The UFR will Show.....

Submitted by Ziff72 on October 10th, 2010 at 9:28 AM

After 3 watchings, I am still sick, but I feel good about the rest of the year.  Give credit to MSU but RR had the answers the kids just didn't execute.  I guarantee when Brian does the UFR he will say anywhere from 5-10 times that if the guys make a basic play or block it would have been 6.   It was obvious Denard was dreadful passing but his run reads were terrible as well, Dorrestein and Shaw both completely whiffed basic blocks that Denard would have sprung for long td's.  MSU's line and linebackers played well, but we had the answers , which in the long term is the more important thing even though I'm still depressed.  If Iowa comes with that same gameplan they are toast.




October 10th, 2010 at 12:49 PM ^

Hard to say this when you have a team sport, but this loss is on D Robinson and Ezeh. The O line struggled but had enough push to get things done. The secondary actually did pretty well; they nailed us once on a play action pass across the middle that they had gashed Wisconsin with four or five times, and there was that awful 3rd and 15, both otherwise, pretty good.

Can't really say I expected much of CC. He was just a hapless lamb to the slaughter on the long pass after Rogers went out. Rogers had done a great job of covering the same play twice before.

Robinson's mistakes were pretty well outlined by the OP.

But Oh, Ezeh...after the second touchdown he was so in his own head and tentative that he never charged into a gap again. GERG also made an adjustment where Mouton was the flowing linebacker and he basically planted Ezeh in the middle of the field to react to anything that came past the line, but didn't expect him to read the play or move laterally (you'll see it a few times when Mouton actually runs BEHIND Ezeh to flow down the line, while Ezeh stays put). It probably cost us 2-3 extra yards per play when they went after him, which they did. I have never seen a linebacker adjustment like that.

I've really tried to reserve judgement on Ezeh; often it was clear he was being used as a fourth lineman to adjust for the 3-3-5, but today there were four down linemen on many downs and his weaknesses were on full display. It's really hard to watch a defense that has made so much progress and watch a guy basically hold them back all by himself.

I think GERG has made improvements in the play of this defense, and the secondary is starting to do things that suggest that Gibson might know what he's doing. But opposing running backs are walking into the endzone because of our linebacker play. It breaks my heart, and I don't see it changing.

Nosce Te Ipsum

October 11th, 2010 at 8:48 AM ^

Because I don't want to create my own thread and clog up the board with the same old shit I will post this here.

Denard had a bad game and it should've been 14-0 at the end of the first quarter. Obviously that would've been huge for momentum and it would have been demoralizing for State. Who knows how they would've reacted.


Obi Ezeh was always out of position and waited for someone to hit him first. I don't blame him whatsoever. This is all on the coaches to me. It is impossible for anyone else to go out there and play worse so I blame the defensive coaches for not trying someone else out.


To go along with the coaches leaving Obi out there it was evident that the two long runs are attributed to Michigan having a poor linebacking corp. It's really sad because the secondary played exceptional on Saturday save a few plays (Cullen Christian, but he's a frosh, and the long pass to their 2nd string TE).


Kovacs is my favorite player. He makes sound plays and plays to his maximum potential. People can make fun of him all they want but he is a walk on sophomore who out plays seniors who were offered scholarships to play football for Michigan coming out of high school.


Michigan's running backs are not good. They are above average. Shaw is a more durable version of Carlos Brown, Smith is still recovering from the ACL tear and has no explosion or speed, Fitz is just not good because durability is just as important as an attribute a back has and he has none and if Cox can't get a rep during the game behind all of them then he obviously is very bad. Hopkins impressed me with a 7 yard run followed by 6 yards. Why they went away from him I have no idea. Bad coaching move. If Dee Hart is truly that good then he should be able to come in and take the starting spot relatively easy.


There was clock mismanagement a la Les Miles at the end of the first half. We waited 7 seconds before calling a timeout right before the big pass play to Odoms. We had all three TOs available. Couple that with punting in the fourth when we were down multiple scores and it shows that RR made some costly mistakes that could've made somewhat of a difference. I guess we will never know.


After all of that I still think that Michigan is capable of having an excellent season because we left so many points out on the field that we should've won by at least a touchdown, maybe more. If our defense can play with that enthusiasm and the LBers can play above average ball then we should be able to hold Iowa to 28 or fewer points and our offense should rebound. I am glad I DVR'd the game and watched it again because it seemed so much worse at the stadium. Those are just my observations from the game. This is still a good team in a very top heavy BigTen. We should be able to win 4-5 more games. Go Blue!

