Unverified Voracity Should Be Fine Comment Count

Brian September 6th, 2016 at 12:27 PM

As per usual the edition of UV right after preview week is a catchup one with some old stuff I wasn't able to get to for obvious reasons.

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The very latest on injuries. Per UMBig11:

Already some good news this morning. Mone (crutches), initial return to the field was looking like week 6. That is moving up to week 5 and possibly sooner. Taco (no cast, no boot, no crutches), maybe sitting one week and at most two.

I got some conflicting information about Mone but I'm not sure what the latest is. Either way it sounds like he should be good to go for the home stretch. Everyone else except Noah Furbush has a short-term ding that is a week tops.

Also, Denard Robinson Cook dropped the spout of a French press full of tea on my now very blue toe. I am day to day. 

Speight profiled. Dan Murphy talks to Wilton Speight's high school coach and somewhat infamous QB guru Steve Clarkson; Clarkson reveals that Speight was on the verge of exiting:

“There was a time when he was contemplating leaving,” Clarkson said. “He had a conversation with Coach Harbaugh and Coach just said, ‘Hell, why are you thinking of leaving? You didn’t even get a chance to compete all spring. That essentially gave him confidence that he just needed to show what he can do. Since that conversation Wilton has taken that to heart and he sort of ran with it.”

There was a period in there where I was expecting that news any moment; good for both him and Michigan that it never came.

Manuel gameday. Max Bultman follows Michigan's AD around on game day. With permission. Probably. Anyway:

Manuel is a large, swaggering man, and he’s very easy to recognize. Fans holler to Manuel and frequently ask for pictures. Usually, he hollers back, sometimes in kind, others with a “Go Blue!” He poses for a lot of photos.

At the intersection of Main and West Stadium, Manuel greets a police officer. He does this many times on game day, and it stands out. He even asks one about his wife and kids. Later, Manuel explains that he got to know the force through the late Vada Murray, a police officer and Manuel’s best friend. He doesn’t have much spare time today, but he still stops when he can, nearly always with a charismatic greeting.

That’s the nature of his Saturday: so little time, so many hands to shake and so many people to catch up with.

Manuel is described as a personable man.

Artfully phrased. PFF looks at "How Michigan State can reload its defense," which is in fact a sneaky way to deliver a pile of bad news. Topics:

  • Malik McDowell is real good.
  • None of the other five returning DL had a positive pass rush grade; Demetrius Cooper's Big Ten season consisted of just eight pressures.
  • Linebackers Riley Bullough and Jon Reschke missed a ton of tackles, with Bullough –12.7 on the ground.
  • The three starters back in the secondary, well: "In 2015, the above trio combined to give up eight touchdowns compared to 11 total passes defended, and each of the three gave up completion rates of at least 62 percent. To put this in perspective, the top player returning in the secondaries of Ohio State, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Minnesota and Northwestern all defended at least seven passes on their own and gave up completion percentages of under 51 percent last year."

Jury's still out on improvements after MSU's struggle against a 4-7 FCS team, but improvements will have to be had if MSU's D is going to keep pace with recent performance.

Also in this department is an interesting if slightly overlong breakdown of Tyler O'Connor's performance in the MSU opener from an MSU fan:

A reader summarizes this guy's take if you don't have time to wade through that:

1) The first and biggest observation is that not once all game did O'Connor look to his 2nd read in the passing game. And I don't mean that he didn't throw to him. On literally every pass in the 2 videos (which I'm pretty sure was every throw O'Connor had), O'Connor did not turn his head away from his first target. …

2) This is probably a result of the first issue, but O'Connor held onto the ball way too long. I will say that I think the video creator was being a little too harsh on O'Connor at times, especially on some of the play action passes as it looked like O'Connor got the ball out as soon his feet were set.

First game jitters maybe, but that'll be something to look for against Notre Dame to see if there's improvement.

One-upping Brady Hoke. Never talk to me or my son again about how Les Miles would have been a good choice.

The Hat is very entertaining but his offense has always been a trundling wreck.

It's aggressive, but…. It's not this aggressive:

"I'd say, like, 90 percent," Stribling said.

Yes, he estimated that Michigan blitzed on 90 percent of its defensive play calls against the woebegone Rainbow Warriors.

But then Stribling kept thinking, and, man, maybe it was actually more than that.

"I don't think any play was not a blitz, besides a cover-2," he said. "And we blitzed out of that, too."

Michigan rushed four about half the time in the first half per my charting. There was some run blitzing, but it's not that maniacal. It's only fairly maniacal.

The freshman-only locker room is an odd Harbaugh thing. Another tweak like split squad practices:

Starting in camp, and lasting throughout the duration of the season, Harbaugh has his first-year players surround themselves with their peers. For a variety of reasons.

A year ago, it worked for both Newsome and Perry. In 2016, that number has taken a lift.

"It really allows you to bond as a class. You can really focus on getting better and improving your skills without having to worry about being in the older locker room and trying to compare yourself to those guys," Newsome, now a sophomore starter at left tackle, said Monday. "It really allows you to just focus on becoming a class."

There will never be tangible evidence this is good or bad. It is an interesting team morale thing.

Wisconsin has our attention. But the one downer from the weekend was an injury to starting LB Chris Orr that will knock him out for the year. That happened very early and didn't seem to have much negative impact on a very good LB corps:

Aside from a couple of miscues in which the defense allowed RB Leonard Fournette to break contain, the linebackers did a fine job of containing the Heisman candidate. OLB T.J. Watt led the way with a team-high five stops, but OLB Vince Biegel was right behind him with four. They held Fournette to only 2.7 yards after contact per rush, and that happened only three times all of last season.

