Here is an example of why the above play worked so well. Michigans first TD of the game was set up by this play.
If you cannot view the embed click the Dooooooooooom below.
The next play we are going to take a look at involves Wilton Speights deep ball accuracy. Speight has been deadly accurate this season. In the next embed, he displays this accuracy by putting the ball only where Jake Butt can get it.
The play is a 12 personnel look (one back 2 TE). This is also another 1st and 10 like the play above. The play shows twins left. MSU rushes four and brings the left side backer on a delayed blitz. Michigan sends both WR's deep toward the middle to draw the safeties attention, while Butt runs a deep post corner toward the void over top of the MSU DB playing zone and underneath the deep safeties.
I cannot recognize fully what the MSU coverage is, I would like to guess they are running Quarters coverage with the two safeties occupying the deep middle between the hashes and the two corners covering deep outside the hashes. Regardless the play call was perfect and this kind of a call only works if you have an accurate deep ball.
Michigan also runs play action off of this and speight (two years now under Harbaugh) knows exactly where he is going with the ball on the pre-snap. Speight could have taken the easy way out and threw to his open outlet Deveon Smith in the flat for a nice gain, but his confidence throwing the deep ball allows for him to put the ball only where Butt can catch it. This is another display of Speights great deep ball accuracy.
Link below for those who cannot see the embed.
Well, we managed to get over the MSU hump this year and now sit rather pretty, if you will, at 8-0 and definitely in control of our own destiny in the Big Ten East at this point in the season.
We didn't do it without having some harried personal moments during the game, of course, and just to give you an example of how that is, we gave 507 fucks in this game, whic decisively beats the season record to date of 422 fucks given during the Wisconsin game, which is really the only other end-to-end stressful game we have had as fans in 2016.
Now, was the game really THAT stressful? I argue not, except the 4th quarter perhaps, but that's me. What is apparent is that we were invested and we were not terribly thrilled with the quality of many of the things going on, even with the typical rivalry game "you might never see this performance again this year" caveats in place. The advanced stats here bear that out:
FART (Fucks Adjusted For Real Time): 2.817 per minute of airtime. Season high.
FAP (Fucks Adjusted Per Play): 3.701 per snap. Also, a season high)
SHART (Shits Adjusted For Real Time): 0.722 per minute of airtime. Season high.
SQUIRT Number: 3.900, not a season high, but kind of high all the same.
YTD tracking is below:
Another thing of note - this was this first thread in a while that broke the 3,000 post mark, but barely at 3,013 post. Still, one thing that makes the the thread size all that more remarkable is the amount of tracked instances we were able to fit into it. 1,328 total instances, in fact, which makes for an overall efficiency of 2.27, which is still not quite as high as Rutgers, but then the nature and context of the Rutgers stuff was different and that thread was a lot smaller as well, and that affects results.
Here's the tracking for that versus relative contribution of instances by thread. Here's another great rivalry thing that often happens here - we're through 8 games, but yesterday's game accounts for 22.10% of all instances for the season so far. See below:
Also, we can see in MSU how one game skews averages and distributions. With a season high in shits as well as a season high in damns and a few other words which we track, you get this revised normalization of the Original Six:
We were hyped, we were in the moment, and we spent a lot of time being stressed out about run defense and penalties, particular in the fourth quarter, were about 30% of the fucks and damns actually came from. It was not an easy finish for us as fans by any means, but in a fitting way, Peppers added the appropriate amount of karma at the end - hopefully we will never hear about That Which Did Not Occur ever again.
So, on to Maryland. We're in the driver's seat, I would say. Let's stay there.
Breezy & warm for our game day, so you may want an extra light layer but you can keep the heavier winter coat from last weekend in the closet! We have a low pressure system passing to the north, bringing through a warm front tonight and a cold front tomorrow. Because of that, temps will actually be warmer Saturday morning than Friday night, and we'll also have not only clouds to deal with, but the chance for a few sprinkles throughout the day Saturday. The better chance for rain arrives Saturday night into Sunday. It's a very similar forecast for A2.
