agreed. Last year at this time, we were having shootouts with UMass and Indiana.
why this 5 - 0 is different to me
Not to take anything away from our win, but this Minnesota team may be the worst team we've seen the past 10 years.
indeed, this Minnesota team vs Delware State '09 would be one heck of an awful football game.
Minnesota in 2008 would like to have a word.
Also, Delaware St. and the 09 and 10 Indiana teams were embarassingly bad, our crummy defensive play just made the "Chappelbomb" look good.
I actually think Indiana would take this Minnesota team out to the woodshed.
But agreed with Delaware State. Maybe I should have said Minnesota was the worst FBS team we have played. Either way, this Minnesota team was just awful.
Minnesota 2008 is no where near as bad as Minnesota 2011. Minnesota went 7-6 in 2008 - not great, but better than this 2011 Minnesota team.
They also lost by multiple touchdowns at home to the worst UM team in history.
Did you watch Minnesota last week?
So your honest argument is that a 7-6 Minnesota team in 2008 was worse than this 2011 Minnesota team that is currently 1-4 and looking to go nowhere?
Would you be shocked to see this Minnesota team go 0-8 in the BigTen and finish 1-11? They have @Purdue then it is all downhill from there with Nebraska, Iowa, @MSU, Wisconsin, @Northwestern, Illinois.
This 2011 Minnesota team will be lucky to go 2-10.
How are they better than the 2008 Minnesota 7-6 team, and please don't base it off of a single game that the 2008 team played and ignoring the many losses that will most likely come for this 2011 Minnesota team.
2008 Minnesota went 4-0 against N. Illinois, Bowling Green, Montana St. and Florida Atlantic. They won unconvincingly against IU, Illini, and Purdue. Not exactly impressive. This season isnt over, and Kill is a better coach than Brewster.
Stop digging yourself a hole.
You are officially arguing that going "4-0 against N. Illinois, Bowling Green, Montana St. and Florida Atlantic" is worse than going 1-3 against North Dakota State, Miami of Ohio, USC, and New Mexico State.
Maybe Kill is a better coach than Brwester, but this 2011 Minnesota team that is currently 1-4 and could very well go 1-11 or 2-10 is no where near as good as a Minnesota team that went 7-6 in 2008.
I think it would be wise to admit you are wrong.
P.S. the 1 team that this 2011 Minnesota team has beaten is officially 0-4.
The past few years though, this isn't a shutout.
That's a huge difference in a game - defense.
Last year, this game would have been 65 - 21.
Each week, you can see a few guys getting better and better, especially the young guys. This team recruited talented defensive players, they just did a piss poor job of coaching them once they got here. Coaching and teaching is a huge part of what we see now.
I'm assuming you meant if Coach Rod was still the HC? I don't know if Minnesota would score 21 on a GERG-led defense, they are quite poor this year. Minnesota may be the worst in the Big Ten this year.
That's neither here nor there, however; great job by the team today, both players and coaches. Coach Hoke looks like he has the team going in the right direction.
Last year's Bowling Green team was horrendous. They were a bad MAC team to begin with and played us with their backup QB.
We didn't shut anyone out in Rich Rod's entire era. That's the difference.
Agree that we look better no matter who we are playing right now. As for how good, the next two weeks will give us the answer. Maybe our D is fairly good and all these other teams don't completely suck. The Gophers didn't look good, but they took USC to the wire at the Coliseum. SDSU was undefeated coming into that game.
Also, Western Michigan just beat UConn on the road today (and nearly won at Illinois last week). Alex Carder threw for 479 yards.
I think the fact that our Defense has improved EVERY week bodes very well for this team. I feel with the improvement of the offense I feel we can be a very dangerous team in the B1G!
By the way, I am starting to get a bit of a man crush for Big Will and the "Count"!
The way Countess has played the last 2 weeks, I would expect him to become just as good as D Warren. Though, it is possible that he becomes even better than that as he develops... maybe we can let him wear #2 in a couple years...
Countess is a player, as are Gardner & Shaw.
Good to see Roh back in form.
While it might be a while before he can settle a base bread and butter, after today I have infinite confidence in his ability to play a loki with a crazy bag of well called plays.
The shutout has me incredibly excited, and there's no denying that the defense is much improved. But I'm still of two minds about it. Consider:
-Last year we beat a BCS team in UConn (granted possibly the worst BCS team ever, second maybe to Pitt in 2004). It was a dominating performance, probably equivalent to the SDSU game this year.
-While we struggled with UMass, the Eastern game last year looked eerily similar to this year's edition. Instead of the D struggling it was the O.
-We beat a Western team with a hyped QB two years ago too
-The enigmatic Notre Dame
-Minnesota - Gray < Indiana + Chappell
I still think we're a much better team than last years...But I still don't think we've done enough to shake off the feeling of the last few years. I'm excited for B1G play, and for us to see what we're worth against a very good Persa-led Northwestern.
