This is maaaaybe premature there, ESPN. Maryland #1 FWIW.
It hasn't snowed yet in Ann Arbor. (good chance we wake up to a few inches after tonight).
Each time we didn't score a TD from within the ten, Denard was out of the game. The offense was rolling.
The defense and Gibbons were both great tonight. Defense would have given up less points but the offense pretty much gave Nebraska great field position every time. Denard's injury is the main concern right now. If Denard is healthy, we could probably win the next 3 before Ohio State.
We win this game with Denard. Hopefully Denard is fine. Nebraska still has to play MSU and PSU. They need to lose one of them if we win out or both if we lose to Ohio.
This offense is still a square peg in a round hole.
And in 2008 and 2009 it was a fucking round peg in a square hole. FML get it straight michigan.
What I want to know is why Borges can't get any WRs really open? Are the WRs just that bad that even with the treat of DR the DBs can easily cover Michigans receivers?
Because our QBs can't read the field...
Denard is good enough at reading the field. He has a tendency to throw behind his WR's, though, and that's been his biggest issue. Other than square peg, etc.
Bellomy... RS freshman gonna RS freshman.
I don't know if you're a ticketholder, but if you are, watch our routes develop downfield. Denard will to go to the pre-determined first read on the vast majority of his deep throws. The safety will read his eyes and come over, often leaving another wideout completely uncovered. This is the main reason why we almost never get deep separation. If he could learn to look off his receivers and then go to them, he'd be much, much more effective. (This may of course raise questions about Borges as our QB coach. I'm actually more concerned about him there than I am about him as our OC.)
We don't have a great deal of speed at WR IMO. Gallon is fast but not tall. If Stonum hadn't been a moron he'd be our deep threat WR this season, but we really don't have a burner at WR.
and if stonum were here, dg would be the backkup qb and we wouldn't have seen bellomy tonight
RichRod is basking with a fine scotch and nacho dip right now. For both reasons.
I really think other than Bellomy, this game was totally on the coaches, mainly Borges. I've just about had it with Borges' conservative play calling, and he did nothing to mold around the style of play that Bellomy could work with. Running Fitz out of the shotgun worked maybe once the entire game and the rest of the carries, he ended up running parallel to the o-line and lost four yards. It truly looked like the offense in Rich Rod's first seaon with Sheridan and Threet running the offense. All I can say now is, I'm scared for the offense next season without Denard.
Maybe the common denominator there isn't poor play calling, but rather the lack of talented qb play.
You want the OC to be aggressive and tailor the whole offense to a freshmen QB in three quarters after working on an entirely different gameplan all week?
Doesn't work like that in real life.
On the first INT, Gallon had a few steps on the defender with the safety trying to come over to cover. Throw it deep and to the outside and only Gallon can catch it. Underthrow it, and a play with an open receiver turns into an INT.
He also missed a couple of gimmes to the flat. Compound this with a couple of drops and you get DEATH.
Bellomy completed one of his three passes near the sidelines scared the hell out of me. You like to see a nice rope of a pass thrown on these side line passes. His throw had so much loft and air under it. And then the under thrown interception had no zip on it. I really question if the kid has the arm strength to be viable backup option down the road. After last night, i am starting to think we need a 2nd qb in next years class with shane.
All I want to know is how we can have a run first qb with past injury issues and a known problem with his elbow and have no credible backup if he gets hurt. How the hell is this possible? If Borges is so oblivious that he somehow thought Bellamy was ready if Denard went down I actually have more of an issue with his eyesight than his play calling.
I'm all for criticizing Borges for his play calling and some of his decisions, but if moving Gardner to WR was soley on Borges, then Hoke should be fired for incompetence. No way does the OC make a decision like that on his own, and the ultimate decision had to reside with Hoke. I'm sure they realized it was a gamble, but let's not pretend this was a decision made by just the OC.
This is a much more general point, but if I were a coach/OC, I'd throw deep almost every time I had single coverage. That rarely ends in interceptions, and I swear I'm seeing more defensive PI called than ever before. Those are high reward, low risk, high mean yardage plays.
Why is Oregon State - Washington not on TV?
I think even with denard in this would have been a tough game, but winnable especially with the defense playing like they have.
This is a combination of issues, but the lack of audibles is getting to the point the of unbelievability.
Not sure if it's borges playcalling, a lack of comprehension or ability on the part of Denard, or just a side effect of the super-super slow offensive style that leaves almost no time on the clock to audible if they wanted to.
But when I know it will be a run play, and when Nebraska's defense knows it is a run play and tells you so, and you still don't even consider changing the play even though they are stuffing you every time - there is something wrong.
