Monday Presser Transcript 10-14-13: Brady Hoke Comment Count

Heiko October 14th, 2013 at 5:06 PM


  • Taylor Lewan will play Saturday against Indiana. He had a "hip deal" or something like that. Maybe something else too, but more the hip.
  • Hoke was pretty defensive about the coaches and the players. Attributes most of the problems on the offensive line to youth. There could be some changes this week, though. Maybe. Wouldn't really commit to anything.
  • Running Devin more is "unwise" because of the lack of quarterback depth.
  • Play-calling at the end of the game wasn't conservative, per se. Hoke went with the high-percentage strategy. Delay of game penalty was a big mistake, however, and Hoke accepted full responsibility.
  • Channing Stribling played the last drive and was told to go for interceptions. He had been doing that in practice a lot. 



Opening remarks:

“It’s obviously disappointing to lose. You don’t play to lose. It is disappointing. Need to execute in multiple areas better. When the opportunity comes, you have to take advantage of it and you’ve got to make plays when you need to make plays. We didn’t do that throughout the game. There’s also an awful lot of good things that our football team did. I can tell you I was pleased with the physical effort that they put through. Tom Gordon played 91 plays and played a fast 91 physical plays. So did Jarrod Wilson. Both of them are key elements in our punt team. I’m just talking about those two guys, but you watch Jeremy Gallon, and you watch our team play, the physical effort was very good.

"Now let’s go back to the mental effort, because it takes both. Mentally we had some things that we need to do better from the standpoint of your targeting the line of scrimmage and blocking or finishing a little better on blocks with the angles or if you’re playing a coverage, making sure that we’re playing the coverage out. If you’re the nose tackle, you have to make sure we’re stepping with the proper foot there. We need to execute there better, and we will. I like our football team. There’s elements of it that need to produce a little more, need to have a little more urgency to how we’re playing. But I like our team and we’ve got Indiana coming in here this weekend. They’re a good football team. Kevin [Wilson’s] done a nice job offensively. They’ve got a lot of skill sets that they use. Defensively they’re more athletic than they’ve been the last couple of years.”

Can you update us on Taylor Lewan’s status?

“He’ll be fine. I think he got really two things a little bit. A little bit of a hip deal. Probably was most of it.”

You played Joey Burzynski and some other guys. Could we see a different starting lineup against Indiana? Could Schofield move inside to guard?

“Uh, probably not. The one thing – Mike Schofield in that football game I thought really, because he was asked to do a lot. When Taylor went out, with some of the unbalanced stuff, the shifting, he orchestrated all that with those guys. One time I think there were three redshirt freshmen, redshirt sophomore and Schofield in there. He did really a nice job. He played well but he also did a nice job of organizing those five guys. We had Chris Bryant come out and Burzynski come in. He did a nice job.”

Could we see a different starting lineup against Indiana though?

“We’ll go through Tuesday and Wednesday and see.”

MGoQuestion: It seems like the offensive line has had decreasing production over the last three years. The lack of depth has been well documented, but the talent does seem to be there. At what point do you start getting concerned about the coaching?

“Well the talent’s there. It’s young talent. I mean, redshirt freshmen playing, and they have a long ways to go.”

MGoFollowup: Are you concerned with the way they’re being coached at all?

“No, not at all.”

What can and has to get better now, especially with the young guys?

“I think when you look at it, they’ve been hit and miss a little bit. There’s times when they played well, and there’s times when they haven’t played as well. Now. You have to look at their preparation and talk to them about it. We had good preparation all week. We were physical, we were – watching the things we do against each other, I thought they were really good. Now we just have to keep taking them further.

Have you thought about reverting to the spread?

“Well, I think there’s times when we have still done that. The problem is Devin ran the ball I think 27 times the other day. Most of them, a lot of them were called runs. Not scramble runs. You worry about how many hits he’s taking. We’ve got to get production from the back end. The running back.”

Looking back, do you think the play-calling at the end of the game was too conservative?

“No. At the end of regulation we put ourselves in position to kick the 52-yard field goal with 20 seconds left. Could have just taken a knee and played for overtime. So I would say no.”

Is this team having a hard time understanding exactly what kind of team they want to be?

“Heh. If they are, then I haven’t done a good enough job of expressing what kind of team we need to be and want to be. Physical at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.”

