Feign chest pains and blame it on the guy who takes my place?
further adventures in Jed York being unsuited for his position
Feign chest pains and blame it on the guy who takes my place?
Pass early and often. We will not beat Bama by running the football, regardless of who is in the backfield.
Saban's entire gameplan will be centered around shutting down Denard and keeping him from getting to the outside if he decides to take off. He needs to exploit Bama's inexperienced (relatively speaking) secondary. Also, get Gardner out there and see what he can do. They have zero film on him, so they might as well bring him out now and let him make some plays.
Something else I'd really like to see is a fake Denard run, kind of like the first play of the 2010 Illinois game or the Roundtree TD of the Notre Dame game that year, too. Bama is expecting Denard to run when he can, so if they bite, Roundtree/Gallon may have nothing in front of them but open field.
Something else I'd really like to see is a fake Denard run, kind of like the first play of the 2010 Illinois game or the Roundtree TD of the Notre Dame game that year, too. Bama is expecting Denard to run when he can, so if they bite, Roundtree/Gallon may have nothing in front of them but open field
Exactly! Use Bama's defensive scheme against them. They've been having "stop #16" into their heads for weeks now. Get them to bite, burn them, and they're going to be at a loss as to what to do -- "but coach, when we bite, he throws it...and when we don't, he gashes us...whata we do?"
I love it!
...and +1'd the posters before me who suggested playing slow-down and running the play clock. Best OL maybe ever at 'Bama + inexperienced DL/weakness of the entire team = huge disadvantage when they have the pigskin. Minimize that weakness by playing keepaway as much as possible.
Also, Saban's blitz schemes are very good--I'm sure he has all of M's pass protections down and knows exactly who to key on the OL and the tip-offs of the line schemes. In other words, if you drop back, Saban will find a way to get blitzers free and destroy your QB. Therefore, I'd like to see a lot of screens on known passing downs, even and especially 3rd and long. Even if they don't get 1st downs, hopefully they'll convince Saban to call the dogs off some. We need Denard healthy.
This is what Borges himself talked about on the BTN's B1G preview, saying he needs to find a way to be smart and safe with Denard while still attacking and taking advantage of his athleticism.
Lastly, this is for the D side, but heavy blitzes designed to stop the run on heavy tendency run downs in order to force them into passing situations but also discourage them from running so much. Let McCarron try and beat you, not the hog-mollies.
I would do to Alabama what Ohio did to us last November by going full vertical. Ohio came in as last in D1 non-armed services in passing. They promptly aired it out and put 34 up on our top 10 ranked D. Had Braxton Miller been able to hit the side of a barn it would have been worse. The reason it worked was it went 180 degrees from the tendency our D came in expecting. The reason this can work for us even better is Denard is occasionally extremely accurate (Neb, Ohio last year), and Bama will not be expecting it.
We are just not at the point yet where our offense can open up with MANBAW against the likes of a top 2 SEC defense yet, soGO FULL VERTICAL, with Roundtree, Gardner, Jackson, etc. and just roll the dice. Maybe this will only have a 30% chance of working, but if it does, it will open up running lanes in the second half for Denard and Rawls and who knows from there.
I actually like the plays where Denard intentionally under throws the ball, especially if a big guy like Funchess or Jeremy Jackson can get isolated on a corner. Big receivers are one of the few physical advantages M's O will have over A's D.
Triple option fleaflicker HB pass!
I think that there should be several trick plays where Denard passes to Gardner, and Gardner then throws a screen or pass downfield (once the defense is coming up to him.) I also wouldn't mind seeing Gardner pass back to Denard, with Denard either passing downfield or taking off running. I really think that accurate 5 - 10 yard passes to Gallon, Gardner, and Roundtree are critical. If possible, I hope that Jerald Robinson or Amara Darboh or Jehu Chesson really steps forward and provides another good receiving option. If all these guys are catching passes, and Denard is thowing accurately, this should open up the run for Denard and Rawls. I know that Brian doesn't believe in TOP, but I want the ball in our hands as much and as long as possible. It is critical to keep our DL fresh against Bama's OL.
I know that Brian doesn't believe in TOP, but I want the ball in our hands as much and as long as possible. It is critical to keep our DL fresh against Bama's OL.
Not believing in T.O.P. is like not believing in "pitch count" in baseball = asinine. I agree 100%! Michigan's defense will play it's best when it is on the sidelines watching Denard & Co. do their thing. I can promise you one thing, Alabama is stressing T.O.P. as part of their scheme to beat Michigan. Denard cannot hurt you when he's on the sidelines watching. An elite OL will grind even the best DL into dust over 4 qtrs. of power running.
One of the things that we have to remember is that Borges has seen the "stop Denard from running at all costs..." defensive scheme enough to know what the proper counter scheme. The question is -- can Denard execute the scheme properly?
Personally, I think he will, and Bama is going to be a bit dumbstruck.
Agree. What I would also observe is that with Molk playing injured in the Sugar Bowl, some of the things that the Michigan O-Line was usually able to do for Denard weren't being executed as well as when Molk was healthy.
A lot depends on the O-Line in this game.
I hate to put it all on one guy, but when you are a Heisman candidate and possibly the most dynamic player in the country, that is how it goes sometimes. I think he is ready for the pressure.
Denard is going to have to be effective enough as a runner to get Alabama to bring 8-9 guys into the box to stop him. Then Michigan is going to have to send guys streaking downfield behind the Bama defense and Denard is going to have to hit them. If Denard can pull this off without turning the ball over more than once or so, Michigan can win this thing. If Denard isn't effective at running the ball at all, or he can't hook up with the open receivers, or he turns the ball over multiple times, Michigan will be toast.
It's a lot of pressure, but this is the kind of games where heros are made. It's Denard's chance to be a bigtime hero on the national stage.
Get Denard passing, and then somehow convince him start scrambling A LOT. That should open things up, since I doubt Denard's reluctance in that regard has escaped Saban's notice, and they won't be expecting anything different.
Denard's reluctance in that regard [scrambling]
I've always thought that Denard's "reluctance to scramble" was caused by him wanting so badly to develop as a pocket passer. It's like he felt compelled to stay in there and pass despite nobody being open, and the pocket collapsing -- bad combination. Where a less mobile QB would simply throw the ball away, Denard has the benefit of being able to make something out of nothing. I also think some of that seeming hesitation we saw last season -- especially early -- was due to the transition from RR's scheme to Borges' scheme. He was thinking his way through his progressions, not flowing through them. I think this season he's going to go through the progressions and be very decisive about getting up field -- much more so than last year -- because he'll instinctively know it's time, rather than thinking there might be one more check to look to.
...with their lines.
I would have lots of 4 receiver sets (Roundtree, Gallon, Darboh/Chesson, and Gardner) with 3 sec counts where we spread the field and Denard Runs is always 3rd check down.
Sidetrack them by kidnapping Forest Gump's retired jersey. That's what I'd do.