to snap the ball is only half the job
It absolutely should lose someone the center job. Botched snaps are very, very costly. I'm not saying you just put the best snapper out there, but a good snapper/unreliable blocker is less of a liability than an unrelaible snapper/good blocker.
For those who watched on TV- can someone explain what the atmosphere looked like, what our O-Line looked like? From my seats it was hard to tell why we struggled to run the ball.
I posted in another thread but it was at least 50/50 michigan, but we as a fanbase did not bring it- we needed the band there.
My Cool Starry Bra story: I saw buses being escorted to the stadium... and then a regular car following them (By regular i mean white infiniti).... the driver was none other than Dave Brandon.. or someone who looked exactly like him.
so having the band there would cure whiffs on blocks?
Every O-Lineman not named Taylor struggled with one thing or another (Lewan's sack has to be a combo of line slide and lack of mobility cause he didn't even look at the guy until he was full stride and the hold was a bad call IMO). Schofield, for me, has been underwhelming. I expected big things from him and he hasn't anchored that side of the line liked I'd hoped. They also struggled getting to the second level in the first half. They would get the D-Line blocked but again the 'backers were screaming into gaps.
Could u imagine what we'd look like if Lewan had gone pro?
I try not to.
Schofield might be a better guard than tackle.
Last week I think I brought up moving him back and giving one of the young tackles a shot
the talent gap bw where UM wants/needs to be and where their current roster sits is pretty obvious and also lengthy debate i guess. re lewan on that sack though, he initially stepped right thinking he had inside responsibility (only coaches and players know what the calls were so we cant assume he was right or wrong or the communication error was his or someone elses) and even superior OTs have trouble completely recovering and re-routing 310 lbs to catch speed rushers after incorrect steps in those situations....thats one major reason why lewan is a top 10 pick, yes hes a beast and ultra talented but he also very rarely makes footwork and technique mistakes like that. im sure weve all known this, but it hit home even harder when i heard clowney saying after last year that sure lewan was the most talented OT he faced but he was also the smartest and most sound technically...basically lewan never beats himself. the rest of the OL and DL for that matter definitely not as simple as 1 erred first step. re schofield being underwhelming, he always has been....just bc he played 3 yrs does not mean hes all league caliber....he has not had anyone to push him his entire career bc everyone other than the new kids are average like schofield or below average
Is this what prostitution feels like? I mean, I got paid and all, but I don't feel good about myself.
if we stop trying to run the ball with 10 guys in the box. The stupidity of trying to run the ball when the defense is ready for it and ready to blitz is beyond me. They adjusted to it a little bit in the second half, but EVERY team has stacked the line against us and we keep trying to run in those situations, which is equivalent to repeatedly banging your head against a brick wall.
That would mean single coverage for one or more receivers, right? But Gardner's passing stats were bad, and time after time he would run around the backfield looking for an open receiver, I presume. So can't Gardner look off receivers, or was U Conn's secondary that good?
Gardner just can't look off receivers. He'll lock into his #1 read (Gallon 90% Funchess 8%) and if its not there, he'll still try to fit it in or go into a mad scramble because one of the interior linemen have been beat. Honestly take your pick at which one. None of them are very good at pass protection. Miller is just not very good at anything, unfortunately.
The problem with our passing game last night was that Gardner went into a mental funk after that first INT. He was not getting rid of the ball on time, and his mechanics were way off. I think there were several times where he had receivers open and either just didn't throw the ball or else didn't set his feet and zinged it low or behind the receiver.
teams realize that Gallon is our only good receiver. The other receivers have been unable to get separation against man to man coverage, which is another huge problem. The result is Devin locking on to Gallon, and when he isn't open he doesn't have anywhere else to go so he starts to run around.
Gardner is definitely a bag of Skittles but since the first game I've kept saying that the receivers are really an unimpressive group. Just no real deep threats and it certainly looks like we'll have to wait another few years to get there probably not until Drake and the kid from Florida get on campus and get some seasoning.
I don't agree that there are no real deep threats, at least if you're talking about speed. Chesson beat his guy deep at least twice last night, but one was a shade underthrown (Chesson could have adjusted better but he's young) and he slowed down on the other but it still would have been a tough catch.
Chesson has speed to burn. He just needs to keep improving some of the other aspects of his game.
On the one down the right sideline he was open but it was underthrown and the guy made a nice interception - was right in front of me. The other I recall was over the middle and would have been a touchdown but the receiver (can't remember offhand if it was Chesson or Reynolds) got hung up and slowed down looking back for the ball - that's experience. I get the sense big plays are there if they can get things smoothed out.
It was Jehu- and that was right in front of me. I think the ball had more zip than he thought. to be fair, i also thought Devin floated it, but in reality it was a tremendous pass, Chesson just needed to continue with his route.
The one down the middle was Chesson.
Then I would say he's showing some consistency in getting free - things could get better with a little more game experience. He also had a nice diving catch on that big 3rd down they reviewed. He was wide open and the throw was a little short but on the safe side.
I don't know if UConn was wearing down on D but things looked noticeably better in the 4th quarter.
I think both were wind related. The first one that got picked was thrown into the wind and just died and fell into the defender's arms. The second one was with the wind and I think got hung up and took off on Chesson.
for this fact-based post. It made me feel a little better about that game.
