Peach Bowl: Florida 41, Michigan 15

Peach Bowl: Florida 41, Michigan 15


December 30, 2018

 

If they don’t care, why should I? This was my attitude going into the game, and it was even more so throughout the game. Four NFL-bound players sat out the game (LB Devin Bush, Jr., RT Juwann Bushell-Beatty, DE Rashan Gary, RB Karan Higdon), and both Gary and Higdon should have been there for their teammates, their coaches, and their school. Bush and Bushell-Beatty were more questionable because of supposedly disqualifying injuries, but I sincerely doubt all four of those guys would have missed the game if they were playing in the College Football Playoff. I get it: they have to do what’s best for them. I also get this: I don’t like it. I can’t get excited about a game in which four starters, including two potential 1st-rounders and the first 1,000-yard running back in seven years, sit at home instead of trying to get their teammates and coaches to 11 wins.

Hit the jump for more.

That’s not to say all the players don’t care. Khaleke Hudson had an emotional outburst on the sideline, and good for him. And Chase Winovich moved up my list in the pantheon of awesome Michigan guys by playing in his final game for U of M and putting off surgery. I won’t be buying any Rashan Gary or Karan Higdon gear anytime soon, but I’ll be supporting Winovich wherever he ends up in the NFL and beyond.

Shea Patterson said it after the game. Shea Patterson admitted Michigan isn’t the same team without those guys. Bushell-Beatty was never a great player, but his backup, Andrew Stueber, took two penalties and struggled at times. Michigan’s rush defense struggled without Bush, especially after the third-best inside linebacker (Devin Gil) hurt his hamstring, leaving Michigan to play middle linebacker Josh Ross and two Vipers, Hudson and Jordan Glasgow. I guess the defensive staff doesn’t trust Jordan Anthony or Cameron McGrone enough to put them out there at WILL. Kwity Paye, starting in place of Gary, also got hurt and didn’t return after halftime, leaving Michigan to trot out Chase Winovich (the weakside end) at strongside end and a whole lot of Josh Uche (a situational pass rusher all year) at weakside end. Running back Chris Evans was ineffective (7 carries, 20 yards). And on top of those guys missing, defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon (Tennessee) and linebacker Drew Singleton (Rutgers) transferred from the program earlier than they needed to, so they weren’t available to step in when Gil and defensive tackle Michael Dwumfour.

This was a reverse image of the Citrus Bowl following the 2015 season. Michigan fans were making fun of Florida going into the Citrus Bowl a few years ago. A bunch of Florida guys quit the team or left early for the NFL. You could see it going into this game. The tables had been turned. No Florida players were sitting out of this year’s bowl game, but Michigan dudes were dropping left and right. I saw it in the weeks leading up to the game, but I didn’t mention it because I didn’t want it to be true. Lo and behold, the scores were almost perfectly reversed. Michigan won the 2016 Citrus Bowl by a score of 41-7, and Michigan lost this one, 41-15.

This game was more frustrating than the Ohio State loss. Why? Obviously, Ohio State was a bigger loss in the overall scheme of the season and the program, because a win likely would have propelled Michigan into the playoff, as long as they beat Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship. But I think everyone knew that Ohio State could be explosive on offense and was capable of beating Michigan, since…you know…that’s what they’ve been doing on a yearly basis. But this one? Florida hadn’t put up this kind of performance against a ranked team all year. Their two wins over ranked teams in 2018 were one-score victories over #11 LSU and #18 Mississippi State. In walks #7 Michigan, and it wasn’t even close.

Why was Michigan -6? I didn’t understand the spread for this game, especially in the wake of four starters sitting out. I told people I was expecting Michigan to lose by two scores. It was worse than that, but it would have taken some serious luck or injuries to Florida for them to lose at full strength while Michigan was playing so shorthanded.

It’s your Turner, Christian. Lame pun, but that’s all the energy I have left. Christian Turner played pretty well in what looks like an audition for serious snaps next year. He had been battling injuries all season, but with Higdon sitting out, Turner got some run and almost housed a jet sweep for a touchdown. Evans isn’t a tackle-to-tackle runner, and Tru Wilson doesn’t have the burst to be anything more than a backup, ideally. Turner has some juice, and hopefully with Zach Charbonnet coming next season, the Wolverines can keep three of those guys healthy enough for the whole year. In my opinion, Turner and Charbonnet look like the best two backs to play on early downs.

Michigan got out-schemed. Again. This is nothing new. And when you get out-schemed with a bunch of backups, the result is bad.

