well that's just, like, your opinion, man
Well, that was fun. Hopefully this victory means that Michigan football has turned a corner, that communist football is here to stay, and that the counter-revolutionaries have been assimilated (or, if not, then deported to our luxurious gulag in Palo Alto).
Even though Denard didn't have his best game statistically, he helped the team win. And that win made us bowl eligible, allowing me to project his season totals over 13 games instead of 12, increasing the likely number of records he will break this year. Let's hope his concussion was mild, and that he is able to go out and play against Purdue.
(And when I say he didn't have his "best game", he still gained 367 yards of total offense: one yard short of the old Navarre record that Denard has already broken four times.)
A special shout-out today for Roy Roundtree, who, impressively, destroyed a 44-year-old Michigan single-game receiving record, by gaining 246 yards (on 9 catches with 2 TDs). The old record was set in 1966, when Jack Clancy gained 197 yards against Oregon State. (Roundtree's mark wouldn't even make the top ten all-time in the Big Ten: the Big Ten record is 301 by Chris Daniels of Purdue against MSU in 1999; the NCAA record is 405 by Troy Edwards of Louisiana Tech against Nebraska in 1998.)
As to the scoring explosion against Illinois: Overtime points are idiotic. Each team starts from the other's 25. There is simply no way that people should count overtime points towards scoring records, and I refuse to do so. It is simply not appropriate to compare college football records of the overtime era to pre-1996 ones (when overtime was brought to college football). For the purposes of single-game scoring records, I look at that Illinois game as a tennis match with a fifth-set tiebreaker: 46-45 (22-20).
I hope that official keepers of college football records change their minds and take that approach, in which separate records are kept for regulation and overtime. As of today, overtime points and other statistics are counted fully toward all NCAA records. This isn't fair to the great accomplishments of previous generations of college football athletes.
Prefatory Verbiage • New This Week • Week in Review • Record of the Week • QBs as Rushing Champions • QB Rushing, Game • QB Rushing, Season • QB Rushing, Career • Rushing (Any Position) • 200/200 Club • 1000/1000 Club • Total Offense • Total Offense Per Play • Passing Efficiency • Other M Passing • Other M Rushing • Team Offense • Standard Disclaimers • Acknowledgments • Comments
- Previous editions. Here are the links to the post-PSU, bye week, post-Iowa, post-MSU, and post-Indiana editions of this Almanack.
- Suggestions are welcome. If you have found an interesting statistic or record that you think I should add to this list, please put it in the comments section and I'll add it to the original post (and give you credit).
- Review the disclaimers. Football has evolved considerably over its 141-year history, much more so than other major sports, and that is important to keep in mind when talking about all-time records. The existence of this diary is not meant to imply that individual achievement is more important than the achievement of the team.
New This Week
New to this week's Almanack is a discussion of team offense records. Also, as noted above, I have now projected Denard's rushing and passing yards over 13 games instead of 12. I've also projected Cam Newton's stats over 14 games instead of 12; thanks to LSU's victory over Alabama, Auburn only has to win one of its two remaining games in order to play in the SEC championship game.
Week in Review: Denard Breaks a Jim Harbaugh Record
From a completion-percentage standpoint, Denard had another relatively poor day: only 50% (10 of 20). This is his second-lowest total; only last week's 47.8% was lower. Accuracy was an issue for him again, with several passes thrown behind receivers and two INTs. I'm assuming his shoulder continues to bother him.
The only thing is: those ten completions went for 305 yards and 3 TDs. That is an average of 30.5 yards per completion, a new Michigan record for a minimum of 10 completions. (The old record was held by Jim Harbaugh, who averaged 30.0 yards per completion against Indiana in 1986.)
The Illini rush defense did well against Denard, limiting him to only 62 yards rushing on 19 attempts: a career-worst 3.26 yards per carry (his previous low was 4.10 against MSU).
Of the other prominant dual-threat QBs, Cam Newton ran for 24 yards and threw for 317 against I-AA Chattanooga; Colin Kaepernick ran for 22 and threw for 320 against Idaho; and Taylor Martinez didn't play in Nebraska's OT thriller against Iowa State due to an ankle sprain. LaMichael James, Denard's challenger for the NCAA rushing title, gained 121 yards on 26 carries in a rout against Washington.
Records of the Week: NCAA Single-Season QB Rushing; 1500/1500 Club; Michigan Total Offense, Single-Season
With the Big Ten single-season QB rushing mark in his rear-view mirror, Denard is only 145 yards shy of Beau Morgan's NCAA mark of 1,494, set in 1996. If he is healthy for Purdue, it certainly wouldn't be surprising to see him break that record on Saturday. If he gains 151 yards, he will become the first major-college player in history to both rush and pass for 1,500 yards in a single season.
Also, suddenly, after the offensive explosion against Illinois, Denard finds himself just 77 yards short of Michigan's all time single-season record for total offense: 3,240 yards, set by John Navarre in 2003. While there's always the off chance that Denard doesn't run for 145 yards against Purdue, if he plays, he's going to break 77 yards of total offense.
