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Posted on Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 8:19 p.m.

Michigan football team melts down again, loses to Purdue

By Dave Birkett


Running back Ralph Bolden, right, scored three touchdowns Saturday as Purdue beat the Michigan football team 38-36. (Photo: Melanie Maxwell |

Another second-half meltdown, another slew of unforced errors, and maybe another December at home. The Michigan football team lost its fifth straight Big Ten game Saturday, collapsing under a Tate Forcier fumble, a missed extra point and a surprise on-side kick to fall to Purdue, 38-36. The Wolverines (5-5, 1-5) are in serious jeopardy of missing the postseason for a second straight year. They need one more win to qualify for a bowl and they close the season at Wisconsin and home against Ohio State, two top-25 teams.

Michigan, which started 4-0, hasn’t beaten a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent since Sept 26. "Our heads ain't down,” running back Brandon Minor said. “We're not like no 12-year-old boys, we're in college. We can handle this mentally. I don't think none of us need to see Dr. Phil or Oprah." Michigan’s demise Saturday started early in the third quarter with the Wolverines nursing a 24-10 lead. Brandon King deflected Tate Forcier’s option pitch to Minor deep in Michigan territory and recovered the fumble for Purdue. Ralph Bolden scored one play later on a 19-yard run. Forcier answered with a 6-yard touchdown run for Michigan, but Jason Olesnavage missed the extra point and Purdue rattled off 21 straight points. The Boilermakers (4-5, 3-3) scored on a 14-play, 91-yard drive, capped by another Bolden touchdown run, then stunned Michigan with a pooch on-side kick. David Pender recovered the kick for Purdue, and Joey Elliott hit Cortez Smith with a back-breaking 54-yard touchdown pass one play later to give the Boilermakers a 31-30 lead. “That was momentum,” Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said. “The onside kick, that was really disappointing because we say it every time you go out there. ‘See the ball kicked.’ I mean every time.” Elliott added an 8-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter for Purdue.

Minor answered with his third touchdown run with 2:10 to play, but Forcier was sacked on a two-point conversation attempt and Michigan failed to score on a desperate final possession that began at its own 10-yard line with 29 seconds left. Michigan has been outscored 75-12 in the second halves of its last three games, losses to Penn State, Illinois and Purdue.

Against Illinois, the Wolverines allowed 31 unanswered points after getting stopped on four plays from the 1-yard line. “It’s embarrassing,” defensive end Brandon Graham said. “But at the same time we just know we’re way better than that. We’re just trying to prove it to y’all, let people know that we work every day. We just got to be in position. We got to have a little bit better technique and just a little bit better conversion on third down.” Elliott threw for a career-high 367 yards and Bolden added 98 rushing for Purdue, which amassed 494 yards of total offense and won at Michigan Stadium for the first time since 1966. The Boilermakers entered Saturday with an FBS-worst 11-game road losing streak. “We didn’t have any second thoughts about winning here today,” Purdue coach Danny Hope said. “The bottom line was the team that wavered first or most often was going to be doomed. That wasn’t going to be us today.” Minor finished with 19 carries for 152 yards for Michigan, and receiver Roy Roundtree, who originally committed to Purdue two years ago, caught a career-high 10 passes for 126 yards. Rodriguez said he's frustrated with his team's play recently, but not out of hope with two games left. “I don’t have a magic wand and can’t fix this right now,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve said it a bunch of times - some of our problems are going to take a little longer to fix than anybody wants. But we’re going to fix them, just give us time. It’s not going to happen right now. It’s not going to happen right now, I wish it would.” Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.



Tue, Nov 10, 2009 : 11:18 a.m.

Here is my suggestion for all of you highly disappointed Michigan football fans: Take that time you would have devoted to future games and volunteer. Go to your local food shelf, crisis nursery, hospital, homeless shelter, school, whatever you can think of. Certainly the return on investment in time and energy will be much greater than wishing away your Saturday. Think about it - please. And once you're done, come here to write a commentary about the experience rather than complaining about things you can not impact in your life. Really.

university brat

Mon, Nov 9, 2009 : 11:52 a.m.

To Stan, and all the other patient RR supporters. Enough already with Michigan players not having any talent. If you can make it on the roster of ANY Big Ten football team, and dress for games, YOU'VE GOT TALENT! RR simply doesn't have Big Ten talent.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 5:56 p.m.

goblueinNE_PA, I wouldn't count on Gardner or any other commit until they are actually signed (February). RR is going to have a tough time signing that 2010 class.

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 3:01 p.m.

Looking at some more RichRod achievements: Purdue: 1985-2007, 15-2; under RichRod, 0-2. Penn State: 1997-2007, 9-0; under RichRod, 0-2. Michigan State: 1996-2007, 10-2; under RichRod, 0-2. Illinois: 1984-2007, 16-2-2; under RichRod, 0-2. Northwestern: 1966-2007, 27-3; under RichRod, 0-1. Indiana: 1968-2007, 30-1; under RichRod, 1-0, barely, with help from the referee. Ohio State: 1976-2007, 18-13; under RichRod, 0-1, headed for 0-2, absolutely no chance of being competitive in either game.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 2:39 p.m.

The last major streak we have alive is 100,000 in attendance streak. While I think that makes it through this year, because I think you'll see a LOT of OSU fans at the game (30,000+ I'm guessing), this streak will end early next year. I think next season against UMass, we'll see it broken. We'll roll into that game 0-2 having lost to UConn and ND and no one's going to want to see us beat up on (lose to??) another 1AA team. Once the streak is broken, I think you'll see attendance start to tumble. Sure, we'll have "sell outs", but actual attendance will dwindle down to the 70's or 80's. That's still a lot, but that's not Michigan football. But, then again, neither is the product on the field or the idiot in the HC office.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 2:29 p.m.

