2014 Season Preview: That Team Up North

By Michael Citro on August 17, 2014 at 8:30a
Eleven Warriors previews the 2014 Michigan Wolverines
60 Comments
Eleven Warriors' 2014 Ohio State Football Season Preview

Back in May, when the 2014 season seemed light years away, we checked in with That Team Up North to find out what Wolverine fans were thinking.

Now that the season is imminent, it’s worth taking a longer look at Michigan to find out how our rivals from the north are shaping up for 2014. It’s Year Four of the Great Brady Hoke Experiment in Ann Arbor. Patience is wearing thin in the mitten state after declining results the past two seasons.

Michigan went 11-2 (6-2 in Big Ten play) with a Sugar Bowl win in Hoke’s first season of 2011, but 8-5 (6-2) and 7-6 (3-5) in 2012 and 2013, respectively, with losses in the Outback and Buffalo Wild Wings bowls. While not exactly Rich Rodriguez numbers, the past couple of years are not what Michigan fans had in mind.

Hoke has completely turned over the roster now, so excuses will not fly in Ann Arbor. This is a critical year for Hoke, his staff, Michigan A.D. Dave Brandon, and the Wolverines.

Kind Schedule

Michigan's 2014 Schedule
Date Opponent
SAT 8/30 APPALACHIAN STATE
SAT 9/6 @ NOTRE DAME
SAT 9/13 MIAMI (OHIO)
SAT 9/20 UTAH
SAT 9/27 MINNESOTA
SAT 10/4 @ RUTGERS
SAT 10/11 PENN STATE
SAT 10/25 @ MICHIGAN STATE
SAT 11/1 INDIANA (HC)
SAT 11/8 @ NORTHWESTERN
SAT 11/22 MARYLAND
SAT 11/29 @ OHIO STATE

The good news for Michigan is that the schedule sets up nicely. The non-conference slate consists of home games against Appalachian State, Miami (OH) and Utah, and a road contest at Notre Dame. The Wolverines should be favored in all three home contests, regardless of what happened last time against the Mountaineers. And the road game at the Irish appears to have just gotten a bit easier, despite the return of former starting quarterback Everett Golson.

Michigan eludes all of the top cross-divisional teams from the East, namely Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska. The Wolverines do have to travel to Michigan State and Ohio State this year, but the remaining roadies are at Rutgers and Northwestern. Minnesota, Penn State, Indiana and Maryland visit Ann Arbor.

The Wolverines figure to win at least three of four non-conference games and at least five B1G contests, so even if they fare poorly in rivalry games, they should save Hoke’s job with eight or nine wins and a bowl appearance.

Injuries/Suspensions

Michigan’s health is pretty good at this point. The team’s only significant injury is to sophomore tight end Jake Butt, who tore his ACL in February. The Pickerington North product is already practicing, albeit not with full contact, and will be back in the lineup probably before Big Ten play. Sophomore safety Delano Hill broke his jaw, but will be back soon. Junior nose tackle Ondre Pipkins is back from an ACL injury last year.

In addition to these few significant injuries, starting offensive lineman Graham Glasgow will miss at least the opener with a suspension after he pleaded guilty to driving a vehicle while visibly impaired—a less serious charge than driving while intoxicated. He figures to avoid what would probably be a longer suspension if he played his home games in Columbus.

Offensive Line

The Michigan offensive line was a hot mess in 2013 and its two starting tackles were drafted by NFL teams. Glasgow will be the starter at center (or possibly guard) when he returns from his suspension. In camp, the line has been (L-R) freshman Mason Cole, Erik Magnuson, Jack Miller, Glasgow and Ben Braden. Former Buckeye commit Kyle “blood on the field” Kalis is in the mix as well, but was not with the first teamers this past week. Hoke’s offensive line will probably become clearer this week.

Our old “frenemy of the site” Ace Anbender of MGoBlog, who was quite helpful in filling in the gaps in my knowledge of his favorite team, says:

It's early yet for panic, though that hasn't stopped people from panicking—after last year, it's hard to blame them, though it's pretty standard for a team that lost two NFL tackles and had a generally awful O-line to toy around with the lineups early in camp. If there's still this much uncertainty in the days before the opener, panic is appropriate. 

