BECAUSE 8 CAREER PASSING ATTEMPTS IS NOT ANY EVIDENCE OF ANYTHING EITHER WAY.
Jesus, you'd think after tugging it to Mike Cox's legendary 4th quarter against Bowling Green for 4 years, you'd realize that.
10/13/2012 – Michigan 45, Illinois 0 – 4-2, 2-0 Big Ten
Six games into year two of the Hoke and Mattison defensive regime, Michigan stands 10th in total defense. Last year they finished 17th. The year before that they languished in the triple-digits, unsure of who they were, what they were doing, and how life was supposed to have any meaning. Now, they know.
The flow thing is no coincidence.
RYAN THE BARBARIAN
Yeah, you can use the advanced numbers to push the exact measure of Michigan's improvement to and fro—Michigan is 16th in S&P+ with FEI pending—but who cares? The exact magnitude of the improvement is difficult to measure in the same way an exploding volcano is. It is organized and has long hair and will hit you very hard. Volcanoes. Dig it.
Michigan has not quite swept across the steppes, burning all in its path yet. They're still waiting for a real test after they got run over in the opener and had to survive an option attack they were ill-prepared for. Since those two games they've played UMass, a Notre Dame team that seems to score 13-20 against any opponent more competent than Miami, Purdue, and Illinois. Competent quarterbacks have exited. Chaos reigns even before Michigan gets involved.
But but but, by whatever measures you care to look at Michigan is providing novel horrible experiences to the hapless in their path:
When life gives you lemonade stands, all you can do is pillage five-year-olds. Nickels in hand, Michigan faces a recent nemesis this weekend. They've got a real nice stand set up. Would be a shame if something happened to it.
It's mostly lemonade stands from here on out. Only two of Michigan's remaining six opponents squeeze into the top half of the total yardage rankings—Ohio State (34th) and Nebraska (12th). Hypothetical Big Ten Championship Game foe Wisconsin is cooling its heels at 87th. Thanks to the BIG TENNNNNN nature of the Big Ten, Michigan's defense can get along despite being rickety in parts.
Six weeks in it's getting hard to figure out what those rickety parts are. Kenny Demens has just spent three weeks attacking third and one with abandon and dropping into all the deep seams. He's been able to do that because the defensive tackles are keeping him clean. Raymon Taylor is being avoided by opponents who would rather go at JT Floyd. Craig Roh's move to strongside end has been successful beyond all reason.
The big hole on the defense is…
…weakside end? Maybe Floyd himself? It's unknown, really.
We do know now what we hoped—maybe suspected—at the beginning of the year: the GERG to Greg turnaround was 10% fumble fluke, 90% sustainable development. I watch Michigan play defense and think about watching Greg Mattison get distracted by an endzone shot of his four DL making the exact same step on a particular cutup at a coaching clinic. The line moves with perfect choreography and Mattison's supposed to be talking about higher-level stuff but is simply incapable of looking at that beautiful synchronicity and not stopping to talk about it:
Mattison did not select the cutups himself—that was delegated to a video coordinator—and didn't know exactly what would come up. This made for an interesting dynamic as he evaluated each play live. He repeatedly digressed from his main topic to note the footwork of his linemen: Van Bergen is getting distance with his first step. All of these guys have identical footwork.
The tape winds back and forth; Mattison beams like a proud father. He fumes at imaginary people who would not direct their weakside end to put his outside foot back when he gets a tight end to him. He passes the geek test.
The same folks who made Will Heininger a key piece of a top 20 defense have reconstituted Michigan's defensive line from a converted OL, a five star at the bottom of the sea, and a 250-pound weakside end. When not battered by a once-in-a-generation outfit in Tuscaloosa, they've stoned everyone they've come up against*. That line is not where Michigan's going, but it's good enough to be amongst the best in the conference.
