UNVERIFIED VORACITY THINKS THIS IS AN INDOOR VOICE

UNVERIFIED VORACITY THINKS THIS IS AN INDOOR VOICE

Submitted by Brian on June 11th, 2018 at 11:41 AM

Dives. Washtenaw County dive bars surveyed. Self-recommending header picture is above. Also:

It turned out that the day that worked best for us to embark on the trip was a random Tuesday at the end of May. “Are dive bars open on Tuesdays?” I texted my friend. “They are if they want to be considered BEST OF WASHTENAW COUNTY,” he responded.

The penguin is in Saline, FWIW.

I guess this is all but official? We've been waiting for an official confirmation, or at least more than one person reporting, on this for a while now:

As a result we haven't talked about a piece of news since we were waiting to post their respective Exits. /shakes fist at transfer gray areas

Assuming this turns out to be true—and given the way Harbaugh has talked about the RB and WR groups since spring it's almost certainly true—that's two highly ranked guys out the door. Crawford's departure is probably the result of a plunge down the depth chart that saw him omitted from any spring discussion; that plunge down the depth chart is not a surprise given his flatly terrible play in 2017.

Walker flashed promise as a Brandon Minor-esque rage back in limited carries last year and would be an unfortunate loss. He'd publicly struggled with the transition to Michigan but seemed to get things on track last year; it would be really disappointing if he couldn't manage it, and Michigan could help him enough to do so.

Neither departure is likely to have much impact on the field this year; Michigan returns its top two backs and every WR outside of Crawford. Walker's presumed absence could bite next year.

FWIW, I wouldn't start getting worried about O'Maury Samuels yet. Harbaugh's mention of Tru Wilson as the #3 guy on the depth chart was immediately followed by a Samuels mention and a reference to his hamstring holding him back this spring. Meeanwhile, the WRs:

"I feel like our wide receivers have come along," Harbaugh told reporters during the 'Best of the Midwest' event. "Coach Mac has done a great job coaching them. Tarik, Donovan have probably done the best job of anybody in spring practice. Nate Schoenle, Oliver Martin, Nico Collins also did extremely well. Nico was slowed a little bit by a shoulder. Was going for a ball when we were working with pads and hurt his shoulder. He fought through that. I think he's got some real good upside. Those four guys there probably had the best spring."

Those four guys are actually five guys and Crawford is not amongst them. The lines are not hard to read between.

[After THE JUMP: FULLBACK TALK]

This Week’s Obsession: If There Was a Spring Game Part I: Offense

This Week’s Obsession: If There Was a Spring Game Part I: Offense

Submitted by Seth on April 12th, 2018 at 3:34 PM

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shoulda done it today [Patrick Barron]

THIS ARTICLE HAS A SPONSOR: It’s Nick Hopwood, our MGoFinancial Planner from Peak Wealth Management. If you’re at that point in your life where your blog actually makes enough money that you can think about how you pay for your kids’ colleges, and what you should be doing for your retirement, and what kind of investment strategy meets your level of risk, it’s really high time you set up that conversation . Also being proactive about this earns you major spousal points that can be spent later on attending Michigan games.

Legal disclosure in tiny font: Calling Nick our official financial planner is not intended as financial advice; Nick is an advertiser who financially supports MGoBlog. MGoBlog is not responsible for any advice or other communication provided to an investor by any financial advisor, and makes no representations or warranties as to the suitability of any particular financial advisor and/or investment for a specific investor.

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

The Question:

Things we would have wanted to see if there was a spring game but there isn't so let's all imagine

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Imagine a version of McCaffrey that had soft tissue on it. [Chris Cook]

QUARTERBACK

Ace: Competency!

More specifically, Shea Patterson making some big plays, especially outside the pocket, and Peters/McCaffrey making fewer derpy mistakes.

Seth: I was really looking forward to seeing Shea Patterson doing things that fit the meter of Weapon of Choice.

Ace: …but going to class.

BiSB: I wanted to see Joe Milton throw a ball over those mountains.

Ace: His warmups would be a show. The game itself: possibly a different kind of show.

BiSB: But seriously, it would have been a first look at Milton, nearly a first look at McCaffrey, and a first Harbaugh Offense look at Patterson. There would have been a lot of mental YMRMFSPA recalibration based on this game.

