I GET IT
Wow. Orton just threw a riiiiidiculous rainbow for the go-ahead touchdown.
Now Dirk saved his team 30 seconds with that timeout. All he needs is a field goal.
Update: Dirk didn't need the 30 seconds as Purdue managed to blow the lead in a mere 31 seconds. Oy.
Purdue, down four, has first and goal with 1:30 on the clock. Dirk Koetter calls timeout to preserve himself some time should Purdue score a touchdown. Perfect clock management.
Also, true to stereotype, the Purdue band is playing the theme to "Legend Of Zelda"
Hey, we don't suck this year (so far). Minnesota just ran all over Alabama for 300+ yards and won 20-16.
Purdue trails Sam Keller and ASU 3-2 in the third period.
It's official: I hate the GLI.
MSU's doubly-illegal OT goal was the final straw: it was obviously icing, and obviously a checking-from-behind penalty. Not that Ruden should have been out of his net or the Michigan puckhandler who I couldn't identify should have turned the puck over so easily.
I don't think anyone played particularly well against MSU. It's time to come to grips with the fact that our defenders are pretty bad. Tim Cook had an awful, awful game, getting beat wide or inside constantly, turning the puck over a half dozen times, and generally being entirely ineffective. Not one of them could be considered an intimidating physical presence. Rogers and Hunwick are solid, Werner is good in his role, and then... uh.
I could viciously complain about the referreeing but let's just sort of imply that any collegiate hockey game I see is horrendously refereed unless otherwise noted.
The only solace I can take is that we were missing five players... although Montoya may not be a huge loss, frankly. I can't believe I just said that.
MARIO MANNINGHAM - WR - Harding(OH)
Height: 6'0" Weight: 174
Lemming: #15 WR
Rivals: ****, #45 overall, #6 WR, #4 OH
Scout.com: ****, #53 overall, #6 WR
Projected Role: Lightning in a bottle
Manningham singlehandedly annihilated rival Glenvillle and five-star OSU commit Jamario O'Neal, scoring four touchdowns on seven catches for 255 yards and a 50 yard pick-six. He's a threat to take it the distance on every touch.
Getting touches for Manningham was the problem for Harding. Manningham only totaled 30 catches for 588 yards as a junior and 42 catches for 665 yards for a run-oriented Harding offense. But it seemed that whenever they did manage to get the ball into Super Mario's hands, it was a long touchdown... 3 over 50 yards against Glenville including a 94 yard bomb, a 73 yard strike in the state championship game as a junior. Manningham is a deep threat. A very deep threat.
Manningham has had problems with fumbling and has occasionally dropped balls at bad times. His high school career was marked by inconsistency. All you have to do is look at Mario's numbers as a senior: 255 yards against Glenville and 410 the rest of the season. He'll have some work to do to adapt to a sophisticated passing offense, but his highlight reel offers a taste of Manningham's spectacular promise. It's worth noting that despite his pedestrian statisics, the already-committed Manningham made a rare rise up guru boards from the edge of the top 100 to the top 50.
ANTONIO BASS - ATH - Jackson (MI)
Height: 6'1" Weight: 200
Lemming: #66 overall, #3 S
Rivals: ****, #42 overall, #5 ATH, #2 MI
Scout.com: ****, #60 overall, #5 QB
Projected Role: Braylon crossed with Breaston
Bass is one of those freakish athletes that end up as QB of their high school team simply because it would be retarded to not put the ball in his hands every play. That was almost disastrous for UM, as Bass, a lifelong UM fan surrounded by UM fans, almost chose Michigan State because they offered him at QB. Michigan was very specific that he was being offered as a WR.
It's fairly obvious why: Bass rushed for 1,246 yards this season and only completed about a third of his passes, which is acceptable for quarterbacks in NCAA 2005 but not the real world. When he's running, he's ridiculous. Bass ran for 15 touchdowns as a senior, seven longer than 50 yards. Throwing it... well, Bass would need a lot of work to be anything other than a Tommie Frazier-at-Nebraska option QB. An awful lot.
What does Michigan have in Bass? Uh, well... they've also got an awful lot of work, but they've done it before with Steve Breaston. Bass is not a WR. He's never run a route, he's never caught a pass. He'll likely follow the same path as Stevie Wonder, redshirting his freshman year to learn the position and then breaking out his second year. If he can catch and run routes, he'll be a great one. He's an Edwards-level athlete with boom-or-bust potential.