That is the brick on which Hoke's program is built. They will take whatever they've got and turn it into a well-oiled machine. Some years they will be undersized and coping well. Some years they will be rampant. The next ten years will feature an endless procession of mashing defenses. There will be one blip to the downside and two units that put Michigan in national championship contention.
Year in, year out, lemonade stands across the Midwest will burn. Toddlers in Elmo t-shirts will weep. Winged helmets will look on impassively, knowing what is best in life.
*[Air Force's success was not on the DL, at least not much.]
Highlights from parkinggod:
The Ford presentation:
Upchurch photos went up this morning.
Brady Hoke Epic Double Point of the week. Jake Ryan, come on down. Obviously. He's got a bullet down the page, but: 11 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, and a number of plays made that didn't even show up on that statline.
Honorable mention: Denard Robinson (7/11, > 10 YPC, no turnovers), Patrick Omameh (seems to be destroying Akeem Spence on a few of Denard's long runs), Kenny Demens (INT, two third and short thumps), Greg Mattison (knows what is best in life).
Epic Double Point standings.
3: Jake Ryan (ND, Purdue, Illinois)
2: Denard Robinson (Air Force, UMass)
1: Jeremy Gallon(Alabama)
I know, man.
My God, It's Made Of Funchess note of the week. From my vantage point in the stadium, I thought the play-action rollout that eventually turned into the Funchess touchdown had been defeated by coverage. I thought that Denard saw this too and was chunking the ball out of the endzone, which I was pleased with—WOO NO INTERCEPTION—as I saw the ball soar into the stands… at least the dance team… well past Devin Funchess's outstretched… oh.
Ace made this. ESC to stop it, unless you're on Chrome.
Wow. Is that legal? Should I clap now? Is touchdown? Is touchdown. Clap. Smile. Turn to wife and console her that the Illinois people are probably used to this anyway and she shouldn't feel bad for them because… um. Return to clapping, wait for day when Michigan throws more than 15 passes and Jim Mandich Watch returns.
norfleetwatch. hai guys here's this punt i should probably fair catch this syyyykkkkkkeeeee hey i'm going this way syyyyyyykkke I PUT OUT MY HAND AND YOU STOP BECAUSE I HAVE POWERS goodbye tackler goodbye tackler goodbye tackler hello sideline i am sorry i will never touch you sideline i just don't feel like that about you ZOOOOOOOOOOOOM wait wat is punter
wat is punter wat is
Kicking from the one. Michigan pooted in the shortest possible field goal late in the first quarter, which normally would have driven me bonkers. IMO that was a close enough call that I wasn't super peeved. The situation:
If an 18-yard field goal in the first quarter is ever going to be the right move, it's there. It was really hard to disentangle any emotions about the kick from the momentary dread experienced as I watched Michigan's season circle down the drain in an injury deluge, but before it was a laugher it seemed like the kind of game where the first team to 17 wins and the field goal is defensible.
This is an extension of my being fine with a similar chip shot field goal in last year's Illinois game; that one came later and extended Michigan's lead from 14 to a probably-insurmountable 17. Early in this game any points seemed like a good idea in case the skies truly opened up.
Not that it mattered, but this wouldn't be MGoBlog without minute dissection of every possible game theory decision.
Even if you didn't like the kick you should note with approval that Michigan tried to take their two-minute opportunity at the end of the half only to be foiled by a bad snap after they'd moved the ball 19 yards.
Never again. Hey, guys, we're past Annual Denard Versus Illinois Injury Scare, and this one was the best of all because Denard came back and Illinois scored no points anyway. High five.
Michigan has now survived half the season with only one major injury, that to Blake Countess. While Wormley and Brink being out strips Michigan of some of its DL depth, neither guy was playing much or projected to play much—hard to imagine Wormley being a major step up from Michigan's current three-tech/SDE production.
That's getting off relatively light. Anyone glancing at Iowa City or East Lansing will get quick confirmation of that. Brady Hoke poops magic, still going strong.
