According to both Scout and Rivals, North Carolina TE Drew Owens has set an official visit for Michigan on Oct. 16th. Scout lists him as 6'5" and 230. 22nd ranked TE. Rivals has him as 6'5" and 227. 19th ranked TE. No dreads but a sweet fro' in the Scout pic.
This could be an interesting combo of running backs. And based on Brian's preview of IU's run defense, we could see someone with a breakout performance.
If you're keeping track, Michigan is recruiting RB Demetrius Hart, S Roderick Ryles, and S Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix from Dr. Phillips for the 2011 class. As I said yesterday, Roderick Ryles was just offered by Michigan and will be visiting for the Wisconsin game. They're also very much in the conversation with 2012 QB Nick Patti. You can add another teammate to the list with 2011 WR Chris Gallon (6'5", 205 lbs.):
Michigan is starting to come after me hard. They're looking at my senior film right now, and they said after that they might offer. Coach Smith has been in constant contact with me. He said they like me a lot, I just have to wait until they see my film.
Chris sent the Michigan coaches his junior film, and the first three games from this season. Gallon said they are recruiting him as a wide receiver, and if they offer, Michigan has a good shot with him.
I was supposed to go up to Alabama this weekend with Dee (Hart) and HaHa (Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix), but I'm taking my SAT so I didn't go. I'm going to be going to Michigan for the Wisconsin game though. We're all going up there together.
Gallon, Ryles, Patti, and as of right now Demetrius and Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix are all planning on being at the Michigan game, when they take on Wisconsin.
On October 1st, 1927, Michigan Stadium hosted its first game against Ohio Wesleyan and won 33-0. Since then there have been many great moments in the Big House, including its rededication game and Brock's Walk this year.Today the stadium celebrates its 83rd birthday. In honor of the stadium, please list your greatest memories from games witnessed inside The Big House. Go Blue!
just read on the wolverine.com's d-line hotboard that Ray Drew, the number 18 player nationally, wants to take a visit to Ann Arbor. Not only to see the campus and the team, but to go to Blimpy's!!!! Here's to Blimpy Burger serving us well in food service and recruiting as well
You may have noticed I did not do an Over/Under post last week for the Bowling Green game. Frankly, I didnt know what to do. The week before I got all cute and mocked up some totals for some of Michigan's backups, expecting them to play a bunch against UMASS. Yeah, didnt happen. In fact, I'm convinced I nearly jinxed the Wolverines with my bravado and bold statements towards the second stringers production. Rather than test fate, I skipped last week. But, I'll put something together for fun as a supplement to all the other great previewing going every Friday in advance of Michigan's game. Speaking of great previewing, check out the JCB. We have several new posts up already today, setting you up for all the college football and EPL soccer action this wekeend. I'll have a couple more posts over there later today with picks and everything else in between, so if you need a non-MIchigan sports fix to set your weekend up, please stop over. And, we'll have the Pick-4 categories up shortly as well.
Plugs aside, let's get into this game a little bit. It's always a tough day for me when Michigan and Indiana square off in any sport. For me, I never want to see my alma mater lose a game. I want them to win every time they play. But, if you cut me, I do bleed more Maize and Blue than anything else. I never want Michigan to lose either. I always want them to win. I try to enjoy Michigan-Indiana games for the pure sport of it, as a result. When the chips are down, however, I end up pulling for who needs the game the most. In 2010, the direction of the Michigan football program is on the line. While it would be a tremendous moment for the IU kids should they spring an upset, I feel Michigan is primed for a major breakthrough finally under Rodriguez. They need to keep this train going in the right direction. They have my unconditional support tomorrow down in Bloomington. But, if they lose, dont fault me for hustling down there to enjoy the party. Anyone want to watch my dogs if that happens?
With that half-assed explanation of loyalty out of the way, let's move on to the Over/Under games I have cooked up for the Big 10 opener tomorrow.
Ted Bolser, total receiving yards: O/U 49.5
I know what you're thinking. Who? He's Indiana's Tight End and a redshirt freshmen. Get to know him because there's a good chance he's going to stick a couple daggers into the Michigan defense. We all know Michigan's struggles keeping tabs on the tight ends, especially in big moments, over the last few seasons. Bolser is third in catches and yards for the one of the nation's more prolific passing attacks, so you know he's part of the gameplan and that the Hoosier brain trust think they call his number and get a productive play. Bolser was the 52nd ranked played in the state of Ohio in 2009, playing high school ball at Indian Hill, a surburban Cincinnati school, probably more known athletically as a quasi baseball power.