On the opinion parts, I hope you're right!
Ehh Gardner couldn't hit the broad side of a barn last night and his receivers weren't helping him. The one to Gallon was high but catchable and Chesson barely made an effort on the int to him.
Just because a guy does something wrong doesn't mean he lacks effort. Chesson is a redshirt freshman, and he's not the biggest, strongest guy. If you throw him a jump ball, there's at least a decent chance that he will get outmuscled.
I need to rewatch it but it looked like he just about watched the CB catch the ball. In any case we may have just seen why he doesn't get the ball too often.
On the INT, the ball was underthrown and the DB had inside position. The pass should have been thrown further so Chesson could have run under it. Since it was into the wind, perhaps that's why it was underthrown?
In any event, I certainly don't think you can fault Chesson for a lack of effort on that play. Although I think the INT was Gardner's fault for underthrowing the pass, I suppose you can argue that Chesson maybe misjudged it and should have pulled-up earlier--but that's more of a "why are you not Jerry Rice?" thing, not an effort thing.
You have to remember he had his guy beat, great positioning if Gardner threw an average ball. The problem came when he missed short. This results in Chesson now having stop fast than the CB moving slower than him, and come father back to the ball. He probably wasn't expecting him to throw it short either with his separation. This first INT may also be the reason he slowed down on his second route because he didn’t want him to throw it short again.
Miller has two problems, he is lost on his calls and probably a step slow, then you add on he doesn't have the power to make up for those problems.
damned if you do, damned if you dont.
Jack Miller is terrible. He either blows his assignment or gets blown off the ball. Usually this destroys the play before it even really gets going.
Tight End blocking has been very bad as well. Allowing to much penetration.
Borges is foolishly running the ball into 8 and 9 man fronts when he should be making them pay for stacking the box. I would like to see more power running out of 3 wide reciever sets to spread the defense out a little bit, kind of what notre dame did to us.
"when he should be making them pay for stacking the box"
While I agree, Gardner looked lost in the passing game last night.
Damned if u don't, and damned if you don't......
As I said in the other snowflake thread, look at our OL and WR recruiting in 2010 and 2011. It's not really a surprise that those are our weakest positions this year. Miller and Bryant are our only OL from both classes, and we've already seen what we have with Miller. Even from the 2012 class, Kalis is our only interior OL. 3 interior OL in the last 3 classes combined... yeah. The cavalry arrived with the monster 2013 OL class, but it won't take effect til next year at the earliest when they're all redshirt freshmen. More likely it'll take until 2015.
WR is in a similar boat, with Gallon being the only hit from 2010 and 2011. The really sucky part is that we would be in a pretty good or even great spot at WR this year if Darboh wasn't hurt and if Ole Miss weren't cheating scumbags who (IMO) pretty obviously paid Treadwell to steal him from us. Treadwell and Darboh on this offense would have changed things big time.
I would give you a +1 if I could
cheated cuz we didn't get a guy who wanted to get paid? In my world, that ain't a loss.
I am hungover, so we really must need a lot of improvement in many areas.
When are they going to change something... and so running their heads into a wall. Its not working so CHANGE SOMETHING!
This post kind of gets to the heart of things.
You have to keep in mind that the players are being coached on their techniques and having their mistakes corrected constantly each week. The players can, do, and must improve over the course of the season.
If a particular play isn't working, I can understand why some guy in the stands or watching on TV thinks, "oh, that play isn't working--do something else next time!" If a player isn't performing well, I can understand that same fan saying "try somebody else!" But in reality, those are not usually the right moves. Maybe the play didn't work because one guy missed an assignment--correct that missed assignment, and now the play works. But if you scrap the play altogether and start over with a new play, now you're probably going to have a whole new set of mistakes that the players are making when they try to execute that new play.
Same thing with personnel--the guy who's starting is presumably the best player you have at that position. If he isn't doing something right, you point out the error and show him how to fix it. Hopefully he does. But if you just put somebody else in--somebody who's already shown that he isn't as good as the original player--then that guy has to go through the same growing pains.
This is why it's important to be patient and support the team.
Can we all please try and keep some semblance of perspective here? The team is 4-0 with a road win and a victory over a team ranked in the top 15. I was as pissed as anybody last night but woke up this morning with a bit of perspective. We won. We played like shit, dug ourselves a 14 point hole on the road and we won. It seems like we've collectively forgotten that detail in our despair over not playing as well as we should.
A brief flashback. In 1988 we were ranked #9 and opened the season at Notre Dame. We dug a 13-0 hole but fought back and led 17-16 with under 2 minutes to play. Notre Dame kicked their fourth field goal to take the lead back with a minute to go but we drove down the field and had a chance to win the game only to have the normally reliable Mike Gillette miss a 48 yard kick as time expired as we lost. Then we came home to host #1 ranked Miami and played the best football I've seen for 3.5 quarters and led 30-14 with less than 6 minutes to play only to see Miami coming storming back in the last five minutes to score 17 points and win 31-30. We played well, VERY well, against two highly ranked teams but were 0-2.
Trust me when I say the disapointment over playing poorly against two bad teams and winning is a milliionity-jillionity times better than being 0-2 and playing well against two good teams.
