[ed-Seth: Thanks again to Matt Gase, Michigan grad and CEO of Eat Well Embrace Life, for being a most excellent sponsor of Joe Pichey’s most excellent recipes.
I don’t know if you’re allowed to do this, but I had the three-Peppers (no relation) hummus today with a burrito. It’s… it’s glorious. Don’t judge me.]
I have been waiting for this recipe all season. I am not kidding you. If you don’t believe me, just ask Seth how many time I texted him pics of my loin over the last few weeks. There is something sexy about pork covered in a sweet and spicy glaze just staring at me from across the room. That sweet scent permeating my nostrils and calling my name. GOBLUEBBQ….GOBLUEBBQ….GOBLUEBBQ. OK, no more beers for me. This is easily a top 5 recipe for me and is way easier that you think it would be. It requires very little grill skills and can be done in the oven if needed. Trust me, your tailgate guests will be salivating over your loin before its all said and done. This is a 3-4 cook, so don't forget to support our great sponsor and do some hummus dipping while you wait. I went with the edamame hummus this week. Fantastic flavor with some veggies and wheat thins!
- Bone-In Pork Loin (5 - 7 bones)
- Meat Church Honey Hog Rub (meatchurch.com)
- Peach Jam
- Habanero pepper or Jalapeno Pepper Chopped into tiny pieces. (Seeds Removed)
Brine : Mix all ingredients and bring to rolling boil for 5 mins or until sugar and salt dissolve. Let cool.
3 cups water
1.5 cups Kosher Salt
1.5 cups brown sugar
3 sprigs or fresh thyme
1 Teaspoon black peppercorns (Whole)
5 cups Apple Cider
[After the JUMP: fat is flavor. And a doggie]
“How’s it goin’? Lousy out there, eh? It’s that fall football weather. I love it.”
You’ve got to be pretty pleased with where things are right now with this defense.
“You know, it’s been a good seven weeks. Going through some learning curves and not everything’s perfect. You kind of ride the wave. You know, we had three bad plays last week. [mimics shooting self in neck] Bmmf. Not a good thing. You don’t want to give up any.
“We didn’t do a good job fitting up one of the runs on the long zone, and we let #5 out. Obviously two pass plays. They got Ben Gedeon matched up with #11, who’s a very good player. So whoever arranged that matchup for us is an idiot. It happens to be me. We’re hoping—it’s one of those scenarios where you’re in one of your zone blitzes and you’re anticipating getting there; through protection they did a good job getting it picked up a little bit. And then obviously I’d have liked to see us play that ball a little better in the endzone, but it is what it is and we move on.
“Again, nobody’s perfect. We’ve got some work to do. Helpful we brought a bunch of guys. But at the same time, I thought they did a good job of saying on third down, let’s get into vacant and get the ball out. But at the end of the day, they threw the ball 15 times, we had one sack and seven quarterback knockdowns, and six of ‘em weren’t very friendly so it takes its toll and it impacts the completion percentage for sure. Once again, we got off the field on third down about as well as you can.”
You mentioned letting #5 out. You had a #5 that chased him down. Can you talk about the effort on that kind of play?
“Yeah, you know, and it’s funny. It’s a great pickup by you. We talked about it yesterday in our defensive meeting. Sometimes those kinds of things happen, and when they do, you’ve got to go run ‘em down and start all over again, and we were able to get that done and then get off the field with no points. So, huge play by our #5. And again, he’s coming from the backside, so that’s all effort and energy right there to get there, but it’s a great point.
“We were in a five-man pressure, and like I tell them, if we give up something in a five-man pressure, guess what? The next play I guarantee you will be a five-man pressure, so you might as well just get used to that because we’re not going to back off. We’re not going to go, ‘Oh, that didn’t work!’ We’re just not going to do that.
