Hokepoints: The 2012 Season, in Photos

Hokepoints: The 2012 Season, in Photos

Submitted by Seth on February 19th, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Two photos by Upchurch made into one.

I've been spending much of the last week going through last year's photos by Eric Upchuch (ChewerD on the site) to find the good stuff for this year's HTTV. Ninety-five percent just gets deleted, several hundred make it to folders I can access for various players and stuff. Then there's the shots and sequences that I can't, for whatever reason, use in the book but can't in good conscious throw out. So here you go.

NOTRE DAME:

jakeclose

You know those guys who stick their heads in lions' mouths? We've got a cameraman who'll stick his lens inches from Jake Ryan. Peer into the soul of the Viking.

[The rest after THE JUMP]

Opponent Watch: Finale

Opponent Watch: Finale

Submitted by Heiko on December 14th, 2012 at 3:25 PM

No. 2 Alabama (12-1 overall, 8-1 SEC)

Last game: Beat Georgia 32-28 in the SEC Championship after Georgia futzed a last-second goal line play.

As frightening as: Rome, ca. 450 A.D. Currently idling between sacks. Fear level = 9 but waning.

Superlative: Best cry after a win.

If Michigan could play them now: The humanity would overwhelm.

In hindsight, Michigan should have: Not scheduled them.

Bowl game: Will play No. 1 Notre Dame in a battle of which team Michigan fans want to cheer for less.

Prediction: It’s Notre Dame.

--------------------

Air Force (6-6 overall, 5-3 MWC)

Last game: Blown out by Fresno State 48-15. It’s like people know how to defend the triple option. Crazy.

As frightening as: Kryptonite. Ostensibly harmless, inert substance that glows green around Michigan players and makes them appear slow and weak. Fear level = 5.

Superlative: Most infuriating to root against due to nameplates bearing noble ideals.

If Michigan could play them now: Nobody needs that twice in one season.

In hindsight, Michigan should have: Scheduled them later, as in not right after Alabama.

Bowl game: Will play Rice in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.

Prediction: The ratings will be higher overseas.

--------------------

UMass (1-11, 1-7 MAC)

Last game: Lost to Central Michigan 42-41.

Mike Cox!: 17 carries, 66 yards, 1 TD.

As frightening as: A flap of a butterfly’s wings. Every once in a while it might trigger a tiny vortex that blows a nearby butterfly off course. In this case that other butterfly would be 1-11 Akron. Fear level = 0.

Superlative: Most likely to appear in highlight reels of other teams.

If Michigan could play them now: It would be a nice glamour photo shoot for Michigan’s tailbacks complete with dramatic lighting, airbrushing, and green space.

In hindsight, Michigan should have: Not scheduled them. This game didn’t do anything for Michigan other than show us that Denard can throw a pick-six to even the worst defenses.

Bowl game: There should be an anti-playoff to determine the worst team in Division I.

--------------------

No. 1 Notre Dame (12-0 overall)

Last game: Failed to lose to USC, 22-13.

As frightening as: MRSA. Fear level = 8.

Superlative: Most referees on payroll.

If Michigan could play them now: Michigan would probably find another way to lose again, which is fine. This year, as they say, is Not Ours.

In hindsight, Michigan should have: Run the ball more, which sounds crazy now, but back then people had luxuries like ulnar nerves and tibias. This kind of thing worked.

Bowl game: Notre Dame is 60 minutes away from Returning to Glory. Agasp.

Prediction: Either way Ohio State won't end up No. 1 in the AP. 

--------------------

Purdue (6-6 overall, 3-5 B1G)

Last game: Won rivalry game against Indiana 56-35, fired coach.

Arithmetic: WALRUS minus STACHE equals MANATEE.

If Michigan could play them now: It would be a semifinal match for the title of “B1G Team with most season-altering injuries.” In the other bracket of this hypothetical tournament is Iowa, which has a bye because of its self-explanatory No. 1 seed.

In hindsight, Michigan should have: Savored this win more.

Bowl game: Heart of Dallas Bowl vs. Oklahoma State.

