"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
The mark on my elbow is still there. It’s smaller now; what once was about the size of a nickel is smaller than a dime, but it persists. I felt the stinging sometime in the fourth quarter and immediately turned to Ace to show him, not because I wanted attention for my accidental self-inflicted narrative device but because this thing on my elbow happened because of that thing that we were watching on the field. I was using the elbow as a pivot point, and so many incredible things had happened for which I needed to quickly cover my mouth to preserve the thin veneer of professionalism over the roiling excitement inside that the skin just rubbed off.
The numbers from last Saturday don’t provide as visceral an experience as what we saw on the field, but they show just as much dominance. Michigan jumped 15 spots in overall S&P+ from 25th to 10th, while the defense moved up to fourth. FEI has Michigan 26th, which is 10 spots higher than they were after week three. F/+ (which combines S&P+ and FEI) has Michigan 16th.
FEI uses preseason projections that includes things like last year’s performance (/shudders) and a five-year FEI rating with diminishing weight until week 7, when they’re dropped completely. You can see why Michigan’s digging out of a hole here. Every week, though, Michigan’s a little closer to shedding the baggage of the past, and that has felt true both literally and metaphorically.
The first three weeks of the season felt like the cold open of a new restaurant; there were kinks expected and, all things considered, the operation got off to a relatively smooth start. Week four was the grand opening; the curtain was pulled back, and the conversation shifted from how much potential the new joint has to how good it is right now. This new place is great. Just remember to keep your elbows off the table.
[After THE JUMP: Less about flesh wounds, more about numbers]
The thing I like most about daily fantasy games is having a thing to do with all this football knowledge that "it's my job" is only so much an excuse to accumulate. My job doesn't need me to know ahead of time that so-and-so has an 8-foot manbeast at running back and that the direction state university they're playing this week really should have gone Division III a decade ago. I don't really remember how all this information was acquired. It kinda assembled in my brain and sits there.
I can only foist so much of it on phone calls with friends (I mean, eventually you do have to ask about the kids) and the mgoslackchat. So I play Draft Kings, whom you may have noticed have been one of our best supporters for a very long time now, and who you also many have noticed are all over the place lately.
But remember these games are about exploiting market inefficiency. That blitz is your friend; they're sucking in tons of new players who don't know exactly what I'm talking about. And Ohio State fans.
Unfortunately the secret's out about the beast, and Buckeyes Bucking against Indiana is a smart play. So I've got a new dude. He is playing a team that doesn't stop anything, and his team is just starting to block everything, and his game just got moved to the early slot so his competition is unbalanced, and half the people in the pool are all gonna have the same guys. Don't listen to the weatherman who says the weather's gonna be clearer than you thought. I say it's gonna pour.
- $100,000 prize pool.
- First place wins $10,000
- FREE for new users or $3 to enter
- Top 7,850 scores win money guaranteed
- Starts on Saturday, October 3rd at 12:00 PM EST
- Salary Cap Style Drafting. $50,000 to select 9 spots.
- Roster Format: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 2 Flex
Previously: Maryland Offense
Pictured: Maryland's best defender.
Maryland allowed 38 points and 424 yards to West Virginia... in the first half. Big 12's T3 equivalent won't let me embed videos from the game. That's probably for the best.
Personnel: Maryland is overhauling their front seven after siginificant losses to graduation [click to embiggen]:
Also, do not punt to Will Likely.
Base Set? 4-3. Against West Virginia's spread, Maryland often had their two DEs stand up. WVU countered with big runs right at those guys because leverage apparently matters quite a bit for run defense. Who knew?
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]
Upon Further Review still has a sponsor.
I am out of of pants related stuff to tell you. Matt generally wears them, because he's a professional. He also gives you his contact information in case you need anything. This offer does not include pants.
FORMATION NOTES: Michigan was super-heavy in this game. A plurality of plays were I-Form Big of some description, most commonly a 2FB lineup featuring Houma and Poggi.
Michigan frequently targeted the bubbles a 3-4 leaves by running fullbacks up both gaps. That is BYU in its standard 3-4, which they only left on passing downs. They left 8 or 9 in the box all day.
When Michigan moved from a dual fullback set to something with a blocker right behind the OL…
…the setup was appended with an "H". Here you can see every BYU defender within six yards of the LOS. M hit its first easy big play off this kind of defense with a 41-yarder to Jake Butt.
Michigan came out in a wacky formation right here:
I dubbed this "Emory" since it's kind of what's usually dubbed "Emory and Henry". This didn't work so hot since it didn't seem like anyone to the bunch knew what the dang snap count was.
On passing downs BYU would lift all but one DL and throw an amorphous pile of dudes at the LOS. They call this "radar".
Michigan's in the pro set they used on the Khalid Hill stealth mode play.
PERSONNEL NOTES: Houma and Poggi got all of the FB snaps. Smith got the bulk of the RB snaps until his injury; when he was absent it was mostly Johnson and Green, with Ty Isaac only getting two carries. That was odd, but more about it later.
Butt saw just about every snap. With the two fullbacks on the field for most of the day there wasn't a whole lot of room for other TEs; Bunting, Williams, and Hill all played bit roles.
WR was mostly Darboh and Chesson. Moe Ways got a healthy amount of playing time and proved an effective blocker; Perry only made appearances in the rare three-wide sets.
OL was per usual. Braden got knocked out with an injury we are assured is minor; David Dawson came in to replace him.
[After THE JUMP: De'Veon and the eleven dwarves]
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:
It was good but nobody guessed it would be THAT good. :(
This Week's Game:
Nooner with the jobbie nooners of the conference.
And on the Line:
That'll come in handy for getting out of there after the storm.
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. MGoEmployees and moderators exempt from winning. The algorithm finds the winners as it chooses. The algorithm is self-correcting. The algorithm consistently runs power. The algorithm is banned in Jersey. The algorithm has a weird thing going on with Utah these days.
Saturday's game at Maryland has officially been moved to a noon kickoff because of concerns over Hurricane Joaquin. U-M press release:
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The University of Michigan's football game at the University of Maryland on Saturday (Oct. 3) has been moved to a noon EDT kickoff from its previously scheduled 8 p.m. start, the Big Ten Conference announced.
The Big Ten has been in counsel with Maryland and Michigan throughout the week on the course of Hurricane Joaquin and its possible effects on Saturday's game. The three entities agreed that moving the game time was the appropriate decision.
"The weather experts are still dealing with uncertain probabilities for the course of Hurricane Joaquin," said Jim Hackett, interim Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. "Thus we remain vigilant on developments and will err on the side of safety for all participants and fans."
Michigan (3-1), ranked 22nd in the latest Associated Press top-25 poll, and Maryland (2-2) will open their Big Ten schedules at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Maryland. The game will be aired live on BTN and BTN2Go. Please check local listings for complete broadcast information.
Minnesota-Northwestern is also being broadcast at noon on BTN, so check out this page to see what channel the game will be on in your area. Locally, at least, Michigan-Maryland will be on the main BTN channel instead of the overflow.