The Time of Shane is Upon Us

Submitted by Seth on December 26th, 2013 at 1:29 PM

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[Fuller]

Per Hoke's press conference this morning, Shane Morris will start the Copper Bowl in place of Devin Gardner, whose fourth metatarsal finally fell off after hanging precariously from a piece of torn cloth that was being used to hold together what remained of his last rib. Or, you know. Per people on twitter Gardner broke his foot against OSU, then kept playing.  Add to the list of people who should never have to pay for beer within 4 miles of Ann Arbor the rest of his life (once he's eligible to have beers bought for him).

In the recent practice report video are guys talking about Morris; you can take Jehu Chesson:

"He does a good job, you know, reading the defense, you know, getting the ball to us. A lot of people talk about his arm; he has a good arm, great arm, um, uh, [shakes head]. The other people talk about does he throw the ball too hard. You know, with Shane, whenever he's going to be in the game, or when he's in the game or what, he's going to make the right throws at the right time and the right decisions because that's what a Michigan quarterback is expected to do."

…and Taylor Lewan:

"He has the potential to be an extremely good player. [Thing about lefty QB means Lewan is no longer blind side]. I think given the opportunity, and if he stays confident and all those things, he's going to be very successful."

…at their words. Or you can read between lines and use your expertise from watching Lie to Me to discern panicky things from Jehu's microexpressions. Being a negative nancy blogger I shall of course do the latter.

Also in that video the starting linebackers are both practicing, so there's that at least.

Comments

dnak438

December 26th, 2013 at 3:14 PM ^

At the very least there are long-term recruiting implications. There may also be an impact recruiting in the short term. 8-5, while it's hardly what the team and fanbase wants as a final record, is a lot better than 7-6. It's a chance for the team to play well on national television, for young players to get some experience, to develop a sense of team identity and momentum moving forward into the 2014 season, and so on.

As a fanbase, we may not feel that there's a lot riding on the game, but I suspect that it's fairly important to the program.

TheNema

December 26th, 2013 at 3:27 PM ^

8-5, while it's hardly what the team and fanbase wants as a final record, is a lot better than 7-6. 

Sorry man, but this rings hollow to me. Numerical records are not created equal. 8-5 was far from terrible last year because the schedule was so tough and we had honorable efforts in our last couple losses. We also beat one of our conference rivals, even if it wasn't pretty.

This season, given the weakness of the schedule, the 0-for vs. OSU and MSU, and the bulk of quality opposition being at home, 7-6/8-5 is not only a paltry one game difference, it is a just a slightly different level of badness.

How Shane performs has a lot more to do with the importance to the program than whether the result is a win or a loss.

dnak438

December 26th, 2013 at 3:59 PM ^

but if the difference between a win and a loss is the difference between a "sorta bad" season (or however you'd like to describe it) and "pretty bad" (same goes as above), then isn't it also true that there is a lot riding on this game?

I'd also like to see players like Jeremy Gallon and Taylor Lewan go out as winners. They deserve it.

EDIT: I also get that this season has been tough on the psyche of the fanbase, and of MGoBlog. I don't want to check out on my fandom. What's great about college football is that every game matters. We should fight the malaise.

GoBLUinTX

December 26th, 2013 at 9:19 PM ^

Winter weight training and the early enrollees.  Then there is signing day in February.  If losses caused prospecitve recruits to rethink their position, so might a bowl victory.  Then there is spring practice in March/April.  The big vault will be the relatively dead period from mid-April until the beginning of August.

Football season is just too damn short.

xxxxNateDaGreat

December 26th, 2013 at 4:14 PM ^

I doubt that most recruits would look at one game and make their judgment solely off of that. 8-5 isn't much better than 7-6 and win or lose, recruits will look at all of last season and the upcoming season to make their judgments on where they go.

wolverine1987

December 27th, 2013 at 9:46 AM ^

7-6 is barelty better than .500 and sounds it. 8-5 is three games over and sounds to anyone, like a better season no matter what happened. Just as if a win was the difference between 9-4 and 10-3: 10-3 is WAY better than the one game difference in math. A win won't change the disappointment that was this year, but anyone that says it doesn't matter (the guy above) is simply, wrong.

TwoFiveAD

December 26th, 2013 at 1:37 PM ^

Looking forward to watching Shane out there.   He's practically waited his whole life for the moment.  Hopefully he seizes it.   Really hope we see him step up in the pocket, go through his progressions and hit his 3rd receiver.  If he does this just once, I'll feel semi-decent about the future.

It'll be interesting to see how Schofield holds up.  He'll more than likely be going against the B1G 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year.   You can bet, NFL scouts will be paying close attention.  This game may have bigger implications for him than anyone else.

Spock

December 26th, 2013 at 2:05 PM ^

I am with you. Many people seem annoyed or upset about this, but this is a fairly meaningless bowl game. If Devin were able to play, then of course I want him to, but since he isn't, this is the best scenario - Shane gets much needed experience and Devin gets to heal and look forward to next season.

Magnus

December 28th, 2013 at 7:28 AM ^

I just don't see it with Schofield. I think he might do okay against Mueller because I'm not sure that Mueller is anything special. He's 6'2", 245 lbs. and got a lot of sacks/tackles for loss against a pretty weak schedule in a pass-happy league. Maybe I'm wrong about Schofield, but I don't see a huge difference between him and Mark Huyge.

