I still don't understand what I saw on Saturday. It doesn't compute.
How does Michigan have one of the worst defenses in the country?
How did Michigan give up nearly 500 yards of offense to a team that basically rolled out Nick Sheridan out there?
How is it that Penn State only punted twice?
That terrible effort might have sealed RR's fate at Michigan (he knows it too; you can see it on his face). It most definitely has sealed Greg Robinson's fate. There were rumors floating around on Sunday that he resigned. Of course, those were probably wishful thinking from message boards.
I know Robinson has a long résumé in football, but Saturday's effort was one of the worst things I have seen in football since the Lions quit on Steve Mariucci on Thanksgiving a few years ago. I mentioned this on Saturday night, but if you roll out 11 true freshmen at Michigan, they should be an average defense. This defense is terrible, awful, one of the worst defenses in the country.
They don't do anything right: They don't cover, they don't get sacks, they don't tackle (How about that 4th-and-1 effort? Awful), they don't read screens, they don't cover deep, they can't stop the run, they can't stop a 3rd-and-long, they get penalties and the list goes on.
I was talking to a neighbor at Halloween last night, and he asked what Greg's résumé was. Here it is:
1975–1976 Pacific (assistant coach)
1977–1979 Cal State Fullerton (assistant)
1980-1981 North Carolina State (assistant)
1982–1988 UCLA (DL)
1989 UCLA (OC)
1990-1993 New York Jets (DL)
1994 New York Jets (DC)
1995-2000 Denver Broncos (DC)
2001–2003 Kansas City Chiefs (DC)
2004 Texas (DC)
2005–2008 Syracuse (HC)
2009–present Michigan (DC)
I don't know Greg personally, so I suspect he knows a lot of football with 35 years' coaching experience. He has Super Bowl Rings and a pretty impressive résumé.
I know football coaches are hired to be fired, but the above résumé also shows me he has failed in pretty much every "leadership" position that he has held outside of his five-year run as the Broncos DC: one year as the OC at UCLA, one year as the Jets' DC, two years as the Chiefs' DC, one year at Texas (which he didn't get fired from) and three years as the Syracuse head coach.
Rich Rod hired Greg to be a leader on defense—to basically be him on defense. Rich knew when he got here he had work to do on both sides of the ball. His specialty is the offense and knew that unit needed most of his attention, so he needed a head coach on defense, and he hired Greg.
When Greg was hired, there were mixed reviews. The Syracuse fans laughed and quickly hired Michigan's one-year DC, Scott Shafer. Texas' head coach called Greg the best defensive coordinator in the country.
One a side note, Shafer is finding success at Syracuse. Their defense is ranked 14th in the nation in points against, giving up 17 points a game (Michigan gives up 17 points by the middle of the first quarter). They just beat Cincinnati 31-7 on Saturday.
I'm not sure what Greg's Robinson's defensive philosophy is (I'm guessing it's a low pressure, bend but don't break one), but whatever he put on the field Saturday was just garbage. I would rather see Michigan blitz everyone and cover the WRs man to man than do what the Michigan D did on Saturday.
Penn State had a backup, walk-on QB, and they for sure wouldn't be putting him in high-risk situations, which means running the ball and throwing short passes and screens. Greg decided to play the corners seven to 10 yards off the ball, not blitz and play back. Penn State beat Michigan with screens and running the ball all night.
RR also shouldn't have to go crazy in a defensive huddle to get these guys to get a stop. That was the last sign in my book that Greg is failing at his job.
Youth is an excuse, and this program is out of excuses on defense. There is a reason Greg has been "run out of town" for every DC job he has had. It's time for him to move out of another town. RR's decisions with his defensive coordinator hires may cost him his high-profile job.
Don't be fooled; Illinois is a football team that is getting better week to week. They are playing a team on Saturday that is going in the opposite direction.
BTW: 2011 Cincinnati linebacker Sean Duggan committed to Boston College over the weekend.