also duty-free guys falling over and grabbing their shins
Bumped from the diaries for extreme usefulness. -ed
I've watched the first three quarters of the Wisco Fresno game, and the first half of the Marshall game. Here are my thoughts.Wisconsin's Defense:
- They base out of a 4-3. As long as a tight end is in the game, they will stay in this front. Against Fresno, they brought a safety down and played cover 1 behind it. I think they were in cover 1. Its hard to read coverages watching TV footage. They did not blitz fresno very often, only on 2nd and long or 3rd and long. They would usually put #2 over the tight end if the tight end was in the slot. Against Marshall, they kept both safeties back and played out of a 2 shell. They appeared to be running a soft two, where the corners get depth with the #1 receiver until their flat is threatened. I think they were also running this when Fresno would go 5 wide.
- On third and long they will run a 3 man front and blitz. Only once during the 5 quarters I watched did they not blitz out of this front. They like to bring #11 on the outside. If they other linebackers blitz out of this front, they generally go through B gap. They blitzed Marshall more than Fresno. Marshall was more of a passing offense so this makes sense.
- #91 and #92 are their best players on defense. They are extremely quick off the ball and were very good at disrupting Fresno's zone running play. 91 is DT and just blew by people several times. He was also offsides two or three times, so I think we will get some easy 5 yard gains here and there. But Molk has got to be quick end get off the ball with power this week. This guy cannot spend the afternoon in Michigan's backfield or we will not be able to run the ball. #92 is the same way. They get up field in a hurry, and one way to negate this are screen passes. Both Marshall and Fresno got a couple big gains on well executed screens. I don’t know if Michigan has run it very much this year, but running the inside trap should put #91 on his back and hopefully result in some good runs.
- I think they will play us more like they played Fresno, so Carson Butler on #2 should be a huge mismatch. He is not that good in man to man coverage. Fresno’s tight end is not the athlete Carson Butler is, but consistently got open against that guy. If Butler is going to break out in a game this year, it has got to be against #2 in man to man coverage.
- Their corners seem to be ok in man coverage, but not great. Again, its hard to tell on TV film. I think we will see a lot of man coverage, because we have not consistently beat man coverage. If we see this, we need to make them pay for it. We have to throw the fade accurately and run better routes. They are physical corners, and Michigan’s receivers must be physical as well. I don’t think our receivers have been good enough in this area. They have been redirected on some of their vertical routes, and they have to be better. If we start hitting on the fades and comebacks, our other routes will open. The safeties are also ok players. #12 gets to the ball quickly. When they bring a safety down, I think it was #21 who they brought most of the time. They also like to blitz him in their three man front when he is playing man over #2.
- Bubble screens could be difficult to run this week. They mostly play with a man over every receiver, so by alignment we will be at a disadvantage for this play. However, if we are successful running the zone/counter/trap, they may have to bring the man over #2 or #3 to the inside, opening up the bubble screens. The three step passing game should be there this week too, especially if they are in man. The three step slant is one of the hardest throws to defend man to man, especially if the corners think the #1 receiver is a vertical threat.
- The linebackers are good players. They are not incredibly athletic, but they play disciplined and are good tacklers. However, if Michigan can take care of #91 and #92 and get to the second level, we can run on these guys. They are susceptible to misdirection. They bit on a reverse in the Fresno game, and usually bit pretty hard on the bootlegs.
- There isn’t as much to say here. This is an I-formation offense that is looking to drive you off the ball. They like to keep two tight ends in the game most of the time. With the athletic tight ends they have, they can run or throw out of these formations. Beckum especially is a threat lining up in the slot or outside. They are also decent blockers, but we have to get by these guys when they are blocking on run plays.
- Their favorite formation is a tight end other either side with twins to the wide side of the field. They can run the belly to either side or throw out of this formation. They also like to put both tight ends on the same side with a fullback in the backfield. They will pull the center and play side tackle out between the tight ends and run the fullback through the hole as a lead blocker. They run this a lot and have success with it. They also motion the wing tight end to the other side. They run to the motion and run the counter away from it. Sometimes, they pull the motioned tight end back to the play side and run a trap. Any pulling lineman will take you to the play side. When lineman work off double teams and get to the second level, they go after the outside linebackers, and leave the Mike for the lead blocking full back. When they pull, it looks like they are looking for the first man to show.
