Ohio State 31, Michigan 20

Ohio State 31, Michigan 20


November 25, 2017

That was a great game plan by Michigan. I’ve complained about the play calling earlier this year – and so have plenty of others – but I have to give credit where credit is due, too. This was the best effort by the offensive coaching staff all season. They showed new formations and broke tendencies left and right. We saw Khalid Hill and Ben Mason lined up at tailback, we saw fullback sweeps, we saw a fake double-screen pop open a tight end, we saw Michigan play with down and distance a bit, etc. I had an issue with a couple play calls, but fewer than most tight games (and there are always going to be questionable play calls). The creativity kept Michigan in the game longer than I expected them to be in it. After all, I predicted a 38-10 loss for the Wolverines, so the gap was 17 points tighter than I thought.

Hit the jump for the rest of the recap.

Goodbye, John O’Korn. This may or may not be the last time we see John O’Korn on the field, depending on the health of Brandon Peters and Wilton Speight for whatever bowl game Michigan ends up playing. But good golly, he was abysmal at times. He played better than I expected – I guess I should give credit there, too – but 17/32 for 195 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT isn’t going to get the job done very often against Ohio State and other very good teams. He missed a bunch of wide open receivers, and there were two plays lost to a botched shotgun snap and an inability to get out from under center without getting stepped on. Toss in some sacks that he should have avoided by throwing the ball (out of bounds, if necessary), and he really cost Michigan some yardage and opportunities. That was the second snap this season that O’Korn has just flat-out dropped in limited time on the field. That’s a huge red flag to me. If a high-level college QB has to expend brain cells on just catching the snap, then how can you trust him to make coverage identifications and post-snap reads? I guess I’m glad O’Korn was at Michigan, because I think he’s better than the other guy who might be playing (Alex Malzone), but I’m looking forward to a time when Michigan can be better at the QB position.

Defensively, Michigan played well. There were occasional missed assignments, particularly Khaleke Hudson’s blown coverage on Ohio State TE Marcus Baugh that turned into a 25-yard TD and Maurice Hurst, Jr.’s misunderstanding of how to keep contain on Barrett’s 21-yard TD run. Overall, though, the defense played this team well and probably should have held OSU to 20-24 points if some calls had gone the right way. Ohio State’s lowest point totals came against Oklahoma (16) and Iowa (24) this season, both of which were losses. The next lowest point total for the Buckeyes was its 38-7 win over Army. Rashan Gary played probably the best game of his career with 10 tackles and 3 sacks (unofficially).

Everything is connected. I mentioned in the game preview that I thought Michigan’s defense would cave when the going got tough late in the game, and that’s what happened. Ohio State running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber started gashing Michigan late, and I think that’s entirely related to Michigan’s inability to make plays on offense. Constantly having the pressure on to change the game with big defensive plays is too much pressure for the defense to carry game in and game out. It happened against Ohio State in the past, it happened against Wisconsin last week, it happened against Michigan State, etc. Ohio State couldn’t do anything on the ground for the first three quarters of the game, except a couple scrambles by J.T. Barrett and Dwayne Haskins.

How was the refereeing? After last year’s debacle, the officiating of this game was something everyone had his eye on going into this one. The verdict? Meh. I saw a couple questionable holding penalties on Michigan (on Khaleke Hudson and Mason Cole), a missed defensive holding penalty on Ohio State (against WR Donovan Peoples-Jones), two missed block-in-the-back penalties on Ohio State punt returns, a bad spot on a John O’Korn scramble at the end of the first half, and the most egregious one of all: Prior to Ohio State’s third TD, Dwayne Haskins threw a 3rd-and-13 pass to WR Austin Mack that should have been ruled incomplete. As Mack came down with the ball, it hit the turf and clearly shifted in his hands. Mack and Michigan safety Tyree Kinnel both got dinged up on the play, and amidst the injury checks, the officials somehow missed an opportunity to review the play. Overall, it wasn’t a game to brag about for the officials.