With the offensive coordinator swap from Al Borges to Doug Nussmeier, the Michigan line should be vastly improved, if only because it had nowhere to go but up.

Skill Positions

It's no fun trying to tackle Funchess.
Expect another hard-hitting affair vs. Funchess & Co.

Devin Gardner is an incredible athlete who sometimes does inexplicable things with the football. The Wolverines will ride Gardner and hope he eliminates the mistakes that have plagued him in the past.

De’Veon Smith, a sophomore out of Warren, OH, has emerged as leader for the starting tailback spot, ahead of sophomore Derrick Green, who reported to Michigan a year ago in worse shape than I’m in now. Redshirt sophomore Drake Johnson is pushing both and Anbender says he expects Johnson to see more of a third down back role.

I'm less sure he'll get regular carries, especially since Green is in far better shape than he was as a freshman. Justice Hayes, who saw sporadic snaps last year as a third-down back, seems to be behind those three. I'm guessing we'll get a tailback-by-committee approach until someone separates from the pack.

Jeremy Gallon is off to the NFL this season, giving Michigan big shoes to fill. Few shoes are bigger than those of Devin Funchess, who appears to be a full-time wide receiver this year instead of a tight end. Funchess will start opposite one of Jehu Chesson or Amara Darboh, with freshman Freddy Canteen in pursuit as well. If more than one guy emerges, Funchess could see time at tight end until Butt’s return, or blocking-type guys like A.J. Williams could step in. 

Defense

Michigan Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison may not substitute on the line quite as liberally as Larry Johnson Sr. this season, but he’s got a number of bodies to throw into the mix. Seniors Frank Clark and Brennen Beyer are the starting ends, with Pipkins at nose and redshirt sophomore Chris Wormley inside. Redshirt sophomore Willie Henry and redshirt freshman Maurice Hurst should see the field on the interior line as well.

At linebacker, redshirt senior Jake Ryan moves inside in Michigan’s 4-3 over defense. Desmond Morgan and James Ross return from last year’s starters, but Ohio product Joe Bolden is turning heads in camp and could challenge for the WILL spot. Junior Royce Jenkins-Stone is pushing on the SAM side.

“Like on the line, there'll be more rotation here than in the past, too,” Anbender said. “Though Ryan will be a mainstay in the middle.”

Starting corners Blake Countess and Raymon Taylor return in the secondary, with sophomore Jourdan Lewis pushing Taylor. True freshman Jabrill Peppers will likely start at nickel and push starters in other areas. Peppers has gotten glowing reviews out of camp. Hill is the likely starter at strong safety if his jaw allows him to play. Junior Jarrod Wilson is the incumbent at free safety. Jeremy Clark and Dymonte Harris are applying pressure from behind.

Says Anbender:

This is by far the most depth they've had on defense since Hoke arrived. It's not like Morgan, Ross, and Taylor were subpar starters on a bad defense—they were solid starters on a good (albeit not great) defense, and they're in serious danger of losing their starting spots with no injuries playing a factor. That says a lot.

Newcomers

Peppers, Peppers, Peppers, something something Peppers, Peppers.

2014 Outlook

With Michigan’s schedule and the addition by subtraction of dumping Borges, it would be a virtual death blow to Hoke’s tenure if the Wolverines weren’t better in 2014 than they were in 2013. Gardner has another year of experience and a better tutor to learn from. His weapons are maturing and his line couldn’t be worse. Nussmeier has simplified the game for his line and changed the offense’s tempo, which will only help Gardner wear out defenses.

On defense, the recruiting cycle seems to be turning things around. It’s been four years since RichRod, so if there aren’t more improvements on that side of the ball, Michigan may be forced to find a replacement for Mattison, which is a shame because he’s a more-than-competent football coach.

Expect another strong challenge from our rivals when they visit the Horseshoe on Nov. 29, but hopefully not coming down to a must-stop conversion for the Buckeyes to win it.

Sunday P.M. updates from last night's scrimmage: Green is in far better shape than he was in last year, which we knew, but he was also the first string tailback in last night's scrimmage. Hoke has also clarified the Kalis situation, saying he would be a starter, but has been held out because of a nagging back issue. He's supposed to be back at practice on Monday. Stay tuned for more in the ongoing saga of getting Kalis's blood (and everything else) on the field.

