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Posted on Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 10:03 a.m.

Michigan football team takes note of Wisconsin's 83-20 drubbing of Indiana

By Pete Bigelow


The Wisconsin football team put up a big number against Indiana last week.

Associated Press

Amid a season of struggles under first-year coach Rich Rodriguez, the West Virginia Mountaineers enjoyed one unforgettable bright spot.

They had lost their previous four games before the matchup on November 3, 2001, and would lose their final three afterward.

But on that date, they played the perfect game. West Virginia destroyed Rutgers, 80-7.

The final score, of course, prompted surly rebukes about running up the score, which Rodriguez denied.

“I don’t know if any coach intentionally goes out and does it,” he said Monday. “It just happens. It’s tough when your backups go in … I’ve never worried about it. I’ve been on both ends of it.”

Rodriguez reflected on the Rutgers game because this week’s Michigan opponent, Wisconsin, is fresh off an 83-20 drubbing of Indiana that has brought similar running-up-the-score refrains.

“That was a different scenario,” Rodriguez said of his beating of the Scarlet Knights. “That was our first year, and we were struggling at times. Wisconsin is a top-five team and really sharp.”

Saturday’s game (noon, ESPN) pits Wisconsin’s venerable rushing attack, second in the conference averaging 228.2 yards per game, against Michigan’s eighth-ranked rush defense.

The Wolverines haven’t overlooked Wisconsin’s recent outing.

“I guarantee they’re not going to score 83 points on us,” cornerback James Rogers said. “From what I saw, I felt Indiana backed down a little toward the end, and I guarantee that’s something we’ll never do.”

Pete Bigelow covers Michigan football for He can be reached at (734) 623-2556, via email at and followed on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.



Thu, Nov 18, 2010 : 7:53 a.m.

MichFanTex, Thanks for the explanation - thought I might have been unclear what I was saying. Although UM beat Wisconsin, they performed horribly for most of the rest of the 2008 season. I still feel that there are two aspects of coaching college football players. Firstly, you teach them the basics of college football. Each position has a specific set of basic fundamentals to learn. Learning the basics helps in more advanced skills (this is the obvious part). The next phase involves teach a specific style or playbook. A good coach can do this, a bad one flounders here. To extend my line of thought, it seems that Carr did indeed have his players taught in the basics. They could play football. He might have even excelled in having his team taught in his style of football since they seemed to have succeeded to some degree in his last season of coaching. Now comes a new coach. His main job is to teach his style of football to his team. He shouldn't have to reteach the basics, as this is similar to riding a bicycle (you don't forget how to do that). He only needs to teach the new stuff (how to do wheelies, etc). So far, it seems that RR hasn't been able to teach the tricks of his playbook to most. Granted, the first year he may not have had "his players", which could explain some of the failure. The next year would be like starting over again, since his players are finally on the field, but are green with respect to "college" football. This year has been a bit better, but his team still doesn't seem to grasp his concepts, and it also seems he's untaught some of the basics, either because of confusion or retraining. I remember in my college days, I had instructors that just couldn't get their ideas across, not only to me but most of the class. Consider I'm not the brightest light bulb as well. But I had some instructors who could teach anyone, and every thing they spouted made sense. Could this be RR's problem - he has this brilliant set of plays in his head but just can't convey the how to perform them to his team? At any rate, this appears to be the main problem to me with the UM football team. They have pretty good players, they just seem confused when on the field. A few grasp the way RR wants things done, others though seem to be unable to figure out what is expected and just fuddle around hoping they going to do something stupid.


Thu, Nov 18, 2010 : 12:01 a.m.

Tulsatom, on your prediction of Wisky 38 us 24, I think you transposed digits. More like 83 - 24


Wed, Nov 17, 2010 : 6:34 p.m.

