|Road Gardner has been rough Gardner. [Fuller]|
I'm putting this here because it's been brought up a few times on the board and the discussion was getting too long for dear diary. Gardner's (admittedly limited) stats in road games are not great:
We're really just going on three starts plus spot duty. But later today and tomorrow you'll see some Penn State preview posts that claim the depleted Lions are more like their basketball and hockey squads than the typical PSU outfit, so let me be on record that Michigan in that stadium is not a great matchup given Gardner's season so far and his history in away games. In fact I've got a UFR database open right now so let's show that by yards per play on called passes (includes scrambles/sacks):
|2010-'11||9.85 (BG, Minn, Pur)||6.75 (Ill, MSU, NW)|
|2012||9.78 (Iowa, NW)||7.35 (Minn, OSU)|
|2013||9.34 (CMU, ND, Akron, Minn)||4.06 (UConn)|
Before you say "why is his sophomore year…?" there aren't very many attempts there so the weight is mostly on the 10 starts this and last season. That seems pretty stark. The UFR charting bears this out.
Devin in Blue Chart:
Devin in White Chart:
Forever in Blue Jeans Chart:
|Money||talks||sing, dance, walk|
|Honey||is sweet||compare to baby's treat.|
UConn was an all-time low in YPP but part of a trend. The short history of Devin road games read:
- Pre-2012: 3 inaccurate balls, 2 CA+ for 20-yard gains, a PA hitch for 2 yards against MSU and the Yakety sax, and a 4-yd scramble on a Denard Jet.
- Minnesota 2012: Took most of 1st half to warm up, got bailed out a lot by WRs
- OSU 2012: Sacked a few times and lots of late IN's from unset throws out of the pocket.
- UConn 2013: Terrible horrible no good very bad day.
It's a small sample size with little good to recommend it. PSU's defensive backs, meanwhile, are kind of like Michigan in 2010 in that they have one safety-corner hybrid they trust and three they don't. However they've been pretty game so far; the two offenses that torched them were Indiana's Air Raid-like thing that is pretty respectable, and getting Bortles'd. Including their five sacks they're giving up just 5.81 YPA. They're about 40th in every category; 29th in passer rating. That doesn't seem so hard until you consider Gardner's opponents to date are 62nd (ND), 63rd (UConn), 93rd (Minnesota), 108th (CMU), and 117th (Akron). You can save discussion until Brian gets to this part of the preview but count me as nervous here.
Classy teams don't put their names on jerseys or scoreboard bars.
Also I promised Brian the puns would only last as long as I can think of them. Still thinking of them.
How this works again:
- I put up a winnable prize that consists of a desirable good with a headline that is very punny.
- Almost nobody reads the writeup and just posts their scores.
The three guys who did read the writeup holler at people who don't post 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 good ol'fashioned 42-13 jug entry won by JAG333. Eleventh hit for "JAG333" on google:
On the road again. I can't wait to get back on the road again. Least it's places that we nearly always win.
And the Prize:
But no, seriously, the guy who invented the slinky would have gone to space if he cared to. Oh and the Apollo astronauts were PAID!
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, and would have gone to Penn State except for the NCAA's bowl ban. The algorithm constantly finds Jesus. This is not the algorithm. This is close.
Penn State's defense let this happen. Against Indiana. Penn State's defense of yore is dead.
Penn State lost to Indiana 44-24 last weekend despite holding a 14-13 lead early in the third quarter. It was IU's first-ever win over PSU. Both teams left a lot of points on the board. Indiana had a failed 4th-and-3 in the red zone and settled for two field goals from inside PSU's ten-yard line in the first half; Penn State's first two drives ended with a failed 4th-and-5 on the IU 26 and another turnover on downs when their long snapper sailed one on a field goal attempt, losing 31(!) yards in the process. The final score, however, seems fitting to me after watching the tape—Indiana controlled most of the game and would've completely dominated if not for PSU WR Allen Robinson, who was easily the best player on the field and, if not for Taylor Lewan, would probably take that honor this weekend, as well.
Thanks to some creative editing by the BTN (I taped the replay when it was apparent nobody was uploading a torrent of this game), the charting is not comprehensive even before I stopped after Indiana took a 42-17 fourth-quarter lead; a few drives from the first quarter were cut out, as were a couple late drives. A sanity check with the box score and PSU blogs gives me the impression that I saw more than enough from this game, though, to get an accurate idea of what was going on.
[On to the breakdown after THE JUMP.]
FORMATION NOTES: This is nothing out of the ordinary for Michigan, but who's up for a perfect overhead view of Michigan aligning in a 4-3 under?
There are your 6, 3, 1, and five techniques left to right across the front with Gordon hanging out in what I guess is an 8 or 9.
