Punt-Counterpunt: Purdue 2012

Punt-Counterpunt: Purdue 2012

Submitted by Brian on October 6th, 2012 at 12:40 PM


jonvalk. he knows it's not at home now.

Something's been missing from Michigan gamedays since the free programs ceased being economically viable: scientific gameday predictions that are not at all preordained by the strictures of a column in which one writer takes a positive tack and the other a negative one. Something like… Punt-Counterpunt.


By Ken “Sky” Walker

The “bye week” has become a regular part of the college football season for some time now. But taking a weekend off from following the Wolverines each fall can be discombobulating. Watching West Virginia and Baylor play “basketball on grass” last week was big fun, though I suspect even some of the players didn't know they were actually participating in a football game. But it was far better than that snoozefest held in East Lansing. I thought this was an opportunity to ‘scout’ Michigan’s rivals, but I soon realized my malice toward both these schools meant blowing this game off was the way to go.

How about those Detroit Tigers! The Wolverines' break gave me a chance to pay attention to the playoff race. I find division title celebrations hilarious. Every other pro sport eschews celebrating before the championship series, but not baseball. These boys just love to party! Players are wearing goggles before they get off the field! I guess you can’t blame them. Surviving 160+ games just to make the playoffs—you’d be ready to bust a move too. Why baseball insists on playing its most important games in October is a mystery. End the season in August for goodness sake! The ‘fall classic’ just isn’t cool—it’s frigging cold!

The worst part of the bye week is the uncertainty of what the next game will bring. While players are probably grateful for a chance to rest and heal, we fans are left to wonder. Will the defense continue to improve? Can Michigan establish a running game? Why won’t offensive coordinator Al Borgess stop trying to make Denard into something he’s not, namely a pocket passer? And does anyone else find the hands off approach of Brady Hoke’s in game coaching to be disconcerting? Cheer leading and slapping a butt or two is ok, but could you join a strategy huddle every once and a while?

As far as this afternoon’s game goes, I’ve got a feeling the state of Indiana is not going to be good to the Wolverines this year. Michigan doesn’t seem to be playing to what their strength is – putting Denard in a position to improvise when he needs to. Prove to me that this knot in my stomach is due to some bad clams and not a season going awry.

Michigan 27 Purdue 30


By Nick RouMel

Counterpunt lives an exciting and dangerous life. Just last night, driving down a rural road in the rain, I turned off my headlights to see how long I could stand driving that way. This lasted for thrilling seconds.

It reminded me of a scene from my favorite movie of all time, “Annie Hall.” The always-scary Christopher Walken plays Diane Keaton’s (Annie’s) brother, Duane. At one point he confesses the following to Woody Allen’s character, Alvy:

I tell you this as an artist, I think you'll understand. Sometimes when I'm driving... on the road at night... I see two headlights coming toward me. Fast. I have this sudden impulse to turn the wheel quickly, head-on into the oncoming car. I can anticipate the explosion. The sound of shattering glass. The... flames rising out of the flowing gasoline.”

Alvy replies, “Right. Well, I have to—I have to go now, Duane, because I, I'm due back on the planet Earth.”

A couple of scenes later, circumstances require that Duane drives Alvy to the airport. At night, of course. The camera cuts from the oncoming headlights, to Duane’s serenely anticipatory expression, to Alvy’s terrified face. The moment is delicious.

The beauty about scenes like this is the tension, between the safe thing should happen, and the scary thing that might happen. Like, oh, say, Michigan in 1996, the year before its national championship season, cruising along ranked 9th in the country, playing at unranked Purdue… and losing, 9-3. And a virtual repeat in 2000, sitting at #6, going to unranked Purdue… and this time, losing 32-31 (I was there. Drew Brees led the improbable comeback against Drew Henson.)

The point here is that we believe Michigan should win, but our pesky memories keep bringing up the ghosts of upsets past. Ghosts that scare Punt, for example, into bailing on our beloved Wolverines.

Fear not, Punt. We will manage to dodge the headlights. (This time.)


Mailbag: ACC Openings, Arkansas(?), Mustache Tricks, Tempo, Flan

Mailbag: ACC Openings, Arkansas(?), Mustache Tricks, Tempo, Flan

Submitted by Brian on October 5th, 2012 at 3:47 PM



ND replacements open up.

