Michigan 24, Army 21

Michigan 24, Army 21


September 7, 2019
Zach Charbonnet (image via Maize ‘n’ Brew)

Phew. I saw people mentioning the 2007 Appalachian State game on Twitter. However, I couldn’t stop thinking about the 2013 game against Akron. As the game went along, I felt like Michigan was going to pull it out with a goal line stand or just an outstanding play by the defense. Not because they’re great, but because they’re better than Army. In that 2013 Akron game, Jarrod Wilson ended the game with an interception. In the 2019 Army version, it was Kwity Paye with a sack and a fumble.

Hit the jump for more.

No national championship is coming to Ann Arbor. Regardless of whether Michigan won or lost that game, this team isn’t winning a national championship. It’s not just about the ranking, either. Yes, Michigan will probably drop in the AP poll, but there would be plenty of opportunities to rise back up in the rankings. But this team has glaring weaknesses on the defensive line, on the offensive line, at running back, and in the coaches’ box. I’ll stand by my 11-1 prediction from the pre-season and take the heat for it when it proves to be overly optimistic.

The left tackle play was horrendous. Army figured something out about Michigan on passing downs that will need to be fixed. On passing downs, if you don’t send anyone at Ryan Hayes, he won’t block anyone. There are a few ways to attack young offensive linemen, and one is to paralyze them by not giving them anyone to block. Veteran offensive linemen know when to help someone and find work. Young offensive linemen are so terrified to miss an assignment that they will keep looking for someone to come to their gap. Army caused two Shea Patterson fumbles by leaving Ryan Hayes abandoned in space and attacking other gaps and running back Christian Turner.

Injuries are mounting. The lame effort against Army wasn’t due to injury. That’s no excuse, because obviously Michigan is way more talented at football than the Black Knights. But Michigan needs to get healthy, and fast. As of post-Army, Michigan was missing two (or three) starters on defense (Mike Dwumfour, Josh Ross, and Donovan Jeter) and three (or four) starters on offense (Jon Runyan, Andrew Stueber, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Tru Wilson). When you start a season missing 5-7 starters going into Big Ten play, things are bound to get ugly. That doesn’t even include Shea Patterson, who looks shaky and unwilling to keep the ball on zone reads.

It’s time to retract your negative thoughts about Ronnie Bell. Everyone who was down on him last week needs to thank their lucky 3-stars that Bell wears a Michigan uniform. On a day when very few Michigan players showed up to play offense, Bell saved the day as the only reliable passing target. His 7 catches and 81 yards dwarfed the next highest totals in both categories (Tarik Black’s 3 and Sean McKeon’s 35, respectively), and he accounted for about 40% of Shea Patterson’s passing yards.

General offense complaints. The offense isn’t humming along, so I’ll lodge a few short complaints here:

  • There’s no variety in the running game. If Zach Charbonnet is lined up on the QB’s right, the only place Michigan is attacking is up the middle or to the left. The QB has to be the option to the right, or there has to be some sort of jet or bubble or orbit motion to outflank the defense to the right. One reason I was excited about Mike Sainristil was his ability to run jets or at least fake jets, but there’s no speed threat to provide misdirection.
  • 3rd-and-3 equals inside zone. Surprise!
  • Get the ball to your guys. Michigan’s wide receivers have been hyped up all off-season, and Josh Gattis is renowned as a wide receivers coach. I don’t understand how the staff isn’t finding ways to get the ball to Nico Collins and Tarik Black. The “best wide receiving corps in the country” (according to some) touched the ball 5 times in a game that never got more than 7 points out of reach for either side.

Jim Harbaugh wants to be James Franklin. Are you in a tie ballgame with less than three minutes left? Are you within field goal range? Do you need 3 yards when you’re averaging 2.4 yards per carry? I have an idea! Run the ball up the middle instead of kicking a field goal.

