Postgame Presser Notes: Eastern Michigan

Submitted by Tim on September 20th, 2009 at 12:42 PM

After a little time to digest it all, here are important notes from the postgame press conference.

  • David Molk suffered a potentially serious foot injury, and Rodriguez hopes it's not broken. If he's out, Moosman and Khoury will step in at the center position. Tate's injury was just bruised ribs, and he should be fine. Rodriguez didn't say it was anything serious in the press conference, but I saw Mike Williams wearing a walking boot outside Crisler Arena after the game. Sitting Minor was precautionary, because he's still sore.
  • Rodriguez seems pretty angry about the Mouton suspension. The worst part: the team wasn't informed until after practice Thursday, which means they didn't even get to practice with the backups in the game. That's inexcusable by the Big Ten, IME. Rodriguez plans to make sure the Big Ten is equally diligent for the rest of the season in suspending players from every team around the conference. He specifically mentioned something that happened at the end of an early game yesterday when a Purdue lineman went after an NIU player with an elbow.
  • The team only had 2 penalties for 20 yards in the game, a major improvement to this point. RR implied that he thought one of them wasn't a great call (I'm going to go out on a limb and say the Cissoko PI), and wasn't happy about it.
  • Coach Rodriguez and Brandon Graham both said they don't want Michigan to be a second-half team, but rather a 4-quarter team. However, it's not surprising with their conditioning that they can wear teams out in the second half.
  • Kevin Leach and Brandon Graham both said there weren't many schematic changes at halftime, but rather an emphasis on players sticking to their gaps and executing their assignments.
  • Craig Roh said he didn't have to think about his interception - he just reacted and came down with the ball.
  • When asked if he really likes running into the South endzone, Denard Robinson had the quote of the day: "I think I had one going this way, too." Rodriguez emphasized that Robinson is a passing threat, and Robinson said his picks were mental mistakes, a result of inexperience.
  • Carlos Brown said it feels good to be healthy, and noted that he ran for more yards in the first half yesterday than he did for all of last year.

[Editor's note: here's the obvious cheapshot by the Purdue player:

You made this bed, Jim Delany, and now it's time to lie in it.]



September 20th, 2009 at 1:02 PM ^

I agree the timing of the suspension was BS, and the lack of precedent was disappointing, but punching another player was unacceptable. A suspension WAS in order and if RR wasn't going to do it then the Big Ten correctly did.

Instead of searching through other games that don't involve us with a fine-tooth comb, I think he should worry about, you know...COACHING. Lets not be the one who cries because he was the only one that got caught.


September 20th, 2009 at 1:17 PM ^

showed pretty clearly that it wasn't a punch. His hand was open. He just sort of slapped/shoved the guy's chin, and RR was right that he deserved a 15 yd penalty, but not a suspension. If you need further confirmation, look at the ND player's reaction. Have you every seen an athlete punched in the heat of battle who didn't retaliate in any way? (Excluding knockouts, of course.)

tn wolverine

September 20th, 2009 at 5:27 PM ^

Alright who's got an e-mail for Delany. Let's make it our job to make sure he sees everything "dirty" that happens. I watched the end of the Purdue game and my first thought was if Mouton was suspended then he better suspend that punk from Purdue. He's made the precedent he's got to stick to it.


September 20th, 2009 at 2:15 PM ^

I'd bet huge money that it gets assigned to a GA. I'd also wager that every Big Ten team will be doing it. Delaney is going to regret it. I don't like what Mouton did, and I don't like that RR blew it off (good politics required that he do *something*), but I think the Big Ten is going to regret opening what could easily be a Pandora's box.

Other Chris

September 20th, 2009 at 5:43 PM ^

Do you do something when it is Charlie Weis, but not Brian Kelly? FBS coaches, but not FCS coaches? Only coaches but not reporters? Are we going to have retrospective holding calls, too?

They have officials on the field. If they miss something, it is missed.

CO Blue

September 20th, 2009 at 2:46 PM ^

I have two problems with RR's reaction.

The first being that our players need to be held to a high standard of conduct, representing the University as it should be- with integrity and class. The suspension was appropriate and should have been given by the University, that was a punch, and Michigan Men don't resort to cheap shots. The ND lineman deserves credit for not reacting and getting penalized as "the guy that reacts and always gets caught" thereby hurting his team.

