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- In-bounds plays - There were 2-3 that were awful and that blame falls on the players and the coaches.
- Missed threes - Those were wide open shots that he's been making at 50% this year. I would have preferred that he take it to the post and try to get another foul on Happ, but I can't fault him for taking a wide open shot.
- Donnal - What just kills me about his performance is that his only job is to stay in his lane. Michigan doesnt need him to score 20 or play above the rim. They need him to bring energy off the bench and play fundamentally sound. He did neither. He was hot garbage the whole night, which hurt even more because the crappy whistles forced Wilson and Wagner to the bench.
- Wagner defense - I thought it was one of his better performances on the defensive end. It is impossible to know how much his late performance was affected by the cheap fouls he was called for, the way the refs changed the way the game was being called, and having to play against a great Happ with four fouls.
- Irvin was having a great game, though he had slowed down once Wilson was forced to the bench (again, stupid refs/fouls) and Hayes started guarding him. Likewise, we can't bitch about Irvin's late-game blunders one game and be pissed that he didn't get the late-game shots in this game.
- Carr - Essentially stopped recruiting both quality and especially quantity late in his career.
- RichRod - For all of the negatives, it is hard to knock his OL development. I'm not sure how I missed Omameh in the draft list, but for a brief moment RichRod had a good line. But he screwed up recruiting quantity and had some early washouts.
- Hoke - He had the big class trying to make up for RichRod, but they didn't ever develop as much as we had hoped. Missing on Fisher and passing on Pocic hurt.
- Harbaugh - The jury is still out. They weren't able to do much with Hoke's players and recruiting so far has been short of ideal since they have yet to sign a true LT and the classes have been full of several projects. Bredeson, Onwenu, Ruiz, and Fillagia give us hope, but we haven't seen anything on the field yet to get us exctied.
- Dreisbach looked really good on that run. Fast, good ball security, some moves, etc. He got lost in the shuffle thanks to an injury and Griese's career, but he got a cup of coffee in the NFL and played for a few years in the AFL. He's now the coach at a powerhouse program in Texas. (link)
- How about Tyrone Butterfied's "intentional" dropped pass in the 1995 Virginia game that set up the classic finish? That was the highlight of his career and he's probably the least reknown player to ever get the #1 jersey.
- Painful to see that Donnal line after his performance last night.
- You ripped on Fargas a little because of his unicorn performance. It always killed me that his career at Michigan scuffled (injury, move to DB, transfer) and then he became a stud at USC and then in the NFL for a while.
- I thought I remembered a Robbie Reid game where he scored a ton (25pts against Wisconsin), but looking at his stats he actually had a lot of double-digit scoring games in his brief career.
- This doesn't count as a TWO, but deserves mention. In Jon Vaughn's first two games in 1990 (ND & UCLA) he rushed for 491 yards and 3 TDs. Wrap your head around that for a minute. He went on to have a solid full season and declared for the NFL after that.
- Matt Vogrich - against Northern Michigan in the first game of his career he went 5-for-5 from 3 for 15 points. He only broke double digits two more times in his entire career, never coming close to 15 again.
- Jarod Ward had a long and semi-productive career (even though he's known as a bust being the #1 overall recruit during an underperforming era for Fisher). But his best game came as a senior against Indiana when he went for 24-10 and showed you what could have been.
- Performance slips
- Recruiting slips, imperceptably at first with some stars but lacking the core foundation
- Attrition starts popping up at a higher rate for coaches/players
- Attendance wanes
- People stop caring as much
- The 3 pointers seemed random. Michigan was getting good looks and they just weren't falling. I actually liked seeing Michigan run offense the entire game to compensate.
- The game felt "fluky" to me. Michigan would play good defense, get a deflection with active hands, and it would go right to Furman for a layup. Or Michigan would box out and a long three would result in a long rebound for a second chance. There were breakdowns on D a few times and it wasn't flawless, but i thought Furman got more lucky bounces.
- God is there nothing worse in sports than the basketball ref that ASSUMES there was a foul. You know him - he's the guy with the worst angle of a play where a guy goes to the rim and he blows a whistle assuming there was a foul. There were at least 3 times that Michigan got called for a phantom foul in this game. Meanwhile, Walton has some magical power that prevents him from getting a call when he gets in the paint and draws contact.
