Draftageddon 2018: Quarterbacks and Running Backs

Draftageddon 2018: Quarterbacks and Running Backs

Submitted by Seth on July 18th, 2018 at 2:00 PM

The horses will ride once more

Seth: WHO'S UP FOR SOME DRAFTAGEDDON?

BiSB: THE PEOPLE DEMAND IT

Brian: We only have seven weeks until the season so it's got to be wall to wall.

Ace: Let the torches light the way. Try to avoid the pitchforks.

Seth: So, uh, maybe we just do an All Big Ten thing this year? I know the people won't like it.

Ace: BLASPHEMY

BiSB: Like, we jointly draft together? The hell good would that do?

Seth: Brian would finally win?

BiSB: /waves tiny "Venric Mark" flag

Brian: Kemoko Turay is out of the league so what's the point of even Draftageddoning

Ace: It’s 2018, most things are terrible, let’s do this like normal people, I guess.

QUARTERBAAAACK

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The one. [Patrick Barron]

Seth: Duh.

Ace: So, uh, yeah, it’s Trace McSorley.

Brian: Is it though?

Seth: He is. Penn State.

BiSB: Yes.

Brian: Okay but what happens with Moorhead gone and Barkley gone and surely at some point he's not going to hit 95% of balls downfield?

Ace: We said that when Godwin left.

Brian: It could happen this time!

Ace: Some of us more than others sorry I took him in ’geddon last year. He’s a slightly poor man’s version of Baker Mayfield and that’ll do in this conference.

Brian: Fine.

Seth: There's always a momentum that carries over. McSorley can still run the same RPO offense this year that negates his bad pass protection and keeps things open.

Ace: I mean, who’s next? Are we unbroken enough to fully jump on the Shea train?

[After THE JUMP: Lewerke for Heisman, Higdon vs Weber]

Unverified Voracity Departs, Notably

Unverified Voracity Departs, Notably

Submitted by Brian on June 1st, 2018 at 12:41 PM

HOEGLAW. Richard Hoeg has many interests. None of them include criminal law or horses, which I have been asked to make explicitly clear for SEO purposes. One of them is talkin' about stuff, including video games and Star Wars; he's put together a Youtube channel for his various and sundry podcast appearances.

hoeglaw_thumb[1]

Spring Practice Presser 3-29-18: Jay Harbaugh

Spring Practice Presser 3-29-18: Jay Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on March 30th, 2018 at 9:02 AM

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[Bryan Fuller]

[Ed. A- Thank you once again to 247’s Isaiah Hole for getting me video so I can still transcribe even when doctors’ appointments keep me from being there]

“Alright, what’s up?”

Four practices in. How would you characterize the start of spring practice?

“Lot of energy. Improving on the execution from where we started to where we’re trying to get to. Every practice has been better, but I think the guys are really taking to it well and really competing with the defense at a high level.”

What have you seen from Karan [Higdon] and Chris [Evans] specifically?

“Doing a great job. Just exactly what you’d expect from them. They’re taking all the parts of their game that needed detail or polish and they’re doing that. Every day it’s one less mistake and really turning in a great spring thus far.”

Could you elaborate on some of those parts of their game?

“The rare double question. Protection-wise, they’re both improving. Route detail in terms of the top routes, details that typically running backs don’t get to just because they don’t have the time. Those guys are exceptional athletes and as we work them in empty packages and coming out of the backfield, they can handle a lot of detail in their technique like a receiver would, so continuing to hone those skills has been nice to see.”

You mentioned that they’ve gotten better at pass protection. How have they evolved since you took over the position in pass protection?

“They’re both super tough. Just getting them to play with the technique that we’re looking for and it’s really, from right now to like if you compared it to last spring it’s significantly better, and even these four practices have been incrementally better.”