Everything is not a bubble screen. I got a half-dozen tweets after the Gallon touchdown about bubble screens, and I knew that there had been a disturbance in the force due to announcer incompetence. Watching the highlights, I found out: the PBP guy thinks any throw to a wide receiver behind the line of scrimmage is a bubble screen.
That's not true, obviously, and the Gallon touchdown was the Always Works Every Time Except That One Time Against Iowa throwback screen. That play has little to do with the various critiques leveled around here about the lack of edge pressure applied by the Borges spread. It works by getting the playside tackle out on the edge without blocking that DE, and that gets you a chunk of yards. Michigan's broke huge as Michigan picked up +++ downfield blocks from Schofield and Kwiatkowski:
Schofield got a piece of the safety 20 yards downfield. That's a throwback to his days as a guard and a reason Rodriguez was so hyped on acquiring him. Michigan's OL can still get downfield like a boss.
Anyway, the throwback screen has been a strange disconnected bit of the offense that Borges pulls out once a game that picks up between 15 and 70 yards without fail except that one time against Iowa. It's always run from under center; it's obviously a pretty awesome play but it isn't yet anything more than a dime store novelty because the core of the offense remains spread.
Lewan injury scares. Taylor Lewan wasn't the first choice in warmups and again exited before the rest of the offensive line; a couple of people have mentioned to me that he seemed to have a limp as he went back to the locker room at half-time. This is fine, because Lewan is in fact powered by injury. Tom Gholston will rip his leg off, laugh evilly, and turn around only to be faced with a being of unimaginable power created by his very own hands.
PROTIP: let's not try to throw screens over that guy.
Fitz vs Rawls vs Hayes vs Norfleet fight. The Toussaint Job Threat watch is still on after his YPC was the worst of anyone who got more than one carry—and the guy who got that one carry also almost took a punt return 90-some yards.
Rawls has earned some more playing time—if he's not taking over short yardage duties posthaste I'll be surprised—and will be given an opportunity to take some chunk of the carries, but Fitz is going to remain the starter, I'd imagine. Michigan did hand it off to Rawls on an inverted veer, FWIW.
Rotation. Michigan had more of it in this game, especially one Pipkins:
That started early on Illinois's somewhat annoying early successes straight up the gut. I'll have to see what was going on there in the UFR; live it seemed like a thing that Michigan was not quite expecting but quickly got fixed. Think early Rodriguez offenses in the first half versus the second.
Moore return, maybe not so much. Brandon Moore was back and still apparently behind Kwiatkowski and Funchess, possibly also Williams. I saw him whiff a block badly on one of his limited snaps. I don't think he's getting much playing time back.
Everybody Hates Russell. It was bad enough that Michigan receivers reacted to Russell Bellomy's passes like they were radioactive, but does the media have to pile on? Daily:
Bellomy struggles in spotlight
Apparently the offense couldn’t move a single yard without Robinson under center, and the Wolverines settled for a field goal…
Fans’ expectations for the quarterback position could be a bit exaggerated because they’ve been spoiled by the exhilarating play of Robinson, but Bellomy didn’t do a great job of living up to any expectations in his brief role on Saturday.
On the following drive, he tossed a pair of incomplete passes — granted, the second was dropped by fifth-year wide receiver Roy Roundtree — before Michigan punted on a three-and-out.
Russell Bellomy wasn't exactly sparkling in mop up duty for Robinson. He took over with the ball inside the five in the second quarter, and couldn't get Michigan into the end zone. He also lost a fumbled snap in the second half.
Michigan's backup quarterback situation is shaky. Russell Bellomy struggled somewhat. He let a snap squirt right through his hands, and he completed just 1/3 passes. I'm not a huge fan of what I've seen out of Devin Gardner as a quarterback, and I do think Bellomy has potential down the road . . . but boy, does he look shaky right now. He wasn't helped out by his receivers, though, who had their hands on both incompletions; but Bellomy looks afraid to push the ball down the field, and he's not very crisp running the plays.
