I've suddenly become much more attractive.
You are Al Borges: what should our plan be for Bama?
I would try to score touchdowns. If that doesn't work, I would try field goals.
I would punt on first down to give Mattison more safety opportunities.
Only in the 4th quarter when up by 21 points. A MICHIGAN MAN doesn't run up the score.
I'd use Denard to do some throwback screens and QB oh noes to loosen the LBs. probably some bubble/tunnel screens too. Have to establish the run in some form too, but that might be tough.
decided schematic advantage
Bama will be geared to take away Denard, and we will have to back them off of the LOS and do so by doing what they are not expecting: Denard passing. My general philosophy would be passing to set up the run. I wouldn't be in the I-form at all for at least the 1st Quarter. I would make them pay (or attempt to) by showing that this year's Denard can make a defense pay if they crowd the LOS. I would QB oh no on the first or second play of the game, and stay in the shotgun and spread. Not original thinking, but then again I'm not really Al either. I have hair and less knowledge.
I always liked the "Tebow" play. Michigan did it in the first play against Illinois during the 2010 season (the basketball score game) and it worked like a charm. Have Denard fake the run up the middle, causing the linebackers to bite, and you'll usually find a slot receiver open. I'd try that early to see if we could land the big play and get the momentum on our side early.
I think i 'd do it on a 2nd and short. Honestly, I wouldn't design run Denard all that much, because that's what bama is looking for. Only time i'd want him running to start, is when the play breaks down.
I actually think the "that's what Bama is looking for" part of your argument is exactly why this play would work. I'm not saying it should be the first play of the game. In fact, I think 2nd and short is when many teams are watching out for the big play, so it might not work then.
I'm picturing a 3-wide look where the slot receiver will likely be covered by a LB or safety. If a fake run by Denard can get that guy to bite, the slot gut will likely be wide open. I'll post the video of the play I'm thinking of in a second.
Yea, i don't think i articulated my point at all... Basically, I was agreeing QB Oh Noes has to be featured in this game. When? I don't know, that's why i'm not an OC. On a 2nd or 3rd and short, if you rush to the line and act as if you're trying to get the Defensive off guard for a quick cheap couple of yards, i think that would be the opportune time. It could work even as the first or second play of the game (e.g. Illinois)
OK so it was actually a playaction, but you get my drift. Check out our frist play in this highlight. That's almost exactly the type of big play I think Michigan could pull off relatively early in the game.
Funny, I mis-remembered that play as well, i thought he fake ran it himself. That was my favorite play of the RR era.
Bama's defense adjusts to everything quickly. You can only fool Saban with a play once or twice before he comes up with an adjustment. I wouldn't use anything like "the Tebow play" until late in the game, when a big play is needed.
That's a big part of why LSU was so ineffective against them in the "championship" game: Saban adjusted for everything they did the first game, and poor Les Miles couldn't come up with anything new.
Michigan is going to have to out-execute Alabama's carefully-crafted, over-recruited roster of future NFL players. It's a tall order, but it can be done.
inb4 bubble screens.
If I'm Al Borges, I come in with the mindset of "aw f it." While I would have a plan of attempting to establish the run and get guys in space to spread them out, I would also have a plan of being extremely aggressive with my playcalling. This game, while important, will not determine the outcome of our season and this defense will provide an outstanding benchmark for the rest of the season.
Having said all of that, I would not be shocked to see some off-the-wall playcalls (weird formations, reverses, throw back screens, etc.).
I don't think Borges would do it (nor would Hoke allow it) in a million years.
The reason? While this is an important game for the program, I think that Hoke & staff (correctly or incorrectly) view this game as a first test of a season-long plan for this team.
In other words, they will do on Saturday EXACTLY what they want to do vs. Air Force, ND, Purdue Ojhio etc.
A crazy wide open game plan MIGHT give them a better chance of winning THIS game, but I think the staff would see it as a "short term gain/long term loss" type of thing.
