yes.. we will lose to a lot of teams in the big ten if denard can't complete any passes, or if borges continues to run denard 3 straight plays every drive...
landing spot. will be interesting to see how he does.
yes.. we will lose to a lot of teams in the big ten if denard can't complete any passes, or if borges continues to run denard 3 straight plays every drive...
Amen. Denard is making bad decisions and is inaccurate. The play calling is baffling with all the QB leads. We run it when we shouldn't, and way too much for that matter. The O is unsustainable to me at this point.
How can you say we run it too much? Did you see Robinson's stat line...even if it is 3 and punt, we took time off the clock and didn't turn it over on an incredibly late pass (Hopkins excluded)
I dunno. If the objective is the run off clock, hand it to the RBs. I just think Denard being our whole O is just unsustainable. When we hit the better teams in the B1G, they'll focus completely on Denard (like 2 people spying him), and it will shut down the O unless we can establish an RB and and/or get the passing game working. Look at last year. The passing game was much better and our O was still 1 dimensional enough to be stopped by the top D's. I'm just not seeing the improvement I had hoped to see.
I agree, but DG can't be worse at throwing than this. As I said below, right now, Denard is nothing more than a glorified running back. If he doesn't run it, why would we want him out there? He clearly has regressed at throwing the ball, and I don't blame the OC. He is missing Wide open WR and TE and was comically late on that INT. Everyone saw that Int happening before the throw
The routes are all different than what he's accustomed to, a high percentage of the passes have been fly's and long stuff into coverage. He's not made for that. He should be throwing screens, crossing patterns, and short hitches to open up the ground game more for the rb's. IMO of course.
He has more than enough arm to hit a deep out. I really think it is mental with him...hopefully it slows down for him, but right now, he is late on his reads. Does this mean we don't throw read plays, or deep seems or outs for that matter. With a running qb, those are the passes he must make to keep the safety off of the LOS, not screens
Did you watch Toussaint run the ball? The fact that they keep avoiding at giving toussaint the ball for 20 plus times a game to me is baffling..
Let this kid be the future, which he will be as a running back, and let that open up our passing game... With Denard running every play our offense is so predictable it is pathetic...
Whenever Denard does pass the other team knows it every time and denard over throws a pass by 30 yards
Yes. What was Borges thinking calling Denard's number when he only averaged about 10 yds/carry? 21 carries for 200 yds is terrible. /s
yea because he will really hold up like he did last year doing that..
it was just plain ugly. was not happy with it at all. a win is a win and I will take it and hope for improvement
Not happy at all?
We jumped out to a 21-0 lead despite many medai talking heads thinking we could actually lose this one.
We did a pretty good job of stopping the nation's second leading rusher.
Our defense played pretty damn well.
Blake Countess was a very pleasant surprise.
Nobody seems to have gotten seriously hurt.
We're undefeated at 4-0 heading into the conference schedule.
Not happy at all?
His subject line is "passing," so I think he's just talking about the passing game.
Way too much whining about playcalling for a 28-7 victory against a team we could have possibly lost to. Playcalling isn't going to fix Denard's passing issues. There were many screen-type short passes that Denard was missing too. I don't know what the problem is, but I hope he figures it out ASAP. Good thing we still have time to fix it before some real tough competition shows up...albeit time is running short.
Don't forget Roh, he was great today. This D makes plays, something that hasn't happened much the last few years.
SDSU would have scored 40 against last years D, and with the field position M's O gave SDSU they probably would have scored 50
40 point rap you keep repeating.
Do you plan to drop this in every thread about this game?
No, I will stop at 2, maybe you can pick up the slack for me if your not too busy with your baby. Sing the Victors to the baby for me!
It's a damn good flag to stick in the ground though
sit on other dogs out of a football discussion, though.
I am attempting to make the point that you are coming off as very insulting to essentially the very same kids who were busting their asses out there last year.
I hope you are better than that... maybe you're not.
