This Week's Obsession: Ridikuhlis

This Week's Obsession: Ridikuhlis Comment Count

Seth November 12th, 2014 at 12:05 PM

A man in my position cannot afford to be made to look ridikuhlis.

Ace: Brian and I did a segment on this week's podcast in which we each listed our top five most ridiculous games of the Hoke era. Not only were our bottom three picks entirely different, but between Twitter and the comments at least a dozen games that didn't make the cut were suggested as meriting inclusion, and... it was really hard to argue with a lot of them.

So let's try this again. List and explain your top five, perhaps mention a few dishonorable mentions, and feel free to explain your methodology—I'm intentionally leaving "ridiculous" open to interpretation.


BiSB: I just drew up a quick list of candidates. There are 16 games on that list. I HATE ALL THE THINGS.


Ace: Now remember that the very first game Hoke coached featured two Brandon Herron touchdowns and was called due to a biblical storm before the third quarter ended...

Even the wins, man. Even the wins.


[After the jump: we discuss 60% of the games under Hoke]


Unverified Voracity Triple-Points Epically

Unverified Voracity Triple-Points Epically Comment Count

Brian April 23rd, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Epic triple point. It happened.


Y'all better get over there.

Hype video. With a historical bent.


The format. The Big Ten announced the first four years of their hockey playoffs will be the single-elimination, neutral-site plan that symbolizes college hockey boldly forging a new path into… oh right, same old stuff.

At least the worst-case scenario was narrowly avoided. The tournament will only be on the far west edge of the conference half the time. The rest of the time it'll be at the Joe, or wherever the Wings happen to be playing.

It will surprise no one that I think this is kind of dumb. The Big Ten is going to get five games in one weekend when they could have set it up to get 10-15 over three. Unless these things are crazy-popular sellouts with separate tickets for each games—and they won't be—the Big Ten's taking in less revenue so they can play fewer games. But high school tournaments are a go, so there's that.

The other format. Teddy Greenstein has some bad news for fans of home games in a college football non-playoff event:

So what is most likely to happen?
Sorry, Big Ten fans, but Delany's "home game" model is on life support. It makes sense in that it would boost the regular season by rewarding the top two in the rankings. And it would eliminate the sham of another LSU-Ohio State national title game in the "neutral" setting of New Orleans.

So what's the problem?
Aside from SEC teams not wanting to play in Ann Arbor or Columbus in late December, it's logistics. Many schools won't have the infrastructure then because they're on holiday break. Stadium size would be an issue with schools such as Cincinnati (35,100), TCU (50,000) and Oregon (53,800). If there's a playoff, officials will want to maximize revenue by selling hospitality and luxury suites. And, besides, most fans love going to bowl games in places like New Orleans and Glendale, Ariz. Delany cited the comfort of the fans when he helped choose a neutral site (Indianapolis) for the Big Ten title game.

"Logistics" is of course a laughable excuse, as is citing Cincinnati's stadium size as a hurdle. Cincinnati? Seriously? But Greenstein is forced to repeat what people tell him, so that's what people are telling him. Woo back to back travel weeks making it even dumber for Big Ten teams.

Crack down. TOC picture-pages one of Michigan State's many, many successful outside overload run plays from last year's game. The motion guy at top of your screen…


…isn't even needed by the end of the play:


As they say in showbusiness, if you want daddy to stop drinking, stop doing that. The first step in doing that is getting those linebackers shifted over to the strength of the formation. Here Hawthorne (near) gets clubbed and Demens (far) has no shot.

More detail at TOC; dealing with these outside runs is priority #2 for Michigan this year. #1 is, of course, not letting two linebackers fly up the middle of the field untouched on 10 snaps.

The AAU deluge begins. In terms of recruiting service rankings, the next three or four months will be more important than any others for Michigan's three 2013 basketball commits, The summer before your senior year is when the pencil of early rankings turns quickly to pen. One of those weird erasable pens, but pen.

MI PG Derrick Walton is off to a good start in Las Vegas. Rivals's Eric Bossi:

Michigan has itself another nice point guard on the way in Derrick Walton. The four star point guard runs his team and has a burst off the dribble that allows him to get into the lane and make plays with regularity. He's also a communicator, plays hard and will ultimately be a very good replacement/complement to Trey Burke.

Dave Telep also chimed in with some Walton praise, adding a similar "no Burke, no problem" view.

As for Donnal, he is also playing at a high level:

Michigan has got themselves a good one in Mark Donnal. The 6-foot-9 big man is a smart and productive player who has a serious competitive streak in him. His footwork is outstanding and he’s a good athlete who can finish through contact.

Scout's Evan Daniels called him "physical and talented" and "much improved" on the twitter. Athleticism is the issue that might keep him from flying up recruiting rankings; in any case he'll be a great fit with Beilein.

Zak Irvin is at the Nike Spring Showdown, where he led his team to a 6-0 record:

The intensity level of play increased when bracket play began on Sunday and Irvin’s play rose to the occasion. He struggled shooting the ball in his first Sunday game, but found other ways to make an impact. He commanded the ball, frequently playing point guard, and he sparked a crucial run by facilitating and getting his teammates easy baskets. With his team facing its only adversity of the tournament against Team D-Rose, Irvin became a better vocal leader. He displayed a calm demeanor and elevated his game as the moment grew.

He didn’t take long to get over his poor shooting performance, scoring a game-high 25 points, leading his team to a one-point overtime victory over the Illinois Wolves later in playoff action. He caught fire and was scoring in a variety of ways – establishing himself as the best player on the floor and everyone in attendance took notice.

Michigan is poking around numerous guys for the 2013 and 2014 classes; UMHoops has the details. Sam Webb has recently mentioned that Michigan continues to look for a grad-year transfer who will be eligible this fall, but no names yet except a guy who decided to stick at Xavier. There is a four year 2012 guy on the radar, though…

imagePossibly not done yet. As broken by Sam Webb($), Michigan is looking at OHIO(!!!) decommit Caris Levert, a rail-thin 6'5" shooting guard who opened up his recruitment in the wake of John Groce's move to Illinios. Levert appears to have had a monster senior year and has multiple Big Ten schools after him now, including Groce's new home at Illinois, Iowa, Purdue, and of course Michigan. Dayton is also in the running.

He saved his best performance for the state playoffs, getting top billing($) in ESPN author John Stovall's evaluation:

Caris Levert (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington Central)
2012, SG, 6-5, 185 pounds
College: Ohio

He is one of the most improved players in Ohio. He was a 5-9 guard as a freshman and has continued to grow physically and from a talent standpoint. Caris is very good off the dribble, has the ability to create his own shot and has a chance to be a special talent at the next level if he continues to improve.

He was named the JJHuddle player of the year, an award with a damn good track record:

JJHuddle Ohio Player of the Year

Caris Levert (6’4.5/Sr.)- Pickerington Central

*Levert led Pickerington Central to the school’s first boy’s basketball state championship with a 45-40 win over Toledo Whitmer in the Division I title tilt. Levert scored 20 of his team's 45 points in the championship game including 11-straight in a pivotal third period and playing all 32 minutes. The Ohio University commit averaged nearly 19 points per game throughout his outstanding senior campaign. Coming into the year, Levert may not have been a household name, but his name is in the mind’s of many following this past tournament run along with a more than stellar regular season. Levert became the type of player capable of getting a bucket whenever the Tigers needed one. There were less than a handful of players in Ohio capable of doing so and the lengthy bundle of talent was at his best in big games. Levert shot slightly over 53 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from three-point range along grabbing 3.4 rebounds and swiping 3.4 steals per contest.

JJHuddle Players of the Year
2012: Caris Levert, Pickerington Central (Ohio)
2011: Trey Burke, Northland (Michigan)
2010: Jared Sullinger, Northland (Ohio State)
2009: Jared Sullinger, Northland (Ohio State)
2008: William Buford, Toledo Libbey (Ohio State) & B.J. Mullens, Canal Winchester (Ohio State/Charlotte Bobcats)
2007: Jon Diebler, Upper Sandusky (Ohio State)

While it's not a great year for Ohio talent—the only OH players in the Rivals 150 are UL commit Terry Rozier (#80) and MSU commit Kenny Kaminski (#113)—he sounds legit. Ohio does have a top 50 junior in OSU commit Marc Loving who Levert beat out.

No idea where he's leaning yet. He is a teammate of Taco Charlton, so Michigan will have a guy in his ear. Obviously they like Levert quite a bit more than new OSU commit Amedeo Della Valle; hopefully Michigan's sudden cancellation of his trip indicates they've got the inside track here. UMHoops has a bit more on Lavert's game plus some 2013 and 2014 notes.

We named the dog Indiana. Nick Baumgardner reveals the source of Spike Albrecht's odd nickname:

"I've been watching Zack Novak play since the first grade," Albrecht recalls. "He was tough back then, too."

