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Date Title Body
01/17/2019 - 1:21pm Mattison probably won't be…

Mattison probably won't be coaching in 5 years so being a coach >> retired.

That's how I took that.

01/15/2019 - 1:19pm I don't expect Army to be a…

I don't expect Army to be a 20+ point victory.

But I would be disappointed to see a loss especially if the offense doesn't put up 30+ points with the athletes they have.

Murry went for 3 TDs on 11/15 passing and they also had a 100 yard rusher that game (Murry threw in another 70 on the ground himself). Army kept the ball away from them for long stretches (TOP was 44 minutes to 15!!!). They had two 16 play drives and another 17 play drive all end in TDs which limited Oklahoma to 7 total possessions of which they didn't score on 4 of (2 of them ended on downs inside the Army 20).

So if Michigan doesn't allow Army to go on those methodical 16 plays drives that chew up 9+ minutes, they should be capable of getting enough possessions to put up points.

As for MTSU and Army on the whole, we'd see some stuff, but think back to the games like Hawaii and UCF. Some passing plays and spreading it around a bit early just to get a groove. Nothing concrete that showed exactly what the offense would look like come 8 weeks later.

01/15/2019 - 12:59pm Opening with MTSU and Army…

Opening with MTSU and Army is tricky for a postulation perspective. The offense shouldn't have to be wide open, throwing 35 times, and being Moorhead lite to win those games. But at the same time we all want to see something headed in that direction.

So garnering a bunch of info from those 2 will be difficult and I wouldn't be surprised to see Michigan come out and just bash MTSU into a pulp and then take out Army by being the anti-Oklahoma and score methodically rather than quickly and then have a terrible defense crumble.

Get a bye week and then to Madison where we should learn a lot.

01/15/2019 - 12:25pm Absolutely and I generally…

Absolutely and I generally agree.

Was just trying to make the point that Gentry was THE match up problem that the coaches talked about and tried to get into advantageous situations. Meanwhile, Collins and DPJ were on the outside with similar advantageous situations that the coaching staff didn't pursue nearly enough, IMO.

Like I said, Collins was just better than OSU's corners and DPJ was generally open that game too (Patterson short armed 2 throws his way that would have been completions with marginally better throws). They got Gentry on those mismatches (which he unfortunately dropped) and it was pretty obvious that the WRs/TEs Michigan had were the groups OSU couldn't stick with. Irregardless as to how bad the defense played, the offense had 3 clear advantages and they kept trying to run up the middle or on the edge with Wilson for god knows why.

01/15/2019 - 11:53am Gattis, we presume, knows…

Gattis, we presume, knows how to coach the players to execute plays like that better. He also sat under Moorhead when Moorhead's philosophy was that if you leave a WR in man, his QB was going to throw and they were going to make the play. And they did. 

Shit, if this is all Gattis brings to the table, sign me up. Collins was given 3 jump balls against OSU. Caught all of them and 2 went for TDs. Also had the big ND fly route and another 2 against Florida.

DPJ had 4 or 5 balls thrown his way in 1 on 1 situations and caught (I think) all but 2 of them (MSU and PSU underthrows that he didn't wall of the DB).

Gentry was a mismatch problem for defenses because LBs couldn't run with him and DBs were too short. Collins and DPJ cause their own mismatch problems that aren't as pronounced because they're 6'2 and 6'4 while CBs are ~6'0' so they only give up 2-3 inches instead of the 5-6 that Gentry had. Regardless, they're still match up problems and if given single man coverage, they're worth more than just a handful of shots.

Realistically, I'm concerned with something mentioned in the post, and that's if things go sideways, they revert to what was comfortable and run up the middle for 2 or 3 yards because the negatives are far less stark than throwing a bomb that might get picked off.

01/15/2019 - 11:45am The way I think of it in a…

The way I think of it in a 10 game spread.

8/10 games finish within 7 points and 2019 wins 5 or 6 of those.

2/10 games with a 10+ point difference and 2013 wins both games.

01/15/2019 - 11:36am My only thought on this is…

My only thought on this is that your matchups might be wrong.

Burke v Simpson (obvious)

THJ v Poole (THJ was the 2 that year IIRC)

Stauskas v Iggy (Stauskas wasn't guarding anyone on this team 1 on 1 so matchups could be different to try and cover him up)

GRIII v Matthews

McGary v Teske (Morgan had more starts but McGary was the starter for the tournament run and got more MPG than Morgan did)

01/15/2019 - 10:16am Position by position:

Position by position:

Simpson v. Burke - I'd take Burke.Simpson is great on defense, not great on offense (outside of the pick and roll). Burke was NPOY for a reason.

Poole v. THJ - At this point... push? Poole had a ridiculous stretch and THJ was inconsistent, but if Poole can get back closer to his earlier production, I'd take Poole. Hardaway was as slightly better athlete IMO.

