Midnight Maize 351

Hitting the broad side of a barn

Some people are in the "we are 4-0! Shut up! Enjoy! Denard will figure out the passing game" and there is my people. "The passing game will cost us games when teams shut down the run." I can't lie I have been pretty disappointed with Denard's passing game this year. Some is the play calling but not a lot of it. He has flat out missed people on easy throws. He has thrown the ball into double coverage. He just looks bad at times.

At some point we will have to move the ball through the air and we can't count on Notre Dame Moon balls to get us there. I went through and looked at all the games again and pulled a few shots. In my simple caveman like mind there are three throws.

Easy: Completed,safe like a warm blanket and a solid pick up.
Hard: May not be completed, unsafe like working on a ladder.
WTF?: Not completed, unsafe like caravel rides, over throws and completed to the wrong team.

Denard is pretty good at these throws. We don't see them enough. This play can get him going a bit. He seems to throws these on a rope most the time.
Same throw here. Easy and safe. It gets Denard feeling good and fuzzy on the inside. Not sure why we don't throw more of these.
Koger makes a nice grab on a high throw from Denard. His throw kills any chance to make any extra yards on a routine easy throw and gets Kroger killed by a defender in the process. This throw for most QBs should be completed on the money 9 out 10 times.
Ahh a nice easy throw on target like a Sunday morning with a nice wet dew on a tree's leaves. More of these please.
I am not crazy about check downs but with Denard I love them. The other options this year have been bad so I will take a check down to Smith all day my brother.
Loved this play. I loved it when Rich ran it last year. Bring Koger across for an easy pitch and catch. i have only seen it once. I hope they are just holding off from using it. We need more money plays like this. I would run the shit out of this in NCAA 10(yes screw the last few NCAAs).
Another easy toss to Koger. Notice a common theme? The easy ones are either to Koger or Smith. Besides the few out passes in the first two pictures I haven't seen many times where Michigan has tried to find Hemingway and Roundtree for small easy pick ups(more later).

A deep bomb to Koger of all people who is covered pretty well. Its a hard throw for Denard out of the Power I. He over throws. Not much was there any way.
This wasn't the hardest throw but still a challenge for Denard. The ball goes way over the head and heads into safety land. It could have been picked but lucky enough they were chasing chickens out in the end zone.
Another hard throw for Denard. It Sails badly. Roundtree even has a step. He just has to hit him in stride. The ball ends up on the I-94 highway. #fileanotherawayintheoverthrow

Ball is tipped here but could have been picked off. Throws into two guys. When he looks down the field this throw shouldn't even be an option in his mind. He throws it anyway.
This should be listed under "easy" but goes to WTF? When he throws it behind the man. Just an easy throw that he misses on.
This one blew my mind. Denard thinks he is throwing to 1994 version of Shawn Kemp(not the 1999 one who gained 80lbs). He forgets its Smith. Ball goes sailing for INT. Its really not a hard throw. Its a screen pass. These are what OCs call since they are pretty easy to throw and if the blocking is done correct it can be a big gain. Thank god he hit in late in the game on screen for a TD.
I don't even know what to say. A bomb into double coverage. Roundtree has a better chance of playing pick up sticks with his butt cheeks. This tells me that Denard has his mind made up before he even snaps the ball.
A nice play call. A play action out of the power set. Ball sails. We kick for 3. Besides the point that Denard should have been on the bench at this point he really needs to make this pass. Its pretty easy. I dunno why but I have noticed its pretty much all over throws when missing the easy ones.
Once again just a giant over throw. If he hits the man in the hands then we can run with this. Instead the ball goes to the sky and we are stick at 2nd and 10.
This one sort of sucks but Denard throws it into two SDSU dudes and it was picked off. Hoke later blamed it on the route but I dunno when I watched it a 100 times over I think Denard lets it go way to early and defense is just waiting. Not an easy pass by any means but the ball shouldn't have even gone there.

Am I Hater?
No I don't think so. I love Denard(not as much as Brian). He has just struggled more with the passing game then I thought he would. I knew the growing pains would happen but I didn't think I would see him over throw a screen by 10 feet for INT.

