Michigan 33, Florida 17

Michigan 33, Florida 17


September 3, 2017

(image via MGoBlue)

The elephant in the room. Wilton Speight doesn’t look any better than he did in the spring. He was 11/25 for 181 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. He threw more touchdowns to Florida (2) than he did to his own guys. I don’t believe this is a Jim Harbaugh thing. Harbaugh has shown elsewhere that he’s capable of coaching the quarterback position. Speight is the lone guy in Harbaugh’s history who has regressed. I hope Florida was just really good defensively – despite having 10 players suspended and a starting safety out with a torn Achilles – but I have no faith in that being the case. Speight consistently overthrows balls, a frustrating thing when guys are wide open, and a dangerous thing when guys are in traffic. I’ve seen people insisting that the first pick-six was on Kekoa Crawford, whose hands it bounced off of, but that throw was high and a tough catch. The second pick-six in the general vicinity of Grant Perry was wildly overthrown.

The hippo in the room. John O’Korn looked about the same as he did last year, too. I don’t understand yanking Speight in order to have O’Korn hand off the ball three times before punting, either. You don’t need a backup QB to hand off the ball. Speight is better with the ball handling, anyway, so that first O’Korn series was a waste, and the draw play on third down was awkward.

The armadillo in the room. I sure hope Brandon Peters gets some playing time this year.

Hit the jump for more on the game.

A thought on Grant Perry. I haven’t said much about the Perry situation, but I would say this about other teams, so I’ll say it about Michigan, too. I think it’s stupid to suspend players from all team activities in the off-season and then play them in game one. Perry should have been suspended from this game, and the dude spun the ball after his first catch, garnering a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. I’ll say this: If I were his coach, he would be in my doghouse right now.

Redshirts are burning. True freshmen who played include Tarik Black, Ben Mason, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Joshua Ross, Aubrey Solomon, Benjamin St-Juste, Andrew Stueber, Ambry Thomas, and J’Marick Woods.

Ty Isaac had himself a day. I don’t think anyone was more excited for a new start than Isaac. New running backs coach Jay Harbaugh seems to trust Isaac more than Tyrone Wheatley did, and Isaac responded by leading the team in rushing, despite having half as many carries as starter Chris Evans. Isaac ran 11 times for 114 yards (10.4 YPC), while Evans (22 carries, 78 yards, 3.5 YPC) and Karan Higdon (7 carries, 28 yards, 4.0 YPC) had some nice plays but struggled overall. I’m still a bit concerned about Isaac’s ball security after the ball came out when he hit the ground, but (knock on wood) he hasn’t fumbled since 2015.

I like the freshman receivers. Tarik Black had 2 catches for 83 yards, including a 46-yard touchdown. People said I wildly overshot his projected numbers for this season, but he’s on pace after one game to exceed my projections. There’s still a long way to go, but he connected on deep balls from both Speight and O’Korn. I think it’s safe to say that both quarterbacks like him, as well as the coaches. Meanwhile, Donovan Peoples-Jones wasn’t much of a factor on offense, but he averaged 8.0 yards/return on 5 punt returns and looks capable back there.

Has the offensive line improved? I think the line is better than last year by one iota, and only one. They played a solid run defense and averaged 4.4 yards/carry, and that’s with some very questionable decisions by the backs on a couple running plays. Higdon missed a wide-open hole on the draw handoff from O’Korn, and Evans missed a great potential cut on a counter play. Center Patrick Kugler had a couple snaps that went slightly off target, and right tackle Nolan Ulizio had a false start. They missed some blocks and didn’t get a ton of push, but we said that about last year’s unit, too.

The defense hasn’t missed much of a beat. I didn’t see much of a drop-off on defense from last year, but Noah Furbush as a defensive end is a work in progress. He got pushed around a little bit, even though he did end up with a defensive touchdown after falling on a Malik Zaire fumble. I also don’t love the cornerbacks right now. They suffered a loss when Keith Washington decided to transfer, and David Long just can’t seem to stay healthy for any stretch of time. Brandon Watson is going to get outrun by faster receivers, and Lavert Hill has talent but still needs experience. I think it can be a very good defensive unit if they luck out when it comes to health, but the quality depth isn’t there like it was last season.

Michigan has a weapon in kicker Quinn Nordin. Nordin hit from 55, 50, 30, and 25, while missing from 50 and 32.

All-maize uniforms. I didn’t like or dislike them. They were fine. At least the numbers and such were visible, unlike when Michigan played South Carolina during the Brady Hoke era.

Instant replay. There ought to be a way to use instant replay to fix the stupid referee error when Michigan scored a touchdown in the first quarter, only to be negated when the refs said fullback Khalid Hill was covered up and illegally released downfield. The guy who was covered up was Tyrone Wheatley, Jr., who stayed in to block. Those kinds of errors are inexcusable, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a call like that. A guy in the booth should be able to buzz in and say, “You’re wrong.” That’s not a bang-bang thing like a holding penalty or a block in the back. If Michigan lost that game by a few points, there would be a whole world of trouble right now for the referees.

150 comments

  1. Comments: 724
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Sep 03, 2017 at 1:41 PM

    Thanks Thunder, been waiting on this!

    -Speight played his worst game yesterday, and was the eyesore of the team. You’re right about JOK too, which makes me wonder just how bad Peters has frustrated the staff
    -Great seeing Isaac improve, though I do think he still prefers angling toward the sideline than punishing an inexperienced Florida DB
    -Crawford’s hands weren’t very soft in game1. Speight could have went to a wide open Gentry underneath on the first pick6
    -Florida D was probably the best we’ll see until November, so I think the OL did pretty good. Ulizio needs Wheatley by his side in pass-pro…
    -I thought the D looked phenomenal. So much youth, but ridiculously smothering. Our Corners are expected to give up a play here & there, but have until PennSt before being truly tested again
    -The unis don’t look bad on one player, but grouping three or more made us look like minions!!!

    We’re a QB away from a B1G title run…

  2. Comments: 502
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Sep 03, 2017 at 1:46 PM

    Perry has issues. Needs some help. In football matters, he spins the ball and gets a penalty and then later in the game he spins the ball again but not as intensely. Guy clearly has issues.

    Speight is John Navarre 2.0. He is better than Navarre. He has some great qb traits. His problem without a doubt is he isn’t a great passer. He doesn’t have very good touch on the football. He isn’t particularly accurate or gets too amped on occasion. He did throw a very good long ball to Eubanks. He is terrible in fade situations. The guy has quite a few throwing mechanic problems. He needs to throw fades and other touch passes a few times a week in drills. The guy doesn’t really get it. Receivers can’t catch the ball when it is thrown out of bounds. That tells me he doesn’t have the ability to throw finesse or touch balls.

    Speight is like the wr who can run a 4.3/40, is 6′ 4″, runs great routes, can block and go over the middle but he can’t catch the ball. A qb who isn’t a great thrower of the ball is going to struggle at the NFL level. He better improve because the good teams are going to force him to make sideline throws.

    • Comments: 1
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      ganderfan09
      Sep 03, 2017 at 3:10 PM

      I saw that second spin as well. Did you read Harbaugh’s lips on the first spin? Something like you can’t do that [email protected]#

    • Comments: 16
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      LeeR
      Sep 03, 2017 at 3:11 PM

      Which John Navarre is Speight better than? The John Navarre who started early, by default and before he was ready… or the one who was All Big Ten QB his senior year?

      I don’t see Speight progressing like John Navarre did.

      • Comments: 724
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Sep 03, 2017 at 3:14 PM

        I was hopeful last year, and even a little during the off-season… I’m full of doubt after yesterday

        “I don’t see Speight progressing like John Navarre did”

      • Comments: 502
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Sep 03, 2017 at 5:02 PM

        He is better than Navarre in the aggregate. Yesterday was an awful game but I would take a average Speight over an average Navarre. No doubt about it.

