New Season Outlook

Submitted by AMazinBlue on October 15th, 2011 at 3:27 PM

After watching this debacle and how ineffective our offense is again once we play better competition, hoe do you see the rest of the season?

This may be the best defense we face all season, credit MSU with that, but thew playt calling and execution by Michigan's offense has been atrocious today.  Where do we see Michigan now that we have been brought back down to earth?

We may go 10-2, but the offensive execution must improve and Denard needs to be on the field whenever we have the ball.



October 15th, 2011 at 6:05 PM ^

Yeah, it's the fault of that stupid Rodriguez that we had so few RS senior linemen out there today. Why didn't he recruit more than four in '07?

Oh, wait ...

Mack, remember that Lloyd shares responsibility for the '08 class, too.

You can RichRod for plenty of other things (like several recruiting areas), but he's not the only one at fault here.


October 15th, 2011 at 3:44 PM ^


Punting from the ~35yard line of you opponent multiple times from 4th and short will not win you football games. When did Carr decided he was going to return to coach?


October 15th, 2011 at 3:45 PM ^

I thought 9 wins for this squad would be fantastic. But I knew there was no way we were suddenly going to become as good as sparty, Wisc, ohio, etc. Our ranking was laughable.

Still hold to it. We should be able to beat everyone except Nebraska, and win one of Illinois or Iowa.

Christ though Dernard cannot pass. And Borges was terrible today. That 4th and inches was a pathetic call. When Dernard lined up under Molk I actually thought we were going to win the game. We had all the momentum.

You think Brandon has the sense now to burn those bumblebee unis?


October 15th, 2011 at 3:45 PM ^

The seniors. Borges called a terrible game, and our receivers cant read a blitz worth a damn.

Worst of all the thugs and thier king now can confidently say they own us.


October 15th, 2011 at 3:56 PM ^

They do?  Last I checked they're still a little behind in the all-time standings.  First year with a new staff and we were bound to stumble at some point, too bad it had to be against Sparty.  We're still in need of a talent upgrade though, even if the execution was better, if we want to return to our rightful place.


October 15th, 2011 at 4:11 PM ^

4 years in a row. Only one of which was competitive. Sorry MSU owns us and we all have to deal with the Brah-tastic consequences. Not the game to have a choker by either the players and the coaching staff and saying "calm down" after we've all watched the tailspin start after the MSU game the past two years is a message going to deaf ears.


October 15th, 2011 at 5:07 PM ^

I think there's a sentence in there.  They own the last 4 years, but in the big picture they're still just Sparty to me.  I know, it sucks these last several years, but I'm confident the dark days are coming to an end soon despite today's outcome.

Transatlantic Flight

October 15th, 2011 at 3:45 PM ^

There were a lot of issues with dropped balls early, but the biggest issue there was the proverbial battle in the trenches. I thought Denard did pretty well considering the pass protection issues. The really puzzling thing was how poor our defensive line played.

I think we were all expecting a few losses at some point, so I am not super surprised by this. After any loss, it is easy to look at negatives and mistakes, but I still think this is a 9 win team, based on overall season performance to date. Morbid though it may seem, I am sort of excited to see how Hoke and company bounce back after a defeat.



October 15th, 2011 at 3:45 PM ^

MSU turned the ball over twice and had 124 penalty yards. They tried to give Michigan the game, Michigan just wouldn't take it.


I wonder what Hoke's comments will be on the dirty plays?

Mitch Cumstein

October 15th, 2011 at 3:45 PM ^

Lots of blame to go around.  Its tough to watch us not take advantage of the other teams undisciplined play. Thats the best way to punish them is to beat them b/c of it. Really disappointed in that aspect of the game.

Those that are blaming the defense, there were some bad tackles and missed plays, but overall I thought the defense did their job. We had many chances with short fields to score and the O couldn't get it done due to play calling, QB decision making and poor offensive line play. I think there is a lot of blame to go around.