Despite his relatively poor numbers against Illinois, Denard maintained possession of the Michigan career yards-per-carry record with a minimum of 200 attempts, with 6.8 YPC on 252 carries. The previous record had been held by 6.3 YPC by Jon Vaughn (from 1989-1990). Denard also owns Michigan's single-season YPC record at 7.4; the previous mark had been Tyrone Wheatley's at 7.3 (in 1992). In addition, having crossed the threshold of 200 career pass attempts against Illinois, Denard now owns the Michigan career pass-efficiency record with a minimum of 200 attempts, with 151.0 on 217 attempts. The previous record was 148.1 by Elvis Grbac (from 1989-1992), and Elvis had the benefit of a Heisman Trophy-winning receiver. Denard could theoretically fall below these thresholds in the future.
Quarterbacks as NCAA Rushing Champions
A quarterback has never led the NCAA FBS in rushing yards over a single season. In 1937, the first year in which the NCAA kept official football statistics, Colorado halfback Byron "Whizzer" White led the nation in rushing with 1,121 yards, along with 475 passing yards. (If that wasn't enough, White also went to Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, played in the NFL for Pittsburgh and Detroit, served in World War II during which he was awarded two Bronze Stars, came back and graduated from Yale Law School, and was appointed by John F. Kennedy to the Supreme Court of the United States.)
This year, Denard could become the first quarterback in history to finish the season as the NCAA rushing champion (by yards gained). He currently has gained 1,349 yards on the ground. LaMichael James of Oregon is 18 yards behind having played one less game.
On a yards-per-game basis, James is in first place with 166.4 (Denard is second with 149.9). Personally, I find the YPG statistic to be arbitrary: should Denard be punished because the Bowling Green game was a rout, and LaMichael James be rewarded because he was suspended for one game for pleading guilty to harrassing his ex-girlfriend? FWIW, on a yards-per-carry basis, Denard is ahead of James.
Note that Cam Newton will likely play in the SEC championship game, and thereby have an extra game to pad his stats. Newton, however, is 203 yards behind Denard, despite the extra tilt. Here are the top 5 rushers in the country, sorted by yards gained:
|Kendall Hunter||Oklahoma St.||203||1,240||6.11||9||137.8||14|
|Daniel Thomas||Kansas St.||214||1,102||5.15||9||122.4||12|
* - LaMichael James was suspended for Oregon's first game against New Mexico for pleading guilty to a misdemeanor.
Rushing Yards by a QB, Single-Game
Denard currently holds the Michigan and Big Ten records for rushing yards by a quarterback in a single game: 258 vs. Notre Dame. The NCAA FBS record is 308, on 22 attempts, by Stacey Robinson of Northern Illinois, against Fresno State, on Oct. 6, 1990.
Rushing Yards by a QB, Single-Season
Denard currently has 1,349 rushing yards in 8 games. This projects to 1,949 over a 13-game schedule. He owns the Big Ten record, as described above, and has destroyed the previous Michigan record for QB rushing yards in a season: 674 by Steve Smith in 1981.
Before you get too overwhelmed by all the numbers in this diary, just stop and think about that for a minute. Denard Robinson, your starting Michigan quarterback, playing before your very eyes, has more than doubled a Michigan football record, with four games to go. And not just any record, but one that has stood for three decades. Even if you account for the fact that we're playing a very different style of football now—it's just incredible.
The NCAA FBS record is 1,494 by Beau Morgan of Air Force in 1996. This record is easily within reach. Denard only has to average 37 rushing yards a game over the rest of the regular season to break the NCAA FBS record.
Rushing Yards by a QB, Career
There's no point in projecting Denard's career rushing totals, since we don't even know how he'll do this year (or if his knee will hold up), nor if he will stay for his senior season. But here are the records:
Michigan's career record is held by Rick Leach (1975-1978) at 2,176 yards: a record Denard will break this year, at his current pace. Denard needs to average 119 rushing yards a game to take this title. (Guys like Leach and Steve Smith must salivate at what they could have done in the offense of Comrade Rodriguez.) The Big Ten record is Antwaan Randel El's (1998-2001) at 3,895 yards. The NCAA FBS record is held by Pat White (2005-2008) at 4,480 yards.
The NCAA FBS per-game career record is 109.1 yards by Stacey Robinson of Northern Illinois, achieved from 1988-1990 over 25 games.
Rushing Records (At Any Position)
For a single game, the Michigan record is 347 by Ron Johnson in 1968 against Wisconsin; the Big Ten record is 377 by Anthony Thompson of Indiana in 1989 against Wisconsin; the NCAA FBS record is 406 by LaDainian Tomlinson of TCU in 1999 against UTEP.
For a single season, the Michigan record is 1,818 yards (Tshimanga Biakabutuka, 1995); the Big Ten record is 2,087 yards (Larry Johnson, Penn St., 2002); the NCAA FBS record is 2,628 yards (Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State, 1988). Denard can break Touchdown Tim's Michigan record by averaging 117 yards per game over the rest of the season.
That Barry Sanders record will be around for a while, but remember that Denard is on pace for 1,949 with a 13-game schedule; if he is able to maintain his current pace, and gets to play in a bowl game, Larry Johnson's Big Ten record would not be out of reach.