Hi Brian, I don't know if you've caught up with this yet but the ACC is going to an 8 game conference schedule in football from the present 9 games.  This will create immediate schedule openings for ACC teams.  The article below from the Atlanta paper discusses the impact on GA Tech and of ND coming into the ACC. Tech and Notre Dame will be permanent partners for home and home series in basketball.  I wouldn't want UM to play GA Tech in football, with their Air Force/Navy type offense but there are a ton of other possibilities for us now within the ACC.

This puts Florida State and Clemson more on the table—and I should mention that FSU did have an Oklahoma series in addition to their annual Florida series recently, so they are not entirely averse to a second quality opponent. FSU will have to make sure they don't get Notre Dame in one of those years before anything firms up, but there are five years Michigan is looking for a sexy opponent. At least two of those years FSU will have an opening.

I'd bank on at least one ACC entering the picture in the 2016-2020 window, since two-thirds of a game every year has just opened up.

BONUS INSIDERY THING: This is not on the same level as the Alabama game prediction, which I was certain of, but I've heard from a decent source that Arkansas may be a team that pops up on the schedule in the near future. Jeff Long is a Michigan guy—thus the basketball series we've just completed—and only has TCU in 2016 as a quality opponent in the time frame Michigan will be looking for partners.

Arkansas is not on the level of a Notre Dame but as part of a schedule in which Michigan has two real opponents they're a good choice.




Do you think that Danny Hope is being vague on the status of Marve and Bolden just to keep Michigan off-balanced in game preparation? I doubt that we will see either player, but having to game plan for both a predominately pocket passer and a more mobile quarterback eats up a lot of practice time and film time. If Bolden and Marve were to be in the game, that back field if both healthy would be an athletic one which could give our defense issues.



Did I answer this question just because it came with a subject of "Mustache tricks (UNCLASSIFIED)"? That's classified.

I wouldn't put anything past coaches in their never-ending quests to gamesmanship themselves an extra yard or two, but I'm not sure about your policework there. TerBush is the athletic QB, Marve the more effective passer. Bolden is either available or not. Purdue's offense isn't going to shift that drastically based on the QB—routes will be the same, they're still going to be operating from the shotgun, etc.

In general, football coaches' manic attempts to get every edge possible are ridiculous. That stuff going down in Los Angeles is doing more damage to either LA program than the miniscule advantage provided by pretty much but not quite knowing the injury situation going into the game. It's especially grating when the same guys are like "scheme is overrated." You know what's overrated? Insane North Korea secrecy.

Can we go fast?


I'm a huge spread guy and I noticed that not once under Hoke has Michigan pushed tempo on offense unless late in halves or games. Can you explain this?

Ali Maki

There's a cost to that. Tempoing a defense requires everyone to be on the same page, restricts the package of plays you can use, and requires you to move to a different system of play-signaling.

I think it's a cost worth paying. One of the big takeaways from the Mott open practices is how often guys are not doing anything. That would drive me crazy as a coach, and does drive Chip Kelly crazy, so he set about cramming as much stuff in as possible during practice and then thinking about it after. The results have been pretty good.

Michigan doesn't, at least not right now. I get it. They've got a lot of stuff they're trying to cram into Denard and the OL without putting that extra weight on his shoulders. They haven't taken Tempo 301's prereqs.

Pretty much, buddy.


Do you or do you not support sending Denard on a safety blitz when Ohio State has a 3rd and 9 on the Michigan 40 with 3 minutes to play in a tie game-seems like a near guarantee that he would missile himself into Braxton Miller's spine, forcing a fumble which could then be returned by laquon treadwell who is visiting and has run on to the field in uncontrollable excitement.  

If this happens I will donate my entire income for the 2013 fiscal year to Vincent Smith's estate.

I'd rather have Denard throw a poisoned flan at the guy, but I guess your plan could work too.

Preview: Purdue 2012

Preview: Purdue 2012

Submitted by Brian on October 5th, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Previously here: Ace FFFFs Purdue-ND and Purdue-Marshall. Lanyard Program. Death By Trident looks at the Purdue secondary. Caleb TerBush expects to win, the bastard.


WHAT Michigan vs Purdue
WHERE Ross-Ade Stadium,
West Lafayette, IN
WHEN 4 pm Eastern, October 5th 6th 2012
WEATHER partly cloudy, around 50, no chance of rain

Note the 4 PM start time. A little strange, that one.

