Team 135

Team 135

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Dam is Breaking

Water is pouring down on the Big House as Brady Hoke's Michigan career washes away.   Michigan is now in a 1/2 an hour delay, where their defensive lineman is their leading scorer.   The delay is on but the game is over. 

Michigan's defense again, played well enough to win.   The Michigan offense didn't.   Michigan's 5th year QB is on the bench and now a winning season looks in serious doubt. 

Even the coaches are fighting as Greg Mattison was clearly yelling at Brady Hoke in the first half. 

I have no idea what Michigan is doing on offense, but they look like a bad high school team.  It was like they weren't even trying to get first downs or even points.

It's now clear that Brady Hoke is gone and Brandon should probably pull the plug right now and hope for some type of 2013 USC rebound.   Give Mattison the interim head coaching role and see if he can rally the troops.   He then can spend the next 4 months calling Jim Harbaugh. 

Two thumps up for Jourdan Lewis who came to play today.      

I feel bad to the season tickets holders.  You have way overpaid for this product.  

At least Tigers beat the Royals today. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Utah Preview

Time: 3:30 EST
Location:  Big House
Weather: 80% rain
Line: Michigan -6

Both teams have 2 wins against poor opponents.  The difference is Utah is 2-0 coming off a bye last weekend.   Utah is still a fairly new PAC 12 member and fits in perfectly.   They love to score a ton of points, they are 3rd in the nation right now in scoring at 57 per.   Again, it's hard to know if that is Utah being great or the other teams being not-so-great.    They have also given up a few points as their two wins they have given up an average of 3 touchdowns per.  

Tale of the Tape
GMat vs. Utah's Spread = Utes
Michigan's 3 headed running game vs. Utah D = Mich
3 games vs. 2 games = Michigan
Hagerup vs. his bionic leg = touchbacks
Hoke vs. 4th down = Hagerup
Wile vs. Uprights = push

If Michigan is going to win this game they will have to dominate both lines.   Yes, both lines.   Utah prefers to run out of their spread but they will throw, to date they are very balance on offense.  Michigan's d-line and linebackers much keep everything in front of them and our corners can't bite on the run all the time. 

What to watch for

  • Funchess?
  • Can Michigan score 40+ points for the win?
  • Turnovers on defense?
  • More Norfleet please!
  • Has Coach Nuss, been holding back his offense?
  • Will Greg Mattison have a defense that can stop this spread?
  • Michigan will have Green and Gardner  with over a 100 yards rushing
  • We need good to great Gardner
I feel Michigan's offense need to throw to run the ball.   I like how Darboh played last week, if you add Butt and Funchess to the mix, someone should be open.   I like 3 step drops for Gardner and two choices to throw, if both are covered, run!!  Michigan is going to have to score a ton of point because the Michigan D will not shutdown the Utes all day. 

This is a scary game for the Wolverines and historically they haven't played well against spread teams with talent.   I think the Vegas line is way to high in the Wolverines favor.   Michigan will have to be very physical in this game with Utah and make them pay for their visit to the Big House.   Coach Hoke will have to come out of his child pose and make some aggressive decisions on the sideline.   Michigan has to score early and often and can't play catch up in this game.  If this is a heavy weight fight, Michigan needs to land power punches and not jabs.   It sounds like weather might play a big role in this game.  If that is the case, the team that can run the ball will get the win. My head says Utah is probably the favorite to win this game, I'm going with my heart. 
Michigan 48 Utah 32
Go Blue!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Michigan Thursday: More Pep

Sorry BHB inmates, no Big Ten Weekend preview today, as I'm still traveling.

The only news out of Schembechler Hall is that we should expect more Peppers and Lewis at CB moving forward. Ray Taylor is hurt and the nickel position has become a starting role and it seems that the coaches like The Count there. I have always thought Taylor lacked the top end speed that is needed at CB and would be a very good safety.

I support this move as long as Lewis can cover without getting pass interference calls.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wolverine Wednesday: News and Notes

Sorry folks, life is getting in the way today. Here are some bullets:

  • GR3 signs a guaranteed contact with the T-Wolves, this should mean he has made the team.

  • Michigan and Texas signed a home and home with Texas in 2024 & 2027.

  • Ty Isaac's waiver appeal has been denied and he will red shirt this year. I see this as a good thing!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Michigan Tuesday: Coaching Scared

When Brady Hoke took the Michigan job he spoke about injuries as boo boos and went for it on 4th down.  He coached aggressively (mostly on 4th down) to move the sticks and give his offense a chance to score.   He was the Michigan head coach in year 1 and heading to a BCS Bowl.   Things were going well.

Coming off the blow out against ND and his team un-preforming against Miami of Ohio he makes this decision:

  • Michigan has a 4th and one from the Miami 32 with a minute left - time out
  • Team somehow gets a delay of game penalty which seemed odd as they lined up to go for it. 
  • Now its 4th and 6 from the 37 with still a minute left.    Miami had scored 10 points and Michigan has turned the ball over 3 times in the quarter.  Michigan has a 7 point lead when it probably should be 21 points.   
  • Michigan takes another 5 yard delay penalty on purpose
  • Punts the ball out of the end zone
  • Miami runs the clock out - halftime
  • The Big House fans boo as both teams leave the field

After the game, Coach Hoke was asked the following:

You talked about being able to use the crowd to bounce back from last weekend. It helped early, you said, but I’m sure you heard some of the boos at halftime. What’s your level of concern with your team having to deal with that and kind of some outside…
“Well, you know what, we’ve got great fans. They’ve got high expectations like we do. As far as the players, they know that they can only control what they can control and that’s playing the best Michigan football we can.”