But it seems like you’re trying to make this team be something they’re not yet. Shouldn’t you consider doing what works instead of what you want them to be?

“Yeah, and I think we do that weekly as we look at the opponents you’re going to play. We played a lot of snaps last week out of a nickel defense. And because of number one how we kind of thought we stood up to them with their passing game, I think there were some pretty good things about it. We hit the quarterback 18 times, sacked him 4, two interceptions. From an offensive perspective, point of attack blocking has to be better. I know it can be better. Our fullbacks are pretty good lead blockers when we’re in 21 [personnel]. There’s times when everything’s blocked play-side, which were blocked really well, and a guy slipping off the backside because we weren’t doing a good enough job at cutting off. I think every week you have to look at what gives your guys the best chance to win. I think we look at that and make evaluations. Now did we think we could run the ball more effectively? I don’t think there was a doubt. Did we? No. Well then you have to change a little bit, and I think Al did that over the course of the game.”

When Devin lost his helmet, did you think about taking a timeout?

“Did. Thought about it, but it was the second half. It was that kind of game. I don’t know anybody who didn’t think it would be a game that went down to the wire. I certainly did, so I didn’t want to use the timeout then. ”

Delay of game at the end of the game?

“That’s me. Totally. Totally. That’s my fault. I have to help [Devin], and I let him down.”

What’s the process? Is there someone that gives you a heads up that the clock is running down?

“Yeah … yes. Yep.”

You put the headset on sometimes. When does that help you?

“End of game. End of half. Greg [Mattison] and I talk all the time, so I don’t have to, because we’re standing next to each other. I talk to Al [Borges] before halftime about what we wanted to do at halftime. What his thoughts were. What we wanted to change a little bit. Talked in there. And talked at the end of the half, end of the game. Do you take the knee with 20 seconds and play for overtime and try to throw it down the field with the possibility of fumbling it or them intercepting it, or do you take the chance of completing it and moving forward?”



Why was Channing Stribling on the field at the end?

“Strib’s coming on. He’s come on. If there’s anybody I would want back there, I’ll be real honest, in the secondary to make the interception, it would be Strib. I would still do this day, because of his skill level and his ball skills are really realy good. I watch him every practice. He’s going to take two or three balls. We wanted to get him in the game because of exactly what we asked him to do.”

He was in position both times.

“Yeah, but there’s a lot of tough lessons in life, you know?”

Why didn’t you play him earlier in the game?

“He might. He might play more.”

Any changes going forward?

“Could. Could.”

No issues about bringing him in cold?

“Well he plays on all the special teams almost, and he’s getting experience.”

Concerns about the kicking game?

“Well, he was 23 for 23 at 40 yards coming in. He hit the ground on the first one with his toe. Obviously it was low. He pushed the other one. He nailed a 40-yarder down at the other end and 52-yarder was right there at the limit.”

No concerns about the mental aspect of his game?

“I think you could have killed the guy if I had switched kickers. I know one thing: he won the Sugar Bowl for us. Made a kick here at home to beat Michigan State. I have a lot of faith in that guy.”

With how good he’s been, does it change how you play offense in overtime?

“I don’t think so. You have all kinds of positives and negatives. I think every game, your strategy because of how the game goes has a lot to do with it. I mean, Bill Belichik called three timeouts yesterday. How they manufactured that win, at the end of the day it was guys making plays.”

What did you see from Erik Magnuson?

“I was happy enough with Magnuson for once, let’s put it that way. He did some good things in there. It was kind of up and down.”

What about Jake Ryan in his first game?

“I thought he got around pretty well. I don’t think there were any ill effects. I think he ended up playing 31 or 32 plays. It was great to have him out there. I think he brings something to our team.”

Did it help you get into the backfield more?

“I think it was a combination of guys. Chris Wormley and Jibreel [Black]. We hit the quarterback five times. Frank [Clark] did some good things. I think Cam Gordon at times was good. It was just good to have Jake back out on the field.”

How many plays could Jake play against Indiana? How do you use all three SAM linebackers?

