Penn State 42, Michigan 13

Penn State 42, Michigan 13


October 22, 2017

This looks like a “Finish him!” moment from Mortal Kombat (image via AL.com)

A loss is a loss. I predicted a 20-9 loss, which was obviously incorrect. It ended up being a 42-13 loss. Remember when Michigan beat Penn State 49-10 last year? The Nittany Lions went on to win the Big Ten. Obviously, a 42-13 loss hurts at the time, but so do close losses. The bottom line is that Michigan is 5-2, and this game was confirmation that Michigan doesn’t have it this year. It was said all off-season – you don’t lose that many players to the NFL and go right back where you started. Michigan lost its top two wide receivers, one of the best TEs in the country, three senior starting linemen, and basically 11 starters on defense. And this year, they’re already down the #1 QB and the #1 WR. No rational person was expecting a Michigan win in Happy Valley at night, so let’s not overreact.

Hit the jump for more on the game.

John O’Korn played okay. O’Korn is capable of playing better than he did against Indiana last week, obviously. We saw it against Purdue, and we saw it against Penn State. He finished 16/28 for 166 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. I read somewhere that there were four balls dropped, and there was an egregious drop by Donovan Peoples-Jones on an otherwise well executed tunnel screen. Grant Perry, Khalid Hill, and Zach Gentry also had drops that I remember. So we’re basically talking about 8 out of 28 throws that weren’t catchable, and zero of them were in danger of being intercepted. The lost fumble was mostly on Karan Higdon, who set up way too deep and got blown up – not by a linebacker or defensive end, but a cornerback. There were a couple times where he held onto the ball too long, but of the 7 sacks, several were on other guys – Higdon, Mason Cole, Henry Poggi, Patrick Kugler, and . . .

. . . the play calling. When you have 6 yards to go and four receivers go out on routes, there’s no reason to have three of them running routes at 15 yards and just one available at the sticks. Michigan can’t pass protect that long. Michigan was very conservative on the first two offensive drives, with runs up the middle and passes on third down. Furthermore, the jet sweeps, end arounds, reverses, misdirection screens, etc. either aren’t being executed well or simply aren’t being called. There’s very little creativity in the offense. Where are the halfback passes, the throwbacks, the double passes, the Statue of Liberty passes, the Wildcat plays, etc. that seemingly every other team uses for a little bit of a spark here or there? Virtually the only pizzazz Michigan uses at any point is a jet sweep or – wait for it – a fake jet sweep. Pep Hamilton and Tim Drevno need to hop on Youtube or Hudl and rent some creativity.

DON BROWN HATE. I said in my game preview that Saquon Barkley would beat Mike McCray for a long touchdown, and it happened. It almost happened twice. McCray can’t cover elite running backs on wheel routes, and Barkley is probably the best running back in the country. He couldn’t cover Barkley last year, nor could he cover Dalvin Cook or anyone else with speed. He’s a 6’4″, 248 lb. middle linebacker. It’s not that McCray sucks – it’s that he’s overmatched. He’s flat-out incapable of doing that thing that he’s being asked to do.

Let me restate something from last off-season: Why isn’t McCray the MIKE? He’s a Mike, but he’s not the MIKE. Normally, you want your middle linebacker to be the big dude in the middle, and McCray fits that bill (6’4″, 242). Meanwhile, you normally want your weakside linebacker to be the faster guy who can make plays all over the field and cover backs out of the backfield, and that seems to fit the mold of Devin Bush, Jr. (5’11”, 222 lbs.). Lots of people have praised Bush, and he has indeed played well at MIKE. But I also believe he would be playing well at WILL. I have to question why Don Brown and the coaching staff wouldn’t make that switch in the off-season, or at least as an adjustment in the game.

DON BROWN ARGH. I’m not in love with Michigan’s safeties as cover guys, and that reared its ugly head this week when Michigan put Josh Metellus and Tyree Kinnel on Penn State’s top receiver, Daesean Hamilton. He caught 5 passes for 115 yards. Good for Penn State for recognizing the mismatch and having the talent to make Michigan match up that way, but Michigan should have man coverage adjustments where they can put safeties on the outside guys and corners on the slot guys if someone like Hamilton ends up in the slot. You can run zone coverage, invert the coverage, change personnel, etc., but putting Metellus and Kinnel in man against Hamilton is akin to putting McCray on Barkley.

