Nobody has brought this up, and I would like to see some analysis on it, but I think what has lead to close games has been the number of series per drive. Meaning, it seems to me like time and again we find ourselves in 3rd and long situations, or at the very least, that we use every single down. Rarely can I remember us going from a first down, running a play, and getting another first down. That amount if time off the clock, with a high probability for the ball changing hands, will lead to close games.
Has youth led to close games
I think you mean plays per series, not series per drive?
Anyhow, the flip side of that is the defense producing a lot of third downs (a good thing), but then allowing the opponent to convert them (not so good). I do think that is something that can be improved with more experience facing third downs.
In addition, it wears a defense down, mentally and physically. Especially within a single drive. When you run a 15-play drive, the defense is tired when you get near the end zone.
To put a number on that, after five games, we have allowed 41.10% of third downs against us to be converted, which is good for 71st in Division I. The flip side of that is, on offense, we convert 53.73% of our own first downs, which is good for 9th in Division I. I really did not mind the seemingly long possessions because we're very good at making the most of them, at least by the numbers.
I just don't think we're all that great. Not saying by OSU we can't be much better but when you play piss poor and turn the ball over that much, mixed with terrible line play on both sides of the ball equals out for a less than stellar team collectively.
I'm Ron Burgundy?
'because the young kids feel they don't have to prepare the same as for Ohio State." Let's not go there.
Instead, let's look at the depth chart by class (found under useful stuff) and re-read Seth's diary on when the O-line will be ready. http://mgoblog.com/content/hokepoints-when-will-o-line-be-ready
Let's also remember: These kids have spring & fall ball and 20 countable hours during the season of coaching. They aren't working 40+ hours a week like the pros. Oh, and they also have stuff like school in there.
"Do you feel this caused the close games vs lesser competition because the young kids feel the don't have to prepare the same as if it was OSU?"
I really don't think players thinking they don't have to prepare is the problem, but lack of experience is at least part of the problem. On defense, it is concerning to me that each week teams seem to be having their best game of the year against us (though that's not quite true against Minn, still they moved the ball much more effectively than they had against Iowa). Scoring defense is still very good though, and that's what really matters.
The bigger issue is offense where we have struggled at one time or another at every position group, most notably the OLine. I do think some of the tweaks the coaches have made in personnel and positioning seems to have had a positive result.
Remember too, though, that the difference between an elite squad and a mediocre one can often be measured in just a handful of plays throughout each game. The talent and explosiveness is there, the team just needs to be more consistent and limit the plays with blown assignments.
We are seeing the results of a couple of bad years of recruiting on the D and O-lines combined with young players. I had assumed that 2014 and 2015 would be the years that things would really turn around. As for skill positions, Devin is still a young QB based on the amount of playing time he has had. Fitz was helped two years ago by a much better line and having Denard as QB.
I think we will be fine, assuming the talent that we think we recruited turns out be live up to their star rankings.
This team is a work in progress. I still see us winning at least nine games.
of these games combining with a determination to run rather than push Gardner; they may be saving some stuff, too. This team is improving, and will be pretty tough by season's end. But it's just probably ranked. . . about right.
At some point, the analysis begins to fade in importance, at least for me. Because most of us would admit that the coaches are working hard, playing the cards they've been dealt with pretty well. I'm only a little sad to think that it probably doesn't all quite come together next year, either, with so much youth then, too.
Rome was not re-built in a day. They're my team and my school, so I'm not going anywhere.
So you're arguing that because our team is young, its causing them to not play as well? You may be on to something. Do you have any other interesting thoughts?
your fiendish wit and rapier intelligence almost pushed that one past us without notice
I would have to say the turnovers were the main reason for the close games vs Akron and UConn. Turnovers alone are not the only issue with this team, but they are most certainly the biggest issue. Michigan fans need to keep in mind that we are not the only team in the Big Ten that has issues, despite what some seem to believe. OSU has a very solid run defense, but their secondary is a mess. Northwestern has a dyncamic offense but is giving up over 430 yards per game on defense. Michigan State still struggles to generate a pass rush on defense and still has one of the worst offenses in the country. Nebraska still has the worst defense of any team in the Legends division. Michigan is not a perfect team by any stretch of the imagination but as OSU showed last year, you do not have to be perfect in the Big Ten to achieve perfection.
This has been covered before. Playing offensive line is hard, requiring learning complicated choreographed movements that utilizes precise footwork and body positioning. On top of understanding all of that, truly elite offensive lines can read a play in progress and adjust on the fly. Pile on top of that the fact that Michigan runs lots of different blocking schemes, plus there isn't a lot of experience on the depth chart. It's no wonder that we're struggling in that department. We will continue to struggle. We should all just buckle up and accept it.
