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|3 days 5 hours ago||Did anyone else think about||
Did anyone else think about the fat guy in Nintendo Hockey when they saw PSU's K lay the lumber on JD?
|1 week 1 day ago||I'll bet it has something to||
I'll bet it has something to do with him not being #1 or #2 in all those practice competition scores ... Ya know, the meritocracy. He got some carries, and looked close to breaking one that I recall. Otherwise, he was bottled up. Smith was himself, rumbling and banging people, setting the tone, and even hit the edge for a great run. Hard to take carries away a guy who produces like that. I hope when he does get his next carry, he's near insane with desire to take it to the house!
|1 week 2 days ago||So that tells us what?||
So that tells us what?
|1 week 2 days ago||"The problem is that we have||
"The problem is that we have a level of talent that shouldn't be required to make these adjustments."
I'm not sure I agree with that statement -- especially given the growing parity in CFB -- but even if we take it as true as a whole, the OL might be the one place where it doesn't hold true. That's what I was hoping the discussion would be about -- not shoulds and coulds, but what is and what we might expect going forward into B10 play.
|1 week 2 days ago||That was really the point of||
That wasn't really the point of my OP. I wanted to hear from guys who are coaches and experts as to why they think we're struggling to run the ball between the tackles. I didn't want it to become an argument per se (which is hard in here to prevent) but more an open discussion so maybe we can come to grips with what to expect going forward.
So far we've been told that were outnumbered by one expert, and that anyone running while outnumbered can struggle, and by another expert that the players have poor technique, can't hold their blocks, and that we need more dynamic RB's. I'm trying to ascertain which it is.
I'm all for Harbaugh's willingness and adept adjustments to get the wins, but at some long we have to ask why, with all the game experience that we have on OL, we seem to struggle to just line up and run between the tackles. Do I think we should blow everyone off the ball all the time? No. But some of the time I think we should. If it's truly the "loaded box" ok. I'm just curious what those among us who do this for a living or played the position think.
|1 week 2 days ago||So which is it? One the one||
So which is it? One the one hand we have Hugh saying they're outnumbered and blocking well, then we have FolkStyleCoach saying they're poor technique is the culprit. As an untrained devoted fan (one season as a freshman C and LB doesn't cut it) I just don't see the unit getting much meaningful push with any consistency, and as others have aptly pointed out, I see way too many completely missed blocks and free rushers. Again, I don't know blocking schemes inside and out like some in here, but in comparing what I see from Michigan's OL to other OL's when I watch seems like a big contrast -- and I'm not even talking about the elite OL's out there.
So, anyone else with an expert opinion? Is it the scheme or the players? Personally, I have a hard time believing it's scheme because we've seen the scheme at work successfully elsewhere. I'm kinda thinking that Funk and Hoke got good OL recruits in and then ruined them by solidifying bad technique and no amount of elite OL coaching (which I believe Harbaugh and Drevno are) will fix that.
|1 week 2 days ago||Thanks Hugh! This is exactly||
Thanks Hugh! This is exactly what I was looking for. Essentially, you're pointing out two important things. 1) fans, myself included, don't really see the inner workings of the game and what might actually be going on; and 2) this out numbering issue is essentially the founding theory (as I understand it) behind the read-option offense.
So my next question is this "outnumbering" what we can expect to see from a opposing defenses when there is no threat of QB runs? Is this the "book" on Harbaugh's offense -- under no circumstances can you let them run between the tackles?
Thanks for your expert comment!
|1 week 2 days ago||I'm talking average in terms||
I'm talking average in terms of performance. I don't care about recruiting stars, nor draft potential -- I care about on field performance while at Michigan. Individually, they may have been highly ranked coming in, and individually they may project highly in the draft. But, together they're not playing as an elite unit, and I'm wondering if I'm correct in that assessment, and if so, why that is the case.
|1 week 2 days ago||^^^ good point! I think we've||
^^^ good point!
