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Posted on Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 11:08 a.m.

Michigan football team's first matchup against Big Ten newcomer Nebraska will have familiar feel, high stakes

By Kyle Meinke


Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez has passed for 10 touchdowns and rushed for nine this season.

Associated Press

The Michigan football team has faced Nebraska once in the past 26 years. They've never met as Big Ten rivals.

Yet, the Cornhuskers will seem familiar this weekend — sort of like looking in the mirror.

The Wolverines face Big Ten newcomer Nebraska at noon Saturday on ESPN. The Cornhuskers already have made noise in their new conference, handing Legends Division frontrunner Michigan State its only league loss.

Now, No. 20 Michigan and No. 17 Nebraska have identical 8-2 overall records and are second in the division at 4-2. That means their game this weekend will have important divisional and bowl implications.

The winner likely will have a shot to earn the league's second-best bowl bid with a win in the regular-season finale. The loser will be mired in a logjam of three- and four-loss teams battling for postseason destinations.

The similarities don't end there, though.

"You look at the statistical information between both teams, which I’m not real big into, but there’s a lot of similarities (between us) in their rushing offense and scoring and defensively," Michigan coach Brady Hoke said.

Both teams predicate their offenses on the run, with Nebraska ranking 13th nationally in rushing and Michigan 14th. Both, also, rely heavily on their quarterbacks to that end.

Michigan's Denard Robinson is fifth in the conference in rushing (91.0 yards per game), and Nebraska's Taylor Martinez is seventh (76.8). Robinson is second in total offense (261.9) and Martinez is third (245.6).

Neither is a consistent threat throwing the ball, but both are electric runners, especially in space. Michigan center David Molk said that will help the Wolverines' defense prepare for Martinez because it sees Robinson every day in practice.

"I’m sure it does help (us scout)," Molk said. "They have a fast quarterback, we have a fast quarterback. ... It’s very similar, and obviously, it’s good, because it’s a scheme we’ve played against."

Of course, the same is true for Nebraska. It knows it'll have its hands full with Robinson, but also will be prepped for the challenge.

"You got about an hour?" Cornhuskers coach Bo Pelini said when asked about his impressions of Robinson. "He can beat you and do a lot of different things. This guy, you watch him on film, he's fun to watch. I won't get a lot of sleep this week. There are times he'll make three, four, five guys miss on a play."

Nebraska and Michigan also feature emerging tailbacks, with the Cornhuskers' Rex Burkhead third in the conference in rushing (107.2 yards per game) and the Wolverines' Fitz Toussaint fifth (91.0).

“Nebraska presents a challenge unlike any other team in the Big Ten, I think,” senior defensive tackle Ryan Van Bergen said. “The only other team that might present a challenge like them would be us.”

Both teams will try to beat the other on the ground.

The same is true on defense.

"The Blackshirts defense, the physicalness that they want to play with — it’s going to be one of those games,” Hoke said.

Nebraska and Michigan pride themselves on good defense, and try to assert themselves physically, especially up front. Hoke likes those kinds of matchups.

There is a difference here, though: The Wolverines have been much better.

They are No. 1 in the conference against the rush, and fifth nationally in scoring defense, allowing 15.5 points per game. Nebraska is eighth in the Big Ten against the run and 36th nationally in scoring (22.2).

The Cornhuskers have been better recently, though, allowing 14 or fewer points in three of their past four games.

"I just think Nebraska is going to add a whole new element to how the Big Ten is going to shake out," Van Bergen said, "because they’re going to be a powerhouse in the Big Ten, just like they were in the Big 12."

So far, the Cornhuskers and Wolverines have matched each other, blow for blow, in Big Ten play.

One, though, will deliver a knockout punch Saturday.

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.


Matt Patercsak

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:41 a.m.

Nebraska will not find much daylight running up the middle on us, so a brunt push by our front four may not be necessary, what we do need however, is sound gap responsibility and discipline in the C gap (Between the tight end and tackle) where I think we are most susceptible, Nebraska's power option attack will be looking for a cutback lane there, but we have improved since the last time we were pounded there (MSU) and I think this overachieving attitude by our defense, if it remains in the air, will be a factor. formula: we put Kovacs in the box to the high play tendency side, and put gordon and woolfolk into coverage roles. we force them to throw the ball downfield. there is but one thing that scares me, a rex burkhead swing/screen pass. defending the lateral passing game may be a challenge. i feel like they will rinky dink us in the flats (JT Floyd's side) to get us spread out, THEN pound it up the middle. It's what I would do against our defense. but it all comes down to responsibility and technique, if we can be sound, strong and secure on a few points of the defense, we stop Nebraska's bread and butter and force Martinez to create using his arm. and he has some of the worst mechanics i have ever seen. we can win this game.

