this guy evidently hired to work for AD
I go inside the boxscore so you don’t have to. It was all dark and scary in there this week. I should probably sleep on this and delete half of these bullets*, but the sooner we put this behind us, the better.
Big John R. Studd Referee Section
I’m moving this section to the beginning this week because I can. It’s also so I can subtly point out a few things that bothered me about this game. (Skip this section if you already got your fill of the Gholston issue.)
- MSU penalties: 13 for 124 yards.
- UofM penalties: 5 for 40 yards.
- 1stdowns from penalties: UofM 6, MSU 0.
- Gholston picked up two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for a late hit on Denard and for punching Taylor Lewan. The late hit on Denard preceded Gholston grabbing Denard’s helmet and twisting it, in an obvious attempt to injure another player. The sucker punch to Lewan came after Lewan helped Gholston get back up.
- Either penalty should have been enough to draw a red card (for those unfamiliar with soccer terms, that’s a permanent ticket to the sidelines.) Instead, after the second penalty, Dantonio took him out of the game for all of 1 minute and 1 second of game time. On Gholston’s first play back in the game, he made the tackle. That’s symbolic of the win-at-all-costs attitude of Mark Dantonio.
- Reading through the post-game press conference comments of our players, I must say that I am impressed with the dignity and class that they demonstrated by taking the high road. I am not that mature. F Dantonio and his win-at-all-costs attitude. His program is degenerating into a minor-league affiliate of the Oakland Raiders. There are no lessons of sportsmanship, integrity, accountability, or respect being learned on the Spartan sideline.
- After the 2ndGholston penalty, Chris Spielman (more on him later) said, Dantonio represents, “Clean, hard, hitting football.” I nearly threw up in my mouth. I suppose that’s in the same manner that Jim Tressel wins with honesty. Spielman’s problem with the Gholston penalties was that it is “costing your team.” I think it goes way deeper than that, Chris. Gholston was trying to injure another person playing a game. Gholston has behavioral issues that are reminiscent of Roger Clemens at his worst. If you think that I am implying he suffers from ‘roid rage, don’t forget that Tony Mandarich was the original face of steroids in college football. So yeah, I went there.
- I’m sure Dantonio will respond to this outrageous behavior by suspending Gholston… for the Indiana or Minnesota games.
- The refs did miss one backwards pass from Cousins, who clearly let go of the ball on state’s 37 and hit his receiver’s hands on the 36. The explanation was really lame, something along the lines of Michigan didn’t recover the football right away. The way I saw it, the ball hit the ground and the Michigan defender bent down and picked it up. What am I missing?
- Dave Pasch from ESPN pointed out that state should have been called for taunting on their last TD, but I think the refs just got tired of throwing flags against state.
I can honestly say that I am proud of the way my team played. Any sparty fan who tells you the same about their team is either lying or is a Neanderthal juggalo. Was that subtle enough for you?
Burst of Impetus
- We won the turnover battle, 2-1, but lost the 4thdown conversion battle. We were 2 of 4 on 4thdown, state didn’t go for it on 4thdown.
- The fourth down stop in the 4thquarter was the burst of impetus play of the game. If Denard sneaks over the left guard (Spielman incorrectly identified the gap over the right guard as being open), we continue the drive and have a chance to tie the game. Instead, we got too cute and State stopped us. This game came down to 3 plays, and yet we lost by 14. It was a lot closer than that. Frustrating.
Trash Cans Full of Dirt
- Mark Messner is our career leader in TFLs with 64. That’s an average of 16 per season. In his best season he had 24 TFLs. I bring this up because some of our D-linemen are highly thought of on this blog. I generally agree, and I like this current group of players, but the production just has not been Messnerian this year. That is the standard that we must strive for.
- State had 10 TFLs. We had 5.5. Whoever is doing our defensive stats, how do you not end up with an integer here?
- Desmond Morgan and Thomas Gordon were each credited with half a TFL for 0 yards. I was just joking about TFNG in a previous ItBS diary. I didn’t expect you guys to actually start crediting them.
- We list QH’s in the boxscore. I’m guessing that’s for quarterback hurries. Kovacs got one and Van Bergen got two.