Seth: The reports are all about Shea doing crazy athletic things. His first practice there was supposedly a 75-yard touchdown run that involved a footrace with Metellus, who is definitively not slow. And yeah, we still haven't seen McCaffrey, who's apparently thicc enough now that gravity has a fair shot against a strong gust of wind. I also was planning on watching to see which coach is talking to them between plays.

Ace: I assume Shea is doing a lot of stuff outside the offense because he doesn’t know the system that well yet, but that also could be critical based on… certain other position groups.

Seth: Yes might as well skip past position groups and go right to...

[after THE JUMP: hope?]

Ohio State 31, Michigan 20

Ohio State 31, Michigan 20

Submitted by Ace on November 25th, 2017 at 4:25 PM


[Patrick Barron]

Michigan did not lack opportunity, or talent, or coaching. They just lacked a quarterback.

The Wolverines jumped out to a 14-0 lead, held Ohio State to negative-six yards in the first quarter, got 5.5 yards per carry out of their running backs, and had receivers running wide open through the Buckeye secondary all afternoon. The defense forced JT Barrett to be a one-dimensional runner, kept OSU's star quarterback under constant pressure, and eventually knocked him out of the game with an apparent knee injury.

With Brandon Peters and Wilton Speight watching in street clothes, however, John O'Korn missed far too may of those open receivers. When including sacks, O'Korn averaged only 4.1 yards per dropback. His only turnover came at the worst possible time. With 2:47 on the clock and Michigan down four points after a missed Buckeye field goal, Kekoa Crawford settled down underneath OSU's safeties for what could've been a significant first down. O'Korn read the play differently and chucked a deep ball directly to OSU's Jordan Fuller.

"It was an option route," said O'Korn. "[Crawford] did the right thing. It's all on me."


[Eric Upchurch]

There were plenty more reasons the Wolverines lost. The second quarter featured a momentous change in fortune when Josh Metellus let an easy inteception fall through his hands; two plays later, JT Barrett—with, perhaps, an assist from whatever official was in charge of watching Mo Hurst—scrambled 21 yards to make it 14-7.

Michigan's ensuing drive ended with a 23-yard change in field position after an illegal formation penalty negated their first attempt at a punt. KJ Hill returned the next one to midfield—again, with a potential penalty overlooked—and Barrett needed only three plays to tie the game on a 25-yard pass to Marcus Baugh.

The teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter, though Ohio State took a one-point edge thanks to a blocked extra point. That loomed large when Sean Nuernberger hit a 44-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. It loomed less large when O'Korn threw the interception.

With an average quarterback performance, Michigan wins this game. The gameplan couldn't have reasonably been better; any criticism of Harbaugh or the coaching staff about this game can be mocked with impunity. When it came down to it, Harbaugh couldn't throw the ball for his quarterback, and that proved to be the difference.

"The hardest part for me is you come here to win this game for the senior class and we couldn't do it," O'Korn said with tears in his eyes, before again putting the blame on himself. "It's the worst feeling in the world."

Better days are ahead. This one's still going to sting for a while.

Upon Further Review 2017: Offense vs PSU

Upon Further Review 2017: Offense vs PSU

Submitted by Brian on October 26th, 2017 at 5:20 PM

2017 logoo_thumbSPONSOR NOTE. You know who'd never give you a mattress when you were expecting a mortgage quote? HomeSure Lending. They leave that stuff for the bloggers and their ilk, writing a whole piece about a mattress that people no doubt expect will pivot to football as so many pieces do but it never does because of obvious reasons.

No, at HomeSure Lending they just get your information and get you a mortgage, quickly and inexpensively. Because they're responsible citizens. Not bloggers.

FORMATION NOTES. Michigan was mainly big sets early, except when forced into passing downs. That pattern changed a bit as the game went on and Michigan put more WRs on the field, more in an effort to see if something else worked. Answer: not really.