After watching Bellomy today, I think even if we win out this year (will depend on Denard coming back and playing well), I have no real hope for a stong season next year. We lose Lewan and our only passing/and or running threat, to be replaced with a talented but untested true freshman.
I agree....I'm starting to get really worried with Borges at the helm. He might be saddled with a less than talented O-line and WR's but you'd think he could get Denard comfortable with calling an audible. If not, I'm just shocked that a SR QB can't look at a stacked box and call for a quick pass to the flat or any other audible.
Give us something, please!
The D tackled and pursued very well, right up to the point the inept offense allowed Nebraska to wear them down. Seriously thought they were good and hung in there, hoding Nebraska to 23 should win you some games if your offense is in tact.
I can now say I've seen a 1 in 1,000,000 interception
Refs realized their horrible mistake in calling a late hit on Michigan early in the 2nd half, by making the worst pass interference call of the year on the only Bellamy drive with a pulse. Thanks guys that was nice to get our hopes up like that.
In the first half, Nebraska had one good drive, never got much further than midfield on three others, and then on their final drive the D forced a fumble to give Bellomy the ball in Nebraska territory right before halftime.
In the 2nd half they picked off a pass on the opening possession. One drive started at our 4 yard line and the D held them to a field goal attempt. Another started at our 39 and NU gained 5 yards and kicked another field goal. NU had one decent drive for a field goal, and another where Roh pushed them out of field goal range only to see an interception on the first snap end all hope.
Three huge stops to keep the team in the game and only 2 scoring drives. You can't play D much better under the circumstances.
I don't like using 'ifs' when it comes to sports but jaysus, I feel I could call a better game than Borges ATM. Clearly, running Denard/Fitz out of the shotgun with the same read play over and over isn't working, so call something else.
Live by the sword, die by the sword. Open up the playbook and let Denard go to work. I'm tired of this conservative approach. Our D is good enough to keep the O in the game but it's not good enough to win the game for us. We need something from the other side of the ball.
SORT IT THE FUCK OUT.
His drive that ended up with the INT on the attempt to Gardner actually had more production.
Whoever stopped bribing the refs should be fired. They were unstoppable.
I am disappointed in not taking time outs on the last defensive series. I realize Bellomy had been a disaster, but I really hate the message of simply giving up with more than five minutes to go and a 14 point deficit. A fluke TD, get the onside kick... Obviously coming back was really unlikely, but a head coach at Michigan should never give up in a game.
I agree. Are we that worried about possibly losing by 21 instead of 14? If you're gonna go down, go down fighting.
What would timeouts have accomplished? The D was gassed and at that point Nebraska was running at will, picking up first downs without even considering throwing. Timeouts don't change that.
It would have accomplished giving us a chance to win, just like he said. However small it may have been.
Which, wasn't going to happen. Nebraska gained 56 yards on that last drive. Without attempting a pass. Calling a timeout doesn't do anything.
It does two things, both of which the person you originally responded to made clear: (1) it gives us a chance to win the football game, no matter how small, and (2) it sends a message to the team that we will fight to the end no matter what.
On a drive in which Nebraska gained 5 first downs, without throwing a pass, gives Michigan a chance to win a game they trail by two touchdowns?
I can agree with the "Sending a message" but that's about it.
A better chance than not calling the timeouts.
Giving up doesn't seem very "Michigan".
I think people should realize Denards injury has probably been an issue all year and part of the conservative play calling this year has been to protect him from injury.
Nobody will ever be happy with play calling around here though. You throw too much against bama, people cry fro denard's legs. You run too much, they say air it out. He throws 5 ints, they say throw bubble screens. They play conservative to protect the ball, they say this is boring. You lose the starting QB and they say why can't the OC get recovers open.
Maybe mgoblog should just takeover play calling. Use the live blog or something, then text the play to Borges..
Here is the problem with Borges:
Denard went down with about 5 minutes left in the first half. Michigan had scored 3 points. At that point, Michigan had not scored a touchdown in over 5 quarters. Now, this is what other teams did in their first 25 minutes against Nebraska:
Southern Miss: 14 points
UCLA: 17 points
Wisconsin: 20 points
Ohio State: 21 points
Northwestern: 7 points
So comparing our game against Nebraska with their past performances against teams with a pulse, Al Borges managed to coordinate a gameplan that would rank us dead last.
making it to the Big Ten Championship game.
Nebraska can easily lose to MSU and PSU. We just need to beat the bad teams on our schedule and hope Denard stays healthy against Ohio.
This did not put the title game out of reach, it just made it more difficult.
This is sounding familiar, minus the defense bit.
I'm getting a bit tired of the " against good defenses, our offense has trouble " line.
Maybe ... maybe it's because the defenses are good?