ND Sux

October 10th, 2010 at 9:39 AM ^

we all need some good takeaways from this game.  I expect the UFR to be very unkind to Cam Gordon, the O-line, Denard (for reads mostly) and the receivers.  RVB will have the best showing on the D...he was a beast.  Martin drew a lot of would-be holding calls, but of course the flags weren't thrown. 

Cam seems too intent on making the huge hit every time rather than stay in control and keep the runner in front of him. 


October 10th, 2010 at 10:36 AM ^

I totally agree with Tim here.  If there was someone better we would have seen them on the field already.  I'm not sure why your assuming Ray Vinopal... a freshman... would be such a better choice.  Our secondary is young, and making mistakes.  This was to be expected.

All last week 'experts' on this board where begging for Man2man and 4 man rushes...  well you got what you asked for.  How did that work out for ya?


October 10th, 2010 at 11:06 AM ^

"trusting the coaches because they're never wrong", that makes it sound like people on here are blindly following and not permitted to (constructively) criticize, which is false.  But it's trusting the fact that they've seen hundreds of more hours of Cam, Vinopal, and everyone else operating on a football field, making reads, tackling, try to run guys down.

This is just my and your interest.  To the coaches, it's their jobs on the line.  So it would make sense that if they had someone, anyone that they even thought for a second was able to do a better job right now, it'd be in their best interests to play them.  And still, they're not playing anyone else.

As we saw when Rogers went out and Cullen came in, while Obi and Cam and Rogers may be struggling, the next step down is apparently significant.

ND Sux

October 10th, 2010 at 12:09 PM ^

Go back and watch the BGSU long touchdown...Kovacs actually gained on him while they were chasing in vain. 

Coaches know who gives us the best chance out there.  Must be nobody is "tearing it up" behind Cam.  Either Cam will improve, or his replacement will become evident in due time.  Either way I do trust the coaches. 

Here's a nugget: Iowa's offense doesn't blow me away.  M will come back strong after that humbling defeat.  A win next week will heal these wounds nicely.  Go Blue!!!!


October 10th, 2010 at 9:46 AM ^

It's time he takes a seat... For who you ask... Anyone else... The bad angles and routes to the ball carrier... The missed tackle after miss tackle... It's enough... I understand he is young, but as our last line of defense (in many cases), he isn't good enough...

Maybe you say no one else is either... Well, why not give it a shot...can it be worse???

I think he can be good... But right now i've just had enough...

At some point things aren't just "correctable"... Changes need to be made... This would be an area to start.

Angry rant at a kid trying his best over... Resume daily activities.


October 10th, 2010 at 10:12 AM ^

The basis of this is what? Garbage time over BGSU? I believe that Ray has showed he definitely has instincts, but I'm guessing he's showing his inexperience during practice for Cam to be ahead of him at this point. 

That said, I wouldn't be entirely shocked if Ray started getting more playing time if Cam can't fix his problems (besides the unfixable lack of speed). I would bet $1 that Ray is the starter next year. 

Maize and Blue…

October 10th, 2010 at 10:25 AM ^

though he is much better suited to be a LB.  Obi is the problem as both long TD runs were his responsibility.  I'll put the long Dell TD on Gerg as CC just had come into the game after Rogers went down and he comes with a blitz.

Four big plays by State (flea flicker being the fourth) combined with two picks in the end zone, a blocked FG, and a FG that should have been a TD except for Denard overthrowing his  man on that series leads to defeat.  That's 21 points left on the field in a 17 point loss.


October 10th, 2010 at 10:16 AM ^

Vinopal could fail.. Yes... But it's not like Cam is bringing much at all that we'd lose... You guys can keep neggung away... But the reality is at some point... When something is not working... You've got to see what else you have.. If Ray fails... So be it... But standing pat on this is just crazy...


October 10th, 2010 at 1:46 PM ^

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October 10th, 2010 at 10:30 AM ^

What are you basing that on?  One interception in garbage time versus a MAC opponent?  I have seen nothing to say that Ray Vinopal is going to be any better than Cam Gordon.  He could be a nice change of pace, but more likely he will be physically overmatched against most of the remaining schedule.  He could be good with time, but most of Cam Gordon's problem have to do with inexperience, Ray Vinopal probably has a lower ceiling.

Sgt. Wolverine

October 10th, 2010 at 9:54 AM ^

Five years ago, I could understand that sort of question from a Michigan fan.  But now, after the last two years, I don't think any Michigan fan should ever ask that question.  I don't care if it's about the team's record or a specific player; the answer will always be: yes, it can be worse.  We should all know that by now.