A terrible end to a good season. Ultimately, Michigan went 10-3 this year and did a lot of excellent things. But only the glass-half-fullest of people can be happy about the way this season ended.

60 comments

  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1186
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Dec 30, 2018 at 7:34 AM

    I’d like to know more about “out schemed”.

  2. DonAZ
    Comments: 447
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    DonAZ
    Dec 30, 2018 at 7:36 AM

    Imagine you could turn back time and play that game again, what would you do differently, given what you now know about who didn’t play, and the effect of not having those players?

    I’m asking because I’m wondering if *anything* would have made a difference. You mentioned Michigan was out-schemed. What scheme changes would you do if you had it to do over?

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3036
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Dec 30, 2018 at 10:17 PM

      A couple things are that I didn’t like Michigan’s defensive checks to empty formations, and they also got beat on that counter option, which is something I’ve been worried about all year because we run a similar play to what Florida ran, especially when teams run man coverage and have the corner follow across the field instead of bumping man responsibilities with the motion.

      I’m hoping to do a “snapshots” post on a couple of the plays from the Florida game.

      Honestly, I don’t think anything would have made a difference between winning and losing. This team was beaten from the time Gary, Higdon, etc. said they were sitting out. Obviously, a lucky bounce here or there COULD have changed momentum and the outcome, but Michigan should have lost to Florida. The scheme changes might have cut the loss from a four-score loss to a one- or two-score loss.

  3. Avatar
    Comments: 38
    Joined: 1/2/2016
    peterfumo
    Dec 30, 2018 at 7:58 AM

    In sync with the 2 above comments, would like to know what you didn’t like about schemes, especially on defense. Interested to know your opinion now of DB defense.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3036
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Dec 30, 2018 at 10:19 PM

      I don’t have a huge problem with Don Brown’s defense. People are going to make plays, especially when you’re down so many guys. Don Brown is great, but he’s not perfect and you can’t prepare for everything.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 4793
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Jan 02, 2019 at 12:35 PM

        I think this is good perspective to have right now. When Brown gets beat he gets beat big. That was the deal coming in from BC so it shouldn’t be a total surprise that’s been the deal at Michigan.

        Mullen and Meyer are great offensive coaches and they found ways to beat him. Can others replicate it? I mostly doubt it. When you have great success people target you even more. The opposition is working hard and learning lessons from each other. There’s a ‘book’ out on Brown and even casual fans know some of the pages.

        Does that mean it’s over for Brown? I really doubt it. He’s been beaten before and come back with excellent defenses before. Brown won’t have the elite DL talent and depth he’s become accustomed to at Michigan in 2019, so he’ll have to adapt and evolve. That’s just football.

        Brown’s resume stands for itself. This was still a top 10 defense even if it was definitively NOT the top defense in the land like we all hoped. Maybe he’s already peaked and on the precipice of decline but I think he’s earned the benefit of the doubt.

        It’s easy to overreact – you saw it with people shoving DJ Durkin out the door when he got worked by Meyer, and you’re seeing it now. But some big picture perspective is usually better. If you call yourself a fan of Michigan – Brown and the returning defensive players deserve your support.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1293
          Joined: 1/19/2016
          je93
          Jan 02, 2019 at 12:52 PM

          I think fans can be critical, yet still supporting the team, especially if done so without insult to players/staff

          Don Brown is a great DC, with awesome Defenses against weak or at least not-good/injured Offenses. When teams find their mark though, he struggles. Nothing ohio did was varied from Indiana’s approach. We all knew it was coming, but no preparations were made to successfully adjust. Last year it was PennSt: a talented and healthy offense decimated an (assumed) great D.
          Don Brown’s defense is far less a concern than Harbaugh’s offense, but it is still a concern. Until our offense can actually win games for us, we won’t get any further on DBrown’s defense; the good competition has already figured it out

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 4793
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Jan 02, 2019 at 1:13 PM

            I agree that it is possible to be critical and respectful at the same time. In my view, calling out a kid who played great and played hurt for the school isn’t very respectful – not when you’re calling an award-winning player a disappointment and implying you won’t support them because they didn’t play through injury in a bowl game. A bowl game Thunder and others admit they don’t care about afterwards and I think the only one that Thunder didn’t bother to write a preview for before.*

            *Please note this is not a complaint. I didn’t care much about this game either. I’m just pointing out that some perspective and reasonable logic is warranted in the face of emotional responses to disappointment.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 4793
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Jan 02, 2019 at 1:17 PM

            I would have liked to have Gary and Bush there but a) it probably wasn’t going to turn a loss into a win and b) there’s lessons to be learned that may be more valuable for the future than a victory in a 2nd-rate bowl exhibition.

