mesmerism! presidential assassinations! circuses on fire!
10/2/2010 – Michigan 42, Indiana 35 – 5-0, 1-0
When you want to watch ESPNU in Sedona, Arizona, you go to this place called "Sticks and Steaks." To get there you drive past a massive tourist art complex with a faux-native name, a sign exhorting you take advantage of Angel Lightfoot's magic healing crystal expertise, and an enormous, profligate fountain in the middle of the damn desert. Whatever Sedona's purpose was when someone said "screw it" and set up camp in 1902 is gone, replaced by a talent for taking money that was jammed into old ladies' bank accounts and circulating it through the economy again.
Inside this place you'll find TVs, horse betting, and a motley collection of people who would rather be home for three and a half hours on Saturday. In front of me there were a couple peeved Texas fans watching their team get punked by Oklahoma. Behind me there was a Wisconsin guy who asked if I was wearing my lucky Michigan tie. (I wasn't: I'd neglected to bring one and had to drive back to the next town over and stop at their outlet strip mall to get one.) A couple of old women who didn't care about football ate there; as they left one of them said they'd gone to Indiana and was surprised the game was even that close.
I think it was an attempt to comfort me, as I'd spent the hour they were there pulling my hair back over my skull and swearing under my breath. Sometimes not so under my breath, too. I said something about how IU's quarterback was outlandishly good and hoped it was true.
I do not have to tell you this but I will anyway: that game was bizarre.
In the aftermath it stands as a tribute to how useless time of possession is. Michigan's put-upon defense actually got better in the second half of their 98-play version of Ishtar, and it turns out that a touchdown scored in three plays is worth just as much as a touchdown scored in 14. We have sufficient evidence now to declare this finding statistically significant. So that's nice.
In progress it felt like dying from a thousand paper cuts only to be brought back with the crashing thunder of paddles, conscious and fully aware you were about to do it all over again. The opponent holding the ball for 42 minutes might not mean much statistically, but it does make most of the game an agonizing slog.
As a result, records were set across the Michigan fanbase for "most muted response to a 70-yard touchdown." Such a thing wouldn't have been possible even four years ago. I remember thinking to myself "that's 25% of the points we need to win" after the first drive of the '06 Ohio State game, and I was delighted through a whole commercial break. I grew up with angry cold Midwestern football where touchdowns were hard-earned things only somewhat less rare than goals in soccer. Each one was a major step towards your goal, and punting a guy down inside their ten was tantamount to getting the ball back on the fifty.
Now a touchdown is just holding serve. When Denard fumbled the snap on the one I thought "this is going to be a 99-yard touchdown drive," and then it was a 99-yard touchdown drive. It's disorienting, and as Indiana is driving down the field again you can't even figure out who to scream at because no one's in the same zip code as the receiver, and you hate everything about everything because this is MICHIGAN we don't do things like this.
On the other hand, "this is MICHIGAN" also applies to an offense that could end up loaded with NFL talent and still come nowhere near this one. Michigan still has Denard and its blitzkrieg of an offensive line and a bunch of wide-receivers who draw straws to determine who gets this week's monster day. One day when the defense is capable of covering guys here and there, Michigan will club people. At the moment it's about having the ball last.
I got somewhat demonstrative during all of this, which is why the Wisconsin guy asked me about my tie and the Indiana woman offered a ham-fisted attempt at comfort. People found me entertaining as I alternated between brief flashes of happiness and long stretches of sports Tourette's, I guess. I probably would have too.
As I was leaving this other guy who I hadn't even noticed added his bit, jovially saying "Hey, you survived." I had. They had, unlike Texas or Wisconsin or Indiana. The Texas folk hadn't even made it past halftime. The fiancée, still able to engage in small talk beyond grunts and squeaks, asked who he was rooting for. He said "USC, but they don't play yet." When they did, they lost to Washington for the second straight year. There are worse things than getting bombed for 480 yards by Ben Chappell even if it doesn't feel like it at the time.