UMInks, don't you think the fact that these kids on defense are playing worse than their rating is due to the horrible coaching they are getting? How can you so blindly defend this idiot and throw the kids under the bus? Its ridiculous that so many give the moron a pass because the talent level is low rather than get on his arse for not coaching up what he's got. The reason why we see a progressively worse team each year with this idiot is because he can't coach up his players. A lot of the RR supporters want to lay the blame on lc for the letting the talent level drop. I ain't buying it. Even if the talent level had dropped, this is the 2nd year of the idiots regime. This is HIS team, not Lloyd's, but the idiots. I can guarantee you that if this guy was 8-2 right now, the RR supporters would be giving him all of the credit. He should also get all the blame. The scary part, IMO, is that there is no light at the end of this tunnel. Does anyone really think that next year will be any better? Does Devin Gardner play D? This, more than anything else, is why I think the idiot needs to go now. There is absolutely no indication this will turn around anytime soon, so if that's the case, why stick with this loser? Let's cut our losses and get a coach in that we can respect.

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 2:11 p.m.

Congratulations, RichRod. You have passed Fielding Yost (25 seasons) and tied Fritz Crisler (10 seasons) for sixth place, all-time, among Michigan coaches for losses in Big Ten play. An extraordinary achievement. You remain tied with Langdon Lea (1 season) for 12th place in career Big Ten wins, however. Need to work a little on that.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 1:21 p.m.

uminks, Believe it or not, our offense really isn't that good, either. Our O-line is too small with Barwis' conditioning program and gets manhandled by most Big Ten teams, like MSU, PSU, Illinois (4 shots from the 1!), etc. Sure we rack up points against Purdue, we did last year, too. We're getting worse on both sides of the ball, not better.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 12:18 p.m.

I would trade Purdue defense over ours any day. That is how low our talent on the field is. They may be 3 and 4 star athletes on paper but on the field they play like 1 and 2 star athletes. Our secondary and LB are so SLOW, they have to give the big cushions or they would get burned down field even more. It will take a few years to overcome this lack of talent. I feel sorry for RR since I even thought the defensive talent was better after the '07 season but it is not. Anyone who has watched UM for any length of time knows this by far is one of our worse defenses...may be since the early and mid 60s. We have no chance in the next two games. Both WI and OSU will pound us. Our offense is much better this year but we still have a weak offensive line that will get destroyed by the good defenses of WI and OSU. It's not going to be pretty, I'm predicting major blowouts of our team in both games...but I don't blame RR. Next season will be bleak due to the weak defense but may be by the end of next season the defense will start playing better as the younger players learn the system and begin to improve the overall defense and we may sneak into a bowl game. Now 2011 RR better give us 9 or more wins or I will join the anti-RR band wagon. But for now I think RR is doing a good job for what he has and I'm actually surprised we have won 5 games looking at the horrible mess of a defense we have.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 11:39 a.m.

Just wanted to thank the "human box of rocks" walking the Michigan sidelines disguised as a head football coach for making Coach Hopes debut at the Big House such a success. We could not have done it with out him. Rodriguez has used up all your Michigan entitlement in two seasons. Welcome to the "Little Nine" will be fun for you, hoping and praying you get 6 wins to play in Boise on blue turf, though you won't play Boise State because they'll be playing in a BCS game. Good luck next week for your bowl elegibility, gosh if Purdue beats MSU and IU we'll be bowling as well. Just can't have enough mediocre Big Ten teams in bowls. Michigan fan you deserve your fate, hire Jim Harbaugh before he goes Pro. Even I can't tolerate a decimated Wolverine program it's bad for the Big Ten overall.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 10:40 a.m.

Ya they stink and and melt down in the second half and they will be home in december and most everybody thinks they suck big time. But they still draw 107.000 plus every week and all of you complainers still fork out $40 bucks plus to park and god only knows how much you pay for food and you have to stand up the whole game even tho you paid $50 bucks plus for a seat.So if you want to send them(the university)a clear message as to what you think of there lackluster team,Boycott a few games and when only 50.000 or so die hard souls show up I am sure they will get the message and DO something to remedy the problem.Wining and complaining here does absolutly nothing except get your blood presure up 50 points. If you want change. Hit em in the pocket book


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 10:20 a.m.

Theo, hard to tell if you're just being sarcastic, but losing to OSU with Henne (on otherwise good to outstanding teams - 11-2 ring any bells?) is a far cry from 0-2 vs MSU, PSU, Illinois, Purdue (PURDUE!), and 42-7 vs OSU (this year's score upcoming). Also, Carr didn't 'let' Henson go, Steinbrenner took him. Letting someone go would be what RR did with Mallett. By the way, Lloyd shockingly won a lot of games with Navarre, including over OSU. THAT takes great coaching!


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 9:35 a.m.

Memo to Defense Coaching Staff: We may have over-executed on our "smaller but faster" strategy. I believe this is the reason why we are out of position on so many plays. Our players are running so fast that they are nowhere near the ball carriers. So, during practice this week, we must tell our players to run more slowly. And, if they could jump a little higher, that would help. I have noticed that we tend to be out of position more frequently on the important downs, but in position on the less important downs. So, if we could just reverse it, that would be good. So, to summarize, if we run more slowly on the important downs, I am confident we will make some big plays.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 3:33 a.m.

Jim Harbaugh is becoming a viable candidate for Michigan's head coaching job. That to me is the big takeaway from Saturday. To have a quality guy like that would be a return to both success and dignity.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 1:20 a.m.

No way to get rid of RR after only two seasons. But if we don't see great improvement next year, I say it's time to show him the road! Jim Harbaugh is a Michigan man and would be a good choice to replace him. Just look at what he has done with his last two coaching jobs.

