in town for free camps
Iowa into the top five:
|Last week's ballot|
Just a couple minor changes from the draft:
I rearranged Virginia Tech, Penn State, and Houston a bit. I didn't really like moving Houston up (what with the loss to freakin' UTEP and all), but they definitely have a couple better wins than the Hokies or Nittany Lions do at this time.
I also moved Georgia Tech up a little bit, and I'm realizing that it's time to rethink the resume chart a bit, since I still have Oklahoma as a very impressive win for Miami (Yes That Miami), much more than a 3-3 outfit deserves.
At the urgings of commenters (and against my better judgment, I think), I included Michigan as the #25 team in the poll. It's put up or shut up time for the Wolverines, as Penn State provides a chance to cement position in the polls, or drop out of them for good.
For next week, Arizona, Pitt, and Central Michigan will all be considered for the top-25, and I'll try to update the resume chart in terms of quality wins.
Editors note: bumped from the diaries for research, interesting-ness, and cool graphs. Republished to get the images the right size. Original here for those who'd like to see the comments on it.
Some days ago, I made a first attempt at visualizing some of Brian's famous Hennecharts. After some feedback (thanks all) and some links to old data (thanks Misopogon), I now try again. Here are "Hennegraphs" for Tate so far this year, Threet from '08, and Henne from '07.
And finally, Henne in the near-championship year '06:
Some explanations: I took Brian's suggestion to center at 0, pushing "good" events to the left, and "bad" events to the right. Slight adjustment: I moved "Marginal" all the way to the left (it is neither good or bad, but made slightly more sense on the left instead of centered in the middle, as we will see in below).
Recall also that bars that are not fully colored in represent screen passes (which Brian has started accounting for lately).
Also on the Hennegraph: Brian's metric of effectiveness, the Downfield Success Rating (DSR). The Tate '09 graph shows how this is calculated: DSR is the number of (Dead On + Catchable) throws divided by everything else except for Marginal and Pressure. Thus, it is the left blue part (ignoring marginal all the way on the left) divided by the blue part + right red/orange/yellow (ignoring pressure all the way on the right).
I also present the DSR percentage on the right of each bar, as well as the total number of attempts, and graphically depict the DSR number on the left in a dotted red line.
Putting all of this together made me realize the simple genius of what Brian is doing here. Instead of judging a QB by a simple number such as "percentage of passes completed" or some odd QB rating, he is simply analyzing each throw and qualitatively judging them in isolation of whether they were caught or not. Thus, DSR is an excellent replacement for "Completion Percentage" if you are just interested in measuring how well a QB is throwing the ball.
Hope you enjoy. As always, comments are welcome, and thanks to Brian (and Misopogon!) for the grading and the data; any errors, of course, in the Hennegraphs above are mine.
[Notes from me: You can see just on the charts how far the passing game has come from the "good" half of last year, and how far from a healthy Chad Henne—ie, 2006—it still is. And how awful it was for Michigan to suffer Henne's loss in '07.]
I mentioned this earlier in one of the two instances where I brought up Chris Brown's explanation of the differences between inside and outside zone runs. Here's a play featuring the tell a couple coaches suggested I look for when I was complaining about the difficulty of distinguishing between the two.
Michigan's in a shotgun with trips to the right. Two things to note here are the two deep Iowa safeties, and the shift of the Iowa linebackers outside. Angerer, the MLB, is lined up over Odoms, sort of:
Also, Greece has destroyed Latvia in World Cup qualifying.
The thing to note in the above frame is the position of Forcier relative to Minor. Forcier is a yard or so in front of his tailback. For comparison, here's a play against Indiana that would end up a standard zone stretch:
Forcier is a yard behind the tailback. This allows the RB to come across him at speed and get to the frontside creases the stretch looks to exploit.
Back in the Iowa game, the positioning of Forcier allows Minor to take a handoff already headed upfield, which was one of the adjustments that Penn State struggled with so badly last year. Also note a great oddity:
Michigan is blocking the backside defensive end! Why are they doing this? Well, if you don't block him and he crashes down and you're running a play that's anything short of a stretch play that's running away from him there's a good chance he makes a thumping tackle in the backfield. Michigan did this a lot against Iowa because Brandon Minor's RAGE is most effective when he's heading straight upfield.