- Their passing game is based around their tight ends. They will run them on deep outs, down the seam, and down the sideline. They also like to run crossing routes with these guys. They look for these guys first. Their wideouts do not seem like much of a threat. #7 is a big tall guy but can get pushed around. #3 and #85 are smaller quicker guys, but did not get much separation against Fresno db’s. They will run some bubble screens out of twins and trips if the defense is way off the line of scrimmage. Everidge is a typical Wisconsin qb. His arm strength and accuracy or just ok, and he can make a few plays with his legs. We need to hit him early and often. I think this is possible. Marshall got some pressure on him early, and Fresno was able to get some as well. We need a big day from Jamison and Graham on passing downs, and I think we will blitz a lot on these downs as well.
- As a defense, we have to stop the run game. This is not going to be easy to do all day. However, I think we can do it. Our DT, have to stand up the double teams, and not allow the Oline to release to the lb’s. When our lb’s take on a lineman or a lead blocker, they cannot let them get into their bodies. They either have to take them head on, extend their arms, and shed the block, or take them on with their correct shoulder and make the play with their free shoulder. Even if this is just forcing the play back to the middle, it has to be done. Our lb’s have got to deliver hits this week. Putting their heads down and lunging will result in big gains for P.J. Hill. He will run through arm tackles, and if we try to hit him high, he will get 5 yards after contact. He is a big guy, but he runs pretty upright. We have to hit him low, wrap up, and drive him back. I think we have the athletes at lb to make these plays, but until now they have been lunging. Hopefully, they have been working on this for two weeks and execute better on Saturday.
- We have to hit the tight ends as they come off the line of scrimmage. We do not have a linebacker that matches up well with Beckum. Maybe Mouton can stay with him, but if he catches a ball, does Mouton bring him down immediately? The other TE, Graham, is not as physical as Beckum. We can knock this guy down right off the line of scrimmage and take him out of the game completely. We need to hit Beckum too on every single play. When these tight ends try to release off the line, we need to put them on their backs. You can hit a guy in college until the ball is in the air, and we have to beat these guys up. Warren and Trent should have no problem locking up their wideouts.
- I expect to see Michigan run some cover 4 in this game where the safeties are buzzing their feet at the snap and reading the play. The corners are man outside, and if the safeties read run they come up in run support. If they read pass, they have deep half. From what gsimmons has posted about the defense, this coverage is now in Michigan’s arsenal. Whatever coverages they run, I expect to see safeties coming down in run support.
- One last thing, they run a play action where they fake a zone stretch play and bootleg, dragging the tight end from the original play side. They hit it for big chunks of yards against Fresno. However, they ran the play action 3 or 4 times in the games I watched, but only handed off once. If you see the zone stretch, it is most likely a play action. Again, we have to hit both tight ends on this play and cannot let them release cleanly.
Well that’s what I have for this week. I definitely think we can move the ball against their D, but we have to execute the fade route better. We also have to be able to run the bread n’ butter zone read play with 3 or 4 wide receiver sets. Defensively, our lb’s have to improve significantly at taking on lead blocks and delivering a hit on tackles. We need to hit Everidge early and often, and we have to keep the TE’s from getting a clean release off the LOS. I really believe this is a winnable game. We definitely have the weapons on offense to hurt them in secondary. Our Oline needs to execute, and we absolutely cannot turn the ball over.
Its safe to say nobody saw last night's upset coming. Oregon State, despite being a program that gets much better as the year progresses, had not shown much this year. Not only were they blown out by Penn State, but they let Stanford march up and down the field on them en route to losing the season opener. I know I did not expect it. OSU has been a solid bowl team under Mike Riley, but I felt they were rebuilding and a good bet to finish well in the bottom half of the league standings. Still, I DVRed the game to watch the Trojans. I was unable to start watching until past 11 o'clock because of prior commitments, but I still figured I'd get to bed early with the Trojans tucking it away by half or something. It turned out to be an amazing game, proving once again just how great and unique college football is compared to the other sports we follow. Last night was a seismic event in the CFB world, and you just dont get those at random in the other sports. So, I am a little bleary-eyed at work this morning, but still pretty ramped up about the game to offer a few thoughts on the outcome.
