The Curious Case of Ty Isaac

The Curious Case of Ty Isaac

Submitted by ST3 on December 12th, 2016 at 4:31 PM

I've been fixated on our running game lately. While trying to find a website that lists the team's average yards per carry by season, I stumbled on this site:

It didn't have exactly what I was looking for, but a quick scan of the rushing leaders showed Ty Isaac at 5.9 ypc. He's somewhat down the list, but that's because it apparently includes everyone, including Joe O'Donnell who gained 50 yards on 1 carry in 1963. (I don't know, maybe after that stellar first carry, you give him the ball again?)

So I took the data and filtered it by number of carries. I chose 100 as a nice round number. That should limit the list to primary ball carriers or multi-year backups. If you argue that number is too low, there have only been 88 players to crack that. The top 10 running backs, since 1956, in terms of yards per carry (min 100 carries) are:

Player Career carries YPC
Jon Vaughn 226 6.3
Denard Robinson 723 6.2
Kerry Smith 154 6.2
Tyrone Wheatley 688 6.1
Tim Biakabutuka 448 6.1
Rob Lytle 554 6.0
Ty Isaac 104 5.9
Tony Boles 394 5.7
Allen Jefferson 175 5.7
Drake Johnson 116 5.7

Isaac's average is boosted a little by one long TD run he had in 2015, but he also averaged 5.9 YPC in his one season at USC. Here's hoping he figures out whatever it is that's holding him back (pass blocking, fumbles? other?) and he gets more productive playing time next season.

Chris Evans Appreciation Thread

Chris Evans Appreciation Thread

Submitted by WSU to Blue on October 17th, 2016 at 12:04 PM

Kinda random, but I feel like it's necessary to give a shoutout to Chris Evans, who's our best running back (statistically) through 7 weeks.  After taking a look, our RB numbers are as follows:

Evans: 48 attempts, 400 yards, 3TDs, 8.3avg; 4 receptions, 28 yards, 0TDs, 7.0avg


Higdon: 35 attempts, 259 yards, 5TDs, 7.4avg; No receiving stats

Smith: 61 attempts, 336 yards, 2TDs, 5.5avg; 10 receptions, 21 yards, 0TDs, 2.1avg

Isaac:  53 attempts, 291 yards, 4TDs (career high), 5.5avg; 1 reception, 21 yards, 0TDs, 21.0avg

The good thing is all of our RB numbers are looking pretty healthy, but thus far Evans has been able to churn out more production with less touches.  As a true freshman he's exceeded my expectations personally, and it's worth noting that we haven't even scratched the surface with what he can do as a receiver.  I expect his skills to be in full bloom entering The Game.  It's good to know we're in good good hands when it comes to coaching and player personnel now, and in the future.  Here's to continuing our road to the playoffs! (Knock on wood)

Inside the Boxscore - Team 136, Game 3

Inside the Boxscore - Team 136, Game 3

Submitted by ST3 on September 20th, 2015 at 3:21 PM

     Most of the preseason predictions had Michigan finishing the regular season with an 8-4 record, +/- 2 games. The first half of this game showed why many thought Michigan could finish with 9 or 10 wins. The second half showed why some thought 6 or 7 wins was a possibility. The final verdict from Saturday's game: need more data, check back next week.

     A quick personal note before resuming our regularly scheduled boxscorology. I will be flying back to Michigan this week for the first time since my dad passed away two years ago. My cousin is getting married Friday night. Thank goodness she had the good sense to schedule the wedding on a Friday. As much as I would like to hang around and see the M-BYU game Saturday, I'll be flying back home Saturday. The DVR will be set, but the diary might be delayed.


Burst of Impetus
* Do I have to pick something? OK, how about this. One play after UNLV's QB phased out of the BTN universe for a 16 yard game, Channing Stribling picked him off and returned the ball 30 yards. This was an early message delivered to UNLV - your coach might think that college ball is not much different than high school football, but this is the Big House and you are playing Michigan.

