Counted eight freshman playing defense tonight

Submitted by pdxwolve on October 31st, 2010 at 1:17 AM

I sat in a bar with some PSU fans, and spent the first half listening to a young, drunk UM fan bitching about RR, how great Lloyd was, and how the defense sucked ... blah, blah, blah, blah.

I finally told him to shut up; it was more important to me to get away for a few hours, hoist a few micros, and watch the game. Yes, this is my alma mater who always put a respectable (if not damn good) team on the field. I'm disappointed with this loss, and I'm worried about being bowl eligible, but shit. I can't blame RR for missed tackles, or Gallon punting the ball out at the 2-yard-line.

Most of the mistakes I see are made by freshman or redshirts. And it's the little things. Guys trying to strip the ball on a fourth down, rather that making a sure tackle so we get the ball back anyhow. Missed assignments. The defense being worked on every screen pass because they can't stay home. These errors will be fixed with experience.

The question is: will the drunk guy in the bar -- along with all the other people calling for RR's head -- be patient for one more year?



October 31st, 2010 at 1:21 AM ^

No.  I was extremely patient and this pushed me over the edge.  You can point to the freshmen, but who's responsible for not having more experienced players now?  Too much focus on offense, neglect on the defense until it's too late.


October 31st, 2010 at 1:26 AM ^

A senior this year would have entered in 2006.  A junior would have entered in the fall of 2007, assuming no redshirt year.  Rich Rodriguez was not responsible for those recruiting classes.

As much as I love Lloyd, I have to admit that his last two recruiting classes were pretty terrible, with only a handful of good players coming out of them.  We're paying the price for that now.


October 31st, 2010 at 1:50 AM ^

Of course it wasn't since, RichRod had to get his players for the offense.  Can anyone blame him for recruiting the offense heavily his first year with him being an offensive coach?  He then took his second recruiting class and recruited defense heavily.  I have been a RichRod supporter since the hire but even tonight has shaken my faith in him but there are only so many spots for scholarships each year.   Even if he did recruit defense heavily in his first recruiting class, guess what, they would still be sophomores.


October 31st, 2010 at 1:36 AM ^

Come on, didn't it seem like he saw what happened last year and said "oh, I should really get more defensive players now".  Why didn't he take care of this the year before?  Experience does not mean senior; a sophomore would even be a big step up from a true freshman.


October 31st, 2010 at 2:26 AM ^

He did recruit some defensive players that were supposed to be good, like Cissoko and Turner.  He didn't know that Cissoko would have a problem with the police and that Turner would have a problem with Cheeseburgers.  We suffered from attrition in the one area that we could least afford it.  At least next year we get Woolfolk back and our freshmen will be sophomores with a whole year of practices under their belts.


October 31st, 2010 at 2:07 PM ^

I'm sure you had a moment of amnesia,  J.T. Turner was recruited originally by Lloyd Carr's staff.

You are correct though, he did commit to RR. Here are some links to illustrate my comment above.

2007 Nov 29th:

RR Article on leaving WV on December 17th:


If i am wrong, someone please respond and let me know.


October 31st, 2010 at 4:18 PM ^

I don't think you understand.  Lloyd Carr wasn't the head coach for about 14 or 15 months prior to the signing of Turner's LOI.  Rodriguez could have stopped recruiting Turner if he wanted, but Rodriguez chose to continue.  Carr is not to blame or credit for the recruitment and development of Justin Turner.  That falls entirely on the shoulders of Rodriguez and his staff.


October 31st, 2010 at 12:07 PM ^

on the field last night that had even less game experience than all of our defensive players. He was Penn State's Quarterback. I don't care who we put on the field, we should be able to be better than giving up 41 points to an enemic offense with a walk-on first time starter at QB.


October 31st, 2010 at 3:43 AM ^

WHOSE FAULT IS IT FOR NOT HAVING MORE EXPERIENCED PLAYERS?  Lloyd "mother f*&^%in" Carr's!  You are not an educated Michigan fan!  I wish you would do some more research before you accuse people of being witches!  Damn!  I am ashamed to share the same football team as you!  Do your research!


October 31st, 2010 at 10:21 AM ^

Three years into RR's career, it's time to stop playing the "the cupboard was left bare" game. Excuse my "lack of education" on the team, but let's not just find excuses for everything that's going wrong. Bottom line is that the defense should not be doing this poorly right now, and more attention should have been paid to the defense if we can't execute flawlessly on offense.


October 31st, 2010 at 10:15 AM ^

There have been a TON of players who departed from Michigan under Rodriguez's watch.  You can blame Carr all you want for the lack of recruiting in his last year(s), but Rodriguez was the one in charge when all those potential juniors and seniors jumped ship.


October 31st, 2010 at 12:14 PM ^

I just did some research. Here is what I found. Every year this team has less Lloyd Carr recruits on defense, and every year the defense gets a little worse. If experience is what it takes to win maybe you should do some research and check how much experience Penn State's QB had before last night.


