MGoRadio 3.10: A Couple Wild Nights in Windsor

MGoRadio 3.10: A Couple Wild Nights in Windsor

Submitted by Seth on November 17th, 2017 at 7:35 PM

So he walks in there and we’re just whizzin’ away, as one does, and he’s like gentlemen? And we’re like “coach.”



The show is presented by UGP & The Bo Store, and if it wasn’t for Rishi and Ryan we’d be SI bloggers?

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 Ecotelligent Homes


1. Maryland After UFR

starts at 1:00

Officials are worse than the players—Michigan got away with plenty of them. Offense things: Ruiz was again fine on the line. Peters missed a few things that we’d like him to be seeing. Blocking was over the Mendoza line and most of that was Gentry. Maryland caveat though. Spanellis keeps caving dudes—trust the wordy dude.

2. Twisted Blue Steel: The Bo Memorial wsg Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis

starts at 24:26

We tell some great stories of Michigan history, like the time Dr. Sap and John Kryk broke into the coaches’ office to meet Bo in the bathroom. Bo hated Woody when he played for him, Bo’s players hated Bo—Bo was a needler. Harbaugh knew Michigan’s field goal record when Sap kicked a 55-yarder.

3. Brian’s Basketball Podcast

starts at 40:53

“Sir, if they were, they were at least seven inches…” that is not at all how the joke was written. The Teske’ing. We don’t think we’re going to miss Donnal. Gotta figure out the point guard and the scoring pecking order—Matthews might have been but he’s not been asserting himself much. Duncan’s hitting at the Duncan clip. Ace finds encouragement in this…don’t pay attention to the thruck. Defense is doing fine.

4. Wisconsin Preview wsg Seth Fisher

starts at 1:02:30

Meet the Badgers, just like the Badgers, who are just like the old Badgers, who are a warped version of Michigan. They are the platonic ideal of a 3-4 defense opposite a quintessential power offense. Their third string walk-on linebacker is really good. Brian has aerodynamic problems with the hoodie cornerback. Wisconsin is good at playing Big Ten football. Want to clarify it’s hoodie guy we hate and NOT Todd Howard whom we love. His noodliness needs to give us some picks.



If you or a friend made some good tunes and don't have a label out scrubbing for them we'd be happy to feature you. Tonight we featured Grand Gesture songs “Hey Okay”, “King of Cups”, and “Oh Tomorrow.”


Preview: Wisconsin 2017

Preview: Wisconsin 2017

Submitted by Brian on November 17th, 2017 at 2:45 PM


WHAT Michigan (8-2) vs
Wisconsin (10-0)
WHERE Camp Randall,
Madison, WI
WHEN Noon Eastern
November 18th, 2017
THE LINE Vegas: M +7.5
S&P+: M +9.9
TICKETS can be had
WEATHER high 30s, cloudy, slight chance of rain
15 mph wind


Hey, look: Wisconsin. Over there, being Wisconsin. Running the ball a lot. Getting by with a noodle-armed quarterback. Winning the Big Ten West with two games to spare. Having an infinite conveyor belt of linebackers unearthed from a pit in Green Bay, like Uruk-Hai. Some cornerback who wears a hoodie and only gets called for half of the interferences he interferes on.

It's Wisconsin. It has always been Wisconsin. It is currently Wisconsin. It will continue being Wisconsin until the sun expands. The end.

Run Offense vs Wisconsin


If Olive Sagapolu isn't nicknamed "Savage Garden" i don't even know man

Wisconsin sports S&P+'s #1 defense and #25 rush defense, fresh off a thunder-mugging of Iowa that broke the system. S&P+ cannot calculate a percentile performance for 66 yards in a football game:


So that seems bad. It is worth noting that this deep into the season one excellent defense won't distort your rushing numbers that much, and Wisconsin has played a bunch of jabronis. They've played on top-20 rush offense, and that's FAU. Purdue is the only team ranked higher than 36th on the schedule so far. Both of those teams are spread to run outfits that collectively averaged about 4 yards a carry—not great, not horrible.

Michigan enters with the #12 rush offense and an approach that Wisconsin has literally not seen all year except every day in practice. (Iowa is superficially a "pro-style" offense but an almost exclusively zone one.) Nothing Michigan does will catch the Wisconsin defense off guard, but it is possible they're not quite as good when their planetoid nose tackle is removed from the equation by a downblock two gaps away from the point of attack.

