Scrimmage Observations

Submitted by JacksFootball on April 25th, 2018 at 3:30 PM

I had the opportunity to speak with a parent of one of the players who attended the scrimmage. Here were his observations:

-Rashan Gary was limited due to his ass kicking abilities. He is that good.

-Patterson, Peters and McCaffery all were given an opportunity with the one's and all had impressive plays. Peters command is a big positive.

-Tarik Black and DPJ should be the two best WR's at this school since Braylon.

-Oliver Martin doesn't drop balls and his get off at the line of scrimmage is impressive.

-K. Hudson's arms have their own zip code.

-It was fairly striking the speed in which this defense plays with, even compared to last year's team.

-For how good the defense is, the OL looked much improved over last year.

-There is a sense of "pissed off" and "we are going to prove doubters wrong" with this team.


Some of these items have been discussed, but we need all the football talk we can get.

Please get September 1st here quickly! Go Blue.


What's Good Fo…

April 26th, 2018 at 10:58 AM ^

Drevno came in with Harbaugh, so it wasn't a change in the same way. And even aside from Warriner's abilities, having someone devoted to the OL instead of doing that along with being OC (like Drevno) is another help.

As for Doug Nussmeier, you are right--I had forgotten about him. Had to look him up to remember his name. But that was the Brady Hoke era. And he didn't coach the OL.

Look, having high hopes and then having them dashed is just part of being a fan for me. I need something in my life to be unreasonably optimistic about.


April 25th, 2018 at 10:29 PM ^

Rushing offenses in recent years. The problem is the bar for a good rush offense at Michigan has been lowered a lot in recent years. For someone who grew up watching Michigan in 70s, 80s and 90s, last year's rush offense was meh.


April 25th, 2018 at 10:48 PM ^

If higdon and Evans were the only two backs that got time last year they both would of had 1000 yard rushing seasons..

Higdon barely missed it and he didn't get a lot of carries until 4 games in.

Evans would have been close if he got Isaacs carries.


April 26th, 2018 at 12:36 AM ^

and ypc.  It's about what they can do against the better teams.  Last year against the better teams UM struggled.

MSU, 39 carries for 102 yds

PSU, 42 carries for 103 yds

Wisky, 37 carries for 58 yds

OSU, 36 carries for 100 yds

They struggled in 2016 against the better teams too.  The oline under Harbaugh is definitely better then it was in most of the Hoke years but they still struggle against the better teams.  I'm not expecting them to run all over the better teams but the running game can't get completely taken out of the game against the better teams either.


April 26th, 2018 at 9:58 AM ^

Neither OSU, Wisky or MSU had very good passing attacks against the UM defense but those teams were all able to churn out better games then UM.

MSU ran the ball 40 times for 158 yds.  MSU passing was 11-22 for 94 yds.  Michigan passing was 16-35 for 198 yds.

Wisky ran the ball 34 times for 182 yds.  Wisky passing was 9-19 for 143 yards.  Michigan passing was 11-26 for 176 yds.  

OSU ran the ball 48 times for 226 yds.  OSU passing was 9-15 for 124 yds.  Michigan passing was 17-32 for 195 yds.  

Watching From Afar

April 26th, 2018 at 10:39 AM ^

Some context here:

MSU had 158 yards on 40 carries. 50 of those yards came on 1 run. Outside of that 1 run, MSU was averaging less than 2.8 YPC. And most of their other big yardage plays came from Lewerke scrambling (something Michigan has always been terrible at stopping).

Wisconsin had Taylor rip off a 52 yard run and Pryor had a 32 yarder that balooned their average. Taylor was pedestrian until the 3rd quarter after Peters went down and the defense caved. They were averaging 2.57 YPC outside of those big runs.

OSU always runs for a fudge ton of yards because that's their offense. Again, most of it came on JT Barrett scrambles and late when the defense collapsed after the offense failed to take the lead back twice. Every runner they had was under 3 YPC except Dobbins.

In any event, Michigan just didn't rip off the long runs the other teams did to push their average up. Plus, those other teams had the threat of a passing offense. They might not have been doing well through their, but they were capable enough to make the defense respect the possibility of it.

Watching From Afar

April 26th, 2018 at 12:11 PM ^

That's not why I provided context.

Saying other teams have had success on the ground while thier passing offenses sputter isn't exactly true. In most cases, their running games have been pedestrian like Michigan's. On occasion they rip off a big run that skews the averages and makes it look like "OSU can't pass either, but they can still run a lot better than Michigan. Having a bad passing offense isn't a reason for poor rushing" when the lack of a passing game can be a factor.

Against OSU, taking out the longest runs from Evans and Higdon, both guys averaged over 3.3 YPC with Higdon in the 4 range IIRC.

Higdon averaged 5.4 against MSU with a long of 12. That's pretty good all things considered.

When teams with talented players and good coaching play one another, it usually is a hard fought, and close. There are some big plays, but rarely does it turn into a 300 yard rushing vs. 50 yard rushing type game.

That's my point. Michigan's running game hasn't been great in recent years and definitely comes up short in big games. But most of that is due to JOK being QB or Speight having a bum shoulder. Other teams aren't necessarily doing better on the ground with equally poor passing games.


