Previously: Maryland Offense
It’s like we’re in Hell or something.
D.J. Durkin is an excellent defensive coach. Last year, until they ran into Urban Meyer’s historic buzzsaw without any nose tackles, Durkin had Michigan’s run defense playing so well that a non-Rutgers Power Five school offered him a head coaching job. And yet his first defense at Maryland has been horrendous.
Obviously the time continuum has been disrupted, creating a new temporal event sequence resulting in this alternate reality.
Here, here, let me demonstrate. Let’s say this line represents four yards from the line of scrimmage, and each line break hence is a tenth of a yard per carry, with sacks removed:
<----Here’s Michigan in 2016 (4.33 YPC)
<----Here’s Michigan in 2015 (4.45 YPC)
<----Here’s Maryland in 2015 (4.55 YPC)
<----Here’s the FBS average (4.65 YPC)
<----Here’s Michigan’s historically bad 2010 (4.89 YPC)
<----Here’s Maryland right now (5.45 YPC)
Somewhere in the transition Maryland skewed down into this tangent, creating an alternate Durkin defense. Alternate to you, me, and people who watched more than the Ohio State game last year, but reality for everyone else.
It’s the formation we used all last year with a “buck linebacker” who’s not a linebacker hanging off the edge. I know, because there isn’t a free safety in sight. I found it in the Maryland-MSU game! Along with this…
[After the JUMP: we go back to October 22, 2016, and BTN2Go’s awful streams, to find out how to get good at PFF while being literally one spot from dead last in rushing S&P]
- State’s first drive was an evil thing of beauty.
- Peppers and the beautiful play.
- There are holds and then there’s HOLDS, and State was getting away with a ton of the latter. Second-straight year this game was officiated by monkeys.
- How do we fix officiating? Rewrite rulebook to be more clear. Make discretionary decisions reviewable.
- Challenges have bias: this call’s not wrong, it’s pining for the fields.
- CFP selection: why is Texas A&M in there?
- Not worried about defense after MSU. One Dantonio Special drive and then some holding and stuff.
- Most overrated player in college football history? Hackenberg? Archie Griffin? Ron Dayne? Ron Dayne.
- Is shine off Tom Herman? Nope. Brian Kelly?
- You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Audioboom.
THE USUAL LINKS
Moe Wagner can take M's center position to new heights. [Bryan Fuller]
Michigan entered last season hoping that Ricky Doyle would take full control of the center position and look the part of a reliable four-year starter. Instead, Doyle couldn't hold onto the ball or the starting job, and in March we learned he'd been suffering from undiagnosed sleep apnea. Mark Donnal supplanted Doyle even though freshman Moe Wagner, in brief early-season appearances, looked like the better player. An uninspiring Donnal-Doyle rotation lasted all the way through Big Ten season; after barely playing, Wagner broke through in the postseason.
Entering this season, the starting job is Wagner's to lose. Donnal looks destined to finish his Michigan career in a backup role; while Donnal is a redshirt junior, John Beilein has been understandably noncommital about bringing him back for a fifth year. Two very large freshmen, Jon Teske and Austin Davis, will battle for spare minutes; in all likelihood, one will get their feet wet while the other redshirts.
Please stay out of foul trouble, Moe.
[Hit THE JUMP for player breakdowns.]
SPONSOR NOTES: Man, that fourth quarter was irritating. Like wearing pants. Also, Dan Gilbert just gave MSU 15 million dollars so you clearly can't get a loan from him even before we consider his major role in the financial crisis. Instead of feeding him more money with which to write in comic sans, try a local guy.
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: Not much. This was "goal line H" for MSU and made several increasingly less effective appearances. Michigan had one wacky 3-man-line snap on the first drive and then threw that away permanently, so the rest of the game was more or less this:
Of note: against these big formations M swapped their corners and safeties to get a couple bigger guys on the line.
SUBSTITUTION NOTES: 74 snaps for the defense, with the starting secondary and Gedeon getting all of them. McCray missed just two snaps; Peppers missed six with various minor issues. Furbush got those six.
DL rotation was severely reduced, with Charlton getting all but ten snaps—Winovich got 14, and I think all of those after the first drive were in pass rush packages. Wormley and Glasgow were close behind at 59 and 57; Godin and Hurst did split their snaps about down the middle. Gary got 21 snaps; Mone got 3 before limping off.
Metellus and Watson got various dime snaps.
[After THE JUMP: not great bookending pretty great.]
It felt inevitable that Cass and King would meet in the PSL Championship Game considering the perennial talent on the two squads; after all, they met in the PSL final just last year with King edging Cass, 27-25.
This year, Cass wasted no time getting on the board. Just minutes into the game Donovan Peoples-Jones hauled in a deep ball and outran Ambry Thomas to the end zone. From there, Cass built a 28-0 lead. King eventually found its offense thanks to Thomas, who looked excellent at receiver and finished the game with three touchdown catches. Thomas found himself matched up frequently against Jaylen Kelly-Powell; the two are cousins, and both have Michigan offers. King fought back in the second half, but Cass countered them each time and walked away with a 41-20 victory.
There was plenty to watch in this one what with all the Michigan offers on the field, and especially since they played head-to-head often. Cass beat King earlier in the season on a rain-soaked field; this matchup looked different, as playing in a dome let the players showcase just how talented they are.
[After THE JUMP: Donovan Peoples-Jones, Jaylen Kelly-Powell, and Ambry Thomas scouting reports and film]
[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. How I’d rank them: 1) Sriracha Carrot, 2) Yellow Lentil, 3) Edamame, 4) Black Bean, 5) Three-Peppers (no relation), 6) Wasabi Edamame, 7) White Bean, 8) Red lentil, 9) Beet, 10) Any other hummus. I don’t like beets. My wife keeps buying it because her list is almost my list in reverse.]
This is probably the easiest recipe we will do all season. I kinda feel like I’m cheating this week because the crockpot is making an appearance. Yes, the crockpot. If you’re anything like me, you love dips and always have a dipping’ station at your tailgate. We usually have about 4-5 dips out and several crockpots going. This recipe was given to me by my friend Nic-Awesome and is my new favorite dip. Of course, I had to trick it up by smoking the chicken but that step is not necessary. You can go with store bought chicken if you’d like and just toss it all in together. Either way we go, you will love this one. Thanks Nic.
- 1 block of Cream Cheese (8 OZ)
- 4 chicken breasts or 6 chicken Thighs
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 oz crumbled blue cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup Hot Sauce (Franks is my favorite)
- 1.5 TBS Spicy Ranch Seasoning
- 4 green onions – (roughly chopped)
[Hit THE JUMP to gooey goodness]