Give me your AFA snowflakes

Submitted by 1464 on September 9th, 2012 at 8:22 AM

So I'm aware of the new rule, but I also wanted to gauge everyones reactions to the game now that they've come back off the ledge or sobered up.  Hopefully, after sleeping on it, everyone will have more insight on the matter.  I won't give my opinions in the OP, as to not anger the mods for creating an 'I think...' thread.  I do like hearing some of the more informed opinions on the game after we have had time to digest.

Maybe this will help mitigate the risk of 19 million threads today about nuances of the game that probably don't require posts.



September 9th, 2012 at 8:27 AM ^

Is the real deal. Wow. Fitz looked outta sorts. Jake Ryan did a good job. Amazed the D line couldn't penetrate.

Oh, and Arizona whooped Okie State... And what the hell happened to Wiscy?


September 9th, 2012 at 8:33 AM ^

I think the DL may not be good, but it's still hard to tell. I do think Frank Clark is a player, and the only consistently dangerous guy on that unit. Did I see Ojemudia playing on 2nd and 7 against a non-passing team, with his hand on the ground? To me, that indicates a wholesale lack of confidence in the upperclassmen - the guy is like 195 pounds.

The LBs. Man. Two of our "starters" seem to have already lost their jobs to true freshmen. Ryan, to me, played well. He was the only guy other than Clark who turned in positive plays. It seemed like he got stuck by himself with the QB and the pitchman a number of times.

For the second straight week, I thought the secondary was fine. They tackled well, and playing pass D against a team like AF has to be tough. By scheme, it's nearly impossible to get a pass rush on them, unless they are forced into obvious passing., and the DBs have so many responsibilities other than coverage. Avery was fine, Taylor was fine. Yay.

The OL was the most scary part of the game for me. Not pushing these guys around is terrifying, and the lack of Toussaint production is worrying.

DENARD was about as good as he could have been, I think there were two bad balls he threw all day, and the rushing speaks for itself.

Funchess...I kept wondering if we could make him a straight WR when we get some TE depth.


September 9th, 2012 at 8:42 AM ^

DL - I think the most concerning part for me is the play of Big Will.  I was hoping he would take a big step forward.  The normal disclaimer about Bama and AFA applies, so I hope we see more out of him against ND. 

LB - So are you a glass half full or half empty guy?  We did have the best linebacker class last year, so maybe the freshmen are just that good.  Again, tough two games to evaluate.

DB - There are still some pretty big breakdowns in assignment or something.  Too many open guys back there.  I think if assignments aren't blown, they are pretty talented.

Toussaint scared me too.  I thought he was a known commodity.  Now I'm really worried about lack of production from the RB spot.  Crazy that we haven't had a consistent threat at RB since Hart. (Minor was hurt too often)

What did you see about Funchess that made you want him to become a WR?  Admittedly, I don't really watch players for blocking assignments when the game is going on.  Do you see a problem here, being he is pretty skinny still?


September 9th, 2012 at 8:49 AM ^

I mean, I think it bodes well for the future that Bolden and Ross were our crunch time LBs. Just not for now.

Funchess - I just see his frame, and know that the NFL has this new breed of 6'5" 225, 230 pound beast at WR. Does Funchess not run well enough for that?


September 9th, 2012 at 10:00 AM ^

Good point about Demens gettting caught in the wash, Morgan also to some degree.  On that 4 and 3 key stop, James Ross reacted immediately to the play and got a great jump.  AFA had a blocker out there that would have picked off Morgan, but Ross was too far upfield already so the blocker had to look for another target and Ross made the tackle. 

Ross and Bolden will both be starting after a few more games.

Blue in Seattle

September 9th, 2012 at 10:28 AM ^

I thin their freshmen mistakes were in coverage. But that will come and Mattison emphasizes stopping the run first, then deal with pass coverage. The benefit of developing freshman on the DL is for the pass rush to cover up those coverage deficiencies. At this point I'm willing to accept an ND loss if it means these freshmen start to gel by MSU.

