11/13/2010 – Michigan 27, Purdue 16 – 7-3, 3-3 Big Ten
I lasted a quarter and a half before giving in to my inner old man and muting the television. Chris Martin had not just said that the receiver Roy Roundtree reminded him of was Braylon Edwards, but that's all I remember from the first hour. I love the Big Ten Network's picture quality and was pleasantly surprised when Saturday's director consistently cut away from highlight packages to show the game. Not so much the people paid to talk.
I was home alone since the last time I tried to watch a game in the company of people it was the Penn State game. I went home at halftime after demonstrating my severe case of sports Tourrette's. I didn't trust the team enough to expose the world to me for those three hours on Saturday, and that turned out to be a good call. Slop happened, swears were deployed, and sometime in the third quarter Sean Robinson threw a ball directly at James Rogers for the ninth turnover of the day.
It was a this point that Yakety Sax spontaneously started playing in my otherwise silent apartment.
Possibilities washed over me. One: I have been driven insane by last four years of Michigan football. Two: I am now dangerously, thrillingly super-sane and will walk-around hearing situationally appropriate music everywhere I go. I will hear "Yes We Have No Bananas" and know I don't need to bother with the produce section. People will have to tell me what Mark Dantonio says as "Breakin' The Law" thunders in my skill. I will stop complaining about Special K because instead of "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor," I will hear the marching band.
I ONLY EAT BANANAS AND HEAR YAKETY SAX SPONTANTEOUSLY WOOOOOOO—damn. It turns out that I still had a liveblog window open and when you post a video it auto-plays because it loves breaking the cardinal rule of the internet. Elaborate sigh, dreams deferred.
I'd forgotten because I don't participate in the liveblogs mostly because I'm at the games. Even when I'm not I avoid them—I don't like my own furious overreactions, let alone the furious overreactions of hundreds of other people.
What have we learned in week ten? Eh… I'm not sure you can take much out of this game except a growing concern for Denard Robinson's turnover issues and healthy fear of Ryan Kerrigan. Football played between good teams gets ugly when the rain is constant and the field starts coming up in big sliding chunks; football between bad teams causes spontaneous yakety sax. I don't think we're under the illusion that Michigan is a good team.
The footing issues were most apparent with the tailbacks but applied to everyone, so I'm not sure how much the offensive line getting owned was the conditions and how much was Kerrigan being Brandon Graham 2010 and how much was just the offensive line getting owned. The rest of the problems extended from that—Denard got the first serious, consistent pressure of his career and responded like most quarterbacks dealing with their first case of happy feet do. The running game was a slog. This week's epidemic of dropped passes has a good reason.
Unfortunately, the same logic applies to the other side of the ball, where Michigan took on Gritty Eckstein at tailback and went to work against a team that got the ball down 11 with no timeouts and a minute and a half left and decided this was the best course of action:
- Throw in the flat from one freshman quarterback to the other freshman quarterback, who had lined up at wide receiver.
- Tunnel screen.
- Five yard hitch.
The scariest thing Purdue's offense did all day was start Justin Siller. We have finally found the team whose offensive incompetency outstrips Michigan's defensive incompetency.
There is no data here not obviously affected by the opponent and the weather. Next week when the footing is solid and the opponent has a quarterback whose default option is not a dumpoff to the other quarterback everything will be completely different. Since it was a win—one that was in retrospect not in much danger after Michigan scored to go up 20-13—this game will be relegated to the scrap heap of mud-ugly games past and forgotten.
Now if I can just figure out where "Livin' on a Prayer" is coming from, we are in business.
Non-Bullets Der Wet Catten
This did not happen. Remember that these things can be much, much worse. The saddest picture in the history of Michigan football came from the 2008 Fandom Endurance III game:
The Orin Incandenza Award. The play of the game is Will Hagerup's 72-yard bomb early in the fourth quarter that put Purdue on their own three. Courtney Avery would biff a long handoff on the next play but give the ball back on a fumble. Michigan punt, Purdue punt, Michigan excellent field position for clinching touchdown. Watching this game was a blast from the past; feeling my decision matrix switch from GO FOR IT GO FOR IT GO FOR IT to "it's third and seven, we should run it and then punt" was like being possessed by the ghost of Lloyd Carr*.