- Our leading tacklers were Gordon, Kovacs, Roh, and Countess, with 8, 6, 6, and 6, respectively. Do you notice what’s missing? Linebackers. Demens was the leading tackler among the linebackers with 5. I noticed this week that Touch the Banner was high on Demens for last week’s performance against NU, but Brian was critical of him in the UFRs. I think this game was the tie-breaker. I don’t think our LBs were productive enough. Baker gashed us all day long. His longest run was only 25 yards, yet he gained 167 yards on 26 carries. State was consistently able to pound the football against us.
- We got McGloined. I was expecting us to be able to shut down the state running game due to the inexperience along state’s O-line. I was expecting us to shut down PSU last year when they had to start McGloin. Well, we know how that went. I was just amazed at the inability of our front four to get any penetration or push.
- When Denard was lined up as a split end, he was a step or two behind the other WR. The image of a bubble screen to Denard flashed in my mind. Maybe we’re saving that for the osu game.
- The best stat we had was that Will Hagerup put four punts inside the 20. Like I said, it’s dark and scary in here.
- Denard ran the ball 18 times. Very few were of the designed variety. I think he was playing hurt, but he's too classy to use that as an excuse.
- Roundtree had an amazing catch, and a TD. Otherwise, the WRs didn't do too much.
- I liked the jerseys. ESPN’s guys pointed out that the uniforms are a part of recruiting 17 year old players. I’m 41 years old, but I often think like a 17 year old. If I was picking a school just on the basis of their uniforms, I’d pick Michigan. State’s “throwbacks” (throw-ups?) reminded me of a snot-rag. Black, green, and bronze? No thanks. I felt bad for state’s fans because they couldn’t do the “go green, go white” cheer because they didn’t want to cheer for us, since we were the only team wearing white.
- The yellow undershirts said “Victors” on one sleeve and “Valiant” on the other.
Chris Spielman Hates Us
- Phew, I finally have a subtitle for the announcers section. I know announcers aren’t listed in the boxscore, but since moving to SoCal, I watch the games on TV so they are a part of my experience.
- Spielman had a premeditated critique of our QB Oh Noes, play. He said numerous times that our O-linemen were 5 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Urban corrected him once, saying they were allowed to be 3 yards beyond the line. I don’t know what the rule is exactly, but it was clear to me that the pass was thrown, the ball hit the ground and rolled around a little, Spielman looked up and saw our guys 3-5 yards beyond the line. However, when the ball was thrown, they were still within the three yards, at least according to me and Urban Meyer. Maybe Spielman feels a kinship with Dantonio, or is hurting from the troubles in Columbus, but he just seemed really petty and one-sided during the game. I normally find him to be fair, but not during this game.
- Urban said he would run Denard on 1st, 2nd, and 3rddowns. I may be wrong, but didn’t he recruit Denard to play WR or DB?
- With about 6 minutes left in the 2ndquarter, Urban said that Michigan was dominating time of possession with 14 minutes to state’s 6. I was left to wonder what third team was playing and what did they do with their 4 minutes of TOP.
Random, as Yet Unnamed, Bullets
- We had more first downs that state, 20-16. I was surprised to see that.
- We were 3 for 15 on third down, which sort of negates that previous bullet. Oh what a difference a week makes.
- I went through the play-by-play link from the boxscore and counted how many times we had 2ndand 10 or longer. There were 9 times we were 2ndand 10, and 5 more times where we had 2ndand longer than 10. To me, that was the story of the game. We couldn’t get in 2nd or 3rd and short, forcing us to pass and the wind got in our heads. And with all that trash flying around, it was hard to ignore the wind. Really state, I get that you are an agricultural school, but do you have to behave like animals?
- If you subtract the sacks, we did gain 151 yards to State’s 224. So we weren’t as dominated on the ground as the rushing yard stats make it seem. We just lost a ton of yards on sacks, 69.
- I think Denard’s 3 INTs last week hurt more this week than they did last week. I know this sounds odd, but we won the game last week. This week, Denard seemed to be missing badly, away from traffic, as if he was overcompensating for last week. He ended up 9-24 passing. All those incompletions prevented us from sustaining drives.
