I looked all this up while putting together the CB section of Hail to the Victors but coulnd't fit it in there. It's not enough for its own Museday (and the great JT Floyd's phoenix year has been covered in detail already) but I wanted to at least have it out there.
Checklist of NFL receivers Floyd was primarily responsible for covering in 2011:
|Receiver||2011 Team||NFL Team||Rnd-Overall||Catches||Yards||TDs|
*VT's Danny Coale and MSU's Keyshawn Martin were also drafted this year, but Floyd was primarily covering Jarrett Boykin and BJ Cunningham, respectively, in those games. Boykin had 4 catches for 30 yards and 0 TD; he went undrafted and unsigned.
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
Learn from yesterday...
Common sense tells us that facing a team coming off of a bye week should be a disadvantage. Give a good coach 2 weeks to prepare for a game and they will have their team refreshed and focused, ready to take advantage of what their next opponent gives them. Mark Dantonio had the Spartans ready to exploit Michigan's flaws and that preparedness (plus a bit of dirty play) allowed Michigan State to dominate us. Brady Hoke used Michigan's bye week to effectively put the loss to Little Brother in the rearview and had the Wolverines ready to put Purdue away in style. When Miles faced Saban after each had a bye week the result was one of the most epic battles I have ever seen. This is what good coaching can do with a bye week advantage.
Ron Zook is a bad coach, this is known. It is remarkable how bad he is though, when looking at his record after bye weeks. Over the past 4 seasons (2008-2011) Illinois has had 6(!) bye weeks, with two in both 2009 and 2010. Their record following these bye weeks? 0-6:
2008: Lost to Penn St 38-24
2009: Lost to OSU 30-0, Lost to Cincinnati 49-36
2010: Lost to OSU 24-13, Lost to Fresno St 25-23
2011: Lost to Michigan (woot!) 31-14
That is epic fail. Ron Zook should be fired.
It was a very satisfying win for Michigan however. Yes, the lack of redzone efficiency kept the game interesting for far too long. This just magnified how much better this defense is than anything we could have reasonably expected. The zone blitzing destroyed Illinois. The run defense was smothering. Even the prevent defense worked almost to perfection, with Illinois needing almost 7 minutes to score when they were down 3 scores with 10 minutes to go. They kept plays in front of them, tackled in-bounds, and strangled the game. Giving up the 4th-26 was painful, but by that point it was forgivable. Greg Mattison has done better than anyone could have expected.
Live for Today…
Several players/coaches should take particular pride in their accomplishments yesterday:
- Greg Mattison - Seriously, can we get this guy a raise? I know he already makes a lot of dough, but he has earned it and then some. This defense makes such incredible leaps forward with each game... just remarkable.
- Fitz Toussaint - Got his swagger back right out of the gate. Get this guy a tear-away jersey and he would have had 250 yards. It makes so much more seem possible when a top running back steps forward.
- Devin Gardner - Looked much less lost out there. Clutch TD throw on 3rd and long really put the game away. Still needs work, but perhaps the future is looking up for DG.
- JT Floyd - Beautiful anticipation on the interception that kept Illinois from making a comeback. Played well against Jenkins, really taking away the Illini's best weapon for most of the game.
- Jeremy Gallon - Great job on punt returns. Really helped Michigan flip the field position in their favor.
Also of note: Martavious Odoms nice TD grab, Denard Robinson 2 TD runs, RVB 2.5 sacks, Desmond Morgan blowing up fools, Mike Martin is Mike Martin
Hope for Tomorrow
Michigan comes back home to wrap up the season sitting at 8-2. The rest is gravy. Every Michigan fan should be pretty happy with how the team is progressing. I have not felt this confident about the future since 2006 at least. Nebraska will be a tough test in a week, but I think Michigan will be competitive in that contest. Ohio just lost to Purdue and is a team that Michigan should beat. It is the biggest rivalry in all of sport though, so anything can happen. Regardless of how the last two games go though, this team has made this fan happy and excited about seasons to come. It is great to be a Michigan Wolverine.
Go Blue and stay safe!
Hoke press conference: http://www.mgoblue.com/
Did I hear correctly that TW and JT will be the starting corners?
Edit: Added the word starting. Listened again and he mentioned Courtney right after JT so I probably shouldn't speculate but I did read something on TOS that leads me in this direction.
Edit#2: TOS has link above for the douchy douches.
.....My petition for a mascot got denied
What are y'all talking about JT? I am lost right now???
Wow wow wow we are talking about something completely different. Stop putting words in my mouth yall are about to get me in big trouble.
These were 3 tweets from TWoolf29 after everyone freaked out. Take what you want from them.
[FA Edit: Bumped ahead of coaching kerfluffle due to value.]
So for the past few weeks, we all have noticed the abysmal performances by our defense. There has been lots of ideas tossed around, from GERG being a Defensive Jenius to poor coaching to bad luck/loss of concentration on a few critical plays. One thing that has struck me has been the absolutely atrocious tackling, namely our inability to make one.
Time and again, we have the ball player wrapped up, and then 3 yards later they have picked up the 1st down on 3rd and forever. I thought it was about time to look at tackling, both who is making/missing them and why.
About the analysis:
1. I regarded made tackles as anytime a player made contact with the ballcarrier and that ballcarrier ended up down by contact using solid tackling technique. I did not look at technique of made tackles, as after 1/2 of tape review most of the tackles that were made were of good technique.
2. I classified OOB as out-of-bounds tackles, which could have been a solid tackle out of bounds or a bump out (couldn't find a reasonable way to quantify the difference so they are tackles, but not quite).
3. I designated missed tackles as failing to make a tackle in space, taking an extremely bad angle on a tackle that should have been made, or simply just getting the hit but not bringing down the ballcarrier.
4. Bad Form takes into account any missed tackle that used any of the following:
- Head on the upfield side
- Arm/Jersey tackling
- Any hit at or above the numbers
- Getting "shook" in open field due to not breaking down or overpursuit.
The difference here is missed tackles in my mind sometimes come from being literally overpowered or stiff-armed, not a technique avenue. If the UM defender made the hit with the head on the right side and attempted to wrap up but the ballcarrier just slipped through, I counted this as a missed tackle only.
I reviewed the "every defensive snap" from the MSU and Iowa games and the results are as follows:
|MSU||Total Plays||57||4 TDs|
|Player||Tackles||OOB||Missed Tackles||Bad Form|
So. MSU only, we cant tackle at all.
|Made tackles||OOB||Missed Tackles||Bad Form|
Totals 33 7 18 11
|Plays||Missed Tackles/Bad Form||Missed Tackles/Play||Missed Tackles by Bad Form/Play|
Versus our Offense:
|Tackles||Missed/Bad Form||Missed Tackle/PLay||Missed Tackle from Bad Form/Play|
The numbers in this case really demonstrate how bad we actually are at tackling, and that it is a technique thing.
Solid to great defenses, while they might miss tackles, don't do so using bad technique.
Upon watching again, specifically focusing on tackling, the difference between our D and a Big Ten D is that ours seems to lack that killer instict, getting the ballcarrier to the ground regardless. We don't attack downhill, and we consistently have the head of our tacklers on the wrong side to impede forward progress. This could also be a good reason that we haven't seen a ton of fumbles this year as well, as the most common cause of a fumble is a good ol' helmet on the ball.
While the issue might stem from second-guessing assignments and being a half-second late to the hole, the number of times we went high and behind the ballcarrier in these games its simply shocking. Technique is something you can coach, and something you can keep coaching week in and week out.