His key wide receivers are starving. Hemingway has 5 catches for 211 yards and 1 TD... really? The dude is damn good. We need to find a way to get him the ball. easier routes or whatever just get it there. Outside of his three moon balls in the Notre Dame game he hasn't been targeted at all. At his current rate he will have 15 catches.

Roundtree has 5 catches for 44 yards and 1 historic TD. He should have that in a half. I think at this point last year he had 20 some catches. These guys need to be fed.

Here is a bizarre MS Paint to illustrate what I am saying. Complete with Birds with Dreads.

Now you can imagine Denard chewing up a football into little pieces and fee...never mind.

Anyway my point was that Denard has been way off. The new passing game is harder then I thought it would be. We need to find easier ways to get Hemingway and Roundtree the ball. They are some of our best play makers and right now they haven't been able to do much. A team will come along and stop Denard from running. Or ding him up. Its gonna happen people. Denard gonna have to find a way to get the ball to wide outs with out over throwing them by 10 yards.

I feel a small bit of terror now when steps back to throw. He already has 6 picks. Its gonna be around 20 by the seasons end. Unless he makes like a Neo(not a tree) and wakes up(not leaves). He just seems so 50/50 right now on every pass. Sometimes he over throws Smith on a screen by 20 feet in the air or he hits Gallon in stride for a set up winning touchdown. You really gotta take the bad with the good when it comes to Denard. I try to remind myself of that when he frustrates me because on the next drive he might break a 75 yard touchdown. I just want him to be able to make the easy throws and hit the barn.

Midnight Maize 350

Introducing: Devonte Moore

There's an up and coming junior running back from Lexington, N.C. that has flown severely under the radar nationally so far. With his season underway, he is hoping to turn some heads on the "recruiting trail."

Devonte Moore using his strength to shake off a tackler. 
Devonte Moore,a 5-foot-9, 160 pound running back from North Davidson High School is a rising junior running back who has all the physical tools to be an elite back at the college level. As a sophomore, Moore rushed for 10 touchdowns and also returned a couple of kickoffs for touchdowns. Moore is already off to a fantastic junior season by rushing for 123 yards and 3 touchdowns against division rival East Davidson. In just 3 games, Moore has racked up 4 touchdowns and 300 yards. Moore's elite-ability to make quick cuts and have good vision while running are what makes Moore a special asset for his team. Clocking in at a reported 4.41 40 time, Moore can outrun defenders with ease. 
I was able to catch up with Moore for an interview about his recruitment.

SimplyComplex: What position do you play and what were your stats from last year?

Devonte Moore: "I play RB. I can't remember how many yards, but I know I had 10 or 11 touchdowns. Right now I have 300 yards."

SC: How many schools have been in contact with you?

DM: "I've been getting questionnaires from different schools, but that's about it."

SC: If Michigan were to offer you, would you strongly consider them as a possible destination for your college?

DM: "Yes, most definitely."

SC:  What are you looking for in a college?

DM: "A college that I would fit into and feel comfortable in. Size and love being able to meet new people."

SC: Whats your favorite college team?

DM: "I like Virginia Tech."

SC: Do you play on the defensive side ball?

DM: "No, just RB and KR."

SC: Who in your life inspires you to make the right decisions and put you on the right path to happiness?

DM: "'I'm inspired by my mom. She works really hard in pushing me to being the best I can be, and I want to show her that.

SC: What kind of impact do you think you can have at any college, as a football player?

DM: "Hard worker and love to compete with other people."
Moore juking defenders as he tries to gain yards.  
Moore is in the early stages of his recruitment, but has been getting contact from schools like: Oklahoma and UCLA. As the season looms on, he could become one of the most sought after running back recruits in the class of 2013.

Introducing: Cam Burrows

    With Michigan's 2012 recruiting class nearing completion, it provides time for us fans to focus on some rising 2013 prospects. While Michigan has landed some talented defensive backs in the 2011 and 2012 classes, they are still looking to take a couple more in the class of 2013.