  3. Comments: 502
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Sep 03, 2017 at 2:16 PM

    Anybody who think JOK is the answer needs to go to the optometrist. I would say let me see a little of Peters but clearly Harbaugh doesn’t agree so that is enough for me. It’s Speight or bust. Development. Drills. Somebody needs to teach Speight about keeping the ball INBOUNDS with big receivers.

    I am one of these guys who believe the defense will carry this team and was being sold short. That being said, I wasn’t too impressed with Florida on offense. PSU would have beaten UM yesterday. That is going be one heck of game. Great match up in the making.

    Glad to see McKeon and Eubanks make an impact yesterday. Team needs work but a good start.

  4. Comments: 5
    Joined: 12/17/2015
    Gobluex2
    Sep 03, 2017 at 2:21 PM

    Speight’s play can be frustrating, but O’korn seems to lack any pocket presence. I’m not sure that can be developed at this late stage of his career.

    We’ve seen flashes from Isaacs before – can he finally sustain it? I like the complementary skill sets our RBs bring.

    Did Bunting see the field much? McKeon looked solid, including on a nice block to help spring a long run. Eubanks reminded me of Funchess- a jumbo WR who can lineup from multiple positions.

    Crawford seems to do many things well, but does look like a #1 receiver. Black looks like the real deal, but likely still too young to be dominant. Perry is surprisingly reliable for a guy who demonstrates lapses in judgement.

    Hurst is dominant and Winovich is tenacious. I don’t recall Gary doing too much, though seemed to draw double teams. Did Mone play much? Nice to see Marshall finally contribute.

    The Middle of the D looks fast and athletic w Bush, Metellus and Hudson.

    Corners are a clear weakness. Our supposed top guy got burned at least twice.

    Thunder- can you please explain when a redshirt is burned? I recall many of last year’s freshman play early but somehow preserved their eligibility. Thanks!

    • Comments: 673
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Sep 03, 2017 at 4:48 PM

      Gary is fine..he was taking up 2 and 3 blockers all day, which is why Bush was such a terror.

      Was not at all impressed with Crawford, after a year in the mix. It’s not all on Crawford, but it doesn’t seem like he and Speight have any kind of chemistry at all.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3600
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 03, 2017 at 5:54 PM

        WCB is right – Gary was awesome.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3600
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 03, 2017 at 5:45 PM

      The red-shirt issue is foggy but generally it doesn’t matter if they play in the non-conference schedule, as long as they don’t play the rest of the year.

      The only real surprise is Steuber – but it’s an indication that they want him ready to play if something happens to Cole. And maybe as a replacement for Ulizio – who was not good.

      I really wish people would stop referring to freshman playing as “burned red-shirts”. Most quality players will play as freshman. Other than QB/OL that’s what you want in most cases. Getting red-shirted means you aren’t ready – not the best case scenario.

  5. Comments: 22
    Joined: 1/29/2016
    maizinblue88
    Sep 03, 2017 at 3:05 PM

    If Watson didn’t get outrun against Florida’s four-star receivers, who on Michigan’s schedule (other than perhaps PSU) is going to do it? Ohio State can’t throw the ball down the field.

    These cornerbacks aren’t as good right now as Jourdan Lewis and Channing Stribling, but we’ve been spoiled for two years. This isn’t 2014. And barely anyone on our schedule can throw the ball.

    • Comments: 2222
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Sep 03, 2017 at 9:16 PM

      Plenty of teams have guys who can outrun Watson. The question is whether the QBs can get it there. Watson is probably a smidge slower than J.T. Floyd, and that’s saying something. Watson would ideally be a strong safety.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3600
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 03, 2017 at 9:34 PM

      Watson was solid yesterday, but he did get beat a couple times. UF didn’t take advantage too often – others could.

      I don’t think he’s a major liability but I feel better with him as the #3 CB than a full-time starter.

  6. Comments: 673
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    WindyCityBlue
    Sep 03, 2017 at 4:44 PM

    I’ll repeat…the chances of Speight leaving early for the NFL are precisely zero point zero zero. Would someone still like to double down on that, or can we put that nonsense to bed for good?

    And Speight is “on pace” to throw 24 pick-6’s this year, and our defense is “on pace” to allow less than 200 yards rushing for the season. Are those reasonable projections at this point?

    • Comments: 502
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Sep 03, 2017 at 5:01 PM

      I’ll take that bet. .000001% because an individual can always delude themselves and declare and not get drafted. I can’t imagine any NFL scout watching that game and then seeing the overthrow on Crawford think to themselves, wow I need to draft that guy because of his size and pocket presence and I can work on his throwing mechanics.

      I have some advice for Wilton. I am sure he wants to get to the NFL. I think he has some very appealing qualities. Dear Wilton, you need to spend an entire offseason reconstructing your throwing mechanics and work on outside the hash mark throws. You need to go to a higher release point. Watch film on Elvis Grbac. Spend some time with Tom Brady in the offseason.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3600
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 03, 2017 at 5:51 PM

      I will double down against your argument that it is impossible. Michigan just got 430 yards on Florida. Not far off the 2016 blowout win (500 yards). They didn’t do that because of a dominant OL they did it because the backs ran well and the QBs got the job done.

      Speight didn’t have a great game but it wasn’t a bad game either IMO.

      • Comments: 724
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Sep 03, 2017 at 5:56 PM

        Wasn’t a bad game? Has he played any worse? He gave the Gators 2TDs, and overthrew our own TD opportunities

        Even an average performance would have made this a 40pt game, per this Gator author

        https://www.seccountry.com/florida/florida-gators-coach-jim-mcelwain-blaming-wrong-things-loss-michigan/amp

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3600
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Sep 03, 2017 at 6:04 PM

          One of the pick 6’s was on Speight. He was far from great but I saw a lot more good passes than bad.

          The other pick 6 went through the hands of Crawford. Maybe it wasn’t PERFECT but that’s a very very catchable ball to your #1 WR, supposedly. That’s on Crawford.

          Speight had at least 2 other balls that were easy WR catches that got flat out dropped and few other that could or should have been caught (looking at you Kekoa Crawford).

          I’m not saying Speight was good, I just don’t see it as a needle moving performance considering it’s Florida we played not Akron. He made a few mistakes and they were costly in the moment. He made a lot of plays too. He looked about the same as last year — that’s what a lot you all expected right?

          • Comments: 724
            Joined: 1/19/2016
            je93
            Sep 03, 2017 at 7:25 PM

            Anytime a QB throws a pick6, it’s tough to call it anything but a bad game
            When the first happened, I thought it was on Crawford too, be careful because it touched his hands. After the second though, you have to question the QB; throw in the other ugly throws and it’s hard to deny

            Watch the replays; Gentry was free for a 1st down, right in speight’s view. How do you miss a 6’7″ target? Why trust an inconsistent arm, when a 1st down is handed to you?
            I put the first pick6 on speight too, simply because it’s indicative of his worst decisions hampering this team for his last three games (four if you count spring)

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3600
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 03, 2017 at 7:46 PM

            I’m not going to say our QB is bad every time he fails to be perfect. And I’m not going to say he is bad every time he throws an INT.

            Speight had a bad INT and he overthrew probably 4 other passes that were very close and could have been TDs or not pick 6s. Those 4 or 5 passes matter a lot. It wasn’t a good game.

            But I don’t think it was a BAD game either. He threw 25 passes. Probably 5 of them were bad. 180 yards against a tough (presumably top 20ish D) SEC defense. He did this while under pretty heavy heat. I look at a play like the audible and overthrow of wideopen Crawford as a mixed bag — great audible by our QB but he sailed the throw. Room for improvement.

            • Comments: 724
              Joined: 1/19/2016
              je93
              Sep 03, 2017 at 7:58 PM

              You’re a numbers guy, right?
              What’s the TD-TO ratio?
              Completion percentage?
              How many points did his bad decisions cost the team?
              How many players saw the field? Of those players, whose mistake(s) we’re most costly?

