Wednesday Presser 9-21-16: Don Brown

Wednesday Presser 9-21-16: Don Brown

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 21st, 2016 at 6:00 PM



“How’s everything goin’?”

Good. How about yourself?

“Good, good.”

You look kinda tired.

“Eh, a lot of early mornings.”

Talk about some of the issues that you guys had the last week with the plays in the passing game.

“We gave up two big pass plays. I mean, those are issues. Obviously we’ve got to do a better job. We’ve got to clean it up. Worked really hard in the run game, obviously, coming off the UCF performance. Maybe too hard. I also attribute, you know, we’re still learning how to play this style of defense.

“The good thing is I think our guys have understood enough concept that we’re able to adjust as the game goes on and play much better in the second, third, and fourth quarter. Really disappointed with a fundamental coverage mistake that we made, and I thought there was a 10-play period during the course of the game where we needed to do a better job of tackling.

“Like I told the kids yesterday, all the mistakes belong to me, so if anybody wants to point the responsibility I don’t want them to have any. It’s right here. That’s the way we handle it, and I just tell them I want you to play as hard and as tough as you can and all your mistakes belong to me.”

The stretch of bad tackling: is that because they’re still learning and just--

“I don’t think so, no. Just think we didn’t do a great job. It was a ten-play segment during the course of the game and there were three missed tackles. You know, we were fortunate because the one that resulted in a 48-yard gain we were able to find a way to get off the field and they missed a field goal on one of those opportunities. Thought we settled down and played really well throughout the second quarter.

“We come out and have the bad play in the third quarter. The disappointing thing there is it’s happened to us coming out of the locker room two games in a row, so we’ve got to pay more attention. And one of our goals is a third-quarter shutout, so that’s a disappointing deal.

“I thought we really settled in. What did we give up, 200 yards in the first quarter and basically 100 yards in the second, third, and fourth. What were they, 0-for-12 on third down against our ones and 1-for-whatever counting fourth down. So there’s some things I’m feeling really good about. The best part of it is we were able to make adjustments moving forward as the game kind of progressed. And we’ve been tested with no-huddle, up tempo.

“I think they were faster than UCF. With all credit to Scott Frost; he’s probably one of the fastest guys in the country. And if you watch our tape, and, you know, you can come up and look at it all you want, we’re lined up ready to go every snap. I think we’ve made significant improvements in terms of our sense of urgency to get line up and get ready to play, we just need to play better during stretches. It’s 41 snaps or 46 in the run game against UCF [and] they have 63 yards.

“Now you come back and you’re looking at your deal here, we give up, what, three pass catches. We give up 100-whatever yards of offense. You must be doing a pretty good job during the course of the rest of the game. We just need to make sure we’re totally clean and as I told ya, understand the concepts. But our mistakes belong to me, not the players.”

[After THE JUMP: Don Brown’s defensive disquisition]

MGoRadio 2.2: We Are Over It

MGoRadio 2.2: We Are Over It


This was recorded (and broadcast) LIVE at Moe Sport Shops on North University. Come by every Friday before a game to partake. For Homecoming we’re going to do it at the new Bo Store!

A big thanks to our sponsors. The show is presented by UGP & Moe's and if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have a kingdom let alone an empire; Rishi and company have been on board here from almost the beginning. Shopping with them helps us and supports good dudes. Check out their new Bo Store on Main Street if you haven’t already.

Our other sponsors are also key in the expanding empire: thanks to Homesure Lending, Ann Arbor Elder Law, Liz Crowe, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, and Michigan Law Grad.

1. Getting Over UCF

starts at 1:00

We are finally disagreeing with PFF, whose quarterback rankings make no sense. For example, Speight has looked consistently good, especially on the short stuff. Left guard is a sore spot, but contain issues might go away when Taco returns.

2. Colorado is Better at Football, Not So Good at Under the Radar

starts at 26:00

Brian taketh then returneth the title of chief enunciator. We really like Awuzie, Colorado’s Peppers-like object. Prepare thineself for screens and breakneck tempo.

3. Gimmicky Top Five: Things We Are Over

starts at 53:00

Last week was Scott Frost grudges. This week is a Hail Mary 22 years ago that was avenged 20 years ago, and again 19 years ago. Some of these things we are actually over.

