Notre Dame 24, Michigan 17

Notre Dame 24, Michigan 17


September 2, 2018

Shea Patterson (image via Maize ‘n’ Brew)

Same old, same old. From the very first offensive series, I started thinking, “Nothing has changed.” Michigan’s offense didn’t evolve over the off-season with a new offensive line coach, a new wide receivers coach, and a new quarterback. The formations are the same. The alignments are the same. The personnel is mostly the same. The lack of tempo is the same. The confusion and lack of urgency late in games is the same.

Hit the jump for a bunch of other depressing takeaways.

One of my biggest fears appears to have been realized. Offensively, here’s what I have seen happen at Michigan:

  • In 2015 and 2016, Michigan showed formations and plays with fullbacks and tight ends that are not seen often in college football right now, making them hard to defend. Another reason it worked was because Brady Hoke recruited players who happened to fit that system that Harbaugh eventually would use.
  • In 2017, Michigan used those same formations and personnel but with less success, because a) the quarterback situation was not good and b) the offensive line was just as bad or worse.
  • In 2018, Michigan has been recruiting to run the offense they ran in 2015-2017, except the quarterback they have doesn’t fit the rest of the personnel. You can’t go full spread because you don’t have the receivers, and you can’t go under center and play smashmouth football because you don’t have the offensive line and quarterback.

I see a square peg trying to fit in a round hole, and the carpenter can’t figure out how to shave the edges to make it all fit together. At this point I believe it’s going to be another long year.

The lethargy has started to spread. I have a hard time getting excited about this team and this offense based on this game. It’s only one game, of course, but the lack of imagination at this point can’t be blamed on Tim Drevno or Wilton Speight at this point. Michigan has a spread-style quarterback with an offensive line coach who has coached a smashmouth spread team. Unfortunately, the play calling was from the Lloyd Carr era of Michigan football.

The ghost of Nolan Ulizio showed up wearing a “Runyan” jersey. I’m not sure how Runyan locked down a starting tackle job early, which was the rumor coming out of spring and summer. It’s reminiscent of Ulizio beginning last year as the starter at right tackle, which was an abomination. Runyan fared just as poorly on Shea Patterson’s blind side. He’s a decent athlete, but he’s too short and doesn’t have the experience or understanding to be a starting left tackle in the Big Ten. The fact that the University of Michigan hasn’t been able to field a true left tackle for the past 2.5 years is pretty damning. Ever since prototype Grant Newsome got hurt after just a half-season of starting, Michigan has rolled out a guard (Ben Braden), a center (Mason Cole), and another guard (Runyan) at left tackle. That experiment needs to end ASAP.

Michigan was not mentally prepared for this game. Josh Metellus got ejected for targeting. Tyree Kinnel and Metellus’s backup, Brad Hawkins, got beaten deep. Chase Winovich hit the QB late on an incomplete pass that should have made it 4th down. Will Hart botched a hold on a field goal attempt after that holding job was manned by Garrett Moores the past couple seasons. Did you ever think you would miss a holder? I miss Moores. When it came time for a two-minute offense late in the game, Michigan was huddling. Then they didn’t huddle but the tempo was so slow that maybe they should have. Mistakes happen in every game, but why didn’t Notre Dame have similar issues in game one? Maybe it’s time for us to admit that Jim Harbaugh isn’t the coach we all want him to be.

New position coach, same mental mistakes. I’m still not impressed with Metellus, and I’ll leave it at that for now. Backup Brad Hawkins, Jr. was beaten deep shortly after entering the game. Tyree Kinnel whiffed on a tackle attempt in the first quarter, using terrible technique along the way. Safety isn’t an easy position to play, but Michigan doesn’t seem to get good ones very often. Chris Partridge has his work cut out for him with these guys.

