Tennessee is not recruiting well just because they got 18 dudes
David Molk and Mike Martin were "a little bit banged up during the week," and both came out during the game. Denard's shoulder was bothering him during the week, but he felt better in pregame. He took a shot on it and Tate had to come in. "I would hope. I would think... Molk, Martin, Denard with an open week should be good to go for the next one." Mike Shaw has been a little banged up the past couple weeks. The extra rest should help him.
"Turnovers, it's ridiculous. We were so good earlier in the year at taking care of the ball. We're not good enough to make mistakes and beat anybody." The turnovers and field goals were major wasted opportunities. Penalties also really hurt the team, particularly in the first half.
"Denard Robinson's our starting quarterback. Tate Forcier's a pretty good quarterback too, and so is Devin Gardner." All three quarterbacks get plenty of reps every week. Tate made some good throws and good decisions, some he'd like to have back.
What was said when you had kickoffs go OOB? "Do you really want me to say? Twice? I don't think I should repeat what I was saying to myself." That hadn't happened in practice.
The team should be able to get stops even when they start in bad field position. "When you know they're gonna run it and need to run it, you gotta stop 'em."
Defensive staff will be disappointed with the cutbacks that opened up for Adam Robinson. "That seemed to happen 4-5 times - let him out of there." The crowd was providing enthusiasm for the defense, and they couldn't close.
Lewan penalties - He's a little anxious to get on some good d-linemen. He just needed a few minutes to settle down. "We ran the ball OK, we threw the ball at times ok, but we just didn't finish drives. That's the thing that killed us today."
"A loss is a loss, and you know it's going to hurt. Our team fought to the end. I'm proud of our guys, but we've gotta correct the mistakes we had and bounce back the next week."
"It was just a few missed reads. I think that comes with repetition, working with those guys. I think that will come throughout the weeks."
Junior had the DB beat on the bomb to the 2. "After I saw what Junior did for Denard against Indiana, I trusted him. So I just threw it up there and he went up and got it."
"That's what they do, they try to prepare all three of us." Got a few more reps this week with Denard banged up. Never thought during the week Denard wouldn't be able to go. For the next game "I think he'll be alright. He'll be alright." Coach Rod will make QB decisions. "I don't have any say in that. I'm just going to keep working hard and doing what I have to do."
"I think we need it as a team." The extra week will help correct mistakes and prepare for PSU. "When we get that corrected, we should be good."
It felt good to get on the field, but the loss still hurts. "I'm just happy to be a part of this team. I think this is a special team and I'm happy to be a part of it."
Iowa wasn't expecting to play against Tate. Michigan threw the ball a bit more with him in the game. "I think that's when we started moving the ball a lot." Iowa defense is good enough to adjust.
Tate stays warm on the sidelines each week in case his name gets called. This week, it was.
Will there be another second-half collapse? "It's a different team. Our team, we keep fighting. This isn't last year's team, it's just not."
Tate's been in the rotation in practice all week. When he gets into the game, he does his job.
"I just saw the ball in the air and knew that I just had to get position on him and make a play on it." Used basketball skills to box out.
"We lost to two really good teams the past two weeks." Need to use the bye week to clean up the mistakes they made.
The offense doesn't change when the backup QB comes in. All three QBs can throw as well as run.
The bye week falls at a good time to help the team get better, because the last two games were physical, gives some guys who are beat up a chance to rest. Losses will serve as motivation during the week off. "Coming off a loss, obviously we have a bad taste in our mouth so we're gonna get after it this week." They're hungry after two losses, and this will prevent a spiral. The team will be ready for Happy Valley in two weeks.
"I just saw the quarterback throwing the ball and realized that I had to make the play." On the interception he couldn't snag. "I felt like I could have made it."
Never happy after a loss. "Obviously we're disappointed, but we did show some good things out there. We fought, you know we played hard."
Being on a short field gives you a disadvantage, but the defense has to be ready to make stops no matter where they start.
When they're missing stops on run plays. "Guys just coming downhill hard, and maybe somebody wasn't in the right gap."
Excited to make the plays when they were only down 7, but couldn't get it done.
What did he see from Kenny Demens? "Good things. You know, Kenny's a good ballplayer. He stuck his nose in a few times and made some big plays for us. You know, I think he's got a bright future here."
This week is an abbreviated session due to being out of town for a wedding.
Blargh! That is all.
The numbers predicted 35.1 points and 536 yards for Michigan State vs Michigan.
MSU had 34 points and... 536 yards.
Yikes. Not enough weeks of predictions to conclude a meaningful predictive trend, but still frightening.
