Michigan Monday vs. Nebraska up at "The Ozone"

Submitted by StephenRKass on October 30th, 2012 at 12:18 AM

Ohio fan blog "The Ozone" has Michigan Monday vs. Nebraska up this evening.

LINK:  http://theozone.net/football/2012/Illinois/michiganmonday.html

It is depressing to read, but interestingly, Gerdeman isn't too harsh. In fact, his opinion is that Michigan probably would have won if Denard had been healthy the whole game. A few quotes:

Despite his struggles, we shouldn't put all of Michigan's offensive failures on Bellomy. While he was healthy, Denard Robinson led five drives and Michigan averaged 29 yards of total offense on those drives, which lead to six total points.

Those numbers with Robinson throughout an entire game probably would have been enough to get the win for the Wolverines, because they likely wouldn't have included three interceptions.

I tend to agree. We live and die with Denard this year. Gerdeman closes with that thought:

Which is the real Michigan offense? The one against Illinois and Purdue, or the one against Michigan State? The answer is neither. The real Michigan offense is Denard Robinson, and how well he performs depends solely upon how good the defense is that he is facing that given week.

There is no "Michigan offense". It's just "Denard". For better or for worse.

What can you say? If Denard is healthy, we could win the rest of our games. If he is out, we'll probably struggle in the rest of our games.

Here are some other bullets:

  • Michigan has a severe lack of QB depth. (duh, but yeah.)
  • Michigan has a severe lack of QB preparedness.
  • People who think Devin is the answer are in la la land. The coaches would have had Devin in the rotation if he was a good option at QB.
  • Having said that, Devin will return to QB in the Spring (see depth above.)
  • Gerdeman is a broken record re:  Fitz and the rushing.
  • The OL didn't get much of a push to help Fitz (not that it would have mattered.)
  • The defense once again was stellar, and did enough for Michigan to win.

You can read Gerdeman or not. The lack of offensive playmakers, both RB & WR, leave Denard terribly exposed. It has been this way for a long time, but there's nothing to be done for it this year. If Denard stays healthy, I suppose we could win the rest of our games. I wish I was happier about this, but Michigan sure seems awfully vulnerable right now.



October 30th, 2012 at 12:33 AM ^

Got to hope he comes back and that the coaches are sincere in giving Gardner more snaps at QB.

If Denard can't go for some reason I don't think the reins can just be handed to Gardner either, he would have to earn them.

There would certainly be grumbling if Bellomy came in right away but maybe he'll do marginally better if he knows there is a good chance of going in there next week.

Think we are lucky to have Minnesota next week though they are not a pushover.

Let's buckle up and try to enjoy the ride. Things happen for a reason and I know Denard will do everything he can to get healthy and get back out there and I know Bellomy and Gardner will do everything in their power to run the offense next week should either get the call.

Perkis-Size Me

October 30th, 2012 at 12:35 AM ^

We'll never know if we would have won had Denard stayed healthy. Bottom line: what it showed us is that we are too reliant on one player. Denard can change the course of the game at any moment. Turnover machine or not, he is one of the greatest playmakers in college football right now. But when he goes down, the offense is KO'd. The defense, considering the circumstances, played great on Saturday night, but at some point they can only do so much. Lts be honest: they were gassed.

Hopefully starting next year, we will start to see more balance on the offense, even if its just in the infantile stages. Shane will undoubtedly be a great QB for Michigan, but if a guy like Derrick Green commits, that immediately takes a ton of pressure off of Shane to win games by himself. The one thing Borges and Co. should be focused on attaining for the offense going forward is balance. Hopefully that means Derrick Green and Laquon Treadwell in the fold.


October 30th, 2012 at 12:55 AM ^

It has been said by Brian and many others that RB & WR are the two positions where freshmen potentially can have the greatest impact. Green and Treadwell, if as advertised, could come in and start next year. I love the recruiting we are doing in all other areas. However, we have got to do better at recruiting the offensive skill positions. And to be honest, I really dislike being so dependent on those two in this recruiting cycle.

I also am really coming around to Magnus / Touch the Banner's position on QB:  got to recruit one every . . . single . . . year. I thought, given Denard, and Devin, and Bellomy, and Kennedy, and Morris, that we were going to be fine. Got to have depth there.

Lastly, I have been one who has not been too keen on seeing Morris start next year. If all things are equal, I'd love to see Devin or Bellomy win the position. But I also am coming around to the place that, if competition is fair and square, and Morris wins out, so be it.

EDIT:  Dagnabit, this was in response to Russale2012. Post fail.


