September 14th, 2013 at 10:10 PM ^

why? He spoke reality and said they will go back at it next week even harder.  There was no angry tone in his voice that would make me feel like Bobby Knight was about to hit me.  I expect a big winn at U-Conn but the issues this team has is not solved within a season.  Both lines might be 2 years away from what is necessary to be "Big 10 dominant".  I am not talking nationally dominant - I am watching a Purdue defensive line on a very bad team that in the 1st half is smacking a "stout Notre Dame OL" around.   We were not competitive in that battle last week and we can see why in the CMU and Akron games.  When MAC OL's neutralize us, we can see we made ND look good, and even sad sack teams like Purdue have units better than ours.  No speech or "work" at practice in a week or 3 weeks is going to change a lack of talent or talent that is (hopefully) loaded in the freshman or RS freshman classes.


September 14th, 2013 at 10:21 PM ^

No. Devin can cover up a lot of deficiencies.  He will.  He wont play this bad the rest of the year, or if so maybe once more.  Devin alone neutralized all that pash rush ND created last week, he was friggin splendid.  He can do that in many more games this year, because he has that much talent.  But if he is average this team is going to be in dogfights with names we are crossing off on the schedule as "meh" and the team will struggle to win in November.  He is the wildcard, more so than most QBs.  Yes I would have liked to see Hoke mad more but I dont know if he has that gene in terms of outwardly expressing it.  But whatever the tone, again it doesn't fix talent.  I think what can in the near term is Mattison seeing what he has and admitting to it internally and now adjusting the scheme to that talent and its strengths and weaknesses.  Some of this DL stuff seems more like an open tryout to find the best players in relatively vanilla schemes (w/ AKron and CMU)

Magnum P.I.

September 14th, 2013 at 11:53 PM ^

You're right. Thanks for the analysis. The culture on this blog after a disgusting performance isto pretend like everything was an aberration and that the coaches will straighten everything out. That's how it was here for three years of RR. It's fair and it's entertaining to deconstruct the team's issues, especially when they are abundant like now.


September 15th, 2013 at 2:03 AM ^

both lines are unfixable. there has been absolutely no pressure from the d-line and the o-line is simply atrocious. the entire offensive line needs to be either benched or completely retooled. we're at least 2 years away from being decent. Miller needs to go immediately. his ceiling is third string not starter. Kugler needs to be in there and helping prepare this line for the future. Same goes for Schofield. He's not as bad as miller, but he just can't get it done. Finally i can remember how many times i saw glasgow get blown by in this game. he was absolutely pathetic. all three of those guys should be done. give the young kids some game experience and prepare this team for the future


September 15th, 2013 at 2:33 AM ^

You're right that line play is the problem, but benching everyone? The tackles are money. The interior is young and/or inexperienced. As a unit, there are likely some cohesion problems, especially with the young and undeveloped pieces. 

The D-Line is light in the center and slow on the edges. But how do coaches fix that with benching? 

O-Line will improve this year with experience and Devin will give them time to develop with his talent. How much they improve and for how long Devin can shore up the deficiencies is tough to say. As for D-Line, there's some chance that Pipkins is good enough until Washington's health improves--and maybe Pipkins' play improves enough to be interchangable. 





September 15th, 2013 at 5:15 PM ^

I agree that this line is poor. It might be the worst I've ever seen at Michigan. Glasgow has spent most of the season blocking nothing. I've never seen a Michigan starter simply whiff as much. He seems to block with his head down and lunge, and I've seen him on at least 15 occasions come up with air. And he has busted on roughly 100% of stunts he sees in protection. Not up to the task, period. He shouldn't start for us again.

Miller has been OK. He will never blow people off the ball, but he has held up OK in protection and has actually been pretty good on stretches. He is sort of holding us back in the power game; again, he'll never be a drive blocker.

Kalis has been a bit worse. He's not much of a puller and his drive blocking isn't great. I've been pleasantly surprised with his combo blocking. He's a freshman.

The biggest surprise has been how awful Schifield has been in the run game. His protection has been good, but he's been flat out poor on drive blocks.