- The loss for USC is too early in the season to totally eliminate the Trojans from BCS Title game contenion. However, make no mistake, this is a major blow and the human voters will make them pay for this one throughout the season. Conventional wisdom says the Big 12 and SEC are far and away the best leagues right now. I can't see USC (or the Bucks, for that matter) ever being ranked ahead of legit 1-loss teams from those leagues. However, when the Trojans were undefeated, they looked to have a hammer lock on one of the title game invites. We had a race for one spot, opposite USC. Thats no longer the case as we have a whole new ball game in the BCS chase. On the broadcast last night, Chris Fowler said the chase is "energized" in the wake of USC's loss. Thats a perfect word. Logically, we're headed for a Big 12 vs SEC game for all the marbles with each league strong enough to allow for a 1-loss team into the title game. USC (and Ohios State) really need teams from at least one of those leagues to all have 2 losses in order to get back into the mix. And, that's if the Trojans and Bucks win the rest of their games. Thats a big If.
- Next week's poll ought to be interesting. Who in the world will be #1? The Trojans were the near unanimous #1 this week. But, with no obvious next choice, expect those votes to be tallied all over the place. We might see every team in the top-10 get at least one first place vote. Alabama, unranked at the start of the year, could very well be #1 this week if they can go into Athens and beat the Bulldogs. Meanwhile, even a team ranked in the second 10, like Penn State, might find themselves hauling in a series of first place votes. This will be one of the crazier votes of the regular season in recent memory, and you know we're destimed for another bizarre outcome over the weekend to further muddy the waters. As far as USC, I expect them to fall hard and out of the top 10. How can any pollster, with a straight face, put USC ahead of any of the other teams currently in the top-10?
- Since the start of last season, this makes nine times an unranked team has beaten either the #1 or # 2 ranked in the country. The Beavers are the first team with a losing record to beat a top ranked since Michigan State pulled the trick against Michigan in 1990. That was the famous Desmond Howard Interference No Call game. Brutal. Now I need a drink.
- Already this season, we've seen four legit BCS Title Game contenders go down in flames: Clemson, West Virginia, Ohio State and USC. You could even throw in trendy darkhorse ECU after the Pirates were upset last week as another fallen contender. Thats a lot of heady carnage. And, we're not even in October yet.
- The early meme in the wake of this game has been 'oh my, just how good is Penn State?' Thats a viable thought considering how the Nittany Lions thouroughly dismantled the Beavers a couple of weeks ago. But, I want to play this forward and look at it the from a different angle. Consider that in six days these same Beavers travel to Salt Lake City to take on the Utah Utes. I had discared the Beavers chances in that game, but its obviously time to reconsider. OSU getting off the mat and becoming everyone's darling can only benefit Utah. Originally, who thought the Utes would get any points from the voters based on a possible win there? Now, it could end up being a bigger feather in their cap than winning at the Big House. I think there's a more than decent chance that if Utah and BYU run their repsective tables, that a spot in the BCS Title Game will be on the line when those rivals square off in late November. Suddenly, OSU gets a tangible SOS boost in the eyes of the voters because of next week's game. Its another Thursday Night ESPN special, but for the Utes to take advantage of it, they must take care of business. Suddenly, that business looks a whole heckuva lot tougher.
- How about the game for Jacqueez Rogers. Its not as much the 187 yards rushing or over 200 total yards, but he carried the rock 37 times! Who knew this little dude could be a workhorse like that. When the Beavers lost to Stanford in the opener, this kid was the only thing that impressed me about OSU. He does remind me of Mike Hart in the fact that he is always getting positive yards, although he seems faster and more of a threat in the passing game than Hart. Whats really worth mentioning is that this kid, from SW Texas, was "just" a 3-star recruit (per rivals) and ranked as the #26 all purpose back in the country--16 spots behind our own Texas freshman Sam McGuffie. Yes, thats right, an electron sized, three-star recruit dominated the top ranked team in the country. Perhaps we can stop hand wringing over the "stars" assigned to our recruits and stop going all Chicken Little everytime Michigan signs a 3-star. I'll take a roster chalk full of Jacqueez Rogers, thank you very much. Of course, he limped off the field last night. Hopefully, it isn't serious because the dude is going to be a very big weapon for the Beavers.