For a career, the Michigan record is held by Mike Hart (5,040 yards, 2004-2007); the Big Ten record is held by Ron Dayne (7,125 yards, 1996-1999); the NCAA FBS record is also held by Ron Dayne, but they list it as 6,397 yards. (Herschel Walker of Georgia holds the record for a 3-year career at 5,259 yards, set from 1980-1982.)
The 200/200 Club
Much has been made of the fact that Denard is the only player in FBS history to gain 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing twice in regular-season games. To me this is a silly distinction—who cares if it was done in the regular season or a bowl game? If anything, Vince Young's performance in the 2005 Rose Bowl against USC is even more remarkable, given that that USC team is considered one of the most dominant teams of the modern era. Wake me up when Denard gets his third 200/200 game. (He did go for 191/190 against Penn State.)
Anyway, here are the 200/200 games listed in the NCAA record book, sorted by total offense. You'll note that Denard is the only member of the 240/240 club, and Marques Tuiasosopo is the only member of the 200/300 club.
|Player||Team (Opponent)||Year||Rushing||Passing||Total Off.|
|Marques Tuiasosopo||Washington (Stanford)||1999||207||302||509|
|Vince Young||Texas (Oklahoma St.)||2005||267||239||506|
|Denard Robinson||MICH (Notre Dame)||2010||258||244||502|
|Denard Robinson||MICH (Indiana)||2010||217||277||494|
|Reds Bagnell||Penn (Dartmouth)||1950||214||276||490|
|Brad Smith||Missouri (Nebraska)||2005||246||234||480|
|Brian Mitchell||La.-Lafayette (Colo. St.)||1987||271||205||476|
|Antwaan Randle-El||Indiana (Minnesota)||2000||210||263||473|
|Vince Young||Texas (USC Rose Bowl)||2005||200||267||467|
|Patrick White||W. Va. (Pittsburgh)||2006||220||204||424|
|Steve Gage||Tulsa (New Mexico)||1986||212||209||421|
The 1000/1000 Club
There are 30 quarterbacks (and one halfback, Johnny Bright of Drake) in FBS who have run and thrown for 1000 yards in the same season. Of these, none have both run and passed for 1500 yards (the rushing record for QBs is 1,223).
Seven quarterbacks have achieved this milestone multiple times: Brad Smith (thrice), Colin Kaepernick (twice and counting), Vince Young (twice), Pat White (twice), Beau Morgan (twice), Joe Webb (twice), and Joshua Cribbs (twice). Only two people have joined the 1000/1000 club as freshmen: Brad Smith of Missouri, and Joshua Cribbs of Kent State. Air Force leads the overall list with five different QBs, in six different seasons, in the 1000/1000 club. (It is interesting that an instrument of American capitalist imperialism, the U.S. Air Force Academy, is the premier exponent of communist football.)
As noted above, Denard joined the 1000/1000 club on his first drive against Iowa. If he stays healthy, he should easily become the first member of the 1500/1500 club. The list below of 1000/1000 members is sorted this list by rushing yards.
I've also added 2010 season totals for Cam Newton, Taylor Martinez, and Colin Kaepernick, three dual-threat quarterbacks who are likely to surpass 1000/1000 this year (Kaepernick already did so in 2008 and 2009).
|Dilithium (on pace for)||MICH||2010||1,949||2,620||4,569|
|Newton (on pace for)||Auburn||2010||1,604||2,646||4,250|
|Beau Morgan||Air Force||1996||1,494||1,210||2,704|
|Patrick White||W. Virginia||2007||1,335||1,724||3,059|
|Dee Dowis||Air Force||1989||1,286||1,285||2,571|
|Beau Morgan||Air Force||1995||1,285||1,165||2,450|
|Antwaan Randle El*||Indiana||2000||1,270||1,783||3,053|
|Johnny Bright (HB)||Drake||1950||1,232||1,168||2,400|
|Chance Herridge||Air Force||2002||1,229||1,062||2,291|
|Patrick White||W. Virginia||2006||1,219||1,655||2,874|
|Keith Boyea||Air Force||2001||1,216||1,253||2,469|
|Dwight Dasher||Middle Tenn.||2009||1,154||2,789||3,943|
|Dan LeFevour||Central Mich.||2007||1,122||3,652||4,774|
|Joshua Cribbs||Kent State||2002||1,057||1,014||2,071|
|Josh Nesbitt||Ga. Tech||2009||1,037||1,701||2,738|
|Bart Weiss||Air Force||1985||1,032||1,449||2,481|
|Ell Roberson||Kansas St.||2002||1,032||1,580||2,612|
|Brad Smith (Fr.)||Missouri||2002||1,029||2,333||3,362|
|Joshua Cribbs (Fr.)||Kent State||2001||1,019||1,516||2,535|
|Reggie Collier||So. Miss.||1981||1,005||1,004||2,009|
* Previous Big Ten record for rushing yards by a quarterback
Denard already owns the Michigan single-game total offense record (502 yards against Notre Dame). In fact, Denard has broken the old Michigan single-game total offense record four times this year, with games of 502, 494, 383, and 381 yards. (The previous record was 368 by John Navarre against Iowa in 2003.) Against Illinois, Denard almost broke this record again, gaining 367: giving him five of the six highest totals in Michigan history.
|Denard Robinson||Notre Dame||2010||258||244||502|
|Denard Robinson||Penn State||2010||191||190||381|
Denard is also on pace to annihilate John Navarre's single-season total offense record of 3,240 in 2003 (Denard projects to an astounding 4,569 yards over 13 games).