“Well, the tempo this week will be as high as it’s going to be all year, between them and Northwestern. We’re going to need bodies to come in and out. I think that’s fine. And then when you get in sub groups, it changes a little bit. But the more depth, the better you’re going to be. And you can see that. You can see Chris Wormley is a better player than he was four weeks ago because he’s been playing football. I could go through that whole group of redshirt freshmen. Willie Henry’s better than he was four weeks ago. And I think that’s part of it because we’ve had some depth.”

Now that Jake is back on the field, can you share the history of his recovery? How hard did he work?

“Well, since the day he had surgery and came back to Schembechler Hall, he’s worked tirelessly with the rehab specialist, the docs, the trainers, the strength staff. I don’t think there was any doubt in my mind that he would be back about this time. Just because, John, what he’s done – he gets voted captain on a football team by his peers because they’ve watched him and what he’s done from that leadership standpoint and example standpoint.”

You traveled with Kyle Bosch but he didn’t play. Is he up for that spot?

“Well I think the left guard spot, yeah. Does Bosch have a chance? Sure he does. We traveled him for a reason, and it wasn’t to feed him.”

You mentioned running back production. Is it blocking? Vision?

“We never got the running backs started. We never got him started. He had a 13 yard run? 12? Early in the game. Guess what? We got him started at the line of scrimmage. I mean, they had 11 tackles for loss. That’s not getting him started at the line of scrimmage.”

How do you fix that?

“Number one as a coach, you have to look and see, ‘Am I coaching it the way we should coach it?’ We are. What are we doing in practice to make sure we’re giving them the looks that they need? Am I motivating them to knock somebody off the football?”

You talked about the progress of your young defensive linemen and how quickly they’ve moved along. Do offensive linemen just take longer?

“It’s definitely a more encompassing position from a mental standpoint than defensive line. Defensive linemen, you’ve got certain things, there’s always fundamental parts of it. But there’s not the checks at the line of scrimmage as much. Do we have that? Yes. But not as much defensively. And protections. We’ve cut down on protections, believe me, because of the youth. And the different schemes you want to run, the different fronts you’re going to see and the movement of the defense and how that affects you. Does it take a little longer? I believe that does.”

To the outside observer, it appeared like you were scared to let Devin make a play with his arm. Was there any fear about turnovers? If so, is that a lack of confidence in your quarterback?

“Not at all. We wanted them to have to use their three timeouts. I think we started the drive six minutes and seven seconds. We take the drive all the way down to 52 seconds left on the clock, right? We have one penalty in there that hurts us a little bit because it stops the clock. Took all their timeouts, called a quarterback draw. We never took the ball completely out of his hands. I would expect our defense [to make the stop] if we had to make somebody go 80 yards in 52 seconds to make the stop. ”

If your best playmaker is your quarterback, shouldn’t you put him in positions to make plays instead of milking the clock?

“I think again, you have to look at the percentages. You have to look at what is the benefit of the team and the benefit of what the percentages are. How much time are you going to give them and where are you going to give them the ball? If I had no confidence in our quarterback, with the interceptions that we’ve had, he wouldn’t be our quarterback. I have all the confidence in the world in Devin Gardner. I have confidence in our offensive line getting better.”

So he’s not a short leash?


You talked about the power plays and managing the hits Devin takes. How do you balance QB runs and RB runs? Should Devin get more carries?

“I don’t think that’s wise to have Devin take more hits.”

Even if that’s the only thing that’s working?

“Who’s going to play quarterback if he takes all those hits?”

Shane Morris?

“You have to be conscious enough about the team. And he’s had 10 starts, right? 10 starts. He has improved every week. Even though we had two turnovers the other day. The fumble? That’s not his fault. It’s a blindside deal. One bad throw. He had no turnovers the week before. There is no short leash.”

Will Taylor Lewan play on Saturday?

“Yeah. He’ll play.”

Has the offensive line improved?

“I think it’s a bit of hit or miss. Graham, a week ago, played pretty daggone well. Not as well this week. So I think it’s a little bit of hit or miss. If you don’t have consistency, you’re not going to win. We have to be more consistent.”

Are Glasgow and Miller still competing?

“Yeah they’re still doing that.”

Do you plan to spend more time looking at the offensive line?

“I don’t need to do that. I’ve got a great offensive line coach. I’ve got a great coordinator. I’m with them enough because we go so much against each other. I don’t need to do that. That’s some coach trying to think he’s a hero. That's not me. I'm not a hero.”