There are no playmakers on offense. Most teams seem to recruit that one guy who’s position-less but can do different things in space. Is he a running back or a wide receiver or a defensive back? Nobody knows, but he’s fast. Michigan doesn’t have that guy, and I truly believe Eddie McDoom was as close to having that role as anyone on Michigan’s roster before he transferred to South Florida. Now the closest anyone is to that role is Chris Evans, but Evans doesn’t have great long speed and spends a lot of time lined up in the backfield as the #2 running back. Michigan needs an X-factor type of player. Jabrill Peppers was that guy a couple years ago. Not every X-factor is a future 1st round pick as a safety and can go both ways, but there are lots of players out there in college football who can be big-play guys on offense only. For whatever reason, Michigan is one of the few teams that doesn’t have someone like that.

The defensive tackle rotation was odd. Bryan Mone and Lawrence Marshall started at defensive tackle, while Mike Dwumfour and Aubrey Solomon came off the bench. Mone isn’t as good as Solomon, and who knows about Dwumfour? All we’ve heard is that Dwumfour is the second coming of Maurice Hurst, Jr., but the only time he did anything against Notre Dame was when the center didn’t block him so he had a free shot at the running back in the backfield.

Did the new S&C coach make a difference? The only play I saw that showed a difference was Ambry Thomas’s 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. What did I see? Last year I think Thomas would have been taken to the ground by a couple of those arm tackles. This year he ran through them and when he busted loose again, he took it to the house.

What does this all mean for Michigan? This isn’t going to be an 11-1 team. Or even a 10-2 team. This is going to look a lot like last year.

47 comments

  1. Klctlc
    Comments: 63
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Klctlc
    Sep 02, 2018 at 9:41 AM

    Sobering but true. I was there and I have not had time to replay game. But it just felt terrible.

    It is too early to say Jim is in trouble, but the seat is getting warmer. I love Harbaugh, still think he can do it, but man there are absolutely no more excuses left. The national media hates him so it is gonna get HOT.

    Michigan has become a better version of Northwestern

  2. Comments: 34
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Nick.
    Sep 02, 2018 at 9:49 AM

    You are spot on with your assessment. The truth is, Harbaugh holds the keys to the offense. If he wants to be successful he needs to find an offensive coordinator to run the that ship. It is too much for the head coach to do it all. I had to turn it off before the game ended and my wife asked how short his rope was getting. I told her that it feels a lot like the Carr era where a few losses every year are ok…..but not at the price we are paying Harbaugh. It is going to be a long season.

  3. Comments: 921
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Sep 02, 2018 at 10:08 AM

    Ugh, the truth hurts!

  4. Comments: 36
    Joined: 9/18/2016
    Chowman
    Sep 02, 2018 at 10:52 AM

    It’s time to face the fact that we’re not a good team. We’re mired in mediocrity. We’re closer to the Iowas and Northwesterns then PSU or MSU. We’re not even in the same galaxy as OSU. Like the article said nothings changed. Same old BS. No urgency, no imagination on offense, OL that doesn’t seem to have a clue what to do, and same bone head plays. Metellus targeting and DPJ fielding a punt inside the 5! Where was that elite D we all heard about. Telling you right now Dwumfour will never be anything close to Mo Hurst, so where ever that came from it needs to crawl back under a rock. And where was Hudson? Didn’t hear his name mentioned very often. And what about Solomon? Did he even play? I really thing its a cultural thing in AA. I understand that kids get overrated coming out of HS and some will bust, but it just seems player after player comes to Michigan and under performs. From RichRod to Hoke, and now Harbaugh the coaches and players change but the results are the same. I get RichRod lost to about everybody, and when he did win it was a struggle. Knock on Hoke was he couldn’t beat the good teams, well aren’t we still there?

    I’m to the point and don’t even get mad anymore, just stare in disbelief! I’ve found better things to do with my Sundays because I came to the point rooting for the Lions was just an exercise in futility. I starting to feel the same way out UofM!

