rundown of Michigan's riser
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|45 weeks 16 hours ago||Nice balanced write-up||
Honestly, there's not a Hawkeye fan out there who knows what to expect this year, so if you find one that thinks they do, just tell them they're full of it.
The success of this year's team will hinge on the performance of the DL. If we get adequate play from the "band of unknowns" then the Hawks will likely be able to hang a 9-3 or 8-4 record on the board. Mediocre DL play leads to anything worse. I'm glad to say that 7-5 is now a disappointing season for me, and I tend to be realistic and not let an Iowa loss ruin my day. This may very well be a disappointing season, but...
...while this year's team may be young, they aren't lacking for talent and may very well be one of the faster Iowa teams we've seen in a while.
What this Iowa team has going for it:
1. Ferentz will always field a competitive OL. Some starters from last year may be gone, but this doesn't mean that there's a dearth of experience.
2. Young WR talent. The old adage is that the further away from the ball, the less complicated the position which lends itself to early playing time for the younger guys. Iowa has anywhere from 2-4 speedy true frosh receivers who may very well get a lot of PT. Smith, Mabin, Fleming or Wilson are names to file away.
3. The back seven may not all be returning, but five of them are and are all very solid players. The LB core is very good (when healthy) and Hyde is the next in what's becoming a longer line of senior CBs drafted. Look for a more aggressive defensive approach from Phil than we had with Norm.
4. Vandenburg will be a very good QB. We saw a glimpse of what he could do when comfortable at home, now this year we're expecting a near-similar performance on the road. If he can pull this off, our offense will be quite potent with or without a running game.
5. The DL isn't as bare as some might think. Yes, we need to find some guys to really step up, but with the great yelling Kaz off to Nebraska, I think we'll reap the benefits of a much more fatherly Morgan leading the squad. Alvis should be back after rehabbing an ACL and Bigach, Trinca-Pasat, Gaglione, Cooper and Davis should provide a decent rotation. It's foolhardy to depend on true frosh in the DL, but there are a couple who could contribute immediately (Johnson, Ekakatie).
I have us at 8-4 and in the Gator Bowl. I tend to be a little optimistic so 7-5 is the likely finish (again). Then we'll be breaking in a brand-new QB the following year. Thus goes the life of a Hawkeye fan.
|1 year 28 weeks ago||One other very important||
One other very important thing to mention is that open containers are no longer allowed on the streets around Kinnick. Ticket is $125 and the cops love to give them out. Any campus or private property is totally fine, just don't cross Melrose drinking a beer.
|2 years 31 weeks ago||Dan, I don't think Parker||
Dan, I don't think Parker will have any in-game contributions, but may very well have been watching some tape over the past week or two. I don't think he's been at practice at all either. It's a pretty big surgery to recover from and he needs to allow it to heal properly, otherwise they'll be lopping off even more of the leg. He is missed by all, no question.
Sash (and Greenwood) will fill nicely on the run, but only once it is identified for sure, which they do quite quickly based on the OL, game situation, etc. I really, really doubt that you'll see eight in the box hardly at all, but the MFer will seem like he's up there to start with because he can fill that fast. He's not as fast as Bob, but he is bigger and more durable (and plays the pass better). Keep in mind he still has a season left to play after this one.
Oddly enough, he only had one tackle vs. Georgia Tech in the OB and really wasn't needed. Our DBs had four total tackles in that game, the rest were entirely the front seven and mostly by the DL.
|2 years 31 weeks ago||Posted this over on the||
Posted this over on the Michigan Scout site...
As far as the defense is concerned, really nothing new to see here. Very, very solid DL play that will try to control gaps and maintain lane responsibility, LBs that clean up the mess and DBs that try to prevent the big play.
Most teams have been giving a lot of help on Clayborn with TEs and RBs providing chip blocks. The others have been playing very solid football, #93 Mike Daniels in particular. If I were Michigan, I'd come out throwing and let Denard run through gaps in the pass rush. The LBs will be in pass drops, so he'll have room to run.
Our LBs have been okay. Injuries at MLB forced true frosh James Morris into his first defensive action against Penn St. and he filled in admirably. The other two (Hunter and Nielsen) are both solid. They have shown a propensity to leave the intermediate crossing routes open which Arizona was able to exploit.
As far as the DBs go, you know what you get with Sash and Greenwood. Smart players who don't have amazing athletic ability, but are good enough to get by and make up for it with their game prep. Haven't seen the ball hawking ability yet at this point in the season. Prater is a good one at CB and on the other side is soph. Micah Hyde who is getting better with experience, but has been picked on from time to time.