Iggy v. Stauskas - Iggy as a freshman. Stauskas was unconscious a year later but we're sticking with 2013 specifically.

Matthews v. GRIII - Matthews. His offense is meh but GRIII as a freshman wasn't quite there yet. Both great athletes. Their percentages are pretty similar from 3 but GRIII was better inside the arc.

Teske v. McGary - I'd take McGary. Teske has picked it up lately, but McGary was crazy productive and even though he's shorter, he could bump with anybody down low.

Bench: 2013 by a mile mostly because they had more of a bench. Morgan, LeVert, and Spike versus Livers and Brooks.

More often than not, it would be a close game. 3-5 points probably and 2019 would probably win a majority of those games. If there was ever a blowout, it would be 2013 going off and winning by 10 - 15.

01/11/2019 - 11:48am Uhhh... he better be a whole…

Uhhh... he better be a whole lot better than Fitzgerald through the air because 52 - 54% completions for 6 YPA isn't going to cut it.

01/10/2019 - 3:46pm Yes.

Generally speaking.

I…

Yes.

Generally speaking.

I feel dirty saying that. But like I said, throwing your hands up in the air and saying "fuck it! Throw a prayer to the 6'4" guy" would have been a welcomed sight much of this year.

01/10/2019 - 3:35pm I can't believe I'm saying…

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'd take MSU's approach of "throw fades down the sideline to our WRs all day" over whatever the hell we saw this year.

We have 3 Felton Davis type guys and at least Warner would throw up prayers to him. Now, it was because he didn't know what the fuck else to do buuuttttt...... ignore that and just focus on the "throw the ball to WRs" aspect of it.

Edit: Obviously this is some hyperbole and joking. I just really want to see guys who can run fast and jump high... run fast and jump high.

01/10/2019 - 3:27pm "With all the stupidity and…

"With all the stupidity and tone deafness that has gone on at MSU over the last 2+ years, we've decided no one will actually be up in arms if we bring back Corley, Vance, and King since the Nassar thing has basically been glossed over by 75% of the University. We tried to get Robertson back too, but will wait until his trial is over...

... I'm off to Florida to golf with Warner. See ya next fall."

01/10/2019 - 11:56am "I'd take Murray #1 overall"…

"I'd take Murray #1 overall" is not an indication that they would trade a QB that is already on the roster or bench a current QB in favor of Murray.

Had he said "I'd take Murray #1 overall regardless of who is on the roster" then I'd put stock in it.

01/10/2019 - 11:07am The outcome will be…

The outcome will be dependent on Brown being willing to have a Plan B that isn't "solve your problems with aggression."

If the 3rd CB isn't a +athlete that can run with OSU's 3rd WR (who will be a +athlete), he can't run Cover 1 or Cover 0 and refuse to help. The 3rd CB is going to be one of Gray/Sims/St. Juste/a RS freshman who we've never seen take a snap. As a recruit, Gray wasn't a "great" athlete. Sims is long but not super athletic and fast. St. Juste had the shuttle times of an elite athlete but has been hurt for 2 years. None of the RS freshmen where super athletes either. (This is all based off of memory from their recruiting profiles). There's no David Long/Leon Hall/Marlin Jackson in that group as currently exhibited on the field. Even if they put Hill in the slot (which OSU worked around anyways) he's not super fast. He's agile and can run better than Watson did, but when you have a hole on your defense, good coaches like Day will find them and run a crosser with an outside guy to get that match up.

If the DL can't get pressure on their own, he can't send 2 extra blitzers over and over again because of the CB problem and the massive cavern they leave behind the 1st level.

If the Safeties can't cover crossers either (Metellus is great against fades, not so much on corssers) then sending the second level of LBs on blitzes and going man will also leave caverns.

His change up against OSU in the second half was to run a shoddy zone that no one was comfortable with. Kinnel busted and gave up a wide open TD because he came down on a WR that had like 3 guys around him (and slipped). The play that Bush got hurt on had him in zone and a guy run right across his face, but he clearly wasn't comfortable sitting in a zone and anticipating guys moving around him.

I said it last week, Michigan has the athletes to just straight up beat 7 or 8 of their opponents in a given year. 2/4 other teams (Wisconsin and MSU) don't run a scheme that would cause problems because they're more run based and big outside WRs, not shifty slot bugs. That leaves OSU, PSU (if Franklin doesn't continue to bomb out without Moorhead/Barkley/Gesicki), and whoever they get in a bowl (SEC speed guys). Those teams have the players and the scheme to cause problems that can beat Michigan's straight Cover 1 or Cover 0 scheme.

So when Cover 1 or 0 won't work, what's the new approach? And will they rep it enough to pull it out and not trip over themselves when necessary?

