Greg Skrepenak's Michigan breakdown (10-27)

Former Michigan offensive lineman Greg Skrepenak shares his thoughts on the state of the Wolverines after the 35-11 loss to Michigan state. The former All American discussed the numerous errors on offense and defense, the play of Devin Gardner, the planting of the stake, and more.

Sam Webb:  Let’s dive right in and just give me your take on the game.

Greg Skrepenak:   “I think your analysis was pretty dead on.  I don’t really think it was Michigan State that did anything special as it was Michigan not making plays.  Everyone from an offensive standpoint wants to blame the offensive line and quite frankly in the second half, they probably played pretty decent especially pass protection.  One of the things that I’ve known over the years is that a good offensive line has to be supported by all your skill people too.  You got a quarterback who really doesn’t look comfortable at all at the quarterback position.  He gets nervous, even when he has all day to throw the football and has receivers breaking down the field, he throws it across his body, looping it for an interception that goes the other way.  He’s looked so uncomfortable and he is playing with no confidence.  It is just not a good thing.  Then you  have your best player, Devin Funchess play as poorly as he has.  If he catches some of those ball, it helps the offensive lineman because now Michigan State has to back up.  But when we have absolutely no threat going downfield, Michigan State could just pile it up on the offensive line, come at will, put the pressure on the quarterback and have no run game because they have everyone stacked up.  Funchess was not the only receiver to drop balls, there were numerous ones.  The one thing that I was disappointed the most, when he caught one on the sideline and he had two blockers in front of him and instead of setting up his block to go inside, he goes outside.  Actually one of his receivers was blocking the guy towards the sideline and that’s the way he goes.  That’s the kind of things that are killing the Michigan offense.  Our running backs don’t see holes.  They don’t have good vision.  It’s like they’re putting their heads down and just going forward.  We are just not doing anything very positive.  We’re a team that you can tell just has absolutely no confidence.  When something bad goes on, it looks like we’re just a deer in the headlights.  We’re just expecting more and more to go on.  There is really no leadership on the team and it is sad to me to say, no one has come to the forefront and taken over this team.”

“Now defensively, we play tough, we play tough and then boom.  You said it best, the war of attrition.  We lost it.  We just can’t defend that field that long.  We just can’t be expected to hold them back that long and then finally the dam breaks and Langford has a big game and their scoring a lot of points.  It’s a tough thing to watch.  I don’t think we we’re physically outmatched.  I really don’t believe we were physically outmatched.  It’s just a mental game right now, where we’re not doing the little things that you need to do to win football games.”

Sam Webb:  I came away saying the same thing.  Part of my opening, the irony of it was that the offensive line was the unit on the team that you could say performed better than it did in game or better than it did last year in this game.  They were confident out there and it was the other aspects of the team that faltered.  I’m curious in your take and again in the interest of full disclosure, I should lay out what the different positions are on this stake.  Most Michigan fans think it was classless, it was beneath Michigan to do, clearly Brady Hoke thinks the same with the apology that he issued.  Me personally, I had no problem with it, I think it was totally fine and go out there and show that kind of passion and intensity.  My issue is that they didn’t back it up.  I liken it to guaranteeing a victory of Ohio State or striking a pose after you score a touchdown against them, to me it is all about can you go out there and back up those actions.  Michigan didn’t go out there and  back up those actions.  I’m curious as to what you think about it.

Greg Skrepenak:   “If you do that, you’d better back it up, no doubt about it.  From my perspective, it is something that I think is beneath our program.  I don’t think we need to be doing that kind of thing.  I can tell you this, Dantonio has got to get over some of these things.   He’s got to get over that little brother statement by Mike Hart.  You’ve got to get over it.  Let it go already.  You’re a good coach and you’ve got a good program, but why do you want to hold onto this image that you’re the little brother.  That’s ridiculous to me.  I understand why he’s upset and all this, but there are two rules of respect that I live by and everyone should live by.  First of all to get respect you’ve got to give it.  You mean to tell me that Dantonio who is this older coach, these kids who are just misconstrued what was said to them what was said to them and wanted to show some kind of solitary   and stick a spike in the ground, which isn’t the worse thing in the world.  It was just something for self motivation in one of the biggest rivalries games in the year.  So he’s going to get upset with that and at the end of the game, he sees disrespect, so he’s going to disrespect Michigan by running up the score.  That makes no sense to me when a man is that age and he is supposed to be mature and then he is just holding on to that little brother stuff.  It makes no sense to me.”

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