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11/17/2015 - 1:23pm That's the first thing I

That's the first thing I thought when I saw this list.  Funchess probably has better physical tools, but Gallon was far and away more productive.  

11/01/2014 - 2:04pm I feel like I'm taking crazy

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.  Keep Nussmeier?  He's the guy in charge of the unit cratering this team.  

Now, a lot of that I blame on Hoke because I think his vision for offense is flawed in sacraficing speed for size in recruiting.  But Gardner has been much worse and we haven't seen many if any of the changes I thought Nuss could bring to play to Gardner's strengths.  

There are a lot of excuses, but you can't tell me other offensive coordinators couldn't have gotten a lot more out of these players.  I'm pretty sure Borges did just that last year.  

10/19/2014 - 1:15pm I would argue his play in

I would argue his play in 2011 was mostly "solid".  The team went 11-2 and he was far and away the focal point of the offense in the running and passing game.  Even with Denard being completely misused often, that team had many good offensive performances that year.  

03/27/2014 - 1:22pm Maybe the simplest solution

Maybe the simplest solution would be for the players to be allowed to sign endorsements, etc.  

To me, that's the only exploitative part about the situation for the players.  Are they getting fully compensated for their worth?  No.  But there's no guarentee to that, and they are all free to quit at any time.

I also think 95% of us would trade spots with them, and I know my loan debt would.   

11/18/2013 - 2:04pm I didn't know what this meant

I didn't know what this meant when I got it a week ago.  Now I do.  And I know I was put on this earth to spread this message to every corner of the MGoBlog community on this day.  

11/15/2013 - 12:18pm Cheesecake Factory offense
Cheesecake Factory offense that in fact allows teams to cheat like a mother to things like the inverted veer without ever worrying that Gardner is going to put a throw on their face once they see veer handoff action.
This a thousand times. I noticed this, and the fact that the linebackers turn into backfield seeking missiles when the veer is deployed leads me to believe that other coaches have to. Also, the utter lack of screen passes allows the defense to be ultra aggressive and in turn makes our line look worse than it is. It's not like teams are simply beating us with the 4 man rush. They are committing extra linebackers to the rush, which leaves a weakness that can be exploited. IMO, we haven't been calling the plays to do this. Would this solve all of our problems? No. But we would look a heck of a lot better and would be more productive.
11/13/2013 - 12:30pm Great analysis.  This post is

Great analysis.  This post is not meant to be technical, just an overview.  

I guess my thought is that I really do think most of the plays should work in theory.  However, it just feels like Borges makes his plays harder to execute because the defense can be so aggressive and he does not play to his own strengths.  I mean, just as a fan I see a team struggling with pressure run only 2-3 screens a game which seem to always be successful.  This just seems indefensible to me.  That was a staple of Michigan's pro-style for years.  Nebraska and MSU seemed to blitz relentlessly with no reprocussions.      

Also, how do we not get Toussaint and Gallon more involved in the short passing game?  Both are solid with the ball in their hands and it would take a lot of pressure off of Gardner.  I've gone to the past two games, and I've seen Gardner take multiple sacks where there isn't a reciever closer than 30 yards downfield and no short checkdown.

To me, some things are just appear obvious in this offense.  We don't pass when we show the read option on the veer, we don't throw quick passes to exploit cusion or bad tackling on the perimeter, and we are one of the worst teams in the country in terms of executing the running game.  All we see here is a blown up play, but we don't see is how opposing coaches have approached our offense.  I think the results speak for themselves to a certain extent.  


11/06/2013 - 1:05pm I'm not saying that was my

I'm not saying that was my "expectation".  But the hype was that Thomas was going to be a contributor/starter in nickel situations.  The freshman in his place have struggled.  I'm not trying to blame anyone, but their understandable struggles really hurt us in the Penn State game and at other times.

Everything else seems to be what I was expecting besides our less aggressive nature.  Good, not great defense, which struggles to get pressure but is pretty solid.  

11/05/2013 - 5:13pm This is actually a great

This is actually a great discussion.  I'd argue it's the most dissapointing part of the defense this year.  Had he been able to lock down that nickelback spot, we might have seen a lot fewer disasters with Countess on the outside instead of the young guys Stribling and Lewis being beaten on huge plays int he Penn State, Indiana, and MSU games.  

10/17/2013 - 4:58pm Maybe it was because I was

Maybe it was because I was short.  But it always felt the bubble was easier when I played because I didn't have to find a  throwing lane, or read any linebacker.  I was reminded of this when I saw the PSU lineman on the play with his hands up, possibly disrupting the throw.  

I also believe that out play from the slot has also been picked off a couple of times by the outside CB coming off his man this year.   