No longer a first grader, and no longer the little kid whose obsession with constantly wearing baseball cleats earned him the nickname "Spike," the undersized Indiana-born point guard is ready to do whatever it takes to make an impact in Ann Arbor.

Just like Novak.

Wait… um… math. If Spike Albrecht is currently in fifth grade I think we've got ourselves a steal here.

Transfer restrictions. Michigan has responded to a couple of erroneous assertions that Beilein's restrictions on Evan Smotrycz's transfer were similar to Bo Ryan's:

The spokesman said that when a player opts to transfer from Michigan -- as Smotrycz, Carlton Brundidge and Colton Christian did last month -- it's Beilein's preference that the player not choose a Big Ten school or a program that Michigan has on its schedule over the next two years.

That's his preference.

However, it's not a policy, the spokesman said. And it's not a hard and fast rule.

The spokesman said that should a situation arise where a transfer student shows a strong desire to attend a school Michigan has scheduled down the road, then Beilein would be open to having a discussion about the situation, and would not be absolutely opposed to allowing the transfer to occur before the discussion took place.

Meanwhile, the Big Ten transfer rule has changed. Previously, you could not be on scholarship at all. Now you can, but you lose the year of eligibility you would otherwise retain by not playing. The upshot is anyone who hasn't redshirted has a powerful incentive to transfer out of the conference, but anyone who has may as well go to Purdue or wherever because it doesn't make a difference.

It will still be extremely difficult to get a release to a conference school unless Lloyd Carr thinks you belong at OSU, though. That's one restriction I don't have a problem with. If transferring player X can't find a suitable home outside of his current conference that's more on him than on anyone else.

Etc.: A Lion Eye takes stock of where the Illini sit going into fall in a two-parter considering offense and defense. Offense might have some issues at tackle, where two redshirt sophomores are backed up by redshirt freshman, and running back. Defense seems sunny in places that aren't the secondary. Brandon "hopeful" that band will make it to Dallas, undoubtedly with someone else's money. Andy Staples with this year's edition of "recruiting rankings are valid."

Mike Martin bombs the GERGfense as "backyard defense" and says that Bruce Tall didn't know anything about coaching defensive line. Let's all have arguments about RR again!


Opponent Recap: Michigan State

Opponent Recap: Michigan State Comment Count

Heiko February 2nd, 2012 at 5:23 PM

Michigan State


  • Youngstown State, 28-6 (W)
  • Florida Atlantic, 44-0 (W)
  • @ Notre Dame, 13-31 (L)
  • Central Michigan, 45-7 (W)
  • @ Ohio State, 10-7 (W)
  • No. 11 Michigan, 28-14 (W)
  • No. 6 Wisconsin, 37-31 (W)
  • @ No. 14 Nebraska, 3-24 (L)
  • Minnesota, 31-24 (W)
  • @ Iowa, 37-21 (W)
  • Indiana, 55-3 (W)
  • @ Northwestern, 31-17 (W)
  • No. 15 Wisconsin, 39-42 (L), B1G Championship Game
  • No. 16 Georgia, 33-30 Triple-OT (W), Outback Bowl

Record: 11-3 overall, 7-1(7-2) B1G, 1st place Bro Division


  Offense Defense
Rush: 137.9 ypg, 78th 100.5 ypg, 9th
Pass: 252.5 ypg, 41st 176.9 ypg, 11th
Total: 390.4 ypg, 56th 277.4 ypg, 6th
Scoring: 31.0 ppg, 37th 18.4 ppg, 11th
T/O margin: +7, 25th

Recap: Michigan State wandered through their first two games unremarkably before heading down to South Bend, where they got dismantled by Notre Dame. They rebounded to blow out Central Michigan but struggled in their win over Ohio State in one of the worst games of the season.

(more after the jump)


Opponent Watch: Week 12

Opponent Watch: Week 12 Comment Count

Heiko November 23rd, 2011 at 11:32 AM

(Wait. Which one is Michigan playing again?)

About Last Weekend:

No. 16 Nebraska 17, No. 18 Michigan 45 (W)

"Guess why I smile a lot."


"Uh, 'cause it's worth it."


The Road Ahead:

Ohio State (6-5, 3-4 B1G)

Getty / via the Huffington Post


  • Akron, 42-0 (W)
  • Toledo, 27-22 (W)
  • @ Miami, 24-6 (L)
  • Colorado, 37-17 (W)
  • Michigan State, 10-7 (L)
  • @ No. 14 Nebraska, 34-27 (L)
  • @ No. 16 Illinois, 17-7 (W)
  • No. 15 Wisconsin, 33-29 (W)
  • Indiana, 34-20
  • @ Purdue 26-23 OT (LOL)

Last game: No. 21 Penn State 20, Ohio State 14 (L)

Recap: Recap. Have to do a recap. Last recap. Gotta finish by the end of Tuesday. Tuesday's over. Damn. Gotta finish by Wednesday. One-day-late Championship recap. Okay.

... Ohio State fell into a hole early. Penn State RB Stephfon Green took a run up the middle, evaded some tackles, and sprinted 39 yards for a touchdown. 7-0 Nittany Lions.

The ensuing Buckeyes drive stalled because Ohio State C Mike Brewster snapped the ball into his ass while QB Braxton Miller was in shotgun formation. (I think this is when this particular bad snap happened. Bad snaps happened many times throughout this game. I think Brewster ended up blaming it on his gloves.)

Penn State drove and got a field goal, miring the Buckeyes in their third 10-0 deficit in as many weeks.

Ohio State wasn’t dead, though. Not yet. Miller ran the option to good effect and scored on a 24-yard keeper; most of the Buckeyes’ large chunks on the ground came from his option keepers, which is to say he kept the ball every time. He and Denard are both members of the “never pitch” movement.

That’s not anything relevant, but I google imaged “option keeper” and it’s what I got.

Also, WR DeVier Posey returned from suspension. He didn’t make a huge impact (4 catches, 66 yards), but he was pretty much the entire passing offense, and he did do this.

All of this game’s points were scored in the first half before the allure of B1G football got the better of both teams. Penn State scored another touchdown and field goal in the first half but failed to convert on a redzone opportunity in the second half when Ohio State turned the ball over on a fumble.

On that possession, the Buckeyes defense mounted an impressive goal-line stand to keep the Nittany Lions out of the end zone.

The second Buckeye touchdown came in the second quarter when Braxton Miller found TE Jake Stoneburner on a deep crossing route in the end zone. It was an impressive throw. Something tells me that he might eventually be pretty good when he’s given a real offense to work with.

You probably know the rest. Ohio State drove ferociously for a Hail Mary opportunity in the final minutes, but the first fourth-down conversion fell short when a Miller scramble, set back by a false-start penalty, fell short of the first down marker. The second attempt after a quick Penn State three-and-out fell incomplete because Penn State actually knows how to cover receivers. Unlike you, Wisconsin. For shame.

Right now they are as frightening as: Voldemort down to his last Horcrux.

Michigan should worry about: When you look at Miller’s highlight reel, the thing that stands out is that he scrambles effectively to buy time for his receivers to get open. He keeps his eyes downfield, and his instincts are usually good when it comes to finally tucking and running. A lot of his game-winning or almost-game-winning touchdowns came when he danced around in the backfield for some length before finding his target.

To get to him, Michigan’s secondary will need to stay on receivers for a lot longer than they’re used to, and D-line discpline will be essential. If he’s able to break through the containment, Miller will make plays.

Michigan can sleep soundly about: The Nittany Lions rushed for 239 yards on not that many carries. Their running backs consistently found enormous holes in the Buckeyes defensive line and frequently had to be tracked down from behind by linebackers. It looked like Ohio State’s defensive line was caught in pass rush mode at the wrong times -- the ends were way overcommitted, allowing the backs to run right by them.

Next game: No. 15 That School Up North 

(more after the jump)


Opponent Watch: Week 11

Opponent Watch: Week 11 Comment Count

Heiko November 15th, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Finally, a post on Tuesday. November is championship football, and championship football requires championship opponent watching.

(Fear scale: 0 = Bye week; 1 = If Michigan loses to this team Lloyd Carr will announce his retirement a second time; 5 = Illinois any given year; 8 = Best in B1G, which may or may not actually be any good; 9 = National title contender somewhere in the SEC; 10 = Hold me, Ace)

About Last Saturday:

No. 24 Michigan 31, Illinois 14 (W)


The Road Ahead:

No. 19 Nebraska (8-2, 4-2 B1G)

David Swanson / Philadelphia Inquirer


  • Chattanooga, 40-7 (W)
  • Fresno State, 42-29 (W)
  • Washington, 51-38 (W)
  • @ Wyoming, 38-14 (W)
  • @ No. 7 Wisconsin, 48-17 (L)
  • Ohio State, 34-27 (W)
  • @ Minnesota, 41-14 (W)
  • No. 11 Michigan State, 24-3 (W)
  • Northwestern, 28-25 (L)

Last game: Nebraska 17, No. 12 Penn State 14 (W)

Recap: Nebraska shrugged off last week’s upset loss to Northwestern as well as the national scandal that has been monopolizing headlines to win a football game on the road.