Blue boy johnson

September 9th, 2012 at 11:48 AM ^

Ojemudia is 230 lbs. In fact he is the same size as a freshman as David Bowens was when he was at Michigan. Both are/were about: 6' 3'' 230 lbs.

If you want someone coming hard off the edge into the backfield, in a non blitz situation, the two best players on the team are Jake Ryan and Mario Ojemudia

As for Funchess: I guess time will tell. I think he can play WR, but is needed more at TE. M has some viable options at WR, but not so much at TE. At TE, Brandon Moore is hurt, Jordan Paskorz doesn't seem to be an option, and that is about it.

The good thing: Wherever Funchess lines up; he's a matchup nightmare



September 9th, 2012 at 8:44 AM ^

I agree with pretty much all of this.  We saw way too many freshmen play yesterday (which, to me, is not a very good sign).  

AFA scored a few more points than I expected, but as everyone has been saying, that offense is hard to prepare for so I'm not panicking yet.  Our offense is what really worried me.  I thought we'd easily get 42 points, and outside of a few big plays we really struggled.  Fitz had 7 yards on 8 carries.  Yeesh...

The Wolf

September 9th, 2012 at 2:52 PM ^

Exactly my thoughts as well.  Far too many times the pitch man was left completely uncovered.  IIRC, Floyd made a few good plays with outside contain.  I don't know whether Mattison's scheme had the cornerbacks or safeties playing a bigger role defending the pitch man, but it seemed like the corners were having an especially difficult time shedding their blockers.

Space Coyote

September 9th, 2012 at 11:48 AM ^


  • Denard did a great job of being patient. Allowing lanes to open up and time for routes to develop
  • Denard didn't look comfortable in the pocket still though. He waiting for things to open up, but his feet were still jittery. He threw the ball off his back foot once in a very scary fashion. His height will always be a concern with passes over the middle. He needs to get his timing a lot better on short/intermediate routes, against better defenses he would have thrown some picks on late throws or wouldn't have found open receivers. Got to make that throw to DG at the end of the game.
  • DG keeps improving, and his size and athleticism are proof of his potential. Still has pretty bad routes, but adds a nice threat for the defense to have to respect.
  • Funchess looks good. Athletic, very comfortable catching the ball. He will be a very big asset this season going forward with teams once again having to respect more than just TE catches in the flat.
  • Fitz needs to get going against UMass. This should not be hard, but he had no room all day and didn't really make anything happen.
  • Oline has a lot of work to do. I think they had trouble getting solid bodies on the small AFA Dline. This isn't quite as drastic as this, but we used to use "grubbers" one year when I coached Freshman, whcih are essentially the smallest guys willing to stay low and disrupt the feet of the O-line and just attack them low, making it very difficult to to get to your blocks. AFA is kind of like that. The O-line will continue to marginally improve throughout the season.
  • Roundtree doesn't exist in this offense. There are three threats  to catch passes: Funchess, DG, and Gallon. I think Michigan is just waiting to get the freshman up to speed and they will see the field by B1G play.

snarling wolverine

September 9th, 2012 at 12:19 PM ^

We should try Roundtree back in the slot and use Gallon exclusively as an outside WR.  I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but the slot is where Roundtree excelled and Gallon has the speed to be effective on the outside.  Roundtree can't get separation deep against CBs.


September 9th, 2012 at 8:43 AM ^

Lots of room to improve but luckily the schedule allows time. I think in terms of this team's goals, the season starts in Purdue in 3 weeks and is fully determined starting with State then Nebraska back to back late in October.

Denard and the receivers seem to be greatly improved in the area of breaking off routes on hot reads to combat blitzes.  That's going to help them in games to keep teams honest. State barrelled 8 guys at the line all game last year and Michigan had no answers.


September 9th, 2012 at 8:44 AM ^

We won a trap game and the offensive line play is very mediocre at this point. The team is young and if we get out of our non conference schedule 3-1 I will be optimistic the rest of the way. Our freshmen are impressive but are still freshmen. The future is bright.


