Taylor Lewan interview with ESPN at IMG Academy

Taylor Lewan interview with ESPN at IMG Academy

Submitted by m1817 on February 19th, 2014 at 10:08 AM

At an interview with ESPN.com at the IMG Academy, Taylor Lewan says,

"I think I’ve really improved my technical running form, my start and my 40. It’s amazing how much science there is. I’m not here to understand science. I’m here to get it done. I think I’m several tenths of a second faster than I was before I got here".

What are the coaches at the IMG Academy teaching him that his college coaches didn't ? Lewan was coached by two different coaching staffs in his five years.  Why didn't they teach him things that would improve his technical running form, his start, and his 40? 


Stubhub's Marketing of Michigan Tickets: Absolute Gold

Stubhub's Marketing of Michigan Tickets: Absolute Gold

Submitted by DrMGoBlue on February 18th, 2014 at 9:41 PM

I thought this was pretty hilarious and could lighten the hearts of some fans, especially since we haven't lost to IU or Minny in quite some time:


The Big Ten Conference has some powerful football teams banging down the doors of the NCAA to snag the the national title this year, and you better believe the Michigan Wolverines are one of them. The University of Michigan football team is one of the toughest teams in the Big Ten, and their tenure in the conference has yielded all kinds of thrilling matchups and memories over the years. With Big Ten competitors like the Indiana Hoosiers and Minnesota Golden Gophers on the schedule this season, the Wolverines have their work cut out for them. Michigan football fans know that if they want to attend any of the most anticipated football games at Michigan Stadium this year, they need to get a move on and secure tickets as soon as possible when the Wolverines face off against conference and statewide rivals. The Wolverines football team is looking down another solid year of football action yet again, and fans can be there to cheer them on at every home game in Ann Arbor.


Source: http://www.stubhub.com/michigan-football-tickets/

Brown Jug Kickstarter Question - MGoPatio?

Brown Jug Kickstarter Question - MGoPatio?

Submitted by jcgary on February 18th, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Back in the fall there was a kickstarter campaign for John Falk's Little Brown Jug party at MGoPatio.  Has anyone that chose to receive a plain replica jug received it yet?  The campaign said that we should see it sometime in December but I haven't received mine yet.  

Just wondering if others have the same issue and if you have been given any kind of update.    

Jason Avant writes on NFL Locker Room Behaviors

Jason Avant writes on NFL Locker Room Behaviors

Submitted by JeepinBen on February 18th, 2014 at 1:31 PM

As a good follow up to discussions in this thread: http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/michigan-man-jason-avant-acting-partpeter-king-article-nfl-standards where Peter King quotes Jason Avant on behavior in NFL locker rooms, Jason wrote his own article for Peter's site the MMQB:


I wonder if Michigan Football has more of an "orientation" for freshmen now than they did back when Jason started, but this is an interesting read none the less:


I began playing football my sophomore year of high school in Chicago. I got pretty good pretty quickly, and by senior year I was the top recruit in the state of Illinois. That’s when I noticed people started treating me differently. One day I was just a regular person. Now I was kind of given this position of power. Students, staff members and teachers looked at me in a different way. They kind of winked at my mistakes, instead of trying to correct me. That’s part of the problem: too much empowerment without proving we’ve earned it. A lot of players aren’t used to being held accountable. The other part is of the problem is a lack of education about diversity and tolerance.
I think back to my freshman year at Michigan, and what it’s like at pretty much any college program. In high school you’re with kids from the same town who are a lot like you. In college all of the sudden your locker room is filled with guys from every background—a guy from inner-city Bronx, another one from the backwoods of Iowa, a guy whose parents were nourishing, a guy with gang issues, a guy who is very religious. You put us all in the locker room and expect us to get along with each other. Yet there’s no orientation, and barely any discussion of it. That’s why a lot of times you see the black kids sitting on one end of the lunch room and the white kids on the other.

Michigan's OL and DL in 2013 by advanced statistics

Michigan's OL and DL in 2013 by advanced statistics

Submitted by dnak438 on February 18th, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Football Study Hall has posted two rankings of offensive and defensive lines for all 2013 teams according to their advanced statistics.

