"He's a hard worker, and he watched me and Tim (Hardaway Jr.) and Nik (Stauksas) put work in to become (first-round picks), and I'm just happy he's getting better," Burke said. "It's great for the program, too. It shows what type of program the University of Michigan is and the direction it continues to go in."
So, I was confused as the rest of you when Brandon Minor's apparently incomplete pass was ruled a Touchdown after a video review. I bought the ESPN commentary during the play, but thought I'd look into it more. The article mentioned by Bryan does look at the Rule Book, but only at one part. I decided to kill way to much time and read the whole thing.
I'll start with my conclusion, to spare you the reading: Minor's catch was in fact a Touchdown. Now, to the evidence.
We start with the basics (all quotes are from the NCAA Rulebook, downloadable in PDF here http://www.ncaa.org/wps/ncaa?ContentID=387):
"Field of Play
ARTICLE 2. The field of play is the area within the boundary lines other
than the end zones.
ARTICLE 3. The end zones are the 10-yard areas at both ends of the field
between the end lines and the goal lines. The goal lines and goal line pylons
are in the end zone, and a team’s end zone is the one it is defending (A.R.
8-5-1-X and A.R. 8-6-1-I)."
Based on this rather simple explanation, we come to the understanding that the End Zones are special areas on the Field considered separate from the rest of the Field of Play. Additionally, the pylons on the goal lines are in the end zone.
Now, let's take a look at passing:
"ARTICLE 6. Any forward pass is completed when caught by a player of the
passing team who is inbounds, and the ball continues in play unless completed
in the opponent’s end zone or the pass has been caught simultaneously
by opposing players. If a forward pass is caught simultaneously by opposing
players inbounds, the ball becomes dead and belongs to the passing team (Rule
2-2-7) (A.R. 2-2-7-III and A.R. 7-3-6-I-IX)."
This rule specifically makes a difference between catches in the end zone and catches in the rest of the field of play. Minor was inbounds when he caught the ball, having left the ground from the Field of Play; when he landed out of bounds, the play was already over, because he touched the end zone first.
"ARTICLE 7. a. Any forward pass is incomplete if the ball is out of bounds by
rule or if it touches the ground when not firmly controlled by a player. It also is
incomplete when a player leaves his feet and receives the pass but first lands on
or outside a boundary line, unless his progress has been stopped in the field of
play or end zone (Rule 4-1-3-p) (A.R. 2-2-7-III and A.R. 7-3-7-I)."
Further evidence: the ball was firmly in control by Brandon Minor; his progress was stopped when he hit the goal line pylon; the goal line pylon is considered part of the end zone. Thusly, Brandon Minor scored a Touchdown to confuse us all.
This makes sense, right?
Thomas VanHaaren interviews MD CB Travis Hawkins.
One of the top cornerback recruits on Michigan's board is Travis Hawkins. Travis is 5' 11" 180 pounds, and he runs a 4.42 40. He's considered a 4 star by the recruiting sites, and has only been playing at that position for this year. He's a talented kid, that has a lot of upside on both sides of the ball. Take a look at what he had to say.
TOM: How has your recruitment been so far?
TRAVIS: It’s been going well. I’ve been to Michigan and Oregon on my officials. I was supposed to take one to Penn State this past weekend, but our game was cancelled because of a power outage so I couldn’t go. I’m going to Maryland and Florida State also.
TOM: What's your favorite part?
TRAVIS: Just knowing that I’m wanted by the top colleges. Some of the calls from the coaches are pretty cool, to talk to guys that are famous. The stuff you have to go through is a lot, but it’ll be worth it.
TOM: Are you down to a top 5 or top 3? Who are they?
TRAVIS: I have a top 5. Maryland, Penn State, Michigan, Oregon, and WVU and Central Florida are in the mix too.
TOM: When narrowing it down to a top 5, what factors in to that?
TRAVIS: Academics are a big part, the environment on game day, my recruiting class is important to me, if I develop a bond with the other recruits. I’m a people person; I want to get along with my future team mates.