Last year we beat a BCS team in UConn (granted possibly the worst BCS team ever, second maybe to Pitt in 2004). It was a dominating performance, probably equivalent to the SDSU game this year.
RR's teams arguably peaked in week one all three years. In 2008, we took a Utah team that would finish 12-0 down the wire. In 2009, we led WMU 31-0 at halftime. Then in 2010 we dominated UConn. Problem was, we seemed to regress thereafter.
I've seen it tossed around, and up until now, it really fit. Today it goes much closer to the trash heap. Why?
Because if, in fact, "-Minnesota - Gray < Indiana + Chappell", then the scores of those games must be considered.
M vs Ind - Barely Win
M vs Minn - DEATH STRIKES YOU DOWN WITH BUT A SINGLE CUT OF HIS MERCILESS BLADE.
Our four biggest problems last year:
The kicking game
The red zone offense
All of those problems have been improved greatly this year.
No perfect red zone efficiency now :( Silly sportsmanship
Last year i felt week by week we were regressing and being exposed for our weakness..this year i feel we are getting better each week and seem to be clicking as a whole team
Every week seemed to get worse and more worrisome as the season went on. This team, while not great, seems to get better as time goes on.
Agreed. Every game last year I thought 'thank God we barely won that game, but next week... ugh, I don't want to think about that". Felt like we were surviving on luck more than skill.
I know feel like this team is going to get better and better each damn week and could have the slight chance to run our remaining schedule, though we haven't been on the road yet which I think is our last big test to clearly pinpoint how good this team is. I feel like this team has some swagger, but also the desire to win and to fight for that win all game long. I saw multiple times last year where the players just stopped giving their best because they didn't have confidence in their team and themselves.
Hoke's a smart, lovable guy who I can't help but love, even if he coached for a different team. He's a great motivator and knows how to interact with others, his biggest strength in my opinion. He lets Mattison and Borges do what they want for the most part it seems. Mattison is going to create an incredible defense soon. Borges, I'm still iffy but today he really, really turned me around. There is not one shread of doubt that this staff is top-to-bottom, the best staff we could ask for (in reality at least).
And Gorgeous Al. I have no doubt these are the best coordinators we have ever had.
This 5-0 is different...
Because it's a new year. New coaching staff. Different personel everywhere. Can we please stop comparing past years?
Not really, based on the fact that it's almost the exact same personnel.
The major difference, to me, is that the Big Ten appears to be way worse this year. Iowa looks worse, Purdue lookd worse, Ohio State looks worse, Michigan State looks worse. Minnesota is somehow worse. Northwestern is probably worse since Persa isn't 100%. Illinois may be better but Liuget dominated that game last year, as much as a defensive player can in a game where both teams score 60+.
With how bad the rest of the league looks, besides Nebraska/Wisconsin, the expecations should be at least 10 wins at this point. Put the same team in last year's schedule, and expectations probably drop to 7-8 wins. This should be a great opportunity for Michigan and Hoke to build up a lot more goodwill in the event next year doesn't go as well with a much tougher schedule.
It seems like as a whole the B1G is significantly less dangerous this year. On the other hand, as bad as Minnesota is I don't think our defense last year would have shut them out
Agreed, the improved secondary play and actually having depth across the board on D has been pretty huge. Minnesota probably gets a first half FG against last year's team and a cheap TD against the backups in the 2nd half.
....but as great as the playcalling was, and as well as we played, it seems to me that playing a Minnesota team that is less threatening than a baby seal with mono still leaves us with some tests to come. However, this 5-0 is different to me because I think we can compete and win games in the Big Ten we could not have last year, and it is because of some of the things we saw here once they opened the play book a bit.
What I see is improvement, particularly on the D, as the season progresses. This seemed to be lacking the last few years on the defensive side of the line. I look forward to huge gains on the D as Mattison continues to teach and gets the recruits he wants.
I'm still processing that we got several field goals. Eyes saw it, mind still won't accept it.
Going from memory, I think we had given up 127 pts after 5 games last year. It's a 76 pt improvement.
First time I can remember that Denard did not have to carry 75% of the offence. And he did NOT get beat up.
If we can carry this pattern forward, watch out Big 10!
Ann Arbor Pioneer HS should be added to the Big 10.
This season does feel different than the last 5-0 season. Defense is palpably better, kicking game is better, offense is effective and interesting more diverse.
Break the season down into three miniseasons:
Part 1: WMU, ND, EMU, SDSU - a bit of luck and sheer magic was involved in beating ND, but ND is arguably not that strong; our magic was stronger on that amazing night. WMU and EMU were outclassed. SDSU can play and would be competitive against the other teams in mini-season part 1. The defense still gave up a lot of yards, but with each game, it got tighter and more robust. It was also getting turnovers which were lacking over the last several seasons. The offense looked creaky and seemingly all the good stuff was from the same playbook of last year.