Prediction: Oklahoma State is 7-5. All five of its losses have been to teams that were ranked at one point or another during the season; Purdue lost to Minnesota. In conference play, Oklahoma State beat TCU, No. 24 Iowa State, West Virginia, and No. 23 Texas Tech by multiple scores; in conference play, Purdue beat Indiana by multiple scores.

This should go real well.

--------------------

Illinois (2-10 overall, 0-8 B1G)

Last game: Could not overcome five-score deficit; lost to Northwestern.

As frightening as: Someone else’s septic leak. Schadenfreude level = 4. It’s been a few years since they last beat Michigan, so it’s difficult to relish their misery.

Superlative: Most likely to develop oropharyngeal malignancy.

If Michigan could play them now: Be careful what you wish for, or Jim Delany might put them in Michigan’s division so Michigan can play them year after year after year until Fresno State joins the B1G and they have to redo the thing again. Playing Illinois every year doesn’t seem so bad, though. I just wish they could go back to being interesting rather than sad.

In hindsight, Michigan should have: Not injured Denard’s arm, since the arm issue would turn out to be kind of disastrous two games later. This is foreshadowing, for those of you who suffered from alcohol-induced retrograde amnesia after the OSU game and are now trying to piece the events of the season back together.

Bowl game: Ha. (By the way, what is with people typing “ha” over text or gchat? I normally have a two-“ha” minimum when I laugh electronically, unless I’m feeling derisive. Is being stingy with the “ha’s” a Michigan thing? I only ever notice this when communicating with people from Michigan.)

--------------------

Michigan State (6-6 overall, 3-5 B1G)

Last game: Beat Minnesota 26-10, avoided a losing record.

As frightening as: A rock.

Fear level = 5.

Superlative: Most likely to throw up on self en route to Disney World, ruining the trip for everyone.

If Michigan could play them now: Maybe Michigan could have some fake audibles. Like, okay, you don’t want to play chess with Narduzzi, but wouldn’t it be fun to pretend like you are? “Alert alert alert!” = base play. “Blue 42! Blue 42!” = base play. “We’re going to throw it to Dileo!” = We’re going to throw it to Dileo.

In hindsight, Michigan should have: Anticipated the most obvious fake punt situation ever, which has only become more obvious in hindsight.

Bowl game: B-dubs vs. TCU. Should be fun to watch actually.

--------------------

No. 16 Nebraska (10-3 overall, 7-2 B1G)

Last game: Lost 70-31 to Alabamasconsin.

As frightening as: A teenager who finally gets his license after failing twice. Fear level = 7, to others and self.

If Michigan could play them now: Oh if only.

In hindsight, Michigan should have: I hate them so much.

Bowl game: It’s more loathing than hate. It’s how you would feel about someone who you let copy your homework and then gets both of you in trouble.

Prediction: Nebraska plays Georgia. Good luck!

--------------------

Minnesota (6-6 overall, 2-6 B1G)

Last game: Lost to Michigan State 26-10.

As frightening as: Anything that can be described as “scrappy.” Fear level = 3.

Superlative: Best tire fire mitigation effort.

If Michigan could play them now: Same story, different day.

In hindsight, Michigan should have: Prepared Devin Gardner to play quarterback a week earlier. This is purely a hindsight thing, though.

Bowl game: Ritual gopher slaughter at Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas vs. Texas Tech.

Prediction: The gods will be pleased.

--------------------

All the better to play Monopoly with.

No. 20 Northwestern (9-3 overall, 5-3 B1G)

Last game: Managed to hold onto a five-score lead, beat Illinois 50-14.

As frightening as: Receiving an email with the subject line “Remove Me From This List!” Fear level = 7.

Superlative: Worst utilization of Kyle Prater.

If Michigan could play them now: I liked the screw-with-their-reads plan Mattison used late against Northwestern and Ohio State. Mattison knows how to play chess.

In hindsight, Michigan should have: Michigan had a good game plan. Northwestern put up a good fight. Not much to change.

Bowl game: Gator Bowl vs. Mississippi State.

Prediction: No idea actually. This will be a good match, oddly.