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3600
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 03, 2017 at 9:37 PM

                I think QBR is decent catch-all stat. I think his decision-making is excellent. Accuracy is inconsistent is the main issue. Too many sailed balls.

                I think he played better than the stats indicated because of pressure, a number of throwaways that were the right decision, a couple bad drops, etc.

                Again – he wasn’t great, he wasn’t bad. Somewhere in between. Mixed bag.

                • Comments: 2222
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Sep 03, 2017 at 9:45 PM

                  Speight’s passer efficiency rating was the second-worst in the Big Ten, ahead of only Purdue’s QB, Elijah Sindelar. Kyle Bolin of Rutgers had a better PER against #8 Washington. Speight’s PER was #99 in the country on opening weekend.

                  It wasn’t a mixed bag. He was bad. I don’t know why you’re unwilling to acknowledge this.

                • Comments: 502
                  Joined: 9/13/2015
                  michymich
                  Sep 04, 2017 at 1:28 AM

                  LK. Speight had a bad game. Was it as bad as Demetrious Brown against MSU? No. Was it as bad as John Navarre against UCLA? No. It was bad. Sometimes it’s hard to play qb in bad weather or if the DL is in the backfield or your wr’s can’t get open. Can you give me some excuses on why Speight was let down in this game. Even the Crawford td catch was more receiver than qb although I give Speight credit for buying time. Speight had all sorts of favorable conditions in this game and stunk up the joint. I will give you this. You can believe the Iowa game was worse but in that game the wr’s let him down on occasion. Other than the high ball that could have possibly been caught I can’t think of the wr’s not doing their job. Speight was awful all by himself. Can you give me an example of where the wr ran the wrong route. Perry even made Speight look better with some very good catches. I like to give the qb some slack and not looking for perfection every game but this Speight performance will be remembered as a top 20 all time bad performance. Iowa the entire team played like garbage. This game Speight only played like garbage. Long post I know.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3600
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 03, 2017 at 7:50 PM

            Ultimately – our offense was successful against Florida. Left some points on the field yes, and 2 bad pick 6s can’t be ignored, but the offense did their job scoring 26, controlled the clock, racked up a lot of yards and 1st downs.

            Who deserves credit for that? Isn’t it Speight more than any other player?

            • Comments: 724
              Joined: 1/19/2016
              je93
              Sep 03, 2017 at 8:02 PM

              the young offense was successful, despite the experienced QB
              Consider:
              Against Iowa the whole team was flat. Speight was bad, but he wasn’t alone
              At ohio, the OL stunk and we had no run game. Speight was injured
              Against Florida the OL was abysmal, and speight was hurt
              What’s the excuse this time? His decision making will cost us a game that we shouldn’t lose

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3600
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 03, 2017 at 8:12 PM

                Speight was awful against Iowa. The worst game of his career – by far.

                Speight put the team on his back against OSU. Put his mistakes behind him and carried them to a game they should have won.

                The outside run game and deep passing game carried the O against Florida. Speight was a mixed bag.

                None of these games are about Speight alone. You mention 3 different performances by Speight: bad, mediocre, good.

                • Comments: 724
                  Joined: 1/19/2016
                  je93
                  Sep 03, 2017 at 8:23 PM

                  Bad, good, mediocre…
                  Please don’t tell me you think three turnovers against ohio (one a pick6), is “the good one”

                  If so, I’m done here

                  GO BLUE sir

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3600
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 03, 2017 at 8:43 PM

                  Yes fair point – To correct myself – I do not call OSU a good game I would call it a mixed bag (like FLA). I like that he was resilient and played well enough to lead the team to victory. I like how he bounced back from the turnovers and he did that again. Now about avoiding them in the first place…

                  I do think some of it (pick 6 instead of straight INTs) is just bad luck. Yes, twice and twice. Stuff happens.

                  I would not expect to see it again.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3600
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 03, 2017 at 8:13 PM

                They whupped Florida. No excuses need to be made — that’s kind of the point here.

          • Comments: 673
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            Sep 03, 2017 at 10:30 PM

            “About the same as last year” isn’t remotely good enough to make him an early entry candidate.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 3600
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Sep 03, 2017 at 10:43 PM

              You are acting like someone said it was likely. Yes, if Speight stagnates he is highly unlikely to go pro… Unless he wants to – in which case he will probably get drafted since his performance is Rudock-level and the NFL is starved for any decent QB (depending on their politics of course.)

              Speight needs to play much better against tough defenses to be a legitimate early entry candidate. But here’s a thought — what if that was the best defense Michigan faces all year?

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3600
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 03, 2017 at 10:49 PM

                Speight’s Adjusted QBR yesterday was better than last year’s games against Iowa, Wisconsin, and OSU. It was slightly below Colorado.

                That’s while breaking in all new personnel around hm.

                Speight had the best QBR in the Big Ten last year.

                All the Speight haters out there should think about how different they might feel if any of Speight’s teammates had managed to make a tackle on these pick-6s.

                • Comments: 673
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  WindyCityBlue
                  Sep 04, 2017 at 7:51 AM

                  Two INTs in one game is bad, regardless of what happens to them.

              • Comments: 724
                Joined: 1/19/2016
                je93
                Sep 03, 2017 at 10:57 PM

                The defense didn’t cause that second pick6, or blow the open TD, speight overthrew both on his own

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3600
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 03, 2017 at 11:13 PM

                  Speight overthrew 5 or 6 balls at least. QBs do this – even good ones sometimes, more often when they are under pressure.

              • Comments: 502
                Joined: 9/13/2015
                michymich
                Sep 04, 2017 at 2:46 AM

                Possible. Again I didn’t see anything that Florida did which inhibited the performance of Speight. It was all self inflicted. I do believe if UM doesn’t face a better defense then it may sneak into the playoff and then they will see a better defense.

                PSU and UM is going to be fun one. Let’s see if UM can avoid the late season fade. Will Wisconsin be the Iowa of 2017?

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3600
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Sep 03, 2017 at 6:25 PM

          solid link. thanks.

          this was interesting to me – and is telling about Speight’s pick 6’s.

          ” Fans and pundits alike probably will laud Harbaugh for his halftime adjustments, but he didn’t make any adjustments. He just trusted his players to execute the game plan they had practiced all summer.”

          “Speight threw the exact same pass that he had thrown earlier for the pick-6 to Dawson. This time though, Perry snatched it. Two plays later, Michigan had the lead and was off. This play showed me a lot about Michigan. First, Harbaugh put Perry back on the field in spite of his stupid unsportsmanlike conduct penalty earlier in the game. Harbaugh trusted Speight to throw the exact same type of pass that had been returned for a touchdown earlier in the game. And Speight trusted his ability to throw the pass.”

          I see a lot less resilience and confidence in many fans.

    • Comments: 2222
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Sep 03, 2017 at 9:17 PM

      No, those aren’t reasonable. But 830 yards for our #1 receiver? I’d say that’s reasonable.

      • Comments: 673
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Sep 03, 2017 at 10:33 PM

        Let’s be more on point, then. Is it reasonable that DPJ, McDoom, Bunting and Wheatley will finish the season with 0 yards receiving? Or is it more likely that they and others will grab a lot more receiving yards in future games.

        • Comments: 2222
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Sep 03, 2017 at 10:48 PM

          This is dumb. Look, I predicted that Black will lead the team in receiving yards. We’ll find out if that’s true by late November (or perhaps December/January if we need to wait that long). There’s no point in arguing any further when the truth will come out eventually. But as of now, Black is out in front.

          • Comments: 673
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            Sep 04, 2017 at 7:57 AM

            No, you predicted a total number of yards (830). That’s what is wildly over-optimistic. And then you argued that he’s “on pace” for that after only one game. My response was to show how ridiculous it was to argue that anyone is “on pace” for anything after only one game.