Last season we played three teams that went undefeated for the season - and two played for the MNC. That doesn't take away the angst we are feeling heading into the conference part of the schedule. Also, we actually looked good against our first two opponents, which makes the seeming collapse all the more painful. I have tickets to the Minnie game. I wasn't expecting a nailbiter, but I am now.
All rankings at this point in the year are a wash as most teams haven't gotten far enough into their schedule to show who they are, so throw the rankings out of the window. ND doesn't seem to be all that good at this point in time. Look at who they've played and relate that to their opponents opponents and it doesn't look like the great win we've made it out to be. Although winning has some comfort, the way in which a team wins/plays has much more comfort.
The 1988 team may have some similarities, but a case could be made for any team throughout the country at any point in their history having similarities to this team and most wouldn't out rank the others on a case by case basis. The reason being that those teams weren't led by this group of coaches. That is the biggest variable in the equation.
Are there coaching problems? Most definitely, at LB, OL, and perhaps DL as well. Egos need to be put aside and changes need to be made if this continues, but considering the team is comprised of almost 60% first or second year players it is somewhat understandable, but the talent discrepancy against these last two opponents should make that less relevant than it is appearing. These blowups are a nice little walk back in time to the RR years so it has been a little bit of fun seeing people act so irrationally.
Agreed on the assistant coach assessment - especially the comparison to what coach B did a few years ago re his assistant staff. It will be interesting to see if Hoke is more like Beilein (team first - assistant loyality second) or more like RR (Tony Gibson Uber Alles) when it comes down to making the tough decisions.
And it was nice to meet you a few weeks ago. I hope the Chicken Avocado bake lived up to expectations.......
It was nice to meet you as well. The CAB energized me for the entire game. Thanks for hospitality.
when they play Oklahoma. So far, ND has really only laid an egg against Purdue.
They kinda laid an egg last night too. Bailed out by some questionable PI calls. I guess their strategy was "throw deep passes that won't get caught and pray for a flag".
They won because MSU laid a bigger egg. Their offense...yeesh.
I'm no expert but it seems to me teams are challenging Michigan to throw the ball similar to the way they defended Denard. So when Michigan runs, there are 8 in the box and you have a bunch of players with esentially first year starter experience(Funchess, Butt, Miller, Glasgow, Kalis) all trying to execute together. One of those makes a mistake and it can completely ruin the play.
Once Gardner became frazzled the pass timing was completely off and the defense could sell out even more for the run. Seems he needs his confidence built up with easy passes to receivers who will hold onto it but the trouble is the WRs have trouble getting seperation. His timing also seems off with WRs not named Gallon on the deep passes.
Duder, we've got two red-shirt sophomores and a red-shirt frosh on the line. You can't expect those guys to be minimally functional against Akron and UConn. I mean theyre redshirt froshes and sophomores ferchrissakes. Its well known that redshirt sophomores can't block Akron.
I don't think not bring "fired up" is the problem. How many humiliations do you need to get fired up? One half against Akron? No, not fired up yet? How about an embarrassing near loss to Akron? No? How about being neutered for a half by UConn, a team that couldn't pressure on Towson? Surely now you'll be fired up. What's that? Oh, after all that you get stuffed on 3rd and 1 on the very first drive out of the half causing your QB to fumble the ball and put you in a two-TD hole against possibly the worst team in the FBS?
Being fired up is not the problem.
Not to pile on but I don't remember ayone saying the O-line was the shit.
He blocked Clowney well. I'm sorry but your not going to go the full year without being beat a sometime.
Gardner appears to have lost confidence in himself which doesn't help play calling, audibles, or any form of adjustments. He was really struggling after the first interception. Hopefully they get his head straightened out during the bye week. He also looked like he had a bad hammy or something like that in the 4th quarter.
UConn defense loaded the box and the line struggles with that. You would expect savvy defensive coordinators to take advantage of a young line learning how to play together and guy calling the blocking scheme for the first time this year.
Jordan Lewis and another freshman (name escapes me at the moment) screwed up two punts. One didn't get away from the ball and the other threw a block 15 yards behind Dileo negating a huge return.
Ugly stuff done by young/inexperienced teams and usually only corrected through playing time.
But, after all the errors and turnovers, we won...on the road. The team didn't fold under the pressure and found a way to win. Let's hope the lessons have sunk in by the time November rolls around. The talent is there. They just need to harness it.
And I still don't see how that's his fault. Shouldn't Dileo be shouting at the top of his lungs to get the fuck back and waving his hands and shit? I think he was unlucky more than anything.
actually dileo was trying to fake out the defense by pretending to catch the ball at the 10; knowing it was going over his head. that fake can freeze defenders sometimes and allow the ball to bounce into the endzone. the blockers have no business going inside the 10 yard line.
Jones has to find the football and get away from it. If the returner is standing on the 10-yard line and shouldn't catch anything inside of it, then there's no reason for Jones to be there, either. It's a lack of awareness of field position, game situation, and where the ball is. That will come with time, but the freshmen on special teams made numerous mistakes last night.
That's not being young, that's having a brain cramp. Even casual fans know what Jones should have done, and I suspect he did, too.
A brain cramp is part of being young. Lots of kids (and adults) can point to open receivers, call penalties, find open holes, etc. on television. Clearly, it's tougher when you're on the field actually trying to do those things. Are you suggesting that experience doesn't matter? Everyone knows that you shouldn't false start, either, but Graham Glasgow has done so 3 times in 4 games. Does that mean he'll have 9 false start penalties every year from now until he graduates?