I'm starting to wonder too but players also gotta make plays. I don't think Borges planned on Denard fumbling inside the ND 10 yd line. I don't think Borges planned on Denard completely under throwing Funchess on the lob. I don't think Borgess thought Denard would miss a wide open Gallon in the endzone. How many dropped pass were there tonight? And most of those were easy, easy catches.
that's why you have to run run run with denard. borges actually had some decent misdirection plays early with gallon. that's a good wrinkle that can keep defenders home.
we were significantly outgaining and outpossessing Neb when denard got hurt. and we were on the verge of finally getting a TD. 10 pts and nearly 200 yds isn't terrible. and this team struggles when denard's # passes approach or exceed his # of runs.
i actually even liked zone read play action passes he did early. another good wrinkle. guys were open. receivers just dropped the ball.
his playcalling when bellamy came in was terrible. do they really practice bellomy running the zone read and option plays? i would think he would be practicing "pro style" when he gets his reps. he should have max-protected for bellomy immediately, knowing Neb would blitz the hell out of the kid. but no.
i would love for hoke to bring loeffler back home despite his struggles with his current team.
ND #2 scoring defense in the country
MSU #11 scoring, #5 total
yeah. Hey, maybe our offense isn't that good. Maybe against really good defenses, they might have problems.
I don't disagree that there has been a dropoff, but to say that we had the #2 offense in the country in 2010 is cherry-picking. In terms of scoring offense, we were not that highly ranked - we were in the 20's. We scored slightly more points per game in 2011 than in '10.
Anyhow, we need to let this year play out before we jump off the ledge. Last year at this time our offense went through midseason troubles as well.
Maybe it's the loss of the best center on the land, a big play WR, a veteran tight end that can block and catch (as opposed to two tight ends that seem to only be able to do one of those), another SR OL, and a great 4 yr starting WR.
Maybe you could say the coaches should be able to elevate the replacements, but the fact is that while some of them are serviceable and have their moments, this offense is just not as talanted.
except that OSU hung 60+ on Nebraska and even though Denard wasn;t injured, we weren't exactly tearing it up before he went out.
I think ND and MSU may deserve a pass. No one is scoring many points on them
Even 0-8 Southern Miss put up 20 points on Nebraska. We weren't on pace for that, even with Denard. My snowflake: look at Borges' history. His offenses have regressed at every stop, and he has never sustained success anywhere. He was unemployed for a year, and landed in the Mountain West after being in the SEC. There's a reason why he isn't highly pursued, versus Mattison, for example. And considering Meyer's success at each stop and the fact that his team (in his first year) hung 60 on Nebraska, I am very concerned if the Brandon/Hoke long-term plan is to win 12-10 slugfests (with a slow motion two-minute drill) as a matter of course.
please tell me they have better receivers, better o-linemen, a faster more-experienced and better passing QB.
(Edit) Posted my gripes in the wrong thread.....nothing to see here.
be obvious by now our receiving corp is just not very good or dangerous and are pretty easy to defend. They run so so routes at best. The fact that Chesson and Darboh haven't broken into this lineup is a little troubling.
But does Borges even have a hot route when the D is blitzing?
Roy Roundtree put up over 1,300 yards and 10 TD in his first 1.5 or so seasons here at Michigan. In the 1.5 or so seasons since then he's put up 530 yards and 3 TD (and it isn't like he's lost yardage to other guys who are being more productive). Denard Robinson was a 60+% passer back then as well and threw interceptions at a much lower rate.
Somehow those two got much easier to defend the last two seasons.
I won't bother to pull all the numbers like I have in the past, but Borges' QBs have more often than not failed to achieve 60%. It somewhat feels like Hollywood, where even though a director's movies have done poorly for the most part, the fact that others have hired him allows him to keep getting hired.
I don't really think anyone can blame the coaching staff for what happened tonight. Bellomy just isn't good and it showed big time. You could argue that Gardner should've been put in, but he probably hasn't taken enough QB reps in practice. Remember that the coaches have already stated that Bellomy is the qb for emergency situations, but they would "re-evaluate" the qbs if they knew Denard wouldn't be able to play.
I thought we were moving the ball extremely well with Denard. It just makes it hurt even more, because I think we win this game with ease if we had Denard.
Bellamy - cut him a break - he is a redshirt freshman.
I agree ... he's a redshirt freshman, he was thrust into a tough situation, and his receivers did nothing to help him build confidence early.
He was clearly rattled ... the look in his eyes indicated he was enduring his own personal internal hell during much of that. Yes, he gets some of the blame for that. But not all of it.
but that's why he should been pulled immediately when he airmailed the simplest pass play in the book. whether it was nerves or just like of ability, a coach has to see that and get him the hell out of there. then look to gardner or even kennedy for a prayer.
