Fine we’ll bring this back. Don’t skip the tiebreaker.
How this works again:
- Readers predict the final score of a designated game by placing a guess in the comments, preferably in the format of [M score][hyphen][Opp score], for example "41-0" or "35-0 Michigan", or "28-0 Go Blue", or "42-0 Harbaugh!" etc.
- The three guys who read this part holler at people who post in a different format
- First person (by timestamp) to post a particular score has it.
- If you got it right, I contact you for an address by your MGoBlog account email, and you give me some time to get that to you.
- If nobody got it right or I don't hear from the winner(s) we push it to next week or let it go.
This Week’s Game:
Michigan vs. Indiana, football edition.
And on the line:
Our friends at the Michigan History Project put together a photographical coffee table book that you’re not allowed to not have anymore. Throw out the one about seashells; nobody’s ever going to open it anyway.
TIEBREAKER: We really want to give one of these away so if nobody gets the score it’ll go to whomever can name the most people in this photo:
No fair reading other peoples’ answers.
Fine print: One entry per user. First user to choose a set of scores wins, determined by the timestamp of your entry (for my ease I prefer if you don't post it as a reply to another person's score--if you do it won't help or hurt you). Deadline for entries is 24 hours before the start of the game. MGoEmployees and Moderators exempt from winning. The algorithm finds the winners as it chooses. The algorithm is self-correcting. The algorithm asked Jeeves! The algorithm is from Jersey, but escaped. The algorithm has everything on the table.
We should have known from the start. Ace and I got dropped off at the northeast corner of Kinnick with a simple task: get the parking pass and credentials. We picked up the envelope, untangled the strings on our credentials, and found precisely zero things that were definitely or even slightly resembled a parking pass. We now needed the guys to somehow turn around and come pick us up without bringing traffic to a screeching halt, and from there we needed to go to the parking garage and hope they’d accept the email that said we were approved for parking.
Ace and I crossed the street to wait and ran into Kelly and Jacob, two of The Daily’s beat writers. They were looking for a missing co-worker. Hindsight’s 20/20, but it should have been obvious in that moment that there were four Michigan media members on a corner and not a single thing going right for any of them, and that ended up serving as an omen for the night. We then dove into the van as the guys drove up, pulled up to the parking garage, and were shut down by the attendant. And the one in the next lot. And the one in the lot after that.
We ended up parking behind the equivalent of a coney on the outskirts of campus, running out of time to go to Demorest’s tailgate, and one of us slipped and fell partially down a hill while making fun of someone’s taste in music. It was me. I fell down a hill.
I didn’t notice the blinking neon “Hey, I’m a metaphor and something’s not right here” sign, and a lot of that is because you can usually count on nine games worth of data to be somewhat predictive. According to Football Study Hall, Iowa went into the game with a 5% win probability. They then forced Michigan’s offense into far and away their worst performance of the season en route to a bizarre, special teams-fueled upset. With game and cumulative numbers in hand, we can see how big an impact one bad game has while also preliminarily judging how predictive the performance was.
[Hit THE JUMP to find out how off Michigan’s offense was according to S&P+ and FEI, and a quick look at Indiana’s advanced stats]
Previously: Ace did the offense.
pretty good, still indiana
Last year’s heavy-offense, no-defense #CHAOSTEAM was hella fun for everybody not responsible for Indiana’s defense. New defensive coordinator Tom Allen is a Hugh Freeze assistant who was about to get the Auburn DC job if Muschamp turned it down. It seemed like a good hire. It’s been more like a Don Brown good hire.
Indiana pork famers aren’t investing in nets just yet. Since poking into the Top 25 after Ohio State, three rough outings against the far east of the Big Ten East dropped Indiana’s defensive S&P to a just 46th. That’s still ahead of the offense, which goes against everything you ever thought you knew about Indiana. This I had to see.
I started out with last week’s PSU game then switched to Michigan State (from way back on October 1st) because Indiana’s been playing all spreads since. If you squint you can pass off the rampantly holding State OL (it was even more ridiculous than against Michigan) as Michigan’s comparative OL competency, and Price as a poor man’s Butt, and wobbly Tyler O’Connor as John O’Korn in his first game, and early October rain for November rain.
What I saw is what you might expect from Don Brown if you gave him four sticks of bubble gum, various old truck tires, and an unused set of wedding knives. Allen’s 4-2-5 defense is a jalopy that’s marvelous because it knows what it is. They keep their linebackers clean and aggressive, don’t ask their DBs to cover very long, and solve any and all problems with aggression. Until that doesn’t work, whence Indiana.
Personnel: My diagram:
The DL has a lot of rotation: seven defensive lineman have over 200 snaps this year (an 11th is at 94) according to PFF’s tracking, and the last guy on that list leads the team in QB hurries. Robinson and Hoff are space-eaters, Green is the beast; he will often slide down to NT. Off the bench, Dougherty and McCray can line up inside or out; the former is a run-stuffing specialist and the latter is an excellent stunt pass rusher. Pass rush from the WDE position has been an issue: Gooch is just a guy, and Sykes is a big downgrade when Gooch comes out—nearly all of Indiana’s pass rush comes from blitzing linebackers and stunts.
