"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
|WHAT||Ohio State at Michigan|
Ann Arbor, MI
|WHEN||Noon PM Eastern
November 28st, 2015
|THE LINE||Ohio State -1|
|WEATHER||mostly cloudy, around 40, 0% chance of rain|
They came for our families. They came for our principles. They saw our hapless generals and ordered a scorched-earth campaign. I ate tires for six months, and then I pined for the good old days when I had tires to eat. Then I pined for the good old days when I could remember the thing that was supposed to be bad that I ate.
I'm tired of it, and you're tired of it, and Jim Harbaugh just crested the ridge with the Rohirrim. Let's get it.
Run Offense vs Ohio State
Joey Bosa has made an effort to look like every Ohio State fan averaged together
It was bizarre to watch the much-maligned Michigan State offensive line get a grip on their opposition last week and drive the Buckeyes backwards. By the second half of that game OSU was getting blown off the ball on the regular.
In some ways that is reminiscent of Michigan's performance against Indiana—with the OSU offense unable to stay on the field and MSU sustaining 10+ play drives, the talented but thin Buckeye line ran out of gas. Can Michigan replicate that performance?I don't know. This is an improvement from my previous impressions.
OSU's rush defense has been bipolar this season. Minnesota and Illinois collected a total of 55 yards between them, but Big Ten games other than those two haven't gone nearly as well:
- Indiana (mostly) minus Jordan Howard: 55 carries, 176 yards, 3.2 YPC
- Maryland: 42 carries, 253 yards, 6 YPC
- PSU: 40 carries, 195 yards, 4.9 YPC
- Rutgers: 29 carries, 104 yards, 3.6 YPC
- MSU: 51 carries, 203 yards, 4 YPC
Michigan's mediocre rush offense (51st in S&P) doesn't project to blow up, especially since the main back, De'Veon Smith, is the opposite of a burner. Michigan also does not run the quarterback on purpose much, and both Indiana and Maryland's production was heavily dependent on QBs running a long way. MSU also featured a heavy dose of QB run. That's not an option for M.
OSU runs out one of those MSU-ish 4-3 over, quarters defenses with a LB/S hybrid over the slot. With Penn State running more or less the same defense, all three of Michigan's main division competitors are in the same boat. Michigan has not been able to run against this style of defense all year, but there were differences between PSU and MSU, specifically at safety. PSU is much more conservative with their safeties and gives their LBs pass responsibilities; MSU is in your face and lets their LBs go. OSU is much closer to Penn State.
You can do that when you have talent coming out your ears. Joey Bosa, of course, leads the way:
Nor is Bosa just a pass rusher — he’s equally destructive in run defense, and that’s reflected in his +58.2 overall grade, which leads all edge rushers. … Bosa’s season has been so impressive that we felt he should be seen as a Heisman contender, even though we know that the Heisman is rarely awarded to a defensive player.
Adolphus Washington is a high quality DT in the vein of Maurice Hurst—not huge but in your backfield a lot. The other two DL are fine but don't jump off the page; the linebacker corps is very good. Seth has more details in FFFF.
Expect Michigan to try out those wide receiver screens when OSU aligns so they might work; OSU may be able to shut those down anyway if Darron Lee and Vonn Bell are on point. On the interior they may be able to crease the weaker half of the OSU line and maybe Washington if he gets tired, but consistent production is difficult to see.
When it comes to the actual ground game, I don't know. I can see the left side of Michigan's line winning enough battles to put a tailback in a productive position, but barely, and Michigan's tailbacks have not done well with "barely" this year. Ohio State will try to win with their 7 up front before trying anything special, which should give Michigan some opportunities if they can just match OSU's ability.
The X factor is Jabrill Peppers, who's started lining up as a tailback the last couple weeks. Peppers has shown flashes of the kind of ability he demonstrated in high school…
…and may be able to break a couple things that swing this matchup to a draw. Tough sledding awaits either way.
KEY MATCHUP: JABRILL PEPPERS versus THE SPOOOOKY GHOST OF TOM HARMON.
[Hit THE JUMP for Butt vs Bell, rushing offense, 404 passing O not found, and WHAT ARE THOOOOSE kickers]
Behold the only preview of The Game you'll need until Brian posts his actual preview in an hour or so.
If you aren't familiar with Next Media Animation, yes, it's supposed to be that ridiculous.
We are forever indebted for this:
Either way ... GO BLUE!!
Moe Wagner may be the #2 center. [File photo: Marc-Gregor Campredon]
Moe Wagner scored 19 points on 8/9 shooting. The German freshman hit all manner of up-and-under layups, fought through contact for and-ones, and even knocked down his only three-point attempt. His only miss came on, of all things, a botched dunk.
Yes, Michigan had a good night.
Eleven Wolverines tallied points against a hapless Charlotte squad, with Caris Levert, Zak Irvin, and Aubrey Dawkins joining Wagner in double figures. A day after Michigan couldn't find their range against UConn, they sniped 12/23 three-pointers, taking full advantage when the 49ers played a soft 2-3 zone.
By the time Mark Donnal found his way off the bench to score seven points, including a triple to get M to the century mark, Seth Davis was scolding viewers for still watching.
