Unverified Voracity Baked In An Unforgiving Oven

Unverified Voracity Baked In An Unforgiving Oven

Submitted by Brian on March 8th, 2016 at 1:19 PM


Johnson pictured before he was immolated by 73-degree temperatures [Patrick Barron]

The humanity. Michigan's Florida trip was just another step towards the destruction of collegiate athletics:

"It's been wonderful," running back Drake Johnson said. "I think the team bonding aspect was the best. Obviously, we're here to learn football, but I think being together this whole time, sometimes being on campus can kind of spread you away from your team because you're caught up in school life. Being here has allowed us to accelerate the process of learning."

They will never recover. I will play the world's tiniest violin for them.

Soon, but not yet. Harbaugh on one Brandon Peters:

"It's impressive what he did (this week), as young as he is, being out here for the first time, he's got some real coolness about him," Harbaugh said unprompted Friday evening after the team's final practice at IMG Academy. "It showed up over and over in each of the four days.

"He's not a guy that panics. He's a natural in a lot of ways."

I mean, that sounds like "very soon" but some of the praise on offer here is definitely of the "for a freshman" variety:

"A lot of times with freshman quarterbacks, let alone someone who is coming in at mid-year, you expect fumbled snaps or they can't get out of the huddle. But he was out of the huddle on every snap, every call."

So maybe we can pump the brakes on the inevitable Brandon Peters Is A Real Challenger chatter. Here's hoping he goes redshirt, backup, really good redshirt sophomore. If someone else doesn't pip him in two years.

Linebacker group taking shape. Harbaugh called Ben Gedeon a "stud" after four spring practices, so let's hang on to that when we're squeezing our worry balls about the linebacking corps over the offseason. Also:

“I think Noah Furbush is going to contribute,” Harbaugh said. “Devin Bush Jr. is going to be good (too). So we got some real good players in there. I feel much better about our linebacker situation after four days.”

On the one hand, awesome. On the other, four mostly unpadded days. Harbaugh also praised McCray but noted his injury history. He can hang out with Drake Harris in his dorm room made entirely from bubble wrap and soothing whale song.

Satellite camps are on. Michigan's got one scheduled in Alabama for June 6th, so those haven't been banned yet.


[Melanie Maxwell/MLive]

MAAR profiled. Or Rahk or whatevs man. Brendan Quinn talks to his dad about the origin of the name:

"Oh!" the 58-year-old booms. "I tell you, man, to this day, it was the most magnificent thing I've ever seen in my life."

It's a Saturday morning in Manhattan and Dawud Abdur-Rahkman — the former David Cody — is rolling. The busy coffee shop disappears as he smiles and squints, telling the story of how he met Muhammad Ali in 1978. His voice crackles like old vinyl.

Every memory is vivid: Ali's sweat flying as he sparred. Ali looking 10-feet tall. Ali taunting the kids in jest, "I told you chumps I'm the greatest!" He remembers meeting Ali one-on-one and only being able to muster, with a tremble, "How you doing, Champ?"

Hey, I remember getting blitzed by that dude. The New York Times has an article on Keith Frazier, former SMU player and walking academic red flag who serves as a poster child for the ridiculousness of the one-and-done rule imposed on the NCAA by the NBA:

Frazier’s educational track record was pockmarked with failure. His high school grades mysteriously and quickly improved whenever his eligibility to play was at stake. He most likely had too many absences and failing grades to graduate from high school. And top officials at S.M.U. ignored their own professors, who recommended that Frazier not be admitted to S.M.U., an academically tough university.

Frazier took an online summer course before enrolling in freshman classes. An S.M.U. team assistant secretly completed Frazier’s work, an N.C.A.A. report found.

Frazier played against Michigan, helped SMU torch us, and has since left school. He would have been better off in the NBA from the drop… and in this case, SMU would have been better off as well. But guys like Frazier are all over college basketball, because they have to be.

This isn't a situation like football where there is a legitimate safety concern for recent high schoolers being put in the shark tank against guys like JJ Watt; it's solely the NBA using the NCAA as a marketing arm. Unfortunately I don't see a solution since the NFL's rule was challenged in court and stood because it was part of a CBA. Jim Delany proposing the return of freshman ineligibility is the nuclear option that will never happen… and really seems like the only option, period.

