I didn't have internet for the past week, so I'm getting to this diary pretty late. Almost everything that occurred to me has already been said. But here's a few things that stood out and could use repeating if you have already heard it.
This is why you don't teach players to only play strongside or only play weakside.
A single shift into an unbalanced line made 6 of our guys change position. I feel like this calls for some joke about Chinese fire drills, but it's too easy. If the motion man hadn't taken the jet sweep and actually realigned on the other side, I wonder if those 6 guys would have been thinking about flopping back. Ugh... ...
Our defense is still young and has a lot to learn. We're a year or two (or three) away from being able to shut down serious opponents.
Vincent looked good, I still worry about his durability. There are some indications that ND's D-line and scheme are legitimately good against the run. So this might not be as bad as we fear. My hopes are still on Fitz to be the main workhorse until someone younger distinguishes himself. Looks like we'll be RB by committee for the rest of this year.
What about Denard?
Good thing: Denard is still awesome running the ball against weaker competition
Bad thing: We were forced to run Denard against a middling' MAC team
Good thing: Denard is getting better at getting out of bounds without taking a big hit
Bad thing: Several times he ran into a NT, DT sandwich
Good thing: The return of QB dive TROLOLOLOLO!!!! (Brian "QB draw-OH NOES!" is a great name, but it's not a draw fake, it's a dive fake.)
Bad thing: Bubble screens still MIA
MSU @ ND notes
- The game was closer than the score reflected. MSU failed a fake FG and got intercepted in the redzone, ND had a kickoff return TD. ND still wins handedly, but probably only by one score or 10 points instead of 18.
- MSU's O-line has big problems. This is not news to anyone. But I think it's showing up in some of their playcalling.
For example, they used this weird formation
And then they pitched the ball around the short side TE/Guard. It's like they don't trust their interior linemen, so they might as well try to run away from the muck. (sometimes with a pulling lineman)
There's a reason why people don't normally line up like this. It's not usually effective.
- Wood's first TD was not a TD.
First of all, there was a blatant holding at the point of attack,
And he was down at the 1 yard line anyway.
- Bawk! Bawk! Dantonio.
It's 4th and 17 at midfield, down two touchdowns with 4 and half minutes left in the game. And he decided to PUNT. C'mon, after last (last) week, we know that 4 minutes against ND is time enough for at least 6 touchdowns.
- Nick Hill on Kick Returns
He looked good at finding the hole and they had some designed returns to break off to one side of the wedge. This dishearteningly matches up with one of our weaknesses.
- It's all about stopping Cunningham
They still have the triplets at RB. But with the issues they have with the O-line, Cunningham becomes the key to stopping MSU.
- Cousins is still a good QB, but I feel like we can trick him into a couple of INT's.
He likes to throw the crossing routes to the WR. And in the hurry-up, they seemed to favor square-ins and slants. ND stepped in front for a couple of picks and tips. Cousins is very good at throwing the checkdown and hitting late leakers from the backfield. And all the backs seemed to be good at making them selves available after scraping past the rushers.
MSU likes to call a fair number of screens and draws, but these are hard to do well for inexperienced linemen.
A noon game means early-rising for tailgaters! Give yourself a couple extra minutes heading out the door as there will be quite a lot of fog around. In some areas it could be pretty dense, so be careful driving! Temperatures will be around the 50 degree mark and you'll definitely see fog until the sunrises at 7:22am. Once we start getting some sun, the fog will begin to burn off and we'll start warming up. We'll be up to the mid 50s by 10am, and continue to see that thermometer rise during the day. A good amount of clouds will hang around, and I wouldn't rule out a light shower. Southeast winds are between 5-10mph, so you'll feel a light breeze on your skin, leaves will rustle around.
By noon we'll have a little more of that sun peeking through the clouds and have warmed up to the low 60s. Wind's still coming out of the southeast at around 5mph, just a gentle breeze. Still seeing a good amount of cloud cover, and there is a slight chance of a sprinkle.
Halftime won't bring us much warmer air, still sitting in the low 60s. Clouds are mixed with sun. Some models are keeping us dry, others are beginning to roll in some showers around this time. With pop-up showers' exact location being unpredictable 12 hours out, and considering there's a chance of rain the entire day tomorrow, I wouldn't rule out getting a light shower.
We'll reach the high for the day late in the afternoon/early evening hours, hitting the upper 60s. We're also going to see the winds shift from the southeast to come out of the east, staying calm until after midnight, when they'll slowly increase for a windy Sunday. Those clouds that have been hanging around all day? Yep, sticking around for the evening hours too. Our chance of rain does diminish however, so if you're walking from one place to another tonight you should be fine. By 8pm temps will be down to 60, and keep dropping to the low 50s by closing time.
Enjoy the game, and Go Blue!
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!!
(EMLOS == End Man on the Line of Scrimmage, in this case Jake Ryan).
The ability to make my lower case letters actually be lower case continues to elude me.
Setup: EMU is on its second drive of the day. They have a counter bootleg called; Michigan will blitz Jake Ryan off the right side.
Wha'hoppon: Ryan reads the pulling OL coming at him and turns up the line to face him instead of blasting straight upfield (vice Brennen Beyer in the WMU game, captured in http://mgoblog.com/diaries/moving-picture-pages-how-not-defend-power-part-i), stepping inside the OL to clog the lane for the runner... who doesn't have the ball. This forces him to disengage the OL to the inside instead of to the outside, allowing the QB to roll out without having Ryan in his face the moment he turns around. One of the three receivers crossing right-to-left finds the seam behind the LBs and Gillett throws an on-target pass for an 18-yard gain.
