Unverified Voracity Enters A World Of Pain

Unverified Voracity Enters A World Of Pain

Submitted by Brian on December 28th, 2017 at 12:16 PM

mark it zero 2

this is a completely normal bowling event

I honestly don't know how anyone goes bowling and doesn't get in a massive brawl. You've just spent several hours of your time flinging a ball at various inanimate objects and the objects generally win. You are losing to some smug-ass ovoid shapes. In such circumstances, it is only natural to become so irrationally angry that you start a yell-fight over the circumstances you find yourself in.

And lo, it has happened to football teams.

This makes total sense. I do enjoy how bored the cops look. Because this happens every time they're in a bowling alley.

These are unrelated, but I wish they weren't. Mo Hurst will play in the bowl game. Probably less than he has in most games, for a ton of reasons. Here's hoping he gets through it okay.

God bless Mike Leach. And God bless the reporter who absolutely nailed the zoom-out reveal midway through:

This is art on par with the raptor gif. And they said bowl season didn't mean anything.

You cannot understand the Brohm of it all. Purdue beat Arizona in an extremely entertaining game that featured one of those college-only back-to-back-to-back touchdowns in the last few minutes to swing the game to and fro. In the end Purdue's margin depended heavily on this play at the end of the first half:

That is a perfectly legal play that I've seen Auburn and Arkansas execute over the past few years. People are describing it as a "fake kneel," though, and they do have a point: Purdue had a guy lined up as the traditional we're-gonna-kneel "safety" on the play. Shame on Arizona for biting on that after Purdue got the ball back with almost a minute left...

...oh.

[/mentions fill up with "intent to deceive" outrage]

Well... you're not wrong. If a team is going to line up in a formation that causes the refs to demand the opposition stop playing they should stop playing too. One dollar says that there's a new rule covering running actual plays from a kneel-down formation next year. Which is a shame:

Most importantly, when Gus Malzahn runs this play, the call on the field is “THERE’S A SNAKE IN MY BOOT!” because the name of the fake kneel is “Woody,” it almost always involves the smallest running back on the team getting the ball, and because anytime one can take an excuse to yell “THERE’S A SNAKE IN MY BOOT!” on a football field, one should.

RIP.

Interesting Michigan-related item:

M apparently had this scouted.

Random bits from Zach Shaw. Shaw has been poking around the 24/7 database for article on various Michigan units, and has come across a number of things that look promising for next year's defense:

  • On the DL, Aubrey Solomon had a "stop rate"—tackles at or near the LOS—of just over 10%, which was on par with Hurst and Winovich. Nearly identical to both, in fact. Those guys were 10th and 11th nationally in that stat. If Solomon maintains that productivity he should be at least good and, with some extra pass rush, potentially great next year.
  • At linebacker, Khaleke Hudson and Devin Bush Jr. missed just three tackles each all year. Both guys had a ton of QB pressures but not many stops—probably because the DL was crushing so many plays before they could even get to the LBs.
  • The cornerbacks did this: "Michigan’s three cornerbacks — all first-year starters — allowed 32 of 81 passes for 478 yards, 0 touchdowns, 4 interceptions and 16 pass breakups." That is, of course, bonkers. Like having Jourdan Lewis clones coming out of your ears.
  • The safeties were good-ish. In the aftermath of a tough game for Metellus against Ohio State there have been a lot of criticisms of the safeties, and by implication departed safeties coach Brian Smith. But collectively there were middle of the pack when targeted and had an acceptable missed tackle rate—Metellus's was more acceptable than Kinnel's. The individual stats don't take into account the general lack of huge plays against M. Michigan gave up quite a few 20+ yard plays (59th) but relatively few 30+ (22nd); a lot of those longer plays were the inevitable result of Michigan's very aggressive defense cracking. The safeties mostly held down those opportunities.

If Solomon improves as much as most rising sophomores he could be only a reasonable step back from Mo Hurst, and then Michigan just has to find a linebacker from 5-6 options and a develop some DL depth to have the kind of defense that could be #1 nationally. Again.

One downer: per Football Outsiders Michigan's punting efficiency was 121st nationally, and the early shanks from Will hart didn't have much of an impact. Brad Robbins's net yardage was 121st. Shoulda got an Aussie.