            • Comments: 2222
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Sep 04, 2017 at 8:03 AM

              He is in fact “on pace” for that yardage. That cannot be argued. It is fact. Obviously, 1 out of 12 games is a small percentage of the season.

              We’ll find out whether it’s overly optimistic in a few months.

              • Comments: 673
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                WindyCityBlue
                Sep 04, 2017 at 3:47 PM

                And DPJ is “on pace” for zero receiving yards, as are McDoom, Wheatley and Bunting. Do you still not see how ridiculous it is to project season totals after one game? “On pace” is utterly meaningless at this stage of the season.

                • Comments: 2222
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Sep 04, 2017 at 4:01 PM

                  We’ll find out by the end of the year.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3600
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Sep 03, 2017 at 10:52 PM

          Thunder is right – this is a horrible argument. You don’t have to agree with a prediction but when you start making up these weird scenarios of other people getting zero yards or whatever you’re talking nonsense.

          Thunder made a prediction. He’ll probably be wrong but he might not be. So far so good for it, through 1 game.

          • Comments: 673
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            Sep 04, 2017 at 8:00 AM

            No, sorry..the horrible argument is that anyone is “on pace” for a certain total season performance after one game. the scenario that you can do that was Thunder’s, not mine. My response was to show how ridiculous that is. You know it’s ridiculous too, since you know that a lot of other guys will be taking up receiving yards in future games even though they got none on Saturday.

  7. Comments: 25
    Joined: 1/2/2016
    peterfumo
    Sep 03, 2017 at 4:58 PM

    Still mystified by Keith Washington transfer. He must have had a poor fall camp because CB to me still seems like a weakness and you would think he would have gotten some playing time. I thought he looked great in spring game. Was that a mirage? Really like McKeon and was disappointed by Crawford’s performance. Despite being a bone-head, I think Perry is a reliable receiver.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3600
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 03, 2017 at 6:07 PM

      I think we need to consider that the spring game was a mirage yes. (as it often is) You had a lot of HS seniors playing WR and CB that ‘game’. You have a lot of career backups. It would have been nice if there were any returning players to point to as a frame of reference.

      • Comments: 2222
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Sep 03, 2017 at 9:19 PM

        Speight throwing pick-sixes wasn’t a mirage. Tarik Black being a potential #1 receiver wasn’t a mirage. Using Nick Eubanks more heavily wasn’t a mirage.

        • Comments: 502
          Joined: 9/13/2015
          michymich
          Sep 04, 2017 at 1:18 AM

          Yes. Eubanks was a surprise to me but again I didn’t watch the practices. I will be looking forward to both Eubanks and McKeon going forward in the passing game.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3600
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 03, 2017 at 9:39 PM

        More heavily than red-shirting? More heavily than when Jake Butt was here? Thank god the spring game showed us the light.

        What wasn’t reported outside of the spring game as well? Peters, Washington, Shonele…

  8. Lanknows
    Comments: 3600
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 03, 2017 at 5:36 PM

    Defensive thoughts:
    Wow! That was an amazing performance and I’m really happy to see my skepticism relative to others look misguided. DL dominating like we thought. Bush and Hudson and Metellus flying around everywhere. Safeties where they’re supposed to be.

    Corners looked mostly solid too. What a relief. Losing Washington wasn’t a loss. He left because he wasn’t as good as the younger guys ahead of him (or Watson).

    Don Brown! The 3-3-5 was such a surprise but it was brilliant. We have concerns about DL depth and so you drop a DL – problem solved! I love it. We worried about Mone’s endurance – problem solved. We talked in the offseason about getting Furbush on the field as one of the better players and they did just that.

    • Comments: 724
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Sep 03, 2017 at 5:58 PM

      Agree. DonBrown more than earned his raise!

    • DonAZ
      Comments: 337
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      DonAZ
      Sep 03, 2017 at 6:10 PM

      Not too many years ago the phrase “3-3-5” was considered heresy around Michigan football fans. Not so much any more, I guess. 😉

      Any comments on the difference in Brown’s 3-3-5 and what Robinson ran back in the late RR days? I mean, aside from personnel differences. And stuffed animals as motivational tools.

      I didn’t watch the game, but I did listen to it on Sirius radio. I’ve said before … and I’ll say it again: Jim Brandstatter is simply not a very good at play by play. Good play by play guys will announce the results of the play (yards gained, down and distance) quickly. Brandstatter struggles with this, sometimes taking as much as 10 to 15 seconds to get that announced.

      Dierdorf is a good color man. I like his commentary.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3600
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 03, 2017 at 6:15 PM

        Success affects perceptions just a bit eh.

        I think the issue with the 3-3-5 under Robinson/Rodriguez was that it was hastily installed midseason in reaction to terrible performances. It felt like a panic move. This, obviously, did not.

        • Comments: 2222
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Sep 03, 2017 at 9:21 PM

          Exactly. I don’t have much of a problem with the 3-3-5 as a base defense. After all, it’s not much different than a 3-4. The problem is that Rodriguez neutered his hired DC, let his cronies take over in the middle of the season, and scrapped probably Rodriguez’s best overall defensive hire before the first season was finished.

          • Comments: 502
            Joined: 9/13/2015
            michymich
            Sep 03, 2017 at 9:31 PM

            I do have a problem with a 3-3-5 or 3-4 in the Big Ten when going up against effective power running attacks. The 3-3-5 is great with a great DL and very good lb’ers so it’s going to look very good this year assuming no injuries.

            Alabama would handle the 3-3-5 because then it would Bama running against smaller lb’ers except for McCray and would wear down UM. Bama is the one team who would handle UM on the field this year. They would shut down UM offensively and be able to control the ball with Hurst and their stable of backs. What’s new huh?

          • Comments: 673
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            Sep 04, 2017 at 8:01 AM

            Having kind of sucky talent didn’t help, either.

      • Comments: 502
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Sep 03, 2017 at 7:12 PM

        I give ‘Donny’ credit. Lol. He deserves a ton of credit in terms of recruiting his types of players and his schemes. But. You can run a 3-3-5 in college when your DL includes Gary and Hurst and quality linebackers including a big one in Furbush. Gary and Hurst were in the Florida backfield the entire game.

        Kudos to Brown. Giving him major props for confusing the heck out of his opponent and utilizing his talent. Opposing offenses are going to have very long days if they are having trouble handling Hurst and Gary with 4 OL and/or a TE and then having Bush and Hudson shooting the gaps.

  9. Lanknows
    Comments: 3600
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 03, 2017 at 5:38 PM

    Offensive thoughts:

    Crawford and Ulizio were the biggest disappointments to me. Pass blocking from Ulizio was a problem all game long. He wasn’t alone though.

    Crawford was targeted again and again and just flat out failed to make plays. Perry looked excellent whenever he wasn’t spinning the ball after catches. I think they need to look at replacing Crawford with Perry as starter. Obviously Black belongs.

    Isaac had a good day, which was great to see. 3rd down seems ideal for him – something I’ve been saying for a couple years but I guess the blocking hasn’t been there. Solved that by just giving him the ball or sending him out – ha. I would still like to see him run between the tackles effectively before we talk about giving him a bigger role but obviously this was a great start.

    I do think all 3 backs looked good despite some medicore blocking in the box. Seemed like everything they got, they got outside, usually to the left. The most impressive runs on the day to me was the one where higdon broke 2 tackles behind the line and an evans run in the 2nd i think where he took the corner fast.

    Whenever all the RBs look good you – you have to credit the OL. The run blocking was definitely better than I expected and credit to Thunder for calling this advantage UM.

    Speight: I think the reaction is a bit harsh. 7.2 ypa against a defense of Florida’s caliber is respectable. He made big plays (great throws to Crawford and Eubanks) and kept the ball moving (the 3rd Q was excellent). Thought the overthrow to wide open receiver in the 2nd half (Crawford I think) was worse than either pick 6. It was a disappointing game from Speight if you had high expectations, like I did. But I still have them. Way premature to say he has regressed. At worst there was a lack of progress but I saw more than enough to stay optimistic.

