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11/04/2018 - 10:51am This is one game where I…

This is one game where I hope we pass minimally and just bang away. We have a bunch of RBs that could use more game work for next year. I would like to see Black catch a long TD though. We owe him one!

11/04/2018 - 12:27am I'm so happy to be wrong.

I'm so happy to be wrong.

This offense is progressing and looks great. Ask yourselves how many times we could have hit that deep ball to Black. It was probably there most of the game. Sure, there were some shit calls and the offensive explosiveness is clearly being held back in favor of suffocation, but it's there. And it'll need to be against OSU. That's a game where the ball-control gameplan may stutter and we'll need to score points. Seems like we can.

The offense is certainly better than LSU. We belong in the top 4.

11/01/2018 - 7:59pm Gunga Ga Lungala!

Gunga Ga Lungala!

10/21/2018 - 7:50pm Seems like the Lions have…

Seems like the Lions have found a running game. Could be decent things coming. 

10/21/2018 - 6:27pm It doesn't matter....Sparty…

It doesn't matter....Sparty already considers this game their Super Bowl. They are obsessed with M all year anyway. Might as well bring the swagger.

10/21/2018 - 12:02pm Scary stuff....

A few…

Scary stuff....

A few comments....

Shea is probably still learning the read they want him to make at the mesh.

He's probably still being coached to give most of the time, so it looks like he doing extra checks to make sure.

Defenses have seen this so much now that the option players are getting better and better at that "shuffle" technique discussed on the site to make the QB's decision difficult.

I really hope Shea comes back for one more year -- this offense has a chance to be special with him.

10/21/2018 - 11:56am I agree here...it seems like…

I agree here...it seems like he's thinking too much out there. Of course you have to think and analyze, but you also have to trust what you're seeing and let fly. This offense would progress near the level of the defense if we could hit slants and crosses - and utilize the RBs in the passing game more - with consistency.

That being said, I am wrong about this team. They are at a different level than previous Harbaugh teams here. It's so satisfying to watch a well-blocked pass play resulting in a absolute dime to a WR down the field. We have the potential to do great things, assuming we can maintain our intensity for the rest of the gauntlet.

And I'm happy to be wrong.

10/21/2018 - 2:09am SIAP: Rashan should backup…

oops

10/21/2018 - 12:35am Please don't ever retire,…

Please don't ever retire, Don.

10/21/2018 - 12:23am Less bad things can happen…

Less bad things can happen if you stick to the sidelines. It's clear to me that the O is conservative in the extreme.

Of course, less good things happen too....

10/21/2018 - 12:22am Seems like Shea's…

Seems like Shea's aggressiveness is being coached out of him. It's great to avoid the INTs, but at some point you have to take what's there. Either the offensive philosophy is so super-conservative that Shea is being affected, or he's losing confidence in himself. I don't really see a reason for the latter, so I think it's on the coaching.

With our D, the occasional INT would be vastly outweighed by the extra TDs. Encourage the man to release the hounds, especially against single coverage. That's what we're setting up by being so run-heavy - we need to take advantage.

10/14/2018 - 3:47pm If Shea stays another year,…

If Shea stays another year, we contend for the title. I hope some teammates are in his ear about that.

10/14/2018 - 3:43pm It's because our ways of …

It's because our ways of "shaking things up" are themselves predictable. We think we're going to fool people, and we don't. It's almost like the brain trust isn't as clever as they think. They figure, "oh, we'll get em with this" and the other team goes, "oh, we saw this personnel setup on film, M is doing this".....and we do.

10/14/2018 - 11:50am On rewatch, I saw a couple…

On rewatch, I saw a couple missed blocks -- granted one was out on the edge and maybe it's not fair to ask him to make that block against a speedy edge guy -- and missed blocks get you pine, I would assume.

10/12/2018 - 12:28pm Throw the damn ball. A lot…

Throw the damn ball. A lot. Start by throwing it, mix in some runs, and then throw it some more. If we do this, we could lead by 21 at half and then it's game over.

I know we won't do this, but we damn well should. If we run 65% of the time on standard downs in THIS game, everyone should be fired. Ha, okay, not really, but damn.....we really need to be pass-heavy in this game.

 

10/08/2018 - 9:26pm Wishing you the best of…

Wishing you the best of everything, Ace. You have been awesome and you will continue to be so!

10/08/2018 - 12:02am was that his fifth game? If…

was that his fifth game? If so, that's a gaffe.

