Minor vs Brown

Submitted by weasel3216 on September 28th, 2009 at 5:02 PM

I know that this will be completely personal opinion but i figured i would ask. Who do you think should get the start, Brown or Minor?

Brown has been dominate the past two weeks with huge TD runs and seems to be just running people over (38 carries for 321 and 3 TD). However, Minor is not far off doing the same, he is putting up solid numbers (31 for 177 and 2 TD).

I know both will continue to get reps and plenty of PT over the season unless one gets injured (knock on wood), but i was just curious what everyone thought of them.



September 28th, 2009 at 5:06 PM ^

If healthy I go with Minor. To me, Brown is a change of pace back and should get about 1/3 of the carries with minor 2/3. I don't want to forget about Shaw but that is what I think out of those 2.


September 28th, 2009 at 5:10 PM ^

I love 'em both. Unfortunately only one can start. So keeping in mind that we want a fast start offense, assuming both are perfectly healthy, I think we start Brown. That's no slight to Minor. But it would be nice to set the pace at the beginning of the game. Then when we get into a rhythm, we start switching them off and let Minor pound it out for several drives.

EDIT: Actually we CAN start both in the 2-back shotgun set. Hmmm . . . I'm liking that idea.


September 28th, 2009 at 5:07 PM ^

While I have no real preference as long as both are healthy, I like the idea of trying to get a quick touchdown from Carlos in the opening series. If we see that he's not able to break it outside or make it through the hole, give it to Brandon and let him rage.

So yeah, they both get playing time, but I like the idea of the quick strike attempt to open a game and set momentum on our side offensively. It's not a huge gamble as it's early enough in a game where not scoring should affect things too much.


September 28th, 2009 at 5:09 PM ^

Healthy MINOR IS A MAN-BEAST (see Penn State first half 2008). Brown is flashier but Minor is the guy for hard-nosed Big Ten play. I like Brown as a 3rd down back but Minor is our best overall back.


September 28th, 2009 at 5:11 PM ^

I like Brown's explosiveness and big-play potential. But against a stout defense and with the game on the line, I'm giving the ball to Minor (see goal line series against OSU last year).


September 28th, 2009 at 5:40 PM ^

I like Minor's ability to block. I also like that when we give him the ball i just know he's not going down upon first contact, kind of like Hart. I love Brown's explosiveness. I think having both is a huge asset that Rich Rodriguez is using well.

What's insane is that even Shaw shows flashes of brilliance. I don't know much about other teams, but I'd be curious to see other teams with as much depth at RB.


September 28th, 2009 at 6:03 PM ^

Minor runs tough and all, blah blah blah, but Brown's lightning in a bottle. He has TDs of 90, 61 and 42 yards the past two weeks. Minor probably wouldn't have gone the distance on those plays; his longest career run is 47 yards, and it wasn't a TD.

I like Minor on 3rd and short and near the goal line, but otherwise I like Brown more.

Big Shot

September 28th, 2009 at 6:12 PM ^

Minor because he's a beast when he's healthy. Brown's speed and explosiveness is a perfect complement to Minor's physical style. I'd like to see Minor get around 50% of the carries, Brown 30%, and the rest of the team 20%.


September 28th, 2009 at 6:20 PM ^

Minor is definitely better. On the three huge gains that brown has had, nothing special was done. He had great blocking and had huge holes. Minor is slower but i still think that he could have done the same because a safety or corner isn't going to take him down. Minor never goes down on the first tackle and is way more consistent. Brown doesnt read the holes as well as minor and cant break a tackle. Also, minor still has that nagging injury so he isnt one hundred percent and thats why i say start brown (even though minor is better). Thats my look on the situation although i am sure some wont agree which is fine.


September 28th, 2009 at 6:29 PM ^

Why would we not compare the two? Brown has been, quite frankly, the better back this year. His speed and vision is clearly improved from years past and Minor is still not 100% in terms of health. Now if Minor isn't 100%, why would we not start Brown after the opening plays we've had?

