Leaving the starters in

Submitted by Carcajou on September 10th, 2016 at 8:18 PM

I think many of us were surprised that, unlike the Hawaii game, this game versus an overmatched opponent wasn't used to get lots of the backups and younger guys in to get some experience and save the starters once the game was well in hand.

Was anyone else surprised that Harbaugh left so many of the starters in so long?

The broadcast team also mentioned several times sbout leaving Speight, Pepper, and company in.

Did it have something to do with feeling that the effort was not at a level the Michigan coaches were happy with?

Did they also feel, like Scott Frost, that UCF was "outhitting" Michigan?

Did they feel it was necessary to get the run game working, and to address the problems that flared up on defense (QB runs, losing contain, some poor angles) ?

Or was this something like the four hour practices- planned in advanced to get the starters mentally and physically ready to play a full games when necessary later in the season?




September 10th, 2016 at 8:20 PM ^

My Dad and I were wondering the same thing in the stadium and my only guess is that Harbaugh wants to get them more PT going into next week. There's no substitute for real game snaps.


September 10th, 2016 at 8:43 PM ^

Yeah next week should be a legitimate test too. Colorado is currently thrashing Idaho St after demolishing Colorado St. last week. 


Seems like Macintyre might actually have the Buffs ready to play this year with that high tempo offense. 


Michigan-Colorado... should bring back some memories...




September 10th, 2016 at 8:50 PM ^

Both sides of the ball felt sloppy today, so I took it from a perspective of the starters hadn't earned the right to take a rest. I know it was a blow out, but too many sloppy plays.

I also think it could be for conditioning purposes/getting younger players used to the grind of playing deep into the second half.

Or maybe this is just what Harbaugh had planned from the beginning.


September 11th, 2016 at 12:08 AM ^

for the defense, at least, I bet he wanted to get the starters as many drives against a spread-to-run offense as possible (especially since we struggled big time stopping the run).  We can't replicate those offenses with the scout team and our performance against that type of offense is what is going to decide the division.

As for the offense, it did look like the line needed a bit of work, but IIRC, the offensive starters came out earlier than defensive.

SD Larry

September 10th, 2016 at 8:45 PM ^

but also somewhat predicatable in that I think this was the first week in about 5 weeks where the players went back to their own living environment after being in what has been described as a very physical camp, then one week together at Kensington Hotel.  Most college teams have let down weeks now and then and I thought the team was incredibly sharp last week.  Still a good win, with no injuries and a confidence builder for our QB.   Next week will have a tougher opponent, and I suspect team will play with a sharper edge.


September 10th, 2016 at 8:25 PM ^

3rd quarter was pretty rough for both sides of the ball. You can't really pull the starters if the other team is outplaying you at the moment. The Oline was pretty rough so I think the starting line stayed in for one more series after Speight went out too.


September 10th, 2016 at 8:27 PM ^

I think he still got the younger guys in there. At this point, I'd think you'd want your starters getting a lot of reps and working on the kinks. Plus peppers played fairly deep against Hawaii too

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September 10th, 2016 at 8:27 PM ^

Teams have to get game ready. The best way to do that is to play.

Out hit? I do not believe that
][\/][ was out hit. It appears as if Mr. Frost is trying to provide false confidence in his players as he prepares for his conference schedule.

I felt that our pass defense was Prof Brown's focus on D today. That and generating a decent pass rush. Choose your focus.

Would another shutout have been great, yep. Am I worried? Nope.

Go Maize!
Go Blue!

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September 10th, 2016 at 8:51 PM ^

Won't you get the most benefit out of testing yourself against your opponent's strength? If I believed that the coaches were focusing on just one part of the game to develop our team, I would expect them to focus on UCF's rushing. Especially since that will be kind of important when we face OSU.


September 10th, 2016 at 8:27 PM ^

My guess is they wanted them to have more practice. I say that because of the play time given to Speight. He played pretty well but he played a lot longer than I would have thought. I guess he needed more practice for what is coming.


September 10th, 2016 at 8:30 PM ^

As I was watching, my friend who is a D coordinator at a big high school, and former D II coach at ferris, said he didn't like how peppers blitzed and blew up screens because it left the middle of the field open. To me that aggression is what makes this defense

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September 10th, 2016 at 9:06 PM ^

It's exactly right that sending pressure and playing close to the line of scrimmage will leave your defense vulnerable over the middle. At the same time, the pressure that this forces often creates trouble for an offense to take advantage of that. The thing about Peppers is this is where his strengths are: the speed and insticts to pick his way through the defense and make big plays. It also doesn't hurt that our killer D-line can force pressure all on its own and our secondary can stick with almost anyone. This defense with Don Brown is a perfect storm of sorts.

SD Larry

September 10th, 2016 at 8:30 PM ^

it was good to let Speight get most of another game under his belt.  Had the sense he would be in until they got the last touchdown.  Also thought the announcer overemphasized it particularly given the fact we played 4 QB's last week and Speight does not have that much game experience yet.  Harbaugh is the QB Whisperer and knows what he is doing in developing Speight.  


September 10th, 2016 at 8:31 PM ^

I think the score was not indicative of the game on the field, so to speak. We struggled at times both on offense and defense. It was not at all one-sided like the Hawaii game, Had it been, I think we would have seen far more substitutions.

We won with special teams setting up our offense and big plays on offense, not with sustained offensive drives (success).


September 10th, 2016 at 8:32 PM ^

I think it was just to get Speight more game time/ready. Let's not forget this was only his 2nd career start and the team wasn't nearly as dominant today on either side of the ball.

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September 10th, 2016 at 8:34 PM ^

You raise some good points. I was also thinking:

Maybe the staff were heading the same way as in the HI game, but the second TD changed their outlook.

Maybe they saw all they needed to see from the underclassmen in the HI game, and now they are being more selective in their utilization, and also considering red shirt options.

Probably a combination of execution, all of the above, and other things amateurs like me can't see.

Nice win, all the same. It's great to have some blowout wins again. Not too long ago, I was holding my breath with every punt reception...

Go Blue! Enjoy the ride!



September 10th, 2016 at 8:39 PM ^

I think it was more about the rhythm of the game. Even though we came out early with a big league it just didn't seem like we could get a good rhythm going on offense. I just thought Harbaugh wanted to get them gelling better before he pulled most of the starters.

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