Nebraska 17, Michigan 13

Submitted by Ace on November 9th, 2013 at 7:14 PM

This was the high point, both from a football and comedic standpoint.

If this isn't rock bottom, it's damn close. Michigan faced a Nebraska rush defense that's done this...

Opponent Att Yds TD YPC
Wyoming 30 219 1 7.3
UCLA 50 216 2 4.3
South Dakota State 33 271 2 8.2
Illinois 45 211 2 4.7
Purdue 20 82 0 4.1
Minnesota 53 272 3 5.1
Northwestern 43 283 3 6.6

...and, with sacks removed, rushed for 22 yards on 29 attempts. Oh, and a combination of poor play-calling, poor line play, poor blitz pickup, and one understandably skittish quarterback allowed seven sacks that knocked the offense back 49 yards.

Brady Hoke's home winning streak is dead; that's not really the story. It wasn't hard to see this coming, not after the narrow escape against Akron, and certainly not after last week's debacle. When Drew Dileo dropped a fourth-down pass on Michigan's last-gasp drive, it felt depressingly fitting—of course the sure-handed receiver would let one slip through his grasp at precisely the wrong time, because that's just how this season has gone.

Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog

When Michigan attained a first down for the first time in the game, only three plays before the end of the first quarter, the Big House crowd erupted with the loudest Bronx cheer I've ever heard in this building. The sarcastic cheers turned to boos by the end of the first half, at which time the Wolverines, down 10-3, had 60 yards of offense on 29 plays.

Those boos only grew louder by the end of the game. Al Borges orchestrated a great drive to open the second half, featuring a big play for Fitz Toussaint on a slip screen, a slick pop-pass to Jake Butt against a heavy blitz, and a touchdown to a wide-open Devin Funchess on a post-curl-corner route combination.

Thus ended the offensive renaissance. That ten-play, 75-yard drive represented 43% of Michigan's total output on the afternoon, and Michigan resumed slamming their heads against stacked fronts and allowing wave after wave of pressure to hit home.

The defense did what they could, holding the Huskers to 273 yards—75 of which came on their game-winning drive—on just 4.1 yards per play despite two new starters at safety: Courtney Avery and Josh Furman, who replaced Jarrod Wilson and Thomas Gordon.* When Frank Clark lost contain and James Ross was late getting out on an option pitch (of sorts, since it went forwards) to Ameer Abdullah, who waltzed five yards into the end zone, there wasn't anger in Michigan Stadium—instead, apathy reigned, and a healthy number of fans streamed for the exits despite the Wolverines being down four with two minutes left and all their timeouts. Five plays later, those fans were proven—at least for today—to be justified in their actions.

"Well, we just didn't execute," said Brady Hoke after the game. That is 2013 Michigan Football's epitaph, and at some point it isn't going to be enough to save everyone's job.

*According to Hoke in the post-game presser, Gordon had an unspecified ankle injury, while Wilson's absense from the lineup was an attempt to shake things up.



November 9th, 2013 at 11:06 PM ^

it's not like Hoke/Borges inherited one of the most dynamic offensive football players of all time or anything.  
It's not like that other coache's players could win 11 games including the Sugar Bowl or anything.

just a dumpster fire.


November 9th, 2013 at 11:09 PM ^

D ranked 110 & 1 guy who was awesome no doubt in denard I loved that guy. But he was not a qb. I still follow his nfl career & pull for him every week but? C'mon. That team wasn't a dumpster fire? Haha. The sugar bowl team was w Lloyd Carr sr's.


November 10th, 2013 at 6:53 AM ^

Rod's best production with Denard, 7 wins, and gave us the 3 historically worst defenses in program history while recruiting stupidly and FAR too many crappy kids (many good ones but too too many crappy ones).

Brady's worst production with Denard, 8 wins losing to 4 top 10 teams. Rod inherited Graham and a team two years off a #1 vs #2 showdown, Brady inherited a defense in an absolute shambles and the most incompetent offensive line recruiting maybe in FBS history.


November 9th, 2013 at 11:15 PM ^

I'm lost in a mental pickle. I know a regime change is not the answer. As conventional weapons will cost too many lives. But I think hoke is in over his head and I'm starting to think it is time to write the check for harbaugh. Who gives a shit if we have to pay $10 million a year. Seriously, you don't think UM can afford it in one way or the other. regardless, this program hasn't been the same since Bo died

be time to write the check.


