I was talking to my brother Aaron a couple days ago on the phone and we were discussing college football (Huksers of course) but we were also poking around other conferences too. He brought up the Big Ten and how big this Iowa Ohio State game is going to be. I asked him who he thought would win and he said "I believe if Iowa's defense can shut down Pryor like the Badgers did then the Hawkeyes might be able to walk away with this game." I then asked him what he thought of OSU Michigan this year and his reaction was quite surprising. He said that Michigan's offense is one of the most explosive and dangerous offenses in the nation. They're able to put up points both early and often and even though down in games they seem to beable to comeback late and even win with less than a minute to go on the clock." I asked "Aaron if it's OSU's defense vs Michigan's offense who has the upper hand?" He said sadly "Ohio State's weapons on offense like Sanzenbacher, Posey, Herron and of course Pryor are very difficult tasks for Michigan's defense to contain all 4 quarters, but there is one thing that Ohio State will have to look out for and that's Michigan putting up a lot of points. I think Michigan can beat OSU but in order to do so they will need keep stops on 3rd downs, not turn the ball over and put up a lot of points on every drive. I honestly think that Michigan wins if this game become's a shoot out. This game might very well be notable one on the Big Ten schedule come November 27th,
Here's how it breaks down according to Rivals:
"Scouting The Offense: The Wolverines are dealing with uncertainty at the quarterback position, where QB Denard Robinson leads the Big Ten with 150 yards rushing per game, but he had to leave the Illinois game in the fourth quarter with concussion-like symptoms. He is expected to be available for the game with Purdue, but Robinson’s durability is suspect, since knee and shoulder injuries have also knocked him out of previous games. Should Robinson be sidelined, Michigan has a different offense, but not necessarily an ineffective one. QB Tate Forcier filled in for Robinson and led the Wolverines to the triple-overtime win against Illinois with his passing and running."
"Scouting The Defense: The Boilermakers have had the heart of their offense removed when season-ending injuries claimed their top receiver, running back and quarterback, so the Purdue team Michigan faces is somewhat limited in its options. Michigan’s struggling defense will be best served by living with the blitz and hoping to force mistakes aplenty from Purdue’s trio of young quarterbacks."
OK, so Robinson is an uncertainty? Really? According to whom?
We beat Illinois on the last play by blitzing, so we have to live by the blitz? What?
So, the general mood on this blog seems to be that next year the defense could be better. All the freshman in the secondary will be experienced sophomores, plus Woolfolk and Floyd will be back (bonus question: what about Byron Moore, any update on him?) We don't lose anyone off the D line, so they'll be improved.
However, what will the two-deep at linebacker look like? I guess I have a hard time believing that the loss of Mouton, Ezeh, and Moundros will equate to a better linebacking crew, and I kind of look at linebacker as the weakness of next year's D, much like the secondary is this year. I know Demens will be starting, but what will the two deep look like? And is there really any chance that they'll be any good?
Ann Arbor.com's James David Dickson deserves massive credit for this article for Michigan Today about retired numbers in Michigan athletics.
Among the money points in this article:
- "former head football coach Lloyd Carr said he "was never under the impression" that it was in his power to retire a jersey."
- "One of athletic director Dave Brandon's priorities is setting a consistent standard for retiring jerseys at U-M."
- "Former head coach Lloyd Carr said that while it might be easier to simply avoid the controversy of retiring football jerseys, that wouldn't be the right thing. Carr is part of a preliminary and advisory committee Dave Brandon put together to explore the issue."
- "I'm not saying it should just be Heisman winners, because that eliminates certain positions," Carr said. "There's also a number of Schembechler players who should get a look, but I'm not going to publicly get into naming names."
- Only Cazzie Russell's #33 is retired by the basketball team, all of the others in the rafters are "honored" and can be issued again.
- Red, not big on retiring numbers because he only likes to issue numbers between 1-39.
The "backlog of Schembechler players who should get a look" has to include Anthony Carter, which would mean that both Michigan players who were three time all-America would be honored. Except, oh, wait, that's the #1 and that's a whole thing and a thing.
I hope they don't retire Desmond's 21, because I like seeing it out there.
If they do retire any numbers in hockey, it should be the #9 and it should be for both Red and Brendan Morrison, unless you wanted to retire "The Unit" for Red.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is time to give up the Angry Michigan <Blank> Hating God thought process. After watching a ball in OT bounce perfectly off an Illinois defender's helmet such that Hemmingway had an easy catch, it is time to announce to the world that we believe our former issues were the work of the most evil. Bo and Ufer have finally gotten God's attention turned back on Saturday afternoons to focusing on keeping the evil Satan (who owns the soul of Jim Tressel and others who have sold out to him for his recent 2.5 years of abuse of our beloved football program) from screwing with us.
I suggest we now refer to Angry Michigan <Blank> Hating Satan in reference to placing the blame where it truly belongs and in keeping it well understood that those who hate Michigan are, in essence, EVIL!!!
