I'm not 'inside' but maybe Denard wants to try it as a traditional qb and see if he can make a case to stay at that position in the NFL.
I'm not saying it would work but maybe that's what he's committed to doing.
Why wasn't Denard utilized as a runner?
I'm not 'inside' but maybe Denard wants to try it as a traditional qb and see if he can make a case to stay at that position in the NFL.
Denard plays QB for Michigan, period.
Borges' play calling was awful... it's not about what Denard "wants for his NFL career"
I would say that, Bama may be the best college team since USC in the early 00's. What can you do? As for Denard, I am glad they didnt run him, they would have had to sell him for scrap parts after the game if they had.
Yeah because look at how many of our guys who did carry the ball were carted off the field. *insert snarky smiley here*
But he wasn't protected in the third quarter. His legs got us into second and manageable. So throw in the white towel because e might get hurt? You are giving ammo to the " it was dumb to schedule this game" crowd with that line of reasoning. If you are afraid to do what is required to win u shouldn't play the game
Alabama made the playcalling of every single OC look awful last year, and will probably do the same this year.
Err... Denard will not be a QB at the next level. Any intimation of that is purely drug induced.
Why put lipstick on a pig. No one, thought Michigan had a chance going into the game. Winning or losing it doesn't effect the team's stated goal of winning the Big Ten. Therefore they seemed to come up with a game plan keep him healthy for the big ten season. Unfortunately that game plan went to shit after 1st Q and we were forced to try and pass our way back. Denard's chuck and pray didn't work like it has against less talented defenses.
Outplayed and out coached. It happens. I has a sad panda.
Pardon my swearing, but what the fuck were we doing scheduling that game if we weren't trying to win it? And was countess covering punts because we were "giving up?". I am as mystified as the OP.
They weren't not trying to win. They just weren't willing to risk their biggest asset bysmashing him into the Alabama D time after time in the first game of the season.
If it's against Ohio State everything is different.
Because Dave Brandon liked the 'wow' factor. UM facing a big name opponent on a neutral field in prime time to start the season.
It why Brandon is crying about the UConn game but scheduled a game at Utah. Utah's stadium isn't much bigger than UConn but the Utah game has a 'wow' factor - thursday night game to kick off the college football season.
Losing Denard in a game which we were clearly overmatched, yes, that would ruin our whole season.
Oh BS... I thought we could win, absolutely, especially if we scored first.
Borges probably didn't run Robinson for fear of season injury vs that defense... but boy what a dumbfuck playcall.
Even if Denard ran the ball more, we still would have lost. The score may have been closer, but at what expense? Denard's health? Be happy that more guys didn't get hurt. If anything, I think we should have challenged them more in the deep passing game.
Bottom line, this is only Hoke's second year. Give him a couple more years to recruit the player's that fit his system, and then we won't have to put all the pressure on one player.
it actually was important to not lose that game like we lost it. OK, we weren't going to win but we needed to compete. A loss like that can have a lasting effect and can actually have an effect on recruiting and perception of the program. We got a nice 3 and out to begin the game and Denard should have ran the ball on that first series to establish that we could move the ball and at least, shorten the game. Granted he should not have ran the ball 35 times or anything, but he was criminally underutilized, especially early. There really is no defending the game plan, or lack thereof, by Borges, to make that game competitive. I am not saying to fire the guy or anything and that was pathetic.
That loss is not going to affect recruiting. The guys that are going to come are not going to de-commit because of the game. Even if we show better it is not going to make a recruit we are not in on change his mind. No impact on recruiting.
The reality is Alabama is more talented team and they were definitely more ready to play which makes sense because they play big games like that all of the time. Our team will be ready to play for big games now. A great learning experience even though it hurt to watch.
don't think you can say that going into the heart of Texas and getting Andy Dufrained on national TV won't have any effect on recruiting. If you are a recruit watching that game there is no way to come away from seriously doubting the competence of the Michigan coaching staff. I'm sorry, but I were a big time football recruit, (which I am so painfully not), seeing that presentation last night does very little to push me into going blue.
he'll stay committed after a game like that - if not, then he was probably not solid to begin with.
Clemson got destroyed in last year's bowl game and is recruiting really well.
know what you are talking about, flat out. A regular respectable loss would be fine, but this wasn't that. No, our current recruits are fine, but when your goal, as ours clearly is, is to go the the elite athletes all over the country and actually compete against the Bama and LSU's of the country for certain guys, getting beat down and outclassed on national TV hurts those chances. In this national tiitle era and the nationalization of the game, the best athletes will even more so go to where they think they can win the NC.