Their rush offense steadily churned out a 17-0 lead midway through the third quarter before Penn State finally put together a cohesive touchdown drive. A Rex Burkhead (25 carries, 121 yards, 1 TD) fumble at the beginning of the fourth quarter gave the Nittany Lions a short field, so with the help of some trickery, Penn State was able to find the endzone again to cut the lead to 17-14.

That’s when the Huskers defensive front, led by LB Lavonte David, who had been quiet for most of the game, stiffened. Three times they stuffed Lions running backs for no gain on short yardage. 2nd and 1 turned into 3rd and 1 turned into 4th and 1, which ultimately led to a turnover on downs.

Miraculously, the Penn State defense was able to force a Nebraska four and out to get the ball back with 49 seconds remaining, but Nittany Lions QB Matt McGloin (16/34, 193 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs) had trouble finding receivers on the desperation drive, and his last pass under pressure fell incomplete.

Huskers QB Taylor Martinez had a pedestrian day, completing 13 of 26 passes for 143 yards and no TDs or INTs. He was also limited on the ground, carrying the ball 19 times for just 56 yards -- only one of those carries was a sack. He did manage the game well, however, and the offensive play of the game was his last-second option pitch to Rex Burkhead that went for a touchdown.

Right now they are as frightening as: The mounting sense of unknowing you get as you stare down the betting lines this week. 7.

Michigan should worry about: Option offense, which is something Michigan doesn’t really know if it can stop. Northwestern ran it successfully but then outsmarted themselves by abandoning it in the second half. Illlinois used it in limited quantities, and while Michigan stifled the hand-offs, the Scheelhaase keepers were effective and therefore worrisome.

Michigan can sleep soundly about: Numerous reports indicate that Nebraska’s offensive line is about as deep as Michigan’s, i.e. drowning is a hazard only for the very young or the very intoxicated. The Wolverines D-line play has been steadily improving since the bye week, so that matchup looks to be favorable.

Additionally, if you’ve ever watched Martinez throw … eesh. Imagine Denard passing, but instead of an arm he has a chicken wing. Expect to see Jordan Kovacs nuzzling the line of scrimmage frequently.

DE Jared Crick has been out with a torn pectoral muscle, so Mark Huyge at least can sleep a little better.

When Michigan plays them: Both teams are going to try to make each other take to the air, at which point it’s anyone’s guess.

Martinez thrives on the kind of passing game that made Denard a 2500+ yard passer last year -- as teams choke up on the run game, receivers find themselves wandering alone in areas of the field large enough to raise a horse. Michigan’s safeties have done a good job of not blowing these sorts of assignments or getting beat deep so far, but again, they haven’t been tested by a true option offense where the whole point is to get safeties to bite on play-action. Worry if the Wolverines can’t stop the Burkhead-Martinez tandem early.

As far as Michigan’s passing game goes, jump balls are probably not such a great idea. Nebraska boasts one of the B1G’s best cover corners in Alfonso Dennard, and the guy playing opposite him is not so bad either. The Wolverines’ passing game does seem to be more sophisticated than the Huskers’ and relies less on establishing the run game, so there’s that.

Ultimately, I wouldn’t be surprised to see both teams combine for six turnovers.

Next game: at No. 18 Michigan

(more after the jump)


Michigan Museday: Playing Devin's Advocate

Michigan Museday: Playing Devin's Advocate Comment Count

Seth October 25th, 2011 at 2:40 PM

From presser
"There are three stages in an actor's career: Who is John Amos? Get me John Amos. Get me a young John Amos." –John Amos | Photo: John T. Greilick, Detroit News 

He's listed at 6'4" and 205 lbs. In his career so far – about 50 snaps – he's thrown 24 passes and completed 14 (58.3%) for 186 yards and 1 TD. He's also rushed for 56 yards (96 forward, 40 backwards) and 2 scores. He kinda  looks like a young version of that guy who played Admiral Fitzwallace on the West Wing.*

john-amosFor the last three games Hoke has been working Devin Gardner into the offense more often, either with the "Fritz" formation, the Denard Jet, or in some practiced Gardner-specific packages. How much of a 'rotation' this is can be overstated. Before Marcus Rush's flagrant roughing the passer knocked out Denard on Michigan's last drive I counted 67 snaps, of which 5 were Gardner's alone, 6 used both QBs, and 56 were just Denard. That's about a 90-10 split.

This is an attempt to discuss some prevailing theories as to why Devin is taking away a tenth of snaps from a Davey O'Brien award semifinalist.


* DYK: John Amos played ball for Colorado State back in the day.



The inevitable result of Denard's 2011 regression has been leagues of old blues who see Devin Gardner's hype and strapping physique and decide that anyone who looks more like a Scot Loeffler acolyte must be able to complete more than 30 percent of his passes in a trash tornado. They would be correct on the last bit; 3 for 7 is 43 percent. He also had a play so freshman-y against MSU it got through the entire first stanza of Yakety Sax:

The old men say things like "he's a better fit for Borges' offense," because the columnists they read break down all offenses into Manballicans and Spreadocrats, Borges being of the former (never mind that he's run a different offense at every stop). Their ranks are swelled by the same "Put in Henson" effect that has made 2nd string QBs and goalies so beloved wherever starters are struggling.

But there is evidence that Gardner is a more accurate passer than Robinson, not from the games but because his coaches say that. Hoke at the post-MSU presser:

Can you talk about philosophy of alternating Devin and Denard? “Yeah, we thought we may do some of that, and part of what pushed it over a little more was that it was a windy day, and I think Devin at times can throw the ball a little more accurately.”

So if we take the politics out and pare this theory down to "Gardner is more accurate," that accounts for two plays last week. One was when Denard overthrew Hemingway down the sideline in the 2nd quarter and was yanked for Gardner. Gardner immediately missed a wide open Hopkins for a 50-yard score. Later on they brought in Devin for an important 3rd and 11 early in the 4th quarter; Gardner fumbled the snap.



By recruiting metrics, Gardner is the most talented offensive player on Michigan's team. He was the No. 1 ranked dual-threat QB in 2010 to everybody but ESPN (Bolden), a 5-star to Scout, and the 5th ranked QB to pretty much everyone. Everyone who has a believable opinion about scouting says Devin has every type of it. DEVIN-GARDNER-1-thumb-280x494-51461After a year and change in the program, is there any way we can get some of that it on the field without giving up the rainbows and love and liquid happy of Denards?

Borges after debuting the Fritz:

We talked about it a little bit and after spring football it became apparent Devin was a skilled kid, we just tried to figure out a way we could use him. It’s hard, without literally giving quarterbacks series, and I know they did that here in the past, I’m just not a fan of breaking the starting quarterback’s rhythm by taking him out for another guy.

Game theorists and bloggers love this explanation. Technically they're replacing a receiver so the talent tradeoff is Roundtree for Devin. But if you're already overreacting to Denard and then you have to deal with Devin's legs on the other side, and Devin's arm, and oh yeah there's a running back who can go up the middle or option or (Gotchya!) pass it, you can see how opposing DC's can end up with disorders.

Last week this was very effective. The Denard Jet play netted two first downs that were both a shoestring tackle away from breaking big, and two well-defended fake jets that Gardner dumped off for 4 yards on 1st down, and a ran for 3 yards that should have been 8 if Devin hadn't missed his hole.


 DENARD-293x225 Robinson_injury-thumb-250x406-55538 DENARD-ROBINSON-HURT-thumb-305x291-57984

Molk(+.5) and Schofield block down, Robinson(+1) finds a small hole and squirts into the secondary for 7 yards, where two linebackers and a safety converge. Denard gets up holding his hand.

The thinking goes, the more you play Denard, the more banged up he gets and thus the worse his performance. Talk during the offseason was all about limiting Robinson's carries. One way to reduce wear is to have him pass more, but his passing this year—scheme is part of it, inaccuracy is most of it—makes that untenable as his 2009-y performance against MSU shows:


This is rushing and passing together, with baby seals and EMUs excised. I was looking for some evidence that Denard's effectiveness goes down the deeper into a year you get but it doesn't show that. What it does show is Denard is less effective against better defenses (duh moment) and that he was very much Freshman Denard against MSU. It was also his passing-iest game yet.

Another way to keep miles off the Robinsonmobile is to drive the Gardner more. The tradeoff is that the best part of this offense is Denard's legs and that defenses have to overreact to that whenever Denard's legs are in the game.

Thus the Fritz and Denard Jet packages, which so far have gotten Denard hit about a third of the time but have Denard's legs as a threat 100% of the time.


2010 v Illinois 2010 v Iowa
Ariel Bond|Daily / Lon Horwedel|

One of the reasons advanced stats loved Michigan's offense last year is we put up way above average yards against Illinois and Iowa, two statistically good defenses. Those also happen to be Tate Forcier's two extended appearances not in garbage time.

