Showing posts with label B1G. Show all posts
Showing posts with label B1G. Show all posts

What Michigan must do to beat the Hoosiers

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tevin Coleman, a crucial piece to the Hoosier offense
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports
It's no secret that Michigan is reeling from the events that occurred in Happy Valley last Saturday. 

With the bye week upcoming and Michigan State looming, the Indiana Hoosiers stand in the way and are looking to hit the Wolverines where they are most vulnerable. Luckily for the Michigan program as a whole, Indiana hasn't proved to be much of a threat in recent years.

In fact, since 1967, the Hoosiers lone victory to the Wolverines came in 1987. With that being said, Michigan is looking to make it 18 straight victories against Indiana.

Number 18 won't come easy this Saturday. With the true identity of this Michigan team still up in the air, this is the perfect opportunity for Michigan to regain some confidence and momentum heading into the bye week and a trip to East Lansing looming in two weeks time.

In the mean time, here are five things Michigan must do in order to beat the Hoosiers this Saturday.

1.) Slow down the Hoosier offense.

This Hoosier offense will not be afraid to score points against defenses. Coming off a 43-40 OT victory against Penn State two weekends ago, the offense will be confident it can move the football on the Michigan defense on Saturday.

The key to stopping this Hoosier offense starts with Tevin Coleman (So. RB). Coleman currently leads the conference in rushing touchdowns and is fourth in total yards. He's incredibly fast and talented, so shutting him down is a huge first step in limiting the Indiana offense.

Indiana also utilizes a two-QB -- both sophomores -- system which has had some success against inferior opponents. Nate Sudfeld is arguably the better of two quarterbacks who has the stronger arm. This season, Sudfeld has thrown for over 1600 yards and 13 touchdowns. His partner, Tre Roberson, is the far superior running quarterback. Not only has Roberson thrown for five touchdowns this season, he also has four rushing touchdowns to his name as well.

It will be important for Michigan to shut down these quarterbacks in order to be successful. Hoosier head coach Kevin Wilson will freely insert and substitute both quarterbacks in order to confuse the Michigan defense, so a big play threat is always present. If Michigan shuts them down, victory is certain.

2.) Go back to what works.

If the running game isn't working, fix it! Utilize read options, halfback screen's, quick hitch plays, etc. Even dusting off the old Denard playbook, anything!

As of right now, Michigan isn't ready to be the pro-style offense it once advertised itself to be. Which is OK, because they have Devin Gardner. Though the thought of Gardner running more than he already has is terrifying, it might be the only way to move the ball on the ground. If Michigan wants to go back to the Denard offense to be successful, then so be it. Because the style of play they have shown in the past is just not getting the job done.

3.) Go for the jugular.

This is the perfect time to throw away the conservative gameplan for the time being and go for the jugular. Considering who is looming after the bye week, Indiana is the perfect opponent to regain some lost confidence. You never want to look too far ahead, but Michigan needs all the help it can get in order to play at the level they should be playing at. Whatever aggressive means to the coaching staff, utilize it. Effective pass plays on first down, running Gardner more, the possibilities are endless. With all due respect to the Indiana Hoosier program, but this game should be Michigan's to lose. Though we have seen what happens when an inferior team gameplan's around your offense, the time has come to make the next step and start defeating lesser opponents soundly. With an aggressive offensive gameplan early, it will help take the Hoosiers out of the game without having to play catch-up for the second half, a habit Michigan has had the misfortune of doing as of late.

4.) Offensive line needs to contain.

It's the same old narrative every week. Excuse the broken record excuse, but this is important.

Let's be honest, the Michigan offensive line is bad. Very bad. This is week seven of the season and the coaching staff are still shuffling players in and out of the lineup in order to find a combination that works. Well, guess what? It's not working.

No matter who starts or gets inserted later in the game, it needs to give Gardner time to shine in the pocket. End of story.