Etc.: Graham Couch is at it again! If you've seen various Lars Von Trier movies the reference to him in this article will go 1% of the way towards restoring your lost time and/or sanity. Marcus Ray departs WTKA. The Blind Pig will carry on. Patterson officially in; the other two guys are officially not. Ted Janes of the Daily talks to John O'Korn. Jourdan Lewis: still good.

Wednesday Presser 11-8-17: Greg Mattison

Wednesday Presser 11-8-17: Greg Mattison

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 9th, 2017 at 10:11 AM

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[Fuller]

Talk about Aubrey Solomon and what he’s improved?

“Yeah, Aubrey’s steadily since he got here has improved every day. Again, it’s really like it was in the past, which we take great pride in, is the older guys have really mentored him. I mean, you can see it every day. You get Bryan Mone coaching him on what he should be doing, you’ve got Mo Hurst—guys are watching the film and you’ll hear them say ‘That was really good’ or ‘Step this way’ and he’s really a great young man. I mean a great, great young man that wants to be good, and so he’s gotten the opportunity and when he’s gone in he’s played very well.”

How often did you interact with Aubrey during the recruiting process?

“A lot. A lot. Obviously you want a great player like that to come here so you have to. There’s always going to be an opportunity, so that was the big thing he saw and wanted to come.”

How was it building that relationship during the recruiting process.

“Good. I mean, it’s the same as it is with any player. You’ve got to be yourself. You’ve got to be fortunate enough to be at a school like Michigan where, to me, when I recruit, it’s a no-brainer for a guy to come here. I really believe that in my heart.

“You’re going to have a great head football coach, you’re going to have a great football program, and you’re going to have an opportunity to play because we play the best players, doesn’t matter, and you’re going to get the greatest degree in the country. So what else would there be? If you like weather that’s not hot, you’re in great shape. But—so it’s not hard.”

How has Kwity Paye not only improved since he came in but how far can he go as far as what you can see?

“Kwity Paye’s another one. Kwity Paye is just like Aubrey. I mean, he has just daily improved. Again, I’ll sit there and just before I’ll say something to him you’ll hear Rashan or you’ll hear Chase say ‘No, you’ve got to step this way’ or ‘You’ve got to be lower here.’ He’s the same way; he listens in meetings, he’s got great pride, he wants to be a really good football player, and so the same thing’s happening with him. Every time he takes a rep, I sit there and say this guy’s gotten better. He gets better every day and he’s gon’ be a special player.”

[After THE JUMP: maintaining rush lanes, rolling eight deep, Chase gonna Chase]

Wednesday Presser 11-1-17: Don Brown

Wednesday Presser 11-1-17: Don Brown

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 2nd, 2017 at 12:28 PM

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[Barron]

What do you see from Minnesota that you’re preparing for?

“Well, they’re gonna run the rock. Their mantra, you can tell, is they’re big, strong. I think the best offensive line we’ve played to this point in terms of run blocking, and they’ve got multiple running backs that can carry the load so we’ve got to do a great job in controlling the run game and then obviously doing a good job on third down from our standpoint.”

With Aubrey Solomon getting the start, what did he do to earn that start?

“Wow. Just a big boy growing up. He’s learned the system, he’s minimizing errors, and he’s kind of solidifying himself as a solid guy we can depend on on a three-down basis. And it’s not rocket science. I mean, on third down, we’ll do whatever we want to do anyway to get off the field, so with some of those things he’s involved and some of ‘em he’s not involved, but he’s a tremendous run defender and a very solid pass defender.”

On that second touchdown drive against Rutgers they hit a couple plays where your guys were right there on them. Is that going to happen and are there times where you as a coordinator just tip your cap?

“Well, I tip my cap on the pass. The kid made a one-handed catch. I thought Tyree was in great shape. You want to be able to lean into him and go through his hands and all that but at the end of that day it was like that [mimes a one-handed catch away from the body].

“So, you know, the bottom line is… let me paint a picture for you. You’re in zone coverage, okay? And we played a bunch, by the way, last Saturday, but we play combination coverages so guys are—we don’t want guys running free. We don’t want, oh we’re in zone, this guy dropped him. We’re not doing that, okay? So I’d rather spend my time teaching great technique, great fundamentals, let B. Smith and Mike Zordich do their deal and also be able to mix in, when we decide, other concepts that will cover people. Not people running through air and then relying on those zone pieces. I mean, that’s just not what we do.