Lorain, The only one that has run down the players is YOU. Your defense of Richie is built entirely on the premise that the players are no good. BTW, Nick Sheridan and Steven Threet, QBs brought to UM by Carr and they, along with the rest of Carr's players, in 2008 defeated Wisconsin 27-25. If you're going to argue that all of Richie's problems are because Carr didn't leave any players, you cannot ignore the victory over Wisconsin. You either have to give credit to the previous coach and his players or admit that Richie has taken the program a step backward should Michigan fail to beat Wisconsin this Saturday. BTW, do you think you can address how you've argued that Richie is incompetent?


Wed, Nov 17, 2010 : 5:59 p.m.

Just thought of something, say Whiskey beats us by 28 points, does Ohio then feel the need to beat us by more? I know no one would actually come out and say so, but michigan football may just be walking into the worst 2 weeks of the RR Era. Whisky will feel the need to score as many points as possible, and Ohio who is behind in the rankings will have to beat that mark. Ooh god, i think im gonna throw up.

Lorain Steelmen

Wed, Nov 17, 2010 : 5:31 p.m.

wvtroll. Um LOST to Wisconsin in 2007. Henne was injuried, and Mallet was at QB. The next year Mallet left the program,


Wed, Nov 17, 2010 : 3:07 p.m.

Wisconsin seems to start fast. If we have a close game at the half, Michigan should win this thing in the 4th quarter. GO BLUE!


Wed, Nov 17, 2010 : 3:06 p.m.

GoblueinNE_PA, I believe the UM QB was also Carr's if I'm not mistaken. Seems to me Carr must have left the cupboard pretty full if the last time UM beat UW was when they had what was left from Carr's recruitment. Did someone untrain these players? How many were freshmen and sophomores on that squad of '08, anyone know? 3 And Out, Have to award you for having the most eye-catching picture beside your name. I also like your logic. Unfortunately, most here don't seem to be able to follow it, but it plays out pretty straight to me.

Lorain Steelmen

Wed, Nov 17, 2010 : 3:01 p.m.

Ghost...Well, yes, actually it WAS Carr, that got us in this mess! Like most of the haters on here, you are quick to run down this group of players. Since that makes you feel better, we can conclude you are a MSU or OSU fan. And that's fine with me. I'll stay with my comments, particularly if Martin and Mouton can avoid injuries during this game. Also, the Michigan offense CAN run away with this thing, IF they can avoid turnovers. That mor ethan anything else, has hurt us in our big ten games. The more posts I read on here, the more I hope UM sends UW a message!......Good Night and Good Luck.......


Wed, Nov 17, 2010 : 1:41 p.m.

My heart tells me U-M 27-24, but my logical side tells me it will be Wisconsin 38-24.


Wed, Nov 17, 2010 : 1:22 p.m.

Michigan's defense will be lucky to hold Wiscy to 24 points in the first half. As much as it pains me to say this, I don't think this game will be close. Wisconsin's offense is tailor made to pound the crap out of an undersized defensive front, which is what we have. Back when we pulled the upset every one wants to crow about, we had Carr's defense still here, it may have stunk that year, but it was built to play in the Big 10. What we have now isn't even close. Unlike Tressel, who's called the dogs off the past couple of years to keep from embarrassing us, Bielema and Wisconson will feel no such compunction. They will keep their starters in much longer than they did against IU. Expect no quarter. We're gonna need a supreme effort from the offense, in cold weather, in order to avoid getting smoked.

Lorain Steelmen

Wed, Nov 17, 2010 : 10:13 a.m.

tulsatom. I think the Michigan defense will make a decent showing against the Badgers. I'm figuring 20 to 24 points. It'll be physical,but I think we'll be all right. The key curiously enough, will be OUR oline. If they show up, UM wins this one by 7 to 10 points. Lets' go with 31-21,UM. That should slow down all the RR haters out there, at least for 30 or 40 minutes.


