Monday, September 07, 2009

Coaches Corner: Thoughts Regarding Week One’s Game

Coaches Corner: Thoughts Regarding Week One’s Game

Let us have some enjoyment and start out with the GOOD THINGS.

1) This was a great win; it was a team win, and the team played with an edge and a chip on its shoulder. Anything less would have been unsatisfactory and a disappointment.

2) The team got off to a fast start, which was one of the keys listed in about all of the prediction pages last week. This was a must to clear a few of the ghosts and gain some confidence. Scoring on the first drive was huge and provided a very fast super confidence builder. The quick stop for the defense was just as important. So the game started off as to the written script.

3) This game provided a secondary goal of getting the young guns critical game experience. This was a great job by the staff in sharing the pie and the benefits will be seen down the line. Many may think Coach Rod pulled back, but the players were executing the normal play scheme, just with different levels and combinations of players. We believe the coaches were wise by choosing to let more players gain experience and be rewarded for hard work and tough times, instead of putting up numbers that might look impressive across the nation but yield no other benefit. USC, OSU, and other goliaths that think long-term strategy have been doing this for years, not worrying about running up the scoreboard but instead getting kids needed experience.

4) The team played very fast and athletic. One caveat, Western Michigan was a very slow team, making Michigan appear even faster.

5) The difference in offensive performance and scoring ability linked directly to solid quarterback play was obvious. There were a few Snafus’ for sure, but the execution was 180 degrees better than last season, when UM struggled for even one first down on many possessions.

6) Kicking a 40+-yard field goal was big. Knowing you have this capability is very helpful. Making that first big kick is huge for any kicker at any level.

7) The special teams play was solid. Mathews had a nice return and we all thought the overall coverage was solid. There were some minor breakdowns on kick-off coverage, but nothing earth shattering.

8) Mesko is a WEAPON and a potential game changer!

9) As discussed above, this was a great job by the staff using personnel and mixing formation and player packages. We hope we see a lot more ACE formation. Having two tight ends in the game at the same time will drive safeties and outside linebackers to drink (among other things).

10) The team showed very good aggression and played an improved physical Game.

11) The quarterbacks, in general, and Forcier, in particular, did a nice job of spreading the ball around; seven different players caught passes.

12) Best Gang tackling Since McCartney's Monsters.

13) Michigan did a great Job of taking advantage of short field situations provided by turnovers. The first three touchdowns were off turnovers resulting from a short field.

14) Michigan won the turnover battle.

15) The players were having fun and so were the Fans, all 109,000 + of them.

Every football team needs work, especially after the season opener.

1) Penalties- 8 for 72 yards is unacceptable. This will bite Michigan in the *SS against a good team. Holding penalties, in particular, need to go away. There will certainly be urgency in practice this week, regarding mistakes of this nature.

2) The running game needs to be better, that is, more consistent. Only 248 yards rushing, with less than five yards per rush against this team, is a bit low, especially taking into account there were a couple of long runs. We are sure getting Minor back will help, but Western Michigan was not a very good team in the middle of the defense and Michigan needs to improve the consistency in running the ball.

3) There was too much interior penetration and Michigan did not do a great job of blocking the edge in the running game.

4) Michigan was unable to drive the field.

5) Both quarterbacks showed a tendency to pull the ball down a bit too quickly. And they threw a few scary passes. Some of these passes had no receiver in the same area code.

Still, give this team a mission accomplished tag. Rome was not built in a day and 3-9 football teams also are not.

Thanks for stopping by Go Blue Michigan Wolverine
If you have any questions please E-Mail

Written by CoachBt


Anonymous said...

Don't understand why you say "Michigan was unable to drive the field".

They had several drives that started at thier 20 or 10 that they drove the length of the field. I'll have to rewatch the tape. But the drive they put NS in they had driven from the 10 yard line? I think they were able to drive the filed with Forcier in, not of course with NS. Even though NS didn't score, I believe they would have if TF was left in the game.

ErocWolverine said...


In my opinion they did not do a very good job in the second half.

Anonymous said...

The running game (running backs production) was disappointing. I was expecting much more.

Anonymous said...

I agree about the blocking and I think the running will be better with Minor who will be able to produce more YAC. IMO Michigan's ball control efforts, especially in the 4th quarter (over 10 min of possession time) were overlooked by many. Also it is necessary to account for the fact that both RR and Greg Robinson closed the playbook in the 3rd quarter, bringing in backups to play basic defensive and offensive schemes.

I also disagree about both points made about qbs pertaining to Tate. He showed timing, field awareness and pocket presence of an upperclassmen, and his missed passes were generally not scary as they were overthrown. I will saw that Denard needs some work on the above mentioned, but I have a feeling Tate will really surprise us with his poise when we control the ball against a much better ND team.

Anonymous said...

this running game is much more timing dependent than a traditional offense, OLs need to be using their athleticism to hit their marks and get to their guys on time.... several times they were just a hair late and the play got blown up...for example at :53 in the first quarter, Denard ran a QB draw that would have gone for a TD up the middle but Molk was late getting to the ILB and missed his block and Denard got taken down...that was a 50 yd td that didnt happen but could have

coachbt said...

Only once did UM do what I would call drive the field. They had a 68 yd 8 or 9 play drive IIRC. Other times when they started to drive the field they did not score. I personally do not call it driving the field unless they put the ball into the end zone

noah tahl said...

I appreciate your insight and I feel you have the best blog as far as breaking down the game but I have to disagree with a lot of what you wrote.

up 31-0 against any div 1 team at the half is no easy task and especially against a team with 3 future NFL starters.

when was the last time Michigan soundly defeated a potential MAC champion?

yes, there is room for improvement but on a scale of 1 thru 10 I have to give this effort and performance an 8.

may the ghosts of App State be finaly exorcised.

Anonymous said...

"12) Best Gang tackling Since McCartney's Monsters."

Wow, that's saying a lot.

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