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Posted on Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 3:36 p.m.

Defense has to be "better than OK," remains a focal point for Michigan football team

By Jeff Arnold


Michigan's defense attempts to stop Wisconsin running back James White last Saturday. The Badgers piled up 558 yards of offense in a 48-28 win.

Melanie Maxwell I

Rich Rodriguez is enough of an offensive mastermind to fully appreciate the benefits that come with having a high-octane attack capable of scoring at any time.

Four losses this season have provided the Michigan football coach with a simple, hard knocks lesson. When the defense can't make enough stops to support the offensive effort, the results are fairly predictable.

In those losses, the Wolverines have allowed an average of 40.2 points and 478 offensive yards. Rodriguez has repeatedly pointed to defensive inexperience and injuries as key culprits, but during Tuesday's Big Ten coaches teleconference he acknowledged what many of his critics have said all along.

"You have to be better than OK in all three phases," Rodriguez said. "If you're great on offense, great on special teams and OK on defense, I think you can win some games, but I don't know if you can win championships."

Michigan's defensive struggles have been well-documented. On Monday, Rodriguez again pleaded for patience, saying it's difficult to make wide-sweeping improvements over the course of a season.

On Saturday, Michigan will play at No. 8 Ohio State (noon, ABC), attempting to slow down a Buckeyes offense averaging 39.6 points. Like always, Rodriguez said he will do an "exhaustive review" of each phase of his team's attack. But he also said he looks at the offense, defense and special teams on a daily basis, looking for ways to improve before the next game.

His biggest issues remain with his defense, which likely remains a long-term fix.

"Obviously, we've got a lot of improvements to make defensively," Rodriguez said. "We've talked at length about it -- recruiting-wise and scheme-wise -- and some of it, we know we are going to get better in a few months when our injuries heal up. So we're optimistic about that.

"But we know there's a lot of things we have to fix. Defense is certainly to be a main focal point for us and has our attention between now and signing day in recruiting and through spring practice."

Rodriguez said his defense has had moments of playing well, but hasn't displayed nearly enough consistency. The Wolverines have struggled most against the Big Ten's upper-echelon teams, and they'll face a member of that group Saturday in Columbus.

Despite Michigan's defensive struggles, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said he has been impressed with the Wolverines' tenacity.

"They run and they never stop playing," Tressel said. "The one thing we know about the Ohio State-Michigan game is that you're going to see a whole different team on the field than you've seen in the first 10 or 11 games. That's the way it was when I was an assistant coach, that's the way it's been in these 10 years I've been the head coach.

"The thing I love best about their team is that they play and they play and they play. They fly around and they must be enjoying themselves because they just keep playing."

Pryor sightings

Michigan must contend with Buckeyes' quarterback Terelle Pryor, who ended up in Columbus after picking Ohio State over Michigan. The Wolverines eventually got their own dynamic playmaker in Denard Robinson.

Rodriguez said he is confident that Robinson, who leads the Big Ten in rushing, would have ended up in Ann Arbor even if Pryor had chosen Michigan one year earlier.

"Some quarterbacks and some players don't want to come if they think you've already got somebody there," Rodriguez said. "But the really good ones don't care. Some quarterbacks don't want to go to a school because they think there's a guy that is established.

"But we like to have that quarterback that likes to come and compete every year."

Upon further review

Following Saturday's win over Michigan, Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said his offensive linemen were "unable to disengage" from Michigan's defensive linemen while trying to pull. Essentially, Bielema was accusing the Wolverines of holding.

Bielema created some buzz with a post-game comment that his team "rectified the situation," and going on to mention the chop block penalty that negated a Wisconsin touchdown.

While neither coach outwardly accused the other program of playing dirty, both were asked if they had.

When asked Monday what he thought of a sideline reporter's summation that Michigan was playing dirty, Rodriguez laughed. "Playing dirty? That's funny," he said.

On Tuesday, Bielema also dismissed it. "That's just people being creative with their writing," he said.

MSU going blue?

Bielema and Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio are among eight finalists for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. Both have led their teams to 10-1 overall records and part of a three-way tie for first place in the league standings. The Spartans, who travel to Penn State Saturday, need Michigan to beat Ohio State to have a chance at a league crown.

Asked about the idea of rooting for Michigan, Dantonio said he didn't have time to think about such things. "We control our own destiny ... anything else that happens is an after-thought."

Jeff Arnold covers sports for and can be reached at (734) 623-2554 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @jeffreyparnold.


"We" not "Them"

Thu, Nov 25, 2010 : 8:27 a.m.

@Ben I don't think anyone can deny that there have been instances where teams have been successful, but I also think it is pretty universally accepted that teams with freshmen QB's are inherently worse than teams with senior QB's. In cases where freshmen are successful, they are generally surrounded by a very good team with a substantial running attack to absolve them of much responsibility. So, "Yes" some teams have been successful with freshmen QB's but "No", a dip in production with a freshman QB is not a simply product of poor coaching.


Thu, Nov 25, 2010 : 7:25 a.m.

Ben, I hate to tell you this, but "Big Mouth Mike" wasn't good enough to beat Ohio State!


Thu, Nov 25, 2010 : 2:04 a.m.

Do you guys remember a young QB named Chad Henne? As history tells us, this young man came in to the relief of Matt Gutierrez. What did Chad do? He tore the guts out of the opposing defense (first game starting was 41-10. He single handily lead that offense. As you will also remember, he was merely a "TRUE FRESHMAN" and the third stringer to boot, meaning he should have been on par with Denard's performance or worse using 99% of the logic here. Also, the '04 season had ANOTHER "freshman" named Mike Hart, of course these are on the offensive side of the ball.. yadda yadda.. but the fact still remains: SOLID COACHING PRODUCES SOLID PLAYERS END OF STORY


Thu, Nov 25, 2010 : 12:56 a.m.

Michigan return's 10 starters on an already explosive offense,Wisconsin put up 83 on Indianna, do you think we could put up 100 points/

"We" not "Them"

Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 10:54 p.m.

