Postgame Presser Notes: Wisconsin Comment Count

Tim November 20th, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Rich Rodriguez


"Craig Roh, Mike Martin, Darryl Stonum, the list goes on. It's just one of those crazy years." He's never had this many key guys out with injury, but the backups need to step up in big spots. This team is too inexperienced to handle that.

Roh - "some kind of concussive type of symptoms." Probably the same for Vincent Smith, though RR hasn't had a chance to talk to the trainers yet.

"Didn't play well, didn't tackle well, didn't catch the ball well." You can't win games doing that against a good team.

The first half was disappointing, because they didn't make the most of their limited possessions. Potential touchdown overthrown, etc. Weren't able to get rhythm with limited possessions in the first half. In the second half, they needed one of those onside kicks in order to keep momentum.

"If everybody stays healthy, they will get a little bit better, I think" during the season, but expecting leaps and bounds of improvement from guys won't come until bowl or spring practices.

"As frustrating as it is for all the fans - which I understand their frustration - it's just as frustrating for us coaches, too" because they can't help guys age overnight.

Wisconsin's efficient offense is a combination of factors, Tolzien is good at executing the offense, makes the plays that are there. "They had some guys wide open on some middle dig routes, and I gotta see what happened with that. That was probably the most disappointing part."

Knew they needed to develop a rhythm early in the second half. Needed one big stop or one successful onside to capture momentum.

"I didn't want to screw up and make a major mistake" at the end of the first half, so he didn't want to stop clock. He wouldn't do it differently if he had the chance. "If we had not gotten the ball first in the second half, I probably would have used the clock a little bit and went on from there."

Bad tackling - "The hard part is, to work on it during the season, how do you do live tackling?" Don't want guys to get hurt - can't afford more injuries. Another reason is "sometimes you miss tackles because you're just not strong enough yet."

"They're older bigger, experienced physical teams" that have run over Michigan. He'd be more disappointed if Michigan had comparable age and experience. Not trying to make an excuse, it's reality. The young guys will be better next year because of their playing time this year. "We've gotta get those guys to that level as quickly as we can." Numbers are better now on D, but the guys are young.

They weren't thinking about the QB rushing record for Denard. He was close to breaking loose a couple times in the first half. "He just wants to win, so this day's disappointing. But we've got the big one next week."

Tate's playing time at the end was because they want to keep him in the loop, wanted to give him a few game reps on plays they think he can execute well.

Field goals: "That's been ongoing. Seth had clearly kicked better all week in practice." Never seen him miss one from the middle of the field in the past month. Gibbons's extra points weren't great, anyway.

"It's a challenge anyway, your'e playing a great team at their place. But it's Ohio State-Michigan, it's not going to be hard to get the guys fired up to prepare for it."

Denard Robinson

No injury at the end of the game, just a coaches' decision.

On the offense's poor production in the first half - "Guess we came out kind of flat. We came out real flat." Not sure why that happened.

"Got too anxious" on the overthrow to Stonum. He was excited to make a big play.

When they went on a run in the third quarter, they just played like they'd been practicing all along. "Basically we just got it together."

Everybody who plays Michigan is going to fight. Wisconsin was one of those teams. "Everybody came in here to fight us, and they fought us, too. We fought back."

On his good day running: "I felt good today, my offensive line was blocking good, and God was with me." The record - "It don't mean nothing to me right now. I mean, we're ready to play Ohio State, you know."

JJ Watt "He's a great defensive end, and hats off to him."

The team has a chance to redeem themselves in the last game and the bowl game.

Roy Roundtree

Hats off to Wisconsin for slowing Michigan down first half. Low possessions because they were controlling the clock with the run.

After half there were some changes. "We just gotta go out there and play Michigan football."

Drops were due to a lack of focus. "As wide receivers you gotta catch them balls." Receivers' job is to catch the ball, so they have to.

James Rogers

"We were in position, we fought with 'em. But we've just gotta make those tackles."

His injury was a shoulder stinger, just needed a couple plays off.

On his interception - "Of course we're thinking about scoring" to start a comeback - there wasn't enough time to finish it.

They knew Wisconsin was going to come out and run "we fought back with them, just gotta come out and make some tackles, that's all."



November 20th, 2010 at 4:45 PM ^

Did anyone ask him why he keeps trying to kick FGs.....?  I mean I'm not that smart but I learned to stop licking the electrical outlet after it shocked me a few times....


November 20th, 2010 at 4:51 PM ^

It's just so antithetical to say to yourself "this kid who kicks pretty well in practice just won't be able to kick a 30 yard FG in ideal conditions." I can't say I blame him up to this point. At this point though... maybe this is the end of kicking field goals.


