Slippery Rock Weekly Update

Slippery Rock Weekly Update

Submitted by nmumike on September 23rd, 2013 at 7:31 AM

Slippery Rock (2-1) lost for the first time this season to division rival Gannon in front of 856 people in Erie, PA on Saturday.

Gannon won by the score of 38-27, playing in terrible conditions. From the article"The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western Division opener was played in miserable conditions. With drainage systems at full capacity due to a morning-long heavy downpour, the teams played with water on the surface between the hashes as rain fell at a rapid pace through the entire game."

Considering the conditions senior QB Nigel Barksdale had a decent game, with 250 yards passing, but had some costly turnovers as well. As a team they are still averaging over 535 yards per game.

Links: http://www.rockathletics.com/news/2013/9/21/FB_0921135531.aspx

http://www.gannonsports.com/news/2013/9/21/FB_0921131239.aspx

Play Calling

Play Calling

Submitted by graybeaver on September 23rd, 2013 at 6:30 AM
Do you think Michigan should have installed a more conservative offensive game plan against UCONN? I think Michigan should be very conservative against Minnesota in hopes to rebuild Gardner's confidence and resolve the turnover issue. I would like to see more running plays with the QB under center and quick, short passes. The defense is good enough for Michigan to win most of their games on the schedule as long as the turnovers do not continue to happen. Michigan will probably only need to out score NW, Nebraska, and OSU. Hopefully by the time those games hit the schedule Michigan will have the offense rolling again like they did the first two games. What are your thoughts on offensive scheme moving forward?

If (when) the B1G expands again, would you be fine w/UConn?

If (when) the B1G expands again, would you be fine w/UConn?

Submitted by DISCUSS Man on September 22nd, 2013 at 8:29 PM

After last night, being at the game, I think UConn could be a halfway decent program in the B1G. 

I would say last night was probably 60/40 UConn fans. 

They already have had more recent success than Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Purdue. As well as Rutgers and Maryland. They don't have the biggest stadium, but neither does northwestern and I think we can all agree they have a pretty damn good team after literally starting from nothing.

UConn has been this shitty and is this shitty because Randy Edsall skipped town at the perfect time and left Pasqualoni with pretty much nothing. 

UConn has a national championship in basketball this decade, a dynasty in women's basketball and a hockey program which would boost the new B1G hockey conference's numbers. And by talking to some alums at the game yesterday, UConn is making a big push to get into the AAU. 

It would also give East coast Michigan fans/alums more chances to see Michigan. 

Inside the Boxscore - Team 134, Game 4

Inside the Boxscore - Team 134, Game 4

Submitted by ST3 on September 22nd, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    In the week leading up to this game, the recognition that I might have to scramble to watch the game started sinking in, for I live in the blue portion of the dreaded ABC Game Map. When I first moved to Los Angeles, I bought ESPN GamePlan and didn't have to worry about missing any Michigan games. Then, ABC and ESPN invented the reverse mirror concept, and I didn't even have to buy GamePlan. And more recently, the Big Ten Network has almost assured me of seeing every UofM game in Los Angeles, which is amazing considering UCLA and USC are rarely on the air out here. An hour before the game, I consulted MGoBlog and looked into this, "streaming" idea. We get Verizon, so I was able to log into ESPN3. Let's just say I prefer ESPN 8, the OCHO. I tried that for 10 minutes, and after a frustrating hodge-podge of HD, LD, and ND (no definition, i.e., the screen would freeze up) I went to ESPN Gameplan and tried to order the single day coverage for $26. Perhaps a million frustrated M fans joined me in clogging up the GamePlan system, because it wouldn't let me purchase the game, so I went back to ESPN3. There has to be a better way. After sitting through a near repeat of the Akron game, I'm glad I didn't spend $26 on that.

