Unverified Voracity Pokes The Bear Comment Count

Brian September 13th, 2016 at 12:42 PM

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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:

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:

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.

Comments

chickenpotpie

September 13th, 2016 at 12:53 PM ^

Would love to see Jourdan Lewis back this week, since I feel like this game is going to be one of those where Michigan ends up winning by 20 points but none of us feel like the game is actually going well and end up just feeling icky afterwards.

bronxblue

September 13th, 2016 at 12:54 PM ^

Colorado has no idea the world of hurt they've invited by referencing 1994, even though half the people in the stands were either not alive or barely alive when that game happened.

michgoblue

September 13th, 2016 at 1:38 PM ^

That game was my freshman year.  I still remember being in the crowd when they caught that damn pass.  The Big House was completely silent, but for a few Buff fans.  My friends and I walked home without saying a word.  Worse feeling I have ever experienced at a game.  I expect that those who attended the MSU debacle last year must have experienced something similar.

(Of course the flip side of having that game my freshman year is that my senior year was pretty damn good, what with the whole National Championship, College National Championship, Charlie Heisman thing)

CWoodIsMyBoiii

September 13th, 2016 at 12:56 PM ^

While it pisses me off that Colorado has the balls to wear the same jerseys from 94, I respoect the hell out of them for having the balls to wear the jerseys from 94.  And I hope we beat them by 50 because of it.

FreddieMercuryHayes

September 13th, 2016 at 1:03 PM ^

I just don't get it personally.  It is of course a fantastic play for them and a great win on the road and an amazing play, and Colorado had a great season, but UM was 8-4 that year, it was a non-conference game and Colorado didn't even win their conference I believe.  It would be like if in 22 years CMU played Okie St and wore comemorative jerseys for their hail mary win.  It's kind of like "um, ok, good for you I guess?"

jmblue

September 13th, 2016 at 3:38 PM ^

Think about how much we celebrate AC's touchdown against Indiana in 1979, even though that IU team was lousy and that Michigan team wasn't all that remarkable.  That play is just a great part of Michigan lore.  

The Hail Mary has got to be the same for CU, only it also occurred on the road and against a top-5 (at the time) team.  (That Michigan team was much better than its record, but I don't think it ever recovered emotionally from that game.)

getsome

September 13th, 2016 at 3:52 PM ^

i believe nebraska ran the table that year to win the big 8 and finish #1.  it was a pretty good year for colorado despite their biggest rival giving them their only loss - but not exactly a magical season so i get what youre saying.

that hail mary was magic though, as much as it sucks for m and the fans - but successful teams that consistently play in big time games have greater chance of ending up on the wrong side of historic plays like that thatll never be forgotten.  im sure bama loves hearing about that auburn FG return upset.  unfortunately comes with the territory.

colorado has had their share of good luck too - pretty sure the 5th down play vs mizzou occurred during their 1990 title run

Yinka Double Dare

September 13th, 2016 at 12:57 PM ^

I know his pressure numbers are bad and also a very small sample size, but don't the vast majority of quarterbacks see their precision go way the hell down against pressure? I'd also guess this improves as he goes along. He's seeing pressure so rarely right now that he's certainly not really used to it in game action.

bronxblue

September 13th, 2016 at 12:59 PM ^

As for OSU trying to get Barrett free of hits, I do wonder how that will affect them going forward. I'm not sure about their depth chart, but it sure seemed like a chasm after JT, and I assume that there isn't another Kenny Guiton or whomever to fill in in case of an injury.

Reader71

September 13th, 2016 at 1:02 PM ^

Man I love Hoke but if not even the freshmen were buying in...

Also, Kalis has raved about every new coach, every change, and every wrinkle -- like a good soldier should. Doesn't mean he isn't right or telling the truth about Drevno, but the kid is always optimisitic , if nothing else.

Mr Miggle

September 13th, 2016 at 1:11 PM ^

I wonder how much of that attitude was due to Hoke and how much was due to his position coach, Nussmeier. One guy sets the tone, but the other was working with him day to day.

This shows one thing I like about Harbaugh's policy about playing freshmen. It's got to be harder to keep players who know they are redshirting engaged.

socalwolverine1

September 13th, 2016 at 1:09 PM ^

...about David Long.  Lots of hype in Fall camp, and then he fell off the radar...did he play against Hawaii? 

Our depth at CB was looking so good before he and Jourdan got dinged up.  We need at least one of Long or Lewis healthy to give us more flexibility at the corners, especially with this year's emphasis on having them help stop the run.

King Of The Khakis

September 13th, 2016 at 1:14 PM ^

FWIW while I was in Ann Arbor on Saturday, I was told Lewis tweaked a hammy, and that's whats holding him out. Was not informed of the severity of the issue. This was from a group of guys that are very involved with the athletic department, the football team specifically. 

 

I know, counterstrike guy/talked to a guy who knows a guy caveats all apply, just passing on some info.

readyourguard

September 13th, 2016 at 1:16 PM ^

Michigan is 2nd in pass protection yet BTN "analyst", former Buckeye, and noted douche rocket Robert Smith is skeptical about our line's ability to protect Wilton Speight.

That guy makes Joey Galloway look like an award winning investigative journalist.