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Posted on Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 5:58 a.m.

What went wrong? Brady Hoke lists 7 things that led to Michigan's first loss of season

By Kyle Meinke


Michigan head coach Brady Hoke keeps an eye on during warm ups (before the Wolverines changed into their 'legacy' uniforms) at Spartan Stadium. He discussed seven things that went wrong in that 28-14 loss Saturday.

Melanie Maxwell |

Brady Hoke likes to give himself a night to soak in a game before moving on to film and prep work for the next matchup on Sunday.

Not this time.

The confluence of a bitter loss to a rival and the looming off week had the Michigan football coach lamenting his team's 28-14 loss to Michigan State a little longer than normal.

And he has a lot of laments.

Hoke cited seven things that went wrong in his team's first loss of the year:

1. Fourth-and-1 futility
If Hoke could have just one play back, it'd surely be the failed fourth-and-1 pass play that came late in the fourth quarter with Michigan trailing by seven points.


The Michigan football team might be off this week, but we’re not. Come back to at noon Thursday for a live chat with Kyle Meinke. He'll recap the Wolverines' loss to Michigan State, discuss news that emerged this week and preview the … um, well … rest of the season.
Instead of running the ball, offensive coordinator Al Borges elected to use play-action and target tight end Kevin Koger over the middle. It blew up when Michigan State's Johnny Adams came unblocked on a corner blitz and slammed Robinson to the ground from the blind side.

"That's part of their defense, bringing those corners, especially when you get into two tight ends," Hoke said. "A lot of people will do that, to the weak side. He was accounted for, if we execute."

The play has been widely criticized, considering the wind into which Robinson would have thrown and the junior's struggles in the passing game (he completed only 9 of 24 attempts).

Hoke backed the play call, though.

"No," he said, when asked if he wished Borges would have selected a run there. "I liked the play. If we execute the play, Koger’s in the end zone.

"That play’s been very successful for us."


Thomas Gordon, known as one of Michigan's surest tacklers, didn't fit that description against Michigan State.

Melanie Maxwell |

2. Tackling
The Wolverines' tacking had been solid all year, by and large, and was a big reason for their stunning improvement on defense.

Against Michigan State, especially in the second half, that faded.

"I don't think we tackled worth a darn," Hoke said.

Perhaps most surprising of all was two of Michigan's surest tacklers, safeties Thomas Gordon and Jordan Kovacs, had two of the biggest whiffs. They played key roles in the Spartans' only offensive scores of the second half.

Gordon missed MSU running back Edwin Baker, which led to a 25-yard gain that set up the Spartans' go-ahead score -- a reception by Keyshawn Martin, who got into the end zone thanks to a missed tackle by cornerback J.T. Floyd.

Later, Kovacs missed a tackle of Martin to set up the final offensive score.

"You see a guy try to block a guy instead of trying to tackle a guy, and wrap your daggone arms and put your face though him, like you're supposed to tackle," Hoke said.

3. Perimeter defense
Baker had great success bouncing outside against Michigan's defense.

The Wolverines had a similar problem the previous week against Northwestern, but were able to adjust by going bigger to fight off receiver blocks. Against MSU, they had no such answer.

"I don't think we played the perimeter of our defense worth a darn," Hoke said.

Up the middle, Michigan was not outstanding, but at least serviceable. Hoke singled out defensive linemen Mike Martin and Will Heininger as the team's best performers on defense.

Edge containment, though, was faulty. The linebackers had a terrible day trying to chase down Baker, and some of the angles of pursuit were poor.

Michigan State finished with 212 rushing yards, most of which came on the outside. The Wolverines had been allowing 134.2 yards per game.

"I know during fall camp, you always get a lot of that (edge containment) stuff in," Hoke said. "Then, as the season starts, you get away from that a little bit because of the game plans and seeing the opponent’s plays. This will be a good week to get back to that.”


Michigan receiver Junior Hemingway reaches for an overthrown pass against Michigan State. Brady Hoke says part of the blame for the passing game struggles goes to poor route running.

Melanie Maxwell |

4. Route running
Robinson absorbs the blame for the fits in the passing game because he's the quarterback, but Hoke said it hasn't been all his fault.

"Our route running started to hurt us," Hoke said. "We were breaking them off too soon."

Hoke has said several times this year the passing game's woes are due partly to the receivers not running precise routes.

They have struggled to remain active in the passing game, and only Jeremy Gallon has exceeded expectations. Roy Roundtree, last year's leading receiver with 72 catches for 935 yards, has only 12 receptions for 193 yards this year.

