Unverified Voracity Is Small, Moody

Submitted by Brian on October 21st, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Welcome your semi-regular five-PM-on-a-Friday tab-machete C&P job. First, Stuffing the Passer:

Ron Paul makes an appearance. Why is this not a weekly feature at halftime on NBC I will never know.

Saving our bacon (not that Bacon). The Daily deploys the massive profile machine on Shawn Hunwick:


STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. — Inside the home of Rich and Robin Hunwick, tickets from the Big Chill at the Big House and Michigan jerseys line the living room walls, set alongside childhood snapshots of their two boys, Matt and Shawn.

Tucked away in the corner of the room is a picture of Shawn, no older than seven, posing in a goalie squat in the net, his equipment swallowing his small frame.

Nothing about this picture is striking. Just a relic from a picture day many years ago.

As per usual, the result here is better than anything the local papers are putting out.

Spite for justice. The Dispatch writes up a piece on high school uniforms in Ohio with a cool story bro from back in the day:

Eastmoor Academy’s uniforms, featuring a blue and white winged helmet and players’ names on the jerseys, are among the most striking in central Ohio. Others, including Watkins Memorial, have borrowed the winged-helmet theme associated with Michigan.

The story associated with Eastmoor’s helmets is legendary. Hall of Famer Bob Stuart, who coached there from 1956-84, was incensed because Ohio State didn’t recruit Warriors linebacker Mike Boren — father to recent Ohio State players Justin and Zach — in 1979, so he introduced the winged helmets the following season.

“It’s a true story; I wanted to stick it to Ohio State for that,” Stuart said. “Plus, I had always admired Bo (Schembechler) and I thought those helmets were unique. We introduced them, the kids seemed to like them and they stuck. And, by the way, I never heard anything from coach (Earle) Bruce.”

No God Please No. Holdin' The Rope sneers at your QB controversy meme, internet:

Not only did Devin just look like a guy who shouldn't be playing right now, from the fumbled snap to the touchdown pass launched from three yards past the line of scrimmage, to the 4th and forever in which he scrambled forever, crossed the LOS, and eventually circled back with what looked like an intention to throw the ball. If I wasn't drinking a cocktail fashioned from the always zesty ingredients of depression, frustration, and anger at the time, I probably would've laughed.

Of course, the argument for Devin is that he's got a stronger, more accurate arm and just generally looks the part of what Michigan quarterbacks once were and ostensibly will be once Denard graduates. Unfortunately, he wasn't really appreciably better than Denard in the passing department (certainly not in a manner that would make Hoke unseat Denard because of Devin's aforementioned strengths). He missed painfully open receivers--guys so open hand-wavingly open that they could have been castaways waving at a rescue plane up above--and wasn't exactly accurate, in addition to the aforementioned Yakety Sax shenanigans.

Be who you are you square-jawed thug-enabling bible-thumping hypocrite who smells like cabbage. Hoover Street Rag on the Gholston business:

Michigan State's current national identity, as much as they have one in football, is built around essentially "Sparty, no!"  That's not just with Michigan fans, when Rece Davis says it on College Football Final, you have an identity crisis.  You will not embrace the Little Brother standard, and that's probably wise, because no one wins with that.  But pure evil, goatee wearing evil, yes, that is what Michigan State football could be.


Think about it, think about all of the time you could save.  You wouldn't need to feign sportsmanship at press conferences, you could just come out and say that your players played sixty minutes of unnecessary roughness and you were lucky you didn't get caughtYour players could come right out and say that the game was played dirty. You wouldn't need to ignore the actions of your team off the field and you could immediately allow players who had served jail time back on to your team without any kind of punishmentYou wouldn't need to spend days on internal reviews of a punch by one of your players caught on camera. It would just be who you are.  You could be like the Raiders of the Big Ten.

Disagreement. Touch The Banner says Martin should have shut down the play picture-paged late yesterday:

The defensive line can do much more.  First and foremost, Mike Martin can make the tackle.  The star defensive tackle that people seem afraid to criticize is the first person who makes a mistake here.  He's responsible for the playside A gap but refuses to get off the center's block.  If Martin gets off the block quicker and wraps up Edwin Baker, the play gets made for a loss or a minimal gain.

