Were we outcoached today?

Submitted by fatbastard on October 3rd, 2009 at 3:53 PM

State has probably the single worst defensive secondary we will play all year, and we wait until 7 minutes left in the game to get pass happy? This game probably should have been a 17 point victory if we'd started passing it sooner.

Despite the failure to throw sooner, we still would have woe the game if only the fake punt fiasco had not resulted in a field goal. It is amazing that you'd sent out a punter with an option to run the ball on 4th down from the 16 yard line. If you want to go for it, then go for it. If you want an option to go for it, put Forcier in the shotgun to see how they line up, and if State blows the lineup audible from the qb punt to a dive, etc.

So yeah, seems to may we were outcoached in the game plan and game calling department. Great effort by Tate and a nice comeback. Can't take away from his indivual effort, or the great pass blocking he had in the 4th quarter. All in all a good effort by most of the players, many of whom are young, in their first road game.

But I keep coming back to the playcalling . . .



October 3rd, 2009 at 3:56 PM ^

We will both get negged for this, but absolutely we were. I don't know what in the world Rich Rod was thinking, but hopefully he makes some serious mental adjustments before next week. There's hope since Iowa, I think, got semi-exposed b y Arkansas State today.


October 3rd, 2009 at 4:00 PM ^

Rod said in the presser that the fake punt was a read by Zoltan. In a sense, he should have known better than to try a fake at that end of the field. On the other hand, the coaches should not have given him the option in the first place.

Net-net: I blame society.


October 3rd, 2009 at 4:03 PM ^

but I agree with you on that, unless he knew their kicker didn't have the leg. Though I would also point out that but for the fake punt bullshit that even if he made the field goal, that would only have been a 14 point lead (all other things remaining the same . . )

ND Sux

October 4th, 2009 at 8:55 AM ^

wasn't the best, but you have to give him a few plays each game - for two reasons: 1) you never know when he might break the big one, and 2) JUST to make the opponent prepare to defend him during the week.

Yinka Double Dare

October 3rd, 2009 at 3:57 PM ^

We tried to pass it sooner. Multiple Spartans rushers were usually in Forcier's lap. We couldn't run block and we couldn't pass block, hard to do a damn thing offensively with that problem.

And I have a feeling that fake punt was a missed signal or on-field decision or something, a la when the Bears ran a fake punt in their first game against the Packers. There's no way the coaches actually called that.


October 3rd, 2009 at 3:58 PM ^

Not really. The punt was a bad call by either RR or Zoltan, but other than that the coaching staff didn't seem to make any bad calls. My only complaint was Robinson playing that series in the 4th quarter, but the offense was stagnant and probably figured it would be worth a shot. Dantonio did absolutely nothing to beat this team; this is a young team that froze up a bit on the road until the last 6 minutes. That happens.


October 3rd, 2009 at 4:03 PM ^

I don't think that you can pin it on Mesko. I am not a Rodriguez hater at all, but the call to even give Mesko the option to run goes through the head coach. If you give a player that option, you cannot fault the player for making a read one way or the other, especially when it is not within his normal role.

I believe that backed up that far in your own territory, you either have to send your punter out strictly to punt the ball, or you send your offense out to run a play that has a better chance to succeed than the punter-keeper.

Hell, put Tate out there with the same run-punt option and you are in much better shape.


October 3rd, 2009 at 6:14 PM ^

I think you do give that option to your AA punter, and you hope he just kicks away. I was surprised that they went for it, but it sounded like people on the CIL thought it was an option for Zoltan and that's why RR didn't seem as upset. But either way, a bad result.


October 3rd, 2009 at 4:00 PM ^

We weren't out coached, but I can hardly see a way to view this game except as a failure in coaching, which is to say that I don't think Dantonio did anything particularly well in his scheme. But for most of the game, MSU was loading the box and rushing 6 or 7. They were able to do that because we spent a lot of time in a two-wide set. Every time we went three- and four-wide, we were successful, both in the run and in the pass. It was a disappointing game from RichRod.


October 3rd, 2009 at 4:20 PM ^

I didn't think that was the time to put Denard in. At that point it looked like we'd need to pass to open up the run, and Denard was not likely to be able to do that.

At any rate, the coaches managed to keep the team positive and fighting hard when it was 20-6, which counts for a lot.


October 3rd, 2009 at 4:01 PM ^

I am still not sure whose call that fake punt was. But I was rearin' for them to line up and go for it. Give it to Grady or something.

As for getting pass happy . . . we were not having any luck there earlier either. Even on pass plays, Tate just had no time to back there. Our OL needs to hold those blocks longer.

If we were outschemed at all, I'd say it would have to be in the run game. We just couldn't get anything going. Almost makes you want to see them line up in the I a few times and pound it with Minor. I don't know if I'd call it being "outcoached" though. RR will make adjustments and fix it for next week.