November 9th, 2013 at 10:39 PM ^

Need to see some good play calling and the RunOptionRead being done correctly out of the spread........If he was allowed to hire Castile, or if he had Madison he'd still be M's coach and we'd be seeing some exciting winning football.


AZ is playing UCLA rignt now on ESPN


November 9th, 2013 at 10:59 PM ^

Teams that are coached well, execute.

I would love for this question to be asked in the press conference:

"Do you believe that teams that are being coached well will execute?"

Mpfnfu Ford

November 10th, 2013 at 12:21 AM ^

Hoke inherited a better team and has steadily declined the further we get from what RichRod left. There is no focus or purpose to what Michigan is doing on offense. And who cares how many linemen or other players you recruit if you can't develop them when they are on campus? 

Don't even begin to compare the caliber of talent and players RichRod left to what RichRod had when he stepped foot on campus. Or the insitutional buy in Hoke received on day one that RichRod NEVER had at any point. You only have to look out and see RichRod building a pretty good program in a better conference at a place that hasn't won in 20+ years.


November 10th, 2013 at 12:34 AM ^

Yeah, hate to raise the demon of that whole debate again but frankly we may be about to witness the best reason Michigan should not have fired Rich Rod. But on the other hand, we probably can't afford to throw Hoke over too quickly either. Seems like the best option, like it was for Rich Rod, would be for Hoke to admit he needs to dial up some change on the side of the ball that ain't working.


November 10th, 2013 at 12:29 PM ^

Lets try this again ... WORST. DEFENSES (plural). IN. SCHOOL. HISTORY.

Rod would not have been better, would have ruined Robinson's career by breaking him, would have been lucky to make a bowl game last year, and would leave us in truly a tire fire recruiting situation now rather than merely an embarrassing mess. We'd be putting MAC players out there as our stars now.


November 10th, 2013 at 1:59 PM ^

you think Hoke is better than Rich Rod? 


RR made some big mistakes.  He was so loyal to gibson et al.  that he fired a decent DC in Shafer, and hired GERG to replace him.  Then by all accounts he forced a midling GERG to run the 3-3-5 with crappy assistants.  I don't know if Dave Brandon gave him an ultimatum about fixing the defensive staff or not, but that obviously was what caused RR to get canned.

But don't forget he constantly begged Castile to join him, and Dave Brandon wouldn't open up the checkbook for anyone.

Bluebloods were also against him from day one due to a feeling of entitlement, and the fact that RR took the risk of transitioning his team to the spread as fast as he could.  A gamble that ended up with a 3-9 season.

His offense was progressing every year, if only the worst defense in history could make a play each of his 3 seasons could have been better.

What side of the ball has Hoke improved in his 3 years?  He's a D-line coach, he delegates everything else so that position group should be the Big 10s best in his 3rd year of expertise.
Is it?

Mattison is supossedly good, and certainly coached up the 2011 team, but why all the soft coverage and mediocre line play after 3 years?

Don't even get me started on the offense, it's offensive.  and to respond to one of your idiotic statements:  RR would not have broken Dennard, he would have used him properly unlike Borge's half-assed attempt that DID FUCKING BREAK HIM!

There are more things wrong with this team than just the O-line, but Brady aparantly doesn't see it.  Hell, he even said he likes the play calling!

If RR got fired for ignoring the problems on D and not making a staff change then Brady is just as at fault for being stubborn about Borges/Funk/Jackson.

I think Brady is a bit of a palooka, but with the right subordinates can succeed.  He doesn't have them, and he is not succeeding.


November 10th, 2013 at 7:05 AM ^

RichRod recruited us into the O-line debacle we see out there this season.

RichRod's defenses got WORSE season after season.

Rods right now building a middle of the pack Pac12 team out of a bottom of the pack team. That is... Not a remarkable feat.

Hoke has made something (if not yet enough) out of the, lets say it together boys and girls, WORST DEFENSES IN SCHOOL HISTORY. Hoke is now feeling the pain of a severe lack of talent on the offensive side. I'm not saying Hoke's spectacular, and I'm not 100% convinced he's the right man for the job, but do have some perspective about the REAL state of the respective cupboards.


November 10th, 2013 at 6:37 AM ^

Rod cried and begged for his job after the worst three years in program history. You may not like hearing "we failed to execute" but it's the 100% truth.

