this guy evidently hired to work for AD
Here are the photos from the game yesterday.
Jibreel Black forced fumble (Fuller)
Devin Gardner rushing TD (Fuller)
Derrick Green (Upchurch)
Taylor Lewan and his precious (Upchurch)
Once again, all photos are creative commons licensed. If you have any questions or comments please contact me at email@example.com.
Michigan has only offered one quarterback in the 2015 class in Josh Rosen, and he will not be a Wolverine. He told me that he’s already got a pretty good idea of where he wants to play his college ball, and that Michigan is too cold for him. That being said, which signal-callers could be on deck for a Michigan offer?
|Dual-threat Dillman is probably Michigan's top target for the class.|
Kevin Dillman (La Mirada HS – La Mirada, CA) Kevin Dillman is an interesting recruit as he was born in Sweden and has only lived in the United States for about three years. In his short time playing football in America he has garnered a ton of attention and is rated as a 5-star quarterback on some recruiting services. He recently named a top two of Nebraska and Michigan and he looks like the next best bet to receive an offer. He also hasn’t been shy and has openly expressed his affinity for the Wolverines and might be the most likely to commit from this list. Dillman has double-digit offers already from Nebraska, Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, UCLA and more. Couple that with his prototypical size-- 6’4”, 225--and he’s worthy of his 5-star status.
He possesses elite athleticism, playing wide receiver, kick returner, and safety for his high school squad. This is not your typical pretty-boy QB; he’s physical, tough, and looks natural running the ball or dropping back and setting his feet when letting it fly. He has some of the more impressive film out there for 2015 QBs.
I think it is a question of when rather than if he receives a Michigan offer. Dillman told me that he’s taking his recruitment slowly right now to focus on his season but his knowledge for the Wolverines is always growing.
I actually don’t know much about Michigan history and stuff right now but I like the fact that they’re moving back to a more pro-style offense. The reason Michigan has been standing out for me is because growing up in Sweden I always looked up to and tried to learn from Tom Brady. The fact that he went to Michigan is the reason why I’ve had my eyes open for Michigan.
Dillman currently lives with a host family in California and tells me that distance will be a non-issue for him as he has already went through the “moving out of the house” transition. He wouldn’t quite name Michigan his favorite, but he said they are definitely up there for him and he plans to get more questions answered about his recruitment at the end of his season.
More targets after the jump.
Split out wide for most of the game, Devin Funchess set career highs in receptions and yards. [Photo: Bryan Fuller, MGoBlog]
After two ugly victories against overmatched opponents, Michigan entered their game against Minnesota with a reshuffled offensive line and a pressing need to placate the fanbase by not playing down to their opponent. After a slow start, they did just that, scoring 28 second-half points en route to a 42-13 homecoming victory.
The natives were restless during a plodding first half in which the two teams combined for just eight real drives (the Gophers ran out the last 1:25 of the half), due mostly to a 16-play, 75-yard march by Minnesota—during which they converted five third downs—that saw them tie the game at seven. That came after Jibreel Black forced a fumble by Gopher quarterback Mitch Leidner on the game's opening possession; James Ross recovered and the Michigan offense capitalized with six runs in six plays, covering 35 yards and capped by an eight-yard Fitz Toussaint touchdown.
The ensuing Gopher drive ate up most of the first quarter, allowing them to not only knot up the score, but keep it close for the rest of the half. This was "old time Big Ten football" in the worst sense—slow-paced, run-heavy, and not particularly effective. Four consecutive punts followed, and the heated battle for field position eventually went in Michigan's favor—after Matt Wile's 55-yard boot was downed by Dennis Norfleet at the Gopher one-yard line, Minnesota was forced to punt it away from the nine, and Drew Dileo took a line drive kick well into Gopher territory. Four plays later, Devin Gardner hooked up with Devin Funchess—who spent most of the game lined up at wide receiver—on a post route for a 24-yard touchdown with 1:25 left in the half. Fitting the general tenor of the game, Minnesota decided to forego any chance at points, running twice and carrying three timeouts into halftime.