            I think there’s a silver lining in exposing Michigan’s depth issues. IF the staff act on it. Gary and Bush’s backups Paye and Gil went out too and suddenly you saw that Michigan was down to freshman and walk-ons. That’s a painful lesson but an important differentiation from the very top elite handful of programs.

            Michigan needs to be hanging on to guys like Singleton. They need to have guys like Anthony and McGrone ready to contribute faster. This goes back to an overall critique of the program under Harbaugh — maybe things are too complicated if you can’t get freshman and sophomores up to speed.

            • Avatar
              Comments: 1293
              Joined: 1/19/2016
              je93
              Jan 02, 2019 at 3:28 PM

              Agree on getting guys ready – we need depth, and it’s December of some of these guys’ second year

              Disagree on support for Gary. Not buying a $100+ jersey is reasonable, and doesn’t signal an insult to a former player

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 4793
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                Lanknows
                Jan 02, 2019 at 3:50 PM

                Who is talking about buying a $100 jersey?

                • Avatar
                  Comments: 1293
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                  je93
                  Jan 02, 2019 at 3:56 PM

                  You seem to be bothered by fans who won’t be buying Gary gear. NFL Jerseys start around $100

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 4793
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Jan 02, 2019 at 4:05 PM

                  That doesn’t bother me in the least. Calling people disappointments and implying you won’t cheer for them in the NFL because you’re bitter bothers me.

                • Avatar
                  Comments: 1293
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                  je93
                  Jan 02, 2019 at 4:30 PM

                  It bothered you enough to rant about it. If that’s not important, why mention it? Why call out posts from fans as unsupportive? I don’t own any TBrady gear, but I still support UM…

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 4793
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Jan 02, 2019 at 5:11 PM

                  You’re somebody who likes to accuse people of moving the goalposts. You brought up jersey buying for some reason. I don’t care about that and never have.

                • Thunder
                  Comments: 3036
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Jan 02, 2019 at 6:13 PM

                  The “jersey buying” thing is supremely relevant to the conversation, because *I* said very specifically that I won’t be buying any Rashan Gary or Karan Higdon gear anytime soon. You have taken that in a direction that I’m supremely negative or rooting against Gary/Higdon or whatever.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 4793
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Jan 02, 2019 at 6:39 PM

                  You know what: my bad. When I read “gear” I don’t think of a jersey. I’m not a person who buys jerseys ever, so I didn’t read the statement as I’m going to buy Winovich’s jersey no matter where he plays. I should have made the connection. I was focused on the contrast between “supporting” Winovich (which I just took more generally as rooting for him.)

  4. Avatar
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    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Nick.
    Dec 30, 2018 at 8:21 AM

    Your summary hits the nail directly on the head. As I sat trying to watch this game, at times it was really difficult to watch, it became really apparent that Harbaugh doesn’t have a creative bone in his body for the offense. This team needs a creative Offensive Coordinator to take this offense from mediocre to competitive. If you look at the top teams right now there is Clemson and Alabama. Then there is a tier of teams like Oklahoma, Georgia and maybe Ohio State. Other than that everyone else is still trying to catch up. Those top two offenses have play calling that varies on what the defense is giving them. They have enough brains to use what weapons they have and it shows. This exerting your will is great when you play lesser talent, but if you want to play with the big boys you better be able to coach.

    On defense the two potential first rounders sitting out and the injuries that forced their backups to sit out really hurt what Don Brown can do. It also doesn’t help that the safeties are just terrible. Metellus seemed to be in the wrong place all day and was more interested in stripping the ball than tackling. Let’s hope that Dax Hill is every bit of a stud the recruiting sites make him out to be, because he should start day one with the competition he saw on the field today.

    One last thing, it is very apparent after watching both Clemson and Alabama that those top recruiting classes year after year help. When you lose a top player for whatever reason you just plug in the next man up and keep chugging. Michigan has to get to that point if they are going to compete. To do this they have to win and they have to out coach other teams with what they have for players. Harbaugh sets the tone for the attitude of that program and the attitude yesterday was dismal at best for most of the team. When they showed the flag with “The Team, The Team, Team” on it, I busted out laughing and my wife asked why?. Because it is only about the team if you aren’t a potential pick in the draft from the looks of it.

  5. Avatar
    Comments: 47
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    Chowman
    Dec 30, 2018 at 9:48 AM

    I’m to the point that I really don’t care. Not surprised one bit by the outcome. Only difference between this game and the OSU game is that FL doesn’t have OSU’s talent so they weren’t able to hang 60 on us. Don Brown is Don Brown. When his defense has the better athletes then the opposition, he’ll dominate. When he doesn’t well see the ND, OSU, and FL games. You can just call his defensive scheme the “Bully” defense. Beat up weaker opponents but get your nose bloodied by the bigger guys!