Be careful what you wish for . . . Everybody wanted to spread out the ball and line up in shotgun with no fullbacks and no tight ends, but then Michigan struggles in short yardage. What’s the solution? There should be the ability to get up under center in certain packages. I’ll tell you from experience that the answer is not going shotgun to run inside zone with a short edge. There wasn’t much doubt that Army could get a 3rd-and-1 or 4th-and-1 at will. There’s no reason Michigan can’t have that as a possibility. That’s one area where Jim Harbaugh should have been a little more hands on with the installation of the new offense.

Zach Charbonnet thankfulness. It’s a good thing, too, that Zach Charbonnet signed with Michigan and healed up from off-season knee surgery. Christian Turner (3 carries, 20 yards) biffed a pass protection that turned into a fumble, and Ben VanSumeren had as many fumbles as carries (1 each!). Because Michigan’s offensive line made a habit of getting its butt kicked by slants and 260 lb. guys, Charbonnet had to churn out 3.0 yards a carry on his path to 100 yards on 33 carries. Those numbers aren’t gaudy, but he did manage to score all 3 of Michigan’s touchdowns.

Offensive line blergh. Between Cesar Ruiz not blocking anyone on inside zone to his falling on his butt for no reason, I’m not impressed. There has been talk of him leaving college early, but he needs to step up his play. The same goes for Ben Bredeson and Michael Onwenu. On the plus side, Michigan’s offensive line improved significantly throughout the 2018 season, but now it seems they’re back to square one.

56 comments

  1. GKblue
    Comments: 309
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    GKblue
    Sep 07, 2019 at 5:26 PM

    “There are a few ways to attack young offensive linemen, and one is to paralyze them by not giving them anyone to block.” Great analogy, one that most won’t see because of it’s simplicity. Fer damn sure you are a coach.

  2. Klctlc
    Comments: 69
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Klctlc
    Sep 07, 2019 at 5:40 PM

    Curious on McCaffrey. Something is up with patterson, as you said he clearly would not run. Either he is injured or stupid (a little harsh sorry). I lean on the former. That being said, what does this say about McCaffrey. Season on the line, shea struggling (probably injured) in second half and no McCaffrey? I think the McCaffrey hype train just slowed way down. Any coaches out there that can give a reason to let shea try to struggle through? So he does not lose confidence or can pick up more of the offense? I am struggling with this one.

    Also, going for it on 4th down in the 4th quarter and passing up a field goal and then going for it on 4th down and not punting near midfield were atrocious. I missed first half, but second half was worst coaching I have seen. just brutal.

    • DonAZ
      Comments: 459
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      DonAZ
      Sep 07, 2019 at 5:46 PM

      Sometimes I wonder if Harbaugh has a tendency to play favorites; and conversely, to put players in the doghouse for personal reasons. I can’t believe McCaffrey is less capable than an injured Patterson. If that’s the case, then shame on this coaching staff. But if he’s capable but being held out for reasons not related to having the best people on the field, then that’s a problem.

  3. DonAZ
    Comments: 459
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    DonAZ
    Sep 07, 2019 at 5:40 PM

    When Michigan beat Akron in 2013, there were many who said “A win is a win.” Well, that’s true, but it does not take into account what an ugly win portends for the future. I have a sinking feeling this win over Army is like 2013: that is, we’re headed for four or five losses.

    I’m also starting to think Harbaugh doesn’t have what he once did. I’m starting to wonder if it’s become a grind for him, and “the thrill is gone” as BB King would say. It’s hard to put my finger on it, but there’s something missing … there’s no edge, no grit, no focus.

    Buckle up. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

  4. GrandLake
    Comments: 21
    Joined: 8/22/2019
    GrandLake
    Sep 07, 2019 at 6:29 PM

    Would love to know how Collins gets 3 targets all game. Where did all the vertical routes go when Army has no one who can cover him and even if Shea is too hurt throw simple slants and hitches? The issue with Macaff is that he could easily have done what Shea was doing if Shea is really hurt and it’s not like they were playing Alabama. Great day for Zach and defense. Hutchinson continues to impress.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1447
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Sep 07, 2019 at 7:29 PM

      Going deep wasn’t working because Army lined up 7-10 yards off our WRs. This was a game for Speed in Space, and attacking the edges. Instead, JH2017 took over and ran into a stacked line