- QB - Returning starter and talented depth. Yay!
- RB - Loads of talent and experience
- WR - Unproven, but variety and the steady Perry to hold things together
- TE - Monsters
OL - Yikes.....this is scary. Disappointed that Harbaugh hasn't had more of an impact here by year three. Could make or break the season. Cole/Bredesen/Owenu/?/?
- DL - Critical that the starters stay healthy and someone develops from the backups
- LB - Remember how worried we were this year? Let's hope that magic works again
- CB - Clark + talented and unproven masses should be fine
- S - Uh.....Kinnel and ?
- Keep the bigs churning - duh
- Get Rahk's confidence and aggression back
- Find minutes for Simpson to grow and contriibute
- Run the offensive system - no hero ball, find the open man, ball screen, etc.
- Redshirted in 1988 as a DB
- Played hardly at all as a RS-Fr in 1989 at RB with just 10 carries
- Exploded to start the season as a RS-So in 1990 with a 201 yard game against the Irish and a 288 yard game against UCLA.
- Lost a lot of carries the last four games of that season to true freshman Ricky Powers
- Declared early for the NFL trying to ride his great season and avoiding shared backfield carries with Powers.
- Played 4 years in the NFL as primarily a Kick returner and sometimes RB. (Intersetingly he never returned kicks at Michigan.)
- Alabama - total lock, even with a loss
- Clemson - lose and they're out
- Ohio State - some voters will get uncomfortable with PSU win, but probably in
- Washington - need to win
- OK / OKSt - if one wins in dominant fashion they have a decent resume
- PSU / Wiscy - won the toughest conference and fared well against OSU
- Michigan - finished third in their division, lost to Iowa
- Colorado - weird spot for them as you'd think a win = in, but would you want them when one of their 2 losses is a blowout to Michigan?
|23 hours 27 min ago||Crawford||
Might as well include ALL of the Wolverines since Crawford is the only other one at this point....and the most successful.
Sad that McGary wasn't able to stay healthy and out of trouble.
|2 days 21 hours ago||JBB & Runyan||
As for Runyan, I would LOVE for him to fight his way into the conversation. I think guys like him with a bit of a chip on his shoulder can be the kind of guy that makes an impact in his later years on a team. I think the issue is that he was so undersized as a recruit that it would be a surprise to see him anywhere other than C or G - and he still is probably not ready for those yet.
With JBB there will likely be every opportunity for him to earn the start at one of the tackle spots. If you squint hard enough the one bright side of having so many spots up for grabs is that there will be an all out competition for them and no one (aside from Cole) has earned anything yet. JBB has the most experience of the guys we're talking about, even if it wasn't much and was unimpressive. He, Ulizio, Runyan, the incoming freshmen, and even the walk-ons will get their shot. Let's hope a couple of guys sieze it and the coaches work some magic so that this isn't what holds us back in 2017.
|2 days 23 hours ago||Compare vs. Wilson||
Thanks for the insight. Your description sounds somewhat like DJ Wilson coming out of high school and into his early career. How would you compare them?
|2 days 23 hours ago||VERY intrigued by this||
I posted a Diary yesterday about the state of the OL and in it you can see what Frey did with guys like Omameh, Lewan, Schofield, and Molk under RichRod. It was arguably our least painful position group during a brief year or two there - which isn't something you can say about any other year out of the last 15.
He did well at Indiana and WVU as well. I like his Florida ties. I like that he's at least familiar with Michigan. I like that he has a ton of experience coaching our worst position group right now. I like that he knows Wilson's offense for games against OSU. Hell, I even like mending the fence to the RichRod era a little rather than pretending it didn't happen.
The one thing I can't figure out is how they'd mesh his zone-style with what Drevno/Harbaugh like to run. Likewise, if you take that position group away from Drevno isn't that a big demotion when you consider he's also sharing OC duties with another NFL guy?
|2 days 23 hours ago||Ouch....||
I think it is fair to point ouf that this was not one of Wagner's better games, especially considering how well he has played most of this season. I don't think it is as fair to be as negative as you were. Here are my thoughts:
|3 days 3 hours ago||Harbaugh part 2||
One commenter mentioned that Harbaugh contributed to the loss of Bosch and LTT. In some ways that's true I suppose, but I don't mind having a coach with a good morale compass. In Bosch's case he essentially suspended him for a year and despite that the two of them couldn't come to an agreement of what it would take for him to stay on the team. I don't think the LTT story has been finished yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if Harbaugh figures it is best for both parties to have a fresh start.