 

10/07/2018 - 10:23pm The problem with the ND game…

The problem with the ND game was scheduling. First game, road game, night game, breaking in a new QB. If the game was played this week, it's much closer to a win, though the road struggles still are the elephant in the room.

I am in "show me" mode about the road games. I think we beat Wisconsin this week.

10/07/2018 - 8:24pm Many teams attempt an onside…

Many teams attempt an onside kick in that situation, as the downside is reduced.

10/07/2018 - 4:10pm LOL'd at leap tall buildings…

LOL'd at leap tall buildings....he should wear a Superman T-shirt underneath....

10/07/2018 - 11:49am Oh, and it's clearly still…

Oh, and it's clearly still us versus the officials which I just do not understand.

10/07/2018 - 11:43am I've been as negative as…

I've been as negative as anyone here about the offense, but I just don't get the negativity after this game. It was destruction, plain and simple. The offense fired in both phases and the defense dominated. We score more aside from BS penalties.

If this is are offense going forward, mixing in more passing concepts and using the middle of the field, taking the easy yards, then we have a shot in any game. Be positive.

10/04/2018 - 10:29pm You have those comments, but…

You have those comments, but then you also have comments from teams saying they knew what Michigan was going to run. Clearly NW knew as well. So, as was said, the offense certainly is complex and nuanced, but also predictable in some way. Maybe it's not supposed to be predictable, but teams *are* predicting it successfully -- and laymen are predicting it as well - so something's being made obvious. And it's been this way a long time.

Also, I hope M's offense isn't quashing Shea's natural ability. I noticed quite a bit of hesitation on his part, almost as if he's thinking too much about not throwing INTs rather than using his ability to see, react, and fire. 

Lastly, it seems obvious that Shea is being told to give the majority of the time at the mesh. As was mentioned, he doesn't keep unless the field is blindingly open. I get that we don't want him hurt though.

And yeah, I know I'm biased. I hate this offense. It's too conservative and devoid of meaningful deception, and no one is being fooled. Too many things have to go right for decent gains. Just because it works sometimes doesn't mean it's good. Most often, it's as if the OC committee just says screw it, we will out-talent everyone. Works for tomato cans, leads to 8-4. And it's horrid to watch. As Brian said....FFS, throw the damn post. 

10/01/2018 - 8:51pm This is Harbaugh-at-Michigan…

This is Harbaugh-at-Michigan football. Primarily run, mega-conservative. Even in the passing game, they don't attack the middle of the field when it's there. Also, he goes into a shell in the fourth quarter, becoming even more conservative. It's maddening, but it is what it is. It's been that way since he got here (and in the Lloyd days, and in the Bo days) and it's lost us games, and will continue to do so.

09/30/2018 - 5:10pm Ghost with the perfect…

Ghost with the perfect response.

09/30/2018 - 5:06pm I'd love to see some…

I'd love to see some analysis regarding looks and personnel groupings tipping certain plays. There's no doubt our opponents generally know what's coming much of the time.

We just don't seem to care. Bigger/Stronger/Tougher. Won't work later on in the year though, just like always.

09/30/2018 - 4:43pm Solid points, but the same…

Solid points, but the same narrative for the entirety of JH's tenure. I really hope he is saving constraints/counters for games besides OSU, but I'll believe it when I see it.

That four-receiver formation was nice (was it illegal?) and I hope we see more creativity like that.

09/30/2018 - 4:17pm This is correct and…

This is correct and frustrating. Too much fear of the INT. You have playmakers, let em play.....

09/30/2018 - 2:05am The same ol' broken record. …

The same ol' broken record. 

The other team came out fired up (where's our fire?)

JH used a bland game plan because he's saving stuff (no, we've had 4 years of this - it is what it is, and it's square-peg-in-round-hole ad nauseum)

Game plan doesn't matter -- we won ( the whole point of the commentary is that this will not get it done against teams we want to measure up against and beat)

Everyone has a bad game (but we have bad games on the road every damn time we're on the road)

We're elite, but have bad luck (uhhhh, see OSU-PSU for elite)

But by all means, keep looking through the rose-colored glasses.

09/30/2018 - 12:51am There is definitely …

There is definitely *something* there. 

Most other B10 teams hate us, some to the point of deliberately trying to injure our players.

Our schedule seems to be unfairly difficult, between the unbalanced home/away splits and the crossover games, and this has not been corrected.