01/09/2019 - 10:14am OSU's approach =/= Maryland…

OSU's approach =/= Maryland's.

Maryland runs 2 or 3 guys in motion and then runs zone off LT. The whole approach is to get a LB or Safety filling the wrong gap or being out of position for a RB to sprint through a lane.

OSU ran 1 guy in motion and then found the mismatch with Watson or a Safety and exploited it. It wasn't Michigan getting confused, it was Michigan not having the athletes to match up with OSU's 3rd WR.

01/09/2019 - 10:11am It only works if your LBs…

It only works if your LBs and Safeties suck. Yes, Michigan's game plan was bad and didn't work against OSU. That doesn't mean Canada's is better for the long haul.

Look what Maryland's offense did against MSU/Iowa/PSU. They barely put up 100 yards on MSU and scored 3 points combined against Iowa and PSU. It's boom or bust and more prone to busting against competent defenses because it's simple.

01/09/2019 - 9:59am I mean, I know you're being…

I mean, I know you're being slightly sarcastic, but no. That Maryland - OSU game was the same running play about 15 times and 1 route prayers. I'm not a fan of Pep either, but he has more in his playbook than "run straight and I'll throw you a prayer".

01/08/2019 - 8:27pm This is my thought.

His…

This is my thought.

His offense was terrible against Michigan and MSU last year. If your LBs don't get confused by 4 guys motioning they end up right in the gap and the running game goes no where. Then they throw and their passing offense was just go routes and prayers.

01/08/2019 - 8:24pm That was more a function of…

That was more a function of OSU's LB and Safeties sucking than anything else. Yeah, our offensive game plan was terrible, but I put Maryland's success against OSU more on their LBs and Schiano than anything Canada did. His office was trash against Michigan's defense.

01/08/2019 - 6:29pm Not sure if it was the…

Not sure if it was the limitations he had with personnel at Maryland, but no thanks. A bunch of motion and moving parts all to run off left tackle.

01/08/2019 - 11:18am As I've told many UCF fans…

As I've told many UCF fans over the past 2 years, scheduling G5 level teams is hit and miss. You might get 2016 UCF or your might get 2017 UCF. There's no way of knowing for sure how a G5 team will be in 3-5 years. You play the odds and sometimes it backfires.

Separate issue, scheduling triple option teams in general is a bad idea for reasons we've all come to be aware of. Oklahoma's defense sucks which just compounded Army's trickery this year.

ND mid-season sucks, but it's better than week 1 I guess? Regardless, the concessions Michigan made to get ND back on the schedule sucked, but it is a historic rival that people more often than not want to see Michigan play.

We can't control what other schools do and who they schedule. Sometimes OSU gets Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma. Other times they get "the little sisters of the poor" (to quote an OSU moron who happened to be their president).

As for scheduling on the whole, since the Big Ten has 9 conference games, I'd be ok with an easier OOC schedule as it relates to what is becoming the norm (not counting the SEC). Problem is when you don't have a marquee OOC game then the argument is "we don't know how good you really are because you've only played Big Ten teams". But considering Michigan gets shafted with West cross-divisional games year after year, I'd be ok arguing for an easier OOC.

01/07/2019 - 4:50pm DL (Mattison) shortcomings…

DL (Mattison) shortcomings aside, it wan't Washington's fault they refused to rep or run anything remotely tenable against crossing/mesh routes.

01/07/2019 - 3:00pm One thing I noticed, that we…

One thing I noticed, that we're all aware of:

Simpson was in the corner at one point and Poole broke some guy's ankles, drove left and got Simpson's guy to fully commit. Poole looked like he was going to pass to Simpson and then realized who it was so he took a weird jumper that missed. It was almost like in mid-pass he decided he was better off shooting awkwardly than Simpson taking an open catch-and-shoot three.

We know the offense (most offenses anywhere) bogs down against zone defenses because there aren't as many dead eye shooters this year or guys that can just rise up and hit from the outside. Simpson not even being a threat (and his teammates knowing it) could cause some problems down the stretch IF teams decide to fully help off of him from the perimeter or IF they run into zone defenses more.

01/07/2019 - 11:08am I'm not watching for the 4th…

I'm not watching for the 4th year in a row.

Alabama bores me and there's something about Dabo that annoys me.

01/05/2019 - 10:57am Well that kind of rowing isn…

Well that kind of rowing isn't "competitive" but Michigan Men's Rowing is the best club rowing team in the country by a wide margin. Better than some Ivies in a given year with significantly less recruiting pull.

01/04/2019 - 7:16pm No. He was a higher rated…

No. He was a higher rated recruit than Bush was.

Between him and the other 4 LBs I'm hoping the LB core as a whole doesn't drop off too much.

01/04/2019 - 4:23pm Someone posted that Higdon's…

Someone posted that Higdon's camp was pissed at how they used him against OSU or something and not getting post-season accolades.

