The Game: Last Thoughts From Each Side

Being Friday, there is still time to get last thoughts in for The Game tomorrow morning. Mike Roarty and myself dive into personnel, scheme and more giving a two-side approach to the matchup. Enjoy…

Jake: I call myself the big dog because everytime Carlos “Los” Hyde gets the ball I have a knee jerk reaction and yell “LET THE BIG DOG EAT”. 

Anyways, Mike you mentioned to me that you aren’t excited for the game. Being both level headed fans to each other (while documented wildly different) when not to each other, you seem pretty down about this game. 
 
I don’t want to get into the game just yet. I want to talk about something juicy… Does Brady Hoke get canned with a bad loss this Saturday? More importantly, what do you want to happen with the Head Coach? 1
Mike: It sucks that we are talking about job security instead of the game but that is where we are with this 2013 Michigan team. For those of you on both sides of the rivalry hoping Hoke gets fired don’t get too excited. It won’t happen for a number of reasons I will outline

1. He has AD Dave Brandon’s full support. Brandon hired him and no way will he admit defeat three years into his tenure
2. There is no slam dunk hire out there for Michigan. When RR was fired it was pretty fired he didn’t have Brandons support and Jim Harbaugh was a big fish out there Michigan was willing to take a chance on. Right now there is no realistic big fish so Michigan has to stand pat
3. Michigan hasnt had a full 85 guys in 7 years do to 3 coaching transitions. They will have that for the first time next fall so they can’t just blow it up to blow it up. Plus the defense it getting better
The problem is Hoke f’ed up the one thing Rich Rod did well, offense. Borges struggled to fit Denard into his system and now that he has the pieces to fit “his” offense it looks even worse. It is also a disaster and from a roster standpoint it will only get worse next year because of the gaping holes in the 2010 and 2011 classes. Michigan will have one Senior (Gardner) on the offense next year.
So the question is does Hoke fire Borges? If he does, then who does he hire? Hoke really doesn’t coach the offense at all so he needs to hire the right guy especially since Michigan will be so young on that side of the ball
So this is a big hire for Hoke and I would expect him to get 2-3 more years to see if the offense can turn it around. In that time Michigan could look differently because the school is looking for a new President. Who knows if Dave Brandon will hold the same amount of power in that time.
So to answer your question, no he won’t get fired.
Jake: If you are happy, I’m happy. I feel good about watching his glutton walk around the sidelines with that digesting feeling of disappointment hibernating in his gut. 

You mention that Hoke does really coach offense at all. My question is, does he even coach period? You have the 9th highest paid coordinator in college football coaching the defense already and Hoke doesn’t even wear a headset during the game. Who does that in the 21st century? Joe Pa, Bobby Bowden and Brady Hoke. Let’s not confuse not wearing a headset with being great coaches now. 11
 
My next question, how will your defense fare against my favorite offensive Buckeye…Carlos “Los BIG DOG” Hyde? Carlos reminds me of the Beanie Wells but actually with mental toughness. Does this game look like 2007 or will you be able to contain the big guy? 
Mike: He is actually the position coach for the defensive tackles so he is basically a D line coach at head coach. Either way the whole not wearing a headset as the offense combusts is a terrible look. Hoke will only be as good as his coordinators and right now one of them is failing him miserably.

I actually expect 2007 to be a very good comparison for the game. Michigan had 91 yards of offense that day as the big back wore Michigan’s D down. I expect the same on Saturday. Michigan’s defense will keep it close through a half before the OSU O line and Hyde just break their will. Same thing happened in the Sparty game this year. This defense is good but it is not elite enough to win games by itself.
Jake: In all honesty, I love and absolutely hate this week. I am my own personal hype beast and I keep it to myself. The confidence I get with a win goes just as low with a loss. Back in 2011, I cared but…we weren’t good and had nothing to really play for. This year we have an insane win streak and title hopes on the line along with bragging rights. With that being known, am I absolutely crazy to think that Michigan at least has the talent to hit on some hidden tricks that could change the outcome of the game? (Keep in mind this isn’t my logical head speaking, but more the nervous fan)

The nerves also stem from the fact that I really like players on our defense however they have been known to have some holes (see Stave – Abberderis vs. Wisconsin, at U of I, the first half vs. Iowa). What needs to happen in your eyes for the stupid Sun and Dark Blue to shock the world? 
Mike: You hit the nail on the head on offense. Gallon has to abuse Roby and Funchess has to be a a mismatch for the rest of the secondary. Michigan cant run the ball so they will need 3-4 big plays. 111

On defense the Michigan defense has to make the leap, at least for one day, to “elite status.” They don’t have the pass rushers to do this but if OSU’s line has an off day and Braxton is hesitant like he was on the road against Northwestern then they have a chance. O, and lots of turnovers. So many turnovers have to go Michigan’s way.
Assuming none of this happens what are your thoughts about your matchup in Indy? Does that game worry you? Are you headed to the game?
Jake: I tried to write a few different rebuttals to this but the prevailing thought I have in my head to your biggest keys as you have noted in the first paragraph was Allen Robinson of PSU had over 200 yards receiving when he played the Bucks this year. That game didn’t turn out well for the Nittany Lions despite his monster game. 

Roby has been playing awesome as of late, which is exactly what we need. Outside of Roby and Shazier i’m going to give you two guys you need to watch on Saturday from my Silver Bullets: 1) Noah Spence 2) Joey Bosa. Obviously you have heard of them, but on Saturday you’ll feel them.
 
Now with regards to Sparty. I’m not looking ahead to that game because we have you guys first. But since we are already locked into that game, here are my thoughts. 
 
How did Florida look against Ohio State in 2007 National Title Game? That was Urban versus Tressel. We have basically the same schematic scenario in this game. Hard nosed defense, probably the best in the Big 10 in Sparty. Proven offensive line with a spread em out offense for the Bucks. I like our spread em out philosophy on offense and our speed on defense. I was at Sparty’s only loss of the season against Notre Dame. Worst.Game.Ever. I’m not worried about their offense but their defense is definitely worth the highest respect. 
 
So let’s go down the final stretch now with our game. Give me a twitter style prediction of each quarter and how the game flow looks. 

Mike: 1st quarter @michroar1 We are 5 mins into the game and its not over yet

2nd quarter @michroar1 That late 2nd quarter drive could doom Michigan
3rd quarter @michroar1 DOOM
4th quarter @michroar1 Kenny Guiton is the 2nd best QB in the B1G
Postgame @michroar1 I am just glad its over with  1111
Jake: 1st quarter @Worldwide_Watts: Impressive first drive by Bucks, atmosphere keeping scUM in the game

 
2nd quarter @Worldwide_Watts: Michigan rebuttals, Urban has to pull out all the stops in the locker room heading into half. Buckeye fans confidently nervous
 
3rd quarter @Worldwide_Watts: LET THE BIG DOG EAT
 
4th quarter @Worldwide_Watts: Game, blouses
 
Postgame @Worldwide_Watts: Offense needs to play 4 quarters next week to smell roses
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