Pre-Snap Read - UM#29

Submitted by MattisonMan on August 5th, 2011 at 4:56 AM

Edit: Quotes:

Offensively: the transition from pro-style to spread is far more difficult than the move back. Most of the attention has been paid to Robinson’s transition, but whether he’ll produce shouldn’t even be a question.

bottom line: eight wins, if not nine, a far better product, impassioned play, hope for the future...

'Dream season' is 11-1, 'nightmare season' is 4-8

The article seems less concerned with how Denard will do and moreso with how the RB situation will play itself out.  Not much faith in the secondary, even with Woolfolk back.  But pretty confident in DL improvement.



Mitch Cumstein

August 5th, 2011 at 6:32 AM ^

Would be solid in my opinion, depending on if we can knock off MSU and/or OSU.  Also, again 9 wins, depending on who they come at the expense of, gives us a shot at the division title.  That would make for an exciting season.


August 5th, 2011 at 10:27 AM ^

What if they go 9-3 but lose to MSU, OSU, and Nebraska? Would that be acceptable to most people?


What if they go 7-5 but beat MSU and OSU? Reminiscent of the 1993-94 seasons when their final record was meh but they had huge wins over OSU. Would that be acceptable to most people?




August 5th, 2011 at 10:56 AM ^

I'm posting this a lot lately, but why is everyone so high on Nebraska?  The return the third least players in the B1G, and got blown out by Washington to finish the season.  Furthermore, their offense was terrible down the stretch, and they have to prep for a completely new team every single week.


August 5th, 2011 at 11:16 AM ^

I think with a player like Martinez behind center, people are justified in fearing Nebraska.  They always have a strong defense and their offense could explode any given time (see, e.g., Denard taking over).  That's not a reason to mark that game up as a loss automatically, but I'm pretty confident that Nebraska will be favored in the game when the time comes.



August 5th, 2011 at 4:05 PM ^

If you'd made the second proposition 8-4, I might have taken it.  But the gap between 9-3 and 7-5 is pretty significant in my mind.  One gets you probably in the top 15 nationally and a pretty good bowl, while the other probably means a lousy bowl and definitely no ranking.


August 5th, 2011 at 6:48 AM ^

I don't think anyone would be disappointed with 8-9 wins.  The question is if we fall to that 4-8 record that the article states is possible, what then?  

I don't think it will happen, I think we can get 8-9 wins, but I don't want to come down off of this high I've been on since this recruiting class atarted to take shape

SC Wolverine

August 5th, 2011 at 7:45 AM ^

8 wins would be fine if -- if -- we beat down Sparty.  I can see us losing to ND, SDSU, NU, and tsio (although I would think that we would not lose all of those).  But we have to start by being kings of our state again.  I don't think the worst case scenario (4-5 wins) is all that likely.  Too much talent and coaching for that to be very likely.

Mr. Yost

August 5th, 2011 at 9:12 AM ^

I'm getting so tired of people on this board acting like it's a certainty that we WON'T lose that game. They're a good team with a lot of motivation to beat their former coach. Did we not lose to App St? Even worse...did we not lose to Toledo? Last year, how close was UMass?

For you to act like that's a 100% lock, is irresponsible and just plain stupid.


August 5th, 2011 at 2:16 PM ^

Appy State was at least twice as good as SDSU will be in 2011. The 2011 version of UM is about 10 times better than the 2008 version that lost to Toledo. UMass was close because we had an incompetent coaching staff and they blocked a punt late in the game to close the gap. Fortunately, the bumbling coaches who were responsible for two of the losses you mentioned are now coaching elsewhere or unemployed.

UM has upgraded its coaching staff, SDSU has downgraded its coaching staff, SDSU has lost every WR who had made or was expected to make a contribution in 2011, SDSU will be traveling across the country to play UM in Ann Arbor and Brady Hoke has an intimate knowledge of the SDSU personnel and tendencies that the SDSU coaches will not have of UM, SDSU's roster is filled with non-BCS caliber players while UM's roster is...filled with non-BCS caliber players, but our non-BCS caliber players are better than their non-BCS caliber players at most positions.

Thus, I repeat: UM will NOT lose to SDSU. I will be happy to make a $100 wager with you, if you would like me to "put my money where my mouth is."

BTW, don't call me "stupid" just because you don't agree with my opinion. That was inappropriate.


August 5th, 2011 at 4:23 PM ^

You can't over-analyze this stuff.  Football is an extremely emotional game.  For SDSU, this is most likely the most important game on their schedule.  It's a rare chance to play in front of 100K fans and make a national statement.  And it's a chance to get revenge on their former coach.  For us, it's a final tuneup before the Big Ten.  It may mean a lot to Hoke, but possibly not so much to his players.   There is a danger of being caught looking ahead.


