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09/17/2018 - 5:32pm Bando, this is an important…

Bando, this is an important observation and I think your proposal and the very even-handed way you worded your proposal is excellent. I haven't been in a while, obviously, but I've found hydration at major multi-hour activities to be a key to enjoyment and health in the experience. I might suggest slightly different wording of the post title, but that's a nit. I agree with you 100%.

They never do this with board posts, but this should get attention on the front page.

09/15/2018 - 12:45pm Our tackle situation is…

Our tackle situation is still bad. But our interior situation is very good. Bredeson and Onwenu are going to leave as terrific players and we’re going to replace them with terrific players. 

09/13/2018 - 6:15pm I’m still concerned about…

I’m still concerned about our DL next year. 

But not as much as last week. Greg Mattison is the man. 

BTW bear with me in this but suppose one of our two star junior CBs did the unthinkable and stayed for their senior year? That would be something. 

09/12/2018 - 9:52pm I don’t care about the fear…

I don’t care about the fear in other teams. I want to see this for me. We have big play receivers, and I want to see them make big plays. 

09/12/2018 - 6:53pm CORRECTION: Now that UFR is…

CORRECTION: Now that UFR is out, I see that Brian labels this play as a "Down G." And Michigan did run at least one of those (I scanned the ND UFR until I found one) last week. As it happens, it was the first-and-goal play on that first field goal drive, the play before the controversial sack. It was run to the left side; according to Brian's grading, Runyan and Gentry blocked well, while Ruiz couldn't get to a LB because the LOS was too crowded. Higdon ran for three yards. Michigan subsequently called a pass and things went poorly.

So this play has been a regular part of the repertoire from the beginning. 

09/12/2018 - 6:45pm You've been proving me wrong…

You've been proving me wrong for the last week. Thought you should know. 

09/12/2018 - 6:44pm I'm interested in Mayfield's…

I'm interested in Mayfield's RS cliff, too. These two games are the obvious ones for him to play. It might be more interesting later in the year. We have no precedent for this rule, so there's no pattern for how to use it. Do you use Mayfield the first four times that there's an opportunity? Do you then hold him out unless he wins a job? Do you use him three times, leaving a fourth time available for a one-game injury or the bowl game?

Once he plays in the fourth game, they won't be able to play him again without burning the shirt. What if, say, Runyan loses a helmet against OSU and it's third and goal in a tie game in the second half? Do you burn the RS for a play? Do you hold on to that last game in case something like this comes up? 

I think he has a good chance of just torching the RS regardless. But if Runyan holds on to the job, it'd be nice for them to cap Mayfield at 3 games and then hold on for either that kind of injury or for the postseason. 

09/12/2018 - 6:25pm This is stupid. He didn't…

This is stupid. He didn't blow people away his freshman year, but a majority of 5* receivers don't. Some do, he didn't, he was stuck with horrible QB play, deal with it.

This year, he has played in two games. Two. Michigan had abominable protection in one game; they threw only a handful of passes in the other. DPJ caught passes in both, including a nice TD. 

The idea that you can make a full evaluation on the body of work for a season after two games is absurd, much less evaluate a guy's entire career after a freshman year and two games. 

You're getting dunked on in this thread and the thread deserves every last one of them. 

09/12/2018 - 6:19pm I agree. I don't understand…

I agree. I don't understand why Kekoa Crawford and Drake Harris and Ian Bunting are starting when you have guys like Nico and DPJ and Zach Gentry that are showing so much promise. 

09/12/2018 - 6:16pm That pull failure by Shea is…

That pull failure by Shea is unfortunate, but Higdon was able to make a plus play out of that thanks to the good block and his own fire into the hole. 

If you watch, Michigan is running bubble screen action out to the left and the defenders are all crashing hard--there's no way we aren't going to see Michigan exploit this later on if teams like Wisconsin or MSU are charging in this aggressively. Good chance that a team like that will play the run more cautiously, actually, which will open up space for the run action. It's a nice play. 

Michigan seems really committed to running from the spread looks. They're even doing it reasonably well. I'm pleased to see it. 

09/12/2018 - 6:13pm Strongly agree. A game like…

Strongly agree. A game like this is a good chance to work on things like pass pro. That they were unwilling to do so is a very bad sign. Yeah, I know you want to be cautious--the only way the day is bad is if a guy is hurt or you make a bunch of big mistakes--but by the second quarter the game was in hand and they seem basically unwilling to call straight dropbacks.