The Big Ten single-game total offense record is 585 yards by Dave Wilson of Illinois, vs. Ohio State in 1980. The Big Ten single-season total offense record is 4,189 yards by Drew Brees of Purdue in 2000, which is well within Denard's reach. Denard has to average 257 yards of total offense in his next four games to pass Brees; he is currently averaging 351.
The NCAA total offense records are dominated by prolific passers. Those records appear to be unattainable by Denard: 732 yards for a single game (David Klingler, Houston vs. Arizona State, 1990); 5,976 for a season (B.J. Symons, Texas Tech, 2003); 16,910 for a career (Timmy Chang, Hawaii, 2000-2004).
Total Offense Per Play
As with total offense records, these will be tough for Denard to keep pace with, but he is right up there at the moment. Through Saturday, Denard has 3,163 yards of total offense in 369 plays, for an average of 8.6.
Here are the NCAA FBS records for a single game: 14.3 by Jason Martin (La. Tech vs. Toledo, 1996) in 37 plays and 9.9 by David Klingler (Houston vs. TCU, 1990) in 63 plays. Denard came pretty close to Martin in the Indiana game, where in 35 plays he averaged 14.1 yards per play (which is almost certainly a Michigan and quite likely a Big Ten record):
|Denard Robinson||Attempts + Carries||Total Offense||Yards per Play|
|NCAA Records||Attempts + Carries||Total Offense||Yards per Play|
|Jason Martin (La. Tech vs. Toledo, 1996)||37||529||14.30|
|David Klingler (Houston vs. TCU, 1990)||63||625||9.92|
|Colt Brennan (Hawaii, 2006 season)||645||5,915||9.17|
|Sam Bradford (Oklahoma, 2007-09 career)||970||8,439||8.70|
As you can see in the table, for a single season (minimum 3,000 yards), the record is 9.2 by Colt Brennan (Hawaii, 2006). For a career (minimum 7,500 yards) it's 8.7 by Sam Bradford (Oklahoma, 2007-2009).
Passing efficiency is a statistic that rewards quarterbacks for yards, touchdowns, and completions per attempt, and punishes them for interceptions per attempt. The NCAA formula, which differs from the NFL one, is:
(8.4 * yards) + (330 * TDs) - (200 * INTs) + (100 * completions) ________________________________________________________________ attempts
Denard's 2010 passing efficiency is currently 160.9; his career efficiency (including last year) is 151.0, which would be a Michigan record if he keeps that pace. Here are Michigan's pass efficiency records:
- Highest efficiency rating, season (min. 100 attempts): 173.3 (Bob Chappuis, 1947) (Denard is at 160.9 after 186 attempts, good for 5th all-time)
- Highest efficiency rating, career (min. 200 attempts): 148.1 (Elvis Grbac, 1989-1992) (Denard is at 151.0 for his career after 217 attempts, on pace for 1st all-time)
Bob Chappuis' Michigan single-season mark is also the Big Ten single-season record. The NCAA FBS pass efficiency record belongs to Colt Brennan of Hawaii, who reached 186.0 in 2006: likely out of reach.
Other Michigan Passing Records
At the end of 2009, here were some of the other Michigan passing records. Denard could break some of the completion percentage records (Tate broke one as well):
- Highest completion percentage, game (min. 10 attempts): 92.3% (Jim Harbaugh, vs. Purdue, 1985, 13 attempts) (Broken by Tate Forcier, 100% in 12 attempts, vs. Bowling Green)
- Highest completion percentage, game (min. 20 attempts): 90.9% (Elvis Grbac, vs. Notre Dame, 1991, 22 attempts) (Denard is 2nd with 86.3% on 22 attempts vs. Connecticut)
- HIghest completion percentage, season (min. 100 attempts): 65.3% (Todd Collins, 1992) (Denard is at 63.4% with 186 attempts, 8th all-time)
- Highest completion percentage, career (min. 200 attempts): 64.3% (Todd Collins, 1991-1994) (Denard is at 60.8% with 217 attempts, on pace for 5th all-time)
- Yards per completion, game (min. 5 completions): Rick Leach, 36.3 vs. Purdue, 1975 (Denard's best is 30.5 with 10 completions vs. Illinois, good for 3rd all-time)
- Yards per completion, game (min. 10 completions): Jim Harbaugh, 30.0 vs. Indiana, 1986 (Broken by Denard Robinson, 30.5 YPC vs. Illinois with 10 completions)
- Yards per completion, season (min. 60 completions): Bob Chappuis, 18.8, 1947 (Denard is at 15.4 with 118 completions, on pace for 6th all-time)
- Yards per completion, career (min. 120 completions): Rick Leach, 17.1, 1975-1978 (Denard is at 15.2 with 132 completions, tied for 5th all-time)
Other Michigan Rushing Records