Stop it. I've defended the three man rush but good lord you have got to be kidding me. I defended the 3-3-5 but that's when I thought it would be used to create a wide variety of four-and-five man fronts with unpredictable blitzing. Michigan probably rushed more than three guys 10% of the time in the second half, and when they did that it was four. I can't support having Craig Roh and using him in zone coverage on every snap.
What's worse was the inane substitution pattern. Every Indiana run in the second half was a wasted down, and probably would have been a wasted down even if you replaced Banks with Roh and brought in a cornerback. One of this defense's few assets is the pass rushing ability of the outside linebackers, but Michigan is going out of its way to avoid using it.
Stop it, but the clock. I would have thrown a shoe at the TV if Michigan had botched time management at the end of the half like Indiana did. How do you get inside the 20 on that drive with a minute or so on the clock and end up with four seconds on third and goal? Indiana let the clock run from 13 seconds to 9 after a first and goal play before calling timeout, which meant they'd just blown an opportunity to run a fourth down. They got the TD anyway, but that was a sequence worthy of Les Miles.
Speaking of decisions like going for it on third there…
How Denard Robinson is like multi-way callers in a limit hold-em game. There is a phenomenon in limit hold-em called "schooling" where a bunch of weak players who call a lot of hands they should ditch accidentally make their play close to right, frustrating more experienced players with a strong hand they'd like to get heads up with.
I think about this every time an opposing coach defies his inner Lovie Smith and goes for it on a fourth-and-Romer down against Michigan or eschews a half-ending field goal attempt in an effort to score the seven it's obvious they'll need to keep up with Denard. Michigan has now faced 15 fourth down attempts on the season, which is double the next-highest total in the Big Ten and triple the average*. They've converted nine of these, turning a bunch of drives that would have been punts or field goal attempts against a less terrifying offense into touchdowns.
The difference is that the coaches' decisions are statistically correct, not just less wrong. Which is not so good for Michigan. Bill Lynch did manage to punt from the Michigan 42 on fourth and short, which just goes to show that it is the nature of all coaches to play it safe. I'm hoping as we get into the stodgy section of the schedule we'll see more insane decisions to punt when Michigan scrapes together a stop. Someone can tell Mark Dantonio and Kirk Ferentz and Joe Paterno that they should go for it, but what are the chances they listen? Maybe 40%?
*(FWIW, I disagree with the author's assertion that the reason Michigan's opponents are exceeding their yardage season averages when they play M is because Michigan is the "red-letter" game on the schedule. It's just because Michigan's defense sucks.)
Same thing on our side of the ball. Michigan should have gone for it on fourth and one in the second half; instead they sent Forcier out to pooch it. I'm fine with the pooch punting in general, as it's impossible to return or even catch one. Michigan netted 39 yards on Forcier's attempt, which would be good for 23rd nationally as a season-long average.
But punting in that situation? No thanks. When your offense is tearing through the opposition like M's offense was that Mathlete chart about correct decisions swings way towards going for it there.
Part of the problem may be the apparent lack of faith in Michigan's bigger backs. Cox didn't appear at all and Hopkins was just used as a blocker; when Vincent Smith is your best TB option (blocking or running) short yardage is less of a certainty. I'm still not a fan of Smith this year despite the long run against IU. He didn't have to do anything except run through a gaping void and run through an attempt to tackle him from behind. He's reliable, but having him at tailback is like having Greg Mathews on punt returns.
It could not be clearer that Michigan doesn't need much time to score.
But what the Wolverines do need is the ability to keep their defense off the field. This defense is young, and it's still learning, and without the Michigan offense, its flaws would be that much more evident.
The Daily's Joe Stapleton also offered something along those lines.
Anyone who's read this blog for longer than a couple weeks knows the general outline of what's to come but whatever here goes: a touchdown is worth seven points no matter how long it takes to score, and having an offense that rips down the field in three or four plays against Indiana is not a bad thing. Against better defenses those opportunities will be much rarer. And what is Denard supposed to do, anyway? Kneel down at the 20?
