Michigan Monday is up at The Ozone. LINK: What is the Opposite of Passing Fancy?
Today I'm not going to cup and paste quite as much. Go to the link to read lots more. I really appreciate that Gerdeman has went through some of the numbers in analysis.
Summary Statement (which isn't far from the truth)
The offense and defense were stellar early on, then Harbaugh sent the offense to bed and let the defense stay up and watch a violent television show of their own creation.
This will be the formula that Michigan wins with until they have an offense that doesn't have to be hidden away when company comes over. I don't know if that's going to happen this season, however, because the quarterback situation keeps trying to climb up on the couch.
When Michigan was on offense (just going to look at Rudock):
Monday afternoon Jim Harbaugh said that senior Jake Rudock is the starting quarterback and that he is so far out ahead of the pack that it's not even a close race. That's not Rudock's fault, it's Brady Hoke's. Just imagine if Rudock hadn't transferred to Michigan — the Wolverines would be starting a guy who isn't even close to playing as well as Rudock is right now.
[Rudock] poses no downfield threat and he'd rather not challenge cornerbacks if he doesn't have to. He completed 14-22 passes for 123 yards with a touchdown and an interception against UNLV, but where his passes went is the truly interesting part of his day.
Here is how far downfield his completions went when they were caught by a receiver: 7, 5, 7, 4, 2, -2, -1, 3, 7, 12, -2, 1, -2, and 3 yards. (His incompletions looked like this: 12, 5, 13, 9, 32, 1, 25, 33.) That's four completions that were thrown at least seven yards downfield and eight that didn't go beyond three yards. That's not exactly the kind of passing game that gives the running game a break by backing up the defense.
NOTE: I was actually very curious about this stat. Rudock MUST start completing passes significantly down the field, else every remaining team crowds the LOS just as UNLV did.
I realize that Rudock did actually go down field, but until he does it effectively, nobody is going to be overly concerned about the possibilities.
There is nothing really to say about the receivers, other than they deserve better than what they got on Saturday. They were open, but it didn't matter. It was not good.
Here are a few bullets from the rest:
- Gerdeman really likes Ty Isaac and thinks he is the future.
- Tosses, sweeps, WR's in the running game help to open things up.
- Godin & R. Glasgow were dominating. Ross was pretty good too.
- Stribling and Lewis were spectacular.
- Defense has held opponents to 237 yrds of offense, good for 7th in the nation.
- Peppers will be breaking one soon on special teams. Just a matter of when.
Putting it all together:
It means that this team is only going to go as far as Jake Rudock can keep them from getting.
Even when Rudock is trying to be safe, his wild inaccuracy makes any pass dangerous. As the saying goes, "Aim small, miss small", but for Rudock it's "Aim small, still miss big".
I am hoping Rudock shakes off this slow start, and considering who his head coach is, that should absolutely happen. But I don't think his ceiling has much head room.
It also means that generally seven points per half from the Wolverine offense is all this defense is going to need. Though they might need more than that on Saturday against BYU.
Most of the preseason predictions had Michigan finishing the regular season with an 8-4 record, +/- 2 games. The first half of this game showed why many thought Michigan could finish with 9 or 10 wins. The second half showed why some thought 6 or 7 wins was a possibility. The final verdict from Saturday's game: need more data, check back next week.
A quick personal note before resuming our regularly scheduled boxscorology. I will be flying back to Michigan this week for the first time since my dad passed away two years ago. My cousin is getting married Friday night. Thank goodness she had the good sense to schedule the wedding on a Friday. As much as I would like to hang around and see the M-BYU game Saturday, I'll be flying back home Saturday. The DVR will be set, but the diary might be delayed.
Burst of Impetus
* Do I have to pick something? OK, how about this. One play after UNLV's QB phased out of the BTN universe for a 16 yard game, Channing Stribling picked him off and returned the ball 30 yards. This was an early message delivered to UNLV - your coach might think that college ball is not much different than high school football, but this is the Big House and you are playing Michigan.
The Two Jakes
* I thought I was going to have to rename this section The One Jake. Rudock finally threw a ball to Butt in the second half. Jake B. ended up with two catches for 14 yards. If they are saving him for BYU and the bigger B1G games, I understand.