See also: Ben Simmons, who was left off the Wooden list because of his GPA in his only semester of college.

NOPE. If you're wondering who secured an interview with Tom Anastos and managed to turn it into a sympathetic piece for a guy who has MSU hockey 42nd in RPI in year five, well, it's Graham Couch because of course it is. MSU is so bad at hockey that it makes me, a Michigan fan, upset. And it's worse when Anastos's solution to MSU's problems is to bring in overage players:

Q: What’s the timeline now for the turnaround, to be closer to what North Dakota and other elite programs are on the ice, where there’s a noticeable difference? You’ve got a heralded class coming in but those guys will be young next year.

Anastos: “Yeah, but we have some older kids coming in. We’re not getting to the point where we’re starting to be able to be more patient (in when we bring in a recruit). … To answer your question about North Dakota, I thought it would take a good eight or nine years to be able to get ourselves in a position where you’re competing for those most elite prospects, and you can build the depth in your roster."

Dude was supposed to be connected to every junior program in the state and he cannot compete for the same recruits Michigan does. I'll admit that I don't know a ton about MSU's incoming class but it doesn't seem "heralded" by anyone. It has zero NTDP players. Only one of their guys was even ranked in the midterm CSB rankings. It's not even that old, five years in. North Dakota mostly recruits like Michigan and BC do; the old dudes strategy is one that second-tier programs use to offset the fact they're not bringing in the Kyle Connors of the world.

Why Anastos thinks it would take twice as long as a player is eligible to turn around a program is obvious: it's the only possible justification for the guy keeping his job. Fire this dude, fire Mike Eaves, go to home series in the playoffs, Make the Big Ten Great for the First Time.

Also hire Mel Pearson, Michigan.

Etc.: This is a tradition I could do without. Further reminding us of the Amaker era, Michigan is the 8 seed in the Big Ten tourney and will play Northwestern at noon on Thursday. Big Ten hockey guy who isn't a hockey guy tries to defend league's sneaky rules ploy, fails. Calls removing eligibility from 21-year-old freshman a "modest proposal," unironically.

Ball screens not so much this year.

Upon Further Review 2015: Offense vs Indiana

Upon Further Review 2015: Offense vs Indiana

Submitted by Brian on November 20th, 2015 at 12:45 PM

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Upon Further Review still has a sponsor.

I was going to tell a story about how Matt invented the mortgage in 1745 but given the persnickety legal details that come with being a broker I think that might actually be heinously illegal, so I'll have to skip it. When Matt talks to lawyers about running within the bounds of the law it seems like he gets tossed a dusty 500-page tome and is told to memorize it. So our story dies before it can even live. But at least you can be secure in your decisions when it comes to owning a home, amirite?

Matt's got a ticket offer going for a Michigan football or basketball game. If you're buying a home or refinancing, he's the right guy to call. (No pants required.)

FORMATION NOTES: Michigan didn't do much that was out of the ordinary for them. Indiana was very aggressive.


They had a standup end similar to the buck spot; I still interpreted him as a DE.

PERSONNEL NOTES: Pretty standard at this point. Smith, Houma, and Johnson got the only tailback snaps. Bunting has fallen out of the TE rotation. When they need a third guy they go with Hill or Poggi. Newsome only on goal line plays.

Ways got a few snaps but it was almost all Darboh and Chesson plus Perry in three wide sets.

[After THE JUMP: Rudock does okay-ish.]

Upon Further Review 2015: Offense vs Rutgers

Upon Further Review 2015: Offense vs Rutgers

Submitted by Brian on November 12th, 2015 at 2:07 PM


[Bryan Fuller]

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Upon Further Review still has a sponsor. Hey man the feds are going to raid your meth lab. Or raise rates. I'm not sure which agency we're talking about. Unless they're the same one, which would be weird but again we are talking about an entity that thinks alcohol, tobacco, and firearms are pretty much the same thing. I disagree, feds.

