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|11 weeks 3 days ago||The Michigan I grew up with||
Harbaugh, Elliot, Kolesar, Morris.. Winning B10 Championships and losing Rose Bowls. Bo screaming at the refs and me yelling at the TV with my Dad in our neighbor's basement at 5pm on New Years Day. Thanks for the memories.
|15 weeks 5 days ago||I Demi Lovato your Josh Groban||
To quote my children's favorite song of the past xx months:
Let it go, Let it go,
Can't hold you back anymore
Let it go, Let it go,
Turn my back and slam the door
of course ESPN is twisting the dagger for dramatic effect, what else would you expect.
Don't worry about the past live in the future with "THE KNOWLEGE" where this entire arguement is rendered moot!
|15 weeks 5 days ago||Nice Analysis||
Got the same feel from watching how things have progressed and reading the UFRs. Learning a new system and getting comfortable with a coach's rhythm in calling plays and learning what works with the players (especially QBs as different in style as Shane and DG) takes time and apparently spring ball and fall practice wasn't enough, but in those practices you focus on "your stuff" and not as much on the different fronts and coverages that opponents will throw at you week to week and the game planning chess match.
Unfortunately we didn't have much of a luxury with this year's early opponents looking better than we thought, my view having watched Rutgers in person vs. WSU was it was always going to be a tougher game than anticipated, given the environment and Utah is better than advertised, although they seem to be an enigma losing to WSU then beating UCLA. Both teams we should beat by the M standard as referenced ad naseum here on mgoblog.
The Minnesota game is the one thing I just can't figure out. That team is not good, but I'm curious to know what the "sitting Devin" issue was, as it seems like something deeper than the yips and turnover issues. In all the interviews (e.g. Norfleet and Clark) the players and coaches allude to something he did though we'll probably never know what. Even without the program drama and Devin's issues these look like risky/poor decisions by the coordinators: bet the D scheme on Peppers along with hope for a pass rush we've never really had and too much tight formation manball and waggles on O. This alone doomed us from a scheme and RPS POV, but maybe that was Coach Brandon (that will be my own baseless internal narrative), at any rate it just piles up to a Mt. Everest of suckiness and ennui.
Would really love a candid interview with Nuss to compare the atmosphere and position coaching/player development between 'Bama and UM. Maybe we'll get that after this season.
Sucks that this is the situation, hopefully they team learns and can pull an upset or two out of this trash heap of a season while the program moves on to better days under a new regime. Would be nice to beat PSU, but then again I thought we would take it to Rutgers.
|16 weeks 1 day ago||kenyon college lords and ladies.||
D3... Was taken out of my last game as a senior when concussed after a tackle on a punt return. I couldn't remember anything for about 15 mins, plays, what I had for breakfast, my girlfriends name. I wanted back in but the team doc took my helmet and refused. This was in 1998. Also we had the Oberlin yeomen in our league..
|16 weeks 2 days ago||It's always better on paper||
Cy Young winners
When does basketball start?
|16 weeks 3 days ago||adversity||
This team 135 does not do well with it. 98's presence is worth at least 10 points. Rutgers 19-13.
In an alternate universe before Brandongate: Peppers plays offense, DeVeonGreen rushes for 100 and DG passes for 350+ with a couple nice scampers. M 27-17..
|16 weeks 3 days ago||Congrats Rich!||
Great win for Rich, team looked tough on D, some outstanding RPS+ on O. It also shows how big a difference experience O linemen make.
Agree with Yost, there is no Wisconsin on the PAC12, save Stanford, so I will be interested to see the outcome of that matchup, the weather makes a big difference and if you look at Oregon's style in the big games they've been in vs. athletic D lines (Auburn NC Game, Rose vs. OSU) they aren't nearly as explosive.
|16 weeks 3 days ago||Scooby was a 2*||
Look at him now!
|16 weeks 3 days ago||Manball!!!||
That guy is Vincent Smith size
|16 weeks 3 days ago||Women's soccer manager||
Can kick better than our ranked recruit of a kicker.. Rod wasn't kidding when he said he would audition anyone.
