Peppers at 10, which seems low.
FORMATION NOTES: Michigan alternated between their 4-3 with guys often split over the slots like so:
And their nickel package.
They also had some weird snaps where they would take their WDE and line him up like a SAM:
This was always a drop into man coverage on the TE by Clark. I did not call this out as a new formation. I probably will in the future.
SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Secondary saw Avery replace the youngsters as the third corner when Michigan was in nickel, which was quite frequently. The rest was Taylor/Countess/Gordon/Wilson as per usual.
At linebacker the usual rotation of Ross, Morgan, and Bolden. Beyer went the whole way at SAM, I think.
On the line, another light day for nose tackles. Both got some run but it was a lot of three-techs out there. Clark got the most run at WDE with Ojemudia backing up. Black was out there almost all the time; Henry and Wormley got more snaps than any other SDE/3T type with Heitzman also participating quite a bit. Glasgow and Godin appeared rarely, if at all.
[After THE JUMP! Points! Yards! None of those!]
Wife day. Also a hit for "non sequitur" on google image search.
6.81 – New Hampshire: 5.50, UNLV: 5.79, Toledo: 6.33
|FOLLOWING THE APPEARANCE OF A GUY IN A GOAT MASK, FOUR DUDES FROM 2009 SAID THINGS THAT ARE MOSTLY TRUE, ONE OF THEM DOING SO IN A DICKISH MANNER. THUS WAS THE INTERNET WRITTEN.|
6.39 – Temple: 4.76, Purdue: 4.74, Michigan State: 3.58
6.85 – UCF: 7.21, James Madison: 5.30, Louisiana-Lafayette: 5.68
4.01 – Towson: 5.61, Maryland: 7.06
That is a Michigan's offensive output in yards per play in four games, versus what our opponents' opponents posted. You might say from this that we're 0.39 yards per play better than a mean offense that consists of New Hampshire, UNLV, Toledo, Temple, Purdue, MSU, UCF, James Madison, La-Lafayette, Towson, and Maryland. You might say that's not very good. That's how bad Ron Utah says it is. He also says the offense was actually pretty good except against UConn, and the defense has been alright except against Akron. When you put it that way…sorry it doesn't count if you're going to go "Screw it: Denard" against Akron.
Let's have bronxblue talk about the feast-or-famine offense and depress us further:
For better or for worse, though, this is probably the best fans can hope for this outfit during the conference slate: a depressing number of minimal gains punctuated by some massive runs from Gardner as well as Fitz when he is able to make the first 2 or 3 guys miss.
|This Non Sequitur is a non sequitur. Or is it?|
Fortunately we are now entering the Big Ten slate, and an offseason did nothing to stop the Big Ten from being Big Ten!!! Here we are against the spread the last three seasons along with the two rivals:
Team 2011 2012 2013 Michigan 8-4-1 6-7 2-2 Ohio State 6-7 7-5 3-1 Michigan State 10-4 5-8 2-2
I updated his numbers since that diary was written a week ago. He tracks the whole conference but I was low on space before the jump. Look on the bar later today and you'll probably see the new one.
As always I recommend you read ST3's Inside the Box Score except I'm not going in there again to pick out a quote for you because there's a flatscreen with the UConn game at the top of it and my doctor has told me not to look at any more TVs with the UConn game on them for awhile. Ditto: Turnover Analysis.
Etc. A lineup of Big Ten offenses by avg. points goes 1) OHIO STATE!!!, 2) a crowd, 11) lolMSU, 12) LOLOLOLOLOLPURDUE!!!
[Jump so you can scroll to the moment of zen, which is all you want to see right now, and not what people were arguing about on the board].
This may or may not have been one of the top six swing plays (it was) via Mgoblue.com
1. The Six Factors
|Exp Score||Early Conv||Bonus Yds||Avg 3rd Dist||Adj 3rd Conv||Red Zone|
Thanks to going –1 in the short (or no) field turnover department, Michigan had another game on the wrong side of the field position numbers. On a down by down basis, Michigan really dominated. A large spread on early conversions, a solid lead on bonus yards although 95 isn’t an overwhelming number for the offense. The defense bounced back against the big plays after an uncharacteristic performance against Akron. Michigan also forced UConn into some awful third downs, but the Michigan offense was not good on third downs. Michigan’s game winning field goal was the lone red zone deficiency for either team.
