Tuesday Presser Transcript 10-23-12: Al Borges

Submitted by Heiko on October 23rd, 2012 at 2:31 PM

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“ ’Sup? What are you shaking your head about?”

I’m laughing at your “Giants and Tigers, it’s on” thing.

“It’s on. I’m fired up.”

Are you a baseball fan?

“Yeah, but not as much now as normal. Just a little more focused on other things, but I’m like anybody else. I like watching Sportscenter.”

What’s the word of the day?

“The word of the day? God. Good question. What’s the word of the day … Hmm. ‘Ear confection.’ Yeah. ‘Ear confection.’ It’s two words, actually. She has an ear confection. That’s what she said. And I’ll be darned if I’m going to correct her. It’s too cute listening to her say it.”

What did you see from the Michigan State film that you liked?

“Oh, certainly wasn’t flashy. But there were some good plays. We played a very close-to-the-vest football game offensively. It was by my own admission conservative. The nice thing about it, as much as we failed inside the red area -- or we could have been better because there were some chances there -- but our quarterback took care of the ball. Other than when it was in essence a meaningless interception at the end of the half. He did play pretty smart. It kept us in the game although it wasn’t flashy. That part I liked, which has shown, the last three weeks particularly, is his growth. About being conscious of taking care of the football, making plays where there are plays, and not trying to create something that’s not there. That was good, and that will help us in the future I think.”

How much of the conservative playcalling was their defense, and how much of it was you playing to your defense?

“Um, probably a little bit of both. We don’t want to get into too much of that, either, where we have to depend on our defense every single game. That’s not fair to the team. But by the same token, you can have what happened at Notre Dame and put them in predicament after predicament. So there’s got to be a balance there somewhere, where you’re still taking your shots and trying to -- and to their credit, they have a great defensive football team. They’ve proven that the last year, the year before, since that regime’s been there, they’ve been a good defensive team. I think it’s a little bit of all of it.”

Getting a couple big running plays -- was that enough to satisfy you?

“No. We needed to run the ball even better. We had some nice plays in there. The biggest thing we had in this game -- I don’t think we’ve had too much of it -- was we had too many tackles for loss, and a couple of them were just simply an inability to block the opponent or safeties crowding the line of scrimmage a couple times or bad play calls. A couple times we ran uphill into a couple plays. Those types of things are always like anything else. The combination of several different things if you just assess the film for every play. We have to eliminate the tackles for loss, because if we’re still working in normal down and idstance, we’ve always got a chance. We’re a good third down team so long as it’s not third down and ten, which we had too many of this game. That was one of our goals was to stay out of that situation as much as we possibly can knowing there were a couple.”

Fitz had lost 16 yards rushing. Was that a combination of those circumstances?

“Yeah. A lot of zone reads. The power reads, they soft played it and bounced back outside and kind of fooled us a little bit and you got tackled. Yeah, and that’s kind of part of the play. That can be kind of a feast or famine play. If they go too outside, the quarterback ducks under and makes a big play, which has happened several times. And then the same play later on, Vince Smith had a long run on [it]. It’s one of those deals. Any time you’re optioning defenders, sometimes if for some reason they fool you a little bit, or they just make a good play, you subject yourself to a little bit of that. It’s well worth it in the end because the big plays can be very big plays.”

MGoQuestion: On Vince’s run from the inverted veer that got 12 yards, was that a designed cutback?

“He ran against the defense. What happened was it was a power read where the end played it soft. He just came back. No, it was not a designed -- it was an instinctive cutback, which is built into the running style of every player.”

MGoFollowup: When Vince cut back, he had Denard as sort of a lead blocker for him. When you looked at how that worked on film, could you consider making that a designed cutback?

“No.”

[email protected][email protected]: No? Okay … All right …

“No. With Denard as a lead blocker? No. He was just being a football player.”

What did you do against Nebraska so effectively last year? How do you expect that to translate to this weekend?