Where is Michigan as a program? In the aftermath of the game, I posted a couple things on Twitter that I’ll let stand for themselves:

 

 

To put things in a different way, I predicted a 10-2 season prior to the first game, and I had bumped that up from 9-3 in the spring. Those were my pre-season expectations. Now if anyone had told us that Michigan would lose two quarterbacks, and each of the top three guys would play approximately 1/3 of the season, what would those expectations have been? If I had been told that prior to the year, I certainly wouldn’t have gone with the 10-2 guess, and probably not even 9-3. Obviously, every team suffers injuries, and the injuries to Speight and Peters can be traced back to an inability to build the offensive line appropriately. So I understand that not 100% of the season outcome is on the unlucky chance of having the top two quarterbacks get hurt. But considering Michigan was breaking in several new starters, struggles on the offensive line were expected, to an extent. Michigan has a chance to go 9-4 with a bowl game victory, which is just one notch behind in the win column from the previous two seasons.

I am still depressed and ready to eat some wings. I hope you all have a good remainder of the weekend. Go Blue!

62 comments

  1. Comments: 538
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Nov 25, 2017 at 5:45 PM

    I thought the staff did a good job offensively except the play call on the int. How much time left? What was the starting field position? How many time outs?

    You let a pretty bad qb (that’s being nice) get the keys to the car. Staff panicked again. Got to at least criticize them on that call. It wasn’t very smart. 4 downs to get 1st downs and plenty of time. You have Higdon and Evans and you decided to roll with O’Korn.

    • Comments: 2275
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 25, 2017 at 6:22 PM

      I don’t have any problem whatsoever with the call. There were two wide open receivers underneath, and he overthrew both of them. Michigan couldn’t run the ball effectively, but they had been running the ball on first down almost exclusively. Michigan broke a tendency and got two receivers open. At some point Michigan’s QB needs to make a play for them. They’re not a team that can run the ball down the field in a 2-minute drill type of situation.

      To answer your question, I believe Michigan had 2 timeouts and there was about 2:47 left in the game.

      • Comments: 762
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Nov 25, 2017 at 7:07 PM

        Agree, but for me at least, whenever JOK drops back to pass I expect a TO. This was no exception, and seeing Gentry wide open hurt!

      • Comments: 22
        Joined: 11/17/2015
        funkywolve
        Nov 25, 2017 at 7:29 PM

        Michigan struggled to run the ball effectively? Evans had 11 carries for 67 yds and Higdon had 11 carries for 55 yards.

      • Comments: 538
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Nov 25, 2017 at 9:38 PM

        I think OSU was playing some version of the prevent. UM should have relied on Evans and Higdon until the field shortened. It’s a moot point now.

        Check out this article Thunder. It’s fair but spot on.

        http://www.detroitnews.com/story/sports/columnists/bob-wojnowski/2017/11/25/wojo-buckeyes-burn-harbaugh-quarterback-edge/108025020/

        • Comments: 2275
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Nov 26, 2017 at 7:04 AM

          They weren’t playing prevent. They just rolled that safety back. He was up near the line of scrimmage giving a two-high safety look and then dropped back to the deep middle.

  2. Comments: 538
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Nov 25, 2017 at 5:46 PM

    Those stats are inflated at the end. The coaches did a nice job of disguising his shortcomings for most of the game but when it was winning time they treated him like Chad or Elvis or Tom.

  3. Comments: 538
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Nov 25, 2017 at 5:49 PM

    Here is a painful comment but the PU win was actually a loss in hindsight.

    Good news is that Peters did get some experience. Glass is half full. O’Korn makes me pine for the return of Speight if Peters isn’t available. I would take bad Speight all day over good O’Korn.

  4. Comments: 538
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Nov 25, 2017 at 6:00 PM

    Want to know the ironic thing about all of this. Harbaugh recruits Peters and McCaffrey and it’s the one position thought to be dealt with. It has a returning Speight and in the biggest game of the season UM winds up playing a guy who couldn’t start for RU in a pro style offense that is supposed to be a safe haven for qb’s.

    Just couldn’t catch a break this year. What an awful year. Can this program get any more unlucky? Injuries, storms, etc. It never stops. Snake bit.