TOM: Is everyone recruiting you at cornerback?
TRAVIS: Most schools feel like I can play both sides of the ball, Central Florida will let me decide. Michigan said I can play both sides. Most likely it will be corner; I’m still deciding what I want to play.
TOM: I read that you liked Michigan and Oregon; they seem to be who you talk about most. What stands out with them, and what are the differences?
TRAVIS: Michigan’s academic advisors were the best of any visits. They are really glued to their success. Coach Rodriguez is really relevant, he’s a good coach. Maryland is up there too, and my mom wants me to go there, and stay close to home. The coaches are cool and I really get along with the players too. Oregon is my dream school. I took a visit, and I like the coaches. Their facilities are ridiculous man, and the players are real cool too.
TOM: Do you think that you and Jason Ankrah will be a package deal? Are you both looking at different schools?
TRAVIS: We’d like to be a package deal, but some schools he’s looking at and I’m not. Where ever I go I hope he goes, but it’s not a make or break thing.
TOM: What happened with Penn State? He tried to commit and then didn’t?
TRAVIS: It was a miscommunication between the two; they’ll take him whenever he’s ready. Penn State is everything I’m looking for in a school. We both like it a lot; I’m going to set up another official there soon.
TOM: Is playing early a factor in deciding where you go?
TRAVIS: Yea it is. Most likely I’m going to graduate early; anywhere I go I feel like I could compete, either on offense or defense.
TOM: Has anyone put out any offers with conditions? If we don't get this guy, then we want you?
TRAVIS: No, I haven’t heard any of that. No coaches have put that out there for me, which is good.
TOM: When do you plan on committing?
TRAVIS: My date was November 3rd, but I’m pushing it back to the first week in December, or if I take a couple more officials, I might just commit where ever I feel comfortable.
TOM: Is it hard to stay grounded, and stay focused with your newfound celebrity?
TRAVIS: Not really, I try to put it in the back of my mind. There are a lot of people in my community that look up to me, so it’s good to be known. But you got to know how to handle it. I’m handling it well. The all American stuff, I’ll be playing in the Army All American game. Where ever I go, I’m still going to stay close with the people in my community.
TOM: What do you bring to the table? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
TRAVIS: My aggressiveness is definitely a strength, the way I play both the pass/run, and this is my first year playing corner so they don’t look at my last year’s film. They look more at my potential. They see me playing corner, even though I played safety my junior year.
TOM: What are other coaches saying about Michigan this year?
TRAVIS: Nothing really, they’re having a down year and coaches bring that up. There’s nothing really negative that they say.
TOM: It seems like you've got a good training program for yourself, and you run a 4.42, is there anything you want to improve on for College?
TRAVIS: I want to work on my backpedal, if I work on my start on my 40 I think I could get it faster. I want to learn the skills a little better, since I haven’t played corner too long. Mike Barwis at Michigan was ridiculous. He was saying stuff I’ve never heard of. He had me doing some stuff in the weight room, I couldn’t believe it.
TOM: I can't be too biased, but Michigan will have some of the best facilities in 2010, there’s 110,000 fans at every game, good national TV exposure, the players consistently go to the NFL. Is there anywhere else that compares with what Michigan brings to the table?
TRAVIS: I mean just knowing it’s Michigan, the tradition is crazy. I really like the academics part and the coaches. I talked to Coach Rodriguez a lot he was real cool. So yea it’s a good place to be.
of the defensive break down is up, those of you that believe the crap about shafer not knowing what he's doing, or about bad schemes, or about us not playing man to man, and only rushing three, might be a bit upset about the first half... im sure the second half will be different, but only becasue michigan in the first half, stuffed what msu was trying to do. feel free to comment on the break down... Those of you that have listend to what i have been saying about what our main problems have been on defense, and what Shafer has to do to make up for them, will see what im talking about. Note without film, or brians UFR clips they might not be that good for ya, but oh well. I'm only doing it for you guys, so bite me if you dont like it.
since i have to have 200 words ill say this. The problem's are easy to see, but not easy to eliminate. I cant tell you how many times over the course of a season i have watched bad plays by bad players. You show it to them, you rep. it in practice, you think you get it, then BAM there it is again. If you have someone else that can play, then its an easy fix, if not, it takes months and months to teach technique that becomes second nature, and muscle memory.
