Unverified Voracity In The Community

Unverified Voracity In The Community

Submitted by Brian on October 26th, 2012 at 3:56 PM

hisflow4[1]

midnight maize

Predictorama. Everyone predicts Nebraska-Michigan:

  • Athlon: M 31-27: "This matchup is relatively even, but a slight edge goes to Michigan. Taylor Martinez and his receivers will test the Wolverines’ secondary, but Nebraska’s defense will struggle to stop Denard Robinson. Expect Michigan’s defense to make one play late in the game that seals the victory for the Wolverines." [NO PRESSURE GREG]
  • BWS: Martinez will complete more deep, downfield throws in this game than Michigan has allowed all season, but none of them go for touchdowns; they're heaves to wide receivers who can out-leap and out-muscle Michigan's corners. However, Michigan holds Nebraska to near 150 yards rushing. It's boom-or-bust for Nebraska's offense. Michigan finally gets a good kick/punt return. Nebraska rallies late but Michigan clutches to the win. Michigan 27 - Nebraska 24
  • Maize and Brew: Ultimately I think both offenses find some success running the ball, but there are a lot of stalled drives that go 40-50 yards and end in that awkward no-mans-land between "why are you punting" and "why didn't you punt". How the teams approach these situations and who has the most luck on X-and-short will ultimately decide the game. When it comes to this, I like Michigan's odds. Michigan 30 - Nebraska 27
  • Holdin' the Rope features Who Are You And Why Do You Care?: Prediction based on everything but football: Nebraska 21 - Michigan 17.
  • M&GB: While Nebraska will score some points, Michigan’s offense should be able to move the ball with relative ease. The offensive line will get enough push against an overmatched front seven and pave the way for a big day on the ground. The ‘Huskers have done a good job this season of matching up with opposing receivers, so look for another big day from tight end Devin Funchess as well when Denard does need to pass. Michigan 42 – Nebraska 24. [ed: yow]

The MZone also has their Know Your Foe series featuring Nebraska mascots past:

mascots[1]

I'm surprised the entire state isn't a raving insomniac mess after that business and Li'l Red.

All of us are Purdue. Don't ask me to explain.

I award Jerry Kill the Award for Most Walrus-Looking.

image

in the communnnity

hmmm. Post idea.

Ryan profile. Via Mike Rothstein comes an extended look at Ryan the Barbarian. In retrospect, this was obvious:

Jake noticed that several kids had stuffed animals they had won in an arcade game in the lobby. He put his arm up the drop portal -- the one the toys usually popped out of -- in an attempt to circumvent the system and grab a stuffed animal.

"The guy had to use the butter from the popcorn machine, rub all over his hands, way up there, to get it out," Susan said. "He was stuck up there for a while."

And thus began Michigan's unique strategy of scouting claw machines across the Midwest, offering anyone with their arm stuck up one.

Hyman profile. This from the Daily:

On the way back from Boston, with Boston University the clear leader in the clubhouse, the Hymans detoured to Ann Arbor for a stop.

It would be their last.

Zach and Spencer sat across from Red Berenson in the coach’s office, while Berenson laid out why they should be Wolverines. It didn’t take long.

“Ten minutes into Michigan, we had completely forgotten about every other school,” Spencer said. “It was over. Zach and I were sitting in the (Ross Academic Center) and we looked at each other and it was like, ‘Yeah, we’re going to Michigan.’ ”

Big test tonight for that surging fourth line.

Check on the blocking. Press conference regurgitating here but let's bring that out from behind a jump to confirm that, yeah, Joe Kerridge is in the process of Wally Pipping one Stephen Hopkins:

“I think Joe’s had a pretty daggone good stretch here," coach Brady Hoke said Wednesday. "He’s practiced well. You look at the iso’s and some of the things that he’s doing in practice, and then when he gets out there on the field. That’s a big part of it.”

Hopkins became the starting fullback midway through last season when then-starter John McColgan suffered an injury. He started every game at fullback until sustaining the hamstring injury before the UMass game in Week 3.

Now, it appears he's out of a job.

Brandon Moore isn't playing much after returning from injury either, but I don't think many people are surprised about that.

See no evil no longer works. The NCAA is set to adopt the long-in-the-making penalty revamp that will finally make head coaches responsible for their assistants breaking NCAA rules:

"It's a tougher penalty structure, there's no doubt about it," Southern California athletic director Pat Haden said in an interview conducted prior to USA TODAYSports' acquisition of the document. "The point is, for head coaches -- and this goes for any sport -- you have this responsibility. You need to be constantly vigilant and you need to be constantly coaching your coaches about how important it is to play by the rules." …

Head coaches can avoid penalties for violations committed by their staff if they can document vigilance about potential red flags. For example, the document states that a head coach should ask about how unofficial visits are paid for and advises head coaches to ask their assistants if they suspect a third party or handler is involved in the recruitment.

The rules are supposed to go into effect Tuesday; hopefully they'll have some impact. Always tough to tell.