Run Offense vs Purdue

Fitzgerald Toussaint Purdue v Michigan IP996YNp4hWl[1]

remember this guy?

Michigan is going to test out the new Lloydmanbearpigball offense they rolled out in the second half against Notre Dame in harsh conditions… maybe. Despite having Kawaan Short and Bruce Gaston last year, Michigan exploded for 339(!) rushing yards on 53 carries. Fitz Toussaint's 59-yard back-breaker was the highlight but even outside that, Toussaint had 111 yards on 19 carries. In the UFR I marveled at how terrible Purdue's defensive ends and how slow their linebackers were, cautioning anyone from giddiness:

You say long-term. Isn't this a post-bye week ability to insert more of the actual offense effective immediately?

Maybe, but I have my doubts about how well it will work against teams stouter than Purdue. I know the Boilers coped vaguely well with Illinois and Penn State. I just have no idea how they managed that. Purdue's run defense suuuuuuuuuuuucks.

They have two main issues: the defensive end who is not senior Gerald Gooden and their outside linebackers. Gooden was all right holding the edge, so Michigan ran away from him most of the day. This is because Purdue's other DE is terrible whether it's the starter or the backup. That guy got sealed all day:

That is Michigan's first play from scrimmage. Koger seals the playside DE and that's about it. When that guy isn't stringing the play to the sideline or taking out another blocker your pitch is 75% of the way to success. On this play the MLB taking a dumb angle upfield of the Koger block is the rest of it.

A year later they're 23rd in rushing defense and ceded just 97 yards on 29 carries to Notre Dame, the only BCS team they've played to date. Ace took a look at that game instead of FFFFing a nonexistent UMass game and came back impressed with Short:

Purdue exacerbated Notre Dame's interior rushing woes by selling out against the run, forcing Golson to beat them with his arm. Kawaan Short played an All-American-caliber game, holding his ground against double teams and blowing up plays whenever he faced a single blocker. He recorded four tackles and two sacks, both coming when he made a lone Irish interior lineman look silly with a quick move off the line. PROTIP: Do not block Kawaan Short with one person.

After Michigan had a similar outing against ND's rushing offense the viability of the Irish OL is in question… but so is the viability of Michigan's OL. They had a tough time with Nix and Tuitt and will be getting a couple of players of that caliber in their face Saturday.

The question for Purdue is: what about everyone surrounding those stars at DT? Ryan Russell was a huge problem last year as a redshirt freshman; this year he's got 4.5 TFLs and two sacks. Improvement or mirage?

The same goes for Will Lucas, currently Purdue's leading tackler as a true junior. He was the MLB mentioned above. He's entering his second year as a full time starter and should be expected to improve a great deal. When Michigan flees from Short—and they will flee from Short if Mike Kwiatkowski's inflated UFR number from the ND game is any indication—will the ends hold up and the linebackers show up? Not so much last year.

Key Matchup: Kwiatkowski, Funchess, Williams, and the tackles sealing those ends inside. That was deadly for the Boilers last year.

[Hit THE JUMP for tiny corners, standard Purdue offense.]

Opponent Watch: Week 5

Opponent Watch: Week 5

Submitted by Heiko on October 4th, 2012 at 6:25 PM

The Road Ahead:

Purdue (3-1)

Last game: Marshall 41, Purdue 51 (W)

Recap: Purdue’s defense gave up 534 yards and 41 points to a middling C-USA team, but this was okay because Purdue had a 42-14 lead going into halftime and ended up with four takeaways on the day due to the fast and loose nature of Marshall’s offense. The Boilermakers were never really in danger of losing, but for argument’s sake let’s go with the storyline that QB Caleb Terbush’s brilliant performance (27/37, 294 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT) saved the day. Who needs Robert Marve when you have Drew Brees under center. Yeah.

(As Ace noted in his FFFF yesterday, most of these were screen passes, so really, credit goes to the skill guys).

Purdue didn’t do much on the ground, where they averaged a little under 3 ypc. Most of their offense was generated by screens and quick passes. If lingering concern still exists about Michigan’s defensive front, it shouldn’t matter much against Purdue. Most of the action will go outside.