Man in the Mirror

Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 12:50 a.m.

A former player told me that they would tell the coaches that they did'nt understand what they wanted them to do and if they could show them or explain it better. The "coaching" they got was getting screamed and yelled at. Yeah, this would make me want to play for RR and his croanines. These players are confused because they don't know what's going on or how to overcome it, and the coaches just scream. What a chaotic mess.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 12:46 a.m.

Could not happen to a nicer guy then rr. But what hat would you expect using a hillbilly high school offense and defense that they use. That hhs scheme was great when playing in that little girls league that wvu plays in. Just a joke to me that the administrator in ann arbor could not figure out that the joke of an offense and defense that rr runs would actually work in the Big Ten. Even if they had gotten a bowl bid how embarrassing to get one from a bowl that is in early August and basically is the TOLIET BOWL. Oh well just another exciting game in Columbus this week to look forward to then the yearly butt kicking waiting for rr. GO BUCKS and PLEASE get rid of rr so we actually have something to look forward to when we play the school up North.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 12:33 a.m.

I do agree with RR that he will need time to put the pieces to a succesful program. Remember he had to reinvent the wheel in order to establish the kind of offense that he runs. With a majority of freshmen and soph. playing key positions there will be mistakes and letdowns. However, as long as progress is being made each week then the fans can have a reason to be patient. Hoping to win just one more game is not acceptable. A Michigan wolverine mentality is to win them all.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 12:16 a.m.

DB is the coolest guy ever, he once bailed me out of jail in Pinellas county, Fl and gave me a donut after I got out of jail.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 11:56 p.m.

I never thought that U/M football wouuld sink this low. I was glad to see Lloyd Carr step down and I believed changes in t style of football played by previous coaches like Carr, Moeller, and Schembechler were necessary. Rodriguez appears to be a step in the wrong direction. His derense is awful. He ought to understand that if his defensive endsba are unable to get to get the job done, that he should relax the coverage put more guys up front and pressure the quarterback. This is something that Carr, Moeller and Schembechler did'nt do often enough either. Rodriguez certainly deserves much of the blame for this teams' shortfalls but there are other factors that seem to be never mentioned in the media. For years I criticized Carr for not too conservative on both offense and defense but I always praised the level of talent on his football teams as evinced by the number of U/M players in the ranks of the NFL. What I cant understand is how this level of quality players all of a sudden diminished when Rodriguez came unto the scene. Somebody was doing something right and as the saying goes IF IT ISNT BROKE DON'T FIX IT. So what happenned? Were the people who did the recruiting for Lloyd Carr let go? If so it was an ergegious mistake. But I don't know the answers to these questions, but someone should be looking into it because if this football program continues on this course fewer and fewer quality players will want to come to the U/M and the whole thing will snowball. My contention is that Rodriguez should of had quality players to work with. If he did'nt, why not? Maybe Bill Martin shares the blame. In any case if Martin does'nt come up with some answers soon ther may be a loot of empty seats in his newly refurbished stadium. Robert Fairman


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 11:31 p.m.

Bleed Maize n' Blue: So, let me get this straight you want to give RR three to four years on the basis of he doesn't have his people in yet. At the same time, you think getting rid of the DC might be in order, although the DC has only been on the job for one season and presumably none of his people are in there?


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 11:23 p.m.

Stan: How can you claim there is a talent disparity at Michigan? It is clear Michigan has an incredible amount of talent. The talent is just choking. That is coaching. Further, if you are a top player and you come to Ann Arbor for a recruiting trip, there is a strong chance you are going to agree to come to Michigan if you think you will get playing time. What University in terms of the whole package competes with Michigan (e.g. foot ball history, resources, campus, city, etc.)?


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 11:16 p.m.

Anyone notice what Harbaugh is doing out at Stanford? Already beaten 2 top 10 teams in his stay there; 6-3 this year. Made his team tough, fundamentally better, and this is at Stanford where they have a tough time getting players admitted. Anyone really want to argue that Michigan has worse players than Stanford? Or that their schedule is weaker? Anyone? Bueller? Not advocating that M bring Harbaugh, necessarily, but just comparing apples to apples and showing that RR really must stop using his "players aren't my players" as an excuse.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 11:09 p.m.

Stan: No offense, but the Defense is only a small part of the problem. Turn overs are all the fault of Offense. Turn overs were unprecedented last year. I'd be surprised if they are not worst this year. You can't win a game if you can't hold on to the ball. The more the defense is forced on the field and given poor field positions, the higher chance of it failing. Further, great coaches don't mold a team to style of play, but take the talent they have and mold the style of play to that. Rich Rod came in all gun hoe to put a spread offense in at Michigan, but didn't have the talent for that. So, if that was going to be the system, it should have been put on hold for a while until the talent arrived. I also don't get why Michigan would want to go to a spread offense. I understand it had troubles beating the spread in the past. The spread offense, however, works great where the weather is always warm. It requires superior ball handling, which largely is dependent on good weather conditions. In Michigan, however, most of the football system takes place in bad weather conditions. This interferes with ball handling. I'm all for giving Rich Rod another year, but after that you have to cut your losses.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 11:06 p.m.

Hey BlueMan: Are those quotes from today's presser? RR saying he doesn't have "magic wand"? He is as lost as the players. He is as out of place as a West Virginian out of the country. He is as out of place as a Spartan in the library. I just can't believe after 2 years of "his offense" and "his coaching", the players are actually worse than when he did his first spring practice. They look gassed, they look confused, they look bewildered, and they look poorly coached. Did anyone notice yet another fumble on special teams? Yet another poor special teams transition onto the field, and yet another coach-coach shouting match? That is all coaching, people. Maybe Mary Sue coleman may waive her magic wand and do something about the football coach.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 11:02 p.m.