Tate had 597 yards on 84 passing attempts last year, all but 13 of those passes against real Big Ten defenses when filling in for a dinged Denard. With him gone and most of the Big Ten season ahead, this job falls to Devin Gardner. It might be a good idea to come up with a few plays he can do well and get those snaps logged. We've got that. In the Monday presser Hoke elaborated a little bit on the devin vs BGjust-Devin package:

When you put Devin in the game, is there a purpose to that? “There’s three plays that we like Devin to run. One was the touchdown that he had against Northwestern -- that boot. And there’s another boot in there that we really wanted him to be a part of besides the combination of them both in there.”

More of this after NW from Borges:

Does it help to have Devin play a couple snaps when Denard was out from a coaching standpoint and from his standpoint? “Oh yeah, absolutely. Because Devin’s a highly skilled kid. He is. When he can go in the game and score a touchdown, really not make any tactical or technical errors, he gains confidence, and we gain confidence in his ability to do it.

Experience is needed. We had a preview of Devin in relief at the end of the MSU game and Gardner twice tried to throw the ball past the L.O.S. (the one above and the TD pass called back). That is an experience problem, and highlights the main reason, in my opinion, for getting Devin snaps: having a backup ready if/when Denard gets his dings. The experience thing is a double edged sword since it seems Robinson needs the experience snaps in this offense just as much as his backup.

In a perfect world Michigan would have an extra 15 snaps per game per quarterback we can throw away to learning. As it is that opportunity has come once this year, against Minnesota. The rest of the way, I figure the coaches will be looking for opportunities to give Devin a few more looks here and there. If he's replacing Denard more than 1 play in 10, it's because the dings have already come.


Unverified Voracity Is Small, Moody

Unverified Voracity Is Small, Moody Comment Count

Brian October 21st, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Welcome your semi-regular five-PM-on-a-Friday tab-machete C&P job. First, Stuffing the Passer:

Ron Paul makes an appearance. Why is this not a weekly feature at halftime on NBC I will never know.

Saving our bacon (not that Bacon). The Daily deploys the massive profile machine on Shawn Hunwick:


STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. — Inside the home of Rich and Robin Hunwick, tickets from the Big Chill at the Big House and Michigan jerseys line the living room walls, set alongside childhood snapshots of their two boys, Matt and Shawn.

Tucked away in the corner of the room is a picture of Shawn, no older than seven, posing in a goalie squat in the net, his equipment swallowing his small frame.

Nothing about this picture is striking. Just a relic from a picture day many years ago.

As per usual, the result here is better than anything the local papers are putting out.

Spite for justice. The Dispatch writes up a piece on high school uniforms in Ohio with a cool story bro from back in the day:

Eastmoor Academy’s uniforms, featuring a blue and white winged helmet and players’ names on the jerseys, are among the most striking in central Ohio. Others, including Watkins Memorial, have borrowed the winged-helmet theme associated with Michigan.

The story associated with Eastmoor’s helmets is legendary. Hall of Famer Bob Stuart, who coached there from 1956-84, was incensed because Ohio State didn’t recruit Warriors linebacker Mike Boren — father to recent Ohio State players Justin and Zach — in 1979, so he introduced the winged helmets the following season.

“It’s a true story; I wanted to stick it to Ohio State for that,” Stuart said. “Plus, I had always admired Bo (Schembechler) and I thought those helmets were unique. We introduced them, the kids seemed to like them and they stuck. And, by the way, I never heard anything from coach (Earle) Bruce.”

No God Please No. Holdin' The Rope sneers at your QB controversy meme, internet:

Not only did Devin just look like a guy who shouldn't be playing right now, from the fumbled snap to the touchdown pass launched from three yards past the line of scrimmage, to the 4th and forever in which he scrambled forever, crossed the LOS, and eventually circled back with what looked like an intention to throw the ball. If I wasn't drinking a cocktail fashioned from the always zesty ingredients of depression, frustration, and anger at the time, I probably would've laughed.

Of course, the argument for Devin is that he's got a stronger, more accurate arm and just generally looks the part of what Michigan quarterbacks once were and ostensibly will be once Denard graduates. Unfortunately, he wasn't really appreciably better than Denard in the passing department (certainly not in a manner that would make Hoke unseat Denard because of Devin's aforementioned strengths). He missed painfully open receivers--guys so open hand-wavingly open that they could have been castaways waving at a rescue plane up above--and wasn't exactly accurate, in addition to the aforementioned Yakety Sax shenanigans.

Be who you are you square-jawed thug-enabling bible-thumping hypocrite who smells like cabbage. Hoover Street Rag on the Gholston business:

Michigan State's current national identity, as much as they have one in football, is built around essentially "Sparty, no!"  That's not just with Michigan fans, when Rece Davis says it on College Football Final, you have an identity crisis.  You will not embrace the Little Brother standard, and that's probably wise, because no one wins with that.  But pure evil, goatee wearing evil, yes, that is what Michigan State football could be.


Think about it, think about all of the time you could save.  You wouldn't need to feign sportsmanship at press conferences, you could just come out and say that your players played sixty minutes of unnecessary roughness and you were lucky you didn't get caughtYour players could come right out and say that the game was played dirty. You wouldn't need to ignore the actions of your team off the field and you could immediately allow players who had served jail time back on to your team without any kind of punishmentYou wouldn't need to spend days on internal reviews of a punch by one of your players caught on camera. It would just be who you are.  You could be like the Raiders of the Big Ten.

Disagreement. Touch The Banner says Martin should have shut down the play picture-paged late yesterday:

The defensive line can do much more.  First and foremost, Mike Martin can make the tackle.  The star defensive tackle that people seem afraid to criticize is the first person who makes a mistake here.  He's responsible for the playside A gap but refuses to get off the center's block.  If Martin gets off the block quicker and wraps up Edwin Baker, the play gets made for a loss or a minimal gain.

It's true that middle linebacker Kenny Demens doesn't do a great job on the play.  In my opinion, he should be attacking the offensive guard's outside shoulder, thus maintaining B gap responsibility.  Instead, he takes the guard on head up and then gets stalemated.  If he takes on that guard with his inside shoulder, the WILL (Brandin Hawthorne) is screaming downhill and will tackle Baker for about a 1-yard gain.  (With the way Hawthorne reacts, it looks to me that he's just flowing to the ball and that the free safety is responsible for supporting the weakside A gap.)

The Demens stuff I agree with—he got hit with a minus two on that play. The Martin stuff I don't know about. He doesn't make the TFL by himself with a blocker on him but he does force the back into an awkward, difficult cut that should expose him to linebacker play. It's not the best play in the world but it seems like a positive. Also, I gave Martin a –1 for the last game. It's not about being afraid to criticize a guy.

Magnus goes on to complain about my complaining about MSU LBs reading the play faster than Michigan LBs because they are not concerned about Denard throwing the ball, which okay. But Demens has a guy releasing into him downfield and does not understand the structure of the play and thus spills it. That's reading as well. MSU LBs scrape to the POA much better than Michigan has—how many times have I complained about one or the other MLB not reading a pulling OL and arriving late to the hole? Lots. These guys have had trouble diagnosing jets sweeps and triple options by offenses run by Alex Gillett and Kain Colter. The threat of play action is not a problem there.

Etc.: Adam Jacobi truthbombs Dantonio. Answer This, the Ann Arbor-themed bar quiz romantic comedy featuring Ralph Williams as the protagonist's enormous-handed father, is having a special screening at the Michigan Theater Sunday.


Upon Further Review 2011: Offense vs Michigan State

Upon Further Review 2011: Offense vs Michigan State Comment Count

Brian October 21st, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Formation notes: Nothing new save the Denard Jet formation moving back to shotgun.

Substitution notes: Almost all Smith at RB, with cameos from Toussaint and Hopkins playing FB when one was needed, whether that was out of the I or in a two-back shotgun set. No Barnum; Mealer came in for Lewan after Gholston judo chopped him off the field for a couple plays.

You know about the QB rotation; WRs were the usual.

Argh? Argh.

