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- Team MVP: Jabrill Peppers - His all-around contributions outstrip his teammates, though, as you'll see below, I don't think he was that far ahead.
Offensive MVP: Wilton Speight - Everyone else's touches were too evenly distributed. Darboh and Butt are #2 and #3.
Defensive MVP: Jourdan Lewis - No, I'm not doing this just to be different. I believe Lewis had a bigger defensive impact than Jabrill.
Special Teams MVP: Jabrill Peppers - One of the best returners in the country. It's worth noting that had Kenny Allen not had a slow start he'd be in contention here.
Best Offensive Player: Jake Butt - While he only pulled in 43 catches and 4 TDs, I believe he was the best player on offense. Love this question, by the way.
Best Defensive Player: Jabrill Peppers - More talented than anyone else on the defense and will be drafted in the top half of round one. Lewis is close.
Most Improved Player: Wilton Speight/Chase Winovich - Hard to give this to anyone but Speight, but, even as a back-up DE, I feel Winovich earned a mention. Also worth mentioning Kalis here, and even Gedeon and Stribling...so many big jumps. That's great coaching.
Freshman of the Year: Chris Evans - Duh. Though this stellar class has several other surprise contributors: Asiasi, Bredeson, McDoom, Crawford, to name a few. And one that was NOT a surprise: Gary.
Coordinator/Position Coach of the Year: Don Brown - All other answers are wrong.
- Most Underrated Player of 2016: Matt Godin - This staff knows what they're doing, and there's a reason Godin started ahead of talents like Mone and Hurst--he's really good. Ryan Glasgow is also still underrated.
Favorite Offensive Player of 2016: Amara Darboh/Khalid Hill
Favorite Defensive Player of 2016: Jabrill Peppers
Play/Highlight of the Year: Peppers' called-back punt return TD vs. Rutgers.
Game of the Year: Rutgers - Had so much fun watching this game.
- Favorite Moment of the Year: Beating MSU - Bye, Felicia. The state is ours again, and it's only going to get worse for MSU.
|23 hours 54 min ago||My guess is Solomon, Martin,||
is Solomon, Martin, and Becton/Gay/?Mystery?
|1 day 10 min ago||Did not have the best Army AA||
Did not have the best Army AA bowl week.
|1 day 32 min ago||Great Post||
This is an excellent post. A mix of bad roster management, bad coaching, and bad luck has put our 2017 OL in a tough spot.
I do not understand why everyone is writing of Juwann Bushell-Beatty. Remember how bad Newsome looked in 2015? JBB was our "next man up" this year, and I fully expect him to either start at a tackle position. He will have another year in the S&C program and another year of solid coaching.
My line guess: Ulizio / Bredeson / Cole / Onwenu / JBB
It's ceratinly possible that Kugler or a freshman changes that starting OL, but knowing what we know now, that seems like the best grouping.
It's worth nothing that having JBB (6-6/311) and Onwenu (6-3/350) on the right would be a LOT of beef. Bredeson and Ulizio seem more athletic, so it could make for a "right-handed" running game with Bredeson and Ulizio pulling towards Onwenu and JBB. This also sets-up well for pass pro since Speight is right-handed and your more athletic lineman are typically your better pass-blockers.
Ruiz seems like the most college-ready guy and he would be my first guess for a freshman to crack the line-up. Filiaga plays the right position, but let's not forget how tough it is for true freshman to succeed on the OL.
|1 week 1 day ago||First of all, we are going to||
First of all, we are going to be younger than any of those teams were. Second, the youngest team 31-0hio, got housed by the experienced team, due in no small part to young OL issues. Third, Alabama's talent is way ahead of even OSU for now. Fourth, Alabama lost largely because of their young QB.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||O-Line is the bigger concern for me||
Agree that O-Line is the bigger concern. Mattison has had our DL as a plus unit since his first day here. Between him and Brown, I'm not that worried about the DL. Yes, depth is thin, but these coaches will make it work.
OL...I trust umbig11's prediction: Ulizio/Bredeson/Cole/Onwenu/JBB. Runyan is the next man up. The question in my mind is if a true freshman can overtake Ulizio or JBB, which might reshuffle the deck.
SERIOUSLY doubt Cole plays anything but center. He's coming back for a senior year in order to get better at his NFL position, and I don't think he'll move, especially for a true freshman. It's entirely possible that Ruiz can play OG, but Cole at OC seems like the only lock on the line.
