That wasn't a football game.
In hockey, there's an unwritten rule that an enforcer isn't supposed to go after a goal scorer. There's a reason why guys like Yzerman and Gretzky have teammates like Probert and McSorely. If Gholston wants to fight a left tackle and get suspended for his WWF moves, then he's an asshole and he deserves an ass whooping, but it's not that big of a deal.
But the moment he starts taking cheap shots at Denard, that's when someone needs to 'show him the error of his ways'. In the clip above, Macguire fights Yzerman while Probert is being held by the linesman. Probert can't fight Macquire honorably because the refs are in the way, but a message needed to be sent. "YOU DON'T DO THAT." And if the refs aren't going to do their job (30 yard penalty on the late hit and facemask, ejection for the punch), then someone on our team needs to say "fuck it" and take matters into their own hands.
And frankly, I'm disappointed in our team. We didn't fight back. You can't let that happen to your teammate, you can't let that go unpunished. Charles Woodson wouldn't stand around and take that. He and Marcus Ray would be looking to hit someone.
Hockey players have long memories, will our football team?
So I waited a while before starting to write this because I didn't wan't it to be a profanity laced rant. (Waiting was only mildly effective.) I hate rewatching losses. And this week, there's really not much point. We lost that game because of pretty simple and obvious reasons.
- We got out hit
- We got out blocked
- We got out tackled
- We got beat on playcalling
- We got beat in the film room
- We got beat in the passing game
- We got out rushed
And even with all that, we were a horrible pick six away from tying the game. Mostly because Pat Narduzzi is a dirty coach.
I'm trying to not be a negative nilly, but holy fuck. How do we not call a single screen or misdirection run when we know they're blitzing up the middle? How do we abandon the running game in the 2nd half? What happened to "manball?" The first drive worked, what happened to the zone reads? Not a single fucking bubblescreen? IT'S FUCKING WEEK 7, WHERE THE FUCK ARE THE BUBBLE SCREENS?
And can we find a defensive back who can tackle Martin? Two field goals instead of two TD's makes that a completely different game.
And to all those saying "Blah, Blah, Blah wind", the wind is a fucking excuse. Good teams adapt.
Keeping it in perspective
I think we can pretty much stop worrying about any division titles. You don't have to be a stats major to realize that the probability of us winning out, multiplied by the probability of MSU losing twice after having already beaten OSU, us, and WISC, (even if it did take special teams and home field miracles) is pretty small. Yes it could happen, but we need to focus on beating a rejuvenated Purdue team. At this point, I wouldn't mind if we end up going 2-3 the rest of the way, so long as one of those wins is against TSIO.
I think we've got the talent and coaches to win out. But having said that, there's not a game on our schedule that won't be a challenge and our odds of winning the last 5 are not that much bigger than losing 4 out of 5.
Keeping up appearances
So, about that jersey stunt, FUCK YOU DAVE BRANDON, FUCK YOU. I'm sure there's a whole list of people I should be directing my anger at (starting with Addidas and Nike and ending somewhere near the equipment manager's office), and Brandon has done lots of things that are good, so it's not a general "fuck you". But regarding the jerseys and the marketing B.S., FUCK YOU DAVE BRANDON, FUCK YOU.
Taking the long view
Mattison is still impressive, but I worry about what's going to happen next year when we lose Mike Martin and RVB. I don't follow recruiting very closely anymore so I hope we've got some studs coming in on both the O-line and D-line, and for crissakes, would it be too much to ask for a 5* runningback? I hear rumblings of a pretty good recruiting class, but we've got lots of playing time available for any blue chips that want to help Michigan get back to our championship days.
Synopsis: A recent commenter asked the question of why the Michigan defense has fewer Forced Fumbles (10) versus Total Fumbles (16) – "Has the opponent really dropped the ball 6 times without being hit?" Although it would seem unlikely, the answer is indeed YES! And, it turns out that the rate of Forced Fumbles (and not total fumbles or fumbles recovered) is the best measure of the overall defense and defensive players. It is a little bizarre that "forced fumbles" are not included as one of the NCAA rankings for turnovers.
