What we learned today

Submitted by michgoblue on October 2nd, 2010 at 11:17 PM

Some observations about our team coming out of this game.  Many of these are not necessarily new observations, but confirmation of prior observations now that we have seen the team in B10 play:

1.  Our defense really is as bad as we expected.  IU has a good passing attack, no doubt, but they are a 1 dimensional team that can't run for crap.  They marched down the field on just about every drive. 

1a.  We are actually going to win a bunch of games, but to do it, we are going to have to put up 30+ points in every game.

2.  We are going to put up a ton of points, regardless of who is on defense. 

3.  Denard is as good as we all thought ,maybe better.  He is a game changer, and runs the 2-minute drill (1 minute this time) as good as any QB.

4.  V. SMith is not good.  Perhaps he needs more time to fully recover from his ACL injury.  He had the 50 yard TD run, but until the 10 yd line, we pretty much just ran through an open hope.  He couldn't consistently pick up more than 3 on the worst rushing D we are going to face.  WE need Cox to step up if given the chance.

5.  Time of possession = irrelevant.  Who cares how long it takes to score, so long as you score on just about every drive.

6.  Barwis = the real deal.  Despite being on the field for more than 2/3 of the game - often in long bunches of time with limited substitutions, the D never looked winded.

7.  Gallon needs more time before he is a return man. 

8.  Always bet on the "over." 



October 2nd, 2010 at 11:23 PM ^

The Vincent Smith TD was nice and was a result of a HUGE hole on the right side of the line.  Good effort to break a tackle at about the 10 yd line as well.  I do agree that we need to find someone else other than Smith to at least split the carries as long as Shaw is out.  There were several drives in the second half where he was stopped for a yard or 2 gain on 1st down which drastically stalled those drives and created three-and-outs. 

West Texas Blue

October 2nd, 2010 at 11:23 PM ^

The Vincent Smith bashing needs to end.  The kid ran hard, made a long TD run, didn't have any fumbles, and picked up blocks in the backfield. He did everything that he was asked of.  Cox isn't playing because of his mental errors and he isn't a good of a blocker compared to Shaw and Vinny Smith.  Shaw should be good to go for MSU game, and you'll see combo of Smith and Shaw in backfield.  Rod doesn't trust Cox, and Hopkins lost fumble in BGSU game, so yeah...

Fuzzy Dunlop

October 3rd, 2010 at 12:03 AM ^

The Vincent Smith bashing needs to end.  The kid ran hard,

I should hope that he ran hard.  Putting forth a great effort isn't the same thing as being a quality runningback.


made a long TD run, didn't have any fumbles, and picked up blocks in the backfield. He did everything that he was asked of. 

I don't think he did everything that he was asked of.  He had nine touches, and only did anything on one of them.  When Denard was dinged up and we needed someone else to step up he put us in a hole with 2 yard carries against one of the worst run defenses in the country on first and ten.  


October 3rd, 2010 at 12:23 AM ^


Dont know where to begin with this. I'll try to spell everything right.

Maybe there is an open thread at Touch The Banner or something for the Vincent Smith Sucks Club? But tonight at least, it aint here, bro.

Just try to enjoy things. The submit button is not your friend

Fuzzy Dunlop

October 3rd, 2010 at 12:51 AM ^

I don't see why you feel the need to apply for the position of my life coach, but rest assured I'm enjoying the win.

I didn't think Vincent Smith played well today, with the tremendous exception of one huge play.  I don't think he's played particularly well this season.  I said as much in response to someone's post lauding his performance.  I did not insult him as an individual or cross any lines.

Is it now unacceptable to critique a player's performance?  If you disagree with my assessment, fine, but no need for you to jump all over my ass every time I'm not as optimistic as you about every facet of the team.

By the way, the correction of your spelling previously was a joke, written with an implied smile.  Sorry you didn't seem to appreciate that.


October 3rd, 2010 at 1:18 AM ^

Dude, you were the one jumping in West Texas Blue's grill for, GASP, daring to tell people to lay off one of our players who has had a major impact in the 5-0 start. I just have his back on this one as a poster. Dude deserves your respect tonight. Michigan does not win without him.

And, as for the spelling, of course it twas a joke which is why I kept up the gag. If everything in the above post was spelled orrectly it was on pure accicents. Those things are like Waldos and Goldbugs in my porsts.


October 3rd, 2010 at 1:06 AM ^

What am I missing here?  Smith looked decidely average.  He had one, bordering on two good plays rushing the ball.  He picked up blocks all the time and is probably our best option at RB, but I think it's fair to criticize his lack of pick up and inability to hit the lane.

This game showed that Shaw is in fact quite important to this team, at least until Smith gets his knee up to strength or Cox's brain gets in touch with his body.


October 2nd, 2010 at 11:26 PM ^

Your opinions on what "you" learned are vapid. I learned that every favorite on the road in the Big Ten struggled mightly. Yes, being on the road is death in the Big Ten...and we got a W against a team on the road.


October 2nd, 2010 at 11:35 PM ^

Leinenkugel Oktoberfest is pretty good. Better than I expected.

EDIT: Oh, and I also learned that Oregon is seriously f-cking good. Down 31-24 at the half, they hung 28 unanswered points on The Cardinal in the 2nd half, and didn't allow a single point by Stanford.