      NOT HD.     <cr>We looked good in game 1, but CMU was missing their QB and top RB. We looked good against ND, but it's looking more and more like that was just an upset, or maybe ND's not that good either. Game 3 and Game 4 were struggles. A third of the way through the season, I think it's fair to start drawing some conclusions. This is a young team that is making the kind of mistakes that young players make. The frustrating (there's that word again) thing for me is that the schedule sets up perfectly for this team to win a lot of games. We play 4 ranked teams, only one of them on the road. And that road game is a veritable home game in the friendly confines of Chicago. But it's clear so far that we're still at least a year away. I could be wrong, the line could gel during the bye week, the turnover problem could magically go away, the wide receivers could learn how to run deep routes, the special teams could learn how to get out of the way of a punt. There's just so much improvement that needs to be made to be competitive with the upper ranks of the Big Ten. But at least we're 4-0, right? Wait, we are 4-0. Someone please tell me we're 4-0. So why does MGoBlue.com have us at 3-1 in the boxscore. I know it sure feels that way. Here's a screen capture of the boxscore before they fix the error:


It is an error, right? Oh Lord did that game give me a hangover, and I didn't even drink anything...
       
Link: http://www.mgoblue.com/sports/m-footbl/stats/092213aaa.html

Burst of Impetus
* Time for a bonus link

http://www.footballstudyhall.com/2013/8/23/4649718/college-football-turnover-margin-winning-percentage

The story starts with a graph showing a scatter plot of winning percentage versus turnover margin. The line fit roughly goes through 100% and +2, and -100% and -2. In the fourth quarter, Michigan was staring at a -4 turnover margin. Desmond Morgan made a great play, I guess, my internet connection was bouncing back and forth between LD and ND when the play was made. He picked off the pass and returned the ball 29 yards. Michigan converted and grabbed the momentum. If I remember correctly, he played some QB in high school. He showed why on that INT return. Morgan is becoming the leader of that defense.

Captain Morgan's Crew
* First off, an explanation. I know Morgan's not a team captain, yet, but I suspect he will be. I also have been watching Bar Rescue marathons on the Spike network, and so I've seen many, many Captain Morgan's commercials.

young 98
* I had titled this section, "Young 98," as an allusion to Vince Young, but after another shaky performance, we're down to just "young 98." It's worth remembering that even though he is a senior, he still has not started a season's worth of games at QB.
* Gardner was 11-23 passing for 97 yards. He tossed two INTs and no TDs.
* Gardner gained 106 yards, YAY, but lost 42, for a net of 64. His first step under pressure is almost always away from the line of scrimmage. That is something we've seen since his early days. He needs a QB coach to break that habit and get him to step up into the pocket, if his O-Line can actually form one for him. (Why am I so grumpy? Oh, yeah, 24-21 vs. UCONN.)
* A week after I suggested they ditch the option play and simplify the system for Gardner, he executed a beautiful option pitch, leading to one of Toussaint's TDs. Yes, the universe has conspired to humble me yet again.

20 Pound Cheeseburgers
* Toussaint was THE running attack from the RB position, with 120 yards on 24 carries. He scored 2 TDs and had a long of 35 yards.
* TEAM's three carries matched the rest of the non-Toussaint/Gardner combined carries.

V. Sinha Legends Jersey
* Nothing to see here, move along.

Norf and Dileo
* Dileo has taken over the punt return duties from Norfleet. America has a sad.
* I was hoping that was because they were going to involve Norfleet more in the offense. He did carry twice for 14 yards.
* I don't know if this team is lacking players, or lacking ways to get their playmakers involved. In the case of Norfleet and Dileo, I fear their talents are being wasted. That said, it's time for my new feature...

ST3's contrarian position of the week
* I think Borges actually called a good game. (/ducks) I think he's 3 for 4 so far this year, with the Akron game being the lone stinker. The problem with the Akron game is that it appeared he couldn't care less what kind of defense they were running. Let's go inside the boxscore on this game and look at the critical third down conversion stat. Michigan was 7 of 17, meanwhile, UCONN was 1 of 11. Let's look at some of the early third downs. On the second drive, we had 3rd and 1, and 3rd and 2. Gardner rushed for the first down on both plays. Later in the drive, on third and 12, Gardner ran again and ended up scoring our first TD. So my point is, Gardner rushing is one of our better (only? well, at least until Touss got untracked) options, and Borges dialed those up on the critical third down. Later in the game, he may have gone to the well once too many times, when we got stopped on 4th and 2, but if Devin had been more aggressive on that run, he would have made it. Then, after the Dileo punt return, with UCONN selling out against the Devin runs, Borges called a very safe pass play to Gallon on 3rd and 4. He had two WRs clear out the area for Gallon, who stopped just past the sticks. We eventually got down to the four, setting up Gibbons for a chip shot FG. Let's not forget that Gardner was 0 for 5 with an INT in the 2nd quarter. Had Borges continued to press the issue, Gardner might not have been able to recover to lead us in the 2nd half. Instead, Borges figured out what run plays were working, got Gardner back into somewhat of a comfort zone, and managed to get us a W in a game where we were -3 in TO margin.