First, the bad news: offensive line:

Offense Adj LY Rk SD LY/
Rk Opp. Rate Rk Power
Succ. Rt.
Rk Stuff Rate Rk
Ohio State 146.6 1 3.86 1 4.06 10 55.7% 1 78.2% 10 11.9% 2
Auburn 131.0 2 3.84 2 3.80 18 48.4% 6 84.5% 3 12.1% 3
Texas A&M 124.9 3 3.64 6 4.03 12 51.4% 2 71.4% 45 16.0% 18
Oregon 122.9 4 3.65 5 3.65 32 49.0% 4 64.7% 83 15.1% 12
Alabama 120.6 5 3.53 7 3.93 16 48.0% 7 78.4% 9 14.0% 9
Michigan 83.2 118 2.19 126 2.80 107 34.5% 111 52.0% 120 29.9% 126

What this means:

  • Our offensive line generated 83.2 yards per game (adjusted for opponent). That was not good.
  • On standard downs, the OL generated 2.19 yards per carry. Worse than not good.
  • On passing downs, the OL generated 2.80 yards per carry. Slightly less not good.
  • 34.5% of the time, the OL"did its job" and produced at least five yards for the runner.
  • 52% of the time, the OL got a 1st down or touchdown on 3rd and 2 or less or 4th and 2 or less (or 1st or 2nd and goal from the 2 or less). Not good.
  • 29.9% of the time, the runner was tackled behind the line of scrimmage. God awful.

Silver lining: Doug Nussmeier's Alabama offense was awesome at running the ball.

The defensive line was better:

Defense Adj LY Rk SD LY/
Rk Opp. Rate Rk Power
Succ. Rt.
Rk Stuff Rate Rk
Utah State 135.6 1 2.25 2 2.76 17 30.4% 3 65.5% 56 24.4% 11
Michigan State 132.2 2 2.27 3 2.13 3 30.1% 2 44.4% 2 25.2% 7
Virginia Tech 130.2 3 2.30 6 2.56 12 29.6% 1 58.1% 17 24.1% 15
Stanford 127.6 4 2.28 4 2.77 20 34.6% 22 57.1% 13 26.6% 4
Alabama 125.8 5 2.91 58 1.95 1 33.2% 13 69.0% 77 19.3% 60
Michigan 104.6 45 3.02 73 2.92 26 36.8% 41 69.8% 82 18.5% 76

What this means:

  • We were a decent DL (45th) overall, bad on standard downs (73rd), short yardage downs (82nd), and getting negative plays (76th) but good on passing downs (26th).

Silver lining: Jake Ryan is back next year.

Nothing we didn't know, I suppose, but interesting to see nonetheless.

BBrown: 2016 Names To Watch: Elijah Cunningham

BBrown: 2016 Names To Watch: Elijah Cunningham

Submitted by Brandon Brown on February 17th, 2014 at 8:54 PM

Position: Quarterback
Ht/Wt/40: 6'3" / 170 lbs. / 4.78
Location: Springboro High School – Springboro, OH
Offers: None
Ranking: N/A

An under the radar prospect, Elijah Cunningham, grew up just north of Cincinnati in the heart of Buckeye country loving the Maize and Blue. Cunningham's father had very proud things to say about his son when we spoke last night.

Michigan was always Elijah's dream school growing up. Brady Hoke is from close to where we are from so he likes that about him too. Coach Smith actually came to the school to check out Elijah so they are showing a little interest. Elijah has a really strong arm, throws a baseball about 90 miles an hour. He runs about a 4.8 forty and all the scouts are pretty high on him. He's also a tough kid. He is a 2-time national boxing champ and Junior Olympic Champion. He's a good kid too, never in trouble and gets good grades.

You'd expect a dad to say good things about his son, but some of those things can't be fudged. Elijah and his father stopped by Schembechler Hall today to pay a visit to the staff and a mutual positive impression was made according to the elder Cunningham.

Elijah had a great visit with the staff today. They loved his film and want him to attend camp in June. They took him on a tour, showed him a recruiting video, and introduced him to Devin Gardner.

As you might expect, Elijah had good things to say as well.

I loved it! Michigan had by far the most impressive facilities I've seen thus far. I enjoyed it all a lot. I absolutely loved everything about Michigan. It was my first time being in Ann Arbor and I loved the city. The school is great too. Also meeting Devin Gardner was great. It's pretty cool to meet a guy like that. It would be an honor to go to Michigan.


