Saturday, September 27, 2014

Minnesota 30, Michigan 14

Should we go with the guy who was bestowed with Tom Harmon's jersey, or the guy with zero career touchdowns?
(image via 247Sports.com)
End the Shane Morris experiment now. We have seen Shane Morris play a fair amount of football now that we're five games into his sophomore season. In 2013 he played a respectable number of snaps against Central Michigan, Michigan State, and Kansas State; this year he has seen an appreciable amount of time against Appalachian State, Utah, and Minnesota. What have we learned? He's not good at football right now. He can't progress through his reads quickly, he's careless with the football, and he's not accurate, especially when throwing to his right. He finished the game 7/19 for 49 yards, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception (returned for a touchdown), and 3 fumbles (1 lost). He now has a career touchdown-to-interception ratio of 0-to-5. The kid should have redshirted in 2013, or maybe even this season. He's not even to the point where he should be an option for a big-time program like Michigan right now.

How about now? Devin Gardner has been the starting quarterback since 2012 for a reason. He is one of the best athletes in the country at his position, he has good (not great) arm strength, and he has the ability to put the team on his back for entire games (for example, last year against Notre Dame, Indiana, and Ohio State). He certainly has flaws - the interceptions, the fumbles, the ill-advised throws from his own endzone - but that's not the point. The question Brady Hoke should be asking himself on a weekly basis is this: Which quarterback gives this team the best chance to win right now? The answer to that question is Gardner. The switch to Morris should never have been made in the first place. Sometimes you have to tell fans and media to suck an egg, that you're going to stick with your guy. It's okay to be Grady Little once in a while. In another dimension, Pedro Martinez held onto the lead.

Michigan should have recruited a quarterback in 2012. This doesn't have much to do with this game in itself, but I just feel the need to point out that the Wolverines whiffed on a couple quarterbacks in the 2012 class and then said, "Eh, who cares? We've got Shane Morris in the pipeline." I care, and I said so at the time. I was appalled that Michigan didn't go after another signal caller, and that mistake is rearing its ugly head as the Wolverines are trying to field a competent starter and/or backup. This exact situation is evidence that a quarterback should be recruited in every class. They want to bench their fifth-year senior, the redshirt junior was terrible, the sophomore is in over his head, and the freshman is probably maizeing his pants in fear of playing behind Michigan's offensive line.

Coaching tip #1: Put your damn helmets on. In the fourth quarter, Shane Morris was knocked out of the game with one or more injuries (more on that later). Devin Gardner was inserted for a couple plays, upon which his helmet came off and he was forced to sit out one play. Third-string quarterback Russell Bellomy, caught totally unaware, had no clue where his helmet was. He tried on one that didn't fit, then another that didn't fit, then turned to all his friends and said, "No, guys, don't you remember Nebraska?!?!?!" Then everyone nodded and gently nudged the (allegedly) concussed guy out there for another play.

Coaching tip #2: You can't punt when you're down by 16 with four minutes left. I don't give a hoot if it's 4th-and-36 from your own 1-yard line. If you're down two scores with roughly four minutes remaining, you go for it, especially with only one timeout left. Minnesota is a ball control offense who can certainly run the ball and keep the clock running for the remainder of the game. And that's exactly what they did. That showed me that Brady Hoke didn't want to win the game, and it also showed that he didn't have faith in his team to make a game of it. He was trying to save face and prevent the team from giving up 37 points. If they don't get the first down, everyone in that locker room knows that the final seven points wouldn't really matter. There's no discernible difference between a 37-14 loss and a 30-14 loss. At least if you go for it, you show your team that you believe in them and will keep clawing for victory until the end.

Shane Morris may or may not have been concussed. I know there's a lot of hand wringing about concussions these days, and I know Morris took a nasty shot from Theiren Cockran (that should have resulted in an ejection, by the way). I have seen a fair number of concussions, and I have to say that Morris did not look concussed on the sideline. I know people saw him stumble and nearly collapse on the field, but I got the vibe that it was because of the obvious pain in his left ankle. The kid could barely put pressure on his left leg from the third quarter onward, and I'm sure the hit from Cockran was not pleasant. Morris's demeanor on the sideline afterward appeared to be that of a coherent young man who needed an ice bath, a massage, and some pictures to make him feel better. I could be wrong, and there's no way to play doctor from my seat on the couch, but that was my interpretation of what I saw. . .

