Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Recovery Is A Long, Painful Process

Two days later I'm still shaking my head over what happened.

An offense that churned out 39 points against Ohio State was in reality held to 11. Mike Hart was a non-factor. Chad Henne spent most of his day being burried like a dog bone. A Defense that had given up nothing all year, gave up everything in the final 30 minutes of the game from hell.

Fingers must be pointed. Blame must be assessed. Vengance must be swift. I need to get over the Montezuma's revenge I contracted while on vacation in Mexico. Seriously.

However you will see the following things when I finally clear my head of daylight nightmare that is D'wayne Jarrett.

1. I will not call for Lloyd's head. Lloyd Carr is the symbol of what it is to be a Michigan man. He performs his job with class and dignity, and up until the 3rd quarter of the Rose Bowl had done an outstanding job preparing this team for its season. The brutal fact of the matter is that Michigan wasn't just out coached, it was our talented in the worst possible way. It will take Michigan 3-4 years to undo the damage Jim Herrmann's defensive recruiting and scheming did to this defense. A long look into our defensive backfield reveals our inadequacies. I have faith this will be remedied, the same way I had faith that Michigan would challenge for a national title this year. They did and they will. Lloyd is not the problem.

2. Blame should be placed on Mike DeBord's head for the sorry play calling and horrendous adjustments he made during the game. He should not be fired. He took a miserable offense last year and turned it into a damn good one. Where he failed on New Year's day was being unable to shift from a gap shooting running offense to a more traditional blow them off their feet 4 yards and a cloud of dust attack. USC was the perfect gap shooting team and the failure to adjust cost Michigan the game early. Still. Look at what the man did this year. There are maybe 4 or 5 teams in the country that can boast the numbers Michigan put up until the Rose Bowl. Again, I have confidence he will learn from this.

3. Alex Mitchell was really really really bad during the game.

4. Our defensive backfield couldn't cover a hot pocket with a paper towel. Barringer and Englemon were brutal at safety. Adams and Harrison reeked as well. We'll need dental records to identify Morgan Trent's charred corpse after being flambe'd by USC. If you're looking for a scapegoat in that debacle, look no further.

5. Ron English. As correctly pointed out by one of the anonomous all-stars that so kindly visit and post on this site, any notion that he is some kind of suuuuper-genius went out the window in Michigan's DISMAL defensive performances over the last two games. No pressure, blitzes that weren't properly called or executed, and defensive backs playing 15 yards off their wide receivers. The second half was evidence he ain't all that. Yet.

6. If you're looking for me to call for someone's head, his name is Thomas Amaker.

7. This too shall pass. Bowl losses are nothing new to me at this point. However, Michigan has an excellent team returning. Next year will be a good one. Now we just wait and see.

There are too many other things going on to be excited about in Michigan athletics to dwell on this loss more than a few more days. If I can figure out the Mexican internets, I'll post my "Thumbin' Thru Michigan USC" in the next few days. If not, regular blogging will resume on Monday for the the MNC Game.

In the meantime, they're barbequing the Marlin I caught.

Go Blue.

6 Comments:

At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Ben said...

Thanks, Dave. I have been searching the internets for two days to find a non-suicidal post. This helps.

 
At 6:03 AM, Anonymous Other Andrew said...

Well said, Dave. You've done a fine job of managing to keep your thoughts clear despite the anger we are all feeling.

So next year... Perhaps there will be a silver lining to this game. Last year's debacle clearly motivated the players (and coaches) to work their tails off and make improvements. Will that happen again? And will this loss possibly persuade Branch to stay? The players and coaches figured out what it takes to have a great regular season. Unfortunately, we've all now learned that the bowl game is a different kind of hurdle. I think if we played USC in a regular season matchup - with one week's preparation - we would have beaten them. But with a month to prepare, they took things to another gear and prepared to play MICHIGAN. Michigan treated the game as another regular season matchup where we do what we do. I can see why - it worked all season. But next year, we need to have a new approach to these things. And as you said, I believe we will.

Thanks!

 
At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please explain why, exactly, DeBord should not be fired for his pathetic performance in this game? He had 6 weeks, give or take, to adjust to SC. Notre Dame moved the ball up and down the field against SC, but never closed the deal in that game, and we're clearly a better team than ND. His head must roll.

 
At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What more can you say: Outplayed, outcoached. The Michigan team looked like they spent new years eve the way I did. Which isn't a good thing by the way. I guess we need to cut the offensive and defensive coordinators some slack, considering this is their 1st years and new schemes for both. However, adjustments need to be made urgently. More 4 receiver, QB shotgun sets. I love the running game as much as the next old school football guy, but, common, if it is not working you have to change it up. I saw what LSU did last night and it was beautiful (when is Les Miles' contract up?). Why line up in I formation on every 1st down? Plus, we have some big time WR recruits comming in - Get the ball to your playmakers in space. On defense, we need alot more speed, particularly in DB. They really got picked apart. We need to treat every game like we will be playing alot of nickel defense.

 
At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, maybe DeBord should not be fired, but did you notice that all the play action stuff and running you do is not helping?? We are in the 21st Century and the spread offense is common. I suggest not as an insult but maybe DeBord should look at it, not just because it would make Michigan more of a threat but then the defense would be more prepared for it and lord knows Michigan has not done well against teams who ran the spread, (see OSU and USC). It could be a lack of defensive backfield talent, but I think it's a bit of both. Institute portions of the spread offense so your defensive some idea of how to prevent it (see LSU sugar bowl).
This is just my opinion and a thought.

 
At 10:48 PM, Anonymous DC Trojan said...

"couldn't cover a hot pocket with a paper towel" -- that is a truly splendid turn of phrase.

Not that you're likely interested in the thoughts of the opposition, but I think the 4th quarter, like the game against tOSU, showed that the offensive players have it in them -- but the coaching could be a bit better.

Anyway, here's to a great 2007 season for both our teams.

 

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