News bullets and other items:
Harbaugh saved timeouts because he planned to use them after second and third down and get the ball back with about 35 second to play; Iowa converted the third down.
There were 10 guys on to block the field goal because they started with 12 guys and there was a miscommunication in the huddle about who was supposed to come off the field.
Any more on Wilton Speight?
“We’re gonna know more--It’s gonna depend just on how he feels.”
And can you talk about Jeremy Clark? Has he had the surgery, and have you guys started the petition at all with him for the sixth year?
“Yeah, he’s doing good. Surgery was successful and it’s a process. Where he is in the process is gathering the information, making a case. Soon.”
With Wilton, when do you think you’ll have to know to make a decision on him and is it a game-time decision at this point?
“Could be. As I said, when we’ll know is based on what the doctors say and how Wilton’s feeling, what he’s able to do during the week in terms of practice, etc.”
And it’s his shoulder?
“As I said, we’ll make that determination with the doctors and with Wilton.”
Do you at least know if there’s anything structural or is it just a soreness thing? Have you been able to determine that yet on Wilton?
“Um…as always, per our principle we don’t like to speak specifics.”
If need be, John O’Korn, have you seen enough of him in practice to be confident in him?
“Yes, yeah. Yes. John, Shane [Morris]. I especially would anticipate today, the next couple days at least, that they’ll get the majority of the reps. It’ll be good practice for them, but they’ve both had extensive practice time through the course of the year and yes, we are confident they will do a good job.”
[After THE JUMP: running-into-the-kicker calls, the program’s momentum when Harbaugh arrived, and praise for Indiana’s defense is definitely a thing now]
Corey Sanders [Jason Towlen – AP]
NOTE: Rutgers defeated D-II Molloy College in their season-opener on Friday, 86-57. On Sunday, they faced their first D-I opponent and won easily against Drexel, 87-66. Six Knights scored in double figures.
Last year, Rutgers was more or less a running gag for Big Ten basketball – the Scarlet Knights went 7-25 on the season, started conference play with an 0-17 record (before beating a Minnesota team that was also terrible and decimated by suspension in the season finale), and finished 279th nationally in Kenpom’s algorithm, easily the worst of any Big Ten team in his website’s database, which starts in 2002. Eddie Jordan, an alum who’d spent time coaching in the NBA, was fired after the season.
[Preview after the JUMP]
ED(Seth) NOTE: Since it appears we are going to have a John O’Korn era after all, we decided to make Ian Boyd’s article from last summer available to everyone. The following was published in Hail to the Victors 2016. You can download the original PDF to whatever device from this link.
* * *
The Cowboy’s Next Rodeo
by Ian Boyd
Coaches and teams in college football live and die by what happens at the quarterback position. You can trace the rise and fall of various programs and coaches across the country by how they handled the position and whether they got good, great, or poor play.
Despite being famous for making the under-center power running game cool again, Jim Harbaugh really reached his current level of notoriety by grooming Andrew Luck into a Heisman/no. 1 pick and getting the most from guys like Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick at San Francisco. As soon as he came to Ann Arbor, Harbaugh secured the services of grad transfer Jake Rudock from Iowa and regular transfer John O’Korn from Houston, stole high school senior Zach Gentry from Texas, and went to work on 2017 and 2018 QB recruits. Coach Jim knows he can’t allow his rebuild to be done in by a lack of options at the most important position.
Rudock was a one-and-done for the Wolverines while O’Korn has a chance to be an additional bridge to the future as Harbaugh develops younger players like efficient sniper Alex Malzone, MGoBlog fave-rave Brandon Peters, and top 2018 pro-style prospect Dylan McCaffrey. As it happens—provided he can wrest the job from 2015 backup Wilton Speight—O’Korn could be filling the gap in a year when Michigan is positioned to win the Big 10 and reach the playoffs.
[After THE JUMP: some Harbaugh plays that O’Korn should excel at]
John O'Korn to the forefront [Eric Upchurch]
Per a source, Wilton Speight has broken his collarbone and is out for the remainder of the regular season. Depending on the exact nature of the issue it is possible he could return for the bowl game.
FWIW, when Tony Romo broke his collarbone last year he was projected to be out eight weeks, and was supposed to be out 6-8 after collarbone surgery in May. Speight had a bad collarbone break in high school—that's why he's a year older than most of his class—and may be in line for a similar surgery.
Michigan will almost certainly go with John O'Korn in Speight's stead; in scattered snaps this year he's 13/18 for 114 yards and two TDs. O'Korn's mobile enough to incorporate some designed QB runs, so we've got that going for us.