[Note: Before anyone jumps on me for my thoughts on Morris, I should state that I am extremely cautious as a coach when it comes to concussions. Standard protocol is to remove a kid's helmet if there is any suspicion of a concussion, until such time as he is cleared to return. I have forced several kids out of practice/games for precautionary reasons when they complained of head pain, only to find out that it was dehydration, a blow to the nose, etc. At the very least, Morris should have been examined by a trainer.]

However, Morris should have been removed from the game permanently. On top of the fact that he never should have started the game in the first place, Morris twisted his ankle and/or knee early in the third quarter. He was limping noticeably. It seemed to affect his play negatively. He then took a couple more hits and came up limping even worse. In my years of sports experience, people who limp are generally worse at sports than those who are not limping. If that weren't the case, Verbal Kint would be in the Hall of Fame. Michigan fans can rest easy knowing that a sixth year of Brian Cleary eligibility is still a possibility.

What about Minnesota, though? They're not bad. They have a very good offensive line, they have some hard-running backs, they have a quarterback who fits their system, and they have a fundamentally sound defense. Other than running back David Cobb (32 carries, 183 yards), nobody wowed me. Cobb is just a guy who refuses to go down on first contact, and he has some burst that a guy like De'Veon Smith lacks. Tight end Maxx Williams might be able to squeeze into that category of "wow" guys, too, but he wasn't a game-changer in this one. When a guy - whether it's a star or a scrub - makes a diving, one-handed catch like he did down the sideline while being well covered by safety Jeremy Clark, you just have to tip your hat and acknowledge that there are other guys who can make plays, too.

Who starts at quarterback? It has to be Devin Gardner. Even if Shane Morris travels to Elysium and gets back in time for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition  on a Sunday night in 2003, Gardner should be the starter. Always and forever. He's wearing the #98 jersey for a reason. (The reason is that Dave Brandon is a greedy bastard; I didn't say it was a good reason.) Unless he re-breaks his foot or tells everyone in the MUG to "f*** her right in the p****", Gardner should be the one fumbling Michigan's season away.

Who starts at head coach? I don't know. I think every coach hits a point where you say, "Yeah, this just isn't going to work out." For whatever reason, I think Rich Rodriguez's moment was "You Raise Me Up," even though his defenses sent up warning flags. This game may have been Hoke's moment. I'm not saying that I think he'll be fired on Monday (who would you promote to interim head coach?), and I'm not saying that a 9-3 finish (hey, it's possible) couldn't save Hoke. But the handling of Gardner, the handling of Morris, and curling up into the fetal position at the end of game is a potentially lethal combination. If Doug Nussmeier or Jeff Hecklinski is the head coach sometime soon, I will not be surprised.

We're totally going to beat Rutgers. This was all a ploy to sucker them in, like a McDonald's with free wi-fi. They step inside, check their e-mail, order a sweet tea, and BOOM! That's right. The cashier gave you herpes. Oh, and diabetes. You gotta watch out for that diabetes sneaking up on you like an, I dunno, Mitch Leidner bootleg. Wait, what was I talking about?

Rutgers has herpes.

51 comments:

  1. Gardner starts and continues to make poor decisions and mistakes. But he'll run around a lot and make some first downs ... but drives still stall and points are left on the field.

    The coaches continue to run about 50% of the plays under center, which Gardner is awful at and will never get better. But it doesn't matter. They will continue anyways.

    Michigan loses to Rutgers (because it's away and at night), then gets pounded by MSU. The remaining home games are attended by well-under 100,000 fans ... including the UTL game against PSU. The mystique of "The Big House" and "110,000 person crowds" will be broken, further diminishing the allure of the program to recruits.

    I predict 4-8, but to be honest I struggle to see where two more wins will come from. Penn State (maybe); Maryland (maybe).

    Hoke doesn't survive to next year. That conclusion is already obvious. How many recruits decommit in the face of this we'll have to wait and see. Several, I think.

    I've followed Michigan football for 40+ years and I've seen ups and downs, but I've never seen things as dysfunctional as this. This is a total meltdown of epic proportions.

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  2. A Michigan Tradition: A recent history of great ideas from fans, and of the wisdom of the crowds:


    1) Bench that Tom Brady guy; he has no upside. Why is Carr so loyal to him? Put in Henson!

    2) Carr is mediocre and outdated, and Michigan football culture is an artefact. Get a new outsider coach to revamp the culture put in that trendy spread thing! That will fix it!