Were penalties an issue? I’m not going to blame the refs in a 42-13 game (though they could have easily been blamed in last year’s loss to Ohio State). However, I find it rather difficult to believe that Penn State could go an entire game against one of the best defenses in the country and only commit 1 penalty for 10 yards.

DON BROWN LOVE. I still love Don Brown. It’s a pick-your-poison situation in some cases, and I don’t think Michigan would have won this game even with Bush at WILL, McCray at MIKE, Lavert Hill shadowing Hamilton, etc. Penn State is too good/Michigan is too deficient to expect something else this season. Unfortunately. A tip of the cap goes to the Nittany Lions.

I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’. I don’t think any of Michigan’s running backs have staked a claim for a permanent starter role, even if Karan Higdon ran for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns last week. Penn State was bottling up Higdon (15 carries, 45 yards), while Ty Isaac (6.0 yards/carry) and Chris Evans (4.2 yards/carry) were performing better on a per-carry basis. Michigan should be going with the hot hand, yet Higdon had 15 carries and the other two guys combined for 10.

Congrats to David Long on his first INT. Long returned his first career interception for 25 yards to give Michigan a spark before the offense took over on the first TD drive. Long is quietly having a very solid season.

Michigan is still on track. For that 8-4 season that many expected. I still expect Michigan to lose against Wisconsin and Ohio State. I think 7-5 and 9-3 are both possible, too.

41 comments

  1. crazyjoedavola
    Comments: 191
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    crazyjoedavola
    Oct 22, 2017 at 11:30 AM

    I think there is an issue with our coaching staff not adequately preparing the team for big games. They showed up with an inferior game plan against both MSU and PSU. Yes the PSU game was not winnable because Michigan is simply overmatched, but the way the team played against MSU after the bye week is inexcusable. I actually think that the rain storm and conservative playcalling from MSU when they had the lead is what kept Michigan in that game. There have to be changes made to our coaching staff because they are simply being outcoached.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3600
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Oct 22, 2017 at 12:31 PM

      Hamilton and Drevno deserve to be questioned, IMO.

      Oh and the pass blocking from RB has gone downhill since Fred Jackson left down. Just saying.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3600
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Oct 22, 2017 at 12:32 PM

        town not down.

  2. Lanknows
    Comments: 3600
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Oct 22, 2017 at 12:00 PM

    Thanks for the post. Some good perspective here and I agree with most of it.

    But I do have to say that there are some hints of revisionism here. Not many (at least on here) were expecting 8-4 specifically. Vegas said 9-3 and obviously there’s a reasonable +/- to that but 8-4 is on the minus side clearly. Michigan fans, as one would expect, were generally more optimistic and many said 10-2. Michigan needs to beat OSU or Wisc to make up for getting upset by MSU. The season is a disappointment if not.

    Don Brown got worked yesterday and the whole defense was exposed. Yes, in the offseason people noted the many NFL departures, but consensus from M fans was not to expect much dropoff. Through the first half of the season the dropoff was evident (relative to the last few years) albeit minor. The offseason consensus looked correct. But they hadn’t played a good offense. Against the first real test the dropoff was real.

    The MO of Brown’s defense is always that puts great pressure on the secondary and asks a great deal of the safeties. Also that when it fails it fails big. That seems to have been proven correct yesterday. Zordich once again has the CBs on top of their game but the safety play has been the weakness of the team both of Brown’s seasons. We can hope that having returning starters for the first time in Brown’s system will lead to improvement next year.

    But yeah – Don Brown and Jim Harbaugh are still great coaches. To put it bluntly, I think the fanbase could benefit from a little more consistency and a better memory instead of these weekly mood swings. The QB drama alone is a lot.

    With the big ten title out we can officially recalibrate the goals of the season.
    More discussion on that coming up.

    • Comments: 2223
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Oct 22, 2017 at 12:10 PM

      I think 8-4 was entirely reasonable, and I talked about that possibility in the preseason. When you lose your #1 QB and #1 WR, I think that automatically drops your expectations. I projected 10-2 in the preseason, but that was with Speight and Black. Speight was the #1 most important guy coming into the season, at least on the 2017 Countdown. Is it revisionist? Kind of. Any team situation needs to be revised when two key starters get season-ending injuries in the first third of the season.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3600
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Oct 22, 2017 at 12:45 PM

        You said many expected 8-4. I don’t think that’s true before the season started. What I saw was 10-2 or 9-3 as the consensus. Saw some ranges too, but that’s safe, boring, and easy. It was a tiny minority who predicted worse than 9-3. Not many at all.