  5. Comments: 4
    Joined: 9/17/2017
    nofunforfu
    Sep 02, 2018 at 11:03 AM

    I’ll agree on most of the comments around the offense. After watching the game it’s clear there is a desire to be more spread-oriented however the personnel – outside of Patterson – and, honestly, the team/coach mindset doesn’t seem to align with that. I can’t think of one drive that looked cohesive, and even the touchdown drive was disappointing in the amazingly slow pace. The coaching staff seems like they recognize some of the benefits the spread can provide but aren’t quite sure how to make that happen. That’s disappointing at this point.

  6. Comments: 90
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    AC1997
    Sep 02, 2018 at 11:56 AM

    Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?

    I guess there’s nothing you can say that isn’t negative after an uninspiring performance like that….. and clearly Thunder did a good job of that. How about I try to come up with a positive spin and see if I can succeed:

    — If Hawkins, who had both hands on the ball, breaks up that long TD pass – what is the outcome? Now eliminate the botched hold on the FG?

    I think the root of all evil remains the offensive line. And it dates back long before Harbaugh. Newsome is thought of as the lost savior, but his career was just starting out and he was playing early because of the problems with the OL depth dating back a decade. I don’t care if you had Tom Brady and Jerry Rice, a shaky OL ruins it all.

    I don’t think a couple of predictable plays to McDoom or Peppers mean much. Weren’t we complaining about how the Peppers plays bogged down the offense? Weren’t we complaining that McDoom couldn’t do anything other than a reverse? I wouldn’t mind seeing Ambry Thomas out there, but I don’t think that makes the difference.

    I would, however, like to see someone make a big play. Break up a pass, create a fumble, grab a tough catch in traffic, SOMETHING.

    • Klctlc
      Comments: 63
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Klctlc
      Sep 02, 2018 at 12:07 PM

      Agree on Ol. But where is the hope? Possibly the next 3 or 4 games they make strides and hudson/steuber/mayfield emerge? Long shot, but that is what we have.

      D did play good second half, but man D. brown bet the farm winbush could not throw. That worked second half, but not first half.

      The two drives inside the 20 (or therabouts) sucked. Once again only saw game live, but we had ball inside 5 and started to try to pass? get sacked Pound it. ND was on heels.

  7. Comments: 33
    Joined: 1/2/2016
    peterfumo
    Sep 02, 2018 at 12:42 PM

    Question out of ignorance: what type of receiver do you need that we don’t have in order to have a spread?
    This defeat was more concerning that any I have witnessed in Harbaugh era, other than possibly Penn State. I think the disappointment stems from expectations, but the score was closer than the game as it seemed to me Notre Dame was totally in control from first series. Biggest disappointment to me was play of the vaunted defense. Just awful in almost every phase. I actually thought Hawkins played reasonably, but how does a former receiver misplay 2 potential interceptions?

    • Comments: 36
      Joined: 9/18/2016
      Chowman
      Sep 02, 2018 at 12:59 PM

      Um maybe that’s why he’s no longer a WR……lol I too was most shocked by the D. I didn’t have great expectations for the offense. Just didn’t want them to lose the game, but the defense beat them to it. That was totally uninspiring and after last nights game, its easy to see how important Mo Hurst was to the D last year. And perhaps that also explains the D saying that the OL was better in practice, cause the D doesn’t have a beast like Mo that was disruptive on almost every play!

  8. Comments: 83
    Joined: 9/28/2015
    PapaBear
    Sep 02, 2018 at 2:42 PM

    Are we worried about Western Michigan at all? They seemed to have found something offensively in the second half vs. Syracuse.

    • DonAZ
      Comments: 389
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      DonAZ
      Sep 02, 2018 at 2:58 PM

      Michigan wins the game against Western.

      The cause for worry is thinking a victory over WMU is a sign of real improvement. Michigan *should* handle them easily — and by that, I mean:

      o Shutout
      o Holding them to less than 100 yards total offense
      o Sacking their QB 5 or more times
      o Michigan running up 500+ yards of offense
      o Michigan throws no INTs, and doesn’t fumble the ball
      o Michigan punts no more than twice all game

      If it’s a 24 – 12 affair with Michigan looking sloppy, then buckle up because it’s going to be a long season.

