at least it's not just us?
Similar to what I attempted with Iowa, I have done a comparison of average per game rushing, passing and scoring offense and defense for Michigan and Ohio State over the last decade. I went with the same format as before, placing the tables below the chart so you could see the exact figures that I had collected.
One thing that I found interesting in doing this was that, on offense anyway, these two teams have had reasonably similar production, managing to stay within a touchdown or so of each other when it comes to average scoring. Indeed, they have fairly comparable rushing and passing production on offense as well. That would lead you to a conclusion that would not be new to anyone here, of course – they can both score.
On defense, you will note that, most years, Ohio State’s rush defense has been stingier than ours, but you can also see a gradual slide in that rush defense of the Buckeyes to a point where, in the last two seasons, they have been fairly similar. Pass defenses have been a little more even through the years, but here again, you can see Ohio State’s pass defense regressing, particularly this year, whereas ours has improved, at least by the numbers.
I will have a more detailed look at this season in particular probably tomorrow or Tuesday, but I thought the board might be interested in a high-level summary of the last decade of football for both teams.
Also, BEAT OHIO.
(NOTE: These are linked to Photobucket, so hopefully the thumbnails are coded correctly - I can redo the HTML and put scaled images in the diary if people have trouble with the links.)
Michigan / Ohio State Rushing Offense (2002-Present):
Michigan / Ohio State Passing Offense (2002-Present):
Michigan / Ohio State Rushing Defense (2002-Present):
Michigan / Ohio State Passing Defense (2002-Present):
Michigan / Ohio State Scoring Offense (2002-Present):
Michigan / Ohio State Scoring Defense (2002-Present):
If there is one thing we've learned from following Team 133 this season, it's - everybody say it with me - "there's an expectation for the position." This is not unique to Michigan football. For example, the expectation for the Iowa running back position is that you will be struck down at some point in the season by AIRBHG*. The expectation for the Iowa wide receiver position is that you will have a hypenated name. With a new offensive coordinator at Iowa, a new expectation for that position has developed. He will now wander the field aimlessly while the Iowa QB goes through his progressions, which start and end with tight ends. There is also an expectation for Iowa's safety position, that he be a fair complected walk-on, who develops into the leader of the defense. Hmmm, seems we co-opted that expectation.
I bring this up because it's pretty clear that the expectations for the QB position at the University of Michigan have been raised this season. We will now expect our backup QB to be a first string WR, and if our starting QB gets hurt, we will expect him to become a 100 yard per game running back. Shane, you might want to work on your route running and learn how to read your blockers.
* After what happened to Fitz, that will be the last time I mention AIRBHG. I suggest we all retire that meme.
Burst of Impetus
* Did Iowa ever really have a chance in this game? They kicked a FG to make it 14-10 in the 2nd quarter, but I never got the sense they would challenge us. There are only so many times you can throw to a tight end before Mattison adjusts, and you sort of need to be able to stop a team from scoring touchdowns every single time they get the ball.
* Brady did go for it twice on 4th down. I guess those were big plays. He has shown a propensity to try to break the will of the opponent early in games, especially when playing an opponent that doesn't match up with us.
* 21 players recorded defensive stats, led by JR3 with 12 tackles. I would guess that most of those were after Iowa tight end receptions. Bolden and Ryan each had 6 tackles. Yay! three linebackers led us in tackles. That, of course, will happen when Iowa averages 9.5 yards per pass attempt. Michigan was at 17.4 by way of comparison.
* We tallied 8 TFLs, 2 sacks and broke up 2 passes, but were again shut out in QHs.
* The last two names listed were Brandin Hawthorne and Floyd Simmons. Each had an assisted tackle. I think Brady Hoke mentioned them earlier this week when he was being asked repeatedly about Denard's last home game. I would guess that Hawthorne and Simmons had larger dreams than being special teams contributors, but in keeping with, "The Team, The Team, The Team" theme, those two guys took on their roles and were every bit a part of the team as the two Ermahgerd guys.
* Devin Gardner was 18 of 23 passing for 314 yards. His first half would have made for a nice game - 204 yards, 2 TDs running, 2 TDs passing. He passed and ran for two more TDs in the second half for a total of 6.
* Denard Robinson became the #1 back after Fitz' injury, and probably got more carries than Brady wanted as a result. He ended up with 98 yards on 13 carries for a 7.5 yard average.
Bunches of Funchess
* I don't know if our receivers were that good, or Iowa's DBs were that bad, but it seemed like our guys were always a step or two away from the Iowa DBs, except for those few times our guys were open by 10 or 20 steps.
* Gallon caught a 51 yard bomb and tallied 133 yards on 5 catches.
* Roundtree also caught 5 for 83 yards and a TD.
* Funchess caught another TD, and Vincent Smith scored a TD on his patented throwback screen play, that was assisted greatly by Denard's being on the field.