Another lack of passion and heart. I was at the game and the fans repeatedly stood for the defense on 3rd and longs and repeatedlt they let us down with poor play with little hits if any and no passion. As many as this team has lost I would expect pride to swell up and a fire to begin to burn that could not possibly be put out. Our defense is worse than anything I have seen in 26 years. We basically have NO defense. Purdue sucks as does Illinois with a combined record of 3 and 11 and we gave up just shy of 1000 yards. This staff needs to go NOW!!!! A local high school coached could finish the season while a search goes on. This team is NO better than last year. Progress has been ZERO. We have lost more games in 2 years than any other 2 years of Michigan football EVER. I for one am tired of breaking these records every week. Teams that have not won 2 in a row to Michigan in years suddenly doing it and working on three next year when we are worse as all of our remaining play makers are gone. This staff is in WAY over their heads. TIME FOR THEM TO GO!!! NOW NOW NOW NOW.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 11:01 p.m.

Dzuck: I think what the Purdue coach did is an indication of the lack of respect that RR gets from his colleagues. RR does not get the type of respect that LC, Bo, or even Mo got from others, more along the lines of Mike White of Illinois from the 80s. Except Mike White won in the B10 (though with cheating). I think those comments that RR relayed to the media are not out of place--he should hear from a player who he sacrificed to the B10 lords, one who is not even on his team. RR does not belong in the B10. He may be a good coach, but not at Michigan.

Bleed Maize n' Blue

Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 9:55 p.m.

Looks like the majority of the posters here should be dressed in red and/or white the next two weeks and rooting for the opposition. Then you can all feel good and say you "told us so." Say what you want. Crazy things happen every week in CFB (no one knows that better than us) and I refuse to count UM out the next two weeks. I'll be cheering UM and RR on for the next two saturdays the same way I do every saturday. Thats what fans do. Also, if a new coach comes in (which, btw, is not the answer), I'll be doing the same for him.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 9:45 p.m.

I was at this game and was disgusted with the overall defensive effort when Purdue wasnt backed up to the student section (major props to the students for the noise they brought today). Craig Roh, JB Fitzgerald, and BG were stellar today. Roy Roundtree had a great day (though I still don't get Purdue not putting a guy on him at the line) and when Minor was involved he was moving the ball well. But Richrod and G-Rob dropped the ball in this game. Where was Carlos Brown? How was the backdoor always open on defense? How do you blow a 14 point lead when your strength and conditioning coach is supposed to have ensured the stamina and endurance wouldn't fall away in the second half? The cheers for the team were loud, but the boos were louder and there are more and more alumni getting on the "rich must go" bandwagon. I have faith the boys will win one more game, but only if rich finds a way to coach to win and not lose

Blueman Rick

Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 9:23 p.m.

"I dont have a magic wand and cant fix this right now...Its not going to happen right now. Its not going to happen right now, I wish it would. Brilliant words from RR. A magic wand and wishing won't fix this mess. Give RR the gate now. How many more lows is this jackass going to hand us?

Blueman Rick

Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 9:13 p.m.

Dead on Nine Zone. Dishonest. No character. No leadership. Snake Oil salesman.

nine block

Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 9:11 p.m.

We now have a football coach of questionable character who cannot win. Neither are qualities that we have been accustomed to. For those who would argue that RR "deserves time" I would say to you that even if time brings wins it will not bring character. The best possible outcome would be a coach that wins some games but ultimately will bring disfavor and embarassment to our proud tradition. For those who defended RR's character from day one when he was involved in the mess with WVU and the bogus real estate deals I still keep asking the same question.....could you ever have even imagined the names of Schembechler or Carr associated with such matters?


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 9:03 p.m.

dzuck, At least you finally came to your senses. There are some fans who are so full of the KoolAid they will never come to their senses. Even if they do, they will never admit it on this forum.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 8:55 p.m.

Tom, I have news for you. Everybody is taunting that hillbilly. Get used to it. I am sure Richrod has. He's so bad, when he goes home at night his wife and kids taunt him. Not even WVU wants RR. Maybe he can get a high school job in Detroit.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 8:42 p.m.

The Big East is a joke? Really? Didn't your best team just lose to a mediocre team? The Big East has 5-6 teams that are more successful than UM right now. PS - your recruiting is taking a serious beating. But hey, if it makes you feel better, trash the Big East. Seriously, don't you think this misery should stop? Join the Mac.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 8:32 p.m.

This goes out to all of the Lloyd haters: For all of those that 'bleed maize and blue', I bet right now you'd cut off your arm to have a 9-3/10-2 season again. Sure, he couldn't beat OSU once the second coming of Woody stepped onto the Columbus scene. But Rich Rod clearly doesn't have a clue how to coach in this sub-par conference. The Big East is a joke. Say what you want about Lloyd. Yeah, his offensive play book was not sexy. But he ran a clean program, and more importantly, his men never aired out the clubhouse dirty laundry. Lord help you if the NCAA slaps the Block M hands. This may go the same route as the basketball program 13 years ago. They still have not pulled out of that tail spin. The moral of this story is becareful what you wish for. Becuase it just might come true.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 8:24 p.m.

I love Michigan football. I dish out the money I don't have to go to games, I fake sick to watch the games, I have 12 Saturdays a year where I'm only at peace if I'm watching Michigan football. I talked myself into believing Michigan would be better than 2008 that the coaching staff would be able to teach their system and everything would be better. Week after week I feel like I'm watching the same mistakes and new mistakes being made by a different guy every play. I'm not asking for a perfect season or perfect game but improvement should be expected. I watch play after play and see regression or no improvement from the start of the year on both offense, defense, and special teams. When did football become such a hard game? Since when do coaches cry and plead to players on the sideline to do better (besides tom izzo)? I'm tired of watching this crap week after week but I can't help it. Fire the chicken farmer coach from the south and lets move on. I'm sorry but improvement has not been made in 2 years, why should we (michigan fans) have to force ourselves to believe next year will different again if its not going to be? and JED since when do we bother to critique the grammar of players? Its the same at every school and its been like that for as long as I can remember and nice name hick!