Sure, experience matters. And I'll buy experience as a factor in false starts. A split second reaction by a younger player still adjusting to the complexities of blocking schemes, audibles, and the quarterback's cadence is understandable. But in the case of a punt returner deep in his own territrory, he knows what to do and has time to think it through. From the neck up, he isn't doing anything he wasn't doing in high school. Keeping track of the ball, not wandering inside the ten, and steering clear of a ball you don't field is basic stuff at any level.
Just a pet peeve of mine - I hate this business of penalizing players who block someone "too far from the play". Being 15 yards behind doesn't mean you can't make a play on a return. There's always the possibility a guy will cut back and you can close. If you're pursuing a play, expect to be blocked. If you don't want to get blocked, stop pursuing.
particulat play, Lewis's head was behind. Could have easily been called a clip if it wasn't called a personal foul. No complaints on that flag. You want kids to be aggressive but play smart.
Block in the back, clip is below the waist....but yeah, he was head hunting and you could tell in the replay.
Not a coach, but a coworker played Oline at a high enough level to be a projected draft pick at center (didn't go because he was already badly beat up from his college career). He's taken the time to explain a lot of things to me, the big one being how long it usually takes to develop offensive lineman. He's pretty clear that until the junior year, most offensive lineman aren't very good. His rants about which should be called "skill" positions are the best.
The O line is pretty terrible, but perhaps the best that can be hoped for is minor and gradual improvement over the course of the season. All of the interior being young, inexperienced, and even a walk-on isn't likely something that can just be corrected in practice.
This is not an excuse for Funk. It's likely just the law of averages. The right players with the right coach might develop faster. And we all know what kind of difference a good center makes, with much more of it being between the ears than strength and technique. As it stands, most of the offense's problems stem from poor line play. (And i'm including TE blocking as line play.) Individual players haven't reacted well to the line breakdowns and problems, but those are symptoms rather than diseases.
miller and glasgow are both juniors (academically). they should be "getting it" by now.
1. What's academics got to do with it? It's practice reps and game experience that matter.
2. Glasgow is "getting it". He's damn good for a walk-on sophomore four starts into his career. He shouldn't be the third best lineman on a championship-contending team, but that's not his fault.
This is reminding me of Navarre's freshman year. It wasn't his fault he was out there and he deserved absolutely none of the crap he got. If you need to point fingers at somebody, point it at the people handling O-line recruiting for 2010 and 2011. It's not so much whether the guys out there are good or not, it's that they're all we've got. You can't handle an offensive line that way--it's the hardest position to project and you've got to leave yourself room to manuever.
Well yes, to some degree that's correct. But keep in mind that they're being asked to get with a total of 12 starts covering the entire interior offensive line. It's not as if these guys were getting some playing time here and there over the course of those three years.
It's also worth keeping in mind that in many (maybe most) cases, good offensive line play is somewhat invisible while mistakes are glaring. Some of these guys are getting it some of the time, but if one gets it on a play and another doesn't, there's trouble. Furthermore, opposing coaches now know what and how to exploit the issues which steepens the learning curve for those kids.
If you take the total yardage of all non-zero rushing plays regarding of whether they were losses or gains, you get an intriguing trend, to say the least.
Against CMU, we had 252 positive yards against 10 negative yards, making negative yardage 3.82% of the total. With ND, we moved forward 194 yards and 28 backwards, making negative yardage 12.61% of total rushing movement. This increases to 15.56% against Akron, then 18.63% last night.
That lends evidence to what exactly? I would argue that it says that the team was not up or as enthused about playing these last two opponents and expected to win rather than being ready to fight. Who are the ones who prepare the players and are able to influence their mentality? This team has all of the ability physically, but they seem mentally weak to an extreme.
I was experimenting with a way to quantify the quality of the offensive line play as a function of the rushing game. Perhaps it speaks some to effort, as you suggest.
about the very practice of scheduling tomato cans.
I think the "weak" mentality originates in the very idea of scheduling a team just to run up the score on them.
In Alexander Technique, the distinction is made between "end-gaming," ie, "the ends justify the means," and "means whereby," ie, the means you employ are the the blueprint for your ultimate outcome.
I think scheduling tomato cans smells of the mentality of puffing up season numbers in order to get scheduled into a prestigious post-season destination. Or alternatively, it represents the effect of money trumping the fan or player experience as the determinant of scheduling decisions.
The 18- to 20-year-old mind, I think, senses without fully consciously grasping that (to paraphrase MLK's "Beyond Viet Nam" speech, 4-3-67) the adults in charge have piled calculated cynicism on top of the inherent physical hazard of playing the game, and they have a sense that greed has turned the game they love into something a little twisted as well as potentially dangerous. And so, subconsciously, they can't help but approach these debased demonstration games without their full enthusiasm, even if they don't know why this is.
We expect them to put their health and well-being on the line in exchange for the team experience and, often, help in paying their college tuition. I think, in return, they have a right to expect the people, for whom they are bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue, to at least go through the motions of making the regular season a reasonably meaningful football experience.
