Wednesday Presser 11-9-16: Mike Zordich

Wednesday Presser 11-9-16: Mike Zordich Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 9th, 2016 at 4:13 PM



Is it hard to be anything but elated with your group at this point in the season?

“Yeah, I think so. I think if you ask any team in the country they’d like to be sitting at 9-0 and our ranking, so yeah, we’re happy but certainly not satisfied. There’s work to be done.”

How about your position group?

“Playing well. I think we had a little bit of a slide in the Michigan State game. Other than, I think they’ve learned from it and are moving on.”

What’s the key or you guys in the short-yardage situations, in the red zone, to be as effective as you have?

“Well, I think in short yardage it’s just gap integrity. Guys in front have to stay in their gaps, linebackers have to stay in their gaps, the secondary fits and fills where needed, so that’s very important in short yardage. Then red zone is something we work day in and day out, starting on Monday all the way through Friday. That’s an area we hit every day, so it’s important in the game and you have to practice it.”

You talked about Channing [Stribling] in run support earlier in the year. Have there been some teaching moments the past few weeks?

“Well, yes, absolutely. The Michigan State game is a big teaching moment. He realized it and he knew he was wrong and he fixed it. That’s important. Just gotta keep building on it. That’s what he has to do.”

How do you fix that, exactly?

“You work at it. In practice we do some tackling drills, and we have some nice talks about it, too.”

[After THE JUMP: who is mini-Jourdan, more on run support, and talking about tunnel screen defense]


Unverified Voracity Is The Situation

Unverified Voracity Is The Situation Comment Count

Brian November 8th, 2016 at 1:13 PM

Here's this. Bobby Loesch made it and is a gentleman and a scholar.


It's time for America's greatest rivalry game. Michigan State. Rutgers. This game is the situation, and they play for America's greatest rivalry trophy.

One of these teams will leave with a Big Ten win and The Situation. Noon. Probably on television. Check BeIN Sports 2. No? Does QVC have an overflow channel? Well, I'm sure you'll find it. They televise everything these days. I saw Magic: The Gathering once.

At least you've got your vomit-soaked sidewalks. Michigan State may be 2-7 and playing Rutgers to find out which Big Ten team is going winless in conference, but at least the city it's located in has a detailed bill it would like to present the university.

EAST LANSING — East Lansing has determined what it says Michigan State University is costing city residents.

Right down to the vomit removal.

Fire department calls, police overtime and downtown cleanup after student nightlife are among the issues that cost the city about $3.75 million last year, according to a recent study paid for by the city.

I say just leave the vomit—it's not like anyone can tell that you cleaned it up. And the RCMB agrees!

I remember back in the late 80s when I transferred to MSU. I went to WMU for a year and then transferred. K'zoo was a complete dump. Nothing to do. Other than Lafayette Square, it wasn't happening. I couldn't wait to leave K'zoo and I also couldn't wait to leave GR after the summer was over to get back to East Lansing for the fall terms to begin. Now? K'zoo and GR are so much better than East Lansing. And even they aren't the greatest. But it tells you just how far East Lansing has fallen.

I moved back to Lansing from 2009 to 2013. I could not wait to move away from there again in 2013. It was a mistake to move back to Lansing. Lansing is dismal but almost better than East Lansing now. East Lansing is a complete shell of itself. Just terrible. It lacked any of the vitality it once held. It was is of depressing to see.

That's part of a wildly entertaining five-page thread full of Spartans dumping venom on East Lansing's taxes, generic chain restaurants, city leadership, vacant storefronts, and DUI conviction rate. (That latter might not be East Lansing's fault, guys.)  Highly recommended. The Spartans' profession appears to be self-owning.

A bountiful cornucopia in Ann Arbor. NFL scouts have noticed that Michigan appears to be somewhat good this year. ESPN asks which Big Ten players have seen their NFL stock go up and literally every observer starts with something along these lines:

Everybody at Michigan. (laughs) I’ll tell you what, Harbaugh, he just brings out the best in all his players. Shoot, every one of those guys has elevated their draft stock.

Amara Darboh, Mason Cole, Channing Stribling, Jabrill Peppers, Ben Gedeon, Delano Hill, De'Veon Smith, Chris Wormley, and Jake Butt all come in for praise. I'm slightly dubious about Cole's NFL potential given the struggles he's had against 3-4 nose tackles this year but hey man whatever. Michigan is set to have a dozen guys drafted, and you'd better believe that'll perk up recruits' ears. That goes double when scouts are praising Harbaugh's development as the direct cause of said draftees.