No Michigan receiver has caught more than five passes in a game. Roundtree led the corps with four against MSU.

That's paltry production from the position group, and allowed the Spartans to crowd the box and send risky blitzes because Michigan couldn't make them pay vertically.

"I think we ran for a grand total of 82 yards, and part of that was they were stacking the box a little bit," Hoke said. "They played zero-coverage on Roy Roundtree and (he took it) for a touchdown on a slant.

"If we had run a couple slant routes more pure or better, we may have had another one."

5. Trench play
Hoke and players have hit on this one hard since Michigan was badly and consistently beat off the ball on both sides of the line of scrimmage.

On offense, that meant Michigan allowed seven sacks (after allowing two in the previous six games) and ran for a season-low 82 yards. On defense, that meant Michigan State ran for 213 yards.

The issues up front partly were an attitude problem, Hoke said.

"I don't think we engaged with an aggression at the line of scrimmage like we should have," he said.

The other part, of course, came down to failed technique and fundamentals.

"This week, Tuesday and Thursday, I can assure you we can work on block protection and chop blocks and all those things and make an emphasis," Hoke said on Monday. "At the same time, there were times where it was played decently, but I didn’t feel the flow from our inside.”


Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson completed 9 of 24 passes against Michigan State.

Melanie Maxwell |

6. Passing game
Hoke has consistently defended Robinson as his quarterback, and reiterated there is not a quarterback controversy, despite the woes in the passing game.

However, it was telling when Hoke said Saturday he lifted Robinson for stretches in favor of backup Devin Gardner -- sometimes with Robinson at another position, sometimes off the field completely -- because the latter was more accurate.

"Part of what pushed (Gardner's snap count) over a little more was the wind," Hoke said. "It was a windy day. I think Devin, at times, can throw the ball a little more accurately."

Robinson is completing 53.9 percent of his passes this season, tied with Western Kentucky's Kawaun Jakes for 99th in the country. He was at a 62.5-percent clip last year.

When asked this week if Robinson has improved or regressed as a passer, Hoke responded: "I think he’s fine. I don’t have a problem with him.”

7. Coaching
As Hoke dissected his team's first loss, he certainly didn't absolve himself or his staff of blame.

In fact, it was the first thing he mentioned when he met with the media Monday.

“Well I don’t think I prepared them well enough to go into a physical football game," Hoke said. "You get punched in the mouth, you come back and punch back -- not literally -- come back and keep fighting. You don’t lose the composure and fundamentals and techniques."

Yet, Michigan did lose its composure and techniques. Koger called them "game-spasms," which he defined as things that are repeated often in practices, but uncharacteristically fall away in a game.

That was particularly true up front and on defense against Michigan State, and largely comes back to coaching and preparation.

The staff also had a hard time adjusting to the Spartans' daring blitz packages and Michigan State's anticipation of the snap counts.

It's mailbag time! Got a question/comment on Michigan's start or loss to Michigan State? Email football writer Kyle Meinke at to be included in Thursday's column. Please include first name and city of residence.

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



Thu, Oct 20, 2011 : 5:25 p.m.

Just stop. Here is #7 punching someone during the ND game. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Thu, Oct 20, 2011 : 5:20 a.m.

......or Big Blue was just flat out beat by a better team......

Matt Patercsak

Thu, Oct 20, 2011 : 3 a.m.

you know what. 'Im sick of speculating. There is no hidden secret to success. just execute. if you don't execute and your giving your absolute best, it means you're not as good as the man across from you. and that is by far the easiest reason to accept for losing a football game. it all comes down to execution. we need to get under center and run the doggone football like we've got a pair. end of story.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 11:48 p.m.

But hey, he's a Michigan Man...that's all that matters in Ann Arbor. By the way, who determines who is a Michigan Man?


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 8:41 p.m.

Hoke hit it on the head across the board. Here's what matters: How does his team adjust and respond. Last item 'staff had hard time adjusting to blitz' is a wild understatement!! If you could go back and change one thing to change the outcome of the game this is it!! Coaches are fully exposed on not truly knowing the strengths and weaknesses of their own team under game conditions, nor how to adjust on the fly when learning new weaknesses under game conditions. There are lots of standard answers to the blitz packages we saw (options, screen passes, draws, etc.) but we didnt adjust worth a damn (to quote Hoke.) I know it was windy and they have two shut down corners...doesn't matter 'cuz deep threat isnt the answer, which is why Devon couldn't make a differnce - I like the rotation, like even more having both he and Denard on the field together (option, screen, Devon to Denard any old way IS an answer), but throwing downfield was not an answer that would ever work based on that defense. Better have an answer to being blitzed constantly or Iowa, Wisconsin and OSU are going to have their way with us!!


