There were a couple light showers early on this morning but the main rain is south, with cloud cover decreasing from northwest to southeast over Illinois- it won't be long before it reaches Indiana too. There are a few sprinkles still popping up on the map mid-morning, most of them south of US-30. Starting the day overcast, but more and more of the clouds will break up throughout the day. Temperatures will be in the mid-60s until closer to lunchtime, when we finally break the 70 degree mark. Overall high of 73 degrees, with a north-northwest wind around 8-10mph until early afternoon, when it jumps up to 15mph (this is a little breeze-you'll see leaves and loose paper blow about). It should feel like a great fall tailgate!
68 degrees for the start of the game. Not a whole lot of cloud cover, which will let temps fall at a decent rate throughout the evening. Winds out of the north-northwest at about 8mph (it'll rustle the leaves).
You may want the sweatshirt by halftime! Down to 62 degrees with just a few clouds lingering. Winds are very light, just enough to feel it on your skin, at about 3-5mph out of the north.
Clear skies and calm winds leaving the stadium to celebrate! It will be chilly, temps down to 60 degrees and falling to the mid 50s if you plan on being out late. If you're headed home Sunday, you'll need the sunglasses - sunny skies, light wind, and afternoon highs in the mid 70s (up from the low 60s in the morning).
If you're staying home... Very similar weather, but it'll take a tad longer to get the clear skies. We'll reach the low 70s in A2 with a northwest wind at 10mph before it calms down closer to dinner. 65 degrees at kickoff, dropping to 55 by the end of the game. With clearing skies, if you're out late we'll drop to 50 by the last ride home. Quiet conditions continue into Sunday, with highs in the mid 70s and plenty of sunshine. Let's finish this out with a win!
Christina Burkhart is a meteorologist for ABC in Flint, MI. She grew up in Ann Arbor and associates Saturdays with Michigan football. Go Blue!!
Four Plays – Michigan @ ND 2014
This series examines the probable individual matchups Michigan expects to face against particular opponents on one each of Michigan’s basic running and passing plays, as well as defensively against a couple of the opponent’s base plays. I did four of these last season, and would have done more, but after games like Penn State and MSU I eventually just became too demoralized to keep going. Not only that, but Borges would install new concepts every other week and I couldn’t keep up.
A new season is upon us, however, so it’s a nice day to start again. For the first 2014 edition of the series, let’s take a look at Michigan’s visit to South Bend in the (sniff) final matchup of this iconic series.
When Michigan has the ball…
1. Inside Zone Left
The Appalachian State UFR showed that RT Ben Braden struggled with his run blocking technique and RGs Joey Burzynski and Kyle Kalis were inconsistent. Michigan should get some help on the right side of the line with Graham Glasgow returning, but the best bet for running the ball may be to go left behind Mason Cole and Erik Magnuson. Shown here from a “Shotgun Deep” formation, this inside zone play is designed to attack the “3-hole” between offensive guard and tackle, but the back must read the blocks and may attack a different hole if a defender gets caught out of his gap or too far upfield. As for Notre Dame, Bob Diaco and his cats & dogs are out; former NY Jets defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder is in. He supposedly runs an aggressive 4-3, mixing under and over fronts and using lots of pressure.
LT Mason Cole: Covered; block SDE Romeo Okwara, who is covering him
LG Erik Magnuson: Uncovered; release to second-level and block WLB Jaylon Smith
C Jack Miller: Covered; reach block NT Jarron Jones, who is covering him
RG Graham Glasgow: Uncovered; chip DT Sheldon Day, then release to block MLB Joe Schmidt
RT Ben Braden: Covered; block DT Sheldon Day
UTE Khalid Hill: Covered; block WDE
Ishaq Williams (haha) Isaac Rochelle, who is covering him
RB – Derrick Green: Receive handoff and aim for 3-hole between LT and LG; read blocks, make a single cut and head downfield
Though Cole, Magnuson, and Miller graded out well against Appalachian State, this play calls for Cole, a true freshman, to single-block ND’s upper-classman DE and for Magnuson to hunt down Jaylon Smith—one of the best young linebackers in the country. On the backside, expect Braden to struggle with Sheldon Day, even with help from Glasgow.
2. Four Verticals
Cover 3 gets its name from the three defenders (i.e., both CBs and the FS) who play deep 1/3 zones over top of four underneath defenders. Four Verticals is designed to attack Cover 3 by forcing those three deep defenders to cover four receivers. The outside WRs occupy the two cornerbacks, leaving just the FS to deal with the two inside receivers (the Y and the U, as depicted above). In more advanced versions of the play, one or more of the receivers will run option routes, adjusting their patterns after the snap to exploit the holes in the defensive scheme or coverage techniques. Here, the U receiver will run a fly route—but in the event both safeties drop deep (e.g., in a disguised Cover 2 scheme), he will covert to a post route and attack the open middle of the field.
