this may be of some local interest
Michigan Monday is up at The Ozone. As always, an interesting read, and good to get an outsider's perspective. Some interesting thoughts:
On composure of Michigan:
After having seen the Buckeyes panic with both a deficit and lead of 14 points, I couldn't help but notice that there was never any concern among the Michigan coaches and players going into the half. The players have complete faith in their coaches to put each of them in a position to succeed.
On Denard's interceptions:
The first came on a back-foot jump ball that was overthrown. The second came on a way overthrown wheel route down inside the Northwestern redzone. The third came on a throw that bore no resemblance to a pass that was intended for anybody living. It was thrown towards the sideline and had two receivers in the area, but neither close enough to be considered intended targets. It was just a terribly inaccurate throw.
On second half adjustments (regarding Denard's passing):
They made fantastic halftime adjustments. Robinson only threw the ball eight times in the second half, completing seven passes. His lone incompletion was an overthrow of an open Jeremy Gallon streaking down the sideline 50 yards downfield.
On Jeremy Gallon:
Jeremy Gallon is rounding himself into quite a valuable player. He caught five passes for 73 yards, including a 25-yard throwback screen. He has shown himself to be comfortable in the screen game and also running routes. He is not a gimmick player—he is legit.
On running back performance:
The running backs really did nothing worth any mention, though I guess their lack of doing anything is what's actually worth mentioning. Michael Shaw, Fitzgerald Toussaint and Vincent Smith combined for 23 carries for 58 yards (2.5 ypc). Northwestern set out to make sure that they stopped Robinson, and along the way they ended up stopping Michigan's average running backs as well.
The more concerning thing for the Wolverines, however, is that if the Wildcats were so intent on stopping Robinson, then why didn't the running backs have huge days? And what happens when Michigan comes up against better defenses in the coming weeks?
On the defense and Greg Mattison:
I'm not a believer in this defense yet, but I am a believer in Greg Mattison. He's only asking his defense to do what they're capable of, and in doing so, they're making plays. When you ask them to do things they can do, they go out and do it, and good things come from it.
There is a lot more there. Gerdeman (being an Ohio homer) felt that Hawthorne trapped and didn't intercept the ball cleanly, and also felt that Kovacs should have been called for a facemask penalty. Being at the game and not watching replays, I can't weigh in definitively. However, my understanding on the interception is that without conclusive evidence, they won't overturn the decision on the field. And with the non-facemask call, I don't think the official was in position to make the call, and they're not going to retroactively add a call from the replay.
Gerdeman closes with an observation made by Hoke and our own coaching staff: lack of consistency, which isn't a great harbinger of the game with MSU. This is a good place for a final blockquote:
While this offense can explode at times, it can also disappear. Yes, they threw for nearly 200 yards in the first half, but that first half also contained three interceptions. It's like showing off your new Ferrari, but stalling at a light in front of convertible full of women. What good is it if it can let you down at the most inopportune times?
And where were the running backs? They are more capable than what they showed on Saturday. The Northwestern defense was more than happy to allow them to make plays instead of Robinson, and they failed. A similar performance will not lead to a win in East Lansing next weekend.
UGotW gets a bye week! Not two, not three, but all five of the top five play cupcakes! Sweet, delicious, in-conference cupcakes. This has to be the easiest column since last year's New Mexico/New Mexico State tilt that got one of the two teams their first (and I think only) win of the season.
So here's what passes for research for me: go to ESPN's scoreboard, flip ahead to the next week. What do I see but #1 LSU playing Tennessee, #2 Alabama playing Ole Miss, #3 Oklahoma playing Kansas, #4 Wisconsin playing Indiana and #5 Boise State playing Colorado State. I mean, it doesn't get any easier than that.
Cupcakes? Cupcakes. Or since we're all doing MST3K references this week, DEEP HURTING! Rock climbing, Joel. Rock climbing.
First off, Tennessee has already been beaten by a Florida team that has fallen out of the top 25. Last week, they scored a mighty 12 against Georgia. I was hopeful that the 12 would be all FGs, but 2 FGs and a TD with a blocked extra point gets a +1 for originality and style. Another bonus point for Tennessee for managing negative rushing yards against Georgia. LSU has only the 100th ranked passing offense, but giving up only 12 points per game, who needs it?