“A couple things came up in the game. Number one, our special teams provided us with some turnovers. That was huge. And then our defense did the same. So we got to play on a short field a few times, which is always -- oh God, I can’t tell you how much that helps. And we get some big plays in the passing game. It seems like any time we do that, we’re very productive offensively. Our point totals are up. It makes the defense play honest generally. The residual is your run game is better. I think that combination, the turnovers, the big plays, the passing game.”

There are times on defense when Nebraska looks really good, and sometimes not so very good. From what you’ve seen on film, is it because they have a lot of missed assignments or because they run a high-risk, high-reward style of defense?

“I don’t think they play a high-risk, high-reward type of defense [Ed-S: According to the one Bo Pelini clinic I watched it's a funnel D--only high-risk if the designated tackler gets run over. Think Michigan D circa 2002.] I think they’re like some defenses. You get yourself out of positions at times. They’re schematically a very sound football team. This head coach is an excellent football coach. He knows where they should be, you know. But just like anything else, we design our offensive plays a certain way. Doesn’t always happen that way. We put ourselves out of position. We don’t block somebody. Somebody makes a play. That’s probably happened to them a few times, but I can promise you from a schematic perspective, they fit all the runs the way they should. They’re basically in the right position most of the time. Their coverage is sound. They don’t do anything that you look and say, ‘Oh my God, we can take advantage of that.’ That’s really not very smart. They don’t do any of that stuff. It’s the way the game goes, is they don’t always do what you tell them to do. We don’t always call the perfect play, so …”

You took some shots against Michigan State. Are those plays that you really need to make in order to be a championship level team?

“Yeah. It’s when you’re a running team, which we really are, there’s always points in the game where you have to have some bombs land or at least put the fear of the good lord in them that they have to play looser. Sometimes maybe it doesn’t even hit, but otherwise it just gets tougher and tougher to run the ball. It becomes a simple numbers game. It doesn’t take a math major to figure out that seven guys can’t block eight, eight can’t block nine. You always have an extra guy in there, and the way you get that guy out of there is to make him play looser because there’s a passing game. When we’ve played best, we’ve done that.”

MGoQuestion: It looked like Michigan State anticipated the conservative playcalling and was sending a lot of run blitzes at you. Were there times when Denard audibled into a better play?

“No. No. We were pretty much going to stick with the plan. There was not going to be a lot of audibling in this game. There was a couple instances where that could have happened, but to say on a consistent basis -- we had designed the plan to block up to handle most of what they did, so we did not want to turn this into a chess game on the line of scrimmage. Because then we’re going to start throwing more passes maybe than we want to throw or put ourselves into more second and ten situations and all that stuff. The plan just wasn’t set up that way. Other plans are. Other plans are different, but not this game. When we’ve lost to this team in the past, and we only have one game, but I think it probably goes beyond our game a year ago, but it was getting sacked, throwing incomplete passes, tackles for loss, you know. So we set our plan up although not as flashy as everybody wants, so that that simply didn’t happen. And it didn’t happen. That’s one of the reasons, one of many reasons -- not the least of which our defense played great -- that we won the game. Now it may not be as pretty as everybody wants, but we are going to do what it takes to win football games here. And if it’s not as pretty as everybody likes, well so be it. That’s how we’re going to coach football. Some games are going to be better than others.”

There was very little rotation with the running backs. How come?

“Yeah, playing in big games, you know. We’re still -- don’t get me wrong -- we’re still looking for opportunities to play Thomas. That’s still on the shelf. But I just think -- and Fitz was running pretty good. He popped through there a few times and darn near broke one. Did break one, didn’t quite take it all the way, but he was starting to feel pretty good about it and we wanted to give him every chance to break another one.”

Are you confident the offense will be able to maintain its composure on the road?

