Michigan Monday is up at The Ozone. LINK: What is the Opposite of Passing Fancy?
Today I'm not going to cup and paste quite as much. Go to the link to read lots more. I really appreciate that Gerdeman has went through some of the numbers in analysis.
Summary Statement (which isn't far from the truth)
The offense and defense were stellar early on, then Harbaugh sent the offense to bed and let the defense stay up and watch a violent television show of their own creation.
This will be the formula that Michigan wins with until they have an offense that doesn't have to be hidden away when company comes over. I don't know if that's going to happen this season, however, because the quarterback situation keeps trying to climb up on the couch.
When Michigan was on offense (just going to look at Rudock):
Monday afternoon Jim Harbaugh said that senior Jake Rudock is the starting quarterback and that he is so far out ahead of the pack that it's not even a close race. That's not Rudock's fault, it's Brady Hoke's. Just imagine if Rudock hadn't transferred to Michigan — the Wolverines would be starting a guy who isn't even close to playing as well as Rudock is right now.
[Rudock] poses no downfield threat and he'd rather not challenge cornerbacks if he doesn't have to. He completed 14-22 passes for 123 yards with a touchdown and an interception against UNLV, but where his passes went is the truly interesting part of his day.
Here is how far downfield his completions went when they were caught by a receiver: 7, 5, 7, 4, 2, -2, -1, 3, 7, 12, -2, 1, -2, and 3 yards. (His incompletions looked like this: 12, 5, 13, 9, 32, 1, 25, 33.) That's four completions that were thrown at least seven yards downfield and eight that didn't go beyond three yards. That's not exactly the kind of passing game that gives the running game a break by backing up the defense.
NOTE: I was actually very curious about this stat. Rudock MUST start completing passes significantly down the field, else every remaining team crowds the LOS just as UNLV did.
I realize that Rudock did actually go down field, but until he does it effectively, nobody is going to be overly concerned about the possibilities.
There is nothing really to say about the receivers, other than they deserve better than what they got on Saturday. They were open, but it didn't matter. It was not good.
Here are a few bullets from the rest:
- Gerdeman really likes Ty Isaac and thinks he is the future.
- Tosses, sweeps, WR's in the running game help to open things up.
- Godin & R. Glasgow were dominating. Ross was pretty good too.
- Stribling and Lewis were spectacular.
- Defense has held opponents to 237 yrds of offense, good for 7th in the nation.
- Peppers will be breaking one soon on special teams. Just a matter of when.
Putting it all together:
It means that this team is only going to go as far as Jake Rudock can keep them from getting.
Even when Rudock is trying to be safe, his wild inaccuracy makes any pass dangerous. As the saying goes, "Aim small, miss small", but for Rudock it's "Aim small, still miss big".
I am hoping Rudock shakes off this slow start, and considering who his head coach is, that should absolutely happen. But I don't think his ceiling has much head room.
It also means that generally seven points per half from the Wolverine offense is all this defense is going to need. Though they might need more than that on Saturday against BYU.