4. The Big Ten’s Interesting Non Conference Week

starts at 1:15:15

Michigan State vs. Notre Dame is saved for last. Ohio State at Oklahoma shouldn’t be at the same time, should be a good time. Looking for a 5th string QB for a call-out.


"Who's Got It Better Than Us"—Joe Escobar
"Booger Bear"—The Floozies
"Don't Poke the Bear"—The Swear
“Across 110th Street”


Moving the Stati-Sticks: Post-UCF

Moving the Stati-Sticks: Post-UCF

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 16th, 2016 at 11:02 AM



Welcome to the first 2016 edition of Moving the Stati-Sticks, our weekly deep-dive into the advanced stats that have become increasingly popular in college football and the weekly in-season post that you most likely forgot existed. I’m hoping to change that this season. Instead of a bunch of tables or numbers in text, I’ll be creating graphs (and they’re mostly intelligible!) for items of note. This won’t be an exhaustive look at every single line item in the advanced stat profiles that are out there, but rather items of interest spun out of last week’s game, followed by a quick look ahead to Saturday’s opponent.

We’ll start with a thousand-foot view of Michigan, and the view’s pretty nice, actually. ESPN’s FPI predicts Michigan’s record will be 10.8-1.7 with an 11.9% chance they win out and a 39.9% chance they win the conference. Bill Connelly’s advanced stats profile at Football Study Hall, from which most of the rest of this post is derived, gives Michigan a 9% chance to win out and 35.2% chance to finish 11-1 or better. Brian Fremeau’s FEI doesn’t have opponent-adjusted stats available yet, but Michigan’s first in the country in unadjusted game efficiency. They’ve also played teams that FEI ranks as either below average (ranked 71-90) or awful (ranked lower than 116), but, uh, wooo we’re number one. More detailed stats are obscured by a lot of garbage time, but on a macro level available projections are very favorable to Michigan.

[After THE JUMP: the run game, quantified]

WTKA Roundtable 9/15/16: I Bite My Thumb at You Sir

WTKA Roundtable 9/15/16: I Bite My Thumb at You Sir


Things discussed:

  • The most depressing 37-point win ever
  • Offensive line play: left guard is a problem, new center causing issues in blitz assignments? That’s probably on TEs and OTs.
  • Speight is hitting chests, Chessons.
  • Winovich and Gary: overpursuit puppies.
  • The 87-yarder was mostly Dymonte Thomas misjudging literally a track athlete.
  • Colorado: much better than we though pre-season. Like maybe a 6-7 team.
  • Jim Harbaugh did not eat boogers. But he may have bit his thumb at Scott Frost.

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: Offense vs UCF

Upon Further Review 2016: Offense vs UCF

Submitted by Brian on September 14th, 2016 at 3:55 PM


SPONSOR NOTES: Oh man Sauce Castillo, you're in for it. You already turned El Assico(!) into a blowout. I'm supposed to talk about mortgages. Right: low rates right now, and Matt will take these rates and turn them into a home if you qualify for things such as loans.

In addition to being a gentleman replete with Michigan tickets, he 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: UCF was a 3-4 front with a couple of adjustments. This is their base front; Michigan is in "ace diamond TE," with Asiasi at one of the FB spots.


On passing downs UCF would go to a nickel with two DL on the field and standup ends:

nickel standup end

And they'd frequently line up their three DL right next to each other and shifted to the run strength of the formation:

pinched 3-4

Called this "pinched 3-4."

PERSONNEL NOTES: Michigan cut down on the rotation severely despite having a huge lead. With the exception of left guard, the starting OL got almost every snap. Non-LG starters (Newsome, Cole, Kalis, Magnuson) got all 81 snaps. Braden and Bredeson platooned at LG with Bredeson(49 snaps) getting the plurality of time. Bushell-Beatty and Onwenu came in very late in a 7 OL package.

At WR, Chesson and Darboh got most of the run in a game featuring a lot of heavy packages. Grant Perry got just 15 snaps. Butt was near omnipresent; Bunting was the next-most utilized blocky/catchy guy. Poggi and Hill are still splitting things down the middle.

