Iowa 24, Michigan 21

Submitted by Ace on November 23rd, 2013 at 4:04 PM

I started writing this post at Heiko's apartment before my laptop battery mercifully bailed out, giving me a few minutes to think on the drive home. Time heals all wounds, they say; this wasn't nearly enough time.

Michigan got an early gift when Jake Ryan's crushing hit on Iowa QB Jake Rudock on a play-action rollout—sound familiar?—led to a fluttering pass that Brennen Beyer intercepted and took back seven yards for a touchdown. The defense came away with two other interceptions in the game; Blake Countess baiting Rudock for his second pick led directly to the second Wolverine touchdown, a two-yard pass to A.J. Williams that Iowa had completely dead to rights until Devin Gardner comically stiff-armed Tanner Miller to the ground in the backfield.

Left to its own devices, the Michigan offense could muster just one more score in the game, a nine-yard pass to Jeremy Gallon to give them a 21-7 halftime lead.

The Wolverines finished with 158 yards on 57 plays (2.8 ypp); the Greg Davis-coached Iowa offense managed to tally 407 yards (5.5 ypp) despite freezing temperatures and a howling wind. At one point in the second half, Al Borges called for back-to-back reverses—the first one worked; the second predictably failed miserably. Iowa adjusted to Michigan's fake-bubble-based run game and that was all she wrote; the defense, down both starting linebackers by the end of the game, couldn't stop the inevitable comeback.


Eight three-and-outs. Eight.

Gardner fumbled on a draw play on Michigan's final offensive possession, their first turnover of the game; it was unfortunate, to be sure, but at this point it's pretty tough to blame the guy:

I watch him play and feel no anger, just sadness. Michigan is left with no reasonable option but to put him out there despite the fact that he's obviously not close to the same player he was last year or at the start of this season, clearly hurt, and being put in a position in which few—if any—quarterbacks could succeed. Gardner gives this team the best chance to win; he's also battered, skittish, and quite possibly flat-out injured.

Crazy things happen in football, which is why we keep watching. It'll take something beyond any reasonable expectation of crazy for Michigan to even stay competitive in The Game on Saturday.

Comments

Wings33

November 23rd, 2013 at 4:18 PM ^

How do you score 21 in the first half and then a big ass goose egg in the second half. Total lack of desire to finish a team off and lack of desire to win!!!!!!!!!! It looks like they are satisfied with a lead until the other team comes back and by then it's too late........being content with a lead is not Michigan's style and it never has worked. Desire is what this team lacks and it is pitiful, no embarrassing to see a team so rich with integrity and morals to watch this week after week. Been a Michigan fan all my life and will continue but this is simply embarrassing!!!!!!!

tdeshetler

November 23rd, 2013 at 4:18 PM ^

I got nothing left.  1 more game and a crappy bowl.  This season has been a complete failure.  In his 3rd year, Hoke is the leader and the one I am holding responsible.  Fix it next year or find someone else that can.  

 

A2D2

November 23rd, 2013 at 4:18 PM ^

 

I have spent a ton of money for season tickets the past 5 seasons......

As I was sitting in my seat 95 rows from the field way back in the corner listening to President Mary slur her words and the idiot band play hail to the victors after UM got throttled by Nebraska and Al (the idiot) borgas run a 199 pound back up the middle for the 25th time, I realized I had been duped, taken, mis-lead.  

So today I watched Devin (I gave up several games ago) Gardner drag through another wretched game of play calling by Al (the idiot) borgas.  Even though the offense gave up midway through the Penn State game, Brady (am-I-out-of-touch--or-just-overmatched) Hoke clapped his hands, and played his violin while Rome (or Ann Arbor) was burning.

So, in my humble opinion, here's what should happen:

1.  Fire the entire staff

2.  Apologize to the season ticket holders (profusely, before they all leave)

3.  Hire John Harbaugh or somebody of that caliber

 

But Sadly, here is what is going to happen:

1.  OSU beats UM 58-6

2.  Brandon gives Hoke a vote of confidence

3.  Al (the idiot) borgas tells us to be patient because it is really Denard's fault.....

4.  UM loses recruits (we didn't want those 5 stars anyway because we're Mediocre, dammit!)

5. UM goes 7-5 in 2014 and is premanently and forever labeled "University of Mediocre" 

 

PrincetonBlue

November 23rd, 2013 at 4:27 PM ^

Honestly I can't see any coach of Harbaugh's caliber coming to Ann Arbor.  The climate around Ann Arbor is just so hostile.  There's always some of the fan base willing to destroy people that aren't 'Michigan men', and there's always some that want innovative football out to keep MANBAWL.

