I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
Should you panic for Minnesota? Well if the things that happened before have bearing on the things that occur after, then yes, you should expect Michigan to have to come from behind in the 4th quarter.
How this works again:
- I put up a winnable prize that consists of a desirable good.
- You guess the final scores of this weekend's designated game (football or hoops, depending on the season), and put it in the comments like so:
[Michigan Score]-[Opponent Score]. First person to post a particular score has it.
- If you got it right, we contact you. If not, go to (5)
- The desirable good arrives at the address you give us.
- Non-winners can acquire the same desirable good by trading currency for it.
Last Week's Game:
A bunch of you funny people picked 28-24, but nobody said we'd beat UConn 24-21. Nobody wins the PANIC shirt. This week I'd better see some close scores in here.
Hope that events which occur do not follow the events that preceded them—if Iowa gets on the positive side of offensive comparisons…
And the Prize:
Introducing the Excuses Shirt:
The covered words are not names; I don't know what you're talking about. I'm not waiting to get one. If you're struggling with the reference:
- Four stops from the 1 to preserve an 8-pt victory isn't on the defense.
- No player who went somewhere other than PSU can be THAT good.
- Pennsylvania boys have no other reason to go to Michigan.
- Ten points ought to be a safe enough lead when going against Brady.
- It's impossible for five future NFLers to be good at blocking.
- There's no way all that talent comes from having won a national championship 4 years earlier.
- The 30-yard pass on 3rd-and-12 that he didn't catch on that same drive doesn't matter.
- It's okay to put 2 seconds on the clock for JoePa when he asks, but not for Carr when he asks a minute later.
- It's certainly not good line play or bad blocking that got Morelli killed.
- They spent that week preparing for Henne, not his backup.
Also remember: don't be like that.
If you can read this you don’t need glasses:
One entry per user. First user to choose a set of scores wins, determined by the timestamp of your entry (for my ease I prefer if you don't post it as a reply to another person's score--if you do it won't help or hurt you). Deadline for entries is 24 hours before the start of the game (since I won't have time to pull them on gamedays). Those caught changing their scores after the game has started will be disqualified for life. MGoEmployees and Moderators--anyone else with moderator privileges--are exempt from winning because you could change your timestamp. If you choose the score that Brian published in the official preview and it actually ends up the final score, well, that would be pretty amazing because Brian picks scores like 29-11 all the time. We did not invent the algorithm. The algorithm consistently finds Jesus. The algorithm killed Jeeves. The algorithm is just a regional rivalry. The algorithm is banned in China. The algorithm is from Jersey. The algorithm constantly finds Jesus. This is not the algorithm. This is close. Please don't let the game be.
Michigan Probably Leads For A Five-Star Dual-Threat QB. Wait, What?
Michigan's 2015 quarterback situation is the subject of much conjecture and little more, as the only prospect offered at the position—California five-star Josh Rosen—has stated that he's not interested in the Wolverines. Several names have been thrown out there as potential backup options, with player types ranging from pocket statues to Gardner-like dual threats. If Michigan wants to go the latter route—and Al Borges seems more open to the idea now that the NFL is heading in that direction—then a five-star option has emerged in CA ATH Kevin Dillman, per 247's Ryan Bartow [free article, also contains sources saying that JuJu Smith currently favors Notre Dame and Alabama over the field right now, and Michigan gets mentioned among the leaders of several 2015 prospects]:
3- Kevin Dillman, 5-star QB, La Mirada (Calif.)
Michigan and Nebraska are his Top 2. If Michigan offers, the Wolverines could likely land a commitment this winter or spring.
“I grew up watching Tom Brady. If there was one offer I could wish for it would be Michigan. I really like their coaching staff,” - 5-star QB Kevin Dillman, La Mirada
Please and thank you, right? Well, we'll see. Dillman's sophomore highlights (above) show a lot more of the athlete side—the first clip is a kick return—than the downfield passing aspect that Borges will focus on heavily when deciding whom to offer. Personally, I'd love to see Michigan go the dual-threat route, and if Dillman has enough to work with as a passer, he seems like the best available—and highly interested—option.
Nobody seems to have a clear picture of the 2015 QB pecking order after Rosen, though, and I'm assuming the coaches are hoping to evaluate several options more extensively once junior film starts rolling in. With room for just one QB in the class, this approach makes sense—the coaches can't afford to miss.