        Of course I agree about the impact of Speight. Maybe I missed you saying to revise expectations down after Speight got hurt, but I don’t think so. I think it’s fair to say after Purdue a season-altering dropoff in QB play was a minority opinion among M fans. Even as captain defender of the SPEIGHT-SUPERFAN my relatively sober assessment at that time was that the dropoff shouldn’t be too bad.

        • crazyjoedavola
          Comments: 191
          Joined: 8/13/2015
          crazyjoedavola
          Oct 22, 2017 at 2:38 PM

          I expected 6-8 wins simply because I knew that the defense would take a step back and the offense would struggle due to a terrible OL. I also knew that the other teams in the conference (MSU, OSU, PSU, and Wisky) would be better this year. So with a tougher schedule and a worse quality team it was very easy to predict 6-8 wins.

          There are way too many people on mgo… and even around here think that Michigan will win simply because they have Harbaugh as their coach. The fact of the matter is, Harbaugh is getting outcoached by OSU and MSU staff, and yesterday he got schooled by the PSU staff. So unless something drastic happens to the player development and scheme, Harbaugh will leave Michigan with zero wins against OSU, with a losing record against MSU, and with zero trips and the Big 10 title game or playoffs. It’s something that is apparent to the point that even the mgo homers are starting to see it. Perhaps he should stop concentrating on his twitter account and start you know, actually coaching and developing players.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3600
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Oct 22, 2017 at 11:37 PM

            I remember your prediction and I think maybe there was one other on here that predicted less than 9-3.

        • GKblue
          Comments: 218
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          GKblue
          Oct 22, 2017 at 3:02 PM

          I predicted 9-3 +/- one. A lot of things happen in a season.

          It seems that some guys had great expectations of playoffs and a top five ranking. I didn’t.

          • Comments: 725
            Joined: 1/19/2016
            je93
            Oct 22, 2017 at 3:14 PM

            Yeah, I was a 9-3 guy, but thought 8 was more likely than 10. After watching speight against Florida, all optimism dropped though
            Before Lank says I’m blaming speight, I’ll be clear and say I’m not. My one glimmer of hope was the slight possibility that speight, a returning starter, would make a Navarre-type leap in improvement. When that didn’t happen, we were done

            • Comments: 502
              Joined: 9/13/2015
              michymich
              Oct 22, 2017 at 5:46 PM

              I was in the 9-3 camp + or – 1. I was in your camp that Black and Crawford would be fine along with good TE play and OL would be okay with a decent to good Speight.

              Well, I was wrong. Black got injured. The OL is worse than last year in pass protection and Speight wasn’t good and now JOK is worse than Speight.

              In response to Speight, tell me which game UM would have won with Speight as the qb in the losses.

              I do think Speight would have made the IU game a little more comfortable as a win.

              • Painter Smurf
                Comments: 205
                Joined: 8/12/2015
                Painter Smurf
                Oct 22, 2017 at 9:40 PM

                UM may not have escaped Purdue had Speight played the whole game. He really looked uncomfortable prior to the injury.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3600
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Oct 22, 2017 at 11:39 PM

                  Getting sacked half the times you drop back tends to do that to people.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3600
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Oct 22, 2017 at 11:38 PM

            So you (maybe) over shot but you want to point out that others (maybe) overshot more.

  3. DonAZ
    Comments: 337
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    DonAZ
    Oct 22, 2017 at 12:06 PM

    With respect to the play calling … what could be a plausible explanation for that? I find it hard to believe this coaching staff doesn’t know any better. But that leaves me with the conclusion that they know plenty … but they *choose* to have the game plans we’ve seen. And that mystifies me.

    I keep thinking if somewhere in Harbaugh and Hamilton’s minds they still have in mind what the NFL is like, and they’re trying to imprint too much of that on a college team. That’s not an original thought by me, of course; but that doesn’t mean there’s not something to that.