  5. Comments: 68
    Joined: 9/28/2015
    PapaBear
    Nov 25, 2017 at 6:05 PM

    Thanks Thunder for the usual dose of rational perspective! … So evident that you are a coach! The game plan was tremendous. We are not “that far” away.

    If you’d have told me yesterday that we’d have the ball with 2:47 to go with a chance to win….Damn!

    • Comments: 140
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      coachernie
      Nov 25, 2017 at 8:14 PM

      Too little too late. Pep and/ or Drevno need to go in the off season.

  6. crazyjoedavola
    Comments: 198
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    crazyjoedavola
    Nov 25, 2017 at 6:25 PM

    – O’Korn is a total disaster, but still I think that Morris or Malzone would not have been better, and I don’t see a true freshman McCaffrey beating OSU

    – The defense played okay but I will always think that Don Brown is a one trick pony. Yes he can overwhelm some offenses with his aggressive blitz packages, but truly elite defenses can switch between man and zone and don’t need to heavily rely on blitz

    – As far as the future is concerned, I think that Michigan is in a good place, but so is OSU, PSU, MSU, and Wisconsin. So Harbaugh better start beating rivals and winning road games against teams with a pulse.

    • Comments: 976
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      Roanman
      Nov 25, 2017 at 7:15 PM

      Or what?

      • crazyjoedavola
        Comments: 198
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        crazyjoedavola
        Nov 25, 2017 at 8:08 PM

        He gets fired.

        • Comments: 140
          Joined: 8/12/2015
          coachernie
          Nov 25, 2017 at 8:12 PM

          Yeah, I agreed… recruiting now is even tailing off. I’m not married to JH and I doubt none of the high $ donating Mich alumni are either.
          Like in the corporate world, results matter. You can’t keep losing to your hated rivals and expect a life time job in return.

        • Comments: 111
          Joined: 12/19/2015
          Extrajuice
          Nov 25, 2017 at 8:17 PM

          Ok. Who are you hiring to replace JH? Just curious.

          • crazyjoedavola
            Comments: 198
            Joined: 8/13/2015
            crazyjoedavola
            Nov 25, 2017 at 8:56 PM

            It is a moot point because he will not be fired for at least 2 more years. We can revisit this conversation should that happen. For now though, maybe he should concern himself less with tweeting and trips to Italy, and a little more with developing a QB, Oline, Receivers, maybe finding a decent OC, etc…

            • Comments: 538
              Joined: 9/13/2015
              michymich
              Nov 25, 2017 at 9:29 PM

              I can almost assure you that it will be a very quiet offseason. Team is going submarine big time.

              • Comments: 28
                Joined: 9/18/2016
                Chowman
                Nov 25, 2017 at 9:51 PM

                I hope you’re right!

            • Comments: 111
              Joined: 12/19/2015
              Extrajuice
              Nov 25, 2017 at 9:55 PM

              I agree with that. I don’t care about the satellite camps, trips around the world, Amazon film crew movies or his tweeting. At first, I thought it was a marketing ploy to put UM back in the headlines. However, the satellite camps only draw 2 and 3 star talents that play like poop. The assistant coaches hated it anyway. It’s a blessing in disguise that those were minimized.

              I think JH thought the overseas trips were helpful in recruiting. As 18 year olds, most of these kids don’t even know where the pope lives. It’s a glorified family vacation that brings more headlines to Michigan. However, it’s not an advantage.

              I’m just disappointed in some of other things he does. There aren’t many coaches I’d rather have but I need to see some of that passion.

              As Apollo once said, “you had that eye of the tiger, man; the edge! And now you gotta get it back, and the way to get it back is to go back to the beginning.”

              • Comments: 11
                Joined: 10/31/2016
                snarling
                Nov 26, 2017 at 1:31 AM

                I’m a fan of the overseas trips. I really don’t care if they bring a strategic advantage or not (though they can’t hurt with recruiting). Beilein’s program has been to Europe a few times, as well as the Caribbean and Hawaii. Same for other sports teams here. I like that we can give our football players the chance to do this, too.