Part 2: incomplete, Minn, NW, MSU, Purdue - Minnesota is obviously not a strong team, but the complete domination suggests that the defense is really better, and the offense showed a lot of new looks, and plays AND the players executed them well. Did you notice that Kovacs wasn't a leading tackler in the Minn game? That is a strong positive sign.Last year, the team could beat other teams with a great offensive show, but DR would be 90% of that. Today, how many carries did he have? He passed well when he was asked to, but really didn't have to do that much - a really good sign. The defense made 3 and out stops regularly and pressured the QB without having to blitz. The next three games will decide the course of the season. Is the great upward trend on defense going to continue?
Part 3: to come, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, OSU - if the defense is in the middle of the pack in terms of scoring and rushing yards yielded, these are all competitive games.
LOL what poll had us losing to MINN..
Of value to add to this topic, but for some reason the word 'simular' in the OP made me smile.
Now it might not be a top defense. But last year we gave up 37 to FCS team UMass who finished 6-5 and 21 to BG who finished 2-10 (Kent State held BG to 6). That is 7 more than we have given up in our first 5 games.
Keep in mind that truly, our team is a veteran team; they haven't had the best experience, but most of this team has good experience.These men have been through the cauldron the past few years and are now being forged into a great team. With each game, my sense of anxiety -something I felt often with Coach Rod's teams- lessens. With each game I am convinced this team truly is a great team.
A great team.
Of course, we still have the meat of the Big Ten season ahead of us but I have not felt this good about a season for a few years.
With as much as the D has improved already the thing i am most excited about is Big Will. he had a couple of plays where he looked like a 5 star potential NFL dt. With this coaching i think he's just going to get more consistent and will be one of the best players on the defense by the end of the year.
We are better than last year, mostly because of the D. But I think the rest of the B1G sucking will help us win more games just as much as the progress we have made.
No question the weakness plays a big part. Who scares u? None of the teams we play. At this point I would be very disappointed if we don't get 4 more wins out the rest of our schedule. Both OSU and Nebraska are winnable. Purdue stinks. Sparty, northwestern, Illinois and Iowa are all winnable. Beat purdue, split OSU/Nebraska and split road games is minimum for me at this point.
WMU is a good team - should have beaten Illinois last week and they are hanging tough with UConn.
Notre Dame is good, they beat Sparty.
EMU is better than they've been in the past although they're still not good.
SDSU is good but I don't think they're near as good as they were last season.
Minnesota is probably the worst team we've played and not having Marquise Gray was a huge loss for them, they didn't complete a single 3rd down coversion.
I agree completely that the defense is the reason to believe this year's team is much better than the previous two 5-0 teams. The D-Line is starting to impose it's will, the linebackers look good with some minor issues to be squared away (Ryan not losing contain, Hawthorne doing better in pass coverage), and the secondary looks about a million times better than it looked last season.
This team looks very good for at least 8 wins. The next two games - both on the road - will tell us just how good we are. If we can roll into EL and pull out a win we have as good a shot as anybody at repping the Leaders (barf) in the B1G championship game.
It was impossible to say with a straight face that we could win the B1G following those near losses to lowly IU the past two years.
This team has the amount of upperclassmen we are typically used to seeing at Michigan. The last three didn't. That alone should bode well. When you add a weaker Sparty, Iowa, and Ohio into the mix, there is a lot of room for optimism.
you are missing the obvious. This team is strong with the fundamentals. No stupid penalties, defensive discipline takes away big plays and the offensive is just as good as last year ... just compare the number of 3 and outs this year vs. last.
we are better at fundamentals ... and that alone makes us a better team.
Yes, but that is part of Tater's point. Why do people say it is always better to have plenty of upperclassmen rather than Freshmen? Because upperclassmen usually have fewer dumb penalties, they have fewer mental mistakes, and they usually have better fundamentals. That is actually one of the easiest things to correct and work on...fundamentals. A freshman who is out of place often and tackles poorly will probably look a lot different in those two categories when they are juniors and seniors with plenty of games under their belt.
I was all for Rich and was disappointed to see him fired because I felt like he didn't get his fair shake. I'm saying this though so you understand I didn't hate him.
We had three years for fundamentals on defense and they never came. The freshmen and sophomores last year didn't posses any solid tackling skills or angles at all. Open space was a nightmare and coverage was unbearable to watch. If those sophomores had two years to learn fundamentals, where was it at?
This team learned how to tackle in open space and in general, how to take angles (Ryan Van Bergen chased down Ronnie Hillman last week!), how to cover properly, etc. This staff did that in half a year what the last staff couldn't. Not only that, but they have the intelligence (and I hate to insult the last staff, but many baffling things happened) to hide their weaknesses such the secondary with blitzing. Experience definitely helps but only takes you so far. In the end, the coaches weren't teaching or stressing the necessary points of the players to improve. Week to week this team is getting better and it's not because of an extra year in the system but a new attitude and coaching.