October 3rd, 2009 at 4:01 PM ^

It seemed like Michigan was either a.) playing defense or b.) starting drives inside their 20 yards line most of the day.
A lot of things just went MSU's way today.

The worst part was dropped passes and generally slopping execution by the offensive players. That's not playcalling, but it is down to Magee/R.Smith/Dews and Jackson to have these kinks worked out weeks ago.


October 3rd, 2009 at 4:02 PM ^

but I rarely know what "outcoached" means, unless we're talking about glaring, hilarious errors like Weis going for it on 4th and 9 against Navy. I thought Kirk Ferentz coached a terrible game against PSU. He punted on 4th and 3 from PSU's 35 yard line, for christ's sake. But they won, so everyone lauds Ferentz for his gameplan.

I mean, I don't think many of us played football seriously, and it's an unusual situation or coach (I'm lookin at you Bill Stewart) where I can say with any confidence "this loss is on the coaches".


October 3rd, 2009 at 4:12 PM ^

. . . "but I rarely know what "outcoached" means, unless we're talking about glaring, hilarious errors like Weis going for it on 4th and 9 against Navy"

I'd say it's pretty "hilarious" to run a fake punt from your own 16, even if a read. Go if you want to go. Give it to Brandon or sneak it. If you're not sure, leave it to Tate to punt. I mean, I love Zolt, and you can't really blame the guy cause you know he wants to make a good play. That's on guy who called the read, not Zolt.


October 3rd, 2009 at 4:04 PM ^

Today's problems were execution. Missed tackles, dropped passes, blown blocking schemes != good execution.

They pulled it together when they had to. This team knows what it takes to win, even if they pull it out a little late sometimes.

Coaches were fine.


October 3rd, 2009 at 4:28 PM ^

Just when it looked like our D was making progress on tackling technique, they really screwed the pooch on Caper's winning score. Two missed tackles, the first so egregious I wanted to puke. As soon as he got free, I knew it was all over.

Greg McMurtry

October 5th, 2009 at 10:35 AM ^

late in the game, I believe the one you're talking about, in the replay you can see Mouton just standing there watching as Cousins blows by him. I'm not sure if it was fatigue or lack of effort, but it was really bad. Mouton has played disappointingly bad all season and I'm not sure as to why.


October 3rd, 2009 at 4:06 PM ^

were crucial. Complete drive killers that not only left state with good field position, but kept our D on the field. Add that with the Zoltan F-up and you've got a bad situation.


October 3rd, 2009 at 4:07 PM ^

I don't think Rod got outcoached, but I was impressed with MSU's play. Dantonio did have a solid game plan it just came down to a couple bounces and errors. Also MSU's defense brought pressure and got into our backfield pretty often. It's hard to run or pass when we aren't making our blocks or picking up the blitz. Kudos to them.


October 3rd, 2009 at 4:07 PM ^

Not to sound old school or obvious, but Minor and Brown combined for 10 carries. I think we might have tried harder to establish the run, even though it was tough sledding. I think that is on Calvin.


October 3rd, 2009 at 4:16 PM ^

comment and the upside coming. No doubt. BUT, we moved the ball without much trouble by spreading out 3,4,5 wideouts b/c that is the State's weakness, and a big one at that. I'll say it again, other than possibly EMU, they have the worst secondary we'll play this year (until the Little Ceasar's bowl, at least).


October 3rd, 2009 at 4:33 PM ^

We played their weakness instead of sticking to our strength (IMHE).
I think that's kind of what you are eluding to (jrt).
I don't like that plan for Tate's first road game, even though the kid is ICE MAN.
Having said that, in no way do I mean to suggest we were "out coached".


October 3rd, 2009 at 4:08 PM ^

I don't see Dantonio outcoaching too many, especially Coach Rod. We had a couple bad plays that hurt us, but I don't think it had anything to do with the coaching calls on States side.


October 3rd, 2009 at 4:10 PM ^

4th and an inch, we needed that drive, fucking QB fucking sneak it for fucks sake! I don't care if we're on our own 17 fucking yardline. a fucking qb sneak for a fucking inch is fucking over 80%. whatever. It was a good game, not totally unexpected to lose. I have an awful feeling that something weird was going on with the point spread. and our offensive line didn't do much to make me think otherwise. It wasn't until we started rolling out and using the RB to chip on the rushers did we get any kind of time to pass. Mouton sucked this game, he's going to get a huge negative in the UFR.

I'm not really that upset with the loss, we're 4-1, probably will be 5-2 in a couple weeks. Gotta keep it in perspective. But its always disgusting to lose to lil bro. fuck fuck fuck.