Consistency isn't just a buzz word to Hoke, it's his most favorite word after "well".
Atleast none at QB.. Smash mouth football play the field position game.. Take an occasional shot deep. And rely heavily on our defense
If I were Al Borges, my plan would be to kick ass.
I think we've got to play a possession game, and shorten the length of the game overall. Use the full playclock. Knowing that bama will be heavy on running the ball, they should use up a lot of clock as well. If we can get a few key stops and use up some play clock, that will give us a shot.
Offensively I think we've got to find a way to get Denard loose. Bama has never seen a Denard like QB, and if we can find ways to get him loose and get them guessing and "thinking" it will really open things up for us. So to do that, I'm thinking we need screens/draws to slow down their rush, attempt some long passes to keep them from loading the box, and try to get Denard to scramble when the first or second read isn't there. I'd even consider calling some designed scrambles where we send guys deep to open up some space and Denard delays his run.
is a great talent, but the SEC is no stranger to freakish athletes. I think that Denard has never seen a defense like Alabama more aptly describes the dynamic here.
Ya..... Cam Newton?
Alabama is one of the best teams in the country between the tackles and they blitz field side. Hopefully we can beat them on a few week side misdirection plays, maybe a HB counter, maybe that nifty V. Smith delayed screen.
Beyond that, sound fundamentals, and I mean that without trying to be all MANBALL! on everyone. The WCO, as you all know, is all about short, efficient passes which help open up the run game. Denard relied too heavily last year on the deep ball launch-and-a-prayer method of generating yards. Lets hope Borges' game plan is more effectively carried out against Alabama and maybe we can all enjoy a respectable game.
Short to intermediate passes to start and to get Denard comfortable in the pocket. Establish the run game out of the shotgun with some Minor-esque downhill plays before attempting to run out of the power sets. Hopefully take some shots downfield to extend the secondary, especially if they are predominantly playing man coverage.
Inverted veer and play action a-plenty.
Alabama's defense is obviously incredibly talented. They're also somewhat inexperienced. I want to see how they react to misdirection and other plays that attempt to work off their tendency to flow to the ball. I doubt they'll freak out over Denard like ND's linebackers did last year, but he'll obviously be priority #1. Inverted veer optioning off the aggressive d-line, throwback screens, etc.
Our two most effective offensive games last year, Nebraska and Ohio State, were based off of the inverted veer, a few passes off of it, and half-rolls with Denard hitting receivers in the 12-15 yard range (see passes to Hemingway and Dileo in the OSU game).
I don't understand people calling for a short passing game. Alabama's secondary is likely going to be oriented toward run support, with the safeties sneaking into the box. A short passing game, particularly a slant based gameplan, would basically have Denard, who struggles with accuracy, throwing the ball right into the strength of that defense. Any passes between 5-15 yards into the middle of the field are going to be dangerous throws.
all i keep reading is the same ol questions just asked 37 1/2 different ways. take a few ambien wake up saturday and watch exactly what borges plan is.
all im saying is this topic has been covered a 100 times.
....sent you on a rampage?
With 1000's of active members and during the week prior to the first game, we should be expecting to see some threads with content that might feel redundant. Suck it up.
Ya know what, Bosch? I've had about enough of your logic and facts. This is the internet. There's no place here for that.
Is there a thread topic that asks this question? If so I missed it. Is there a thread topic that addresses the offensive strategy at all? If so it's not here. Are these conversations happening in your head, or are you so thorough in reading every topic here that you have read offensive strategy posts within all the others here? I'm not being snarky excatly, but please show me a thread where, without reading through the entire thread, a person that wanted to discuss offensive strategy and hear what others think about our game plan would go? You seem to have thorough knowledge of mgoblog, so I'm asking you. I read a lot of the threads, and I have seen precious little conversations happening about what our stretegy should be. I come here a couple of times a day and read many topics and haven't seen the previous 100. But obviously I'm not as knowledgeable about mgoblog content as you are.