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun twins twin TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Pass PA Flat Hemingway 5 (Pen +5)
They are running curl/flat here but Robinson doesn't have time to let the corner truly pick one as the LBs are flying up hard into gaps into the line. This would be wide open for nice yardage if it was a slant. As it is the zoning corner doesn't drop back far enough to give up the edge and can come up to tackle. Pickleman offsides anyway. (CA, 3, protection N/A)
M25 1 5 I-form 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass Throwback screen Gallon 1
MSU shows man as Gallon motions across the formation. Michigan runs an iso fake that sucks in the backside LB, who's blitzing, and Denard runs the throwback. Lewan(-2) whiffs on the corner and Schofield was late getting out because of traffic; two guys converge for no gain. (CA, 3, screen) RUN-: Lewan(2)
M26 2 4 Shotgun jet 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Jet QB power Gardner 5
Jet fake pulls a safety down and forces the other guy to go one-high. Michigan pulls to the backside; Koger(+0.5) kicks out Gholston as Lewan(+1) and Huyge(+0.5) club Worthy to the ground. Smith leads into the WLB as Omameh pulls around into... also the WLB(-2). MLB is sitting unblocked in a big hole; Gardner(+1) hops outside and gets the edge thanks to Hemingway(+1) sustaining a block downfield. RPS+1; if Omameh makes a block on the MLB this could be a big chunk.
RUN+: Koger(0.5), Huyge(0.5), Lewan, Hemingway, Gardner RUN-: Omameh(2)
M31 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read dive Smith 9
Just the basic zone read. Worthy fights outside and upfield of Huyge(+0.5), which is not what you're supposed to do. Because of that there's a big cutback Smith(+1) hits; it also looks like Michigan might have creased the frontside but why risk it. Smith cuts back; Omameh(+1) gets a pop on the MLB and Smith gets to the safeties.
RUN+: Smith(0.5), Huyge(0.5), Omameh RUN-:
M40 2 1 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read dive Smith 26
Double A gap blitz on which they time the snap based on Molk's head motion. Molk(-1) goes down, comes back up, and immediately snaps so he has no concept of the blitz and moves out on a DT, which lets a LB right through. Denard is looking at a containing DE so hands off. Smith(+1) breaks the tackle from the over-aggressive WLB; Lewan(+2) gets a great seal on Worthy, and Schofield(+1) kicks the MLB. Once Smith is past the line there isn't anyone on the second level and he grabs a big gain. Koger(+1) adjusted to kick a DB once he noticed there isn't anyone on the second level. RPS -1. Picture paged.
RUN+: Lewan(2), Smith(2), Schofield, Koger RUN-: Molk(2)
O34 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA TE seam Koger Inc (Pen +5)
Not so aggressive is the WLB this time; he drops into coverage as Koger tries to release. Robinson has the slot guy wide open and isn't pressured as he releases the ball but he still goes to the covered guy; I guess he might have to get this out fast because linemen are getting downfield on their blocks. Still, pass to covered guy instead of open guy. (BR, 0, protection N/A) LB interferes and is flagged. This is the Lewan-Gholston judo chop play, which is not flagged.
O29 1 10 Shotgun twins twin TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run QB power Robinson 0
Mealer in at RT as Huyge flips. They run at him. Weird. He loses his down block(-2) to a spin move and that guy gets in the hole; Schofield comes up to hit him but there's nowhere to go. Robinson tries to cut back, at which point Koger also gets his block spun through; wasn't going anywhere anyway. RUN-: Mealer(2), Koger
O29 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA Flat Hemingway 9
Same play as the first one; this time Michigan gets a man coverage look so when Hemingway breaks for the flat there is no one to hit him on the catch. He turns it up for some YAC. This was wobbly and upfield because the DE got a fingertip on it. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O20 3 1 Maryland I 2 3 0 Base 4-3 Penalty Delay -- -5
This play never happened but they got most of the way through it before they whistled it dead, so you could see that it was a power counter to the iso look NW blew up that would have worked, possibly for a touchdown, thanks in large part to Koger annihilating Gholston on the edge; dude got pancaked. The linebackers were gone and Toussaint would have been one on one with a safety for six. Oh well. RPS +1? Sure.
O25 3 6 Shotgun 2back TE 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Speed option Smith 3
WLB overhanging on the weak side. Michigan goes option and gets the playside sealed except Omameh(-1) getting out late from his block, allowing the MLB to flow unimpeded. Robinson cuts upfield of the overhang guy, has to pitch when the MLB comes up, and Smith is not fast enough to get the edge.
RUN+: Molk, Huyge RUN-: Omameh, Schofield(0.5)
O22 4 3 Field goal - - - Field goal Run Fake FG Dileo 3
This is actually a pass. It's not wide open so Dileo quickly decides to hit it up, just picking up the first. I'm not going to grade this for obvious reasons.
O19 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Pitch sweep Toussaint 4
Koger standing up a little outside the tackle. MSU brings the corner down; Roundtree points him out but I don't think Denard sees him. Michigan motions in Hemingway; the FB is offset to the strongside, this screams outside run, they run outside. Lewan(+1) seals Worthy. Koger(-0.5) does a mediocre job on the DE, eventually getting a crease but giving ground and heading outside, delaying the point at which Toussaint can hit it up. Hemingway(+1) takes out the playside LB; Hopkins gets a push on the edge guy; MLB scrapes from the interior to tackle. No one on him; Schofield(-0.5) was leading through and ran through to the safety instead of peeling.
RUN+: Lewan, Hemingway RUN-: Koger(0.5), Schofield(0.5)
O15 2 6 I-Form Big 2 2 1 Base 4-3 Pass Scramble Robinson 15
Surprise, except no not surprise. Two man route, one of them Hopkins, both covered. Molk(-2) thinks he has help behind him, which he does not because of an MSU corner blitz, and lets a DT through to pressure Robinson. Molk manages to recover to shove the guy past after he reaches out to tackle, and then Robinson's scrambling around and doing his Robinson thing. (SCR, N/A, protection 0/2, Molk)
RUN+: Robinson(3) RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-0, 8 min 1st Q. Goodbye offense.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M37 1 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Sprint counter Smith -2
Man... WTF. Lewan(-2) lets DE inside of him on the playside and Molk(-2) lets the WLB upfield of him without getting a hat on him. That's inexplicably bad play from our best two OL. Schofield is pulling around and shoves Rush, allowing Smith the cutback that isn't there because of Molk's screwup. Line opened up big time on this and Michigan just didn't block it. RUN-: Molk(2), Lewan(2)
M35 2 12 Shotgun 2back TE 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout out Gardner Inc
Gardner, in, play fake, rollout, pulling Schofield gets a block and the pocket is decent but everyone deep is covered in man; Gardner throws to Odoms anyway and it's broken up. Insert usual rant about rolling away half the field here. The checkdown to Hopkins was there for at least a few and possibly a rumble up the sideline. Everyone's Rex Grossman. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
M34 3 12 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Okie press Pass Post Roundtree Inc
Another half roll doesn't get anyone open quickly and finds pressure from the backside; Robinson has to step up and chucks a bomb to Roundtree. Roundtree has a step but the pass isn't anywhere near him. (IN, 0, protection ½, team -1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 4 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M6 1 10 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Hemingway 29
With an interior blitz two of the three guys to this side of the field are open. This does not include Hemingway. LB jumps the route and is headed for a pick six; Denard throws it high and it's over his hand and caught. Hemingway picks up a big chunk of YAC. I cannot condone this throw even though the result is good—the other two guys are open. (BR, 2, protection 1/1)
M35 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read dive Smith 0
Double A gap blitz again. Michigan never checks. This play cannot work with two LBs roaring up the field at the snap. Molk(-1) goes to double a DT because Michigan does not realize this is coming; Omameh can't get over to block the LB, and Smith gets eaten. (RPS -2) This is not getting out-toughed, it's out-stupiding MSU. RUN-: Molk
M35 2 10 Shotgun jet 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Reverse scramble Gallon 8 + 15 pen
Intended to be a pass but never develops since Worthy got way upfield. That wasn't a good play by Worthy, he's just overrunning everything like whoah, but it means Gallon has to start making evasive maneuvers before he can even consider passing. Because it's a pass no one got downfield to block guys and MSU folk are charging from the inside. Gallon heads out to a couple of guys hanging out near the numbers, points at them to block, and picks up some yardage. We get stupid MSU personal foul #2 (first one was a horsecollar on special teams) afterwards.
O42 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA Flat Koger 4
Not the jet package with a WR lined up behind Robinson; still jet motion as Robinson heads for the 2WR side. Michigan runs a play action rollout off this; two guys in Gardner's face with no support so he has to dump it off. Four yards. (CA, 3, protection N/A)
O38 2 6 I-Form 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Penalty Offsides -- 5
Michigan goes under center for a hard count and Worthy jumps it.
O33 2 1 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read dive Smith -3
Pickleman slants under Molk(-2) and destroys the play. RUN-: Molk(2)
O36 3 4 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Gallon Inc
DB runs Gallon's route for him and breaks it up. Excellent play. Not sure if Denard should get blamed here or not. (MA, 0, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 12 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M32 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Pass PA FB Flat Hopkins Inc
Corner blitz catches Michigan running a play that has the QB facing backwards. This is a terrible omen. Everybody in the world is open here but it doesn't matter because it's all Denard can do to get the pass off without getting sacked. It is wide of Hopkins in the flat. (PR, 0, protection N/A, RPS -1)
M32 2 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Screen Smith Inc (Pen +15)
Toussaint runs a flare to one side that Robinson fakes to before coming back to Smith on the other side. I think Smith got caught up trying to get out of the backfield because the MSU DL is slanting hard. He has to wait on Worthy and by the time he gets out he finds himself too far inside. He is well inside the OL pulling out, which means the WLB can hit him without worrying about those guys. The throw is hard and inside; Smith drops it. (MA, 2, screen) Worthy gets a derp penalty.
M47 1 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run QB power Robinson 5
Denard takes a counter step that gets the MLB and SLB. Lewan(+1) and Schofield(+1) blow out Pickelman big time, but Omameh(-1) is too freaking slow to get to the vast hole; Denard is running past him as he nears the LOS. MLB unblocked but because of the counter step Denard can burst outside for a good gain thanks to Koger(+1) kicking out Rush well.
RUN+: Robinson, Lewan, Koger, Schofield RUN-: Omameh
O48 2 5 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run QB power Robinson 3
Another double A gap blitz timed on Molk putting his head down. No check. Michigan's running power. Omameh pulls into the WLB and has no chance to get playside; Schofield(+1) does a good job to kick the MLB. Lewan(-1) loses Worthy to the outside; there is a cutback but WLB is bearing down and the safety attacking no longer has a blocker with an angle on him. RPS -1.
O45 3 2 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Speed option Robinson 2
Late move with two guys on the backside of the line; State slants under and sends linebackers playside. Koger just manages to push Gholston past the play; Robinson has to circle around, giving some time. Omameh(-1) failed to read the situation and releases downfield into no players as Huyge has no chance of dealing with backside DT. Lewan(+1) gets a driving block on the WLB that gives Robinson just enough room for the first down.
RUN+: Lewan, Robinson RUN-: Omameh
O43 1 10 Shotgun 2back TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Pass Fly Hemingway Inc
Robinson overthrows Hemingway by ten yards, in part because he got tangled up with the DB, who fell and knocked Hemingway off stride. Still way long even without that. Koger was open by yards shorter. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
O43 2 10 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Pass Fly Hemingway Inc
Gardner. He throws deep to a somewhat open Hemingway, missing; he did not see Hopkins blitheringly wide open for an easy touchdown. A better throw here and this is still good; wind problematic. (BR, 0, protection 2/2, RPS +2) This was the play to punish these linebackers and safeties and for the love of God, why isn't Gardner looking for Hopkins first?
O43 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Okie press Pass Random heave -- Inc
Corner blitz is not recognized by Smith(-2), forcing Robinson to scramble out of the pocket. At this point he should just run, maybe set Michigan up with a makeable fourth down. Instead he makes a crazy heave that three MSU players have a better shot at than anyone on Michigan. One of them drops an easy INT. (BRX, 0, protection 0/2, Smith -2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 6 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M46 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Pass PA out Grady Inc
You know, if you're going to run three wide you have to make them respect the slot—here three wide is just one fewer blocker since MSU doesn't care. And as I type this Michigan does make them respect the slot, running the pop pass out they've run a few times already. Denard throws it wide. Probably 6-8 if accurate (IN, 0, protection 1/1)
M46 2 10 Shotgun jet 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Jet sweep Robinson 15
