Hokepoints on the Day of Atonement Comment Count

Seth September 25th, 2012 at 8:07 AM


Of the totally surreal and unnecessary things that could ever happen, Denard Robinson issuing an apology for his play against Notre Dame ranks right up there with Ryan Van Bergen claiming fault for the 2010 defense. Not so much that he took responsibility—I wrote in my HTTV article that personal culpability is one the hallmarks of this team—but that watching from above I felt like he wasn't entirely at fault.

Part of that was the drunk dude in my section yelling "awwww c'mon!" at Denard, to which I felt responsibility to point out things like "play-action out of the I-form" or "Schofield just got beat bad." Part of it to was my own culpability for last week's article being all "hey Denard can pass and Borges is doing an incredible job!" So in the mea culpa spirit of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur (pretty much our Christmas) which begins tonight, I admit I have sinned, and that I'm not quite sure who sinned on all of our six turnovers this week. Let's find out where responsibility lies in this six-play al chet, using a combination of Seth's pathetic attempts at UFR-ing, with a bonus chart of culpability.

1. For the sin we have committed against you by trying to get too cute with Vincent Smith, who is not Tom Brady

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O10 1 G Ace TE Trips 1 1 3 4-4 under Pass RB Pass Dileo INT
Dileo and Roundtree lined up as H-backs on same side. Since it's a pass Dileo doesn't block Te'o, who shot into the gap the millisecond he read pitch and pressures Smith. Funchess blocked down an irrelevant crashing DE instead but that's the play. The CB bites hard so Dileo can leaks out into the end zone, where he has the safety beat to the corner, but Smith is 5'6 with the world's best college LB in his face. He jump-balls it way inside of his receiver, so when the safety looks back he is all "ooh, football--take." (INX, 0, Protection N/A, RPS –2)

When Michigan tried this against Minnesota it was from 30 yards out, and against Minnesota. It did get a guy open in the end zone, and was set up a little bit I believe by some pitch plays earlier. However leaving Te'o unblocked versus a tiny RB is a risk, but Smith has shown in games (and presumably many more times in practice) that he 8013857982_cf5e4abbb5_ocan throw the ball accurately enough.

What I really hated about this play call is there was no reason to get cute. This was meant to be a dagger play, just like the fake dive on 4th and 1 vs. Michigan State was meant to be the dagger in the trash storm game.

Borges likes his daggers. When Brian queried my UFR database on Michigan passing from Ace 3TE sets, I found the Funchess 30-yard (PA TE corner) and Gardner (Waggle) TDs, plus a PA dumpoff for good yards (until it was fumbled) against SD State last year. Daggers. Thing is about the grab-bag and dagger offense is that it doesn't adjust for things that are working, and until that point the offense was working. When Pompey backed out of Rome because he didn't have the troops to defend it, Caesar didn't say "oh waitaminute, this is a trap, I'm gonna go attack the Barbary Coast—ha ha they'll never suspect!" He walked into damn Rome.

Chart of culpability: Borges x2, ND Te'o is that good, Smith isn't Joe Montana

Mitigating Mitzvah: Jake Ryan sticks a receiver after he gains just 1 yard on 3rd and 4 from the ND37 to force a punt. ND shanks the punt.


After the jump, five plays more depressing than using a day off of work to fast and contemplate what a terrible person you've been all year.


2. For the sin we have committed against you by thinking three ND players=open receiver.

(Hint: use the forward and back arrows on your keyboard to rewind or fast forward. Pause and do this and you'll get frame-by-frame)

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M32 3 12 Shotgun Trips 1 0 4 3-3-5 nickel Pass Flag Gallon INT
All around fail. In the game recap Brian said he bet someone was open but none were because ND rushed just three and two are in the backfield in time to affect the throw. Shembo is lined up at WDE and ran right by Schofield (-3) and this uses up Kerridge, whose cut only delays. Tuitt is coming outside Lewan (-0.5) and Barnum turns to help. So does Mealer (-0.5), leaving Omameh alone with Kapron Lewis-Moore, who swims into the middle that Mealer just vacated and ruins any chance of Denardiganza. Time's up; Robinson chucks it in the direction of the Roundtree-Gallon mesh, but 'Tree is headed downfield and Gallon's running a flag, meaning the ball goes directly into the chest of Te'o. (BRX, 0, Protection -2/0 and yes I know this isn't a rational number this isn't the real UFR okay?!?)