      I agree thunder, 2013 was all I could think of in the game

      • GrandLake
        Comments: 21
        Joined: 8/22/2019
        GrandLake
        Sep 07, 2019 at 7:58 PM

        If Army is 7-10yds off line then that is easy out throw for Shea Dylan or even Milton to Collins or Black who prob pick up at least 5yds before contact and then fall forward for another 3yds. Seems far more reasonable than zone read handoff with zero intent of QB keeping that goes for maybe 2yds. I do not understand what the coaching mindset was today. It does appear that Army came in with a good game plan but adjusting to what is being presented is why UM coaches make such large amounts of money.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1447
          Joined: 1/19/2016
          je93
          Sep 07, 2019 at 8:07 PM

          Yes, yes, and yes

          Army came in with a game plan, obviously confident we wouldn’t adjust. They even punted on 4th & 1, 4Q the game. Why? They knew EXACTLY what Harbaugh would do. We didn’t pass that entire drive

  5. Avatar
    Comments: 265
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Sep 07, 2019 at 7:40 PM

    Damn right Harbaugh wants to be Franklin – Penn St. won the Big 10 Championship that year.
    Look it can we quit making snide comments/comparisons about other Coaches who have actually won Championships?
    Harbaugh year 5 is a complete overpaid dud as a coach. and I’m tired of reading ALL the apologetic excuses people keep making FOR/about him.
    Pep sucks…….
    Drevno sucks……
    Speed in space……
    Gattis to the rescue of Harbaugh’s sinking ship……..
    Shays hurt……..
    The OL this…….
    The DL that…….
    they’re learning a new offense…….
    Special teams suck………
    Fumbles everywhere; Patterson has 10 more first drive fumbles ahead of him.
    Given the recruiting talent This looks like a piss pore coached team to me.
    Turn overs galore and Harbaugh is the Greta QB guru?
    The Big lies that many Michigan fans continue to believe while they remain in Harbaugh Apology mode:
    Lie #1:Harbaugh is a great coach; he’s a good coach but nowhere near great.
    Lie #2: Harbaugh is a QB guru; Yo K; Sp8 in yr 2 regressed
    Shay in yr 2 has regressed
    Don’t mention Stanford to me, it should be obvious by now that Harb’s success there was directly because of David Shaw.
    Michigan has got to get their act together by Wisconsin or Maryland & Illinois might beat this team:
    8-4? At best
    7-5? Not surprising
    6-6? possible
    Right now if Maryland & Illinois beat these guys how bout 5-7 or 4-8????
    My bubble about Harbaugh burst with 2016’s recruiting class and just keeps going down. He’s failed on so many levels. He’s got a bye week to turn it around but if it hasn’t gelled by now I don’t see it happening on the Road against Wisconsin.
    Man is the guy so Overpaid………….INTJohn

    • Avatar
      Comments: 11
      Joined: 11/23/2015
      Burge333
      Sep 08, 2019 at 2:07 AM

      Harbaugh is a pretty good coach, but I agree he is not a great coach and his teams don’t play with an edge or urgency.

      A lot of programs would take his record over the past five years, including most if not all in the Big 10 aside from OSU. He might be overpaid, but we aren’t likely to get someone better, as the past has shown us, UM does not appear to be a place top coaches want to come.

      This has been a weird start to the season and I for one think this win is impressive and will pay dividends in the future. It is good to truly get tested, Army is a good team with a unique philosophy that matched up terribly with Michigans injuries and weaknesses. 3 turnovers, a missed field goal and a touchdown taken off the board by poor refereeing. It is poor play all around but it seemed like the only bounce Michigan got was recovering the fumble at the end. Army came in on a 10 game win streak and has had some very impressive performances in that time span. This is a decent football team, as always, we will see how they are ranked at the end of the year, but I bet they will be ranked.

      I am not convinced Patterson was a great quarterback last year and I am still not. He flat out needs to be better. This offense should be humming, that being said we have lots of injuries and having your 5th year all conference left tackle out is not helpful.

