Behind Enemy Lines (Bama Fans on Michigan)

Submitted by RollDamnTide on April 4th, 2012 at 7:30 PM

I'll just give you a quick summary of what is being said in T-Town (That's Tuscaloosa for all of you north of Kentucky).


-Most fans believe that since Les Miles is a "Michigan Man", that Michigan will get a lot of input from him on how to beat Alabama.

-A lot of fans are convinced that Bama's D can make Denard Robinson a solely zone read QB. That Michigan's coaches won't have Denard putting the ball in the air all that often.

-Our secondary is young, so a lot of people are worried that Denard will be able to get chunks of yardage downfield on plays that he keeps alive.

-Quite a few fans believe this will be a lot like Bama's game against Va-Tech in 09, with Michigan scoring less than Va Tech managed.

-People are genuinely scared of Denard's ability to throw on the run.

-They were not impressed by the videos of Michigan's scrimmage. (Just a quick insight on that. People who put stock in Spring game, or practice scrimmage video are foolish)

-Most fans believe a "Shotgun Zone read" offense will be ineffective at moving the ball against Alabama.

-These are smart fans, they know Michigan is still recovering from a a size problem under the Rich Rodriguez era. 

-Michigan's defense is an area of concern for a lot of folks. They know Mattison has beaten the Tide before, and know he can dial up a scheme that will cause us problems.

-Trent Richardson is gone, but this is probably the best offensive line that Alabama has had in 20 years. 4 returning starters give us a lot of hope that the running game won't suffer any setbacks.

-A few of the smarter posters have been warning people about the impact Ondre Pipkins could have. We think he'll play, and we think he'll see major time against us. (After watching this kids tape, I'm so happy Barrett Jones switched to center, Yikes!)



It's far too early for me to go into full break down mode, we have all summer for that. I'll continue sharing info from across enemy lines that hopefully we'll give you guys good reading material.

On a personal note. A lot of Bama fans have realized that I'm on here now, so I catch a lot of flack for it. I think we could see a few of the better posters join MgoBlog closer to the game, and I hope they do, they'd be a big plus to this community.


Edit: I should have noted that these are from 3-4 different sites. Sorry guys, I got lazy, it's been a very long week already and I'm exhausted.





April 4th, 2012 at 7:52 PM ^

when you give us such good content RDT... And then I just think about Nick Saban and instantly crave to win decisively September 1st.  Thanks for the updates, as usual


April 4th, 2012 at 8:15 PM ^

I'll say the same thing about Saban that I say about him in neutral forums: I have mixed emotions.  He is the most prolific gamer of the NCAA's system that we have seen.  He cares nothing about his players.  He represents everything the NCAA isn't supposed to represent.  

Most of all, though, he wins.  You might not like his methods, but you certainly can't argue with his results.  And I can't help but think that if he ran a team I cheered for, I would be making excuses for him.  


April 4th, 2012 at 8:53 PM ^

we all like Michigan is because they would never disgrace themselves with a crook like Saban. The University represents itself with class (see Hoke, Beilein, Berenson, etc.).  A Michigan Man behaves with integrity, which is not something Saban knows a lot about.


April 4th, 2012 at 7:58 PM ^

I'm gonna disagree about Pipkins. I just don't think he'll be ready after like 4 weeks of practice. He could defiantly see time as the season goes on, but I don't see it early.


April 4th, 2012 at 10:33 PM ^

 I'm not too worried about the fact someone says it's bama's best o line in 20 years. More than half of that time Bama was terrible and the rest of the time their O line could only seem to be great at pass protection or run blocking. Michigans d line doesn't have to dominate on all fronts to win the game , they have to be disruptive and finish tackles.

 The front I listed is just a fast / athletic front who I think can run around Bamas linemen.

 As far as BWC goes i'll believe it when I see it. Personally I find it hard for me to believe a kid could have the opportunity BWC has had and be lazy enough to let it pass him by. it's unreal to me and I can't even think of an example as to how unreal it is. Most people on here would kill to have the opportunity he has let slip through his fingers the last 3 years. I'd be more than happy to apologize to BWC if he turns out his senior year ( and I hope he does)



April 4th, 2012 at 9:13 PM ^

Don't completely discount BWC.  He has shown a number of times that when he is motivated enought he is a disruptive force of some note.  His biggest problem has been consistancy and attitude from all acounts (including his own) and I think this coaching staff has really inspired him to turn that around.  I bet we will see BWC blow up some centers this year.


EDIT: Damn you beat me to it.


April 4th, 2012 at 7:59 PM ^

There are these:

"-People are genuinely scared of Denard's ability to throw on the run."

"-They were not impressed by the videos of Michigan's scrimmage. (Just a quick insight on that. People who put stock in Spring game, or practice scrimmage video are foolish)"

and then there's this:

"-These are smart fans..."

Were the "smart fans" found in a different place or are they from the same collective group? Because anybody who judges a team from a spring scrimmage (not even the damn spring game) and people who are afraid of Denard throwing on the run isn't very bright.


April 4th, 2012 at 8:03 PM ^

it's interesting to me that you can have your best offensive line in 20 years and still worry about our defense. i think with the coaching that they'll get that they'll end up being pretty good, but asking an essentially brand new front four to open up against a proven, experienced alabama offensive line seems like a tall task.

i hope you guys are right though.


April 4th, 2012 at 8:03 PM ^

 Alabama has been known to in the past think that if they just show up they'll win the game ( see the 2010 season).  This game should mean alot to team 133 and a win in Jerry World against Alabama would do great for erasing most of the memories of the RichRod era. I really think alabama comes in and exspects a blow but, meets a determined well coached Michigan team that gives them their first loss of the season.


