Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wisconsin Wrap

Mostly Stuffed Curds.

Michigan's defense stopped Wisconsin cold in the 2nd half (and for that matter, most of the first as well). But for the last game-almost-tying drive, Wisconsin was held in check. The numbers for the 2nd half didn't turn out quite as impressive as it seemed at the time. In large part because the last and 2nd to last drives did cover 141 yards.

The 2nd half numbers for Wisconsin:

Rushing yards: 47
Passing yards: 195

Consider that for the vast majority of the 2nd half, Wisconsin's game plan was to grind the clock and the game, the 47 yards is pretty impressive. Equally impressive, until the 2nd to last drive (that one ending in a fumble) Wisconsin's longest drive was 42 yards (their first). Wisconsin's remaining drives were all 3 and out (or less): -3, 7, 0 (interception return for TD), and 9.

Defense Returns the Favor.

The Michigan D did its part to make up for the first half fumblerama with an interception return for a touchdown and a key Brandon Graham forced fumble deep in Michigan territory. The key forced fumble, plus another in the first half with three sacks gave Brandon Graham Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Kill Brandon Kill.

Brandon expects to continue the performance against the Illini. How do you neutralize Illinois quarterback Juice Williams: "Gotta attack him early. Hopefully he'll crack."

It hurts.

David Gilreath, Wisconsin WR, sounds devastated:


I know you have noticed how the motor for these guys keeps going. I haven't seen hands on hips on the defensive side of the ball yet. You do remember TT last year, yes? That's changed.

Steve Schilling from the Freep:

"There were a lot of times Coach Barwis put us through workouts where a lot of people would have quit, but he wouldn't let us quit," Schilling said. "Getting through those workouts in the summer, the hard practices in camp ... that mentality has been set into the team from the start."
‘I don’t think we get very tired during games".

‘Conditioning, I feel like we can outlast a lot of teams." and
"There's always the will to win, and when you have that, that's good, but when you have the conditioning we have, you have some tools to use, too."
Brandon Minor:
‘I’d have to say it’s the conditioning part. At the end, you could see they were tired, but we kept on going.’
Run Baby Run.

While Brandon Minor only carried the ball twice, he had the run of the game, and looked pretty fast doing it. He says it was set up perfectly, from the News:

"It was set up perfect because the two linebackers blitzed, so I just had to beat the safety one-on-one and outrun the corner," Minor said. "I just give it up to my linemen for holding their blocks."
Monday's Off.

This isn't anything new, but it does seem a good idea to get the emotional ups out before the week starts. Rodriguez from Big 10 presser:

“The way we approach the practices and the way we’ll approach each game, we’ll think about it for the 24 hours right after, and then we’ll move on. That’s one reason we practice on Sundays and give them Monday off, so we can get that game, good bad or indifferent, out of our system. A lot of people during the week may still be talking about it, but there’s so many challenges in front of us and so much work we’ve got to do, because we’re very average in a lot of spots and below average in areas, so we’ve got to get that corrected.”
Just Execute.

R2 claims that there isn't a difference between the offensive game calling from the 1st half to the 2nd despite dramatically different results agains Utah, ND, and Illinois. I'm not buying it at this point. But, FWIW:
“A couple games, we have started off scoring on the first drive and then didn’t do anything for the few series after that. It’s funny, some of the same plays that were working effectively at the end of the game were the ones we were calling at the beginning of the game; we just executed better. It’s more of a matter of execution as opposed to plays. We’ve got to look for things that maybe get confidence and get our quarterback in rhythm. That’s the plan anyway. For us, it’s just the plan of executing early and not having those turnovers. Those are the things that are killing us, taking away possessions and any chance we have, so we’ll continue to stress that.”
Obi says the difference is from a lack of urgency. From the Blade:
‘We usually go in at halftime losing and come out with more of a sense of urgency that we should be playing with the whole game,’ Ezeh said. ‘That’s kind of what our aim is, to play that way the whole game, but we haven’t been able to do it. Hopefully we can come out and do it against the Illini.’
And this falls into Rod's life philosophy:
"If I ever had a team that did (quit), which I haven't, I would be more embarrassed," Rodriguez said. "If I ever had a team that somebody said they looked like they quit or they were soft or they were lazy, that would be the most embarrassing thing somebody could tell me. I've told the team that. Worst thing somebody could tell you is that you're soft or lazy.

