...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
One bright spot that no one else has mentioned - maybe because it was a figment of my imagination - but it seemed to me that Denard was reading his progressions much better than ever. Also when he threw long to covered receivers the passes were well overthrown rather than punted into potential INTs. If you add in at least 4 cold drops + the Hemingway TD + plus the 2 PI's + 3 easy completions that the DE tipped he would have had a monster completion percentage (and the only pick was a tipped ball that also could have been PI). I know that's a lot of IFs but they are all plausible, so it is not that hard to see the improvement hidden within the stats. Hopefully it will show up on the field in Champaign and beyond.
But the clear conclusion is: JoPa himself knew and did nothing more than tell the AD.
The catcalls for JoPa's firing will start. They will need to totally clean house. This could set the whole program back if the try a tSIO defense and refuse to acknowledge it -- which it appears they are doing. http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/if-jerry-sandusky-allegations-are-t...
According to the article, a study from Cleveland (insert Ohio joke here) claims that while plastic helmets are better at preventing serious head injuries like skull fractures, leather helmets are better at preventing concussions. And this does not assume the much touted claim that players are more likely to "spear" with plastic helmets. These guys aren't advocating a return to leather helmets, but are instead advocating that helmet safety standards also encompass the cumulative effects of lower impact collisions.
Iowa normally averages 402 yards/game. Michigan held them to 302. For comparison, this is what Iowa had for each opponent:
|@ Iowa St.||365|
|@ 16 Penn St.||253|
Penn State is the only defense that held them to less. The defense played well yesterday. That is all.
So, just finished the game (I watch on DVR delay because of young kids). My thoughts on what this game showed:
1. Blake Countess is for real. Sure, he got beaten a few times, but he reminds me so much of Donovan Warren. Physical, great instincts. This kid is going to be a lock-down stud CB in a year or two.
2. The "shoud we start DEvin, and not Denard" should be be put to rest (ok, it never should have started). DEnard missed a few passes. He still overthrows some and has a few batted down. On the last drive, however, he looked like a legit QB. He marched us down the field with his arm, making smart solid throws. Even his misses were in places where the CB couldn't have a shot to intercept. I know, his stats suck compared to last year, but he is really starting to look like a pro style QB. Give him another offseason, and I think he is going to be awesome next year. Devin, while talented, is not even close. When he came in, our offense looked terrible. Not a criticism - he has little experience running the offense- but as of now (and likely next year), Denard is miles ahead.
3. Fitz - he really is good. V. Smith is a lovable little guy, but should be used primarily as the 3rd down back. He was stopped on first or second down for little or no gain too many times in the first half.
4. Denard, why you no run? There were several plays where DEnard had tunning lanes, and just hung in the pocket. Now, his pocket presence and overall throwing was great today, in my opinion, but still, when you are the fastest player in cfb and there is nobody for 6-7 yards, tuck and run.
5. The receivers really didnt help Denard out today. WAy too many drops. Sure, some may have not been on perfct throws, but my rule of thumb is that if the ball hits your hands, you should pull it in. Hemmingway, Roundtree and Dilio all dropped passes.
6. The refs - I don';t want to get hung up on this, but this game was terribly called there were at least 2 missed pass interference calls on the last drive, most critically on the last play. Also, sorry, Hemmingway's knee came down in bounds, and we should have had that TD. Whatever, it happens and it sucks, but it still pisses me off. Hoke should have challenged that last play.
7. the Fritz package. I know that many are down on it, but I do think that Hoke Borges and Co. are working on it to break out new stuff against OSU. IF so, I am ok with it. Otherwise, I don't love it. Just not getting much out of it.
OVerall, I like where we are heading. WE lost a close game to a solid team. We will get at least 1 more win, and maybe 2. Good season, with solid improvement, given the cc, new system, etc.
There is an excellent article by the Wall Street Journal investigating why the NFL won't release video showing all 22 players. Some interesting quotes:
If you ask the league to see the footage that was taken from on high to show the entire field and what all 22 players did on every play, the response will be emphatic. "NO ONE gets that," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy wrote in an email. This footage, added fellow league spokesman Greg Aiello, "is regarded at this point as proprietary NFL coaching information."
Proprietary NFL coaching information? I guess being a student of the game isn't a valid passtime anymore. You have to be an NFL coach before you get to study how the game is played by the professionals. Alas there isn't a lot that a humble student of the game can do, as the NFL gets to do what it wants with its proprietary film.
However this is a statement that made me mad as a fan as well as a student of the game:
Charley Casserly, a former general manager who was a member of the NFL's competition committee, says he voted against releasing All-22 footage because he worried that if fans had access, it would open players and teams up to a level of criticism far beyond the current hum of talk radio. Casserly believed fans would jump to conclusions after watching one or two games in the All 22, without knowing the full story.
Why is avoiding well-researched and evidence-based criticism a valid reason to avoid releasing the tape? Might as well forget the scoreboard as well if the NFL wants to avoid angry fans. That way every coach is a genius! The NFL might as well tell fans to go care about something else. This game you are watching on TV is just a gimmicky made-for-tv special where the strategies don't matter. A former player had this to say:
Lonnie Marts, a former linebacker for the Jacksonville Jaguars, says there are thousands of former NFL players who could easily pick apart play-calling and player performance if they had access to this film. "If you knew the game, you'd know that sometimes there's a lot of bonehead plays and bonehead coaching going on out there," he says.
Sounds like information I would pay dearly for! It is too bad that the NFL won't release it, even for $100 per game:
Earlier this month, the league quietly asked fans, through a survey site, whether they would pay up to $100 to watch an online feed of the All 22....
The NFL says the league wasn't actually serious about releasing the footage. The survey was meant only to gauge fan interest, Aiello says. "There's not a product in development," he says. "This is a long way from becoming a reality, if ever."
The whole article is extremely interesting, I suggest you read it immediately.