At the end of 2009, here were the other relevant Michigan rushing records. On average yards per carry, he owns one of the single-game records Michigan tracks, but is surprisingly far from the other ones (not that that couldn't change in a hurry). The single-season and career records are within reach:
- Average gain per rush, single-game (min. 5 carries): 25.80, Denard Robinson vs. Bowling Green (previous record was Leroy Hoard, 18.28 ypc vs. Indiana, 1988)
- Average gain per rush, single-game (min. 10 carries): 18.00, Rob Lytle vs. MSU, 1976 (Denard: 11.42 vs. Indiana on 19 carries)
- Average gain per rush, single-game (min. 15 carries): 15.70, Tyrone Wheatley vs. Washington, 1993 Rose Bowl (Denard: 11.42 vs. Indiana on 19 carries)
- Average gain per rush, single-game (min. 20 carries): 11.19, Ron Johnson vs. Wisconsin, 1968 (Denard: 9.21 vs. Notre Dame on 28 carries)
- Average gain per rush, single-season (min. 75 carries): 7.34, Tyrone Wheatley, 1992 (Denard 2010: 7.85 on 164 carries)
- Average gain per rush, career (min. 200 carries): 6.29, Jon Vaughn, 1989-1990 (Denard: 7.03 on 233 carries)
- 100-yard rushing games, season: 10, Jamie Morris, 1987 (Denard has 7)
- 150-yard rushing games, season: 6, Anthony Thomas, 2000 (Denard has 4)
- 200-yard rushing games, season: 3, Mike Hart, 2004 (Denard has 2)
Also, Denard is one of 5 players in NCAA history to record 5 consecutive 100-yard rushing games. No one has done it 6 times in a row.
Did you know that Michigan is averaging 535.9 yards per game in total offense, higher than any other team in Big Ten history? (Second place belongs to Penn State's 1994 team, which averaged 512.7 yards per game.) Even if you take out the 72 extra yards Michigan gained in the three overtimes against Illinois, Michigan is averaging 528.0 yards per game.
This year's team is on pace to demolish the old Michigan total offense record of 466.9, set in 1992, when Gary Moeller roamed the sidelines, barking orders to Elvis Grbac, Desmond Howard, and Tyrone Wheatley.
|Big Ten All-Time Leaders||Year||YPG (Total Offense)|
|1. MICH (including overtime)||2010||535.9|
|1. MICH (regulation only)||2010||528.0|
|2. Penn State||1994||512.7|
|4. Ohio State||1998||497.6|
|5. Michigan State||2005||497.3|
|8. Ohio State||1974||493.2|
|9. Ohio State||1996||490.4|
|10. Michigan State||1978||481.3|
|11. Ohio State||1995||478.6|
|Michigan All-Time Leaders (QB/WR/RB)||Year||YPG (Total Offense)|
|1. Robinson / Roundtree / Smith||2010||528.0|
|2. Grbac / Howard / Wheatley||1992||466.9|
|3. Navarre / Edwards / Perry||2003||446.7|
|4. Henson / Terrell / Thomas||2000||446.1|
|5. Grbac / Howard / Vaughn||1990||432.5|
In terms of scoring offense, Michigan is averaging 36.2 points per game in regulation (38.7 points per game including the overtime scoring), good for 7th all-time in Michigan history (6th including OT), and the highest Michigan total in 63 years. This is all the more remarkable given that our terrible placekicking and team defense give the offense poor field position and missed field goals.
* - Excludes points scored in overtime
The Fielding Yost "point-a-minute" teams averaged 50.5, 58.5, 47.1, 56.7, and 38.1 points per game from 1901 to 1905. Fritz Crisler's 1947 national championship team of Bob Chappuis and Bump Elliott, nicknamed the "Mad Magicians," averaged 39.4. (The official Michigan record book erroneously lists the 1947 average as second-highest in school history; it is missing the performances of 1901, 1903, 1904, and 1905.)
Dynamic offenses have been few and far between in the postwar era. The 1976 Bo Schembechler team, led by Rick Leach and Rob Lytle, scored 36.0 points per game, and owns the rushing season record with 345.3 yards per game. The aforementioned 1992 team averaged 35.9 points; and the 2003 team averaged 35.4.
Here are some other impressive stats:
- Michigan is averaging 7.4 yards per play, which is most all-time in Michigan history (the existing record is 6.4 yards, in 1992 and 1947).
- Michigan is averaging 273.4 rushing yards per game (inclusive of OT; 270.22 regulation-only), 7th all-time (9th regulation-only) in Big Ten history and 3rd all-time in Michigan history. (The Big Ten record is 349.9 in 1974 by Ohio State; the Michigan record is 345.3 in 1976.)
- Michigan is averaging 6.2 yards per carry, higher than any other Michigan team in history (the current record is 5.9 per carry in 1976).
- Michigan is averaging 266.3 passing yards per game (inclusive; 261.7 regulation-only), 2nd all-time in Michigan history. (The record is 270.8 in 2003.)