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 8:13 p.m.

The Purdue Coach demonstrated a lack of class by taunting RR at the end of the Game.

Jed I. Knight

Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 7:47 p.m.

"Our heads ain't down, running back Brandon Minor said. We're not like no 12-year-old boys, we're in college. We can handle this mentally. I don't think none of us need to see Dr. Phil or Oprah." - Grammar


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 7:36 p.m.

For all of you folks who are praising the offense. Remember, M played one of the worst teams in the B 10. I was at the game and I was not impressed with the offensive showing at all. Next week against Wisconsin, the offense will have a chance to show that there has been improvement..then the following week we will see if there has been any improvement to build in in the future. IF M is going to run the spread, it needs a QB will the skills to do so. Forcier is not it.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 7:30 p.m.

Stan, every team in the Big Ten is hoping that we keep Richard for ever. They are all having a lot of fun.

Blueman Rick

Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 7:24 p.m.

Just Blue: Good point about Weiss. He has been quite a dud @ ND. I hope UM does not follow the same tact. The past tow seasons revealed that RR has poor leadership skills as well as questionable tactical skills. Mediocre at best. What he did at WV is irrelevant. What he has done to UM's program and future recruiting is all that matters. As I wrote on this page two weeks ago...UM will lose out. 5-7. Unacceptable for a great program.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 7:02 p.m.

Beat the Buckeyes? They will put the final nail in the coffin. I am not sure UM will be able to field a team in 2010 after that game. Remember Mcguffofie. It was his last game for UM. I think it will happen to several other players again.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 6:57 p.m.

Sorry for spelling Purdue wrong, my apolgies to all with my lack of spelling now and previous.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 6:54 p.m.

Bleed M&B to support your arguement, Perdue? A 43 yr history blown away? Come on dude. All big Rod had to do is show we can win against a BIG TEN TEAM tis year. If I start thinking again of all of last year I"ll lose all my rationalitly. I am still listening, right now. Tell me why I should fight for big Rod? New coach ok, done that. Winning coach, havent seen it. Remember Martin hired him becasue of his record. A good coach is a good coach. Virginia or Ann Arbor. His decisions are evident on the field he is still "playing" around with the players and other coaches. How long untl the "right formula" kicks in? I am wondering. I am for one uncomfortable being the laughing stock. Look again at all of the superb records that have been shattered. Should'nt the things mean something to the coach? He is the head coach. He is the boss.Ultimately he is responsible. He was placed in a position of trust that he can deliver. I am sorry I disagree with "lets see what happens next year. I hope like hell he pulls of the next two wins. But I am wondering...


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 6:44 p.m.

Jaxon, I've got to admit, I'm pretty much with you. What do the RR backers say IF he is still here next year and we go 7-5? That's progress? They all promised us that year 3 would be RR's year. Now they will say that 7-5 is progress because, well doggone, we have improved from 3-9 and 5-7. Then we can go 8-4 in year 4 and they will be even happier. Everything that was completely unacceptable under Carr is now what they will see as improvement and reason to continue with this guy. I bet ND wishes they would have fired Weiss years ago. They've given that guy 5 years to prove himself when it was obvious early on he was not the right coach. Now they lost to Navy (again) and they are simply spinning thier wheels. I don't want to see Michigan in that same position 3 years from now. Two games to go...this is Michigan. Sub.500 and missing out on bowl games is unacceptable and inexcusable.

Just Blue

Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 6:38 p.m.

Always amusing hearing the bankrupt arguments of the RickRod apologists. The guy can't coach Big Ten football and the reasoning is to give him more time. Please. Save that one for West Virginia graduates.

Bleed Maize n' Blue

Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 6:38 p.m.

Wondering, I said I won't make any conclusions about RR til then. If our record doesn't improve next year then maybe I'll get on the fire RR bandwagon but certainly not yet. Even then, I think a new DC would be in order before firing the HC. Nobody in the preseason had huge expectations for this team, they were right. I never heard any talk about RR being expected to win more than six games. If anyone expected there to be more wins, you were drinking the koolaid.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 6:35 p.m.

People forget that Rodriguez fired all of Carr's people and put his people in. BIG MISTAKE. He is out of his league. why can't he just be a man and admit he cannot do it. Walk away with his head high and give someone else a chance. Maybe when Carr becomes the Athletic Director he will do something about this shameful mistake on the part of Martin and his cronies. Ohio State will roll into town in 2 weeks and watch out. Rodrigues needs to bow out gracefully before he is run out of town.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 6:23 p.m.

Thanks Jaxon5 you made my evening LMAO


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 6:22 p.m.

A victory over OSU will do nothing to improve the idiots standing in my eyes, but that's just me. YMMV. Here's what the idiot has to do next year. He has to do what all the koolaid drinkers promised last season. He has to win 10 games minimum in 2010 and go to the Rose Bowl. Nothing, NOTHING, else will be satisfactory.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 6:17 p.m.

Guys, we really need to be patient with RR. Remember, he doesn't have "his guys" yet. They will be very small but very fast. And, with the spread, he will eventually "outscheme" the other teams. Even though he's abandoned the running attack early in every game, making the offense predictable, he will eventually change his approach and truly outsmart the opposition. He will bring us back to the top...somewhere around the year 2018.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 6:15 p.m.