    Q for Thunder: are you not buying the rumors the Peters is behind McCaffrey? Have to admit I’m disappointed that you mentioned the guy after a dominant win.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3600
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 03, 2017 at 5:52 PM

      Will add that I loved the TE and FB rotations. What tremendous depth and you saw all of them do good things. Good luck to opposing coaches trying to scout personnel.

      • Comments: 502
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Sep 03, 2017 at 7:19 PM

        Hill had some great blocks. McKeon and Eubanks look to be the passing targets rather than Bunting and Wheatley. Not surprising but interesting nonetheless.

    • Comments: 502
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Sep 03, 2017 at 7:18 PM

      Speight made some very good throws. The one to Perry before his showboating was arguably his best pass. Crawford definitely didn’t help out Speight on the one int. All that said, Speight made some very poor passes. It was worse than the Iowa game so I would give it a grade of D-.

      If Speight is throwing 1 good pass for every 2 bad passes then Houston, we have a problem. Maybe Speight wasn’t 2 to 1 but his bad passes were the equivalent of 21 pts and that has got to be worth 30 bad passes.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3600
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 03, 2017 at 7:53 PM

        FAR better than Iowa. Compare the stats. Compare the results.

        • Comments: 502
          Joined: 9/13/2015
          michymich
          Sep 03, 2017 at 8:54 PM

          Why? Because of the blown coverage where Speight threw up a fly ball? That wasn’t a great pass. The Eubanks throw was great. Perry made a great grab on the one throw that was high. Not to mention that Iowa was at night and windy if I recall where the game yesterday was indoors. I thought the Iowa game was poor but yesterday was actually worse. Don’t be fooled by the stats? 21 pts he threw away. How many did he throw away at Iowa? I remember Darboh dropping a pass late. I remember Speight making some bad throws deep at Iowa. Also, Speight was playing in one of his first road games so the game yesterday was definitely a stinker.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3600
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 03, 2017 at 9:42 PM

            Speight put them in a position to get those points against UF. Against Iowa couldn’t move the chains. The stats reflect what happened.

            Oh – and you know, we won big against UF, a better team.

            • Comments: 2222
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Sep 03, 2017 at 9:53 PM

              LOL. The running game and the defense put Michigan in a position to get those points against UF. Michigan was #45 in rushing offense, and #69 in passing offense in week one – and the passing offense was helped by O’Korn’s 37-yard completion to Tarik Black. Meanwhile, Michigan was #18 in yards allowed and #24 in yards allowed per play. It’s really kind of hilarious that you’re crediting Speight for the victory in the face of all that evidence, not to mention the fact that Speight was the reason that Florida scored 14 out of their 17 points.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3600
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 03, 2017 at 10:04 PM

                Let me know how many yards per play they got running the ball vs passing.

                • Comments: 2222
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Sep 03, 2017 at 10:10 PM

                  This is perhaps the dumbest argument ever to grace the servers of this blog. I’m embarrassed for you.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3600
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 03, 2017 at 10:15 PM

                  Maybe, but it’s a response to an even dumber comment you made about the running game putting Michigan in a position to win yesterday.

                • Comments: 2222
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Sep 03, 2017 at 10:25 PM

                  It’s true – because the quarterbacks sucked yesterday.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 3600
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Sep 03, 2017 at 10:03 PM

              They ran for 215 yards and passed for 218 yards.

              I’m not ‘crediting Speight for the victory’. The defense won the game. The offense was OK.

              I’m saying that putting them in position to score was more than what Speight did against Iowa. The offense had 200 yards total against Iowa and Speights numbers were horrendous (4 ypa).

              Iowa was a far worse performance, by any measure. Moving the ball and settling for FGs is better than punting. Simple.

              • Comments: 2222
                Joined: 7/13/2015
                Sep 03, 2017 at 10:12 PM

                The OFFENSE was okay. The quarterbacking was bad. The numbers back that up. I think you’re misrepresenting what actually happened. The offense didn’t score 33 points. The defense scored 7 of those, so that leaves 26. The offense stalled and settled for four field goals – two from 50+ yards away – so that leaves 14 for the offense.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3600
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 03, 2017 at 10:16 PM

                  FGs don’t count as offense now, but extra points do. Got it.

                • Comments: 2222
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Sep 03, 2017 at 10:22 PM

                  I mean, if you want to break it down to even smaller bits, there’s “offense” and “special teams.” I won’t go through and break down those points individually, but I’m not giving credit to the offense for not moving the ball and then kicking a 55-yard field goal. If you think the field goal unit is part of the offense, then…ummmm…okay, whatever.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3600
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 03, 2017 at 10:27 PM

                  They had 400+ yards of offense! They scored 26 points on an SEC defense that finished in the top 15 last year. The passing game produced about half that. Speight is led drives that results in 23 of the 26, had 7.2 YPA and 180 yards.

                  We’ve seen bad QB play at Michigan. Sheridan, Bellomy, Morris, Speight as a freshman, Speight against Iowa last year. This was far better than any of those.

                  2 TOs isn’t good. It’s also nothing unusual.

                  Anyway, you said Denard Robinson was not a good QB so maybe we can just chalk it up to higher standards.

                  Speight was mediocre yesterday, inconsistent, up and down. Given the mediocre WR play and poor pass blocking, that doesn’t warrant the fan reaction.

                  Talking about Peters coming in to safe the day is just off the rails nutso, particularly since we just went through this BS with Morris.

                • Comments: 2222
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Sep 03, 2017 at 10:49 PM

                  But he wasn’t mediocre. I already addressed this. He was #13 out of 14 in the Big Ten, and #99 in the whole country.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3600
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 03, 2017 at 10:37 PM

                  The offense has to get into scoring position to kick a FG. The offense has to get into the endzone to kick an extra-point.

                  A kicker doesn’t get to attempt a FG whenever the hell he wants.

                  These points are getting too stupid to bother arguing.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3600
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 03, 2017 at 10:56 PM

                  Speight was one of the 3 best QBs in the conference last year – better than a guy who got drafted in the 3rd round of the NFL. By some measures he was the best passer in the conference.

                  If you’re talking about week 1… There’s a difference in competition level to consider. Florida isn’t Akron. I know you’re not big on context but c’mon man.

                • Comments: 2222
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Sep 03, 2017 at 11:03 PM

                  You’re right that Florida isn’t Akron. That’s why I made the point earlier: Kyle Bolin from Rutgers had a better PER against Washington. Washington isn’t Akron, either. I already enlightened you about that context.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3600
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 03, 2017 at 11:10 PM

                  1 down. 12 to go.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3600
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 03, 2017 at 11:24 PM

                  Also, FWIW. Preseason S&P projections had Florida as the #2 D in the country and Washington #22.

                  How big is that difference?
                  Last years #2 D was Michigan and #22 was Wake Forest.

                  Context.

                • Comments: 2222
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Sep 03, 2017 at 11:27 PM

                  Also FWIW, Florida had 10 players suspended and their leading tackler out with an injury. Context.

                • Comments: 502
                  Joined: 9/13/2015
                  michymich
                  Sep 04, 2017 at 1:12 AM

                  Totally agree. How about everyone comes to a compromise. Speight had a poor/bad game relative to his previous performances. Speight also made a few very good throws. For the record I do believe this will be the worse game of Speight’s career. If he has a game worse than this game then either UM will lose or we will know UM has a version of the 97 defense.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3600
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 04, 2017 at 11:23 AM

                  Honest ? because IDK — were any of the 10 players significant to the D? I know they lost one backup DL who was supposed to be a key rotation player. Anyone else?