Meh Teams
* Is it too harsh of me to suggest that the ST coach might want to get his resume polished up?
* Fortunately for us, it was 4th and 7 when we ran into the kicker, not 4th and 5. The angle that Gedeon took was awful. It took him directly into the path of the punter. Who is teaching that? These ST players are mostly frosh and RS frosh, and probably as BMOC in high school, didn't play a lot of special teams.
* On our punt return fumble, someone has to be screaming, "GET OUT OF THE WAY!!!" Instead, Jones is trying to block someone and the ball bounces off his leg.
* Dileo's great punt return was brought back because another young kid made a mistake 25 yards from the play.

I'm an international umpire
* Penalties were 5-45 against us, and 6 for 70 against them.
* In addition to all the mistakes made by the younger players, Lewan had a holding penalty wipe out at 35+ yard run.
* For the second week in a row, I have no complaints with the refs. I must be getting soft in my old age.

UCONN'T be serious
* I don't like UConn's stadium. First of all, their turf looks like this:

http://www.public-art.umich.edu/the_collection/images/full/20

Secondly, their mid-field logo stretches from one 30 to the other. That's disconcerting for me. I'm used to seeing a team reach the mid-field logo and thinking they've reached mid-field. You know, the 45 yard line. At UCONN, you've still got a long way to go even to get to the 50.
* The attendance 42,704. I'm pretty sure most Texas High School teams draw more than that.
* Yawin Smallwood led UCONN with 13 tackles. Hey Yawin, Ya-lose. But seriously, he played a heck of a game with 2 TFLs, a forced fumble, a pass breakup, and a sack.
* Their nose guard made 6 tackles and had 2 TFLs. Nose guards aren't supposed to make 6 tackles. I'm putting together a mock NFL Draft for next April, and so far, my first round has the 12 nose guards on our schedule.

100%BLU
* Last week I said I was delaying the 100%BLU anecdote until I was in a better mood. I'm beginning to realize, that time may never come, so on with the story. As I was perusing my "Early Fall 2013" copy of Michigan Alumnus magazine (a benefit of my Lifetime Membership to the Alumni Association, a gift from Mom and Dad upon graduating - a car would have been nice, but I'm not complaining) I read that UofM's School of Social Work is ranked #1 nationally. I mentioned earlier this season that Dad graduated with his MSW from UofM and Devin Gardner is currently in the School. The inquisitive reader might ask, what does one do with a degree from the nation's top School of Social Work? Let me share two University of Michigan-related items from Dad's career. 24 years ago (normal disclaimer about the accuracy of my memory applies) the Chinese Government reached out to the State of Michigan for help with their treatment of the mentally ill. The State of Michigan had some brutal budget cuts in the early 80's, forcing the closure of many State-run hospitals. They were somewhat successful in transferring institutionalized patients into less costly, community-based group homes. So the Chinese wanted to learn more about this cost-effective, more humane approach. Dad was working for the State Department of Mental Health at the time. He was tasked with organizing the trip. He reached out to a Professor of Chinese Studies at UofM, and together they planned the trip. They were in China for three weeks, visiting different areas. The professor recommended they visit Tainanmen Square, a very famous location. While they were there, students were protesting the Chinese government. One student got to talking with Dad. The student took off his bandana, gave it to Dad, and asked him to tell their story in America. One week later, the tanks rolled in. So that's my "Dad as Forest Gump" story.
Second story, if you'll indulge me, a few years later, Dad is putting together an educational video about the benefits of community living and group homes for the mentally ill. There are many levels or gradations among the mentally challenged. Some can function quite fine in society as long as they are given the right medication, or looked in on periodically. One such group home was a couple blocks from the Bo building on South Campus. Dad arranged for Chris Burke, the famous actor from the 80's drama, Life Goes On, to appear in the video. Knowing that I was a fan of the show, and was still on campus at that time, Dad called and invited me over to the location where they were filming. I got to meet Chris and his parents, and Dad took this photo (that's me on the right, in the - HORROR - red shirt and gigantic glasses, Brady would be sooo dissappointed in me.) 