Who is Michigan targeting at the DB position in 2013?
    One prospect that Michigan has been in contact with is Trotwood-Madison (OH) CB Cam Burrows. Cam Burrows is a talented player that has potential to become not only one of the top defensive back prospects in Ohio, but one that has a chance to become a top player (at his position) nationally. As a sophomore, Burrows recorded 61 tackles and 6 interceptions.
Standing at 6'2 192 lbs., Burrows can match up physically with any wide receiver that comes his way. He has quick feet and a great backpedal. Burrows describes himself as a great cover corner, who can lower his shoulder and hit someone when needed. Burrows has to work on coming out of his breaks smoother, but overall he will be one of the most sought after recruits in the nation come seasons end.
Cameron Burrows is a top 5 prospect in the state of Ohio for next year.
After his visit to the UM-ND game, I caught up with Burrows for a quick interview.

SimplyComplex: How was your experience at the Michigan-Notre Dame game?
Cam Burrows: "My experience was great. Had a lot of fun."
SC: Did you meet with the coaches at all during your visit? What did you talk about?
CB: "Yes, Mark Smith, Coach Mallory, and the wide receiver coach. We talked about how good of a place Michigan was, and that I could trust them."

SC: How would you describe your style of play at the cornerback position?
CB: "I'm a cover corner, but can hit when I need to."
SC: Does Michigan have a shot at making your top group?
CB: "Yes, they have a good shot."
SC: What did you think of Michigan's throw back uniforms?
CB: "They were sweet, I liked them a lot."
SC: Do you have a timeline for when you'd like to make your college decision?
CB: "Not yet."
SC: What do you like about the Michigan defense?
CB: "Their coordinator is Greg Mattison, and I think they are a defense that is improving."
SC: Do you think you could make an immediate impact at Michigan?
CB: "I think I can make an impact at any college."
SC: What other schools are recruiting you besides Michigan?
CB: "OSU,UC, LSU, UCLA, Illinois, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Northwestern, Iowa, Kentucky, Stanford, Colorado, Wisconsin, Purdue, Notre Dame, Missouri, Oregon etc."
SC: What are your strengths and weaknesses at the CB position?
CB: "Strengths-Covering skills, good hands.
Weaknesses-Coming out of breaks."
SC: Who are some people that inspire you in your life?
CB: "Life wise, it'd be my mom. Football wise, it'd be Patrick Peterson."

Burrows stepping in front of the receiver for an interception.
    Burrows will be one of the top prospects in Ohio come 2013. Right now, it seems Michigan is trailing OSU and ND for Burrows services. After his recent visit to Ann Arbor, Michigan will be a strong contender to secure a commitment for Burrows.

Brogan Roback Interview

  Out of options in the class of 2012 and facing a potential depth problem at the quarterback position, it looks as if Michigan might take 2 quarterbacks in the class of 2013. Many quarterbacks will be scarred away by competing with the likes of Shane Morris. Michigan will have to find a quarterback who is willing to come in and compete with Morris for the starting job. 

Who could possibly give Shane Morris competition?
 Morris is a special player, and not many quarterbacks in the class of 2013 (and for that matter, the class of 2012) have that kind of talent. Luckily, a few of these quarterbacks do indeed exist, and one grew up a Michigan fan less than an hour away from the Big House.

Roback recently led the Titans to a win over Orchard Lake St. Mary's, completing 14 of 20 passes and throwing for 303 yards and 4 touchdowns.
St. John's Jesuit High School (Toledo) quarterback Brogan Roback is a special talent. As a sophomore, Roback completed 119 of 210 passes (57%) for 2179 yards, and threw 25 touchdowns (a school record) and just 5 interceptions.

 At 6'4 185 lbs., Roback has the prototypical size of many college footballs best quarterbacks, but also boasts an estimated 4.65 40 time. Roback definitely has the ability to gun the ball into tight windows, but also can put a little touch on the ball when needed. His uncanny accuracy and decision-making are his biggest strengths as a passer. Roback also possesses good pocket awareness, but has instincts and mobility that often give opposing defensive coordinators sleepless nights. At the next level, Roback is full of promise, and has the physical gifts and understanding of the game to grow and develop into a great quarterback.