We've certainly seen much more detailed, stats-based posts regarding the matter of onside kicks and never punting, but MSM is starting to come around. "Conventional wisdom" be damned...
This season has had moments of extremely heated debate, regarding the performance of the defense. The schism in views is based on two views:
1. GERG is a bad coach
2. Our talent level is severely depleted
I decided to look at tackling technique of our defense, more specifically on the bad technique aspect of it. This particular point of emphasis is almost consistently attributed to coaching, as good technique usually only transfers to the game field when it is instilled upon repeated coaching and re-coaching in situations where poor technique is used.
This season, time and again, we have the ball player wrapped up, and then 3 yards later they have picked up the 1st down on 3rd and forever. I thought it was about time to look at tackling, both who is making/missing them and why.
About the analysis:
1. I regarded made tackles as anytime a player made contact with the ballcarrier and that ballcarrier ended up down by contact using solid tackling technique. I did not look at technique of made tackles, as after 1/2 of tape review most of the tackles that were made were of good technique. Any tackle that forced the ball-carrier out of bounds was counted as a made tackle.
2. I designated missed tackles as failing to make a tackle in space, taking an extremely bad angle on a tackle that should have been made, or simply just getting the hit but not bringing down the ballcarrier.
4. Bad Form takes into account any missed tackle that used any of the following:
- Head on the upfield side
- Arm/Jersey tackling
- Any hit at or above the numbers
- Getting "shook" in open field due to not breaking down or overpursuit.
The difference here is missed tackles in my mind sometimes come from being literally overpowered or stiff-armed, not a technique avenue. If the UM defender made the hit with the head on the right side and attempted to wrap up but the ballcarrier just slipped through, I counted this as a missed tackle only. If, however, the same play happened with the UM defender coming in high and behind, this was counted as both a missed and bad form tackle.
To derive the "Tackling Efficiency" I used the following formulas as necessary (feel free to critique or ask me to add things, as I am not a math whiz)
- Player Tackling Technique: (Made Tackles - Missed Tackles)/(Bad Form Missed Tackles+1)
- Team Tackling Technique: (Made tackles - (Missed Tackles+ TDs))/(Bad Form Missed Tackles)
Individual Players Tackling Efficiency:
|UConn||Notre Dame||MSU||IOWA||Season Ave|
* N denotes games where player did not participate or had no made or missed tackles
A few notes from the individual analysis:
- Kovacs is by far our best tackler, with Mouton, Johnson and surprisingly Gordon #15 as the 2,3,4 respectively.
- Of the guys on this list, the biggest suprise was Martin, however I think it is important to remeber that this tackling eff. calculation puts weight on total tackles made, and Martin gets doubled. A lot. (in review of my stats, Martin only missed 3 tackles total, with 2 by bad form)
- In the two games Demens played, he was an absolute tackling machine.
- Ezeh really cannot tackle.
Team Tackling Technique:
|UConn||Notre Dame||MSU||Iowa||Season Ave.|
We were much better at tackling UConn in space than anyone else, not suprisingly this was the team with the least athletic roster.Notes from the team portion:
- MSU was an absolutely terrible day, with almost a missed tackle per made tackle, and lots of bad form tackles all over
- We are consistently worse at tackling with good technique than all 4 of the opponents analyzed, two B10 "good" defenses and 2 middle of the pack to bad defenses
- On the season for these 4 games we are averaging about 2 missed tackles with 1 missed tackle by bad form every 3 tackles made
These statistics correlate with what I have been seeing every week. Mouton is great at times and inconsistent at times, and Kovacs is a stud at bringing down the ball carrier. Ezeh was a sub-par MLB and Martin gets doubled. I have high hopes for Demens, Johnson and Gordon (both of them).
Surprises for me came with the discovery of Gordon (not Cam), that dude was all over the place when he was in/not getting blown off the ball by a OT. Secondly, I think Floyd has the potential (if he develops his man coverage) to be an absolute terror on the corner. He can and will tackle in space.
As a team, I think the debate as to what this attributes to is still open for debate. Does this attribute to talent? Possibly. Is this more attributable to the coaching/GERG? Yes. However, with the limited bodies he has on his side of the ball, it might be due to the fact that live tackling is just not an option with this lineup.
Regardless of the cause, the tackling is terrible, and is apparently getting worse through the season. This attributes in my mind to the coaching, specifically the D-Coordinator.
I can only hope the tackling technique is going to get better, because as it stands through these 4 games it cannot get much worse. I will do my best to analyze Indiana, PSU and Illinois when I get some more time, to give a more all encompassing picture of our D (takes a significantly longer time because I have to watch the whole game).
I saw that this is one of those "or" situations due to Mouton's pec injury. I am kind of conflicted on this one since I love the attitude and effort that Moundros brings, but I would like to see a bit more playing time out of JB at LB to understand just what we have with the guy. I am not so much sold with him dropping down on the line like Roh does, but think extended action sitting back at the LB position may be useful. A guy like Demens definitely benefited from the extra snaps as evidenced by his recent play at Illinois and it is more clear as to what we have with him.