“Great job on his part. I thought he played really well during the course of the game. We bounced him around pretty good positionally and he just continues to—it’s like I said the last time, we ask him to do a lot. Just proud of the way he’s been able to handle concepts. Obviously he’s doing a lot of jobs on a lot of sides of the ball, so it’s pretty interesting.”
[After THE JUMP: …about 20 years ago I used to say, ‘Will you just be a guy!’ As times have gotten modern…]
Jim said it was Wilton’s best game last week. After watching film, would you agree with that?
“Yeah. He was like 70% completion, made good decisions all the way across the board, was very accurate. A couple throws or a couple plays probably could have even taken back and gotten some more completions out of it. As we were looking at it, felt like there was some opportunity to even be a little bit better than that; couple more touchdowns. Excited about how he’s progressed and how he played in this game.”
What has helped Wilton really develop his consistency this season?
“He’s a consistent person, and I think it really starts from off the field and moves into the field or onto the field. He’s a guy that really does everything you want him to do. He wakes up about the same time every day. He says he goes to bed about the same time every day. He has a very consistent schedule in what he does. He’s told me weekends haven’t really changed his schedule anymore. He’s kind of programmed his body and himself really starting throughout training camp to be kind of what time he woke up in training camp is still what time he wakes up now. Just lives a very clean, consistent life, and because of that I think it’s parlayed into his football.”
Wilton talked a lot yesterday about avoiding aiming the ball. For us non-quarterbacks out here, what is the difference between aiming the ball and just letting it go, and how can you tell when that’s happening?
“It’s just like baseball. Sometimes you feel like when you’re thinking too much or you’re trying to put it in a certain spot, when you’re thinking and not following through it’s different than, hey, I’m just going to go out there and rip it, so to speak. I’m gonna go out there and I’m confident I can make that throw, I’m confident with where I’m going with the ball, I’m confident I can kind of just be free. And when you aim it is sometimes when you start overthinking, and I think that’s probably what he was thinking about, that it’s more of should I take a little bit off of this or not follow through as much as opposed to just going out there and playing.”
[After THE JUMP: impressions of State’s defense, making adjustments on the fly, and whether the staff scripts plays]
About Last Week:
The Road Ahead:
Michigan State (2-5, 0-4 B1G)
Last week: Lost at Maryland, 28-17
Recap: As Friend of the Blog Jamie Mac pointed out on the podcast this week, it is hard to decide which part of this game was the most amazing.
- It could be the attempted fake field goal from the 30 with no time left on the clock at the end of the first half, which would have required Michael Geiger to outrun the entire Maryland defense by himself (and to the boundary side of the field, no less). He gained four yards.
- It could be the fact that Riley Bullough picked up three personal fouls in the first 11 plays, and was booted for targeting with 49 minutes left in the game for lighting up a receiver in the face.
- It could have been the Worst Waldo touchdown where DJ Moore was a full ten yards behind two Spartan defensive backs.
- It could have been the fact that Perry Hills went 21-27 for 200 yards and 2 touchdowns while being Perry Hills.
There is no wrong answer to this question.
This team is as frightening as: A team that is nestled comfortably between Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan in S&P+. Fear Level = why does this thing not go below 7
Michigan should worry about: Michigan State finally got the running game going on Saturday, with both LJ Scott and Gerald Holmes running hard and churning out significant yards after contact.
Michigan can sleep soundly about: Michigan State has lost five in a row, which, based on my research, is a lot.
When they play Michigan: choo choo
This week: vs. Michigan, noon, ESPN (Michigan -23.5 and rising)
[AFTER THE JUMP: the list of teams Michigan has yet to defeat is getting shorter by the week, whereas the list of defeated teams grows]
The audio was screwed up in my copy of the video, so here's this.
In the last couple days, I've gone over film of MSU's offense against Maryland and BYU, and boy, it's been a fun week. I ended up doing full charting of the BYU game, which featured an oddly timed and ill-fated quarterback switch from Tyler O'Connor to Damion Terry, and Hennecharted the Maryland game, which featured a third quarterback, Brian Lewerke.
