Purdue: the Good, the Bad(ish), the Ugly and the Gratifying

Submitted by Eye of the Tiger on October 29th, 2011 at 3:03 PM

 

The Good:

1. The defense.  Aside from the opening drive, it was an impressive performance from top to bottom.  I think it’s safe to say that the unit has improved more than anyone could have reasonably expected, given last year.  The secondary did a great job making up for Kovacs' absence.  

2. Denard’s passing.  INT also aside, he threw the ball accurately and confidently.

3. The safety.  It’s always a pleasure to see your team score one of these rarities.  

4. Fitz.  This was a breakout performance.  Borges put him in a great position to succeed, and he executed.  I’m not sure why we didn’t see more of him against MSU, because it does look like he’s our best tailback.  I'm looking forward to seeing more of him in the coming weeks.

The Bad(ish):

1. The opening drive.  I feel I’m stretching to find things to criticize, but for the first 2 minutes of the game, things didn’t look good.  I had flashbacks to 2009 when this happened.  Thankfully it was just one drive, and when everything was said and done, our team looked more 2006 than 2009. 

2. Putting Gardner in for random plays when the game was still in question.  I know others feel differently, and I’m open to being convinced that I’m wrong, but I just don’t get it.  Yes, he’s immensely talented, and will eventually make an excellent starting QB, but Denard is currently our best QB and the engine that makes our offense go.  The INT play seemed particuarly odd, given Denard's 60-yard completion. I felt better about Borges putting Gardner in short-yardage situations (when his size can be impactful) and in garbage time (when he can get experience).  It upset me early on when the score was close, but when all was said and done, it wasn’t all that consequential, and he had some good plays later.

The Ugly:

1. Injuries on the O-line.   It was bad when Barnum came out, and worse when it Lewan started limping.  Here’s hoping for speedy recoveries, both for their sakes (always hate seeing anyone get injured) and for the team's: we have limited depth on the O-line, and we need good performances from our O-line in the very-winnable-but-potentially-difficult games against Iowa and Illinois coming up. 

The Gratifying:

1. After all his ridiculousness during the RR era, the fact that we really beat the snot out of Danny Hope’s team.

2. Winning a conference game against someone other than 2011 Minnesota in [edit: such] convincing fashion.  The last time that happened was against an actually pretty good 2008 version of Minnesota. 

3. Securing a winning season for the second year in a row.  There was once a time when getting a seventh win wouldn’t have excited me like it does now, but after reading “Three and Out” and reliving all the crushing losses from 2008 and 2009, and knowing how they impacted the players and coaching staff, it feels great to reach this milestone, even if it is just a small step on the road back to glory.  Congrats to Hoke, his staff and all our players.   

 

Comments

OMG Shirtless

October 29th, 2011 at 3:06 PM ^

2. Putting Gardner in for random plays when the game was still in question. I know others feel differently, and I’m open to being convinced that I’m wrong, but I just don’t get it. Yes, he’s immensely talented, and will eventually make an excellent starting QB, but Denard is currently our best QB and the engine that makes our offense go. The INT play seemed particuarly odd, given Denard's 60-yard completion. I felt better about Borges putting Gardner in short-yardage situations (when his size can be impactful) and in garbage time (when he can get experience). It upset me early on when the score was close, but when all was said and done, it wasn’t all that consequential, and he had some good plays later.

This is a much more appropriate place for this sort of comment.

turtleboy

October 29th, 2011 at 3:14 PM ^

mixing up the playcalling and using different looks on offense. Puting Devin in with Denard might not yeild a big gain, but he's missing that that doesn't necessarily mean the play wasn't successful. The different looks we give other teams help keep their defenses honest and play a big part in setting up the next plays.

OMG Shirtless

October 30th, 2011 at 10:36 AM ^

There are good ways to make this argument, this thread/the MGoBlog way, and bad ways to make this argument, your other thread/the MLive way.  When you start a thread midgame, with excessive caps and excessive exclamation points, you're going to get hammered.  This is obvious due to the fact that your other thread turned into a shit show and received 60 negs (some of which is due to me), and this thread was relatively well received.  

You blow any sense of credibility you may have built up when you post the knee-jerk, all caps, excessive exclamation point thread.  Those will never be well received and nobody is going to take your argument seriously, regardless of how valid it may or may not be.

If my responses and those of the others in the other thread make even one poster hesitant to post a similar knee jerk reaction next week.  I'd consider it a success.

Eye of the Tiger

October 30th, 2011 at 12:09 PM ^

By challenging it in a well-mannered, measured way, but instead you flamebaited with overly personal schoolyard crap.  In all honesty, if that's the standard you want mgoblog to live up to, then you might want to shoot a little higher.  This is supposed to be a virtual representation of Ann Arbor, not East Lansing.

 

 

OMG Shirtless

October 30th, 2011 at 12:35 PM ^

I apologize if I hurt your feelings, but you have to deal with those posts with fury.  Nine times out of ten the OPs don't respond or react to someone calmly telling them that their post was poorly composed and/or poorly timed.  You appear to have been an exception, as you even thought enough to edit your OP.

An OP in all caps with multiple exclamation points is exactly the kind of post  that is a virtual representation of East Lansing.  If you had included some emoticons, it would have been a perfect fit.

Sidenote: I didn't downvote any of your posts in that thread, other than the OP, and I obviously didn't upvote any of my own posts.  Apparently there is some MGoBlog approval for the methods to my madness.   