The Two Jakes
* I thought I was going to have to rename this section The One Jake. Rudock finally threw a ball to Butt in the second half. Jake B. ended up with two catches for 14 yards. If they are saving him for BYU and the bigger B1G games, I understand.
* In the now weekly battle between Jake Rudock and ST3-defined efficient QB play, Rudock was 14 for 22 (64%, check,) with only one interception (check,) but he only averaged 5.6 yards per attempt. Ugh.

Root Tree Runners
* I don't recall who was in the booth with Chuck Long. Whoever it was, he was just awful, and while I'm mentioning Chuck, can someone poke him and see if he's still alive? I'm not asking him to overreact to a one yard gain by Sione Houma like his partner did - OMG!!! A FULLBACK RAN THE BALL FOR A YARD!!!; I just want him to put a little thought into his comments and pretend like he's watching the game. For example, it makes no sense to say that it's difficult to schedule teams because of travel costs while we scheduled four western schools. He should also know that the games were scheduled well before Harbaugh agreed to coach Michigan. Harbaugh didn't schedule 4 west coast teams to improve west coast recruiting. At least he corrected his partner about root trees. Yes, trees have roots, but wide receivers run routes.
* After back-to-back games having 9 root tree runners catch passes, eight players caught passes against UNLV. In Jake Rudock's defense, he has to develop chemistry with 4 different tailbacks, 2 fullbacks, a team full of H backs and tight ends and numerous wide receivers. I think the timing was off on one of his throws to Drake Johnson probably for this reason, leading to an incomplete pass.

* A week after stating his case for being the lead back, Utah-De'Veon returned. He carried 13 times for 33 yards with a long of 6. Be patient De'Veon, follow your blockers.
* Ty Isaac showed why he may be the feature back when Big 10 play starts as he gained 114 yards on 8 carries. Yes, 76 yards came on one run, but that still leaves him with 38 yards on his other 7 carries.
* 10 players ran the ball. Only 2 of them had long runs greater than 9 yards. Yes, there were two long runs, but the rest of the game was standard - thump, thump, thump - jackhammer style pounding.

Tacos and Peppers
* UNLV was held to 92 yards net rushing thanks to 37 yards of TFLs for the Michigan defense. 8 defenders contributed to the 9 TFLs.
* Channing Stribling only had 1 tackle assist, but he intercepted a ball and returned it 30 yards, he downed a punt at the three, and he had a BrUp.
* Jourdan Lewis made his case for an all-conference selection with three tackles and 4 BrUps. 4 BrUps is about 4 times as many BrUps as I'm used to seeing.

* Four of Blake O'Neill's 5 punts were downed inside the 20.
* Peppers returned one punt for 24 yards and one kickoff for 31 yards.

Baughscore Bits
* Michigan only gained two more first downs than UNLV, 17-15. That, and Jake's 5.6 YPA are the cause of any lingering malaise after this game.
* UNLV's leading tacklers were Peni Vea and Tau (points finger at Ace) Lotulelei.
* Michigan scored 14 points off of UNLV's 2 turnovers compared to UNLV's 0 points. It feels good to be on the right side of the TO story for a change.

* The WHAT ARE THOSE? award goes to the BTN cameramen. Those people running around on the field in stylishly matching outfits are football players. It's generally a good idea to keep your electronic moving picture taking box pointed at those players, especially the one that has the ball in his hands. But don't get too close lest the rest feel left out.

Time is a Flat Football: Running Backs

Time is a Flat Football: Running Backs

Submitted by MilkSteak on July 23rd, 2015 at 1:08 AM



"Time is a Flat Football" is a series of posts which will explore players from Michigan football history members of the 2015 team resembles the most. Tackled in these posts will be the offensive "skill" position groups: Quarterbacks, Running Backs, and Receivers/Tight Ends. My apologies go out to the offensive line, but it's very difficult to get o-line statistics, and more difficult to compare the groups. I used Python and Pandas almost exclusively for this quick trip to the past. Any "predictions" can be described as unscientific, but kind of fun.


Disclaimer: Obviously caveats do apply here. These are namely the effects of other position groups, coaching, and style of offense on the players being analyzed. Also, the past probably has no bearing on what current players will do, unless you believe Rust Cohle. I plan to deal with these issues by completely ignoring them. It's the off season, people.


