Unverified Voracity Is Talking Like This

Submitted by Brian on September 1st, 2008 at 4:14 PM

Site note: UFRs will be Wednesday/Thursday going forward; every year I suggest they will be Tuesday/Wednesday and am forcibly disabused of this idea the firs week. Also, I miss Joel A. Morgan’s cartoons and am accepting submissions for random inclusion into UFR. It’s like the New Yorker: you submit stuff and sometimes I post it when it strikes my fancy. Except I don’t pay you.

O Do Not Forsake Me. Jerry Green is officially one thousand years old:

Michigan opened its celebrated anti-tradition era with its heavily publicized modern-style offense looking as though it were conducting a fire drill.

By that, I mean helter-skelter, willy-nilly and putt-putt!

Glabdanged frozzmatozz put that in your pipe and smoke it boy howdy I got an Indian nickel lets get a phosphate at the druggist this qualifies as a sentence in a major newspaper these days.

Later, Green uses “newfangled” without a hint of irony:

So what's different, other than this newfangled offense that made Rodriguez such a coveted football coach?

Well, it's now tradition-be-damned at Michigan!

I didn’t even know you could do that. I also didn’t know you could use exclamation points helter-skelter, willy-nilly, and putt-putt!

Green is a weird mix of Grandpa Simpson and T. Herman Zweibel; the above-linked column is a must-read if only for its antiquated strangeness. I mean:

On the sideline, Threet and David Cone and then the replaced Sheridan wigwagged the signals to the quarterback of the moment. Assistant coaches in headsets, connected by wire to play-callers up above, translated the plays into the code for the semaphore artists.

These things are newfangled: wigwagging(?), connecting things to other things by telegraph, and signaling plays into the sideline. Also newfangled: the horseless carriage, fire, and the atmosphere. Don’t get proper views of the night sky anymore with all that nitrogen in the way back in my day we had proper views and also we were prokaryotes someone bring me my cranberry juice.


Green circa 2.5 billion years ago


The invaluable Smart Football might be posting at a more regular rate, and lets hope so, because

When Rodriguez got to Tulane with Tommy Bowden they threw the ball over the place, but (a) it was in Conference USA, (b) they were excellent at the 3-step passing game, but defenses are better at defending against those passes now than they were a decade ago, and (c) his downfield passing game left something to be desired. And in the years since, it's not that Rodriguez is at heart a running guy, it's just that was what worked and it masked some of the passing game deficiencies. When I study the route combinations, they do not appear to be designed conceptually, and instead are a kind of grab-bag of a few routes here or there. You don't see his schemes organized of horizontal, vertical, and triangle stretches.

…this is about the most interesting thing anyone’s said about him since he was hired at Michigan.

The upside:

Now, Rodriguez's saving grace is I've seen him in action, and he's an excellent fundamentals coach and is a great teacher. And I think he understands all these things - I mean the guy did exploit the zone-read spread stuff before anyone else - but hasn't had the chance to reexamine his offense with such a critical eye. This season, to be successful, I believe he will have to.

Being successful this season will rest less on the pass routes and more on reducing the overall Yakety Sax vibe, IMO, but down the road this will be something to look out for. Click the link for what Smart Football means by “conceptual” pass routes.

This worked out. The “Victors Walk” was a neat addition to a football Saturday:

A ton of schools do this for good reason; glad to see we’re amongst them. I hope the former letterwinners are included in the walk when Michigan does the thing where they bring back a bunch of old dudes for the Tunnel Of History.

Perception is a weird thing. Dr. Saturday, nee SMQ, on the defense:

If there's anything good to take away for the Wolverines, it's that the defense, overall, lived up to its hype. Brian Johnson shredded it for 260 yards and a couple touchdowns in the first half -- he only topped 260 yards in an entire game once in '07 -- but if you were too distracted by the offensive horrifics on the other side to notice, the Utes' second half production amounted to two first downs and six total yards. If not for the towering leg of Kicking-and-Punting Messiah Louis Sakoda, who hammered home the eventual winning margin on a 54-yarder after the Utes went three-and-out from the Michigan 40, it would have been a shut out. It was dominating, anyway, and there's some promise in that. Just some, though, not enough to raise expectations beyond the Champs Sports Bowl.