I'm as much of a fan of Minor rage as anyone, but sometimes people need to let go of this preconceived notion that Brown will always and forever be the #2 back.


September 28th, 2009 at 6:40 PM ^

Minor is slower but i still think that he could have done the same because a safety or corner isn't going to take him down

Minor gets brought down by DBs all the time. It's rare to see him actually break into the clear. He typically breaks into the secondary and then gets stopped by the last remaining defender. Basically, if we could combine Minor's ability to run the first 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage with Brown's ability to run the rest of the way, we'd have . . . Tyrone Wheatley.


September 28th, 2009 at 6:26 PM ^

You start Brown because he has been awesome for a couple weeks and Minor is still dinged up anyway (and therefore seeing limited action). Once Minor is healthy he probably gets the starts again. I dunno, I don't care that much. I'm very happy we have 2 great starters and a half dozen young up-and-comers. Our running game is going to be great for quite a while!


September 28th, 2009 at 6:36 PM ^

I'm mighty glad to have the both of them; this topic has been brought up just about after every game and it seems to me Carlos has been closing the gap with each game as to who the featured back should be.


September 28th, 2009 at 6:39 PM ^

I say call Dr.Frankenstein and take the best parts of Brown, Minor, Shaw, and Smith and combine them into a ferocious, Sparty eating, 4.3 running, head trucking beast of mythic proportions that averages 13 yards per carry and 4 TD's per game. We could call it Tyrone Wheatley.


September 28th, 2009 at 7:06 PM ^

The way I see it, that term can mean two things:

A) The back that lines up on the first offensive play.

B) The "feature" back, or in other words, the back who is expected to carry the majority of the running workload.

As for option A, I think that RR should put Brown in first considering that, well, it has worked pretty goddamn awesome so far. If it ain't broke...

As for option B, I don't think this applies here. Why must we label one or the other as the feature back? IMO, we need BOTH of them to get roughly equal amount of carries in order for our offense to be as effective as possible. They each have equal value in the system, and their unique talents complement each other very well.

M Squared

September 28th, 2009 at 7:06 PM ^

You have to depreciate the value of yards gained that are really due to blocking. The credit for many of Carlos's big runs really goes to our blocking, particularly on the perimeter last game. Minor is a beast. He breaks so many tackles, and he'll wear down a defense w/ his physical running.

Tha Stunna

September 28th, 2009 at 7:08 PM ^

Carlos Brown I think is the better back against porous defenses, so for shootouts he is better since he is a "home run threat". However, in many of the tough games up ahead, Minor will be the better back for breaking tackles, etc. I think Minor is best for Iowa/OSU/PSU, in other words. In any case, I think it's great that we have both, and it's certainly good to mix them up throughout a game.


September 28th, 2009 at 7:22 PM ^

TTU brings up a good point about equal touches but it should also depend on the gameplan for the style of defense we are playing. Different talents for different situations. I like what Minor brings to the table for MSU, PSU, OSU, Iowa, and Wiscy. For ball control, running down the clock, and gaining big chunks. Even in these games I like the carry load to be 65-35 in favor of Minor with a few home-run chances for Brown.

Stunna has an equally good call on Carlos. Brown is definitely more of a home-run threat and a great option in shootouts which I'm afraid we may be in a few.

Either way, most teams would be happy to have one of them. We have them both + Shaw, Smith, and Cox.

Needless to say, I am not too concerned with the RB postion for Michigan this year.


September 28th, 2009 at 7:28 PM ^

I'm really starting to wish that Carlos Brown had sat out the NW and OSU games last year. While I appreciated his effort in those two humiliating losses, I would have preferred he apply for the medical redshit and have a chance to play in 2010.


September 28th, 2009 at 7:30 PM ^

I really like both backs but I think the perfect mix would see Brown getting a bigger carry load early with the chance for a quick-strike TD with a fresh Minor getting the bulk of the work late in the game, pounding tacklers into submission after the defense is worn down.


September 28th, 2009 at 8:02 PM ^

They compliment each other nicely and it doesn't really matter who starts. They are different enough that the rotation could make it difficult for the opposing defense to get any rhythm.