60 Comments

Comments

LouGroza's picture

Concerning their recent scrimmage. Sounds like the O-line still has issues.

+5 HS
THE's picture

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Drivin > Disco > Drivin.
To the people in the bathroom, how's it going in there?

+2 HS
LouGroza's picture
+7 HS
awlinBrutus's picture

LOL!!! Good for them.Could Appy State do it again? that woud be epic.

MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS

+7 HS
awlinBrutus's picture

that info deserves a UV!

MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS

+1 HS
ChicagoBuckMD's picture

Maybe Michigan's defense is just gonna be THAT GOOD this year?

"Why be around average?" - UFM

+3 HS
mr.green's picture

Gonna take some pitiful coaching to get more than four losses out of this schedule. I have confidence they will find a way to lose five.

Meanwhile, tHis is the year we pass them on this list....

http://cfn.scout.com/2/1097657.html

+7 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

3 B1G teams in the top 6, 4 in the top 9. The all-time AP rankings really underscore how, tho the SEC teams have been dominate this past decade, they haven't historically been the top teams. I give them a healthy dose of respect for what they've done lately, but that TIDE could be beginning to turn.

Can't wait to see how it all turns out this season!! Go BUCKS!!!!!!!

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

+6 HS
tOSUperiour's picture

If I had enough upvotes, I'd upvote you for that. Blessings to you, sir.

We don't give a Da*n for the whole state of *ichigan cause we're from OHIO!

+1 HS
awlinBrutus's picture

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=162&f=2019&t=13056107&p=2

the faithful are saying the OL looks bad because their Dline is lights out. the OL was getting blown up by the #2 D as well. as well as the #3 D,LOL!

MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS

+3 HS
BeijingBucks's picture

same thing happened to us remember....

... oh wait that was the spring game with no starters in.  nevermind.  move along, nothing to see here

 

 

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

+2 HS
Hovenaut's picture

I'll likely keep a closer eye on them as this is a crucial year for the Hokester.

It's conceivable that they could be .500 after playing Sparty, and that the pitchforks and torches will be out in full at that point.

They'll have my full attention when they arrive in Cbus, no matter what shape they're in.

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

+1 HS
M Man's picture

I was there for the open practice last night.

OL really did look very bad, with some exceptions.  Hoke has been touting Ben Braden (RT) and now I see why.  Braden faced off against Frank Clark repeatedly and held his own.  There were some other hopeful signs, individually (and notably not Kalis), but as a group... not.

You can add another freshman name to "Peppers;" WR Moe Ways looked pretty brilliant.

As for Peppers, he is the #2 weakside corner, and looked fine in sparing work on defense.  We didn't run much nickel-package defense in this session, so we didn't see Peppers as the nickel back which is I think the plan-A for his appearances on defense right now.  I think Peppers is going to be our punt returner and he looked very smooth in that position.  Confidence, technique, moxie; might be our best returner since Steve Breaston.  Time will tell of course.  Peppers was not part of the rotation for kick returns.  That remains Norfleet and Justice Hayes.

Gardner looks healthy and fast on his feet.  He might need it.

Back to recievers: Michigan is going to pose some coverage problems, if we can force teams to respect the run (questionable); because four-wides (Funchess, Darboh, Canteen, Chesson/Ways) is going to be dangerous.

These kinds of practices, going deep into the depth chart, is the only place we will seen inevitable redshirts like Wilton Speight (QB from Richmond, VA).  Speight was simultaneously doing freshman things like fumbling snaps, panicking in the short-lived pockets created by his O-line... and then making throws like a first-round NFL draft pick.

Everybody (rightly, mostly) is hammering OL coach Darrell Funk about Michigan's line on the offensive side.  We've got a lot of questions on the defensive side too, don't forget.  But the difference on defense is that it looks like we've got answers.  Chris Wormley out of Toledo is such a physical specimen; he still looks like a freak on the line.  Like a ninth grader playing with the seventh graders.  Anyway, still a lot of questions there.  And yes, Mattison rotates so much personnel-wise, they will all play so no sense in picking out names.