That thing flipped the field position in a game where field position is a tug of war instead of a minor inconvenience en route to the endzone. It soared. The returner is a lithe whippet of a man somewhere around 20 years old and he didn't bother to run since it was too long. Ain't running that far. That's going to China, yo.
*(The author is aware that Carr does not actually have a ghost.)
Growing concern for turnover issues. The interceptions were bad but maybe that just happens because of the weather and the pressure which may have been caused by the weather, etc., but the fumble was the continuation of a bad habit we've seen all year: when Denard gets outside he does not switch the ball to the outside arm. On Saturday that allowed some guy to come from the inside and strip the ball as he spun Denard to the ground. That's a basic coaching point and I'm not sure why a guy who runs as much as Denard hasn't had it hammered into his skull.
Quarterback rotation. I thought putting in Forcier here and there was the right move even if it didn't result in any of those yard things (Forcier was one for four and his one completion was blown up by a Molk hold, leading to another pooch punt) since the offense wasn't going anywhere and the two quarterbacks are different enough that it's plausible Forcier could do something Denard couldn't, especially after the two INTs.
I also liked Rodriguez's response to some question about "benching Denard." To paraphrase: benching is a strong word. If he's a tailback or wide receiver he's getting a rest. We put him back in. You are making 1000 times less than me for a reason.
Last part probably another hallucination.
Might as well try it.
Right, I mean? Right? I think the headphones are key.
Grim weather past. All games played in driving rain on shoddy turf kind of melt into each other, a never-ending parade of fumbles, third and eight runs, five yard throws that hit spectators in the face, and either shots of people looking wet and cranky in ponchos or looking grim and cranky in a poncho yourself.
But in one specific way, this game reminded me of a previous slopfest around 2002 or so when a to-that-point disappointing Justin Fargas had the first and only 100 yard game of his Michigan career in a mud pit against Northwestern. Fargas was much better than Michigan's other backs because he was small* and could change direction without engaging pratfall warp drive. I thought of him as Vincent Smith changed direction relatively quickly and came up a yard short of the first 100 yard game of his career not played against baby seals.
I also was like "aaargh why aren't you a step faster" several times. Smith's had a good couple games but unless he's not really 100% after the knee injury it seems like it's cost him some of his giddyup.
*(He would get Brian Cushing roid huge at USC—at Michigan he was diminutive.)
A moment of pure terror. Was anyone else about to have a conniption fit after Avery let that WR zip by him with nothing but Ray Vinopal between that guy and the endzone? Rogers was pursuing to the backside so if Vinopal missed he just had to slow the guy or make him cut back, but watching a true freshman two star scurry down his angle as the last thing between Purdue and a 97-yard wide receiver screen touchdown is a whiskey-inducing experience.
Vinopal made a fine tackle and Purdue had the decency to fumble on the next play, so the moment passed successful. But jeez.
I-form: die. Die die die. Die die die die die.
Oddities. One: Gallon was clearly not making a fair catch signal and shouldn't have been flagged. Two: Purdue kicked off from the 35 once. WTF?
No Video of All Varieties yesterday because the pickings were understandably slim, but here's a bird talking about the game. Stay tuned for the twist ending:
I wish this would happen to certain WTKA callers. There is also a Wolverine Historian clipreel:
Purdue bloggers say their defensive back who scored "displayed shades of Deion Sanders" by having a ball thrown directly at him whilst being five yards from the nearest receiver. They do post video of girls fighting. The guy who guaranteed a win declares the game the "ugliest football game" he's ever attended, which yeah pretty much. The comments are weirdly negative. If mean, if anyone deserves a pass it's Purdue and their new mascot:
On to Michigan blogs: the Hoover Street Rag drops a Warren G. Harding reference that I misread as a "Warren G" reference when they tweeted it out. Alas, these guys are still bandos and history teachers (I'm guessing, anyway) and we don't get to find out what bandos/teachers would say in re: Warren G and Michigan football. The Harding bit:
Harding was widely reviled for his incompetence, his willingness to let his friends do as they pleased, the general sense of fail that emanated White House followed him until his death in 1923. Except, when historians look back, they see that things were not as bad as they once thought. Harding was blamed when things went wrong, but got little to no credit for the things that went right. People saw what they wanted to see and argued their points as they chose a new path to their future. Then again, Harding never got America bowl eligible, so we'll see.