Defensively the Boilermakers got papercutted to death. Marshall QB Rakeem Cato (45/68, 439 yards, 5 TD, 3 INT) … well you can just read his stats to see how that went. Unfortunately Michigan has eschewed the dink-and-dunk offense for a Big Boy NFL vertical passing game, so it’s unlikely that Denard will have as much production through the air compared with Cato. But for the amount of hype Purdue CB Josh Johnson and Ricardo Allen have generated over the offseason, that kind of a ho-hum day (although they each did record a pick-six) seems reasonable to believe that there is room to get guys open against them. Again, different offenses, different game plan, but there is room for optimism.

This team is as frightening as: Notre Dame lite. Fear level = 5.

Michigan should worry about: This is the team Michigan will likely need to beat twice in order to reach the Rose Bowl.

Michigan can sleep soundly about: If Michigan can beat them on the road, they can beat them on a neutral site, eh?

When they play Michigan: The same sorts of matchups and opportunities exist against Purdue that existed against Notre Dame: a stout defensive front with key weaknesses behind them and a mediocre offense led by solid but uninspiring quarterback play. Michigan should succeed with a more conservative game plan on offense that emphasizes the ground game (just don’t run at Kawann Short) and easy reads for Denard. Michigan’s defense should take care of the rest.

Next game: vs. Snake Oil Emporium.

The Weekly Maths: An Offensive Bye Week

The Weekly Maths: An Offensive Bye Week

Submitted by The Mathlete on October 4th, 2012 at 4:23 PM

If you managed to watch any football with Michigan off last weekend, you probably saw a lot of offense. Unless, you were gritting your teeth and hoping for the Buckeyes to beat not lose to Michigan St. West Virginia and Baylor set a dramatic tone for the day with 133 points and 1507 yards between the two. The game nearly had two 600 yard passers and featured six different receivers go over 100 yards. Pretty much the kind of day you expect Andrew Maxwell to put up if his receivers had actual hands instead of giant clubs.

But the undercard also had some big days. Miami hit a last second deep ball to avoid overtime against NC st and win 44-37. As has been well documented here, Georgia out-gunned the Bray 51-44.  All in all teams in matchups between FBS teams averaged 423 yards per game, the most in the last ten years, and possibly of all time. The week narrowly edged out the bowl season of 2005 which averaged a fraction of a yard less per team per game.

In fact, 2012 has set a blistering pace for offensive output. Week 5 is ahead of week 3 and week 2 as the top three offensive outputs in terms of yardages of all time. 2012 is only five weeks old and already has the three best offensive weeks of the last decade. Even week 1, a traditionally low offensive output week, cracks the top 20 regular season weeks and is easily the best opening week of offensive in my database.

No matter what Nick Saban thinks about the pace, the trends hold up on a per play basis.

Yards/Play Through the First Five Weeks of a Season


After a gradual increase from 2003-2010, offensive output made a big jump in 2010 and appears to be on the verge of another jump in 2012. Beyond the video game type games like West Virginia/Baylor, this change in output fundamentally alters a lot of the nature of football. As has been discussed here many times, the fourth down calculus and even the onside kick decision process has to be accounted for. And as we’ve seen in the Alabama/LSU era, it puts a strange premium on defense. If no one else but you can play quality defense, it can be a major advantage.

[You want more maths, you JUMP for the maths]

Unverified Voracity Is Sportmanteaing

Unverified Voracity Is Sportmanteaing

Submitted by Brian on October 3rd, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Marve: available? Robert Marve's ACL isn't completely torn this time so he may give it a go this weekend, which would give Purdue a second option if TerBush struggles. Emphasis on "may":

Marve said he participated in the full practice for 1st time since his latest injury. As for the game "I hope I can help out some" #Purdue

If he ends up in the game that's probably good news since it sounds like it will be a desperation move by the Boilers.

dangit should have titled this section "marvailable?"

Oklahowat. Of all the crazy things to do to save a couple lousy bucks:

Four-star offensive tackle Matt Beyer (San Antonio/Reagan) had been mentally preparing for two weeks, but that didn't make the news any easier to take.

Beyer said he was told Tuesday by Oklahoma offensive tackles coach Bruce Kittle that his scholarship offer to Oklahoma will not be honored, Beyer confirmed to SoonerNation on Thursday night.

Beyer, who committed to the Sooners on July 2, has been forced to give up football because he was diagnosed with the spinal-cord condition cervical stenosis about three weeks ago.

