Coaches' timeouts are worse. Basketball teams should get one, full stop.
This was a bad game. Really bad. Really really bad. Did I say how bad? Quite bad. The defense, you realize, has basically gotten shredded every week since the opener. Can't stop the run, not good against the pass. If they invent some new third thing (e.g., skipping, rolling the ball forward to someone, etc.), this defense would be bad against that too, probably.
GERG, where are you? You and your white-haired glory somehow are not getting our boys into the mindset of a good big-ten defense. It has been SO LONG since we had a good defense! OK OK, 2006 was good, but then somehow that all went to shit in those last two games. I still wake up with nightmares of Crable flying headfirst into Troy Smith to gift them what would become the winning TD. After waking up, I vomit. My wife is getting tired of this, especially now that the kids are grown and don't throw up so much anymore.
The offense didn't look too great either. Tate F., who may become the goddamn clutchiest clutch QB we've ever had (he is that clutchy), didn't look super sharp. Lots of missed targets and lots of scrambling that wasn't super effective. By "wasn't super effective" I mean "sucked because he ran around instead of just throwing the damn ball." Is he hurt, you might ask? Probably. But get used to it. You think this kid is EVER going to get through a season of BIG TEN FOOTBALL without getting hurt, at least somewhat? I'm sorry, when you are 6'1" and weigh 170 lbs, you get hurt when you go to the bathroom, much less on the field of play.
Speaking of which, are those classic urinal troughs all gone now? Who doesn't enjoy taking a leak next to a bunch of old MICHIGAN MEN whose aim has deteriorated to the point where basically they are peeing on your feet? Admit it, you miss it. It was a piece of the charm that is now gone, forever lost to the annals of the time. I am keeping all the old shoes I have worn to games over the years, just so I can remember.
I didn't understand much of the player substitution pattern over this game either. Carlos Brown's hair was on fire and basically scored every time he touched the ball early in the game. The response: put other guys in. It was confusing. Here was CARLOS, ready to have the monster 400-yard GAME OF HIS LIFE and we kept going with other guys. I don't know about you guys, but I think: you go with what works. For me, what was working was that Hungry Howie's pizza they have at the game. So I kept going with it (4 or 5 pieces). For Michigan, it was CARLOS F'IN BROWN. But they didn't go with him, much. After-game stomach cramps tell me there may be another story here: don't go with Hungry Howie's, even if it is "working".
So where are we now, four games into this miracle of a rebirth? Hard to say after that one. Let's recap:
- Western: Clearly kind of sucks more than people thought. However, they did beat Hofstra.
- Notre Dame: Squeaks by both Purdue and MSU. Problem is: Purdue and MSU stink. Thus, ND, much like their coach, is not looking too pretty right now.
- Eastern: Clearly sucks.
- Indiana: Probably will not win a lot of games in the Big Ten.
But the overall feeling I got at the game yesterday is that we still have a long ways to go. Until some defensive talent finds its way onto this team, winning the BIG TEN and hopes of relevance on the national stage are pretty far away.
Just thought I'd tell ya'all that the band is mic'ed up today. I'm in section 26 row 26 and can clearly see a single mic reaching up about 12 feet above the brick wall facing the band. There appears to be a black plastic trash bag under the mic. I'd assume that it's there to protect the equipment under the mic from rain but it could be there to dampen ambient sound. I don't know what under the mic that needs protection but that's my guess. Any other more informed ideas out there?
I'd take a picture with my phone and post it but I don't think I can upload images to anywhere on the internet with my phone, but I'll try to remember to do so later tonight at a computer.
I guess this just adds more fuel to the "band, please be louder" fire. We'll have to see how much they use it today (if at all). Of course, I apologize if this had already been announced and discussed but I don't remember seeing anything about it all week.
Edit: I'm posting this because I'm 99% sure that the band isn't normally mic'ed. If I'm wrong in that I apologize and feel free to ignore this thread.
Rush Offense vs Indiana
Michigan is currently rated +6 on run offense, good for 5th nationally and tops of any team having played 3 games vs FBS competition.
Indiana, despite their impressive yards allowed and traditional rankings, have only established an opponent adjusted rush defense of -1, 87th overall.
Factoring in projected carries for Michigan, the running game should be worth 10 points above average for Michigan this weekend.
Currently, Michigan's RB have been sharing the value:
Carlos Brown, +3/game
Brandon Minor, +2/game
Michael Shaw, +0/game
Pass Offense vs Indiana
Michigan's as necessary pass game is rated 38th nationally overall. It factors out to be a solid but not spectacular +2.
