The Verdict Is, Unfortunately, In

Submitted by Brian on October 26th, 2009 at 11:46 AM

10/24/2009 – Michigan 10, Penn State 35 – 5-3, 1-3 Big Ten

kevin-koger-drop

In my memory I have one hazy previous version of that thing from Saturday: I remember James Whitley was returning punts. He'd put a few on the turf here and there already but people were still in the "that's not enough data" phase and willing to give him a chance. On this day, whatever day it was, it was a little wet and Whitley fumbled. And fumbled again. And fumbled again. He finally got yanked and I think his replacement fumbled. I don't remember the opponent or the final score but I do remember that Michigan fumbled 12 times on the day and the stadium had 110,000 people in it who would have set a world record for most eye-rolls at an event if only someone was tracking it.

I don't know if it's a self-preservation technique for my brain, but Saturday's game is almost as hazy as that decade-old debacle. I have to squint to remember anything more specific than a single play on which a tight end drops a pass that Denard Robinson fumbles to a Penn State player who throws to a ridiculously wide open player that a linebacker is attempting, and failing, to cover. On the extra point, David Moosman snaps it through the endzone or something. I think the brain is attempting to prevent itself from getting bashed against the wall. I think the brain is wise to do this.

As the man says, mama said there'd be days like this.

--------------------------------------------------------------

When Michigan had just beaten Notre Dame and it seemed like the Irish were a team destined for an easy BCS bid instead of one that will win or lose on the last play against anyone except Nevada, hopes bloomed across the Wolverine diaspora. Personally, I remember contemplating an Alamo or Outback with Tim on the giggly post-Notre Dame podcast, and that was an explicitly keep-your-pants on sort of prediction.

How are everyone's pants now? Firmly adhered to various bits of your anatomy, I'm guessing. Stayin' there for at least two weeks. Waiting for Michigan to outgain an opponent in a conference featuring letters other than M, A, and C before relaxing to non-tourniquet levels.

So, yeah, Penn State was kind of a comedown. At this point it's undeniable: Michigan isn't good. Though well removed from the nuclear apocalypse they were last year, this is probably the second- or third-worst team at Michigan in 40 years, give or take a 2005 or 1984. That's disappointing after the mirage of the first few games, but it's not surprising. The reasons why have been detailed in this space and many others, before the season and during it: freshman quarterbacks, new defensive coordinator, terrifying defensive depth chart. Preseason predictions of 7-5 factored in the idea that Rodriguez was a good coach in a big hole.

And though Michigan's on pace to meet those expectations, it was the sort of weekend where I studiously avoid the internet for a day afterwards and am then immediately, repeatedly reminded of why when I break the boycott the day after. Many caps, much emotion, etc.  I've got a few emails in the inbox from folks who annoyed the commentariat and got neg-banged under the 20-point threshold at which you can start your own threads, most of which say I can kiss the ass of the user in question*. You've been on the internet. You know. It's always the last thing that happened that will always keep happening forever.

Your personal level of outrage depends on how much blame you apportion to Rodriguez, Carr, Bill Martin (for handing a Carr team to Rodriguez), and/or general bloody-minded fate, and how quickly you think 3-9 turns into a good football team. Ugh. Isn't it tedious to go through this again? Anyone who's read this blog for a while knows it falls—or at least attempts to fall—on the ruthlessly logical side of things, adds this latest game to the pile of data, shifts its opinion a little bit, and continues believing that Rich Rodriguez is a good coach put in a really tough situation.

As Michigan progresses further into the Rodriguez era the amount of blame that can be laid at the feet of people other than the head coach decreases. It's not to the point where much of it is Rodriguez's fault, in my e-pinion. There are many teams that have looked bad with freshman quarterbacks and many more that have looked atrocious starting five underclassmen, one of them a walk-on, on defense. Michigan is in the middle part of the curve here, and if you're pointing to extreme outliers like Paul Johnson and complaining you are purposefully shutting out data that disagrees with your thesis and—well, and here we go again. I argue against the legions of people on the internet who don't like it when Michigan loses and have poor impulse control, the reader agrees for a bit and then gets annoyed that this column is wasting its time on that sort of thing, etc etc etc. We did this last year. A lot.