- Interesting note on the Vegas Line from last night's game. Obviously, USC did not cover the -23. However, the second half line was -14.5 for the Trojans. USC covered that, thanks to that shank extra point by the Beavers in the closing minutes of the game. Crazy stuff and I am sure there was a lot of hotting and hollering going on in sports books up and down the strip as that was unfolding.
How does everybody feel about Michigan's situation at DB and,
specifically at CB, in 2009 and beyond? We lose Trent, Harrison, Doug
Dutch and Charles Stewart. That will leave Michigan with the following
CBs - Warren (Jr), Cissoko (So), Wollfolk (So)
S - Brown (Sr), Chambers (Jr), Michael Williams (So), Branden Smith (So)
Unclear if CB or S - JT FLoyd (R Fr), Justin Turner (Fr)
or may not be a DB - James Rogers (Jr) is probably a WR, DeWayne Peace
(Fr) is probably a CB, Justin Feagin (R Fr) is looking more and more
like a DB, Mike Jones (Fr) and Isaiah Bell (Fr) - at least one of which
is probably an OLB.
So, what I'm getting at is this: is anybody else worried about CB in 2009 and 2010?
I know Michigan lists Turner at CB, but it seems both recruiting sites see him as a safety - reasonable for a guy his size. Peace may end up being stellar at CB. If Peace, Turner and Floyd all end up as good corners, maybe we're ok, but isn't it just as possible that only one of those guys ends up being a good corner?
Besides the starters (Cissoko and Warren), who will provide depth in 2009?
If Warren leaves after his junior year, who will start opposite Cissoko in 2010?
Sky isn;t falling or anything, but this seems like an area to address in recruiting this year.
I have always wanted to “publish” a Top 25 poll and with the help of the interwebs, I am finally able to do it. As an avid college football fan, I try to watch as many games throughout the week to get a good picture of how each team is performing. With this information, I will put together a complete top 25 poll with my justification for placing each team where they fall. Without further ado, here it is:
1. USC – To me USC just looks like the most complete team in college football right now. Even though USC has only played 2 games so far this year, they have looked dominate in both. I am aware that the win against OSU is not looking like as big a win as USC might have hoped, but it doesn’t take away from the overall skill of the team.
2. Oklahoma – Oklahoma is a team that has been untested so far this year, but with the outstanding play from Sophomore Sam Bradford, Oklahoma has been dominating teams all year. It wouldn’t surprise me if Sam Bradford made a run at the Heisman before his days are done at OU.
3. Georgia – With arguably the toughest schedule in college football this season, Georgia has, in my opinion, looked relatively unimpressive and undeserving of a higher ranking. On Saturday, they beat Arizona State, a team that had just come off a tough OT loss to UNLV, thus lessening the game from a marquee matchup, to a game against an average team. The week before they needed a 4th quarter comeback against South Carolina and were helped my 2 goal line mistakes to win that game. I still feel that if Georgia goes undefeated in the SEC, they deserve to play in the National Championship.
4. LSU – LSU got a big road win against an Auburn team that was looking for redemption at home, after a heartbreaking, last second loss, to LSU last year. LSU made a good second half comeback and came up with a big stop against Auburn on its last drive to seal the game. I am a little hesitant putting LSU at #4 because Auburn may have an off year this year.
5. Missouri – With an early season win against Illinois, and big offensive numbers, Missouri is my #5 team (would have been #4 had they not fumbled the ball so much against Buffalo). Missouri has the best QB/WR combo in the country and I expect it to create havoc all season. As of right now, the Heisman is Chase Daniels to lose.
6. Florida – Florida had a big win at Tennessee on Saturday, but Tennessee is looking worse and worse each week. The win 2 weeks ago against Miami (Yes, that Miami), could be a much bigger win than Florida anticipated, with Miami looking good in the early going. Florida will have a good chance of getting back to the National Championship game this year if they can beat LSU on 10/11.