"If you run the wrong route or have the wrong technique or make a bad decision or something, that's not good, (but) we can get those corrected. But if you're soft and lazy, that's something you can control every day in every game."

Shafter Gets After the D.

About Scott Shafer:

Nose tackle Terrance Taylor jumped on the ball in another example of the kind of hustle for which defensive coordinator Scott Shafer meticulously watches.

"He sees who's flying to the ball, who's turning around, running," Graham said. "A lot of people were turning around a lot of hats were on the ball. We were hitting them high and low."

Shafer, who pays attention to the number of times defenders don't go all out during a game, counted fewer "loafs" than at any point this season, according to Graham.

Michigan Stadium Rocks Recruits.

From Freep:
"There were a whole lot of people and it was crazy,” said South Carolina offensive guard Quinton Washington who was in Ann Arbor for his official visit. “It was real live – the (most live) I've ever seen anything and just a fun experience.”

"That crowd was so hyped. Even when they were down 19 points, the crowd was still cheering them on,” added Pahokee, Fla., linebacker Brandin Hawthorne, another official visitor who has already made a verbal commitment to Michigan.

Jordan Barnes: “I think we came out with a win because we are so much more conditioned than everybody else,” Barnes said. “Even when they were down at halftime, the (team) was still into it pretty well and I liked their commitment.”

Last Complaint Until the Chinchillas Come Back

Ridiculous. Atrocious.

"At same time, if it is a lack of discipline from carrying ball in the wrong hand to not putting it high and an tight when contact is about to hit you then we need to as coaches, and we got to emphasize that."

Yes. You do.

Video: "The return game is atrocious," says Rich Rodriguez about his special teams

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Victory grabbed from the Clutches of Defeat!

After watching 90 minutes of 11 wet chinchillas trying to catch an acorn on a slip-n-slide, this was an unexpected victory. Let us hope for more downfield passing, less option pitches, and maybe some glue.

And, maybe this meeting will help:

Highlights of Wisconsin here.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Let There Be No Mistake

There is 5 minutes left in the first half, and whatever happens the rest of the game, one thing is clear. Rich Rodriguez has a VERY SERIOUS problem here. I have NEVER, EVER seen a Michigan (or for that matter any "good" team) ever fumble the ball like Michigan has the last 2 games. There are some that may blame players. It is not so. There is a complete and total lack of fundamentals, even from those who should know better (Greg Matthews and Morgan Trent); but it IS THE COACHES JOB to teach (and practice) basics. PERIOD. This is uncacceptable.

Like hold the ball in your armpit, not as a loaf of bread.

And hold the ball in your outside arm.

Moreover, with 1:30 on the clock in the first half, instead of trying to burn the clock ON YOUR 10 YARD LINE Michigan chooses to run the hurry up offense. This is very basic strategy. Very basic. Also unacceptable.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Wisconsin Preview

Wisconsin is 3-0, as usual. Unlike most years, Wiscy did schedule a nominally difficult presason game against Fresno State. On the road.

While Fresno may not be the BCS buster many that claimed heading into that game, it was a big test. Wisconsin passed 13-10. I watched a good deal of that game, and it was competitive though it probably should not have been as close as it was, especially since the homer refs really piled it on for the home team. Don't discount the significance of that win, the Bulldogs were jacked, the fans were rabid, the WAC refs were pulling hard for the home team, in a game on national television, on a weeknight at 10:30 edt. All of that in the single biggest game that Fresno State has ever played at home (possibly ever, ever).

Wisconsin's remaining schedule is typical Badger fare, beating Akron 38-17 and Marshall 51-14. As you probably already know, they had last weekend off. What, if anything, can we learn from the Fresno game?

Fresno rushed for about 200 yards against Rutgers and Toledo in 24-7 and 55-54 wins. Wisconsin held Fresno to 118 yards on 33 carries for a 3.5 yard average. Fresno veraged 5.3 per rush against Rutgers. 5.0 per rush against Toledo. That is significant. Wiscy also held Akron to 70 yards on 22 rushes. And 29 rushes for 75 yards by Marshall. All in all, expect a stout run defense, and a significant number of bubbles and short passes to the short fast guys.