Gardner CAN make the plays when he has time. Once he is flushed out because the line collapsed, then it's time to hold your breath a little bit. If Gardner can be smart with the ball and the offensive line can contain their blocks, the Michigan offense will be successful.

5.) Give Gibbons a chance.

It's safe to say that Brendan Gibbons had some demons in his head after missing a potential game-winner (twice) and getting another kicked blocked against Penn State. Those are the type of demons that won't go away until you regain your confidence back. Maybe he's over it, or maybe he isn't. But far too many times do you see kickers have lingering effects due to rare missed field goals.

If Michigan is in field goal range, the coaching staff has to trust Gibbons and his leg. Though this point is obvious and the coaching staff know what they're doing, but they shouldn't opt to go for it instead of kicking when it makes sense to avoid leaving points on the field. If the coaches show confidence in you, the feelings are usually reciprocated. He has been reliable for Michigan for the better part of two seasons. Like the saying goes, "every dog has its day."

Gibbons leg will be a crucial component in the success of this Michigan football team as it makes the stretch towards the back-half of a daunting schedule.

Deebo Knows: Time to Hold Al Borges Accountable

Monday, November 26, 2012

Another ugly display of offensive ineptitude resulting in another road loss for the Wolverines against a quality opponent...

Yes, Saturday in Columbus might as well have been Groundhog Day. We've seen this movie a few times in the last two seasons where the Michigan offense falls flat on its face away from Ann Arbor in a big game.

Many have tried to spin it multiple ways and insist that the struggles are due to the fact that offensive coordinator Al Borges does not have "his guys" to run his offense. Well, Greg Mattison does not have "his guys" either and he is making it work. He's making it work quite well. Enough with that nonsense. Truly good coaches take what they have and make it work.

The bottom line is that an offensive coordinator's job is to come up with schemes/game plans that work with the team's strengths and work around its deficiencies and also, maybe most important, to make in-game adjustments to to help win games. I'm sorry guys but I can't tow the company line here and say that Borges is doing a good job here. If you think I am being a fair weather fan and want to make excuses for him you are living in a fantasy land and need to take off the Maize and Blue homer glasses. He's racked up points on teams with inferior talent and has fizzeld against those who don't.

If you are being honest with yourself you will admit that many times in his tenure he has been stubborn (Alabama and ND), incredibly predictable and unimaginative (MSU), and unable to make quality in-game adjustments to attack defenses' weak points (many games but OSU the most glaring example). These blunders were key contributors to at least two losses this season and, as a TRUE FAN (not a homer/slappy) that can think objectively, I think it's time to take a serious look as to what exactly Al Borges brings to the table. If you can't think objectively or will blindly support anything that this coaching staff does then stop reading because this is not for you.

Forget last year, let's just look at a few games this year where this Al Borges-led offense cost Team 133. And yes, I'll throw out the Alabama game because we weren't beating Alabama this year. Sorry it wasn't happening.

I think one of the biggest blunders was the Notre Dame game in which UM lost 13-6 to the supposed #1 team in America. A game in which the defense played their a***s off and gave the team a chance to win on the road. Why didn't they win? Because the offense had a gazillion turnovers including four Denard Robinson INTs primarily because Al Borges asked him to play the role of Tom Brady and sit in the pocket and throw the ball down field 30 times. Also, at a time when the offense was steadily moving on the stout ND defense and knocking on the door inside the 10 yard line in a scoreless game early, Borges dials up a halfback pass with a 5'7" Vincent Smith only to see it get intercepted and destroy momentum. Not going to go into any further detail but if you watched that game you saw the offense cost that team a W. No two ways about it.

Nebraska was a different avenue for ineptitude. Yes, Denard got hurt. Tough blow. But how in the world is Russell Bellomy not at least adequately prepared to resemble a functional QB? I don't want to hear it was a tough spot blah blah blah. Yeah, it was a tough spot. But it's on the coaches to make sure he is at least serviceable. No excuses. The staff was ill prepared to deal with the possibility of Robinson going down. And who is ultimately responsible for the offense? Al Borges.