|16 weeks 3 days ago||Washington is not playing tonight||
|16 weeks 3 days ago||I understand the point of an awareness campaign||
Twas' a bit of a rhetorical question and I while I don't doubt the intent, i disagree with Oregon's execution. Uniformz cost a lot of money, probably a lot more than gloves or towels or wristbands.. I'd love to see the financials on the campaign vs. ROI on donation. Seeing as how nearly every team does some variant of this do you really believe that the donations they get will exceed the cost of the gear (Uniformz, Shoes, etc)..Phil Knight can't keep from grandstanding even when it comes to charitable causes.
|16 weeks 3 days ago||Why can't we run that play with Peppers on O||
|16 weeks 3 days ago||My wife made the point||
Instead of spending money on special breast cancer awareness unis, why not just donate the money..
|16 weeks 3 days ago||Sack Time!!!||
|16 weeks 3 days ago||Luck o' the Duck||
Looked like Solomon could've pulled and ran for the first but I think that last fumble was on his mind. Same thing happened vs. WSU.. Oregon is not the second best team in the country, but I will eat my words if they win the PAC 12.
|16 weeks 3 days ago||At least their return man||
knows where to go with the ball.. Two holding penalties though
|16 weeks 3 days ago||17-3||
Hard to do anything starting backup tackles. If we're dealing in hypotheticals, how much better would M be with Dior Mathis and Jake Fisher.
|16 weeks 3 days ago||Here come the track stars||
So nice to watch an exciting game
|16 weeks 3 days ago||Saw them in Seattle vs. WSU||
Agree w/Ace's take on their D. This team is a lot like Utah, with a slightly worse quarterback and similar defense with worse DBs. WSU is a gun, three step, leach-n-shoot and Halliday went bombs away after WSU stretched out Rutgers' D. Their pass rush was good and they held WSU to 6 yards rushing (on 14 carries I think knowing Leach they were called as pass plays and Halliday misread the signal). Caroo seems like the real deal, would be nice if we could just hand him to Peppers and say "give him nothing".. That's obvs not an option. Hopefully Louis/Countess/Taylor can stick with him as our safties are young and late on their help. Agree on that the less derpy offense wins. There's a chance If M goes DG Shotgun 4 wide with a few designed QB runs to keep them off balance. The slant game should be open, but having flown cross-country to attend the Minnesota debacle in person with my 5 year old son (his first game at Michigan Stadium), I expect to see lots of 3TE waggles and 3rd & long PA instead or whatever this weeks' version of the RPS takedown is..If somehow we can run the ball that would be a breakthrough, but that would actually take Nuss and Hoke giving more carries to the better running back vs. trying to keep things "equal" and going back to Green who is less than decisive with his cuts. I like how Smith runs out of the gun alot, Smith + DG = someone gets open somehow. Unfortnuately due to the transitive powers of college football, Rutgers beating WSU, WSU beating Utah at home and Utah beating M at home, I predict a 3 sack 3 interception outing for Garder with 67 yards rushing and 318 yards passing and a 17-10 loss with a blocked punt returned for a TD and inability to convert on 3rd and long being the main culprits.
|24 weeks 1 day ago||Walter Smith '94 Captain||
Is the player I was referencing, whoops. Also, couldn't find any pictures online so maybe a figment of my imagination. will search the freep archive.
|24 weeks 2 days ago||Could've done better||
Concur with the majority of posters on the iconic nature of the home uni. I don't know why it's so hard keep the classic design language but make it look modern, just use the normal solid number unis with thin single maize striped shoulders would look soo much better with the blue pants. The number font and "fake" stripes just kill this design, which in total is not so Uniformzy. Concur w/blue pants on the road. Didn't we do that once or twice during the mid 90's? I recall a photo with Walter Johnson wearing them possibly?
|33 weeks 1 hour ago||Extras Sale on this year's models||
Have a couple extra of these that I bought from the MDEN last season. Let me know if you are interested and I'll send you a list of what I have. Will sell at a good discount..
|42 weeks 5 days ago||Stopped at the end of first half - Louisville replay||
Both of these games we had a decent lead that we just couldn't hold onto. Went to Atlanta with my friends, great game, terrible end. Watched it with him at his house 2 months later just to see what it looked like on TV. We decided to stop and delete at the end of the first half.