[After THE JUMP: the punctilious pursuit of pass protection perfect, Ben Mason two-way murderball comin’, and an offense as a living organism]

Gravestone

Gravestone

Submitted by Brian on November 27th, 2017 at 1:31 PM

11/25/2017 – Michigan 20, Ohio State 31 – 8-4, 5-4 Big Ten

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[Bryan Fuller]

John O'Korn sat in a press conference on Saturday and broke down. He blamed himself, and himself alone, for Michigan's latest loss to Ohio State. And he was correct. I don't think I've ever seen a Michigan-Ohio State game so clearly decided by one guy's inability to hack it.

Previous terrible individual performances have been given in concert. The 2007 game featured Chad Henne without a throwing arm, but it also featured an offensive line that had to drag Alex Mitchell out of retirement midseason and the infamous picture that resulted. Nick Sheridan averaged 3.6 yards an attempt the year after, but nobody missed the forest for that particular tree as Michigan finished a 3-9 season with a 42-7 loss. And so forth and so on. The sad fact of the last decade of Michigan football is that when Michigan gets in a competitive game against Ohio State it's usually because someone is playing over their head.

This was different. This was Michigan feeling like the better football team except for one glaring black hole at the most important position on the field. The crowd felt the agony of this keenly with every errant pass or unnecessary sack. O'Korn was not booed, per se, but the desperate groans that issued involuntarily from the assembled masses were almost worse. There's a certain tenor of "ohhhawwww" a crowd can issue that is the pure, distilled sound of frustration. I have memorized this after Saturday, and find it replaying in my head whenever there's a spare neuron not playing Baby Signing Time songs. (This is rarely.)

Even after all those moans Michigan had not one but two shots to go ahead very late. Those ended with back-to-back throws that are burned into the retinas of every Michigan fan and will be replayed when "John O'Korn" is mentioned. Possibly even corn. Or Korn. I can't mention my Pandora station ever again on this website. Those throws were a fourth and four pass that went yards over the head of a screamingly wide open Chris Evans and an interception on which two Michigan receivers were open, and not within 20 yards of the ball.

That is O'Korn's football gravestone, chiseled, checked, and done.

O'Korn knows it, and wasn't going to offer up any bullshit platitudes afterwards. Say what you want about his play—although I can't imagine there's any excoriation in any language that hasn't already been delivered—but the guy did not shy away from the enormity of the thing that had just happened to him, a living, breathing human who has to go through the next sixty years introducing himself to people and hoping they've never heard of the most popular sport in America.

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

At about the same time O'Korn was breaking down in public, someone logged on to this website and typed "fuck John O'Korn," into it, posted it, and then got a bunch of upvotes. A guy who started arguing with the various toxic manbabies in this thread that O'Korn was a virtually unpaid person thrust into a position he should never have been in was consistently downvoted.

After taking down several threads and banning a dozen people I yanked commenting for about a day. Naturally, this resulted in these same people fleeing to twitter to tell me it was PATHETIC that I COULDN'T HANDLE NEGATIVITY, because I didn't want them throwing their poop in a place I feel responsible for. And I didn't want to wonder what they were saying while I was doing anything other than commenting on Michigan football. Also, I hate them.

If you're one of these people reading this column I'd like to make it clear that there is something wrong with you. The vast majority of people who come to this site don't post on it, because it is like every other website in the world. Those that do are split between normal people with something to say, and you, the person too dumb to know you shouldn't say anything. You are a tiny minority of this fanbase that gets outsized attention because you're dumb and loud, and most people are willing to throw away the good parts of the comments because of you:

Next football season will not be like this, because you will be gone from this website. If you have any doubt in your mind whether I'm talking about you, yes, I am talking about you. If you're mad at Ace for saying the fanbase is the worst part of his job, I'm talking about you. Because he's not talking about 90% of the fanbase, he's talking about you.

No one needs to yell at John O'Korn, who clearly understands the implications of what just occurred in ways you do not. Nobody needs to say anything to John O'Korn ever again. Dude needs a hug and a Malaysian passport. And even though O'Korn just set a winnable Ohio State game on fire in a way that has probably never happened before or will happen again, I care a lot more about his feelings than some jabroni on the internet who doesn't have to introduce himself under his screen name.

That's it. There's no big sweeping theme here, nothing about the direction of this program or where this fits in the historical firmament. Just an incredibly obvious black hole...