Commentator Hat asked in a mgoboard post he made about Minnesota's defense, wondering aloud how they could elevate from the worst in CFB to more than serviceable this season, so much so that the unit is helping tp spearhead one of the most dramatic single season turnarounds in Big 10 and college football history. I have some thoughts on the Minnesota team, but rather than keeping that thread going, I figured I would hog all the glory and write a diary piece on the matter.
I like this Golden Gopher team as I have bet on them four times (all winners) bet against them once (a loss) and taken the Over in two of their games (one win, one loss). Needless to say, I have found myself watching a lot of the Gophers this season. Here's how I see their turnaround happened, with much of the focus on the defensive end, which began the question in the first place. One caveat is that I am banging this out at work, so it might be a little unorganized and not every fact 100% true. Hey, I am writing on a blog, what do you expect.......J/K.
Send in The Fixer
First year defensive coordinator Ted Roof has gained a reputation throughout his career of turning around previosly bad defenses and molding them into quality stop units. He was the DC at Georgia Tech for 2000 and 2001. In 2000, the Jackets were 12th nationally in rush defense and 20th in scoring D. In 2001, the defense was ranked 23rd in overall total D. After that season, he moved to Duke, where the Devils defense had put up similar numbers to Minny's D last season. In his first year in Durham, the Devils, who had had the nation's 113th ranked total defense the year before, had the league top rushing defense and in 2002, they were ranked 58th nationally in total D. He knows how to turn bad defenses around, even if the reclamtion project is taking place at a program not known football winning, like Duke. Or now at Minnesota.
Unfortuneatly, Roof was such a good DC that he got the head coach position at Duke. Typically, he failed there, as most would and was fired after winning only 8 games in a four year stretch as the head man. Make no mistake, however, this guy can coach a defense. Many have defended UM's DC Scott Shaffer due to his reputation of being one of the best, young up and coming DCs in the country. Well, that was Roof before he made the fateful decision to take the Duke head coaching job. Free from task of first head coaching gig at a lonely, lowly place for football, Roof has said he feels rejuventated. He's probably having the most fun coaching football as he's had in a long time.
The results show on the field. The Gophers were the worst in the country last year in total yards allowed, permitting 518 yards a game. This season, they're giving up just 362 per game, good for 68th nationally. They've improved from 36.7 points per game (109th nationally) to 17.1 points per game (20th nationally). Only 11 football teams across the land have picked off more passes than the Gophers oppurtunistic D.
The Fixer has succeeded in turning around another defense. He ought to be a strong candidate for the Frank Brolyes Award, given annually to the best asssitant coach in the country.
Cupboard Not Bare
The Gophers weren't devoid of talent, but it was far and few in between. However, Minnesota has received solid to great play from the holdovers of last year's porous D. They had a good defensive line to begin with with Willie VanDeSteeg, Garrett Brown, Lee Campbell and Steve Davis. Michigan fans may remember Davis as the freshmen phenon the OL could not block in the 2005 Jug Game. This foursome is probably among the top 3 DL's in the conference and have a combined 18.5 sacks and 21.5 TFLs. As long as you have a solid DL, you can creat a good defense, right? Deon Hightower is a solid LB. Kyle Theret at Safety was thrown to the wolves last year as an undersized true freshmen. He's responded with a breakout second season, leading the team in INTs and second in tackles. He has a Jamar Adams type of game and tackles anything that comes near him.
