Wednesday Presser 10-19-16: Chris Partridge

Wednesday Presser 10-19-16: Chris Partridge

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 19th, 2016 at 3:02 PM



News bullets and other items:

  • Devin Bush Jr. is acclimating himself well at LB. Sounds like he could step in with little drop off right now.
  • Kenny Allen would have kicked FGs at Rutgers, but the competition is still ongoing. No decision has been made this week since it’s just Wednesday.
  • Partridge added that the issues Allen has had have been mechanical, as it’s difficult to adjust your swing plan when you’re doing three different things.
  • Quinn Nordin’s healthy enough to participate in the kicking competition
  • I highly recommend reading what Partirdge had to say about Peppers’ attention to detail and drive, as well as his summation of the program’s culture.

Your thoughts on Jabrill’s [punt] return? There was an awful late flag that came in there. What did you see on that play?

“Phenomenal play by Jabrill, obviously. Kind of jumped in the air and then spun and ducked somebody at the same time, so phenomenal play. Questionable. Questionable. But, you know what, it happens. We’ve got to be real careful. I tell those guys all the time, let’s just get him to the dance. Get on your blocks as long as possible and just know if it’s ever questionable peel off and go find somebody else and let him make a move. We’ve got a phenomenal player back there, so we’ve got to get him the ability to make a play. Frustrating that we didn’t finish it, but we’ve got to learn from it and move on.”

Several of the veterans had some downtime last week. What did the kickers do? Were they going right along?

“Yeah, they continued to work, but we had to be smart and give them some downtime, too. We scheduled their kicking early in the week and then the young guys continued to work throughout the week, improvement week, just like the rest of the players.”

Coach said the competition’s always ongoing, but is it maybe a little bit more settled than it was coming out of the game before Rutgers?

“No, I don’t think it’s ever going to be settled here. I think we’re always going to compete and challenge those guys, and they know they have to perform at a high level or there’s going to be someone ready to perform. We’re still competing. About equal reps and keep working. About equal reps for the next few weeks.”

You can evaluate it in practice, but if they’re not kicking in a game, even the Rutgers game, is it hard to simulate what that experience is like?

“Yeah. I mean, of course I’d like to get a try there in a game to have that pressure, but we’ve got to just try to do our best in practice to be ready for the game when it comes. But yeah, of course. There’s nothing like game reps.”

[After THE JUMP: Partridge evaluates Peppers, JBB, what it’s like to work for Harbaugh, and his own coaching]

Draftageddon 2016: Roundtable at the Midpoint

Draftageddon 2016: Roundtable at the Midpoint

Submitted by Seth on October 18th, 2016 at 2:18 PM


Previously: We drafted teams.

As is tradition, in lieu of a short hot-takey preseason all-conference list, this past offseason the MGoBlog staff drafted entire teams from the pool of Big Ten players. This provided interesting content to those who tend to watch the rest of the league, and generated ire from those who’ve convinced themselves these are fantasy teams.

We check in at the midpoint to see how our expectations have fared.

1. MGoBlog’s Mid-Season All-Big Ten team:

Pos Ace Adam Seth Brian
QB Barrett (OSU) Barrett Barrett Barrett
RB Barkley (PSU) Barkley Samuel (OSU) Barkley
WR Darboh (M) Carr (NW) Godwin (PSU) Godwin
WR Carr Darboh Carr Fumagalli (WI)
TE Butt (M) Butt Kittle (IA) Kittle
Flex Samuel Samuel Butt Butt
OT Gates (NE) Ramcyzk (WI) Ramcyzk Ramcyzk
OT Ramczyk Gates Gates Gates
OG Price (OSU) Price Feeney (IN) Price
OG Kalis (M) Roos (PU) Price Kalis
C Elflein (OSU) Elflein Elflein Elflein
NT Glasgow (M) Glasgow Glasgow Glasgow
DT Replogle (PU) McDowell (MSU) Replogle GodinHurst (M)
SDE Wormley (M) Wormley Wormley Wormley
RUSH Watt (WI) Watt Watt Charlton (M)
MLB McMillan (OSU) Gedeon (M) McMillan Gedeon
WLB Cichy (WI) Cichy Cichy McCray (M)
SAM Scales (IN) Peppers (M) Peppers Peppers
CB Conley (OSU) Lewis (M) Lewis Lewis
CB Lewis Stribling King Stribling
FS Hooker (OSU) Hooker Hooker Hill (M)
SS Peppers Travis (MN) Hill Thomas
K Carpenter (MN) Carpenter Carpenter N/A
P Johnston Johnston Johnston Johnston
K/P ret Peppers Peppers Peppers Peppers
Honorably mentioned: Godwin Igwebuike (S-NWern), Josiah Price (TE-MSU), Jerome Baker (LB-OSU)