Hopefully we regroup, beat Purdue soundly, and get ready for the stretch run. We still have a solid chance at the division due to not having to play Wisco and beating ND. Overall record is high up on the tie-breaker chart.

Bobby Boucher

October 15th, 2011 at 3:45 PM ^

No need to go into panick mode.  I actually see this loss on the coaches.  How in hell do you run a power-look play action on fourth and inches when you've completed 10% of your passes and all you needed to do was let Denard run it pass the marker???  The offensive play calling was atrocious, but the defense actually looked better than I thought they would. 

Plus, little brother plays dirty.  Should we do the same next year.  I mean, can't drop 5 straight.  Right?


October 15th, 2011 at 3:46 PM ^

I believe this is the coaching staff's fault. Yes, the execution by the offense wasn't great but we were there at the end. The coaches a la Al Borges horrible call on 4 and inches! If they kick the field goal or sneak it then its a completely different ball game. There was also some missed calls from the refs. I think we regroup and really see what we are made of in a big win against Purdue!


October 15th, 2011 at 3:46 PM ^

I'm sorry but what is everyone talking about.  We absolutely played very poorly but to act like this was a blowout or something is just false.  How many drives did we to the MSU's 35?  We had two turnovers on their side of the field.  This boils down to lack of execution by the offense.  The defense had some bad drives but only gave up 21 and took it away twice (should have been 3).

The rest of the season is going to be about execution, if we do we have a shot in every game we play.  If we don't we can lose to any team on the scedule.

Huntington Wolverine

October 15th, 2011 at 3:46 PM ^

You've got to make aggresive defenses pay for over pursuing.  Where were the screens we ran in the first 5 games?  How about adjustments in our blocking scheme since they kepy blitzing untouched LBs up the middle?  No Diamond of Death formation either.  Who calls for a pass from under center with 4th and inches in the red zone when you have Denard at QB?  And what was up with the QB rotation - when Denard's in we can pass, handoff, or draw well.  Gardner - its a pass.  Everytime.  Last year we were all frustrated with how predictable our offense was against good competition - here we are again.  There is no bread and butter offense- the Spartans have sacked our grainery and stolen our milk churns.

I'm convinced that Mattison is wringing every ounce of potential he can out of our defense but Borges needs a reality check in what his team does well and what it doesn't do well.  I'll be watching anxiously to see how Borges adjusts going forward.


October 15th, 2011 at 3:47 PM ^

This team wasn't going undefeated, and this was a game that looked like a loss at the beginning of the year.  MSU's defense isn't top-10, but it is good.  The weather screwed up both teams, and MSU just played better at times.  They still struggled to throw the ball, and the running game was solid but not other-worldly.  This UM offense needs to grow up, but one loss does not change my outlook on this team finishing with 9 or 10 wins, which would be good enough by any standards.


October 15th, 2011 at 3:50 PM ^

Our D-line is bad. Mike Martin is overrated. Lets face it. Everybody else I cant even call decent aside from Ryan. Then again MSU is just the flat out better team honestly.


October 15th, 2011 at 5:06 PM ^

That's not the real question. The real question is how are we going to react/respond to this over the next month of games? It doesn't matter what RR would have done, he's not here anymore and it's all just pointless conjecture when people say what RR might have done. Let's just let it go and move forward, stop the comparisons


October 15th, 2011 at 3:50 PM ^

its disappointing because we did not play our best game.  I hate to say this, but we kind of choked against good competition.  The dropped snaps, fancy play action on fourth and inches when the a gaps were open for a few inches, and maddening incompletions to open receivers.  I figured state would make some plays on D, but way too many missed opportunities and unforced errors.  I also thought there were too many deep routes. Let the rb slip out and take the place of the two backers blitzing A gaps.  Give Huyge some help on #28 blitzing, because he obviously could not handle him one on one.  Do something to stop them from blitzing.  I personally did not like taking Denard out of the game as much as they did.  I don't know if that didn't allow him to get into the rythm of the game.  We saw some glimpses of Devin's talent, but his involvement was too sporadic, and he just wasn't seeing what msu was doing.  Now I'm writing half drunk run on sentences.  This one is going to hurt, but they have to regroup and play better in two weeks.  They still have a chance to win the division.  


