Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Michigan Tuesday: Big Al Wakes Up and Wreck It Ryan

Toledo Blade
A simple question to the Big House Blog readers:   When did you notice Devin Funchess was a mismatch for opposing defenses?   For reference he is 6'6 and 235 pounds. 

I will answer this one for you:  During one of his first games as a freshman when he made the one handed catch from Denard for a TD.  Devin appeared in 13 games last year and caught a total of 15 balls for 234 yards and 5 touchdowns.   He was named to pretty much to every Freshman All-American team with 15 total catches. 

So pretty much everyone else knew as well.   What about Big Al?  I really don't know what he was thinking.   You would assume a team with limited depth at WR would have tried to find ways to get Funchess involved before last weekend.    Speaking of the Minnesota game, Funchess had 7 catches and 151 yards, when he played mostly WR.   So in one game he had 1/2 the amount of catches he had last year and just 83 short of his total yards from last season. 

I just don't understand why it took this long.   I guess it could be on Denard and Devin for not looking for him enough, but I think the blame has to go to Big AL.  Devin has proved to have great hands but not exactly a polished blocker.   Putting him at WR, seemed like a very logical decision and one that probably should have been made at the start of the year or even last year.     The buzz out of Fall Camp last year was that he was for sure an NFL prospect and he hadn't played one college football game yet.  

Big Al, I have another secret for you: Jake Butt is pretty good as well.  Try getting him the ball.

To drive this point home a little more, I don't understand how a guy like Mike Cox can't ever get anytime at Michigan but can make an NFL team.  He is currently on the NY Giants roster.

In positive news, Jake Ryan has been cleared to play by the Michigan doctors.   I'm very excited to have him back, because I think this defense really needs his leadership.   With that said, I am very worried about him rushing back.  I know the coaches and training staff will do the right thing and I hope he is a 100% before taking any live snaps during a game.  

“He wanted to play last week,” Hoke said. “He wanted to play the week before. What do you think he’s going to say? ‘No, coach, I don’t want to play.’

Taylor Lewan has his funny $.02:  “The way he has been playing -- Jake’s Jake,” left tackle Taylor Lewan said. “I don’t think the kid knows he’s hurt. He’s the same Jake. He just has shorter hair.”

I liked how Mattison subbed in the LB's last week.  Having Jake on the field is definitely a plus, but I also hope he finds a way to use guys like Beyer and Cam Gordon in other roles.   Cam had a great cover of a TE in a 3rd down incomplete pass against Minnesota.  

  • James Ross brother a 2017 LB prospect just got offered by Oklahoma.  Reported by TomVH. Jerry Montgomery recruited James to Michigan and is now at Oklahoma.    

  • I'm really sad for Pewee Pipkins, I hope he heals fast.  If his injury happened in the UConn game he could have gotten a medical redshirt.  I guess Michigan will have to file for an exception if Ondre wants another year in Ann Arbor.   With a ton of defense linemen coming in an out, I expect we won't see much of a hole in the defense but really was enjoying his improved play. 


d_ronii said...

Bob I think Big AL held onto the vision that Funchess could be a elite all around tight end. And these first 4 games were an audition for that theory. Hopefully Big AL has realized that Funchess to wideout is the best weapon for our offense while protecting us from his blocking inefficiencies. I think Butt will be more suited for this all around elite tight end AL wants to use. The main thing this year should be Funchess not disappearing like last year. I think the tougher defenses were more physical with him and knocked him off his game. If he is a consistent threat at receiver, our offense becomes much more deadly.

Scott K said...

his hands are CRAZY impressive for a big man. the catch he made near the goal line was ESPN top ten play worthy.

Bob said...

Couldn't agree more guys!

Big35Hurt said...

Instead of complaining about Borges, how about complimenting him on the way he did use Funchess last week? I'm not a huge Borges guy, but he did try to adapt to Denard's style (albeit not extremely successful). He has opened his mind to a style that he never coached before and he is a better coach for it. This current offense is still a little bit west coast/pro style/spread mixed together. Maybe Funchess hasn't been ready "mentally" for an increased role. Who knows? Lastly, how about Borges getting some credit for his offensive gameplan vs ND? His use of the reverses early in the game really put ND on their heels a bit. The truth is, that if the O-Line plays up to par, this offense looks REALLY good and had a lot of weapons. When the O-Line struggles, well, it looks ugly.....