Seth: It seems we mostly agree on things. In choosing between Godwin and Darboh I knocked Darboh for some badly timed drops, though his Wisconsin TD is Michigan's most important catch of the season. I wanted to include so many more TEs: Kittle added scary downfield threat to his great blocking, Josiah Price is playing like an All-American, and Troy Fumagalli is Wisconsin's best offensive weapon. McDowell or Replogle was a tough decision for everyone.

Ace I take it you put Peppers at safety to get out of splitting hairs between Igwebuike, Travis, and Delano Hill. But I'm surprised you put Scales above Jerome Baker, who's been a huge part of Ohio State's tough run D.

Ace: I put Peppers at safety more because there are a bunch of linebackers I’ve liked so far. I seriously considered Baker, Ben Gedeon, and Josey Jewell. What I’ve seen from Scales has been really impressive, though. He leads the conference in solo tackles to go with 7.5 TFLs, two sacks, a pick-six, a forced fumble, and a couple pass breakups. The Indiana defense has improved quite a bit, and he’s the player that leaps out to me from that unit.

Brian: I regret nothing.

BiSB: You hired Ace.

Ace: Image result for expressionless emoji

Seth: Godin over Hurst?

Brian: FIXED

seriously though

Ace: I’ll admit I tried not to come off as too homery and the defense made that exceptionally difficult.

Seth: I mean I'd argue but Mathlete just put this in our slack chat:


If you're standing on Michigan and use a telescope you might be able to make out an average Top 10 defense.

Ace: @brian just saying, you’ve got some honorable mention slots for D-linemen 6-9.

Brian: Seriously though

I'm serious


Monday Presser 9-19-16: Jim Harbaugh

Monday Presser 9-19-16: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 19th, 2016 at 6:00 PM



News bullets and other items:

  • There’s a chance Jourdan Lewis, Taco Charlton, and Bryan Mone play this week. As Harbaugh said, they might “graduate from the training room back onto the field.”
  • Peppers is unlike anyone Harbaugh’s ever coached. He’s played 11 positions at Michigan, and Harbaugh said there are more that he could play well.
  • Speight’s elbow was injured on the strip-sack early in the game, which was a result of a missed assignment. This raised Speight a rung in the team’s esteem because he walked it off and, as Harbaugh put it, “…this isn’t track, this is football and playing that quarterback position, that’s part of the game.”
  • Harbaugh’s wife’s doctor described the punt block that was returned for a TD as a slippery watermelon. The ultrasound went well, by the way.
  • Harbaugh loves his defense so much that sometimes he watches them play even when he feels like he should be preparing for the next drive

I wanted to talk to you first about Michael Jocz and what he’s bringing to special teams—I know he had a block in the last game—and also what he does in the classroom.

“He had his first catch last week. It was great to see. And he had a blocked punt this week that resulted in a touchdown—great to see. He’s consistently been our, second year in a row, smartest player on the team in terms of grade point average. He’s already graduated in mechanical engineering and he’s on track to do his master’s in one year instead of the normal two, so he’s cutting that in half. He’s really been figuring things out, as you’d expect from a mechanical engineer. Great teammate. Really happy for his on-field success now, as well.”

And then also Erik Magnuson, if you could assess his play through three games and also the spirit he brings to you team.

“Yeah, Mags is good in both of those regards. Has long brought a lot to our team. He’s probably been our most consistent, best pass protector so far. Likeable guy. Everybody likes Mags. He’s a good leader and a good guy. A genuine, down to earth, good person.”

Two turnovers through the nonconference, only 10 penalties—can you assess the job you feel like your team has done in those areas?

“Those two areas have been good. We’re getting…turnover margin has got to be on the plus side. Don’t know exactly what it is, but we’re on the plus there. I feel like we’re playing—we had a few penalties. More this past week than we have had, so I think we’re playing good, legit penalty-free for the most part football.

