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Date Title Body
10/12/2011 - 9:16am The only real way to force a

The only real way to force a give (dive)  is for BWC to slant away. He is left unblocked as part of the play design. The QB makes his give/pull read based on the unblocked DT. Once BWC slanted down, it became an automatic pull where Jake Ryan should have forced the pitch, almost immediately.

10/12/2011 - 8:32am Here is what I see, for what

Here is what I see, for what it is worth.

Jake Ryan blew his assignment on that second set of pics. In the third frame, the defense is actually set up pretty well. BWC is in position to force the pull and Jake, should he step to the QB, is in position to force an immediate pitch. Hawthorne is the second person to blow it on this one. In the fourth frame, he should be stepping down to the outside shoulder of his blocker (70) to avoid getting sealed which would have put him in position to assist on the pitch back (Kovacs is already working downhill to that position).  Basically it looks like poor recognition on the part of Ryan, Hawthorne and (to a lesser extent) Demens.

Now this is coming from a high school coach on how we would be defending that play. I can't speak with any certainty on Mattison's instructions to his D on defending the option.

06/03/2011 - 4:16pm My Perspective

For what it's worth I'll offer my perspective on high school football in Ohio and possible reasons it produces a significantly larger number of D-1 recruits than Michigan. This perspective comes from having played my high school football in Cincinnati at one of the most storied programs down there. After college I moved back to Michigan (I was born here and lived here until Middle School) and now coach. So, I've seen the high school football up close in both states (though seperated by about 15 years).

First, the passion for football in Ohio dwarfs that of Michigan. The stories of Massilon newborns getting footballs in their nursery crib at birth are true. Youth football is much more competitive (not always a good thing when dealing with 7-12 year olds). It was nothing for us to play a high school game on Friday night in front of 15,000 fans and we would pull more than that when we would play someone like Princeton in Riverfront Stadium. My high school had a indoor facility where we could work out (and this was in the late 80's). We also had a weight room that was the size of many college weight rooms. Our 2-a-day practices went for 2 solid weeks including weekends in August. There is more money, resources and passion directed to the football programs of Ohio high schools.

Another factor, in my opinion, is the fact that the MHSAA is significantly more restrictive on off season activities than Ohio is. We worked out as a team all winter in Ohio and never worried about breaking rules. There will be sanctioned spring football in Ohio soon if there isn't already while here in Michigan we can't even send a kid to an all-star game without making them inelgible for all remaining high school sports. Ohio kids train at an earlier age, train more and train harder than kids in Michigan do.

The bottom line is they don't miraculously birth better football players in Ohio. The simply build a larger number of top level football players in Ohio. Just one guy's opinion.

11/28/2010 - 7:17pm If anything Saban's situation

If anything Saban's situation is the closest to Michigans because Saban had to rebuild after a bunch of NCAA sactions and had to rebuild the roster much the way RR has had to


Yep, I'd say that's fair. The problem is Saban managed to go 12-2 in year 2 and 14-0 winning a MNC in year 3. Here we are in year 3 getting pounded by every good team we play and winning a grand total of 6 Big 10 games in the 3 year stretch. Nobody can argue that Saban didn't have it AT LEAST as difficult as RR did and I say he inherited a much worse situation.

11/23/2010 - 12:05pm Look at Harbaugh's record at

Look at Harbaugh's record at Stanford. Eerily similar to Coach Rod's here. Better conference record, but it took 4 years for them to get where they're at.

Are you seriously comparing Stanford pre-Harbaugh to Michigan pre-RR? No comparison.

11/23/2010 - 12:03pm I don't know, maybe because

I don't know, maybe because he's winning at a program that doesn't win very often. Maybe because he took a program that was a disaster under Walt Harris and has it in the top 6 of the BCS standings. Maybe it's because he, on almost a yearly basis, beats teams that are more talented then his Stanford squad (I thought coaches didn't do that????). I'm sure I can think of more reasons.

11/22/2010 - 12:07am Edit:  Let me elaborate (now

Edit:  Let me elaborate (now that I have the time to, since wifey is putting toddler bluewave to bed).  That's the entire issue.  When someone misses an assignment, you hope that the "other guy" can take care of the issue.  When "the other" guy is a true freshman, you don't expect that loose end to be tied.  But I agree with you, (forgive me, but what I am understanding as your intoned point), the strength of your unit has to act as your strength if you are going to be successful.  Especially when that particular aspect does have experience, and should understand that there is no room for error.

Yep, that was basically what I was saying. You are absolutely correct that your strength needs to be just that to help cover for our glaring weakness (in this case the secondary). They haven't been good and considering they mostly consist of reasonably experienced players I blame that on coaching. That means not just GERG, but RR too. He's failed twice on DC's (for 2 different reason of course) so why exactly does anyone think he'll get it right the next time? I have no faith he will based on his track record.