[I had to split this answer with THE JUMP because posting novellas to the front page during the season is discouraged]

Radish Talk

Radish Talk

Submitted by Brian on October 30th, 2017 at 12:54 PM

10/28/2017 – Michigan 35, Rutgers 14 – 6-2, 3-2 Big Ten

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LET RAIN MAN BALL [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate is doing this:

Arizona is ranked for the first time in a minute after four straight Pac-12 wins. Tate watched Arizona's first four games from the sideline. Last year he completed 40% of his 45 passes and rushed for under 5 yards a carry.

A bit further north in that same conference, Stanford barely escaped an awful Oregon State team as QB Keller Chryst averaged 4.3 yards an attempt. Sophomore KJ Costello played the vast majority of previous high-scoring wins over UCLA and Arizona State. Twitter was rife with bitching about Chryst and stupefaction at what it would take for Costello to enter the game as the Cardinal labored towards a win over the 1-7 Beavers. You may remember that Michigan's first choice at QB two years ago was Costello; it was only after he committed to Stanford that Michigan started looking around.

A bit further south in that same conference, Sam Darnold watched USC start 1-2 under Max Browne last year before emerging as a 67%, 3000-yard, 31-9 TD-INT flamethrower and Rose Bowl winner.

A bit closer to home, Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke spent most of the 2016 season watching Tyler O'Connor bork it before getting a chance midway through the year. A few years back MSU also spent a brief, wonderful period as the worst offense on the planet under Andrew Maxwell before pulling the trigger on the Connor Cook era. Wisconsin left Alex Hornibrook, the conference's #2 QB by passer rating, on the bench early last year, and then benched him for their final two games.

Nobody knows! Even coaches. Coaches think things. They have the limited amount of data that practice provides, and then there is game data, and all of this information pales in comparison to a giant, looming Fear Of The Unknown. Some decisions make themselves; others have to wait until there's literally no way a second-year player is worse.

There is a moment when even if the backup sometimes seems like a semi-sentient radish in a human suit, he's the man, man. Welcome to that moment.

----------------------------------------

John O'Korn's struggles after Purdue sent the Michigan internet down a fairly appalling rabbit hole of speculation about Brandon Peters. "Promising young player stuck on bench for bad reasons" is such a trope that everyone knows the name of an otherwise obscure baseball player who Lou Gehrig replaced: Wally Pipp. The hundred-year persistence of this pattern was not good enough.

Nor were a plethora of recent examples at Michigan itself: Mike Hart behind David Underwood. Ben Gedeon behind Joe Bolden. Heck, even this very year Michigan went with Nolan Ulizio despite the fact Juwann Bushell-Beatty is older and apparently better. Sometimes the wrong guy is playing.

None of this mattered. O'Korn was bad so something had to be wrong with his backup.

So the last few weeks you couldn't throw a rock on a Michigan message board without hitting someone either implying or directly stating that Peters was a weird aspie with a fidget spinner and no future, Rain Man in a helmet. It's one thing when this comes from anonymous insider wannabes and entirely another when Rivals's Chris Balas calls a redshirt freshman a "big recruiting mistake" and says he "wouldn't be surprised" if Peters transferred.

Gasoline on the whisper fire, based on nothing. And this the second time Rivals has fueled baseless Peters transfer rumors that had to be debunked. The first time it was by Peters's father. This time Peters did it himself.

----------------------

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easy [Campredon]

It turns out Brandon Peters is at least as plausible a second-year quarterback as anyone else suspected of being a sentient radish. Never in the history of Michigan Stadium has a soft toss in the flat or a fullback checkdown been met with more rapture, because everyone was worried that there was a good reason Peters was behind O'Korn, and that meant doom both now and later. Rutgers guys were annoyed at it, for some reason:

"It seemed like the crowd was kind of obnoxiously cheering," Rutgers redshirt senior Dorian Miller said with a smile. "(Peters) completed a 10-yard ball and the crowd belted out. Football is football, so I'm sure you could apply that to any team and the fans would respond like that. It's not a knock on them."

Just when folks who haven't seen Peters in action started wondering if this guy's arm strength was substandard, Peters stepped up in the pocket and ripped a laser at a receiver just in front of a safety. The ball got in a half second before the safety arrived, and the absurdity of the whisper campaign really settled in.

