Fans may vote daily for Wilton Speight for the Davey O'Brien Award:
[Must register at the website in order to vote.]
Pretty great read on how Wilton almost left. Not sure if all of these details have been documented before. I feel like I've heard some of it at one point or another, but it's not a horrendously fluffy article either. Still, a good read on a slow board day so far (at least until a UFR is posted).
Here is an example of why the above play worked so well. Michigans first TD of the game was set up by this play.
If you cannot view the embed click the Dooooooooooom below.
The next play we are going to take a look at involves Wilton Speights deep ball accuracy. Speight has been deadly accurate this season. In the next embed, he displays this accuracy by putting the ball only where Jake Butt can get it.
The play is a 12 personnel look (one back 2 TE). This is also another 1st and 10 like the play above. The play shows twins left. MSU rushes four and brings the left side backer on a delayed blitz. Michigan sends both WR's deep toward the middle to draw the safeties attention, while Butt runs a deep post corner toward the void over top of the MSU DB playing zone and underneath the deep safeties.
I cannot recognize fully what the MSU coverage is, I would like to guess they are running Quarters coverage with the two safeties occupying the deep middle between the hashes and the two corners covering deep outside the hashes. Regardless the play call was perfect and this kind of a call only works if you have an accurate deep ball.
Michigan also runs play action off of this and speight (two years now under Harbaugh) knows exactly where he is going with the ball on the pre-snap. Speight could have taken the easy way out and threw to his open outlet Deveon Smith in the flat for a nice gain, but his confidence throwing the deep ball allows for him to put the ball only where Butt can catch it. This is another display of Speights great deep ball accuracy.
Link below for those who cannot see the embed.
As of yesterday, Peppers is listed at 12/1 odds. He has the fifth best odds right now, however, I personally don't think he will win for a few reasons.
I was surprised to see only one other Michigan player high enough to have his own odds listed for bettors:
Wilton Speight !!!
Of course, Wilton's odds are not good. They sit at 1000/1. But, the MERE FACT he is specifically listed on any Heisman odds list is just.... maybe the most surprising thing all year to me. Just a great job by the staff on a kid who had a much different future not too long ago....
It is likely that it is purely based on his position as QB for an unbeaten team, but I would have thought maybe Chris Evans, Khalid Hill (TD machine), Jourdan Lewis, etc. would be up their with Wilt the Stilt.
Nope - just the big man and Mr. Peppers.
Michigan homecoming is the traditional game of the season where old people return to their alma mater, break out the old "Block M" sweater, and reminisce about the good old days. The good old days for Michigan football include the National Championship winning team from 1997. I saw one comment comparing the 1997 team to this year's edition. The MGoUser stated that the defense this year was as good as the '97 defense, but the '97 offense was better. My recollection is that the '97 defense carried the offense who did just enough with bootleg passes to Tuman and the occassional pass to Woodson to "squeak" out 12 wins during the regular season.
So I decided to compare this year's offense to the '97 offense. It's hard to do apples-to-apples comparisons because the season is not over yet, but we can still learn some things by comparing per game stats.
|Points per game||26.8||48.7|
|Yards per game||356||483|
|#1 Receiving yards||Tuman 404 (12 games)||Darboh 499 (7 games)|
The '97 offense is an interesting comparison because both teams utilize four running backs. '97 clearly had a #1 guy in Chris Howard, but 4 guys ended up with over 250 yards on the season. The '16 team splits carries among 4 guys. All four are already above 300 yards.
The '16 team has advantages in the receiving corps. Chesson and Darboh >>> Streets and Shaw. Tuman was great, but Jake Butt may be the best TE in Michigan history. The '97 offensive line had Steve Hutchinson, Jeff Backus and Jon Jansen, but center and right guard were merely good. If the '16 line is not as good as the '97 line, how are we averaging more than a yard per carry than the '97 team? If you claim '16 Offensive Coordinator(s) >>> '97 Offensive Coordinator, you'll get no argument from me.
Granted, we have some difficult defenses on the schedule that could suppress the offensive numbers, but a cursory glance at the stats suggest that the '16 offense is quite a bit better than the '97 offense. Remaining defenses:
|Team||Total defense rank|
Yes, the worst defense remaining on our schedule is MSU's. Of note, we've already played total defenses ranked 9 (Wis,) 12 (Colorado,) and 36 (UCF?!?) So maybe our offensive numbers won't drop that much.
One last stat for homecoming, there's been some discussion about QB being the big question mark for us relative to the other top teams. Let's look at the numbers:
|Hurts, 'Bama||51, 140.1|
|Speight, UofM||22, 150.8|
|Watson, Clemson||37, 146.4|
|Browning, UofW||2, 199.6|
|Jackson, UofL||12, 159.5|
|Barrett, OSU||21, 150.8|
I'll take our defense-QB combo over any of the other top 6 teams.