Wisconsin's offense is . . . . Wisconsin's offense: Large thundering cheese curds in front of lumbering sausage. We've seen it before, and we'll see it this year, and again and again . . .

Michigan will have to pass to move the ball. Steven Threet has looked good, and has been officially graced with the starting role. If he can pass as well as he did against Notre Dame, the game should be competetive; provided Michigan doesn't turn the ball over 6 times, or fumble twice inside of its own 20!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tacopants Is Russian

Tacopants has been located in London. Surprisingly, Tacopants is a woman. Mini-me is happy.

The particulars:

Svetlana Pankratova
Ht. 6'4"
Legs 4'4"
Home Volvograd, Russia

This should end Steven Threet's strange looking passes 4 feet over his receivers, which occurred with disturbing frequency against Utah and Miami Ohio. The famous Eastern European receiver is rumored to be looking for a scholarship with another NCAA program. It is rumored she is being recruited heavily by Bill Stewart.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

No bailout for Rod

At least someone has taken responsibility for losses. Another quote, this time from the Detroit News, that the special teams coaches are responsible for the Notre Dame loss:

"I just hope we catch the ball," Rodriguez said, smiling. "We've tried out just about everybody back there. There have been seven, eight guys back there, catching kicks every day. We try to put then in pressure situations, but it's different in the game.

"You've got to be able to do it, and focus and just catch the ball first and know we're going to get some short kicks and balls that aren't kicked right down the middle. We've got to be able to handle that. As much as we've worked on it, we should be better at it. If not, I'll be very disappointed."

Rodriguez said just who will return kicks Saturday remains unclear. Players who have practiced returns are defensive backs Morgan Trent , Brandon Harrison and Boubacar Cissoko , receivers Martavious Odoms and James Rogers and tailbacks Avery Horn , Michael Shaw and Sam McGuffie .

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Couch Fire!

Gomer Pyle?

No, that may be generous. I'm thinking Barney Fife.

And, the couches are now fully aflame:

I have never been so embarrassed than last night.
Stewert is no head coach he looked confused and clueless on the sidelines last night. It appears his playbook is about 3 plays thick. Devine student body right and left and the qb draw. What a drive killer he is with the play calling 3 and short well lets pass, oops almost intercepted. 2 minutes to go in regulation lets not try to get out of bounds or run a few high success plays to get some yardage to let pat try a field goal. I am totally disgusted and I bleed the blue and gold of WV, have since I was 6. Last night was a disgrace. I knew we were going to have problems with Stewert when he made the comment before the first game that he doesn't do the coaching, that's why he has coaches that do that kinda stuff. Well Bill what exactly do you do? All I can say is we have the exact same line as last year, a line that continually opened holes for the running game and its gone what has Bill Stewert done to that line? What has Bill Stewart done to the Mountaineers? Bill needs to step down he is way out of his league at WV. Bill is just a good ole boy from West Virginia and not BCS Championship coaching material.

Posted on: 9/19 12:35 pm

Comparisons to Bobby Williams here. And, the Appalachian-Americans have even created their own still shot video:

Lute is Cheating

I've written before about the college hoops malignant tumor that is the AAU. I mentioned it when Beilein was hired. And through the Tim Green"backs", Alex Legion, and the Prophet Reverend Legion soap opera.

The crux of the problem is that college programs are funneling "donations" into the 501(c)(3) corporations that are set up for the AAU coaches who run these programs.

Lute went a step further. He directly solicited donations from Arizona basketball boosters for an AAU tournament put by University of Arizona staff called the Cactus Classic. Lute claims he didn'do it. He says someone on his staff created and printed the letter with his electronic signature. From the Tuscon Citizen:

A letter was sent this spring to the Rebounders Club board of directors from Olson's office, encouraging members to donate to an amateur basketball exhibition tournament at UA, Livengood's report said.

The letter was printed over Olson's electronic signature and went out marked "personal and confidential," said the report Livengood sent to Ron Barker, the associate commissioner of the Pacific-10 Conference.
Olson "adamantly denied" knowledge of the letter being sent and later sent a retraction, Livengood said in his report.