                • Comments: 30
                  Joined: 8/21/2015
                  AA7596
                  Nov 26, 2017 at 7:31 AM

                  One other thing about the camps: The question of whether they “work” or not has a lot to do with one’s perception of the recruiting process.

                  When Michigan started doing them, it seems like a lot of fans thought that the idea was to get a bunch of 4 and 5 stars to show up and then reel in some. In reality, it’s much more assymetric than that.

                  For a guy like Josh Metellus (another camp product), the camp is a straightforward meat market. For younger guys, ditto. But for a Solomon-level recruit who already has a zillion offers, the camp is just a way for U-M to demonstrate its interest.

                  The whole thing has kind of been misunderstood from the start. I mean, think about it: Does a guy like Aubrey Solomon need to camp? Of course not.

                • Comments: 2275
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Nov 26, 2017 at 9:18 AM

                  Right. The camps were less about unearthing talent than building a) relationships with high school coaches and players and b) the brand.

              • Comments: 30
                Joined: 8/21/2015
                AA7596
                Nov 26, 2017 at 6:58 AM

                That’s a pretty unfair assessment of the satellite camps.

                Michigan held a camp hosted by Devin Bush Sr. before his son committed. They held one at Aubrey Solomon’s HS before he committed.

                The thing about the camps is, if you think they’re pointless, you can always find a way to support your narrative. Unless the recruit commits at the camp, you can just deny its importance.

                But the fact of the matter is Michigan pulled two rather significant recruits out of the South after holding camps that were specifically targeted at them.

                • Comments: 17
                  Joined: 8/12/2015
                  LeeR
                  Nov 26, 2017 at 6:26 PM

                  The Camps allowed UM to zero in on a key prospect, interact with his coaches, and let the prospect observe how the UM coaches teach (often teaching local kids known by the key prospect).

        • Comments: 976
          Joined: 8/13/2015
          Roanman
          Nov 26, 2017 at 6:06 AM

          LOL.

        • Comments: 14
          Joined: 11/15/2015
          brandywine
          Nov 26, 2017 at 10:56 AM

          If you’re willing to go through another program exodus and damage recruiting like in 08 and 14 and damage recruiting, something schools like OSU, Wisconsin, MSU, Oklahoma, Clemson, Georgia, FSU haven’t done in 10+ years and has set M behind a decade, then sure.

          Continuity of culture reigns in college football, and M needs to give it time for the depth chart to fill out without destroying it once again.

          • Comments: 4
            Joined: 11/26/2017
            Shtoink
            Nov 26, 2017 at 11:19 AM

            This whole “Set us behind” is crap. As people all over the Michigan Blogoshpere loved to brag, it’s The Brand–Michigan really shouldn’t lag behind in recruiting, and harbaugh’s last two years of 20-6 were accomplished with players left to him by Brady Hoax. That is at least some continuity–and Harbaugh and his crew have not capitalized on having those players by getting more and getting more ready to play.
            At some point–at a school like Michigan, with all the resources and money behind it–the blame has to begin resting on the shoulders of the coaches.
            No one wants to run Harbaugh out of town, but he has stuck his neck clearly ou there. He’s the Donald Trump of coaching–a sideshow, a brash, big mouth who is part entertainer, part PT Barnum, and part Loudmouth and Twitter warrior. Oh, and he makes about 7 million per year.
            Results matter. Dantonio went form the 3-9 to 9-3 and regained the momentum in Michigan by beating Harbaugh. Urban Meyer owns UM.
            Wisconsin is on their third head coach since Barry Alvarez retired in 2005. Clemson has Dabo Swinney, and I remember when UM fans KNEW he’d tank and they’d come after Rich Rodriguez after he won big at UM.
            Somehow great coaches MAKE it work and don’t need their fans to excuse everything and blame everyone but the guy in charge.

