About Last Week
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single Butt. “
~ Lao Tzu
The Road Ahead
Oregon State (1-0, 0-0 PAC-12)
Last week: Defeated Weber State, 26-7
Recap: You’re going to have to resist the impulse to skip ahead to the Indiana and Penn State sections. I know why you’re here. You’re here for the snark. But you must be patient. We’ll get there. And in the meantime, there is some important information between here and there.
It’s hard to draw too many conclusions this early, but Oregon State struggling early with an FCS team that finished 2-10 last year does not bode particularly well for the Beavers to make a shocking breakthrough this year. The Beavs were up 6-0 at the half, and while the defense held the Fightin’ Hibachis in check all game (their only score was a pick-6), the offense, and in particular the passing game, were meh. True freshman Seth Collins went 10-18 for 92 yards (5.1 YPA), but managed to pick up 152 yards on 17 carries. Fantastically-named running back Storm Woods averaged 4.2 yards per carry, and didn’t break anything longer than 8 yards.
This team is as frightening as: 2009 Michigan when Denard was under center. Fear Level = 5
Michigan should worry about: Michigan just got done giving up an uncomfortable number of yards on the ground to a quarterback, both this week and, like, this century.
Michigan can sleep soundly about: Michigan opens as a 14 point favorite. No team has ever lost when favored by 14 or more points.
When they play Michigan: Presumably Michigan will provide a stouter test than Weber State. Otherwise… let’s just say I haven’t completely ignored the need to prepare a stock of Emergency Bourbon.
This week: @ Michigan, 12:00
UNLV (0-1, 0-0 MWC)
Last week: Lost to Northern Illinois, 38-30
Recap: Maybe this says more about the state of UNLV football than anything, but that looks like a pretty promising result for the Rebels. Even though they gave up 545 yards (including 360 yards passing at 13.8 YPA), they put up 493 yard, and actually had a 17-3 lead late in the first half. They’re probably still a tomato can.
Side note: How are they “the Rebels?” I’m not even asking in a your-mascot-is-probably-not-ideal-in-the-21st-century way. Nevada wasn’t a part of the confederacy. In fact, they joined the Union DURING the Civil War. They were the exact opposite of a rebel. I’m hard-pressed to think of a less fitting mascot, other than maybe the Utah Jazz.
A thing that makes no sense.
This team is as frightening as: Having gas while on a first date. Odds are, you can avoid the problem. But if you let up at the wrong time… Fear Level = 3
Michigan should worry about: Michigan has struggled to some degree with a cupcake non-conference game pretty much every year since 2006. This is the only cupcake game on the schedule, Popular Mechanics commentary notwithstanding. Therefore…
Michigan can sleep soundly about: Did you read the part where they gave up 13.8 yards per pass?
When they play Michigan: You will spend all week talking about Vegas in a Foghorn Leghorn accent. Your friends/classmates/coworkers will think this odd.
This week: vs. UCLA, 10:30 p.m. At home. Wait… wut?
[AFTER THE JUMP: Turtles and Rocks]
[ED (Seth): Michigan comes home on Saturday, and for the first time in what feels like a long time the spirit of a Michigan home opener is congenial tailgating. It is clear that the number one thing that makes a tailgate is who you're there with. But the quality of the product on the gridiron matters much.
To that end we have engaged the services of Joe Pichey, the Jim Harbaugh of barbecuing, to share his weekly recipes. With him comes Stubb's, who sponsors it because their CEO is an avid MGoBlog reader and appreciator of things done right for the right reasons.]
The secret ingredient is lasting lessons
Country style ribs have been a favorite of mine as long as I can remember. I can recall getting a whiff of these while playing tackle football half way down the block in Fenton as Mom baked them in the oven. Thanks Mom for starting my PORK ADDICTION!
There is something about the smell of melting pork fat that takes me back. Tender...Juicy.....Flavorful......Comforting. These can made in under 3 hours and will not break the bank, which makes them perfect for the tailgate. The 2 - 3 hour cook window is the perfect time to start a new book. Hint Hint.
Country Style Ribs
Stubbs BBQ Seasoning
Stubbs Sweet Heat or Sticky Sweet Sauce
[After the jump: it's not gratuitous product placement if the product makes it tastier]
Did you ask Mike Riley for a scouting report here on Oregon State’s personnel or anything?
“No, it’s so different. The schemes are so different. There’s not a lot of carryover from what I remember us doing at Oregon State back in the day or I remember him doing the last few years.”
MGoQuestion: Is Khalid Hill 100% and will he see more time going forward?
“Yeah, yeah. He’s healthy to my knowledge and he’s going to continue contributing for us.”
Can you share a little bit about your decision to go to Oregon State and the whole process, because your dad had the connection with Riley a little bit.
“Mmhmm. Yeah, that was the connection really was that he played for Reily so it was the kind of deal where I knew I could go there and be well looked after and learn under a really good leader who treats people well. So, that was kind of the most important part of the thing.”
They gave you a lot of responsibility, though, as a student.
“Yeah, I don’t know why they gave me so much. They were very trusting, but the guys there were really good in terms of teaching and giving me responsibility but then giving you tools to get things done and trusting you, so I greatly appreciated that.”
You’re still pretty young. In the past few years since then do you think you’ve learned more than most coaches would at your age?
“Uh…I don’t know. That’s a tough question. To compare to other people I’m not really sure, but I would hope so.”
[After THE JUMP: I got shut down in the interest of protecting play calls and it was actually pretty awesome]
What did you think of the secondary against Utah?
“We expected more higher energy out of our players and more competitive spirit. I don’t think- I think they went into the game playing more cautiously than just relying on what they learned in camp. And I know with our older guys, you know, Jarrod Wilson and Jourdan Lewis, they’re going to make a difference for this week. I know they’re going to make sure that we up the tempo this week in playing the defense in the secondary.”
Were you pleased with your corners in coverage?
“I was. I mean, I was. Can it be better? Yes, it can be much better. Same with the safeties. One thing, I don’t try to divide it. I think corners and safeties should all be together, so if the corners look good the safeties look good, if the safeties looks good the corners look good. The coverage overall, I thought it was fair. It could have been much better than what it was. The one thing we strive on is not letting up a big play and we pretty much gave up one big play in the game. Sometimes you can’t give up those plays, so I think we have to be a more aggressive defense in the secondary, which our defense allows us to do that. We just have to get it done.”
Did you feel like Jabrill kind of trusted his instincts a little more in the second half?
“I did. I did. Jabrill came out [and] I think it was more nerves rather than just playing, because this was actually his third game. You know, so he’s still really a true freshman. One of the things Jabrill I think has to do is just trust his instincts, because he’s really very instinctive. One of the things I think he has to do a lot more is just play within himself. He’s trying to get out there and use his speed rather than thinking about the game, and I think that’s what got him in trouble early in the first half. I think he’ll bounce back, just like all our guys will.”
At the start of fall camp Jeremy Clark was a safety and Wayne Lyons was at corner. What’s the reason for that swap?
“Well, we just felt that Jeremy Clark could bring a lot more to the table at corner because he’s long, he’s tall, he’s quick. You know, he could use his hands a lot more and he can run with the big guys, the big receivers in the Big Ten and we felt Wayne was more instinctive as a safety, and he plays in space a lot better back there in the middle of the field so that was one of the reasons we made that change.”
[After THE JUMP: Aggressively pursuing aggressiveness and Freddy Canteen the WR?]
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.]