@GoBlueinNE While I agree with you on the fact that a major problem with the later LC years was defense and that RR's specialty being offense may not seem to be related at first glance, but I think a very valid connections that can be made between both. The first is that offensive performance is not totally unrelated to defensive performance. I thought the 08 season was a perfect example. When the offense continually has 3 and outs, turns the ball over repeatedly, and hands the opposing team great field position, the net productivity of the defense will most likely be worse. Of course, the net goal of any team is to out score the opponent. So, hiring a coach to improve the net result could be achieved either by building a more potent offense or building a stouter defense. The second connection is more of a theory and less a fact. It is often commented the defenses of teams who run pro style offenses are often better against pro style offenses because they see it every day in practice. It may take an extra ordinary effort by these scout teams to simulate because they are less familiar with it. One could use this logic to conclude that, if Bill Martin believed that stopping the spread was a key component of Michigan's future success, he may have concluded (and not completely irrationally) that hiring a coach who was known as a spread expert would also know a thing or two about it's weaknesses, as well as just giving the defense extra reps against it in practice. Not saying either necessarily happened, just that I believe it is relevant for people to talk about improvements in the offense when analyzing the hiring of RR.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 8:31 p.m.

@truebluefan What the heck does RichRod's spread offense have to do with the "problem" that Carr's team had with STOPPING the spread? There is no connection. So saying that RichRod was brought in to "fix" the problems of Carr's teams is, well, it's a total BS. That argument, which is made here ad nauseum, doesn't even make sense. Get it now?


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 7:39 p.m.

goblue18 sayeth: " 1) IF Jim Harbaugh is still around (which may be a long shot), he has to be the first choice 2) Don't forget about Brady Hoke out at San Diego St. right now. For those that have forgot about him, he was a Michigan asst. for years and then went on to be head coach at Ball St. if anyone remembers that team being a 12 win team a few years back and at SD St right now is having a lot of success. Trust me, he is on the radars of a lot of big programs from reading the rumor mills. " You and many others are misreading (at least some of) those of us who want to be rid of RR. I, for one, am NOT tied to replacing him with someone with "Michigan roots"...THAT, isn't a requirement. I just want someone who is: (1) ethical (2) capable of coaching (not a "one trick pony" who is lost when his one trick fails to amuse any more)...this means that he must be like Bo or Paterno in being a good TEACHER, firm and fair, responsible (I'm tired of "passing the buck", "throwing players and staff under the bus", tantrums, grudges (is this why Tate isn't starting and why RR wouldn't even look at him or talk to him for the first 25% of the season), etc., etc., etc...just too much baggage with this "coach") (3) capable of EFFECTIVELY utilizing the talent he has and making adjustments when things aren't working (the simple "we need to execute better" isn't cutting it...) (4) understand (that's U-N-D-E-R-S-T-A-N-D) the rivalries and realize that those are some of your most important games (i.e., the ones that if you lose too many of them, you get fired). Tressel "gets it" w/o an OSU background. Why can't our potted plant? Now, I do agree that Harbaugh would be an excellent choice, but not because of his Michigan background, but because we would be gaining someone with items 1-4 and those are things we are currently lacking 100% (it's not like RR has shown he's 50% there and improving, THAT I could have patience with...he has shown that he is 0% there and holding). THAT is why RR MUST go, and the sooner the better.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 4:23 p.m.

I see RR's game coaching philosophy an game strategy as unworkable in the Big Ten. Knowing that the defense is weak (inexplicably having 7 freshmen after 3 years of recruiting), no effort is made to help the defense by trying to consume some time during offensive drives. Instead, the effort is made for a quick score or a three-and-out, putting the defense back on the field. I have never seen such poor football thinking in many decades of watching college and professional football. Maybe it worked to a degree in less demanding divisions, but it's hopeless in the Bib Ten.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 4:16 p.m.

"We" You make many valid points, and I thank you for a somewhat sane contribution to the discussion. Even if we all have differences of interpretation (should he stay or go), it is nice to debate with sanity.

"We" not "Them"

Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 3:19 p.m.

Its sad to see debate on Ann reduced so frequently to such black and white extremes as "Rich Rod Lovers" and Rich Rod Haters". It is certainly possible to have an opinion and not belong to either camp, and people who claim to be "Lovers" and "Haters" are not necessarily the scourge of the earth void of all reason. That having been said, we know the trolls are ever present, but we should ignore them and focus more on rational discussions of the team. (I particularly respect the posts of "Ghost" even though, on this particular subject I draw a different conclusion than he does). I'm glad to see people finally pointing out the deficiencies that we present in the program long before Rich Rod got here. I feel time has caused some to have a revisionist version of our program's success. I have fond memories of stout Jim Hermann defenses, but even Jim was run out of town when our defensive prowess began to decline. I certainly use the App State game and the Oregon game as watershed moments that indicated that the "Michigan" way of doing things needed a vast revision if Michigan was to remain a national power. I would partially agree with a point made earlier that it was failure to stop the spread that was highlighted in those losses, but I would also point out that the lack of offensive production also played a role. LC had an offense with future NFL players at QB,RB,WR, and OL yet was unable to score enough points to beat a division 2 team. Many of us were at that game, and Michigan insistence on establishing the "Michigan" way of 3 yards and a cloud of dust was just as responsible for that and other losses as any other factor. In fact, it was the breaking away from that conservative approach in the bowl game and deciding to throw the ball against Florida that made the difference. The point being two fold, the offense greatly under performed under LC when it was stocked full of NFL talent, and the defense greatly under performed when it did or didn't have NFL talent. John Cooper was fired at OSU for continually producing 2 and 3 loss seasons when he had superior talent. I know many might read this and say, "Well, if you were so critical of 4 loss seasons under Carr how can you possibly support 3, 5 and likely 7 win seasons under our current coach?" The answer is, "Rome wasn't built in a day." If Duke's Coach K was only given 3 seasons he would have been run out of town (and trust me, after 10-17 and 11-17 seasons people called for his head just like people are calling for Rich Rod's). They also called for Bobby Bowden's head after his initial 5-6 season. I'd also point to the current struggles of the current coaches so many of us refer to as "Great" coaches. Texas's Mack Brown (currently 5-6), Penn State's Joe Pa (currently 7-4) and Florida's Urban Meyer (currently 7-4) didn't suddenly forget how to coach. The thing they have in common is that their personnel is different than the previous year. In particular, they have young QB's. Of course, their fans, just like many on this forum, get frustrated and start grasping for solutions and explanations, unwilling to accept the most obvious one which might be, "The other team is simply better than us this year". History is full of coaching changes that resulted in temporary performance reduction. History is also full of personnel changes (i.e. new QB's) that have also resulted in temporary performance reductions. History has also shown that teams that suffer excessive injuries and play young rosters have less success than those who are senior laden. I think it is understandable that so many people are expressing frustration and want to place blame with the coach, but I also think some people are letting their frustration lead them to categorize some "facts" as "excuses". The bottom line is, I don't think people who think Rich Rod should be fired are anti UM or irrational, but I certainly don't think the issue is as black and white as many have portrayed it. Rational people can also conclude that UM is making continued progress and that the immediate future is best served with Rich Rod at the helm. I, for one, believe the later to be the case. Win or lose, I can't wait for the OSU game. At the end of the day, we all should be behind the maize n blue on Saturday (Bennie Wells you get an exemption). Go Blue


