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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Wisco Post-Mortem

I'm not that bummed.

There, I said it. And no, it's probably not for the reasons you think. I wanted to win this game. Bad. I didn't want to give this game away "because it meant nothing" or to "save" anybody for Ohio State. Not one bit.

And neither did our team.

I read the comments on the Open Thread after the loss and frankly, I'm surprised a number of our readers thought we were "saving" Hart or Henne for the Ohio State game. I flat out disagree. This was the last Big 10 roadtrip either of them would ever play. They had the fourth longest winning streak in the country. To run the table after what happened at the start of this season would have been equally as "good" amazing as the Appalachian State loss was "bad" amazing.

No, the Wolverines wanted to win. But the simple facts are these: our two best players were hurt, Ryan Mallett wears #15 because that's the number of points he costs us each game and our defense just isn't that good.

Oh, and Wisconsin isn't that bad.

This was going to be a tough game with everybody healthy. The Badgers, until a mistakenly called fake punt, had Ohio State on the ropes in Columbus last week. We were only 2 1/2 point favorites with Hart and Henne expected to play.

Does anybody really think Hart chose to sit out? No way. Henne? Not a chance.

And these aren't just any two players for Michigan.

Hart is not only our best tailback, he's arguably the best ever at Michigan and the best in the nation. Henne is a four year starter who, while he has his flaws, also knows that sometimes it's okay to throw the ball away rather than keep going backwards for 30 yards before taking a sack. Again. And again. And again. Also, just throwing it up for grabs - again, and again, and again - is something he also tends to avoid. Without them, we're just not the same team.

And for those who thought Lloyd Carr didn't care if we won, well, your personal dislike is coloring your judgement. You can say a lot about Carr, but the man is no quitter. If he's proven anything, he's proven that this season. He's made in the mold of his mentor, Bo Schembechler. And to say Carr would have ever not cared about winning a Big Ten game is like saying the same about the coach he admired so much.

It just wasn't in the cards yesterday. That's why I'm not torn up about it the way a loss like that would normally ruin my weekend (or worse).

What was shocking was the defense (or lack thereof). WTF?!

Wisco is the sort of team we usually have no problem stopping, especially when - with their back-up QB in at the end - we knew exactly what was coming. Then again, this U-M defense was never strong, just able to hide its flaws. Like it did last year until the final two games.

Still, I'm not too bummed. Then again, maybe it's because if anybody had told me after Oregon we'd be playing OSU this week for a shot at an outright Big Ten title and a trip to Pasadena, I would have had said they were high.

Misc. Musings...

* Memo to Shawn Crable: Could you please try to contain your aggression and not keep getting us killer penalties when you decide to blast the QB after the fact?
* How many times have we seen even non-mobile QBs not only elude our rush but get great yardage to boot? Stale. Very stale.
* Not going for the 2-point conversion. I happen to agree with the call. There were still over 13 minutes left and we were down by 9. After Manningham's 97 yard TD, we had the ball with over four minutes left, only down by two. A FG now would win the game for us, not tie it. Just my opinion.
* Did I mention Mallett costs us just as many points as he produces? Sweet Mother of Ufer! I know he's just a freshman but THROW THE FUCKING BALL AWAY. And that doesn't mean up for grabs! &^%$#@!!!!
* Someone mentioned it in the comments, but Manningham has to be a leader, not just pout when his QB struggles, even if that QB is playing poorly. Be the guy who tries to pick him up and change what's happening, not a little pouty baby. Stale, Part II.
* Anybody else think it looked like Mallett was trying to aim the ball instead of just throwing? His confidence appeared shot and it showed.
* The Crable hit, while early in the game, that negated the U-M pick was probably the biggest play of the game. We would have had good field position in a 0-0 game. If we score first, everything might have been different.

Oh, and just because I'm not that bummed doesn't mean we don't need a healing picture...

Say it with me...

We're all OU fans today.


YoGroups said...

The Brittany Skye photo is a complete fake. God, Yost, don't be so f-ing lazy. Or at least admit it's a fake and put in Michigan labeling.

Joshua said...

My reaction to the pic says real. very, very real.