LATERRYAL SAVOY - WR - Mamou(LA)
Height: 6'2" Weight: 195
Rivals: ***, #27 WR, #9 LA
Scout.com: *** , #33 WR
Projected Role: Avant 2.0
Savoy's most notable stat last year came on the defensive side of the ball, where he notched 13 interceptions playing safety. He was actually the Louisiana class 2-A defensive MVP with those interceptions (and two blocked punts). He's slated for WR at Michigan, where he was also all-state with 1,355 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns for Mamou.
Savoy doesn't have the explosive athletic ability that catches recruiting gurus' eyes, but he is a big, strong reciever with excellent hands and body control. Savoy will likely be a possession reciever like Jason Avant or Marquise Walker. He won't be the explosive game breaker type like Braylon, but, hey, if Michigan had thrown to Jason Avant on fourth and three vs. OSU he would have caught it.
Historically this is the kind of player that Michigan is adept at finding and recruiting early, the intangibles kid. Kids like Tom Brady or Mike Hart or Avant don't blow you off the track or out of the gym but are esssential components of winning teams because they're smart, hard-working, and dedicated. I expect Savoy will find himself on the field in a major role at some point.
CARSON BUTLER - TE - Renaissance(MI)
Height: 6'6" Weight: 235
Rivals: **, #12 MI
Scout.com: **, NR
Projected Role: Freak athlete to mold
Butler is this year's most Braylon-esque recruit. He's a virtual unknown to the national recruiting gurus, none of whom saw fit to rate him. Butler's transfer from Lansing Waverly forced him to sit out his junior year and he focused extensively on basketball, playing on Renassaince's Hairston (grrr) & Crawford (double grrr) state championship team.
As a senior he turned in a half-dynamite, half-uninterested season on both sides of the ball, accumulating 44 tackles and seven sacks as a defensive end and 29 receptions for 689 yards and eight touchdowns as a wide reciever. Firsthand reports of his play often contained criticisms about his motor and level of interest in the game around him.
Butler is an outrageous athlete who hasn't begun to scratch the surface of his football potential. He has the raw ability to become a Kellen Winslow or Antonio Gates, or he could never see the field. It's up to him. A definite redshirt here.
MGOBLOG Editorial Stance
A. Michigan got two top-100 recievers a year after getting two top-100 recievers (Arrington and Dutch) and a guy on the edge of the top-100 (Trent), plus a couple of beneath the radar guys who look like potential contributors. The only question about Michigan's recievers over the next few years will be "how do we get all these guys plus Mike Hart, Kevin Grady, and Max Martin on the field?"
Bass and Manningham are both playmakers who were the focal points of their high school teams. Manningham absolutely destroyed five-star OSU commit Jamario O'Neal and anyone else who had the misfortune of attempting to (triple) cover him, and Bass tore up schools all year only to see Jackson's weak defense yield almost 30 points a game. Michigan will be absolutely set at WR for the next few years. They'll be able to put out four or even five top-100 gamebreakers at the same time. Henne should be rubbing his hands together and cackling evilly.
Savoy didn't wow the gurus like MM or Bass, but he does come from a small school in Louisiana. LSU was rumored to be interested in Savoy, but since they got commitments from two five-star WRs last year they've been laying off of them this year. He has better size and strength than the other two and will fill a different role in the offense. Or potentially on defense... it has to be said that there are an awful lot of WRs from the past two years and not enough defensive backs. If it looks like Bass or Savoy get buried on the depth chart for some reason, either one could take a shot at safety or even linebacker.
Butler is the kind of sleeper I like: an athletic freak who's underrated because of lack of experience and on-field performance. He has the proverbial "upside" in spades. He'll be the most athletic tight end on the roster from day one but he will require a lot of work if he's ever going to see the field. The reports of his less than stellar work ethic are disturbing, but the Michigan coaches are taking a flyer that they can pound some sense into the young man. With Mike Massey looking good a year in front of Butler, he's a smart risk to take. Even if he doesn't work out at TE, he can probably find a role at DE.
There isn't a whole lot in the disappointments category. Selwyn Lymon is a big time recruit that got away, but prying him away from Purdue would have been a surprise. He may torture the Big Ten for a while. Luckily Michigan won't face him for the next two years, as Purdue is off the schedule.
Two game breakers, an Avant-type, and a Braylon-at-TE sleeper? Yes please.
Up Next: Uh, looks like we'll be waiting a while for the defensive recruiting to be completed. I'll do the DL and LBs after Slocum announces a decision on January 19th, assuming McKinney also announces by then. I haven't completely given up on Nic Harris yet, so the DBs (and I'll put Mesko in there too) will have to wait unti his decision is public, which isn't slated to happen until Feb. 2, Signing Day.
