Northwestern = Not Death

Submitted by Brian on November 12th, 2008 at 5:54 PM

Rodriguez announced today that Nick Sheridan will start against Northwestern. Look, here's the header to a Rivals article($):

Redshirt sophomore Nick Sheridan will get another opportunity to add to his second chance, head coach Rich Rodriguez reported today. Sheridan led the Wolverines to a win over Minnesota and will start again Saturday against Northwestern.

Okay, so not death. Still, I'd rather have Threet out there, I think.


Jim Harbaugh S…

November 12th, 2008 at 6:05 PM ^

plays like he did against Minnesota and we can get a little sprinkle of Feagin ISQBDs - I think UM should fine.

Sheridan still scares me, but not in the haunting my dreams way like the Sheridan of old.

Just a hunch - but I bet Minor is out for the game and Shaw starts with him and McGuff splitting time.
I wouldn't be shocked to see a little Grady, based on how terrible NW was at "tackling" Beanie.

Jim Harbaugh S…

November 12th, 2008 at 6:25 PM ^

is indeed sick. But Northwestern refused to even attempt to wrap him up. On his long touchdown run it seemed like he just ran into wildcats and the tried to arm tackle him to no avail.

Shaw and Mcguff are not gonna break tackles with power, so I would like to see a little Grady as a power back.


November 12th, 2008 at 6:59 PM ^

made by a RB with first round talent doesn't tell me much about UM's chances. Watching the replay, one guy had an arm on Wells and NW's defense kind of held up while trying to keep him bottled up inside. When Beanie regained his balance there was a big seam up the middle and 0 purple jerseys between him and the end zone.

Outside of that one great run, Northwestern held Wells to 3 ypc on 27 runs. That, along with the 6 TFLs they racked up impressed me. I think their DL is underrated and that the UM OL is going to have a tough game on saturday.


November 13th, 2008 at 11:03 AM ^

Am I nuts for thinking Stevie Brown could get one in on Beanie? When he's had his wits about him, he's looked pretty determined.

I've liked what I've seen in many of his tackles and think he may evolve into a pretty solid player. Too optimistic?


November 12th, 2008 at 6:22 PM ^

vs. NWU RRod made the right choice. He was the driver behind the best performance all year and earned the start. Threet has shown spots, but has yet to put together a full game. I think Sheridan made some great reads as well, and is more of a threat running the ball.


November 12th, 2008 at 6:45 PM ^

I'm scared that the mildcats defensive line is going to eat us alive. I think we may see a lot of Sheridan rolling out of the pocket and sweeps and stuff (technical term).

I would like to see Feagin run some option with Shaw. He looked really good pitching the ball on the practice video.


November 12th, 2008 at 7:30 PM ^

Is he starting over Threet because he did so well last week or because Threet is still injured? If Threet is still injured then I think that Sheridan will have a good game, but if there is a chance that he gets yanked, then I think he will gamble again to try to make the big play and revert to death.

Blue Balls

November 12th, 2008 at 7:34 PM ^

run. With Sheridan at qb, the run can set up the pass. Michigan's freshmen are growing up quickly and I feel like last week was the turning point for many of these young players. I believe Michael Shaw will have a break-out game and Sam gets a few wows out of the NW crowd. Sheridan is better than most thought and sets up a qb rotation that Coach Rod wanted early in the season. With OSU recently playing NW, this should give us a good idea of how Michigan will compete with OSU.


November 12th, 2008 at 8:39 PM ^

But on the other hand, Threet's taken a bunch of sacks that drag his average down. Threet's recorded 346 positive rushing yards and 157 negative rush yards. Take away that one run and he's still racked up almost 300 positive yards. Sheridan has recorded 91 positive rush yards and 24 negative rush yards. Sheridan's long run of the season is 10 yards. I'm not sure where the evidence for him being a serious running threat is. He might be a tiny bit quicker in the pocket than Threet, but it's hardly enough to cause opposing DCs to change their gameplans.


November 13th, 2008 at 12:23 PM ^

I swear we are talking about Dan Orlovsky, Dante Culpepper, and Jeff Smoker's replacement.

Step back for a second and remember: WE PLAYED MINNESOTA.

I don't mean to be a wet blanket but man, I don't think last week's game proved anything.

Remember why State is, well......State: they are convinced this year is the beginning of the "shift in power." One decent year in a horrendous Big 10 doesn't make State legitimate or good. On the same token, one game against Minne-haha doesn't make us a potential winner against OSU.

Now, if we put together a complete offensive and defensive day against NW, I might change my tune a little.

Sorry for the downer. Flame away.

Enjoy Life

November 13th, 2008 at 5:32 PM ^

I agree. Plus, if Minnesota is "bad", what adjective would describe us?