What do you as a fan think we deserve? All we deserve is a clean program, and our team in position to win the game. Obviously we were yesterday. Last week, we needed more breaks, but last week was the second time in Hoke's tenure where we got beat up and down the field. Rod saw his second defeat like that before his first season was half over (okay admittedly I'm not convinced Lloyd had two (Tenn bowl game)).

Still, Rod was a delusional nincompoop - The one thing I'm absolutely confident about is that Brady Hoke is self-honest.


November 10th, 2013 at 12:09 AM ^

That your team did not execute!

You are officially on the hot seat after this pathethic 6-6 season. You better win 9 games next year or your ass should be toast! WTF!


November 10th, 2013 at 12:12 AM ^

3 2 3 4 3 3 3 5 2 4 9 7 6 2 5 5or6

This is our number of losses per year since the 1997 championship. This is not the performance of a top ten program. The we need to get back to Michigan football crowd is full of shit. Michigan football has been nothing more than an ok big ten team for a long time. We need some leadership in this program that seeks to be more than what we have been in the past. The good o'l boy network in the athletic department needs a shake up.

5 6 7 6 2 1 0 1 2 2 1 4 5 2 6 is USC. We have not come close to the 7 year run they had of 2 or fewer losses

6 5 0 2 2 2 1 4 3 1 4 3 2 5 2 3 is Oklahoma. Note the 5 year run of 2 or less.

1 6 4 5 0 2 4 2 1 2 3 2 1 7 0 this one should make us all sick. They have 9 seasons with two or fewer losses vs our 3 since 1997. Our program has not been on the right track for a long time. Let's not even mention the four consecutive 4 loss seasons that occurred prior to 1997

Cranky Dave

November 10th, 2013 at 10:29 PM ^

This is the most depressing thing about the football program and indicages an institutional problem. Multiple ADs and coaches so saying fire RR, Borges, Hoke, Funk etc seems pointless. And bringing up '97 is not that different than my CU fan friend bringing up 1990 because there's been nothing great since then. 1997 is an abberation not a validation of what a great program Michigan is.

having said that I cant turn off my emotions and will continuento suffer through every game

Quote from the link below. "…we use matching techniques to compare the performance of football programs that replaced their head coach to those where the coach was retained. The analysis has two major innovations over existing literature. First, we consider how entry conditions moderate the effects of coaching replacements. Second, we examine team performance for several years following the replacement to assess its effects.
We find that for particularly poorly performing teams, coach replacements have little effect on team performance as measured against comparable teams that did not replace their coach. However, for teams with middling records—that is, teams where entry conditions for a new coach appear to be more favorable—replacing the head coach appears to result in worse performance over subsequent years than comparable teams who retained their coach."

obviously there are exceptions to this but believing that firing Hoke will bring us the kind of success tha USC had during their run, or Alabama the padt 4 years or Ohio would seem to be unlikely. It also seems unlikely that Hoke staying will bring that success. Maybe a program has genetics just like individuals?


November 10th, 2013 at 12:12 AM ^

You freaking blind ??? What game were you watching ?? ESPN classics? When Michigan was relevant? This team is finished! They just got theirs asses whipped by a terrible NEB team without their starting QB! Their O line is in shambles...yet the manage to give their QB enough tine to make plays!!! This is worst than the state loss!!! At least state is decent! NEB won't win another game !

Tucson Wolverine

November 10th, 2013 at 12:14 AM ^

When Hoke and his staff came on board 3 years ago we had just endured perhaps the lowest point in the history of the program. We were desperate for a change, desperate to return to the glory days of what we knew Michigan football was and what we hoped it could be once more. Hoke said all the right things and the team had a massive turnaround in year 1, especially the defense. As a Michigan fan, I couldn't say enough good things about Hoke and the direction he was taking the program, and I had no doubt in my mind that we were on the verge of another golden era for Michigan football. Then Hoke started bringing in top recruits from all over the country. The man could do no wrong. Fast forward to today. Our team is an embarrassment, our season is in shambles, and as fans we are trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with our team. My knowledge of football is pretty limited, so don't have much to say about that. But for me, the worst part is seeing the expectations I had built up (and we as a fan community had built up) these past 3 years for the program be shattered in such a sobering fashion, week after week after week. Maybe Hoke and his staff need more time. Maybe they have been exposed as a bunch of good guys who love this program but don't have what it takes to get it to where it needs to be. I'm a Michigan fan for life, but right now my faith in this coaching staff and the direction of this program is severely damaged. Thank goodness basketball season is here. 