October 14th, 2013 at 7:22 PM ^

Hoke is not an idiot nor is Borges and Funk. They know the line isn't playing well. The issue is that there isn't much they can do in-season to correct it. These players are what they are at this point. All they can do is coach them to be better players. Ultimately it is up to the players to make the necessary strides.


Mr Frieze

October 14th, 2013 at 6:52 PM ^

"He should wear a headset Y U NO WEAR HEAD SET?" contingent.  Like, what exactly is not being communicated to Al that Devin can't communicate to him when we see him talking to someone on the phone on the sidelines?  Or is that just Devin ordering a pizza?  And does Al not see the same game Brady and everyone else is seeing?  Can he not make adjustments to the game plan as needed?  Does he need the head coach's permission to make in-game adjustments?  And what exactly does Hoke barking at Al Borges on a headset do except give some people a sense of relief/satisfaction that "the coach is doing something," which in this case would simply be yelling at his offensive coordinator when plays go bad?  And I don't exactly buy the "it would show that they're in constant communication" argument, either.  Borges sees the game, he talks to Devin, and apparently there's someone who is near Brady who has access to Borges if Brady needs it.  So yeah, I'm just not on board with this whole "why is he not wearing a HEADSET dammit!" deal...


October 14th, 2013 at 7:04 PM ^

I've been to every game this year.  It's time for Hoke to wake up to the glaring coaching deficienies he dragged along with him.  Borges isn't all that bright and Funk just isn't getting done.  Let's review from this coaching disaster, though none of these problems are PSU specific, they are all festering boils that aren't getting better.

1)  O-Line can't block.  The redshirt freshman excuse is lame.  The schemes suck and wouldn't work with a more experienced group.  The stretch play hasn't worked, ever.  If the lineman are inexperienced, line up Fitz 7yards deep, have them drive block and let Fitz pick a hole.  The kids are big, strong and athletic, but this stretch BS is killing them.  Funk is clueless here and Borges doesn't go to plan B, because appently there isn't one

2) Game management.  The play calls were always late such that if Gardner audibled, there was barely time to get the play off.  Or not, and may have cost the game.

3)  I'm calling for timeouts up in the stands as the play clock is running out.  You're telling me not a single coach is watching?

4) PSU ran hurry-up O and we never adapted.  How many times was the D all looking at the sideline for the call while PSU was lined up ready to snap?  Not to mention the late subs and constant wholesale D-Line shifts.  Sometimes you just have to line up and play football.

5) Running the same damn running play 20 something times.  It wasn't working, you couldn't figure it out?  Late in the game, EVERY time you ran that POS play out of the power I, Gardner would have gone for 20+ yards on a naked bootleg, couldn't see that? PSU was 100% committed to stopping Fitz.

6) What was with the calling the timeout before the last punt.  Wouldn't you want the delay penalty to buy some real estate for the pooch?  Not to mention saving the timeout, which we really ended up needing.

7)  Not using Wile on the 52 yard attempt?  Gibons said he was comfortable, are you serious? That was into a slight breeze and clearly out of his range.  Wile was hitting kickoffs cleanly all game too.

8)  Not playing to win with TD's in OT.  Just sickening.  Gay.

I'm not upset, BTW, this loss was inevitable and didn't feel 1/10 as bad as the Akrom win did.

Be a Head Coach, Brady, and take charge of the team while you still can.


October 14th, 2013 at 7:07 PM ^

I don't get it.  Seems irrational.

Devin Gardner is one of the top 10 most dangerous rushing QBs in college football right now - right up there with Marcus Mariota, Johnny Manziel and Dak Prescott.

Oregon, aTm and Miss State are playing football to win football games. What's Michigan's excuse? What makes our cajones raisin up when it comes to QBs running the ball (which in Devin's case is usually for first downs or touchdowns)? Seems inconsistent with our toughness mantra.

The worst that could happen is Michigan's backup, a 5-star true freshman, Shane Morris, takes the field.  That's supposed to be a lot more than what Penn State has right now in Hackenburg or Iowa in Ruddock.

Gardner's legs are Michigan's most powerful weapon after Funchess and Gallon. I suggest Hoke and Borges get over themselves and their antiquated, man-made religion (huddles and manball and shit) and start to use them.