If that seemed questionable at the time, it looked more so after Michigan drove 75 yards in nine plays to open the second half, bolstered by an improved running game and the emergence of Funchess, Giant Wide Receiver. The first four plays of the drives were runs of 14, 5, 8, and 9 yards; a 21-yard back-shoulder throw to Funchess set up a two-yard Derrick Green touchdown to cap the drive. The Gophers could only respond with a field goal to cut the Wolverine lead to 21-10; that would be the closest they'd get for the rest of the game.
Much of the credit for that can go to Funchess, who finished with seven catches for 151 yards—both career highs—and set up a late Gardner touchdown run with a 46-yard grab on the right sideline. Even though the numbers don't bear it out, the running game looked improved as well; though Michigan averaged just 3.2 yards per carry as a team, Fitz Toussaint (right, Upchurch) had an impressive 78 yards on just 17 carries, adding a second touchdown run from 12 yards out to give Michigan a 28-10 third-quarter lead that proved insurmountable. Chris Bryant, the new starter at left guard, proved adept as a puller, which allowed Michigan to run the play they'd like to (eventually) make their offensive identity: power.
Most importantly, considering the troubles of the last two games, Michigan didn't turn the ball over once, the first time they've done so since their 58-0 win over these same Gophers in 2011, Brady Hoke's first season at the helm. After looking flustered against UConn, Devin Gardner was very sharp, connecting on 13 of 17 passes for 235 yards and a touchdown while showing a calmness in the pocket that wasn't present in previous games. Gardner wasn't needed much as a runner, carrying the ball just seven times for 17 yards and a TD; in a game like this, that's just fine.
While the defense had trouble getting off the field on third downs, allowing Minnesota to convert on 8 of 15 chances, they were otherwise solid; the Gophers mustered just 281 total yards on 4.5 yards per play and couldn't score a touchdown after their second drive. The inside linebacker duo of Desmond Morgan and James Ross combined for 19 tackles, making it tough sledding for any Minnesota run up the gut. While the Wolverines had trouble covering Gopher TE Maxx Williams, who finished with 54 yards and a touchdown on five receptions, the rest of the Minnesota passing offense generated just 91 yards. While the Gophers missed a couple chances for big completions late, Michigan made up for that when Blake Countess stepped in front of a Leidner throw and returned it 72 yards to complete the scoring with just 1:19 on the clock. The biggest concern on that side of the ball going forward may be the health of nose tackle Ondre Pipkins, who was carted off the field with a left knee injury; he's a critical backup behind Quinton Washington.
Despite the close calls and consternation from the nonconference slate, Michigan now sits at 5-0 and 1-0 in the Big Ten, and after two harrowing wins over bad teams the Wolverines beat Minnesota in a wholly acceptable fashion—the slow pace masked a dominant effort until the game broke open late. In the end, Michigan scored five touchdowns on eight offensive drives, with the defense adding a sixth for good measure while forcing Minnesota to fight for every yard. It wasn't pretty in any aesthetic sense; the score, however, speaks for itself.
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Something's been missing from Michigan gamedays since the free programs ceased being economically viable: scientific gameday predictions that are not at all preordained by the strictures of a column in which one writer takes a positive tack and the other a negative one… something like Punt-Counterpunt.
By Nick RoUMel
Issues of NCAA reform are bubbling to a head. John Bacon assessed the problem and some of the solutions just for recently. As for paying players, he suggests that this would not fix the underlying problem, but simply requiring feeding the greedy college football monster with even more money. As a starting point for discussion, Bacon proposes re-imposing what had been a long-time ban on freshman eligibility, as a means to eventually force the NFL and NBA to stop using colleges as their minor league program.
I too have railed against the business and corporate aspect of college football in this space, and come off as curmudgeonly to some. Sometimes I wax fondly about the old days, but I’m realistic enough to know those days are gone. We have created a situation that makes a lot of people filthy rich and leaves many players feeling used. If they’re real lucky, they leave college with a college degree, good memories, and bodies largely intact as they pursue alternate careers.