Best part of this: no Maurice Hurst. Let's keep that on the low for another year, yes please.

An eye for detail. Dan Murphy on the Harbauffense and the idea that it's a stodgy pro-style attack:

The Wolverines' beefy, pro-style offense snapped the ball 34 times in the first half and averaged 11.8 yards per play. They did it with a litany of creative wrinkles cloaked in the feel-good nostalgia of two-tight end sets and fullback dives. They are like a phonograph that can stream your iTunes through Bluetooth.

Stodgy is what Michigan will see this weekend in Iowa City. Michigan's got a new thing every week.

Don Brown, football dude. This is a week old but I must have missed it. The WaPo on Don Brown:

Yes, Brown and Michigan: “It’s a perfect place for him,” said Compton, whose father was Brown’s high school coach and Brown’s wife’s high school biology teacher. “He looks good in the colors. It’s perfect. Perfect! He likes that weather. It’s a natural fit for him.”

In that passage lies another thing about Brown, 61: Three former players go beyond the normal, fond recollections of former players. They effuse, and say old teammates do likewise. Somehow, this seems like big toughness mixed with big, big love. ...

Ihedigbo said: “That demeanor. That presence. He truly cares about you. It’s one of those things where you feel like you’re in it together. It’s not just trying to get the most out of you.”

Michigan has exceeded even the towering expectations placed on them by optimistic folks (hi!) preseason, and looks set for a showdown against Ohio State that could change the shape of the Big Ten for years to come. Still cannot get over what a great hire Brown was.

Old-school playcalling. Great Dr. Sap piece on the evolution of playcalling:

In the 1970’s, Bo would talk on the phone with Hanlon who was upstairs in the press box.  After asking, “What do you want, Jerry?” Bo sent in the plays with offensive guards that rotated in and out of the game.  It looked and sounded like this:

In the 1980’s, rotating wide receivers became the method of communication.  The clip below can be summed up thusly, “Oh geez, Mo, let me handle this!  AC, you tell Wangs to throw you the damn ball!  Now THAT is how you do it, Gary!”

After a few delay of game penalties in critical situations, a change needed to be made.

Rotating guards bringing the playcall in! That is absolutely insane from a modern perspective. Also don't miss the Bo smirk at the end of the first video. Probably thinking about this going down in the huddle:

BRANDSTATTER: and he says to get your ass in there
RB: what?
RB: in what
BRANDSTATTER: man... just get your ass in there
RB: i will take this under advisement

Etc.: Mike MacIntyre talks to SBN about how Colorado is good now. Marc Tracy on Harbaugh's Heisman push for Jabrill Peppers. A first look at Iowa isn't pretty. More Peppers gushing from NFL scouts. Ibi Watson exists. MSU had a lot of injuries so they lost to Illinois and their third string QB and three of their top four WRs out. Joe Kerridge will make his NFL debut this week.


MGoRadio 2.8: Turtle Power!

MGoRadio 2.8: Turtle Power!

1 hour and 36 minutes


MGoRadio was recorded before a live retail audience at The Bo Store, 333 S. Main. If you haven’t checked out Rishi and Ryan’s latest venture, do so.

Special guests: We welcomed former Michigan hockey player Scott Matzka, to talk about My Turn (, ALS, and when Germans lay down in front of his bus. Plus Steve Lorenz, recruiting guru from 247sports, came on for our weekly protozoan discussion. And Matt Demorest from Homesure Lending came by for the gimmicky top five and to give away some tickets. Plus I sat in on the Turtle Preview Extravaganza.


The reason we can put out so much audio content now is it’s paid for. The show is presented by UGP & Moe's and frankly would not be happening without them; Rishi and Ryan and their people have been huge MGoBlog supporters from the start.

Our other sponsors are also key in the expanding empire: thanks to Homesure Lending, Ann Arbor Elder Law, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Deo Bookkeeping, Michigan Law Grad, Defensive Drivers Group, Tailgater Concierge, and Peak Wealth Management.

1a. Michigan State After Review

Dantonio is going to over-prepare and he did so: Michigan was –7 RPS on the first drive and even for the rest. It was a great way to attack Michigan’s 4-2-5. The refs sucked as bad or worse than we thought live—weird that this has happened two years in a row against them. Offense didn’t feel as dominant live as it was. Delano Hill was better than met the eye too.

