Friday, September 4, 2015

Utah Post Game: Same Problems Different Day

I wanted to use a different word in the title (instead of problems) but a lot of kids read this blog. 

The Michigan Football team looked very similar to Michigan fans last night, they looked good and terrible at times and clearly don't know how to win.   The difference between Utah and Michigan is one thing, the QB position.   Utah's QB threw one pick that didn't matter, Michigan's QB threw 3 that stopped it's team from scoring points and gave the other team 6.   The reason Rudock is here, is to protect the ball and not turn it over.   He did just the opposite in his first game as a Wolverine.   All 3 picks were targeted at the true freshman Grant Perry.  The first pick seemed to be an issue of the true freshman WR running the wrong route the other two were Rudock's fault and the third pick was a killer.  


  • Peppers looked very good in the second half.  
  • Jake Butt is an All American prospect
  • Smith ran hard all night
  • The Michigan WR's showed improvement and played pretty well
  • Wormley was pretty much un-blockable
  • The team seems to be more competitive overall
  • Jourdan Lewis is a very good corner
  • The defense gave up 17 points and shut down their top RB and WR. 
  • The missed long throws to Chesson were game changers.  Both fall on Rudock and it's hard to believe they were over thrown by so much.   That was an easy 14 points if he puts a little air under the ball.  A senior QB needs to be able to make those throws.
  • Michigan was not able to stop Utah's QB and now can expect teams to spread them out for the rest of the year.
  • You can't lose the turnover battle and win football games
  • I was a little upset that true freshman Grant Perry was targeted so much.  Like I mentioned above, all 3 picks happened on throws to Perry.  He did look good in the two minute drive.
  • Stop throwing the ball to AJ Williams, know your personnel!
  • The offensive line got dominated most of the night
  • I see what Jimmy was trying to do with the game plan bit I'm a little torn on it.  It looked like they had about 20% of his offense installed.  Very vanilla and when it became obvious to everyone that Michigan wasn't going to run, the Wolverines continued to run.
  • Tempo was slow on offense and it seems Rudock plays better with a faster tempo
  • Our field goal kicking scares me
  • Michigan left 17 points slip by due to mistakes and gave Utah 7 which equals ball game.  
  • Those onside kicks were terrible

There are still reasons to be excited as this team will continue to get better week by week but if the QB play doesn't get better, they won't win too many games this year.   Lower expectations are now in effect for this season.   Michigan has a couple extra days to prepare for Oregon State and they better use them.


Renegade said...

"this team will continue to get better week by week"

I hope you are correct, but honestly this is essentially the same team as last year which, in my opinion, doesn't bode well. The one thing I hope the media (including bloggers) can get past is the Harbaugh hype. It should be about the team not the coach.

Voice of Reason said...

I have to admit, I'm just as culpable as most Michigan fans who were grasping at straws when it came to believing that Michigan was going to win this game. It's what you call "magical thinking." A big named coach was going to take us to the promise land from the first game, first season.

However, the truth is that there were factors that were staring me straight in the face regarding the game and I hoped they were exceptions and not influential factors...I was wrong. 1) Utah's defense especially their front is one of the top lines in the nation. My concern was that they would prove to be too much for a O-line that struggled the last two year. But I wanted to see the Drevno difference right away. 2) Utah's special teams is one of the tops in the country, and in spite of a missed field goal they were as good as advertised. Michigan's field goal kicking coming in is a work in progress. 3) Utah's team and systems have been under one head coach for something like eleven years. They are a good solid team and they are what they're going to be, a conference contender and a top 25 team. Michigan has new coaches and a new system and they've had no opportunity to work out their timing under true game conditions. Jake Rudock has been here for only a few months and still needs time to mesh with his new offense. 4) I read somewhere that for every true freshman that plays you need to consider it as one loss on your schedule. Personally, I have to accept the coach's judgement on these things but I don't know if I would have played the freshman in "this" game, or at the very least in key situations that require them to make a big play. We can argue that it proved to be the difference.

For me to expect Michigan to go to Utah under these and other conditions and play well and win their very first game was ridiculous. I should have known better. However, what I should have done was look for some signs of dramatically improved play, along with a warrior's attitude. Most O-lines would have looked bad against this Utah D-line, nevertheless, I don't feel that Michigan's O-line totally embarrassed themselves either. However, I do expect that the team will make marked improvement as the season goes on in every area.