I actually feel worse about Kentucky because we had a more experienced team with a double digit lead and there were clear areas of weakness to continue attacking when we had droughts. Lville 2nd half just felt like a game we were destined to lose when they pulled ahead. Proud of M hoops this year; quite tired of losing the critical games in FB,BB and Hockey.
|43 weeks 6 days ago||Which Lord are you?||
I graduated in '99!
|48 weeks 1 day ago||Metropolitans||
The first U.S. team to win the Stanley Cup was from Seattle!
|1 year 1 week ago||Maturity/cohesivness of Oline||
This is where it really hurts you. I agree with all the commenters that it's good to have bread and butter; once you have a more experienced line you can implement the play that stacks up best both from a personel point of view and Opponent D tendencies. When our O was mostly upperclass linemen on my team we could run a mix of all the man/zone blocking schemes as well as play action pass off them and a little option (but not zone read, this was the 90's). That is when we had our best offensive output across most of the key metrics (YPP/QBR/RedZone/3rd).
Also sadly, this would be where an experienced poet like Borges would feel most comfortable; writing with a diverse vocabulary. From this diary and the 'bama UFR as well as my years watching 'Nuss improve the Dawgs O here on Montlake I'm extremely psyched due to the youth we have and hopefully an upgrade game day coaching and recruiting.
Also IZ was best result vs. NU and first half IOWA+OSU? with the dudes firing off and Green/Smith making their "one cut"...
|1 year 7 weeks ago||Talent beds make the difference to the top heavy SEC||
Overall the SEC is the best conference relative to Bowl wins/Championships etc. The main issue is the top-to-bottom quality of the conferences and players. The talent beds in the south (FL/LA/GA/AL/TX) where football is king drive this phenomenon, but if you look at median W-L records of the conference I bet it would tell a different story (e.g. SEC being top heavy).. I think you have to look at it relative to championships/bowl wins but also total wins in and out of conference and the overall strength of all the teams. Just because your top teams are the best doesn't mean that you're the best overall. On a championships basis in the BCS era there is unfortunately no argument. I hate the SEC (except for LSU - whose fans were friendly and knowlegable when they came here to play UW and Florida - who has yet to beat M)..
|1 year 7 weeks ago||Delicious Coda now Microcosmic Rendering||
What was a tantalizingly close ending. I concur with most of the pro/con comments made thus far but I do agree that the ennui was pumped up to maximum levels. This ending was a microcosm of the "season that should've been". What if we had Darboh, what if Pipkins isn't on that rotation late against Minnesota? Did Shazier ever tear his ACL? Jake Ryan did, each of us has had some internal or "internet external" monologue demonizing Borges. What if Gibbons makes a critical FG vs. PSU. What if we hold Nebraska on that 3rd and long? What if Dileo catches the 4th down? What if Funchess catches 2 of the 5 first downs he drops and Devin doesn’t fumble in Iowa City or the coaches call a different play after the Ohio time out? In essence every unsucessful season ends with more questions than answers and the most frustrating aspect of this ending is that it gives no closure to those that wanted it and invites further speculation on the themes du jour -Is Borges' job safe? Is Hoke a game theory realist or a stuck-in-the past sentimentalist nice guy who sucks at strategery? How good or bad is Mattison and can Mallory ever get a Dback to turn his head around? How much is DB’s involvement impacting the team? I would like at a minimum to see a QB coach instituted and maybe a LB coach although linebacking has generally improved under Mattison. Can we get two up and comers (future OC/DC?) there to influence the “Silverbacks” on the staff? Agree on the bowl. The team needs a confidence boost and while better (bad) situation would have been going to cap one and winning against a team the calibre of 2012 South Carolina, a bowl win of any kind should be just the right medicine especially after all of this season’s disappointments.
|1 year 10 weeks ago||Answers attempted||
Very cool read, some mod ought to give the OP a nice point bump.
