chance of bowl: 13.6%
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- 1 year 49 weeks
|1 year 49 weeks ago||Run Defense Versus Northwestern||
I think you're spot on in your assessment of Michigan containing Northwestern's Run game if McMcCall continues with this parade of zone-read schemes. Assuming Michigan can execute a scrape-exchange as well as Nebraska did three weeks ago, the Colter-keeper will work out in the Wolverines' favor more often than not. However, I think things might get a little more interesting if McMcMcCall decides to build on the triple-option looks which seemed to be successful last year against Michigan and this year against Nebraska. Granted, I don't think we've really been holding a mature triple-option gameplan close to our chests all this time (seriously, we could have used it against Nebraska...), but wouldn't it be nice if...
|1 year 49 weeks ago||Prater's primary contributions...||
There have been a myriad of factors affecting Prater's production (or lackthereof) this year.
First and foremost, Northwestern just isn't passing as much as it has when Bacher, Kafka, or Persa were at the helm. (Mc)^2Call has decided that the combination of Colter, Mark, and (to a lesser extent) Trumpy in the backfield is just too sexy to ignore and has consequently migrated the offense to a run-first spread. As a result, EVERYONE in our ridiculously deep WR core has gotten fewer catches.
Furthermore, as I alluded to earlier, our WR core is deeper than spoken-word night in the East Quad basement. When your transfer from USC is having to compete for spots with RS Freshmen and sophomores, you know that you're recruiting pretty well at WR. All things considered however, Prater is getting his fair share of playtime which brings me to point number 3: he's contributing, just not catching.
Prater has however shown a lot of proficiency with his downfield blocking. While the rest of our WR core often looks a little anemic when asked to block for Colter/Mark/Trumpy, Prater has been consistently opening holes in the secondary with his vicious "blocks" (sometimes pronounced: "holds"). Of course it's kind of hard to catch when you're trying to beat your DB to a bloody-pulp with his own helmet, so naturally Prater has fallen behind in the statlines.
Finally, Prater has been really effectively covered so far. So far, our opponents have been VERY respectful of Prater and have given him plenty of cushion. Normally this would open lots of quick passes, but for whatever reason (Colter isn' tall enough to see Prater, Prater can't run a hitch to save his life, Siemian is programmed to always throws to Colter when he's in, etc.) it hasn't worked out this year. Chances are he'll get loose eventually, but I don't think it'll happen until Illinois.