Michigan (4-2) at
NC State (4-2)
Raleigh, North Carolina
|WHEN||7 pm ET, Tuesday|
|LINE||NC State -1 (KenPom)|
PBP: Mike Patrick
Analyst: Len Elmore
Right: "Mini mascot and cheerleader" circa 1970s.
After the ACC won the first ten ACC/B1G Challenge titles, the Big Ten has won four of the last six, and the other two were ties. This year, however, KenPom says there's a high likelihood the ACC flips the challenge back in their favor:
I ran a Monte Carlo simulation using the current ratings and not surprisingly, the ACC is a heavy favorite to emerge victorious. There’s a 63% chance the ACC wins at least eight games and just an 18% chance the Big Ten wins at least eight.
There's a better chance of a 7-7 tie (19%) than an outright B1G win. Despite being on the road, Michigan has one of the more winnable games of the challenge, which stands at 1-1 after Wake Forest beat Rutgers and Minnesota took down Clemson yesterday.
From Michigan's perspective, tallying a road non-conference win over a decent opponent could be huge come March. If they can't pull it off tonight, they'll get one more chance when they go to SMU next week, but NC State is their best shot.
This should come as little surprise:
At Beilein's pre-NC State press conference. Beilein says that Wagner will be the second big off the bench right now (behind Doyle).
— Kelly Hall (@kellyhall20) November 30, 2015
After seeing how little Spike Albrecht has played so far this season, this may also be unsurprising, but it sure is disconcerting:
Michigan coach John Beilein said Monday that Albrecht, whose return from offseason surgery on both hips has not progressed as hoped, will no longer practice with the Wolverines, instead opting to use that time for continued rehabilitation.
"If we have a choice right now of two hours of therapy at one of the therapy centers here in Ann Arbor or two of practice, it's going to be two therapy — just to do whatever we can to get him ready," Beilein said.
Albrecht is still available to play "spot minutes"; he's clearly well short of 100% and has already ceded a lot of his playing time to Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the preview.]
It's time to update MGoBlog to the latest version of Drupal. I'm looking for a Drupal developer who is familiar with MGoBlog to create a version of the site in Drupal 8. This is a contract job; if you're interested there would also be an ongoing maintenance aspect as we tweak the site and add bells and whistles.
Requirements are somewhat flexible since Drupal 8 and its contrib constellation are still in flux, but an outline:
- implement a modern responsive theme for the site that we already have mocked up
- implement a Drupal 8 version of the XML RPC module that allows Windows Live Writer to work in 6
- implement as much of the current site functionality as possible given the state of contrib (userpoints not working will be a major issue, for one), adding as contrib fills in
- make sure performance is at least as good and hopefully better than the existing site
- migrate content, taxonomy, diaries, and users, in some form. I am completely happy to leave previous content behind in static pages as long as the URLs remain the same and you can still get to them in some form from the tag pages.
Budget is "I don't know, I've never budgeted something like this." I am expecting something in the five digit range. You will know better than I what is feasible if you're a good candidate. Timeframe is 3-6 months, but is flexible since we are aiming at a moving target. Email me at [email protected] if you're interested.
What is this? Folks who cover the USMNT drop lists like this projecting the 23 guys who end up on the next World Cup team. I have appropriated it. Regarding the number of tickets: 22 starters on offense and defense + 2 kickers + nickelback + FLEX TE + H-back.
THIS IS THE PRE-BOWL DEBUT OF TEAM 137. Amongst recruits only committed prospects are eligible for the list. We currently believe no one is 51+% to go to the draft early, FWIW, but Lewis, Butt, and Henry are possibilities.
PACK YOUR BAGS
1. CB/S/KR/PR/WR/RB/NICKEL Jabrill Peppers, So.* [Last time: 1]
Began the year as a one-man screen destroyer and ended it as the top option at a half-dozen spots. M may work him in as a RB more; still assume his primary duties will be on defense, where a little bit of development in coverage will make him a scary all-purpose demon. Adding a half dozen touchdowns of all varieties could propel him to NYC.
2. CB Jourdan Lewis, Sr. [Last time: 2]
All-American set the single-season Michigan PBU record because opponents kept targeting him despite that being a very, very bad idea. Titanic matchup against future NFLers Cook and Burbridge will be remembered by both sides for a long time. Headed for first round of draft; projected to be too small to do so for the next 12 months.
