Well the upsets finally came and unfortunately Michigan was a part of them. I knew this was coming soon but I tried to convince myself otherwise. As absurd as our game was I think I was even more stunned when I finally came out of cell phone purgatory and saw that Stanford lost to Utah. I had seen that both Oklahoma and Georgia had lost earlier in the day but seeing a top 5 team go down to an unranked team is always stunning.
So that shakeup that I have been hinting at finally hit and the pieces are starting to move. We do get FSU vs Clemson (despite Clemson struggling with BC) and that will take down another unbeaten at the top. Each week should help make the puzzle look clearer which hopefully doesn’t include an unbeaten Ohio State team but that looks even more of a certainty at this point.
Lets rip the band aid off and get down to it…
1. The end of game/OT management was embarrassing: One the best parts about Hoke’s first few years is he was willing to take risks to win a game but this loss felt like a guy who learned from Lloyd Carr. The list of horrible decisions stacked up from taking a delay of game penalty that took them out of field goal range to not blitzing Hackenberg which was working earlier. And then the sloppiness in the end with Gibbons and blocked and missed field goals. I was happy O’Brien went for that 4th and 1 in the 4th OT not just because the game would end either way but because PSU has a coach who will go for it.
2. Hoke’s Road Woes is Real: Hoke is 18-0 at home which is great. He is also 6-7 on the road and clearly the team plays differently away from the Big House. With three of its last five away from home I am not feeling confident heading into November.
3. Michigan Can’t Run No Huddle: This is what I was most upset about and the biggest reason Borges should be on the hot seat. At the end of the 1st half Michigan had a minute and half left and struggled to get plays in and ultimately did nothing with a chance to get the game back to one score. Meanwhile PSU is running no huddle throughout the game with a true freshman QB. I want your offensive coaching staff PSU, how much for them?
4. Fitz had 27 carries for 27 yards: Yes you are reading that correctly. Michigan not only averaged 1 yard per carry with their RB but they did it 27 times. At some point you would think they would realize this doesn’t work but that is not the case.
5. The Run Game is All Devin: I wrote this earlier in the year but this offense still functions best in shotgun with Devin as the primary ball carrier. Hoke and Borges need to get over themselves and realize this isn’t a MANBALL team. That offense doesn’t exist.
6. The New 98: We saw both good and bad Devin on Saturday night as he has officially become Smeagol. Gollum showed up in the first half and was awful and then he played great in the 2nd half and got Michigan the lead back. I have no idea which one will show up but if you are not a fan of Michigan at least you know something will happen good or bad.
7. Gallon and Funchess are awesome: Lost in the loss is that Michigan has an actual 1-2 WR combo now with Funchess now out wide. They combined for 200 yds and 3 TDs. Maybe we should throw it to these guys more often. (Dileo had 1 catch for a 1st down. I am too angry to write anymore about his underutilization.) Add that to the fact PSU’s secondary isn’t very good and it drives me nuts Michigan didn’t throw more.
8. Al Borges Watch: This is a real thing now as Michigan has to hold someone accountable for their sloppy play. There are two things that concern me and the one is the power run game, or lack of it. Michigan can’t run from under center yet continues to do so. I put some of this on Borges but most of it on Hoke. He wants to be a power I team yet it isn’t yet and he won’t adjust his gameplan. That is bad coaching. If you don’t adjust to what you have then you are stubborn and stupid.
The other concerning part and I put this more on Borges is the tempo mentioned earlier. I think the spread vs pro style is overrated as both of them work. (See Oregon: spread, Bama: Pro style) The one area that concerns me is Michigan can’t change the tempo of their offense. We go at one speed regardless of the situation. As someone who reads a lot about different offensive strategies it concerns me that Michigan is falling behind when it comes to being able to get the team to play fast or slow depending upon the situation.
All Michigan has to do is look over at the other sideline at PSU who ran plenty of no huddle with a true freshman and were able to check in and out of plays depending upon coverage. There is no reason Michigan can’t do that other than it has decided it won’t or that it has no idea that they can do that. Not sure which is more concerning.
I am not ready to just say fire everyone but Michigan needs to take a long hard look at its offensive philosophy moving forward.
10. OT play calling/Gibbons: Michigan played for the field goal to win and it failed. Still stunned Gibbons missed that one in the 3 OT. He has been so reliable the past 2 seasons. Not sure what happened.
9. Actually pleased with the defense outside of the last 50 seconds: Devin put them in horrible position to give up 21 first half points and they pressured Hackenberg into turnovers. They took away Allen Robinson until that last late catch and kept the PSU run game to under 2 ypc. They had trouble with the TEs underneath
10. Jake Ryan: Good to see him out there, granted he didn’t play that much. We will need him
11. Frank Clark made plays: Huzzah!
12. Secondary is still shaky as seen with last drive in regulation: Michigan plays three legit passing offenses in Nebraska, NW and OSU in November. There will be more big plays given up. Just prepare yourself.
13. Lets just beat Indiana: If Michigan can win next week and be 6-1 heading into November they will have a chance. Lose and there will be serious issues. Sad Michael will make an appearance if that is the case.
14. PSU Trip Report: Other than the game it was a great trip. My whole family got together and we had some great weather for tailgating. The PSU fans were very hospitable as well with only one guy chirping at me prior to the game. (He was talking about Joe Pa. I think he actually drank himself to the point where he was still alive and the coach. Pretty impressive actually.) Happy for my youngest sister who got a memorable win as a PSU student.
