September 25th, 2018 at 1:00 AM ^

He is right that it would be reassuring to see the passing offense click and really breakthrough for a game, any game, just to see that Michigan can do it. There are enough weapons that the ball is getting spread around, but there are no ‘go-to’ players at this point.

The result is that the passing offense feels more tenuous and inconsistent than it probably is. Minor complaint in the grand scheme, I suppose.


September 25th, 2018 at 1:30 AM ^

The mad scientist Al Borges opened it up all the time, even when he didn't have the line to support it and it resulted in our QB getting murdered. In 2013 Gardner had several games where he passed for over 300 yards. Let's not forget the heroic 451 passing yard performance against OSU with 4 TDs and no interceptions. 


September 25th, 2018 at 6:59 AM ^

Gardner also holds 2 UM all-time single game records, albeit against a lesser foe. On October 19, 2013 at Michigan Stadium, he threw for a record 503 yards, completing 21 of 29 attempts, with 2 TDs and 0 INTs. On that same day, he also ran for 81 yards and 3 TDs on 15 carries. His total offense of 584 yards was the second record he set that day.


September 25th, 2018 at 7:24 AM ^

Michigan's passing game is just fine. In fact, it's pretty much exactly where it needs to be. Both Patterson and  McCaffrey have demonstrated the ability to execute every aspect and phase of a lethal passing attack...including pulling the ball down and converting long first downs.To dog this is simply silly. Here, specific to the Nebraska game, imagine the score and passing stats if the officials would have either had a clue or the integrity to call those three or four egregious PIs against NE and swallowed their whistles on the ticky-tacky calls against Michigan. 


September 25th, 2018 at 11:51 AM ^

Yeah, SMU showed that if you stack the box, Michigan can't always run on you so they need to be able to hit over the top.  I think the Nico catch and the Bell catch were the two of best passes and catches I've seen this season.  I still don't have full confidence that the passing game is there yet against elite defenses. Luckily Michigan has time to build on what they have in the next few games.  


September 25th, 2018 at 8:06 AM ^

Aside from running the table, here, Michigan's best case scenario is that ND knocks off Stanford then gets beat by a Northwestern team that Michigan thoroughly throttles. As Coach Harbaugh stated, Michigan left a lot of points on the field at ND-and gave up more than they should have. Today Michigan wins comfortably against ND. 


September 25th, 2018 at 9:08 AM ^

The overconfidence from beating 3 bad teams is astounding. When is the last time Michigan beat a good team on the road comfortably? ND might not be a top 10 team but they are at worst a fringe top 25 8-5 team with a top 20 defense. Last time we played a team like that with a supposedly superior team was at Iowa. And even if you want to say we lost due to flukes it was never close to comfortable 


September 25th, 2018 at 10:06 AM ^

Seriously.  The average S&P+ ranking of our last three opponents?  89!  You’d struggle to find a P5 team with that low of an average opponent rank for the last 3 games.  And does no one remember our OL getting abused by the only good defense they e played?  We have improved, no doubt, but unless they imported some All-Pro offensive tackles to Ann Arbor we would struggle to beat Notre Dame.  


September 25th, 2018 at 8:16 AM ^

How the hell did this team lose to Notre Dame?

This was the second question I asked myself as I exited the stadium on Saturday. The first was, as always, "Now, which street did I pretend to live on again?"


September 25th, 2018 at 8:19 AM ^

INERTIA ... moar Ben Mason



September 25th, 2018 at 9:41 AM ^

I don't get why people are complaining about not passing the ball.  I have no clue why people think the offense should 'open up' and throw it 458 times.  That's ridiculous!  They've scored 150 points in the last three games!  The running game is the base - it provides the staple offensive plays and blocking schemes.  Work those until you can't screw them up - which we saw Saturday has been working pretty well.  The staple passing plays (waggles, drags, corner routes, some crossing stuff, and go routes) have all been used, and they all work very well.  There is simply no reason to unwrap more exotic runs or passes until they are needed.  Continue to burn in the staples and base patterns. 

Some new stuff was shown against UN, until we saw that it wasn't needed - then right back to the staples.  I'm good with that.  There is no reason whatsoever to unleash stuff that isn't needed, until its needed.  If the base is perfect, you can run everything out of that and make it work.


September 25th, 2018 at 9:58 AM ^

Because against good teams - OSU, PSU, MSU - we will need to pass the ball to win.  We saw that against ND.  They stuffed our running game and the OL couldnt give Shea more than 3 seconds to stay in the pocket.  Outside of a couple long completions, Shea was throwing a bunch of 5 yard passes that game and the offense looked terrible.  Like someone else said, we ran for over 300 against Minnesota and then 50 the next week vs. Wisconsin.  


September 25th, 2018 at 10:16 AM ^

Nobody is suggesting that Michigan throw the ball 458 times in a game like that, but Shea threw the ball 22 times and averaged only 5.5 yards per attempt.  DPJ, Martin, and Collins combined for 4 catches for 53 yards.

Harbaugh obviously doesn't care about style points, but those are pretty underwhelming numbers against a really overwhelmed team.


September 25th, 2018 at 11:27 AM ^

"I understand the desire to win the surest way against overmatched opponents, but this is also an opportunity to turn inexperienced players into experienced playmakers."

This is a great point and I think it captures what frustrates many fans about a game like the last one. We destroyed them, but we didn't really try out half of the offense. Sure, save some surprises for the better competition, but make sure the offense works too.  I'd like to see much more passing in some of these games to just rep them in games.