08mms

October 29th, 2011 at 3:07 PM ^

I half wonder if some of those Gardner plays that aren't D.Robb jet sweeps are so the coaches can get a change to set up a play with Denard on the sidelines.  Thus far Borges seems much more of an active sideline coach instead of a call a variable play and let the QB wing it like RR.

turtleboy

October 29th, 2011 at 3:35 PM ^

to look at his playcalling from game to game to see how he mixes it up from team to team. You get the feeling that some of todays playcalling was more for the benefit of Iowa scouting us than to run over Purdue. I can imagine him not trying some of the things he did today home against Purdue that would be more of a gamble next week @ Iowa.

 

unWavering

October 29th, 2011 at 3:10 PM ^

The O-line's health will be key down the stretch..... and we don't have any gimme games left on the schedule.  Here's to hoping for fast recoveries for all of them.

CompleteLunacy

October 29th, 2011 at 3:26 PM ^

First thing tho..."Winning a conference game against someone other than 2011 Minnesota in convincing fashion.  The last time that happened was against an actually pretty good 2008 version of Minnesota" ---- I'm pretty sure the win AT Northwestern earlier this year was also pretty convincing. 

Next...regarding Devin...the onlyplace I didn't like seeing him in the game was one play after Denard had gotten a huge completion...which was the Devin INT. Other than that, I like the options that Michigan has on offense with Devin at QB and Denard on the WR jet sweep. The Fitz TD screen was a great play call.

There was some play calling that I absolutely hated...in general, Borges tends to go into "pass pass pass" mode all too often, and with a guy like Denard that makes no sense. But it's all part of growing pains, and really it's only a minor-ish concern out of a solid 36-14 victory.

PurpleStuff

October 29th, 2011 at 3:29 PM ^

Loved how we got away from that in the second half. Denard threw one pass and Devin threw another but that was it after the break. Really allowed the line and the backs to get into a rhythm
and you saw Fitz, Shaw, and Denard break off some nice long gains. Would love to see us force teams to defend the run like that and then just every once in a while hit them over the top to keep things honest.

Sextus Empiricus

October 29th, 2011 at 3:27 PM ^

admittedly a small observation...

There have been multiple instances where this has been a problem for other teams in terms of celebration and ball security "prior" to scoring.

It is good practice and coaching to hand off the ball to the nearest official after they signal TD.  Hopefully that doesn't cause an issue at some point.

A W is a W...especially in light of the Huskers win.  

jcorqian

October 29th, 2011 at 3:27 PM ^

Quite happy to kick Danny Hope's ass.  I'd imagine the post-game handshake was Brady Hoke saying good game, Danny Hope not keeping it together and eventually saying "suck it" or something equally as juvenile, with Brady Hoke retorting something about the scoreboard and we'll see you next year.

 

God this one felt good.

PurpleStuff

October 29th, 2011 at 3:32 PM ^

Really nice to get snaps for guys like Ash, Clark, Beyer, Jones, Washington, etc., especially against a Big Ten offense with its starters still in the game running a two minute offense.  Next year's defense is going to have a ton of depth/experience.

PhillipFulmersPants

October 29th, 2011 at 4:37 PM ^

Clark looks like he's going to be a player, and beyer too. Both scream althetic to me. They just look the part.  We're just not going to be deep up front inside. Rotation of BWC, Q, and Ash+ ???? (wilkins, rock, Pipkins?)  probably won't be a strength, but we should be solid on the ends, improved at LB, and both solid and deep in the secondary. Probably not dominant but should be solid.

Blue boy johnson

October 29th, 2011 at 3:38 PM ^

Mike Martin, and  I'm paraphrasing, speaking about Mattison, "he's proud of us, he's got a big smile on his face, but he will look at the film and be bitching tomorrow, but it's alright."

AlwaysBlue

October 29th, 2011 at 3:42 PM ^

Seriously, people are bitching about the play calling and putting DG in for a few snaps?  What I see is an aggressive team on both sides of the ball, a team that is trying to get its play-makers on the field, a team that is trying not to just win but develop its weapons. 

PhillipFulmersPants

October 29th, 2011 at 4:46 PM ^

NOT GOOD ENOUGH!  We want 15 yards per carry and 20 yards per attempt. Punting is for quitters!

I found myself in the same trap, bitching when when we were winning comfortably. The short yardarge plays were frustrating, but it's not like the other guys don't have pads on too. In total, the O made many many more plays than not. As fans, we seem to remember the nots much more vividly.   

WingsNWolverines

October 29th, 2011 at 3:45 PM ^

Michigan needed a big comeback win after the loss in EL but now Michigan's back to having a great chance to go to the B1G Title Game! Some things I loved today and some things that still concern me.

The Good

Robinson accounted for a TD and had some good runs and great bursts up field both in the air and the ground.

Toussaint looked like a man on fire and really struck well on the ground! 2 TDs and he looked great overall!

Defense held strong and hats off  to Martin for the safety on TerBush in the endzone. Great play that got us 2 points and 3 more on the drive. Seeing him not adjust his pads on his shoulder gave me chills I'm not gonna lie!

Won the game with a good margin of victory and Gibbons was perfect today!

The Bad.

Our defensive line, although improving,still concerns me. I'm stil seeing a lot of missed tackles and bad coverage in some spots. Need to improve that before Nebraska and OSU,

Have to capitalize on 1st and goal situations and get points on the board after safeties! I know it was nice to get something out of it by getting 3 but you always ALWAYS want 6 after a safety! Can't afford to let those chances go by now that were in the thick of the schedule.

Robinson and turnovers is getting frustrating. He's averaging two a game and that can not keep happening. If the throw isn't there either run or GET RID OF IT. Can't keep risking turing the ball over.

The Ugly

The rain. lol. 

All in all great game by our boys and good to see a smack down after a tough loss to MSU. It's going to get very interesting now that we are tied 3 ways with NU and MSU and possibly later on tonight with Iowa! :/ GO BLUE!