On September 7, 2013, Ryan Glasgow stepped onto the turf at Michigan Stadium in front of 115,109 fans (and another 8.65 million watching at home) for what was undoubtedly the biggest game of his life. Six minutes and 30 seconds of game-time later, Glasgow stepped into the turf at Michigan Stadium; just a redshirt freshman playing in his second game, he was double-teamed by future first-round NFL Draft pick Zack Martin and future third-round pick Chris Watt on the second play of Notre Dame’s second drive with such brutal swiftness that one of his shoes got stuck in the turf and failed to make the six-yard journey downfield with the rest of Glasgow.
The Notre Dame game was the first in-season wake-up call for a player whose time at Michigan has been shaped by a series of well-timed conversations and self-aware redirection. “We’re watching film that Sunday, getting coached hard—I mean, just got absolutely destroyed, but I think that served a purpose,” Glasgow says. “It kind of made me realize this is college football. People will just destroy you on the other team if you’re not ready to play.”
That there have been plays for a coaching staff to critique involving Glasgow in a Michigan uniform is amazing considering the mind-bending alternative, and that has nothing to do with his status as a former walk-on or any depth issues present in the early Hoke years. That Glasgow played football at all is shocking considering his parents’ stance on the sport.
Glasgow’s parents, Drs. Steven and Michele Glasgow, decided when their children were young that they didn’t want them to play football. Hoping to steer their kids toward something less violent and aggressive, they first presented them with the opportunity to play other sports as an outlet for their energy. In second grade, though, Ryan turned the pressure up on his father.
He approached his father one day and told him that he wanted to play football. The local youth league didn’t start until kids were in fifth grade, so it came as something of a surprise that Ryan was pitching his case so early. Ryan’s father told Ryan to talk to his mother, and Ryan informed him that she said Ryan needed to talk to him. He told Ryan they stood together on the issue and would prefer he not play, and Ryan went for the ace up his sleeve. “I said, ‘Why do you want to play football?’ And this floored me, actually, and this was a manipulative thing that he said,” Ryan’s father says. “He said, ‘Dad, I want to play football because you played football.’ I said, ‘Well, that’s not going to work, Ryan.’” (Dr. Glasgow played football at Penn.) His father told Ryan that he and his brother Graham were physically gifted enough to play many other sports.
Ryan dropped his head and started walking away when his father asked if there was another reason he wanted to play. He turned, his eyes lit up, and he said, ‘Dad, I want to run into people!’ His father then asked if there were any other reasons Ryan wanted to play. He had one more reason at the ready: ‘I want to knock ‘em down, dad,’ His father burst into laughter and told him that he could play. Ryan couldn’t believe what he just heard. “I said, ‘Look, if you think the greatest thing in the world is going out there and running into people and knocking people down then yeah,’” Dr. Glasgow recalls. “‘I mean, if we’re not letting you play football then you’re just going to be doing that some other way, so at least you should be out there with coaches in an organized sport and learn how to channel it and sort of go from there,’ and that was it. That was how they got permission to play. We had really planned on not letting them play; it was a very important thing to him.”
[After THE JUMP: “They can test how fast, how high, how much you lift, but some kids, they’re just football players.”]
[ed-Seth: Special thanks this year 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 I’d have tried his stuff if he wasn’t a sponsor, but now that I have I freak out when my wife forgets to pick up more. He’s also got some plain ones out there now that I plan to try.]
As soon as I knew we were playing in the Orange Bowl against the Seminoles, I started thinking CUBAN PORK. I asked a few friends that may or may not be cheering for the other side if they enjoyed a good CUBANO while attending FSU. They all agreed that it’s a Florida staple. That made my decision easy for the last recipe of the 2016 season. This one can even be done in the oven and will make your house smell INSANELY good.
[Hit THE JUMP for a very buttered bun]
Previously: Florida State Offense
As it turns out, not having a functional passing game against Florida State's defense is a serious issue. Florida, a subpar-at-best running team, managed a respectable 4.6 yards on 23 non-sack rushes against FSU. On their 41 dropbacks, however, they gained only 149 yards through the air and lost 46 on six sacks for a total average of 2.5 yards per pass play.
Michigan, with a month to prepare a superior offense, will fare better than Florida. They'll still deal with the same core issue: how do you slow down FSU's pass rush enough to consistently move the ball?