 Alabama has some great recruting classes and generally cuts their dead weight and adds another class in between so they are very talented but, there is no substitution for in game experience. They lost most of their team from last years NC team , they coach a complex defense so i'm exspecting a lot of defensive mistakes from Bama.



April 4th, 2012 at 8:03 PM ^

I've recently moved down to Huntsville and work with a fair number of Bama fans (understatement of the week?) so I'll do what I can to help keep a finger on the pulse of the Bama fanbase.


April 4th, 2012 at 8:10 PM ^

If I'm remembering correctly, we looked absolutely horrible in last years spring game and everyone was predicting a 6-6 record, and a slightly improved defense at best. "Smart fans" would know how much a spring game or practices gauge teams.


April 4th, 2012 at 8:54 PM ^

The defense looked awesome, but we didn't believe it could be that good after 2010, so we blamed the O. Denard struggled with the pro style. The defense brought crazy blitzes from everywhere and looked like a sound, aggressive unit. Wilkins got destroyed and was never heard from again. Jake Ryan looked fantastic.

Sure, Cox ran for a long TD. And it wasn't revealing of the entire 2011 season. But on balance, last year's spring game gave several indications of what to expect in the regular season.


April 4th, 2012 at 8:14 PM ^

Lessens every time Roll Tide contributes to this blog. Please don't let a centered, well-rounded and reasonable Buckeye fan appear here. I can't bear the thought.


April 4th, 2012 at 8:19 PM ^

I'm not listing skill positions; I'm not a believer that a 6'3 RB is inherently better than a 5'8 RB, we all know Denard can be an elite QB and we're not sure how much size DG gives the receiving corps. So, for TE's and bigger on offense, first string (from MGoBlue):

TE Moore- 6'5 255
LT Lewan- 6'8 302
LG Mealer- 6'5 310
C Barnum- 6'3 292
RG Omameh- 6'4 299
RT Schofield- 6'7 299

Alabama's three returning starters on OL, plus favorite-to-start TE (Jones is apparently being moved to C after an All-America season elsewhere):

TE Williams- 6'6 269
C Jones- 6'5 302
RT Fluker- 6'6 345
LG Warmack- 6'3 320

Fluker and Warmack are monsters, but they're also ten pounds heavier than anyone else on Alabama's current roster. RDT, who are your projected starters at LT and RG?


April 4th, 2012 at 8:30 PM ^

I don't know if you've had one around you yet, but one of the most important things on MGoBlog is the presence of a Chart? Chart.

TE Moore 6'5 255
LT Lewan 6'8 302
LG Mealer 6'5 310
C Barnum 6'3 292
RG Omameh 6'4 299
RT Schofield 6'7 299
TE Williams 6'6 269
LT Kouandjio 6'6 311
LG Warmack 6'3 320
C Jones 6'5 302
RG Steen 6'3 303
RT Fluker 6'6 345



April 4th, 2012 at 9:08 PM ^

They actually just recently had to move the business out of her kitchen into a decently sized professional space. I'm fortunate enough to have her cook for me when I make it up there, and I'm hoping it catches on around town, obviously. I'm sure she, and my uncle, appreciate the kind words.

Tim in Huntsville

April 4th, 2012 at 8:22 PM ^

I went climbing in the Little River Canyon last week and stopped by the Little River Cafe for breakfast...   They had a ton of pennants and other Alabama banners, but there was also a Michigan pennant hanging there as well..   Come to find out, one of the owners is from downriver somewhere.  And here I thought they had hung it to honor their 'next victim'..  <BigGrin>

BTW, we need to have a game-watching party in Huntsville..   I know of a number of M fans here..



April 4th, 2012 at 8:41 PM ^

On a personal note. A lot of Bama fans have realized that I'm on here now, so I catch a lot of flack for it.

For what? Communicating? We are very happy to have you on the board RDT and we look forward to further insights from T-Town. In the Great Lakes region, T-Town can also mean Toledo, OH.


April 4th, 2012 at 8:54 PM ^

RDT, my only regret about this game is that it isn't part of a two game series with one game played in T-Town and the other in Ann Arbor. I'd really much rather visit Alabama and hope you folks down there are hospitable in lieu of playing one game at Jerry's world.  I also think the Bama people might enjoy Ann Arbor. We are pretty hospitable folks, unless you are from Columbus.

As for the game, I can't get excited until August.  Thank you for the update.


April 4th, 2012 at 9:03 PM ^

I am currently behind enemy lines, in Birmingham.  The people I am talking to about the game don't seem to be scared at all.  They have gotten a bit cocky over the Saban era.  I would love to see Michigan come out firing and beat UA silly.


April 4th, 2012 at 10:18 PM ^

Thanks for the info. I think if roles were reversed I'd probably have similar impressions of Michigan. That said the part about calling up Les Miles for a few pointers is laughable. I doubt anyone in the athletic department is asking the hatter for advice on anything haha.

Also I would be shocked to see Pipkins starting. I think you guys underestimate both Campbell's ability and the difficulty of starting at nose tackle freshman year...

Edit: sorry I misread the original post... nothing about Pipkins necessarily starting.  Wouldn't be surprised if he got into the rotation a decent amount.

GBR Blue

April 4th, 2012 at 10:35 PM ^

RDT, what an ambassador for 'Bama football you are!  Great, objective views and opinions and always very thoughtfully presented to an ostensibly hostile (but not really) crowd.  I'm guessing you scored higher than a 4 on the Wonderlich (whatever) test.  Cheers.