at least it's not just us?
Special Teams MVP
Edit* Most Improved Player
Jeremy Gallon (I know, but first time hes had meaningful minutes)
Best Hit (Feel free to add here, there have been some bone jarring hits by our defense)
Kovacs vs. Carder: The Thunder and Lightning Mixtape
BWC vs. EMU - not for a sack but hot damn he slammed.
Kovacs vs. Persa: Lose yo' Head
I was looking at the stats for the game, and one stood out to me: 3rd down conversions.
We were 14-17, and 1-1 on 4th, while we held NW to 4-11, and 0-2 on 4th (with another big time stop on a 4th and short run). This has been happening enough to constitute a trend, and I just wanted to say that the coachs' emphasis on short yardage situations seems to be paying off.
We are currently 3rd nationally on 3rd down on offense, and 17th in the red zone. On defense, we are in the 40s on 3rd down, #4 on 4th down, and #2 in the red zone. Just thought I would share.
The conventional wisdom, since the days of Ur and Sumer, has been that teams should try to dominate time of possession, to wear down the opposing defense and keep one's own defense off the field. Carr, Tressel, and virtually all the other Big 10 coaches on payroll at the moment see it this way.
Revisionists, particularly those impressed by or advocating for the various spread offenses that have emerged in the past decade or so, have pooh-poohed this assumption as an unecessary and often counter-productive sacred cow. The thinking goes, if your offense can score a lot, why slow them down? Why not score quickly and often to confuse and demoralize your opponent? RR, Chip Kelly, Pat Fitzgerald and other spread coaches see it this way.
The thing about both of these positions, is that they view possession--the decision whether to proceed slowly or fast--as a strategy, something you do generally. I'd like to suggest a different way of thinking about time of possession--as a tactic--and argue that this is how Borges and Hoke see it. I'd also like to argue that this is a very, very good thing.
Let me explain: for one thing, I don't like ideological approaches to football. I've never understood the logic of replacing one sacred cow with another, and don't see why a coach should box himself in to doing things one way, regardless of the situation. I like flexibility and I like adjustments.
More importantly, I like tailoring the road to victory to what you have and wht you face. In the first half of yesterday's game, we looked too much like our 2010 iteration: prolific in picking up yards, unable to capitalize on this in terms of points, and on the other side of the ball, unable to stop the opposing offense. That opposing offense was coming at us fast and furious, using a series of simple perimeter passing and running to move up and down the field at will. We tried going uptempo as well, and did move the ball, but our execution wasn't as good as theirs, and so found ourselves down 10 at the half.
At halftime, the coaches took stock and made a decision: we're going to keep them off the field, and change our defensive tactics to counter their perimeter game. Part of this entailed our offense moving slowly and methodically. It worked, to the tune of 28-0 in the second half. The situation suggested this tactic might be useful, and it was. To put it another way: I can't imagine an alternate strategy working any better than it did.
Earlier in the season, against Notre Dame, we did the opposite: we sped things up. That also worked in that situation, resulting in a thrilling, epic victory over one of our biggest rivals.
Personally, I love the fact that our coaches don't seem to care about having a concrete position on time of possession, and instead set the tempo according to what they think the situation requires. This, in many ways, encapsulates why I'm so impressed by our new coaching staff. Yes it's early and only 6 games, but so far they look like they combine Carr's ability to build balanced, competitive teams with the tactical sophoistication that RR brought to the table...but on both sides of the ball. Again, it's too early to know, but the signs are very, very good.
Hey everyone, I was thinking about this last night, and I haven't seen that it has been addressed directly.
Having Gorgeous Al in the press box clearly has some advantages as far as letting him see the field better and figuring out which plays will work and which won't. However, I wonder how much of a difference it would make for Denard to have Borges on the field with him during the game rather then just speaking with him over the phone.
We have seen on several occasions where Denard struggled in the first half and then went into halftime and had some face time with Al. This seems to calm him down and get his head straight. He then comes out dominant in the second half. I even heard Coach Hoke address this with the B1G Network guys after the game in his ingterview. He mentioned something to the fact that Al spoke with Denard and calmed him down and asked what he was "seeing" out there.
Just wanted to get everyones opinion. I am sure there are advantages to both. As long as Denard keeps tearing it up in the second half, I guess there is no real reason to fix what isnt broken.
Michigan #10 in the latest coaches poll. First time in the top 10 since the horror.
Also: Wisconsin jumps stanford to #4, Nebraska stays at #14, Illini #15, Sparty # 19, and Penn state breaks in at #25
I wasn't in Chicago yesterday, so I wasn't able to attend the presser. Since mgoblue.com didn't stream the post-game press conference, I don't have much worth transcribing. Fortunately, they have most of the noteworthy material in bits and pieces and some transcripts of their own.
I'll be in East Lansing next week, so there will be coverage and photos.