Monday Presser 10-16-17: Players

Monday Presser 10-16-17: Players Comment Count

Adam Schnepp October 17th, 2017 at 8:12 AM

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[Fuller]

Mo Hurst

What have you seen from Saquan so far this year when you’ve looked at film?

“He just seems to get better every single year. We identified him as someone who was a really good player even as a freshman, someone who could eventually be a top-ten pick someday. I think he’s just someone who’s really dynamic. He’s running for the Heisman. You always have your challenges as a defense when you’re facing someone who’s in contention for a Heisman trophy.”

Everybody talked about all the guys the defense lost from last year. At the midpoint of the regular season, are you farther ahead as a defense than you thought you’d be?

“I think we’re getting better each week. I think we’re really starting to create our own identity and I think we’re starting to really gain an understanding of our defense and who we are as a defense. That’s really important. We kind of knew what we had last year. This year’s been a little bit more unknown but I think we’ve really started to develop into our own.”

What is that identity?

“I think just a team that tries to stop teams on third down, stop the run, try and be a factor during the game, try and really bring pressure and make quarterbacks feel uncomfortable. That’s sort of our identity and who we want to be as a defense.”

[After THE JUMP: Bush, Higdon, and O’Korn]

Comments

Monday Presser 10-16-17: Jim Harbaugh

Monday Presser 10-16-17: Jim Harbaugh Comment Count

Adam Schnepp October 16th, 2017 at 6:00 PM

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[Fuller]

Can you just talk about Rashan’s play on Saturday and how far you’ve seen him come this year?

“Yes, it was really good. Both him and Mo Hurst got accolades for the game: linemen of the week, both of ‘em. Mo makes a field goal block and Mo really played good this week, played really good last week.
”Rashan: can’t say enough. I mean, he left it all out there on that field. Was with him walking off the field and the epitome of leaving all on the field. Played great. He really helped, was very impactful, in their quarterback only rushing for 14 yards, and we were really worried about that. As on offense, they got out on the one 31-yarder but rushed for in the 80s. Took away something that had been very, very effective for them. Been saying it for a couple weeks now, Rashan’s gotten doubled, he’s gotten chipped, he’s gotten cut. Probably the ultimate compliment you can pay to a football player is to have that much concern about one guy and have that part of your gameplan. He’s earning that kind of respect.

“And the defense, the defense again was playing really well. You start stacking up some of the things that they’ve done in terms of limiting opponents to total yards; there’s a stat there that we’re one of I think ten teams that have allowed 280-some yards or less in their first six ball games since 2000. Most punts against us of any team in college football this year. Some really great things—three and outs. Our team is playing very well on defense.

“Great to see the turnovers. Lavert Hill’s interception; thought his other interception was a legal play. Didn’t feel like he interfered on that one. Tyree [Kinnel] gets the one in the back of the end zone, that was great. Great effort by Chase Winovich getting the big hit, getting the hustle play, and putting pressure on the quarterback. There’s a lot to be said. Linebackers again played really well; Devin Bush Jr. and Mike McCray are both up in that seven, eight, nine tackle a game category this week, which you expect them to be. But a good rushing team in Indiana and limiting them to the 80-some yards is really good.
”Also, Mike is really, as you’d expect from the captain, getting guys in position. Critical play late in the game, they’re inside the five-yard line, they go for the running play, we had a blitz called and the safety was lined up on the wrong side. Mike was the one that got him and us lined up correctly and we were able to get that run. Been some really good things.”

[After THE JUMP: on the offensive line, Barkley, opportunity, do-stuff-right guys, and Penn State’s defense]

Comments

Game Over, Insert Freshman To Continue

Game Over, Insert Freshman To Continue Comment Count

Brian October 16th, 2017 at 1:01 PM

10/14/2017 – Michigan 27, Indiana 20 (OT) – 5-1, 2-1 Big Ten

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[Bryan Fuller]

I am at stage five. I have passed through denial, anger, bargaining, and depression. And here we are: acceptance. Michigan is not very good this year. I accept that they are rebuilding.

