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 10th, 2013 at 11:21 AM ^

I watched part of the Alabama LSU game last night. At one point Alabama rushed 5. LSU sent 4 guys on patterns and left the lone setback in to block. I remember thinking Mettenberger would be sacked, but LSU's 5 O-linemen stalemated the 5 Alabama (ALABAMA) pass rushers near the line of scrimmage. The RB stood in the backfield with no one to block. It did not resemble any football I have seen recently.


November 10th, 2013 at 9:03 AM ^

Had a dream last night I met John Cooper and we chatted. Nice guy.:) Given we were 10-2-1 vs Cooper, think this could mean something? Nah.....only in our dreams.


November 10th, 2013 at 12:04 PM ^

it was only a dream, nappa. To me, the 1990s were a nightmare. Although I have since forgiven J. Cooper. I think the man is a good dude. Although unfortunately, that is not what you want in a coach. You want a bad-ass mother f#^*er. Like Saban or Urban Meyer. Or Pete Carroll. Or....Les Miles? Scratch that.  Nice guys finish last, most times it seems.


November 10th, 2013 at 9:22 AM ^

1.) Fire Borges now!  This must happen or we will lose recruites.  It actually possible to play call around a struggling OL.....(ie;Indiana)  I truely think that this could be a great team with good O play calling and teaching, but not under some cockey jerk who blames the players.

2.) Fire Funk now!  He obviously doesn't know what he is doing.  Other teams have freshman and walkon's who can play the OL just fine

3.) Fire Welman now!  How can all of the lines be so week.  WIth both the D and O lines doing so poorly there must be a stregth and cond. issue.

4.) Hire a QB coach  both Denard and Devin never reached their potential due to not having a QB coach.  Borges' not being able to work with other coaches is another reason to can him


Hoke is a good figure head and recruiter, but that's it, so he needs the best assistants.  Michigan can hire the best.  If Hoke doesn't step up to these deficiancies than he needs to go.  And my god the clock management is abysmal!!!


November 10th, 2013 at 9:39 AM ^

I was at that sad display yesterday. There is no doubt DG had little time to throw. However, when the line did somehow or another stop the D line, we ran the worst routes in the history of college football. It was like "sandlot" football.... "everyone go deep". DG danced around the pocket while Nebraska's backers blitzed and we had three guys in pass patterns all going long....the middle of the freaking field was wide open all day long. Does Borges even look at the results of the plays or see how a defensive team reacts to certain plays and formations? Every time DG was sacked I would look down field and our receivers were 60 yards down field running straight patterns.... no LB's dropped for Nebraska the middle of the field was wide open all day and Borges never saw this.... He has no clue and has to go or Brady will be back coaching the D line at a D2 school in a few years. Signed Frustrated!


November 10th, 2013 at 10:02 AM ^

And tell Borges he's an idiot for some of his play calls when he's trying to send them in. Hoke can stop these stupid play calls but is too arrogant to put a headset on. I blame him for that but not for the retarded play calls. I am so sick of seeing him clap his hands and say let's go or good job instead of intervening with stupid play calls and getting our team in the right situation Dave Brandon has to see this


November 10th, 2013 at 12:00 PM ^

As a Husker fan I think alot of you are overreacting or that you are misplacing your frustration.

It seems to me that your team has good players at the skill positions.  Your team has a solid defense.  The deficiency in your team in on the offensive line.  Nothing on offense works when the offensive line play is not up to par.

By all accounts Hoke is recruiting very well.  Offensive line is probably the slowest position group to develop, particularly when attempting to change from a spread system to pro-style.

It seems to me that Michigan really needs another year of development or perhaps a new offensive line coach or strength coach.


November 10th, 2013 at 1:10 PM ^

Fire Fitz and gardner - the glamor positions are failing.  Watch fitz as he ALWAYS goes at the wrong holes - this drive offensive linman crazy.  Fitz would not have 100+ yards (on a reg basis) under the 70's Steelers.


November 10th, 2013 at 2:50 PM ^

With apologies to Bill Parcells who is credited with this "wisdom".

In 2011, UM snatched victory from the jaws of defeat ( SVFTJOD, SVF for short) in 2 games, ND, the improbable final 2 plays, against VT in the Sugar Bowl where despite a 2013 like offensive performance M prevailed thanks to horrific decision making/play calls by Beamer and friends, poor fg kicking, and a really questionable reversal of a VT TD pass. So 11-2 very very easily could have been 9-4. Still good but....not 11-2.

In 2012, M had 2 SVF games, MSU, won with a late pass to Dileo and a 39 fg at the gun by Gibbons, and NW, won with a late heave to a falling down Hemingway to force OT and the eventual win). So 8-5 could have easily been 6-7.

This year, 2 more SVF games, Akron and UConn. No details needed. Not counting the IU game which was borderline SVF.

Since Hoke s debut, I count 6 SVF games meaning wins except for some very improbable plays, very very unlikely in the future in similar circumstances.

25-10 then becomes 19-11. Ok "but". Including 2013 IU and 2011 Air Force, a shaky 31-25 win, makes us
17-13 , let's call it our more realistic probability record ( MRP). Or our record absent good fortune. Not impressive.

And from 14-7 in the BT to 12-9.


November 10th, 2013 at 2:53 PM ^

Brian, just copy and paste everything from last weeks UFR's and remake the podcast editing the word Spartans or State for the word Nebraska. Then with your extra time please FIX THE +/- system. The board is straight PATHETIC these days.


November 10th, 2013 at 4:28 PM ^

The O-line really wasn't all that bad. Borges didn't give Garner a chance. We ran Max protect, sending two recievers out wayyyy to many times. When the routes were covered up, Devin had nowhere to go.

We all knew the blitz was coming and instead of taking the offensive and maybe running some short routes, slants, screens, we played right into their hands. I put this squarly on Borges and his lack of making adjustments.


November 10th, 2013 at 4:41 PM ^

I agree.

I think seeing this same thing happen over and over again, now in the 9th game of his 3 season as OC, that Borges has failed and should be let go.

Assuming Dave Brandon is willing to open the checkbook for Hoke to hire anyone in the country he wants (who is willing to come).

Do you think Hoke will fire Borges?

What should Dave Brandon do if Hoke says no?


November 11th, 2013 at 11:39 AM ^

The Michigan name brand that we've been leaning on the past 20 years is on a 20 year decline. Every single year we disappoint expectation. Something needs to change. Soon.


November 11th, 2013 at 1:04 PM ^

I have become a diehard Michigan fan two years ago. I finally went to my first game vs Nebraska. I must say that as a big fan who has no roots to Michigan that I was very dupset but satisfied with how we played. Devin look extremely uncomfortable in the pocket, our run game was not working yet we stuck with it. We ran down the middle so many times and got stuffed. Devin has no confidence right now, he threw too many passes behind receivers and was dancing in the pocket. I am happy with how our defense played and must say that they did pretty well. The last drive Michigan had looked good and was promising until the Dileo drop. I'm quite happy with this game looking forward because I think everyone realizes something has to change. College football is extremely different as we all know and looking forward this may hurt recruiting but I really think that joke realizes where he needs position upgrades. Also I must say I have never in my life felt more welcomed by the Michigan fans who were stunned how much I love Umich being from NY.