Monday, October 14, 2013

Michigan Monday: Is This Team Well Coached?

We welcomed Brady Hoke into the fold because he wasn't RR and understood what Michigan was about.   We also liked he seemed to bring a "toughness" back to the Wolverines that was even lacking in the last few Carr years.   I personally liked his aggressiveness and willingness to go for it on 4th down instead of punting for maybe a 20 yard advantage.   The best thing Brady Hoke did was bring Greg Mattison back to Michigan who turned around a defense that was completely backwards. 

I think most of you would agree with those points. 

Michigan has two big issues right now.  The offense doesn't seem to have a direction/strategy and the defensive line can't pressure the QB.   Big Al Borges is in charge of the offense and Brady Hoke coaches the defensive line.   You could also include Darryl Funk and his offensive line in the mix as well.  I believe that unit is improving, has two solid tackles and will get better.   (if Lewan is healthy)

Offense?  What is Michigan doing?  Are they running a west coast offense?  Are they running a power run game?  They sure aren't running the spread.  


  • Michigan can't run the ball if any defense tries to stop it.   Every defense will.  
  • Devin Gardner continues to turn the ball over.  A fumble and 2 picks on Saturday.
  • When Michigan gets in trouble they turn to Devin to run the ball
  • Guys like Dileo seem to be open but never gets a look
What is the solution?

I wish I knew, but I sure as hell wouldn't keep running the ball into a wall.   You are wasting downs, effort, yards and scoring chances.  I don't understand the deep routes it seemed Michigan was running all game.  If your QB is struggling, he needs quick reads and short throws to get his confidence up.  Devin found his confidence in the second half but it was clear Big Al didn't have any in him.    Where are the 5 yard slats or screens?  If a defensive is going to load the box, you have to beat them by throwing the ball.   Michigan has to throw to run.   Put 3 or 4 WR's out there and spread them out a bit.  The defense can't load the box and it will open more running lanes for Devin if he wants to run.   I don't want to run the spread a 100% of the time, but as an offense you sure as hell have to be able to penalize a team selling out on the run.  I understand the risk when Devin is turnover prone, but what is the other option?  I don't believe you have a choice, if you want to win games.

I didn't understand the Circus at all on Saturday.   What is the risk if Michigan has the ball second in overtime and Penn State didn't score?  They had that situation twice.   The only risk I can see to being aggressive is a pick 6, where the DB would have to run 80-90 yards.   Try for a touchdown or at least a chip shot field goal.   This loss is squarely on Brady Hoke and Big Al. 

Big AL needs to find a better passing game that takes advantage of Michigan's talented TE's and Gallon & Dileo.    Right now Big Al is not doing his job as a teacher or player caller.   He failed to use Denard the right way, he put a 5 star QB at WR, and now looks completely lost.   I'm believe Big AL has failed in his role as the Michigan OC to date.   Big Al has been an OC for along time, which means he's been fired from a lot of programs. 

The lack of pass rush is on Hoke and Mattison.   For the life of me, I don't understand why we let poor to mediocre QB's pick the Michigan defense apart.   Blitz the hell out of them.  I rather get beat by man to man coverage then having a true freshman sit back there with time to make a throw. 

Why can't the Dline get any pressure from the front 4?   Yes, Michigan got home a few times against PSU but those seemed to be mistaken assignments from the Penn State line.  There are a mix of young and veteran guys on the Dline.   To me this has to come down to technique, effort or coaching.   This is on Brady Hoke. 

To answer my above question, no this team is not well coached at the moment.  Brady's aggressiveness has seemed to disappear or he is giving way too much power to Big Al Borges, which he clearly doesn't deserve.   Only the folks in Schembechler Hall know for sure, but it's clear something is broken and has to be fixed.

Big Ten Weekend Review



Wisconsin blows out NW at home
Penn State attended a circus and left with a Win
Nebraska had a bye against Purdue
MSU got a win over Indiana at home
Illinois for not playing
Iowa for not playing
Minnesota for not playing or losing


The Big Ten Ohio State didn't play but lost with the Michigan lost. 
Michigan for preforming in a circus
Indiana road loss to MSU
Northwestern losses two in a row
Purdue for being Purdue


Scott K said...

Brady has had success in his past two HC positions, he is a great recruiter.. It is probably easier to be a big fish in a small pond, but I would bet he has the tools to have a long successful career in Blue. I sure hope he's figuring out a new approach, as I type this, because a new approach is needed.
There is little doubt about the talent on the roster, as previously stated by many, forget the youth argument. Every team has under classmen starting somewhere. The lack of quality of play thus far this year rests soley on the shoulders of the coaching staff. Boy would I like to see Brady PISSED in a post game interview/press conf. after any of the three embarassing games this year. All the talk last year and in the off season about fundamentals and getting back to power running, down hill football, wow did they miss the mark!!! Lets start with some damn fundamentals, like MOVING THE CHAINS. I'll take three consecutive pass plays for 3.4 yards to start the game... make it six if it keeps working! On the 7th try a bubble screen to Norfleet-of-foot.... maybe on the 8th play let DG roll out and take the edge for 8 or 10 yards.
keep it simple, move the chains, play a game that isn't painful for a couple million fans watching. I think we deserve at least that much.
Anyone know what Cam Cameron is up to these days?
Go Blue, Please?

JQP said...

To answer your question in the headline: No, this isn't a well-coached team. Well-coached teams with the talent Michigan has, young or not, do not almost lose to the likes of Akron and UConn. Well-coached teams, young or not, do not have seasoned starting running backs that gain 27 yards in 27 attempts.

The success Hoke has had previously is negligable when compared to the success of coaches like Meyer, Saban, Miles before they got where they are. Just look at the numbers and look at the level of competition.

After three years, you'd expect much better play from a well-coached team. It doesn't comfort me that we "still won" the games against Akron and UConn. They never should've been close!

Mattison is doing a decent job, but Borges isn't. The offense is often pathetic, which a lot of times is due to the play calling. Hoke isn't doing his job, because the team doesn't seem to show enough fire and focus too much of the time.

It looks like Hoke is in over his head, which isn't surprising because this is the performance you would expect from a coach with the lackluster resume he came to Michigan with. The truth hurts, but the writing is on the wall for those willing to open their eyes and read it. After three years, we should be looking much better than this. Any well-coached team would be.