1 hour 28 minutes
MGoRadio was recorded before a live retail audience at The Bo Store, 333 S. Main. If you haven’t checked out Rishi and Ryan’s latest venture, do so. Special guests: Dr. Sap, who has a Twitter finally.
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1. Maryland Defenestration After Review
The Speightening: 88% is the very best of downfield success ratings. Ben Braden at left tackle is surviving. Preview of this defense versus Curtis Samuel on the edge says ask again later. McCray has to take some better angles; Stribling still has those edge tackling issues. Taco supreme, Winovich is comin’, Hurst is a Dude.
2. Gimmicky Top Five: Things We Are Excited About for This Basketball Season. Also Crootin.
starts at 25:02
Iowa is corn. BTN stream-only has the game tonight so you probably can’t watch it. Looking forward to the Donlonation of the Defense and BIG PEOPLE!
The Aubrey’s Mom situation went as well as it can possibly go. Cramming 32 guys in this class will see some attrition from current commits. Not laughing at Willie Gay possibility anymore. Laughing at how good this class is likely to be though.
3. Dr. Sap and Hayden Fry’s Psychological Degree
starts at 51:53
Michigan historian Steve Sapardanis joins us for the story of the pink locker room and the 1985 team that had way more to be mad about than that. How to do the decals on the helmet correctly. Attention to details: snapping correctly, and the right blockiness of the Bo ‘M’.
4. Iowa is Everything That Was Offensive About the Carr Years
starts at 1:04:16
this is why that song, Brian.
Iowa fans trolled Bill Connelly for returning their 12-2 team, and they’re right back where they were last year except less lucky. Their offense is so so badly orchestrated that Ace was offended watching it. Challenging DeBord for how many drives can you start with a zone stretch? They run a lot of Akrum Wadley slip screens and high-lows.
They’ve got some really good defensive players—WDEs are going all out for pass rush and getting gashed for it. Their WLB is a big hole. Probably should have labeled both safeties as sore spots.
Also a reader’s question finally outs Brian’s bolded alter ego.
- “Interstate 80 Iowa”—Sean and Jake
- “The Fool”—Ramesh
- “Ten Years”—Rev Theory
- “Across 110th Street”
THE USUAL LINKS
Before I spent a moment working on this post, I knew what would be leading it off, because this came across my feed on Saturday.
Watch Penn State know Iowa's predictable play call pic.twitter.com/4pYTSGuNYZ
— Heavens! (@HeavensHawkeye) November 6, 2016
Is predictability bad? Let's find out. Iowa drives vs. Penn State:
- Seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to cut deficit to 21-7
- Four three-and-outs
- Two four-and-outs
- Eight-play, 40-yard drive, turnover on downs after failed QB sneak
- Eight-play, 23-yard drive, terrible CJ Beathard interception
- Nine-play, 81 yard touchdown drive when score was 41-7
Personnel. Seth's diagram [click to embiggen]:
Due to a combination of ineffectiveness and injury, Iowa has started seven different combinations on the offensive line in nine games this season. Cole Croston, who began the season as the starting left tackle, is the primary reason for the near-weekly reshuffling; after struggling for five games at LT, culminating in an embarrassing performance against Northwestern's Ifeadi Odenigbo, he moved to RT, and ever since he's battled an ankle injury that's mostly kept him off the field.
It's unclear what the combination will be this time around. LG Boone Myers initially moved to LT to replace Croston, then started at RT last week after missing a game due to injury. Myers is listed as the starting LT this week; the starting LT from the last two weeks, Ike Boettger, is atop the depth chart at RT. No matter the alignment, the tackles have been mediocre, and Croston or his replacement (at this point, LG Keegan Render) has been a sore spot.
The receiving corps lost their best player, Matt VandeBerg, early in the season, and star tight end George Kittle has been playing at less than 100% since a mid-October leg injury.
Spread, Pro-Style, or Hybrid? Dinosaur.
Basketball on Grass or MANBALL? DeBordian devotion to zone. Every Iowa run play I noted was either an inside zone, outside zone, or incredibly obvious jet sweep to a running back lined up in the slot.
Hurry it up or grind it out? Iowa is the third-slowest team in the country by adjusted pace. This comes as a shock, I know.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]
THING NOTES: I should have done these in approximately chronological order but too late now. Wisconsin was three weeks after Northwestern and was Iowa's penultimate game of the year. Maryland, the nonsense game with a ton of empty formations against a DL Iowa could not block, was the week before Northwestern.
Between Northwestern and Wisconsin was a miserable outing against Minnesota (10 for 19, 89 yards in a 51-14 loss) and a 10 YPA facepunching of Illinois.
[After the JUMP: kinda good things.]
bizarro iowa is still just iowa
THING NOTES: This was a much different outing for Iowa, as they ran out to a decent lead but then blew it. Rudock ended up throwing or running 64(!) times against just 23 plays on which he handed off. The vast majority of these plays were from shotgun empty formations, for some reason. Iowa omitted even the tiniest threat of a run for the bulk of the second half.
DISCLAIMER NOTES: I'm not intimately familiar with the Iowa roster so there may be the occasional personnel errors.
This one is behind a jump because it's almost a whole UFR.
[After THE JUMP: almost a whole UFR.]