15. At least Sid had a hat trick Saturday and the Steelers won a game: Rough weekend for the many Michigan fans that root for the Tigers as well. Not fun last night
1. PSU: I have already mentioned my affection for their offensive coaching staff and Hackenberg had some mistakes but that is expected as a freshman. He is going to be special and it will only be harder for Michigan to beat him moving forward.
2. Wisconsin: Showed they are the 2nd best team in the B1G by taking care of Northwestern easily. They now have a great chance to win out and grab a BCS at large bid. OSU fans will be rooting for them the rest of the way.
3. Northwestern: Everyone circled their first two B1G games before the season and that they need at least a split to win the division. Now that they are 0-2 in conference they have to be perfect the rest of the way to get to Indy. Even then they will need help.
4. Sparty: Scored 42 points! Granted it was vs Indiana but I hope Michigan can do that. It appears it will be the Sparty D vs the Nebraska O for who will win the Legends division and play OSU. (and Probably lose)
5. Indiana: If you could just go ahead and lose to Michigan this week that would be great.
6. Nebraska: Beat Purdue because of course they did. Taylor Martinez didn’t play again and now the Huskers have a bye and then Minnesota which is like back to back bye weeks.
7. OSU: Just keep winning. I know the rest of the B1G isn’t helping your cause but if you are unbeaten then you will be in the discussion for sure. Get upset and forget about it. No one loss B1G team is getting in the title game.
8. Rutgers: Didn’t get embarrassed which is nice
9. Maryland: Beat future B1G member UVA.
1. Missouri good win with a bad loss: Played a great game and showed off their awesome defensive line and then QB James Franklin went down and will be out for six weeks with a shoulder injury. He will be replaced by Maty Mauk who is the brother of former seven year Cincy Bearcat Ben Mauk. Needless to say the SEC East is wide open.
2. Texas: Mack’s Last Stand: Of course the one Red River Rivalry game I don’t watch Texas actually wins. I still don’t believe it happened and this is all some Longhorn Network Conspiracy. I am not sure this changes anything with Mack and reading the SI piece on Texas last week it sounds like the wheels are already in motion to get a new coach. Still, it will give Texas fans some relief.
3. Stanford: I am still befuddled they lost. Add that to the fact they have UCLA coming to the Farm this weekend and they now have no margin for error in a loaded Pac 12.
4. Alabama: Won again in boring fashion over UK. Help us LSU, you are the only hope to beat the Tide.
5. LSU: Beat the Gators 17-6 and then Les Miles had an epic press conference. With the SEC being a mess the Tigers going to Tuscaloosa is really the only hope for Bama not making the title game.
6. Clowney is the New Manziel: Everything gets over analyzed and even worse stuff is just made up. With UGA falling apart the Gamecocks now are back in the East race and Clowney could get a chance to redeem himself down the stretch and ruin both Clemson and Bama’s title hopes. Don’t count him out just yet.
7. Manziel did Manziel things: I was able to catch the end of this game and this TD run which Manziel makes seem routine. He has been able to keep out of the headlines and is still a legit Heisman candidate. If he can keep his team afloat a BCS bowl is not out of the question.
8. FSU AT CLEMSON THIS COMING SATURDAY NIGHT: Two undefeated top 5 teams with Heisman trophy candidate QBs, what is not to like?
9. Oregon is still awesome: Washington is a much improved team but even they can’t keep up with Mariota and the rest of the Ducks. Add in the fact Deanthony Thomas didn’t even play and the Ducks are even more terrifying.
10. Um, Oregon State is also good: They lost to Eastern Washington in the opening week but have been on a tear since. QB Sean Mannion actually has more TD passes than Marriota as the Beavers have adapted to modern college football with a no huddle attack. (Yes this is a dig at Michigan and I hope Borges makes his way back to a school he used to coach to learn how the no huddle works.)
11. UCLA gets its chance the next two weeks: The Bruins are 5-0 and play at Stanford and at Oregon the next two weeks. Washington wasn’t able to survive that stretch, not sure if UCLA can either.
12. Ed Orgeron: People should not be surprised Ed Orgeron is fun to play for.
13. WHAT DID YOU DO TO BAYLOR AMERICA?: I gave you the keys to the Ferrari and they only score 35 points? You are not allowed to drive it anymore. (I saw the score and just assumed it was halftime. I actually think they are still in some long lighting delay. How can Baylor not score 70 points? What kind of world do we live in?)
14. Kingsbury Watch: A perfect 6-0 start to the Kingsbury era.
15. Non BCS Unbeaten Alert: Northern Illinois, Fresno St and Houston round out the list
16. Va Tech’s defense: Clobbered Pitt and is basically the MSU of the ACC. All D and No O
17. CFB Playoff Committee: Here is a video with Chairman Jeff Long
18. Heisman Watch: Still all QBs
1) Marcus Mariota- Lots of hype coming out of that Washington game
2) Johnny Manziel- Here is the TD run again because I could watch it all day
3) Jamies Winton/Tajh Boyd- Someone can leapfrog to 1 with an epic performance
4) AJ McCarron- That Katherine Webb commercial is interesting.
5) Teddy Bridgewater- Didn’t play great vs Rutgers, needs to vs UCF this week
6) Sean Mannion- Someone has to get the Mannion party started
19. BCS Projections
The Nati: Alabama vs Oregon
Rose: UCLA vs Ohio St
Fiesta: Baylor vs Clemson
Sugar: Texas A&M vs Louisville
Orange: FSU vs Wisconsin
I will try to keep myself from being angry by remembering we get FSU vs Clemson this week.