    3) (2008): Our defense is awful; it's the defensive coordinator -- fire him and get a new one! That will fix it!

    4) (2013): Our offense is awful; it's the fault of the offensive coordinator(*) who doesn't call the plays we think he should call (really -- why aren't our coaches reading our blogs?). Fire him and get a new one! That will fix it!

    5) (2014): Our offense is bad. The starting QB(*) doesn't play like that Tom Brady guy; bench him and put in the backup! That will fix it!

    6) Our offense is still bad. Fire the head coach and athletic director. That will fix it!


    I wonder how the story will work out?



    (*) Al Borges awaits your apologies. Judging by Devin's expression today, you all can kiss his a**. (Except Magnus.)

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    1. This is exactly how I feel. This fan base as a group is a bunch of morons. So self righteous.

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    2. I stand by 2, 4, and 6. Just because they haven't worked out thus far does not mean those feelings weren't valid. And I even think it was reasonable to see what Morris had when given the opportunity to start this season. By half it was clear that he wasn't a better option, but suggesting that he be given a shot to be a starter and given the full scope of the playbook to work with was not insane based on Gardner's performance through four games..

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  3. I'll have to admit now, that Devin should start regardless. Even if they don't use him to his full potential. The reason is because I realized after this game, that our offensive line can't protect either guy long enough to do anything and DG is more experienced...I just hope he doesn't get murdered. Hoke has to go, Brandon has to go, Funk should've been gone when Borges got canned. We need a huge change. I hope Hoke is gone by mid-week. Personally, I don't think he should have left the stadium with his job. He seems clueless and the team looked deflated and didn't play with any heart. At the very least, as a coach, you have to be a motivator, and Hoke didn't do a thing. When he punted, he threw in the towel. That was pathetic. The handling of a clearly injured Shane Morris was blatant and uncalled for. I usually don't like/call for guys being fired mid-season, but it's time to move on.

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  4. Let's be real. Minnesota is not that good of a team. This is a team we beat by 30 points last year. And there is a 46 point swing in a single year in which we played them at home again?

    Its the simple fact that this team quits when faced with adversity. I never for one second was surprised when the defense got continually EASILY gashed on 3rd down to extend drives during the second half.

    There is not a single thing this team does consistently well.

    The possession following the first TD says all you need to know about this team. The defense did its part getting stops. The offense scores. I muttered to myself, this is when the defense becomes a sieve (and they predictably let Minnesota march down the field and score)

    We punt them down to the one yard line. Miss the tackle for the safety on first down. Just a minute and a half later, Minnesota is kicking an easy field goal to take a halftime lead.

    The end of the first half was a repeat of the Utah debacle and it carried over into the second half.

    Any tipped pass is intercepted, any fumble is not recovered - this team is severely cursed, horribly coached, and plays with zero passion.

    We need a new voice and one NOW.

    This season can realistically end 2-10 with 9 straight losses.

    It would be a complete miracle to make a bowl game.

    We would have to go 4-3 just to qualify for a bowl. Where are the four wins coming from?

    With a real Michigan team, Rutgers, Penn State, Indiana, Northwestern, and Maryland would be all but guaranteed wins. Hell a real Michigan team would be a 65% favorite against MSU and 50/50 with Ohio State.

    I am in shock and what has happened to this program.

    Losing by 16 to Minnesota in Year 4 of Hoke's tenure is a joke.

    Losing to Minnesota in general is a joke.

    The fact that the Little Brown Jug is currently sitting in Minnesota's building is utterly embarrassing.



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  5. I was going to post something on the lack of other quarterback options. Hoke and staff were so preoccupied with getting the lines of scrimmage straightened out and forgot the most important position on the field.

    I do agree that Gardner should be put back as the starter but you do realize he isn't the answer either and you are deluding yourself if you think because Gardner had a great game against OSU or ND last year that this means anything for this season.

    Opponents adapt. Its a new Pro Style offense. Gardner isn't going to succeed against anybody decent and next year UM will be back to square one at the qb position. This team has no answer at qb between Gardner and Morris.

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    1. "getting the lines of scrimmage figured out"?

      They absolutely did not do that. Not addressing OL is even worse than not grabbing a QB in 2012.

