is there such a thing as an etsy genuis? if so, this is it.
Michigan ran near-identical zone stretches on back-to-back plays at the end of the first quarter yesterday. One worked. One did not. Why? Let's see if we can find out.
This is the first one. We're in the formation I've complained about all year:
Note that the second receiver from the bottom is covered up by the outside guy. If he goes downfield it's a penalty. Michigan has not passed from this formation all year, nor has it had much in the way of a successful running attack.
Michigan goes with a zone stretch, as is their wont. The resolution on these images is low, unfortunately, so it's a little hard to make out what's going on; I've added an amateurish pointy arrow to help things out. The guy being pointed at is the backside defensive tackle, who's currently being shoved by Moosman.
You can see Schilling ignoring the backside defensive end; the plan is for Ortmann and Moosman to execute a scoop block, where Moosman will briefly engage the DT long enough for Schilling to get over to seal him. Moosman will then head downfield to block a linebacker.
Here we have the scoop block having reached completion with Moosman heading out to plow a linebacker. Note that he's got a great angle on the LB and if Minor can squeeze through the DTs he's likely to hit the secondary.
However, the scoop did not work here, as Schilling has not got his helmet across his guy and is escorting him down the line. If Minor tries to split the DTs he's likely to get swallowed whole. The outside is not an option, as Ortmann's guy has beaten him.
Minor cuts up, escaping the playside DE's tackle. He's cutting behind the block of Schilling. Note that Moosman is cutting the LB to the ground; Michigan's cut blocking improved in this game substantially (or Purdue's ability to avoid it is just worse than we've seen so far).
The backside DE, crashing down after holding contain on Threet, meets Minor at the LOS and tackles after a minimal gain.
On this play we see how Steven Threet's failure to be Pat White hurts the running game even when someone else has the ball; if the Purdue defensive end had to set up wider and maybe linger longer because Michigan's quarterback wore rollerskates and had a jet engine strapped to his back, Minor's cutback may have met the backside DE three yards further downfield or not at all, and with Moosman cutting that LB the only thing between Minor and the secondary is that pesky unblocked guy.
Even so, the failure to be Pat White only affects the play when Minor has to cut back behind all five offensive linemen and expose himself to to DE. And even the threat of Dual Threet is enough to turn this essentially busted play into a two-yard gain.
Michigan quarterback Steven Threet is "very, very questionable" for Saturday's game at Minnesota, according to coach Rich Rodriguez.
Threet suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter at Purdue, but the effects weren't clear until after the game. Rodriguez said before today's practice that the headaches usually associated with similar concussions go away after a day or two, but Threet's have remained. He has not practiced all week.
Things projected to be more fun than the Minnesota game:
- last night's John McCain victory rally
- being mauled by a lion
- eating six whole tilapia raw
- Henry Kissinger
Programming note: due to election-related whatever, UFR will be delayed. Not that you were particularly looking forward to it anyway. Thursday-Friday is most likely.
With all due respect to Lie Bot, he is not quite right. This is the saddest thing:
This is "a schlubby sportswriter travelling about the country taking pictures of himself with chicks he has no chance with, and/or talking constantly about hot chicks he has no chance with." See also: Gregg Easterbrook, Stewart Mandel, Pat Forde. Forde's creepy "Dashette" obsession was exploded by BHGP; the others are just sad.
My God, people: if you write for a job keep the pictures of you with hot babes out of it. You are emphasizing the fact that you spend your days inside eating donuts and losing your hair and only serve to make yourself look pathetic by comparison. EXCEPTION:
If you are that guy and you are (or were, as it were) married to that, by all means. Play on, playa. If you are not schtupping the person in the picture with you, do not post it on the internet. It is the saddest thing.
Number one ankle injury check. Minnesota wide receiver Eric Decker is dinged up but will play against Michigan:
Gophers coach Tim Brewster said Tuesday Decker will be limited in practice this week by a sprained left ankle suffered in last week's loss to Northwestern, but he fully expects the Big Ten's leading receiver to be in uniform Saturday against Michigan.
"Eric Decker is as tough, as hard-nosed, as committed an athlete as there is in college football today. Period," Brewster said. "He takes tremendous pride in playing and he'll be ready to go."
At least they're not moving a third-string offensive lineman over to replace him. That hypothetical guy would be guaranteed 200 yards.
Meanwhile, Steven Threet, Sam McGuffie, and Michael Williams are all expected back for the Minnesota game. Threet apparently sustained a mild concussion, FWIW, but did not come out.