It's the defense's job to get off the field. The offense is a thing to score points with. Was it good that Roy Roundtree got caught at the three? Not so much. If Michigan wants to bring TOP closer to even they'll have to get much better or blitz like madmen, but since that's a stupid goal to have they should only do the latter if it also makes it more likely they'll get stops.
Slight mitigation. One effect of Michigan's rapid-fire touchdown drives was to inflate Indiana's opportunities. Both teams had twelve bonafide drives in the game. That's 50% more than the opener against UConn; Michigan would have expected to give up 23 points if they'd faced eight IU drives. Which is still terrible, but maybe slightly less so than it seemed.
I was in transit yesterday so no VOAV; apologies. Here's the Michigan defense highlight reel:
Something slightly longer from WH:
In non-video items: a serendipitous sideline photo gallery. Michigan's ridiculous "on pace for" numbers. Mike DeSimone has resumed his incredibly useful photo collecting. Wow, Les Miles. Wow Denard from the Indy Star:
There are certain moments that reveal a potential Heisman Trophy winner's essence, and that came on that final five-play, 73-yard game-winning drive that sealed the 42-35 victory.
"Shoelace'' has got my Heisman vote, and it would take an act of God to make me change my mind.
ESPN's Heisman watch says it's "Robinson and everyone else":
Now it's just getting ridiculous. I mean, at some point shouldn't we stop being amazed? We've seen it for five weeks now. Shouldn't we be used to it? I'm talking, of course, about Michigan QB Denard Robinson, and the answer is no. We haven't seen this type of college football playmaker since … Barry Sanders?
Postgame GERG-RR stills from MVictors are… not so happy. Ace asks if we're jaded already. I'll talk about this more in a bit but despite the stuff about the three-man rush above, complaints like those of BWS…
The real story is that Greg Robinson's defensive schemes do not work. No longer is this a question of defensive talent or improper personnel. No, sadly, this is far more systematic: Greg Robinson's schemes Do Not Work.
I've been advocating a man coverage package for the last three weeks. Robinson has shown it sparingly. Not that I'm more qualified to run this defense, but Robinson's inability--or maybe stubbornness--to show new looks is far and away the most disappointing aspect of this season. Play after play (and now game after game), teams are running quick slants and seven-yard hitch routes and absolutely shredding Michigan's defense. And it's not that the defense looks athletically overmatched. They look unprepared and poorly coached.
…are kind of ridiculous. James Rogers cannot change direction. Jordan Kovacs cannot cover people man to man. There are massive personnel deficiencies that need covering up.
He is a hobo, after all...
I just wish she'd go back to rocking the short hair. Come Sunday the long black hair is a pain to keep track of as she's puking in the toilet.
I actually keep a hair band on my wrist or back pocket for when we're out, about and something crops up. Other guys in our drinking group admire this innovation and have adopted it as well. No we're not problem drinkers by any stretch...
One wedding in Korea & the States?
Will she wear a traditional Korean dress, or the full out white ensemble?
Also, how are you getting on with her mom at this point?
We will legally be married by the end of the month or early Nov if we're lazy for tax and citizenship purposes. I love her and I love the tax credit having a spouse as a full time student is going to score me. Either this summer or next there will likely be an official wedding in Korea, luckily they're short and more of an excuse to socialize, with the bride and groom merely showing up as accessories while the parents show off. The American wedding will likely end up being the Summer of 2012 due to the logistics of her family getting over here and my desire to have the ceremony out the Big House (I want to get married on the 50 yard line at half time during the tOSU game, she is less than supportive of this idea).
For the American ceremony we're talking about renting out a number of cabins at a nice campground up on Lake Superior. We can have a little ceremony on the beach as the sun sets over the water and then spend the next week or so with our family and close friends at the campground. It will be an excellent chance for her family to meet mine and vice versa. She should have her PhD in May '12 so she can graduate, we can have the official ceremony and seal it as a done deal. Then I go back to school and she supports my worthless rear end.