October 10th, 2010 at 12:10 PM ^

I love when fans want to bench young talented kids and say "can it get any worse?" We are 

5-1 at this point and we just played a very well balanced offense. Why start over with a guy with no experience and not as talented?

Maybe the guys not seeing the field in the games are being lit up in practice???


October 10th, 2010 at 12:52 PM ^

agreed....evidently the backups are not making it happen in practice to see the playing field.  I am on the side of staying on track and keep moving forward...experience is the key here, experience that we sorely lack...but sittin kids and switching in and out doesnt help with any flow...keep pushing men, correct your mistakes and take it to the Hawkeyes.

myantoniobass …

October 10th, 2010 at 5:00 PM ^

Here ye, here ye.  The fans have spoken.  Anyone on D who taketh bad angles, and misses tackles, shall be benched.  The fans have had enough.  

Today starting on D is Craig Roh, Mike Martin, Jonas Mouton, and 8 new players replacing benched players for said criteria!  

UM Indy

October 10th, 2010 at 9:51 AM ^

stands out to me because it was so frustrating.  The State pass in between 3 Michigan defenders.  They all seemed to either want to deck the MSU guy or be afraid of decking each other when all ONE of them had to do was go for the ball.  This defense struggles with being in the right position to make a play so when you're there, make a play.


October 10th, 2010 at 10:42 AM ^

play over and over.  There was a great opportunity to make a game changing hit or interception.  Neither happened and MSU ends up with a 35 yard game.  We have to start making these plays.


October 10th, 2010 at 12:36 PM ^

He watched the receiver the entire time, whiffed on him and then lost his feet. As safety, all he had to do was watch the floater coming at him, adjust his sails and he would have had his pick and State would have had their one obligatory TO.


October 10th, 2010 at 12:46 PM ^

The last pick Denard threw.

The replays show the receiver in the out / flats open with no one within 20 yards of him. Denard looked down Grady so long that Rucker left that guy and started to run with Grady anticipating the throw.

Denard never checked down and that stinking replay makes me sick.


October 10th, 2010 at 1:42 PM ^

I agree.  That play drove me nuts!  If you actually look closely, Cam Gordan is trying to catch the ball like a punt.  Instead of high pointng the ball, he just assumes its going to go over the tight end's hands and right into his.  SO frustrating. 

Also, did anyone notice Stonum get tripped on one of his kick off returns? 


October 10th, 2010 at 9:51 AM ^

You mention that the UFRs will show "5 or 6 times that if guys make a block it's 6."  In my opinion, the problem with that thinking is, you neglect to credit the defenders for having something to do with us not making a block.  It's not like they're statues and our guys simply ran past them.  State's defense (the 11 players) is the REASON we didn't make those blocks.  They stood stout and shut down the top rusher in the country.  They defeated our offensinve line's blocks.  They beat our guys to the point of attack.  And when they gave up some yards, they remained steady and took advantage of a young quarterback.   When that happens repeatedly in a game, you're gonna miss blocks.  That's the mental part of football.  The mind stops believing that you'll make that block.

This week vs. Iowa, imo, is a defining moment for this season (and if you want to read: RR's future, go ahead).  It's time to prove this system can win and this program can bounce back.


October 10th, 2010 at 10:10 AM ^

It seems like after every win and every loss, the pendulum swings from one extreme to the other. The team is 5-1 with a sophomore QB, sophomores and freshman (and James Rogers) starting in the secondary, and LBs that are less than optimal, we'll say. Michigan is one win away from being bowl eligible and still has Illinois, Penn State, and Purdue on the schedule, all of which are very beatable teams at this point.

Michigan was not going to go 12-0. If you honestly thought they were, then you probably really haven't watched any of the games so far. But they can win 7 to 9 (10?) games, go to a bowl, and then bring most everyone back next year with more experience, new talent coming in, etc. Denard made a few bad late throws, but these are things that can be corrected with experience or better/faster reads. WR drops haven't happened all year until yesterday, and no one fumbled.

Yes, it sucks Michigan lost to State, and yes, losing is never fun, but Rich Rod is making good progress with the team, getting them to where he feels like they should be competing for Big Ten Championships (which I expect should be soon, like 2011 or 2012). I think Rich Rod is here to stay unless they lose the rest of the Big Ten games, and I have a hard time believing that is going to happen.