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 1:58 p.m.

As far as "hiring a DC with a proven track record", well both Greg Robinson and Shafer had proven track records as D-coordinators. Robinson led a tough Texas team some years ago, and was even in the pros. Shafer was successful at Stanford (where have I heard of that school). So, what gives? What more experience? Who would come? It's an illogical argument that has been tried and failed twice already. And if RR is such an offensive mastermind not dealing with D, well, then he should be happy to be offensive coordinator where he does not have to deal with it. And he'd probably be fine in that position.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 1:38 p.m.

dvbunte, I agree with your assessment that the 3-3-5 is not suited for the Big Ten but I think you are blaming the wrong guy. Rich Rodriguez mandates that U-M run a 3-3-5, which is about his only involvement with the defense. Greg Robinson, while not a very good coordinator, is just doing what he is told by RR. The defense is bad, in part, because of freshmen being rushed into play but the biggest reason is because of the lack of talent outside of Mike Martin. I'd like someone to tell me in the RR era one good defensive player RR has personally recruited. I highly suspect that over 85% or more of the recruits in whom RR invested the most time were on the offensive side of the ball. He gets lots of 4-star offensive recruits but very few 4-star defensive guys and it shows on the field. Note: Mike Martin signed with U-M in RR's first year, but that was not a recruiting coup for RR. Martin was a longtime U-M fan and would've come to Ann Arbor even if Captain Kangaroo was head coach. U-M has a bad defense because RR assumed wrongly that he could win in the Big Ten solely by having a high-powered offense and that the defense would just take care of itself. Well RR, it didn't.

I love Michigan Football

Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 1:35 p.m.

P U MSU I totally agree with you on that point. But it is up to David Brandon to decide and not us. And if Rich can't get him a stud DC into AA, what do you think is going to happen?

I love Michigan Football

Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 1:17 p.m.

damn, yours turned out way better than mine....


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 1:17 p.m.

I love, Ido believe RR will be back next year with a new DC. I can forsee DB sitting RR down and telling him to bring in a proven DC and to allow him to run a defense he is comfortable in running. Ron Zook at ILL had a 90 ranked defense last year. With nearly a whole new coaching staff (other than Zook) ILL is now a top 30 defense. They were top 15 until the Michigan game. With that said, I think this is something that could happen at Michigan. Just a thought.

I love Michigan Football

Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 1:13 p.m.

(DE) (DT) (DT) (DE) Black/Wilkins RVB/Ash/Talbott Martin/Washington Roh/Rock (ILB) (MLB) (OLB) T. Gordon/K.Jones/ Demens/Bell M.Rob/Ryan/Furman/ A.Kinard Fitzgerald (CB) Woolfolk/Floyd/Christian/Talbott/Avery/D.Crawford/Howell/G.Brown (SS) (FS) C. Gordon/Carvin Vinopal/Kovacs DE: Craig Roh (Jr) NT: Mike Martin (Sr) DT: Ryan Van Bergen (Sr) OLB: JB Fitzgerald (Sr) ILB: Kenny Demens (RS Jr) ILB: Mike Jones (RS So) SPUR: Cam Gordon (RS So) CB: Troy Woolfolk (Sr) CB: JY Floyd (RS Jr Bandit: Jordan Kovacs (Jr) FS: Ray Vinopal (So)


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 1:03 p.m.

2008- 290 YPG 2009- 384 YPG 2010- 514 YPG 2010-?... can we go over 600 YPG? Rodriguez is the greatest offensive mind in the history of football, but we need a better Defensive Coach


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 12:55 p.m.

Fast-Forward to the 2011 season opener vs. Western Michigan and this could be the starting defense: Here's my 4-2-5, I think with are devastating offense we can do some damage if are defense is even average... maybe 12-2 DE: Craig Roh (Jr) NT: Mike Martin (Sr) DT: Ryan Van Bergen (Sr) DE: Jibreel Black (So) OLB: JB Fitzgerald (Sr) ILB: Kenny Demens (RS Jr) SPUR: Cam Gordon (RS So) CB: Troy Woolfolk (Sr) CB: JY Floyd (RS Jr Bandit: Jordan Kovacs (Jr) FS: Ray Vinopal (So)

I love Michigan Football

Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 12:39 p.m.

57-43-6 this will not be the starting D next year. The is only way Rodriguez is spared and given 1 more year. David Brandon will make him lose the defensive staff and bring in a stud coordinator. This coordinator will most likey run a 4-2-5(TCU,VA Tech, Nebraska), 4-3 or a standard 3-4(for speed) without that 3-3-5 look. You could put Van Bergen/Ash/Talbott and Martin inside to DT to plug the middle. Then put Roh and Black/Wilkins/Rock at DE and let them fly to the ball. We have the stud Saftey/LB guys here and some coming this recruiting class that we could do the 4-2-5. Personally I would like to see the 4-3, but that puts the corners 1 on 1 with the recievers and with not having any pressure on the QB, we are getting murdered on zone coverage. With no run support inside, we are dead in the water with the Big 10, you have to have a 4 man front(IMO). Personally I think if we had ran a true 4 man from this year, we wouldn't be having this conversation about hiring a new coach, but what do I know?