...and a bunch of people who are incapable of seeing it.

AWARDS

Known Friends And Trusted Agents Of The Week

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

#1 Rashan Gary. Finally got a little sack luck, as Devin Bush flushed Barrett to him on one of his two sacks. He added a third TFL amongst ten tackles, which is a very large number for a DE, especially because he missed a big chunk of OSU's first TD drive with a recurrence of the shoulder stinger (or similar injury) that he's been battling all season.

#2 Mike McCray. Eight solo tackles and two TFLs as McCray was a major factor in Michigan's ability to keep OSU to under 200 yards of offense until a late fade, none of which was on him. He didn't get edged, and managed to survive the return of Oh No Mike McCray On A Flanked Out Running Back without getting targeted.

#3(T) Chris Evans and Karan Higdon. Michigan's tailback duo had 165 yards on 28 touches, 5.9 yards a pop. Evans caught five passes as Michigan finally paid off on that preseason hype; Higdon was able to get the corner a couple times as well. If the offensive line can come together next year one or both are candidates to have All Big Ten season... or at least they would be if they weren't going to cannibalize each others' carries.

Honorable mention: Mo Hurst and Devin Bush turned in excellent performances; Michigan's cornerbacks again almost pitched a shutout, albeit with the aid of a couple drops. DPJ set up Michigan's second touchdown. Mason Cole had an edge two for one that sprung Crawford early in the third to get Michigan's third TD.

KFaTAotW Standings.

9: Rashan Gary(T2 Indiana, #1 Rutgers, T2 Wisconsin, #1 OSU).   
8:
Devin Bush (#1 Florida, T2 Cincinnati, T2 Air Force, #1 Purdue), Mo Hurst (#1 MSU, #2(T), Indiana, #1 Wisconsin),  Karan Higdon (#1 Indiana, #2 PSU, T2 Minnesota, T3 OSU).
6: Mason Cole (#1 Cincinnati, T2 Rutgers, T3 Minnesota), Chase Winovich(#1 Air Force, #2a Purdue, T2 Wisconsin),
5: Khaleke Hudson (T2 Cincinnati, #3 PSU, #1 Minnesota), David Long (T3 Indiana, #1 PSU, #3 Maryland)    
4: Chris Evans(T2 Minnesota, #2 Maryland).   
3: Ty Isaac (#2, Florida, #3 Cincinnati), Lavert Hill(#2 MSU, T3 Indiana)), Josh Metellus (#1 Maryland), Mike McCray(T2 Air Force, #2 OSU).
2: Quinn Nordin (#3 Florida, #3 Air Force), John O'Korn (#2 Purdue), Sean McKeon(T3 Purdue, #3 Rutgers), Mike Onwenu(T2 Rutgers),
1: Tyree Kinnel (T2 Cincinnati),  Zach Gentry (T3 Purdue), Brad Robbins(#3 MSU), Brandon Watson (T3 Indiana), Ben Bredeson(T3 Minnesota), Donovan Peoples-Jones (#3 Wisconsin).

Who's Got It Better Than Us Of The Week

The entire first quarter? Yes, that.

Honorable mention: Oh man I should not have used up the whole first quarter before the honorable mention section. That was a real good first quarter. Oh: Kekoa Crawford

imageMARCUS HALL EPIC DOUBLE BIRD OF THE WEEK.

Of the two chiseled, checked, and done plays the Evans miss stands out since it was a wide open guy less than ten yards downfield.

Honorable mention: Various other things that happened when Michigan dropped back to pass. I could tell you about them, but you know. Metellus gets lost on two late drag routes. Watson misses a third and thirteen PBU. Nordin misses an XP.

[After THE JUMP: less than usual, i tellya]

Monday Presser 11-20-17: Jim Harbaugh

Monday Presser 11-20-17: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 20th, 2017 at 6:42 PM

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[Fuller]

“First I’d like to, if I could, just send out our prayers and thoughts and sympathies to Terry Glenn’s family. Just heard of the unfortunate passing of Terry Glenn and wish to let his family know and all of the Ohio State community and friends and teammates of Terry and his family that they’re in our thoughts.”

