Monday, 19 September 2011

Weekend News

Just a quick overview of everything that happened this weekend for Michigan:

- We'll start with the game vs EMU. I was unable to watch it, but I have a feeling that UM weren't as good as the scoreline suggests. At one point I remember seeing the EMU were averaging nine yards per play, which is simply unacceptable. It also looks like the passing game struggled to get going, so Michigan has plenty to work on before next week.

- A bit of bad news in recruiting: in state junior OT Steven Elmer committed to Notre Dame whilst on an unofficial visit there. Michigan looked to be right up there with ND for him, so this is a big surprise that he's committing so early. It's also a big disappointment given that he's an early member of the scout100.

- Michigan didn't host many big time prospects for the EMU game, and I doubt they will for this coming weekend. However, this week will have a large impact on the class as both Jordan Payton and Zach Banner are scheduled to visit Oklahoma as they take on Missouri. Michigan leads for both right now, but it might be very hard to hold onto the lead when competing against the nation's #1 team.


  1. FWIW

    The first three weeks of football have come and gone.....up until the second quarter of each game, our best performance has been pre-game by the band. Here are some numbers to look at. I apologize for not breaking down yardage by quarter but I just didn't have the time (I took the Offence/Defence Stats from MGoBlog):

    Total Offense: 461.5 yards/game - 24th
    Run Offense: 245 yards/game - 13th
    Pass Offense: 177 yards/game - 87th

    Total Defense: 374.5 yards/game - 76th
    Run Defense: 202.5 yards/game - 103rd
    Pass Defense: 172 yards/game - 26th

    We have outscored our opponents 100/44
    Scoring against by quarter:
    1st - 21
    2nd - 9
    3rd - 7
    4th - 7

    Scoring for by quarter:
    1st - 0
    2nd - 41
    3rd - 28
    4th - 31

    We are obviously coming out and playing 45 minutes of football and I don't just say this because the stats seemingly indicate that. I say this because as somebody who has been to all three games, I and countless others have sat there shaking our heads in disbelief until "adjustments" are made. We will need to be better than this to beat the better teams that are ahead of us on our schedule.

    This week...the San Diego Aztecs. My pick (pre-season):
    24-20 Michigan (I now believe that both teams score higher than than.....31-27 Michigan???)

  2. This week's game really scares me given that our run defense is still horrible and apart from a couple of answered prayers our passing game is non-existent.

  3. SDSU also gave up 400 yards rushing to Army, also I think the noon kickoff helps UM a bunch with SDSU coming from the west coast... Michigan wins 34-17. Go Blue!

  4. Its time for UM and Denard to start thinking beyond this season.

    Great, we are back in the top 25. But lets not kid ourselves...Denard Robinson is a liability at QB.

    A better scenario would be to line him up at RB and give him around ten Wildcat looks each game. Meanwhile, Devin Gardner can be honing his skills as a true Quarterback.

  5. I really don't see this one being that close. A lot of people/analysts are giving SDSU a lot of credit for what they did LAST year. Lindely is good, Ronnie Hillman is good. However, all their WR's are gone, due to graduation or injury. They havn't played anybody yet, and their defense gave up (like mentioned above) 400 yards rushing. We don't even need to pass the ball, we can win this by running all game long, like we did against eastern.

  6. I really think we are not utilizing Denard's talents to their fullest extent. Clearly he does not belong at qb anymore. He finished 6th in Heisman voting. This is not good enough at all. Even if he is in a new offense this year and only 3 games into the season. Obviously he needs a new position...I was thinking D tackle or CB...hmm maybe place kicker. That seems like a good idea. Anywhere but QB...orrrrrr we could leave him at QB because the people who have made their careers in coaching football for decades have decided that's the best choice for their team to win now. Let's not mistake things...this team needs to win now and not later. No building for the future...Hoke has 3 years to turn things college football there is no longer any room for transition. They need as many wins as possible to keep the momentum with recruiting, etc. The people who coach Michigan believe Denard is a more than capable qb so make no mistakes, Denard will be qb. Not running back, not slot receiver, not anything else. It's just not going to happen. With the exception of any gimmick plays or god forbid injuries, Denard will be finishing this season as the qb. It just does not make sense to play him anywhere else no matter what anyone else says...sorry to burst anyone's bubble and bring them back to reality...