Michigan has an interesting mix of running backs this year. Junior backs Derrick Green and De'Veon Smith were highly rated coming out of high school, but neither have locked up the feature back role at this point. Drake Johnson is heading into his senior year after a promising junior season which unfortunately ended after a knee injury. Newly eligible Ty Isaac will be a RS sophomore after taking a year off following his transfer from USC. It's a crowded but talented backfield, and at this point, not much separates them. Let's take a look at their stats, gathered from Here are their stats throughout the years they have been active.  


Yr Cls Player Rush Att Rush Yds Rush Avg Rush Td Rec Rec Yds Rec Avg Rec Td Plays Tot Yds Tot Avg Tot TD Tot
2013 1 Derrick Green 83 270 3.3 2 0 0 0 0 83 270 3.3 2
2013 1 De'Veon Smith 26 117 4.5 0 0 0 0 0 26 117 4.5 0
2013 1 Ty Isaac 40 236 5.9 2 4 57 14.3 0 44 293 6.7 2
2014 2 De'Veon Smith 108 519 4.8 6 3 26 8.7 0 111 545 4.9 6
2014 2 Derrick Green 82 471 5.7 3 2 26 13.0 0 84 497 5.9 3
2014 3 Drake Johnson 60 361 6.0 4 1 11 11.0 0 61 372 6.1 4


We can also look at the totals for each player:  


Yr Cls Player Rush Att Rush Yds Rush Avg Rush Td Rec Rec Yds Rec Avg Rec Td Plays Tot Yds Tot Avg Tot TD Tot
2014 2 Derrick Green 165 741 4.5 5 0 0 0 0 167 767 4.6 5
2014 2 De'Veon Smith 134 636 4.65 6 0 0 0 0 137 662 4.7 6
2014 3 Drake Johnson 60 361 6 4 1 11 11 0 61 372 6.1 4
2013 1 Ty Isaac 40 236 5.9 2 4 57 14.3 0 44 293 6.7 2


  Green and Johnson were each having promising seasons last year before going down with injuries. De'Veon Smith put up a relatively good season, especially considering he spent most of the year splitting carries with Green and Johnson. Isaac's freshman year at USC was good for a freshman back who was not the featured guy. Let's find some comparisons to past Michigan running backs from past years.  


Derrick Green

Derrick Green

Yr Cls Player Rush Att Rush Yds Rush Avg Rush Td Rec Rec Yds Rec Avg Rec Td Plays Tot Yds Tot Avg Tot TD Tot
1984 2 Bob Perryman 76 393 5.2 5 2 15 7.5 1 78 408 5.2 6
1991 1 Tyrone Wheatley 86 548 6.4 9 10 90 9.0 0 96 638 6.6 9
2000 1 Chris Perry 77 417 5.4 5 0 0 0 0 77 417 5.4 5
2007 2 Carlos Brown 75 382 5.1 4 0 0 0 0 75 382 5.1 4
2014 2 Derrick Green 82 471 5.7 3 2 26 13.0 0 84 497 5.9 3


Derrick Green's sophomore campaign ended after just 6 games, so his stats ended up looking like players coming off the bench. As you can see in the chart above, Green is in good company. Freshmen Tyrone Wheatley and Chris Perry are very similar to sophomore Green. No one on the list is a prolific pass catcher, which makes comparisons easier. Arguably the best metric to judge running backs by is Rush Avg, AKA yards/carry. Let's see who's similar here, and throw in TDs just to compare.



Green's 5.7 Yds/Carry looks very similar to freshman Chris Perry's 5.4 average. Freshman Tyrone Wheatley's 6.4 Yds/Carry represents the top of the comparisons, and he was much more of a TD vulture than Green has been. Carlos Brown's sophomore campaign looks somewhat similar as well. Let's see how these running backs fared in their next year.  