      • Comments: 36
        Joined: 9/18/2016
        Chowman
        Sep 02, 2018 at 4:07 PM

        WMU will be a real litmus test. If they have similar non-con results this year as they did last year where they won but struggled badly at times, then yes it’ll be a very long brutal season and some real questions need to be asked about Harbaugh and where he’s going with the program. After what I saw last night, I do think this season will end up being a lot like last year except w/ Patterson’s mobility, they might steal 1 that they had no business doing!

  9. Comments: 9
    Joined: 11/23/2015
    Burge333
    Sep 02, 2018 at 4:12 PM

    I agree with everything you say and I am saying it as well.

    But there is a reality to this situation.Michigan:
    • Play on the road, at night against a top 15 team (probably top ten now)
    • Started 2 new Offensive lineman (and JBB), and a new quarterback and new pass catchers.
    • Michigan defence had a couple of mistakes but aside from a 50-50 play here or there in the 1st quarter would have changed the game. Perfect passes are impossible to defend.
    • UM’s defence was pretty bloody good for 3 quarters.
    • Our QB had more passing yards, despite exiting for cramps
    • Our Running back led the game in rushing yards
    • Our new receivers led the game in yards

    It is damn hard to play on the road at night…. I don’t think a lot of teams win in those environments. As much as I have lost faith in the coaching staff, I also realise this team could ‘right the ship’ and be pretty good from here on out. I still think pretty good is kind of mediocre (this was not a great weekend for the Big10).

  10. Comments: 8
    Joined: 9/2/2018
    johnnavarresrightarm
    Sep 02, 2018 at 5:29 PM

    While the negatives definitely out weigh the positives from this game, I did see some things that I did like:

    1) McCaffery has ice in his veins. He looked great, despite being thrown in there that late in the game. It also indicates that Peters is not #2 at this point. Peters to likely transfer.

    2) Gary, Bush, and Winovich are absolute beasts. If it wasn’t for Wimbush’s feet, the Michigan defense would’ve sacked him at least a half dozen times.

    3) Nico Collins has some speed and range. His first catch in the second half is what I wanted to see more from the Michigan O.

    4) Myles Sims made some rookie mistakes, but he showed some flashes, which left me optimistic. He looks a lot like Prescott Burgess our there. I don’t think he will remain at safety.

    5) Ambry Thomas should be the punt and kick returner. He had two really nice returns. He has great speed and awareness. I don’t get why DPJ is still the PR. His decision to catch the ball on the one yard line still baffles me.

    Side note: did anyone actually see Solomon play? I searched for him, but I couldn’t find him out there.

    • Comments: 921
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Sep 02, 2018 at 8:13 PM

      Myles Sims? You mean Josh Uche?

      • Comments: 8
        Joined: 9/2/2018
        johnnavarresrightarm
        Sep 03, 2018 at 12:18 AM

        No, Myles Sims played a lot. Uche also played, but mostly just rushing the QB. Sims had 2 tackles.

  11. Comments: 9
    Joined: 11/23/2015
    Burge333
    Sep 02, 2018 at 6:03 PM

    I am wondering if Soloman is the rumoured transfer.

    • Comments: 83
      Joined: 9/28/2015
      PapaBear
      Sep 02, 2018 at 6:36 PM

      I swear I Aubrey playing.

      • Thunder
        Comments: 2605
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Sep 02, 2018 at 6:43 PM

        Yeah, Solomon played.

    • Comments: 921
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Sep 02, 2018 at 8:14 PM

      He played. All of our DTs played poorly. Hurst is a bigger loss than even the most pessimistic would have predicted

  12. OVOXO
    Comments: 5
    Joined: 12/29/2016
    OVOXO
    Sep 02, 2018 at 8:31 PM

    fuck

  13. Lanknows
    Comments: 3760
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 02, 2018 at 10:45 PM

    I have grievances and grumbles, but I’m just going to be polyanna for a minute and say only good things.