Brandon’s status today?

“He’ll be coming in shortly. Was seen yesterday and we’ll see where he’s at today.”

Is he in concussion protocol?

“Yes, yeah.”

If Brandon can’t go, what’s Wilton’s status going to be?

“Wilton practiced last week and was not cleared for contact last week. He’ll be evaluated by the doctors again this week to see if he would be cleared for contact.”

If John O’Korn is your guy, can you talk about where he is relative to his first oppoprtunities earlier in the season and how he’s progressed?

“Yeah, John has remained diligent every single week. Preparation and the game plan and always sitting on a spring ready to play.”

Can you just talk about Ohio State and what you’ve seen out of them this year?

“Yeah, really, really talented team. Very well coached. Really good players. Right now going through the schemes, the matchups, the preparation for the ballgame on Saturday but really, really strong, physical football team. Fast team. Really good at the skill positions. Tackle well. Play really good up front. They rotate their defensive line. I know they think very highly of them and I can see why. Yeah, can’t say enough good things. Really good team.”

[After THE JUMP: stages of the concussion protocol, another injury update, and Harbaugh’s first memories of The Game]

Upon Further Review 2017: Offense vs Maryland

Upon Further Review 2017: Offense vs Maryland

Submitted by Brian on November 15th, 2017 at 4:24 PM

2017 logoo_thumbSPONSOR NOTE. We're having a charity tailgate before the OSU game. Details:

MGoBlog and HomeSure Lending are having a tailgate before The Game at The North End Zone tailgate space, 1011 S. Main Street (map) from 9 a.m. to a little before noon, with food from Scratch Barbecue and beer donated from Wolverine State Brewing, and proceeds going to the T. Wall Foundation.

  • Tickets (food & beer included): $12 if you buy them ahead of time on EventBritegets you in, gets you a wrist band for the food.
  • Tickets (just beer at the door): $10 suggested donation just to come hang out on your way to the game.
  • Watch/Afterparty: Your ticket for the tailgate also gets you a round at Wolverine Brewing. If you don’t have a ticket for The Game but want to come, you won’t be alone; there’s a Lyft pickup spot across the street so when people go into the game a handful of us (I’m still in the market) are gonna go back to Wolverine State Brewing to watch it together, and more are planning to come back there (and park there) after.

Scratch provided the BBQ at the season-opening event, if you were there. It's good.

FORMATION NOTES. Slightly less heavy this week with 14 3-WR snaps, some of them on standard downs. Most, actually. There were 12 two-WR snaps, 17 one-WR snaps, and 7 beef machine snaps, one of which was the beefiest: a 7-OL, 3 TE formation on which Poggi scored. BEHOLD THE MAJESTY.

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I called this simply BEEF, since brevity is the heart of our goal here.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES. QB and OL were as expected. Per 24/7, Spanellis got ten snaps as a bonus OL and Runyan got two. Evans and Higdon got about 20 each, with Walker filling in for Higdon after his exit with 7 snaps. FB snaps were 2:1 Poggi.

DPJ and McDoom got the most run at WR, with Perry getting just 13 snaps coming off injury. Schoenle was at 12 and Ways 8. Gentry and McKeon continue to lead the way at TE; Bunting got 23 snaps, though, and Wheatley 12.

[After THE JUMP: run run run run, but more zone]

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

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[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?

“Yes.”

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]

I Have Already Forgotten This Game

I Have Already Forgotten This Game

Submitted by Brian on November 13th, 2017 at 12:42 PM

11/11/2017 – Michigan 35, Maryland 10 – 8-2, 5-2 Big Ten

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something happened somewhere [Paul Sherman]

Details from Michigan's most recent football game are impossible to remember. I have literally just rewatched the game and written much about the specifics of what occurred below, but if you asked me right now what happened in the 2017 Maryland game I would start with "uh..." and maybe get to "I think we blocked a punt" before screaming "oh god what is that?!" and running away. My memory of last year's game against Maryland is vague annoyance at tunnel screens; the year before that Ty Isaac fumbled a couple times and there was a cool screen to Jake Butt. All other knowledge requires a lookup.