The Hoosier's pass D ranks out about as average as average can be with a flat 0 rating and a 60/120 national rank.
That puts the expected value for the game when the ball is in the air for Michigan at +2.
Individually, Tate has posted a +5/game (individual stats don't count sacks and include rushing) while Denard is still in the positives at +2/game.
Hemingway remains at a +6/game
Koger is the only other qualifier at +3/game.
Rush Defense vs Indiana
Like the Hoosier pass D, Indiana's rush offense has been pretty middle of the road, to date. Through 2 qualifying games, the rating is -1, 62nd nationally.
Michigan's disappointing run D finds itself smack dab in the middle of the pack, as well. Rating +1, 50th nationally.
Projected overall advantage, +2 points to Michigan.
Trea Burgess: +2/game
Darius WIllis: +1/game
D McCray: -2/game
Pass Defense vs Indiana
To date, Indiana's passing game hasn't been anything to get too excited about. Ranking 88th nationally, their -3 rating must go up against Michigan's 15th ranked pass D, producing an overall 8 point advantage for the Wolverines.
Ben Chappell: -2/game
D Belcher: +2/game
Tandon Doss: +2/game
T Turner: +1/game
Special Teams Ranks
FG/PAT: M 27 vs Ind 108
Kickoff: M 32 vs Ind 62
KR: M 12 vs Ind 3
Punt: M 40 vs Ind 116
PR: M 62 vs Ind 39
M -3 pts/game Ind -1 pts/game
Michigan 39 Indiana 12
By The Numbers Background
All down/distance/yardline situations are assigned a value. A 1st and goal at the 1 is worth about 6.5 points on average. A second and 4 from midfield is worth just under 3 points. Every play changes down and distance and yardline and therefor changes the value. That value is then added up and assigned to the players who either rushed, passed or caught for it. These numbers are then added up for the season and compared against how other teams fared against the same unit. A great example of this is Indiana's run defense. The raw numbers look great but the teams they did it against weren't any good so the value is greatly diminished based on competition.
A couple notes and changes.
- Games against non-FBS (1AA) schools are excluded and have no factor.
- Garbage time plays are either diminished or dropped altogether. Plays count for half if the lead (in possessions) plus the quarter is 7 and they don't count if the difference is any great than 7.
- Sacks don't count against QBs but they do count against a team's passing numbers (not as rushes).
- Fumbles are considered random events and excluded from all calculations, interceptions are included for both players and team ratings.
- Defensive players are rated on two metrics, quantity of negative plays (plays reducing the offenses expected value) and quality of negative plays, total value taken away from the offense.
- All data comes from play by play data found on the NCAA's official website.
- Receivers are only rated on passes they caught, not incompletions targeted at them, therefore their ratings always seem higher than RBs and sometimes even QBs.
- Interceptions factor in returns, so Denard's throws last week weren't terrible because they were like punts, downfield with little or no return. Picks with long returns produce seriously negative values.
I think Indiana will be an important game for this team going forward because it will give a big indication of which way our team is heading. Are we improving or getting worse overall? Especially on defense.
After a quick glance at Indy's stats and film from last week, they seem to run a pretty basic pro-style, with occasional (passing) spread, offense. This is our fourth week facing this kind of attack, and we are going to see it several more times the rest of the season. Being a Big Ten team, Indiana should have slightly more overall talent then Western or Eastern did, which is why I think they will provide the defense with a good chance to show they can make consistent adjustments after last week's fairly shaky performance.
I am curious to see if the coaches attempt to go with more size up front at any point next week or throughout the rest of the season. Being able to bring in Big Will, Banks, or Sagesse in replacement of some of our smaller hybrids like Roh and Brown will be important agaisnt teams like MSU, Iowa, Wisky, etc who are going to attempt to bully us around up front. Of course these players have to show they can handle it before we can put them in.
As far as the offense goes, we got to see that Forcier is mortal after all against a not very good Eastern team, and how the offense responds this week will be vital going into two tough and potentially very important road games. The running game definitely picked up the slack this week, but it scares me that a MAC team had the ability to make us one-dimensional. I would love to see an efficient balance this week against Indiana.
I realize that a lot of this post sounds very negative, but I assure you that was not my intention. Overall, there is nothing else you could ask for from this team after the first three games of the season. I just want us to see us come out against Indiana and really bring it all together before we get into the meat of the Big Ten schedule. Also, with the injuries we have, I would like to see the backups come in and show that they can pick up the slack.
Mostly, I just look for reasons to get up for every game, so I hope my post at least served that purpose.