  7. Agreed that we can run the ball against SDSU but this will be our first look at a 3-3-5 D. Our rush is our strength though. SDSU has a very balanced rushing/passing game I'm not calling it close because SDSU is so good.....I'm calling it close because we're not that great either.

    Akmed - I agree that Denard stays at QB but like I said in another post, we have to start giving DG more snaps and I would love to see snaps with both of them out there.

  8. I am a big Wolverine fan but something keeps gnawing at me, and I think I have come to the conclusion three games into the season. Our team is just not very good. I watched the Oklahoma / Florida State game; we are a long ways from that kind of caliber team. Look at Oregon, Stanford or Wisconsin. These are solid teams. I know it’s going to take Hoke a couple of years to get “his players”. Mississippi State dropped out of the top 25; they could be our brains in right now. Our defense is still weak on the run, special teams (kick coverage is awful) is not helpful. There just seems to be so many holes to fill. Some have mentioned that Denard should be benched (or another position) because of his passing problems. Denard is what we have and we have to stick with him. He still continues to carry this team despite his passing issues. Bill Martin and Rich Rod sure screwed the program up.

    And finally as far as the game this Saturday, I would put even at best…

    Go Blue!

  9. I would not say Michigan was taking the EMU game off, but they were using it as an opportunity to try new things/tryout back up players. Michigan is still trying to get the foundational run game going right, and once teams have 3 different running threats to watch our passing should open up. Denard is still not accurate throwing deep, though. They allowed EMU to march down the field all during the game, but locked up the red zone.
    Amaizin': Denard Robinson gives us the best chance possible to win at qb. Devin Gardener can be a great qb, but no-ones afraid of him taking it to the house on every snap like they are with Shoelace. He passed for more than he ran last year, and DG wouldn't have brought us back against ND like Drob did.

  10. I watched Coach Hokes press conf. Is it just me or does Hoke have alittle sparkle in his eyes when he talks about SDSU. And thats fine he should be proud of what he did there. Thats why we love him as UM coach he love UM and he loves football. I like when he talks about a kid he says something nice about the kid weather its off the field or on. You can see he truely cares about UM and his kids(player).

  11. We honestly need to get off the whole Denard moving from QB argument. I completely agree that his passing game needs to improve if we are to have the kind of success we are all hoping for against B1G opponents. But, lets just not forget that if it wasn't for Denard at the helm we wouldn't be taken seriously in the run game at ALL. Until we have a consistent 100 yd game running back the team is reliant on DR to get it going. If you want to talk about his passing game then talk about that, but don't just jump to saying he needs to move positions for a QB in DG that is still completely unproven.

    That being said, I really do hope Michigan gets a great lead early and DG comes in to play the whole 4th and I would be happier to see him in late 3rd quarter. He seems to be a talented kid, from what the coaches say, but until we see him in a game working the ball down the field in crunch time to win the game, we don't know what he's capable of. Therefore no one on this blog has any solid proof to suggest he should be the starter.

  12. The concept of DR not being our qb is ridiculous, however, it's ridiculous to think we'll compete at a National level while he's our qb. I get a kick out of some of the people to jump to defend DR. Through the first three games, his numbers are significantly worse compared to last year. He's a Junior, he's starting his third year of collegiate football. You would think that in the previous two years, he would be able to correct little things like footwork, but he hasn't. This offense wasn't good down the stretch last year, and it appears that it picked up where it left off. The miracle fourth quarter against N.D. wasn't football, that was sandlot football at best. We'll have to rely on our defense once league play starts, and although they're vastly improved, that's one hell of a scary thought.