Brandon Peters is a quarterback in 2017, which means he was scouted to death in high school. And the thing that really leapt out to both Ace and I was that slow build to a ripping throw. Peters has the natural ability to vary his throws so they're catchable when they can be and darts when they have to be. That featured in his recruiting profile:

He varies trajectory and speed based on the situation. My favorite throws in the Brownsburg game above are two high-arc, low speed passes to his tight end that are the exact right throws in those situations. That's the definition of a "catchable ball."

Peters seemed like a savant, especially in the aftermath of Shane Morris's approach to the game. He had no QB guru, like most quarterbacks do these days. He ripped through high school football. This wasn't a guy completing half his passes who might be moldable into a guy down the road. Personality issues didn't prevent Peters from impressing the entire recruiting industry and flying up rankings after a senior year ending at the Army game.

So what are we doing when we search for some personality flaw when a second year player can't get into the game just yet? Why is a mountain of evidence from across college football not enough? And so what if the dude is more engineer than prom king?

Even if Brandon Peters isn't George Clooney—and I'm not saying he is or is not—has anyone actually seen Rain Man? Placed in his element, Rain Man is a baller.

HIGHLIGHTS

AWARDS

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this guy's mustache got an HM [Barron]

Known Friends And Trusted Agents Of The Week

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

#1 Rashan Gary. Gary was rampant, consistently blowing around the corner to sack and/or terrify the quarterback. The Rutgers LT gets some NFL hype; Gary, and Chase Winovich to a slightly less rampant extent, made that guy look like a walk-on.

#2(t) Mason Cole and Mike Onwenu. Cole and Onwenu tentatively seemed like Michigan's most mauling OL on a rewatch, but probably I could have given this to any member of the blocking crew and not been particularly off.

#3 Sean McKeon. McKeon was able to dig out a throw low and behind him to convert a third and long; he was the only guy to pull in multiple passes. He probably would have scored on that fourth down if Peters put it on him. In addition, McKeon's blocking was excellent for a second consecutive week.

Honorable mention: That guy's mustache. Poggi, Hill, Kugler, JBB, and Bredeson all chipped in on a dominating ground game. Isaac and Higdon made the most out of the blocking. Winovich, Hurst, and Bush were all their usual selves.

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), Karan Higdon (#1 Indiana, #2 PSU), Rashan Gary(T2 Indiana, #1 Rutgers), Mason Cole (#1 Cincinnati, T2 Rutgers).
4: David Long (T3 Indiana, #1 PSU)
3: Ty Isaac (#2, Florida, #3 Cincinnati), Lavert Hill(#2 MSU, T3 Indiana))
2: Quinn Nordin (#3 Florida, #3 Air Force), John O'Korn (#2 Purdue), Khaleke Hudson (T2 Cincinnati, #3 PSU), Sean McKeon(T3 Purdue, #3 Rutgers), Mike Onwenu(T2 Rutgers).
1: Tyree Kinnel (T2 Cincinnati), Mike McCray(T2 Air Force), Zach Gentry (T3 Purdue), Brad Robbins(#3 MSU), Brandon Watson (T3 Indiana).

Who's Got It Better Than Us Of The Week

Brandon Peters completes a short waggle pass to Ty Wheatley for a first down.

Honorable mention: Peters completes another soft toss to Poggi on his next opportunity. Higdon breaks free for a game-sealing long touchdown. Kareem Walker scores. Various annihilations of the Rutgers quarterback. Various annihilations of the Rutgers front seven.

imageMARCUS HALL EPIC DOUBLE BIRD OF THE WEEK.

Michigan misses a run fit against a wildcat formation, ceding a long touchdown that tied the score at 7. At the time it felt like that was the start of a very long day indeed. Also long wildcat touchdowns remind me of the Penn State game.

Honorable mention: O'Korn throws a pick in the direction of Gentry when he's covered by a 5'9" guy; O'Korn fumbles the snap and Michigan eats a 14 yard loss; Rutgers uses the same damn screen play MSU scored on to get down to the two.

[After the JUMP: hamblasting the hamblasted]

Rutgers Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Rutgers Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 29th, 2017 at 12:00 PM

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[Campredon]

Can you assess Brandon Peters’ game and did he do enough to earn another start?

“He really acquitted himself well. Moved the football team. Played very, very well. Yeah, he did a lot and from the first time he went in there, just feeling the deep zone and feeling the linebackers drop and taking that extra half second to take a breath and hit the checkdown just was good ball. He was good.”