      We have seen in years past that September Heisman’s and blow outs haven’t come to fruition. Maybe it is a good thing that they get punched in the mouth in weeks one and two. The last number of years being healthy and winning 59-10 in week two has led to a lot of disappointment later in the year. The season hinges on Patterson, if he plays well this is a good team… If he is average it could be a 9-3 team…

      There are a lot of good quarterbacks and teams in the Big 10 this year, I can’t predict who will win the Big 10 this year but I am starting to think it will be a 2 loss tie scenario and there will once again be a playoff omission.

  6. Avatar
    Comments: 1447
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Sep 07, 2019 at 8:03 PM

    Oh, and on ZC: running backs DO matter!

    • GKblue
      Comments: 309
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      GKblue
      Sep 07, 2019 at 9:57 PM

      We’ve got a sledge hammer called common sense.

      A lot was asked of ZC. More than should have been IMO, but the freshman RB carried us. He did matter.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1447
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Sep 07, 2019 at 10:02 PM

        Yeah, 30+ is a lot. They gave us the short pass game

        UConn 2013 feeling, but SMU 2018 strategy

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1447
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Sep 07, 2019 at 10:03 PM

        Yeah, 33plus carries is a lot

        Especially when they’re giving us the short pass, and we have so many Receivers

        UConn2013 feeling, but SMU2018 strategy

        • 17years
          Comments: 210
          Joined: 2/6/2018
          17years
          Sep 08, 2019 at 9:36 AM

          I all I can say is, where is “speed in space”? An RB getting 33 carries is not speed in space. I look at LSU’s offense last night, and man, I see something like “speed in space” was advertised to be, and with a QB, Joe Burrow, that isn’t as good as Patterson. I think we were supposed to be more impressed by what we’ve seen of Gattis and Nua that what were getting.

          God Bless Ed Warinner for what he is doing. There would be not be a 33 carries RB without him. Now if Michigan can just find the equivalent of Ed Warinner on the defensive side of the ball for the D Line. Though I guess I’m being negative in not being happy with Shaun Nua already. It’s just I’m seeing fundamentals not being tight on the D Line, high school level fundamentals.

          • Avatar
            Comments: 1447
            Joined: 1/19/2016
            je93
            Sep 08, 2019 at 12:54 PM

            LSU looked amazing. Simple concepts, taking what Texas offered. Just look at the last drive when we failed on a 4th & 2 run. I like the balls to go for it, but why run into a stacked box? Nico & Black had SEVEN yards of cushion to get TWO. That’s not Gattis, it’s Harbaugh

            • 17years
              Comments: 210
              Joined: 2/6/2018
              17years
              Sep 08, 2019 at 7:08 PM

              Both Texas and LSU had a more aggressive feel than Michigan has. That was a really great game! It seems Michigan hasn’t had that kind of an aggressive feel since the double overtime against Ohio St in 2016.

  7. Avatar
    Comments: 265
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Sep 07, 2019 at 8:33 PM

    “Not because they’re great, but because they’re better than Army.”
    NO! Michigan is not better than Army. they’re just more talented……..
    Army played as well as they could have , far above their talent on the road against a far more talented team but ‘better’ no not at all………. Michigan won the game but Army was the better team, just less talented.

    ………and yes Charbonnet is rushing the ball well for yards but like Patterson he put it on the ground. TO’s! You guys contiune to talk about yards ; its Turnovers! He’s young and will have a few but I still wanted to mention the fumble cause you didn’t. Turnovers are a huge problem with this team so far and on every facet; QB, RB Punt returner…….. How many in 2 games? 8? IDK 4 last week with 3 lost; 3 lost this week……..???

    ………..and yeah your praising Bell but wasn’t he the punt fielder in this game?
    How many yards did he cost the team in field position by not fair catching the damn punt which is his primary job as a damn punt fielder? A bunch from what I saw; and WHY? Isn’t he even attempting the fair catch? Scared he’s going to FUMBLE – goes back on piss poor coaching.

    tired of it all. For what Harbaugh is being paid Mish can find someone better.
    INTJohn

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3215
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Sep 07, 2019 at 8:42 PM

      When did Charbonnet fumble?

