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Old October 9th, 2017, 09:55 AM   #41
Jeff Buchanan
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Originally Posted by iam416 View Post
.......(1) The tone is correct; it isn't time to jump off the building
Appreciate what is being said here by an observer looking at things a bit more rationally and from the outside than the typical Michigan fan after a loss to the Spartans.

Like I’ve said at least 3X post game and I’ll say it again, any bad in this game is exaggerated by to whom the loss occurred. If M had lost a game, at home, under similar conditions to say, Minnesota or Wisconsin, the response would have been, shit happens.

Instead we have, “Harbaugh has checked out/looks disinterested, must be looking at offers from the NFL,” etc. ….. or, “It’s Drevno, fire him.” …… or, one of my favorites, “this team and it’s coaching staff lacks the will and desire to win, Sparty wants it more.”

I’m just not into that kind of thinking. So, thanks for your reasoned assessment.

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.......(2) if it is correct that the coaches called a good game then M just got flat beat by Sparty -- well, both offenses were thoroughly whipped.
Well, my view is that M beat themselves by (1) turning the ball over 5X, (2) O-Line play being it’s usual mess and a turnstyle at RT, (3) JOK reverting to the QB that some predicted and expected.

I don’t think we have a clear picture yet whether or not there is a systemic problem with the offense, the scheme embodied by it and the play-calling. There are just too many obviously execution type problems to indict the coaches or the system.

That M was still in this game up until the last play, IMO, shoots down any claim that “M got flat out beat by Sparty.” Sparty survived in classic Dantonio fashion against teams that make more mistakes than they do. It’s pretty simple.

Could M have played more aggressively? Well, I think they came out with a pretty aggressive first possession. My only nit-pic in the redzone was the two low probability throws to the endzone that were dialed up for O'Korn before Nordin kicked the FG. JOK isn't great at the fades and the receivers aren't yet ready to make themselves better targets on those routes or win jump balls. However, in and of themselves, they were not bad calls given MSU's defense of M's run game as the field shortens.

Bottom line for me: I’ll wait for Brian’s UFR this week and, if after thoroughly looking at the game he concludes the play calling makes no sense, I’ll step back and re-evaluate. He did that with Al Borges and I think fairly. I’m going to wait on hammering Drevno for the play calling in this game and probably the next hoping it will get played under better circumstances.

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Let's also make no mistake -- Sparty drilled M's offense all game. They gave up an opening drive that predictably stuttered in the red zone, a remarkably short field drive and two end of half/game frantic stuff drives. Somewhere in the 2nd Q it became crystal clear, at least to me, that M couldn't move the ball. End of story…….So, if the coaching calls/system/etc are fine, then they just got flat out whipped by a bunch of very Sparty kids.
I just don’t agree with this. M moved the ball then did something bad. It wasn’t about Sparty “drilling M’s offense,” It was about M screwing up badly enough on a play by play basis to stifle momentum and rhythm.

I don’t know with the kind of certainty other observers seem to be offering post game if this is an indictment of JH’s system (i.e., it’s too complicated/hard to execute well) or it’s the result of a young offense with a bad OL, 18 or 19yo receivers not ready for college ball, or a QB that lost his starting job at Houston and couldn’t beat out Wilton Speight at Michigan.

Readers get the facts, I’ll let readers decide.

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And that lasers to the core of the M fan being and its faith in HARBAUGH!!!! -- that this bullshit would end; that HARBAUGH!!!! would recruit like mad and out-talent Sparty and out-coach Sparty and not give one inch -- certainly never apologize for nonsense. It was clear on Saturday that that particular "it is written" article of faith is dubious. That's devastating to some and ought to be somewhat concerning to all.
Not ready to concede this point to you. We are going to disagree and that is because where both of us are coming from. Me, wanting to believe, and you wanting any shred of evidence supporting the fallacy of a belief in HARBAUGH!!!
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Old October 9th, 2017, 10:04 AM   #42
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The UFRs are nice, but the conclusions that are drawn from them tend to ignore systemic problems in favor of blaming one or two symptoms.