XWR Amara Darboh: Run fly (9) route vs. BCB
KaiVare Russell (doof) Cody Riggs
YWR Dennis Norfleet: Run option fly (9) route vs. FS Max Redfield
LT Mason Cole: Pass protect vs.
WDE Ishaq Williams (blarblar) WDE Isaac Rochells
LG Erik Magnuson: Pass protect vs. DT Sheldon Day
C Jack Miller: Pass protect vs. DT Sheldon Day
RG Graham Glasgow: Pass protect vs. NT Jarron Jones
RT Ben Braden: Pass protect vs. SDE Romeo Okwara
RB Derrick Green: Pass protect, then release to flat
UWR Devin Funchess: Run fly (9) route vs. FS Max Redfield
ZWR Jehu Chesson: Run fly (9) route vs. FCB Cole Luke
QB Devin Gardner: 1-step drop (from shotgun); read free safety to see which of the inside receivers he plays tighter on; read “inside-out” on opposite side of field; if corner plays outside receiver, throw to inside receiver and vice-versa
Successfully defending Four Verticals requires advanced zone coverage technique; the underneath defenders must jam the inside receivers, while the corners and safeties must be able to split their receivers and stay in position to make a play on a ball thrown to either one. Yet ND will be missing its best starting CB due to honor code violations, and starting safety Austin Collinsworth is also out with an injury. To make matters worse for the Irish, starting DE Ishaq Williams is also out because of the academic scandal. That’s a lot of vulnerabilities—and expect Michigan to take full advantage.
When Notre Dame has the ball…
3. Outside Zone
Outside Zone remains the staple of Brian Kelly’s running game. Unlike Inside Zone, a physical running play in which the offensive line tries generally to drive defensive players out of their gaps, Outside Zone calls for agile linemen to step across their defenders and seal them inside (reach blocking). Defenders must fight to avoid being sealed—but in doing so, must also be careful not to flow too far outside, lest they open up cutback lanes behind them.
WDE Frank Clark: Defend backside C-gap vs. LT Ronnie Stanley
NT Ryan Glasgow: Penetrate backside A-gap vs. LG Conner Hanratty (try to demand double team from C)
DT Willie Henry: Penetrate playside B-gap vs. RG Christian Lombard
SDE Brennan Beyer: Fight outside block of TE Ben Koyack to defend playside C-gap; set edge point to force run inside
WLB Joe Bolden: Defend backside B-gap (watch for crackback from invisible slot receiver)
MLB Jake Ryan: Defend frontside A-gap vs. C Nick Martin
SLB James Ross: Defend frontside C-gap vs. RT Steve Elmer
Notre Dame has a veteran line with some quality players, but could be shaky on the right side with a young RT and a new starter at TE. Michigan is stout in the middle, but small at SDE and the move to a 4-3 Over base has shuffled their linebackers’ responsibilities around. No clear advantage for either team on this play.
4. Stick/Draw Packaged Play
Notre Dame’s biggest offensive weapons this season are in the backfield, with several touted RBs and QB Everett Golson returning from a one-year academic disqualification. For Michigan, the greatest concerns with the defense lie in the middle of the field—where distinguished SAM linebacker Jake Ryan has moved to MLB, veteran inside linebacker Desmond Morgan is reportedly out with an arm injury, and new (though talented) players start at safety and nickel. One way ND might test these greener players is through a packaged concept that targets the MLB. The line pass-blocks and the TE runs a stick route; the QB reads the MLB to see if he drops into coverage on the TE or plays the run—and then either hands to ball off to the RB (if the MLB drops) or throws to the TE (if the MLB plays the run). This play destroys zone coverage, but Michigan has moved to primarily man-to-man coverage this season.
FCB Blake Countess: Bump & run coverage vs. SE
DaVaris Daniels (hoohoo) Chris Brown on fade (9) route
NCB Jabrill Peppers: Coverage vs. Slot WR Amir Carlisle on out (8) route; defend C gap vs. run
WDE Frank Clark: Penetrate C gap vs. LT Ronnie Stanley
NT Ryan Glasgow: Penetrate weakside A-gap vs. LG Conner Hanratty, C Nick Martin
3-tech DT Willie Henry: Penetrate strongside B-gap vs. RG Christian Lombard
SDE Brennan Beyer: Pass rush vs. RT Steve Elmer
WLB Joe Bolden: Read pass or run; against pass, cover RB Cam McDaniel; against run, defend B gap
MLB Jake Ryan: Read pass or run; against pass, cover TE Ben Koyack; against run, defend A gap
SS Delano Hill: Cover deep half
FS Jarrod Wilson: Cover deep half
BCB Raymon Taylor: Bump & run coverage vs. WR Corey Robinson
This play puts Michigan’s newest starters (Jake Ryan, who is new to MLB, and Delano Hill, who is new to starting altogether) under stress. But Ryan is, as they say, "a football player." And Hill may be a new face at SS, but he’s reportedly a high-IQ guy who should at least be in position. Having a war daddy at the 3-tech position also helps; Lombard is a well-regarded player but if Henry can 2-gap him then the draw play won't work anyhow.