Lorain Steelmen

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:12 a.m.

Some really great posts back and forth, in particular DonAZ, and his in-depth detail analyses. I agree that DRob is a great kid, and will do whatever he can, to make this offense go. He IS a team player, and has the team squarely behind him. Some say he gets flustered, when faced with high pressure passing situations. Yes, the game is still moving too fast for him, but the same can be said for Gardner. I also am high on Gardner, but unlike some here, I think he and DRob 'are tight', and I think Hoke & Borges have gotten him to 'buy-in' to his role. I would have liked to see him get more PT early on, but that's all 'water under the bridge' at this point. The O-line seesm to be gaining some ability to open holes (eg Illinois), but trust me, that task becomes MUCH more difficult, the next two weeks! I would love to hear some of your take, on Omahmeh. I get the feeling he is a bit slow, and is just not making an impact in there. (UM appears to be a left handed offense, and Nebraska can see that on film). The pick of the litter is obviously, Lewan and Molk. I like Schofield, and his progression this year. Hugy is steady, but.... Finally, will we see a return of Barnum? And if so, can he make an impact against these last two defenses? Lets' be blunt, the defense has it's 'graduation' exam, on saturday. If they can SHUT DOWN Nebraska, then they should be in great shape to smother 'ohio'. The speed of Martinez, and the pressure on our corners is frightening. Recall they put up 24(?) on msu, and did a decent job of keeping the spartan offense on the bench. Don't know how Mattison will attack these guys, but I suspect he has to bring the ends up-field, to shut them off, from the corners. Ryan, Morgan & Kovachs will be exhausted by game's end. Can our front four, get a push on the Husker O-line? (I was dissapointed by their performance vs Iowa,) ..... Posters, am curious regarding your take on these items?...


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:45 a.m.

I'm not a deep football student like some of y'all ... but my sense is: o Offense -- watch 1st and 10 production ... if we flounder there it'll be a long day. But if we can produce consistent 2nd and 4 ... then things open up. Ultimately that's falls on the offensive line to make some gaps for Toussaint and Robinson. o Defense -- defensive line has to penetrate and disrupt, which ain't gonna be easy because Nebraska is pretty good up front. If Michigan's D-line can't get into the backfield quickly the rest of the defense is going to have to work extra hard. My two-cents ... at a high level.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 11:56 p.m.

Nice excerpt from MGoBlog basically attributing the limited success we had against Ill to going back to RR's offense. We should be doing more of this. I don't care what the stats say, our offense is horrible (digressing each week) and this year's schedule is against weaker teams (especially defensively).. Iowa's defense this year is JV considered to last years. We played 4 top 25 teams last year, plus UConn and put up more points. "You know the drill by now: always Denard's legs always. Michigan went away from using Denard's legs as a threat against Iowa and suffered through a day where their tailbacks averaged 3.6 yards an attempt. Against Illinois virtually every play saw Michigan threaten a Denard run, often with the additional threat of a triple option from a motioning slot receiver or fullback Stephen Hopkins. Additionally, Michigan brought back Rodriguez's old offset H-back formation. This allowed Kevin Koger to either flare backside and open up the designed cutback runs Toussaint had success with or attack the frontside of the play on QB draws and the like. This stretched Illinois out and gave Toussaint some extra creases. Not rocket science - Denard is not a pro-style QB Mr. Borges, use his legs.

Matt Patercsak

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:02 a.m.

I feel like the way we ran that offense against Illinois was more of a hybrid than other attempts. we had a blocking tight end in watson, koger at the wing, hopkins was in as a blocking fullback and also served as a decoy. it was a pretty good mix of power and zone read and im not totally opposed. that would seem to be a solid base formation, given our personnel at the moment, while also thinking of the future and bringing back the pro style, power offense.

Chad Williams

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 9:25 p.m.

This is the 3rd test of the year. Remember no psu or wisky this year so that 8-2 record doesnt have that signature win. Ive said all along beating teams you beat last year isntba step forward beating teams that yoy didnt is. The way they played against msu and iowa this team is 6-4 easy no debate. beat neb and osu the season was a success. Defense has to he dominant against competition not the illinois or purdues or minnesota.