BTW, I'm in Chicago area, so I'm not one of those in her office. Won't be talking to her or meeting her. Too creepy (for her, that is.)
I'm happy for you. Also, your bride to be might have escaped Hell by not marrying a Korean man. At least 20 years ago, the wife of a Korean guy basically had to wait on her mother-in-law hand and foot. A nasty mother-in-law could make life a living nightmare for her daughter-in-law. By marrying you, she doesn't have to deal with that garbage.
One thing your bride is spared is being an American culturally, Korean ethnically, and having to understand all the cultural niceties. It was murder for some American girls of Korean heritage who went to the homeland to visit. As a foreigner, and a big guy, I was cut slack. But they virtually expected these girls to understand all the bowing and scraping and genuflecting to Korean grandmothers, etc. Growing up in Korea, she already knows what she has to do, and when she can skip all the polite stuff.
Ohio State is on the road that year.
And trust me, you DON'T want to have a wedding ceremony on the 50 yard line in Columbus.
So, are we all invited?
I've ever heard against long black hair.
(Edit: Well, other than these-)
Tell her if she pukes, she's not really holding her liquor.
The biggest indictment of the defense is not the secondary but its use of Roh. The secondary is, in many ways, out of GERG's control. The deployment of Roh is not.
He's being used like he's interchangeable with Mouton, but Mouton is much better in space and in locating his drop zones. I'm not saying Mouton's great in space, but Roh is not good at all when asked to read and react. He is, however, excellent on the edge, and GERG needs to find a way to use those talents, whether it's using him as a rush LB more frequently or putting him at DE (which I don't think will work in a 3-3-5).
I originally thought this was insane, and I still think it's not where Robinson would like Roh to be, but then I realized that Roh enjoys an advantage in a middle range linebacker position that is huge to this defense: he's the tallest linebacker Michigan has. There were a number of plays in the second half where Chappel had to chuck it high because Roh was holding down the passing lane, so it went over the head of the receiver.
I don't think this is a great use of Roh, but I do think it may be important when doing a zone defense to try to push the passing vertically by having a tall player.
Yet more evidence that Robinson is actually being very creative with what he's got. I imagine if he felt better about his secondary he'd be sending Roh after the QB on every down
Linebacker is the problem. Specifically Linebackers than can cover a pass. That is why Roh is being put in a position that does not leverage his best skill. And Jibreel Black has enough skill to start coming in and providing a 4 man rush.
I think this is the typical Brian hysterics based on the emotion of watching the outcome, versus the rationality of creating the UFR.
There was no scoring from either side for much of the 4th quarter. If Michigan's offense is so unstoppable, why were they teasing IU with those 3 and outs?
The offense did not live up to it's UConn performance. It it had, we would have scored as much as the Bowling Green game. I haven't watched the game for a second time, but I did watch it from DVR delayed, so I was doing a little rewinding, and the defense did start to put some stops together, and toward the end of the game when they were "worn out".
I think we as fans really do not have the experience to understand how the youth of this team can't or fails to execute on the scheme that is necessary.
Or stated a different way, it's one thing to say GERG is an idiot for not using Man coverage and blitzhing like crazy, and it's another to realize that 4-5 freshman in the secondary just can't execute on man coverage.
And from what I saw, Chappell was more than experienced enough to punish Michigan on any blitz. He would immediately throw in the direction of the blitz (which is always where the man coverage is) and was amazingly accurate, even when that pressure had him throwing off of his back foot, and from what I could see, little time to determine if his receiver was open. Basically throwing it blind into an area of thin coverage and hoping for the best.
against a senior CB that is frequently a pick 6, against a freshman it was a first down.
Deal with it however you want, but Michigan's defense is "pick your poison", and I want to go with the slow death and hope the amazing offense can recover, than by a quick death by max blitz.
Also keep in mind that young players can improve dramatically in a trial by fire season. Assuming these remaining freshman are talented and committed to working on their many issues, I think we will continue to be amazed by what they can hang onto by the skin of their teeth.
