o-line play vs. Rutgers

Submitted by ifis on October 5th, 2014 at 5:46 PM

I thought there was a lot of development in the Rutgers game, especially along the o-line. Michigan owned the line of scrimmage and ran the ball at will on Rutgers in the 4th quarter. Green, Smith, and Devin were tearing it up on the ground. It might have been the first glimpse of actual "manball" that we've seen in a long time. I am not saying that it was. I am saying that it was noteworthy because we couldn't do it against Akron. It also seemed like pass pro was a lot better. There were plays were Devin had 5-6 seconds to pass, running backs were effectively picking up blocks, etc. I thought Hamilton would own us, but he didn't.  Often, it seemed like Devin panicked (understandably, given his experience) unnecessarily when protection was ok or good. Thoughts?



snarling wolverine

October 5th, 2014 at 6:17 PM ^

Rutgers is 3rd in the country in sacks (24).  They were first entering our game.

I know everyone is mad about the state of the program, and I am too.  But I'll take improvement where I can get it.  Hoke's going to be gone, but hopefully his staff can still get these guys to show some progress so there is hope for the next guy.


October 5th, 2014 at 10:49 PM ^

Head coaching changes generally churn the vast majority of the staff. If Hoke goes you can be sure that Mattison is gone. If Hoke goes it will be because the offense never got it together so Nussmeier is likely gone. Figure the majority of position coaches will be gone. 

Hoke is NOT getting fired midseason so you can expect that maybe 1 or 2 of his staff survive him getting fired.

I am amazed at all this. How many of Carr's coaches survived RichRod? How many of RichRod's coaches survived Hoke.

Read Hoke's contract (you can find it online) he has complete respnsibility to hire and manage a staff with Brandon's approval for the actual hiring. The next head coach will have pretty much the same contract and will hire the folks he wants. 

I don't mean to sound harsh, but the notion that the fans can arrange to dump Hoke and whatever position coaches they think are the problem, but keep the guys they like through a head coaching change makes me just a little crazy. It does not work that way. 

As I've said elsewhere you're alttile early assuming that Hoke's gone. Brandon has put the fan base on notice that as long as he is the AD, Hoke's future is up to him and no one else.


October 5th, 2014 at 6:59 PM ^

3 sacks isn't terrible; as noted, Rutgers is very good at pressuring the QB.

The line has its issues, but I also think it is going to be haunted a bit by its past failings.  You saw it with Gardner when pressure started closing in - he was so used to getting sacked that he panicked even when the pocket was holding up.  That's a by-product of the past 2 years, and even though they are playing better now it's going to be hard for any QB to feel comfortable back there.


October 5th, 2014 at 5:52 PM ^

the mods said the best way to handle my META concerns was to create a thread about what I want to discuss.  That post was about the overall content of the board.  This is about o-line play.  Sorry if it is redundant.  Personally, I wouldn't even have read my META thread and I would have read and responded to a post with this title.  I assumed there are others who are the same.

Waters Demos

October 5th, 2014 at 6:04 PM ^

If you want a discussion about aspects of the football game, you better start it off.  

This board generally deals with politics and quantum theory.  It hasn't and won't discuss "aspects of the football game" without 2 of your threads with your redundant thoughts.  

Just look at the rest of the posted topics - none of them relate to "aspects of the football game." Thank god for you.  


October 5th, 2014 at 5:50 PM ^

Sadly, at this point, I would have to make Michigan the underdog in every game left on the schedule.  I just don't think they are going to be able to move the ball on anyone except Indiana, who will move the ball more against Michigan.

I really miss the beginning of the season, when I thouht this team had a legitimate chance of winning the East division.  


October 5th, 2014 at 8:57 PM ^

The offense appears to be getting more comfortable in the new scheme.  I was impressed with the 4th quarter running game especially.  If only we had a solid game manager QB, I think we'd be good enough on O.  Gardner makes some great athletic plays, but his panic attacks are a real liability.  If the D shows up, and Gardner stays calm, we can take PSU at home.


October 5th, 2014 at 5:50 PM ^

I will agree, my wife has missed every game up to the Rutgers game this year.  She was beginning to get upset that I was basically calling everything that was going to happen.  That was until the 4th quarter when all of a sudden, I looked at her and said "this is a new script, they usually give up by now"


October 5th, 2014 at 5:59 PM ^

WD - Pro tip:

If you upvote your own post within seconds of it hitting the board the odds of anyone other than you upvoting are about zero given than people would'nt have time to read it yet.  Wait a minute or two THEN upvote it so it appears that somebody else has read and endorsed your thiniking.  The instant upvote gives it away.


October 5th, 2014 at 5:57 PM ^

THIS is how to encourage more substantive analysis. 