This is the first time we've done it in 2009, eight games in, and that represents progress of a sort. The progress on the field is equally obvious: hack out the game against Baby Seal U and Michigan is averaging 80 more yards per game than they did last year; they've only gotten throttled once. They haven't lost to a 3-9 MAC team. They beat a team with a winning record. They aren't going to be 3-9 themselves. By the standards of Michigan past this is a disaster of a year, but the only relevant team in relation to this one is 2008. This year is not evidence Rodriguez is a bad coach.

*(Seriously, multiple negbang victims have deployed "kiss my ass" in their emails. Does this signify that most of the victims are of a certain age? I can't imagine anyone under 30 telling someone to do that; the kids these days are more likely to break out the heavy artillery. One very tenuous suggestion that the older you are, the less patience you have. Which, obviously.)

BULLETS

  • Rodriguez bitches, I've got a few:

    I'm fine with deploying Robinson, but Michigan has to be more flexible with him. The difference between second and nine, when a Robinson run is still a plausible threat, and third and nine, when it isn't, is obvious: second down is an open seam that Koger (argh) drops; third down is a horrible interception. Bringing Robinson in is fine—he was effective, the third and long was the result of a penalty and a drop—but once it's a passing down, Forcier's got to come in.

    Aigh spike. I thought the running plays that got Michigan down to first and goal were plausible; I was iffy about the call on first and goal, and disliked the second-down call, but understand that at that point you're really operating at speed and split-second decisions aren't always correct. From the three with the clock running and no timeouts my instinct is to pass because one way or the other the clock stops afterwards. After fumbling, though, a spike with 13 seconds left is pretty maddening. If you're going to run the ball, you have to have a pass play ready to go that you can just call.

    I still think that Rodriguez's game theory stuff is pretty good, far better than Carr's; at least the mistakes he makes are of the quick-decision, (usually) slightly-too-aggressive variety. He didn't punt from the freakin' 33, as JoePa did Saturday and Carr did plenty.

  • Did anyone else have a strangely positive impression of the run game after it was all over? The box score is illuminating: Brown, Minor, and Robinson combine to average 4.3 YPC; Forcier ends up with ten yards on 14 carries because of a lot of sacks. Brown also had a 20 yard run called back for an illegal formation. I'll take that against Penn State; the main problem with the run game this year has been an inability to get Minor and Brown more carries. They should be combining for 35 carries, not 20.
  • Bonus: that was accomplished with Molk missing all but three plays.
  • Meanwhile, Royster had 100 yards but averaged just 3.1 YPC after his 41-yard opener, which I'm pretty sure will be a huge screwup by Jonas Mouton. That's the defense's MO: pretty good physically, doesn't get pushed around consistently, prone to massive breakdowns.
  • I don't think Forcier was nearly as bad as the numbers. He got crushed by drops, which were legion and extremely important. Third and long conversions clattered to the turf after bouncing through people's arms. Those are something close to turnovers in terms of overall negative impact on the game.
  • Also close to turnovers: turnovers. Note that this site's suggested that turnovers are largely random but there are two things that consistently cause them: pressure and inexperienced quarterbacks. Michigan's got plenty of the latter. I expected Michigan to move towards the middle this year but remain somewhat negative. They've not done the former. They're 105th in turnover margin at almost –1 per game.
  • Obi Ezeh's job might be coming under threat. Multiple times in the second half he was pulled for Fitzgerald, first for just one play and then for a few; each time Hopson pulled him aside and explained various things to him. I don't really blame him for the Quarless touchdown; what the hell was Michigan doing send him in man coverage on Quarless without safety help? Was there supposed to be safety help? I don't know.
  • Robinson's tendency to send six or even seven guys on third down is catching up to Michigan. There was the first Moeaki touchdown, on which Iowa had a playcall specifically designed to burn an all-hands blitz, and then there were a couple instances against Penn State where an all-hands blitz was easily anticipated and exploited; Graham Zug was the main beneficiary. That was the main thing that got him open. Careful what you wish for, I guess.
  • What in the hell is with Donovan Warren playing ten yards off the line of scrimmage? Penn State had eight free yards whenever they ran a long. I was iffy on Robinson when he was hired. While I'm willing to give them a chance and it's obvious that there's almost no way this defense could be good, stuff like that and the bubble screen mania against Michigan State are really disturbing. I have no idea what you could be running in which it's a good idea to play your top cornerback so far off the LOS that you're giving Penn State second and two.
  • Not that anyone affiliated with Penn State will notice, but they were the recipient of some questionable calls. Didn't matter, obviously.
  • Cissoko returned and Michigan showed its first semblance of a situational substitution all year: on obvious passing downs he would replace Williams and Woolfolk would drop back to safety.
  • Speaking of Williams: he's basically the only scholarship player left at safety, and I know he was a four-star but you can't just point to one high-rated recruit and claim things should be better; recruits don't always pan out. To really be assured of talent at a position you need two or three high-rated guys, or at least veterans.
  • The play on which Donovan Warren was shoved into Junior Hemingway needs to be a penalty. As we saw, it's dangerous as hell. Kick catch interference should extend to people you're blocking into the returner.