Wed, Nov 17, 2010 : 10:13 a.m.

ive got a feeling this game is going to look a lot like the mich-mich state game, and with a similar score. wisconsin is going to bully us up front all day and it will be tough to stop them from running the football. hopefully the D has enough confidence to play hard 60 mins, and maybe we will have a chance to win it at the end, but i dont see it coming down to that. after this game i think we are guna go into the osu game with the hard edge we have been looking for on defense, and RR better have the offense performing at its best to give us our best shot at beating osu. i dont care if we lose to wisc or in the bowl. i just wanna beat OSU! GO BLUE!


Wed, Nov 17, 2010 : 9:38 a.m.

Indiana's defense isn't much worse than ours. And with continued great motivational speaking by the coach (we don't have the kids we need, we're too slow, etc.)I could easily see the players quitting on him. This could be ugly.


Wed, Nov 17, 2010 : 8:44 a.m.

Wisconsin is a team -- like U-M was under Bo Schembechler -- that will test your manhood. They will run the ball down your throat and maul and manhandle you you until you show you can stop them. The thing that makes them better this year is that have a more proficient passing game than in previous years. If U-M allows Wisconsin to have its way, they'll score 50+ but I doubt that will happen because U-M's defensive line and linebackers are better at stopping the run than Indiana. The thing that gives me hope is that U-M pulled the upset on Wisconsin two years ago with Threet, so they are capable of the upset if Wisconsin doesn't bring their 'A' game.


Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 8:41 p.m.

tzgoblue I don't know what highlights you supposedly watched but I watched the game and there was no reverse and no 69 yard pass touchdown down the stretch. There was a 74 yard pass by Wisconsins 3rd string quarterback (the second stringer was out injured) that was supposed to be a pass to the flat for a 6 yard 1st down. It was covered so he heaved a duck downfield where that receiver had to slow down to catch the ball while the defensive back was still to far beaten to make a play. Then the 4th string walk-on quarterback ran a naked bootleg, had 2 IU defenders in front of him and he made one cut (if you can call it that) leaving both looking stupid and had a free run to the endzone. On both plays IU should have had an easy defensive play (1 INT and 1 stuffed QB) but blew it both times. COnsidering Wisky was chalking off 30yard runs almost at will there wasn't much to be done to slow the bleeding other than kneeling down for a quarter and a half. Now that would be humiliating. If the IU QB wouldn't have gotten hurt they may have kept it close through their short passing air attack. They were moving and eating clock until he went down. When he got hurt the wheels fell off. We have two solid quarterbacks that should allow us to keep fighting if one goes down. The defense needs to slow Wisky down to have a shot.


Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 7:59 p.m.

Wisconsin 45 and Michigan 27. There's your score folks! Go Green Go White


Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 7:13 p.m.

I cant believe Mich is only 5 point dogs in Vegas. They`re getting a lot of respect!!!


Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 7:07 p.m.

1. I don't think RR expected the holdovers from the Carr era to be as 'unspectacular' as they turned out to be Unspectacular like Ryan Mallett and Justin Boren? But I don't blame RR so much as Bill Martin. There was no way to expect RR not to try to play his (very different) brand of football, and it's no surprise that a lot of very good players became a poor fit and either left or underperformed in the new system. But there was just no need to start from scratch with an outside coach and a completely new system. Think of what Michigan did to Florida in Jan 2008. Think of how close (the 42-39 loss to Ohio State) UM came to playing in the national championship game the year before that. This isn't ancient history, folks, but it already feels like it now, doesn't it? How long, do you think, until UM gets back to that level?


Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 5:50 p.m.

Well, Loraine, I've read your post twice and I came to the same conclusion both times. Your three points are terrific arguments suggesting RR was incompetent from the beginning. 1. He didn't know the Carr player would be unspectacular as they were. For argument sake let's say the Brandon Grahams of the world didn't exist. Has RR never heard of scouting reports? 2. He didn't know about injuries. Who's fault is that? If he really cared he could have found out. 3. He probably didn't get a summary of players available. Again, who's fault is that? Then you go on and suggest his eyes were full of stars at the thought of coaching at Michigan. What, you think he thought all he had to do was show up and he'd have 8-10 wins each and every season? Far from defending RR by shoving the blame onto Carr, you've made a quite eloquent argument for RRod's incompetency.