Sean T.

Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 12:34 p.m.

I can't believe that people are still blaming Lloyd Carr 3 seasons after he retired. Some of you say that his offense was poor, some of you say his defense was weak and couldn't stop the spread. But I ask you, did Lloyd ever give up 65 to Illinois or 3 consecutive losses to MSU? John L. Smith ran a spread and though we had some tough games, Lloyd never lost to MSU during his tenure. Okay, could our current team beat that same App St team that upset us some years back? Maybe we'd beat that Oregon team with Dennis Dixon under center? Our two best recruits are QB's and they only use one of them at one time. The only time we score against top teams in our conference is when the teams take their foot off the gas, but then the game is out of reach. When Denard is gone, how good will our offense be then? I'll tell you this, we won't put up 67 on Illinois!


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 12:25 p.m.

Joe, I'm not saying that Drob will leave. What I'm saying is that, let's remember, the kid is only a sophomore and 'for a sophomore' and first year starting, I think he's done an admirable job. Can you imagine how much he will learn in the offseason studying the mistakes he's made this year? Hopefully that will translate to less turnovers next year and keep us in more BIG games. Trust me, I'm not a 100% gung ho Rich Rod supporter, but this is the first year we have seen the potential of his offense and what it could be...and with 10 of 11 starters back next year to go along with the #1 and #3 ranked all purpose backs coming in next year, how could you not be excited about the offense? My point was that if the defense even improves slightly and gives up 28 points/game, which is still a lot, it will produce more wins. I've always been a firm believer in giving a guy 4-5 if the defense is still miserable and giving up 40/game and they have a fg kicker that I could beat out and I wasn't even a K in college...haha (too bad I'm out of eligibility) then the guy needs to go.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 12:19 p.m.

And we never had a defense w/ so many underclassmen either. You see how the two coincide? Those defenses that kept us in games (not always as you say as I remeber a few games that were not competitive: Oregon more than once, USC more than once to name a few) were full of highly touted, highly recruited vets who had 3, 4 sometimes 5 years in the system w/ a sprinkling of underclassmen here or there. Not 6 or 7 freshmen getting extensive playing time. If you have unrealistic expectations you should expect disappointment and not waste time whining about it for 3 months.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 12:15 p.m.

BTW, I think the big turning point was the OSU loss, not the coaching change. Since that game (1 vs. 2), Michigan's overall record has been 24-26 (and if we lose to OSU, 24-27). That is a 4 year record. Granted it is skewed by that 3-9 year, but that is not a record of a dominant team. Unfortunately, I don't see things improving under RR, and for RR to even reach a record that is above.500 would require 10-2 next year. Forget about record that might equal all prior M coaches (not just Bo and Carr, but also Mo, Yost, Crisler, Oosterbahn, even Elliott). Think about that.

I love Michigan Football

Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 12:13 p.m.

P U MSU I know you think I hate Rich but that statement is nowhere even close to being true. I have given as much support as I possibly can to him. I've have been ridiculed to an extreme that I can't even compare anything to. My own family said I was crazy when I stood by Rich, giving every excuse possible to show them that he could make it here. I was the few and far between on here besides Tater that would defend Rich to the brutal death only to get insulted everytime we did defend him. For the past months now I have woken up and seen the light. No more excuses, no more blaming the players, and definately no more supporting this coaching staff any longer. Watching Denard against smaller teams was amazing this year, but he kept getting hurt. And getting hurt is all these kids will be. If the conference was more of a finnese league, I believe Rich would do very well. We could play pin ball games and everyone would be happy. But we don't, we represent the Big 10, and it is one of the best power football conferences in the NCAA.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 12:08 p.m.

Our D may not have always been stellar, but it was always competitive and kept us in games. We never went into games knowing that we can't stop the other team or lose. In 3 years of RR, that has been the case, getting worse.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : noon

You know it's strange reading people post about this year's Michigan D as if the years before RR came in we produced top defenses. Our defense has been disappointing for most years since '97. And those were defenses w/ veteran players that were recruited by LC. Now we have a Freshman-laden defense and everyone has ridiculous expectations. The only complaint I have on the D is that I wish we'd rush 4 or more every down instead of that 3-man rush BS.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 11:55 a.m.

Fast-Forward to the 2011 season opener vs. Western Michigan and this could be the starting defense: DE: Craig Roh (Jr) NT: Mike Martin (Sr) DT: Ryan Van Bergen (Sr) OLB: JB Fitzgerald (Sr) ILB: Kenny Demens (RS Jr) ILB: Mike Jones (RS So) SPUR: Cam Gordon (RS So) CB: Troy Woolfolk (Sr) CB: JY Floyd (RS Jr Bandit: Jordan Kovacs (Jr) FS: Ray Vinopal (So)


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 11:51 a.m.

I think that Stephen Hopkins is going to be good next year...


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 11:46 a.m.

I love michigan football, Injuries happen. We have had unfortunate luck. You fail to mention Clay from Wisconsin is hurt and he is a beast. Big tough players get hurt too. Hopkins is healthy because he has played 20-30 snaps all year. Not much of an opportunity for him to get hurt. The other players you have named are every-down players so your comparison is a little off-based. I apprieciate your hard work though. Shows that you really love Michigan, but your comparison shows you really hate RR too. That's fine if you do. I'm not a huge fan of him either. I only believe he deserves another year before I form a final opinion on him.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 11:44 a.m.

Offense is not working in the Big Ten. We have no running game outside of D Rob and a passing game that is filled with mistakes (i.e. dropped passes and interceptions). First half point totals against good teams: MSU=10, Iowa=7, PSU=10, WIS=0. In all those games we were being blown out. If RR's offense is soooo prolific why can't we score when it counts against good defenses? Now I know you slappy's will say we came back, but once things got relatively close what happened? Lost by at least two scores. Get rid of this hick and get a coach who can do more than blame 19 year old kids for his short comings as a coach.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 11:37 a.m.