The Bylaw Blog notes that OU could sign him and immediately give him a medical scholarship. So… like… why not do that? Your program + Rinaldi profile of this guy – cost of scholarship > Your program + perception you're heartless + cost of scholarship. I don't get it, man.

Morgan head thing. Michigan is very cautious about head injuries:

Morgan said the word "concussion" never was used by doctors, but his symptoms were enough that he was held out against the Minutemen.

"Just got knocked and was a little out of it for a little bit," the sophomore said Tuesday. "A lot of it was precautionary, just doctors making sure on everything. But I haven't had any symptoms since and I'm feeling good.

"I haven't had a head injury, so I didn't know what to expect I guess going into it. But the doctors were really positive and honest through the whole thing and I was real upfront and told them exactly how I was feeling every day."

A plague of missed assignments. ND film review was ugly. Not for me. Not just for me. Also the players:

Against Notre Dame, the Michigan offense had 23 of those missed assignments, according to redshirt junior tackle Taylor Lewan, a number he called “unbelievably high.” The mistakes could range from missed blocks to improper reads to poor communication.

“You should have one or two maybe in a game,” Lewan said. “I’ve never seen (23 missed assignments) happen before, personally.”

Yeesh. Two were on the Smith INT, I'm sure, and various others are in Denard's lap. I hope they get these things fixed, because I don't like watching games like the Notre Dame game. Also I enjoy oxygen and water.

Epic troll? So I'm thinking about making some sort of George Clinton joke about this article on Denard Robinson…

Denard Robinson's funk 'lasted for days' after Michigan loss to Irish

…and end up looking at the comments. I've just read a bunch of "Ken M" trolling posts and this sets off the alarm bells: 

Chuck Luck · Top Commenter

"Denard Robinson's funk 'lasted for days' after Michigan loss to Irish".

Glad this young man is not in the military, people die when their fellow soldiers act like this.

Troll: successful.

In a nutshell. The SF Weekly profiles Bleacher Report and in doing so captures the thing's essence:

The exemplar of contrarian thinking offered within the site's curriculum is a Bleacher Report article titled "Why Tom Brady Is the Most Overrated Quarterback in NFL History."

This piece epitomizes much of what frustrates the site's detractors. The article's author, an affable 19-year-old college sophomore named Zayne Grantham, tells us he still thinks Brady is an overrated "system quarterback" who largely succeeds thanks to his team's capable defenses. (The New England Patriots advanced to the Super Bowl last year with the 31st-ranked defense in terms of passing and overall yardage in a 32-team league.) But even Grantham doesn't believe Brady to be history's most overrated quarterback: "In hindsight, I may not have used that headline. I'll be one of the first to say he's one of the best quarterbacks we've ever seen."

And there you have it: Anyone baited into responding to these hyperbolic stories finds themselves debating a non-starter argument with a teenager from Shreveport who doesn't even buy the premise of his own article.

Somewhere in the Bleacher Report salt mines is the next generation's Drew Sharp, who will be forced to write slideshows about the top tittays in tennis and why LeBron James is bad at basketball until he gets paid 600 dollars a month to write SEO filler under predetermined headlines. Don't tell me you don't believe in the narrative of progress.

Shades of that Illinois game, except weirder. Remember way back in the day when refs botched two massive fumble calls against Illinois and publicly apologized afterwards? This got Michigan fans in a lather because they'd experienced their share of refereeing mishaps without getting a reassuring pat on the shoulder, and did nothing to actually correct the issue. Well, in the Big 12 they've "apologized profusely" for this:

That's a lot more ambiguous than two clearly wrong calls against Illinois. Q: why are Oklahoma State fans taping horrible angles on TV the best we can do here? Shouldn't there be some cameras on the LOS, like, for all games?

[UPDATE: Big 12 says "never happened."]

Compher "marquee." The USHL just had a prospects game and reviews are rolling in. This is from The Hockey News:

J.T. Compher, LW – U.S. NTDP (USHL)
Along with Fasching, Compher is the marquee name on the NTDP this season and though he doesn’t have his teammate’s beastly size, Compher gets in the mix. At the AAPG, the University of Michigan commit demonstrated a dogged determination around the puck, never giving up on a play. He’ll be one of the team’s leading scorers this season. Draft eligible in 2013.

Michigan Hockey Net rounds up reactions to Compher, Allen, and Downing and provides season-to-date stats in his weekly hockey recruiting update.