At any rate, they must know that the scheduling wasn't made with an exciting athletic contest in mind, and this may make it difficult for the eighteen-year-mind to cover for adult cynicism with youthful enthusiasm.
oops tl;dr but this thought started to form as I was watching the game.
But this wasn't a scheduled tomato can. UConn was in the middle of a run of four straight bowl games when this was scheduled and was a perfectly reasonable non-conference opponent (would anybody have said "tomato can" if we'd scheduled the equally plausible Louisville instead?).
You can't look five or ten years into the future and know where everyone's going to be. Sometimes you get undefeated Utah, sometimes you get someone when they're down.
This would be more apropos of last week. It was easy to forget the path UConn has taken after the loss to Towson State and the light regard they were getting since.
Since Appy State, it seems that UM has more-frequently-than-average unfortunate outcomes with lightly-regarded opponents.
I don't know how this plays into the psychology of the current team, but I hope it helps to have these two "learning experiences" this early in the season without having to pay for them with a loss.
In matters concerning the subconscious of the players during these games the coaches need to create an illusion of fear in their players. The more real the fear the better the outcome will be. That is one way and I'm sure there are plenty others but fear has always been one of the best motivators.
I think you're right about the effectiveness of fear.
By now, the coaches shouldn't have to work very hard to create an illusion of fear.
Except, if it's real, do you call it an illusion?
To remove Jack Miller from his position. He is a downgrade from Mealer last year. This is showing us why we didnt get a sniff of him last year. Need to give our backs the opportunity to make it back to the LOS. Use this bye week to install Glasgow or hell even Burzinsky if he can hold the POA. We were getting smoked by the JV squad. Where do you think MSU will be coming from? A gap blitzes all day baby. Please the writing is on wall need to stop the bleeding before it's too late
I've said it every week but it seems like our linemen have terrible spatial awareness and the last two weeks have just straight up sucked blocking one on one. Even Lewan and Schofield have been getting blown by a few times a game. It's maddening that they haven't given some of the other guys like Bryant, Braden, Burzynski etc any play.
I would have thought they would have made some changes after they looked so bad in the first game but here we are 3 games later and still no changes. Honestly Bryant looked like our best linemen when he got in against Central. He really had the dominant strength and agressiveness our other linemen don't have and wasn't missing blocks and having blatant mental errors every other play like Glasgow and especially Kalis and Miller are doing left and right. Also doesn't help our Fullbacks and TEs are lost more times than not.
It really comes down to turnovers.
Eliminate the turnovers and it's much closer to 31-7 or something similar. Of course, there are other issues, but I feel those may be ongoing and slow to resolve, whereas turnovers can (and should be) immediately addressed.
I agree with this completely. Let's say Gardner was going to have those two picks anyway. If those two flukier TOs don't happen, UConn finishes with 7 points and the game is never in question. Additionally, we probably score on one of those drives, wear out their D even more and the final score is 27-7 conservatively. Even with the bad OL play and the shaky passing from DG.
Those two weird plays changed the entire game.
Sure, great idea. How? Turnovers are a reflection of both physical skill levels and mental skill levels that are possessed by players. People keep talking about making changes, but the real answer might well be that we don't have anything better to change to except to keep teaching and coaching the players and expect that with each snap and each experience they will get better.
I agree with you. I'm not sure of any changes per se other than repetition and practice.
These are just kids, everyone. They're going to make mistakes.
From what I saw, most of the problems were missed assignments: failure to identify the correct person to block. I think that is understandable from a young offensive line, and it is correctable with coaching and repetitions. For the guards and the center, it's a split-second decision of figuring when to chip, when to double, and when to release to the next level. If they make the wrong decision or make it too late, then they're lost. You fix this by giving them hundreds of repetitions until it's second-nature and they don't have to think about it... you can't expect them to reason it out in their head in a game situation as the play unfolds.
Obviously we're all disappointed in the performance of the line, but suggesting that we put in an even less experienced player doesn't make a lot of sense to me. The problem is not with their physical skills.
Without you, I would roam around my house muttering non sequitors to my dogs and kids. I just know the the coaches will seemlessly fix all problems, and the past two weeks will be nothing but a distant memory. (Said as I search for a container to drink my Maize and Blue Kool Aid ... oh ... look over there ... it's a Brown Jug ... perfect for Maize and Blue Kool Aid ... thank you, Mr. Falk)
The concepts are similar, but Michigan runs more outside zone than inside zone. The combo blocks are important in both plays. Personally, I don't think the post you linked is very helpful to understand the zone stretch, but I haven't searched for a better one just yet.
I think the biggest problem with Michigan's outside zone has been the edge blocking by Devin Funchess, AJ Williams, etc. If Michigan wants to run outside zone, I really think Funchess should be taken off the field or split out wide in favor of Williams and Butt, who are both superior blockers (but not yet great).
And makes sense. Thanks.
Maybe try a new o-line setup:
Could it be worse?
Yeah, I doubt Kugler is the answer, but I'd be in favor of Glasgow at C and about anyone at LG. Bryant, Bars, Braden, Magnuson, Bosch, me, T-Rich. I feel like that combo would be better at this point.
I would absolutely give Kugler a shot at center. I know it's uncommon for true freshmen to play on the line, but Kugler is touted as the best center in his class. I'd take David Molk as a high school sophomore right now.
