What Went Wrong?

Submitted by hart20 on October 15th, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Simply, what went wrong? Was it the playcalling? The execution? The refs? The wind? Dirty plays? The 88% full moon (Waning Gibbous)? What are your thoughts? And before I get negged, the purpose of this post isn't to rag on anyone, I'm genuinely curious about your thoughts. And please, keep it sane. No personal attacks or any thing of the sort.

Personally, I think the defense played as well as it could have. They got the turnovers, they put the offense in positions to make something happen. The offense just couldn't get it done. Why the offense couldn't get it done? I think it had more to do with the play calling than the execution, although the execution wasn't pretty. We were able to move the ball running and then we suddenly switched to a passing offense. It made no sense. MSU was timing the snaps, yet we continued using the same snap counts. And that 4th down play call....deep breath.... I don't care how wide open the receivers would have been if Denard had time to throw. We needed a first down and MSU was giving it to us. We have Denard and an easy first down. WHY DO YOU PASS IT??? If someone has a legitimate answer, please tell me. The execution wasn't pretty at all, but I felt like the players were put into tough spots.


We could've/should've won that game. What went wrong?




October 15th, 2011 at 5:52 PM ^

Great point. I think Denard and the O line have trouble reading blitz's and the recivers have trouble seeing it too.  Got to be able to hit the hot read so that you can take advantage of the gap in coverage.  Lets not forget that this is a new offensive system, adjustments at the line will come after the system is in place and we have a guy in place that knows the offense.


October 15th, 2011 at 6:42 PM ^

Pretty much this.


- Al Borges has absolutely no imagination at all, except for the Minnesota game.  Same damn plays over and over, even in the second half.  I didn't like the hire at the beginning of the season and I still don't like it now.  I don't know if he's in charge of switching quarterbacks (I can only assume he is), but that's a stupid idea and obviously doesn't work.  Kept Smith in all game and didn't give anyone else a chance (except like five carries).  Smith was getting eaten alive on his runs (not his fault at all) and we didn't once attempt a screen to him, probably our best play.

- Denard played horribly.  Constantly giving the handoff to Smith when he should've kept it instead.  While he did have pressure, he overthrew too much and should be able to throw with some pressure at least.

- Our offensive line was horrid today.  Three men rushing and you give up a sack, that's ridiculous.  Couldn't stop any blitzes at all either.

- Our defensive line got absolutely no push today, except a couple plays late in the fourth, against a suppose horrible offensive line.  The ends maybe contained one time all damn game.

- Our linebackers weren't hitting the holes well and we look like amateurs out there.  Secondary wasn't very good but wasn't horrible (hard to keep coverage up when there is no pressure on the quarterback)

- Tackling was dreadful with them constantly giving up the extra yards because we didn't wrap up or we let them fall forward (this happened almost every damn time).  Floyd completely whiffed and gave up a touchdown instead of holding them to the field goal.

- And to top it off, the referring was pitiful.  Throwing a punch?  Let him keep him in the game.  Ridiculously late hit with obvious intent to hurt the quarterback?  Let him keep him in the game.  Late hit and twisting the neck of the down player, who is already been tackled by six others?  Let him keep playing.  Those weren't the only mistakes either...


In the end, our team sucked, badly.  They weren't better like they were last year.  This year they simply beat us in coaching, fundamentals (except penalties), and the drive to want to win the fucking game.


October 15th, 2011 at 4:15 PM ^

They gave up just 21 points and forced two turnovers in MSU territory (and only missed a third because of a blown call).

That is a hell of a lot better than most Michigan defenses in the last decade would have come up with on the road against a ranked team.  The conditions helped but they did a fantastic job and gave us every chance to win the game.


October 15th, 2011 at 4:12 PM ^

It's a combination but if one thing had to be picked I'd say it was the play-calling. Even though some good calls weren't executed, why did we call a play-action on 4th and 1? Why so  many passes in the conditions. And why throw Gardner in for a play then take him out? It messes up the rhythm of the offense.


October 15th, 2011 at 4:13 PM ^

Fitzgerald Toussaint: 2 carries, 8 yards

All other running backs over 5'6" tall: 0 carries, 0 yards

In a driving wind, with the score close throughout and with excellent field position, we handed the ball off ten times.  Playcalling put the offensive line and Denard in shitty situations the whole game and cost us a win against an inferior team.


October 15th, 2011 at 4:49 PM ^

I was yelling "where is Toussaint?" several times during the game. This game set up for a tough runner and he was nowewhere to be found. I do acknowledge that the o-line run blocking was not great, but in that case even more you need a guy to make yards on his own. With all due respect to Vincent, who I love, he is not that guy.


October 15th, 2011 at 5:06 PM ^

Smith and Fitz had 45 yards on 10 carries.  The run blocking was more than adequate for them to be effective when they got opportunities.  What didn't work were the designed runs for Denard (other than the jet sweeps) because MSU keyed on him and was going to force someone else to beat them.  Our coaching staff just decided not to let anyone else have the opportunity to try and do it.