Yes, State has a quarterback problem. That is far from the only problem.
Personnel. Seth's diagram [click to embiggen]:
The starting QB is a guess. It wouldn't be surprising to see O'Connor either start over Lewerke or replace him partway through. We didn't want to use a precious bench spot on a QB because MSU frequently deploys RB Gerald Holmes, TE Jamal Lyles, and FB Prescott Line, and they still rotate a fair amount on the O-line. A knee injury to guard David Beedle, who has the OL's fourth-most snaps despite not starting the last three games (and missing Maryland), has opened up playing time for true freshman Thiyo Lukusa, who got quite a bit of run against Maryland.
Spread, Pro-Style, or Hybrid? Pro-style, for whatever that means anymore. State tends to go I-form and run-heavy on early downs, then go into the gun for passing downs.
Basketball on Grass or MANBALL? A mix. They run a fair amount of inside zone, and also feature quite a bit of power.
Hurry it up or grind it out? Grind. MSU is 106th in adjusted pace.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]
SPONSOR NOTES: I was struck when we were hanging out at the Bo Store that it was very cool that some of our main sponsors were very much like us: small businesses in the Michigan community run by guys who are just dudes, you know? I like to think that UGP and Homesure are the MGoBlogs of their respective fields: small, detailed, involved, pantsless.
In addition to being a gentleman replete with Michigan tickets, Matt is also a good man to know if you need a mortgage. It's striking that we actually get non-astroturfed comments about positive experiences with Matt not infrequently.
If you're buying a home or refinancing, he's the right guy to call.
FORMATION NOTES: Michigan ran a ton of their dime package, almost half their snaps. Included were a bunch of exotics, like this thing where the line slides way one direction and McCray ends up a standup end:
3-3 line slide, I said, because I guess?
Meanwhile this was 3-3 standup DT:
Illinois ran at McCray and picked up 17 yards.
Meanwhile I titled this "ugh what is this" and don't remember if I called it anything in particular. Brown's defense quickly outstrips the reader's tolerance for formation detail.
Bleah! I mean, hooray! But also bleah.
SUBTITUTION NOTES: The frequency of three-man lines and general dearth of snaps (just 42 on defense) led to some absurdly low snap totals for the DL. Charlton led the way with 30; Glasgow, Wormley, Hurst, and Gary were around 20; Godin, Winovich, and Mone were around 13.
Gedeon and Peppers played every snap; McCray missed a few with an injury and was replaced by Devin Bush. Stribling, Peppers, Hill, and Thomas did not come off the field; Lewis was lifted at the very end. Extra DB snaps were scattered between Lavert Hill, Kinnel, Metellus, and Watson. Kinnel probably would have gotten 20 snaps if he didn't go out injured just before the half.
[After THE JUMP: if this is short it's not my fault.]
Tai Webster [Nate Olsen – Nebraska Communications]
Because of his affable persona and love of halftime tweets, Tim Miles has become one of the more widely-liked coaches in college basketball. After a nice stint at Colorado State, he got the Nebraska job – despite the new, state-of-the-art facilities in Lincoln, it’s tough job due to plenty of factors. Nebraska was obviously added to the Big Ten for its football cachet; the basketball program is one of a few to never win an NCAA Tournament game (though they’ve made it to the dance several times, most recently in 2013-14, Miles’s second year at Nebraska).
Unfortunately the Huskers took a step back from that tournament appearance, even though they had most of the same personnel – they lost their final nine games that season and finished with a losing record. They lost ball-dominant wing Terran Petteway but added Andrew White, a Kansas transfer, to pair with Shavon Shields. Still, the Huskers finished with a losing record yet again – in the two years after reaching the Tournament, they’ve gone a combined 11-25 in conference play, tied with Penn State for third-worst in the Big Ten during that span.
