Showing posts with label Michigan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michigan. Show all posts

Film Breakdown: Tyrone Wheatley Jr.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Tyrone Wheatley Jr. is a TE prospect high on Michigan's radar in the 2015 recruiting class. The 6'6 230 pound TE is a player that really jumps out at you while watching his film. Immediately you notice that this player has legitimate chance at being a big time player for the program he chooses.

Whether it be his speed, his ability to do multiple things while playing the position, or his frame. Something will make you say, "I wouldn't mind him as my team's tight end."

I've watched some tape and you can view my breakdown of his game after the jump.

Michigan Offers 2015 DE Keisean Lucier-South

Sunday, January 26, 2014


Not many people may know the name yet, but chances are they will by the summer time, at the latest. Keisean Lucier-South has a very nice build for a DE his age, and will have time to improve on that once he gets into a college weight program. As of his latest weighing and measuring, he stands at six-foot four and weighs nearly 200+ pounds. He has a shot to make waves early in his career, but a lot of it will be on his shoulders.

It's not everyday that you get a player in peak physical form who can dominate like Lucier-South can, so it will be up to him to improve his game from his senior year, until he signs in February of 2015.

With Borges Fired, Does UM Need to Do More?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The University of Michigan has been relatively quiet since their 31-14 trouncing at the hands of Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. That has changed today as the University has announced OC Al Borges has been fired effective immediately. I won't get into that, check out TBHR's Anthony Broome has that covered in another article for the site and could be found here. http://www.thebighousereport.com/2014/01/a-pulse-in-ann-arbor-al-borges-has-been.html

My time here is to focus on more things the Michigan needs to do to have a successful 2014 season. Many people felt that this Michigan team should have done far better than an appearance in a December bowl game, let alone a handful of embarrassing performances. Yes, the team is young. Yes, the team was through growing pains. Neither one of those things should have been a crutch for Michigan thoughtout the season, and majority of the fan base knows that. Hoke has let go of his offense coordinator, and a long time buddy of his, for the betterment and development of the team, but should he stop there?

No Surprises Here; Ann Arbor Still Silent After Bowl Game Disaster

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The definition of insanity is "something that is very foolish or unreasonable," according to the Miriam-Webster dictionary.

Following an embarrassing 31-14 loss in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl to end 2013, it appears as if things will remain as they were in 2013 going forward, with Brady Hoke and his entire staff remaining intact.

Michigan and Florida set to face off in Dallas in 2017

Thursday, December 19, 2013

There hasn't been much buzz around either program as of late, well other than what coaches should be fired or not, but that doesn't mean this isn't big news.

Earlier today, it was announced that Michigan and Florida will face off in Dallas inside of "Jerry's World" in 2017. This game should, and will, have a lot of hype around it once the 2017 season rolls around. Both programs do not necessarily need the exposure, but it will help both heavily in terms of national spotlight, in the eyes of voters, the men and women who determine who gets a bid in the 4-team playoff and also recruits early on.

Stay True, Go Blue

Monday, November 25, 2013

Dear Michigan Faithful,

“When your team is winning, be ready to be tough, because winning can make you soft. On the other hand, when your team is losing, stick by them. Keep believing.”
― Bo Schembechler


No explanation needed.

Hail.

Wolverines Have a Dark Present, But a Bright Future

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Heading into the 2013 season, many people expected the University of Michigan to compete for a Big Ten title, and possibly even get to the Rose Bowl. Neither will happen. At least not this year anyway. 

Many people believed that Devin Gardner was the right choice for QB for the team, and Fitzgerald Toussaint the right choice at RB. Recently, I'm not sure if that's the case. Michigan has talent at both positions, and I think it is time that Brady Hoke begins to use that talent. Shane Morris would be the next man up at QB, and we all know the talent RB Derrick Green possesses. So why not play them?

Hoke has always seemed to prefer playing the older players over the younger guys, and sometimes seniority could come back to hurt a team, just like in 2013 for UM. That thought process may not always lead to wins or success, sometimes the younger players simply are better than the veterans on the team. 

The silver lining for Michigan fans is that there is hope. A light at the end of this tunnel. A future team that has a great shot at making some serious noise in the Big Ten for years to come, lead by Shane Morris, Drake Harris, Jabrill Peppers and Derrick Green. 

I've done a bit of recruiting coverage for a previous website I wrote for, so I've been able to do a lot of research on the incoming freshman for the classes of  '13-'15, and I can confidently say that these classes will be the most potent classes Michigan has put together in quite some time. Loaded with 4 and 5 star caliber recruits, Michigan is in no way in trouble. Quite the opposite actually. They've got players from almost every position, and are still going strong to try and bring the old school type play back to Michigan. 

