Post Week Analysis can be found here: http://mgoblog.com/diaries/post-week-8-yardage-analysis-and-predictions-...
The analysis above for the Penn State game basically found that the only way UM was going to leave Happy Valley with a loss was for the offense to end up on the low end of the prediction and for PSU's offense to gain on the high end of UMs predicted defense. What happened was exactly that.
UMs offense low end was predicted 417 yards. UM gained 423 yards. PSU's offense gained 435 yards with a predicted high end of 438.
What is even more disturbing is that with the yards that PSU gained, they should have only scored around 28 points when you take their yards/point metric for their season average. PSU scored 41 points. This can only be attributed to PSU ridiculous starting field position. Once again, special teams woes have hurt the team. Blame could also be put on the defense for failure to get off the field. UM lost the time of possession by 15 minutes.
When looking at the PSU game and where UMs offensive and defensive efforts rank, we see much the same thing. PSU gained 29.13% more yards than their season average, which is good for 4th worst finish this season (46.28% vs. Indiana, 38.83% vs. UMass, 29.63% vs. MSU).
UMs offense gained 27.41% more yards than the PSU defense averages per game. Normally, you'd think that number was pretty good, except for the fact that, for the season, UMs offense is gaining almost 54% more yards than their opponents give up. That 27% mark is the offense's second lowest mark this season, only beaten out by 14.46% mark put up against MSU.
What's significantly dissappointing about the PSU game numbers? The disastrous showing by the offense and defense come after not only a two-week preperation window, but also after the offense's and defense's best games of the year against Iowa. It seemed there was progress being made on both sides, but the PSU game was a major let down.
Now, moving on to Week 10 of the college football season and UM showdown with Illinois.
Let's bring up the charts....
This game isn't looking too promising for Michigan. It looks like UM is going to need one of their better offensive days of the season AND one of their better defensive days of the season against Illinois. Perhaps if homefield advantage is worth 3 points, then we have a dead heat and only a bad defensive showing will spell doom for UM. That is, of course, given UMs offense gets back on track. It's going to be a tall task against the 15th ranked defense (yards/game) and 12th ranked scoring defense. The only bit of hope is that Iowa is the 12th ranked defense and 8th ranked scoring defense and UM had a good game on both sides of the field.
So, my prediction based on these statistics....
UM - 470 yards
Illinois - 460 yards
UM - 28
Illinois - 31
I've heard both Rich Rod and players mention that the defense will work on improving their third down defense this week in practice. Michigan's opponents have had great success on converting 3rd downs (not that this is news to any of you).
My question for the coaching minded: Is bad third down defense different than bad 1st and 2nd down defense (not in importance, but in strategy and technique)?
I understand that getting a stop on 3rd down is seen as critical since most teams will punt the ball away on 4th down, but are the things you work on to improve what you do on third down any different than the skills needed to be a good defense on all other downs?
Unless they're just stressing, "See that orange stick attached to that chain? On 3rd down it is EXTRA important to tackle the guy before he gets there!", I'm not sure what focusing on 3rd down defense entails.
And the Angry Michigan Secondary-Hating God is back.
RR said at his press conference today that Floyd was done for the season. "He got rolled up. It's one of those freak things that happen...we're pretty young in the secondary -- we're getting younger." Apparently it happened in practice. Courtney Avery will start in Floyd's place.
I know people get tired of the decimated defense theme. They want someone to pay for the poor performance on the field. But injuries do matter. They matter a lot.
I am bracing for the fan meltdown as we go (at best) 1-3 to finish the conference slate. Can we even beat Purdue?
4 of the 5 "Experts" picked UM to win...
However, the bad news is that Dodd picked UM.
Of course, 3 of 4 "experts" at CollegeFootballNews predict we will be really freaking out by 4pm on Saturday:
However!!!! Fuitek picked The Illini!!!!!!!
Home team, with three straight losses, is a three point favorite against the road team who has beat exactly zero average or above teams, but, is annointed as the "surprise" team in the conference because the don't embarrass themselves when they lose.
Sounds like the definition of a "toss-up"
I got this sent to me by an Aggie - apparently the University of Texas has decided to make a ton of statues of the greats of all their sports. That sounds great - only problem is they look completely ridiculous...
Check out the UT thread for some hilarious photoshops (you've gotta go through a few pages but they are well worth it - Colt McCoy gets some great PS jobs).