Come on guys, he handed off a couple times and threw a few passes that were dropped. Given the conditions, the fumbled snap is not a huge surprise—I file Bellomy's performance under incomplete.
Hoke likes him. Yeah.
Another lost shoe. An epidemic. This never happened before. What's the deal?
Roh pretty damn good. Two of Michigan's WDE's switched positions in the offseason, and that was pretty worrying. At least one of those seems to be working out pretty well: SDE Craig Roh. Check out Michigan's first third and short stop. Watch 88, the DE to the top of the screen:
Shift a step before snap to line up right over the TE, get under the TE, move upfield and pop the pulling guard. That's why Demens is free to tackle. That's a full point in UFR that doesn't show up at all in the box score, and Roh has been doing that consistently for the first six games. There's a stretch at 2:14 that's similar: Ryan gets a TFL because Roh beats his guy playside.
Also on that first play Jake Ryan pops his guy back and disengages to make that Demens tackle a matter of stopping an already-falling guy's momentum. Funny how Demens is a lot better now that he's not eating guys on a free release. Speaking of…
JAKE F RYAN. Ryan needs no explanation, and in this game he put up the kind of stat line that makes even distant observers sit up and take notice: 11 tackles, 7 solo, 3.5 TFLs, a sack and a half. He also got some of those Roh plays—the stuffed fourth and inches was Ryan getting the two-for-one with a slant under the tackle and letting Demens roar up into the hole untouched.
Repeat of all things previous about all Big Ten, verge of—the next two weeks will either solidify that or delay it.
A screen worked, to a running back and everything. That's an everything's coming up Milhouse moment.
Scheelhaase out. At least one team in the Big Ten is willing to remove a guy with a concussion. Terry Hawthorne didn't play, either. Objection from UV withdrawn.
OL doing stuff. Big Robinson runs resulted from:
Student section fight. Michigan State:
Difference is that Michigan was up by a billion in a noncompetitive game, and they look to have about twice the people. Win for Michigan.
Yakety sax pending. THE KIDS ARE PLAYING THEIR TAILS OFF AND THE COACHES ARE SCREWING IT UP
FURMAN DESTROY. My only disappointment with the above highlight reel is that it leaves out a fifteen-yard penalty on Michigan, when Josh Furman went Fresno State on an Illinois punt returner. A personal reaction:
OHHHH HE'S GONNA LIGHT THAT GUY UP
/ball hits ground
That punt had ridiculous hangtime, is what I'm saying.
Damn you, Special K. Damn you. You know, you get through two full games without hearing the Dog Groomers play "In The Big House" and you think you're out of the woods and then they bring it back. False hope is worse than death.
I am so with you HSR:
Really, I could have like six anti-Special K bullets here, but will it really do any good?
The weirdest thing was the soulful acoustic guitar thing they played for like an entire commercial break. YEAH I'M FIRED UP HIT ME WITH THE JOSE GONZALEZ I CAME HERE FOR WARRRRRRRR.
Now you can't do it. Ace mentioned the on-field proposal after everyone had cleared out Saturday, and now the gentleman who totally one-upped you passed along the event itself:
Jonathan San declares "I've never made that many girls scream before," and he's got you topped. Unless you're Steve Breaston—in which case respext, you are good at football.
Dang big gap. The MSU line opened at M –11.5 and currently stands at M –10.5.
After watching the Spartan fan-fail, I was curious to see how UofM's students would approach the game. Even though the weather was basically the same - rain - the stands looked full to me. There were a few who left the game in the 2nd half, but I'm sure if we would have gone to double OT, the stands would have been full. So even though State may have won the last four games in the series, they have a long way to go to match the University of Michigan on the field, in the classroom, and in the stands.
Also, ST3 goes to badminton practice. MICHIGAN MENZ.
