Postgame Presser Notes: Penn State Comment Count

Tim October 31st, 2010 at 4:51 AM

[Ed-M: Big kudos to Tim, who got this up at 5 in the morning. Note: images are not from last night. Also note: the last interview was mine].

Rich Rodriguez

On that thing that was on the field when the offense or special teams wasn't:

Can't say too much about what the breakdowns were until after seeing the film. It didn't seem like the team did a good job getting off blocks and making tackles. Some cutback lanes were open for Penn State. "I'll have to check our backside pursuit."

"We didn't execute well offensively either, in the first half. I thought there were enough plays out there offensively, if we could have got a few stops here and there, got a little momentum, that's what you've gotta do when you play in this kind of environment."

Rodriguez was disappointed with the team's trouble executing the no-huddle. "Our guys know that, and they'll try to be a fix for this week."

"The frustrating part is it's not just one person, it's usually a different thing. The inconsistency I think is a little bit frustrating for everybody, including our guys on defense." The guys didn't quit in the second half, but you have to make the plays when they're available.

"We've gotta put them in a position to make the plays. Gosh it seems like forever since we've gotten a turnover." The defense or special teams just needs one or two of those to spark them.

It's most frustrating to get the opponent in 3rd-and-long, and then still allow the conversion. "We've gotta play better, certainly. I didn't think we were real good on third down on offense today either."


On Mike Martin: "It was a different ankle. That's a blow, because there's no question that Mike makes a difference when he's in there."

Perry Dorrestein didn't play because of a knee sprain. "Denard got banged up but he felt good after." Jibreel Black and JT Floyd both went back into the game after minor injuries, and should be fine.

Denard had an OK game, but he'd definitely like to have a few of his throws back. His shoulder isn't quite 100%. "He's a great competitor, and I thought he competed all the way to the last snap." He landed on his hip funny when he briefly had to come out of the game.

Special Teams:

Hagerup practiced kickoffs this week, because Seth had been struggling with them. He did a pretty good job.

Should he have used the onside kick earlier? "No, because there's plenty of time, we had a couple timeouts left. Again, you let them start about midfield..."

"Gallon did a good job returning kickoffs, except the one mistake when he was losing his balance. The blocking wasn't great.

It's Not an Excuse, but, uh, Freshmen:

"We've got a few upperclassmen that are really trying as hard as they can defensively. Sometimes our youth gets picked on somewhat." They're trying to help the young guys grow up, but there's only so much they can do.

Rodriguez doesn't want it to sound like an excuse when he refers to the youth on defense, but the facts are what they are. "You look out there and there's a true freshman, and another true freshman, and a redshirt freshman... Ray Vinopal got his first start as a true freshman, I thought he did OK, but there's probably some mistakes made too."

"We know where we're at right now, and we've gotta do what we can defensively so we can play at a higher level."

Terrence Talbott got some play at corner because the coaches were trying to see if they could find something to work.

Roy Roundtree

"All throughout the game I think Denard played well."

The defense was blitzing a lot to force Michigan's offense into doing some things they didn't want to.

Perry Dorrestein

"We've got a couple of big-time losses and sometimes people start to think it looks kinda glum, kinda gloomy. We've just gotta persevere through it, win some football games, get bowl-eligible."

"We had some good protections. There's just a couple instances where a guy let in some penetration. It was really loud out there, so some of the snap miscues, but I think all-in-all we had a pretty solid day."

Injury? "Just a little swollen, couldn't play to 100%." Will you be back next week? Yes, yes."

Kevin Koger

The offense had a couple good plays, but they just stalled in execution a few times.

Jonas Mouton

"We'll just get back to Ann Arbor, watch the film, correct our mistakes, and go from there."

Soul Dong




October 31st, 2010 at 10:11 AM ^

I don't feel any better the morning after.  At some point after I turned 40, college sports didn't impact my emotional state very much but this is busting me up.  I love Michigan and I love college football and this is just sad.

Did Roh make one play last night?  Mouton seemed non-existent to me.  Banks?  They aren't freshmen.  It did seem like Demens played is ass off and was always around the ball.

Where was Stonum (clipping)?  Where was Hemingway (drop)?  I know I've become a rambling idiot at this point.  I feel like I'm a disillusioned teenager again.  Shit!

Steve in PA

November 1st, 2010 at 9:40 AM ^

To me this is what's so frustrating about the ineptitude of the defensive coaching staff.  They aren't even giving these kids a chance to make plays.  The biggest example was Roh.

All night we watched him.  If his hand wasn't on the ground he was completely lost and therefore not contributing.  Even though he's undersized, putting his hand down as part of a 4 man front allows him to pass rush, which is his strength.  Making him cover space as a LB is exactly what any offense wants...he's not a LB!

