to play football, not to play trumpet
On Devin's OT TD, we ran the option with a pitch man, Devin kept for a score. When was the last time we ran that play? Went through the NW UFR and saw we ran it once. That seemed to me the best offensive play of the night. I understand you still have to block to run an option, but my recollection of playing (i.e., mostly practicing but occassionally getting on the field), an option to your side involves blocking down, with either the TE or T scraping off (depending on whether the DT slanted or not) to take the LB, all of which are relatively easy blocks. Why are we not running it more?
THE BIG TEN IS PUT OFF BECAUSE OF STORMS
For those that were wondering where this diary was this week, it was in my head. By this, I mean that I had every intention to do it as normal, but because my life goes to hell when the weather goes to hell due to my real-life job, things like this get put off until the next available moment. Indeed, that moment did not come until this morning as the storms from Sunday did a good amount of damage around southeast Michigan.
This week’s entry will be somewhat abbreviated, however, so if there is more specific information that anyone would like, I can produce it.
SCORING OFFENSE AND DEFENSE:
At this point in the season, it seems unlikely that anyone will catch Ohio State and their 49.4 points per game average, but Michigan does sit in the next tier, if you will, with Wisconsin, Indiana and Nebraska as teams that can put some points on the board. In our case, we have 34.3 points per game on average and that is good for fifth in the conference. When it comes to giving up points, Michigan sits in the middle of the conference approximately at 25.2 points per game allowed. By leaps and bounds, the most generous teams are Illinois, Purdue and Indiana. I doubt that changes now.
TOTAL OFFENSE AND DEFENSE:
Last week, it was mentioned that our attempts at forming an identity on offense were creating a bit of a muddle when it came to our average yardage differential. Despite how the Northwestern game may have looked, no harm, no foul this week – we still sit there with a slightly positive differential. Wisconsin and Purdue are the extremes in the conference, one because of their rushing attack and the other because of their ability to crater themselves with a mere thought.
RUSHING OFFENSE AND DEFENSE:
At this point, it is well-established that we have some issues with the when, how and why of rushing, and our rushing offense is still twice as productive as Purdue, which is good for 11thin the conference. Ohio State and Wisconsin have essentially made the most prolific rushing offense a two-team race this season, leaving the rest of us to try and catch up. However, we are still quite proficient at stopping runs overall, as you can see below:
PASSING OFFENSE AND DEFENSE:
We’ll start with defense here – we allow an average of 236.4 yards per game through the air, which is 10thin the conference. Interestingly, our pass efficiency defense rating is 117, which is third in the conference. So, we have our moments, but we’ve given up some good sized plays. That aside, Michigan is doing quite well on passing offense, as you will note below:
DOWNS AND DIFFERENTIALS:
In what has been a slow slide since the Michigan State game, Michigan is now in a rare position of having a slightly negative third down differential. As we know, that won’t make it impossible to win, but it typically makes it a little more difficult. It can be considerably more difficult actually, if the differential is well into negative territory. Michigan’s average differential is -0.80, which is not unrecoverable but it does speak to some of our issues with sustaining drives. If nothing else, we do average more first downs than our opponents, which does help some.
Sometimes it’s fun to think about how one little play can change the outcome of a game, or perhaps an entire college football season. The 4th quarter against Northwestern this past Saturday provided several examples. I began to think about certain plays in Michigan football history that likely had a large impact on the respective team. Obviously there are plays that caused Michigan fans to rejoice (2005 Penn State for example) but there are certainly some that live in infamy. So I wanted to bring this to the MGoBlog community: If you could change the outcome of any ONE PLAY in Michigan football history, which play would it be and WHY? This is not meant to be a “woe is me” sort of post. I just had fun with it and thought some others might too. For me, it’s probably the Hail Mary from Kordell motherfuckin Stewart in 1994. I believe that single play cost them a special season… and I hate seeing it replayed.
I came up with a short list to jog your memories (though I doubt you need any help).
1973 Michigan versus Ohio State – Lantry misses last second field goal
1979 Rose Bowl versus USC – Phantom touchdown
1987 Rose Bowl versus Arizona State – holding called on successful fake punt
1990 versus MSU – Desmond tripped and pass incomplete on 2-pt conversion
2000 versus Northwestern – Anthony Thomas fumbles on “game clinching” possession
2001 versus MSU – 12 men on the field, Spartan Bob, you pick
2005 Rose Bowl versus Texas – Last second field goal is good
2006 versus OSU – Shawn Crable hits Troy Smith OOB
2007 versus App State – Last second field goal blocked
These are just the first few that came to mind. I’d love to read your contributions.
Michigan commit Shaun Crawford was offered by Ohio State. Says he is committed to Michigan, but focused on his season right now.— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) November 21, 2013
If you can play for all the marbles in the MAC West, then that is what Northern Illinois is doing tonight. The Huskies will be taking on the Rockets in the Glass Bowl in Toledo on ESPN2.
This will be your evening MACtion thread. Enjoy, friends, as I clean up after another long day of storm restoration.