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 7:40 p.m.

Thing Number 8: the Ghost is sure quiet! Thing Number 9: Mission is ure quiet! Thing Number 10: No Brainer that would be Bo Derek! Thing Number 11: That would be every chick seen with MEANGOBLUE!!! :) MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEANchigan football will once again scare 'em! If y'all don't believe this ask the meanies harem!!


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 5 p.m.

I really like the analysis except maybe point 5. I'm not even sure the problem was &quot;partly&quot; attitude and aggression on the part of the OL. I think they were just beaten up by State's DL. But I like Hoke's attempt never to lay blame outside the program.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 4:53 p.m.

#1 failure coaching. no way around this. Just learn and move on.

Lorain Steelmen

Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 4:02 p.m.

bluemax79. Actually I saw two coaches mistakes. 1.The spot of the ball with 6 minutes to go. That was the second 4th down play on that drive. But I thought the spot was bad, and I was up in row 29 of setion 107. North 30 yd line.....So high up in the stands behind the Michigan bench that we needed Oxygen. (We called it base camp #3, in the Mt Everst Climb.) If I was coaching I would be squeezing the officials on those spots. 2. Earlier in the half, right in front of the UM bench, Cousins lateraled/passed wide, and BACKWARDS. The lateral was fumbeled and #5 for Um picked it up. Apparantly the whistles blew prematurely,killing the play, but that was UM's ball, and would have ended a Spartan scoring drive. Sorry, but if the ball is on the ground...its' mine. And I will argue for that every time.

Lorain Steelmen

Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

Thanks Raisin #5 (Avery?) did pick up the ball. But apparantly, that was not 'enough' to get the review. I agree though, there was no sense of urgency, by the UM defense, on that play. I would think the coaches would have had them 'hungrier' than they showed saturday. In general, what bothered me the most, was that Hoke had a 'countdown clock' going on this game for sevral months, and still the team came out 'flat' or 'intimidated'....I don't knwo what's up with that? MSU is NOT that good a team.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 5:24 p.m.

The tv commentators also pointed out that if a Michigan defender had pounced on the ball and gained immediate possession, even though the whistle blew, after review the ball would have been awarded to the defense. That one is partially on the D for quiting on the play when the whistle blew.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 4:56 p.m.

Glad you attended the game. Regarding your second point, the lateral, the TV commentaters pointed out the same thing. They all thought it was a backwards pass and the ball was fumbled. Sounds like our coaching staff was too passive at times. They are trying to show good sprotmanship but hey, when on the enemy's home turf, they need to show the passion moreso.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 4:13 p.m.

While we're on it: If Hoke and the coaches were so insistent on passing on 4th and mm, why not just spread it out. Put 2-3 receivers out wide, taking defenders with them. Sure would open things up inside, and if no defenders go with them, just give a quick hitch and you get a TD. That would confuse heck out of college football teams, who don't do things like that.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 3:53 p.m.

What surprised me in the Game. 1. I thought MSU had a crappy offensive line, but the freshman MSU center was handling Mike Martin and the two tackles were sealing the edge against Roh etc. 2. I thought Molk was better than he showed. He was consistently being beat in the A gap either by a blitz or one on one by a defensive takcle. 3. Abandoning the rune game, you cannot give it up that early in the game because it allows the defense to tee off on your qb. 4. Denard's inability to hit the broad side of the barn with a pass.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 3:38 p.m.

well if we still had Tate to mop up the over glorified running back we have @ QB right now, we would be 7-0 sorry I love mi football.


Fri, Oct 21, 2011 : 2:44 a.m.

at john yeah those 9 interceptions really have helped us win!!!


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 5:23 p.m.

@Mick52 -- That analysis might work if DR was under center most of the time. He's really not all that much. It's at least 50% shotgun, maybe more.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 4:57 p.m.

Not so sure Tate would save the day, but I think BH is making the same mistake RR made in their first years. RR tried to put in a spread with a drop back style QB and BH is putting a spread QB into a drop back pro style offense. The defense is better this year but the offense is much worse. Not so sure about the coaching quality either. With 4th and inches inside the ten yard line and drop back and pass is so un-Michigan and too risky, especially when you don't protect against the blitz.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 3:21 p.m.