It's true that middle linebacker Kenny Demens doesn't do a great job on the play.  In my opinion, he should be attacking the offensive guard's outside shoulder, thus maintaining B gap responsibility.  Instead, he takes the guard on head up and then gets stalemated.  If he takes on that guard with his inside shoulder, the WILL (Brandin Hawthorne) is screaming downhill and will tackle Baker for about a 1-yard gain.  (With the way Hawthorne reacts, it looks to me that he's just flowing to the ball and that the free safety is responsible for supporting the weakside A gap.)

The Demens stuff I agree with—he got hit with a minus two on that play. The Martin stuff I don't know about. He doesn't make the TFL by himself with a blocker on him but he does force the back into an awkward, difficult cut that should expose him to linebacker play. It's not the best play in the world but it seems like a positive. Also, I gave Martin a –1 for the last game. It's not about being afraid to criticize a guy.

Magnus goes on to complain about my complaining about MSU LBs reading the play faster than Michigan LBs because they are not concerned about Denard throwing the ball, which okay. But Demens has a guy releasing into him downfield and does not understand the structure of the play and thus spills it. That's reading as well. MSU LBs scrape to the POA much better than Michigan has—how many times have I complained about one or the other MLB not reading a pulling OL and arriving late to the hole? Lots. These guys have had trouble diagnosing jets sweeps and triple options by offenses run by Alex Gillett and Kain Colter. The threat of play action is not a problem there.

Etc.: Adam Jacobi truthbombs Dantonio. Answer This, the Ann Arbor-themed bar quiz romantic comedy featuring Ralph Williams as the protagonist's enormous-handed father, is having a special screening at the Michigan Theater Sunday.



October 21st, 2011 at 6:01 PM ^

If she is moody, that is understandable, with all the holding he did on MM, she should be so lucky. On the picture paged article, you can see Martin's hand stretched backwards as he was pursuing the back.


October 21st, 2011 at 6:54 PM ^

Touch the Banner is more correct; you're not exactly wrong.  MM is guilty of playing with bad technique as he lets the blocker get too much into his body and is unable to shed and tackle.

I doubt you're afraid to criticize anyone, but I think it's a matter of having intimate knowledge of DL play.  The LBs keys might be different than what you think they should be and using the MSU strategy of blitzing the A gaps with reckless abandon.  Our LBs have to be aware of the PA pass and keep their depth a little longer; MSU doesn't respect our passing game and there is not PA to speak of, so they are attacking the mesh point and causing denard to get happy feet.

My guess is that Narduzzi and company wanted to attack the mesh point between Denard and the RB with a combination of edge pressure and the double barrel blitz on the A gaps.  The wind was a factor in the pass game, so the thinking is to keep denard uncomfortable and make him make decisions in a compressed timeframe which leads to rushed throws and poor mechanics.  At least that is what the film had shown on us thus far into the season.

Blue since birth

October 21st, 2011 at 8:17 PM ^

But not nearly as much so as the exaggerations that keep getting thrown around. Devin was 1-1/2 yards past the LOS on that illegal pass.

One stride.

Not 3 yards... Or 4... Or 5.

I'd still like for someone to explain to me exactly what his mistake was on the 4th and 22 ( aside from "looking silly" when desperately trying to make something out of nothing) ? If it had been a 4th and 10 he almost certainly would have had the first down and everyone would riding his jock over it. 

I'm not trying to renew the "Devin should start" debate... But it seems to me that many have been going after Devin unfairly because of it.

STW P. Brabbs

October 22nd, 2011 at 10:15 AM ^

What I took away from that game is that Devin makes the same bad reads under pressure as Denard ... only when Devin threw to the guy who was well-covered instead of the hand-wavingly open one, it was pretty damn acccurate.  That's why they weren't intercepted. 

I think, when comparing the two QBs, it's obvious that Denard's the starter.  He seems to know the offense better, he reads the field at the same level as Devin, and being the most explosive runner in the country more than makes up for the fact that Devin is a considerably more accurate passer.  But if Devin gets to the point where he can make his reads in an efficient manner, Denard as starter starts to become much less obvious.   That's probably an issue for next year, though.


October 21st, 2011 at 10:32 PM ^

is a huge net PR loss for Sparty. Stupid of a fairly large order of magnitude. Somewhere over there, in the President's office or the AD's, alarm bells have got to be ringing.  