  13. @Brandon
    I totally agree with you that relying on our defense is a scary thought, but, not on the mechanical issues DR is having. The previous staff wasn't preparing him for being under center, and as stated by many, the offense and defense were each lacking in mechanics. The blame for that goes on the former coaches, this is DR's second year as a starter, so I just say give him some time to grasp what the staff is telling him. His work ethic is off the charts, from year 1 to 2 in RR's offense was like night and day, and I expect him to have a similar situation this next year. I am fully with everyone who says he needs to get better, but am more like you in saying "Hold your horses" on benching him or moving positions.

    Another thing I don't see working is him and DG on the field at the same time. I just can't see that working.

  14. @ Jared

    See that's the thing Jared, they've more or less scraped their idea of running a pro-style offense, and have ran the spread. They initially set out to have DR under center 50% of the time, but he's been under center about 2% of the time. His footwork has been an issue since his Freshman year, and it hasn't improved. I don't doubt for one second that he has an unbelievable work ethic, but not everyone is a great qb. DR is arguably the best athlete in college football. Although this is a wonderful attribute, what this team needs to be successful at a National level is a wonderful qb. I'm sorry if I've been negative with the last couple of posts, but I'm extremely disappointed in what I've seen out of DR and the offense thus far.

  15. @Brandon

    "extremely disappointed" is a huge overstatement. DR accounted for 444 yds (300+ in the 2nd half vs. ND) and the offense ran for over 360 yds vs EMU. I know his passing hasn't been that good but it has been when the team needed it (4th qtr vs ND) there are plenty of top tier teams in the Big 10 that would kill to have DR as their QB (PSU, OSU, probably even Nebraska). "extremely disappointed" would be a 2-1 record with (180 yds of offense if the 2nd half looked like the 1st vs. ND) The beatdown the Irish put on MSU makes Denard's performance look even more special.

  16. I am fine with Denard at QB - as long as they are running the spread. For the rest of the season they should be running the spread 85% of the time. The proof is on film - when they try to run pro style the wheels fall off. Maybe next year they try to drop that to 70% and then go full pro style in 2013. That is the only way I see this working for the next 2 years unless Denard comes out next year and voluntarily changes positions.

    I also think they need to run a couple of easy passing plays (bubble screens) early in the first series to boost his confidence and get him to settle down.

  17. Where is Martavious Odoms?? This guy has disappeared.

  18. @ goblue32

    Again, you're looking at the numbers, but not looking at how those were obtained. Scrambling around chucking the ball in the air and hoping your receivers bail you out is NOT impressive. DR had ridiculous stats early last year as well, but we all know how the offense did late in the year. The spread won't work in the Big10 long term, and if you want to be remotely successful running a run based spread, then you better be able to throw the ball to keep the defense honest. Yes, I've been EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED. For any fan to sit there and say look at the stats, and not take into consideration how those stats were obtained, is even more disappointing.

  19. @Brandon

    I never understood why people say the spread wouldn't work in the big 10 long term, the offense was 5th in the nation last year in yardage, also, remember app st. and then oregon in back to back weeks killing us with the spread? The difference is in the defense being able to get off the field and force turnovers. Having watched all the games this year, yes DR has missed some throws and made some bad decisions and the receivers have dropped some balls, but this is only 3 games into the system, hitting a couple of those throws early in the game will open up the run and the play action that the pro style lives off of.

  20. I think if the coaches did what they are doing in reverse it would look better. Let DR loose in the beginning get the score up, experiment on plays after we get a lead. Everybody panics when they see the pro style fail in the 1st half.

    It's funny when people say "jump balls" isn't football. His recievers bailed him out...I'm watching the patriots chargers game, two primier NFL qb's, and I couldn't count the number of jump balls thrown so far (and completed). Calvin Johnson?...need I say more?

    Of course we don't have a Calvin but, bottom line is you have to put it where your WR can make a play. He's just not use to making his reads down field. In the spread option your read are mostly in the backfield. He finished last season 70%. He just needs to recognize his open recievers sooner, he throws way late, which makes the window non exsistant, and prolly under pressure. He will learn touch, and he will start making better reads. Half the time he had a reciever open and didn't even see him.

    I predict they will do as I suggested against sdsu this week.