Penn State, meanwhile, put their safeties in Michigan's face the whole game, except for passing downs.

image

Michigan will have to get used to this unless they discover a passing game.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES. QB, OL, RB, and TE were about as they've been. Gentry and McKeon get the large bulk of the TE snaps. Higdon is the main RB with Evans and Isaac getting run behind him. WR saw Schoenle return and the debut of Nico Collins, who played a half dozen snaps, none of which he had a target on. Crawford, DPJ, and Perry remained the main targets.

[After THE JUMP: one guy]

Mattress Talk

Mattress Talk

Submitted by Brian on October 23rd, 2017 at 12:00 PM

10/21/2017 – Michigan 13, Penn State 42 – 5-2, 2-2 Big Ten

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I'm still trying to figure out how this is a wicked burn [Patrick Barron]

Got a new mattress. Wife had been saying we should get one, and then I read this article about the crazy Online Mattress War between dudes who had gotten millions of dollars in affiliate sales as mattress reviewers and a leading mattress company that sued them. The company was kind of right that the mattress guys were not fully on the up and up, but neither was the company. The twist ending: company just bought the site and magically their problems were over, man.

Everyone wins, except the average Joe just looking for an honest mattress review. Insofar as that is possible. Which it's not for an idiosyncratic product that is supposed to hold up for years and years.

This article still convinced me that I should just buy a mattress online, because any industry that has people in that level of desperate hand-to-hand combat is a place where The Online is legitimately disruptive. Also I went into an Art Van once and felt like I needed a shower after I left. I bought one office chair. Guy said I was making an amazing choice buying this office chair. I had an incredible eye for office chairs. Nobody in the world could have picked out an office chair finer than the one I had just acquired, and at such a price. And so forth and so on.

So: I am sold that mattresses are vastly overpriced and open to disruption. Also I am the kind of person who would rather roll the dice on Amazon reviews than talk to someone who works on commission. So I went with the company at the beginning of the article that purveyed a mattress the vaguely shady review guy returned. They were not mentioned again and thus seemed to be more on the up and up than everyone else. I dislike angle shooters.

Here is an internet mattress. It comes in a white box that seems far too small for a mattress. After you hack through an Amazon's worth of plastic coverings to unroll it there is a final layer of protective covering. Pierce that with the steak knife you've commandeered and the mattress will take in a great gulp of air, like a drowning man who suddenly finds himself at the surface. Then you have a mattress.

It's springy. Good? I don't know? I slept on it. It was fine.

It is odd somehow, but that's probably not its fault. It's probably always odd to get a new mattress. It's doubly so for us since the monstrosity we are replacing is an old hand-me-down "pillow top" that's like a foot taller than this thing. The hand-me-down is the 1955 Buick of mattresses. It could double as a boat or siege weapon. You couldn't put it in a trebuchet unless you wanted to flatten something three feet away, but it would do quite well as a battering ram. Nice and roomy underneath. The padding above would mute the impacts of various rocks, arrows, and other sundry implements of murder being flung at your head. The tag you're not supposed to take off swears that flammability is not an issue. And when you get that thing going, momentum is going to take you right through that door. Have fun storming the castle!

Anyway, the placement of the reading lights in our bedroom now makes way more sense.

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

The child—who goes by Denard Robinson Cook on the internet because I want his Google results to be his fault, not mine—lost his mind at this whole procedure. One of the great challenges of deploying the internet mattress was getting the little goober off the box spring long enough to simultaneously have a bed and an un-suffocated child.

He bangs the box spring and finds its texture pleasing. "BANG," he says, sort of. Getting the plastic off the mattress is a longer than expected, so he runs off to look at the old mattress, which is not in the spot it's been literally his whole life. "OH WOW," he says, distinctly and repeatedly. When the mattress arrived he pointed at the box and exclaimed "OH WOW" for two solid minutes, at varying levels of intensity. The intensity varied from much to lots.

Perhaps he has been raised to find beds and bedding to be a delight. Later I would discover that when my wife makes the bed there has evolved a certain strange ritual. There are four pillows, and after each is sheathed in its cover the wife will promise the child a "boof," which consists of whacking him surprisingly hard in the face with the pillow and throwing it on the bed. The child falls to the ground, cackling merriment, and gets up demanding to be boofed again.