11/12/2016 – Michigan 13, Iowa 14 – 9-1, 6-1 Big Ten
The punt landed on the four and took an abrupt right turn, as if God himself had decided to intervene with a brief misapplication of the rules of physics. In my experience punts do not do this. Usually they continue forward on their merry way. Sometimes they'll catch the turf in a particular way and bounce backwards, which still would have been great for Iowa but not quite as great as what happened. Which was, again, a punt hitting inside the five and veering away from the endzone like it was remote-controlled. It settled at the two.
Behind me, an Iowa fan exclaimed "RON COLUZZI IS A GOLDEN GOD." You, dear reader, may think this was some sort of cynical punt-to-win exclamation from a fanbase that hasn't had much else to hold onto this year. I do not think this was the case. Coluzzi had already dropped a coffin corner punt inside Michigan's ten and induced Devin Bush's ejection with a certainly-intentional mid-play flip. I feel that the Iowa fan was expressing a genuine opinion that Ron Coluzzi has occult powers given to him in a satanic ritual.
After Khalid Hill fielded a pop-up to start the second half and fumbled it to Iowa, I had no choice but to agree. Ron Coluzzi is a golden god. Yea, and wroth.
The game veered at the same instant that punt did. Michigan was up 10-0 after a 72-yard touchdown drive and had collected 125 yards midway through the second quarter—not the flamethrower operation they'd been the previous three weeks, but not bad for three drives, one of them starting in Iowa territory and ending with a goal-to-go field goal.
Two plays later Michigan had given up a safety because Kyle Kalis let Iowa's best lineman into the backfield more or less free. Their next four drives went three-and-out, with a fifth stillborn thanks to Coluzzi's occult powers. Passes were dropped. Deep balls were vastly errant. Michigan's ground game could do little against a defense that just gave up a 300-yard day to Penn State.
And what do you say about that? Michigan appeared to be a knockoff version of itself, cheaply made and sold out of the back of a van. Iowa was vastly improved in this game after a wakeup call against Penn State. They brought out a bunch of traps and quick pitches and in general looked like a team actively attempting to win a football game, instead of one present at it and hoping things go their way. Desmond King made a series of excellent run defense plays; Jaleel Johnson got a bunch of pressure; Akrum Wadley is currently looking at an industrial washer on the spin cycle and thinking is that all you got? They were good enough to compete.
They should not have been good enough to win. This had little to do with the Iowa defense:
...an array of overthrown, late and underthrown deep balls saw the Michigan quarterback complete just one of his 13 passes aimed 10 or more yards down the field — a 29-yard gain to Jehu Chesson.
PFF had Iowa's coverage -4.2 on the night largely because Amara Darboh repeatedly got screamingly wide open downfield. Two yards here, four yards there—nobody was in his area code. Michigan completed none of these throws. When Wilton Speight did give his receivers reasonable opportunities, too many times they went clang. Chesson, Butt, and Darboh all had reasonably catchable balls thunk off their hands and too the turf. Yes, Speight could have done better. Yes, the receivers could have done better. They did not.
Michigan isn't this team. Unfortunately, it appears that neither are they the rampaging death machine that stomped through this season, barely dented by nine different teams' best shot. Because of the 9 in the record above and the way that 9 was acquired, this game has drawn a truly epic amount of stupid overreactions to it. This means Michigan isn't 'Bama. It doesn't mean they can't beat a team that beat Northwestern 24-20 at home.
How much of this is Michigan being a CLOWN FRAUD and how much is just college football losing its damn mind like it always does it yet to be determined. Ron Coluzzi is a golden god; Ron Coluzzi probably did not plan for his punt to veer sideways. Randomness is always a factor. Teams put up stinkers every year for no other reason than having a bunch of weighted coin flips go the wrong way, and it's not hard to move one or two balls a couple feet and exit this game undefeated and not particularly challenged.
They did not, and now it's a long wait to see how much of a weird night in Iowa is being in the wrong place when a punter ascends to the heavens and how much are real chinks in Michigan's once-impregnable armor.
Known Friends And Trusted Agents Of The Week
you're the man now, dog
#1 Chris Wormley had a sack and another TFL; he did a great job on a reverse to pursue and get outside to hold the damage down on a play that looked real bad for a second; he bounced between DE and DT and was consistently pushing the middle of the pocket on passing plays; he dismissed various tight ends with authority, as per usual. His impact outstripped the box score, and the box score is pretty good.
#2 Taco Charlton was similarly dominant on the night. He got the hit on Beathard that resulted in the late interception, dismissed yet more tight ends, and had a major hand in Michigan's dominant pass rush despite not picking up the stats himself.