And what's to lose? Another rigodamndiculus 4OT loss to Iowa or something no doubt.


October 14th, 2013 at 7:18 PM ^

Aside from the aforementioned BG they have wins over Alcorn State and Troy. They sure are doing a bang up job of winning football games. Why, they have two LESS wins than Michigan! Impressive stuff.


A&M's record is the same as Michigan's. Oregon is undefeated, but has a much better team overall than Michigan.



October 14th, 2013 at 7:14 PM ^

I'm surprised at how upset people are about losing in OT.  A win at that point would have tasted just as bitter, I think, because of how under-developed we continue to look for long stretches of the game.  

But here's the thought I keep coming back to.  Is it remotely possible that the coaches may have a season-long strategy in mind?  

They want to re-establish power running.  They have been risking tight games against lesser competition in order to develop the players.  To me that's why Hoke/Borges continue to go to the run even when it's not working.  Not because they are idiots or do not know how to mix up plays...they are trying to establish the run against lesser opponents.  "Even if this looks ugly, we should still win this."  Like the rest of us, I think they had hoped to be better by this point.

Now, if this is the strategy, is it worth the risk against a team like Penn State?  

And if this has been the strategy, do we see the playbook gradually open up post-Indiana?  (I would guess yes based on the 2nd half, bar going conservative when statistically it seemed we could kill the clock)



October 15th, 2013 at 12:23 PM ^

for committing yourself to plays that don't work is the fear that you might lose the guy who makes everything work if you call his number too many times. And Gardner looks like he takes a beating every week. 

So, there are apparently two reasons to stress run plays into stacked defenses, save 
Gardner from himself and too many mistakes, which is the other reason for overcommitting to run plays that don't stretch the defense so you create the space that would make both pass and run better options. That is why spread teams run spread attacks, to stretch the defense and change the numbers game. 

Football is a mathematical equation. It's about putting more bodies than you can block into gaps where they can't block you so you get to the guy with the ball before he he can move positively down field. 

So, what we have is an offense overcommitted to power running with a primary back who isn't a power runner and backups who are either too inexperienced or not effective yet either in practice or games to be trusted to help relieve the pressure off Gardner and company. 

This is the coaching dilemma. And I get the feeling that Borges was instructed by Hoke to fix this over the bye week and he came up with the unbalanced line as the way to solve the problem, and against PSU, as Brian warned, this idea blew up in their faces. 

It wasn't even this that was the issue in losing Saturday, because Michigan lost. They handed it to PSU by failing to act like a winning team. Winning teams take victory, by taking chances when victory is present, and not worrying about the consequence of failing. 

Fans will accept defeat in the face of failed attempts to seek victory, if the failed effort feels like there was nothing left to lose. If you trust your kicker to boot a 52 yard field goal with seconds left, why do you not trust him to kick one with a 7 point lead? The consequence was the same. Offense wins games, defense saves them. I'd rather take risk out of the equation all together. 

I thought while that game was being played and told my wife that Michigan might be the worse undefeated team in the country. This is the worst loss in the Hoke era, and it rivals others Michigan suffered since 2006. 


October 14th, 2013 at 8:17 PM ^

of not having the team ready to play at game time. In none of his pressers has he hit on this. So, by omission, I guess he's ok with that aspect, and that area falls directly on him and maybe that is why he fails to mention it in his pressers. We've looked shittly for four weeks and were very lucky to win three of those. If we had been shittier in the first half of MN, we might well have a two game losing streak. He did mention, albeit at half time, that he had to do a better job of coaching. He has that part right.  We would not even be discussing clock management, Al Borges, etc., if he merely showed a capacity to have the fucking team ready to play when the game starts.  This really pisses me off because it's been the case for four straight games.That is the most worrisome part of this coaching staff to me, and that's all Hoke.


October 14th, 2013 at 8:42 PM ^

on Hoke's shoulders. But I like his apology for the time management at the end of regulation, which was by far and away the biggest--most consequential--blunder of the game. And I thought that his answers, rather than being terribly defensive, were pretty damned good. 