Exit CCHA. MLive has a good article on the end of the CCHA. Relevant bit on the Mason Cup:

“I’ve been asked a lot about that. Does the final winner take it? Just like the Stanley Cup, there are two Mason Cups. There’s one where (current CCHA tournament champion) Western Michigan has it on display and we have another we keep on display at the Joe (Louis Arena) during the season.”

Pletsch said no option is being kept off the table. He said he has contacted the Hockey Hall of Fame to gauge the interest there. He said he has also thought about giving the Mason family one of trophies to keep.

In a respectful gesture Pletsch said he has even reached out to the Big Ten about possibly donating the trophy to the league that ultimately led to the CCHA’s demise.

“If they wanted it we would consider donating it to them,” he said.

I doubt any of the other five teams in the newly formed Big Ten are going to be enthusiastic about that idea. Given the hodgepodge of trophies they created for football, the new trophy will probably be the Comley-Markell-Gadowsky Cup.

Etc.: As part of my trip to Georgia I got to deploy my best Marvin the Paranoid Android impression in an AIRBHG t-shirt. Stuffing the Passer. Hockey season preview from Yost Built.

Fee Fi Foe Film: Purdue

Fee Fi Foe Film: Purdue

Submitted by Ace on October 3rd, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Previously: Fee Fi Foe Film: Notre Dame vs. Purdue

Purdue didn't exactly help the Big Ten's reputation by allowing Marshall to hang around in an eventual 51-41 victory last weekend. This was an odd contest, as depending on how you look at it, the game was either closer than score indicated—Marshall outgained Purdue 534-443—or not as close as the score indicated—the Boilermakers had a 42-14 halftime lead and their yardage was held down due to two Purdue pick-sixes.

After going over the film, I came away impressed with the way the Boilermakers utilize their playmakers on offense, and wholly unimpressed with their defense outside of their two best players, NT Kawann Short and CB Josh Johnson. Let's go to the breakdown—apologies for the lack of video, as no torrent of the game was available.


Photo credit: Purdue Exponent

Spread, Pro-Style, or Hybrid? Very much a spread. Purdue goes to the I-form as a changeup—utilizing it much like Michigan, hoping to break big plays on play-action—but otherwise operate entirely out of the shotgun.

Basketball on Grass or MANBALL? The Boilermakers mixed a fair amount of zone running—including the zone read—with gap blocking principles, and didn't heavily rely on one or the other.

Hurry it up or grind it out? Purdue has a slightly higher-than-average pace, though they looked downright slow compared to Marshall's Oregon-like hurry-up.

Quarterback Dilithium Level (Scale: 1 [Navarre] to 10 [Denard]): Starter Caleb TerBush is the least mobile of Purdue's three quarterbacks—Rob Henry being the fastest above the injured Robert Marve—but he's still a marginally effective scrambler. Purdue will run some zone read and inverted veer, and TerBush often keeps, especially on the latter. He won't make defenders miss on the second level; he can eat up chunks of yardage and break the pocket under pressure. I'll give him a 5.

Dangerman: Purdue's offense centers around getting the ball in space to a bunch of undersized but quick receivers, and their go-to is Antavian Edison, who leads the team with 285 yards and five touchdowns on 24 receptions; he's also carried the ball eight times this year, though managing only 17 yards. He's a quick slot-type and the recipient of a variety of screens and end-arounds.

It's tough to key on Edison, however, because Purdue uses fellow receivers Gary Bush and O.J. Ross in exactly the same way. Bush and Ross combined for 16 catches, 152 yards, and three TDs (all by Bush) against Marshall, most of those coming on screens.

Zook Factor: Nothing particularly Zook-like from Danny Hope in this game. Bummer.

HenneChart: Another new feature this week—Brian's HenneChart will now appear in these posts. Here's TerBush's performance against Marshall, with only throws downfield charted (forgot to chart screens until it was too late to keep track, though those are taken out of the Downfield Success Rate anyway):

Marshall -- 11 1 6 1 1 1 2 -- 57.9%

TerBush didn't have a great game when asked to throw downfield; most of his reads were simple, largely off play-action, and he still missed several receivers. While he only had one bad read (didn't see a waiting safety on a deep out for a near-pick), he had pretty significant accuracy issues, turfing a couple throws and badly overthrowing his tight end on a crossing route for an interception. He had a couple pinpoint throws on the run; for the most part, however, he isn't asked to do much beyond throw screens, and there's a reason for that.