Examples of Unforced Fumbles: How weird is it that Michigan and/or our opponents have experienced almost every example of unforced fumble in just these 4 games?. Here are the 6 unforced opponent fumbles plus 2 unforced M fumbles:
WMU: Gallon fumbles a punt (recovered by Gallon)
WMU: High snap that Carder bats to Drake – fumble (recovered by Drake)
WMU: Carder fumbles snap (recovered by Mich)
ND: Rees fumbles snap (recovered by Rees)
ND: Wood runs into own man and fumbles (recovered by Mich)
ND: Rees loses the ball as he brings the ball back to pass (recovered by Mich)
SDSU: SDSU punt accidently hits Floyd in back of foot (recovered by Gallon)
Minnesota: Cobb loses the handoff just before being hit by Brink (scoop & score by Mich) – In real time this looks like Brink forced the fumble. On replay, the ball is obviously out before Cobb is hit. In fact, Cobb never had possession.
When Is A Fumble NOT A Fumble?: The NCAA Rule Book states, "To fumble the ball is to loose player possession by any act other than passing, kicking, or successful handling. The status of the ball is a fumble." But, if you watch the game and see Denard drop the snap, reach down, pick it up, try to run a sweep, and get tackled for a loss – is that a fumble? Same scenario but Denard has difficulty picking up the ball (but does so successfully) and is immediately tackled? Well, the former is NOT a fumble, the latter IS a fumble. WTF? It turns out that the Football Statisticians Manual defines the following exception, "No fumble should be charged (a) on a momentary bobble of the ball at the point of reception if, in the statisticians judgment, the bobble had no effect on the continuing action, or (b) on a point-after-touchdown try."
EDIT: In the NW game: 9:27 of the third quarter. Denard drops the snap, picks it up, and runs for 25 yards. In the stats, this is not recorded as a fumble even though it was obviously a pass play (look at the receivers and O line) and did effect the continuing action.
Therefore, in some instances, it is the "statisticians judgment" that determines whether a fumble actually occurred. This is predominantly on mishandled snaps and/or handoffs.
The Rest of the Story: What I thought would be a quick and simple review turned out to be a time consuming and relatively difficult investigation. However, I did learn some interesting stuff along the way so it was well worth it.
I first looked at the NCAA Football 2011 and 2012 Rules and Interpretations which has a whopping 129 instances of the word "fumble" but exactly ZERO instances of the words "forced fumble". Next, I did JFGI (for Forced Fumble) and Advanced NFL Stats has some great information about the importance of forced fumbles – forced fumbles per play shows the highest correlation to wins and points allowed for the defense – but no official definition.
Attempts to JFGI for "Unforced Fumble" ended with no definitions and some hilarious results – the best of which was Hank Williams Jr.'s unforced fumble of his MNF gig.
As I trudged through various hits from JFGI, it was looking fairly grim to get any meaningful definition. However, I did come across a reference to a game "statistician" and that led me to conclude that there must be an official scorer in football (similar to baseball) that decides what is a forced versus unforced fumble. To my surprise and delight JFGI (of NCAA Football Statistician) produced the 2011 Football Statisticians' Manual.
Fumbles, Forced Fumbles, and Backward Passes: The NCAA Rule Book defines fumble and backward pass in the context of how the on-field official must rule subsequent recovery and whether the ball can be advanced. For example, a bad snap is defined as a backward pass and not a fumble (a bad snap on 4th down can, therefore, be advanced by any player, whereas a fumble on 4th down cannot be advanced by any player except the player that fumbled the ball). The NCAA Rule Book does not address forced fumble because there is no on-field significance. A backward pass that is mishandled is included as a fumble in the statistics.
The Football Statistician's Manual does address fumbles and forced fumbles but only defines fumble and does not define forced fumble (I guess it must be intuitively obvious to the most casual observer?). There are 196 instances of fumble and just 15 instances of forced fumble in the Football Statistician's Manual. The manual has dozens of different scenarios of situations that may involve a fumble and how the official statistics should be recorded.