They did bust their ass off last year but they were still terrible by any standard. They are drastically improved this year, I guess you would be happier if I pretended they were good last season.
Everyone was there, we know what happened, so why rub their/our noses in it by bringing it up? Those same kids are maturing and improving so why not enjoy the progress and success of today and this season instead of dampening everyone's spirits with continued reminders of the difficulties of 2010's D.
Returning 10 starters and most of your 2 deep also helps. This defense was going to get better simply because we have more upperclassmen playing
First off, JT Floyd was injured most of last year, so you are right, he didn't get much better because he didn't play. And which players are you talking about that didn't get better from 2009 to 2010? Last year we didn't return 10 starters and in 2009 we were starting 3 walk-ons, so I am interested to hear which freshmen and sophomores didn't get better? You realize that currently there are very few players on the defensive 2 deep that were actually around in 2009, right?
Why didn't they improve from 2009 to 2010? Because the 5 members of the secondary was composed of freshmen and sophomores. Only two of them had played any meaningful time before that. Because the best player on the 2009 defense (Brandon Graham) had graduated and the best player on the 2010 defense (Mike Martin) played most of the year with a high ankle sprain.
There were lots of freshmen and sophomores who got large chunks of playing time. The beauty of that is that this year they are experienced sophomores and juniors.
The defensive coaching is definitely a drastic improvement over last year. I don't think there is anybody that thinks the defensive coaching situation from 2010 should have been kept the same. Whether there was any chance of good defensive coaching under Rodriguez is unknown. But there are a lot of returning experienced players for the new good coaches to work with.
It's like upgrading from Applebee's to a 5-star restaurant. The chef (def. coordinator) is much much better but also the ingredients (returning players) are higher quality.
I will take an ugly day on offense all day over a solid defensive day!
Wait, what? You would rather have an ugly offensive day than have solid defensive play?
Obviously that has to be a mistake but I have no idea what you actually meant to say. I'm guessing "take an ugly day on offense with solid defense over a great offense with bad defense"???
I would switch the run D and pass D. While Hillman didn't break the game open, he did get over 100 yards. However, their passing game didn't look very good except for the last two drives with (semi) prevent D.
I actually think the D played great today....alot of turnovers, consistently busting the pocket, kept containment (thank god), and had great coverage on the outside.
If the offense ever managed to be consistent (TOP was even today, but I felt that SDSU always had the ball) and allow the D to rest, I think they would be much much better.
Overall, Mattison is a great coach and their is clear improvement from everyone
Oh yeah, that was the best D performance I've seen from this team against a non-baby seal U team is a long time. It's good to see the improvement. The confidence is growing in Mattison and the D staff. I like it. We need to establish the D to get ourselves back to the elite level. But O still worries me.
Also ugly: Kyle Turley.
Mr. Turley, dinner is served.
He is eating Finch?
We got a consistently good pass rush, and I thought coverage was admirable - not lock down, but admirable. Mostly quick tackles on screens, and while SDSU helped us out with a few drops, they also made a few circus catches in great coverage.
There were a lot of open guys in the middle. A lot of those plays went our way because SDSU couldn't get it done.
The reverse is also true...we had a lot of receivers open in our passing game, and we couldn't get it done.
So I'd say it was simultaneously a bad day for our pass D and their pass O.
Another problem is that Denard is carrying the ball way too much. We have to try our best to keep him healthy.
at this point in this season, he is a glorified RB...you run the RB. If he could help himself by hitting open players, he wouldn't need to run. IF he isn't running the ball, why would we want him in there for say DG
I know why we are running Denard, he gets yards. However, we know his number of carries is not sustainable. If we put him out there to run 21 times and only pass 17 times, why not start running two QBs more to balance out the passing game? We have seen the toll the Big10 takes on Denard, might as well get Devin reps (not garbage time) since he will be needed. I guess the flip side is that we really don't know how well Devin is making his own reads and throws in live action.
exactly...I really want to see what DG can do
I think part of why we don't do that is that it might become obvious that when Denard comes into the game we're going to run him.