Chances Sarah Palin adopts "get America bowl eligible" as a campaign slogan: 50-50. The Big House Blog has a very silly picture of a dog in a poncho and The Wolverine Blog grabs a shot of Lewan rumbling with the ball.
MGoBlog Ballot - Week 12
|3||TCU Horned Frogs||--|
|5||Boise St. Broncos||-1|
|9||Michigan St. Spartans||--|
|10||Ohio St. Buckeyes||--|
|11||Alabama Crimson Tide||--|
|12||Oklahoma St. Cowboys||--|
|16||South Carolina Gamecocks||5|
|17||Mississippi St. Bulldogs||2|
|19||Nevada Wolf Pack||4|
|20||Texas A&M Aggies||4|
|21||Virginia Tech Hokies||-1|
|22||N.C. State Wolfpack||3|
|Dropouts: Utah Utes|
SB Nation BlogPoll College Football Top 25 Rankings »
As always, comments are open for questions, suggestions, merciless insults, etc. Resume chart.
This weekly update is going to have a little bit of everything in it:
As always I will have a permanent list in the diary section as I confirm more recruits visiting. It looks like this might be a small group, though, with the playoffs still ongoing. Two big visitors are confirmed for officials though:
- LB/WR Kris Frost - Kris just got back from a visit to Auburn. I know that he enjoyed himself, which he usually does, but the Michigan visit comes after the Auburn visit and his parents will be with him. I still believe Michigan is in good position.
- TE Jack Tabb - Tabb has been trying to schedule his official visit for awhile now. His team was eliminated from the playoffs, so he will be in. The coaches really want a tight end in this class, and Tabb would be a good option.
6'0", 190 lbs.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Wayne has his official visit to Michigan set for December 3rd, and if you remember Michigan at one point was on the outside looking in. I asked him what made him decide to include Michigan as one of his five official visits.
I like the school, and the coaches are real cool. They did a good job of recruiting me, and I see how bad they need defensive backs. I'm still going to Nebraska and Stanford, too.
Lyons is going to announce his decision at the Army All American game. He had injured his knee earlier in the season, but has already recovered from that injury. In fact, Wayne played in his team's last game, and said he's good to go.
5'11", 180 lbs.
Malcolm was in for an official visit for the Illinois game, and came away impressed. His coach on the visit:
Malcolm enjoyed himself, and he was at a real good game. He sat with all his position coaches, and they were saying some good things. He's going to Cincinnati on November 20th, and doesn't have any other visits scheduled yet.
Malcolm doesn't have a date set for deciding his school. He is still committed to Cincinnati, and I wouldn't be surprised if he stuck with that commitment. We'll find out after he takes his visit to UC on the 20th.
6'4", 285 lbs.
I was on hand for Cyrus' first playoff game this past Friday. His team won 56-28, and if you follow me on Twitter you'll know that I am very high on one of his teammates. 2012 ATH DJ Foster (5'10", 180 lbs.) plays running back, slot receiver, and cornerback for Saguaro currently. Foster had 5 total touchdowns in this game, which was exactly what he did to this opponent during the regular season.
Foster hasn't heard much from Michigan, and his coach even asked me why Michigan hadn't been in contact. Both DJ and Coach Sanders from Saguaro thought it was strange that Michigan wasn't recruiting DJ harder, especially since he and Cyrus are best friends.
I took my first video interview with both of them, which didn't go as planned. Here's the interview with Cyrus below, which I had to cut myself out of because I couldn't hear him, and had to keep telling him to speak up.
- The Dr. Phillips group visit isn't happening until after the playoffs. It hasn't been rescheduled yet, since they don't know when they'll be done. Dr. Phillips went 11-0 last year but lost I believe in the quarterfinals, so they don't want any distractions. The uncommitted teammates want to get up to Michigan before they say yes or no.
- Maryland DB Blake Countess has scheduled his official visit for December 3rd, which is the same day as Wayne Lyons.
- DT Kevin McReynolds is not likely to pick Michigan. This could change, but as of right now it's not looking good.
