Stat of the Evening

Submitted by TheGhostofYost on October 28th, 2012 at 12:46 AM

With two returning 1000-yard rushers including a record-setting QB, a former near-1000-yard receiver, and an experienced OL with a top 20 pick at LT, this offense just did something that hasn't been done at Michigan in 50 years.

The last team to be held without a TD three times in one season was the 2-7, 1962 squad quarterbacked by Bobby Timberlake.  They were shut out 4 times, and scored more than 14 points just once.



October 28th, 2012 at 2:05 PM ^

We were playing our third string quarterback -- a three star freshman with about one previous non-knee-taking-based snap.  Please tell me what he could have done?  God couldn't have put that talent level in a position to win.  Seriously, I want someone to tell me what a different coach would have done last night to create offense with a third string quarterback.


October 28th, 2012 at 2:16 PM ^

Third string quarterback? I think you've answered your own question, buddy. The OC should play the SECOND string quarterback before the third, right? Hoke and Borges had no quarterback ready to take over if Denard went down, that much is glaringly obvious. That is a coaching fail. Bellomy is the second string quarterback, but he played like a 6th string walk-on saved for garbage time against East Nowhere State.


October 28th, 2012 at 1:26 AM ^

At some point though, player's execution falls on the coaches. Rich Rod wasn't out there missing tackles, but if I've learned one thiing from Mattison it's that coaching does, in fact, make the team better at tackling. Al Borges is our OC and QB coach. Under him, Denard has seemed less accurate and worse at decision making. So you have two options: Either Borges' coaching style is just making him seem that much worse, or he's actually forcing the player to regress. Neither of those are good options, and both fall soley on Al (unless you somehow think Denard hit his physical and mental peak as a sophomore).


October 28th, 2012 at 9:18 AM ^

with the no huddle spread, where Rich was signaling in the adjustments as the opponent's defense lined up. Al's traditional huddle and called plays relying on Denard to audible seem to narrow the possibilities and thus make us more predictable and easy to defend.


October 28th, 2012 at 1:29 AM ^

You have to be kidding if you want to pass that off as any consolation for just how inept the O has been in key games this year.  Not to mention Borges can take some of the blame for some of those interceptions when so many bubble screens and plays circa MSU (over the top/flanks) went unused/implemented.

Borges = in the hot seat.


October 28th, 2012 at 12:58 AM ^

Al for denard throwing picks at nd. Lord nows he cant scramble or throw it 5 rows deep. Make sure you throw it into 2x2 windows like your tom brady, denard, or else we will hang the offensive coord.


October 28th, 2012 at 12:59 AM ^

The oline might be experienced but for whatever reason the ground game with the running back hasn't been successful for most of the year.  I'd say it's been downright awful.


October 28th, 2012 at 2:08 AM ^

Yeah, to call the O-line for rush plays for RBs even "mediocre" would be kind.  Non DR rushing against non-UMASS teams:

NEB: 27 rush, 49 yards

MSU: 12 rush, 67 yards

ILL:  40 rush, 221 yards

Purdue: 27 rush, 63 yards

ND:  15 rush, 71 yards

Air Force:  8 rush, 7 yards

Bama:  19 rush, 42 yards


Even if you exclude #1-Bama-Awesome-Gangnam-Defense, that's 129 rushes, 478 yards, or 3.7 yards a rush, including against 3of 7 games against terrible rush D teams ILL/Purdue/AirForce.  Air Force is one of the worst rushing D's in the nation.  That's not just "not successful," that is bad.  As a team, that would be in the 90s of 124 teams in FBS.



October 28th, 2012 at 2:51 AM ^

The plays suck. Did you see how long Denard was able to stand on the pocket?! Our Offensive line was terrific. Denard threw some gret balls today, running lanes were open.... The problem, for the most part, is the awful play calls. Why is it that we run zone read every single time we run? Teams shut it down by bringing more than we can block. When Borges "switches" it up and we go I formation it's a weak side Iso. Belamey (sp?) first play was zone read and he read it right by keeping it (the kid is just slow, they brought 2 line backers who keyed the RB, and he got bck to the LOS).

I thought Borges was 'adapting' to personal. That's why we were running nothing but read zone/3 iso's a game. All of a sudden Denard is hurt and we put in the backup who is the player Borges wants at the position yet we're still running the same offense! Borges must go! Last year against Michigan State, it's 4 & 2 and we line up in 'I', I know it's Iso or play action since that's all we ever do from I. Borges, who has gone shotgun all damn day, decides to play action and nobody bites (why would they) and they drill the fuck out of denard. Game was over then and there with bad cal.

Bad calls/plays on offense alone plagued last years MSU game. They ran a simple 'bullet x blitz' linebackers both in A gaps but one goes first and the other crosses making an x) all day destroying our zone read. Same thing happened through much of last year and ESP this year. If we had a decent/good offense we make Alabama a game, beat ND's ass, and Nebraska. Our defense has been terrific and made outstanding stops when we've fucked our defense. Our defense will keep improving but Mattison can't do it all. Replaces Borges immediately.


