"Never count out Touchdown Tom" –Jon Bois
The game. We kicked off the college season last week. Next in MGoPools with our official fantasy partner, it's NFL time.
And that means I have to justify taking Tom. Wes Welker is gone (and suspended besides), and the last thing we remember from a Miami-New England duel is Tom getting outdueled by Ryan Tannehill. In such an environment they say Brady is no longer such a sure thing, or at least he ain't no Peyton, or Brees, or Stafford, or Luck, or Rodgers, or Kaepernick, or Foles.
I'm going in with the belief that Miami's new up-tempo offense is going to create more plays for both sides, and Tom's receiver depth chart is deep (Jeremy Gallon couldn't even keep a roster spot) and most of those guys are in a contract year. The spread may have finally gained a foothold in the NFL, but don't count out Touchdown Tom.
|N.O. spent all preseason trying to pretend like Brandin Cooks ain't no big thing..|
The prize. It's Mystery T-Shirt time. Okay so giving $5 off the store to everyone who beats me turned out to be not so good an idea because my team was terrible.* We're trying to track down who among the people in the pool used the MGoBlog link to send the code. So instead we're just gonna give a t-shirt to the top scorer from the site. Which shirt? It's a mystery. Mystery shirt.
Details on the Mystery MgoShirt NFL Pool:
- $100,000 prize pool.
- $2 entry fee. Entry is free with your first deposit.
- $10,000 1st Place prize.
- Top 11,500 are paid.
- Starts on Sunday, September, 7th at 1:00 EST.
- Salary Cap Style Drafting. $50,000 to select 9 spots. 8 players and 1 defense.
- Roster Format: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex, 1 Defense.
- First time depositors at DraftKings receive a 100% bonus up to $600
FORMATION NOTES: Not a whole lot that was unusual. Michigan has changed the alignment of their backs in some shotgun sets:
I called this "shotgun deep" since the QB is still at 5 yards but the back is behind instead of parallel. I imagine they did this for the same reason the pistol exists: to give the back downhill momentum when he takes a handoff.
Conventional shotgun sets were frequent as well, as were split TEs. This is the first snap of the game and features Hill motioning from an H-back spot to the slot; he'll block for Funchess on a successful flanker screen.
Michigan would occasionally scrape up an I-Form out of whatever was laying around, like when Chesson motioned in here. This actually cut behind Chesson's force block to pick up 15.
SUBSTITUTION NOTES: OL was Cole-Magnuson-Miller-Burzynski/Kalis-Braden the whole way. Gardner obviously QB until garbage time; he got pulled a couple drives before Michigan did much non-WR substitution.
Feature backs were Green and Smith with Hayes apparently a third down option; Drake Johnson only saw garbage carries and should no longer be considered a playing time contender going forward.
At WR it was Funchess, Chesson, Darboh, and Norfleet rotating approximately equally; Canteen did not get on until late. Bo Dever is your backup slot, apparently. Tight end was mostly Hill and Williams with a bit less Heitzman sprinkled in.
[After THE JUMP: all things discussed.]
No Bad Plays
As recruits turn their focus to the first couple weeks of their high school season, the recruiting news firehose has slowed to a trickle for the moment. Thankfully, scouting of Michigan prospects is in full swing.
There are a lot of things that Roseboro does well, that's been documented, but sometimes it's difficult for casual followers to find weaknesses. When highlights are viewed they are just that - highlights. Snider insists that a lot of times what you see is what you get with Roseboro.
"I think it's really tough to identify weaknesses with him," Snider admitted. "He's pretty tough to block. I think that as a sophomore he might've taken a play off now and then, but last year he didn't really do that. He was much more aggressive and tough."
Roseboro's highlights are, well, highlights, so if he's bringing that on a snap-to-snap basis, that's great to hear.
Reports continue trickling in from last weekend's games. Josh Newkirk spoke with LB commit Darrin Kirkland Jr. after he recorded 17 tackles, four TFLs, a fumble recovery, and an interception in his team's opener to discuss the improvements in his game this year ($):
At 6-foot-2, 226-pounds, Kirkland says he worked on his strength mostly this off-season and it showed in his game on Saturday.
“I feel like my strength could be one of the key assets of my game,” Kirkland said. “Being able to shed blockers. That’s one of the biggest things I needed to conquer. As well as my quickness and my speed. Just not to be blocked by lineman, because some are very athletic. It’s helped me a lot. I have been covering sideline to sideline, and it’s really helped me in coverage as well.”
That extra work certainly appeared to pay off in week one. Kirkland also mentioned that he's struck up a friendship with five-star CA WDE Keisean Lucier-South; both will be on campus for the Penn State game.
[Hit THE JUMP for Where In The World Is Tim Sullivan, the latest on Chris Clark, several 2016 prospect updates, and more.]
