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After Speaking with my Parents and Coaches, I am blessed to say, I have committed to The University of Michigan pic.twitter.com/nZa5jQELtD
— Kurt Taylor (@KurtTaylorRB2) October 16, 2015
Three-star 2017 Covington (GA) Newton running back Kurt Taylor is the first commitment of what should be a busy recruiting weekend for Michigan. Taylor named the Wolverines as his leader when they offered him in August, had a great trip for the BYU game, and didn't need to wait until the Michigan State game to announce his commitment on his latest campus visit.
Taylor is the third Michigan commit in the 2017 class, joining tight end Carter Dunaway and cornerback Benjamin St-Juste.
We're overstuffed with content today, so for now I'll post Taylor's rankings and highlights. A full Hello post will go up on Sunday.
|3* RB||3*, #19 RB||NR RB||
3*, 88, #24 RB,
3*, #35 RB,
All the sites save ESPN have Taylor ranked as a three-star, though he's within sniffing distance of four-star territory on 247 and Rivals.
Mid-season junior highlights:
Sophomore highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.
I Love Four Plays. It's always a treat when EGD writes up a "Four Plays" diary. This is the thing where he takes two things Michigan does on offense and two things the opponent does, and shows how the matchups will go. One of M's bag of tricks is worth getting into a bit:
When Harbaugh debuted this particular fullback run against BYU, the H-back (Poggi) lined up right behind the right guard (Kalis); at the snap, Kalis went straight for the WLB and Poggi stepped up to kick out the DT. And wouldn’t you know it—here comes the left guard to lead the ballcarrier through the hole and hit the MLB, just like Power O. I kind of struggled with what to call this play; I might have done better just calling it “Inside Power.”
He gave the advantage to MSU here because State's DL is pretty powerful. I've watched a lot of their games this year and have an idea that Harbaugh's going to run something a bit different than this to take advantage of the hyperaggressiveness of State's NT, Malik McDowell. The DT is Joel Heath and he has a tendency to get sealed, but he's also huge, i.e. too much for Poggi to kick out. Rather I bet you Michigan traps their balls off. Poggi can give him a quick shove then go by, getting Heath feeling pretty good about their Michigan scouting for that half second before he eats Braden's trap. Poggi can help seal the SAM or find a safety, and we're in business.
[After the jump: where the weak are weak]
You’re excused if you had to rub your eyes and check the scoreboard to see if it really happened. Joe Kerridge is no stranger to big plays, but having them come on offense instead of special teams is novel. That’s not a condemnation of his talent, but rather a reminder that before this season these things just did not happen. Harbaugh called it heartwarming to see a fullback so productive; I call it fun. This offense may not be in the upper echelon yet, but it hasn’t taken that to befuddle opponents weekly. Northwestern stacked the box; the deep safety was eight yards off the line of scrimmage, and Kerridge busted through the line and ran past the edge defender- to the inside, no less!- before that guy even thought about the possibility of a fullback roaring past him.
The annular path of the day necessarily led back to more fun, with the game ending on the “defense” chant Brian already touched on. He talked about the pin-pricks on your scalp and the willful repression of suddenly building tears; you could feel that chant in your bones. It was the first time I’ve felt a true sense of unity with 110,000+ people in I don’t even know how long. Up in the press box we’re supposed to be isolated from that; the goal is to create a working environment, and while the free wi-fi and lack of line for the bathroom is great, the sacrifice is being able to get a good feel for the stadium environment. Not so at that moment. The chant clawed its way up the massive glass panels and poured in through the few open windows, the little rectangular ports of entry for external emotion. It enveloped us quickly and quietly, and in that moment I knew that even if things go south at some point this year we’ll have an emotional anchor to fall back on, our first real “remember when…” moment of the Harbaugh era.
Right now, though, there are no indicators that things are going to head south. Bill Connelly’s statistical profile projects Michigan as the winner of every remaining game. The offense, to borrow a favorite term of Jim Harbaugh’s, is ascending. The defense is ranked first nationally in S&P+. Some of the stats from both last week and cumulatively are, frankly, drool worthy. Statistics, like the press box, are designed to fuel orderly and controlled analysis. At least, that’s how they work in theory. Last Saturday was a different story.
[After THE JUMP: I’m running out of ways to hedge on this defense]
Upon Further Review still has a sponsor. I'm late today so I'm just going to tell you that Matt's a good guy and did my loan and Seth's loan and everything was easy and professional. We are associating our name with his and that is something we are very comfortable with.
FORMATION NOTES: There was… nothing weird? Apparently not. Michigan did run different formations than they had much of the year, with a lot more ace sets and early-down gun. M was split about evenly between I-form of some type, ace, and shotgun.
Here is an offset I for some reason.
This has been your federally mandated pre-jump picture.
Oh, FWIW: this was NW's defense the whole day. 4-3 under for the most part with two rolled-up cover 4 safeties. The linebacker type guy to the bottom of the screen is actually a corner; NW has shifted the LBs to the field and are running an over on this snap.
PERSONNEL NOTES: OL and QB per usual the whole way. Kerridge returned at FB, getting most of the time in front of Houma. RB was a profusion of different guys. Smith early, then Higdon, Green, and a little bit of Isaac and Johnson. Those guys missed time for different reasons.
WR rotation was about as per usual except with more three-wide formations we saw significant amounts of Grant Perry for the first time since the opener. At this point it's clear the rotation this year is Darboh, Chesson, Ways, Harris, Canteen, and Perry. Canteen missed this game for an undisclosed reasons. (If Michigan is going six deep with three freshmen and no seniors, the writing is on the wall for guys not currently playing.)