Cite #7. Coaching This is the only area where the game was lost. Not because of DR's passing woes, the RB's, the WR's, the OL, the Defense missing tackles and etc. Plan and simple, MSU's DC out coached UM's OC. That 2 TE set was no match for MSU's blitzes or speed, so you can't blame the QB, RB's, WR's, and especially the OL, MSU stacked and spread the box with their linemen some times up and just bull rushed them, the OLine didn't have much of a chance and that disrupted the Offense all game. Like the coaches use to say, &quot; keep running it until they figure out how to stop it &quot;, Borges this game did not. This does not mean however, UM is done, it's just one loss, this was the first team they faced with collective speed on the defensive side of the ball, you learn ( sometimes by taking an A## kicking ), grow and build forward, M will still have a good season.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 2:36 p.m.

The real question.... Can these problems/shortcomings be addressed or are we looking at a repeat of previous seasons? There 5 more games and none can be assumed wins. Sooooo.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 5:04 p.m.

Yes, they can be addressed. That was the fastest D they have faced, with a blitzing scheme, other teams may try to copy it, but I think M's coaches will also watch film and come up with schemes ( plays ) that will not allow teams to just blitz them without paying the price. You live by the Blitz, you die by the blitz!


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 5:04 p.m.

I thought we had to not just beat msu, but really whallop them to show improvement. Now, to convince me Michigan is back we have to plow the field from here on in. There is no excuse for not showing improvement. The players are experienced.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 2:21 p.m.

We really have only one fundamental reason for this and future losses against good teams. The talent level of this Michigan team is simply not up to the task of winning games against good teams.(BTW, the win was over ND was an incredibly lucky aberration.) This is due to mediocre recruiting over the last three years, including Denard, running backs, linemen, linebackers -- across the board. Just give this new staff time (two to three years) to upgrade the talent level. The victories will come!


Thu, Oct 20, 2011 : 3:27 a.m.

Mick, How can you say we don't have two to three years when your hero was given 3 disastrous years. Coach Hoke has already doubled RR's first season win total, and is on par with Pete Carrol and Nick Saban in their first year's at USC and Alabama, respectively. Hoke has already proven in year one that, even if you don't have the players to run your 'system,' you can be flexible with what you run and still have a pretty good year, certainly far better than a 3-9 debacle with a loss to a MAC team thrown in for good measure. Yes, Hoke does have 2-3 years (and far more) whether &quot;we&quot; (you) do or not.


Thu, Oct 20, 2011 : 1:24 a.m.

Mick I disagree about your talent comments. U of M has had good linemen on both sides of the ball in the past. the last 3-4 years you can point to 2 names - Graham &amp; Martin and not much after that. They do need more size &amp; strength to be consistently successful in the Big Ten. That doesn't mean they can't win with these player, but the consistency will be lacking.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 5:09 p.m.

I disagree. In my opinion, this game boiled down to that one 4th and one play inside the ten where for some unbelievable reason we tried a pass instead of a run. Has nothing to do with talent. And I don't think you are going to get much better talent. Michigan football has been suffering long before RR began here. It's the mistakes that are causing the losses. We don't have two or three years.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 2:10 p.m.

I have lost all respect for Dantonio after this game. Plus the the officials made way too many mistakes that could have affected the outcome of the game. Their first mistake was not getting control of MSU players and their dirty play. The officials threw flags, so they saw the stuff, but never followed up to Dantonio or tossed a player. That being said, we still did not do the job. I was amazed when MSU would load the box and we would still run off tackle. It was definitely coaching that lost the game. But, this has been a good first year for the new coaching staff and I am positive that they learned a thing or two in this loss. I suspect that with MSU dirty play this year, that our team might come to the game with a little more intensity next year. Its not wise to play dirty with a Wolverine, someone might get bitten.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 7:28 p.m.

Denard has to read that and audible so it's not ALL coaching. Unless they didn't teach him to do that yet. But Denard is a great athlete with AVE intelligence, at best, in my opinion.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 5:11 p.m.

How often do players get tossed for dirty play? This is football, not basketball.

Florida Wolverine

Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 1:12 p.m.