- Michigan is averaging 24.2 first downs per game (inclusive; 23.9 regulation-only), highest in Michigan history. (The current record is 23.9 in 2003.) Over 13 games, this would be the third-highest total in Big Ten history (6th using regulation numbers).
- Wins are more important than stats. The existence of this diary is not meant to imply that individual achievement is more important than the achievement of the team. It is, instead, to pay tribute to Denard's exceptional individual achievement within the context of a (hopefully) successful team. With a few minor exceptions, Denard's stats don't come at the expense of the team: when he rushes for 250 yards or has a QB rating of 270, the team is usually doing well. If you object to this point of view, you don't have to read further.
- Past performance is not a predictor of future results. To the degree I describe end-of-season projections for Denard, I do so simply, rather than Mathletically: (current total) * (12-game season) / (games played to date). Denard's numbers may come down against stronger defenses, but he played quite well against Iowa and Illinois, two statistically strong defenses, so we'll see.
- Projections are for a 13-game season. Beginning in 2002, the NCAA revised its single-season and career records to include postseason games. Michigan, with its defeat of the Illini, is set to go to a bowl game this year.
- The quarterback position has evolved significantly. The forward pass was only formally legalized in 1906. From the 1910s until the 1950s, the most common college football formation was Pop Warner's single-wing, in which the quarterback's role was primarily as a blocker, and most passes were thrown by a tailback or halfback. The idea of a quarterback as the primary passer began to take hold after World War II, when coaches such as Clark Shaughnessy at Chicago and Stanford and Paul Brown at Ohio State took advantage of a recently redesigned football that was easier to throw, and married the ancient T formation to the threat of longer passes downfield.
- The record books are murky from 1869 to 1937. Something to keep in mind is that the record books don't actually go back that far in time. At the national level, official statistics have only been recorded since 1937: a mere 52 percent of college football's history. It's not clear how rigorously school, conference, and national collegiate records were kept before then. (College football has been around since 1869.) One has to assume that Fielding Yost's point-a-minute teams would have harbored some record-producing players, though the game was quite different then, as noted above. So, to be as precise as possible, we should describe all of these records as modern-era, postwar records.
- Post-1978 records are for Division I-A only. Let me note that all the records here are for Division I-A (FBS), but do include all Division I records prior to the I-A / I-AA split in 1978. I don't really care about who did what in the other divisions, given the inferior level of competition. Personally, I would prefer to eliminate the non-automatically qualifying BCS conferences, but since the NCAA doesn't do that, I won't.
- Post-1996 overtime and pre-1912 scoring rules skew historical comparisons. The NCAA introduced overtime to I-A football in 1996, and soon after determined that points and yards gained in overtime would count toward NCAA records. Given that teams and players did not have the benefit of overtime prior to 1996, I try wherever possible to exclude overtime stats (or at least give both sets of numbers). The modern convention of TDs worth 6 points (+1 PAT) and FGs worth 3 began in 1912. From 1869 to 1882, touchdowns, extra points, and field goals were all worth one point each. From 1882-1883, TDs were worth 2, PATs 4, and FGs 5; from 1884-1897, TDs 4, PATs 2, FGs 5; from 1898-1903, TDs 5, PATs 1, FGs 5; from 1904-1908, TDs 5, PATs 1, FGs 4; from 1901-1911, TDs 5, PATs 1, FGs 3. The two-point conversion was introduced in 1958. I currently don't have the breakdown of TDs, PATs, and FGs for the Yost teams; if anyone else does, I would be pleased to adjust those numbers accordingly so as to make apples-to-apples comparisons with modern teams. The rules of college football evolved rapidly from 1879 to 1930, making strict comparisons difficult. For example, the goal posts were moved from the goal line to the end line (10 yards back of the goal line) only in 1927, which has a huge impact on field goal kicking, and the width of the uprights has varied significantly over time.
Thanks to tf (Michigan rushing single-game record) and danieljpaul (Denard's season totals) for corrections. H/T to tubauberalles and enlightenedbum for tracking down the FBS single-game QB rushing record. Raoul and UM in VA persuaded me to post the total offense numbers, and pointed out Denard's ridiculous per-play stats, which I also added to the diary. Trebor pointed out that we should keep an eye on the impressive seasons of Taylor Martinez and Cam Newton. U of M in TX helped identify a few updating errors. Raoul also suggested putting in the team offense stats. Hillhaus pointed out that I should discuss the pre-1912 scoring conventions.
Table of contents:
I. Basics of scraping/link to Brian’s thoughts
III. Demens’ Pass D.
IV. Demens scraping
V. Final thoughts
For the second one notice how Kovaks tells Floyd to get up to the LOS and Floyd says “Yeah, I’m gonna F*#K this play up.” He does, because he takes the outside shoulder of the lead blocker. However, that is not enough; Demens also scrapes to the play. In the first play Mouton doesn’t contain (even though Demens scrapes) and it gets a…TD. [For a more full discussion see the links above. Many much smarter people than I have well thought out ideas there.]