Let me screen-cap the moment Denard made his decision:


Not pictured is Gardner to the left, who ran a lazy route but was penned by the safety whose leg is just in the picture and a CB with depth anyway. Toussaint ran a quick out 3 yards short of the sticks and Roundtree has turned his route downfield—a few more seconds and he's 1-on-1 with that freshman safety who picked off the first pass—the last LB (Fox, behind the ref) was spying a scramble, so with protection this is probably a long ball where Denard overthrows Roundtree.

So if you put yourself in a just-turned-22-year-old's mind right here, perhaps he thinks the CB is going with Roundtree and Gallon will break off his route, in which case this ball is still thrown behind his intended receiver and into Te'o. If the defense rushes 3 on 3rd and long and the result is a bad, rushed throw, it's not the fault of the OC. Everybody else screwed up; when protection broke down Denard should have chucked it OOB or eaten Shembo.

Chart of culpability: Denard x2, Blocking x2

Mitigating Mitzvah: ND gets just 1 yard and 3 points out of a drive that started on the Michigan 17.


3. For the sin we have committed against you by running a bad route or being inaccurate with a guy in the face…still not sure.

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M33 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Pass PA Short Post Gardner INT
Live I thought this was on Gardner slowing up and now I can't decide if it's Denard leading his receiver too far or miscommunication. MLB comes on a run blitz that Smith can't pick up because Te'o reads pass, stops his chase of Smith, and bolts toward the QB before the RB is out of his fake. This creates some pressure but Denard has time to chuck it to Gardner, who has plenty of room inside and is probably right to brake into his break since the CB is playing way off. Ball goes past his outstretched hand (had he dove instead of reaching it might have been possible to bring in) and the CB who should have been punished for giving up so much room gets a gift pick instead. (IN, 1, protection 0/1)

This one is the most frustrating you can see the inexperience of ND's secondary (Bennett Jackson was a WR/KR until a few months ago) getting picked on except instead of an easy 11 yards plus whatever Gardner lopes for until a safety arrives, Denard has thrown his 2nd interception in two plays and Notre Dame is back on the (short) field.

Gallon ran a bubble fake on the other side that was way open by alignment, but the play-action had the right effect on the linebackers, and Denard made the right read, and it's hard to fault Borges if he called this play to be all "Let's pick on the crappy cornerback," because if so his lizard brain was right. This throw wasn't any more difficult to make than the screen pass would have been. He just led his man too far.

Chart of culpability: Denard x2, Te'o is just that good x2

Mitigating Mitzvah: D-line scares Golson into an ill-advised, out-of-the-pocket toss-up on 2nd and goal and Thomas Gordon comes down for Michigan's first interception of the year.


4. For the sin we have committed against you by crimes against ManPanda

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M34 2 7 I-form H-back 2 1 2 4-3 Over Pass PA Slant Gallon INT
ND daring Michigan to run off-tackle to the strongside and PA shows that would have been a few yards or many depending on how Kerridge would have handled Te'o. Blitz on the overloaded weakside means instant pressure from unblocked Shembo plus Schofield (-1) has lost his guy. Chuck and pray into a small receiver in a small window is too hot, goes over Gallon's head, and tipped by the safety behind him. Te'o read the PA and quickly got depth, which means he's there for the INT. Lions and Titans both decide to tank the season so they can draft him, thereby ruining Sunday too. (IN, 0, Protection: 0/1, RPS-2)

This is a textbook example for two things: why shouldn't have Denard turning his back to the defense, and how a defense can have one star player make them right against all sorts of looks. Watch Te'o at the start of this play as he's watching the handoff—if that ball goes in the RB's hands he's taking off for the hole that only he can fill (if it's run the receiver is hitting the safety) and either he or the lead blocker (Kerridge) is going to make this a play for somebody. But he sees it's pass and like a rocket he's 15 yards deep and in a better position than Gallon to make a play on a tipped pas.

