Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Michigan Tuesday: Rest and Disrespect

In the Harbaugh era at Michigan, I rarely disagreed with Jimmy on game strategy.  Yes, there have been a few time management mistakes and I'm often critical of the offensive play calling.  He did hold on to Don Brown way too long.  So maybe I've been more critical than I thought.


With that said, last Saturday's game was shocking to me.  First off, it's hard to know if any injury reports are ever true coming out of Schembechler Hall, but the consensus was that Morris, Schoonmaker, and Edwards could have easily played on Saturday.  Then Corum runs out of bounds on a long run and gets hurt later in the game, but plays one snap in the 2nd half.   The offense on Saturday, wasn't just vanilla it was French Vanilla (is that more vanilla, then vanilla?).  

Michigan ends up playing walk-on RB's and throwing to a true freshman TE.  While they're losing the game!   Michigan ends up winning on a Jake Moody field goal, as the Wolverines find a way to beat Illinois prior to Ohio State.  

There could be very valid reasons for what happened and it's only fair to give that side of the story as well. 
  • The players held out, might have needed one more week.   
  • Corum after running into the line and getting 5 or so yards in the 2nd half, knew he couldn't go. 
  • Running out of bounds down the sideline, was because he thought the DB had an angle and was going to dive at his legs. 
  • French Vanilla offense was on purpose to hide things from the Buckeyes. 
  • This Saturday is way more important than last Saturday. 
Can both situations be true?  That Michigan thought they could beat Illinois with their 4th and 5th string RB's and wanted their injured players to heal for one more week? A bit of disrespect for Illinois and rest for healthy players against Ohio State.  

Either way, that is a dangerous game Jimmy was playing and it worked out for him last weekend.  Also, a sign that a Big Ten Championship and win against OSU is way more important than a CFP invite. 

Some early thoughts about this weekend. 

I have a friend, that I have mentioned before on the blog named Augusta J, he always likes to shoot me a text during the game on how many sacks Michigan has had during the game.  It's usually a good thing, as the Wolverines seem to get one, right after he sends the text.   Would you be surprised to learn, Michigan had 0 sacks against Illinois on Saturday.  That is a terrible sign going into OSU.  Michigan won the game last year by doing 3 things.  
  1. Running the ball in the bad weather 
  2. Pressuring Stroud non-stop 
  3. Designing a zone defense to stop the pass  
Michigan will have to do those 3 things at an elite level if they're going to leave Columbus with a W. 

I'm also disappointed where the passing game is at this point in the season.  JJ has had accuracy issues and the WR's are dropping catchable balls.  How many points did drops cost the Wolverines on Saturday? 14 or more?  Anthony, Wilson, and Gash all had drops that cost the Wolverines potential points.  Can't do that against the #2 team in the nation. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm over the moon happy Michigan is 11-0 and I have realistic outcome thoughts for Saturday.  Going into the season, we were concerned about pass rush and a balanced offense and now in Week 13 we're worrying about the same things. 

  • Hooker is out for Tennessee, Hello Joe Milton. 
  • There was a report on Twitter last night that Lane Kiffin was going to be named the next head coach of Auburn.  Lane quickly shot that down. 
  • Michigan Basketball plays the fighting Coach Primetime's on Wednesday.  Let's hope for a better effort by Juwan's program.
  • Can your squad give up 418 yards to one team and still win the Broyles award?  Manny Diaz is on the semi-finalist list.  Coach Minter is also on the list. 
  • There is MAction tonight, don't sleep on BGSU and what the former Wolverine Scot Loeffler is building down there. 

5 comments:

Goblu said...

I went back and watched Corum running out of bounds... didn't notice that at first. You're right, that was weird. If we don't have Edwards or Corum, this is going to be a really really long day. If we have one that is fully healthy, I have hope. If we have both fully/mostly healthy, I have a lot of hope.

Our D really hasn't had a great deal of consistency with sacks, but way more consistency on pressures. I'm hopeful that Morris back helps with that (assuming he's healthy).

Biggest questions for me on our D side is can we stop those Ohio WRs, and will Ohio have any running game.

MichiganMan said...

Our DBs need to jam Ohio state's receivers at the line.. and have safety help over the top... This will throw the timing off a little... Let's go blue...

Blue for life

Chowman said...

I HATE the vanilla offense/play calling angle. Putting a governor on your offense is asking to lose. I can't fathom any coach in his right mind would limit his chance to win a game. Look, you want to tell me that the staff is saving a handful of plays that they put in the playbook, especially for OSU. Cool, but the rest of the playbook should be open. I also don't see what happened last Saturday as a "we were only playing Illinois". The play calling has been unimaginative to say the least all season and much of the time the formation is giving away what Michigan intends to do. For those of you that think this is on purpose to throw off OSU's preparation, God Bless you, but I'm having a hard time buying in. There'll be nobody happier if Saturday Michigan comes out and breaks all its tendencies and throw everyone including their fanbase on their ears with the play calling. I just don't think that's going to happen. I think Jim wants to show Ryan Day how big his balls are by doing what Michigan does best and daring OSU to stop him.

Blue said...

Beating Ohio State makes or breaks Michigan's season (This may change slightly when the 12 team CFP format comes about 2024). In knowing if you lost to Illinois, Michigan still held it's own destiny, that is winning at Ohio State would still enable them win the East, and play for the Conference Championship in Indy.
Holding players out the last game for an extra week to get healthier, while continuing calling vanilla plays, was the risk taken in perhaps losing to Illinois, for a reward of fielding a stronger team along with a game plan that is more subterfuge.

Chowman said...

Blue:

I have no issue getting guys healthy, but the Illinois game wasn't the exception for the season, it was the rule. As the season has gone on, the play calling has been more and more reserved to the point we've become over reliant on the running game. Look JJ hasn't been all that and a bag of chips. His accuracy has also been trending in the wrong direction. Maybe that's the correlation: this staff doesn't trust JJ right now, and only calls passes when they absolutely have no choice.