August 5th, 2011 at 8:00 AM ^

I would be thrilled about 8 or 9 wins but I'm more excited to see the return of defense.  I love DR but I don't want to have to win games 67 to 65.  I'm also encouraged by the comment on switching back to a pro-style offense being easier than switching to a spread.  I know DR ran the pro-style in HS and I have supreme confidence in his abilities but it's still comforting to hear this from analysts.

Hopefully we win the division and I can ask for tickets to Indy for an early Christmas present!


August 5th, 2011 at 8:04 AM ^


Arrogance is unhealthy, but there’s nothing wrong with confidence. It was the latter, not the former, that sparked Brady Hoke’s incredulous response to a question about rebuilding during the recent Big Ten media days: “I don’t think we’re rebuilding. Period. I mean, we’re Michigan.” We’re Michigan — not “I truly want to be a Michigan man,” but we’re Michigan. We. Are. Michigan. Three words that say much about Hoke, and his disbelief about even being posed such a ridiculous question about rebuilding speaks volumes about where this program stands today and where Hoke believes this program should stand today, yesterday, every day. Because Michigan is Michigan, and say what you will, but the Wolverines should never be rebuilding. Hoke gets it, which is a good start. [emphasis added]


August 5th, 2011 at 10:30 AM ^

I don't even know what that means.  I'm "all in" with Hoke but the assertions in that paragraph basically embody the definition of arrogance . . .

"Arrogance = an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions."

The statement above are filled with presumptuous claims and assumptions.  I don't necessarily disagree with them, but I think its appropriate to call a spade a spade, know what I mean?


Blue in Yarmouth

August 5th, 2011 at 8:50 AM ^

I thnk many UM fans have this unrealistic view of just how good Woolfolk is. I think he is a decent CB and is by far our best, but I think that we view him as being so good because of how bad the rest of the secondary has played. 

I just think a lot of fans have highly unrealistic expectations of Woolfolk and forget that even prior to his injury, he was really just a decent player. Certainly not in the same category as guys like Jackson, Hall, Woodson, Law, etc. 

No disrespect meant toward Woolfolk at all, I love the guy and think he is far and away our best CB. I just think many people have conjured up these ideas of him being an elite shutdown corner this season and even before his injury he wasn't that.


August 5th, 2011 at 10:51 AM ^

I can see why you'd think that he's a bit overrated by hometown fans.  Sure he's no jackson/hall/woodson/law, but given his speed and position versitility, I wouldn't be surprised to see him playing on Sundays down the road.  I'd say he's about halfway between a Leon Hall and a Trent Morgan.  Eventually a potential late rounder in the draft.  


August 5th, 2011 at 8:52 AM ^

Who is No. 29? The head coach at tomorrow’s university was once an assistant on the F.C.S. ranks under a coach who went on to post the only double-digit win season in an F.B.S. program’s history.

That's yesterday's clue to today's post about Michigan. I don't think Hoke was ever an F.C.S. coach... any ideas?


August 5th, 2011 at 9:25 AM ^

"Offensively: the transition from pro-style to spread is far more difficult than the move back. "

I have heard that phrase several times throughout this transition, but can someone explain to me why it is the case? I am not really sure I understand why. Anyone care to provide any relevant examples where this occurred?


August 5th, 2011 at 9:29 AM ^

I think it has a lot to do with specific roles of the players. While it's not too hard to get a 6'1 200 lb pro-style reciever to run the routes in a spread offense, it would be significantly harder to force a 5'9 180 lb slot reciever into a deep threat, stretch the field type. The same goes for running backs imo as well.

I have trouble believing this however just because of how bad the 08 offense was, and the limitations we had with Sheridan/Threet.


August 5th, 2011 at 10:54 AM ^

I think maybe the original idea is that you can make a speed guy bulk up but you can't exactly make people much faster and better in space.  Plus more guys have the background of pro-style offenses from high school than spread maybe?  


August 5th, 2011 at 4:20 PM ^

Assuming we're talking about a RR-style spread (and not a pass-oriented one), I think the two big issues are that it requires 1) a very athletic OL and 2) a QB who is a running threat and able to make post-snap reads quickly.  An I-formation offense can mask deficiencies in these areas a little more easily (using more TEs to assist in blocking, for instance, and calling running plays with a pre-determined ballcarrier and designed hole), and can get by with game-manager QBs like Griese.   The spread simply can't function well without both.


ND Sux

August 5th, 2011 at 10:31 AM ^

we lose to NW and Illinois on the road, but beat MSU.  NW has to replace a lot from last way I'm counting that as a loss.  Illinois lost their top two defenders, IIRC.  MSWho is always tough at home.  Frankly I'm more concerned with Iowa on the road than NW/IL.  I know they lost a lot, but they still have good coaching. 

Not saying we won't beat MSU.  What I'm saying is that if we do beat MSU, we probably beat NW and Illinois too.