Take that 3rd hand account knowing it's 4th hand knowledge.

01/04/2019 - 4:05pm Between Ross and McGrone…

Between Ross and McGrone there is enough talent at LB to mitigate a complete drop off from Bush. Not saying they will be Bush part deux, but 1 of them will have to step up big time.

01/03/2019 - 4:33pm Yeah, Wisconsin is a weird…

Yeah, Wisconsin is a weird comparison but my point is that while you can see a clear correlation between top OLs and top performing offenses, having a top performing OL isn't the end all be all. It can be a massive help to an offense, but it's not solely required to be a top 10 outfit because to do so you also (generally) need WRs and QBs to do the rest. Oklahoma, Clemson, and others (who sometimes are in conferences that don't play defense) find ways to be explosive and hard to defend because they scheme around their OLs that might have a hole or two.

Wisconsin legitimately had 3 or 4 All-Big Ten 1st Team guys this year and that offense, when humming, was pretty good. But it wasn't nearly enough (plus the defense was far below their normal this year). But when your scheme is to load up with sometimes 7 OL and plow ahead for 4-5 YPC, if that starts to sputter you're up shit creek without a paddle. Michigan is currently running a more balanced version of Wisconsin but Harbaugh Era Stanford was Wisconsin on steroids prior to Luck going off and it's pretty obvious the "safe" version of the offense is Wisconsin on this side of Lake Michigan.

Michigan has the WRs and QBs Wisconsin can only dream of recruiting. Michigan also doesn't have stupid monster OLs built to grind defenses to dust. So why run an offense dependent upon an OL grinding people to dust when you don't have it and don't necessarily need it to be successful (and moreover why not run behind your giant C, RG, RT this year - but that's a different discussion)?

01/03/2019 - 3:24pm This is going to be a weird…

This is going to be a weird argument with maybe not a whole lot to stand on, but here it goes. Yes, having stud OLs is correlated to successful offenses. The Alabamas, OSUs, and NDs of the world prove that. The MSUs of the world and 2017 Michigan prove the opposite to be true as well. But, scheme can mitigate the gap between a decent OL and a good offense.

Oklahoma has had some studs along the OL, but currently only have 3 OL in the NFL (Brown, Lane Johnson, and another OT that I forget). Obviously they play in a conference that doesn't exactly stress defense, but they still put up points on Georgia and Alabama because they get the ball to their freak athletes like Lamb and Brown (formerly Westbrook and even their TEs like Andrews).

Clemson hasn't had an AA along the OL until this year with Hyatt and they've made the playoffs 4 straight years with 3 NC appearances  Even with their "best OL ever" they only produced 1 1st Team All-ACC guy this season in a frankly bad conference. They had 3 2nd Team All-ACC guys but Michigan had 1 1st Team, 1 2nd, and 2 3rds this year come close to matching. Clemson also only has 3 OL on current NFL rosters out of 35(!!) guys. They produce top flight athletes at WR, RB, QB, and defense and little along the OL. Now, Watson was mobile and could scramble... but so can Shea.

Wisconsin meanwhile is chalk full of monster OL that dominate post season awards but their offense can't lead them to a playoff berth let alone a Big Ten Championship (win) because that OL isn't enough to put up big points against top flight defenses like Michigan or anyone they'd run into in a playoff. Alabama would absolutely stone them.

Basically what I'm saying is stud OLs can make play calling easy. Play calling can also help your good OL lead a very good offense. If you scheme requires that you have stud OLs, say a scheme that puts 9 guys in the box and requires each OL and 3 TEs make each block to be successful, or a scheme that relies on long developing PA or deep route combs, then you're ceiling is lower when that OL isn't full of ND or Alabama level talent.

Michigan's OL next year should be legitimately good. Replace 1 starter and it's addition by subtraction. But that alone won't get them to the mountain top if the scheme doesn't get them the last few steps. Look back to 1998 - 2007. OLs full of future NFL players left and right and crazy good WRs that resulted in... a couple of Big Ten Championships and nothing else.

01/03/2019 - 11:03am Yup, I'm fully torqued

Yup, I'm fully torqued

01/03/2019 - 10:54am I believe they plan on…

I believe they plan on opening the offense up a little (but are still overly obsessed with body blows)... and then turtle as soon as things start to go a little sideways.

Exactly this. They are more than willing to scrap throws to Collins and DPJ on the first sign of trouble (the INT against Florida) but are content to run out 3 TEs and run for 2-3 YPC and then throw on 3rd and long (which they're terrible at) and then punt.

And again, what's infuriating is we've seen them call great games in the past or take a punch and say "screw it, go for the throat". 2017 OSU was a wonderfully called game. 2017 Florida they didn't shy away from Speight throwing after the first INT (and then he threw another one). They kept taking shots. They kept running out of different formations with different backs but most importantly, they ran plays the backs could execute with their skill sets.

