Angelique joins in: "we knew what they were going to do."

Submitted by wolverine1987 on November 11th, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Yesterday Wojo openly criticized our coaching, today Angelique Chengalis, the mild mannered wirter that LC always gave interviews to, has a headline "Foes say they know what's coming," with a quote from Jason Ankrah of Nebraska "we knew what was coming right before they did it." This follows on the heels of Randy Gregory's comment that has already been on the board here: "whatever formation they came out in, we knew what they were going to throw out at us."

This is of value at this point only because it really confirms what critics in the blogosphere and elsewhere have said before, and when actual opposing players take that side too, it takes it beyond question into fact, that playcalling and scheme itself is the issue. 

I hope that Hoke is asked today directly about his reaction to these quotes.…




November 11th, 2013 at 10:47 AM ^

this kinda makes me respect Devin, Fitz, and the entire O-line a whole lot more...   I mean, we all kinda knew all along, however I was begining to wonder if our players just weren't that good:  but what can you do when the defense knows your play?  That we even get first downs is a miracle.



Julius 1977

November 11th, 2013 at 10:50 AM ^

Generally, I am very content and comfortable when I find that I understand what the "blogosphere" is saying and I disagree with it.

Now I find I may agree.  Something is terribly wrong - either with me or with the world.


November 11th, 2013 at 10:50 AM ^

"There is nothing redeeming about the Wolverines’ statistics from the Nebraska game. They were 3-of-15 on third down, including 1-of-7 in the second half."

In other unkind numbers, we were also outgained by an average of 1.36 yards per snap, but also managing a marginally worse performance than the MSU game on a yards per play basis actually. At MSU, we managed 2.85 yards per play. On Saturday, 2.78 yards per play. Also of note, this is the fourth game this year in which we've lost the third down battle, but we're 2-2 now in those games. 


November 11th, 2013 at 10:53 AM ^

He kept telling me over and over again "Don't worry, we can't stop the run, we can't stop anyone, we're completely and totally awful." To which my response was "oh no, don't you worry, you're going to stop us.  The only way you don't stop us is if we actually start running out the shotgun on passing downs after we've set up the pass."


True to point, in the second half we lined up in manball formation and the second I saw the formation I said "and here comes a TFL..." and... ta da, -2 yard TFL. My buddy just laughed at how ridiculous it was that I could tell him exactly what was going to happen.


We're not at the place we we can line up and say "hey, we're running it, stop us."  I don't know when, if ever, we'll get there but we clearly aren't there now so what gives? What piece of awful data is Borges holding on to that makes him think we can do that?  Is he just trolling us until the ohio game at which point we run out of all our passing formations and throw out of all our rushing ones? And then actually, ya know, mixes in a bunch of random stuff just to screw with ohio??  I'm not even sure a win over ohio would save his job (nor should it). It would make me happy (albiet insanely frustrated) but, seriously, the guy needs to go...


I'd take UT's OC, Baylor's OC, Stanford's OC, Oregon's OC, A&M's OC, the list goes on and on...


November 11th, 2013 at 11:39 AM ^

the borges apologists have been saying for weeks that we run different plays out of those sets.  like, remember that one screen pass out of the I formation?  you know, the one that we never went back to again.  i knew borges was going to cost us several future games after witnessing the iowa 2011.


November 11th, 2013 at 11:05 AM ^

They used to say the same things when Lloyd Carr coached, especially players from USC.  This is just more proof that Dave Brandon and the Carr-tel got exactly what they wanted: a return to "Michigan Football."  Those of you who didn't want Michigan to join the 21st century got exactly what you wanted.  You have absolutely no right to bitch.

The good part about this: people know exactly what is coming when they play Bama, too.  Bama wins with the same kind of predictabliity because they have superior personnel.  

The only way that MIchigan is going to win championships if they don't go to the spread is for everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, to support the school, the coaching staff and the players.  Bama has proven that MANBALL can win national championships as long as you have the personnel to back up your scheme.  

This staff has proven that they are brilliant at recruiting.  They deserve the support of anyone who calls himself or herself a "Michigan fan" until a sufficient sample of their work has been provided.  They also deserve to be allowed enough time to amass the personnel that it takes to execute the MANBALL mandate from David Brandon.  

That works out to five years in this case.  