My point is that you might as well try something. Our OL is just embarrassing. Try things. Things! Kugler at center! Glasgow at center! Braden at guard! Bryant at guard! Pipkens at center! Things!
I agree with trying something, I just don't think Kugler is it (and I'm sure the coaches have taken a look at that in practice). Kugler probably has great technique, but I'm sure his strength lacks the other guys simply because of his age and weight. He won't get more push than Miller, and that's our main problem.
Kugler may/may not be as physically developed, but at the moment, we're asking for the interior line to put a hat on anyone other than air and deadspace. I'm more worried about just having someone in the right place than whether they are physically dominant yet.
Can Braden/Bars figure into this equation? Hell, can Bryant play center?
Kugler is still rehabbing from shoulder surgery. He is 100% not playing this year.
I usually need to let myself sleep on a win (I subconsciously almost just typed loss) before I can pour my emotions out onto an Internet message board. Before rewatching here is what I think I saw:
-Devin was badly inaccurate and this massively hindered out first half O. He had some wide open receivers and he was just missing them
-Our O line was poor until late in the second half (more on this later) and running from under center was like burning a down. Why the staff refuses to run their best (by far IMO) running play (the inverted veer) is beyond me
-Our D was very good. Not a ton to comment on, d line got push on runs and passes, LBs filled well (and covered decently) and our CBs played well also
-Devin should only be blamed for 1.5 turnovers (this is still not great but hear me out). Chesson should have caught that long ball. At worst that should be incomplete, at best he should be pulling a Hemingway and boxing that dude out. 100% on the receiver. The int that was thrown to Gallon is 50-50 receiver vs QB. It was a difficult, high throw but it wasn't uncatchable. Devin's fumble on the option? That's on him I think
-Jesus they need to practice punt coverage more
-There must have been some tweaks made to the run game in the second half because we just started mauling them and let Toussaint go win us the game as Devin couldn't. Great showing at the end by him and the line
-We got kind of unlucky on this one guys. The punt return turnover was fluky as was the fumble scoop and score. Not as bad as it looked on paper. The first half O was much worse than expected and the D was prob better than expected throughout (think you only can really blame them for 7 points)
Chesson had the defender beat on that play. When the ball was thrown short, there was no way for him to "box out" the defender. That interception was at least 75% on Gardner.
He had a height advantage and plenty of time to adjust, which he didn't. He didn't even make a cursory play on the ball
You're being overly harsh. Chesson certainly made an effort, and more than a cursory one. Did you not see him jump up and over the defender? The problem was that he tried to keep running while reaching back, instead of planting his feet and trying to go up and get it at its highest point. It's a lack of understanding of the game, something that can be fixed with time.
I haven't re-watched it yet, so you might be right. Just don't think you can put that on Gardner
And the ball was underthrown, that is on Gardner. I don't fault him for the play, but the throw wasn't great.
in the box if we just ran those 5 yard passing routes and gardner picked a receiver? i know he was off last night but normally he'll hit those and he won't have to scramble because it's a quick pass.
Lewan was limping heavily during the third quarter (maybe he retweaked it somewhere in there? he looked a little better late in the game) and it was clear to me that his booboo, whatever it is, was impacting his play.
The sack was a bad line shift and not Lewan's fault. Maybe if healthy he's able to get back to get some sort of chip on the guy but it was asking a lot.
I'm with you on this one. He didn't look 100% and that sack was not on him at all (despite what Spielman was saying). It was a bootleg to the right where Lewan had only so much time to slow the outside DE. No tackle has the ability to stop a DE when you're given that much space and time in a one on one situation. When I watched live, I tacked this sack to Devin's hesitancy, lack of confidence and lack of an internal clock. He looked shaken at this point.
If you need that affirmation.
One reason I sitll have faith in Funk is because Kugler's Dad, an offensive line coach/guru, had more than enough faith in his son's decision to get coached by this staff. If Funk was not a good coach, I don't think Sean Kugler would be sold on his son going to a team with a below average line coach. This guy coached one of the best O-lines in the NFL and knows what it takes to have a successful O-line. I'm sure he did his due diligence when his son was looking at schools.
I really don't think this falls on Funk. This falls on the inexperience of the line. We have 2 solid guys on the ends, but confusion, youth and inexperience in the middle. It will get better with time, hopefully, or they are going to go into "try anything" mode and start putting in younger guys and switching up positions to see what works best. From what they see during the week, these are the best guys.
If we fix the line, the O will be MUCH better. Devin's confidence will go up. Fitz will run better.
link to Sean Kugler's bio:
Two other things that are helping me stay sane:
1) things are never as bad or good as they look early in the season. ND and OSU both squeaked by a pretty bad Purdue team last year and both went undefeated last year. Not saying we will go undefeated but these games happen
2) Road openers and Michigan, man. Just be glad that's behind us and we won
I have to respectfully disagree. I think he is correct. Being fired up is definitely part of the issue. If the team came out fired up, we would have been shocked at the brutality in which they punched UConn in the face from the start. There is a reason a coach like Harbaugh can take players that played like bitches the year before and turn them into monsters. It's called motivation.
And make no mistake about it. Michigan played the role of the bitches the last two weeks. They took the punches. They did not give the punishment.