I think Brady Hoke had his order a little mixed up on the reasons Michigan lost to MSU. The first 3 were coaching, coaching, coaching!!!! The turmoil of taking Denard in and out of the game was a tremendous mistake. He totally screwed up Denard's rhythm and he could never get it going as a result. In the past, when you left Denard alone to get it together, he has always come through in the end, especially this year. I've quarterbacked at both the high school and college level, and the coaching staff totally missed the boat with the quarterback changes and not offsetting some of MSU's blitz's with screens and draws. Brady there is only one real reaon Michigan lost that game, &quot;Look in the Mirror!!!!


Thu, Oct 20, 2011 : 1:21 a.m.

While I agree the coaching staff made mistakes on Saturday I don't think they are the only reason for the loss. The players still have to execute, make the tackles, get off blocks, run the correct route and make the right read. The 4th down call was horrible in my opinion but I'd also like to see Denard notice the Corner on the line obviously ready to blitz and check out of the play or call a time out. I think you can bring Devin in for any game but I would leave Denard on the field. I'm also not sure how much it disrupted Denard rhythm since he has struggled with that all year (except Minnesota &amp; 2nd half at Purdue). He has struggeld against good defenses in his short career at Michigan and while msu may play dirty, they also have a good defense.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 5:12 p.m.

I agree. Best post here.

Tom Teague

Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 1:38 p.m.

I think the ordering may be the reporter's and not Coach Hoke's. From the article: . . . coaching &quot;was the first thing he mentioned when he met with the media Monday.&quot;


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 12:57 p.m.

bluemax79 is dead right! I was screaming from my seat the instant that ball was spotted. They should have challenged that spot!


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 12:50 p.m.

This team is simply not where it needs to be yet and it is obvious. My thought on this is that you have guys that are seniors who have been taught to play the game incorrectly for 3 years and now are being tought correctly. I made the example of it with the differences between JT Floyd and Woolfolk vs Countess. Countess is soaking everything up when it comes to coaching and has no real bad habits to break except inexperience. Woolfolk and Floyd have major flaws in their game because of what they were taught for the last 3-4 years (this is not an indictment on them as young men or their raw talent, they just have habits that are very hard to break when under pressure and stress)! The coaches are getting everything they can out of guys to this point and it will really be telling how this team responds to critisism and failure. For the remaining games Purdue will be a blow out, Iowa and Illi. will be tough games but watching Iowa I think Michigan wins by 2 scores. Illinois collapses after the loss to OSU and loses 3 of their last 5. Neb. is going to be difficult but we have seen how to beat them and they may lose their last 5 games. OSU is not a good team this year and Mich should beat them as well and they will be lucky to make a bowl game this year. I know everyone here wants Michigan to go undefeated this year and every year. I just dont think that is a reality at this point. The skill level of players on this team is not there. It will be in 2-3 years with new guys coming in. The Junior year of the 2012 class is when this team will be a real top five team. Go blue!!!


Thu, Oct 20, 2011 : 3:20 a.m. about &quot;taught poorly.&quot; How else do you explain the defense moving up from #110 into the top 20 with the same exact players? Oh, I forgot, their year of experience, because everyone knows the 3-3-5 with Robinson and the other inept coaches running it would have been top 20 this year, too. And yes, the HC is responsible for the defense and the men he hires to run it.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 5:17 p.m.

No way. Taught incorrectly? Like what? If a player won't do what a coach tells them to do they should not be playing. There's no habit forming in playing sports. You sound like democrats blaming Bush for everything.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 4:50 p.m.

Chiro, while we may always agree with each other's view points, you are spot on on this one. I always appreciate optimism. It kept me going as a student athlete as well as the present. Given the list of seven issues to work on by the Wolverine coaching staff, we should see improvement not only on both sides of the ball but from the sidelines as well. Am hoping your remaining games of the season predictions come true. Go Blue!!


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 3:52 p.m.

Before we predict the Neb game it would be wise to see how they do against MSU. I am not saying that we can't/won't beat them, but they are likely to learn a great deal before we get to them. OSU is struggling in part because they are playing without key players due to their dedication to abiding by NCAA regulations. Those players will be back when we play them. As much as I want to beat OSU, history shows &quot;The Game&quot; should never be taken for granted by either team regardless of relative talent or records. As for the other games, every game this season is a test, every game. Michigan can win them if they play to their maximum potential, anything less and any of those games is in doubt. If the players rebound from this loss and we end up 8-4 or 11-1 or anywhere in between this will be a great, even fantastic, turn around for this program. My heart predicts 11-1, but my head is saying 9-3. How many of us thought back in August thought that we'd be seriously discussing winning 9+ games at this point? While fallible, Hoke and his staff are proving to be great coaches who are instilling this team with the fundamental ethic required to bring Michigan football back to the field. Back in August I felt that it was impossible to accomplish this in a single season, I hope that they continue to prove me wrong. Go Blue!