- As predicted, turnovers were the critical difference as Michigan left anywhere from 18 to 21 points on the field in losing the turnover battle.
- Special teams didn't cost us the game, because the game was never close enough to be lost by special teams.
- MSU rolled on us exactly as we would have expected.
- Michigan's offense slowed down exactly as we feared.
- Prediction wise, Michigan should have an offensive multiplier less than 100% against all remaining opponents until they can prove they can play otherwise vs. Big Ten opponents.
- Defensively speaking, there's no need to modify how we are predicting our opponents' scoring/yardage at this time.
- Without a way to predict turnovers, it appears these scoring predictions are only as good as the game remains turnover-neutral.
How about the rest of our opponents?
Chart of Offensive Expectations (through 6 weeks)
N-PPG or Normalized Points-per-game is taken from the teams average PPG with a SoS multiplier factored in to deflate numbers from playing bad competition and inflate numbers based on playing good competition.
N-YPG or Normalized Yards-per-game is calculated using the same SoS multiplier as N-PPG but using this metric will help us determine a less variant guess as to how offenses will perform (PPG is subject to wild variance based on turnovers and special teams).
Strength of Schedule is taken from Sagarin rankings.
Usage: The chart doesn't predict that #3 would beat #5. Instead it tries to predict with the most accuracy how many points/yards on average each of these teams would score against a common opponent.
The Big Ten's collective strength of schedule takes a leap up and tightens. A lot of the numbers on this chart shift deceptively as a result.
- Penn St. continues to struggle mightily [Ed-M: Penn St. does everything mightily /PSU fan]. Purdue also did not impress.
- Wisconsin and MSU have separated themselves from the middle of the pack and established themselves.
- Iowa didn't play and suffered from some SoS modifications, but really we don't find out about them until after this week. Awesome.
- Illinois got a big boost this week and goes from a team we should definitely beat to a team we have to be concerned about.
- Our out-of-conference slate continues to weaken as the weeks go on. This trends us towards a 6-8 win season rather than 8-10 wins.
Conclusions Based on Almost Enough Data
Like last week, I am giving our opponents 125% of their N-PPG and 150% of their N-YPG for predictions vs Michigan.
This is what I said a week ago:
Last year, this is where Michigan's offense fell off a cliff. The last seven Big10 games they averaged 20.1 PPG. They did not outgain any of their opponents and they lost the turnover battle nearly every time.
Ugh. I wanted so badly to say that this was going to be a very different year than 2009, but now through six games I can't ignore the parallels.
Also, I need to define a scoring range based on turnover margins.
Michigan's new best-case scenario (Michigan offense operates at or near 100% N-PPG and opponents score 125%) in the Big Ten is 5-3. Purdue, Illinois, Penn St. and... Iowa. Statistically, we must win this weekend in order to go above .500 in conference play.
In a worst-case scenario, we fall behind our two remaining @Purdue and @Penn St. These are two road games against opponents whose offenses are struggling and for whom Michigan's defense might be the perfect medicine. Illinois looks scarier than a week ago. Iowa and Wisconsin are both very intimidating. Until our offense proves it can execute at a high level in a Big Ten game not named Indiana, this is the direction we are trending.
Our new outlook ranges between 7-5 and 9-3!
Prediction for Iowa:
Everything that we did not want to happen last weekend, happened.
Based strictly on the numbers:
|Team||PPG vs Mich||YPG vs Mich|
Dear god, help us.
It's about time for our defense to turn in a performance that exceeds expectations, and when these are your expectations one can only pray that they are exceeded.
If they are, Michigan might have a shot in this game - but only if our offense actually puts together a real game when it counts in the Big Ten.
THE KNOWLEDGE CHALLENGE is always posted as a board topic, instead of as a diary
However, due to many nonsensical threads on the board this week, THE CHALLENGE may get bumped to the back pages within a couple of hours this time. Hence, as a one time event, THE KNOWLEDGE CHALLENGE is posted today as a diary.
The winner of THE KNOWLEDGE CHALLENGE: 3 was go16blue. That was the first time that someone has correctly predicted the exact score, and so far, remains the only such instance
Association with THE KNOWLEDGE is increasing the predictive power of the masses
The winner of THE KNOWLEDGE CHALLENGE: 4 was longtime THE KNOWLEDGE follower Jim Harbaugh Scramble
THE KNOWLEDGE congratulates these new Protégés
Now on to the Iowa game
[Ed-M: Meta: Guys, he put a teaser break here, which you wouldn't see unless it's front-paged.
So you've probably heard by now about the cease & desist letter I received from legal representation of the University of Michigan and the Heisman Trust, and that I decided to take down all of my wallpaper artwork last week while I worked things out.