Puck drop tonight. The CCHA's parting gift to Michigan starts this weekend as what might be the conference series of the year will see the Saturday game bereft since it's on at the same time Nebraska-Michigan is. The athletic department is selling half-price tickets to both games this weekend, which says something about where Yost attendance is when you can't even sell out a 7:35 Friday game against Miami.

Whether Yost is present or not, they'll drop the puck. MHN on the Redhawks:

Miami is led offensively by a strong group of underclassmen.  Five of their top six scorers are a freshman and sophomores.  Sophomores Blake Coleman (4-1-5 in 4gp), Austin Czarnik (2-3-5 in 4gp), and freshman Riley Barber (3-2-5 in 4gp) are all tied for the team scoring lead.

Like the Wolverines, the RedHawks welcome a pair of freshmen in the crease who have split playing time.  Freshman Jay Williams is 2-0-0 with a 1.94 GAA and .915 save percentage.  Fellow classmate Ryan McKay is 1-0-1 with a 0.48 GAA and .984 save percentage.

After two weekends in which the play on the ice was dominating against lower-level competition this is an acid test. Racine will get the start for M.

BONUS: The only word we'd had on Michigan's nonconference scheduling after the move to the Big Ten was something Red tossed off about having little desire to continue "so-called rivalries" against Miami and Notre Dame, which was disappointing. Red seems to have reversed his opinion somewhat, though:

Berenson said on Inside Michigan Hockey this week that Miami is interested in scheduling non-conference games after the CCHA disbands.

I'm guessing scheduling ND is out of the question after they ended the football series in the most dickish way possible.

I'm nervous that Michigan's going to run out 14 games against Bentley next year. Any indication they're not is welcome.

Meanwhile, here's my contractually obligated reminder that the Michigan schools and a guest—probably Bowling Green—should ditch the GLI for a State of Michigan Championship that would be awesome. The trophy could be a mitten the size of a man the winning captain has to put on. Yeah.

Squash. It was known at the time that Rick Pitino was theees close to becoming Michigan's basketball coach a while back when the Amaker hire was made, and good Lord what—

“The day that I committed to Louisville, I signed an agreement to be the next head coach of Michigan and I was fired up to be the coach at Michigan," Pitino said. "The athletic director at the time, who’s no longer there (Bill Martin), was playing squash and my wife came up, she just didn’t want me to go to the west coast, UNLV, and be away from the children. She agreed, okay let’s go to Michigan."

She eventually convinced him to change his mind, and due to one of Martin's squash matches, Pitino informed Michigan of his decision via voicemail.

"I tried to call the A.D. at Michigan between 12 and 1," he recalled. "I had a false name. I would give him a fake name and he would call me back. I couldn’t get a hold of him because he was playing squash. The secretary said he demands that he doesn’t get interrupted unless it’s an emergency and if you want you can leave a voicemail.

"I left a voicemail and went to Louisville and I’m really happy I did."

What qualifies as an emergency to Athletic Director Bill Martin?

  • 50% off sale at Squash Unlimited
  • Opportunity to hire nice man who wears turtlenecks but has no coaching acumen
  • Molasses explosion
  • 30% off sale at Squash Unlimited
  • Member of immediate family diagnosed with rickets or beri-beri, ONLY rickets or beri-beri don't come to me with any of this scurvy business eat an orange for crissakes
  • 1975 America's Cup highlights VHS arrives via Pony Express
  • Champagne reaches 56.7 degrees
  • Anything at all not related to the most important part of his job

People in charge of things are just in charge of them. There is not necessarily a reason.

Lewan draft stock. Doing okay you guys:

Michigan's Taylor Lewan matched the physical challenge presented by hated in-state rival Michigan State and their 6-6, 278 pound defensive end William Gholston. … Just as Lewan did in 2011, the Michigan left tackle controlled Gholston, demonstrating enough lateral agility and balance in his kick-slide to maintain the edge and the great length and strength to lock up his opponent. Gholston lacks the explosive burst to give Lewan a stiff challenge in pass protection but the Spartans also sent smaller, quicker pass rushers against Lewan, including linebackers on the blitz. Having only played on the offensive line since his senior season of high school, Lewan demonstrated the improvement in pass protection scouts are hoping to see from him to warrant the frequent comparisons he's gained to former Wolverine star Jake Long.

Lewan has specifically improved in his patience as a pass blocker, recognizing spin movies and sliding laterally rather than lunging. As he has throughout much of his career, Lewan was also consistently able to knock defenders off the ball in the running game. Despite his height, the 6-7, 310 pound Lewan played with good pad level, winning the battle of leverage against Gholston and other MSU defenders.

Let's hope he stays anyway.

Etc.: Quinton Washington picture pages WSG Campbell, Roh, and Floyd. John Beilein will live forever. John Beilein says things to media members. Downing, Motte, and Compher feature in USHL prospects article. How do improve NCAA rule enforcement: outsource it. How Northwestern busted the 80 yard Venric Mark TD. Denard Robinson's mechanics. Injuries hit Horford (apparently minor) and McGary (minor, still recovering).

