WTKA Roundtable 10/12/2017: Be More Like Fran Comment Count

Seth October 12th, 2017 at 11:36 AM

Getting this out right away because we have an MGoPodcast tonight.


[Eric Upchurch]

Things discussed:

  • Sadness, despair, hate, turnovers. O’Korn took sacks when he didn’t have to, missed open guys in front of his face.
  • Offensive pass interference committed with impunity.
  • Offensive line problems aren’t going away: have to scheme around the bad protection. Craig suggests going to the Vikings RB receiver offense.
  • Time spent on inside zone all offseason was wasted. Stuff that worked was what worked in 2015.
  • What more can you want than DPJ running a fly just down the numbers?
  • The receivers: they’re missing Black, got a guy in Perry, Crawford is out there blocking but not receiving well. DPJ needs to get some of those targets. These guys need to be better coached.
  • Not getting Evans or DPJ the ball in space.
  • Michigan had no quarterback run game in this game: MSU ignored O’Korn on the zone read and he’s a good runner.
  • How much credit to Michigan State? Not bad for an offseason catastrophe, but they won by four when up five on turnovers and up 10 on luck stuff. They’re a 6-6 or 7-5 team, but they’re not a good team.
  • That’s a sad thing: Michigan has to be a lot better since most of the teams they’ll play the rest of the year are better than these Spartans.
  • More O’Korn: saw the things that lost him his job at Houston. He wasn’t running Michigan’s offense in 2015 when he was generating all the hype because he was on the scout team.
  • Indiana: offensive line is terrible, chuck and pray offense, their defense is going to wreck our offense.

You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Audioboom.

Segment two is here. Segment three is here.



Shop Smart Sho…

October 12th, 2017 at 11:45 AM ^

I don't know that I ever bought into the "Brian hates Ed" thing, but Brian definitely didn't seem all that thrilled with Ed's thoughts on this game.

And man, can you tell Sam is carrying water for the coaches, becuase he shut Brian down pretty quickly when he started talking about the lack of position coaches on the offensive side of the football.

UofM Die Hard …

October 12th, 2017 at 8:21 PM ^

I don’t not like ed , good stats. But you can’t rely on just that. Saying MSU is a good football team is an asanine quote. They made less mistakes and won, we made a thousand and still could’ve won.

And yes okorn lost the game. Look at the ufr. Missed so many big plays, and the right plays.

This is why I can’t go go all in with ed.


October 12th, 2017 at 11:53 PM ^

That was a pretty dumb argument on both sides I thought. O'Korn and RT were both really bad spots for us. Does O'Korn deserve 5% more of the blame or do Ulizio and JBB? Whatever.

I've noticed Ed in general tends to give the other team more credit or is more worried about a future opponent than Brian. I'd say I usually side more with Brian, but IMO Ed's opinions aren't as many here seem to think.

UofM Die Hard …

October 12th, 2017 at 8:21 PM ^

I don’t not like ed , good stats. But you can’t rely on just that. Saying MSU is a good football team is an asanine quote. They made less mistakes and won, we made a thousand and still could’ve won.

And yes okorn lost the game. Look at the ufr. Missed so many big plays, and the right plays.

This is why I can’t go go all in with ed.


October 12th, 2017 at 4:01 PM ^

I think Ed has valuable insights, but in this podcast he says something like, "If you think JOK is the biggest problem on this offense then you're watching a different game." I think that's the wrong way to say, "I think the OL is a bigger problem than JOK" because it draws Brian into a fight over who's right and who's wrong, rather than a discussion about what proportion of the blame lies where.

That being said, everyone (except Craig) on the roundtable tends to express opinions stridently: as facts, that is, instead of as interpretations.

Craig, if you're reading this: Purdue once had 11 turnovers in a game against Illinois in 1943 and won! (That is the NCAAF record: https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Sports/2013/1129/Amazing-college-football-records-that-look-unbreakable/Most-turnovers-by-a-winning-team). Probably not super-relevant to football in 2017, I know.


October 12th, 2017 at 5:29 PM ^

...I was wandering around the NFL site and found (maybe 10-12) games where teams were negative 5 in TOs (or more; there are a couple of negative 7 games where the TO team won) and won---from 1940 through 2104. All of those games, however, had "competeing" TOs. Two games stood out to me---

1983 Pitt and Tampa Bay where Cliff Stoudt threw three INTs, and Pitt lost 4 fumbles, yet beat TB 17-12. TB had zero TOs.

In 1948 (in the AAFL) the Los Angeles Dons beat the NY Yankees 20-10 with a 6-0 TO margin, 3 INTs and 3 fumbles.