File under things that seem like good ideas but will never happen. The NCAA wants to track academic performance on a head coach basis:
The Division I Board of Directors, made up of university presidents and chancellors, asked an academic committee Thursday to draw up a formula for the first-of-their-kind individual APRs, which would become part of a coach's career record. They'd be available for recruits, their parents and prospective employers to evaluate along with wins and other competitive and personal criteria.
Problematic. I'm not sure how much this is going to differ from a school's APR, since most coaches only get one or two shots at head coaching jobs, and I'm definitely sure that graduating players is more a function of the school than the coach. You could install Barry Switzer at Stanford and those guys are still going to graduate.
Meanwhile, the NCAA also wishes to stiffen penalties for rules violators:
"The committee feels that, over the years, the penalties really have gotten out of synch with the magnitude of violations," Potuto said Wednesday.
"Increasingly, there were people on campus saying, 'There's no teeth here. Did they lose any scholarships? Were they taken out of the postseason? Were wins vacated? And if not, it couldn't have been a big case.' … Only certain penalties really signal seriousness to anybody."
Proposed remedies include the return of TV bans, stiffer scholarship cuts and fines, and more postseason bans when academic fraud is involved. TV bans seem like a bad idea. How would you like it if Michigan had a game blacked out because the opponent got caught doing naughty things?
The NCAA should, IMO, extend scholarship penalties significantly. Don't ding one scholarship for two years. Take three for ten. Force schools to work short-handed for long periods of time, and stick to the periods dictated. Honestly, when Michigan got hit with scholarship penalties for the Ed Martin thing they scammed their way out of it by saying they'd take three of them the first year when those spots weren't going to be filled anyway. Michigan should probably be a year or two away from getting their 13th spot back.
This, at least, seems good:
Schools have learned to come clean and cooperate in investigations, most anticipating it will help their case and ultimately minimize sanctions. Notably, Potuto's committee also is asking the NCAA board to eliminate that tack as a damage-control strategy.
A proposed rules change would stipulate: "Full and complete cooperation in investigations and in disclosure of violations is an obligation of membership and does not mitigate sanctions imposed on either institutions or their staff members." Failure to cooperate would represent an "independent violation."
Of course, the first article is actually chronologically second and mentions the Division I board:
Held off immediate action on a proposed toughening of penalties for major rules violations.
Even if you stiffen penalties, the major problem facing the NCAA is a lack of investigative power.
Here's the thing I don't get: why aren't there rich Auburn and Tennessee and UCLA fans and Michigan fans out there sponsoring private investigations into Hated Rival? Let's say you're Steven Ross. You have more money than God and an affection for Michigan football. Why not dump a couple million into an investigation of Ohio State? Why not offer some sort of prize for anyone willing to come forward with information that leads to a major infractions case? Surely there must be some turkey magnate in the South who hates some other school with the white-hot fury of a thousand suns; why hasn't he tried to drop the hammer?
I mean, it's not like the NCAA has any subpoena power or anything a private citizen lacks. The best way to step up NCAA enforcement of Hated Rival is to sponsor investigation of Hated Rival. And yet… no one has stepped forth.
Etc.: BSD fisks a dumb Weztel article.
|2||Texas Tech (21)||23.8||1.0||4|
|3||Penn State (10)||23.4||1.0||--|
Total Ballots: 75
Hey, we're better than the poll actually used in the stupid BCS standings: Texas remains in front of Oklahoma, a team they beat by ten a few weeks ago. Although we do have odd first place votes for Oklahoma and Florida.
The rest of the poll is relatively placid, with Georgia's throttling at the hands of Florida shoving a wide array of teams up a spot.
Extracurriculars and what-not can be found at CBS Sports. Depressingly, I won Mr. Bold for hating on the mid-majors and must now commit ritual suicide. (Kidding, mom! If I was going to commit ritual suicide it definitely would have happened already!)
I have been a bad blogger and offer this without any attempt at explanation or correction; a thousand apologies.
Update 11/4: Linked to articles on FL S Vlad Emilien, MD RB Tavon Austin, MI WR Cameron Gordon, IL OL commit Michael Schofield, NC OL Travis Bond, MD LB Jelani Jenkins, mention of LA DT Dequinta Jones, article mentioning SC DE Chris Bonds and SC S Devontae Holloman, another item on Holloman, items on both QB commits.
Removed TX K Anthony Fera, who I forgot to drop after his decommit last week; added FL K Brendan Gibbons. Removed MA OL Brennan Williams (dropped us), OK CB Gabe Lynn (dropped us).
Editorial Opinion: Recruiting board lives here.