We'll learn much more from Michigan's consolation contest against Texas tomorrow (7 pm, AXS TV) than anything we saw tonight. The hope is Wagner's breakout is for real, Irvin continues to settle in, DJ Wilson's threes keep falling, and the Wolverines can come close to replicating this defensive performance against a team with a pulse.
Michigan (2-2) vs
Paradise Island, Bahamas
|WHEN||9:30 pm ET, Thursday|
|LINE||Michigan -14 (KenPom)|
PBP: Kenny Rice
Analyst: Seth Davis
Right: Was not aware ecstacy was so popular among gold prospectors.
HOW TO WATCH
The broadcasts of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament are split between ESPN and AXS TV, and while you're surely familar with the former you probably need some help finding the latter. For those in the area, here's a handy guide for A2/Detroit/GR provided by U-M Media Relations:
- AT&T U-verse Ch. 1106
- Charter Ch. 820 (also Ch. 770 in Detroit)
- Comcast Ch. 382
- DirecTV Ch. 340
- DISH Ch. 167
- Wyandotte Cable TV Ch. 179
For the rest of you, AXS TV has a channel finder on their site.
The winner of this game will take on the winner of Texas/Washington (7 pm, AXS) in the 5th/6th-place game on Friday at 7 pm on AXS TV. The loser faces off against the loser of UT/UW on Friday at 9:30 pm on AXS TV. You can see the full tournament bracket here.
THE LINEUP CARD
Projected starters are in bold. Hover over headers for stat explanations. The "Should I Be Mad If He Hits A Three" methodology: we're mad if a guy who's not good at shooting somehow hits one. Yes, you're still allowed to be unhappy if a proven shooter is left open. It's a free country.
|G||1||Braxton Ogbueze||R-Jr.||6'1, 181||78||19||No|
|Mostly Just A Shooter™ but can dish out the occasional assist.|
|G||3||Jon Davis||Fr.||6'2, 193||66||14||Kinda|
|Freshman got start against Cuse, posted 9-6-4. Still finding his shot.|
|G||2||Andrien White||Fr.||6'3, 184||73||22||No|
|High-volume shooter hitting 43% of twos and 41% of threes.|
|F||22||Bernard Sullivan||R-Sr.||6'8, 225||68||23||Very|
|Decent def. rebounder, blocks the occasional shot, sub-par scorer w/ limited range.|
|C||31||Benas Griciunas||R-So.||7'0. 233||25||28||Very|
|Auburn transfer starts but plays limited minutes. Stuggling except as offensive rebounder.|
|G||0||Ridell Camidge||So.||6'3, 188||49||17||Yes|
|Minutes have waned with each game because he can't find shot: 4/15 3P this year.|
|F||15||Anthony Vanhook||Jr.||6'4, 216||47||19||Yes|
|JuCo All-American is rebounding and passing very well so far this year.|
|C||50||Joseph Uchebo||Sr.||6'10, 261||46||22||Very|
|Pitt transfer. Good rebounder, shot-blocker, and finisher. Gets plurality of mins at C.|
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the preview.]
Happy Thanksgiving. Merry Thanksgiving? I'm trying not to accidentally have a war on Christmas here. Whichever Thanksgiving greeting you feel is appropriate appears in this space along with a reminder that Matt's good at making mortgages happen and a solid all-around dude, so if you're in the market you could do a lot worse.
FORMATION NOTES: Standard stuff from Michigan to the point where I forgot to take a screenshot. Here is a picture of Hackenberg getting swarmed instead.
SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Charlton moved to buck/WDE. With him there it's WDE. RJS backed him up an got a healthy number of snaps. Hurst, Henry, and Wormley got the vast bulk of the remaining DL snaps. Strobel got in for a few. Godin had a little bit more playing time than Strobel but maybe a dozen snaps total.
Gedeon rotated in for both Morgan and Bolden periodically. Bolden seemed to get more rest than Morgan. Gedeon might have been in there a quarter of the time. Ross played a reasonable amount as a SAM in 4-3 sets.
Secondary was as per usual now, with Hill the dime back behind Thomas. Stribling got scattered snaps. In the 4-3 Peppers and Lewis were the corners.
[After THE JUMP: diatribe! Three plays that went poorly! And then good stuff!]
Happy Thanksgiving! It's Ohio State week so we're still putting out the content.
They're 8th to S&P+, 30th against the rush and 3rd against passing. It's a lot like Penn State's defense, if Penn State hadn't been missing Nassib, and everyone on that defense was one star more talented, and they played the system that Michigan State used to create the No Fly Zone, and instead of not-Nassib they had J.J. Watt starting at a rush end position. No not college J.J. Watt, I mean the same guy nobody in the NFL can block.
Joey Bosa is the best college player I have watched since Charles Woodson. And like Woodson, the things he does makes his unit greater than the sum of its…
Personnel. Just look at my diagram:
click makes big.
You see everybody in proximity to Bosa has a star. Eli Apple plays half his downs on the other side (he's the field corner) and I was close to giving him a star too. Tyvis Powell and Josh Perry have put up stats (in Perry's case backed up by PFF) to warrant one as well. Joey Bosa's backup even has a star.
That's STAR, Monarch.
Are they really that good? See the stats, and more importantly, see…