Preview: Nebraska 2012

Preview: Nebraska 2012

Submitted by Brian on October 26th, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Previously here: Ace FFFF! jonvalk wallpaper.

0d_1_2[1]Essentials

WHAT Michigan vs Nebraska
WHERE Memorial Stadium
Lincoln, NE
WHEN 8:00 PM EST
October 27th, 2012
THE LINE Nebraska -2
TELEVISION ESPN2
WEATHER cloudy, dry, around 40

 

Is that corn in your pocket or… oh, I see. It's corn.

Run Offense vs Nebraska

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COME TO NEBRASHHHHKA STATTE

Last week Michigan kept its head above water against an excellent run defense on the strength of two big gains. One of them came when MSU's crappy defensive tackle got creased on a run blitz. The other was a quarterback draw late when Michigan State backed off, uncharacteristically, and paid for it. With those two runs, Michigan crested 5 YPC against a top ten—maybe top five—defense. Without them, they barely exceeded 3 YPC.

Is that good? Bad? Ah hell I don't know. Denard is Denard and will rip off big gains if you keep feeding him the ball, and Toussaint's big run is the kind of thing that happens to super aggressive defenses when they get creased (and a walk-on WR gets his block on). In the end, 5 YPC is fair. Nard gonna Nard.

The good news is that Nebraska's defense is emphatically not Michigan State's.

Opponent Att Yds TD YPC
UCLA 51 362 0 7.1
Wisconsin 37 96 3 2.6
OSU 46 379 6 8.2
Northwestern 37 182 2 4.9

Except when it is sometimes I guess? Nebraska blew it badly on one 80-yard Venric Mark touchdown. Other than that, Northwestern muddled along at about the same rate Wisconsin did. In half of Nebraska's games against BCS competition, they're Michigan State. In half, they're roadkill.

If there's a pattern you can draw from four games, it's spread 'n' shreds leaving tread marks all over the Cornhusker D. UCLA QB Brett Hundley is a run threat (9 carries for 66 yards) and opened Jonathan Franklin up for a 216-yard blitz. Braxton Miller almost cracked 200 himself and opened it up for Carlos Hyde to hit 140. Though not included in the table above, even winless Southern Miss saw quarterback Anthony Alford hit 84 yards on 15 carries… before getting pulled because he was also 1 of 5 for six yards. The Eagles hit 4.6 YPC on the day.

In a bizarre move, Northwestern all but abandoned the Kain Colter running game in favor of having Trevor Sieman throw 35 times, so they fit more in the Wisconsin mold than UCLA/OSU:

Nebraska made it very clear that they'd sit back in man free all game, and the Wildcats tried to beat them over the top time and again even though the Husker corners were locking down the Northwestern wideouts and quarterback Trevor Siemian lacked accuracy on his deep ball. The Wildcats threw 37 times and ran 38 times despite (1) playing against an awful run defense, and (2) holding a lead for most of the game.

WTFitz. Nebraska did hold Colter down on his few carries, FWIW.

Will Nebraska be able to do the same to Denard? Well… I'm doubtful. Ace saw Nebraska blitz twice in the first half and lay back in a bend-but-don't-break shell, likely because the shell-shocked Huskers were going back to basics after the OSU debacle. Nebraska's safeties, like Michigan State's, are active hitters in the run game, though, so if they're lining up nine yards off the LOS and coming down hard in an effort to replicate MSU's gameplan, trouble may ensue.

Emphasis on "may"—MSU's aggressiveness was effective instead of disastrous because Denicos Allen and Max Bullough are fast as hell and the MSU safeties are pretty good, as well. Nebraska only avoided a couple of long Denard Robinson touchdowns last year because Lavonte David played the same role as the MSU linebackers did last week: guy who makes shoestring tackle just as you're standing up to yell "GOOOOOOOOO." Lavonte David's not around anymore, and the Nebraska LB corps misses his athleticism. They're not bad—except when they are of course—but if a gap gets vacated or the sideline is tested they are less likely to be able to mitigate that damage with a super fast tackling machine. Stafford is a boom or bust SS, too, and could at any time wander off in the wrong direction as Denard screams upfield.

Key Matchup: Denard's ankles versus opponent's outstretched arms. There are going to be two or three moments in the game where Denard is setting sail for the endzone. Where you at, Will Compton? Are you Lavonte David walking through that door?

[Hit THE JUMP for WHAT THEY CAN SCORE THAT AIN'T RAIGHT]

Opponent Watch: Week 8

Opponent Watch: Week 8

Submitted by Heiko on October 25th, 2012 at 7:17 PM

About Last Weekend:

Michigan State 10, Michigan 12

Apologies -- Spartyfreude is a little blurry. In any case, what are these people looking at? Oh I know. Anything but the scoreboard.