Denard—back foot, under pressure, don't force it man! But here I put double-blame on Borges for putting his QB in a position to fail. Yes the I-form has worked and yes we've run plenty of POWER from it. But it hadn't worked this game, or been established this game, and that means there was no way he should think the defense would overreact to the run and make this open. ND has the answer to everything here except an accurate pass under pressure. NFL defenses play like this, and NFL quarterbacks make them pay for it by making that pressured slant under the coverage every time. By now we know that Denard with rushers in his face is not going to be that NFL QB.

Chart of culpability: Denard x1, ND is that good x1, Borges x2

Mitigating Mitzvah: ND gets a TD but needs six attempts inside the Michigan 6 to do so. Nobody in the building thought that was pass interference (ball went sailing out of the end zone) but everyone who saw on TV could see Wilson deserved the flag.


5. For the sin we have committed against you by bad clock management

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M38 1 10 Shotgun Trips 1 0 4 Dime 30 Pass Hail Mary Roundtree INT
Baruch atah Adonai elohaynu...oh nevermind I guess you're Catholic.

These sorts of things are not charted. I didn't like how the clock was managed on this drive. Michigan started from the 16 thanks to holding on the return, and it began with a Denard run. Okay, I guess we're not gonna chance another INT this half—fine, let it be over. But then we set up to pass and Robinson scrambled for 20 yards and hey we're back near the same spot all the other hell broke loose. There's enough time for two plays, but we call the Hail here. That's not Junior Hemingway down there, and the one thing we didn't want to get on the stat sheet no rival fan will ever let us forget happens. Fortunately the runback eats up the rest of the clock. Not giving out points for this.

Mitigating Mitzvah: The half ends, mercifully.


6. And for the sin we have committed against you by not HOLDING ONTO THE DAMN BALL

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O16 3 3 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 Under Run QB off-tackle Robinson 5
The success of this play is all on Mealer (+2) who reaches(!) on Nix and gets just enough of a hat across the NT to make space for Denard despite the left side of the line not blocking anybody. 1st down achieved and this run train is a-rollin' to the endzone except Denard (-2) loses the ball on Omameh's butt (-2) and it rolls right to the defense because we got away with some naughty things this year.

Chart of culpability: Denard x2, Universe x2

Mitigating Mitzvah: Defense forces a 3-and-out and another TURK!! shank for 28 yards gives Michigan the ball back on their own 43.



It's not all like that you know. There are Fitz runs for 40 yards and Funchess TDs sometimes...

*Sob Sob*

So what did you think?

*Sniffle.* I think your job is harder than I realized, especially when you're re-watching absolute disasters frame-by-frame.

You know what I find helps at times like these?

A ch..


Okay.UFR-ing it


Play Denard Blocking Borges's Lizard Brain Te'o Cold, uncaring universe
Smith ≠ Montana 0 0 2 1 1
FAIL 2 2 0 0 0
Too far 2 0 0 2 0
ManPanda 1 0 2 1 0
Hail Mary 0 0 0 0 0
Fumble 2 0 0 0 2
TOTAL 7 2 4 4 3

For these transgressions, pardon us, forgive us, atone for us, and tip your hat to that guy. Final career score: Denard Robinson 3 games, Manti Te'o 1.

And on a personal note, to all whom I've hurt, offended, disparaged, disliked, negged, caved, Bolivia'ed, or ban-hammered this year, I humbly ask your forgiveness. And to a few of you: an easy fast, an inscription, and good yom-tov.



September 25th, 2012 at 12:45 PM ^

For some reason the page didn't load right and I couldn't make a normal reply. Anyway, unless Smith was trying to throw it out of the end zone and badly underthrew, the pick was a BRX, not an INX. An INX is a good decision but a terrible throw. A BRX is a terrible decision, which is what this was if he was chucking it up blindly in hopes that a M player would come down with it. He should have thrown it away or just taken the loss.

Bill the Butcher

September 25th, 2012 at 8:42 AM ^

I'm struggling to understand how Borges gets a x2 and Denard only an x1 on the third interception.  Is it based soley on Denard doing the dreaded "turn your back to the defense" because that theme is already played out around these parts.  QB's fake hand offs all the time and are still able to get their heads around and make a decision.  If Te'o doesn't sell out for the playaction then its a bad ball fake (watch Toussaint, he does not sell the run fake nearly hard enough, and barely pretends he has the ball.  He is running with both arms at his side!) not a flaw in the play design.