    The team can grow from this loss. Better prepared for Big 10 play because of it.

    Loss isn’t significant to what should be most important to this team – win the Big Ten East.

    Shea Patterson looks like a pretty good QB. I didn’t see anything too troublesome from him. The INT was a risk but not a terrible one. He was effective in the short passing game. Pressure and heat seemed to wear him down.

    Good to see the new shotgun/spread heavy offensive transformation. Haven’t seen a Michigan offense like that…ever. Imagine if M offense had run the same old offense. Fans would be livid.

    Ground game was generally solid overall against a good D. Higdon and Evans combined to get over 3 ypc, despite not a single rush over 10 yards. That’s something there.

    Collins, Martin, DPJ all looked like legit players.

    Ambry Thomas’ return was excellent.

    Outgained ND and lost by a score on the road, with ND getting some home cooking here and there.

    Unlikely we opponents convert so many 3rd and long again.

    Cool to see seniors like Mone and Marshall draw the start.

    Watson’s INT seemed like a really nice catch.

    McCaffrey looked solid for a 3rd string freshman thrown into a high pressure spot.

    A lot of opportunity to improve the 2 minute offense.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3760
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 02, 2018 at 10:48 PM

      DL should play better in the future as ND’s OL one the best in the country. Coaches will have them better prepared against Wisc and OSU OLs because of how this game went.

      • Comments: 794
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Sep 03, 2018 at 7:41 AM

        So what are you saying? The coaches are going to say, damn, we lost and looked like shit, guess we need to try harder? The Dline SHOULD have been playing far better in this game, but they did not look capable of it.

    • Comments: 794
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Sep 03, 2018 at 7:49 AM

      If we had played well and lost, I might agree. But the loss exposed what are still fundamental weaknesses with this team that are not going to be fixed with a few weeks practice and a little ass-kicking by the coaches.

      Ground game was awful.

      We need Patterson to be more than “pretty good”. He did very little other than dink and dunk all night.

      Have no idea why Mone and Marshall started, but it was not just ceremonial, and if they are the best we have, we’re in big trouble on the DLine. Zero impact there.

      About the only thing I agree on is McCaffrey (who is a sophomore). Unfortunately, Patterson didn’t really look any better than him.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3760
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 03, 2018 at 9:54 AM

        ‘Exposed’ seems dramatic. Penn State exposed Michigan last year. Notre Dame? In many ways what happened is exactly what was supposed to happen.

        -Toss up road game against a top 15 team. — one score loss.
        – Problems with pass pro — OT was a known issue.
        – Mo Hurst missed. — sure.

        Tell me what we saw that was really surprising.

        For me, the only thing was that Michigan ran everything from shotgun, used FB very little, spread receivers a lot. I heard these rumors, sure, but rumors are rumors. This looks nothing like the 2017 offense. To actually see a shift like this tells me that McElwain in and Drevno out is bigger than expected deal for our scheme. Frankly, such a big change is a little concerning, but I think the coaches can get credit for the idea, if not the execution of it.

        The second surprise is probably that the D gave up 24 points. ND’s offense wasn’t any more productive by the numbers than Michigan’s but the difference was that they got key penalties to extend drives and Wimbush ran very effectively. Credit to ND for not backing down to the pressure – they went right at Michigan one on one coverage and got some plays.

        I see a disappointing loss, but the reactions online seem overheated. [file under not a surprise either].

        Yes, it means Michigan’s not going to run the table this year. A team expected to be 9-3 give or take 1 looked just like that.

        • Comments: 794
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Sep 03, 2018 at 10:35 AM

          Our elite defense was supposed to let a mediocre QB run all over them and beat them on deep pass after deep pass? Our supposedly NFL-bound QB was supposed to spend all night dinking and dunking? Our supposedly awesome group of 2017 receiver recruits was supposed to show no ability to get open downfield? Our supposedly elite defensive line roster was supposed to make virtually no impact other than Winovich). Our play calling was supposed to be as conventional, unaggressive and unimaginative as last year?

