looking ahead to next week

Submitted by Moe Greene on September 17th, 2011 at 7:25 PM

Next week's opponent, San Diego State, is at home against Gameday banner darling Washington State.

Some notes from the first quarter:

* Ronnie Hillman has 44 yards on 10 carries in the half.

* Ryan Lindley is 9/14 for 105 yards.

Looking forward to this matchup - if we can slow down their ground game this will position us well for Big Ten play.



September 17th, 2011 at 7:30 PM ^

I may be way wrong but E. Mich just ran all over us and I expect SDSU to be a much better program. I just hope we can shore up the front seven so we can slow down SDSU's run game. Yikes!


September 17th, 2011 at 7:45 PM ^

They had 56 yards of offense in the second half.  I am not too worried about it.  The team played a completely different game in the second half.  Actually, they played a whole different game after the first quarter in which they gave up 147 yds of offense of the 236 total offense.


September 17th, 2011 at 8:00 PM ^

Honestly, EMU has a decent run game.  Not great, but those wide sweeps are effective and their backs are fast. 

Not only that, but our defense has made very good halftime adjustments this year.  SDSU will have to come out swinging big time to have a shot, and they're currently losing to Washington State at home. 


September 17th, 2011 at 7:38 PM ^

Let's be honest, the players say they were ready to play like it was another game, but they were sleep walking (not Kovacs) through the first half. You know they'll be up for SDSU. We'll crush them. Not to mention our corners will get some good game reps.


September 17th, 2011 at 7:53 PM ^

IIRC, SDSU lost their two top receivers to injury just before the start of the season. Could be anther offense that can't really expect to have an effective passing game. Hard for me to see them pulling the upset.

Also, I wouldn't describe a team that scored one field goal in a game as having "run all over" their opponent. I'm not saying we shouldn't respect their game and sleepwalk or anything, but this isn't the one that I'd pick for the upset alert.


Am I being a total homer? All three of our opponents so far looked pretty good to me. They may not have the rankings as of today, but I'd say we beat some quality programs. I have no trouble picturing EMU and WMU winning some conference games, and ND looked outstanding against MSU . . . .


September 17th, 2011 at 7:55 PM ^

SDSU will burn our run defense if we cant get it together, todays game may have been a bit of an improvement, but eastern Michigan does not have ronnie hillman. i think michigan will win, but we have to be wary of them.


September 17th, 2011 at 8:09 PM ^

I keep reading about this team not having a game against a "real opponent" or words to that effect until Michigan State.  I am a bit hesitant about that since SDSU had a pretty decent season last year and while they lost their top 2 WRs they still have their QB and RB.  I am not ready to write off the next three weeks as easy wins, not by a long shot.  Minnesota sure, but if Persa is back then I don't think anyone should underestimate them and certainly not SDSU for the aforementioned reasons.  


September 17th, 2011 at 8:22 PM ^

As good of a coach as Mattison is, there's only so much that he can do. You saw EMU attack our weakness today. They burned us with sweeps and misdirection. We're slow on the edges and undersized in other spots. That combo doesn't make for a good defense. We've basically had five straight years of subpar recruiting for that side of the ball. The good news is that this current recruiting class that Hoke & Mattison have assembled will go a long way in fixing that over the next 2 to 3 years.


Of much bigger concern should be Denard's terrible bouts of inaacuracy and the inconsist play of ou o-line. If I'm Borges,  I'm seriously considering benching Huyge in favor of Schofield. Omameh has been shaky at times too, imho.


September 18th, 2011 at 1:58 AM ^

We're definitely undermanned on D, but the fact that Mattison was able (albeit assisted by ND miscues) to keep us in the game vs ND portends very well for the future.

And w/ a down B1G this year, who knows, we may very well be in a Legends championship race in November.


September 17th, 2011 at 8:35 PM ^

The offense and defense are both so inconsistent.  The kick-off teams (both kicking and returning) are just plain bad. 

