Wednesday Presser/Practice Notes

Submitted by Tim on September 9th, 2009 at 5:03 PM

  • Brandon Minor has been limited in practice, but he's been participating more than he did last week. From my personal e-observations, he was wearing a normal jersey, not a green (limited contact) one.RR.JPG
  • Rodriguez didn't mention other injury news, but I did not see Junior Hemingway participate in the one drill I watched the wideouts do. It's highly possible I just missed him.
  • There are no set plans for the QB rotation this week, other than Tate starting. They'll try to get Denard and Nick in there as well.
  • On Notre Dame, Rodriguez said he thinks Clausen is a good QB - and thought the same last year as well. The Irish will try to beat you deep, and mix in a bunch of play action as well. They have a couple good deep threats and the secondary will need to be ready. Speaking of which, he was asked about the Donovan Warren penalties against Western. He couldn't explicitly say so, but it definitely seemed like he thought one of them was BS. Still, he wants the corners to be aggressive.
  • Rodriguez felt turnovers cost the team the game last year (which, duh). If the team loses on Saturday, he wants it to be because Notre Dame was just the better team: "I don't want Michigan beating Michigan."
  • Craig Roh's intelligence (he's a 4.0 student) has helped him be ready to compete at this level in just over three weeks. He has a high motor and intensity, and loves football. He came into the program very technically sound because he got good coaching in high school, and learned a lot by going to camps.
  • Stevie Brown's move to linebacker has been a success. They moved him because they thought he'd be a good fit at the position, especially when the team plays against spread offenses. It gives the defense flexibility without subbing. There's more of a speed emphasis on defense, and there's been a national trend towards always having a nickel-type package on the field.
  • An interesting question was asked about how Tate will respond in a game the first time he makes a big mistake (which he didn't do in the spring game or against Western). Rodriguez said he's not worried, because Tate is hard on himself after every mistake in practice, and tries to understand what he did wrong, and why it was wrong to learn for the future.
  • Tate wasn't having his most accurate day throwing the ball, so hopefully that will be worked out by Saturday.



September 9th, 2009 at 5:05 PM ^

Rodriguez didn't mention other injury news, but I did not see Junior Hemingway participate in the one drill I watched the wideouts do. It's highly possible I just missed him.

Or this was a voluntary practice! [/stupid_comment]


September 9th, 2009 at 5:14 PM ^

Not completely sure of this, but I'm pretty sure I saw Junior walking to class this afternoon around Angell and he was wearing one of those half leg ankle braces. Pretty sure this was a precaution because he said he would ok to go this weekend, but maybe he didn't actually practice.

Uncle Rico

September 9th, 2009 at 11:24 PM ^

Indirectly, at least. All this talk of the QBs, but I think Hemingway is an understated key in this game. We'll still be fine without Minor. Either TF or DR will play well enough.

But after JR went out last year, any hope of a deep threat was gone. He's also one of our best WR blockers. Both of those things help the run ... tremendously.


September 9th, 2009 at 5:31 PM ^

Especially against only get so may possessions per game....I doubt we'll have the luxury of being up 30 points like we were against WMU.

If he wants to test him out late in the game against EMU, assuming we're up a bunch of points, fine.....but not this week.

Isn't it as simple as putting your best players on the field to make plays? After seeing the freshman QB's last week, I can't think of one aspect of the game where NS has an advantage.


September 9th, 2009 at 5:41 PM ^

I am sure the staff will do what they can to maximize their chances of victory Saturday and down the road. They know what they need to do, and that doesn't mean putting in Sheridan on a critical second half drive.

It might mean sending a little smoke Notre Dame's way, though. You don't really want him to say he'll put Tate in for the first three series, then play Denard for two series, and Minor will be taking the snap in a single wing in this cool goal-line offense they've been practicing, do you?


September 10th, 2009 at 9:28 AM ^

I can really only think of one situation where Nick MIGHT have an advantage, but for all I know, Tate's his equal there, too. The situation I am talking about is 3rd or 4th and inches, you're in the I, and you want to make sure just the right play is called at the line. Nick might have an advantage in reading the defense and choosing the running play correctly.


If he audibles to a pass, throw things at your TV.


September 9th, 2009 at 6:38 PM ^

Seriously, in what situation can you imagine the coaches thinking "hmmmm, I think we need Sheridan here because he is better than either Tate or Denard with respect to [fill in your own blank]"?