Alright, Stan is throwing me off the issue at hand. The bottom line is, a new coach is supposed to make the team better, or at least maintain what we've got. That is not happening. I think 'wondering' asks a fair question in regards to all being forgiven if RR beats OSU. I don't know, from my own perspective, because it doesn't erase two years of ineptitude. A win over OSU would be HUGE for the psyche of the players, though, and would certainly help them to fully believe in their coach. I think many fans would forgive. As I've said since last week, I think the last 3 weeks of the season taken as a whole should make the decision on RR's fate. We have two to go. Today was certainly not what I or any Michigan fan (or coach or player) was hoping for. We still have Wisconsin and OSU left. How Michigan performs in those two games should help make any decision that may or may not have to be made much clearer at that time.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 6:14 p.m.

We are so going to get destroyed by OSU.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 6:14 p.m.

Wondering - Apparently not. Stan - I ask yet again, is Richy boy the Head Coach or the Offensive Coordinator? If he's the head coach, then the defensive failures fall on him, particulary since he picked all of the position coaches and have given the 2 D-Coord. NO input into their staff. This is his team and it's failure lie as his feet.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 6:12 p.m.

Bleed M&B are you serious? Should it take 3yrs or four years? You imply that we should be prepared for this next year? What?


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 6:06 p.m.

Stan- Can out of staters be U of M alum?

Bleed Maize n' Blue

Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 6:05 p.m.

As painful as these games are to watch, I am with you Stan. Yes, its tough to go through this but I think its good for some of us arrogant UM fans. I, myself, have to give RR a chance to raise up some kids for 4 years before I start jumping to conclusions. I am not sure he is the coach for the future but LET THE GUY HAVE A CHANCE, especially with this big of a change. I think UM football was getting brutal to watch when LC was there. It was gettiing to be the same thing every year by playing just a touch above mediocre and losing the big games we all get so excited about (OSU and bowl games) Now, the offense is exciting to watch. The defense, on the other hand, is young and horrid but they'll come around.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 6:01 p.m.

Oh you out of staters, you really don't believe that there is not a talent disparity the last two years that Lloyd never had? You're fooling yourselves. Mallett was likely gone no matter what once Petrino took the Arkansas job. He was in Lloyd's doghouse. Manningham would have probably left as well even if Lloyd had stayed. It's not Rich's fault that Boren got pissed when he wasn't coddled like he expected to be. What difference would Arrington have made with Threet or Sheridan at QB? Tulsa, the game was lost by the defense. It's not that they didn't try, it's just that the unit is not that good. The two biggest suspects were again Mouton and Williams. Mouton actually was out of the game for a significant amount of time. JB Fitzgerald got significant playing time and looks like he might be a player.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:59 p.m.

right on azwolverine!


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:58 p.m.

why I just got a text from someone who says that if big Rod beats Ohio State all is forgiven. Is this true?


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:57 p.m.

Stan, again, I implored you not to compare RR head to head with Lloyd because it's a no win for RR. But since you insist, take a look at your list of Lloyd's losses. Only one of those was to a losing team. ONE! In THIRTEEN YEARS! RR has 7 in two years! Don't do it's a fight RR will get THRASHED in!


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:55 p.m.

are team is a joke rich rod is a even bigger joke. the whole big ten has beat us


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:54 p.m.

Stan, your defense of big Rod is becoming a little bit embarassing. It's not about Carr! It is about big Rod, for who the U of M paid big money, and legal fees. It's been two years!


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:53 p.m.

By the way, Stan. My research was easy. RR's piled up all his losses in only two seasons.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:53 p.m.

In the first three Big Ten games, Michigan outscored the opponents by a combined 43-36 in the 2nd half. In the last three Big Ten games, U-M has been outscored by a total of 75-12 in the 2nd half. I am trying to figure out the reason for this. Is the coaching staff being out-coached by the other teams' adjustments? Is the defense giving up and not trying anymore? Is there a lack of character on this team? I find these 2nd half meltdowns puzzling and very disturbing. I couldn't see the game where I live but followed it on my computer via ESPN Gamecast and would like to know what you guys saw.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:51 p.m.

Stan, Has Lloyd ever endured a 9 loss season that consisted of butt whippings? How about a 7 loss season (likely this season) with butt whippings and ZERO road wins? Also, last time I checked, Lloyd left RRod with Arrington, Manningham, Boren, Mallett, and McGuffie (a Lloyd recruit who only came because of Fred Jackson). Your story just doesn't wash.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:51 p.m.

Stan, what about these records: Lloyd 122-40 with one National Championship; RR 8-14 with not even one win over Purdue, Illinois, PSU, or MSU in two tries each. How's that for specific?


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:48 p.m.

If we're going with arbitrary records, why not bring up Lloyd's 1-6 record in his final 7 games against Ohio State. I can list more specific losses if you'd like: 1995: Northwestern 1996: @Northwestern, @Purdue 1998: Syracuse 1999: Illinois 2000: @Purdue, @Northwestern 2001: @MSU would be one had the loss been legit 2002: @Notre Dame, Iowa 2005: @Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio State 2007: App. State, Oregon, Ohio State I gave Lloyd leeway in 2003, because he beat ND, MSU, and OSU that year. In 2004, he had a veteran team that was lead by a true freshman QB. Lloyd benefitted greatly from Moeller's recruiting early on, a luxury he did not leave for Rich.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:44 p.m.

Jim Harbaugh and Stanford are up on Oregon by 10 right now. Jim: Please come to Ann Arbor and save us from the bad man and his inept cronies.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:39 p.m.

If I'm not mistaken, the argument when Lloyd was the coach was that he underperformed with massive amounts of talent. Then, within one season of his leaving, RR's supporters argue that Lloyd left RR with not even enough talent to beat Toledo. Interesting argument. Weak argument, but interesting.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:31 p.m.