It's early in the process for Elijah, and who knows if he'll be considered for an offer, but mutual interest is being shown from him and the staff. Cunningham looks good on film. He has a calm, tall presence in the pocket with a quick, high, overhead release. He's got decent mobility for 6'3", but obviously needs to bulk up at just 170 lbs. He has plenty of time to work on his size and hone his skills being just a sophomore.

With all the high praise that Michigan received from the Cunningham clan, it's no surprise that Michigan is the easy favorite for Elijah. He also said, without hesitation, that he'd commit on the spot if offered. I'm not sure it'll happen, but it'll be interesting to follow how aggressively he's recruited from here on out. 

Rovell: NCAA Football's student attendence problem

Rovell: NCAA Football's student attendence problem

Submitted by ChiCityWolverine on February 17th, 2014 at 8:24 PM

Surprised this went unposted, but Darren Rovell wrote a piece on ESPN.com today highlighting the trend of poor student turnout in college football. Elements of the article have certainly been touched on in the past around these parts, but attendence (students in particular) is a looming problem, especially with next years yawn-inducing home slate.

The Michigan-specific part:

This year, the University of Michigan drew the most fans of any school for the 16th year in a row. But 26 percent of students who paid for their tickets didn't show up at an average home game this season. That's an increase from 25 percent last year and 21 percent in 2011.

Not only did Michigan have more no-shows, they also only sold 19,850 student season tickets, about a 10 percent drop from the year before. Michigan added a $7.50 fee to each ticket this season to support student programs and also took away senior reserved seating in favor of a general admission policy which contributed to fewer people buying tickets.

Hoping to slow the slide, Michigan sent out a questionnaire to students at season's end, asking them why they might not have been happy with the stadium experience.

Adam Stillman, a senior at Michigan who attended all but one of the team's home games this year, shared his answers with ESPN.com. How he prioritized his answers might scare administrators, many of whom have looked to Wi-Fi connectivity as the answer to attracting younger fans. Stillman ranked sitting with friends, sitting close to the field, the outcome of the game, tailgating, the student section atmosphere, food specials and entertainment before the importance of Wi-Fi.

"I've kind of accepted that I'm not getting reception in and around Michigan Stadium," Stillman said. "The problem is in all the other areas. There's nothing to do while I'm waiting on line for an hour to get into the stadium, and there's little added value from being in the stands watching the game.

As the business of college football grew, many schools began moving student sections into some of the worst seats in order to make boosters happy in prime seats. But as student crowds at some schools started to fade, athletic department officials at those schools began to understand that if they didn't get the students in the building while they were at school, they might not get their money in the future."

B1G tidbits:

Success, or lack thereof, on the field obviously plays an important role. For years, Iowa's student section capacity was steady at 10,400 students per game. But this year after going 19-19 in games from 2010-2012, the school only sold 7,500 tickets and an average of 30 percent of those students didn't show up for the games. In the middle of the season, Iowa closed off two sections of the stadium previously occupied by students and began selling those tickets to the general public. Only half the student tickets purchased for the game against Michigan, which happened during the school's Thanksgiving break, were used.

Missing one out of every fifth student who bought a ticket has become pretty common these days. Michigan State has sold out its 13,500 student tickets since 2007, but the school says its no-show rate for home games this year still was about 20 percent. That's for a season in which the Spartans went 13-1, won the Big Ten title and ended the season with a victory over Stanford in the Rose Bowl.

Penn State's overall attendance has been on a five-year decline that represents a total drop of almost 10 percent. The students are actually seen as a bright spot, as the school sold almost 1,000 more full season tickets this year (21,368). An 18.1 percent student no-show rate is actually among the best in the Big Ten.

"While game time, opponent, promotion and record all had some effect, weather had the most direct effect on our student crowd," said Jeff Garner, Penn State's assistant athletic director for ticketing sales and service.

For Penn State, that means cold, wind, rain and snow.



brady hoke has a new job title

brady hoke has a new job title

Submitted by matty blue on February 17th, 2014 at 2:16 PM

He's not the Head Coach any longer.  Now he's the "Ira and Nicki Harris Head Football Coach."


According to the press release, "This endowed position will strengthen the program for years to come and ensure the future generation of student-athletes will continue to benefit from outstanding coaching and leadership."