"Rodrick Williams Jr.'s 10-month old, 2-foot-long savannah monitor named "Kill" gets the RB some strange looks when they go for walks together."
the weekly maths
Pictured, the closest defenders Jeremy Gallon saw all day [Upchurch]
1. The Six Factors
|Field Pos||Early Conv||Bonus Yds||Avg 3rd Dist||Adj 3rd Conv||Red Zone|
So, that was a lot of bonus yards. Michigan’s 385 yards beyond the first down mark was the highest mark in college football this year (largely because the game was close and all second half plays counted, unlike say every Baylor game this year). It was the 11th highest total since 2003 and narrowly edged the 2010 Indiana game (by 2 yards) for the highest mark for Michigan in the time period. For comparison, Purdue has 399 bonus yards on the season so far.
Add in Indiana’s 270 yards and this was the highest total for any game this season and the 13th highest total since 2003. There were a lot of big plays in this game. Also, not a lot of third downs, especially long ones and the ones that did occur were converted at a high rate, even after accounting for their short distance. The offenses may have done OK in this one. The important thing is that Michigan’s offense was better than Indiana at virtually all of these things, even if Indiana did pretty well themselves.
2. Individual Game Scores
Devin Gardner: +29.9 EV+, +118% WPA (1st)
The top quarterback score of the season, even after adjusting for what the average offense does against Indiana. This game finished as the #10 QB performance since 2003 and the second best B1G QB score behind CJ Bacher against Michigan State in 2007
Fitzgerald Toussaint: –1.8 (+5.3 before opp. adjustment), +11% (90th)
On the one hand, it was great to see some success from Toussaint, on the other hand, after adjusting for the Indiana factor, it was actually below average. At this point, my expectations are pretty low for the traditional running game. Toussaint had some nice success but given how bad Indiana was and that he still was only at 4.0 YPC until the final run, I don’t see things getting significantly better for him down the brutal November stretch.
Jeremy Gallon: +29.5, +84% (1st, obvs)
So this was a nice game for #21. This blew the doors off of any other receiving performance in the last 11 seasons. Gallon broke Stedman Bailey’s record set last year against Baylor by nearly 15%. I put together a quick chart of Gallon’s projected yards throughout the game.
After the first 70 yarder the pace shot up to nearly 600 yards and never dropped below 300 from then on. It was pretty amazing to see all the On Pace For jokes throughout the day and see that in the end, some of them undershot the final total.
Devin Funchess: +6.8, +15% (49th)
Tre Roberson: +15.5, +54% (4th)
Nate Sudfeld: –0.3, –6% (63rd)
Tevin Coleman: +5.6, +14% (11th)
Kofi Hughes: +9.3, 29%, (22nd)
Cody Latimer: +7.4, +19% (39th)
3. Game Chart
The six biggest plays of the game:
6. 11.1% Roberson runs for a 15 yard TD/Gardner hits Gallon for a 50 yard TD
5. –11.5% Tempo hits Michigan for the opening 59 yard TD pass
4. +14.2% Gordon picks off Sudfeld
3. +17.1% Gardner to
Roundtree Gallon for 70 yards
2. –18.3% Michigan fumbles the snap at the doorstep of the goal line
1. –20.3% Roberson to Hughes (through Stribling) for 67 yards to bring Indiana within a two point conversion
4. Ron Zook Dumb Punt of the Week
Last week featured a couple of coaches who punted to win. Both Butch Jones at Tennessee and Bronco Mendenhall at BYU called for punts while trailing with under 4 minutes left in the game. Those made not have been the optimal choices, but both coaches managed to get the stops and convert the stops into game winning scores.
Brian Kelly went for the punt on 4th and 3 from the USC 38.
Northern Illinois and CMU will share this week’s award. Northern Illinois punted on 4th and 3 from the CMU 35 yard line. This happened in a game where Jordan Lynch set the single game rushing record and averaged nearly 10 yards a carry on 32 carries! CMU shares the award by punting away to Northern Illinois with 5 minutes left while trailing by 13 points. Somewhere Gary Andersen is nodding in approval.