And yet you couldn't help but jump right in to #100
All 3 QB's on the field at once.
Heiko, is that you?
I was going to post something about this too. I watched the BCSNC game last night. I noticed the Bama offense came out and did the exact opposite of what LSU expected from their previous game. They threw the ball a lot on first down.
Sometimes I think that you use ideas for your team that have caused you trouble on the other side of the ball. Bama's defense won't react as well if we can throw something unexpected at them early. Plus, there are a lot of new players on the Bama defense. The guys in the BCS game were decisive and quick to attack. These guys probably won't be so crisp in the first game and they are more likely to make mental errors (like overcommitting, etc.). EVERYONE is expecting Denard to run and run the ball. (There will be a spy, etc.)
In light of that, I think we need to start out the game passing. they are coming to shut down Denard on the run. The Vincent Smith misdirection screen (from ND game) might be a good first play of the second drive. I think the VERY first play requires an easier pass. Anyway, I say, throw some misdirection at them early and then open up the regular run game. We have an experienced offense (QB, OL and some WR). They can probably execute misdirection/pass plays early in the game better than other teams. It is a risk. But, if it doesn't work, then we go to the run and try it again later. (There is a lot of game time.) If it works, it will build confidence early and get the young bama guys to spend more time analyzing (or cheating and setting themselves up) and less time being heat-seeking missles.
I think Hoke has the b.a.l.l.s. to call those plays early. I guess they don't have to be the very first play, but in the first few series.
P.S. - I couldn't get over how bad the LSU offense looked at times. That could be the Bama D, but LSU looked like they were sluggish regardless of the defense. They came out running the ball (as expected) and their QB seemed dazed at times (and a worse passer than Denard).
had a classic mad hatter offense. most of the time they looked shitty but sometimes it clicked(except against bama) and they looked really good. they relied on defense and special teams a lot to get the offense in a short field
He's the best runner in the country by a fairly large margin, IMO. Run him in whatever creative ways you can; take a look at some RR era plays from UConn/ND or whatever and see what kind of tweaks you can make with a full offseason to adjust for personnel.
Oh, and if Gardner is legit at receiver, prove it on the first series. Same goes with Rawls or whatever back best compliments Denard's skillset.
Bama has seen QB's with dominant running ability before. CN is pretty much a bigger DR with a better arm though a bit slower. He does not have the unbelievable quicks. But he does have that moxy to make people miss in space. The players may not have any experience but the Bama coaching staff will have some good ideas what a running threat QB brings to the table.
We should not assume that Bama is going to be helpless when DR takes off. I also agree we will need to pass first to set up the run. In short we need Borges to make Saban guess and hope we can beat their base if Saban tests them with just a base. If he has to guess we have a chance to pull a fast one.
Hutchinson + fake beard + Mealer's number.
Seriousily though if you're confident in the passing game, attack that secondary. If not, hope Rawls can get you some good rage runs and do what you can in terms of passing. The only theme I really want to see is that Denard isn't exposed to that many hits on runs. I'd rather preserve him for the B1G season as opposed to having him kind of float through his senior year with some nagging injuries because we exposed to too many hits too early.
Anexation of Puerto Rico.
FLEE FLICKER TO FLOYD!
Well I'd probably OH JESUS WHERE DID MY FEET GO?!
You'd better look again, I'd say your feet are the least of your concerns.
You have to get Denard some easy passes even if that means gasp "bubble screens"
Make him feel comfortable with passing - that will open up the run
For gods sake watch out for the corner blitz on the I formation!
Play the entire game in the shotgun. Keep pass patterns short. Instruct Denard to take off immediately if his first two reads aren't open. And for god's sake, throw some bubble screens to loosen up the middle. Unleash a "QB oh noes" play in the 2nd half.
In other words, run a spread offense.
Eat 75% less food for at least 2-5 years. Do some low intensity cardio each and every morning for 30 minutes building up to 60 minutes per morning until more closely resembling a human being.
I LOL'd at that, but man, that's our coach.