Actually, I disagree. I said leading into the game that Borges had to break tendency and come out throwing to get Bama's D off balance -- at least as much as possible. It was there, Denard hit Devin on a nice play action slant...drop/broken up. Same for second and third downs. The plan, IMO, was to short pass early, loosen them up, then when they adjust, try to run Denard more. Problem was, Tree et. al. couldn't hold on to the ball for the most part. Now what. As Herbie said, Bama wasn't blitz happy like MSU was, they were containing Denard and playing a cover 2 robber in the back. With a D like that you don't need to take risks. The entire plan came down to Denard's accuracy and the WR's hands. They failed. No way Borges was going to use Denard like a battering ram vs that D -- I for one am very glad he didn't.
I thought Denard passed better than expected, but our WR's were as woefully out matched as or DL was against their OL. The first INT was a perfect illustration of this fact. Tree was decleated into Bama's bench by a phsyical CB and it led to an INT. Bad pass? Maybe. But you wouldn't think a Sr. WR would be so easily shoved out of the play. I thought it was close to PI, but it wasn't called. Oh well.
Bottom line for me was that Borges had one shot to even keep it close -- Denard passing early. He tried, and the team failed. He was only sacked once IIRC, and showed some arm strength. Even the check down run seemed to be suicide -- especially with the way Bama's played seemed to lead with thier head (not bitching, just saying it was quite obvious). Hard to beat a D that has that much size, speed, and depth at every position.
Is that you?
i just hope Countess, and Lewan will be healthy come Notre Dame.
I guess I'm just such a Denard homer, I hate to see his running and playmaking potiential wasted in his last season for the maize and blue.
Say Borges gives Denard 30 carries, how many yards do you think he would have gained against an Alabama defense that had eight months to prepare for him and with no threat of a playmaker like Fitz at TB? 75? 90 (he averaged 2.7 with a long of 9)? How would that have made any difference? Michigan gained more yards and scored more points last night than Alabama's 2011 SEC opponent average.
I agree with you 100%
Alabama took away the run the entire game by running qb contains. If he decided to run their defense was in good position to make a play.
Kirk Herbsteit's parrot.
I hate this argument. So because we all know how good Bama is on defense going in and we had no Fitz, we just ASSUME we will not be sucessful running the ball? Denard had ONE designed run the first half, and spent the rest of the time throwing into NFL sized passing lanes from the pocket. Anyone who has watched him every day should have ASSSUMED that would be a disaster, and it was.
Yes we probably still would have lost but would you rather lose trying what you excel at, or lose not trying that and instead trying what you've never excelled at?
You are factoring sacks. I can't remember a single run where he gained less than 3 yards. Borges crapped the bed. He gave the best runner in the country two carries in the 1H, one for a first down and one TD. Denards running was our only chance to win and Borges took it away.
2012 is a new year, you can't go off of last year's stats on a defense that lost 7 starters in my opinion. Yes, Bama recruits well but it's a new year with new players.
He got hurt once because he acted like an idiot and threw his throwing shoulder into a 200 lb. guy running at full speed. I won't fault him for diving for a first down, but that INT return was a stupid move on Denard's part.
Yeah, but man. That was such a sick hit. Obviously it was not in anyones best interest, and in hindsight I would have rather just given up the pick 6. But man. He nearly knocked Milliner out cold!
He did? I could have sworn Milliner spun off and was ready to run more if his foot didn't slip on the turf...
To me it looked like Milliner's leg went out from the blow... but what the hell do I know?
edit: yeah, looking at it again his toe definitely slips on the turf and not from the hit. Carry on.
Like the few others have said, because they need to keep him healthy. If we rushed him 15-20 times, not only would we still have lost by 3 TD's, but then there's a chance for him to take some nasty shots
All valid points, helping me see Borges in a little better of a light. I just hope we smash Air Force, and Denard runs crazy and healthy the rest of the season.
You don't not run your best runner in a huge showcase for your program because you are getting ready for the B1G season. If a coach did that, he should be fired. I'm not saying that Borges did that or that anyone should be fired, but not running Denard on purpose because you want him healthy later is exactly the same as not trying to win the game. It would be flat out wrong and an insult to the rest of the team.
What about the point of "Alabama's pass d is much worse than their run D, so throwing was our best chance at winning."? There were no running lanes last night, Denard wouldn't have done much better than our other guys. Also, we had wide open receivers, so why not try and hit them? Had Denard not overthrown everyone, it might have been a close game. That gameplan was good, the execution just wasn't.