And yes, an INT is significantly worse than run for 2, run for 1, incomplete pass, punt. But the upside of a completed 25 yard pass is significantly greater and worth the perceived risk far more often than the coaching staff is willing to take. Patterson was super risk adverse this year to a point where it could have actually hampered Michigan's ability to win games. Early against Wisconsin when the game was still in doubt he didn't make 2 or 3 throws that could have busted the game wide open. MSU he didn't make 2 throws that could have effectively ended the game in the 1st half (that out to DPJ for a TD he held onto specifically). Falling back on the defense and run game is ok but there comes a time where that damn breaks and if you don't have the ability to go to a gameplan that can keep you in those type games then you'll never win the big ones or get to the playoff.

01/03/2019 - 10:39am if you see things that you…

if you see things that you think are obvious and should have been in (or out) the scheme, there is almost certainly a personnel limitation behind that decision.

I don't really know how to respond to this with something than what I've already said. Putting in Chris Evans to run a HB dive on 3rd and 2 is NOT a personnel limitation that exists because Michigan HAS to run Chris Evans on 3rd and 2. That is a self imposed, artificial limitation that is dragging down the ceiling of the offense.

Putting in Tru Wilson and running an outside stretch zone from the shotgun is again, not a personnel limitation that is organic and a result of injury or poor recruiting. The coaches are actively choosing to put in guys like Wilson to run that play, or McCurry in the OSU game (that, admittedly was a one off but still absolutely idiotic).

And if it's a "they're trying to break tendency/scheme" thing, then it should be more of a 1 off and not a consistent theme we see week in and week out. Moreover, if you're trying to break tendency, you generally don't do that by taking a guy who can't do X, and make him try X. You break tendency with Wilson by running a screen since he usually pass blocks. Or you break tendency by running out Bell and Martin and throwing instead of running (those 2 on the field were the biggest run tips of all run tips). OR even better, put out Martin and Bell and run a FAKE jet sweep instead of an actual jet sweep because that is the most obvious thing on the planet and constantly resulted in TFL.

I have my issues with the defense specifically when it comes to scheme, but not when it comes to personnel deployment (almost no complaints). Brown's defense puts his athletes on the field and basically says "this is what we're going to do, my athletes are better than yours, try and beat us." Sometimes, Brown's athletes aren't as good as the opponents (OSU's 3rd WR vs. Watson - Barkley vs. everyone - Gesicki vs. Metellus) but for the most part a man coverage defense is predicated on the athletes Michigan has being better than the offense they face. I'd like to see Michigan's offense do that same. You recruited 4 top WRs in the same class, a spread QB who came from throwing the ball 35 times/game, and space players like Evans along with the incoming crop like Sainstrill and Jackson. Use them. Use them more than you do McKeon and Eubanks.

Edit: This is similar to the Durkin vs. Brown discussion from a few years ago. Durkin ran out 2 or 3 ILBs and when they ran into better athletes (OSU) they completely collapsed (along with Glasgow being hurt). Brown came in, went and got better athletes, and let his dudes run. Harbaugh has recruited dudes. DPJ, Collins, and Black should be seeing 2:1 snap counts over guys like McKeon and Eubanks because on aggregate they're a bigger match up problem for defenses.

01/02/2019 - 6:07pm Yes, it is hyperbole. It's…

Yes, it is hyperbole. It's also closer to reality than the opposite. Michigan wasn't a 50-50 run-pass team. They were 60-40 and would probably prefer 65-35 if they could. But it's not even just the breakdown of run versus pass. It's the breakdown of 1st down runs with Gentry blocking. Or 1st down runs with Evans running a dive or Wilson a stretch outside zone.

Evans is a space back akin to Sproles. NOT Peyton Hillis. Wilson, god love him, is a walk on, not some burner who excels on the edge. When Evans was split out wide as a WR what does he do? Breaks Chris Frey's ankles. What does he do running against anyone not named 2017 Minnesota/Purdue (who both sucked)? He gets flattened for 2 yards. 2017 OSU was a perfect example of how Michigan should be able to get their athletes in space. They've done it before and I know it's not that easy, but jesus that was a beautifully called game the likes of which we saw... Once this year? Maybe.

And I never said they are actively trying to keep the ball from the WRs. That's an idiotic strawman. Everyone talks about match ups from Belichick to your local HS coach. When you can't run inside and you have the athletes they do, use them because they are match up problems. When you can pound inside for 5+ YPC go ahead and do that.

Hell, if Gentry is THAT match up the coaches want, then line him up and pick on a LB like they did against OSU. If he's the athlete you want to use, then use him. Don't put him inline blocking for 3/4 of the snaps he sees per game.