Today on their podcast they were talking about how John O'Korn still looks like the Freshman John O'Korn. A fifth year senior in his third year under "The QB Whisperer" still looks like a freshman? When guys just "are who they are" and they remain that way, that is the result of shitty coaching.

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Buchanan:

Two things jump out to me from that post -- which I appreciate, especially given it's brevity relative to your standard efforts (heh): (1) the tone is correct; it isn't time to jump off buildings, but (2) if it is correct that the coaches called a good game then M just got flat beat by Sparty -- well, both offenses were thoroughly whipped.

Let's also make no mistake -- Sparty drilled M's offense all game. They gave up an opening drive that predictably stuttered in the red zone, a remarkably short field drive and two end of half/game frantic stuff drives. Somewhere in the 2nd Q it became crystal clear, at least to me, that M couldn't move the ball. End of story.

So, if the coaching calls/system/etc are fine, then they just got flat out whipped by a bunch of very Sparty kids. And that lasers to the core of the M fan being and its faith in HARBAUGH!!!! -- that this bullshit would end; that HARBAUGH!!!! would recruit like mad and out-talent Sparty and out-coach Sparty and not give one inch -- certainly never apologize for nonsense. It was clear on Saturday that that particular "it is written" article of faith is dubious. That's devastating to some and ought to be somewhat concerning to all.

Also concerning is another article of faith -- that HARBAUGH!!! can turn any QB into an all-star.

So, I really get the anger. This game seems like the first time that the legend of HARBAUGH!!!! is cast in some doubt. If you were on that train then it's a tough one. They'll come back to your cold rationality (or, perhaps, irrational exuberance) But, it's tough.

Incidentally, I stopped poo-pooing Sparty after 2015. Those MFers will always, always play OSU (and M) lights out. Even when they were dogshit last year and pulling fats kids from Chem classes to start at DT, I knew they'd be a giant pain in the ass, and they were. As I was watching the game, I was thinking, man, it's going to suck playing them AND I'm really starting to dislike those fucks.
I quickly figured out that Harbaugh wouldn't work miracles. But he still had the possibility of being a great coach. That is now very much in doubt, and very disappointing. He is clearly behind Urban Meyer and Mark Dantonio in coaching ability and I would put at least one of Paul Chryst, Jeff Brohm, or James Franklin ahead of him too. He's not going to beat OSU except on extremely rare occasions and Dantonio will own him whenever MSU is decent. The evidence is piling up that Harbaugh does not have great judgement or awareness on offense (e.g. the epic failure of the Pepcat, the clown show on offense this year). He also didn't notice a couple years back that his DC was checked out before3 the OSU assraping. Harbaugh is too old and experienced for this problem to be fixable. He is who he is. A good but not a great coach. So basically John Beilein. Meh.

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Old October 9th, 2017, 11:16 AM   #43
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The UFRs are nice, but the conclusions that are drawn from them tend to ignore systemic problems in favor of blaming one or two symptoms.
When you look at video and there is an unblocked or poorly chipped defender rushing though a gaping hole in the OL where a running back is headed or worse a LB or DE is about to body slam the QB, I don't think you can conclude it's a systemic problem. I suppose you can speculate that it is but I can't buy, on a slam dunk, black and white basis, it's systemic.

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Today on their podcast they were talking about how John O'Korn still looks like the Freshman John O'Korn. A fifth year senior in his third year under "The QB Whisperer" still looks like a freshman? When guys just "are who they are" and they remain that way, that is the result of shitty coaching.
I'm not sure about this. I think a case can be made that how a QB sees the field and responds to it over an extended period that this gets baked into the brain and it is hard as hell to change it. We saw Rudock improve dramatically under JH but both Speight and O'Korn just aren't that good. How does it go, you can't put lipstick on a pig or you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

...... Peters is a different animal. If what I've heard is accurate (he has a good skill set but lacks discipline) I can probably understand why JH isn't playing him.

At this point, I'm loath to blame coaching for the QB deficiencies. Not enough solid information for fans to conclude this.

