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]
just the usual 270-pound freshman RB taking a direct snap and running a read-option with the backup QB wait what
Today's film post is brought to you by Theraflu. In related news, tomorrow's will be brought to you by Seth. (Thank you, Seth.)
I ended up watching last week's Indiana/PSU game for this post, which was a hell of a game to pick while taking heavy-duty cold medication. The Hoosiers had 454 yards on 5.5 YPP against a good PSU defense; they also fumbled five times—four on offense, one on a punt that hit a blocker—and lost all five. They broke out their Wildcat package with Tyler Natee and Zander Diamont but didn't deploy it in a way that made any damn sense. Richard Lagow didn't throw any picks but still alternated brilliant throws with wildly inaccurate ones.
And to think, for a moment there we thought we'd lost CHAOSTEAM.
Personnel. Seth's diagram [click to embiggen]:
That's a lot of sore spots, especially for an offense that isn't outright bad. QB Richard Lagow is marked as such because he's either great or terrible, which is not ideal at that position. Cronk, Rogers, and Friend all grade out as bad run blockers to PFF, and Cronk adds terrible pass protection as well; this checked out on film.
The personnel wrinkle to watch is the one highlighted at the top of the page. Indiana will break out a Wildcat of sorts with 270-pound freshman RB Tyler Natee and mobile backup QB Zander Diamont in the backfield; in a twist, Natee, who played QB in high school, takes the direct snap more often than Diamont.
Spread, Pro-Style, or Hybrid? This is a Kevin Wilson production, so I probably don't have to tell you it's a spread.
Basketball on Grass or MANBALL? Lots of outside zone, with some inside zone and pin-and-pulls as changeups; I recount one power that didn't go anywhere.
Hurry it up or grind it out? IU's no-huddle isn't quite at ludicrous speed this year. They're still quite fast and capable of tempoing a defense into mistakes. They rank 23rd in adjusted pace.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]
[ed-Seth: Thanks again to Matt Gase, Michigan grad and CEO of Eat Well Embrace Life, for being a most excellent sponsor of Joe Pichey’s most excellent recipes.
I don’t know if you’re allowed to do this, but I had the three-Peppers (no relation) hummus today with a burrito. It’s… it’s glorious. Don’t judge me.]
One of my favorite things to munch on around the holidays has always been smoked nuts. I don’t care if they are almonds, cashews or peanuts, they all taste better with a little smoke flavoring and some spicy rub. My biggest complaint, besides how much beer they make me drink, is the cost. A small tin of smoked nuts runs me $5.00 at my local grocery store and they’re gone by the time I get home. Last holiday season, I decided to fix this issue and make my own smoked spicy nuts. Not only did I save a ton of money, but it made fantastic Christmas gifts for friends and coworkers.
While I was giving these away to coworkers, I received a tin of smoked sea salt in return. LIGHT BULB!!!!! The price tag was still on the bottom and read $14.99 for 1/2 cup of this tasty salt. Are you kidding me? I couldn’t wait to get home and fire up the egg and load it up with course ground sea salt. Both of these are super easy and packed with flavor. These are a great snack along side your favorite hummus. I can’t get enough of the spicy Yellow Lentil hummus or the 3 Pepper Extra Spicy. These are a perfect pair on the appetizer table at the next tailgate, or couch-gate for some of us this week.
INGREDIENTS: Will make 1 pound of nuts
- 1 LB of your favorite nuts. (Almond and Cashews work great)
- 2 TBS of Olive Oil.
- 1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ Rub
Smoked Sea Salt:
- Course Ground Sea Salt
[Hit the JUMP for the recipe]
SPONSOR NOTES: You're in big trouble, Sauce Castillo. Not Nik Stauskas. User Sauce Castillo, who we are blaming for this. We also blame Sauce Castillo for a pending FEDERAL INTEREST RATE HIKE that means you should get a mortgage now.
In addition to being a gentleman replete with Michigan tickets, Matt is also a good man to know if you need a mortgage. It's striking that we actually get non-astroturfed comments about positive experiences with Matt not infrequently.