Personnel: Seth's diagram [click to embiggen]:
FSU is dealing with serious injury problems in their secondary. Star free safety Derwin James was lost early in the season; starting strong safety Nate Andrews tore his pectoral against Miami; replacement Ermon Lane, who made a midseason move from wide receiver, is out after suffering a foot injury in practice. What had been arguably FSU's strongest position group is now piecing a lineup together with scotch tape and chewing gum:
With Lane out FSU will likely move Trey Marshall back from the star position, and move true freshman Kyle Meyers into his spot. Meyers has played quite a bit this season with Marshall moving back and forth between the safety and star positions, as well as an injury that kept him out of the NC State game.
If FSU wants to keep the physical Marshall close to the line of scrimmage to help out against the Wolverines downhill rushing attack, then it will be sophomore defensive back Calvin Brewton that will play opposite of sophomore A.J. Westbrook. Brewton has played sparingly this season, but he has played more than true freshman Carlos Becker.
Florida wasn't able to test FSU's safeties at all in the passing game; that shouldn't be the case with Michigan.
Base Set? 4-3, often with a standup weakside DE; FSU uses the same "BUCK" term for that position that DJ Durkin used in his time at Michigan.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]
Much of the information in this post is provided by Pro Football Focus.
So, yeah, that guy might be a problem.
Personnel. Seth's diagram [click to embiggen]:
While FSU's most serious injury issues are on defense, they're making some adjustments on offense, too. Senior left guard Kareem Are is expected back in the lineup after missing the last two games with a concussion. His replacement in those games, redshirt freshman Cole Minshew, is now locked in a battle at the other guard spot with redshirt junior Wilson Bell, who's also dealing with some legal issues. Minshew grades out as the best of the three, albeit in a much smaller sample size, so we have him projected to start over Bell.
The other injury situation to keep an eye on is at receiver. Funchess-like jumbo wideout Auden Tate was spotted in a non-contact jersey at Monday's practice. They're also likely to make a change at kicker. Logan Tyler, who's 1/2 on the year, is taking first-team reps over Ricky Aguayo (brother of Roberto), who's 17/24 but looked awful against Florida, missing well short on a 49-yarder and getting a low live-drive 44-yarder blocked.
Spread, Pro-Style, or Hybrid? Hybrid that leans pro-style. FSU spent a lot of snaps in the gun with three wideouts on the field, but they also go under center and play a fullback on about a quarter of their snaps.
Basketball on Grass or MANBALL? FSU has a pretty diverse running game. They like getting Dalvin Cook to the edge and they'll do it in a variety of ways: zone stretch, toss sweeps, and counters, along with a couple screens, got him into plenty of space against Florida.
Hurry it up or grind it out? Right in the middle; FSU is 55th in adjusted pace.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]
According to his Twitter bio, Michigan long snapper Scott Sypniewki won’t be returning to the program for his redshirt senior season in 2017. Sypniewski has been Michigan’s starting long snapper since 2014, appearing in 34 games over the past three seasons. Redshirt sophomore PWO Andrew Robinson appears to be next in line to take over as Michigan's starting long snapper.
Sypniewski’s departure leaves Michigan with 25 available scholarships. They have 26 recruits currently committed; with the usual expected (and unexpected) offseason attrition, the 32-man class we’ve heard rumblings about seems feasible from the perspective of available scholarships.
Singleton already has experience playing in the Big House. [Patrick Barron]
This is the first tab I opened when preparing this post:
Paramus (N.J.) Catholic 2017 linebacker Drew Singleton is a “no doubt” prospect when his time comes, according to his head coach Chris Partridge.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Singleton played as a freshman in a run to a state championship last fall, and will blossom this fall as a starter.
“He’s special,” Partridge said. “He’s a freak.”
Chris Partridge would move on to Michigan, where he's now the linebackers coach, after Drew Singleton's sophomore season. This evening, Singleton announced that he'll once again be Partridge's pupil, choosing Michigan over Clemson, Michigan State, and a host of top-tier offers. Even though Singleton missed the vast majority of his senior season with an ACL tear, his rankings suggest he's still regarded as a "no doubt" prospect.
Here's his video announcement:
4*, #4 OLB,
4*, #4 OLB,
4*, 82, #3 ILB,
4*, 95, #5 OLB,
4*, #3 OLB,
Singleton has maintained a lofty standing in the rankings despite missing the majority of his senior season. Only ESPN has him outside the top 100 overall; they ranked him 201st in their initial release and had him as high as #125 in their April update. Encouragingly, the site that has by far the most scouting available on Singleton, Rivals, is the one that ranks him the highest; he made it as high as #33 overall in their rankings before sliding back while sidelined with the knee injury.
There's a tighter consensus on Singleton's size: he's listed at 6'2" and 214-218 pounds on each of the four sites. He'll probably be a WILL at Michigan, though he's got the range and coverage ability to potentially play SAM.
[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and more.]