That planetoid is Olive Sagapolu, a 350-pound Samoan dude who specializes in being in a place and not leaving that place no matter how many offensive linemen and/or dump trucks are tasked with dislodging him. He does little in the box score—just 10.5 tackles on the year, or a game and a half for Mo Hurst—but fulfills his primary duty by keeping the interior linebackers clean. Rarely in the history of S&P+ stats has a team so embodied the idea of a two-gap 3-4. The Wisconsin DL is 119th in "havoc rate". Their linebackers and DBs are 1st.

So. Sagapolu allows ILBs TJ Edwards and Ryan Connelly to crunch interior runs. This usually happens at or near the line of scrimmage. The S&P+ stat picture* is one of a defense that's just okay at giving up the first few yards but is excellent at preventing chunk plays. Wisconsin will bleed you down the field a bit and get you into a passing down, where you're going to get clunked.

One potential issue for Wisconsin is the status of strong safety D'Cota Dixon, who missed the Iowa game and is listed as questionable on Wisconsin's weekly injury report. (Yes, Wisconsin has a weekly injury report. Harbaugh involuntarily shuddered just now and doesn't know why.) He was replaced by a walk-on, which sounds bad until you remember Wisconsin's history with walk-on safeties. Still, Dixon is a safety blanket for the front seven and his potential absence could loom large if Higdon or Evans busts into the open field.

Michigan should be able to move the ball some here. The current state of their rushing offense is probably understated by their #12 ranking; they've improved radically since early in the season. Harbaugh's shown almost nothing new on the ground since the split flow counter made its debut against Indiana and should have some tweaks in store that break tendencies and get guys in bad run fits. It'll be up to the running backs to see how big those plays actually get.

*[If you want the details: Wisconsin is 43rd—meh—in line yards allowed and in the 80s at stuffing short yardage and getting plays of 0 or fewer yards. They are outstanding at preventing big plays.]

KEY MATCHUP: HARBAUFFENSE vs ILB PLAY READING. Both ILBs are excellent at getting to where they need to be, and if Michigan just runs power they're capable of scraping over even a fairly bad blowout of a 3-4 DE. If Michigan can get those guys reading the wrong thing, or just get them hesitant, there will be gaps to the safeties.


Fee Fi Foe Film: Wisconsin Defense

Fee Fi Foe Film: Wisconsin Defense

Submitted by Seth on November 17th, 2017 at 11:23 AM

Author: still definitively not Ace. Previously: Wisconsin Offense

Two weeks ago:


One week ago:


Football is stupid. Wisconsin has kept every opponent but two under 300 yards: opener Utah State and Nebraska. Most recently they gave up 3/5ths as many yards to Iowa as Ohio State gave up points to that same Iowa one week earlier.

I watched the 33 yards game and mostly Iowa was doing it to themselves. I also watched the Maryland and Nebraska games. I think this defense is really, really good, but it’s hard to tell because all of their opponents so far are liable to fall down and go bonk. It’s a lot like watching a 1970s Bo or Woody defense chew through the Little Eight and extrapolating what they’d do against each others’ pass-averse offenses: Do they have any holes? I guess we’ll find out in the bowl game.

Personnel: My diagram [click to embiggen]:


BadgerGen Cloning Services has been doing work in the linebacker department, splicing Watt brothers genes with walk-ons to create the deepest three-assed pool of linebackers I’ve ever seen. Even with All-American Jack Cichy out, and Cichy’s backup Chris Orr out, there are stars all over the linebacking corps, including the guy who replaced Orr. WLB Ryan Connelly loves to shoot a gap when he sees one, and that tendency, though wild at times, is perfect for this defense where the linemen are taking doubles. MLB T.J. Edwards is every bit the coverage star PFF’s made him out to be, and perhaps underrated as a run-stuffer.

SOLB Garrett Dooley (6.5 sacks, 9.5 TFLs) is just as scary off the edge as Schobert ’15 or Biegel ’16 and perhaps better in coverage. The only LB I didn’t star was SOLB Leon Jacobs, the one they moved to fullback last year, and he’s got 8.5 TFLs (he can get squished by big OL I thought but he was close to a dangerman star too). Jacobs’s oft-used backup Andrew Van Ginkel has nearly as many sacks and TFLs as Dooley in half the snaps, but he’s more of a Uche pass-rush specialist.

Nobody on this front is less than solid. The secondary is ask-again-later since they haven’t faced any team yet, but it’s a potentially big deal whether questionable SS D’Cota Dixon can play this week.