--------------------

Iowa (4-8, 2-6 B1G)

Last game: Lost to Nebraska 13-7. What a tease.

As frightening as: Nomads indigenous to the Great Plains who believe most bright colors to be evil and think the best cure for a gangrenous running back situation is to sacrifice linemen to a deity named AIRBHG. Recently discovered fire and a vertical passing game, no idea how to use either. Fear level = 3.

Superlative: Most unexpectedly overrated. People thought I was being harsh when I predicted Iowa to go 6-6.

If Michigan could play them now: It would just be sad.

In hindsight, Michigan should have: Saved some of the game plan for Ohio State. This was the annual “We wasted the good surprise on you” game.

Bowl game: Iowa is a proud people who do not believe in bowl games.

--------------------

Ohio State (12-0 overall, 8-0 B1G)

Last game: 1,000 newborns in the state of Ohio were named “Urban.”

As frightening as: VRSA. Fear level = 9.

Superlative: Worst thing ever.

If Michigan could play them now: By the end of the game, Braxton Miller will have sustained his tenth concussion (but still play anyway). Michigan will employ Denard and Devin in the same formation but hand it off to Vincent Smith anyway, because Ohio State would never expect it.

In hindsight, Michigan should have: Scored some points in the second half.

Bowl game: Gator Bowl vs. Florida, last year.

Upon Further Review 2012: Offense vs Iowa

Upon Further Review 2012: Offense vs Iowa

Submitted by Brian on November 22nd, 2012 at 12:51 PM

HAPPY THANKSGIVING. This will be the only post today, probably.

Formation notes: You make one offhand comment about how this notes section gets boring late in the year and Al Borges goes and does that. Okay, so. For the TE/WR/RB section I am classifying Gardner as a WR and Denard as a RB when they are not at QB.

Michigan had two different backfields featuring Denard behind Gardner with one or two lead blockers flanking him. I could have called this one "offset I three-wide" but it felt more correct to note it as a Fritz variant:

f-fritz-3-wide

Fritz 3-wide

Since Michigan does have a declared strength here I tabbed the Iowa defense here an under. They also ran the two-FB version, which is just plain old Fritz.

The thing I used to call Denard Jet also re-emerged:

f-shotgun-denard-jet

And then there was… this.

f-far-twin-te

In keeping with this blog's tradition of naming weird things he hasn't seen after the nearest equivalent in NCAA Football X, this was dubbed "far twin TE."

Formation lingo may not match your local football talking guy and is merely present to help facilitate communicative acts.

Substitution notes: Line as per usual. Tight ends as per usual. Joe Reynolds got some burn at wide receiver on actual passing plays, catching a long handoff type thing that Gardner clearly aborted to—about which more later—and a hitch on which it looked like he ran a nice route, for all I know about route running. Other than that, WRs were as per usual including usual lack of focus on throwing to Dileo when not throwing to Gallon or Roundtree.

Toussaint went out early with his injury; after that it was all Rawls and Smith until very late; Justice Hayes did get in at fullback(!) on a play where Michigan ran an iso. Oh and that Denard guy played some.

[AFTER THE JUMP: TURKEY no just UFR]

Upon Further Review 2012: Defense Vs Iowa

Upon Further Review 2012: Defense Vs Iowa

Submitted by Brian on November 21st, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Formation notes: There are a lot of subtleties to alignment that I'm glossing over for reasons of time and simplicity. For instance, both of these are 4-3 over—line shifted to the strength of the formation—in my book despite looking significantly different on the field:

4-3-over-middle

check the DTs and ILBs

4-3-over-ryan-field

Those are likely different defenses but we're trying to keep things simple enough to categorize in bins large enough to draw conclusions from and get this done before next week.

These DL splits were big enough for me to denote this as "nickel spread" FWIW:

f-nickel-even-spread

I think this occurred to me this week because though every Iowa run play (every one!) is classified inside zone the subtleties in both offense and defense were apparent. There's a chess game so far beyond what I can access and it was on full display in this one.