I won't even touch on the fact that it's hard to believe that Borges truly felt that Bellomy was going to be the better option to back up Robinson in the event of an injury. Forget the fact that Gardner is an athlete and was a decent WR. His ability at QB is a heck of a lot higher than Bellomy's and I find it hard to believe the coaches didn't see that in the spring or the summer. Gardner may have even been the team's BEST option at QB and it's also hard for me to not at least entertain that idea. Not after what we have watched since the Minnesota game.

Even though the Wolverines beat MSU, they failed to score an offensive TD in that game. A combination of a completely horrendous Spartan offense and a pretty darn good defensive effort by Mattison's boys enabled Michigan to escape with a 2-point win after only mustering four FGs. Why did Michigan only score 12 points? Partly because MSU has a very good defense, but a big part also had to do with the fact the offense was beyond predictable. Denard run left. Denard run right. Denard run center. Maybe a tailback carry in the same fashion. Failure to convert red zone trips to TDs. They didn't even attempt to outscheme that tough Spartan defense. A win is a win but that is a game that very well could've or should've been won 24-10 or something along those lines. Thank God for Greg Mattison.

Now the most recent example of terrible offensive coaching leading to a loss was the disaster in Columbus on Saturday against the Buckeyes. The offense looked pretty good in the first half scoring 21 points and heading into the halftime with a 1-point lead. It had appeared we would see more of the Devin/Denard backfield that worked wonders the previous week. So what happened in the second half? Well, Gardener would throw a 1st down pass for six to eight yards only to be taken out to line Robinson at QB for designed runs. OSU knew he couldn't throw so it was as easy as stacking the box to stop the run. It worked. Shocker.


Not only did the constant QB shuffle kill Gardner's rhythm, it essentially telegraphed what play they would run. If Gardner was in it would likey be a pass. If Denard was in it was certainly a run. Basically, Borges took all of the possible creative ways he could have them both on the field and keep the defense off balance and disregarded all of it. At least when Robinson had his QB runs in the first half they attacked the edge of the defense where they were struggling without one of their best players. In the second half they decided to attack the Buckeyes' strength (and the UM weakness all season) the interior. It's one thing to try that with Robinson who can make plays on his own, but to constantly run a 5'7" 180 lbs. Smith on a power iso play on 3rd and short yardage was inexcusable. How did this make any sense? Someone please explain this to me?

Where were the Gardner rollouts (maybe even with a misdirection play action to Robinson) with a run/pass option that worked so well? Where were the bubble screens to Denard? Heck, try an option with Gardner and Robinson. Where was the creativity we had seen in previous weeks? I'll tell you why we didn't see it. The plays were called to not lose. They were not called to win. And, once it was painfully obvious OSU was not going to allow Denard to burn them again on QB runs, Borges kept dialing them up. By the time they stuck with Devin at QB and didn't even put Denard in the game for what seemed to be most of the fourth quarter, the offense was so out of sync it was hopeless. They didn't even cross the 50 yard line in the half. There is no defending Borges for what transpired on Saturday.

No imagination. No threat of a pass with Gardner out. No moving Denard around even as a decoy. This amounted to no win. The end.

Those are just a few examples of the ineptitude we have seen this season from Al Borges. And if you can't see how they greatly contributed to losses then I want some of what you're on.

You can point to the fact that the running game was putrid or rehash that Borges didn't have "his guys." I'll give you a response of a fart noise. Michigan has one of the most dynamic players in Denard Robinson at their disposal and also what appears to be a darn good dual-threat QB in Devin Gardner. A coach that has been touted an offensive genius and is "well-respected" in the college football ranks should be able to do wonders with that. Many coordinators are able to do a lot more with a lot less. I have a very difficult time defending Al Borges after this year and would not argue with anyone who would think that he held the team back in the win column this year. The numbers and the facts are right there in black and white. The argument can be made.