* In the now weekly battle between Jake Rudock and ST3-defined efficient QB play, Rudock was 14 for 22 (64%, check,) with only one interception (check,) but he only averaged 5.6 yards per attempt. Ugh.
Root Tree Runners
* I don't recall who was in the booth with Chuck Long. Whoever it was, he was just awful, and while I'm mentioning Chuck, can someone poke him and see if he's still alive? I'm not asking him to overreact to a one yard gain by Sione Houma like his partner did - OMG!!! A FULLBACK RAN THE BALL FOR A YARD!!!; I just want him to put a little thought into his comments and pretend like he's watching the game. For example, it makes no sense to say that it's difficult to schedule teams because of travel costs while we scheduled four western schools. He should also know that the games were scheduled well before Harbaugh agreed to coach Michigan. Harbaugh didn't schedule 4 west coast teams to improve west coast recruiting. At least he corrected his partner about root trees. Yes, trees have roots, but wide receivers run routes.
* After back-to-back games having 9 root tree runners catch passes, eight players caught passes against UNLV. In Jake Rudock's defense, he has to develop chemistry with 4 different tailbacks, 2 fullbacks, a team full of H backs and tight ends and numerous wide receivers. I think the timing was off on one of his throws to Drake Johnson probably for this reason, leading to an incomplete pass.
* A week after stating his case for being the lead back, Utah-De'Veon returned. He carried 13 times for 33 yards with a long of 6. Be patient De'Veon, follow your blockers.
* Ty Isaac showed why he may be the feature back when Big 10 play starts as he gained 114 yards on 8 carries. Yes, 76 yards came on one run, but that still leaves him with 38 yards on his other 7 carries.
* 10 players ran the ball. Only 2 of them had long runs greater than 9 yards. Yes, there were two long runs, but the rest of the game was standard - thump, thump, thump - jackhammer style pounding.
Tacos and Peppers
* UNLV was held to 92 yards net rushing thanks to 37 yards of TFLs for the Michigan defense. 8 defenders contributed to the 9 TFLs.
* Channing Stribling only had 1 tackle assist, but he intercepted a ball and returned it 30 yards, he downed a punt at the three, and he had a BrUp.
* Jourdan Lewis made his case for an all-conference selection with three tackles and 4 BrUps. 4 BrUps is about 4 times as many BrUps as I'm used to seeing.
* Four of Blake O'Neill's 5 punts were downed inside the 20.
* Peppers returned one punt for 24 yards and one kickoff for 31 yards.
* Michigan only gained two more first downs than UNLV, 17-15. That, and Jake's 5.6 YPA are the cause of any lingering malaise after this game.
* UNLV's leading tacklers were Peni Vea and Tau (points finger at Ace) Lotulelei.
* Michigan scored 14 points off of UNLV's 2 turnovers compared to UNLV's 0 points. It feels good to be on the right side of the TO story for a change.
WHAT ARE THOSE?
* The WHAT ARE THOSE? award goes to the BTN cameramen. Those people running around on the field in stylishly matching outfits are football players. It's generally a good idea to keep your electronic moving picture taking box pointed at those players, especially the one that has the ball in his hands. But don't get too close lest the rest feel left out.
Calling MGoWeather! Doesn't look good for tomorrow and was hoping we could get their expert opinion. Last years writeups were great for preperation for tailgaiting, game time, and post parties!
Has anyone heard from MGoWeather?
Looks like UNLV starting QB Blake Decker did not injure his hamstring afterall vs. UCLA last week, but rather another muscle in his hip/groin area called obturator internus.
Not a doctor. Not sure how painful that is, but it is apparently less serious in terms of recovery time and painful nagging injury that needs rest.
Any med students or doctors want to chime in on a obturator internus strain/pull injury?
It looks to me like it would still hurt like a mother, and feel more like a groin pull injury.
I think sophomore Kurt Palandech is the likely starter however. Sanchez is already quoted as not planning to burn the redshirt of freshman Dalton Sneed.
College Football 101
Welcome to the College Football 101 series. For those who are counting down the days, college football kicks off in 101 days. Every day until then, I will write about one topic per day. As the days get closer, the topics will get better and better until we get to #1 on August 29th, which is one day away from kickoff.
