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Old October 22nd, 2017, 06:07 PM   #21
paul daugherity
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So why hasn't M adjusted with McCray? E.g. Moving him to the middle.
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Old October 22nd, 2017, 06:15 PM   #22
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Ask Brown, I'm interested to see the UFR to see if McCray was exposed as often as I thought. Obviously they prefer Devin Bush in the middle for their defense. This was the first game where the opposing OC kept going at McCray to exploit his weaknesses.
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Old October 22nd, 2017, 09:17 PM   #23
Jeff Buchanan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul daugherity View Post
So why hasn't M adjusted with McCray? E.g. Moving him to the middle.
I'm not Don Brown nor do I claim to be inside his head but there's enough information out there to discern a reasonable answer to that.

He's a 3-3-5 Stack guy. Sometimes this looks like a 4-2-5. There's a bunch of other variations in formations that we've seen - too many to discuss here.

Bush plays outside on the play side sometime, inside at others. He frequently switches with McCray. When you see what looks like 2 LBs, the third may actually be lined up on the LOS threatening a blitz (either blitzing or dropping back into LB type coverage).

Bush is seen her in the middle of the 3-3-5 - stack and I think this is where Brown likes him the best. McCray is outside and on the play side. McCray stands up to power/IZ runs better than Bush does but Bush has more side-line-to-sideline speed.



This is from 2016 but its the 4-2-5. You can see Peppers lined up on the B and this is where Bush plays in this formation in 2017.



This is over simplifying what Brown does with formations and changes during the play call by the offense because there are probably at least 5 different formations that I've seen photos of.

The thing to see here is that Bush and McCray are interchangeable. V. PSU, I think McCray, when he played in the 4-2-5 was in the middle and the expected offensive play was IZ from Barkley. When the D was in the 3-3-5 Stack, Bush was in the middle and the expected play was RO or outside zone.

What I think happened and Brian will comment on RPS in the UFR, is that McSorely made line calls depending on where Bush and McCray were lined up. Franklin and Moorehead had some very good plays designed to counter tendencies for M's D with feints using Barkley alternatively with McSorley. The first and second PSU scoring drives exemplified this.

So, it didn't matter and I don't think there was a defensive plan to assign Bush or McCray to Barkley. Brown does what he does trying to anticipate the play call based on scouting and on formation tendencies. He got massively had by Moorehead and most of it worked because PSU executed near perfectly except when they didn't and/or Brown had the right call in and this wasn't often.

What viewers think they saw too often was McCray getting beaten by Barkley. The reality was that it didn't matter, Barkley was beating everyone because of play design that got M defenders, esp, the LBs and Ss flowing opposite where the play actually developed and went.
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Old October 22nd, 2017, 10:24 PM   #24
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If it wasn't McCray it would have been the safeties. PSU has some serious weapons, and containing Barkley opens it up for the rest. It's a very good offense and it felt like facing Sparty in terms of the team's focus and atmosphere. They wanted this one and had to have it. I do hope all LBs in the future will be faster than McCray.
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Old October 22nd, 2017, 11:14 PM   #25
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Just a few headlines with a fast google of Jim Harbaugh, no comment....before the big game!