Running back.  Yow, does Derrick Green look different.  He must be wearing pants that are two sizes smaller.  My guess is that De'Veon Smith (Warren, OH - Howland) will be the starter.  And Green is #2.  And Drake Johnson (Ann Arbor Pioneer) is #3.  All three look like they are fighting hard for every yard and for the starting job, which is a good thing.  I give the edge for effort and intensity to Smith.

Kicking!  Yay, kicking!  Wil Hagerup came back from his year of redshirt probationary punishment and looks like an absolute beast-punter.  This will help Michigan exponentially, because last year's fill-in punter Matt Wile will now be able to focus strictly on placekicking.  That's my daring prediction for Michigan this year; great kicking game.  Yay.

+19 HS
HotSauceCommittee's picture

Thanks for your fair assessment. I think MI will benefit from a soft schedule. This could have two effects and I would like your opinion. 1. Weak schedule promotes confidence and leads to hard fought victories in tough games or 2. Weak schedule gets them exposed down the stretch and they end the year on the downtrend?

+1 HS
awlinBrutus's picture

as I remember Kalis was a starting guard last year up until the end of the year when they shook up the OL. just wondering how he is going to figure in this year. missing a couple games because of an injury and he could have a hard time reclaiming his position if the OL plays well early?thoughts mMan?

MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS

+1 HS
kholmes's picture

Hoke said Kalis will be back to full practice on Monday so should not miss games because of injuries.

+1 HS
buckeyedude's picture

Wormley went to my alma mater, Toledo Whitmer H. S., and I wish we could have got that kid in the Scarlet and Gray, but like so many around these parts, his parents liked TTUN's helmets, so it wasn't a surprise when he ended up in A2.

 

 

-1 HS
buckeye92's picture

How confident are you in Gardner ?

+1 HS
M Man's picture

Personally, I think he's a very high-quality player.  I like him, on and off the field.

I worry how much punishment he may take in a season.

The pre-season fall camps are such innocent times, aren't they?  Who knows but that we could get to November, and Michigan is being led by Shane Morris and Ohio State is being led by Cardale Jones.  Shane Morris, by the way, had a very odd night last night.  He looked really frazzled at times, and it was mostly because the #2 and #3 wideouts were running bad routes and getting assignments mixed up, and the O-line was chaotic.  I'm one of the few people on this whole board who has seen both Morris and Jones live in games.  Last year, I'd have said Morris was well ahead of Jones.  Now, I am not so sure.

+3 HS
MaximusBlue's picture

Hoke said last night that Peppers is a starting CB right now and will move to nickel when they get into that formation. It's crazy that a senior and rs junior are being seated by a true frosh and sophmore but the best players gotta play. To be fair Countess is still recovering from off-season surgery.

+1 HS
M Man's picture

Really?!?  I'm not sure I believe that.  Blake Countess is our field corner.  They have given Countess the #2 "Woodson" jersey, and he looked great last night.  

Peppers was playing the weak side corner, and I really don't see him taking that job from Raymon Taylor.  If Peppers has displaced Taylor then he is having one hell of a fall.

[The MGoBlog Unofficial Two-Deep agrees with you, by the way.]

+3 HS
MaximusBlue's picture

Yup. Hoke said it in the presser after the scrimmage. To be fair to Countess he's not 100%, but the word is Peppers has earned that so far throughout fall camp so far. I think it's a good problem to have nonetheless. You can't keep Peppers and Lewis off the field if they're the top two performers right now.
http://mgoblog.com/content/post-scrimmage-presser-8-16-14-brady-hoke?pag...

+1 HS
BeijingBucks's picture

You know MMan some of my best (albeit misguided) friends growing up are michigan faithful. 

I am impressed with your ability to continue watching, discussing and analyzing the brand of football being offered. 

My friends and I have a tacit agreement to not bring up football until it gets competitive again.   I actually miss being able to trash talk!

 

 

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

+1 HS
Furious George 27's picture

michigan is so bad that now they defend the App State loss on the espn board. What a f'ing joke they are.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

-2 HS
Habu71's picture

... an absolute beast punter. This will help *ichigan exponentially, because last year's fill-in punter Matt Wile will now be able to focus strictly on placekicking. they will have to punt a lot. 

Fixed that for you. 

+6 HS
M Man's picture

You laugh.