LT - Jeff Backus - RS Freshman (2nd Year)
LG - Steve Hutchinson - RS Freshman (2nd Year)
C - Zach Adami - 5th Year Senior (5th Year)
RG - Chris Ziemann - RS Sophmore (3rd Year)
RT - Jon Jansen - RS Junior (4th Year)
1997 offensive line was marginally more experienced than this year's line, but not by much. Important to note that our offensive scheme was much more iso blocking back then, so the complexity factor for the 1997 team wasn't as high as what this year's unit has been dealing with. Further, the 1997 team only averaged about 388 yards and 26.8 points per game. So, yes, the 1997 offensive line was pretty young and the offensive productivity was not the best ever at Michigan. Unfortunately, for us, we don't have Charles Woodson at cornerback on this defense.
The upside is that this team is improving quickly, which is possible with that much youth. A leap was clearly made over the bye week, and I think we'll see a different team for the rest of Big Ten season.
this year while scoring nearly 200 points in five games or about 40 per contest. The defense has given up fewer TDs than MSU, which leads the nation in total defense.
Michigan limited Minnesota to one scoring drive on Saturday and two field goals and won going away by 29 points. Is that not good enough of an effort stat wise or otherwise to worry about marginal issues -- like whether certain outcomes of games already played were too close for comfort? They're over. You don't revisit them each week, you learn from them and move on.
Michigan is one of the few teams in the league right now which can honestly claim to be among the most complete in the conference and a favorite virtually every game.
However, because of its youth and inexperience, it is still trying to find its way and build the kind of intimidating veneer that Michigan teams used to posesse and advertise just by their presence on anyone's schedule. They aren't there yet, and may not get there until the end of this season or not at all.They are taking steps but it's all about consistency.
The goal is to win the game regardless of score. And once you win to look good doing it. Winning takes poise, confidence, resillience and belief in your ability to overcome any obstacle. That is what the season is about, testing your will under pressure and adverse conditions created by your own play (mistakes and turnovers) and good play by the opposition against you.
So far, they've turned the ball beyond their ability to easily overcome those mistakes. Yet, because the team is resillient and talented, and more importantly believes in itself, they've come from behind and won on the road and withstood a withering final moment drive inside their one. I'd say you should consider the quality of character that brought about those results instead of dwelling on some vague feeling of dread about margin of victory.
They are what we thought they were: a work in progress, and yet still undefeated. Gee, I can live with that.
Speaking of youth? Between:
Gardner (RS Jr)
Toussaint (RS Sr)
Taylor Leway (RS Sr)
Michael Schofield (RS Sr)
Jeremy Gallon (RS Sr)
Joe Reynolds (RS Sr)
Jeremy Jackson (Sr)
you have some serious veterans on offense (apologies if I messed up a redshirt or two).
"So Devin has now gone through one full season, finishing up 2012 and starting every game so far this year. Just be thankful schedule was set up that allowed us to really "dummy down" our offensive scheme to date and the one game this year where you saw Borges dip into his bag of tricks was the first big one, running jet sweeps, jet sweep reverses and a much more vertical passing game.
Obviously, his confidence was shaken during the UCONN, Akron games but I thought he bounced back nicely and even with some poor throws, give the receivers credit for some nice catches. I mean they were recruited as well. They're supposed to be able to do things of that nature or else they'd be at Grand Valley or Ferris. Keep in mind, as well, with uncertainty regarding the IA loss of last season, I do know every other loss under Brady has come against ranked teams, including No. 1 Bama, #3 OSU and #4 ND, coaches poll.
No, those two wins over the aforementioned teams weren't pretty, but ugly wins are much better than ugly losses. There are a number of things this team has to work on, but based on his years at Ball State and SDSU, indicators are that BH will just continue to win more games each year because that is what he has done. Also remember that his winning percentage, in only his third year at Michigan, is roughly .750, right around Carr's, slightly under Bo's and he's recruiting much better than any UM coach, with the possible exception of Mo, but Damn, we hardly knew him. Not too much to worry about here. Also remember when the next qb(5 star) takes overs, barring injury to Devin, it'll be his third year in the system, the OL will be experienced, we'll have two 5star RBs to choose from, possibly more, a couple 5 star wide outs, and hopefully and most importantly, still have Coach M on the defensive side of the ball. Give the kids time to teeth." Yeah, still a little upset I have to use my processor and copy just to get paragraphs, but can handle that as well.