Typical Iowa defense that tries to stop the run, prevent big plays and beat the snot out of people. Denard made them look pretty slow last year in IC, so I have my concerns about him rambling through a scattered defense. Contain will be the key as you won't see the Hawks blitzing the way Michigan St. did. Just not their m.o.
|2 years 31 weeks ago||Troy Johnson is an||
Troy Johnson is an experienced, capable backup. Unfortunately, against Penn St. he had to leave the game as well as Tarp so we were left with true frosh James Morris in their stead.
The kid did a great job in his first real action and will be a great one in years to come. Not sure if he's quite up for the Michigan offense though. Hopefully Tarp can go and if not Johnson will do just fine. Afterall, he was the Defensive POY against Minnesota last year when filling in for Hunter.
|2 years 32 weeks ago||We very likely won't load the||
We very likely won't load the box much and I can definitely guarantee you we won't blitz hardly at all.
You'll see the same 4-3 defense Iowa always uses with the LB out on the slot receiver and the DL holding their lanes to allow the LBs to clean up. Sash has been very aggressive in run D from his SS position, so play action may be available if you have a multiple receiver set, but then you're taking your chances against Clayborn, Ballard, Daniels and Klug.
|2 years 32 weeks ago||Organized chaos is the key for the Wolverines||
If Michigan wants to beat Iowa, they're going to need to outscore them and the only way to accomplish this is to not allow the Hawks to control things on D.
There's only two ways to accomplish this. The first is the Northwestern way where you take what the defense gives you and then hope for big plays in the red zone. The only problem with this is that Northwestern's defense has been better than yours (no offense) and keeps the Iowa point total down, so that leaves the organized chaos approach.
What I would do is abandon the run game entirely (hang with me here) and have every play start as a pass play. DRob would have one or two reads to make and if they're not open he needs to tuck and run through a broken field. Iowa's biggest weapon on D is controlling the LOS, but on pass plays that gets all blown to hell because of the pass rush. The LBs typically take very deep drops which leaves the middle of the field open, so once the DL has been scattered in their pass rush, big holes remain which play to DRob's strength of open-field running. Iowa doesn't have anyone who is quick enough to tackle the guy in space (not many defenses do). This is what Indiana did with Randle El and it worked to the tune of 40-some ppg against the Hawks. I think it will take that many to win as Stanzi is a much better QB compared to what you saw last year (which wasn't all that bad outside the pick sixes).
So there you have it. Break the field open for the guy and you have a chance. Don't and the Hawks will control the LOS and wait for the pick.
|2 years 32 weeks ago||Hawkeye Update...||
Hey guys, back to provide some info on Iowa. One of these days I'll be big enough to start my own thread, but evidently not yet.
On offense, we're seeing a much better Ricky Stanzi this year both in decision making and throwing ability in general. There's good reason he's now #3 in the nation in passing effiiciency. He also has probably the best receiving corps I've seen in my 30 years of watching the Hawks with McNutt, DJK, Davis (new guy) and Sandeman. Chaney is also back from an ACL suffered last year vs. you guys and is starting to have a bigger role in the offense. Of course, there's the TEs and both Reisner and Herman have been solid. Waiting in the wings here is true frosh CJ Fiedorowicz (#5 TE prospect last year).
We've lost Jewel Hampton (again) for the year with another ACL, which really hurts as he had breakaway ability that Adam Robinson just doesn't. Robinson is a very solid back, but isn't going to run away from anyone. Backups haven't played much, but have potential. Marcus Coker is a 6' 230lb true frosh bruiser who was a little beat up earlier in the season which has delayed his growth and PT. Brad Rogers (bowling ball) may also get in the game here and there, but Robinson will get 90% of the carries at least.
The OL so far has been decent for needing to replace three starters. At least this year the unit has remained intact and consistent, which is so important in a zone blocking scheme. Reiff at LT is a star in the making. Ferentz in the middle has been overwhelmed from time to time against bigger DTs, but is a tough, smart player that you'd expect from a coaches kid.
In looking at the unit as a whole, I would have to say that they're improved from last year, but we're one more RB injury away from having to play guys with essentially zero experience. Stanzi really has been the difference this year and you'll not likely see any more pick sixes ( the one in Arizona should have been caught by the receiver). Still trying to be balanced, they pretty much coasted through the second half against Penn St, choosing to run the ball into 8 man fronts knowing the defense would hold the lead.
They play very clean and very efficiently, as you'd expect from a Ferentz coached team. The emergence of the WRs has given them more explosiveness than we're used to seeing in Iowa City. I would look for Iowa going deep early and often to test your depleated backfield, rather than using the run to set up the pass as you'd expect.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||Basically the nuts and bolts of the Iowa D...||
...is to shut down the run game first and foremost, prevent the big play and allow the 5-10 yard passes with the idea that a college offense typically can't execute this for the entire length of the field, plus things get a whole lot tighter in the red zone, which makes it tough to convert down close.