3. LT Mason Cole, Jr. [Last time: 3]
Developed into an A- run blocker and B pass blocker in year two as Michigan's left tackle. Some deficiencies against the top tier pass rushers and will never by NFL prototype. Could move to C if Grant Newsome is as quick a learner as Cole was; 0.0% chance anything save injury pushes him from lineup.
4. FLEX Jake Butt, Sr. [Last time: 6]
Inexplicably not a Mackey finalist despite athleticism, catching radius, and absolutely fantastic hands. Blocking just okay but far from a liability. Seriously how did this guy not win the Mackey? What are you even doing, Mackey? Are you playing Fallout 4 and randomly selecting guys your slacker brother suggests? Drugs are bad, mmmkay?
5. NT Ryan Glasgow, Sr.* [Last time: 13]
Won Order Of St. Kovacs as a sophomore and then turned into a slightly poor man's Mike Martin as a junior before he was hewn down by a shoulder injury. Violent player who added serious pass rush, linchpin of Michigan's rush defense for much of the year, great endurance, if you call him a "former walk-on" he will and should rip your head off.
6. SDE Chris Wormley, Sr* [Last time: 20]
Mega-jumbo defensive end wreckt all tight ends who tried to block him. A key part of Michigan's stunt game and reasonably capable of getting to the QB himself, Wormley matured into an all-around force. Can also play three-tech. As a senior you'd like to see him bring a little bit more organic pass rush to his game but other than that holes are hard to find.
7. 3TECH Willie Henry, Sr.* [Last time: 14]
Bust-out season actually kind of lost in the wash of everyone else's bust-out season on the DL. Pretty much lived up to massive hype from rag-dolling freshman year. Cut a bit too much on stretch plays, occasional inconsistency, but turned potential to production. NFL is listening.
8. WR Jehu Chesson, Sr.* [Last time: 17]
Open deep all year and finally got on the same page with Rudock late for season-ending surge. Fast. Murderous blocker. Jet sweep maestro. Fast. Polite. Fast. Went from Stonum-ish to Breaston-sih to Manningham-ish over course of season. Huge year beckons if QB situation right.
9. WR Amara Darboh, Sr* [Last time: 10]
Nearly lived up to Avant-esque reputation with series of bonkers catches and chain-moving underneath YAC. Hands maybe a tiny bit iffy. Like Chesson, a quality blocker and a WR screen target thanks to his burly tackle-breaking ability. Got more separation than previous years but not really a burner. Very solid option nonetheless.
10. K Kenny Allen, Sr.* [Last time: NR]
Early-season kicker worries dissipated as Allen went 14/18 on the year with one miss due to a bad snap and a second that got blown across the face of the uprights by a sudden gust of wind. Didn't hit anything particularly long, but had a bunch of touchbacks when he wanted to have touchbacks. Another year of reliability beckons.
UNLESS SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENS
11. WDE Taco Charlton, Jr. [Last time: 23]
Charlton flashed potential with 5.5 sacks in limited time a year ago and took over the WDE/buck spot late in the year. With everyone else at that spot graduating, Charlton looks like the easy choice. Could lose PT to Marshall or Rueben Jones, both of whom are closer to the LB/DE hybrid the spot is ideally suited for, but should be potential 10-sack guy.
12. ILB Ben Gedeon, Sr. [Last time: NR]
The only returning LB with non-garbage time defensive snaps to his name and starting MLB by default. "Default" is never a good thing to hear in a depth chart discussion but Gedeon has been serviceable to date and should at least continue producing at that level. Inability to wrest more PT from Bolden does worry.
13. FS Dymonte Thomas, Sr. [Last time: NR]
Lightning bolt finally figured out the direction he should be zipping halfway through the season, displacing Hill after some bumps. Encouraging play after ascension to starter status relieves post-Wilson worries. Competition here is… uh. Tyree Kinnel, and then a bit of a chasm. A crevasse, maybe.
14. SS Delano Hill, Sr. [Last time: 21]
Started season as starter before aforementioned hiccups. Still saw plenty of PT after nominal benching and did better. Severe case of Greg Oden disease means he will look exactly the same age—42—for the next 50 years. Must tackle people when behind them, that's a protip.
15. G Ben Braden, Sr.* [Last time: 26]
People were leery when the tackle-shaped Braden was tried at guard again, and then downright alarmed after Utah's DL put him in the backfield for 60 minutes. Soon after Braden settled down and became M's most consistent lineman behind the two lock starters. Lunging massively reduced. Seemed to know what to do more than others.