Well... wait. Let me rephrase that. 60% of Michigan is righteous. 20% is questionable but encouraging. 20% is a deep, black pit of infinite depth that you fall through for hours at a time. The walls murmur foul, unspeakable red-zone stats. You yell "I DON'T BELIEVE RED ZONE OFFENSE IS MEANINGFULLY DIFFERENT FROM OVERALL OFFENSE"; the walls ignore you. Occasionally a gust of wind buffets you from below, braking your descent. It doesn't really matter, though. Terminal velocity or soon-to-reach terminal velocity are functionally identical when you are dropping forever in an inky expanse of nothing, waiting for the sickening crunch that will never come except when it does about every 365 days.

Woe! Woe! Fire and flame, death and brimstone! Woe. Dolorous woe.

...is what you might have said like 15 years ago when this stuff still had the capacity to hurt you. Now? Nah. Some Indiana fan sent me a picture of scoreboard from The Horror on Saturday and I just snorted. This is no longer a fanbase that considers 7-5 the "Year of Infinite Pain," as this site did way back in the ancient past. Michigan's going to lose some more games this year and end up in Florida on New Year's Day.

That's more or less fine. They return something like 21 starters next year, give or take QB. This depends on whether or not Brandon Peters can humorously conk John O'Korn in the head and sneakily don his jersey at some point in the next few weeks.

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You've probably figured it out already but the righteous bits are the run defense,  the pass defense, and special teams. The questionable-but-encouraging bit is a ground game that appears to be waking up and putting things together. And the black, infinite, inky pit is the passing offense.

O'Korn's 10-for-20, 58 yard performance was actually worse than last year's Indiana game, when he managed 59 yards on 16 throws. Michigan completed three passes for four yards in the second half—two of them screens—and did not even think about involving O'Korn in their attempts to put away the game. It got so bad that on one of Michigan's few downfield attempts of the fourth quarter that Official Journalists were barely concealing their bewilderment:

Very same, Zach Gentry. A quick glance at the photo that leads this column will confirm how very, very covered Kekoa Crawford was. And yet.

Meanwhile Harbaugh almost lost his mind on the sideline when Michigan pulled out a shovel pass they hadn't put on film, saw it break for a first down and more, and then had it called back because O'Korn didn't get the snap off in time. Harbaugh's clearly toning down his sideline behavior this year after the PF in Columbus and the supposed extra focus on coach behavior; that was a moment where he just about relapsed. But did not!

Also this:

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somehow not an INT [Fuller]

So here we are. That's three of four O'Korn games with extended playing time where he's been horrible. I have no idea what happened against Purdue, but if you're asking me to project future performance it's more in line with the last two weeks than the outlier. Teams are now preparing for a guy who's only good when he breaks the pocket, and there goes the efficiency of that gambit.

It's bad, man. It's so bad that Michigan spent half of its dropbacks presenting O'Korn with just two guys—or even one—in a downfield pattern. The interception he threw at a dominated Eddie McDoom was third and seven; Michigan had outside receivers run fades. Nobody else was in a pattern. O'Korn somehow still threw the wrong fade, choosing the 5'11" guy being checked by Indiana's best cornerback. Michigan dumbed down their passing offense to an extraordinary extent in this game, and their quarterback still couldn't keep up.

Game over, man. Game over.

It turns out there is a difficulty level too hard on the Jim Harbaugh Quarterback Constructor video game, and it's "Houston transfer who lost his job as a sophomore." Noted, and forgiven. Michigan's desperate scramble for quarterbacks upon Harbaugh's arrival turned up a strike in Jake Rudock, and a... not strike in O'Korn.

Michigan still has their goals in front of them, and maybe O'Korn has another Purdue game in him somewhere. I doubt it, personally, but we'd all written off the Brown Jug in 2008 just in time for Nick Sheridan to put up 200 passing yards in a 29-6 win. You can just barely cobble together a justification for continuing with O'Korn for another week, because a road night game at Penn State is next and we don't want to send our baby lamb to slaughter.

But win or lose against PSU, it's hard to imagine Michigan not taking Brandon Peters out for a test drive against Rutgers. Because Michigan's future is extraordinarily bright if they can find a QB. Even if O'Korn turns it around he's not going to be part of that future. Meanwhile it's hard to imagine production worse than what they've currently got. Here is where people say "it can always be worse": I submit that it cannot. Two point nine yard an attempt and two shoulda-been interceptions, people.