So aside from the turnovers, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the game? The turnovers made the game awful and the offense put forward its least dynamic showing of the season, but the defense looks to be back on track after a bad second half at Akron. As has been noted everywhere, if Devin Gardner can his head back on straight, this could still be an excellent season. The defense should limit the floor and a continuation of this level of turnovers would be unprecedented. The ceiling looks less certain but its definitely not as bad as the last two weeks have felt.
Exp Score: A team’s expected points based on where a team started its drives
Early Conversion: The percentage of first downs' that are converted prior to a third down play
Bonus Yards: All yards gained after the first down marker
Average 3rd Down Distance: Average yards to go on third down
Adjusted 3rd Down Conversion: Rate of conversion for a team on third down, adjusted for the standard conversion rate based on yards to go, 0% is average
Red Zone: Points per red zone trip (TD’s counted as 7 regardless of PAT)
All categories except field position are based solely on plays in competitive situations (all first half plays and any second half plays where the drive begins or ends within two scores).
2. Individual Performances
Devin Gardner: +5.3 +13%
Fitzgerald Toussaint: +4.1, +16%
Lyle McCombs: +0.1, +1%
Chandler Whitmer: –0.7, –34%
Despite all the horrible, awful, no good plays from Gardner he still manages to put up enough good plays to more than offset them. It will be another week or two before I kick in the opponent adjustments, but this will almost certainly be his worst rated game to date.
In terms of overall win contribution, the offense contributed about 60% of the win and defense about 40%. This is actually a pretty high number for the defense.
3. Game Chart & Swing Plays
+11.6% Toussaint scores form 12 yards out to tie it up at 21
-12.2% The punts hits off of D’Mario Jones’ leg and is recovered by UConn
-13.4% Gardner stuffed on 4th down with Michigan trailing by 7
+15.0% Foxx loses 3 on the screen to set up 3rd and 13 on Uconn’s final drive
-15.6% Gardner fumbles on the sneak (-8.4%) and UConn returns it for a TD (-7.2%)
+19.6% Whitmer picked by Morgan (+11.4%) and returned for 29 yards (+8.2%)
So that’s two bad offensive plays, one good offensive play, a bad special teams play and two good defensive plays. Echoes the feeling from the game of the offense being a disaster in general. But after Morgan picked off Whitmer and got a great return, things turned in Michigan’s favor quickly.
The third quarter was just a mess but other than the turnover and some initial yards at the beginning of UConn’s final drive the fourth quarter saw almost every play move the odds in Michigan’s favor.
4. Ron Zook Dumb Punt of the Week
I had a request on twitter to award this to Dantonio for putting in an ice cold Andrew Maxwell for the final drive against Notre Dame. While it probably wouldn’t have mattered either way, it was probably over thinking things a bit. The good news for Michigan State is at least it didn’t add any confusion to a stable quarterback depth chart.
Clemson and NC State kicked the week off on Thursday night with three punts from the opponent’s half of the field and 3 or fewer yards to go.
But I am going to go ahead and give it to Michigan State anyway. Between the Maxwell move and two punts while trailing in the final minutes of the Notre Dame game, the worst being a 4th and 5 from the 45.
Mark Dantonio is your Week 4 Dumb Punter of the Week
Bonus Futile Field Goal of the Week. Austin Peay just wanted to avoid the shut out against the OHIO Bobcats but kicker Walter Spears would have none of it. Spears missed chip shot field goals of 32 and 26 yards and had a 39 yarder blocked on consecutive possessions in the second half as the Governors fell 31-0.
Prediction State of the Stats
|Exp Score||Early Conv||Bonus Yds||Avg 3rd Dist||Adj 3rd Conv||Red Zone|
|Offense||27.6 (48)||52.9% (28)||156 (40)||7.3 (96)||-1% (71)||5.8 (30)|
|Defense||31.1 (106)||44.6 (27)||102 (27)||7.2 (25)||+9% (97)||3.6 (23)|
Devin Gardner: +14 (unadjusted), 22nd in the country/4th in B1G
Fitzgerald Toussaint: +1.4 (unadjusted), 76/10
Michigan Offense: 39th/8
Michigan Defense: 38th/5
The numbers are still pretty loose at this point, most schedules are soft and opponent adjustments haven’t kicked in yet. If Gardner pulls out of his slump, there is plenty of opportunity for him to contend with the top QBs in the country. Currently he trails Taylor Martinez and Nate Sudfeld! and Nathan Scheelhaase! I am as surprised as you. Toussaint is still a long way from the Melvin Gordon’s of the world but is at least in the middle of the pack as opposed to last year.
Although Michigan’s offense is 8th in the conference, the top 8 are pretty packed. With Penn St, Iowa and Purdue in a second tier and then Michigan State way back.
