there would have to be some to wash away
Here's another update on Demetrius Hart, since there have been quite a few questions about him recently. I last posted that he will be announcing his decision sometime next week. I spoke with Dee's mom and she told me that he will be making his final decision Tuesday of next week, or Wednesday at the latest.
Remember that Demetrius and his family are going up to Alabama for an official visit this weekend. They will also be joined by teammates Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix (Current Alabama commit) and Chris Gallon, along with Demetrius' running back coach, who happens to be an Alabama fan.
I also spoke with Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix yesterday about a recent comment he made about the weather being a factor at Michigan. He had said that it was too cold, and he didn't think he would like that. It now seems that he is taking a different stance.
I would have to get used to the weather eventually anyway, so it's not a big deal anymore. Dee and I are going to be coming back up there for an unofficial, I'm just not sure when yet.
2012 Nick Patti will also be coming back up to Michigan for the Wisconsin game, and I also gave an update the other day about another Dr. Phillips teammate in Roderick Ryles, who has started to hear from the Michigan coaches.
For this week's installment of opponents' press conferences, we have Bill Lynch, head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers. I personally think they make a better vacuum than a football team (I have a Hoosier Wind Tunnel which sees basement duty), but the Big Ten being what it is, our boys in blue take to the field against these guys Saturday, so here we go with Other People's Pressers!
(P.S. a friend of mine sold Kirby vacs in college for a week, but got sick of it when he kept getting lost on his way to prospective buyers' homes - oh, if only we had GPS back in the mid-late 90's.)
On Michigan's Offense:
- "Denard Robinson is scary good. Then the way the other two kids came in and played it shows the depth that they have. "
- Credit to RR and how the team has really bought into his offensive philosophy with the success UM is having. Says we have a great scheme with the right players, execute well, good depth (esp. at QB), and are well-coached.
- On Denard, every team (on film) has tried to do something different to stop him and none of them have succeeded. IU has to stay within their system (on D) and try to stop M's offense.
- On whether having had Kellen Lewis helps gameplan against Denard: "One of the unique things with Denard is that in so many situations, he's the lead runner. The tailback or the other back is really the blocking back. And that is what makes it difficult because the quarterback in many cases is the unaccounted for guy. And now you have to account for him as well as everybody else... That's why it is very difficult to defend their offense."
- Have to play the gaps well in order to have a chance at defending Michigan's offense: "The biggest thing is that you have to be very gap-sound. If you get a guy out of a gap they will gash you. "
- On Michigan having outscored its opponents 56-10 in the first quarter - "They're explosive. " Talks about being confident and matching UM's speed/intensity early.
On Michigan's Defense:
- Mentions that 3-3-stack or 3-5-stack is similar to the D employed when RR was at WVU. Key is that LBs show a lot of movement and attack from different positions/angles. Need to be aware of where the LBs are lining up.
- Michigan's defense will have to decide how to stop IU's offense, just as IU has to gameplan for M's offense. In-game adjustments also important.
- UM has "good pass rushers and they have a blitzing type scheme where they can bring people from a lot of different directions."
On individual players:
- Tandon Doss: Didn't put up big numbers last week, but great job blocking downfield. Also very versatile, able to play any position.
- Ben Chappell: Needs to keep up his level of play and execution. Preparation is key and feels like Chappell is well-prepared.
On team execution:
- "...it is very important that we go back and work on fundamentals. So often, history tells me that when you get into creating new schemes in a week, and you play poorly because you are thinking too much instead of just playing. That's why you must trust the system, and it goes back to great fundamental play."
- Mentions that they need to block and tackle better, and spending a lot of time on this.
- On tackling, says players sometimes too focused on making the big hits rather than wrapping up - again going back to stressing fundamentals.
- On turnovers, can have a huge impact. Sounds like he is stressing ball protection on offense, as he cites the Colts winning 26 straight games (really?) without a turnover (really really??)
- Special teams did a good job, especially on kick returns. Did a good job fielding kicks (us too, please!)
On the gameplan against Michigan:
- On defense, gap discipline, if they don't maintain gap discipline, will get gashed by RB or QB.
- On offense, need to have good run-pass balance in order to take pressure off Chappell.
- Can't try to change up what they do on offense as a reaction to Michigan's offense (I guess I'm assuming he thinks UM will score some points), but must stick to their playbook and execute to be successful.
- On defense, need to create turnovers, which they haven't done the last 2 weeks.
- "We're a little different than we were a year ago. We were a sellout blitz team, where we played zero-coverage behind it, where there was no help. We were sending as many as we could and still have each receiver accounted for, so it was a little more of a high-risk blitz than we're running right now."
Other game-related notes:
- Health - says team is healthy, shouldn't be a problem there. No mention of any specific injuries.
- "It's the first conference game and they're all important. The one we have in front of us is always the most important and that will be the approach we're going to be taking. I'm sure our players expect that when they come in here this afternoon."
- Confident in this team. "This team has been an easy team to coach, in that they come to work every day."
