Akron Postgame Presser: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on September 15th, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Don't mind me I'm just here in the back corner minding my own business

You stress turnovers so much. Was this a good game to remind your team what can happen if you lose the turnover battle?

“Well, I think it is in a lot of ways. Number one, give Akron a lot of credit. Their kids came in here like most Mid-American Conference schools, they come in here to win the football game and played to win the football game. They coached it that way, they played it that way. You know, they did a nice job. I told Terry [Bowden] that, and I told Chuck Motta that. They did some things defensively that were a little different, but things that we should be able to overcome to a certain extent, but we didn’t. What was your question?”

Was this a good reminder for what could happen --

“Oh, turnovers? The upset is always in the mind of the favorites. Any time you don’t take care of the football, and I don’t care if we’re playing Saline High School. Or you know, the Super Bowl champions, whoever that was, you can’t turn the ball over. That is number one. Turnover margins will kill you as a football team. The other thing? Penalties. Fitz [Toussaint] got 50 yards of rushing wiped out because we fundamentally didn’t block properly and we held guys. That can’t happen because, you know, that’s 50 yards of rushing. That’s the rhythm of the game. That and then we had a couple balls thrown over our head. I think two of them were defended decently well, and you have to give people credit. It was a good ball, it’s where it needed to be, it was a good catch, but still there’s still too many of those that hit the post and two-deep, and we should have been in better shape but we weren’t. From the coaches first, and me first, we have to do a better job. I mean, you can’t win championships with those mistakes.”

Taylor Lewan mentioned that something was wrong with preparation this week. Did you notice anything?

“I think it’s like anything else. You take finals, tests, and everything in college. You have to study and how much you study usually affects how you’re going to do. Maybe the effort wasn’t there totally. I thought Tuesday, I think I told you Wednesday, I didn’t like practice as much, but I did like Wednesday and Thursday.”

What changes next week?

“Well you know, the one thing that’s interesting is I’m not going to play a down, but we’re going to coach our butts off during the week. Not that we didn’t coach our butts off last week, but obviously we need to do some things a little better.”

Devin was able to shake off his mistake last week, but it took him longer this week. What was different?

“You know what, I don’t know. It’s a really good question, one that I’ll be thinking about all night. Why he made a couple of the decisions that he made. I know he’s beat up a little bit. Was coming in -- ”

Physically?

“Yeah just a little. Nothing terrible. It’s football. We’ve got to get to the bottom of playing more consistently and how we do that.”

A lot of run for Jourdan Lewis today. Was that by design?

“Yeah, we’ve liked how he’s progressed. We think him, [Channing] Stribling, and Delonte [Hollowell], really those three, all get about the same amount of reps. We like how Jourdan’s responded.”

This is the second game in a row the opponent has converted more than half of their third downs. How much of a concern is that, and what’s the problem?

“The problem is not tight enough in coverage, not fitting the run well enough, and no pass rush. That’d be it.”

About the pass rush, what can you do to improve?

“Well, you know, I think the way we’ve worked at it, it’s kind of surprising it hasn’t been as good to a certain degree. I think what hurt us today and if you go back and watch it, is how many times we let him out of the pocket. When we had good push in the middle from whoever it might have been, how many times on the outside -- and that’s one thing going into the game, [we said] whatever we’re going to do, we’re going to do in the cavity up the middle. Push them to the guys on the outside. Well there’s a couple times in there, four times that I remember, he got out, extended plays, made some good throws. But you have to cup better than that.”

Do you believe in wakeup calls?

“I get one sometimes in a hotel. But no, I think number one, we have five goals we have as a team and we go over them on Sundays. Number one is to win, so it’s good to win. It’s a heck of a lot better to win. But time of possession, we were horrific. You’re horrific when you turn the ball over four times. Turnovers. Did they have one? One pick? Two. They had two. So they won that battle. Kicking game … I thought our coverage was really good on kickoff. I thought those guys did a nice job. Obviously our punt game needs to go under the microscope in a lot of areas. That’s one thing we want to pride ourselves on. Was it embarrassing? I think there’s a lot of embarrassing things that happened when you don’t do what you’re supposed to do. I say that from [the perspective] of everybody has a job, from the equipment people, the trainers, the doctors, the coaches, the players. We all have to perform every week, every test at our highest level, and obviously we didn’t do that.”

Can you talk about those last two plays?

“The ones at the end of the game? Well I could have told you before what the last call was going to be, because I know Greg Mattison. It was “cable zero train,” and it was executed very well.”

Aside from the win, what good can you see from this game?

“I think we’ll learn a lot I think we’ll learn a lot about our team. I think you always do. We’ll learn a lot as coaches, we’ll learn a lot as players, and then we’ll go back and correct those things and respond to them.”

What’s your level of concern with the offensive line?

“There were some good holes in there at times. Fitz made a couple good cuts out of it. Is it consistent enough? No. I think watching it like we will, there’s going to be a lot of learning, and there will be a lot of teaching going on.”