    As far as offensively, if I hear one more UoM fan use the lame excuse of holding back the playbook I’ll punch myself in the face. There is no more playbook. What’s worse as there seems to be no reason nor urgency to play calling. How many times do we see horrible clock management at the end of halves? I rip my Spartan friends about their offensive play calling looking like its being called by a meth-head, but we’re not much better. And why, why, why can’t UoM have an average OL. I’m past wishing for something elite, just would like to watch a game where our OTs don’t look like pylons in pass blocking. If Jon Runyan Jr is the best that we’ve got for LT then something’s wrong with the recruiting brew! Stueber didn’t look any better, but maybe it’s a rep thing (I know wishful thinking!)

    Where was Mayfield, where was McGrone, where was Anthony? Ambry Thomas made a cameo toward the end, but I was hoping we’d see some of the future out on the field yesterday. Frustrating end to a very frustrating season.

    Thank God for John Beilein and Basketball!

    • Avatar
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      Joined: 12/19/2015
      Extrajuice
      Dec 30, 2018 at 9:58 PM

      Maybe they’re just holding some of the playbook back…

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3036
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Dec 30, 2018 at 10:25 PM

      I don’t really agree about Don Brown’s defense. Like someone else said, he had an excellent defense at Boston College, a team stocked full of 2- and 3-star recruits.

      Michigan’s defensive tackles were terrible as a whole this year. Honestly, this was probably the worst year for defensive tackles at Michigan since the Rich Rodriguez era. There was no Ryan Glasgow, no Maurice Hurst, not even a Ryan Van Bergen. The DT position had a dearth of talent this year, and Michigan still had an excellent defense for 10 or 11 of the 13 games.

      I agree on McGrone and Thomas. Not sure about Mayfield at this point. I mean, he’s a true freshman, so what’s he going to fix? I meant to mention Thomas’s absence in the post. Michigan got basically a top-100 skill player with speed to burn, he just finished his sophomore season, and all Michigan has got out of him so far is some kickoff returns. And even though one was a great KO return against Notre Dame, that’s not enough. Get the ball in his hands, run some trick plays with him, run a reverse on a kickoff or punt return with him, SOMETHING.

  6. UM_1973
    Comments: 87
    Joined: 10/14/2015
    UM_1973
    Dec 30, 2018 at 12:47 PM

    Watching how the OSU and Florida game unfolded, I have this dreaded feeling that Don Brown defense is similar to Rich Rod offense. Breathtaking and excellent when playing inferior teams but eventually overmatched when playing against strong teams or good game planning. Good coaching and athletic players can exploit the blitz aggresive defense.

  7. DonAZ
    Comments: 447
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    DonAZ
    Dec 30, 2018 at 1:11 PM

    The common thread between the two is the defensive line.

    Rodriguez’s offense — heck, any zone read offense — doesn’t work that well when the defensive line is disrupting the play in the backfield. Brown’s defense is predicated on disruptive DL play. Michigan had that in 2017 with Hurst, Gary, and Winovich, but not so much in 2018. Against OSU, Michigan didn’t get any sacks. Give a decent QB enough time and they’ll take apart a man coverage like Brown’s defense. If Michigan had five or six elite backfield coverage guys … then maybe it could work when the DL isn’t getting there. But they don’t, so it doesn’t.

    • UM_1973
      Comments: 87
      Joined: 10/14/2015
      UM_1973
      Dec 30, 2018 at 2:52 PM

      Good point but I don’t remember Don Brown having elite DL at Boston College to succeed. This year, our DL play has been above average. We can say the same thing about Ohio State and Florida State OL. Above average but not great. OSU does not have a projected first round draft pick on its OL. I don’t know about Florida. But the difference should not be “best defense in CFB” to conceding 40+ points in back to back games and susceptible to big plays.

  8. Avatar
    Comments: 18
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    coyote57
    Dec 31, 2018 at 3:21 AM

    I hate to say this… but is Harbaugh going to be our Cooper?

    • Avatar
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      WindyCityBlue
      Dec 31, 2018 at 6:18 AM

      Or maybe our Earle Bruce. We’ll know pretty well next year. If he can’t take this team to the next level in 2019, it’s very unlikely he ever will.

      • DonAZ
        Comments: 447
        Joined: 8/12/2015
        DonAZ
        Dec 31, 2018 at 10:13 AM

        A reasonable take.

