Hockey pet peeve: "when a teammate tips a puck in on you, which is exactly how my first collegiate goal against happened. Thanks, Copper."
Down with OPP - not what you might think - I'm going for Other People's Pressers... Get it? Do ya?? If I have the time, I'll try to do this for all the upcoming opponent press conferences during game week. I mean, I've already come up with a snazzy name for it and everything. No sense in wasting it now! I'm going to try to go by theme, not necessarily following the questions in chronological order, fyi.
These are my key takeaways from the Brian Kelly press conference on Wednesday, Sept 8. For your reference, the full transcript can be found here:
On Denard Robinson:
Althought Marve was athletic, very different from Denard (duh). "They're setting up the run obviously for him. You're running quarterback iso," and that "He's going to be the focal point of the running game."
He makes mention of the "zone read" in a couple of spots. Apparently, Purdue pulled Marve at one point for another guy (I think a WR who played some QB in HS, although don't know who) in order to run a read option.
Oh, when they ran the read option. Oh, very similar. Yeah, there are some similarities to that scheme. Obviously we didn't handle that very well. So we'll clearly spend a little more time on that. But there are some similarities to the read that Purdue went to when they brought the other quarterback in.
Has a couple of guys on the scout team they're looking at to play the role of Denard in practices, but that "[he doesn'nt] know that you ever can prepare for Denard Robinson at the same speed that he plays."
On their defense:
On defending the Michigan defense, particularly with the schemes and style of play, he says the foundation is always going to be getting the "assignment correct when you play a team that has certainly some of the instruments of options within its package." He also say that, "you wouldn't think blitzing would be the first call of duty when you play a team like this."
On the defensive capabilities and schemes, he says they "needed to play a structure of defense that pulls together all of the basics of good defense. That is containing the football, gap integrity, great tackling." I immediately wondered what that says about the philosophy or coaching compared to the prior regime, and he actually responds to a question about this later on:
I don't know what they did or didn't do last year. I didn't spend much time analyzing. I didn't know what we wanted to do. And certainly one of our goals defensively is to minimize big plays. So call structure, all of those things are talked about from day one back before we got here in December. That is clearly the message.
Then he again mentions "Good fundamentals." Just sayin'.
On adjusting to Purdue's switch to the read option look, suggested they were a little caught off guard the first time, but that they adjusted "the next series and we were prepared for anything if they went into that as an offense."
Mentioned that they only gave up one play over 20 yards all day - a 23 yd TD.
On their offense:
He has some weird 88%/12% metric he uses to measure on-field success. I guess it's a little higher target than your typical 80/20 rule? Anyway, I don't really get it, but he calls out penalties and ball security as the two biggest things he looks at.
I generally focus on those two things from an offensive standpoint. If we hit those two, we're generally in a position to do some good things. To me it's as important as anything offense.
On time of possession, he said he played an up-tempo, outscore-your-opponents style at Cincy, although not because he likes that style. Look for them to be more "traditional" in terms of the tempo at which their offense operates.
I don't like to play that way, but it was the way we needed to play. I would certainly like to play the game and manage the game in a more textbook fashion, if you will. And that is relative to the time of possession and keeping your defense off the field, and making sure they operate in the long field.
Other random notes:
On the rivalry: "I've never prepared football teams in a manner that we focus on a particular rivalry. But this is all eggs in one basket. I try to keep a steady enthusiastic to approach to every game. ... I respect the history and tradition of it. But what I really used was our guys, letting them know that this team's going to be ready for you. Same thing with Michigan, same thing with Purdue, and every team that we're going to play with that rivalry so they have historical respect that and we're going to focus on ourselves.
On injuries: "Shembo, (Darius) Fleming, fine. No issues there. Had some cramping. Slaughter, we were concerned after the game of the quote unquote high ankle sprain. Found out that wasn't the case. He's been in rehab the past 48 hours, we'll take him out of the walking boot and get him moving today. Some precursors to really an evaluation would be very minimal swelling and emotion. Positive signs I'm not ready to say he's going to be 100% for Saturday, but some of the signs point toward someone who is making good progress. That is it for injuries."