Comments

bouje

October 26th, 2009 at 12:46 PM ^

Everything is situational so you're saying that under these circumstances Denard should not come in:

1. (God forbid) Tate gets hurt
2. Tate has another Iowa game where he is making poor reads/decisions
3. We bring in Denard do the roll-out run/pass option with slant and crossing routes and 1 deep out.

I think that it is terrible to throw him under the bus like you are.

ThWard

October 26th, 2009 at 12:54 PM ^

I'd ban the use of the phrase "throw him under the bus."

Suggesting that Tate is better equipped at this stage of Denard/Tate's careers for 3rd and long success isn't throwing anyone under the bus. Geezus. Further, only an unreasonable, tortured interpretation of the point would lead you to conclude that I (Brian, or Jamie Mac) are saying Denard should not come in if Tate gets hurt. Pointing out exceptions to every point is a pedantic, intellectually pointless process.

bouje

October 26th, 2009 at 1:21 PM ^

"He should not play another 3rd & long this season, unless Michigan is up by 4 TDs (hard to see that happening), and the play can be regarded as a "teaching down"."

I was responding to this quote which is indeed throwing Denard under the bus. Especially when he says later that "I would rather see Sheridan in on 3rd and Long".

To say "he should never see another 3rd and long unless it's conceded as a teaching down" is throwing a kid under the bus.

oakapple

October 26th, 2009 at 1:36 PM ^

"This season." Saying that a true freshman isn't ready isn't throwing him under the bus. In most programs with normal depth, he would be redshirted. Pat White was redshirted.

Contrary to what you are saying, I am in fact suggesting that he be given the best opportunity to succeed.

wolverine1987

October 26th, 2009 at 1:48 PM ^

This guy is right, and he's not being overly critical. The original Brian comment was about maximizing the team chances of success by utilizing the best player possible for that situation. It is a simple fact that the best player for a pass is Tate, and it is not throwing Denard under the bus to say that we believe on any clear pass situation he should not be in this season.

oakapple

October 26th, 2009 at 12:55 PM ^

I am just asking the question: At what point do you have enough evidence to assess realistically what he does well? He should still play plenty. He just shouldn't play on 3rd & long.

If Forcier is injured, I suspect Nick Sheridan would be better on 3rd & long. Robinson's upside is obviously much higher, but Sheridan has the better passing skills at this moment.

Your suggestion of "the roll-out run/pass option with slant and crossing routes and 1 deep out" is a play that, unless I am mistaken, Robinson has never completed in a game, unless it was Delaware State.

bouje

October 26th, 2009 at 1:15 PM ^

I remember seeing that as one of the only passes that he could complete. From the IOWA UFR:

O44 2 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout hitch Stonum 9

2 of the plays that went for>5 yards passing was this rollout hitch play. So while it's not a rollout slants it's similar.

I think that Robinson would be a better option than Sheridan on Third and Long. Do you not remember last year? I'd be completely fine with Robinson on 3rd and longs doing a roll out with all short outs with the option to throw or run. It plays to his strengths.

wvBYUblue

October 26th, 2009 at 1:08 PM ^

I think that people want to see more creativity with Denard. Instead of him coming in to run up the middle or off-tackle or hand the ball off, they want to see him split out wide or run the option, but something on the field at the same time as Tate.