October 2nd, 2010 at 11:29 PM ^

No one else earned any carries besides Vincent Smith.

He is the current best we have.  Thinking that the backups are better is pure fantasy.  The coaches play who have earned time and nothing more or less.


October 3rd, 2010 at 1:17 AM ^

I'm not sure how telling that is given that we only ran 45 offensive plays.  Smith had nine carries.  Hopkins did play, although he did not carry the ball.  But yeah, Shaw/Smith have earned more trust from the staff than the others.

grand river fi…

October 2nd, 2010 at 11:30 PM ^

I wouldn't get too down on Vincent Smith.  IU was selling out against the run and setting themselves up to get burned by big plays over and over.  

I would like a big power back to mix it up with Robinson though.  I think they could complement each other well.


October 2nd, 2010 at 11:31 PM ^

This post should be entitled, "What I learned today," because, quite frankly, I learned nothing.  Some I already knew, and some I disagree with, especially the Vincent Smith premise.


October 3rd, 2010 at 12:26 AM ^

I love you're optimism on this matter. Some might disagree with me, but with the close game, we will need a lot to lose and other games to be close to move up.

In saying this, i too am hopeful we do move up the rankings.


October 3rd, 2010 at 12:03 PM ^

when we play a ultra power running team (ie. UMass), they can expose our LB's weakness to accurately read the running play and step up into the hole to stuff the play.  When we play a passing team (ie. Indiana) they expose our DB's inability to cover guys on a consitent basis.

I think we have a good chance to beat any team in the B10 that is mostly one dimensional in one of these offensive areas (Power running: Iowa, Penn St., Wisconsin - Passing (Purdue and Illinois). 

I think the two teams that can do both of these offensive things well (MSU and OSU) are going to be the games that will really test GERG, the defense and my blood pressure, to the limits. 

And until we play an elite defense (Iowa, OSU) I am under the impression that our offense is going to put up some big points on just about everyone (minus if we shoot ourselves in the foot with turnovers, DA penalties and any significant injuries to key offensive folks)..... 


October 2nd, 2010 at 11:37 PM ^

Celebrate our 3rd road victory in as many years.

The numbers predicted this one exactly, therefore we shouldn't be surprised, nor feeling bad about anything in this game.

Bask in the dilithium and turn your vitriol to where it belongs --- little bro'.


October 2nd, 2010 at 11:47 PM ^

My parents found it strange when they saw a man in a business suit holding on the a street pole and spinning around in several times, then picked up his walk as if nothing happened. The tai chi walkers were icing on the cake. "Wow, this place is weirder than San Franscisco," was my father's comment.


October 2nd, 2010 at 11:39 PM ^

what I learned today is that if the opposing defense can not stop HE16MAN, our chances of winning are really good. if a defense comes along that can contain HE16MAN, our chances of winning are not good.

but in all seriousness, Indiana today looked like Texas Tech under Mike Leach. A total overload of short passes in front of our prevent D. We certainly didn't play well, but hopefully people now, even the most homerlicious of us, understand that we lack defensive talent outside of the front 3 or 4. In a situation like today's game, at least we didn't give up a series of quick strikes. to force the offense to earn their points on extended drives may be the best we can hope for. Greg Robinson's working with shit-for-talent right now, even if he's not the best D-coordinator out there.


October 2nd, 2010 at 11:45 PM ^

And failed on two. The fact that they got their key conversions on the last drive shouldn't take anything from the defense. Also note that they completely stoned Indiana in the fourth quarter until the last drive.

The offense let down the defense in the fourth quarter, which was why it was so close. Robinson missed on three deep balls on three different drives; in previous games he has made those throws. Indiana was clearly selling out on the run and Michigan though they could wrap up the game with a deep pass, which is why those drives stalled. Personally I wish they had chosen shorter routes, but again, remember he is still a sophomore quarterback and those throws throughout the season have been his weakest.

The defense played very well in the fourth quarter. Michigan had three drives in a row with fewer than five plays, so can we stop freaking out about the defense and agree that the offense didn't put it away even after given three separate chances in the fourth?


October 2nd, 2010 at 11:46 PM ^

1) we scored 42 points

2) indiana scored 35 (apparently this means that we won)

3) denard robinson doesn't tie his shoes. weird!

4) a sellout at indiana means filling 75% of your stadium


October 2nd, 2010 at 11:46 PM ^

I struggle to understand how a kid can come back ahead of schedule from ACL surgery, be expected to be a step slow, and also be labelled NOT GOOD. 

Instead of not appreciating the 50 yard TD run, you should appreciate the fact that he did not get tackled from behind.  If Roundtree doesn't get caught from behind and we go up 21-7 in the 1st qtr, this game may take a whole new complexion. 

Plus, he's still just a true sophomore.  Give the kid a break.


October 2nd, 2010 at 11:49 PM ^

We can be Big 10 champs this year. As bad as D has played , we are 5-0. There is no great team in the conference this year, with a potent offense AND a defense capable of slowing down the machine that is the Michigan offense. Our D, as bad as it has been, showed glimpses in the 2nd half of being average. That may well be the best offense we face the rest of the way.  We are in for more gutwrenching games, due to defensive play, but can you imagine when our defense actually helps our offense by getting off the field on 3rd down. Our offense will break the opposing teams' will week in and week out. The future is so damn bright.