And Justice for Rawls
* Fitz had 31 yards on 3 carries before his injury. I'm sure we all wish him a speedy recovery.
* Rawls' running plays was the one area we struggled. He ended up with 2.8 ypc on 8 carries. A lot of his runs were short yardage situation things, but we'll need more than 2.8 ypc in the shoe.
Norf and Souf
* We only punted once, and as a result, special teams weren't much of a factor this week.
* Iowa's punter is named Kornbrath. I'm not making that up.
* Two of the officials were named "Carr." I don't know if they were related to Lloyd. The Field judge was Ed Rohan, which seems fitting considering the Vincent Smith mini-Balrog YOU SHALL NOT PASS haiku from earlier this week.
* L. Trinca-Pasat had 4 tackles. Apparently, Iowa's hypenated name thing is spreading to their DL.
* When he was awake, Collin Sleeper had 4 tackles, and when he wasn't hyding from our WRs, Micah Hyde had 8 tackles and an INT.
* Steve Bigach had 3 tackles. I bring this up because his name is a perfect metaphor for the BIGGG TENNNNN this year. BIG ACK! (Hey, bonus points for me for working in a cat photo.)
Outside the Boxscore
We're nearing the end of another season, and I've started to reflect on the meaning of all this. It's just a game, right? And should big-time athletics really be associated with academic instutions of higher learning? Well, I'd answer no and yes, respectively. Back yard football on Thanksgiving is just a game. Preparing year round to go out in front of 110,000+ fans and a national TV audience, risking your health, while reporters and bloggers track every play, suggests that it's not just a game. There is something larger at stake, and I don't mean the millions awaiting some of the players upon graduation. There are life lessons to be learned along the way, that are completely in line with the goals of an academic institution. Let's look at Devin and Denard. Devin's dream was and is to play QB. When he found himself playing behind Denard, he didn't sulk or limit himself to being the backup. He found a way onto the field to help the team. When it was his turn to play QB, he prepared and performed incredibly well considering the circumstances. When Denard was injured and couldn't throw the ball anymore, did he sulk? Did he leave the team? No, he found another way to help the team, first as a mentor to Devin, and then as a contributor on the field. There will be situations those two individuals face later in life, where they will have to decide between doing what is best for themselves individually, versus what is best for the business they are working for or the family they are part of. I'm pretty sure I know how they will choose. Every now and then, sports teach us some pretty important life lessons, if we are willing to pay attention.
Ok, so here's the first of what I hope will be 4 wallpapers for BEAT OHIO week. This one focuses on #21 and The Game. It's so cool to see Roy stepping up at the right time to do the number justice. Now all he has to do to complete his transformation is to BEAT OHIO as #21 and enter Michigan lore. Go Blue, BEAT OHIO! Enjoy!
A beautiful day for football and a day for layers! High pressure to the east of Lake Huron keeps us in some sunshine after the fog burns off. We'll feel a light southeasterly breeze and although temps will fall into the 30s during the evening, we won't be nearly as cold as this past night. Thanks for stopping in Iowa, but it's senior day and you're not winning this one!
Starting off a little chilly and foggy for the up-an-at-em tailgaters! Drive carefully! Fog is dense in some areas and with such cool temps there may be some slick spots with fog freezing. Grab the hot coffee! We're remaining in the mid 20s until sunrise, then the temperature will rise quickly. By mid-morning we're into the low 30s with a light south wind and will have gotten rid of most of the fog.
Start taking layers off! Temps keep going up- 47 degrees by kickoff with a light breeze (about 6mph) out of the SSE. Lots of sunshine, with just a few clouds passing by.
Wind picks up to 8mph, still out of the SSE. With mostly sunny skies, we're hitting 49 for the half.
51 is the high for the day and we hit it as you leave the game, then drop to 40 degrees by 8pm. Keeping lots of sunshine for a beautiful afternoon! Winds remain southeasterly and stay between 5-8mph until around dinner time. Then they shift to come out of the east, staying light. We aren't as cold as Friday night! If you're more of a night-owl than a morning person and you're out til closing time-expect 35 degrees when you walk out the door with partly cloudy skies. Fog will also form again, especially after 11pm, so keep that in mind if you'll be driving. Go Blue!
Christina Burkhart is a meteorologist for NBC/ABC in Traverse City, MI, and temporarily for NBC25 in Flint/Saginaw, MI. She grew up in Ann Arbor and associates Saturdays with Michigan football. Go Blue!!
Ok, so I'm not REALLY making excuses, but...OH, you don't want to hear that anyway. Sorry this is so late in posting, but here is a wallpaper I put together for Iowa. I've been spending more time on the Ohio wallpaper and less on the others, so I apologize if it seems lacking. Anyway, hope you like it (hell, it's only for a day, right?). Enjoy!
All three plays in the 'Ending It' Picture Pages series in one video. Analysis courtesy Brian, per usual.