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No mercy. I'm completely fine with John O'Korn throwing garbage-time bombs into the endzone with Michigan up multiple scores:
— Colorado Buffaloes (@cubuffs) September 12, 2016
This is poking the bear. Colorado, consider the bears poked.
Meanwhile, the bear. PFF's early-season take on Michigan is off-the-charts optimistic. Notes from a meaty piece:
- Michigan is their top defense so far. The competition has not been great, obviously.
- The OL is second(!) in pass protection.
- Kyle Kalis was one of PFF's worst returning guards nationally. (I wonder what PFF would have thought about Michigan's 2013 line if Kalis's shaky 2015 was that bad in their eyes.) He's up to seventh nationally(!!!) in their grading. That's sure to slide backwards as Michigan's schedule gets tougher, but as I mentioned UCF actually has a player or two on their DL. If Kalis manages to hang onto a top 30 spot it's time to buy Tim Drevno an above-ground outdoor pool.
- Newsome's been great as a pass protector and okay on the ground; I'm seeing more or less the same thing. Newsome's having some mental issues on plays to the edge and he has a tendency to pull so deep that he runs himself out of any chance to block someone.
- Speight is well ahead of Early Season Jake Rudock, which is 1) not a surprise and 2) faint praise. OTOH, PFF has him accurate on 28 of 36 opportunities from the last game and I think they're grading as harshly as possible there—I wouldn't knock Speight for that attempted dumpoff to Evans that Evans couldn't get out on, for one.
- Speight's efficiency has gone through the floor when he gets pressure.
- In a separate article on their top 25 they note that Ryan Glasgow has posted bonkers 86 and 84 grades so far; they rank Glasgow as one of their top five NFL draft risers: “Glasgow’s consistently defeated one-on one blocks, and opponents haven’t been able to move him off the line of scrimmage on double teams. In addition to his dominant run play, he’s averaging a pressure once every seven pass rushes, an impressive ratio for a nose tackle.”
All of that is very positive, especially Kalis. In the season preview I mentioned that he was the one returning player on the line who could take a major step forward. Early indications are that he has, and again since so many of his problems last year were mental the kind of improvements he's made are ones that translate to tougher competition.
I'm not sure there's much to read into Speight's issues against pressure yet. I'd expect that he remains iffy in that department because he's not that mobile; eight attempts is not a sample size worth getting exercised over.
I'm over it. I'm mostly over it. Speight on the fading days of the Hoke era:
"When I came in during the winter (of 2014) and redshirted that season, I didn't know what was going on that year and not many people did. It was kind of a messy year, it didn't end well at all," Speight says. "I just kind of skated through that year without much discipline (with) football. It was kind of a rude awakening when (the new staff) came.
"I realized I needed to change some things."
While he tried to soften it…
Speight wants to make it clear. Brady Hoke -- the coach who recruited him to Michigan -- and his staff gave him plenty of coaching in 2014. He says he just wasn't in the mood to listen.
…I mean come on. It wasn't just Speight who wasn't in the mood to listen. It was team-wide. A couple weeks ago Kalis said something wistful about how he wished that he'd had five years under Drevno instead of two.
I'm a little surprised that guys are throwing the old staff under the bus in press conferences, but also… not surprised. I was there, and bitter. I can't imagine how bitter I'd be about the Hoke chaos if it was eating through my eligibility with nothing to show for it.
Anyway, Speight's starting now and good at throwing balls.
ALSO IN WILTON SPEIGHT TALKING.
“There was one UCF player who was trying to talk smack at me, and I just started dying laughing, because we heard him from the huddle. And there were other times that we’d be up on the line of scrimmage and I’d think something was funny.”
Speculation on what this laughter-inducing smack was:
- "Got my crampons on, gonna scale your ass"
- "I am going to camp out halfway up your surface."
- "Ed Davis got a sixth year"
- "I may be the size of a flying squirrel but sir, I propose to embark on a climbing expedition lo these many months. And yea, I will harvest your acorns. Mark these words. Acorns. Harvested. Eventually."
Now in something other than Speight talking. Rich Eisen talking:
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) September 12, 2016
Injuries. As near as I can tell:
- Probably back Saturday: David Long.
- Could be back Saturday, could be another week or two. Taco Charlton, Jourdan Lewis. Lewis's injury was described by Harbaugh as a "muscle strain" unrelated to the issue that kept him out of the opener. He "did some things" and ran around on Monday. Charlton had a slight limp after getting his ankle rolled. Michigan could keep both guys on the bench in a game they expect to win.
- Definitely another few weeks: Bryan Mone.
- Unknown but doesn't look great: Noah Furbush and Drake Johnson. Radio silence on Furbush's issue probably isn't good. Johnson has similarly been out of uniform without much in the way of explanation.
Etc.: Ross Fulton on OSU's early offensive struggles against Tulsa: didn't want to get the QB hit and Tulsa banked on this. Won't apply for M. Chase Winovich on his first start. Matt Godin on his last go-around. NCAA removes events from North Carolina. Colorado plays fast and has a good secondary. When you have two quarterbacks and one of them is a Purdue transfer, you have zero quarterbacks. Possibly negative one quarterbacks. Urban Meyer on his brain and how he fixed it.