There is one thing about the old days, however, I do not like. Which leads me to the Minnesota Gophers and their coach Jerry Kill, who happens to suffer from epilepsy. In the old days, epileptics were often shunned, segregated with the insane or even imprisoned. This was part of the generally abysmal way our society has often treated people with physical, mental, or emotional conditions. We have progressed to the point, I would hope, that we don’t want to do such things anymore.
Except for Minnesota Star-Tribune columnist Jim Souhan, who suggested that the Gophers should fire Coach Kill in part because “No one who buys a ticket to TCF Bank Stadium should be rewarded with the sight of a middle-aged man writhing on the ground.” I’m not sure if this opinion is grounded in the historical shutting away of “defectives,” the entitlement of fans and networks to be not be distracted from the business of college football, or both. But it is an opinion that I find abhorrent.
If Coach Kill has just one more play in him than Akron’s Coach Bowden or UConn’s (now fired) Coach Pasqualoni, then maybe he will beat Michigan and temporarily shut up his ignorant critics. I do know that the Wolverines have been playing like amateurs lately, rather than the paid performers some wish they were. After today’s performance, you might even see a few of our players fired.
MINNESOTA 23, MICHIGAN 21
By Heiko Yang
The beauty of amateurism is you can’t get fired from a job you’re not being paid to do. For example, if Devin Gardner throws back-to-back interceptions in the first quarter, he’ll probably get benched, and if he keeps regressing he’ll probably no longer be the starter. As much as that sounds like being fired, the important distinction is that he’ll get to keep his scholarship, and that sounds like a good deal to me. Being a backup might actually be a better life plan. After all, the fewer snaps Gardner takes, the more likely his body will be intact when he leaves with his Master’s degree to pursue an alternate career.
That pretty much sums up why I don’t see any reason to give athletes more than what they’re already getting. A scholarship essentially says, “Your education is free as long as you play this sport, even if you end up being awful.”* If current athletes feel like they’re being exploited for generating revenue they’ll never see, there’s a really simple solution: start sucking. Being relegated to the practice squad doesn’t make that degree any less free.
That’s the kind of job security a guy like Jerry Kill could really use right now, but he has no amateurism clause to hide behind. Yes, the Star-Tribune columnist’s jab at Kill is callous and reprehensible. Unfortunately, he’s technically correct. Unlike Gardner, Kill is actually getting paid to do his job. Lots. If he becomes unable to do that job, he probably shouldn’t get paid anymore. To be clear, there’s a thing called common decency that says we shouldn’t be jerks to a guy who’s suffering from epilepsy, but when millions of dollars are involved, there’s no such thing as a medical hardship. Even Urban Meyer knows that.
The rabbling for NCAA reform has indeed reached a crescendo recently, and I have to tell you: the portrayal of a grave class struggle between the haves and have-nots, the suits and jerseys, is disingenuous. It’s not like players are poorer than they were 20 years ago. Deep down I think we just hate looking at Mark Emmert’s side-part, which I swear to God becomes more and more perfect every day.
We try to pin the bastardization of our beloved pastime on money and corporatism, but we have only ourselves to blame. We love amateur sports so much that we do everything in our power to corrupt it. Especially as Michigan fans, when we consider the thick wads of cash we indiscriminately throw at anything that’s blue with maize stripes, we should be thankful our football program didn’t end up like USC or Miami.
Don't get me wrong. There are plenty of changes we can make to preserve amateurism and tradition in college football as well as improve athlete education and safety. I hope the latter get implemented soon so I don’t have to feel so guilty every time someone forgets to block Frank Clark. But ultimately, I don’t think college athletes should be paid. Even though all we want is to give them money, that part of it should stay untouched. I mean, I would hate to give Nick a reason to think he can go around firing any of our players.
Not that he’ll feel compelled to, because Michigan will win comfortably.
Minnesota 10, Michigan 35
*[unless you’re at Alabama.]
I forgot I promised Brian to do a post about this before I went ahead and launched it in Guess the Score. Anyway, meet my favorite shirt we've ever made except maybe the Space Emperor ones. Zoom? Zoom:
To relive the excuses hit the jump. To order the shirt hit the link. We're going to preorder a bunch of these for people who'd like them in time for the game.