One such option is Brother Rice QB Alex Malzone, who's off to a strong start this season. He's the headlining visitor for Minnesota in a quiet weekend for uncommitted prospects and another prospect who's likely to commit if offered, though I think Dillman and a handful of other quarterbacks are higher priorities. Malzone is mentioned as one of five Midwest juniors "on the rise" this season—along with Cass Tech RB Mike Weber—by Allen Trieu.
[Hit THE JUMP to see which Michigan commit is nominated for Gatorade's national player of the year—yeah, you probably guessed it—plus evaluations of a few commits and more.]
As told by Bo. MGoUser Don unearthed this piece of coaching film nostalgia explained by Bo himself:
These days you don't see defensive linemen go to the ground like that when doubled, because they're not 230 pounds anymore. The rest of it remains accurate to this day. Meanwhile, the NFL's hot new trend is Bo offense. Someday that guy's going to make something of himself.
Ten years ago. At some point in the third quarter something terrible happened in the Metrodome, causing me to reflexively go "aaaurrrgh" or something similar, and part of this was a frenzied hand motion that relocated my girlfriend at the time from the couch to the floor. Then Michigan won the game. Minnesota 2003, everybody!
The Star-Tribune delves into the crippling loss ten years on:
“If we win that game, the program is 100 percent different, no doubt about it,” said former quarterback Bryan Cupito, a freshman in ’03. “If we win that game, I would say the next five years of Minnesota football is completely different. I think that would have changed things in a big way.”
For one, flipping the result of that game would have created a four-way logjam at the top of the Big Ten standings with Michigan, OSU, Purdue, and Minnesota all at 6-2. That Gopher team had an unbelievable amount of talent in the run game—Thomas Tapeh, Marion Barber, and Laurence Maroney were all on that team—but they could not survive the John Navarre show in the fourth quarter.
“Once they started scoring touchdowns,” Utecht said, “that little voice kind of pops into your head like, ‘Oh no, please tell me this is not going to happen again.’ ”
Maroney and Matt Spaeth would at last get their revenge two years later when Jim Herrmann called the worst blitz ever in that weird game where they turned the clock off.
Say hello to more iso. Space Coyote breaks down the manballiest play of them all, iso:
While iso's not really something you can base your offense around it can acquire larger chunks when linebackers are shooting gaps like crazy (like ND was) or when you've got a numerical advantage with your QB. In normal situations it's a small gain. This is a good point:
With the move of Glasgow to center and the insertion of Bryant into the lineup at LG, it means a few changes may be in order. Bryant, less the fleet of foot and more the very large, squatty man that is more of a hitter and less of a reacher, probably indicates that Michigan will go to more of a traditional man blocking scheme. Add on that Glasgow isn't the quickest of players for the center position in a stretch run team, and it's likely that Michigan will be running less zone stretch and more gap blocking type activities (with the occasional inside zone mixed in).
What a bizarre shift, and one that should sap your enthusiasm for the new-look offensive line. They've been trying to do one thing a lot for four games and now that they've got Bryant the thing that makes sense is to dump all that preparation in the trash and hope to do something not quite entirely different. Bler.
Not sure why inside zone isn't something SC thinks will feature; me, it seems to makes sense with the personnel and the apparent zone focus of the offseason.
Talking with Chatman's people. People get all out of joint about the 247 Crystal Ball when it's wrong, as it was with Kameron Chatman*, but, you know, like, whatever. It's just, like, people's opinion, man. They should add a confidence rating so we can distinguish between "I will eat my hat if Malik McDowell does not end up at Michigan" and "if I could withdraw this prediction I would but since I cannot here is a blindfolded man pointing a gun." Chatman would have been the latter for us.
Beilein got the thing done in the usual way: identifying talent early and getting on it before anyone else did:
"The thing we liked about Michigan was, first and foremost, Michigan has been recruiting us the longest," Mr. Chatman said. "Coach (Beilein) has been in with us. Coach Meyer started his recruitment in July of 2012, and he’s been there since day one. From him going up to Long Beach Poly, checking out open gyms, staying in contact when Kameron couldn’t play — our relationship even started prior to that, and then to stick through it and even turn it up. In the spring and summer, Michigan’s interest was apparent all the way through."
It was not the guy you might expect that really caught the Chatmans' eyes:
"I think Kameron was very impressed with the development of Jordan Morgan and his story. Not necessarily coming in being the guy who could be forecasted to play in the Big Ten as a contributor but will possibly be a full-time starter this year and is also in graduate school. He’ll go on to be successful."
That's a guy with his eye on some unusual things.
*[Note that Ace and I are jointly operating the main MGoBlog predictotron there; I was the one who projected Chatman to Arizona, not Ace.]
