WVU alum says RR will get it done

Submitted by Steve in PA on June 7th, 2010 at 9:40 AM

I went to an out of town basketball tournament that my son played in this past weekend.  At the first game a stranger comes up to me and comments on my Michigan visor I was wearing and asked what I thought of coach RR.

I told him that I thought he was a good coach coming into a situation with not much to work with and I hope he has the opportunity to get it done, but I had talked to some alums and people associated with the school at the PSU v Michigan baseball games and got the feeling that RR may be in his last year unless he produces now since the pressure is really on.

He said that would be a shame because they guy is a great coach.  He then told me that he's a WVU alum, but he thought RR made the right move since Michigan is a step up from there and that anyone who thinks it was a lateral is just fooling themselves.  Told me that he knows RR personally, but not as close as some of his friends and that RR has had them to AA for some games.

We talked a bit more and he made some very clear points...

If RR had a Pat White in his first year at AA none of the firing conversation would be happening now.  The WVU guy liked Tate a lot, but thinks he's too small/frail to play an entire season in that system.  Said there is no way Tate is the size he's listed at and pointed out a kid playing in the basketball game to show how big he really is.  Wasn't sure about DRob, but thinks if RR makes it to the Gardner era things will turn out just fine.

I thought I'd share this because even the rational WVU alums think RR can get it done with the right tools.



June 7th, 2010 at 9:49 AM ^

I think Tate can still get it done.  His durability would benefit greatly with better decision making. ( i.e.  not throwing the football when  his body is parallel to the ground)


June 7th, 2010 at 9:51 AM ^

but I think RR's fate here will hinge on how his defense performs this year and next. It's really hard to have a winning record if your defense can't stop anybody.

It is refreshing to hear praise for RR from a WVU alum, though. What so many WVU fans seem to ignore is that Don Nehlen himself told RR he should take the job in Ann Arbor.


June 7th, 2010 at 10:01 AM ^

The offense went from 20.2 to 29.5 ppg from 2008 to 2009. If the offense improves again this year in the same manner as it did from 2008 to 2009 (with the added depth in the O-line, increased effectiveness and experience of Tate and Denard, and a large stable of RBs, I wouldn't bet against it), and the defense stays just as bad as last year, I can quickly identify three games that flip from losses to wins in 2010 (Sparty, Iowa, and Purdue) and another (Ohio State) that turns into a toss-up.

Combine that with Illinois being unable to keep Michigan out at the 1 this year, and Penn State starting a potted plant at QB, and you can see pretty quickly that this is a minimum 12-1 season for RICH ROD.


June 7th, 2010 at 11:07 AM ^

that 38.8 ppg (i.e., another 2008-to-2009 leap in points) is not likely. But certainly the offense can help the defense without scoring lots more points -- by controlling the ball and thus the clock, committing fewer turnovers, and so on. A better offense means a less-tired defense with more time to adjust to what the other team is doing. In the second half with a lead, an offense that can run 8 minutes off the clock on a drive, regardless of how many points it gets, is a godsend to the defense.


June 7th, 2010 at 11:13 AM ^

Well, I'm not sure I agree that it's unlikely. It would be rather unusual, but unlikely? I dunno. The QB has a year of starting experience, his backup is the most dangerous player on the roster, the O-line has proper backups now and experience (the right side of the line this year might not be a revolving door), the wideouts/TEs are deep and experienced (Odoms, Roundtree, Koger and Stonum all could be all-conference performers this year), and.....

I'll give you a quick way to quickly get up to that point level. Last year Michigan scored on 64 of 94 trips into the red zone, a 68% clip. Its opponents scored at a 88% clip.

If Michigan matches its opponents' 2009 red zone proficiency in 2010, but only scores field goals, it's 2010 scoring total would increase by 57 points, or, go from 29.5 ppg to 34.25 ppg.