Our coach is going to get DIABEETUS if he doesn't stop over feeding his weak self control.
I installed an electric fence to keep my dog away from my neighbors. Only problem was not one of my neighbors would wear the collars I bought for them.
Who's that at 46 secs?...
You seem like a really unhappy person.
I don't get enjoyment out of eating 4 sticks of butter for my mid-afternoon-pre-second-lunch snack. I am actually happy though. It's almost football season.
Everything in moderation.
As Urban Meyer pointed out during a Michigan game last year, Michigan is a lot easier to defend when they're just running Denard with single wing plays. Options plays are not his strength (at least as he's shown so far), but they have to run option plays to have a chance of breaking him loose against Alabama. The Tide are too good for Michigan to run QB sweeps.
Beyond Denard, Michigan has to take shots downfield and/or try to get Gallon into space. Saban's defenses will sometimes give up big plays.
Another approach would be to run a lot of power plays with the knowledge that you're not likely to succeed but that doing this against Alabama could toughen the team up for the Big Ten. Before you scoff, remember that Bo saw the non-conference schedule as primarily a way to prepare for the Big Ten.
Another approach would be to run a lot of power plays with the knowledge that you're not likely to succeed but that doing this against Alabama could toughen the team up for the Big Ten. Before you scoff, remember that Bo saw the non-conference schedule as primarily a way to prepare for the Big Ten.
We have five non-freshman linemen who aren't walk-ons. Five. Even if running power would actually "toughen them up" (an assertion with which I really, really disagree; they've been hitting people for years, and they've been popping pads in practice for the last few weeks, so what will three hours really change), if we're just worried about the Big Ten season I'd think it would be MUCH more important to have our team walk away intact. Plus, we're not going to be running 3-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust in the B1G season, so wouldn't it be much more helpful to prepare if we run the same stuff that we're gonna be running for the rest of the year?
I mean that mentally more than physically. I've heard players say that getting their asses kicked "showed (them) what (they) needed to do" to play at an elite level...The ugly truth is that I think Alabama is at a different level than Michigan right now. Things will likely be different in three years, but I just don't see Michigan being in Bama's class right now.
I also think that Michigan will run more three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust stuff during the Big Ten season than you or I might like.
Borges has already said that Michigan is pretty much going to be a spread option team until Denard leaves, so while they will still run some power stuff, it'll almost certainly be the exception rather than the rule.
I agree that playing Alabama will toughen the team mentally, but I just don't see the difference between the mental lessons they'd learn running their typical offensive sets versus the mental lessons learned by running into Jesse Williams 29 times in a row.
Get Denard outside on some run/pass options, but he has got to attack the line of scrimmage to force the secondary into a bind. If he stings himself out and allows the defense to sink a bit on routes and pursue from inside he is going to trap himself in. Also, because of the inexperience in their secondary I'd like to see if we can spread them out a bit and force them into a nickel package and get an additional inexperienced guy on the field.
Well, since I watched the 2000 Orange Bowl last night, I think that my answer has to be to surprise Alabama's defense and have Tom Brady throw to David Terrell all night long. It worked then, I can't see why it wouldn't know!
Maybe we can get Lamarr Woodley to play a quarter
Step 1. Woodley kills starting QB
Step 2. Lamarr Kills Seconed QB.
Step 3. repeat steps 1&2 with RB's
Eat clock. Run Fitz, Rawls, short passes to the tight-end and backs, run Denard. The point being, the Bama offense could steamroll our DL so you want to keep it out of their hands.
Alabama wants Denard to throw the ball. I'd oblige them right out of the gate and see if that loosens up the run.
But i'm just spitballing here
i was watching alabama and penn state from last year and in the fourth quarter alabama had killed penn state's will to play. I would rather like to have these feelings after the end of the game:
1. We have a wonderful season coming up.
2. The players will learn from this and grow.
3. Denard is healthy and so is BWC.
4. Michigan gave its best in the game.
i know its not the ....bring on ....alabama stance,
but its a long season and this is just the first game
PSU didn't have any offensive firepower when they faced Alabama last season, or at least no where near what Denard and Michigan bring.