              • Comments: 724
                Joined: 1/19/2016
                je93
                Sep 03, 2017 at 10:22 PM

                If we’re arguing over which of speight’s games were worse, than he’s probably not very good

                • Comments: 2222
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Sep 03, 2017 at 10:25 PM

                  LOL. This is probably true.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3600
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 03, 2017 at 10:29 PM

                  If your prediction of Speight going down to injury comes true we’ll find out what difference it makes.

                  Or we can just remember back to last year.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3600
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 03, 2017 at 7:53 PM

        It’s more like 4 good passes to every bad pass.

    • Comments: 502
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Sep 03, 2017 at 8:43 PM

      Re: Crawford. The guy would have had a TD on the one play but his qb threw the ball long and out of bounds. I saw the defender on his initial attempt swipe at the ball where they threw the flag. He definitely should have been better on the one int. I didn’t see anything that warranted him being removed. He looks more explosive than Black and Perry. DPJ isn’t ready to take the reigns. Crawford is clearly the #1 right now and would have looked better with a quality qb yesterday. I don’t trust Perry. He has issues and who knows if he can handle the off the field notoriety with on field success. Black almost didn’t have a TD because the ball was thrown late and the one beautiful catch he did have was from JOK.

    • Comments: 2222
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Sep 03, 2017 at 9:30 PM

      I’ve been saying it for a year or two. If you don’t like Isaac’s blocking on third down, remove him from the backfield and get that extra defender out of the box. There are ways to work around it. Theo Riddick isn’t a great pass blocker, but the Lions use him a lot.

      I think Peters is probably behind McCaffrey because of his attitude not meshing with the coaching staff’s attitude. The persistent rumors are that Peters is too laid back and won’t take control of the team/huddle. Regardless, as I said before, he was obviously pegged to start the spring game over O’Korn, so a) he’s regressed since the spring or b) the gap between #2 and #4 is very narrow.

      • Comments: 724
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Sep 03, 2017 at 9:35 PM

        If true, it sounds like apathy. BP had better unF himself and grow up quick. We need better QB play, and attitude is too big an attribute to ignore, especially at QB
        Maybe this is why they considered two QBs, in such a small class?

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3600
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 03, 2017 at 9:48 PM

        Yep. Smith got a lot of praise as a quality 3rd down back but I never saw it. Yes – the blocking is very very important, but you have to be somewhat of a threat too. 3rd and long is just not a situation that plays to his strengths. That should have been Isaac and I saw it as a real indictment against him that it wasn’t.

        But OK – now the coaches probably don’t have a legit blocker anymore so it’s the lesser evil. They may have fallen into a good situation here if Isaac can be the pass catcher he is reported to be and he gains a rep for running on 3rd and long too. It’s kind of like having a bad kicker – you’re forced away from being too conservative.

  10. Comments: 77
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    AC1997
    Sep 03, 2017 at 7:54 PM

    Thunder- You mention Furbush at DE, but wasn’t that a 3-3-5 that they deployed essentially?

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3600
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 03, 2017 at 8:20 PM

      He played DE when they went to 4 DL – I think this was mostly on passing downs.

  11. Comments: 77
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    AC1997
    Sep 03, 2017 at 7:59 PM

    Other thoughts:
    – We played 5!! TEs yesterday and the two dark horses caught passes. Having such depth, talent, and diversity at TE will help the OL and WR with their growing pains.
    – Surprised a little that we only saw four WR by my count. No Martin, no Ways, etc.
    – The CBs will catch some grief this week but considering we started an entirely new secondary I thought they were good. Nothing over the top and were in tight coverage on some of the long completions.
    – If you’re going to have some erratic finishes on offense, nice to have a dominant D and good K….which we seem to have.
    – I want to read more about the OL this week, but 400+ yards on offense and balance was pretty good.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3600
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 03, 2017 at 8:19 PM

      I believe Ways got some time in the 2nd half. It surprised me. I think this was around when they were running a lot with success and wearing down Florida, so he may have been in to help block.

      But yeah, if you’re going to play 8 different TE/FBs the WR rotation isn’t usually going to go much deeper than 5 or 6 guys.

      I did not see Martin or Collins and McDoom use was limited. The top 3 are clearly Crawford, Black, and Perry.

      • Comments: 2222
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Sep 03, 2017 at 9:07 PM

        Collins didn’t travel with the team. Injury, I believe.

  12. Lanknows
    Comments: 3600
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 03, 2017 at 8:08 PM

    Something worth noting. Both pick 6’s came on 3rd and long after unsuccessful runs between the tackles on 1st and 2nd downs. And it was followed by the O’Korn drive where they ran 3 times between the tackles.

    This is uncreative to bad playcalling and indicative of the biggest problem that remains in this offense – the flat out inability to run the ball between the tackles. There is no bread-and-butter, so we have to resort to gimmicks and tricks to get the offense going.

    It’s not surprising that bad things happen when you try to do what the team is worst at in 8 of 10 plays.

    • Comments: 724
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Sep 03, 2017 at 8:29 PM

      Gimmick? What game did you watch?

      Gentry was wide open for a first down, and in speight’s line of sight, there was no “trick play” on the first pick6. It was overconfidence/poor decision by the experienced QB (and a bad throw). The WR missed an opportunity to make a great play

      No trick, no gimmick

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3600
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 03, 2017 at 9:51 PM

        I’m referring to the run game. The gimmicks are the ‘horizontal’ run plays (like WR reverses), FB traps, etc, outside runs etc. The word gimmick is harsh, but those are supposed to be constraint plays not the foundation of your run game. Michigan can’t run inside, so they have to figure out other ways to run.

        • Comments: 2222
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Sep 03, 2017 at 9:55 PM

          But they did run inside. This wasn’t a situation where the only run plays that worked were jet sweeps to Jehu Chesson. And if you’re going to say “A running back bouncing out and finding a hole” is a gimmick, well, you’re wrong.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3600
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 03, 2017 at 10:07 PM

            They didn’t have success running between the tackles. That’s the bread and butter. Like I said – gimmick might not be the right word. Maybe it’s constraint play. Maybe it’s something else. The offense still doesn’t have a core identity other than doing a lot of different stuff.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3600
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 03, 2017 at 10:11 PM

            I think you know the coaches are absolutely dying to be able to run inside. They keep trying to do it even though they can’t. These are the guys that made Stanford what it is. These are the guys that start Deveon Smith ahead of everyone else. I don’t think I’m saying anything that isn’t pretty obvious. They’re not getting rushing yards the way they want to get rushing yards.

            But yeah, it’s an improvement if they’re getting them, regardless of how. Because last year they couldn’t get them any way against legit defenses. (Indiana perhaps standing as an exception.)

    • Comments: 502
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Sep 03, 2017 at 8:49 PM

      Another perspective although you make a great point. Which rb on the roster is the type of guy who can push the pile. Isaac isn’t particularly physical. Evans is a scat back and Higdon can explode but he isn’t bouncing off a DL. Personnel issues although most of this is still on the OL. Sounds to me like UM needs to try Mason at tailback. Lol.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3600
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 03, 2017 at 9:53 PM

        pushing the pile doesn’t work if you can’t get past the LOS consistently. Michigan’s run blocking problems are more fundamental – there’s defenders in the backfield. Ron Dayne or Christian Okoye ain’t the answer.

        • Comments: 502
          Joined: 9/13/2015
          michymich
          Sep 03, 2017 at 10:22 PM

          Yes although these running backs won’t be confused with the great Emmitt Smith anytime soon.

        • Comments: 673
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Sep 04, 2017 at 9:35 AM

          Yes, the push in the middle is unsatisfying, but I saw nothing in our running game that concerned me greatly. We put up 215 yards rushing, which was slightly above our average for all of last year (ypc was slightly below) against a distinctly above average defense.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3600
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 04, 2017 at 11:20 AM

            It was a big step forward for the run game. Not close to where we want to be, but regardless if it’s because of running on 3rd and long (the Nussmeir special inflation factor) or outside run heavy you can’t argue with the production. The backs all looked really good I thought – and when that happens it means the OL is doing something right.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3600
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 04, 2017 at 11:21 AM

            Their success rate between the tackles was very low. That’s concerning, or not, depending on what you think of Florida’s D.

