The last gasp of the cabernet fans? In Rod we Trust.

Submitted by clarkiefromcanada on September 5th, 2009 at 11:12 PM
Hello friends,

Driving in today (attended with my father...last time he came was "The Horror" a bit worried at that point); the sportscaster on 97.1 discussed "is Rich Rodriguez coaching for his job today?" I wonder how many of you heard this sort of discussion over the past week...indeed, I wonder how many of the cabernet drinking, luxury box opposing, Lloyd Carr missing (incidentally, I *do* miss winning 10 games a year), "sit down already" yelling old guard were secretly hoping that he was?

Well, I guess we can cast that aside for a week or two. Let's hear it again from the stands "Rich Rod-Ri-Guez" clap, clap, clap, clap, clap". What a pleasure to hear.

Rarely have we as Michigan fans have the opportunity to enjoy watching our offense work with fluidity...ever (I'm looking at you Mike Debord). There have been moments like the Florida/Michigan 2008 Capital One bowl game where for a series or two it clicks but today it was sustained for most of a half. There was a sort of joyous wonderment in the stands where you just were not sure what was going to happen. The speed is evident. Tate Forcier is more or less as advertised and the offense looked (aside from a few expected miscues) mostly competent.

A few quick observations from my section:

- Denard is *fast*, very very fast
- Tate is your starter
- Stevie Brown appeared competent (mostly)
- God love you Brandon Graham; Craig Roh looks nicely competent
- The new luxury boxes certainly add to the reflected noise (I will agree that the bands seem could barely hear Western at the half)
- Student section *very* loud
-Old school Cabernet fans in my section still annoying (about 200 left after the Michigan punt with a minute left in the 3rd; they didn't much like the guys near me waving the fans "get up" all the time)
- same old same old regarding fans complaining at the most minor of Michigan transgressions (apparently it is not okay to compel the opponent to take 5 yard chunks and run down off clock when up by 31). It is *still* sad to hear middle age men yelling at teenagers and the defensive coaching staff (it seems it's not okay to just win but you need to do it with some defensive panache...)
-  looking forward to seeing Minor Rage next week.

Overall a very inspiring game and you can see RichRod's program and talent meshing nicely. Imagine four years of this system.

I am hopeful that the "old guard" cabernet fans, unhappy with the noise, RAWK music and overall commotion, are near their end and that the complaining I heard in the 3rd and 4th quarter (because we were only up 31 points...then gasp...24 points) is their last gasp before being overwhelmed by RichRod's coming success with the team.

Best wishes to all of you. Go Blue.



September 5th, 2009 at 11:32 PM ^

A not-so-"Minor" glitch is that we failed to drive for scores in the second half. I set forth my predicted point spread in another post "Pryor" to today's game. Off, thankfully. Hopefully the rationale I provided is accurate however. As this offered, RR and staff held back mindful of That Trade School in South Bend. If not, next weekend could be a painful one.


September 5th, 2009 at 11:48 PM ^

Holding off, maybe. But also we had D-Robinson in quite a bit in the second half. He's lighting fast, no doubt about that. But he looks uncomfortable in the QB position at the moment and is obviously thinking RUNFIRSTRUNFIRSTRUNFIRST.

There was at least one time he could have thrown toward a wide open receiver and gotten a first, but instead he kept the ball for minimal gain. Anyway, I'm not taking anything away from the kid. He made a great play early on and generally played well. I am sure he will progress nicely.

But RR needed to give him game time to see how he'd do. With UM up 31-0, made sense to do it then. Hence . . . no sustained drives in the second half.


September 5th, 2009 at 11:52 PM ^

They cannot leave quickly enough.

As for not driving for scores, they were trying some stuff out, likely holding some stuff back, also testing some players, etc.

We could do that b/c we were up 24 points with no real threat of a come back.

Not to mention, RR has to be ultra-cautious about whatever he does, b/c perhaps not all the blue-hair, cabernet fans had left the stadium and they would surely ding his character for running up the score.

They were seriously complaining? I guess I can understand that, after all in a way they lost today.

West Texas Blue

September 6th, 2009 at 12:24 AM ^

When Tate was in for the 2nd half, we had great drives. The first drive we switched to Sheridan in the redzone, and DEATH ensured. The 2nd time Tate drove us down to the redzone, and Rod put in the Coner, who almost got us a TD. We used the 2nd half to test out new formations, packages, and players. I'm not too concerned about the 2nd half. Glad to see the Coner get some PT; was really rooting for that guy to get a TD. Oh well, maybe another game.


September 6th, 2009 at 4:20 PM ^

Agree. The 2nd half was a glorified scrimmage. Tate was able to drive the team down the field and then Rich put in Sheridan and the offensive momentum went puff. Then he put in Denard and WMU was ready for shoelaces, but he was still able to drive with his very limited playbook. Finally Tate got back in and drove down and Rich decided to light up the human victory cigar and Coner entered the game. We could have gotten at least 50. The holding calls and PI's are all teaching opportunities before ND. I look forward to a cleaner game from the line.


September 6th, 2009 at 12:25 AM ^

I said before the game I expected RR to do well this year. But just do the math/projections. If he loses today, it likely means the 2009 squad is not bowl caliber. IMO, a non-bowl 2009 following a 3-9 2008 would put RR in the frying pan in 2010. Compete for B10 championship or else.

This had nothing to do w/ practice-gate. At some point, a Michigan coach has to produce. Great to see that it looks like that year is 2009 for RR.

Blue Balls

September 6th, 2009 at 2:02 AM ^

Tate can run this offense. As I've stated before, Tate's ability to throw on the run is really unbelievable. With our offense in the hands of two young and inexperienced freshmen, Michigan's play book is limited. Coach Rod got them off the field, ND has enough tape to review. Michigan could of scored 50-60 points easily but at what expense-giving ND more tape to work with and a limited number plays these guys can run at this point made no sense. This offense can't afford Tate to get hurt. Denard doesn't have the experience and Nick Sheridan is still scary. The defense was great but as pointed out the secondary is still questionable. Was it me or did others notice the Barwis effect-very impressive. Great win for Michigan could have been a lot worse for WMU.


September 6th, 2009 at 9:32 AM ^

We stand on guard for thee, its just that Shoelace is so fast we dont know where he'll be.

Eh, thats all I got, I aint a poet.

Nice to here from you Clarkie. Keep that Maize and Blue Maple Leaf waving up there.

The stadium was loud and festive for the first time in a long time.