I am not one of those saying Hoke should be fired. That's goofy talk. I think he is the right guy for the job. Am I a little concerned about some of his game management at times along with his 3-13 road record in his last four seasons against winning teams?  A little. But I think the good he has done as whole has far outweighed those things and I can look passed those for the time being.

However, I am seriously wondering if we have the right guy in Al Borges to run this offense in the future. I am concerned that it is entirely possible that his stubbornness, questionable play calling, propensity to get cute at the wrong times, his inability to make sound in-game adjustments, and his inability up to this point to outscheme any truly good defense could hold Michigan back from winning anything significant. It think it may have done just that this year. I am not saying this will 100% be the case moving forward but if you can't say the thought hasn't even crossed your mind you're crazy and probably delusional. I have seen enough in the last two seasons to at least be concerned.

I hope I am wrong about Borges. I hope he makes those of us who question his abilities look like imbeciles by directing juggernaut offenses. We'll see. But starting next season he won't have to "figure out" how to adequately use Robinson, he will have a QB capable of making the throws needed for his offense, and will have two years of recruiting "his guys." All of those crutches he has used to stand on will be gone and, at least for me, he is now on the clock. No more excuses.

Sorry for the rant. Losing to OSU in a game that was very winnable will do that.

GO BLUE!!

**You can also find this blog, as well as blogs regarding ALL DETROIT SPORTS, at www.deeboknows.blogspot.com. You can also follow me on Twitter @adamdibart.**

Deebo Knows: QB Controversy? NO, STOP IT!

Monday, November 5, 2012

ATTENTION ARMCHAIR QBS, COACHES, ATHLETIC DIRECTORS, ETC: There is no quarterback controversy at the University of Michigan!

Please take the time to read that once more, and maybe a few more times to let it sink in. I'm serious. Read it as many times as it takes for you to fully grasp those words that are written clearly and concisely in the English Language. It is the only language I am capable of speaking and writing in (even though I know very basic Spanish and some cuss words in Italian) so there should be no confusion here.

Okay, if you're still puzzled let me spell it out further. Ready?

For the remainder of the 2012 season, when Michigan's senior quarterback, Denard Robinson, is healthy enough to play he will be, and SHOULD BE, the starting quarterback for the Wolverines, and Devin Gardner will remain the backup. There is no controversy, discussion, second-guessing, wiggle room, ambiguity, or two ways about it. Enough. Stop with the nonsense.

Yes, Devin Gardner was a 5-star recruit and the #1 dual-threat QB coming out of high school and he sure looked the part on Saturday. Not to diminish Gardner's accomplishments on Saturday but they did play the Minnesota Golden Gophers who don't exactly tout a defense that draws comparisons to the '85 Bears.

And yes, Hoke said in his Monday presser that the offense we saw on Saturday was more of the pro-style Al Borges will run starting next year and Gardner ran it well. He appears to be more of the "traditional QB" mold and a better passer than Robinson.

All that is great, but Denard will still be the starter for the rest of the season as he should be. This supposed "QB controversy" is simply another case of the backup QB, goalie, etc. being the most popular guy in town and fans overreacting to the point of ridiculousness.

Robinson may not be the ideal QB that everyone, including the coaching staff, wants to see under center for U-M. However, the fact remains that he is still one of the, if not the, most dangerous player in all of college football. He has not put up the gaudy statistics, broken records, led dramatic comebacks, etc. by luck. He is a very good football player who makes plays and knows how to win football games. Oh yeah, he has also started every game the last three years up until Saturday. One good performance by Gardner is not enough to wipe that away nor should it blind us all as to how special of a player Denard Robinson truly is.

Let's not overlook the fact that Robinson IS the Michigan rushing attack which is why he accounts for over 75% of the team's offense. He's accomplished that by playing QB, not RB, WR, or anything else.