October 15th, 2011 at 4:14 PM ^

1. Neither line did a good job.

2. QBs played poorly, repeatedly missing open receivers. Robinson's pick 6 was horrible.

3. Linebackers failed to get to the outside and were generally invisible.

4. Tackling in the secondary was poor.

5. Offensive playcalling was incomprehensible. We abandoned the short passing game and went deep all the time with inaccurate QBs throwing into a howling wind, and did absolutely nothing to counter MSU's blitzes. The fake on 4th and inches was absolutely the worst play I have ever seen UM call. If we had just called a sneak we almost certainly would have gotten it.

This was just an all-around bad game. Hagerup did well and Mattison called a good game, but otherwise I just don't see any positives. The only reason we were even close late is because MSU is such a sloppy, undisciplined team. If we play like this against Purdue, we will lose.


October 15th, 2011 at 4:28 PM ^

I thought that Denard's pick 6 was the fault of the receiver not recognizing the defensive coverage and changing his route.  That was also stated by the dip shit announcers...one of the few things I thought they got right.


October 15th, 2011 at 4:50 PM ^

Yeah, I thought Smith was the culprit there.  He saw the blitz coming from his side and needed to be ready for the ball.  It's easy to fault the QB for throwing what looks ike an inaccurate pass, but sometimes that pass is where he intended it to go and the receiver is the one who didn't run the right route.

Today we paid the price for our opponents rarely blitzing us in the first six games.  We seemed unprepared to face it. 


October 15th, 2011 at 4:43 PM ^

1.  our d-line hasn't done a good job of pressuring qb's all year.  However  The defense held them to 21,  in a game where the offense couldn' do a damn thing.  That's decent enough defense to win.

#5  IMO is the main reason this game was lost.  No screens,  counter plays, diamond formation, all of it evaporated today.   It was throw deep, throw deep, throw deep, punt. What the hell.



October 15th, 2011 at 4:14 PM ^

Sorry to thread jack, but I don't have enough points to post, but couldn't that Gholston face mask be considered criminal? 

It was clearly intentional, it's common knowledge that it's possible to kill someone by snapping their neck around like that, and after jumping on the pile late, their was a delay to him finding the face mask and twisting.

I almost think he should be charged with attempt of murder!


October 15th, 2011 at 4:16 PM ^

The offense and its coaches showed no ability to adjust for the blitz. I feel like your right the running was working enough that if they stayed with it, it coliseum faced opened up more passing. The play calling really was just all over the and didn't provide the team with much flow. State lined up 8 in the box and blitzed basically saying beat us if you can, obviously they couldn't. Just a sad confusing day of football in EL. On a side note unrelated to the outcome of the game Spartan players prove again why I hate them so much. Dirty, dirty play from their D and they win. I can't think of anything I hate more than when a group of players conduct themselves like that in the field and are on the winning side. Frustrating!


October 15th, 2011 at 4:19 PM ^

Denard had the worse thrwoing performance I've ever seen. other than the 4 & 1 call, I thought playcalling was excellent.

The whole Devin Gardner 1 play switcheroo got on my nerves, but you can tell he is a much better passer than Denard. if he can't correct his fundamentals then I believe he will eventually be replaced by DG.

I love Shoelace but no team can survive a QB completing 40% of his passes. Hell, the WR have had to make spectacular catches for the percentage to even be that high.


October 16th, 2011 at 3:57 AM ^

On 80% of our incompletions we had WRs wide open. thats a product of the scheme and play calling.  Basically the play call would have worked had the execution been there. What more can you ask from your coordinator? Had Denard and Devin made more accurate throws or correct reads, it would have changed the course of the game.

We have to execute simple throws and if not then our RB will never get a chance to get into the game. The O-line did not play well, but its only 5 of them and often times, lil bro sent 8-9 guys. if you make completions, then they can only send 6-7 and the whole game changes


October 15th, 2011 at 4:20 PM ^

O-line got killed all day by the Spary front four, specifically the interior o-line.

Defense is playing better but at times are afraid to hit.  I'll give Sparty credit:  they know how to tackle the runner.  UM defense tries to push the runner down/out and not wrap up and tackle.  Stop being afraid to get hurt and hit someone.  Also, UM defense has to keep their heads up when they hit so they can make proper contact.  

Great game plan by Dantonio.  Sparty defense did not play the pass all game.  

And DROB will throw off his back foot from now until the end of time.


October 15th, 2011 at 4:47 PM ^

Proud??? I hope your being sarcastic because our tackling for the first 3 quarters looked like last years D.  Yeah they forced two turnovers but that accounted for very little. Our defense gave up 28 points and our D-line got manhandled by a supposed sub par MSU offensive line...at the moment the last word I would use is proud


October 15th, 2011 at 5:52 PM ^

We gave up 21. My bad, but the tackling was horrid and the only reaosns why we stopped them when they were inside their 30 is because they had a few penalties that put them in first and long also they got conservative and ran the ball most of the time. When our defensive line gets man handeled thats not a good defensive day period. When we tackle consistently and start getting pressure on the quaterback with a 4 man rush THEN it should be called a good defensive day....that day was not today.


October 15th, 2011 at 4:20 PM ^

and we didn't play to our strengths.


4th and 1, Michigan football jams it down their throats, not a silly trick play in such a situation.

I wasn't a fan of the fake fieldgoal in teh 1st Q either even though it did work.