If Denard gets an unblocked lineman in his face then its on his OL for not giving him a few seconds to throw the football.  Finally, your third year starting quarterback just can't make that throw.  He either needs to eat the sack or throw it away.  I'm fine with blame being spread around on that play because there was fail all over, from the ball fake to the blocking, to the decision to throw the ball up like a 8 year old playing jackpot, but play design is the least culpible among them.


September 25th, 2012 at 8:56 AM ^

No it's not just the "turn your back," but too that he failed to set it up, and he couldn't have set it up because it goes directly to what ND is best at and what we are worst at. Sometimes his grab bag works and sometimes it doesn't, but those are risks taken when Borges throws something out there. The playcall got an unblocked rusher in Denard's face (plus a second rusher who was on the OL) because he wasn't accounted for in the blocking. The second rusher beat the OL but not in time to matter, which is why I gave a point back to Borges. So here's how I figured:

1 point: Denard for not making the throw that a QB should make.

1 point: Te'o playing the PA perfectly.

1 point: Borges calling a PA pass out of the I-form when ND had no reason to fear a power off-tackle.

1 point: Borges's getting RPS'ed in leaving a blitzer unblocked.

If you want to give Borges 0.5's for those two things and -1 to the blocking for Toussaint I could see that--I just don't want to change my chart around. Thanks!

gpsimms not to…

September 25th, 2012 at 9:36 AM ^

Can we please stop simulataneously saying "Vincent Smith is not Joe Montana" and he's not going to hit that throw with a lb in his face and also "Vincent Smith is Joe Montana! And we should only run this play if he has enough room to throw a 30 yard lazer dart!"

I did a double take when Brian said this yesterday because I remember Dileo being completely wide open against Minnesota and Smith throwing a wobbly-kinda-spiraling-a-bit-not inspiring ball.  

This play was run from the 17, check the box score.


September 25th, 2012 at 10:16 AM ^

This should clear everything up.


O17 2 4 Ace trips bunch 1 1 3 4-3 over Pass RB pass Dileo 17
This is Michigan's pitch formation—at least it was the only time they've done it thus far this year—and they run the pitch. Smith does a great job of selling the run long enough for Minnesota to suck up; Dileo runs right by everyone and is wide open. Smith hits him for six. (CA, 3, protection 2/2, RPS+3)

It appears to suggest that it was the first time Michigan ran a pitch and also that running this from the 17 is totally awesome.


September 25th, 2012 at 10:37 AM ^

I don't understand all the hand wringing over the playcall.

I understand that the offense was working and it was first down.  That's the least expected time for that play, which is when it's most likely to work.  I'm sure the coaches realize Smith isn't Joe Montana - hence the backup running back position.   I'm sure they also realize he's a Senior and should know that that's a play that is either there or you throw it away.   He panicked and threw a crap pass.  Obviously that's the downside.   But I'm betting 99% of the time he knows to throw that away if it's not there.   Then they have 2 more downs to get the TD.   I'm sure it's exactly because the offense was working that Borges through he could get away with it.  

I'd rather take a few chances like that than call Rock, Rock, Rock and kick a field goal.  For years we had to hear how awful those decisions were.  Now we have someone that's not massively risk averse and he gets skewered.   I thought he made a few poor calls and agree he's a bit stubborn with sometimes not taking what the defense gives him but Christ fans can be a whiny bunch.   I can't think of a single game I've watched where there weren't at least some calls that left me scratching my head - guess that's why I'm not an OC.  


September 25th, 2012 at 4:17 PM ^

that's the point of a trick play - to catch them off guard.  It worked here except ND reacted so quickly and Smith panicked.

 Throwing to a tall pass catching tight end would be a great play.  Not surprising at all, but a good call.   Either a fade or crossing rub routes might have worked.  Unfortunately Denard is terrible at touch fade passes and any type of slant/crossing route is always an adventure.   I think he's just as likely to throw an interception trying as V. Smith was in this situation.  Like I said, Vince Smith is an intelligent Senior and I think almost every time would have known to toss that.  Unfortunately this game was just one of those games where he didn't. 

If V. Smith simply throws it away and we run 2 "normal" plays I doubt there are so many freaking out about Borges on this play.   

Again I'd rather be aggressive sometimes and fail sometimes than always go the predictable route.