Jazzing it up with Jucos
So, the Gophers weren't devoid of defensive talent and had a pretty good defensive line to build off. Despite that, this defense would not be clicking had they not had an influx of new talent to work with. Roof was hired after the recruiting season, so this is all the work of Head Coach Tim Brewster. He dipped into the JUCO ranks and signed six guys to play defense, three of whom have stepped right in to revamp the Gophers back seven which leaked like a sieve all last year.
Traimaine Brock (1, FS), Traye Simmons (15, CB) and Simoni Lawrence (21, OLB) have been JUCO revelations for this program. Newcomers to the team this season, that trio represents three of the team's top five tacklers and have given Minnesota big play potential. What's interesting is not one of them is playing the position they played last fall in Junior College. Brock was a corner, but now a free safety, Simmons a safety, but now a corner and Lawrence, a safety, now an outside LB. Lawrence has really impressed me. He plays up on the line a lot, next to one of Minny's pass rush specialists, either Davis and VanDeSteeg. Folks, this is pretty tough to block. Lawrence has had a big season with 3.5 sacks, 6.5 TFLs and he's scored a pair of defensive touchdowns. He's a big play waiting to happen. I cant wait to see how Michigan blocks him.
Minnesota has gone from one of the worst turnover margins in the nation to one of the best. They were -15 last year, and this year, I suspect they're over +10. I dont have those at my finger tips. Obviously, the recrafted secondary has a lot to do with that on the defensive end, but credit here belongs on the offense on many levels. QB Adam Weber threw 24 picks in his freshmen season. He has 3 this season. Wow. Just wow. Michigan is heading for a -10 or higher turnover margin this season, but ask yourself, how much better the team would be if they get a reversal like the Gophers have had? Or even enough change in fortune to break even on turnovers. The Wolverines would be at least 2 wins better in the standings, if not more.
Yeah, but they've played a high school schedule
The Gophers have not played a murder's row of a slate and they have the fortune of skipping MSU and PSU this year. However, that should not detract from their accomplishments. Both last year and this year, they played BGSU and FAU. Last year, they allowed over 30 to each team. This season, only 20 points combined. Last year, IU, Illinois and Purdue all had scored more than 40 on the Gophers before November rolled around. This season, a combined 35 points between those three teams. Their schedule may be 'meh' at best, but its basically the same slate they struggled to a 1-10 mark against last year. This is no faux improvement.
Ok, genius, you lost me about 1,000 words ago. Does this have anything to do with Michigan?
Oh yeah, about that. Clearly, we should fire Shaffer and hire Roof the Fixer. Actually, thats not a bad idea, but Roof is probably going to get another HC coach in the future and will probably stay at Minnesota until that inevitable offer comes his way. And, I took an oath, with many others here ,not to seriously call for anyone's head in the first year. One thing I like about Roof as a DC as opposed to Shaffer is that he's not rigid with his system. He's basically putting his best guys out there on the field and turning them loose. They have a new DC, but unlike the UM players right now perhaps they're not as burdened by trying to learn a fancy new system, which, like their offensive counter parts, might not exactly match their own personal skill sets.
In Shafer's defense, however, you could argue that Roof inherited as many quality, proven defensive players as Shaffer did. Honestly, I dont think that is a far fetched argument. The defensive lines are basically a wash, perhaps a slight nod to UM. But the LB Hightower and S Theret are better tacklers right now than anyone in the Michigan Back 7.
What Roof has that Shafer lacked are all those JUCO trump cards that he's been able to insert into the lineup and play all over the field. I will not suggest that Michigan hand out scholarships to a half dozen JUCO prospects a la Brewster. But, the lesson here, though, is to be creative with where players go on the field. Would the Gophers be as good now if they played Lawrence at his JUCO position of Safety? No. In fact, they're better because he was moved to that hybrid OLB spot, where he's been downright dominant for stretches of games. With this year's freshmen and next season's recruits, we can only hope that Michigan can find its Brock, Lawrence and Simmons they way the Gophers did this season. And, if so, its reasonable to think (in large part due to the testimonials of GSimms) that Shafer will use those parts to the benefit of his Okie D.