As I mentioned in another post, third an 3 my 13yo son who plays LB tugs on my arm points at the DB's and says, "Why are they 12 yards off the receivers?!?  You don't play cover-2 cloud on short yardage!"

3-3-5 sucks.  Still haven't watched the film, but I think we were in less 4-2-5 than at any point this season.  It's an experiment that needs to be scrapped.  Let's do an aggressive 4-3 and let the chips fall where they may.  Better to lose being aggressive than lose playing passive and maybe giving these kids an opportunity to play will yield results instead of excuses. 


October 31st, 2010 at 10:26 AM ^

Feel better every time I read the presser notes. These players handle this so much better than the fans. Not this week nor last did they quit. I'll cheer as loud this week as I did against Uconn. 24 hours and Bring on Illinois
<br>Plenty of time for proclamations of RR hate if they fail. But these guys can also bring it together


October 31st, 2010 at 10:51 AM ^

What happened to Mike Shaw? If he isn't truly healthy, why do the coaches say that he is? Why wouldn't he be healthy at this point anyway? How long does it take to recover from a ninja kick to the shin? Shaw and Hopkins have been our most effective running backs by far. Outside the screen passes to Vince, I am really not understanding the staff's love affair with Vince. Shaw and Hopkins are not terrible at blocking for Denard to warrant Vince being the main guy.

The bubble screen was there the whole game. I wish that they would coach up Denard on reading that a little better.

Bobby Boucher

October 31st, 2010 at 10:57 AM ^

I don't know what's worse: watching my team's defense look like a Division AA scout team or knowing OSU fans and having to face them on at work Monday morning when I was so confident all last week. 


October 31st, 2010 at 12:44 PM ^

a few interesting observations from the first half (Halloween party so I didn't watch the 2nd). First was RichRod calling the 'punch yourself in the side of the mouth' play ... I don't think it worked. Second was one point when they panned a shot of the Michigan sideline from behind and Courtney Avery was doing his best 'I'm a robot impression'. Classic.


October 31st, 2010 at 12:54 PM ^

Looking at the boxscore, I suppose PSU deserved the win as they got 27 first downs to our 19.  But the total yardage was pretty even, PSU 435, UM 423 (and average gain per play was UM 6.3, PSU 5.9.) Given that PSU could have punched it in for another TD, how is it that they beat us by 10 and it easily could have been 17? Neither team had a TO. The defense is taking a beating today, and for good reason, but the botched KR from Gallon was huge. That gave PSU a short field and a BIG halftime lead. I understand the lack of depth and not wanting to get starters hurt, but if RichRod was trying to win at all costs this season, Stonum would be back there returning kicks. Another hidden yardage issue, penalties. The conspiracy theorist in me wants to believe that the Big 10 is trying to get JoePa to 400 wins this season and knows he needed last night to get there in 2010. Penalty yards: UM 55, PSU 15. Not huge, but the late hit OOB on PSU's 2nd to last drive was enormous. I would have taken a Broekhuizen shanker to the 40 to start the drive over that Special teams fiasco. The only penalty on PSU was the blatant face mask. I know RichRod said it was too early to on-side kick, but when you are kicking off from the 45, that's a great time for one to even things up. Or on the next TD when they are not expecting it. Waiting until the last minutes when they are loaded up to recover is usually not successful. Finally, one last thing I remember from the game but don't see in the boxscore. McGloin was 7 for 7 on 3rd down passing at one point in the game. None of us expected that from him. I doubt he does that again this year. Sometimes the other team just plays freakishly well. Did our defense have a big part to play in that? Sure, but 435 yards for PSU seems like a win. I didn't see any real long runs out of PSU. The longest was 20 yards. There were just too many of those 10-20 yard runs for my comfort. And jeez, PSU only punted twice. I'm frustrated by that game moreso than MSU and Iowa. On to next week. 


October 31st, 2010 at 1:41 PM ^

Stonum returned kickoffs to start the season and had no success.  Gallon actually had the best return of the year yesterday, but in the end you are so right: that muffed kick out of bounds at the 2 was HUGE.  That was the moment we likely lost the game, it killed our offensive momentum and gave Penn State a 37 yard field to drive...

The  penalties follow the same trend...PSU is the least penalized team in the nation and we average around 50 yds a game so I dont see that as anything abnormal.

The third down passing is also a trend unfortunately.  As is the great show put on by horrible QBs against us.  Seriously you just need to throw a semi-accurate ball and it's a 20+ yard gain.  Also great play calling by PSU (although predictable must I say???)

