Mitch Cumstein

July 9th, 2011 at 9:06 PM ^

I don't disagree that our offense was good last year.  I just think it is a weak argument to say well team X played against cream puffs too, so obviously we can compare the entire sample of team Y even though the cream puffs may have been different or in different quantity.  I mean beating a team 50 to 0 vs beating 2 teams 100 to 0 are blow outs either way, but will make a big difference on total stats. 



July 10th, 2011 at 12:21 AM ^

And Rich is still never coming back. Deal with it. And if Hoke has a losing record his first two years and gets luckier than hell not to have one in his third year, people will be running him out of town. The difference will be this site will be leading the way rather than still making excuses 6 months after he's gone.

coastal blue

July 9th, 2011 at 2:28 PM ^

Using the official MGoBlog definition of a good team (Any team that is 7-6 or better and was not beaten by a Rich Rodriguez coached team, thus giving an individual the full opportunity to condemn him as a total failure and place no positive credit in his pockets for anything good that occurs in the Michigan football program over the next three years), this is how their offenses fared against Wisconsin last season:

Michigan (7-6): 24 plays, 100 yds, 0 pts, 0 TOs, 1 missed FG

Northwestern (7-6): 18 plays, 68 yds, 3 pts, 3 TOs

MSU (11-2): 24 plays, 145 yds, 6 pts, 2 TOs

OSU (12-1): 26 plays, 94 yds, 3 pts, 0 TOs, 1 missed FG

Iowa (8-5): 32 plays, 185 yds, 14 pts, 1 TO

TCU (13-0): 18 plays, 142 yds, 14 pts, 0 TO (only 3 drives. Wisconsin held onto the ball for an absurd 21:28 in the first half)

So what does this tell us about our offense? Absolutely nothing. I don't think anyone would consider MSU or Iowa's offense better than OSU's, but there they were, outperforming the Buckeyes. Northwestern managed 32 less yards and 3 more turnovers, yet outscored us because, as always, the offense isn't the only part that matters in putting up points. 

In short, using one game vs. one team to judge whether or not a unit is successful is ridiciulous. It would be like watching Oregon and Cal last year and coming to the conclusion that Oregon had a terrible offense. Or watching us play Purdue and coming away saying "Hey, the Wolverines don't look that bad on the defensive side of the ball".


July 9th, 2011 at 7:15 PM ^

If over .500 is atrocious, what is under lifetime under .500 (47-50) called?  What is 5 seasons under .500 (out of eight coached), with a sixth being 7-6 called?

Which isn't to say he won't do just fine at UM.  He won't be undercut at every turn, he brought in Mattison, nearly every starter is returning, etc., etc.  Bill Stewart put together three straight years of 9-4 with excellent assistants.  We should be able to return to that kind of success.



July 9th, 2011 at 3:57 PM ^

In all honesty the offense did fine against a solid defense. Only one offense all year scored more points on Wisconsin (MSU had special teams punt return). The defense dug us a hole. Sure the offense was far from perfect, but they moved the ball and scored four TDs on a defense that never gave up five.


July 9th, 2011 at 5:10 PM ^

I have no problem saying that the offense played well in the second half, and it deserves some credit for not giving up.  But I can't call it a good overall performance when we scored zero points in an entire half.  When you're heavily-dependent on one side of the ball to win, it can't afford to run hot and cold. 


July 9th, 2011 at 7:33 PM ^

Well if we are only judging the offense in halfs, I would say it goes like this:

The offense played extremely well in the 2nd half (a very good offense ususally doesn't score 42 per game, which is what our 2nd half offense was on pace for)

The offense did not play very well the first half (as scoring 0 in a half is much more common, but would have been helped out by a competent kicking game)

When you combine an extremely good half with a not very good half, you get a decent overall performance. So by your criteria, the two taken together looks to be a pretty good performance against an 11-1 team with a good defense.  So which is it, was it a "not good" overall performance or not?


July 9th, 2011 at 6:57 PM ^

Arguing that Michigan's offense was not good enough, especially in that Wisconsin game, is like arguing that the moon should outshine the sun.  It is absurd.


Even in the first half, the offense had two drives that would have been considered successful if they were delivered by a team that bothered to field a defense.

Possession 1:  1st and 10 from our one yard line, 35 yard drive and a punt to flip the field position

Possession 2: 50+ yard drive into the red zone earning a field goal attempt

Possessions 3 and 4: 3 & out resulting almost directly from a case of butter fingers.

In the third quarter the offense caught fire and scored as such.

RR did not suck at everything.  At MIchigan, RR sucked at fielding a defense.  RR sucked at fielding a kicking unit.  He was fired because of the defense.  He is legitimately very good at fielding an offense, and did so at Michigan.

El Jeffe

July 9th, 2011 at 8:29 PM ^

jmblue, please, please, please respond to this. It is what I have been arguing for, it seems, months now. Can't we agree on the following:

  • the Michigan offense was excellent last year, at times spectacular, and probably would have gotten better this year (point in favor of RR if we're going there)
  • the Michigan defense was atrocioius last year, at times unwatchable, and probably wouldn't have gotten all that much better this year (point against RR)
  • the Michigan special teams, well, really just the kicking game, were atrocious last year, at times unwatchable, and it is completely unknown whether they would have gotten better (point against RR).