So too this season, which has featured two very memorable losses and a gray sea of immediately forgotten three-score-plus wins over bad teams. Per this site's preferred fancystat, S&P+, Michigan's best win this year is over #38 Purdue*. Indiana is next at #62, and then it's a bunch of teams 80th or worse. Marquee Nonconference Opponent Florida entered the weekend 103rd. Next week they will play Florida State for the Spiritual Apple Cup.

Mentioning Indiana just reminded me that Michigan went to overtime with the Hoosiers, which I had forgotten.

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

There was a mild hue and cry when Michigan was left out of the first cofopoff rankings of the season, well behind any other two-loss major conference team. But it was mild, because one glance at the schedule is sufficient to confirm the suspicion that Michigan hasn't actually done anything this season.

It's not their fault that Florida was until recently led by a man who had to leave the room when that Left Shark thing was going on. It's not their fault that usually decent-to-good programs like Cincinnati and Air Force have cratered this season. It's not their fault that Jim Delany added Rutgers and Maryland to the Big Ten, or that Minnesota and Purdue are two of their three crossover games. But when your best scalp is "moderately feisty 4-6 team"... I mean, don't be surprised when you aren't invited to the college football prom.

Michigan now has an opportunity to change that, with two top-ten teams to close the regular season. Wisconsin is this year's ultimate Ain't Played Nobody Team; their top S&P+ opponent is... Florida Atlantic, which is admittedly higher than Purdue in those ranking at #24. Their second best win is a virtual tossup between enigmatic Iowa and... yep, Purdue. Ohio State looks invincible some of the time, and some of the time they lose to Iowa by 31.

So it's possible. Michigan is a deeply flawed team currently on their third quarterback and second right tackle. They can't pass protect. They can't make a field goal of late. They can run a bit, and can throttle most opposing offenses. They've had three straight games in which they run out to a big lead and nurse it home with stuff they've already put on film; by this point the tendency-breaking whizbang stuff must be piled box upon box in the fireworks warehouse.

This would be a good time to see what they look like against #15. They've got S&P+s #3 and #1 teams on the docket, and that looks like a tough road to take. Even if you're skeptical of the number people on the computers, Vegas didn't see this weekend's game much differently. They installed Wisconsin as more than a touchdown favorite.

But there's no other choice if Michigan wants this season to be something other than a gray expanse pockmarked with the occasional depressing defeat. Which is fine, to some extent, since virtually the whole team returns next year. The howling of the radio Petes will be annoyingly shrill, though.

*[Numbers don't yet take this weekend's games into account, but when they do the gist will be the same.]

AWARDS

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one point for mutumbo finger wag [Sherman]

Known Friends And Trusted Agents Of The Week

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

#1 Josh Metellus. Metellus blocked a punt, had multiple instances of excellent coverage as yet another team tried to exploit Michigan safeties' man coverage, and regularly flashed into the screen to shut down outside runs for minimal gain. 

#2 Chris Evans. 109 yards on just 17 touches, and many of those required Evans to dodge a tackle before he could get going. Should have had a bit more but Peters didn't see him on a mesh route that he was wide open on. Find this man in space.

#3 David Long. An interception with an 80 yard return and, with Hill going out, the lion's share of the work as Michigan held DJ Moore well under season averages. Also had another nice PBU.

Honorable mention: Mo Hurst does Mo Hurst things; Devin Bush was the main guy on the failed fake punt and did work on the incessant screens; Tyree Kinnel was forced into a lot of tackles and didn't miss any; Karan Higdon broke a big play from nothing and was generally effective; Zach Gentry had his most productive day as a WR.

KFaTAotW Standings.