Second, it is petty to pick fault with other teams' conduct. RR's time would be much better spent developing our players' characters, recruiting/developing a playable MLB, and getting ready for the B10 season.

I am a little concerned about the way that RR has represented M so far.


September 20th, 2009 at 1:06 PM ^

Every young QB has to learn the lesson not to throw late and deep down the middle. if two picks in a game we still won easily burned that into his brain, then it was well worth it. I just wish there had been more plays designed for him to throw short and medium passes. The pass to Odoms that was judged to be juggled was a nice toss, on the run. He has the physical skills, he just needs some polish.


September 20th, 2009 at 1:19 PM ^

Even pro QBs occasionally make the mistake of forcing the ball into double coverage. Robinson has a grand total of 6 weeks in the program. Under normal conditions, you wouldn't see him until his sophomore year. You wouldn't be seeing him now, except for the fact that Michigan is one injury away from falling back on Nick Sheridan.

Tate Forcier's success has, perhaps, lulled some people into believing that it is normal for a player to arrive fully formed. If anything, Robinson's performance (as a passer) is more typical of what you would expect of a true freshman being thrown in at QB, especially one that didn't have the benefit of spring practice. That, of course, is the reason why most programs do not play a true freshman.


September 20th, 2009 at 2:09 PM ^

Well, I'm going to disagree with you, but pretty much only on technicality. Robinson is a bad passer right now. Zero completions and two interceptions is not good passing, especially against a defense like Eastern Michigan's. That said, Robinson is incredibly raw, and there is a reason that most freshman quarterbacks redshirt and play only in rare circumstances. He has the tools to become at least a decent passer, but it's going to take some time, most likely more than one year


September 20th, 2009 at 1:23 PM ^

slippery slope

This suspension nonsense is going to get stupid fast.

It's not like what he did was dangerous. He got a little chippy. So what. He shouldn't have done it but big deal. You can find something similar to what Mouton did in almost every game played if you look hard enough. I have never seen a conference step in and suspend a player for something so weak. If this is the new standard then the Big Ten is going to set a record for player suspensions this season, AINEC. We'll see how some of you who believe this was the correct call feel when we lose a key player for Ohio State or Sparty over a similar judgment call by the Big Ten.

Thanks a lot, Charlie.


September 20th, 2009 at 6:07 PM ^

What's worse is Charlie gets the last laugh, because while he has the whole Big Ten now suspending players for tick tack, he has no conference authority to answer to in reverse. Even if we wanted to have Olsen's actions reviewed, who would we complain to?

I now can't wait for the ND game next year ....


September 20th, 2009 at 1:26 PM ^

The Purdue player trying to knock the ball out of the NIU player's arm is a late hit penalty if anything. Which is only a 15 yard penalty

A blow to the head, al la Mouton, is a 15 yard penalty and ejection from the game. Now who is whining?


September 20th, 2009 at 1:53 PM ^

There are two things that I think are important to note.

1. Last year Carson Butler did throw a punch at a Notre Dame player. He got suspended by Rodriguez for that. It was no question that it was a punch and he was punished for it even though the refs didn't eject him from the game. There is no evidence that Rodriguez will not punish his players when it is necessary.

2. The Mouton "punch" is less clear than Butler's was. As mentioned above, the Notre Dame player didn't react in any way. He didn't get up and yell at Mouton or look at the refs and try to get a foul on Mouton. Slow motion can be deceiving.

Maybe it was a punch to the facemask and the Big Ten punished him properly. Maybe it was not a punch and he got suspended for a (thankfully) meaningless game. It doesn't matter anymore. It's done.

Now we see if Golden Tate gets punished for swan diving into the Michigan State band. :)


September 20th, 2009 at 1:31 PM ^

I really, really hope Molk is alright.

Does anyone familiar with redshirt rules know if he's able to get a medical redshirt for this year, should the foot actually be broken?


September 20th, 2009 at 1:44 PM ^

If Mouton is out, the Purdue kid is out. It's too obvious. In fact, Delaney (as Brian suggests) has no other choice, particularly in light of how the suspension transpired with Michigan being notified late.

And Chrisgocomment has it wrong. RR being now ultra-diligent about this stuff is looking out for his team. We can't have two sets of rules.

Brian -- keep posting the clips!


