Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Turn the Page

Ann Arbor's own Bob Seger had a song in 1973 called Turn the Page.   Here are the starting lyrics:

On a long and lonesome highway
East of Omaha
You can listen to the engine
Moanin' out his one note song
You can think about the woman
Or the girl you knew the night before
But your thoughts will soon be wandering
The way they always do
When you're ridin' sixteen hours
And there's nothin' much to do
And you don't feel much like ridin',
You just wish the trip was through

Here I am
On the road again
There I am
Up on the stage
Here I go
Playin' star again
There I go
Turn the page

Yesterday afternoon the Denard Robinson chapter of Michigan Football ended.  He started his 4 years as a backup QB that fumbled his first snap and ran for a touchdown, he ended his career in the Outback Bowl as a specialty RB only used in specific scenarios.

The conclusion is his elbow is worse then we thought and Big Al struggled on using his talents that would benefit the Wolverines.   He finished with exactly 100 yards rushing yards. Personally, this is a sad ending for a guy that has had a very nice career has a Michigan Wolverine.   I wish him the best of luck in the NFL and with a new position.  He is and will always be a Michigan Man.  He always had time for an autograph or picture with any fan.  He is pure class and pure speed. 

Now to the game:

I was lucky enough to be in the stands to watch a very competitive game that was fun to watch.   The last minute or so wasn't so much fun but Michigan played hard and was one down away from winning.   If you think about it, the Outback Bowl was the perfect microcosm to Michigan's entire season.   The offense played well and poorly at times, the defense played decent but missed JT Floyd and the special teams were special but gave up a huge return for a touchdown.   But the biggest mistake made during the game was the uniforms.  Maybe it didn't show up on TV, but sitting in the stands you couldn't see the numbers.   You couldn't tell between Raymond Taylor or Courtney Avery.  It was a terrible way to watch the Wolverines in person.   I know the players like the jerseys but from a fan's standpoint at the game, it was a 100% complete failure.   The only thing worse then the jerseys were the officials.   They were way over their head in trying to officiate a game between a Big Ten and SEC team.


JT Floyd was really missed.  Greg Mattison decided not to blitz as much and played a ton of zone coverage that the Old Ball Coach (OBC) took advantage of.   It seemed the TE was running wide open down the middle of the field anytime they wanted it.   If you think about it Michigan was down to their number 3 & 4 CB's from the beginning of the season.  This loss goes on the defense, they had a chance to get a stop and win the game and they didn't.  The offense scored enough points to win the game and the defense didn't play well enough to win. Even our walk-on safety senior captain Kovacs gives up the last long pass of the day. 


I give the play calling a B-, it seemed the Wolverines could move the ball through the air when they wanted but they continued to try to run Vincent Smith and others into the line.  This team is in a need of an elite tailback.  Derrick Green as a huge opportunity here if he takes it.   Denard ran the ball 23 times and was clearly the Wolverines best back but I thought he could of done much more.  He wasn't under center enough and he didn't even try to throw.   I know his elbow is not good, but I find it hard to believe he can't throw a screen or a short slant that would have surprised the USC defense.
I was happy on how the Michigan WR's played overall.

A Big Al moment:  It's sad that Big Al's mistake will be on Clowney's highlight reel for a couple of years.  After, Michigan fakes a punt and gets a generous spot, Big Al calls a play where Vincent Smith runs the ball right at the best player in college football.  You all have seen it and you could say that was a huge momentum shift after it was clearly in the Wolverines corner. 

Special Teams:

Was special for sure.  They give up return for a TD in the first quarter and then become really good.  Wile kicking 52 yard field goals and they fake two punts and get a first down on both attempts.   Raise your hand if you could remember a Michigan game where they ran two fake punts.  What about 2 in a season?  Lloyd would maybe pull one out in the Rose Bowl or something. 

In a lot of ways, the Rich Rod hat trick at Michigan was finished on Tuesday afternoon.  Denard is now gone and Big Al can play with mostly of the players he has helped developed or recruited to Ann Arbor.   I can tell you one thing, I expected more from this offense - a lot more.   If Denard's talents were holding him back, this offense better be more effective next year or he needs to find a new place to work. 