Turd Ferguson kicks off a rivalry week with a dossier of Michigan State's recent achievements, as well:
Michigan State athletics programs have become pioneers in 21st-century teambuilding. Concerned about the rapid decline of face-to-face contact, MSU athletes have repeated come together, in large groups, to contact the faces of their fellow athletesand classmates.
Spartans are known to generously extend a hand to those in need. They’ve developed a prison-to-work program seen by many as a model for how to reduce to an absolute minimum the time between prison and work. Their athletic director moonlights as avolunteer career counselor and their football coach as a public speaking coach, offering their time even to supposed athletic rivals. When one of their neighbors could use help just stretching his neck, scratching his eye, massaging his arm, or bludgeoning his face, a Spartan is always there to assist.
As I mentioned a moment ago, I was lucky enough to play football, first on Ferry Field and then in the stadium. And I was lucky enough to start a few games in the football season of 1934–and that was quite a year. The Wolverines on that memorable occasion played Ohio State, and we lost 34 to 0. And to make it even worse, that was the year we lost seven out of eight of our scheduled games. But you know, what really hurt me the most was when my teammates voted me their most valuable player. I didn’t know whether to smile or sue. [Laughter]
It’s seems like a simple expectation but you forget, especially in the aftermath of the Alabama and Notre Dame games, that these coaches have a track record of making players better. You are seeing it. The defense confident and fun to watch and they’ve retooled the gameplan with Denard and it’s clearly working. I’ll take this stat line 24/7: 7-11, 2 TD, 0 INT.
If yesterday was a heavyweight title fight it was over in the first round. The only drama came when the champion hurt his hand because he was hitting the challenger's face too much. TKO Round 1 - UMass played harder in the Big House.
One thing we do know is the defense put in an amazing performance against Illinois. They were held to 3.3 yards per carry (with a standard deviation of 5.1 yards). These two stats indicate that not only did the D hold the Illini in check, but that they kept them from pulling off many big runs; in fact, Illinois only had one run of over ten yards all day, the Nathan Scheelhaase dash that knocked him out of the game. If you calculate the standard error about the mean, it's 0.14 yards, suggested that if U-M and Illinois face of again and again, Michigan would hold them to under 3.5 YPC again and again and again. That's consistency. That's dominance.
Al Borges continues to pare down his play calling to suit this team, and it has worked the past two weeks as Michigan has run for just under 330 yards per game and thrown the ball only 27 times total. The
When Odysseus* returned home, he was met with a cohort of unruly suitors. Like those suitors, Illinois simply did not have the strength to string the bow and fire.
RAMROTH FINNEGAN declares Michigan by far his best visit. I know the kid is destined to end up at Cincinnati, where all the best names go, but let's savor this moment when it is just fate, not fact.
In our last nine Big Ten games, we’ve scored 7, 14, 7, 14, 17, 7, 7, 14, and 0 points. 9.7 points per game. Has to be the worst such stretch since the 1970′s, right? We had huge offensive failings in 2005 and 2003 and 1997 and even 1993. But we’ve never had a stretch like this, have we? I mean, since the days of 0-0 ties with Northwestern and such in the 70′s. Can anyone remember anything this bad?
Less than two years ago, we scored 63 points at Michigan. With Nathan Scheelhaase at quarterback. How could we fall that far in 24 months? Yes, Michigan’s defense has improved tenfold over RichRod’s 2010 defense. But from 63 points to zero? How is that even possible?
Mainstream folk. Grades are somewhat good from Meinke. Daily game story. Smith sat out with a hamstring issue, "boo-boo" resurfaces as nonspecific Denard injury term. Helfand on Michigan's defense. Estes on Kenny Demens. Meinke on MSU week. Baumgardner on lack of turnovers.
BECAUSE 8 CAREER PASSING ATTEMPTS IS NOT ANY EVIDENCE OF ANYTHING EITHER WAY.