1b. Gimmicky Top Five: What Would You Do If You Were the B1G Cheese for a Day?

starts at 10:22

We give Brian, Ace, and Matt Demorest from HomeSure Lending the reigns to the Big Ten for a day and ask what they’d do, other than cut Rutgers because obviously. One thing that rang: why isn’t the B1G treating Detroit like a major city in its footprint?

Demo stuck around to give out some free tickets and invitations to his friends, family, and client party before the Indiana game at Wolverine State Brewing. Follow him at @HomeSureLending and tweet him #MattsTickets if you want to go, and he’ll pick some winners.

2. My Turn: Michigan Hockey wsg Scott Matzka

starts at 26:00


Scott Matzka played for Michigan in the glory days of ’97-’01, and now runs My Turn for those like him who are going through ALS degeneration. I didn’t realize when I set this up that I was reuniting two EECS nerds so we suffered through some engineering before getting to the Hockey. He also talked about living with ALS, what he’s facing, and how we can help.

3. Across the Crooked-ish Blue Line with Steve Lorenz

starts at 39:19

The class won’t come together until we get some announcements at the big high school games. It does help that some of the teams Michigan is recruiting against are having bad seasons. Tracking who hosts is a good way to gauge who some of these guys are. J’Marick Woods took some visits for fun but he’s solid. He’s a more important prospect than we realized, will be in town with his family this weekend. Herbert is another commit Michigan is intent on holding onto. Michigan versus the Black Hole of Mississippi isn’t just a Mississippi situation, but it’s surprising Michigan got even this far with Gay. Najee Harris…when are you going to ball him Steve?

[around 0:57 there’s a cutout]

4. Maryland Preview

starts at 1:18:36


“Turtle Power”—Partners in Kryme

“I Had a Little Turtle”—HooplaKidz

“Ninja Rap”—Vanilla Ice

“Across 110th Street”


Moving the Stati-Sticks: Post-MSU

Moving the Stati-Sticks: Post-MSU Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 4th, 2016 at 1:02 PM



Three years ago, Devin Gardner walked off the field defeated in every conceivable way. Really, he “walked” only under the loosest possible definition of the word. “Staggered” is far more accurate. I was reminded of that this week when it somehow came up in conversation and I saw a gif BiSB posted from the 2013 game of Gardner, mud-stained to the point where it’s hard to make out the numbers on his shoulders, hobbling off. [Ed. (A)- BiSB conveniently led Opp Watch with the gif, so scroll down a bit to see what I’m referencing.] That year’s gif post was six gifs. Six. Ace mentioned in our MGoSlack chat that he clipped 75 things this season.

As it stands today, ESPN’s FPI gives Michigan a 39.6% chance to win out. Bill Connelly’s numbers at Football Study Hall are far more generous; he gives Michigan a 61% chance to win out. According to Connelly, Michigan has a 96.4% probability of finishing 11-1 or better. Against Ohio State, Michigan’s lone remaining game whose win probability isn’t 93% or higher, his numbers say Michigan has a 68% probability to win. Yes, Michigan busted a few times against Michigan State. They got scored on late in the game, scores that lifted the game out of garbage time. That Michigan went on the road in a rivalry game and met Connelly’s criteria for garbage time is a feat in itself, and you only have to click on that gif post above to really appreciate what this team has been able to do. That may seem like an overly emotional response, but Michigan’s aggregate numbers bear out their dominance, particularly on defense.

[After THE JUMP: the numbers that bear out Michigan’s dominance, particularly on defense. oh, some Heisman stuff, too.]


WTKA Roundtable 11-3-2016: Takeaways

WTKA Roundtable 11-3-2016: Takeaways


[Patrick Barron]

Things discussed:

  • State’s first drive was an evil thing of beauty.
  • Peppers and the beautiful play.
  • There are holds and then there’s HOLDS, and State was getting away with a ton of the latter. Second-straight year this game was officiated by monkeys.
  • How do we fix officiating? Rewrite rulebook to be more clear. Make discretionary decisions reviewable.
  • Challenges have bias: this call’s not wrong, it’s pining for the fields.
  • CFP selection: why is Texas A&M in there?
  • Not worried about defense after MSU. One Dantonio Special drive and then some holding and stuff.
  • Most overrated player in college football history? Hackenberg? Archie Griffin? Ron Dayne? Ron Dayne.
  • Is shine off Tom Herman? Nope. Brian Kelly?
  • You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Audioboom.