Stan--If what you say is right--that Michigan wanted a coach to blow everything up and go through a drought only to be back in 3-4 years as OK teams, why didn't they go after RR immediately? Why was he not even talked to for a month? No, they got desparate and agreed to talk to him when he reached out to Michigan. Nobody but nobody would have accepted a "rebuilding" effort when retooling was all they needed. It is as if you are all saying that Michigan's talent dropped to an EMU level in LC's last years, and there's just no way you can actually believe that.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:30 p.m.

Stan, I understand you are a Michigan fan, but I respectfully disagree with you. Again, you bring up now 4 or 5 specific games in Lloyd's career, 3 of which he won and talk of the program going stagnant. Tim Tebow did well against us, yes. But he was the Heisman Trophy winner and we sacked him 5 times and WON! That was Florida and Urban Meyer! Further, I don't see how going 20-6 in Lloyd's last two seasons, beating Florida, and coming within three points of playing for the national title show a stagnant program. I would think the LAST thing an RR supporter would want to do right now is make a head to head comparison of the two coaches because that's a comparison RR has no business being in and is sure to lose. Lloyd won a NC here. RR can't even beat Purdue.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:26 p.m.

Are you seriously saying Ron English was worth keeping around? He is still leaving off of the NFL roster he had in 2006. He's just doing wonders down the road in Ypsi...


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:25 p.m.

Stan, You can only defend a coach so long. I understand that the defense is one of the worst ever in Ann Arbor, yet isn't that still the overall responsbility of the head coach? Did we just hire RRod to only care about offense? What about defense? Is his system so offensively "sophisticated" that he has ZERO input on the defensive side of the ball? Bo, Mo, and Lloyd were all accountable on both sides of the ball no matter who their respective defensive coordinator was. RRod is a non factor when Michigan goes on defense. His scheme is on-sided, and it's not hard to figure out. This is by far the toughest time to be a Michigan fan. It pains me to see kids who signed up for this. RRod and his bretheren from WVU are on their way out, plain and simple. Too bad we wasted 2 years of rebuilding on this nonsense.

The Grinch

Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:22 p.m.

Yup, UM lost to App State in Carr's last year, and then went to a New Years' Day bowl game and thumped Florida with its Heisman Trophy winning QB. What bowl game are we going to this year?


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:21 p.m.

I was a Lloyd supporter, but half the games he lost are games Michigan had no business losing. I can think of two (1995 Virginia, 2004 MSU) that he had no business winning. Also, if you go back to the 1998 game against Syracuse where Donovan McNabb completely destroyed the Michigan defense and fast forward to 2007, Lloyd's teams NEVER were able to effectively stop a running QB. Even in his final game, Tebow didn't have a terrible game and almost single-handedly brought Florida back. So again, the program was stagnant and needed some type of change. The radical change that was selected requires time and patience. True Michigan fans and people with even a basic understanding of football realize this.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:18 p.m.

And RR fired a defensive coordinator who got a lot more out of the talent than anyone RR has brought in. Head coaches are responsible for the assistant coaching decisions they make and, defensively, RR's choices have been atrocious. Fans who continue to hold RR blameless in ANY area of this teams' demise don't understand what this man gets paid 2.5 million dollars per year to do. If it is all on the players, pay them and send the coach home.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:17 p.m.

The numbers don't lie...this is the worst coach in UM football history. It looks like Mary Sue is headed for the title of worst president of UM, as well.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:15 p.m.

Stan- More time for being the most embarrasing big ten team in college football? Where is the M pride. Big Rod has managed to let every prideful record we held fall. How much more time do we need. We are an emabarassment, with two games to go. Come on!! I love M I fly the flag, but I am not blind. Talk your talk to big Rod dude. It aint flying here.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:11 p.m.

For all you RR apologists, I will ask again, as the head coach, is RR not responsible for the defense too? You guys act like he's supposed to some how get a pass for having a pathetic defense. Well, he doesn't. This is his team. He's created it. He ran off talented kids, thereby depleting the depth and has yet to recruit a kid to play in the secondary. Keep drinking the koolaid.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:09 p.m.

Never thought I would say this, but UM was manhandled by two better, more physcial teams the last two weeks in Purdue and Illinois. When these other teams decided that they wanted to win the game, there was not a damn thing UM could do about it. Not only do they need better coaching, they need a good, big ten caliber strength and conditioning coach. Barwis should go back to being the terror of the Big East. This is Big Ten country.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:08 p.m.

And one more thing: it's coaching when the same fumbles keep happening---coaching for teaching the players wrong, coaching for keep playing the players who are fumbling, coaching for not getting the team in the mindset to play with good fundamentals. A game or 2? Yes, you can question the player or say those things happen. But 22 games in a row? The only constant is the coaching. Does anyone know how many fumbles and how good the defenses were in WVU when RR was there?


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:06 p.m.

Actually, I am a true Michigan fan and an actual Ann Arbor resident. This game today is on the defense. If you can find fault with the offense and special teams, then you are just being nit-picky. Hope may be a first year coach, but he's still running the same offense Purdue has run for years. For most of Tiller's career, Purdue was a mid-tier conference team. Even this year, they beat Ohio State. Granted, I'm not happy with losing, but I wasn't either when Lloyd lost to App State and Oregon his last season. I was a Lloyd supporter but recognized the program needed to switch things up. Progress is being made, and Mary Sue Coleman has said more time will be given.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:05 p.m.

By the way, I love the way anti-Carr fans bring up the App St. game again and again. Yes, it was an awful game. However, it was ONE GAME in a 13 year career. With RR, it has been so bad so many times, it's hard to keep track of which games have been his worst. Obviously Toledo would be the chart topper, but after that it's just a constant blur of losing to bad team after bad team. I would LOVE to see Michigan beat Wisconsin and OSU, and would applaud the coach and the team for doing something that I certainly didn't expect. That's why I'm a fan, I WANT Michigan to win. Short of winning the next two, though, I don't see how RR has earned another day coaching our team.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:05 p.m.