Fresh off his visit to Michigan, I caught up with Roback for a quick interview.

SimplyComplex: How was your experience on Saturday, at the first night game at the Big House?

Brogan Roback: "It was amazing. I've been to almost every Michigan home game since I was four, and I've never seen an atmosphere like it before."

SC: With Shane Morris already commited to Michigan. Does his decision affect you possibly commiting to UM?

BR: "Morris being commited doesn't affect my decision too much. Its a great place and you can't be scared to compete."

SC: What schools are recruiting you, other than Michigan?

BR: "Other schools: Michigan State, Penn State, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Iowa."

SC: What do you like about the offense at Michigan?

BR:"I like how they run this new type of spread, coach Hoke has brought, it gives the QB a chance to be a playmaker."

SC: Do you have a set timeline for when you'd like to make your college decision?

BR: "I do not have a deadline, although my mind is basically set on deciding before my senior season."

SC: Were you in contact with any of Michigans commits at the game on Saturday? If so, which ones?

BR: "Yes, Chris Wormley and Allen Gant. I'm really good friends with them. I'm actually in the same football league as Chris."

Roback does not shy away from competition. History suggests that this approach has been successful for Wolverine QBs, even when they don't win the starting job. Every Wolverine quarterback that was highly-touted coming out of high school and was involved in a recent position battle has gone on to play professional sports (Drew Henson, MLB and NFL; Tom Brady NFL; Matt Gutierrez, NFL; Clayton Richards, MLB; Chad Henne NFL). Roback will be considered as one of the top prospects in the state of Ohio in the class of 2013. Even though high school juniors cannot receive written offers until their first day of school, Roback already has two written offers from Bowling Green and Toledo. Despite the accolades, Brogan still has a good head on his shoulders and is humble. Like many recent recruits, he is the kind of kid that reflects the spirit of what Michigan represents. Keep an eye out for Roback receiving an early Michigan offer. Hopefully, good news for Wolverine fans will follow soon after.

Super Friends Unite

Looks like the Midnight Maize family is getting a new friend. SimplyComplex from 24/7 is hopping on the crew to help out around here. He will be doing a lot of interviews and recruiting stuff. He will be providing some great content. You can follow his recruiting stuff @SimplyComplexMM

With Scout and Simply and my useless skills, along with SCS hockey puck tidbits this should make a super friends like of team around Midnight Maize. I would be Batman of course.

Midnight Maize 349

Midnight Maize 348

Hi My name is Brady Hoke, and I am a Motivational Defensive Line Speaker

[open on a family's front living room, everyone seated on opposite couches ]

Greg Mattison: Craig? Will? Your defensive line coach, Jerry, and I are so glad you decided to join us for this Football Communication session.

Craig: So, what's up? You guys getting canned, or something?

Jerry: No. We just wanted the Line to talk as a group.

Will: Okay. Well, let's get it started.

Jerry: Okay. Well, Craig, Will.. your defensive coordinator, Greg, and I are a little bit concerned. Brian, the Michigan blogging guy, was doing a UFR, and found out you guys scored pretty low in three games...

Craug: [ anxious ] He went Jihad on us didn't he?

Jerry: No! He didn't go Jihad

Greg: Now, we're not here to "come down on you" I mean, that's not what we're about, okay?

Jerry: We're just concerned that poor d-line play could lead to other things...

Greg: No pressure, clean quarterbacks, bad tackling, pad level

Jerry: Well, we know you don't want to hear this from us.

Greg: Sure! I mean we're your coaches! Who wants to hear this stuff from their coaches, huh?

Jerry: Greg and I came up with a brilliant idea to give you kids some direction - a motivational football speaker.

Greg: Yeah. One of those guys who speaks to big groups at high schools, area league football teams and churches.

Craig: You mean, to come to the big house?

Jerry: Yeah.

[ the kids get up to leave ]

Greg: Hey, come on, you guys. This set me back a few bucks. Okay, his name is Brady Hoke. Now, he's been out in the Al Glick field house drinking coffee for about the last four hours, and he should be all ready to go. I'll call him up. [ opens the basement door ] Brady, we're ready for you! [ turns to the kids ] His speech is called "Get the Quarterback!" Now, he's used to big groups, so make him feel like there's a crowd here. [ calls down the basement again ] Brady! Come on up, buddy!