    Win 38-27

  21. Smokey,

    You maybe on to something with running the spread
    To build a lead then run the power I.

  22. Smokey,

    For you to even compare what we're seeing to the Pats & Chargers is just plain crazy. Sure, Brady and Rivers might throw up a jump ball, but it's done with a purpose. Everyone keeps saying he'll get it, but my goodness, he's been in college for almost 3 years. The things we keep making excuses for are things that you learn in Junior High. I'm done debating about a topic that obviously will never change. I hope I'm wrong, I hope the light bulb goes off for him, and he's finally able to be a consistently efficient qb.

  23. Yeah DR's jumpball throw to roundtree had no purpose??...they all had purpose. I didn't compare him to Tom Brady. You might wanna re-read it. There called jump balls for a reason. You find a matchup you like, you throw it up, and the person who jumps the highest gets it. They can be broke up or intercepted just as easy as completed.

  24. I am completely amazed at the Denard-hatred out there! The guys is our offense and we want him to touch the ball less? Is he a better runner than passer? Absolutely! Denard is actually completing a higher percentage of his passes from the pro-stlye than he is from the spread this year! At one point I saw a stat that showed DRob was at 70% from under center and only 39% from the spread. I don't even think scheme is the issue. He is just making poor reads and like smokey said he has been very late getting the ball out (see the interception versus EMU). He got the ball out too late and it was behind the receiver and it got picked. Denard gets an A+ as a running QB and is probably closer to a C as a passer. We as Michigan fans have been spoiled with QB play over the last couple of decades and we want our QB to be an accomplished passer. That is not who he is. What he is is an electrifying running QB. He makes enough plays in the passing game to keep teams honest, but he is what he is. He can only get better as a passer as his footwork gets better, but how long has it taken Michael Vick to figure it out? He has never had to stay in the pocket past his first read. If you were a fan of mid-1990's Nebraska and inherited Tommie Frazier how could you be pissed when he doesn't become Peyton Manning if there was a offensive philosophy change? That is not who he is. Same with Denard. Denard is a fantastic college quarterback our offensive struggles are far beyond just his inaccuracy issues. Where was a running game (minus DRob) versus ND (our only legit opponent)? Our line is still better at zone read than ManBall and other than Hemingway we don't really have anything but slot recievers playing out of position on the outside. There is going to be some growing pains, but be thankful that Borges isn't going RichRod and making DRob go 100% pro-style like RR had Steven Threet and Nick Sheridan go 100% spread. Baby steps. Appreciate Robinson while we have him and when he is a 3rd down back or slot receiver in the NFL a la Randall El we can remember how much fun he was to watch.

    BTW, those clamoring for Devin Gardner I do understand your perspective. The talent he has and what he "might" be capable is exciting, but trust our staff. They do have UM's best interest at heart and I guarantee you that Hoke isn't a guy that plays politics. He wants to win and win now. DRob's his guy.

  25. Can this please return to being a recruiting website and not a DR vs DG website? Honestly it doesn't matter what anybody says on here, Brady Hoke and Al Borges are not going to come on to this website and decide to start Gardner because a few fans say they should. This debate is not even possible to win anyway.

    Now, does anybody have any actual news on guys such as Payton, Darboh, Banner, O'brien, Dunn, etc.?

  26. I read that Banner and Payton were going to visit OK. this weekend. So they may have a decision next week. Maybe? Darboh Whats to visit ND soon. I guess we will have to wait and see on him as well. As for O'Brien I thought I heard he will make his decision on Oct 6th. Not sure on that?

  27. BB,
    There is a recruiting article up on

  28. That sounds like a great idea @bballislife22. Here are a few nuggets from

    "[Josh] Garnett does plan on taking official visits to Michigan, Miami, and Auburn and mentions Cal, Notre Dame and Stanford as schools that could earn those fourth and fifth visits."