October 21st, 2011 at 11:20 PM ^

Brian, I don't really disagree that Demens/Hawthorne are slow at diagnosing plays.  That's a flaw that needs to be fixed and, on a slightly related note, that's why I'm excited about James Ross - because Ross is excellent at diagnosing plays quickly.  I just don't think the play in question is one to highlight for your argument.

Demens has time to make the play properly, but it looks like he chooses to take on the guard head up.  Hawthorne hesitates a bit, I guess, but he can still make this play for a minimal gain if the other guys do their jobs.


October 22nd, 2011 at 12:21 AM ^

Well I can't start a thread so I will just throw this in here... Pretty interesting tweet from Jeff Goodman of CBS after visiting Michigan basketball practice today as part of his tour....


"Watched Michigan practice. Came away EXTREMELY impressed with freshman point guard Trey Burke. Knows how to play and can really shoot it."


October 22nd, 2011 at 6:07 AM ^

I am fairly sure that MSU's attempts to "hurt Russell Wilson" (one player's words) will be met with some old-school throat punching from an O-line that is larger physically than Green Bay's (fergodsakes). A wise coach would try to discourage bulletin board material in such a game, but that coach would have to be the anti-Dantonio. 


October 22nd, 2011 at 7:44 AM ^

I was looking up the 1969 Wolverines on Wikipedia, when I came across an article about an old mascot called Biff, the Michigan Wolverine.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biff,_the_Michigan_Wolverine).  At the end, there was this line:

"Blogger Brian Cook, owner of the popular blog MGoBlog, was given the middle name "Biff" by his parents as a tribute to this legend of Michigan sports."

Brian, what is the voracity of that claim?





October 22nd, 2011 at 11:15 AM ^

here,   although i think its also part of the bigger picture of why its hard to grade players without knowing exact technique being taught, or what is being emphasized in practice...


Mike martin destroys the center...   sure it would be great for him to get of the block and make the tackle for a loss, an All american play, something Michigan desperately needs him to be... But nobody would say,   "Martin messed up by not making the play... "  except for the fact that he is suppose to be our all-american.....  The LB's steps are slow their techniques are poor,  and their angles don't match up with each other....   and that would be the first thing that coaches would notice in film..


again though,  when you are guessing as to what responsibilities are based on alignment, you open yourself up to these kinds of disagreements...




October 22nd, 2011 at 1:11 PM ^

you don't know what the LBs keys were and MM is there and his job is not to just destroy the center.  Demens and Hawthorne do need to close those gaps down, 

It's hard to take one play and dissect it to the point that you can make a determination about players...the comparison to MSU is like comparing apples to oranges in that MSU's linebackers were pretty much on autopilot as far as read steps in that they were either coming downhill at the A gaps or were not.

I don't know about you, man, but this is night and day different than anything under RR the last two years and I'm loving it, even when they are not at their best, it's still more fundamentally sound.


October 22nd, 2011 at 4:12 PM ^

If we can't expect linemen to make plays that are run to their gaps, then I don't know what we can expect them to do.  If Martin's responsibility is the A gap, then he's responsible for tackling the ball carrier.  If his coaches taught him to "occupy the center" and not do anything else, then he's done his job wonderfully.  I sincerely doubt that's the case.


October 22nd, 2011 at 9:03 PM ^

you know a lot more about michigan schemes than i do, i have not spent much time trying to break it down, or studying them at all,  you have spent a lot of time, so im not trying to argue with you....


an A gap player is responsible for A gap plays...   however a dlinemen reseting  the los 3 yards in the backfield on an inside zone play is doing a pretty damn good job...


obviosuly i see your point, and like i said, it would have been great to make that play,  it also would be a play that not a whole lot of nose guards in college football can make, he was a step away from being awesome, and he wasn't..... he was just pretty good...


but its pretty obvious that the lbs were not very good...


that was my only point...





October 24th, 2011 at 2:11 PM ^

So, here's the weird thing- The bearded Spock does get the "evil" label quite often. I would contend that he is actually the only consistent figure across the two universes. Everything from his bold facial hair statement to his behaviour toward the dudes from the normal universe is consistent with what I believe the normal Spock would do.

Also, the normal Spock would understand that Mike Martin was not primarily at fault on that play. And that it makes perfect sense to mix things up offensively by having Gardner in there for 5-10 plays a game, as long as you don't get predictable on those plays.

Normal Spock would know all this, and more.