    Before the season my criteria for “success” was this — win games we’re supposed to win, and play competitively in games where we’re over-matched in terms of talent. We should have beat Michigan State, but we didn’t … so -1. And we didn’t play all that competitively against Penn State. So another -1.

  4. Comments: 121
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    coachernie
    Oct 22, 2017 at 12:16 PM

    Well I had disagreed that McCray was going to get beat on a long TD pass because I had thought for sure Brown would have Bush on Barkley all game long.
    Guess Brown knows more than me which is why our D got exposed big time last night.
    This team is 7 – 5 and with a bowl loss… 7 – 6. Disappointing is an understatement.
    Can we bring Lloyd back for one of his 9 – 4 seasons where at least we surprised a few teams in big games.

    • Comments: 2223
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Oct 22, 2017 at 2:09 PM

      Don Brown does know more than you.

  5. Lanknows
    Comments: 3600
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Oct 22, 2017 at 12:16 PM

    Tired of arguing about RBs but I disagree.

    Higdon looks like the best back week in and week out. It looks to me like he is the only back consistently getting his own yards. He’s the guy getting the tough carries. He deserves to be in that role.

    There are always the people who will want the backup RB with the easier job and the better YPC to take snaps from the guy who gets the tough carries. You only have to look at PSU to see the folly of this logic. Miles Sanders has better YPC than Barkley this year and last year.

    Higdon ain’t Barkley, and Michigan’s RB situation is more closely bunched. The rotation should continue beyond a 100% primary back, but Higdon’s the best back they have. To me, that’s obvious, but reasonable minds can disagree I guess.

    I thought the carry distribution was just about perfect last night.

    I will say that it might start making sense to have an eye on the future at RB. This means less Higdon and Isaac and more Evans and Walker. Evans in particular has plenty to learn about being an all-around back.

    You have 3 games with perhaps some wiggle room for experimentation and development. Not that any of them a sure win, but there is some potential to get controlling leads in these games.

    • Comments: 2223
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Oct 22, 2017 at 2:08 PM

      “Higdon’s the guy getting the tough carries.” I knew you would say something like this, even though Isaac had the 6-yard TD run when the game was tight in the first half. Nope, no tough carries…

      As for getting ready for the future, Higdon has the rest of 2017 and then 2018 to play. Evans has 2017, 2018, and 2019. There’s not that much of a difference. But you’re also the guy who insists that you’ve either got it or you don’t as a RB, so I don’t know why you would have to groom someone already on the roster for the future RB position. If Higdon is the best guy now, he’ll be the best guy in 2018 (by your logic). And by 2019, there will either be a guy who’s better than Evans or not.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3600
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Oct 22, 2017 at 11:44 PM

        That’s a whole season’s worth of difference.

        Yes, Evans will be the guy in ’19 or not. That’s reason enough to try to develop him a bit, especially given he’s still raw as a between-the-tackles type.

  6. Lanknows
    Comments: 3600
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Oct 22, 2017 at 12:30 PM

    Silver linings:

    The had a couple nice plays to McDoom and he looked good on those. Need more of that. You only have so many playmakers – get them the ball.

    DPJ looked more natural at WR.

    McKeon & Gentry continue to look on the right track. Hopefully Gentry is watching some film of the PSU TE.

    Crawford made a helluva catch.

    O’Korn running was effective and needs to be a big part of the playbook against Wisc and OSU.

    O’Korn is pretty damn accurate when he is comfortable. He’s not the problem, which means his backup isn’t the answer.

    Long Hill and Zordich — these guys!

    Reality check for the D short-term, but long-term this was not so awful considering 9 of 11 return next year. Wasn’t playing close attention but there was some young guys out there here and there. This should be a growing trend. Need to start grooming Hurst and McCray’s replacement ASAP.

    Black Clouds:

    It’s the OL of course. Kugler was bad. Cole is not a LT – which we knew 2 years ago but overall incompetence requires it… I guess. There is no change that is going to make it better but with Ruiz’s red-shirt already burned I’d like to see him get a few more snaps here and there. We need to keep the Bredeson-Onwenu combo right where they are unless they see Bredeson as a viable long-term RT.