Not signing either Hamilton or Swenson last year hurt the OT depth, that's for sure.
|3 days 3 hours ago||Coaching thoughts....||
Building on some of these comments, it is interesting to think about the coaches actions:
|4 days 20 hours ago||Love this question....||
|5 days 10 hours ago||Don't add the caveat - Michigan got screwed||
I try hard to avoid the stereotype of being a Michigan fan that whines about the officials, but this was a classic boneheaded ref game. Two of the top teams in the country at avoiding fouls suddenly are saddled with foul trouble? BS.
Michigan takes a lead and control....then their two best players are on the bench. It was impossible to tell what was a foul and what wasn't. The only "make up" call that you might think Michigan got was when Dakich showed Walton pushing off on a drive to the hoop. That NEVER gets called and thus wasn't a missed call in a standard game.
The icing on the cake was that Michigan, despite having to play without two starters in foul trouble and with Walton barely able to walk after getting crushed by Hayes (no call), actually got a steal when they were down 4 and had ~20 seconds left. Only for a ref to make a horrible call on Simpson - just horrible.
Whenever Wisconsin needed a pick-me-up, the refs were there to give it to them. Michigan played well enough to win and got jobbed.
|6 days 18 hours ago||Depth is a factor||
One factor affecting things this season is depth. Whether or not this is where Beilein's foul avoidance bias came from decades ago I can't say, but this season he just doesn't have the horses to get into a physical game. He likes a short bench in general, but this year he's only playing 7.5 players in the rotation. I'd like to see Michigan get more physical, but if Watson isn't ready to play, then you don't have a lot of athletic options until next year.
Izzo historically uses a deep bench (even when he probably shouldn't). That helps build some talent but also lets the guys use up fouls and be physical. (here's where you insert a jab about Beilein's recent recruiting.)
Another thing that hurt Michigan more than most teams is the fact that taking charges isn't much of an option anymore. Those "adequate" defenses that helped Michigan win some B1G titles were boosted by guys like Morgan and Novak taking a ton of charges. Those calls are not as likely now.
|6 days 18 hours ago||Why a fight?||
Brian impies that Red is hanging on because he wants to. I got the impression that he was asked to because Warde had other things to deal with first. This is a tough situation for anyone, but that's why the AD needs to build a relationship with the coach and then try to step in and handle it. We saw it almost work with Carr, but not quite. The stages:
Carr went though severall of those stages, but 2006 was a spark. He probably would have retired that year if we beat OSU. I think Red has to realize that he can't recruit top kids when he keeps hanging around a year at a time and the program needs a spark. Leave now while he still is in good standing so he can help with the transition.
|1 week 2 days ago||Three critical players...||
Besides health, you could make the argument that Hudson, Mettelus, and Dwumfor are among the most critical players this off season.
The safeties essentially both have to be good enough to play right away because the last Glasgow is the only other remote possibility at safety/viper. And we need another DT in the rotation with Dwumfor being the only obvious option.
I think the starting DL and ILB are fine and we have literally seven viable corners to yield two starters. Safety/viper and a third DT are the biggest unknowns.
|1 week 3 days ago||I like Mike and Mike||
I know a lot of people rip on Mike and Mike but honestly I enjoy their show and always have. I would much rather listen to a professional I know a lot of people rip on Mike and Mike but honestly I enjoy the show and always have. I would much rather listen to a professional fairly unbiased take on sports with good guests them one of the screaming heads that most radio stations throw out there such as Skip Bayless or Colin Coherd.
the biggest complaints I have about Mike and Mike is that green tea sticks to to rigid of a schedule with suit so many advertisements and they tend to exaggerate the importance of every single event to fill air time for obvious reasons
|2 weeks 3 days ago||OL is scarier than DL||
I think you can scheme around DL issues a little more than you can the OL, at least with pro-style offense. We have four sure-fire starters on the DL and some guys who are flexible in their position. Depth is frightening, but most of the time I think Brown can make something work like he did at BC with lesser players.