Bonus Dumb FG of the week: Arizona State took it to Washington early, and Washington was facing a 4th and goal from the 9 midway through the third trailing by 20 points. Rather than push to truly get back in the game, the Huskies opted for the chip shot field goal to cut it from a three score lead to a smaller three score lead. Going for in on 4th and Goal from the 9 is usually not a no-brainer, but when trailing by 20 in the second half, there isn’t a great case for the field goal.
5. State of the Stats
The Six Factors for all teams can still be found here
- Devin Gardner’s record setting day has him up to fifth in the season QB totals (+11.5) behind Bryce Petty (+14.7), Johnny Manziel (+13.7), Marcus Mariota (+12.5) and Aaron Murray (+11.9).
- No player has been more instrumental to his team’s success than Gardner who has accumulated a season high 3.8 wins on the season and is still in first in terms of team replacement value, with Michigan 117 points better when he rushes or passes versus an average play from any other player.
- Jeremy Gallon’s big day has moved him up to #4 on the season at +9.9 behind Antwan Goodley (+11.5), Mike Evans (+11.5) and Brandin Cooks (+10.4).
- Devin Funchess is inside the top 40 at +5.8 and is third among all players listed as tight ends behind Jace Amaro of Texas Tech and Eric Ebron of North Carolina.
- Next week I’ll dive into the details behind Michigan State, but the offense defense splits are getting absurd at this point. The Spartan offense is ranked 100+ in four of the five defense independent factors and the defense is top 10 on three metrics.
With no game this week, we’ll take a look at the season projection for Michigan. My numbers are more optimistic than most on the prospects for the remainder. I have Michigan as a favorite in all remaining games, with @NW, Nebraska and @Iowa listed as reasonable ~60% odds. My numbers aren’t big fans of either Michigan State or Ohio State, largely due to schedule concerns for both and offensive woes for Michigan State.
Next week I’ll dig more into the MSU numbers, but for now I have listed the original numbers as yellow and optimistic projections and a more realistic assessment (noted here as Pessimistic) of Michigan’s chances versus its two main rivals. Depending on your take on the games, this season is projecting to 9-10 wins, but with all the remaining games competitive, a lot of different outcomes are still on the table.
Let’s head straight to a revamped chart. Now fixed to time, as opposed to play, to give a better feel for the flow of the game.
What jumped out at me right away was how this game was played between 25% and 75% virtually the whole way. In fact, the first play run with either team have a 75% or greater win likelihood was Denard’s completion to The Threat. I combed through my database and Saturday’s game was the longest a game had stayed within that range in the last ten years. No other game had gone 59.5 minutes with neither team being closer to winning than being even. Of course as soon as Michigan’s odds dipped on Toussaint’s ill-advised reception, the offense comes through with a huge completion to set up a 65% chance of hitting the game winning field goal.
Biggest swing plays
Michigan would have been looking at about 70% win odds, but the 26 yards and a new set of downs on Sparty’s fake punt brought Michigan St back to square at 50%.
Andrew Maxwell had a third down and four on Michigan’s side of the field when he threw the ball straight to Jordan Kovacs. Prior to the snap Michigan was at its current low for the game around 39% but the pick and return quickly pushed them to about 53%. The number would have been about 5% higher if part of the return hadn’t been called back.
Michigan was down 1 with the ball at their own 25 with about 5 minutes left. Denard found some room and went 44 yards for Michigan’s longest play of the day. That jumped the game from 44% to 67% in Michigan’s favor.
With less than a minute to go Denard couldn’t find anyone open downfield so he chose to dump it off to Fitzgerald Toussaint a yard behind the line of scrimmage. The ball was low and Toussaint instinctively went down to catch it, which he unfortunately did. The loss of a down, yardage and time pushed the win percent down from 32% to 15%, the first time all game either side crossed the 75% mark.
Michigan would bounce right back and Denard’s strike to The Threat would reverse that 15% in no time. With only a field goal attempt left, the offense handed the game to Gibbons with a kick an average kicker would make 65% of the time.
And of course he did. +35% to Gibbons and all the brunette girls.
[Hit THE JUMP for an updated season projection, Dumb Punt of the Week, Nebraska prediction, and more.]