Quarterbacks are coming, and they are spread quarterbacks. ESPN's just run down superlatives for the 2009 QB class and just under LSU commit Russell Shepard in the "dual threat" category are a couple of familiar names:
2. Tate Forcier (San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch)
This scrapper lacks great height, but he is fun to watch. He has a quick release and an uncanny ability to create and improvise both on designed runs and when things break down in the passing game. Forcier is a perfect fit for Rich Rodriguez's scheme at Michigan.
3. Shavodrick Beaver (Wichita Falls, Texas/Rider)
Beaver will be joining Forcier in Ann Arbor, and the two freshmen could be battling with Justin Feagin from the 2008 class for the keys to the Michigan offense. Beaver is tall, possesses upside as a passer and is a gifted runner. He's not as a fast as West Virginia standout Pat White, but Beaver has better size.
Not so much on the "battling with Justin Feagin," since Feagin is now a receiver or a defensive back or something, but hey, at least that's nice. Forcier is a holy lock to get a YMRMFSPA comparison to Drew Tate, by the way.
One slightly negative development: Forcier may or may not manage to enroll early. Nothing's certain and he's definitely trying; we'll see.
In other commitment news, there's some fluffy bits on IL OL Michael Schofield from his hometown newspaper:
"Mike's just so unassuming," coach Dave Wierzal said of his two-way lineman. "All he does is line up for the play and go very, very hard up to the whistle - but without the unnecessary stuff you see in other athletes. For a kid as talented as Mike is, that's pretty rare to see. He's a no-nonsense type of kid."
"I think it was against Andrew when there was this play where Mike was playing defensive tackle," said Wierzal, who ranks Schofield among the very best who have played at history-rich Sandburg. "The play was going away from him and the Andrew kid is headed toward the end zone. You see Mike fight off his block and make a sprint burst and he catches the kid. When you see where he was when the play started and where he's at when the play ended, it's just amazing the ground he covered."
Michigan was never a strong possibility for either SC DE Chris Bonds or SC S Devontae Holloman (at least not after Holloman's Clemson commitment), and you can pretty much write both off. Michigan is in the running to get Holloman's final official visit:
"I'm still going to take more visits," he said. "I'm going to visit North Carolina, and I want to take a fifth visit but I'm not sure where." Michigan and Clemson are possibilities for the fifth visit.
That seems like an invitation to finish fifth in his renewed recruitment.
Bonds, meanwhile, planned on visiting at one time but that time seems to have passed:
Bonds visited Tennessee for the Alabama game. He also has visited Alabama and Notre Dame officially, and he's still considering setting an official visit with Southern Cal. South Carolina remains a factor and he plans to make another unofficial visit with the Gamecocks this weekend for the Tennessee game.
Eh, this is not so good.
Meanwhile, MD RB Tavon Austin was supposed to visit earlier in the year and did not, which seemingly closed the book on his Michigan recruitment. The impression I got was that Austin and M had parted ways, but he's still sort of listing them:
“I’m taking an official to UNC on November 7, and I think I might make my decision after that. I’m looking at West Virginia, North Carolina and Michigan right now, but I might not make it to Michigan. I’d say West Virginia is leading by a little bit.”
If Austin ends up taking a trip Michigan might have a shot; he's probably ticketed elsewhere.
The Potentially Incoming.
Tom VanHaaren interviewed FL S Vlad Emilien last week and the news was encouraging:
TOM:Do you have a top 3?
VLAD:If I had to name a leader today it’s Wisconsin and Michigan.
Stanford and Ohio State are still in the running too. Further scuttlebutt is encouraging; the general impression is that Michigan was more impressive than Wisconsin and they are the unstated leader. Emilien is visiting Stanford next weekend and had planned to take in the M-OSU game but will not be making that trip; he decides the day after.
BTW: Emilien's teammate, FL CB Josh Robinson, has a final four of Michigan, USF, UCF, and FIU. So, like, if he decides to leave the state I think we're in good shape. However, when you have an offer from Michigan and list three Florida teams, one of which is in a BCS conference, you are very unlikely to leave the state.
NC OL Travis Bond visited for the Michigan State game and though Michigan is in his top two or three, this doesn't sound promising:
Another thing that made an impression on Bond was the weather in Ann Arbor. "It was cold," he said. "Very cold. But they said that it's not even winter yet. Some guys were in t-shirts and stuff while I was wearing a coat. They thought that was funny, but I'm sure I'd get used to it."
I don't think I even wore a coat to the State game. That guy must be from Ecuador or something. An emailer from the area says the local opinion is that Bond will go to UNC, as will NC LB Hawatha Bell, though Bell is reputed to have grade issues.
