at least it's not just us?
Alright, so, I'm at work and I can only do a cursory examination. I'll dive in more deeply later tonight and get you some hard numbers, but here's an overview of what I've found so far.
Endres, the QB that just got suspended, is better than Frazer, the guy we'll face, by quite a bit, but it doesn't matter. In UConn wins and losses, they passed for anywhere between 150 and 350 yards, regardless of whether it was a win or a loss. Usually they ended up somewhere about 200 yards passing.
The real key to defeating them lies in the run. The magic number appears to be about 150 yards. Last season, when they were held under 150 yards rushing, they just couldn't pull off the win. They'd get close, but it inevitably ended up as a loss for them. Over 150, and they took it to their opponent pretty good. Makes sense, right? But WHY is this the magic number.
I maintain that we WANT this game to become a shoot out (to some extent). I believe that we will find that their defense lacks endurance, and that if we can force them to pass, keeping their D on the field longer, we will wear them out quickly. That seems to have been the case last year, and I look for it to be the case again this year.
So in my search for anything football to keep me busy until September 4, I decided to do a little in depth reading about the UCONN Huskies.
Forgetting their offense for a moment (which I know might be the more important unit given our team weaknesses), I think we should have a lot of success against this defense provided that we take care of the ball.
Like us, UCONN will be starting a very young secondary with three of their projected starters being sophomores. The secondary definitely seems to be the weakest link for them, but not far behind it will be the pass rush. They have fairly inexperienced DEs that are way undersized coming in at 220 to 240 pounds. Now I know we had a very light Craig Roh playing a DE like position last year, but we also had BG on the other side. Needless to say, we should be able to do some things through the air against this team. Although I would much prefer to run our way to victory, having things open up through the air won't hurt our chances, especially if we find ourselves behind by a couple scores (which I don't think will happen...please god don't let that happen!)
Now the rest of the UCONN defense (ie DTs and LBs) should be pretty solid with one or two quality DTs and two excellent LBs. The only problem for them, however, is once again size. I know we are not the gargantuan Michigan teams of the past that would eat these guys whole, but I still see the potential to really get them on their heels. Their DT size isn't horrible (270lbs, 287lbs), but two of the LBs come in at under 230 and the third is 240. And let's not forget the tiny DEs.
Sure, you could say that the UCONN defense may be small but they're extremely athletic. And that seems to be very true. But our offense looks to be every bit as athletic, and will have a huge size advantage against these guys up front. Just for reference, here is the weights of some of our possible line starters from MGoBlue.com: 321, 306, 285, 294, 293, 299, 308, etc. These are all still respectable considering our system relies on very athletic lineman.
Basically, the only thing I think Michigan will have a tough time doing against the Huskies is running right at them. If our Oline is as improved as advertised and the skill guys as talented (and assuming again that we HOLD ON TO THE DAMN BALL), I think the off-tackle run game and the passing game should be there all day. We need to control the clock in this game and every game in order to protect our defense as much as possible, and I think we will be able to that against UCONN, along with ND, UMASS, BG, and Indiana. After that things get tougher of course, but if we make it to 5-0 this year I think we will all be happy with the end result. Confidence can work miracles for a team, especially a young one.
Anyways, thats my take.
Rivals site has interviews not behind the wall of DG, CC, PO, and a few others that I hadn't seen yet. Sorry in advance if this is repeater post/content but I couldn't find it. Really impressed with the saavy of the team during interviews.
The others listed under related videos.
Looks like our friend Antonio will be at Chatham prep school this fall. According to rivals...
Since it seems like the powers that be in the Big Ten and the athletic departments at Michigan and Ohio State have absolutely lost their minds, as fans and hopefully as alumni, we need to be prepared to move quickly to stop this terrible idea.
Collegiate athletics exist today as a business that requires a massive amount of support from alumni and fans to be successful. David Brandon, Jim Delany, Gene Smith, Jim Tressell, Rich Rod are accountable to alumni who give and fans who buy the t-shirts, the hats, the jerseys, the season tickets, and most importantly the precious uber-expensive luxury boxes.
I'd like to begin to solicit ideas as to how to unify Wolverines and Buckeyes in a coordinated effort to severely punish both schools and their athletic departments should they move this game. If they're too stupid to see that their little benefit and serious drawbacks, then we might need to show them in a more forceful way. Michigan alum has tons of money, influence, skills, and combined with the large alumni bodies at both schools, and former players (some of whom actually still care about the school), we can flex our muscles and save one of the greatest traditions in all of sports.