MGoPodcast 3.1: Flabbergasted

We have successfully done this two straight weeks. This one comes in at just under an hour. Feed may not be working quite yet, unfortunately.


That. We mumble for a bit about whatever that was and how much sleep we have not acquired.

Offense bitchin'! We complain about the general unsustainability of what worked on offense, praise Junior Hemingway, wonder why Denard can't throw straight no more.

Defense analyzin'! We had no expectations for the defense; we talk about it anyway.

Ace is flagged for inappropriate touching. We also talk about what it was like on the field at the end there and if I actually have to pay him to do this job. Survey says: probably not.

Big Ten Previewin'. There are a half-dozen interesting games in the league this weekend, if you count the vague upset possibility lurking in Temple-PSU, which we do. Jamiemac returns to preview the slate. Toledo-OSU is also batted about for fun, and some sighing about the Rocket QB not keeping the ball on that one zone read.

There is not one word about Eastern Michigan.

World's most bizarre Notre Dame alumn Ted Leo is the featured musical guest.

The usual links:

Next week: more!



September 12th, 2011 at 3:52 PM ^

Maybe I'm stupid, but I'm having the same problems. Just searching for the podcast and trying to d/l direct from my iphone, I just see it updated to Podcast 2.5, and when I try to download that or any other mgopodcast, it says it can't be played on the phone. Haven't tried to download this with itunes yet but for the last podcast, didn't work (this was after Brian updated the link).

Any help would be appreciated!


September 12th, 2011 at 3:24 PM ^

I'm just going to throw this out there.  I think that Brian is a bit upset about TomVH leaving MGoBlog at least that is what I took away from that.  Pretty snarky Brian.  


September 12th, 2011 at 3:30 PM ^

Honestly, I don't see how throwing jumpballs to a guy (Hemingway) with great body control is any less sustainable than last year's preferred method of moving the ball (riding Denard until his limbs fell off).  If Junior faces single coverage (and he probably will most of the time, given that stopping Denard has to be a major priority for every defense), he's going to beat his man to the ball if it's a catchable throw.  ND's Gary Gray does not represent some nadir of pass coverage ability.  He's about an average college cornerback.  Very few of them make plays on downfield throws when in single coverage.


September 12th, 2011 at 4:00 PM ^

I still don't understand the gripe with Borges. He's trying to diversify the offense. They run mostly shotgun, so how do you think Borges is "who he is" and doesn't understand Denard like RR. RR's offense consisted of short and mid ranges passes and running Denard until he was hit out of the game. That's not effective, IMO.

The offense was good last year against crappy teams. Look at the quality opponents we played. We were anemic. Let's see how the rest of the season plays out.

If Denard can't hit open receivers down the field, we're toast, no matter what plays Borges is calling.


September 12th, 2011 at 4:19 PM ^

It's about predictability and effectiveness.  The I-form downs are frequently wasted downs unless Denard or a WR does something ridiculous.  There's simply more that fits the skill sets of the players currently on the team from the shotgun.  That super effective middle zone read player we ran 6-8 times to high effect, for example.  The I-form consists basically of four things right now:

1) Manball, which we do not currently have the power o-line to shove good defensive lines off the ball, nor the RBs (except perhaps Toussaint who seems shifty with some power) to really do well with it.

2) Playaction off the manball, which would work if manball did.  It did not.

3) Bootlegs, which everyone expects.  Can still be effective becasue of the thread of Denard's legs if he makes good decisions.

4) Straight drop back passing, which can lead to good things if Denard or a WR (Hemingway usually) makes a play

Shotgun gives you a stronger running game, both from Denard and the RBs, which means playaction works much better from it.  It also gives you the straight dropback passing, with (it seems to me) a higher comfort level for Denard.  When you have a transcendental player, you adapt to him, you don't try to adapt the player.  See Bo with AC, all the stuff we did with Desmond, the way Woodson was used, etc.  The goal here is to maximize Denard's effectiveness while transitioning to what the coaching staff is recruiting for.

I think that's the real tricky part.  You don't want to essentially be installing a new offense in year three after Denard graduates and you have something closer to a prototype pro QB running your offense.


September 12th, 2011 at 4:57 PM ^

I was hoping to see some bubble screens or short throws out into the flat. UM didn't seem to do either. Was that due to defensive alignment? It seemed like a lot of defensive throws were "all" or "nothing".


September 12th, 2011 at 8:33 PM ^

The iTunes link works for me (i.e. it brings me to the page), but the newest podcast showing is from 2010.  So when I subscribe, nothing downloads because iTunes shows nothing new is available.


September 13th, 2011 at 12:18 AM ^

I get the same.  Would love to have this download and update on my ipod automatically.  Quite a good podcast, and it makes the commute pass quickly.

I agree with many of the other sentiments on here.  I have lots of concerns that the only types of passing we seem to complete are downfield jumpballs or screens (if we don't overthrow them by 8 yards).  Denard is a dynamic, amazing player to watch, but he needs to be able to hit a hitch, a post, or a slant, and do it consistently, if we're to have any sort of luck in big ten play. 


September 13th, 2011 at 3:42 AM ^

Thanks for doing these Brian - I need more UM vs. ND NTL!   I need more Mgoblog.  like mixing peanut butter and chocolate....

... except iTunes fail for me as well.  I can't download it either so I'll patiently wait.


September 13th, 2011 at 3:21 PM ^

Big Al gets too much anti-love in the podcast.  The Gallon play at the end was a great design.  And the V Smith TD is exactly the type of "integrated" play calling and using DRob right that they were railing against.  Maybe they're right on the sum total for the ND game, though even then I'm willing to give Al some time to experiment.

I also disagree with the view that Wisconsin-Northern Illinois is an uninteresting game.  Phil Steele had Western, Toledo and NIU as the best 3 teams in the MAC.  I know you're really not supposed to do this, but I'll compare the Michigan, OSU and Wisconsin games against the MAC West trio.