"And for those who thought Lloyd Carr didn't care if we won..." Anyone who thinks this obviously didn't see his reaction to the second Crable call. He had to be HELD BACK by an assistant coach. Absolutely amazing. While you may have issues with the man (like playing "not to lose") you cannot legitimately question the man's passion after seeing that.

And seriously Yogroups- criticizing Yost after the effort he puts into this site is just weak. Point out that its a fake maybe, but quit being such an ungrateful little prick.

YoGroups said...
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lina19 said...

I have a question that I would love some input on:

where the hell was the running game? Isn't it a cardinal rule that you HAVE to establish the run before you can successfully (ha) pass the ball? They just let Mallett throw crappy pass after crappy pass.


Katie said...

(No healing pics for the female fans *sigh*, we don't care if they are fake ;o)

Mario - totally not a team player and the sideline crap did not help Mallett. I am sure that Mallett needs an attitude adjustment as well, however he IS a freshman and he has been put in a position I am sure no one would wish for. It doesn't stop me from saying I wish he could have pulled it together yesterday. In reality, Mario only made it worse. Mario isn't looking ahead to tOSU, he is looking ahead to the NFL. I am willing to bet money that he goes to the draft and doesn't come back, and I must say, I won't be disappointed. He is not a team player. (and that is a real shame) I felt Crable was doing the same, playing for the NFL draft "see what a bad ass I am". His antics hurt us yesterday.
I know you say that they were not saving Hart and Henne for tOSU, but I seriously have my doubts about that. I understand your point, but it seemed like a very precautionary move to me. But then, I am just some chick on a football blog, so take that for what it is worth. ;o) I think the ESPN write up was way too harsh. We need to win the next 2 games to prove that point.

whetstonebuck said...

Somebody having a bad day?

Lighten up, Francis.

Katie said...

OH!! and one more thing.....can someone tell me the thoughts behind going for it on 4th and 20 on the 5 yard line?????? If we had been able to move the ball all game, sure, go for it........but did anyone seriously even remotely think that we would get that!? That was not the time to act like Les Miles!

Maize said...


Mich going for it on 4th and 20 was about desperation. The same desperation I have when at a singles bar at last call having just downed my last viagra 30 mins ago and no chick will even look at me. Total desperation!!!

And we do have a running game. The problem is that when Hart isn't in there, the RB's are instructed to run right into traffic or their own player. Just like they do on kick offs and punt returns. Carlos Brown seems like he has a knack of running into defensement (though he did show signs of patience yesterday).

I guess they don't instruct the runners at Michigan to try and find open space.

This loss sucks. I was close to turning off the TV at the beginning of the 4th quarter to go beat up my little Daschaund. But, I kept the tv on and I watched the beginnings of a miracle. Low and behold, Mich is down by 2 and for the first time in the game I felt hope. Boy, was that short lived. I felt as dejected as the time the madame at the Chicken Ranch wouldn't let me in 'cuz I brought my penis pump with me.

Mallett has great talent. What I don't know is how coachable he is. He's still making the same mistakes (ie not getting rid of the ball when need be). Yes, that little dish to Carson Butler was nice and unexpected (there's your trick play of the day) but the kid is playing by the seat of his pants. I hope the off season will be one of maturation and growth for him. We need a smart QB and not a gun slinger.

Carry on, Michigan faithful.


tommertoffo said...

Yost, great comments. I agree wholeheatedly.
Going for 2 after the TD is almost always a mistake unless it's at the very end of the game. This game proved that point again. We were within a field goal with the momentum before that interception. If we don't convert the 2 pt conversion, we have to score a TD.
Why go for it at 4th and 20? Because our only chance to win came if we converted. If we punt our only chance comes if they fumble.
The Crable penalty was more than just aggression. He's a plain JERK. Shoving a QB down after the play by shoving his face mask is more than just a "late hit" from aggression. It's a puposeful attack at another player. If I were Carr (or the ref) I would have benched him after that play for the rest of the game.
Mallett has more innate talent than Henne. He'll learn a lot from this game. I just wish he had a Braylon Edwards to help his freshman year out rather than cry baby Manningham.

Katie said...

" going for it on 4th and 20 was about desperation. The same desperation I have when at a singles bar at last call having just downed my last viagra 30 mins ago and no chick will even look at me. Total desperation!!!"