      I’d rather lose yards on rolling punts than risk a fumble. When you’re the third-string punt returner, it’s better safe than sorry.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1447
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Sep 07, 2019 at 9:28 PM

      Two things can be true: MICHIGAN played like crap, and MICHIGAN is the better team

      • GKblue
        Comments: 309
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        GKblue
        Sep 07, 2019 at 10:07 PM

        This truism seems to happen all too often.

        Next up, not using a bye week to prove that we can and will be prepared to play well against a team that may be roughly equal or better than us.

        I hope I am wrong. Wiscy will be a serious challenge for our DL. The offense must improve.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 11
      Joined: 9/3/2015
      Joby
      Sep 08, 2019 at 7:57 AM

      It was Van Sumeren who fumbled, not Charbonnet.

  8. 17years
    Comments: 210
    Joined: 2/6/2018
    17years
    Sep 08, 2019 at 1:52 AM

    Someone want to try to explain Kwity Paye, at RE in the 4 point stance, is getting such a late start at the snap on Army’s first TD? At 0:37 of this video: https://youtu.be/plMNcq–g_0?t=37
    I saw this same kind of late start from Carlo Kemp twice last week. And that was just from a casual eye. I wonder how many times I would have found late starts from D linemen if I studied?
    This makes me sigh. And dashes my high expectations for this season. If this kind of soft play keeps up from Shaun Nua’s coaching how long can he last before he’s fired? But then again, Jim Harbaugh didn’t fire Greg Frey. So he probably wouldn’t fire Shaun Nua either. This could potentially be a bad year for the defense. Really tough schedule. Could it be 8-4, or 7-5 is possible?
    I also had though 11-1 was realistic. I think that’s gone. This D Line has me fazed.
    Those late starts look so amateurish to me. I mean, we got punished in high school for late starts like that. We had to run quarter miles. I saw one lineman have to run a half mile. We got it right from seeing it. I can’t believe I’m seeing it in BIG 10 team. SMH. My hopes for a great year are gone.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3215
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Sep 08, 2019 at 7:23 AM

      That seems like an overreaction to me. Firing Shaun Nua for an occasional late get-off? What about when Kwity Paye ran around the left tackle, got a sack, forced a fumble, then got up and crawled back into the fray to grab the fumble and end the game?

      And how do you know Paye won’t be chewed out, forced to do extra conditioning, etc. for a late get-off?

      • 17years
        Comments: 210
        Joined: 2/6/2018
        17years
        Sep 08, 2019 at 9:11 AM

        I didn’t say “fire him”. That is an exaggeration to say I did.
        I said “how long can he last before he’s fired”.

  9. 17years
    Comments: 210
    Joined: 2/6/2018
    17years
    Sep 08, 2019 at 2:02 AM

    As for Ronnie Bell, I was never negative about him. I am just not as high on him as others are. I may have been hard on him last week because of the hype about him from Fall Camp. Bell is getting open, butr he’s getting single coverage, and is running patterns to areas made soft because defenses have to primarily focus on Collins, Black, and McKeon. Yes, he did make some good catches today. But on one catch, the defense didn’t even seem to be aware of him. He snuck under the radar because others like Collins are such a big threat.

    But yes, he did make those catches. I still think he will get less playing time as soon as DPJ comes back, and also when Johnson, Jackson, and Sainristil get more experience.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3215
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Sep 08, 2019 at 7:18 AM

      I disagree with that, but we’ll see. He was getting open last week, and Patterson missed him a couple times or created very difficult catch opportunities. He was getting open this week, and Patterson missed him once – and hit him 7 other times. When it was crunch time down the stretch, Patterson was finding Bell. They even showed a replay from the SkyCam of Patterson basically throwing the ball right through a linebacker to force it in to Bell.

      • 17years
        Comments: 210
        Joined: 2/6/2018
        17years
        Sep 08, 2019 at 9:15 AM

        One of points in what I was saying about his play last week, is, there was lots of talk about how he made a super catch in practice, but in a game, it didn’t happen.
        And I still think Bell is getting open because of other receivers are getting primary attention from the defense. If players like Collins and Black were not on the field things would suddenly be different for him.

