12.Sep.2015 Michigan Post Game Thoughts
Game went pretty much how a reasonable person would expect. I had 27-13, so thought it would be a little closer, and it probably would have been sans the snap issue and the Bolden/Villamin mistakes.
Beaver fans waited all year for this game thinking post-Riley they’d win a big game. Well, a lot goes into winning a very tough game like this, and first and foremost is actions over words. The players can say they’re great all they want, the media can dub StS “Air Collins” all they want, the fans can buy in all they want, but at the end of the day it comes down to who goes out there and does it. The players were not great, Air Collins was a no show, and the fans again walk away tails between legs with a National TV beatdown. On top of it, we have to see embarrassing commercials with the toddler logo (imagine a recruit watching that game and seeing that? His friends would be like, “You’re seriously going to play there?”). Yet, when I wrote this post about the logo, …well…just read the comments. Awful. You now have to walk away from me with your tail between your legs, too.
Trust me, you do not want bad graphics EVER in the internet age. They will go viral, they will come back to haunt a program, and they provide fodder for all opponents. My gut reaction to that graphic was extremely negative, and now it comes back to haunt OSU. Do not ever justify crap because it’s your crap. Period.
Back to the game, Michigan played their typical style. GA was right: Beavs would leave knowing how tough a team they were. They are not very tough. Michigan is tough, big, and old/mature.
Mentally, the Beavs seemed to give moderate effort, but you could sense defeat setting in going into halftime and knew the 2nd half wouldn’t be pretty unless they got an early break. So even mentally they were not tough. Seth Collins looked mentally week on the sidelines, gave up on a play when he saw holding, and generally was not a leader with “it factor/confidence”, as the media portrayed all week. Nor was he “Air Collins”. He tried the hurdle and got killed. This was all expected (at least by me). He looked very slow versus Michigan. McMaryion looked awful. But they keep putting the guy in at the worst times. Pinned back, down 3 TDS where everyone knows he has to throw, etc. He looked phased, awful, inept, and couldn’t even execute a hand off. Collins was better, but very bad. You can’t win with a QB completing 55% of passes for 79 yards and a 2.9 ypc. Does he give the Beavs the best chance to win? Time will tell. Weber State helped his reputation to this point, and we’ll see how that changes as he goes through opponents with various skill over the next few weeks. He has the longer rope for sure. What was most disappointing in his game today was his body language and awful leadership. I wasn’t high on Collins, and after that game, I’m flat out bearish. It’s clear why the only other PAC schools to recruit him wanted him only as a WR. I’m bearish on MM based on what I saw, too, but the guy never gets into flow due to the situations they put him in.
The vaunted defense also looked awful. For whatever reason, Sitake stopped rushing the QB after a few drives, and at that point the game shifted. The botched snap sealed the deal, but it was already beginning to turn from the lack of D pressure. Michigan must have made some adjustments. I wasn’t watching that closely. But their play calling seemed to get on point and have the Beavs off balance and afraid to blitz.
Coaching in this game was bad. Incorrect personnel issues all over the place. No Paul Lucas? Michigan were consistently in good position but looked slow. Lucas was a guy who could have loosened up the middle of the field. I thought we’d see more TE involvement, but again, nothing. No Ryan Nall (mismanaged situation all around with him), no VanderVeen despite Caleb Smith continuing to under-perform, etc. No Storm Woods. I realize Brown is faster and maybe a better matchup, but Woods ran for like 6+ ypc last year, loves the game, and is a leader. I’m all for playing talent over experience, but I don’t think there is a huge gap between the two (Woods has much better career numbers and better numbers this year, fwiw). Get him involved so he can rally the guys, at the very least. Just give him a few carries. That was amazing. Chris Brown has no leadership. It’s not worth trading in a game like this, at least not at the start. There were more problems with personnel, but you all saw it.
In the final analysis, it’s not that they lost, but again how they lost. Typical things we have seen: beating themselves with penalties, execution, immaturity, stupidity, etc etc etc. Offensive execution was awful, and I’d say the #1 issue today, even trumping the botched snap and half-hearted defensive effort. With all that, it still felt different than a Riley game. Still felt more positive overall, like the problems were not as severe (they were just a hair off on so many executions), and this staff will see the problems clearly and be more able to address them.
My other feeling is a game like this can ruin team confidence. These guys bought into GA and spoke in the pre-season as if they were great due to all the work they put in, yet they just got beaten down. Imagine putting in all that extra work only to have your ass handed to you? Can’t feel good. I wonder if that lingers next week or not. At the very least, they now know they are a long way from being a great team, and that has to play on their minds. I still expect next week to be a win, but where in the past I thought San Jose State was a guarantee, I’d now put them on upset alert and expect a closer game.