This is 5-1 nickel again; Michigan tightened its DL when Vandenberg checked:

f-5-1-nickel

Substitution notes: Ross obviously drew in for Morgan. Bolden got a few drives, one at WLB in place of Ross, further suggesting that those positions are close to interchangeable. The back seven was otherwise as you would expect. Furman came in for Kovacs on the last charted drive.

The line was also the usual at this point: an eight-man rotation with the starters getting a majority but not a huge majority of the snaps.

[AFTER THE JUMP: a relatively brief UFR.]

Tuesday Presser Transcript 11-20-12: Al Borges

Tuesday Presser Transcript 11-20-12: Al Borges

Submitted by Heiko on November 20th, 2012 at 5:47 PM

file

“Ah. How we doin’?”

Good.

“Got a full house today! Wonder why’s that?”

You draw a crowd.

“I’m being Elvis.”

Speaking of a full house … what is it that you call your formation with Denard in the backfield?

“We call it, ‘Denard in the backfield.’ How about the word of the day? We have to take care of that.”

What’s the word of the day? [Chantel Jennings would like to point out that this is not an MGoQuestion.]

“Resolve. Heiko, any technical questions?”

MGo: Uh …

“The finer points of attacking quarters coverage, maybe?”

MGo: Actually, yeah.

“That was stupid. That’s the stupidest thing I could have said. Go ahead.”

MGoQuestion: Virginia Tech’s aggressive quarters coverage made it hard for you to run the quarterback last year. Do you see that as a problem against Ohio State?

“They play totally different than Virginia Tech. Their structure is different defense. Really is. Now they may take a little bit of the same mentality, but from an X and O perspective, it’s a different.”

MGoFollowup: But in terms of having aggressive opposing safeties, does that make you hesitant to run the QB at all?

“Nope. Nope. Nooo.”

How many possibilities can there be having both Denard and Devin on the field?

“I don’t know.”

Legitimately you don’t know? Or do you just not want to answer?

“I don’t want to answer.”

Tuesday Presser Transcript 11-20-12: Greg Mattison

Tuesday Presser Transcript 11-20-12: Greg Mattison

Submitted by Heiko on November 20th, 2012 at 4:33 PM

file

How much film can you use from last year? Can you take anything from it?

“No. No. It’s everything, and usually with most teams we don’t watch last year’s. The only thing we might watch is against ourselves, if it’s the same opponent type deal, but everything’s for this year.”

What do you take from that in terms of slowing down Braxton Miller?

“He’s a great talent. Obviously I think they’re the number one offense in the country right now. It’s going to be a great challenge for us. He’s a great football player. The good news is we’ve played against some really really good quarterbacks this year, and we play against a great one every day in practice. So we’ll be ready to go.”

Unverified Voracity Et Al

Unverified Voracity Et Al

Submitted by Brian on November 20th, 2012 at 3:31 PM

The Michigan Difference. From the Iowa game:

the-michigan-difference

et al

I will take this radio host's opinion and trust it because that's what I want to do. Gene Smith just stopped by the local sports talk radio station and said the following things:

Gene "probably leaning to playing more conference games considering the amount of teams we are at"

And said this as well, paraphrased:

Gene was emphatic that preserving that game is job one. Good news as far as Im concerned.

And the guy doing the interview got this impression:

Get the feeling talking to Gene just now that OSU and Michigan in same division will be a likely endgame.

At least there's one guy maybe trying to do the thing that makes sense. Good job… Gene Smith? We have reached a strange place indeed.

Mitigating damage. We've heard this before only to have it beaten back by the need to squeeze every penny out, but if they don't expand the conference schedule now come on man:

After announcing the addition of Maryland to the league Monday, Big Ten commissioner said during a national teleconference that the league's conference football schedule could increase to nine games, and the league's basketball slate could jump up to as many as 20 contests for each team.

"I think more games is on the table," Delany said. "One of the reasons we stayed at 11 (members) and stayed at 12 is because we love to play each other more, not less."

My wacky idea for the basketball schedule is to play everybody once, draw a line in the middle, and then play six more with the top teams facing off and the bottom teams facing off. Never happen, but it would at least make the regular season title a nonrandom event based heavily on who you didn't play.