Whether Lute was directly responsible or not is pretty much beside the point. The Arizona basketball program sought direct contributions from its boosters for an AAU tourney. Really, that's all that need be said.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rod's Riddler

This didn't start with Batman. Or the Riddler. In fact, I started with a listen to Rod's phone conference with the Big 10 today. This not only covers the theme of the day, but also one of my favorite tv shows growing up:

And on to Rod's Riddles we go ---

How Can a Coach Avoid Fumbles?

Rod had a question and answer about the Notre Dame game. The audio link from Mlive is here. Basically, Rod spent a few minutes saying this:

--Brandon Minor's "fumble" was supposed to be a forward pass.
--We have to coach it up on the kick receiving team, although they caught it "pretty well" in practice.
--The unforced turnovers have got to be corrected (no kidding!)
--Brandon Graham has played "pretty well". But he is still learning the new scheme and terminology, which has slowed him down.
--ND executed deep ball well and handled conditions well.
--ND handled the ball better than we did.

I would have added something like this: We will not start a true freshman at kick returner in the first road game of the year. We will not start a true freshman at kick returner in the first road game of the year. We will not start a true freshman at kick returner in the first road game of the year.

There's One In Every Group.

At the end of the session, Jeff Rabjohns, an Indianapolis Star reporter, asked whether there are more missed field goals in college are a result of the wider hashmarks in college as compared to the pro game, and whether college should adopt the pro hashes.

Uhh. Let me think about that. . . .

Not The World's Hardest Riddle, but . . .

The answer to Rabjohn's Riddle is actually a little closer than you might think. Here's the World's Hardest Riddle:

I turn polar bears white
and I will make you cry.
I make guys have to pee
and girls comb their hair.
I make celebrities look stupid
and normal people look like celebrities.
I turn pancakes brown
and make your champane bubble.
If you squeeze me, I'll pop.
If you look at me, you'll pop.
Can you guess the riddle?

Think about this one. It might take a couple minutes.

Rabjohns' Riddle.

Rod actually nailed the answer and the reason to Rabjohns' question. The reason: No dumbass, there are more made field goals in the pros than college becauase they are pros. Incidentally, Jeff, there are also more field goals in college than high school despite wider goal posts and the use of tees. Huh, go figure.

You know I really wanted to make fun of Rabjohns. Rip him up a little. Not like Drew Sharp or Terry Foster ripping, that wouldn't be warranted. Maybe something more like this:

But, I actually took some time to read some of his articles. Here's an example of a good one, which is yet another riddle: How young is too young? I don't know if Jeff would like Detroit or not, but we can certainly make room for you, Jeff. If you like Ann Arbor, Jim Carty needs to get out of town. Or, if you'd like the big city paper you could replace Rob Parker, Drew Sharp, and Terry Foster together, and save the papers some payroll expense.

And the answer to the World's Hardest Riddle Is . . .


Monday, September 15, 2008

Responsibility Noted

Now Get It Fixed.

Before you go all random stats, bad luck, and the obvious effect of the state's poor economy on Michigan's turnover margin Saturday, please take a minute to realize that a significant portion of these turnovers came in the first half, without weather -- or at least not weather of the Hurricane Ike variety. And, that rule numero uno for any kick return team is to catch the ball, first.

I've also had a chance to step back, breathe deeply, and let the effects of a few adult beverages wear off. The result: I apologize to Rod and the remainder of the staff for accusing them of being 75% responsible for the kickoff fumbles which put Michigan in such a hole. They were only 50% at fault.

Rod did accept responsibility for his share of the miscues Saturday, and vowed to work on the kick returners ability to catch the ball:

Video: 'The sky is not falling,' says Rich Rodriguez

I Can See Russia From My House!

No this doesn't really relate to Michigan football, exept that Michael Phelps was on. But, I've got a soft spot for Tina Fey, and if you haven't see this yet, it's pretty funny, regardless of whether you support a milf or a boner shrinker:

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mmmmmm, Chicken Wings

The Whale has prevailed in no small part as a result of the unfathomable intake of wings which led to his whalelike agility on display before half. And so, we shall, in sporting fairness, tip our doughnuts to Charlie with this honorarium for the week.

And, Now For A Few Parting Words . .. .

Who Wants To Start The Insanity?