In spite of the mistakes, Michigan still had a shot at winning this game. IMHO!!!

Big35Hurt said...

Here we go with the doom and gloom.....did we watch the same game?

Offense comments:
* Rudock made some good sight adjustments. (Failed miserably though on the pick 6. That ball should have gone out to Isaac. The defender was 10 yards off him.)
* The offensive scheme is very good. The shifts and motions really dumb things down for the QB as far as his pre-snap reads. Over the long term that will pay dividends for sure.
* We have a lot of new parts that will take some time in the passing game to gel. (What happened to Canteen? How did he go from being the talk of the town to not getting any time?)
* Rudock has got to be better. Overthrowing those 2 TD passes was pretty bad. It was windy, but those were really bad misses on his part.
* Smith did run hard. I'll give him that, but his lack of vision cost us on numerous runs. The OLine was better than the stats showed in the run game. It was a pretty poor perforamnce on his end. After viewing the film I think that Isaac may get more touches as a result.
* Thank god we only saw Derrick Green 1 time last night. He sucks.
* The Pass Protection was very good for the most part. Definite improvement in that area. I think the scheme has a lot to do with that too.
* Butt is a stud. This offense will really take another step forward when they get another TE receiving threat. (Chris Clark would have been such a great fit if he dodn't go to UCLA)
* Darboh had a good game. Chesson should have had a good game. I see the upside that Perry has and why they like him so much.
* I don't agree at all that the offensive tempo was slow. They got in and out of the huddle with very good tempo.
* Got to compliment Harbaugh on not pulling Rudock despite him having a poor game. His experience as a Head Coach and leader showed true.
* Overall I'm encouraged by the progress on offense. Utah has a VERY GOOD front 7. If Smith had better vision (like Drake Johnson does!) We would have been more successful running the ball.

* Wormley and Hurst were unblockable most of the night and blew up the running game over and over again.
* Pass rush was adequate, but we usually had to bring an extra body or two to get home.
* LB play was pretty good. They did get exposed a few times in pass coverage though.
* Peppers is going to be a big difference maker this year. Sure he got beat a few times as Nickle, but that Frosh Utah had was pretty quick and we all know that you're not going to completely lock down a quick slot guy. The completions he allowed were actually pretty good passes. His ability to beat blockers last night was awesome. They also brought him on the blitz 3 or 4 times too. It's going to be fun watching him play. he also looks pretty exciting on kick returns and you can tell how confident he is catching punts as he came flying up to make that diving catch on the punt in the 1st half to save us field position.
* LB play was solid as was expected.
* CB play was very good last night too.
* Our pass coverage down the middle of the field got picked on a bit last night, but I think that had more to do with Booker's presence and the respect that needed to be paid to the running game than anything else. Plain and simply, you can't guard against everything.
* Failing to produce any turnovers was disappointing. (I don't count a Hail Mary int as a "turnover."
* Toughness at the point of attack was pretty good all night long.
* I think they might be 1 quality cover guy short of being able to really lock down the spread team's passing games. Hopefully Lyons becomes that guy. Early returns aren't promising in that respect.

I'm not lowering any expectations based off that game. The QB play will be better. I can see them 5-1 when Sparty comes calling. I saw a lot of good things last night that far outweighed the bad. We're on the right path for sure.

Renard Anthony said...

Thank you Big35Hurt, your comments were spot on;after reading the earlier comments and the blog, I was starting to question if I watched the game or was I dreaming. If you fast forward Michigan 2/3 years and everything stayed the same with Utah I would expect UM to win by a touchdown. So, for them to be in this game at this point is encouraging. Same team under the previous coaches lose by 17+.

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Scott Winar said...

Big35Hurt,Voice of reason, nice writes...Bob, I'm not as pessimistic as you, lot of positives, seen and unseen. Do agree with you though, for a Senior, Rudock was a let down, let's hope it's just for one game. Other than that Harbaugh has a decision to make: which quarter back will excel in two years > look down the road... think of the team. Hoke caused some of this, because he tried to save His "little butt" with his senior quarter back... okay let's say Rudock improves and does well towards the end of the season... next year we start at ground zero again. Training Rudock is for no gain in the future. We need to develop quarter backs and also win games, not just win games. To me the greatest thing ever in sports is how Ohio state won the national championship with 3 young quarterbacks, seems like they got better as one would get hurt... we can not even develop one young player... Again, I am just a mouth, but my opinion is a quarterback should be able to go out on the field and win, freshman or not {look at Ohio State}. To me all this red shirt talk to develop a player is a bit hogwash, because Michigan has lost quite a few bowl games to freshman quarterbacks, or back-ups.

