that is nice bonus change
Sam Webb and crew used to do a Sunday morning recap show. Former players would also join in. I didn't hear it this morning. Does anyone know if this show is still being produced?
Some quick thoughts on future opponents after getting some glimpses in week 1. Normal caveats apply i.e. level of opponents, reading too much in 1 week, improvement from week 1 to 2. I didn't watch every game but the ones I didn't a quick scan through the box score leads to some comments.
- Notre Dame - Golson looks much improved as it would be expected. Didn't watch the whole game but ND's offense today reminds me of a 2010/2011 type UM offense. High risk/high reward plays - which often work against overmatched opponents but lead to less success against better teams. Golson is not the runner Denard was but you just need to have escapability to be a thorn in the side. ND had a lot of explosive plays in between some slogging. Rice is not a garbage team but not a great team - impossible to determine ND's defense but for a program under spotlight and turmoil it was a good performance. Expecting a great matchup next week.
- Miami (OH) - it doesnt matter. Was one of the bottom 5 teams in the nation last year.
- Utah - The Utes destroyed the mighty Idaho State Bengals. Who last year lost 56-0 to Washington. With a game against Fresno St next week (who were destroyed by USC) and then a bye week Utah is going to roll in to Michigan Stadium as a big mystery. We won't learn anything from their first 2 games.
- Minnesota - EIU self detonated with lots of turnovers despite moving the ball decently. EIU scored all their points in the 4th against what I presume to be Minnesota scrubs. Berkley Edwards had some nice runs, as did David Cobb. Mitch Leidner was Mitch Leidner... a mid level MAC QB with his arm. Defense created turnovers but gave up some yards in the air; run defense seemed stout - again adjust for opponent.
- Rutgers - go Big 10! A bit of a surprise going out West and beating a mediocre WSU...as Rutgers is likewise mediocre. But with the Big 10's lack of success on the OOC trips to the Pac 12 over the decades I won't devalue any win out there. Offense is as expected, a very nice RB and a QB who... well... he is a senior. WSU was a .500 team last year but was destroyed by top end competition while beating the Rich Rods, and USC and then a lot of bad teams. So congrats to Rutgers - UM's talent should overwhelm if we have our heads on straight. Expect our defense to focus on taking away their run and let our corners have fun with their QB.
- PSU - Hackenberg. Damn. Beast mode. Allen Robinson? Who cares. May I introduce you to Geno Lewis and DaeSean Hamilton - both over 160 yards receiving. Oh and the 3rd WR had 7 catches as well. PSU OL was positively "2012 Michigan-ish" and despite some quality backs very little was created on the ground. UCF was incredibly challenged on offense through a half before settling on a QB in the 2nd and challenging PSU's defense. This game is going to be all about our air defense. With Hackenberg until the clock is 0:00 you will feel like they can score points. If their OL develops in 2015 they could be a scary offense but for this year - hopefully they remain 1 dimensional.
- MSU - impressive open versus a bad opponent. Cook was on fire - amazing transformation in 12 months, they have a bevy of big bodies WRs to throw to. Going to be a big challenge for our secondary. The running game on the other hand was not super cool. They got yards but not that push like last year and suffered an OL injury which may carry over - Dantonio won't divulge obviously. Defense was interesting - one continues to marvel at their run defense, it was amazing even accounting for opponent. The 1st team defense simply does not allow you to run on them as they stuff the box. There WERE opportunities through the air and over the top of the safeties but it requires a competent QB, something JSU lacked. Second half was completely useless info as a bunch of backups played. I expect them to slash Oregon in the air - but will their run game work. And will their secondary clean up their issues versus a very good QB. Will be interesting to see if Oregon can run on MSU as well. Should be a very interesting game.
- Indiana - funny box score actually. Indiana beat a light weight but not by that much. And instead of an air raid they went run crazy. Sudfeld threw 18 passes. No not in the first quarter...the entire game. Tevin Coleman went off for 247 on the ground and another dude named Roberts for 129. We'll get a better read on Indiana when they face Missouri in a few weeks.
