Thursday, January 2, 2020

Alabama Post Game

This post will be a little bit more than the traditional Cheers and Jeers.  As attending this game, gave me some further insight into things that TV just doesn't show.


This was my second Citrus Bowl, its an interesting event.  It's a Bowl Game that's not quite a New Years Day 6 but it isn't the Alamo Bowl either.   So neither fan base was crazy happy to be there and it showed.   I would say it was 55% Bama and 45% Michigan fans, the game was about 5,000 short of a sell out with mostly open seats in the upper decks.

Bama has what they call the "Million Dollar Band" (yes they pay the band as well) and have a terrible cheer where the spell B-A-M-A.  This was my first Alabama game and sort of expected a better fight song with all their tradition.

Parking:  As many know, the Citrus Bowl is in an industrial/lower cost hosing area.   If you want to tailgate, you should purchased a permit for parking in a Citrus Bowl lot.   You can find parking near by for as low as $20, but expect to pay $40.   We parked in a parking lot of a business, where the highlight was a bunch of Alabama fans knowing knives at a wooden board.   First time I have seen that at a tailgate.

Weather was great.  It was 68 degrees and sunny all game.

The Citrus Bowl stadium announcer made a ton of mistakes on identifying Michigan players and commonly messed up the down and distance.   There was also a hype man on the field who was pretty bad as well.

The Game 

If you asked me to asses this team in one sentence it would be, "this team can't take a punch".    Here are my headlines:

Gattis called a great first half
Don Brown failed again
Saban is the devil

Let's start with the first half, Michigan came out with passion and played well against one of the best teams in the nation.   Gattis was on point and found running lanes against Bama's defenses.   Kicking fields goals and not scoring touchdowns was really the only negative for the offense in the first half.

Don Brown needs to find a new job.  His philosophy is to solve issues with aggression, I feel like you need to solve issues with intelligence.   Belichick always takes away his opponents best player, Don Brown always lets his opponents best player have a career day.   Case in point this year:

Wisconsin: Taylor 203 yards
PSU: Hamler 108 yards receiving
OSU: Dobbins 211 yards and Fields 302 passing
Bama: Judy 204 yards and Harris 136 rushing

Before the snap of Alabama's first play, Saban had targeted Dax Hill by putting Judy in the slot.   I yelled before the snap that Judy was getting a 20 yard cushion and was on our freshman safety.  You know the rest.  How is Bama's best player not getting special coverage or even a CB?   Double cover that guy!

Michigan's offense is not great but its not the problem either.  Don Brown and his inability to change or stop good offenses is.   We will look back at some of these defenses and wonder how Don Brown F'ed them up.

His lack of DT recruiting is also going to hurt this program for years.   Michigan tried to stop Alabama's NFL offensive lineman with a walk-on and a true freshman.   Unacceptable and embarrassing.

Saban hates Michigan from his MSU days and didn't need that last TD, he also targeted Dax who flipped from Alabama to Michigan on signing day on the first play.  He's not a fan of Harbaugh and made sure his team knew that at half-time as the real Crimson Tide played the last 30 minutes.


  • Michigan OL played well and put 165 rushing yards on Bama's defense 
  • Gattis with 1st half play calling 
  • Nordin was Michigan's MVP 
  • Jackson is going to be good returning and at WR next year. 
  • Michigan was competitive
  • Michigan's RB's could be pretty good next year
Jeers with Details
  • Shea was terrible - What you can't see on TV is how poorly Shea sees the field.  He missed wide open WR's and was missing opportunities to run for positive yards or even first downs.  I was supporting him all year as I thought he was Michigan's best option to win, I no longer believe that and will wish him well.   Many say that Shea is best when he is off schedule, I disagree - if he doesn't make a quick decision, he makes a bad one.  
  • I like Ronnie Bell, but he is really having trouble catching the ball.   Others around me were saying he was having trouble catching in warm ups.   Which continued into the game.    If he can't fix this, we might have a McDoom situation here. 
  • Don Brown was able to find the stadium 
  • The roughing the passer penalty changed the game.  I'm not saying Michigan wins the game if that call isn't made, I'm saying Michigan had 100% of the momentum and that call gave Bama 4 extra points they didn't need.  The Bama fans even thought it was a bad call.   I can't stand officials that insert themselves into games and change the outcome.  
  • Michigan's defensive line is at the highest level of concern.  
  • I thought the offensive play calling was not great in the second half, it was clear Bama had made adjustments, I didn't see Michigan make any.   
  • Michigan couldn't get off the mat after Alabama landed the 1st TD punch of the second half. 

What's next

Michigan has to fix the defensive line as quickly as possible.  The transfer portal, recruiting, and better development.  

Don Brown is the defensive Rich Rod.   Don is fine coaching at UMass, Harvard, BC, and UConn but he is not capable of coaching a high preforming defense against a top tier offense.   His defense is designed to beat Illinois and Rutgers not OSU and Alabama.   I don't want to hear about his highly ranked defense, it hasn't won shit.   

It's basketball season and Juwan Howard just landed another 4 star recruit, which will discuss tomorrow.   Also Stephen Spanellis is transferring as a graduate transfer, which seems strange with two guard spots and maybe a center position open next season. 

Happy New Year


BlueManGroup said...

To compound problems, our best defensive recruiter (Partridge) may be on his way to the SEC.

Harbaugh is fortunate our basketball team has been an enjoyable diversion the past few winters. Go Blue! Beat Sparty!

MichGoBlue_Fan said...

Brown should of been gone after the OSU game. And Partridge should of been promoted. I was never on the Brown wagon, guy can coach but sheesh his adjustments are terrible just flat out awful.

ScottyDoggs said...

I concur (big word) with your observations concerning Patterson...Tell me Bob...Would you use a draft pick on him?

I thought it was baby-Du-Du that Harbaugh stuck with him whole game, these other players are not with out feelings, ask the quarterbacks that got transferred if they got a fair shake... I think damages were greater than gains with the transfer of Shea...... a new recruit would be scared to death of another transfer... Harbaugh went for the quick fix and did not break even (my opinion)

MichiganMan said...

I love it when the plan comes together.... wow it's nice to hear fire Don Brown... where are all those idiots that support Don Brown how come they're not defending him now..... I think I said Don Brown should have been fired after OSU game last year...

MichiganMan said...

Guys we lost Chris partridge Jimmy should have promoted him to a defensive coordinator I don't know

Voice of Reason said...

I don't like pointing out the kids specifically, however, it appears to me that the most obvious culprit of this game was Shea Patterson's play. In addition to making so many bad decisions, he fumbled the ball which hurt a scoring drive, he was killing birds flying through the air with his passes instead of passing to his WR's, and he simply threw his last pass to the Alabama DB. Yes, there were other plays that had nothing to do with Shea that contributed to the loss, but it was the QB play that lost this game. Even Alabama's less experienced QB out played him. As unusual and improbable as it may sound I was hoping that Harbaugh would have put in Dylan into the game. I think that Shea may have been snake bit from the year he was at Ole Miss and played Alabama.

I agree that Michigan didn't "adjust" well (if at all) against osu or Alabama. That goes back to coaching and I expect to see some changes this off season. We need to make good choices when we hire our coaches and not hire from "Craig's List." Plus I also agree with you, Saban's last TD run was simply to rub it into Michigan's face from his days at msu. I pray that Michigan does have an opportunity to play bama again and can run up the score on Saban. IMHO!!!

Victor in AA said...

Spanellis may have reasons like graduating and wanting a year in the sunshine or maybe he feels the depth chart is against him. He would know and that could mean good things for another guy ready to step up.