Submitted by michgoblue on October 27th, 2012 at 11:54 PM

I see that there is already a "Devin for QB" thread and a vent thread.  Figured I would create one for general thoughts (although I expect many will be of the  Devin for QB or Vent variety).  My thoughts:

1.  The defense was solid tonight.  Dominant (save for one series) through three quarters.  As for the 4th, when a defense is on the field for the entire half, at some point, they will start to give up plays.  Happens to even the best defense.  Also, after making stop after stop and having you offense turn it back over on the next play, any defense will start to wear down.

2.  Craig Roh deserves special mention - kid has gotten better and better every game this season.  We will miss him next year.

3.  Norfleet - I know he is a bit of a cult hero around here, and I see the potential, but dude, can you please run somewhere other than into the pile on kick returns.  That said, he has jets.  If he could only figure out which way to point those jets, he would be a threat to take every kick to the house.

4.  Offense with Denard - yeah, losing him ans watching bellamy do his best Nick SHeridan impression made me appreciate Denard, but its not like we were scoring with him in the game - With Denard, we hadn't scored in 5.5 quarters.  That is pathetic.  I don't put all of this on Denard - the WRs are the worst Wr group I have ever seen at Michigan, from a talent standpoint, and we lack even a credible running back threat.  What worries me is that while Hoke has recruited well, he isn't exactly stockpiling top level Wrs and RBs.  Fitz has been terrible, V. Smith blocks like s TE, but is just not a running threat.  And Rawls is obviously doing something in practice that the coches don't like.

5.  Bellamy - cut him a break - he is a redshirt freshman.  That said, holy hell he was terrible.  AT some point, in a close game, you just have to give Gardner a try.  Its not like he is doing anything productive at WR lately.  To me,when your QB goe 0-12, he gets pulled for any other option. At least Devin is a run threat. 

I have more, but I am too numb to keep going.  This loss hurt.



October 27th, 2012 at 11:57 PM ^

The defense and Gibbons were both great tonight. Defense would have given up less points but the offense pretty much gave Nebraska great field position every time. Denard's injury is the main concern right now. If Denard is healthy, we could probably win the next 3 before Ohio State. 


October 27th, 2012 at 11:57 PM ^

We win this game with Denard.  Hopefully Denard is fine.  Nebraska still has to play MSU and PSU.  They need to lose one of them if we win out or both if we lose to Ohio.


October 28th, 2012 at 12:03 AM ^

What I want to know is why Borges can't get any WRs really open?  Are the WRs just that bad that even with the treat of DR the DBs can easily cover Michigans receivers? 

snarling wolverine

October 28th, 2012 at 12:50 PM ^

I don't know if you're a ticketholder, but if you are, watch our routes develop downfield.  Denard will to go to the pre-determined first read on the vast majority of his deep throws.  The safety will read his eyes and come over, often leaving another wideout completely uncovered.               This is the main reason why we almost never get deep separation.  If he could learn to look off his receivers and then go to them, he'd be much, much more effective.  (This may of course raise questions about Borges as our QB coach.  I'm actually more concerned about him there than I am about him as our OC.)  


Generic MGoBlogger

October 28th, 2012 at 12:04 AM ^

I really think other than Bellomy, this game was totally on the coaches, mainly Borges.  I've just about had it with Borges' conservative play calling, and he did nothing to mold around the style of play that Bellomy could work with.  Running Fitz out of the shotgun worked maybe once the entire game and the rest of the carries, he ended up running parallel to the o-line and lost four yards.  It truly looked like the offense in Rich Rod's first seaon with Sheridan and Threet running the offense. All I can say now is, I'm scared for the offense next season without Denard.


October 28th, 2012 at 1:32 AM ^

On the first INT, Gallon had a few steps on the defender with the safety trying to come over to cover.  Throw it deep and to the outside and only Gallon can catch it.  Underthrow it, and a play with an open receiver turns into an INT.

He also missed a couple of gimmes to the flat. Compound this with a couple of drops and you get DEATH.


October 28th, 2012 at 12:04 PM ^

Bellomy completed one of his three passes near the sidelines scared the hell out of me. You like to see a nice rope of a pass thrown on these side line passes. His throw had so much loft and air under it. And then the under thrown interception had no zip on it. I really question if the kid has the arm strength to be viable backup option down the road. After last night, i am starting to think we need a 2nd qb in next years class with shane.


October 28th, 2012 at 1:25 AM ^

All I want to know is how we can have a run first qb with past injury issues and a known problem with his elbow and have no credible backup if he gets hurt. How the hell is this possible? If Borges is so oblivious that he somehow thought Bellamy was ready if Denard went down I actually have more of an issue with his eyesight than his play calling.


October 28th, 2012 at 10:19 AM ^

I'm all for criticizing Borges for his play calling and some of his decisions, but if moving Gardner to WR was soley on Borges, then Hoke should be fired for incompetence.  No way does the OC make a decision like that on his own, and the ultimate decision had to reside with Hoke. I'm sure they realized it was a gamble, but let's not pretend this was a decision made by just the OC.

turd ferguson

October 28th, 2012 at 12:05 AM ^

This is a much more general point, but if I were a coach/OC, I'd throw deep almost every time I had single coverage. That rarely ends in interceptions, and I swear I'm seeing more defensive PI called than ever before. Those are high reward, low risk, high mean yardage plays.