Personally, I would like to see him run the little pitch play they had going on against Iowa.

Since I think that Rich is a good coach there's probably a reason why they aren't doing this, and I look forward to much wizardry next year utilizing his speed.

But having Denard run in and out of series, bringing the play in from the sidelines would be a good development as far as keeping the opposing defense guessing, IMHO.

WolverBean

October 26th, 2009 at 5:32 PM ^

I think we'd all like to see more creative formations/plays for Denard that take maximum advantage of his talents and create maximum confusion or mismatches for the defense. But it's not at all hard to figure out why we haven't seen anything like this yet: Rodriguez's priority for Robinson is for DRob to learn the offense from the QB position. Installing exciting new formations takes practice reps away from learning the basic QB spot (and also takes reps from the regular sets for the other players on the offense, many of whom are also fairly inexperienced). Given that Tate's shoulder is already dinged up, it makes sense to focus for now on turning Robinson into an every-down QB: we're always only one hit away from needing him in exactly that role. I suspect that as Robinson matures and learns more of the offense (read: next year or after), the coaches will feel more comfortable spending valuable practice time on extra wrinkles to take advantage of his talents.

Kevin Holtsberry

October 26th, 2009 at 12:37 PM ^

Is less "They are what we thought they were." And more here is why I think we can still beat IL, Purdue, WI, OSU, etc. Or why we seemed to compete with Iowa at Iowa despite five turnovers and yet get blown out by Penn State at home. What was the difference and what does it mean for teams like WI and OSU?

I understand that there are lot of folks going with the OMG!!! type reaction but can we move on to a better understanding of where this team is? I fully expect Brian to provide this in the coming days.

I too have a gut feeling that Forcier is getting a lot of blame for poor blocking and dropped passes - not getting first downs kills the momentum and rhythm - but is his injury serious or not?

I look forward to the UFRs.

jamiemac

October 26th, 2009 at 12:37 PM ^

I apologoze to the entire board for whipping everybody's confidence up. I thought the team was ready for this. But, PSU proved me wrong. I was impressed with their play.

That said, I disagree some with Brian that we are not a good team. We're a good team. A bowl team. One that can win its bowl game, even.

But, we are not good enough yet to just walk right in and play a top-15 team, elite conference brethern, and get away with playing sloppy and expect to be there in the end. Penn State was strong, more seasoned and they played like it. We are young and still learning. And played like it. That outcome sucked, but we're still going in the right direction.

I was disappointed in the game, but not discouraged.

Like Brian said in his post, we're headed directly into the 7 win projection we all had in the summer.

I am still enjoying the hell out of watching this team grow and improve. They still HAVE A LOT TO ACHIEVE this season.

Let's remember, this is the year we're supposed to learn how to have fun again watching UM football. Let's not let one poor game over the weekend ruin what will amount to a pretty good bounce back season.

Engin77

October 26th, 2009 at 12:59 PM ^

no apology necessary.
Iowa won at PSU 21-10.
M lost at Iowa 28-30, despite five turnovers and less than stellar defense.
Soooo, if M limits the turnovers and makes some modest progress on defense, M beats PSU. No logic flaws there.
After seeing Saturday's game, its pretty clear that Iowa's win at PSU was the outlier.

ThWard

October 26th, 2009 at 1:04 PM ^

Any talk about limiting Denard on passing plays isn't throwing the kid under the bus. We have to remember - both he and Tate are true frosh. At big time programs, true frosh are rarely seeing significant playing time anyway. It hardly strikes me as overly harsh (unless presented in a totally dickish way) to suggest that a true frosh might struggle so much with one element of his game so as to necessitate taking him out in those situations. If that constitutes "throwing him under the bus," then I wonder if there's any room for comment from fans re: player performance... obviously I'm against fans who (1) hardly understand the ins/outs of the game, yet (2) feel entitled to be total dicks in player assessment... but that's not what's going on here. It seems like Denard has struggled on 3rd and long because as a true frosh, his downfield/vertical passing game just isn't there yet (understandable - again, TRUE FROSH), but at this stage of the season, I'd rather the coaches work it out in practice... not conference play.