            • Comments: 14
              Joined: 11/15/2015
              brandywine
              Nov 26, 2017 at 1:06 PM

              Did any of those programs experience complete and utter breakdowns like Michigan did in 08 and 14? No. MSU bouncing back from a down year reflects the fact that he’s built a foundation over 9 years. Consistency and culture sustains success even after down years.

              All those programs we’re listing had leadership. Wisconsin had shocking coaching departures but Barry Alvaraz kept it together. OSU never had a program gap. Dabo has had 9 years. Michigan has absolutely zero leadership to steer the ship in 2008 and left its 40 year foundation to the wolves, and completely purged its leadership in 14. Michigan, while a big time program, needs leadership to sustain its culture. It’s not even comparable.

    • Comments: 28
      Joined: 9/18/2016
      Chowman
      Nov 25, 2017 at 9:17 PM

      The weakness in his defense right now is the safeties. Neither Metellus or Kinnel can cover very well and Metellus is a horrible tackler in space. Many of the big runs against the D are do to the bad angles taken by the safeties!

    • Comments: 538
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Nov 25, 2017 at 9:32 PM

      Remember people falling all over themselves after running wild against Minny?

      Those were the days. I think everyone agrees that UM has no problem beating up on the mid to bottom of the Big Ten. UM is right now stuck in Big Ten purgatory.

      • Comments: 11
        Joined: 10/31/2016
        snarling
        Nov 26, 2017 at 1:24 AM

        We ran the ball well today. Higdon and Evans were both over 5 yards a carry. The run game improvement doesn’t seem to be a mirage. The much larger problem today was (as usual) the passing game.

  7. Comments: 140
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    coachernie
    Nov 25, 2017 at 8:10 PM

    Harbaugh is 1 – 5 against the top rivals. Now adding a 3rd rival, ND, next year to the equation. If he doesn’t turn that around starting next year (and it will be tough with ND, MSU and OSU all on the road)
    I say why are we paying him and his staff top dollar like the Bama staff for mediocre results?!?!

    • Comments: 538
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Nov 25, 2017 at 9:27 PM

      Because he is worth it. He has rebuilt this program. Look at this way. It’s the end of the 1st stage of the rebuild. Now the second stage to make this a Big Ten champion. 3rd stage a national power.

      No more excuses. Everything is now in place to succeed.

      • Comments: 4
        Joined: 11/26/2017
        Shtoink
        Nov 26, 2017 at 11:08 AM

        Yes, Harbaugh has rebuilt the program, right back to its historic levels of losing 3-4 games every year and flopping in the games that really matter.
        Michigan had one good stretch in the 90’s where they were winning big games, like beating Ohio State. But that was fool’s gold, because overall OSU was the better program. How many times did UM stumble into the OSU game with 2, 3, 4 losses, while they were undefeated, ranked in the top 5, and Michigan played little more than spoiler?
        They they got Tressel, we stopped getting Charles Woodson, and now this. The Excuse Train.

  8. Comments: 28
    Joined: 9/18/2016
    Chowman
    Nov 25, 2017 at 9:15 PM

    John O’Korn was brutal today. Why he tried to reverse field on rollouts were beyond me. He was definitely on a different page on the end of game interception, but equally as brutal was Josh Metellus. He’s been HORRIBLE in coverage all year. He repeatedly takes bad angles tackles. As much as the OL and QB play needs to improve for next season, so does the safety play. The safeties have been the Achilles heal of the defense all season!

  9. Comments: 538
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Nov 25, 2017 at 9:25 PM

    I agree. I think Hawkins and Woods are going to get a serious look. The safety play has cost this defense.

    • Comments: 2275
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 26, 2017 at 7:01 AM

      I’m not sure if those guys are going to push past Kinnel and Metellus, but I agree about the safety play to an extent. I thought Metellus played a pretty poor game on Saturday, in particular. He wasn’t filling, he wasn’t tackling well, and he dropped the pick.

  10. Comments: 164
    Joined: 9/3/2015
    suduri xusai
    Nov 25, 2017 at 10:02 PM

    I wonder if any of you know about the shake-ups that will follow this game.

    Which coach will be replaced? Will M take grad transfers at OT, QB, and maybe S?