        How much different would our outlook and attitude be if Michigan lost to both OSU and Florida, but lost both in competitive, hard-fought games where it looked like Michigan was using to best effect the weapons it had? Answer: quite a bit different outlook.

        That, to me, is the 2019 story waiting to unfold: how are we going to lose games fate has us losing? Competitively? Or in an uninspiring way, like 2018’s losses?

      • Avatar
        Comments: 31
        Joined: 11/17/2015
        funkywolve
        Dec 31, 2018 at 10:45 AM

        Earle Bruce went 5-4 against Michigan. At this point Harbaugh is a heck of a lot closer to Cooper then Bruce.

        • Avatar
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          WindyCityBlue
          Dec 31, 2018 at 12:47 PM

          The point was that Bruce was a perennial 3 loss coach, and they finally got tired of him. The fact that he managed to beat Michigan let him hang on a few more years, but they were just looking for a reason to fire him. Harbaugh won’t last as long as he did losing three games a year and never beating OSU.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 18
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          coyote57
          Dec 31, 2018 at 2:24 PM

          Good ‘ol 9 & 3 Earl. I kinda liked him. He spoke at a coaching clinic I attended once, and I took a shine to him, even tho he was one of the bad-guys… er, buckeyes.

          I was thinking in terms of Cooper based on Coops highly talented and highly ranked teams falling short

          … “Cooper has also been remembered for his 3–8 bowl record and his 2–10–1 record against archrival Michigan. His most disappointing losses to the Wolverines came in 1993, 1995, and 1996. In each season of those seasons, Ohio State entered the Michigan game undefeated and ranked in the top five, but were upset by the Wolverines on each occasion” – wiki

  9. Avatar
    Comments: 6
    Joined: 12/30/2015
    robpollard
    Dec 31, 2018 at 2:17 PM

    The only thing I really disagree about it Rashan Gary — he was hurt all season (and in fact, it seems like the injury went back before then) and while UM was never 100% clear on what it was, it seems like it was an AC joint issue; those only get better with significant time off (i.e., months).

    Because he played so often this season with the injury, he never got that time off and (partly) as a result, didn’t put up the stats that he, fans and NFL scouts expected (FWIW, I think the other two reasons were he played out of his best position and also just plain underperformed relative to his talent).

    I completely understand him sitting out the Peach Bowl. If he aggravated that injury yet again (which based on past history, had a decent chance of happening), he would have been in bad shape for the combine, where he will need to put up top, uninjured numbers for him to be a top pick — b/c those “measurables” will be used to outweigh his below-expectations production at UM. It could easily costs him many millions of dollars. Additionally, UM had done well w/o him all year, so it was reasonable to expect them to do well w/o him again (that ended up being untrue once we had yet even more injuries in the bowl game).

    But even if you disagree with all that, he wasn’t a captain. Karan Higdon skipping the game is inexcusable to me. He will get drafted sometime on the 3rd day, and doesn’t have a significant injury history, so he was not putting anything more at risk than hundreds of other players who played in their bowl game. Millions of dollars weren’t at stake.

    Apparently he (and his family, I guess) had some issue with Harbaugh at the end. Unless we get more specifics and they are unexpectedly damning, I don’t care — he was elected by his teammates to be their captain and he blew them off.

    Harbaugh has a LOT to figure out for next year, but one of them is how a senior captain, who got plenty of playing time and touches, decided it wasn’t worth it to be out there and lead his “THE TEAM, THE TEAM, THE TEAM” in their last game of the season.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 4793
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Jan 01, 2019 at 11:09 PM

      When Gary played hurt people insulted his play and called him a disappointing player. When he sat out people blame the loss on him.

      • Thunder
        Comments: 3036
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Jan 02, 2019 at 10:18 AM

        a) Gary’s production was not great as a freshman or sophomore. He was already on the cusp of being at least slightly underwhelming going into the 2018 season. He had 81 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, and 6 sacks during his first two years. Chris Wormley put up those TFL and sack stats in one year (2015). Brandon Graham had 20 tackles for loss and 10 sacks in his junior season alone. LaMarr Woodley had 14 tackles for loss and 6 sacks as a sophomore.

        b) I haven’t seen anyone blame the loss on Gary alone. But it’s totally realistic to blame a loss on the absence of FOUR players in Gary (projected 1st rounder), Bush (projected 1st rounder), Higdon (leading rusher/captain), and Bushell-Beatty (starting right tackle).

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 4793
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Jan 02, 2019 at 12:10 PM

          Gary was Wormley’s backup as a freshman and the best DL on the team as a sophomore.