16. T Erik Magnuson, Sr*. [Last time: 18]
Middling season as a tackle. Okay at run blocking but occasionally frustrating, especially on the second level. Pass protection generally good but, like Cole, struggled to cope with top-shelf rushers. Not going to be All Big Ten next year; difficult to see anyone supplanting him.
17. G Kyle Kalis, Sr* [Last time: 7]
Sounds like Klingon, plays like… uh… a notoriously confused Star Trek race. Maybe those Darmok guys? Physically powerful and prone to mistakes, Kalis was up and down and up and down. IDed what he was supposed to do too late too often. Probably destined to frustrating what-if player. But if it all comes together clicky clicky etc.
18. FB/H-back Henry Poggi, Jr* [Last time: NR]
2015 headshot of the year winner. Lebowski fan. Frequently retweets people saying he looks like an anthropomorphic thumb. Had slightly confused transition to FB/H-back but demonstrated ability to move people as year went on. Not much of a runner yet and will cede snaps to someone (Shallman?) who is. Sometimes there's a man.
FAIRLY SAFE BET
19. QB John O'Korn, Jr* [Last time: NR]
Houston transfer was platonic opposite of Jake Rudock: huge arm, aggressive, kinda nuts. 3000 yard freshman year devolved into Hackenberg-like frustration and benching. Touted as superior to Rudock in workouts, and for half of 2015 that was very plausible. Competitors are all freshmen or Borges recruits. In Harbaugh We Trust.
20. CB Jeremy Clark, Sr* [Last time: NR]
Skepticism was rife when Richard Sherman-sized safety transitioned to corner but results were rather good. Clark mirrored a ton of routes, had the speed to run deep, and was mostly beaten when his coverage ran afoul of local occult feng shui. Did get burned in zone against MSU, but that's mentality, not ability. Could break out into star. Stribling lurks.
21. TE Khalid Hill, Jr.* [Last time: NR]
Isaiah Hole fan should be first in line to cover the surprisingly painful loss of AJ Williams. PT increased as year went along; reputed to have superior hands for the position; squat but heavy (270), which should help him get under DL who are still bigger than him. Competition for TE snaps will be fierce.
22. OT Grant Newsome, So. [Last time: NR]
Burned redshirt after LTT's dismissal and looked the part of a sun-eclipsing, rush-obliterating NFL left tackle in the mold of Long or Lewan. Even wore 77 to speed those comparisons. Long way from looking like it to being it. Major X-factor for season as sudden emergence into good LT frees up Cole to put out most pressing fire elsewhere.
23. SLOT Grant Perry, So. [Last time: NR]
Freshman thrust into the fray in opener, whereupon he was responsible for two INTs and relegated to spot duty for the rest of the season. Role naturally limited in Harbauffense; did get a bunch of snaps late as M abandoned running the ball. Solid blocker on screens and promises to be a consistent underneath option once he learns what he's doing.
IN A BATTLE
24. RB De'Veon Smith, Jr.* [Last time: 25]
Run at left emblematic of season, as he missed his hole but ran over half of BYU to score anyway. Erratic vision, slow, impossible to tackle, fantastic blocker—Smith is a guy who helps you win football games but maybe not as a feature back. Will be pushed by anyone on the roster, including Peppers, and hopefully #1 RB Kareem Walker.
25. ILB Noah Furbush, So* [Last time: NR]
Linebacker-shaped human with eligibility who saw the field last year so here he is. Had a number of excellent special teams plays. Still needs a pile of weight—listed at a WR-ish 217 on the roster, and looks like it next to Gedeon. Could easily be supplanted by incoming freshman. HEY, POTENTIALLY INCOMING ILB FRESHMEN, READ THIS SECTION.
26. SAM Jared Wangler, So* [Last time: NR]
Marginalized spot in Michigan's defense last year projects to remain so this year, but Michigan does need a guy to go up against manball outfits since they will play Wisconsin and Iowa in 2016. Wangler is a linebacker-shaped human, so here he is. One-time PSU commit, so that's a good sign. Son of John, of course.
27. P TBA, ??? [Last time: NR]
Baxter reputedly in search for an Aussie to be named later. After watching Blake O'Neill delicately feather every punt inside the five I'm down with that as long as this one is clear on what to do if he drops the ball. Kenny Allen, who was a punter before he was kicker, is also an option and is likely to be the fallback plan.
PUSHING FROM BEHIND
QB Zach Gentry—rumors of move to TE way overblown. M will take extended look.
QB Wilton Speight—threw winning TD against Minnesota but didn't look like a guy who had a shot at displacing O'Korn. Could transfer.
RB Ty Isaac—doghouse for fumbling and then doghouse for extracurriculars.