"You're good looking, and I'm good looking. We should be good looking together."

What TheOnlyColors and MaizeNBrew should do if they haven't done so already.

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

The Road Ahead:

Nebraska (5-2 overall, 2-1 B1G)

Last game: Nebraska 29, Northwestern 28 (W)

Recap: When a team plays Northwestern, no deficit is too great to overcome. This is a fundamental law of football. With his team down 12 points in the fourth quarter, Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez (27/39, 342 yards, 3 TD) led the Huskers offense on two 80-yard touchdown drives to eke out a win. The Wildcats had an opportunity near the end to regain the lead but, as they are wont to do, they missed a long field goal.

For Michigan, this wasn’t the ideal outcome. While Northwestern had a nice streak going and remains one of the B1G’s two bowl-eligible teams, it would have been preferable to contend at home with a hypothetical one-conference-loss Northwestern team for the division rather than go to Lincoln to play a critical tie-breaker (sort of) game against a one-conference-loss Nebraska. If Michigan loses this weekend it no longer controls its own destiny. But you knew that.

So let’s focus on why the Huskers were down 12 to the Wildcats in the first place. For one, they didn’t have much rhythm on offense until Martinez went pass-happy against Northwestern’s defense, which plays a 4-3-Gibson scheme. The run game never broke anything big with the longest run being 15 yards. Martinez and RB Ameer Abdullah both got nearly 20 carries a piece and averaged 4.5 ypc, though the Wildcats have a decent run defense, so that’s not a total surprise.

Defensively they did a good job against most aspects of Northwestern’s attack – they kept Trevor Siemian (15/35, 116 yards, 2 TD) to 3.3 ypa and almost limited the Wildcats otherwise effective run game to less than three yards per carry … had it not been for one spectacular bust that allowed an 80-yard TD run by Venric Mark (16 carries, 118 yards, 1 TD) from a triple-option handoff up the middle. That the Blackshirts linebackers busted an assignment is an understatement.

As a final note, Nebraska turned the ball over three times over the course of the game. They fumbled twice (the one at the end was maybe meaningless) on offense and had one epic puntmuffin, which led immediately to a Northwestern touchdown.

Huskers fans prefer to downplay these mistakes, particularly the ones on special teams, when projecting how their team will do against upcoming opponents. Against Michigan, though, they won't be able to afford to play sloppy no matter how many yards they end up racking up on offense.

This team is as frightening as: The Detroit Tigers. Brilliant when in a groove but somewhat subject to horrifying derailment. Fear level = 6 +/-2.

Michigan should worry about: Limiting mistakes on the road at night. I think Brady Hoke and Al Borges have that down at the infuriating expense of offensive play calls that adjust intelligently to defensive scheme. This means that Michigan is just going to have to wait for the opponent to make mistakes on defense. I’m actually kind of okay with that in this case, because …

Michigan can sleep soundly about: I do not believe in Nebraska’s defense. Their most impressive performance to date has been against nobody. Serious. They’ve failed to hold any of their BCS opponents under 27 points. Maybe they did well against Wisconsin by holding Montee Ball to 90 yards rushing on 32 carries, but that was when the Badgers were going through an offensive crisis that resulted in the defenestration of their offensive line coach.

Maybe the Huskers have an okay secondary and a couple playmakers in the front seven, but that does not an Al Borges Denard Fusion Cuisine-busting defense make.

When they play Michigan: Michigan will try to win on the ground; Nebraska will try to win through the air. The Huskers have at least four viable receiving options in their receivers and tight ends, and it’s going to put a lot of pressure on the secondary to stick to their assignments, particularly if Raymon Taylor isn’t 100%. Plus, Michigan is overdue for giving up a big WTF play or two on defense. On the bright side, if the Huskers can’t do it, no one left on the schedule save Ohio State will be able to.

Next game: vs. No. 22 Michigan.

Fee Fi Foe Film: Nebraska

Fee Fi Foe Film: Nebraska

Submitted by Ace on October 24th, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Where have you gone, perfect-passin' Taylor?

Nebraska needed two touchdowns in the final six minutes to eke by Northwestern on the "road," 29-28, last Saturday. The game wasn't nearly as close as the score would indicate, however, as it took three Husker fumbles—two on muffed punts—to nearly negate a 543-301 total yardage advantage. For most of the game, Northwestern's best offense was to punt to Nebraska and dive on the football.

The first seven minutes of the game and the final two minutes were cut off, respectively, by the Ohio State-Purdue overtime and my DVR (note to self: extend recording an hour, not 30 minutes), and there's no torrent available, so this breakdown covers the middle 51 or so minutes.

OFFENSE

Spread, Pro-Style, or Hybrid? The Husker offense leans heavily spread-run, with the vast majority of the snaps coming out of the shotgun except in short-yardage situations, when they usually go I-form.