Jesus, you'd think after tugging it to Mike Cox's legendary 4th quarter against Bowling Green for 4 years, you'd realize that.
A discussion of a 45-0 shellacking of Illinois AND a Magnus/Chitown fight?
This is the best thread EVAAAAARRRR!!!
...and you'll also notice that the guy I wanted Cox to rotate with is now the third-string tailback. It's exactly what a lot of people (including me) want this year. Smith wasn't cutting it as the starter, so I wanted competition. Toussaint isn't cutting it as the starter, so now people want competition from Rawls (or Hayes or Norfleet). Same thing, different year.
Except Rawls, Hayes, and Norfleet don't suck.
Cox doesn't suck, either. He did average over 4 yards/carry against the #10 defense in the country, after all...
It's usually the other way around.
You know as well as I do that the DLine was heavily subbed that game. From Brian's UFR: "On the line, the aforementioned nickel oddity where Roh and Black were usually the DTs, flanked by Clark and Ryan. Cam Gordon and Ojemudia rotated through at DE; at DT it was Brink and Heitzman with some appearances by Campbell and Washington."
He got 4ypc against a Dline averaging about, oh, 270lbs. 11 of his yards? "Ojemudia(-1) as a 3-4 DE, which goes about how you'd expect. A 230 pound freshman is doubled and pancaked, cutting off the outside."
If Bellomy's in the game, I'm putting 8 or 9 guys in the box and daring him to beat me over the top; everything short is going to be shut down.
That's likely a fair assessment of a defensive strategy that would be used ... against Bellomy or against any relatively untested QB put into a game.
But I don't know ... call it a hunch ... call it naive ... but I have a sense Bellomy can beat that, provided the offensive line gives him reasonable time.
From all I've read he has fairly good accuracy and fairly good game management skills. His mobility is, as I said elsewhere, good enough. What he doesn't yet have is sufficient game experience.
Count me as one who's cautiously optimistic about Bellomy's ability to move the chains.
I call it stupid.
Reading fluff about any player is not enough to draw any conclusion. It's pretty clear the coaches don't trust Bellomy enough to do anything other than hand off to a back outside of garbage time unless it's a serious emergency. I think that, more than anything else, tells us how ready he is.
Bellomy is not good right now. That's okay. He has years to go.
Bellomy has taken 4 snaps outside of garbage time, dude.
I think that's a data point for the coaches don't trust him. That's fine I wouldn't trust many RS freshman QB's. Most of the time good backup QB's get playing time, even Gardner forced the coaches to give him snaps last year.
Or could it be the coaches think our starting QB needs all the snaps he can get -- even garbage time -- to work out problems prior to some upcoming big games? That might explain why Robinson has been kept in games longer than one would expect given the score and control of games.
The only thing that's clear is that Bellomy is the backup QB.
Substitute the name 'Maxwell' for 'Bellomy' in your post. After all, it is Spartan Week!
How tall is Devin Funchess? He has to be at least 6'7''
I heard Tom Beaver on GBMWH on WTKA Sunday and he said something about Funchess has grown 2 more inches but I didn't hear him say from what height to what height. Damn radio, you can't rewind it.
Someone needs to mic up Dennis Norfleet when he's back waiting for a kick-off. He seems to march to the beat of a different drummer. That kid is fun.
I focus specifically on him from the minute he steps on the field to receive a kick. Constantly head-bobbing, fist-pumping to "Let's Go Blue". I believe the children these days call it "swagger". Wouldn't be surprised to hear he's got headphones in playing "I got 99 problems but a kick ain't one" (which Jay-Z re-recorded for him).
Edit: Two more candidates for what Norfleet is listening to:
Not saying anything Brian doesn't already know, but think what the defensive numbers would be like if a replacing big time starters and not ready defese didn't play the best team in the country, followed up by a weird to defend offensive team that even Matty admits he did a bad job coaching his guys for. Then sprinkle in some future depth where every spot is two deep with good players, and maybe your best CB isn't out for the season. Defense is fun.