7. Wisconsin – A relative surprise as Wisconsin and Penn State look to be at the top of the Big 10 this year. Wisconsin had a very tough road win against Fresno State in week 3 and look to beat Michigan on the road for the first time in 14 years on Saturday.
8. Texas – Texas has looked very dominant in the early going, outscoring opponents 146-33, but without a quality opponent, I am still waiting to move them higher than #8.
9. Penn State – Penn State has looked equally impressive and is also untested. I think that the game on Saturday against Illinois will truly determine how good this team is and how effective the Spread HD is.
10. BYU – In my opinion, the most impressive non-BCS team in the country. With back to back shut-outs in dominating fashion, BYU shouldn’t be tested until they go to TCU on 10/16. If BYU goes undefeated, and teams ahead of them start to falter, I don’t see why BYU shouldn’t play for the National Championship.
11. Alabama – Alabama has looked good thus far with a win over ranked Clemson on a neutral field. They are still a young team and I expect them to have a tough going once the meat of their SEC schedule comes up.
12. Texas Tech – Another high octane offense from the Big 12. Texas Tech is averaging close to 600 ypg in total offense this year and beating teams by an average of 30 points, Texas Tech will be very tough to stop.
13. South Florida – With a quality non-conference win against Kansas, South Florida is my pick for lucky #13. Although most of the wins have looked unimpressive, they are still wins. With West Virginia and Rutgers having a down year, look for South Florida and Connecticut to compete for the Big East title.
14. Boise State – The Cinderella team from 2 years ago is looking to become another Cinderella story this year. On Saturday, Boise got its first road win against a BCS conference opponent and did so in impressive fashion. Boise dominated for most of the game and already had the game in hand before Oregon made its 4th quarter push.
15. Wake Forest – Wake Forest is in the same boat as South Florida, ugly wins. But like I said before a win is a win and going into a hostile environment and beating Florida State, helps their resume, even though they didn’t score a touchdown.
16. Utah – Most people were hesitant to put Utah in the Top 25 to start the season because they had to go to Ann Arbor and beat Michigan. Now that they have done that, and beat Air Force on the road, there are only 3 more obstacles between Utah and a BCS bowl, TCU, BYU and hoping Boise drops in the polls.
17. Kansas – Kansas had a tough last second loss to South Florida early in the season but bounced back nicely against Sam Houston State on Saturday. We will see how well this team holds up once conference play starts for them in 2 weeks.
18. TCU – Another surprise team out of the Mountain West Conference. This could be a short lived stint in the Top 25 with a game at Oklahoma on Saturday, but with a victory there, TCU could make a very good push for a BCS bowl.
19. Ohio State – Underwhelming I think is the best word to describe Ohio State this year. With many of its star junior players coming back for their senior season, I expected much more from Ohio State. With a 4th quarter comeback to beat Ohio and a 4 point lead going into the 4th quarter against Troy, sandwiching a spanking by USC, OSU has underwhelmed most fans thus far this season. They have a chance to turn things around this Saturday when they face undefeated (?!?!?) Minnesota.
20. Illinois – Juice Williams looked good in week 1 and 2, but very average against UL-L. I’m not entirely sold on Illinois yet, but Juice should give them a shot to win a lot of games.
21. Auburn – Auburn is another team that I am not completely sold on yet. With a 3-2 win over Mississippi State, who then got waxed by 31 to Georgia Tech, I’m not sure how good a team Auburn really is. They did play well against LSU for 3 quarters, so this ranking is really based off of ¾ of 1 football game.
22. Connecticut – Brown has looked very well this year and if it weren’t for UConn playing in the Big East, he would be getting a little more Heisman talk, in my opinion. Connecticut will contend for the Big East crown with South Florida and will be mostly untested the whole season up until that point.
23. Clemson – The preseason favorite to win the ACC. I still believe that Clemson will win the ACC and get into a BCS bowl that has eluded Tommy Bowden for so long. Clemson has outscored its opponents 126-26 since its opening season disaster against Alabama.