And straight dropbacks are how you're really going to maximize the receiving talent this team has. 

 

09/12/2018 - 3:27pm But Kyle Kalis got thrown…

But Kyle Kalis got thrown into the fire early and look at how he turned out

wait

 

09/12/2018 - 3:08pm I think ND's DEs did a fine…

I think ND's DEs did a fine job of lighting fires under our tackles. 

I'm less inclined to worry about "coded messages" during the season, especially when we've all seen the issue. It's no secret that Michigan's tackles are a real trouble spot. I'm sure that Runyan and JBB are working really, really hard to improve; that they got to play most of a blowout tells me that the staff is giving them every chance to do so.

But the ceiling is low for these guys. The guys behind them want to play and they have a chance to get good enough to do so.

09/12/2018 - 2:58pm I think that they might like…

I think that they might like Hudson to take the job, but I doubt the same for Mayfield. It did sound like he was almost explicitly saying that, assuming the game goes as expected on Saturday, they'll get into more of the game than they did against WMU. 

09/12/2018 - 2:57pm I hope we see this. We used…

I hope we see this. We used to have guys that could just plain beat their defenders, and other teams still do this regularly... and we haven't really tried yet. Protection is, of course, a problem, but I want to see what Nico, DPJ, and Gentry can do. 4 verts with them would be hard to defend if we can protect the QB at all. 

09/12/2018 - 1:55pm We've still got a TE or two…

We've still got a TE or two on the field almost all of the time, even from spread looks. TEs are tough matchups for the defense, and Gentry and Mckeon provide a lot of package flexibility for formations and blocking schemes.

09/12/2018 - 1:54pm The double A gap twist blitz…

The double A gap twist blitz is a terrific play because it's a challenge to defend; it's also part of the chess match. Michigan knows it will come. If, for some reason, MSU were to load the line like WMU and still bring the twist blitz (I doubt it will come out of that look, but I haven't actually watched MSU closely enough to see how they deploy it to that detail) they risk clogging the middle while Michigan is exploiting them on the edge, or getting burned when a TE like Gentry slips past his man and goes downfield for a wide-open route on PA. 

I don't really know enough to know how all that will work together; but the coaches know it's coming, and they'll prepare both the line to adjust its blocks and plays to counter. 

Making it work is a different story. 

09/12/2018 - 1:43pm I think it's TBD. There are…

I think it's TBD. There are times he does well. He also got wrecked in pass pro against ND. He's a TE, so it's not like we need him to be Jake Long; if he regularly makes good blocks, especially in run-blocking, he's a nightmare matchup for opponents.

Honestly I'm more concerned about his receiving right now. He was supposed to be an unstoppable threat, and so far there hasn't been much there. Hopefully the passing game will continue to emerge and he'll be a big part of that.

09/12/2018 - 1:38pm This play wasn't run against…

This play wasn't run against ND. Harbaugh tends to introduce a new wrinkle or two every week, so that may be the case; skimming through the UFR, Michigan ran inside zone, crackback, power O, pin-and-pull, and maybe one or two other things as well. The power O runs, which generally worked well, faced completely different fronts than this play did, and perhaps that is part of the issue. 

09/12/2018 - 1:04pm That first play is one of…

That first play is one of the ones I used my 10-second back button on my DVR to watch again, and I was wondering what it was because it didn't look like pin-and-pull to me. This is handy.

It's nice seeing how they run similar plays out of dissimilar formations, and effectively at that. And it's nice to see Bredeson and Onwenu throttling people. We're seeing here that Warinner may have simplified the vocabulary of the line, but they're still doing a lot of fun stuff to mess with the defense in these running plays. I hope that it pays off in big games. 

09/10/2018 - 2:42pm I’m referring to the swing…

I’m referring to the swing between burning a RS and not. My wording is perhaps awkward. But the point is that it will be interesting to see whether or not he gets a real chance to play this year. Because there are certainly bad days ahead for these tackles. 

09/10/2018 - 2:16pm I like winning. Winning is…

I like winning. Winning is good. 

Bell not getting a RS would seem to require Black and Shoenle back in week 5. I’m not sure that’s happening. 

Mayfield is an interesting swing option. I tend to think that his RS gets burned, but who knows? It will be something to watch. I assume if the question becomes “does he play in garbage time against Indiana and burn the shirt,” the answer is no. But we’ll probably know before then. 

