Sunday, October 26, 2008

Michigan's Defense Is Biggest Disappointment

Michigan State is deserving all the credit it is receiving for beating Michigan Saturday. It still doesn't mask how far the Wolverines have fallen for reasons that make little sense.
When you have a defense with that type of blue chip talent and experience, how can being burned for so many big plays be explained? And it wasn't as if Michigan did a solid job stopping the run. Javon Ringer had a huge game.
Michigan's offense isn't good, but did do enough to win many games - if the defense was solid. Michigan's defense was anything but solid Saturday. That's the perplexing part about the Wolverines' downfall. It's understandable to a degree when the discussion involves the offense because of the quarterback situation and inexperience. The same can't be said for the defense. And it does point to an ominous sign that Rich Rodriguez may not be what he was billed.

Random Thoughts

- The World Series the last three years has always had some last-to-first element to it. The team that was poor the season before (the Tigers, Colorado, Tampa Bay) hasn't fared well once in the spotlight of the series. It doesn't seem to me like the Rays will fall off after this like the Tigers and Rockies did, though. Seems to me like they will only get better. And teams have rallied from that 3-1 deficit before. It isn't over.

- Even though there were less than 55,000 at the Lions' game Sunday, they did get surprisingly loud when it was going well for the Lions. It was at the end I couldn't figure out. It was like half of the people left after the Lions fell behind - even if it was just by five points before the Redskins kicked a late field goal. It was as if just falling behind automatically means the Lions are going to lose.

- Have those who feel all Michigan's ills would have been cured if they had signed Terrelle Pryor, really watched him play that closely? He was brilliant against MSU, but otherwise has been average. Put Michigan's offense around him instead of Ohio State's - and Pryor wouldn't be nearly as effective. He hasn't played as well as his statistics suggest.

- Yeah. I do think Ringer deserves Heisman Trophy consideration. The front runner, though, has to be Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, doesn't he?

- Don't believe for a second Blair White's performance against U-M was a fluke. The kid is just a really player. He surprised no one within MSU's program Saturday.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


The Blog is great! Wish you would post more often. I’ll preface this by saying that I’m a Sparty and I hope that this isn’t too long, but here is an observation after reading your post,, especially the last sentence (Ominous).
There was a school up the road you might know whose administration found themselves in a similar situation to the current one at U of M a few years ago. The school wanted to make a change from the previous regime, shake things up. The school hired a coach, with some controversy in his hiring, not the schools first choice, but someone who was a reputable, successful coach at his previous school. He ran a spread offense and well; let’s just say an unconventional defense. Someone that did things “His way”. This coach, he had a habit of losing his temper and blaming the players when things didn’t go right during the game and after. Subsequently, many of the players left of their own choice, or were let go because they “Didn’t fit the system”. Even more disturbing is that he had problems getting key recruits in his own state and neighboring ones with known football talent to replace these players. Eventually as the team began to unravel amidst a sea of empty seats after a major stadium renovation, the coach was fired or quit, no one is really sure or cared at that point because the program was left in shambles until they eventually went back to their roots and traditions. Good luck Blue, it’s going to be a rough few years.

Thanks for your time Pat,

-Jeff C

5:48 PM 
Blogger Jim15032 said...

Thank you anonymous/JeffC. I didn't realize it until he so cogently pointed it out. RichRod is John L. Smith, except more expensive and arrogant.

Michigan's defense is a big disappointment for the same reasons it was in 2005, the last 2 games of 2006, and now in 2008. The kids want to make the highlight reels instead of ensuring a solid tackle. This is to my mind a coaching failure. Please ask Scott Shafer how he plans to make them effective tacklers. Please confront any coach who says "we need to make a play." That is not an answer.

Keep going and pushing these guys.


12:03 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think jeff c is just an alias to furthur confuse those who read his comments.....

I have to totally agree with you Pat on the ability of Blair White. Yes, he did drop a couple of balls ealier in the year against Northwestern but I think he is a solid player, one that defenses tend to look over when preparing to cover Dell and Cunningham.

Javon needs to have stats for each remaining game like he had against Michigan just to be invited to New York, but I don't think he has a chance at the Heismann against McCoy or Daniels or Bradford.

Thank God that Michigan's bogus first touchdown did not affect the result of the game. I was sitting at home screaming at the TV when the upstair's overturned the call. Funny how the ref responsible was a UM grad. Talk about home field advantage, this event was about as wierd as "CLockgate" back in 2001.

2:57 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

jeff c,
The comparison is different from this standpoint: John L. Smith didn't inherit the same kind of talent Rodriguez has at Michigan. Nor that kind of tradition.

6:42 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

The best part of the game is that it wasn't decided by that blown call. Ringer will finish in the top five in Heisman voting, but won't threaten to win it - unless MSU beats Penn State.

7:01 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Dell made a great catch on another play as well. None of MSU's receivers are as good as Devin Thomas, but they have made up for his departure with depth.

7:03 PM 
Blogger Eric Chase said...

Pat - Michigan's offense wouldn't make Pryor any better, but their coach would certainly exploit his freakish skills in better ways than Tressell has.

8:55 PM 

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