- An emailer asks, "If you had to guess will Michigan get Sammy Watkins, Timmy Jernigan, Cyrus Hobbi, Avery Walls, Mickey Johnson, or Anthony Zettel?" I think we have a good shot with Watkins, Walls, and Zettel. I'm not convinced yet with Hobbi until he takes his official. I don't think we'll get Jernigan or Johnson. I will tell you that I'm nervous with regards to Avery Walls. I think Oregon has made a big push for him.
Second photo courtesy of MGoBlue.com
Someone (*cough* Penn State) once said that Michigan fans act as if our team is playing only itself, i.e we attribute all good things to great Michigan play, all bad things to bad Michigan play; Good luck = return to the mean; Bad luck = somebody on Mount Olympus with a bug up his ass.
Well, today is not that day.
Throughout Saturday, I kept envisioning 3rd-and-7 Denard side-arms or Tate scrambly moxie-ducks turning into the Pick-Six that finally put the Boilermakers ahead. At no point however, even with the worst Michigan defense of my lifetime on the field, did I think our 4-point lead was actually in danger from Purdue's offense, especially after Hope got the silly idea that he should try passing the ball.
I am hereby opening up the MGoWarehouse and donating all of our leftover, unused boxes of
patches to the good people in Black and Gold who managed to depart Ross-Ade Stadium after 3:30 p.m. yesterday without kicking a cat. Don't worry about stocks running low: there's about 90,000 left from the people who walked out of a one-score 2008 Michigan-Northwestern knowing the combination of a sleet monsoon and a mediocre Big Ten defense was too much for an offense made of broken down car parts, duct tape, and the guy in the front row eating fat free pretzels. It happens.
This was 2008 all over again, except it was happening to someone else. At least Danny Hope kind of deserves it.
As for our offense, I'll abide by ruling of the UFRs but my take on the game was that the containment of Rich Rod's Traveling Flag Football Stars and Spread Kings (for lack of a better barnstorming nickname) was about 10 percent Denard's increasingly worrisome accuracy issues (diary by papabear16), 45 percent whatever pissed off Poseidon, and 45 percent Ryan Kerrigan = Brandon Graham only maybe better at football.
Nuclear Disarmament Poll
My personal meme for Jonas Mouton has been to compare him to some sort of devastating yet unstable goblin weapon that is capable of causing unfair levels of damage to your opponent, but so long as he is on your side there is an almost equally likely chance that he will explode spectacularly on friendly targets. In video games and the like I have generally avoided such weapons, then become enraged when they're used against me to effectiveness.
After seeing Mark Moundros trying to fill Mouton's spot for one game – a game by the way that featured the statistically best defensive performance of the year – I'm ready to go back to Weapon X. The UFR will know for sure, but the supposedly stable Moundros didn't really differentiate himself that much from Obi Ezeh on live watch. I'm interested to know what you folks think. Poll time:
Public Service Announcements
Before moving on to the others, a couple of
abuses of power public service announcements:
Last year I was very proud to see the visible level of MGoInvolvement in this annual charity event. Basically we go to two Detroit homeless shelters on Saturday, Dec. 4, and throw a Christmas party for the kids while the parents shop for gifts among donated items. We need volunteers and gift donations, and specifically I am casting about for a functional photo printer and a place that makes bagels who would like to donate bagels for 200 people, maybe plus cream cheese but I won't press that. One thing you can do is buy a gift on Amazon (which gives Brian credit) and have it sent to one of the parties.
Kathy is still there, and is currently trying to get a good design locked down so new History students can walk around in cool t-shirts. Current plans are to have them available for alums/current students on a specific time and day because they really don't have the time to get into shipping and selling online. The ones they are currently considering are pathetic, but Kathy has given MGoBloggers a shot at coming up with better. Get something to Kathy by November 17 to have your design put in.
Recruiting Fans: I….I Didn't Know.
Saginaw native and Tennessee commit DeAnthony Arnett is taking his talents out of Michigan, but not before giving the closest followers of his recruitment the Randall Monroe treatment. The four-star receiver spent his commitment eve posting twitvids of him committing to all of the following:
- Central Michigan
- Slippery Rock
- The University of Michigan State
- University of Cal
The kicker: on the last video DeAnthony unveils what I'm pretty sure is, verbatim, the script for the entire production, which was taken directly from Internet message boards:
To everyone who filled threads on this site and elsewhere with responses to the effect of "Arnett's an attention whore," I think you're wrong: he's just clever and has an ironic sense of humor. In fact, just to spite you all, and because this is bar none the best mockery I've seen yet of the Internet's sordid obsession with college football recruiting (in which I'm a participant), I'm naming DeAnthony the Diarist of the Week.