October 28th, 2012 at 11:04 AM ^

i agree, i can't wait to beat myself in the head with a hammer the next few years watching this offense..  We are going back to exactly what a i fucking didn't want to watch again.  Same old predictable offense we had during the end of Carr's years.  


October 28th, 2012 at 2:00 PM ^

This is what I do not understand.  Given his awful record of regression/failure, why do people think Borges is some sort of "offensive genius"?  I keep posting his record of failure and regression, going back to Gerry DiNardo's teams, among others.  Heck, Greg Robinson has a better resume. 

Naked Bootlegger

October 28th, 2012 at 12:30 PM ^

I agree that Denard had mega amounts of time in the pocket last night on many passing plays.    If you watched carefully, though, Nebraska employed the "umbrella" rushing strategy on a handful of 3rd down and distance plays.   They basically didn't rush, but rather formed an umbrella to contain Denard and let him sit back in the pocket.  MSU did this on occasion.  Others teams, too.  This didn't happen on every passing play, but in enough instances that even I - a defensive football strategy novice - noticed.    


October 28th, 2012 at 9:26 AM ^

Last year, Denard Robinson accounted for 1,176 of our 2,884 rushing yards, which is 40.8% of total net yardage, but this year, he is responsible for 946 of the 1,653 net rushing yards, or 57.2%. It seems the running game has become less diverse in its calls, and as your post notes, far  more reliant on Denard. 

There has been a definite shift in the playcalling concerning RBs this year. Just with Fitz alone, for example, it has gone from a lot of zone stretch, counters, off-tackle and the odd pitch sweep (among other plays, of course, most notably, for a few games, that inverted veer that we averaged almost 13 yards on) to a much less diverse set of calls, or it appears to me. 

coastal blue

October 28th, 2012 at 10:27 AM ^

For me the problem isn't so much the plays, its the inability to swap personnel or change tempo. 

Fitz sucks? Why not try Rawls? Hayes? Norfleet? 

Bellomy is miserable for 5 drives. Why not give Gardner a shot? How much worse could he be?

Can't score against Notre Dame? Why not go up-tempo? Why not dedicate yourself to watching some 2010 film and switch things every once in a while to throw the defense off? You have all the guys to do it. 

Hoke/Borges just seem stubborn. 


October 28th, 2012 at 11:07 AM ^

this exactly..  my dad and i were talking bout this watching the game...  When bellomy was in our offense was Anemic..  At least last year when Devin was in he could scramble and complete some passes...


I don't care if he hasn't practiced at QB all year.  He has experience and should be able to run several plays.  It couldn't have gotten any worse last night.   Def the worst i have ever seen a michigan offense in my lifetime.. that includes 2008

BlueSpiceIn SEC.hell

October 28th, 2012 at 12:08 PM ^

      ...think about it when Denard is in, defenses don't pass rush, they contain -so the OLine looks -on paper-like they are not allowing sacks.  When he is out they can't stop the rush and we already know they don't run block well.   The OLine IS THE CONCERN right now.     They aren't that good ---- I think Borges has been calling plays to cover up that deficiency too.  He can only do so much and his gameplan utilizing Denard is actually pretty good given this year's line. He his really limited when Denard is not in. The only thing I don't understand is why Devin isn't in at QB


October 28th, 2012 at 2:27 PM ^

Rushing teams in the nation, to one of the worst in just two seasons. I'm sorry, but RR was criticized for not paying attention to the D. When is Hoke going to pay attention to the O? 2 recruiting classes and we have no WR or QB depth. How the eff does that happen? Borgess is to Hoke as Schafer was to Rich. He deserves the same demise. If you can't score a TD in 3 different games with the most dynamic QB in the country, you deserve a pink slip... PERIOD.

coastal blue

October 28th, 2012 at 3:20 PM ^

They haven't had time. Borges isn't the guy to run the offense with Denard, but he was brought in for the long haul, so to judge him after two seasons with players he didn't recruit isn't smart. 

We shouldn't, as fans, do this again. It will be another two years before we can fully start judging Hoke/Borges. We don't need to screw over another coach with our unrealistic expectations. 


ole luther

October 28th, 2012 at 8:11 PM ^

to judge him isn't smart?!? do I coach Denard Robinson???

Hey Denard - Here's last year's playbook. Go do what you've been doing the last 2 years. Now listen carefully...some of your lineman have changed and some of your RB's have changed and oh BTW....we're taking your backup and forcing him into a receiver position because of reasons that the public has no right to know.

The man is being paid a full salary to coach at this level and has all this experience and is heralded as a genius...and can't coach Denard?!?!?!????????

Who isn't smart???

coastal blue

October 28th, 2012 at 9:45 PM ^

Its not that you shouldn't judge him, its that you shouldnt be calling for his head during his second year without a quarterback he had a hand in recruiting. 

I fully agree he should have put as much effort as possible into learning RRs offense to maximize our success over these past two years, but thats just not how most coaches operate. 

We need to be rational. It was the insanity of a large portion of our fanbase that made 2008-10 such a miserable experience.