    Recruiting also slowed — I wonder what will happen with the recruiting? Any tips?

    • Comments: 140
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      coachernie
      Nov 25, 2017 at 10:29 PM

      Could be wrong but believe we are the only staff in the country that has 3 assistant coaches each making over $1M / yr. Seems a bit much for a couple 10 win seasons, a 8 win season and a 1 – 5 record against your rivals.
      Time to clean house.

    • Comments: 2275
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 26, 2017 at 7:06 AM

      Nobody knows about the shake-ups that will follow the game.

      The recruiting class will be fine. It won’t be highly ranked because it won’t be a huge class, but it already has some good pieces.

      • Comments: 28
        Joined: 9/18/2016
        Chowman
        Nov 26, 2017 at 8:20 AM

        Thunder is it concerning at all to you that Jim and his staff hasn’t been able to develop a QB on this roster? I mean really the only success that they’ve had was in year one with Jake Ruddock, and he still had some short comings! With all the talk of Jim being the “QB Whisperer” I thought that we would have a decent QB in place by now. Speight regressed the 2nd half of last year and this year. JOK never broke the habit of bailing and running at the 1st sign of pressure and almost always threw the ball off his back foot! Peters just looked MEH when he was in there. I’m hoping that’s youth that can be coached up!

        • Comments: 2275
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Nov 26, 2017 at 9:06 AM

          I’m not really convinced of the premise that Harbaugh hasn’t been able to develop a QB. He had 1 season with Jake Rudock, and Rudock was excellent during the second half of the 2015 season. I would say that’s some development right there.

          Wilton Speight was a 3-star and the #23 pro-style QB coming out of high school. There’s a very real chance that Speight has hit his ceiling. Everyone has a ceiling. Not everyone can be a star.

          But the biggest issue I have with that statement is that Brandon Peters is a redshirt freshman who was performing fairly well behind a questionable OL and with a bunch of unproven WRs. If you give him enough attempts to qualify, he’s #9 in completion percentage, #4 in yards/attempt, and #4 in passing efficiency in the Big Ten. I’m not saying those numbers are great, but with the above deficiencies (OL, WR), those are pretty solid numbers for a redshirt freshman. His passing efficiency was actually superior to Speight in 2016 and Rudock in 2015. In fact, going all the way back to 2008, the only two Michigan players with better passing efficiency were Denard Robinson in 2010 and Devin Gardner in 2013.

          I don’t know about O’Korn. He’s the really odd one of the group. Solid freshman season, and basically regressed since then. I have to wonder if being benched (and/or playing poorly) as a sophomore at Houston just hurt his confidence so much that he was never able to recover.

          But you know the old saying: It’s not X’s and O’s, it’s Jimmy’s and Joe’s. Four-star Brandon Peters was doing pretty well, and the coaching staff reportedly thinks 4-star Dylan McCaffrey might be even better. Maybe the QB renaissance at Michigan is about to begin.

          • Comments: 762
            Joined: 1/19/2016
            je93
            Nov 26, 2017 at 9:36 AM

            On Peters/Mac, I sure hope so!

          • Comments: 4
            Joined: 11/26/2017
            Shtoink
            Nov 26, 2017 at 11:01 AM

            One problem with the Jake Ruddock reference is that Ruddock was a fifth year senior–not some guy who had been riding the pines or who was fresh out of high school.

            • Comments: 2275
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Nov 26, 2017 at 12:31 PM

              Rudock – one “d” – was a fifth year senior who did not perform particularly well at Iowa. He had a higher passer rating, more yards per attempt, more TDs, and a higher completion percentage at Michigan than he did at Iowa.

              But go ahead and dismiss the improvement (a.k.a. development) throughout the year. That’s basically the definition of pessimism. “If you ignore his good games, he didn’t have any good games. If you take away his big plays, he didn’t make any big plays. If you take away Bill Belichick’s Super Bowl wins, he’s not a very good coach.”