24. ECU – A heartbreaking loss against NC State for no longer BCS buster ECU. ECU has had a real hard time moving the ball on the ground so far this year and they will need to have a better balanced attack if they want to beat Houston on Saturday.
25. Michigan State – Michigan State is my Big Ten sleeper and may start to get more national attention as Javon Ringer continues to run over teams. Michigan State has bounced back well after an opening season loss to California and doesn’t seem to be the “Little Brother” of old. They prevented a 4th quarter comeback/collapse against the whale and emu and if Ringer can stay healthy I think MSU can pull a couple of big upsets this year.
Ok, so I get that we have no right feeling good about this team or our chances of beating a top ranked opponent. So says the MSM and especially those of the Drew Sharp ilk. I believe that all of the "negative nancys" out there have it wrong in the case of Wisconsin. There are several reasons and I intend to set down my toddy and enlighten you all. My impeccable reasoning and internet access combine to yield the following:
Badgers are fearless creatures!
Yes my friends, at first glance my search seemed to doom our team in its upcoming contest. The headline seems to give us cause to fear the Badgers we will meet on Saturday. But further investigation revealed the following:
"Except for the wolverine, badgers are probably the most fearless and aggressive animal in North America for it's size. The varmint is not as elusive as the wolverine."
Obviously this means McGuffie will have a field day, outshining the vaunted Badger runningbacks with his instinctive and unteachable "elusive" nature. Meanwhile...
Topic: Interspecies Conflict - Subject: Badger vs. Wolverine
Yes, Wisky has a bruiser of a back in PJ Hill and they tend to run a "north-south" and "up the gut" sort of rushing attack. This type of offense seems to be a problem for Michigan defenses to stop these days, but have no fear:
"Actually, Wolverine's have been known to kill Moose, and defeat Wolves in a one on one conflict.
Badger's are very aggressive yes, but they tend to be clumsy."
This means that those pesky nuances of "shedding blocks" and "filling holes" won't matter squat for our linebackers. The Badger backs will simply fall at Ezeh and Co.'s feet, leaving them free to kill more moose than Sarah Palin. Further evidence...
"This battle would consist of a blur of fur,claws, and teeth but the Wolverine being more aggressive, and stronger would probably be the one that comes out alive."
Another advantage to us, commonly known as the "Barwis Effect." Of course if you poll the masses...
Wolverine vs badger?
The question was raised on Yahoo and it was unanimous. Wolverine win every time. Of course you have to question the credentials of the posters here but who can argue with this logic?
Best Answer - Chosen by Voters
Wolverine purely based on awesomeness. Aside from that the fact that Parker is wrong and he smells terrible.
Long story short no contest wolverine.
When Mike Leach channels God as a source and reasons for a Michigan victory based on our "awesomeness" we must expect nothing short of success. If this hasn't convinced you yet just check out this clip of a Wolverine taking on a Grey Wolf:
That sums it up, Wolverines Rule!
GO BLUE!!! Crush those clumsy Badgers!!!
As a professional in the design field, I have often been told (aka
thrown in my face) that my team has no true logo, only a block M and a
really REALLY cool helmet.
This has happened on more than one occasion, and I am quick to point
out the various 'alternate' graphics we've seen over the years,
including the crouching wolverine on the block M, the new helmet wing
logo we've seen the athletic department use, and even the old sailor
hat-wearing wolverine from the days of Bump Elliot.
SO... without further ado this is my first attempt at a new UofM WOLVERINE alternate logo.
This was actually conceived from an actual photograph of said vicious
mammal, though of course I took certain freedoms with aesthetic license
and of course adding the wings. I guess I am looking for criticism, feedback,
what the collective MGOBLOG community might like to see, etc. in this
little pet freelance project. I'll likely continue with this idea as
free time permits, so look for more in the conceivable future.
If in the future there seems to be a true consensus design agreed or otherwise non-hated upon by the MgoBlog community, who knows what we'd do with it? I would be more than willing to talk to Brian about tee shirts, or perhaps even using it on the site. That would only be fair after all of the free information I've perused here over the past few months. But that, of course, is another story.