What was I talking about again?

Oh, right: low rates won't be quite as low in the near future if you're on the fence.

Matt's got a ticket offer going for a Michigan football or basketball game. If you're buying a home or refinancing, he's the right guy to call. (No pants required.)

FORMATION NOTES: Nothing weird in this one. This will be a pattern, as Michigan put the toys away for the most part. The screens were not anything super clever; other than the fullback wheel this was almost all things already put on film.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Exceptions from the usual routine were few and far between in this one. Smith and Johnson were the main tailbacks; Houma got a couple carries that must have induced déjà vu in Rudock. Green and Shallman got in some in garbage time.

Tight end was mostly Butt and Williams; Hill got a few snaps. Bunting may have gotten in once or twice, his playing time has dipped significantly. Wouldn't read too much into that since Williams is doing well.

WR was Darboh, Chesson, and Perry. I don't think Ways played. Newsome got a half-dozen snaps as an extra OL.

[After THE JUMP: accurate Iowa Rudock is a good thing.]

Upon Further Review 2015: Offense vs Minnesota

Upon Further Review 2015: Offense vs Minnesota

Submitted by Brian on November 4th, 2015 at 4:53 PM

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Upon Further Review still has a sponsor. You should really listen to the radio show because Matt has an ad with his kids now where it sounds like they have been dragooned into talk about daddy's business that never fails to crack me up. They just want to play Madden.

Matt's got a ticket offer going for a Michigan football or basketball game. If you're buying a home or refinancing, he's the right guy to call. (No pants required.)

FORMATION NOTES: I did an inconsistent job of it this week but I plan on denoting all 6 OL setups with "heavy" going forward. You can deduce which snaps were 6 OL when there are only four skill players listed this week, although I might have missed a couple.

The new things this week were mostly Peppers related. This was "Ace twin TE Peppers H":

ace twins peppers H

This was "Emory Tight":

emory tight

As a reminder, "Pistol" implies a tailback and a TE so Pistol FB is this:

pistol fb

As far as Minnesota goes they generally went with a 4-3 even or over. The most notable thing about their D was the MLB, who lined up a yard or two deeper than the other guys, as you can see in the above shot.

Also Minnesota's goal line formation was goofy. Just four guys on the line.

minnesota weird goal line

I still called this "goal line."

PERSONNEL NOTES: Line per usual with the exception of Grant Newsome, who had several snaps as a sixth OL. Poggi didn't play; he was left home with pneumonia; stay away from Ricky Doyle please. As a result Michigan played largely without an H-back, instead going with a lot of two inline TE sets.

WR was per usual except DaMario Jones got in briefly with Drake Harris out. Ways got a target on the first drive but then was absent; Chesson and Darboh got almost all the PT, with Perry the third guy in three WR sets.

Isaac and Higdon did not play at RB, where it was mostly Smith early and mostly Johnson late with some Derrick Green in the first half.

[After THE JUMP: here is Speight to save the day / no he shouldn't be the starter]

This Is Minnesota

This Is Minnesota

Submitted by Brian on November 2nd, 2015 at 12:29 PM

10/31/2015 – Michigan 29, Minnesota 26 – 6-2, 3-1 Big Ten


[Patrick Barron]

ONE. We've got a radio show now so I've been listening to sports talk radio even when Sam and Ira aren't on. I do it to compare and maybe get better and maybe draw confidence from the fact that a lot of sports talk radio is outrageously bad. The parts that aren't are often outrageously robotic. WTKA has a bunch of NFL stuff now that they switched to CBS, and it's on when I go to and from our podcast on Sunday; sometimes I catch it on a Thursday.

Tom Brady was on. Jim Gray actually asked him a lot of pointed questions about the upcoming game against the Colts and whether he had a desire to rain unholy fire upon those bastards. Brady responded with the passion of an accountant. I would chalk this up to Brady's flat affect, but I've seen player after player descend into this anodyne non-existence. This is a a league that spent most of the offseason discussing the Ideal Gas Law, after all—even if they didn't know they were doing so. It's just a thing. Colleges teach it but it doesn't take all the way. The NFL perfects it, along with the slant.