Last week we needed the hot coffee and fired up that crockpot to keep us going - not so much the case this week! If you're up and out there early, temps will be around 60 degrees! What you'll notice while loading up tailgate supplies is not only the warmth, but also the breeze. Winds will have stayed up through the overnight, out of the SW at a steady 15mph, with a few gusts up around 20mph (you'd see some white horses on the lake, small trees sway). So hopefully you have the tent ties and napkin rock from last week still handy :) Expect lots of clouds, and don't rule out a light rain shower. We'll be up to the low 60s by mid-morning.
Normal highs this time of year are in the mid 50s, so to talk mid 60s - yup, we're plenty warm! 65 degrees to start this game (!) with lots of clouds and the chance for a sprinkle here and there. You may see a little brightness trying to break through the clouds but it won't have a ton of luck. Winds have shifted a bit to come out of the WSW at around 13mph (leaves, small twigs will be in constant motion).
68 at the half with lots of cloud cover still across the stadium. That small chance for a little drizzle is still with us too, unfortunately. Winds are still up at about 12mph out of the WSW (you'd still see some crests breaking if you were watching waves on a lake). Last weekend they briefly ran out of hot chocolate in the 3rd at the concession stands... I think they'll be ok this week!
Winds will be out of the W by the time we end the game, and down to around 10mph (leaves rustle). We remain in the mid 60s with limited sunshine, so the bright spot of winning will have to be felt in your heart rather than showing so much in the sky haha! If you're planning on being out for the evening, temps will fall to the low 60s for dinner-time. By then winds will turn lighter, out of the NW at around 5mph (just enough to feel it on your skin) but we'll also see our rain chances increase. If you're planning on hitting up some of EL's nightside haunts - c'mon y'all it's almost Halloween :D - there's a better possibility of you running into a passing shower. Temperatures will have dropped to near 50 degrees as you're trying to get home and winds will have shifted to come out of the N, so you might want that extra layer you began the day with. Let's go blue, bring Paul home!
Christina Burkhart is the morning meteorologist for ABC in Flint, MI. She grew up in Ann Arbor and associates Saturdays with Michigan football. Go Blue!
after a brief hiatus, back at it. as usual, let me know if there are any glaring errors.
I watched the game, incredulous as Washington State was somehow putting up a fight against my beloved Wolverines. I was nervous, fidgety, and screaming at the television. But the overwhelming feeling was one of expectation, almost entitlement. We WERE the better team. We SHOULD be the national champion (GTFO, Nebraska). I wasn't watching the game to just to see if we'd win, I was watching the game to confirm what I already knew: Michigan was the best team in the country.
Fast forward 19 years. When I watch Michigan, for the first time since 1997, I am watching not just to see the result, but to validate my belief that this is a transcendent team--one of the truly great Maize & Blue squads of all time.
The comparisons are natural. While some are manufactured, many are remarkably similar. Sure, modernity (more plays per game) changes the numbers and feel, but there are loads of apples to line up against apples here.
- QB - Brian Griese vs. Wilton Speight. While many fans remember Griese as the steady leader of our National Championship team, few recall that he was almost universally viewed as the weakpoint of the team. In fact, there was a QB controversy during fall camp--Griese barely beat out Tom Brady. Griese was a game manager (sound familiar?) not a game breaker, and fans wondered if he could be counted on to deliver if the defense ever faltered. His passing stats: 175/277 (63.2%), 2042 yds (7.4 YPA), 14 TDs, 5 INTs, 138.2 Rtg. Wilton Speight is viewed in a very similar light: many fans weren't sure he should be the starting QB, and he hasn't been a consistently great enough performer to inspire complete confidence in the offense. His stats so far: 114/182 (62.6%), 1447 yds (8.0 YPA), 13 TDs, 2 INTs, 150.80 Rtg.
