: ( [Bryan Fuller]
On the roundtable this week:
- Sam enjoyed the "shot yourself in the leg" tweet I sent to Plaxico Burress. I defend Burress a little because I have respect for anyone who cares enough to go on an unhinged twitter rant.
- Craig Ross told us all about the O'Neill crew and we listened but had no power to do anything about it.
- Rutgers! Not good at football.
- Indiana! Not good at defense.
THE USUAL LINKS
Don’t Sweat the Technique
#26 Jourdan Lewis, CB (Detroit, MI)
I needed an excuse to talk about Jourdan Lewis, the first genuine superstar of the Harbaugh era at Michigan. In the gloom after the Michigan State loss, it was evident that Lewis had blossomed into one of college football’s Elite players – he more than held his own against the high-powered tandem of Cook and Burbridge; he set the U-M record for pass breakups in a season after just eight games + one possession against Rutgers; PFF says he’s the best corner in the country.
I have two assumptions moving forward: a) Jim Harbaugh’s University of Michigan will have its share of memorable and / or dominant football players and b) I’ll probably want to write about those guys. So I’ll create a hypothetical “Known Friends and Trusted Agents” canon with my own arbitrary criteria – the HARBAUGH HALL OF HEROISM. Yes, this does seem like more of an offseason exercise for #content that looks at things after they’ve already happened, but we can all agree that Jourdan Lewis is extremely good and will eventually be remembered fondly for his exploits in a winged helmet.
Anyways, without further ado: Lewis is the first to be enshrined into the HHH.
* * *
1. Regardless of how the rest of the season plays out, it’s clear that the 2015 Michigan defense will have been one of the country’s best: currently, S&P and PFF (in the post linked above) rate it as the best in college football; FEI rates it fifth. Through nine games, the Wolverines have allowed opponents to score 107 points (11.9 ppg, the fewest in college football) – remove the kick return touchdown from Rutgers and the Bounce of Satan against Michigan State (as plays that should count against the special teams unit) and the defense itself has conceded just 93 (10.3 ppg). The 2006 Michigan defense was dominant through most of the season and – even though they got lit up by OSU and USC to end their season, U-M still had one of the top-tier defenses that year. Even though we still have four (or, God willing, five) games left on the schedule, Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison’s grimy goons up front and the No Fly Zone secondary that migrated east on 96 and south on 23 are anchoring an Elite defense. Somewhere, somebody smart will promote D.J. Durkin to his first head coaching job and it will be richly deserved.
[After the jump: Cass Tech, the OMG Pick-6 vs. NU, Burbridge vs. Lewis]
Football’s what you make of it. If you want to watch for the big hit or the big pass, you can. If you want to watch because you’re hoping to get a glimpse of how pattern matching works on switch routes, you can. It’s a game of nuance that can be enjoyed without; you can guess which direction I lean considering this is a column predicated on the usual stats not providing enough information. Rarely, though, you see the same thing no matter what you intended to look for; sometimes watching a team get punched in the face is also a statistical drubbing regardless of the set of stats you use.
The Mathlete’s Four Factors:
Once again, a quick reminder of what the factors mean:
Conversion rate = [1st Downs gained]/[1st Down plays (including first play of drive)]. A three and out is 0/1. A one play touchdown is 1/1. Two first downs and then a stop is 2/3, etc.
Bonus Yards = [Yards gained beyond the first down line]/[Total plays from scrimmage]
This is an adjustment to how I have previously calculated, to account for the plays a team runs.
Field Position = Expected team points based on starting field position. This accounts for all elements of field position: turnovers, special teams, drive penetration etc.