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  6. Agree almost 100% minus 2 exceptions: They need to let Gardner run. Pretending he's a pro style and having him sit in the pocket all of the time doesn't work. This allows defenses to key on his passing and he's just not that capable. Let him run 2-3 times per quarter could change all of that. And since he's still the best runner on the team, why take that away? Injury concerns? They just started Morris! Besides the fact the current O plan isn't working, Gardner not running makes this a simple and BORING O. 2 - I watched Rutgers play; they're fast and athletic, special teams are good, 2 decent running backs, quarterback appeared efficient, defense held Penn State to 13. They're going to unfortunately give this M team all they can handle.

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  7. Poor game management is the reason why Hoke has to go. The merits of Shane Morris vs. Devin Gardner are at least arguable. Like Thunder, I thought Morris was going to be a mistake, but I at least see the reasoning. Even some ex-players were saying it was time to give the kid a shot. They were wrong, but you could at least see the thought process.

    But there's no excuse for punting on 4th & 10 with 4 minutes left. There's no excuse for leaving Morris in when he's obviously limping. There's no excuse for Bellomy not having a helmet ready. These things are just plain wrong whether you're playing in Pop Warner or the NFL. Oh, and those are only this week's mistakes. Last week, it was 10 men on the field covering a punt, and getting called for delay of game after a time-out. Next week, it'll be something else.

    If you watched on TV, you heard the announcers point out one obvious coaching error after another, and then strangely, argue that Brady Hoke deserves another year, regardless of how the remaining games turn out. At some point, the coaching errors prove you've got the wrong guy.

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    1. That was strange. It was as if the announcers were completely clueless to the shitshow that has become Michigan football.

      There's absolutely no defending Hoke now. If he was the right guy to lead this program into the future, we probably would have seen an indication of something positive. There's been zero progress. In his fourth year, this is the way it is and unless he's removed, this is the way it will continue to be.

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    2. I don't think you'll ever hear announcers call for a coach to be fired. It's just not protocol.

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    3. @ James 1:31 p.m.: Agreed. Networks/announcers have a vested interest in promoting the sport and schools that they broadcast. If Cunningham called for Hoke to be fired, that would be counterproductive for advancing the brand name.

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  8. Well that went poorly.

    I was one who wanted to see Morris get a start. I wanted to see if he was capable of managing a full game without making big mistakes. He is not. Gardner started the season as the top QB for a reason and this magnified it. Morris is no where near ready for this and Gardner at least gives you another option with his legs. He has to start for the remainder of the season barring losing a limb.

    Hoke has lost this team and it became apparent this game. There has been some speculation that the offensive and defensive players were not getting along, but this game showed a lack of cohesiveness between the units. Hoke gave up on them at the end of the game and his players knew it. He really should be let go and the sooner the better. The remaining games on the schedule show that there are no guaranteed wins left. His lack of ability to motivate his guys should be enough for him to see the door. Not sure who you get to replace him as the interim, but it has to happen. I know everyone says that it doesn't lead to good things, but good things are not happening now and it isn't going to get better. Our recruits are going to start dropping like flies after the last 4 weeks and the performance on the field. Someone has to be held accountable and as Hoke always says, :It starts with me:.

    The handling of Morris after the ankle injury and hit to head are major flags to me. I have seen players play a snap or two after an ankle thing and end up being just fine, but after a series where it got worse Hoke needed to have a serious discussion with him. After the hit to the head (which should have been an ejection) Hoke should have been screaming on the sidelines and demanding the ejection. His antics should have slowed the game enough to at least have a quick check for Morris by the trainer. The hit, the blinking of the eyes, the inability to stand (which I agree was probably from the ankle) all should have said to Hoke to get him on the sideline and lets check him out. Player safety is a hot point right now and for Hoke to say he didn't see it or doesn't know is terrible. He just watched his QB get lit up and didn't bother to watch him and see if he had any issues after that hit. Inexcusable.

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    1. We learned nothing new about Morris this game. He played EXACTLY like he played in the other games, including KSU. I really don't understand why people expected much more.

      On the season countdown I argued that Morris was overrated because we don't know if he's any better than Bellomy. For a while I thought I was wrong, because clearly he had beaten out Bellomy in practice, but now that we know quite clearly that the coaches have no clue what they are doing at QB, it's time to reconsider.

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    2. It isn't that people expected much more, but with a 2-2 record and a 5th year senior QB who has been turnover prone in his tenure at the helm why not try a change. Minnesota by all standards should have been an "easy" win and if letting Morris start built his confidence, while not playing in a blowout where we are burning the clock or coming from behind where we are down a ton, this could have gone well. Instead, like you have pointed out, we was not prepared by his coaches and failed. His rhythm was off, his ability to hold onto the ball was off and his leadership didn't shine through.