The line was better yesterday in run-blocking yesterday.The entire offense was better. But Rutgers did have 3 sacks and a number of hurries, and MIchigan only averaged 4.5 yards per carry (Rutgers surrendered 6 ypc against Howard, 4.9 ypc against Tulane, and 1.9 ypc against Penn State, so who knows how good they are).

snarling wolverine

October 5th, 2014 at 6:25 PM ^

When you think about where this OL was last season, and how it lost its only two functional members to the NFL, this represents progress.  We still aren't good or even average on the OL, but seem to be inching in that direction.  


The FannMan

October 5th, 2014 at 6:24 PM ^

I don't think he is saying it was fantasic or wants anything other than an actual discussion of offensive line play.

It is just hard to ignore the white elephants in the room that 1) we still lost and 2) our program will have to start over again.  I do give him credit for trying.


October 5th, 2014 at 6:00 PM ^

The statline looked better. But, to me, it looked like the threat of DG running made the OL look better. I have a hard time believing that this will hold up next week. If they do it the whole game, I will believe it.


October 5th, 2014 at 6:04 PM ^

I think the O line did look better when running and passing.

When Rutgers was bringing the house they got to Devin, but Devin and the WR's have to see that and get the ball out QUICK.  Devin does not do a good job in that situation and the other teams see it on film so we will keep seeing that every week.        

Magnum P.I.

October 5th, 2014 at 6:05 PM ^


Michigan owned the line of scrimmage and ran the ball at will on Rutgers in the 4th quarter.

This is your argument? Seriously? We ran the ball well for one quarter in which we were trailing by two scores and the opponent was essentially letting us run to kill clock. Our offensive line is a total train wreck.


October 5th, 2014 at 10:23 PM ^

You clearly have a low football iq if you believe Rutgers was simply allowing us to run the ball at will when we were only down 9 and then down 2 in the 4th with plenty of time to take the game away from them.

You do realize the best way to kill clock to secure a win is to get the ball back to your offense and stay in bounds while moving consistently, not allow the other team to march down the field.....and the best way to open up a passing game is to prove you can run, which is exactly what Nuss was trying to do. And it worked. We happened to get hosed by the refs. We had ample time to take that game.

I know you love to hate everything michigan does, because every post you have is pure snark... but fact is Michigan responded well in the 4th after a flat 3rd quarter, and the o line was winning battles. The d line began to do its job as well. Gas came out after the blocked field goal and the bad call. Shit happens, especially when your team is used to losing.

 The team made some strides in many areas on offense, albeit them minor ones only toward average play. These guys desperately need a win to build some confidence going forward, no matter who coaches us next year. 

To be clear....I'm not advocating for Brady to stay our coach, I want someone who can install a tough winning culture quickly and develope talent with what is available on the 2015 roster, but your comment just shows how little you know about the game. 


October 5th, 2014 at 11:50 PM ^

There is some truth that Rutgers let Michigan pick it's poison in the 4th quarter. A couple observations: 

- The first half was a wash. After half time when both teams made adjustments, Michigan looked absolutely lost for the entire 3rd quarter. I refuse to look at the stats, but I remember wondering at one point if they had negative yardage for the quarter. 

- On Michigan's TD drive in the 4th when down 9, Rutgers consistently dropped both safeties into coverage even though Michigan kept running the ball. They did bring a couple DB and LB blitzs, but they were primarily run blitzes to keep the gains down to 4-5 yards or less.

- Notice, there were no 20 yards runs during that drive and it took at least 7 plays. Multiple times Michigan required a conversion on 3rd and one or two. That means a lot of time came off the clock. 

- Rutgers had two goals in the fourth quarter. Don't give up anything deep through the air or on the ground and keep the clock runnning. This  also forced Michigan to  execute two sustained drives if they wanted to win (something they haven't exactly excelled at).

I'm glad to see Michigan was able to execute and get it done for one complete drive. I am not claiming Rutgers just gave it to them for free. Ultimately, Rutgers was perfectly happy letting Michigan take little bite sized chunks while chewing up tons of clock time vs. giving up the quick big impact scores which could have really changed the game. In the end, it worked perfectly for them. 

Most coaches move to a short and intermediate passing game in Michigan's sitaution for two reasons: 1) It's safe and keeps the ball moving. 2) When you do throw an incompletion, the clock stops running.


October 5th, 2014 at 6:29 PM ^

It's a small victory as the offensive line play is still not great overall, but you can see how the dedication to a base scheme has improved them as a unit this season, and I think you saw it in the game last night. At various junctures, the run blocking was actually pretty good (not at all junctures, of course), and there was some decent pass protection on our more coherent attempts to score. It's not in the vicinity of where we need it to be, I think, but as others said, I think this is one of the better OL performances yet this year.