If Michigan matches its opponents' 2009 red zone proficiency in 2010, and scores an equal amount of touchdowns and field goals, its 2010 scoring total would increase by 93 points, or, go from 29.5 ppg to 37.25 ppg.

So with the returning depth and talent, I don't think it would be surprising at all if Michigan increased its ppg by 7 to 8 points. And if it does, 8 wins will happen, at a minimum.


June 7th, 2010 at 1:12 PM ^

Then I said, hold on, maybe. The only reason I don't think the original thought is completely ridiculous is that when I look at it, why should next years offense NOT increase as much in production? We have two QBs with a year of playing under their belts and DRob seems to have progressed significantly giving us two viable QBs who can actually, you know, throw the ball. The whole offense was young and as we know that leaves the steepest learning curve. I guess I would agree that another 10 points per would be extreme but if I go strictly off of what happened from 08-09, it doesn't seem unreasonable.


I do agree though, the key will have to be our defense playing like they did against OSU, not the second half of Illinois. I have some optimism though because big plays killed us. They were much more hurtful than long sustained drives down the field.


June 7th, 2010 at 11:00 AM ^

Not saying we can't win those games, but you have to take into account that those teams can have a better defense/offense too. I don't think going down to Columbus against OSU will be considered a toss up by most. We should be able to beat Purdue and MSU. I think we could pull off an upset against Iowa since we are at home, but let's not forget that Minor was the only reason we were in the game, and he isn't here anymore.


June 7th, 2010 at 11:17 AM ^

I was at that game. The Michigan offensive line bossed that game. That was not due to Minor, as Denard ran the ball down their throat in the fourth quarter as well.

Also, Minor and Mathews both had demoralizing fumbles which, in the case of the former, took 3 likely points off the board (oh, and the team lost by 2.), and the latter led to an Iowa TD.


June 7th, 2010 at 11:31 AM ^

This stable of running backs we have had the past two years has not produced a reliable standout yet. No A Train's, Perry's or Biakabutuka's, and of the smaller mold, no Mike Hart's or J Mo's.

Seems like our stable has been built on fragile speed good for two or three games a season. I was really hoping Minor could pull off one healthy Big Ten season, but it just wasn't to be. Maybe Barwis needs to adjust the knobs a little I don't know. Then again Mike Hart was 5-9 / 193 his freshman year.

So I am back to really hoping a stand out emerges from the stable, who, when on the field, really changes the dimension of the game for opposing defenses. The talent seems to be there. Just wish it would emerge.

Sometimes I wonder if this open competition at positions like running back, QB, etc. is really more motivation without eventual publically declared winners ...


June 7th, 2010 at 11:18 AM ^

One thing I've meant to mention in the past when I've seen these stats thrown out there..... 

Without Delware State, the 2009 ppg would drop to 26.5.  I think 33 ppg this year is realistic and may be needed giving the uncertainty of our defense.


June 7th, 2010 at 12:15 PM ^

DSU isn't even in the same league as Michigan.  That would be like the Yankees playing the Mud Hens and scoring 40 runs, then figuring in those 40 runs at the end of the season.

We don't normally play FCS schools, so therefore, there's no reason to include those schools when comparing stats from season to season.


June 7th, 2010 at 2:57 PM ^

You were implying that it's a creampuff game because they're FCS and thus the stats shouldn't be included.

That game was on the schedule.  We played it.  It just so happens we won easily.  Should we exclude every other game we've won by 50+ in the past hundred years?

I'm not trying to be a dick but technically we're batting .500 against FCS teams over the past 22 years, assuming what you said is correct.  We're obviously better than that against the Big Ten so I don't see any reason to automatically exclude them.


June 7th, 2010 at 3:17 PM ^

I don't know what our record is against FCS/DI-AA schools historically, but 2 games is not a significant sample size. 

The point is, comparing scoring averages from season-to-season when most seasons don't include a creampuff FCS school is kind of silly.  Yes, that score is in the record book.  It will be forever (unless something weird happens).  That doesn't mean that we should expect another 9-point increase in Michigan's points per game average.