On the six factors the defense has been really solid across all metrics but third downs. The offense has been more sporadic. Good as early conversions and red zone, decent at big plays and below average on third down distance and third downs. The turnovers have created a field position gap of half a TD per game.
6. Bye Week Bonus
Completely unrelated to anything else I do here, but I have been working on the side to design Michigan Stadium out LEGOs. I recently finished the design and have ordered the parts. Hoping to have this one a kind set built and displayed in the next couples. I will try and post some pictures to twitter when it’s done. The final structure will be about 2.5 feet square and nearly a foot tall. For now, here is the final design.
Note: Several people have expressed interest in doing this, email me at themathletebt at gmail if you are one of them
FORMATION NOTES: UConn did some weird stuff. My lingo on these is probably bad but this was "5-1 nickel split" with a 3-4 front that has two OLBs flanking the line:
And I just gave up when this happened, calling it "5-4 30 front":
There was also a 5-3 30 front that had a deep safety.
This is "shotgun 4-wide tight" for M. You may note the weird tilt of Funchess:
As a rule I count a TE in a two point stance as a WR for purposes of naming a formation.
SUBSTITUTION NOTES: The usual basically everywhere. Save one snap for Derrick Green when Toussaint was momentarily injured, Toussaint got every tailback snap. Butt was preferred to Funchess late when Michigan was running the ball. And it seems like Chesson is slowly absorbing snaps from Reynolds and Jackson.
All else was as before.
[After THE JUMP: points! yards! (none of those things)]
McDowell Lines Up Officials
Malik McDowell (#67) relaxes before playing Farmington (Bryan Fuller)
Southfield top-50 DL Malik McDowell has been quiet throughout the recruiting process to the point that I'm not entirely sure this is breaking news; regardless, Josh Helmholdt posted McDowell's official visit plans in his Around The Midwest column, and this is the time I've seen five schools lined up for visits ($):
While the Wolverines and fellow in-state Big Ten program Michigan State are strong contenders for McDowell's signature, the nation's No. 40-ranked prospect will take all of his official visits out of state. All will take place after his senior season. The five schools he has tabbed for those official visits are Alabama, Florida, Florida State, LSU and Ohio State.
Michigan and MSU won't get officials because McDowell has seen each school multiple times and can easily make his way to games if he wishes. The Wolverines are in the driver's seat of McDowell's recruitment and I don't think the official visit schedule changes that; while that's a who's-who list of top programs, depending on how far Southfield goes in the playoffs, McDowell's season could extend into November, limiting his options for visiting on actual game days—the visits that tend to have the biggest effect on a recruitment. McDowell is so familiar with the Michigan program at this point that it's hard to see him winding up elsewhere.
Cole: "They're All Even"
2015 Saginaw Heritage ATH Brian Cole's recruitment has already taken a couple twists and turns—first Michigan looked to be in command, then MSU, and now the Wolverines again as Saginaw natives haven't appreciated MSU's (lack of) usage of De'Anthony Arnett—and for now, Cole says there isn't a leader at all, per Sam Webb ($):
“(I like) Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Tennessee, Alabama, Wisconsin, Indiana, and a couple more schools,” Cole said. “They’re all even. They’re all about the same. They all treat me nice. I’m not committing anywhere yet.”
I'd expect this still comes down to an in-state battle—one that'll be hotly contested—though some schools on there (OSU, Alabama) cause more concern than others (Indiana? Word?). Michigan is recruiting Cole as a receiver, though he could also play defensive back at the next level.
[Hit THE JUMP for evaluations of Da'Shawn Hand, Lawrence Marshall, Jared Wangler, Erik Swenson, and Kyle Kearns, plus updates on a couple underclassmen.]
Unlike other UFRs you may have read, this one comes with about 20x the NORFLEET! Michigan kickoffs were on Tuesday. Here's kick returns.
Michigan's deep set is usually Gedeon, Houma and Rawls then Dileo as a lead blocker (sets up opposite side of the field in case it goes there), and Norfleet returning. Houma and Rawls double the first guy to arrive while Gedeon's job is to wall off the second arrival so there's a hole between them. Up high it's like everybody else: four guys start just past the 50, two on the 40. Their job is to run downfield, then find somebody to hit and sustain that block. I'm sure Space Coyote is going to have a name for this but here's what it looks like:
After his injury Drake Johnson was replaced by Ross (vs ND) or Furman (elsewise). They change it up a lot up front. When Funchess was hurt Jackson folded back there. Hayes and Chesson rotated in at times.
Ball arrives after the...