Game over. Insert freshman to continue.

AWARDS

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go go go go [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Known Friends And Trusted Agents Of The Week

-2535ac8789d1b499[1]you're the man now, dog

#1 Karan Higdon. Yeah, maybe several defensive players had better individual games in chart-world. All of those guys reinforce each other, though. Higdon's efforts were emphatically not reinforced by Michigan's passing game and he still put up Michigan's first 200 yard RB game since Mike freakin' Hart. He earned all 25 of Michigan's overtime yards, showed legit deep speed on his long touchdown, and ground out countless YAC without much, if anything, in the way of a missed read.

#2(t) Rashan Gary and Mo Hurst. Gary's 2.5 TFLs coulda shoulda been 4.5; he was robbed of a couple more sack by bloody circumstance but for the first time felt like an omnipresent terror. Meanwhile Hurst continued being Hurst, repeatedly whipping guys and getting pressure directly up the middle. The downgrade when both gents were out on the first IU touchdown drive was obvious. Both guys get two points, because I want them to have these points.

#3 Lavert Hill, Brandon Watson, and David Long. Michgian's CB crew all but erased Simmie Cobbs, and Hill turned in a Jourdan Lewis-esque INT. Most completions were to guys they were not in coverage on. Also: I mean, 40 yards for Cobbs. Get it.

Honorable mention: Chase Winovich wasn't far off his DL mates. Devin Bush turned in another very good outing, albeit one without fireworks. Ty Isaac chipped in eight productive carries. The OL was excellent on the ground and gave up zero sacks... narrowly.

KFaTAotW Standings.

8: Devin Bush (#1 Florida, T2 Cincinnati, T2 Air Force, #1 Purdue)
5: Chase Winovich(#1 Air Force, #2a Purdue), Mo Hurst (#1 MSU, #2(T), Indiana) 
3: Mason Cole (#1, Cincinnati), Ty Isaac (#2, Florida, #3 Cincinnati), Lavert Hill(#2 MSU, T3 Indiana), Karan Higdon (#1 Indiana)
2: Quinn Nordin (#3 Florida, #3 Air Force), John O'Korn (#2 Purdue), Rashan Gary(T2 Indiana).   
1: Khaleke Hudson (T2 Cincinnati), Tyree Kinnel (T2 Cincinnati), Mike McCray(T2 Air Force), Sean McKeon(T3 Purdue), Zach Gentry (T3 Purdue), Brad Robbins(#3 MSU), Brandon Watson (T3 Indiana), David Long (T3 Indiana).

Who's Got It Better Than Us Of The Week

Michigan busts out a new counter look on a fourth-quarter drive, running it three times on a five-play drive that ended with a 59-yard Higdon touchdown. Don't stop:

Honorable mention: Michigan wins the game with a goal-line stand from the two. Higdon bounces outside for an OT touchdown. Higdon bounces outside for a first-half touchdown.

imageMARCUS HALL EPIC DOUBLE BIRD OF THE WEEK.

John O'Korn throws to a double-covered Kekoa Crawford instead of finding the other guy on a two man route. That guy, Zach Gentry, was open for a 40-yard catch and run touchdown. Also he was the only other guy in a route.

Honorable mention: Indiana breaks off a punt return that gets them to overtime; various absurd calls after the mean man yelled at the refs but especially the Cam Cheesman "hold" that was critical for IU's tying FG drive; Michigan picks up a bunch of legitimate penalties, including PFs against Kekoa Crawford and Josh Metellus (unless Drake Harris is on the punt return team).

[After THE JUMP: How can Peters be behind this guy?]

Comments

Indiana Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Indiana Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh Comment Count

Adam Schnepp October 16th, 2017 at 9:16 AM

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[Fuller]

[Ed. A- I couldn’t make it to Indiana this past weekend but luckily Ace and David were willing and able. David pulled out the kind of move you’d expect from a wily veteran and got my recorder on the table right in front of the mic, which matters a ton to me and none to you. But hey, here’s a post for you to read with words that were said, then recorded with excellent clarity, and finally transcribed with… hands? Yes, hands and typing and such.]