I've even found a hole in Lewan's game: he is bad at going right on zones. On a number of plays this game, he simply doesn't get over like any sort of athlete. On at least two occasions, Gardner audibled at the line, probably to change the direction of the play. Twice, Lewan had to awkwardly shift in his stance, presumably to reduce the stagger in his stance so hell be able to move right. Funk has to get these guys into neutral stances, where the lineman can pass protect, zone left or right, down block, whatever. We've got an NFL ready 5th year senior captain, and he is tipping plays with his stance.

Well need good Gardner every week. He can hide this stuff a bit. If he is bad against decent teams, we will need the line to play above its head. I don't see it happening.


September 15th, 2013 at 4:01 AM ^

 we won one national championship in like 60 years lol. There are nice but right now I just want a team that's competitive nationally, not just in the Big Ten.

 Both lines need to pick up their play, Fitz needs to pick it up and Devin even tho he'll play simply brilliant football 3/4th of the time needs to stop the just plain stupid mistakes. That screen play pick six when they zoomed in on Devin for the replay, he wasn't even looking at Touisant or the defender who he threw it directly to. Things like that and the fumble with fitz in position for the pitch and 2 defender closing on Devin. If he pitches it's a nice gain and yet he chose to keep it and fumble.... Mistakes like that just cant happen on a winning football team.


September 14th, 2013 at 10:04 PM ^

Unless he somehow turns the Interior OL into road graders not much they can do. Maybe just maybe the DL can figure something out like leaving one of Pipkins/Washington on the field for most of the game.


September 14th, 2013 at 10:06 PM ^

but unless the D-line suddenly earns "the right to rush four" in one week after not figuring it out in 6 months and the interior O-line suddenly gets leaps and bounds better in 6 days, we're probably still going to see the same issues going forward


September 14th, 2013 at 10:47 PM ^

Lewan's comments give me some hope they'll self-motivate after this; the on-field celebration after the last stop makes me worry they won't figure it out on their own.

If it were me I'd wait and see what happens the next couple of days before I decided, but I'd rather have a week of intense and focused practice than have to resort to outright punishment.

There's an old rule of thumb I first learned from my father but I think it's a pretty common saying: you work your team harder after a win than a loss--after a win you're trying to avoid overconfident self-satisfaction. Which today was, i don't know yet. If they're embarrassed, it's like a loss. If they're happy about it, it's even worse than a win.



September 14th, 2013 at 10:10 PM ^

Hoke let's the guys know he is displeased, but does not call out individual players in front of the entire team during the post game speech.  He also puts blame on himself and his staff.  He is a good leader!  Now they need to get to work and fix issues this week.

Wolverine Devotee

September 14th, 2013 at 10:29 PM ^

Enough of this shit.

We're young isn't an excuse anymore. Michigan has elite players. 

I feared that there would be a let down since akron is arguably one of the worst teams in FBS. Went from a Super Bowl like atmosphere to the students not even showing up until the 3rd quarter. 

And people that penciled in the win back when the game was announced acting like the program is folding isn't surprising. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm pissed. If Michigan lost this game, I would pin this loss on Gardner. 4 turnovers and one that went back for a TD was a huge problem. 

The defense bailed out the offense time and time again. The defense did not play awful at all. If you expected them to stop akron every possession after the offense did literally nothing or turned it over then I don't know what to tell you. Game of momentum. 

Like Hoke said. If you turn the ball over and do diddly poo offensively, you're giving them confidence and letting them hang around. Let's just all be thankful that Michigan got the win. Because if they lost this game, this would be the worst loss in program history, by far. 



September 14th, 2013 at 10:39 PM ^

Michigan has elite high school players of which many are playing their 3rd game in college. I think you may have forgotten, but in the past most players at Michigan never saw significant field time until their junior years due to depth. Youth is certainly a component, not everything but it doesn't help. This fact becomes more obvious the older you get.


September 15th, 2013 at 1:23 AM ^

And Alabama's secondary got torched & exposed today against a good Texas A&M offense...So yeah?  There aren't many players that can start as true freshmen and play at a high level and Alabama recruits players at that high level.  Michigan will get some of those players (like Peppers and Hand) but it won't come without growing pains like today.