Segment 2 is here. Segment 3 is here.


Upon Further Review 2016: Defense vs MSU

Upon Further Review 2016: Defense vs MSU Comment Count

Brian November 3rd, 2016 at 3:42 PM


SPONSOR NOTES: Man, that fourth quarter was irritating. Like wearing pants. Also, Dan Gilbert just gave MSU 15 million dollars so you clearly can't get a loan from him even before we consider his major role in the financial crisis. Instead of feeding him more money with which to write in comic sans, try a local guy.

In addition to being a gentleman replete with Michigan tickets, Matt is also a good man to know if you need a mortgage. It's striking that we actually get non-astroturfed comments about positive experiences with Matt not infrequently.

If you're buying a home or refinancing, he's the right guy to call.

FORMATION NOTES: Not much. This was "goal line H" for MSU and made several increasingly less effective appearances. Michigan had one wacky 3-man-line snap on the first drive and then threw that away permanently, so the rest of the game was more or less this:

goal line

Of note: against these big formations M swapped their corners and safeties to get a couple bigger guys on the line.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: 74 snaps for the defense, with the starting secondary and Gedeon getting all of them. McCray missed just two snaps; Peppers missed six with various minor issues. Furbush got those six.

DL rotation was severely reduced, with Charlton getting all but ten snaps—Winovich got 14, and I think all of those after the first drive were in pass rush packages. Wormley and Glasgow were close behind at 59 and 57; Godin and Hurst did split their snaps about down the middle. Gary got 21 snaps; Mone got 3 before limping off.

Metellus and Watson got various dime snaps.

[After THE JUMP: not great bookending pretty great.]


Wednesday Presser 11-2-16: Tim Drevno

Wednesday Presser 11-2-16: Tim Drevno Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 3rd, 2016 at 10:19 AM



You guys didn’t punt until the fourth quarter Saturday. I’m guessing you’re pretty pleased with the way things went offensively.

“Yeah, went well. Good to get a win on the road like that. Guys played well. Always good to come back with a victory. I was pleased with the offensive performance. It’s a new week. Kind of forgotten about that. The problems that occur here with the next opponent we face, so just moving on.”

Mason seems like a very dependable guy. Talk about that side of him and what he gives you every game, every play.

“Mason, football’s very, very important to him, [and] that he’s right. He’s got great football awareness. Can really fix problems. He’s a competitor. He loves to compete. Great leader. Really gets it. Once you tell him, he’s got it. Really locks in his brain. He plays at a very, very high level and it’s just a real pleasure to have him. He’s a real great team leader, especially on the offensive line with what we’re trying to do.”

What went into the decision to have Bredeson in there and have Juwann [Bushell-Beatty] with the second team?

“We just felt like that was the best thing for us. Juwann’s doing a nice job. Ben’s done a nice job. We just felt that that was a good combination in there, best for us to be successful.”

How far has Ben Bredeson come from that first game to now?

“A long way. Just, he understands what we want to do, how we’re going to do it. Processes quickly on his feet. Just, he’s played a lot of reps in there. The maturity level, the confidence in his eyes. Anytime you go out in a game and suit up and go play another game and start, you grow more and the more practice reps you get the better off you’ll be, so he’s really made a great transition.”

[Hit THE JUMP for more]


Wednesday Presser 11-2-16: Greg Mattison

Wednesday Presser 11-2-16: Greg Mattison Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 2nd, 2016 at 5:45 PM



How does game 7 look for you tonight?

“Oh, I don’t want to talk about—I don’t want to jinx ‘em. I just know last night in the seventh inning my wife tried to talk to me and I wouldn’t speak to her. I said, ‘Let me concentrate on this.’ Great move by the manager, by the way, to get the win you have to get.”

How about game 7 for you guys, Michigan State. They moved the ball on you guys a little bit. What happened there?

“I think they had some good runs. We didn’t tackle as well as we should’ve. I think our guys up front would say that at times we got a little high, and we haven’t been doing that. They saw it themselves. That’s the kind of group it is, and we addressed it and you keep moving forward.”

Was that more on the D-line?

“Yeah. I mean, I think I’m the kind of person, and our players, I think the D-linemen would say if a team runs the ball, it’s the D-line. We take great pride in that. We don’t want anybody to be able to run the football and when they do, we look at ourselves first. That’s the way it is.”