[Next person with the microphone thinks it’s their turn to ask, but alas, there’s more. Harbaugh’s taken this pause to reflect and wants to share his thoughts.]

“See, I don’t just give one word answers. That would have been a perfect time to just say, ‘We’ve been good in those two areas.’ I tried to elaborate. I hope to get some credit for that.”

[After THE JUMP: many multi-word answers]

Colorado Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Colorado Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 18th, 2016 at 11:45 AM



News bullets and other items:

  • Harbaugh mandated they make an adjustment on special teams so that Jabrill could be in position to catch and run after Colorado punted to the same spot a few times in a row
  • According to Harbaugh, Peppers was “…by far the best guy out there in all phases.”
  • Harbaugh was really happy with the improvement in perimeter blocking.
  • Tom Brady’s pregame message went through each position group and told them what was expected of them in order to play like some of the best to wear the uniform.
  • Brady and Harbaugh played catch before the game and yes, it was a competition. Harbaugh said he wished he hadn’t given Brady the wind.
  • The kicking game was off and they’ll have to check the tape to figure it out; Harbaugh attributed part of it to an overadjustment to high snaps in pregame warmups.

Coach, can you describe your team’s mental state when they get down early in this game? Where were they at early in the first quarter, and how do you build off of a deficit of that nature?

“They—it was fight. They knew it was a fight, because I heard them talking about it. So, I think that’s where their mindset was. I really look at all these—every football game that’s ever been played, that probably ever will be played, it’s a battle of the best players, of seeing who the best players are in a football game.

“Colorado has some outstanding players, and the utmost respect for Sefo Liufau and the game that he played and the player that he is. He’s set 70 records at Colorado, and that first post route he threw, you can not throw it any better. Could we cover it better? Yeah, we should have. Next play he threw the ball on a fade route. I mean, cannot throw the ball any better than he did. He was really effective all game. Then he got that ankle injury. That looked pretty serious, and he hops up and kind of drifts out to his right and throws a post route that  is as good a post route as you can possibly throw. So in a game of really good players all over the field on both sides, their corner #4, outstanding player, defensive line was outstanding, and above it all, Jabrill Peppers proved that he was the best player today, in today’s game.

“We don’t win that game without Jabrill Peppers. And also a great team effort. As you were talking about, fighting back and making enough—enough good players making enough good plays. The field position Jabrill got us on special teams. Again, that’s a team effort, but wow. He was making the difference; return for a touchdown and then the field position he was giving us.

“Blocked punts; our special teams unit was our finest unit out there today. Accounted for 14 points plus the blocked punt field position and the punt return field position. It was good. It was really good. The best part of playing football’s competing. I thought both teams did an outstanding job of competing at a very high level today.”

[More after THE JUMP]

Media Day Presser 7/25/16: Jim Harbaugh

Media Day Presser 7/25/16: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on July 26th, 2016 at 9:58 AM




I'm not in Chicago, but thanks to newfangled technology like interweb videos and this here word processin' program I'm still able to bring you a full transcript of Harbaugh's time at the podium. Football! It's almost here!


"Thank you very much. Great to see everybody here. Glad you all made it. Good to see people again I haven't seen in a while. It's been an enjoyable day. Having fun. Brought three wonderful players and youngsters with us today. I'd like to talk about each of them. I know them better now. Going into the second year, feel like more time with our players, [I] know our players well. We have a lot of top players as you mentioned there, but these three…

"Jake Butt, a outstanding six-foot-six-and-a-half tight end, one of the most gung-ho players I've ever been around. Can sit through a two-and-a-half hour, three-hour meeting and be interactive, be on the edge of his seat, walk out of that meeting with a bounce in his step, and put his football gear on, kind of the hair on the back of his neck is standing up, excited about getting out on to the field. And he practices, whether he's going out to hit a sled or rattle somebody's fillings, he's just as excited about doing that as he is running a post route or a corner route and catching a ball. Does all those things equally well as a route runner, as a blocker, as a teammate, and as a guy with some pizzazz. He's gung-ho. Enjoys the struggle of football. Really enjoy him as one of our top players.