            I’m encouraged but still think we have a ways to go.

    • Comments: 2222
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Sep 03, 2017 at 9:06 PM

      There weren’t a ton of gimmicks in the run game. There was one end around (to McDoom, I believe), and there was one quick snap to Isaac. Otherwise, it was a pretty straight-forward running game. You mention gimmicks a lot, but lots of teams use a gimmick or two every game – a reverse, a jet sweep, a direct snap to a running back, etc.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3600
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 03, 2017 at 9:54 PM

        I’m not against it as part of your playcalling, far from it. My point is that Michigan has to do it to have any success at all. When they try the bread and butter power or zone plays they fail.

        My word choice is probably poor here, but the ‘gimmick’ I was referring to was running outside so often.

  13. Lanknows
    Comments: 3600
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 03, 2017 at 8:28 PM

    Lawrence Marshall — credit to him for working his way into a critical piece of the rotation. I think he got more snaps than Mone, Solomon, Dwumfour.

    If you had Kemp, Furbush, and Marshall as the top backup DL you win a prize.

    Paye played as well. Vilain and Jeter were supposedly hurt.

  14. JC
    Comments: 137
    Joined: 8/17/2015
    JC
    Sep 03, 2017 at 9:07 PM

    Watched the game at a bar, didn’t really dissect much yet, but initial observations are mixed.

    The defense allowed 3 points to Florida. After the first drive it was 0 points for the next 57 minutes.

    Don Brown is the truth.

    Isaac did bust out a few very nice runs. I thought the running game looked great overall, especially with Florida’s defense doing a good job in front.

    Speight’s 1 pick 6 I don’t know if I fully blame on him, but he rifled it in there a bit out of reach for Crawford. I wonder if Crawford didn’t tip it up what would’ve happened, still wasn’t a great toss though. Hopefully the chemistry with receivers gets worked out over the next few games.

    Why did Perry spin that ball? What the hell was that?

    I thought O Korn threw a nice ball down the left sideline. But as of right now the dude’s awareness in the pocket won’t allow him to be a starter. If the staff doesn’t trust Peters, then in Speight we trust.

  15. Comments: 724
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Sep 03, 2017 at 9:11 PM

    Thunder, what’s your take on Kugler?

    I thought the left side of the OL was solid, and Kugler seemed to have passed his first test

    Onwenu whiffed a couple times, and Ulizio will need Wheatley on passdowns for the near future

    • Comments: 502
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Sep 03, 2017 at 9:25 PM

      UM is going to have run left. You are spot on. TE is going to have to help Ulizio with pass pro but Onwenu should get better and can move. Going to be growing pains with a young guy especially with assignments.

      The key words in the run game this year. Off LT sweep. Pull left.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3600
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 03, 2017 at 9:55 PM

      Agree about Wheatley having to help Ulizio. Seemed like we saw that a lot more in 2nd half.

  16. Comments: 724
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Sep 04, 2017 at 2:04 AM

    Is this the record for most comments? Am I the 100th post?

    GO BLUE!

    • Comments: 724
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Sep 04, 2017 at 2:23 AM

      Nevermind, forgot to refresh my browser

      • Comments: 502
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Sep 04, 2017 at 2:42 AM

        100th post? This one is going higher so reset your goal to 200.

  17. GKblue
    Comments: 218
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    GKblue
    Sep 04, 2017 at 7:10 AM

    I was out of town and saw some of the first half in real time. It wasn’t until 3AM where I got a chance to see the rest of the game.

    Thinking in terms of the ultimate outcome (a win) and that Florida had such a big discipline/roster problem that good buzz after beating a ranked team was tempered somewhat.

    QB is my biggest concern. I am worried about Speight’s performance like everyone else and share much of the talking points others have such as mechanics and vision in terms of finding the most effective receiver. O’Korn isn’t exactly inspirational as a fifth year guy. I want to see Peters get plenty of snaps if the game sits will enable it. I gotta believe there is justification for his not being seen on the field and suspect it is attitude.

    OL is a work in progress. OL did pretty well against Florida and their DL. This was a decent first game challenge for them and many people tend to forget that. Using Wheatley to help out in pass pro ties up one of our chess pieces on offense but I am thankful for having a line coach (Frey) with the savvy to combine the skills from OT and TE to get the job done. I thought Kugler held his own most of the time.

    I will not forget our defensive hustle all over the field. Coach Brown I underestimated you a bit, I am damn glad you are blue. We got us a hell of a leg kicking FGs. We won the damn game after two (two!!) pick sixes and never completely lost our composure as a team.

    It ain’t all bad. We won. We need to keep improving and stay healthy during OOC play.

    • Comments: 502
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Sep 04, 2017 at 4:07 PM

      Good post.

  18. Comments: 25
    Joined: 1/2/2016
    peterfumo
    Sep 04, 2017 at 8:24 AM

    I hate asking this question but with all the depth at TE and given OT is such a critical position, any chance that Wheatley gets converted to OT?

    • Comments: 724
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Sep 04, 2017 at 11:31 AM

      Not a chance. Wheatley is hardly a great blocking TE, he’d get abused at Tackle. But pair him with Ulizio and Florida’s DEs had no more pressure. Imagine getting him in an unanticipated route against PennSt? TD baby!

      • Comments: 502
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Sep 04, 2017 at 3:24 PM

        Yep. I was watching Ulizio and he did okay but clearly isn’t athletic enough to hang with more explosive DE’s. He is going to need help in Pass Pro and is a guy who is a 1 year stop gap guy until someone else develops. The good news is that UM will be running left and a TE should help him out on pass plays.

  19. Lanknows
    Comments: 3600
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 04, 2017 at 11:48 AM

    6 considerations in assessing Speight’s performance and improvement for last year

    – The UF D was forecasted to be the #2 in the Country this year. This is an SEC blue-blood program with elite talent and a consistently top 20 Defense.

    – Speight’s statistical performance Saturday was better than several games last year (Iowa, Wisconsin, and OSU or FSU, depending on the stat). 7.2 ypa and 180 yards — respectable numbers. Possible improvement against elite D relative to last year?

    -The WR performance was not great. There were several easy drops and a few 50/50 balls that weren’t caught. How many tough catches did they make? Safe to assume things will get better as the young talent gains experience.

    -The pass blocking was bad. Multiple sacks and consistent heat. Do have to consider UF’s talent here too – things could be better than they looked.

    – Speight threw 1 INT yesterday that was 100% on him. An INT is on a QB and/or receiver. A pick 6 is a team issue.

    – Multiple deep passes completed — this was a criticism many had in the offseason.

    You already know the negatives — too many overthrows, one very bad INT. Speight was not great and he needs to get more accurate and consistent, one way or another. There is a lot of room for improvement.

    But if you’re ready to call the QB position a problem for Michigan, or if you think they need to throw the 4th string QB out there because he had a nice spring open practice – I think you’re very likely overreacting.

    The rest of the season will tell us how good Speight and the UF D are.

    • Comments: 502
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Sep 04, 2017 at 3:50 PM

      I realize Speight is the guy. I think he will definitely play better and he had one bad game against a quality defense although his mistakes weren’t because of the defense but his own throwing errors. He is a smart qb. I saw where Brian was walking back his initial thoughts on Speight so there is some Grant Perry ‘spinning’ going on or as some would say, rationalization.

      I really do like Speight. He is a good qb who seems genuinely nice and polite and smart. I respect him when after the game he is getting interview and he says something to the effect of I could kiss Don Brown on the forehead. He knew he played bad. I would love someone to ask him which game he preferred between Iowa and Florida. He would say the Florida game because they won but he knew his performance was bad.