3 And Out

Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 5:15 p.m.

In his comments today in other local online papers, Rich Rod alludes to the fact that he overestimated the talent level when he took the job 3 years ago, and that is why today the program is "not where he wants it to be"....OK.... Well we have heard that story from Rich Rodriguez before....actually he says it 2 or 3 times a season, followed by "but thats all in the past and Im not looking back" as some sort of way to try and soften it. Excuses, excuses and more excuses from RR...that is all that it is. He has had 3 seasons to build and coach up the talent and the defense and special teams are aweful and the offense can only beat weak teams...not the strong ones in the BT. The team is currently in 6th place in the BT, and will probably drop the next two games and end up in 7th place or worse.... yet to RR, he cant drop the 'cupboard was bare' excuse that he drops every year on the media....and unfortunately his koolaid crew continues that vein of fallacy with their constant web bashing of Carr. Well, lets look at the 08 defense...the ones that decided to stay...they were terrible under RRs crew, but you know what...several of those players are now in the NFL, including Brandon Graham, Morgan Trent and even Stevie who is to blame for them not having great seasons that year? Rich Rod...that is not on Carr. In addition, the top players on this current team (other than D Rob) were CARR Recruits! Martin, Hemingway, Stonum, Mouton, Schilling, Molk etc. ALL committed to Carr.... and people blame Carr for giving RR his BEST players now, 3 years later? its crazy... BTW...the Koolaid crew want to blame Carr for not coming out in the media and making some statement to support Rich Rod and what he is doing....OK...well Carr is a) a smart man and is not going to say something that he doesnt truly believe and b) why should Carr say something to support RR when Rich Rod has never said anything gracious about Carr and the program that he built up and success that he had pre-RR.... and people wonder why there are those of us that cant stand RR.... well that is a big part of it. Peace-Out, Go Blue.


Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 4:44 p.m.

If RR loses to both Wisconsin and OSU, his three year B10 record will be: 1. 6 - 18 (18 losses in B10 in three years) 2. 0 - 3 against OSU 3. 0 - 3 against MSU 4. 0 - 3 against PSU 5. 0 - 2 against Iowa 6. 1 - 2 against Wisconsin 7. 1 - 2 against Illinios (thank you 67 - 65 win) Well, he did ok with teams from the State of Indiana.....


Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 4:16 p.m.

Heartbreak, Would you really expect anything different from RR? It is always blame someone else kinda like his followers do. He got away at WV with playing weak opponents now that it is not like that in the Big Ten he cannot handle it. RR is the most overrated coach in college football and his record proves it. what disgusts me most is Mi football has been nothing but lame excuses for 3 years.

3 And Out

Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 4:11 p.m.

OMG more people trying to blame Lloyd Carr for Rich Rod's failures to develop a solid program in 3 years. When will that fallacious thinking end? Every? geeze, give it up koolaiders.

Lorain Steelmen

Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 2:59 p.m.

Heartbreak......Slow down big fella! 1. I don't think RR expected the holdovers from the Carr era to be as 'unspectacular' as they turned out to be. 2. No one ever knows going in, the number and location of the injuries. 3. When he took the job, RR probably didn't get a summary of the players available. How many coaches out there would turn down the job at UM? Not many. My take on all this, is that RR has been pretty quiet regarding the state of the program left behind by Carr. If you are frustrated, and I think you are, then berate Carr, not RR.


Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 1:56 p.m.