I've been thinking a lot about the scheduling dilema of "cupcake v. tough team" in the opener. As I look at it more and more I think that scheduling as difficult of an opener as possible is a great way to set the tone for the season. First, the players will really get a feel for where they stack up, and the film on the game will be an incredible learning tool going forward. By contrast, playing a cupcake can allow the players to be sloppy and still come out with the win. Alabama is going to show every player on the Michigan team what an "elite" program looks like on the field, and that will undoubtedly elevate the game of every player on the Michigan, even in defeat. Further, I think that going into camp, and even during summer workouts, it gives the players a definite target, a goal for their preparation. Knowing that you're going to face the defending NC in the opener whom many are saying has a good chance to reapeat, add a great deal to the motivation leading into the season.
Yes, it doesn't help an NC run if you lose your first game, but as always is the case in CFB: if you're going to lose, do it early, and to the highest ranked team possible.
I think in the years to come, the staff is going to point back to the Bama game -- win or lose -- and say that it was that game that really pushed the Michigan program to new heights. Although we return a lot of players, we're a relatively inexperienced team. What better way to gauge yourself and your team than against the best? I think we're going to see guys that we didn't think were all that great, that we might have been worried about, emerge in this game, and the experience will propell their development far more than playing a cupcake would have.
We're playing with house money in this game, as long as we don't leave the game with a long-term injury to a key player or get totally blown out. If we win, fantastic. If not, as you say, if you're going to lose, do it early and to the highest-ranked team possible. And the coaches and team will learn a lot of useful stuff in the process that will make us better throughout the season.
UP-B.. mixed in with a little RIGHT-A
This is the best answer...On a side note, I will beat you at Tecmo Bowl if you let me play with the Bears. You will not score.
Good luck with the Bears ever scoring unless the system is giving Neal Anderson a Bo Jackson day.
(It does that sometimes. Try playing against the computer 49ers in the first week of the season, and then the playoffs. Not even the same squad).
Seriously? You've obviously never played with the Raiders then, Bo Jackson is unstoppable.
Is that Bo Jackson and Marcus Allen would get hurt, like, every other game.
You (as the defense) just pick the Bo Jackson running play every time, forcing the Raiders to go to Allen or the weak passing game...I should say that I'm thinking of the original Tecmo Bowl. I never had the follow up.
You might have something there.
But if you're talking Classic "Super"
Then my point stands. All the later "high tech" versions sucked.
I never had Super Tecmo Bowl. I considered it a bastardization of the artistic and functional purity of the first one.
Have all your receivers go deep, have Denard do a five-step drop and throw if something's open, and if not RUN LIKE HELL.
Basically have Denard be Vince Young in the Rose Bowl.
Throw immediately and try your best to get Dennard in some sort of passing rythm. I would say use Funchess at TE for a nice big target on some qucik short passes.
I think the key to Bores calling a great game versus Alabama is going to be his ability to show their defense what they think they're going to see, but then do something different. If I were at the OC helm, I would script a series of plays to start with, of which there is no film. When Michigan comes to the line in a new formation, one that Bama hasn't seen, I'd guess that the defense is going to think, "they're going to run #16..." Borges needs to show a Denard run, but then throw it, ala the opening play vs. Illinois in '10.
Borges has to keep the Bama defense guessing and off balance as much as possible. I don't think Denard is going to be able to gain many yards on desiged runs against their defense. But, I think he can really gash them with properly timed tuck-and-runs. Further, I think the screen game is going to be important, as well as getting Gardner the ball in space, and over the top.
I just don't think Michigan is going to be able to line up and go right at Alabama, at least not initially. Later in the game, when the defense is unsure of what is coming at them, perhaps. Borges has to use the fact that, like MSU, the #1 priority of the Bama defense is going be stopping #16 and making him pass, against them. I think he can do, and I am very glad that he has experience against a Saban defense.
imitate Mike DeBord for three hours in Cowboys Stadium.