October 31st, 2010 at 1:25 AM ^

Mouton did a great Obi impression tonight and the freshmen looked like freshmen but in the end whose fault is it that all we have are freshmen that don't improve with lots of playing time. 


October 31st, 2010 at 1:33 AM ^

I was playing count the freshman on D. 10 freshman played tonight. 7 true and 3 redshirt. 7 of them got quite a bit of time. Their first night game and at PSU must have been intimidating but they settled down a bit in the second half. It looked like all of the position switches had them a little confused at times but I think everyone is ending up in the right spot.


October 31st, 2010 at 1:34 AM ^

Being as bad as we are on D is pretty much mind-blowing, but I'm not sure what people expected once Woolfolk went down.  I thought mild, intermittent competence was the ceiling, and while we've utterly failed to reach it, it's not clear why people are so mad after this game in particular.

We've played the same shitty D since the UMass game.  The offense needs to be near-perfect to bail us out.  We didn't get any new information tonight, just the exact same miserable information we've had for over a month.  Why today is it FIRE RR/GERG and it wasn't a month ago?  Either this was a good idea then, or it's a bad idea now (note: firing GERG is always a good idea).

We're going to be terrible on D for at least another year no matter who we fire or bring in.  That's the real issue to me here - you can't let RR stay with these results for 5 years, but the issues are still only 65% his fault (a number that increases every year).  So while I think we've reached the point where it's clear this isn't working, I still haven't heard anything that can solve it other than time.  With the offense still playing extremely well, I'm not sure firing RR solves anything...  which is depressing.


October 31st, 2010 at 1:48 AM ^

it's not clear why people are so mad after this game in particular.

Because no D - even one like ours - should ever give up 41 points (could have been 48) to this offense.  This was exactly the kind of crappy offense that even our weak defense should have been able to slow down.  This was one of the worst defensive performances I've ever seen us play, and it came in the ninth week of the season, when we had two weeks to prepare.  PSU was averaging 20 ppg going into the game - and that was with Bolden at QB, not a third-string walk-on.  Remember "expect gentle chewing"?   


October 31st, 2010 at 1:50 AM ^

I dunno, looking back I really think the UMass performance was worse.  PSU objectively has a better offense than UMass.  This was a total disaster, but it was no worse than that.  We just lucked out with a win because they're I-AA.  ToB was right about all this, and it sucks.


October 31st, 2010 at 2:00 AM ^

to be the team PSU was playing when they decided to turn in their best offensive game of the year.  McGloin hardly missed a pass all night, and for all the talk he actually played a very good game.

PSU played like the type of team I thought they would be at the start of the season, and one I expected we would lose.  I turned to hoping we might with with their own mid-season melfdown, but they managed to right the ship in time for us.

We just have to accept that we're a mediocre team this year and what we're seeing is how mediocre teams play.  We won't be mediocre forever, though, so we just have to tough it out.


October 31st, 2010 at 2:41 AM ^

"We also had the bad luck to be the team PSU was playing when they decided to turn in their best offensive game of the year."
So far the following teams have had their bet games of the year against our defense.
8 games in, 5 teams have had their best games of the year against our D, you think it's a cooincedence?


October 31st, 2010 at 7:47 AM ^

That is pure make your own luck.  How many players has PSU lost.  I have no doubt, and the record supports me, that PSU is not a very good team, except against us.  

Has PSU righted their ship...let's see how the rest of the schedule plays out for them.

Pure and simple, we have one of the worst D's in the country, not only against B10 play but against all the inferior  teams we have played.

While at this stage of RichRod's tenure at Michigan, we might not expect to have a great D, I would have expected something at least below average, not at the bottom.  From where I stand, I see one good player on D, Martin. What happened to Roh?  Is he playing out of position.

There is always the excuse of bare cupboard, or players leaving the program, academically ineligible etc. etc.  Some of that fall with the coaches and the players they select.

I think what bothers me is that there is some visceral sense that even next year, we are going to be an average team at best.


October 31st, 2010 at 1:36 AM ^

First of all, I still support RR.  I'm not pissed at the freshman mistakes.  I'm pissed at the fact that we have 3 lineman on the goaline and obvious running downs.

That will not change with experience.  I'm pissed that Craig Roh is not on the Dline and is instead at LB.

Please fire GERG he brings down RR too.


October 31st, 2010 at 1:51 AM ^

the answer to your question if others, more importantly, if  David Brandon  will  be patient. I say let's wait for the rest of the season to play out. It wouldn't surprise me if someone does lose their job at the end of the season though. 

M_Born M_Believer

October 31st, 2010 at 2:07 AM ^

But can the coaches still be supportitive of each other.  Obviously on the surface, they will say yeah thats my guy, but I have to wonder.  I just posted in another thread that a boss only starts to mingle into someone else's business when he losing faith in that individual.  I am believing more and more that a coaching change is going to happen at the end of this year.  The million dollar question is......who?  RR or GREG. 