I think we've got a Funk that is hard to shake!
|1 week 2 days ago||Yeah, I was looking at that||
Yeah, I was looking at that too. Maybe I've been infected by the overly critical members of this board a bit, but it just doesn't seem like our OL really controls the LOS very well.
|1 week 2 days ago||It sure does seem like we've||
It sure does seem like we've been waiting a long time. It bring me back to an discussions that I had during the RichRod years. OL recruiting and development are very "pipeline" driven, and it was my contention that, as evidenced by the numbers of OLinemen in the roster through the transitions, Michigan's broke down. When that happens, it seems, it takes some time to get things back on track. If we go by the premise that a recruiting cycle is 5 years, then we're almost 2 full cycles through and we're still not back to the elite OL's we had in the past.
|1 week 2 days ago||True. As I said, on paper||
True. As I said, on paper they were talented. But, something happened, and that something was Funk, I suppose.
|1 week 2 days ago||I saw those too, along with||
I saw those too, along with the biff between Speight and Isaac at the exchange. From what the guys who seem to know have said in here, vision isn't something that can be coached up much. It's a frustrating kind of double whammy I suppose -- not the best blocking and not the best vision, especially when we see other teams with great blocking and great vision. Hopefully both will be there soon.
|1 week 2 days ago||This is my concern. I get||
This is my concern. I get the sense that the guys Hoke & Co. recruited were, on paper, pretty talented but they received so little development that we're dealing with a hangover/old dog new tricks scenario -- these older guys just aren't elite and won't be.
It's a difficult spot, and very frustrating, but is what it is I suppose.
|1 week 2 days ago||Smith is a beast, and I think||
Smith is a beast, and I think he's one of the key players on this offense. His heart and drive is seems to fire the offense up. Do I wish he was faster, sure. But he looked pretty good yesterday on his TD run, and I the bowl game last season. I wish people wouldn't dis on him so much. I agree he has some vision issues, at times, but I don't think he's been given the best blocking in front of him.
|1 week 2 days ago||^^^ This!!! Smith had 87||
Smith had 87 yards on 11 carries, including a backbreaking TD run, and as a team Michigan rushed for 168 (including negative yards for sacks) and averaged 4.1 per carry. Not great, but not awful either. Obviously, between the tackles wasn't working well yesterday and hasn't worked well except against Hawaii. But yeah, rushing to the edge, whether with the RB, the QB, or jet sweeps to WR's is still rushing. Further, the more they attack the edge, the more the middle is likely to open up.
|1 week 2 days ago||I think often times Michigan||
|1 week 2 days ago||I think often times Michigan||
I think often times Michigan fans forget three things when assessing Michigan's performance: 1) these are college players, not professionals, and not robots; 2) other teams, no matter the quality that the fanbase assigns to them, have heart and try really really hard (see CU's QB yesterday) to beat Michigan in the Big House; and, 3) the opposing coaching staffs (regardless of their team's relative talent) try really really hard to create a scheme that gives their team the best chance to win.
Many Michigan fans in here have this maddening passive/aggressive outlook on the schedule that is a combination of outright disrespect for any team they deem beneath Michigan, and abject fear and jealousy of those teams they deem better than Michgan. Every week it's the same thing -- fans wringing their hands over every play that doesn't go our way, combined with pessimistic lamentations of what's going to happen when we play a "real team." College football is great because of #1 above, and because it always gives teams the opportunity to show what they're made of when adversity arises.
When a team like FSU (before last night) has a habit coming from behind people commend their heart and resilance. When Michigan struggles, even the slightest bit, Michigan's own fanbase crucifies the team instead of viewing the bounce back as something exciting and necessary for building a championship team. I read the live blog and saw so many quitters who were walking away from their beloved team after ONE BAD QUARTER of football!!! Pathetic!!!
•. CU came out super jacked to play, hit Michigan in the mouth with a plan that seemed to catch Michigan a bit by surprise on both sides of the ball. I'm not sure if they broke tendency or -- I seem to remember people saying CU's offense centered around a running QB -- but the passing game seemed to give Michigan's defense trouble (we miss you JD!!!). I didn't see much QB running, and thought that perhaps they were expecting to see it, and didn't, and that explains the early difficulties.
•. CU's defense had a very good plan -- not surprising given their DC's familiarity with Harbaugh. They knew the strength of their defense is their DB's and one huge run stopping NT. They bet that they could stuff the middle -- Michigan's weakest spot running the ball -- blitz the QB, play tight man, and not give Speight time to throw. For a while, they were right -- before Harbaugh & Co. adjusted to attack the edge and underneath.