dakotapalm

October 26th, 2009 at 2:06 PM ^

First, nice signature. Second, I agree with you and JamieMac. This was truly the first "bad" game that we have lost. We played a bad three quarters and MSU, and almost recovered enough to win. Even as bad as that was, it was encouraging in a weird sort of way. The Iowa game was a fairly good game, barring the TO's. The line play was very good.
This game, however, seemed to be overall bad. I don't excuse it, and as a coach you cannot, but as a realistic observer, with the youth that we have, it seems almost inevitable to have at least one of these game. I don't think we need to hit the lifeboats after one "bad" game. We know that we have definite talent gaps at positions, and overall youth. It's going to happen. Now, if the same thing happens against Wisconsin and tUOS, that's a problem. But based upon what we know, this sort of thing was bound to happen.

Run Up The Score

October 26th, 2009 at 2:28 PM ^

That was a game clearly won by the better team that night. Penn State's offensive line has improved quite a bit since then, and it would likely be a much better game if it was played in late November instead of late September, but Iowa was the superior team when it was played. No excuses.

M1EK

October 26th, 2009 at 4:40 PM ^

Iowa 2009 == PSU 1986, so far at least. I think if they play PSU 9 more times, they win 7 or 8 of them. And that's with the PSU upgrade the last couple of weeks.

Just as with PSU 1986, any attempt to justify transitivity by means of narrow margins of victory will just make you look very stupid in the end.

Penn State Clips

October 26th, 2009 at 12:38 PM ^

The play on which Donovan Warren was shoved into Junior Hemingway needs to be a penalty. As we saw, it's dangerous as hell. Kick catch interference should extend to people you're blocking into the returner."

Are you saying they need to change the rules or that the officials blew the call? You'll have to cite a rule if you want to say they blew the call.

This is the closest I could find, though it really doesn't apply because the gunner wasn't blocking.

Rule 6-4-1-b: "If interference with a potential receiver is the result of a player being blocked by an opponent, it is not a foul."

Yinka Double Dare

October 26th, 2009 at 12:45 PM ^

Yeah, that rule is for the case where Michigan's blocker pushes Penn State's coverage guy into the receiver. This case is a shove in the back by the Penn State guy causing a blocker to hit the receiver, which I think could reasonably be called interference. Otherwise, wouldn't we see defenders trying to throw blockers into the returner all the time?

Yinka Double Dare

October 26th, 2009 at 1:15 PM ^

6-4-1. A player of the receiving team within the boundary lines attempting to catch a kick, and so located that he could have caught a free kick or a scrimmage kick that is beyond the neutral zone, must be given an unimpeded opportunity to catch the kick.

Throwing/blocking a player into the returner is not giving him an unimpeded opportunity to catch the kick. Seems to me a pretty common sense interpretation of the rule -- if you can't run into him yourself without a penalty, why would you be able to block someone else into him without a penalty? The exception for a coverage guy blocked into him is because it's not the defender's fault. In a situation where the defender pushes a blocker into the returner, it's 100% the defender's fault, just as if he'd run into the returner himself.

The FannMan

October 26th, 2009 at 1:27 PM ^

I am not going to parce the language of the rules for you. From where I was sitting (I only saw it live) it looked like a shove in the back that could only result in Hemmingway being hit in the knees. Which he was. Maybe it looks better on replay, but I called it dirty when it happened and the loud (in a good way) PSU fans in front me didn't argue.

maizenbluenc

October 26th, 2009 at 2:45 PM ^

I was so pissed I damned near broke my hand pounding on the edge of the (hard) edge of the couch. I was even madder when I watched Warren get shoved from behind in slow-mo and him hitting Hemmingway, causing Hemmingway's knee to bend backwards.

Warren wasn't the same in the game after that. (Was he giving as much cushion before this play?) If Hemmingway only has a bruised knee, he is really lucky. Hopefully Warren has recovered OK.