Michigan's punter -- Hagerup -- is better than OSU's (very fine) punter, Johnston.  And I'd like to get a small wager on that.

In Hagerup's 2012 season (he did not play in 2013 as noted above), he led the B1G with a 45.0 average.

In Johnston's conference-leading season (2013), his average was 44.0.

So anyone want to bet a beer at Eddie George's, as to whose punter will have a better 2014?

Habu71's picture

I'll take your bet, M Man. (Mainly because betting beer is a win/win situation). You may want to add some type of minimum attempts stipulation, as I don't think Johnston will be called on that often. While your guy may have a strained hammy after the Appy St game due to frequent use. 

+4 HS
M Man's picture

I'll be in Columbus for The Game to settle up.

And yes: "...betting beer is a win/win situation."  With any luck, one beer paid off by either side will turn into 2 or 3 more, and some smart football conversation.

+10 HS
brbrbuckeye's picture

One thing Johnson does a very good job of, is pinning teams inside the 20. So just sheer number of yards per punt doesn't tell the whole story.

GO BUCKS!!! URBAN RENEWAL!

+1 HS
TheBadOwl's picture

I'll take that bet as well.

Also, going solely off of punt yardage is a flawed way to measure a punter. So, setting that aside, let's try it this way:

Punter A: 79 punts, 21 fair catches (26.5%), 19 punts of over 50 yards, 25 inside the 20 (~25%), 7 touchbacks (~8%)

Punter B:  33 punts,  4 fair catches (12%), 13 punts over 50 yards, 3 inside the 20 (9%), 4 touchbacks (12%)

Punter C: 49 punts, 24 fair catches (49%), 31 inside of the 20 (63%), 2 touchbacks (4%) **Note: Couldn't find 50+ numbers

Note: It's really damn hard to find full punting stats. I used these players' school bios.

Going off of those stats, it's really clear that Punter C is the best of those three. Ratio-wise, he killed the other two in fair catches and punts inside the 20, plus he had the fewest touchbacks.

Punter A is second best, and Punter B is the clear loser here, despite having a very good ratio of kicks over 50 yards. Barely any fair catches, plus more touchbacks than punts inside of the 20.

Punter A is Michigan State's Mike Sadler, from the 2013 season. Punter B is Hagerup's 2012 season, and Punter C is the Thunder from Down Under, OSU's very own Cameron Johnston, from his first year of competitive football.

I couldn't find Cam's 50+ numbers, so if someone knows them, that'd be great. But in the other three categories (which are arguably much more important) he absolutely obliterated the other two.

Cam is the best punter in the B1G and it's not even close. And that's based on his first year of competitive football!

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

+10 HS
M Man's picture

Upvoted, for quality analysis and showing your work.  I want this to be a good analysis, so you are in on the 2014 bet and we'll have to use your metrics.

Now, as for your analysis that put Hagerup as third among Johnston and Sadler (all three are superb punters); in 2012, Michigan used a two-punter system with Matt Wile doing all the short placement kicks.  (Wile, Michigan's regular placekicker now, did double-duty with punts last year as I already mentioned.)  You might well say that's why Hagerup's total yardage was better.  Maybe.  But it's also why the other numbers are skewed against Hagerup's short kick numbers.

+3 HS
TheBadOwl's picture

A few things about that:

  1. Cam's punts were always really high and meant to create fair catches. Hagerup's were meant for distance, but his average was only one yard better. 
  2. Hagerup's average of 45 yards is impressive at face value, but as you said, he didn't take the short punts. Cam did, in fact, most of his punts ended up inside the 20, and his average was 44 yards. That's immensely more impressive when put into context.

Also, I don't want to oversimplify this (or sound like a douche), but if Hagerup really was as good as you say, he wouldn't have been splitting punt duties in 2012.

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

+2 HS
Habu71's picture

We'll said! 

and as long as a beer for me is factored in there I'm good with the metrics.

ibuck's picture

TBO & MM, are you using net yards on these punt statistics? Or are they reflecting just the kick, without subtracting return yards?

It seems that Urban is requiring punts that minimize (or eliminate) return yards, thus going for net yards.

Our honor defend, we will fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

FitzBuck's picture

M Man, Johnson challenges you to a duel...