I do think this staff will make some adjustments, they seemingly have done this durng their first 3 years. Devin has got to learn how to calm down, he did a good job of this against ND, but has played "tight" the last 2 games. The film is out there how to defend michigan, Borges/Hoke have got to counter and come up with a way to beat this. I do think a lot of michigan's problems will improve as the season progresses. Our biggest issue right now is turnovers, when you turn the ball over as much as we have, even shitty teams are going to stay close. They need to roll gardner out more, give him some easier progressions, right now decision making is killing him. Seems like last year he rolled out more. I think if someone is close to playing center, this is obviously the week to make the change. I think Kalis and Glasgow will get better each and every game. Luckily, the B1G is not very good. Our toughest games are at PSU, who is not great, at MSU, who is about as inept on offense as we are currently, granted, they have a great defense, but i think that game will be a toss-up, at NW, home vs. Ohio both will be tough tests, but they are later in the season.
this squad simply does not have the horses right now. all the energy and fire in the world cannot offset the inferior roster. granted they should trounce akron and uconn but its really tough when one of the only elite athletes in your 2 deep has off games and contributes to massive turnover differentials. gardner does not get much help from his OL or his skill guys and thats just a fact. in its current state, UMs travel roster consists of like 35 1st or 2nd year players, many of whom do not possess necessary talent to win 1-on-1 matchups. maybe the younger kids will get to that point, i certainly hope so considering some of the hype, but the team on the field for 1st 4 games does not have the talent to turn the ball over so much and still dominate. football is a team game, absolutely, but when broken down it takes guys stepping up and consistently winning 1-on-1 matchups in order to see the expected level of success. clark and black and lewan and kalis won quite a few 1-on-1s last night but that unfortunately cannot offset the poor or average play of their teammates and results in inability to consistently win at line of scrimmag. those dellusional enough to believe miller and schofield and beyer and these types of guys are the elite athletes UM needs in order to be the UM hoke and most fans fondly remember and desire are in for quite a letdown.....much of current travel roster are just guys. in their current 3-deep, UM has about 5-6 difference makers who have proven they can get it done at this level. hard working, smart, great kids, sure...elite athletes like OSU players, unfortunately not. hopefully most will admit hoke inherited a very depleted roster and program in unfamiliar territory suffering from weak image in world of big time recruiting. and look honestly at the 2009, 2010 and 2011 classes, aside from the obvious handful of difference makers....transfers left bc they were not even talented enough or consistent enough to make the current depth chart....guys like raymon taylor and avery and beyer and schofield and gordon and hayes and ash and jeremy jackson and rawls, etc....most of these guys would be playing at central michigan if compared to 2000 UM teams or even the talent as recent as 2006. hoke and his staff are great guys and will never throw any players under the bus. but seriously when prior to 2007 or whatever did UM ever have a problem finding a solid C or pass rushing DE or RB or WR? not in my lifetime. obviously some recruits miss every year and other hit....but UM never really had such a young team especially considering the lack of talent in upper classes. i mean its crazy to expect big things from a UM squad that plays jeremy jackson for half the game at WR yet never even looks to throw his way. or UM team winning big with 6 RBs / FBs that belong in the MAC. youth looks promising, as it typically does (especially redshirted youth), and UM should be able to win some games but this team will only remain competitive with solid (ND) to great teams (OSU) if their elite athlete under center carries them and their genius D coordinator continues to mask massive holes and talent gaps. yes they can look great when everything clicks but great teams and championship teams manage to get it done when it does not click, which for those teams is maybe 1-2 times all year. **i love UM and UM football yet try to be realist....gardner provided some hope for many and rightfully so but hes still a freshman/soph in terms of snaps under center in D1 games, and his supporting cast on O/ D is young or not very talented for most part. hoke needs to continue bringing in top 100 type players and guys they beleive can compete at their desired B1G title level and hopefully when 2012 and 2013 classes are upperclassmen they can win enough 1-on-1s across the board and will have several genetic mistakes like peppers sprinkled throughout roster to really dominate. until then, expectations should be tempered and all big ten wins should be appreciated not expected. and my apologies for the length here, really -- i understand the passion and desire for great team, im there too - but i do not understand the surprise and questions and in some cases even the refusal to accept mediocrity from a mediocre collection of student athletes
The fuck is this mess? You expect people to read that? Add some damn punctuation, for the love of fuck.
Can figure out the Wolverines offensive line woes please send the plans to the NY Giants.
Couple comments on Gardner - apologies if some of this has already been noted.
Thought it clear that for all the QB camps Devin attended this summer his fundamentals are still not where they should be, e. g. managing the game not trying to do too much and pressing too hard; locks on to receivers and does not appear to make all his reads before scrambling/running and equally important, he carries the ball like a loaf of bread.
Does not Borges have teaching QB fundamentals included in OC duties? If so, I think Hoke may want to consider bringing in a QB coach to work with Devin - Scott Loffler where are you now?
the genius (Borges) has made it clear he will never make the mistake of hiring a QB coach again.
His title is OC/QB coach. Apparently, a bad experience has shut him off to it completely.
As for DG freaking out, I can't really say that I blame him, given his faulty, unpredictable front 5.
