"Hell Yes" Bama Game Fires Borges Up (video)

Offensive Coordinaor Al Borges talks about the Michigan offense coming out of fall camp. He touched on Denard Robinson's growth, Elliott Mealer's emergence, tight end depth, and more.

Al Borges Article 082812 Borges: We're going to "let it rip" Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges met with the media Tuesday afternoon in preparation of the season opener against Alabama. The former Auburn coordinator sizes up Alabama defensively, discusses the development of the passing game and the excitement amongst the coaches to get started. Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges has had a sampling of what Alabama brings to the table when the Crimson Tide lined up against him and Auburn from 2004-2007. With the 2012 season ready to kickoff Saturday under the lights, Borges couldn't be more excited to see what his Michigan offense can do against his old foe in Texas.

"Hell yes," said Borges when asked if he's excited for Saturday. "You bet. This is why we coach. This is what its all about. I think this is fun to play the best. You want to be the best, you've got to play the best; and you've got to play good when you play them."

Playing Alabama will be no easy task just a year removed from giving up only 12 touchdowns in 13 games in 2011 and an unbelievable 8.2 points per game. Losing so many key contributors to the NFL, Borges notes their success is a byproduct of how the coaches prepare the players to play within in the defense.

"I don't know that it's more complex," said Borges. "It's certainly sound. They have all of their bases covered and they have enough in their package to keep the quarterback off balance in the passing game which is really NFL-esque. With them I think the devil's in the details. Sometimes it's not always that they have some fancy blitz, although they have a few of those too, but just how they play their scheme and knowing how to play their scheme. How they make their keys and knowing what the reactions are to those keys."

If Alabama is prepared to continue doing what they do to quarterbacks in the passing game, even more responsibility will fall on senior captain Denard Robinson's shoulders as the quarterback of the team. Even though Borges has seen fewer and fewer mistakes on the practice field during camp, the real test comes when the lights go on.

"I save judgment until we do it under fire," said Borges, "because that's really when you find out if your efforts, if you reap the benefits of your efforts. He's made a conscious decision to try and improve every phase of his game, not the least of which is our passing game. Through the fall he's done what appears to be a very good job of that but the bullets will fly in a few days and we'll see how much that carries over."

In front of Denard looking to give him an adequate amount of time to make the throws necessary to compete and possibly beat Alabama is little used fifth year senior Elliott Mealer. With seemingly the entire fan base pulling for him to have a big year at left guard, Mealer has shown a different attitude throughout camp helping build a comfort level with his fellow linemen.

"Elliott came to compete," said Borges. "That was the most exciting thing to me. Not that he didn't in the past, but I think he took the next step that way and with that learned to work in concert with the other guys. And got in there enough with the other guys to have that work cause that's really a key component too."

A few spots down the line from Mealer is a tight end position that appears to be in transition. Fifth year senior Brandon Moore leads a group of inexperienced players, including freshmen A.J. Williams and Devin Funchess, but it's a walk-on that made the list at number two on the most recent depth chart in redshirt senior Mike Kwiatkowski who's going to see the field quite a bit for the Wolverines.

"He's a good receiver number one and he's strong," said Borges. "He does some good things that way, he knows our offense pretty well, and he's a little bit like Watson was a year ago. He does some of those things and hopefully he will, he'll have spots you'll see him in the game, and I think he'll hold up pretty good."

The Michigan offense will need to hold up better than "good" against Alabama with ball control being key. The Wolverines could be in for a defensive slugfest if offenses can't get going but Borges and the offense will go in with the same attitude they do every game.

"Playing in these games before it's those SEC fist fights as I used to call them," said Borges. "But I don't think you can go into the game thinking that. I think you go into the game thinking we're going to go out there and let it rip. Run our offense, and we're going to do what we do. And then as the battle changes you make your adjustments. But we're lining up with the intent that we're going to try to score some points and do what we've got to do to win."

To watch video of Borges from earlier today, press play below.


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You want to be the best, you've got to play the best; and you've got to play good when you play them.\" Playing Alabama will be no easy task just a year removed from giving up only 12 touchdowns in 13 games in 2011 and an unbelievable 8.2 points per game. Losing so many key contributors to the NFL, Borges notes their success is a byproduct of how the coaches prepare the players to play within in the defense. \"I don't know that it's more complex,\" said Borges. \"It's certainly sound. They have all of their bases covered and they have enough in their package to keep the quarterback off balance in the passing game which is really NFL-esque. With them I think the devil's in the details. Sometimes it's not always that they have some fancy blitz, although they have a few of those too, but just how they play their scheme and knowing how to play their scheme. 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Through the fall he's done what appears to be a very good job of that but the bullets will fly in a few days and we'll see how much that carries over.\" In front of Denard looking to give him an adequate amount of time to make the throws necessary to compete and possibly beat Alabama is little used fifth year senior Elliott Mealer. With seemingly the entire fan base pulling for him to have a big year at left guard, Mealer has shown a different attitude throughout camp helping build a comfort level with his fellow linemen. \"Elliott came to compete,\" said Borges. \"That was the most exciting thing to me. Not that he didn't in the past, but I think he took the next step that way and with that learned to work in concert with the other guys. And got in there enough with the other guys to have that work cause that's really a key component too.\" A few spots down the line from Mealer is a tight end position that appears to be in transition. 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