- The level of play and intensity has to go up now that they're in conference play. His players understand that.
I guess I'll give them credit for getting the sport right, but sheesh:
*note: this is a reproduction of post on my blog: productivesweatpants.com
Indiana fans are pumped up about their 3-0 start to the season. And well why not? It's exciting to win. But more importantly they have revenge on their minds after last year's game in which Tate Forcier did Tate-like things: thing 1 and thing 2.
With a very similar start to the 2010 season as in 2009, we need to know things will be different this year, right? Well let's take a look at these two team so far.
I came across a couple of interesting statistics that I think will help give us a picture of the two teams. Instead of looking at the total and scoring offense numbers, or total and scoring defense numbers, we are going to look at how efficient the offenses and defenses are. We will also look at strength of schedule and Sagarin rank of each team to get an idea of what we can expect.
To find out how efficient an offense is we are going to take the total yards and divide it by points scored. It gives us a yards per point score. This will give us an indication of how efficiently an offense scores. It's good indicator of total team success.
Michigan - 13.64 yds/point good for 55th in the nation
Indiana - 10.09 yds/point good for 6th in the nation
That might be a little surprising for some given the performance of the Michigan's offense to date. But when we look at Time of Possession we see that Michigan is holding the ball longer at 31:37 TOP/game vs IU's 28:44. Also, consider that Michigan is averaging 25.8 first downs per game to IU's 22. And Michigan is averaging two more third down attempts per game than Indiana. It makes me believe that Indiana, being a passing team, is scoring on longer plays where Michigan, being a running team, is going on long drives.
Similar to the offensive efficiency number, we take the total yards given up and divide that by the number of points surrendered to give us a Yard per point given up, or a defensive efficiency number. In the converse to the offensive number the larger the number here means that offenses have to work a lot harder to score against that team. This is a great way for teams that play a bend-but-don't-break style (like Michigan) to measure up to other teams. For example: Alabama is ranked first with a 30.28 yds/point (they are number one by almost 4 yards. They're good). Let's look at UM and IU.
Michigan - 17.39 yds/point for 41st in the nation
Indiana - 17.5 yds/point for 39th in the nation
Virtually the same. I was shocked to see that Michigan although 93rd in total defense, fared so well by this metric. This my friends, gives me hope.
Looking at the efficiency numbers alone, it would seem that Indiana should be primed to take down the Wolverines. But, "Not So Fast My Friend!"
Let's take a look at the strength of schedule for each team.
Michigan - 66th ranked schedule
Indiana - 120th ranked schedule
That's right dead last. Indiana's schedule is ranked the worst in the FBS. "It's early, everybody schedules cupcakes." Sure I can give you that. But let's look at the particular flavor of cupcake Indiana has been munching on:
Towson - 1-3
OEff - 15.71 - 90*
DEff - 9.25 - 120*
SOS - NA
Sagarin - 195
Western Kentucky - 0-4
OEff - 16.69 - 99
DEff - 10.15 - 119
SOS - 93
Sagarin - 144
Akron - 0-4
OEff - 15.17 - 84
DEff - 12.02 - 106
SOS - 96
Sagarin - 175
Holy Schnikies that is awful. The only victory any IU opponent has was over Coastal Carolina in five OTs (for the record Coastal Carolina's Sagarin ranking is 185). Look at those DEff numbers. These teams are revolving doors. It's no wonder IU ranks 6th in OEff. Now, I will say IU pasted Towson, but they only beat the other two by 15 and 16 respectively.
By comparison let's look at Michigan's foes:
UConn - 2-2
OEff - 11.82 - 27
DEff - 16.26 - 51
SOS - 51
Sagarin - 69
ND - 1-3
OEff - 18.53 - 110
DEff - 15.63 - 58
SOS - 22
Sagarin - 64
UMass - 3-1
OEff - 15.23 - 84*
DEff - 15.17 - 67*
SOS - NA
Sagarin - 84
Bowling Green - 1-3
OEff - 11.67 - 94
DEff - 13.5 - 85
SOS - 77
Sagarin - 94
Of the cupcake variety? Maybe, although it is good for the 66th ranked schedule. UConn and Bowling Green have pretty efficient offenses. BG is ahead of Nebraska and Nevada. And, hell, at least all the teams have a win. Even our FCS snackcake is ranked higher by Sagarin than Indiana (85). The only team that is not ranked lower than any team on IU's schedule is Bowling Green and you saw that outcome.
So what has this little exercise taught us? A few things I think:
1) None of Indiana's statistical rankings stand up. I'm not sure you can take any of them seriously given the competition.
2) Michigan's defense efficiency is better than any of us expected. And they've been tested by some decent, offensively efficient teams.
3) Indiana's defensive efficiency is basically the same as Michigan's but against offensively efficient teams ranked near dead last in the nation.
4) I'm not nearly as nervous as I was before I did this little exercise.
*this is where they would rank among FBS teams although I didn't include all FCS teams.