Brady Hoke: [ runs up the stairs, bouncing back and forth as he talks ] Alright, how's everybody? Good! Good! Good! Now, as your coaches probably told you, my name is Brady Hoke, and I am a Motivational Football Speaker! Now, let's get started by me giving you a little bit of a scenario of what my life is all about! First off, I am 52 years old.. I am divorced.. and I live in a van down by the river! Now, you kids are probably saying to yourself, "Now, I'm gonna go out, and I'm gonna get the quarterback by the tail, and wrap it around and put it in my pocket!!" Well, I'm here to tell you that you're probably gonna find out, as you go out there, that you're not gonna amount to Jack Squat!!" You're gonna end up eating a steady diet of government cheese, while playing for UFL team and living in a van down by the river! Now, young man, how many quarterbacks do you wanna sack?

Will: [ nervous ] I.. actually, Brady.. I kinda wanna play Offensive line...

Brady Hoke: We-e-e-elll.. la-de-freakin'-da! We've got ourselves a offensive linemen here! [ jumps across the room ] Hey, Greg, I can't see real good.. [ lifts his glasses off and on his face ] ..is that Josh...Jake Long over there?

Greg: Well, actually, Brady.. The last coaching staff encouraged Will in his move to offensive line.

Brady Hoke: Greg, I wish you could just shut your big yapper! [ stumbles back across the room ] Now, I wonder.. Will, from what I've heard from practice reports, you're using practice, not for getting better, but for eating cheeseburgers!You're gonna be doing a lot of eating when you're living in a van down by the river! [ turns to Craig ] Young man, what do you want to do to the quarterback?

Craig: [ sarcastic ] I don't wanna play anymore... I rather live in a van down by the river.

Brady Hoke: Well, you'll have plenty of time to live in a van down by the river when you're.. [ tries to be clever ] ..living in a van down by the river! Now, you kids are probably asking yourself, "Hey, Brady, how can we get back to the quarterback?!" Well, as I see it, there is only one solution! And that is for me to get my gear, move it on into here, 'cause I'm gonna bunk with you, buddy! Gonna teach you how to be tough! And physical! We're gonna be buddies! We're gonna be pals! [ picks Will up ] We're gonna wrassle around! [ puts Will down ] Ol' Brady's gonna be your shadow! [ motions] Here's Brady, here's you! There's Brady, there's you! [ trips and falls flat on the coffee table, sending it crashing to the floor ] Whoops-a-daisy! [ stands up ] We're gonna have to clean that up later! Me and my buddies! My pals! My amigos! I'm gonna go get my gear, so we can start practicing our three point stances![ heads for the door ]

Will: [ runs after Brady ] Wait, Brady! You don't have to go!

Craig: [ runs behind Will ] Yeah, you don't have to do that! We'll never score low on the UFR again!

Greg: Uh, Brady, thanks for all you've done!

Brady Hoke: I don't give a rat's behind, 'cause I'm moving in! I'm sick and tired of living in a van down by the river!
[ as Brady steps outside to grab his gear, Greg quickly locks the front door}

Greg: [ frightened ] Is the back door locked?

Jerry: [ petrified ] Yes!

Craig: We are sorry Greg!

Greg: Its ok...Just find the quarterback!

[ fade out on team group hug ]

Midnight Maize 347

One Shreds Opinion

EMU Thoughts

The Good
-Smith would be a beast in the Mac
-We has Safeties(that is internet cat talk)?
-Denard would be a beast in the Mac
-Mike Martin went back to norm
-Roh found his smile?
-Black a player or pretender?
-Goal line is our bitch
-Big Will...ahhh ok.

The Bad
-Man ball fail
-Right now Denard couldnt throw a football through a open door.
-Contain...CONTAIN!! DAMNIT! <--- Me from my couch.
-Hawthrone??? Now hiring.
-Who needs red shirts?