"Also, Jourdan Lewis, who has been a every practice, every drill competitor who wants to get better every single day. He doesn't take time off, he doesn't diminish his effort at any time. He's an ascending player, an improving player. And then when he started to get the recognition of being a really good player--All-American, All-Big Ten, interceptions and acclaim--when he started getting the acclaim, he didn't change a bit. He went through the entire spring practice wanting to get better, wanting to improve every single day. And a high character individual. Has never been--has never said a disrespectful word to a professor, to a coach, to a teammate. He's just a pleasure to be around. He's...not one bit of incident or problem when it comes to Jourdan Lewis, and he's a likable guy. He's respected by everybody on the team, but he also has the personality of being very competitive but being very likable with his teammates because he doesn't act like the big man on campus. He doesn't act like the All-American. Just a very, very good person in all respects. Can't say enough good things about him.

"Amara Darboh, would say he's our top receiver right now. As we went through the season last year I thought it was Jehu Chesson, and then Amara surged during spring ball and they're in a very good-hearted competition there to be our best receiver. But again, as a gentleman, as a person, as a class act, a winner, a champion all the way, Amara Darboh. He went through our season last year and he became an American citizen. It was a great moment of pride for Amara and our team that he achieved American citizenship, and another player on our team that's a class act the entire way. Never an issue, never a problem, respectful to all that he comes in contact with. And not just respectful of people, he's respectful of their time, he's respectful of the game, just respectful in all forms and fashions. Feel very proud to have brought those three youngsters here to Chicago. Hope you're enjoying their company as well. And they're really good football players. Not just on our team, not just in the Big Ten, but also in the United States of America. Pleased to share them with you here in Chicago and I'd be glad to answer any of your questions.

It's been an entertaining offseason for yourself and Michigan football in terms of social media activity. How has this impacted the team and university during the offseason?

"I don't know that it has. I don't know how entertaining it's really been. Be glad to go through any of those specifics with you. Think it's been a very productive, healthy offseason for our football team. Was really pleased with our team, the way they went through spring practice. Thought it was extremely productive. Competition was very high for spots, for starting positions, for backup roles, for contributing roles, for specialty roles, so...and then, no real long-term injuries coming out of the season. None of the six-monthers. A few things here and there that we hope that the guys will be ready for the start of camp. Maybe one or two that may not, but our goal right now as we finish up the summer is the healthiest, most in shape, prepared team for August 8th and then we'll take our shot from there."

Something you've tried to instill in your players is to improve 1% each day with everything that they do. My question is what kind of improvements do you see from returning players and staff and new players and coaches in the fold as well?

"Thanks for that question, Trevor. Just the idea of can we get 1% better each day. Can we be better today than we were yesterday, can we be better tomorrow than we were today. The notion that improvement will lead to success, and that's the kind of improvement that really sticks. It's almost getting in shape. If you were going to get in shape, if you do it day after day, a little bit better, a little bit better each day, you may not see it in a day, you may not see it in a week, you may not even see it in a month but at some point you're going to see it and it's going to stick. That improvement is going to be there for the long run. So try to paint that picture. If it's one percent better each guy or we got one percent better as a team, then after 30 days that's 30% better. After 60 days it's 60% better. Even if it's .01% better each day then that would be something that's worthwhile, that would be something worth pursuing, aspiring to.

"Another way to say it is look at the NASCAR boys. They'll stay up all night long just to get one mile an hour faster. Can we get one mile an hour faster each day? That mentality simply put is better today than yesterday, better tomorrow than today."

[After THE JUMP: at least a tenth of this presser is Harbaugh listing all the positions Peppers could play]

This Week's Obsession: Most Irreplaceable

This Week's Obsession: Most Irreplaceable

Submitted by Seth on May 25th, 2016 at 4:15 PM


Michigan can't afford to lose their best back you say? [Upchurch]

Following a good laugh over one of those offseason #content lists where they name random skill position players at recognizable schools, we thought maybe a real answer might be good for, you know, an offseason #content list. So:

So who IS Michigan's most irreplaceable starter?*​

David: In most years, I think there would be a few clear-cut, shining star answers.  And while Michigan’s ceiling would not be as high without some of its premiere talent, I’m not sure those particular players are the most irreplaceable. Let’s try a Top 3, this time…

1. Mason Cole. He’s played LT for 2 years and has done a very solid job despite not being ideally-sized for that position. Now, it appears he will be starting at center, which just tells you how much smart of a player he is. Michigan basically has four proven OL starters, one highly-rated probably starter, and a couple of depth guys that no one really knows how they’ll turn out. Losing Cole would mean that everyone more-or-less has to be a hit in their respective positions. That COULD happen…but will it? Ehhhhh…I don’t know. Losing anyone else on the OL and Cole can move if it would allow M to put its best five on the field.