No coach of that caliber is going to come to this tire fire.  They are paid too much and are too secure in their jobs.  

Perhaps we should go the Wisconsin route and hire a non-AQ team's head coach that is winning at a ridiculous clip?  He would leave after a couple years of success probably but being able to hire from within is all we want....

bdsisme

November 23rd, 2013 at 4:19 PM ^

What does Al Borges actually do all week?

* He takes 2 hours to draw up a new "play" that he will run 20 times the next game (but forget to draw up any constraints off of that play or sprinkle in any other types of plays).  

* He then practices that play a couple times with the first team and thinks they'll gain 500 yards with it.  

* He refuses to recruit off-campus.  

* He obviously does not teach the QBs anything even though he is the QB coach.  

* He goes home to his 17-year-younger-and-hotter-wife and teaches his daughter the word of the day (Saturday through Thursday it is "execute", Fridays it is "pizzanight").  

* He figures out how to be equally witty and dismissive to the media.  

* He continues to buy Domino's so Dave Brandon's stock options continue to soar.  

* Cashes $59,000 per game paycheck.  

Repeat.

TheJuiceman

November 23rd, 2013 at 4:20 PM ^

We need accept that Brady's in over his head. Borges is trash of course, but pure and persistent incompetence on any side of the ball ultimately falls on the HC at this level. Especially when he has no answers himself on how to fix things. Poor Mattison. Poor Devin. Poor Fitz. Poor Denard. Poor Mike Cox. Poor us.

GoBlueInNYC

November 23rd, 2013 at 5:35 PM ^

I know this is a total tangent from the purpose of this thread, but "poor Mike Cox?" Can we stop acting like his NFL season is some kind of indictment against the coaching staff? That totally ignores the insane circumstances that lead to his (temporary) playing time.

The guy seems like a good guy, it's absolutely awesome that he landed in the NFL, and I hope he sticks around, but people need to stop acting like the coaching staff (two coaching staffs, actually) somehow whiffed on a pro-caliber player. Plenty to criticize about Rodriguez et al., and Hoke et al., but there really isn't evidence that Cox is one of them.

Please resume hating the coach staff for other, totally valid, reasons.

GoBlueInNYC

November 23rd, 2013 at 7:54 PM ^

Ha, I didn't mean to jump on you. I've just seen a lot of other people saying "fire Hoke/Borges/Mary Sue, they weren't even smart enough to let an NFL caliber player off the bench!" ever since his Monday Night Football start.

From what I've heard, the Giants staff really likes him, but they're clearly doing everything they can to get other RBs on the field (I think he's the beloved "special teams demon").

BILG

November 23rd, 2013 at 5:37 PM ^

We have a program cheerleader as a head coach.  He's clearly not an  X's and O's guru, but has also proven himself to not be a strong delegator.  We are sloppy and unprepared.  Totally on Hoke.

Only thing saving him at this point is our badass D coordinator and the recuriting.

Wee-Bey Brice

November 23rd, 2013 at 4:21 PM ^

"... clearly hurt, and being put in a position in which few—if any—quarterbacks could succeed."

Thank you, Ace. I said in the open thread that DG was getting way too much of the blame. However, this is the internet and people are entitled to express their stupid opinions and blind viewpoints. But geesh, he isn't immortal. He tries to play superman for this team because he has to but he is NOT superman.  I feel bad for him. 

BlowGoo

November 23rd, 2013 at 4:59 PM ^

I don't think it's a cheap shot, nor not acknowledging DG's possibly injured status, to simply say that someone heavily involved in the Michigan offense thinks DG can run the ball much better than he actually can.

 

Stop calling plays wherein DG runs by design.

Stop having DG seriously consider running when his progression fails.

Simplify DG's progression altogether.

