Expectations for the Michigan / Illinois Game

Submitted by michgoblue on November 9th, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Obviously, the PSU story has been dominating the news reels, and it should - what happened at PSU is horrific in so many ways.  In looking at the MGoBoard, it is obvious that there is significant interest in this story, which is appropriate, given the magnitude.  But, there is not a single board topic on the front page dealing with Michigan.

Like many, I come to this site as a distraction from day to day life, as a place to discuss my favorite topic, Michigan FB.  A few hours ago, I read through the grand jury findings, and I was actually sick to my stomach.  While I am following this story closely, I just need a break from it for a few minutes, and a place to discuss something far lighter - out upcoming game. 

I offer this thread as a place to discuss the game, with the following questions:

1.  What do you WANT to see out of our team against a medium-difficulty B10 team?  (Obviously, points, a win, a shutout, etc., but how about some real expectations).

2.  What do you EXPECT to see out of our team this week? 

My answers to start it off:

1.  I WANT to see Denard complete 60+% of his passes, and to hit at least 1-2 long passes.  I also want to see Denard recognize the defense and scramble for some yards.

2.  I actually expect both of those things to happen, except for the 1-2 long passes.  Maybe we will see 1 jump ball, and if it completes, great.  I also expect to see our defense tackle better.  It seems like the past 2-3 games, our team has gotten away from some of the great fundamentals that we saw during the first week.  I expect that to be the focus in practice this week, and hence, I expect fundamantals to improve on both sides of the ball.




November 9th, 2011 at 2:30 PM ^

I actually don't think that we were outcoached last week.  Against MSU, definitely, but not last week.

Out receivers were dropping passed that hit them right in the hands all day.  We got hosed on two calls in the endzone on the final drive, each of which would have had us going for 2 to take it to OT.  We lost last week because we lack a verticle game, and because teams with ecent defenses have long ago figured out how to limit or stop Denard.

Serious question:  What do you consider to be the exampled of outcoaching from last week?


November 9th, 2011 at 4:15 PM ^

We didn't start running an offense that worked until we were down 2 scores and it was too late. If we are going to hold RichRod accountable for having his offense stall at the beginning of games and letting us get behind by too much, let's hold Hoke to the same standard. Iowa and MSU were both very winnable if our coaches make any adjustments at all. Also, define "limiting or stopping" Denard and answer who has done it the past 2 years


November 9th, 2011 at 4:31 PM ^

I hate that line of reasoning.  "Man, see how well we did when we were down X points in the 4th quarter?".  Defenses play completely different when they are up by more than a score in the 4th with time running down.  Do you think that maybe our offense worked when it was too late precisely because Iowa's defense also new it was too late?

Also, RR had 3 years of data for us to start poking holes.  Hoke and co. have had less than a year.  It's probably a little too early to hold them both to the same standard.


November 9th, 2011 at 5:52 PM ^

So you're saying Iowa knew it was too late so they changed their defense, even though we could have (and actually did) tie it up at the end of the game? And last year, after we scored all over Iowa in the 2nd half, are you suggesting they knew a true freshmen would miss a tackle that would have given said offense the ball back down 1 score with half the 4th quarter left, so that is why they changed their defense? This is just lazy. "Of course you made a comeback, we weren't trying as hard." I would assume 2010 Auburn thinks differently and will still take the national championship, even though they were down 3 scores at the half to Alabama.


November 9th, 2011 at 2:15 PM ^

Maybe nobody is...Anyway, I expect the Illini to be fired up after losing the way they did last year and just b/c it's Michigan.  Illinois has some talent, recent troubles aside.  Michigan needs to get back to forcing turnovers.  As for the offense, more shotgun and read plays please.


November 9th, 2011 at 2:16 PM ^

I don't think we can expect to see Denard read the defenses any better then he has already this year. To expect a huge change in this game would seem un-realistic.

I want to see more shotgun snaps and get back to using the read option play a bit more. Gives Robinson the chance to see what is going on in front of him and he doesn't need to turn his back to the defense give him a chance to run, hand off, or even pass. That I think is what made us so dangerous last year teams had to defend against three options almost every time. Robsinson scrambling when a play brakes down is not the same thing although he still has the talent to gain yardage it just isn't something that IMO he is as comfortable doing.

I expect them to come out fired up from last weeks loss and coming to show everyone that this is a different team then past years and won't continue down the 2nd half slide.

Minus The Houma

November 9th, 2011 at 2:17 PM ^

I want to see the freshman improve.  Countess, locking up his side of the field.  Ryan making ridiculous football plays while minimizing mistakes.  Morgan bringing up his consistancy.  Beyer making plays.

Also, I want to see the line just simply dominate.  Blocking with aggression and making some lanes.

Six Zero

November 9th, 2011 at 2:19 PM ^

are some explosive plays from the offense... or, more appropriately, less missed opportunities for big plays.  If I see another pass thrown three feet too far in front of Roundtree, I swear I'm gonna... I'm gonna... GO ON THE LIVE BLOG AND SAY SOMETHING NEGATIVE!!

There.  I said it.


November 9th, 2011 at 2:19 PM ^

I want Denard to stay in, get in rythm, complete passes, scramble when he has the chance, and not slip when he's running. I want no Gardner until the game is well in hand. I also want to see more designed QB runs for Denard. I want to see Borges play to the team's strengths.

I also want to see the D Line get more of a push. Martin and Van Bergen had a few nice plays against Iowa, but as a whole the D Line struggled. I want to see linebackers keep contain as well. I want them to make their tackles and play well. And I want to see Gordon over Woolfolk. I love Woolfolk but you just have to play the better man.


