You can either trust me, or, go to MGoBlue.com
One of the best advancements of our beloved MGoBlog has been the regular interaction with the coach and coordinators in press conferences. As we've seen the past couple of years, Heiko has been able to get some incredible answers to pressing questions from this blog. Of course, we've also seen how creative the wording of these questions may have to be to get a legit answer (cough-bubble screen-cough).
I thought I would start a thread where people could post potential questions for Heiko to ask....even if he completely ignores everything we type. Funny ones are always welcome, though the intent (both in content and word choice) is to get an answer to an interesting question about the team.
Here are a few obvious ones to get it started:
- Hoke or Mattison - "Do you expect MSU to introduce a hurry-up component to their offense based on the success PSU and IU had against the defense and their tendency to game plan for their biggest rival?"
- Borges or Hoke - "Given the success your opponents have had with the hurry-up offense have you considered implementing something similar?"
- Borges - "With Dileo injured, what does Norfleet have to show in practice in order to get reps at slot receiver?"
THE BIG TEN OVER THE HUMP
Everyone has at least six games in at this point in the conference, so effectively, we’re over the hump for the regular season already. I believe it might be safe to say that, at this point, there are at least a couple teams whose general trajectory could be at least estimated, one of them being Purdue. For Michigan specifically, we’re looking pretty competitive among our conference compatriots for the most part, so we do have that going.
SCORING OFFENSE AND DEFENSE:
Thanks in part to Saturday, Michigan is right up there in terms of scoring offense at an average of 42 points per game on the season, good for a solid fourth in the conference. Indeed, eight teams are averaging 30 points or more. Further, and again thanks in part to Saturday, Michigan is now eighth in the conference in scoring defense, but on the bright side, we did an Indiana team that is now precariously close to giving up 40 points per game on average.
TOTAL OFFENSE AND DEFENSE:
There was some buzz on my Twitter feed over the weekend about Nebraska’s defense being the worst, and this is not true at all. From a total yards allowed standpoint, it is fourth-worst in the conference, but again, everyone can pile on Indiana in this respect. Offense is not a huge problem for most teams in the Big Ten with nine teams getting 400 yards or more on average per game. That’s pretty good really. In the tempo-free world, the worst performers are Illinois, Minnesota and Purdue.
RUSHING OFFENSE AND DEFENSE:
So, for another week, there is not a whole lot of shock when you look at the best overall performances in the rushing game for the Big Ten, and as for Michigan, we did get a boost thanks to nearly 300 yards of rushing against Indiana. Even better, despite the Indiana game’s Tecmo numbers, we’re still saddled with the fourth-best rushing defense in the conference, and one of the best in the nation overall.
PASSING OFFENSE AND DEFENSE:
We played the team with the best passing offense. We experienced the best passing offense in the conference and won. We do have that to our credit. Michigan is in the top four here as well, so despite concerns, it is becoming a very productive aspect of the game. When it comes to defending the pass, much of the conference sits in a fairly narrow band of averages with some good performances on top, which is interesting really.
Interestingly, there is not much movement here from the previous week. The top performances sit clustered around 50% and then you have Penn State and Purdue, both of which struggle mightily to sustain drives. The defensive side of this seems to be a story of good to meh and then Indiana and Purdue.
I think it is fair to say that if you’re giving up more of these than you’re getting, then as is the case with third downs, you definitely have problems. You can see who has some issues definitely in this chart anyway.
SPECIAL TEAMS STUFF:
They still haven't scheduled any start times for the remainder of the schedule. I gather that start times are only announced 6 or 12 days prior to the game. I assume this means that we will hear the start time for MSU sometime today (or possibly, hear sometime a week from now.)
Is it also the case that they wait to schedule game times to see which of the day's possible matchups are between winning (and hence,) more interesting teams? I guess I get that, but it is a bit frustrating that we are now completely held hostage by TV execs who decide what time of day we'll play the game. There isn't a single remaining game with a settled start time.