Michigan's Jim Harbaugh is no deity, not living up to $7 million hype

http://www.freep.com/story/sports/co...ary/788346001/

Michigan is fine with Jim Harbaugh, but that's not good enough

http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-foo...d1kym9fx8ialb5

Blame Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, not the quarterback

http://www.freep.com/story/sports/un...sor/788215001/

James Franklin Crushes Jim Harbaugh Edition

https://www.outkickthecoverage.com/s...baugh-edition/

Michigan, Jim Harbaugh falling short of hype

http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sport...-short-of-hype

Humble pie served on platter for Jim Harbaugh

http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sport...baugh-michigan

Michigan fans are bailing on Jim Harbaugh after blowout loss

https://www.seccountry.com/sec/honey...h-blowout-loss
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Old October 23rd, 2017, 09:16 AM   #26
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The turnaround in the year since last year's PSU game is stunning for both teams. I was forced to listen to the PSU broadcast of last year's game and they kept talking about how they just didn't measure up to a top level program like Michigan's, they needed to be bigger, faster, more physical if they wanted to compete. You could have pretty much applied that same broadcast to the UM team this year. It's disconcerting to say the least.
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Old October 23rd, 2017, 09:26 AM   #27
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I agree with most of those takes that WingsFan posted. I am not seeing anyone calling for Harbaugh's firing, and there shouldn't be anything like that, but I am starting to see some expectations getting dialed back to a very disappointing new baseline. There is something about being the coach at Michigan that seems to make new coaches think that they can just waltz in and win with half-assed schemes and assistant hires. Michigan coaches don't coach like they are young, desperate, and hungry. They coach like they expect some magic pixie dust to turn shit into gold. The weird offensive staff arrangement that we have is an example of this. Would Harbaugh ever do something like that at Stanford? Or would he put his nephew in charge of the running backs? Probably not. The Harbaugh experience so far reminds me of the first half of Rocky III where Rocky poses for a pretty girl in the middle of a training session and then gets the shit kicked out of him in his first fight against Clubber Lang.
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Old October 23rd, 2017, 10:23 AM   #28
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Winning big in the Big Ten East is going to be incredibly hard for anybody. Michigan is a great name brand, it is a blueblood of college football, but the expectations of Harbaugh are to get it to a position that most people if any have seen. That position is being a perennial NC contender. Harbaugh deserves every bit of criticism for Saturday night, that shouldn't have happened. The defense looked utterly flummoxed by what PSU was doing.

Don Brown has done a good job with the defense, but that defensive scheme is high risk, high reward. It is susceptible to plays going against flow and from my limited viewing they don't disguise what they are doing very much.
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Old October 23rd, 2017, 10:23 AM   #29
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Things will be looking more positive here three weeks from now when M is 8-2 and a big game at Wisconsin is about to happen.

M is fine. As Aaron Rodgers would say... "relax"
Harbaugh will make whatever changes are necessary in the offseason and we are close to the McCaffrey / Peters / Milton era at QB.
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Old October 23rd, 2017, 10:33 AM   #30
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Last year at this time they looked like they were ahead of schedule on a turnaround, with a dominating D, a good running game and adequate if unspectacular passing. That fell apart in the 2nd half and hasn't recovered. Some point to the Ohio game as a positive sign, but Ohio went on to get smoked by Clemson.

I can't for the life of me say why this is happening. I'm not a fan of Don Brown's style of D, but that's been the least of the problems. I'm still 100% behind Harbaugh, but it's looking like it will be a tougher, longer slog than it was looking like mid-way through last year.

I dont' expect UM to suddenly contend for the NC every year, but they should be contending for Big 10 titles and be a playoff threat regularly. A friend of mine likes to point to Dabo Swinney's first 3 years (well, 2.5 really) as a reason to not panic yet. Though the ACC at the time of Dabo's ascendancy was not what the Big10 East is.
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Old October 23rd, 2017, 10:42 AM   #31
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If you take a 10,000 foot look at it, a couple years ago, it was conventional wisdom that 2016 was the year that they were setup to contend due to the amount of great seniors. 2017 was looked to be a year where they might struggle, even Hannibal said that. The early part of the season blew that apart because of the defense, it shouldn't have, championships aren't won in September.

One if the problems is Harbaugh's talent to dominate the headlines, it is great when you are winning but it can become a millstone when you stumble.
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Old October 23rd, 2017, 10:58 AM   #32
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But when M wins their next 3 games ... 8-2 record ... then knocks off either Wisconsin OR Ohio State ... then wins their bowl game???
Poof, 10-3 final record. Outside of Speight, 2018 is looking to be a great year.

Plenty of season remaining with three cupcakes coming up next. Rutgers sucks ... have you seen Minnesota's QB Croft ... Maryland's 3rd string QB Burgerschlager is horrible.
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Old October 23rd, 2017, 11:07 AM   #33
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Quote:
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.......I am starting to see some expectations getting dialed back to a very disappointing new baseline.
Actually, I see more posts by apologists than I do realists. The apologist always have the same echo chamber excuses mixed in with the legitimate ones but those are typically on Harbaugh's shoulders, IMO (e.g., OL recruiting in 2015).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannibal View Post
......There is something about being the coach at Michigan that seems to make new coaches think that they can just waltz in and win with half-assed schemes and assistant hires. Michigan coaches don't coach like they are young, desperate, and hungry. They coach like they expect some magic pixie dust to turn shit into gold. The weird offensive staff arrangement that we have is an example of this. Would Harbaugh ever do something like that at Stanford? Or would he put his nephew in charge of the running backs? Probably not.
I really don't believe that Harbaugh fails to understand that it takes hard work to achieve goals, especially, CFB championship. Nothing he has said since being the HC at M suggests that he thinks it's easy at M because it's M. He voices respect for Michigan and what the school represents and that football, for many students fans and alums is the front porch to the U. I'm also hesitant to criticize his organizational skills or his hires. I just don't think we know enough to do that. JMO.