What, like the MGoDiarists didn't have anything good this week?
Oh, they did…
If wasn't being a dick and giving the award to a future Tennessee wide receiver, it would have gone to maizedandconfused for his Must-Read analysis on tackling over UConn, ND, MSU, and Iowa:
A few notes from the individual analysis:
- Kovacs is by far our best tackler, with Mouton, Johnson and surprisingly Gordon #15 as the 2,3,4 respectively.
- Of the guys on this list, the biggest surprise was Martin, however I think it is important to remember that this tackling eff. calculation puts weight on total tackles made, and Martin gets doubled. A lot. (in review of my stats, Martin only missed 3 tackles total, with 2 by bad form)
- In the two games Demens played, he was an absolute tackling machine.
- Ezeh really cannot tackle.
Of course tackling doesn't do any good if the opponent has an eligible receiver on your 1-yard line and your nearest defender is in the Delta Quadrant.
I claim this great expanse in the name of Lincoln
Hey, remember when RB wheel routes were hand-wavingly open against us and stuff? Well dnak438 wasn't about to wait for Brian or other Brian or Not a Girl Named Brian to picture-page the thing and took the initiative…
Avery, meanwhile, has taken the outside receiver into the center of the field. T. Gordon doesn't stay with LeShoure, presumably because he sees Pollard in the flat. The result is that LeShoure is wide open.
It's a two-for-one PP, as both the original and the just-as-awful sequel make it in:
Same mistake as Wheel of Doom #1: Avery (red arrow) is following the inside receiver who is running a post, leaving vast amounts of green behind him. Mouton is on the 13 yard line, stopping the in route of the outside receiver.
For the record, the lady with the shrill voice in my section who finds things "UNACCEPTABLE" found both of these plays "UNACCEPTABLE." Shrill Lady is angry, Mr. Robinson; what are you going to do about it?
And because we can't get enough of Picture Pages around here, Chris of Dangerous Danger Logic that is Dangerful (We're from Danger!) has obliged us with two more Moving Picture Pages this week, one on the Snag Package, and another on Michigan's adjustment to Illinois blitzing behind the optioned DE.
While we're on tactics, Blue_n_Aww takes a look at whether Michigan should have gone for two points after scoring in the 2nd overtime:
I did a bit of research and found a study that showed that the team that starts on defense wins about 52.25% of the time in the third overtime and later. You can find the study here. And, looking at M’s kicking statistics I’ve found that the team is 46/47 on extra point attempts, 98%. I used that for our success rate in this spot. So when we kick the extra point we’ll win .4775*.98= .468. So if we can convert the 2pt conversion 47% of the time, we should go for 2.
papabear16, as linked above, discussed Denard's mechanical issues and how fixing those might make him a Heisman candidate again next year.
We also get a collection of scrape and contain plays for discussion from tasnyder01, who, diary-wise, is still pretty raw, but he's starting to use the WYSIWYG. Campbellian patience is urged.
Wow did things get stat-y this week. In chart form:
|Statistical Analysis of Defense During B10 Games - *Updated Through Purdue*||matt D||Compares the D performance in each game by metrics like Stop%, Pts/Drive, etc.|
|Progress, Quantified||Coach Schiano||A real comparison btw '09 and '10 performance|
|Communist Football||Weekly update (as of Purdue) of records broken this year|
|Illinois Recap: I was there when…||The Mathlete||PAN recap after Illinois game|
|What would Michigan look like with a better defense?||The Mathlete||The O can't get much better but if D is avg. how good are we?||
|Bradley-Terry Statistical Rating (KRACH) for FBS Football||quakk||Bradley-Terry method applied to BCS standings|
Grid of Expectation
|Over/Under: Michigan at Purdue||jamiemac||Vegas lines||M, 41-31|
|Purdue Preview||The Mathlete||Brings the PAN||M, 35-30|
|Week #10 National Rankings and Predictions for Purdue||Enjoy Life||Sagarin, Fremeau||M – 4.8 pts.|
|Post Week 10: Yardage Analysis and Predictions + Score Predictor||tpilews||YPP, PPD, etc.||M, 48-24|
|Preview: Purdue 2010||Brian||M, 35-24|
|Weather Charts on the NET||NOAA||Highs, Lows||Yarrr!|
This epic diary from Billy Shears was front-paged because the guy who owns this blog is the kind of person who will constantly foist The Smiths on his friends because he has seen Morrissey's hidden genius and believes the rest of us will be able to listen to that crap and pick out the ideas that sparked alt rock and post punk while ignoring the bleeding of ears. Also: it really captures the feel of this season (right down to the part where you're squinting and trying imagine how these concepts will coalesce into a National Championship season eventually).
