"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
Are you finding teams focusing on Jake [Butt] a little bit more as part of their gameplan, trying to take him away?
“There seems to be a little bit of that every now and then. Just, sometimes that’s how it shakes out, how the cookie crumbles, that the guy that’s the intended target of a route isn’t open and we trust Jake Rudock to get the ball to the guy who is open.”
What was your reaction when you found out about Jerry Kill’s resignation this morning?
“Sad. I figured it was something that had to be pretty serious. You never want to hear anything like that, and you know that he has the background of certain health issues so you hope and pray that he gets healthy and his family deals with everything alright, because that’s a serious thing.”
As a young coach, how do you have to learn to manage balancing the stresses of coaching with your health?
“I don’t know, I probably don’t do a good job. I had a donut today, so that’s good. I don’t know. I mean, I think a lot of it has to do with your work environment. The guys we work with are serious about football but they’re lighthearted guys, so it’s fun, it’s loose and serious at the same time if that makes any sense. I’m not a doctor, but I would imagine that’s helpful over the long term of not developing like hypertension or something. I don’t know. I probably should stop eating donuts, too.”
How have your dad and uncle managed to handle it? How have you seen them do it?
“Um, I don’t know. Not in any way that’s special or unique, I don’t think. They both find ways and time to spend with their family and exercise and stuff. They have fun doing what they’re doing. I don’t know. It’s a good question. Certainly it’s something to be aware of.”
[After THE JUMP: Did he use the two-costume strategy as a kid? Also, things about tight ends. And Jabrill.]
Upon Further Review still has a sponsor. I'm late today so I'm just going to tell you that Matt's a good guy and did my loan and Seth's loan and everything was easy and professional. We are associating our name with his and that is something we are very comfortable with.
FORMATION NOTES: The director was one of those guys who fancies himself Stanley Kubrick so we never got a proper shot of what M was doing presnap on the Peppers sweep:
You'll note that M only has four OL; Cole is lined up outside of DeVeon Smith. This was "shotgun empty tight" but that's insufficient to describe it, really.
This with 3TEs and a WR in a wing spot was "Ace tight":
And M pulled out another goofy split line setup. Cole is one of the WRs to the top; Williams is the "right tackle". "Emory 3-wide," I said, and took another antacid:
PERSONNEL NOTES: The usual at most of the spots except Michigan whittled down the number of guys who played at the skill positions. Johnson and Green are on the participation list but didn't get carries; I don't remember them playing at all. Higdon and Isaac did get carries, but sparingly.
At WR it was almost all Darboh and Chesson and then they added in Harris or Perry in 3 or 4 wide sets. TE was about the usual.
[After THE JUMP: opportunities untaken]
More of this, please.
The hoops preview continues with a look at Michigan's wings, which will be split into two parts because the Wolverines legitimately have eight wing-ish types who could conceivably see the floor this year. Today's post focuses on the three wings expected to slot into the starting lineup: Caris LeVert, Aubrey Dawkins, and Zak Irvin. While this trio has its question marks, they also have the potential to be one of the most dangerous starting groups in the country.
Measurables: 6'7", 205
Base Stats: 35.8 MPG, 14.9 PPG, 43/38/82 2P/3P/FT%, 4.9 RPG, 67 assists, 39 turnovers
Key Advanced Metrics: 25.9% usage, 101.1 ORating, 22.9 assist rate, 3.4 steal %
Caris LeVert passed up the chance to go pro for one last season at Michigan, and in doing so he has the chance to establish himself as a borderline lottery pick if all goes well.
Unlike with Derrick Walton, whose injury struck so early in the season that it's easy—and correct—to blame it for his struggles before he shut it down entirely, LeVert wasn't the All-American candidate many expected he'd become before his broken foot cost him the majority of Big Ten season. Instead we saw LeVert struggle to balance becoming the number one option with playing within John Beilein's offense; while he had less help than Trey Burke and Nik Stauskas before him, LeVert's herky-jerky drives to the hoop often caused the offense to grind to a halt.
[Hit THE JUMP.]
What have you seen from Minnesota on film?
“Real strong, powerful running backs. A good running game. I think we’re going to have our hands cut out for us when we get prepared for Minnesota as far as the running game is concerned.
“An the receivers are good. They have No. 9 and No. 1, which are real flashy receivers. The guys know how to get open. They have really good speed, so it’s going to be a challenge for us on the outside and also in the run game.”
What kind of a quarterback is Mitch Leidner?
“He’s a good quarterback. He manages the game real well. Not flashy, I guess because of the knee injury that he had. Probably not the same, but we’re still on the alert for him running the football. He’s a good, solid quarterback. He’s got some good receivers and he’s got a good tight end in No. 86 who can stretch the field down the middle, so…you know, I think one of the biggest things we’re going to have to be alert for is a lot of play-passes and bootlegs from these guys.
“Because one thing we have to do, we have to focus on stopping their running game first because once their running game gets going that’s when everything else opens up. They’re a strong team, so we do have to be on the alert for that.”
MGoQuestion: What happened on the 30-yard touchdown pass to Kings and the fullback wheel route against Michigan State?
“Well, it was just one of the plays where our eyes and our linebacker wasn’t focused on the play, and a lot of our guys’ eyes were in the backfield, so it’s just one of those plays that happens. You wish it wouldn’t have happened, but we’ll learn from that from this point on.
“And like I always say and always tell the guys in the back end, it’s all about eye control. If you play with good eye control those plays are going to be at a minimum.”