April 25th, 2018 at 3:59 PM ^

And thus why, there's such an attitude of "Prove it!" Among the fans this year.  too much hype for too long and people are tired of it.  My reaction when I saw the "We're pissed off and want to prove we're better than people say." was basically, "So What" and "Here we go again."

It feels like there's another level to fan discontent this year and I think it's making people nervous.  

Blue in Paradise

April 25th, 2018 at 4:46 PM ^

of miserable douchebag fans. 

I was a student at Michigan in the early-to-mid 90s and people were always bitching and moaning that the team wasn't as tough as when Bo was coach.  And then we had 4 straight years of 4 losses (93-96) and people went hysterical that the Block M stood for mediocre. 1997 bought Lloyd a few years but then by 2001 people were bitching about Navarre. 

If you are old enough to remember, this is nothing new.

Basically, miserable people always feel miserable and want everyone else to feel miserable.  I come into every season psyched as hell for Michigan football - and I have not been as excited as I am right now in more than a decade.

Hell, I am even excited about the Lions season starting.  I don't understand why people would have a hobby that makes them miserable.  I have enough real world concerns that I don't need to manufacture new ones.


April 26th, 2018 at 8:38 AM ^

You have a good point, but in all of those situations I think there was a sense of "At the end of the day, things will work."  I'm not getting that sense this year, I'm getting the sense that people are starting to wonder if this is the start of a permanent fade as the O-Line can seemingly NEVER get its stuff together and it seems affect the rest of the team.  



April 26th, 2018 at 11:18 AM ^

I think the OL is still a long-term coach-created liability that's going to take time to fix, and I'll believe we have a competent QB when we see it.  Not that I think either can't be improved, just that I'm done predicting improvement and am now waiting for it.  But if that's one thing, we got people here saying the program is "on the verge of collapse", which. . . LOL.

For all the people yearning for the days of Bo Schembechler, if they had the same attitude then as today and their will be done, Bo would've been fired after the 1975 season, and that wasn't even his worst stretch.  Even if cooler heads prevailed, '79 would've been "the year of infinite pain", and the whole '79-'84 seasons would've been insufferable for the rest of us with near-daily whining about how Bo is a terrible coach, a stupid person and has completely destroyed the football program.


April 25th, 2018 at 5:50 PM ^

     I've said it before and I'll say it again, the 2016 offensive line is seriously underrated. That unit plowed the way for the 5th highest YPC and YPG in the past 25 seasons and they DID NOT have Denard Robinson or Tyrone Wheatley running behind them. Kalis had a few brain farts. That does not make them a bad/average/mediocre offensive line.

    Give me a competent QB, a solid defense, and 213 yards per game rushing and we'll win an awful lot of ballgames. Add in a pinch of luck and we're on to something.

Year Attempts Yards YPC YPG YPC rank YPG rank MVP
2016 574 2768 4.8 212.9 5 5 DeVeon
2015 491 2057 4.2 158.2 14 18  
2014 425 1954 4.6 162.8 8 16  
2013 498 1634 3.3 125.7 24 24  
2012 502 2389 4.8 183.8 7 10  
2011 560 2884 5.2 221.8 3 3 Denard
2010 556 3101 5.6 238.5 2 2 Denard
2009 494 2234 4.5 186.2 9 9  
2008 453 1771 3.9 147.6 18 22  
2007 540 2144 4.0 164.9 15 15  
2006 535 2282 4.3 175.5 12 13  
2005 499 1939 3.9 161.6 19 17  
2004 481 1843 3.8 153.6 21 20  
2003 538 2287 4.3 175.9 13 12  
2002 505 1929 3.8 148.4 22 21  
2001 480 1716 3.6 143.0 23 23  
2000 542 2581 4.8 215.1 6 4 Anthony Thomas
1999 462 1462 3.2 121.8 25 25  
1998 526 2020 3.8 155.4 20 19  
1997 558 2188 3.9 182.3 17 11  
1996 512 2015 3.9 167.9 16 14  
1995 600 2621 4.4 201.6 10 7  
1994 505 2460 4.9 205.0 4 6 Ty Wheatley
1993 526 2260 4.3 188.3 11 8  
1992 567 3217 5.7 268.1 1 1 Ty Wheatley



April 25th, 2018 at 6:12 PM ^

...and the 5th was Newsome then Bredeson (which is when things took a bit of a turn, as they will with a true freshman). 

But this is the OL hatin'-ist board in college football so they got nothing but shit. 


April 26th, 2018 at 8:55 AM ^

Got ZERO push when they needed to against Iowa and OSU.  Kalis got completely wrecked in pass protection against Florida St.  The line that year was fine, but I would argue still part of the problem as three fifth year seniors and multiple year starters were arguably the weak link on a loaded team.  What should not have been a weak link was one.  


April 26th, 2018 at 10:51 PM ^

I disagree with your Iowa comment. Check the play-by-play. We were running the ball well enough to win. Two bad passes in the 4th, a terrible run play call (sweep into a 9 man run blitz,) and the fumbled KR to start the 2nd half cost us that game.