Harbugh's biggest problem right now is that he shit on some of his peers and sports media people with his mouth (no surprise). He's also been very vocal and out front on the recruiting front and college football in general. So it should not surprise anyone that people will start circling like vultures when he stumbles and doesn't coach Michigan to the top or, in more stark terms, doesn't deliver on the hype he and his fans have created.

I think Froot made the point that M fans, in general, don't know what championships are. There's are expectations that may be unjustified. Even older fans who lived the Schembechler years never saw an NC from him and the BT Title during his tenure as M's HC was always a battle between osu and M in the final game of the season. Bo won some, he lost some.

LC did win an NC in '97 and did dominate osu during the Cooper years so, fans of that era do understand winning in that context. However, 9-3 was a constant, 11-1 an outlier and 12-0 happened ONCE. ONCE. Michigan has never been a regular NC contender such as osu under Hayes, now meyer, Alabama under Bryant and now Saban, OU under Switzer, USC under Robinson and later Carroll and others I've probably forgotten about. M has traditionally been an also ran in that category loosing games that might have assured an NC more frequently than they won them.

So, given the history of M football in the modern era (since the 50's), I guess one could argue that bringing Harbaugh to M with the expectation that he was going to rise right to the top and win the NC, beating all M's usual rivals on the way is just, well, unrealistic. I can probably list a wide range and number of circumstances why but, then, everyone reading this would argue those are continuing excuses that Harbaugh was expected to over come. Well, he hasn't and the reality is that he might not.

That does not mean that I don't continue to wish ...... and wish is the operative word here ..... that Harbuagh will succeed in meeting his and those of M fans expectations for championships. That kind of approach, for me, gives me a bit more tolerance for failure and a more realistic approach than most I'd suspect.
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Old October 23rd, 2017, 11:17 AM   #34
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The Barkley-McCray thing was perplexing. I mean, everyone knew it was a potential disaster. I even figured they'd get at least 1 big play from it. They probably should have another 3 or 4, but Barkley dropped one and fell down on another.

But, what's perplexing is that you KNOW that's a fucking disaster and you're still like, yeah, man...let's blitz the shit out of them, play C1 behind it and keep our fingers crossed. I think that's poor.

As an analog, IU was torching OSU in C1 with Simmie Cobbs, back shoulder throws and stupid good catches. In the 2nd H, Schiano went way more zone and they didn't do crap. I'm not sure if M does better losing some of its aggression, but it seems like there is literally no Plan B.
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Old October 23rd, 2017, 11:18 AM   #35
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My personal opinion on programs that have consistent national championship contenders need to be really good at recruiting, really good at developing players, have a really good staff and have a conference that is down. The last one might be the most important. In the old days a lot of those perennials could be independent or in a bad conference.

Right now Alabama is the team, but their dominance has coincided with a downturn from the SEC mania of the mid-aughts.
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Old October 23rd, 2017, 11:20 AM   #36
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Not sure they were 100% C-1. We'll see on the UFR.

Still, I agree with you in principle and think this is a valid criticism of how Brown approached PSU.
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Old October 23rd, 2017, 11:31 AM   #37
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Old October 23rd, 2017, 12:08 PM   #38
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We're not talking about Harbaugh being unable to compete for a national championship every year at this point. He can't even compete for a division championship ever year. He can't even win the fucking state championship when MSU is better than bad. The program is falling short of very reasonable expectations. Again.

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Old October 23rd, 2017, 12:17 PM   #39
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Lloyd was a mediocre coach who lethargically let the program rot. His faults don't need to be recounted here, but it's worth pointing out that he lost five games in 2001 and 2005, and then he lost four games in his final season, with one of those coming to you-know-who. My point is -- three losses were the most common outcome for Lloyd, but he ended up higher than that twice as often (six times) as he ended up below (three times). The RichRod and Hoke eras caused a lot of people to revisit the Carr era with some rose-colored glasses, but he is not underappreciated, and at least a small share of the blame for the RichRod disaster can be laid at his feet. You can see this partially in his completely nonexistent coaching tree.

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Old October 23rd, 2017, 12:30 PM   #40
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People will look on the Carr era fondly because he delivered. One national championship, 5 conference championships and a very good record in big games. If you discredit his sterling record, than it is really hard to justify the big expectations.
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