It is truly depressing that you will hear how Michigan didn't get to practice in rain, blah bla blah bla blah bla, but that there ain't no excuse Jim. And the players won't offer excuses. I hope Rod accepts the responsibility for this loss himself. You cannot. Ever. Spot anyone, much less the domers, 14 points in 5 minutes.

I am Speechless (almost).

But there was still opportunity to keep the whale beached. Alas, with 6 turnovers (at least -- I stopped counting after all the fumbles -- Sheridan might actually have made it 7) it is impossible to win a game. And, while you can blame the players (and you need to -- at least a little bit) it could not be more obvious that the turnover epidemic (half of which occurred without crazy weather) is 75% coaching. This cannot last.

I am Costanza, Lord of the Idiots.

As the last example of the mindlessness of the coaching staff, after Sheridan gives away any last glimmer of hope, they reinsert our now clear starting quarterback for the last 2 minutes. Hello. Newmannnn!

Beached Whale at Half

They watched as the blob washed upon the sand, having left his home of the green sea. And so Charlie Weis washed out of the South Bend gridiron and into the Club Car which carted him to teh bowels of the stadium. He shall not return.

Uugh. Rich Rodriguez should remove his head from his ass. You can't have a kickoff return that puts you in good field position unless your returners can first catch the ball. I'd turn a responsible eye toward Boubacar, but after 2 in a row there is only one person responsible.

Another Uuugh. Whoever the hell called a 2 yard route on 3rd and goal from the 7 (read Rich Rodriguez here) should be permanently removed from the sideline (or booth as the case may be). Unforgiveable.

Positives: Steven Threet looks like the real deal. Great first half by Threet. McGuffie Rocks. Morgan Trent and D. Warren have played pretty well given the situations presented. Greg Matthews has played terrific and hasn't dropped a ball yet - unless you're the ref ND paid to call the touchdown an incomplete pass and D. Warren's breakup an interference. And, nice piggy back ride for KG.

Negatives: Our run defense has revisited Utah first half, which was a major issue coming in. We have not pressured the emu enough. But worst of all -- our coaching staff has really had some atrocious game and clock management decisions. Say what you will about the open offense, the game breakers, etc; but what is clear from the first half is that we have no problem giving the ball back to the other team instead of using the clock to run the half out; nor do we have any problem rushing no huddles to a 3 and out after 2 straight 12 yard drives and a shellshocked offense. The personnel will change as the spread players are recruited and the young guys now playing get some more experience, but if these types of decisions don't change, there is a major, major problem in A2.

Optimism reigns. We've given Weis 14 points. The refs took away 7 from us, and we're still only down 28 -17. Our offense is alive. But the weather has arrived. That may actually benefit Michigan as a result of the impact on the ND long ball.

Go Blue!

Friday, September 12, 2008

ND analysis

Michigan vs. NotreDame
(NOT Really Enough Doughnuts At MEaltime)

It was wings last year for Charlie. Obviously that didn't cut it. This year he's going doughnuts. Hopefully he's a few short. I think he will be:

The lines started in ND's favor between a point and a point and half early this week. They've changed. Michigan is now the favorite. At Notre Dame. By one to one and a half. This could be for one of two reasons: A) fans are betting on Michigan, and hence the line has moved ( I personally find it difficult to believe that anyone who has watched Michigan's passing game would possibly bet on us) or B) Something about Notre Dame going into a bad weather situation without a running game against a good defense is scary to the odds makers (this is possible). Most likely, some loonies somewhere have actually placed wagers on Michigan. How looney are they?

ND was a 1.5 favorite at opening line. I'll start there.


-1.5 for opening spread.

Michigan offense will not pass downfield successfully = O points. But, Steven Threet will hit short flares, and we'll move the ball relatively consistently on those short gainers with a couple of long breaks mixed in = Michigan field position = 6 points.

Michigan running game vs. ND line in bad weather = 8 points, but take 1 away for not enough Brandon Minor, take away another for Nick Sheridan playing at all, take away another for critical offensive line mistakes by a very young group in a hostile stadium = -3; but add points for Carlos Brown plays qb and doesn't get injured, add one for new short yardage phenom Kevin Grady, and add one for you can't tackls Sam McGuffie for less than 8 yards after he's outside of your defensive end. Total running game points = 8.