If I had to predict a change, it would be Filiaga replacing Ulizio. But I actually believe none of the true freshmen will start.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Folks around here forget that||
Folks around here forget that Willie Henry was something like the #985 national composite player. This is why I am not too worried about the D-Line--Mattison has turned nearly every DL recruit into a monster.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||He was not on he roster this||
He was not on he roster this fall
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Nope. The players should get||
Nope. The players should get credit too. And the coaches should get blame too. It's not all or nothing either way. But did Harbaugh fumble the ball on the OSU one? Did Harbaugh whiff on blocking Walker all game long? No. Kalis and Bredeson just aren't good enough to block that guy. Harbaugh can't fix that. What he can do, and it appears he mostly did, is to maximize the potential of his team.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||No, I didn't. Play calling||
No, I didn't. Play calling and scheme are meaningful parts of college football, but the idea that great play calling can outmatch serious talent deficiencies--especially when facing another great play caller--is just not accurate. You aren't going to consistently out coach other great coaches--you need more talent.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Two separate ideas that||
Two separate ideas that probably shouldn't have been next to each other:
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Rarely do I agree so wholly||
Rarely do I agree so wholly with one of Brian's posts--it's hard to find anything I disagree with here.
|4 weeks 2 days ago||Good question. The consensus||
Good question. The consensus is obviously that Harris the better back. He is putting up insane numbers against top flight competition. He is fast, strong, and big. He is agile and has great hands. He seems to have great vision and instincts. He follows blocks well. His initial quickness is off the charts, even if his top speed isn't ideal (though it is still VERY good).
|4 weeks 2 days ago||This. And it is so tiresome.||
This. And it is so tiresome.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Can't believe that people are||
Can't believe that people are assuming this complaint is all true. Americans must be the most easily manipulated group ever. Wait to hear both sides, folks. There is no evidence presented in this article at all other than the plaintiffs version of events. Yeesh.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Disagree. I don't think it's||
Disagree. I don't think it's personal, I think it's virtual. If you are sitting next to be you are much more likely to be an honest version of yourself and we are more like to build a real connection. Online, people create versions of themselves. Read any message board or game chat and you'll see that.
|6 weeks 3 days ago||Identity. What was our||
|6 weeks 3 days ago||Team MVP: Jabrill Peppers -||
|7 weeks 4 hours ago||Florida will be good. If we||
Florida will be good. If we can beat a veteran, well-coached Florida team, we could easily go 11-1
|7 weeks 4 hours ago||Well then we're not winning||
Well then we're not winning the B1G, because Speight will be your QB
|7 weeks 1 day ago||AMAZING! Keep it up, Grant.||
AMAZING! Keep it up, Grant. Hope to see you on the field soon.
|7 weeks 3 days ago||2016 Post-Spring was ON POINT||
Was this your most accurate prediction ever? The only misses would be Speight over JOK and swapping Noah Furbush for someone else who got more PT as we rarely used a third true LB...Kinnel?
|7 weeks 3 days ago||Disagree||
Young, hungry, and Harbaugh. That's how I would describe next year's roster. There will be doubters aplenty given the youth of the team, but if we can beat Florida in the season-opener, we could definitely make the playoff. In fact, even if we don't, we could make the playoff by winning out, which I believe is possible.
One thing is certain: for the first time in a decade, we have the athletes to compete with anyone in the country. Between Harbaugh and Brown, my guess is this young roster out-performs and is another borderline playoff team. I would predict 10-2, but if we beat Florida, we could easily be 11-1.
Why so optimistic? Yes, we lose nearly all of our receiving production, but Darboh and Chesson are being replaced with superior athletes that are already superb blockers. Yes, Jake Butt is probably the best Michigan receiving TE of all time, but Wheatley and Asiasi are far better blockers and will improve rapidly in the pass game, with Bunting filling in more TE slot catches. Yes, we're losing 3/5 of an O-Line, but it's an O-Line that was poorly coached for years and has under-performed its talent level--look for that trend to flip next year as Harbaugh's guys start to mature. Yes, the DL is not as deep, but it's still uber-talented and will be in year two of Brown's system. They will find adequate or better back-ups. The LBs? Gedeon was very good, but Bush will be a monster and McCray will be a year better. Peppers? Sure, he is an amazing athlete, but Brown has ALWAYS had a great SAM and has plenty of athletes to choose from. You get the point...
We have top-quality coaching, and we will have excellent QB play from day one for the first time since...Henne's last season?