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

+2 HS
burnest1420's picture

Peppers peppers and peppers can't do it all!! The real question is who's gonna be the next coach because Fred Flintstone (Hoke) sucks. Any one else think it will be Nussmeier? Go App State you can do it. 

Oyster's picture

If Hoke loses his job it will be due to the record, obviously.  If the record is bad, it will probably be due to the offense more than the defense.  Mattison has been there all along, the offense is new.  With that being the case, how do you justify promoting the OC to HC?  I say he gets anouther year regardless of the record.  He is Brandons boy and they don't want to have another coaching change.  3 coaches in 7 seasons is not good.

May you R.I.P. Otsego, but know this. Gaylord Rocks!

+5 HS
M Man's picture

If the OSU commentariat were interested in anything other than berating Brady Hoke and predicting doom for Michigan (Ha! Not), I could fill you in on a very simple fact.  Brady Hoke is not in danger of losing his job over some x-number of wins in 2014.  If a significantly better candidate (prolly one named Harbaugh) presents himself, Dave Brandon is just the kind of guy to make Brady Hoke the Senior Assistant Athletic Director for Michigan Fergodsakes, and hire that Harbaugh.  

That was the Canham model.  Canham didn't "fire" Bump Elliott.  Bump Elliott became an Assistant AD at Michigan when a young Bo Schembechler came in as the new coach.  And to his eternal credit (there's never, ever been a better Michigan Man IMHO), when Schembechler got tough with all of Bump's kids, Bump gave Bo 110% support and when seniors came to Bump's new office to gripe, Bump told them to take it to Bo.  At the end of Schembechler's historic first season, with a 24-12 win over the #1 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, that game ball was given to... Bump Elliott.

Of course, Bump was too good to be warehoused.  Iowa hired Bump as its Athletic Director, where he succeeded Michigan's Forest Evashevski.  Bump hired Hayden Fry, Lute Olson and Dr. Tom Davis, as well as Dan Gable who built the best wrestling program in the nation.  Iowa has never had it so good.

+8 HS
Oyster's picture

Don't hold your breath on the Harbaughs riding in on a white horse and saving the day, I say you are dreaming.  Jim slammmed the university during the RR years and then turned down the job after RR was let go.  Why would either of them leave the NFL and step down to college?  They have a pretty easy off season, they don't have to recruit, they don't have to deal with the NCAA, wealthy boosters with hurt feelings, kids getting in trouble (NFL contracts deal with off the field issues and they hit the wallet to keep most of them in line, to a degree).

It's good to have dreams though, I'll give you that.

May you R.I.P. Otsego, but know this. Gaylord Rocks!

+4 HS
M Man's picture

I'm not dreaming at all!  Certainly a lot less than some Michigan-haters in Ohio.  I'm not predicting Hoke's departure and in fact what I am saying is that there won't be a situation at the end of this year where Hoke is fired for failing to meet some metric, and then an all-new coaching search is undertaken from scratch.

And, I am not holding my breath/predicting/dreaming/pining for/craving that one of the Harbaughs will return to Ann Arbor.  In fact what I am predicting is that it is all unlikely, so that is precisely why I am not worrying about it.  I think Brandon's loyalty to Hoke is solid, and that it will remain so... until something reeeeaaally better comes along.  And in that unlikely case, Brandon would do right by Hoke.

+2 HS
burnest1420's picture

I guess it don't matter who there coach is I will find some reason to hate on him. Where else would you promote a OC to besides HC. 

SpielmanForPres's picture

I for see a repetitive game plan this season for ol Blue. Hand off, hand off, throw up to Funchess/Gardner run, punt. 

Seriously, I see three losses. ND, MSU, OSU. 

+1 HS
buckeyedude's picture

Far be it for me to throw helpful hints to That Team Up North(like they would listen anyway), but when Hoke is gone(and he will get canned, the only question is WHEN?) but they should hire a defensive oriented coach if they want to turn that program around. RichRod and Hoke are more offensive oriented, IMHO.

 

 

-1 HS
gumtape's picture

RichRod and Hoke are more offensive oriented, IMHO.

There, fixed that for ya.

just another psycho, irrational, delusional Ohio St fan

TURD_BUCKET's picture

They are all stinky varmints

“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.”

HeuermanTheFireman's picture

Jeremy Clark and Dymonte Harris are applying pressure from behind.