Chad Williams

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 12:08 a.m.

Well lets see how stout the defense is against non push overs. The defense has been great against ok teams but elite defenses do it against good teams as well


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 11:52 p.m.

That's right, 8-2 doesn't include Wiscy, but then through the 10th game last year it wouldn't have included Wiscy either. PSU last year? meh, they were 7-6, the same as Michigan. Michigan had Northwestern this year which will probably finish the regular season 6-6. But seriously, only a troll would attempt to down play the significant the defensive revolution.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 7:31 p.m.

This posting tool doesn't allow for much along the lines of formatting. Here's some stats of the full 2010 season against the first 10 games of this season. I've normalized the numbers to reflect the different of three games. Numbers are "per game" type numbers. Let the numbers be the judge of last year vs. this. Format: "Description" - "2010" - "2011" - "2011 as percent of 2010" Scoring: Points/Game - 32.8 - 32.5 - 99.1% First Downs/Game - 23 - 21.1 - 91.7% Rushing/Game - 11.5 - 11.7 - 101.4% Passing/Game - 10.5 - 7.6 - 72.1% Rushing: Yards / Attempt - 5.58 - 5.52 - 98.9% Rushing Attempts/Game - 42.8 - 41.9 - 98.0% Rushing Yards/Game - 238.5 - 231.3 - 97.0% Passing Yards/Game - 250.2 - 190.2 - 76.0% Passing Attempts/Game - 29.6 - 22.6 - 76.3% Passing Completions/Game - 18.7 - 12.0 - 64.2% Passing Interceptions/Game - 1.2 - 1.4 - 121.3% Completion Percentage - 63.1% - 53.1% - 84.1% Total Offense: Yards / Play - 6.8 - 6.53 - 96.0% Punt Returns: Yards / Return - 7.43 - 9.71 - 130.7% Kickoff Returns: Yards / Return - 21.44 - 19.35 - 90.3% Fumbles/Game - 2.2 - 1.4 - 62.8% Fumbles Lost/Game - 1.1 - 0.5 - 46.4% Penalties/Game - 4.6 - 4.1 - 88.8% Penalty Yards/Game - 45.9 - 35.8 - 78.0% Time of Possession / Game - 27:10.31 - 30:40.40 - 112.9% 3rd Down Conversions: Conversion % - 44.77% - 49.21% - 109.9% 3rd Down Attempts/Game - 13.2 - 12.6 - 95.2% 3rd Down Conversions/Game - 5.9 - 6.2 - 104.7% 4th Down Conversions: Conversion % - 42.86% - 53.85% - 125.6% 4th Down Attempts/Game - 2.2 - 1.3 - 60.4% 4th Down Conversions/Game - 0.9 - 0.7 - 75.8% Red Zone: Success % - 77.19% - 80.43% - 104.2% Field Goals: Success % - 28.60% - 72.70% - 254.2% PAT Kicking: Success % - 96.60% - 97.60% - 101.0%

Matt Patercsak

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 8:58 p.m.

this post warrants more than a thumbs up!! and mind you, this is a transitional season! unbelievable what these kids have done, the way that they have bought in

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 8:44 p.m.

@gobigblue: I think you are speaking of the Dark Side of the Force! @Don, Well, I'm not so prejudiced, and there have been times I've wondered about the playcalling (e.g., 4th and inches at MSU; 4 plays on the goal line at the end of the Iowa game). And, to be perfectly honest, I think it can be said that the defenses UM has faced this year, esp. those of Iowa and of MSU, are not of the caliber of last years'. But that starts to get into a subjective evaluation that is very difficult to quantify and even more difficult to come to a defensible conclusion either way. But, whatever else is true, the stats you cite show conclusively that the offense is better in some areas, worse in others, but largely unchanged from last year's. Not that it would matter to the nattering nabobs of negativism . Damn, those man crushes are strong. GN&GL


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 8:28 p.m.

Ghost, The man crush is like the "force" in that way, it is strong with them.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 8:28 p.m.

@ERMG -- yeah :-) If I put on my "objective hat" (which is not perfect ... I'm a fan of Borges), I'm not sure what the numbers are saying. Rushing up, passing down ... passing down in attempts and completion percent. Total offense not quite last year's but points almost even. Fumbles and fumbles lost down quite a bit. Interceptions up. Slightly better 3rd down conversion rate. Field goal rate 2.5X. It's a mixed bag of things. Maybe in all those numbers the key offensive stat is points per game (even with last year, essentially) ... and the big difference and explanation for 8-2 is the defense.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 8:25 p.m.