Agreed Re: kicking. My heart wanted to go for it, but I knew what he was thinking...make it a two score game and don't embolden Illinois with a goal line stand (we've all seen that before). Once we hit ten I just wanted one more touchdown (to get to that 17 you were talking about), because I didn't think there was any chance that Illinois scores 3 touchdowns against our defense. One, and then some lucky interception return type deal? Maybe. Three..no way. I guess 1 was "no way" too. I fully believe if Denard is healthy we're going for it on 4th down there.
Had Denard been healthy, there likely would not have been a fourth down.
Maybe I should have said "if Denard could have come back in for 4th down." Or against a team that maybe could have stopped us with Denard on more than 2 plays in a row.
Awesome writeup for an awesome game. I was positively giddy watching those highlights, you can tell just how amazingly coached this defense is, and you can tell it's 95% coaching. I kept saying before the year that the defense would be great simply because of these coaches and it looks like I was right. I'm excited to see what we will look like with the talent we are recruiting, but even now this has to be one of the best defenses in the nation, and it's all coaching.
Well I challenged my friends that Michigan fans would find SOMETHING to complain about. Seems like that was that our backup QBs play in a downpour, with two dropped passes out of three was supbar. Also I agree about the decision to kick the FG. I think in a normal situation with Denard, we go for it(and we should), but I had zero problems with the decision with a backup in (and I hadn't noticed we had an OL out too).
I thought someone would have a gif of the Furman penalty by now. I guess I'm going to have to figure out how to make one of those on my work computer.
My seats are up high on the side of the field where the Furman penalty happened, so we could see it coming before it happened. One of those slow-motion moments when you wish you could jump in to stop it/save the day.
On another topic, does anyone have a link to the Norfleet punt return? We left early in the 4th quarter; couldn't take another minute of the rain.
finding the poop stain on the Rainbow for 133 years
There really isn't much to complain about, so we have to manufacture something.
This has been bothering me for 15 years. Check out Anthony Thomas' stats against Colorado in his first game. He just can't get the job done.
Also wrt the student sections, Michigan had their fall break this weekend so tons of students had already left or were leaving after the game. MSU has no such break.
To me, that student section at MSU looks like it might not be that empty. When I was watching, I had the same thought, but I realized the raindrops really distort the view. Those might just be drops, not entire empty sections of the stadium. I thought when it switched to another camera it seemed less empty. I might also be completely wrong, but a different view would be more conclusive.
Actually, they all just had the wind knocked out of them. They returned shortly afterward.
At no time did the student sections fill more than 2/3 full. They arrived late, left early, and never came close to filling any of the rows above the portals.
I put the O/U on 3 weeks before you turn "student attendance" into glue. My God who cares?
I kind of care. I mean, what else was more important (I'm being a little over-the-top) during Football Saturdays in college than going to the football game? I looked forward to it for days and was bummed when the season ended, rain or shine. I guess I'm different than 1/3 of the student population, but a little rain or snow would never make watching from home better. It bums me out a bit to see the stands empty when I would love to be in town with a ticket each week. But that's me. Different strokes, and all of that.
apart from the fact that my introduction to MGoBlog was being neg-bombed for standing up to the Board members who were asserting that fans who wouldn't stand for the entire game were holding back the home-team competitiveness in the Big House.
I was cheering and yelling on Saturday, when Raymon Taylor was waving his arms for more noise. And half of the student-section ticket holders weren't even there at that point. So if nothing else it is a good time for me to hammer that old argument.
Just another thing for me to be right about, and for my detractors to be wrong about. The place will be packed this Saturday, no doubt. So that this particular argument becomes moot for at least one week.
That's a great metaphor. It should be on a shirt. Something like:
"Nice stand. Would be a shame if something happened to it."