The Ugly
-Zero catches for Roundtree and Hemingway
-Any ball that leaves Denards hand.
-Not seeing more of Devin
-Shaw? Still have a pulse?
-1st quarter scoring:0!

Has Denard been that bad? For me yeah he has. For whatever reason he can't even make the simple throws. When the good teams shut down the run and Denard goes all Moon ball we might be trouble. He has been so hit or miss. Right on the money to Gallon.. Or miss a wide up Koger up the sideline. Not sure if he is just thinking so much or what but I hope he figures it out. His passing has been brutal. I can't just blame it on man ball like some do. I think he has been terrible in shotgun or warming up before the game. SDSU would be a good start to find his mojo in the passing game. Hemingway and Roundtree are starving... Feed them!

Midnight Maize 346

Midnight Maize 345

Midnight Maize 344

One Shreds Opinion

Ugh.. for the first three quarters I wanted to know how 2009 Denard had time traveled back and taken the place of 2011 Denard. He was really bad until the forth. He missed some simple passes. The first screen he tried to run to Smith was one of the worst over throws I have ever seen. 3 and outs were rampant... Dogs and Cats living together.. Mass Hysteria! Then the night clouds parted and god smiled down on Michigan Stadium. Every moon ball connected. Balls were magically slipping out of Tommy Rees's hands. God said.... Denard go do you. And he did. Do we have a running back? hell no. Don't even say Fitz. The dude can't make it through games or practices with out being hurt. He will never be a major force on this team due to this. The other avg a whooping 2 yards a carry. Shaw didn't even see a carry(like 2) and Hopkins was bad. At least out WR can catch a jump ball or two. Hemingway may never go down into lore like Braylon or Carter but the dude has turned into a damn good stud. Roundtree may have found his mojo again after having a case of the drops. The O-line was alright... not really. Got pushed around at times. I didn't watch them enough but what I saw wasn't great at times.

Can we say they are average yet? They aren't great but they aren't last years suck fest either. Some of the play calls by Mattison were terrible. Notre Dame made smart adjustments. Nothing is more frustrating then having Mike Martin run away from the ball carrier when he should have ripped his head off at the line. The play call on the final Notre Dame touchdown was dumb. Asking Marvin to drop back that fast and track a WR to make a play is crazy thinking. Other then that he made this defense force teams to punt! Which was a rare thing last year. We also had some nice 3rd and 1 stops. If anything this defense is forcing turnovers.. If you don't think its average.. I do think it is. Not sure on the current rankings but I think its damn close to average..yay.

Special Teams
Punting was alright. Wile tackled a man! "Yeah I saw that!" May wanna lay low Matt.

The Good
-Denard went Postal in the 4th.
-Moon balls worked like 85% of the time.
-Smith still finds way to make plays
-Big Will might not be a lost cause? Home Alone YESSSSSS!!!!!
-Ryan is like a poor mans Matthews on the edge.
-All your 3rd and 1s belong to us!
-Still forcing turnovers.
-The Big House was a thing of Magic.
-Piped in Music.. There I said it. Sue me.
-HD Boards! Mooooore!
-Rees forgetting to use stick em.

The Bad
-All Running game not named Deanrd
-Some defensive play calls
-Some offensive play calls
-Oline play was "meh"
-Anyone covering Floyd
-Mike Martin running backwards

The Ugly
-Denards not
-My guess is that Denards INT count goes up.
-Last defensive play.
-The first three quarters
-The teams nerves

The atmosphere was awesome. All the pre game was great and we stood the whole game! Which is like find pot of gold. The Irish fan next to be was a  good loser. I had a blast. best game I have ever been to.

Midnight Maize from Under the Lights

Wow what a game and I was lucky enough to sneak in my 30mm lens and get some great shots. My Favorite is the Rees fumble. I caught him right in the motion and you can see his eyes looking back. I didn't get as many towards the end of game when god parted the night sky and was smiling down on Michigan. It was just way to intense to have my face in a camera. Enjoy!
Click any picture to see full size.

ND crying during Desmond Tribute 

Chart?... I mean Penis? Penis.

Pad Level?


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