09/10/2018 - 1:01pm Great opportunity to work on…

Great opportunity to work on execution of the base stuff. And hopefully get the passing game going; we have athletes out wide, I'd like to see them get practice catching passes. 

Optimally, practice catching passes where they have to fight defenders, but if they're wide open I'm ok with that. 

09/10/2018 - 2:33am umbig11 suggested that they…

umbig11 suggested that they'd get in early, second quarter or second half. Perhaps the play of the OL convinced the coaches to keep the team together, or perhaps it was decided after a week of practice (umbig11's report was Monday, I think) that the best option was to keep giving the crew reps together. 

Based on what we've seen and heard (a lot of it rumor, granted) I don't think Mayfield is ready. Runyan looks outclassed at times but it seems distinctly possible that Mayfield just doesn't belong on the field yet. Hudson seemed closer to JBB, so perhaps he is the better bet to get a look if things are bad when the competition picks up.

You know what would be nice, though? Our team notably improving through the course of the year the way so many other teams do. I can't tell you how many times I've laughed at MSU and OSU looking like garbage in September only to gnash my teeth as they are fully weaponized when we play them. Maybe, maybe, with Warriner in there Michigan can make those kinds of strides. Uh, maybe even with Runyan/JBB. Maybe. 

09/10/2018 - 2:27am I mean I feel for you, SRK,…

I mean I feel for you, SRK, that was a gutting way to lose. But that game is similar to OSU in the same way taking a baseball in the chest and getting hit by a speeding truck are similar because they both hurt. 

09/09/2018 - 5:57pm This is amazing:


The…

This is amazing:

The Browns are +5 in takeaways today. Since the Browns returned to the NFL, teams with a turnover margin of +5 or better in a game are 132-4-1. The Browns are responsible for two of those losses and the tie.

— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) September 9, 2018
09/09/2018 - 5:33pm Mayfield has played one game…

Mayfield has played one game so far this year. He's the only guy I think is really on the fence; they might look to get him into four games if he has decent time, and then decide whether or not to burn the shirt later. But this week he didn't get in until the fourth quarter. There are certainly suggestions out there that he shows promise but isn't ready to be a D-1 tackle yet, and I don't think anybody should be devastated by this.

No reason to start Hudson unless he has passed either JBB or Runyan. It doesn't appear that this has happened yet; I do hope that we can, say, get a 35 point lead at halftime against SMU and spend more time with the backup OL than this past week. The fact that Michigan had a huge lead in the third against WMU and didn't yank guys suggests to me that the staff is anxious to get the existing line game reps to build. So either they think there's potential for improvement, or they really don't think Hudson or Mayfield can cut it. 

09/09/2018 - 5:29pm Looked better than the…

Looked better than the offense did at any time last year (except maybe parts of the Florida game). So, yeah, I don't care if they were backups or not. Also, it seemed like Harbaugh really wanted that drive to go well; they were running tempo and stuff, it wasn't just a turtle drive. 

09/09/2018 - 5:18pm If the Lions got a chance at…

If the Lions got a chance at Tomlin I'd take it in a hot second. 

09/09/2018 - 3:36pm The potential is there, and…

The potential is there, and two games in Shea is a huuuuge upgrade at QB over previous seasons already. I suspect, but cannot prove, that we have three guys that are all upgrades over anyone that played at any time last year. 

But I’d like to see more of it. It’s hard to do, because pass pro appears to be a huge problem, but we dominated WMU mostly because our RBs were able to torch a bad MAC defense. I’d like to see us willfully approach 300 yards passing; Shea did everything asked of him exceptionally well, but that still only amounted to less than 150 yards. 

Of course if it turns out we can beat teams like MSU and Wisconsin throwing that seldom, I’m all for it. 

09/09/2018 - 2:29am Someone should hire Chris…

Someone should hire Chris Creighton. Seriously. It’s no small thing what he’s done there. 

Also: hahahahahahahahaha

09/09/2018 - 2:27am I’m a “root for the B1G…

I’m a “root for the B1G because it’s good for Michigan” kind of guy, so know that I don’t say this lightly:

Music, sweet music. 

09/09/2018 - 2:21am MSU pays the price for…

MSU pays the price for keeping all those plays in reserve for us. Honestly when they were calling real plays they looked like they’d wipe the floor, but then they had to keep most of the playbook closed and they wound up scoring only 13 points. 