[After THE JUMP: I get coached up on eye control]
$19.05 hardcover or $7.99 kindle on Amazon: http://j.mp/Falk40Years
So I'm in my car in U.S. 23 traffic after the BYU game, listening to the WTKA postgame show, and trying to wrap my head around if Michigan could possibly be this good, when my phone rings with an unidentified 734 number. On the other end is this deep rhotic voice, the kind you only get from Midwestern farmers' sons whose vocal chords have been ravaged by a lifetime of shouting through the cold. Bo had that. My father had that. My phone hasn't heard it since.
"Hello? Is this Seth? This is Jon Falk."
Short of Harbaugh, Beilein, Red, Lloyd, Mo, or Obama I don't think there's any name that voice could have given that could possibly make me geek out harder. Every other car on U.S. 23 is now in tremendous peril.
I mean, I had emailed him during the week because we were giving away his new book, Forty Years in the Big House, for Guess the Score, and my phone number is on my email signature, but I kind of expected an underling or maybe a publisher's intern to handle that sort of stuff.
I forgot the thing about Big Jon is he handles stuff. And after we'd figured out how to get me the giveaway copy, I remembered there's the other thing he does. We start sharing stories.
[After the jump: a review, and some stories, but no spoilers]
[Disclaimer: We wrote these yesterday before the Jerry Kill news, when open head coaching jobs were a lot more fun to talk about.]
RR to da U?
Choose the best plausible fit for five open FBS head coaching jobs.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Mack Brown. Fits the aging former National Championship winning coach profile. Gets Mack Brown off of my TV.
USC: Todd Graham [Insert Dream Job joke here]. Seems like he's been at Arizona State forever in Graham years. Actually could be the right mix of personality for the Trojans.
ILLINOIS: Brady Hoke. From the school that brought back Ron Zook, why wouldn't they bring back Hoke. It would stick it to their arch-rival Michigan. Hoke would be a good fit for the recruiting base, doesn't have a documented issue with the color orange and his track record looks pretty good by Illinois standards.
MIAMI: Jim Tressel. When Miami has built their best teams, they've been built around loading up on talent with little regard for the NCAA. Tressel seems like the perfect fit.
[After the jump: more bad ideas, and some that are too good]
Announced at 8:30 this morning:
Coach Kill announced today that he is retiring effective immediately due to health reasons. Tracy Claeys has been named interim head coach.
— Minnesota Football (@GopherFootball) October 28, 2015
Kill has suffered from epilepsy—he missed the 2013 Michigan game—and overcame kidney cancer to build Minnesota back to as good as it ever was under Glen Mason. He was extremely well respected, as a coach and as a person, by everyone on this side of the Jug he won last year. Every football coach should be Jerry Kill; damn the world where we can't even have one.
Press conference live stream.
Upon Further Review has a sponsor. Ran into Matt at a hockey game at Yost on Sunday. We kind of shook our heads about some of the defensive breakdowns, shrugged, and went on with our lives. (Everyone was wearing pants, yes, do I really have to clarify that? I suppose I do.) But anyway this is a person who is part of our community; we've used him and we have been happy, as have other MGoFolk who have communicated this to us.
FORMATION NOTES: Michigan had a new thing for MSU's heavy sets. This lineup has Wormley, Godin, Glasgow, and Henry from top to bottom on the line with RJS lined up as a linebacker. Bolden is acting as the SAM with Gedeon the other ILB:
That is the first time this year we've seen four true DL on the field at the same time. Another example, this time with RJS rolled up to the line:
They also did this, which I called 7-2 bear:
This was the TD on which RJS got bear-hugged; it did not come out again.
PERSONNEL NOTES: Aside from the occasional 4-4 mentioned above it was the usual rotation on the defensive line with one exception: I don't think I saw Charlton out there at all save for one buck snap. RJS got every other snap on which there was a buck—M lifted the buck in their dime sets.
Morgan played every snap. Ben Gedeon got most of the game; in the first half he was the third linebacker when M was in base personnel. After Bolden was ejected he was the guy lining up next to Morgan even after Ross became available in the second half. In the brief period between Bolden's ejection and the end of the first half, Allen Gant got a few snaps. Gedeon looked good.
Secondary was close to the usual with the notable exception of Jourdan Lewis shadowing Burbridge around the field after the first series of the game. To be honest I don't know what the Clark/Stribling breakdown was because they were peripheral, but I'm pretty sure Stribling got the rest of the snaps after Clark blew his coverage on MSU's second TD. Dymonte Thomas was the dime back.
[After THE JUMP: run run throw at Lewis, punt or repeat]
Friday, October 23, 2015
Union 5, Michigan 5- OT
Union 1 UM 0 02:04 EV Dufour unassisted
Boo Nieves has the puck along the boards and carries to the blue line. As he turns to his right he’s bumped and starts to lose his balance.
Just as Nieves regains his balance the defender who was in the middle of the screenshot above steps up and strips the puck. This is a perfectly timed steal to the point that I don’t think there’s anything Nieves can do to prevent it.
Union’s Mark Dufour barrels through the neutral zone, but there are two Michigan defenders who are able to close and semi-impede his progress. Still, the screenshot below is one of the first moments where it becomes obvious that Union is a step ahead and going to be able to get a shot off; that shot, though, is going to come from Dufour as there isn’t anyone else remotely close.
Racine stays at the top of the crease too long. As Dufour cuts he’s given access to too much of the nearside net because Racine doesn’t slide and drop soon enough. Dufour is able to backhand one in to open the scoring.
[After THE JUMP: BELLYFLOP GOAL]