Basketball on Grass or MANBALL? A team that runs as much as Nebraska is going to show both gap and zone blocking concepts. They run a fair amount of inside and outside zone, but also showed some interesting ways to get Martinez on the edge with pulling linemen (see the play breakdown below).

Hurry it up or grind it out? Nebraska had a slightly above-average pace last year and looks to be in the same range this year; they're not a sprint-to-the-line spread squad.

Quarterback Dilithium Level (Scale: 1 [Navarre] to 10 [Denard]): You're likely pretty familiar with Taylor Martinez, who currently sits behind only Denard Robinson and Braxton Miller in the rushing standings among Big Ten quarterbacks. He's always been a very solid runner, with speed only surpassed by Denard among B1G QBs, and he broke a surprising number of tackles against Northwestern. The threat he provides with his legs makes the Husker offense very difficult to defend—I'll give him an 8, and that could easily be a 9.

Dangerman: With running back Rex Burkhead likely out of the game this weekend, Martinez becomes the focal point of the Husker offense. Another player to watch is sophomore wideout Kenny Bell, currently leading the team in receiving with 26 catches for 540 yards (20.8 ypc) and five touchdowns. He's a tough cover, dangerous both going downfield or catching short passes and getting big YAC, and that's worrisome if Raymon Taylor is limited at all this weekend.

Zook Factor: Despite having one of the best rushing attacks in the country, Bo Pelini is quite conservative on fourth down, only going for it three times this year. The Huskers have converted twice, but the failure came against Northwestern, when they dialed up the same QB sweep that they ran on the previous play for seven yards—the Wildcats sniffed it out and stuffed in the backfield.

HenneChart: If you've listened to the podcast in the last couple of week, you know that the Big Ten's passing efficiency leader—by a wide margin, no less—is none other than Taylor Martinez. Yes, the very same Taylor Martinez who completed 56% of his passes with a 13/8 TD-to-INT ratio last year. T-Magic completed 27-of-39 passes for 342 yards and three touchdowns against Northwestern. This must be a fluke, right?

Opponent DO CA MA IN BR TA BA PR SCR DSR
Northwestern 2 21 (2) -- 4 2 1 -- 3 1 77%

Sure, part of Martinez's performance can be credited to Northwestern's craptastic secondary (107th in pass yardage, 54th in efficiency). However, most of it was due to improved mechanics and better decision-making. There were still flashes of the old T-Magic—back-to-back fourth-quarter passes earned the dreaded "Bad Read" label, and both were potentially game-sealing interceptions that were dropped by the Wildcats—but by and large he looks like a completely different quarterback.

[The rest of the breakdown goes after THE JUMP.]

Wednesday Presser Transcript 10-24-12: Brady Hoke

Wednesday Presser Transcript 10-24-12: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on October 24th, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Bulleits:

  • Anthony Capatino is running the scout team at quarterback, but they still go against Denard like they usually do.
  • Joe Reynolds is not just a blocking receiver.
  • Stephen Hopkins has been available for the last two weeks but hasn't played. Kerridge appears to have usurped his spot on the depth chart.
  • Re: Not resetting the clock after review, the Big Ten didn't see an issue with it. 

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

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Opening remarks:

“Very physical football game we’re going to play. Tough environment. Good practice yesterday. Have to finish that up with a good work day today. They present some problems with the dual threat of the quarterback and his improvement -- I think he’s 67 percent or so completions -- stable of running backs that do a nice job within their offense, and executing defensively. Negative plays. That’s something that they’ve been very good at to sacks and tackles for loss, try and get you off schedule that way. I think for us, the environment, we have to handle that. I think we’ve been in enough of those situations and mature enough to do that, but we can’t have any confusion at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Confusion in the huddle or those things, so it takes a real focus and concentration to be able to do that.”

Guess the Score, Win Stuff: Newbraska

Guess the Score, Win Stuff: Newbraska

Submitted by Seth on October 24th, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Guessthescore2012Nebraksa

Cause they're such B1G Newbs, get it?

Welcome bloggers to installment the third of a new regular MGoFeature, and the only one that gives you free stuff. Usually it'll be something from the MGoStore; occasionally someone will donate or sponsor a different item. It works like thusly:

  1. Wednesday mornings I put up a winnable prize that consists of a desirable good.
  2. You guess the final scores of this weekend's designated game (football or hoops, depending on the season), and put it in the comments. First person to post a particular score has it.
  3. If you got it right, we contact you. If not, go to (5)
  4. The desirable good arrives at the address you give us.
  5. Non-winners can acquire the same desirable good by trading currency for it.

About Last Week:

MANBALL indeed. Eschewing such newfangled contraptions as downfield passes and touchdowns, the Hokemen finally defeated those irksome helots by an andric score of 12-10. Unfortunately none of you lawn-tramping whippersnappers could imagine such a manful accounting, and therefore I am keeping the prize. And giving it to this week's winner instead. JACKPOT T-SHIRTS!

This Week's Game:

Nebraska is dry

According to a leading agribusiness consultant, brown = bad.