The only source I could find for the definition of a forced fumble was from Wikipedia: "A fumble may be forced by a defensive player who either grabs or punches the ball or butts the ball with his helmet …."
The NCAA Rule Book provides the following: "To fumble the ball is to loose player possession by any act other than passing, kicking, or successful handling. The status of the ball is a fumble."
"If during any backward motion of a legal snap, the ball slips from the snapper's hand, it becomes a backward pass and is in play"
"The snap is a backward pass and may be advanced by any player [of the offense]."
Also according to the NCAA, "All statistics reported to the NCAA should be compiled by the host institution press box/row statistics staff during the contest."
Football Statistician's Manual: "A fumble is an act that results in the individual's loss of possession of the ball or his failure to handle a ball that has been properly centered or handed to him. Exceptions No fumble should be charged (a) on a momentary bobble of the ball at the point of reception if, in the statisticians judgment, the bobble had no effect on the continuing action, or (b) on a point-after-touchdown try." (BTW, an interception of the PAT is also not recorded in the statistics.)
Wild Pass from Center: "Any loss resulting from an obvious wild pass from center is charged to "Center Pass" and not to any individual player. Team A is charged with a team rush, the loss, and a fumble."
Here is just one example from the Football Statisticians Manual. In this example, the team that blocks a punt is charged with a fumble LOST. Notice there is no mention of a fumble recovery so I have no clue whether a fumble recovery would be recorded (some examples in the manual do reference fumble recoveries but other examples that obviously would have a fumble recovery do not – yeah, gotta love that consistency). IMHO Adams should be credited with a fumble recovery.
"Team A's ball on its 30, fourth down and 10. Adams punt is blocked by Brown and is picked up by Adams on Team A's 20. Adams runs to Team A's 40 for a first down. Charge Team A (not Adams) with a blocked punt of zero yards. Credit Brown with a punt return of 10 yards and charge Team B (receiving team) with a fumble lost. Credit Adams with a rush of 20 yards and Team A with a rushing first down."
UGotW starts working overtime. Why ESPN, in their infinite wisdom, decides that crappy games should be played mid-week instead of, say, women's beach volleyball I have no idea. But they did/do/are/will. This week starts the annual carpet-bombing of your football-tolerance areas. Show me on the doll where ESPN touched you. At least I get Mondays to crank out this column.
Troy Trojans of Troy versus FIU Golden Panthers. Yes, Golden Panther sounds like the elderly version of cougar. The fact they're from Florida only reinforces this horrible image. Add into the mix a pack of Trojans, and the mental eye bleach will be flowing. Both teams are 1-2 in conference, and that conference is the Sun Belt. Yes, the same Sun Belt that's currently lead by Arkansas State and/or Louisiana-Lafayette. FIU's QB is named Wesley Carroll, which sounds like something out of a Dickens novel, and Troy's backup is named BJ Chitty. So in case the starter gets knocked out, the announcers get to say "They're bringing in the Chitty second-string QB." I got your Golden Panther, right here:
UConn versus Pitt. Both teams are 3-4 and 1-1 in conference. A Wednesday night game at Heinz field in Pittsburg? Expect lots of empty seats. The Big East is looking like the team that stumbles the least will win again this year. The fact that Rutgers is in contention for a BCS bowl should give everyone shivers. Much like the Upperclass Twit of the Year contest, I'm going with Nigel Incubator-Jones over Vivian Smith-Smythe-Smith.
If you're still watching these games by Thursday, you will be convinced that ESPN hates you and is laughing at your, and/or you are a degenerate gambler. Thursday brings us Virginia versus Miami(Yes, That Miami). Both teams 4-3, both 1-1 in conference. I'd respect Miami more if they just installed stripper poles for the cheerleaders, and shot money out of a cannon whenever they scored. SAT analogy time. Miami:NCAA football::XFL:NFL. QED. Who thinks Miami is a mess? This guy:
I still think this game should have been scheduled for Sunday, but nevertheless we get BYU versus TCU. We get the school founded by the guy who didn't exactly believe in the separation of church and state versus the school originally built right in the middle of Ft. Worth's vice district. I'll take slightly crazy over stark raving looney any day. Winner gets a Touchdown Jesus, if that's your thing.