TWO. Minnesota has not been good for literally 50 years. Their blips to the positive aren't even Illinois blips. Every decade Illinois will show up in a BCS-level game; the Minnesota coach with the best winning percentage since 1944 is one Glen Mason, who the Gophers fired so they could hire Tim Brewster.

THREE. In 2005 I was pretty mad after a weird game where the Michigan Stadium scoreboards fritzed out and Jim Herrmann called a blitz on which Prescott Burgess, a 230-pound linebacker, was tasked with two-gapping a 270-pound monster TE. When I get mad I tend to be mad about everything, but when Lawrence Maroney rushed out to midfield and planted the biggest damn Minnesota flag in existence I was just like "yeah, go ahead, you earned that."

Sixty-plus Gopher players stormed across that field to reclaim the Jug without considering decorum, sanity, or sportsmanship. Michigan had just lost a game mostly because they called a blitz so telegraphed that a petrified backup QB could check them into a 50-yard run and I had enough non-hate in my heart to genuinely enjoy the fervor with which the Gophers reclaimed Fielding Yost's 30-cent chunk of crockery.

FOUR. Last year the Little Brown Jug went on a tour of the state of Minnesota.


This was a good idea.

FIVE. Jerry Kill retired last week because he could no longer control the seizures his cancer had bestowed upon him. Jerry Kill talks like a NASCAR driver. He comes by his coachspeak honestly, and when Tracy Claeys was again thrust into a role he probably never thought he'd be in—Kill tends to buy and hold assistants until the end of time—he sounded 100% like Jerry Kill.

It was awkward. It was stilted. It was genuine as hell. He told his kids not to play with emotion because emotion evaporates but to play with passion because passion sticks and I was just like YOU MAY BE SAYING THIS LIKE TOM BRADY SAYS THINGS BUT I KNOW THAT FEEL.

SIX. Junior Hemingway, just shouting and weeping after the Sugar Bowl.

SEVEN. Jerry Kill.

EIGHT. Michigan won a football game that often doubled as an exercise in hilarious improbability. Michigan gave up a 52-yard touchdown after Jeremy Clark executed the platonic ideal of coverage against a corner route. With 19 seconds left in a football game, Minnesota spent 17 seconds on a series of elaborate motions on first and goal from the half-yard line.

Football is weird and terrible and sometimes it gets you to within a half-yard of a cathartic, wonderful victory and then says "nah." Sometimes when you're 2-and-a-billion after always being good your walk-on QB dials up a bunch of incredible throws and you go grab the Little Brown Jug with a newfound respect for its importance. Football, above all, is cruel.

NINE. If you are a Minnesota fan on a bitter Monday indeed, here is the equivalent of Lawrence Maroney planting a flag. It is Jon Falk, the recently retired and legendary Michigan equipment manager, welcoming his favorite 30-cent crockery back home.


It hurts, but that means something. That is a thing that is real. It is a reflection of Jerry Kill killing himself to be in this game and dying because he has to leave it.

TEN. I've always hated THIS IS MICHIGAN a bit because it reminds me of going to Penn State in 2006 and having their chintzy-ass scoreboards proclaim WE'RE PENN STATE… AND THEY'RE NOT. It's not necessarily as bad, but sometimes it tends to AND THEY'RE NOT. I'm not a huge fan of Michigan's excellently-executed James Earl Jones intro video this year because it claims a bunch of things that should be gestured at instead.

Michigan's great. I love Michigan. I love it all, though. I've been to Georgia and Auburn and Penn State and Ohio State and Minnesota and the feeling of college football is something else. Minnesota hasn't done anything Colin Cowherd would note for 50 years. You could maybe compare them to the Lions, who no one should ever be a fan of.


Except no. Tell me that doesn't matter. Tell me This Is Minnesota doesn't mean anything. We took the Jug and we mostly earned it and that matters to me. It matters to Jabrill Peppers and Jon Falk and Jim Harbaugh and Greg Dooley. It matters because it's college fucking football, and Minnesota means something.

