I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
Alright, so 1) I'm no Mathlete and 2) This may mean squat come Saturday, but here goes...
We've all been preached to about how our mighty Dilithium powered offense hasn't faced any REAL tests yet, with the inference that MSU will somehow be our first real litmus test. In particular, our first challenging RUN defense faced.
I've also read a few casual at best mentions, acknowledging that our past opponents defensive rankings may be slightly inflated for having played against said dilithium power. Nowhere though, have I seen anything that quantifies this effect, hence my attempt.
Looking at Notre Dame and UConn (chosen because they've played the toughest schedules of our ooponents to date), I factored out the numbers that UM hung on them, both in terms of total defensive yardage allowed, and rushing yardage allowed:
Notre Dame moves from per game avgs of 401 total yards, 153 rush yards down to 368 total, 119 rush.
UConn moves from per game avgs of 338 total yards, 162 rush yards down to 304 total, 130 rush.
For comparisons sake, MSU is currently at per game defensive avgs of 328 total yards, 101 rush yards. While it would appear that MSU does indeed have a better "D" (and specifically, RUN D) than we've seen thus far, I'd argue that their own numbers have been skewed.
Two of their opponents rely heavily on the passing game: Florida Atlantic's offensive total yards to date have been 922 pass yds to 291 rush yrds (45 yds vs MSU). Western Michigan's offensive totals to date have been 1100 pass yds to 307 rush yds (85 yds vs MSU).
In my opinion, we're going to run all over Sparty, Greg Jones or not. MSU will get their points, but I I'm not worried at all about us, I think they're a pretender.
As you probably know, the spartys love to cite the fact that our fan base contains a lot of non-alumni. Somehow, they view this as a negative, and view "Wal-Mart Wolverines" as below them.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Michigan fans out there that did not attend UM. Whether its the way you grew up, or your time at UM hospital, your support of and contribution to Michigan athletics is invaluable. The fact that you did not attend UM does not detract whatsoever from your knowledge of the game, loyalty, dedication, or passion. Our ability to function as a football power is based on your support.
Once again, thank you. And +1 for all non-alumni Wolverines.
Right Place, Right Time, Right Coach
Quick shout out to Denard in the Onion.
To me, this is the first sure sign that he has arrived.
OK - I have been terrified (as have many of you) by our defense. I feel as though I keep hearing versions of the following: "be patient, it is going to get better, we are so young"
So in a very unscientific way I decided to look at our Defense's experience as opposed to two teams that I fondly remember: the 2000 Drew Henson led squad that beat Auburn in the Citrus or Outback bowl and the 2006 juggernaught (when playing non OSU/USC's). Why did I pick them? to gauge our teams experience against a standard Llloyd U of M "D" and against the non-1997 gold standard "D." So first off I make no distinction about Redshirts...so a Redshirt Junior will show as a Senior, a Redshirt Sophomore - a Junior, etc. The reason is they have been in the system for X number of years. I looked only at the top 16 tacklers for each team - my thinking that this will cover most all defensive contributor.
So on with the numbers:
The 2000 squad had 3 seniors (4th or 5th year players), 5 Juniors (inclused RS Sophs), 7 Sophomores, and 1 Freshmen.
The 2006 squad had 9 Seniors, 5 Juniors, 2 Sophomores, and 0 frosh
This years team has 8 Seniors, 4 Juniors, 3 sophomores, and 1 frosh.
My takeaway: wow-our current D has way more experience than I thought...and if the future is as bright as we hope, the bench better have a lot of future quality sitting on it.
In case you are wondering the 8 "seniors" are Moundros, Herron, Leach, Van Bergen, Rogers, Banks, Ezeh, Mouton.
I was actually expecting that looking into this experience would make me feel a lot better for the future of our "D", but it really didn't. Here's to hope.
We all know that you cant read into what a recruit says too much and yet, we all do it anyway. As such, I was reading about Kris Frost who just changed his visit date from the Michigan State game to the Wisconsin game and thought this quote was interesting:
I've definitely been tuning in every game and watching closely offensively and defensively," he said. "I am really impressed with what I have seen so far. They've had a few close ones, but with how we were last year, this year is looking real good. I'm confident about the rest of the season.
The fact that he used "we" in referring to Michigan Football is pretty cool. Also, by visiting for the Wisconsin game he will be with all of the Dr. Phillips kids including some dude named Dee Hart who is hopefully a Michigan commitment by then. Frost and Dee were also at Auburn together earlier in the year and Hart has eliminated Auburn from his list. Lets hope that we can continue our momentum through October and beyond and that it begins to have tangible results on the recruiting front. All good things.