    "After the Wolverines toppled Notre Dame in the Under the Lights game, Banner was standing on a bench on the field, dancing and pumping up the fans. He was clearly having a great time. 'He was blown away,' said Dave Miller, his high school coach. 'He loved it. He said he really enjoyed coach Hoke, and he and his mom were really impressed with the down-to-earth way he talked to them."

    It also sounds like Jordan Diamond is leaning towards Illinois.

    "[Darboh] will probably wait and see Michigan, Florida and Notre Dame until after his season, but Michigan is very high on his list. His coach, Tom Wilson, told, 'I think the big thing for Darboh is he could be part of that change and part of something special up at Michigan.' Wilson coached with UM DB coach Curt Mallory at Ball State. Michigan has been very active with Darboh, and he hasn't scheduled any other official visits."

    UM is not in Dwayne Stanford's top five. He lists: Ohio, LSU, Arizona State, Cincinnati, and Alabama. Alabama, LSU and OSU are his three favorites.

    Jordan Payton still has Michigan as his leader.

    Wes Brown, Greg Garmon and Bri'onte Dunn may all take official visits to Ann Arbor.

    Brown lists Maryland and Miami as his top 2, with UM just outside the group.

    Garmon keeps backing out of his visits to UM. He also received an offer recently from Texas A&M which has him very interested. Garmon is set to visit Iowa officially on Oct. 14th. His top three include Iowa, Illinois and Michigan.

    Dunn has two visits to Ohio planned, vs. Nebraska and vs. Wisconsin. Fortunately for UM those may be both OSU losses! He also would like to visit UM for the OSU game, but it may not work out as his team may be in the playoffs. It is unknown if Dunn will be in for an official visit.

    "[Monty] Madaris took a visit to one of his top schools last weekend: Cincinnati. The rising three-star prospect has a top five of Michigan, MSU, Nebraska, Cincinnati and Florida State, though the Wolverines and Seminoles are considered his leaders. He is planning on coming to the OSU game at the end of November." -

    Darius Powe was scheduled to visit UM this weekend but couldn't make and will re-schedule. He remains interested and will likely visit soon. UM, UCLA and Oregon State rank as his three favorites.

    Andrus Peat will officially visit Nebraska, FSU and Texas with UM looking on the outside for even an official visit. We should be okay though considering our OL class already and the strong interest from Banner and possibly Garnett.

  29. Hello guys, long time no chat!

    Just some random thoughts regarding some of the prior posts:

    Oregon ran a wonderful spread in 2007. Top of the world. Then Dixon went down and they fell of the edge, not to be heard from again. Until recently, when Auburn beat them, and more recently, LSU. ( OK, they beat TN in Knoxville.)

    For the spread to consistently dominate, you need two interchangeable QB's. Finding one Dixon, Edwards or DR is difficult enough. Recruiting, training and retaining two is almost impossible.

    I'd like to see a pro set, with intermittent spread/wildcat elements. That's exactly how Lloyd hoped to use Bass, and how he minimally used Breaston. (Breaston, being less than 100% healthy for about 90% of his Michigan career, saw less than planned snaps.)

    Who knows what RR could have accomplished if he was a legitimate HC, and not just an OC pretending he knows how to run a team? Maybe we will see some day....

    But I'm a believer in the saying "defense wins championships." Wins. That's the stat that matters.

    I'd rather play like LSU than Oregon.

  30. I would echo BlueMarrow's comment to play like LSU, rather than Oregon.

    On another note, I read a couple of stories on the starting RB position going to Vincent Smith for the SDSU game. I am a big Toussaint fan, but can't deny that Smith has played the best in games and seems to be the most solid all-around, and thus deserves the nod at this point.

  31. If anyone cares Ace Williams is repoting Banner and O'Brien Go Blue I think tonight.

  32. Jarrod Wilson is said to be enrolling early at UM. If so that counts toward this years scholarships not next years correct? If I am correct on this it does not add another scholarship position for next year? I am correct on that?

  33. If he enrolls early it counts towards the 2010 class. It shouldn't change too much overall because we will still need to get under 85 to get all of these guys in. That still is exciting news to hear. Extra practice this spring never hurts.

