About Last Week:
It was a bye week, so for the second week in a row, NO FOOTBALL OF ANY KIND HAPPENED.
The Road Ahead:
Minnesota (4-3, 1-2 B1G)
Last week: Lost to Nebraska, 48-25; Bye
Recap: We’ve got to start this week on a serious down note. Jerry Kill, one of the fundamentally good dudes in a fundamentally un-dude profession, announced his immediate retirement on Wednesday morning. And this wasn’t a Steve Spurrier “eh, let’s go do something else that is more golf-adjacent” retirement. Kill’s presser made clear that he wanted to keep coaching, and that he has no idea what else he’s going to do, but for health reasons he just can’t coach anymore:
Seriously, watch that whole thing. Watch it twice.
Part of being a football fan is mentally divorcing the game you see from the toll it takes on the people involved. We tend to think of coaches as being above that fray. But these guys are a different breed, and take on an impossibly overwhelming task. It is no wonder that it breaks even the strong.
Kill was dealt an even more impossible task than making Minnesota football competitive in the 21st century. It's inspiring that he tried to do what he loved anyway. It's equally inspiring that he walked away from it when he couldn't do it right anymore. I vote anything with Paterno's name on it gets changed to Kill. Except Jay.
In a football sense, Minnesota is also in a rough place. After opening the year 4-1 and getting some honest-to-god votes in the polls, Minnesota is going to have to scramble to make a bowl game. The Gophers have to find two wins among home games against Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin, and road games at Ohio State and Iowa. All five of those teams are in the S&P Top 25, and Bill Connelly has them winning about one more game.
This team is as frightening as: a 30 cent water jug. Fear Level = 3
Michigan should worry about: Minnesota may be inspired by Kill’s departure and turn in an unexpectedly strong performance.
Michigan can sleep soundly about: They still need to, like, score points to win.
When they play Michigan: This is basically Michigan with Direct TV vs. Michigan with Cable.
This week: vs. Michigan, 7:00 p.m., ESPN
[After the JUMP, a lot of things to sleep soundly about]
[What is this? Joe Pichey, serious bbq-ing dude, has been writing up tailgating recipes on his blog MMMGoBluBBQ and we "borrowed" him. Stubb's sponsored it because they're fans of the site and good people, and this whole Joe-MGoBlog-Stubb's-Readers thing seems like a match of destiny.]
This recipe is perfect for tailgating as it can be assembled ahead of time and grilled up in less than 5 minutes. The grilled raviolis have three of my favorite traits: They are crunchy, bite sized and extremely DIPPABLE. What else could you ask for? You can also stuff just about anything inside. I've made coney raviolis, pizza raviolis and peanut butter and jalapeño jelly raviolis at recent tailgates, and all have been tasty.
- Won Ton Wrappers
- Cooked Shrimp or Shredded Chicken
- Havarti Cheese
- Jalapeño (optional)
- 1 Egg (For Egg Wash)
Hatch Queso Dip: (Melt all ingredients in crockpot or cast iron pot)
- 1 lb Velveeta cheese block
- 1/2 cup Hatch Green Chili Sauce
[After the jump: this isn't at all hard to make]
Suddenly 2016 looks a lot brighter.
I came to Michigan to get my education not to leave in three years.
— Jourdan Lewis (@JourdanJD) October 29, 2015
So that's pretty good.
Are you finding teams focusing on Jake [Butt] a little bit more as part of their gameplan, trying to take him away?
“There seems to be a little bit of that every now and then. Just, sometimes that’s how it shakes out, how the cookie crumbles, that the guy that’s the intended target of a route isn’t open and we trust Jake Rudock to get the ball to the guy who is open.”
What was your reaction when you found out about Jerry Kill’s resignation this morning?
“Sad. I figured it was something that had to be pretty serious. You never want to hear anything like that, and you know that he has the background of certain health issues so you hope and pray that he gets healthy and his family deals with everything alright, because that’s a serious thing.”
As a young coach, how do you have to learn to manage balancing the stresses of coaching with your health?
“I don’t know, I probably don’t do a good job. I had a donut today, so that’s good. I don’t know. I mean, I think a lot of it has to do with your work environment. The guys we work with are serious about football but they’re lighthearted guys, so it’s fun, it’s loose and serious at the same time if that makes any sense. I’m not a doctor, but I would imagine that’s helpful over the long term of not developing like hypertension or something. I don’t know. I probably should stop eating donuts, too.”
How have your dad and uncle managed to handle it? How have you seen them do it?
“Um, I don’t know. Not in any way that’s special or unique, I don’t think. They both find ways and time to spend with their family and exercise and stuff. They have fun doing what they’re doing. I don’t know. It’s a good question. Certainly it’s something to be aware of.”
[After THE JUMP: Did he use the two-costume strategy as a kid? Also, things about tight ends. And Jabrill.]
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: The director was one of those guys who fancies himself Stanley Kubrick so we never got a proper shot of what M was doing presnap on the Peppers sweep:
You'll note that M only has four OL; Cole is lined up outside of DeVeon Smith. This was "shotgun empty tight" but that's insufficient to describe it, really.
This with 3TEs and a WR in a wing spot was "Ace tight":
And M pulled out another goofy split line setup. Cole is one of the WRs to the top; Williams is the "right tackle". "Emory 3-wide," I said, and took another antacid:
PERSONNEL NOTES: The usual at most of the spots except Michigan whittled down the number of guys who played at the skill positions. Johnson and Green are on the participation list but didn't get carries; I don't remember them playing at all. Higdon and Isaac did get carries, but sparingly.
At WR it was almost all Darboh and Chesson and then they added in Harris or Perry in 3 or 4 wide sets. TE was about the usual.
[After THE JUMP: opportunities untaken]
More of this, please.
The hoops preview continues with a look at Michigan's wings, which will be split into two parts because the Wolverines legitimately have eight wing-ish types who could conceivably see the floor this year. Today's post focuses on the three wings expected to slot into the starting lineup: Caris LeVert, Aubrey Dawkins, and Zak Irvin. While this trio has its question marks, they also have the potential to be one of the most dangerous starting groups in the country.
Measurables: 6'7", 205
Base Stats: 35.8 MPG, 14.9 PPG, 43/38/82 2P/3P/FT%, 4.9 RPG, 67 assists, 39 turnovers
Key Advanced Metrics: 25.9% usage, 101.1 ORating, 22.9 assist rate, 3.4 steal %
Caris LeVert passed up the chance to go pro for one last season at Michigan, and in doing so he has the chance to establish himself as a borderline lottery pick if all goes well.
Unlike with Derrick Walton, whose injury struck so early in the season that it's easy—and correct—to blame it for his struggles before he shut it down entirely, LeVert wasn't the All-American candidate many expected he'd become before his broken foot cost him the majority of Big Ten season. Instead we saw LeVert struggle to balance becoming the number one option with playing within John Beilein's offense; while he had less help than Trey Burke and Nik Stauskas before him, LeVert's herky-jerky drives to the hoop often caused the offense to grind to a halt.
[Hit THE JUMP.]