After the pillows are all on the bed the child is thrown onto it, whereupon he flings himself onto every nook and cranny mutter-yelling "boof." Should an adult have the temerity to join the child on the bed, he or she will be shooed away. The child will cry "ah-weigh" until the offense is repaired, and then resume boofing itself.

This was the only part of the mattress procedure with an unpleasant whiff. It is now clear that the child enjoys throwing himself headlong at things, and having things hurled headlong at himself. He thus might want to play football, which is a sport of no account whatsoever that all thinking people rightly condemn.

AWARDS

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Higdon, not Long above[Eric Upchurch]

Known Friends And Trusted Agents Of The Week

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

#1 David Long? I guess? Long intercepted a pass on PSU's third drive, forestalling the beat down until the second half. He was considerably assisted in this endeavor by a Penn State miscommunication, but the other choices here are guys with under 50 yards of offense or other members of a defense that didn't do great. On a day when Michigan got bombed, just one tackle for Long is probably a good thing.

#2 Karan Higdon? Averaged three yards a carry and this felt sort of noble in the circumstances, with half his carries buried at the line by a defense with no respect for the pass and another fair chunk actually decent.

#3 Khaleke Hudson? I guess? TFL, PBU, and a QB hurry, whatever that means in the box score. Notably did not get torched by anyone unless my memory has failed me, which, thanks, memory. Doin' me a solid.

Honorable mention:

KFaTAotW Standings.

8: Devin Bush (#1 Florida, T2 Cincinnati, T2 Air Force, #1 Purdue)
5: Chase Winovich(#1 Air Force, #2a Purdue), Mo Hurst (#1 MSU, #2(T), Indiana), Karan Higdon (#1 Indiana, #2 PSU)
4: David Long (T3 Indiana, #1 PSU)
3: Mason Cole (#1, Cincinnati), Ty Isaac (#2, Florida, #3 Cincinnati), Lavert Hill(#2 MSU, T3 Indiana))
2: Quinn Nordin (#3 Florida, #3 Air Force), John O'Korn (#2 Purdue), Rashan Gary(T2 Indiana), Khaleke Hudson (T2 Cincinnati, #3 PSU).
1: Tyree Kinnel (T2 Cincinnati), Mike McCray(T2 Air Force), Sean McKeon(T3 Purdue), Zach Gentry (T3 Purdue), Brad Robbins(#3 MSU), Brandon Watson (T3 Indiana).

Who's Got It Better Than Us Of The Week

Michigan punches in a touchdown from the six by loading up in a three-TE set and manballing it in with power. This briefly saw Michigan come within a point and was the last event in the game that could be read as hopeful.

Honorable mention: David Long's INT; other touchdown; several plays on which PSU did not score a touchdown.

imageMARCUS HALL EPIC DOUBLE BIRD OF THE WEEK.

Quinn Nordin misses an extra point, which made it clear that it was about to be that kind of night.

Honorable mention: Most of the rest of the game. Saquon Barkley's opening touchdown rather stands out amongst the writhing mass of events. About one minute in to the game everyone was like "okay this is a huge loss," and they were eventually correct. Would rather that did not happen.

[After the JUMP: mattress SEO mattress links mattress reviews mattress coupons mattress mattress]

Upon Further Review 2017: Offense vs Michigan State

Upon Further Review 2017: Offense vs Michigan State

Submitted by Brian on October 12th, 2017 at 2:17 PM

2017 logoo_thumbSPONSOR NOTE. You know what doesn't make me want to drink bleach? HomeSure Lending, obviously. HomeSure Lending has never missed the World Cup or turned the ball over five times in one game. HomeSure Lending just got me a good quote on a mortgage super fast, and that's no reason to imbibe a deadly household chemical. Unlike everything else in my sports life.

Don't drink bleach, kids! It's super bad for you. Also then I won't have as much. This is an ad for a mortgage company that is good at doing its job. UNLIKE SUNIL GULA-

FORMATION NOTES. It's Michigan State.

