if you seek an image of the most Wisconsin OL ever, enter here
I've created one of these after each win. This is my homage to the Purdue game.
I hope we have at least one more win so that I can make another one before next year.
The Good - A Win. take a win anyway you can get it - maybe style points will matter next year. Defense earned some confidence - critical to making an improvement is believing you are better ... Great job defense. Finshing the Game - finally taking control at the end. Seems like we have been leaving the end in doubt until the clock hit zero, but today the offense finished the drive leaving no doubt. Coaching - RR's decision to not play Martin or Mouton. D didn't need them v. Purdue and Martin hasn't played a full game for at least 3 games. Fans - first game I've missed in person since ND ... but at the start I could hear Go .... Blue ... on the TV !
The Bad - the Weather looked awful on TV. Hard to maintain blocks, throw or kick (though Purdue didn't have as many issues with kicking). Coaching - my only BIG concern here was the end of the half mis-management. Purdue tried to drive late but failed, it was 4th & 8 from their 38ish with 18 secs. left. If RR calls time out they have to punt. It was wet and anything could happen ... like a bad snap, dropped snap, a shanked punt whatever. At least make Purdue punt ... I wouldn't even put a man back to field it. But instead, we gave Purdue at last ditch chance (what if we would have been called for pass interference ?) ... even though it failed (and WTF a lateral after the INT ?) ... they should NEVER have had a chance to do anything ... make them punt ! BTN Coverage - OMG the worst TV coverage ever. The camera angle was sooo close that every pass required the camera to follow the ball ... at times you had no idea where the ball was going. I hate watching on TV, but c'mon BTN you can do much better than that !
The Ugly - The Win - yeah 5 turnovers again, but it was Good - Ugly as we came away with the W ! Purdue's campus & stadium - had to throw this in ... the ugliest combo in the B10.
Back to Ann Arbor next week to take on an arrogant Wisconsin team (no excuse to lay 83 on any B10 opponent other than OSU). I think the team will be ready ... I know the fans will be !!!
Go Blue !
So I'm not sure if GERG is coaching for his DC life right now or if the defense is actually beginning to gel and show the jump in productivity that a defense fielding 7+ freshman often will given some time together... but either way, the defense has improved pretty significantly over the past two weeks.
While Illinois did put up 65(!), our defense had several key stops and kept us in it despite a very lopsided TO differential; they also ended the game at the end of 3OT. We didn't give up an offensive touchdown (!) (!) (!) this week at Purdue w/o Martin or Mouton, and while yes their offense is in shambles, I recall the same thing being said about PSU, about cockiness regarding UMass, and that Purdue was leading Wisconsin at halftime last week.
I realize Brian among others has totally written off GERG, and I certainly wouldn't say no to Casteel or another elite DC if we had a shot a them. That being said, I wonder if GERG's firing is a foregone conclusion among the fans? Is there anything (reasonably, e.g. not "if we pulled in every 5-star defensive back left on the board due to GERG's recruiting!") that would convince you that GERG deserves a shot at staying at Michigan for another year?
For me, it would take a win at the end of the season featuring good enough defense to let our offense not have to score on every drive, + further signs of our incredibly young D progressing. I'd be neutral on GERG coming back if that were to happen. What about you?
This is an interesting trend for the Big 10 teams the game after playing Indiana:
Oct 2 @ Indiana- W 42-35
Oct 9 vs. MSU- L 17-34 (Michigan was a 3 point favorite)
Oct 9 vs. Indiana- W 38-10
Oct 16 @ Wisconsin- L 18-31 (OSU was a 4 point favorite)
Oct 23 vs. Indiana- W 44-13
Oct 30 vs. Purdue- W 44-10
Oct 30 @ Indiana- W 20-17
Nov 6 @ Penn State- L 21-35
Nov 6 @ Indiana- W 18-13
Nov 13 @ Northwestern- L 17-21 (Iowa was a 10.5 point favorite)
Nov 13 vs Indiana- W 83-20
Nov 20 @ Michigan- TBD..
OVERALL: Big 10 teams are 1-4 in the game after they play Indiana, with 3 outright losses by favorites in Vegas. You could also say that Big Ten teams are 0-4 in this game against teams that aren't Purdue. This might not mean anything but let's hope it does and it continues.
Now that we're seriously into the season, I thought it might be time to see how we're doing as compared to last year. Some people around here like tables (called "charts"), but methinks charts are hard to read. In fact, that's why last year I started plotting the Hennegraphs and other related graphical views of data B. Cook has put together.
And hence, a graph of some key offensive statistics across the first ten games of the year, for both 2009 and 2010:
Click here for the full-sized graph, which is much easier to read.
The graph plots a number of statistics across each game of the season. On the left are all the number for 2009, and on the right the numbers for 2010. The bottom-most graph shows points scored in each game; the next graph up shows point differential (how many points we scored minus how many points the opposition scored); a similar set of graphs for how many yards our offense accumulated and yard differential (yards gained minus yards given up) are shown above those.
I also took some liberty of moving the 2009 Delaware St. game to before the Big Ten Season so that the comparable games are in the same part of the season.
These graphs I believe allow one to make a few observations about how much the team has progressed since last season. And so I do:
- In 2009, we were outgained in yardage, often significantly, in virtually every game against serious competition (the Big Ten team and Notre Dame). I think it is reasonable to make the case, and the record indeed shows, that we were just a bad Big Ten team.
- In 2010, there is only one game like this: the MSU game. We have thus made a jump, at least to the middle of the pack, and possible higher (which the next two weeks will play a significant role in determining).
- In 2009, a number of Big Ten games were quite close despite the yardage differentials. Is this a testimony to the fact that the team is actually pretty tough mentally, never quitting in games even though they were getting pushed around? It is pretty amazing how close the team was to having a pretty good seasonin 2009.
- In 2010, in many ways our record is worse than our yardage numbers. This has a lot to do with turnovers undoubtedly, and is a great sign for the 2011 season.
- Your observations go here.
A lot of this is well known and obvious for those who follow the team (i.e. mgoblog fanatics like myself), but I thought the visualization was a nice way to see the differences between 2009 and 2010. Certainly, it can be shown to any idiot who claims we haven't made much progress.
Enjoy! And please do suggest other items to include on said graphs; it is not hard to scrape the data from the espn box scores.
Michigan had more tradition and success before any of us was born than South Carolina has had up to this second. So I think it's an interesting experiment in perspective to consider their SEC East division-clinching win at the Swamp last night.
While disclaiming that I'm not a southerner and thus have no dog in the fight, my hat is off to the Gamecocks. What's going on this season is uniquely special to that community - it could be once in a lifetime for them. It feels good to see it; I'm very excited for USC's team and fan base. Whatever happens down the stretch, they'll remember that win last night as one of the great ones in program history.