Taylor Lewan said the leadership failed. Did you feel that way?

“You know what, I think those guys have taken a lot of pride, and they’ve worked very hard in that part of it. As a coach sometimes you put a little pressure on your leadership and maybe that’s what he’s responding to.”

Comments

Soulfire21

September 15th, 2013 at 10:35 AM ^

Hoke nailed in on the head, our Dline actually got decent pressure and collapsed the pocket but they let Akrons QB move to the outside, negating that pressure.

We won, and that is the most important thing. We have another chance next Saturday. Keep winning and nobody will remember this game.

Magnum P.I.

September 15th, 2013 at 11:22 AM ^

Why was this not a problem for the University of Central Florida and their esteemed defensive coordinator, Jim Fleming (who? correct)?

Why was it not a problem for FCS James Madison?

I geniunely cannot understand how our team, with all its resources, talent, and experience on the d-line (yes, all four starters are upperclassmen, so save the youth nonsense) couldn't solve this problem.

MFanWM

September 15th, 2013 at 1:31 PM ^

There were at least 2 or 3 times where this happend, another play I remember both sides had the DE and DT run into and knock each other out of the play.  It just looks like they are so focused on engaging the guys across from them that they are getting tangled up, and too often the ends are trying to spin back inside right into the gaps the DTs are in.

I was not watching closely all the time, but it seems like the few times that they did try just a speed rush, both Clark and Black had some success.  

There were also quite a few times where blitzes were being set up and the DBs and LBs cheated a step or two too fast and resulted in audibles at the line for Akron which negated those pressure attempts.

Space Coyote

September 15th, 2013 at 2:28 PM ^

And it is exactly what Hoke is saying. Michigan is failing to pass rush as a unit. If everyone just does their job and one guy wins you will get great pressure on the QB. Michigan would have one guy win and then others completely fail to do their job.

The most obvious example was this was on the DE-DT stunts, where the utilizes an inside move to beat the OT at the snap and the DT loops around. The DT isn't expected to come around the formation absolutely free and kill the QB. The DT is expected to loop around and get leverage. And that's enough, because the inside move by the DE consistently got pressure, consistently collapsed the pocket. But you don't rush as a unit, one person doesn't do their job, and suddenly a won assignment is negated because the QB can break contain and threaten with his arm and legs.

Mr. Yost

September 15th, 2013 at 2:35 PM ^

He's ready to see Bryant playing over Glasgow.

Problem is, that doesn't resolve the issues on the line.

Replacing one player doesn't help unless the problem is only with one player. Our problem is that we have four guys who continuously make mistakes on the line. Too often four of the five are doing the right thing and it's that 5th guy who messes up and it hurts everyone. All it takes is one and the entire unit sucks.

Putting Bryant in does nothing unless he makes Miller, Kalis and sometimes even Schofield better.

Our line needs to do a better job of being on the same page and working as a unit. Their on-field chemistry is horrible.

Oscar

September 16th, 2013 at 4:53 AM ^

I hate to criticize any player, but I was hoping that there was some news that Bryant was getting promoted for the next game.  While I agree that one player is not going to fix our line issues, I think that giving Bryant a chance to start is our best potential upgrade, and of course I back that up with no evidence what so ever.

burtcomma

September 15th, 2013 at 10:35 AM ^

Is wait and see what this team 134 does next, and if the coaches make changes in terms of who plays how much and in what positions.  We are who we are, we have the players we have, there is more help on the way for 2014 and 2015 (at least, it sure seems that way) and we have 38 scholarship freshmen on the roster who need to get smarter and gain experience and learn how to play college football.  You can see the athletic speed and talent, but you can also see the inexperience and the mistakes both by Gardner at QB and elsewhere all over the roster whether it be holding on runs or offsides on a blitz or missing a block or whatever.  There is a reason we went 8-5 last year, and it was not just bad luck on a few plays.

EnoughAlready

September 15th, 2013 at 11:14 AM ^

and my perception could be mistaken.  Hence, this is a genuine question.  Does it seem like the only thing Michigan's D-line do when they pass rush is bull rush?  I mean, I've seen D-linemen for other teams use spin moves, ye olde "swim" technique (Sheldon Day used this to fly past Kalis last week), rip an arm under the tackle so as to drive past him...But it seems to me that the only thing Michigan's D-linemen do is push the O-line back (bull rush).

Am I wrong about this?  

Edit: Let me amplify the question.  Some of the posters on this site are coaches.  Some of the writers for the blog claim to understand the mechanics of football.  From the perspective of technique, what are Michigan's D-linemen not doing -- or unsuccessfully doing?  What did Purdue's linemen do to pressure Rees that Michigan's linemen have so far been unable to do?  