We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that the RBs and the OL are struggling and Robinson is the only ball carrier who has proven that he can overcome those shortcomings. With that said, stop and think before you speak when you suggest he should be moved to RB or WR for the rest of his college career. If that move was to be made it would've been done either before last season or before this season at the latest. You don't make drastic position changes like that nine games into the season unless your team is desperate and does not have anything left to play for. Michigan is not one of those teams. Enough with the charade.

Look, what Devin Gardner did on Saturday was very encouraging and comforting for the future. If Denard is held out of games at any point during the rest of the season we now know that Team 133 has a very capable backup. That is a complete 180-degree turnaround from the sentiment we all felt after the Nebraska debacle. But that is as far as it goes, at least for the 2012 season.

As for next year, the optimism is completely different. Denard Robinson, for better or for worse depending on which fan(s) you speak to, will have graduated. Now you can talk all day about Devin Gardner being your starting quarterback. After Saturday's performance you would have to believe it may very well be his job to lose. He has the size, the arm strength, and overall ability to be very effective in a pro-style offense and he certainly can make things happen with his feet if things break down in the pocket. Saturday may have been a bit of a glimpse of what 2013 will look like and that is very exciting.

Notice I did not mention incoming 5-star recruit Shane Morris as being thought about as next year's starter. That is because if you think that is a good idea you really don't know much about football. Not trying to be a (insert expletive-filled insult here) but it's the truth. You do not start a true freshman at QB at a program that has championship aspirations unless you either have no other feasible option or said freshman completely blows away the other candidates.

For every Chad Henne there are about a gazillion Jimmy Clausens. Keep in mind Henne had Edwards, Avant, and Breaston to throw to, Hart in the backfield, and a very talented and experienced OL. Morris will not have those luxuries. Let the senior Gardner lead the team for a year, Bellomy play the role of backup, and let the talented 18-year old redshirt and learn for a year.

Don't agree with me, go back and watch some Jimmy Clausen highlights (if there even is any) from his freshman year at Notre Dame. He was the top QB recruit and looked like a deer in headlights all season long. Not pretty. Basically, chill out with the Morris for Heisman 2013 campaign. This is not Xbox.

To get back on track, the moral of the story is that if you are one of those fans that have been screaming from the mountain tops since around 3:00 PM on Saturday that Devin Gardner should start over Denard Robinson save your breath. It ain't happening. The coaches have said as much and they are right. Michigan will be just fine with "Shoelace" under center and will more than likely be fine next year with Gardner, not Morris, as the man. Enjoy the rest of the season and the rest of Denard Robinson's last year at Michigan...as the starting quarterback.

**You can also find this blog, as well as blogs regarding ALL DETROIT SPORTS, at www.deeboknows.blogspot.com. You can also follow me on Twitter @adamdibart.**

Deebo Knows: Bellomy Should Not Be Judged By Nebraska Game

Monday, October 29, 2012

There is no denying that Team 133 will only go as far as a healthy Denard Robinson will take them.  That was made perfectly clear after "Shoelace" was knocked out of the game in the 2nd quarter of Michigan's loss to the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday with a nerve injury to his throwing elbow.

Enter 2nd string QB, and possible 2013 starter, Russell Bellomy...a redshirt freshman...in Lincoln Nebraska...under the lights...in a crucial divisional matchup.

In a situation like this as a fan you take a big gulp and know disaster lies ahead.  Bellomy's final numbers were of Armageddon proportions:
  • PASSING ACCURACY - 3/16
  • PASSING YARDS - 38
  • INT - 3
  • TD - 0
  • RUSHING YARDS - 0 (Multiple sacks nullified the yardage he gained on 5 carries)
He didn't have have much help as his receivers dropped a handful of passes, he was under duress by the Nebraska pass rush, and the RBs continued to contribute next to nothing, but the numbers are still ghastly no matter how you slice it.  Subsequently U-M suffered a 23-9 defeat and failed to score an offensive TD for the 2nd straight week.

There is always doom and gloom after a Wolverine loss but this week was a little different.