To Michigan, it means the Jug. They got it back on Saturday by the skin of their teeth, and for a program that's had a bit of a rough go of late they'll take it any way they can get it.


Column inspired by Dr. Sap digging up a post-game Bo speech after the 1987 Jug game:

A half hour version that must be most of the game from WD:

Parking God has a more reasonable length reel:





Known Friends And Trusted Agents Of The Week

you're the man now, dog

#1 Jabrill Peppers had a 40 yard KO return, a 40 yard punt return, two PBUs, a near pick-six, a rushing touchdown, a reverse set up by everyone fretting about Peppers, a pass interference call drawn—Peppers played nearly 100 snaps and was instrumental in all three phases of the game.

#2 Maurice Hurst didn't actually pop up in the box score much but he was frequently in Leidner's grill; on the final stand he blew up the pass protection on the first play and was one of a few different Wolverines whipping their dudes up front. Actually in the box score: he had a critical TFL that forced Minnesota to kick a short field goal.

#3 Drake Johnson didn't get many carries but was by far the most effective runner Michigan had; other guys had lanes but didn't take advantage of them. Hoping to see more of him going forward.

Honorable mention: Chesson and Darboh both had nice days. Glasgow again contributed to mostly good run defense.

KFaTAotW Standings.

9: Jourdan Lewis (#1 UNLV, #1 Northwestern, #1 MSU), Jabrill Peppers(#2 BYU, #2 Northwestern, #2 MSU, #1 Minnesota)
5: Chris Wormley(#2 Utah, #1 Oregon State)
4: Maurice Hurst (#2 Maryland, #2 Minnesota)
3: Jake Butt (#1 Utah), De'Veon Smith(#2 Oregon State, #3 BYU), Ryan Glasgow (#1 BYU), Desmond Morgan (#1 Maryland),
2: Ty Isaac(#2 UNLV), Willie Henry(#3 Utah, #3 MSU).
1: AJ Williams (#3 Oregon State), Channing Stribling(#3 UNLV), Blake O'Neill(#3 Maryland), Jake Rudock(#3 Northwestern), Drake Johnson(#3 Minnesota)

Who's Got It Better Than Us Of The Week

This week's best thing ever.

Form a f-ing wall.

Honorable mention: Speight throws the go-ahead touchdown and then converts for two; Peppers has the ball in his hands.


Utah: Crazy #buttdown.
Oregon State: #tacopunts.
UNLV: Ty Isaac's 76 yard touchdown.
BYU: De'Veon Smith's illicit teleporter run.
Maryland: Jehu Chesson jet sweeps past you.
Northwestern: Chesson opening KO TD.
MSU: the bit where they won until they didn't.
Minnesota: form a f-ing wall.


This week's worst thing ever.

Channing Stribling gets beat over the top for what seems like the game-winning touchdown, until it was not.

Honorable mention: Mitch Leidner hurling the ball downfield on throws that are very bad ideas only for those to be complete anyway. Rudock underthrows another deep ball by 20 yards.


Utah: circle route pick six.
Oregon State: Rudock fumbles after blitz bust.
UNLV: Rudock matches 2014 INT total in game 3.
BYU: BYU manages to get to triple digit yards in the last minutes of the game.
Maryland: Slog extended by deflected interception at Houma.
Northwestern: KLINSMANN OUT
MSU: Obvious.
Minnesota: The bit where the lost it until they didn't.

[After THE JUMP: fluky fluky fluky.]

Upon Further Review 2015: Offense vs Maryland

Upon Further Review 2015: Offense vs Maryland

Submitted by Brian on October 8th, 2015 at 3:42 PM

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Do not worry. The pants thing is still valid. Someone tweeted me worried that he would have to be formally attired after I failed to mention it last time. This is not the case. I was just stretching my creative muscles. Last time that happens EVER, thanks twitter guy.

Matt's got a ticket offer going for a Michigan football or basketball game. If you're buying a home or refinancing, he's the right guy to call. (No pants required.)

FORMATION NOTES: Harbaugh unearthed a chestnut from the first half of the 20th century when he debuted a T formation:


After some Wikipedia reading I decided that Pro T == 1 WR, Wide T == 2 WR, and Power T == 0 WR. "Wide T" is not to be confused with "Split T," which means the OL take up crazy wide splits.