Gerg is doing the best with what he's got. Thankfully, I think RR has his back. It would only be fair to Gerg to give him time to succeed (or fail) with decent personnel. And I strongly, strongly think it will set us back to go to a FOURTH DC. This cannot be allowed to happen.
The offense's sputtering in the early 4th made the defense's job much harder. Despite the yardage and the frustration, the D did give the offense the chance to put the game away several times.
A new defensive coordinator or dramatic changes to the base defense are not likely to yield big dividends. This is not 2005 to 2006, where a DC was limiting a capable, veteran defense, there are serious talent and experience deficiencies that are only going to improve with more numbers and more playing time.
Had Will Campbell developed to the point he could hold the point, TCU's 4-2-5 would be an interesting option, with Roh at a DE position that better suits his skills, but as it is, Campbell isn't ready and neither Banks nor Sagasse have the size/power to play inside. And that still would leave us with Ezeh as a LB who doesn't play the pass well. Indeed, I think a lot of the limits of the D in that game come from having 2 out of 3 LBs who are uncomfortable dropping into and maintaining awareness in zone coverage. (And Mouton didn't look that comfortable on the first TD, either).
Defintiely agree that we can't run man defense. What I don't understand is why the zone coverage is so soft. I saw so many completions where three defenders were surrounding a stationary receiver (with no other glaring responsibilities) and simply giving him a 5-yard cushion in three directions. There's no reason for that, even in a zone. Give yourself at least a chance to make a play on the ball or force the QB to make a perfect throw.
Brandon Herron is coming back. he's gonna make you feel mo betta
I disagree that the scheme isn't the problem. We could take advantage of the mixture of competence and eliteness that we have on the defensive line by playing a 4-2-5 or a 4-3-4 defense instead of this shitty 3-3-5. I like the 2-deep that we could field with 2 defensive tackles a lot better than the mixture of freshmen and I-AA talent that we have in the defensive backfield.
I said pretty much the same thing Saturday night, albeit drunk as hell, and got destroyed for it. It's all good though, A win is a win, but damn our D hurts my soul.
Granted, my heart needed a few hours to recover after that nail-biter, but we weren't the only one with a close call. Ohio State barely beat Illinois. Northwestern (I know) struggled to beat a shitty Minnesota team.
After the past two seasons, getting wins -- no matter how ugly -- feels good. So I can't really complain.
It's really tough to get road wins in the Big Ten this year.
I hope that continues this weekend.
I'm sure it will. Really it is MSU's first road game, since the one at Ford Field does not count IMO.
#1 - Rush the passer on all passing downs.
#2 - Stop the WR screen sometimes.
Maybe one more thing: Get more stops!!!
If it makes you feel any better (not that it will), the water in that profligate fountain and the lake surrounding it is 99.99% sewage effluent.
I am such a 12 year old.
Saying that we need to pray to be bowl eligible this year is one of the stupidest things I've ever seen anyone say about college football and then to say that we will get curb stomped by msu is... Stupid. If you're that confident take state and the points ftw.
I hope by the end of the year he'll be eating so much crow he'll die from some disease contracted from the crow
The defense played well enough to win against a solid B10 offense. They shut down Indiana while our own offense was swooning. They can let up all the yards in the world, if this continues.
The problem is that what happens when a team with better athletes/a better defense makes a couple interceptions or causes a couple fumbles?
What happens when our defense gets a couple more turnovers (through their action or more inept offenses), or our offense doesn't fumble on the one, or converts on a few more drives (it's not like we were 100%).
It's good. Yeah, bad stuff is going to happen. And we're going to lose. But it's not like there's NO room for overachieving on our defense, or even, as hard as it is to imagine, improvement on our offense. (Denard could hit even more guys deep and wide open). And then maybe we'll win in a more relaxed manner.
I agree, if we let up 35 points, and another team stops us from scoring as much, we'll lose.