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I quickly figured out that Harbaugh wouldn't work miracles. But he still had the possibility of being a great coach. That is now very much in doubt, and very disappointing. He is clearly behind Urban Meyer and Mark Dantonio in coaching ability and I would put at least one of Paul Chryst, Jeff Brohm, or James Franklin ahead of him too. He's not going to beat OSU except on extremely rare occasions and Dantonio will own him whenever MSU is decent. The evidence is piling up that Harbaugh does not have great judgement or awareness on offense (e.g. the epic failure of the Pepcat, the clown show on offense this year). He also didn't notice a couple years back that his DC was checked out before3 the OSU assraping. Harbaugh is too old and experienced for this problem to be fixable. He is who he is. A good but not a great coach. So basically John Beilein. Meh.
You lost me when you put Franklin on the list of coaches better than Harbaugh and same with Chryst. Chryst's career HC record is .643, Harbaug's is .654. At Wisky, Christ is 26-6, Harbaugh is 24-7 coming in to thier respective programs under wildly different circumstances.

I'll grant you on a historical basis Harbaugh trails UFM and Saban. Brohm? No.

OTH I do see some similarities between Beilein and Harbaugh in terms of recruiting and coaching. So, that comparison has merit but, two very different sports. Don't see the point unless you want to call them both average. I don't agree with that,

We're all trying to evaluate M's current circumstance with eyes wide open but if that last pass to Gentry had resulted in a TD and a 16-14 win for M would the criticism of the players and coaches been as harsh?
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Old October 9th, 2017, 11:17 AM   #44
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Stay the course man.

HARBAUGH!!!
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Old October 9th, 2017, 12:11 PM   #45
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"but if that last pass to Gentry had resulted in a TD and a 16-14 win for M would the criticism of the players and coaches been as harsh?"

Yes. It still would not have replaced a crap game by a crap offense
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Old October 9th, 2017, 12:23 PM   #46
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HARBAUGH!!!!
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Old October 9th, 2017, 12:34 PM   #47
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I just don’t agree with this. M moved the ball then did something bad. It wasn’t about Sparty “drilling M’s offense,” It was about M screwing up badly enough on a play by play basis to stifle momentum and rhythm.
They crossed the 50 once on their first drive, once on the final drive of the half and once on the final desperation drive. They did not actually cross the 50 on their only TD as they only had to go 33 yards. 2 of the INTs came on 3rd and long and the drive was dead regardless. One came on 2nd and long and the drive was going to be dead.

I watched thee game as a fairly neutral observer -- I was pulling against M slightly -- and I really didn't think the could score.
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Old October 9th, 2017, 12:49 PM   #48
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I think it is fair to state the 2017 offense is bad ...... maybe the worst I've seen at M since Rich Rodriguez tried to turn Nick Sheridan into a read option QB.

It's also fair to debate the two reasons why it's so bad (1) the players aren't able to execute it precisely or (2) it's the coach's fault.

For me, it's way more of (1) than it is of two. That's because, like RichRod who stuck with HIS system even though Sheridan wasn't the right guy for it and the offensive line had no idea how to zone block, I think RR ultimately would have succeeded at M, with that offense if he hadn't made so many missteps during his short tenure. But that's history.

...... and how many of those of you who are arguing that JH's pro-style offenses don't work at the college level want a coach like RR and an offense like his back at M? I know, extremes. Maybe something in between but you'll get the point.

There is way too much gnashing of teeth and droves of M fans arguing for this or that change after the loss to MSU for my taste but, I get it. Brian had a decent piece just up that he doesn't think too highly of Tim Drevno at OC. That is likely to shade his UFR. He pointed out the same two passing plays on M's first possession, inside MSU's 20 where M ended that drive with a Nordin FG instead of a TD that I questioned as evidence of Drevno's incompetence at OC. To harsh for me - those plays get executed well and he's a genius. IMO, they were the right calls v. MSU's defense. Your mileage may vary.

Brian also mentions the large number of passing plays called in the second half when conditions might have called for more runs, esp. QB runs. Frankly, I don't get this when prior to the game almost everyone wanted M to test MSU's pass D and not try to run against it.