Brandon himself said his biggest advancement since fall camp was communication. How much has he addressed the things you talked about before the season?

“He’s made big strides. Really good in that area. It’s been—and was good out there today.”

What did you see on the touchdown pass to Chris Evans and—

“I thought Chris made a heck of a catch on it. Thought Brandon saw it well. Good protection, and Brandon put it… you know, a little short, but Chris adjusted well to the ball and made a nice catch.”

And then the next time out he had a two-minute drill. What impressed you most about Brandon’s game today?

“Today? Well, the things I talked about earlier. I mean, just that he was playing the position. He was playing good ball. Two-minute drill, I think that’s definitely… that’s a real bright spot to go in there—what was it, his second drive, I think, and get organized and get our team organized in the two-minute drill on the field. That’s something a quarterback doesn’t usually have happen to him on his second drive of playing football but I think it went really well for him, and that was great to see.”

[After THE JUMP: questions about special teahaha just kidding it’s more stuff about Peters]

Michigan 35, Rutgers 14

Michigan 35, Rutgers 14

Submitted by Ace on October 28th, 2017 at 3:57 PM


The first of many touchdowns, one hopes. [Patrick Barron]

Welcome to the future.

After four drives for each team, Michigan found itself deadlocked at seven with lowly Rutgers in front of a listless homecoming crowd. Embattled quarterback John O'Korn had completed 3/6 passes for 13 yards with an interception and two dropped snaps. On what turned out to be his final snap of the afternoon, he passed up multiple open receivers to roll out of a clean pocket and throw in the direction of a very well-covered Donovan Peoples-Jones.

When the defense booted Rutgers off the field with 7:01 to play in the first half, ballyhooed redshirt freshman Brandon Peters entered in O'Korn's stead.

"They just told me to get warmed up," said Peters. "When we got the ball I was just standing there next to Harbaugh and he said let's go, you're in."

The crowd instantly came to life. So did the offense. Two Karan Higdon runs picked up 20 yards to open the drive, then Peters got going, connecting on passes to Ty Wheatley Jr., Henry Poggi, and Nico Collins for first downs before Higdon capped the drive with a ten-yard touchdown.

"I wasn't that nervous," said Peters. "Honestly it was a great opportunity to get out there. I was more excited and confident than nervous."

Peters didn't seem nervous. When Michigan got the ball at midfield with 1:49 to go in the half, he marched the team right into the red zone. He had a freshman moment, nearly throwing an interception on a slant to Grant Perry, but that didn't rattle him one bit. On the very next snap, he tossed a near-perfect* lob to Chris Evans on a wheel route for a 20-yard score. With one change in personnel, Michigan went being in a dogfight at home against Rutgers to blowing them out.

"I saw man coverage, one-on-one with Chris," said Peters. "I wanted to give him a chance to make a play and he made a great play on the ball."


The wheel route remains undefeated. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Michigan had already made needed improvements elsewhere, and the insertion of Peters served to accentuate them. The offensive line had been opening holes in the running game, which featured a diverse array of powers, counters, outside zones, and crack sweeps. With opposition safeties finally forced to respect the pass, the backs found ample room to run. Higdon (158 yards on 18 carries) and Ty Isaac (109 on 14) both cracked the century mark; Michigan averaged 6.5 yards per carry.

The pass protection also looked vastly improved. O'Korn and Peters both consistently operated out of clean pockets; Peters did a better job of standing in and delivering. Michigan didn't take a sack.

Most importantly, Peters continued dealing. He finished 10/14 for 124 yards with a touchdown and no turnovers. He didn't lock on to a favorite target; ten different receivers caught passes for the Wolverines today. While Peters's stat line may not blow anyone away, he made it obvious he's the best option to run this team right now. His coach agreed.

"He really aquitted himself well," said Jim Harbaugh. "Moved the football team. Played very, very well. He did a lot. From the first time he went in there, just feeling the deep zone, feeling the linebackers drop, taking that extra half second to take a breath, take a checkdown. it was good ball. It was good."

Harbaugh probably didn't need to declare Peters the starter for next week's game against Minnesota, but he did so anyway.