01/02/2019 - 5:17pm Clemson has 3 OL in the NFL…

Clemson has 3 OL in the NFL right now. 2 OGs and a OC. That's it. Their NFL players are mostly WRs, DL, and DBs.

They currently have 1 4* OG in the 2019 recruiting class and any others are 3*

2017 they got 1 5* OT and anything else was 3*

2016 they had 1 4* OT and anything else was lower

Their OL recruiting and NFL production are terrible for being in the NC game 2 out of the last 3 years. They have been successful with OLs significantly less impressive than Michigan's because of scheme.

Michigan goes with 3 TE sets with 1 TE who can't block (Gentry) and throw out of it to a guy who can't catch (McKeon and occasionally Gentry). If they need 3 TEs to run the ball, then they're screwed because that puts 9-10 guys in the box and every single one has to be blocked in order for anything more than 4-5 yards to happen unless the RB breaks 3 tackles. Again, it's the "11 guys need to win this play" thing.

Moreover, Gentry is a match up problem because of his height mixed with speed right? Collins is 6'5" and won almost every jump ball thrown at his this year. DPJ is the best athlete on the football team. Black... eh he was hurt but was supposed to be the best of them all. Hell, Perry was THE guy who could get open and he saw about 1 pass/game for fuck all reasons. Those guys are match up problems just as much, if not more than Gentry.

I get that you can't just drop back and throw the ball 25 yards downfield every play for 60 plays. But there is no reason to run on 1st down for 2 yards, then on 2nd down for 1 yard, and then run a 3rd down play with 2 TEs over and over again all the while you know you have 2 thoroughbreds sitting there with 1 drop between the 2 of them covered by guys too short or too slow to stop them more than 1/2 the time.

 

01/02/2019 - 4:45pm RE: Defense

The change up…

RE: Defense

The change up from Plan A cannot be "solve your problems with aggression" anymore. Michigan can out-athlete 3/4 of their yearly schedule. 2/4 of the remaining opponents (Wisconsin and MSU) are good match ups for Michigan in that they don't have space players and running man coverage won't generally result in getting torched to death.

PSU and OSU (as well as any SEC or good ACC team in a bowl game) where Michigan doesn't have the advantage at 3/4 of the positions are problems. We saw what happened when A+ athlete Bush was out against Florida. Not enough speed in the middle to run with SEC speed among Gil and Ross (hard for Ross to replace him in 1 game).

Without A+ DT Hurst all year, there was no interior push which allowed Haskins to carve up the defense all day because he never had to move. Michigan's 2 biggest weaknesses the last 2 years have been their 3rd CB and safeties. When Michigan ran into teams who had the athletes to get after those 2 spots, it was trouble and the change up/adjustment was to run a shoddy zone (when they clearly don't rep it nearly enough - exhibit A being the wide open TD against OSU and the play where Bush got hurt after chasing a crosser he didn't know how to cover), or send more guys at the QB leaving that 3rd CB and safeties in man coverage against crossers (what used to be fades) until they died.

Brown's defenses are very good, don't get me wrong. And he does a good job at adjusting... eventually. But holding a trick play Purdue to 14 yards in the second half because of adjustments cannot be replicated against OSU who can just run past you. Same with the adjustments he's made against teams like Maryland who ran a bunch of tunnel screens. The games all have the same theme: Teams out-scheme Brown for a few drives but once he has the scheme downloaded, he adjusts his BETTER athletes and they eventually suffocate the other team. When the other team has a scheme advantage AND an athlete advantage, Michigan has problems. Michigan will never have 3 David Longs or Leon Halls at CB. Which is why you need a coaching staff capable of having a change up to cover up the 1 or 2 holes in the defense. For years I've been screaming for a 4th CB on passing downs instead of 2 safeties plus the Viper. For years I've been screaming about 3rd and long vacating LBs and giving mobile QBs alleys to run for 1st downs on. The blueprint to beat a Don Brown defense is there. We only have to really worry about it against top 1/4 teams who have the athletes AND the scheme, but those games come 2-3 times per year every year now. Michigan's defense will suffocate 7-9 teams per year no problem. It's the 3-4 others I worry about.

RE: Offense

I just don't understand anymore. I've defended multiple TE sets. I've defended running the ball a bunch. I've even defended the long PA bombs that you can see coming a mile away. But at this point, it's just stupid. Your best athletes are playing WR yet you'd rather run out 2-3 TEs and bury your nose in the ground for 2-3 YPC where each OL HAS to get his block and even then the RB HAS to make a guy miss or have a LB make a bad fit in order to pop off a big run. Games like 2017 Minnesota were a paving in part because of the OL, but also in part because Minnesota's LBs and Safeties SUUUUUCCCKKKKKEEEDDDD. Higdon had caverns to run through because Minnesota's LBs were going to the wrong gap or Hill was getting a 2 for 1 block on a LB and SS. It wasn't schematically anything inspiring, it was just leaning on an inferior opponent until they cracked. Again, that can work against 7 or so teams per year.