If they lose four or five in 2015, then we have a right to complain.  Until then, I would suggest relaxing and trying to enjoy watching the program and its young players grow.


November 11th, 2013 at 11:20 AM ^

Play calling only gets you so far. Watching LSU Saturday they were all praising their OC the first half. Well that didn't produce much the second half. At some point football is about your assignment and executing, as much as people hate to hear it.


November 11th, 2013 at 11:31 AM ^

People love to bitch about play calling and don't focus on the players. That may even be a good thing at the college level, but it is what it is.

MSU fans derided their offensive play calling when their line was banged up last year and not cohesive this year.

In reality, almost every system/scheme has strengths and weaknesses. A 3-3-5 can work very well with the right coaches and the right players executing.

MANBALL can work very very well under the same conditions.

So, the real question is…... How long do you wait to see if it is working?

Fans never want to wait. Ever. That is what makes them fans. Thank goodness they are powerless.


November 11th, 2013 at 11:41 AM ^

I watched Bama play LSU and even they pulled out a fake punt and a flea flicker in that game.

Their offense is also cohesive in that they run believeable play action passes off of an effective running game, keeping the defense off balance.

What Borges is calling would not be idiotic if there were a believable run game to accompany play action passing. But the fact of the matter is that everyone knows Michigan can't run the ball from under center, so continuing to pretend to do so only results in a very beat up Devin Gardner.

Unfortunately for Borges, this is not a perfect world where he has a dominant, experienced O-Line, and he gets paid to put the players he has in a position to succeed. He is most certainly not doing that right now.

Swayze Howell Sheen

November 11th, 2013 at 1:21 PM ^

Comparisons to Bama, and Saban, are null and void.

There is no person on Earth who would compare Saban and Hoke - it's like they have different jobs, one is so good at his, and the other so seemingly mediocre.

These coaches actually haven't proven anything much even on the recruiting front, if you think about it: only when players they recruit start becoming dominant ON THE FIELD will that be true. If you reel in five-star recruits, and play like they did last week, well, that's when Hoke becomes something other than Saban entirely: Lane Kiffin.



November 11th, 2013 at 3:15 PM ^

Heard this plenty of times in the Carr era.

Hell maybe you have a point, John U Bacon has said that Brandon sits in film sessions with the Coaches. 

Maybe he is the puppet master. lol, this is a total mess.

I just hope when Hoke gets let go he just leaves and doesn't try to get back at the University in an attempt to show all he was right all along.


November 11th, 2013 at 11:08 AM ^

I think he will remain loyal to his staff, the way RR was to his. DB will be happy when Hoke becomes a consistent 8 or 9 win per year coach. For Michigan to be a factor in the NC picture or go against Urban, DB would have to hire an elite coach! I don't think this will happen, so we should be happy with a LC type team, minus the '97 and '06 seasons. Though, Hoke could get lucky and win the B1G once or twice in his 15 year stint here.


November 11th, 2013 at 11:19 AM ^

In all fairness RR fired his DC after year 1 and I'm assuming would have fired GERG after year 3 if he stayed.  I think a lot of people would be happy if Hoke did this with the OC.  Who know's if its the right move but it goes to show you that I think we would be somewhat happy with a RR level of loyalty.


November 11th, 2013 at 11:15 AM ^

The issue is that the offense we stive to be (aka Stanford) doesn't really care if you know what's coming.  Did you watch them against Oregon?  They lined up with 8+ guys in the box and said "here it comes" and were still able to dominate Oregon.  The issue we have is that we know certain plays won't work, yet we continue to use them not just occassionally, but as the focal point of our offense. 


November 11th, 2013 at 11:21 AM ^

I think the implication with Stanford is vastly superior OL coaching. The question is how much is coaching and how much is our players being bad. If our players are being poorly coached or just soft, it really would only take one year for a solid improvement with a better coach. Remember the leap our D made from 2010 to 2011 with Mattison?

The FannMan

November 11th, 2013 at 12:13 PM ^

Take a look at Stanford's line. Seniors and fifth year seniors. We have two of those. The middle three are freshman and RS frosh. Stanford has guys who are four or five years older with tons more experience.

But, I guess that it is just easier to call the players "soft" or the coaches. "poor" than to face the fact that it takes years to develop a line like Stanford's. So go with whatever feels good to you.