I'm actually not sure that a middling defense would have gotten the job done. Our offense did nothing when it mattered against Wisconsin and Iowa, PSU and MSU (in terms of first half production). Football is a 60 minute game, but since when can your offense take off half a game and still win consistently? The offense under Bo used to rack up points also--there were quite a few beat downs of WIsconsin along the lines of 52-7, but the thing that Bo and LC had was good execution, regardless of system. There were moments of failure, but as I keep saying, the spread does nothing different than a power offense, if execution is good. It's like saying there is only one way to play the game. Just not true. Wisconsin and Stanford sure prove that. OSU's offense has changed also through the years, and adapts. But they nearly always execute well.

I love Michigan Football

Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 11:31 a.m.

Rodriguez's spread can work, in the Big East would be great. It is just way too small to last in the Big 10 week in and week out. Offense injured this year, just off the top of my head: Shaw- knee Smith- blown knee last year, concussion now Fitz- everything, hasn't even been able to contribute. Denard- head, knee, shoulder Roundtree- chest Stonum- crawls off of the field everyother play Hemmingway- knee, ankle Molk- blown knee last year, ankle Lewan- concussion like symptoms Dorrenstein- knee Odoms- out the rest of the year McGuffie-bust, way too small for the Big 10 (Carr recruit, I know) have stayed healthy: Stephan Hopkins- 6'0'' 236 lbs. John McColgan- 6'1'' 238 lbs.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 11:04 a.m.

GoblueinNE_PA -- the offense under RR is better than anything we had under Carr, Mo or Bo. It's almost not even debatable. This is what RR has brought us up to this point. The problem is also the defense he brought us. It can't get off the field and it ruins any rhythm the offense generates. It's cyclical. You understand that, right? If Michigan had a top 50 defense, we wouldn't be having debates about RR's job status right now. So, I think RR's spread can definitely work in the B10, and it is working for the most part. But football is a team game and like RR said, you can't be weak on D and expect to win championships. And vice versa, teams with a weak offense and great D don't win championships either


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 10:57 a.m.

I think that Cullen Christian is going to be good next year...


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 10:57 a.m.

GoBlue - Are you saying we won't see DRob for the next 2 years if RR is fired? Are you saying that RR is the only coach in the world who can coach the spread offense? Let me ask you this. If RR is such a great coach, why is it that DRob is still making the same mistakes (fumbles, interceptions) game after game? That is not a knock on DRob. I love the guy too, but don't you think that a great coach is one who has the ability to teach and CORRECT the mistakes this late in the season? Just askin.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 10:52 a.m.

"The thing I love best about their team is that they play and they play and they play. They fly around and they must be enjoying themselves because they just keep playing." -- Jim Tressel Memorable. Put that one in the time capsule.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 10:49 a.m.

Mad - I didn't have my head in the sand. I knew the defense would struggle this year. My real issue with the defense is that they have shown absolutley no progress during the year. They made the same mistakes last week as they did the first game of the year. Those young men are freshmen as far as the University is concerned, but on this deep into the season they shouldn't still be the same freshmen mistakes, but they are. That is ALL about the lack of coaching that they are getting from the entire staff, starting at the top. I personally don't feel it will take three years with our new coach to get us highly competitive against the quality teams that are beating us like a drum right now. I trust that the new AD is savy enough to bring in a new coach that is smart enough (OK, not overly bullheaded like RR) and has the coaching ABILITY (unlike RR) to utilize the talent he will inherit, TEACH the players how TO play defense, and do a much better recruiting job than RR has done. I can see year one being an OK year, but we could all see a vast improvement by year two. Again, that will depend on our AD doing his job....starting with firing RR as he is walking to the locker room in Columbus on Saturday...maybe even at halftime if it gets as ugly as it really can be.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 10:29 a.m.

For all you RichRod sycophants who constantly bring up the App State game as if it was some seminal moment, let me ask you a very simple question. How does bringing in a spread OFFENSE in any way correct the problem of STOPPING a spread? Our defense couldn't STOP the spread then. It wasn't that our offense wasn't capable of moving the ball against App State or Oregon. In other words, you're premise for hiring the Hack is COMPLETELY FAULTY. Our problem then, being able to STOP a spread, still exists. We still can't stop any one that runs it (of course we haven't stopped any one that doesn't run it either). If you truly wanted to correct that problem that Lloyd supposedly had, a DEFENSIVE coach would have been the right move, not this Hack. This "experiment" will end shortly. Last stop on the RichRod Farewell Tour happens this Saturday in Columbus! All Aboard!!


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 10:20 a.m.

As much as I hate to say it, I think Rich Rod does deserve one more year. It's been painful to watch this defense week in and week out just get shredded like a wet paper towel. However, the excitement I get when I see Drob take the field with that offense is unlike any other time of watching a Michigan offense. The offense's potential in the next couple years...well, it's fun to imagine the possibilities. The optimism in me says the defense will be better next year, although I'm with a lot of you, and I don't see how. However, if the defense can get better, with a even more seasoned and improved offense, we could see some significant improvement in W/L's next year. With that said, my vote (which I know doesn't count...haha) is one more year for Rich Rod and if there is not significant improvement in defense/special teams and more consistency with less turnovers out of the offense which will lead to more wins....... 1) IF Jim Harbaugh is still around (which may be a long shot), he has to be the first choice 2) Don't forget about Brady Hoke out at San Diego St. right now. For those that have forgot about him, he was a Michigan asst. for years and then went on to be head coach at Ball St. if anyone remembers that team being a 12 win team a few years back and at SD St right now is having a lot of success. Trust me, he is on the radars of a lot of big programs from reading the rumor mills.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 10:19 a.m.

People seem to get confused that all people who dislike RR are "LC slappies". I think most people here really like what LC did for the program--he led the team well, he represented the university well, he did not embarrass people (other than a few losses), he was a "mensch" to use a yiddish word. It was time for him to go, and we all agree on that. His offense was not always stellar, but despite giving up 40 to Oregon and losing to App State, his defenses actually improved that year and he developed that team. Should those losses have occurred? Well, I don't know. The oregon team was great. Should not even have scheduled App State--should have had top level Div I teams, but it was a bad and embarrassing loss. Now, just because we all think critical of RR does not mean that it has to do with anything other than expectations of the program, regardless of who is coach. Fact is, you bring up LC's bad defense, and how has RR improved it in his 3rd year? How is it that a walk-on is among the best defenders? I really like Kovacs, and hope he plays and starts for 4 years, but RR can't even take credit for bringing him in. So Michigan gave up 40 against Oregon (matching most teams that year with Dixon as QB), but that actually would be a good game for this defense. RR has been a failure. His offenses have not held up well in the tough Big Ten games, even though they have gotten some points. If you are behind by 3-4 TDs in all those games before the offense gets going, those are not good things to parade out for "offensive excellence".