Can you talk about Karan Higdon today, especially on those big plays?

“Yeah, he was phenomenal. I don’t know how many yards he got after contact but they were tough yards, and had some plays that looked like they were going to be a tackle for loss or a one-yard gain or no gain that he found a way to get four or five out of. More than a few. Lot of yards—I think more than 200 in the game—and cracked the big one for us and didn’t get trapped behind the line thought, I don’t know, if at all, maybe a couple times. But yeah, big boost from Karan Higdon today.”

Defense had been on the field a lot and when they faced goal-to-go from the two and had two negative plays and couldn’t come up much bigger. Talk about how those guys dug down deep were able to dig down deep.

“Yeah, I really thought our whole team did. Put our best people on it, our players and out coaches, and asked them to find a way and knew that we were going to have to dig down deep to do it. The goal-line stand was a great opportunity for us to keep them out of the end zone and win the ball game and responded with the tackle for loss and the incompletion, interception, and the quarterback option run up the middle so it was a great four plays for us.”

Was there a point in the game when you realized that Karan was going to be the guy to carry you through on offense or was that always the plan going in?

“Yeah, I mean, Karan started the game and we leaned on him heavy. I thought Chris [Evans] and Ty [Isaac] both added some good plays there. Nice to see Kareem Walker get a shot and produce; might be more carries for him in the future. We’ve got a long way to go. We’re very humble about this, and we’ll move on to a big road game next week, but this was a big game for our team. And mistakes were made but I think it’s something we can really grow from.”

[After THE JUMP: “We were grinding some meat out there today” is a way better phrase than “It was tough sledding”]

Comments

MGoPodcast 9.7: All Circuits Are Busy

MGoPodcast 9.7: All Circuits Are Busy Comment Count

Seth October 16th, 2017 at 7:06 AM

1 hour 17 minutes

bellyrubs

[Bryan Fuller]

We Couldn’t Have One Without the Other

We can do this because people support us. You should support them too so they’ll want to do it again next year! The show is presented by UGP & The Bo Store, and if it wasn’t for Rishi and Ryan we’d be talking to ourselves.

Our other sponsors are also key to all of this: HomeSure Lending, Peak Wealth Management, Ann Arbor Elder Law, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Michigan Law Grad,Human Element, Lantana Hummus and new this week introducing Ecotelligent Homes

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1. The Offense

starts at 1:00

Can Brandon Peters get three yards per attempt? The moment O’Korn threw into double-coverage when the other guy was wide open on a two-man route (!!!) was an offense to the game of football. Let him play out Penn State then break in the kid against Rutgers. Running game was good against a good run defense: RBs actually got yards, Onwenu looked like he had a good game.

2. The Defense

starts at 25:15

Another mostly dominant performance. Poor damn Rashan Gary. Pass rush nerfed: Indiana got their starting RT back. Also teams are adjusting to doomsquirrel. Cornerbacks are all turning into stars.

3. Special Teams, Feelingsball, and Game Theory

starts at 45:07

The bad man yelled at the refs. Indiana got a bunch of bad ones too. Half of it was legit. Game theory: turtling at the end of the first half is fine when your quarterback is getting 2.9 YPA. Put Peters in the game when you’re up 10 and getting sub-Sheridan performance.

4. Around the Big Ten with Interrupted Jamie Mac

starts at 1:01:27

Big Teeeeen! Bad QBs win all the games. Start with Rutgers with a Big Ten victory over a team that might not deserve to be called that anymore. Zero interceptions for Tanner Lee vs. Ohio State, still 600+ yards for Ohio State, which scored on their first eight drives (avg 73 yards per drive). Maryland back to their linebacker at backup QB. Michigan State found a worse QB to play against than John O’Korn in a rainstorm. LJ Scott ran for 200 yards but lost a fumble. Michigan-Indiana was the most-watched college football game yesterday.