*In diaries, "smack talk is strongly discouraged." Does comparing Gholston to Roger Clemens constitute "smack talk?"
The rain will move out by 8am, and if you're headed out tailgating you'll be dry, but may want to put a few extra stakes in your tent to make sure your wind protection doesn't blow over! We'll be at 45 degrees, but it'll feel chillier with west winds at 20mph, gusts higher. Grab something warm to drink, put the chili in the crockpot, and bundle up!
Looking at 52 degrees and partly cloudy for the kickoff. That west wind is just beginning to reach it's peak- seeing a steady 25mph wind (this is when you can hear the wind howling, it's hard to use an umbrella) and gusts could be up to 40mph (big trees sway, you can feel your car veering.)
Only going up a couple degrees by halftime, and seeing more sun but some clouds remain. Winds steady at 30mph with gusts over 40mph possible. Gale force winds mean you can see some branches down, construction barricades can blow over.
Reaching the high temperature as we approach the end of the game, 56 degrees. The clouds will continue to clear as we go through the remainder of the afternoon and evening hours, but the important thing is that the winds will begin to wind down. By 8pm, sitting at 50 degrees, west wind at 18mph, gusts up to 30mph. By midnight, they've calmed to 15mph, gusts in the low 20s, with temps in the upper 40s. If you're headed home Sunday morning, you'll see less wind (about 10mph-leaves move about) but the chance of a shower returns.
If you're staying home... Very similar weather, but we'll be a bit warmer. Looking to hit the upper 50s in Ann Arbor tomorrow, and a little less windy than E. Lansing- we'll have west winds between 20-28mph, with gusts in the upper 30s. 54 degrees at kickoff, 56 by halftime, and seeing mostly sunny skies for the afternoon. Cooling to the upper 40s by last call, wind at 15mph (no gusts), with clouds increasing late night as showers move in for Sunday morning. Bundle up on this windy Saturday to head downtown and celebrate victory!
Christina Burkhart is a meteorologist for NBC/ABC in Traverse City, MI. She grew up in Ann Arbor and associates Saturdays with Michigan football. Go Blue!!
The Pick Six standings are starting to settle down. There will still be lots of change over the course of the season but fewer teams will make 15+ place jumps and so people will move up and down slower in the standings. If you've forgotten your username send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I can look you up.
Pick Six welcomes the Houston Cougars into the AP Top 25 for the first time this season. All 31 people who chose Houston are glad they finally made it into the poll. With 31 people Houston was actually the 6th most popular unranked teams. The only top 8 most popular unranked teams that have not gotten into the rankings yet are BYU and Iowa. With the way the season is going so far, it looks like only BYU has a chance of ever being ranked, and that is a pretty smal chance.
In fact there have been 11 preseason unranked teams who have made appearances in the poll. Nine of those eleven are still ranked this week (South Florida are the teams that returned to the unranked masses).
We also have to say hello to Michigan State as they reentered the poll with a #23 ranking. We went 3 weeks without anybody from Group D in the rankings. Surprisingly the return of points from Group D didn’t have much of an effect on the leaderboard. None of the top 16 people in this week’s standings picked Michigan State.
Other than that the only major changes were Texas dropping to #22 and Florida dropping out of the poll. That gives the 330 people who picked Michigan an advantage over the 344 people who picked Texas.
Individual Ballot Analysis
Once again our leader stays on top from last week. But it’s not actually BlueMars24 and Cottonpicker whose fortunes fell with Florida. This week, Willhouse stays on top with 95 points and claims first place all by himself. It’s his West Virginia and Clemson picks that are keeping him in first.
The perfect ballot has finally cracked 100 points this week with #1 LSU, #6 Oklahoma State, #4 Wisconsin, #23 Michigan State, #13 West Virginia and #8 Clemson. That is three teams earning at least 20 points this week.
The two people with the worst possible ballot actually have managed to go even lower than last week’s 20 points. This week Florida State dropped out of the poll so Oregon is their sole ranked team earning them 17 points. If Oregon somehow loses badly to Arizona State and Stanford there could be the mythical zero point ballot.
Weekly Brian watch
Not much to update here. Brian drops slightly to 70th place. West Virginia picked up a few more points but Texas lost them and more.