      I personally thought it would be good for Gardner to check his ego at the door and see how a game progresses from the sideline. Let him see the game develop and see if it slowed down for him. He should have come in after the first drive of the second half. It was clearly obvious at that point that Morris was not ready and he was in over his head.

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    3. "Why not try a change?" is a terrible reason for making a change. The fact is that Morris has never shown an ability to move the ball consistently and has never created a touchdown with his arm or his legs. I *might* be able to get behind it if we had never seen him practice and we just had to go on what the coaches said, but we've seen Morris in games. Not just in blowouts, but in his start against KSU, in the spring game, etc. At no time - not even for a series here or there - has he looked like the superior option. If he had had a good quarter or half at some point, you could make an argument. He never has. It is/was silly to play him unless Gardner is injured.

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    4. And it's one thing for fans like Nick to make this sort of argument, but for the coaching staff to make this decision is deplorable. Then to stick with it after such an awful half, and an injury, and ANOTHER injury...

      SMDH at this program

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    5. I can agree with both @ Thunder and @ Lank if i hadn't watched him during the August scrimmage. After watching both Gardner and Morris I felt that Morris had the superior arm and the presence to stand in the pocket. Gardner was quick to scramble, even before the pressure was there, and still forced throws to places he shouldn't. Morris ran a watered down version of the offense though and didn't appear to be able to read the defense as well, but a good coach can check from the sidelines and make adjustments after the defense sets. Aside from his obvious advantage with his legs, Gardner didn't appear to be superior. At one point he threw a pick, got a lecture from Nuss, threw the next one out of bounds and then forced the next throw into another almost interception. His head was not in it.

      Either way, Gardner has to be the guy from here on out and the offense has to work to what suits him best.

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    6. @Nick - superior arm doesn't matter if you're going to be babied and the playcalling prevents you from going downfield. We saw that against KSU and they came out with basically the same gameplan. They could pull that garbage scheme for Gardner too, if they wanted. Armstrength is useful only if you are put into a position to use it. Anyway, that is decidedly NOT Gardner's problem.

      Gardner was, is, and probably always will be a better QB than Morris. "Gardner didn't appear superior" is just total BS. The stats said it. Our eyes saw it. Our coaches said it (until a few days ago). Saying otherwise is willful delusion. We all WANT a better QB, but WANT doesn't equal reality. Take away his legs and Gardner is still a better passer than Morris.

      And anyway - legs ARE an advantage. We don't need to qualify it or "take it away" because they are there. Football involves running with your legs, even if you are John Navarre.

      This was a desperation move by our coaching staff. They are clearly in panic-mode.

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  9. Starting Morris was absolutely the right call. This team isn't going anywhere with Gardner. He is awful. What we found out yesterday is that we aren't going anywhere with Morris this year either. This year is fucked anyways. Play for the future. As an added benefit, more embarrassing scores will get Hoke fired faster.

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    1. Then play bellomy or speight. Morris can't play. He's terrible and gives the offense zero chance to succeed

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    2. A. We already knew that Morris wasn't good.

      B. QB isn't this teams problem. They've already tried two different elite qb recruits.

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    3. No, it wasn't the right call. Minnesota is a beatable team, and Michigan may have let it slip through their fingers by playing Morris. Gardner got two drives, and he drove Michigan down the field for a touchdown on one of them. Morris got several other drives (I don't know how many), and he was able to lead the team to one touchdown drive - based almost entirely on the legs of De'Veon Smith. Also, Gardner led the team to 42 points against roughly the same Minnesota defense last year.

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    4. @Thunder
      1. Some people are beyond help. There's no use explaining to somebody who sees something that isn't there.

      2. Morris didn't "lead the team" to a TD. DeVeon Smith ran the ball 4 times in a row, in Minnesota territory. The ONLY successful drives of the day came when Morris did not throw a pass. Morris' 5 second half drives resulted in a total of 11 yards, 2 TOs, and zero first downs.

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  10. This team is lost. There were players on the sidelines laughing in the fourth quarter, I noticed Funchess push Morris around in the huddle at least once. It seems to just not bother them (losing) which I am sure it does, but I just don't see any passion from the team anymore.

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  11. I knew once they started Morris it would be the end for Hoke. The kid is still very raw and needs more coaching. After this game, I hope they have not ruined him forever.