          Sorry, I guess we had different expectations for what was supposed to be a very talented, experienced team, in the fourth season of what was supposed to be an elite coach. The “first game jitters” excuse is used up. “Don’t worry, we’ll improve” ignores the fact that every team we play can be expected to improve, and that Harbaugh’s teams here have gotten worse, not better, as the season has gone on.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3760
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 03, 2018 at 7:27 PM

            I didn’t see too many obvious signs of jitters.

            My opinion is that they’ll learn a lot more from going against a top 25 team on the road than beating up on a cupcake. This kind of loss, while hard to stomach, makes the team better faster.

            • Comments: 794
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              WindyCityBlue
              Sep 03, 2018 at 11:21 PM

              You mean other than the defense giving up two quick touchdowns that put us in a hole we never recovered from? Other than our offense not even being able to find the end zone until it didn’t matter?

              You can tell yourself that yet another loss like this will make this team much better in a way it never has before under Harbaugh if it makes you feel better. But by his 4th year, with an experienced team of basically all his own players, the idea is to be able to actually WIN games against top 25 teams on the road, instead of having them always be “learning experiences”. So far, Harbaugh isn’t even close.

  14. Comments: 7
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Ramrod
    Sep 02, 2018 at 11:00 PM

    I was seriously disappointed last night. The defense looked like it took a quarter and a half to wake up. The offense is still a complete mess. Oline can’t block after all offseason we hear how much of a difference they will be. Play calling was no good either. Outcoached out executed and out played. Pathetic. I guess it’s time to group this team with the lions and stop expecting good things and just prepare for misery.

  15. Comments: 83
    Joined: 9/28/2015
    PapaBear
    Sep 03, 2018 at 12:33 AM

    Any serious injuries last night? Lasting?

  16. Comments: 794
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    WindyCityBlue
    Sep 03, 2018 at 7:38 AM

    Yep, you pretty much nailed everything I was thinking. Play calling was abysmal. And despite the presence of Patterson, we have no passing game that will worry anyone. There isn’t one pass catcher on the roster who can consistently get open more than 5 yards down the field. Running game even worse. Other than Winovch, no impact players on defense. Gary was useless..the only time I even noticed him was when he got in Winovich’s way.

    Most unfortunately, Harbaugh apparent has no clue how to fix what’s wrong with this team. He stood there on the sidelines all night with the same “but..but…I’m Jim Harbaugh! Why aren’t we winning??” look that he had for a lot of last season. First game jitters and inexperience are not viable as excuses. He will be gone by the end of next season.

    • Comments: 8
      Joined: 9/2/2018
      johnnavarresrightarm
      Sep 03, 2018 at 8:18 AM

      The team did not play well. But a lot of the problems stemmed from poor play. There were stupid penalties, missed tackles (Gil’s missed sack before ND’s field goal was rough), and abysmal play by the o-line….however but wouldn’t call for him to be fired just yet.

      We fired Rich Rod after three seasons and then Hoke went 11-2 in his first season. Hoke then regressed and Harbaugh took over and went 10-3. I love Michigan and I always expect them to be the best, but I am sick of firing coaches over angry alumni. 0-17 on the road against Top 25 teams is rough…so is 1-5 against MSU and OSU, but this is a guy that made Stanford a winner…took the 49ers to a super bowl….Give it time.

      • Comments: 794
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Sep 03, 2018 at 8:48 AM

        Coaches are not being fired over “angry alumni”. Angry alumni and fired coaches are both consequences of poor team performance.

        And time? Harbaugh’s had 4 years to coach this team up, and they are still floundering. 9-9 the last 18 games. How much “time” do you suggest he be given at this level of performance? 6 years? 8? 10?