On OL we learned under years of Hoke that even one mental mistake or weak link in the OL can doom the play. Not only do we not have proven players, but the guys on the list haven't even been coached up during a red-shirt year. It is frustrating and scary to think about multiple true-freshmen being in the two-deep and not even being able to cobble together a starting 5. It is also hard to coach around it because one blunder and you're behind the sticks and punting.
As for grad transfers.....that seems highly unlikely at both positions. I think you might be able to find a guy on the DL who is good/big enough to be a rotation piece. But a power-5 starting offensive lineman? No way.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||My era.....||
The mid-1990s were my era at Michigan and I do remember some of these guys. For example, Pryce was a monster on the field but apparently had some off-field issues (sad because he would have been great). I also was in West Quad with Jon Ritchie and remember him taking a dump in the stairwell and standing there laughing as students walked by trying to avoid stepping in it. Good times.....
It really comes down to the OL and then seeing how quickly the young stars Harbaugh has recruited can build depth at WR and on defense.
Don't underestimate the impact of Kenny Allen though - he was a stud this year outside of that weird Wisconsin game.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||Odd departure.....optimism?||
It seems odd for him to depart when you have a strong contrbutor at that position, though it is rare for your LS to be on scholarship in the first place. He's done a great job in his career so there's always a risk that we take a step back next season.
Where this might be cause for optimism is that they told him that they needed his scholarship for recruits. If they needed a scholarship from a solid contributor, maybe that means some combination of lack of unexpected attrition and more recruits.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Weird Game||
I had three observations from the game:
|4 weeks 4 days ago||2017 depth||
Quick thoughts about youth/depth for 2017:
So OL, LB, and S are the concerns. The depth on defense takes a huge hit too. The offense will need to carry more of the load behind a shaky OL to give the D time to develop.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||Fine line||
I think another person said this, but I don't like the message it sends. Let's say that Speight throws for 400 yards in the first game next year, looks like Tom Brady 2.0, but we lose. Now our playoff chances are on life support so he says he's going to quit the team to prepare for the draft because his stock is never higher.
That's crazy you say? Well, where is that line drawn?
I like Magnus's idea. I also would have preferred that McCaffrey talk to his coach and say "I want to play for my team, but given where things stand can we keep my touches down and let other guys have a chance? I think there's a compromise in there that works for everyone and doesn't make him look selfish.
If I am at the combine for an NFL team my question is this - our team is 6-6 in a tough division looking like a longshot for the playoffs. Are you going to quit in a contract year to avoid injury?
|5 weeks 5 days ago||He is the key...||
Pretty amazing to think that the two most important players seem to be our bigs - Wagner and Wilson. I think it is because they actually are a match-up problem for most teams (UCLA excluded). I think the Big Ten is fairly mediocre this year and if those two play their roles up to their potentia this team could have a solid season.
I also think Robinson and Donnal are in their proper roles. Heading into the next two body bag games and into the conference season this is what needs to happen for this team to reach its potential:
|5 weeks 5 days ago||General response to Ace....||
First, I am glad that there are at least signs of defensive improvement this year. Obviously you can't fix things overnight - especially when you return a lot of the same players (and bad defenders) from the past. What I'm a little more concerned with, however, is our offense. Beilein has taken the team to great heights with poor defense and great offense. This offense is so erratic at times that it is frustrating. I guess even the Burke/Stauskas teams had their droughts, but why this team gets lost at times is perplexing.
Second, Walton and Irvin. They are both useful contributors who have represented the program well. But on a truly good team they are your 2nd, 3rd, or 4th options at most. My frustration on this blog the last couple of years was that we kept blaming injuries for their performance. Both players have their limitations - always have and always will apparently.
Third, the key to the next three games is for Michgan to get the freshmen meaningful minutes - perhaps even if it keeps the games closer than the body bag point spread. We need to get them confidence and real game action.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||Perry & A-Train||
The reason you don't see Perr, A-Train or even Mike Hart on the list is because they were products of the Lloyd-ball era. They were all talented and great players for the teams they were on. But they also fell victim to the simplistic play-calling, run-run-run-punt-play D, and play close games mentality of Carr. I remember Perry's awesome 200-yard game against MSU that one year......but it took him 52 carries to do it.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||RB carries||
I think Magnus hit it correctly with his comments about toughness, blocking, and little things. I suspect that shows up in practice and was what got him in the doghouse last year. You saw Higdon come out of nowhere and get carries probably because he was doing those little things.