A question for him, since he seems a good one to ask: Any chance the coaches are doing a poor job at simulating games in practice? Or more precisely, doing a poor job of practicing in a way that really prepares the players to execute in a game (vs. in a controlled practice setting)? I've observed a few things that might be explained by this theory, and am curious what a guy who played thinks:
That’s tough to answer with the limited practice clips available. I think there are two critical elements in practice, the “individual” period with the position coaches and the “interior/skelly” and “team” periods with all coaches .
Individual is where the techniques are drilled and picked apart – for example how you step correctly and target the right part of the defender in blocking assignments for example, to teach the guys how to be fast by not false-stepping and taking the right path to the block – “inside out” for example on kick out blocks and learn how it feels to move correctly. This is where the “muscle memory” part comes into play. More seasoned good players do this in their sleep, young ones struggle more and bad ones usually never really get it.
In the interior section, the Offensive interior (RBs and Oline) work against the defensive front 7 mostly on running plays, but sometimes on blitz pickup, depending on the coaching philosophy this can be 1’s vs. 1’s or 1’s vs. 2’s, scout team etc. and the O will spend time mimicking the next opponent d and vice versa or sometimes you just drill your own different looks against each other depending on how similar your opponent’s scheme is to yours. This is the opportunity to really evaluate and teach the lines on how to deal with the opponents. A lot of times when an MA happens the coaches would whistle it dead, coach the guy up (or replace him) and “run it again”!
In Skelly it’s basically 7 on 7 work in the passing game, routes, checks, d works on coverage responsibilities etc.
Team is where you take the starters and drill them against the opponent’s scheme in simulated down and distance situations. The intent is for the O and D to “get a look” from the scout team representing (as best they can) so you can rehearse all the assignments, variable looks that come from the structure of the game plan. Usually the coaches start with a larger set of plays in the beginning of the week and then whittle down to the ones that are “executed” well in practice against the defensive looks you expect to see.
This is derived from scouting the other team and assuming they will roughly play to their tendencies (e.g. in 3rdand long these guys are most likely to run a double A cross fire (the double lb blitz that State runs) with man free, so we are going to run a “check with me” which is like a two play choice, run the play call, but if they tip their alignment or QB sees something different the play changes to a pre-determined other play. This is a way to simplify the process of checks/audibles into a binary option. Not sure how much Borges employs this vs. straight audible where the C and QB must be on the same page when the QB sees something and calls a completely new play.
The potential issue here is being able to simulate the opponents size/speed advantages with the scout team (hoke calls this “look team”) who is usually composed of your young guys or walk-ons – which is why they had RB’s/WR’s etc play QB to try and simulate Denard. Unless you go 1s vs. 1s (recipe for injuries) all the time, the practice “look” often doesn’t match what you see on game day, the better the look team does, the better prepared you are. The better the coaches anticipate what the other team will do, the better prepared you are.
The other issue here is that if the other team comes out with something completely new and breaks tendencies your game plan can go up in smoke (read: Nebraska). This is what concerns me about those guys, they can’t anticipate what the other teams are doing based on what worked against them in the past. Hoke admitted as much in his presser. I didn’t compare the offensive UFRs enough to know if Nebraskas blitz scheme was the same as MSUs or just their own blitz package the decided to run or something completely new which is a risk both for you and them.
i) Head scratching personnel shuffling - you alluded to this in your answer to 1 in the OP. Are we rolling out young "practice warriors" who maybe perform great in drills but break down in the mental game on the field? Is that why we seem to juggle the OL so much? Is that why we played Taco Charlton and burned Bosch's redshirt despite them not appearing to be a major upgrade on actual gameday? Or is that why we played Furman, who is fast as heck (maybe Mattison thought we needed that against an option team) but seems to have made a couple mental errors that the guys he replaced generally havent?