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With limited exceptions Michigan was not inclined to (or able to) force MSU out of their 4-3 over with two safeties at 8-10 yards, and so this happened the whole game. This could have been okay, but it was not okay, but that's what all the stuff below is about.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES. O'Korn the whole way at QB. OL was Cole/Bredeson/Kugler/Onwenu/Ulizio until just before the half when JBB came in, and remained. No Runyan or Ruiz this time out. TE rotation was fairly even between Bunting, Wheatley, Gentry, and McKeon, but the latter two got the bulk of the at-bats. Wheatley is still mostly a blocking option since he's got a cast on.

WR was DPJ, Crawford, and Perry with a number of McDoom and Ways snaps. Schoenle did not play. Injury, I assume. FB alternated between Hill and Poggi, as per usual, but Mason got maybe a half-dozen snaps.

RB was about half Higdon, half Evans, with Isaac filling out the remaining snaps. Isaac's fumble obviously limited his playing time.

[After THE JUMP: medium numbers multiplied.]

Oh God What If Boston College Follows You Around Like You Just Broke Up With It And It Wants To Be Friends

Oh God What If Boston College Follows You Around Like You Just Broke Up With It And It Wants To Be Friends

Submitted by Brian on October 9th, 2017 at 11:49 AM

10/7/2017 – Michigan 10, Michigan State 14 – 4-1, 1-1 Big Ten

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a metaphor for somethin' [Bryan Fuller]

Don Brown is in one of those Progressive commercials where everything gradually turns white, except in his case everything is gradually turning back into Boston College. Someone walks by with a bunch of hockey sticks. Bill Simmons is on the television again. He swears he overhears a conversation about pahking the cah. Maroon filters into his peripheral vision.

On Wednesday at three fifteen PM there is going to be a knock on the door. Steve Addazio is going to walk in and sit down. Brown will summon all his willpower not to jam the nearest pen through his own eyesocket, to claw the power of sight from his face and evaporate from the world of men.

Jay Harbaugh, seated, will wonder if the slight twitch under Brown's eye means anything or if it's just something that happens to men of a certain age. He will not say something about "guys being dudes," and will never know how close he—how close all of us—came to Total Mustache Annihilation. He will tell Brown about Terrace House, a Japanese version of the Real World where everyone is very nice and considerate of each other's feelings.

Thus disabused of the Addazio specter, Brown will resume destroying all that opposes him until the inevitable knife in the back. He tries not to think of Sisyphus, and fails.

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

Michigan's main problem on offense is that they are bad at it. This is not a good problem. "Our right tackle sucks" is something you might be able to address. "Almost everyone is not good at football right now" leads to situations like Saturday. I brought up the Law Of Large Percentages Multiplied A Lot, which is something I just made up right now, in a brief twitter conversation with a reporter who wanted people to know one weird thing about Oklahoma football:

That is a weird thing, but it's not as weird as it sounds. If OU was a 10 point favorite in eight games they'd get through unscathed just 12% of the time*. If they were a 14 point favorite they get up to 27%. You have to get up to 17.5—a 93.7% shot at victory!—before Hypothetical OU even hits 50%. The Law Of Large Percentages Multiplied A Lot is that even big ones fall off faster than you'd think.

Michigan's offense has 6-7-8 guys who have to execute on any particular play for it to be a success, and... let's just say many of them are not three-score favorites to do so on any particular play. They are an example of The Law Of Large Percentages And Some Quite Small Ones Multiplied A Lot. The results can be seen in the box score, or the haunted look on the face of a man who replaced ten starters and still has the #3 defense in the country.

And so today the Must brigade is out. "Must" is the worst word in sportswriting for a lot of reasons. Foremost among them is that whatever follows "must" is something so blindingly obvious Marcelo Balboa is probably talking about a replay of it as we speak. He must catch that ball. He must YES WE KNOW I HAVE EYES, AT LEAST FOR NOW, I'M CONSIDERING A CHANGE IN THAT DEPARTMENT, THANK YOU.

I spent most of the weekend trying and failing to get this column done because I couldn't wade into any commentary on the game that wasn't furious and over the top, and immediately made me want to go do something else. Weird shit happens in college football, especially when you're playing your backup QB, and there's a brief second-half monsoon, and on top of that you turn the ball over five times. Various dirt stupid people are now flogging a "Harbaugh is 1-4 versus rivals" thing as if that encapsulates the whole of his tenure, or even his career. Yeah, Michigan had the dumb thing happen on the punt and lost by a literal inch in Columbus last year. If you're ascribing that to something other than chance I cannot help you.