“We’ll find out. We’re going to practice that possibility, put our kids in crowd noise situations, which we do every week. We even do that for home games. We practice crowd noise for home games. But truth be told is you really can’t create that the way it really is. So we’ll find out. We’ll go down there and some adversity will hit, I’m sure, because it does every football game, and we’ll preach to them about how important it is to maintain your composure, and hopefully it’ll take.”

Have you ever been to Lincoln?

“I’ve been to Lincoln twice, but not coaching there. I’ve been just visiting there. I visited their staff when I was at UCLA. I think we had a recruit there a few years back when I was at Boise, so I’ve been to Lincoln. I’ve been around the facilities. I knew the coaches of the former regime. I know some of the coaches on this one, too, but I’ve never coached there.”

Do you think it will be harder than coaching in South Bend?

“I don’t know. I don’t know. I haven’t been there. I’ve been in so many hostile environments, what with coaching here and coaching in the SEC. It really doesn’t matter. It just matters how our kids respond, you know. But they're seasoned now. We’ve been around the block on these things a little bit, and the quarterback, some of the key positions, have been around the block, so hopefully we’ll handle it well.”

It’s not easy to win games without scoring a touchdown, but what does it say about this team that you did that?

“Well, it’s like I said, it goes back to simply you do what it takes to win the game. Sometimes it’s just not as pretty as you want. It happened in the Sugar Bowl. Same thing. We didn’t play well at all. But we found a way to make a play when we needed to make a play, and that’s what happened the other night. I can just remember a lot of games like that. I remember when I was at Auburn, we beat Florida back in -- I guess it was ’06 or ’05. I don’t remember anymore [Ed-S: '06] .We didn’t score a touchdown, but we ran 70-something, 78 or 79 plays. They ran 50-something plays. It wasn’t very pretty. It wasn’t ugly, but it wasn’t very pretty. We didn’t score a touchdown. I think we returned a punt or blocked a punt for a touchdown. I don’t remember. But we did what we had to do to win the game, and we converted some key third downs. We held onto the ball. It doesn’t go with the trend of football now. The trend of football now is get on the line of scrimmage, go as fast as you can go, run as many plays as you can, get 500 yards, and see if you can outscore your opponent. I said last week, we haven’t bought into that here. We’re going to play the way we play because we want to have a nice, balanced effort. So it’s not always as flashy as everybody would like.”

Does that perception reflect reality? When you look at the top five, three or four of them don’t run up tempo offenses…

“But some of the fast tempo teams are winning, though. Oregon’s pretty good. But it’s how you decide you want to play. How do you want to win? No one says you can’t win doing it that way. You can. But we aren’t going to do that here. We feel like we can recruit and coach good defense here and recruit and coach good offense. We don’t need to play that way to win. And that’s what we’re going to do. That being said, we can facilitate up tempo offense. We can do that. Be able to do that within our scheme, but it’s just not how we choose to go about it. There’s a lot of ways to skin a cat.”

MGoQuestion: How would you evaluate how you ran the two-minute drill at the end of the game?

“I thought they did an outstanding job. Outstanding job. We always go over that again and see where clock management or were there any issues, and we didn’t really see anything. The only thing [is] I wish we wouldn’t have caught that one pass, you know. We had to use a timeout, but all the instincts of the player is to catch the pass, and I understand that, but that aside, I think we got into a second down and when we threw the route to Drew, and then we killed the ball with … how much time was left when he kicked it? 11 [seconds]?”

Nine.

“Nine? Yeah. So it turned out pretty good for the most part.”

What about your little guy Drew. He had a pretty good day.

“Mmhmm. What’d I tell you guys?”

You said you could eat soup off the top of his head.

“Well I can. Gallon, too. There’s somebody else -- oh, Norfleet. I forgot him. He’s another one. They heard the press conference and all of them reminded me of all the short guys on the team. I told you the other day, if you want something done to send Drew. Because Drew tends to get it done. And he got it done in this game. He made several clutch catches. That’s just him. That’s what he does, and we ask him -- he has a role within our team. He just executes it usually pretty good. He nags [Ed: Maybe I misheard him, but I think he said ‘nags’] at the other team not necessarily by making a lot of big plays, but by making a lot of little plays. I’m a baseball fan so I compare him to David Eckstein. You remember David Eckstein? What does he do? He hits when you need hits. He doesn’t bat very high, but he helps his team win. So he’s kind of the David Eckstein of football. To me, anyway. That probably doesn’t make sense to anyone else, but it makes sense to me.”

