Wow, that is pitiful. What do Rich Rod's WVU second-half stats look like?
2nd-half meltdowns in '09 -- the ugly stats
My first diary post. Right to it...
We all know RichRod's UM teams haven't exactly been the picture of poise in the second halves in 2008 and 2009. Young teams, and all that.
But if you want to know just what caused the seven-game losing streak to end last year (*ignoring DelSt), don't look at how the games started. Look at how they ended.
To wit, first 2008 as a sucknitude baseline of sorts, then 2009 by comparison:
-- UM was outscored in the 2nd half by a combined 190-67 (-123).
-- UM outscored only Utah (13-3), MiamiO (6-3), Wisconsin (27-6) and Minnesota (13-6) in the 2nd half.
-- Conversely, UM was outscored only a combined 167-157 in the 1st half all year. Indeed, UM was in most games at halftime. Only exceptions: Utah (comeback came up short) and Wisconsin (comeback succeeded).
-- UM was outscored in the 2nd half by a combined 163-111 (-52).
-- UM outscored only ND (21-14), EMU (21-0), Indiana (15-10) and Iowa (14-10) in the 2nd half. OSU was a sawoff (7-7).
-- But, after the Deleware State game, the team fell apart -- in large part because of awful 2nd-half performances. [WARNING: Read these 2nd-half stats to end the year with only one eye open]:
OPPONENT............ OUTSCORED.... OUTGAINED.... TURNOVERS: M/opp
PSU...........................16-0.................. 181-100........... 3/0
@ Illinois..................31-0................... 406-221........... 2/0
Purdue.....................28-12................. 249-171........... 1/0
@ Wisconsin............24-7.................. 286-106........... 1/0
Ohio State................ 7-7.................. 155-143............. 3/1
TOTALS................ 106-26............. 1,277-741........... 10/1
That last line is what we call ugly-ass s--t. Northwestern '80s-ish. Couldn't keep the other guys off the field. Couldn't get the ball back. And when we got the ball back, we gave it back.
And that's how you go from 4-0 to 5-7.
-- On the season, UM was outgained 2,344 to 1,806 (-538) in the 2nd half, and was -8 in turnovers in the second half (17/9) and that excludes the brutal fake punt vs MSU.
-- UM was even outgained in the 1st half on the season, 2,160 to 2,081 (-52). But the turnover ratio was much closer, -3 (10/7).
-- After the MSU game, UM forced ONE second-half turnover the rest of the year, excluding DelSt. That was Pryor's pick. One.
-- After the Indiana game, when UM was 4-0,UM's turnover margin was +3 (3/6). The rest of the year? -14!!! Yes, minus-14. (24/10).
Reason for all the second-half collapses the past two years? Freshman QBs, plain-bad defenses, bumbling kick returners, and scholarship caverns. That'll just about cover it. Poor halftime adjustments has to factor in somehow, but could perfect adjustments have offset those four factors?
I need to go back to my Denard HD video from the spring game to get refired up for 2010. This was a bloody depressing endeavor.
would be nice to know whether we can chalk it up to youth or if there's a deeper and more disturbing trend there...
The coaching staff bears a lot of this blame, but in their defense, the playbook for a freshman QB is much more limited and by half time, the other team has figured out most of the new stuff that was implemented that week. Having a returning starting QB alone will help the stats above considerably this year IMHO.
So yes coaches could've done better, but they were a bit hand cuffed by youth.
I think the question is still out there about Rich Rod as an in game coach. He's a great designer of an offense. I have little doubt that as his recruits mature, the offense is going to work better and better and we're going to see some real beat downs. But I'm still unsure about how good a decision-maker he is in terms of strategy in close games.
The good: I think we've seen the end of 4th and 3 punts from the 35. The decision in the ND game was a great calculated risk.
The bad: He might (and I say might, the book is still very much out on this) have a hard time adjusting when things go wrong. I'm thinking not only of the Purdue and Illinois games last year (though I do wonder if going for it on 4th down was a good risk, given that a field goal would have put us up by 2 scores) but the MSU game where they were stuffing the read-option with a scraping lb that we never adjusted to and the WV-Pitt game that was basically the reason he's here in the first place. I don't have a great memory of that game, but I think White got hurt and that WV basically tried to run their Pat White offense without Pat White.
This year should answer a lot of these questions, as we figure to be in a lot of close games with some tough strategic decisions and some necessary adjustments.
It seem like one big play against the team last season lead to a loss in momentum! The goal line stand by IL turned that game around. The onside kick Purdue recovered was key play against us, that the team could not recover from. The biggest reason why these mistakes lead to melt downs is due to youth! A more mature team this season should help us overcome the occasional mistake on the field, and hopefully the team will regroup and play well.
2 young + 2 small + 2 many injuries = 6 second half meltdowns.
The situation will be a lot different this year.