Dan Fardig and Brandon Naurato have committed to Michigan. That brings the class up to eight guys to replace ten. Neither guy is a big-time get... major hockey recruits who haven't chosen a school by now are by and large not blue-chippers. Blue-chippers often make very early decisions as they have to choose between the NCAA and Major Juniors.
Fardig graduated from Pioneer last year and has played a few games with the NTDP this year; Naurato played at CC like Moss and Kaleniecki and then went off to the USHL. He'll be 20 by the time he arrives on campus, which is par for the course for many programs but unusual for Michigan.
I think this may be another bad sign as relates to Kessel. We're filling up those forward slots awfully quick. We'll still make room for Kessel should he decide to become a Wolverine but the coaches are making plans like that's not going to happen.
Oh, yeah: the WJC team got thumped by Belarus 5-3. Belarus! Montoya got benched in favor of Cory Schnieder, but once Schnieder gave up three goals by early in the second period, Montoya got a chance to redeem himself... and promptly let in a shot from outside the blue line on his first opportunity to make a save. It was that kind of night for the US, who played very badly defensively and got absolutely no help from either goalie.
I don't know what Sandelin's going to do, but his team is now going to be up against it vs. the Czechs today. They must win or hope for an unlikely team Russia loss or not make the medal round. And neither goalie has been anything but craptacular.
As for Michigan, it's MSU in the GLI tonight. Down to 16 skaters w/ Rohlfs playing D... uh, well it would be nice to win. I'm not expecting big things.
Another thing, though: this is a huge opportunity for Noah Ruden. If he shuts the door against a swarming MSU team tonight and Montoya continues to look awful at the WJC, he could get at least one or two more games with Montoya back as a bit of a wakeup call for Monty. And if things continue the way they are, he could get more.
Uh... I dunno. Texas doesn't run a spread but has a running QB. We've had problems with the latter but especially the latter running out of the former. Iowa Debacle I, Northwestern A Train Debacle, Syracuse Debacle, Ohio State Debacle, MSU Near-Debacle... I'll stop now because I want to throw up.
On the other hand, I'm pretty sure the Big Twelve sucks really badly this year. Texas played Oklahoma and then nobody particularly good. They let Adrian Peterson go nutzors on them for 200+ yards. They almost lost to Kansas. They should have lost to an OSU team that just got waxed by, uh, our OSU team.
If I had any faith in our defensive coordinator, I'd feel good about the game, because Texas is one of those one-dimensional teams that we just eat alive: they're 2nd nationally rushing but 105th passing. So we'll inevitably sit back in a soft zone, rush three, and just generally retard around like we did against OSU, unless someone with the initials LLOYD CARR lights a fire under Herrmann. The way we should defense this team is simple: lock up Hall and Jackson on whatever recievers they throw out there (leading reciever Tony Jeffery averages 36 yards a game), bring Shazor up to play Tomahawk Missile on anyone with the ball, and blitz blitz blitz blitz.
Sure, they may hit some big plays. But I'm willing to lose if they hit enough. I am not willing to lose because our defense gives up 500 yards with a combination of soft stupidity and blown tackles/coverages for big plays. At the very least let's see some aggressive stupidity.
By the way, did you know that Indiana leads the nation in kickoff return average? Bet you didn't.
I think we'll know how the game is going to go on the first offensive series of the game. If we see an eight-man front, blitzes, and the general theme of "Win this with your arm, Vince Young" we can win. If we don't, well... there's at least a small chance Herrmann will get sacked.
I didn't even talk about the offense. I mean, what does it say when the first thing that pops into my perpetually-worried mind about the Rose Bowl is "God I hope we don't give up 40 points" when we've got true freshmen at QB and RB and they've got the Bednarik winner at LB? It says something good about Hart and Henne but mostly, uh, it doesn't say anything good at all.
I'll talk more about this in my season postmortem. The upshot is that I don't think there's anything JH can do that will not have me pretend-firing him every day this offseason.
The News has a bunch of sweet practice photos like so:
Wojo has an article up that's very good. One thing that occurred to me is that OSU just had a season like we had so many times in the 90s... early three or four losses, win as big underdog in the Game, bowl win to make your 8-4 turd a very polished 8-4 turd.
Meanwhile, if we Herrmann away the Rose Bowl 9-3 is not going to look very good to anyone. Herrmann, in fact, gets called out by Michael Rosenberg in his latest Free Press article which echoes the sentiments of every UM fan who is not directly related to Herrmann: shape up (now) or ship out (now).
I'm sick of any quarterback with the slightest ability to run looking like some goofy-looking white bench scrub playing the Pistons in the playoffs.
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