Linebackers blitz up the middle, but this time they tip it early—just a screwup as Molk didn't put his head down yet. As a result Michigan can actually block these guys. Omameh(+1) cuts Allen; Molk(+1) moves over to wall of Bullough. DT playside falls in all the wreckage; Smith(+2) annihilates Rush with a cut block, sending Denard into acres of space. Lewan is running downfield to try to get a block; safety fills and Robinson tries to cut back right into Lewan's path. Safety manages to get a diving arm tackle on Robinson. Left a bunch of yards on the field here.
RUN+: Molk, Omameh, Robinson, Smith(2) RUN-:
O39 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass Post Roundtree Inc
Corner blitz is picked up. Lewan shoves the guy out into the flare Toussaint is running, which dissuades Denard from throwing that, his first read. Found the open spot and it was not open. Robinson has a good pocket and starts stepping up into it in case there is pressure from behind; as DTs converge on him he throws a short post to Roundtree that's just outside and is dropped. I may have complained about this not being a run but I was wrong, Robinson was right to throw here. The throw was too far inside, though. (IN, 1, protection 3/3)
O39 2 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run? QB iso/seam Robinson 2
You know that short pass to run thing from Smart Football? This is it. M has a run play on and is optioning Bullough. He stays inside, so throw, but Denard has lost the plot. He panics a bit because Worthy is slanting but that's not relevant, just get the ball out. He doesn't, running outside, stopping, and coming back under to the gap that was already there; blocking angles killed he picks up two. Either hit it up in the big seam or throw it. Don't do this. (BR, N/A, protection N/A)
O37 3 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Okie off Pass Hitch Gallon Inc
Four man rush; Michigan picks it up, though Schofield gets bulled back a bit. Robinson pumps, then airmails a hitch into the sidelines. Not a first down if accurate but definitely in go-for-it territory. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 2 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M27 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run Zone read dive Smith 2
Worthy slants under Schofield(-2), which makes Smith think he's got an alley but Worthy comes around from behind to tackle, forcing him upfield into Bullough for a minimal gain. RUN-: Schofield(2)
M29 2 8 Shotgun twins twin TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Pass Dig Roundtree Inc
Play action and max protect; two man route with Smith leaking out late. Robinson has forever and finds Roundtree breaking open for a big gain; airmailed. AAAAAAAARGH (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
M29 3 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Okie press Pass Scramble Robinson 5 + 15 pen
Huyge(-2) smoked by the blitzing Allen, Robinson has to roll out and scramble as a result. Omameh(-1) got bowled over backwards and Schofield(-1) let a stunt through; this was a comprehensive crapfest. (PR, 0, protection 0/4) Gholston does the helmet rip after.
M49 1 10 Shotgun 2back TE 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Pass Sack -- -9
Double blitz off the backside and a late developing play; Robinson has no chance. (PR, 0, protection N/A, RPS -2)
M40 2 19 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB draw Robinson 11
MSU stunting; Schofield(+1) comes off Worthy and shoves Gholston past the play. This does force Robinson away from lead blocking but with the SLB dropping into coverage there is no one to make him pay and he runs back to said blocking. Koger and Molk both got good, extended downfield blocks.
RUN+: Robinson, Schofield, Molk, Koger RUN-:
O49 3 8 Shotgun trips bunch 1 0 4 Okie off Pass Improv Roundtree 15
Nice pocket momentarily despite a blitz but Smith(-1) gets shoved back and doesn't cut Allen and a stunt starts coming through so Robinson has to roll. He does so and heaves one that Roundtree manages to get up and grab as he continued his route across the field. (MA, 2, protection ½, Smith -1)
O34 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read dive Smith 2
Koger as an H-back. He pulls backside. Huyge(-1) fails to get around and seal the backside DT despite that guy moving backside as the play starts and Omameh helping. Smith(-1) still has a lane up the middle he might be able to hit; instead he bounces to the frontside of the play, where SLB is sitting unblocked because he's loitering around the LOS without having to care about the slot. Bubble grumble.
O36 2 8 Shotgun 2back TE 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Hitch Gallon Inc
Double A gap blitz. Molk whiffs so both guys get up the middle of the field; Denard has to start backing up and chucks a duck well short of an open Gallon. (IN, 0, protection 0/3, Molk -1, team -2, RPS -2)
O36 3 8 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Okie off Pass In Grady 10 (Pen -10)
Huyge(-2) destroyed by Allen, who times the snap (RPS -1) and gets in. Huyge holds. Robinson rolls out and manages to throw back across his body to Grady on an in route that would be a first down, though he only got the opportunity because of the hold. (CA+, 3, protection 0/3, Huyge -1, team -2)
O46 3 18 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Okie press Pass Post Grady Inc
Press man, which is odd, and Denard throws it to an open-ish Grady on a post that would pick up the first. CB gets playside and breaks the pass up—great play. I don't mind the decision or the throw here since it's third and 18. It could work, you have nothing to lose, go for it. (CA, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-14, 6 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O41 1 10 Shotgun 2back TE 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Pass Angle Hopkins Inc
Gardner in; Koger covered. Michigan runs a power fake to play action that MSU has covered because of their playcall; Gholston upfield of Lewan and into Gardner; same thing with SLB getting underneath Toussaint. Gardner has to chuck it to Hopkins, it's yards off. (IN, 0, protection 0/2, Lewan -1, Toussaint -1, RPS -1)
O41 2 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Okie off Run Speed option Robinson 2
MSU jumping around in a three man line. Michigan does get them to show the blitz and then they motion Toussaint behind Robinson before the snap—kind of a giveaway. Still, Huyge(-2) is playside of Bullough and just has to release downfield and seal him to make this play; he does not. Smith(+1) slashes Gholston to the ground; Robinson(-1) should pitch as the edge man is too close to him but fakes it and Huyge's guy manages to make the tackle as Robinson can't cut back far enough inside to burst upfield.
RUN+: Smith RUN-: Robinson, Huyge(2)
O39 3 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Okie off Pass Sack -- -7
Huyge(-3) destroyed by Allen on four man rush. Woo third and long; amazing how this got covered up last year. (PR, N/A, protection 0/3, Huyge -3)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-14, 4 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun twins twin TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Pass PA out Hemingway Inc
Major shift late sends two guys in on the backside of the play. Robinson throws it to the out; deep slant wide open as well; blitzer leaps to bat it down. Would like Denard to read the coverage and go deeper but this was open-ish and he had three guys in his face quickly. (BA, 0, protection 0/1, team)
M20 2 10 Shotgun 2back TE 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Power off tackle Toussaint 3
RB power; key here is Norman, the backside LB, immediately shifting playside when he sees the pull.This prevents Lewan from getting a block on him. M opens up the hole as Schofield(+1) gets to the POA in time and blocks Allen; he does not force it back to Bullough and spills it outside so Toussaint is through despite not having a real lead block; Norman scrapes over and tackles. The initial movements of the MSU LBs are much better than those of the M LBs.
RUN+: Schofield, Omameh(0.5) RUN-:
M23 3 7 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Okie off Pass Deep cross Roundtree 8 + 15 pen
Four man rush; good protection. Robinson steps up and has his space restricted. He finds Roundtree running his cross past all of the zones to the sideline and hits him as he clears the last LB; his throw is a wobbly duck but it does get there. (CA, 3, protection 2/2) Gholston gets punchy afterwards.
M46 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Penalty Offsides -- 5
The slight compensation. Three of four MSU DL jump offsides! THREE!
O49 1 5 Shotgun jet 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Jet stretch Robinson 13
Double A-gap blitz that gets through again one play after a freaking offsides penalty. Come on, people. Come on. Michigan has a playcall on that works against it but barely. Playing with fire. After being burned with fire. Molk(+1) is stepping playside in the bucket fashion; he sees the blitz and peels off to shove Allen; this prevents him from deathsacking Denard in the backfield. Schofield(+1) gets a seal on the playside DT; Smith(+1) kicks out the DE. Lewan has no one to block so he trundles downfield. Robinson is cutting back behind his blocks when Bullough chops him down from behind.
RUN+: Robinson, Schofield, Molk, Smith RUN-:
O36 1 10 Shotgun twins twin TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run QB power Gardner 3
Gardner QB; TE covered. Blocked well; Gardner screws it up. Watson(+1) doubles and then releases into MLB; sealing him. Toussaint(+0.5) kicks out WLB. Koger(-0.5) lets playside DE inside off him but Schofield(+1) is hitting it up quickly and can wall him off; SLB is going to flow down the line to tackle but this is 5-8. Gardner(-1) bounces. This exposes him to the safety and costs Michigan 3-4 yards.
RUN+: Watson, Schofield RUN-: Gardner, Koger(0.5)
O33 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA Hitch Roundtree 9
Play action and a zing to the sideline for the first down. Genuinely impressive throw in context. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2)
O24 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB iso Robinson 0
Robinson back in. Omameh(-2) and Molk double Worthy; Omameh does not bucket step around the DT when Molk is blocking down. He's in the hole; Robinson stops and is swallowed. RUN-: Omameh(2)
O24 2 10 I-Form 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Pass Sack -- -1
Jesus. S walks down and is obviously blitzing along with WLB. Telegraphed, Michigan checks out of nothing and runs play action they cannot block because the edge guy has to cut the blitzing safety and leaves Gholston alone on the edge. Robinson has no time to deal. RPS -2. (PR, 0, protection N/A) This is Gholston's sack, BTW: unblocked. MSU will not miss him against UW. He's the fifth or sixth best player in their front seven.
O25 3 11 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Okie off Pass Yakety sax Gardner -6
Gardner fumbles a perfect snap.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-21, 12 min 4th Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O34 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Roundtree 34
With no deep safety, if a WR breaks a tackle on this route it is six. Robinson zings a deadly accurate pass to Roundtree and 'Tree breaks that tackle; six. Much better route than Gallon's earlier failed slant. (CA+, 3, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-21, 9 min 4th Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O32 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Sack Robinson -8
Double A-gap blitz is a little better picked up because it's not timed quite as well. Molk takes Bullough; Smith takes... Bullough. Allen unblocked up the middle, sack. (PR, N/A, protection 0/2, Smith -2)
O40 2 18 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Drag Hemingway 5
Four man rush is held off and Robinson has plenty of time to throw. He can't find anyone significantly downfield and ends up hitting Hemingway for a few. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
O35 3 13 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Okie press Pass Drag Koger 12
Omameh(-1) fails to read the play and lets Gholston by him. Smith comes over to pick him up. Everyone else is blocked, so Robinson can move past him in the pocket; he finds Koger open and tosses a duck that almost hits the ground. Koger still has time to turn it up and create fourth and short. (MA, 2, protection ½, Omameh -1)
O23 4 In Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Robinson 5
Yet another double A-gap blitz gets straight through, with Molk(-2) failing to read it and letting Allen in. Robinson(+3) appears to make a brilliant improvisation here; there is a contain guy but Robinson sees Allen tackling Smith at the mesh point and yanks the ball out, cutting inside of that tackle and finding space because Omameh(+1) got over to block Bullough; Bullough then falls over the legs of Huyge. Robinson has a crack he uses to get the first down. RPS -2.
O18 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Yakety sax Robinson -1
Fumbled snap.
O19 2 11 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Quick seam Koger Inc
Double A-gap. Not perfectly timed so Molk's head is up and he gets a block; Smith(-1) shoulders Bullough but only gets a piece; Robinson has to throw. He has a quick seam to Koger that he misses. May be a timing issue because Koger got chucked coming out, but results based charting. (IN, 0, protection ½, Smith -1)
O19 3 11 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Cross Gallon 10
Decent time until Omameh(-1) is beaten on a bull rush; Robinson steps around the rusher and he falls. He sets up again and zings a tough throw into a covered Gallon. Gallon brings it in. Q: is this the right spot? Is it where he catches it or where he hits the ground? (DO, 2, protection 1/2, Omameh -1)
O9 4 In Goal line 2 3 0 Goal line Pass Sack -- -9
DOOM. Hopkins lined up as the deep back and Toussaint the FB. Moore(-3) fails to even get out of his stance on the snap and lets the blitzing LB through untouched, doom. (PR, N/A, protection 0/3, Moore –3, RPS -3)
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 14-21, 7 min 4th Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR DForm Type Play Player Yards
M35 1 10 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Smith INT
Double A gap doom; picture paged already. (PR, 0, protection 0/3, team -3, RPS -2)
Drive Notes: Interception, defensive TD, 14-28, 4 min 4th Q