So who ya got in the World Series?

“Where am I from?”

Where do you live?

(MGoOooohSnap.)

“Where am I from? Territorial loyalty. I grew up with Willie Mays. Willie McCovey. Orlando Cepeda. Gaylord Perry. Juan Marichal. I think that answers that question.”

How many games?

“No predictions. I won’t give you predictions here, and I won’t give you predictions there, because you’ll hold me up as soon as I do. I do like the Tigers, though. I will say that, but not in this series.”

Comments

readyourguard

October 23rd, 2012 at 2:43 PM ^

Well, his comments seem to go hand in hand with everything that was discussed in the Predicatbility thread.   Conservative by nature, protect the ball, play to their defense AND our defense, no audibles - even if there's an uncovered slot.

PurpleStuff

October 23rd, 2012 at 4:54 PM ^

Nobody with half a brain is upset that the gameplan was too conservative.  Throwing quick passes to attack the flat when a team is not respecting/covering the guys you keep trotting out at wide receiver (if instead we were putting more tight ends and blockers into the game this would not be the issue it is) is not a conservative/aggressive distinction (the throws are quite safe and probably less risky than an option pitch or a halfback pass we have no problem calling and certainly less dangerous than chucking it down the field).  It isn't a spread/pro distinction (USC throws quick WR screens all the time).  It isn't an audible/don't distinction (you could just call the play and teach Denard to run if it isn't open).

This is about keeping defenses honest with a simple series of plays that can be called from time to time and that for whatever reason we never seem to call.  By not calling those plays, our offensive coordinator is making everyone's life harder on every other play because teams are able to both overload to stop the run and clog passing lanes down the middle of the field while also playing well off our wide receivers on the perimeter. 

08mms

October 23rd, 2012 at 4:58 PM ^

What scares me is if this no-audible thing is a Borges thing and not a Borges coaching Denard thing.  I understand that every qb has a different skill-set, but without the ability to check into counters our offense is always going to be glacially tempo-ed, inflexible and likely pretty eash for talented and adaptive defenses to throttle.  

NYC Blue

October 23rd, 2012 at 8:53 PM ^

I would not be too worried.  According to what Borges said in the presser, it is neither a Borges thing, nor a Borges coaching Denard thing, but a Borges coaching Denard agains MSU thing. 

He said there are some gameplans that involve lots of audibles, but other gameplans that are light on audibles.  Presumably that is based on things he sees in the defensive scheme he is facing and the capabilities of his offense.

 

Reader71

October 23rd, 2012 at 11:59 PM ^

Last year, Borges tried to open up the offense, go against tendency, and use the pass on early downs to set up the run. In fact, Michigan had 20 first downs in last year's game, and they ran pass plays on 15 of them. Twice they were sacked, leading to awful situations on second down. Once they were intercepted and returned for a touchdown, essentially ending the game. Four times were the passes completed, one going for a touchdown. One resulted in a roughing the passer penalty, which gave us another first down.

Last year's gameplan was derided as on of the worst in the history of organized activity. This year's game plan was a direct response to that game. A year ago, you complained about the lack of early down running, as it had us in 2nd and long all day. This year, we tried early down running, and ended up in 2nd and longs anyways. Two reasons: first, our offensive line isn't capable of simply moving good defensive players out of the way and second, good defenses don't generally just get moved out of the way.

Make up your minds! Do you want us to run more often on early downs (I don't think so, or else you'll be comparing this offense to the run-run-pass-punt of the DeBord era) or throw more on early downs (it sounds great until we go 4/15 on first down with a TD and a pick-6). Stop second guessing everything! If you've got the answers, post a hypothetical game plan before the game, replete with tendencies (offensive and defensive), personnel info, and rationale.