My belief is that a large amount of us here think Mouton might have issues playing with Demens because he had to play to tackle instead of play his assignment when Obi was in. Well, playing to tackle instead of your assignment sure sounds like someone who will lose contain. Also, see this. So, here's that nice little chart:
|Loss of Contain||Mouton||2:25||Picture paged|
This is only one half, but it should become clear that Mouton has had trouble holding contain. I’m sure someone could do a much better analysis on this, and I would applaud any such investigation. However, with the data at hand, we’ve shown that Mouton is not that good at holding contain. The small # of bad contain plays wouldn’t be an issue, except that Iowa got 35 yards on them! [after looking back, that’s not outstanding, but it is a first down each time.
This failure to contain is not a “who is around me” problem. It is a fundamentals problem. It doesn’t matter who is around you, you still need to know your fundamentals. If Ray Lewis were playing Mouton would still need to tackle. This is no different. Contain is just something you need to do, regardless of who is around you.
- There might be other issues about him playing with Demens instead of Obi, but I just can’t see any. What most people have been saying is that Mouton plays to make the tackle instead of doing his job. That sounds a lot like missing your contain assignment to me.
III. Demens Pass D:
+1 for pass break-up. (4th play)
+.5 (12th play)
(no +/- but on this picture paged play Brian gives Demens credit)
+.5 (18th play)
+.5 (25th play)
-1 (38th play)
-1 (35th play)
+1 (37th play)
Total: +1.5 Not terrible. Was this the thing that was holding him back?
My Iowa UFR:
+1 (4th play. Blasts the receiver after the catch to break up the pass.)
+1 (The touchdown play at 3:05. Knocks the TE down as Avery derps up.)
+1 (starts at 3:20. Demens comes up on the bootleg. Notices the RB blocking and gets on his horse. Brian gave a +.5 but I believe that because Demens came in so fast, he knew exactly what his assignment was and played it fully.)
-1 (at 4:10). Demens leaves his TE open, even tho the pass goes over his head.
-1 (at 6:39) Missed the RB/drop-down read coming out of the backfield late.
-1 (9:00) Bit on the PA. He did this again on the next play, which was the same play-call. I’m not sure if he’s just biting a lot or if it’s his job to do that? Is this some new Defensive thing?
+1 (on that play where Avery missed the 3&8 tackle, which effectively ended the game) Demens was all over his guy when the pass happened.
Noticed that they put in Roh on a few downs at MLB. I’m assuming this is to get more speed on the field against the pass.
+1 total. Well, I'm more negative than Brian. Told you.
Overall: nothing really bad here. I don't believe this was what held him back. He should be at least acceptable in pass D. Dispell all rumors.
IV. DEMENS SCRAPING:
Based again, off of the multiple UFR from Iowa and previous games.
Iowa: +3 on scraping, although I’m a negative guy.
Penn State: +2 on scraping.
When I find a better way to format, I’ll add in the plays too. Still, this is at least decent, which is better than Obi was playing. More analysis at bottom.
V. SCRAPE/CONTAIN FINAL THOUGHTS:
Demens is a good scraper. Obi obviously wasn’t. An upgrade in playing ability and potential for next year, when we will return a decent starter, instead of a player who would have had no experience.
Contain is a huge issue. When Mouton lost contain he gave up a first down every time. This is a momentum killer for a few, rather obvious reasons.
- 1.) It allows a first down on a third and ten draw.
- 2.) it destroys team fatigue.
- 3.) It just sucks. Nuff said.
Can we fix this? How long will GERG coach this and how long until it’s fixed? I don’t know, but I’m sure the debate will continue. Mouton and Obi were in the system for 3 years and they didn’t scrape/contain this year. However, Demens is a RS Soph (3 years) and learned how to do it. Contrary evidence=I don’t know.
What does this mean for next year? I don’t know. Really. It depends on the aforementioned “Can we fix this.” I think we’ll be better because we’ll have Demens instead of Obi, but if Mouton outplayed the other guys, doesn’t that mean we regress in that department. I’ll assume that Cam Gordon (who might take Mouton’s old spot?) is faster than Mouton which might help, but I really just don’t know. Debate away.
The other thing that I’d notice about Demens is that he bites a lot. Those PA are going to kill him. Just wait, OSU and Wiscy are going to have fun with this. Let’s hope he gets better by that time.
I was impressed with the defense yesterday saving the offense's butt a couple times. At one point Illinois could have been up 21-7 if it wasn't for the defense. Also, I noticed the defense only gave up 14 points in the second half (regulation). Interestingly, I did a little research and sure enough the defense gave up less points in the second half than the first in all but the Notre Dame and the UMass games.
|Team||1st Half||2nd Half|
What does this mean?
A defense that gives up less points in the 2nd half is a good sign of coaching adjustments. I'm not saying GERG is a great DC but he is making adjustments and it shows in the numbers above. I also understand there is alot more to analyzing a defense than just points allowed. On the other hand there is much frustration when a defense does give up more points in the 2nd half.
Yesterday I actually saw signs of hope in the defense. The Barwis conditioning showed yesterday as they were ready for triple overtimes. If the defense can keep the points low in the 1st half there is an excellent chance of victory.
Action since last rankings:
11-1-10 Iowa gains commitment from Nick Law.
11-3-10 Nebraska gains commitment from Charles Jackson.