Dominoes. Everything is happening right away in basketball recruiting:
- Michigan coaches visited IN SG James Blackmon Jr last night en masse, hours after Blackmon tweeted out "decision coming soon"; in the aftermath Bacari Alexander sent out something starting with "it's been real" but that he was returning to the guys already on the team to get practice going. Many internets have decided that this means something bad about Blackmon, but in context—Alexander tweeting out pictures of the jet he and the crew are flitting around in, another en masse visit to Grantham—I don't read anything into that.
- Speaking of WV PF Donte Grantham, he announces between Michigan and Clemson tomorrow at noon. Insiders are all over the place on who it'll be. Grantham just took an unofficial to Clemson and Michigan just descended on him with the whole staff; tea leaves are murky. A 50-50 proposition.
- There's no such uncertainty with CA PF DJ Wilson, who's visiting this weekend and should be offered, whereupon the universe expects an instant commit. Wilson's the lowest-ranked of the guys Michigan's after but as a 6'9" super-intelligent (he's got Ivy offers aplenty) shooter he's the sort of kid Beilein snaps up without thinking twice. If things get really crammed and Wilson is amenable he might take a prep school year, but with other BCS options and increasing interest that's asking a lot.
- MS SG Devin Booker takes his official this weekend, and while most feel he's ticketed for Kentucky now I'm saying there's a chance. As previously mentioned, one or the other may get pushed away from Kentucky when the first one drops. Any rumors about MSU getting in on Booker look pretty flimsy given a couple of Plan D offers Izzo just shot out to wing types.
Blackmon has a visit to UK set for the 18th; Booker set a tentative commit date of October 31st; he later took that back but that remains a reasonable timeline. Michigan's 2014 class should be full-ish by the end of the month.
HEY YOU'RE A JERK (you're right shhh). Don't talk about my sister like that, only I talk about my sister like that:
"I think he kind of just panics a lot," Minnesota safety Cedric Thompson told the Minneapolis Star Tribune in a story published Wednesday. "I think when he scrambles, he kind of just throws the ball."
Gardner will revert to old bad ways when pressured or rolling out, which is about 90% of his accuracy issues. Not like Cedric Thompson is going to benefit from this information, since Cedric Thompson is probably going to be eating paste as someone runs by him. (Cue Minnesota blog version of this bullet.)
Trying to make it big. The NYT on the BTN's adoption of college hockey:
“We’re in an investing phase, not in a moneymaking phase, with Big Ten hockey,” Silverman said. “The hope is, over time, that we can grow the sport so it can pay for itself and hopefully be an overall benefit to the network.
“We think it will bring in new viewers. We think it will help with our ratings. But we’re making a significant investment, and it’s not a short-term investment.”
They have nine consecutive doubleheaders on Friday nights, which is the reason you have no gametimes on your tickets. A lot of those are at 7 or 6:30, which might dent attendance. Hopefully Michigan can make it work, as the atmosphere inside Yost is still one of the main draws to college hockey even after its undeniably steady decade-long decline.
By the way, those UNH games that were inexplicably going untelevised have been picked up by Fox College Sports. That leaves the following games as the only untelevised ones this year:
- @ RIT (which is televised locally on what looks like a Time Warner channel like Comcast's)
- Michigan Tech, Friday Nov. 1
- @ UNO, Saturday Nov. 16
- @ Wisconsin, Jan. 11
- Wisconsin, Feb. 1
- @ Penn State, Feb 7
That's a quantum leap forward, especially with UNO and RIT offering live streams. This is how far the college-hockey-on-TV thing has come: even the USA game is set to be televised(!) on FSD.
Etc.: Inside the Western Michigan rainout decision. Ole Miss players heckle "Laramie Project" performance. This never happens at New Miss. This is not a humor article about craft beer, because it is the truth. Losing, faking, and recovering the Brown Jug. The 1930s were fun. Jon Falk honored.
Whatcha gonna do when Mark Weisman runs wild on you? Lose. Definitely lose.
Minnesota kicked off the 2013 season with four straight wins, providing hope to a program that hasn't had much of that lately. Those wins, however, came against UNLV, New Mexico State, Western Illinois, and San Jose State. Faced with something vaguely resembling a real opponent last week, the Gophers fell back to earth, and not gently—a 23-7 home loss to Iowa that looks even worse on the stat sheet. For the third straight Michigan game, I'm here to tell you that the Wolverines should have a decided edge on both sides of the ball, and of course that means Saturday's game will be a harrowing experience.