I mean this for honest conversation. Has anyone ever seen a worse performance by a Division I quarterback than what Bellomy did tonight? The numbers are there, sure: 3/16 with three interceptions. But his arm strength looked so pathetic, that it seemed impossible for a pass to make its mark. Ive never seen a Michigan quarterback's ball flutter and arc like that. He lacked poise.
Has anyone ever seen a worse QB performance at the Division I level?
I cannot imagine a scenario in which Bellomy is a capable QB for this team. There hasn't even been a glimmer to this point. I felt so bad for this kid. He shouldn't have been out there.
If I accept your premise, then it's a damning indictment of this coaching staff for recruiting him in the first place.
I've got a hunch the kid has more to his game than we saw tonight. I think he was just badly rattled. The coaches probably have him on supervised watch tonight to make sure he doesn't cycle into complete despair.
You can only lose so much confidence until you're in papa grande territory psychologically: the point of no return. That man is mentally incapable of pitching another game for the Tigers. I can't imagine how Bellomy could have the necessary confidence to perform at the level expected at Michigan after that.
That's not how it works. At all.
Soldiers lose battles and fight again. Atheletes lose and play again. People get dumped and love again. People get over these things because that's life. Most people go through the fire and get stronger. Everyone else just gets along. It takes someone incredibly fragile to break like your describing. Otherwise, how could Denard ever play again after that god awful game against ND?
that's an empty sentimental statement that is easily as big an assumption as the one the op made.
life isn't all roses and fairy wings.
No shit. It's an admittedly florid way to deal with the mundane process people use to deal with adversity. What, you think most people suffer a setback at something they never had a chance at and fold? Nope. Life doesn't work that way either.
I don't really know what "most people" do in response to adversity. "Life" doesn't work in any way. It's different for everyone.
The OP had an especially doomsday prediction for RB, but it could be true. To brush it aside b/c "life doesn't work like that" is as meaningful as brushing it aside b/c "I said so."
No, not really. That's not philosophy: that's pretty much fact. How many athletes do you see retire because their confidence is shot after they lose a game? Not many.
You may argue with how I made my point, but the point is pretty much a fundamental basis of human nature. You try something, youi're not very good at it, you keep doing it, you get better at it. That's literally the nature of "learning." It's pretty much the building blocks of human experience.
I'm not saying Bellomy is going to be a legend, if that's your problem. But if you take a kid just out of lawschool and put him front of the Supreme Court, he's probably going to be humiliated. That's nt because he's worthless, he's just in over his head.
The basic point is, indicting Bellomy because he couldn't step up to a situation like this is laughable. I'm not going to argue the point any more. It's pretty simple.
I'll rely on the psychology canon rather than your assertion of "how it works." People's self-efficacy is mainly a function of "mastery experiences" or performing a task successfully. Failing to adequately deal with a task weakens self-efficacy. Bellomy has yet to experience any success in a college game. It's damaging to a guy's self-confidence to only experience failure, which is all he's done on the field this year. You need some successful experiences to prove to yourself that you can do it. Poor Bellomy just doesn't have that.
I can't imagine how Bellomy could have the necessary confidence to perform at the level expected at Michigan after that.
Whoa there . . . I think you are overlooking that 1) Lincoln is a difficult place to play under any circumstances, and particularly at night and 2) he was thrust in there mid game - our gameplan was not designed around him. If you want to see a comparable performance, watch the Illinois game again and see how O'Toole did replacing Scheelhaas - and O'Toole has much more experience than Bellomy does. (And yes, there have been Michigan QBs who had awful debuts. John Navarre was absolutely brutal in the 2000 UCLA game, and he had a good running game (A-Train) to help him out, whereas our ground game got absolutely nothing without Denard yesterday.)
no. navarre tore up two non-conference teams before UCLA; his first road game. yes, he was terrible in that game, but we at least scored some points and still had a chance to win until his fumble deep in UCLA territory late in the game.
He's also not a guy with the kind of recruiting pedigree where you can totally expect him to be good, even as an upperclassman.
To me the indictment is watching him play/practice and then just looking at Devin Gardner in pads and deciding there could ever be a situation where playing the former instead of the latter would be a good idea.
Yes - multiple Threet or Sheridan games...
Steve Smith 3/18 with 3 INT, 39 Yards
At least Steve Smith could run though.
What's more, Smith was the starting QB, running an offense designed around him. Bellomy was a midgame replacement running an offense designed around Denard Robinson.
Short answer? Yes.
Do you watch football? When an NFL second-string QB has to go in, it's almost never pretty. The same goes for most college second-string QBs against real opposition.