Look, jmblue, you won. You got the outcome you wanted. I fucking cannot understand why you have to crap on Michigan's offense last year when there is so much other stuff to crap on. I believe you are one of the people who have complained that there is a lot of knee-jerk revisionist history in support of RR on this blog. But what I see is people like you (jmblue) totally unwilling to concede a very simple point when your rhetorical opponents are conceding so many others.

To recap: it would be insane revisionist Orwellian history to try to claim that Michigan's defense was good last year. But no one is making that point. I think it is equally insane revisionism to claim that Michigan's offense wasn't good last year. Was it perfect? No, of course not. But it was pretty fucking good. You can concede that point without fearing that anyone will take that as a softening of your dogmatic stance against RR.

Mitch Cumstein

July 9th, 2011 at 8:39 PM ^

But I don't see a problem with your bullets.  The one thing I will say, is that the turnovers were bad.  That is something against the offense.  And unlike many of the posters here, I don't think that was random.  I think that was a systematic problem with RR's approach.  I will admit some of that may have had to do with the youth last year, but not all.  I think its suspect to just chalk up TO's into the youth column when RR's offenses didn't take care of the ball for 3 straight years (granted we were young, but still).  That being said, the offense was good last year, I don't think that means we should necessarily run it exactly next year though. I'd like to see some common ground between what Borges is comfortable with and the personnel.  I mean look how forcing GERG to run a 335 turned out.


July 9th, 2011 at 9:11 PM ^

The main culprit of turnovers for 3 straight years was a freshmen QB or 1st year starting QB who should have been a redshirt freshman. Those 3 straight years were all led by someone who shouldn't have been on the field. The systematic problem becomes much less systematic when someone with very little experience is running an offense full of very little experience.

Mitch Cumstein

July 9th, 2011 at 9:23 PM ^

I get the argument, my point is a good fraction of TOs were not from starting a first year QB.  Look at the TO stats from the last 3 years (having trouble wtih a table right now so I list them).


  • Year: FUM-lost, INT
  • 2010: 29-14, 15
  • 2009: 29-13, 15
  • 2008: 29-18, 12

The point is, I don't know how you can look at those fumble numbers and just say "well, young QB, should go away automatically".  That is a problem that transcends the inexperienced QB play IMO.


July 9th, 2011 at 11:33 PM ^

Yes the offense was good last year, but so was SDSU's.  They averaged more points per game than we did.  They were incredibly diverse, running I-form, shotgun, zone read, two tight ends, 3 wide, etc.  Gorgeous Al thew the sink at his opponents and in the process had a thousand yard runner and two thousand yard receivers.. 

He's on record as saying he'll use Denard wisely, that he'll run more shotgun than ever before.  He's not a man who's wedded to a system. 

I think everyone needs to step back from the ledge until we see what the offense really looks like next year.  I'm betting we're going to be pleasantly surprised.


July 10th, 2011 at 10:15 AM ^

This is still going on?

I happened to catch a few minutes of this awful performance late last night.  It was the beginning of the game (you know, when Wisc still felt they were playing varsity competition) and we looked terrible.  It was the first time I re-watched a portion of a recent game.  We looked much worse than I recall.

I'd say "I can't believe anyone is saying that game was evidence of anything positive" except that Brian (and some of his most loyal) have proven (over and over again) that they'll stretch to any length to defend a failed coach and knock the new guy.  Brian is a champ at putting together a great blog with something for everyone (from recruiting insight to player profiles to formation, regrettably, pictures of cats).  He is, however, not one with any credibility when it comes to talking about Hoke, Hoke's staff, Hoke's potential or anything having to do with the well-accepted notion that RR flopped in A2.  Digging back into a game like Wisc does nothing but bring back memories of how our squad got dominated and how Brian was dead wrong about all (whining) predictions about Hoke.

My suggestion for Brian (and the loyalists) is to pretend that the Hoke bashing never happened.  He has proven you wrong (thus far) in every conceivable manner.  You have no basis to suggest that your vision of his offense is what we will see on the field. You are no better a predictor of Michigan football than the Doomsday Preacher is of the "end of days".  Stick to what you do best...producing a great blog that lots of Michigan fans love and shy away from all of the division that you railed against for so long.


July 10th, 2011 at 11:17 AM ^

"Brian is a champ at putting together a great blog with something for everyone (from recruiting insight to player profiles to formation, regrettably, pictures of cats).  He is, however, not one with any credibility when it comes to talking about Hoke, Hoke's staff, Hoke's potential or anything having to do with the well-accepted notion that RR flopped in A2. "

Insightful and well said. I think this blog would be much improved if Brian would leave the analysis to those who played college football and/or is a coach. Those who rely on more than just selectively derived, questionably generalized stats to say something. Brian should stick to doing what he does best, such as providing a secondary source for the broad range of information that is out there, as well as a platform for conversation - and not what he does worst, which is try to craft original information. 

OMG Shirtless

July 10th, 2011 at 11:05 AM ^

Wisconsin buttfucked us without the courtesy of a reach around, then put our teeth on the curb and stomped the back of our heads in, then had their women buttfuck us with a strapon.  Trying to justify that game as any sort of positive is a waste of time, and probably should earn you some  time in the psych ward.