"Northwestern fans can be both heartened and disheartened by the loss to Minnesota just like how nineteenth-century resurrectionists were heartened when they pried a heart from a freshly-buried corpse and then disheartened it when they sold it to a disreputable anatomist."
Big week for a few of Wolverines. Let me know what I missed, or if you have any more insight that I can add.
Week 7 Notes: Mario Manningham was cut from IR. Fitzgerald Toissaint was cut from practice squad.
Jason Avant (2002-05) | Carolina Panthers, WR (L 38-17 vs. Green Bay)
- 2 receptions for 6 yards.
- In his first year with the Panthers, Avant has made 19 catches on 28 targets for 185 yards, and 1 TD.
Tom Brady (1997-99) | New England Patriots, Starting QB (W 27-25 vs. New York Jets)
- Big game: 20/37 for 261 yards with 3 TDs and no turnovers. Was sacked once.
- For the year, Brady has thrown for over 1,700 yards, with a 13 TDs and 2 interceptions.
Stevie Brown (2006-09) | @steviebrown27 | New York Giants, Backup FS (L 31-21 vs. Dallas)
- 1 tackle.
- Brown tore his ACL and missed the 2013 season, and has started 3 games this year. He has amassed 13 tackles in 6 games.
Will Campbell (2009-12) | @idonttweet73 | Buffalo Bills, Practice G (W 17-16 vs. Minnesota)
- Recently signed to the Bills practice squad.
Kenny Demens (2009-12) | @kdemens25 | Arizona Cardinals, Backup ILB (W 24-13 vs. Oakland)
- Did not record a statistic.
- In 6 games played, Demens has recorded 5 tackles and 2 forced fumble.
Michael Cox (2008-11) | @mikecox1mill | New York Giants, Kick Returner (L 31-21 vs. Dallas)
- Returned kickoffs for 21, 26, and 40 yards.
- This was his second game of the year, exclusively in kick returning duties.
Larry Foote (1998-2001) | @larryfoote313 | Arizona Cardinals, Starting MLB (W 24-13 vs. Oakland)
- 4 tackles and 1 sack.
- Has started all 6 games in his first year with Arizona, recording 35 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 INT so far.
Jonathan Goodwin (1999-2001) | New Orleans Saints, Starting C (L 24-23 vs. Detroit)
- Goodwin was carted off the field with a leg injury before halftime and did not return. QB was sacked 1 time. Goodwin had a holding call against him.
- In his first year with New Orleans. Has started every game since 11/24/2008.
Cameron Gordon (2009-13) | New England Patriots, LB (W 27-25 vs. New York Jets)
- On injured reserve.
Brandon Graham (2006-09) | @brandongraham55 | Philadelphia Eagles, Backup LB (Bye Week)
- Has not started yet this year, but has 17 tackles, 2 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles in 6 games.
Leon Hall (2003-06) | Cincinnati Bengals, CB (L 27-0 vs. Indianapolis)
- 4 tackles and 1 pass breakup. Had a lower back strain during the game. Fans were NOT happy with his performance.
- Has 27 tackles and 1 interception in 6 starts.
David Harris (2004-06) | New York Jets, Starting ILB (L 27-25 vs. New England)
- 4 tackles.
- In 7 starts, Harris has recorded 54 tackles and 1 forced fumble.
Junior Hemingway (2007-11) | @younghemi21 | Kansas City Chiefs, Backup WR (W 23-20 vs. San Diego)
- Did not record a statistic. Had a bad, bad drop.
- In 6 games, Hemingway has 8 receptions for 89 yards.
Chad Henne (2004-07) | @chad_henne | Jacksonville Jaguars. Backup QB (W 24-6 vs. Cleveland)
- Did not play.
- Started 3 games to begin the year. 42/78 for 492 with 3 TDs and 1 interception and 1 fumble. Has apparently lost starting job to rookie Blake Bortles.
Tim Jamison (2005-08) | Houston Texans, Backup DE (MNF vs. Pittsburgh)
- Has started 1 of 7 games this year. Jamison has recorded 9 tackles and half of a sack.
Jordan Kovacs (2009-13) | @jkovacs32 | Philadelphia Eagles, SS (Bye Week)
- Recently signed to Eagles practice squad.
- Was cut from Miami during fall camp. Played in 9 games last year for the Dolphins.
Taylor Lewan (2009-13) | @taylorlewan77 | Tennessee Titans, Starting T (L 19-17 vs. Washington)
- QB was sacked 3 times.
- Started second consecutive game.