September 20th, 2009 at 2:14 PM ^

All it will take is Hope saying he is punishing his player internally, and the Purdue player won't be suspended.

I maintain that if Rodriguez hadn't punted on "was there a punch?", we wouldn't have had to suspend Mouton. If he'd just said something out his ass about extra conditioning, the BigTen wouldn't have stepped in. I firmly believe that to be a punch, however light some of you may argue. By ignoring it, Rodriguez just sent it to higher powers to make the decision.

As for the timing, I don't think we can complain about it as we had our chance to set punishment. We punted. We let someone else dictate it on their terms. That falls back on us.


September 20th, 2009 at 2:41 PM ^

Seeing as how there was no precedent for the conference to do this (AFAIK) I don't think your "punt" analogy works. When punting, you know you are giving the ball to an opponent. That was not the case here; I think RR saw it more as our opponent throwing an incomplete pass and him shrugging. On the next play, the high priest of football morality comes out of the sky on a golden chariot and... well we saw how that turned out. I don't think anyone in their right mind would see that coming. Hindsight is 20/20 and all...


September 20th, 2009 at 3:21 PM ^

I don't believe there is precedent (AFAIK either) because in most cases, the individual institution would have at least acknowledged something happened. There is precedence on conferences making steps to suspend a player if the school hadn't done something such as the OSU-Reynolds and MSU-Garavaglia (basketball) incidents.

There was a punishment laid down for a fight between basketball players in 1993 (or so this summary leads me to believe). Here's a full article via The Milwaukee Sentinel.

I haven't found a football incident yet while scanning through google news. Most incidents are coaching related, or they claim it is the BigTen suspending them when they blatantly say the school is announcing the suspension, so it's just the BigTen supporting the school's decision.


September 20th, 2009 at 3:16 PM ^

If Hope does something, then maybe the conference stays out of it (but if it is short of a 1 game suspension, there's an argument that a 1 game suspension is now the requirement so maybe the conference should do something anyway). But that's only one incident where it was called out to the media and then gone over by the BTN guys, so Hope has been warned. The question is what about all of the other incidents that have/will undoubtedly occur but don't get brought up in a press conference? The coaches are now going to have to figure out what happened in the game and then decide if it warrants punishment. Stuff that doesn't get called during the game and happens all the time. They'll be sitting there thinking, "OK, well this happened, but it's the sort of chippiness that has happened in practically every game ever played. Should we do something about it? If we don't, will the conference?" Like I said, Hope has been warned, but most of the time there won't be a warning.


September 20th, 2009 at 3:34 PM ^

I imagine the next meeting of the coaches association or whatever collective the coaches belong to, it will be discussed that they need some gentleman's agreement on pointing these things out.

It becomes a fine line, though, on what should be said to protect your own players. So certain douche bag coaches who point tic tack out like this will probably become more hated. I don't think this particular incident is necessarily tic tack. I think this, and the Purdue incident were pretty blatant violations of what is or should be appropriate.

Also on that note, by pointing out one person's flaws, all you're going to do is have the culprit point fingers elsewhere. That's human nature to take the easy route. It's obvious that its taking place with Michigan fans. We instead should have just take responsibility, fix the problem, and moved on. Shit happened and we're over with it. Let's learn from this and not make the same mistake again.

Rocking Chair

September 20th, 2009 at 4:48 PM ^

Rich? Bo here.

Here's what you should have said last Monday:

"Gentleman, while I appreciate Coach Weiss taking time out from coaching Notre Dame to point out a grievous error of judgment committed by a Michigan player on Saturday, I want him to know that we closely review the video also.

The young man in question has already been personally counseled at length by me about the importance of controlling your emotions during the game. All personal fouls carry consequences on this team, and we make no exception even if no flag is thrown. As head coach, I am the ultimate referee.

And while I can assure you that this matter is being dealt with internally involving only the coaches and players, since you'll know soon enough anyway, I can tell you that this young man will not be starting against Eastern Michigan. Whether he plays at all will depend on the attitude he demonstrates in practice this week.

Next question!"


September 20th, 2009 at 7:59 PM ^

Sometimes RichRod shows himself to be a little naive when dealing with the press and needs to think more about putting a good spin on things. As bad as Carr was with the press, he always seemed to be a little be more aware of how words out of his mouth would be received.