UM vs. Minnesota pink slips

Submitted by Magnus on November 9th, 2008 at 5:28 PM
OFFENSIVE PLAYER WHO SHOULD KEEP HIS JOB
Justin Feagin, change-up QB.  From all indications, Feagin isn't ready to be a full time quarterback in the FBS.  He has some issues with mechanics that can be seen on high school game film and college practice film.  He also seems to lack some arm strength, and Rich Rodriguez has hinted that he also lacks the ability to make the right reads in the passing game.  That being said, Feagin obviously held some potential to play quarterback in college.  High school film indicates that he has the ability to make some plays with his arm, which means he can be a threat to throw the ball.  This threat seemed to be enough to keep Minnesota's defense off balance when Feagin played QB.  Even though he never threw the ball, you could tell that Minnesota's defense was just a little bit hesitant to come up in run support when he had the ball.  This could serve the team well as this season - and, potentially, future seasons - goes on.  I liked the way that the coaching staff sprinkled Feagin throughout the game.  They didn't give him a series or two.  They put him in for a play or two at a time.  No matter who the starter is in future weeks - Threet or Sheridan - Feagin should continue to see occasional action at QB.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER WHO SHOULD LOSE HIS JOB
It's hard for me to pick a player.  I was disappointed in the line's performance for much of the game, especially the left side, as they failed to make many holes for Brandon Minor.  But nobody stuck out to me as being particularly bad, and the backups at the line positions have already been tried.  All they can do is work to get better for the rest of this year.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER WHO SHOULD KEEP HIS JOB

Brandon Harrison, SS/LB.  At least for now, Rodriguez and Scott Shafer decided to do away with the 3-3-5.  After the Purdue nightmare, they decided to go back to a four-man front.  They should never have veered from that set, but that's neither here nor there.  For much of Saturday's game, Michigan employed a 4-2-5 against Minnesota's spread offense.  The Wolverines limited Minnesota to six points (two field goals) and 188 total yards.  Brandon Harrison played closer to the line than usual and came up with some key plays, especially a sack of Minnesota QB Adam Weber.  This should continue for Northwestern and possibly Ohio State.  Thompson is a decent run stopper, but he's ineffective on pass plays, whether he's covering or blitzing.  If the team wanted to stick to a 4-3 this year, they should have kept Thompson at MIKE and moved Ezeh to SAM.  But they didn't.  Now Thompson has been effectively benched against spread teams (presumably, unless things change this week).  Harrison is adept at run support and also has excellent speed to chase plays down from behind.  Unless Michigan encounters power run formations in which Thompson would hold up better than the 205-pound Harrison, the SS should stay near the line and Michael Williams or Charles Stewart should play deep.  This was a nice adjustment by Shafer.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER WHO SHOULD LOSE HIS JOB

This was the best defensive game of the season.  The entire team tackled well and maintained their responsibilities. 

Comments

West Texas Blue

November 9th, 2008 at 11:23 PM ^

I wouldn't necessarily say Thompson was benched; we moved to a 4-2-5 to counter a spread team; our LBs out on the field would need to be the faster ones, hence Mouton (WLB) and Ezeh (MLB) were out there. The 4-2-5 removes the SLB and replaces him with another DB, hence Thompson wasn't out there. We'll prolly use the same scheme for NW, but not sure about OSU, who has a great power runner in Wells but also has a mobile QB in Pryor.

Tha Stunna

November 10th, 2008 at 1:54 AM ^

Feagin is gonna throw only as a last resort. Minnesota seemed unable to deal with him because they hadn't seen him before; I doubt other teams will mess up in the same way. We're better off snapping the ball to Minor, who's a better runner, giving us a better chance because we can stick in another running back. OSU in particular will be content to stack the box and let Jenkins enjoy his time with Odoms (probably).

Now, if Feagin actually does have throwing ability, then he's a reasonable choice, but that is the sort of thing I hope we would break out as a trick against OSU, maybe Feagin -> Matthews. Feagin will be running to set up the pass; without passing, he's just a poor man's Minor.

Farnxl Shpxre

November 10th, 2008 at 9:41 AM ^

I like the setup we're providing by getting Feagin in the game. Direct snap to Minor with Feagin and McGuffieshaw in the backfield. It's a running play, right? Minor does a read option to Feagin. If Feagin takes it, Minor is either a lead blocker for the run or is in pass support as Feagin rolls...while he has McGuffie waiting for the pitch on his shoulder while he's looking downfield for a wide open streaker. A kid can dream, right? Now imagine it next year with a real running quarterback.

Farnxl Shpxre

November 10th, 2008 at 11:17 AM ^

Minor makes the read on the DE to handoff to Feagin or to run with it. After the handoff, Feagin then has the option to pitch. Stubs McMinor will not have to pitch. Is my dream sequence not clear enough? I'm sure LSUfreek has already covered a similar play set up w/ Joe Pa, a Koala Bear, and the USC Song Girls.

msoccer10

November 10th, 2008 at 11:21 AM ^

should definetely be used. I don't want him making a single pass next game though. We should set it up for a big play with the throw against OSU. Some trickery for a TD would be sweet.

goody

November 10th, 2008 at 11:58 AM ^

with Feagin there is a possibility of a pass. So the safety or CB can't just come flying up the field.

I believe on one of the feagin sweeps it looked as if Mathews ran a hitch to possible give feagin the option to throw if the run was not there. Threet has ran this play multiple times ... faking the sweep and pulling it up to hit a WR almost like a pitch man.