The nutty Michigan coverage isn't so much about Harbaugh as it is a signal to the Big Ten that Fox wants to party.
Looks like a beautiful fall day for Harbaugh's home opener. According to the Internets, it's going to be 71 and sunny in Ann Arbor come next Saturday. We won't be baking in an 85-degree oven. Let's hope that forecast doesn't change any.
did my eyes and ears deceive me yesterday or did Ross Taylor-Douglas, the positional nomad, get in at RB yesterday?
Let's not forget to be fans and give some positive support to our team. What did you find encouraging and praiseworthy from last night's close loss to a tough team on the road? I'll start us off by saying that Peppers was terrific in getting past blocks and tackling in space. Can't wait to see him develop and make plays!
If you work nights like me, or just want to set your DVR, here is your chance to watch the game again. I'm going to unleash my inner masochist, because I'm interested in looking closer at the lines, and maybe Stribling and the LBs.
So I am not trying to go all "Inside the Boxscore" on you guys and gals. That's ST3's job and he is way better at it. I thought a quick comparison by drives against Utah between 2014 & 2015 would be interesting to look at.
I am seeking out improvement with this analysis, so I will try and not be biased. I will be biased though.
TO THE DATA!
Yay so 3 points, 5 punts, 3 interceptions, two turnovers on downs and a fumble!!! (Sorry for making you guys look at that).
Let's see that Harbaugh Bump!!
Okay so better right? NSFMF. That could just be your brain wanting to it to be better! But no seriously, this is better. No fumble, 1 less turnover on downs. TWO MORE TOUCHDOWNS!! WHAT WHAT?!? Same amount of interceptions though. Lot less punting also, which is a key to our success this year. Gaining 20 yards and punting is going to keep stress off our defense and keep us in games.
Anyways, the whole reason I started looking into these STATS were for the 3 and out numbers. In 2014, Michigan only had two drives of 3 plays or less. 5 drives of 4 or less. The Harbaughffense had three drives of 3 plays or less, and 4 drives of 4 or less. Not great improvement here.
Where improvement does exist is in the consistent movement of the offense. Hoke's 2014 squad had 12 offensive possessions averaging 6.33 plays per possession (PPP), and around 24 yards per possession (YPP). Harbaugh led his offense on 11 possessions, averaging 6.72 PPP, while bumping the YPP up to 35!! So there is a 10 yards field position swing per possession from 2014 to 2015. If only we could have punted more!
Other items of note:
Longest drive (yards) - 50 yards (2014) vs. 80 yards (2015).
Longest drive (time) - 5:35 (2014) vs. 5:03 (2015).
2014 offense had 3 drives of 9 plays or more.
2015 offense had 4 drives of 9 plays or more.
The best news by far was the success of the 2 minute offense. Hoke's attempt in 2014 was four plays for zero yards and a turn over on downs. Harbaugh's offense took the ball 80 yards on 9 plays for a touchdown in 1:52. Might need to do that faster down the road, but seeing that we left a minute on the clock for the offense in case the onside kick worked, no harm no foul.
TL;DR: Very little improvement from last year to this one statistically. Yards per possession got a nice bump, but the biggest results are in the points score. 3 points in 2014 vs 17 in 2015 tell the whole story. The eye test helped as well.
Thoughts on the new digs? I was skpetical when they were announced, but I actually think it's my favorite road kit since the early 2000s. The stripes provide enough color, the helmets pop out against the all-white, and the maize was just right.
This is blasphemy around these parts, but...well done Adidas!