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 12:11 p.m.

Thing No. 8: No consulting with Our King as to how best run the offense. Thing No. 9: Actually wasting time to change into the carnival jerseys after warm-ups. (How does that prepare us for winning?) Thing No. 10: Brandon's insistence on making all the money he can and not caring one bit about the integrity of the game. Thing No. 11: Yellow jerseys and blue pants for the Purdue game. Kids allowed on the field (for a fee) during the game.

Nic schweigert

Thu, Oct 20, 2011 : 6:55 p.m.

Wow what a surprise. Theo shows up Talking about his queen after the first michigan loss. Where were you during the time they were going 6-0? Holding hands with your boy richie and hoping for a chance to say you'd done better.


Thu, Oct 20, 2011 : 9:42 a.m.

UM finally lost, so the RR slappies are due to come out of hiding.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 7:36 p.m.

Thing No. 12: Mick 52 has a man-crush on Theo and a secret one on &quot;our King.&quot;


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 5:21 p.m.

Although I think phrases like &quot;Our King&quot; are juvenile and stupid I have to agree with you on the sissy looking uniforms. I prefer the look Michigan put on the field when we were a winning team. These things just don't look tough. As to your No 10, I look at it as ignoring tradition for the dollar.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 5:21 p.m.

The University of Arizona head coaching position is now open. Your King's name has been mentioned as a potential candidate. I for one would like to see him given another chance at a lower-profile school. My very strong sense is he would not do well at Arizona either. In a pre-game piece last week Urban Meyer said the pendulum is swinging away from the spread to more of a power game. I would like to see Your King cling to his stubborn beliefs and fail again. I would like to wipe from everyone's mind this notion that he was a &quot;great coach in a bad spot.&quot; No ... a bad coach in a great spot ... IF he chose to handle it correctly. So c'mon King ... take the Arizona job ... recruit your slot ninjas to play in the desert. And then let's see how you fare in the PAC, which is really not all that good a conference.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 12:09 p.m.

why has no one asked Hoke why he didn't challenge the spot that led to the 4th and 1? go back and watch they play and you will see the poor spot cost us the first down. Failure to challenge that spot or at LEAST call timeout to talk over what was going to happen killed our last chance to tie. failure #1 was COACHING, no question about it.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 11:44 a.m.

The analysis is on the mark. The upcoming game against Purdue might look like we made a lot of progress on all counts but then there will be the four remainng games. The point is, the Wolverines will look great as they did against MN and not so great like last week or the first half against NW. Bottom line: This is still a team with a very good 6 and 1 record. The wheels are not likely to fall off the wagon. They are not likely to win out, they are not likely to lose the each of the last four games. The coaching staff seems to have learned more about themselves from this loss more than the players. I am optimistic that they can make the adjustments needed to have a winning record during these last five games.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 11:42 a.m.

It was nice for coach Hoke to admit Michigan's shortcomings in the loss to Michigan State. The coach nailed the issues right on the head. Hoke made no excuses unlike his predecessor. Rich Rod would make all sorts of excuses and alibis for his team's failures and would almost never give honest answers. Hoke's honesty is a refreshing change.


Thu, Oct 20, 2011 : 3:12 a.m.



Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 11:42 p.m.

Still talking about Rich Rod?


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 11:05 a.m.

Kyle: Your reporting and analyses this year have been outstanding, and quite a step up from past years' coverage (which I have also liked). Congratulations so far, and look forward to the rest of the season with you. One thing you said was refreshing--that Hoke blamed himself first and foremost. Though it does nothing to change the outcome, that is what I found lacking in the most recent coaching staff, where all the blame was shifted to the players not being good enough. It's a subtle thing, but an important thing in terms of accountability, teamwork, and leadership. That is one big reason that Hoke is so well accepted IMO. One funny quote: &quot;You get punched in the mouth, you come back and punch back -- not literally -- come back and keep fighting. &quot; I don't think Dantonio will be saying this any time soon, actually quite the opposite. And as I have said all week, that is why I'm proud to have Hoke as my coach instead of somebody like Dantonio who is win at all costs, especially if breaking the rules, type of coach.


Thu, Oct 20, 2011 : 6:14 p.m.

Michigan players under Hoke know how to punch <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>