November 21st, 2010 at 2:05 AM ^

"Maybe this is the end of kicking field goals."

I try to stay optimistic about this team, but the smoking crater that is our placekicking unit continues to thwart my best efforts.  As for the rest of our special teams, I can't remember the last time someone returned a kickoff or a punt for a TD against us but the field position from huge returns is coming back to bite us in the butt in a huge way.

Based on the new injuries and aggrivated old injuries to clutch players (Stonum, Martin, and yes, you too V. Smith), my personal DOOM level for Hate Week is holding steady at two DOOMs out of five.


November 20th, 2010 at 4:56 PM ^

At some point we're going to have to develop trust in our kicker if we want to reach the level of success we want. If the kickers have been doing well in practice I don't see his choice on the "very easy" FG as a bad one. It was a terrible miss, but I can understand the decision.


November 20th, 2010 at 5:17 PM ^

"I mean I'm not that smart but I learned to stop licking the electrical outlet after it shocked me a few times...."

So like Rich Rod, it took you a few times to figure it out?


November 20th, 2010 at 7:20 PM ^

and he told the coach "Give me another chance, coach, I can do it."

Nobody feels worse than the kid that told coach I can do it and then failed.

As a football coach, I'll tell you that I had kids make bad plays or are lacking in effort and then I remove them as starters and I tell them that is why I removed them.

Then, if they try harder in practice, get a better attitude and ask for another chance - and then you give them that chance to grow - and sometimes they come up short again. Example: see Tate Forcier early season.


November 21st, 2010 at 12:54 AM ^

But the front 7 is not that  young: Martin, Van Bergen, Banks, Sagesse, Patterson, Ezeh, Mouton, Moundros, Fitzgerald, Demens.

ALL of those guys have been in the program for at least 3 years and many of them are 4th and 5th year guys.

And yet it is that same front 7 that got steamrolled and missed a shit ton of tackles.

The young secondary wasn't to blame in that debacle of a 2nd half. WI threw 1 pass.

So RR, just stop it. Your fairly experienced defensive front got their asses handed to them because your defensive coaches and their scheme and their piss poor teaching of fundamentals suck balls.


November 20th, 2010 at 4:57 PM ^

RRod is asking the secondary to make too many plays.  He wants these freshman to play like seniors.  Where's the beef?  You simply can't allow a QB to have all day to throw the ball game after game after game.


November 20th, 2010 at 5:01 PM ^

I hope the Stonum injury isnt too major.  It didnt look good live.  I didnt even know Roh went out...hope he is ok.  Smith looked very dazed...if he cant go next week or Shaw...we will be in some trouble.  I really liked the way the guys fought in the second half...cant wait for this team to get older and get some tacklers in there.  Go Blue!!!!


November 20th, 2010 at 5:06 PM ^

Hopefully the injuries aren't too serious.  Smith didn't look like he will be able to play this week nor did the Stonum injury.  A slightly better first half from the offense and this could have been a different game.  Just needed to be able to stop them once or twice on D, How many consecutive times did they end up runnning the ball at the end of the game.  It was in the 30's the last time I heard.


November 20th, 2010 at 5:22 PM ^

as long as they are quality guys.  The only execption would be for a top kicker prospect.  RR spent the first 2 years building up the offense, now we need to work just as hard on defense.

Frank Drebin

November 20th, 2010 at 5:40 PM ^

Sure, we need to get the numbers up in a few spots on D, but we can't ignore the offense. In the next 2 years, we will lose a lot of contributors, and we need to make sure we have quality replacements for them. I would still take Watkins, a TE, and 1 more OL (Bryant) in this class. Other than that, I would focus the rest on D. A class with 16 defensive players won't help us right away. Our problem is our youth. Hopefully, we will grow with experience and the extra bowl practices will help with that. I want the D to get better, but an entire class of defensive players will leave an imbalance going forward and would not be productive for recruiting in the future.


November 20th, 2010 at 6:04 PM ^

Things look pretty grim in the PK department but is it unreasonable that since Gibbons and his parents aren't paying for tuition that he could spend the off season paying someone to work on his mechanics and fix the problems.  Seems like he could get some coaching outside the program since we don't have a kicking coach with all that money his family is saving on tuition.  Do the FBU coaches work with kickers?  Calling all kicking coaches?!  

Blue boy johnson

November 20th, 2010 at 5:25 PM ^

I ran into Denard at Applebees after the game. I didn't want to bother the kid so I just said,"get after them buckeyes next week". Denard just gave me that winning smile and said, "Yes sir."