You use Viagra? ;o) I get desperation, however we were NOT able to do much as it was, the field position was what screamed insanity on that play (to me anyway), that set them up to put the game away at that point, punting and then letting the defense hold them until we got the ball back seemed a more viable option (oh yeah, the defense forgot to show up yesterday, maybe that is what they were thinking)

Sgt. Wolverine said...

The first Crable call I understood, but the second I thought was iffy; that hit didn't look unnecessary or excessive at all.

Joshua said...

Yogroups, thanks for the tip. You are correct. what was i thinking? someone takes the time to update a site regularly with insightful content which most seem to enjoy and gives us a place to discuss what is a shared passion for some of us, OF COURSE i should criticize him and call him f-ing lazy. i'll try to do better in the future.

Now, back to football:
Manningham and Mallett both have a lot of growing to do- the difference is that Mallett can be taught the correct things to do (THROW THE DAMN BALL AWAY!), but I doubt that Manningham's attitude can be adjusted. His talent is undeniable, but it would appear he's turning into quite a diva. What a shame.

farris said...

As a Buckeye, I keep telling myself there's no better time to have a loss than the week before the Michigan game, and I think the inverse is probably true. I've already forgotten about the Illinois game because I've got one thing to focus on: Hate.

That said, no way Hart and Henne would've willingly sat out to "save" themselves. Wasn't Crable the guy the got called last year for hitting Troy Smith out of bounds at the end of the game in Columbus, too? The guy is definitely an animal, and I'm sure the tough practice this week isn't going to help...

Either way, big week, and enjoy the lead up.

YoGroups said...
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Ron said...

I'm not questioning Carr's passion, or drive for winning. I have nothing but the utmost respect for him and the staff for the way they righted the ship. And as far as his reactions to the Crable call, I would've been disappointed if he'd reacted any other way. I know it must have killed him to have to keep Hart and Henne out, knowing we wouldn't be able to win without them. But, I just feel like, he saw the situation. Henne and Hart are banged up, and 0-3 against tOSU. This year is their last chance against them, do we risk their health to try and win a game that 1) we might not even win, 2)that if we win won't help bowl position if we lose next week and 3) and if they are hurt further, cost them the chance to beat tOSU?

I could be way off, and just a desperate homer trying to justify my team's painful loss. And obvisously, if Henne and Hart are too hurt to play next week, we'll all know I'm dead wrong. But I guess, I was sold on this team, and it didn't look like the same effort I've seen before from this team.

tommertoffo said...

The second call on Crable was the wrong call. The QB on an option is like a running back and can be treated like one. That tackle was legit.
One of the reasons I believe the ref called it - I think the ref was influenced by the egregious Crable attack a few plays before. Those plays have a tendency to influence future calls. Carr's appropriate reaction was well received by this wolverine fan.
I wouldn't start Crable for OSU.

Joshua said...

Please direct me to video where i can see those other receivers acting the way Manningham did yesterday. His attitude was disruptive and didn't contribute to our wining the game. Did I refer to him as an asshole? No. I was referring simply to his actions during the game yesterday. As for your "joking" comments, thats not how they came across. I for one appreciate the work that goes into this site. Feel free to comment back, or don't- either way your not getting a response from me. I'm done with you.

Joshua said...

As for Carr's outburst, I was just surprised to see that level of emotion- never seen it like that from him before. Totally refreshing.

YoGroups said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
YoGroups said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Winter Garden Wolverine said...

I think our running problems are directly tied to the zone running game. Honestly, if it weren't for Hart does anyone think we wouldn't have the worst rushing attack in the Big 10? All it takes is one or two half ass quick D-linemen to blow up our running game, and we haven't faced any REALLY good linemen like Dorsey at LSU or Jackson out at USC. They'd have a field day.

Just like you simplify things for a young QB you need to do the same thing for running backs not named Mike Hart. Go back to the gap blocking and they'll know what hole they're supposed to hit rather than running the stretch and hoping a hole opens up. That takes some of the thinking out of the game and they can just play. Hopefully over time they develop better vision or cutback ability.

Plus it brings back play action and misdirection that we've lost over the past two years.

surrounded in columbus said...

