WMU: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Submitted by Eye of the Tiger on September 3rd, 2011 at 7:36 PM

The Good:

  • Mattison's defensive schemes looked better than GERGs
  • Good blitzing and opportunistic defensive play
  • Kovacs, Herron and Demens
  • Team looked more disciplined on both sides of the ball than last year...no turnovers and only 1 penalty
  • Both Spread-Option and West Coast stuff worked...having more variety in our arsenal may bail us out at some point down the road
  • Denard is still Denard
  • Shaw and Fitz, Koger and Roy


The Bad:

  • Special teams remain too "special"
  • Not enough pressure from our front 4 on defense
  • Cornerbacks still very bad
  • Wow we really couldn't cover that one guy they kept throwing to over and over again, could we?


The Ugly:

  • I know it's dangerous and all, but seeing a football game called in the 3rd quarter was disappointing
  • Craig James, on several occassions, calling spread-option formations "pro style"




September 3rd, 2011 at 8:21 PM ^

They were at least something approaching awful.  WMU started the game something like 14/15 passing and had four drives within our territory in the first half.  If Jake Ryan had not tipped that pass, we probably would have been trailing at halftime.

There were several plays were they looked lost lining up. 


September 3rd, 2011 at 7:41 PM ^

Still not convinced on the secondary and the return coverage was atrocious.  Had some issues covering those misdirection run plays as well.  Offense seemed to click a lot quicker than I thought they would and the only thing I could think was what a difference a healthy Shaw and Toussaint make.  Herron = hero.  Kovacs = Holy shit manchild.


September 3rd, 2011 at 7:46 PM ^

They didn't look great, but they certainly took a step forward. Tackling was MUCH improved, especially in the open field. But coverage was still soft, and I'm not sure but I think our LBs were out of position on some of those bigger runs.

The nice thing was seeing the adjustments to our deficient coverage. Instead of sitting back and taking "death by papecuts," we brought the heat. We got in Carder's face and caused turnovers. Our coaching staff is willing and able to adjust.

Good first game, Brady. GO BLUE!


September 3rd, 2011 at 7:52 PM ^

I have wanted to see this guy play in prime time, and he did not disappoint today. Ricky Barnum picked a bad time to get a suspension, becuase he will have to do a lot to win his job back.


September 3rd, 2011 at 8:19 PM ^

Third and longs should be major advantage defense to get off the field. I for one was not really impressed with Def. They were disorganized early and CBs didn't really cover all that well. I did like that whatever adjustments Mattison made were effective and by the third quarter our Def showed some improvement. Jury is still out hopefull learn some more after ND.


September 3rd, 2011 at 9:19 PM ^

Then we got torched and Mattison showed his blitzing pimp hand == Game Over

Kind of like the Mighty Eagle in Angry Birds.

Also, not having C Gordon or Woolfolk hurt in terms of Secondary and coverages.


September 4th, 2011 at 10:43 AM ^

It looked to me like Michigan was trying to get by with a vanilla defense early on. Perhaps to not show much to ND. When they saw this wasn't working the blitzing started.

Another thing is that early on WMU was making very quick throws or throwing off of play action. As WMU's QB's confidence grew they started taking deeper drops and it cost them.


September 3rd, 2011 at 7:54 PM ^

I was at the game, and I have to say that was the most fun I've ever had at a UM game. From "we want football" chants to emphasis on "hail," there was a lot of cool stuff going on. When the rain started coming down, the stadium was the loudest I've ever heard it. We were loving it.


September 3rd, 2011 at 8:00 PM ^

Pluses for me were Kovacs, Herron, Corners not being turrible, and the offense playing pretty well and getting into a groove.  The DL was worrisome for a while, but started to get a lot of pressure toward the end of the half-ish.  Overall I think the team lookedp oor at the start, possibly because of butterflies, and settled down nicely and corraled a future NFL QB.


September 3rd, 2011 at 8:03 PM ^

Although White kept catching passes, he was getting pounded almost every time. On his last catch he were T. Gordan put him in the ground he seemed pretty slow getting up. That fact that they were flying to the ball and punishing guys was great to see and I believe would have shown better results if the game had continued. They were great about having two, three, four... Eight guys around the ball on almost every tackle.


September 3rd, 2011 at 8:14 PM ^

"michigan defensive touchdowns" and the first hit I got concerning UM was for the 1997 team. I had an ambiguous impression over-all, but having Herron as a co-team-leading scorer made me think for a minute that it was 1980 again.


September 3rd, 2011 at 8:27 PM ^

After a false start in the 3rd quarter, Van Bergen was next to Carder and the ref with an open mic.  You can clearly hear him say, "We're coming again," to Carder.  That is definitely "Bad" ass.

Philip A. Duey

September 3rd, 2011 at 8:33 PM ^

The Good:

Brady Hoke Wet T-Shirt=happiness and rain-Bos

The Bad:

Rain washing out the game.

The Ugly:

John Saunders during a delay: "So The B1G has added 2 teams this year...how do you think Nebraska and Colorado will fare in their divisions?" ?!?!?!?!!!!!!


September 3rd, 2011 at 8:37 PM ^

They didn't get too many chances (team only ran 39 plays) but Fitz and Shaw both looked really good and really fast.

If they stay healthy this offense is pretty close to unstoppable.


September 3rd, 2011 at 9:07 PM ^

We basically only got to see half a game's worth of snaps from the O and the backs had just started to get the ball rolling (and open up play action).  And Denard missed what I think was a wide open TD to Dileo on the OOPS! play.

7.3 per carry (with Denard bringing down the average) is a nice little outing. 

The Irish are about to enter a world of pain.


September 3rd, 2011 at 8:53 PM ^

- Defense's first two drives seemed like Mattison was trying to play pure Vanilla. When they got picked apart, he started to tip a bit of his pimp hand and sent blitzes/disguised packages. That is when the magic happened.
- Lots of Dline comments. I am interested in seeing the UFR because it seemed like they didn't "rush" with the Dline much. Meaning, they stayed near the line of scrimmage to keep the QB from having running lanes or to prep for a screen.
I would be equally as curious to see what kind of protection packages WMU ran, because I think I saw a whole bunch of double teams from TEs and RBs.
- I LOVED the hitting that took place. When our boys arrived, they dropped the hammer. Even on "successful" plays for WMU, we had someone(s) close by to make the tackle.
- Big Plays == awesome. Though, I think Big Plays + Heat + Being more Vanilla = WMU offensive success. They had some loooong stretches out there.
- Offense. I liked the bits that we saw. I liked the power attack, especially out of the spread. It was nice to have some "non Denard" offense. Though, when we were up by bunches, I did not like the call to run Denard in the pouring rain. to me, that was one unnecessary hit that he took, especially when trying to establish our running backs (if we were losing or if it had been a closer game, I would feel differently).
- Denard throwing in the rain = scary. Denard throwing in general = ok. When he remembered his mechanics and threw with the appropriate footwork, he was on fire. When he started to throw with his weight on his back foot == bad news.

Ultimately, We got a bunch of Vanilla, with a tipped hand on defense. I think this sets a certain expectation level that we can be in most games... but with an understanding that there will be times that our defense and/or offense will struggle. However, with the recruits that we have coming in, I predict that Mattison will build us a championship level defense when this current class are Juniors/RS Sophs.