Ohio State 37, Michigan 7

Ohio State 37, Michigan 7

November 28, 2010

This probably won’t make you feel better, but I tried.

Some bullet points the day after . . .

The 4-man front was better.  I’m not going to rail against the 3-3-5 as a scheme.  Unlike what many people think, the 3-3-5 stack can work against all kinds of offenses.  However, Michigan doesn’t have the personnel or the coordinator to do it successfully.  I got a tip from a helpful insider prior to the game that Michigan would run more 4-man fronts this week, and that proved to be true.  I might be wrong, but it seemed like Michigan reverted to the 3-3-5 more as the game went along, and the defense got worse.  Regardless, bouncing back and forth between defenses week after week is a ridiculous philosophy.  I wish Michigan had run a 4-man front all year long, like I advocated prior to the season.

Denard Robinson can’t do it by himself.  Somebody else needs to step up and make some plays.  Yes, he fumbled the ball in the red zone in the first quarter (a play in which he carried the ball in the wrong hand, something I pointed out two months ago), but running backs and receivers need to make plays, too.  I’ve been supportive of Roy Roundtree all year long and he’s actually exceeded my expectations, but this was a game he likely wants to forget.  By last count, I think he dropped 5 balls yesterday (although a couple should have been flagged for defensive pass interference).

Vincent Smith meh.  Does Vincent Smith have some kind of blackmail material on Rich Rodriguez?  Smith and Michael Shaw each had 8 carries, but Smith had 17 yards and Shaw had 53.  How does that make any sense whatsoever?  Smith has been improving over the past few weeks, but holy jeebus.  Even Fitzgerald Toussaint – who can best be described as “mostly injured” – came in and almost outrushed Vincent Smith on only four carries.  Here’s a hint, Coach Rodriguez: if you’re going to run the ball up the middle, put in somebody, anybody, other than Smith.  If you’re going to pass the ball or run the zone stretch to the outside, put Smith in there.  It’s really not that hard.  Oh, and by the way, Coach, if Vincent Smith “isn’t a fumbler” (your words, not mine) then why has he fumbled in – correct me if I’m wrong – five out of the last six games?

Jordan Kovacs, meet the lateral.  Okay, so the first half is ending.  Time has run out, but the ball is still alive.  It’s in the hands of one Jordan Kovacs, a former walk-on with a great deal of gumption and not much in the way of athleticism, who has intercepted a Terrelle Pryor pass and is weaving his way down the field in hopes of scoring a touchdown.  Should he a) lateral the ball to a speedier, more athletic teammate or b) keep the ball and get tackled?  I really wanted him to pick “a.”  He chose “b.”  This is an example of why Kovacs, in my opinion, can’t be on the field if Michigan wants to field an elite defense.  I understand that he’s the best strong safety on the roster this year, and I’m fine with that.  But if you’re looking for reasons that Michigan lacks the ability to stop an offense, consider that perhaps the defense’s third or fourth best player is a walk-on safety who is literally the last player in the secondary that you want having the ball in that situation.

You know who shouldn’t be playing free safety?  Well, you might know.  But the coaches don’t.  That person would be Courtney Avery.  Hey, I’ve got an idea.  Let’s play a tiny true freshman at free safety who usually plays cornerback, but is a year removed from being almost exclusively a high school quarterback.  Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.  Especially if you ask Dan Herron, who thoroughly enjoyed his 32-yard touchdown run right past a poorly angled, overmatched Avery.

Like Nostradamus I am.  After Michigan’s punt that rolled down to Ohio State’s 2-yard line, I swear to God, I said, “This is going to be a 98-yard touchdown run.”  I can’t prove it because I said it to myself because I don’t like watching Michigan games with other people, but I said it.  Of course, it wasn’t a 98-yard touchdown run – Dane Sanzenbacher got called for a hold at Michigan’s 9-yard line.

Here we come, Insight Bowl!


  1. Comments: 21384
    Nov 28, 2010 at 8:59 PM

    Do you think MRob would be a better option than Kovacs?

  2. Comments: 21384
    Nov 28, 2010 at 9:52 PM

    @ Anonymous 3:59 p.m.

    In the long-term, yes. I think Robinson will end up being a better player. I don't know how soon Robinson will reach that level, though. Hopefully next year.

  3. Comments: 21384
    Nov 28, 2010 at 10:36 PM

    If MRob was ready, the coaches would have played him. You have to trust the coaching staff to make these kind of decisKENNY DEMENS! damnit, there goes that logic.

    Seriously, "elite" isn't what this defense is aspiring to yet; Competent is the goal. Kovacs is a decent tackler and generally knows where to be so he's the man for now. I don't expect it to be any different next year. Its just a shame Robinson burned his red-shirt without making a significant contribution in 2010.

  4. Comments: 21384
    Nov 29, 2010 at 12:00 AM

    The reason Brandon is waiting until the end of the season or shall we say "after the bowl game" is because Rich Rod's buyout goes down from $4 to $2 million on January 1st. If he was going to keep him he would have already come out and said he was coming back next year. From what i've heard, DB is good friends with Harbaugh and he'll trust him to keep the deal a secret until after the Rose Bowl.

  5. Comments: 21384
    Nov 29, 2010 at 12:05 AM

    Typical of you to take a shot at Kovacs even after he saved us from an even bigger humiliation.

  6. Comments: 21384
    Nov 29, 2010 at 12:53 AM

    @ Anonymous 7:05 p.m.

    I'm sorry. Kovacs made an interception. That must mean he's perfect and beyond criticism.