The other thing we've seen is that the Iowa defenders really look to punish the receivers once they catch the ball. Later in the game drops start to happen due to the receivers looking for the hit rather than the ball. The DBs we have right now probably aren't as big of hitters as we've had in the past, outside of Sash, who is pretty darn solid.
It's all about assignments and physicality. Occasionally, there has been a breakdown or two in coverage, but that's a rare exception. I will say that we've seen a bit more blitzing out of the Hawks this year due to the ability of our CBs to play man coverage. Spievey really is a good one (despite getting torched the first play of the Penn St. game) and Prater on the other side is a good one too. Lowe and Castillo are not nearly as talented, but have filled in pretty adequately when they've been asked to.
I don't think you'll see the blitzing this game with an attempt to keep Forcier in the pocket. Whether or not he can make good reads and deliver the ball accurately will determine if your offense will be successful. I've been impressed with the kid so far, but I don't think he's played a defense the quality of Iowa's either. Should be one heck of a ballgame.
Thanks for the discussion this week and I'm sure I'll see some of you up in Iowa City on Saturday. Safe travels.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||Out of the players I listed...||
...only Tony Moeaki is questionable/probable at this point (outside of Hampton and Bernstine who are done for the year). Otherwise we are at full strength (finally!)
Bulaga was back last week against Ark. St. and looked like he had been off for three weeks, but should be back to full strength against Michigan.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||That's probably your best choice||
Just make sure you get there well before 7pm when the lot opens as there's likely to be a line waiting to get a spot and there's not a ton of room there for RVs. You'll want to cab downtown from there as well, but is only a 5-10 min walk to Kinnick.
Check out the link for more info on restaurants and bars someone made for our Arizona visitors earlier in the year(sorry, you'll have to cut&paste)...
|3 years 32 weeks ago||Agree...||
...this may be the biggest challenge of the day.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||My bad...||
...seemed like an accusational question. I try to check in here and there for our bigger games to see what the prevailing attitudes seem to be from our upcoming opponents. What can I say, I like to talk football:)
Just a pastime for me, I guess. I shouldn't be so defensive.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||That's because...||
...you keep asking your mom questions that you already know the answer to.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||I'm sorry...||
...I thought that's what these boards were for.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||My Hawkeye D Input||
Figured I might as well post this here since it was pertinent. Keep in mind that I really haven't seen Michigan play much this year, so I'm flying blind a little, but Iowa doesn't change what they do much anyway, so it should be pretty close to what you'll see Saturday night.
It all starts with the DL. We've moved last year's left DE, Ballard down inside to DT along with Karl Klug, who is a Mitch King understudy. On the outside has been Clayborn, who has gotten a ton of accolades already and Binns, who is the main reason Ballard moved inside as Ferentz had to find a way to get him on the field as he had been largely unblockable in practice. We have some depth as well, but really haven't seen much substituting at all. These guys stunt all over the place, which may leave us vulnerable against mobile QBs that you guys have. I look to Iowa being more vanilla on Saturday, with the DL maintaining gap responsibility to prevent any scrambles, but sacrificing pressure on the QB in doing so. If we can generate any pressure doing this, the Wolverines are toast.
The LBs are a solid group as well, with seniors Edds and Angerer (pronounced Anger -is there a better name for a LB?) leading the way. The other is junior Hunter, who may be playing the best of the three right now. All run well, tackle well and are decent in pass coverage. Typically the DL keeps blockers off these guys so that they can run free and make tackles. Look for them getting caught up in traffic for Michigan to be successful.
In the defensive backfield is a lockdown corner (who was unlocked the first play against Penn St.), Amari Spievey. He is one of the best CBs in the league and provides solid run support. On the other side (hopefully) is Shawn Prater, who was out for a couple games to start the year, but has been solid after returning. He tweaked a knee in practice last week and was held out against Ark. St. His replacement, Lowe, really struggled quite a bit and is a step down in talent. Prater should be ready to go on Saturday by all accounts. The safeties are Sash and Greenwood. Most everyone knows about Sash and the ball magnet he carries, but he also has provided good run support. Greenwood is less athletic and smaller, but is the QB of the defense and gets everyone in the right spot.
This is the typical Iowa defense that aims to stop the run first, prevent the big play and make teams be methodical in their drives down the field. It is a little faster than the other KF defenses we've seen, but probably not as big a hitting team as they've previously been. Because of the cover abilities of the CBs, we've been able to blitz a bit more and have looked good doing it. This probably won't happen unless Michigan shows the ability to move the ball consistently. You guys will likely get your share of yards outside the 20, but the key will be red-zone efficiency, where the spread has a tendancy to struggle. It will be interesting to see how much of a factor Tate or DRob's mobility is in general, as mobile QBs have given Iowa defenses some issues in the past. This edition of Hawkeye D seems faster, so I think they're better suited to stopping the spread, but we'll just have to see.