I'm sure if we had stopped T. Rees on that touchdown run and won the game the Domers would have freaked out about that call too.  It was a good aggressive call that used the element of surprise.  If our linebackers blew it up it's still not a bad call - aggressive sometimes pays off big and sometimes bites you in the ass.



September 25th, 2012 at 2:37 PM ^

How anyone can complain about predictable Debordian offense over and over, and then say "we didn't need that there!" anytime we do anything creative that people have been clammoring for for years just doesn't compute with me. If you only run it when things aren't going well, that's desperation.  It works because a 1 down hand off is predictable there, so passing it is the surprise. Doing it on third down fulls no one, and its value on 2nd down is completely based on what you ran before.  I like the variance and trick plays, fully realizing that sometimes they're going to fail.   But it's better than just having the same stuff all the time.  It's the same thing with MSU last year, the play failed, so it's a horrible call. But when it works againsts OSU, no one says a thing.  

All in all making more work than fail is key because if you don't win far more than you lose you're not going to be around.  But Desmond catching it in the endzone vs. ND on 4th an inches when we could have pounded it for a 1st down no problem is a dumb call...if it doesn't work. It works...then it's legendary.

Seattle Maize

September 25th, 2012 at 1:24 PM ^

It's just a part of a larger theme on this blog of deflecting blame away from certain people and towards others. It's funny because when RR was coach people here said that the playcalls were great and we just needed players to execute, and now that Borges is calling the O (who was deemed bad because he didn't want to run a spread) anyone who says that the fault lies with player execution is an idiot and that the scheme is terrible. Never mind the fact that what Borges is asking Denard to do offensively is not only very reasonable but is done by QBs through out the nation. Either way, instead of just accepting that we didn't play well as a team (players and coaches included) many people on this blog want to go to extremes and offer up their own (false) analysis of why we should deflect blame towards Borges and defend Denard to no end. Same thing happened here for the longest time with RR.

Seattle Maize

September 25th, 2012 at 1:24 PM ^

It's just a part of a larger theme on this blog of deflecting blame away from certain people and towards others. It's funny because when RR was coach people here said that the playcalls were great and we just needed players to execute, and now that Borges is calling the O (who was deemed bad because he didn't want to run a spread) anyone who says that the fault lies with player execution is an idiot and that the scheme is terrible. Never mind the fact that what Borges is asking Denard to do offensively is not only very reasonable but is done by QBs through out the nation. Either way, instead of just accepting that we didn't play well as a team (players and coaches included) many people on this blog want to go to extremes and offer up their own (false) analysis of why we should deflect blame towards Borges and defend Denard to no end. Same thing happened here for the longest time with RR.


September 25th, 2012 at 4:20 PM ^

People on the blog are allowed to draw their own opinions about the relative proportion of blame for poor performances. So are you. But what you should not do is ignore all of the substantive content that supports the opinions of others and radically simplify their positions into a strawman position that is convenient for you. As I tell my students: argue, don't assert.


September 25th, 2012 at 4:15 PM ^

By the way, in his fourth (and last) year at Auburn, Borges had a third-year starting QB.  That QB made less than 60% of his passes, and had a TD-to-INT ration of 9:13.  He showed regression in all of the statistical categories (Yards/Attempt, etc.) from his junior year, and in nearly all categories from his sophomore year.  Why do people think things will get better with Borges?  They haven't at any stop he has been at for any length of time. 

lexus larry

September 25th, 2012 at 8:43 AM ^

Nice wrap, Seth.

I was even more flabbergasted at the Lochdog era silliness of posting Denard's mea culpa on the Michigan Football FB wall.  As if THAT needed to be posted out there.  To my eyes, "THE TEAM, THE TEAM, THE TEAM" doesn't put your senior QB out there like that, when there's plenty of blame to go around (your math says DR was 35% culpable, Teo and Borges at  20% each, uncaring uni 15% - I shake my fist at you!, and blocking at 10%).  Use the Hoke coachspeak quote on that forum.

/rant over


September 25th, 2012 at 8:49 AM ^

While I commend your efforts, and I understand that others were also at fault on Saturday, it sure appears that Denard was the main culprit (IDK if you made that clear). It's kind of getting tiresome reading the same things coming from Brian and now this re: I-FORM and Borges taking a dump on Denard's "ability to just be Denard, bro".