DG  wastes too much time considering whether to run that he gets sacked even more than should be due to the legitimately poor play of his offsensive line.

DG considers his running ability as too good relative to the risk of making a pass, causing him to falsely think there are no receivers open enough to justiy him not running when that is often not the case.  He ponders running too damned much.  He declines passing too damned much, thinking he can run without risking the interception, a risk he has consistently magnified since game 4.

 

But no matter what, this year's worth of pain will be all over soon.

 

Except that Arizona is continuing to beat Oregon in the second quarter as I write this, meaning this season has a whole new flavor of pain to dish out upon me that I had not yet considered up till now.

 

Sigh.

klctlc

November 23rd, 2013 at 6:32 PM ^

IF DG is hurt and he probably is, then get him out....  We have a freshman qb who was a 5 star at one point, he has had all fall and now 11 weeks of practice to became decent.  Or, he is not very good, which is depressing as hell.  Honestly DG is a warrior.  But not sure he is a qb.  Flame me all you want, he makes great plays occassionally but can't make easy plays.  How bad is Morris for him not to get a sniff at this point??? I really belive the starting qb job is up for grabs this spring.  Sad.

Alumnus93

November 23rd, 2013 at 8:47 PM ^

Some wisdom here, finally... Gardner has escaped any criticism, and its baffling... hes a great spread qb for RR's offense, but not for what Borges is running...PERIOD....

People forget what it was like to have a cerebral QB playing for Michigan, in this type of offense...  if they play Gardner vs OSU then by gosh they gotta play spread...real spread... and I dont think Borges can call that....  so we are much better off going to Morris, even if its to take our lumps.

A2D2

November 23rd, 2013 at 4:26 PM ^

for the past 7 seasons UM's record is

Carr: 9-4

Rod: 15-22

Hoke:  30-11

total:  54-37

throw out 6 seasons with 4 wins each season over MAC schools and such (can you say "Delaware State"?) and the record zooms to 40-37.  win one, lose one, win one, lose one.  

It's the definition of Mediocre, Mr. Brandon............

might and main

November 23rd, 2013 at 4:28 PM ^

Why go?  Maybe the MSM has to go, but I'd like to see the MgoBlog staff just boycott the pressers, at least Hoke's and Borges's.  It's an utter waste of time anyway, why not send the message.

Borges seriously should be let go now, just to show the players that the program cares about them.  If Brady can't do it, then Brandon should.  And if he doesn't force the issue, then he should be canned too. 

ESNY

November 23rd, 2013 at 4:28 PM ^

You know its gotten bad when:

  • I really don't ever expect the offense to score all game
  • I was pleasantly surprised at gaining 2 yds on an I-form running play
  • performances like today are expected

adalvi5

November 23rd, 2013 at 4:29 PM ^

That this is where the program would be going into the The Game in year 3 under Hoke.  I don't know how anyone can have any confidence in this coaching staff.  People can say all they want about this team being young and Hoke being a great recruiter and I'll respond by saying this:

1. It seems like almost every player on offense has gotten worse during the season.  I would buy the "we're young" argument more if I saw improvement.  I don't.

2. We could get every 5* recruit on offense out there, but based on what we've seen, I think we'd just waste all that talent anyway.

umumum

November 23rd, 2013 at 5:54 PM ^

why?  And I mean it seriously.

1.  cuz Gardner may be hurt

2.  cuz Gardner sucks (FD-I don't think he does)

3.  just to shake things up----------for game 12

4.  cuz he's not Gardner

5.  cuz I saw Morris in practice and he's sweet

6.  cuz I saw Morris in high school and he's sweet

7.  cuz he was a 5 star--before being dropped to a 4 star

Because of #1, and rumors of course, I am getting concerned that Morris may not match our fantasies for him.  I think we would have seen him by now if he was ready.

Boom Goes the …

November 23rd, 2013 at 4:30 PM ^

Hoke obviously knows nothing about offense- so he delegates that entire side of the ball.  And that's honestly fine.  But he talks about loyalty and accountabiity.  He is either loyal to his boys or Michigan.  If he is really loyal to Michigan, he can't retain anyone on his offensive staff.  He needs to ask Dave Brandon for the $$ to get a top notch offensive mind here.