    Run Run Pass Punt x 2 to start the game was WEAAAAAK. They snapped out of it but it took way too long. They were never going to win this game without a balanced offense and the announcers were not wrong to openly criticize the boring play-calling. More shots downfield please. This offense isn’t good enough to sustain long drives with 5,6,7 first downs.

  7. Comments: 502
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Oct 22, 2017 at 1:11 PM

    I read some brief stuff here and there from all the posts. So some of my original thoughts mixed in with what I briefly read.

    1. Agree with LK. Yeah, I don’t quite buy into this well UM lost too much from last year. Are the running backs somewhat equal to last year? Yes but the pass blocking is poorer without Smith. I didn’t expect the OL to be worse which seems to me to be a reflection of not just losing the guards (can’t believe I said that) but still not having Newsome. Biggest loss during the Harbaugh era with no viable replacement.

    Gentry and McKeon are doing a good job to replace Butt. What I am saying is this is more a reflection of the qb and OL. I still think UM loses even with Speight but clearly Speight to JOK is a slight drop off. Bottom line is that UM is better with Speight but their qb predictament is a liability. Their OL is even a bigger liability in pass protection (rb’s included) and there you go, no consistent passing game which means they are going to struggle against better teams.

    Don’t get me started about JOK who clearly throws the ball late while in the pocket. He is a second too slow. Part of his ‘read’ problem.

    I agree that UM is about where it should be considering all the deficiencies which some can be blamed on Harbaugh and some can’t. UM has clearly taken a step back because of their OL and qb. The wr’s are not as good but not terrible. It’s the OL and QB. I expected a little better from last year. I was wrong. Very wrong. UM went from mediocre to very mediocre/bad.

    2. I agree with Thunder. I always thought Bush was more weakside but Brown likes Bush coming up the middle to blitz to balance the blitz. I would like to hear more of a discussion of how teams have figured out how Brown prefers his schemes. It seemed like his delayed stuff worked better.

    Live by the sword, die by the sword and it sure seems like opponents are using his aggressiveness against him. MSU did it. Looks like Brown is too aggressive for his own good.

    Defense just got beat by a much better offense. This is a bad example but think of the 85 Bears and Ryan against the Dolphins and Marino. Sometimes the offense is just too good.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3600
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Oct 22, 2017 at 11:48 PM

      I think Michigan lost a ton from last year and that’s a viable excuse for not winning the big ten. I’m just disagreeing with the idea that this is what everyone expected when half the fanbase said 10-2 and then didn’t give much of a damn that Speight got hurt because they were calling for the backup anyway.

  8. Comments: 502
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Oct 22, 2017 at 1:22 PM

    Higdon should be the starter and the lion’s share. I didn’t see anything last night to change my mind. PSU was playing the run with Higdon until proven otherwise and UM got down so quickly then UM had to play more to the pass with Isaac and Evans.

    I don’t expect UM to get blown out that early until OSU. 🙂

    I am going to ask this question. It’s a sore spot for some but I am going to back to it again. Is MSU better than UM? I think they are. Crazy Joe basically said the staff is part of the problem. LK says it’s about the team.

    Is MSU better than UM? I didn’t say they were good. I didn’t say they were elite. I didn’t say they were 30% better than UM but are they better than UM? From what I have seen so far, as a team, including the staff, they are better this year.

    Sorry. Not trying to rub salt in the wound but I do believe there was some denial in the UM community. I thought at least in that game MSU was better until Monsoon but now I am in the camp that MSU is just slightly better this year. ND would beat the snot out of UM this year.

    This year is a step back for UM more than I originally thought because of the OL/QB. Harbaugh has some major reconstruction to do on offense this off season. Brown needs to learn from last night. Sometimes you watch the film and you know you have to change up or at least at half time. PSU came down the field before half just to remind him. Could have had 28 pts on his team or so. 2nd half was a reminder for him that you play a great player you need to change it up. Barkley made Brown look like a fool. I can live with the great passes from McSorley.

    PSU has Brando and Pacino on their team. 🙂

  9. Comments: 725
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Oct 22, 2017 at 1:35 PM

    Another great write up Thunder!
    I don’t know what could be done about the matchups. Sure, I’d avoid McCray on Barkley, but who would’ve/could’ve covered him? We were straight up, outmatched. Hamilton could have had Hill shadow him, but mcsorley dropped some absolute dimes! Again, we’re outmatched!
    In this game, we needed an offense to keep up with, or keep the ball away from PennSt. Unfortunately, even with our starting QB & #1WR, that wasn’t happening this year. Pedophile State looks like a legit playoff team

    • Comments: 502
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Oct 22, 2017 at 2:43 PM

      Glad you posted this. Things are not as dire as some want to believe (other sites).

