this may be of some local interest
Sunday I posted a thread comparing the defense in the 1st and 2nd halves (here). I just felt that the team, especially the defense, was playing better in the second half and wanted to get some stats to compare. I just posted this to see if the offense had a similar trend. The conclusion? I don't know. The numbers look a little better in the second half, but they're pretty even, a couple games were outliers either way, and of course the WMU game wasn't finished. I guess the point is that the offense has scored when they needed to in the second half (NW, ND). So anyway, I have these stats so I figured I would share them.
WMU (not a full game)
1st: 14 points, 142 yards, 1 punt, 0 turnovers
2nd: 7 points, 157 yards, 1 punt, 0 turnovers
1st: 7 points, 85 yards, 4 punts, 1 turnover (interception)
2nd: 28 points, 378 yards, 1 punt, 2 turnovers (2 interceptions)
1st: 14 points, 218 yards, 3 punts, 1 turnover (interception)
2nd: 17 points, 253 yards, 0 punts, 0 turnovers
1st: 21 points, 247 yards, 1 punt, 1 turnover (fumble)
2nd: 7 points, 160 yards, 3 punts, 3 turnovers (2 interceptions, 1 fumble)
1st: 38 points, 394 yards, 0 punts, 0 turnovers
2nd: 13 points, 200 yards, 2 punts, 0 turnovers
1st: 14 points, 236 yards, 1 punt, 3 turnovers (3 interceptions)
2nd: 28 points, 288 yards, 0 punts, 0 turnovers
Total (With WMU):
1st: 108 points, 1,322 yards, 10 punts, 6 turnovers (5 interceptions, 1 fumble)
2nd: 107 points, 1,436 yards, 7 punts, 5 turnovers (4 interceptions, 1 fumble)
Total (Without WMU):
1st: 94 points, 1,180 yards, 9 punts, 6 turnovers (5 interceptions, 1 fumble)
2nd: 100 points, 1,279 yards, 6 punts, 5 turnovers (4 interceptions, 1 fumble)
As chosen by Rivals' thoroughly scientific process (/s). But seriously, it's always cool to see any Michigan game getting national hype.
Best game: Michigan at Michigan State, noon, ESPN. Michigan makes the short drive to East Lansing to put its unbeaten record on the line against the Spartans (4-1) in a bitter in-state rivalry. Michigan State has won three in a row in the series. The Spartans have held four of their five opponents to seven or fewer points, but they face a tremendous challenge in trying to contain explosive Wolverines QB Denard Robinson and a Michigan offense that has exceeded 30 points four times.
Best unit matchup of the week: Michigan offensive line vs. Michigan State defensive line. Michigan State leads the nation in total defense and is third nationally in run defense. Michigan's offensive line has done a nice job controlling the line of scrimmage and that has to continue against the Spartans. Wolverines QB Denard Robinson certainly can scramble, but he would much rather run when he wants to rather than when he has to. Michigan's line has allowed a nation's-low two sacks, and TBs Fitzgerald Toussaint and Vincent Smith have been effective runners. The Spartans' front needs to clog up the middle Saturday.
Best coordinator chess match: Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges vs. Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi. The Spartans have surprised many by playing some of the best defense in the nation under Narduzzi. But Narduzzi will have to have his troops in top form facing Borges' attack, which is led by Denard Robinson. Borges is slowly opening the playbook and expanding the options for Robinson. The winning coordinator's team will have a big leg up in the Big Ten Legends Division race.
ESPN has an interesting article about Michigan's ability to successfully make adjustments this year. We are second only to Stanford (and one spot ahead of Bama) in terms of second half point differential.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison sat his players down in the visitors' locker room Saturday night at Ryan Field. It was halftime, and the Wolverines trailed 24-14, obviously not the best 30 minutes for a defense that had garnered praise for its turnaround from a year ago.
In Michigan's first five games, defensive lineman Ryan Van Bergen said, the changes Mattison had made had been small and simple. This was going to be a big change in a small amount of time.
Michigan had been hurt by Northwestern's run option. The Wildcats had also unexpectedly run more bubble screens than anticipated, leaving Mattison about 20 minutes to overhaul his plan.
"It was a pretty serious thing," Van Bergen said. "To bump all the linebackers back the way we did, but it was successful."
Michigan pulled its linebackers off the line of scrimmage more to allow them a split-second more time to read where Dan Persa or Kain Colter would try to run an option. It also caused more traffic for receivers running short routes over the middle.
And like it has through six weeks this season, No. 10 Michigan had success.
Izzo and his wife, Lupe, have donated $1 million to the MSU AD, most of which will go towards the football scholarship program. This is a pretty solid thing for Izzo to do, obviously, and it appears as if he's trying to keep the football program and the hype around it going by matching it with monetary support. Link?
P.S. - Everything in the article is fluff (and Izzo earned it, I guess), but this one still made me shake my head:
"Supporting the football team was an easy decision," Izzo said in a prepared statement. "Coach [Mark] Dantonio is a man of character, building a championship program."
Everything was good until that whole "man of character" bit, but that's just my opinion. And of course, Beat Sparty!
Per ESPN- TCU accepts invite to Big 12.
I've always been a Boise State and TCU naysayer, so I like this move by TCU. I would like to see Boise make a similar move if they really want to be considered a true BCS contender.
On occasion, I find it illuminating to peer into the MGoBlog archives and "check the pulse" of the blog at certain important points in the past. A particularly relevant post from Brian below, following the infamous 2007 contest and the postgame comments from Mike Hart and Mark Dantonio:
Oh, now it's personal? You mean it's unlike all those other games when a host of kids who never even got looked at by Michigan (save three or four per year) played their instate rival and then immediately collapsed afterward? Oh shit. We are in serious trouble now. It's personal. I am liquidating my assets and moving to Tahiti, as Michigan will never beat Michigan State again.