I will be interested to see how the Michigan offense reacts to not being able to hear a thing. I'm sure they had a good warm-up in East Lansing, but Kinnick doesn't get the reputation it has without being a little bit tougher than Spartan Stadium. Add to the fact that it will be a night game (against a traditional power), which is a rare occurence in Iowa City and you have all the ingredients to make it a house of horrors for the Wolverines.
At this point, I'm still not sure what to expect. If the Iowa offense is clicking, you guys will be up against it. If they're inconsistent (again), then it will be a much closer game. I still like the Iowa D too much to pick against the Hawks.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||You should be okay to just||
You should be okay to just find some fairly close yard parking for around $20 at that time and be able to wander around. I'm not familiar with any spots other than the reserved lots. There may be some "general admission" parking garages that aren't more than a 5-10 minute walk around the hospital.
check out www.uifootballparking.com for a map of the lots
Sorry I can't be more help. Tailgating should be starting up fairly early in the morning, despite the late start, so there should be plenty to do and see.
Hope you have a safe trip.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||Re: Jerry Denard||
...yeah, that too ;)
|3 years 32 weeks ago||I'd have to say about 20% if not lower (as I duck)||
I have thought from the beginning of the season that we are a BCS Bowl caliber team (despite what you've seen on the scoreboard against lesser competition), if we can minimize crucial mistakes (or overcome Stanzi's generosity). Iowa fans don't see a Wolverine team with RichRod in his second year of transistion, they only see Michigan, and you'll get all the venom that Kinnick can muster.
I really like our defense and think that as we're finally healthy for the first time this year (and as the RBs mature), you'll really start to see the offense become a whole lot more consistent.
I also don't really believe in the transitive property in CFB and there are a lot of unknowns still out there.
What I do know is that Iowa has 16 starters back from a team that finished last year on a tear and has won every game they've played, even despite missing some key players. Iowa teams in the past would have not been able to overcome these losses. This is probably the deepest I've seen an Iowa team in my 25 years of watching them play, and we've needed every bit of it.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||Thanks to the OP for hosting my post...||
...not sure why the paragraph breaks didn't carry through, sorry about that.
Anywho, to answer the f/u question about Ark St.:
We jumped out really quickly against them, scoring 2 TDs in 1/2 of a quarter on two beatifully thrown deep balls. ASU was up in the box and this left these passes open in man coverage. After getting those two scores, we went back to trying to pound away at the run game with some success and scored again on a long pass from Stanzi to McNutt in the 3rd.
I think the long ball would have been there all day, but our coaches are hell bent on keeping things balanced and it almost seemed that they were running plays for teaching purposes more than anything as the game wore on. They never did get out of run-stop mode, despite our aerial assault. Stanzi threw one of his pick-6s in the fourth and this energized ASU to make an 8 minute drive to score their last TD.
The defense played well throughout the game, but we didn't do anything all that special other than DL stunts to shut them down. Their QB played an excellent game despite getting the crap beat out of him.
We also missed a 28 yd FG.
All in all, I think we coasted for the most part. No emotions going to really have that extra edge. You guys will get the full nine yards on Saturday night, especially from the Kinnick crowd who will be excited to have Michigan back in IC, and also after 12 hours of marinating.
Thanks again for the hospitality. I'll make more specific comments about the D soon.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||Since I can't start a new thread yet...||
I figured I'd just reply in this one. Hope OP doesn't mind.
I just wanted to come over and give my two cents on what to expect from Iowa and also see what you guys had to say about what the Wolverines have to offer since this version is new to us.
As far as the Hawks are concerned, we've seen very good defense, inconsistent offense and fairly solid special teams.
The offense has been inconsistent largely because of players missing. We started the year with two OL out against UNI, got one of them back for ISU, but lost another (Bulaga) for the next three games, with Tony Moeaki largely absent during most of this time as well. Also out for the season is Jewel Hampton, the projected starting RB, but the two freshmen are doing just fine in his stead. Wegher is a good one. Also out here and there has been Johnson-Koulianos, but we have been as deep as ever in our receiving corps, so this hasn't been as big an issue.
The other story on offense has been Ricky "Pick-Six" Stanzi. At times he's looked like the field general we need, and at others, he's giving up six points faster than you can say Oskie! He has shown improvement this year from one game to the next, but his penchant for throwing balls right at 2-3 defenders is mindboggling. We are going deep more than I've seen in the recent past, mostly due to the talent of McNutt and Stross on the outside.
Moeaki's replacement, Reisner, is a very good receiving TE, but not quite the complete package with blocking ability that Tony is. Also lost in the shuffle has been great play from our FB, Brett Morse, who is a very solid blocker and decent receiving threat out of the backfield, but has seen maybe one carry so far this year.
Will throw this out there for now, need to go to work. Defense to follow...
Feel free to throw in details about your guys please.