The Nebraska Cornshuckers vs. the Michigan Wolverines: 2012 football edition.

3185_10

Drought conditions and a throwing motion not seen since the Cretaceous led to record highs for corn this year after the USDA published its bleak report on expected touchdown yields. Though prices have come down somewhat after a surprisingly large crop of points were harvested in a 63-38 loss to Ohio State, these next several weeks, starting this Saturday, will be critical to shaping a market still dogged with questions like "Who's going to win the Bo Division?" and "Is Burkhead healthy?" and "Do they have a defense?" and "Didn't Wisconsin already have those uniforms?"

You, loyal reader, can take this opportunity to let people know you are up to date on the state of agribusiness, and ready to talk futures.

Bonus Again:

GUESS MICHIGAN'S TOTAL RUSHING YARDS ON SATURDAY

The director has given us several more pairs, so I'm gonna keep giving them to people. If you're going to be around Ann Arbor at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 16, we have two free tickets to the premier of PERSEVERANCE-The Story of Billy Taylor.

BT-Head-OSU-Game-Focused_thumbBT-Color-Serious-w-Press-Box.bl014181_thumb

Taylor was an All-American running back who broke Michigan's career rushing record (and ended second to Harmon in TDs) while playing for the early Bo teams. Personal tragedies sparked a downward spiral that ruined his pro career and sent him through 25 years of hell. Then he got back up. If you go to the event you'll get to meet Taylor and several other Michigan luminaries. Note: whether you've got our tickets or just wanna go, make sure you get to the Michigan Theater at least a half-hour early or risk losing the seat.

Closest to the pin wins (tie goes to the over).

Notes: If you win the shirt and prefer another shirt, that's cool; pick an MGoShirt.

4507_494499_2184150_49
UGP-CW-Apparel4469_494466_218

Rules: One entry per user. First user to choose a set of scores wins, determined by the timestamp of your entry (for my ease I prefer if you don't post it as a reply to another person's score--if you do it won't help or hurt you). If nobody gets the score, this week's prize carries over to the following week's. Deadline for entries is 24 hours before the start of the game (since I won't have time to pull them on gamedays). MGoEmployees and Moderators--anyone else with moderator privileges--are exempt from winning because you could change your timestamp. If you choose the score that Brian published in the official preview and it actually ends up the final score, well, that would be pretty amazing because Brian picks scores like 29-11 all the time.

Tuesday Presser Transcript 10-23-12: Greg Mattison

Tuesday Presser Transcript 10-23-12: Greg Mattison

Submitted by Heiko on October 23rd, 2012 at 5:50 PM

file

Opening remarks:

“Well here we go. We have another week coming up, and obviously this is going to be a huge challenge for us defensively because it’s a very very explosive offense. Watching them on film and watching what they’ve done so far this year, this will be a big test for us, so we’re looking for it. Going on the road and playing an offense like this, it’ll kind of [allow us] to see where we’re at.”

Do you use that at all to keep guys from getting complacent?

“We won’t get complacent. Believe me. That won’t happen. We’ve got so far to go, you know. I mean, again, I’m proud of the way they have played hard. I’m proud of everybody buying into try and run to the football as hard as you can, but there’s so many things we have to get better at, and they see that on the film, and they believe it just as much as we as coaches do. That’s what’s pleasing. They know where they have to get to yet and how far away they are. We just have to keep taking strides and keep trying to get better.”

How has Taylor Martinez been able to improve as a passer?

“Well I think their running game is the best, or one of the best in the Big Ten. Any time you have a really good running game, guys can get a little more open than they would if it was a true passing situation. He’s a good quarterback. I think the other thing is his offensive line looks a lot more athletic this year. They’re a very good offensive line, and they’ve protected him, and he’s a year older.”

Unverified Voracity Beats East Plano Tech State

Unverified Voracity Beats East Plano Tech State

Submitted by Brian on October 23rd, 2012 at 4:53 PM

900. The video from the boards:

Can we start calling the team Hokemen, Daily?

Speaking of…

We have fewer lame-o wins than anyone! Except Georgia! Pat Forde scours the ten winningest programs in college football history to find the out how many of those wins have been run up against East York Veterinary School. Michigan's docket:

Michigan (19). Total wins: 900. Junk wins: 57 (at least). Percentage of all-time wins that are junk: 6.3. Persistent pigeon: Case Institute of Technology (Ohio), 26-0-1 record. Scheduled junk win that turned into a bad loss: Cleveland AA 8, Michigan 4. What, you were expecting Appalachian State? (Since the game was played in 1891, the AA is not believed to be Alcoholics Anonymous.)

That's actually fewer than anyone in the top ten save Georgia, though Georgia did lose to an empty patch of grass in 1943. The worst offender is USC, with 102 Doris Beautician School beatdowns.

Meanwhile… 8-4, huh? Sounds preview-licious. If only I had known about this Cleveland AA game before Michigan played State.