Mr. Yost

December 26th, 2013 at 2:21 PM ^

I think many of us, myself included, don't have much in the way of expectations.

That to me is when the board goes crazy, when you watch the potential vs. ND and then see the duds in games soon thereafter. When you watch the offense vs. IU and OSU then think about the eggs they laid throughout the year.

There are no expectations with Shane at QB, and don't give me that expectation of a QB at Michigan crap. He's a freshman QB with his first start behind a below average offensive line.

What will drive me bat-shit crazy is if Borges doesn't put him in a chance to succeed. If Borges is calling 7 step drops with multiple reads. If he's rolling him out to his right vs. his left, if he's calling naked PA bootlegs that Gardner always had to pump fake to get around...THEN I'm going to go nuts.

I just want to see what Shane can do and I want to see him put in the best position to win and play well. If he doesn't, oh well, he's a true freshman. But let's just see what happens.

We're in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl after a bad year by our own standards...this isn't us trying to win a B1G Championship or go to the BCS. IMO, it'll be a lot different.

It'll also be 11pm EST. So you'll have the drunks, but plenty of people will be getting ready for bed.

westwardwolverine

December 26th, 2013 at 4:40 PM ^

I agree with everything you said. 

I'm so sick of the fans who say that Michigan fans aren't happy no matter what happens. Or that Michigan fans are only satisfied with an undefeated, national championship season. Sure, there are some people like that, but its a small minority that every major program has in their midst. 

Generally, people are disappointed for legitimate reasons. We were 8-5 last year, but the negativity wasn't nearly as bad as it was this year. Why? Because that was an 8-5 with losses that made sense. Alabama is Alabama. Notre Dame had a great defense (outside of the Alabama game) and ended up in the title game, plus there was a feeling they were due against us. Denard got hurt against Nebraska. We took top 10 teams Ohio State and South Carolina down to the wire. 

This year, its a bad 8-5/7-6. People are right to be mad after games like Penn State, Nebraska and Iowa because those were bad losses to teams that should have been beaten. It was a weak schedule that was set up for us to have at least a 9-3 season and we were lucky to be 7-5. 

Indiana Blue

December 27th, 2013 at 8:55 AM ^

Please remember that this is really nothing more than an exhibition game.  Nothing more than one more win on the resume ... and we are starting a true freshman.  Hell yes I hope Shane has an outstanding game and damn right I want to see a victory .... but bat-shit crazy hit me in the 4th quarter at PSU.  Watching Borges refuse to put his foot on the gas, man coverage on Gallon and Funchess and running time after time into a 9 man box.  NOW THAT WAS THE TIME TO GO BAT-SHIT CRAZY.  Then add Nebraska and Iowa .... because those games actually meant something.

Go Shane and Go Blue!

Farnn

December 26th, 2013 at 1:52 PM ^

Which way did Chesson shake his head?  Was it side to side?  Up and down?  How fast was he shaking it?  What were his eyes doing when he shook his head?  Was he smiling?

GoBLUinTX

December 26th, 2013 at 2:38 PM ^

Chesson has a bit of a smile and he said other's say he might be throwing hard.  My take is that Chesson was saying he was throwing harder than what they were used to and he makes the pass.  Watching the video of Morris practicing, he seems to have cat like quickness to his release.  Very little wind up.  So he's throwing like Dan Marino and his release would make T. Brady proud.  I think we can live with that.

Edit to add.  Morris looked pretty good on what looked like a QB draw play.

harmon98

December 26th, 2013 at 1:58 PM ^

Panic seems a little dramatic. Shane was recruited as a quarterback after all. It's less than ideal to play a true freshman qb in his first start at the Copper Bowl but that's life. Replace "Copper" with "Rose" and I'd panic.

gwkrlghl

December 26th, 2013 at 2:50 PM ^

Kansas State has won 5 of their last 6, we've lost 4 of our last 5 and we're going to be putting in a true freshman QB in his first start. Everything is pointing to a loss.

And you can bet your left nut that the offense is going to be wildly conservative. You think Borges is going to open the playbook with a true freshman QB? Yeah right.

It might be taboo to not believe Michigan will win everything, but we're probably going to lose

CLord

December 27th, 2013 at 9:56 AM ^

He gets to play for an OC who doesn't even have a QB coach, and who had Russell Bellomy so ill prepared, the poor kid embarrassed himself vs Nebraska last year.  Sure Shane has the talent, but I for one would be very surprised if Shade had a great day.  K State is going to pull a page out of MSU/PSU/Nebraska's hat and blitz the heck out of him, and stack the box, and that's the scheme Borges has proven entirely incapable of scheming around.

This game will either be close, or a KState blow out.  Signs point to a loss.  Hope I'm wrong.

westwardwolverine

December 26th, 2013 at 2:11 PM ^

I hope Shane plays well and I hope Michigan wins.

If neither happens, I don't think it really matters in the long run. 

I'm actually kind of happy to go into a Michigan game that has both a low upside and an even lower downside. A win will make me happy, a loss will make me shrug.