RR/Arizona squeaks past Toledo in OT

Submitted by aaamichfan on September 2nd, 2012 at 8:45 AM
http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=322450012 In his 1st game as Arizona coach, RR managed to beat Toledo. I figure this is worth bringing to everyone's attention, as it may be a good omen for his career going forward. Sometimes I wonder if RR's career here would have ended differently if he had managed to beat Toledo....


snarling wolverine

September 2nd, 2012 at 7:11 PM ^

The vast majority of Michigan fans supported Rodriguez. He was always warmly cheered when he was announced at the stadium.  After several different games, fans broke out into "Rich Rod-ri-guez!" chants at the end when we won.

Blanket condemnations of our fanbase are uncalled for.  



September 2nd, 2012 at 8:56 AM ^

Zona was very unlucky. They dominated on the ground and in the air. The Toledo punter and coverage teams dropped 7 punts inside the Zona 20 and gave them long fields all night. And Zona's kicker blew a 25-yard chippie to win on the final play of regulation. Too bad; the final drive was a thing of beauty filled with some masterful execution.

RR & special teams........ hmmm........


September 2nd, 2012 at 8:57 AM ^

Lots of yards on offense, turnovers, a porous, young defense, and a FG kicker who can't make a kick.

One major difference, though, is that it seems like RR might have a QB much more suited to his offense to start his first season with.

If you want to go down the "what if..." route, we could have and should have beaten Utah, Toledo, and Purdue in 2008. If that happens we go 6-6 and go to a bowl game. However, I'm not sure that it would have affected the trajectory of 2009 and 2010 much. The game against Bama certainly wouldn't have gone any better with RR than Hoke.

Red is Blue

September 2nd, 2012 at 11:43 AM ^

Field position helped keep 'bamas yardage totals down. They had a pick-6 another int (actually 2, but ignoring the garbage time one) that put them deep in M territory. That and M was noty moving the ball and went backward on several series. I'd like to see the numbers, but it felt like the averaging staring field position was hugely in 'bamas favor (of course by their own doing).

snarling wolverine

September 2nd, 2012 at 3:17 PM ^

We did hold them to 10 second-half points, though, and it probably would have been only six if not for the iffy PI call on Floyd.

In the first half, we looked completely overmatched.  In the second, we looked outmanned but not totally hopeless on D.  Maybe Bama took its foot off the gas a little, but I'll take whatever silver lining I can.


September 2nd, 2012 at 9:35 AM ^

Sorry, but when you are stuck with Threet and Sheridan as your QB's, and you are playing a bunch of underclassmen, "shoulda, woulda, and coulda" don't apply. 

I think RR, given enough money to hire Casteel, might have done better with this personnel than Hoke and Borges did.  Then again, it's apples and oranges, becuase the current staff is still trying to fit RR's personnel into their system.  Thankfully, this staff will be given the benefit of the doubt that RR was never given.

According to Bo (remember him), any coach needs five years to install his people and his vision on both sides of the ball.  Hoke needs time to recruit his kind of people.  Unlike RR, he will get that time, and he has the full support and resources of the school behind him.  

The Alabama game was just plain stupid scheduling by an AD who writes big checks with his mouth and expects other people to cash them for him.  Bama has over-recruited and cut players like an NFL team over the last six years, and has developed, to no surprise, an NFL team.  Losing to Alabama is no disgrace, but the AD should have been able to figure this out before scheduling the game.

The important thing here is that this team moves forward.  You can bet that Brady Hoke isn't in the locker room crying about this loss.  My opinion now is exactly as it was before this game: Alabama was probably going to be a loss, but every team they play the rest of the way has a weakness that can be exploited.  

Last night sucked, but this team can still run the table with the rest of its schedule.  They are not going to face a team as complete as Alabama the rest of the season.  They may not be taken seriously in the polls anymore, but they still have enough to get to the Big Ten Championship game and the Rose Bowl.



September 2nd, 2012 at 9:40 AM ^

The polls are self-solving.  If we win the B1G and go to the Rose Bowl, the polls will take care of themselves.  Not that it matters, we will not be, and should not be, in the conversation for the NC game anyway.

D.C. Dave

September 2nd, 2012 at 3:00 PM ^

In my opinion, we'd been in a better position to compete last night if RichRod had been fired a year sooner. And this is not a 'slam RR' post. I get all his offense excites people, but to me he was far from a complete head coach. His teams are flashy, but they are not tough.

The kind of teams he builds get destroyed by the Alabamas of the world, and there is no doubt Alabama is the current standard of excellence. We got pushed around on both lines and line recruiting was a huge weakness under RR. Alabama has tough guys all over the  roster. Hoke is building a tough team, but clearly not there yet.

The team from Tuscaloosa was built like Bo used to build teams. The team from Ann Arbor was a tweener team, still part-Rodriguez and not yet Hoke.

Saban devours spread teams. If you have no vertical passing game, you cannot beat them. Our QB play was awful and the only receiver to play well was Gallon. Gardner looked like he had no idea what we was doing. Soft cuts, wrong routes, turning the wrong way.

We have no real passing attack and it showed. The goal for 2012 should be to see what kind of passing game Denard can handle and we should just run him more. He is no more accurate than he was last year, a lot of his passes still are just launches that he hopes our guys catch, and he's destined to be a Percy Harvin-type in the NFL, which I feel is a good thing for Denard's pro longevity. I love watching Denard run the ball, but his limitations get exposed by really good teams.

We'll be putting in a true passing game starting in 2013.


September 2nd, 2012 at 4:26 PM ^

You didn't miss many cliches there, did you?

"His teams are flashy, but they are not tough." Tell that to Molk and Mike Martin.

"... kind of teams he builds get destroyed by the Alabamas of the world ..." So, Wisconsin would've played them to a draw?!