With a figure of Ryan the Barbarian on the front.
Is there any way to get a Denard Countdown on the front page somehow to update readers as to how many yards remaining he needs before he becomes the all-time rusher at the QB position (passes Pat White)? This is a big deal!
From that Illinois blog:
For the record, I am not defending Beckman. But I do think he was given lemons. Only problem is that he can’t even make lemonade. He made some undrinkable nerve tonic that is making us all sick.
Few points: If anyone wants to know what "slanting" does, i.e when players or Mattison talk about the D-Line slanting, go to 3:31 in the parkinggod highlight video...It's the play Demens tackles RB for a 1 yard loss on an early 3rd and 1.
Fitz running style, to me (and I somewhat thought this in live-time) Satruday seemed to have changed a little bit. Maybe it was due to wet conditions and he buckled down and decided to ease up on the "dancing". I'm sure there were a couple plays where he did dance (pure speculation, maybe he didn't), but I saw a handful where I could normally see him trying to do too much avoiding defenders and juking too much (normally = what he's done thus far this season the majority of the time). Iin Saturday's game he headed up field, took the contact, but got anywhere from 4-10 yards. That is much better than dancing at or behind the LOS and getting a 1-2 yard gain or TFL.
Jake Ryan sucks.......At not sucking really bad at Football. God, I know the Clay Matthews comparisons live primarily due to the hair and to some extent play style/body build/speed. But the comparisons really hold water. This kid will be playing on Sundays, at a pretty high level.
Yeah, you can use the advanced numbers to push the exact measure of Michigan's improvement to and fro—Michigan is 16th in S&P+ with FEI pending—but who cares?
Well, FEI is out and folks, it's baffling. They drop from #24 to #47 after beating an FBS team 45-0, outgaining by over 400 yards, etc.
Either there's a major input error or the FEI algorithms are really goofy. It's just not possible.
Anybody have a clue?
I'm looking at Massey and Illinois is currently ranked 106, behind 10 FCS teams and the top team in Canada and just ahead of the top D2 team. Their offense is 153rd, behind 33 FCS teams, 4 D2 teams, 2 teams in Canada and immediately behind Sul Ross, a 3-3 team that's D3's answer to Baylor..
There aren't enough cross-division games for these comparisons to be convincing beyond FCS, but folks, this is a really, really bad offensive football team. Even the games where they scored some points don't look so impressive when you look at the rest of their opponents' results. 24 against La Tech? That's the fewest they've given up; even Rice got 37. 44 on Charleston Southern? Stony Brook and Citadel scored 49.
I get that Illinois sucks, but still, how do you kill a team and fall so dramatically in an advanced metric like FEI? A case in point is... Massey! They had Michigan improving by one ranking spot after Illinois.
I'm looking back over the box score and I don't get it either. I can see why there might be a drop after a 45-0 win over a team that's so bad they probably wouldn't be a contender in fcs, but not that big a drop, unless those 20-30 teams were bunched so closely that a small move up or down in the metric meant a lot of positions.
Beckman made at least a few completely retarded decisions in the game, like punting on 4th and less than 1 when the running game was working, and trying that long field goal.
I could understand the field goal (at least, assuming that they have a good kicker). They were only down 10-0 and their backup QB was in . . . how likely were they to convert a 4th and 4 with him playing?
The flip side of the decision to kick the 18 yard field goal is that, while it's true that the chances of getting the TD were lower than usual, the negative value to Illinois of first and ten inside their own one was higher than usual, thanks to the storm and their offensive ineptitude, and could possibly have been more than three points.
The only time I like that call is at the end of a half when you're not going to get full advantage out of the field position. Or, I suppose, if you're up 6 late in a low scoring slugfest game, because then the three points are worth more than three points, if that makes any sense. Otherwise the game-situation considerations tend to cancel each other out.
My friends and I have quoted that Conan speech only about a million times.
Is a single one of those friends a woman?