You keep calling him a glorified RB, which is an incredible insult. The guy just ran for 200 yds against a solid SDSU team and had a subpar day passing, but led his team to a convincing victory on a day the team didn't play very well overall. A win is a win. He will get better. Give him a break
Also, 4th game with a new offensive coordinator. Give it some time. Give Borges and Robinson a little more time to get acquainted and the game should slow down for Denard and Borges will become more familiar with his QB's capabilities and limitations.
I actually have a decent amount of confidence that they will get it together. It's a work in progress, and Al will eventually scheme to set up Denard for success. He just needs some confidence.
Defensively - wow. Great effort - nice to see the DL again. Great game by Jake Ryan. Ryan Van Bergen and Craig Roh.
... and Mike Martin, but perhaps thats come to be expected. He was eating their linemen all game
Fullback play was ugly; he alternated between whiffs and getting stuffed in the hole.
was how we came out right away firing on all cylinders on both sides of the football. After sluggish starts against Western, ND, and Eastern, I was afraid that the first quarter hangover was becoming a hallmark of Hoke's tenure. It was nice to see a 3-and-out and then a quick 14-0 lead.
Too bad we didn't have the killer instinct to go up 28-0 early in the 3rd to put the game basically out of reach. It was nice to have a cushion for when we stalled on O.
It's not killer enough when your QB starts throwing horrible passes to the other team? If they weren't trying to go for the kill, they would have just run the ball.
...killed us in the second quarter. Stalled all momentum and we didn't recover until the 4th. Our D was sharp and you could "hear the football" being played. Denard has a huge mental block throwing, and at times his recievers need to make plays (Im looking at you Koger). Other than that we are 4-0 and I feel good that be are close to putting it all together.
If I am not mistaken, Michigan ended up scoring a touchdown after that fumble right before the half so I think your overstating the importance of that fumble.
Maybe. I was wrong about Q2, Smith fumbled with 1:55 left in Q1. Up until that point we had been unstoppable. I thought that fumble slowed us down. We didn't score again until there was 1:15 left in Q2. Not saying Smith lost us the game, but that fumble slowed the train down.
Agree passing offense must improve. I love the option by Denard. I doubt it will be used often, but we'll get several more big plays from it this year.
Love the DL play (Roh, Martin, Van Bergen plus Ryan rushing the passer).
Denard can land the short ones, but he's pretty bad on the longer ones. Stick with what he's good at for now... Over time extend the pass plays 5-10 yards at a time. Big Ten play will just stack up on the run and force us to pass. Keep em short and sweet.
If Denard can't get the pass game down then it will be a tough Big Ten schedule. I agree on the higher percentage passes. Lloyd did the bubble screen and we've talked about it on this blog to some length. Get Denard's confidence back with the bubble and then take some shots down field.
...about the "Big Ten schedule." Currently we have 2 ranked teams left on this schedule. This is not the same Big Ten of the last few years. Do we need to improve? Yes. But can we compete without playing perfect this year? I would think so.
I've been quietly kicking this idea around in my head over the last week or so ... I always catch myself going "well things will be different in the B1G ... are we ready for the B1G?" Hm wait ... maybe entering the B1G schedule won't be like jumping up to the highest level of Tetris after all. Maybe we can continue to improve during that time & actually compete!
and as we speak, illinois is losing to wmu at half - this was the same illinois team that many were calling the 3rd best team in the B1G. we definitly have a giant wart - the passing game - but name one team without a giant deficiency (besides Wisc, who we dont play)? if our defense plays like they did today we will be in every game...comibne that with denard's legs and you have a dangerous combo.
but with that all being said...ugh, the passing game.
He missed the TE at least two times within 5 yards of the LOS. And didn't you see Brians hate on the WR bubble screens or the interception on the screen to Smith at Western. Unfortunately, for a QB throwing high, a screen has alot of potential of going horribly wrong.