I've seen on twitter and some blog posts that have been bashing Devin Gardner and his play at quarterback lately, and a lot of the comments make you take a step back and either say, "wow that is true," or, "That's just plain stupid." But I haven't given up on Gardner being successful in Ann Arbor, yet, but I have thought of the idea of bringing him back next year and start fresh. Not at QB, but as a WR. Pair him with players like backup QB Shane Morris, Drake Harris (an incoming WR) and move Devin Funchess to WR, that offense could be extremely successful. Not to mention having RBs Derrick Green and DeVeon Smith carrying the football. Oh, and I haven't even mentioned Jabrill Peppees yet. That offense could be dangerous and could score points in a hurry. 

Now I know this post doesn't help the current Wolverines, but it is written as a bit of hope for those who've seemed to have lost theirs. There will be no Big Ten Championship, or a Rose Bowl victory, or really any big time recognition for this group of Wolverines, but that doesn't mean we won't be seeing any soon, fairly soon. A dose of reality doesn't hurt, and when you add it all up, this team has failed in the eyes of Brady Hoke, and maybe even in the eyes of the public, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Breathe a bit, don't burn anyone at the stake just yet, and before you know it Michigan will be in Pasadina. 

This...is Michigan?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Soon after Rich Rodriguez's tenure in Ann Arbor was over, the Wolverines turned to a man named Brady Hoke to take over their program. Hoke has become famous for several things over the three years he's been at the University of Michigan; everything from never wearing sleeves to rarely eating meals before games, but none more than his famous quote when asked if Michigan was still an elite job in the nation. 

"This is Michigan, for God's sake," Hoke said. That is when Michigan men and women knew that the right man was hired for the job at the time. 

Now let's fast forward 3 years, is this the same Michigan team that Hoke envisioned winning the Big Ten? The same team that was destined to take down OSU? Is this team good enough to even produce positive rushing yards

I'm not sure how to answer those questions, simply because I've seen many different versions of this team this year, and I'm not sure which one shows up each week. Many players have produced at a high level this year - Jeremy Gallon, Blake Countess to name a few - but more have not. So it leaves me wondering, Is this really Michigan? 

That I can answer confidently. No. 

This team has been exposed and has been bested two weeks in a row, one on the road to Michigan State, and a heartbreaker at home to Nebraska late in the game. No, this is not Michigan, and I think we can all agree on that. It's been rough to watch recently, but it has shown me one thing; the team has a lot to build off of, and grow as a unit, and become that Michigan team that many have expected from them in recent years. 

If the OL finds a way to mesh late in the year and head into the winter and spring workouts with some momentum and continuity, they have a shot to bring smash-mouth football back to Ann Arbor. A lot of it is on the offensive line, who has left Devin Gardner on the turf more than a few times this season, but if they can work out the kinks of the line, the offense can really take off. 

Secondly, the recruiting class they have coming in for 2014 is elite and about as good as a class that we will see in the Brady Hoke era in Ann Arbor. A class highlighted by CB Jabrill Peppers, LB Michael Ferns, QB Wilton Speight and possibly the #1 player in the country Da'Shawn Hand by weeks end. If they can continue to bring in 4 and 5 star caliber players, there is no reason why this team cannot succeed.  

So this team is not dead, and far from it. I have a lot of confidence in Coach Hoke, and Greg Mattison to right the ship, but it may be costly. Many are saying coaches Al Borges and Funk should be gone by then end of the season due to the poor offensive play calling and poor production from the offensive line.

It's been a while since we've seen that style of football in Michigan, but many have been dying to see it return. There's been many different opinions on how it could be fixed, some saying OC Al Borges should be axed, others suggest change running backs and mix up the offensive line, but one this is for sure, it needs to be fixed and fixed quickly. 

The "Wal-Mart Wolverine"

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I think it is safe to say that every Michigan fan has heard of the “Wal-Mart Wolverine.” Check out Urban Dictionary, where there are many different definitions of this term (some content NSFW). There are some listed from State fans, Ohio fans, and even a few from Michigan fans. I had a gentleman from Minnesota on Twitter call me a "Wal-Mart Wolverine" not too long ago, and if I felt like finding my tweets from January, I’d show you.