Is that an axe between your legs or are you just happy to see me? Oh, it's actually an axe.

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Via Heiko and his insatiable appetite for panoramic photos. Larger version.

Get there. All weeks are championship weeks:

"Probably just as much as you guys are thinking in your heads," Mealer said. "As much as you guys have been hearing it, we hear it even more. And for you guys, it's probably overbearing and redundant and things like that -- I'm sure, because I can see all the smiles when I brought it up -- but for us, that's why you come to Michigan.

"For us players, it's not redundant, it's not, 'OK we get it.' It's, 'Remember last year? We lost a game here, we lost a game there, and we kept ourselves out of that game.' So we accept the constant reminder of it."

Mealer said there's a picture of the Big Ten championship trophy in the team's Schembechler Hall meeting room. There are roses painted on the walls, a not-so-subtle reminder of the bowl that awaits the league's champion.

This one maybe a little more than most.

I'm not sure I can do this any longer, @umichcompliance. I started following Michigan's compliance feed for some reason. Maybe I needed more dry statements of things I can't do and have never even thought of doing in my life.

It's been a passionate affair so far, but I'm not sure if I can deal with the mindboggle on the regular. To wit:

Michigan Compliance@umichcompliance

The NCAA prohibits the sale of any item with the name, picture or autograph of a currently enrolled student-athlete.

That seems like a pretty reasonable restrict

image

!!!

Let's not forget, Dude—that keeping pictures… uh… items with the name, picture, or autograph of a currently enrolled student-athlete… on, uh, your official, you know, website… that ain't legal.

Burkhead may not play. Sounds like Nebraska tailback Rex Burkhead may sit out Saturday after tweaking an ACL sprain last weekend:

Huskers coach Bo Pelini said this aggravation isn't as bad as the one in the Ohio State game, but the repeated issues have him inclined to rest Burkhead for a week. Pelini said Burkhead is day to day and has improved since Saturday.

"He felt really good going into the [Northwestern] game, didn't have any issues in practice," Pelini said. "He's frustrated and obviously disappointed he's had to deal with it. It's been too bad."

Backup/co-starter Ameer Abdullah hasn't ben much of a drop-off: he's averaging almost 6 yards a carry on 86 attempts, with impressive output in the three Big Ten games he's played in—5.5 YPC. He's faster than Burkhead, albeit slighter. Former top 100 recruit Braylon Heard should also get some carries.

Also in Nebraska, reviews of their latest game.

Pitch perfect. The MZone is actually written by Stephen Colbert.

Gibbons & Dileo Threat Down[1]

"Nation, I've always been a big fan of Michigan State football coach and scowling man most likely to tell kids to get the hell off his lawn, Mark Dantonio.  His enduring sportsmanship, like getting into public feuds with 21 year old college kids by mocking their height, along with always looking out for the health and best interests of his players, evidenced by holding them out at least two plays when they get an on-field concussion, have made him a role model Spartan fans can be proud of before, during and after the burning of their couches."

Fourth line FTW. The top takeaway from Friday's one-off hockey game against Bentley was the fantastic play of what was nominally the fourth line of Andrew Copp, Zach Hyman, and Justin Selman. They scored twice, dominated play when on the ice, and must have locked themselves into additional playing time as Michigan kicks off their final CCHA campaign against Miami:

The line of Hyman, Copp and Selman has “really given our team a life,” according to Michigan coach Red Berenson.

“He told us what we needed to do to have a good week in practice,” Selman said. “He was making sure every day we were going as hard as we could. We kind of worked off what he was doing and followed in his footsteps.

Copp came from the same lineage as Danny Fardig—the guy on the USA NTDP roster who bounces from the U17s to U18s to fill in on the fourth line and never score—but has shown some soft hands early. Hyman played with a high energy level, as well. I haven't seen Selman enough to really get a read on him yet, but the line's performance speaks for itself.

Clare will return to the lineup against Miami, BTW. Mike Szuma was okay as a sixth defenseman on Friday. Michigan Hockey Net has a Bentley recap.

Siberia also FTW. Preds winger Sergei Kostitsyn is spending the lockout playing in Siberia. This is what Siberia looks like. In May.

1[1]

Kostitsyn, 25, who joined the Predators from the Montreal Canadiens in June 2010, also said he hated life in North America and labelled Columbus "the gloomiest" city in the States.

Unfortunately, he could not continue ripping on Columbus because Omsk was invaded by thousands of red plastic figures at that very moment.