I think they should do more of those go straight from the hand off to the throw and take the mental aspect out of it
The first passing play was way overthrown, and it was just a dump-off. There were a lot of short passes. And a lot of bad throws.
Brian hates tunnel screens, I believe. Bubble screens are okay.
I would like to see more play action, out of the I formation. I would also love to see some roll outs, out of the I. When we are in I formation, we are too predictable. Also, more Toussant please!
Defense looks much better, thank you Greg Mattison...
I liked the playaction out of the I, too. The defense is thinking run, and Denard's too fast to get caught from behind, so he can focus on what's in front of him.
It started out good in the first QTR but after the first half the offense went into hibernation mode. Borges better find some passing plays that DROB can excel at. B1G defenses are going to key on DROB running which may limit his yardage and cuase potential injuries. In future B1G games there are going to be open receivers and DROB going to have to throw to open the running game!
Overall the defense played well. I was thinking SDSU would score at least 28 on us, so there is hope our D may be improving enough to stop those B1G teams from scoring at will like in previous seasons. May enough improvement for the team to finish above .500 in B1G play. It would be great to finish at 9-3!
253 yards on 48 attempts with nothing beaten deep against a draftable QB. That doesn't seem bad to me. LSU's corners aren't walking through that door.
Agreed with what others said. I saw one bubble screen today and a nice screen to Vincent. Both were successful plays. Even if they get 5 yards, it's enough to make 2nd/3rd downs manageable. It's these types of plays that make the offense get in rhythm and stay consistent.
To me, it seems Borgess only goes hot/cold with Denard's running vs. deep balls. We need more in the middle until the offense gets in rhythm.
I do think Denard had at least 3 passes where his WRs should have caught the ball (2 by koger), and the tipped INT wasn't his fault either. His numbers would have looked much better with better help on those 4-5 passes (and i believe 2-3 of those would have resulted in first downs).
I have no problem taking shots down field, but only after you know the offense is capable of popping 4-5 yards in the event the big play doesn't work.
You saw a bubble? I must have missed it. I'm hoping Borges is just saving it for MSU, because we need it.
I believe in the 2nd Quarter we had 2 WR to the top and Denard threw to the outside man on a bubble that got about 4 yards. I could be wrong, maybe it was a tunnel screen. Either way, it was a solid 4 yards.
Has it occurred to anyone that defenses *know* Denard is reliable only at short range? Is it *maybe* possible that they're overplaying up front (to make shorter passes less available)?
Alright I'm going to say it. Someone needs to teach Denard Robinson how to throw a football or we are doomed. Once we hit the meat of our schedule, we will either lose the game or get him injured by running him too much. This is 2010 all over again as far as offense goes.
Defense? Looked awesome. I think part of that is improvement on our part and part of that is reminding the nation that SDSU plays in the Mountain West Conference...
Good: Jake Ryan, always around the football.
Bad: Denard's passing
Ugly: Denard's passing.
hurt his left ankle and did not play again. :-(
...downfield passing is Denard's glaring weakness. He's pretty good on the short routes and quick slants. I realize you have to try and keep the defense honest, but from a passing perspective we should play to Denard's strengths. I keep wanting to see that fake run up to the line then hitting Roundtree over the middle for the quick strike. We saw Dileo do that once today, but I think you can call that more than once a game.
Humble observations from an armchair quarterback. : )
He's not missing high difficulty passes. He's missing pretty much all passes. He looked awful today. I know there will be those that sugarcoat it on this board. But he had no business playing quarterback today as far as throwing the ball goes. Worst I remember seeing him play (throwing).
M had 320 yards rushing today; not exactly in the gutter
I agree with your take on Denard's passing, but what makes you think that Gardner is a viable option? Granted, we haven't seen DG play much, but nothing would seem to indicate that he's any more accurate than Denard.
Your first sentence is absurd enough to make me read no further.