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MUSIC:

  • “Linus & Lucy”—The Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • “Electric Relaxation”—A Tribe Called Quest
  • “Across 110th Street”—Bobby Womack version
  • “Across 110th Street”

THE USUAL LINKS

Comments

Michigan 27, Indiana 20 (OT)

Michigan 27, Indiana 20 (OT) Comment Count

Ace October 14th, 2017 at 5:18 PM


Tyree Kinnel's fourth-down interception (finally) ended the game. [Bryan Fuller]

Stop me if you've heard this one before: Indiana put a harrowing scare into Michigan, only to lose in heartbreaking fashion.

A game that initially looked like it'd result in a comfortable Wolverines win got increasingly distressful. Two Quinn Nordin field goals and a 12-yard Karan Higdon touchdown run got Michigan out to an early 13-0 lead. While the Hoosiers netted a field goal shortly before halftime, the game felt fully in M's control; they held a 166-112 edge in total yardage and had a huge advantage on the ground. Sure, you could complain about the 11 penalties and the underwhelming passing attack, but the Hoosiers were having trouble just moving the football downfield.

Whatever was said at halftime, however, should probably never be spoken again.

An ugly Michigan three-and-out, capped by a John O'Korn completion to Jim Harbaugh, gave IU the ball with a chance to cut it to a one-score game. They did just that on a drive in which Mike DeBord and his offense utilized tempo to lock backup defensive linemen Aubrey Solomon and Carlo Kemp on the field in place of the dominant duo of Maurice Hurst and Rashan Gary. Hoosiers running back Morgan Ellison rushed for 45 yards on the drive, going virtually untouched on an eight-yard touchdown.

The game slowed to a slog. O'Korn missed a golden opportunity on the ensuing drive when Zach Gentry broke open downfield on a two-man route; O'Korn instead chose to throw at a well-covered Kekoa Crawford, and two plays later Michigan brought on the punt team. That'd become a familar sight for both squads; the next seven drives, four for IU and three for M, went three-and-out.

Higdon, who had a star-making afternoon, finally broke the drought when Michigan went to a ground-only attack. After four rushes gained a pair of first downs, the coaches broke out a slick new counter play to spring Higdon for a 59-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter.


Dare I say Woodson-esque? [Fuller]

With Michigan now holding a 20-10 advantage, it looked like they'd ice the game when Lavert Hill intercepted Peyton Ramsey on a play reminiscent of the great Michigan cornerbacks of my lifetime. Indiana had already burned two of their timeouts on defense. A first down would've effectively put it away, but the offense bogged down, and the game suddenly turned sphincter-tightening when J-Shun Harris nearly housed Robbins's punt. Josh Metellus made a desperation tackle at the 16-yard line, but six plays later Ramsey hit Whop Philyor (a real name, that) for an eight-yard score.

Then things got really wild. With no timeouts left and 3:28 on the clock, Indiana went for an onsides kick, which took a high bounce that eluded Kekoa Crawford and went straight to IU's Simmie Cobbs for an apparent recovery. Cobbs, however, bobbled the ball ever so slightly as he stepped out of bounds, which the officials spotted live and upheld upon review—Michigan ball.

That allowed Higdon to run the clock down to 1:11, but he didn't convert a first down, and IU got the ball back on their 30-yard line after Michigan's school-record-setting 16th penalty added ten yards to a Robbins touchback. Two big pass plays by Ramsey, one to Luke Timian and the other to Cobbs, gave kicker Griffin Oakes a shot to send the game to overtime; his kick snuck just inside the right upright.


When Karan Higdon saw paydirt, he wouldn't be denied. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

But Indiana remains Indiana. Michigan started with the ball in overtime and the Hoosiers initially stymied the first play. Higdon, who finished with 200 yards on 25 carries, eluded a defensive lineman in the backfield and bounced to the backside, gaining the edge and bolting down the sideline for his third touchdown.

"He was phenomenal," said Harbaugh. "I don't know how many yards he got after contact but those were tough yards. It looked like there'd be a tackle for loss, a small gain or no gain and he found a way to get four of five yards out of it."