Stan--as I see it, when back up tight ends burn your defense for big gains; when back up running backs consistently get big yardage; when your offense is as predictable as anything, when your team gets outscored by second tier B10 teams in the second half by dozens--all of that is not a lack of talent at Michigan. it's called coaching the talent that you have. Are you meaning to tell me that Michigan's talent is so bad, that backups from opponents who are not great teams themselves should routinely beat them silly? It's called BAD coaching.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:02 p.m.

Stan Were you watching the press conference? Big Rod got to ya heh? The first quarter showed what the team can do, but the last quarter showed what they did do and have been doing. We are all fans of M football, we want the best, but come on even you have to admit the progress is in very slow motion. What Rod and team need to do is take a look at the full stadium and think of the many fans who keep returning week after week and play the game for us. They have to see we keep coming back regardless how upset we are. Maybe this strategy/pep talk will work instead of what ever the hell they have been using. The season is two games away from over dude.

Macabre Sunset

Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5 p.m.

It's not the players, it's the coaching. Turning around on the onside kick, staring into the backfield while the receiver runs open deep? That's coaching. Robinson teaching sophisticated NFL defenses to kids is like expecting a Nobel-prize-winning physicist to teach high-school science. Rodriguez teaching football to kids is like, well, Rodriguez teaching football to kids - only in a top conference instead of the Big East.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 4:56 p.m.

until someone at UM wakes up and fires nim-rod this is what we have to look forward to for a long time get used to it


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 4:55 p.m.

STAN! REAL Michgan fans, as you say, get PO'd with your garbage talk of patience and lack of talent when we lose, AT HOME, to the most talent-less team in the Big Ten with a FIRST YEAR COACH!!! There's NO EXCUSE! The season is not over, granted, but the last two weeks have been inexcusably bad. If you can't see that, I'm afraid that YOU may be a Spartan fan in hiding.

Jon Saalberg

Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 4:54 p.m.

Any time UM plays, they put up an even more mediocre effort. The fake punt just made UM look inept - maybe we should hire Purdue's coach. This is the worst UM defense in decades.

John Galt

Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 4:52 p.m.

Hmmm....doesn't seem to be much progress in the program this year. Teams that were routine "W's" are winning.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 4:48 p.m.

Wow, it's almost like some of you were HOPING for this outcome. It must have been a tough first half for you, huh? The reality is that Michigan scored enough points to win. When you score 36 points, you should win every time. Unfortunately for Michigan, the defense is abysmal, but we all knew that. We also know that the team has to be pretty near perfect to win. Since the team isn't as talent-laden as it normally is, teams that always give their best against Michigan actually have a chance to win. The difference between some of Lloyd's teams barely beating lower tier Big Ten teams and this current squad is that Michigan had superior talent at the time. Offensively, Michigan is clearly making progress on closing the talent gap and they're working on the experience gap. The defensive unit is a mess, but there is at least an indication that the current recruiting class and the last one will upgrade the defense. Real Michigan fans have patience with the process.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 4:44 p.m.

...what an unorganized, inept, mess of a sideline...doesn't a good coach at some point address his PLAYERS?? c'mon, this is over his head, schmuckeyes or bust... Ban The Red Wristband! Go Blue!


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 4:43 p.m.

The worst thing that can happen, imo, is to let this linger over an extended period of years. There's a truism out there that says, "Fail quickly." What that means is that if it is obvious you are heading in the wrong direction with a course of action in any phase of life, endeavor, etc, you should change direction as quickly as possible rather than continuing down the wrong path for a protracted period and making the situation worse. RR has two more weeks as Michigan's coach and, barring a major upset (yes, that's what Michigan victories have become), I believe it will be time for Michigan to 'fail quickly.' In other words, it will have become obvious that our beloved program is being passed by by the bottom feeders and that it is time to move in a new direction with a new coach. Michigan football deserves better.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 4:38 p.m.

...another saturday of Red Wristband football, Ban The Red Wristband! Go Blue! v

Just Blue

Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 4:38 p.m.

Another football loss led by the worst coach at UM in a long time. The team is becoming unwatchable and only apologists like Leach continue to support him. He has singlehandedly along with his minions like Barwis turned us weak, slow, and unable to play Big Ten football. I guess he thinks this is like the Big East.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 4:32 p.m.

Just unreal....


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 4:29 p.m.

Worst team in the Big Ten. Back to Back losses to Illinois and Purdue both. Many historic streaks broken with more to come. NCAA violations pending. Coach melting down over another coach's supposed diss. Recruiting other than 1 player, is not positive. Never thought Id see the day. sigh... Go Blue.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 4:15 p.m.

AZ, that's the difference between a leader of men and a guy with a gimmick.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 4:12 p.m.

Danny Hope has taken a talent-less Purdue team and, in his first year, already surpassed RR's Michigan team. Enough said.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 4:09 p.m.

Why can't we play EMU every week?

Do Better

Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 4:06 p.m.

michigan has been a joke for a long time you lost to app st.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 4:02 p.m.

do we deserve to be in the big ten?


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 3:53 p.m.

Unless we get hit with NCAA sanctions, be prepared for 2 or 3 more years of this crap. Unbelievable. In 2 years, this idiot has turned us into the joke of the B10.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 3:33 p.m.

What does Mike Williams do in practice that keeps these coaches playing him in games. He cannot play the safety position. This defense can't even stop Huron High. Pleeeaaasssseee! Gets some new players in for defense. Forget about the offense. This is ridiculous!!!!! Another year without a bowl.......... Bring on the basketball season. I'm tired of this crap!