Thinking alike. BWS picture-paged the zero-yard Denard run that featured as an exemplar of Michigan State going ape on run plays in the just-posted edition on this site. Yeesh:

Screen Shot 2012-10-22 at 1.23.02 PM[1]

I think the only deep ball in this game was out of an I-Form to a double-covered Jeremy Jackson. Gotta loosen those guys up—yeah, you might turn the ball over if you bomb it deep but if you're just punting in three plays anyway…

How Purdoed it. Doesn't work as well as "Purdon't," I guess, and is equally dumb. Anyway, Ross Fulton's latest breakdown of the Ohio State offense is even more interesting than normal since it deals with topics often found here in the aftermath of OSU's extensive struggles against the Purdue defense. Purdue loaded up to stop Miller, won a lot of battles on the line of scrimmage, and OSU could not punish Purdue cheating off the slot receivers. This sounds awfully familiar:

The Buckeye passing game was perhaps most successful when OSU could get their hurry-up offense going and catch Purdue in uncertainty. This led to the second Buckeye touchdown. But all too often Ohio State missed available opportunities. For instance, Devin Smith several times had man coverage beat. If Braxton simply leads him to the corner and lets him run under it, it was a potential touchdown.

 

More acutely, Ohio State was not able to punish Purdue for cheating off their slot receivers. It was not simply for a lack of trying. Miller sailed one bubble screen over Corey Brown's head. On the clip above, he held the ball a second too long, allowing the Purdue corner to make a nice play. But other times it appeared clear opportunities were available that OSU did not take advantage of. Traditionally, this has been an automatic check with Meyer and Herman. The offense will continue running the pre-called play but the QB will simply pull and throw the football. Perhaps Meyer & Co have not yet given Miller the ability to do so. But by allowing alley players to cheat into the box, a spread offense quickly loses the numbers advantage it gains from the QB run threat.

That's how you end up with 100 yards at halftime against Purdue. OSU started bashing straight ahead A-gap power from the pistol and running their veer a gap inside the crashing LBs, but Miller's exit cut their response short.

Hey hey!

OSU must find more consistent ways to punish a defense that cheats alley defenders. Whether it is with wide receiver screens or bootlegs, OSU cannot allow a defense that much free rein. OSU must not also let opposing defenses dissuade them from sticking to what they do well. Though this is somewhat counter to the previous point, I believe they work together. The Buckeyes must continue to work to establish their base run game and then use play-action to exploit an opposing defense.

This mindmeld thing is creeping me out.

Etc.: Hero police robot back on duty after 'unstable man' blasts it with shotgun. You will be surprised to know this happened in Nebraska, not Detroit, home of police robots. [HT: Corn Nation.] RAWK HELICOPTER FLYOVER. Mmmmm… Dwayne Bacon. Hundred Level video released. O'Bannon lawsuit update. [HT: Get the Picture.] Getting our mean on at MNB. Nebraska equals points. OSU adds an Oregon home and home to their far future.

Tuesday Presser Transcript 10-23-12: Al Borges

Tuesday Presser Transcript 10-23-12: Al Borges

Submitted by Heiko on October 23rd, 2012 at 2:31 PM

file

“ ’Sup? What are you shaking your head about?”

I’m laughing at your “Giants and Tigers, it’s on” thing.

“It’s on. I’m fired up.”

Are you a baseball fan?

“Yeah, but not as much now as normal. Just a little more focused on other things, but I’m like anybody else. I like watching Sportscenter.”

What’s the word of the day?

“The word of the day? God. Good question. What’s the word of the day … Hmm. ‘Ear confection.’ Yeah. ‘Ear confection.’ It’s two words, actually. She has an ear confection. That’s what she said. And I’ll be darned if I’m going to correct her. It’s too cute listening to her say it.”

What did you see from the Michigan State film that you liked?

“Oh, certainly wasn’t flashy. But there were some good plays. We played a very close-to-the-vest football game offensively. It was by my own admission conservative. The nice thing about it, as much as we failed inside the red area -- or we could have been better because there were some chances there -- but our quarterback took care of the ball. Other than when it was in essence a meaningless interception at the end of the half. He did play pretty smart. It kept us in the game although it wasn’t flashy. That part I liked, which has shown, the last three weeks particularly, is his growth. About being conscious of taking care of the football, making plays where there are plays, and not trying to create something that’s not there. That was good, and that will help us in the future I think.”

Monday Presser Transcript 10-22-12: Brady Hoke

Monday Presser Transcript 10-22-12: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on October 22nd, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Bullets:

  • Raymon Taylor should be good to go Saturday against Nebraska.
  • Hoke is being super coy about putting Denard on the kickoff return team.
  • Spread punts! I asked. Hoke answered. And ... he's just more comfortable with the traditional punt, it seems. 

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

Presser

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Opening remarks:

“You know, we had a good practice last night. Good energy. We have an opponent that’s an awfully good football team when you look at they’ve won 18 of 20 at home. They’re 4-0 this year. I think Taylor Martinez is playing his best football. You look defensively or offensively, they’re leading the league in scoring. Very good football team. They’re physical up front. Defensively you look at tackles for a loss and you look at negative plays that they create. They’re leading in sacks, I think they’re leading in TFLs. Very physical group. Playing in Lincoln a neat place to play because of their tradition and their passion that they have as a fan base about Nebraska football. It’s really a neat place to play. It’ll be loud. We’ll have to play our best football that we’ve played this year.”