The Hoosiers quickly worked their way to first-and-goal from the three. Gary surged though the line for a tackle for loss on first down, and after Ramsey missed J-Shun Harris in the end zone, he combined with Noah Furbush to stymie a Ramsey keeper. With the game down to one play, Chase Winovich put Ramsey under immediate pressure, and a desperation heave to Cobbs ended up in the hands of Tyree Kinnel. For the second time in as many trips to Memorial Stadium, the defense won the game with a goal-line stand.

"We were going to have to dig down deep to do it," said Harbaugh. "We responded with two tackles for loss, incompletion and an interception on the quarterback option route. It was a great four plays for us."

It sure wasn't pretty, and for large swaths it sure wasn't fun, but Michigan found a way to hold on and move to 5-1 on the season. Next weekend's trip to Happy Valley looms large, however, and could ugly fast if the Wolverines can't get a whole lot more out of John O'Korn, who managed only 58 yards passing on 20 attempts and had a horrible interception negated by an iffy pass interference call. Harbaugh probably has to stick with O'Korn at this point lest he want to throw a redshirt freshman QB behind a porous offensive line on the road against a top-five team. One way or the other, winning at Penn State is a tall order. For the time being, though, Michigan can at least enjoy the ride home.

"We move on to a big road game next week," said Harbaugh. "But this was a big game for our team. Mistakes were made, but it's something we can really grow from."

Comments

Indiana Liveblog

Indiana Liveblog Comment Count

Seth October 14th, 2017 at 11:31 AM

Resources: Preview, FFFF Offense, Defense, Tom Allen’s defense

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Mike DeBord in 1998 [Robert Kalmbach via UM Bentley Library]

New features this week: Removed dignity.

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FAQ:

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.

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The link:

Enter here: http://kibitz.io/#/indiana

Comments

Punt/Counterpunt: Indiana 2017

Punt/Counterpunt: Indiana 2017 Comment Count

Seth October 14th, 2017 at 8:13 AM

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[Patrick Barron]

PUNT

By Bryan MacKenzie

Michigan State's continuing streak of continuing to annoying the bejezzus out of us... continues. But as I pointed out last week, it was not unexpected. You can only touch the cupcake so many times before it's your own fault for being shocked.

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But this week, that's actually good news. Because this week, it is Indiana who is hoping to reverse the tide of history.

Let's review what has happened since 1968:

  • Bump Elliot beat John Pont
  • Bo Schembechler beat John Pont (twice)
  • Bo Schembechler beat Lee Corso (8 times)
  • Bo Schembechler beat Sam Wyche
  • Bo Schembechler beat Bill Mallory (5 times)
  • Gary Moeller beat Bill Mallory (3 times)
  • Lloyd Carr beat Bill Mallory (twice)
  • Lloyd Carr beat Cam Cameron (4 times)
  • Lloyd Carr beat Gerry DiNardo (twice)
  • Lloyd Carr beat Terry Hoepner (twice)
  • Rich Rodriguez beat Bill Lynch (twice)
  • Brady Hoke beat Kevin Wilson (twice)
  • Jim Harbaugh beat Kevin Wilson
  • Jim Harbaugh beat Tom Allen

And on the other side of the ledger:

  • Bill Mallory beat Bo Schembechler. Once. By four points.Thirty years ago.

Seven Michigan head coaches. Ten Indiana coaches. Ten U.S. Presidents. Thirty-seven games. Thirty-six wins. Average scoring margin of just under 21 points per game.

Sure, Indiana has made the last few games interesting. They took RichRod's squads to the hilt twice. They took Jim Harbaugh and company to overtime on Michigan's last trip to Bloomington. And last year, Indiana kept the Snow Globe Game close until the fourth quarter. But Michigan kept last week's game close, too. Tell me how much that is worth to you.

This year, like Bill Murray trying to figure out a way to get out of the endless Groundhog Day loop, Indiana is trying something new: defense. Only a few years removed from fielding one of the worst defenses in college football, Indiana's defense is legitimately good. Their back seven features two playmakers in linebacker Tegray Scales and corner Rashad Fant, and they've been good against both the run and the pass.

Inline image 3

Ironically, Indiana doesn't play Minnesota this year.

The catch is that they also got lost the offense that made them so dangerous. Kevin Wilson is gone, and he's been replaced by Mike DeBord. I don't know how you break this kind of streak, but... buddy, that ain't it.