In this case, they appear to have a grown a Big 10 offensive weapon. At 14.2 yards per catch, Bolser is giving the Hoosiers some kick with his catches. He has four touchdowns already. His other catches include momentum swinging grabs on key drives that helped swing two games. He would have done the same thing in a third game had the Hoosiers not botched their chance later in the drive. Dont be surprised if he impacts the game early. Three of his touchdowns have come in the first quarter, twice tallying Indiana's first score of the game. We've seen Jonas Mouton make some plays this year in coverage, including a pair of picks. Can he thwart a Hoosier attempt or two at getting the ball to this kid? There are plenty of other better name wideouts to set an Over/Under to for the Hoosiers. Demarlo Belcher is one of the best in the league. Tandon Doss is starting to hit a stride after battling a groing earlier in the year. Terrance Turner is flat blowing up in his senior year. I just think those guys are going to get their stats one way or another tomorrow. As long as one doesnt go bonkers, Michigan will be fine. Going to Bosler has been a strategic trump card for the Hoosiers this year, but if Michigan can block this a couple times it will probably force enough punts and field goal attempts to allow the offense to put some breathing room between the two teams. This Over/Under will go a long in determining what kind of game the Michigan defense will end up having.
Ben Chappell Total TD Passes: O/U 2.5
This is a great game to play for Over addicts. Michgian fans should ready themselves now and expect the Hoosiers to hit some big plays in the passing game. But, it doesnt really matter what kind of game evolves it can easily involve the Hoosier QB throwing a hat trick on the board. If Indiana goes step for step with Michigan, push them into the fourth quarter or even spring the upset, it almost certainly has to come from the senior signal caller's arm. But even if Michigan blows out Indiana, easily covering the pointspread, its still likely we'll see a lot of Chappell. They're going to throw, throw, throw and do so with Chappell almost to the end even if they're out of it by the second half. Would a 48-31 final for Michigan, but with Chappell tossing 3-4 TDs really be an outlandish outcome? Actually it sounds about right half the time I think about.
How good has Chappell been this year? He's top ranked in the nation in value added for all QBs, per the inimitable Mathlete's number crunching. But three TD games are not easy to come by, regardless of how strong the offense is or how weak the pass defense looks. It might truthfully be a sucker bet for Over addicts. He didnt throw a TD against the Wolverines a year ago. Chappell has only gone over the 2.5 total four times in his career. Last year against Illinois and Wisconsin and this year in the last two games against Western Kentucky and Akron. The Hoosiers are 3-1 SU, 4-0 ATS in those game, so look out kittens if he does, I suppose. It's a tricky number because he's almost a lock to get two TDs, three TDs is not easy to get, but Michigan's D might be the perfect tonic to power up your numbers. Hopefully, the IU brain trust hasnt noticed the Wolverines struggles defending the roll out.
Mike Cox O/U rushing yards: O/U 60 yards
Michigan's tailback rotation in this game will be intriguing. Starter Michael Shaw, who has been an underrated value for the Wolverines through four games, is out as is Fitzgerald Toussaint, who excited folks last week with a breakout run. Michigan's five man rotation for tailback carries has yet to really materialize with Shaw and Vincent Smith carrying most of the load, but with injuries hampering the position tomorrow and only three healthy bodies available, I would be stunned if Michael Cox and freshmen Stephen Hopkins werent a more regular part of the gameplan. I dont know if Hopkins isnt more of a role player in short yardage spots, plus he fumbled a week ago, so I am hedging that Cox will be more of a factor and making him the focus of this Over/Under game. Besides, I am trying to lure some Magnus and Touch The Banner money into the pot. Like Magnus, I too am a big fan of Michael Cox. But I am reluctant to annoint him because frankly we've only seen him in garbage duty against the likes of Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan and Delaware State. If he gets a bunch of carries tomorrow, they will represent the first touches the redshirt Sophomore will get with not only the game still in doubt, but against any Big 10 foe.
It looms as a big day, a turning point perhaps, for the young man's college career. I'm totally pulling for him. Not just because I feel he has the goods, but more because anybody who would commit to Michigan during the first week of September in 2007, amid all the crap being flung at the program in the wake of the Appalachain State and Oregon disasters and then stay through all that has happened the last two seasons since the coaching change, deserves a full round of hoarse throat cheering when he gets in the game. The Karmic side in me feels good things are coming this kid's way for sticking it out. Expect Michigan to use Vincent Smith more early on as his experience, quality blocking and nose for the end zone (he does have six scores in Michigan's last six games) will be needed to steady the game for Michigan in the first conference road game of the season. But Cox will be meshed into the mix at some point tomorrow. I'm thinking something in the ballpark of 10 carries, which would be well over 100 yards if he adheres to the YPC he's achieved in his limited time so far. But, this is a step up in play and he'll be going against starters for the first time in his career. I dont know if you can expect big numbers. But man, if does.....here's hoping Magnus lets me on the bandwagon.
Darius Willis + Michigan's leading tailback rusher, total rushing yards: O/U 160 yards.