Yr Cls Player Rush Att Rush Yds Rush Avg Rush Td Rec Rec Yds Rec Avg Rec Td Plays Tot Yds Tot Avg Tot TD Tot
1985.0 3.0 Bob Perryman -11.00 -154.0 -1.5 -5 5 61 3.4 -1 -6.00 -93.00 -0.80 -6.0
1992.0 2.0 Tyrone Wheatley 99.00 809.0 0.9 4 3 55 2.2 3 102.00 864.00 1.00 7.0
2001.0 2.0 Chris Perry 35.00 39.0 -1.3 -3 0 0 0 0 41.00 85.00 -1.10 -3.0
2008.0 3.0 Carlos Brown -46.00 -260.0 -0.9 -4 0 0 0 0 -40.00 -237.00 -1.00 -4.0
  2.5 Mean 19.25 108.5 -0.7 -2 4 58 2.8 1 24.25 154.75 -0.48 -1.5


Every running back outside of Tyrone Wheatley saw a decrease in their Yds/Carry. The average running back saw an increased workload of about 20 carries, good for an extra 100 yds. Coach Wheatley is really skewing the numbers here. He took the leap from "damn, that guy's good for a freshman" to "damn, that guy's good". This is the type of jump we are hoping for with Green.  

If I had to make one prediction based on this data, I'd say that Green's Yds/Carry will go down this year. Should he win the feature back role, I have no doubt that he'll be relatively consistent. However, the progression for the comparable backs above shows that if you're not Tyrone Wheatley (and most people aren't) you'll come back to earth.  

Bottom Line: Derrick Green should have a season similar to Sophomore Chris Perry (2001).  

  Yr Rk Player Cls Rush Att Rush Yds Rush Avg Rush Td Rec Rec Yds Rec Avg Rec Td
  2001 2 Chris Perry 2 112 456 4.1 2 6 46 7.7 0


The 2001 team won 8 games and lost 4. Chris Perry split carries that year with B.J. Askew, who had a good season as well. At this point it's tough to see much separation between all four candidates for the feature back role. Barring a surprise breakout, this should translate to a running back by committee simply for the sake of fresh legs.  

De'Veon Smith

De'Veon Smith, thanks to


De'Veon Smith is another applicant for the feature back position. In the wake of losing Green to a broken clavicle, Smith saw the most carries on the 2014 team. However, Drake Johnson started stealing carries towards the end of the year before he too went down with an injury. Let's see to whom Smith is most comparable.  


Yr Cls Player Rush Att Rush Yds Rush Avg Rush Td Rec Rec Yds Rec Avg Rec Td Plays Tot Yds Tot Avg Tot TD Tot
1984 1 Jamie Morris 118 573 4.9 2 14 131 9.4 0 132 704 5.3 2
1993 2 Ed Davis 93 441 4.7 2 11 89 8.1 0 104 530 5.1 2
1997 1 Anthony Thomas 130 529 4.1 5 21 205 9.8 0 151 734 4.9 5
2001 2 Chris Perry 112 456 4.1 2 6 46 7.7 0 118 502 4.3 2
2008 1 Sam McGuffie 118 486 4.1 3 19 175 9.2 1 137 661 4.8 4
2014 2 De'Veon Smith 108 519 4.8 6 3 26 8.7 0 111 545 4.9 6


The comparison which leaps out is Smith's sophomore season to Jamie Morris' freshman season. Attempts and Rush Avg are very similar. Morris was more involved in the passing game than Smith, but their Rec Avgs are similar (Smith's sample size is miniscule, though). Let's explore the similarities graphically because we can! DSmithComps

In addition to Jamie Morris, De'Veon Smith looks a lot like sophomore Ed Davis with more TDs. De'Veon Smith, much like Green, is in good company with the other players included in the comparisons. Chris Perry and Anthony Thomas were eventually drafted in the 1st and 2nd rounds, and Sam McGuffie jumped over multiple guys (a habit he has yet to break). McGuffie left after one year, but let's see how the rest of the guys progressed.  