2. John O’Korn. Ok, this miiiiiiight be a reach, but I’m going off of some potential and I get to be the guy on the staff that goes rogue sometimes. I do think that JOK has the highest ceiling on the team in a position that does not quite have the depth…yet. I think we still need one more season of injury-luck in this department before the options absolutely explode. There is still some uncertainty with him, obviously, but he’s shown the physical [in]tangibles to have some backing for what he can do…in addition to belief in QB development under Harbaugh. Plus, like mobility, etc. Perhaps Speight would be adequate –or even successful- enough, but I’m personally not sold, yet.

3. Jabrill Peppers. I’ve been arguing with a buddy about this spot for a while, now. What it came down to for me is that Peppers is the backup everything on this team. I actually believe if he had to play guard or weak-side end for a couple plays, he would hold his own.  Seriously though, in addition to Peppers playing his 5 positions on the field where you know he’ll line up and be awesome, he could potentially take over a starting role at 3-4 of them and there would be very little drop off from the nominal starter. On most teams, Peppers would be the cornerstone of any defense. And while he is certainly important, this defense is SO deep that he do almost whatever is needed and not be depended on to do one certain responsibility…in addition to being to handle most single-position responsibilities. Get it?

[After the JUMP: offseason #content, plus Rashan Gary's hudl highlights are embedded again]

This Week's Obsession: Reading Way Too Much Into Spring

This Week's Obsession: Reading Way Too Much Into Spring

Submitted by Seth on March 2nd, 2016 at 2:38 PM

by Smoothitron

The Question:

X spring tidbit so far that has you unreasonably excited about Y?

Brian: Well obviously I'm going to go with ​Ian Bunting​ making waves as an enormous skillet-handed dude. This is true to the spirit of this question because all we have is one tweet. But I like the tweet.

Rivals recently had some team tidbits that oddly and explicitly trashed Bunting's ability. If that's accurate that makes me almost as much of a sad panda as Michigan ditching the spread punt, but it's unclear what that is even based on given the timing. Last year's offseason chatter—Morris is a real contender, watch out for Lawrence Marshall, this time Joe Bolden has put it together—had very little relationship with reality, so I'm hoping that gets put in the Big Bin Of Some Anonymous Guy Is Wrong.

I'm not even expecting Bunting to have a huge impact this year since he's a flex guy and one Jake Butt is still around, but I am hoping that we see him emerge into a clear heir apparent in preparation for a two-year run as an upperclassman. There isn't a tight end on the roster with quite the receiving upside of Bunting. I mean, maybe Gentry. But you know me and Ol' Skillet Hands.

[After the JUMP: more tweets that we treat as confirmation bias of good things]

We Will Both Agree That I Am Mean

We Will Both Agree That I Am Mean

Submitted by Brian on November 9th, 2015 at 12:24 PM

11/7/2015 – Michigan 49, Rutgers 16 – 7-2, 4-1 Big Ten


[Patrick Barron]

This was never much of a game; it was never expected to be much of one. The line rose to a whopping 24 points before kickoff. Michigan hit that number early in the third quarter. For big chunks of the first half Rutgers had 55 yards of offense from one run on which Joe Bolden was held rather blatantly and literally nothing else. This was a walkover.

So there's not much emotional impact to be drawn from this one. Other than the sudden appearance of Good Iowa Rudock pretty much everything went as expected. Back in the day I'm pretty sure I shrugged at these games, wrote a couple paragraphs about how this wasn't really a thing, and moved on to gleaning what could be gleaned from an uncompetitive game. More recently that kind of column has been reserved for dismal contests in which a moribund Michigan team gacked it up against, oh, say, Rutgers.

There will come a day in the next couple years when Michigan takes on the dregs of its division and drops the hammer and I say that there's no point in a column. This is not that day. Because last year Gary Nova threw for 400 yards against this defense. Because last year Michigan did the classy thing and apologized for putting a piece of metal in Michigan State's field. We are not yet far enough removed from that to simply shrug.


So at halftime, Rutgers did something dumb. They poked the bear.

"They were just saying things like, 'Oh, it's our time this second half,' 'We the comeback kids,' 'These guys can't really finish games,'" safety Jabrill Peppers said, kind of rolling his eyes at the last remark.