Meet Tom Osborne.
Edit: I couldn't help reading more. You want to pull our one playmaker, the guy who represents 90% of the offense?
That's the beauty of college football. There are so many styles of offense that can work. Tom Osborne/Paul Johnson love running on 70%-80% of downs. June Jones/Mike Leach love passing on 70%-80% of downs.
I mean... forget it.
Yes, let's take out Denard! Victory will be ours!
Compared to what? The previous games, your expectations, the 1997 team? That was the best pass defense I can remember seeing from UM in years. There may have been some open receivers, but Lindley wasn't given much time by the the rush or so many easy throws by the coverage.
when you say the pass defense was bad. There wasn't a receiver all game that was extremely wide open. Many catches made by SDSU were contested, tough catches. DBs made deflections and good tackles. THEY HELD AN ABOVE AVERAGE OFFENSE TO 7 POINTS.
All of the other points are on. I don't see any progress yet in the throws that Denard has to make in this offense, and he didn't have to pass much today.
Give the defense major props today....for the first time in 4 years we are actually seeing them make substantial and visible progress on a game-to-game basis.
There were a couple close calls w/ SDSU recievers being open.
Anyway yes the defense is looking so much better than last year. When is the last time this defense allowed only 10 points in two games? Last year they couldn't hold an opponent to 10 points in a quarter.
Front four had a monster game. I bet that says as much about their OL as our DL but I'll take it. Good to see those guys make an impact.
I hold my breath when Denard drops back to pass. It's rough.
Good: Defense, particularly the passing defense. For the first time in long time I thought the front four got good pressure. The secondary played real well against the best QB M sees this season. Lindley will be on an NFL roster next season. Thought the Special Teams played a lot better today. Wile reached the end zone on kickoffs and had some nice punts.
Bad: Denard's passing. He was throwing more on a line this week but overthrowing the receivers.
Ugly: The 3rd quarter. 3 turn overs and a missed FG. This team can't rely on the defense to bail them out the way it did today in conference play. Ball security. I am sure Brady will be coaching them up on tuckibg the ball away when the hit is coming. As for Gibbons, atleast the kick was close.
another missed field goal!
Yeah, we need Wile to try some of these FG things. I think Hoke needs to separate from the whole "practicing well determines game time". He's said it before, there's State St players and Main St players. I think Gibbons has now shown he's not a gametime kicker.
" think Hoke needs to separate from the whole "practicing well determines game time"
Serious? So practicing poorly means game time?
How he still gets carries is a complete mystery to me. He's not very fast or agile, and for a really big back he gets very little yards after contact. Can anyone remember a time he's trucked anyone? Vincent Smith gets way more yards after contact than Hopkins. Oh yeah, and there is that whole fumbling issue.
I think the overthrows are more of a confidence issue for Denard and he should improve as the season progresses...still seems to be rushing without being fully set.
This is a game where it would have been nice to have Forcier spell him for a few series and mix up the passing game a little...could have been the difference between 28-7 and 42-7.
Overall I loved it, especially the D.
Outside of the 31 points we gave up to Notre Dame, we have held our opponents thus far to a whopping 20 total points. I think that's the biggest plus I take away from the season as it stands presently.
EDIT: Also, we are ranked and OSU is not. That is something we never would have conceived possible 8 months ago.
The world is returning to its natural order.
What I liked about the D today? They had one honestly horrible drive in the second half (that's not what I liked, wait for it) and then they came back and just stuffed SDSU for the rest of the game. Now the horrible drives are the exception instead of the rule.
As they should be.
Good: convincing win over a good team
Many of the points here are valid, but let's not - myself included - lose our ability to enjoy a good Michigan win.
The holes out of the I-Form are seldom there for the RB's and I think they did well today given that. But I have a major worry for what happens when we face a really good defensive front.
We did run for over 300 yards and 7.1 per carry right?