11/21/2010 - 5:35pm I see a true freshman, making

I see a true freshman, making his first career start in the safety position trying to tackle a RB who at that point in the evening, had made himself the most statistically accomplished RB to ever play for PSU.  What the hell did we think would happen?


I expected that the experienced front 7 would have made the tackle first. We are not inexperienced on the D-line or in the LB position in terms of years with the program. They should know how to tackle and fill gaps and take proper angles ect.

11/21/2010 - 2:27pm Ok, we've heard it all

Ok, we've heard it all season, our secondary is young. How, exactly, does that explain Michigan being 9th in the conference in rush defense? We're tied for worst in the Big 10 with 29 (29!!!!) rushing td's allowed. The guys who contrinute in our front 7/8 go as follows (in no particular order): SR, SR, RSJR, JR, SO, SR, SR, FR, FR, RSFR, RSSO, JR. That's 8 guys who have been in the program at least 3 years. They don't know how to tackle yet? They don't understand their assignments yet? What is it? They clearly aren't young and the secondary's youth has little to no impact on their ability to stop the run. That fairly experienced group also gets little pressure on opposing quarterbacks. We sit tied for 8th in sacks. Shouldn't the more experienced front 7/8 help that young secondary out?

Stop using a young secondary to try to excuse all of our defensive issues.

11/02/2010 - 12:43pm I thought the purpose of

I thought the purpose of motion was in order to determine if the defense is playing man or zone though?  wouldn't it make it easier to read if we used motion?


On occasion teams will use motion to determine coverage, but it's honestly not necessary. Safety and cornerback alignment will give you a read on man vs zone coverage without motion. Even when a defense is trying to disguise coverage, there is almost always 1 player who gives the coverage away. A QB will generally first count safeties and determine their alignment. They will then look at corner alignment followed by reading the front and linebacker positioning. Post-snap, they will scan the safeties and corners (eg. is the corner chasing, sitting or bailing?) again to determine if their pre-snap was correct and decide if any adjustments need to be made.

11/01/2010 - 11:20pm He was given enough time to

He was given enough time to build his program and recruit his guys. Why won't you do the same for RR?

Are you comparing Stanford pre-Harbaugh to Michigan pre-RR? Please tell me you aren't...... There's about 3-4 posts in this thread that detail what Stanford was before he got there.

11/01/2010 - 11:11pm Harbaugh doesn't have half

Harbaugh doesn't have half the resume of the guy currently residing in Ann Arbor.


Really? In 18 season RR has averaged about 6.5 wins per season. In 7 season Harbaugh has averaged a little over 7 wins per season.

Let's look at "big" wins. RR had 1 signiture win while he was coach and 1 coached by someone else using his players (of course that was after he failed miserably against a bad Pitt team with a shot at the MNC on the like). In the 2006 Sugar Bowl he beat #8 Georgia and in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl Bill Stewert with RR players beat #3 Oklahoma. Harbaugh led his team to a win over #7 Oregon and a 34 point destruction of #11 USC in 2009. He also led Stanford to what might be the single greatest upset, statistically, in history by beating #2 USC in 2007. Not to mention he's beaten the Pac-10's big boy 3 out of 4 years he's been at Stanford. At Michigan, RR has 2 wins over teams that finished with (or in the case of this year, currently have) a winning record. Who has had better success against teams that are superior in talent?

RR took over a WVU program that was decent prior ot his arrival. WVU finished 7-5, 4-7, 8-4, 7-5, 8-4 in the 5 years prior to his arrival. Harbaugh took over a horrendous Stanford program that finished 1-11, 5-6, 4-7, 4-7, 2-9 prior to his arrival. I'll let you figure out which program is tougher to recruit to based on academic standards.

So, at worst, they have comparable resumes and you could argue Harbaugh has been more impressive based on where he is coaching.

07/30/2010 - 2:50pm I've followed this blog for a

I've followed this blog for a long time, but I had to make my first post on this one. First, this is what makes college football so damn great. You watch these plays and feel the same rush of the same emotions you felt years back watching them live. Of course, it's also why I will not watch the "worst" as those  emotions have been burried somewhere, never to be seen until the next horrifying moment....hopefully not this season.

That 2004 MSU game brought back great memories. We were watching it at my house with a large group of friends, some of whom are a bit less intelligent and, thus, Spartans. Literally 10 seconds before Cobb busted off that GODDAMN COUNTER DRAW to put them up 17 I bet my less fortunate Spartan friend Eric $100 we would come back and win. Long touchdown follows, I storm out of the room, my wife writes a check to Eric immediately for $100 stating in the memo line "Mike's Stupidity." Anyway, I collected my money at the end of the game and Eric still has that check, framed in his home office. I smile every time I see it.