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.


Kilgore Trout

November 23rd, 2013 at 6:08 PM ^

I was thinking about this same idea this afternoon, thanks for putting it together. I think one thing that stands out is that before the o-line shakeup the offense was better than average 4 out of 5 times and won every game. After the shakeup, they've been below average 5 out of 6 and are 2-4. It seemed to be generally agreed that the shakeup was a good idea, but it seems to have backfired. 


November 23rd, 2013 at 5:02 PM ^

You guys all calling to fire the coaching staff owe us who to hire instead.  Name people we can reasonably expect to get, not Harbaugh nor Saban nor Miles.  You want a hot young coach, we had one called RR and we saw how much time he got and after that would you take this job?  So, how about Hugh Freeze at Ole Miss?  Or maybe that Arizona coach who is beating number 5 Oregon 28-9 and about to score again at halftime?


November 23rd, 2013 at 7:22 PM ^

DISCLAIMER: This list is not real, I made it up.


Reach/ We Don't have the Balls to Try Candidates

John Harbaugh-NFL. Pay him or never mention the damned Harbaughs again.

Tony Dungy -NFL/NBC. He's old but he has a ring and players will flock to him.

Jon Gruden-ESPN. Who we should've gotten last time.

Nick Saban- 'Bama.He's ready to bail. How bad do you want to win Michigan fans? Thought so.



Possible/ We could Have if We Would just Man tf Up and Take a Risk Candidates

Kevin Sumlin- TX A&M- Super explosive squads, revolutionary.Johnathan Football.

Josh McDaniels- NFL Assistant, Belichik Disciple. Tom Brady.

Charlie Strong- Louisville. Young, tough coach; great recruiter, maximizes talent.

Les Miles-LSU.shut up about it, it's possible. He has peaked in BR.

Herm Edwards-ESPN. For all you "keep Hoke for recruiting ppl". Also, better HC than Hoke.

Lovie Smith-The Couch-.See Above. Add A SB appearance.

Jim Mora- UCLA. A damn good fit, IMO


Likeliest/ Who We'll Probably End up With Candidates

Greg Schiano- NFL. Yawn. But NFL..Yawn again.

Pat Fitzgerald-NW The best of this category imo

Some other "Michigan Man" who hasn't set foot on campus in 10 years, but subscribes from afar to the ways of the Living Dinosaurs of A2. Rinse and repeat.





November 23rd, 2013 at 8:38 PM ^

Most of the people on that list are pipedreams.  Hoke isn't going anywhere unless he starts posting losing seasons.  Only thing that might change is the OC and OL coach, and that probably isn't going to happen either.

Nick Satan, here? Never.  He can keep his unusually large number of medical redshirts and 1-year scholarships in Alabama.



Its me Dave

November 24th, 2013 at 8:02 AM ^

Hoke is just as much a work in progress as the players.  He didn't get hired so much for his proven track record as he did for his loyalty and potential.  Which had to suffice, I guess, because Michigan - MICHIGAN! - was incapable of bringing in a turn-key supercoach.  After 3 years, don't expect him to have the program in the same place Meyer, Miles, Harbaugh or any pipedream coach might have put it.  Hoke's a damn good recruiter and may someday be a damn fine coach.  Before you call for his head, remember that that Branden won't be able to recruit anything more than a successful MAC coach to replace him.


November 23rd, 2013 at 4:53 PM ^

So tired of the excuses. Hoke's stream of excuses is every bit as annoying as RR's. And if I hear we just didn't execute one more time. Well. But ultimately this is on Brandon. And he better start delivering a product or that stadium's going to get awfully tough to fill. If that means firing the HC or insisting that someone else go, then that's what needs to be done. And this Michigan man BS had better be canned. Pride goeth before the fall. How's that Chicken Dance sounding now?


November 23rd, 2013 at 4:53 PM ^

How do you make the 3rd highest in the country and suck at what you do. He calls the plays like a cheater in a quiz test who has the answers before the test. He goes with the same answers even though the questions were changed.

Hate to pile on the guy, but he has frustrated the offense and us who watch it like it is the Superbowl.

I have to keep reminding myself that this is still better than RR era and our coaches are at least decent people.

Now I wish I haven't complained so much about the lackluster performance during Carr era. We were way too spoiled. Those days are long gone...


November 23rd, 2013 at 4:55 PM ^

put Morris in or just hand the ball to a back every time.  WHAT'S THE WORSE THING THAT CAN HAPPEN - WE LOSE?????  Gardner's a great athlete, but not a leader or a QB.  Nuff fucking said.

Class of 1817

November 23rd, 2013 at 4:55 PM ^

...who has been put in harm's way too much over the season is now injured?

Sounds familiar.

We've been relying on QB legs to bail us out for 6 years now. I shudder to think what would happen if a pocket passer was left to take snaps for us.

Go Blue.



November 23rd, 2013 at 5:04 PM ^

Those kids are not making money. The coaches do. The way this is going, it will be surprising if anyone gets drafted except Lewan.

OHIO is going to embarrass us in our own house.

play both Morris and DG, like NW. What do we have to lose. At least Morris gets some experience. Take pressure off of Gardner.

Sit Fitz. His days are over.


November 23rd, 2013 at 5:09 PM ^

I don't care if AZ is leading 50-0 at half time. He does not know DEF. We were in every game this year, because we at least have a decent defense.

That is why Oregon gets smoked by Manball teams such as Bama and Stanford.

Now if you have an offense like ducks and DEF like Bama, now you are talking.

RR may be a good coach. It did not work here and will not work here.


November 23rd, 2013 at 5:32 PM ^

Clearly power football is the only way to be successful at Michigan. I mean it made us a dominate college football power in the ......well it's been a awhile......the 90's (other than 97 we typically lost 3 or 4 games per year) the 80's (average of three loses per year is not dominate) the 70's (there it is an average of 1 loss per year). Why are so many Michigan fans commuted to an approach that has not been consistently effective since 1980? RR did not work out but the current approach, the same approach used by Bo in the 80's, and Moeller and Carr in the 90's and 00's has also not been effective.


November 23rd, 2013 at 5:53 PM ^

Yep. They didn't play them this year. But the last time they played Bama, Oregon was no match for them. Oregon burns everyone else. Stanford game this year was not that close. Score looks close, but Stanford outplayed them for most of the game, injury or not.