...if we give up 35 points.....and then someone keeps us from scoring once or twice more....so, we don't score more than 35......we won't win?
Man, don't you have any evidence, analysis, or charts to back up that claim? You expect me to just accept your word for it? I wasn't born yesterday...
wholeheartedly agree with this premise. ergo, let's live by this mantra of outscoring the foe and see where we stand when the dust settles.
My only complaint is if you're in an obvious passing down (3rd and 15 say), and you're only going to rush three, drop Roh down into the Banks / Sagesse slot and let him go rush the passer. I know Banks got a killer sack in the 3rd Q, but I would think in a 3 man line rush on a long passing down, speed rushing is going to be the key. Force the QB to step up, run around, even if you don't get to him, at least his receivers have to break off their routes likely before the sticks to help him out.
1). Was anyone else frustrated by the lack of replays on ESPNU? Will this screw up the UFR?
2). Is there any stranger stat line of the year than Tandon Doss getting over 200 yards, but 0 touchdowns?
3). I find it funny, among the reasonable Sparties I have spoken to, that they're convinced they can't stop Denard and we're convinced we can't stop anyone else. I haven't heard this much poor-mouthing before a rivalry game since it was Navy week when Lou Holtz was at Notre Dame.
or an anti-Cris Carter day if you will
The beginning of the post - the part about always rushing three - seems to advocate the 'Greg Robinson sucks' theory (which I espouse), while the last paragraph blames talent deficiency.
Can't we agree that Greg Robinson sucks at least a little? We don't have the best talent, but we don't have the absolute worst, either. I wish he would change his last name to something less awesome.
Big 10 road chalk went 0-4 against the spread this weekend: OSU, NW, Wisco and UM.
Winning on the road is tough. At least Michigan got it done.
Also: Vinnie Smith has scored a TD in MIchigan's last three Big 10 games. I know he doesnt give the prettiest stat line, but I think he represents the toughness this team has been working so hard to develop the last couple of seasons. I am at a loss as to why people bag on him.
Michigan does not win on Saturday without him.
As for the D, considering how long they were out on the field, I almost think they performed decently considering Michigan outgained IU, even though the Hoosiers ran 53 more plays.
I just have a good feeling about this team.
I think one of the commentators said it best during the game: one interesting advantage Michigan has in its quick-strike attack is it limits the chances for mistakes. When Indiana marches down the field a few yards at a time, it eats up the clock and wears down the D, but every snap is another chance for a turnover. Granted, Michigan's defense has limited capability to capitalize on any mistakes, but they are definitely getting more "at bats" than the other team. I think this might be one reason why Michigan finally isn't losing the turnover battle this year.
The long opponent drives is exactly what we want. Our defense isn't getting tired because they have superior conditioning. If anything, they get better as the game goes on. And then all we need are a couple stops or turnovers to get us the win.
For some very weird reason, I feel more comfortable with our Defense going into Sparty week than I should be at this point in the season. Not saying that I am all that comfortable in the first place.
Our D played better in the second half against IU, and got a nice 40+ minute workout against what appears to be a good passing team (we will find out how good they really are after the OSU game). Hopefully we get a few guys back from injury. I am confident the Defense will prepare well for MSU. MSU has showed us much in the first 5 games and it will provide a good basis to prepare for.
Michigan needs a win this weekend bad, and there will be a great sense of ugency during practice this week. In the end, MSU will get Denarded, and it will be great to see our D improve.
I think Brian has spent so much time crusading against TOP as a meaningful stat that he's missing a tangential point that is related to TOP. Sure, a touchdown is worth 7 no matter how long it takes to make it happen. However, our quick strike offense does affect our defense in two big ways.
First, our defense is young, which means they likely take longer to figure out how to adjust to the opponents' offensive schemes mid-game. If we score in 90 seconds they're back on the field without having 5-10 minutes (real time) to talk to GERG and their position coaches. Thus, they're back out on the field without in-game adjustments and continue to make the same mistakes.