Kickoff Question: Intentional Kick OOB?

Kickoff Question: Intentional Kick OOB?

Submitted by Paps on September 22nd, 2013 at 5:00 PM

This is a little break from all of the doom-and-gloom posts, and it may be a completly obvious answer, but here goes:

Twice UCONN got 15 yard penalties tacked on to scores (one was excessive celebration, the other was sideline interference i believe), and had to kickoff 15 yards back.  The first time Norfleet ran it back to about the Michigan 45, and I was wondering, the second time they kicked it, why doesn't UCONN just intentionally kick it out of bounds, and have Michigan take over at the 35.  I feel like in that situation, putting the other team at the 35 would be better than risking a return, which, at its worst, will probably end up around the 35 (norfleet's second one went to the 37 or something like that).  I voiced this question aloud to the friends and family we had over for the day, and nobody could find any reason why a team wouldn't want to do this.  Is there a rules issue I don't know, or is this something teams actually do? Thanks, and GoBlue! 

***EDIT: Apparently there is a "30 yards from the spot that the ball is kicked off" rule that I did not know about.  Kinda screws up my question haha.  Thanks everyone

Updated Records: Gibbons ties another record

Updated Records: Gibbons ties another record

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on September 22nd, 2013 at 1:23 PM
  • All-Time Record: 907-315-36
  • All-Time Road Record: 275-144-15
  • Brady Hoke is now 23-7 at Michigan which is good for 11th. He is one victory behind Gustave Ferbert (24-3-1)
  • Brady Hoke's win % moves to .767. That is 7th at Michigan and better than Lloyd Carr & Gary Moeller who are both at .758
  • Michigan is now 22-5-1 against teams in the American Athletic Conference. The only team Michigan has lost to from that league was Navy back when Navy was a powerhouse. 
  • 27-15 in Night Games with a 2-game winning streak
  • Now 3-2 when featured on ESPN Saturday Night Football on ABC, snapping a 2-game losing streak.
  • Fitz Toussaint has his 6th career and first 100-yard rushing game since 11/26/2011 vs ohio. This was also the first 100-yard game by a RB since that 40-34 game as well. Welcome back Fitz, we missed you.
  • Brendan Gibbons ties Garrett Rivas with 3 game winning FGs. 
Date Player Time Yds Opponent Score

10/10/2003

Garrett Rivas

0:47

33

at Minnesota

38-35

10/23/2004

Garrett Rivas

2:45

35

at Purdue

16-14

10/1/2005

Garrett Rivas

OT

35

at Michigan State

34-31

1/3/2012

Brendan Gibbons

OT

37

Virginia Tech

23-20

10/20/2012

Brendan Gibbons

0:05

38

vs Michigan State

12-10

9/21/2013

Brendan Gibbons

4:36

21

at Connecticut

24-21

 

Fandom: Are the highs higher than the lows are low?

Fandom: Are the highs higher than the lows are low?

Submitted by 1989 UM GRAD on September 22nd, 2013 at 11:25 AM

At my daughter's soccer game yesterday afternoon, one of the moms was lamenting that her husband "made" her cancel the babysitter so that they could stay home and watch the Michigan game.

She was very surprised that I - as a devoted Michigan fan - had planned an evening out with my wife.  (If you're a Beatles fan, you need to see the movie "Good 'Ol Freda.)  My response was that the game should be a blowout, and, if it weren't, I wasn't really interested in watching it.  Plus, we were going to be home in time to watch the 4th quarter.