Is this blood running down my cheeks or have my tears turned to rust waiting for this?

You are a jerk. And apparently a robot. A robotic jerk. So it's rust, I guess.

Are you any calmer about the snap thing?

I am less calm. A full review of the game tape reveals ten(!) of Michigan State's double-A-gap LB blitzes. Plays on which one of the two guys was unblocked into the backfield are bolded:

  1. Smith dodges tackle in backfield, picks up 26.
  2. Zero yard inside zone from Smith
  3. Three yard power from Robinson*
  4. 15-yard jet sweep as M picks up blitzers
  5. Incomplete hitch to Gallon as both guys come unblocked up the middle.
  6. 13 yard jet stretch (ie: outside zone blocking)
  7. Eight yard sack.
  8. Five yards on fourth and one when Robinson saves Borges's bacon with a brilliant late pull
  9. Quick seam to Koger incomplete as M picks up 1.5 of the linebackers.
  10. DOOM

Michigan picked the blitz up two, maybe three times: on the two jet sweeps and on the second-to-last one. On the first jet sweep they picked it up because MSU screwed up by revealing their blitz before Molk put his head down. On the second one they let a guy through but managed to adjust after he was in the backfield, so I'm being generous(!).

By the time the pick six arrived Michigan had literally seen this blitz nine times and they still had no adjustment to their timing so that Molk would be able to see what was directly in front of him. This was well over half of MSU's penetration and Michigan had no clue what to do with it even deep into the fourth quarter. They did not check out of a single play because they didn't check at all. They didn't run a freeze or attempt to change the timing of the snap after the second quarter.

I mean… when Worthy bowled over Omameh to pick up their third and final offsides call, three of the four DL were across the line.


That is a snap-jumping machine. This was the last time Michigan altered their snap count.

They should have been doing so several times a drive. Not doing so led to all the problems above and made the OL's job very tough in pass protection. This would end up a holding call on Huyge after Denicos Allen shot past him:


Huyge is beaten and the ball isn't even to the QB yet.

No checks, no answers, no ability to address an obvious issue. That was a total failure by the coaching staff.

Now for the tedious disclaimers: I like Borges, I like the coaches, I think MSU fans declaring epic gameday domination for all time based on a single matchup are getting way ahead of themselves. But there is no gray area here.

