fair point that
Sorry about the lateness of the UFRs this week. Finding all the video took forever.
Upon Further Review has a sponsor. We got a couple nice comments on the previous UFR in re: Matt.
I worked with Matt (aka HomeSure lending) and closed my refi last week. Everything went as planned and on schedule. He was easy to work with and there was good communication throughout. I've had other refi's that did not go as planned and caused wasted time for me or were chaotic. With Matt it went really well and I got a lower rate and now my monthly payment dropped and I'll pay it off in the same amount of years. …
Oh and one more thing. When I first called him, he talked me out of refinancing because he was honest and told me my current loan was better than what I was trying to do with him. Once the rates dropped he reconnected with me and that lead to the refi. He seemed really honest and truly trying to do what's right.
That guy has had an account since 2009 in case you're worried about astroturfing. He's got a ticket offer going for a Michigan football or basketball game. If you're buying a home or refinancing, he's the right guy to call.
FORMATION NOTES: Michigan spent a lot of the game like this, with Ross at the buck (standing to the bottom of the DL) and Peppers and Hill flanked outside of the two ILBs.
This was an especially weird game to play Ross as the buck since otherwise you would have expected him to play a lot as a third linebacker. I just called this "nickel even" since Ross was functioning as a DL.
This was "quads inner bunch"; Peppers is about to do something almost awesome.
All else per usual.
PERSONNEL NOTES: No Godin, who was injured, so the rotation on the DL was circumscribed. Hurst and Glasgow rotated at the nose with scattered snaps on which both played; Charlton got snaps here and there, but Wormley and Henry had a heavy workload.
Ross bizarrely got most of the snaps at buck instead of Jenkins-Stone; he did not do well. Morgan didn't come off the field; it was mostly Bolden at the other LB spot but Gedeon got a little time; there were a few 4 LB sets.
Secondary was mostly the usual, with Thomas the primary dime back this week. Clark got most of the second CB playing time.
[After THE JUMP: flukes and… not flukes]
seen a ghost
Rutgers' offense is, essentially, bombs to Leonte Carroo or bust. That's tough to make work consistently in the best of times, and these aren't the best of times.
Catching up on Kyle Flood's radio show from earlier tonight, he said Leonte Carroo just watched practice today, did not participate.
— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) November 5, 2015
Carroo's status for Saturday's game is in doubt after he missed the vast majority of the last two games. He didn't suit up at all for last week's blowout loss to Wisconsin, which I watched, at least until I couldn't bear to watch it anymore. Read on!
Personnel. Seth's diagram [click to embiggen]:
Rutgers splits carries pretty evenly between their top three tailbacks. In this game they spent a ton of snaps in one-wideout formations; senior fullback Sam Bergen (#44) will play about half the game, apparently even if Rutgers falls way behind, as they did in this one.
Spread, Pro-Style, or Hybrid? Pro-style, for the given definition in which a team has few spread elements, huddles up, and takes most of their snaps under center.
Basketball on Grass or MANBALL? Rutgers ran both gap and zone principles. Their pet play was a counter out of a one-receiver Ace set that had half-decent effectiveness on an early field goal drive...
pretty sure at least seven of these were the same counter play
...and that got stuffed when they tried it at the end of the drive and later in the game.
Hurry it up or grind it out? Very slow tempo; they currently rank 99th in adjusted pace.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]
Well, that was weird. Mitch Leidner, who Greg Jackson said wasn’t the same after a knee injury, did what’s pictured above while also passing for about four games worth of yardage against this secondary on a number of throws that just sort of dropped from the heavens. Minnesota fans had no problem pointing out just how bizarre this game was. Here’s a portion of the intro from The Daily Gopher’s piece on charting the game:
Minnesota received both gifts and sorrow. While clock management at the end doomed the team, Michigan should have picked off Leidner twice. Both times would have prevented touchdowns.
When they start that second sentence with a negative I expect the part after the comma to be exuberantly positive, and it is but in a really odd, we-barely-made-this-competitive sort of way. Their quarterback threw two how-are-those-not-interceptions that were only avoided because of some mystical combination of a holiday, a night game, a piece of crockery, and a Harbaugh. Their fans saw that as something worth celebrating, which seems overly punitive but is also an indicator of just how not used to having nice things they are.