So, I guess we'll see v. IU. I have no doubt that the coaching staff will evaluate and do something. No idea what it will be but I have to agree somewhat with talent's assessment that if the offense can't score points against IU's defense there's something fundamentally wrong with the approach that s being taken by the coaching staff.

While I might be 80/20 the offense is BAD because player execution/coaches suck today, the Monday after IU, if M can't run up some points, I might switch to 75/25... heh.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's not on the coaches but others are welcome to their opinions
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Old October 9th, 2017, 01:22 PM   #49
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Yeah, my only point was that the offense was bad. I mean it wasn't like they were going up and down the field only to shoot themselves in the foot. They were going nowhere and shooting themselves in the foot.

I'm not vested, one or the other, in why the offense stinks. I do, however, think that at Year 3 of a CFB program that systemic shortcomings are on the HC. So, whether it's play-calling, execution or talent -- it matters not to me. Perhaps I'm a year early -- perhaps I should wait until Year 4. But that's where I am, not that it matters.
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Old October 9th, 2017, 01:27 PM   #50
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Old October 9th, 2017, 03:14 PM   #51
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....... I do, however, think that at Year 3 of a CFB program that systemic shortcomings are on the HC. So, whether it's play-calling, execution or talent -- it matters not to me. Perhaps I'm a year early -- perhaps I should wait until Year 4. But that's where I am, not that it matters.
It does matter. You've been disproportionately and aggravatingly correct on a number of your takes regarding M football.

At 18, my daughter wanted to be Naval Aviator. I was still on active duty and running a flight simulator. I put her in one to see how she did. She was awful. With more training could she have been OK? Maybe unless she was killed first trying.

Sean, being her little brother at 16, wanted a crack at that. He was a natural but had no interest in the military or pursuing a flying career.

What's the relevant point? High performance jobs require innate skills and certain kinds of brain power to succeed. Athletes competing at high levels fit this description. I think Doctors, esp. those that pursue careers in the ER or as surgeons fit this description. So do certain folks practicing law. There are plenty of examples of jobs that if you don't have "it" you're going to succeed only marginally if at all. You can improve with training and experience but supervisors know that most if not all of the men and women in these professions can only be as good as their innate skills allow them to be.

I believe that is where M's offense is on the OL and at QB save for a few minor variations. The coaches can only get so much in the way of performance with what they have. I think, at this point in time, they know that.

M has NO Offensive Tackles ..... None. There are good reasons why, from a recruiting and retention standpoint why this is so. To a leser degree the same can be applied to the OG position. Are fans to expect guys who played the OG position through HS and not at an elite level (e.g. Ulizio and Cole) to succeed at a high level playing OT? Coaches doing this stuff know what they've got much like I knew immediately I was not going to encourage my daughter to pursue a military career in which she would fly.

I think the QB position at M is a slam dunk for applying this kind of logic. It's not coaching. It's not the failure of the QB Whisperer. It's that neither Wilton Speight or John O'Korn have it. They are both marginally successful QBs and that's the end of the story.... for now. We could be surprised with JOK I suppose or Speight might return and be competitive but I doubt it in both cases.

The OL is a bit different. It's harder to apply this kind of logic to these guys. But from my perspective, admittedly not the best perspective to develop opinions on OL play, it appears these guys aren't getting it. I'm more inclined to believe they lack the innate ability and brain power to succeed in JH's offense. They can be marginally successful and that is not good enough when the margin for error in Harbaugh's system is so small.

Now, obviously, I've left myself open to arguments that say, well, change the system, simplify the play calls and all of that. I think that's dumb on a number of levels not to mention that when the right materials are at hand, these coaches have demonstrated they can develop that into a competent offense.

Moreover, JH, just like Rich Rodriguez, is not going to make big changes to their systems to adapt to the limitations of the players they have on the roster. There will be small tweeks but nothing major as some critics of M post the MSU loss are calling for or even speculating about. I'm not buying it and that has nothing to do with being blinded by my M Maze and Blue colored glasses. I'm pretty sure, given the limitations that I acknowledge about such things, that I'm as close to right about this as I can be.

