Michigan vs. Illinois --- Immediate Reactions

Submitted by Mr. Yost on November 12th, 2011 at 7:20 PM

What are your thoughts following this game?


  • Denard is struggling running this offense...HOWEVA, I think we can get him on track if we went no huddle a little more
  • Fitz is the #1 back --- We knew this already, now the nation knows
  • Our offensive line is the key to our offense. (Yes, any offense can say that, however when Devin and Denard have time, when Fitz has a crease, when we control the line...we're good. When we don't, we're not good. It's that simple. We don't have a QB who can win with average/bad line play by hitting the slants and quick passes.
  • Mattison is king.
  • Our defensive line is damn good. You say, "no shit." Not so fast my friend...think back to the beginning of the year. They struggled. Roh was a non-factor. Brink and Heininger were not good. RVB couldn't get a pass rush. These guys are GOOD now.
  • Floyd is the most improved player on the team. Take away his best play (the INT) and his worst play (the holding or PI call)...he had a GREAT game. I don't care if it shows in the UFR or not. Floyd played well. Got away with a few things, but still, he was right there.


All in all, you can't complain too much about a win. But that 2nd and 3rd quarter was just BAD offensively. We should've won that game 47-14...EASILY. Maybe even 51 or 55-14. Our redzone playcalling has to get better. I think Borges got too conservative after the Iowa game. Those calls weren't bad 3 of the 4 could've/should've been TDs.

Teams are starting to do the same thing vs. us...Jam the WRs at the line and blitz the house. Jamming the WRs causes timing issues and allows the blitz to get through. We have to be able to hit the slant route like we did to Roundtree vs. MSU. Or throw a fade like we did so many times vs. ND.

One thing that pissed me off was Craig James whining about our redzone offense. We started the year like 18 of 18!!


Additional thoughts:

  • Why don't we use that play where Denard runs to the line and throws to the slot
  • Why don't we use the original Fritz package anymore?
  • Great job by Mattison with the zone blitzes and showing 7-8 at the line and rush 4.
  • I don't know if Frank Clark will ever start...but he's a passing rushing MACHINE!
  • The last two plays of Illinois opening drive of the 2nd half were 2 of the most beautiful plays I've ever seen in football.
  • That game was loooooooooooooooong.
  • Craig James, please...just stop talking.



....your immediate thoughts ABOUT THE GAME?



November 12th, 2011 at 8:04 PM ^

Seemed to me that Illinois' defense owned the line of scrimmage for most ot the second and third quarters.  Whitney Mercilus and his buddies on the DL went berzerk, starting with those two straight goal-line stands and with that there really wasn't much that Robinson or Gardner could do even with great field position.  After Floyd's interception and return we went back to more-or-less even on the LOS, and from there Gardner and Toussaint were able to make plays and put this out of reach.  It'll be interesting to see what the UFR shows, but I'm betting that the blocking and protection metrics are going to be pretty bad during the middle two quarters.  Fortunately things were better in the first and fourth quarters, and the defense carried us through the rough stretch.


November 12th, 2011 at 8:08 PM ^

Gave up what...50 fewer points than last year?  I'll certainly take that.  Fitz played amazing, and Gardner really wasn't too bad when he was in.  Also, for 2.5 quarters, the offense in general just had poor execution out there.

Red is Blue

November 12th, 2011 at 8:09 PM ^

If we win out, I think we're in the best position to get the second BCS birth from the B1G (if such an animal is available this year).  Under that scenario, everyone else in the B1G except the B1G champion and Michigan will have at least three losses.  (We hand Nebraska their third loss, Wiscy and PSU play each other so the loser gets a third loss.  Presuming they don't get a third lose in the reg seasons, MSUs and winner of Wiscy/PSU would meet in BTCG and obviously one of those teams lose).


November 12th, 2011 at 8:12 PM ^

I don't think there's too much complaining to do about the playcalling at least in the first half.  We were very very close to scoring 30 some points that half, and Denard looked fine up to that point.


November 12th, 2011 at 8:13 PM ^

Sorry bout any misspellings... We started out shots for Tds..... Then we played shots for anything good for mich.... So denard please stop turning the ball over...defense more Jake Ryan please... And fitz thank you I needed that.


November 12th, 2011 at 8:29 PM ^

Mattison has done a very good job getting this D to not remember anything Greg Robinson taught them the last 3 years. They will get better. Their jobs the next two weeks: contain Martinez and Miller.


November 12th, 2011 at 9:13 PM ^

Immediate-reaction: Denard Robinson has lost his confidence and is still by far the better Quarterback. I hope he can recover from his injury and regain his mojo for these last two games.


November 12th, 2011 at 10:46 PM ^

I thought it looked as if Gardner realized Odoms was open and it was going to be a sure touchdown if he got the ball to him.  He dragged his foot and slowed his throw down, making sure to hit a five foot nothing receiver in the numbers.  Great play by Gardner and Odoms.



November 13th, 2011 at 12:04 AM ^

defense was awesome for almost the whole game

offense was awesome in the first quarter

where was gallon?  i like seeing odums but gallon gets that endzone pass that went over odums.

where was the triple stack?

yay no duece

try jackson in there when garder's in.  they had a good hookup a couple games back and likely they get the most time together in practice.

straight pass protection seemed to work better than all the tricky play fakes

more t. gordon please

based upon his current play, woolfolk is our #6 and maybe even #7 db (add 1 if carvin was still around).  he's obviously hampered and i'm only noticing him late on plays.

jake ryan.  holy cow don't test the edge on his side.  he needs to pass whatever he's been smoking over to black and clark.

after seeing gardner hit odums in stride, i question the accuracy of drobs depth perception... seriously.  he's pretty good at crosses and slants but is almost always short or long on routes running away from him.