Whatever Harbaugh MUST do he's probably already doing. He has a track record, and he'll either follow that up with more of the same or not. We're oddly locked in: few coaches trying to establish themselves at a new school come with the pedigree that Harbaugh does, so he'll get a ton of time and a bunch of rope and we'll see where it goes. It'll probably go really well once they aren't carrying the baggage of someone else's screwups on top of their base rate.

But I mean, go ahead and yell about how unacceptable everything is, I guess. We are dying to hear about your feelings.

*[This is based on this site's conversion of point spreads to winners.]

37314647460_ff2fcffbc0_z

blanket [Fuller]

Known Friends And Trusted Agents Of The Week

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

#1 Mo Hurst. Hurst got to play a lot of three tech this week and went from making good plays that someone else scoops up the glory on to wrecking the interior of the opposition offense himself. The fourth down stop stands out, because Hurst may have induced the fumble from a nervous center; Hurst whooped him anyway and the play was doomed either way.

#2 Lavert Hill. Hill's three PBUs were all excellent plays, and he was in the hip pocket of whoever his assignment was for the duration. MSU had... one open receiver? Maybe two? Lewerke averaged 4.3 YPA. Hill played the largest part in that.

#3 Brad Robbins. Averaged 43 yards a punt in often-difficult conditions and mindblasted the MSU returner on the muff; gave up just ten total return yards on seven attempts.

Honorable mention: Most of the rest of the defense. And... Grant Perry, I guess?

KFaTAotW Standings.

8: Devin Bush (#1 Florida, T2 Cincinnati, T2 Air Force, #1 Purdue)
5: Chase Winovich(#1 Air Force, #2a Purdue) 
3: Mason Cole (#1, Cincinnati), Ty Isaac (#2, Florida, #3 Cincinnati), Mo Hurst (#1 MSU)   
2: Quinn Nordin (#3 Florida, #3 Air Force), John O'Korn (#2 Purdue), Lavert Hill (#2 MSU)
1: Khaleke Hudson (T2 Cincinnati), Tyree Kinnel (T2 Cincinnati), Mike McCray(T2 Air Force), Sean McKeon(T3 Purdue), Zach Gentry (T3 Purdue), Brad Robbins(#3 MSU).

Who's Got It Better Than Us Of The Week

MSU's punt returner dorfs on a bomb by Robbins, muffing it back to the two and setting up a short field that Michigan would use to get their touchdown.

Honorable mention: The first drive was pretty all right until the back-to-back fades.

imageMARCUS HALL EPIC DOUBLE BIRD OF THE WEEK.

Eddie McDoom drops a pass that would have taken Michigan down to the 25 with 13 seconds left.

Honorable mention: Pick a turnover but especially the first two, as they were key in Michigan's deficit by the time the rain arrived. Lewerke scrapes out a late first down because he lands on Michigan players. Michigan gets a touchdown wiped off the board on a Higdon holding call. Most offensive plays.

[After THE JUMP: what would you say you do here]

Upon Further Review 2017: Special Teams vs Air Force

Upon Further Review 2017: Special Teams vs Air Force

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 22nd, 2017 at 10:04 AM

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gone [Upchurch]

Substitution/formation notes: As far as I could tell, coverage and return units featured the same personnel as they did against Cincinnati. The most noteworthy non-change was Donovan Peoples-Jones as punt returner—more on that after the jump.

Michigan’s formations were the same as they’ve been, but they brought pressure on punts and field goals infrequently. Earlier this week Chris Partridge said that they try to limit instances where they bring everything to keep the defense guessing. When Michigan doesn’t bring pressure on punt return, sometimes just one guy will release toward the shield, and even then he will sometimes stop and peel back before hitting the shield. On field goal defense, Michigan only brought pressure from one side and had Lavert Hill step to the line and hold on the other side. As close as the game was, Michigan decided not to gamble. Thanks to Donovan Peoples-Jones, that worked out.