These seemed the closest pro "matches" I have found to our most recent debacle.

Are you a therapist? because your comment re: the conversation in question is right on.






October 12th, 2017 at 11:58 AM ^

will be telling. On offense are we going to call a majority of plays that fit to our strength or better yet that do not expose our weaknesses as much? Can we get the ball to our athletes in space? Did we shuffle the line up? Can we have somewhat of a repeat of the 2nd half vs Purdue where O'korn appeared comfortable and things were designed to help him? Or will we just continue to do things like we did against MSU because eventually that's what we want, so let's hope they get better at it????


October 12th, 2017 at 12:28 PM ^

I'm not trying to be sarcastic.....but what ARE the offensive strengths?

In my mind, it's probably intermediate passes to TE's who create mismatch issues.  At least enough of that to keep the safeties honest and not loading up the box.  Grant Perry has the ability to make some things happen (again, intermediate range).  Outside of that, an occasional swing pass to Poggi/Hill seems to work.  The deep pass game is non-existent....especially without Black.

In the run game, I'd still like to see more of Ty Isaac (fumble last week notwithstanding).  He's still the most physical RB (who whiffs in pass pro) and gives them the most "identity".  40% Isaac, 25% each Evans/Higdon and 10% other. 

I'm really shocked by how bad this offense is in Year 3 (outside of the second half against Purdue).




October 12th, 2017 at 12:02 PM ^

will have to be better and the Spartans aren't a very good team, but the Spartans play to the level of a 9-3/10-2 team like every time they play Michigan. Only two more teams will probably play to a level at or above what Michigan saw on Saturday.


October 12th, 2017 at 12:16 PM ^

The bottom line is that Michigan needs to score 20 points. It doesn't matter how, but we need a number bigger than 19 on our side of the scoreboard. Otherwise we're probably in trouble. The defense has given up 17 or less every game, and I don't see that changing, the PSU and OSU games possibly exempted.

And if this defense has a bad game and gets dented for 21+, we're likely looking at a loss, regardless of opponent (Rutgers doesn't count).


October 12th, 2017 at 12:22 PM ^

I agree with your point.  I'd only add that the defense needs to create a couple turnovers a game to put the offense in the field position they'll need to exceed 20 points.  Now if the offense can cut back to no more than one turnover a game, that will certainly keep the points given up down. 

So turnovers.  Can't be a neg five - 'nuff said.

Victor B

October 12th, 2017 at 1:10 PM ^

Brian's whole schtick is built on it. Trash MSU, no one around here takes them seriously before the game and then he makes up artificial what if scenarios where he declares UM the winner of the game if it weren't for 22 plays that could've and should've went differently. Guess what, they didn't. As if nothing the opponent(MSU) does matters. Guess what didpshit, MSU has a top 5 ranked defense in the nation. You'd never guess it reading around here. To top it all off, if you only read this board- The rain only effected the UM offense in the 2nd half. MSU offense apparently played under clear skies the whole night and all of the credit goes to the UM defense for stopping them not the weather. Brian is a laughingstock to 100 percent of the B1G fans that come across this board. Fuck this place and the awful football analysis. The tailgate food is the only thing worth coming here for. Those pork steaks look amazing.


October 12th, 2017 at 1:39 PM ^

I hate the term triggered because it's so often used in appropriately as weapon, but it's apt here. 

I didn't listen to the podcast, but I think a lot of it has to do with surface-level analysis that's been seen all over since this game.  Like "Dantonio coaches his kids to knock the ball out, that's why they got the fumbles".  Every coach does that.  Did Dantonio do that for their Notre Dame game, because he really fogot to coach it that week. 

It's dumb analysis like that which grinds.  Sparty got incredible turnover luck in this game, full stop.  It wasn't due to what they were doing or their skill.  It was Michigan's horrendous mistakes and bad luck that did.  And the Michigan WR drops and widespread penalties (especially the one which took a long TD off the board) were killer.  Yes Sparty had some mistakes too, that one dropped pass they had doesn't come close to balancing out against what Michigan did to itself. 

MSU played well and deserved to win.  But that's only with the caveat that Michigan and bad luck handed it to them.  


October 12th, 2017 at 1:59 PM ^

To me, a dropped pass here or there is part of football; they were still 25 yards out or so, and it's not like MSU's offense was unstoppable.  They also won a 50/50 ball that Watson could have picked off, and they also got a pick off an overthrow where it hit the defenders off-hand, bounced in the air in the rain, and then was picked off.  Or the time their QB fumbled a snap, retrieved it and was tackled yards between the first down but slid on the leg of his falling center to get the first.  