The counter play-action froze the other linebackers long enough that they couldn't drop to the depth necessary to take away all the passing lanes. Ironically, if Ryan had blitzed on this play the same way Beyer blitzed in the aforementioned play (straight up the field at maximum afterburners), he would most likely have beaten the pulling lineman through the spot and dined on Gillett's soul, or at least forced an off-balance throw.
Analysis courtesy Brian, as usual. Original Picture Pages is at http://mgoblog.com/content/picture-pages-emlos-keys-are-hard.
I took in the Twinsburg vs. Brush game tonight and thought I’d share my observations on Pharaoh Brown. It’s obvious he’s a great athlete with a lot of potential. At 6’6”, 220lbs he wears #2 and physically looks like several 6’6” college QBs that have worn #2 in recent years. He’s a very smooth athlete with a lot of speed. When I left the game after the 3rd quarter, he had around 6 tackles (1 sack) and 3 catches for around 100 yds and a TD. Most of those yards came on an 85 yd TD reception where he broke one tackle on a post pattern and outran everyone on the field. Defensively he showed excellent closing speed and some good burst on the line.
Unfortunately, like many high school studs, he relied too heavily on his speed and athleticism. He was often single blocked by a very well coached O-line and neutralized by good technique and a physically stronger OT. His pad level was consistently high, and it really hurt him at times. When double teamed he didn’t show the physicality I expected, often standing up and chasing plays rather than occupying blockers. On the goal line he made several nice plays on outside runs to his side, but struggled against physical MANBALL directly at him. There were times when he looked gassed, but he played all but 4 snaps on offense and defense so that’s to be expected.
What I took away from the game was that the things he needs to work on (technique, size) are correctable (and somewhat expected) issues. He’s got a good frame with lots of room to put on weight, and was receptive to coaching he received on the sideline. The things you can’t coach (speed, athleticism) he’s clearly got. It’s pretty easy to see a future B1G football player when you watch him play, and I’m excited to see him wear the winged helmet. Go Blue!
seemed like there was some interest last week, so here is a revised version of the mini program for this week incorporating suggestions such as numbered depth chart, opponent depth chart / roster (abbreviated) and times as they are known for schedule. the michigan coaching staff has been ommitted in favor of the other info, but i think in the future i will try to include that as well as some national rankings on offense, defense, etc . one thing to comment on is if the text size is too small, i tried to keep it legible, but i realize that i might have better vision than some other readers. the DL depth chart is a bit muddy right now, so i left it from last week. i figure all the names are there somewhere.
for those of you who missed it the first time around, this is basically a cheat sheet to help with rosters, numbers and names and is especially useful if you are attending the game and don't want to buy a program that will get ruined. it is also useful to have on your coffee table during the game at home.
[edit: preview seems to work. was a bit wonky there for a bit as i tried to get rid of some of the previous versions of the pdf on scribd. should be good now]
What happens when Notre Dame starts the season 0-2 then proceeds to dominate Michigan St, Ohio State can only get 35 yards of passing against an ACC team, Georgia and Mississippi State are both 1-2? First thing that happens is all Michigan fans enjoy the troubles of our rivals. Then we all look confused at the Pick Six standings because an entire preseason group of teams is unranked. (Side note: To make the standings load faster they only show the current standings. A link to the past standings is at the top of that page.)
I repeat, every team from group D is unranked in the week 3 poll. What does that do to the standings? It throws them into utter chaos. Unranked teams are just starting to sneak their way into the top twenty so there is not much to differentiate between entries when everybody is earning 0 points for their group D pick. Unfortunately it looks like it will be a couple weeks before any of these teams re-enter the rankings. I’m sure this has happened before, but I haven’t ever seen it in my few years of playing Pick Six.
So the motto of the next few weeks will be “the more the merrier.” There are 8 people tied for first place. There are 39 people in the Top 25 (19 people are tied for 21st place). Most of those people were in the triple digits last week. Which brings us to our other motto of this week.
The first place entry from week 1 (macatawami – who didn’t get his weekly shout out) and the first place entry from week 2 have dropped down to being tied for 71st. Seven of the new eight first place entries jumped up from 76th or 104th.
The weekly Brian watch continues with this theme. He has jumped from 282 all the way up to being tied with 20 other people for 40th place. Not too much of a surprise there since his only “bad pick” had been Notre Dame and that is now the same as everyone else’s pick.
The current perfect ballot has 86 points with Oklahoma, Stanford, Wisconsin, Anybody, Florida, Baylor. There is still nobody picking the perfect ballot but everyone tied for first has a perfect top 5 but picked Texas as the unranked team instead of Baylor. That ballot has earned all of them 84 points. The smartest people on MGoBlog this week are
- 1329 S. University
- Bieber 4 Prez
This week’s person in last place is actually 3 points above the worst possible ballot. His pick of Southern Cal has saved him from the theoretical rock bottom. I still don’t know if it’s a gift or a curse. Edit: Misery loves company. There are actually two people sharing the pain of being in last with 40 points. They both are saved by Southern Cal who is keeping them above the lowest possible score of 37 points.
Games to Watch
There are four main games that will shake up the standings for week 4.
- #7 Oklahoma State at #8 Texas A&M
- #14 Arkansas at #3 Alabama
- #2 LSU at #16 West Virginia
- #11 Florida State at #21 Clemson
Also keep an eye on the #23 USC at Arizona State game. Arizona State is the third-most popular unranked team and could get back into the rankings with a win over USC, while USC could become the third unranked team from Group E.
I made a list of all the people who gave their Twitter username. If you want to talk about Pick Six or college football on Twitter these people would be good new people to follow. If you want in on the Twitter list fun, let me know.