Yr Cls Player Rush Att Rush Yds Rush Avg Rush Td Rec Rec Yds Rec Avg Rec Td Plays Tot Yds Tot Avg Tot TD Tot
1985 2.0 Jamie Morris 79.0 457.0 0.30 1.0 19.00 85.00 -2.90 1.00 98.0 542.0 0.10 2.0
1994 3.0 Ed Davis -13.0 -102.0 -0.50 1.0 -2.00 -53.00 -4.10 0.00 -15.0 -155.0 -0.90 1.0
1998 2.0 Anthony Thomas 16.0 232.0 1.10 7.0 -6.00 -65.00 -0.50 0.00 10.0 167.0 0.70 7.0
2002 3.0 Chris Perry 155.0 654.0 0.10 12.0 8.00 110.00 3.40 0.00 163.0 764.0 0.20 12.0
  2.4 Mean 59.25 310.25 0.25 5.75 4.75 19.25 -1.03 0.25 64.00 329.50 0.03 5.5


Most of these players took a major leap forwards in multiple stats. It seems as though once a player has reached a De'Veon Smith level of contribution, the next year they are expected to take on a more significant role in the offense. The average running back got about 60 more carries, 310 more yards, and gained 0.25 more yards/carry. The players most similar to Smith (Morris and Davis) represent opposite trajectories. Morris became the feature back and would keep that role until he graduated. Ed Davis continued to split carries until he graduated.


Bottom Line: If he wins the feature back role, De'Veon Smith could have a season similar to Sophomore Jamie Morris (1985).


Yr Cls Player Rush Att Rush Yds Rush Avg Rush Td Rec Rec Yds Rec Avg Rec Td Plays Tot Yds Tot Avg Tot TD Tot
1985 2 Jamie Morris 197 1030 5.2 3 33 216 6.5 1 230 1246 5.4 4

  Morris had a great season by all accounts. Most impressive was his 5.2 yards/carry and the first of three straight 1,000 yd seasons. The 1985 team went 10-1-1 and finished ranked #2 in the country, with Morris being a large part of the offense. Past Wolverines show Smith to be the running back in the most prime position to break out.

Drake Johnson

Drake Johnson, courtesy of CBS

Drake Johnson came on strong last season before going down with a knee injury. By all accounts he's been putting in the work to be ready for this season, and with his vision he is definitely in the hunt for the feature back role. Let's see who Johnson's 2014 season was reminiscent of.  


Yr Cls Player Rush Att Rush Yds Rush Avg Rush Td Rec Rec Yds Rec Avg Rec Td Plays Tot Yds Tot Avg Tot TD Tot
1977 2 Roosevelt Smith 57 308 5.4 4 5 46 9.2 0 62 354 5.7 4
1989 3 Allen Jefferson 65 380 5.8 3 3 27 9.0 1 68 407 6.0 4
1992 1 Ed Davis 61 374 6.1 3 3 11 3.7 0 64 385 6.0 3
2007 2 Carlos Brown 75 382 5.1 4 0 0 0 0 75 382 5.1 4
2009 1 Vincent Smith 48 276 5.8 1 10 82 8.2 2 58 358 6.2 3
2010 3 Michael Shaw 75 402 5.4 9 10 75 7.5 0 85 477 5.6 9
2011 3 Vincent Smith 50 298 6.0 2 11 149 13.5 2 61 447 7.3 4
2014 3 Drake Johnson 60 361 6.0 4 1 11 11.0 0 61 372 6.1 4


Drake Johnson's profile is similar to just about every change of pace back Michigan has had in recent years, minus the screens. Ed Davis pops up again, and Vincent Smith appears twice. Perennial change of pace backs Carlos Brown and Michael Shaw also appear. The most apt comparison seems to be Ed Davis' freshman campaign, followed by Vincent Smith's junior year. You know the drill: let's look at the progress they made from the comparison season to the next.  