Minnesota in 2007/2008 is a case study for Michigan. They had tremendous success under Glen Mason. They were in a bowl game virtually every year and Mason, while never breaking through into the upper ranks of the Big 10, still led the Gophers to its best era of football in years. They set records for having multiple 1,000 yard backs in the same season. But, they canned him in favor of a younger, more energetic guy who ran the, gasp, spread. A 1-11 season ensued with a lot of people tsk tsking the administration for making the coaching change. Now Michigan has all the pundits mocking them for going the spread route and ruining decades of tradtion. We see what Minnesota is doing in Year 2 of their spread. We can only hope Michigan sees similar improvement.
The only other item worth stressing is the turnovers. Over the last 25 years, 70 percent of the teams who finished the season with a negative, double digit turnover margin went on to improve their record the next year. And, in the Big 10 we've seen woeful teams climb significantly in the standings by rebounding their TO margin the following season. Penn St did the trick from 2002 to 2003 going from 4 wins to a New Year's Day Bowl. Illinois went from 2-10 in 2006 to the Rose Bowl the following. And, now, we have the Gophers after a 1-10, 0-8 in the league season, starting directly at January football.
4 & 5-Star Recruiting Success
Brian’s feature on “How did we get here?” with OL and more recently with LB’s is one of my favorite new features on MGoBlog. It really puts in perspective the timeline of how we got to a decently talented backup playing as our starting OL/LB (pick a position.) It put me in an analytical frame of mind, and while I’m sure this has been done somewhere on the internet, I’ve never seen it.
So I grabbed all the 4 and 5 star recruits for us off of Rivals (Scout was incomplete, listing Ryan Mundy as “NR”. Clearly this is incorrect, so I avoided Scout.) I used the timeframe of 2002-2007. 2002 since that’s the earliest data they have, and 2007 since any later would be incomplete data. 2007 has 7 players, most of which we can assess for purposes of this exercise.
Then I divided this set into 3 groups: met expectations, kinda met expectations, didn’t meet expectations (or didn’t play much or at all.) Basically, the criteria is your excitement level if I described someone’s career to you. If you’d be excited, group A. Meh, group B. Nose wrinkle, group C. (EDIT: I am grading strictly for on-the-field result for Michigan.) Examples:
· Matt Gutierrez: “Great backup, only sees the field for mop-up duty.” Nose wrinkle, group C.
· Prescott Burgess is a prime example of group B. His career? “Plays sporadically and uninspiringly for three years and has a very solid senior season.” Meh. You want more than one good year from a 5-star.
· Steve Breaston, “average wideout, all-time yardage leader in returns” Sign me up!
I freely admit that I might have messed up on some players, and data isn’t all in on others, but the overall point is still valid. Don’t get ga-ga over an individual highly rated player, because less than four in ten amounts to what you think he will.
· 5-star successes (4) – Woodley, Henne, B Graham, Warren
· 5-star tweeners (2) – Burgess, Schilling
· 5-star misses (3) – Watson, Grady, Mallet
That’s 9 total, and counting the tweeners as one-half, a 55% rate on 5-star players.
· 4-star successes (16) – Avant, Breaston, Crable, Hall, Kraus, Long, Arrington, Branch, Jamison, Johnson, Trent, B Harrison, Manningham, T Taylor, Mathews, Van Bergen
· 4-star tweeners (8) –C Graham, Moosman, Zirbel, EDIT: B Minor, Mouton, Clemons, A Mitchell, M Williams
· 4-star misses (32) – Hood, Koloziej, C Tabb, Gutierrez, L Harrison, McCoy, Rembert, Van Alstyne, J Jackson, Mundy, W Paul, Presley, Richard, Zuttah, Dutch, Gallimore, Max Martin, C Rodgers, Bass, Germany, McKinney, Schifano, Slocum, Traitor Boren, Stevie Brown, Kates, EDIT C Brown, Mixon, Patterson, Panter, Webb, M Massey
That is 56 total, 36% hit rate.
Totals for 4 & 5-star combined is 65, 38% hit rate.