"Russell Bellomy is a terrible QB!"

"We're screwed next year because we have no QB!"

"Shane Morris is going to have to start as a true freshman!"

"Fire Al Borges!"

"FIRE BRADY HOKE! (Yes, I did indeed see this on Twitter)

Look, I was just as angry and frustrated as anyone and entertained some doom and gloom myself...FOR THIS SEASON.

Once I had the opportunity to cheer myself up by watching some Seinfeld and think logically, I was able to put things in the proper perspective.  Bellomy is a redshirt freshman with minimal game experience who was thrown into a snake pit and asked to win a crucial game with very little help.  I am not sure what everyone was expecting.  I would think that nine out of ten QBs would struggle in that scenario.  Give the kid a break.

Was I a little shocked that he wasn't a little more game ready? 

Yep.

Do I think some of it falls on Al Borges and the offensive coaches to ensure that they have a QB ready to go in and at least be serviceable?

Since they have a running QB who gets pounded every game and has a history of getting banged up you're darn tootin' I do.

But let's get things straight, this was a kid thrown into a situation where the odds were severely against him.  His future career at U-M should not be judged or speculated upon based off of one underwhelming performance in which he was asked to do the unthinkable.  People who think his career will be defined by what happened on Saturday need to scale back on the caffeine and/or narcotics a smidge.

Once the season is finished his mindset, as well as the mindset of the coaches, will completely change.  He will be preparing, mentally and physically, to be the starting QB at the University of Michigan.  Not the backup.  He will be prepared by the coaching staff, mentally and physically, to be the starting QB at the University of Michigan, or at least compete for the spot.  Not to be the backup.  The offense will shift from the spread to more of a pro-style, Al Borges' preference, to adhere to his skill set.  He will be more equipped to be a serviceable, and who knows, maybe even a pretty good starting signal-caller for the Wolverines. 

I don't have a crystal ball but I am pretty certain that given the reps and the opportunity next season, he will prove that he is not nearly as bad as he appeared in Lincoln.  He would not have been recruited by the coaching staff if he was and there is a reason he is #2 on the depth chart.  They are the same coaches that get praised daily for their recruiting prowess so I think we can safely say Bellomy was not brought in by throwing darts at a dartboard.  Chill out people.

Also, those of you who think Shane Morris is going to come in as an 18-year old freshman and take the starting spot are nuts.  I can't put it any other way.  You saw what happens on Saturday when you put a kid in at QB before he's ready...disaster.  As talented as Morris may be he will still be a freshman. 

You don't start a frosh at QB unless you absolutely have to.  And if that is indeed the case you'd be extremely naive and borderline crazy to think Morris will come in and be lights out and lead Team 134 to a B1G title.  This ain't the MAC or Conference USA.  It's the B1G and you don't ask a kid to lead a big time program into places like East Lansing and Iowa City.  At least at Michigan you don't.  Chad Henne was the exception not the rule.  He also had Braylon Edwards, Steve Breaston, and Jason Avant to throw to and Mike Hart in the backfield.  Enough with the Shane Morris talk people.  At least until 2014.

If you want to worry about what might happen this season if Denard Robinson can't stay healthy then fine.  Believe me, I'm right there with you.  But when it comes to next season let's all just relax and trust the coaches to have the starting QB, presumably Russell Bellomy, ready to run the offense smoothly.  Give a very good staff the benefit of the doubt and step away from the ledge.

Team 133 is in the middle of a battle for a division title.  They are undoubtedly focused on just that and not next season.  I suggest the fans follow suit.

**You can also find this blog, as well as blogs regarding ALL DETROIT SPORTS, at www.deeboknows.blogspot.com. You can also follow me on Twitter @adamdibart.**

Deebo Knows: Now THAT Is a Road Win!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Wolverines exorcised a demon on Saturday in West Lafayette. You know, the one that normally has Denard Robinson's head spinning like Linda Blair's in the 1973 horror classic (minus the pea soup puke of course). That's right. We're talking road games against a decent opponent.