As an aside I am maybe 6'2", Denard is considerably shorter than I am, I think 5'10" may be a stretcher


November 20th, 2010 at 5:59 PM ^

Which begs the question, why wont RR roll Denard out from behind the line to create better passing lanes or to facilitate a tuck and run if no one is open?  This is a legit ? for those that understand the system.  It seems logical that with all the batted balls, we would see a half roll or something to get him out in space where he might be able to abuse someone with dilithium.  

Blue boy johnson

November 20th, 2010 at 6:18 PM ^

I agree with you, we do roll out quite a bit. One thing that helps/hurts Denard is the fact that the D doesn't come after him strong, it gives him lotsa time in the pocket, but these tall DL's  playing contain, 5-6 yards off Denard, are getting their hands in the air when he throws and batting down/up too many passes.


November 20th, 2010 at 9:11 PM ^

I see throws out of scrambling scenarios.  I see fake QB iso's with seam routes.  I also see a significant number of batted balls when we throw to the flats, screens or outside the hashes from the pocket.   


November 20th, 2010 at 11:02 PM ^

You can't roll the pocket on screens.  The whole point is to draw defenders toward Denard to clear room for the RB or WR.  He got that one batted today and also against IL, but that play has also been very successful for us this year.  We run some drapback plays, but I bet our most common passing play is the play action rollout that picked us up the 4th down today, with a TE in the flat and a crossing route deeper.  We run that play so much that Purdue had clerly gameplanned to blow it up by shooting a defender into the path of the rollout.


November 20th, 2010 at 7:00 PM ^

Size not a big deal, and this is by NOOOOOO means a knock on him, but I just dont see him being our PRIMARY QB in the future. I think we will start to see his Transition to RB/WR/ Player Maker next year with Devin running the show, and the key word here is Transition. If you really listen to what RR says about the team you can start to read between the lines. Last year when Tate was on Top of the world, RR ALWAYS mentioned Denard (whether he did anything at all) and talked about how good of an athlete he was, not to count him out, just needs experience, ect. You always just had a feeling that RR knew Denard could run his system much better than Tate. skip forward to 2010 spring practice and fall camp and you start to hear the hype with Devin and his skill set (most notably his touch on deep balls). Then the season starts and Denard is Gods gift to College Football (not being sarcastic) and what do you know Devin is 2nd string behind Denard and is getting mentioned even though he really didn't do anything. Now I know its been a while since Devin has been mentioned but I think that has to do more with his back problems.

Now if we fast forward to next season, Devin is alittle bigger, faster, smarter and has a year in the system under his belt. I think we start to see Devin more at QB (Probably not opening day starter) with Denard somewhere else on the field and lets not forget about D. Hart. With Devin's passing abilities and Denard / Hart's running abilities you can really open up the play book. Worst case senario you move Denard back to QB.

This is simply my opinion, based off of the things I've heard RR say, the why he talks about all his players, and the fact that if Denard wants to play in the NFL its not going to be at QB and he definitely has the skill set to play something in the NFL. Hart is an early enrollee and if he makes the transition to college football early like most believe he can (also better production from our other backs who will all be healthy), its going to take a lot of pressure off our need to run our QBs so much. Remember Pat White was a pretty damn good QB and he didn't need to run as much as Denard has. By putting Devin at QB you take away some athleticism at the postion, but you add a playmaker on the field and open up the play book. You don't have to agree but just think about it and start listening to the things RR says when spring ball rolls around.


November 20th, 2010 at 10:08 PM ^

The skinny on my post above is that I believe Devin will start to become more involved in the offense next year eventually taking over as the Primary QB down the road. RR and every player on the team as well as his roommate Denard has praised Devin ( a 5 star athlete) on his work ethic,  and athletic abilities. I honestly believe RR's goal was to get him more involved this year, why else do you waste a RS year when you have a more than capable back in Tate to go in for a few plays. If you don't believe Devin plays an important role next year I can understand that. Again the post was an opinion of mine, but real classy on the moron comment. Tate was going to be the for sure starter in 2010 once the season was over last year, right? RR has said before he wants the most talent on the field playing not sitting on the sidelines.


November 20th, 2010 at 10:35 PM ^

1) Tate was not the for sure starter coming into 2010
<br>2) Denard just set the all time record for most rushing yds by a QB in his FIRST season starting
<br>3) Finally, Yes, I stand behind my comment - your post was moronic at best


November 20th, 2010 at 11:08 PM ^


I honestly could not agree with you more. Devin Gardner is a freak of an athlete, runs like a gazelle, and already has a better arm than Denard. I am a huge fan of Denard, but seriously, he put up his huge numbers against cupcakes defensive squads. What good are the numbers when you're 7-4? Last time I checked, a 7-4 record in Ann Arbor is UNacceptable. I don't care how much "youth" you have on your team, this just isn't Michigan Football. I haven't seen a single sign of improvement this year either.