It was a close game, but I can point to a dozen plays that were just as relevant to the possible outcome of this game as a dropped pass in the 2nd quarter.


October 12th, 2017 at 2:02 PM ^

Even if that's conceded, what is your point?  That Sparty made some mistakes, and if they had not, they would have had better results in this game?

You are proving my point, because Michigan made much, much larger mistakes, and they would have had much, much better results in this game if they had not. 

But you're angry so you're going to illogically try to maintain some type of "well MSU made mistakes too, and you have to overcome turnovers in football".  Yes and yes, but no you're not going to overcome 5 turnovers and a long TD called back by penalty.  Not against anyone but the last tenth percentile of D1. 


October 12th, 2017 at 1:57 PM ^

Yes, a fumbled punt which was recovered.  Not a turnover.  

Do you not see the irony here?  You're calling out one not-turnover that helped in the field position battle.  That helped Michigan surely.  It helped less than any of the 5 turnovers Michigan provided Sparty, or the holding call that wiped out a TD.  


October 12th, 2017 at 2:06 PM ^

I mean, MSU recovered a muffed punt and lost about 15 yards on it, then the defense held them to a short punt that UM turned around.  That happens in a football game, especially when you are on your own 2-yard line.  But yes, a situation where Michigan benefitted from good field position because of a strong defense is absolutely the same as 5 turnovers in a game lost by 4.

For someone who sure hates this blog, it's interesting to see the reason you came back was to bitch about people not taking MSU seriously.  


October 12th, 2017 at 1:53 PM ^

You seem super angry about way more than football. MSU came into the game with a defender ranked in the top 20. They have an offense around 84th. They are an average team. They played against Michigan. But for three years now MSU has either lost to Michigan handily or gotten some extreme luck to win. Nothing in this game or their season has changed my opinion that had Michigan not had a -5 TO margin, they'd have won.

As for the MSU-UM offense difference, Michigan picked up over double MSU's yards in the second half of that game. And as you noted, they played in the same weather. So yeah, UM's defense did a good job bottling them up in the second half. But yeah, didn't fit your narrative.


October 12th, 2017 at 1:44 PM ^

Watching the game, I never got the impression that MSU was bad or "not good" to quote Brian. All the advanced stats put MSU in the top 25, which made them Michigan's toughest opponent to date. I saw two evenly matched teams and the game played out as such.

I think people need to readjust their expectations re: MSU. As long as Dantonio is there, this will be a competitive game. He's never gotten blown out by Michigan. His worst team stayed within two scores of Michigan's best team since 1997. He has upgraded MSU's recruiting significantly compared to when he first arrived. MSU has alot more resources at its disposal as B1G revenue has grown. When he leaves they will be able to hire a top coach. I don't see them ever going back to what they were pre-Dantonio.

Real and Spectacular

October 12th, 2017 at 1:53 PM ^

I think this is fair. This blog has thrown dirt on MSU a dozen times before and especially after last season. I thought their run (championship level) was finally toast but maybe it isn't quite yet. They will play us tough every year and I'm amazed by how many don't seem to think this before the games. I expected us to win by 4-7 points and I was shocked to see so many people predicted blowouts. Ok, not that shocked I guess, I've seen it a lot of times before.


October 12th, 2017 at 2:12 PM ^

I mean, I don't think most knowledgeable people expected UM to blow them out by 20+, but Michigan ran them off the field last year and gave up something like 24 points of "bad luck" in this game from turnovers and still only lost by 4 and had a chance to win at the end.  It wouldn't have shocked me to see MSU win by a couple of points or for UM to win by 10+.  


October 12th, 2017 at 12:31 PM ^

So I didn't listen to the podcast yet, but I'm going to baldly agree with Brian - the offensive position coaches aren't getting it done.  Sam, if he defended the coaches, is doing nothing more than trying to keep his inside access by not criticizing.

Things as  I look at it:

1) The QB position should have been a gain through experience, yet Speight was a total regress, and neither O'Korn or Peters seems to have improved.  Fail.

2) RB's haven't seemed to improve on the things that kept them out of the starting position last year (fumbling, missing cuts, arm tackles, etc).  Fail.

3) OL - I'll cut some slack because it's essentially a brand new outfit.  But it hasn't improved from game to game - in fact, its regressed game to game, and the 'Improvement Week' appears to have included two weeks of regression (so stayed on schedule?).

4) WR's have not improved game to game.  The returners made no improvement over the off-season (Perry missed everything and is still the best WR...)

There is no defense for the position coaches.  They need to be reassessed...