- RBs - 1997 was definitely a "rush by committee" team. Chris Howard led the team with 180 carries, but freshman Anthony Thomas had 130 rushes. Two more Wolverines--Chris Floyd and Clarence Williams--each added nearly 60 carries and over 260 rushing yards. The 2016 version is even more balanced: Smith has 79 carries, Issac 63, Evans 49, Higdon 43. The big difference is that Howard mustered 868 yards at 4.8 YPC--the clear leader of the rushing attack--while no one else had 530 yards. This season, I'm not certain Smith will finish as our leading rusher (though he will be #1 in carries, barring injury) and we already have four players with over 330 rushing yards. The '97 squad also lacked game-breakers, with no RB averaging more than Howard's 4.8 YPC, while the '16 version has four players averaging over 5.2 YPC, and two players over 8.3 YPC.
- WRs/TEs - Wow. My memories of Tai Streets and Jeremy Tuman were way off. While the game was played differently and felt much different in 1997, I was shocked to see that our leading receiver was Chris Howard (35 catches). Streets had just 24, and Tuman and 27. Woodson added 11 more, but three RBs had over 20 receptions while only one WR (Streets) grabbed more than 20. In fact, the #2 WR--Russell Shaw--had just 19 catches. Streets had just 349 receiving yards and four TDs. Contrast that with Darboh, who has already caught 30 passes for 499 yards and 5 TDs. Chesson has 18 grabs for 275 yards and a score, and Butt has 26 receptions (310 yds, 4 TDs) to Tuman's 27 (404 yds, 4 TDs). Other than Woodson, Tuman was the big play threat in our passing game.
- OL - The 1997 Offensive Line was excellent. From left-to-right: Jeff Backus, Steve Hutchinson, Zach Adami, Chris Ziemann, and Jon Jansen. Only Adami would not play in the NFL, and he was All-Big Ten in '97. Of course, Hutchinson and Jansen would go on to become All Americans, and Backus would be a first round draft choice.
Verdict: I think QB is a push. While Speight's numbers are better, Griese seemed to have the "it" factor as a leader. While I am shocked to say this, I would take this year's group of RBs over the '97 squad. Howard was an underrated player and is better than Smith, but the supporting cast in '16 is way ahead of the '97 group. WR/TE is the easiest call on the team: the 2016 tandem is excellent in all phases of the game, and Butt is probably the best TE in school history. The 1997 OL gets my vote, but lets remember that Hutchinson and Backus were still freshmen. That said, Adami, Ziemann, and Jansen were excellent, and I just don't see the same talent level on our current line.
So who's better? I would pick the 2016 offense. The 1997 offense was 44th in YPG and PPG. The 2016 offense is currently 28th in YPG and third in PPG. Long way to go and our rankings may drop a bit, but it's hard to see Michigan falling out of the top 15 scoring and the top 40 in YPG.
Some other amazing offensive stats for the 2016 team:
- Our scoring average of 48.7 PPG is more than 15 points better than the 2011 team, which had the best numbers since 2006.
- Has a college team ever had four RBs with over 500 yards rushing? Can someone find this out? Barring injury, this team will do that easily.
- Including McDoom and Peppers, this team has four players (with at least 10 carries) averaging over 8.3 YPC.
- Khalid Hill (Hammering Panda) has 8 rushing TDs on just 15 carries. #2 in rushing TDs was a surprise to me--Karan Higdon has 6 TDs on just 43 carries.
- Just four players have double-digit receptions this year: Darboh, Butt, Chesson, and De'Veon Smith.
- If Speight can keep his QBR where it is (150.80), it will be the highest rating for a Michigan starter since Drew Henson posted a 152.7 in 2000. In 1991, Elvis Grbac had 161.7 rating, largely on the back of Desmond Howard's 19 TD catches.
We need some wallpaper for #HateWeek, right? Of course.
The MSU rivalry has always been the most important rivalry to me. I live in Lansing, so many of my friends and family members are Spartans. For the last decade, it has not been very fun to live amongst the Green and White.
However, this year has been great fun. The Sparty fans in my life have been unusually quiet. It's almost as if they are sitting quietly in a burning room. Just like the famous dog from the very popular comic. That's where the idea for this wallpaper came from.
And for all your trash talking needs, here it is in comic form.
Aaaand for good measure, here's a GIF.
— Joe Sports (@joefedewa) October 27, 2016