First, a reminder. And, give me a break, folks. This is the single greatest play my alma mater has ever pulled off at Michigan Stadium. Plus, the sweet voice of Don Fisher reminds me of March basketball in the early 1990s. Cant beat that:
I dont like doing two running back games out of sheer variety sake. But this one is too goofy to pass up. It comes courtesy of fellow MGoUser and Diarist mistersuits who suggested it in his tremendous blog yesterday dissecting the team's expected production in Bloomington tomorrow. And, it has the added value of including another Michigan running back in the event the Cox game is a non-starter, and I misjudged how much playing time he'll receive. The battle between the teams' rushing offenses might be an underrated key to this game. On the Hoosier side of the equation is Darius Willis. We all remember him a year ago for streaking down the sideline on a 85-yard scoring gallop that nearly won the game for Indiana in the Big House. Outside of that run, he was pretty bottled up by the Wolverines with just 67 yards on 15 carries. I dont know how good Willis really is, though. I think he's got a nice game, but he had three big time runs a year ago, one apiece against Michigan, Purdue and Northwestern. I hate to maniupluate numbers, but if you take those runs out of the equation, he only averaged 3.23 yards per carry in 2009. He's been effective this year against Towson and Akron, but couldnt get anything going against Western Kentucky. I'd like to think Michigan can perform better than those teams, but you never know when the same spot syndrome will kick in. He housed Michigan a year ago, no reason to think he cant do it again. But defending the run so far has been the good part of the Michigan defense this year. Will that hold up in Big 10 play?
Roy Roundree, total receiving yards: O/U 85.5
There's a couple of ways to look at Roy Roundtree's projected season over the next two months. You can take his 20 catches so far this season and say he's on pace for 60 receptions, which is great. However his yardage output has not been as big as last year's on a per catch basis as he's down three whole yards per catch. Or, you can go back to last year, when he emerged during the final four games and point out that in Michigan's last 8 games played he has 50 catches for just over 600 yards, a pace that extrapolated over a 12-game season would equal a 75-catch, 907-yard season with a 12.1 yard per catch average. That would be a great season for a Michigan wide receiver in any era of the program's history. Either way, its hard not to get excited about a full season out of Roundtree. The question with Roy is can he find the consistency he had to close last season and stay in that groove the rest of the year. He's alternated games in 2010 where he hasnt dented the stat sheet with star performances. He got knocked out of the opener against UConn and wasnt involved much during the Umass contest. He was clutch against Notre Dame and had 100-yards a week ago--his third 100-yard game in his last eight--against Bowling Green. Can he put forth his best back-to-back game of the season tomorrow against Indiana? Or is this offense just too varied and deep and other options take precedence? Personally, I think he has a big game. But, then again maybe he's a decoy and Stonum blows up. Or Odoms. Who knows? That's why they call it gambling.
Question: Are people in MGoBlogville rooting for Sparty this weekend?
My two-cents worth: Normally, I would probably cheer on Sparty against Wisconsin (Wisconsin fans are obnoxious) but I submit that a MSU loss tomorrow hurts Sparty to the point that they come into the Michigan game a bit deflated and flat. I'm not one to hope for Michigan's competition to come in at less than 100% but, well, I guess that's what I'm rooting for here. Not that I don't think Michigan can win next weekend - I'd just rather see Michigan come in with a leg up on the competition.
I know, I know, walk around Iowa City if I want to have a running back conversation. Maybe I just pay closer attention to UM than other teams, but it seems like we are on a roll with nicked up running backs the last few years. It could be coincidence, bad luck, I don't know, but it seems as we lessened the workload per back we are counterintuitively ending up with less productive time per back due to injury. Maybe we were lucky in the many years previous where we tended to feature mostly a single workhorse back that pretty much carried the rock all the time (yes Hart had some ankle issues but look at his total number of carries over his career). If you additionally consider our special field turf that should lessen injury risk, this makes even less sense. Not sure if anyone has any hypothesis on this trend.
Yes he may be a Mike Vrabel type eventually roaming around the field, but damn it, just leave the man on the line with the occasional drop into coverage.
- He is bigger and stronger this year (which makes him a better candidate than the last year version of the full time end)
- Players like RVB noted after the last game that the 4 man rush was getting good pressure
- I can't seem to recollect any highlight plays he has made 4-5 yards off the line as opposed to splitting a ND double team to make a TFL
- He has freak ability rushing the passer and should (should) be better at the point of attack against the run since he gained some weight
We are 1/3 into the season and I struggle with the concept that I feel we are limiting his potential with a scheme. I know, coaches know best and maybe he is sacrificed to cover up the deficiencies of the overall unit. However, I believe this is a special player that is very good at screaming around a tackle to collapse a pocket and good schemes adapt to a player's strength.
So, our local "experts" pick a tight shoot-out (as does the national media -- except for USA Today who has a 34-20 prediction). Chappell and his WRs deserve respect, however, their running game is suspect at best. But 48-44?
So, the question is this --- does our defense deserve such disrespect to assume a one-dimentional offense can pass deep enough to keep their running game relevant? Will UM just rush 3 all game in fear of the passing game, using nickel-back Avery and dropping Mouton in coverage all game and letting IU nickel-and-dime us all day. I don't see it.
This is the game UM opens up the blitzing from Ezeh up the middle and T. Gordon / C. Johnson from the edge. Chappell throws his first and second picks of the year. IU's run game cannot contribute enough to open up their offense. IU maxes out at 24 points and UM's offense goes 37+.
If UM beats IU 48-44 then we all need to accept a 6-6 season and the Dallas bowl... stories about a repeat of 2009 will fill our MGoBoard for weeks. Time for Wojo and clan to realize this isn't 2009. Time for the defense to make that point clear.