Jake Long (2004-07) | St. Louis Rams, Starting T (W 28-26 vs. Seattle)
- QB was not sacked this game.
- Has been a starter since he entered the league 7 years ago.
Mike Martin (2008-11) | @gomikemartin | Tennessee Titans, Starting DE (L 19-17 vs. Washington)
- Started and made 3 tackles.
- Started last two games. 9 tackles this year.
David Molk (2007-11) | Philadelphia Eagles, Starting C (Bye Week)
- Has started past 3 games, due to starter injury. Film reviews have been positive on him.
Ryan Mundy (2003-06) | @rmundy29 | Chicago Bears, Starting SS (L 27-14 vs. Miami)
- 5 tackles.
- Has recorded 34 tackles and 1 pick-six interception in his first 6 games with the bears.
Patrick Omameh (2009-12) | @patrickomameh | Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Starting G (Bye Week)
- Has started all 6 games this year.
Denard Robinson (2009-12) | @denardx | Jacksonvile Jaguars, RB (W 24-6 vs. Cleveland)
- First game as feature back, huge game. 127 yards rushing on 22 attempts for 5.8 yard average, AND his first NFL TD. This game almost doubled his career total in yards. He also played a big part in making a tackle to avoid a pick-6 on one of Bortles 3 INTs.
- Highlights: http://bit.ly/1t1h20k
- Has started 3 games this year, has rushed for 221 yards on 50 carries, and has 11 receptions for 37 yards. Robinson has zero fumbles, compared to 3 fumbles on 20 rushing attempts last year.
Steve Schilling (2007-10) | Seattle Seahawks, Backup G (L 28-26 vs. St. Louis)
- Started his second consecutive game. Got banged up during the game. QB sacked 3 times.
- In his first year with Seattle.
Michael Schofield (2009-13) | @schoblue75 | Denver Broncos, Backup T (W 42-17 vs. San Francisco)
- Has yet to play. Is marked as inactive.
LaMarr Woodley (2003-06) | @lamarrwoodley | Oakland Raiders, Starting DE (L 24-13 vs. Arizona)
- 1 tackle.
- 4 tackles in 5 games.
Charles Woodson (1995-97) | Oakland Raiders, Starting FS (L 24-13 vs. Arizona)
- Big game: 7 tackles, 1 pass breakup, and 1 interception with a 30-yard return.
- Has 39 tackles and 2 interceptions in 6 games.
I decided to start at the bottom and work my way up to what I think will be the standings next year. Rutgers was not very good this year, finishing 5-13 in the not-so-good American conference. A lot of people would say, "you can only get better from here". This may be true for this Rutgers team. Rutgers loses seniors Wally Judge and J.J Moore. Jerome Seagears, D’Von Campbell, and Craig Brown are also transferring. Losing these five players means a loss of:
48% of their points
41% of their rebounds per game
and 50% of their minutes
They do bring in 6 freshmen who, unless they contribute right away will leave Rutgers pretty awful.
So here is their projected roster:
# Name HT WT YR POS
11 Kadeem Jack 6-9 235 SR. PF
Starting Power Forward, averaged 14.3 points per game with 6.8 rebounds. A close second to Mack.
4 Myles Mack 5-10 175 SR. PG
Starting Point Guard, averaged 15 points per game with 4.3 Assists. Rutgers' best player.
0 Malick Kone 6-5 200 SR. SF
The starting Shooting Guard, averaged 3.5 points per game last year.
3 Kerwin Okoro 6-5 215 JR. SF
Does not play meaningful minutes.
21 Stephen Zurich 6-5 205 JR. SF
Same as Okoro.
23 Jalen Hyde 5-8 165 JR. PG
35 Greg Lewis 6-9 245 JR. PF
The starting Center that has a decent rebound rate. With him starting Rutgers actually has a pretty big lineup.
10 Junior Etou 6-7 230 SO. SF
The starting Small Forward, averaged 5.3 points per game.
33 Khalil Batie 5-10 175 SO. PG
5 Mike Williams 6-2 190 FR. SG
3 Star, offers from Dayton, Iowa, ST. Johns, Temple...
2 Bishop Daniels 6-3 185 FR. SG
3 star, no other offers
32 Ibrahima Diallo 6-10 240 FR. C
Rawer than sushi. 3 Star
22 D.J. Foreman 6-8 230 FR. PF
Offers from Iowa State, Minnesota, Pittsburgh…
13 Ryan Johnson 6-6 190 FR. SG
A low ranked prospect. Supposedly he can shoot. According to Rutgers he is the next Jeremy Lamb.