BTN production. Pretty terrible for a HS TV production class
we have to throw the ball downfield. borges is right to make those play calls... denard has made those throws in the past he just has to execute. passing near the line of scrimmage just allows the defense to pack the box.
we throw the ball to stretch the defense. it just needs to get executed.
Looks like Ellerbe is Yoda won the yardage contest.
More option plays with Denard, and less power runs with Denard. The option gives the defense another wrinkle in the offense to worry about and is one bad defensive read from Denard breaking into the open.
I think a Big Ten++ team is more likely to err on the side of covering Denard and leaving the pitch man open.
did I see an outside lateral to the trailing fullback in the 2nd half? I thought it was 1971 for a second.
So, let me get this straight. MIchigan gets a 28-7 victory over a team that knows their entire offensive playbook, and we're still worried about Borges' playcalling? My opinion is the same as it was three years ago; you have to trust the coaching staff to know what is going on and make the correct decisions.
I'm enjoying the fact that MIchigan is now 4-0, and will move up in the rankings another slot or two as teams ahead of them lose.
Does anyone even remember that some thought Michigan could easily lose this game? Or that they not only covered the spread, but doubled it? Congrats to Hoke, Mattison, and Borges on another excellent coaching job today.
Despite the fumble I'm loving me some Vincent Smith. On his touchdown run, should have been down at the three but managed to power his way into the end zone. Quickly becoming one of my favorite players.
at least 3 Denard over-throws, but I think M would have turned the corner on pass plays save for the drop, drop, drop problem (Koger, et alia). As the pass offense stalled, the predictability of the Denard run play began to draw diminishing returns in the 3rd quarter. I hope we can do something about the drop problem, including slippery fingers generating interceptions.
We all knew coming into this game that stopping ronnie hillman was the main focus for our defense. Selling out to slow down hillman opened up the passing game and they took advantage of it. The biggest reason we won this game was turnovers, I know it only counts as 3 but if you count the failed 4th down attempts they turned it over 6 times.
Offensive Playcalling 1st half. The coaches are learning. We suck with I formations and Denard under center. They didn 't break them out full time until the second half with a 3 TD lead.
Speed Option (!) Possibly the first ever Michigan speed option play gets taken to the house by Denard. They brought it out again and Denard pitched it for a first down. Correct reads both times.
Deffensive pressure on Lindley. From the preview, SDSU was supposed to have a pretty good offensive line. The D only got one sack, but alot of the bad throws were force by pressure on the QB.
Red Zone offense: Still perfect, fantastic fake handoff TD run by Denard and great run by Smith to seal the game
Denard passing. Regressed Mechanics, lack of experience in the pocket, new reads? All of the above? He did alright with the short routes and screens though.
Offensive Playcalling second half. Lloydball until SDSU scored the TD. I get that they want to work on the new stuff and probably didn't want to run up the score on their old team, but couldn't this have waited until the fourth quarter? This game was a fumble recovery away from being a one score game with tons of time left.
Hopkins. Rember when all our kick returners kept dropping the ball and inexplicably didn't lose their job? It seems like Hopkins is the new guy that can't hold onto the ball but inexplicably gets playing time.
Koger's hands. Tried to catch the ball with his chest twice today. Resulted in a dropped 1st down conversion and a deflection that was intercepted.
Field goal kicking. Still crap from beyond 25 yards until it proves otherwise.
Cam Gordon, Brandon Herron still no play? =(
I was surprised Cam didn't play more. I expected Ryan to get most of the snaps, but I thought Cam would be worked in some.
Denard wasn't great, but it's amazing how people don't mention the lack of help his receivers (Koger) aren't giving him much help when he has made some throws.
After fumbling today, I think Hopkins is done. For him to see the field on offense its going to have to be as a blocking fullback. Any carries will come in garbage time if the game is out of hand.
The missed field goal...AARRRRGGHHH!!!!
I'm erasing the 2nd half from memory and only remembering the 1st half. A win is a win and so its a great weekend to be a Wolverine.