Those who have been enjoying monuMental's weekly Windows backgrounds will delight to see how one of these artistic masterpieces comes together:
bklein09 makes the case for Denard to win the Heisman this year, and a statistical glance like this does make a hell of a case. But the picks, man. The picks.
A new commit for the Wolverines means this hits the front page. Action since last rankings:
11-12-10 Michigan gains commitment from Dallas Crawford. Purdue gains commitment from Akeem Hunt.
11-14-10 Penn State gains commitment from Anthony Alosi. 70espn NR rivals NRscout.
Rivals and Scout have updated their rankings over the past couple weeks, so there are some shakeups in there.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||ESPN Avg|
Rivals rankings are on the "RR" scale, which is on a scale from about 5 to about 6.1. Unrated prospects are given a 5.1 rating, on par with the worst of any Big Ten commit last year. Scout is on the 5-star system (unranked players earn star), and ESPN uses grades out of 100 (unranked is 40 or 45).
|#1 Ohio State - 18 Commits|
Braxton Miller moves up to 6.0, Jeremy Cash falls from 5.8 to 5.7 on Rivals.
|#2 Notre Dame - 17 Commits|
|George Atkinson III||S||CA||5.8||4||79|
No change for ND.
|#3 Nebraska - 16 Commits|
Rivals bumps Aaron Green down to 5.9, but David Santos goes from 5.6 to 5.8.
|#4 Michigan State - 16 Commits|
Darien Harris upgraded to a 5.7 on Rivals.
|#5 Michigan - 13 Commits|
Lots of movers and shakers among the future Wolverines, on top of picking up a commit from CB Dallas Crawford. Demetrius Hart was described as "the best RB I've seen this year" by Barry Every... then Every's Rivals scouts proceeded to rank him the #5 RB in the country. He's up to the top 4-star, however. Everybody else is a faller, as Chris Rock goes from 5.7 to 5.6, Greg Brown and Tony Posada go from 5.7 to 5.5. Rivals still has Jack Miller at 5.5, about which LOL.
|#6 Indiana - 22 Commits|
|#7 Wisconsin - 18 Commits|
AJ Jordan loses his fourth star in Scout's re-rank, but Jake Keefer picks one up. Jordan also drops from 80 to 79 on ESPN. On Rivals, Makinton Dorleant goes from 5.5 to 5.6, and Bennett Okotcha goes from unrated to 5.6.
|#8 Iowa - 16 Commits|
Ray Hamilton is stripped of his fourth star in Scout's re-rank, but he picks one up from Rivals. Go figure. Orloff gets a HUGE bump on ESPN from 69 to 70.
|#9 Northwestern - 13 Commits|
Green goes from unrated to 5.3 on Rivals.
|#10 Minnesota - 15 Commits|
Mike Moore is up to 5.6 (from 5.5) on Rivals. Cameron Brown and Samuel Oyenuga go from unranked to 5.5 on that service.
|#11 Illinois - 17 Commits|
Thornton and Rhodes pick up 5.4 ratings from Rivals.
|#12 Penn State - 4 Commits|
Finally a new commit, but still with the embarrassingly empty class.
|#13 Purdue - 8 Commits|
Purdue picks up Akeem Hunt, and none of their other rankings are changed.
Okay, probably undeserving of muppets. But this probably popped into existence five seconds after the tenth turnover of the game and must be deployed:
Hurray for monsoons!