I can see the argument (though I disagree with it) about giving Sheridan game experience because of the risk of injury to Tate and Denard, but I cannot see an argument whereby Sheridan increases our chance of winning.


September 9th, 2009 at 7:18 PM ^

I can think of one...As Brian has discussed some, our second half performances were lacking last year after opposing coaches had time to analyze and adjust to new wrinkles our team had installed in the previous week of practice.

If that remains the case, that the packages are limited with Tate and Denard in there, maybe we come out of halftime with Nick at quarterback and run stuff we haven't run at all in the first half. the other team spends all of halftime gearing up to stop what Tate and Shoelace have been doing...then BOOM Sheridan'd on the first drive.


September 9th, 2009 at 8:51 PM ^

If Tate and Denard get hurt, all we have is Sheridan. Unless you want to see Cone start in front of Sheridan.... and Sheridan played well in at least one game last year ( Minnesota) so we have a shot at winning with him in. How big of a shot I wont' say, but a shot nonetheless.

We're actually rather thin at QB, IMO. Tate played wonderfully but if he gets hurt, I think our passing attack will suffer greatly. Denard showed a very strong arm but I don't think he's nearly as polished a passer (yet) as Tate. We've got two walk-ons now (Kennedy and Furra) but I can't imagine they're ready to play.

Next year we'll be in much better shape at the QB spot. Tate, Denard, Sheridan, Gardener and Cornelius Jones. Cone is a redshirt Jr now, I assume he'll be back, too.

Enjoy Life

September 9th, 2009 at 5:38 PM ^

Jeez, I really get tired of these questions ("how Tate will respond in a game the first time he makes a big mistake") that are based on the proposition that Forcier (or any other player) will immediately crumble under pressure.

I'm guessing that Tate has been playing football for about 10 years (maybe more). I'm positive he has made "big mistakes" several times before and has not crumbled.

Tate's dad said it best (something like): I'm not surprised at his performance. He has come in at every level and excelled.


September 9th, 2009 at 7:21 PM ^

Lets be realistic. Tate will make mistakes against ND. He is a true freshman and has never faced this type of situation before. ND is a much better team than Western and he will be facing both a faster/larger defensive line and a quicker secondary. Having said that I expect him to handle it just fine. He seems extremely poised for a freshman and his teammates appear to believe in him. His attitude about not caring what other QB's were being recruited by UM last year should tell you something about his confidence.


September 9th, 2009 at 5:45 PM ^

How did Minor look when he was running and cutting? Was he going half speed? Did he look uncomfortable? I think it very important to have him at at least 90% Saturday along with the O-Line finishing blocks to make it as easy as possible on the QB, whoever it is.


September 9th, 2009 at 6:05 PM ^

An interesting question was asked about how Tate will respond in a game the first time he makes a big mistake (which he didn't do in the spring game or against Western).

Tate did have a bad fumble (in his own endzone) in the spring game.


September 9th, 2009 at 6:38 PM ^

The only way I see Sheridan playing is if Tate gets figuratively (or literally) beaten up early, such as throwing a couple picks or something, and Denard isn't having much success passing. Then maybe Sheridan goes in. The good thing is we're at home so even IF Tate throws a pick or two, the crowd won't be there to rattle him, if he even can be rattled. I say it's a longshot, maybe 5% chance Sheridan plays.


September 10th, 2009 at 9:08 AM ^

Though it is a putrid shell of its former self. Its across the street. At least its still on the second floor, but I too died a little when it moved. That was my favorite bar senior year. It wasn't a great place, but for some reason, it was just "our" bar.


September 9th, 2009 at 6:42 PM ^

"On injuries: "To make it easier on you all, and certainly make it easier on us … I tried to get this adopted league-wise, like they do in the ACC, but for whatever reason it didn't pass. What we want to do is give you a report on Thursday, like the NFL does, on who's doubtful, who's probable, and who's out. That way, we don't have to answer questions all week."


September 9th, 2009 at 8:54 PM ^

I'm watching Big Ten Breakdown" and I want a banner or wall paper with the same the background they have behind Tate Forcier. Maize "M" with blue stars around it on a blue background. Sweet! I am I'm loving all things Michigan right now!

Uncle Rico

September 9th, 2009 at 11:29 PM ^

We just need to win the LOS on both sides.

If we can pound the ball with 10 play drives, we score over 30 points somehow, and that will be enough to win.

If we can pressure the Emu, he'll fold, make a half-hearted attempt at running, and we'll see BG take a bite from one of his haunches.

Wednesday is prediction day:
UM 31 - ND 27