          We’ve already run through the similarities in Wormley-Gary stats. If you want to compare a senior to a freshman there’s nothing else to say.

          Nobody with reasonable expectations for Gary should be disappointed in his career at Michigan. Gary raised the bar to a point to all-american level so that his 3rd year was disappointing, but injuries happen.

          • Avatar
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            je93
            Jan 02, 2019 at 12:31 PM

            Lank, Thunder’s comparison was Wormley’s Jr year to Gary’s CAREER

            And rashan wasn’t the best DL his sophomore year; Hurst was, and (IMO) winovich was too

            This doesn’t mean Gary sucked, or was even bad. It just means he performed below #1 overall recruit expectations (nevermind UM fan expectations)

            • Avatar
              Comments: 1293
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              je93
              Jan 02, 2019 at 12:32 PM

              *correction: not career. The comparison was wormley’s Jr year to Rashan’s (healthy) two years

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 4793
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              Lanknows
              Jan 02, 2019 at 12:38 PM

              2015 was Wormley’s 4th at Michigan. Gary never made it there.

              https://mgoblue.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=1366

              Gary was awarded the best DL on the team in 2017.

              • Avatar
                Comments: 1293
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                je93
                Jan 02, 2019 at 12:46 PM

                Again, the comparison was one year for wormley, and two for rashan. You’re moving the target (again)

                And spare me the vote; we had two guys voted Captain who opted not to finish the season with their team. Meanwhile, winovich delayed surgery and then got hurt in warmups, but still played. Votes mean little. In fact, wasn’t Sexual Assault Perry voted Captain too? Correction: votes mean nothing

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 4793
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                  Lanknows
                  Jan 02, 2019 at 12:53 PM

                  It’s comparing a senior season of one excellent player to another excellent player as an underclassmen. This is not “moving the target.” it’s pointing out a fact.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 4793
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Jan 02, 2019 at 12:56 PM

                  I find it galling that fans think they know better than players and coaches who the better players are.

                  The Winovich should be captain meme is interesting. Winovich is a good player but it is painfully obvious that his teammates do not embrace him. That’s not what leadership looks like.

                • Avatar
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                  je93
                  Jan 02, 2019 at 3:30 PM

                  But it’s not a fact. Wormely was a Junior, and played the following year

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 4793
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                  Lanknows
                  Jan 02, 2019 at 4:08 PM

                  Read the official Michigan bio I inked. “Senior (2015)”

                  “Freshman (2012)
                  • Did not see game action
                  • Redshirted”

                  Year 1 was 2012. Year 4 was 2015. Here in America, Year 1 refers to something called “freshman” and year 4 is for something called “seniors”.

                • Avatar
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                  je93
                  Jan 02, 2019 at 4:27 PM

                  And in collegiate sports, where you get 5yrs to play 4, that RSJr year is followed by a RSSr year. I’m sure you recall, MGoBlue only stopped with the traditional label when JH started, as his intent is for players to be here 3-4yrs, and then either go to the NFL or transfer

                  Anyway, we’re off topic. Wormley’s one year (RSJr) was compared to two of Gary’s. That’s it. You don’t have to like it

                • Thunder
                  Comments: 3036
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Jan 02, 2019 at 6:16 PM

                  Right. Relying on freshman/sophomore/junior/senior is less specific and less informative than including the “redshirt” tag, which signals whether a player has redshirted or whether he can in the future. Just because Lanknows doesn’t use/acknowledge the redshirt idea doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 4793
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Jan 02, 2019 at 5:23 PM

                  JE you’re arguing semantics and you have been the whole time. It is a FACT that the point of comparison is Wormley’s 4th year on campus. It is a FACT that Gary will not have a 4th year – at least not with the football team. It is a FACT that the comparison was being made for individuals at different ages.

                  Gary produced as much as Wormley AND on top of that the program gets 2 ‘free’ scholarship years because they didn’t have to invest in development.

                  I noticed the fanbase doesn’t seem to care much to account for the costs of spending red-shirt seasons on development. To me, this is a retro-mentality. Spending 5 scholarship years on guys like Winovich and Wormley isn’t as good as getting 3 years out of guys like Peppers and Gary. Your emotions may say otherwise (more time to build affinity) but scholarships are a constrained resource.

                  Do you want the program to look like Clemson/Alabama or do you want it to look like Iowa/Stanford?

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 4793
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Jan 02, 2019 at 6:43 PM

                  A red-shirt grants you the option of potentially playing a 5th year. It’s not a time machine. It doesn’t free up that scholarship getting used up. That year still happens. The way the Michigan roster lists it is accurate, valid, and correct.