Red Zone: Points per red zone trip (TD’s counted as 7 regardless of PAT)
|Field Pos.||Conv. Rate||Bonus YPP||Red Zone|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||84 (12)||54 (6)||43 (6)||30 (5)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||91 (14)||30 (4)||31 (3)||27 (4)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||59 (10)||54 (3)||39 (3)||20 (2)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||41 (4)||39 (1)||25 (2)||21 (2)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||36 (4)||61 (5)||36 (3)||31 (2)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||45 (6)||51 (3)||44 (6)||3 (1)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||46 (6)||35 (2)||43 (5)||4 (1)|
|Field Pos.||Conv. Rate||Bonus YPP||Red Zone|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||35 (4)||38 (6)||9 (3)||100 (13)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||29 (5)||17 (4)||4 (1)||110 (13)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||32 (4)||7 (2)||1 (1)||115 (13)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||21 (4)||6 (1)||1 (1)||115 (12)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||20 (3)||6 (1)||1 (1)||124 (13)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||17 (3)||7 (2)||6 (2)||42 (6)|
|Rank (B1G Rk)||22 (4)||6 (1)||5 (2)||13 (2)|
[After the JUMP: tables, attempted explanations, and scout-by-number]
How this works again:
- Readers predict the final score of a designated game by placing a guess in the comments, preferably in the format of [M score][hyphen][Opp score], for example "41-0" or "35-0 Michigan", or "28-0 Go Blue", or "42-0 Harbaugh!" etc.
- The three guys who read this part holler at people who post in a different format
- First person (by timestamp) to post a particular score has it.
- If you got it right, I contact you for an address by your MGoBlog account email, and you give me some time to get that to you.
- If nobody got it right or I don't hear from the winner(s) we push it to next week or let it go.
About Last Time:
Nobody was right, AGAIN!!! The closest score was 49-13. Like nobody even went with 49-14. Embarrassing. Disappointed.
This Week's Game:
Michigan at Indiana. Probably not a shutout.
And on the Line:
We were asked 20 times to make this shirt. So we made this shirt.
One entry per user. First user to choose a set of scores wins, determined by the timestamp of your entry (for my ease I prefer if you don't post it as a reply to another person's score--if you do it won't help or hurt you). Deadline for entries is 24 hours before the start of the game. MGoEmployees and moderators exempt from winning. The algorithm finds the winners as it chooses. The algorithm is self-correcting. The algorithm consistently runs power. The algorithm is from Jersey, but is looking at schools out of state.
Previously: Indiana Offense
oh c'mon it's already hard enough to take this seriously
Indiana is last in the B1G in scoring defense, 13th in yards per play allowed, 13th in yards per pass allowed, 13th in yards per carry allowed, 13th in defensive S&P+, last in opponent first downs per game, last in opponent 3rd down conversion rate, and last in opponent scrimmage plays of >20 yards, >30 yards, >40 yards, >50 yards, >60 yards, >70 yards, and >80 yards.
Let's get this over with.
Personnel: Seth's diagram [click to embiggen]:
The Hoosiers rotate quite a bit up front; you'll see plenty of Ralph Green and Robert McCray on the interior. Tyler Green, a true freshman corner listed third on the depth chart, also got a lot of run against Iowa.
Base Set? Multiple. They're something of a 3-4 team, but in the way Michigan is—there are usually four nominal down linemen, and IU actually played a lot of over fronts in this game.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]
Upon Further Review still has a sponsor. Hey man the feds are going to raid your meth lab. Or raise rates. I'm not sure which agency we're talking about. Unless they're the same one, which would be weird but again we are talking about an entity that thinks alcohol, tobacco, and firearms are pretty much the same thing. I disagree, feds.
What was I talking about again?
Oh, right: low rates won't be quite as low in the near future if you're on the fence.
FORMATION NOTES: Nothing weird in this one. This will be a pattern, as Michigan put the toys away for the most part. The screens were not anything super clever; other than the fullback wheel this was almost all things already put on film.
SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Exceptions from the usual routine were few and far between in this one. Smith and Johnson were the main tailbacks; Houma got a couple carries that must have induced déjà vu in Rudock. Green and Shallman got in some in garbage time.
Tight end was mostly Butt and Williams; Hill got a few snaps. Bunting may have gotten in once or twice, his playing time has dipped significantly. Wouldn't read too much into that since Williams is doing well.
WR was Darboh, Chesson, and Perry. I don't think Ways played. Newsome got a half-dozen snaps as an extra OL.
[After THE JUMP: accurate Iowa Rudock is a good thing.]