I love Michigan Football

Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 10 a.m.

This isn't the Big East where it has predominantly spread teams. It is the Big 10, where power football is what wins Big 10 Championships here. Rich is recruiting as if it is still the Big East. fact. Here is the conference records as of today. All of the power teams are on top, and the spread times rest below on the bottom. Their is a reason for that, because this conference is based on power, not finesse. That is why we see so many injuries with these teams, not because they are young, it because they are getting pounded each and every week. Michigan St. 6-1 10-1 Ohio St. 6-1 10-1 Wisconsin 6-1 10-1 Iowa 4-3 7-4 Penn St. 4-3 7-4 ----------------------------- Illinois 4-4 6-5 Michigan 3-4 7-4 Northwestern 3-4 7-4 Purdue 2-5 4-7 Minnesota 1-6 2-9 Indiana 0-7 4-7


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 9:55 a.m.

@ ThoseWhoStayUofM "3-9. 5-7, 7-5, 9-3, 11-1... Think critically. Use your heads. Be observant. Don't paint with a broad brush. Pay attention to detail. These are things that you learn as a Michigan student and I think some of you have forgotten that." Things one learns as a Michigan student? Do you mean as an art student as well? The coach improves two games a year after starting 3-9 and people start confusing pattern recognition with critical thinking. So, Michigan goes 7-5 this year (I guess you have no faith in the upset), and 9-3 next year. So, what teams make up the nine wins and three losses? If OSU or MSU make up any of Michigan's 2011 losses, which will be Rich Rod's fourth-straight loss to both, if we assume, like you do, that UM will lose on Saturday, is that going to be acceptable to you? Win against the cupcakes and get rolled by the upper crust of the Big Ten and Michigan's rivals?


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 9:51 a.m.

@Jim Nazium Preach on brotha! All your comments are right on point. Why others can't see it is beyond belief. You can't totally change your whole philosophy from three yards and a pile of dust to this new offensive approach a win every game.I remind you UM's defense wasn't all that great during Coach Carr's last year either. UM lost to app state and gave up 40 to Oregon. Anybody that was on planet earth this year knew that UM would struggle on defense and boy they have.If you didn't, that's a you problem or you had your head burried in the sand. As with the offensive, the defense will improve it's just not going to happen in 24hrs. By the way, wasn't Texas playing for National Championship last year? Well there not going to make a bowl game this year and Mack Brown is on the hot seat. That's the most ridiculous thing I have heard. People, please have patients! Why would you bring in another coach at this point, unless you want another 3 year rebuild. Then all of you will want that guy gone as well! All UM needs to do is recruit harder than they ever have and get the right guys here on D.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 9:29 a.m.

A three man Defense (Martin,Mouton,Kovaks)won't cut it.The rest of them might as well mail in their performance. RichRod better put in an emergency call to Rent-a-Defense.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 9:18 a.m.

Michigan can fire Rodriguez at the end of the season (Or right now) and not owe him one red cent. He did violate NCAA major rules (4X), which is grounds for termination. This is a fact that should not go undiscovered in a University of Law.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 9:01 a.m.

Ditto Blu and Hammer. BTW - can anyone tell me when the last was that UM was an 18 point underdog in ANY game prior to RR's arrival in AA?


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 8:53 a.m.

Those Who Stay - WOW, you must be drinking extra stong kool-aid. I am sure those young men, who are busting their humps every day for the Maize and Blue, will be glad to know that you consider them as things! I do find it interesting that you didn't list things like recruiting ability, at least some knowledge of all aspects of football, runs a clean program, accepts full responsibily for this fiasco rather then blaming everyone else, or was able to use his coaching ability to utilize the talent he had (17 returning starters) when he first came to AA. Looking back over the 5 I listed, I realize that you aren't able to list them, because none of them are true.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 8:24 a.m.

ThoseWhoStay 1. Denard Robinson-Good quarterbacks dont turn the ball over 4 or 5 times a game. Denard is talented, but teams who aren't from the MAC have figured how to stop him when it counts. 2. Taylor Lewan- Big penalties when it counts. He could be a great O-lineman someday if he learns some discipline. 3. Tate and Devin - Tate was a starter last year. Now he is not. Hows that good? Devin hasn't proven anything yet. He has got talent no doubt, but the proof they say is in the pudding. 4. Roy Roundtree - Good receiver. 5. Jordan Kovacs - Really? This guy can't tackle or cover anyone. It is a heart warming story of a walk-on making it, but if RR could recruit some talent he would be carrying the water on the field. Really you had one truely good thing that RR has brought to Michigan. I now give you 5 bad things. 1. Defense - They suck. 2. Kicking game - They suck. 3. NCAA Probation - Never even thoguht of before RR now we are there. 4. Turnovers - On a torrid pace. Can't win if you keep giving the other team the ball. 5. Lack of concern towards Michigan's biggest rivals - This isn't WVU or the Big Least. Mich-OSU used to be the biggest rivalry in college football. Now we are 18 point dogs. To RR this is just another big game instead of THE BIG GAME.

I love Michigan Football

Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 8:07 a.m.

marineblue don't come over here with that MgoworshipRodriguez mentality and think you are gonna bully people around. You can't neg us over here and stop us from saying what we believe in. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, if you don't like it, leave. You can head back over to your blog and have your King Rodriguez love fest and leave everyone alone here. Are you gonna come back on Saturday after the game when you dry your tears and tell us about your profound love for Rodriguez, you know what? nobody cares to hear it anymore. So I guess you're right, haters gonna hate.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 8:05 a.m.