The stats aren’t going to do anything to lessen the sting for Minnesota; they basically back up The Daily Gopher’s self loathing. Minnesota outgained Michigan significantly and put up more unexpected explosive plays than any other team M has faced this year. They had double the scoring opportunities Michigan did, an extra drive, and managed to run 10 more plays. Minnesota mixed spectacularly lucky plays with some that were just plain spectacular and still lost. For 58 minutes and 41 seconds they got gifts; for 19 seconds, the kind of sorrow that steals a little bit of your football soul and can only be made incrementally better by trying to rationalize how it could have been so much worse.
[After THE JUMP: Four Factors. Five Factors. Tables. A goofy Harbaugh picture]
About Last Week:
The Road Ahead:
Rutgers (3-5, 1-4 B1G)
Last week: Lost at Wisconsin, 48-10
Recap: Hayden Rettig is Rutgers’ backup quarterback. Rettig replaced starter Chris Laviano, and promptly posted a QBR of 2.9. And somehow, this was an improvement over Laviano’s 2.7.
Rutgers was outgained 426-165, and were more than doubled up in the air and on the ground. It wasn’t all his fault, Laviano was legitimately atrocious, going 4 of 14 for 31 yards (2.2 YPA) with no touchdowns and a pick. When you factor in rushes/sacks, Laviano’s 19 touches gained a total of 11 yards. That’s approximately two Subway sandwiches per pass attempt.
In conference play thus far, Rutgers is averaging 5.16 yards per play and surrendering 7.3 yards per play. That’s a negative differential of 2.14 yards per play, which is dead last in the B1G, more than a half-yard worse than second-to-last place Purdue and more than a yard worse than the likes of Indiana and Maryland. Part of that is because they have played four of the better offenses in the conference in Michigan State, Indiana, Ohio State, and Wisconsin. Part of it is because they are bad.
On the bright side, basketball season is right around the corner…
SI forecasts that Rutgers (288) will be the worst team from a BCS conference by a huge margin: The Scarlet Knights are the only BCS-conference team outside our top 200, and we project them to go 1-17 in the Big Ten. Rutgers' projections are so bleak that we would still have them finishing last if they were in the CAA.
This team is as frightening as: the prospect of facing Rutgers basketball once or twice per year for the foreseeable future. Fear Level = 2
Michigan should worry about: Leonte Carroo…
Michigan can sleep soundly about: ...has a bum ankle and is questionable for the game, and if he does play he’ll probably be lining up across from Jourdan Lewis.
When they play Michigan: Walls may not be necessary. Michigan will probably be able to get by with those nylon extend-o ropes that banks and airport security lines use.
This week: at Michigan, 3:30 p.m., BTN
[Hit THE JUMP.]
The Question (Seth):
Name a great coaching mishap...that happened to the the other guys!
(To clarify, by "mishap" I meant like a single play or series, not worst coaching choices. Blunder. Miscue. Bungle. Goof. Lapse. Miscalculation.)
Adam: The first thing that came to mind was 2011 against Ohio State. OSU, down 6, got the ball with 1:59 to go at the 20-yard line. They converted on 4th and 6 and continued driving with a minute to go until they decided moving the ball was overrated and the key to winning was to stay right where they were. On 3rd and 6 from their 36 they ran 15 seconds off the clock...and then spiked the ball.
After the game Braxton Miller said that was what interim HC Luke Fickell told him to do. I'm no coach, but lighting the clock on fire and giving away a down to put yourself in a must-convert situation (and needing six yards, no less) with 45 seconds to go seems like a bad strategy.
[Hit THE JUMP for the Big Guy.]
[ED (Seth): By now you guys know Joe Pichey. You know about his recipes, and his blog, and why Stubb's sponsors them here, and why your doctor wants all this to stop. But I'm here to remind you anyway. Joe's blog is MMMGoBlueBBQ. Stubbs gives us some money to put his recipes here too because their CEO is a reader, and a nice guy, and he wants you to give his sauces a try next time you're in the supermarket.]
I had three recipes ready to go for this week and couldn't decide which way to go. That was until Coach Harbaugh talked about how to turn an unborn child into a 6'5" UofM QB.