Yr Cls Player Rush Att Rush Yds Rush Avg Rush Td Rec Rec Yds Rec Avg Rec Td Plays Tot Yds Tot Avg Tot TD Tot
1978.00 3.00 Roosevelt Smith 41.00 102.00 -1.20 -1.00 4 69.00 3.60 3.00 45.00 171.00 -0.80 2.00
1990.00 4.00 Allen Jefferson -13.00 -111.00 -0.60 3.00 -1 -5.00 2.00 -1.00 -14.00 -116.00 -0.60 2.00
1993.00 2.00 Ed Davis 32.00 67.00 -1.40 -1.00 8 78.00 4.40 0.00 40.00 145.00 -0.90 -1.00
2008.00 3.00 Carlos Brown -46.00 -260.00 -0.90 -4.00 0 0 0 0 -40.00 -237.00 -1.00 -4.00
2010.00 2.00 Vincent Smith 88.00 325.00 -1.40 4.00 5 48.00 0.50 0.00 93.00 373.00 -1.40 4.00
2011.00 4.00 Michael Shaw -44.00 -203.00 1.00 -6.00 -9 -63.00 4.50 0.00 -53.00 -266.00 1.00 -6.00
2012.00 4.00 Vincent Smith -12.00 -204.00 -3.50 0.00 -1 -75.00 -6.10 -1.00 -13.00 -279.00 -3.80 -1.00
  3.14 Mean 6.57 -40.57 -1.14 -0.71 1 8.67 1.48 0.17 8.29 -29.86 -1.07 -0.57


The basic gist of this table is that many of these backs have reached their ceiling, and might actually take a step back year-to-year in Rush Avg. While the mean Rush Att and Rush Yd changes are +6.57 and -40.57, respectively, the running backs themselves seem to fall into two categories. The first category includes freshman to sophomore Vincent Smith, freshman to sophomore Ed Davis, and sophomore to junior Roosevelt Smith. Each of these backs saw a significant increase in their carries and a decent uptick in yards. The second group saw just as significant a decrease in usage between years.  

The question of which of these groups Drake Johnson will fall into is difficult to answer. Perhaps the most relevant distinction between these two categories is Class. Most upperclassmen with Drake Johnson level production the previous year saw a decrease in touches the following year. All seniors experienced this decrease, as did junior Carlos Brown, although his decrease was entirely injury related. Only junior Roosevelt Smith did not see lower numbers. The two underclassmen, Ed Davis and young Vincent Smith saw increased usage.  

Bottom line Given that he's going into his ***RS Junior year, I'm most inclined to say Drake Johnson's final year will mirror that of Senior Michael Shaw (2011).  ***Thanks for the correction.

Yr Cls Player Rush Att Rush Yds Rush Avg Rush Td Rec Rec Yds Rec Avg Rec Td Plays Tot Yds Tot Avg Tot TD Tot
2011 4 Michael Shaw 31 199 6.4 3 1 12 12 0 32 211 6.6 3


The 2011 went 11-2 and won the Sugar Bowl. Shaw saw a small share of the rushing load with Denard, Fitz Toussaint, and junior Vincent Smith getting more carries. Carries were difficult to come by for Shaw behind these backs, a problem which will also be faced by Johnson.  

Ty Isaac

Ty Isaac, expertly photo shopped by someone here at MGoBlog


Ty Isaac is the outside challenger this year. After a decent freshman season with USC, Isaac transferred to Michigan, finally completing the Justin Fargas trade. Isaac's 2013 freshman season was similar to a few familiar names.  


Yr Cls Player Rush Att Rush Yds Rush Avg Rush Td Rec Rec Yds Rec Avg Rec Td Plays Tot Yds Tot Avg Tot TD Tot
2006 1 Brandon Minor 42 238 5.7 2 1 9 9.0 0 43 247 5.7 2
2008 1 Michael Shaw 42 215 5.1 0 6 32 5.3 1 48 247 5.1 1
2009 1 Vincent Smith 48 276 5.8 1 10 82 8.2 2 58 358 6.2 3
2013 1 Ty Isaac 40 236 5.9 2 4 57 14.3 0 44 293 6.7 2


If you've made it this far, you're acquainted with two of these names already. Freshmen Michael Shaw and Vincent Smith were similar to Isaac in most stats. Brandon Minor's first year was similar to Isaac's in many ways as well. Let's see how the sophomores stack up.  