The biggest plays this year against the best teams on the schedule when the offense was bogged down and not doing anything. Think about them.

ND: Collins bomb where he just straight up ran past a top level CB (Love).

MSU: A straight go route to DPJ.

OSU: Collins won (I think) 3 jump balls? 2 from Patterson and 1 from Milton. DPJ had like 7 catches and it could have been 8 or 9 had Patterson not short armed a throw or 2. Gentry on a seem route and that dropped TD was a fake QB arc keeper that was awesome. In both cases, Gentry was running a fucking route, not blocking.

The best drive Michigan had against Florida? They just threw up 1 on 1 balls to Collins and DPJ and they came down with 3 of them. Then they stopped running those all together. The INT wasn't even a bad play. Patterson had Collins 1 on 1 but the Safety peeled off DPJ (who ended up in a better situation that Patterson didn't see) to get that jump ball that was otherwise Collins' for the taking.

Point being, Michigan will put its top athletes on the field, use them, and then once 1 thing goes wrong it's immediately back to 2 TEs and run up the middle for 2 yards. The staff is all too willing to scrap the 3 WR west coast offense in favor of 2 TE sets at the first sign of failure. Yet, when the 2 TE sets fail, they don't go away from it.

I used to think Harbaugh and Co had to deal with guys like Whalen and Baldwin being their top WRs at Stanford because it was a rebuilding job and even now Shaw can't recruit great WRs. But now I'm pretty sure they couldn't recruit great WRs because great WRs don't want to go into that kind of offense. The idea that 11 guys have to win each snap in order to be successful is outdated and lazy. Lazy because Clemson can't recruit or develop an OL to save their lives. But it doesn't matter because they send Lawrence back to throw bombs and seems to their athletes who are better than everyone else in the ACC. The Patriots don't require that Cordarelle Patterson win each snap for them to be successful. Shit, 3/4 of their WR corps lose most of their snaps but Brady and McDaniels find the mismatches with their A+ athletes and gets them the ball.

It's time for Evans to be Darren Sproles. Not Frank Gore.

It's time for DPJ, Black, and Collins to get 3/4 of the snaps instead of McKeon.

I'm not saying go full on air raid. I'm saying put your athletes in the best position to succeed and then let them be the A+ athletes you recruited.

01/02/2019 - 9:57am I watched into the 3rd…

I watched into the 3rd quarter of the Michigan game and otherwise didn't watch more than 1 drive of another bowl game and won't be watching the NC for the 3rd year in a row.

I just don't care about Alabama or Clemson. It's redundant and stale.

01/01/2019 - 5:43pm Not saying his source is…

Not saying his source is right or the mechanics of what he's talking about happens the way it does, but the outcome is correct.

Best drive Michigan had? Throwing the ball to Collins and DPJ. Those 2 were match up problems and Florida had trouble covering them 1 on 1. Then all of a sudden they stopped using them. Smart thing happened against OSU but that got away from them defensively. DPJ was open often, Collins made multiple jump ball catches and instead then run out Eubanks and try to bury their nose for 3 yards on the ground.

The tendency to go back to 2 and 3 TE sets and stick with it even when t's not working and immediately abandon 2 and 3 WR sets when it fails once is annoying.

You have stud WRs. Use them. You have space players like Evans. Use him in space.

12/29/2018 - 4:02pm So, again, we find ourselves…

So, again, we find ourselves asking the same questions.

Why, on 3rd down, do you refuse to leave players in the box with mobile QBs/offenses that will run draws? Or even just runs up the middle. Indiana, OSU, MSU, PSU, and now Flordia have all ran QB draws or had plays where it was a quick read and then bail (over the last 2 years). Michigan vacates the middle of the field, leaves a safety at 15 yards, and gets gashed up the middle. Or they leave 1 LB and it's 5 on 5 with the OL and no one to save them if they all get blocked.

Metellus made 1 stop on that today because Florida was at the 15 yard line so he was 10 yards off the ball instead of 15 and could get Frank's before he got the 1st down. Still got within 4 yards of it.

The safeties are slow. The DL (outside of the first quarter) wasn't moving the LOS, and not having your game changing MLB makes the defense gash prone. Similarly, not having Mo Hurst as your penetrating DT makes it even hsrder.

It's a good thing the early signing period passed and Hill signed because they need him. They also need McGrone to be Bush 2.0 because without a stud at MLB they don't have the horses to cover good athletes on spread teams. The "solve your problems with aggression" is good and all when it works. But your plan B cannot be fling more guys at the OL in hopes of getting a TFL. There has to be zone. Your LBs and Viper need to cover, and your DL needs to get home without 5th and 6th blitzers.

