Hmm… Well… Wow. What is left to say? Michigan just is not a very good football team. It’s one thing to get surprised by Appy State, and have them come in and sneak out a win. Things are totally different when you have a BCS team come in (THAT PLAYS EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE TEAM THAT JUST BEAT YOU!!!) and absolutely embarasses you in your home stadium (AGAIN!). Oregon really did whatever they wanted on offense the entire game. They actually reigned things in during the second half as to not give too much away to future opponents. Can you name the last time a team was able to do that to a Michigan team? Me neither.
More bitching, whining, and complaining (if you can handle it) after the jump…
I wasn’t at practice this week. As a fan, I feel like I can wonder what happened there. From the looks of today’s game, it appears not much was going on. The defense had just been TORCHED by a quick-scrambling-running quarterback. Dennis Dixon was coming in this week and was a 1-A version of Armanti Edwards (Appy State’s QB). If you listen to Super Monday, you will know that I once said that DD would be the “Offensive Player of the Year in the PAC-10 that you’ve Never Heard Of.” A truly great honor, indeed. He went above and beyond that distinction. There was absolutely no stopping the Ducks. We’ve lauded the accomplishments of Ron English (UM’s Defensive Coordinator) a lot on this site, but for the last two weeks he has looked absoutely out-matched.
Is that a talent thing? Or a coaching thing? That’s a big question. Does Ron English have what it takes to possibly take this program over at some point? From the looks of things, no. Decent coaches would be able to do something with even the youngest of defenses. English has been worked over by faster-spread offenses so far. Neither can really be excused. First, you’re looking at a 1-A team. Second week, Oregon threw no surprises at you, yet there was nothing done to stop them ever. Here was an exchange mid-way through the first quarter:
TheGoldFishCowboy: What the hell? Did they just go for two? Why’d they go for two right there?
SmoothRon: Because they can.
That pretty much summed up the defense… Oregon did whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. Let’s not let the offense off the hook now, either. Mike DeBord’s offense sputtered at best. Henne’s first interception was indicative of the whole game. He threw it about seven yards further than Manningham could have ever gotten on that route into triple coverage. The play-calling has become stale. You are always guaranteed to see seven of the first fifteen plays go to Hart (not a problem with how well he is playing). They will go deep to Manningham/Arrington once or twice. Then, they will run that stupid WR screen that has worked, maybe, twice in the last three years. If the play-calling was the biggest problem, Michigan fans wouldn’t have to feel so bad. Play-calling can change. The biggest problem with this offense is that, with maybe two exceptions, players take plays off. Henne chucks that ball just to throw it in the first quarter. Manningham WILL NOT FIGHT FOR EXTRA YARDS and runs out of bounds at the first sight of contact. Arrington is Arrington, and is not afraid to “Randy Moss” a play or ten any given day.
How has it come to this? Henne, Hart, and Long were coming back to win national championships, but now they won’t even call out a guy who isn’t playing hard? The coaches need to take a lot of the blame for it, as well. They obviously aren’t working on any new schemes, why can’t we at least get them to play hard? Just another sign, it’s time for a change. Everyone knows that it’s coming, which will make it even harder for Lloyd to get them to play hard. Oh well, at least we get a chance to see if Ryan Mallett is the real deal… which Wolverine fans are praying for, as it might be the only shining light of the season.
There’s no use yet in speculating as to who will replace Lloyd. We’ll get to that at a later time and date. Can the Wolverines find the strength to try and respond again? Notre Dame has never looked so vulnerable… not to mention the greatest thing UM has going for it.
There will be a Clausen in the backfield on Saturday.