Yr Cls Player Rush Att Rush Yds Rush Avg Rush Td Rec Rec Yds Rec Avg Rec Td Plays Tot Yds Tot Avg Tot TD Tot
2007.00 2 Brandon Minor 48.00 147.00 -1.40 -1.00 2 -8.00 -8.70 0.00 50.00 139.00 -1.50 -1.00
2009.00 2 Michael Shaw 0.00 -30.00 -0.70 2.00 -4 -27.00 -2.80 -1.00 -4.00 -57.00 -0.80 1.00
2010.00 2 Vincent Smith 88.00 325.00 -1.40 4.00 5 48.00 0.50 0.00 93.00 373.00 -1.40 4.00
  2 Mean 45.33 147.33 -1.17 1.67 1 4.33 -3.67 -0.33 46.33 151.67 -1.23 1.33


Minor and Smith saw upticks in usage and yards, but all three regressed a little in Yds/Carry. I really do not believe that Isaac will be like one of these guys, simply because I'm pretty convinced he'll get at least a third of the carries.

Bottom Line: No idea. Ty Isaac is a bit of an unknown at this point. Just over 40 touches on a different team is not much to go on. Isaac's his build suggests he'll be more Minor than Smith, but his pass catching ability seems closer to the latter than the former.  

What Does It All Mean?

  I'm not sure that Michigan has a running back on the roster who is ready to be "the guy". Derrick Green and De'Veon Smith have each shown flashes of being able to handle the entire load, and Johnson looked good in limited action last year. Isaac had a promising freshman season at USC, but it's difficult to know just what he is. A look at the Yds/Carry shows reveals strong numbers for each back. RbCurAvg

These numbers are even more impressive when plotted against every Michigan running back with greater than 20 carries since 1975. The x-axis is the Class (1-freshman, 2-sophomore, etc) and the y is Yds/Carry.


The dotted line represents the absolute average Yds/Carry, and all four backs are well above the line. Those with fewer carries are well above the line, but even De'Veon Smith's >100 carry season last year put him above average. It looks like Michigan has at least four solid backs, meaning that at the very least we will have a strong committee. At best we might have the next Chris Perry or Jamie Morris. Just who that might be is impossible to answer at this point.  

Ty Isaac appeal denied, will sit out this season

Ty Isaac appeal denied, will sit out this season

Submitted by MGoSteelers on September 17th, 2014 at 12:10 PM



Ty Isaac's appeal was denied. He'll sit out the season.

— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) September 17, 2014

Isaac is the team's scout RB right now, will have 3 years left starting in 2015.

— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) September 17, 2014


Considering the team's depth at RB, this is good news.

Brandstatter on Isaac's waiver

Brandstatter on Isaac's waiver

Submitted by FabFiver5 on August 26th, 2014 at 8:28 PM

I have a good friend at the Michigan Assosciation of Broadcasters event at Mackinac tonight and she is sitting at Jim Brandstatter's table.

Obviously, I had her ask him if he thought Isaac would be getting his waiver for this year. He said, "I don't think it would hurt if he didn't play. They are lined with running backs."

Take it as is or read between the lines like I do, but I'd guess one of two options: 1) Isaac won't be getting his waiver, so he's tempering the news by praising the current crob of RBs. 2) Our current RBs are just that good – Isaac being on the field won't matter much at this point.

Could be a combination of both. Just figred I'd pass it along.

It's Official: Ty Isaac is a Wolverine

It's Official: Ty Isaac is a Wolverine

Submitted by MGoStrength on June 10th, 2014 at 9:11 PM

The title says it all.  The university is now saying it's official so we can stop the speculation as to whether there's a possibility if Isaac didn't recieve the waiver to play this year he might not transfer to Michigan.  There's still no mention of the waiver so it appears we are still waiting on that, but at least we all know he's a Wolverine either way.  Welcome to the good guys Ty!

Ty Isaac college highlight clips

Ty Isaac college highlight clips

Submitted by guthrie on June 5th, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Ty Isaac transferring from USC

Ty Isaac transferring from USC

Submitted by bdsisme on May 14th, 2014 at 12:42 PM

IIRC, we were his leader for a bit.  Was a 5-star RB; do we take him if we don't get Damien Harris? (He played sparingly last year in his freshman campaign -- I'd imagine he would have to sit out a year unless he gets a waiver. 40 carries for a 5.9 YPC average and 2 touchdowns as a 3rd/4th string backup last year.)


#USC tailback Ty Isaac confirmed that he's been released from his scholarship and will to transfer closer to home. Story coming.

— Chris Swanson (@ChrisPSwanson) May 14, 2014