It's Notre Dame week. More specifically, it's the last Notre Dame week. I wanted to make a few different wallpapers for this game, but only had time finish one. I figure one is still better than none, right?
Anyway. The photo I used is from the 2012 game (I believe it was taken by ESPN). I chose this one because Michigan will be wearing away jerseys this week. It's also just a really cool photo. I used a color pop effect to really bring out the maize and blues. I think it looks pretty cool. Kinda neon-ish.
Anyway, here it is. Hope you like it. Go Blue! (click for full size)
here it is, didn't get a chance to update per the Bosch news and not sure where Glasgow fits in.
SOME OF THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF WEEK 1 IN BIG TEN FOOTBALL
As it is difficult to delve into meaningful statistics after one game of play, although some people try all the same, we shall instead embark on looking at some of the highs and lows on various statistics around the conference in the first week of the new season.
Who scored the most points? That honor goes to Nebraska, which put up 55 (7 TDs, 7 PATs and 2 FGs) on a team which footballs while legally blind and with a broken leg, just so there is perspective here. Incidentally, Nebraska also allowed the fewest points for largely the same reason. Come to think of it, their 784 yards of offense was the most in the conference this past weekend too, and the 498 yards of rushing buried within that number. Who’s up for playing Florida Atlantic?
Who score the fewest points? Northwestern and Wisconsin share the bottom at 24 points each. In the case of Wisconsin, the one thing we know now is that Tanner McEvoy once walked into the path of a bicycle and scrambled but was eventually tackled at the LOS.
Rutgers gave up the most points – 38 of them to Washington State, which managed to move the ball well enough to outgain Rutgers despite losing. The lesson here is that a fade into the end zone might be the most Leach call ever.
Total defense? Here’s something you’ll never see again – Indiana gave up only 170 yards, aided largely by Indiana State’s inability to make intelligible use of the football. It’s actually a wonder that Indiana only scored 28 points, I would think.
Rushing offense? As mentioned, Nebraska was the most prolific, and at the other end of the spectrum, there was Penn State and their 57 yards of rushing. Indeed, 28 carries for 57 yards is the sort of stat that hits far too close to home around here.
Rushing defense is an easy one to cover here – Rutgers gave up 6 yards of rushing to a team coached by Mike Leach. Fail, right? Or is that “mathematically impossible”? Either way, not shocking. Ohio State gave up 370 yards of rushing to a triple option team in Navy, which again shouldn’t surprise anyone.
Penn State threw for the most yards – 454 of them – mostly because Christian Hackenburg and why not, right? Ohio State gave up on 20 yards of passing to a triple option team which….NAVY THREW A PASS?
The most efficient passing games this past weekend? Michigan State, Ohio State and Michigan in that order with ratings of 240.1, 237.2 and 218.6 respectively. On the flip side of this state, Nebraska, Maryland and Indiana made the opposing QBs look the worst.
As the games progress and the stats become more meaningful, obviously bona fide analysis and charts will happen, but for now, we are through the first week. Let us make the second a good one as well.
There was a recently deleted thread about concern of the kicking game. I am not in the least concerned about our kickers and punters. What I'm concerned about is coverage. Kickoff coverage once again looked a little suspect. And although Chesson made a nice play on punt coverage, he was the only guy there and if the ball is one of those Hagerup boomers and the returner makes the first man miss, he'll get 10+ yards before he meets the next defender. That is simply atrocious.
The goal of punt return is to get an extra first down; i.e., get at least 10 yards. The NFL style tight punt makes it easier to get that. I mean, how hard is it to look at the statistical leaders in net punting over the last five years and the schemes they run and draw the obvious conclusion?
For example, Alabama runs NFL style tight punt. No team has the depth of talent as Alabama. If anyone should be good at covering punts out of an NFL style scheme, it's the Crimson Tide. Yet in 2013:
I know that some of you are thinking, "This doesn't include punts that aren't returned, and so really it's net punting average that counts." There's some truth to that, so in the interest of fairness, the Tide was #1 in the land in net punting, mostly due to the high punting average and the fact that they only had 25 of their 40 punts returned.
One team that jumped off the page was Purdue, who punted 73 times and only had 10 returned on them. The Boilers averaged 43.3 yards per punt, and despite giving up a meaty 9.7 yd/return, was #2 in net punting average. Purdue even had a punt blocked by Wisconsin. Purdue has a very low talent level, as well as depth of talent. Three guesses as to their punting scheme.
Also, in the interest of fairness, Michigan averaged giving up 6.3 yd/return, good for #37 in FBS. We were pretty meh in net punting b/c we averaged 40.7 yd/punt.
It is my opinion that with a spread punting scheme, very athletic punters who can launch in not only Hagerup but also Kenny Allen, that we could gain a lot of hidden yardage by switching schemes.
I know, I know; preaching to the choir.