Saturday was probably the worst I've ever seen Michigan look. Not only did they look bad on the field, but Hoke's comments after the Shane Morris injury made them look horrendous off the field, too.
It's not an excuse, it's a fact...Brady Hoke needs to go
At this same point last season, Michigan was 5-0 and was averaging 38.8 points per game. We were feeling pretty good. This year? 2-3 and averaging 22 points per game. Let's look at the rushing side of things. Michigan averaged 178 yards per game through the Minnesota game last year. This year's squad is only seven yards better than that, based off of 350 yards against App State. The Wolverines rush defense went from allowing just over 90 ypg through five last season to 105.4 this year. Minnesota has even had some pretty good luck against Michigan: 2013 saw the Gophers gain 136 yards on the ground, while Saturday's total was 206.
Brady Hoke has been accused of regressing since his 11-2 debut first season. This isn't regression. This isn't even a collapse. This is an outright implosion of epic proportions. ESPN hates talking about Big Ten football, and they definitely hate talking Michigan football. In recent weeks, though, they can't get enough Michigan bashing. And it's all deserved.
The team is terrible. We thought that the defense was going to be the one unit to hold things together and put the team in a position to win. Instead, all facets of the game were a complete disaster.
The Fireable Offense of Brady Hoke
Shane Morris, already laboring from an apparent leg injury, took a helmet-to-helmet hit in the fourth quarter vs. Minnesota that left him wobbly and seemingly concussed. And then Brady Hoke did the unspeakable.
All of the above things were hard to see, but none of it was worse than what was done to Russell Bellomy into the game, calling a timeout, running to the numbers and waving his arms like a maniac, or shooting a goddamn flare into the sky, Brady Hoke put back in for one play. Bellomy couldn't wear a helmet that was just a little tight for one damn play?after feeling the force of the universe in his face with just over 12 minutes to go in the 4th quarter (we won't even go into the fact that there wasn't a flag thrown on the play). He looked like crap, limped, and stumbled. And yet Brady Hoke left him out there to die. When Devin Gardner finally got into the game, it lasted about the amount of time it takes me to make my kids' microwave mac 'n' cheese before his helmet was knocked off. Instead of getting
Brady Hoke is done. Whatever goodwill the man had is now gone and I don't see how his continued employment with the university can be justified. His statement on Sunday night only confirms the disconnect he has on and off the field.
Back to football--for as bad as Michigan played, let's not take anything away from the Gophers...
It's not an excuse, it's a fact...Jerry Kill and Minnesota make a good football team
We all know the history behind the Jug and how few times Minnesota has been able to win it. But not only are the wins not unprecedented, neither are streaks in the series (albeit those streaks came in the early 20th century). I'm not saying that Minnesota is now going to win every year, but Jerry Kill's record of success proves that this series just became competitive. Y'know, a real rivalry.
Minnesota's secondary took advantage of shaky quarterback play that was shaken even further by some serious pressure by the Gophers' front seven. Michigan totaled only 171 yards against the Gophers' defense.
There have been plenty of years in Minnesota's history when they wouldn't have been able to capitalize on Michigan's mistakes, but this is a new Minnesota program. Not only did they capitalize on Michigan's mistakes, they thrived on them. And that's because of Jerry Kill and how he teaches the fundamentals of football. Minnesota isn't the kind of school that will attract the kind of talent that Michigan can. What they can do, though, is teach the kids how to play sound football and use technique instead of relying on pure talent. Look at how the Gophers were able to tackle on Saturday, and then look at how Michigan "tackled". Fundamentals were the success of the Gophers and the downfall of the Wolverines.
Going back to Saginaw Valley State, Jerry Kill has made his teams better each and every year. Only one time did his win totals go down from the previous year--from 10 wins in 2004 to 9 wins in 2005 while at Southern Illinois. Now, through his first five games in year four at Minnesota, Kill is 4-1. And the team looks good. David Cobb is ranked 8th in the country in rushing yards per game (144.4) and 3rd in total rushing yards (722). Does this mean that Minnesota is going to win the Big Ten? Probably not, but tell me if you don't think they'll compete for that first spot in the West.