MSU Week: Monday

Submitted by GunnersApe on October 28th, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Surprised there hasn't been more on the board.  I feel bad for all the Michigan residents who deal with the Brah's on a regular basis. Well a snowflake tread if you will.


Issues for me:

-Some kind of Snap Count Variation

-Trick plays by MSU

-Health of Devin "60 minutes and all"/Max protect.





October 28th, 2013 at 3:50 PM ^

Gibbons's struggles are a mystery to me, given his previous performance. Same with Wile, who seems to be having more problems this year than last.

But yes, the coaches are responsible for the team they put on the field. If the kicking game starts tanking, Hoke has to take responsibility for it (both as HC and as the kicking coach).


October 28th, 2013 at 4:23 PM ^

There is a certain portion of the board that truly believes that the coaches are completely absolved from ANY responsibility over anything that happens on the field it seems and that just makes me laugh.  What people fail to realize, it seems, is that EVERY play ends up with a touchdown on the drawing board.  You dont create one that states "at four yards just fall down".  No matter how simple the play the assumption is, executed correctly, you will score a touchdown.  Which means the defense has the same basic assumption when drawing up plays (they all end in loss of yards) so it's the meeting of the two that determines winners and losers.

Yes coaches are it or not.  

I Have A Gnarly Face

October 28th, 2013 at 4:05 PM ^

" 'All the coaches can do is coach' means what, exactly"

I figured it was obvious. The coaches have the responsibility of teaching the players. A player could be taught what is generally accepted as the right way to do whatever is being taught. If the player is still not doing it correctly, then it's on the player, not the coach. In the end, on field performance is on the players. Coaches call the plays obviously and if we are talking scheme and play calls, well obviously that is on the coaches, but yes, the players are ultimately responsible for executing the plays.


October 28th, 2013 at 4:17 PM ^

And my argument is that some of the coaching staff isn't doing their job teaching the players how to play. Denard's passing was worse his junior year than his sophomore and worse his senior than his junior. Gardner's best play at QB came after being a WR for a half a season. Three years of QB regression suggests that Borges doesn't seem to be teaching these guys how to be a good QB.

And we apparentally fundamentally differ about whether or not the coaching staff is accountable for the performance of their team.


October 28th, 2013 at 4:35 PM ^

Of course some players struggle to develop in college. There will always be kids who max out in HS or just can't put it all together mentally or physically. But I don't agree with this apparent absolution of the coaching staff from the performance of their players once they step on to the field on the grounds that maybe the kids can't learn.

Have you ever thought, "maybe this coach just can't coach?"


October 28th, 2013 at 4:20 PM ^

Well, you and others are certainly being obtuse, if not snarky.

Its obvious he doesn't mean that coaches have no responsibility.

But this isn't a video game where Mattison is at fault because he pressed Y late on the Stribling missed interceptions. Stribling is at fault. The coach put him in a good spot. The player actually has to move his muscles.

Come on guys, there are really stupid things being said every day on here. This isn't one of them.


October 28th, 2013 at 4:24 PM ^

It'd be one thing if the "it's not the coaches throwing the INT" comment came in the context of one bad INT or even one bad game. But Gardner clearly has problems turning the ball over, and when your QB has a persistent problem over multiple games, there is something to be said for the QB coach bearing some of that responsibility. In Borges's case, it's compounded by the fact that the QB is also not being put in a good position due to bad play calling on early downs.

I Have A Gnarly Face

October 28th, 2013 at 7:16 PM ^

Some responsibility for the coach, but the clear majority of the blame is on the player since he is the one who threw the interception.

I just don't understand how some people can blame the coaches more for losses when they are not the ones playing. The games are on the shoulders of the players first and then coaches second. How is that not clear as day?


October 28th, 2013 at 7:57 PM ^

Just to be clear, I'm not saying that Gardner is somehow blameless for all the TOs he's had. He definitely is responsible for what he does on the field, as are all the other players, good and bad. I just can't agree with the idea that position coaches "absoluely [do] not" bear responsibilities for their positions.

EDIT: It's clear that you take it easier on the coaching staff than me. That's totally fine, I think it's pretty obvious we simply disagree about the coaching staff's culpability in how a team performs on the field relative to the players shouldering the blame (or getting the glory, as the case may be).


October 28th, 2013 at 3:03 PM ^

I see where your going with that, but, don't we want Borges to assume that he has the talent to put forth a game plan and that his players are going to execute it.  They are recruiting at a high level at really all offensive positions, and it looks to me that he tried to run "his stuff" and that it failed miserably, but is that due to scheme or performance.  If it is due to scheme is he not recruiting the right kind of players for his system?  if it is due to performace is it an effort issue?  Do his preferred schemes just suck bad enough that they would still suck if the Denver Broncos were running them?  I mean the offensive coordinator calls the plays, but is he responsible for offensive talent development in the broader sense.  If there is a problem with Borges, what precisely would it be?  Is it trying to run schemes that his players are not good enough to run?  Would that not be a personel problem?  These are rhetoricals but do kind of explain the issue I am having with it in my head.


October 28th, 2013 at 3:21 PM ^

I see Borges' responsibility covering things like QB development (as the QB coach, not the OC), and game planning/play calling that considers the skillset of the offense talent he has at his disposal.