If you're buying a home or refinancing, he's the right guy to call.
FORMATION NOTES: Hey, it's Iowa.
4-3 over with two high safeties on just about every play. Iowa will insert safeties into the box post-snap like Michigan's done with some frequency this year; they are a cover-two-heavy 4-3 defense like they have always been and will always be.
SUBSTITUTION NOTES: The usual at QB and OL. Darboh got almost every snap (55 of 61), with Butt not far behind at 48. Chesson was at 37. Smith got two-thirds of the RB snaps with Chris Evans getting the bulk of the remainder; Higdon(5 snaps) and Isaac(1) saw reduced usage. Hill had an edge in FB snaps with 19 to Poggi's 12.
Rounding out the offense were scattered snaps for Perry, McDoom, Crawford, Wheatley, Asiasi, Drake Harris, and Juwann Bushell-Beatty.
[After THE JUMP: plane, meet mountain]
Friday, November 11, 2016
#18 Michigan 4, #4 Boston University 0
UM 1 BU 0 PPG 10:04 Assists: Piazza & Slaker
Slaker wins the draw cleanly back to Piazza. He surveys options in front of him and sees that nothing’s developed yet, so he starts to move laterally with the puck; you can see that Lockwood’s already on the same page and moving to his left.
Slaker cuts to the middle of the ice to give Piazza a passing option to the right, while Lockwood loops behind Piazza and presents an option to the left. You can see in this screen cap that there’s only one defender involved in the play, and since Slaker gets in front of him he now isn’t sure whether he should stay in place, carry Slaker, or start to his right to pick up Lockwood.
The defender decides to shove Slaker and then stay in place, which meansh he has to dig in and sprint once he sees Piazza pass to Lockwood.
Lockwood has all the time he needs to make a decision and a move, and he decides that he wants to wrong-foot a shot from the top of the circle and hope that the traffic in the shooting lane screens the goaltender.
The puck grazes the side of the BU defender at the bottom of the faceoff circle and slightly changes direction, and BU’s Jake Oettinger has almost no chance at stopping the shot.
[After THE JUMP: moooooore goals (also, more goals for the other guys)]
Sorry we missed last week. Several of you blamed the lack of an Opponent Watch for the outcome of the Iowa game. Others blamed my Punt/Counterpunt prediction. The consensus was that it was my fault. And I agree. Forgive me. We return to our regularly scheduled snark. For the good of the program.
About Last Week:
We lost to this guy.
The Road Ahead:
Indiana (5-5, 3-4 B1G)
Last week: Won at Rutgers 33-27; Lost to Penn State, 45-31
Recap: Some may have worried that the chaos was gone.
Fear not. In the last two weeks, Indiana trailed Rutgers by 11 points midway through the 3rd quarter (in a game they won) and led Penn State by 10 points late in the 3rd quarter (in a game they lost).
The Rutgers game was particularly chaos-y. Indiana outgained Rutgers 567 to 351, but turned the ball over four times, including a 75-yard Rutgers fumble return for a touchdown. Richard Lagow threw for 394 yards on 40 attempts with three touchdowns and two picks.
Indiana also managed to outgain Penn State, both in total yards and on a per-play basis. The game looked like a new-fangled “Defensive CHAOSTEAM” game that Indiana has tried to make a thing (it’s not going to be a thing), and the score was 17-14 Indiana with under 19 minutes left in the game. Those last 19 minutes saw a combined 45 points scored, including 31 by Penn State. In a seven minute span, the teams traded touchdown drives of 74, 70, 74, and 75 yards.
This team is as frightening as: A team that abandonded Gritty Reboot Indiana and returned to a more true-to-the-source-material Chaos Man. Fear Level = Who the hell knows and that’s somehow comforting.
Michigan should worry about: Indiana is #2 in the conference in yards per pass.
Michigan can sleep soundly about: Indiana has thrown 13 interceptions, worst of any Big Ten team that doesn’t play its home games in West Lafayette.
When they play Michigan: Your guess is as good as mine.
This week: at Michigan, 3:30 p.m., ESPN (Michigan -24)
[Hit THE JUMP for those guys]