10/17/2013 - 2:14pm I appreciate your

I appreciate your perspective, and I really value having an opposing viewpoint and pointing out the reasons for the play calls.  I've started following your stuff and am learning a lot more than I learned as a high school QB.  That being said, I think you pointed out what I feel are some important disadvantages in our offensive approach than what I've seen other teams employ.  I'm not making the argument he was too conservative, I just think our approach is not ideal.

First quote:  "Borges is likely thinking stacked box, but wants to see how PSU reacts, and wants to run a quick hitting play that is the least likely to lose yards and pick up something"

With sideline checks, coaches don't necessarily have to burn plays in order to react to the defense.  One could argue that you need to run the play to see how the corner plays the receiver, but I think we could have seen that in the first 80 plays of the game.  If you pass here instead of 2nd down, you have two plays to pick up the remaining 1 yard.  

Second quote, "If this pass is on target, the only difference between this and a bubble is that Gallon has now run the CB into the end zone and Dileo can turn it up field and probably get inside the 10 easily, if not score a TD."

Absolutely agree, if the pass is on target, this is a better play.  However, the advantages of the bubble  or just a simple dump off is that it is a much easier completion.  Gardner wouldn't have to deal with throwing lanes and lineman in his face, or any worry about the linebacker jumping the route.  This really illustrates my frustration with Borges not being able to get QBs easy completions.  I think that was apparent with Denard and his completion % decline under Borges, and the beauty of the horizontal passing game is it takes a lot of the pressure off the QB and puts it on the WRs to block and make people miss.  I just can't understand how we don't use more horizontal passing when we have a player like Gallon who is so good in space + the defensive alignments he gets.  

10/16/2013 - 12:08pm Nice Summary

This is the best summary I've seen of the problems with the Borges offense.  Although the bubble screen thing is been talked about ad nauseum, the fact is we are absolutely terrible at getting the ball in the hands of Gallon, or Toussaint, in the open field where they can make plays.  

I still don't know how you throw a screen out to Gallon, he gets 13 yards, and you never touch that play again.  Yet, you run Toussaint 27 times for essentially nothing.  Also, where the heck are the RB screens in this offense?  That was a bread and butter play for UM for years, an easy completion for your QB, and gets your running back the ball without a brick wall to run through.  

10/03/2013 - 2:58pm I was wondering the same

I was wondering the same thing.  I know that Brian offered the theory that Michigan only adopts tactics when the NFL does, but I'm not sure we've ever heard the coaches say this.

10/01/2013 - 9:01pm Shotgun

I just remember thinking to my then 15 year old self, "Wow, Michigan sure looks good on offense when they just go shotgun, 3-4 wide receivers every play, we should do that every game."  I didn't know at the time that this would be the national trend for the next 10 years.    

09/17/2013 - 3:28pm To be fair, I don't know that

To be fair, I don't know that they are impossible.  I'd have to look at some film other pro style attacks to see if they are forced to make the same blocks.  

I do know that our Oline has been almost completely incompetent for 3 years (not just this year w/ the young Oline) when the QB is out of the mix running, and I'm looking for reasons.  This includes Molk, Mealer, and now Miller.  It's the same this year against completely awful competition.  Maybe they are not impossible blocks to make, but when you can't make them against Akron, you better find something else to run against other people.

09/17/2013 - 12:55pm First, Glasgow is beating out

First, Glasgow is beating out scholarship players for his position.  So walk-on status doesn't really mean a whole lot.

Second, as others have pointed out, it seems like Glasgow and Miller are being tasked with impossible assignments that are just asking to get blown up and also deviate from normal Xs and Os of the running game.  Either way, its on the coaches to give them something more managable.

Third, this lack of production out of the I-form has been a consistent theme for awhile.  Not just these players.  

09/17/2013 - 12:40pm Great Post

I'm sitting at the game wondering to myself "why can't we run against Akron, and why can't we ever seem to run consistently out of the pro style set?"  Very difficult to get that sense without replays watching from the stands.

Well, it seems like this a partial answer here.  It seems to me that either (1) the players have been given impossible assignments by the coaches, or (2) the players are blowing their assignments.  

Either way this is incredibly frustrating and makes me slightly anxious for the future of our running game.  It's one thing if the players are just so bad that they can't make blocks.  We've got a lot more guys coming up and maybe that will solve the problem.  However, this seems like a structural error in our scheme that will always make running difficult.  This is year 3 of "the transition" and we still can't run consistently out of a pro style set and are forced to run read options to get any amount of consistency.  