                • Avatar
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                  je93
                  Jan 02, 2019 at 7:21 PM

                  Semantics? When was the conversation EVER about preference to RS v not RS? Holy Christmas…

                  FACT: the point has ALWAYS been ONE year by wormley was as much as TWO from rashan. This doesn’t mean Gary sucked, wasn’t good, or that I don’t appreciate him. THAT is moving the target

              • Thunder
                Comments: 3036
                Joined: 7/13/2015
                Jan 02, 2019 at 1:20 PM

                Everyone’s entitled to his opinion, but I would take Mo Hurst over Rashan Gary. We saw the drop-off in production from the DT spot when Hurst left. When Gary was playing less often earlier in the year, Kwity Paye and others still did pretty well.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 4793
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Jan 02, 2019 at 1:38 PM

                  I thought Hurst was better in 2017 and so did most fans. That Gary won the team award I think speaks to the possibility that fans don’t always see the full picture.

                  The NFL – it seems – will also choose Gary over Mo Hurst.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 4793
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Jan 02, 2019 at 12:48 PM

              Expectations are subjective, granted. But it’s totally unreasonable to ignore negative outliers (busts) in favor of positive outliers (all-americans).

              Gary produced at an all-conference level — exactly what should be expect of a typical/median #1 overall recruit based on historical precedent. Thunder made a post all about that history. It’s a good reference for this debate.

              If expectations were elevated based on Gary’s first 2 seasons to a point where an injury-marred 3rd year was disappointing that’s fine but it needs to be recognized that Gary is the one who elevated those expectations and dude battled through an injury all year. He’s going in round 1 and and all big ten player in consecutive years because he played so well.

              There’s a guy at OSU who sat out the whole year and Gary could (and arguably should) have done that too. but fans don’t want to give him credit for it, even now.

              I think it’s a case of a frustrated fanbase taking out their anger on a kid and IMO it’s happening way too often.

              • Avatar
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                je93
                Jan 02, 2019 at 12:55 PM

                Agree some fans are unreasonably awful toward Gary

                But that doesn’t mean his all-conference selection was actual production for the team. The two are separate, and (again) the former done by vote (name recognition)

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 4793
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Jan 02, 2019 at 1:03 PM

                  It’s fine if you want to dismiss these as opinions but they are things voted on by players, coaches, and media professionals. I’m not saying they are infallible but neither are our amateur opinions.

                  I’m trying to list out the bits of evidence that are available. Gary is going in Round 1. He was all-conference in back to back years. He was all-conference this year, even when he was playing hurt. He was hailed by PFF back in mid-october. https://www.profootballfocus.com/news/college-winovich-gary-best-edge-duo-in-fbs

                  Winovich was great. Gary was great. Why do we have to snipe at these guys who are great players at Michigan and try to take them down a peg?

                • Avatar
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                  je93
                  Jan 02, 2019 at 3:35 PM

                  Do you remember the offenses we played during that PFF stretch? Only one challenge: ND. ND had their way with our D for an entire half, then coasted on the knowledge that our O wouldn’t keep up

          • Thunder
            Comments: 3036
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Jan 02, 2019 at 1:17 PM

            Injuries do happen. Some people play through them. Some people don’t. I choose to support people more who sacrifice for the good of their teammates, and I think that’s totally justified.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 4793
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Jan 02, 2019 at 12:18 PM

          “I won’t be buying any Rashan Gary or Karan Higdon gear anytime soon, but I’ll be supporting Winovich wherever he ends up in the NFL and beyond.”

          Is Bush and/or JBB omitted for a reason?

          Are you saying you won’t support Bush, Gary, and Higdon in the NFL?

          • Thunder
            Comments: 3036
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Jan 02, 2019 at 1:19 PM

            Bush (hip) and JBB (turf toe) at least had reports surface late about being unable to practice due to injury. And it probably doesn’t matter whether I root for Bushell-Beatty to be successful in the NFL, because he’s very unlikely to get drafted, and we’ll see about whether he latches on with anyone’s practice squad or anything.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 4793
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Jan 02, 2019 at 1:35 PM

            Thanks for explaining the difference but I think you know that Gary missed a bunch of games with a widely-reported shoulder injury. That’s a long-term situation that he battled all year. Sometimes he could play and sometimes he couldn’t. Bush’s injury was described (by Harbaugh) as not long-term back in November.

            Of course we are outsiders and being unable to practice is pretty subjective from that perspective. My guess is that Bush and Gary would have found a way to see the field if Michigan was playing in a playoff game. I don’t see a big difference. Gary’s injury seems more severe to me and I applaud him for working through it to battle against OSU, even in defeat.