I don’t see how you can just dismiss the shredding handed out, as it’s clear evidence of a glaring weakness in the linebacker corps and something between inexperience and Cato June at safety. The overall performance graded out to “slightly disappointing,” as you’d hope Michigan scoring 23 points would be enough for victory. It would have been if not for that little kicker guy, but only just.

The second half was very encouraging and it’s better to have Michigan suddenly get its act together late—hopefully that straight 4-3 we saw against the spread is permanently junked—than come out storming and fall apart; I am still a bit leery of the unit. Notre Dame will be interesting.

Meanwhile, an even more mystifying reaction: “Michigan needs to get creative”:

A buzz went through the crowd on the first offensive play of the Rich Rodriguez era, as Michigan quarterback Nick Sheridan deftly shuffled the ball to Martavious Odoms cutting across the field.

As the fans howled, Odoms gained three yards. No cloud of dust could be spotted from the press box, but it might as well have been there.

As far as creativity went, the first play was about as good as it got for Michigan on Saturday. So were the results.

To call the Wolverines' offense vanilla would be an insult to the term. Rodriguez came to Michigan as an offensive innovator, but his playbook might as well as been a pamphlet against Utah.

?!?!?!? Martavious Odoms is a tiny freshman slot receiver who received a shovel pass counter on the first play of the game. About the only thing that could have been less Lloyd Carr would have been a double-reverse trick pass. And I submit there’s a limited amount of creativity you can install into a gameplan when you have no quarterbacks who have ever taken a college snap, one returning OL starter, and freshmen everywhere at the skill positions. Rodriguez was busy getting them to run the right way and was only 90% successful at that. And there was a fair bit of creativity: the attempts to get Utah leaping offsides, the option here and there, the shocking lack of bubble screens

Etc.: Braves & Birds weighs in; Varsity Blue breaks the numbers down a bit; the WLA is cranky at you, not the team; Carty is like the only guy who doesn’t have a “Don’t leap to conclusions BUT” paragraph; MVictors has the circle of death, plus a picture of a dejected Scott Shafer


Michigan Arrogance

September 1st, 2008 at 4:37 PM ^

i heard from the Karsch show that the RR offense was as vanilla as it gets. the paraphrased quote was along the lines of 'the offense needs to become more complete b/c we're too easy to scout.'

now, vanilla in this offense != vanilla in LCs offense, but nonetheless...

The Other Brian

September 1st, 2008 at 4:46 PM ^

For some reason I can't comment on the Monday Recruitin' post ("page cannot be found" errors), but Brennan Williams hasn't dropped Michigan yet. Rivals caught up with his dad, and he directly refuted the article where a top 3 not including UM is named.


September 1st, 2008 at 5:10 PM ^

So, I am in the market for a new car.....should I instead look into buying one of those new fangled horse carriage thingies!?!?!?  Is the only way to buy one of those young whipper snapper dewhickies going to one of those Googly sites on the computer?

Ellipses Man

September 1st, 2008 at 6:06 PM ^

I was waiting for some journalist to comment on the pre game music. Whoever does the pre game music(yeah you Barwis) can we cut this guy out:


I can live with the AC/DC. The Lenny Kravitz song,"Running," was ok. But highly ironic considering the yards per carry.

Also to the PA AV guys and gals. I liked the new vids but playing them at the right moment would help. In that I am Michigan video or whatever it was.The guys looked dejected(who were in the video) as it played because we were down when it was played. Would've been nice to see that one AFTER the first TD.



September 1st, 2008 at 7:22 PM ^

Did the game really have to start with "Thunderstruck"?  Seriously?  "Thunderstruck"?  Yuck.