Quite frankly, next year's squad reminds me a lot of the Ohio State squad the won the MNC. Young, hungry, and coached by some of the best minds in the sport. Oh, and we have MSU and OSU at home. Our toughest road games are at Penn State and at Wisconsin, though I expect Maryland will be much tougher than most would guess. That is still a VERY favorable schedule, even compared to this year. IF Florida is good enough to beat us, I expect they'll win the SEC East, which makes it a quality loss. I seriously doubt we lose more than one conference game next season. Too much talent, too much Harbaugh.
|7 weeks 4 days ago||This||
He was a very good CB, pushing Stribling who had an amazing season. He's also a great tackler. Given our youth and the lack of confidence in playing CBs (other than the starters) by the coaching staff this season, I'd say we need him at corner more than we need him at safety.
Kinnel, Hudson, Metellus, Glasgow...we'll find a starting pair from that crew that I think we'll like just fine.
I'm actually not too concerned about ANY position group on defense for next year. In fact, my only concerns are at OL. We have loads of talent everywhere else and the athletes to compete with the Ohio State's of the world.
At CB, we'll have Clark, Watson, Hill, Long, and Washinton in the mix. At LB, we'll have Furbush, Bush, Mbem-Bosse, Jones, Uche, Gil, and Wangler pushing for time.
On the DL, Gary, Winovich, Marshall, Kemp, and a pair of Johnsons will compete at DE while Hurst, Mone, and Dumfour hold down the middle.
Speight is your QB, with Peters backing him up. We have an embarrassment of riches at RB, with Evans, Isaac, Higdon, Johnson, Walker, and Davis all having potential roles, and a true freshman could easily crack the line-up (especially if Najee Harris joins the class).
WR and TE are loaded with inexperienced talent. Drake Harris, Eddie McDoom, Mo Ways, Nate Johnson, Grant Perry, and Kekoa Crawford are ready-to-play WRs, and it looks like another amazing WR haul will be arriving next fall. Asiasi and Wheatley headline the every down TEs, but Bunting, Gentry, Eubanks, and McKeon are all amazing athletes that could find their way onto the field.
And then there's the OL...will Dawson reemerge? Bredeson, Braden, and (hopefully) Cole are locks. Newsome if he can recover. Kugler, JBB and Onwenu are in there, then it's Ulizio, Spanellis, and Runyan. No idea who pans out there. OL is my biggest 2017 worry.
|8 weeks 3 days ago||Wow. Those were the worst||
Wow. Those were the worst questions at a press conference ever, and that is a very, very low bar to slither under. That was the Battlefield Earth of press conferences.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||No. Indiana.||
|9 weeks 6 days ago||Too cute. We try to outsmart||
Too cute. We try to outsmart the defense every play. When you're the better team, it's okay to just beat them. More basic power, traps, and Isolation runs. Fewer trick plays.
|10 weeks 4 days ago||That's no M00N...||
That's no M00N...
Seriously. We'll never have to put up with offensive ineptitude like that with Harbaugh around.
|10 weeks 4 days ago||That's no M00N...||
That's no M00N...
|11 weeks 3 days ago||See my post below||
MSU kept trying to use these concepts to beat us, but once Durkin had seen it, our defensive gameplan changed to stop it. So, M reacted.
|11 weeks 3 days ago||Great defense/coaching||
What many people forget about MSU's golden days on defense with Narduzzi was that they often gave up points or big yards on the opponent's first drive. Why? Because most defenses are going to come out using their best, tried and trusted plays. These plays are on tape, they are not a secret. Even UM's bad offenses often had a good first drive against MSU with Hoke.
As Dantonio did against us last weekend, you can use a defense's tendencies against them--for a drive. Once the defense has identified your gimmicks, it's back to who can outsmart and outplay the opponent.
This is where great coaching is so important--Brown and the defense adjusted and, for the most part, shut down MSU's offense for the balance of the game. The old Narduzzi units used to do the same.
While Brown is more crafty than most defensive coordinators and probably varies things more on opening drives, seeing a team move the ball effectively against us in the opening drive is no longer an accurate representation of what we can expect to see for the remainder of the game. Brown will adjust, adapt, and improvise in order to take away the opponent's scheme.
Contrast this with Durkin's approach against OSU last year--the defense showed a new look and had early success. Durkin kept running the same defensive plays, formations, and coverages. OSU adapted, Durkin did not. After early defensive success, Durkin's gameplan was annihilated by a superior opponent (both in terms of talent and scheme).
I don't expect we'll ever see that happen to Brown.