June 7th, 2010 at 3:30 PM ^

Your point might be a little stronger had the results of the past 2 years not been so night and day. You say we shouldn't look at the creampuff stats because we don't usually play those types of teams. We do play MAC teams and creampuffs of that nature every single year. It just so happens that in 08, we beat 1 crappy MAC team by 13 points and lost to the other. Then, in 09, we beat 1 crappy MAC team by 3 touchdowns and beat the other by 4 touchdowns. Should we not take into account those stats because we beat those MAC teams by so many points? If we aren't counting baby seal stats last year, I would love to not count anything from the Appy State game then. Truth is, the end result of any game on the schedule can go very different than what we expected (Toledo, Appy State), but that doesn't mean we can just throw out stats where we played really well because they don't fit into our argument.


June 7th, 2010 at 4:59 PM ^

I'm saying last year's scoring stats should be taken with a grain of salt.  When you can beat a team 63-7 by mainly relying on your normally bewildered, backup QB (Robinson); your third and fourth string running backs (Smith and Cox); and a smattering of other backups, then the talent discrepancy is illustrated pretty well.

Expecting another 9-point jump in PPG is extremely unlikely.  As somebody else posted, 38 PPG would most likely make Michigan a top 10 scoring offense.

We should compare from season to season when including MAC schools, because we always play MAC schools (or the equivalent, like Conference USA).  However, like I said, we've only played two FCS schools in the last 22 years (Appy St. and DSU).  Kids at those schools typically weren't offered scholarships from FBS schools.  It's a little silly to compare those stats to 2008, because those 63 points are a huge outlier.  IIRC, the second-highest output last season was 45 against EMU, which is still 18 points less than the DSU game.  That game skews the stats significantly.


June 7th, 2010 at 10:38 PM ^

Yeah, but we lost to to a MAC sellar-dwellar the year before and we beat a MAC sellar dwellar by 4 touchdowns the year after. Shouldn't we be looking at our scoring average last year minus the DSU, Western, AND the Eastern game? I mean, why look at the MAC scores when we just beat them so badly every time we play them? I mean, if you beat 2 MAC teams 76-24, why would you count their stats? Those should be taken with a grain of salt because we whooped their asses so badly.


June 7th, 2010 at 10:45 PM ^

Because we PLAY MAC SCHOOLS EVERY YEAR.  It's relative because our scoring average doesn't fluctuate based on playing different caliber opponents.  It's not like we're playing out-of-conference games against Texas, Alabama, and Florida every year and then suddenly we played a bunch of MAC schools in '09.  You can include MAC schools when comparing between 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, etc.

However, when you score 63 points (which is probably the most or second-most points we've scored in the last 20 years) against an FCS opponent, it makes that point total such a huge outlier that it throws any useful statistics out of whack.  It made Denard Robinson look like a good quarterback.  It made Vincent Smith look like he could average 10 yards a carry. 

Anyway, this conversation is dumb.  I don't know why I'm still participating.  Good night.


June 7th, 2010 at 12:11 PM ^

My point was that Michigan put up a shit ton number of points against Baby Seal U and their non existent defense.  I realize that throwing out one team may seem arbitrary, since all results are circumstantial.  However, when using last year's number as a prediction for offensive potential, I can't take any stats serious that include that game.

I have never used the season stats as a predictor for the next season, at least to my recollection.  However, if there was an opponent that was similarly outclassed as Delaware State was, I'm pretty certain that I would ignore those stats, no matter who Michigan's coach was at the time.


June 7th, 2010 at 2:09 PM ^

Michigan's offensive production was good last year, though the turnovers still were too high.  They just couldn't stop the better teams, especially late in the game.  Hopefully, this was a depth issue and we will see a marked improvement this year.  Otherwise, RR can have a whole team of Pat White's and we still will not be vying for the conference title.