09/11/2013 - 6:11pm Fitz

We keep saying that Fitz is good, just get him some blocks.  He definitely has the talent to be a great great back.  I'm just wondering if the vision is just not there to be elite.  He seems to struggle to find correct hole sometimes.  

(1)  Supposedly, the offensive line was wrecking people against CMU, yet Fitz's production seemed underwhelming.  

(2)  The play in the ND game where he made the fantastic jump cut seems to illustrate both his talent, and occassional lack of vision.  The hole to the right of his fullback was massive, and it seems like there is a good enough hole to squirt through between Miller and Glasgow, yet he chooses seemingly the most difficult option.

11/01/2012 - 2:27pm This is simply what happens

This is simply what happens when your coordinator is not able to use Denard's skills to open up opportunities for others.  All you need to look at is the severe dropoff in Roundtree's numbers the last two years to know that our the rest of our playmakers are not being put in the optimal position for their skills. 

09/17/2011 - 8:34pm This is exactly true.  Gotta

This is exactly true.  Gotta install some of the short bubble screen, quick pass type stuff.  Also, anything that uses Denard's legs to open up the passing game. 

The best sign all day to me was the TD to Dileo where the whole EMU defense bit on the Denard run, and Denard threw a strike to Dileo.  Much more of this needs to be installed.  The 5-7 step drops, and +30 yard passes are just never going to work with Denard's skillset.  Hopefully Borges will recognize this and adjust as the year goes on. 

11/15/2010 - 10:52pm Doesn't he have 2 carries for

Doesn't he have 2 carries for about 60 yards and a touchdown?  Granted it was garbage time.  But besides him being injured, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest he is "an average back".  We all really have no idea. 

Why am I even posting on this?  I feel dumber just thinking about this OP. 

11/13/2010 - 4:48pm I completely agree.  Its

I completely agree.  Its especially frustrating when its third down and he could easily make the first if he took off.  Yet he decides to chuck it deep.  It happened a couple times against Illinois.  It worked out for some big plays, but also cost us too when he threw at a tightly covered guy and we had to try a field goal.  My thought is on third you got to just get the first if its there.

11/04/2010 - 10:11pm Flying V

We only have the personnel to run the patented flying V defense.

Edit:  Guess I don't know how to post an image on the board.  I guess cut and paste doesn't cut it. 

10/28/2010 - 2:41pm I agree with you on Woolfolk

I agree with you on Woolfolk at free safety.  But I hope you're wrong that our current freshman won't be better than Rogers is now next year.  If that's the case we've failed in recruiting and development. 

07/28/2010 - 3:30pm those are great seats.  I'm

those are great seats.  I'm jealous.

07/28/2010 - 3:22pm My senior year

My senior year (last year)  I had a group of 7 and got the fourth row in section 26.  So all I can say is our large group didn't hurt us. 

In terms of seats close to the field, it's great when the team is on the student section side, but I couldn't see a thing on the other end and had to watch the screen a lot.  The one perk is we got to get on TV a lot for the Notre Dame game.  Otherwise I thought the seats sucked for actually watching most of the game. 

06/21/2010 - 11:40pm I like the style too.  I

I like the style too.  I guess the main thing I was suggesting is to change the background color to fill the endzone with more blue.  But I agree with you, I like the current font. 

06/21/2010 - 11:39pm Yeah, something like that. 

Yeah, something like that.  The only thing I would change is to make the font the same as it currently is and also the same size.

06/20/2010 - 1:46am I don't understand why people

I don't understand why people are calling it unoriginal.  Is it very creative?  Not really.  But it is pretty original.  I don't think any other student section has its band play temptation and do the "you suck" cheer. 

I personally love it because it keeps the section invovled and its fun to do (when you're not losing).   

06/02/2010 - 9:18pm I hope so.  I feel it

I hope so.  I feel it benefits the umpires more than anyone because they don't have to be perfect at their job.  I can't even imagine sports like football, hockey, or tennis without replay anymore.  It's helped tremendously.  I think baseball should follow suit. 

04/16/2010 - 9:51pm The problem is, with the way

The problem is, with the way our team is set up for 2011, you'd be doing the program a disservice by firing Rich Rod just because he fails to meet some arbitrary mark. Our team is stacked for 2011, and firing the coach and having to make that transition again would waste what's being built.

In my mind, I don't even count 2008 against him. More importantly, I see the future being laid for the program.

04/01/2010 - 10:02am Good to hear. Not really

Good to hear. Not really looking forward to playing Notre Dame for the next 20 years with Kelly as their coach. But maybe we could get an easy win this year.

03/25/2010 - 2:23pm Love to hear the good news.

Love to hear the good news. Anybody hear about players that are struggling? I don't like to hear players are struggling, but it does give a better idea of how the lineup is going to shake out.