Most logical position I've heard stated thus far. While I would have loved to see Denard rip off some big runs, and I think his number should have been called a bit more early on, it seems clear the plan was to throw.
Denard should have run the ball more early. Once the game's outcome was decided (which wasn't far into the game), they shouldn't have run him much.
Thank you. I was thinking this last night and in all the pontificating I heard, this was not mentioned once.
By my recollection (I was pretty hammered), it was at least 21-0 before Denard got his first carry. That's pretty well indefensible as far as strategy goes.
Hopefully this counts as this year's WTF ARE YOU DOOOOOOOING BORGES game.
How are you putting 21-0 (or 41-14) on Borges? Michigan just doesn't have an elite defense yet. We knew Alabama's o-line vs. our d-line was a huge mismatch coming in, then Countess went down and the floodgates opened. Alabama could have scored 70 if they needed to.
Q: WTF ARE YOU DOOOOOOOING BORGES?
A: He's up in the box eating popcorn waiting for the recruits to show up.
This loss had very little to do with the offense.
It's worth noting only one team scored more than 14 on Alabama in all of last years season and LSU played them twice and scored only nine total points.
This was in no way on Borges.
Yeah, the problem with that statement is that it was LAST SEASON. Bama lost almost all of their starters from last season. You can't use those stats from one of the most dominant defenses in NCAA history when 7 of the guys who were the reason for it are gone.
Except the Alabama back ups played a huge number of minutes because the defense limited their opponents and the offense put them ahead by such wide margins early. They are VERY deep at almost every position, in experience as well as players. Just because the kids this year weren't starters doesn't mean they aren't experienced.
I disagree. Sustaining drives cuts down opportuities for the opposing offense. NOT going 3 and out repeatedly has a huge effect. This was argued ad naseum as a reason why we sucked during RRod's 1st year. It applies here as well.
If I remember correctly, the use of copius amounts of Smith inside running has always resulted in 1yd and a cloud of WTF. For all of the discussion around improvement in passing, you still have to have a complete game plan to utlilize your strengths.
I watched the Martinez kid from Nebraska play and make HUGE strides in mechanics and improvements in the passing game yesterday and was hoping to see the same with Denard, but he still reverts back to poor mechanics and lack of confidence in his throws with any pressure.
The Oline actually gave him a lot of time to pass for the most part, but he did not seem anywhere near as agressive in attacking Alabama, not sure if Borges or Denard's decisions on the number of times he did not pull the ball and run in passing, or pull from the inside bellys to Smith to at least try to exploit the Alabama D. Also, someone needs to get Lewan's head on straight as he made some major mistakes that also killed drives. The offense needed to extend some drives and change field position at a minimum to take some pressure off the D line which would have significantly helped as well.
It was going to be a difficult game no matter if perfect execution occurred, but I would say that when you have a scorer who is off in basketball, you try to get them some open looks from their favorite spot or some plays going to the rim to try to build back confidence.
Too many series last night after the struggling began seemed to be focused on the 15yd+routes without trying to exploit the traditional short passing game enough. Denard needed a few designed plays at least attempted to get back some confidence and belief. Once Alabama smelled blood it was over.
Also, please for the love of all things, stop running Smith inside against anyone with a top 75 defense where it is not an immediate and quick hitting run, the inside zone that develops running e-w across the line of scrimmage does not work against great and athletic defenses, especially when it is the number one play you appear to be running the whole game.
He didn't put 21-0 on Borges, obviously. Read it again.
I'm sympathetic towards the "run Denard more" theory but Denard wasn't playing on our defense, so even if they did run him more I question how much it would have helped.
Truth is Alabama had better athletes across the board. Running Denard might have helpd the offense a little and kept it close(r) but unless Denard was going to play defense too it wouldn't have changed anything.
Attacking Alabama through the air knowing they would be focusing on stopping the run is not a bad game plan. The execution was the problem - also there were some reads where Denard could have kept it but decided to hand it off.
I think just about all of those were the zone reads where Denard actually isn't making a read, the play call is just to hand it off. I don't think Denard kept it on more than 1 or 2 of those "reads" last night
Why not have fielder and cabrera bunt more since the opposition won't expect it? Borges bunted all game with Denard taking away our best HR threat.
Couldnt have said it better myself.
If it had been Ohio State or Michigan State I'm sure Denard would have carried the ball plenty of times. I don't think the coaching staff values being Cowboy Classic Champions enough to put Denard in harm's way.