Renegade said...

"Here we go with the doom and gloom.....did we watch the same game?"

Yes "WE" did and it's the same problem Michigan has had all along - QB. I certainly hope they figure this out soon. My original pick was 8 wins, but Utah was one of them.

"fast forward Michigan 2/3 years and everything stayed the same with Utah I would expect UM to win by a touchdown" I do believe that is what everyone is hoping. However, I would not use the word expect, but rather hope.

I never bought into this whole Harbaugh crap. Yes, he has been successful everywhere he has been. And let's hope that he can do the same here. However, I prefer to wait for results.

Others, apparently, see victory before it arrives.

Big35Hurt said...

I think the mindset is that Morris and O'Korn will have a year under their belts being coached up and learning the offense. I'm sure that the mindset coming into this thing was that Rudock wasn't coming here to sit the bench. The job was his to lose although they certainly weren't going to say that publicly. I'm not "down" on Rudock yet, I'm hoping he had a bad against a quality defense on the road.

Voice of Reason said...

I think it's safe to say for all of us that we are first and foremost Michigan fans, we bleed Maize and Blue. We haven't won a title for a while but we'd certainly like to feel that our team has a legitimate shot at winning them, and when we don't, we look for plausible explanations for what happened.

We support a long and proud tradition here at U of M and so when we see our team struggle we hurt. So when we see that there is a chance to regain our status at the top of the sports world we grasp at it. We're not the only ones that expect Michigan to be at the top of the sports world, so do others. Even our opponents understand that this valley is only for a season and so they look and listen for the sound of the Michigan stampede which they know will someday come with the right coaching staff. I remember when I was introducing myself to a large group of people, I mentioned that I was a graduate of the University of Michigan, and in the middle of my introduction I heard a voice say, "so what happened to your football team?" This was during the Rich Rod era. Also when I went to see my doctor, I was wearing my Michigan ball cap and the doctor asked, "are you happy with Rich Rod?" My point being that even those outside of our beloved university expect to see a powerful performance from our Wolverines because even they know that being down in NOT where we're suppose to be.

Those of us who are in the Michigan family, we may argue and disagree about what we see, but the truth is that we want to see the same thing; a dominant Michigan team resulting in a Michigan win. Go Blue!!! IMHO!!!

Scott K said...

There were positives in the game, I expect the team to improve game over game, as they'll be getting coached and taught.

All that being said, two horribly over thrown passes to wide open receiver, that each would have gone for a TD, were largely the difference in the game. It is disappointing that 'vanilla, safe, ball control Rudock' a guy who won't light it up, but won't lose games for you either.... comes out and throws a career high in ints. One was clearly a poorly run timing route and wasn't his fault, the other two were terrible passes, as were the two over thrown balls.

I trust Jim is going to play the best guys he has, or at least the guys who are working hardest and putting in the most effort. If he starts Smith over Issac or Green, I'm going to guess he knows more about who's the better back than any of us.
We will get better. We'll be a much better team when we hit the Big 10 schedule, than we were on Thursday. That I believe. It still sucks watching a game that we could have won, had we made a couple plays that were there to be made.

On to OR St. and I can't wait until UNLV, cuz I'll be watching from the center of the uprights on the North end.


Bob said...

Good comments, yes - I was very disappointed in how Rudock threw 3 picks and missed the long throws. There were positives, he completed 25 passes and Michigan outgained Utah in overall yards. Jake threw for nearly 300 yards and did throw two TD passes. The difference in the game was the QB play and Utah's QB played much better.

The defense is still pretty good and Michigan will have to run the ball better to win games, but I'm hoping most teams don't have the D-line that Utah has.

New Blogger 1966 said...

A brief comment: The team looked more like a team than anytime in the past 2 years. And Voice of Reason had it all right. So much new; so much to get adjusted to; and so much that will improve over this season. And soon, more of this coaching staff's recruits will enter the program and the current folks will be more experienced. But it is hard to sit through a growing season after that last 5 plus years.

Scott Winar said...

New blogger 1966.. you "hit the nail on the head", and did not take 1,000 words to say it. If you always express yourself so well , I might have to find a new place of employment. (lol)