Apparently, I still have a shot. Number one, I love milk! Two, I drink plenty of water, although it's typically mixed with hops and barley, which leads to number three: sleeping. As for four: I have also been known to eat a large hunk of meat every now and then. I just checked and I still have eligibility left.
(Insert "Uncle Rico" GIF here)
I have been wanting to try this cut of meat for awhile now, and decided that now is the perfect time. This was over the top! The ribeye cap is the most tender cut I have ever put in my mouth. If I ever win the lottery, this will be my "GO TO" as it's a bit pricey. It's a perfect special occasion steak. Errrrr...I mean "Vitamin".
- Ribeye Cap Steak
- Stubbs Beef Rub
- Spicy Cheesy Corn:
- 2 cans of sweet corn (Drained)
- 2 cans of creamed corn
- 1 can of rotel (Hot)
- 1 brick of cream cheese (cut into 1 inch chunks)
- 2 cups Cheddar cheese (Shredded)
- Stubbs Beef Rub
[Hit THE JUMP for health reasons]
Everyone’s talking about Jabrill this week, so what’s it like for you having him on offense? What does he do for you?
“Well, he’s very explosive. You can see when he gets the ball he explodes and it’s a great option to have to be able to work him into the offense and an opportunity for a few plays on the offensive side of the ball. If he does or doesn’t, it’s nice to have that club in your bag.”
I know you don’t get a ton of time with him, but is he special in the way that he can not spend a whole lot of time with the offense and still pick things up?
“Yeah. I mean, he’s a football player, so he’s got that DNA that you can kind of tell once he fixes a problem- just special. Great football awareness.
“It’s really- dealing with him is like dealing with a pro football player. He just kind of looks you in the eye and takes what you’re telling him, understands it, and then puts it into action. He’s just got great football awareness and great football savvy. He’s a football player. I’ve said that before, so it’s exciting to have him.”
Do you customize the playcalling based on whether Drake Johnson or De’Veon Smith’s in the game?
“No, we don’t. No, we don’t. We feel like they all have strengths and weaknesses, but we just call the game as we call it and put those guys in the best opportunity up front and the receivers and the quarterback so no, we don’t like specifically say, ‘Hey, do this, do that.’”
What’s Jake’s [Rudock] status at this point?
“He was good yesterday. He threw the ball around, breaking the huddle. He looked good. Looked good to me.”
You expect him to play?
“Yeah, absolutely, yes. Really do.”
[After THE JUMP: “We’re changing this thing, and it’s going in the right direction and we’re really pleased with where we are.”]
Upon Further Review still has a sponsor. You should really listen to the radio show because Matt has an ad with his kids now where it sounds like they have been dragooned into talk about daddy's business that never fails to crack me up. They just want to play Madden.
FORMATION NOTES: I did an inconsistent job of it this week but I plan on denoting all 6 OL setups with "heavy" going forward. You can deduce which snaps were 6 OL when there are only four skill players listed this week, although I might have missed a couple.
The new things this week were mostly Peppers related. This was "Ace twin TE Peppers H":
This was "Emory Tight":
As a reminder, "Pistol" implies a tailback and a TE so Pistol FB is this:
As far as Minnesota goes they generally went with a 4-3 even or over. The most notable thing about their D was the MLB, who lined up a yard or two deeper than the other guys, as you can see in the above shot.
Also Minnesota's goal line formation was goofy. Just four guys on the line.
I still called this "goal line."
PERSONNEL NOTES: Line per usual with the exception of Grant Newsome, who had several snaps as a sixth OL. Poggi didn't play; he was left home with pneumonia; stay away from Ricky Doyle please. As a result Michigan played largely without an H-back, instead going with a lot of two inline TE sets.
WR was per usual except DaMario Jones got in briefly with Drake Harris out. Ways got a target on the first drive but then was absent; Chesson and Darboh got almost all the PT, with Perry the third guy in three WR sets.
Isaac and Higdon did not play at RB, where it was mostly Smith early and mostly Johnson late with some Derrick Green in the first half.