  17. Lanknows
    Comments: 3760
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 03, 2018 at 12:26 PM

    Only a Michigan homer would frame this as Michigan’s overwhelming talent vs lowly Notre Dame.

    In reality this was expected to be an evenly matched game.

    Wimbush was a highly rated recruit ranked above Lamar Jackson and Sam Darnold etc. He’s a run first guy who ended the day with 59 yards (counting sacks). He didn’t exactly run wild.

    There is no question the defense faltered in spotting ND 2 TDs to start the game. The refs had a hand in that but ultimately ND just made some plays (that Michigan didn’t quite match). Good teams do that sometimes. Kelly is good offensive coach and that roster is as talented as Michigan’s – on offense significantly moreso. Against a team of that caliber, it’s not the end of the world when your backup safety lets an INT fall through his hands for a TD.

    Dink and dunk is a wise choice when your OTs can’t pass protect. Easy short passes is something many fans have been calling for for years. Patterson looked very good at it. He also hit Collins for a bomb.

    The problem is the one we knew about – OT. When a guy who couldn’t make the cut on last year’s woeful line is LT… When a guy who got benched on RT is back again…

    You are entitled to your feelings, but I think it might be worth some introspection to consider what the ramifications are of buying into hype from people who sell it. It’s up to you if you want to ignore objective consensus (9-3) for hope-filled conjecture.

    The only people who see this as getting ‘exposed’ are those that let themselves buy into the hype.

    My opinion is this:

    Some see that kind of offseason ‘optimism’ as being a good fan. Personally, I think a little perspective and resilience are better indicators. Not throwing mgotantrums after every loss. I think a good fan can get mad, but ultimately stays engaged and supportive. Dig through the debris and find some nuggets of truth, things to work on, weaknesses to mitigate, etc.

    Michigan’s season isn’t over. It’s defined, even moreso, by 10/20 and 11/24. They are who we thought they were…or, perhaps more accurately from the Michigan fan perspective, They are who OTHERS thought they were.

    Disappointment is valid. The 2 minute offense was atrocious again. A 5-wide offense with McKeon as a WR seems suboptimal. The D does not look it will be as good as we hoped.

    But the sky is not falling. The defense put ND into a lot of 3rd and long situations and shut them down in the 2nd half. Our QB had the best debut in a Michigan uniform in over a decade. Our offense scheme showed a willingness to change and adapt. Our run game was solid to very good, given the level of competition.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3760
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 03, 2018 at 12:37 PM

      This was intended to respond to @WCB above

    • Comments: 794
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Sep 03, 2018 at 2:46 PM

      It’s a good thing I didn’t frame it that way. Yes, Notre Dame is quite a good team, and as I said right off the bat, if we had played well and simply lost to a team that played better, that wouldn’t be such a cause for concern. But we didn’t. The way we played was a fiasco. Obviously unprepared mentally and physically, poor game plan, awful play calling, one stupid mistake after another. No improvement in any area we needed to improve over last year.

      Wimbush gashed our defense over and over WHEN IT MATTERED. On the ground and in the air. That has been and continues to be a fundamental weakness of Harbaugh’s teams-they don’t make the plays when it really matters, in offense or on defense.

      If Harbaugh can’t do any better than 9-3 with this talent, then his time here is limited, a la Earle Bruce, the King of 9-3ism. I’d love to know when in the foreseeable future you project us having significantly better talent.

  18. JC
    Comments: 200
    Joined: 8/17/2015
    JC
    Sep 03, 2018 at 1:40 PM

    In interviews before this game every player seemed insanely confident. They had me believing we were going to come out looking like Alabama lite and give Notre Dame a throttling of epic proportions.

    I’m anticipating an 8-4 regular season now.

    We need Stueber and Hudson to become serviceable in a hurry.

    • Comments: 794
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Sep 03, 2018 at 2:48 PM

      A good reason to never take practice buzz, coaching buzz or teammate hype too seriously. None of it is based on real competition against real opponents.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3760
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 03, 2018 at 7:17 PM

        If you didn’t buy the hype – you shouldn’t be this upset.