*[Counting this because Allen shot into the backfield and picked off a pulling guard, FWIW.]

This is fun. Now show me the chart in which Denard Robinson makes angels tear off their wings.

Chart in which Denard Robinson makes angels tear off their wings.

[Hover over column headers for explanation of abbreviation. Screens are in parens.]

2009, All Of It 1 7 6(2) 3(1) 4 4 - - ? 44%
Notre Dame 3 25(8) 3(1) 4 1 - 4(1) 2 - 71%
Michigan State 4 14(3) 1 7(1) 1 - - 2 2 68%
Iowa 1 11(3) 2 3(1) 2 - 1 - - 64%
Illinois 4 9(1) 1 4 1 3 1(1) - - 60%
Purdue 2 12(1) 1 3 1 1 1 3 - 68%
WMU '11 - 6(1) 4 3 1 - - - 1 56%
Notre Dame '11 6 7(1) 1 6(1) 5 1 1 1 - 50%
EMU '11 1 10(1) - 5 1 - 1 1 1 59%
SDSU '11 - 10(2) - 4 2 1 - 1 - 53%
Minnesota '11 1 13(3) 1 3 1 - - - - 73%
Northwestern '11 4 12(3) 1 7 2 - - - 1 59%
MSU '11 1 8(1) 4(1) 6 5 - 1 7 1 40%

Yeah, so that was like putting freshman Denard out there. Note the huge PR number. If he had happy feet he had good reason to have them. The protection metric is incredible in this game.

But first, receivers:

[Passes are rated like so: 0 = uncatchable, 1 = very difficult, 2 = moderately difficult, 3 = routine.]

  This Game   Totals
Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Hemingway 2 - 1/1 3/3 7 - 7/8 12/13
Roundtree - 0/1 1/1 3/3 4 1/4 5/6 7/7
Odoms 1 - - - 2 - - -
Grady 2 - - - 4 - 0/1 2/2
Gallon 2


1/1 1/1 4 - 1/1 18/18
J. Robinson - - - - - - - -
Dileo - - - - - 0/2 1/2 2/2
Jackson - - - - - - 1/1 -
Koger 1 - - 1/1 3 1/3 2/3 8/9
Moore - - - - 2 - - -
Toussaint - - - - - - - 1/2
Shaw - - - - - - - 1/1
Smith 1 - 0/1 - 2 0/1 - 5/6
Hopkins 1 - - - 2 - - 1/1
McColgan - - - - 1 - - 1/1

It was Oprah out there: YOU get an uncatchable ball, YOU get an uncatchable ball, YOU get an uncatchable ball.

And now the ugliest run chart I've put together (in the year and a half I've been doing them):

Offensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Lewan 6 5 1 Lucky to have both arms in his shoulder sockets.
Barnum - - - DNP
Omameh 3.5 7 -3.5 Watching him pull is like watching an iceberg wander around the titanic.
Huyge 2 3 -1 Pass blocking not so good.
Schofield 7 3 4 Easy winner for best performer.
Mealer - 2 -2 One snap did not go well.
Watson 1 - 1 Eh.
Koger 3.5 2 1.5 So… yeah.
TOTAL 27 30 -3 But wait, there's more.
Player + - T Notes
Robinson 11 1 10 Yay running him 12 times.
Gardner 1 1 0 One good bounce, one bad bounce.
Toussaint 0.5 - - Two carries!
Shaw - - - DNP
Smith 7 1 6 Most of this was on a couple plus runs.
Hopkins - - - Did play.
Rawls - - - DNP
McColgan - - - DNP
TOTAL 19.5 3 16.5 Denard still has legs.
Player + - T Notes
Hemingway 2 - 2  
Odoms - - -  
Gallon -- - - --
Roundtree - - -  
Grady - - - --
Jackson - - -  
Dileo - - - --
TOTAL 2 - 2 Hardly anything got to them.
Player + - T Notes
Protection 30 32 48% Team 9, Huyge 7, Smith 6, Omameh 4, Molk 3, Schofield 1, Lewan 1, Toussaint 1
RPS 4 14 -10 See above.

Last week against NW there were 39 protection points. Here 62, which the team acquired less than half of.

Good hopping Lord in a pickle can.


I mean, sweet clod-kicking Jesus knickers.


That is just… something.

It was a—

Holy baboon-faced god of ancient river peoples spinning around on a pogo stick screaming "hey dilly dilly hey-o."

We get it.

I mean, where do you go from the above? Michigan was comprehensively annihilated. Denard was awful, Borges was awful, the line was awful, everything was awful. So… yeah, the players shoulder a lot of the blame. Borges got guys open with frequency only to see them ignored.

What happened to Omameh?

Michigan pulled him in this game, seemingly to prove once and for all that for whatever reason he can't pull. He's a light, quick lineman who gets to the hole slightly slower than Tom Harmon, who is dead:

Combining him with the lightning-quick Robinson is not so good. This is frustrating because last year he was a killer scooping dudes with Molk and heading to the second level. This year he looks like a guy who'd be benched if there was a plausible backup. Chalk it up to transition costs.

Should there have even been a fourth and one?

I'm not sure. Are they supposed to spot it where you catch the ball or where you touch the ground? If it's on the catch they screwed up the spot. If it's where the ball is when you get a foot down they are relatively close.


I'm guessing it's the latter, because that's where they put the ball.


Yes, yes.


Michael Schofield. I guess the receivers didn't drop anything.


Literally everyone else.

What does it mean for Purdue and beyond?

It means we have to change our snap counts, figure out some new ways to run the ball, and hope like hell this is by far the worst game of Denard's career.


Yes, Dear Diary

Yes, Dear Diary Comment Count

Seth October 21st, 2011 at 11:41 AM

The Sartorialist. When it comes to Wife Week, we put the 'M' in Marais

Hi everyone. This is Seth's wife. I am writing your blog entry today because "Misopogon" (how do you even pronounce that?!?) is not allowed on the Internet again until you stop with the threads about Gholston, and Lewan and Gholston, and dirty plays, and penalties on Gholston, and hate, and media coverage of Gholston, and how neither MSU or their coach disciplined Gholston, and respect, and similar plays, and suspensions for Gholston, and for Rush, and why this will make recruits prefer Michigan, and '08-'10 in-state recruiting, and taunting, and if late cheap shots injured Denard.

Got that all out of your system? Okay here's your blogger back; remind him he still needs to pick up dog food.

Hey. So you can wade through all of that, or just visit RationalMSUfan's thoughts and the ensuing comments. There's two points of derp in there (he mistakes four flagrant personal fouls in a game for one, and believes Gardner should start).spartyzone But give him some credit for coming here sane when his blogosphere looks like this------------(HT Mgrowold)-------------->

He followed Derp 1 with a good point: Dantonio probably didn't see more than the punch and the piling on; maybe he would have pulled him if he saw the arm-bar and the facemask twist too. He sat on the video for four days until the Big Ten issued a suspension so probably no.

Take the advice of M-Wolverine: stop talking to Valentis. Also stop buying links on godaddy and redirecting them to rivals, kthx.

Off the board things were a little more under control. Gonzoist jhackney thinks this kind of behavior is something to be proud of, yada yada dick in a mason jar, pass the asparagus.

Like junkies hooked on a drug, Michigan fans in withdrawal began lashing out with a bowie knife everywhere and on everyone. Some of the slashing was justified, but some was just pent up rage left over from three disappointing seasons previous.

Nonnair found MSU averages about five personal fouls, roughed passers or unsportsmanlike penalties in the three games MSU has played Michigan in East Lansing under Dantonio, before devolving into into an unfair comparison with Erickson-era Hurricanes.

I mean this with all possible double entendre: let's move on to…

Wife Week 2011


Do you think these uniforms make me look like a sell-out'? Cause I was going
for all like,
'lets get the team fired up!' -DB

Last year Six Zero won the Internet for previewing his bye week spousal shopping excursion. It inspired an Opponent's Press Conference, a post-game flame war on the boards, and a movie! This year Vasav has asked for a wallpaper. But that's about it.

What's up board? You care more about your Little Brother than me? Okay fine, don't mind me; just sit there and talk about football with your friends.

As the lady says, hey did you see that new defense?

With our D getting gashed recently by MSU the question has been asked “Why not play more 46?” In this diary I hope to go over the strengths, weaknesses and a little history of the Bear Defense.

JeepinBen is your diarist of the week for breaking down the forty-six. MichFan1997 has taken up the mantle of FEI projecting, but after three straight years of dropping way down in the Big Ten season I'm hesitant to believe Michigan's got the 17th best defense in the country just yet. THE_KNOWLEDGE has settled into a new role as kind of a predictions wrangler, like Moe but without the awesome free stuff. Of Logic, Chriseous Dangerous makes the latest picture pages move.

After the jump, the weeklies, the best of the board that wasn't about Gholston, and a six-part series on the Solar Team's bronze performance.