Where were you when I was in Calc 115, 116 and 215?
Tater: the New Math.
It was late in the second half and the game was in the balance; we'd had trouble stopping them, but our D rose to the occasion and finally managed to force a punting situation. All we had to do is catch the damn punt, and if nothing else eat some clock. Instead, we go for the all-out punt block, predictably run into the kicker, PU gets new life, and goes on to win.
It wasn't a forgone conclusion that if we had just gone into punt return formation that we would have won, but when your defense has been struggling all day to contain the opponent, you're just dumb to jeopardize the potential benefit when they do manage to force a punt. If nothing else, it's an absolutely huge psychological letdown to throw away an opportunity to go back on offense after your D has done its job in a tight game, a game that was our last best opportunity to get to six wins.
And it was worse than I thought. Very unlikely to be any worse, or even as bad this season. I gotta believe that at the very least we're going to reverse our record for 7-5 this year, if not better.
I don't know if I'd trust his WVU 2nd half stats. When you're up by 30+ points at the half,
you can afford to give up a few 2nd half points.
that in the 2nd halves of all other games combined, Michigan was outgained 1067 yards to 1065 yards and was +1 in turnover margin (based on nonnair's total 2nd half stats minus the selected 2nd half stats). Granted, UM was 5-2 in those games, but it's remarkable just how even those totals are.
If anyone is still interested, these are the second half numbers from RR's WVU days. I just put the points together really quickly. I'll go game by game, as well as give the total. The first number will always be WVU, the second will obviously be the opponent. I've only done in conference games and bowl games.
vs Sracuse: 8-0
vs Rutgers: 6-7
Total: WVU outscored opponents 110-48 in the second half of games for a +62 point differential.
Pitt: No box from the game on WVU's website
Georgia Tech: 21-7
WVU outscored opponents 133-90 in the second half for a +43 differential, though the Pitt game might take that up or down.
WVU outscored teams 144-83 for a +61 point differential, although the 42-7 second half beating against UConn is a real outlier. Take that game out and you've got a +26 point differential.
The perfect diary - filled with facts and a bit depressing.
I really think this season's defense will turn on what GERG can get out of this LB core. Maybe it is selective memory, but I seem to remember quite a few big drives in the second half of games last year stemming from horrible tackling and positioning by the LB core. If Ezeh and Mouton can play even 3/4 as good as Stevie did last year, that type of increased production would really bail this defense out of the backbreaking drives we saw in those second halves.
One blatant example of 2009’s second-half meltdown was the Wisconsin game, which I had the (mis)fortune to witness first-hand. The halftime score was M 17 WI 14. But in the second half MI was almost literally run off the field.
Part of the problem was WI’s big RB John Clay. He ended with a net 151 yards, with most of that coming in the second half. But from my perspective the big problem was MI’s inability to cover the possession pass. After BG repeatedly harassed WI QB Scott Tolzien’s dropbacks, Bielema rolled him out, where he met with more success. Short-yardage completions kept alive drives that three times ended in the end zone. MI was wholly unable to pressure the QB or cover the receivers. In the second half WI converted 5 of 7 third down chances---mostly through the air---and held the ball an astounding 22 minutes to MI’s 7 --- an unalloyed disaster.
Okay, this is a new season. But look at this fall’s secondary, where is the improvement coming from? Woolfolk? Maybe he’ll be all right. Floyd? Word is he’s improved from last year. Well, he’d better be, ‘cause last year he wasn’t too hot (Indiana). T. Gordon? Is he really slated to take over Stevie Brown’s spot and will he do at least as well? Kovacs? A good kid, but whether he’s a true BCS-level safety remains in doubt. C. Gordon? He has yet to see the field as a safety, or as anything else for that matter. J.T. Turner? Does he now grasp the defense? Add in Vlad the Impaler (I hope), Mike Williams, and some help from the incoming freshman, and this secondary might be an overall improvement over last year’s, but the margin might not be more than a couple more wins, perhaps enough to save RR’s job until 2011, when the real improvement comes.
If the secondary is improved to the point where we can squeeze out a couple more wins, I'd gladly take that. Combine that with the line of thinking that the offense will be at a point where they can squeeze out a couple more wins (what with non-frosh QB's and practically the entire OL/WR corp back) and the team is in good shape for the season.
You left MSU off the list of teams we outscored in the second half - we outscored them 14-10. So, not counting DSU, we outscored five teams in the second half, were outscored five times, and were tied in scoring once. That's about what you'd expect from an average team. There definitely was a negative trend as the year went on, though. We went from being a good second-half team in the first six games to a horrible one the second half of the year.
I thought we were going to be good in the second half due to the extra conditioning from Barwis. Is it all hype? Are Michigan players actually in worse shape than their opponents, or could the second half meltdowns be due to other factors?
Other teams got to rotate starters off the field when they got tired because they, you know, had depth.