It's all on Devin, i've decided. His turnovers and poor play are killing M. It's not the O-Line or D-Line or receivers because they were the same week 1 & 2. M just made the most of their possessions in the first 2 games. Devin turning the ball over and just making poor decisions means M is wasting more drives than they did earlier in the season. Drives M usually got points on. That's as big a reason as any for the close games. If he stops turning the ball over and stops panicking at the first sign of adversity then M will be fine.
Also, I like that this team has had 3 straight adverse games so early in the season. Now we've seen what this is made of. It'll do the young guys a lot of good.
Yep. All the blame for Michigan's bad play goes on the shoulders of one person. That makes sense.
Shouldn't it, considering how much praise he got following ND and how much of our offense he actually accounts for? The OL, DL, WR, RB, DB's, etc haven't changed. What has? Devin's performances. Turnovers. I love him as much as the next person but he, like Denard, gets rattled and it's very difficult for M to overcome poor performances from the QB, as it was with Denard.
You obviously disagree, and that's fine cause I honestly couldn't give two fucks about your opinion and I'm sure the converse is true, but all I have to go on is the eye test. Devin's looked far worse the last 2 weeks than he did in the first 2.
Well, a lot of the credit after the Notre Dame game was given to Blake Countess (two interceptions), Jeremy Gallon (8 catches, 184 yards, 3 touchdowns), etc. If we're placing blame on the people we used to give credit to, then let's also spread out some blame to Countess, Gallon, Funchess, Lewan, etc.
Michigan has made quite a hull the last two years on talented (at least on paper) OL men! But I guess it takes experience to break into the starting line. I know we have good center prospects, should the coaches just bench Miller and Glasgow, who have shown no improvement in blocking. They are getting dominated by mighty mights! I would put Bryant in at LG and hell even put Kugler in at C. These two will improve through the season. I don't think Miller and Glasgow are going to improve much. The OL will be a major liability come B1G play!
I think guys need to think back to the heyday of Michigan OL's from the Bo, Mo, Carr times. IIRC, the OL was like shark teeth with one RS Jr.'s or RS Sr's springing up after the next. Sometimes we'd have a very special guy or some injuries that would necessitate a RS So. starting, but the line was usually considered "veteran." All one has to to do is look at the recruiting numbers, and understand that the OL is a team within a team, and playing together for years on end makes a HUGE difference. Michigan has lacked OL continuity for years now, and there is nothing that will bring it back but TIME and DEVELOPMENT. Hoke & Co. have been recruiting the horses, but they're not there yet. The fact that we're starting a walk-on on the OL -- just like starting a walkon at QB in 2008 -- should let evidence just how shallow Michigan's OL pool had become. They're filling it back up, but it takes time. How many starts did the Bama OL have collectively last season?
No more excuses. People just throw up their hands and say "not enough talent etc". Some of the blame has to be on the coaching staff. Wisconsin made a change on their O-line coaching staff last year and it seemed to work out for them.
It's not that there is not enough talent, it's that the talent is young, and a quality OL takes time to develop -- let alone maintain over time. I'd be willing to bet that the Wisconsin's OL last season was like the "shark teeth" OL's Michigan used to have. Wisconsin has been a known OL factory, and you only become a factory when the program recruits and develops OLinemen for recruiting cycle after recruiting cycle. Michigan's cycle was broken, and is being restarted -- but it ain't gonna bear fruit overnight, unfortunately.
Few things jump out at me, the OL seems to do well in certain situations as we are picking up double-digit yards on some plays, Fitz has to be tackled by the secondary. However there is some obvious combination (I haven't identified it yet) of defensive stunts or delayed blitzes that confound our young OL. Plus the usual sprinkle of OL blocking fails.
I think the pass blocking really needs work. UConn was rushing 3 at times and getting pressure. If you watch Gardner when he has time to make his drop, set his feet, he's deadly....when he makes his drop and feels the need to scramble it seems like he's watched too much Denard laying waste to defenses...and Gardner does not have that level of foot speed.
As far as the solution...in my mind its back to critiquing game film and hammering out fundamentals....I don't believe we are going to find better athletes on the team at this point.
i don't think it is going to be as bad as some think, the bye week comes at a good time. we will get healthy and work out some kinks. i truly believe this team will be a LOT better come november when the tough schedule really kicks in. The defense will continuet to get better, jake ryan will help this bunch a lot. devin and the oline will settle down and start making plays again. both devin and oline just need experience, and they will get that.
I thought Lewan looked hurt in this game--only slightly surprising since he wore a boot all week--and I'm surprised I'm the only one writing about it. He misplayed several downs early and the whole left side seemed to fold. He improved in the second half. Based on his first half playing speed (slow), I think he stepped up and played through a LOT of pain.
I do think moving Glasgow to center and Bryant to guard is something the coaches should try in practice.
After the season time for Hoke to take a page out of Beilein's playbook and evaluate some staff as Beilein did to ensure these 4 and 5 star players are being developed fully - particularly the Oline.
With respect to whether Borges wants or doesn't want a QB coach for Gardner, last time I looked Brady Hoke still carries the title, head coach. Borges is staff, he doesn't have the final say and he clearly is not developing Gardner's QB skills.
And Gardner needs help with mental and physical skills development of his game because, apparently despite attending all those summer QB skills camps and earning rave reviews he still needs somone to help him manage a game, improve his decision making, get better at completing progessions so he doesn't prematurely startscrambling/running and then when he does he carries the ball like a loaf od bread.