12/22/2018 - 6:07pm Until this year "Harbaugh's…

Until this year "Harbaugh's guys" have been true sophomores at the oldest. His 2015 class was a partial class he had all of a month to get together after leaving the NFL. Of course Hoke's guys were the contributors for the majority of Harbaugh's 4 years. That's common sense and not at all unusual unless you hit on multiple starting freshmen/sophomores.

12/21/2018 - 5:24pm The Dantonio stuff annoys me…

The Dantonio stuff annoys me to no end.

He's a self-righteous, condescending, ass hole. If Harbaugh did/said any of the things Dantonio has said/done, MSU fans would make it their mantra for decades. When Dantonio is an ass, they turn it into a meme and jizz over his smile. Don't get me wrong g, Harbaugh is arrogant and says some really cringey things too, but he's not praised for it.

Having gone to MSU (and played a sport) the number of teammates who talked crap about Michigan (who was better than us all but my senior year) drove me nuts. The inferiority complex and obseisson made races insufferable because it was all about beating Michigan, then everyone else. They care about 1 thing and if a little sexual assault is running rampant through their University, so what? It's just like 3 people who had nothing to do with the cross country/swimming/whatever team so it's ok.

12/21/2018 - 12:04pm I went to MSU for undergrad…

I went to MSU for undergrad and know a lot of people involved in the Nassar saga; patients of his who were assaulted, and others who weren't. I personally went to MSU Sports Medicine for surgery as did my sister who saw Nassar (luckily wasn't assaulted).

This whole thing is a joke at this point. A fucked up joke. Back during the trial and shortly after a bunch of people put up green Xs over their Facebook photos (sooo powerful) and said they would not support the University in any way until Engler was gone and they made serious changes and retributions to victims and the student body at large.

Come football season, they took down the green Xs, went to tailgates and football games, and not a single peep since. They don't care. People I went to school with who know victims of sexual assult Do. Not. Care.

I'd say there's less than 30% of alumni who actually feel bad about the whole thing and will actually stop supporting the school. The rest will show "outrage" when a story pops up but claim it's just a few bad actors. Then immediately move on to basketball season.

Personally, I got into Michigan and MSU for grad school. The only reason MSU is even in the running is because of cost. I don't want to be associated with that University.

12/19/2018 - 2:50pm I got into a similar…

I got into a similar argument with a FSU fan a couple years ago when what's his face (old Minnesota coach before Kill) was their TE coach and Tweeted some shit after the bowl game asking why recruits would go to Michigan when FSU is better/recruits better.

Same thing that year. The argument was Michigan's class is only higher because of the numbers, but Michigan's top 18 guys were higher ranked/had a higher average than FSU's class of 18 guys (at the time).

If the tops of the classes are similar, then having an extra 5 or 6 "fliers" is just gravy. One of them turns into Ryan Glasgow and it's a massive win.

12/19/2018 - 10:03am There were like 80 committed…

There were like 80 committed scholarships for next year as of the end of the OSU game (taking into account 4 or 5 walk-ons had scholarships this year that are on a year to year basis).

Then you subtract the 11 seniors who are graduating, two RS Juniors who probably won't get a 5th year, Solomon's transfer, Samuels dismissal, and another 4 or 5 departures for the NFL to get down to 61 scholarships (24 open spots).

So there would need to be another couple of transfers, early departures for the NFL, or some current verbals to drop in order to fit a 26+ freshman class.

Edit: Was wrong on seniors and forgot Samuel's departure

12/19/2018 - 7:58am Their bagmen have started…

Their bagmen have started calling. Mercedes and cash are quite the offer.

12/18/2018 - 2:37pm How good is this counterfeit…

How good is this counterfeit exactly??

12/18/2018 - 2:36pm Already have a BA. Going to…

Already have a BA. Going to Ross for grad school.

Strapped in for a daunting 2 years!

12/18/2018 - 2:33pm I'm coming in at a (possibly…

I'm coming in at a (possibly) self-perceived disadvantage. Poli Sci for undergrad, been working in payroll and HR departments since graduating 5 years ago so in my mind (which I'm rather hyper-critical when it comes to my own accomplishments) I'm not the math or stock trading genius others are.

There are going to be smarter people in the program, but I know when to shut up to avoid looking dumb.

12/18/2018 - 1:16pm Thanks! I preparing myself…

Thanks! I preparing myself to deal with some pretty annoying people, but also a lot of people with a ton more experience and intelligence than I have.

Just have to figure out how to pay for it all.....

12/18/2018 - 1:13pm I got into Ross yesterday…

I got into Ross yesterday for B School so I'm feeling much better about Michigan related things as I whistle past the departures section of the board.