Denard's stats against Alabama's D
McCarron's stats against Michigan's D
You can't really complain about the numbers Denard put up considering how other qb's have played against Alabama, given, it was last year. His speed as a rusher was neutralized by the speed of the Bama D. And, if Fitz was there Denard's opportunities as a runner would've improved a little.
230 yards? Really?? It felt like about 600.
Denard's 200 passing yards against Alabama would have been the third best passing performance against Alabama last year. Only Florida and Arkansas managed more yards passing, and 200 is much better than the 2011 opponent average of 111 yards. Alabama made the running game more than difficult, but relatively speaking, Denard was doing OK in the air.
Take away the pass to Gallon and he was 10/25 for 129 yards.
Take away Bama's long TD pass and McCarron was 10-20 for 148 yards. What's the point of "taking away" a play? It happened.
I don't think Denard was as inaccurate as the numbers suggest. He had several passes that were on the money but were either dropped or knocked down. There were a couple of deeper throws to Gardner where I think Gardner reacted poorly to the ball. I thought the WRs' shaky performance made Denard look worse than he was.
The Michigan coaching staff is smart. I did not expect Robinson to carry the ball very often in this game because they didn't want to get him killed. We need him for the top goal of winning the conference. The coaches knew AL was clearly superior in every way.
You can lose to Bama once, or you can lose to them 12 times. They made the right choice.
We didn't play to our running qbs strengths because we feared he was going to get hurt? We should just play another sport if that is our mindset. We would not have won even if we did but we could have at least been competitive and kept a bad rematch in the narrative. No chance now.
Which sport were you thinking of? I bet Denard would be one hell of a pinch runner in baseball...I like where your head is at. Way to think out of the box.
Some of the decisions not to run fall on DRob - he chose not to scramble when guys weren’t open and he chose to hand it off on the read plays.
The other thing is this - The primary goal for this season is to win the B10. If DRob gets hurt our chances of doing that are greatly reduced.
When the QB hands the ball of ten times in a row on "read" plays, it's pretty clear that there is actually no read involved.
Or it means that Bama was coached to always defend that play the same way. They didn't fear our backs and rightly so.
Such a tough guy! I think if Borges had come out with an RR'esque "run Denard 35 times" game plan, and he got pummeled, all you whiners would be in her crucifying Borges.
Simple equation: Bama is never going to let Denard run, never ever. You do not run a guy like Denard into the teeth of a defense waiting for him to run. Bama is so good specifically because the take away your bread and butter and make you do what you really don't want to do. You tough guys saying, "go play another sport" would be crying your eyes out if Denard got hurt and basically any chance of a B10 Championship was flushed down the toilet. Beating Bama takes an equally talented team, and Michigan doesn't have it, on either side of the ball. Why sacrifice your most important player by sending him on what basically amount to a kamakazi mission? So he rips off a few runs, our defense couldn't stop an off tackle play all game -- Bama didn't need to pass at all.
Remember, this is preseaon. This is a game where you see what you've got. Well, we are no where near Bama, but we have some positives. Gardner will get there, Denard passed well at times, Ryan played well at times. Stop with the RUN DENARD crap. We need him, and it likely wouldn't have mattered.
Nobody wants 30 carries but 15-20 with some misdirections mixed in would have made the O much more competetive.
Perhaps chicago, perhaps.
Here's the #1 issue on both sides of the ball: Michigan's OL and DL aren't back to an elite level. It's very simple when you look at it objectively. Michigan, historically, was a team that was ALWAYS going to be hard to beat in the trenches -- where the game is won and lost.
Unfortunately, the Big Ugly factory that was the University of Michigan fell into disrepair about 5 years ago. Low and behold, Michigan's OL and DL are devoid of elite 5th year Sr. talent -- who would have been freshmen in 2008 -- and it shows. Bama's 2nd string OL -- hell maybe even their 3rd string OL -- is better than Michigan's starting OL. It won't be like that forever, but for now, Hoke is recruiting is ass of in the trenches, but we're going to have to be patient.
Seems reasonable and he wasn't really trolling or anything.
We aren't a bad team, we were just outmatched. I feel like a humiliating loss like this will motivate us, and despite what "experts" say about a 9-3 finish, I can honestly see us going 11-1, as crazy as it may sound.
I can see trying to keep him healthy, but if this is going to be the game plan for the rest of the season, we're in for a long year. If Denard isn't allowed to be Denard we'll probably end up 7-5 or 6-6. Defenses are going to key in real quick on the "throw it up and pray" play calling.
