DM gets props from ESPN - much deserved:
Just secured some tickets for Saturday and now face the task of tailgating in enemy territory. I was at Northwestern which was very much like tailgating in AA as we were surrounded by tons of other U of M fans. I know this will not be the case in EL. This will be my first trip there .. so any advice from some experienced M fans that have been to Spartyland in the past ? My age alone prefers being away from the "student" areas as I really don't want to have some 18 year old's msu vomit all over my car that is obviously owned by a Michigan fan.
Is there a "favorite" lot for U of M fans? Thanks for the help ... and
I already provided some undetailed thoughts on the MSU defense earlier and they were well recieved for the most part :-) so I thought I'd provide some info on the offense.
Glass Half Full? - As fans, I think we tend to see the postive things from our teams and I can't help doing that. I realize that is a faulty starting point, but I'm a fan so what can I do. What I mean by that is our point total at OSU (10) stunk. However, in watching the game not all 10 points are created equally. It wasn't like we were totally pathetic (like OSU) and went 3 and out. We ran the ball ok (prior to 4th quarter shut down mode) and moved the ball into OSU territory quite often (9 or 10 times I think). Then........WE SHOOT OURSELVES IN THE FOOT. Now, I remember the UM folks with RRod talk about all the yards they would rack up between the 20's before faulting in the red zone. I, as an MSU fan, would laugh. Now, I find myself doing the same thing. Again, totally admit it is unfair....just being honest.
What I'm getting at is that I think this offense has it in them to put together a good thing. They aren't hopeless like a Bauserman led Buckyeye offense. With that said, I won't believe it until they do it.
BJ Cunningham is a stud - Finally, he seems to be getting his due. He is just a SOLID SOLID reciever. Not as explosive as a Charles Rogers (college Rogers, not inept NFL Rogers), but he has better hands than Rogers and catches everything.
The other WR's have been a huge dissapointment. Keyshawn Martin is our slot jitterbug, but he just hasn't been right this year. He has made a lot of mental mistakes. Keith Nichol is great as a blocker and catches everything, but he either 1) doesn't get open or 2) Cousins is still mad at him for the QB thing and doesn't throw to him.
*** Our much hyped, but oft injured, Bennie Fowler should play against Michigan. IMO, he has more potential than Nichol or KMart, but we'll see if he can make an impact. He hasn't played a snap this year, so counting on him would be foolish.
The RBacks - Edwin Baker has had a poor year. I blame it more on the Oline than him, but he as been bottled up and frustrated. However, if he can get a crease, he has home run ability. He did that against Mich last year. LeVeon Bell seem to do better and consistently getting 4-5 yards. He has that knack for falling forward to pick up the extra 2 yards. Larry Caper comes in on 3rd down to catch screen passes or run draws.
Captain Kirk - Kirk really takes a ton of heat for a guy that is pretty good. Expectations will kill a guy. If you look at his stats, he has been fine, but every mistake is magnified. If you look at OSU game, the int in the end zone was thrown fine. Our TE stepped on the db's shoe and couldn't jump. Question the play call, but not a bad throw. The fumble and look like an idiot falling on it, I feel safe chalking up to poor weather. The final int was an awful decision and throw. No excuse. Still, I think Kirk will be fine if given time. If UM wins, it will be because their blitzes get through and Kirk makes some bad decisions.
and finally our battered OLine - No expert insight here, this is really the key to the game. I've read to the contrary on this site, but our strength is actually or interior line. Our guards Foreman (senior) and McDonald are pretty good. Our Redshirt Freshman Travis Jackson was the starter at the end of fall camp, but got hurt and didn't play against Notre Dame. He is back and has been solid. Our weakness is at our tackle spots (particularly LTackle) but again, they played better against OSU. I feel good that your best players IMO are Marting and VanBergen. We need to batlle to a draw there. I know everyone here loves Super Roh, but I think Fou Fonoti will handle him OK and Jibreel Black or your other DE doesn't strike fear in me. If this were Brandon Graham lining up against Dan France (our LT), I would beg for mercy (or at least mandate a TE staying in to chip block).
There you have it.......hope I provided some useful info.
Again, I have the good guys (that's MSU) pulling it out in the 24-14 neighborhood, but NOBODY KNOWS what's going to happen.
This week’s take on the week that was, and the week to come.
Charting Michigan’s odds of winning throughout Saturday’s game: Brief bumps around the two first half TD’s and then a big climb throughout the third quarter.
Best Three Plays:
1. Denard to Roundtree for 57 yards, 16%
2. Hawthorne intercepts Persa, 14%
3. Kovacs shuts the door on the fourth down option, 13%
Worst Three Plays:
1. Denard Interception #1, –13%
2. Denard Interception #2, –11%
3. Denard Interception #3, –10%
So the three first half picks were the three most damaging plays of the day for Michigan, and Denard only had one play in the top 3. At the end of the day he still ended up +65%!
For the season, Denard’s Win Percentage Added stands at +265%. Each team starts at 50% so they have added 50% per game times 6 games is 300% added. The defense, special teams and non-Denard offensive players have accounted for a total of 35%. Denard’s number is far and away the top in the country so far. Second is Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas at +177%. Russell Wilson is next behind him at +158%.
Rush offense: –1, equal to ND for worst opponent adjusted performance of the season
Pass offense: +12, best of the season (Michigan’s best two games have both come despite 3 interceptions)
Rush defense: –3, worst performance of the season
Pass defense: +1, worst performance of the season
Special Teams: –2, 4th best of the season
Field Position: A rare win for Michigan, picking up a 23-22 win in expected points based on drive starts.
Denard was +12 (+10 passing, +2 rushing), second to ND on the season
Michael Shaw: +2
Vincent Smith: –1
Fitzgerald Toussaint: –5
(Expected value of offensives formations and more after the jump)
With all the talk about the 3 and out book by Bacon, and our relief that deja vu was not happening all over again, I threw together some memories and put them into a video. I hope y'all enjoy it.
Edit: Holy Rorsharch's test, Batman. I thought I mostly put in positive images. I didn't realize mgocommentors could so easily turn into youtube commentators. I didn't choose the song 'cause it was a top 100 pop song, I thought it had meaningful lyrics for the moment we find ourselves in. I wasn't trying to put anyone down, just remembering the good times and realizing that this year is going to be even better than last year, and better than expected. If you really think I'm beating a dead horse with this, ... you know what? Fuck you. I enjoyed making it and remembering those moments.