There wasn't anything too weird other than that unless you count a three wide shotgun formation as weird. Michigan spread the field much more than they did against BYU. They were still heavy; WRs got more snaps. Sometimes there were even two of them on the field at the same time.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Not much of note. Kerridge and Smith did not play. Isaac, Green, and Johnson seemed to split the RB opportunities down the middle for much of the game, with Isaac exiting permanently after his second fumble. Johnson got more playing time as the game went along.

OL was the usual, FB the usual minus Kerridge. WR was a bit more diverse than the last couple games, with Freddy Canteen and Grant Perry getting a dozen or so snaps each. Michigan spent more of this game in three-wide.

[After THE JUMP: scratching out… actually a lot more than they needed.]

Monday Presser 10-5-15: Jim Harbaugh

Monday Presser 10-5-15: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 5th, 2015 at 6:03 PM



You said the other day that you thought Mario [Ojemudia] would most likely miss the season with an Achilles [injury]. Is that the case, and who do you look at to step up obviously with him being out this week?

“Yeah, that’s…that is the case. Look at- look within our roster, look within our defense. It’s a…don’t know exactly who yet, but I mean, you know the guys.”

How long have you known Pat Fitzgerald and could you talk about any background with him?

“Yeah. Great competitor. Background would be starting with I was Stanford, he was at Northwestern. First crossed paths on the recruiting trail. Sized him up and said, ‘This guy’s a fine, fine coach and great competitor.’ He’s done a fabulous job. He’s a great coach.

“And got to know him this summer. Came to our football camp and did a tremendous job talking to the campers and sharing football lessons and life lessons with them. Thought it was fabulous. And his football team is a tremendous football team, so, you know, everything you look at with Pat Fitzgerald is really good. Admire him.”

Watching them on film, what impresses you most about their defense?

“Athletic. Mike Hankwitz does a great job. They react as athletic and fast as anybody we’ve seen. No. 18 [Anthony Walker] is as good a player as we’ve faced, so all those things. Really good scheme. Great team defense. Leading the country in points allowed. I think that’s the thing mainly is this team reacts and flows to the ball as good as you’re going to see in college football.”

Going back to the reference of sizing up Pat Fitzgerald, with the defense of Northwestern No. 1 and you guys right behind them, have you given this a lot of thought as far as [being] a battle of the defenses? Is this a big game in your mind for both defenses, yours particularly?

“Well, that’s part of it, yeah. Offense, special teams; all equal parts of the game.” 

But given the ranking for both defenses, do you feel like it’s a bout or-

“No, the two defenses won’t go against each other. They won’t face each other, so look at it the way you always look at it: it’s three phases, and you want to win each of those phases.”

[After THE JUMP: “I’m paraphrasing here, but how many hits can you take and keep coming back? So pull up that clip. Sylvester Stallone did it well.”]

Michigan 28, Maryland 0

Michigan 28, Maryland 0

Submitted by Seth on October 3rd, 2015 at 4:16 PM


[Patrick Barron]

Maryland thought they were getting a primetime showdown on national TV; what they got instead was a lesson in what being a member of the Big Ten is really about. Michigan is going to walk into your building, change the start time to just after breakfast, eat you for lunch, and be home in time for supper.

Facing a slate sky whipped up by the tendrils of Hurricane Joaquin, the Harbaugh 1.4 Wolverines left De’Veon Smith warm in his Ann Arbor stable, content to use the same strategy that got the Harbaugh 1.2s past UNLV: probe the inside, pop a thing or two when it’s time to get some points, and wait for your defense to throttle the will to football out of a vastly inferior opponent.

Growing up we called this a “Schembechler win,” and we got one, but not before a first half and change that conjured memories of a far more recent former Michigan coaching tenure. From Maryland receiving the kickoff, the drives went punt, punt, interception, fumble, punt, fumble, interception, missed FG, punt, field goal, punt, punt, punt, field goal, punt, kneel out half, interception, punt, punt, interception.