Saturday wraps up with a "Someone gets a win" game. Mississippi State and Kentucky are both 0-3 in conference and 3-4 overall. I should point out that I picked Mississippi State in my Pick 6 picks, which is turning out to be not-so-good. I think Kentucky is the exceptionally bad team of these two, having a -11 margin between points-for and points-against. Granted, they've already played LSU, Florida and South Carolina, but none of those games have been what you'd call competitive. MSU features a receiver named Chris Bumphis, so there you go. The Egg Bowl looks to be a snooze this year.
So let's put aside for the moment that we lost (again) to our in-state rival, and that they went out and beat B1G juggernaut Wisconsin, thus decreasing our chances of winning the
West Legends division even if we win out... grrrr. Yes, let's put all of that aside, and focus on... HOMECOMING! Purdue comes to the Big House this weekend sporting a 2-1 conference record after Illinois chocked an impressive win over Illinois.
My original idea for a wallpaper was to focus on a "Boilermaker pun," which of course begged the question what the heck a Boilermaker looks like! Purdue went with this interpretation, but when I checked Google, I came up with this:
which is quite literally a man making a boiler. And even though that welding helmet was begging for wings, I decided to go in a different direction when I was going through the attic for Halloween decorations and came across the toy train that goes around our Christmas tree. I don't know why, but toy trains make laugh, so I give you the following:
Only one new name on the board this week, but still some big moves with Gunner Kiel's decommit (or "opening up," but let's call it what it is) from Indiana and J.J. Denman flipping from Penn State to Wisconsin. I have moved around the team rankings a little bit as teams begin to fill out their classes—if a team doesn't have many commits, they'd better have high-quality prospects. In other words, get a move on, Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois. Action since last rankings:
10-16-11: J.J. Denman decommits from Penn State, commits to Wisconsin.
10-20-11: Nebraska picks up Zaire Anderson.
10-21-11: Gunner Kiel (Indiana) re-opens recruitment.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||ESPN Avg||24/7 Avg||Avg Avg^|
*ESPN doesn't rate JUCOs, so Isaac Fruechte (Minnesota), Darius Stroud and Jacarri Alexander (Indiana), Steffon Martin and Devin Smith (Purdue), and Zaire Anderson (Nebraska) are counted as unranked recruits for the sake of consistency (trust me, it makes sense when you look at the spreadsheet).
^The average of the average rankings of the four recruiting services (aka 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.
On to the full data, after the jump.
So with Jordan Payton's announcement coming soon (supposed to be expected at latest on Tuesday last I have read) I figured I would head out last night to Thousand Oaks to watch his team, Oaks Christian, play Thousand Oaks. I figured I would try to provide a little bit of information/impression that I gained from watching the game.
Sadly, Payton got hurt on the second offensive drive of the game and missed most of the rest of the game, only coming in on defense for the couple final drives.
I tried to get some video and pictures, but it is with my phone, and sadly I could not zoom for video so sorry in advance if it is not the best quality.
First some notes:
Oaks Christian on offense mostly ran the ball and combined it with screens. They didn't attack downfield much, especially when Payton was out of the lineup.
Oaks Christian on defense played with 10 guys all close to the line, with Payton as the only deep man at safety about 20 yards from the line of scrimmage. Ocasionally he came up to press a reciever and a teammate would step back into the safety spot.
As a result Thousand Oaks ran the ball most of the time, and rarely attacked downfield because they respected Payton's abilities deep.
The other highly rated prospect out of Oaks Christian, Ishmael Adams (a 4 star CB and 5.8 rating on Rivals, same as Payton) did not suit up but was on the sideline. Not sure what his injury status was.