Just because you say it's so, doesn't make it fact. I want to see hard data showing plays from the I-Form and compare those with plays from shotgun. How can you possibly make a judgement on effectiveness out of the I-form when you have an emotional attachment to the notion that I-form with Denard == BAD?


September 25th, 2012 at 9:04 AM ^

The issue is that when we're under center we run play action it seems like the majority of the time. I remember watching the air force game and being able to predict play action on multiple occasions before the snap. Running play action under center is a good idea, and something that should happen, but only if you set it up first with actual runs from under center, which we don't do. 


September 25th, 2012 at 9:15 AM ^

Did you read this column last week? It kinda did exactly what you asked for (showed passing out of the Ace vs. I-form vs. Shotgun). And I've tackled running by formation a ton in the past. I'll yank that out again (2011 through 2012 UMass, no bowl game):

Formation Pass YPA Run YPA YPA Plays
Ace 12.7 7.6 10.4 61
Fritz 9.4 7.3 8.6 8
Shotgun 9.2 6.7 7.6 694
I-Form 8.3 4.0 5.1 147
Denard Jet 4.0 3.3 3.4 11
Pro 3.3 - 3.3 3
Goal line -2.5 1.4 0.7 11
Total 9.3 6.1 7.3 935

As I've pointed out every time I do this, the Ace is so effective because it's a changeup--this is the formation Borges does his West Coast stuff out of a lot of the time. The I-form is over-used as a curveball since it doesn't really fit the skills of the personnel, and suffers for it.

It's really not that clear that I put Denard at a plurality of fault for this debacle? I mean there's a table and a pie chart right at the end. People have been after me to be more succinct and not say everything twice, so I let the chart speak for itself.

As for the I-form, it was a total of 1 pt. dinged to Borges for going I-form, and that because he called a PA pass when he'd done nothing so far to set up an off-tackle run, and because he should have known its effectiveness would be diminished since its success was tied to ND's strength screwing up. I could have given Borges some +1's for things above...like picking on the ND corner when he left Gardner tons of space, but results-based etc. etc.

It's not an "emotional attachment."

Smash Lampjaw

September 25th, 2012 at 1:04 PM ^

I did not want to make this as a reply, but my comment window does not appear on any browser I try. Don't change your chart, but I would have added a slice of pie for the receivers. It is the fault of the universe that they are what they are, but even if Devin can't make the catch on a dive, he certainly could have become a defender and knocked it down. Ditto for 'Tree on the bomb. That happened right in front of me and it looked like he gave up on it for the final few strides. Again, even if he doesn't catch it or knock it down he could tackle the interceptor at the point of the catch. Some have suggested sloppy route-running and a lack of smoothness on some other plays, but that is past my pay grade.

By the way, perversely, I think that Kelly deserves some credit for courage. Any number of plays could easily have scored for us. If only one had, and Kelly had lost with this conservative game plan he would have been mercilessly criticized by the Faithful, including Joe Montana. As a passing spread guru, a la that other Kelly, it must take supreme self-control for him to be willing to play as conservatively as ND has played this year so far.

Brewers Yost

September 25th, 2012 at 9:25 AM ^

Someone (Brian?) had some data last year showing under center vs. shotgun and suggested shotgun was more effective. However, I do agree with you that it is hard to blame Borges for Denards turnovers. Denard doesn't live by the rule of "live to play another down," which is part of his brilliance but also results in super risky passes.

I do think the Smith pass play was a stupid playcall given that there was no reason to call it at that point in the game.


September 25th, 2012 at 11:02 AM ^

I do recall the article last year of which you speak, but I think the key to those statistics is that UM ran so many different plays last year from the shotgun and it allowed for more flexibility.  Borges was more agreeable last year, only being the first year removed from the Spread and Shread, to let Denard be Denard.  This year, it seems to me, that he's going to install MORE of the pro-set come hell or high water, because that's where the program is going.  And he may think that its going to be easier on the guys remaining if the offense wasn't the "hybrid" it was last year, making the transition easier for the future.  I'm not the football mind many of you guys are, so these are just my observations. I completely agree that the I-form PA will be the threat it needs to be when UM can establish the run first.  Seemed like that started to happen more during the second half this past Saturday...