October 14th, 2013 at 8:59 PM ^

It has dissipated mostly. Team 134 and the currently-constituted coaching staff have one-half season remaining by which to meet reasonable expectations of them. The temperature has been dialed up, and there is a bye week approaching as relief valve and classroom. We still have time to complete a fine season and regain national respect.
Heiko for Nobel, when he cures cancer hopefully; and, for sports questioning.


October 14th, 2013 at 9:30 PM ^

Why you no eat on gameday?
Why no wear headset?
Why continue turn the ball over?
Why no win on road?
Why no appropriate cold weather garment for head coach?
When can we expect ESPN 30 for 30? "What if I told you a starting tailback rushed 27 times for 27 yards?"
Gun to your head: In the community or in the weight room?

You Only Live Twice

October 14th, 2013 at 9:51 PM ^

early in OT we earned a legit first down on PSU 15, inside the 15.  Beckman and Brandstatter were beside themselves, because they saw it.  By the time the line judge ran to where he was supposed to be, he spotted it pushed back a yard or so after it should have been called a 1st.  Why not reviewed, why no protest, did 3 and 1 seem like a shoe in?

I hate losing to Penn St.  more than any other school due to their institutionalized tolerance of crimes against children.  i'd rather lose to Appy State every year than ever play PSU.  Their fan base doesn't care as long as they win.  And speaking of fans did they make any tickets available to Michigan other than the 20 or 30 people they showed on ESPN once or twice?

The game was so close to a win and yes, missed opportunities, but didn't we get robbed of a chance to win it on that clean first down, (and negate maybe 40.000 of the 50,000 complaining posts) ?  I know, you're supposed to play so well that bad calls don't matter.  Not supposed to go there.  I am going there!  That call put us into quad OT and I submit it could've would've should've been a TD and put the game away.  Instead we watched the PSU fan base go crazy because hey, cheating doesn't matter if they win!

Of course Hoke is not going to sacrifice his coaches to appease the outcry.  And I respect him for not doing so. 

Also, leave Gibbons alone, the pressure on him was crazy. 


October 14th, 2013 at 10:32 PM ^

if you think we score a TD on that drive.  Had we gotten the first down we would have pounded it ahead 3 more times into the middle of the line and then kicked the field goal.  After all the conservative game calls, no way they pass the ball again when we were lined up for a 33 yard field goal.  Now the timing and sequencing of events would have changed, so there's a chance Gibbons hits the FG, but TD - I think not.


October 15th, 2013 at 12:31 PM ^

that Gallon had broken the plane of the imaginary yellow stripe for a first down. But I mean Michigan still didn't get what amounted to a yard on the next play, which PSU managed on 4th down when a stop would have ended the game and when it had first and goal from the 2. 

People aren't complaining about the officiating because officiating didn't prevent opportunities to win, Michigan blocked themselves from winning by not blocking the LOS effectively, no matter when they needed a play. 

But I was livid about that spot. 


October 14th, 2013 at 10:03 PM ^

who cares if they gave him the first down.  they probably run the ball to the center of the field anyway on first down.  then kick on 2nd down.  i have little doubt about that.

Sten Carlson

October 14th, 2013 at 10:04 PM ^

What I hate about reading all the posts in here are guys who have never done what Hoke & Co. do making definitive statements of fact about Hoke & Co.'s skills. In actuality, you guys not only couldn't be farther off base, but you haven't the slightest clue what you're talking about. Everyone that knows, i.e., former players, peers, and pundits, says Hoke is a great coach, and that Michigan is headed in the right direction. I prefer to listen to people who know, who have been there, rather than a group of reactionary fans who can only spout hyperbole like "unacceptable" and "woulda shoulda coulda" bullshit.

Hoke is making a point in being stubborn about the power running. He's saying to his players that they'd better execute because that is what they're going to do. Leaders of men must have determination and not bounce from one plan to the next searching for the next thing.