Judging your picks
Even though the perfect ballot is at its highest point yet, the average ballots are falling. The mean and median of the MGoBlogosphere is 55 points (down from 60). A ballot picked randomly would be expected to have 49 points this week.
A full two thirds of the MGoBlog pickers are above that random level. So congratulations MGoBloggers, you are definitely value-added Pick Six Pickers.
Games to Not Watch
As stubob pointed out in his Ugly Game of the Week diary most of the Top 25 is taking on cupcakes. However I think he posted far too pretty of cupcakes in his post. Most of these matchups are against bad cupcakes. Arkansas is not playing this week but 7 of the 9 active Top Ten teams are favored by 2+ touchdowns. The average line on those 9 games is 22 points.
So, no these games do not deserve good looking cupcake pictures. Before we list the good games to watch here are 2 games that will satisfy your urge for carnage.
Indiana at #4 Wisconsin
Line: Wisconsin –40, Over/Under 60
#3 Oklahoma at Kansas
Line: Oklahoma –35.5, Over/Under 72.5
Here are two games where the winning team might cover the point total all by themselves. The last time Wisconsin scored more than 60 points was last year against Northwestern (70), Indiana (83) and Austin Peay (70). Scoring 60 at home against the Hoosiers should be no problem.
It has been a surprisingly long time since Oklahoma scored more than 72.5. It goes all the way back to opening day of the 2007 season when they scored 79 against North Texas. However they have scored in the mid 60s seven times since then.
Games to Watch
Despite all the crappy games this week one can actually find a solid day of good football that will have an impact on the Pick Six standings. In order of quality:
- #11 Michigan at #23 Michigan State (noon, ESPN)
- #18 Arizona St at #9 Oregon (10:15, ESPN)
- #6 Oklahoma St at #22 Texas (3:30, ABC/ESPN)
- #20 Baylor at #21 Texas A&M (noon, FX)
- Florida at #24 Auburn (7:00, ESPN)
We’re all obviously going to be watching the Michigan game but keep an eye on any highlights of the Baylor-Texas A&M game. Both of those teams will be fighting to hang on to their ranking for one more week. After plummeting down the poll 2 weeks ago both teams had a pretty easy matchup last week that kept them around the bottom of the poll. The loser will be unranked next week and probably for several weeks afterward.
After the Michigan game switch over to the Oklahoma State game at Texas. Depending on how good you think Texas actually is, this might be the Cowboys toughest game until December 3 against Oklahoma.
Then watch the Florida-Auburn game at 7 pm. Auburn barely stayed in the poll at #24 and Florida is the top unranked team. The winner will probably still be in the 20-25 range but how far down the unranked teams will the loser drop? At the same time as this game, I will also try to watch some of the Iowa-Northwestern game. While it doesn’t affect Pick Six, it should be a pretty good game.
Finally, watch Arizona State at Oregon playing at 10:15 eastern time until you fall asleep in front of the TV. This has the potential to be the best game of the weekend but it also has the potential to be a blowout.
Previously on Michael Schofield, This Is Your
Denard Tacopants INT (PP - http://mgoblog.com/content/picture-pages-denard-tacopants-int, MPP - http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/moving-picture-pages-denard-tacopants-int)
Fourth and Fun (PP - http://mgoblog.com/content/picture-pages-fourth-and-fun, MPP - http://mgoblog.com/diaries/moving-picture-pages-fourth-and-fun)
Original Picture Pages at http://mgoblog.com/content/picture-pages-getting-denard-edge. Analysis courtesy MGoBlog.
One thing that confused me about The Michael Schofield
Experience Trilogy was that the Picture Pages appeared in a different order than the plays occurred. Although this is the third (Moving) Picture Pages, it's the first play of the three. I think it would have told a better story if this had been the first PP (hero doing his job), Tacopants had been the second (villain adjusts, hero fails to notice, Bad Things Happen), and Fourth and Fun had been the finale (hero adjusts and saves the drive). But this ain't Hollywood - this is FOOTBAWWWWWW.