The original legal notice was founded on the misunderstanding that I was manufacturing Denard Robinson action figures. After I explained that the action figure is not real (but that I was amused that they thought it was) and that I am not trying to make money from the project, I received a follow-up e-mail indicating that their perspective was that I was promoting my business because the wallpapers were hosted on my business web site. Which, OK. I can see that perspective. I was honestly not trying to make a link between the two (and had actually taken specific steps to avoid the crossover) but I've moved all of my artwork to a new, personal blog and believe that satisfies the demands of the cease and desist.
I'm really going out of my way to be cooperative and the University's lawyer has been reasonable so there's a chance that the wallpapers could disappear again if they don't agree with my interpretation of their legal position and want to talk about it some more.
Let's move on to this week's wallpaper which you will be able to enjoy seeing on your bright shiny screens until 3:30 p.m. tomorrow and maybe for the duration of the bye week if we can pull off the upset...
Close your eyes (not literally because then you'll have to stop reading) and picture a typical Iowa family sitting down for dinner...
There's a plate full of charred animal flesh and a pile of home-grown corn. Dad sits down at the table. He offers thanks for the meal. He picks up a piece of corn. He takes a bite. He cracks an incisor in half on a little Michigan helmet! Yeah! Come on scientists! We can land a man on the moon but we can't inject a chemical that grows little Michigan helmets into Iowa corn crops?
The image below is a preview only. You can get this week's widescreen, 4:3, iPad and mobile wallpapers at The Art. The Art. The Art!.
All of the 2010 Schedule Wallpapers
It could, perhaps, be defined as a bunch of idiots dancing on a plane to Sweet Home Alabama, a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash…
Irony could also be defined as follows:
A man swears under his breath and loudly and obnoxiously ridicules his team’s head coach while using demeaning rhetoric towards the state of West Virginia and towards the program for making the mistake to hire someone from such an inferior geographical region and inferior group of people.
Now, imagine this event occurring on a bench in the southwest corner of Michigan Stadium, and the man has cheered avidly all day for his maize and blue team, all while making multiple comments throughout the day about the beautiful venue steeped in history and tradition.
If you do not understand the irony, please read further.
We thankfully do not hear the belittling West Virginia rhetoric too often on the boards of mgoblog, but I am confident that we have all heard someone, somewhere, subversively or matter-of-factly, make snide, rude comments regarding the fact that our current head coach originates from the state of West Virginia.
I hear it often, and I laugh and shake my head at fans of our other rival schools who think it’s a funny joke that Rich Rodriguez was born, raised, played football and coached football in the state of West Virginia.
I do not laugh, however, when our own Michigan fans make the same snide remarks. I become frustrated and saddened, as our program’s proud history is intimately intertwined with that Wild and Wonderful state…
Fielding H. Yost, our man, our legend, the original epitome of a "Michigan Man" - who made our football tradition legendary, who oversaw 6 national championships, who designed and built our athletic campus including our beloved football stadium and hockey arena, and who gave our Athletic Department its strong identity which it maintains today - was born in West Virginia and played at WVU.
Every time a Michigan fan makes a sarcastic comment about Rich Rodriguez's West Virginian background, it is ironically ignorant - unless of course, they intended to throw Fielding Yost and the history of our program under the figurative bus too.
Now, do these things mean the current coach will be as wildly influential? I have no idea. Two data points do not equal correlation. This diary is not about his success or failure.
This diary is about our school’s history and our fans’ recognition of it, especially since we are always the first to flaunt our great history and tradition - a history and tradition footed in solid marble by Fielding H. Yost!
My plea to you is to please help educate our fan base to stop making silly remarks regarding West Virginia as some second tier state producing second tier people when the rich and beloved history of our program is based off, yes indeed, a man from West Virginia.
If you hear a Michigan fan make this mistake, simply kindly inform them of the facts about our history, as one can attempt to debate scheme, offense, recruiting, or leadership all day, but the history of the University of Michigan and its strong influences are not subject to debate.
Thanks for listening and thanks for your help!
Relevant aside: Lloyd Carr was hired from West Virginia prior to the 1980 season. Coach Carr was hired to serve under Don Nehlen when Nehlen was hired at WVU, but Carr did not stay long, as Bo Schembechler sought out his assistance only a few months later. Carr was only a coach at WVU during the offseason prior to the 1980 season.
Since Brian has been busy providing us with real content rather than trying to emulate the MSM and putting together an obligatory midseason report on (insert team here), I decided to fill that oh-so-important void.