The Rushing game is an source of frustration, to be sure. But despite all the bad rushing, Michigan would be undefeated and not even have been tested had we not turned it over so many times. Amazing when you think about it actually. Despite gifting all those points to the opposition they've come back strong and won, or had the win in their hand. All that despite getting near nothing from the RB. If you told me we'd have 2+ TO's per game, and near nothing rushing, I'd guess we would be at least 3-3. Well, we're 5-1. A few less TO's and we'd e 6-0


October 14th, 2013 at 10:49 PM ^

The lamest apologist on the board.  I remember when we punted the ball in the 4th quarter up 7, how great you thought the strategy was to not try to get 5 yards and kick a field goal and win the game.  You kept defending what the rest of us saw right away as playing not to lose as "safe" and the right thing to do.  Then it just got worse in OT and they kept slamming the running back into the line for 1 yard losses.  You disappeared at some point that night, when it became obvious that the cowardly coaching cost them the game.  You define the mediocre midwest, content with 8-4, lack of imagination, acceptance of chronyism that the rest of us loathe and fear.  You support coaching cowardice and your mentality is for those content with a medal, not those striving for gold.  Please grow a pair.

Sten Carlson

October 15th, 2013 at 12:19 AM ^

Thank you, and you're the lamest reactionary on the site. Together, we make the world go round!

I am not "content" with 8-4 -- every loss infuriates me. However, I also understand the mitigating circumstances that have made 8-4 a reasonable expectation for this team. In 2015, when the team is loaded with experienced talent, those circumstances won't be at play. But we are not there yet. You're like the guy who yells at his kid for not learning to walk fast enough.

Having a pair doesn't necessitate being an impatient, ignorant, reactionary who refuses to even attempt to look for underlying causes, and opts for the cliche "coaches suck, fire them..." As a viable solution.


October 15th, 2013 at 9:41 AM ^

on the old bait and switch.  My "reactionary" attitude was 100% on the game day coaching, not on how mediocre the team looks right now.  Clever attempt to shift the conversation from game management to the overall direction of the program to make yourself look more like the big picture level headed guy and framing anyone bitching about the team's performance as an unrealistic fanatic. Classic apologist move. You were defending Lloyd Ball the other night before shit hit the fan, then disappeared once the wheels started coming off in overtime due to the cowardly coaching strategy.  Then you come back blindly defending the coaches a couple days later, Borges included, as this being a process and Michigan not having the personelle developed yet (getting mad at my kids for not being able to walk yet, etc)  Clever, but not falling for it.  There are many phases to a coach building a program (recruiting, player development, program culture, game day coaching)  We were all pissed and complaining about the game day coaching, except you - You seemed to be right on board with the 27 yards on 27 carries for Fitz strategy.

Sten Carlson

October 15th, 2013 at 10:59 AM ^

"You seemed to be right on board with the 27 yards on 27 carries for Fitz strategy."

I am most certainly NOT on board with 27 yrds on 27 carries.  But, as I said in the in-game thread, that had very little to do with the eventual loss.  The strategy was 99.9% correct, in both regulation, and OT.  Had there been no delay of game flag, we most likely would have kicked a FG and it would have been over.  That didn't happen.  Then, Gibbons had another shot to win the game at the end of regulation.  Again, didn't happen.  In the 1st OT, PSU didnt' score, all we needed was a FG to win.  Why NOT play it conservative there?  Why risk another chance to win the game on the foot of you usually rock solid RS Sr. Kicker?  You can Monday Morning QB the decisions all you want, but they have the gift of hindsight.

I can only imagine the rage coming from reactionaries like you if Borges had called pass plays and Devin threw another INT late in regulation, or in OT.  You guys would be screaming at him saying, "all we needed was a FG you idiot!"  Hoke played the percentages, like most coaches would have done in that instance, and it didn't work out. 

By the way, the reason that I disappeared is that I hadn't planned on spending that extra time on the game and had things to do.  Sorry if I left you wanting more debate.


October 15th, 2013 at 12:07 PM ^

Please try to absorb through that mediocre rationalizing mind of yours.  Had Devin thrown another INT, we would be pissed with the outcome, but understand the strategy.  Just like the 9 yard (was actually 10) pass to Gallon in OT #2 was the right play, even if it had not worked out.  You play to WIN the game.  Settling for the long FG in OT #1 was cowardice that you subscribe to.  It is not just the outcome, it's the strategy-the team philosophy in a sense.  I was complaining LONG BEFORE the OT, right when they started running the ball up the middle with a 7 point lead to "set up" what would have been a 40+ yard field goal in the 4th quarter.  I called it long before PSU tied it, long before we choked the game away in OT.  I saw Lloyd Ball and called it out and it unfortunately cost us the game.  That is not "reactionary."  That is being pissed with game management when we still looked very likely to win.  You left when the wheels started coming off...Just as cowardly as the offensive game plan down the stretch.  Then you resurface to defend the coaches 3 days later.  You are an apologist and it is quite transparent.