Just how Michigan Men like it. 

The person responsible for toes clearly wanted you to stub them.

+1 HS
buckguyfan1's picture

Suck is the word I'm looking for here. 

+1 HS
Rob Reese's picture

 I do enjoy watching "5 star" Derrick Green hit the oxygen after simply jogging to the huddle.  Good times, good times.  But I'm definitely going to miss my boy Taylor Lewan telling us all how bad the other team was that just kicked their asses.  Still, I'm sensing a lot of viewing pleasure again this season for Buckeye fans as Michigan is at best, another 7-6/6-7 squad.  And I'm being generous.  Nothing new really; this is 21st century Michigan... no matter how many years in a row we have to hear "we're back, omg we're back, THIS is the year we're back!!!!11"

-1 HS
ChazBuckeye's picture

App State will be a close one and drive ttun further away from the top 25. Oh the pandemonium that will ensue if they were to lose that game, again, after so foolishly scheduling them for a revenge game ;-):-D

Some people think we’re the hunted.I don’t feel that way at all.We’re the hunter.Everybody wants an angry football team.Everybody wants a team on edge and a hungry team.If you’re a hunter,that usually equates to being hungry.

tOSUperiour's picture

Allow me to preface this by saying I had to take my meds and psych myself up prior to posting this comment.  I love  belittling and insulting TTUN as much as the next guy, and if I'm feeling particularly salty I may even agree with random SEC fan while he bashes the maize and boo just for being in the B1G. With that said, I always approach the last Saturday of the regular season with appropriate trepidation. It pleases me they have OL troubles and some other unsettled positions, but they have so much youth on scholarship that they will be 2 deep in almost every position for the next 3 years. There's something to be said for that. Based on that I won't write them off just from an "open to the public scrimmage".  They haven't been world beaters by any means over the last 2 years, and that Sugar Bowl season in 2011 I believe was a fluke (If nothing else, just because I hate TTUN). While I would love for tOSU to have 13 wins over ranked teams come playoff time, I would not be disappointed if Michigan came into that game 0-for in conference play, and finished the same way. 

We don't give a Da*n for the whole state of *ichigan cause we're from OHIO!

+4 HS
HolyBuckeye1093's picture

I worried about their OL last year because of how poor the middle of the line was gonna be. Now it's going to be a role reversal with losing Lewan and Schofield, the interior line will need to step up big time to get their run game going and help protect Gardner. I guess it's a good thing that Gardner looks healthy and very mobile. We'll see how long he can stay that way.

Silver Bullet 10's picture

A picture of a just a turd would have sufficed. 

+2 HS
cajunbuckeye's picture

Somewhere off in the distance a bell rings. The death knell of *ichigan football.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

+1 HS
ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

I can see them as a 8-4 or 9-3 type of team.  Hoke's odds of being fired - less than 5%. 

Class of 2010.

Citrus's picture

My one gripe is that "the o-line couldn't be worse" isn't accurate and isn't analysis. The rest of the article was damn good. As M Man mentioned above, the line is looking pretty damn bad up there.

BassDropper's picture

Just read their scout board, and it seems like the same shit as last year. It sounds like the OL might be worse than last year (if that's possible)....they're starting a true freshman at LEFT tackle. Besides QB, that might be the most difficult position for a true freshman, especially when you will be facing Joey Bosa/Noah Spence and Shilique Calhoun 

DIRECTIONER

+1 HS
Run_Fido_Run's picture

Michigan is no longer allowed to officially use the slogan, "Go Blue." Their official colors are now sun and blueberry. "Go Fruit Boys!"

CowCat's picture

It's too late for me to really debate (it's 11 on a Sunday, almost, lol), but

Hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate ...

But we should be prepared:  We all know the close score last year.  I think it's either a TOSU blowout or "Brady's last stand".

Either way, I think I will need heart medication before THE GAME.  :)

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

MiltonBuckeye's picture

We as Buckeye fans need to remember that in their less than par year, we still only won by a single point. To me that was a huge let down for the Bucks. This year is going to be decided when the final buzzer sounds in late November. If SCUM comes in with 3 or 4 losses and keeps it close that's bad for OSU.

Go Dogs, Go Bucks

+1 HS