Across the board, the refs and replay officials seem to look the other way when fouls are committed on Michigan, even egregious violations like the targeting by Purdue on Speight. On the other hand, the refs seem to look for fouls to call ON Michigan -- see the spate of PI this season, which you know would never be called on PSU/MSU/OSU

All this while Michigan is (or should be) a flagship for the conference. A historically great program with over 100 years of relevance, excelling in academics and non-revenue sports, with a clean(ish?) FB program relatively free of scandal. Michigan travels well and makes TONS of $$ for the conference. Dare I say, we should be the recipients of favoritism, if there is any. Instead, we get the shaft in favor of known dirty programs that should be embarassments to the conference.

I just don't get it.....

09/29/2018 - 9:44pm This narrative has to die…

This narrative has to die. What you've seen is what we are....perhaps until Ohio State.

09/29/2018 - 8:57pm Elite? Holy fuck.....

Elite? Holy fuck.....

09/29/2018 - 8:35pm An offense this uncreative…

An offense this uncreative and piss-poor in the straight-up run game won't win any road game against a team with a pulse. 7-5 or 8-4, you flip a coin.

Why a run-focused team with proven ability to put OL into the NFL can't recruit big-time OL is beyond me.

09/29/2018 - 5:31pm Fuckin' slants and in routes…

Fuckin' slants and in routes. Almost like they've scouted us, and prepared. Do our coaches take Mon-Thurs off or something?

"No, Don, Pep and I are going to Vegas until Friday...it's only NW week after all"

09/29/2018 - 5:25pm Typical road bullshit…

Typical road bullshit.....stupid fuckin' play calls, no fire, no intelligence at all on O.....these O coaches suck ass, and have for the whole of JH's tenure -- except Jedd Fisch I guess.

FUCK!

09/29/2018 - 5:22pm Slow-developing flat pass on…

Slow-developing flat pass on 3rd and 2? The fuck are these play calls?

09/29/2018 - 5:17pm Hot garbage on the road for…

Hot garbage on the road for over 10 years....and apparently no clue on how to fix it....

09/29/2018 - 4:53pm I assume we ran into a wall…

I assume we ran into a wall on the first two plays? And then NW's first play is a slant, because they seem to have scouted us.

 

09/29/2018 - 4:51pm And we miss the kick and two…

And we miss the kick and two plays here in NY! Thanks for those commercials!

09/22/2018 - 11:04pm A nice game for sure! Run…

A nice game for sure! Run blocking was better, pass blocking was better, the big plays were there, and the defense was murdering people.

I'll save any negative comments for later in the week. I'm upgrading my prediction to 8-4. We'll beat the tomato cans. We'll win one of MSU/Wisconsin. But we have to keep improving to be in the game with PSU or OSU.

09/19/2018 - 12:59am I completely agree here. We…

I completely agree here. We have years and years of data that this strategy does not work against the good teams. We try it exactly the same way, it fails, then we try to do what should have been done in the first place, and we're too far behind for it to work. Plus, the defense is gassed from the 3-and-outs. Ballgame.

And we're doing exactly the same thing this year, and folks are rationalizing it the same way. I love this site, and these people are very, very smart, but damn. It's the same rationalization. We're practicing, we're repping, we're planning constraints. Trust in JH.

No.....this IS the philosophy. The whole damn thing. Run into stacked boxes because we should be able to. Don't take what the defense gives, because we should be able to do what WE want. Difficulty set to HARD, because that's the way to do it. Run seventy kabillion formations just to run left. Rep power, inside zone, outside zone, stretch, because we're Michigan and dammit we can be good at all of it. But don't scheme to stop a double A gap blitz, ever. Did you ever think that Warinner commented as such because that is the only plan going forward? I'm afraid it is.

Sorry, I'm ranting incoherently.

I'll stop. Look, I hope I'm wrong. Please, Michigan football, prove me wrong. Show a creative, effective gameplan starting next week in conference play. I want to watch live again, I want to be impressed. Show that Shea can be given freedom and can burn the hell out of that stacked box at will. Show that WMU and SMU were glorified practices. Show that the only reason that you didn't have ANYTHING for the good teams on the schedule was because of personnel.

Please. Show this.

09/18/2018 - 7:12pm It's not a case of not…

It's not a case of not understanding. It's more of a feeling of resignation. This was being repped because this is Michigan under JH. Bang into that brick wall because that's what you do.

(warning: intentional run-on)

So always do that, until OH SHIT it's halftime and we're down 17-0 and crap now we better pass and OH SHIT it's not working because we haven't repped that enough because of brick wall banging and that team is actually good and shit we should have assumed we needed to pass but oh well at least MANBAW.

(intentional run-on over)

The difficulty slider is always on HARD because we are not trying to do EASY enough. The Michigan way.

 

09/17/2018 - 8:50pm So much this.