  10. Avatar
    Comments: 1208
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Sep 08, 2019 at 7:40 AM

    So much angst, so little fun.

    I though Charbonnet showed some real nice hands on a swing pass that didn’t get anywhere anyway, but a drop would have been pretty easy to understand. I think we have our “bell cow” back. Turner’s whiff on the second Patterson fumble probably sealed his fate. There was another guy too, he was a walk-on or something … ah never mind.

    The pitch and catch to Bell where he had to rotate in the air for a very tough catch was a cut above play. Tiny window that maybe Patterson should have passed on, but he rifled it in there anyway. I thought Patterson hit on some very tough little windows most of the day, but when he misses, it’s frequently a goofy, hard to understand thing. Gunslinger shit, you live and die by it.

    Hayes did look lost on at least a couple of occasions, Thunder’s approach to messing with young linemen would have never occurred to me, but clearly, it works.

    Ruiz looked slow. Except on a couple drives where he looked powerful. Consistency is still an issue with him. I never thought he was leaving early, based on his performance, I think that’s a tougher thing to accomplish for O linemen than it is for some other positions, physical maturity is an issue, but the mental part of offensive line play is under appreciated.

    Nobody giving credit for the fake punt? That’s coaching. They saw on film that Army didn’t want to cover the gunners on every punt, they made them pay. I repeat, that’s coaching.

    Unless Brown can come up with some serious genius schemes to overcome our issues on the D line, we have big ass problems against good offensive lines. I still think we will outscore some people. I think there are likely to be something approaching shoot outs in our future. Wisconsin isn’t gonna forget to run it up inside twice in a row though.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1208
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      Roanman
      Sep 08, 2019 at 7:57 AM

      I forgot.

      There is a short video out there of Bo, teaching his … maybe … maybe someone else’s or everybody’s … principles of defensive line play. I’ve watched it three of four times when I didn’t feel like working.

      Anyway, Ben Mason on at least two occasions on which I was paying attention did it just like Bo coached it, He got right on a guys hip that was moving away and got led straight to the football. Made me laugh.

      Still, we have a 270 lbs fullback taking way too many snaps at defensive tackle. It’s gonna bite us … probably.

      Some short yardage issues will definitely go away if we wham on somebody with Mason, even if they know it’s coming.

      • GrandLake
        Comments: 21
        Joined: 8/22/2019
        GrandLake
        Sep 08, 2019 at 8:47 AM

        In short yardage they really to back to some basic packages. Klatt even mentioned that standing in shotgun with one rb gives the D an advantage since the offense is starting deep and standing still. It would be the end of speed in space to put QB under center and have ZC following Mason or BVS to pick up a few yards.

        • GrandLake
          Comments: 21
          Joined: 8/22/2019
          GrandLake
          Sep 08, 2019 at 9:04 AM

          It would Not*

    • 17years
      Comments: 210
      Joined: 2/6/2018
      17years
      Sep 08, 2019 at 9:21 AM

      The defensive line could get dominated by Wisconsin’s O Line. We might see Taylor going up the middle like a race horse out of a chute. And how will that D Line ever stop any goal line stand with Wisconsin?

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5151
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 08, 2019 at 10:17 AM

      The fake punt pass to Dax Hill is coaching? I thought the opposite. This was a play where a 5-star athlete had to make a one-on-one juke in space to convert. On a cadet. Against ND/OSU athletes I’m not sure it works.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1208
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        Roanman
        Sep 08, 2019 at 1:54 PM

        LOL, You’re negative that the guy playing safety got close enough to get juked!

      • Thunder
        Comments: 3215
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Sep 08, 2019 at 2:05 PM

        And who taught them to make that adjustment? And who taught them to line up that way? And who chose Michael Barrett to play that position?

        Any play like that requires your athletes to make a play.

        Maybe you’ve heard the term “speed in space.” There was speed. Daxton Hill has speed. Good things happened.