So we get 11 of these types, on average, every year. And only roughly 4 will work out the way we hope.
· DT 2/0/5 29% - Lot of total flameouts here
· DE 3/0/2 60% - Our best success rate, but low overall numbers
· LB 2/1/5 31% - Lots of DNP
· DB 4/3/3 55% - Better than I thought going in, frankly. I put Trent in this group though he was recruited as a WR.
· RB 0/1/6 7% - Yuck. This is a really bad track record. Doesn’t help with Mike Hart going for 4 years, but the truth is there wasn’t ever a truly worthy backup. Minor is a great runner, but unfortunately his hands leak warm butter. McGuffie will help this out a bit in the future I think. Whoever is evaluating these guys needs to step up. They’re missing something.
· QB 1/0/3 25% - This is the Henne effect more than anything. Oh, and Mallett being a complete candyass. Not that I’m bitter.
· WR 5/1/4 55% - Clearly a strength in predicting top-flight talent that will stick around. I stuck Breaston & Bass (ATH) in here as well.
· TE 0/0/1 0% - More than anything, this says we don’t recruit top-flight TE’s
· OL 3/4/6 39% - Average. Brian always says this is a tough one to project with ratings.
· 2002 2/0/8 20% – That flat stunk. Don’t do that again. I’m amazed they didn’t go re-recruit Kelley Baraka this season.
· 2003 5/1/7 42% – Much better
· 2004 6/2/5 54% - Best year by a long shot. Branch, Jamison, Johnson, Trent, Henne, Arrington. Great class.
· 2005 3/2/6 36% – Back to reality
· 2006 2/3/6 32% – Reality gets a little worse.
· 2007 2/2/3 43% – Still a bit indeterminate. Looking good from a % standpoint, but not great from a total numbers standpoint.
· If Will Campbell comes here, plays here, and has success here, it’ll be a miracle.
· I don’t know what other schools are at for a success rate, but I think 39% is lower than I expected. These are the cream of your classes, the foundation of everything you want to do. Kinda surprising that so many names on that list never really even saw the field, much less achieve great things. Even getting to 50% would have been another 6-7 players. That’s a lot of on the field difference-making.
· Volume, volume, volume. Make sense now why the SEC teams recruit 30 players a year? I’m not saying it’s right, but I understand why they do. Guy doesn’t pan out quite right? Next!
· Think of all the great players not on this list. Harris, Adams, Hart. Hmmm. OK, point made, but at least we got many, many serviceable starters from the 3-stars. The top of the rest: Bihl, Barringer, Riley, Rivas, Stewart, Butler, Mesko, Englemon (2*), and a lot of guys on the team right now.
· What the hell are we doing with our RB recruiting? We got lucky with Hart, no mistake. If not for him, we’d have been in deep doo. 7 guys and only 1 was/is serviceable? 6 total no-shows? I’ll say it again, someone is a crappy judge of RB talent.
· Replay the years 2004-2007 in your head without Mike Hart. Here’s an icebag for your headache.
· Damn Bass’ treacherous knee.
· The 2-year span in which we got 11 total players living up to their potential, 2003-4, set the stage for our biggest success on the field over this timeframe. 2006. In the equation recruiting + coaching + motivation = success, it’s probably in that order.
(Warning, I am a historian by trade, not a statistician,
so I may have made some incorrect conclusions, which is why I included
all of the data.)
Michigan's fatal flaw Saturday, literally, was third down
defense. While there were some positives, including two Brandon Graham
sacks, the big plays on third down were the difference in the game.