The final 4 games will spell that out.  Totally irresponsible odds:

RR being let go >15% and will lower with even 1 more win and continus to drop with each additional win....

GREG being let go 60%-70% and this number could go up or down.  Right now, I just feel it is tracking upward....

Bronco Joe

October 31st, 2010 at 8:39 AM ^

a boss only starts to mingle into someone else's business when he losing faith in that individual.

I thought the shot during the game of RR getting into the defensive huddle like Greg Robinson was not even there is very telling. So is the fact that after the Iowa game, RR said he was going to get involved with the D more, and all of a sudden there are a bunch of changes are made. There also were a LOT of freshmen playing - I saw a glimpse of Christian, Jibreel Black looked GOOD on the end, Vinopal, Carvin Johnson, etc. 

The only criticism I have of RR is maybe too much trust in Greg Robinson. I believe RR's expectation was that the defense could be managed by someone with the experience he hired. I have a hard time faulting Greg Robinson for the play of the freshmen, but they just have not seemed to improve. Unfortunately for Robinson, assuming he is gone this year, someone else is going to come in with a LOT more experience. Still, it'd be nice to see someone that could coach that experience up to at least an average defense. I was hoping for that from Greg Robinson, but he just isn't showing it. 


October 31st, 2010 at 2:30 AM ^

GERG is probably right behind him. There was an interesting thread today about Jeff Casteel as a potential option. He might be the one guy who could step in and not have the usual growing pains of a new DC.


October 31st, 2010 at 3:07 AM ^

Really I didn't count anyone playing D, I really never saw one person on Michigan playing D, I saw 11 young men on the field running around, but not one of them were playing D.


October 31st, 2010 at 8:28 AM ^

Here are the questions - why do we have some many freshman? What is going on with the coaching of the secondary that so many players have left or not panned out when the position has been one big gaping crater for two or three seasons? Why are our senior linebackers not getting it? Whay can't anyone tackle or take good pursuit angles? Who recruited players who obviously were not an academic fit?

These are all coaching decisions. Right now, I'd say at least GERG has to go, but I think Gibson does too.

Then there is: who is the guy responsible for demanding GERG go to the 3-3-5? Who hired GERG? Who basically comes across as having ignored the defense until two weeks ago? Who's job as head coach is overseeing (not delegating away) every aspect of the program (including defense, special teams, and compliance)?

Yes the offense is improved over last year. But last year's offense with a healthy Tate and Molk was pretty good - good enough to win with. Our defense has digressed three years running.

I think Rich either wins against OSU and 1 or 2 more games, or he's gone. This doesn't even include that what if the NCAA comes back negative on his case. Right now the odds are way against him ...


October 31st, 2010 at 8:39 AM ^

This years D is like the offense 2 years ago....lots of guys out there playing hard but not smart and making mistakes left and right. Our upperclassmen on D...mostly average at best. Mike Martin injuring his ankle. Guys who in a perfect world would not be seeing the filed at all or only in blow out situations. ALL these things add up to bad D and I'd bet all of our coaching staff is well aware of it. The D will be better next year. they will not be great but closer to average.

If you look at Oregon this year you see what is possible with our O and an average D...


October 31st, 2010 at 8:42 AM ^

Yeah, we played 8 freshmen. That's always going to be bad. But why do we play 8 freshmen? I know Woolfolk got hurt, but the rest?

Our rotation for the 5 DBish spots is:

-A 5th year WR/RB/CB/WR/CB who had never, ever played (Rogers)

-A RS Sophomore (Floyd)

-5 True Freshmen (Avery, Christian, Talbott, Vinopal, Johnson)

-A walkon RS Sophomore (Kovacs)

-A RS Freshman LB masquerading as a FS (Cam Gordon)

-1 more RS Frosh (Thomas Gordon)

I understand Woolfolk got hurt. I understand that Dorsey "happened". But what about Artis Chambers, Warren. Brandon Smith, Vlad Emilien, Justin Turner, Booboo Cissoko, and anyone else I'm forgetting who decided they just flat didn't want to be here anymore? What about the array of "assume commits" like Mathis, Grimes, and Knight (I'm sure there were others in previous classes)? We can point to individual cases and say "Turner let himself get fat" and "Cissoko did it to himself" and "Vlad wasn't the same post injury". But isn't it the staff's job to keep players motivated? On the right track? To recruit guys that haven't essentially had career ending injuries? To not recruit Witty and Dorsey - who haven't a prayer of coming here, and rather, focus on people who are qualified?

Yeah, we play a ton of freshmen. But isn't the fact that we NEED to an indictment of the staff? We've played a ton of freshmen for three straight seasons.

At some point, the abysmal TO Margin, the inability to kickoff, or to catch returns, or tackle, or find a soul with experience, or the crippling of every other promising drive with a penalty stops being "bad luck" and starts being "what this team is". I think 3 years is a reasonable point.