This is clearly more frustrating than the previous two games because 1) they had 8 succesful drives out of 10 (how frustrating was that fake FG at the end?!) and 2) we had something to point to in the previous losses...turnovers.  This one was against a vulnerable and less talented team and we got our asses handed to us, and we have no excuses to say "hey we were almost there."


October 31st, 2010 at 1:27 PM ^

I scanned through the replies to the Penn State preview.  I was the only one who predicted a UM loss.  I hate it when I'm right.  Every other post went from close UM win to UM blowout with Denard back in the Heisman race.  To be fair, I thought UM would lose due to a turnover at the end in a comeback attempt.  At least they didn't turn it over.  I guess that's a positive.

The tendencies of the RR coached UM teams is a late season collapse against Big 10 teams.  These facts can no longer be ignored.  This defense is pathetic, the coaching staff has no answers and people have every right to be disappointed and upset about that.


October 31st, 2010 at 1:56 PM ^

I'm sick of hearing in the press conference from guys like Mouton and Kovacs that they're "going to watch film, find the mistakes and correct them".  I am REALLY tired of hearing that after every week.  And after having TWO WEEKS to prepare for a team that is absolutely GUTTED on their 2 deep, this is just unacceptable.  Scoring 31 ponits on a team that has a walk-on fuck named McGloin making his first ever college start shouldn't only win the game, they should fucking WIN THE GAME CRUISING.

  This was the most pathetic defensive showing I have ever seen.  This was more pathetic to watch that the offense in 2008.


October 31st, 2010 at 2:32 PM ^

The youth and inexperience excuse has now gone too far now.  There is more to this abortion of a defensive performance than having to use true freshman.  

We can't tackle, we can't execute and the schemes/plays are just brutal.  No one expected us to be good due to the youth but we have the absolute worst defensive in college football.   We just got manhandled by a fairly vanilla offense.   On 3rd and 8 we get victimized by the same play time and time again.   That is inexcusable and is directly attributed to the coaching.  

I'm a RR fan and think he deserves another year, but I think the entire defensive staff needs to go.   Its very obvious nothing works on that side of the ball.   


October 31st, 2010 at 2:38 PM ^

"It didn't seem like the team did a good job getting off blocks and making tackles."

It didn't?  Huh, that surprises me cuz to me it looked like, shit.  I especially enjoyed watching one of our defenders get blocked past all the Penn St. players on the sideline and into approximately the third row.  I can't tell you what number our defender wore because it was a blurr when he flew across my television screen.

"We didn't execute well offensively either, in the first half."

I'm curious what you did with the 2 weeks you had to prepare.  Work on defense?  It's the 8th goddamn game of the season and we've rolled out the exact same offense in all 8 games (except of course that new wrinkle called I-backs where we line up a 150lber at tailback and run 32 dive on a 3rd and 1.  I'm stunned Penn State was ready for that.)  How could we not execute well offensively?  It's the only aspect of our game that isn't currently ranked LAST in all of FBS and half of FCS.

"The frustrating part is it's not just one person, it's usually a different thing. The inconsistency I think is a little bit frustrating for everybody, including our guys on defense."

A little bit frustrating?  No, a little frustrating is when my wife gives me the Heisman when I ask for sex.  This borders on her giving me the Heisman as she's walking Lloyd Brady up to our bedroom with a bottle of wine and a new jar of anal lube.

"Gosh it seems like forever since we've gotten a turnover."

Golly gee, gomer, IT HAS BEEN FOREVER SINCE WE GOT A TURNOVER (in football years).

"We've gotta play better, certainly. I didn't think we were real good on third down on offense today either."

Not only do we have an offensive wizard and snake oil salesman-extraordinaire as our head coach, but he's also Captain Obvious.


October 31st, 2010 at 4:50 PM ^

sums up quite a few things for us this season.

I'm as disappointed as anyone, but all is not lost. Let's rally and cheer these guys on for the next 4 Saturdays (and hopefully one in bowl season).

For me, even with as tough as the last several years have been, Michigan football season is still my favorite time of year, and we only get 12/13 days a year to enjoy it. I say we make the most of the rest of the season and move on from there and hope for bigger and better next year.

We knew it could be a challenge, and it has been in more ways than most of us hoped or seriously believed, but the world is not coming to an end and the boys will take the field again in 6 days. I'll still be cheering for them as fiercely as anyone.


October 31st, 2010 at 5:19 PM ^

so my expectations weren't that great.  I was concerned about youth and inexperience.  Having said that, I am still disappointed with how the season is going (even when we were winning).

On defense we can't stop anybody so just about anybody can beat us.  What surprises me is how small, slow and passive we look.  It is hard to believe that this is Michigan.

I hope more than ever that we make a bowl so we can get that monkey off of our back and get that much needed extra practice.