#3 Channing Stribling had that late interception and was repeatedly tested by an Iowa offense determined to keep it away from Jourdan Lewis at all costs. He had multiple pass breakups and dominated a couple plays so comprehensively that Beathard just booted the ball out of bounds instead of risking a throw. A pass or two completed against him and some iffy run D don't offset an otherwise terrific game.
Honorable mention: Jourdan Lewis, as per usual. Ryan Glasgow and Maurice Hurst were both good on the interior; Chris Evans had a solid day running the ball; Mason Cole was a bright spot on an OL that had a rough night.
10: Wilton Speight (#1 UCF, #1 Illinois, #3 MSU, #1 Maryland)
9: Jabrill Peppers(T2, Hawaii; #3 UCF, #1 Colorado, #2 Rutgers, #2 MSU)
5: Ryan Glasgow(#2 UCF, #1 UW), Chris Wormley (three-way T1, PSU, same vs Rutgers, #1 Iowa), Taco Charlton(three-way T1, PSU, same vs Rutgers, #3 Maryland, #2 Iowa).
3: Mike McCray(#1, Hawaii), Ben Gedeon(#3 Colorado, #3 PSU, three-way T1 Rutgers), Amara Darboh(#1 MSU), Jourdan Lewis (#3 UW, #2 Maryland).
2.5: Karan Higdon(four-way T2, PSU, #2 Illinois).
2: Jake Butt(#2 Colorado), Kyle Kalis (#2 UW)
1: Delano Hill (T2, Hawaii), Chris Evans (T3, Hawaii, four-way T2, PSU), Maurice Hurst (three-way T1, PSU), Devin Asiasi(#3 Rutgers), Ben Braden (#3 Illinois), Channing Stribling (#3 Iowa).
0.5: Mason Cole(T3, Hawaii), De'Veon Smith (four-way T2, PSU), Ty Isaac (four-way T2, PSU).
Who's Got It Better Than Us Of The Week
This week's best thing ever.
Ty Isaac puts Michigan up 10-0.
Honorable mention: Interception that nearly sealed the game; Kenny Allen nails a 51-yard field goal to give Michigan the lead.
Hawaii: Laughter-inducing Peppers punt return.
UCF: Speight opens his Rex Grossman account.
Colorado: Peppers cashes it in.
PSU: Wormley's sack establishes a theme.
UW: Darboh puts Michigan ahead for good.
Rutgers: Peppers presses "on".
Illinois: TRAIN 2.0.
MSU: lol, two points.
Maryland: very complicated bomb.
Iowa: The touchdown.
MARCUS HALL EPIC DOUBLE BIRD OF THE WEEK.
This week's worst thing ever.
Kyle Kalis leaves Jaleel Johnson on the two yard line, creating a safety that started Michigan's weird ride towards a loss.
Honorable mention: QB sneak is down a yard short of the first down line and is not reviewed; Ron Coluzzi being a golden god repeatedly; Darboh can't bring in a fade that would have just about ended it
PREVIOUS EPIC DOUBLE BIRDs
Hawaii: Not Mone again.
UCF: Uh, Dymonte, you may want to either tackle or at least lightly brush that guy.
Colorado: Speight blindsided.
PSU: Clark's noncontact ACL injury.
UW: Newsome joins the ranks of the injured.
Rutgers: you can't call back the Mona Lisa of punt returns, man.
Illinois: They scored a what now? On Michigan? A touchdown?
Michigan State: a terrifying first drive momentarily makes you think you're in the mirror universe.
Maryland: Edge defense is a confirmed issue.
Iowa: Kalis hands Iowa a safety.
[After THE JUMP: WELP.]
1 hour and 8 minutes
We are in a car.
The reason we can put out so much audio content now is it’s paid for. The show is presented by UGP & Moe's and frankly would not be happening without them; Rishi and Ryan and their people have been huge MGoBlog supporters from the start.
Our other sponsors are also key in the expanding empire: thanks to Homesure Lending, Ann Arbor Elder Law, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Deo Bookkeeping, Michigan Law Grad, Defensive Drivers Group, Tailgater Concierge, and Peak Wealth Management.
starts at 1:00
We went to a bumpin’ IHOP. Illinois has road barrels for days for no apparent reason. Iowa has great fans and a great stadium. The O’Neill crew was once again spectacularly incompetent but that’s no excuse for Michigan’s passing game joining them. Speight is hurt. Playcalling not optimal.
starts at 19:58
Iowa’s offense was basically Akrum Wadley, and basically kept in check. The defense dealt with a lot of short fields—if the offense can make one of those long TD passes the DL’s ridiculous pressure metric would have mattered more.
