Niko Porikos grew up in an NTDP billet home. Cool story.
During the first half of Saturdays game I remember complaining out loud that the D-line was getting held quite often but to no avail to the referrees. I DVR'd the game and always rewatch on Mondays and I just realized that the entire D-line switched jersey's to last years away jerseys. This years jerseys are definitely more form fitting and much tighter than the past couple of years. I hadn't noticed this happening at all in any of the previous games and also took note that none of the other defensive players made this jersey switch. Am I just crazy or do you all think that this was done to try and draw more holding penalties on the Northwestern O-line? I suspect and it looks as though the old jersey's are easier to grab and would be easier for an official to see a hold.
Maybe an out of the ballpark thought, but just an observation and wanted to see if anybody else noticed it too.
Read an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend (link). The age old story about how a Defense spent the summer getting to optimal weight / power / speed, and wound up loosing the former, and becoming more effective. In this case LSU in preparation for Oregon.
So we had Barwis, who seemed to be on the path of tear out the bad weight and build them up , and stories of our linemen adding weight each season. And then we had all the complaints about undersized line, compounded by a 3-3-5 front. Throw in Wisconsin's loss to TCU, and how our guys have been consuming salmon like no one's business, and ... worry beads:
1) Will we wind up too heavy?
2) Do we have to be too heavy to win the Big Ten, positioning us poorly in subsequent bowl games against speedier opponents?
Per Rivals depth chart for this week Cam Gordon is listed above Jake Ryan. I haven't looked at previous weeks depth charts for a couple weeks so I'm not sure if it has been this way or not. Does anyone have any information as to why Ryan has been moved down or is this perhaps just a situation where an "or" should be there but isn't?
It seems reasonable to bring this up every year, particularly when our next opponent is coming off of a bye week.
Teams that get a week of rest and an entire extra week to prepare have an advantage over their opponent because their opponent didn't get the extra rest or time to prepare.
Bye weeks seem to hurt more than they help. Since 2002 (to 2010*), teams of the six BCS conferences have an overall win pct of 0.480 when coming off of a bye week. The Big Ten teams in particular struggle when coming off of a bye. From 2002-2010* Big Ten teams are a combined 17-32 when coming off of a bye. This is good for a 0.35 win pct.
Ohio State went 56-10 in Big Ten play from 2002-2010* but was 1-3 when facing a conference opponent after a bye. This includes their 2004 loss to Northwestern, their only loss to the Wildcats since 1971
Penn State and Iowa are also 1-3 when coming off of bye weeks and playing conference opponents
37 of the 65 major-conference teams have a losing post-bye week record.
Under Mark Dantonio, MSU has a 1-1 record coming off of a bye week
In 2008, they lost to PSU 14-49
In 2010, they beat Purdue 35-31
[*This information was summarized from this article, read the full version from the Wall Street Journal; info current through Oct. 14, 2010]
This might shed some light on the debate of Robinson's status with the team stemming from posts last week.
per mspeedkills (pretty trustworthy):
I can't find a database online to help me on this one. Maybe someone has the data?
IIRC as of a few years ago, it was something very odd like 18 of the past 20 UM/MSU games was won by the team that had the greater rushing yardage. I don't know if that trend continued under RR. Does anyone know the current data for that trend?
Not that past performance is any indication of future results, but you have to think that we will outrush Sparty this weekend. Their OL is full of holes; if they are going to win it's on Cousin's arm. While their D has great stats, clearly we're faster than probably any team they've faced, including ND, and they lost that game. I don't see us rushing for 400 but maybe 250-250 is probable, but at the same time, I don't expect Sparty to rush for over 200.
Hence, I think if the rushing stat trend were to have continued viability, then we win this Saturday.