I'm a little more skeptical about PFF's take on UW corner Derrick Tindal, who did indeed break up a number of (late, inaccurate) passes in the vicinity of Malachi Dupre. He looked overmatched and fortunate to me; we'll see if his performance carries over.

Etc.: How the world changed around Nebraska. Ed Davis still waiting. Phil Brabbs doing thangs. Tennessee blogs worry how much they should worry about Mike DeBord, and this was before the Appalachian State game. If you would like to know all that there is to know about Illinois football, Illini Board is the place. Xavier Simpson profiled.

Maize and Blue Nation has game recap bullets. Congrats to the Hoover Street Rag on ten years.


Blue and Joe

September 6th, 2016 at 12:37 PM ^

I can certainly see how freshman would like the seperate locker rooms. I'd be very intimidated by the upper classman if I was wide-eyed newcomer. It's also another thing for the players to "earn." Stick around and you get to sit at the big boy table.

Bo Glue

September 6th, 2016 at 12:38 PM ^

I'm still salty about us not sealing the deal on McDowell. This line is already unfair, but man, he's special. Not sure where he'd fall on the two deep though. Thoughts?


September 6th, 2016 at 12:42 PM ^


Also, Denard Robinson Cook dropped the spout of a French press full of tea on my now very blue toe. I am day to day.


I guess you'll have to learn to type with your fingers.

Willis Ward

September 6th, 2016 at 12:58 PM ^

For the record, the freshman had their own lockeroom during the Carr era too. Maybe Rich Rod got rid of it but I know it was there for at least most of the Carr era and I assume (like almost everything else) it went back to Bo. I'd guess that's where Harbaugh got the idea.


September 6th, 2016 at 12:59 PM ^

Sure doesn't sound like a great recipe for good QB coaching and a dynamic offense.  But, then again, Tenneesse's punter actually gets to play in games (a lot, too).


September 6th, 2016 at 1:02 PM ^

Couple thoughts on MSU.

One of their DB's, I believe it was Darian Hicks, was eaten alive by Furman's passing game. He legitimately looked outmatched, and I think Brian talked about his struggles last year as well. I can't wait to see what Harbaugh has in store for him.

Also, O'Connor is a 5th year senior who has already played a bunch, and even started at OSU last year. How much first game jitters can you really have in that scenario?

Rufus X

September 6th, 2016 at 1:05 PM ^

This is not a Harbaugh thing, it was a Bo thing. It has been around for decades. I was a student manager form 1991-1995 under Mo and it had always been there.  The reason given back then was exactly the same as Harbaugh gives now - Class comraderie, leadership building, etc.

I haven't been in Schembecler since the Lloyd era ended, so I don't know if RichRod and/or Brady changed it, but if they did it is clearly back and here to stay.

Bando Calrissian

September 6th, 2016 at 1:10 PM ^

There was a bit of a hubbub in the RichRod transition, IIRC, when he got rid of the freshman lockerroom--it was part of the Schembechler Hall/Oosterbaan locker room renovations. I think he may have switched it to a separate senior locker area, or just made everything the same, but it was definitely noticed and reported on.

EDIT: Here's an article on it. RR put everyone together, and turned the freshman area into a "player's lounge":




September 6th, 2016 at 2:01 PM ^

couldn't file the paperwork until August 18th, so that's part of the problem.


But I don't get how this is even a "thing".  The dude is trying to get a redshirt year for injury...in a year that he was SCOUT TEAM PLAYER OF THE WEEK TWICE.


Clearly not all THAT injured.

"Redshirted . . . named Scout Team Defensive Player of the Week vs. Minnesota . . . selected Scout Team Special Teams Player of the Week vs. Central Michigan. That clearly begs two questions. 1) How would somebody with a season ending injury be the special teams and defensive scout team player of the week on separate occasions during both non-conference and conference play, and 2) why would his bio intro only mention one season ending injury when two are required for a sixth year? "


September 6th, 2016 at 1:34 PM ^

I've mentioned this before, but it's been a few years since I told this story. I was driving to a graduation party for a friend. I made a wrong turn so I had to double back. I entered a little sub-division and noticed a cop car follow me. So I went the posted speed limit, which was 10 MPH. I exited the subdivision and the cop followed me out. Then he turned on his lights and pulled me over. I rolled down the window and saw VADA FREAKING MURRAY walking up to my car. This guy was my hero. My brother worshipped Tripp Welborne, so I chose Murray. There was nothing better than him and Tripp lining up to try to block a FG attempt.

Anyway, he asks where I'm going. I truthfully say I'm headed to Mountain Jacks for a graduation party. He asks why I turned into that street and I said I made a wrong turn, wasn't sure where Mountain Jacks was. We talk a little more and he says, "you've lived here 8 years and don't know where Mountain Jacks is?"

We talk a little more and figures out that my story checks out. He then explained that the area I drove into was notorious for drug activity, and me driving 10 MPH made it look like I was waiting for my dealer to come out and make a transaction.



September 6th, 2016 at 1:45 PM ^

I broke my "pinkie toe" a couple of years ago - it took almost 9 months to heal. The ortho doc tried everything short of surgery to fix it. What finally did the trick was ultrasound stimulation of the bone. 

If it is broken (get it x-rayed) you absolutely want to make sure it properly heals. According to my doc, if it breaks through to the joint, that makes you a candidate for arthritis. 


September 6th, 2016 at 1:46 PM ^

When they showed Debord on the screen and mentioned he was the OC for Tennessee...I laughed out loud. They way they ushered Fulmer out and the debacles since then, now this? who the hell gets to make these decisions? They are pretty much screwed, curious how far they'll drop in the polls.


September 6th, 2016 at 2:08 PM ^

As little on-field goodwill as I have for Debord, I feel bad for the guy. He's going to be a fall guy for Tennessee underperforming this year and now he's also associated with some people who represent what is bad in both college football and American university culture.