The unexpected (and late) transfer of White takes away the prospective best player for Nebraska, and it looks like the Huskers will probably struggle again. White put his name in for the NBA Draft – and took it out, which is common – before deciding to leave Nebraska to take a fifth-year somewhere else to help his draft prospects (and he picked Syracuse, a team that will undeniably be better).
Without the talent requisite to compete for an NCAA Tournament bid, it’s likely that Nebraska will finish in the bottom half of the conference again. Miles bought some time with that appearance a few years ago, but without progress, it’s easy to wonder how long he’ll last in Lincoln – though my guess is that the Nebraska brass will be patient.
[More on the Huskers after the JUMP]
Ben, you guys looked like you worked pretty well together, you and Bredeson. Talk about that transition and how hard or easy it was and what you thought of it.
“I wouldn’t say hard or easy. It was different. Obviously I haven’t played tackle in a few years. Bredeson’s done really well as a freshman. He’s doing really well. Smart kid, knows what’s going on in the film room. I was very happy with his effort and very proud of him. We’ll see what happens. It was a fun transition. I always liked being a tackle, but whatever’s best for the team we’ll do that.”
Chris or Jourdan, you guys win 41-8 but you give up a late touchdown and you give up the long running play. How much does that help your coach Don Brown to be able to get in that film room and say, ‘Okay, here are some things we need to clean up’ and not to get too confident after a big win?
CW: “Yeah, I think we played pretty good as a defense as whole against Rutgers and Wisconsin and Penn State, going back a few weeks. We obviously know we’re a good defense, but at the end of the day there’s always things we can get better at, always things we can improve on as a D-line. And linebackers and secondary, obviously, as a whole. So, we’ll watch film today and see what we can do. Obviously want to stop those long runs, the late touchdown, but like I said, there’s things to get better at.”
Jourdan, Coach reemphasized every game’s a championship game, [and said] we prepare like we do for everybody. Especially for an in-state guy, does it take a conscious effort to control emotion when it’s a rivalry like this?
“I’m not really an overemotional guy. I really just love the game of football and always prepare for every single game like it’s my last. So, that’s what all of us do, especially on the defensive end of the ball. Not saying that Michigan State—not trying to slight them or anything, but it’s just another game, really, on the schedule.”
Ben, what’s this rivalry mean to you as an in-state guy?
“I mean, as everyone knows as a kid I was a hockey player, but when I first got to college and hearing about it from Taylor Lewan and Mike Schofield and Elliott Mealer and what the rivalry meant to them, it just kind of set the standard for what the rivalry is. At the same time, we’ve got to focus on this week just like we do every week. It’s just another obstacle we have to get across that’s going to take us to our end goal, and that’s just to win as many games as we can and be the best that we can and play the best of our game. So, I think as a team we’ve done really good at that this season and I’ve been really proud of the guys and how they handle every game.”
[More after THE JUMP]
We were cheering so much when they brought out the train that we missed how cool the play design was that they ran with it. It’s not the most complicated play to break down, but it’s certainly the most fun I’ve had breaking one down.
Other than looking cool, the train formation does actually accomplish something. The defense is trying to figure out who’s got whom, but can’t actually line up and sort out the offense’s look until this weird huddle has broken. It’s hard to catch numbers with all those other dudes in the way. It might not even dawn on the defenders until the snap that all the skill position players are tight ends (or in the case of Hill, a quasi-TE turned fullback). The train doubles as a huddle—Speight walks up the line giving the playcall—but preserves a no-huddle offense’s confusion factor.
If you’re an opponent, you don’t have a lot of time to dissect the various shades of blocky-catchy. And down near the goal line you’re not going to have the luxury of playing cover 2, since any underneath dumpoff is a touchdown. With a weird formation, the simplest thing to do is call a man defense, and everybody line up in their spots.
Then Speight claps his hands to break the huddle, and everybody rushes to his spot.
[After the Jump: Why five tight ends, why mesh, and how the rule that spread teams proved unfair is also unfair for teams that run out lots of TEs and crossing routes]