[After THE JUMP: I drop bows on 'em? Ohhhhhhh probably short for elbows. Now I understand rapism.]
Previously: Michigan State Offense
Cackle with knowing glee if...
Let's cut to the chase: after watching MSU's defense allow six yards per play against Rutgers, my optimism hasn't abated.
Personnel: Seth's diagram [click to embiggen]:
MSU's defense is as injury-riddled as their offense. Standout SAM Ed Davis is out for the year with a knee injury; safety RJ Williamson is out for the majority of the season; both starting corners are injured—if Darian Hicks can't go, which seems likely, Jermaine Edmonson will replace him and the backups will be true freshmen.
Base Set? 4-3 over. MSU will stay in their base for most of the game; it's rare for them to even bring on a nickel, which is fortunate for them given their personnel issues.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]
…because my nephew's name is Jack and he's going to his first game…if we can find a third seat in section 18 row 40ish. I got two for this game, and they weren't cheap, but prices have shot up a ton since.
Oh, this is the new feature where we talk about the secondary ticket market because I'm too cheap to donate money to get in line to buy season tickets. I've been scrounging for most of my adult life, and while it usually works out (my best friend and old sports ticket co-conspirator and I have a motto of "Everything always works out") there have been two days that it didn't. One was a 2006 World Series. The other, the 2010 Michigan State game:
On the way up, my consultant and I had agreed on a plan: We would spend pre-game trying to run into people we know, asking if they had singles with them. If not, we would wait until just after kickoff, when sellers were cursing their greed and desperate to pocket something before heading in. We had another ride lined up just in case not everyone got a ticket, our pockets were full of $10s and $5s, and we were ready – just in case – to bail for my consultant's 62-inch HDTV, where the DVR was running. I trusted this plan; my consultant has a degree in economics from Michigan State University, which I hear is a pretty good school.
I've never trusted the gameday ticket market for an MSU game again. According to Ralph at TiqIQ the cheapest tickets on their sites since then wound up at $170 (East Lansing), $146 (Ann Arbor), $110 (EL), and $104 (EL) by gametime. A hundred is the floor for these games. And this one ain't the floor.
I hope I saved you some money on the Maryland tickets—it was hard to tell how many seats went empty because the network didn't want to show it, but I heard from enough people that offering to not pay was about as good as any other procedure.
Homecoming I had to get in on the ticket exchange early because we had the alumni event. I got offered a free pair after I'd already spent $75 for two from a friend on Facebook, so I offloaded the original two for $20 apiece at Stadium & Main entrance on the way in.
|Game||In Aug||In Sept||Now||Dips||Buy?||Reasoning|
|MSU||$194||$225||$220||$207||NOW!!!||Biggest game in years|
|@Minnesota||$78||$40||$30||-||at game||Letdown year in Minn|
|Rutgers||$43||same||$60||nope||Now or later||Last reasonable home game before OSU.|
|@Indiana||$63||$60||$55||-||wait.||Going down now.|
|@Penn State||$145||$108||$115||$100||next loss||They play OSU this week so...|
|Ohio State||$217||$181||$265||$201||NOW!!!||Unless you think they'll lose|
The MSU tickets are hopping up to $250 but there are a lot of them still popping up. OSU tickets as well. These are people who see a chance to pay for the difference between the price they paid for a UNLV ticket and what the UNLV ticket was actually worth, but they're not wrong. If you want to test the waters and see if they'll come down closer to gametime, I still suggest buying printable tickets online. A lot of people who usually show up and find a ticket on the way in are going to be jockeying for the few that actually made it to the stadium. Spartans too. With Thanksgiving and the entropy of football threatening The Game, the MSU game will probably wind up the most expensive ticket of the year.
Also it'll be a crisp 48 degrees and sunny. Who would want to sell?
My gophers who investigated the Gophers ticket market were right: as soon as they were dismantled by Northwestern the "Kill-ing It" happy fun times were over, and the home crowd shrank back to the kind-hearted people who get really into punters and bits of broken chair trophies. Penn State I feel I've scouted pretty well too—the tickets will be $100 now or later but you can save $10 or $20 if you catch a firesale after a disappointing loss.
As for the two remaining home games, Rutgers is less of a dog now that Michigan fans awoke to the sooner-than-we-thought "arrival" of the good times, then immediately realized there's only one game that isn't Ohio State or Michigan State. If you buy now you're expecting Michigan to beat Michigan State on Saturday, because if that happens this ticket will keep incrementing upwards.
And then there's The Game. This could be a playoff play-in, or it could be a slaughter if the Buckeyes appear to be back on track and the Harbaugh papering job doesn't keep working. Buying now is a risk but this one's getting volatile as more believers buy in. I'd still wait just because there are soooooo many singles tickets out there. If they start getting gobbled up, make your move. It could be the best game of the year. Or of your life.
Don't do it on the board because we frown upon that, but sometimes a little moping about your ticket situation on Facebook can drum up an invite.
BEST DEAL RIGHT NOW (that I can find on the sponsor's site because let's support people who support us okay?)
If you're gonna shell out, have a good time:
Somebody priced these to move; they're a little high up (Row 96) but in the End Zone that's a good thing. And the marginal difference between them and the other End Zone is worth it to be right next to the student section.
P.S. Said sponsor has an app now in case you're on your phone reading this and don't have microscopic fingertips. If you're using them use the code MGOBLOG and they'll give you 10% off certain listings.