Sorry to break it to you folks, I don’t buy clothes at Wal-Mart, so I can’t fall under that description even if I don’t attend the University. Personally, I find the concept of the "Wal-Mart Wolverine" hilarious, simply because the rival fan that is using it, thinks it’s the most clever insult ever created. It is most often a term used out of jealousy. Pay attention, when you hear it, something good has usually happened in Wolverine Nation. The most common perception of a "Wal-Mart Wolverine" is a bandwagon fan, or someone who is trashy and/or didn’t attend the University.
Fans of college teams can come from all over, and if fans were only allowed to be from the organization, then there wouldn’t be very many fans at all. It is safe to say that all schools have giant fan bases that have no connection with the institution other than watching its sports teams.  This means there will be a big range of people, both classy and trashy, all sharing one love: The Michigan Wolverines.

Michigan Stadium is built to hold 109,901 screaming fans, so there is bound to be great mix of people. Especially in comparison to a stadium that holds, say, 75,005 fans. To name a few, there will be thousands of students, alumni, local residents, passionate Michigan football followers, the girlfriend who is only there to be nice, rival fans, and yes, even “Wal-Mart Wolverines” in attendance at the Big House. The University of Michigan has the greatest college fan base in the world; any negative term towards our fan base is just out of envy.

I’ve had an opportunity to sit all around the Big House, and have met a bunch of passionate fans from all types of backgrounds. When I am present on game day, I don’t really care who is around me; I am just there to cheer on my team, and high five anyone who is within three rows of me after a big play. I don’t care who you are, or where you are from, if you love Michigan Football, then I like you. Go ahead deck yourself out in a Wal-Mart snapback, XL T-Shirt, and Starter shorts. It doesn’t make a difference to me as long as you are passionate about your team. If you rep Michigan, then you are already doing something right.

By the way, if you have noticed what Michigan Wolverine apparel is in fact from Wal-Mart, then you must be shopping there yourself, right?

As a Michigan fan, I welcome the term “Wal-Mart Wolverine.” Go ahead rivals, use it as much as you want. I don’t mind that you pick a select few to make fun of when there are thousands of other Michigan Faithful that have their backs.

Besides, can you pick out the “Wal-Mart Wolverines” from here?



Didn’t think so.

A Team Known ‘Round The World

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Photo Credit:
Brenda McGadney 
This May, I spent time on a cross-cultural trip to Uganda, Africa, and had the time of my life. During the trip I worked a health clinic, visited a poverty struck village, played fútbol with hundreds of kids, roamed the big city, hiked up to waterfalls, and went on a three day safari; to name a few.

However, in Africa you start to miss some of the first-world concepts most of us Americans enjoy everyday. For instance, unlimited data and access to the Internet anytime and anywhere. Sure there were a few wireless modems around, but not the kind that allowed me to do the browsing and reading of articles that I am used to. So along with missing those closest to me, I missed keeping up with The University of Michigan, and all of the wonderful sporting news involving the Wolverines. Sure, I was able to see that Jabrill Peppers committed, but unable to watch how he rapped his decision, or check out his blazing 200-meter speed on YouTube. It was hard for me to keep up with the recruiting race for both basketball and football, and almost impossible to follow Denard in Jacksonville, and Hardaway Jr. and Burke as they prepare for the NBA Draft. Of course, these are all little problems, but sometimes I believe it’s the littlest problems that can be the most bothersome.

However, I realized all of these problems could be fixed with some work and some looking around. For me personally, bringing Michigan apparel to wear was enough to cover some of the bleeding. What I didn’t expect is to see a bunch of Michigan apparel (a lot of Nike gear), meet Michigan Grads, and have random conversations about Michigan teams. Heck, at one point of the trip, I even stayed at the same guesthouse as a mission’s team from “Ohio.” Talk about a bitter rivalry. My team made sure to grab all of the American beverages before the Buckeyes came down to eat, because they knew I would love to watch my rival suffer through bitter sodas. They must know me well. I met a guy at a café who came up to me and asked if I played basketball at Michigan (I guess my Adidas shoot around shirt was enough to convince him). I thought about saying yes, but told the truth and mentioned that I was just a passionate fan. He then asked me the name of the short guy with multiple tats that could shoot from mid court, and I kindly replied, “Trey Burke.” He mentioned watching the National Championship game and how many Ugandan’s pulled for the team whose jerseys were “flashy and yellow” just like the National Ugandan Fútbol team wore.  At a resort in Northern Uganda I met a couple that graduated from Michigan, moved to the Netherlands, and still donate to the University today. In an airport in Brussels, Belgium I was asked if I knew “Shoelace” and if I thought he would make a National Team. I informed the young gentleman that I had only shaken Denard’s hand, and that the Jacksonville Jaguars had already drafted him. When we landed in Newark, New Jersey, I passed through customs wearing a Michigan football shirt, and the man who scanned my passport asked me how upset I was that the Michigan vs. Notre Dame rivalry was being discontinued.  I mentioned being upset, but told him that Notre Dame will need a break after two more tough losses against the Wolverines. Go Blue.