At the time I didn't pick up that Hemmingway had called for a fair catch. Either way, I agree with Brian -- if this isn't covered within the fair catch rules, it should be a penalty of some type.

ramverine79

October 26th, 2009 at 12:44 PM ^

While I certainly agree Tate's performance was severely hindered by drops, I think there were a few cases where the difficulty of the catch was increased by an inaccurate throw (a pass to Kelvin Grady on 3rd down early in the game comes to mind). Should have been caught on the low throw, but definitley not on the numbers.

There were also a few cases where he seemed to miss open checkdowns and instead seemed to scramble into a sack.

That said, I think his shoulder is still bothering him as I don't see the zip from earlier in the year, nor the confidence in his arm to fire the ball into tight spots.

macdaddy

October 26th, 2009 at 12:57 PM ^

While Tate didn't completely suck, he definitely looked like an overmatched freshman for most of the game. It wasn't just the off-target throws (although we've been spoiled by his mad accuracy so far this season) but also several instances of poor decision-making. Scrambling when he should have thrown the ball away, scrambling into white jerseys rather than behind blue ones when he did run, throwing to a covered receiver when a better option was available, etc. It didn't help that the weather was atrocious, field position was terrible and D-Rob kept shuttling in but Tate still has a fair bit of work to do. That's OK, but I think a lot of people were drinking the Kool-Aid after the first four good-weather home games against (mostly) lousy teams.

ThWard

October 26th, 2009 at 3:00 PM ^

Correct, it wasn't dead on, but as I recalled it (and could be way OFF), looked like Koger's route should have been more up the seam rather than angling into a post... I'm basing that purely on where I recall the safety being. Regardless, if I'm wrong (again, could be, I saw it twice - once as it happened, and a quick rewind on DVR), still... perfect or not, it was between Koger's hands.

The Squid

October 26th, 2009 at 3:46 PM ^

IIRC, it was high and behind the receiver a little.

Absolutely correct. The ball was slightly above and behind Koger's head, and he had to twist around to even get his hands on it. It would have been nice had he caught it, but it's not like he just plain dropped a between-the-numbers ball.

bigmc6000

October 26th, 2009 at 12:45 PM ^

Am I the only one who felt, and still feels, that if our TE's and WR's had performed as they have all season (low number of drops as far as I can recall) that game would have been much more interesting? I'm not going to blame the TE's or tell Koger to work at Kroger or something idiotic. Sometimes people just have off games and this time it was our TE's not being able to catch the ball. Is it frustrating? Of course it is but that doesn't mean our TE's suck or we should ignore the stellar play from the rest of the season but I pose this scenario.

Should Grady and Koger catch most of the drops they had does Tate get pulled for a series for Denard? Given that would Denard have even been in the situation to throw the INT? I'm sure this will show up in the UFR and, as Brian said, Tate's numbers weren't nearly as indicative of his performance as the UFR will be.

As an aside - what do we do to prepare for wet games? Do we just use wet balls or what? Is it possible for us to simulate rain during practice (I know we'd need to install a pretty complex system for drainage of an indoor facility but it's Michigan for crying out loud - we need a way to practice in crap weather)?

Overall I thought we played alright and outside of the defensive lapses and the drops it was a decent performance. Even if the defense played exactly the same I think had we caught the ball like we normally do we'd have at least dropped 24 on them and made the game much more interesting.

Yinka Double Dare

October 26th, 2009 at 12:48 PM ^

The receiving corps had a bunch of drops against State too and in that one it could well have been the difference between winning and losing. And it was raining that day. Not sure what they can do to improve on that, it's just execution by the receivers.

bigmc6000

October 26th, 2009 at 12:56 PM ^

I think my brain had forgotten about those since we managed to come back and take it into OT - funny how the brain works ;)

We've gotta be able to do something more than just throwing wet balls - catching a ball that's been sitting in a bucket isn't the same as catching a ball while it's raining - we need to find a way to practice this as I don't think it's going to stop raining in Big 10 country any time soon.

lexus larry

October 26th, 2009 at 12:51 PM ^

On that subject, as Brian points out, 1984, Harbaugh breaks his collarbone, and the season sinks. Against Iowa, (from memory, at 26-0 loss) their defense said our offensive play calling reminded them of HS play calling, it was so basic and predictable. (I'm hoping this sounds familiar, so people can understand that, as previous poster commented, step off the ledge, away from the rat poison.)

