I keep a relatively well-updated roster on NCAA 2013, based on Operation Sports but I tweak Michigan and its opponents as the season goes along. This morning while chasing the toddler around I left it simulating the Michigan vs. Oregon State game. I hear it blowing up from the other room and come back to find Peppers returning a kickoff. Now I'm watching, and getting into this. Oregon State doesn't complete a pass until the 3rd quarter—a 9-yard screen on 4th and 14—but they're running all over the right side (Ojemudia's). I try Marshall and it gets worse. I try a formation that has RJS there and nope.
But the fake videogame OL is consistently getting push, and Rudock is 60% with no INTs and 4 TDs, and Butt gets 9 catches for 110 yards, and Green busts a long one in garbage time, and because it's on sim I'm seeing angles of Michigan Stadium that I don't really get while playing. Fake Michigan beats Fake Oregon State 62-10, outgaining the Fake Beavers 387 yards to 192 (60 yards passing after giving up on the run). Morris comes in kneels and the band strikes up The Victors. There's nobody but the toddler around. So I raise my fist, and am transported home.
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 "41-30" or "35-31 Michigan", or "28-24 Go Blue", or "38-0 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:
Michigan went to Utah and a ton of people predicted the 24-17 final score, but with Michigan on top. We still have two get the score correct, and three people were off by one. They get Endzones!
This Week's Game:
Michigan comes home to face the Beavers. At the Big House. I mean, banner-touching, Varsity-singin, Blues Brothers-dancin', 107,601 person-holding, Crisler's seat-reserving Michigan Stadium!
And on the Line:
A full-size, limited edition print by famous portrait artist (and Bacon book interviewee) Ben McCready. Bennie is named for THAT Bennie, who was his godfather. McCready is part of the lifeblood of this Michigan of ours. And while the Legends jerseys are no longer, some of the men they honored deserve to be on your wall (clockwise from left: Anthony Carter, Tom Harmon, Bob Chappuis, Bennie Oosterbaan, Ron Kramer, Desmond Howard).
Our favorite ol' hole in the ground is shown on the day it opened (bottom left), as it appeared in the Bump/Bo days (bottom right), and filled in the last year before the halo (1997). The Collector's Edition is 24" by 32" and there will only ever be 1,997 of them. You can also buy an 18" by 24" print from his site. Note that these are prints not posters—I have one and it's about as thick as HTTV's cover.
Oregon State dispatched Weber State, which went 2-10 last year at the FCS level, by the score of 26-7 in their opener last weekend. Despite the final score, however, the offense struggled to find a rhythm. The two-quarterback battle between true freshman Seth Collins and redshirt freshman Marcus McMaryion ended in the third quarter when McMaryion tossed a pick six on a screen pass. Even when accounting for the experimentation with multiple QBs, 391 yards on 5.0 yards per play against a low-level FCS team isn't great.
That said, Collins showed off electric running ability, and there are enough playmakers around him to make the Beavers dangerous if Michigan can't shut down the run game. Whether OSU can show off a second dimension will go a long way towards determining their success.
Personnel. Seth's diagram [click to embiggen]:
Oregon State will frequently lift Jarmon for a second tight end or an H-back.
Spread, Pro-Style, or Hybrid? Spread-to-run. The only times Oregon State didn't go shotgun were in third- or fourth-and-short situations.
Basketball on Grass or MANBALL? Gary Andersen's squad used a lot of gap blocking principles, even in an offense heavy on read option plays.
Hurry it up or grind it out? Somewhere in the middle. OSU didn't huddle but they kept a leisurely tempo; I'd assume having a true freshman at QB limits how much they can do in this regard.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]
Upon Further Review has a sponsor!
UFR is the ur content of MGoBlog. We've had sponsor offers in the past, but they were never the right fit. This is the right fit. Longtime reader and MGoBlog supporter Matt Demorest started Homesure Lending on the same principles as Upon Further Review: chart the information that's out there, and try to turn it into sense.
As a mortgage broker he has the flexibility to get the right lender and right pricing structure, and as a small niche outfit for Southeast Michigan he doesn't have to charge much to get you the right deal. He refinanced my house and Seth's house, and I was really happy about my rate until I heard Seth's rate. He bought everyone drinks at Ashley's last week. This was an undertaking.
FORMATION NOTES: Michigan spent the entire game in nickel save for scattered snaps in a dime package with three safeties (Hill, Thomas, Wilson) on it. Their first drive they came out in an odd front featuring the buck as a standup end:
Either they weren't happy with the play there or it was just a stunt, because after the first drive Michigan spent most of the rest of the day with an even four-man front:
On occasion they'd do this or something similar with a standup end; this pinched formation saw a hard line slant that got Wormley through for one of his impressive penetration plays:
And that was about it. Michigan spent the entire game with one very deep safety—generally 15 or more yards off the LOS; sometimes they'd offer a two high look but they always came down with one or the other presnap.