I, for one, would advocate that all of your posts
from now on include "PUTT PUTT!" at some point.


September 1st, 2008 at 10:39 PM ^

I'm a little disgusted by the general level of negativity coming from the local media. I wouldn't blame the staff one bit if they started to tell these guys to fuck off.


September 1st, 2008 at 11:23 PM ^

1) We do seem to suck but Utah does not so maybe there's some hope in that.

2) Than God Sparty lost. Hopefully that will dampen some of their smack this week.

3) The Champps Sports bowl would be awesome this year.

4) The Circle of Death was totally sweet. 


September 2nd, 2008 at 7:39 AM ^

Regardless of what the press says, we are not very good now.  The OL is awful and the QBs are awful.  We are probably going to have a true frosh starting at QB next year which means we won't be very good next year either.


September 2nd, 2008 at 8:47 AM ^

I thought Green was dead.

The local media might negative, but Jim Carty is surprisingly fair and balanced.

Ironic that RR should get his first coaching victory at Michigan against Bo's alma mater and first coaching job.

After hearing all preseason that Shafer was going to run an aggressive defense, it was puzzling to see the very same Charmin-soft coverage over the middle that Lloyd was so fond of. Too bad it took Shafer an entire half to figure that maybe a more aggressive stance was necessary.

While certainly I'd rather have had a victory, in a very real sense we would not have deserved to win given how we played. I'm not one for silver linings, but maybe losing will be valuable in the long term as the players will not have learned the wrong lesson. You can't play like ass for half the game in the B10 and expect to win very many games.

Ellipses Man

September 2nd, 2008 at 9:27 AM ^

It's actually funny and weird. When I tailgate this week it should be even weirder. The crowd identity should slide into the obscure and pessimistic. The team(coaches and players) expectations should as well. Which will yield even more season oddities. The pressure is definately off us and on whomever we play to make sure they do in fact beat Michigan. The next two weeks really will be fun. You have to think win-win or we have the ability to win both games. Am I right there? I think so. Even Wisconsin, I mean they have PJ Hill but still, we can compete. All in All it could be get even weirder from here on in. I say that because now there's this ominous feeling that the bottom could drop out at any time or we could score a crapload in just a few short minutes. Or both. By the way, anyone know the Yards-after-catch stats or where I can find them? MGOBLUE just has receiving stats


September 2nd, 2008 at 11:29 AM ^

If the o-line can play a little, Threet (or Sheridan) will be a functional QB. 

There is going to be a steep learning curve with all of the inexperience on offense.  I suspect that we will look far better against Miami for two reasons: one, Utah is a pretty good team and better than Miami, and two, What did anyone expect of freshmen in their first game?  They looked like freshmen.  I'm surprised that there was only one fumble between the QB and the RB on an option read.  An understanding needs to be delveoped between both players as to what is going to happen in each situation.  With so many RBs and QBs getting snaps, this chemistry will take some time.

If the OL comes together to the point where we can run and take some pressure off of the QB, we will go to a bowl game.  If not, it will be a very long season. 


September 2nd, 2008 at 12:12 PM ^

were you all pleased or disappointed with the snl/christopher walken "i gotta have more cowbell" clip on the big screen? also noticed after the band played don't fear the reaper at the end of the 3rd, the very next song they played was livin on a prayer


September 2nd, 2008 at 12:27 PM ^

More Cowbell on the scoreboards was pathetic.  The skit is played out.  And frankly, there was too much cowbell.  With the band hidden in the corner, all I could hear were the cowbells.  It was rather stupid. 

Ellipses Man

September 2nd, 2008 at 7:42 PM ^

Someone who was sitting by me, maybe a CIS major goes,"Wait did you just See Walken on the scoreboard? I think someone inputted a new Walken virus dude." Although I only saw Walken for like one maybe two seconds. It seemed like a glitch of sorts. Once again, file it away as under construction.