Anyone see RR's quote today that he "thought we'd be further ahead in his third year....""I thought a lot of things when I got here. "You find out what you have and then you do what you can with what you've got, and you go forward and try to build. I thought the comment was poor form (like many of his comments), and I got the idea that he is just throwing his players out as his reason for poor results so far. I just don't know how any of these players want to play for him, when he consistently points the finger to them. I repeat: if he did not know what he was getting into, then he had no business applying and taking this job. As far as Bielema: scoring that many sometimes is not controllable. A team just gets on a roll, and IU's defense is even worse than UM's. It'll be interesting to see if they steamroll M this weekend or if M will be able to tackle these big boys. And remember, Bielema grew up in the B10, at Iowa, so he understands the sportsmanship. I give him slack on this.


Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 1:55 p.m.

IU's coach had no problem with the final score and neither should we.


Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 1:46 p.m.

As we know, Indiana should have won against Iowa -- they played 60 minutes in that game. Wisconsin is good -- they are especially good in Camp Randall. But this game is in our house -- we beat them here two years ago. I say DO IT AGAIN!! Go Blue!


Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 1:11 p.m.

This is college football. Nothing wrong with scoring 100 points. If a team is sensitive about losing by a big margin then they should have no football program at all.


Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 1:09 p.m.

James Rogers should guarantee a win against Wisco! What's the point of guarantee that they'll not score 80 coz they are not gonna give up? Man up and guarantee a win and then back it up the in field!!! LOL!!!

David Vande Bunte

Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 1:05 p.m.

Bielema had the backups to the backups in, what was he supposed to do? Start dressing random fans from the stands? Tell his team to intentionally turn the ball over? Punt on 1st down? I have absolutely no problems with a team scoring 83 points, if they are capable of it. It is up to the other team to stop you from doing it, and if they can't, tough. Football is supposed to be played by men, not wusses. I don't care if the other teams run up the score, or if my teams run up the score. You don't want to lose in a blowout? Stop them. Plain and simple. You CANNOT coach your players to ever not give their best. That is a slippery slope, isn't it? Isn't it the coaches job to get the best out of their players, and not to encourage them to play only 70%?

Sean T.

Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 1:04 p.m.

For those of us that understand that when you put in you're 3rd and 4th stringers and still score big points. It's not bad sportsmanship, it's the other team giving up! Indiana had no pride nor the fight in them to prevent such a high score. The Indy players shouldv'e had enough pride to prevent this, period! That was a shame.


Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 12:59 p.m.

Joe Hood Evidently you didn't see any high lights or read any of the results on this game. With Wisconsi leading 69-13 they scored on 69 yd and 74 yd pass plays. Before that they scored on a reverse play. Wisconsin has had fun this year this year with a senior dominated team. They will get theirs in due time I'm sure they will do everything they can to try to run up the score on us this weekend, after all we lead the all time series 49-11 so they have suffered their share of beat downs by us through the years.


Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 12:52 p.m.

if anyone actually watched the game, they did have 3rd and 4th string kids in a lot of the 2nd half. These kids dont get a chance to play much, if at all, so what are you going to do, tell them to run 3 yards and fall down, just so they dont get a chance to make a big play??? They had a 4th string QB in at the end and he was trying to run out the clock on a play but IU left a wide open hole right to the goal line, so why wouldnt the kid want to score? IU had lots of missed tackles and couldnt stop them, which was as much of the problem as the perception that wisc. ran up the score


Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 11:07 a.m.

This is football. Indiana is a Big10 team not just some nobody. Running up the score or not, who cares. I say score as many points as you can. Wisconsin ran 2-3 passing plays in the 4th quarter. The IU players did give up.


Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 10:56 a.m.

Yep, Indiana gave up, watch the replays.. the IU players were playing at 1/3 of their potential at the end. Sort of just going through the motions. The IU D-backs watched some of the plays with tired defeated gaze.

Joe Hood

Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 10:53 a.m.

Wisconsin did all of their scoring with their running game (Usually folks limit their offense by running the ball, once they're ahead). There was no way for Wisconsin to slow down their offense.


Tue, Nov 16, 2010 : 10:42 a.m.

Wisky's coach Brett "Bully-ma" WAS running up the score IMO, trying to pad his BCS standing. What goes around, comes around. He'll get his soon - hopefully this Saturday.