One other item: FL WR Willie Haulstead also visited for the M game and though he came out of that visit publicly asserting that FSU still "lead"—he is technically an FSU commitment—some private scuttlebutt indicates Michigan might have a good shot here. I'm still a little skeptical since a publicly announced leader that isn't you immediately after an official visit almost never results in a later commitment to you. FWIW.
The Potentially Wavering.
Michigan's suffered a number of decommitments thus far and there are a couple of guys who are not entirely solid. One is TX WR Dewayne Peace, who's been discussed before. The other is LA DT DeQuinta Jones(annoying reg):
DeQuinta Jones, Scout.com three-star defensive tackle from Bastrop High School in La., is committed to Michigan, but plans to visit Alabama.
Worth keeping an eye on developments with him.
The Big Time Guys.
Mike Farrell ran down the status of the remaining uncommitted five-stars. Names of interest:
WR Rueben Randle, Bastrop (La.) High: Many thought Randle was a lock for LSU, but the Tigers' recent struggles and some heavy recruiting by a few other schools has turned a lock into a big question mark. Alabama has turned into a big-time contender for his services, and Miami and Michigan are also in the mix here. Randle's teammate, DeQuinta Jones, is headed to Ann Arbor and Michigan assistant Jay Hopson has done a great job recruiting the Southeast. Still, you can't count out LSU for an in-state stud.
Unfortunately, it appears that Randle is looking elsewhere:
Randle is starting to narrow things down, and he says he is keying on five schools.
"LSU, Alabama, USC, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State," Randle said.
The only official visit that Randle has scheduled is to Oklahoma State on Nov. 29, when the Cowboys host Oklahoma.
This one was always a longshot, but he was planning an official visit. I'll leave him on the board a bit longer in case he changes his mind.
On to more promising prospects:
LB Jelani Jenkins, Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel: Jenkins is a tough read, having narrowed his list to 15 schools only recently. Some schools have to be considered long-shots, such as Boston College, Clemson, Illinois, Maryland and Oregon. While Penn State long has been considered the front-runner, keep an eye on Florida. Still, until Jenkins sets his official visits, everything is speculation.
Elsewhere, ESPN says Jenkins is prepared to cut three teams this week. Michigan should be getting an official.
And your weekly Will Campbell reassurance:
DT William Campbell, Detroit Cass Tech: LSU and Miami are getting official visits, but USC seemingly has this one right. The Trojans aren't pushing hard for Campbell despite his talent because they seem to be hearing what I am hearing: Campbell will end up at Michigan in the end.
Campbell was scheduled to visit LSU this weekend but had to cancel because his team has a game. Miami is still on the docket in a couple weeks. On WTKA, Sam Webb made it sound like the LSU visit might not get rescheduled.
Oh, and one more bit on Campbell: he intends to enroll early.
The Distant, Robot-Populated Future.
2010 recruiting continues apace. As seen earlier today, Tom VanHaaren interviewed FL WR commit Ricardo Miller. He remains a solid commitment and has some good news on other Floridians:
TOM: What recruits have you really be working hard on?
RICARDO: I’ve been working on Lo Wood, a cornerback from Apopka. Marvin Robinson, Michigan is still on top for him, but hasn’t made a decision. A future 5 star, Demetrius Hart, he plays running back and corner back. Whoever I can get in contact with that will go to Michigan. Demetrius Hart is excited about Michigan, and Lo Wood after being up there he thinks that Michigan is something special.
By the way, Sam Webb's recruiting roundup mentioned this a few days ago: the reason Robinson didn't make the commitment he was expected to was because of pressure from his high school coach, who is 1) sort of a nutball and 2) an Ohio State nutball. He's been posting stuff about Ohio State's chances with Robinson that defy all other prognostications on Ohio State message boards; he writes like you would expect a 50-something nutball Ohio State football fan to write: poorly, arrogantly, and with lots of exclamation points. Webb thought Robinson might transfer; that seems like the path this is going down: Robinson plays out the season at Lake Region, commits to Michigan, and transfers to somewhere minus nutball.
Meanwhile while, Michigan is recruiting Pahokee's big 2010 star DeJoshua Johnson, also a wide receiver:
No offer from Michigan yet, but it looks like Michigan is certainly putting the pressure on Pahokee in hopes of snagging more prospects in the future.
Jay talked to Coach Rod Smith on the phone earlier this past week.
The early buzz on Johnson is Florida, but this far out that's fuzzy.
There's also video out on FL CB Lo Wood.
Etc.: MI WR/LB Cameron Gordon is still waiting on an M offer; Next Generation Sports scouts the Cass Tech-Southeastern game, which Southeastern won handily; Josh Helmholdt has names at kicker—there is the exciting prospect of having guys named Zoltan and Igor as specialists next year.