RB Drake Johnson—had a moment there, and then it passed. Also dinged up. Could take fifth year elsewhere.
RB Karan Higdon—quick little guy had one nice carry and got swarmed a lot at LOS.
WR Moe Ways—Darboh analogue had a few catches, should be eased into more PT with an eye towards 2017.
WR Drake Harris—temporarily healthy, did little, still really skinny, got hurt again.
TE Ian Bunting—Ol' Skillet Hands saw PT drop as season progressed, but just one year removed from being HS WR so not a surprise.
TE Ty Wheatley Jr.—jumbo TE took redshirt, will try to be AJ-Williams-but-fast.
C Patrick Kugler—will be a redshirt junior; given performance this year could displace starter. Magnuson, Cole flexibility means that if he's best five he plays.
G David Dawson—stuck behind middling Gs a year ago, will get a shot.
NT Bryan Mone—massive space eater missed 2015 with eventually disastrous results
3T Maurice Hurst—fantastic player for most of the year, bad against stretches.
SDE Matt Godin—solid PT early, overwhelmed by doubles late, move him to DE plz.
WDE Reuben Jones—first Harbaugh pickup coming off redshirt.
SAM Allen Gant—exists, so on the two deep at LB.
WLB Mike McCray—mysterious health issue dog him. Exists, so on the two deep at LB.
ILB Chase Winovich—is not a LB, technically, but FFS move him back already.
CB Channing Stribling—maybe 30% of the snaps last year; middling performance.
CB Brandon Watson—saw some nickel snaps when M was trying to save Peppers a bit.
S Tyree Kinnel—burned redshirt indicates he'll compete for the job.
WAITING THEIR TURN
QB Alex Malzone—not going to compete physically w/ O'Korn or Gentry but could develop into a Rudock type down the road.
QB Brandon Peters—true freshman will enter with a boatload of hype
QB Shane Morris—will he be on the roster?
FB Wyatt Shallman—now is the time to try his blocking out. Constantly hurt.
WR DaMario Jones—scattered snaps a year ago, got passed by guys younger than him.
WDE Lawrence Marshall—ghost after enormous pile of spring hype.
SDE Shelton Johnson—probably has to cool his heels and put on more weight.
CB Keith Washington—Breaston-esque HS QB competing at CB, coming off redshirt.
CB Freddy Canteen—moved from WR. It could happen?
S Brian Cole—midseason move to S will require at least a year of apprenticeship.
Friday, November 27, 2015
MIchigan 7, Dartmouth 0
UM 1 Drt 0 EV 05:05 Motte (6) from Downing (6) & Compher (8)
Michigan gets the puck deep in the offensive zone, and JT Compher thinks about taking it behind the net before reversing course and turning back up the boards. As he turns, he sees a huge seam through the defense. You can see Zach Werenski in the frame waving for a pass, but Compher passes to Michael Downing because of the off chance the defender in the high slot jumps the pass.
Downing takes a stride forward with the puck before shooting. It has to be a seeing-eye shot to get through the defenders in the slot, and luckily it is.
The rising shot hits the goaltender and ricochets to the slot. Defender #1 has no idea where the puck is, and defender #2 thinks he sees it and goes to clear, with the primary issue being that he’s wrong. The aforementioned ricochet is fortuitous for Michigan, as it lands right in front of Tyler Motte.
Darthmouth’s goalie, James Kruger, does pick up on where the rebound went, but he has no chance at this. Motte lifts a shot into the top half of the net.
[After THE JUMP: pretty passing, offensive onslaught]
Last one before we take a few weeks off so we’ll try to get to more callers this time.
Call in: 734-998-1050.
Listen in: 1050 AM in Ann Arbor or wtka.com
More On Jordan Elliott's Commitment
Sam Webb caught up with four-star TX DT Jordan Elliott in the wake of his commitment to Michigan; the former Baylor and Houston pledge assured Webb that Ann Arbor is his final destination ($):
That’s yet another reason why he insists his commitment to Michigan is firm. So firm that he answered the question what other schools he’d be visiting before it was done being asked.
“None at all,” he said. “I’m done. No more.”
And how will he respond when other schools persist in recruiting him?
“I won’t respond,” said Elliott.
Elliott mentioned that the coaches plan to play him "all over the line," but initially he'll get the most snaps at defensive end. He's enrolling for the spring semester in April, which means he won't make it in time for spring practice but he'll get a jump start on academics and conditioning.
For more on Elliott, read his commitment post here.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]