I have become a bit immune to the mess that is on the field, as there are no quick solutions. Whatever "fixes" people are throwing around, it is a 3 year project - if this is even the right staff to implement it. So this leaves fun with records.
I was taken aback by the rush defense statistics Ace posted on the Nebraska recap
This was Nebraska coming into the game - they of the 85th rush defense in the country.
|South Dakota State||33||271||2||8.2|
Today we had 36 rushes for -21 yards inclusive of sacks and sailed center / QB exchanges. With sacks removed, Ace noted UM rushed 22x for 29 yards. (insert "an improvement over the PSU game!" cheer here) That is staggering when you compare it to the data points above. To put in perspective Green: 8 carries for 11 yards, Fitz: 9 carries for 6 yards. Funchess the superstar RB, had 1 carry for 5 yards to boost our average.
Michigan has now rushed in consecutive games for negative yards. Looking ahead, the potential exists for 5 in a row. The only realistic hope for not 5 in a row is next week @ NW.
Rushing defenses in this 5 game span:
- #1 MSU
- #4 OSU
- #32 Iowa
- #71 NW
- #85 Neb
I am marrying with this "team tackles for loss" which would indicate big play ability to create chunky losses. This is one area Nebraska surprisngly shines despite a very average defense. But so does NW. Iowa on the other hand lacks that big playmaking ability (until they play UM's offense of course - /drink)
- #29 MSU
- #30 Neb
- #45 NW
- #59 OSU
- #101 Iowa
Last we will include sacks as this is what the NCAA official running stats include. Nebraska surprisngly efficient here as well with 2.9 a game, pre UM game. MSU is 2.8 inclusive of the 7 UM gave them. Iowa again lags here - they are just a stout discplined run defense, which in some ways makes their #32 ranking more impressive as they do not benefit from splash plays.
- #18 OSU
- #21 Neb
- #26 MSU
- #51 NW
- #84 Iowa
I could not control for Glasgow throws over Gardner's head as the data pool is too small. I will assume 1 for -7 yards each game in our remaining 3. Married to an average of 5 sacks from NW and Iowa (a statistical improvement over Nebraska performance) for say 35 yards total loss this would require +42 yards of positive rushing yardage to hit break even. +43 to avoid infamy. Are you feeling lucky, punk? (A similar OSU analysis was discontinued due to tears of OP)
So the takeaway here is Iowa run defense will pound us in unsexy fashion - many -2 yards and a cloud of dust. However one can expect their sacks and TFL to jump dramatically in the game as we just saw with Neb and MSU. NW might allow us some positive chunk yards on rush offense...by chunk I mean >1.25 yards but <1.75 yards...mixed with our assorted -2 loss plays. NW makes big splash plays and comes in with a slightly more stout rush defense than Nebraska. As for OSU... ummm.... yeah.
I like our chances here to set some dubious NCAA record of 5 games in a row with negative rushing yards. We should know in a week as it appears to be Northwestern or bust with Iowa and OSU being fait accompli. I say if you are going to do something awful, do it big - none of this 3 of the last 5 games being held to negative yards. Go full monty.... and let's do it again in the bowl game after 15 more practices to work on "execution".