Does denard look to be the starter because he has progressed so much of where forcier was last season, or forcier has regressed?
if you seek an image of the most Wisconsin OL ever, enter here
Does denard look to be the starter because he has progressed so much of where forcier was last season, or forcier has regressed?
i think Robinson had more poise and decided to take off (or try to) when the throw required was too small of a window. forcier keeps trying to fit it in. led to 2-3 near picks. i would not be surprised if RR put both guys into the backfield and had Denard take handoffs, throw or go out for passes. it would require defenses to key in on two different people and make it a very viable threat of who's going where to do what.
again, forcier may have had an off day. all i'm saying is DRob made GREAT reads with little to no DONTDOTHATOMG moments. hell, the only time i saw RR get on him was when he lofted a pass (on target) rather than throw it. also he seemed to be able to whip the ball with ease where forcier actually looked like he had to push it to make the ball have some zip. once it looked like he threw his arm out bc he had to muscle it to make it get there in time.
The having confidence taking off instead of forcing it thing should also tip in DRob's favor considering he's a WAY bigger threat when he does take off than Forcier. Don't get me wrong, Tate can scramble pretty nicely when need be, but Denard in the open field = scary.
For those who watched the game (I'm waiting until 8pm), how has our defensive formation looked? Different? Or similar to what we saw last year?
Did our offense stretch the field? Were the corners challenged? Did the LBs fill gaps, or read the plays better or worse than last year?
Thanks for the info. Finishing middle of the pack would be a great step forward for the defense and I would be more than pleased if that was true. Some MgoBlogers have mentioned that the D has looked decent against the run, including other reports I have read from practice it seemed as though this is a theme.
Should I PANIC that the Oline may not be running on all cylinders or trust that the LB is improved?
Is that they are experienced talent can only get you so far. I'm sorry but when you said "If Gerg can't make it work this year, RR will need to look for another coordinator, because we definitely have the talent to play better on D." I lold especially with a Lot of key guts not playing (woolfolk and Martin) and no freshman that could EE.
I would give gerg at least another year if rr gets one
full disclosure: i'm someone who has to read Brian's graphs and explanations to develop my understanding of zones and reads, etc. visually, the defense didn't look much different. the line looked improved but in terms of how it LOOKED, as in "does it visually look much different than 4-3 etc" it seemed similar. which means guys arent wandering around lost and are making coverage, which is good.
offense tried to stretch the field at times with limited success. Defense did a great job of sniffing out bubble screens and options, most notably during a no-gainer where the guy was swallowed alive and on forcier's fumble (TAKE THE SACK OR THROW IT AWAY).
my biggest concern going in was the line because of the loss of graham. in my opinion we're "fine"
Again, thanks. See above. Also, being "fine" on defense should allow everyone to breathe easier. A middle of the road defense allows us to win games against BGSU, Uconn, UMass, Purdue, Illi, and a great chance at ND, and MSU.
Did denard make any passes down field that made you trust that ability?
several of them. the 97 yarder was 20+ yards down the field when he threw it. he also had a couple 20-30 yard throws. i don't know if he is the guy to have throw the hail mary per se but he made throws consistent with the ones he made against Iowa (ignoring that game's awful INT pass) if not better
I know I'm rehashing 50% of the comments, but Denard really looked much improved. Overall, he looked like a play-maker. He looked comfortable, composed, and and far more mature than last fall. Perhaps this shouldn't be a surprise, but it was surprising to witness. Tate looked much like he did last year. He didn't look nearly as comfortable as I would have imagined, which is a bit concerning. Of course this is just spring and things will change by the fall, but as it stood today, I would not be surprised (indeed, I would expect) Denard to be our starter.
The offense looked decent as a whole. Cox, Toussaint, and Hopkins all looked promising. Roundtree looked great too. It was tough for me to judge the defense, other than their ability to play well against the run and put pressure on Tate.
We'll have our problems in the fall, but I think overall we'll be a much better team than last year.
Were we able to successfully run the zone read?
There were a couple of sloppy exchanges (with DG and Tate in at QB), and the tailback play was unspectacular, in general, but the zone read looked pretty smooth for the most part. The most encouraging thing was Denard's seeming comfort running it, especially with him not having the green light to run it at all last season. He seemed to make the right decisions for the most part and his exchanges were smooth.
likely was the reason DRob looked so good
Not only did we run the zone read fairly well (though I often can't tell if the right decision is made), but several times I had no idea who had the ball and even a couple of times followed the play only to realize that I was looking in the wrong direction. I don't recall that ever happening last year (which really stuck out at me watching Illinois since Juice disguised the direction of the play very well). If that continues (and it happened with both main QBs, though I think more with DRob), that alone should improve the offense dramatically.
How did Shoelace do running the read-option play?
Overall, I'm not sure if I was disappointed or encouraged by what I saw. Denard is worlds better than last year and *based on today only* looks like he should, by far, be the starter next year. DG had flashes of athleticism but definitely isn't ready. Tate looked a lot worse than I thought and it was disappointing to see him have such an off day.
My biggest concern was that we didn't show much option at all. The only pitch play was a disastrous fumble on the pitch by Tate, but Denard did well on a few run-reads - also, his pocket presence was fantastic and the OL bought him enough time to go through his reads.
The special teams were horrible outside of a few good kicks, but Hagerup isn't here yet so I'm sure the punting part of that equation will be much better this fall.
