If the offense doesn't improve a lot, were we too hard on Borges?

Submitted by Cold War on August 2nd, 2014 at 7:47 PM

The firing of Borges and hiring of Nuss was good news in my book. But if the offense doesn't improve a lot this season, does it mean we placed too much blame on Borges?


Bo Nederlander

August 2nd, 2014 at 7:53 PM ^

The "complexity" of the [Borges] offense still doesn't excuse some of the worst play-calling I've seen out of a major program. You can use the "complexity" excuse for the line play but that's about it. 

carlos spicywiener

August 2nd, 2014 at 7:54 PM ^


if nussmeier does what he was supposed to do, he's going to take a bunch of first (now second) year OL and have them work on ONE scheme, and a few base plays.

If you took a bunch of college freshmen, threw advanced trigonometry and statistics courses at them, varying wildly from week to week, while having them compete against experienced upperclassmen/ grad students, they would probably fail miserably as well. I spent all of last year on "Borges Hill" as Brian put it earlier. But the fact that we looked so bad in the Nebraska game at the end of the year, after a season of what should have been progress and improvement, was unforgivable.

Spamming QB draw plays and RB's averaging 1-2 yards a carry made the offense look like they hadn't practiced all season. Total failure.

rob f

August 2nd, 2014 at 7:54 PM ^

was too hot!

Mama Bear's bowl of porridge was too cold!

But Baby Bear's bowl of porridge was just right, so Goldilocks ate it alll up!

Likewise, if Michigan's offense improves just about to where we want it to be (in other words, just right ), then that means our assessment of Borges was correct.

carlos spicywiener

August 2nd, 2014 at 7:59 PM ^

Oh, that was the other unforgivable part about Borges - turtling and expecting his players to succeed in tight contests after opposing defenses already proved they can stop it.

I'd like to think Nuss would be clever enough to figure out that the Ohio State defense was keying in on Denard for run plays and Gardner for pass plays.


August 2nd, 2014 at 11:01 PM ^

Yeah, that 1997 Michigan offense vastly underachieved, as crazy as it is to say. I mean, they basically had an NFL offense.

Their offensive line was essentially an NFL O-Line. Hutch, Jansen, Backus, Adami, Brandt, and Ziemann. Tuman and Campbell at TE, with Aaron Shea as a sort of H-Back. Griese at QB. Chris Howard, A-Train, Clarence Williams and Chris Floyd as backs. Tai Streets and Russell Shaw at wideout with Woodson double dipping at times.

Producing just the 65th best offense with that dragon's hoard of talent is vastly underachieving.


August 3rd, 2014 at 3:03 PM ^

That O-line had players that would become NFL stalwarts, yeah.  But at the start of the 1997 season only Jansen had ever started a game.  Backus was only a sophomore, and Hutch and Ziemann were defense linemen before they had to switch because of need.  Not exactly an NFL line yet.

That being said, there was definitely a lot of firepower on that team that didn't get used.




August 2nd, 2014 at 8:00 PM ^

He failed miserably about 75% of the time. I don't expect the offense to be much better but more competent and comfortable. Facts are that the offense will move with the OL. If still not able to move bodies I think Nuss will adapt/simplify rather than double down and blame it on lack of execution eighth players are now admitting they were given odd, conflicting assignments Al called "scheme". Nuss could fail but in no way we're we too hard on him.

Marley Nowell

August 2nd, 2014 at 8:00 PM ^

I'll never forgive Borges for the second half against ohio in 2012. I can't say we should have won that game but we were definitely in control until his dumbass runs up the middle that went nowhere.


August 2nd, 2014 at 8:01 PM ^

This is a dumb question. Too many extenuating circumstances to compare apples to apples. Feel free to make any inferences you want, as I'm sure arguments could be made either way after this season.

My opinion, it was a good hire and an upgrade but I don't expect major revelations on offense.


August 2nd, 2014 at 8:25 PM ^

I guess this is where we have to revisit the idea that one year of data does not a trend make, and the differences in styles and schemes between Borges and Nussmeier make such a question extremely difficult to answer without uncomfortable stretching, to say the least. One might say that three years isn't much of trend either, but as the deed is done and Borges is gone, the first year of a new OC doesn't mean anything towards what the previous OC did or didn't do.