Mo Hurst spearheaded another dominant defensive performance. [Campredon]

The defense needed no such fixing. Outside of a long Janarion Grant touchdown out of the wildcat and one drive in which Rutgers QB Giovanni Rescigno uncharacteristically connected on a couple NFL-level throws, they effectively held the Scarlet Knights to nothing. Rescigno dropped back to pass 21 times; he threw for 101 and took five sacks. Rutgers's pair of running backs combined for a mere 45 yards on 18 carries. Rutgers simply couldn't block Maurice Hurst, Rashan Gary, and Chase Winovich, and freshman DT Aubrey Solomon didn't look out of place on that line while getting the most extended playing time of his young career.

Higdon opened the fourth quarter with a 49-yard touchdown jaunt on a perfectly blocked power play to put Michigan up 35-14. A game that had already flown by didn't take long to wrap up from there. Rutgers wanted to get home. Michigan, one would like to think, was champing at the bit to get the Peters Era underway in earnest when he gets his first career start under the lights against Minnesota.

"It was time," said Harbaugh.

*Nitpickers will note it was a little short. Most Michigan fans, however, saw the skies part and heard angels sing.

Wednesday Presser 10-11-17: Greg Mattison

Wednesday Presser 10-11-17: Greg Mattison

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 12th, 2017 at 8:07 AM

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[Fuller]

Just talk about Mo Hurst’s game last game. Haven’t seen a lineman play that well probably in a long time.

“Well, yeah, Mo had a really good ballgame. Mo’s done some really, really good things. Obviously as a senior in big games you want to play your best and he’s been practicing that way to do that. I was happy for him. He’s capable of doing that a lot this year; he’s very explosive. The thing I’m proud of him is he’s been a good leader and he’s worked very, very hard. The guys look up to him and you want guys like that to have the reward of playing like that.”

How’s Mike Dwumfour coming along?

“Mike Dwumfour’s coming along very well. He has a lot of Mo in him. He really does. They both are very quick twitch, they’re explosive, they can run. You’ll see Mike a lot more as the season goes on. He played in this last game and I feel like we’re really starting to get with the D-line like we had before with the two-deep. They’ve worked hard in practice, and the only thing you can judge by is practice. The guys are working really hard in practice. Coach Brown does a great job of rotating them in practice like we do in-game, and they’re all starting to become that two-deep group like I want them to.”

This isn’t a criticism of Rashan, but it seems like he’s maybe a quarter step slow off the snap sometimes. Is that just because he’s playing next to a guy like Maurice Hurst?

“Well, I’d question anybody who would say Rashan’s a step slow. I bet you’d like to ask the people he’s played against if he’s a step slow. I think if anything it’s because he’s being very, very unselfish and very team-oriented and he’s knowing he’s playing the run first, and when you’re playing the run there’s a lot of times you have to react as you step as a D-lineman, and that’s what he’s doing.

“We could get all our guys to just come sprinting off the football if you wanted to but I don’t think you’d be happy with the outcome of that. I’m very proud of Rashan because he continues to try to work on his technique and continues to try to do what the defense asks him to do, and great things are going to happen because of that.”

[After THE JUMP: scouting a DeBord offense, the development of Solomon and Paye, and some good stories about Winovich]

Upon Further Review 2017: Defense vs Purdue

Upon Further Review 2017: Defense vs Purdue

Submitted by Brian on September 29th, 2017 at 2:37 PM

2017 logoo_thumbSPONSOR NOTES. If you're a Power 5 university that still doesn't have air conditioning in a visitor's locker room in 2017, there's probably a reason. Maybe you're paying a buyout for a guy you hired after one good year in the MAC, that sort of thing. Maybe you've made some poor choices in your athletic department and do not have ready cash to repair the embarrassing thing about yourself. Maybe you need a loan. Well, HomeSure Lending can get you that loan.

Probably. I mean... it's not like you're a part of the Michigan fanbase. No promises. But you'll find out fast if you have sufficient credit to build a marginally acceptable locker room. That HomeSure Lending can promise.

FORMATION NOTES. 15 4-DL snaps versus 39 3-DL snaps; Michigan had a few passing down snaps where Furbush was a DE and they lined up in a four-man line, so call it 1/3rd four-man lines and 2/3rds 3-3 stuff with a heavy stack emphasis. Michigan had three dime snaps with all three CBs on the field, which is a slightly meaningful indicator about the trust they've got in their top three.

They had some more of their weird line slide snaps.