Also, this designed run "Denard Draw" doesn't work anymore. Denard was recruited as an "athlete," which means he can play multiple positions. By moving Denard to RB/WR and Devin into the QB position, we utilize our talent more effectively. Trust me. I see bright flashes of Vince Young in DG. All you Denard-loving lunatics can call me crazy, I don't care.

People, you need to wake up. We cannot compete in this conference, period. Quit settling for mediocrity. I'm a full-blooded, born and raised Michigan fan. I'd die for this team. I'm not one of those RR haters that won't give him a chance. But until today, I've never boo'ed Michigan this much in my entire life.

I trust that Dave Brandon will make the right decisions, but for now, this is downright embarrassing.


November 20th, 2010 at 11:15 PM ^

"I'm a full-blooded, born and raised Michigan fan. I'd die for this team."

"But until today, I've never boo'ed Michigan this much in my entire life."

Those are contradictory statements. You do not boo college kids who are giving it their all. You are no fan, you're a douche. If you want to boo, go see a lions game, atleast they are professionals who get paid to deal with that. 


November 21st, 2010 at 1:49 AM ^

"I am a huge fan of Denard, but seriously, he put up his huge numbers against cupcakes defensive squads."


Ok.  He had what today?  239 passing and 121 rushing, 4 total TDs, 1 pick?  Wisconsin isn't a cupcake defense.


He had 105 yards rushing against Iowa in just over a half.  They're 4th in the nation in rush defense, giving up 80-something a game?


He has 190-190 against Penn State.  Not quite where they usually are, but also not a cupcake defense.



November 20th, 2010 at 10:16 PM ^

a player with 11 career starts,  2000+ yards passing and 1500+ yards rushing (1st ever to do that), and 2 years of eligability left isn't our primary QB of the future?

his size? he has started every game this year playing two positions virtually.

no denard at qb in nfl?? he is a soph! he is doing things that say...mike vick (dual threat QB with a live arm but accuracy issues early)....never did. even pat white got a shot.

you want said player to become a WR/KR/PR/ i getting this?

what the hell are you talking about? 


November 21st, 2010 at 1:43 AM ^

the reason Rich Rod talked about Denard so much last year and about Devin this year is because he doesn't want them to get the impression they'd be better off somewhere else.  It has to be hard to keep 3 QBs like this on the same roster when you can only put one of them on the field at a time (at least at QB).


I really get the impression he goes out of his way to voice that they have a part to play even right now and even if they aren't on the field at the moment.


November 20th, 2010 at 5:49 PM ^

I don't think RR is too happy with Seth as a placekicker.  By saying "I don't see him miss in practice"  is basically a way of say that when the lights are on, and its game time, Seth can't get it done.     


If Gibbons is so bad, I wonder how did he even get a scholarship to Michigan?    Was Gibbons bad in HS or has he  just turned into a suckie kicker once he got to ann Arbor?


November 20th, 2010 at 6:04 PM ^

Not sure if its the case here, but alot of HS kickers use a block for FGs, and some have a hard time adjusting to not being able to use the block in College. My guess is thats whats going on. The problem is he may never get used to it, which means its pretty much a wasted Scholarship. RR keeps talking about the low kicks, which is a big sign that he just isn't used to not having the block and isn't getting underneath the ball. 


November 21st, 2010 at 12:23 AM ^

Why is it a wasted scholarship? 

A student-athlete's commitment is binding for four years (let's also not get into discussions about transfers, benefits of signing or not signing a LOI, other eligibility rules, etc... that's not the point of the post) but the grant-in-aid is renewable every year.  Michigan doesn't have to pick up tab next season if they don't want to.  So what is wasted?


November 20th, 2010 at 6:08 PM ^

It seems that Gibbons not only wasn't bad, he was excellent until he got to Michigan.  He kicked in the US Army All-America game for high school seniors.  Maybe (if I may go back some years) it's a Jerod Ward situation where he just doesn't like the big stage.  I certainly hope he can figure whatever it is out in the off-season or we'll have to waste a scholarship on another kicker.


November 20th, 2010 at 6:13 PM ^

Mgoblog friends, I'm losing faith in rich rod. This team is NOT improving week to week. Wisconsin took its foot off the gas or the score woulve been much worse. I think it's the worst game we've played. How can that be in game 11? I need a pep talk


November 20th, 2010 at 6:19 PM ^

Maybe we looked the worst in game 11 because this is by far the best team we have played this year. Remember that they just put up 83 (!!!) points on Indiana and they made OSU look bad earlier in the year. They have been running all over everybody just like they did to us. There's a reason they are ranked #7 in the country.