November 9th, 2011 at 2:20 PM ^

I am going to the game in lovely Champaign-Urbana and my expectation is that we win.  I don't care how, I don't care by how many, just win baby!

After back to back years of 3-9, 5-7, 7-6 (including bowl game), my expectation is that we win against an Illinois team that we ought to be able to beat based on the performance of each team to date. 


November 9th, 2011 at 2:26 PM ^

I want to see Denard hit a couple passes deep early, which forces the IL defense to respect the deep routes, which opens up the run game. I want to see creative ways to get Denard out in space from the Duece set instead of just the jet sweep/fake jet sweep. I want to see the defense play well on the perimeter forcing the run game into Martin, who has a huge day.

I expect Denard to struggle with the deep throws still, but manage to throw a successful jump ball or two. I expect IL to stack the box and dare us to run. I expect we will have meh production out of Toussaint, but well enough to move the chains. I expect our defense to get gashed on the edge but come up with good plays here and there get the IL offense behind the chains and keep the score within reach.

I honestly don't know what the outcome will be. I think it'll be an ugly game for both teams and probably IL will have the advantage being at home. Probably one of those games where the team that makes the last big mistake loses.


November 9th, 2011 at 2:27 PM ^


  • Winds may be an issue for Saturday in Champaign - South Wind at 16 MPH gusts as high as 35 MPH as night falls. I am going to the game an not looking forward to this. I remember in 2004 at Illinois there were win gusts as high as 45 MPH and that affected a Freshman Henne but UM won 30-19 going away. 




November 9th, 2011 at 2:28 PM ^

I would like to see us win.  And while we are winning I'd like to see a scroll at the bottom that looks like this

Nebraska 87 - Penn State 0 4:53 2nd Q


November 9th, 2011 at 3:56 PM ^

Sorry but at this point i am so disgusted by the events in not so Happy Valley and the announcement today that Joepa would be retiring and summarily fired I am more interested in seeing them get destroyed than anything else.  I would HATE to see them win this week - especially if they child molester enabler is on the sidelines.

Red is Blue

November 9th, 2011 at 4:14 PM ^

In order for us to go to the BTCG, we would have to win out (along with 2 losses by MSU and one by Iowa).  Since Nebraska is one of the teams remaining on our schedule, if we win out, by definition they have to lose.  So I don't think the outcome of Neb-PSU has bearing on our chances. 


November 9th, 2011 at 2:29 PM ^

I was dead wrong on what I expected to see vs. Purdue and Iowa.  So because clearly I have the Universe perceived backwards, I officially state:  I expect Illinois to win by a huge margin.  I don't expect us to do well at all.

And yooze guys can thank me after the game for that.


November 9th, 2011 at 2:38 PM ^

I expect Denard to make a couple of terrible throws, with at least one being picked off, and probably at a very inpportune time (in the red zone).  I also expect to see a bunch of the 2 QB plays, with minimal results.  Those plays, Fitz's incredible TD effort against Purdue aside, just don't work anymore.  It was cool and neat and sort of worked against Minnesota.  It doesn't anymore.


November 9th, 2011 at 2:39 PM ^

I expect a double digit win on Saturday. I expect this team to respond to last week and prove that they're a good football team that can win on the road and win games they're supposed to win.

I expect them to be focused early and ready for this game and not wait until the 4th quarter.

That is what I expect. Will that happen? Let's hope so.


November 9th, 2011 at 2:47 PM ^

want to see Devin come into the game for a jet sweep or a fake jet sweep to Denard.

Man, I don't know the hell I want to see.  I know that I haven't seen what I want to yet this year, so I don't know what what I want to see looks like.

I want to see the defense continue to improve.  That much I know.


November 9th, 2011 at 2:47 PM ^

I want them to put Denard in a lot of shotgun and stop putting him in 2 QB sets. I feel like it kills his momentum as the leader on the field. Let him do what he does best

I also hope the defense will continue to play well. Despite losing, I thought they played well against Iowa


November 9th, 2011 at 2:52 PM ^

I would be interested to see how the offensive gameplan would shape up without the use of the Deuce formation. On defense, contain the option looks and deep balls. Hopefully Scheelhaase and Jenkins don't resurrect their early season connection.

Space Coyote

November 9th, 2011 at 2:56 PM ^

But I expect Michigan to take the ball and run it down their f***in' throat; out of shotgun, out of I-form, out of Ace set.  I know a lot of you want to see shotgun all the time, everytime, but that's not the direction of this team.  Michigan is making progress under center and I expect the emphasis being on hitting Illinois in the mouth.

I do expect to see more shotgun runs designed for Denard, less 2 QB formations (ie, ~0), and a heavy does of Fitz with the QB coming from under center.  Stay ahead of the chains, a lot of simple passes for Denard, especially as he continues to improve going through his progressions.  Hopefully he hits a deep pass when it becomes open.

I'm not even going to try with defense, like I said I haven't watched Illinois play, but that's my fairly uneducated guess for what we can expect from Michigan's offense.


November 9th, 2011 at 2:55 PM ^

all I wanna see is a win. which is obvious, but Denard could throw 5 ints. and ill be happy if we win 2-0 or 67-66. I want to see a 8th win! go blue!


November 9th, 2011 at 3:03 PM ^

But I won't be happy with a win like that. I want a convincing win and prove that we're a good football team. I'm tired of that sinking feeling of watching games and questioning if we're a good team or not.

Michigan Football doesn't win 67-65. Michigan Basketball does.