• Michgan's coaching staff, in all facets, has shown a fantastic ability to take what is given, then when the other team adjusts, take what is now given. It's obvious what Harbaugh WANTS to do -- run between the tackles -- but right now we didn't seem to be able to do that consistently. However, that's not stopped his offense from putting up nice numbers. People can complain all they want, but it is what it is at this point. Will the hand wringers be right, will this assuredly result in a lose? Who knows? But I, for one, really enjoy watching our team adjust and do something completely different -- My favorite moment in the game (after it was all over) was when Michigan, down by 14, came out up-tempo in an empty set and attacked the edge with McDoom and Peppers -- great coaching!
•. Michigan's special teams (except kicking) have been the best I've ever seen from a Michigan team in my 40 years of fandom! The blocked punts are amazing, and Peppers, even when he doesn't score, has consistently shown that he can flip field position and give the offense a short field to work with. The film on Michigan's totally dominant special teams is going to terrify opposing teams, and that fear will cause more and more mistakes because kickers and punters will be thinking too much.
•. Peppers, amazingly, is just scratching the surface of what he's capable of. When Michigan needed a spark, they put the ball in his hands. When the defense was dragging a bit, he made a play and it seemed to bring life back to that unit.
•. In hindsight, now that we beat CU, keeping JD, Taco, and Mone out was the right thing to do, but man could we use them right now. The DL is good, but with Taco and Mone I think they'll be great. The biggest issue, IMO, are the DB's. They look slow and out of position too often. I'm not sure why that is, but it seems schematic not athletic. It seems JD does things that allow the other DB's to perform more within their skill set, and without him, there are some less than ideal fits.
•. Gary is rapidly progressing, and is the obvious upside of the injuries to Taco and Mone. He was a constant presence, and his speed and rush ability is already evident. Watching him progress is exciting, and bodes well for where the defend will be when they've got all hands on deck ... Soon, please!
All-in-all I, unlike many in here, think this is a great win, and something this team will really build upon. The 1st qtr couldn't have gone any worse. There was no pouting, no deer-in-the-headlights looks from the player nor the coaches. Yes, mistakes were made, but I think overall the team showed it has a lot of heart and a willingness to find a way to win even if to do so they had to go with Plan B, or even Plan C.
Go Blue! Beat Penn State!
|1 week 3 days ago||Everyone was saying we||
Everyone was saying we wouldn't know who this team is until they faced some adversity ... Well, there you go. Not pretty, but showed some heart when they very easily could have cratered and felt sorry for themselves. Instead, they went to the locker room with the halftime lead.
|2 weeks 19 hours ago||Did you guys see us getting||
Did you guys see us getting gashed by QB runs from their "Oregon style up tempo read option" scheme? I sure didn't. I saw two QB scrambles in which our DL, sensing blood in the water, lost discipline trying to get a sack, and a one off niche play which should have resulted in a 10 yard loss due to an obvious hold. The likely culprits were younger guys who were in place of injured more experienced guy.
Extrapolating this out to "JT is going to gut us" is ludicrous. I'm glad that they botched it. They'll be coached up, and that feeling of embarrassment and letting their team down will no doubt motivate them to never let it happen again. I'll bet we don't see another bust like that again all season.
|2 weeks 19 hours ago||Michigan didn't have "trouble||
Michigan didn't have "trouble with a runnin QB" in this game. Michigan lost disciple wile sensing blood in the water against panicking QB who luckily scrambled away for big yardage. The two are very different. As coach said in his pressed, it's exciting that they have coachable moments and the guys will be that much better for having made the mistake now, and won't make it then.
|2 weeks 19 hours ago||Don't panic! But if you do||
Don't panic! But if you do panic, PANIC FIRST!!!!
