Michigan vs. San Diego State Awards

Michigan vs. San Diego State Awards

September 26, 2011
Ryan Van Bergen had a  solid day for Michigan with a tackle for loss and a forced fumble

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Jeremy Gallon.  Michigan needs to find a way to get Gallon the ball.  He’s good at running after the catch, and if Denard Robinson can’t find success throwing the ball down the field, then the coaches ought to find a way to get Gallon the ball on short passes and let him gain yards on his own.

Let’s see less of this guy on offense . . . Stephen Hopkins.  Hopkins is a fumble machine (3 career fumbles in 43 rushing attempts) and he’s not very good on top of that.  The seat of his maize pants ought to be planted firmly on the bench unless it’s garbage time.  The first two backs (Fitzgerald Toussaint and Vincent Smith) are doing just fine, and if a third back needs to carry the ball, then it ought to be Michael Shaw or Michael Cox.

Let’s see more of this guy on defense . . . Blake Countess.  Countess played pretty well as Troy Woolfolk’s injury replacement, notching 7 tackles and 1 pass breakup.  Woolfolk needs to take a week off and rest his sprained ankle, which he has aggravated each week since he hurt it against Western Michigan.  The coaches keep playing him sparingly, and he keeps limping off for large portions of each game.  Woolfolk ought to get this week off and let Countess, J.T. Floyd, Courtney Avery, and Raymon Taylor handle the cornerback duties.  I think Michigan can still beat Minnesota without Woolfolk.

Let’s see less of this guy on defense . . . nobody.  It’s not that everyone on defense is playing great.  It’s just that the guys who are mediocre don’t seem to have quality backups to spell them.  Michigan needs the young defensive linemen on the roster to grow up soon.

Play of the game . . . Ryan Van Bergen forcing Ronnie Hillman to fumble.  With about twelve minutes remaining in the third quarter and Michigan leading 21-0, San Diego State ran to the defense’s right and Hillman broke a decent gain.  Van Bergen, who was the left defensive end, took a perfect pursuit angle and punched the ball out after about an 18-yard gain.  To top off the play, outside linebacker Jake Ryan hustled to follow the ball and jumped on the fumble 30 yards downfield.

MVP of the game . . . Denard Robinson.  He once again had a horrible day throwing the ball (8-for-17, 93 yards, 2 interceptions), but that didn’t stop him from running for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns on 21 carries.  He’s now averaging 138 yards rushing per game and 7.8 yards per carry.


  1. Comments: 21384
    Sep 26, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    I would say that the defense was the MVP of the game. I know its not a 'person', but we held them to 7 points. Not to de-value Robinson, but when you hold your opponent to 7 points, his contribution was overkill (dont get me wrong, overkill is good, but it is what it is – overkill). We didn't need all Robinson's production to win, but we did need the lack of production induced by the defense. Or perhaps the front 4 gets the MVP. Or just Martin of you have to pick one guy. Robinson's production was good for kicks, but not necessary – for this game anyway.

  2. Comments: 21384
    Sep 26, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    @ Anonymous 8:32 a.m.

    While I do think the defense overall was more important than Robinson, the inability of anybody else to have a solid game on offense makes him extremely valuable. Plus, I try to pick just one guy when I can.

    Martin did have a good game, but he didn't have any sacks and SDSU still ran for a decent amount of yards (Hillman had 109 himself). I'll take a guy who ran for 200 yards and scored 3 touchdowns over a guy who got a little pressure on the opposing quarterback.

  3. Comments: 21384
    Sep 26, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    With all due respect, I think it's time you got the Michael Cox out of your vocabulary.

    The staff will more than likely give him a firm handshake and his walking papers next year, especially if Dunn happens to commit.

  4. Comments: 21384
    Sep 26, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    @ Anonymous 8:48 a.m.

    I will gladly remove Michael Cox from my vocabulary as soon as the coaching staffs put other guys out there who can do the job. I'm not suggesting he play ahead of Smith/Toussaint, who are being used appropriately. But Hopkins isn't any good and doesn't deserve reps at this point.

  5. Comments: 21384
    Sep 26, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    Gallon has 5 of Denard's last 17 completions. I want to keep spreading the ball around. DR just needs to be more accurate.

  6. Comments: 21384
    Sep 26, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    According to the NCAA, Denard is averaging 169 yds/game. NCAA threw out the stats from the weather-shortened UM-WMU game. Big Ten is keeping all stats from all games.

  7. Comments: 21384
    Sep 26, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    i dont understand how after 3 weeks of play, no adjustments were made to the passing game. it can no longer be chalked up to a fluke. denard can't make the passes that he's being asked to make. would it really sacrifice the long term objectives if the passing attack were simplified for the time being to fit denards strengths (abilities). i refuse to believe the coaches can't figure out something that would work better than what we've seen so far.

  8. Comments: 21384
    Sep 26, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    @ Anonymous 11:02 a.m.

    It's tough to figure out what passes to throw when your quarterback can only hit a certain two or three routes. At least the offense hasn't been bogging down in the red zone, which was a problem in the past. I guess the coaches will just have to settle for scoring 32 points a game and hoping that the defense can hold up.

  9. Comments: 21384
    Sep 26, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    We need to see more hitches and stop routes where Denard throws to a spot. He doesn't seem to read safeties very well on slant routes.

    BTW, I agree on Countess/Woolfolk completely. Between the promise Countess shows, Avery, Floyd, we can afford to give Woolfolk a breather. Northwestern could be a real challenge and MSU is going to be intense, maybe more than usual.

  10. Comments: 21384
    Sep 26, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    Apparently it hasn't occurred to many people that the coaching staff is working on Denard's long passes, hoping he'll improve over time. It isn't as though DR can't make the throws now — and will never improve. Maybe they're challenging him BEFORE conference play, so he'll improve at least a little in more difficult games.

  11. Comments: 21384
    Sep 26, 2011 at 8:15 PM

    ^^^^^^^^^^ Completely agree with this statement.

  12. Comments: 21384
    Sep 27, 2011 at 7:34 AM

    I think he is doing it in practice or I don't think they would call those plays in the game. So I think he can do it. When will he put it all together, this year sometime, or not till next.

  13. Comments: 21384
    Sep 27, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    Hopkins handed you the easiest "Let's see less of this guy on offense" that you have ever gotten on this blog.

You must belogged in to post a comment.