    I don't care what happens the rest of the season, Dave Brandon should be fired! Without a new AD, we are screwed.

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  12. Let me ask you Thunder, are you crazy enough to rather keep Brady Hoke than hire Les Miles?

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    1. Once again, I don't generally answer questions about "this or that" when there are clearly a great number of possible answers.

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  13. Yeah, I think Hoke is fired -- if not this week, which is my prediction -- after the inevitable loss to MSU. There really is no reason to keep him at this point -- he's failed, epically, on multiple levels.

    Thunder, do you have any comment on the UM sideline? I was at the game and spent some time watching it. They seemed almost depressed; a lot of standing around, no one talking. Is that typical for UM? For college football in general? I guess I'm more used to the fact that, after a series, the offense or defense unit will sit down and get coached up, but that didn't seem to be happening -- just a lot of standing around. Perhaps I missed it, but it didn't seem like (for example) after Shane's many, many bad series, that Nuss and the QBs would group and go over what to do differently. I am not at all surprised Bellomy wasn't ready; the whole team was not ready.

    BTW -- Funchess should sit, and sit for a couple games if at all gets his ankle better. I'm going to assume his injury was the cause for (what looked like) the serious lack of speed/effort that he was giving. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he's trying as hard as he can, but he looks like he is running in molasses out there (as do all the UM WRs, but that's another issue).

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    1. I don't really have any comments on the UM sideline. I think when our team starts losing, we start looking at everything and saying "This must be a sign of something terrible!" If you look at any college or NFL or high school sideline, most of the guys who aren't playing are standing there looking bored. Only in huge blowouts (where everyone's have a ton of fun) or in big games (where it's only natural to get a little more amped) do you see much activity. A late September game against Minnesota when you're 2-2 is not likely to set everyone's heart racing.

      I do think that Michigan's players seem a little stunned that so much is going wrong. We have some big-time recruits who just aren't playing well or aren't even seeing the field. Even fans and analysts who are spending hours and hours dissecting this stuff don't really understand it.

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  14. The players on offense are to blame as well. The fact that none of Shane's teammates confronted Cochran after that hit, tells you everything you need to know about this team. Where was big bad "There will be blood on the field and it won't be mine" Kyle Kalis? This whole program is just talk and no walk.

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    1. Bunch of spoiled highly ranked recruits who have no heart!

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  15. I have never seen Thunder this sarcastic on a post-game piece. This alone is a sign that everyone on the coaching staff should be fired.

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  16. I said we wouldn't beat Minni and I'm saying we won't beat Rutgers. The entire coaching staff should be fired by Brandon who then needs to be immediately fired.
    Mich should drop their football prgram and stick with Basketball.

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  17. Coaching malpractice.

    I've been preaching patience all along. I thought firing Rodriguez was wrong. I think this program needs stability.

    Starting Morris was idiotic, but it was just the start. We saw how bad he was as a starter and as a backup. Change for change sake is a hack move - "We have no idea what we're doing, so we'll try this."

    Not pulling Morris by halftime was idiotic. He was bad. It was no surprise. Put the guy in who gives you a chance.

    Not pulling Morris after he hurt his leg was idiotic.

    Not pulling Morris after he got concussed was idiotic.

    Not letting your OL hear it for doing NOTHING after their QB was cheap-shotted was idiotic.

    Not going for it on 4th down was idiotic.

    Not going for 2 when you're down 17 is idiotic.

    The entire game just showed epic incompetance. Notre Dame and Utah are good teams. Minnesota is not. They would not win the MAC conference.

    Hoke should be fired. I don't really care if it's tomorrow or the day after the OSU game.

    Michigan football, unfortunately, has to deal with another transition.

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    1. The galling thing to me, is not the concussion. I think Hoke knew he was hurt but shrugged it off, but maybe he didn't. It's feasible he didn't see the wobble or the late hit. IDK. What's galling is not trying to win the football game.

      Hoke put in a guy who is clearly inferior to Gardner. Has been at every step. Was he just bowing to public pressure? If so, that is garbage. That is not trying to win. The alternative is even worse because it means you have no grasp on reality.

      Then Gardner comes in and looks way better than Morris (duh) and drives us down the field. new ballgame. 7 minutes to go. down 2 scores. against a terrible team and you just drove the field to score.

      If you want to win the game you go for 2, you go on 4th down, you hurry up, you rally your team to try to win the game. Hoke didn't do that.