8: Devin Bush (#1 Florida, T2 Cincinnati, T2 Air Force, #1 Purdue)
7: Karan Higdon (#1 Indiana, #2 PSU, T2 Minnesota).
6: Mason Cole (#1 Cincinnati, T2 Rutgers, T3 Minnesota).
5: Chase Winovich(#1 Air Force, #2a Purdue), Mo Hurst (#1 MSU, #2(T), Indiana), Rashan Gary(T2 Indiana, #1 Rutgers), Khaleke Hudson (T2 Cincinnati, #3 PSU, #1 Minnesota), David Long (T3 Indiana, #1 PSU, #3 Maryland)    
4: Chris Evans(T2 Minnesota, #2 Maryland).   
3: Ty Isaac (#2, Florida, #3 Cincinnati), Lavert Hill(#2 MSU, T3 Indiana)), Josh Metellus (#1 Maryland).   
2: Quinn Nordin (#3 Florida, #3 Air Force), John O'Korn (#2 Purdue), 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), Ben Bredeson(T3 Minnesota).

Who's Got It Better Than Us Of The Week

Michigan's motion discombobulates the Maryland defense so badly that Michigan gets an easy 30-yard pitch and catch TD that puts them up 21-0 and more or less ends the competitive section of the game.

Honorable mention: Metellus blocks a punt; Maryland tries a fake punt that goes Poorly; Higdon rips off a huge catch-and-run with a GET ORF ME stiffarm; Evans seals the game with a nifty inside zone run. Other things? I feel that other things did happen in this game.

imageMARCUS HALL EPIC DOUBLE BIRD OF THE WEEK.

Quinn Nordin misses a field goal of less than 40 yards, which officially puts us on #collegekickers watch after it went so well early in the season.

Honorable mention: Maryland has a touchdown drive. Michigan's third quarter features a lot of three and outs and not many yards. Peters misses a very open DPJ for a touchdown.

[After THE JUMP: hero-type substances on the half-shell]

Michigan 35, Maryland 10

Michigan 35, Maryland 10

Submitted by Ace on November 11th, 2017 at 7:58 PM


[Paul Sherman/MGoBlog]

Jim Harbaugh must be so disappointed.

Once upon a time, when Maryland coach DJ Durkin was Harbaugh's young assistant at Stanford, the two locked horns in one of the most competitive games of one-on-one "basketball" on record.

"It took like an hour and a half, and it ended 4-3 or whatever," recalls former Stanford offensive tackle Ben Muth. "Neither of them would call a foul. Someone did in the first five minutes, the other guy made fun of him, so it was on from there.

"It was like that James Caan 'Rollerball' movie, basically a fight to the death."

Today, Durkin called for not one, but two Sad Field Goals on fourth-and-short situations with his team down 28-0. Henry Darnstadster connected from 20 yards on the second, most depressing attempt with 19 seconds left in the third quarter, ensuring Maryland wouldn't be shut out. James Franklin would be proud.

Given (1) Maryland's white flag, (2) an unfortunate series of hopefully minor injuries, and (3) the desire not to put anything on film for Wisconsin and Ohio State, Michigan went into a shell. The offense went run-run-pass or run-screen-run for most of the fourth quarter, resulting in some quick exits. The Terps put together a couple decent drives, even managing to score a touchdown on one. A certain segment of the fanbase found this quite alarming.

Then Chris Evans jumped over a guy, bulled through two tackles on his way to the end zone on the next play, and kicked the Terrapin corpse.

The game was already over, no matter what Glen Mason said. Michigan jumped all over Maryland from the start, establishing the duo of Karan Higdon and Chris Evans early. The two combined for 44 yards on Michigan's second drive before Henry Poggi, playing in his home state, plunged in from two yards for a 7-0 lead. After Brandon Peters broke the pocket and found Higdon for a 35-yard catch-and-run, Evans covered the remaining 16 yards on four rushes, diving in from a yard out to bring the margin to 14.


The defense held Maryland to 3.0 yards per play in the first half. [Sherman]

The Wolverines broke it wide open four plays later, stuffing Jacquille Veii on an ill-advised fake punt in Maryland territory, then striking on the next snap with a 33-yard touchdown pass from Peters to Zach Gentry. Josh Metellus gave the offense great field position once again with a remarkably casual blocked punt on the following Terrapin drive. After a 16-yard Higdon run to set up first-and-goal, Peters found Sean McKeon wide open on a waggle.

