TONIGHT, 5-7 PM
[Evan Aaron / The Michigan Daily]
A special Schembechlerian edition of MGoRadio from the new Bo Store, 333 S. Main Street, downtown Ann Arbor. It is against code or something to advertise refreshments in a retail store, but I can tell you that Big Ed Muransky and Not As Big As Ed Muranksy 3,000 Year Old Druid Craig Ross will be there with us. Stop in and try on the latest jacket that I really really want. If enough of us are around after maybe we’ll do Pretzel Bell or something.
TOMORRROW NOON TO 2:30:
For the 40-something-ieth time the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan will be hosting a massive Homecoming Tailgate. This year’s is again at Ooserbaan Fieldhouse, but they’re changing things up—rather than have Brian getting red-faced on the main stage, we’ll have Brian red-faced yelling at Iowa-Wisconsin, plus four other activity centers, each with an array of food, activities, and touchable banners and such. This year's event will of course include tons of spirited entertainment, appearances by numerous University officials, games, and a host of fun for Wolverines of all ages. Then the Michigan Marching Band will once again lead us to the Big House prior to kickoff.
Bring cash for the cash bar, with wine and North Peak beer.
Doing it a bit differently, thanks to reader Boliver46, who started this thread on the board. Winner gets donations to their favorite charity. LIST YOUR SCORE AND YOUR CHARITY. From Boliver46:
I did this last year vs. Utaugh, so thought I'd bring it back out since I won a shirt for a PERFECT 45-28 Colorado guess this year.
Again, I thought it'd be fun to make predictions regarding tomorrow's final score - and to benefit a good cause along the way!
Closest Guess to the Final Score Tomorrow vs. Illinois, and I will make a $20 Donation to your favorite charity! (No Human Funds, please).
I will use the first rule from the MGoBlog guess the score rules:
1. 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.
and add another of my own:
2. Place the name of the charity of your choice in the body
A lot of top FBS coaches made it there by being experts or even the originators of a concept. Iowa didn’t invent Cover 2, but Ferentz’s teams have run it for so long that his players have instinctualized most of its nuances, and his coaches know the fastest route to teaching it. Rich Rodriguez built the zone read option into the spread ’n shred offense. He can run it against anyone because he knows a million ways to tweak it to deal with whatever defenses try to do to stop it. Same with the pattern-matching variant of cover 3 that Saban and Belichick created for the Browns. Rocky Long is going to run a 3-3-5, or run his 3-3-5 stuff out of different looks. Bud Foster is going to hit you with quarters all day. Tracy Claeys is going to play man.
Michigan’s next opponent is one of those guys. Lovie Smith built a good NFL coaching career by running the Tampa 2 defense, and Illinois is currently experiencing the growing pains of that conversion. Smith’s defensive coordinator is Hardy Nickerson Sr., who imported his eponymous son from Cal to play the crucial middle linebacker role—that is not going well. Last week against Rutgers they blew up the depth chart, sitting longtime starters at all levels for freshmen redshirted and not. When you decide what you want the rest of your life to be, you want the rest of your life to start right away, no matter how long Taylor Barton has started for you (or Brian’s Draftageddon team).
This baby version gives us football laymen an interesting opportunity to see Smith’s scheme in Rodriguez 2008 mode, when the skeleton of the thing is there and untainted by all the things its practitioners will learn to do to make it good. So once you see the concept, it should be uniquely easy this Saturday to pick it up on the field.
[Hit THE JUMP to watch it run so badly you can see exactly why it’s run]
- At least Notre Dame didn’t jazz us this year.
- Michigan State as the Beilein Michigan program: how did they get so bad so fast?How good are they when they inevitably rebound?
- What did we learn about Ohio State? The next pro offense of any consequence they’ll see is Michigan. The trick to Bad J.T. Barrett is make it rain.
- Don Brown’s DBs are much better prepared for Ohio State.
- Biggest concern until Columbus: Indiana.
- Playoff route is beat Ohio State and win conference championship, period.
- Mo Hurst had his best week of practice ever.
- Purdue should run the triple option.
- You can catch the entire episode on
THE USUAL LINKS
Previously: Illinois Offense
A good D-line only does so much when you have this back seven.
Nebraska had eight real drives against Illinois. This is how they went:
- Four touchdowns (13 plays-75 yards, 18-75, 11-59, 2-70)
- Drives of 11-47 and 10-53 ending in field goal attempts (one make, one miss)
- Two plays, 28 yards, hilariously bad Tommy Armstrong interception
- 5-play, 17-yard drive in Illinois territory ending in a lost fumble
The Huskers didn't have much in the way of explosive plays; they still had a scoring opportunity every time they didn't turn the ball over, and those turnovers were Nebraska making bad plays instead of Illinois doing something particularly good.
The Illini do boast a disruptive defensive line, but they can be pushed around, and that back seven is having a rough go.
Personnel: Seth's diagram [click to embiggen]:
The Illini have made a few lineup changes in the weeks since Nebraska. Taylor Barton, who did not look good at free safety in this game, has been yanked in favor of freshman Stanley Green, who hadn't played a defensive snap until the Purdue game two weeks ago. Freshman Kenyon Jackson has replaced Rob Bain at defensive tackle for reasons that elude me. Nickel Chris James has lost his role to normal starting corner Darius Mosely, who slid inside to make room for JuCo transfer Amari Hayes on the outside. The lineup above, to say the least, is not set in stone.
Base Set? Illinois had played more 4-2-5 nickel than anything else, but Nebraska's heavier formations revealed how they'll likely line up against Michigan. The Illini play a 4-3 against those sets, often with a safety rolled into the box:
They play both over and under fronts when in a 4-3. While normally a Tampa 2 team, they played a lot of one-high coverage in these scenarios.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]
SPONSOR NOTES: Oh man if I keep talking about this trailer thing it'll be a thing and then I can see some dang games at tailgates. This has always been a downfall of tailgating: not seeing things. By repeatedly bringing it up here I may force Matt to do this thing. Yes. Yes. I have the power!
In addition to being a gentleman replete with Michigan tickets and possibly a trailer, Matt is also a good man to know if you need a mortgage. It's striking that we actually get non-astroturfed comments about positive experiences with Matt not infrequently.
If you're buying a home or refinancing, he's the right guy to call.
FORMATION NOTES: Pepcat!
This concludes your formation notes.
PERSONNEL NOTES: A ton of rotation in the second half. Speight got the first half and then Morris and O'Korn alternated the rest of the way. Bushell-Beatty started at LT and was briefly knocked out; Michigan moved Cole to LT and inserted Kugler at C in response. The second string line was Ulizio-Bredeson-Kugler-Ownenu-Dawson, FWIW.
RB snaps split just about equally; ditto FB with Henderson getting a third of the snaps behind Poggi and Hill. Probably the most interesting depth chart item was snaps past the starters at WR. Those went Ways 19, Crawford 14, Harris 12, McDoom 7, Gentry 6.
[After THE JUMP: trinitite.]