Michigan 23, Indiana 3

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COUNTERPUNT

By Nick RoUMel

I will be at the game today, with an old college buddy. I procured us 50-yard line seats for about $80 each. I will wear my colors and go through the motions. But I am empty inside.

What a difference a week makes. The highly charged excitement and emotion, that led to all manner of ugly storms last Saturday evening. Now, I wish that having a Spotless Mind wasn’t just a movie concept.

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You know how it is, when you win, you want to run home and watch the replay? And read everything you can about it the next day? Going on message boards and talking anonymous smack?

Well you know what Buddy Holly said:

clip_image004

Do you remember baby, last September
How you held me tight, each and every night
Well oops-a-daisy, how you drove me crazy
But I guess it doesn't matter anymore

I try to not think about it. It’s a lot like that nasty breakup that Buddy[i] is singing about, right? Compare:

I furtively check out ESPN once in a while. (I drive by her house and slow down, seeing if I can catch her through the window).

I wrote some clever Facebook comments to the few Spartan fans I allow in my feed, but deleted them. (I started a couple of self-righteous emails and almost hit send, but thought better of it.)

I heard something on sports talk radio. I was trying to not listen, but I couldn’t change the station right away because I was too busy texting and driving. (I didn’t mean to look her up, but I was looking up something else and it led me to something and suddenly I was looking at her Instagram. I didn’t mean it. And no, I don’t text and drive since that unfortunate rear end accident.)

Oh sh*t, then there’s the memes. I try to avoid them, but they’re everywhere. Here is an example of one I try to avoid.

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Too young even for braces!

Well, at least IU’s campus is very pretty in the fall.

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Go Blue. I still love you, no matter what.

MICHIGAN 27, INDIANA 14

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[i] Good news! Buddy’s Pizza Ann Arbor opened yesterday (Ann Arbor Saline Road near Meijer, just east of the stadium)

Comments

Preview: Indiana 2017

Preview: Indiana 2017 Comment Count

Brian October 13th, 2017 at 10:09 PM

 BinnGsKIMAAJtGp1_thumb_thumbEssentials

WHAT Michigan (4-1) vs             
Indiana(3-1)
WHERE Memorial Stadium,           
Bloomington, IN
WHEN Noon EST
October 14th. 2017
THE LINE M –7.5
TELEVISION ABC
TICKETS can be had
WEATHER sunny, mid-70s, 0% chance of rain
 
VERY SAME, TOM CREAN

Overview

Indiana! You used to be #chaosteam and are now this weird mish-mash of stuff, featuring a Good Defense (22nd in S&P+), which is a shock, and a Bad Offense (76th), which is not. Ace filled you in on the details over the last couple days. Suffice it to say Indiana replaced Kevin Wilson with Mike DeBord, and subsequently added Nick Sheridan and Mike Hart as offensive position coaches. Those latter two might not be bad ideas, the former... uh.

Things are weird now. There's always one year where momentum from a successful previous staff forces you to keep doing what you were doing before, so the Hoosiers are still a high-tempo spread offense. Just not a very good one.

Expectations have changed from a frenetic arcade rumble to a rock fight, and nobody's happy about this. What am I supposed to do with all the Butters gifs I've saved to my hard drive now? /kicks rock

Run Offense vs Indiana

big_Scales_02_1003_md

star Indiana linebacker Tegray Scales can only be cured by Tesamuel Tarly

This will be tortoise versus tortoise. Indiana is excellent at preventing long plays and substandard, but not terrible, in most other rushing stats. They've got a burly nose tackle who will try to hold up to doubles, a thumping middle linebacker in Tegray Scales, and run a conservative version of the 4-2-5 on early downs. Ace:

The linebacker level is where the plays really start getting made. Scales is a sideline-to-sideline demon, and while IU lost a quality ILB to graduation in Marcus Oliver, they have a worthy replacement in Chris Covington. I would've given Covington a star if not for a couple plays in coverage in which he appeared to blow an assignment. He was otherwise excellent. Like Scales, he's undersized and mobile; his best play came when he quickly beat a block and tackled in space on a screen pass that was otherwise going for big yardage.