It reminded me of a column - written by a lapsed sports fan - I read about a month ago.  His thesis was that the lows began to outweigh the highs.  That when his favorite team lost or performed poorly, it negatively affected his mood for days.  (I think we all have experienced this after the Horror, Toledo, Akron, etc.)  And when his favorite team won, the positive effect on his mood was muted and lasted for a short period of time.

This theory best describes why I had no desire to watch the game last night.  I've seen more than my fair share of cupcake games over the past thirty years, and the bloom has long been off of the rose.  The blowouts aren't that exciting...and the losses/close calls stay with me sometimes for days.  I enjoyed being at the CMU game, but the Akron game negatively affected me more than the CMU game positively affected me.

Any thoughts on this?  Are the lows sometimes lower than the highs are high for you?  Have you ever thought about giving up being a Michigan fan or trying to lessen your passion for the teams, so as to reduce the emotional toll the teams' ups and downs have on you?

I would request that if you don't have a constructive comment to refrain from commenting.  Please keep the snark and witty negative responses to yourself.

My Ohio Stadium experience

My Ohio Stadium experience

Submitted by UMxWolverines on September 22nd, 2013 at 11:02 AM

To maybe distract some of your minds from our once again shitty performance yesterday, I will give you a review of my trip to enemy territory yesterday for the Ohio-Florida A&M game. I got offered a free ticket so I said I would go. 

Stadium itself:

First off, the upper deck at the shoe is scary. Very steep. I was probably ten rows from the top but the view is pretty still pretty good. The seats are similar size to Michigan...I was basically sitting in the isle. 

I feel like the shell they put around the stadium hides the original construction a lot, but it is a very impressive structure from the outside and inside. 

Scoreboard: 

This is what was quite different from Michigan and not for the better. They do have a few ads along the side of their scoreboards, but that wasn't extremely noticeable. What got me was that the game itself was brought to us by Lowes, the replay was sponsored by someone I can't remember, and Tim Hortons is the official coffee of Ohio State athletics. I will be furious if we ever take that route. 

They also do a lot of animations that I thought were extremely lame for a program like them. When there was a holding penalty they showed a phone on hold. Just a lot of weird things like that. 

Fans:

I wasn't expecting much since it was Florida A&M. Basically the same thing as a noon game as Michigan Stadium: golf clap when something good happens and not really much noise when the other team is on defense (like they really needed to). I decided to wear my Michigan shirt under a fleece so I didn't get harassed or anything. One guy at a tailgate had a flag on his flagpole that had a block M with a screw through it. I thought that was...clever. 

Pretty much all of Ohio Stadium was full besides a small section at the top of the endzone seats and student seats. Yes, even osu has these problems. They only have two very small sections in each endzone (total of about 2,500 seats) and they didn't even fill those. 

Half time show and band:

As much as it pains me to say this, their band is quite good and much louder than ours. They did a tribute to The Beatles and formed BEATLES, a guitar, and the name of each member. Then after that the Ohio School for the blind marching band was honored and OSU's band did the script Ohio and the Ohio School for the blind also formed Ohio in braille form. When I like that I wish we would do is once they were done with script ohio the tuba players play the Buckeye Battle Cry (their fight song) and the rest of the band sings it and the crowd sings a long. 

We ended up leaving with about 5 minutes left in the 3rd at that point it was 69-0. Oh yeah, shout out to Meyer for going for two on the second touchdown and failing. Ass. 

Overall it was a pretty good experience. I'm sure it would be better to judge it for a big game, but not like I would spend my hard earned money for that, and I don't know if I'd ever want to go see Michigan there. 

Feel free to share your experiences at the shoe if you've ever been there. 

Question for coaches and O-line experts (Also, Sunday Snowflake Thread)

Question for coaches and O-line experts (Also, Sunday Snowflake Thread)

Submitted by patrickdolan on September 22nd, 2013 at 10:38 AM

So is this what the interior of the line is trying but failing to do? It seemed to me that on a lot of that run to the left, the interior d-line was just beating attempted combo blocks by the center and left guard. http://www.footballoutsiders.com/word-muth/2013/word-muth-inside-zone-a….

MOD EDIT: Because of a fear of an onslaught of excessive individual posts regarding this and other topics, this is now the Sunday Snowflake Thread. - LSA