October 14th, 2013 at 11:08 PM ^

What you're saying can be reasonably argued, though I'm inclined to disagree based on what we've seen this season. It's been ugly. 

It's been ugly in the very same ways for a number of weeks. Our Michigan Wolverines are looking like a version of the Detroit Lions in a bad year. That is not a good thing.

Turnovers are an obvious problem. There are missed assignments on the O-Line. The running game is absolutely abysmal.

At some point, it clearly falls on the coaches to, at the very least, re-evaluate what they're doing and try some different things to prevent this team from having their season further collapse. 

Hoke is being paid millions of dollars a year. Millions. Not tens of thousands, not hundreds of thousands, but millions. For millions, one might expect more.

Watching this team play one has to question whether those millions are money well spent.



October 15th, 2013 at 7:58 AM ^

To some extent you make some fair points but a few things...


You have to be careful what the "people in the know" say. It's like any other business people stick up for their own. Unless there is some bitter, bitter rivalry or "event" that happen they all stick up for each other. They all say Al Borges is a great coordinate, Hoke a great coach. Watch 10 different college football games and I GURANTEE you will here the announcers say in all 10 games "this coach is great". I mean what do you think Michigan players are going to say? The only time they woudl be negative is if a way out of left field hire like RR occurs. If it were up to teh players Carr would have signed a contract through 2050. For the record I like Hoke, I do think he is a very very good coach...elite? we just don't know.

Making a point to be stubborn? If that is the case he should be spending the majority of his time building a time machinge so he can be born in the 40's. In 2013 the leash is's win now....whatever the cost, whatever you have to now. If you are getting beat due to stuborness that your point is actually really making me wonder if he is a good coach. You may be making a great point AGAINST Hoke.

Think of it with work. If I keep doing the same thing to sell and sale after sale is falling through. I'm barely getting the easiest of sales and I'm almost scewing those up you're damn right I'd have to at least make some small adjustments.

So I'm with you in general, I like Hoke, fans are too reactionary...but at the same time there is a reason why coaches get fired...they are not always right.


October 15th, 2013 at 8:15 AM ^

I agree with Sten that the reaction of some has been less than overwhelming. I do not agree that pundita and media types no their ass from a hole in the ground though. Michigan is what it is right now. This team still has a chance to play for the Big and I can guarantee you this loss will serve as a wake up call.


October 15th, 2013 at 9:22 AM ^

needs to stop.  First Akron, then Uconn, now this loss.  Perhaps there is nothing to wake up from???  That's half the games they have played and performed really subpar.  There isn't a light switch with this team. They are what they are, very mediocre.  This past Saturday was a loss to an equally mediocre team.  The infuriating thing is it seems we have more talent and were definitely in control in the 4th until the coaches went Lloyd conservative and choked the game away.


October 14th, 2013 at 10:43 PM ^

Put simply, Michigan got up ten points and Borges played scared. The delay-of-game penalty was a major gaffe, but there's no doubt they were just going to try and hold on. The way I see it, Hoke and Borges feel they have a turnover-prone QB who can cost games. While turnover-prone, Devin is also has a QB that can carry this team, and has done so. It sends a terrible message to Gardner to basically say, "we can't trust you in crunch time; we'll leave it up to our kicker".


October 14th, 2013 at 11:59 PM ^

Courtesy of Al Borges, the OL is tipping off the rush and pass to every person with a pulse. There are blind, deaf and dumb trombonists and saxophonists playing street music within the Chicago subway stations who instinctively know - they KNOW - exactly what the OL will be doing this play and the next play without even attending to the game at hand. Oddly enough.


October 15th, 2013 at 8:18 AM ^

Broges is not the only coach on the offensive staff. Hoke is just as responsible. Hoke is the head coach who makes all the final decisons. So if he in fact alows borges to do what he does then it is Hoke. Hoke is responsible for everything no matter whos fault it is. No one will be fired from this staff because thats the kind of guy Hoke is. He will take the fall.