Add baseline of 6 points for KC Lopata. but subtract 3 for bad weather = 3 points.

Michigan Defense: Huge defensive line rush results in 2 turovers and 5 sacks = 5 points.

Rich Rodriguez really, really does not want to lose his first rivalry game = 2 points

Michigan's qbs could singly handedly lose this game even against Ann Arbor Pioneer if they have a bad day = -4 points Michigan

Michigan Total Points 18.5

Notre Dame:

Notre Dame passing. Notre Dame passed successfully against SDSU. 14 points. But that was SDSU, which is a horrible horrible team = -8 points. And Jimmy didn't get sacked agains SDSU but will be crushed by Michigan's defensive line as they run over the guys who didn't get enough doughnuts at lunch even when he completes 5 or 6 yard passes, subtract another 4 points. Subtract another 2 points for bad weather. But add 3 points for Golden Tate running by Stevie Brown. Passing game = 3 points

Notre Dame running. It should help ND that the weather will not be hot. They've got a lot of doughnuts on that offensive line who ask what Kobeyashi Would Do as often as Justin Boren's family. Still, the Michigan defensive line should be quick and strong enough to have quite a number of tackles for loss on running plays. But, there will be at least 2 sustained drives by ND given inevitable run gains of 5-6 yards against a defense that couldn't stop Utah's run game in the first half. 4 points.

Notre Dame kicking game. It stinks. The weather is going to be bad. -2 points.

Notre Dame at home = 3 points

Weis is an offensive genius with screen passes = 2 points ND

Notre Weis Total Points = 10.

TCHSpread: Michigan by 8.5.

Final score guess Michigan 20 Notre Dame 10.

Anthony LaLota Picks Michigan

Philosophy says: I don't believe in verbal recruits because, well, they're verbal. And because, like Urban Crier says, a verbal really only tells you who your competition is. And, like, Kevin Newsome, Jai Eugene, Roy Roundtree, bla blahh bla blahh bla blahh. But, hey, there's probably at least a 50/50 shot he stays. And for that we deserve some info:

LaLota plays both sides of the ball, but wants to play defense. He will liklely start at defensive end -- for which we have a serious need. He runs a mid 4.__ 40 yard. He's pretty big: 6'5" 260ish. There is much free already written about Mr. LaLota that you can read here, here, here and here.

Yeah. Maybe Will Campbell knew something we didn't. Or, maybe he really just wanted to think about it and will still join Michigan for a really super awesome defensive line class.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Could his Head be Bigger than his Gut?

Be Nice to Weises.

Charlie is feeling picked on. He can't understand why Michigan would use his comments from this summer as chalkboard material.

He says any real Michigan fan would understand the significance to "To Hell with Michigan" as harkening back to the days of Bo. He is right about Bo's "To Hell with Notre Dame". But the Whale has again shown his extraordinary arrogance -- especially for a guy who has woefully underperformed, and may find himself coaching South Bend High next year.

It's not the "To Hell with Michigan", its the presumption that Michigan would come in whining about all of our inexperience, etc, and use it as an excuse for a loss at South Bend. No such luck you Arrogant Whale. In fairness Michigan should come in whining. But it's not. Stevie Brown:

When Charlie, Coach Weis, used to recruit me, he kind of had an arrogance about him, so I figured it’s just him being him. I didn’t think too much of it. We’re just going to go in there with no excuses, and we’re just going to play hard and try to win the game.”

Not So Fast, My Friend.

What nobody has really said in the press is that even more arrogant than predicting Michigan's excuses is his backhanded cut at Rod. Charlie's statement wasn't directed to remind Michigan fans about Bo. We already know. It was directed to remind us, and Rich Rodriguez that he Rodriguez didn't know. The Whale's purpose wasn't to remind us of Bo, it was to cut and make fun of Rod for using Bo's saying as Michigan bulletin board material.

O yee Ginamourous Blob o' jelly, thou shouldst think carefully before trespassing upon the Destroyer of the Stairmaster. Thou shalt suffer the wrath of the Wizard.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Arrogant Whale Live

This cannot be true.

Brian noted that there was music playing during the game, and not played by the band. I agree that this is completely unacceptable. In fact, I think the pregame music is unacceptable. We don't need or want RAWK MUSIC played in the stadium on game day. I'm all for a little Limp Bizkuit or DMB in the stadium, but let's leave that to a Bill Martin fundraiser concert for Crisler Arena.