Poll's out- wtf? We dropped to 23. Ok w/ that, but we're behind PSU & Illi. And then Wisco is right behind us? I see them being hot on Illini after yesterday, but what is up w/ the luv affair w/ the lions?

Katie said...

Waves to SIC (did you enjoy your evening?)

I totally expected that after the article ESPN wrote about Michigan. Now we must go prove ourselves by beating tOSU. No way should we be behind Penn State, that is flippin nuts. I really have no faith in the polls.....I wonder where Dantonio put us?? LMAO!!

Crazyswordsman said...

You know, these healing pics don't make me feel any better. They make me feel much worse and make me realize I'll never have a girlfriend.

If you really want to make us feel better, write something funny. This blog is like the highlight of my week.

ChicagoWolverine said...

Nice photo of my future x-wife! More healing please!

surrounded in columbus said...

Probably a record for getting over a loss, for both of us.


Matt said...

I also agreed with the call to not go for the 2 point conversions. Pat Forde jumped on Michigan for this, and he's wrong. His article was obnoxious and unnecessary. It simply singled Michigan out. Not fair, uncalled for.

I don't think that yesterday was an exact reflection of the way we've been playing all season. Something was clearly wrong and the D didn't show up. We beat a bunch of the teams that beat down Wisconsin. It was a game we should have won and we just didn't play. Hopefully the team can turn things around for next week. Also, there was a number of bad coaching calls. I thought Henne and Hart should have played.

Katie said...

Ohhhh I am jealous! Congrats! Now next week you might have a more difficult time comforting her in the loss to us, but I have faith that you can pull that off too! (I am trying to have faith that our boys in Blue and pull off that win as well!)

jwalk said...

It seems to me that part of the success of the zone read blocking scheme isn't necessarily that Hart has the better patience for it. When the run game isn't successful, it is because the opposing defense is keying in on stopping it. Not a big deal with a senior quaterback in (All three backs have seen success with Henne at the helm). But with a freshman running the show, it limits the passing options (both caused by playcalling and flat out ability of the qb).

So many of Michigan's running plays come off of a delayed handoff. If Mallett is in, the defense is not as likely to bite on the delay. Hart isn't better at finding the holes in this type of situation. He's just better at not getting tackled and making something out of nothing.

A delayed handoff doesn't help if they know you will probably run. It just gives the d-line more time to blow the play up in the backfield.

Matt said...

I don't know who commented on it, but Crable's hit on Troy Smith last year was completely legal. At the point the hit happened, Troy was still in-bounds and was acting as a running back, not a quarter back.

Just like the play yesterday, Crable should not have been penalized. I'm all for protecting offensive players from cheap hits, but those two hits should never be flagged.

Football is becoming soft because of all the protection given to quarterbacks. If coaches want mobile quarterbacks, then it needs to be explained to them that they are going to get hit the same way as a running back or wide receiver with the ball. There is a reason the option isn't run in the NFL. The quarterback would be killed. Just because some of the top DL and LB in college hit like they are in the NFL, doesn't mean that quarterbacks need extra protection.

jwalk said...

I still chuckle everytime I see this...

The New Gold Standard: Charlie Weis and Notre Dame's Rise to Glory

IamCris said...

I like all the pics of the ladies that go up on the blog. I appreciate the time and effort that goes into softening up the sting of a loss. Aside from that. If it is a fake, does your right hand feel cheated or something?
I'm just saying.

Katie said...

LOL@Chris, that probably depends on if you are right or left handed ;o)

Mikoyan said...

If the quarterback is running, he should be treated as any other running back. I agree with that.

It's interesting to see where OSU fell to though. I guess Big 10 teams can't lose. If OSU were an SEC team, they would have fell to Number 2 or something.

I'm still ticked that Kansas is ranked where it is though. They should be Nubmer 1 being undefeated and all. Same with Hawaii.

And Kurt Herbstreit is a ...blah, can't think of anythign...

tabithasaysgoblue said...

Crable, Crable, Crable...I was almost over the penalty from last years OSU game, when...anyway!! I hope he does not start against OSU, he shouldn't! It's called self control...get some! I agree with Yost that was key in the outcome saturday.

Jessica said...

I can only hope Crable got that shit out of his system this week and doesn't cost us another OSU game next week. If it would have been possible for me to reach through the TV and kill him, he would have been dead last year.