Base Set? 3-4. They lift the nose tackle when they go nickel for a 2-4-5 look, as 3-4 defenses do:


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

WTKA Roundtable 11/16/2017: Holy Holy Pants Man

WTKA Roundtable 11/16/2017: Holy Holy Pants Man

Submitted by Seth on November 17th, 2017 at 7:24 AM

Never assume malice when you can whatever incompetence etcetera.

WTKA cover 11-16-17

Things discussed:

  • You gotta be multiple: Michigan ran a lot more zone this week. Chris Evans is getting good at it
  • Defensive breakdowns: when you play an aggressive defense one guy not getting his assignment gives up a big play.
  • How good is Wisconsin? They can’t pass, the defense is shutting down bad offenses well, the running game is overpowering bad defenses. The health of the center and the safety matter muchly. Mirror images of each other: who can hit harder?
  • Craig: Jonathan Taylor is better than Saquon Barkley.
  • Wisconsin ain’t played nobody!
  • They have a never-ending pile of linebackers. Better tight ends. Brian hates the hoodie-wearing cornerback because it’s not aerodynamic (and he was grabbing Simmie Cobbs like crazy).
  • Big Ten conspiracy to make the Badgers a playoff team? Don’t encourage Craig. Also do you realize how incompetent the Big Ten refs are, and now you’re going to task these yahoos with believably fixing a game too?

You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Audioboom.

Segment two is here. Segment three is here.


Fee Fi Foe Film: Wisconsin Offense

Fee Fi Foe Film: Wisconsin Offense

Submitted by Seth on November 16th, 2017 at 12:55 PM


[Guest author update: Since I nailed Maryland’s offense and was certainly the main reason Minnesota didn’t bother to block Khaleke Hudson, I’m removing the cyan circle from imagearound myself. Also, as a wife in the comments pointed out, I was using last year’s weight. Still not Ace though]


It must have been very weird for Wisconsin when Gary Andersen was running zones out of ace formations using naturally born human beings from Earth. Having observed their bouts against Maryland* and Iowa, I’m happy to report things are back to normal in Madison again. Not only did they get the cheese factory that produces 6’6”/330 offensive linemen back online, but they’ve also made great strides in DNA splicing. We’ll talk about the three-assed “Watt-On” linebackers tomorrow. More frightening by far is what they’ve managed to come up with by combining every Wisconsin running back ever:


*[Okay fine, I admit I looked past last week’s opponent. I take full responsibility for that 3rd quarter]


Personnel: My diagram expands to 1080p if you click it.


Wisconsin has some Dudes, and they’ve got some Pals, but precious few Guys. RB Jonathan Taylor is plausibly as good as Saquon Barkley, and given Michigan’s lighter defense he might be more of an issue. TE Troy Fumagalli is the best tight end in college football: an excellent blocker and Hornibrook’s primary target.

FB Austin Ramesh is projected to be the first round pick of the Chicago Bears when Jim Harbaugh takes over next year. Ramesh will sub in and out for a jet motion receiver, usually A.J. Taylor with Jazz Peavy out. As a nod to the last 80 years of football history Wisconsin always has at least one receiver on the field, and until recently that was Quintez Cephus, who was getting Fumagalli-level targets and catching them at a 79% rate (he was awesome vs. Maryland). Now Cephus has been replaced by true freshman Danny Davis, who’s averaging 13.6 yards per target with a 2/3rds success rate.

The line is getting Wisconsin-y but an injury to redshirt freshman C Tyler Biadasz could be a big deal. Biadasz, who’s listed as questionable, is thick and spry, and gave the Badgers’ power offense an extra dimension as they loaded up tight ends on one side to change the balance of the line then pulled Biadasz like a guard. When he went out against Iowa they skipped last year’s crummy starter, nominal backup OC Brett Connors (Jr*), for 6’6”/337 lug Jason Erdmann. The result was something like what you might imagine Ben Braden at center would look like.

If Biadasz can’t go, they could shift LT Michael Deiter back to center—Deiter was a star interior lineman the last couple of years but at tackle he’s Mason Cole minus a crucial notch of pass protection. The problem is like every other team in this conference they don’t have any viable OTs—RT David Edwards is Juwann Bushell-Beatty except not as consistent as a down-blocker—I ticked him for seven negative events in 20 pass plays versus Maryland’s crappy pass rush; very good Iowa DE Anthony Nelson turned Edwards-Beatty into silly-putty.

