Brian's alter-ego/literary device paid me a visit prior to the game. Here's a transcript of our discussion.
Who do we play this week?
The corn guys, from out west.
You mean Iowa?
No, the other corn team, the one that wears red and white and is famous for their huge offensive lines.
Oh, Wisconsin. Gotcha.
No, no, NU.
The team that recently joined the conference.
Oh yeah, we are Penn Shhhtate.
No, think of the other one, that has a less than stellar academic reputation.
Of course, Michigan State!
No, the guys with the black shirt defense.
I give up.
So the point of all that is it's my way of saying that we are still learning about Nebraska. Obviously, there is the corn. The telecast showed us one of their mascot things making corn angels (like snow angels, but with corn) and wandering through a corn maze.* It's quite obvious why Nebraskans are so taken with Nebraska football, it's because that is their only respite from all that corn.
Growing up, I learned about all the great football rivalries, with Michigan-Ohio State topping them all. Nebraska-Oklahoma was next, right up there with USC-UCLA and Auburn-Alabama. Then, the Big 8 became the Big 12 and they tried to start a new rivalry with Colorado. That didn't work out because Colorado is a tire fire. Nebraska then joined the Big 10 and were rivalried up with Iowa (corn vs. corn! It's cornageddon!)
But you can't force a rivalry. Our biggest rival is Ohio State because of Bo and Woody, and all the history of The Game. However, after two seasons of Nebraska being in the B1G, it's becoming apparent to me at least, that you can add Nebraska to a list that includes Ohio State, MSU, ND, and, in their own minds at least, Illinois. Our division is going to come down to us vs. Nebraska more times than not, if past is prelude. And that means, prepare yourself for another rivalry game.
* Sparties have a bumper sticker that reads, "You call it maize, we call it corn." With Nebraska, it reads, "You call it maize, we call it our entire life." If you will,
Nebraskans: corn :: Native Americans: buffalo.
It's that time of year when people watch horror flicks, like Friday the 13th, Halloween, and Children of the Corn. In that spirit, I present to you another horror flick.
Burst of Impetus
* So we've got this quarterback who is pretty good, maybe you've heard of him, Denard Robinson. Well, he got hurt. Game over.
* Except it wasn't game over if someone could have stepped up and made a play. Returned a kick, made a pick-six, caused a FF on a sack, or just caught a pass from Bellomy, anything. It seems like when Denard went out, the air went out of the bubble.
* 21 players registered in the defensive stats, lead by Kenny Demens with 10 tackles.
* After taking the last two weeks off, Gordon and Kovacs were back in the top 5 for tackles.
* We had 6 TFLs after not getting any against STAEE. Roh definitively proved that he cannot be blocked by a RB, as he picked up the running back, carried him to the QB and sacked both players.
* We had zero QHs. Note to self: Must get MOAR PASS RUSH.
* Dare I say it, Jake Ryan appeared human, with almost as many missed tackles as tackles.
* Denard was on pace for a nice day, 10 carries for 46 yards and 6 of 11 passing for 55.
* In times of trouble, I try to find the silver lining. Bellomy did hit some receivers in their hands, but no one stepped up to help him out. And then he panicked and all heck broke loose. The less said the better.
Bunches of Funchess
* If Gardner is going to continue running backwards and not jumping for jump balls, and Denard is battling some on-going arm issue, it's about time to move Devin back to QB.
* Funchess nor Dileo caught a pass.
* Bellomy threw a pass a little behind Funchess. Another foot to the right and the Belches era* would have started with a TD pass. Instead, all we got was this:
And Justice for Rawls
* For the 2nd week in a row, no Rawls or Hayes. Perhaps I broke this out a season too early.
* Fitz had what is now, unfortunately, his routine day, 15 carries for 38 yards and a long of 9.
* Gallon had a few end arounds for 17 yards.
Norf and Souf
* Gallon doinked a punt return off his helmet, which caused us to start a drive at our own 1. It was a line drive punt, so if he just lets it go, it likely is a touchback.
* Wile missed a 53 yarder, so Gibbons got the next shot at 52 yards. I thought we learned that his range was only 44 yards. Gibbons is the man.
* NU was penalized 8 times for 104 yards. We were hit with only 3 for 44, and yet, I think that was a horribly officiated and replay officiated game.
* Roy Roundtree caught a 55 yard pass that was overruled. I did not see a conclusive replay showing the ball wobbling when it hit the ground.