We'll be fine this year, better next. So many underclassmen playing, getting experience, learning the system.

Ignore the douches at the Freep or other media outlets...not too many actual game reports anymore...just columnists aiming for hits and inciting angry rebuttals. For the sake of harkening back 8 weeks, remember most of the media predicted a Big Ten top three of OSU, PSU and MSU. Michigan was guessed to land at 5-7, 6-6 or 7-5. Look at how accurate those predictions are coming today...

Keep the faith, and IN ROD WE TRUST!

Rom53

October 26th, 2009 at 1:02 PM ^

UofM has a great history and tradition. Unfortunately one of it's hallmarks is the inability to ever say "We were beat by a better team". Outcoached, outplayed and simply taken out behind the woodshed pretty much sums up Saturday afternoon. My favorite was Forcier's "We beat ourselves". I'm not sure which game he was watching but that comment requires some objective alteration.

Bad calls?

You're kidding, right?

Defensive holding on a running play? And don't give me any nonsense about what any official saw as the "intent". You don't officiate based on intent. Officiating is not a credible argument in Ann Arbor. Nobody in the country gets more home cookin than Michigan.

Nobody.

As for Forcier, he's going to be very good as he progresses because he has the skills and the field presence. But anytime you recruit a kid who gets a lot of touches from a place where "football weather" is 68 degrees with a light breeze into the Big Ten, what you saw Saturday is going to be the rule rather than the exception early in his career.

On Saturday however, it wouldn't have mattered if he was from Moose Jaw.

The good thing is that our mutually loathed opponent is going to lose its last three games to PSU, Iowa and UofM. So at the end of the day, it's all good.

Section 1

October 26th, 2009 at 1:36 PM ^

and punctuation, which is more than can be said for many college football message boards. And you then lose all of that credit for the absurd content of your writing.

As for Michigan's vast collection of "home cookin'" from Big Ten officials? WTF? Was this your week to try to use the term, home cookin', in a full paragraph?

You may remember Michigan from such calls as (YMRMFSCA):
~Charles White's photographed phantom Rose Bowl touchdown;
~Eddie Brown's self-confessed interference on Desmond Howard, and;
~The officially-condemned Spartan Bob clock debacle.

Rom53

October 26th, 2009 at 1:57 PM ^

Allow me to refresh your memory. 2007, Wolverines driving for what would become the winning touchdown. UofM receiver catches a ball on 4th down and goes out of bounds. The official on that side picks up the ball where he went out (I think the receiver was Manningham) and steps a full two yards towards the goal line to give Michigan a first down when the true spot was well short. Even Brent Musberger went nuts and he's no PSU fan. Then Carr whines and pisses and moans to the official on that side until he gets 4 seconds put back on the clock which is the only reason UofM wins that game.

There's that.

And then there's the fact that if UofM was called for every offensive holding they commit they'd start every game 110 yards in the hole.

I appreciate the credit you gave me. But if you want me to reciprocate you might want to just admit the obvious and skip the sour grapes. We've been beaten several times and my only conclusion was UofM was the better team on that day.

Just flip it around.

bronxblue

October 26th, 2009 at 2:04 PM ^

Are you honestly going to start a holding call debate? Every team gets away with holding on almost every play. If you don't make it egregious, most times the refs will let it go. BG has been held multiple times in every game this year, but that is life. I always think complaining about penalties/questionable calls is an exercise in futility unless it is just a blatant mistake. Nothing happened in this game that would make me think otherwise.

bouje

October 26th, 2009 at 2:04 PM ^

And most of it isn't called and you could say the same for pretty much every team.

Furthermore, seriously your team blows our doors out and you come on here and bitch and moan about officiating? Seriously? This is just completely pathetic. Your team just beat the shit out of Michigan at the Big House (winning for the first time in a very very long time) and you come on here and bitch about officiating?

Get a life. Take off the tin foil hat. The refs are not out to get you. This is pathetic.