      2. PSU has a really good qb. This is one hell of an offense. Ask USC last year. This team can score on anybody including Alabama. In fact, I would say PSU is one of the best offenses in the history of the Big Ten rivaling their offensive team with Kerry Collins and Kijana Carter and O.J McDuffie?

      3. This isn’t an entire UM team problem. It’s concentrated in a couple of areas. Are people saying that UM doesn’t have any potential at wr? DPJ and an injured Black not to mention Collins and some other talent? Their TE’s not to mention Muhammad? Mason looks like a potential player. Rb’s look good going forward.

      So why all the doom and gloom? It’s because when you can’t pass block and you have mediocre qb situation you are going to look bad and when you play a GREAT offense then you can get blown out. It happens and it happened last night. Give PSU credit. They took UM to the woodshed.

      UM is not as bad as they looked last night. PSU is every bit as good as they were last night. They are the best team in the Big Ten. Let me give you an example.

      Take any great offensive team in the NFL. Use Manning in his day or Rodgers or Marino or even better let’s take Montana and Rice and Roger Craig. Is there any defense that could stop them? Maybe Lawrence Taylor.

      When you have talent like that you don’t stop them. UM was way overmatched and Barkley will be gone. Not enough people are acknowledging that the guy is going to be the Heisman winner. Not enough people want to give McSorley his due. His wr’s are good. Team is a juggernaut. Add the fact that UM has a pretty good defense along with a horrible game plan and you got last night.

      UM is fine on defense and will be going forward. It’s a concentrated problem with UM. The OL and qb’s and UM is way behind the curve in year 3 and Harbaugh will get it fixed. He made a huge error in year two recruiting and the injury to Newsome was a big blow. It was the last place it could afford an injury. Just think about where UM is right now on the OL.

      It has Cole who played center last year. Center. Was a RT the year before and now is a LT? It has Kugler who couldn’t beat out Cole last year. It has Onwenu who looks doesn’t look like a great pass blocker. It’s RT, let’s not even go there.

      Wow. It’s a f’ing mess. A pass blocking mess. UM has Hoke leftovers at qb and a transfer that hasn’t worked out quite as well as Rudock. It lost a game last night to a much better team even if UM had 2nd half of season Rudock playing last night.

      My personal sadness comes from the fact that my gut tells me it’s now going to 2019 before the offense has any semblance of a high level Big Ten offense unless all of these guys on the recruited last year are instant impact players. Doubt it.

      • Comments: 121
        Joined: 8/12/2015
        coachernie
        Oct 22, 2017 at 3:16 PM

        Hate to be break the news to everyone…we have ND, MSU and OSU all on the road in 2018/ next year. All 3 looking like sure losses.

        • Comments: 725
          Joined: 1/19/2016
          je93
          Oct 22, 2017 at 3:49 PM

          Why would they be “sure” losses. This makes me question online, self-deceived & usernames “coaches,” who concede loss a year in advance. I wouldn’t want my boys playing under that mentality

          • Comments: 121
            Joined: 8/12/2015
            coachernie
            Oct 22, 2017 at 6:37 PM

            ND & MSU are ascending programs while OSU will simply reload once again with 5* talent.
            We’ll either have a first year starting QB or limited Spreight at the helm…. again I say 3 likely losses!

        • Comments: 2223
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Oct 22, 2017 at 5:14 PM

          Nothing looks like a sure loss in 2018. Notre Dame was bad last year, and they’re very inconsistent. MSU is somewhat up-and-down, and we’ve had a bunch of close games lately. And we almost beat OSU in Columbus last year. Furthermore, Michigan only loses Cole, Kugler, O’Korn, Poggi, Khalid Hill, Hurst, and McCray from this year’s team (off the top of my head). I’m sure there will be other attrition in the form of transfers and unrenewed fifth-year guys, but that’s a pretty small number of losses and very little in the form of offensive production.