So much this.

09/17/2018 - 8:48pm I wanted them to pass to set…

I wanted them to pass to set up the run from the get-go. Two (really three) failed drives against OSU/PSU and maybe MSU/Wisconsin and we're likely down 14-0. And we all know that JH has that explosive offense ready to go to come from behind. Especially on the road. Ugh.

Yes, the offense was firing after that. Because we were passing more. Let's do that from the start, instead of running into a brick wall for most of a quarter. It's a dangerous move.

M needs to be more aggressive and creative. I'll say it until I see it.

09/17/2018 - 8:43pm Gotta agree here -- at some…

Gotta agree here -- at some point the AD has to be smart. Don't schedule a tough game first. Find some way to straighten out the schedule so we don't have an *impossible* task every two years. Seems Warde is soft as ten-ply. I wish Hackett would have stayed on.

09/16/2018 - 11:55pm Excellent points Delhi. This…

Excellent points Delhi. This is the kind of back-and-forth that's great on the site.

2. Nice comments here. Absolutely true. But I guess what I was meaning here was that early in the game it's always very similar (run first) and often it's a run on early downs. I didn't say that, this is just on further reflection.

3. I agree that good things happened. The reason I said it like that is it appears that's how JH sees it. We seem reluctant to "release the hounds" with the pass game until it's necessary (or way past necessary) and that's frustrating with a mobile 5* QB and good receivers. Yeah, I know, pass pro has been sucking and we don't want Shea killed, but it would be nice if we could do something to keep an opponent guessing. I like the comment on the defense. 

4. Yep, you're right. I suppose what I meant was "early in the game", but I didn't put that in there.

5. Disagree here, creativity can help relieve the pressure of the sellout LBs and 9-man boxes and can help the line long-term. Let's put some hesitation in the defense.

Again, thanks for the smart points and keeping it civil. Refreshing on here for sure.

09/16/2018 - 1:30pm This thread should be…

This thread should be deleted. 

09/16/2018 - 12:59pm The more I think about it,…

The more I think about it, JH isn't just in Bo's coaching tree -- he wants to run the offense just like Bo. I wouldn't be surprised if his thoughts go something like this:

1. We want to control the game with our run offense. (A decent idea)

2. Opponents stacking the box? It doesn't matter, we are Michigan, we are the best and should be able to impose our will. (Outdated philosophy - 70s and 80s)

3. Passing to open up the run? Well, when you pass, three things can happen and two are bad. (True, but outdated, and doesn't consider personnel this year) 

4. So, we can pass when we have to, but they have to be conservative passes to flat/sideline. (Bad things still can happen, and limits the damage the passing game can do)

5. Creativity? Nope, not really necessary, we are Michigan (see #2)

We know for a fact that opponents how what's coming, and teams that are equal in talent know how to stop it. Just in the East, we have two teams with more talent than us (OSU/PSU) and one team that plays to our level every year (MSU). In the West, Wisconsin's run game is superior to ours. Without creativity, we go 7-5 this year.

I've been watching the same passes to the flat and waggle plays for 35 years. Michigan has not progressed, and they're being left behind by innovation (speed option, etc) and superior recruiting.

Also, the reason that Michigan doesn't seem to have an identity is because our identity (be tougher, run between the tackles even against superior numbers) doesn't really work against teams with a pulse. When that happens, we haphazardly throw in pass plays without any seeming rhyme or reason and then try to get back to our faulty "identity" ASAP.

It's Hoke with better players. And, it's boring as fuck, even when it works.

09/15/2018 - 11:51pm JH will not implement more…

JH will not implement more of the playbook. This is his playbook. He hasn't "opened it up" since he's been here. Not sure why people think he will.

Brown will not adjust. He hasn't adjusted significantly since he's been here. Not sure why people think he will.

7-5. What a waste of our first damn good QB in a decade.

09/15/2018 - 11:33pm Vanilla is what we have...it…

Vanilla is what we have...it's what we are. JH opens it up when he feels like he has to, and not before. Don't think you're going to see more flash against better teams, because I don't think it happens. It's still sludgefart, but at least with Shea, it's better sludgefart. It's almost like JH says, "oh, okay, fine, we'll pass now." This year, unlike the past two, we have a good QB...not utilized to his potential, but competent for sure. We've been saying, "it'll open up" for years. It won't.

Against OSU/PSU/MSU/Wisc, JH will be too stubborn, wait too long. That's one reason why we'll finish 7-5. Offense circa 1982.

Not the only reason, of course, but this is the offense thread.