Deep Under Cover

November 11th, 2013 at 12:13 PM ^

I don't think anyone is questioning that it takes time to put meat on young lineman and to develop talent and proper technique.  I just think that what we should be capable of doing right now is teaching the players we have how to block something they have now seen multiple weeks in a row.

When players are out of position, that's coaching.  When you see the same thing happen over and over, but you call that play again (but to the other side), that's coaching.  When you can't even slow down a pass rush, that's coaching.

I am no expert, I won't pretend to know exactly how everything should be blocked, but mass player confusion is a reflection on coaching.  Poor coaching is like porn- you know it when you see it.


November 11th, 2013 at 11:43 AM ^

In addition to being extremely predictable by formation and personnel, our running plays do not seem to be well conceived.  They often take too long to develop and in other instances seem to place too much pressure on particular linemen.  The end result is that our TB is usually hit well before the line of scrimmage.  I didn't watch the Stanford game but would be willing to bet that was not the norm when Stanford ran the ball.


November 11th, 2013 at 11:17 AM ^

Just a reminder, this isn't a recruiting contest, it's a football contest. All the staff as shown the ability to recruit, their ability to develop their recruits is lacking substantially.


November 11th, 2013 at 11:30 AM ^

Our offense is predictable.  It's one thing to be predictable when you have the horses to do it (even then I don't like it), but we don't have that luxury right now.  Right now, Borges needs to be creative, and less predictable.  It blows my mind when I think about how much money Borges is getting paid to be a turd of an OC.  

Speaking of turds, I'd rather have chicken-shit bingo when calling the plays.  Just lay the OC's play sheets on the ground, and whichever play the chicken shits on, is the play we call.  At least we wouldn't be predictable. 


November 11th, 2013 at 11:46 AM ^

We would still be predictable, because the Nebraska players are telling us that the formation and the personnel allowed them to determine the play.  Even chicken shit bingo can't fix that.  We need to be running plays in a manner where neither formation nor personnel tell the other team what we are going to do.


November 11th, 2013 at 12:04 PM ^

One to crap out the formation, and a second to crap out the play. Boom- problem solved. Plus, think of how funny it would be if first chicken craps out a goal line formation but the second chicken craps on "hail mary." It'd probably still be more effective than our O now.


November 11th, 2013 at 12:42 PM ^

It's not just the plays being called, but the design of the plays, formation, and personnel.  That's what I meant, but I didn't articulate well, because I got caught up in the joy of picturing a chicken pooping on a call sheet, and an entire team waiting anxiously for the chicken to finish it's business.


November 11th, 2013 at 1:10 PM ^


I got caught up in the joy of picturing a chicken pooping on a call sheet, and an entire team waiting anxiously for the chicken to finish it's business.


Even with that wait, we'd still get play calls in faster than we do now.


November 11th, 2013 at 11:30 AM ^

Dymonte Thomas(RB) and Jourdan Lewis(WR) earned raves at camps on offense. On this theme, UCLA used their starting LB Myles Jack at RB this past week with great success.

I realize our line is young/not good but Thomas is too good of an athlete to play as sparingly as he has on a punchless team. If he's not ready at DB, then let's get the ball in his hands and see what he can do.

Simiarly, unless Derrick Green turns into Earl Campbell, I'd like to see Jabrill Peppers get some looks at RB for next year. 

While this may not change the 'they know what's coming factor' from Borges, at least some explosive guys can have the ball.


November 11th, 2013 at 11:38 AM ^

From the comments to the Detroit News article:  "How did Nebraska know what was coming when Borges seemed to have no idea what to do?"  The fact is that we are all pretty well able to predict what is going to happen as soon as we see the formation, and we all have come to realize that the only thing a play-action passing effort accomplishes is to put Devin's back to the defense with the usual result being that by the time he turns around he is wearing 2 or 3 defenders.  No team does well when the other side knows what it is going to do on any sort of consistent basis.  That's why QB sneaks are intended to get about 1 yard and are not usually tried when 2 or more yards are needed.


November 11th, 2013 at 11:44 AM ^

We should use signs to call play like Oregon does, but instead of miscellaneous pictures we should just put a picture of Fitz running up the middle when we want Fitz to run up the middle.