"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
- Member for
- 7 years 9 weeks
|6 years 7 weeks ago||The negativity is understandable...||
...after a close game in which we had a good chance at the end. But Brian's reaction is a little surprising to me, given that his own prediction in the game preview was for a 3-point Iowa win. He underestimated the point totals, but just about nailed the outcome. So why all the angst?
Hey, we're 4-2 right now with a legitimate shot at going 3-3 or better the rest of the way. Sounds to me like we're on track for hitting the center of the realistic expectations for this turnaround season.
|6 years 7 weeks ago||Tate's game||
The strong impression I got while watching the game is that Tate was fighting an internal battle between what he's been told to do by the coaches and what he's most apt to do on his own. I don't say that to fault either Tate or the coaches. He just looked to me like a guy who has been taking golf lessons, and during his swing, he's now suddenly conscious of his hips, his knees, his elbows, and his grip all at the same time.
And of course, playing QB in the Big 10, and especially in this offense, is a bit more complicated than a golf swing. I'm sure the coaches have told Tate a hundred times that they want him carrying the ball fewer times per game, dancing around less in the pocket, etc, etc, which is to say nothing of making the right reads, checking down to the right receiver, and everything else.
It's understandable that this could lead to a young man's "thinking too much." Midway through the season now, I would guess the coaches are taking a harder line with Tate, whereas in the first few games he was given more latitude to just be himself and follow instinct.
Brian talked about "the leap" having been made in offensive production, in an article a few weeks ago. I think this is the second leap that we can look for -- that Tate and also Denard develop the maturity and consistency that is needed at this level. Pure speed and escapability can make some plays and even win some games, but this second leap will be needed to compete for championships.
|6 years 7 weeks ago||Thanks gs||
You've got your priorities straight.
|6 years 8 weeks ago||I just take it as...||
evidence of how much yardage our D was giving up on 1st and 2nd down, on several of their scoring drives. More than 5 yards per play, consistently.
I am also glad Bill Lynch didn't get more aggressive on the handful of opportunities where he had 4th-and-5 (or less) in the red zone during that first half. He went for the field goal each time. Hard to say whether Indiana would have ended up with more points or fewer overall with that approach, but I'm guessing they could have gotten one more TD in place of a FG.
Lynch's risk profile in this game was interesting. Lots of trick plays and formations and wildcat stuff, which were by-and-large successful against us, but they really tended to play it safe on 4th down in the red zone.
|6 years 8 weeks ago||Stevie Brown||
But I for one am glad to see him still contributing on special teams too, where he has consistently excelled since his earliest games at UM. He made a difference in that area against IU.
I think it has been advanced before, but who's for "Special Teams UFR?" As Brian has already explained elsewhere, STs were a big part of the story on Saturday, for field position and hidden yardage.
|6 years 8 weeks ago||First Half||
23 points allowed on ZERO successful third down conversions in the first half. (OK, so IU converted a fourth and short.) That is a bit... unsettling. Maybe the source of a new "getting gashed" metric?!
|6 years 9 weeks ago||D = Casey at the Bat||
It seems to be either a TFL or a 7+ yard gain -- home run or strikeout, and not much in between. Way too many strikeouts on Saturday. Indiana put up 23 first-half points without converting a single third-down opportunity.
|6 years 9 weeks ago||This sounds right||
On that play, notice our front four shifting before the snap with B-Graham changing sides. Indiana appeared to counter by moving their H-back to the short side and running that way.
|6 years 9 weeks ago||A win is a win is a win||
But yeah, lots of echoes of 2008 in this one. Negative turnover margin, yakkety sax snaps, two quarters of ineffective offense, and a mostly porous defense. I think UFR or Steve Sharik will show that the 85-yd touchdown run was again due to a bad angle by our walk-on safety. Last year it would have been a loss.
But many good things happened as well. Tate obviously played with enormous heart and courage, putting mistakes behind him and directing the winning drive with a shoulder stinger or partial sep or whatever it ends up being. Among guys who don't get much press, Van Bergen and Kevin Grady had moments where they stepped up with fire and determination.
This game was like the old cliche about a good movie: it put you through every emotion from pure rage to pure joy, and in the end you were glad for the experience. The team will continue to gel through stuff like this.
|6 years 9 weeks ago||Haven't seen the x-rays, but...||
Molk's injury sounds exactly like the one I suffered playing basketball as an 8th grader (close to 30 yrs ago). It was a stress fracture of the bone along the outside edge of the foot, about midway between the little toe and the heel.
For me it happened as I was playing defense, shuffling to my right, and the offensive player started to drive in that same direction. He stepped on my foot/ankle just as I planted, causing my foot to roll under with his weight and mine on it.
I was able to finish practice just as Molk was able to finish the game, but it was hurting pretty bad within a couple hours, and definitely affected weight-bearing ability and lateral movement. I was out 4-6 weeks and missed most of the season. There was a well-known college hoops player in the Grand Rapids area who had the same injury and was seeing the same podiatrist I was at the time.