That will not be the game plan for the rest of the season. First, we don't play another defense with Alabama's talent. Second, someone else mentioned execution which was the bigger issue than the game plan. The Denard run was not available often. Alabama is good enough and well coached enough to game plan a defense that stops Denard from running effectively.
I agree, however Bama was stacking 8 in the box nearly every play. The Lb's of Alabama are extremely well coached and are rarely out of position, there was no opportunity for Denard to take off in the open field. Also, remember that Denard had gotten hurt multiple times in this game, so I'm sure Borges didn't want to risk his qb's health in a nonconference game that was also the first game of the year.
From sideline to sideline, from line to backfield, Alabama was demonstrably bigger, faster, and stronger on both sides of the ball. It was like watching a JV team play the varsity. I didn't see a single guy on our side who looked like he would be a starter for the Tide.
Exactly. You can the same for LSU and Arkansas too. This is why the Big Ten gets no respect as of late.
We are the most dangerous football team when Denard, runs the ball, 'fer godsakes!!
Seemed pretty clear to me that Bama's D-Line was going to make Denard give it to the RB on the zone read every time. That probably took away 5 - 7 potential running opportunities for Denard. I don't fault Borges for not dialing up QB iso as much, but I do think Denard could've tried to scramble on pass plays a bit rather than chucking it up.
On a side note -- unfortunately, it is clear that none of our receivers can fight off a DB for a 50/50 ball like Hemingway could. Gardner could be that guy, but he just looks too inexperienced playing WR now -- several times he turned the wrong way or slowed down as the ball was coming, only to then to have to make an awkward stab at catching it. He needs to learn how to position himself in a way that boxes out the DB and lets him high-point the ball -- not an easy task, but for him to become a serious WR threat he will need to do this quickly. I think he can do it, though, just might take several games for him to adjust.
1) There were run options on plays that he didn't take.
2) More accurate/successful passing and route running would have in turn opened up the run.
3) Successful running in Borges' improvised system requires another runner to complement and take pressure off of Denard. Past Fitz we clearly do not have a feature back, at least not yet.
4) For better or worse, they began to shy from exposing Denard already in the middle of the second quarter. At that point you knew this was a disaster.
5) Alabama shut us down. Running Denard more would have meant running Denard into the teeth of the Alabama D (see 4 above).
The game feels like a bigger disaster this morning than it did last night, and that's sobering. I understand that Brandon is enthusiastic for UM, but scheduling Alabama was a mistake. Two years from now we still get beaten by Alabama, but then we say we're getting there.
Score could have been worse.
I love all the "fuck it" we didn't stand a chance against Bama so why run DRob and risk and injury. Maybe that is why UM got their asses kicked because the coaches had the same game plan. Do you think Saban would ever say, I'm not going to run Lacy because Bama can't beat LSU. WTF? Denard made the choice not to run. He had lanes a few times during the pass and gave the ball up when he should have kept it during the run numerous time.
LSU is in their conference thus affecting their conf title hopes. This game was meaningless in that regard so why risk even more injury in a meaningless game?
they are trying to win 12 games, you know that right?
Do you think Saban would ever say, I'm not going to run Lacy because Bama can't beat LSU.
That's not a good comparison. Lacy is a tailback; his primary job is to carry the ball. He only needs to be healthy enough to hold the ball. Denard, as our quarterback, needs to be healthy enough to not only run the ball but also throw accurate passes.
I think the plan was to try to keep the game close while limiting his carries, knowing that this was going to be the hardest-hitting defense we'd face all year. We may have run him more in the fourth quarter if the game was close. We ran some read plays where he could have kept the ball if Bama went for the tailback, but Bama (naturally) didn't do that. As for him not scrambling when it was there, I agree, but that's something he's always done, including under RR.
Denard said post game that he missed a lot of reads. Making the correct read on that play never has been natural for him.
what was with all those vincent smith off tackle runs? ran it maybe 8 times and it never went well except i guess that one time
I was saying the same thing. It felt like they just kept running that play over and over and I was losing my mind. You've got Denard trying a feeble attempt to sell the pass that not one Bama guy bit on every single time they tried it. I was also mind boggled when I saw Countess on ST's when the thinnest position on this team is DB and he's the best one. Avery looked lost out there in relief of him. I also felt Bama got away with a lot of non calls like the hit of Roundtree out of bounds on the interception, the Demens head shot etc. The blue print on how to beat this years team was laid out last night. They better shore up the run defense or this could be a long season.