        • Comments: 921
          Joined: 1/19/2016
          je93
          Sep 03, 2018 at 10:08 PM

          Haha, so true

        • Comments: 794
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Sep 03, 2018 at 11:14 PM

          Seriously? I don’t have to buy any off-season hype to know we played badly and made a lot of stupid mistakes. I don’t have to buy off season hype to know that our defense with almost all of the same guys returning with another year of experience shouldn’t look worse than last year, when we had to replace 10 starters. I don’t have to buy off season hype to see that our offensive play calling is just as bad as last year. I don’t have to buy off season hype to know a poorly prepared team when I see one.

          Try again, and try not to be too proud of your own cleverness.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3760
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 03, 2018 at 7:18 PM

        If you’re really this upset – you probably bought the hype.

  19. Comments: 563
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Sep 04, 2018 at 1:14 AM

    I don’t buy the position that UM doesn’t have the necessary talent at wr to make the spread passing game work. I don’t believe that. It may not have the upperclassmen to make it work.

    Most of this is playcalling. I watched the first 3 qtrs. again and I challenge any of you to show me that Runyan played bad. He blew one play with another 2 blockers but he wasn’t bad at all. ND was good.

    Runyan is the convenient scape goat. Maybe he had a bad 4th qtr. I’ll go watch again but go ahead and tell me all the bad plays that he had in the 1st 3 qtrs. that led to bad plays. I didn’t see them. Definitely one. Maybe two.

    Challenge. Give me the play/time and I’ll come back and admit the mistake.

    • Comments: 921
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Sep 04, 2018 at 9:02 AM

      I’d rather not rewatch for this experiment, but he’s a 6’3 Guard, with short arms. And it’s not like I blame him, it’s on the staff for failing/neglecting the Tackle position in 2016, and even the transition year

  20. Comments: 226
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Sep 04, 2018 at 4:23 PM

    The same old issues remain: Michigan can’t score a td and they turn the ball over. The OL issues remain and can be traced back to Harbaugh not signing 7 OL’s in the huge 2016 class. He’s trying to make up for that error now but perhaps its too late.

    Michigan essentially had 7 turn overs in this game to Notre Dame’s 1. If you give the ball back to the opponent and didn’t score points or gain decent field position(ala a punt) its a turnover….
    1 Fumble, 1 INT, a botched field goal & 3 failed 4th downs = 6 to’s
    In this regard this game was similar to the 1987 Michigan – ND game when Michigan had 7 to’s EXCEPT that game was a home opener at Michigan Stadium and Bo’s team got their ass kikt as generally is going to happen with 6 or 7 to’s……….
    The KO return 4 td slants the final score but relative to Offense production this game was pathetic. Can they right it; fix it? Bo’s team in 1987 finished at 8-4 I think and thats probably the best this 2018 team can accomplish.
    INTjohn

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3760
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 04, 2018 at 5:01 PM

      The OL issues trace back to Lloyd Carr actually. Carr’s OL deficiencies led Rodriguez to yo-yo his approach and the reverberations of that continued to be felt through the Hoke regime.

      I’ve advocated for more OL recruiting every dang year but I think they mostly addressed the need in 2017. It’s frustrating that they didn’t hit on OT from that class yet but sometimes it just takes OL 3 or 4 years to get there.

      Michigan FINALLY, after about a decade, is in a position where it doesn’t have to play true freshman on the OL. They still might, but at least a basic foundation of adequate depth and options of linemen is there.

      In my mind they’ve more or less fixed the approach in recruiting OL. Does that excuse 2016? Maybe. At the time I was highly critical of how many WRs Michigan took but it’s understandable that they saw the void behind Darboh/Chesson and did what they could to solve it. I’m not seeing where it was wise to cut from the 2016 class otherwise, with the possible exception of RB. They’ve needed guys at all of those positions and that class is the core of the team now.

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