* But even if Roy's catch was not a catch, by that standard how in hell was Bellomy's first INT not overruled? If the refs are correct, I'm supposed to believe that the ball hit Vincent Smith's hands which are apparently made of stone, causing the ball to deflect six feet in the air? I mean, there's no chance that ball hit the turf? None?
* Last week I complained about the refs not calling pass interference. Forget I said anything. In this game, if you looked cross-eyed at a WR it cost you 15 yards.
* I will credit the refs with nailing Neb twice for helmet shots. One was so egregious that it ripped the N off the NU player's helmet (but according to him, he hit the WR with his shoulder pad.)
I’ll Take Bullets for a Thousand, Alex
* As bad as we played, the first downs were close, 20-18 in favor of Nebraska. Of course, 6 of our first downs came from Nebraska penalties.
* Nebraska's 20 1st downs translated to 326 total yards, we managed 188 total yards. At least we were efficient with our first downs. Why get 20 or 30 yards when you only need 10?
* We won the TOP, 31:36 to 28:24. Yippee. We did control the clock early, and I was expecting that to pay off in the fourth quarter when we should have been able to grind down their defense, but then, you know, Denard got hurt.
* H/T my brother, who really should be writing this instead of me.
No change this week at the top of the big board, but there's plenty of movement in the bottom half, where Indiana(!) passes three teams with three new commitments. Yes, that Indiana. Changes since the last rankings:
10-15-12: David Kenney decommits from Iowa. Indiana picks up David Kenney. Darius Latham decommits from Wisconsin. Purdue picks up Danny Ezechukwu.
10-23-12: Wisconsin picks up Matt Hubley.
10-24-12: Indiana picks up Rashard Fant and Clyde Newton.
10-28-12: Christian LaCouture decommits from Nebraska.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||24/7 Avg||ESPN Avg||Avg Avg^||POINTS*|
^The average of the average rankings of the four recruiting services (the previous four columns). The figure is calculated based on the raw numbers and then rounded, so the numbers above may not average out exactly.
*The product of number of Commits and Average Average
NOTE: Unranked recruits are counted as two-star players.
On to the full data after the jump.
Video companion to http://mgoblog.com/content/picture-pages-predictability. Analysis courtesy Brian, as usual.
Full YouTube link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPcoRak3NbI
Hello: Jayce Vancena
Prep Baseball Repot (PBR) reported in mid-October the verbal commitment for the 2014 class of Jayce Vancena, a 6-4, 210-lb. right-handed pitcher out of Lake H.S. (near Millbury, Ohio, southeast of Toledo). His PBR profile has this scouting report:
Vancena is a big, projectable right-handed pitcher and definite follow over the next two years. On the mound, he uses an over the top arm slot and short arm action. With his delivery, he hides the ball well. His fastball sits between 79-82 mph. When throwing his 59-62 mph curveball, he tends to slow down his arm speed. His changeup, which sits between 69-72 mph, shows some fading action. At the plate, the right-handed hitter shows pull tendencies has he creates solid contact with power potential.
Hello: Oliver Jaskie
Also in mid-October, another 2014 prospect committed to Michigan: Oliver Jaskie, a 6-4 southpaw pitcher from Forest Hills H.S. (Ada Twp., near Grand Rapids). In addition his profile, PBR has this brief scouting report from a September scouting notes item:
Jaskie continues to show that he knows how to pitch and pitch effectively. His breaking ball was tighter than what he have seen in the past and his change up again was a really effective pitch. His change is advanced for such a young age.
An earlier rundown indicates that PBR had Jaskie ranked #12 in the state:
Jaskie continues to improve this summer. A Midwest Futures Games invitee, Jaskie is an intriguing lefty that is only going to get better. His velo might not jump off the page right now but he knows how to pitch. His changeup is his best pitch and he uses his height, 6-foot-4, to create good tilt. Jaskie is currently ranked No. 12 in his class.
Hello: Grant Reuss
Apparently the most highly ranked of this trio of 2014 commits is Grant Reuss, another left-handed pitcher, who's 6-5, 210 lbs., out of Cranbrook Kingswood in Bloomfield Hills. Reuss verbally committed to the Wolverines earlier today. PBR has Reuss as their #3 prospect in Michigan for 2014 and offered the following scouting report in this July rundown:
Reuss is one of the best lefties in his class and currently checks in at No. 4 [now #3] ] in the class of 2014. He has been up to 89 mph in the past and he was 86-88 mph on this day. Reuss continues to raise his stock. Standing at 6-foot-6 Reuss is long and loose. He also has the makings of a good breaking ball. Consistency in his delivery will be the key to Reuss' development.