Bellomy has never seen a meaningful snap against real opposition, and you're ready to brand him the worst QB ever? He has RBs who haven't amde meaningful gains all year and WRs who drop balls like they butter their gloves and it's the freshman's fault?
I knew we lost when Denard didn't come back. Ease of the kid, that's all I ask.
Relax, dude. I asked if anyone had ever seen a D-I QB put out as poor a showing as Bellomy did last night. I don't watch a ton of football outside of Michigan, but I've never seen a QB look so bad before. Backup (sometimes true freshman) QBs at lesser schools usually seem somewhat competent.
They dropped some early passes from Denard too.
Didn't you read the other thread? It's all Al's fault.
Did Sheridan have a game as bad as Bellomy did today ever? I looked back at game logs and by a #'s standpoint I didn't see any.
I guess I just wish DG had a chance to play QB today...we all know he wants to prove something!
This is a grass is always greener situation. If Devin had come in and bombed the board would be screaming for Bellamy and why didnt the coaches evaluate that Bellamy is better than Devin. It's why backup QBs who dont play are the most popular player in sports.
DG showed little but the ability to scramble in his 2 years of mop up time. His passes were erratic and obviously he hasnt shown the coaches enough to be a backup QB. If so you dont move that player to another position no matter the situation at that position. QB is the most valuable asset in team sports.
I have read an hour worth of these threads and I see a lot of revisionist attitude towards Gardners play the past 2 years. In limited action he showed little other than running ability. That said I would have taken that tonight over the sh** show that was Bellamy - at least he could improvise with the run with his athleticism. But it doesnt seem like the coaches believe he is a long term answer or he wouldnt be running post routes for a living.
The coaches brought Gardner into multiple games last year at QB, regularly removing Denard from the lineup entirely or shifting him to WR. They talked up his ability to throw it downfield and even brought him in early in the ND game to throw a pass on a trick play. If he hadn't shown the coaches enough to even be the back-up QB then everything they did with that QB switcheroo shit last year was batshit crazy.
I would honestly love to know when Bellomy has ever looked like a player who could physically play the QB position to this coaching staff. Gardner is a super athlete, has had success at the QB position in games (Illinois last year), and Bellomy was completely eating his balls out there. We got the ball down 7 in the 4th quarter. At that point, Bellomy had led the offense to ONE!!! yard of total offense in 6 possessions. We ran him back out there, Borges decided it was time to unleash the dragon, and the kid lobbed a pick down the sideline into a crowded defensive backfield.
This isn't a case of the grass appearing greener. This is a case where a pile of wet dog shit spread all over the lawn would have amounted to an improvement and we didn't even let our big Rottweiler into the yard to try and squeeze one out.
and near side safety (I believe) on the stop & go, and the far-side safety was desperately trying to come over to cover.
Bellomy missed where the ball should have been placed by about 10 yards. At least. You go look up "Couldn't hit the broad side of the barn" in the dictionary, and you'll see that throw. Not only was it horribly underthrown, it also wasn't placed outside where the converging safety couldn't get to it.
No, Sheridan never played this poorly. And that was with a makeshift offensive line and Indiana skill position players.
We have a makeshift O-Line now...along with Indiana level skill players. Rich Rod didn't leave the cubbards stocked, I hate to tell you this.
People want to believe this is worse than it is. A freshman backup seeing his first real challenge is never going to win a game like this. It's sickening to be on the kid's case.
I agree that it doesn't do any good to rip on the kid, or pose questions like "is Bellomy the worst QB ever at Michigan?"
However, I think there is a legitimate question as to whether Bellomy can play football at the B1G level. He is not particularly big or fast and has shown poor arm strength, abominable inaccuracy, and questionable decision-making. Yes he is a freshman, but he is a redshirt freshman--meaning he has been in the program as long as a sophomore.
If RR left the cupboards bare, how'd Michigan go 11-2 last year?
He has taken an unranked Arizona team that won 3 games last year, and put up 39 points against USC in a win (eclipsing all of the points Lloyd Carr's teams put up against USC in two Rose Bowls), and 48 against Stanford in his first season. Make-shift O-line? Are you telling me that Michigan's O-line is worse than the OL of Southern Miss, Northwestern, etc. (all of whom had more offensive success against Nebraska)? A good OC with our talent, including the probably the best dual threat QB to ever play college football, could do so much. There is a reason (actually, many reasons) why other college football teams are not trying to replicate the WCO of Al Borges.
Sheridan had his share of clunkers. Against PSU he went 3-9 for 5 yards . . . he averaged 0.6 YPA! Against Northwestern he was 8-29 for 61 yards. It has happened before.