PERSONNEL NOTES: Line was mostly Henry/Glasgow/Wormley/Ojemudia. Matt Godin got the most time of any backup, spotting both Wormley and Henry frequently and pretty effectively. Charlton played a reasonable number of snaps behind Henry as well. Maurice Hurst was mostly a passing down sub for Glasgow; he did get a few standard down snaps. RJS saw a little bit of time.
At linebacker it was mostly Morgan and Bolden. Gedeon got a drive; Ross got a couple. Secondary was Lewis/Peppers/Wilson/Hill 100% of the time and a mix of Stribling and Clark at the last spot. Thomas got some snaps in the dime package.
[After THE JUMP: battling a very spread out spread]
So the Cassius Winston situation cleared up in a hurry.
As it turns out, Michigan had a top-100 prospect ready to commit, and 2016 Lima (OH) point guard Xavier Simpson did just that this afternoon after a late push by the Wolverines. Simpson originally planned to choose today between finalists Illinois, Iowa State, Miami, and Wisconsin. Increased attention from Michigan's staff in the wake of Winston's shifting visit plans changed the outlook entirely.
Simpson is the fourth commit in the 2016 class, joining wing Ibi Watson and big men Jon Teske and Austin Davis.
4*, #12 PG,
|4*, #87 Ovr||
4*, 84, #12 PG,
3*, 92, #13 PG,
4*, #13 PG,
The four services are in general agreement on Simpson, all listing him in the bottom half of the top 100 overall prospects. He's the #12 or #13 point guard prospect in the country on the sites that bother with positional rankings; Rivals, for some reason, not only fails to do those but lists players only at G, F, or C unless you click on all their profiles.
Simpson is diminutive. He's listed at 5'11 and 165-170 pounds on three of the four sites; Scout has him at 5'10, 155.
Here's Scout's free evaluation:
EvaluationSimpson isn't the most physically gifted player in the class, but he is one of the most effective. Standing only 5-foot-11 he shows absolutely no fear on the basketball court and has set his team up for a lot of wins during his high school and AAU careers. He needs to continue to refine his jumper, but his leadership and ability to run a team make him an in demand prospect.
- Basketball IQ
- Big-Game Player
Areas to Improve
- 3-Point Range
I'll have much more on Simpson tomorrow in an updated post. Football duties beckon for now.
Michigan's recruitment of 2016 four-star MI PG Cassius Winston appears to be over after a few recent, surprising developments. News came out earlier this week that Winston planned to push his official visit, originally set for September 19th, back a week; then a report from MLive's Brendan Quinn threw the entire visit into doubt. Winston confirmed this morning that he's no longer considering Michigan:
My list of schools is now down to 3. Msu, Pitt, and Stanford (no order). Umich no longer an option
— Cassius Winston (@cassiuswinston) September 9, 2015
I'll have more on this in tomorrow's recruiting roundup as the fallout becomes more clear. It sounds like Michigan's staff got uneasy when Winston tried to push back his visit; they need a point guard in this class and couldn't afford to wait on Winston and then miss.
Top targets going forward should be New Jersey four-star Bryce Aiken and Wisconsin three-star Te'Jon Lucas. Lavell Jordan is already in Milwaukee watching Lucas today.
Alex Cook: UP: Watching the game live, I thought Chris Wormley stood out to me far more than I'd expected: even with the loss of Bryan Mone, the defensive line was projected to be a strength, but I was surprised to see that Wormley was often leading the charge and anchoring a stout run defense. With Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison's history of coaching up defensive linemen -- as well as their tendency to rotate them in and out of the game -- it was easy to figure that there could be a breakout star in that group. Preseason predictions were often in favor of Willie Henry becoming that guy, but Wormley is definitely a contender to really shine under Durkin this year.
DOWN: A lot of national attention focused on Jake Rudock's three interceptions (and rightfully so, as the pick-six wound up eventually becoming the margin of victory), but the run game was the big disappointment of the evening. Even though the offensive line held up fine in pass protection, Michigan's inability to run the ball was a problem that can't really be pinned on one guy. Maybe Utah's front is really good. In any case, I thought De'Veon Smith didn't play as well as I'd hoped. After seizing the job in practice, he got the lion's share of touches, but didn't make the most of them. It was going to be hard sledding with the OL playing like it did, but Smith didn't help himself out as much as he could've, in my opinion.
[After the jump: everyone agrees with Ace]