In short, our quarterback is not a good passer of the football. This is true even when the defense is in stop-the-run-at-all-costs mode ala last season on early downs. He frequently makes terrible decisions. He is a great rusher of the football, but even that is less true against good defenses, as we've seen for 2+ seasons.

I'm not saying Borges' gameplan was great. But it is about the best we can do with Denard at QB. Limit mistakes, keep the game close against a team with a good defense/bad offense. Had we done this against Notre Dame, we might have won. Had we done this against State last season, we almost certainly would have won, particularly since all of the passing was in a trash tornado.

dragonchild

October 24th, 2012 at 10:55 AM ^

"Last year's gameplan was derided as on of the worst in the history of organized activity. This year's game plan was a direct response to that game."

Great, so Borges is playing last year's game.  He's only an entire regular season behind the DCs he's paid to outsmart.  That's reassuring.

"Make up your minds! Do you want us to run more often on early downs or throw more on early downs"

Well if we're breaking plays down to "run" and "throw" we've already lost, because that's 5th-grader football.  He needs to throw them and run them where they ain't, and run various plays out of the same formations & motions designed to keep defenses honest.

The problem is that Borges is about as deceptive as an outdoor barbeque; you can smell it before you see it.  He runs play actions off runs that don't work and counters to plays we don't even run.  He cycles through attacks like a SquareEnix mini-boss regardless of how the defense is aligned, and when they align in MURDERDEATHKILL, he doesn't let Denard audible.  The defense is tipped off to every single thing he does.  And when every single step of every defender is in the direction your play is going from the snap, we could have the Giants' offensive line and it won't matter.  Don't ANYONE give me that BS about how he's got so much "experience".  Heiko has basically cornered him into admitting he's not running certain plays for no other reason than he just doesn't want to.  Well, if there's one thing I've learned in the real world, it's that experience is no cure for stubbornness.

stephenrjking

October 23rd, 2012 at 2:51 PM ^

I remember that Auburn win over Florida. To be honest, that era of Auburn football is what really gives me the willies about Borges at Michigan; they just weren't that impressive on offense. The game he's referring to was a defensive slobberknocker.

Now, Borges seems to know what he's doing, and the conservatism is a conscious choice, so I guess I'll give him that... but Brian's PP on him this morning was just devastating. 

I guess they've decided they just can't trust Denard to move the football consistently through the air and they won't take any risks that way. I suppose I understand, but it's frustrating to watch and it could cost us this weekend.

NorCalGoBloo

October 23rd, 2012 at 2:55 PM ^

Why you no like chess?

I mean I get not wanting to let the other team force you into throwing when you're not maybe the best at throwing. but if you defiantly stick with a run and it's a predictable TFL then you're passing on 2nd and 12 anyway, right? Why not pass when you have a chance to defeat the run blitz?  Seems like the odds of executing that pass are better than 2nd/3rd and long.

I hope this is more a function of Denard's comfort or some other aspect of this game/team than Borges's stubbornness, because it's going to be tough sledding against elite teams with that kind of attitude.

jg2112

October 23rd, 2012 at 3:10 PM ^

Because a run blitz could eventually get to the QB who has a history of ill-advised interceptions and decision-making when under pressure.

There is the concept of "trust your defense and live to fight another day." Watch a SEC game sometime. This is what happens.

colin

October 23rd, 2012 at 2:58 PM ^

Well that pretty much answers that.  And I doubt Al made that gameplan decision just by himself.  JeepinBen's comment in the Picture Pages post nailed it:

The coaching meetings all week were probably "This team can't score on us. Don't fuck it up."

Or Al saying "Hey Greg, how many do you need tonight?"