FWIW. Not saying this is Molk's exact problem, but I can identify.
|6 years 9 weeks ago||Don't forget Iowa 2005||
My memory of the OT victory over Iowa in 2005 is that John Thompson and Jerome Jackson basically won the game for us, although it wasn't a single spectacular play for either of them.
|6 years 9 weeks ago||Pardon me||
Brian, your superstitions are showing. :-)
Didn't we try this approach once before with liveblogging?
|6 years 9 weeks ago||Enjoyed this...||
...especially since I remember all those other guys from years ago.
Having Tate available and at his best makes it a lot easier to bear with D-Rob's more freshman-like flubs, but we have to also keep in mind Tate's 6-8 months of additional time in the program due to early enrollment. Both will keep getting better, and I'm with the others around here who look forward to more offensive sets that put both of them on the field together. You half-expect a big play every time #16 trots out there.
Relative to 2008, the improved QB play is obviously a huge factor in this year's success. The other two key problems on offense last year were turnovers and tempo (i.e. failure to achieve it), and those have been measurably better as well.
|6 years 10 weeks ago||Home and away||
How many of our 4-0 starts had all four games at home, as we do this year? Losing the first road game of the season is hardly unfamiliar territory.
|6 years 10 weeks ago||About the LB/DE playing time||
I'm wondering how much of the PT decision is made by RR himself, and how much by GERG or the position coaches. RR has the well-publicized soft spot for walk-ons; have the other coaches (voluntarily or otherwise) also bought into that? Are the scholarship guys just not earning it during the week?
|6 years 10 weeks ago||Roh's pick: definite lol moment||
I was wondering which game they were both watching on the booth monitors at that point, because it wasn't the one in Ann Arbor!
|6 years 10 weeks ago||Couldn't tell...||
...whether the EMU defender got his shoelaces or it was just a turf monster.
Not that it matters for anything, but did anyone else think CB's TD that got reviewed/confirmed wasn't really a TD? I was looking at it with single-frame step on my DVR, and thought the ball was about 6 inches short of the goal line when his entire leg was already on the ground.
I found myself disagreeing with the review official 2 or 3 times during this game, and of course also with the PI call on Booboo.
|6 years 10 weeks ago||Hail, Kevin Leach||
Leach ended up leading the team in tackles against EMU.
|6 years 10 weeks ago||I tend to agree||
I wish the foul had been flagged during the game.
And after neither of those things happened, I wish the B10 would have responded with private arm-twisting rather than public conviction. This is, in my opinion, just grandstanding and opportunism by the conference office. And it sets a bad precedent.
|6 years 10 weeks ago||It's not moral equivalence||
Rather, it's evidence of the First Axiom of Self-Preservation, observed by nearly all bureaucrats at nearly every level:
|6 years 10 weeks ago||I want...||
- More passing attempts than rushing attempts for D-Rob
|6 years 10 weeks ago||It would only be fair...||
...for Zoltan to take up as Vice Weapon Of Choice, since Tate has already made an appearance as Vice Space Emperor.
|6 years 10 weeks ago||w00t for...||
...non-whiffed TE blocking.
|6 years 10 weeks ago||Remaining steps||
Ah yes, with 11 of 13 steps to go (or 10 of 12, if you prefer), as one of our "mathletes" was quoted as saying this week, "there's more than 90% of the season left to play." He undoubtedly studied at the feet of Yogi Berra. :-)
Putting on my Capt. Obvious hat... Defense wins championships. An explosive offense means you'll be competitive in most games, and will win some.
The sense of foreboding I had after two games last year is not present this year. Barring injury in our key positions, I don't really dread the thought of watching any of the remaining games in '09. But I'm not looking for a B10 championship either.
|6 years 11 weeks ago||I like it||
Moosebeasts, half-velcro guys, dwarves, and baling wire. Oh, and space punters. My kind of contraption!
|6 years 11 weeks ago||Why not Tay...||
Tay Odoms was unexpectedly quiet last week, after being the leading offensive producer in 2008. I was surprised that Grady-19 was doing most of the slot/electron stuff against WMU.
|6 years 11 weeks ago||The Koger TD||
One other little detail maybe worth noting on the waggle TD pass to Koger: they ran it to the left, resulting in a tougher throw for Tate as a right-hander. Really nicely done, and all the more impressive given that little difficulty factor. IIRC the old Griese-to-Tuman version usually had the QB rolling right.
|6 years 44 weeks ago||You're most likely right||
Prob'ly true, but every once in a while, money and prestige take a back seat to geography, family happiness, or whatever other "personal issues" may be in play for these high-profile guys. GR himself went from the pros back to the college game.
|6 years 44 weeks ago||Missed out on Trgovac||
ESPN is reporting today that Mike Trgovac is leaving as D-coordinator of the Carolina Panthers. Guess we missed out on a chance at bringing him back to Ann Arbor by a couple days.
|6 years 51 weeks ago||Thanks||
Glad you enjoyed it!