At this point I asked Twitter if they preferred a recap of these proceedings or a 10-minute pasta recipe. Votes for the game did outscore Maryland, but only barely:

How to Make Seth’s Creamy Gnocchi


Start by pre-heating the oven to 400 and shove the meatballs in (if you want to hurry this up just nuke ‘em for 4 minutes), then put the water on to boil. In another pan I pour some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sriracha, and—here’s the trick—a tablespoon of peanut butter. You melt down the peanut butter on medium until you have a nice brownish sauce. Add garlic too if you’re into that. When the water boils put the gnocchi in and turn down the heat.

They’ll cook pretty fast then pop to the surface, whence you’ll remove them with a slotted spoon to your saucepan. Once all the gnocchi is moved over, pour in a half a cup of 2% milk and your tomato sauce, turn the heat up to medium-plus, and cook it down until it’s getting thick-ish. Turn off the heat and let it cool until your meatballs are ready. Plop those on top, followed by your preferred level of parmesan, and you’re in business.

At this point you may relocate back to the living room to find that Michigan has scored on a screen to Drake Johnson and a jet sweep to Jehu Chesson, Maryland’s starting quarterback is on the bench, and Willie Henry is getting free hits on Daxx Garmin. Salt away with Drake Johnson runs and serve cold.

The one really bad thing for Michigan is Mario Ojemudia left the game with an apparent Achilles injury. I thought he had his best day as a Wolverine today; if it was indeed his last that is a huge loss.

The rest of your takeaways: Maryland is bad at football and should feel bad. Michigan is excellent at defense and should feel excellent. Rudock is turning out to be fine in a Krenzel sort of way. De’Veon Smith probably really is Michigan’s best back. And while there’s still plenty of 2014 left to Harbaugh out of this team, you can start believing that both Mr. Smith and MICHIGAN will be back for Homecoming.

Upon Further Review 2015: Offense vs BYU

Upon Further Review 2015: Offense vs BYU

Submitted by Brian on October 1st, 2015 at 3:52 PM

Upon Further Review still has a sponsor.


I am out of of pants related stuff to tell you. Matt generally wears them, because he's a professional. He also gives you his contact information in case you need anything. This offer does not include pants.

Matt's got a ticket offer going for a Michigan football or basketball game. If you're buying a home or refinancing, he's the right guy to call. (No pants required.)

FORMATION NOTES: Michigan was super-heavy in this game. A plurality of plays were I-Form Big of some description, most commonly a 2FB lineup featuring Houma and Poggi.


Michigan frequently targeted the bubbles a 3-4 leaves by running fullbacks up both gaps. That is BYU in its standard 3-4, which they only left on passing downs. They left 8 or 9 in the box all day.

When Michigan moved from a dual fullback set to something with a blocker right behind the OL…


…the setup was appended with an "H". Here you can see every BYU defender within six yards of the LOS. M hit its first easy big play off this kind of defense with a 41-yarder to Jake Butt.

Michigan came out in a wacky formation right here:


I dubbed this "Emory" since it's kind of what's usually dubbed "Emory and Henry". This didn't work so hot since it didn't seem like anyone to the bunch knew what the dang snap count was.

On passing downs BYU would lift all but one DL and throw an amorphous pile of dudes at the LOS. They call this "radar".


Michigan's in the pro set they used on the Khalid Hill stealth mode play.

PERSONNEL NOTES: Houma and Poggi got all of the FB snaps. Smith got the bulk of the RB snaps until his injury; when he was absent it was mostly Johnson and Green, with Ty Isaac only getting two carries. That was odd, but more about it later.

Butt saw just about every snap. With the two fullbacks on the field for most of the day there wasn't a whole lot of room for other TEs; Bunting, Williams, and Hill all played bit roles.

WR was mostly Darboh and Chesson. Moe Ways got a healthy amount of playing time and proved an effective blocker; Perry only made appearances in the rare three-wide sets.

OL was per usual. Braden got knocked out with an injury we are assured is minor; David Dawson came in to replace him.

[After THE JUMP: De'Veon and the eleven dwarves]