I thought that when the season came back, I'd be posting a lot more. Instead, I've been working non-stop and having a life. When I see something I want to say, it's usually been said more eloquently by somebody else. And what is there to say about this season? Hot start, then ice cold. They didn't play all that well at MSU, but had a chance to win anyway. They played much better at Iowa and were doomed by turnovers. They housed Babby Seal U, were dealing with Illinois, and then folded after the goal-line stand.
Which brings us to Purdue. What a miserable experience. Not just because of what happened on the field, but also the people around me. This Stevie Brown hater decided to come out of the woodwork to derisively yell "NICE COVERAGE, STEVIE!!!" any time Purdue made a completion that was anywhere near him. It didn't matter that Stevie was playing pretty decent coverage (+9-4 = +5 on the day)1 and tackling immediately, it was All His Fault. My dad was flipping out about how Purdue was going up and down the field on us, but freely admitting that he has trouble distinguishing between poor coverage, a scheme that puts players in a bad spot, and a good play by the offense. And then there was the "THEY'VE GOT NO HEART!!!!!!" guy that Brian referenced in his Monday column. That guy was immediately in front of my dad; a paunchy, goateed 35-year-old in an Adidas #1 home jersey tucked into his jeans. Every problem was due to the fact that the players had either a.) No heart or b.) No intensity. Never mind the fact that Mike Williams opens up a sweep from Bolden because he's trying to do too much, overrunning the play. He can't conceive that the team would be losing due to talent deficiencies or execution errors. If they were just grittier, that would totally do it.
By the way, he thinks Brian Kelly should be our next coach.
Why do I hate this guy so much? Is it the hair trigger he has on FIRE COACH X RIGHT NOW? Is it that he has no idea how football is played or coached or the difference between talent and walk-ons? It's part of it. But what gets to me is this guy's belief that they are doing it on purpose. That they're dogging it out there and he is personally agrieved and offended and all of this is UNACCEPTABLE and THEY SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES FOR NOT BEING IN THE ROSE BOWL RIGHT NOW. LOOK WHAT COACH IRVIN MEYERS DID AT FLORIDA. WHY DIDN'T BILL MARTIN GO GET BOB STOOPS? HOW DID HE NOT THINK OF RE-ANIMATING THE CORPSE OF FIELDING YOST? WHAT GOOD IS A BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING PROGRAM IF IT CAN'T BRING BACK LEGENDARY COACHES FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE? UNACCEPTABLE.
The reasonable response to the Purdue game is to say, "This sucks. I hate watching the team I love play bad football, and Brandon Graham and the other seniors deserve better than this. I'm going to go [to place] to avoid all sports / watch better football / get hammered. I hope Rodriguez can turn this around / I don't think it's going to work out / I thought things were going to be like this when they hired that guy, but I wish I'd been wrong." Obviously, reason plays at best a minor role in football fandom, but guys like THEY'VE GOT NO HEART Man make life actively worse.
I'll be watching the Wisconsin game today, and I'll be back for OSU (ugh) next weekend, but guys like that make me want to stay away.
1 Plays Brown was +/-'ed on from the Purdue UFR:
|O44 2 14 Shotgun trips Nickel even Pass Dig Brown 13|
|Brown(+1, cover +1) right there on the play and has a swat at the ball but misses it. He's still there to make a tackle, though the receiver drags him for a few yards. Excellent coverage; Michigan made it tough this time. Graham did tear through late, but this is a pressure -1... Elliot could stand and fire.|
|M33 2 6 Shotgun empty 2TE 4-3 under Pass TE Out Brown 3 (Pen -5)|
|Caught; Brown(+1, cover +1), in a cover-2 zone, lights up the TE as soon as he catches it. Illegal motion brings it back.|
|O45 3 4 Shotgun 4-wide 4-3 under Pass Corner Brown 6|
|Line shifted as per usual but the LBs are off the line and tucked in; weird. Michigan blitzes; Graham tears around the corner and beats one blocker, forcing another to come out on him. Purdue is clearly trying to pick Warren and get the slant as a result; Warren(+1) does a fantastic job of coming under the pick and having this blanketed. Holding? Maybe, but not called. Brown(-1), however, reacts to that route when he's in man on the slot guy and leaves his little corner route open, so Elliot has another option other than “die because of Graham.” Tough leaping catch from the WR.|
|O24 1 10 Shotgun trips bunch Nickel under Pass Swing Brown 3|
|Trips bunch set takes Brown out to them and he plays head-up on the guy on the LOS. Michigan drops into a zone; Purdue receivers attempt to run it off and hit the swing pass underneath; Brown(+1, tackling +1) makes a good open-field tackle to turn this into a meh play.|
|O41 2 10 Shotgun trips Tampa Nickel Pass Hitch Brown 5|
|Brown(cover +1, +1) is again right in the receiver's grill as he makes the catch and has a swipe at the ball for a PBU, but can't make it. He does tackle(+1) with help.|
|M19 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Run Power off tackle Brown 19|
|Ugh. Center actually pulls here as two guys double Roh and Purdue goes for the outside. Roh(-1) gets sealed really quickly and is both out of the play and not occupying a double. Brown(-1) comes down too far inside and gives up the corner; Leach(-1) is sliced to the ground by the TE coming off Roh, Williams(-1) overruns the play as it nears the sticks and turns it into a touchdown.|
|O38 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 under Run Zone read stretch Brown 16|
|Purdue motions in a slot WR to act as a second TE and Michigan does not react (RPS -1); Brown(-1) fails to get outside the slot guy and gives up the corner; Roh(-1) ends up spinning inside of the OT despite this run obviously going outside; Leach(-1) is indecisive and ends up getting blocked into oblivion. Bolden gets the corner and a bunch of yards.|
|M32 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-3 under Pass Quick out Brown 8|
|Brown(-1) has the flat here and instead attempts to cover a TE that is running into Leach's zone; Warren has a deep half and is not responsible. (Cover -1)|
|O48 2 4 I-Form Twins 4-3 under Run Pitch sweep Graham -3|
|Graham(+1) slants inside, meeting the playside G a couple yards in the backfield as he pulls; he drives the G back, forcing Bolden outside. Graham gets stiffarmed but his interior play has allowed Brown(+1) to finish the TFL after he got outside his blocker effectively.|
|O32 2 9 Shotgun empty Tampa Nickel Pass Scramble Brown 4|
|Fake bubble to the slant Michigan likes to run except Brown(+1, cover +1) is not biting and Elliott has to look elsewhere, at which point Graham(+1) tears through on a three man rush and flushes him out of the pocket. Coverage remains good downfield so Elliot has to scramble; lot of short routes mean no one can peel off until he crosses the LOS. (Cover +1)|
|O6 1 22 I-Form Twins 4-3 under Pass Rollout comeback Woolfolk Inc|
|Elliott wants to go to the TE but Brown(+1, cover +1) has him covered and Elliott keeps rolling and rolling. He's late; as he reaches the sideline he chucks it to the other receiver, who Woolfolk(+1) has under control and makes a pass breakup on. (Pressure -1, cover +1)|