[After THE JUMP: don’t have to bring the house when you take it to it]

Upon Further Review 2017: Offense vs Air Force

Upon Further Review 2017: Offense vs Air Force

Submitted by Brian on September 21st, 2017 at 4:37 PM

2017 logoo_thumbSPONSOR NOTES. Just recommended HomeSure Lending to a friend and it's weird that I have to say "you should know this guy sponsors us," because I actually would recommend Matt even if that was not the case because when we refi-ed our house I had quotes for various mortgage lengths very very quickly.  The deal was done in a flash.

But yeah like he does sponsor us, which is even better. It's nice to have sponsors you can actually recommend with a clear conscience, especially because they have never paid a dime to the Larry Culpepper guy.

FORMATION NOTES. Air Force runs a 3-4, but it's not like that. Whereas your conventional 3-4 has big guys who two-gap, Air Force has little guys. It's a one-gap 3-4, if you will.

vlcsnap-2017-09-18-20h41m28s490

The NT almost always shaded between the C and G in a one tech, with four linebackers in the traditional 3-4 umbrella. Sometimes head up with the same umbrella, and check those safeties on first and freakin' ten:

vlcsnap-2017-09-18-23h06m11s717

Now, there are a ton of very obvious ways in which this is not at all the 3-3-5 stack Michigan runs. Air Force doesn't stack their linebackers, for one. They rarely insert an OLB between their DEs as anything other than a twist blitz; Michigan is constantly making Furbush an extra DL. AF just about always shaded their NT instead of running a zero-tech, and they had a clear weakside and strongside end, with the strongside end basically a DT. Michigan's DEs have run identical techniques for the duration of the season. Also there is not a withdrawn MLB like Bush; instead two ILBs.

These are the ways in which Michigan's defense is not at all like Air Force's, which is a one-gap 3-4.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES. The regular at QB and OL. Onwenu got pulled for the last three plays of the final drive, with Runyan coming in. Isaac was the starting RB and got the bulk of the work; Evans was pulled after his fumble until late, when Isaac went out with a minor injury. Mason one snap at FB, with the seniors going the rest of the way.

WR was Black, Crawford, and DPJ outside with cameos from Schoenle on running plays. That's getting into a major play tip zone, though Black's injury might change that. Perry got most of the run in the slot; McDoom had maybe a dozen snaps, and not all were jet stuff.

Tight end was the usual rotation of everyone, minus Wheatley. He had a ding that held him out. Also I might not have seen Eubanks? I don't think I saw Eubanks. Bunting is losing ground, BTW, to McKeon and Gentry.

[After THE JUMP: the bone! oh if only]

Upon Further Review 2017: Special Teams vs Cincinnati

Upon Further Review 2017: Special Teams vs Cincinnati

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 15th, 2017 at 4:00 PM

cincy punt lol

imagine the ferocity of James Franklin’s fist pump at this exact moment

Hello. Welcome to the inaugural 2017 Special Teams UFR. You like analyzing blocks on a kickoff return, seeing who got push on a PAT, and making fun of a decision James Franklin made in 2014? Great, we’ll get along just fine.

There are a couple of things worth noting before we dig in. First, special teams all-22 footage isn’t happening. It’s hard to find good footage; directors seem to use punts as their art house. That makes grading the blocking of each player on each unit impossible, so instead we’ll look at obvious gains and losses in terms of yardage. This is very much a work in progress, the point of which is to gain a better understanding of what’s going on in the third of the game that leads to Australians traveling thousands of miles from home to go full Superman on a prolate spheroid. Feedback? Hit the comments.

SUBSTITUTION/FORMATION NOTES: Peoples-Jones got five chances to field punts, did a nice job with two of them, then found himself on the bench in favor of Grant Perry. More on that later.

Kick returners were Crawford and Hawkins, with the ball never going anywhere close to Hawkins. He found himself forming a wedge with Mason every time.

Michigan’s PAT defense team is going to block one soon; with Metellus coming off the edge, Hurst teleporting through seemingly shoulder-to-shoulder linemen, and Rashan freaking Gary out there, it’s just a matter of time.

Cincinnati doubled Cesar Ruiz on every PAT and got knocked back the first time, then held his own. Not bad for a true freshman.

[After THE JUMP: Charts! Then Bolded Alter Ego (NTBAE)! Then more charts!]