Why did the original poster get 2 down arrows? I thought those were good points all.
Look let's compare to the "old days"
Michigan almost always had a stud RB. We have not had one in years. Chris Perry probably was the last one. That used to be bread and butter for UM.
Michigan has since the Carter years always had 1 "special" WR - we don't have that on this year's team and one could argue have not had one since Braylon went to the NFL.
The O-line was expected to be adequate and not a strength. That seems pretty accurate.
The D-line was expected to be a weakness with the loss of the only true playmakers of the defense last year. Frankly I think they have overachieved with some nice young talent and veterans doing ok. Jake Ryan is a revelation.
The LBs were expected to be meh and we're all just counting down the days for the 2012 and 2013 classes to mature. So far I like what I see in the 2012 class of frosh and even the veterans have done ok.
The secondary was supposed to be led by a guy who got injured in the first game of the year. He was a sophmore - that says a lot about the talent.
So look at the talent on the field. The offense is a 1 man show. Fitz has been a major disappointment - a ghost. Last year the offense was best when Fitz offset DRob. Now its a lot like 2010 when its DRob or nothing, with less talent at WR than in 2010. And a worse offensive line in many ways than 2010.
The defense is young with a super cool coordinator who overachieved last year with the same core as 2010's dreadful mess, and in my estimate is overachieving this year. Granted we have played no super offenses as the Big 10 is dreadful but it is what it is. There is talent being infused on defense and a coordinator we can trust to coach it. Can't say that for the OC.
You live and die by your QB - this team more than any other really. The entire offense is DRob it really is. There are no playmakers at WR or RB - not like the old days or some players you see in the SEC or Pac 10. There is no Manningham, Terrel, Alexander, Edwards. Same for the RBs - you get the point.
Hoke overachieved last year - we'll take it. I was thinking 8-4 would be a good year this year. But the Big 10 is so bad, 9-3 is very plausible. Next year we are in a situation as we dont have the QB talent. Either a frosh QB is going to be playing or Bellomy. Gardner is not going to be the answer - he is an "athlete" who the coaches have not deemed good enough to retain at backup QB for SOME reason we will surely never know. So let's get thru next year and hope somewhere out there a stud WR and RB emerge, and Shane is what we think Shane will be. The defense already you can see the young talent emerging and we should be fine there.
But I think this is one of the most rational posts of the night.
People see 11-2 and certain returning starters and assume progress.
But some key cogs from last season are gone and the improved opposition + playing on the road has taken its toll.
I think Brandon Minor, had he been healthy, would have been a stud RB.
I don't think it is a coincidence that great, highly sought out coaches like Mattison turn out to lead parts of the team that overachieve. And, unfortunately, I don't see any reason to think Borges' offense will turn out any different than his other, underachieving offenses.
What were you expecting with Bellomy? I mean he was either going to go to Purdue and tear ACLs for 5 years or come to Michigan and maybe play. When Denard put that coat on, that was the game. We played two pretty good defenses the past two weeks, so I'm not going to freak out.
I love Denard as a person and a player, but I am looking forward to the development of our pro-style offense where our QB isn't exposed to hits consistently, leaving us helpless when he is injured. I too am worried about the lack of top flight talent being recruited at WR/RB and other skill positions - hope that becomes a priority.
Ohio looks good. I don't want to say great, because their defense is questionable and I still don't believe Braxton can throw it, but they look very good. It will be a tough game on the road, but we have to beat a good team on the road one day right?
Nebraska is not a good D, they are a good O. With that said, our D shut them down for the most part and our O shit the bed completely. OSU hung 60+ on Nebraska, UCLA (36), Wisky (27), NW (28)......their D is not good by any stretch.
Make mine a double....post, that is.
Michigan's offense has one major issue: ineffective Offensive Line play.
So many people in here go on and on about Borges, but the issue is very simple. Michigan's offensive line is NOT controlling the line of scrimmage. Last year, Michigan's OL was good, not great, but good. This year, not so much. People in here are blaming Borges, saying he's calling terrible plays, and saying that Fitz suddenly forgot how to play RB.
Borges isn't calling bad plays, he's calling plays that SHOULD be Michigan's bread and butter. He's calling playing that last year spung Fitz for 1,000 yards. It's hard to run an effective offensive scheme when your OL cannot block your base running play effectively as EVERYTHING you do comes from the ability to block that play effectively the majority of the time. Last season, especially later in the season, the OL was able to effectively block the zone read, and Fitz got off, Denard got off, and everything worked off of that. This year, not so much.
Bottomline, it's near IMPOSSIBLE for an offensive football team to have consistent success with below average OL play.