      I think Brady was talking about the Super Bowl and he didn’t think he played well early even though his numbers were okay. The Pats lose that game and people would be focused on that pick 6. Speight had TWO of them. The first one is on him regardless of Crawford not doing enough. His overthrow of Crawford was another killer.

      Remember Ernest Byner? Pretty good stats here huh?
      15 carries
      67 rush yards
      1 td
      7 catches
      120 yards
      1 td
      1 fumble

      Speight is grateful to that defense. Nobody remembers Kordell Stewart’s numbers from the Hail Mary game, only the last play. Speight knows history will forget about this game because winning cures all. History not as kind to Byner.

    • Comments: 673
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Sep 04, 2017 at 5:40 PM

      If you’re happy with going 9-3, losing to OSU again, and not even winning our own division, then no, QB is not a problem for Michigan. I have reasonable confidence that we can get to that level this year with Speight as QB.

      On the other hand, if you want to win tough conference road games, beat OSU, win the division, win the conference, and get to the playoff, with a record more like 11-1, then yes, Speight’s performance Saturday and at the end of last season (as well as Harbaugh’s inability to develop any other viable QB) raises some very serious concerns.

      • Comments: 502
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Sep 04, 2017 at 6:21 PM

        I will beat the dead horse for a little while longer. I don’t think Speight will play a worse game the rest of his career. He may make a bigger mistake but in the full game aggregate, this was his Enron stock moment on the low side.

        I think you have said this and I don’t agree. Speight isn’t going to beat an Alabama but the fact of the matter is no one at UM is going to be Bama at the qb position. So that isn’t on Speight. That is actually on Harbaugh and staff.

        I do believe Speight can beat OSU and PSU if he plays well and he has proven he can do it along with a really good defense and a decent running game. Speight is a gamer just not a pure thrower.

        Found this amusing on another site.

        Who disappointed you the most?
        58%
        Wilton Speight
        (40 votes)

        42%
        Wilton Speight
        (29 votes)

        69 votes total

        • Comments: 673
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Sep 04, 2017 at 7:50 PM

          Well, this is really about whether the QB position as a whole is a problem for us. That’s not completely on Speight, he is what he is. But he is also not the guy who is going to make it not a problem for us.

    • Comments: 2222
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Sep 05, 2017 at 8:14 AM

      The numbers you keep pointing to (YPA, total yards passing) were #65 and #78 nationally on opening weekend. You say they’re “respectable.” They’re average to below average.

      “A pick 6 is a team issue” is hogwash. In Speight’s last four games, he has thrown 4 touchdowns and 6 interceptions…3 of which have been returned for touchdowns. The risk of throwing interceptions is that the defense has the ball, often against offensive players who are surprised or unaware of the turnover, and they’re running it back against guys who don’t understand angles and tackling. If you throw a crap-ton of bad interceptions, you’re putting your team at risk.

  20. Comments: 724
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Sep 04, 2017 at 5:43 PM

    Considering the time, is it safe to assume the game awards post will come tomorrow?

    • Comments: 2222
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Sep 05, 2017 at 7:34 AM

      I didn’t get a chance to respond to this until now. Yes, the awards post was put up this morning.

  21. Comments: 502
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Sep 04, 2017 at 6:27 PM

    Game awards.

    Coach of the Game=Donny Brown
    Guy who will make you forget Peppers=Hudson
    Player of the game on Offense=Kugler
    Player of the game on Defense=Bush
    Key play of the game=No targeting call on Bush
    Frosh of the game=Black
    ST player of the game=Nordin
    Surprise player of the game=Eubanks. Gil a close second.

    • Comments: 724
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Sep 04, 2017 at 7:18 PM

      Not bad!

      I thought Bush was great, but Hurst is my DPoG. Dude was unstoppable

      • Comments: 502
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Sep 04, 2017 at 7:46 PM

        You’re right. Hurst is a monster but I take him for granted. He was the most dominant player. Problem is he will have to be player of the game every game. I think I am going to rename that DPOTG award to

        The Mo Hurst Can’t Win it so You are Next Up Defensive Award

    • Comments: 724
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Sep 04, 2017 at 8:42 PM

      And i’d swap Isaac for Kugler

    • Comments: 154
      Joined: 12/24/2016
      INTJohn
      Sep 04, 2017 at 9:36 PM

      You forget a category……..

      “Dumas of the game” award cause there was one player who certainly earned this. Some members of the Human Species only learn things the hard way If they ever learn anything at all.
      Stupid does as Stupid is and unfortunately there is a player on Michigan’s roster who not only fits this category but may in fact be someone who fits the clinical definintion of a pathological narcississtic personality disorder………

      To that player: Prove me wrong cause so far you’ve done a lot to prove you’re just a loser wearing a Winner’s uniform.
      As I see it…………INTJohn

      • Comments: 502
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Sep 04, 2017 at 11:01 PM

        Yep. I still don’t know how to edit my posts on this site. I will put it here.

        I am on the team because I can catch balls but I am emotionally unstable and feel entitled to do anything I want award: Grant Perry

  22. Comments: 60
    Joined: 9/28/2015
    PapaBear
    Sep 04, 2017 at 10:09 PM

    Watching Ga Tech. Are you guys nervous about defending Air Force?

    • Comments: 502
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Sep 04, 2017 at 11:16 PM

      Back in the Carr era? Yes. Now? Not so much. Lots of speed at the linebacker positions (Bush and even McCray and Furbush can run). Not to mention that Hudson, Metellus and Kinnel can run along with some corners.

      Now will there be a learning curve? Yes, but if this game was 10 years ago I would be more concerned. Don’t forget a UM line that should be able to control the LOS and force everything outside. It should interesting for a quarter or so.

    • Comments: 2222
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Sep 05, 2017 at 7:33 AM

      Air Force will get some plays, but I’m not too worried. Georgia Tech is better than Air Force, too.

  23. Comments: 502
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Sep 04, 2017 at 11:39 PM

    From the Ozone and for LK.

    The first interception wasn’t Speight’s fault, but the second was. He had some terrific throws, but he also had two pick sixes and missed a wide open Kekoa Crawford for a touchdown. We always know what we’re going to get with Speight, which is the unknown on any given throw. He didn’t look great in this game, but I won’t be surprised to look up one day in October and see him leading the Big Ten in pass efficiency.

    • Comments: 724
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Sep 04, 2017 at 11:45 PM

      Just because Crawford COULD have made a great play, doesn’t absolve speight. He needs to take what the defense gives him, in this case a wide open 6’7″ Gentry for a first down
      If speight insists on the tougher throw, he needs to be more accurate

  24. Comments: 502
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Sep 05, 2017 at 1:52 AM

    It was going to be a tough catch anyway you look at it. Throw the ball high then the likelihood of a tip ball increases.

    • Comments: 502
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Sep 05, 2017 at 2:46 AM

      I saw the Ozone Michigan Monday article and the author describes Speight perfectly. He says, (injecting) Speight showed exactly what he is during the Florida game. You never know what is going to come out of his hand when he throws the ball. It could be a great throw, mediocre throw or terrible throw.

      This is about right. Speight is a smart qb but he is wild. Could be a strike. Could be a ball. Could be a pitch to the head of the batter. Could be a ball to the backstop.

      He is on his game then as the author said then he could be All Big Ten. He is off then you get Iowa or Florida and on average you get John Navarre 2.0. Lets hope we get All Big Ten guy at PSU.

      • Comments: 2222
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Sep 05, 2017 at 7:31 AM

        I agree on Speight. He’s very inconsistent.

    • Comments: 2222
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Sep 05, 2017 at 7:32 AM

      I see a lot of people blaming Crawford for that, but it would have been a very tough catch. And the result is exactly why QBs are taught to throw that ball low and inside. If you put a ball high over the middle when there’s someone over the top, bad things can happen. I’m not absolving Crawford of all blame, but that’s more on Speight.

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