Dr. Emil Shuffhausen

November 10th, 2013 at 8:54 AM ^

That is Exactly how I feel.   The Free Pass is officially over and the Sobering Reality is we have an Inept Head Coach who is basically a good Bullshitter who knows how to get the job and position and support. 


But now, at the end of the day we see what we've really got, and it Kills Me as a Life Long Michigan Fan to have Mr. Deer in the Headlights with lame post game excuses and no future in Big Time College Football.


Seriously, can anyone name 1 school anywhere would would want him as their Head Coach right now?


I pray an exit strategy is already being set up and a top notch Coach is on our radar.

Hell, find a Mediocre NFL Head Coach who was Successful in the College ranks and misses coaching up the players and developing the young guys and who knew how to get the most  out of his players.


November 10th, 2013 at 12:18 AM ^

There are no leaders on this team. Maybe work ethic leaders or practice leaders but no 'Woodson' type of leaders. I'm not saying players like Woddson but leaders. The guy that's going to hold you accountable for your play on the field. For example Gardner needs to drop the nice guy image after getting hit 15 times a game and get in his linemens face. Fer godsakes even Tom Brady does it once in awhile. It's called motivation and it NEEDS to be done situationally. I don't want disfunction but I do want to see a more inspiring effort. I think this team could really use a guy that's going to challenge the team on a daily basis as Woodson did even in practice. I'm not talking talent level because I'd probably consider Kovacs the same type of guy but I can't pick a guy on this team that fits that role.............on a brighter note at least ohio is no longer in a position to break our home winning streak. Yep that's the bright note.


November 10th, 2013 at 6:44 AM ^

You've just pinpointed the key issue - worse than Borges.

There are no stars. Much as I want him to be, and much as I believe Gardner's a better quarterback - he's not Denard. We don't have a Kovacs, a Graham, a Hemingway, a Martin, an Edwards... It takes more than a year to build them too.

This is year 1 of this offense. No right-minded person would have done anything besides build around Denard, but we didn't build enough. This year is the culminating masterpiece of Rod's recruiting, and things WILL GET BETTER.


November 10th, 2013 at 12:29 AM ^

I am a very optimistic person by nature and I had hopes that today was going to look very different. Sadly, however I was not entirely suprised by Borges' apparent complete lack of creativity - something is going on here and it ain't good and Hoke and Co need to fix it.

But what I was suprised about was how freaking hopeless the offense actually looked. I simply cannot remember any Michigan team looking that bad. Even the defense under Rich Rod, as bad as it was, never managed to look that silly. And I hate to say it but I got the distinct impression that the team was psychologically defeated before the end of the game. Not saying anyone gave up, just that the vibe they were giving off did not feel right and was not consistent with a team that really felt it had a great chance to win.

The result was not just ugly and stupid football, but it was also boring. Really hardly any reason to watch at all.

Even worse: what is to make us think it will look any different next week?


November 10th, 2013 at 12:39 AM ^

Hoke:   Yeah, i thought we did some nice things.  The offensive line struggled a little bit and didn't give Devin enough time to throw.   We need to execute better and prepare for next week.   


He says the same damn thing every week,  wait and see. 


November 10th, 2013 at 12:52 AM ^

What a fucking melt down of a coaching staff. Even the defense suck! I would give him one more seson to turn this around. If he can't then fucking fire him! No need to watch a tire fire continue for 5 years!

1 percent

November 10th, 2013 at 2:38 AM ^

The defense doesn't suck. The offense has hit a huge wall a lot of it can be traced to play calling and a lot can be traced to not being able to block forcing the TEs to stay in tight and only 2 players running routes. This offense is so much better when Chesson, Butt and Dileo are running routes with Funchess and Gallon instead of on the sideline or in blocking.


November 10th, 2013 at 1:30 AM ^

I've defended Borges for awhile, but I agree that he may need to go. I have a serious question: why not let Borges go and keep hoke? Seems to me that hoke is great (recruiting, for instance). In other words, aren't our problems pretty much all on Borges' shoulders? I don't know much about how sidelines work, but to me this seems to all come down to the OC.