Another item to note: at the moment of the handoff, Forcier is staring at the MLB over Odoms, judging whether or not he's coming up to contain.
He isn't. And one reason for that may be that this looks like play action. Odoms isn't running a bubble. The backside defensive end is getting blocked. In the past, this has always been a pass, or an attempted one. So Angerer gets a pass drop. By our next frame he'll be hanging out at the first down line, six yards back from the frame above:
You'll note that Minor is running right next to Forcier; with five guys in the box and no support for a hypothetical bounce, Minor could have made this same run. Iowa's decision to leave two deep safeties back makes it really hard for them to stop Michigan's ground game, though it did prevent Michigan from breaking anything long: their longest run in Kinnick was twelve yards.
At the end of the play Forcier has near first down yardage after having slid to the ground untouched. The Iowa defender does give him his best Cato June, though:
Here's the glorious you-tube-o-vision, in which you can see that the receivers' half-hearted routes. That indicates this was a called run play, not an improvisation, in case you're wondering if this was play action gone awry (awright?):
- Zone runs have a bit of a tell. If your depth perception and processing is quick enough and you see the QB step forward you've got a good idea that it's not a stretch. If he stays back you've got a good idea it is. This is probably not a huge deal since the QB takes up his final position moments before the snap, preventing—or at least hindering—the ability for defenses to key on it. It's a lot to process that when you're trying to time the snap and figuring out your assignments and whatnot. It is there.
- But you, the viewer, have a great view of it. TV angles are great for picking this out, though, and it's simple enough that you can try to pick it out real-time.
- RAGE. Michigan went to a lot of interior, non-stretch runs with Minor and blocked the backside DE. This helped out on a variety of plays and should hypothetically make Forcier's job on the reads easier because the guy he's reading is a lot further away and his motion has to be less subtle if he's got contain. This also brings in some elements of Paul Johnson's flexbone, too. Johnson loves to leave a guy unblocked for much of the game, then crush him unexpectedly for a big play.
- Michigan's mixing up its routes on certain keeper plays. I'm betting that if Odoms ran a bubble route on this play that was a key for one of the linebackers to shoot up for contain against Forcier and for one of the safeties to crash down on the bubble. By just running its receivers downfield, Michigan got Iowa to go into pass drops and opened up tons of space for Forcier.
- Iowa loves them some two-deep safeties. The zone read brings in the quarterback as another runner and has essentially forced its opponents to ditch the two-deep look. In the Rodriguez coaching videos kicking around the web, the implicit assumption is that opponents will usually have a single deep safety because of the threat of the keeper. Iowa defies that, and it worked for them, albeit barely. Michigan racked up almost 200 yards on the ground without its starting center and nominal starting tailback despite seeing five drives end on turnovers. Michigan had similar success against Notre Dame last year when Corwin Brown decided to keep two deep safeties. Once Michigan emerges from its freshman quarterback purgatory I wonder if Iowa will be able to get away with this sort of thing.
If you can help out finding articles on any of the commits, e-mail me, and I'll try to include your contribution.
MI WR Ricardo Miller
Last week: Pioneer pastes Chelsea, 45-9. I was there, so check out my video and scouting report from the game in yesterday's post. Miller finished with 4 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown. Miller photo by Lon Horwedel of AnnArbor.com.
This week: Pioneer (7-1) v. Dearborn Fordson.
|Ricardo Miller 2009|
|Arthur Hill||W 58-20||1||20||0||20.00|
MI QB Devin Gardner
Inkster QB Devin Gardner, who is considered one of the top recruits in the country and is orally committed to Michigan, had a 71-yard touchdown run and threw a 21-yard scoring pass.
This week: Inkster (4-3) @ Steubenville. The Vikings must win to qualify for the playoffs, but Steubenville is undefeated on the year.
|Devin Gardner 2009|
|East Kentwood||L 33-52||19||30||389||3||1||63.33||12.97||10||102||2||10.20|
|St. Edward||W 14-7|
|Highland Park||W 27-22||9||16||127||2||2||56.25||7.94||11||74||2||6.73|
|Bay City Central||W 27-20||7||13||132||1||0||53.85||10.15||15||95||1||6.33|
|Muskegon CC||W 34-19||4||9||110||0||0||44.44||12.22||99||1|
|St. Ignatius||L 20-49||1||0||1|
SC QB Conelius Jones
Last week: Spartanburg falls to Mauldin 27-46. Jones was 7/14 passing for 92 yards and a TD, while rushing 10 times for 7 yards.