09/08/2018 - 8:44pm Harbaugh holds his cards…

Harbaugh holds his cards close to the vest, but if there’s big news like that he doesn’t conceal it after the fact. It wasn’t known that Speight was the backup in 2015 until Rudock got hurt in the Minnesota game, but once it happened Speight’s RS status was publicly revealed. 

09/08/2018 - 8:40pm Mayfield played with the…

Mayfield played with the second-team line; I don’t think there’s any way they don’t burn his redshirt. But there’s a good chance that he’s just not quite ready. 

09/08/2018 - 8:33pm Peters needed weeks of…

Peters needed weeks of remedial work just to be able to step on the field with an elementary playbook. He had training wheels on. He was not ready when Speight went down. 

I think Hudson might be able to get in there. But it’s obviously not a sure thing. 

09/08/2018 - 7:27pm I feel bad for them. He…

I feel bad for them. He looked really good, and you hate to see a guy get hurt like that.

But he's an integral part of the running game and guys in that situation can get hurt. I hope he comes back the week after their game against us. 

09/08/2018 - 6:03pm Usain isn’t that unique…

Usain isn’t that unique. Tall for a sprinter, yes. But he isn’t that different. Barry is unique because nobody has ever been able to do anything remotely like he did. Other guys have been fast or powerful or explosive, but the WAY he played is simply different from every other player in history. 

09/08/2018 - 4:07pm EMU’s transformation into a…

EMU’s transformation into a legitimate football team is absolutely remarkable. 

09/08/2018 - 3:52pm When were you at Michigan?…

When were you at Michigan? Because we’ve lost games like this pretty consistently for nearly my entire lifetime. Bo and Mo lost to ND 4 in a row. Lloyd lost to some team he wasn’t supposed to early almost every year. And obviously things have been pretty bad since he left. 

09/08/2018 - 3:30pm The most uniquely incredible…

The most uniquely incredible player I’ve ever seen in any sport. 

09/08/2018 - 3:28pm I hope so. 

I hope so. 

09/08/2018 - 3:27pm Play calls look a lot better…

Play calls look a lot better when they work. I would have liked to see more of the passing game, but the running game was working, so no reason to go away from that. 

I wanted more second-team offense reps, too, but the first team also needs reps. I really liked that they went fast with the second team and tried to score with McCaffrey and the second-string OL getting the work. That drive alone looked as good as anything the first team produced all year. 

09/08/2018 - 3:23pm Looks good. DT is obviously…

Looks good. DT is obviously thin. Dwumfour doesn’t seem to be the guy we thought he was. I was hoping our whole DL would be nearly par with Bama and Clemson and it obviously isn’t. 

09/08/2018 - 3:21pm Hawkins looks great, that…

Hawkins looks great, that one play last week aside. 

09/08/2018 - 3:20pm The team is, indeed, much…

The team is, indeed, much better than last year. Never came close to anything like this last season at any time. 

There’s a lot that’s tbd. We can’t tell a lot against a team this bad. It seems that Runyan holds his job in part due to his run blocking; he was decent against ND and made good plays against a bad defense today. 

It’s nice to see some good passing plays. I’d like more, but you don’t need to do much when Higdon and Evans are eviscerating the defense all day. 

I’m happy with this. Hopefully the reps help improve the team for tougher opponents. 

09/08/2018 - 10:38am I want to see big plays in…

I want to see big plays in the passing game, including a passing td. Or two or three. I would like to see a backup tackle or two, just to see what they can do. I want Michigan to be dominant.

09/08/2018 - 12:06am TCU will probably pull away…

TCU will probably pull away and win this, eventually (that pick doesn't help). But they look like they're going to get murdered by OSU. Bad QB play, OL only ok. Even if SMU has a good defense, and I have questions, TCU does not look dangerous. 

Maybe, maybe, they'll cause a hiccup or two on defense.

But that defensive TD isn't something they can bank on next week.

09/07/2018 - 11:29pm Honestly it was hilarious…

Honestly it was hilarious and also the quintessential Lions moment. What better way to symbolize the futility of the team than for the backup QB to run out the back of the endzone on the road during a winless season. "Same old Lions."

Moments like that are what we show to the world when they try to comprehend what it is like to be a Lions fan. 

 

09/07/2018 - 11:18pm Missed that, good point.

Missed that, good point.