It is hard to fault the coaches too much with how well the season was overall, the fact that four different RB had successful seasons, and the fact that they also mixed in Peppers. But I do think that they gave up a little too easily on Isaac and Higdon late in the season. I'm always of the opinion that you ride the hot hand more and it feels like Isaac gets yanked even if he breaks off a big run.
i also agree 100% that Michigan didn't use the screen game as much as they could and that Isaac is probably the best choice for that besides Khalid Hill.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||Jon Vaughn||
I guess I'll play the 'old guy' card and talk about the top name on that list - Jon Vaughn. Everyone knows Wheatley, Denard, and Biakabatuka...but you rarely hear about Vaughn. His story is somewhat interesting:
I remember that he was one of the first players I remember being upset that he left early for the NFL since he seemed like he had so much potential yet untapped.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||Still worth it||
While OSU clearly had a counter and we weren't successful (and had the stupid 10-men situation), it is obvious that OSU had to spend a lot of time scouting this and coaching these plays to prepare for Michigan. That in itself is a win. As we know from our friends at the Freep, they can only practice so much - devoting a chunk to punting takes away from something.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Play diagrams....||
Ace - Could you make those diagrams of yours almost gile a gif where the lines appear one at a time rather than having them all in place? There's also a free app you can use called Basketball Dood that is pretty well done for a simple way to diagram plays and set them to motion.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Hero Ball||
Your two play diagrams and warranted praise for Beilein's offensive prowess just further emphasize how horrific it is when someone - ANYONE - tries the hero ball route for a final shot. I remember fans getting annoyed when Trey frickin' Burke did the hero ball crap and no one on this roster compares to his ability to create points. Why on earth wouldn't you draw up a play like one of them shown here? Especially when Irvin and Walton will often be matched up against the other team's most athletic player and Wagner won't?
|7 weeks 5 days ago||We're out and we should be out||
While I think we're one of the best teams, we can't justify being in with two losses. We had to win either Iowa or OSU to be considered - losing both means we're out. We can bitch about having beat PSU, Wisconsin, and Colorado while also losing such a coin-flip game to OSU....but we lost 2 of our last 3 and one was to a crappy Iowa.
If we are sitting at 1-loss we're right in the mix. But as it is we shouldn't be in consideration. It would take total chaos (both Clemson AND Washington losing) just for us to get a sniff, and even then I don't think we should make it.
Sucks....but get a 4th quarter first down or a stop or an actual ref call skewed toward us in those two games.
|7 weeks 6 days ago||I wish I believed it was possible....||
I think we are at better team than a lot of those in contention - certainly Wisconsin, PSU, and CU anyway. I do think that in a scenario with a lot of chaos that we have a fighting chance - and crazier things have happened.
But I don't think we have much of a shot without total chaos. You also should include in this analysis the quality of losses. While Michigan's aren't bad (both close road losses, one to #2) the Iowa loss stings here. I think if we were sitting with one loss to OSU we'd be in pretty good shape. But with two losses and two other teams from our own conference having legit claims to a spot - it will be difficult.
As it is, OSU has their own drama about the playoff spot. While we all think they'll get in, what if PSU dominates Wisconsin next weekend? Now you'll tell PSU that two teams from their own division are getting in ahead of them? Not likely.
Total chaos is the only way in, and frankly that's probably how it should be. Michigan needed to find a way to win one of their two losses. As it is I think the playoff chances are likely ranked like this:
So we want Clemson & Washington to lose while the B12 and B10 games are boring and sloppy. Otherwise I don't think we're in, nor do I really think we should be.
|8 weeks 1 day ago||Close game - every play matters||
Look - I get it, the refs sucked. In a game that goes into 2OT the margin comes down to a single play. There were countless plays in this game that could have flipped it. And yes, I agree - the refs' made some calls that could have changed the game for us. I'm not saying that we SHOULDN'T be mad at the refs. I'm saying that this wasn't like the MSU game from 2015 or even the Iowa game from this season.
I'm more frustrated that the team who was poised all year with few turnovers and few offensive penalties made so many mistakes. I'm frustrated that we had Samuel dead behind the line and let him set up the 4th down play.
Most of all I'm frustrated that we continue to be the nail in this rivalry while OSU is the hammer. We needed one break and none fell our way.