Wow! Real statistical data! You me one can use this to properly analyze this years offense vs last years?!? This as opposed to just blindly saying that the offense is so much worse this year. Shocking

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 8:14 p.m.

Great post, Don. And great digging. But you're assuming that those pining for the WCiMFH will be swayed by facts. In my experience, it won't happen. The man crush is too powerful. Good Night and Good Luck


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 6:30 p.m.

"I agree with Theo. The offense is boring, and unimaginative. The same players are on the field from last year. They score half as many points and go 3 and out half the time" Rufus, so in your math 32.5 ppg = 1/2 of 32.7 ppg ? You need to retake that math course again Rufus.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 5:05 p.m.

Here's my wish -- which will never come to pass -- sit Borges down in a room and give him truth serum so he gives the low-down on what's REALLY going on with this offense. If y'all think what he says in the press conferences is the candid whole story, you're very much mistaken. Here's what I think we'd hear: (a) Denard is a good kid with a lot of upside potential but a maddening tendency to forget coaching and practice elements. (b) The offensive line is doing a good job relative to the talent and depth but the movement at the line of scrimmage is nowhere near what he would like it be. (c) The designed runs by Denard aren't working because defenses start the game with a single focus -- contain him. Attempts to get alternative offensive threats moving hampered by (a) and (b). (d) The emergence of Toussaint a blessing because absent that we have one, maybe two more losses. But Toussaint is a bit inconsistent ... great games, average games ... so we can't bank on that offensive production. (e) Gardner is on paper a better QB fit but he's relatively green. But given (b) his time in the pocket is shorter than we need for someone so green, so he tends to get impatient and do things he should not. Early "deuce" packages just to get him reps in hopes he'll mature as season progresses. (f) Just like Mattison had to do with his defensive squad, Borges had to do with the offense -- go back to certain basics and re-establish key fundamentals. As the season is going on those are paying dividends but (a) and (b) hamper us. And finally, I'd love to see a sit-down with Borges debating some on this board with respect to offensive strategies and schemes. It wouldn't be a fair fight. Borges is no idiot. His knowledge of offensive football is miles above anyone on this board I am fairly certain.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 7:48 p.m.

that ought to read 6 yards per carry for Fitz, not 6 yards per game.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 7:19 p.m.

Very nice post Don. And with realistic/logical thinking as opposed to random praising and demanding of a "spread" offense. It's funny to me how Theo believes that by simply running the spread, a team's problems will be instantly solved and they will glide their way to NC titles. The problem is that in some areas of the country when competing against big, physical opponents who play defense in the cold weather, the glorious spread is ineffective. I'll let you guess which conference Im referring to. Oh and which OC jobs are you in the running for next season Theo? There's gotta be a handful of high profile programs vying for your services with you being such an offensive genius and all. Take one of the jobs and just run the spread, you will will at least 10 NC's in a row I bet.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 6:59 p.m.

"But Toussaint is a bit inconsistent ... great games, average games ... so we can't bank on that offensive production." To be fair to Fitz, he has had alot of games where he did not get that many carries. Until the Purdue game he only averaged 10 or 11 carries per game, which really is not enough to get it going most of the time. In the games he has had the opportunity to get more carries he has come through. He is averaging 6 yards per game for the season, which is very good.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 6:17 p.m.

Theo, my good friend, if I had the connections and power to arrange such a thing I would surely set such a thing up. But I'm curious ... what is your offensive coordinator resume look like? What's your track record? Oh ... and by the way ... the objective here is *not* to debate what Borges is doing at present against what you would dream of doing given 5-star elite talent you'd magically pull from your hat. The parameters are simple -- given the current players and (here's the key) the objective reality of the last three games of last season (where the zone read didn't work very well at all), what would you have done this season? Continue the Rodriguez zone read option? Talk to Wisconsin, Ohio State and Mississippi State about how well that would work. (Again ... this is *not* some fantasy exercise given 5-star elite talent ... work with what's in the cupboard and likely to be in the cupboard into the future.) I would LOVE to see the smackdown Borges would put on you.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 5:53 p.m.