It has been no secret that away from Ann Arbor in the Brady Hoke Era Michigan has struggled against quality competition. They may have hushed some of the critics with their 44-13 suplexing of the Purdue Boilermakers. The offense was kept simple and was efficient, the defense was aggressive and opportunistic, and the team didn't kill themselves with bad penalties or ill-timed turnovers. It was maybe the perfect road game.

First and foremost, it appears Al Borges FINALLY swallowed his pride and had a game plan that put Denard and the offense in the best position to succeed. Robinson was not asked to sling it all over the yard (only 16 attempts), the routes were those of the high-percentage, short to intermediate variety, his legs were utilized (24 carries for 235 yards), and drives were not stalled with goofy gadget plays or formations. The result was 37 points (the defense added a score), 409 total yards, roughly 13 minutes time of possession advantage, and only one turnover when the game was, for all intents and purposes, over. And this was done against one of the better defensive lines in the B1G.

It is clear that when the offense is kept simple and Denard is allowed to be himself, especially on the road, Team 133 will score points. This was a masterful day in the booth for Borges. I would imagine he now sees the blueprint for this team to succeed offensively and I would expect to see a similar attack moving forward.

How about that defense eh?

If Greg Mattison has shown one thing so far in his tenure at Michigan it is that his defense will improve as the season progresses. This year they have gone from a perceived weakness to a strength. They are one of the best pass defenses in the league and nation, they are starting to create turnovers, the young players are becoming difference-makers (see the monster also known as Jake Ryan), they are aggressive, and they seem to be developing a swagger.

On Saturday they faced a Purdue team that was averaging around 500 yards per game and could score in bunches. Michigan held them to 213 yards (157 passing and 56 rushing) and 13 points. The Wolverines also forced the Boilermakers' offense to cough up the ball three times, held them to one 3rd down conversion, and recorded two sacks. They completely shut down the high-powered Purdue offense. If this is a sign of the things to come, Mattison's boys will give Michigan a chance to win every game they play from here on out.

Also, Michigan played a clean game. They only had one turnover (AND IT WAS NOT AN INTERCEPTION...YAY!!) and they only had one penalty all afternoon (false start). They kept their cool in an important road game, remained poised, and played physical within the rules. That same cleanliness will be needed when they take the field in Lincoln and Columbus, but for now, bravo boys. Bravo.

All in all, Team 133 played the closest thing to a perfect road game as possible. They imposed their will on offense, kept it simple, managed the clock, played shut-down defense, and didn't shoot themselves in the foot. They walked into Purdue's house and punched them square in the teeth. This also may have been the best game they have played this season regardless of venue. If "Big Blue" can stick with this basic formula for the remainder of the season they can very well win every game whether it be at the "Big House," "The Shoe," or the moon. Maybe, just maybe, they can make a stop in Indianapolis before they conquer space travel.




**You can also find this blog, as well as blogs regarding ALL DETROIT SPORTS, at www.deeboknows.blogspot.com. You can also follow me on Twitter @adamdibart.**

The Power of Purdue

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

This week, as Michigan gears up for it's showdown with the Purdue Boilermakers, I've been trying to figure out just what bothers me about Purdue over the last few weeks.

Not known for much other than being 'that school that Drew Brees played for', the Boilermakers have spent decades as one of the Big 10's also-rans.

They've been on a slight uptick over the past few years, and if a few more ACLs would have held up there's a chance Purdue could have been one of the leaders of the pack in the new look B1G.

So where is this insurgence coming from? Clearly, it's from their coach and the sheer 'power' he has brought to West Lafayette. And by power, I mean that beautiful 'stache parked right below his nose.

Danny Hope, a man of action.

Look at it. It just screams masculinity. When a guy like this yells in your face to make the right read, or block the right guy, you believe. Why? That's one powerful ass mustache.