        Good job, coaches.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1447
          Joined: 1/19/2016
          je93
          Sep 08, 2019 at 2:09 PM

          Yeah, I want more of that. Take what they give you! Give superior athletes a chance to succeed!

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5151
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 08, 2019 at 7:02 PM

        This play was more about a mismatch of Jimmys and Joes than Xs and Os. I’m not knocking the coaches or the call.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1447
          Joined: 1/19/2016
          je93
          Sep 08, 2019 at 7:09 PM

          The entire game favored our Jimmy’s & Joe’s. It’s up to the coaches to exploit that

          Kudos to Partridge & Jaybaugh for getting it right on the fake punt. Need to carry that over to the Offense

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 5151
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Sep 08, 2019 at 7:24 PM

          When I watch Tua throw TDs to Jeudy my reaction isn’t: Wow that’s some serious coaching right there. That doesn’t mean I think the coach is a bumbling idiot.

          • Thunder
            Comments: 3215
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Sep 08, 2019 at 7:30 PM

            …and yet Mike Locksley and Lane Kiffin and others are headed for promotions for getting their elite athletes the ball in space, while Tim Drevno gets demoted at USC, Pep Hamilton wanders off to the XFL, etc.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 5151
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Sep 08, 2019 at 8:04 PM

              The history of promoted Alabama OC’s isn’t particularly inspiring. A Michigan fan should know that better than anyone.

              • Thunder
                Comments: 3215
                Joined: 7/13/2015
                Sep 08, 2019 at 8:11 PM

                I never said it was. But it’s more inspiring than the history of promoted Michigan OC’s.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 5151
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Sep 08, 2019 at 9:29 PM

              Alabama OCs don’t matter

  11. GrandLake
    Comments: 21
    Joined: 8/22/2019
    GrandLake
    Sep 08, 2019 at 9:03 AM

    It would Not* be the end of speed in space.

    Also ZC should get the week off after the effort he put in yesterday. Regardless of offense 30+ carries is hardly conducive to longevity in football.

    • 17years
      Comments: 210
      Joined: 2/6/2018
      17years
      Sep 08, 2019 at 6:56 PM

      Probably right. Cam Akers had 36 carries yesterday. So it happens some times.
      Hopefully we’ll see a whole lot more passing attempts soon instead of running attempts. Even Brian Lewerke has more attempts than Patterson. I know Patterson is injured. But hoping the 2 weeks off will heal him up, and we’ll see 30-40 attempts. Really, I’m hoping we’ll see that “speed in space” thing like we should. LSU had a huge turn around with their new offense. Maybe Michigan can do it soon too.

  12. Lanknows
    Comments: 5151
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 08, 2019 at 9:48 AM

    Lots of negativity after disappointing games like this. So I will say a couple positive things.

    Thanks Thunder for getting these game posts out quickly. You have interesting opinions to share and you put them out there fast.

    Very glad we survived that one. There were a lot of things that went badly but to give up 3 fumbles and pull a win is a relief. Imagine the 2 weeks of whinging had they taken the L.

    This defense feels like Don Brown’s worst, as expected. It seems doomed to be mediocre by Michigan standards unless healthy versions of Jeter/Dwumfour turn it around.

    But it’s not a terrible defense either. Giving up 14 points, all off turnovers, is no disaster against Army. Only 3 patented Army drives this game. 10 plays plus 5 minutes plus. 2 were TDs early off turnovers and then the INT drive in the second half. Most that came straight up the gut 3 yards at a time. Not many big plays.

    6 other drives were unsuccessful. Not quite the ratio you’d hope for but not a disaster either. Overall results are very similar to 2017 vs Air Force and that turned out to be a top 5 defense.

    That said – it feels like MTSU and Army are succeeding more often. The D hasn’t given up many big plays but yardage is there. Bill Connolly talked about how big plays are random and have no correlation from the first half to the second half of the season. But success rate holds. I would guess that MTSU and Army have done a lot better than Cincinnati Air Force in 2017 or SMU and Western in 2018. Wish success rate was a public stat.