Don, You should set up a debate between me and Borges @ 11:00 AM this Saturday at Stadium & Main. I'd whitewash him in <5 min. and then he could go back in the locker room and draw up a couple more dumb plays. (Or he could take my advice and then, you know, give us a chance to actually WIN.) Your pal, Theo

Matt Patercsak

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 5:44 p.m.

very correct I think if we had just a teeeeny bit more beef, more push, on the offensive line, things would be a lot more consistently effective. but alas, we have an offensive line that was recruited for zone blocking and lateral movement, they are great athletes, but FAR from the dozers that this incoming class of freshman lineman will grow to become. i think borges would also like to see fitz break 200lbs over the offseason. its not that much to ask for, and a 5-10 200-205 pound back with feet like Fitz could push those piles a smidge more over that first down marker.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 5:32 p.m.

Right on!


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 4:45 p.m.

This game is to keep BCS berth hopes alive for U of M. Huge game for the football team, and at home. Every team in the big ten has been a different team on the road compared to at home this season.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 4:25 p.m.

Theo212 at 8:42 AM on November 15, 2011 "Nebraska runs a great offense. We run a dumb offense. Look no further than that." You are delusional! The only thing "dumb" about our offense is the RR recruited QB Denard who can't hit the side of a barn and makes scatter-brain decisions. Last year's 3 and out or quick score offense, which put the inept defense quickly on the field was the "dumbest" I have ever seen. And -- the Michigan defense last year after October was pathetic, giving up 43.6 points per game! Was there ever a worse defense in the history of college football for a team that played in a bowl game? The difference with the Hoke/Borges coached team this year is that they are limiting the damage this QB wannabe (running back) can do and they understand the importance of good defense. What chance would last years team have had against Nebraska? None!


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 3:37 p.m.

Facts are a stubborn thing, and sometimes a beyotch. 2010 Michigan scored 32.7 ppg with a finishing record of 7-6 2011 Michigan is averaging 32.5 ppg and will finish at worst, 8-5. Michigan's offense is boring? Maybe it is, but any team that averages more than 30 ppg has a chance to compete for the Crystal Trophy. That is if they compliment their 30+ ppg offense with a defense.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 8:09 p.m.

" . . . and im not sure why people are saying this offense is boring. " There are several potential reasons for their response, none of them mutually exclusive: 1) They are ignorant of game of football 2) They are ignorant of the facts 3) They are fans of a certain style of football rather than fans of a winning football team. 4) They wish the WCiMFH were still here taking us to another .500 or sub-.500 season. Good Night and Good Luck

Matt Patercsak

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 5:13 p.m.

great stats!! and im not sure why people are saying this offense is boring. it isnt even a pro style yet! not until we have the right personnel. against Illinois we ran a ton of zone read. we just ran it with tight ends and hopkins as a decoy and blocking fullback. we're progressing towards power (thankfully), but we're not there yet. So idk why people complain, because we're using denard about as much as any conventional offensive coordinator can while still naming him QB. i think next year we can expect to see a little more beef, hopkins will have gained 5-10lbs and toussaint could get to 200. we'll have 2 bigger lineman and a bigger, blocking tight end. (AJ Williams) defense will be big too. Ryan and Morgan will put on muscle, Beyer will get bigger, Roh will get bigger and I think we can expect to see a number of incoming freshman like Matt Godin, Ondre Pipkins, Joe Bolden play and get good reps.

Matt Patercsak

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 3:15 p.m.

I think we catch them flat. coming to the big house, early, to play a mirror image of themselves. this isn't their game. our offense will struggle. but our defense will excel and create turnovers in their option game.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 3:14 p.m.

If Michigan goes with the same game plan as they did against Illinois there may be a shut out. Michigan scores zero. I agree with Theo. The offense is boring, and unimaginative. The same players are on the field from last year. They score half as many points and go 3 and out half the time- even thou the great D gives them the ball much more frequently. I know Hoke wanted a ball control offense to burn up the clock but how do you burn up the clock when you go three and out? Open up the offense and we may win the next two games. Go with the pro-style west coast offense and we lose the next two.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:35 a.m.

I defy you to show me what statisic yields "go 3 and out half the time."


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 2:33 p.m.

In order to win, we'll need a relatively mistake-free game from Denard/Devin. Erratic QB play has been our Achilles' heel all year. GO BLUE!!!


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 2:19 p.m.

