Michigan State 29, Michigan 6 Comment Count

Ace November 2nd, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog

Michigan had two weeks to prepare for Michigan State. This resulted in a record-setting day.

It takes a special kind of failure to achieve such lows: complete, utter failure from top to bottom. The gameplan from Al Borges lacked coherence, an issue that's plagued him during his entire tenure at Michigan. The play-action from under center isn't fooling anyone and still gets brought out several times a game, yet the shotgun runs somehow lack any sort of constraint or misdirection. A piecemeal offense isn't going to beat MSU's defense.

The offensive line couldn't open up holes for the running game, nor could they keep Devin Gardner upright. MSU registered nine sacks, and even with that yardage removed along with kneeldowns and a negative-20-yard bad snap, the Wolverines mustered 1.3 yards per carry.

Gardner often held the ball too long, for his part, and missed some open receivers, then capped the performance with an ugly interception when he hucked a designed back-shoulder fade three yards in front of Jeremy Gallon. By that point, however, he'd earned considerable respect simply for standing up and facing the inevitable beating.

Eric Upchurch/MGoBlog

Michigan mustered 168 yards on a meager 2.8 yards per play despite Gardner averaging nearly eight yards per pass when he could actually get one off. The defense fought valiantly, holding the Spartans to just 237 yards and 16 points through three quarters and setting up the offense with a chance to make it a game when Raymon Taylor picked off Connor Cook and returned it to the MSU 41. The Wolverines subsequently took a five-yard loss on an blown-up option followed by consecutive sacks—burning a timeout before the second one—to lose 21 yards in three plays; a Matt Wile punt, his eighth of the afternoon, opened the fourth quarter.

By the time Jeremy Langford capped the scoring with a 40-yard touchdown run, Devin Gardner's day was done—it would've been unconscionable to put him out there for another possession—and fans from both sides steadily streamed out of Spartan Stadium.

On Michigan's final offensive play of the game, Shane Morris tried to scramble on fourth-and-four, only to faceplant at the line of scrimmage. It was a fitting coda to a miserable day.



November 3rd, 2013 at 6:25 AM ^

I disagree. Yes, or o line sucked and could only give Gardner a few seconds to throw. If that is the case throw some 5 yard passes, maybe 7 or 10. WR were open, but there was no time to throw. So change the game plan and stop complaining about execution.

Please ask this question furring press conference: why did you wait until 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter to start throwing shorter routs?


November 3rd, 2013 at 1:19 PM ^

Because isn't it their job to get players ready? Aren't they very well paid because they are supposed to be good at making football players play football better? 

Yet the Offensive line has gotten worse, every year they've been here. I realize it's young this year, but it's one of the worst O-lines in the country. No one expects them to dominate, but to at least look like they know what they are fucking doing. 

The Iron Jock

November 2nd, 2013 at 11:20 PM ^

You are a crazy man. What  good old Al Borges needed to do was coach Devin before the game and let him know it was OK to use his legs if the power running game broke down. He didn't do that. Consequently, Devin got pounded into oblivion, along with any chances of this team salvaging a respectable season. 

Seriouisly..."I thought Borges had a good game plan?" Really?  Michigan's coaching is a joke, and it's a disgrace to the players, and the fans. The offensive playcalling is particularly abysmal.

This was a must win for the team, and for the coaches. They are now on the proverbial hot seat. 

In emotional pain, shock and disbelief at what I saw from a supposed world-class footbalI program, I digress. Out. 




November 3rd, 2013 at 3:31 AM ^

The game plan wasn't the problem.  It's the offensive line.  It's really bad.  We have talent there, we just need to develop it.  If that offensive line isn't significantly improved in the bowl game, it's time to look for a new coaching staff on the offensive side of the ball.  We need an offensive coordinator who runs things like Bill O'Brien.  I want to see checks at the line, taking what the defensive is giving you, and watching where the numbers advantages are on the field pre-snap.


November 2nd, 2013 at 11:22 PM ^

Enough is Enough. If this..when this staff loses big to Ohio State, they will speed toward a major correction. The folks that have clout will put on the pressure and there will be change. Today was a complete embarrassment. It was an outclassing. Michigan was no match. Spin it any way you wish. That cannot be acceptable here. No one will need to add to the weight this staff is bringing to bear on themselves. All we have to do is standby and wait for it to end.

There are too many things wrong to think that it will be fixed anytime soon. Dantonio has actually said he likes Brady Hoke. I bet Urban does too. If Urban is really smart, he'll call off the horses and keep the game relatively close. Because a blowout by the Buckeyes will be the beginning of the end.

The end may be a sacrificial coach or two at first, but it will just delay the inevitable. This staff is in over their heads. Not one unit is impressive nor fundamentally sound.