Abominable, atrocious, beastly, defective, diddly, dreadful, godawful, grungy, icky, inadequate, raunchy, rough, the pits?

Naw, I prefer to think of Minnie as relatively good.

Enjoy Life

November 12th, 2008 at 11:38 PM ^

Remember, the coaches thought Sheridan was better and deserved the start on opening day.

As we now know, Utah is a damn good team. Sheridan struggled and Threet came in and did well. The next week we played Miami and squeaked out a win with Threet. The rest, as they say, is history.

My main concern with Sheridan was that he had not had any actual game experience for a couple of years (missed his senior year in HS due to injury). Now that he has played an entire game, his timing should be significantly better.

He also looks faster than Threet (not sure if that is true).


November 13th, 2008 at 1:05 AM ^

i think (numbers aside) that sheridan opens the pass more with his run because sheridan seems much more inclined to run on a given play than threet. and sheridan is shiftier too. plus sheridan can throw accurately on the run apparently. combine all of those and he can open up the play because he actually makes the defense consider whether he will run or throw when he escapes. or at least they have to consider it much more than they do with threet
and i like sheridan more (for now) because he can actually hit people on those bubble screens and make them effective


November 12th, 2008 at 8:08 PM ^

I mean this in the best possible way, but a good number of us thought the turning point was the Wisconsin game. Then came Toledo...

I think what the Minnie game showed was that if we can get a solid team effort from the defense, plus one standout (or much-better-than-expected) performance on offense, we can win -- and win convincingly at that.

What's the hallmark of freshmen at critical positions? In a word: inconsistency. They've got the raw tools, but not the experience or discipline. I don't look for the inconsistency to go away in the remaining two games this year.

Durham Blue

November 13th, 2008 at 12:48 AM ^

Sheridan's poise in the pocket against Minnesota. After a couple quarters I actually felt comfortable with him in there. He made excellent decisions and it seems like he knew when to get the heck out of the pocket. Threet has more game experience this season but he has been making an increasing number of bad decisions throwing the ball, starting with MSU. I like the rotation idea as a case can be made for both QB's. If one guy gets hot, just stick with him.

chitownblue (not verified)

November 13th, 2008 at 9:13 AM ^

We're getting carried away here. Sheridan threw at least 2 picks that Minnesota didn't feel like catching. He was much better than ANYONE, including myself, thought he'd be - we assumed that he erased any chance of winning a football game, which clearly isn't true. That said, you could see "Evil Sheridan" peeking around the corner. Like anything else - he's not nearly as bad as we thought, and he's not nearly as good as us fickle idiots are making him out to be now.


November 13th, 2008 at 11:18 AM ^

The "poise" that Brian made fun of was Jimmah's ability to stand in the pocket despite the line's inability to block, and, if he hadn't already been sacked, make a dump off to a running back for a very minimal gain.

Sheridan was making bubble screen throws on time to create a 5+ yard gain, and completing passes for first downs when he rolled out of the pocket.


November 13th, 2008 at 9:00 AM ^

Sheridan had one decent game. I think this Saturday you'll all remember why you hated him two weeks ago.

Unless the defense holds NW to 6 points, then he'll be great.


November 13th, 2008 at 9:36 AM ^

i thought this was pretty much a no-brainer, really. he played the most complete game at QB for us so far. he's earned the start this week, imo. it's not like the guy he filled in for is clearly far superior. now, if he struggles mightily, by all means bring in threet. but the kid earned his shot (and i never thought i'd be writing that).


November 13th, 2008 at 9:59 AM ^

I'm still a bigger fan of Threet than Sheridan, but Nick's big advantage over Threet is that he's competent at throwing the WR screen. Threet is terrible at these throws (takes too much time and is inaccurate) while Sheridan is at least getting the ball out quick and hitting his man. The WR screen is obviously a huge part of our offense and our success at Minnesota with this play was very helpful.

J. Lichty

November 13th, 2008 at 10:24 AM ^

Threet still gives us the best chance to win. He played reasonably well against Purdue -- it was the defense that gave up 48 points. Sheridan's throws past the line of scrimmage could have been timed with a sundial.

The Minnesota defense for all of its hype was not very good against us. While Threet have been having some problems with the WR screens and swings (especially to Minor), not all of the problems with those routes have been Threet's. Brian did a picture pages (I think against Ill.) that showed some of the schematic and execution problems that had nothing to do wiht the throw. For whatever reason, Minnesota was not defending those well (I am sure UFR will show us why).

While Sheridan did manage the game way better than expected, and he was fortunate on some of his long looping passes (Matthews and McGuffie), his wet noodle arm is not going to stretch defenses enough. I think Threet's elbow (which has had two weeks to heal) has been a factor with his passing the past few weeks and the limited amount of keepers on the zone read option. We'll see on Saturday, but I still think Threet gives us the best chance to win.