Michigan also showed over fronts, which they have to from time to time because Minnesota loves to flip its strength.
This did not result in a discernible uptick in effectiveness.
This is the Maryland I:
This is Michgian in old friend Okie Zero.
SUBSTITUTION NOTES: A lot more nose tackle in this one; Washington got more time than he did in any game to date this year with Pipkins rotating in regularly; once Pipkins went down Ash did get a few snaps late. Rest of the DL was generally Clark/Heitzman/Black with Ojemudia/Wormley/Henry backing up. Glasgow got a couple snaps before the end as well.
Usual rotation at LB was halted after Bolden made some errors, and then it was just the starters. Secondary was the usual except that Avery was the starter at CB and Taylor only came in for nickel packages.
[After THE JUMP: this is the drive that never ends.]
Previously: Bryan Mone
This edition of Future Blue Originals features my first attempt at using screen capture software with streaming video; I'm still working out the kinks, so video quality should be better in future posts.
2015 commit Shaun Crawford, who's projected to play cornerback for Michigan but lines up at safety, running back, and slot receiver for Lakewood St. Edward, one of Ohio's powerhouse programs. Crawford is universally regarded as a top-150 overall prospect, listed as high as #49 overall (ESPN) and coming in at #79 (#8 CB) in the 247 Composite. The quick take on Crawford is that he's got everything you'd want in a corner except ideal size—he's listed at 5'9", 173, though he certainly doesn't play small.
St. Edward defeated Erie McDowell 56-7 in this game, which occurred two weekends ago. Crawford had 98 yards and a touchdown on seven carries, three receptions for 56 yards, a long punt return for a touchdown, a blocked field goal, and eight tackles in about three quarters of action.
Edited by yours truly, taken from full game video courtesy of iHigh.com.
Soundtrack: "Have Mercy On Me" — The Black Keys
[Hit THE JUMP for my evaluation of Crawford. SPOILER: he's pretty good, you guys.]
About Last Week:
Minus the golf. We get no respect, I tells ya. No respect at all…
Penn State (3-2, 0-1 B1G)
We’re not worthy… We’re not worthy… (Patriot-News)
Last game: Indiana 44, Penn State 24 (L)
Recap: Penn State came into this game 16-0 all-time against Indiana, and midway through the 3rd quarter they held a 14-13 lead. Then the wheels fell off. Indiana went on a 28-3 spurt, including three touchdowns in a span of 3:40 in the beginning of the 4thquarter. That, as they say, was that.
Penn State had a chance to grab control of this game early, and failed to capitalize. In their first first five drives they turned it over on downs at the Indiana 26, botched a snap on a 30 yard field goal for a loss of 31(!) yards, and had two other drives reach Indiana territory before stalling. For the game, Penn State racked up the yardage (which is unsurprising against Indiana), but couldn’t take advantage of generally good field position and sustain much of anything to the end zone when the game was still in doubt.
Hackenberg (30/55, 340, 3, 0) spread the yardage evenly between Allen Robinson (173 yards) and Not Allen Robinson (167 yards), which is pretty consistent with the rest of the season. Robinson currently has over 44% of PSU’s receiving yardage. The guy is legitimately frightening. Penn State isn’t doing anything fancy to isolate him. His two scores were on a quick slant in which he was immediately forced back outside and a hitch-and-go with a safety directly over top of him. Because he’s been lining up outside, my guess is that Countess draws Robinson with bracket help to the extent possible. I don’t know if it’ll help. For what it’s worth, Robinson did land on his back hard last week, but Penn State has indicated that he will be good to go for Saturday.
This team is as frightening as: MacGyver. He’s resourceful but under-resourced. It’s impressive that he’s able to be so productive in spite of his disadvantages. The remaining question is whether he can diffuse the bomb and take out the seven armed guards using nothing but his Allen Robinson. Fear level = 6
Michigan should worry about: The obvious answer is Allen Robinson. It is also the correct answer. But because that’s boring, I’ll say Zach Zwinak. This game will probably come down to Penn State’s passing game, but that passing game might depend on whether PSU can establish a plausible threat on the ground. If they can get ZZ Carrot Top going up the middle for 6 yards a pop early, it might loosen things up for Hackenberg and keep the DL from pinning its ears back.
Michigan can sleep soundly about: Non-RR Michigan teams are 5-1 all-time in Happy Valley. We aren’t THAT far removed from the days in which We Own Penn State was a thing.
When they play Michigan: Penn State has lost both games they have played against teams carrying a pulse. Michigan has a pulse. Ergo, Michigan will certainly win. SCIENCE.
Next game: vs. #16/18 Michigan
[AFTER THE JUMP: More teams and things]