I am no OC, but from what I've seen from Michigan's offense, they're running a lot of stretch plays. Last year, the stretch was blocked well, and Fitz was able to gash the opposition. This year, however, it's not blocked well, and that quick cut up field that Fitz was so good at, just isn't there. I don't see any success between the tackles either, except for Denard on a few occassions. To my eye, it's a OL issue.
I want to say that they've tried to run quite a bit of inside zone this year as well, and whereas the creases were open last year quite often, there has been a relative lack of success with the same play this year. Part of that definitely is the offensive line just not blocking quite as well as last year, but I wonder sometimes if it is also the case that Fitz just doesn't get the read on the MLB (or the DT - I know there are variations on the play), or if indeed the issues with blocking make that read more difficult.
The O-line has been a little inconsistent. But I think the main problem is that defenses do not need to respect our passing game, and that's on the WRs and QBs.
To what do you attribute the regression in OL play? This is another very disconcerting development.
Hand the ball off and run behind Lewan 30 times a game. Problem solved.
Is that you Lloyd?
Why has our offense regressed? We lost David Molk, Junior Hemingway, Mark Huyge, and Martavious Odoms (who didn't even play most of the season) and that's it. Before this game, I wasn't sure if the offense had regressed, but it's undeniable. Alabama, Notre Dame and MSU are elite defenses. But to only put 6 points up on Nebraska at the half is shameful. Even winless Southern Miss managed 20 against them.
What happened to us? I mean, what happened to us in the first half, before Denard got injured?
Molk was kne of the best centers in the country. Huge loss that impacts the run and pass games.
Hemmingway was by far our best receiver and denard's safety blanket.
That's why we regressed.
Edit: double post.
Edit: double post. Itchy trigger finger.
And Fitz can't move forward most of the time, and Denard is understandably super cautious. And from what I can see, the blocking has sucked. I did see Hoke bark at Coach Jackson last night - I would be pissed, too, if I was him. Why do we have all these backs if never use them?
Considering your user name, I would have thought you would have researched Al's history. It is the story of regression:
UCLA - 5 years - regression (peak was year two or three)
Cal - 1 year - whole staff fired
Indiana - 2 years under Gerry DiNardo (awful)
Auburn - 4 years - regression (peak was year one, with first round draft picks QB Jason Campbell, RB Ronnie Brown, and RB Cadillac Williams on roster; steady regression after year one)
2008 - unemployed
Even Ryan Lindley at San Diego State never reached a 58% completion rate under Borges.
History isn't a perfect guide to the future, but why should we be expecting anything but regression under Borges?
The coaches are throwing Denard under the bus. Claiming he has a "cut," now some sort of mythical "nerve damage," as he sits there with a jacket on not doing anything. The coaches and their flat out lying about injury reports (i.e. "he'll be back") is getting ridiculous and downright embarassing. If you lose a game because you told the truth about an injury, you never deserved to win in the first place.
Does the player deserve to be hurt?
The NFL mandates injury reports to appease gamblers, which are a big reason the NFL exists. The NCAA doesn't feel the need to appease gamblers and there isn't really a need for the average fan to know who is injured.
They're protecting Denard from being targeted in the future. Do you really want other defenses to know the exact injury Denard has?
This board ripped RR from stem to stern because of his foolish, misplaced loyality to a defense coach friend of his (Gibson). Will we do the same if Hoke "stands by his man" in Borges?
As much as he love to rip Borges he works for Hoke. The buck does stop there.
As for the back-up quarterback situation, I';ve read just about every post-game thread on the board, and I'm with those who think we should expect more from a back-up. Some people are cutting Bellomy some slack. I don't blame him; his coach didn't have him ready. I guess you could hope this would happen during the Minnesota game, but you have to be ready for it to happen in the Ohio State game, or the Big Ten Championshiop game. Last week, Braxton Miller went down, and their back up came in and finished the job competently. Maybe he didn't make any big plays, but he was competent. Hoke says, Fergodssakes, this is Michigan. Exactly. Why don't we have a back up QB who can play at a competent back up level? This is on Borges.
I just don't see all the Borges hate (at least not in his capacity as OC, before the Denard injury). Yeah the first three and out was frustrating, but he seemed to finally find the balance between the air it out all the time approach of the ND game and the run, run, run approach. He ran play action off of our best plays to counter the defense keying on the run. We were a questionable replay overturn from a huge gain to put us in the red zone and were in the red zone when Denard went down. You can argue he didn't put Bellomy in a position to succeed, and he definitely deserves some blame for not having the backup ready to go as the QB coach, but you don't really know how a guy is going to handle a pressure situation for the first time.