One other weakness in the foregoing argument that I need to address: recruiting. Why don't we have the players with the innate skills to be better than average if not entirely elite? It starts with Hoke but doesn't end with him. DJ Durkin and Tim Drevno and I assume JH knew about the holes in the OL, or should have, when they assumed their coaching positions. We may not know all the details but things in OL recruiting went south fast in 2015/16 so the Hoke shit fest has become a difficult situation to recover from. My view is that recruiting failures for offensive linemen is an issue and it IS on the coaching staff and that includes Harbaugh. The only mitigating factor in the present situation is that it does take time to correct this kind of problem as I have argued in this forum. So, if we assume 2016/17 and maybe 18 were recruiting busts for Offensive Linemen we need to acknowledge that firing guys or changing systems on offense isn't going to solve that particular problem.

80/20 M's shitty offense is about the level of innate skills possessed by the players playing QB and OL, at this point in time and not about the coaches coaching these positions including Harbaugh.
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Old October 9th, 2017, 03:20 PM   #52
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Any talk about Chuck Filiaga? Was named by a few pundits as a ready-early kind of player.
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Old October 9th, 2017, 03:33 PM   #53
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Any talk about Chuck Filiaga? Was named by a few pundits as a ready-early kind of player.
You'll have to flesh the stuff about Filliaga in this link. It was done right before the Florida game so still current and applicable. For those trying to understand the situation on the OL, this is a very good read and pulls no punches.

It was dire before the FL game and remains so now. It pretty much supports the argument I offered in my most recent post about the OL is what it is and the coaches aren't going to get much more out of it.

http://mgoblog.com/content/preview-2...sive-line#more
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Old October 10th, 2017, 07:18 AM   #54
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17-16 IU as IU hits winning field goal on final play
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Old October 10th, 2017, 09:16 AM   #55
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17-16 IU as IU hits winning field goal on final play
If M loses to Indiana then the pitchforks are deserved.

Ain't gonna happen though.

Penn State will be tough though.
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Old October 10th, 2017, 01:58 PM   #56
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Here's a look at Indiana ......

Their last game they shut out Charleston Southern, an FCS team, behind the passing of new designated starter, Peyton Ramsey, 27-0. Ramsey was 32/41, 321y, 7.8ypa, 2TDs, 1 INT. He was also the leading rusher with 15 carries, 54y, 3.7ypc, 1 TD.

Like WM points out, it's too early to tell if Ramsey is as good as he looked v. an FCS team. He has played in 4 games so, this wasn't his first time under center.

His primary receiving targets were Simmie Cobbs (Jr)), 6'4", 220 ..... 10, 98, 9.8 and Taysir Mack (Fr), 6'2", 200 .....7, 111, 15.9, 2 TDs. Ramsey also threw a couple times to his RBs and TEs but his go to recievers were Cobbs and Mack. His throws were primarily roll-outs, short to medium crossing routes and slants.

The Hoosiers rushed for 157y, 3.5ypc. Just to compare, IU rushed for 17y v. the Buckeyes in their home opener in Bloomington. Lagow did throw for 400+ yards and 3 TDs which kept the game looking like it was closer than it actually was. All-in-all, the impressive stats against an FCS opponent seems to inflate the effectiveness of their offense. OTH, Indiana ranks #22 (73.2) in ESPN's Team Efficiency. M ranks well below them at #33 (66.9). 50 is average. osu is #4 (90.2), PSU #5 [89.8], Wisconsin #14 [82.8].

Interestingly, they fumbled the ball 4X and lost two ...... IU has a knack for that historically and apparently it continues.

On defense, IU ranks a respectable #47 overall, with Red Zone D at #85, #42 Pass D. In 5 games, IU has had 14 sacks, 24th nationally. Their defense is above average.

STs are nothing special but no glaring deficiencies either.

What does this mean? Ramsey will probably start. HC, Tom Allen named Ramsey the starter a week ago, Sunday for the Charleston Southern game in preparation for M. What this does is give IU a QB run threat that has to be dealt with. Lagow is an OK drop back guy like Lewerke who can also run. Ramsey is a true dual threat QB.