Coach Hoke said this earlier in the week:

"If they’re truly fans they'll believe in these kids and what they've done and the hard work that they've put in. If they’re not, they won't."

Back to the 4th down complete cluster:

Michigan needs to score here, because they have played poorly in the 2nd quarter.  They are beating one of the worst teams in D1 by 7 points.   This is not the statement they wanted to make after the ND blowout.   Miami offense has only scored off of Michigan turnovers and have no shot going 60 yards for a halftime TD.   Michigan is kicking off to start the second half and need to increase their lead to two scores.  The only decision is go for it and Brady Hoke punted.

Back to the fans booing:

Coach took a shot at the fans for booing the kids and then backed off it a little bit after the game.   I'm sure the coach realizes who the fans are booing and it's not the kids.   It's the guy that took two delay of game penalties and took at least 3 points off the board.

Bottom line:

I have a few emails from folks that Brandon has been leaning hard on Hoke lately.   I'm sure the post-ND discussion was not a positive one.   Coach Hoke is very much starting to feel the pressure of being the Michigan head coach and it's starting to wear on him physically.   It's also starting to wear on him mentally and he is starting to make poor in game decisions.    His press conferences have become a waste of time as the most new worthy items is that Wile will do more short yardage punting because Hagerup can't control his bionic leg.   What is the issue on saying Desmond Morgan is out 4-6 weeks?  He is not playing and nobody expects him on the field this Saturday. 

Coach is starting to feel the heat and he is coaching like a scared turtle that is more comfortable in his shell then out.   This is a really alarming sign for the rest of the year.   He is in some serious need of advice from a coach that has been there and done that.  If he doesn't shake this off and start playing to win, there is one sure thing that will happen - he won't. 

BTW:  The fans that were booing on Saturday were part of the smallest crowd since 1995. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Michigan Monday: Looks Ahead to Utah

Last Saturday was what it was, a un-inspiring win by the Wolverines against one of the worst teams in the country.  This week, Michigan will continue to see where they are at against a solid PAC 12 opponent in the Utah Utes.  Let's take a quick look at what Utah has done through 2 games:

They are averaging 57.5 points per game which is ranked #3 in the nation in scoring
They have rushed for 248 yards per and thrown for 309 yards - which is pretty balanced
They give up about three touchdowns a game on defense.

Ok, so they have played Idaho State and Fresno State which isn't exactly Alabama and Stanford but Michigan's wins aren't noteworthy either.   Vegas right now is listing Michigan about a touchdown favorite.   Which clearly states they are not sure what either team has right now.   The PAC 12 teams love to score and give up a ton of points.   Let's hope Michigan scores a ton but defense limits them to roughly 20 points.   Devin Funchess needs an appointment with Mr. Miyagi this week to fix his ankle.  I love the miss matches that Funchess and Butt create on the field at the same time.

On a side note, Utah will be wearing all white uniforms on Saturday in the Big House.  Also, Michigan will open next years schedule on a Thursday night at Utah.    That smells like a Fox Sports One game.

  • It doesn't take an expert to read Brady Hoke.   Example from his post game press conference: 
    Do you expect Devin back next week? “Well, we’ll see.”.   With Funchess limping around on the sideline on Saturday, he sure didn't look like he is going to be ready.

  • 5 star CB Iman Marshall has confirmed that Michigan will get one of his 5 official visits.

  • BTW: I thought Marcus Ray did a wonderful job doing color for the Michigan game, Braylon even did a good job during his quick visit.   One of the benefits of the Fox Sports 1, CBS Sports Channel, SEC and Big Ten Networks is that it creates a ton of jobs for former athletes.   

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Much Too Hard

Brady Hoke must think he is still in the MAC because his Michigan teams seem to play like Ball State when a MAC opponent comes into town.   Miami University has the longest loss streak in the nation at 18 games coming into the Big House this afternoon.   Michigan made them look like Minnesota or something, playing them close for nearly 3 quarters.  

A win is a win, but does anyone feel like nothing has changed since last season?  I'm looking for progress each time this team takes the field, I can't say I saw a ton of it today.  Let's get right to the cheers and jeers:


  • Welcome back Jake Butt, Why in the world doesn't DG look for him more?
  • Darboh had a nice game, minus the fumble
  • The defense only allowed points on Michigan turnovers when Miami had field position
  • Green ran hard and got over 100 yards
  • The Michigan offense seems much more effective out of the shotgun
  • The Oline played pretty well, not great but not terrible
  • Garnder ran well today, but looked a bit tentative in the passing game like he was "aiming" his throws
  • Michigan won the game
  • Michigan's safety depth now seems like a big issue
  • Funchess ankle still looks bad
  • The drive at the end of half time was a complete coaching cluster f***.  Getting a delay of game was bad enough.  Then you punt? What does punting get you?  Nothing.  Be aggressive and play to win Hoke.  Terrible decision. 
  • What happened to the Gardner 3 step drop and quick throws we saw against App. State?
  • Michigan lost the turnover battle 3-1.  Miami turned the ball over 6 times last weekend.
  • Michigan seems very vanilla on offense right now
A win is a win but this was much too difficult for the Wolverines today.  A good Utah team is coming in next week and if Michigan doesn't improve in the next 6 days they will have a hard time winning that game.   Michigan kept one of the worst teams in D1 in the game today with 3 turnovers and an offense that wasn't consistent.