But to make it a little more interesting and gauge the opinion of my fellow readers, I've made this one interactive; I'm looking for responses/votes rather than just throwing out my own opinions, as brilliant (or stupid) as they may be.
So here we go:
No need to waste time here.
Gotta be Mike Martin, right? I don't think there's much dispute about this one -- just look at the UFRs to get a quantifiable estimate of his value. And it's not like our defense is filled with all-Big Ten difference-makers.
(For the rest of these, I want votes. Maybe I can compile after a couple days and put up a new post that presents some imaginary MGoBloggies.)
1. Denard's 87-yard TD run against Notre Dame
2. Roundtree's third-down catch to set up the winning score against ND
3. Denard's game-winning TD run against ND
4. Hemingway's awesome catch to set up the winning TD against Indiana
5. Denard's game-winning TD run against Indiana
6. Denard's 43-yard touchdown run against Bowling Green
Clutch-est play (yes, I'm making "clutchest" a word for lack of an alternative)
1. Jordan Kovacs forcing a UMass fumble that turned what could have been a 10-point halftime deficit into a four-point lead in a game we won by seven.
2. Denard's third-down pass to Roundtree against ND to set up the game-winning TD
3. Hemingway's leaping catch to set up the game-winning score against Indiana
4. The defense forcing three straight stops in the fourth quarter against Indiana (not really a play, per se, but still worth considering)
5. Jonas Mouton's interception on the flea-flicker against Notre Dame, which (IMO) destroyed their offensive confidence and playcalling until Crist re-entered the game.
6. JT Floyd forcing a UConn fumble near the Michigan goal line that was recovered by Obi Ezeh. Instead of UConn being down only a touchdown, we went down and scored to effectively end the game.
Best freshman (redshirt or otherwise)
IMO, this one comes down to two players: Taylor Lewan and Cameron Gordon. Lewan has been pretty dominant since taking over at left tackle, while Gordon has had two games with a handful of epic busts (Notre Dame and you know who) and a bunch of other pretty good games featuring big hits, a crucial interception against Indiana and a lot of good run support. Thomas Gordon and Carvin Johnson also warrant consideration. Right now, I give the edge to Lewan.
What say you?
1. Jordan Kovacs had the aforementioned forced fumble (and the recovery!) against UMass and -- for everything he lacks athletically -- seems to be in the right place a lot more than just about anybody else on defense, even the seniors.
2. How about Junior Hemingway? Had the huge catch against Indiana and has made numerous other big plays -- he's averaging almost 30 yards a catch. But I rarely hear him mentioned along with Roundtree, Stonum and Odoms.
3. Steve Schilling. Molk get a lot of deserved attention and the young guys (Omameh and Lewan) get a lot of deserved hype, but Schilling has quietly turned into an excellent guard. On plays when we don't let someone in clean (like the crappy third-and-1 plays against UMass and MSU), the left side of our line is flat-out dominant.
4. JT Floyd. I was extremely skeptical that he'd be even a competent Big Ten corner after what we saw last year, but he's made huge strides and looks like a legitimate starter going forward.
1. Vincent Smith. I'm with Brian on this one -- there's nothing wrong with Vincent Smith and he does plenty of things well (receiving and blocking, specifically), but defenses aren't respecting him right now because he's clearly lost some burst. He doesn't pose the same threat Shaw does in the running game.
2. Craig Roh. This is at least partially (and probably in large part) due to his lack of pass-rushing opportunities, but me and a lot of other people expected him to take THE LEAP this year, and that obviously hasn't happened. Hopefully he gets more opportunties to put his hand down over the next six games.
3. James Rogers? I'm not sure if it's fair to call him a disappointment or not -- expectations were fairly low to begin with -- but I held out hope that our secondary would be something resembling functional, and he's probably the biggest reason that it has instead been a nuclear crater.
4. Obi Ezeh. No explanation needed.
5. Will Campbell. I wasn't expecting a huge jump this year, especially when we found out Martin would be starting at nose tackle, but man ... so much hype for a guy who's stuck behind Adam Patterson on the depth chart right now.
Brock Mealer touching the banner. I started to list some other stuff, but I don't think anything else compares.
Update: A couple additions based on comments: To "most disappointing" I've added Obi Ezeh (seems obvious in hindsight) and Will Campbell. To "clutch-est play" I've added the JT Floyd forced fumble against UConn. To "unsung hero" I've added JT Floyd.
Also, I considered a "worst moment," but I figured that'd basically just be a list of the most frustrating plays from the MSU game since we won all the others.
Update Part II: In hindsight, praising Lewan and Cam Gordon as best freshmen seemed to be a devastating jinx. I hate it when that happens.