October 10th, 2010 at 10:14 AM ^

I know what you are saying, but these were out and out whiffs on guys they had an angle on or in Shaw's case he attacked the wrong shoulder.  I said MSU played well and they were better than we have seen, but the difference between yesterday and Denard's 90yd run vs ND was Shaw attacking the inside shoulder vs the outside shoulder.  It is that small a margin.  Similarly on the 1st drive of the game Denard was free for a 60yd run on like the 3rd play of the game and he took a false step and stumbled, that's not MSU that's us.


October 10th, 2010 at 10:33 AM ^

I'm really tired of the "Rich Rod can't win in the Big Ten because the BIg Ten is too physical" line.  It's an old saw that really belies the facts on the ground.  Fact is, Denard threw two bad ints in the end zone.  The one to Hemingway was a sure TD if the ball wasn't thrown behind him.  The other two ints were forced.  Denard was just trying to do too much.  The problem with the first five weeks was that the receivers have been ridiculously wide open, the running lanes are wide open and there hasn't been any penetration.  Of course with a better defense, the window for receivers will be narrower, the running lanes will be smaller and there will be penetration.  Lack of refinement is the offense's problem right now.  That will improve as early as next week when Denard learns not to force throws and the blocking is more crisp.  These are correctable problems.  Remember, even with the blocking not being crisp, this game would have been totally different if Denard doesn't make two poor decisions.  It's not like they completely shut us down.  For the most part, the offense was able to move the ball.  What happened at the end of the game was uncharacteristic because we had to throw the ball because there wasn't much time left. 


October 10th, 2010 at 10:56 AM ^

I am NOT saying this offense can't work.  But let's call a spade a spade.....we've won FOUR conerence games in 2.25 years.  Yesterday was a prototypical defense from an upper-echelon caliber Big10 foe, no?

I realize all the realities

  • Denard has started exactly 6 conference games
  • you can't swing a dead cat on offense without hitting a freshman
  • you can't swing a dead cat on our defense without hitting....a dead cat

BUT the one thing I think all of us expected was that our offensive line would help stabilize a young QB.  They did not.  Here's an excerpt from Brian's MSU preview:

State, meanwhile, lost Oren Wilson and Trevor Anderson from last year's defensive line. Anderson's been replaced by the clunky 6'7" Tyler Hoover, a redshirt sophomore who is a version of Greg Banks minus some of the veteran savvy. Wilson's replacement is a platoon of Kevin Pickelman and Blake Treadwell. MSU returns DT Jerel Worthy, their best DL by some distance, and meh DE Colin "Cam" Neely. Neely and Pickelman missed the Wisconsin game but will return this weekend.

By anyone's account, that's not a drop dead, kick ass D Line.  2 of them didn't even play last week yet they outperformed what was considered our most reliable component on offense.

Next week is Iowa and their DLine is superior to MSU's.  That's not very comforting.


October 10th, 2010 at 11:21 AM ^

6 conference games was obvioulsy a typo.  I think everyone knows he's started 6 GAMES.  And if you are a red-shirt freshman who didn't play/start last year, you're as good as a freshman.

Finally, I didn't say scrap the goddamn offense.  I said produce some fucking conference wins. 

If my lack of sympathy for yet another conference loss and the third failure against MSU is somehow offending you, I'm sorry.  A big win against Iowa next week will go a long way towards calming me down.  Until then, I'm pissed. 


October 10th, 2010 at 11:31 AM ^

As opposed to some of our conference losses last year where it seemed like we had no momentum offensively.  I know its not much to be happy about, but we moved the ball at will, on the ground in the first half.  I wish we had converted in the endzone, and we probably would have lost even if we had converted, but its not like State had our offense stalemated.  Fix the mistakes in the redzone, which are solely on Drob and can be fixed, and I think there are plenty of positives to take on offense.  We only really looked out of sorts when we got down two scores late, I wish we had shown more poise, but kids can learn poise in those situations.


October 10th, 2010 at 9:52 AM ^

I wish the UFR would show us why Ezeh continues to be out on the field. Honestly what is it going to hurt by sitting him down? He's not coming back next year, no one else can be any worse. At worst it's a lateral move by replacing him.


October 10th, 2010 at 10:04 AM ^

It's the same reason we Cam Gordon is starting as a freshman. And Thomas Gordon.  And James Rogers. 

It's because SOMEONE has to play the position.  You can't just pull a guy without replacing him with someone else.  If the coaches are only going to play guys who should be starting in an ideal world, we'd be running a 2-1-1 defense this year.