This week: Spartanburg (2-5) v. Hillcrest.
|Conelius Jones 2009|
MI RB Austin White
White was the big gun, rushing 31 times for 165 yards and scoring on runs of 11, 1 and 50 yards (with 1:04 to go) and completing a 10-yard halfback option TD pass to senior Mike Beyer.
“We wanted it a lot, too, and we knew it was going to be a battle,” White said. “We came out and fought our hardest. It worked out for us.”
This week: Stevenson (5-2) v. Livonia Churchill.
|Austin White 2009|
|South Lyon||W 37-0||8||173||3||21.63||0||0||0||-|
|South Lyon East||W 47-20||234||5||4.75||0||0||0||-|
TX RB Tony Drake
|Tony Drake 2009|
|Plano East||W 45-19||15||167||1||11.13||0||0||0||-|
|Lake Highlands||W 42-27||19||226||2||11.89||1||6||0||6.00|
TX RB Stephen Hopkins
Last week: Marcus falls to Southlake Carroll 30-41, Hopkins ran 28 times for 150 yards and a touchdown.
Hopkins photo by Richard Rodriguez(!) of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
This week: Marcus (4-2) v. Coppell.
|Stephen Hopkins 2009|
|Plano West||W 35-25||28||128||3||4.57|
|Tyler Lee||W 17-7||22||118||1||5.36|
|Southlake Carroll||L 30-41||28||150||1||5.36|
OH WR Jerald Robinson
Last week: Canton South is destroyed by Marlington, 0-41. Their awful QB threw 6 interceptions in the game, including at least 2 pick-sixes.
This week: Canton South (1-7) v. Alliance.
MI WR Jeremy Jackson
Last week: Huron beats Ypsilanti Lincoln 24-10. Jackson photo by Mark Bialek for AnnArbor.com.
This week: Huron (4-4) @ Ypsilanti.
OH WR DJ Williamson
Last week: Harding falls to Massillon 21-39.
This week: Harding (4-3-1) v. Youngstown East.
OH OL Christian Pace
Last week: Avon Lake pounds Westlake 34-0.
This week: Avon Lake (5-3) v. Brecksville-Broadview Heights.
OH DT Terry Talbott
Last week: Wayne defeats Beavercreek 9-5.
This week: Wayne (5-3) v. Centerville.
PA DE Ken Wilkins
Last week: Trinity beats West Mifflin 28-0.
Andrew Steratore tossed two touchdowns to Ken Wilkins
This week: Trinity (2-5) v. Yough.
PA DE Jordan Paskorz
Last week: Hampton beats Mars 10-7.
This week: Hampton (4-3) @ Franklin Regional.
OH LB Antonio Kinard
Last week: Liberty loses 7-19 to Hubbard.
Senior linebacker Antonio Kinard had a fumble recovery and an interception for the Leopards.
This week: Liberty (4-4) @ Howland.
FL S Marvin Robinson
Last week: Lake Region loses to Frostproof 6-24.
This week: Lake Region (0-6) @ Lake Gibson.
OH CB Courtney Avery
Last week: Lexington beats West Holmes 30-0.
Lexington built a 24-0 halftime edge on a 10-yard TD pass from Courtney Avery to Cody Hamilton, a safety when an errant West Holmes punt snap rolled out of the back of the end zone, a 1-yard QB sneak by Avery and a 35-yard field goal by junior C.J. Hassmann.
Avery, who completed 11 of 18 passes for 118 yards, closed the scoring when he connected with Hamilton on a 7-yard TD pass midway through the third.
This week: Lexington (5-3) v. Mansfield Senior.
OH CB Terrence Talbott
Last week: Wayne defeats Beavercreek 9-5.
This week: Wayne (5-3) v. Centerville.
WI P Will Hagerup
Last week: Whitefish Bay loses to Cedarburg 32-51.