Lindley is a good QB, and a good QB always gives you a chance.  I also have to believe that SDSU will be pretty fired up to face their old coach in the Big House. 

I won't be at all surprised if next week turns into a shoot-out.  


September 17th, 2011 at 8:49 PM ^

that we've got a pretty big advantage here.

Our coaches know their players and scheme inside and out.  SDSU can only change so much to hide things, but ultimately I would expect Michigan to match up pretty well with them.

Plus, a win next week gives Brady Hoke an all-time win/loss record of 51-50.


September 17th, 2011 at 9:02 PM ^

When it was obvious EMU was not going to throw the ball, the defense could concentrate on the run. My concerns are the vertical passing game that sounds like a great idea but is not working well because DR is not a very good passer and the WR's don't run very good routes. We need to use the TE more and use a few more screens. I think today Hoke wanted to run, run and run some more to find a running back to compliment DR. He may have found the guy in Vincent Smith. The D is moving up the charts. They are getting much better. Teams don't make a living running outside so after the D figures it out it looks like the interior line is doing a great job to stop the draw and trap plays.


September 17th, 2011 at 9:25 PM ^

They'll be a tough test next week.  Obviously Hoke knows the SDSU personnel and may be able to work some mismatches that way, but obviously SDSU > EMU and it won't be an easy win.

I am concerned about the passing game, though.  Denard simply doesn't look comfortable in the pocket.  

I know Hoke & Co. want to move away from a spread O but let's face it, Denard is most effective as a spread QB.  Every time we ran a play that was similar to last year's offense, he ran it well.

Defense looked good today, at least for 3/4 quarters.  Craig Roh re-appeared.  Kovacs remains awesome...  

Toussaint looks like our best RB.  Let's hope he stays healthy.


September 17th, 2011 at 9:37 PM ^

It looks like SDSU is going to beat Washington State. About 6 minutes left in 4th qtr. Hillman just scored again to make it 35-24. Hillman is a good running back. He has done most of the damage this week against WSU. Hope we can contain him. SDSU has good speed. React to ball very well on defense.


September 17th, 2011 at 9:42 PM ^

SDSU scares me right now.  They are better than Minnesota, Purdue, and NW without Persa.  It's gonna be a tought game.  At least we have the ultimate scouting report on them.  They are looking good against WSU right now as well.

One Inch Woody…

September 17th, 2011 at 10:37 PM ^

Since when is giving 24 points up to a team that won a TOTAL of 5 games the last 3 years looking good? The SDSU defense is terrible. You could say that WSU was ranked 1st in scoring offense in the nation... but Eastern Michigan was ranked 3rd and got stoned by the Michigan D after the 1st quarter (you can only script so many plays....)

Also, Northwestern looked terrible against army... with their D giving up almost 400 total yards of offense despite Army attempting 7 passes. Army is not known for their defense, getting absolutely demolished by NIU and currently ranked 103rd in scoring defense, yet they managed to hold NW to ball control only 33% of the time and only converting 20% of 3rd downs.


Sextus Empiricus

September 19th, 2011 at 1:19 AM ^

It's interesting that both Michigan and SDSU are nearly identical wrt TO margin and Penalties through 3 games...


Rank Name G Fum. Gain Int. Gain Total Gain Fum. Lost Int. Lost Total Lost Margin Margin/G
5 Michigan 3 6 4 10 0 4 4 6 2
5 San Diego State 3 6 2 8 1 1 2 6 2



Rank Name G Pen. Yards Pen./G Yards/G
14 San Diego State 3 13 101 4.3 33.7
16 Michigan 3 12 104 4 34.7


Less margin for error for both teams...

Sidenote - Lewan has avoided the Penalty bug under Hoke.   I can't think of any so far on Lewan - ??  Certainly there haven't been any drive killers.

I'm not looking forward to this game...SDSU has a lot to prove as players and coaches.  Given the confusion EMU reigned with novel formations and the coaching crossover I'd bet SDSU has some changeups planned for this game.