11-5-10 Ohio State gains commitment from Conner Crowell.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||ESPN Avg|
Rivals rankings are on the "RR" scale, which is on a scale from about 5 to about 6.1. Unrated prospects are given a 5.1 rating, on par with the worst of any Big Ten commit last year. Scout is on the 5-star system (unranked players earn star), and ESPN uses grades out of 100 (unranked is 40 or 45).
|#1 Ohio State - 18 Commits|
Buckeyes pick up Conner Crowell, whose recruitment was a serious battle, despite lack of accolades.
|#2 Notre Dame - 17 Commits|
|George Atkinson III||S||CA||5.8||4||79|
Scout's re-rank bumps Koyack down to 4 stars.
|#3 Nebraska - 16 Commits|
CB Charles Jackson joins the Huskers.
|#4 Michigan State - 16 Commits|
Nothing new for MSU.
|#5 Michigan - 12 Commits|
No change for the Wolverines. The Illinois win might help solidify some of the current commitments, though.
|#6 Indiana - 22 Commits|
|#7 Wisconsin - 18 Commits|
AJ Jordan loses his fourth star in Scout's re-rank, but Jake Keefer picks one up.
|#8 Iowa - 16 Commits|
Ray Hamilton is stripped of his fourth star in Scout's re-rank.
|#9 Northwestern - 13 Commits|
No change for Northwestern.
|#10 Minnesota - 15 Commits|
Surprising that Minnesota has held onto their entire class so far.
|#11 Illinois - 17 Commits|
No change for Illinois.
|#12 Penn State - 4 Commits|
They have to get some commits sooner or later, right?
|#13 Purdue - 7 Commits|
Rouse drops to 2 stars on Scout. AJ King goes from 2-star to completely unranked.
The good, the bad and the ugly, presented without comment.
|RedZone - TD||78.05%||2nd|
|RedZone - Score||87.80%||27th|
|3rd Down Conversions||48.31%||21st|
|4th Down Conversions||66.67%||21st|
|Pass Eff Def||144.29||101st|
|RedZone Def - TD||69.23%||101st|
|RedZone Def - Score||87.18%||92nd|
|3rd Down Conversions Def||43.94%||95th|
|4th Down Conversions Def||70.00%||108th|
|Punt Returning (Yds/Ret)||6.00||95th|
|Kick Returning (Yds/Ret)||20.84||78th|
|Punt Return D (Yds/Ret)||12.13||95th|
|Kick Return D (Yds/Ret)||19.77||27th|
|Pts Responsible for||150||13th|
|Pts Responsible for/g||16.67||10th|
Big Ten Hits Michigan With Personal Foul
Game Overshadowed By Further Penalties Under Rodriguez; Holding, Pass Interference Also Suspected
BY MICHAEL ROSENBERG, FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER
The University of Michigan football program under Rich Rodriguez has been accused by Big Ten Conference officials of numerous violations of the NCAA rulebook during the Wolverines' game against Illinois on Saturday, the Free Press has learned.
Some of the allegations were confirmed during the game by the officials themselves. When reached for comment, referee David Witvoet said, "Holding. Offense #77. Ten-yard penalty; repeat third down." The Free Press identified #77 as freshman offensive lineman Taylor Lewan. Lewan appeared to be unaware of the rules in an earlier media interview, saying he was sometimes flagged for excessive blocking and, "I don't even know if that's a rule."
The NCAA rulebook reads,
"Holding or illegal obstruction by a teammate of the ball carrier or passer applies to Rule 9-3-3-a: The hand(s) and arm(s) shall not be used to grasp, pull, or encircle in any way that illegally impedes or illegally obstructs an opponent."
But perhaps more troubling is the allegation of a personal foul that occurred during the course of the game. Though Rodriguez has said in the past that "we don't coach our players to do that," the infraction, again confirmed by Big Ten officials, occurred in the third quarter of the Illinois game. Personal fouls are considered a major violation of the NCAA rulebook.
In addition to those penalties already confirmed by the conference, Rodriguez's program is suspected of several other rulebook violations, accused by Illinois players who remain anonymous so as to protect them from possible repercussions. On one play, during which there was contact between a Michigan defender and an Illinois receiver, the pass fell incomplete and the Illinois player was seen waving his hands in a manner that suggested a penalty flag should have been thrown. Several parents of Illinois players - who will also remain anonymous to protect their sons from repercussions - confirmed the accusation, holding their hands to the back of their heads in disbelief.
When reached for comment, Rodriguez appeared calm. "We need to be more aggressive at times and that time it paid off," he said.
Michigan won the game, 67-65.
However, with the program already on probation following the NCAA's confirmation and validation of an earlier Free Press investigation that resulted in the heaviest-ever NCAA sanctions against the Michigan program for earlier violations already committed under Rodriguez's watch, Athletic Director Dave Brandon may finally have no choice but to fire his embattled coach. Brandon and President Mary Sue Coleman could not be reached for comment. But a clause in Rodriguez's contract allows him to be fired for violations of the NCAA rulebook, and with Rodriguez already on a short leash it is thought that Brandon and the Michigan brass have already had discussions regarding his termination.