Special Teams and Game Theory
starts at 32:50
Iowa’s punter is a golden god. We propose a new rule for rugby punting to stop this silliness with punters running into blockers. Damn Ferentz [Ed-S: who’s such a bad guy he built a children’s hospital that overlooks the stadium so they can watch Iowa football through their windows] for making correct tactical decisions only when facing Michigan.
Talking Big Ten w/ Interrupted Jamie Mac
starts at 47:27
Congratulations to Mark Dantonio and the 2016 The Situation Trophy-Winning Spartans for their first Big Ten victory. Ohio State defenestrated Maryland too. Penn State-Indiana was interesting but you can’t tell from this podcast because Jamie’s heart is visibly broken. This is a very visual podcast.
“Highway Star”—Deep Purple
“On the Road Again”—Canned Heat
“Across 110th Street”
THE USUAL LINKS
There are portions of my audio where I couldn’t hear because of the reverberations of Iowa folks celebrating, so I pieced together what I could.
What was happening with the offense tonight? Seemed like it was misfiring.
“Not enough—we didn’t make enough plays to extend drives and get first downs. Missed some deep throws. Close. Just…you know, give Iowa credit. They tackled, they blocked, they played a very good football game. So, congratulate them and move on.”
How about your defense? They stood tall pretty much the whole game, it seemed like. Stribling had a big interception. Talk about what
“Yeah, they—I thought they played well most of the ballgame and it was a low-scoring, hard-fought football game.”
Did you think with the facemask, I didn’t see it, but did you see it from your field position?
“I didn’t see it either.”
Did you get any explanation?
What did you tell your team after this game?
“Big things and every little thing isn’t going to go our team’s way or anybody’s way. Every little thing doesn’t always go your way, and we’ll make—to make it a win you’ve got to make it that way. We didn’t do enough to make it that way tonight.”
[After THE JUMP: more words]
A Murphy's Law game.
Any number of individual plays could've changed the outcome. Most of the ones that come to mind involve Wilton Speight, who had his worst game of the year, then had injury added to insult at the end.
Speight wasn't alone in his struggles, however. Jehu Chesson missed a chance to bail his quarterback out, instead getting a third-down pass ripped from his hands by Manny Rugamba, costing the Wolverines a chance to put the game away. Khalid Hill missed an assignment that led to an early safety and lost a fumble returning the opening kickoff of the second half. Chris Evans was the only running back who could consistently get anything going. The playcalling, personnel usage, and late-game clock management will be nitpicked to death this week, and not without justification.
While the defense played well on the whole, they couldn't contain Akrum Wadley, who accounted for 167 yards on 28 touches. And, yes, there were multiple questionable calls by the notorious officiating crew led by John O'Neill.
"Not every little thing is going to go our team's way," said Jim Harbaugh. "To win, you've got to make it go your way. We didn't."
Michigan still has everything to play for, but they've lost all margin for error if they want to keep their Big Ten title and playoff dreams alive. Before they even get that far, though, they have to figure out what went wrong tonight. This game should not have been close, let alone a loss, but a number of underwhelming performances occurred in conjunction at the wrong time. There's no sugarcoating tonight.
Photo: Another look at that fine Geneva corn. It was high as an elephant’s eye, assuming a rather small... http://t.co/ddfFmLXnOJ
— Ben Fisher (@IAGCropTour) August 26, 2014
New features this week: We apologize for the fault in the photon torpedoes, which apparently weren’t working so well after all. Our investigators are looking into the cause of the malfunction and the families of the casualties will be taken care of.
The delay function hasn’t killed anybody yet. Given there should be a large number of people streaming this or watching with a short delay for their DVRs it might actually be productive to use it.
The yellow/ orange bar is your mana.
Sending messages costs mana.
Messages cost more, the more active chat is.
The red dudes on the side bar are lives remaining.
If you break the Board Rules, you lose a life. Lose three lives and you have to insert a quarter into your monitor. No no keep trying it, it’ll go in. As always, the Liveblog Chaos Mitigation Post is The Law.
Enter the liveblog here: http://kibitz.io/#/realiowa
(will open in new window. Sorry no embed yet. Tuesday.)
By Bryan MacKenzie
This has been a long week. The year 2016 has revealed and highlighted myriad cracks in an American society straining under stresses from all sides, and this week feels like the shattering culmination of those problems. Fortunately, today gives us an opportunity to return to a simpler time. A happier time. An Iowa time.
We return to a time when our playbooks, like our lives, were simpler. We didn't need five hundred channels, eleven types of avocados, and six different types of running plays. No, sir. Football was created as a union between an inside zone and an outside zone, and there was a time when we respected and honored that.