      He just wanted the clock to tick away to avoid further embarrassment.

      That's now how I feel about his tenure.

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    2. I agree 100%. Hoke deserves to be fired mid-season. By the way, the Morris thing aired on ABC World News. I wonder what the school president and regents are thinking.

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    3. 0% heart, no strategy, no zeal, nothing. Hoke just wants to collect his fat cat paycheck. I am thinking he actually wants to be fired earlier so he can make the extra $1 million. What a scam. And the Morris thing. He should be fired without compensation. I hope the regents find the clause about student safety and nail him with it.

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    4. Lank...you can't blow off the coaches ability to follow a game and respond appropriately when a player has been hit like that. I can see giving a few snaps for a hurt ankle, but not with the shot Morris took to the head. What the heck exactly is the head coach getting paid to do? Sit on the sideline and have a great view of the game, clapping when they need "motivation"? If he wants to be a cheerleader then he needs to check his eligibility or buy a ticket like everyone else and sit in the stands. He promised those parents that he would take care of their kids, almost never is a player going to check themselves out of a game unless it really is that bad.

      Gardner played like he had a chip on his shoulder when he came in. That chip quickly disappeared on the second drive and almost cost him a pick six or a safety. I agree that Gardner gives us the better chance right now, but don't paint him to be a Heisman candidate. Neither QB is worthy of being a starter at a school with such a history while playing like they do (this is probably not their fault, more a coaching problem I suspect).

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    5. @ suduri xusai 8:06 p.m.: I have a sinking feeling that someone was very cruel to you as a child. You seem to think that Hoke has some sinister, ulterior motives, he's just out there for a paycheck, and he cares nothing for his players. The world doesn't always work that way. I honestly have concerns about the things you've seen in the world to make you so jaded.

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    6. @Thunder: I don't know where all this is coming from, and you are not a psychiatrist. I tell it like it is. Hoke appears to have no plan whatsoever and the team plays with no heart at all. If he really cares about the school, team, players, he should resign now. He is stalling, and that's because he'd rather be fired. And look at what he said about the Morris situation. All he does is evade responsibility. Hoke is indefensible.

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    7. @Nick

      It's not about the QB. We've seen every QB under Hoke struggle with turnovers. These are 4 and 5 star kids who look completely inept.

      Gardner is the best option, by far. We can disagree about how good or bad he is but he was on the fringe of Heisman list the last two years and at times he's shown it to us. Focusing your critcism on Gardner or Morris is ignoring the bigger issues.

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    8. I don't at all think Hoke is a bad guy, but I don't think he is a good football coach. I am very frustrated that he seems more interested in avoiding embarrassment than winning games right now.

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    9. @ Lank

      I can agree with the fact that it isn't about the QB. It truly is about the lack of coaching from this staff. How do you think the QB would progress with more time under Nuss? Has there been enough time to evaluate that or should we see the results of his QB coaching in year 2 or 3? We know the time under Borgess was terrible and I am not sure what we are seeing still today with Gardner isn't a product of that poor coaching.

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    10. We don't know on Nuss. 4 games isn't enough to know anything, but the regression at QB is certainly a very bad start. The run-blocking seems better though. The play calling has been unexceptional (especially 3rd down runs).

      If Nuss had anything to do with starting Morris than he should be gone too.

      Nuss was wildly overrated in the offseason. He's had a significant help everywhere else he has been. This is his hardest job and so far it is not going well. Promoting him to a HC job would be asinine.

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  18. You know it's getting bad when someone refers to Michigan as " a big time program" and the natural reaction is "what are you talking about? They aren't a big time program!"

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  19. The bottom line is we've been starting wide receivers at QB for 8 years!!! Can't we get a QB to play QB?

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    1. I don't think Shane Morris or Nate Sheridan or Chad Henne are WRs. You probably mean the black guys though - they aren't WRs either. One of them was a RB, not a WR. The other one is QB whose best position is.... QB.

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    2. Really, "the black guys"? We're taking it there? And I'm sure you mean Nick Sheridan. I don't care if they're black or white, I want them to be good QBs. Denard was an average QUARTERBACK and a great player. I love him. Devin is not a good QUARTERBACK. I also love Devin as a player and think he's a good guy. My point was more to coaching than individual players. These guys don't develop. Do you believe Devin is a better QB than he was a year ago, two years ago? That is the issue here. But by all means, trump whatever I'm saying by making it about race, because, the internet...

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