October 30th, 2012 at 1:07 AM ^

that a true freshman QB would have done better than Bellomy on Saturday? Best case scenario, we would have gotten another 3 star QB who would have played after enrolling early in the Spring. My memory isn't particulary clear, but I don't think we were in on many highly rated QBs at the end of last recruiting cycle. Even if we got a QB in the last recruiting cycle, Morris will come in next year, Bellomy will be in his 3rd year in the offense and Gardner will be a senior. It seems unlikely that a QB in the last recruiting cycle would serve much of a purpose besides providing competition. 


October 30th, 2012 at 2:59 AM ^

Isn't the bigger problem that Borges' "system" takes years to implement, and he hasn't shown the ability in the 21st century of developing a QB?  As I understand it, his supporters point to (a) the 2004 Auburn team, in which Borges inherited a first round QB, two first round RBs (!), and various other NFL talent; and (b) the 2010 Mountain West SDSU team, in which Lindley, coached by Borges, managed to complete 57% of his passes.  Compare that to, for instance, Texas A&M this year.  Consensus three-star prospect and redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel is completing 64% of his passes with a 16 to 6 TD to INT ratio.  I don't see the reason why years 3 through 5 of Borges will be any different at Michigan than it was at his other stops: regression and failure (though many places he never lasted to year three). 

It's the same thing with this board's newfound claim that our OL isn't very good, and therefore isn't very talented.  Our former OL coach is now at Indiana.  Somehow they are managing to put up 27 points on Michigan State, 29 on Northwestern, 49 on Ohio State.  Does anyone think that Indiana has recruited more talent than Michigan?  We've seen what good coaching does with the same players on the defensive side of the ball, and are willing to (rightfully) praise Mattison for the work he has done.  And it is logical to expect that -- he has had success at the highest level in the past and is highly sought.  But now that we are experiencing regression with the same players on offense, a regression that most of Borges' teams have experienced throughout his tenure, why can we not recognize that Borges has not had consistent success, much less at the highest level, and his system isn't being implemented at any of the elite programs?  The New England Patriots are not talking to Borges to learn how to run our incompetent two minute drill or painfully slow developing plays. 

What is even more depressing is that we might wait until 2015 to see any change in the offensive coaching.  Denard helps mask Borges the rest of this year.  Next year will likely be a train wreck, but Borges will get a pass -- almost no one will expect Borges to have developed Bellomy or Gardner, and Morris will only be a true freshman.  There will be some natural bounce in 2014 -- will that get Borges a fifth year? 


October 30th, 2012 at 9:47 AM ^

My biggest beef exactly.  How does freaking Indiana put up those numbers?  There is no way Indiana has more talent than Michigan on offense. 

>Somehow they are managing to put up 27 points on Michigan State, 29 on Northwestern, 49 on Ohio State.  Does anyone think that Indiana has recruited more talent than Michigan? 


October 30th, 2012 at 10:17 AM ^

Well said... and I would put forth that one step in the right direction would be to hire a QB coach.  It's a position of weakness that is starving for development (Denard included), and we're at a time when Borgess is trying to handle being OC and QB coach, and apparently doing neither very well.  Hiring a QB would take some of the load and some of the heat off Borgess, hopefully result in better prepared and better coached QBs, and most importantly, make me feel better.


October 30th, 2012 at 1:28 PM ^

The only reason to get rid of Borges would be to put the spread back in.  Going from a 21st century scheme to a 20th century offense was a step backwards, but it would be even worse to take one more step back and end up in the 1980's.  In the era of the "Mad Magicians," Michigan was innovative on offense.  Sadly, Michigan hasn't been an innovator on the football field since then, which works out to about 63 years.  

Many of you may not want to hear it, but Al Borges is Michigan's best chance to escape the 1980's.  Instead of playing the "blame game," it would be more productive to simply give Borges the five years he is going to need to have his own personnel running his system.  If Borges fails with an OL full of four and five-stars and a junior Shane Morris at QB, then I will revisit my position.  

With RR, we had a spread coach with MANBALL personnel and a majority of underclassmen.  With Borges, we have a WCO coach with spread personnel.  The mechanics of judgment are the same in both cases: you can't fully judge the OC or HC until he has personnel to match his scheme and a class of seniors who were recruitied for his system. 

I'm obviously a spread guy, but I don't want to see Borges have to put up with the same crap that RR did over conditions that only time can change.  If Michigan keeps firing OC's and changing systems, they will become what ND was from the post-Holtz era until this year.  Does anyone really want that?


