Even though the first quarter was pretty ugly, the defense’s ability to keep EMU out of the end zone kept the game from ever getting below 30%. Once the offense found its groove in the second quarter, the odds turned around quickly. By the middle of the third quarter, the game was officially out of reach.
One of the requests from last week was to see what the chart would look like based on the relative strengths of the teams. Since the Notre Dame game had a pretty tight spread the chart would be essentially the same as the one you saw, especially in the wild fourth quarter. For last week against EMU, that was a very different story.
The first chart showed EMU’s odds nearing 70% at one point, but that was assuming the teams were of similar skill. That is obviously not the case. To adapt, I have added a second chart that takes the 30.5 point spread and brings that into the game.
For the graph to work, Michigan is spotted the points at the beginning of the game and the value is gradually reduced over the course of the game. At halftime, the 30.5 point spread is calculated at 50% or 15.25 points. The result is a dramatically different and much more realistic chart. When assuming the teams were equal, EMU exceeded a 2/1 advantage at one point. When factoring team strengths in, they didn’t even crack 10%.
Michigan’s rank in opponent adjusted PAN. At this point the opponent adjusted is still fairly weak but it does have some value. Because Michigan is EMU’s first FBS opponent, there is no opponent adjustment and EMU is assumed to be an average-caliber team, which is surely not the case. There will be discrepancies like this for most teams.
Rush Offense: +5, 8th in the nation (Georgia Tech), 1st in Big Ten
Pass Offense: +2, 48th (Baylor), 6th (Wisconsin)
Offensive Field Position: 1.67 expected points/drive, 114th (Ohio (NTO)), 12th (MSU)
Rush Defense: +3!, 17th (LSU), 3rd (Penn St)
Pass Defense: +1, 46th (Illinois), 4th (Illinois)
Total Offense: +7, 21st (Oregon), 3rd (Wisconsin)
Total Defense: +4, 28th (LSU), 4th (Illinois)
Defensive Field Position: 2.19 expected points/drive, 102nd (EMU), 12th (Wisconsin)
Special Teams: –2, 98th (Auburn), 11th (Purdue)
Total: +9, 25th (LSU), 3rd (Wisconsin)
Turnovers: +8, 5th (Wyoming), 1st
I wouldn’t read too much into the rankings at this point as the opponent factor is still very early but it does give some good directional information. It should be noted that when comparing teams to their preseason expectations, Michigan is still ranked in the 50s but when you compare to how they have performed so far this year, the ranking goes into the 20s.
So far the defense has established that it can create opportunities for success, and that’s better than we’ve seen for a while. The offense has held onto decent numbers despite sporadic results. We would all like to see more consistency from the offense but a TD and a three and out are still better than 2 long drives and a couple of FG attempts.
Field position and special teams continue to be major issues and ones that contribute to some of the unexpected positivity in the offensive and defensive numbers. Both units have faced some of the worst field position which has given them a chance at bigger points.
San Diego St Preview
Michigan Rush: +5, 8th
Denard Robinson +4, 4th in QB rushing nationally
Fitzgerald Toussaint +2, 39th ranked RB nationally
SDSU Rush Defense: +1, 47th
Michigan Pass: +2, 48th
Denard Robinson +3, 51st in passing (individual numbers differ from team because sacks are excluded from individual numbers)
SDSU Pass Defense: +4, 23rd
SDSU Rush: +3, 26th
Ronnie Hillman +5, 6th ranked RB
Michigan Rush Defense: +3, 17th
SDSU Pass: +1, 59th
Ryan Lindley, +1, 67th QB (significant drop from last year under Borges when Lindley was +5 and a top 25 QB)
Michigan Pass Defense: +1, 46th
San Diego St hasn’t shown any breakout defensive playmakers so far this season. Jerome Long on the DL has the most plays made with 9 worth 4 points for the defense. Larry Parker leads the secondary with 8 plays for +7 and Jake Fealy is the top linebacker with 7 plays for +5.
Jordan Kovacs ranks third in the nation and is the top non-linebacker in defensive points with +14 on 6 plays. Kenny Demens is 20th with 13 plays made for +6. Hawthorne, Thomas Gordon, RVB and Jibreel Black are the other players with at least 6 plays made.
Michigan Special Teams: –2, 98th
SDSU Special Teams: +0, 64th
It looks like a pretty even matchup when the Aztecs have the ball but Michigan should be able to put some points up, even if they can’t find the higher gear consistently.