  7. Comments: 21384
    Nov 29, 2010 at 2:56 AM


    For all the people that want Rich Rod fired (god knows how many will be calling sports talk radio tomorrow) please read this article and ask yourself if you really want to pull the plug right now.

  8. Comments: 21384
    Nov 29, 2010 at 3:12 AM

    If we get a tough match-up in the bowl and we end up playing very well and beating a solid team (ala Florida in 07), do you think that will have any affect on DB's decision with RR?

  9. Comments: 21384
    Nov 29, 2010 at 6:32 AM

    1) The odds that Charles Woodson would have scored on that INT are pretty slim. Cheap shot at Kovacs. He makes a 7 point play, and the response is to complain that he didn't make it an almost impossible 14? *Not* typical of you.

    2) The photo is too good to be true. Typical of you.

  10. Comments: 21384
    Nov 29, 2010 at 3:07 PM

    @ Anonymous 10:12 p.m.

    I think bowl games are less important than rivalry games. I don't think the decisions has necessarily already been made, but I would say 0-9 against the likes of OSU, PSU, and MSU speak much louder to Brandon. If he doesn't see progress from Michigan's 7 victories this season, then I doubt the bowl game will matter too much (although 8 wins would be a clear improvement over the 5 wins in 2009).

  11. Comments: 21384
    Nov 29, 2010 at 3:10 PM

    @ Anonymous 1:32 a.m.

    I don't think it would have been impossible to score a TD on that play. Again, I'm not trying to insult Kovacs. He has done well, and I even put him in my "Favorite 10" list from the other day. However, my point is that if Michigan had better athletes on the field at all positions, that could have been a momentum-changing 7 points for Michigan. That's why it was hard to expect much from Michigan's defense this year, because the athletes on that side of the ball are either a) very young or b) just not great athletes.

  12. Comments: 21384
    Nov 29, 2010 at 4:32 PM

    The latest from DB via Twitter

    "receiving much advice re: our fb program. appreciate the passion & interest. many thanks to @desmond_howard for his confidence & support.

    You can't publicly indicate that the decision is up in the air. That's damaging to the program. He must be wrestling with timing more than anything else. Adding a thanks to Desmond does not bode well for Rich Rod.

  13. Comments: 21384
    Nov 29, 2010 at 4:57 PM

    "I don't like watching Michigan games with other people."

    I fully sympathize with this tendency.

  14. Comments: 21384
    Nov 29, 2010 at 6:01 PM

    If Brandon is waiting until after the bowl game to save some money, then I hope that he has Harbaugh lined up and in the bad. And even if RichRod's buyout goes down, aren't we paying him some of that money in the meantime?

  15. Comments: 21384
    Nov 29, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    We can share blame on that (almost) 98-yarder. I thought to myself "watch, they'll drive it down the field for 98" and then…

    Cosmic negativity shared amongst Michigan fans caused that long run.

  16. Comments: 21384
    Nov 29, 2010 at 8:53 PM

    The picture did help!

  17. Comments: 21384
    Nov 29, 2010 at 11:46 PM

    it makes me feel better……

    oh and no offense but i think michigan fans are crazy if you guys are thinking harbaugh will leave stanford. hes just starting to get elite level recruits on a national-ish level(james vaughters(LB) is gonna be a stud). why would he makes a move to michigan? he'd have to completely revamp your offense and defense to fit his schemes. he'd have to start recruiting completely different types of players. lots of texas fans are hoping for malzahn(auburn OC). THAT wont happen either. a more realistic move for michigan(assuming rrod gets fired) would be les miles going to michigan. idk how you guys feel about those prospects but good god the luck you will enjoy….ill be envious. 4th and 1 and he called a reverse. never forget!


  18. Comments: 21384
    Nov 30, 2010 at 3:15 AM

    @ horn 6:46 p.m.

    I don't think it's crazy at all to think that Harbaugh would leave Stanford for Michigan. He grew up in Ann Arbor, and U of M is his alma mater. He could get the same or better recruits at Michigan, especially now that he's built a name for himself.

    Les Miles isn't coming to Michigan. Not after the fiasco three years ago.

  19. Comments: 21384
    Nov 30, 2010 at 3:54 AM

    i just dont see harbaugh leaving stanford after he built it from the ground up just as its starting to become a powerhouse, thats all. i heard hes gonna be in AA thursday, true? and if so, why?


  20. Comments: 21384
    Nov 30, 2010 at 4:03 AM

    @ Anonymous 10:54 p.m.

    I don't know if it's true or not. You'll have to ask Harbaugh himself. :o)

    Keep in mind, though, that Stanford is partly a powerhouse because of the troubles at USC over the past year or two. I don't know that success at Stanford is necessarily sustainable for a long period of time, largely in part due to its admissions standards. Michigan is a tough school to get into, but not quite as difficult at Stanford.

    Anyway, obviously we'll see what happens. Nobody knows for sure right now. But as long as Kirk Herbstreit doesn't screw it up, I think Harbaugh would be the #1 choice if Brandon decides to axe Rodriguez.

  21. Comments: 21384
    Nov 30, 2010 at 4:55 AM

    The pic did help. Nice work. Is this a model I'm supposed to know?

  22. Comments: 21384
    Nov 30, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    @ Anonymous 11:55 p.m.

    I have no idea who she is.

  23. Comments: 21384
    Nov 30, 2010 at 8:42 PM

    Fair enough. Do you remember where you found her?

  24. Comments: 21384
    Nov 30, 2010 at 9:42 PM

    @ Anonymous 3:42 p.m.

    Unfortunately, no. Sorry I'm no help.

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