The guards are also 6’6” and Ben Bradenesque—RG Beau Benzschawel murders tackles and linebackers on downblocks and zone plays, and makes heady decisions when pulling. LG Jon Dietzen is a line-caver. The whole line is top-heavy and can be burled backwards.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown]

Wednesday Presser 11-15-17: Tim Drevno

Wednesday Presser 11-15-17: Tim Drevno

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 16th, 2017 at 8:01 AM



Jim said this morning that Cesar [Ruiz] and Mike [Onwenu] might play together. How would that work?

“Well, you know Mike is working through some things, his back… gosh, there’s three more days of practice left so we’ll kind of see how it all shakes down and like every day, we’ll roll the balls out and see who the best guys are and the best guy for us to win. Could both share time. We’ll just see as we go. Still too early to tell.”

Even if Mike’s healthy, do you feel like Cesar’s one of your best five right now?

“Cesar does a nice job. His athleticism, his initial quickness, the way he can recover on a block. I mean, both of them bring great things to the party, but to say he’s one of the best five right now, that’s just a little too early to tell just because of where we are. He’s played two games. Did a nice job in there. There’s things that all of them need to work on, just as Cesar needs to work on some things, but he’s doing a good job.”

Enough to make you think about it, though?

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, you think about it. Every day you’re thinking about, hey, how can I change this lineup, how can I make it better? Every day is a day in here is—you want to make sure you’re working, that you’re unsettled. You don’t want to become content. Content becomes laziness, and that’s not a good thing, is it?”

Why are you looking at me?

“I’m not. My wife sometimes says that: ‘This isn’t the Marriott, pick up your stuff around here.’”

[After THE JUMP: scouting Wisconsin’s defense, why Drevno went back to coaching from the field, where Ruiz and Bredeson won’t play, and more evidence Drevno should always listen to his wife]

Wednesday Presser 11-15-17: Mike Zordich

Wednesday Presser 11-15-17: Mike Zordich

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 15th, 2017 at 6:30 PM



Talk about David’s [Long] play. He’s really seemed to pick it up.

“Yeah, David, from week to week, really from day to day, is just getting better. Really he’s working at his craft. It means something to him. It’s really good to see. I’m really happy for him.”

Any update on Lavert [Hill] or is that just a wait-and-see kind of thing?

“I think that’s a wait-and-see kind of thing. Know he’s in the protocol right now, so we’ll wait and see.”

What does that mean, ‘the protocol’?

“That means that he has to see a doctor every day, and certain symptoms have to go away or if they stay then certain things happen.”

How are you preparing to go without him if he can’t go?

“Oh, we’re fine. We’ll be fine. I have all the confidence in B-Wat and certainly David. Those guys are true starters anyway, and then Ben St. Juste behind them and Ambry [Thomas], he’s been playing, so we’re good. Then Jaylen Kelly-Powell, he’s been kind of working the nickel corner mode too, so we’ve got enough. We’re in good shape.”

Speaking of Jaylen, we saw him against Maryland actually on the defense and not just on special teams. What has he shown you?

“Well, he’s shown that he can cover. He’s pretty—he’s like a little magnet. He’s able to get in the slot and cover very well, and that’s why we had confidence to put him in there. He’s been doing well. Really well. What’s great about Jaylen is he can do a lot of different things. He’s a freshman; we’ve asked him to play safety, we’ve asked him to play corner, and now nickel. So those are—it’s not an easy thing to do and he’s done it and he’s done it well.”

[After THE JUMP: Kelly-Powell’s long-term fit, Ben St. Juste’s progress, when they need a decision on Hill, and intercepting the China concept]

Monday Presser 11-13-17: Jim Harbaugh

Monday Presser 11-13-17: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 13th, 2017 at 6:00 PM


[Paul Sherman]

Can you tell us what you’ve seen from Wisconsin on film on both sides of the ball?

“Very physical team. Number one defense in the country right now. Very, very physical on offense. Very good quarterback, very good running back. Really good in the lines on both sides, and skill positions as well. Talented players and very tough schemes to prepare for.”

Do you have an update on Karan [Higdon] and his status?

“We’ll get more today but seems good. Seems like positive news and update.”

You talked about Wilton [Speight] last week. Is he getting closer? Do you think he’s going to be cleared this week for contact is that still up in the air?

“Right now he’s cleared to practice, and we won’t—we’ll avoid contact again this week.”

So Brandon will be your guy again this week?


Update on Grant Newsome? How’s he doing?

“Been progressing well.”

Is Wilton probably going to sit out the last two? Have you made a determination on that?

“Don’t know. Don’t know. I don’t make that determination, that’ll be made by the doctors.”

[We don’t talk about injuries except when we do, and we do after THE JUMP]