    It’s the frequency with which these inferior talent teams are moving the ball that concerns me. It does FEEL like this defense will struggle against better teams.

    It did FEEL a bit like Army shot themselves in the foot. But maybe that has to do with the close score. Which is mostly on the offense IMO. That’s the side of the ball I’m disappointed in.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5151
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 08, 2019 at 10:14 AM

      Offense is the big disappointment. I’ll hold out hope that the issues will get ironed out but they may not. It did feel flimsy that many dismissed the transition costs as a week 1 issue only.

      Obviously, the fumbles need to stop. It’s really unexpected that the freshman RB seems to be the most reliable option to avoid a TO right now.

      Zach Charbonnet is my kind of back. Despite my size related doubts he seems to play like a senior. Good decision-making. Reliable. Versatile. Delivers in pass pro. No holes in his game are evident yet. 1 drop can be forgiven. Doesn’t play like a jumbo back. I’m impressed.

      Interesting though. I’m old enough to remember a time when a RB who averaged 3.0 ypc and whose longest run was 12 yards would have been criticized. This game just shows how a back can play well and produce lackluster YPC.

      That 12 yarder BTW was ZC’s most impressive of the year IMO. Showed good quickness and broke some tackles.

      I do hope to see some better balance with Turner. Obviously you don’t want to give the ball to one guy 30 times. That ZC handled it so well so early in his career is something.

      OL was really disappointing. Not sure how much of this was Army outsmarting Gattis and company or individual lack of execution. Regardless, this does not look close to the dominant unit I expected going into the season. Inexperience at OT may explain some of it. Doesn’t seem like all of it.

      Hope to see better in 2 weeks.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5151
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 08, 2019 at 11:34 AM

        Maturity is the stand-out trait that Charbonet possesses. He runs north and south unafraid of contact. He’s not trying to break a big run every down. Not dancing and spinning. He’s taking what is there and trying to squeeze as much out of it as he can.

        It often takes guys years to figure this out. Coaches can say whatever but most backs are used to being HS stars, the best athlete on the field, so they bounce outside and they go backwards and they think they can run around people.

        Charbonnet gets it. For a freshman that’s something unusual.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1447
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Sep 08, 2019 at 1:05 PM

        1) RBs do matter
        2) it’s was Harbaugh, taking the keys back
        “Not sure how much of this was Army outsmarting Gattis and company or individual lack of execution”

      • Thunder
        Comments: 3215
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Sep 08, 2019 at 2:08 PM

        In two games Zach Charbonnet has a 41-yard run, which would be the fourth-longest of your boy De’Veon Smith’s career. He had a 61-yarder against Appalachian State, a 60-yarder against BYU, and a 42-yarder against Colorado. That’s in 49 career games and 26 starts.

        And Charbonnet’s YPC is still higher than Smith’s career YPC.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 5151
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Sep 08, 2019 at 7:17 PM

          Haha. OK.

          I’m happy with Charbonnet’s play. Excellent start. I expect him to be better than Deveon Smith. Not because he ran for 3.0 ypc against Army or had a 41 yard run against MTSU. I think Wilson, Turner, Evans or a bunch of other guys could have run for 3.0 ypc against Army. But for the reasons outlined above – Charbonnet could be a really good back.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 5151
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Sep 08, 2019 at 7:19 PM

          It would change absolutely nothing if ZC’s YPC dipped below Smith’s.

  13. Lanknows
    Comments: 5151
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 08, 2019 at 10:20 AM

    It’s reasonable to re-calibrate expectations on the season. We were all just guessing this offseason. Now we have some real info.

    After a 2-0 start, how have your season wins projections changed?

    I expected 9-3 but now think 8-4 is a very real possibility.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1447
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Sep 08, 2019 at 1:07 PM

      I was 10-2, now 9-3. Sliding toward 8-4

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1184
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Sep 09, 2019 at 6:42 AM

      Yep, 8-4 is looking more and more likely now. I would say almost certain if injuries to key players don’t clear up quickly. Other than the apparent emergence of Charbonnet as a dependable back, every aspect of our offense has looked worse than expected.

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