I never saw Will Campbell destroy an offensive linemen for the near-miss sack like today. That is improvement in my opinion.
my math is off, but giving up 51 points after 5 games is more than a 20 point improvement. We gave up 10 to UConn, 24 to ND, 37 to UMass, 21 to Bowling Green and 35 to Indiana. That's 72 to Indiana and Umass alone. We're giving up 15 ppg less
God, I hope this team is for real. Today felt pretty good. Got home in time to catch that pillow fight between ohio and sparty. Those teams look awful. Cousins seems like he has reached his peak. NW next week should be telling.
OT: Sparty gets a bye next week, helpful or not for the michigan game?
because Michigan will actually be ranked in the top 10 to 20 in a heck of a lot of defensive categories after this week.
Somewhere, GERG is cuddling his stuffed beaver.
Is our defense had to get better than it was last year and it has.
Guys had a year to improve. All of those freshmen and sophomores that were out there last year are now more experienced, had a year to learn and to get themselves fit at a college level. Its just simple logic. They would have been better no matter what but....
They advanced further because we have better defensive coaches. Everyone just looks solid this year. I'm not dreading 3rd and 15s this year. I don't get scared when I see a running back or a wide receiver in the open field, because I know someone is going to bring him down. The last two weeks have looked like a completely different team than even the one that took the field the first three weeks.
And today the offense looked like I thought it would - maybe even...better? TWO QBs?!? Borges is crazy! - had RR stayed around. If Denard can throw like he did today, our offense will be fine no matter who we play.
We destroyed a team today. Minnesota may be a terrible team, but it's been a while since we just dominated a team from start to finish. Even games like Eastern that ended up 31-3 had moments where you shook your head in frustration. This looked like a Top Ten team downing a cupcake and casually tossing the wrapper away.
PPG allowed through first 5 games
Ppg forced through first 5 games:
There's the difference for me.
real simple the D. Also we have a really good coaching staff.GO BLUE!!!
In 3 years under RR we kept teams to single digits only four times. Hoke has already did this 3 times in just 5 games.
I wouldn't start in on the koolaid just yet fellas. 4 of your 5 games were against such powerhouses as W.Mich, EMich, MinnyMouseU and SDSU. Better slow the engines down a bit, I think I see an Iceberg in the water up ahead.
WMU now 3-2, W today over UCONN.
EMU now 3-2, W today over Akron. (Okay, Akron sucks hard, but still a winning record).
ND now 4-1, W today over Purdue. (Okay, Purdue sucks hard, but... eh. I'll leave this one off).
SDSU off this week, but was 3-1.
So that's 4 out of 5 opponents with winning Conference and OOC records.Powerhouses? No. Solid competition. Yup.
ND's got two Ls, don't they!
Western Michigan, San Diego State, and Notre Dame are all good teams. Eastern Michigan looks bad because of the past couple seasons, but they're certainely getting better and aren't as bad as Minnesota is (who is just bad).
Are those teams world beaters? No, none of them were even ranked. But those are solid teams who we dominated for the most part. Western Michigan was about to become a blood bath in the second half and Notre Dame was obviously a close game. Those were also our first two games were offensive production was lackluster and our defense was just coming into their own. This team has improved significantly in that little bit of time to brough the pieces together to form a solid team.
I think we win our divison, or at least place second if we can play decently on the road. Next week is our last big challenge to see if this team can keep it together in enemy territory.
One thing to consider: Minnesota is a team whose coach went down twice in the past few weeks with a pretty significant illness during his first year rebuilding a program. But he didn't quit, even though his team had a tough day.
So I wish them well as they progress in their season.
The team is just fundametally better. Better tackling. WAY better coverage. Like someone said above, 3rd and 15 is a prelude to a punt, not a prelude to an aneurism anymore. The team is improving whereas we felt like we were an ok team waiting to be exposed each of the last 2 years (which we ultimately were). Couple this with a bad, bad big ten and there's definite cause for optimism this year
Why does it feel different? Because I'm not afraid of what's to come.
It feels different, because before ANY BigTen team that we played in past years I thought..."this will be a shoot out and we may lose". Before the Minnesota game I knew the odds were that we would blow them out. I haven't had that feeling in years.
Because they just laid down a whooping on a B10 team
A total ass-kicking
Under the prior regime, the team struggled with the likes of Indiana and Illinois. Let's see how they do against MSU.
I'm just glad Michigan doesn't have to play Wisconsin this year
Northwestern on the road next week will be a good measuring stick. Northwestern took Illinois to the wire on the road. If we beat Northwestern 8-4 is probably the bottom with a real chance at 10-2.