Whitefish Bay (5-3, 4-2), which lost standout senior running back Brian Kroll to an injury in the first quarter, pulled within 41-26 after a 4-yard touchdown pass from Ehrke to senior receiver Will Hagerup late in the third quarter.
He punts! He catches! What doesn't he do?
This week: Whitefish Bay (5-3) v. Milwaukee Lutheran on Wednesday.
2011 OH CB Greg Brown
Last week: Ross loses to Napoleon, 14-28.
Punt returns set up both Ross TDs. Greg Brown's 22-yard return in the first quarter put the Little Giants on the Napoleon 41.
This week: Ross (4-4) v. Napoleon.
|Greg Brown 2009|
|Benedictine||W 28-21 (OT)||6||99||1||16.50|
|Findlay||L 40-43 (3OT)||8||122||1||15.13||0||0||0||-|
|Marion Harding||L 0-21||0||0||0||-||4||13||0||3.25|
LA Slot WR Drew Dileo
Last week: Parkview Baptist had a bye week.
This week: Parkview Baptist (5-1) v. West Feliciana.
|Drew Dileo 2009|
|Christian Life||W 60-14||1||50||1||50.00|
|Church Point||W 54-0||2||40||1||20.00|
|Port Allen||W 32-7||11||65||0||5.91||3||92||2||30.67|
Last Friday, I got my third opportunity to check out 2010 Michigan commit Ricardo Miller in person, as the Ann Arbor Pioneer Pioneers (we're from Pioneer!) traveled to Chelsea to take on Michigan State commit Nick Hill and the Chelsea Bulldogs. Ricardo Miller caught 4 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown in a 45-9 Pioneer victory.
First, since it's what everyone cares about the most, the video:
Ricardo Miller Scouting Report
This was the first time I'd seen Miller look truly dominant against high school competition, though he's looked semi-dominant before, he just never gets the damn ball. His quarterback doesn't have the confidence in his own arm to hit Miller on the always-wide-open deep posts (or deep crosses - look how open he is nearly every time he runs a route, but the QB is too scared to throw it), otherwise Miller would have finished with 200+ receiving yards in every single game of his I've attended.
In this game, the QB managed to hit him on a couple screens. Those play more to the QB's strengths than Ricardo's, but the coaching staff has struggled to find ways to get the ball into his hands, and a screen is better than nothing. Miller also caught a quick slant at the end of the first half, then outran the Chelsea defense down to the 8-yard line before two deep defenders managed to drag him down as the second quarter expired. In the third quarter, Miller got behind the defense and the QB finally hit Miller for his second 53-yard catch of the game. This one was a touchdown (above, courtesy of AnnArbor.com's Lon Horwedel). Miller was also targeted a couple times on poor throws that suggested why the QB rarely throws it long.
This game, however, was not Ricardo's best blocking performance. He's usually performed very well, sometimes even dominating against defensive linemen as a tight end. This game, he was just OK. He got a Pioneer running back killed when he whiffed a block on the perimeter.
Nick Hill Scouting Report
On the other side of the ball, the pride of the Chelsea Bulldogs was Nick Hill. Unfortunately, I was running low on memory and I didn't shoot any video of him. However, in my estimation (and please note that I am not a professional) Hill didn't impress. He looks like a guy that would go to a MAC program, where he would become a star... against MAC defenses. It's easy to see why the Michigan coaches didn't offer. I think that Mark Dantonio offered him because he wants a bunch of guys on his team who are pissed at Michigan, in hopes that they Hulk Up and perform like beasts against the Wolverines each season.
For someone who is often compared to Mike Hart, the first thing that jumps out about Nick Hill is his fumbling. He fumbled three times in the game, losing two of them. He also dropped two passes, one of which should have been ruled a lateral and a 3rd lost fumble. Hill didn't seem spectacular running the ball, either. Once he got in a groove, he showed some of the jump-cuts in traffic that led to the Hart comparisons, but he's not a tough runner, and goes down on first contact almost every time. His only big play was being the recipient of a pitch on a hook-and-ladder play that he ran in for a touchdown with nobody from Pioneer threatening to come near him. Hill got hurt and missed the entire second half, and I honestly didn't think his backup (random white kid who will never sniff a D-1 offer) was all that significant of a downgrade.