  34. Extra spring pactice never hurts. If I remember right one other player wants to enroll early as well can't remember who.

    Does anybody believe the Ace Williams report? Some believe he is a fraud others like him. Me I am not sure weather I should believe him or not?

  35. I don't believe for one second that the throws in the notre dame game were intentional. They were just flat out poor throws that the receivers made good adjustments and caught. Denards lack of good throws will come back to hurt us down the road. That being said, I still believe he is our best bet at QB.

    Someone asked about martavious odoms earlier. I never liked him as a player. I think he just got lost in the depth chart. The other receivers are just better. I personally, really like Jeremy Gallon. I see good things in his future.

  36. O'Brien will annouce oct 6 per Tomvh

  37. Ace Williams predicted Ondre Pipkins commiting @ the BBQ. Supposedly he did silently but made it known public few days afterwards. I think the term "fraud" is too strong and inaccurate.

  38. What's the word others from this site and other have used. I can't make up my mind on him yet.

  39. If I don't hear it from tomvh I won't believe it. Until then its all rumors . GO BLUE!!!!!!!!!!

  40. Dan O'Brien official visit to TN is after his announcement. Hence good news for UM. I don't see Banner going elsewhere especially after hearing what he did @ the UM-ND game (celebrating). He also was told he can play both sports. Him knowing Micth McGary having UM as a strong possibility, befriending with Magnuson (I know I spelled incorrectly). Looks good for UM. That leaves (2) more to our knowledge. Hoping Wright jumps on board and I see Payton jumping on board. I was hoping Peat, Diggs, hell even DGB suprise us. Was a futile dream.

  41. I personally think that the fact that O'Brien has said he will continue to visit Tennessee AFTER he announces is NOT good news for us. If he announces for UM, why would Hoke allow him to take another official after giving a verbal? I think either if O'Brien commits there is no way he still visits UT.

  42. That is Hoke's policy. But it looks good in favor of UM. Only thing I don't know is did he set his announcement date before or after his official date with TN? Either way I strongly believe he's Blue. And I believe after Banner official to Oklahoma/MiZZou game he goes Blue. BTW, anyone know if Chris Bryant played any snaps?? And what position do they have him slotted?

  43. Caleb, You post an interesting question, to which I offer a plausible explanation:

    Coach, I've decided! I want to be a Michigan Wolverine!

    (Muffled YYYEEEESSSSS! cough, cough)
    That's fantastic news!. I KNOW you have made a
    great choice!

    I know I have, too. I can't wait to get started! There's just one thing though. I gave my word to my TN recruiter that I would take an official down there. I already told him I'm Blue all the way, but he still wants me to come down. I feel like I owe it to him, since I said I would, and it's not like a Michigan man to go back on his word, so I hope it's ok if I still go down there...

    No problem Dan, I think I can speak for everyone here when I say we respect that.. and it reflects the kind of character we're looking for to build a championship program.

    Thanks coach!

  44. a must read

  45. I like this Thomas kid. 5'9, 190 lbs. I mean, he said if he had an offer from Michigan, he'd sign it right now. It's his dream school and those are the type of players I want us to recruit. It doesn't hurt that he's projected as the number one RB in the state of Georgia either.

  46. According to Rivals, Yuri Wright has not scheduled any official visits yet, but he "for sure will be taking one to Michigan some time in October." The article said that either early vs Minnesota or vs Purdue at the end of the month. If he gets on campus, Mattison and Hoke will have the full-court press on for his services as will many other recruits.

    With Banner, Payton & O'Brien really liking UM, if Wright goes Blue, does Hoke open up the last two scholarships for Dunn, Garnett and/or Darboh? This class could end up AWESOME!

  47. I sure hope that we have enough scholarship places for all of these guys if they want to commit

  48. I think it's looking more like Payton, Banner, Darboh, and Wright. I don't know how I feel about Garnett, Dunn is still a lost cause as far as I'm concerned, but I wouldn't tell him no. And I just have a feeling that Obrien will go to Tennessee. Obviously I would love for him to come Blue also, but I'm just not feeling it.