Smith got about half the work at RB(37 snaps), with Evans, Isaac, and Higdon splitting the rest about down the middle.

[After THE JUMP: pass great, run not so much]

One Frame At A Time: UCF

One Frame At A Time: UCF

Submitted by Ace on September 13th, 2016 at 3:01 PM

This play didn't crack the top five this week. I still want to talk about it, though. Not that you need to be told this, but watch Jabrill Peppers, who starts the play lined up on the block M.

The rest of the defense is caught flat-footed on this play. The D-line is slanting away from the running back. The force defender is nowhere to be found. The playside corner is caught in man coverage and has his back to the play. Peppers's first two steps are towards deep center, then he has to alter his path to avoid running into Delano Hill.

With a speedy running back around the edge unimpeded, this play looks destined for a first down. Peppers not only reads the play and covers a ton of ground to get to the back before the sticks, he cuts down the angle and finishes the play by literally throwing the RB out of bounds.

Savor every moment you get to watch this guy—excuse me, this Dude—play football. He is truly a once-in-a-generation athlete.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the UCF game in GIFs.]

MGoPodcast 8.2: Go Ahead, Give Him a B

MGoPodcast 8.2: Go Ahead, Give Him a B


UCF hitting harder. [Eric Upchurch]


Our sponsors make all of this possible. The show is presented by UGP & Moe's, and their newest outlet, an entire store on Main Street dedicated to Bo. We'll be doing our Homecoming Edition of the weekly Friday Moe's Show from there in case you need an excuse to look inside. It's downtown, at 333 South Main, if "The storefront where Sarah Harbaugh is trying to yank her struggling husband from the door jamb" isn't clue enough.

Also thanks to the rest of our sponsors: The University of Michigan Alumni Association, Homesure Lending, Michigan Law Grad, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, Liz Crowe and Ann Arbor Elder Law.


starts at 1:00

Maybe Scott Frost is quite a tool after all. Nevertheless the game was decided by scoring points, which Michigan accomplished through the air because that’s what UCF left them.


starts at 26:00

Winovich and Gary over-pursued, Glasgow has some range, Dymonte had a bad angle, McCray should kill more receivers, Peppers should have been in there instead. The corners are good.

Special Teams

starts at 40:22

When was the last time Michigan blocked four kicks? What is the fourth-last blocked kick for Michigan?

Talking Big Ten w/ Jamie Mac

starts at 49:54

Iowa crushed Iowa State—AIRBHG has his work cut out for him. Northwestern doinked. Purdue congratulated for above-average loss to Cincy. Ohio State plays competitive 48-3 game vs. Tulsa. Pitt is not worthy of Penn State’s rivalry. Brian is doing better than Howard. Rote Wisconsin, Maryland, Nebraska, Minnesota blowouts ignored.


"Drunk Dreaming" — Open Mike Eagle & Paul White
"In Bloom" — Strugill Simpson
"Germany to Germany" — Ratatat
"Across 110th Street"


Return Of The Crab People

Return Of The Crab People

Submitted by Brian on September 12th, 2016 at 11:34 AM

9/10/2016 – Michigan 51, UCF 14 – 2-0


[Eric Upchurch]

It's been a while since Michigan fans set to grumblin' about 37 point wins, but here we are. That one track guy ran a long way and quarterbacks set to scrambling and a bunch of guys jetted into the backfield. These are bad things that a remorseless juggernaut would not allow in its vicinity, and thus it's open season for crabbers.

This is not necessarily a criticism. Your author joined with the Ann Arbor Pincer & Exoskeleton masses at halftime:

Michigan led 34-7.

What can I say? I expected Michigan to pave these dudes and they did not. While UCF did stack the box and blitz its little try-hard buns off, I rather thought that wouldn't matter. I did not expect UCF to rush for an uncomfortably large number of yards themselves.

I don't place anywhere near as much emphasis on these things as Scott Frost—"we outrushed them, we outhit them, and in the futuristic game of run-hit-ball, those are the only factors"—but in the middle of a live football game you're winning by a zillion points the only thing that keeps your interest is taking the data in front of you and projecting it down the road, when Michigan will face teams that can rush for 300 yards and not lose by 37… or at all.