"That's pretty much all I heard."

I'm impressed they hadn't checked out entirely, but it does not do to poke the bear.

"They were excited. They were down, what, 19, and Coach didn't like that they were celebrating," Lewis said. "(He said), 'Put the foot on the gas, finish these guys off.'"

Those were his exact words?

"I don't want to use those words out here," Lewis said, with a laugh.

Many, many opposing fans are going to complain about Harbaugh the jerk, Harbaugh the sociopath, Harbaugh the serial killer who kept stabbing our face long after we were dead. I perused a good number of these comments after this game… for some reason. Wilton Speight played most of the fourth quarter and Michigan put up just 14 points in the second half.

Even so the Rutgers beatwriters are really stretching to make something out of Harbaugh's two-point conversion:

Is there a beef between Rutgers coach Kyle Flood and Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh?

Evidence cited: a two point conversion with 26 minutes left in the game and a couple of coachspeak comments from Flood that could be spun into a veiled shot if, say, you were desperate for anything to talk about after a 49-16 loss. Steve Politi, the guy who wrote that column about Harbaugh being a phony compared to the real Kyle Flood, is trying to stoke the flames by citing the sneaky Jake Butt play—which happened in the first half!—Jake Rudock throwing in the third quarter, and Jabrill Peppers fair-catching punts.

I guess when you cover Rutgers you're on the cutting edge of "not in the face!" research. But it's clear Harbaugh is taking heat here solely because of his reputation.

I am fine with this. At Stanford he told his players to "win with character, win with cruelty." This is what I want a football program to do.

I want it to be angry up 35-16 at halftime. I want it to step on available throats within the rules of the game (except for certain substitution rules). I don't care if someone's feelings are hurt by a justified two-point conversion, or an unjustified one. I endorse all fourth-quarter passes against teams five scores down. I look forward to a point in the future when an apology will not be forthcoming.


Parking God:



this is both #1 and #2 [Fuller]


Known Friends And Trusted Agents Of The Week

you're the man now, dog

#1 Jake Rudock had 13.5 yards an attempt despite two drops from his receivers. Even against an atrocious pass defense, that'll do. Rudock also escaped the pocket and tiptoed the sideline for a touchdown and scrambled for the two point conversion.

#2 Jake Butt had 104 of those receiving yards on four catches. Rudock is now hitting the high window where Butt can show off his height and leaping ability. I have him with zero drops on the year. Butt has 418 receiving yards on the year, almost 150 clear of his nearest competitor… that Minnesota TE who was delivered a couple gifts last week.

#3 Chris Wormley re-asserted himself after a few relatively quiet weeks with two sacks, one on a stunt Rutgers didn't pick up, the other just a straight up pass rush around the corner. Wormley also helped Michigan's rush defense to another dominant day.

Honorable mention: Jourdan Lewis set the single season Michigan PBU record. Jarrod Wilson wasn't hit in coverage and had a pretty spectacular interception. Mason Cole was probably pretty good.

KFaTAotW Standings.

9: Jourdan Lewis (#1 UNLV, #1 Northwestern, #1 MSU), Jabrill Peppers(#2 BYU, #2 Northwestern, #2 MSU, #1 Minnesota)
6: Chris Wormley(#2 Utah, #1 Oregon State, #3 Rutgers)
5: Jake Butt(#1 Utah, #2 Rutgers)
4: Maurice Hurst (#2 Maryland, #2 Minnesota), Jake Rudock (#3 Northwestern, #1 Rutgers)
3: 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), Drake Johnson(#3 Minnesota)

Who's Got It Better Than Us Of The Week

This week's best thing ever.

Jabrill Peppers does his Denard-vs-WMU impression.

That acceleration after he dodges the tackle is ridiculous.

Honorable mention: any number of pinpoint midrange Rudock passes but we'll go with the 50-yard catch and run to Butt; Jarrod Wilson's un-boring interception; Smith rips off a big run late on a textbook power play; Harbaugh goes for two for Reasons.


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.
Rutgers: Peppers as Denard.


This week's worst thing ever.

A weirdly short kickoff from Kenny Allen is returned for a touchdown.

Honorable mention: Targeting overturned; Rutgers rips off a 55-yard run thanks in large part a pretty obvious hold on Joe Bolden; Michigan struggles to run yet again.


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.
Rutgers: KO return given up.