              Now that you’ve taken away 2015, you’re basically looking at a two-year career arc for Jim Harbaugh. He developed a pretty solid redshirt freshman QB in just his “second” year but that QB got hurt. So why are we sitting here in “year two” and saying he hasn’t developed a good QB?

      • Comments: 762
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Nov 26, 2017 at 8:49 AM

        I don’t follow that closely, but “the stars” don’t seem promising. We desperately need a breakaway RB, a Safety, DL & OL. I still can’t believe top QBs aren’t lining up to play for Harbaugh

  11. Comments: 1
    Joined: 11/26/2017
    daytonblue
    Nov 25, 2017 at 10:32 PM

    Disagree with your view on the defense. They had the chance to make a statement when OSU’s four-year starting quarterback suffered any injury. As unfortunate as it was for them that’s when you put the hammer down. Instead the back up passed for more yards and consistently drove the field. The whole team is missing the killer instinct.

    • Comments: 538
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Nov 26, 2017 at 12:46 AM

      Even Crawford tripped on himself. Maybe this program wants it too much. Metellus dropping the ball. Playing with a 100 lb weight on their shoulders at times.

      This has got to be very frustrating for Harbaugh because he prepares and then his team just doesn’t get the job done. It’s not always the qb.

      The only advice I would give Harbaugh is NOT to have a signing of the stars. Not to go outside of Ann Arbor. Quiet as a mouse. He should spend his entire time as coach working with pass pro and creating an unbelievably intense qb competition along with demanding great wr execution.

      The offense is the Achilles heel of this program. Coach Brown should also be sat down and explained that better teams with explosive athletes can burn your high risk/reward defense.

      • Comments: 762
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Nov 26, 2017 at 1:34 AM

        You know he can’t work with players until spring, right?
        “He should spend his entire time as coach working with pass pro and creating an unbelievably intense qb competition along with demanding great wr execution”

        *outside of Bowl practice

        • Comments: 538
          Joined: 9/13/2015
          michymich
          Nov 26, 2017 at 1:10 PM

          Yeah. Of course. What did you think I meant? Duh? You work with your players during the times you can practice and he should spend his time working with the offense.

          When I said ‘coach’, I meant when he coaches during allowable times. Did you think I meant he should work with these guys outside of NCAA guidelines and visit them during Xmas holidays?

          • Comments: 762
            Joined: 1/19/2016
            je93
            Nov 26, 2017 at 1:55 PM

            Signing of the Stars is offseason. He only gets spring & fall camp, and the season to coach. The stuff that bothers fans happens when the coaches are away from players

            “The only advice I would give Harbaugh is NOT to have a signing of the stars. Not to go outside of Ann Arbor. Quiet as a mouse. He should spend his entire time as coach working with pass pro and creating an unbelievably intense qb competition along with demanding great wr execution”

      • Comments: 2275
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Nov 26, 2017 at 7:10 AM

        This take is too reactionary. Look, there’s an off-season. People travel and do things in the off-season. Harbaugh is who he is. His going out of town has nothing to do with whether the right guard can pick up a stunt or not. He also can’t coach the QBs all off-season.

        • Comments: 538
          Joined: 9/13/2015
          michymich
          Nov 26, 2017 at 1:14 PM

          Please see comment above. Talk about reading into something and projecting something entirely different than what I meant. Geez.

          How about this. Let me clarify to the exact point to the best of my ability.

          Coach Harbaugh should spend all his allowable NCAA time that he can practice with his players on the field and in the film room working with qb’s and the offense and delegate defensive responsibilities and ST’s to other coaches. The offense is the Achilles heel of this offense.

          Is that better? If I am too reactionary then tell me why UM continues to lose big games. Is it because of the defense or ST’s (take everything in the aggregate) or is it because of the offense and qb’s.

    • Comments: 11
      Joined: 10/31/2016
      snarling
      Nov 26, 2017 at 1:27 AM

      The zebras didn’t help matters there. We did force a three-and-out on Haskins’s first possession, only to have a phantom holding penalty keep it alive. Then they trapped the ball on the next 3rd and long and it was ruled a catch. Finally, Hurst was clearly held on the long Haskins run. Three big calls/non-calls when they were on the ropes.