Delusional is the best word to describe you people. Our defense has been an abortion for three years. News flash, THE 3-3-5 DOES NOT WORK AGAINST GOOD FOOTBALL TEAMS!!! RR had defensive talent in year one. D sucked. He has had three recruiting classes to obtain defensive talent. D has gotten worse. Michigans defense is historically bad, and the numbers prove that fact. Michigan's record in the Big Ten shows RR ability to handle good, physical football teams. To see our future with RR all you have to do is look at our current recruiting class. Two of the top 5 recruits are running backs while an instate 5 star linebacker is going somewhere else. RR is incapable of recruiting and running a Big Time defense. No defense = continual losing to OSU and MSU, no Big Ten championships, and no National Championships. If you are happy being Purdue and Northwestern, keep this hillbilly. I for one am not.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 6:42 a.m.

If our D was and has been poor for three years --- if we were average we would be on top of the big ten.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 6:22 a.m.

I'm going to go with Joe on this. I have seen the same thing and that's the most troubling trend with this team. Lack of progress and development of players on defense is mind-blowing. Troting out the same kicker to miss very makeable field goal tries is spitting into the wind. Hey, coach it's what they do in games that count! Your best practice kicker appears to be your worse game option. I helped with my kids softball/baseball teams this fall. (Yeah, watching fallball wearing a tee-shirt and shorts is great) Both teams were struggling badly but kept the lineup almost exactly the same for weeks on end. Finally someone suggested mixing up the batting order and the pitching rotation and both teams won two of their last three games. I know, it might not have changed much talent-wise but it changed the mind-set, which did effect the outcome of those games. I've used this quote before but it's still appropriate. Are you listening Coach Rodriguez? "Doing the same thing over and over again, AND expecting different results, is a sign of insanity." I hope that if RichRod not hearing this, Mr. Brandon is.

Jim Nazium

Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 6:19 a.m.

Patience my children, Patience..... When you Loyd Carr Slappies had to stomach the Appellation State embarrasment knowing that we had a Good Defense, a Michigan Defense and Still Couldn't Stop the Spread, how many of you saw that as a Turning Point for the Future of our progam? I sure as heck did and so did many others. It IS a Necessary Adjustment for Michigan Football to get with the times and Rich Rod is getting us there Offensively. It would be Idiotic to Blow the Whole thing up now! Defense Shmefence, anybody with a Memory Knew we would struggle this season, and Struggle we did. A new D- Coordinator Every Year is tough on Pro Teams, imagine how it is on 18-20 year olds. Recruiting Will Improve and We Will Compete for Championships Soon, You'll see. The 3 yards and a pile of dust won't win National Championships, Dynamic Offenses and an Above Average Defense will. Just be Patient... we are Not talking Detroit Lions Patient either.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 6:09 a.m.

roy roundtree is a RR recruit. RR recruited him at wvu. he switched on signing day. why do you people think that tiller called RR a snake oil salesman? why do you think that there is bad blood between purdue and Michigan? if any of you people went to,, mgoblog, or any legit michigan blog you can find the information there. @those who stay: why even waste your time w/ these people? there are more credible news sources out there that have fans w/ a clearer understanding of what is going on. one poster here asked if information on the bleacher report was true. the freaking bleacher report. you gotta love casual fr33p and news readers....always good for a laugh. haters gonna hate....


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 5:04 a.m.

3-9, 5-7, 7-5 will remain 7-5. On good schedules, this could be 8-4, on bad scheds, it would be 6-6 or 5-7 again. Why? The 7-5, 3 were against cupcakes (that we have trouble beating), 1 againt Notre Dame (close game), 3 weak Big Ten teams (Indiana, Illinois, Purdue) which could have gone either way. The five loses against the big dogs, UM lost bigtime. No offense, no defense, no special teams. Beating the 5 top dogs of the Big Ten will be years away with this philosophy and with this coaching staff. With this staff, UM will only be a mid big ten team.


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 11:13 p.m.

2-6 1-7 3-5 Fired!


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 11:07 p.m.

Five good things Rich Rod has brought to Ann Arbor. 1) Denard Robinson - A shell of a quarterback when he arrived in Ann Arbor however under Rich Rod became one of the premier quarterbacks in the league as a true sophomore. 2) Taylor Lewan - Big, strong, and a killer instinct, Taylor Lewan shows great potential for the future and, with experience, shows promise in becoming one of the best left tackles Michigan has ever had. 3) Tate Forcier and Devin Gardner - depth at quarterback in this offense is very important as the quarterback is subject to being hit regularly. With two very capable quarterbacks behind Denard, Rich Rod has insured that we will be able to play at a very high level offensively even in the event our #1 QB goes down. Not many teams can say that. 4) Roy Roundtree - Although not a Rich Rod recruit, Roy Roundtree was nothing but a bench warmer before Rich Rod and his staff helped Roundtree achieve a level of proficiency nobody expected. 5) Jordan Kovacs - A walk-on safety that is only a sophomore and has proven to be a great asset to this team now and in the foreseeable future. That really wasn't hard at all.


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 10:52 p.m.

Bleached report says david brandon already contacted harbaugh. Anyone know if this is true?


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 10:47 p.m.

Those Who Stay I would like for you to use your head, show how observant you are without painting with a broad brush and showing that you have paid attention to detail by doing this very simple task. Please tell all of us (kool-aid drinkers and realists) just 5 POSITIVE things that RR brought to the UM football program.

Jim Pryce

Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 10:44 p.m.

The same old excuses are getting old. The cupboard was bare when I got here. We're young on defense. Injuries. When will RR just step up & say that it is HIS fault(not the coaches) HIS fault for the way things are going. Blaming everyone & everything except himself. We're going to get healthy & we're returning alot of starters. We're returning starters that play hard but don't have enough talent & can't tackle.


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 10:17 p.m.

In a couple months we have a bowl game. That's why he said it. Why do people assume Rich Rod is stupid rather than thinking critically themselves and trying to rationalise what he says? It's actually quite obvious what Rich Rod meant when he said that he's optimistic about our injuries healing in a couple months. However, it's only obvious if you are looking at the comments objectively without personal bias. If you come from a mental state that Rich Rod is absolutely naive, then of course you will form false conclusions. 3-9. 5-7, 7-5, 9-3, 11-1... Think critically. Use your heads. Be observant. Don't paint with a broad brush. Pay attention to detail. These are things that you learn as a Michigan student and I think some of you have forgotten that.