Michigan can attract the best coaches in the country. But they do not want to. They are smarter than that. Smarter than hiring the best.


November 2nd, 2013 at 8:39 PM ^

I found the play calling refreshing and a nice change of pace from what other teams do.  Most teams would play to their strengths and try to minimize or hide their weakness.  Not our dear Al, no sir.  This fine man doesn't believe in that. 

Running out of the I formation hasn't worked all year against mediocre defenses?   Well, lets try it against one of the best Ds in the country. 

Quarterback getting beaten up all day and line can't block Rudy?  Lets pick a critical time to call a nice long developing play action under center.


November 3rd, 2013 at 3:38 AM ^

YES!!!  We didn't actually run the ball all that much.  The problem is we knew MSU was going to blitz hard and be over-aggressive.  Al Borges needs to call plays that send receivers into the voids that the defense leaves when they evacuate the middle of the field on those all too common linebacker blitzes.  Time after time Gardner was throwing passes into coverage while the middle of the field was a barron waste land OR finding nobody open in the short time he had and getting pummeled to the ground.


November 2nd, 2013 at 8:09 PM ^

to ask Brandon if he'll be doing one of those post season reviews he did with Rich Rod in 2010.

I can see allowing Home to carry his staff into 2014, but even with Lewan and Schofield gone, if we haven't seen a significant improvement by this time next year, I think a mid season firing is in order.


November 3rd, 2013 at 12:19 PM ^

This is a pretty dickish comment. I know DB personally and totally disagree with your conclusion. He's not a shallow man at all. In fact, he cares very deeply about UM - the school, the athletics department, etc. You may not like the moves he's made since becoming AD, and we can discuss those whenever you would like. However, before you label someone "shallow," maybe you should try to get to know them a bit better. 


November 2nd, 2013 at 7:48 PM ^

Ohio last year, PSU and MSU this year. Plus, another half-dozen games that have been wretched on play calling and scheme. When will it stop guys? We should be above this. The players, the recruits, money and pageantry. How are we this bad? Hoke being the next Charlie Weiss is becoming more truthful everyday. And that, kills me inside.


November 2nd, 2013 at 7:50 PM ^

Borges. And young players. 

But we are 3 years into Hoke and despite the sound bites, the results are painfully obvious. No one wants to go through again what we all know what he have to go through again. 

People who say things like FIRE HOKE! after game 1 or season 1 are just assholes. Saying it now, though, is based on sustained, verifiable performance. 

SC Wolverine

November 2nd, 2013 at 8:42 PM ^

Absolutely.  Even if Hoke is a failure, we start acting like a banana republic football program if we fire every coach after 3 years.  No matter how badly Hoke does, he must get five years.  Right now, we need to get into his corner, support him, prod him to make the necessary decisions as we can (hopefully DB will do some of this), and hope that next year when we don't have freshmen playing everywhere that things are alot better.  But Hoke will not be fired before five years and he should not be.


November 3rd, 2013 at 3:47 AM ^

Why did Brady Hoke look like a sad puppy with its tail between its legs during the post-game press conference?  Is this the way a MIchigan coach is supposed to look after a loss?  All dejected and hopeless?  His demeanor makes me sick.  Cross your arms and stare in disbelief some more.  "This is Michigan, fergodsakes!"  Yeah, and Michigan isn't very good right now.  Instead of pouting about it, how about you start coming up with creative ways to make us less terrible.  Let's run quicker developing plays.  Let's spread the defense out a little bit.  Let's run some option routes.  If we can't block, let's put four wide-receivers on the field and force the defense to play a little more coverage and a little less pass-rush.


November 2nd, 2013 at 9:02 PM ^

We are in about the same spot that we were under RR in year 3.  Rodriguez was definitely to blame for his own demise, but people need to see that, for the most part, Hoke has had similar success at Michigan - winning against weak teams and losing to strong ones.  Wonder if/how Brandon will evaluate Hoke after this year.


November 2nd, 2013 at 9:10 PM ^

if he would have paid more attention to his defense perhaps he would still be here. What is bewildering with Coach Hoke and staff is that these guys have EXPERIENCE. They seemed like the second coming of Coach Lombardi after that first year. Since then they have been taking steps backwards, what the hell is going on!?


November 2nd, 2013 at 9:44 PM ^

Hoke has had similar success at Michigan - winning against weak teams and losing to strong ones.

Let's not get into revisionism. RR went 15-22 overall and 6-18 in Big Ten play. Hoke is 25-9 and 14-6 in Big Ten play.

Obviously, no one is happy with what happened today, and changes to the staff may be necessary. But we're still a lot further from the days when beating Purdue was a huge accomplishment.