The back seven mostly stay on the field. Former starter Chase Dutra got pushed out by SS Tony Fields, who still has some issues but isn’t a gaping hole in deep coverage; Dutra still rotates in plenty as a run-stopping/red zone option. Fant and Riggins will play nearly every down. The linebacker hanging off the edge is their version of a hybrid space player, true freshman Marcelino Ball, whom I’ll discuss further down.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown]
- Iowa minus the points left on the field: why did Speight turn into bad Speight?
- Comedy of errors—hit just one more pass and game script flips.
- This team lives off their pass efficiency.
- Officiating: Craig started drinking immediately when he saw who was doing it. Wasn’t on the level of either of the last two MSU games
- Pepcat package needs a counter to scrape exchanges.
- Indiana is a pair of linebackers; new defensive coordinator deserves the Broyles.
- Playoff handicapping:Would 1-loss Ohio State be left out of the playoffs?
- Taking calls: Gary and Mone?
- What’s O’Korn? Tate Forcier with size or Hackenberg with coaching?
You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Audioboom.
THE USUAL LINKS
Marquette had no answer for Michigan's size. Seriously. [Joseph Dressler]
"They're just too big," said Karl Ravech, the ESPN play-by-play man. He was talking about a Michigan basketball team. It was a true statement.
"The defense by Michigan has really been outstanding," Fran Fraschilla added a short time later.
By the second half, the two were discussing how future opponents would handle Michigan's size as Moe Wagner demonstrated precisely why they were on that topic:
MOE WAGNER IS GOOD. pic.twitter.com/W44ug1ypvS
— Evan Petzold (@EvanPetzold) November 18, 2016
The key to it all was the insertion of DJ Wilson into the starting lineup in Duncan Robinson's stead. Both players flourished in their new roles. Wilson looked every bit as good as he did in the season's first two games, if not better, tallying his first career double-double with ten points and 13 boards and filling out the box score with a pair of assists and blocks. Robinson came off the bench to match his season point total, hitting 3-of-4 three-point attempts to finish with ten himself. The switch allowed John Beilein to unleash Wilson and pick ideal matchups for Robinson; it paid off immediately.
Michigan jumped out to an early lead due to hot outside shooting and a torrent of Marquette turnovers. Even the big men got into the act, with Wagner, Wilson, and Mark Donnal all connecting on first-half triples. Robinson's pair of first-half bombs got the lead up to double digits, and a strong stretch by Donnal—his tip-in of a Xavier Simpson miss elicited Ravech's comment—helped push the margin up to 24 points at the break.
DJ Wilson dominated the boards. [Dressler]
The Wolverines were able to set it on cruise control for the second half. They eased up a little too much at times, committing some sloppy turnovers to allow Marquette to get as close as 12 points down, but every run was swiftly rebuffed.
The frontcourt was the story of the night, as it should've been: Mark Donnal went 6-for-9 for 15 points, Wilson was everywhere, and Wagner tallied nine points and the SportsCenter posterization. That overshadowed a quietly solid performance from the others. Zak Irvin had his midrange game going early and started knocking down threes, too, on his way to a 16-6-6 stat line marred only by four turnovers.
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman finished with 15 via frequent trips to the line and some tough twos. Derrick Walton and Xavier Simpson didn't need to score to make an impact. Both played excellent perimeter defense and the offense didn't skip a beat when Walton sat with two fouls early on. Notably, Beilein let Walton re-enter the game with two fouls midway through the half, and he rewarded his coach's confidence by not picking up another the rest of the way.
The resounding victory puts Michigan in tomorrow night's 2K Classic title game against SMU, another team that looks like it will surpass preseason expectations after a comfortable 76-67 win over Pitt in the other semifinal. That game tips at 7 pm on ESPN2. A bigger, burlier Mustangs squad should provide a tougher matchup; if Michigan is able to get through that close to as well as they did tonight's game, it'll be time to get really excited about where this season can go.
Nigel Hayes [Getty]
Note: Wisconsin has played two games thus far, overwhelming a cupcake at home and losing to a solid Creighton team on the road, 79-67. Surprisingly, they allowed 1.20 points per possession to the Blue Jays and went 11-39 from three themselves. Turnovers, typically uncharacteristic of Wisconsin teams, were also a problem. Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig led the Badgers in scoring in that game.
It’s hard to believe that Wisconsin opened up the 2015-16 season with a home loss to Western Illinois; they started out 7-5 (with only one of those losses to a tournament team) before Bo Ryan surprisingly retired midseason. Long-term assistant Greg Gard was given a trial run to secure the job permanently, and when the Badgers started conference play 1-4, it looked like the odds of that were slim. Three of those losses were to quality opponents but a loss to Northwestern was particularly tough. It looked like even an NIT bid would require a significant turnaround.
Fast-forward to this offseason and Wisconsin – which returns all five of its starters – is the consensus favorite to win the conference. They responded to that Northwestern loss with a home upset over Michigan State by a single point, and including that game, finished on an extended 11-2 streak to end the regular season – they beat every tournament team in the league except for Purdue. Even with a first round upset loss to Nebraska in the Big Ten Tournament, they made it safely into the NCAA Tournament.
[Rest of the preview after the JUMP]