40 Shaquille Doorson 6-11 275 FR. C
Low ranked recruit. Redshirt.
15 Jake Dadika 5-11 160 FR. PG
My projected starting lineup:
Point Guard: Myles Mack
Shooting Guard: Malick Kone
Small Forward: Junior Etou
Power Foward: Kadeem Jack
Center: Greg Lewis
Michigan plays Rutgers at home and on the road next year, which is favorable for us.
In all, Rutgers is a pretty small team that is losing a lot of players of. They do not have depth, or much skill. The junior class looks to have nothing so the team will rely on mostly seniors. I project Rutgers will go 4-14 and tie with Purdue for last.
Next up... Purdue.
NORFLEET! Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog
1. The Four Factors
|Expected Pts||Conv Rate||Bonus Yards||Red Zone|
So…that was not a good offensive game. But you didn’t need me to tell you that. Below average conversion rates, no action beyond the sticks. One touchdown in four combined red zone trips. Michigan won the field position thanks to winning the punt battle, stopping the fake punt a turnover in field goal range. Other years this would be cause for concern, right now, a win anyhow anyway is no time to complain about the lack of offensive success.
2. Individual Performances
Devin Gardner: –1.1 pts, –7% Win Pct Added on 31 plays
Deveon Smith: +0.1, +7% on 15 plays
Devin Funchess: +0.8, –2% on 11 plays
Amara Darboh: +2.6, +4% on 5 plays
Christian Hackenberg: +0.5, –4% on 36 plays
Bill Belton: +1.0, –4% on 20 plays
Not a lot of offensive stars in this one. Devin Funchess barely finished plus on the game after a huge opening drive touchdown. Amara Darboh ended as the only Michigan offensive player with a significant positive contribution on the night.
As for Devin Gardner, he is broken. Prior to last season, I wrote about his amazing run to end the 2012 season and that he had done things that very few college quarterbacks had every done. Based on 2012, he had the makings of a QB capable of adding an average of two touchdowns above a normal offensive output every game. He had practically done it already. And then 2013 happened. Below is his chart of opponent adjusted EV (expected value or points added) for every game he had at least 10 plays (rushes + passes – sacks).
2010/11 were pretty pedestrian. 2012 was incredible and 2013 started pretty well too. Akron was a bad performance by his high standards. Things were ugly against UConn before rebounding against Minnesota. In his next 14 games, there were two great games against bad defenses (Indiana and App St) and the heroic one-footed game against Ohio St.
There are six negative games and five more that were essentially zero (which is below average for a QB). It’s hard to say when Devin Gardner was broken but it obvious, even without the numbers, that he has been. I don’t know if it’s possible for him to be fixed at this point with this staff, but I sure hope so, because he is poised to be the biggest casualty of the Hoke era.
3. Game Chart
Hey, this one goes up!
6. –10.1% Russell Bellomy incomplete on third down (late Q3)
5. +10.2% Deveon Smith picks up a first down on 3rd and 1 (mid Q4)
4. +10.3% Michigan stops the Penn St fake punt attempt (mid Q3)
3. –11.1% Devin Gardner incomplete to Darboh on 4th and 3 (early Q3)
2. +12.6% Jourdan Lewis intercepts Hackenberg (late Q3)
1. +16.6% Jake Ryan forces Hackenberg into a 16 yard intentional grounding (late Q4)
The Blame Game is now the credit game, with a fair amount of blame as well. The results should not surprise.
1. Pass Defense: +49%
2. FG/PAT: +22%
3. Rush Defense: +8%
3. Opponent FG/PAT: –6%
2. Rush Offense: –9%
1. Pass Offense: –22%
4. Dumb Punt of the Week
David Shaw is poised to get a lifetime achievement award at this point. Stanford punted two more times from inside the opponent 40, bringing the total to 7 on the year, 2 more than anyone else.
Other Dishonorable mentions:
Washington State punted down 2 scores with two minutes left. This was a tough one because they were inside their own 10 and it was 4th and 33. But two scores in two minutes ain’t happening after a punt.
Coaching man-crush at Wyoming also punted down 10 with less than 3 minutes left.
All three were worthy candidates, without a doubt. But this week’s award goes to Coach Six-Pack, Larry Fedora of North Carolina.
Facing a Notre Dame team that would put up half a hundred on the day, Fedora called for a punt on 4th and 7 from the ND 33 down 9 points in the third quarter. UNC averaged 6.2 yards per play on the day and 32% of plays went for 7 or more yards (yes, MGoReaders, this is legal). The punt of course went for a touchback and field position gain of 13 yards, and North Carolina lost by a touchdown.