Elmer

September 15th, 2013 at 10:58 AM ^

“The problem is not tight enough in coverage, not fitting the run well enough, and no pass rush. That’d be it.”   Well, having issues in coverage, run defense and pass rushing usually spells trouble.

robmorren2

September 15th, 2013 at 11:14 AM ^

The offense is missing a vertical threat. I'm not sure how it looked on TV, but at the stadium you could see Akron was stacking the box. They consistently put 8 in the box, and the single high safety was even playing in closer than usual. The corner that was shading Gallon would play press, and the opposite corner would play off. We should have been able to burn Akron down the sideline on the 1v1 matchup, but we have NO deep threat. Gardner kept trying to throw between the hashes where the 1 safety was sitting (usually shading Gallon I believe). I don't care who you're playing, it's going to be hard to run against 8 in the box. We couldn't pop the top off that defense, and it was an issue. Jackson is a total non-factor on the outside. I don't know if there is an answer to the problem. It's possible that we just don't have any talent in that area. The only answer Borges had was to run with 98, which evened up the number of blockers with the number of guys in the box. As bad as DG was, he was also our safety net. Borges is going to have to find a way to beat 8 in the box, or we're in trouble. Running Gardner is an asset, but it's extremely risky.

Magnum P.I.

September 15th, 2013 at 11:27 AM ^

Interesting observation. I couldn't watch the game (thank the gods), so it's nice to hear what might paritally explain such a debacle of an offensive performance. 

So, they were basically double-teaming Gallon with one safety and committing the other safety to the run? 

Seems like a good strategy for all of our future opponents to employ.

robmorren2

September 15th, 2013 at 11:49 AM ^

I'm not sure how often they were shading Gallon, but I'm pretty sure he was bracketed on one of the picks (which allowed the CB to undercut the route, bc he had help over the top). I am positive that they had a safety in the box almost the entire game. They basically had 4 linebackers behind their D-line. It seemed like a no brainer to go playaction and lob it down the sideline to the non-Gallon WR. I'm not sure if its DG, Al, or both ... but there is NO confidence to throw it up in 1v1 coverage to the non-Gallon receiver. Akron had no reason to pull that safety out of the box. The only passes that got behind their defense were because of missed tackles by Akron. We never aired it over their defense.

Mr. Yost

September 15th, 2013 at 2:41 PM ^

Dileo needs waaay more targets. If they are taking Gallon away, you don't go to the other side in Chesson unless he's a proven big time player. You hurt them in the Slot. This also opens up your run game.

Funchess and Dileo should go off if they're taking away Gallon.

Blue in Seattle

September 15th, 2013 at 11:55 AM ^

And so did Devin. He threw into double coverage to Gallon on one interception. The pick six was another blind desparate throw with protection breaking down. If he just pitches it to Fitz he doesn't fumble. Those plays were a minimum of 7 points of differential max of 21 points.

Hoke expects a lot out of the Dline because the secondary is young. They don't trust the safeties enough to play press man on the corners, snd really the linebackers don't seem to have coverage down yet either. Three step passes are hard to get a sack on. But that last drive did have a play where all but one of the Dline got piled on an the QB scrambled forever.

The offense though is on the line and Devin. Devin needs to look at someone other than Gallon. On the interception Funchess was leading his covering LB by more than a yard. Devin misses that and throws to double coverage.

Magnum P.I.

September 15th, 2013 at 11:15 AM ^

So, we have deficit areas in (1) pass covereage, (2) pass rush, (3) run defense, (4) offensive line play, (5) QB decision-making, and (6) punt game. 

The things we do well are (1) kickoff coverage. 

Hmm.

 

JT4104

September 15th, 2013 at 11:25 AM ^

We are also good at extra points...don't forget that. All you need to know about the DL, in the last 2 games there have been 100 pass attempts and 1 whole sack to show for it. That is absolutely piss poor.

dragonchild

September 15th, 2013 at 12:54 PM ^

in all honesty once Akron smelled blood I doubt he felt any knee pain.  Once he gained confidence I could see he was in a zone.

Our team looked nothing like the monstrosity that bullied CMU.  That game was proof of talent.  This time everyone looked slow and sluggish.  It looked like most of them were hung over.  Suspensions would be in order but then I somehow doubt Hoke would have enough players to field against Connecticut.

There are a lot of people here calling for calm, but honestly, what IS the reasonable human reaction to youthful immaturity and disrespect?  It's no different if these boys took a collective steaming dump on the Diag.  Is it immature?  Yes.  Are stupid young idiots going to be stupid, young and idiotic?  Yeah, it's to be expected.  A lot of those players aren't even old enough to drink legally.  But then adults are supposed to sit by and laugh it off?  No, Hoke was visibly upset and he damn well should be.

The kids will probably be fine, but honestly, I challenge anyone who thinks frustration or anger aren't the appropriate responses here.  Young idiots fark up, grown-ups get pissed off.  It's the cycle of life.  If you're a grown-up, you should be pissed off.  The kids did everything to deserve every ounce of that anger.