October 15th, 2011 at 3:52 PM ^

the outlook for the season isn't that dire. every game left on the schedule is winnable if the team plays to their capabilities. i didn't liek some of the offensive playcalling today but really what proof was there that rushing the ball more would have done something? the playcall on 4th and one was by far the worst of the game. i actually didn't think the defense played that bad outside of msu's first drive. this was eaisly denard's worst game at qb since he's been with the program. it was comically bad out there. i'm not gonna pull the bench him card but the passing game needs to be scaled back dramatically. screens, hitch's slants,qb play action pass. anything deep down field needs to be removed unless it's desperation time. 


i'm not happy about a lot of things that happened today but i'm not gonna pile on the defense or hoke too much. also for all the complaining about punting inside the msu 40, yeah they should have went for it at least once on one of those but the offense was so ineffective how many of them really would have been picked up? my guess is none. also for the epople saying the offense faltered against a better defense yes it did but it really falls on the qb's shoulders both of them. wide open receivers were missed all day. so don't blame the system it's on the players. borges i think deserves a chunk of the blame as his playcalling wasn't up to par but again the players especially the qb's didn't execute. take the bye to regroup go out there smash purdue. then take that into iowa in a very winnable game. the iowa game right now is the most important game ont he schedule going forward in terms of knowing where this team really is. also for the peopel complaining about the msu cheap shots and personal fouls, did you really expect anything other than that?


October 15th, 2011 at 3:52 PM ^

I don't know if outlook needs to be changed necessarily and doing so right after a loss is never usually sensible.

It was a bad game against a good team (who also didn't play that well IMO) and we lost. Happens from time to time. We have a bye week and then Purdue @ home. Best to just get healthy and move on.


October 15th, 2011 at 3:54 PM ^

Last year I thought that Tate brought out dimensions of our offense that were hidden or non-existent when Denard was playing. (Wow!  We do have recievers!  Our tailbacks aren't THAT bad.)


Likewise, when Gardener was in at QB today, our passing game showed signs of life.  Denard is a fantastic weapon, but perhaps it is at the cost of our overall offensive efficiency?


I susspect that the coaches are thinking much the same with how they are going out of the way to feature Gardener, even at times it seems silly or counterproductive to do so.


When you add up the number of quarters of good football Denard has played this year, it may be less than the number of poor performance quarters (excluding games VS MAC or Minnesota which is worse than a MAC team).


The coaches have some thinking to do in the bye week.  I doubt they will pull Denard as starter (unless he is injured) but I do think we will see Gardener more at QB in non-gymic play situations.




October 15th, 2011 at 3:54 PM ^

Al Borges might need to be told how to run this offense. 4th and 1 with 6-7 minutes left was the turning point. Run an f'n qb sneak. Why get so fancy with play action? Dumb in my opinion. As for the season, this team needs to play to its strengths better. As much as Denard needs to stay healthy, he needs to be out out in some space. He's been so trained to stay in the pocket and throw that he now neglects easy 8 yard runs. Tuck, run and slide.


October 15th, 2011 at 3:54 PM ^

A lot of the shimmer came off of Hoke and Borges today (I thought Mattison did decent given what he has to work with and the offense not really helping out much at all). The team looked unprepared and the seemingly random insertion of Devin into the game kept the offense from getting any sort of rhythm.

The entire team, coaches included, need to use this bye week to figure out an offensive system that can actually work against the decent-to-good defense we'll see the rest of the way. Notre Dame and Northwestern provided the template of how to attack us, and Michigan State worked that to perfection against us. I think, unless the coaches and players actually use this game to learn what went wrong, we lose to Illinois, Nebraska and Ohio State.