I've made a chart, because, well, I needed a chart. Basically, I wanted to see if the stats backed up up on this, and certainly, they bore me out. I also hope the formatting remains.
|Quarter||To Go||Result||Pos. Yards||Neg. Yards||Play||Notes|
|1st||16||Converted||23||23 yard pass|
|1st||5||Converted||61||61 yard pass||TOUCHDOWN|
|1st||6||Not Converted||0||Inc. Pass|
|1st||9||Converted||12||12 yard pass|
|2nd||1||Converted||2||2 yard rush|
|2nd||1||Not Converted||-3||(3 yard rush)|
|2nd||10||Not Converted||0||Inc. Pass|
|2nd||8||Not Converted||0||Inc. Pass|
|3rd||12||Not Converted||-7||(7 yard sack)|
|3rd||6||Converted||50||50 yard pass|
|3rd||6||Not Converted||0||Inc. Pass|
|3rd||6||Converted||12||12 yard pass|
|3rd||12||Converted||44||44 yard pass|
|4th||19||Not Converted||-8||(8 yard sack)|
|4th||6||Converted||17||17 yard pass|
|4th||1||Not Converted||0||0 yard rush||Converted on 4th|
|4th||7||Converted||7||7 yard pass||TOUCHDOWN|
|4th||14||Not Converted||-2||(2 yard rush)||Clock Drain|
Basically, Michigan had MSU in an
average of 3rd and 8 and allowed an average of 11.56 yards on all plays,
or 20.73 yards on the positive plays. Two of these plays were actual
So, to show this was not a fluke, I went back and looked at Penn State and Illinois. (I could have looked at Toledo, but that portended doom)
Penn State numbers, average to go 5.93, average gain on all plays 9.75, average gain on positive plays, 18.29 yards.
|Quarter||To Go||Result||Pos. Yards||Neg. Yards||Play||Notes|
|1st||11||Not Converted||0||Inc. Pass|
|2nd||7||Not Converted||0||Inc. Pass|
|2nd||2||Converted||2||2 yard rush|
|2nd||1||Not Converted||-1||Fumble, -1 yard|
|2nd||7||Not Converted||6||6 yard pass|
|2nd||3||Converted||3||3 yard pass||TOUCHDOWN|
|3rd||6||Converted||9||9 yard rush|
|3rd||10||Not Converted||0||Inc. Pass|
|3rd||2||Not Converted||1||1 yard rush|
|3rd||7||Converted||15||15 yard pass|
|4th||10||Converted||11||11 yard pass|
|4th||6||Converted||8||8 yard pass|
|4th||1||Not Converted||0||0 yard rush|
|4th||10||Converted||80||80 yard pass||TOUCHDOWN|
Illinois: Average to go: 7.28. Average yards on
all third down plays (including penalty yards): 10.94. Average yards
gained on conversions: 20.22
|Quarter||To Go||Result||Pos. Yards||Neg. Yards||Play||Notes|
|1st||10||Not Converted||0||Inc. Pass|
|1st||6||Not Converted||6||6 yard pass||After ILL holding|
|2nd||2||Converted||3||3 yard rush|
|2nd||3||Converted||9||9 yard pass|
|2nd||1||Not Converted||-1||(1 yard rush)|
|2nd||10||Not Converted||4||4 yard rush|
|2nd||16||Not Converted||-6||(6 yard rush)|
|3rd||9||Converted||9||9 yard pass||ILL Hold Accepted|
|3rd||10||Converted||77||77 yard pass||TOUCHDOWN|
|3rd||8||Converted||15||15 yard penalty||PI on Harrison|
|3rd||15||Not Converted||4||4 yard pass|
|3rd||12||Converted||14||14 yard pass|
|3rd||6||Not Converted||0||Inc. Pass|
|4th||5||Converted||4||4 yard penalty||PI on Ezeh|
|4th||2||Converted||50||50 yard rush|
|4th||1||Converted||1||1 yard rush||TOUCHDOWN|
|4th||8||Not Converted||3||3 yard rush|
|4th||7||Not Converted||5||5 yard rush|
So, in my mind, the stats bear it out. Michigan is
solid at getting teams into third down situations, only to have them
explode in their face on third down. Six touchdowns, and five plays
over 40 yards. I lack the historical data to know if this is an
all-time low, but it doesn't exactly look good and it certainly at least makes me feel better that I'm not just percieving things this way.