Meanwhile, a nine game conference schedule in football with the current protected rivalry setup would mean teams played opponents in the other division 33% of the time. Better than twice every twelve years; still less than is necessary to support any true rivalry with the opposite divisions.

Guaransheed! Mark Dantonio:

"When we win Saturday -- and I'll say when -- we'll be a 6-6 football team, not climbing out of the cellar as a 2-10 football team," Dantonio said.

Would you like to backtrack like whoah, though?

It sure sounded like a guarantee. So I asked Dantonio later on the Big Ten coaches' call whether he was, in fact, guaranteeing a victory.

"I don't guarantee anything," he said. "I'm saying that's the mindset we bring when we come."

Aw man just roll with it.

The hate. MVictors has created a grid of hate.

HeHateMe_thumb[1]_thumb[5]

I assume that ending the losing streak has cooled off some of the Penn State hate; when I went in 2006 I would have classified that as orange. Also, Illinois should be red for them and green for us—when my wife, an Illinois undergrad not too up on sports, came to Michigan for her PhD she was under the impression that Michigan was Illinois's primary rival.

Meanwhile, fire up Rutgers and Maryland versions: all Big Ten teams totally indifferent towards them, Maryland and Rutgers getting continually more pissed off that Big Ten fans would like to see their universities vanish from the planet.

This is not about TV? Delany:

Delany said that, in his opinion, too much has been made about the move to add Rutgers as a pure cable television play. He emphasized how difficult it will be to integrate the Big Ten Network into the lucrative New York and New Jersey market.

"It's a difficult business," he said. "It's not always successful. You have to be good and lucky and hardworking at it. People treat it as if there's a no-risk assessment. There's always a risk. This initiative has risk. If it was so easy why didn't it happen a long time ago?"

Delany said the media has a perception that growing into cable homes in the East and mid-Atlantic regions is easy. He strongly disagrees with that notion.

"It's not that way," he said. "We went a year with the Big Ten Network without distributing in core areas. We decided we wanted to do that we did it and hung together. We'll have discussion with people."

Hmmm. I am not sure this is the best idea I have ever heard.

How will we spend the money? This is the saddest thing I've read about all of this, a post from On The Banks about what they'll do with all the money:

That being said, staff raises and respectable budget should be in order all around.

Awww.

Yes. Get The Picture takes apart an annoying Andy Staples article:

This is Staples’ blessing of the situation:

None of us grew up with Ohio State-Maryland or Michigan-Rutgers. This is different, and different is always scary. But the Big Ten saw a chance to add value, and Maryland saw a chance to make more money in a time of economic uncertainty. This marriage may not square with your idea of which teams should or shouldn’t play in the Big Ten, but in this economy, none of us should be criticizing a school for making a sound fiscal choice.

It’s not that it’s scary.  It’s that it’s boring.  It’s like shopping for an insurance policy instead of a new car.  We’re fans.  We don’t give a rat’s ass about our schools making sound fiscal choices.  (Just ask Tennessee fans about that right now.)

This is soul-numbing.  And it’s been done in such an in-your-face way that it won’t even be worth making an effort to laugh the next time Delany has the stones to invoke tradition when he talks about the television programming he schedules, er… conference he leads.

Money is a zero-sum game. It can only be used on the facilities treadmill and coach salary treadmill. It does nothing for the people the money actually comes from, especially when the richest conference in the country goes out and hires Jerry Kill and Danny Hope and Tim Beckman.

The overwhelming feeling of adding Rutgers and Maryland is boredom. No one is going to wake up the morning their team plays either of those schools and do anything but shrug, and as the expansion continues that will spread to other teams. Michigan State and Wisconsin have a nice thing going; now they don't meet for four years. In the future there won't even be a way for those nice things to get going, because oh God Rutgers is on the schedule again.

More on the dissolution of the bundle empire. Conveniently timed SBJ article:

Nobody thinks that the World Series or NBA Finals will be on YouTube any time soon. But top executives with MLB and the NBA said they’ve seen increased interest from digital media companies like Google, Microsoft and Apple in recent months.