|2 weeks 1 day ago||What we see in Harbaugh is a||
What we see in Harbaugh is a super positive guy whose energy and EUTM is infectious and brings everyone he contacts up as a result. What we see in YOU is Debby Downer's bastard brother! You, more than anyone else in here, personify the meme that Michigan fans aren't happy unless they're miserable.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||I saw three plays in which||
I saw three plays in which UCF did anything that should concern Michigan's defensive staff. One, as noted above, was a confluence of factors: a blatant hold, a bad angle, and a runner with elite speed. Ok fine. 9/10 that play results in a 10 yard loss due to the flag, or at worst a decent gain. The other two plays weren't scripted QB runs, they were broken plays where the defense, sensing blood in the water, got a bit overly aggressive. It wasn't like UCF's QB was running wild with our defense flopping around like dying fish like we've seen in the past. Everything about these three plays is coachable, and I have no doubt that the team will be better, in the long run, for having made those mistakes.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||^^^ This!!! Harbaugh, like a||
Harbaugh, like a chess Grand Master, is perfectly comfortable saying, "if you try an Italian Game opening, I'm immediately going with Traxler's Counterattack, let's see if THEY have done their homework and if they know the lines!" What starts off as the opposition's best laid plan quickly becomes an intense liability
As you said, now there is film of Michigan pounding the rock down an opponent's throat all game long, with a deep stable of RB's, and (perhaps most importantly) there is film of our previously unknown and untested QB chucking it all over the field 37 times. That will go a LONG way toward giving opposing DC's pause as they try to defend both. Harbaugh's offenses, because of their unpredictability and near instant adjustments, are notoriously difficult to stop.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Yes, that was a bit||
Yes, that was a bit disappointing, but it is also a bit unrealistic and perhaps underestimates not only UCF's talent, but the determination with which they stuck with the "run-stop-at-all-costs" scheme. Usually, like we saw in the OSU v Tulsa game (or any of the other lopsided match-ups), the underdog stacks the box and stops/slows down the big boy's run game for a bit. The big boy then passes to open up the defense, and the defense backs out of its run stop mode because it's getting beat over the top. UCF, for whatever reason, didn't do that despite repeated deep passes connecting, and Harbaugh's obvious willingness to air it out.
It's one thing to pay lip service to the mantra of "we're going to stop the run" and another thing to crash the LB's and Safetys with their hair on fire all game long.
As I said elsewhere, thank goodness we have a staff who immediately recognized UCF's scheme and didn't slam the RB's into a wall and let UCF stick around and gain confidence. Had they, those lapses on defense would have been far more unsettling.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Most OL's are going to||
Most OL's are going to struggle when the opposing DC decides that above all else, all game long, we're going to sell out on the run. Hannibal can complain (whine) all he wants, it's a known fact unless the opposition is woefully outmatch. Obviously, as bad as some people imagine UCF to be, they weren't outmatched enough for Michigan to be able to run the ball into a soldout/stacked box. Is that a problem worthy of all the hand wringing? I don't know for certain, but I don't think so. There are two main reasons that DC's are willing to sell out like UCF's DC did: 1) they don't think the opposing QB can punish them with his arm. This is MSU versus Michigan with Denard and Gardner. Basically, they weren't scared, so they took it to them; 2) because it's their ONLY chance to have any chance. We saw the former versus UCF, with a bit of uncertainly/unknown about whether Speight could win the game with his arm.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||I am going to reply to both||
I am going to reply to both above comments here.
First, I wasn't talking about "trick plays" per se, I was talking the creativity that Harbaugh's running offense is known for -- the shifts, the unique formations, the misdirection, etc. We say none of that.
I think that may be the consensus, in here, but I highly doubt that is the consensus amoung football coaches. I think there are lot of people in here that are totally underestimating UCF. Are they a great team? No, but they're not as bad as they were last year, and they have a pretty good up and coming coaching staff. Their defensive scheme was simple and apparently effective -- stop the run at all costs, and it cost them!
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Get better every day, and||
Get better every day, and don't forget, don't show the opposition anything. Harbaugh showed opposing coaches very little, but showed that Speight could win the game if they stack the box. That is very important.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||I guess I'll keep repeating||
I guess I'll keep repeating this until the Debby Downers listen.
Harbaugh's running game is renowned for it's creativitiy. Did we see anything creative today? Last year we marveled at some of the unique formations, counters, and shifts in the running game. All of these are designed to punish the ooposing defense for being overly aggressive. Today we saw absolutely NONE of that. This game turned into a varitable passing practice for Speight and the receivers.
I don't think too much can be gleaned from what we saw today, except for the fact that Speight is looking pretty good, and could, if needed, lead the team with his arm.