  10. Lanknows
    Comments: 4793
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Jan 01, 2019 at 11:12 PM

    Disappointing close to the season. Long offseason ahead to diagnose what needs to happen to make progress towards beating OSU. Sounds like there will be some changes on the roster coming out pretty soon…

  11. Lanknows
    Comments: 4793
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Jan 02, 2019 at 5:08 PM

    Let’s talk about how we perceive some recent DL stalwarts at Michigan: Winovich, Wormley, Charlton, and Gary. If you ask me — they’re all great. Great players who earned all-conference honors and team accolades and won a lot of games while contributing to some elite defensive units at Michigan. Great players who will (probably/hopefully) go on to excellent NFL careers. I’ll remember the 2016 DL as the best Michigan has ever seen and these 4 were just simply amazing as the rotating DEs on that unit.

    But their careers developed very differently and the narratives around their legacies are different as well.

    Wormley’s legacy, beyond the obvious success, was that he didn’t make enough plays. He wasn’t flashy. People questioned his production and expected Gary to displace him (either to DT or the bench). Of course that didn’t happen, he had a great year as a 5th year player, got drafted in the 3rd round, and is now starting at DT for the 3rd best defense in the NFL.

    Gary was better than Wormley as a freshman (key backup vs. red-shirt), sophomore (all-conference vs. backup), and a junior (9 starts, 44 tackles, 7 TFLs, 3.5 sacks vs 6 starts, 21 tackles, five TFLs and three sacks) despite injuries limiting him to 3 fewer games in his 3rd year. Gary had more tackles in 3 years at Michigan than Wormley had in 5, but will not match the career sacks (18 vs 10.5) or TFLs (33 vs 24). Again, Wormley was a GREAT player — and Gary essentially matched him in overall production in just 3 years. It appears that many will remember Gary injury-marred final season at the expense of the impact he had in 2017 (especially the all-time performance against OSU) but nobody can touch his production in less than 3 years.

    Winovich ascension matched Gary’s (backup to elite NFL talent in 2016, all-conference in 2017 and 2018) in time but he was 2 years older and spent time practicing at LB and TE. From the WDE spot he managed to match Wormley’s career sack number (18) and exceeded TFLs (44.5 vs 33) in fewer games. By his senior year, Wino was a warrior who rarely left the field, but his production can’t just be dismissed with good health and volume. He battled and seemingly never tired. He was an entertainer who loved attention — and fans loved him for it. But most of his teammates did not. Wino’s celebrations are unusually individualistic. His last game was spent taunting Florida with a gator chomp, meanwhile his team was destroyed. He took veiled shots at his teammates in the press and was publicly bitter over not being elected a captain by his peers. To some, this stains his legacy. To others, being media-savvy is valuable and the questionable character traits can be looked past.

    Charlton was a 4-year player (no red-shirt) who topped the group in sacks (18.5 vs 18, 18, and 10.5) but had the fewest tackles (95 vs 185, 123, 137). He had a great senior year (unanimous all conference 1st team) but was mostly seen as unfulfilled talent during his first 3 years on campus. Like Gary in 2017 he saved his best performance for OSU in 2016. How you see him depends on how much value you put in pinnacle performance vs long-term production. Unlike Gary, his best games were his last at Michigan.

    There’s different ways to perceive these 4 distinct careers. Ultimately the production was pretty similar (about 2 years worth of full-time starting after backup duties). There’s different weight that can be put on counting stats, years spent developing in the program, roles & circumstances. There’s different interpretations of who was a good or bad teammate. But in the end these are all Michigan Men who had great success at Michigan and will go on to be successful beyond Michigan.

    In my opinion, I don’t see anything productive in focusing on the negative elements of their careers at Michigan. (Gary’s was short, Wino had issues with teammates, Wormley is more of a DT than a DE, Charlton was slow to reach his potential). Regardless of these issues, they should be celebrated and supported by the fanbase so we can continue to see players who have similar talent, development, drive, and yes, dedication to their teammates (despite some of these narratives these guys played through pain and worked their butts off while wearing maize and blue.) When it counted most these guys gave it all they had.

    I’ll defend any and all of them to critics. I’ll cheer for them to have as much success as possible in their future endeavors. You don’t have to agree with that – but I don’t understand why a Michigan fan wouldn’t.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 4793
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Jan 02, 2019 at 5:27 PM

      I think this sentiment goes double when the team struggles through some turmoil. What better time to celebrate the individual talents and efforts.

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