On his relationship with RR: "We also have the same financial advisor, so that probably makes us really close friends. Rich and I know each other, and I have respect rich for the work that he's done. We don't get a chance to see each other in the off season. We've both got young families that we're chasing around. But I know rich very well, and obviously we have some friends in Butch Jones as well."
On recruits visiting for the game: "I think it's important, there is no question. Winning helps it. There is no question about that. The experience at Notre Dame, getting a chance to be around a game day atmosphere is the most important thing for these young men that are going to be making arguably the biggest decision of their lives. So, yes, we are holding a recruiting weekend. We think that the experience of game day for them is really very important in the process."
I saw this article on annarbor.com and thought I would pass it on to you. John Pollack was a founder of the Save the Big House and they interviewed him to see what he has to say now that it was done.
Then the next part of the article is about Brock Mealer and I didn't realize he is currently enrolled at Ohio State for a graduate degree but he had a great quote
"I figure if I can get two degrees from Ohio State, it might be close to Elliott’s undergraduate degree"
And the last part was comparing Denard to Pat White.
Anyway here is the link, enjoy:
Nothing that hasn't been covered here, but interesting because of the UM vs ND context and quotes.
The Read: All About It
I will be at the game tomorrow supporting the Miaze and Blue. My tickets are section 17 row 3. I was wondering if anybody is familiar with how Notre Dame's seating works. FWIW I was told that row 3 is actually row 1 because 1 & 2 are on the field. I was also told it's supposed to be right behind the MMB. I just can't wait to find out so any help would be much appreciated.
My dad and I went to the game Saturday but somehow we missed the commemorative pin giveaway. My dad and I have gone to many games together but this one, a rededication, seemed to carry more significance. My plan was to frame the game ticket, a picture of dad and me at the game and the pin and give it to my dad as a gift, but I didn't have the pin! I wasn't sure who to contact within the atheltic dept. so I went for the top and emailed Mr. Brandon at 11 a.m. yesterday, he responded at 11 p.m.
Here is the exchange:
Dear Mr. Brandon,
My father (Class of '51) and I (Class of '03) were in attendance last weekend at the season opener/rededication and I must say the Big House looks wonderful and rejuvenated. Though I've moved to New Orleans I fly in at least twice a year to go to games with my father, a season ticket holder of 15 years. My dad and I have been to many classic games together but this one was extra special to attend together because of what it symbolized, the beginning of a new era of Michigan football. On the way to the game my dad told me about his Freshman year at Michigan (1947!) and the Mad Magicians and his road trip his senior year to Columbus to take in the Snow Bowl.
The reason I write to you is because I wanted to do something special for my dad, I plan on framing our tickets along with a picture of us at the game and the commemorative pin, however, we never received our commemorative pins! I'm not sure if the athletic department has any spares but it would mean a lot to me if the athletic department could send two pins to me (or my father) so that I may include them in my gift to my dad.
If you would be so kind, please send the pins to:
or if you'd feel more comfortable sending them to the address of the season ticket holder, my dad:
Sincerely, a proud Michigan alum (from a family of proud Michigan alumni),
I am sorry you didn’t receive your commemorative pins.
We will be happy to send you two pins….they will be sent out ASAP!
I am glad you enjoyed the game.
Best wishes to you and your Dad….
Many of us speculated that as AD he probably doesn't answer his own email or has canned responses (which seems likely re: hotly contested issues such as moving The Game), but it seems unlikely that the subject matter of my email had a canned response ready to go, it also seems unlikely that he has aides responding to admittedly "trivial" emails at 11 p.m.
Just wanted to put it out there that for a man with a strong pimp hand, he seems to be a good guy.