To attack this Bama team is through the air, without question Denard was not going to beat them with qb draws and crap like that. Musberger mentioned a million times what kind of challenge Arkansas was going to be in 2 weeks....why???? Because their great passing attack. People need to relax, if you took of the Michigan glasses and looked at this game objectively beforehand you should have known that a blowout was definitely a possibility...right now the B1G is at a different level than the SEC. This game will make Michigan better, they will not see another team all year with those kinds of athletes in the trenches on both sides of the ball....time to chill out and realize Alabama is pretty good, better than anybody else on our schedule.
Ugh, I was hoping I had just dreamt that first quarter. Rude awakening...
Everybody except a couple guys who have demonstrated football knowledge over time on here is doing the equivalent of speculating on nuclear fusion where their greatest level of experience is putting a lighter to their rump and farting.
This run Denard more argument is tiring. Check Denard's running stats against like State or Virginia Tech last year. Probably the best two defenses Michigan played. Big physical defenses with excellent coaching all keyed on the lead draw (Denard's bread and butter play) He didn't do anything in either game.
Those two teams wish they had a defense like Bama. Throw in maybe the best offensive line in college football against your shakey defensive line and it's blowout city. Running Denard more would not have prevented that and perhaps injured him. Then the whole season is in jeopardy.
If you can't execute pass plays when teams are stacking the box, you can't quarterback for Michigan. He can but he needs guys to catch and run the right routes.
Or lose by trying to do the things you've NEVER done well before, while not trying to do the only thing you've ever done well at? I know the answer for me, I guess yours is different.
I have to go back to be sure, but the first few plays were slants and bubble(!) screens which is exactly what everyone was on Borges case about not doing last year when teams stacked the box against the run. I though we had abit of success on those plays later. You gotta take what the d gives you. We tried a few long throws, but if the corners seemed like the were on an island, you have to try vs playing into a wall of defenders. I mean, it may not have been the best way to keep drives alive, but those two long completions were the only meaningful offense we had. I also think Denard in practice =/= Denard in games so it's likely the throw first gamelan seemed more viable coming out of practice.
So in 2008 we get the spectacle of Steven Threat being force fit into the personna of Pat White. Now we see Denard having to pretend that he isTom Brady. What do both of these situations have in common? Stubborn, idealogue, tunnel vision coaching that is oblivious to the talents available to them and utterly committed come hell or high water to do things "their way". Rich Rod didn't have bad offensive schemes, he was just too stubborn to plot a reasonable transition plan. Now we have to watch Al Borgias neuter the most exciting player in football. It is either arrogance, stupidity, stubborness or even all of the above. Hoke needs to deal with this. They can do what they do best, very well, and they do what they don't do best.....Sure, they were overmatched by A's offensive line and that was probably the game right there. But gee Al, are you just trying to break Denard's spirit? Just what the heck was that?
Michigan offense wasn't filled with juniors and seniors in 2008. if threet had been a returning 3000 yard passer, they may have gameplanned a little differently.
The biggest limitation of the WCO is that the QB doesn't have any room to run until he proves he can complete passes. Denard never completed enough to create any room. When you add the sheer number of athletes that Alabama has amassed through loopholes and whatever perks they offer recruits, the math isn't all that hard to do.
Running Denard through this defense while they were waiting for him would have been irresponsible. There really wasn't any point in getting him injured in a game that Michigan wasn't going to win.
You can't blame the coaching staff for this one. Sometimes, the other team just has better players.
The season. With how loaded our schedule is, save that for the tight BiG games. We are not yet at a point to stand toe to toe with Bama yet
He ran ten tImes averaging 2.2 ypc. What makes you think running more would have helped? Early in the game Alabama was looking to stop the run. Borges started running after 21-0 because at that point Alabama was defending more against the pass because passing is what teams do when they are behind. No, running denard more would not have helped. Alabama is just an NFL team and you know nothing about football compared to Al Borges.
I think the gameplan was to have him run but not with Alabamas D focused on him. Id bet those first few series where he threw the ball were meant to first open the defense up by making them respect the pass and when the D loosened up on run support, go wild. Denard didn't execute and they weren't willing to risk his health if his passes weren't hitting
risk his health? if the coaches were scared to run him then they should have taken him out as opposed to trying to make him be something he isn't, because they left a lot of bullets in the proverbial gun by shackling him.
I'm not going to complain about the game plan. Alabama was to big and to fast. I think they were ready for Denard. And there was no sense in getting him hurt in the first meaningless game. We had a couple of penalties that put us in really bad field position in the 1st qtr. One on the helmet was legit and the holding one sucked. It should have been a face mask on Ala. And if interference in the end zone on us was called what was the deal with Ala shoving our receiver out of bounds then intercepting the ball. You know it was a bad call when they didn't replay and mushmouth and herbie didn't even comment. They couldn't i guess becasue they were laughing to hard.