I think that a couple of things need to happen for Michigan to win. 1) They need to continue to get better on Defense. They did from the Iowa game to the Illinois game and if that continues Nebraska will have a tough time moving the ball. 2) Denard Robinson has to elevate his game. Not in how many rushing yards or rushing touchdowns he has but his football IQ has to jump from the previous 10 games to this one. He can not turn the ball over in this game the way he has in previous games. There is a huge difference between throwing the ball deep from the 45 with 4 seconds on the clock left and having it picked for a touchback. Versus having it picked at the 50 because you are throwing off of your back foot while jumping and running away from someone like Denard loves to do! Take the sack and punt or live to get a big play on 3rd down, etc... just dont turn it over like that because it kills any momentum you have in the game!!! 3) Borges needs to adjust his game plan and play calling through out the game. We have seen in tough games that he gets the horse blinders on and runs plays that dont work over and over again with personel that can not execute the plays he is calling. 4) I dont know if this will hurt or help but I think Mich is a better running and passing team than Nebraska (rushing they are 12th and 13th and passing michigan has the advantage statistically). I think the weather may play a role if it is raining like they are forcasting. All and all I think Michigan can win in a convincing fashion if they do these things! Go Blue!!!


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 2:15 p.m.

If we win this weekend I think we will also beat that team in Ohio. GBTIM!


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 1:42 p.m.

Nebraska runs a great offense. We run a dumb offense. Look no further than that.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 10:59 p.m.

@Rufus - Great comments - LC's offense on valium. Couldn't agree more and this is what we're all begging for. Seems like everyone forgets how much we used to hate it when LC was running the same offense. I personally used to love the 4 yard out throw on every 3rd and 7 or more. Also spot on with Mattison comment. If we couldn't hold these teams on defense this year we'd be getting smoked by everyone. At least year we were putting up points. @Lorrain - The three big games we've played - MSU, Iowa, ILL... - MSU - awful coaching and play calling. Defense kept us in the game. - Iowa - even worse. Minnesota tears the Iowa defense up the week before running the spread, why don't we consider it? And that 1-4th in goal on the 3 yard line, don't get me started. - ILL - Defense, defense, defense... Common theme, Defense getting better, offense getting worse.... Coach Hoke, please start wearing a headset and get involved in the game. We've already got cheerleaders on the sidelines.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 7:44 p.m.

Still want that debate with Borges? I'm willing to bribe someone to make it happen. :-)

Matt Patercsak

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 5:16 p.m.

Theo the option and the spread are not the same. They run it with tight ends, fullbacks and a true tailback! a spread, by definition is "spreading" the field. they are a pro-style, power option hybrid. NOT a spread option team, come on brotha. and idk what your complaining about Theo, we ran a ton of zone read option plays against Illinois, don't you watch the film?


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 3:26 p.m.

2010 Michigan averaged 32.7 pts per game and ended with a 7-6 record. 2011 Michigan is averageing 32.5 pts per game and at worst will finish 8-5. Hmmm

Blue Marker

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 3:03 p.m.

The entire article is about how even they are in stats yet NU is great and UM is dumb? You know what's dumb....the 3-3-5 in the Big Ten. That's what's dumb.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 3:02 p.m.

I agree. Our offense is boring, low scoring, and unimaginative. It's like a Lloyd Carr offense on valium. If it wan't for Mattison's miracle on D this team would be much worse than last years.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

Option and spread are same thing 'cause they use imagination and take one to Crystal Land. Pro set is dumb 'cause it takes one to Citrus Land (at best). King (Glorious Spread) Bo Schembechler (Glorious Option) Bo Pelini (Glorious Option) Borges (pro set, boring, non-glorious, save your timeouts for some unknown reason, fall behind by 3 and the game's over)

Matt Patercsak

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 2:33 p.m.

power option, not zone read options

Matt Patercsak

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 2:32 p.m.

you know they don't run the spread right? they run an I formation power offense. I thought you were spread spread spread all the way...

Lorain Steelmen

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 2:18 p.m.

Theo, I hope you are wrong, but this game REALLY scares me! I firmly believe that we do NOT know, if Hoke can win BIG games. He has two of them to go. We'll know on the evening of 11/26, if Hoke can coach. The Nebraska offense, WILL put severe pressure, on this young UM defense. These guys are a much tougher test than either Iowa or msu. Just ask Markie Dantonio.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 12:54 p.m.

huh??? this is the sports section..hmmmmm,,, mich will win their next 2 games ...go blue..


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 12:48 p.m.

...believe this...ummm....belongs in the Sports section.