[After THE JUMP: here is Speight to save the day / no he shouldn't be the starter]
Now that we’re in November, I finally feel like it’s time to start talking about the CFP – yes, the committee released its rankings last night and yes, they’re predictably valueless, name-brand garbage. Ranking teams based on what they’ve done so far is asinine: the Big 12 still hasn’t played any of its marquee games (a savvy bit of scheduling, at least in terms of valuable late-season exposure, consider Baylor’s three-game stretch of Oklahoma, @ Oklahoma State, and @ TCU in a three week span) and judging teams off an incomplete resume means nothing, especially when each individual result is so crucial.
We should be looking at things differently; the rigidity of traditional rankings doesn’t make sense – it should be a question of “which team will have deserved it?” At this point, it’s impossible to know. Consider some of the games this weekend:
Florida State @ Clemson. Both of these teams have dominated the ACC in the recent past – this Atlantic division contest feels like the de facto ACC Championship game and undefeated Clemson’s toughest remaining test.
TCU @ Oklahoma State. Neither team has lost, though both have looked plenty suspect on the defensive side of the ball; it’s easily the toughest opponent either team has faced thus far and should provide some clarity atop the Big 12 regardless of who wins.
LSU @ Alabama. The most-anticipated SEC contest of the year pits LSU – still undefeated and boasting a complete-looking squad – and Alabama, who would effectively be eliminated from CFP contention with a loss.
It’s not that ranking Alabama fourth overall is nonsensical (I mean, it is nonsensical,* but it doesn’t really matter) – of course, the Tide will have made a compelling case for a bid if they eventually win the SEC. They haven’t done so yet. Necessarily, one of LSU and Alabama will be taking a big hit to its evolving body of work this weekend: if Bama holds serve at home and defeats Leonard Fournette and company (far from a given, seeing as how they’ve lost a home game to a less-than-elite Ole Miss team already), we could be looking at two one-loss SEC West teams at the end of the year; if LSU wins, they’ll be in prime position to run the table the rest of the way… unless they lose to Ole Miss, who still just has one loss in conference play and holds an invaluable tiebreaker over Alabama.
The race for the division title in the SEC West could still go in so many different directions and it’s important to consider that while projecting the playoff race. The committee’s willful choice not to look ahead makes the rankings disingenuous; I get that they’re not in the business of predicting games (and, by extension, not in the business of predicting the playoff) and any discussion of the top four right now – or, even better, “if the season ended today” – pointedly forgets that there’s still much, much more football to be played. There won’t be six undefeated teams between the Big Ten and the Big 12, like there is now. Imagining a reality in which there are is stupid.
*Alabama’s best wins are against Tennessee (4-4, #17 in F/+), Wisconsin (7-2, #23), and Texas A&M (6-2, #26). Georgia (5-3, #45) was ranked eighth in the AP poll when Alabama went into Athens and routed the Bulldogs; we now know that UGA is pretty trash… does the committee think they’re good? Do they think Tennessee’s good? Do they remember that Alabama lost to Ole Miss (7-2, #15)? I mean, a weekly rankings TV show is a shameless ratings grab but still. STILL.
[After the JUMP: actual analysis(!)]
Over the past two games the passing numbers for the opposing quarterbacks were obviously a lot higher. Is there something that you can pinpoint on that to change?
“Well, the Michigan State game you’re facing a really good quarterback. They made a lot of plays and we made a lot of plays ourselves in that game, but you’ve got to give credit to the quarterback over there.
“Last week, I’m not taking anything away from Minnesota [but] we just laid an egg defensively, especially in the secondary. We just played poorly. That contributes to a lot of the passing yards this past week.”
Do you attribute that to rust from a bye week or…?
“You know, we’ve all tried to figure it out. Nobody knows but we’re fighting through it and certainly we’ve talked about it, we’ve addressed it, and we are working on getting better starting yesterday in practice.”
Anything you saw specifically on some of the breakdowns that led to long pass plays?
“I just, again, think our guys in the backend didn’t play as aggressively as they have in the past; weren’t going after footballs, had bad eye control, and just losing their guys. Did not play well.”
Connor Cook is ancient history at this point, but was he one of the better quarterbacks you’ve seen this year?
“Oh yeah. He’s a real good quarterback. I mean, he puts the ball places where it’s hard for other guys to catch. He’s good. A lot of credit to him. He’s gonna be- you’ll be watching him on Sundays for sure.”
[After THE JUMP: The wings on the helmet will tell on you if you lose eye control]