The defense didn't stand out as being great or awful - they had a lot of good stops but got burned several times, most notably by Denard. Overall though, decent day for them as well. The linemen on both sides had their moments, but I'd say the DL played slightly better.
If I had to make a win prediction right now (and please remember I'm basing this on what I've seen on ONE day that probably isn't terribly significant), I'd say 6-7 with a cap of 8. Unfortunately, I feel like we just didn't look SHARP today, although several players look like they're vastly improved and the defense didn't get toyed with the way it did in last year's spring game.
That said, the coaches weren't using the whole playbook of course, so we'll see a clearer picture come August.
the Denard we all saw running the offense last year is gone. he showed tremendous touch on some seam routes, ran the option excellently a few times and didn't come close to turning it over. he's your spring game MVP & most improved by 10 miles
Just got back from the game, and while you seem to have all gotten the blow by blow pretty well (great job Geaux_Blue!) I took some notes at the game on the whole experience, and here's what I thought. (With the caveat that it was one afternoon in one of the least important Spring Practices with a whole Fall to go).
First, attendance was lower, but the weather was BAD. I saw snowflakes walking to the Stadium.
I looked all through the M parking lot prior to the Alumni Game (which actually had an exciting end) for an MGoTailgate, and even walked around the Stadium at the beginning to see if I could find any Brian like substances, but nada. I mean, they were there, I'm sure, but nowhere I could find. (Might have to really PLAN one next year that doesn't involve Brian being a host, or maybe an August MGoGetTogether at some bar in town...maybe the weekend before the first game, for those that don't want to be COMPLETELY anonymous).
As I said earlier, Musical Theater National Anthem singers - very cute.
Kick game, atrocious. Punting game, worse. As was said, when Tate has your best punt...things to fix in the Fall.
Devin might be the best pure QB we have, but his lack of playbook comfort (he hesitates out there on plays at times), and his freshman-itis will probably keep him off the field, and maybe redshirting. But he has the tools, is big, quick, and probably the best arm on the team. He keeps it together, he WILL be good. I'm not sure if he doesn't keep progressing, that he might not be the emergency back-up...left on the bench to redshirt even if spot duty comes up, but if there's a season ending injury, he might take over. If he has a good Fall.
I was one of the ones who thought Denard shouldn't get in at QB barring emergency at all last year, he was so unpolished, and definitely in Brian's camp of I'll believe it when I see it re: the Spring reports. But Denard looked leaps and bounds better...and if they were to play tomorrow, I'd say he's your starter. Better decisions, ran more plays, threw the ball better, and really RAN the ball (not ran one running play). We're a world away from deciding, but Denard looked to majorly improved...and Tate looked about the same. He didn't look worse. He just still looked like a freshman (which technically, he is).
The QB play might be a little tainted by the fact that there were too many dropped passes...but then, probably too many injuries at the Receiver position too.
As was said, no RB really stood out over the others. Though Hopkins is a truck.
In the feel good world, they said $120,000 was raised for Mott's. They got my $20.
Am I the only one that felt the offense moved the ball at will last year?
By comparison, the defense looked like world beaters this year.
I love Robinson, Gallon, and Roundtree.
the offense as promised was totally vanilla. That absolutely favors Denard over Tate who needs more pass packages and protection to do really well in this environment. Also: even if he's no better than last Fall, the defense got ripped apart in the previous Spring Game. They were a far more worthy opponent this time out.
have only been reading this thread (haven't watched it yet)... can anyone comment on how this game went in relation to recruiting. we had a number of stellar recruits there (or were at least planning to). any insight as to how the game turned out and how it may have benefited, or hurt, our recruiting of those recruits in attendance?... recruit. (sorry just had to say it for the thirtieth time)... recruit. just curious, and thank you MGoNation!!!!
That cannot be Denard Robinson. Denard completed more passes to the defense last year than to his own teammates. That guy out there today with the dreads and the red number could compete for trophies. The QB position hasn't been this stacked since Brady/Henson.
Gardner looked like a freshman. I'll say this--he is big. With his big loping strides it doesn't look like he is moving that fast, but those big legs gobble up yardage quick. Every time he throws I'm thinking it could be a pick six though. Think Denard Robinson last year and be patient.
The defense was definitely more equipped to slow down Tate than Denard today---but they didn't do a particularly good job of that either. Aside from one bad drive with a lousy pitch and loaf of bread carrying style Tate looked pretty good too. Another year of X-box football. This year they're going to win more of them than they lose.
In a Vincent Smith free world Cox is my favorite RB. Shifty he is. Hopkins looks like a nice blunt battering ram as well. Roundtree my favorite WR.
Besides the absence of Woolfolk & Martin, and the basic question of the defense looking bad when it may be the offense playing well, or vice versa, I wonder if not being able to tackle the QB makes it difficult for the D to fully go after other tackles. For those of you who know (i.e., players, coaches and ex-players), wouldn't it be a bit tricky to turn the full-gauge attack off and on while still trying to learn the defense and read the offense?
He had a couple good routes/catches. One nice jump ball thrown by Devin to him but it was well defended by Rogers (I think). I am still worried about our secondary after today. Some breakdowns after some scrambling. Kovacs also provided himself as a crumbling road block to a Minor Raging Hopkins two plays in a row, which was entertaining.