Here we are again with our staff roundtable ahead of Saturday’s football game between the Michigan Wolverines and Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Many of us can’t believe that we are nervous going into a game against Rutgers, but such is life in 2020.
Who would you prefer to see at quarterback this weekend and why?
Von Lozon: I’d still like to see Joe Milton to start, but I’d give him a short leash again. If he struggles early on against Rutgers, I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable throwing McNamara in for extended time to see how he does
Anthony Broome: I want to see Joe Milton because I want him to figure it out and be successful. He has the most impressive skill-set of any QB of the Harbaugh era, but has been unable to put it all together at once. Some of that is his fault, some of it not. But like John O’Korn against Rutgers a few years ago, if you can’t get it going against this team, it’s time to go to the next guy. Cade McNamara can play and may have a higher floor than Milton, but the ceiling is probably nowhere near as high.
Trevor Woods: Cade McNamara. He was the most productive and decisive QB a week ago, albeit a small sample size. Joe Milton has a good number of mechanical issues to address and isn’t processing the field quick enough, and I don’t think he can correct enough in a quick amount of time. Michigan needs to win now to stop the bleeding. It remains to be seen how well McNamara can perform for four quarters, but if the QB competititon is anywhere near close, they should roll with McNamara.
Chris Castellani: Tom Brady, Chad Henne, or even Denard Robinson because he was alright. In all seriousness, I’d give Joe another shot. If you can’t succeed against Rutgers he won’t succeed against anyone.
Stephen Osentoski: Probably Milton? I’m beyond the point thinking that this is a season that can be saved, so providing Milton with more experience at LEAST gets him more field-time to improve.
With some strides, hopefully he can minimize mistakes in 2021. Plus if you bench him, he may be off to the portal. Additionally, McNamara will likely lose all confidence if you put him into this tire fire this year.
Is there still hurt for you to feel this season or have you become completely numb to what’s going on?
Von: Honestly, at this point, I don’t really care what happens. The season is already out of reach for anything of substance. I’m ready for some hoops!
Anthony: Numbness. I’ve seen this movie before.
Trevor: There’s definitely still hurt still possible, perhaps some good Saturday’s as well. The season has been depressing for fans, think about how those in the organization must feel. Even so, there’s a certain numbness that comes with losing three weeks straight. Wonder if it’ll soften them up further, or if it’ll harden them to the point of playing with anger and frustration mixed with execution.
Chris: There’s always room for hurt. Always.
Stephen: Oh I’ve been numb for quite some time. Let the numb take you.
Let’s assume Jim Harbaugh is back in 2021 with the idea being that he stays longer than that. If you were Warde Manuel, under what stipulations would you sign off on that?
Von: I would need a full plan from Harbaugh on what he needs to do to take the next step forward to compete with OSU, because at this point, that game isn’t even competitive. How can that game be competitive again? That’s a key question because the Big Ten runs through Columbus. I believe part of that would have to include a complete shakeup of the assistant staff. Offense, defense, all of it. And it begins with Don Brown.
Anthony: It’s time for a facelift on the defensive side of the ball, period. One only needs to flip on the film and look at how things have gone on the recruiting trail at key positions to see where that has to take place.
Trevor: I think they both need to be on the same page and in alignment. What that looks like is anyone’s guess and the guessing game will unfold anyway. They need to be in agreement of what the future of the program looks like, and the decisions therein.
Chris: Hand Don Brown a pink slip and give JJ McCarthy reps with the first team the second he steps on campus.
Stephen: A pay cut of $2M to Harbaugh, and a large increase in assistant payroll. I’m doubtful that Harbaugh can right the ship, but shift the money from Harbaugh himself to bring in the best damn assistants out there. Don’t let them say no because of the price.
Clean house except for (maybe) Zordich on defense. On offense, try as hard as you can to keep Warinner, I’m still on the fence about Gattis. Gotta say goodbye to Jay & McDaniels, in my opinion, as well.
It’s too embarrassing to ask who you think will win. Michigan is favored by 10.5 points. Your thoughts on that spread and will they cover it?
Von: Only 10.5 points is embarrassing. Do I think they cover? Who knows? If they don’t....*gulp*
Anthony: At the risk of being skewered for being a homer, I do think Michigan covers and wins. Perhaps that is simply out of blind faith and hope that things cannot get any worse, but this team is too talented to play as poorly as it has. A light is going to go on *somewhere* this week.
Trevor: Rutgers isn’t an embarrassment so far with Schiano, the team is competing. I think it’s a fair enough spread, and one Michigan should turn into bulletin board material. Michigan beat Rutgers by what seemed like a million points a few seasons ago, and there’s no excuse for them to lose this game, even with all the struggles so far this season. It’s time to wake up, and maybe, just maybe, they can do that against Rutgers and cover the spread in the process.
Chris: Probably a bigger spread than I expected. I think they’ll win but they won’t cover.
Stephen: Too high in Michigan’s favor and hell naw.