Payton just being on the field was able to attract most of the attention freeing up his teammates. As such Oaks Christian spread the ball around a fair amount, although they were most effective when they got the ball to Payton. On the first drive he caught two screens that didn't go for much as Thousand Oaks seemed to be playing to shut down the screens because they expected them. However this burned them as later on the drive Payton caught a fade at the 1. Three plays later he showed good hands in easily defeating a press from the cornerback on a quick slant for a touchdown.
On the second drive he had a quick screen where he juked two defenders and gained 15 yards but it was negated by a holding by an offensive lineman on the other side of the field. Sadly soon after Oaks Christian threw a screen to him and he was tackled awkwardly and injured his ankle. He did not return to the game on offense.
He caught the ball well (by my count he didn't have a single drop) and he looked like he knew how to use his size to his advantage. There were a couple times he was able to get open by beating his defender but his quarterback just didn't see him. Payton has some quickness and moves, but he won't get by anyone with burning speed. His run blocking was ok, but Oaks didn't run the ball towards his side of the field. The quick burst and moves he possesses reminds me of when Hemingway was able to juke a couple defenders against Illinois for the touchdown last year.
I have him finishing the day (in very limited playing time) with the following line:
5 catches, 43 yards, 1 touchdown.
Here is video of his fade catch (sorry I fail at youtube imbedding so if someone could help on that I would appreciate it). He is lined up on the far right.
Payton didn't see much action deep as Thousand Oaks seemed afraid to throw near him. He made a couple tackles in run support and looked like one of the better tacklers on his team, as he used his arms to wrap up ball carriers rather than just trying to run into them.
When he left the game due to injury, he was limping around with a brace on his ankle before halftime. After halftime, he followed his coach around with his helmet on and seemed able to go back into the game if needed. Coming out of halftime, Thousand Oaks started throwing deep with him gone, and after two touchdown drives his coach put him back in for a couple final drives and that shut down Thousand Oaks' deep passing game.
He seemed to follow the play well and I never saw him out of position. He took good angles to tackles and even if a teammate was making a tackle he would hustle to the area. Lastly when he was put back in defensively he huddled his teammates all up and got in their faces to fire them up. This worked as Thousand Oaks did not score once he came back in. He also stopped a running back who broke through all of his teammates and saved a touchdown on one of the final drives that would have tied the game up.
I have him finishing with 4.5 tackles in his limited time.
Here is a video of one of his tackles. He is the deep man.
The only two pictures I was able to grab: (he is #4)
I tried to maybe grab a couple pics of him to show his height, because he does look like all of the 6'2" that he is listed as. Sadly I pretty much failed at this part.
Impressions of his teammates:
Three of his teammates stood out to me during the game.
First was #5 who played as a reciever and punt returner. He was a smaller guy but he was very shifty and had good speed, so he was used often on screens. However he did not have the best catching ability as his only two deep routes he juggled and drop the ball despite being open and not hit on the catch. His name is Chris Davis, and he is a sophomore.
Second was #7. He is a 3 star LB commit to ASU, but to me he stood out on offense playing as a RB. He finished with 150+ yards, including a 73 yard td run and a 77 yard td run. For fun, he also hurdled a defender which drew some applause from the crowd. When Payton left the game Oaks Christian fed #7 the ball more and kept it on the ground and he responded well. His name is Carlos Mendoza, and he probably will play LB in college for ASU as he is listed as 6'2" and 215.
Lastly was #55. He was playing DE and he seemed to just live in the backfield constantly harassing Thousand Oaks' QB. His name is Ben Johnson and he is a senior, but I can't find him on any recruiting sites.
Though I saw very little of Payton, I was impressed and have high hopes for him. I think in college he could probably play WR or CB. If he were to choose Michigan, I think he would play WR for us as he would give us a big target for the quarterbacks, especially downfield on those fades. Though I hope he chooses Michigan, I wish him the best of luck during his college career and can't wait to see him play on Saturdays and see what he can do.