There are reports that Robert Marve may give it a go this weekend despite another ACL injury. He's a more dynamic playmaker than TerBush and has a better arm; he's also prone to forcing the ball into coverage. He was splitting reps with TerBush before the injury and wouldn't be a significant upgrade or downgrade.

[Continue on to the rest of the breakdown after THE JUMP.]

Wednesday Presser Transcript 10-3-12: Brady Hoke

Wednesday Presser Transcript 10-3-12: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on October 3rd, 2012 at 1:33 PM

News bullets and other important items:

  • Man it is awfully humid outside.
  • UPDATE: Iss gon' rain.

Brady Hoke


Opening remarks:

“Thanks for coming out. We had a really, really good practice yesterday. Really liked the speed, tempo that we practiced with. Liked the execution from an offense and defensive standpoint. When you look at mistakes or missed assignments or whatever, had very minimal of those. Competed really well with each other, and I thought it was a good day. Now we have to come back and have a [good] back-to-back [practice].”

Taylor Lewan said you had an unusually high number of mistakes (23) on offense. What do you attribute that to?

“Yeah. And I don’t know if it was quite 23. There was a number of them from different guys and different plays. Some of that is you look at how much you’re doing. Maybe you have too much in, maybe they don’t undersatnd it well enough, but for a lot of it, we’re playing at night, you get a little extra time with walkthroughs. I think it always comes down to your focus on every play. When you don’t do that you’re not going to play as well.”

Tuesday Presser Transcript 10-2-12: Al Borges

Tuesday Presser Transcript 10-2-12: Al Borges

Submitted by Heiko on October 2nd, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Al Borges


“What’s up?”

MGo: Not much. How are you?


MGo: How’s kindergarten?

“Kindergarten is wonderful. Every day is just a new experience. It’s awesome.”

Think you’re going to pass?

“I already passed.”

Word of the day?

“I don’t know. I didn’t get one. I’ve been kind of -- no I didn’t get one. I’ll get you one next week.”

Not an easy loss to sit on for two weeks. Did you work on rebuilding Denard’s confidence over the bye?

“Yeah. I think to a degree. I don’t think his confidence is waning too much, though. The biggest thing about that situation is getting back to some of the basics of reading the defense and making good decisions and things like that. I think that’s really the biggest factor. A couple footwork issues that hadn’t shown up until that game too much. … The good thing about two weeks is you get a chance to really evaluate everything you’re doing, and that’s what we’ve kind of done is look at how we’ve played, you know, on the road particularly because we haven’t played well on the road, but overall just see what the structure of the offense is and get back to sending a message and knowing that we’ve got to play better in those scenarios.”

Is there a common thread with the road games and offensive inefficiency?

“I don’t know. Not any more than any place else I’ve been, I guess. It’s harder to play on the road. It’s always an issue, but you can’t always use that as an excuse because good teams win on the road. I mean the biggest issue, we had some breakdowns, but we just can’t turn the ball over. That’s the biggest -- you hear it every week and it sounds like coach speak but it’s so true. When you turn the ball over as many times we turned the ball over you have no chance. We were fortunate it was as close as it was.”

Tuesday Presser Transcript 10-2-12: Greg Mattison

Tuesday Presser Transcript 10-2-12: Greg Mattison

Submitted by Heiko on October 2nd, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Greg Mattison


Opening remarks:

“Well, it’s getting going in the Big Ten season, and you know we’ll see where we are and we’ll see how much we’ve improved. This is a good football team we’re playing. Purdue’s a much better team than they were last year. Watching them on film, they’ve done some good things, so this will be good. This will be good for us to take the next step.”

What are the things they do offensively that concern you the most?

“Well they throw a lot of screens. They throw a lot of screens, a lot of bubble screens, a lot of X screens, and that’s their way of getting the ball outside, so what they’re going to do is show you a running play and either hand it off in the run, or if they don’t feel like you’re covered down well enough, then they’re going to throw it out there, and they’ve been very successful on it.”

Is there a big difference between how they play this year vs. last year?

“Probably executing much much better this year. The quarterback’s making good throws, and they just look like a much better football team. The thing about it is you always look at who do they play, well they played Notre Dame pretty darn well. I’ve been watching a lot of them against us last year, too, and they beat Ohio, you know. They’ve shown that they can go.”