There are things I like about him, and things that I don't (I do think he should be considered to be coaching for his job the rest of the season, though). To your point, he seems to do a lot of play calling and game planning without too much consideration about what the players can execute. Some times it works, and some times it doesn't. Every time I hear "execution" as the reason the team performed poorly, all I can think is "in that case, why are you asking them to do that?" As the OC, he should be aware by now what his team is and is not capable of doing. It doesn't help that his in-game adjustments are borderline non-existent.


October 28th, 2013 at 4:58 PM ^

This is true, but it works both ways. The coaches are supposed to evaluate a player's abilities before offering. Therefore, the coach is ultimately responsible for the quality of material they work with on the field. To say "the players have to make the plays" is the same as "the coaches have to recuit better players". Coaches recruit, train in practicew, and call plays during the game. With this much total control, it is hard to see how they should not take 100% responsibility for the outcome of a team. Why doesn't Hoke have better options at kicker and QB? Whose fault is that?


October 29th, 2013 at 1:32 AM ^

become rs juniors and seniors. This will not be until 2015. If we are still experiencing OL, DL problems then Hoke will be on the clock. Overall, I'm optimistic. Though I still am uncertain how Hoke will do against the top coaches. I can see 9-3 to 11-1 regular season records, kind of back to the traditional Michigan football. B1G championship every 3rd year, may be several BCS bowl wins. Not out of the question of getting a NC in the next decade.


October 28th, 2013 at 4:25 PM ^

There are certain things every coach must ask players to do, regardless of the players' ability.

All coaches want to run the ball at least a few times a game. So they ask their linemen to block. Now, one can do different things to maximize the players' skills, but we haven't been able to consistently block any scheme. Man, zone, under center, shotgun, doesn't matter. We have not been good at any sort of blocking. The coordinator is still going to call some runs, though.


October 28th, 2013 at 4:40 PM ^

Of course I'm not talking about some kind of absolute "the running game is struggling, don't call any more running plays" adjustment. But there is something to be said for not doing things, e.g., power running, as much as this team does when you haven't been able to do it for three years.

I'm not calling for some kind of wholesale abandonment of half the play book, but Borges, in my opinion, seems to game plan around what he wants the team to do, regardless of what the team has displayed themselves capable of doing. Then "execution" gets thrown around as the explanation for the team's struggles.


October 28th, 2013 at 11:19 PM ^

You seem to be a reasonable guy with adult-level emotional control. You are my favorite kind of coach-basher. There are so few of you left.

And, or course, you are right. But lets say we want to run the ball 10 times. That is very few, really. When do we run them? The people on here seem to think any first down run is nothing but a burnt down. So, do we then run on 2nd and ten after an incompletion? 2nd and long after a sack? 2nd and short after a completion? Wouldn't the defense expect this and load the box? How about third and long? That's just being conservative and playing to punt. Third and short? Same thing, but also awful because it would be taking the ball from Gardner's hands.

Our line is bad. This makes us one dimensional, and even then, we have to max protect a lot and this limits our one dimension even more. It makes a coordinators job very difficult. I think Borges has acquitted himself pretty well under the circumstances. This doesn't mean he's immune to mistakes, bad plans, or criticism, but people hate him because he doesn't do what they believe in, nothing else.


October 29th, 2013 at 12:46 AM ^

What if some of these plays that fail in games are executed really well in practice?  There's a big difference between executing in practice and in games.  In practice you're going against the same person/people every day.  You learn their strengths and weaknesses.  How to attack them and how to beat them.  Then afterwords you're probably going to eat dinner with them, possibly drink some beers and might even have class the next with them.  In the game, you're going against someone who you've seen on film some, got a scouting report on and someone who wants to rip your head off.  Not every thing is going to happen as planned like you practiced it and the players need to be able to make split second decisions as to how they react.  As a coach you try to practice all the possible scenarios but sometimes a player has to use his instinct and football IQ.  Maybe the coaching staff can do a better job coaching, but unfortunately we don't get to see what goes on Sunday through Friday and see how well the players perform in practice.


October 28th, 2013 at 4:06 PM ^

If he brings his A game like he did vs ND, we win by at least 10. If he comes out trying to pound Fitz outta the I like he did in Happy Valley, we will struggle. We gotta attack them through the air. With the talent of Gallon, Funchess, Dileo (hopefully he can go), and Chesson there will be some favorable matchups if State continues to play man-press coverage.


October 28th, 2013 at 1:11 PM ^

I really think we match up well against them.  Their offense is bad enough that a good defense can turn in a dominant performance.  Our offense has not lived up to its billing, but can turn things around easily if we limit turnovers.  I don't think it will be a close game at all.  Crowd noise concerns me, but maybe that's because I saw first hand what PSU's home crowd did to our offense.


October 28th, 2013 at 1:23 PM ^

A mistake-prone QB with a leaky OL is a recipe for disaster against a pressure defense that is excellent at causing turnovers.


I see MSU winning pretty easily. At least one defensive touchdown, constant harassment of Devin, and their offense will get a couple of big plays. MSU 27, UM 14.


You beat MSU with big physical WRs who can break their jams,a rock solid OL, and a physical rushing attack. UM has almost none of these things.