03/16/2010 - 12:57pm Looks like Hawthorne didn't

Looks like Hawthorne didn't get a redshirt? For some reason I thought he did. That's too bad.

03/16/2010 - 12:14am I guess I consider a

I guess I consider a returning starter either one of the top 11 players or someone that earned significant shared playing time. I don't really consider Minor or Brown a returning starter because they didn't really play much when Hart was healthy.

Name me a team that had lost more offensive talent in one off-season than Michigan between the 2007 and 2008 season? Having only 6 players returning with any experience is pretty bad. Nobody's fault IMO, just a real setback for the program.

03/15/2010 - 9:04pm Ummm... Yeah it did take

Ummm... Yeah it did take years for Harbaugh. If you simply checked Jim Harbaugh's record you'd see that he went 4-8, 5-7, then 8-5. It takes time to build a program when you're starting from Threet and Sheridan and 1 returning offensive starter.

03/12/2010 - 5:01pm I think if you do a

I think if you do a "realistic assessment" of this game you'll see a great effort by our players wasted by very poor coaching strategy at the end. That is worth being upset about.

03/12/2010 - 2:11pm That's the problem. Stu's

That's the problem. Stu's hand isn't going to do anything to Turner's shot. There was an article after the last OSU game talking about how Stu basically admitted he had no chance guarding Turner. Also, why did he not have someone guarding him or the ball on the inbounds, and double-team the guy with the ball. They wouldn't have enough time to pass away from it and get a good shot with only 2 seconds left. He went into a zone, basically giving anyone who had the ball an open 3. Horrible, horrible coaching.

03/11/2010 - 8:45pm I think their complex was

I think their complex was solidified forever when Dantonio said "Go Bucks" when UM played OSU in 2008. A Michigan win would have given them a shot at a Big Ten championship.

03/09/2010 - 6:36pm Chem 125 Lab Lecture. Really

Chem 125 Lab Lecture. Really poorly done lecture, and horribly boring.

02/25/2010 - 9:55pm Hit the extra point, just

Hit the extra point, just missed the 30 yarder and 35 yarder to the right each time.

I found a new respect for kickers at Michigan stadium. The wind really ripped from the west when I was down there and I didn't even think it was that windy of a day.

02/25/2010 - 8:35pm I got to miss field goals in

I got to miss field goals in front of 50,000 people! But I got a bag, football, football helmet, and free books for a semester. It was worth the humiliation.

I've wanted a Michigan helmet since I was 4. Dream come true.

02/14/2010 - 3:19pm Not 10

The fact that you expect all of those freshman to play is the exact reason why we won't win 10 games. It is extremely rare for a freshman to come in and do great. Predicting 10 wins when you're secondary is that young is crazy.

02/11/2010 - 10:39am One Problem

I agree with you that Warren, Woolfolk, and Brown played well. But that means somebody is responsible for the bad plays in the secondary, and its not all on the other corner. Kovacs played well for a walk-on as you stated, but I think we're in trouble if he stays in the secondary. He's a solid tackler, but really doesn't have the speed to make plays and stop big plays that go through the secondary. I can remember a couple off the top of my head where a quicker safety would have stopped a big play off the ground. I have nothing against Kovacs, I just think we're in trouble if he's still starting.

01/30/2010 - 2:01pm Reminds me of a young Wes

Reminds me of a young Wes Welker. Tough, gritty...just a great competitor.

01/26/2010 - 2:48pm Never said it wasn't a

Never said it wasn't a selfish dream. That's why I included the "good for him" part.

01/26/2010 - 2:42pm Gotta love BG, sounds like my

Gotta love BG, sounds like my dream of him dropping to the Lions in the second round is fading quickly. Good for him.

12/20/2009 - 10:28am Love the enthusiasm. I

Love the enthusiasm. I agree, we're looking good in the next couple years as our young players develop. Not sure about the comparison to USC's secondary. I just don't think the raw athleticism is there. The moment that sticks out to me was watching Carlos Brown streak past Emilien during the spring game with ease. Maybe his knee gets better? Also, sounds like Christian is skilled, but a little lacking on speed from reports. Still think they could be real good though.

12/12/2009 - 1:01pm I loved the Vipers when I was

I loved the Vipers when I was younger. I think I must have gone to at least 20 of those games.

11/16/2009 - 9:55pm I think the line has done a

I think the line has done a pretty good job moving people this year. We pounded Iowa's line in the short yardage situations, and they are supposedly pretty good. I put that Illinois goaline stand on Carlos because he definitely had a chance to put it in. Pass protection hasn't been great, for sure.