"Hoke is building a tough team, but clearly not there yet." No, doofus, Hoke is building a _good_ team. You could have a whole squad of Vincent Smiths (tough 3-star buggers) and still get your a$$ kicked.

"The team from Tuscaloosa was built like Bo used to build teams." Except for one thing, probably -- they won't likely regularly lose to the best teams from other power conferences in bowl games. Typical Ann Arbor provincialism on your part ... how many national championships did Bo win?

"Saban devours teams." FTFY. 

"If you have no vertical passing game, you cannot beat them." Lack of vertical passing != spread offense. Stupid.


I think you're right about a few things. The cleansing process that was RichRod's tenure could have run its course in two years. He was also a disaster with D-line recruiting (and O-line, too, strictly from a numbers viewpoint). I agree about Denard's limitations. Too many other parts of your post were idiotic, though, IMO.


September 2nd, 2012 at 9:19 AM ^

I did not watch the Arizona game ... was burned out on football by that point in the day.

But the box score puzzles me.  How can Arizona generate 624 yards of offense, 33 first down and score only 33 points?  They had 3 turnovers -- not great, but not horrible.  Penalties: 7 for 56 yards ... again, not soul-crushing.

3rd down efficiency -- 5 for 15 ... is this telling the story?  Was this a game where they simply failed to convert in the redzone?  But FG kicking was 1 for 3, so it's not like they missed a lot of opportunities there.  Fourth down conversions 0 for 1 ... so it's not like Arizona was going for it a lot on 4th.

By comparison, West Virginia puts up 69 points with 655 yards.  31 first down, and 5 for 8 on third downs with 1 interception.

I'm puzzled.  Numbered don't seem to tell the story.  Anyone know how to explain high yards and low points?

[Edit] - please, I recognize 33 points is not a small number, and I recognize Arizona won the game.  That's not the point.  The point is 624 yards implies far more points, and turnovers does not seem to explain it.


September 2nd, 2012 at 9:20 AM ^

??? It's even worse than you say: AZ scored only 24 points.

I'd say the 3 turnovers and 2 missed kicks are more telling than you think. If they don't turn the ball over and score 3 TDs, and make the two FGs, they've got 51 points. That's more consistent with 600 yds+ offense.


September 2nd, 2012 at 7:08 PM ^

Yeah ... typo on my part.  I made my post early on a Sunday morning here in Tucson.  My brain locked onto the first down number as the point production.  From brain to fingers to keyboard to MGoBlog ... all with brain oblivious to reality.  :-(

Durham Blue

September 2nd, 2012 at 10:19 AM ^

called back due to penalties.  I watched most of that game and my observation is Arizona dominated.  If I was an Arizona fan I'd be pretty excited going forward.  Just look at the QB stats -- 387 yards passing and 2 TD's is pretty incredible for a new offensive system.  Shore up the turnovers a little and you have a pretty good Pac-12 team this season.


September 2nd, 2012 at 9:16 AM ^

it was a pleasure to watch AZ muff a punt with under 5 to play inside their 30 which they were lucky to recover.  Watch them drive the length of the field to win the game only to see their kicker miss badly.

In OT they made a great throw on a broken play to ultimately win the game.  Toledo shot themselves in the foot in OT and gave themselves no chance to tie.


The 'good ridance' moment for me was seeing Toledo go for it on 4th and 1 at midfield and Arizona lined up in a 3 man defensive front.  Good riddance indeed.


September 2nd, 2012 at 9:20 AM ^

The Arizona game was eerily familiar to a three-year stretch of games up here.  I don't know how many times Arizona was on the verge of blowing out Toledo, but for a series of inexplicable fumbles, drops, misreads, and missed tackles.

Success is measured much differently at AZ.  RRod will be fine as long as they're a slightly better than average.


September 2nd, 2012 at 11:05 AM ^

Congrats to RR.  I'm not going to dwell any more on what happened.  Wish him luck except when he plays UM, and it is good to see him back in coaching.  He's a hell of a coach, and maybe this situation will be better for him than at UM.  I like the current coaching staff, and learned a good deal about the team from yesterday's game.  UM isn't at 'Bama's level, but I'm not sure anyone outside of USC is either.


September 3rd, 2012 at 10:35 AM ^

Al Borgess stopped Denard from running last year, not the Spartan D. As for a running game, the Boise State D Line had one guy at 283# (listed weight, so subtract 20#) and the rest were 245-270. Sparty's O linehad 40-50 lbs on each of them. It not hard to run against a junior college sized D line. Sparty was near the bottom of the B1G in rushing last season, and that was with the threat if a QB that isn't a turnover machine. Trust me, they're in trouble this year, and their composure level committing 3 personal fouls highlights this.


September 3rd, 2012 at 10:31 AM ^

Perhaps the water in that shithole city has poisoned your mind, or at least clouded your eyesight, I said "everywhere else he's been" I didn't include Michigan in that statement as it appears in a separate sentence. I then said "good enough" for Michigan to give him a job. Relax and sound each word out slowly before responding.


September 2nd, 2012 at 11:20 AM ^

I watched it as I drank myself to sleep. It didn't help at all. It was uncanny how similar things were to when he was here. The kicking game is terrible. Fumbled away a first and goal. Terrible pass d. Side line meltdown city.


September 2nd, 2012 at 12:24 PM ^

I watched most of the first half and, on several occasions, it looked like he was close to blowing an O-ring. That's just him, I guess. It's worth noting that Saban looked the same way with a huge lead. Think, also, of Tom Izzo's sideline demeanor.

Anyway, watching that game was weird. I'm glad Rodriguez is somewhere else, but his teams sure can be fun to watch (for better and worse). I think he's in a better place (middle-tier team at a school without much "tradition").