Some men say (well, me mostly, and Thorny from Super Troopers) that a man's power is derived directly from his mustache. It's a sheer visual representation of masculinity. That mustache looks like it could bench more than me.

Purdue has been a bright spot in the otherwise moribund Big 10 this year. It's only loss was a fourth quarter letdown to Notre Dame. Granted, they've only beaten directional Michigan and Kentucky schools and gave up 41 points to Marshall...but they're 3-1 purely on the strength of that mustache.

Imagine a world where Hope didn't have that mustache. Welp, what the hell do you think their record would be then, huh?

Let's find out.

Am I still a man?
Tell me that's not an 0-4 team right there. I defy you.

Look, it's been widely publicized how putrid the B1G has been this year. When Northwestern is your beacon of hope,  you've got serious problems. That's no knock on Fitzgerald's coaching or Kain Coulter's ability, but there were what some thought to be some serious horses this year who've fallen flat on their faces, Michigan included.

So what's the solution? How does the B1G respond? The answer is right in front of your face, literally:

DANNY HOPE'S MUSTACHE, YOU GUYS.

I'd say the B1G potential could be exponentially improved if the big dogs of the conference were sporting that beautiful face bush. Example:

"Smells like undefeated to me..."

Urban renewal indeed. They're lucky Meyer didn't get everyone pregnant with a blink of an eye with that stache'. How'd the room hold him? That's the kind of man that takes a 'family contract' and uses it for toilet paper. Don't tell him how to live. He' came to down two things, kick ass and win football games...and he's almost out of football games.

How about BERT!?

"YOU CALL THAT A CHILI CHEESE DOG?"
"Give me a Schlitz and shut the hell up." Does that man above lose to Oregon State? Nope.

Well, heck. If it can work for Bret can it work for grumpy ole' Mark Dantonio? Only one way to find out.

"I haven't had a bowel movement in three years, Pat. Run the dive."
Umm...well...maybe it doesn't work for everyone. Sometimes adding a mustache to a man with that kind of disposition only makes him look more suited for 'To Catch A Predator'. Sorry, Mark.

NEXT QUESTION.

Penn State is a school in disarray. They chose Bill O'Brien to lead them back to glory (post-sanctions, of course) but with all the controversy you can't blame certain players for leaving the program. But it begs the questions, would the players have transferred if this guy was looking into their eyes?

"You're not going anywhere."

Short answer: No. They'd run through a wall to play for this guy. That's how powerful a mustache of this caliber can be.

Do you think it's any coincidence that teams with two of the best records (Purdue and Minnesota) also have head coaches with amazing facial hair? How do you call yourself a football fan?

Here's Jerry Kill. Man.

"Yeah, I used to bareknuckle box. It's in my blood." 


Can't get any better than that, right? Wrong.

Cue the double stache.


It's like the Captain Planet of mustaches. His and Hope's power combined and you've gone and created a proverbial head coaching sex beast hell bent on national titles, top recruiting classes, and procreation. The Mayans were wrong, because Jerry Kill Double Stache said they were. And guess what? I believe him.
_______

Look, all kidding aside, Hope is a great coach. I know this because I grew up in a community where Hope cut his teeth as a coach. He started as an assistant coach for my Alma Mater, the Manatee Hurricanes in Bradenton, Florida. Hope helped guide the Hurricanes to a state title in 1983 before leaving for the greener pastures of college football when he became a graduate assistant at Louisville. I never saw him coach a game (mostly because I was 2 years old when he coached at Manatee) but everyone in the community knew he was an up-and-coming star as his resume improved. I'm glad he's had success. But if you ever, and I mean EVER, shave that mustache off Danny, heads will roll.

And the bottom line folks is this: You've got to believe in the stache'. It's power knows no bounds. Want proof? Well, I'll leave you with this. Last year, Michigan broke a seven game losing streak to Ohio State. Want to know how? Simple:


Go Blue.

Follow me @MarkTheNomad on Twitter. 
 

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