    • Comments: 2275
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 26, 2017 at 6:59 AM

      Snarling beat me to it. Kinnel knocked the ball loose on Mack’s “catch” on 3rd-and-13. Hudson got called for a phantom defensive holding. Those things contributed to the scores.

  12. DonAZ
    Comments: 350
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    DonAZ
    Nov 26, 2017 at 8:35 AM

    I did not watch the game — I was driving back from WV to Arizona. I was somewhere in New Mexico at game time. My general take on things:

    (1) Based on write-ups and stats, it seemed Michigan played respectably in this game except for the QB play. I can take some encouragement from that.

    (2) The play of Brandon Peters before his injury lends some encouragement as well.

    (3) Anyone who calls for Harbaugh’s head should raise their eyes and look at the college landscape with eyes wide open. There’s quite a few big-name coaching positions open right now, and not enough difference-maker coaches to go around. Also, right now is NOT the time for more coaching churn — the college game is engaged in an all-out arms race right now to establish the teams to be considered “playoff worthy,” and programs that wish to be in that discussion need be at the table. Tennessee is at real risk of never recovering; Florida is a tire-fire of a program; and Nebraska will never again be in the national championship fight. Harbaugh is a difference-maker coach; Michigan could not do better, and anyone who thinks we should try is not thinking with a clear head.

    (4) I think the program should pull in a bit: drop some of the glitzy side-show stuff and focus on recruitment, staff refinement, and player development.

    (5) 2018 may be “the year,” or it may not. In the grand scheme of things it just does not matter. Life goes on.

  13. Comments: 3
    Joined: 9/24/2017
    bluegoinggray
    Nov 26, 2017 at 10:48 AM

    Thanks for the write up, Thunder. Quality work as usual. I’m pretty much on the same page as you. I’m less depressed than I thought I would be after the game because Michigan was more competitive than I thought they would be. But it is way past time for this program to win some games as underdogs. Moral victories are a myth. Maybe next year.

  14. Comments: 4
    Joined: 11/26/2017
    Shtoink
    Nov 26, 2017 at 10:56 AM

    Once again, the common refrain: “Wait til next year!” And Michigan fans will sit in their echo chambers talking about “bright future” etc etc.
    It’s sad that we must have the fan base with the longest list of excuses known to mankind. Referees. Youth. Jim Delaney. Brady Hoax. Lloyd Carr. Rich Rodriguez. Third-string quarterback. Fatigue for the defense (TOP was four whole minutes in OSU’s favor). The list goes on and on. And so does the futility of this mediocre program.
    The problem? 110,000 people pumping their hard-earned (and most probably can’t afford it) money into a university that sits back and counts the money. I mean, if you accept the mediocrity, the fine. If you expect more, then maybe its time to stop caring so much. When all you have is excuses. minimizing, and the Blame Game–give it up and just be happy that you’re not rooting for Rutgers.

    • Comments: 2275
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 26, 2017 at 12:23 PM

      Embed yourself in the fan base of another school, and I’m sure you’ll find the same excuses, or at least the equivalents. Ultimately, only 1/130 fan bases is happy at the end of the season.

      I don’t see how anyone thinks the “university just sits back and counts the money.” The university is pouring money into the program, including the coaching staff, the facilities, etc.

  15. Comments: 538
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Nov 26, 2017 at 1:21 PM

    So what does Pep Hamilton do as passing coordinator? It seems like UM could find a guy who does about the same job for one third the pay. I would guess that Hamilton puts together an offensive passing game and develops the qb’s?

    If that is the case then O’korn is pretty bad and Speight hit a wall. So why pay all this money. Is he a great recruiter? What does he do for this money and if he does some good things then can you find someone for less or it doesn’t matter since it comes out of the athletic budget.

    Same thing applies to Drevno. Lot of coaches but the performance is lacking. Must be lots of coaches to make up for big talent deficiencies.

  16. Comments: 976
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Nov 26, 2017 at 5:45 PM

    Speight just announced that he’s moving on.

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