- Northwestern - disappointing. Unless Cal is much improved from last year when OSU went in there and made them look like a HS team...that was a bad game for NW. Even with the recent losses of personnel. Northwestern brings in a very solid Northern Illinois program (no home field advanage eh?) next week and that could be a significant loss if things dont change quickly. NW has a BRUTAL schedule early (@ PSU, Wisc, @Minn, Nebraska, @Iowa) - on paper they could lose all 5 of those or even if its 2-3 they could be demoralized by the time UM shows up.
- Maryland - also not as expected. See Indiana. Tons of production on the ground, not much in the air. CJ Brown - their starting QB - was not that great. Backup Caleb Rowe looked a lot better at least via the box score. Maryland plays a spirited West Virginia in 2 weeks who gave Alabama a very good game; should tell us more.
- OSU - not going to knock them for going into a solid Navy team and winning late. They suffered a key QB loss and 1st time starter is going to struggle - and these armed forces teams have wacky offenses difficult to prepare for. Going to be a few weeks to get a good read on them.
Overall - on paper UM should have clear talent advantage on all but 3 of these opponents. OSU can't really evaluate at this time what their offense will be, check back in 4 games. MSU looks the part (athletic, fast) and has a big test out in Oregon next week - after that won't be tested until Nebraska. Indiana and Maryland were confusing on how they won - both featured healthy ground games rather than passing attacks we all expect. Northwestern game seems a lot easier today than it did Friday - if they lose to NIU the season could spin out of control fast. Rutgers is basically a poor man's Minnesota. Minnesota is a team UM should handle as it is 1 dimensional. Utah who knows. Our DL and secondary need to step up big vs PSU. Give Hackenberg time and he will demoralize.
Free video highlights on Scout:
He seems to have the home run gear that Smith and Green lack.
Also free highlights of Kirkland:
I watched DG's pass plays against App, OSU and UN (from last year) this morning. There is a noticable difference in DG's mechanics and, more importantlty, he is not putting that much zip on his passes this year. This raises a question and a potential concern.
First, is he trying to impove accuracy by trying not to throw as hard as last year? Second, will that kind of approach work against teams with better DBs? For example, just check the first pass to Chesson and the
last first two TD passes to Funchess. They were accurate, but were lobbed. Would those three passes be completed against a team with better coverage?
Well, we are bringing this weekly breakdown of the board's saltier moments back this year, although as you would expect, there is not too much in the way of significant data which can come out of one game. All the same, we do have some data and a few comparisons of note to report all the same. I've expanded the analysis for this game to include a few more phrases, and I plan to include a few more user-suggested items in the next game or two (I didn't have time to fully update the spreadsheet before the game - actual work stuff, grumble grumble...)
Anyway, the breakdown of what was tracked for this game:
One thing that immediately comes to mind is that the board had a conservative game plan here and stuck to the old "shit" and "fuck" standby statments in their various forms. These came out to be about 42% of all tracked words despite the expanded analysis. In a change of tenor from last year, the references to Shane Morris only occured when he was in fact in the game, not like last year when some had given up on attempting winning and wished to put him in the game. As for "Borges", there was a distinct absence of anyone wishing that Al would be placed in the game, but instead these were all comparative statements about playcalling / scheme. No, not one of them preferred Al.
The offensive line was big news, of course - I didn't formally introduce context with this one, but a fair number of the statements were basically of the "we still have issues, but it's better" variety. Appalachian State qualifiers and all that, but there was an air of hope that serviceability was in the cards.
The thread itself was 831 posts long, which when compared to last year would qualify as the third shortest open thread if this had been 2013. Only CMU and Minnesota produced threads of less than 831 posts last year.
The swearing efficiency rating of this thread, which is total size over tracked instances, is 8.94. In other words, one of the tracked words appeared about once every nine posts, so it was a relatively calm affair on the board, perhaps made calmer by the fact that a number of us (myself included, at least for three quarters when my son was getting tired) were actually there and posting only intermittently if at all. Interestingly, the only games which were less efficient last year were also CMU and Minnesota. Indiana actually had a slightly better rating at 8.63.
If you have anything you think should be added, post it here and I may very well throw it into the analysis.