Michigan has an advantage as the first real manball outfit Indiana has gone up against; if they can apply some force to the IU box safeties and undersized linebackers there will be gaps. Expect Michigan to continue with a majority of gap-blocked plays after those found success against Michigan State. Indiana isn't a blitzball outfit and will try to read and react and get Michigan in moderate distance third downs.

Output similar to that from the MSU game is likely, with Michigan steadily biting off small chunks of yards but struggling to break a chunk play. Whether or not they can manage a couple will go a long way towards deciding the game. They're not consistent enough to clobber their way down the field on 18-play drives.

KEY MATCHUP: JUWANN BUSHELL-BEATTY versus WHATEVER KEPT HIM ON THE BENCH. JBB was a clear upgrade on Ulizio on the ground when he came in, and with Ulizio struggling so badly in pass protection one wonders whether that was a bit of a mirage a la O'Korn. If Beatty can solidify the right side ground game that's a lot of beef to run power behind and the season projection changes a bit.

[Hit THE JUMP for MORE CUTTING EDGE GAME OF THRONES JOKES]

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Fee Fi Foe Film: Indiana Offense

Fee Fi Foe Film: Indiana Offense Comment Count

Ace October 12th, 2017 at 3:58 PM

Previously: Indiana Defense

I know yesterday's post was a little grim, so here's some uplifting news. Guess who Tom Allen hired to effectively replace Kevin Wilson as the man in charge of Indiana's offense? Surely an up-tempo spread guru, right? Someone who could keep the chaos alive, right? At least a creative young mind to continue giving the Hoosiers an edge against more talented teams, right?

Wrong. They hired Mike DeBord. Yes, the guy who called zone left on the first play of every damn game, eked out a half-decent offense at Michigan despite NFL talent everywhere, and was nearly involved in not one but two top-ten upset losses to Appalachian State. You know, the guy Tennessee cast off because he wasn't good enough to be on this year's coaching staff. That Mike DeBord.

For all of Michigan's issues, Indiana ranks seven spots behind them in the S&P+ offense rankings. While Indiana's defense is solid, Michigan's is a rampaging hellbeast. Even on the road, even after last week's sludgefart, even after losing their starting quarterback, Michigan should still have the edge in this game because the matchup on this side of the ball is going to skew heavily in their favor.

Personnel. Seth's diagram [click to embiggen]:

While there are no changes to Michigan's side, there are a number of notes on Indiana's lineup. The Hoosiers finally decided to bench erratic quarterback Richard Lagow in favor of redshirt freshman Peyton Ramsey last week after flipping between the two for four games. True freshman running back Morgan Ellison has taken command of an underwhelming backfield-by-committee situation even though glorified third-down back Mike Majette is still listed atop the depth chart. Wideout Donavan Hale, who's already replacing an injured player in Nick Westbrook, is questionable with an injury; if he can't go he'll be replaced by redshirt freshman Taysir Mack.

Right tackle Brandon Knight is back in the lineup; he entered the season at less than 100% and rested for last week's blowout of Charleston Southern. The right guard spot has flipped between Simon Stepaniak and Mackenzie Nworah and that situation is clearly unsettled; Delroy Baker, who'd rather ineffectively replaced Knight in the lineup early in the season, got snaps at both guard spots in addition to right tackle last week. There's also been rotation at center, where redshirt sophomore Hunter Littlejohn has ceded in-game snaps to true freshman Harry Crider, though he's yet to miss a start.

If you're getting the impression Indiana has had some offensive line problems, you're onto something.

Spread, Pro-Style, or Hybrid? Let's see if this is a spread...

...yup, can confirm.

Basketball on Grass or MANBALL? IU hasn't changed their zone-heavy approach from when Greg Frey was in charge of the linemen. They'll mix in the occasional power; they tried one or two against PSU, got stuffed, and shelved it.

Hurry it up or grind it out? I don't think I was alone in expecting IU to slow down from their ludicrous speed Wilson-led offenses. Instead, DeBord has kept up the tempo; the Hoosiers are fourth in adjusted tempo. In the Penn State game, the BTN had to cut multiple replays short and still missed the beginning of several plays.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]

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