Setup: It's Michigan's second drive. They are facing second and twelve from the Northwestern 44 after a holding call on Hopkins and an eight-yard throwback screen to Gallon. Michigan comes out in a 2TE 2WR shotgun; NU counters with a 4-3 under and the Sam lined up outside of the TE.
Wha'hoppon: The call is a play-action rollout. Schofield pulls with an assignment to seal off the EMLOS. The Sam steps up into the outside gap as Denard pulls the ball out. Schofield adjusts by deepening his pull, allowing him to make contact with his downfield shoulder and get around for the seal. With the corner secured, Denard scoots outside for an easy eight yards.
Full YouTube page is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeTh_-cTC2o
Michigan basketball: Frontcourt Preview
Two part preview of the 2011 roster, part one can be found here
Jordan Morgan RS Sophomore Center
The obvious choice for last seasons breakout player of the year, morgan was the benefit of a redshirt year, darius setting him up, and the addition of Bacari alexander as a position coach. After getting blasted by concordia early in the season jordan really made improvements on the defensive side, and on offense he added another dimension because of his ability to slip ball screens. Reports from coach beilein so far have indicated jordan spent most of the summer working on a jumpshot, which is great because I can't remember him scoring if it wasn't a layup or a morale crushing dunk. Foul trouble is an issue and I also expect offensive numbers to drop, that doesn't mean he will be less of a scoring threat just that he won't sustain the ridiculous FG%
Zack Novak SR Forward:
This will change. I do not expect novak to play the four spot when the season starts, but this is where he was last year so it's where he will be previewed. Most fans are anticipating a move back to the 2 spot because of the lack of depth and it should benefit him moving back to a natural position. Undersized against almost everyone he played novak became the poster child for Michigan basketball; gritty, hard working, and determined. Not to mention every clutch shot he made in the last three seasons. He steps up In the biggest games and always puts the team first, and for that reason zack novak will go down as one of the most beloved players in Michigan basketball history.
Evan Smotrycz SO Forward
Lanky perimter shooter for most of the season last year coming off the bench. Then we saw JB's basketball genius as he unleashed Smotrycz's inside game against michigan state to help sweep the series. This season he looks to take an expanded role and move into the starting four spot, and offseason reports say he gained a significant amount of weight. Last year when smotrycz had his shots contested it got ugly, he had a huge problem with shot selection and had way to many blocked. If he progresses with his inside game and defense he can be a major contributor, if not we could see novak playing this spot.
Jon Horford SO Center
Not a major contributor last season mostly because of his weight and inexperience, and was slowed by injury. This season he was picked by coach beilein to have a jordan morgan like breakout after he reportedly gained around twenty five pounds. Still at this point his season looks to be coming off the bench as morgans backup, but hopefully can be a reliable option if needed for long streches.
Blake McLimans JR Forward
Bench player who will not see extended playing time without an injury occuring. Started the year getting decent minutes off the bench but his awful three point shooting (1-19), bad rebounding and foul trouble led to the decline of his minutes.
Colton Christian SO Forward
Not a contributor, should remain the same for 2011.
Max Bielfeldt FR Forward
A late commitment to the class, the only other major offer max held was from illinois (which kind of means something but not as much as it used to) to go along with mid-major offers from WMU, UIC, and Ball State. I trust coach beilein when it comes to talent evaluation so I see no reason why max can not be effective coming off the bench for 10 minutes a game at the four spot.
Not many highlight videos available.
As few of you noticed, I didn’t meet my Thursday night deadline for posting. I was in the midst of a bi-polar episode that threatened all of Wayne County to the point where even gang members were put on high alert and locked their doors. The Detroit Tigers were playing the hated Skankees of New Amsterdam. I could not focus on much more that Cabrera’s baby face and Delmon Young’s long ball. Not that there was much to write about last week anyways. To my five followers, I apologize.
Two Saturdays ago, Michigan humiliated and kicked the LOLophers 58-0 like Lewan kicking a three legged donkey destined for hell after being pushed through a meat grinder. The only surprise I had out of the game was that the lowly LOLophers couldn’t even manage a field goal. Props to the defense for getting the first shutout in a long time. Minnesota, the team who cannot beat the Dakota’s I-AA teams even though their roster out numbers both Dakota’s population combined, couldn’t even score if they were at a blind swinger’s party carrying Spanish Fly. The game was a not even a contest from the beginning to the end, especially when Michigan sent out their color guard team after halftime.