          • Comments: 502
            Joined: 9/13/2015
            michymich
            Oct 22, 2017 at 5:25 PM

            Losses unless the offense gets better and doesn’t drag the rest of the team down.

            This whole discussion reminds me a little bit (just a little) of when Harbaugh came in before Rudock transferred.

            Here is a question. Does Harbaugh go out and try and get a 5th year grad transfer qb? Send a message that the job is open to anybody?

            • Comments: 725
              Joined: 1/19/2016
              je93
              Oct 22, 2017 at 5:44 PM

              I doubt it. Is there someone available who’s worth a scholly? They’re pretty limited these days

              • Comments: 502
                Joined: 9/13/2015
                michymich
                Oct 22, 2017 at 6:40 PM

                If I offered you McSorley and in return PSU got 5 schollies from UM for a 4 year period. Would you take it?

                I wouldn’t take it if I had a proven qb but we are pretty desperate here at UM :). In fact, I would trade Peters, Ambry Thomas, Gentry, Kemp and Evans to get a McSorley for a couple of years.

                Oklahoma, Alabama and PSU. What do they all have in common? A good qb. Take Clemson the last couple of years. You get my point. You can have all sorts of good players and a really good OL but you still need a good qb to win at a high level.

              • Comments: 502
                Joined: 9/13/2015
                michymich
                Oct 22, 2017 at 6:44 PM

                I didn’t really answer your question. My bad. It would have to be a proven guy. No question. Somebody who could come in and start and proved he could run a pro style system.

                If that guy does exist after the season then by all means try and get him.

                • Comments: 725
                  Joined: 1/19/2016
                  je93
                  Oct 22, 2017 at 7:36 PM

                  If that guy exists, his team isn’t letting him go

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3600
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Oct 23, 2017 at 12:02 AM

            Great perspective Thunder.

            Michigan will be better by virtue of returning experience at most positions, especially if Speight, Black, and Newsome return healthy.

            Hurst — can’t be replaced, but Solomon, Mone, Dwumfour are all on track to be plus players.

            McCray — this will probably be a step back but there are plenty of returning players and young talent to fill in.

            Overall, the D should be significantly better with Gary, Winovich, Bush, Hill leading the charge and some veteran safeties who should know Brown’s defense up and down.

            Hill/Poggi — solid but Mason looks great for a freshman and should be able to come close to replacing their performance.

            The big question….like it’s the big question every year…what about the OL? I can offer hope but no certainty. Kugler is no Magnuson/Braden/Kalis – he’s a barely viable fall-back. Cole’s a good player. But it is not impossible that Ruiz and Newsome will be better in 2018. Onwenu, Bradenson, and whoever survives the RT mess almost certainly will be improved.

            The future is bright!

            • Comments: 725
              Joined: 1/19/2016
              je93
              Oct 23, 2017 at 12:19 AM

              You don’t really expect Newsome to play again, do you?

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3600
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Oct 23, 2017 at 11:46 AM

                Kinda. Is that wrong?

                I don’t know if I would COUNT on him, and I think M needs to have a plan B option but I would hope 2 years is enough to fully recover. Maybe that’s naive.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3600
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Oct 22, 2017 at 11:51 PM

      I think shadowing Hill on Hamilton would have been the right call in hindsight. Probably playing more dime with our 3 CBs all out there too. Probably wouldn’t have mattered though – PSU was hunting whatever safety or LB mismatch they saw.

  10. Comments: 4
    Joined: 10/8/2017
    pureWmich
    Oct 23, 2017 at 6:37 AM

    Maybe a sidebar comment. But is it time for Jimmy to stop the secondary stuff,, political comments on twitter, the amazon prime documentary, his weekly podcast “attack each day”, and other possible distractions.
    Look at MSU last year, the “BTN green and white day” 3-9 and look to the NFL the year after any Hard Knocks is done… Seems to be losing seasons…
    Not sure but something to ponder…
    Lastly, I really felt that this was a time for Harbaugh to put his stamp on “hungry dogs, hunt best” and the opportunity for the Wolverines to shock the world.. boy, was I wrong…

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3600
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Oct 23, 2017 at 11:48 AM

      I think you could make a case for the weekly podcast but media is part of the job and every HC spends time on it. I assume that’s replacing something else he’d be doing anyway. The offseason stuff is irrelevant.

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