It looked to me that their game plan was to come in and throw the ball early in order to lossen things up for Denard. Bama came in geared up to shut down the run so it made sense to take advantage of a lot of single coverage. Guys were open early and if Denard hits them the game plan looks brilliant. I'm not sure why running Denard into 11 future NFL picks who are waiting for him everytime is any better of a strategy. We all knew going into the game that a balanced attack was going to be neccessary to win, they just couldn't get anything going passing other than a couple long plays.
rawls has a little bouncebouncebounce in him and smith doesnt have that electrifying ability to seemingly teleport himself 2 feet away. I would have liked to see Hayes or Norfleet with the ball a few times.
was Denard handing off much too early on nearly every zone read play. That is not Borges' fault. Game plan was pretty much what I expected. Alabama just flat out beat us.
I don't know enough to comment on the "Run Denard more" debate, but even if you aren't going to run him, what is with the I-formation? I thought I read some stuff here that last year it just didn't work.
Other play call questions: Option to Rawls when you need 1 yard? Why do so many running plays from the spread look like the backfield is huddling after the snap?
Last night Sirius XM carried the game from the Alabama network. During halftime, the commentators interviewed Tyler Watts, a former Alabama QB. Watts allowed as how M in all likelihood studied game film, realized they could not run the ball against Alabama, so had to resort to a pass-oriented offense which, Watts observed, "is not their game."
Even if Fitz had played, the run game wouldn't have changed much. Even if Denard had run the ball 25 times the outcome wouldn't have changed much. But Denard would have been changed a lot, and much for the worse. Borges knew the only realistic chance had of M moving the ball was with Denard's arm --- the weakest aspect of his game.
Still, assuming Blake's injury is not too serious, M should emerge from this experience intact and with a better understanding of who they are and what they need to do to improve.
Anyway, it seemed Big Will gave a pretty good account of himself last night. He measured himself against the best o-line in the land and did all right. That alone augurs well for the future.
during thunderstorms mercifully limited my viewing time. At the beginning of the game, though, there were a few plays that really hurt us, the first being the 15 yard penalty assessed against Lewan, the interception that happened after Roundtree was thrown out of bounds (why was that penalty not called?) and a second 10 yard penalty on Lewan. We are in trouble if Lewan is going to stink it up that badly, but it seemed as if both lines played very poorly, both our offensive line and our defensive line. The announcers were not clear and there were no replays, but it also looked to me like Gardner and Roundtree each dropped very catchable passes (perhaps the first two that Denard threw). In a game like this, we had to play error-free to have a chance, and those kinds of senseless penalties and drops pretty well eliminated any momentum we might have been able to build. But, ultimately, we were killed by a defense that, after that first three and out, looked clueless and inept.
I think Devin has some things to learn about body positioning when running routes, but that's to be expected for a guy playing wide receiver for the first time. It would be nice if it were fixed already, but eh, what can you do?
Lewan's play was very disappointing, though.
Had Denard hit some of his passes early in the game to open receivers and not have some drops it would have opened the run game for Denard and the running backs.
I'll be very interested in what the tactical geniuses (I call them that only half in jest -- there's a lot about play design I don't know myself) have to say when they break down the film. Yes, I'm bothered that Denard hardly ran the ball at all, but it's possible that Bama did something schematically that forced him and Borges out of their usual plays and options. I will note that for most of the first half Denards throws were off -- I have to imagine that makes it easier to key on our QB as a running threat.
I think the tactical thing that Alabama did to prevent Michigan from running the ball is that they recruited big, fast, hard-hitting guys and told them to f*** s*** up.
For all I know it might have been just that simple.
Alabama did what most teams would like to do against us. They shut down the running game, kept Denard in the pocket, and dared him to pass. Their talent and game plan forced Denard to throw the ball.
First, having Denard operate under center against a D like Alabama is almost criminal. That takes away from his natural abilities unless we had an O line that we were confident could handle Alabama's front.
IIRC, Borges is in agreement with most commenters here that Denard should use his legs as his last checkdown. And that, if implemented, would make Denard the most dangerous in this offense. Stack the box against the run, and we'll go to the passing game. If you've got good coverage, then the fastest guy on the field is going to be let loose in the space that's been opened up. But Denard has never shown a willingness to do that.