Arrogant Whale.

Whale Boy, was defending his poor season last year by saying they don't use excuses at Weis U. More or less, he said Michigan will come into South Bend the 2nd game of the season whining and complaining:

“Then we'll listen to Michigan have all their excuses as they come running in saying how they have a new coaching staff and there’s changes,” he said in a video widely viewed on YouTube. “The hell with Michigan."

Notre Dame's black transfers, and anyone who's ever listened to the Whale, already knew Charlie is an arrogant bitch. But, you've gotta give Stevie B credit for pointing it out:

When Charlie, Coach Weis, used to recruit me, he kind of had an arrogance about him, so I figured it’s just him being him. I didn’t think too much of it. We’re just going to go in there with no excuses, and we’re just going to play hard and try to win the game.”

And with Charlie on the brink of entering the no excuse zone, I have a suggestion for the South Bend P.A. announcer -- play the Wholesome Love Atari Mix.

Still a chance at Nick Perry?

I wrote at signing time, that Nick Perry have been a great addition to the Michigan Class. Perry is a Defensive End who is a freshman at USC, which he picked over Michigan. Perry is having issues qualifying.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

More Than An Ugly Win

Sometimes a win is a win. Sometimes a win is more than just a win.

A coach's first win, is more than just a win. Even if it's only over a MAC opponent. Coach Rodriguez has his first W wearing the Maize and Blue. Rod admitted it wasn't pretty. And, normally, I would have a lot of complaining to do only beating relatively poor Miami, Ohio but not today. This win is also more than just a win because:

--Rodriguez avoided losing Michigan's first game ever to a MAC team;
--Michigan avoided going 0-2 for the second straight year;
--Without this win, 32 straight bowl seasons was in serious jeopardy (could still be);
--In the words of the greatest crime fighter of all time:

Austin: [the guard has just fallen in molten lava] What a... burn?
Austin: That sort of thing could get a man... fired?
Austin: I think he was... hot... for... you?
Felicity Shagwell: That's enough.
Austin: Yeah.

--And more heat, Rodriguez needs not.

Postgame video:

09-06-08: U-M vs. Miami of Ohio postgame press conference

Celebrate Young Man:

And deservedly so. Aside from a couple of potential big passes that were just missed by Miami, (only one of which was a blown coverage) the defense played pretty well and gave up only two field goals. The front looks pretty good, and TT, Brandon Graham, and Obi Ezah played well today. If they can keep up the pressure from the last 3 halves, and the secondary can turn it up small notch, they should really hold Weis U to less than 250 yards on offense. Barring an offensive meltdown (which is no gimme) we've got a reasonable shot to win next week against whale boy.

Quarterback Found.

Steven Threet was erratic at times. But, he had far better command of the offense than did Nick Sheridan. Sheridan was supposed to be the runner. After today, Not So Much. Whether Threet knows the offense better, fakes better, or what, its pretty clear we have a #1. We'll see if Rod sticks with him, or continues to juggle. Please, no more juggling, unless it's in the bag, or Threet completes more than 5 straight passes to Tacopants. At one point, Threet had a couple of long completions to Tacopants on the sideline. Despite that, it's hard to remove the better passer, when he's also the better runner, in command, and moving the offense.

Running Backs.

Honestly, did anyone ever think that Steven Threet would outrush Brandon Minor in any game? Threet 5 for 26; Minor 1 for 15. Better question: Why did Brandon Minor carry only once?

I like the use of many backs. One thing about the 2nd half of Lloyd's tenure that bugged me was his propensity to lean on one back excessively (Anthony Thomas, Chris Perry, Mike Hart) when there were other backs very capable who could have contributed. But, Brandon Minor had the best run of the day, clearly. Shaw and McGuffie also looked good, but why not get the senior the ball more than once? I was also glad to see Grady get the short yardage carries, this makes mucho sense.

More Confirmation That Andre Ware Stinks:

Miami qb pitches left, the ball is fumbled, but the ref blows the whistle thinking it's a forward pass. Andre keeps rambles through the play and the referee discussion following a replay. Had he listened to the explanation by the ref, he and his partner would have known that "by rule, repeat 3rd down". Instead, Andre wonders aloud with his partner whether Miami would go for it on 4th down, and why isn't the Michigan staff yelling that the refs have missed changing the down markers.

