Thursday, September 19, 2013

Michigan Thursday: Changes Coming To the O Line?

Brian from MGoBlog does an interesting post every week where he details out all the plays of the prior weeks game.  One of his revelations this week was that the Offensive Line might be taking too much blame for the poor Michigan running game.    That said, they have made some mistakes and Jack Miller had a very poor game last weekend.   We know Glasgow is improving and we all think Kyle Kalis will be a star offensive lineman someday.    The issue Brian points out is that Fitz isn't following his FB in the hole enough, which is causing backside LB's to make more tackles and limit his yardage.  Per Brian:

We've been trying to figure out why the run game sucks so much basically since the season started, and every time I try to explain this I talk about the offensive line mostly and then go "oh by the way, Toussaint probably should have done something different." Those add up. He's turning 2 yards into –2 yards and 10 yards into 4 yards too often and not making up for it much. He's got a nice 14-yarder against ND and then yet another cutback into trouble when he had a gaping hole that he managed to turn into 22 yards by breaking a tackle and juking. That's it.

Sounds like Fitz needs to stop trying to break every carry and go a little Mike Hart/North & South running for more positive yards.   This could also be a little bit of an injury reaction, trying to juke more and keeping guys off his legs.   Let's keep an eye on that this week.  

(the 50-60 yards he lost in holding penalties doesn't help either)

During Hoke's press conference he mentioned he is considering some changes to the OLine either this week or after the bye week (next week):

"Chris Bryant's a guy that we've been excited about. He's been banged up a year ago. Had a little bit early in fall camp and probably right in the middle. He got a little banged up again, but he's back and playing awfully hard. Ben Braden's another guy. We like what he's doing. And Erik Magnuson. I think all those guys are doing a nice job and they're all improving."

If they bring Bryant in, I assume Glasgow would move to center and Bryant to his guard position.   I expect that Jack Miller might be the odd man out in that move.

other notes:

  • Avery and AJ Williams are back at practice.   We could use both back in their spots.  AJ is the best blocking TE we have and Avery needs to fill gaps in the secondary.
  • Taylor Lewan has been limited in practice with a walking boot, he is expected to play on Saturday. 
  • Mario Ojemudia is also limited and probably won't play on Saturday night.
  • Johnny Football texted Devin to keep his head up after Saturday's game

ABC Viewing Map is below if your concerned about your location and seeing the game on Saturday.

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