You see, I learned a lot on this cross-cultural experience. Mostly about the culture and lifestyle of Uganda, which is why I enrolled on the trip. However, I learned a few other things as well. All of these conversations I had about Michigan, and sightings of Maize and Blue apparel, actually made me feel a little closer to home, as well as make up for everything thing I was missing with my lack of Wifi. I learned that even far away in a third world country, I could still reminisce about my favorite team. But most of all, it allowed me to realize that the Michigan Wolverines are much more then a National team, but a Team Known ‘Round The World.

Thank Your Enemy

Sunday, June 2, 2013

As the sun set on Memorial Day, many Michigan fans waited patiently for a softball game to wrap up on ESPNU. Jabrill Peppers, rated as one of the top players in the country by the four main recruiting sites, had long favored the Wolverines and made his commitment that evening. 

The commitment vaulted Michigan to the top class, up to that point, on two of the major services. The impact of Peppers' commitment is palpable considering it filled a severe position of need with one of the best athletes in the country.  

The greater impact of Peppers' commitment may still be in the works. Peppers, who labeled himself 'The Commish' after pledging to the Wolverines, immediately became the school's biggest cheerleader and recruiter. You see, while it may be a violation for coaches to contact recruits or go above and beyond the normal call of duty in the recruiting process, it is not off limits to current high school students regardless of where they are pledged to play. They have not signed a letter of intent and are not officially tethered to a school. They're just kids. The recruiting rules that inhibit coaches don't apply here. 

Peppers has made it no secret that he's been heavily recruiting defensive end and top overall player Da'Shawn Hand. He's also put in work recruiting another 5-star defensive back in Adoree Jackson and defensive end Malik McDowell.

Such is the new atmosphere of high school recruiting. Nowadays, high profile recruiting compete with each other to help their schools compete for the highest rated recruiting class. Last year it was Shane Morris putting in extra hours to help kids from around the country come to Michigan. This year it is Michael Ferns. Ferns started 'Project 135'. Every time a player commits to Michigan, he sends them a 'Project 135' shirt.   

When did this all begin? Who do we have to thank for these kids moxie in the recruiting arena? The answer leads back to the 2008 season and may not make many of you Michigan fans happy with the answer. 

The first class to actively have a top player openly recruit was the 2008 Ohio State recruiting class when they received a pledge from a 5-star offensive lineman out of Orlando by the name of Michael Brewster.  Brewster was the fifth player to pledge to Ohio State's 08' recruiting class and immediately got to work assembling his 'Brew Crew'. 

Yes, Michigan fans. I know it's hard to swallow sometimes. But occasionally that school down south does have some intelligent players with great ideas. You could argue that Brewster was responsible for bringing an additional 5(!) 5-star players to the class that included No. 1 overall player Terrelle Pryor. Sound familiar? Well, it should. It's the exact kind of class that Jabrill Peppers is trying to bring to Michigan if they were to land players like Hand, Jackson and McDowell.

That 2008 class, on paper, was very scary. That class went 3-1 against Michigan. 

The 'Brew Crew' class all pledged together based on the friendships that were built between Mike Adams and Brewster. Adams was the first 5-star to commit to Ohio State that year. He wasn't as active as a recruiter as Brewster, but it was his pledge and bond with Brewster that ultimately led to Brewster's commitment. From there, things snowballed. Adams was a teammate of Jake Stoneburner. Brewster began texting and calling Stoneburner hoping to get his pledge to the Buckeyes. Stoneburner was good friends with another 5-star player named DeVier Posey. After Stoneburner committed, he began working hard on Posey. Later, through the camp circuit, Brewster was able to befriend J.B. Shugarts and Andrew Sweat. Those commitments fell like dominoes for the Buckeyes. Sweat and Brewster began putting in serious recruiting on the crown jewel of their class. 

Sweat had been a longtime friend of another 5-star athlete by the name of Terrelle Pryor. Pryor, who at the time was labeled 'The Next Vince Young', would have a recruitment that lasted a month and a half after signing day. The battle was down to Ohio State and Michigan. Rich Rodriquez was offering the chance at instant playing time. Tressel and Company were offering a similar depth chart and the opportunity to play with the crew that he'd built such solid relationships. Pryor chose Ohio State and the rest is history. 