It was a time of honesty. People looked each other in the eye, and a man's word was as good as his signature in blood (which was how real men signed things). There weren't any efforts to deceive each other, or to try to cheat our fellow man. If a team lined up to run a zone left, you could rely on them to run a zone left.
It was a time of greater economic certainty. There was a time when a man could come out of the humble beginnings of a Cleveland Browns position coach, get a job with a company, and keep that job for the next thirty years. They were good jobs, too, and they paid well. I know $4.5 million per year doesn't sound like that much to our jaded modern eyes, but there was a time when that was a solid living wage. And you knew that ten years from now, you would still have a job.
It was a time when people recognized that progress needs to come at a reasonable pace. A man shouldn't get out ahead of the sensibilities of the day. The play clock gives us all time for reflection, and only a fool would ignore such a precious gift.
It was a time when we recognized vices for the weaknesses they were. Gambling is the lazy man's shortcut to the fruits of a heartier man's hard work and determination. If you can't run the ball into a stacked box, don't take the easy way out by trying to throw over the top. That's just avoiding your problems, son. And I don't care where you are on the field; if you don't gain those ten yards in three plays, you haven't earned that first down. Punt and play defense, and work a little harder the next time.
There was a time when people understood that slow and steady wins the race. And while some modern revisionists allege that "slow" is literally the dumbest possible approach to any race ever, those people are probably nerds who put more emphasis on "numbers" on a "spreadsheet" than they do on gut instincts, gumption. and grit. Or they are communists. Probably both.
Analytics geeks say Michigan is going to trounce Iowa. So do the elitist bourgeoisie in Las Vegas. But as we've seen this week, those people don't know shit. Iowa 7, Michigan 6
by Nick RoUMel
Road trip. Driving west, the landscape opening up and flattening out. If you were judging by its billboards, they’re into adult bookstores and fireworks. If by their menus, pork chops.
Hello Iowa, with your straight stretches of highway and plowed over cornfields. Hello to the Michigan caravan, beeping and waving on I-80. Hello to road music, blaring Bailey’s “Who’s got it Better Than Us?” and Pop Evil’s “In The Big House”, among a menagerie of shuffle play from Led Zeppelin to Alicia Keys to Vulfpeck. Hello to the Quad Cities, and the Homewood Suites in the middle of a desolate savannah, one hour east of Iowa City, the closest we could manage, even though we made our reservations two months ago. Dammit.
This is America. Crazy and all over the place: from serious, to porn, explosions, and football. Because if it weren’t for such distractions, we would go mad.
And what better distraction this year than Michigan football?
Week after week, nobody’s got it better than us. Michigan has gone from the depths of despair, almost as deep as this year’s Notre Dame or Michigan State misery, to #2/#3 in the country. It’s pretty exciting stuff. When I think about Michigan football, I’m not dwelling on my problems, or the rest of life. I’m just geeked, distracted and happy. Wouldn’t it be great if we won it all?
Can we do it? What does the Punt say, at the top of this page? He wrings his hands about predictions. I agree. It was reinforced this week that predictions are meaningless. Whether you call them predictions, polls, or cosmic ESP messages from another dimension, they have one thing in common: it’s all guesswork. Example: Bo would have these amazing teams, that would steamroll Big Ten opponents 45-3 and 56-7 and be poised to go #1, then go somewhere like Minnesota or Purdue as a 28-point favorite, and lose. Completely unexpectedly.
Nobody knows anything. As they say, “That’s why you play the game.”
What we pundits do, instead of making predictions, is crafting scenarios. “If” Iowa were to win, this is how it would have to happen. We’d go into Kinnick Stadium for a night game. The fans would be loud and drunk. They would have a “Hawk-Out” (people would bring their trained pet hawks). We’d get so intimidated that Wilton Speight, who is generally poised, tall, and happy, would throw four interceptions and fumble twice. J-Pep would get attacked by a random hawk and run the wrong way on a punt return.
On their side, Iowa would run a dull but disciplined game plan, with quarterback C.J. “I’m not as good as Rudock, and never will be” Beathard leading a boring but effective attack, sometimes gaining 5 to 6 yards per play, and even remembering to hand off to Akrum Wadley once in a while. They might score 14 or even—heavens!—21 points behind the drunken, hawk-tending crowd. And they would win, under that scenario.
Of course. What a sweet, simple, middle America scenario. Except for one thing: it is absolutely not going to happen. I can say this as confidently as Cassandra, or Nostradamus, who were more accurate than Nate Silver and @twosixtynine will ever be. Do you know why? Because nobody’s got it better than us. Nobody.
MICHIGAN 38, IOWA 10