You'd think Debord wouldn't know what to do with a QB like this but apparently he did. I'd expect to see the same kind of spready offense v. M as was deployed v. Charleston Souther. In that offense, Cobbs and Mack, 2 big bodied WR are threats. Debord preferred to roll Ramsey out to give Ramsey time while the WRs got down field/got separation from defenders. That's going to be the scheme Don Brown will have to deal with. IU does not have a dominant rusher but Debord will spread you out to run Ramsey et. al to keep the D honest, I suppose.

Overall, M, while falling to #21 from #7 in the ESPN Power rankings, Indiana moved up to #28. That sets the spread (by the ESPN Power rank system) at M, -7. Given the disaster that is M's offense and the emergence of IU as a quality BT opponent, I don't see that.

M's D will do what they do but I can see some big plays over the top to Cobbs and/or Mack with M in man or even in zone given the size challenges in the match-ups. IU won't rush for over 80 or so and that will come mostly from Ramsey.

I have no doubt, IU will work the Dantonio game plan v. M. They'll take some risks early hoping they will get up by a couple of scores and then tressell ball it the rest of the way. If M get's into that situation and the offense continues to be stagnant, IU can win this game something like 20-13.

What's my game plan if I'm M? On Offense - if you win the toss go on offense. Go in with the same game plan you tried to execute v. MSU but didn't. Use trips or 4w shot gun formations with a RB and get some play-action going. Have JOK run some zone read. I'm fine with some heavy formation, I-Form stuff. IZ was working v. MSU but back the Ss out early by throwing to Perry and Gentry. If the read options and IX run is working well, then, use it 'till IU stops it. If they don't, pound it down their throats. Keep JOK on a short leash. Deep balls might be fine but JOK need not throw them if IU drops into zone and his deep receivers are anywhere near covered. Give DPJ a look. He has the breakaway speed but not the skill set yet. JOK has to do his progressions and take what's open. Work to possess the ball and move the chains early like they did v. MSU just don't turn it over (duh) to break that rhythm.

Build a lead in the first half and keep IU from doing what MSU did - build a lead and sit on it. Brown has to be keenly aware of the risk of that happening and if IU does get a lead and this is combined with continued offensive woes and JOK not getting it done, the D has to get turnovers and score and that might involve a higher risk D than he might be comfortable with given Ramsey's run threat combined with the WR over the top threat.

My prediction based on an objective analysis: The outcome all depends on two things (1) if M's offense can hold on to the ball and put together some scoring drives keeping the IU D on the field, (2) IU continues its tendency to fumble and M can capitalize on a short field.

I'm not worried about M containing whatever Allen and Debord throw Don Brown's way. Red Zone D is going to be very important because IU has shown it can move the ball though the air and Ramsey adds an improved run threat. So, M cannot give up jump ball fades in the endzone to Cobbs or Mack from the 20 in ward. IU is pretty efficient in the RZ and has had 17 RZ trips. It's scored on 14 (6 run, 5 pass, 3FGs .827) Brown is probably going to have to call up a load of pressure in the redzone and that holds its own dangers. I don't think M's back end can out-battle IU's big receivers on jump balls if Ramsey has time for even quick passes. So, go get 'em.

M 24 - 21
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Old October 10th, 2017, 02:04 PM   #57
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Simple: stop turning it over; win the game.
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Old October 11th, 2017, 07:03 AM   #58
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Jeff your posts show what happens when one retires and has too much time on his hands. Down here in Indiana the sports networks are ridiculing Harbaugh for all his antics and suggesting that IU is going to finally kick the shit out of that poser and the rest of those pretenders. Much like the hype leading to the Purdue game. Except IU is much better than Purdue. IU for the win. UM struggles to reach 7-5, but probably becomes "bowl eligible"at 6-6.
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Old October 11th, 2017, 09:20 AM   #59
THE_WIZARD_
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Hoke Light 23 Hickory 16
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Shut the fuck up Donny!
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Old October 11th, 2017, 10:59 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE_WIZARD_ View Post
Gotta go with Hoke. Cool shades!
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