Hard to score when your QB can't run or throw. That being said if Denard comes back healthy the rest of the season then Michigan still has a good shot at the legends division title. MSU has a good chance of beating Nebraska. Michigan has a good chance of winning the remaining games on the schedule. The OSU game is the remainig game that worries me the most. OSU could be playing for a undefeated season and Michigan playing for chance to earn a rose bowl bid.
Before DRob went down it looked like the offensive game plan was working. We would've won the game had he been okay, but that's the risk with run-first QBs. Also, you can't blame Borges for those WRs. They are so bad it makes you want to slap your mamma. That position needs a makeover. Treadwell...come on down!!!
Good Defense though.
Meanwhile, Arizona's offense looked good against USC...This offense is going to create a countless number of threads like this the rest of the time Denard cannot play QB. I have said it before and will say it again: As soon as Denards gone, people will begin bitching about how bad the offense is just like before the basketball on grass era and it is already happening.
Yeah however the same guy whose offense lit up SC is a big reason why this offense is so bad. O-line recruiting was a wasteland under Rodriguez and it's showing.
1. Borges is not on the same plane as Mattison. It is almost embarassing to have Borges at the same level as Mattison on our coaching staff. We can easily say, 'wait and see what Borges can do when he gets his type of QB,' but I think his inability to get his currrent offense accross the goal line in 3 out of 7 games this season speaks volumes about his ability, and does not bode well for any future offense. Mattison's defenses have progressed. Borges' offense has regressed both in season and across seasons.
2. I do not think we will beat Ohio, and I think we will likely not beat Northwestern. Ohio is clearly the better team, and Miller is clearly the better playing, better coached QB. That guy will give us real trouble for the next couple of years, if he holds up. He's a beast. This year, in Ohio, he's gonna destroy us.
3. Next year is looking more and more dim in terms of our offense, unless some changes are made personnel wise or skill wise. The former is improbable at the coaching level because of Hoke's relationship with Borges and improbable at the player level because of our weak QB roster. The latter is simply lacking in evidence given the last 2 years.
Transitions, especially coming out of the a program's lowest point, take time. They talent is returning, especially in the trenches. Last year set the bar for performance in a transition period unrealistically high.
I agree with all that you said, except the talent point. You can't deny that Denard is very talented. The issue is that he's just not Borges' sort of talented. Yet, I think that given the amount of of talent we have on offense, it has still underperformed. I love Hoke and Mattison, but I fear the offense will typically underperform under Borges, even when he has 'his' players. There will be a good year here and there, but I fear that he will always hold back, in terms of overall team performance, what Mattison and Hoke, our defensive staff, could really do.
Agreed, and unfortunately, I think the only time in the past decade that Borges has managed to "coach" a QB to a 60+% completion rate was when he inherited two first round draft picks at RB and a first round draft pick at QB. Should that occur at Michigan,yes, Borges might be able to not screw that up. How often, though, can we expect to have a full backfield of first round picks, and might we want a coach who can succeed with slightly less than once in a decade (or more) talent? Somehow, the talent he had at Cal, Indiana, the rest of his years at Auburn, etc., etc. were not sufficiently his type of talent. I don't see how this works out well for us.
I am standing on my position that nearly everything that we're seeing from this offense -- or not seeing, as it were -- is due to the lack of OL effectiveness. Last season, when Fitz dominated several games, and became a factor, it opened everything up for Borges and Denard. This year, he's yet to have any significant impact. He didn't suddenly forget how to run. His "dancing" is due to being met at or near the mesh point by opposing players. He's got no room to run, where as last season he had plenty of room.
Yes, Denard is very talented, and I think he's shown a great deal of improvement in the pocket. But, when you cannot run the ball with your RB effectively, and every team that you're playing is keying on stopping Denard from running, it's tough sledding. If, when Michigan has an elite OL, the offense is still pedestrian, I'll be there with you asking for another OC. But, to me that hasn't happened yet. Last year's OL was conference average, at best, and this year's is well below average. As I have said repeatedly, it's nearly impossible to scheme around a weak OL -- you have no foundation, no identity, and it's hard to get anything accomplished.
I ain't even that mad. Did anyone think we were good enough to beat Nebraska with our third best quarterback? Hosesntly if someone had told you that Bellamy would play most of the game what result would you have predicted?
I wonder if Sheridan ever visits Mgoblog?...and if he realizes that his name is used as an adjective to describe poor QB play? Ex: Sheridan-esque performance. That poor guy is lambasted around here, deservedly so, but I still feel kind of bad for the guy.
We'll see if Bellomy delivers multiple performances like the one last night, before we can start using his name as an adjective. :)
honestly, i wish sheridan could have been a grad assistant or something during this transition; helping to coach the zone read, etc. i bet he becomes a solid coach down the line.