Greg Davis totally-not-a-photoshop via BHGP, obviously
Due to the nature of available video, the lack of teams that are remotely comparable to Michigan either in style or skill, and the strange ways of the universe, I once again am here to do an opponent breakdown using a game involving Northwestern. Yes, Northwestern lost. Yes, it happened in overtime. It's not your fault, Northwestern fans. It's not your fault.
Anyway, Iowa drove for a touchdown on their first drive, scored just three points in the rest of regulation, missed a potential game-winning field goal in the fourth quarter, threw an interception with a chance to get into field goal range at the very end of regulation, and then scored the eventual game-winning touchdown on their first possession of overtime. This is a team that leans on its stellar defense to carry most of the load while their offense attempts to bash its way downfield; that said, this isn't last year's Iowa offense, which is a good thing for Iowa.
Spread, Pro-Style, or Hybrid? Pro-style. Iowa utilizes a ton of two-TE sets, runs most of their offense from under center, and goes into the shotgun almost exclusively for obvious passing downs.
Basketball on Grass or MANBALL? Iowa ran almost entirely zone blocking concepts in this game, with the exception of a couple I-form power plays that weren't effective beyond getting two or three yards. Their linemen are very well suited to zone blocking, as you'll see below.
Hurry it up or grind it out? I don't mean to alarm you, but Iowa has gone to a no-huddle offense. I repeat: IOWA HAS GONE TO A NO-HUDDLE OFFENSE. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
Yes, that is the Hawkeye offense full-blown tempo-ing Northwestern for a critical fourth-down conversion despite the umpire inexplicably standing on top of the ball and allowing the Wildcats to get set. This was the key sequence in a drive featuring Iowa playing at a pace resembling Penn State's up-tempo stuff until they hit the red zone, when they got more deliberate and scored a touchdown. They maintained the no-huddle throughout the game, though the pace slowed as the game wore on, in part because Iowa held a lead for much of the game.
Quarterback Dilithium Level (Scale: 1 [Navarre] to 10 [Denard]): Jake Rudock is by no means a burner; he's nimble enough to escape the pocket and do some damage with his legs (like in the video above), however, and Iowa even ran a couple zone reads with him. I'll give him a 6; he's rushed for 220 yards on 40 carries (5.6 ypc) with five touchdowns once sacks are removed.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]
This week Michigan plays Iowa, which means I just got done charting every snap of an offense coached by Greg Davis. I'm pretty sure this is grounds for a hostile working environment lawsuit, but thankfully I'm not particularly litigious. Since I couldn't bear to watch last week's Iowa-Purdue pillowfight, I took a look at the Hawkeyes's matchup against... Indiana.
Spread, Pro-Style, or Hybrid? Pro-style. The Hawkeyes spent the entire game in a one-back formation—because using two backs is clearly begging for an AIRBHG strike—with 35 snaps from under center and 16 in the gun, most of the latter coming on third down situations.
Basketball on Grass or MANBALL? Iowa mostly utilizes zone blocking. As in, somebody should tell Greg Davis there are run plays besides the zone stretch. Just a thought.
Hurry it up or grind it out? Grind it out. Greg Davis needs plenty of time to contemplate his next playcall (okay, okay, it's a zone stretch—you got me).
Quarterback Dilithium Level (Scale: 1 [Navarre] to 10 [Denard]): James Vandenberg rarely takes off except in instances of extreme panic; with sacks removed, he's got 126 rushing yards on 31 carries this year. I'll give him a 3.
Dangerman: In this offense? An oxymoron.
Okay, if I have to choose someone, it's senior wideout Keenan Davis, whom the BTN announcer described as Iowa's "big-play threat"—he has 46 receptions for 560 yards (12.2 ypc) and one touchdown. He averaged over 14 yards per catch across from Marvin McNutt last year, but in case you haven't been following the Hawkeyes this season, the offense has taken a bit of a turn.
Zook Factor: This category could easily be named after Kirk Ferentz (except, strangely, when he plays Michigan). In this game, down three points with 4:52 left, he punted on 4th-and-inches from his own 28-yard line; this isn't that egregious for Ferentz, but Advanced NFL Stats has the break-even point for that situation (actually, 4th-and-1, so this is generous) at a 0.56 success rate, and 4th-and-1 situations are conveted at a 0.76 success rate. He actually had his offense out on the field until a review of the spot, which stood, before sending out the punt team.
Iowa got the ball back with 18 seconds left and couldn't produce a miracle drive.
Ferentz will probably grow a pair against Michigan, because this is what he does, and it probably won't matter.
HenneChart: The advantage, for a given definition of the word, of Davis's dink-and-dunk offense is that your downfield success rate doesn't look terrible thanks to a series of throws three yards "downfield":
This was also Vandenberg's best game of the Big Ten season by a wide margin—his 7.3 yards per attempt was a full yard over his next-best conference effort and well above his average of 5.5(!) in six B1G contests. While the structure of the offense usually allows Vandenberg to avoid crippling mistakes, he threw a bad interception into the end zone when he expected Indiana's cornerback to pass the receiver off to the safety, and instead the corner dropped right into the throw. You'll also see later that Vandenberg missed a golden opportunity for a long touchdown pass.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]