Without a defense we will be, at best, a second tier B10 team. RR has 1-2 years to get back to at least where LC was (and, remember, LC was more or less pressured out because his performance was considered not good enough) or we will be looking for a new head coach (possibly Harbaugh or Miles).

I really want to see RR succeed, beginning with an 8+ win season this year.  I am beginning, however, to wonder if he just doesn't have the defensive chops or has the wrong assistant coaches on that side of the ball.  We will see.


June 7th, 2010 at 9:56 AM ^

I do think RR is a good coach who came into a rough spot.  His future is not, in my opinion, dependent on Tate or any other quarterback.  We finally have some quality depth at QB.  This team will score points.  The wins and losses will be decided by whether or not the D can make some strides forward from last year.  Ultimately, those wins and losses will determine if RichRod has the time to finish building this team to its potential.

OSUMC Wolverine

June 7th, 2010 at 10:02 AM ^

A midling defense in the Big Ten this year could easily put us in major bowl contention.  A midling defense is not out of the question.  If the Iowa coaches based on HS performance could have had our personel this year versus theirs, they would have taken a majority of ours at that time.  It just needs to come together.  It will come.


June 7th, 2010 at 11:14 AM ^

What did he say about Tate that makes him an idiot?  All he said was that he's too small and too frail to play QB in this system all season.  Maybe he's right and maybe he's not, but that's not such a far-fetched statement that it makes him an idiot.  There's no doubting Tate is small, and he hasn't exactly proven to be overly durable either.  I'm not saying this guy is 100% right by any means, but last season would do a decent job of backing up his point.


June 7th, 2010 at 11:21 AM ^

Tate was a true freshman playing behind a make-shift offensive line that almost got him killed on a regular basis. With a separated shoulder, he threw a 36 yard game winning TD against Indiana. He played the entire year and had great statistical games except when, you know, he played against stellar defenses and was playing through an injury. If you review his statistics, he had a fantastic year FOR A TRUE FRESHMAN whose offensive line was 3/5 makeshift.

Tate is bigger than Drew Brees. The durability meme is getting old. Perhaps the issue is allowing Tate to set his feet, instead of having him run for his life.


June 7th, 2010 at 11:30 AM ^

Thank you.

The guy is just some random at a basketball game with zero qualifications to judge anything other than, "I'm a WVU alum and I sort of know RichRod."  I can just envision listening to this guy babbling on about how Tate's too small and fragile while saying things like, "There's no way he's as big as listed" and "He's smaller than that guy over there," with zero basis in fact other than, "Hey, I saw him on TV a couple times.  He looks small."  I'd want to choke him just to get him to stfu.  The guy probably hasn't seen Tate play a third as much as anybody here.  He's an idiot.

Steve in PA

June 7th, 2010 at 11:39 AM ^

His statements about Tate's size weren't, "I saw him a couple of times on TV"

The were more like, "We met a lot of the players when we were at a few games on the sidelines courtesy of RR and my son got to meet Tate and talked to him for a bit.  Tate's a great kid, but I wonder if he's big enough".  I summarized for sake of the original post and maybe I should have made it clearer that he wasn't knocking Tate.


June 7th, 2010 at 11:42 AM ^

Just because the guy didn't start by rattling off his football credentials and then says something you disagree with, this does not make him an idiot.  And if he's approaching a Michigan fan with the intent to talk football rationally, he might very well be a guy who knows a bit about our team, especially considering his opinion of RR. 

I'm sick of hearing the "Tate's fragile" meme as much as the next guy, but until Tate plays a full season without getting injured, I can't exactly call a guy an idiot who uses it.

And "I'd want to choke him just to get him to stfu?"  Come on. 


June 7th, 2010 at 11:30 AM ^

Hey, I like Tate, and I'm not saying that this guy is right about him.  I was just saying that someone isn't an idiot by questioning Tate's size and durability.  Have there been smaller QB's than Tate who have  been successful?  Absolutely.  Is it possible Tate's injuries were either flukes or due to things out of his control (OL protection, for one)?  Sure.  But with the one year we have ti go by, one could easily make an argument either way and not be way off base. 