After a rewatch and a little bit of time to reflect, the things that happened were things Michigan can clean up. Blitzers coming free because Michigan didn't get off their blocks fast enough. Defensive ends too gung-ho about getting around the edge because their careers are still in the tadpole stage. A bust here and there probably related to the new defense.

There wasn't anything that set off alarm bells except one bad fill by Dymonte Thomas against a 10.3 100 meter guy who was such a niche player that his 87-yard touchdown was his only carry of the game. (You know you're a specialist when you run 87 yards on your first opportunity and your coaches are like "great job, eat bench.") Per folks who look at these things closely, Michigan did mostly pave them, and declined to do things that would exploit UCF's blitz-happy approach on the ground.

What they did instead is let Wilton Speight go to work. Whatever ground game hiccups have increased the worry factor should be more than offset by Speight looking like a Harbaugh quarterback immediately. Michigan saw stacked boxes and responded by passing over and over again. Up 31-7, Michigan got the ball on its own 13 and threw five straight times to open their drive. After halftime they indicated they were not inclined to take the pedal off the metal by opening up a touchdown drive with back to back completions to Butt for a total of 40 yards.

I have seen some quarterbacks this year. I have seen LSU fans go bonkers because a Purdue transfer went 6/14 for 100 yards against Jacksonville State. I have seen Clayton Thorson rack up seven points against Illinois State. There's a ton of collar-pulling across college football when new quarterbacks step in, no matter their age or hype level. Harbaugh has none of that with Speight. UCF set up to deny the run so Michigan rained it on their heads.

29075464265_99bca59c70_z (1)


There wasn't an ounce of hesitation, and I was reminded of the quarterback press availability a week or so before the season. Speight sat down and told the assembled reporters that he flat-out expected to start. That was a confident read. It went with his spring performance, and now 50 throws into his starting career we have a bonafide trend. Wilton Speight is a man who knows where he wants to go, and would like us to come with him. Even if we are a crusty, crustaceous people.


Parking God:


MGoVideo has the Harbaugh postgame and Inside Michigan Football.





Known Friends And Trusted Agents Of The Week

you're the man now, dog

#1 Wilton Speight completed 68% of his passes despite three drops on routine balls, cracked 300 yards, was still super accurate on everything under 20 yards and good on longer throws, and dealt with an unfortunate amount of pressure with aplomb.

#2 Ryan Glasgow had a dominant defensive game on the interior, sussed out a dangerous screen for a TFL, and just about ran down a track star on the 87 yarder. His range is completely absurd for a nose tackle.

#3 Jabrill Peppers led Michigan with eight tackles, two of them TFLs, added two hurries on top of that, returned a punt 35 yards, and was not responsible for much of the scramble or screen yardage ceded.

Honorable mention: Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh were locked in and excellent. Erik Magnuson and Grant Newsome shut out the men trying to rush on them.

KFaTAotW Standings.

3: Mike McCray(#1, Hawaii), Wilton Speight (#1 UCF).
2: Jabrill Peppers (T2, Hawaii; #3 UCF); Ryan Glasgow(#2 UCF).
1: Delano Hill (T2, Hawaii).
0.5: Chris Evans (T3, Hawaii), Mason Cole(T3, Hawaii).

Who's Got It Better Than Us Of The Week

This week's best thing ever.

No sir, no Early Season Jake Rudock this year.

Late Season Jake Rudock… ask again later.

Honorable mention: BLOCK ALL THE KICKS; Peppers forces a fumble with authority; Rashan Gary flashes end product on impressive sack; Speight hits Butt on a sweet corner route for a TD in tough circumstances; Michigan inserts Chris Evans at upback so they can't pop it up and UCF panics and kicks it out of bounds; Chase Winovich sack/strip results in a turnover.


Hawaii: Laughter-inducing Peppers punt return.
UCF: Speight opens his Rex Grossman account.


This week's worst thing ever.

Dymonte Thomas gives everyone the heebie-jeebies by failing to tackle a dude for like 20 yards and instead he goes 87. Also worrying about this play: the eerie similarities between it and the late season problems last year's defense had.