October 28th, 2012 at 12:11 AM ^

I think even with denard in this would have been a tough game, but winnable especially with the defense playing like they have. 

This is a combination of issues, but the lack of audibles is getting to the point the of unbelievability. 


Not sure if it's borges playcalling, a lack of comprehension or ability on the part of Denard, or just a side effect of the super-super slow offensive style that leaves almost no time on the clock to audible if they wanted to.

But when I know it will be a run play, and when Nebraska's defense knows it is a run play and tells you so, and you still don't even consider changing the play even though they are stuffing you every time - there is something wrong. 

After watching Bellomy today, I think even if we win out this year (will depend on Denard coming back and playing well), I have no real hope for a stong season next year. We lose Lewan and our only passing/and or running threat, to be replaced with a talented but untested true freshman. 




October 28th, 2012 at 9:28 AM ^

I agree....I'm starting to get really worried with Borges at the helm. He might be saddled with a less than talented O-line and WR's but you'd think he could get Denard comfortable with calling an audible. If not, I'm just shocked that a SR QB can't look at a stacked box and call for a quick pass to the flat or any other audible. 

Give us something, please!


October 28th, 2012 at 12:14 AM ^

The D tackled and pursued very well, right up to the point the inept offense allowed Nebraska to wear them down.  Seriously thought they were good and hung in there, hoding Nebraska to 23 should win you some games if your offense is in tact.


I can now say I've seen a 1 in 1,000,000 interception


Refs realized their horrible mistake in calling a late hit on Michigan early in the 2nd half, by making the worst pass interference call of the year on the only Bellamy drive with a pulse.  Thanks guys that was nice to get our hopes up like that.


October 28th, 2012 at 12:26 AM ^

In the first half, Nebraska had one good drive, never got much further than midfield on three others, and then on their final drive the D forced a fumble to give Bellomy the ball in Nebraska territory right before halftime.

In the 2nd half they picked off a pass on the opening possession.  One drive started at our 4 yard line and the D held them to a field goal attempt.  Another started at our 39 and NU gained 5 yards and kicked another field goal.  NU had one decent drive for a field goal, and another where Roh pushed them out of field goal range only to see an interception on the first snap end all hope.

Three huge stops to keep the team in the game and only 2 scoring drives.  You can't play D much better under the circumstances.


October 28th, 2012 at 11:01 AM ^

I don't like using 'ifs' when it comes to sports but jaysus, I feel I could call a better game than Borges ATM. Clearly, running Denard/Fitz out of the shotgun with the same read play over and over isn't working, so call something else.

Live by the sword, die by the sword. Open up the playbook and let Denard go to work. I'm tired of this conservative approach. Our D is good enough to keep the O in the game but it's not good enough to win the game for us. We need something from the other side of the ball.


Kilgore Trout

October 28th, 2012 at 12:16 AM ^

I am disappointed in not taking time outs on the last defensive series. I realize Bellomy had been a disaster, but I really hate the message of simply giving up with more than five minutes to go and a 14 point deficit.  A fluke TD, get the onside kick... Obviously coming back was really unlikely, but a head coach at Michigan should never give up in a game.


October 28th, 2012 at 12:19 AM ^

I think people should realize Denards injury has probably been an issue all year and part of the conservative play calling this year has been to protect him from injury.




October 28th, 2012 at 12:26 AM ^

Nobody will ever be happy with play calling around here though. You throw too much against bama, people cry fro denard's legs. You run too much, they say air it out. He throws 5 ints, they say throw bubble screens. They play conservative to protect the ball, they say this is boring. You lose the starting QB and they say why can't the OC get recovers open.

Maybe mgoblog should just takeover play calling. Use the live blog or something, then text the play to Borges..

coastal blue

October 28th, 2012 at 11:34 AM ^

Here is the problem with Borges:

Denard went down with about 5 minutes left in the first half. Michigan had scored 3 points. At that point, Michigan had not scored a touchdown in over 5 quarters. Now, this is what other teams did in their first 25 minutes against Nebraska:

Southern Miss: 14 points

UCLA: 17 points

Wisconsin: 20 points

Ohio State: 21 points

Northwestern: 7 points

So comparing our game against Nebraska with their past performances against teams with a pulse, Al Borges managed to coordinate a gameplan that would rank us dead last.


October 28th, 2012 at 12:22 AM ^

Here's my stupid comment for the year: fire Borges. His offense kicks ass against the weaklings on our schedule, but grinds embarrassingly to a halt when Denard is out or we face a real defense. No touchdowns against Notre Dame, State, or Nebraska? Really? Borges is causing the offense to regress massively and does not deserve any more chances. If we make it to the B1G Championship Game, it will be because of Greg Mattison and Denard Robinson doing enough to make up for Al's shortcomings.