“They are sniffing around,” said MLB’s Brosnan, who just negotiated media deals with ESPN, Fox and Turner. “Pay-TV services are never secure, but with TV Everywhere starting to gain some traction, pay TV is looking like it’s building a model that might have some traction and will be here to stay.”

Stern, whose NBA is in the fifth year of eight-year media rights deals with ESPN and Turner, said he anticipates a time when digital media companies place a bet on sports rights in the same way that Fox Sports invested in the NFL in 1994.

The problem for the BTN model is not going to be actual fans signing up to pay but increasing numbers of sports-indifferent cord-cutters who opt out of subsidizing sports fans and just Netflix/Hulu/whatever everything. The current model is going to be the newspaper business in short order here, wheezing out a decline.

The 60 Minutes thing. It is here:

And there is a bonus thing.

Oh right Ohio State. This could have waited a week maybe, Mr. Delany? Articles from Maize and Go Blue and two from Eleven Warriors, one on the New War, the other on Goebels past and present.

Etc.: Fake conversations with Jim Delany are about to become a cottage industry. Penn State loses Tim Frazier for the year, which just obliterates them. They were outscored 53-24 by Akron in the second half after Frazier went out. He'll be back next year. Weinreb bombs everything. The Iowa game from the Hawkeye perspective.

Picture Pages: One Step

Picture Pages: One Step

Submitted by Brian on November 20th, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Saturday's game was a weird one in which virtually all of Iowa's relevant plays came on two back-to-back drives in the first half. They went three and out on their four other drives before it was 42-10.

The first of these drives was Iowa's only sustained success of the day. Iowa's second drive was a couple of chunk plays and then six straight unsuccessful ones; a terrible roughing the passer flag in the middle of that sequence got the Hawkeyes into chip-shot field goal territory.

I, like you, was a little worried about that touchdown drive and what it said about the defense; after looking at it I feel a bit better since one major reason was a bad matchup between James Ross and Mark Weisman. Ross would show up in the hole and Weisman would run him over, because he is a horsecow and Ross is a freshman.

There were a couple other subtle ways in which Ross showed his youth, like on this nine yard run. Iowa has picked up a first down and now has the ball first and ten nearing midfield. They come out in their 2TE ace set; Michigan responds with eight-ish in the box, sliding the linebackers to the field and bringing Kovacs down behind.

ross-1

Iowa pops a TE up and moves one of the WRs to the line, then motions him.

ross-2ross-3

Various Michigan defenders adjust in slight ways to this. Notably, two of the three linebackers step to the 2TE side; so does Kovacs. James Ross doesn't.

ross-2ross-3

Each of these guys has slid essentially a person-width over, which makes sense because Iowa has moved their center of gravity a person-width over. Except Ross. Does this end up mattering?

I really need to find a better way to generate suspense in these posts.

Okay, snap. Inside zone because Iowa always always runs inside zone. I'm sure the playcalls have subtle variances; these escape me and are probably unknowable without actually being the playcaller. At our level of detail, all Iowa running plays are inside zone.

Key still explaining time:

ross-4

1. Craig Roh on the backside hanging out unblocked. This is not what Michigan wants, I don't think. Earlier plays have seen Michigan split in the middle like they're doing on this play with a key difference:

closex-3

There is no unblocked end as Iowa is running from a balanced formation. See Roh? Right above him is one guy moving to the second level and two LBs. Michigan has a free hitter—Ross again—and he'll hit, and Weisman will get one yard.

2. Brennen Beyer getting doubled. Ideally I think Iowa wants to seal him inside but if he goes outside too hard the back will cut inside and the interior OL will release.

3. Kovacs containing. He is the force guy, can't let anything outside of him, etc. By moving the TE over they get him blocked while still getting that double.

4 & 5. Ross and Demens running at the right spot. This time there are blockers for both, though, as long as Iowa can get Beyer effectively blocked.