October 30th, 2012 at 11:50 PM ^

I understand your concern, but there seems to be little or no factual support for the idea that Borges' offenses at a location improve over time as he gets "WCO personnel" into the program (and they start the long learning process that the WCO apparently involves).  In the past decade, he lasted one year at Cal (everyone was fired), two years under Gerry DiNardo at Indiana (in which the team regressed from 3-9 to 2-10 and the offense regressed from 258 points to 178), four years at Auburn (with steady regression, the pinnacle being his first year, in which he inherited a team with a first round pick senior QB and two first round pick senior RBs), and two years in the Mountain West (with a year of unemployment).  Even if we are going to swear off spread offenses, and presumably Run and Shoot offenses, can we not find an OC who offers the style that Hoke/Brandon want who has had success implementing it at other schools?

Sione's Flow

October 30th, 2012 at 1:03 AM ^

If Denard can't go against Minnesota, then I think starting Gardner is logical.  If the game is in hand have Bellomy play the last quarter or even the last half if it's a rout.  He needs game reps and some confidence building.  Also I would like to see someone other than the fullback catch a pass from Bellomy for once, just to see if it's possible.  And a couple of throwback screens to Fitz and V. Smith would be a welcome change as well.


October 30th, 2012 at 1:09 PM ^

I agreed with what you are saying about Gardner during the game on Saturday. However, looking at it, what has Gardner done as a QB that makes him that much of a better option than Bellomy? I think Gardner should get a shot at QB because clearly he isn't making a huge impact at WR, but I don't think he will be much of an upgrade.

Bellomy is not ready to be the starting QB and that is obvious. But it would have helped against Nebraska if we had a decent running game to go to as well. If Denard is not ready to go against Minnesota, I would be ok with Bellomy going back out there and trying to gain the experience and reps, but we need to have Toussaint or Rawls get going (please no more I-Formation runs up the middle with Smith).


October 30th, 2012 at 1:09 AM ^

has pretty much nothing to worry about. 

Hopefully MIchigan will use the next 3 weeks to change that by doing what works - like throwing to Roundtree, Gallon and Funchess more quickly  - and yeah, improving it's rushing game by giving the ball to Che Foster, I mean, Thomas Rawls.


October 30th, 2012 at 7:56 AM ^

Tate Forcier wasn't coming in to save us again, not because of RR recruiting but because he was a head case. Rich Rods guys are fine, Borges has no clue on how to use them. Apparently he lost that blueprint he was using around this time last year.


October 30th, 2012 at 9:21 AM ^

Same blueprint. He's just missing two key structural supports in Molk and Hemmingway. One can only blame RR for getting fired and forcing another transition period.

I think we still win 8 games this year, which isn't that bad, next year will be a small dumpster fire on offense as we lean on young guys everywhere, but 2014 should have promise.


October 30th, 2012 at 6:17 AM ^

"The bottom line is that this is not a dynamic offense right now and big plays are sorely needed."

I agree with Gerdeman here. One thing that is difficult to hide as it is right in the offensive totals for the Wolverines to date this season is that we rely on Denard Robinson for nearly 60% of our net  rushing and virtually all of the passing yards (96% or so when I last calculated). For the rushing totals in particular, contrast this with Robinson being only about 40% of the net rushing last  year.  Gallon and Gardner continue to be the most prolific receivers, but to the tune of 318 yard and 266 yards respectively, and that accounts for a little over 40% of our passing yards right there (1,372 yards passing this year to date). 

Buck Killer

October 30th, 2012 at 9:05 AM ^

He better be ready to play. Bellomy probably shit his panties Saturday. I have never seen someone so scared in my life at any level of football. His eyes and facial expression looked like he was on a bad LSD trip. Gardner throws much worse than Denard in practice. I need a Kate Upton picture. I need Shane to start practicing today on his own time.


October 30th, 2012 at 9:40 AM ^

If Bellomy starts next year, he'll be in such a better position to succeed...

1) he won't be thrown in to a game midstream, which is always tough for a quarterback, especially a young one

2) he won't be blitzed every single play like Nebraska practically did.  They WENT AFTER the poor guy, as all DC's do to 2nd string Qb's 


October 30th, 2012 at 10:05 AM ^

I respectfully disagree with #2, the only way to stop getting blitzed every play is if your game film shows the opposing DCs you can handle it. Bellomy will be blitz 80%+ of the time until he makes a few consistent reads/throws out of it, regardless of if he is the starter or not.

Perd Hapley

October 30th, 2012 at 8:32 PM ^

Are Treadwell and Green as important to AL/Brady as Pryor was to RichRod? If we had Pryor RichRod might still be here with a few B1G Championships. (also maybe a sanction) I think no but with the way everyone is bashing Al after last sat. I dunno