I really liked Bo's old method of giving carries to a few backs and then giving more carries to whoever was gaining the most yards that day. I have never pretended to know why, but some backs just match up better against some defenses than others. When you have backs with two or three different styles, you can almost always find one who the defense just can't stop very well on a regular basis.


September 28th, 2009 at 8:06 PM ^

Put them both in and run the wishbone with Denard.

In all seriousness, Minor seems to hit the hole a little better than Brown and looks sturdier. I'd split the carries, but in favor of Minor.


September 28th, 2009 at 8:18 PM ^

But Brown has played himself into a starting job for now with Minor's nagging ankle sprain. He's earned it.

For the most part, it really doesn't matter. Neither guy is going to get 25+ touches a game like Mike Hart did. They'll split those carries in addition to Shaw and Smith.

Regardless who starts, they need to run the ball more. They have the horses to do it and I was surprised they didn't pound the ball more against Indiana after the 1st Quarter when it was clearly working.


September 28th, 2009 at 8:26 PM ^

I really like a healthy Minor. There's nothing better than watching MINOR RAGE. He just seems to be impossible to tackle and even when you do tackle him he's still picking up a few more yards as he's being taken down. I'm really happy to be in the position to have to choose one of these backs though they are both great in their own way. Minor is a more physical, run you over kind of back, while Carlos is faster than fast. I really don't care who starts as long as they both get some solid PT.


September 28th, 2009 at 8:39 PM ^

I think that this is the opinion that i agree with the most. I think that Minor is the better back when healthy. Brown is explosive and exciting to watch, but Minor is the typical Michigan back that will just smack you in the mouth and run your ass over. I really hope Minor gets healthy by Penn State at the latest so he can run all over that d-line that he exposed last season.


September 28th, 2009 at 8:52 PM ^

Minor without a doubt. His blocking alone is enough to give him the bulk of the snaps. With Tate hurting Michigan needs max protection. In addition his full contact style of running will set the tone that Michigan can get it done with both power and finesse. No knock on Carlos Brown but a healthy Brandon Minor will win us more games in the Big Ten. Anyone else get the sense that they have been holding Minor back in anticipation of the grind it out portion of the schedule?


September 28th, 2009 at 9:06 PM ^

Minor starts if he's healthy. It's been mentioned and I agree he's a better blocker and physical back to pummel Greg Jones and company. Carlos is no slouch and should see plenty of carries as well but if I've got to start someone it's Minor. Pick your poison.


September 28th, 2009 at 9:17 PM ^

but it's gotta kinda suck losing your starting job due to injury. Minor earned the starting spot in honest competition, as soon he's healthy enough, he should be able to out-compete Brown for the bulk of the carries again. Either way, I like seeing them both with the ball, and it should be effective.


September 29th, 2009 at 12:52 AM ^

"Brown has been dominate the past two weeks with huge TD runs and seems to be just running people over"

He has been good, but "just running people over"? The next person Carlos Brown runs over will be the first. A small gust of wind knocked him down on his 30-yard run against EMU.


September 29th, 2009 at 8:22 AM ^

I think they're better at different things. Obviously you can't do a strict platoon based on what sort of plays you're calling due to predictability, but in general, I think that if you're calling a play designed to get your RB out on the edge in space, I think you'd likely rather have Brown in the game - he's more explosive than Minor is. For short yardage, or just to pound it up the middle, Minor is the preferred back, as Brown has a harder time getting out of some tackles that Minor would just tear through. I think Brown is a better receiver, and they're relatively equal at pass blocking (ie, they're both actually excellent) so Brown would generally be the preferred "3rd down back".

Honestly, I think Brown is a much better RB than he was when we saw him 2 years ago - he did so much dancing in the backfield replacing Hart, and now, like Minor, he seems to make a quick decision, and goes at it full speed. Happily, Michael Shaw already has this skill.

It's somewhat outside the scope of the question, but I think that in 2 years, Shaw is better than either of them - physically, he combines the best qualities of both of them.