September 9th, 2012 at 8:44 AM ^

I know AF was cut blocking all day so that has something to do with out D line not getting any penetration but i still think that will be a weak point this year. We failed to keep contain all day, that dissapointed me more than anything. Denard looked pretty good. I wanted Funchess to get in the game vs Alabama last week because I thought he could be a difference maker and it showed yesterday. Just my opinion but I just don't see him putting on too much weight over his career, at least not enough to be a true tight end. Would love to see him get moved to wide out and work on his route running and speed. He could be lethal.


September 9th, 2012 at 8:45 AM ^

Plan on re-watching the game to pay close attention to the lines, but I'm more disappointed now than I was last night. AF can be a nightmare for teams as history has shown us, but I'm really concerned by the lack if OL push. Maybe Borges is running schemes the current OL was not built for? I just can't believe that losing Molk is such a downgrade that we went from torching Ill, Neb, and OSU to not getting any push against AF. Baffling. Tough to get a read on the DL. Obviously not great, but AF is so weird I have no idea how the DL will react in the future. It's also concerning that our LBs with experience are not making plays. I don't like seeing so many true frosh out there.

Space Coyote

September 9th, 2012 at 8:48 AM ^

  • Bad initial punch and maintaining a distance with their arms. They let the O-line into their feet and body again. They need to take Air Force's Oline and use their downward momentum (from attacking their feet) and push their face masks into the ground.
  • Linebackers are still slow. A very poor job scrapping over the top and getting to the pitch man. Jake Ryan should have had an easy day with sticking with the QB and having people cover the pitch man, instead he was defending both. MLBs look like it will be consistent rotation between the starters and freshman until the freshman get more used to the game or the older guys step up and take the job like they should. The fact that so many freshman are playing speaks to the lack of depth on this defense.
  • DBs got caught with their eyes in the backfield several times. Several times did a poor job on the edge forcing the play back into defenders or stretching it out. Have to be stronger on the edge and not get blocked by the WRs so easily.
  • Tackling is still an issue with this team. Wrap up damnit! Too many poor form tackles all around.


September 9th, 2012 at 8:51 AM ^

Denard was accurate today. His lone pick should have been caught. Is he actually faster this year? I know he is using blocking better.

Both lines need to improve drastically...We have got great defensive coaches, but it is time for them to show it.

Receiving options: extant. Devin and Funchess improving exponentially. We need them to.

Michigan fans have not gotten any smarter. "Why didn't they do that against Alabama?". Seriously. I wait with impatience for Darwin's law to do its merciful work.

A win is a win is a win. Style points are less than meaningless. Notre Dame in two weeks. We will know a lot more after that.

I am on the bandwagon for getting Norfleet on the field more. Gotta be some kind of screen plays or reverses that would put him in open space. Kid is a rocket. Our special teams are very very good.


September 9th, 2012 at 12:48 PM ^

What is really frustrating is that if Borges tells Denard "if you see ANY blitz in the middle, just tuck the ball and run to the edges", Denard will probably do great as edges should be open and he probably picks up 5 to 10 yards without much trouble.

But when he decides to pass, he REALLY wants to pass and does not abandon it quickly enough. He makes it even worse by backpeddling and either taking a sack or releases a duck with his back foot.

I think his pass accuracy is definitely much better than last year. But if he does not change this tendency, his INT rate is not going to drop much and I do not like our chances against MSU much at all.


September 9th, 2012 at 8:51 AM ^

Please stop using the chop block as a excuse for the offensive line. Mediocre football teams have easily ran the ball with a RB against Air Force. Our offense should have Played better.


September 9th, 2012 at 10:43 AM ^

I specifically said "consistent production".  Consistency has little to do with totals, has everything to do with being shut down entirely one week and then going for 200 the next.  Consistent running was Michigan pre-RR, when a RB was  rushing for 60-200 every week, not 8.