"12 should do, Al"

"Sounds good"

reshp1

October 23rd, 2012 at 2:58 PM ^

I wasn't exactly thrilled with the game Al called, but I do find it kinda funny that he's getting slammed for doing exactly what he was criticised for not doing during the Alabama and to a lesser extent, the Notre Dame game. Instead of using Denard in a way he's not particularly effective to exploit the way defenses were biasing against the run, Al decided to be conservative and run what we do best regardless of what the defense was showing. It may be the pendulum swung too far, but it's hard to blame him for being conservative when the defense is doing it's part and then some. I thought he did some things that got us RPS+ situations such as that screen pass that was a diving tackle away from breaking big, and clearly he saw weakness against the underneath routes Dileo and some of the other slot guys were running. He seemed to go away from that a bit towards the end though. Hopefully, now that he's called both extremes now, he can find a happier medium going forward for the rest of the season.

mpbear14

October 23rd, 2012 at 3:42 PM ^

And that is the most frustrating part about it all.

This staff game plans for each opponent.  You work on the game plan all week in practice then you go out and try to execute it. 

MSU never gave us a reason to get cute on offense because their offense couldn't do squat on our defense. 

mpbear14

October 23rd, 2012 at 4:23 PM ^

And if Devin holds on to the ball and if Gallon isn't under thrown by 10 yards and if  and if and if

We were in the game to the end, with a chance to win it and we won it.  This staff calls a game plan that ultimately gives us a chance to win every game in the 4th quarter save Alabama.

Too often you forget the depleted talent Al is working with on the offensive side of the ball.

 Maybe a better way to look at it is, who on this offense would start on any Michigan team in the past 20 years before RR?  Lewan and maybe Denard in the slot but more than likely Denard as a cornerback...

Pretending as if an alternative strategy would have given us a rock soild win is also stupid especially considering we have tried the alternative and have failed miserably.

michgoblue

October 23rd, 2012 at 5:20 PM ^

I actually don't think that Brian is looking at it in the way you say that he is.  We all (I think, including Brian) get that the talent is (1) not up to standards, and (2) not the type that Al is proficient in coaching. 

There is simply no rock solid game plan with this offensive unit.  Our best two receivers are under 5'9", and the rest are (1) a slot receiver who has struggled to get separation and who often has iffy hands (Roy), (2) a converted QB who is a physical beast but who has zero technique and is still learning how to run a route, block and catch over his shoulder, and (3) air.  At RB, we have tried 5 different guys, and none can seem to do much consistently.  Fitz can't seem to get up field, the coaching staff obviously doesn't trust Rawls in big games yet, ditto Hayes, V. Smith is actually my choice just for his blocking and hands, but we have all seen his limitations, and Fleet is just too small to run every down.  Our line is holding up ok, but the pass protection against decent teams is really not allowing Denard time to set and throw consistently (see ND debacle).  And while Fuchess is a beast, our current TEs are a beast freshman who is too thin to block effectively, a big freshman who is not a receiving threat, and an upperclassman who is just a guy.  Finally, at QB, we have one of the most talented athletes in the country, but one who has shown over three years that (1) his decision making is a consistent problem, (2) has limitations in terms of accuracy, (3) often makes poor reads, and (4) is just not capable of punishing people consistently through the air.

Look , we may no all love ever playcall from Borges, but given what he is working with, I think that he is doing a great job. 

PurpleStuff

October 23rd, 2012 at 5:50 PM ^

Denard Robinson is the best running QB in college football history.  He was voted the top offensive player in the Big Ten as a true sophomore and finished #6 in the Heisman voting.  Roy Roundtree came into this season as the active leader in receiving yards in the Big Ten.  Fitz rushed for over 1,000 yards last year.  Jeremy Gallon put up over 100 yards receiving against ALABAMA!!!  The linemen are three 5th year seniors and two RS Juniors.  Four of them have started before on teams that were quite successful offensively the last two years.  Four of them were 4-star recruits coming out of high school. 