Second, our defense is obviously playing a bend-but-don't-break defense, which forces opponents to take lots of underneath stuff, but doesn't give up big plays. The result is that our defense is giving up massive drives in terms of real time spent on the field, which means our weaknest and thinnest unit is on the field for practically the entire game. I know Barwis is a god and everything but it can't HELP the defense to be on the field the entire game.
I'm not saying Denard should take a knee at the 20. I don't know if there's a "solution" to this "problem." Obviously, it's not like RR is dialing up 70 yard bombs. Half of our big plays were just WR screens and runs up the middle. That said, let's not pretend our quick strike offense has no effect at all on the defensive performance.
I guess what I'm saying is that I think our quick strike offense makes our defense appear worse than it really is in terms of overall statistics. When we play better defenses that result in longer, sustained drives (as occured against UConn and ND), I expect our defense to turn out better (but not great) performances - and that WILL BE a result of TOP.
There's no need for Brian to paint himself into a corner. TOP can generally be "useless" stat in determining wins and losses, without being completely irrelevant.
people who complain about not winning the TOP battle always reminds me of good ol' Wayne Fontes who got rid of the run n shoot just as we got a competent QB team (Peete & Kramer) and world class receiving corps of Moore, Perriman, Morton because "we scored too fast". Instead we get Dan Henning who f*s up our offense and takes a team that went to the NFC championship to the typical 7-9 / 9-7 alternating seasons that wuold characterize the rest of the Barry Sanders era.
If you have a dominant offense, then damn it, full sails and ramming speed! Put the onus on your defense and if you believe your defense is better conditioned than the other team's offense, then take your chances... you only need to get one more stop than your opponent for a win.
I don't disagree - and I'm not saying take the foot off the pedal. I'm just saying that I think it's relevant, perhaps, to our defensive woes. We'll see, I guess.
No sails when ramming. A bireme would even take the mast down, so it doesn't snap off on impact.
But I take your point.
I agree that the TOP not in our favor means that our young defense is on the field too much.
This week the Defense had no one to blame but themselves for that TOP. IU was 11/19 on 3rd down and 2/4 on 4th down. So in 23 chances to get them off the field, we failed on 13 of them. If we were at the NCAA average of 60% Defensive stops. They would have had 4 fewer conversions (assuming the same number of attempts).
The other alternative is the Offense is going 3 and out [and UM had 3 of those this weekend, so they were either scoring in 3 plays or punting in 3]. In neither case is TOP the problem. The problem is either you aren't getting off the field defensively or you aren't getting first downs. TOP is just a symptom of a problem.
the other alternative is longer drives - so there are three possibilities: (1) quick strike; (2) three and out, and (3) long sustained drives. My point is that long, sustained drives would benefit our defense.
For some reason I envisioned Brian and MGoFiancee sharing a nice bottle of wine while watching the game game, Brian looking alternately content and a little agitated, and then finally screaming at the TV after another 3-man rush "If GERG orders another 3-man rush, I'm leaving. I am NOT going to stand for another fucking 3-man rush!"
So I'm not the only one who isn't a huge fan of Vincent Smith... That's weird.
How dare you! He did everything that was asked of him! Negnegnegnegnegnegnegnegnegnegnegnegnegnegnegnegnegnegnegnegnegnegnegnegnegnegneg!
obviously injuy and all, but he seemed so much shiftier in the open field last year. he just doesn't seem to be able to get from the backfield into the open field on his own without an obvious huge opening, like he is better suited to being a rb/slot guy rather than a typical rb.
I'm sure there are plenty of people who cheer for other teams that aren't Vince Smith fans.
If you're distorting your argument, sure. YOUR argument is that Michael Cox should play over Smith. You've made it repeatedly.
Part of the problem may be the apparent lack of faith in Michigan's bigger backs. Cox didn't appear at all and Hopkins was just used as a blocker; when Vincent Smith is your best TB option (blocking or running) short yardage is less of a certainty.
Only you could distort that to confirm your argument.