I'll bet that in practice Denard makes the right reads and has good mechanics (mostly) when he passes. The guy himself has said that he gets wound too tight. What makes Brady so good is that he's smart and has ice water in his veins.
Lastly, what if Hoke did fiddle around and not make the Fitz decision until this week? If he did, that left Borges to run the Fitz game plan without Fitz ... regardless, Borges should have more tricks up his sleeve since it's the second year in his system.
I think there are better times to pull out the tricks than when you're in the process of getting your ass handed to you by the national champions. Down 21-0 or 31-0, what's the point? Save the wrinkles for a close game against MSU or Nebraska or OSU...
This is a difficult topic. I personally feel that the play calling was on-point. The receivers got the separation needed, and we appeared to be threats to an supposedly and traditionally impenetrable Alabama secondary. Yet it became obvious early on that Denard was struggling to deliver the ball as needed. How frustrating must it be, to know how to attack the Defense, but to be incapable of doing so? Borges believed Denard would settle in and rise to what was needed, but he didn't and perhaps couldn't.
What was left was trying to find magic and hoping to catch Alabama in a mistake, both of which are not game PLANS or attacks. I think we needed luck, and we needed Denard to be something that maybe he just can't be. I understand our growing agony of not running him more, and once we realized it was our only hope, it was too late. But i don't fault Borges for believing in his Senior QB and devising a way to attack the defense.
Has anyone considered that Denard audibled out of designed QB runs often last night? This was metioned by Denard himself last night and I believe he said he should have kept it more often, especially early in the game. Second of all, after getting down by 21 REAL EARLY Borges really had no choice but to pass more often than usual. Third, our Oline is much better at pass pro than run blocking, especially the interior line.
that offensive game plan was horrible
that sideways running against bama was useless
the short passes early should have been more utilized
and yes, where was the running with Denard...
also, I was not happy to see Countess on special teams
the secondary paid the price for it
The Linebackers tonight had a horrible game
getting destroyed regardless if it was or wasnt a bootleg or playaction or even on those run going towards the outside...
Denard was horrible last night
I beg to differ 0970. Denard was played by perhaps the best defensive team in the nation. Leading into the game I was certain that the ONLY way Michigan was going to have a chance to even hang with Alabama was if Borges came out throwing, Denard was on target, and kept on throwing until Bama backed out of their run stop defense. Getting Bama to adjust, even in the face of a efficient passing attack is still a longshot -- their so freakishly good that they really don't need to adjust. My guess is that as soon as they saw Denard picking them apart, they were going come at him with blitz after blitz. They didn't need to.
I thought Denard's passes were right on the money early, they were either dropped by Tree, or broken up. In looking at the running game -- or lack there of -- NOBODY runs very well against that defense, especially when their entire game plan is to stop one guy from running. They knew Borges was going to try to read option them, and they also knew that the only real threat was Denard. Simple to beat that, and you don't even have to sell out to do it , just make his read the give every time -- which is what Denard eluded to in his comments. They played him. They gave him the "give" read everytime and then collapsed on the give. you cannot beat a team like that without two viable options and an OL like the Michigan OL's of old.
I thought Denard was a bit off on a couple of throws, but there are lots of passes that should have been caught and several sloppy routes.
Bottom line, when you have the best defense in the nation, with near unlimited depth and all you have to do is stop one guy, you shouldn't have too hard of time doing so. I think a lot of Michigan fans were expecting Denard to come out and be Superman. I was certainly hoping for that, but wasn't expecting it. Let's face facts, Saban could have clobbered Denard, but didn't. I don't think he was being nice, I think he realized that it wasn't worth the risk, and that he could sit back and keep Denard in front of his defense. Notice they only had one sack, and that Danard actually had a lot of time to throw?
Question: You mentioned throws; you didn’t mention running at all. Was part of the game plan not for you to run? Because you ran only twice in the first half, and only one of them was designed.
Denard Robinson: “Oh yeah, it was the game plan to run. I mean, it was a read. You have to read the play out, and if you get the pull read, run it. I mean, there was opportunities out there on the field.”
Question: Looking back, were there a few reads that you thought maybe you should have kept it on when you handed it off?
Denard Robinson: “Probably a couple, but not too many. I think they kind of played me a little bit today.”
http://michigan.scout.com/2/1217359.html (Non Premium Link)
I'd venture to guess that Alabama and their defensive schemes had as much to do with limiting Denard's running room as the offensive playcalling. Saban is a smart guy, he probably wanted Denard to pass...
but wasn't Denard's td run amazing? As was his effort for the first down when he hurt his back. Not the 500 total yard performance I was hoping to see, though.