Because something out there has mercy for me, the game torrent began at around the nine minute mark of the first quarter, and some plays were randomly excised. I stopped charting after Minnesota threw an interception with four minutes left in the game.
Before I get into the breakdown, I have to note this moment worthy of Awful Announcing. The Aflac trivia question asked for the only Hawkeye in the history of the Iowa-Minnesota rivalry to score touchdowns in four different ways against the Gophers in his career. Without skipping a beat, ESPN analyst Ed Cunningham said... Dallas Clark. A very good player, sure, but also a tight end.
As a Michigan fan still spooked by the near-loss to Iowa in 1997, I had a pretty good idea of the answer: Tim Dwight, a WR/PR/KR whom the Hawkeyes used for a variety of trick plays. Mike Patrick—Mike Patrick!—immediately mocked Cunningham for being so remarkably wrong.
[Hit THE JUMP for the breakdown, in which Minnesota is not so good at defense and even worse at offense.]
About last week:
NOTHING BAD HAPPENED. EVERYONE WAS ON VACATION.
Minnesota (4-1, 0-1 B1G)
More or less (h/t Seth)
Last game: Minnesota 43, San Jose St. 24 (W); Iowa 23, Minnesota 7 (L)
Recap: The Gophers are probably who we thought they were. They continued their streak of solid-but-unconvincing wins over bad opponents by beating San Jose State 43-24 despite giving up 296 yards passing… in the first half. The Spartans (NTS) totaled 439 yards passing to Minnesota’s 71, but Minnesota outgained them on the ground by over 300 yards and caused three key turnovers.
However, Minnesota’s dreams of mediocrity hit the wall hard last week against, uh, mighty Iowa (see also Noodle, Giant, infra). Philip Nelson came back from a pulled hammy and replaced Mark Leidner, but threw for only 135 yards (5.6 YPA) with two picks.
When asked why he replaced the marginally effective Leidner with even less effective Nelson, Jerry Kill explained that, “A guy loses his job if the other guy’s playing three times better than he was when he got hurt.” Personally, I think this is a mistake. Regardless of who takes the snaps, Minnesota is pretty much incapable of throwing the football, so they’re going to be one-dimensional regardless. If you're going to be one-dimensional, you should probably go with your best personnel in that dimension. And to me, Leidner is more dynamic. Not Denard-style dynamic, of course. More Tebow/Leroy Hoard/Defensive-End-with-an-impressive-fumble-return dynamic. But when you're facing stacked boxes (as Minnesota will all year), you may as well go with the guy who can break a few tackles.
This team is as frightening as*: Minnesota, circa all the years. Fear level = 3
* Author’s Note: In the most recent version of Opponent Watch, I may have replaced all of the fear levels with unreasonable numbers and abstract concepts. The factors that induced this change (i.e. the Akron Yackkening) continue to apply with equal, nay greater weight and force after the near-death experience against the Fightin’ Used-to-be-Pasqualonis. Until Michigan returns to something approaching form, assume all fear levels are “infinity times infinity.” However, I’ll also place actual 1-10 numbers to indicate relative level of infinite fear.
Michigan should worry about: The performance in this game probably tells us how the rest of the year goes. As a result, you’re going to experience the same every snap “oh god what does that three yard gain mean” feeling that you experienced with, say, Western Michigan ’09 or UConn ‘10. This is a terrible way to experience a mid-season game against Minnesota.
Michigan can sleep soundly about: This sets up as a really good matchup for Michigan, especially defensively. Gnashing of teeth and generic FEAR notwithstanding, this should be an ego booster.
When they play Michigan: Move thee away from the nose, Jibreel. Large men comin’
Next game: vs. #17/19 Michigan
- Offensive line changes. You know this already, but here it is anyway: Chris Bryant to left guard, Graham Glasgow to center. This wasn't mentioned during the presser, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were also changes at tight end and receiver.
- Jake Ryan is participating in some full contact stuff. Still wearing a red jersey though, obviously.
“Good practices. We’ve had that. We’ve stacked them together. We expect that this afternoon. I think the competitiveness and physicalness that we need to play with, we’ve had. I think how we’ve responded as a team last week and this week has been really good.”
Changes to the offensive line?
“Those guys have all done a tremendous job competing. If we were going to kick the ball off today, Graham [Glasgow] would be the center. Chris Bryant would be the left guard with Joe Burzynski and Kyle Bosch being part of that mix at some point possibly. Jack [Miller]’s done a great job competing, but Graham would start and Jack always is ready to go.”
So that would be the lineup Saturday?
“Well, if we kicked off now, that’s what we’d do. You never know. There’s still some days left.”