October 15th, 2011 at 3:55 PM ^

It starts and ends with the lines. We didn't get any push from the o-line, and we didn't get any pressure from the d-line most of the game. There's a reason we're recruiting so many linemen, and we saw it first hand today.


October 15th, 2011 at 3:57 PM ^

If a few things go differently the game could have been ours. On top of that, I saw this game as a toss up. Therefore, no. I still see about a 9-10 win team.


October 15th, 2011 at 4:09 PM ^

Granted todays game was an awful showing on almost all fronts but, if any Michigan fan would have been asked before the season started, "Would you take a 6-1 record into the bye week getting ready to host Purdue?" I dont think anyone would have said no no no, we'll take our chances with a good Western team, a well thought of Notre Dame, a good SDSU team, and on the road at Northwestern and MSU back to back.

Gotta slow down on the coach hate though. I agree with the fact that playaction on 4th and inches was poor playcalling but face the facts, Denard sucked today. Even the TD to Roundtree was lucky because his footwork was horrible. Possibly the reason they continued to use DG was because Denard was horribly inaccurate, and injured several times. Hoke and company will be the first to tell us that they as well as the kids didnt perform well. I know it sucks to have to listen to another year of Sparty snapping its suspenders, but it will get better.  We were actually in the game, unlike last year, and if we would have played just a little better we win.


October 15th, 2011 at 4:45 PM ^

inside the 20 down by 7 with 5 minutes remaining.  That whole stadium was soiling themselves because they weren't moving the ball into the wind.  We score I like our chances at stealing that one.


That was the single worst play call of the season, I hope.


October 15th, 2011 at 4:26 PM ^

This is what it is all about. DR is the best running QB in college football. He may also be the worst passer in college football. If it's in the best interest to switch positions and put DR in a slot or running back than so be it. He is too short to see over huge linemen so he is always throwing high or overthrowing the ball. He usually only get thru his first progression and then it's off to the races. Because of this the WR's get complacent or give up on routes. DR is NOT a passer so get someone in the QB position that throws the ball better. Devin Gardner should be the QB. DR should play every snap but play in a different spot. He will get his touches but the passing game will improve. Hell with the Heisman talk, All American crap, 1st Team All Big Ten, I want this TEAM to win. Coaches coach and players play. Al Borges cant throw the ball for DR. He cant look thru all the progressions for DR. He is a great kid, exciting runner, but a horrific passer. Time to groom the new QB. The Team, the Team, the Team.


October 15th, 2011 at 4:43 PM ^

about a Michigan team by how they play vs State.  They simply don't play with any f'ing emotion and that has bothered me since the beginning of my M fandom.


There were a lot of danger signs today, but only one team will be as 'up' to play Michigan the rest of the year and thats OSU.  Maybe not even that 'UP'.


Damn it SOMEONE from Michigan fire these kids up to play MSU for once.


October 15th, 2011 at 4:59 PM ^

Some things that I noticed watching the game.

The O-Line was definatly not ready for the blitz. Protections broke down all over the place.

 Check down opportunities  were missed that would have given us open throws or 1on1 chances. 

Denard is not a good touch thrower, period. Whoever is responsible for coaching him individually is doing a very poor job. In all honesty, last years staff had him throwing a better ball than this years staff. I dont know if anyone else has noticed that he is actually a worse passer this year, but his mechanics and footwork are awful.

Play calling on offense was fine, kept us in the game, i really think given the pass rush that they had, we could have had a couple of pick 6's against us. The 4th and 1 play that we needed to get should have been a dive play right up the gut, but hindsight is 20/20.


Defense played well enough to win. again, they bent but didnt break. 


With all the turnovers, personal fouls, sloppy MSU play, we could have won this game. But IF they had come ready to play, we would have easily lost by alot more.

Now what do we do. This is the point in the last 3 seasons that we totally tanked. Will our players still have the intensity to come out against purdue and play hard