Taken moments after the final person complained about Funchess switching to #1[Upchurch]
The Four Factors*
|Field Position||Bonus Yards||Conversion Rate||Red Zone|
|Michigan||29.0 pts||5.9 yds/play||80%||7.0 pts/trip|
Total domination of a weaker opponent in every category. Michigan’s huge advantage in field position is partially driven by starting a drive with an extra point after Gedeon’s blocked punt return**. But even without that play, it was a large field position advantage, especially considering Michigan didn’t force any turnovers.
The 25% conversion rate allowed is significantly better than any number from last season. Last year’s opener was Michigan’s best game when they allowed CMU 47% conversions. Both bonus yards and bonus yards allowed were better than any numbers posted during the 2013 season.
*A quick refresh:
Field Position is expected points an average team will score given the starting field position over the course of the game. Defensive/special teams touchdowns count as 7 points.
Bonus Yards are any yards gained beyond the first down yardline, a measure of offensive explosiveness. >3 ypp is elite offensively, <2 is elite defensively
Conversion Rate is first downs gains divided by first downs started, a measure of an offense’s ability to move the chains consistently. >80% is elite offensively and <65% is elite defensively.
Red Zone is points per red zone trip. >5.7 is elite offensively and <4.3 is elite defensively. This is the weakest predictor of the four factors.
All factors except field position are only measured on competitive series (all series in the first half and any second half series that starts or ends within 15 points).
**I know some people don’t like that I include return TD’s in this number but I think if you are going to count it if he gets tackled at the 1, it doesn’t make sense to exclude it if he makes it all the way in.
Devin Gardner: +13.3 expected points, +26% win percent added
Derrick Green: +2.9, +4% (+9.3 including second half)
De’Veon Smith: +7.4, +7% (+9.8 including second half)
Devin Funchess: +9.2, +18% on 8 targets
None of these numbers are opponent adjusted yet. De’Veon Smith is the highest non-adjusted total for a Michigan running back since Fitzgerald Toussaint added 9.4 points of value against Purdue in 2011.
[Jump, game chart and such]
Hello again. That was fun. Let’s do it again. Unfortunately, we didn’t learn much this week because everyone played cupcakes, soup cans, and assorted other non-challenging foodstuffs.
About Last Week:
Yep. That’s what you did. (h/t Ace, obviously)
The Road Ahead:
Notre Dame (1-0, 0-0 quasi-ACC)
Last week: Beat Rice (48-17)
Recap: Rice kept it close for a while (it was 14-10 late in the first half), and then it really really wasn’t close. Everett Golson threw for 295 yards at 13.4 YPA and 2 TDs, and ran for three more scores. Rice just wasn’t athletic enough to hang with ND’s playmakers. The Owls did average 8.7 yards per pass, which would have been their third best average last year ago.
But while this was an encouraging debut for the Irish, the hole they’re digging continues to get deeper. Safety Eilar Hardy was suspended in the ongoing EYES ON YOUR OWN PAPER situation, and starting safety Austin Collinsworth sprained an MCL. As a result, Notre Dame’s defensive two-deep now features… you. Congratulations. Suit up. And please do your own homework.
This team is as frightening as:
Michigan should worry about: There’s still a chance Notre Dame un-suspends these players, which will be in no way related to the fact that they are playing Michigan this week.
Michigan can sleep soundly about: Even if they DO reinstate these guys, they will get one real practice (at most) after sitting out of practice for weeks. So they almost certainly won’t play, and if they do they will be rusty as hell.
When they play Michigan: The all-time win percentage will be on the line… until Notre Dame vacates a bunch of wins.
Next game: vs. Michigan, 7:30 p.m. Saturday (NBC)
[We jump, and then I have to pretend I learned something from Utah-Idaho State]
[ED (Seth): Welcome to a new regular-ish feature on the site. Joe Pichey, serious bbq-ing dude, has been writing up tailgating recipes on his blog MMMGoBluBBQ and we're moving him over here because we can and because we've wanted to bring the tailgate experience into the fold. We can do this now because Stubb's offered to sponsor it. This is one of those things where we really liked their BBQ sauce, and it turned out their CEO really likes this blog, and we like Joe's recipes, and our cardiovascular systems must suffer.]
The football season is finally here and I could not be more excited. Not only do we get to see how our new offensive guru plans to operate things, but we also get to fire up the grills and smokers as we sip on a few "barley pops". Since we are playing Notre Dame under the lights and will most likely have a full house by game time, I wanted to make something that will feed a crowd. Is there anything more tasty and fun to eat than a slider? I don't think so. Here is what you will need.
- Pork Tenderloins
- Slider Buns
- White Cheddar or Swiss Cheese
- BBQ Rub
- BBQ Sauce (Honey Pecan or Hickory Bourbon)