While their legacies won't be cemented in the same lore as Ohio State's 2002 national championship team, the current trend in recruiting and the landscape of high school kids heavily recruiting other high school kids, can be tracked back to Brewster and his 'Brew Crew'. 

Jabrill Peppers, Ferns and fellow commit Wilton Speight have their sights set on the No. 1 recruiting class in the country. Over the next couple of months, we will see if 'The Commish' and company achieved their goal. But for this journey to even be possible, we have to thank our enemy for the blueprint of success. 

The Curious Case of Reon Dawson

Friday, February 8, 2013


Crazy doesn’t discriminate. Crazy comes in all shapes and sizes. It doesn’t care if you’ve had a bad day or if things at home are going poorly. It doesn’t care that you’ve committed to play football for the University of Michigan. Crazy certainly doesn’t care when you misspeak. Crazy sure as hell doesn’t care when you try to clear the air. Crazy gon’ Crazy.  If you step out of line, say something that Crazy can’t deal with, Crazy will come after you like a pit bull.

Such is the case with Reon Dawson, a recent commitment to the class of 2013. Dawson, originally an Illinois commit, switched over to the good guys soon after Michigan missed out on consensus five-star Leon McQuay. Dawson faxed in his Letter of Intent without a lick of drama. So why is everyone up in arms about Reon Dawson these days? Well, you’ll have to ask the Dayton Daily News, who ran this article about Reon Dawson yesterday. His comments in the article got the twittersphere in a tizzy when he was quoted as saying he was a “Buckeye for life”.

As you can imagine, that didn’t sit well with the Michigan fan base. Not soon after, the story started bouncing around and has shown up on the Detroit Free Press, SBNation, and Deadspin.

KID WORE RED TO THE BIG HOUSE?! CAIN'T TRUST HIM!
Try to see below the surface, just once. Dig a litter deeper. I know that's a crazy idea in this day and age. But you’ll see what Reon Dawson was trying to say. He’s from Ohio. He was born in the Buckeye state. So when he says he’s going to be a ‘Buckeye for life’, he means that he has pride in his home state. At least that’s what he told Sam Webb. You can read that article here.

I’m not here to defend Reon Dawson. I’m the kind of person that believes if you say something you better be ready for everything that goes with it. If he was misquoted, he’s owed an apology by the Dayton Daily News. (That won’t happen) If he wasn’t misquoted, then he’s better off just owning the comments. He’s since said through multiple venues that his comments were taken out of context. The original story, because of the rivalry and allegiances, will continue to float to the top.

Social media is a breeding ground for severe reactions. When something catches ablaze, you’re better off just getting out of the way. Rightfully so. We’re a society that wants instant access and we’re not afraid to share our irrational opinions without trying to get the full story first.


When you mix irrational responses with stupidity and erratic peculiar behavior you get a fantastically awful cocktail of embarrassment. People and various media outlets trying to capitalize of the absurdity of the moment further reactions. This is what I like to call “Davey Pageviews” syndrome. Davey Pageviews doesn't care about the message whether it's true, false or fully researched. Davey just wants you to click the links. It's working. This story has been retweeted thousands of times. (yes, I checked.)

As you can imagine. Crazy came out in full force. Before I continue, there's something I'd like to point out about crazy folk. Crazy has existed forever. There have been nutballs just itching at the opportunity to spew hate but never had the opportunity. But with the popularity of social media, Crazy often finds itself standing in front of a giant open mic attached to a megaphone with direct access to people that, in the past, they would never have had access. So let’s take a few moments to read some of the things floating around about Reon Dawson in the wake of his comments.



These first two aren't that crazy, but I had to screen cap these two. Nice shades bruh...


This guy above is a Michigan blogger. He's tweeting at a recruit, who he probably thinks he's friends with, asking him to 'straighten out' a kid who because he's not a 'true Michigan Man'. 



Sizzlin' hot take. 



Keep clinging to that baseball dream, sport. 

You hear that, "bro"? He's embarrassed for you. Seriously. 


A Michigan Man does not speak in the same breath as those heathens from beneath us, Reon. You'd better learn that soon... /handwank

Dawson took to Twitter to try and clear the air and was met with more resistance. I'm not going to screencap all the hate but here was his attempt to get the chum out of the waters:


Fellow commit and Trotwood teammate Mike McCray also stood up for his friend via Twitter. It didn't help either. 


I realize that a lot of this will fall on deaf ears. Crazy don't care. Lord forbid he cracks the starting lineup and gives up a big play to Ohio State. Twitter will probably melt with the crazy conspiracy theories. But to all the 'fans' out there giving this kid flack and spoiling what should be a momentous event in his life, go die in a fire. 


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.**

 

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