I think this is how Hoke wants to run the program a la Carroll et al. who want “competition at every position” to keep pressure on the starters. Normally, the starters are determined by coaches eval and how they grade out in practice and games. Also, there is some judgement about whether to go with a player who has been in the program and plateaued vs. a baptism by fire for a young player with potential. I have to imagine in the case of the OL it’s that effect. For Taco, I think it’s a matter of getting young players involved who have a single talent (e.g. pass rush) in the right situation. For Furman it seemed to be a sub due to Gordon’s injury – Furman hasn’t show anything to me this year that would make me want to sub him in for a healthy Gordon. When you are in a nose dive, things become a clusterfuck because you are trying to turn over every stone to find something that works.
ii) Inability to execute 2 minute drill / general time management issues. Hoke has mentioned that they typically "coach guys up" in between practice reps, rather than the Oregon approach of rep-rep-rep-rep all day. Does rarely practicing at a high tempo hamper our ability to do it on Saturday? It’s possible, if you spend too much time working on base things you can leave out time for two minute. When we decided to start the game with it we practiced it more during team. Usually we practiced it at the end of practice in a set period of time. I do think that when your team runs a particular offensive or defensive style, the other side players are more accustomed to that style and probably play better against it. Other than talent deficiency and terrible coaching, I thought this was a big issue for the RR defenses when the played “heavy” teams.
iii) Defensive struggles against tempo - see ii
iv) poor pre-snap communication on both sides of the ball. A lot of guys seem to be struggling with their own assignments, let alone having someone act as a "QB of the defense" (watching Bullogh on MSU made me realize how much Michigan lacks a guy like that). And our actual QB and center seem to struggle at properly ID'ing checks and blocking adjustments. Is it possible to get good at this if the coaches aren't running a simulated game environment in practice? Maybe guys are good at this in theory but are falling apart when presented with the pace of a game. I think some of this has to do with youth and leadership, some of it has to do with our coaches’ lack of adaptation, but yes we miss a Molk or Harris/Kovacs on both sides of the ball, not sure this has to do with how practice is run vs. flat out experience, film study and reps.
v) home v. away performance. All of the game vs. practice issues will be intensified on the road, in a hostile environment. This is true, when it’s loud communicating is harder and you have to resort to more hand signals, especially on O. It drives me crazy though that we have issues getting lined up on D. That seems to be a practice issue, or an issue with rehearsing the timing to get the D call in when you are in a tough environment and the other team is running no-huddle/jet tempo.
Basically, my thought is that coaches who are used to (or more comfortable with) working with more experienced guys (e.g. Mattison's NFL experience) might be focusing more on refinement, technique, and so on. This is great for perfecting things that people already know the basics of, but maybe some of these young guys really need to practice the intensity, pace, and unpredictability of a game. That's where young guys will struggle the most.
What I read and consistently hear is that these guys are great teachers. However they have been around a long time and it may be that they are trying to be too fancy with certain things, or thought they had more capability from certain players based on practice than they did. I think it’s that we’re trying to “build and airplane in the sky” to use the tired corporate analogy and then deciding that airplane should be replaced with “helicopter” do that with apprentices vs. journeymen and you’re asking for trouble. Ultimately there is no ability to simulate exact game conditions in practice even if you go 1s vs. 1s which is a huge risk for injury.
Taylor Lewan doesn't need to be taught how intense and fast the college game is - he knows that, he just needs a guru coming in to make minor adjustments and point out any bad habits. But for Kyle Kalis the game is still moving super fast - he needs all the help he can get to get comfy in that environment, and maybe getting his footwork correct down to the inch is a little less important (or at least the value per minute of practice is less).
This is true and where you need the Lewans of the world to be player-coaches. This is where I wonder how variable or consistent the coaches are. Depending on the previous weeks’ result, sometimes less indvidual and more team if we struggled with opponent scheme, and vice versa if they felt it was a tecnique issue. Knowing Hoke, he’s probably pretty consistent, which while good for the young guys’ development, doesn’t give a lot of time for working on scheme. At this point in the season they are probably going to work on what they want to run and technique. A lot of the sacks etc. are just due to young guys getting beat straight up. Look at the lineman around the pile for DG and you’ll see that it’s Bosch, Magnussen etc. usually.