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This was about the only thing of note in the formations. Purdue had a bunch of bog-standard spread stuff. Michigan did what they'd done in their previous games. The end.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES. A little bit more rotation on the interior DL, with Solomon, Kemp and Dwumfour getting several snaps. Winovich was omnipresent until very late. LBs were Furbush, McCray, and Bush the whole way except for one drive Wroblewski got in the first half.

The secondary saw the now usual rotation of Hill, Long, and Watson through the snaps, in approximately equal shares. Hudson, Metellus, and Kinnel did not come off the field.

[After THE JUMP: throwbacks and doom]

Preview 2017: Defensive Tackle

Preview 2017: Defensive Tackle

Submitted by Brian on August 30th, 2017 at 1:48 PM

Previously: Podcast 9.0A. Podcast 9.0B. Podcast 9.0C. The Story. Quarterback. Running Back. Wide Receiver. Tight End And Friends. Offensive Line. Defensive End.

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in ur base [Eric Upchurch]

  Depth Chart
STRONG DE Yr. NOSE TACKLE Yr. 3-TECH Yr. WEAK DE Yr.
Rashan Gary So. Bryan Mone Jr.* Maurice Hurst Sr.* Chase Winovich Jr.*
Carlo Kemp Fr.* Aubrey Solomon Fr. Mike Dwumfour Fr.* Luiji Vilain Fr.
Ron Johnson Fr.* James Hudson Fr. Donovan Jeter Fr. Kwity Paye Fr.

Here too the departures don't really start to bite until you dig down into backup snaps. Mo Hurst was the best interior DL on the team last year and one of the best in the nation despite being a very nominal backup; Bryan Mone was productive late and as a fourth-year player with plenty of recruiting and post-recruiting hype he projects as an above-average starter.

Backup snaps do happen, especially when your starting nose is a mountain, and those are all going to freshmen. The right kind of freshmen, at least.

NOSE TACKLE: TONGAAAAAAAAA

Rating: 4

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splat [Upchurch]

Now is the time for BRYAN MONE [recruiting profile] after two injury-hampered years. He missed the entirety of 2015 and went down in the opener last year. While he did return, he saw scanty snaps behind ironman Ryan Glasgow. When he did get in his play was indifferent for much of the season.

This was quite a comedown. Mone was famously—or infamously, depending on how this year goes—named one of Michigan's best three players at the dawn of Harbaugh's first season by the man himself:

"He was one of our top players last year. We ranked the team going into training camp from one to 125 and Mone was three."

That's a great googly moogly right there. At the time it would have been totally rad if Mone was one of Michigan's three best defensive linemen, let alone players. Mone was so hyped up that last year's edition of this post had a fusty paragraph about how you should stop bothering the author when he projects Ryan Freakin' Glasgow as the starting NT.

One thing is for certain: Mone is a tank. Here's the starting DL:

mone-weight_thumb

Gary says he's 288, and Hurst is probably pushing 300. Mone has 30 pounds on those guys—maybe more. That could be good; it could be bad. It's probably fine. Last year he told Scout that he was 330 when he was hewed down the first time, i.e. at maximum hype volume. He can play at that weight. He probably can't play as much as Glasgow, though, and given Michigan's depth that's a little concerning. Michigan's saving grace may be the fact that if an opponent wants to test Mone's endurance first they'll have to stay on the field.

As befits a tank, when Mone got on the field he did one thing consistently: clobber single blocking backwards. He did it early, against Hawaii, midway through, against Rutgers, and late, against Ohio State. He personally kicked OSU off the field on a second-quarter drive, first shedding a block from freshman Michael Jordan to set up a third and short:

And then whoopin' Isaiah Prince to force a punt:

He returned to the bench soon after that because Glasgow was still around; he'd made his point. A healthy Bryan Mone is going to pick up opposing offensive linemen and dump them in someone's lap.

With the talent around him Mone's main job is to demand double teams. Early returns are positive there, obviously. Mone demonstrated his clobbering last last year and when Michigan provided a glimpse into this year's version of the Oklahoma drill he did it again:

he's battling Cesar Ruiz FWIW

Yeah, the running back went around the carnage; Greg Mattison doesn't care one bit about that, as his reaction to Mone's bulldozer approach demonstrates. If Mone deposits an interior OL yards in the backfield the linebackers will clean up for him.