Not scoring a single touchdown in two games (one at home against a 4-4 team that will be lucky to make a bowl game) with a bunch of upperclassmen who (save Omameh who has started since the end of his RS Freshman season) were all blue-chip recruits and have had loads of success throughout their careers and blaming it on a lack of talent is just silly.

Ron Utah

October 24th, 2012 at 1:17 AM ^

I would trade Roundtree AND Gallon for Braylon, Manningham, Breaston, Terrell, Walker, or basically any of our #1s pre-RR.

Don't get me wrong--I love Gallon and Roundtree--but they are nowhere near the players we've had in the past at the position.

dragonchild

October 24th, 2012 at 11:10 AM ^

"There is simply no rock solid game plan with this offensive unit."

Of course not.  If there was we wouldn't need an OC.

The problem isn't that he's getting bad results with good talent.  The problem is that he's not getting results that could be expected from the talent he has.  No one is saying this team has the talent to just line up and shred defenses.  If anything, that's what makes scheme all the more important.  We NEED Borges to be unpredictable precisely because we don't have that talent!  For better or worse, these guys are Team 133, and frankly I wouldn't trade any.  They're a great bunch, but they need their OC to use them effectively.  You know that last pass to Dileo?  That wasn't Borges.  That was Dileo, and Denard.  He ran his route to nowhere, but Denard hadn't passed or fallen yet, so he kept going and got open.  In the 4th quarter.  At home, losing against a rival, with 18 seconds left on the clock.  WHERE.  WAS.  BORGES.

When undertalented players who are trying their hearts out are being left on these goddamn islands by an OC who REFUSES to learn the spread, it breaks my heart.  It leads to incredible moments where you see a short receiver create something from nothing, but it also leads to a running QB trying to create with his arm and killing himself for two weeks, or a frustrated running back constantly slamming his head into a wall.  And every time Borges leads this scrappy crew that would follow him all the way to hell like loyal dogs right into a trap the Pied effin' Piper would blush at, I seethe that he has the gall to blame their failures on execution.

imafreak1

October 23rd, 2012 at 4:35 PM ^

Questioning and discussion are always good and fun and a nice way to pass the time.

However, I think that the questioning cannot be based on the assumption that there was some plan that would have guaranteed a rock-solid win. I don't think your post does that but often times the comments seemed aimed in that direction.

MSU played a very good game and had some good fortune. Under those circumstances, is a close win a bad result?

It looked to me like Michigan played with a monkey on their backs, similar to OSU last season. That makes things tougher.

bml

October 23rd, 2012 at 4:47 PM ^

get 325 yards and no turnovers vs. 250 yards and 2 turnovers last year. And with what, 17 points left on the field (Gardner, Gallon, penalties post-Denard breakout run)? It does sometimes seem like you're comparing him to a Tacopants playcaller who gets 500 yards a game, every game.

MGoNY

October 24th, 2012 at 6:45 AM ^

waiting for brian to tell you what questions to ask at the next press conference? maybe you should just record brian asking the question and play it to the coaches. i hope brian buys you flowers on secretary's day.

FreddieMercuryHayes

October 23rd, 2012 at 3:02 PM ^

Well it does make me feel a little bit better if he realized there were open checks, but then just decided 'F it, defense will win this for us'.  At least it's not ignorance in how to run an offense.  Stubborness perhaps, but he is correct in that they wanted to avoid a last year's MSU game performance.  Hell if we had this game plan against ND, we may have won that one.

M-Dog

October 23rd, 2012 at 9:02 PM ^

It almost did not work.  That game was a coin flip.  We could easily have lost.  Then we would have been questioning the lack of a single touchdown.

I'm oversensitive because I'm afraid of going back to the days of punting on the 36 yard line ala OSU '05, and running the back straight into a stacked line to no avail ala USC Rose Bowl '07.

Hopefully it was just a read of how bad MSUs offense was . . . get to double digit points and you win, so why take any risks?  That won't work against Nebraska or OSU however.