Posted at 6:00am -- 9/5/2011 GBMWolverine: Coach's Corner -- Michigan ..."/> Posted at 6:00am -- 9/5/2011 GBMWolverine: Coach's Corner -- Michigan ..."/>

GBMWolverine: Coach’s Corner — Michigan Football — Western Michigan at Michigan — What Happened and What it Means


Posted at 6:00am — 9/5/2011

GBMWolverine: Coach’s Corner — Michigan Football — Western Michigan at Michigan — What Happened and What it Means

Again this year GBMWolverine will offer a post game segment seeking to place focus on game day events and the impact of such events for the future.

First games are always tough to have spot-on prediction, but much of what was thought to likely happen indeed did. There is little profound here, but let us have at it.

The offense did indeed come out with multiple looks, spread-like and power I like. Both options worked to about the same degree. Look for both looks with plays from the WCMO thrown in weekly.

The offense did indeed give many backs a look, as Coach Borges had not yet found a feature back and went back to running back by committee. Has Fitz now entrenched himself as that sought after feature back, or will the “contest” continue onward? Shaw had one bright moment on a big hitter through a great hole and Vincent Smith was as usual, steady and a guy who rarely hurts you, doing everything he can to find an extra yard or two after hitting the hole.

Koger got some looks and made a little hay. This trend should continue and Mr. Koger seems to be good medicine for a passing game that will lean on the short and intermediate games. Michigan needs to provide ample dosage.

Michigan did indeed go to Denard Robinson’s running when yards were needed, but did indeed cut down his carries placing more load on the offensive line and running backs. This was certain to happen and can probably be termed a small success. Next week will tell more as to that story as the offense will not be so vanilla.

The line played solid, certainly not spectacular, but did open up holes that twice equated to big gains. Once speedy backs like Shaw and Fitz get past the linebackers, there will always be a chance to score.

The questions surrounding the special team play were not silenced. Gibbons gets the ball up a little slow and he has Rivas type height.

From the stands yesterday, one could see monster alleys, some a full ten yards wide, for the talented WMU kick returners to take advantage. Also of concern was the inability to have any member of the kick team down-field close enough to force a change of direction. It was a little lucky that one or more returns were not busted to the house. The coaches clearly are as concerned as anyone and some players are just going to have to step up.

Carder really does throw a nice ball. His ability was obvious. Michigan played it straight early on, playing a wait and see game. Then Coach Mattison used the edge rush ability of Jake Ryan and the blitz ability of Kovacs to change the game. From the stands it looked like Kovacs lifted Carder a full foot off the ground. Mattison’s blitz packages and timing will create a guessing game from now on (not that any offensive coordinator was not aware).

After a tough start, the defense did play a little better. But two things are still clear. First, Woolfolk may be the only guy in the secondary that can really adequately cover. The safeties again looked a little dazed and the coaches will certainly attempt to rectify the situation as much as possible. Avery got a little abused yesterday, but again back to work will be the call.

Second, the defensive line appeared to be a concern. Western does not run the ball well, but had some success early. The game changed when the blitzes came and the Broncos had to somewhat abandon the run. This will cause our guys to continue to moan for at least one more true defensive tackle recruit.

The play selection was solid and Denard could have cashed in on a couple of big plays but he missed the receivers. Still, he had a good day.

The view from this writer is that the proper decision was made to call the game, the conditions from the third wave of bad weather were dangerous, not marginal.

There are beat up Wolverines and Wolverines on suspension. Both of these difficulties need to get back to normal soon. Michigan will need all their linebackers next week, as Coach Mattison will certainly use very specific packages.

Finally, the view here is that Michigan was just getting rolling on offense. The bet here is that two more touchdowns were a real possibility, the second with backups.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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