The series will consist of:
- Top 25 Programs
- Top 15 Rivalries
- Top 15 Bands
- Top 15 Stadiums
- Top 10 Coaches
- Top 10 Plays
- Top 5 Heisman Trophy Winners
- Top 6 Miscellaneous
In addition, I will do a very similar series starting Wednesday called Michigan Football 101. Both of these series will hopefully get all of you college football fans, specifically Michigan fans, excited for the season. So here it is!! 101 days until College Football Kickoff...
101. Boise State
A quick look at Boise State:
- Founded: 1932
- Nickname: Broncos
- Location: Boise, Idaho
- School Size: 19,664
- Stadium: Bronco Stadium
- Conference: Mountain West (subject to change anytime soon with the realignments)
- Conference Titles: 16
- National Titles: 0
- Overall Record: 377-145-2 (.721)
- Mascot: Buster Bronco
- Interesting Facts: The field, Lyle Smith Field, has blue turf.
Boise State is an interesting school. It is one of the few schools that is not in a BCS conference but is a threat. It is not a big school, but Boise State has made a name of itself since it defeated Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Ever since Chris Petersen called a Hook-n'-Lateral to send the game to overtime and a Half Back Pass for a Touchdown followed up by a Statue of Liberty for the 2 Point Conversion to win the game-- and a proposal from Ian Johnson to his cheerleading girlfriend-- Boise State has attracted many college football fans.
Since 2006, the Broncos are 73-6 (.924). There are two people who hold almost all of the credit for that-- Chris Petersen and Kellen Moore. It just so happens to be that 2006 is the year Chris Petersen took over at head coach. Not only do they have a winning percentage of 92.4% under Petersen, but they are 4-2 in bowl games. This proves that Boise State has not only won all these games, but it can win the tough ones, too. This makes you wonder why they haven't played in the national championship game. They have had three undefeated seasons in the past five years, yet haven't played in the big game. Hopefully, the BCS can fix its problem, form whatever superconferences it needs, and give a team like this a chance to win a championship in a playoff.
Kellen Moore has the most wins as a starting quarterback in college football history. That is saying something! You think of all the great QBs-- Peyton Manning, Doug Floutie, Tim Tebow, Vince Young-- and Kellen Moore has more wins than any of them. His record at Boise State was 50-3 (.943). The lefty QB graduated this year and hopes to make the Detroit Lions this summer. Where does that leave Boise State? The Broncos have lost 14 starters-- six on offense and eight on defense. Junior Quarterback Joe Southwick is likely going to be the starter in 2012. He completed 15 passes on 19 attempts in the Spring Game and has taken over the leadership role. Boise not only lost its passing game, but senior Chandler Koch takes over for Doug Martin at Running Back. They are expected to fill the shoes of their predecessors according to Chris Petersen. They are definitely in a rebuilding year. Also, it doesn't help that they open up with Michigan State in East Lansing on a Friday night. Although many analysts are putting that game on upset alert, I don't think Boise State has a chance against the Spartans. It should be very interesting to see how Boise State does this year without its best player in program history.
Although they may be in some trouble this year, any team with a blue field has to be interesting. Personally, I find it interesting to watch them on TV because the players somewhat blend in with the field. My Dad says it hurts his eyes, but he's getting old :) but most people love it! How can you not like it? The stadium only seats 37,000 people, it's a relatively small school, and it's not a school full of much tradition. The Smurf Turf defines Boise State football. The first thing you think about when someone says "Boise State" is the blue field.
Boise State is not a well-known program simply because it has not won a single national championship. The Broncos are one of my Top 25 Programs because they do have a good winning percentage, they have a blue field and they have proven themselves over the years. They aren't scared to schedule tough teams-- they beat Georgia in Atlanta to open the season last year. The Broncos can prove themselves once again by beating Michigan State on the road to open up the season this year. Chris Petersen has certainly done an excellent job at Boise State, and it is going to be very interesting to see how well he does with his Broncos in this rebuilding year.
Boise State 2012 Schedule with predictions
- @Michigan State L
- Miami (OH) W
- Brigham Young W
- @New Mexico W
- @Southern Miss L
- Fresno State W
- UNLV W
- @Wyoming W
- San Diego State L
- @Hawaii W
- Colorado State W
- @Nevada L
My Regular Season Presiction: 8-4
Check back tomorrow to see what #100 (#6 Miscellaneous) is on College Football 101.
The Countdown begins... Only 101 days until college football! Hang in there!