5. Fumble Luck & Last Minute Timeouts
Way back in 2011 when Brady Hoke was lucky, Michigan was the second luckiest fumble team in the country at +9.4*. Since then, Michigan has been –1.7, +1.0 and so far this year, –5.2. There is a reason they call it fumble luck. Mattison didn’t have some secret voodoo magic that results in a multitude of fumbles and recoveries, because no one does. Fumbles are lucky and Michigan been extremely unlucky on the fumble side (especially on defense) so far this season.
The sane football fan knew that Hoke’s end of half timeout was idiotic. It is my understanding that there are some that think it was a good idea based on a defensive TD potential. Some quick numbers to put this to bed.
I looked back to 2003 and found 7 cases of a half ending interception return for a touchdown, the only case that could justify the timeout. Of those 7, three cases came when the offense was within ten yards of scoring a touchdown. Another three were on returns that began close to the line of scrimmage which I guess could be appropriate to this situation. And only one on a Hail Mary returned 100 yards for a TD and that was from a 2010 matchup between Tulane and UCF that was a 41 point game at the time. Compare this with 25 offensive touchdowns on end of half Hail Mary’s of at least 40 yards. That is between a 6 to 1 and 25 to 1 ratio of bad to good depending on how you want to count it.
* Fumble Luck is calculated based on this article assuming 1% lost fumbles on most plays, and 6% on sacks.
Michigan’s four factors for the season [Value (national rank/B1G rank)]
|Expected Pts||Conv Rate||Bonus Yards||Red Zone|
|Offense||24.0 (101/13)||65% (84/8)||1.8 (112/13)||5.2 (55/6)|
|Defense||26.1 (50/7)||62% (19/4)||1.9 (28/3)||5.4 (79/10)|
Michigan is 90th overall in net field position, only Penn St is worse in the Big Ten. The offense is below average at generating first downs and truly dreadful at pushing the ball down the field in big chunks. On defense, the news is better, as they crack the top 20 in conversion rate allowed and they are making opposing offenses almost as bad at generating yards beyond the sticks as Michigan’s offense is at getting them.
With a bye week upcoming, no game predictions. For the season, my numbers have an average of 1.8 wins left on the schedule with 3 wins and bowl eligibility at a 25% likelihood.
IMPORTANT METRICS: THIRD DOWN DIFFERENTIALS AND YARDS PER PLAY
As it is a bye week and I’ve been lax in my diary production for the last month or so because of various professional reasons, I think it is about time we took a look at the progress of Michigan on third down differentials and yards per play and how that relates to scoring margin as these things are rather highly correlated to overall team success generally.
First, some historic averages for third down differentials and scoring margin:
AVG. 3RD DOWN DIFF.
AVG. POINT DIFF.
Granted, these are teams across three different coaches, so direct comparisons of these numbers are tricky at best, but what should stand out to you, I think, are the more successful years in this period – 2006, 2011 and arguably 2007 (although it began…let’s not discuss how it began) and 2012 to some extent despite Denard DOOM at Nebraska.
Why do they stand out? If I am answering that, I would say that you see the better defenses getting stops and giving the offense every opportunity to score, but of course that offense has to function as a unit as well. For an interesting example of these stats being decoupled, look at this year – statistically, a better differential on third downs than last year, but the scoring margin is barely positive.
Here’s what the table above looks like graphically:
YARDS PER PLAY DIFFERENTIAL:
This one is intriguing this year, I think. When I’ve done this in the past, typically you will see scoring margin and this statistic more or less follow one another, although in close games the predictability lessens somewhat. This year, there is a bit of lag in the last few weeks between the two.
Note that only once so far have we been outpaced by more than a yard per play on average, and despite losing to Notre Dame in a morbidly spectacular manner, we outgained them by a teeny tiny bit. Teeny tiny. OK, say it was basically even.
THIRD DOWN DIFFERENTIAL IN 2014:
This follows the more traditional course when it comes to expectations – losing the third down battle makes it very difficult to win the game, of course, although it can be done. Indeed, if you look below, we did it against Utah. The opposite can also happen as well, as a matter of fact – you can lose the third down battle quite badly and still somehow win the game. Those of you who were, like I was, at the Akron game last year have seen this phenomenon in person.
Here is this year’s chart to date:
For many reasons, this is a really weird year statistically for Michigan. More to come as the season ends, I am sure.