When you see Jabrill do all the things he did in that game and yet be able to move as quick as he did on that fumble, what are your thoughts?

“That’s Jabrill. I mean, he’s a special player. You see him practice like that. You’ll see him in practice—a lot of guys don’t see that. He’s in practice and he’ll do something like that, intercept the ball or something like that, and you’ll see him take off running and you’ll go whoa, where did that come from? That’s just the way he plays.”

[After THE JUMP: “So, some people when people gain a few yards every once in a while, they’d say, ‘Ah, no big deal.’ This group takes it to heart, and that’s what I think separates them.”]


Upon Further Review 2016: Offense vs MSU

Upon Further Review 2016: Offense vs MSU Comment Count

Brian November 2nd, 2016 at 4:18 PM


SPONSOR NOTES: Matt reminds me that there is some chatter that the Federal Reserve could finally raise rates in the near future, which would be bad for your mortgage.

In addition to being a gentleman replete with Michigan tickets, Matt is also a good man to know if you need a mortgage. It's striking that we actually get non-astroturfed comments about positive experiences with Matt not infrequently.

If you're buying a home or refinancing, he's the right guy to call.

FORMATION NOTES: Michigan broke out the 'bone a couple times:


That is a bonafide flexbone. One of these snaps was a jet sweep, the other a trap that coulda shoulda worked in the fourth quarter but for McDowell blowing Cole up.

Pistol diamond with MSU in their very standard arrangement:

pistol diamond

4-3 over, two safeties sitting at 8-10 yards, on damn near every play.

Late MSU did split their LBs and blitz them as they threw the kitchen sink at M in an attempt to get the ball back.

split lbs

But it was mostly "here we are running quarters."

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Starting line with the Braden/Bredeson left side for the second straight game, Speight your QB. Peppers got six wildcat snaps and one as a WR; Morris got thee QB/FB snaps. JBB got five snaps as a TE-type substance.

Darboh led the way at WR with 54 snaps; Chesson had 40 and Harris, Crawford, and McDoom got the scattered remainder. Poggi and Hill again split FB snaps about down the middle. Smith got 60% of the RB snaps with Higdon and Evans splitting most of the rest; Isaac was only used on four snaps, three of them sweeps.

Butt got 57 snaps as the primary TE; Asiasi (31) and Wheatley (18) also got significant action. Bunting was briefly on the field as well.

[After THE JUMP: three quarters of up and down the field followed by (correct) turtle time.]


Neck Sharpies: Mr. Dantonio’s Opus

Neck Sharpies: Mr. Dantonio’s Opus Comment Count

Seth November 2nd, 2016 at 12:00 PM

My videos had trouble uploading. Here’s DGDestroy’s every snap for now.

Mark Dantonio came prepared for this game. He had thoroughly scouted this Michigan defense, learned how it adjusted to motions and angles, and put together a bewildering drive plan that kept everybody confused and got State the matchups they wanted. It must have taken hours of watching game film and practice to make it all work. He could have used it for the game-winning points against, oh, Northwestern, or Maryland, or Indiana.

But this is Mark Dantonio. This drive was always intended for Michigan. It used Michigan’s own ideas, exploited Michigan’s tendencies and personnel. It was a coaching masterpiece he made for us. Let’s appreciate it.


Play 1: Jet to Split Zone


This play sets up the rest of the drive. Jet motion from RJ Shelton pulls the WLB, McCray, out of the box, effectively removing a linebacker from where they’re planning to run.

The split zone means the play’s backside DE is blocked by the fullback, freeing up the RT to block Godin. The plan at the playcall is to hold a linebacker outside with the jet motion and zone run into the remaining four-man (two DTs, a DE and the MLB) front with all five offensive linemen.

But Godin and Glasgow have a stunt on here. That could kill Michigan since Gedeon gets a releasing center on him and Glasgow is putting himself out of the backside B gap with the stunt. Godin made a great play to shoot underneath the right guard and push that guy down the line to squeeze the gap out of existence. Like a Roman at Cannae, the back is trapped behind his own men until the Carthaginians have hacked their way through.


Also note that the jet motion to the boundary side played with Michigan’s OLB designations. McCray ends up the guy covering a slot type in space while Peppers is lined up a foot away from a big tight end.

Anyway, great play Godin. Second and long.

[After the JUMP: a counter off a counter off a counter]