Staying in the SEC, we come to Ole Miss. They've got losses to Vanderbilt and Georgia to open 0-2 in conference. Alabama looks a lot like LSU on paper: 80th ranked passing offense, 1st in points allowed. Alabama has two shutouts for the season, and hasn't allowed more than 2 TDs yet.
I'm supposed to be nice to Kansas, since it's my wife's school, but what can you say? They are 120th in points allowed, pushing close to the 50 points per game margin. To be fair, it looks like they have a reasonable offense on paper (11th in rushing), but they must be playing traffic cones and office furniture on defense. This is shaping up to be a month to forget for the Jayhawks, after playing #6 Oklahoma State, #3 Oklahoma, #17 Kansas State and #22 Texas. Oklahoma is coming off a 55-17 pantsing of Texas.
Indiana already has losses to Ball State, Virginia and North Texas on their resume. Up to last week, none of those losses were more than 6 points, but if you need to equivocate a loss to North Texas, you're not very good. Wisconsin, on the other hand, is very good. The phrase "Crushin' Fools" comes to mind. They're #3 in points for and #2 in points against, and averaging over 500 yards per game. Plus they had a bye week after welcoming Nebraska to the BIG conference.
Last, but not least is Colorado State. Yes, the Rams are 3-2. Their wins are: 14-10 versus New Mexico, 33-14 against Northern Colorado, and an overtime win against Utah State. Boise State continues to be the bully on the playground, picking on the little kids. Since Georgia, they've played Toledo, Tulsa, Nevada, Fresno State, CSU, Air Force, and UNLV before finally playing TCU, who does not look like the TCU of previous years.
So here's my sporting advice for the weekend: take the over. I don't know if anyone will push triple digit scores, but I expect to see lots of 60's, 70's and probably a 80 as they all fight to make up ground on each other.
I don't think we will find another center quite like Molk. I would be pretty interested to see what he is like off the field and/or press conference.
"Every time I see Denard on the sideline, especially after a first half that he had, I go up to him and go, 'Hey, Shoeski, we've got to have fun this half. Let's have some fun,'" Molk said. "He just smiles, we laugh and we go out and play. … That's what makes him good. When he's having fun, he's unstoppable."
From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20111011/SPORTS0201/110110345/Wolverines-seniors--goal--To-change-their-legacy#ixzz1aTyRui56
Now that Ohio is circling the drain, get ready for more and more of these Urban Meyer to OSU stories. I know, I know, 2008 and Tebow and all that, but still. It would be a homerun for them.
The Lantern, student newspaper at Ohio had a commentary on October 4, 2011 by a Ben Axelrod related to the Tressel era. The salient points for the non link followers below:
After Pryor, Posey and four other teammates were suspended for the start of the 2011 season, Tressel made them promise that they would return for their senior seasons before letting them play in the Sugar Bowl. You know, because there's no better way to punish kids who claim they only sold stuff because they were in dire need of the money than by preventing them from making a living for one more whole year?
Had Pryor, Posey and Herron all declared for the draft following Tattoo-gate, Tressel would likely still be out of a college coaching job and the Buckeyes would be just as much of a mess on the field as they are now. But thanks to Tressel demanding players to return to a school that they didn't want to be at, OSU is likely facing charges of a lack of institutional control, as in less than a year, 10 players have been suspended for receiving improper benefits.
People like to pretend that Tressel transformed OSU into the national power that it is, when in reality, he's leaving the football program in worse shape than it was in before he got here, and that's a clear sign of having done more harm than good.
Even during hate week it's awesome to watch Ohio implode. That is a spectacular stat that over the past year 10 players have been suspended for receiving improper benefits. If that's not LOIC I wonder what the hell is...(as does the PAC 10/12 lobby).
Well, if I'm not speaking prematurely I'd say the fortunes of Michigan and OSU are slowly turning in opposise directions. Going into spring practice 2010 the Buckeyes were still the team to beat in the Big Ten. My aim here is not to pile on Buckeye misery but rather to emphasize how the FB programs tend to run in cycles after the Bo and Woody 10 year war. As I recall the 1980's were slightly advantage Wolverines. The 1990s were overwhelmingly advantage Wolverines - and we all know about JT and the Buckeye scorched earth hordes of the 2000s. Question is - is the tide coming in for the Wolverines? What do you think we can expect in the 201x years?