"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
VIDEO: Highlights and Postgame
I know it is "coach speak" but I like how he is challenging the defense to still get better. "We didn't tackle worth a dog." What were you pleased with? "Gibbons..." There were others but that was his first response to the question.
Agree with ILL_Legel completely. After watching the whole game the last thing I would have thought Hoke would mention first that he was pleased with was "Brendan Gibbons".
Each time Gibbons kicked I kept thinking ,"Why was this so hard to do a few years ago?"
Gibbons had not yet discovered brunette girls on the beach.....seriously, the difference between success and failure was in his head. Hoke, or someone else, was able to get him past that and now we have a kicker who can get us points from FG's.
After missing a FG and your head coach says in the press conference, "Well.....it makes it very hard when we can't kick a field goal," the kid is likely going to struggle. But our kicking pre 2011 was just like every other non-offensive part of the team.....an unrefined abomination.
Kicking is probably more "mental" than any other position outside of QB.
Rich Rod flat out blamed losses on Gibbons, a young freshman.
Watch Hoke after EVERY kick, make or miss he's encouraging Gibby and getting him ready for the next one. He was pretty fired up after Gibbons' first make (which wasn't an easy kick) and his miss was on line, just 6" short.
Between Rich Rod and Tony Gibson (who was the special teams coach), Gibbons didn't have a shot to be successful when he was being called out and blamed. It is the one part of the RR regime that burns me the most --- you don't blame a loss on ANY one player or embarass a player in front of the team, you just don't do that...EVER. Not for something they did on the field.
If Gibbons had gotten a DUI and you wanted to make an example of him - fine. But not a FG kicker for missing FGs.
I am disappointed that we still have not been able to get yards from a RB on the ground.
The good news is, we have a lot of young OLineman to improve this for next year.
Remember the running game last year came around the 7th game last year. It will be okay
Everytime Toussaint ran toward the line it looked like then skipped sideways and not attack head on. After much of that I was screaming for our "angry" RB Rawls. When Rawls came in he attacked, broke tackles and grinded out yards.
Was this Rawls or a weakened defense at this point?
Rawls runs angry and definitely should've seen time earlier...BUT...BUT...I think the coaches were desperately trying get Fitz on track. So I can't blame them for leaving him in and giving him so many touches.
He definitely danced too much, but the biggest problem was there were too many zone-read calls. Now, I say that knowing that the objective and there WEREN'T too many when Denard went off like he did. But in terms of getting Fitz the ball, there were too many.
Denard only hands the ball off if his option isn't open...he doesn't hand it because Fitz has an option open. So really that play is more 75% Denard and 25% Fitz rather than a 50/50 read. I'm sure there are times where Denard kept the ball, where he could've given it and Fitz would've had a big run.
With that said, we need more designed runs for Fitz. What about that delayed counter that ND and MSU run so much? What about the HB dive play that Brandon Minor used to run and run over people with?
We run so much zone read and option plays where those aren't RB plays, those are QB plays first and foremost.
That's the "problem." But if Denard is being Denard it's hard to say we should've done something different --- remember, he had a shitty game in his last outing too so we had to get him on track just as much if not more than Fitz.
we will struggle against MSU if our only weapon is Denard. Still, we must feel much better about our chances after yesterday.
A large part of the issue is that Fitz has one less blocker than Denard has. And I'm not convinced that Rawls does any better yesterday. But maybe more Rawls as a more punishing change of pace?
trust and encouragement are the main contributors to Gibbons' restored confidence. Brunette girls on the beach notwithstanding.
to get this win. I love the coaching staff. Besides the hangover,I feel great.. Just a great weekend, so far.. Thanks for posting.
This is the Michigan team i expected to see. We are not a great team, but we are a good team that can play great. We are getting there. Hat's off to both Al and Greg. I thought both gameplans were well conceived.
That game was a good building block toward the sparty game. Illinois this coming weekend will be the same. I am starting to feel comfortable about said sparty game after this performance and sparty's. Still, we can use the practice that Illinois will bring. Bo Blue!
I have been pleasantly surprised with the defense minus the pass rush. It really makes me wonder about recruiting. I'm sure with a large enough sample size the numbers play out in terms of success playing with 4 & 5-star recruits versus 3 & 4-star guys. But, when you look at our defense right now a guy like Ryan who seems like our best defender was not that highly ranked. And, a guy like BWC, who hasn't played poorly, but as a 5-star is certainly underachieving. It just makes me wonder what makes a guy a good player. I know recruiting gets caught up in numbers like height, weight, speed, etc. But, it seems like instincts are what makes a guy good, not numbers on a page.
I think recruiting rankings can't really properly evaluate something that is key to how a player pans out: individual work ethic.
Just like instinct, some players just have it and others don't. This is the reason someone like a 2-star J.J. Watt can come in to Wisconsin at like 230 lbs and then turn into an NFL draft pick.
I just don't think there is any way to reliably predict work ethic, as you don't know how all the players will react to their adjustments in college, the status they get, the distractions, etc.
If I watched the press conference without having watched the game, I'm pretty certain I would have thought we lost.
I like the way rawls runs.
Did you see the Alabama game? I understand that everyone's getting impatient with Fitz, but he would have probably looked good against Purdue's backups too.