Team Comparisons.

Weis U. barely beat San Diego State, who was blasted by Cal Poly; OSU had a similar game to Michigan's against a worse opponent Ohio U; Wisconsin struggled in the first half against MAC opponent Marshall. While there is a lot of work to do on offense, Michigan wasn't the only team to horribly struggle today -- and with the learning curve of a new offense, it could be worse.

SuperCrazy Stats of the Day:

Pat White:

20 rushes for 97 yards
0 td
11/18 passing
72 yards
0 td
0 int

Steven Threet
5 rushes for 26 yards
1 td
6/13 passing
63 yards
0 td
0 int

This is Scary.

Miami linebacker Clayton Mullins says we're pretty similar to CMU, and that after a few adjustments, they handled what Michigan was doing. I don't necessarily agree. I think there was more to Michigan's lackluster last 3 quarters than Miami's D, but still:

"They did a few things that we weren't expecting to start off with. With Butch Jones being on [Rich Rodriguez's] staff and now at Central Michigan, I'm pretty sure some of that stuff is exactly what Central Michigan is doing. We adjusted to it. I felt like we played pretty well after that first drive until the last drive. We felt like we could make it happen and that we would be able to stop them. We made the adjustments that we needed to make. After we did that, the defense came together, and we wanted to get back on the field. We just felt like we had everything starting to click, but then we had a few breakdowns at the end."

Couches Are Igniting In A World Of Shit.

in Morganstown (you thought I meant east lansing, and it's probably 50/50 they are after crushing the little emu; but I'm strictly talking mountaineers here. And rightfully so:

Why is it when you try to be honest about Gomer Pyle, I mean Bill Stewart, people say you're not a real fan. I''m 35 and have been rooting for them as long as I can remember. If 7-5 is good with you, waht kind of fan are you. RR created an expectation level of greatness. We didn't always reach it, but we cam close. Stewart is overmatched, and this will become more evident as the year goes on. Is it possible the Oklahoma win is the worst win in WVU history? There's a reason he wasn't a candidate before that game.

Oh, how true that is. Both as to unexpected expectations Rod brought, as well as the cluster**** the wva administration made of the whole mess and Gomer's hire. Nice guy, that Gomer. But, West Virgina Fans: You Are In a World of Shit:

Friday, September 05, 2008

Miami Guess

Note to self, this week shall not be a prediction (last week's was denoted a "prediction" -- see how that turned out!) Anyway, it's been a quandry around these parts. There is no possible way for a part time blogger like me to keep up with the gazillions of press conferences and public appearances by Rich the Rod Roddy Piper Rodriguez. If you bother to read the freep, the detnews, the Carty Crapper, and, yup, mgoblue.com, you're getting at least 10x the info you got last year from reading those sources plus the competent blogs, rivals, etc (don't include me in the competetent blog category).

So what is it that this blog has denegrated to? I dont know. Computer issues last week forbade me from posting. Ahhhhh. Sweeet Rich you are spared the wrath of the Ron English Spankboard.

So, what is it that we are left with. For this week, simple. The Michigan Miami guess (note that this will not be a prediction). Here it is:

Repeat last week for opening and halftime. Save, perhaps the Blues Brothers at half.
Steven Threet starts.
First play, zone read right FAKE long pass right to Matthews, but a check to the rb left.
Michigan 68 yards rushing 1st quarter, 50 yards passing. 10-0 Michigan.
By halftime, Michigan 17- Miami 3. Carlos Brown has 35, Minor 20, McGuffie 50 on a long run. Threet has played the whole way.

Michigan stops Miami 3 and out first possesion. Bubble right for 30 yards, followed by 5 plays and in. 24-3 Michigan.

By the end of the third quarter, Michigan has given up 13. Score 27-13. Uugh. This does not bode well for the game next week.

Sheridan enters with 14 minutes in the 4th. Qb keeper fake, and Miami safety burned long for a touch. Michigan 31- Miami 13.

Final Score Michigan 31, Miami 16.

Domers: We will, we will Whalerock You.