What was interesting was the dual play of Gardner and Denard. This idea was clamored for all of last year but perhaps Gardner wasn’t ready yet or Josh Groban’s greatest hits were playing too loud in the locker room for anyone to hear the idea. I have a distinct feeling that we will see this package expand in numbers played and the playbook expanded in different looks. I am sure Gorgeous Borges has something up his sleeve for the slime west and sludge south of Ann Arbor.
The past weekend’s B1G matchup brought an experienced QB and a higher quality team over all in Michigan’s first road game*. Dan Persa, who seems to me to be currently enrolled on the Van Wilder eligibility program, posed a threat to a defense for the most part untested by a quality QB. Yes, I know we played Carder, but Carder wouldn’t be able to hold Persa’s grandchildren’s pacemakers. Not only was Northwestern a better quality opponent than all but one of our past five games, but we were sitting on the record of 5-0 with a #12 ranking in the nation. #12?! The Notre Dame voters must have finally given up on overrating the fighting Holtzssffff and switched their attention on Michigan. We are definitely better than last year, but not yet at an almost top ten level in the nation. The ranking, along with the curse of Premature E-Jubilation that MGoBloggers has embarrassingly suffered from the past two years was heavy in most rational minds**. The fear and angst of being on the brink of bowl eligibility without ever accomplishing it until late in the season was almost too much for me. I once had this feeling of fear and angst before. The target: the prom with a beautiful girl from my senior class. The outcome; scrambling to pick the best of the leftovers, reaching the dance with a less than preferred date, and getting blown…….out at the after party when the fruit punch and Oreos were gone. Everyone was tired from such a fuckin wild night. How we didn’t get arrested, I do not know. Luckily I have ceased my behaviors of illegal persuasion and currently am applying for priesthood. Whoa, went on a tangent. Back to the story. I once had a goat named Sally…..
Northwestern came out in command of offense and defense for almost the entire first half. I felt the curse of 5-0 lurking in the shadows like some angry pedo-bear ready to pounce on a young, unexpecting defense. As I sat in a Flint living room, at halftime I had to take drastic measures. I started munching on Zingerman’s Black Magic Brownies expecting the best medicinal buzz Michigan could provide in a tasty snack. Waiting for it to kick in, I chugged a bottle of Robitussin for my “head cold” and the last four beers of my Rascal White Ale for a runway easer for my magic brownies. I was ready to take on the sorrow and pain of Premature E-Jubilation like a champ.
After halftime I began to feel a little better. The perfect doom preparation concoction was working. I began hallucinating the Michigan defense literally ripping the head off Persa and Pat Fitzgerald getting a flag because his face color matched his purple jacket. He and Brian Kelly would make a wonderful profit on creating a coloring book for young children with anger management issues. At any rate, the Michigan offense also began to trip me out by actually moving the ball all the way into those colored zones on each end of the field. Somehow HOKE always eludes media by slipping out of the locker at halftime, installing magnets in those end zones, and then installing the matching magnets in his offense’s shoes, or for Denards case, his socks.
By the end of the game, Michigan post magnets shut out Northwestern 28-0. Add that to pre-magnets, and you get a final score of 42-24. As I came down from my E-Jubilation concoction, I realized three things.
1. We are bowl eligible. Is the curse finally broken?
2. If we are defensively talented enough and offensively diversified enough to beat the slime from the east, Michigan could make a legitimate run at the B1G title. The rest of the B1G seems to moving downwards. This means our last greatest challenge of the year as of right now may actually be the fighting Zookers.
3. There is nothing magic about the Zingerman’s brownies. I want my money back for false advertising. I also want to congratulate Robitussin for coming through in the clutch and picking up Zingerman’s slack.
Seems as if little brother experienced a three year growth spurt. Along with puberty comes wild mood swings, false confidence, violent behavior, trouble with the law, and lots of acne. Time to pop the zits.
*Road game to Michigan-Chicago campus at Ryan Field.
**Rational descriptor for MGoBloggers may be an overstatement.