He's not Glasgow. He's not going to be much of a pass rusher—he pretty much does the same bull rush thing no matter what—and he's not going to force the QB to pitch on speed option. That doesn't mean he can't be effective in his own way. Mone is in fact perfect for this DL, which is stacked with one-gap pass rush terrors already and could use a beef machine.

Mone needs to draw and then stand up to doubles; his ability to do so is still somewhat in question. Mone got blown out some last year. Sometimes he was not:

Mone is the player just below the box, not the player in the box

How much the injury was responsible for that, and how much Michigan can expect him to improve at full health, is unknown. FWIW Webb asserted Mone was "never 100% last year and it showed."

Fall chatter has been positive, thought not incessant. Webb:

Bryan Mone is looking like the pre-injury Mone… He not just a space eater. Right now he is making plays.

JT Rogan:

"I've just seen a lot of really great things out of Bryan Mone. I've seen power, I've seen quickness, and I've seen speed. I think I have seen what Michigan fans had hoped to see for a couple of years now."

Hurst told the media that Mone is "by far one of the best nose tackles I've seen play" at Michigan. He's been locked in as a starter just like everyone else, and radio silence there is just fine.

Mone certainly has the attitude necessary. When they asked him where he was playing a year ago he answered enthusiastically:

"Strictly nose, baby! I enjoy playing nose. It's the gutter! You've got to play like you're in the gutter. Really me and Glasgow started that. We call each other 'the gutter boys.' That's our motto: play like we're in the gutter."

[After the JUMP: Mostly freshmen; also one 300-pound jetpack person.]

The Top 81-90 Returning Players in the Big Ten

The Top 81-90 Returning Players in the Big Ten

Submitted by Seth on August 23rd, 2017 at 12:31 PM

is what someone says when they’re too polite to admit that they’re writing another

Draftageddon 2017: ASK FOR THE PANDA YOU GET THE PANDA Edition

Four_Horsemen_by_MarkWilkinson1

This is Part IX (the penultimate of this year). We are drafting Big Ten players to give you an overview of the guys and dudes around the conference, and to learn them ourselves. You’re along for the ride, and if you want to get off we use the same lead image every time so you can do that.

THAT WHICH HAS ALREADY OCCURRED

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click to read

BiSB is on the clock and has no outside receivers, so he’ll take another slot.

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BiSB: ROUND 21, PICK 1: KJ Hill, WR (OSU)

Off: QB Brandon Peters (UM), QB Clayton Thorson (NW), RB Saquon Barkley (PSU), RB Ty Johnson (MD), WR DJ Moore (MD), WR K.J. Hill (OSU), TE/WR Mike Gesicki (PSU), G/C Billy Price (OSU); G/T Beau Benzschawel (UW), G/T Ryan Bates (PSU), G/T Ben Bredeson (UM)

Def: NT Bryan Mone (UM); DT Conor Sheehy (UW), DE Tyquan Lewis (OSU), DE Chase Winovich (UM), LB Tegray Scales (IU), LB Jason Cabinda (PSU) CB Rashard Fant (IU), CB Derrick Tindal (UW), S Godwin Igwebuike (NW), S D’Cota Dixon (UW)

I'm hitching my wagon to [OSU’s nepotismo WRs coach] Zach Smith. I may have gone mad.

Last year was the first year under Urban Meyer that Ohio State hasn't had at least a relatively reliable and productive traditional receiver; Curtis Samuel had over 900 yards, but no one else had more than Noah Brown's 402. Brown is gone, leaving K.J. Hill as the leading returning wide receiver (not counting TE Marcus Baugh). Hill's small-sample numbers were good; his 10.9 yards per target led the team, as did his 75% success rate. Bill Connelly had him as the 5th best freshman wide receiver in the country.

It's a bit of a crapshoot, as there are a number of talented wide receivers waiting in the wings in Columbus, including Austin Mack, Binjimen Victor, and Terry McLaurin. But Hill is a versatile guy who can play outside, in the slot, or at H-back, and he's the most productive guy they've got. Odds are he'll get enough touches to make it worth my while. And if we subscribe to Brian's "Freshman Receivers Suck" theory, Hill is primed for a breakout sophomore campaign.

On the other hand... Zach Smith.

[AFTER THE JUMP: A shutdown fullcast about draftageddon then 11 more picks, then people bitching about draftageddon in the comments. At least this one is guaranteed to get you excited about Michigan football]