Michigan missed an opportunity to extend the blowout even further before the half. Maryland's best drive of the day got them into a goal-to-go situation, but on third down, fourth-string quarterback Ryan Brand—the latest injury replacement at QB for Maryland—panicked under heavy pressure from Rashan Gary and Josh Uche, throwing a duck that David Long plucked out of the air and ran all the way back to the Maryland 20. The offense went three-and-out; for the third straight game, Quinn Nordin missed a kick, this one from only 31 yards out.

Even so, Michigan held a 212-112 edge in yardage at halftime to go with a 28-0 lead. Peters was averaging ten yards per attempt even though Maryland got away with some very physical coverage early. The backs were plugging along at five yards a pop. The defense was the defense.


Evans' late hurdle and subsequent TD made the final score more fitting. [Sherman]

After stopping Maryland, Michigan went three-and-out on their opening drive of the second half. That'd be the last time this game had a whiff of competitiveness, as Durkin elected to try a 43-yard field goal on fourth-and-two with under eight minutes to play in the third quarter. To cut a four-score game to a four-score game. Some pity points for the home crowd. The kicker missed.

From there, little of actual note occurred. There was a successful Sad Field Goal. The Terps scored a touchdown. Evans responded on the next drive with his leap-and-score sequence. In an unfortunate way to prove why Harbaugh shelved most of the playbook in favor of clock-chewing, multiple Wolverines got dinged up; Higdon exited after the first half with a right ankle injury, Long had to put a brace on his left knee, Lavert Hill suffered a concussion, and Rashan Gary walked off favoring his arm. After the game, Harbaugh said "we'll see" about the status of those four players.

Peters kneeled the game out inside the Maryland ten.

The final stats show a Maryland advantage of 340-305 in total yardage. That's a hollow victory for the Terps in a game that got out of hand early and featured several short fields for Michigan—there were only so many available yards to gain in the first half. Don't be fooled: this was a blowout with nearly a full half of garbage time. Durkin certainly treated it that way.

Next week in Madison, Michigan can start emptying out the playbook.

Upon Further Review 2017: Offense vs Minnesota

Upon Further Review 2017: Offense vs Minnesota

Submitted by Brian on November 8th, 2017 at 5:23 PM

2017 logoo_thumbSPONSOR NOTE. It feels good to hit the open field with nothing between you and the endzone except grass, because you have blockers. Man this is veering into cheesy ad copy really fast. Let Matt and HomeSure Lending be YOUR BLOCKERS ON ROUTE TO THE TOUCHDOWN THAT IS A FAST MORTGAGE AT A GOOD RATE. BANG. Suck on that one, Don Draper! Woo!

Look, they can't all be good sponsor notes. Unlike HomeSure Lending mortgages, which are all good. Because they let you have a house, fast.

FORMATION NOTES. Another jumbo day for the offense. I charted just seven snaps with 3 WRs, all of them passing downs. The closest thing to a 3-wide snap on a run down was second and twelve. Standard down offense was split about evenly between 2 WR snaps (20) and jumbo formations (18 1 WR snaps, 6 0 WR snaps, only two of which were short yardage).

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MEAT

If you're keeping score that means that Michigan has all but discarded the two major changes in the offense—inside zone focus and a bunch of NFL-style empty formations—to go full Harbaugh.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES. QB was Peters, obviously. OL was the usual except for Ruiz replacing Onwenu, and Runyan replacing Ruiz after Ruiz nearly got Peters killed on that one play. Ulizio got in for the last drive I charted, FWIW. Spanellis continued in his role as a sixth OL, getting maybe a dozen snaps.

RB was all Higdon and Evans with Isaac and Walker out; Samuels only got the Malzone drive at the end. Gentry and McKeon continued getting the large bulk of the TE snaps; Wheatley was out. Bunting did get 10-ish snaps. WR was mostly DPJ and Collins in single WR sets, with Schoenle and McDoom coming in for the rare 3-WR sets. Perry and Crawford were out.

[After THE JUMP: many yards; few plays.]