[After THE JUMP: no ghosts this week, tiniest band ever, screens, defense hole-seeking]

Rutgers Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Rutgers Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 8th, 2015 at 12:02 PM



Talk about Jake Rudock’s day throwing and decision making and making some plays with his feet.

“Well, he was just on fire. He had a great game, making all the appropriate throws, all the right reads. Accurate and appropriate all day long. Kind of windy, blustery day, too. Played great.

“Played great with his feet. I mean, I don’t know how he got in there for that second touchdown. That was- looked like play that would be sacked in the backfield, and even when he got on the perimeter- I had a great look at it and didn’t think there was any way but he…just a heck of an individual effort. The rest of the time- you know, he’s really getting a good chemistry with Jake Butt, with Jehu Chesson, with Amara Darboh.

“The screen game was extremely effective today. Thought Jedd Fisch, Tim Drevno- just really good, creative game planning today on their part. Lot of good things to talk about.

“I also want to congratulate Jourdan Lewis. Heard he broke a record today for most pass breakups in a season and he had some big plays as well. Did a nice job on the kickoff return when he got in there in that area. So, other good things to talk about.”

What was your thoughts on the intent to deceive play? What did you see from it? What was the explanation you got from the ref?

“I’m pretty offended by that, you know, that that was called an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. There was really- everything…everything was…everything was to not deceive. There was- Jake Butt was in on the previous play. He did not go off with the substitutes that were leaving the field. They were practically off the field when he left the huddle. Was not even near our bench area; was down at the 15, 16, 17 yard line.

“We just train our quarterbacks to throw to people that aren’t covered, and- even if it’s a running play. I was watching an NFL game where they didn’t cover a receiver and the quarterback handed it off and got maligned by scribes and pundits and so-called experts for not throwing it to him, but it really is…I don’t know.

“May gameplan next week to if somebody substitutes and the receiver lines up wide, just don’t cover him. Why cover him? Put an extra person in the box to stop the run, and if they happen to throw it to the uncovered receiver it’s a 15-yard penalty. You could make that argument. It’s bewildering.”

How critical was the screen-pass game early in the contest? It seemed like you used that consistently to maybe soften the defense up a little bit.

“It was big. Big chunks of yardage. Got a screen in a long-yardage situation to pick up a first down; I’m thinking of three big ones right now. Changed field position and set up plays and were big-yardage plays. We really executed them well. That’s a credit to all the guys and the other coaches. Not me, because I’m not a good screen coach. Never have been. But Jedd Fisch and Tim Drevno are, and Tyrone Wheatley is, and very fortunate today that they got the guys coached up and it was an effective part of our game today.”

[After THE JUMP: I, for one, welcome our new chart overlord]

Neck Sharpies: Peppers on Offense

Neck Sharpies: Peppers on Offense

Submitted by Seth on November 4th, 2015 at 2:00 PM


With such a surehanded Jug grip, Falk thinks Jabrill would make an excellent assistant equipment manager.

Mr. Peppers do pretty much anything better than the people who usually do that thing. We've been told he can play corner, nickel, safety, linebacker, returner, holder, kicker, punter, receiver, running back, quarterback, and do your taxes. I have no doubts he could write this blog better.

Peppers can't be everywhere, but Michigan did use the bye week to put him into the offense in interesting ways. So I thought I'd show all of them. Happy Peppers fun time everybody!

PLAY 1: Empty End-Around

Personnel: Peppers + QB, 2 WRs, 2 TEs (looks like Ace)

Peppers is a: Z receiver

Formation weirdness: Peppers lines up as a receiver and Butt is a flex TE to the same side as the Y-TE, A.J. Williams, who also is split off a good yard from the edge. This will come in hand. The result is an empty 4-wide look; safeties back off.


The play: End around. Peppers starts his motion just before the snap so the defense has barely reacted to it. Mason Cole pulls, other two uncovered OL release, and Kalis and Braden have to reach their guys.


How it worked out: The split of Williams comes into play here as the playside end is shooting that gap and gets caved [A.J. Williams heart bubbles!]. Braden and Kalis both got playside of their guys for just enough to delay while Peppers bursts past. All the 2nd level defenders except the MLB are expecting pass and don't react until Peppers has already turned the corner. They get blocked really far downfield. However Glasgow couldn't get a good angle on the SS, who gets a tackle in space after the 1st down.

[Hit the JUMP for two more of these]