They just barely do. Here Weisman is heading outside and Ross has gotten to the LOS so Iowa has run out of time to double Beyer. The outside guy pops off and Beyer is still not sealed:

ross-5

Now this is where two things about James Ross combine to submarine Michigan. These are both basically "is a freshman." One is the the lack of response to the shift shown above. Take Ross in the above frame and move him a body-width to the outside. Now he's a step faster to this contact. He's outside, and his momentum is more downhill than it is here. With Beyer on the outside all he needs is a little bit of help…

ross-6

Just a yard, just a hesitation, just any bit of delay. Beyer just needs one step. He doesn't get it, and then there's the other thing about being a freshman:

ross-7

Sometimes you get picked up and dumped nine yards downfield.

ross-8

Video

Ross's lack of momentum when he meets the blocker is more apparent with the moving pictures.

Things And Stuff

This is something of an RPS play for Iowa. Beyer makes a nice play and may hold this down if he gets that step from Ross, but Weisman also has a cutback inside of that guy since Black goes straight upfield and Demens gets blocked. I don't think that's a problem with either of those guys since it seems like Michigan's strategy on the zone was to get aggressively upfield in gaps and let one of the two linebackers flow free:

close-4

would be a first down as Demens did not funnel back to Ross, may picture page later

On this play Michigan doesn't adjust and gets that unblocked backside guy they don't want. As a result someone has to beat a block to make a play; Beyer does and it is for naught.

Michigan still could have held it down. That one step Ross didn't take is probably the difference between two yards and nine; if he hits a little earlier, with a little more authority, Weisman slows and Beyer gets his cookie.

An older Ross could have made this mistake and still held it down. And then it's just getting carried. Of all the flaws to have this is the best one because it's obvious and not at all hard to fix; it was still a bit vexing on this drive.

Weisman was a bad matchup for Ross. Ross would show up in the right spot a lot and still get crunched back for significant YAC. On the third and five that set up Iowa's sneak, he did a great job to get to the hole on Yet Another Inside Zone and make contact with Weisman. Result:

That probably doesn't happen if Morgan's in the game. People stop when they meet Morgan. A guy like Weisman may pound out a yard or two; Iowa is still facing a fourth and three or four, and probably kicking except this is Ferentz we're talking about, the sandbagger.

Ross is still super instinctive. Once the ball is snapped Ross is almost certain to read quickly and get to the spot. While he still needs some work on zone drops, if he can put on 15-20 pounds and do that the sky is the limit for him. Of all the ways Iowa's rushing offense could have been better than expected "Weisman running over Ross" is the best one from a Michigan fan's perspective. Once Ross turns those twelve tackles into twelve tackles a yard closer to the LOS, with a yard less YAC, look out.

I came away from this game thinking that Ross was a major culprit in the admittedly limited success Iowa had on offense and that he was going to be really good possibly as soon as next year, if that makes any sense. The mistakes he makes are small, and given his high football IQ it seems certain he'll fix them by the time next fall rolls around. Add on the usual amount of mass and you've got my #1 pick for a breakout player on Michigan's 2013 D.

Monday Presser Transcript 11-19-12: Brady Hoke

Monday Presser Transcript 11-19-12: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on November 19th, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Bullets:

  • Fitz's surgery went well. He should be out of the hospital by now.
  • Denard is improving. May be able to throw.
  • Desmond Morgan should be back.
  • There's some kind of football game happening on Saturday.

------------------------

Presser

file

Opening remarks:

“Number one, Fitz had surgery. Went very well. Saw him yesterday. Should get out of the hospital today, and should have a full recovery, and we’ll move forward and he’ll move forward. But everything went well, as well as it can as far as having an injury. No one wants that for any kid.

“The Iowa game was one where we have to play much better than we did this week to be successful. The great thing about it was our guys, the seniors of this team, being able to come up that tunnel for the last time and sing the Victors in the locker room here. That was a real positive and as we look forward, we’ve got a great challenge in front of us and an opportunity, one that -- this is a fun football game. Any time you have a rivalry like this, this is a fun game to play.”

How much will it help your team that having been able to get game experience using Denard the way you used him?

“Well, I think it helps our football team. When we moved Devin, and he wanted to move to wide receiver, we were helping our football team because you’re putting your best 11 on the field. I think Denard fits in that either as a quarterback or as a slot receiver or wherever it may be. It helps our football team. Was it good to see him in live action? Yeah.”