Michigan got out coached yesterday and that is tough to take for us Wolverines fans.  The OBC took it to the OBSC (Old Ball State Coach).   Brady Hoke took Michigan by storm last year by fixing the defense and winning a BCS game.   Let's hope he learned a lot this year on how to be the head football coach at Michigan.  A 5 loss season is terrible and they didn't even sniff a Big Ten Championship in a year where OSU and PSU were not eligible.  I sure hope he knows what he is doing, but this year does raise question if Ball State and SDSU were the proper primers for the Michigan job.    For example, what if a 5 loss year happened last year?

6 new freshman will be enrolled in about a week and the seniors will finish classes and try out for the NFL, the high ranking recruiting class from 2012 is now a year older.   It's now time to turn the page on the 2012 season.   I'm sure Brady and Al are ready to. 


d_ronii said...

Great post and recap for the game. Michigan was well represented in the crowd and it was a good game to an extent. The Clowney hit got me to thinking / hoping that Taco Charlton could be our poor mans Clowney. God bless Roh Kovacs and BWC but we need to upgrade our athleticism in most areas of the defense. I am excited already for the incoming class and spring game.

Anonymous said...

Great recap, however, Denard did attempt one pass. It was a short pass to I think Dileo in the 3rd quarter. It was horribly under thrown. Since you were at the game you probably didn't hear the announcers comment on how it was his first attempt since the injury.

Bob said...

Yes it was very hard to tell if he was under center or not

JQP said...

I hate to say this, but the reason the SEC has been dominating lately isn't because they have more talent. I think they have better coaches (excepting Bielema!).

Hoke's a good coach, but I'm skeptical that he's going to prove to be a great coach. Great coaches get their teams to play better than expected. Haven't seen that.

I'm all for going for it on fourth down and a trick play once in a while. But there's a fine line between taking a calculated risk and looking like you're desperate. Two trick plays in a bowl game crosses that line.

Unknown said...

I'm not sure how you can blame Borges for the Clowney near decapitation of V. Smith when it was a blown assignment by the OL/TE that let Clowney go in completely untouched. That isn't the OC's fault.

Voice of Reason said...

The coverage of Clowney should have been a high priority on every down. Michigan knew his reputation and what he could do. When you have someone that is that explosive at any time, it should have been clarified in the huddle on "every play" whose going to account for him. As soon as you let down on him, that is when he burns you. As tedious as this process could be, the results proved that it was necessary.

jeck201 said...

First off i would like to say that I live deep in Ohio country and have been a Michigan fan my entire life. Aside from the hit in the backfield on Vincent Clowney was dominated by Lewan. Therefore, it is unclear to me why most people, especially the media claims he was spectacular and deserved to be player of the game. Also, I'm tired of hearing that Big Al called a horrible game. With all of the negativity regarding the coaching, I am very disappointed in the lack of knowledge from some Michigan fans regarding playcalling and Hoke as a coach. Aside from the two point conversion, I can't recall a bad playcall. Denard was clearly unable to throw the ball. I realize due to the yellow numbers on the jerseys it was difficult to notice that he was the one that threw the one pass into the ground but some fans need to be more observant. I feel like some of the "Michigan" fans are loving the coaches when we win as in last years bowl game but are bashing the coaches for a loss like this one. The only ones to blame for the loss is the Michigan secondary. Aside from the punt return for a touchdown, every big play aside from the long run by Shaw was given up by that secondary. Therefore the only blame should be dealt to mediocre players who are on the field due to injury and stupidity.

dennis said...

Addidas and UM AD should know better than putting yellow numbers on white jersey. This is not the first time UM jerseys were impossible to read. Even in HS you never use light on light. Comon' man.

Lionman said...

I for one am tired of tbe Oregon uniform closet, we need to stick with the Traditional uniforms for identification and recognition. Michigan fell into the same old routine of losing momentum in high profile games, and losing in the waining moments...let's hope this changes next year, and we develop a killer attitude of full throttle scoring for 60 minutes, with solid CB play on D. P.S. our Basket Ball team is phenomenal!!!!
Go Blue!