Use H-Back and full back motion to create a #s advantage at the point of attack
Inside veer so we can get to the LBs quicker and take advantage of over aggressive DL
Lots of hitch routes
Quick hitting dive plays. We're not getting to the edge easily on this D
And a heaping dose of Denard scrambles
to give Denard the best chance at success. We are not going to move the chains simply running the ball, but maybe just enough to keep them honest. Throwing often opens up more room for Denard to run as well.
I'd also throw the ball deep to this year's biggest non-Denard weapon, Devin Gardner. I'm betting he leads the team in receiving yardage and TD's, Gallon with most receptions.
2 minute hurry up no huddle, give them no time to set up the defense or diagnose the play formation. Keep them on their toes, make them adjust to us. Alabama likes to make the offense adjust to their defense, with the plethora of younger less experienced guys we have to keep them off balance and guessing
but I am damn sure that Al Borges knows more than this board in how to game plan. It seems like a pretty stupid topic considering the fact that none of us have the film on Alabama. So we can project what is going to happen but "TRUST IN AL."
I haven't read a single post on this thread that even implied that the poster didn't "Trust in Al."
I think you're missing the point. This isn't a "Bash Al" thread, it's a "What would you do?" thread, i.e., let's have some fun and armchair OC the upcoming game.
Besides, if it's a stupid topic, why bother posting in it? Just to say that you think it's stupid?
Personally, I am fascinated by the X's and O's of football, how coaches scheme (especially on offense) and I really enjoy coming up with my own "game plan." Does that mean that I think I know more than the coaching staff? Of course not. But as an avid fan of Michigan football, I find the exercise entertaining. If you don't, so be it. But, is it necessary to crap on our collective parade leading up to the big game?
Your contribution to the discussion has been outstanding.
Then why exactly have a board at all? Other than pos-bang and drinking threads, your rationale applies to almost every thread on this board. Certainly any possible thread that discussed football strategy at all would fail your trust the coaches test. Geez, the question was what would you do of you were a coach? What exactly is wrong with discussing that and football strategy?
Double post sorry
Well according to John Madden, "scoring more points than your opponent is the key to winning the game." They have a video game named after him, so I think Borges should follow that game plan.
Watching Alabama game film, I have noticed that they play mostly man coverage. They also attempt to predict the receivers routes, and then run the routes with them. I would try to use bunch formations with the "bunch" wide (rather than tight) to keep those blitzing corners away from Denard. Isolate whoever our best receiver is on the other side of the field, and force that single high safety to pick a side to help on.
In the running game, we have to find a way to get outside. Counters might help a bit.
Alabama wants to force our running game to flow to the boundary side of the field. If Rawls or Robinson (or Fitz, if he plays) can find some yards over there, we should take them. I'm talking 3-4 yard carries. Just enough to get into shorter situations on 3rd down.
Bottom line for me: if our WRs can get open against the man coverage, we have a shot to win. They also need to do a nice job blocking the DBs when we run. If our WRs can't get open (or Denard can't get them the ball when they're open) we are in big, big trouble. I don't see us being able to run the ball unless we can establish a passing threat.
...Saban has a lot of Cover 3 and Cover 4 adjusting coverages that incorporate man principles. They play those and man and they almost always line up the same. Good luck getting a pre-snap or even post-snap read.
its simple play michigans game..dont change anything you run and you keep running to setup the pass ..you cannot play there game..players just need to hit them in the mouth first let them know we are here for 4 quarters.
Is that you?
Style points don't matter. We need to set ourselves up to win the game. If that means we shock them with 10 straight passing plays/denard run options on Drive 1. Then so be it. I hate it when we stick to our offense and we get Vincent Smith 1yard runs every time on 1st down.
The reason why that FLA v. Michigan Carr finale is so refreshing is that the coaching staff just let it rip.
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.