MBP ranks Reuss #2 in the state, and they also have a profile page for him with several videos.
With the addition of these three commits, Erik Bakich now has six commits for the class of 2014, with the others being Jake Bivens, Brandon Hughes, and Drew Lugbauer (see the previous recruiting update for details).
Michigan's 2013 baseball class includes about a dozen commits, including Ethan Cohen.
High pressure moving over Nebraska will continue to slide eastward Saturday morning. This will cause winds to shift overnight to become southerly for tomorrow, and we'll also see clouds build in ahead of an approaching low pressure system during the day/evening. The chance of precip looks to stay in northern NE and the night looks dry. Dress in layers as it's warm for tailgating and cool at night. High pressure over IA/WI will keep Ann Arbor comfortable and dry with some clouds.
If you're headed to Lincoln...
Winds shift to become southerly by sunrise, but stay light until mid-morning. Mostly clear, but still in the upper 20s at 8am! We warm up quickly, getting to 40 degrees around late lunchtime with southerly winds around 10-15mph (leaves blow about), might get a couple gusts around 20mph. Hit the high for the day in the afternoon- 49 degrees (wind chill has it feeling like low 40s) with winds out of the south at 8-10mph. Cloud cover will slowly increase throughout the day and towards kickoff, and grab the long sleeves as you head into Memorial stadium!
41 degrees for the start with mostly cloudy skies. Winds are out of the southeast at about 10mph.
Grab a drink to keep you warm! We'll continue to see mostly cloudy skies. Temperature lingers near 40, but expect the wind chill to have it feeling like the mid 30s. Winds are out of the southeast at 7mph.
Only dropping a couple more degrees by the end of the game, but although the temp will be at 36, expect the wind chill to make it feel more like 30! Winds stay out of the SE at about 8mph and will remain that way overnight. Still mostly cloudy as you leave the game, but we will start to see the cloud cover decrease into Sunday morning. With those last call rounds of celebration - partly cloudy skies and temps have fallen into the low 30s with wind chills in the low 20s! Some sunshine, 30 degrees, and light SE winds greet you at 8am Sunday morning. Have safe travels if you're headed to the game, and go blue!
If you're staying in Ann Arbor...
Topping out around 52 with partly sunny skies. Winds are out of the north at about 10-15mph, with gusts around 20mph in the afternoon. 43 degrees and partly cloudy for the game's start, but cloud cover will go down during the game. Upper 30s and partly cloudy, N winds at 7mph if you're going home at the end of the game... if you're staying out to celebrate the win, we'll have mostly clear skies & temps in the mid 30s (wind chill in the upper 20s) so hopefully you grabbed that jacket!
Christina Burkhart is a meteorologist for NBC/ABC in Traverse City, MI, and temporarily for NBC25 in Flint/Saginaw, MI. She grew up in Ann Arbor and associates Saturdays with Michigan football. Go Blue!!
[Ed-S: Bumped to diary]
|Jordan Kovacs||S||RS SR|
|Kenny Demens||LB||RS SR|
|J.T. Floyd||CB||RS SR|
If I could pick one senior to come back for another season, it would be JT Floyd. Kovacs is great and I would love another season of Big Will, C Roh, and Kenny Demens, but M seems much better equipped depth wise to deal with the loss of those 4, when compared to the CB, and the loss of JT Floyd. Brandin Hawthorne is great on ST's but his loss is the most sustainable.
Depth and experience aren't so great at Safety either, and makes me tempted to go with Kovacs, but for the missed season and uncertainty surrounding Blake Countess at CB.
|Richard Ash||DT||RS SO|
|Kenny Wilkins||DT||RS SO|
|Quinton Washington||DT||RS JR|
|Keith Heitzman||DE||RS FR|
|James Ross III||LB||FR|
|Antonio Poole||LB||RS FR|
|Jake Ryan||LB||RS SO|
|Mike Jones||LB||RS JR|
|Cameron Gordon||LB||RS JR|
|Josh Furman||S||RS SO|
|Thomas Gordon||S||RS JR|