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 8:57 p.m.

When I was a student at UofM, Bo was the coach and had been for a few years. He still had many more UofM coaching years ahead of him. Do you know how many games I saw that we weren't capable of winning? ONE, exactly ONE in all those years and it wasn't a blowout by any stretch of the imagination (we lost 14-6 to Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl with a freshman quarterback with a concussion). Fast forward to the last three many games have I seen that we weren't capable of winning? About 50% of them, even against opponents of the lowest level. That is why I'd prefer that RR be fired BEFORE the OSU game...any players who might decide to stay around for the next coach, DON'T need to be the scapegoats of an incompetent coach for yet another of his failures.


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 8:30 p.m.

Did any of you read Chris Spielman's comments about UM's defense? If you didn't please do! He is, in my opinion spot on on his observations. I think it has been a case of bad recruiting, lack luster talent and inheriting some average to below average defensive players. Say what you want, UM has had two defensive coordinators in 3 years and have had the same results. You say bad coaching, I say below average talent. Mike Martin is the only guy the would start for OSU. Last year that was Brandon Graham. We don't have enough talent on that side of the ball to compete with the upper level teams in the Big 10. Until they start winning some recruiting battles and get all-american talent in, we are gonna have painful saturdays. RR first year the defense was suppose to be our savior and they were terrible. Oh that was Coach Carr's defense, but we blamed Scott Shaffer for that. Last two years it's gotten worse, but we are blaming GR. No we just don't have the horse to run the race! Anytime a team runs the ball 24 straight time and you know it and can't stop it, that's a talent issue(Chris Spielman's direct quote).

Theo's Brother

Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 8:24 p.m.

As much as I would love to win this game, I'm not sure how well this defense will hold up. What alarms me in regards to Michigan football right now is not necessarily the fact that we have NOT won some of these; it's more so that we CAN'T win some of these games. With the disparity in "trench toughness" (where Big Ten games are won), we simply do not have the fortitude to win these games in the trenches. That's why I firmly believe if we do not put up at least a respectable performance in Columbus, a change is necessary. DT - Born and raised in Michigan. Now live in the South. Can't stand the SEC slappies here. Theo212 - You're the MAN! Love your poetry I'm your biggest fan! I love Our King but it simply ain't working right now


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 8:02 p.m.

My thoughts on RR constantly blaming the defense (PLAYERS) for his miserable coaching (?) job. Granted he has quite a few young players, but after 11 games they are no longer "just freshmen". Having said that if they are still "just freshmen" then it is because of one of two reasons. One is that the players on our team must not really be big time college players. That means the recruiting was horrible. Not real sure but I think that problem falls squarely on RR's shoulders!! Or they are not being coached properly; which I believe is the true case. All you have to do is go back to the first game and pay close attention to the mistakes they made. I'll give them those mistakes as real freshmen mistakes. Now, fast forward to last Saturday. Guess what? SAME MISTAKES!! Even if the players aren't big time college players, they don't make the same mistakes game after game if they are getting the proper coaching. The entire coaching staff has no clue how to coach our players. Not real sure but I think that problem falls squarely on RR's shoulders!! I have been rooting as loud for this years team as I have for any UM team in my many years of being a Maize and Blue supporter!! I just cannot give one ounce of support to a head coach who has taken our program to the pits, and brought the NCAA to our campus while continuing to blame everyone else for where we are!! I for one do not beleive it will take 3 or more years to return to our glory under a new coach. I can see it happening by year 2 at the latest. I do believe that we will hire someone who is a bullheaded idiot like RR and not use the talent he will have, and bring in!! I see our now out of the top 25 recruiting class ending up very near the top 10 with our new coach!! He will eventually build the team his way..a way that will put a smile on all of our faces again!! GO BLUE!!!!!!

J. Dean

Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 7:07 p.m.

A possible solution: move Rich Rod to offensive coordinator and hire a new head coach.


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 6:32 p.m.

Rich Rodriguez is enough of an offensive mastermind to fully appreciate the benefits that come with having a high-octane attack capable of scoring at any time. People keep saying this so I have to ask, are they saying RR purposely spotted Wisconsin 30 minutes of football? And are they saying that RR just refused to allow Michigan to score more than 17 against MSU? And against Iowa he just shut down the offense for two full quarters? Or is "...capable of scoring at any time", meaningless fluff and hyperbole.


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 5:48 p.m.

It is not all on the defense. The brilliant RR is running a hurry up offense with a bad defense. That is terrible coaching he is not helping the defense when they are on the field for so long. Three years of failure is enough.


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 5:38 p.m.

The excuses never ends for this coach. Hey Coach Rod! You blew your chance against Wisconsin, now you got one last chance! Beat the Buckeyes big time in Columbus, so big that everyone agrees that the rivalry is alive again! lol! Beat them and stay, lose and then step down! lol!


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 5:31 p.m.

Duh, do you think? Defense should be OK? 212 you must seek professional help. Or are you just a figment of your imagination?


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 5 p.m.

"...we know we are going to get better in a few months when our injuries heal up. So we're optimistic about that." Uh coach, in a few months it'll be too late to get better... the season ends soon.


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 4:51 p.m.

The primary problem with the defense is they are young, inexperienced, and don't possess great athletic ability. With an admixture like that, you cannot expect much more. So paraphrase Clara Peller, "Where's the beef". Larger, faster defensive players would help immensely.


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 4:35 p.m.

If he was allowed to bring in the best professional athletes in the world for his defense and he stuck them in the 3-3-5, OSU would only score 40 points. You are giving up the 1st 3 yards on the ground and not getting any pass rush. It's fine when you are playing Division II schools and you can out score them, but this defensive scheme can't even stop Division II offenses.


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 4:26 p.m.

At this point I think they should shoot for a defense "better than the worst in NCAA history". I would cut off both hands for an "ok" defense let along a "better than OK" defense.


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 4:23 p.m.

"Defense is certainly to be a main focal point for us" The operative words "to be". This guy is always talking recruiting and injuries when he talks about one of the keys to solving his problems. He had 8 starters back on D in year 1 and his defense was still awful. How many times can you say "recruiting" before it sounds like a "snake-oil salesman" begging for another year? Fire him now!!