Honorable mention: Michigan Stadium has collective hallucination that Jake Butt dropped not one but two passes; various QB scrambles caused by bad contain; Kenny Allen drops the snap on a punt; several run plays are thunked in the the backfield.


Hawaii: Not Mone again.
UCF: Uh, Dymonte, you may want to either tackle or at least lightly brush that guy.

[After THE JUMP: SPEIGHTDOWN, also bad thing discussion]

Michigan 51, UCF 14

Michigan 51, UCF 14

Submitted by Ace on September 10th, 2016 at 4:15 PM

Tyree Kinnel got his hand on not one, but two punts. [Eric Upchurch/MGoBlog]

I can't sum it up any better than this guy did:

Tyree Kinnel deflected two UCF punts, Chris Wormley blocked two field goals, and Khaleke Hudson demolished a kick returner who appeared to be going out for a light jog. The Knights took an illegal block penalty on a kickoff touchback, sent out 12 players for a punt return, and muffed a short kickoff for a Jordan Glasgow recovery.

So that covers the special teams.

Wilton Speight took advantage of a UCF defense intent on loading the box against the run with several pinpoint throws downfield, finishing 25-for-37 for 312 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. The usual suspects led the way among the receivers; Jake Butt had two touchdowns among his seven catches, Amara Darboh cross the goal line twice and broke the hundred-yard mark, and Jehu Chesson needed only four receptions to tally 84 yards. That more than made up for the running game, which couldn't get much going agianst eight- and nine-man boxes; even with sacks and a punt gone wrong removed, Michigan averaged only 3.7 yards per carry. Fullback Khalid Hill plunged in for two touchdowns, at least, so it wasn't all bad on the ground.


The defense, meanwhile, limited quarterbacks Justin Holman—who exited the game in the first half with an apparent injury—and Nick Patti to a combined 6-for-22, 56-yard performance. A few errors—one of which may have been on the officials—led to an 87-yard touchdown run for Adrian Killins, and the Knights were able to rack up 275 yards on the ground, with a healthy chunk of that coming when the QBs broke contain.

While many fans were concerned about the line play, one Jim Harbaugh didn't share that worry.

"I thought the lines really took care of business today," said Harbaugh. "Both the offensive and defensive lines did a very good job."

Quarterback contain, he admitted, was an issue, but one that he believed Don Brown made the proper adjustments for in the second half.

Rashan Gary had his first big game as a Wolverine, tearing off the edge for his first career half-sack (Ben Gedeon arrived simultaneously) and had two more tackles for loss. Seven different Michigan defenders tallied tackles in the backfield, and Jabrill Peppers was everywhere—he led the team with eight tackles (two for loss), had two QB hurries, and returned a line-drive punt 35 yards deep into UCF territory to set up Butt's second score.

If there's any indication that Michigan has returned to form, it's that the crowd didn't seem satisfied with a 37-point win. Against an overmatched opponent that couldn't even reliably get a kick in the air untouched, the coaches had no need to utilize much of the playbook, which led to some ugly plays but won't reveal anything to Colorado, next week's opponent and Michigan's first that appears to have a pulse.

UCF Liveblog

UCF Liveblog

Submitted by Seth on September 10th, 2016 at 11:27 AM

Thanks to BOBBY for making us liveblog software.We tried it out last week and learned that people need to be severely punished for asking/answering Rashan Gary's number. Also I got called out by a Trekkie. News for you Trekkie: starships might have photon torpedoes but  on a liveblog that would be ridiculous. Liveblogs have PROTON torpedoes. Everybody knows this.

Anyway we are finally out of beta.

[/embed fails]

Nevermind still in beta.


The yellow/ orange bar is your mana. 
Sending messages costs mana. 
Messages cost more, the more active chat is. 
The red dudes on the side bar are lives remaining.

If you break the Board Rules, you lose a life. Lose three lives and you have to insert a quarter into your monitor. No no keep trying it, it’ll go in. As always, the Liveblog Chaos Mitigation Post is The Law.

Enter the liveblog here: (will open in new window. Sorry no embed yet. Tuesday.)