June 7th, 2010 at 11:38 AM ^

Maybe what's in the OP isn't 100% accurate, but I guess it's things like saying there is "no way" he is the size listed that get on my nerves.  The guy is stating things as fact that may or may not be true and when I start hearing stuff like that from randoms, I immediately discount them as idiots.


June 7th, 2010 at 2:15 PM ^

How do you have that many points? You seem like a huge tool. Or 13 years old. Were you out on the playground last time you choked someone to get them to shut the fuck up? Even if you have valid points, no one is ever going to take anything you say seriously if you sound like a childish douchebag.


June 7th, 2010 at 11:43 AM ^

I think the fact that Tate missed exactly ZERO games while playing with a separated shoulder (he mostly sat out the soup can, but could have played if needed), and had compiled these stats in November games:

15/24 for 212 yards with one TD, as well as a rushing TD

20/26 for 188 yards with 2 TDs.

23/38 for 226 yards with 1 TD (yes, I know, 4 INTs, that was a good defense)

really puts a hole in your argument that Tate has durability issues.

Brandon Minor? Yes

Carlos Brown? Yes

David Molk? Yes

Tate Forcier? No.


June 7th, 2010 at 11:49 AM ^

First of all, it's not my argument.  I never said that I don't think Tate is durable or that I think he's injury prone.  The only argument I was making was that if a guy said (and he did), "Tate might be too fragile to play a full season without getting injured" he's not automatically an idiot for making that statement.  Sure, Tate played in all of our games.  But he wasn't healthy in a lot of them, and if we had a legitimate option backing him up, I bet he may have missed a couple starts if not full games.  Tate was our only option to win games last year, and many have attributed some of his sub-stellar games and moments on his injury. 

Let me reiterate:  I do not think Tate is injury prone.  So stop attacking my as if this is my argument.  But if someone said "based on last season, Tate might be injury prone," that person is not an idiot based on that statement alone.

willis j

June 7th, 2010 at 12:00 PM ^

now or when he was in college? Either way . Tate is not bigger. Pictures are Tate the end of Frosh season. Brees as a Soph and brees now. Purdue page liests him as 220


NFL.com lists him at 210

Tate is listed at 194 on the most current spring roster. Tate is listed and visibly smaller than Brees. If Tate can play at 205-210 that would be great. You might be sick of hearing it but he is fragile at this size. Weather or not he has a good Offensive Line he is going to take hits. And take hard hits. I love Tate but he needs to get bigger and play smarter.

We can sit here and compate height and weight all day. But I personally feel Tate is smaller than  his listed size.  He is not much bigger than me and I have 6" on him.


June 7th, 2010 at 11:12 AM ^

I just pray that RR can get some improvement this year to get him to 2011. RR is a good coach in my opinion, and I seem to follow the sentiments of the OP that he walked into a very difficult situation. If RR is fired, we walk into another rebuilding process, and while it won't be quite as drastic as the RR transtiion, it could be catastrophic in keeping the program down long enough that we become a middling program unable to reascend the mountain.


June 7th, 2010 at 11:15 AM ^

This guy didn't really say anything that we didn't all already know:

RR was a great coach at WVU - agree

If we had Pat White at QB we would have had a better record than if we had Nick Sheridan - wait, he way saying that if you took an unathletic walk-on and replaced him with an NFL calibar QB, you would do better?  Also, if we had Charles Woodson, I bet our defense would have been better too.

As for the part on Tate, yes he is small - happy that this WVU fan has eyes and can see that.  But, if he learns to throw the ball away more when nothing opens up, instead of trying to outrun 5 large men, he will be fine.  Also, I think that he could benefit from some better pass protection.  There have been small QBs that have been successful in the college came.  Drew Tate, for example.

Not ripping on your post, just saying that what this random WVU alum said is nothing that we haven't all be saying for 2 years.