Unverified Voracity Throws Coins At Heiko Comment Count

Brian December 4th, 2015 at 11:46 AM


Heiko sings the hits! Remember Heiko? Used to badger Al Borges about bubble screens, was Adam before Adam was Adam. Currently turning in his Punt/Counterpunt column about sixty seconds before I want to post it. Draftageddon chaos agent. That guy. Doctor guy.

Well, if you'd like to see him sing(?), that is now a thing you can do. The med students have this charity, you see:

Every winter, Galens members don red ponchos, grab metal buckets, and take to the streets of greater Ann Arbor to collect monetary donations for the children of Washtenaw County. Held on the first weekend of December since 1927, Tag Days has become an important Ann Arbor tradition and occupies a central role in Galens' mission to support local children's charities. Galens members annually raise tens of thousands of dollars, with 100% of the collected money donated directly to local organizations and charities.

Last year they raised over 75k via various methods including people throwing coins at med students for singing*, and you can do this by THROWING COINS at HEIKO in front of Gratzi from about FOUR O'CLOCK TODAY to MIDNIGHT.

Or you could just donate here if you don't want to throw quarters at Heiko for some reason. Weirdo.

*[This is an assumption, but I'm sure you'll agree it is a good one.]

Things that happened. Ross Fulton breaks down events that transpired on Saturday.

Meyer and Warinner borrowed a page from Utah and Indiana. Both offenses had success outside against Michigan's cover 1-man defense by forcing Wolverine defenders with contain responsibilities to cover receivers while the offense runs outside, and by using spread read principles to outnumber a Michigan defense with a deep safety.

Meyer's staff used a similar strategy. Frequently using two tight ends - with one aligned as a blocking slot receiver - the Buckeyes' success began with power read. On power read the offensive line blocks power, but - rather than kicking out the defensive end - the quarterback reads the end. If he crashes, the quarterback gives on the sweep. If the end stays wide the quarterback runs power following the pulling guard.

With Michigan using a common opponent tactic - slanting towards Ezekiel Elliott to limit tight zone - Ohio State ran outside opposite the slant, providing Elliott a running lane beyond the crashing end.


When Michigan prevented this from happening again it opened up JT Barrett on the inverted veer, because Michigan took a basic and completely predictable approach to dealing with the OSU run game. Michigan changed nothing except occasionally running a 3-3-5. It was incredibly frustrating to see inverted veer gash Michigan over and over again as if the Wolverines had no idea it would be coming. On the above play they have not one but two 100% irrelevant players, as the backside corner and safety aren't blocked but can't do anything about the gain.

Durkin spent the entire year running the same defense predicated on decisively winning DL matchups, and when that was not true his answers were miserably bad. The final drive of regulation for Indiana saw Michigan passively eat run after run without reacting; this game was as if the last 15 years of football had never happened.

Let's not change anything. Iowa is 12-0, which is not something even Kirk Ferentz's family saw coming. Spencer on the power of doing nothing at all:

Iowa football never changed, and needed to badly, at least from the perspective of someone looking at the long decline of the program into a 7-6 stasis interrupted by bumps into 11-2 and drops into 4-8 territory. The Hawkeyes had become an EKG of a drunk man falling into a deep and dreamless sleep. This drunk man was also hypothermic and sleeping under a bridge.

Then in 2015, that drunk man woke up, found a flawlessly tailored suit under a concrete overhang beneath that bridge, downed a bottle of Steel Reserve, and walked into the nearest investment bank and become a confident, beaming tycoon overnight.

Iowa should have changed everything, and didn't. They're undefeated despite doing few things they haven't done for years. You didn't think they could do it, but they did. Iowa, the laziest hard-working team in America, wore the same shirt until it came back into style.

So if DJ Durkin runs that defense against OSU for the next 12 years it might work the 12th time. That's the ticket.

Veni, vici, Harbaugh. Jim Hackett is stepping down as Michigan's athletic director. He never did get the Notre Dame series back, but other than that probably impossible thing he hit 1.000 in a brief tenure as Michigan's athletic director.

Hackett decided he should hire Jim Harbaugh. Also he got Harbaugh. This seems like a rather obvious thing to do. But as we saw with the previous athletic director, sometimes people in charge of things are just in charge of them for no reason. Hackett, above all, was a solid dude acting sensibly.

I have heard that Hackett was close to exclusively focused on the big-ticket items, which was the right move for him and Michigan. Unfortunately that did mean that the department's Brandon-imparted momentum continued in various ways. The hockey schedule, accepting the worst possible basketball tournament for fans, and lingering Special K issues, particularly at Yost, irked me over the past 12 months. Hackett also paid virtually no attention to non-revenue sports. This is again fine for someone who is trying to get a few big-picture things right, but none of it is great for the long term.

Baumgardner wrote a column with a pithy headline:

Jim Hackett steadied Michigan's ship, but next AD must be able to steer it


Steering the ship. Michigan should be properly chagrined by their decision to pass on the actual athletic directors their department had spawned last time. Anyone other than the four sitting ADs that came from the pre-Brandon department would be an enormous upset. Those gentlemen:

  • Warde Manuel, AD, UConn. Previously the AD at Buffalo, where he hired Turner Gill for those two years where Buffalo was not terrible. At UConn hired Kevin Ollie, which was a given after a national title, and Bob Diaco after taking a swing at Pat Narduzzi.
  • Jeff Long, AD, Arkansas. Hired Bert out from under Wisconsin, which is pretty impressive. Also hired Bobby Petrino away from the Falcons, which was a good idea until it really really wasn't. Cofopoff chair.
  • Brad Bates, AD, Boston College. Is, uh, at Boston College? Before he was at Miami and helped acquire Enrico Blasi and a new arena for the Redhawks. BC Interruption take here if you're inclined.
  • Joe Parker, AD, Colorado State. The favorite candidate of many people who worked in the department when he was around. Recommended by most of the Brandon-initiated Michigan Athletic Department Diaspora. Only one year as an AD but has held posts just below that level for a decade.

Former Oregon State AD Bob De Carolis was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2011 and resigned from his post in 2015. While Hackett brought him on as a consultant that probably doesn't indicate he's a serious candidate for the job.

Oh, and Tom Lewand's free! Anybody? Anybody other than Mark Snyder? Nobody? That appears to be nobody signing up for a guy with zero AD experience, but plenty of hiring Jim Caldwell experience. (Other staffers say he's the Lions' coach, and that the Lions are a local professional football franchise with a star-crossed reputation.)

I haven't heard much buzz on the search yet but a few months ago I did get a note that Manuel was probably the favorite.

Linebackers to be coached. Chris Partridge will pick up linebacker duties for the bowl game. This allows him to go on the road in the absence of Durkin, which is a good thing.

Given the way the release is phrased it doesn't seem like he's getting a position coaching slot permanently—or at least that's not the plan right now. Keeping Partridge for another year or two before he does move onward and upward is a good thing, especially with Michigan having most of New Jersey on lock.

Stats to be goggled at. Michigan features twice in a PFF column on crazy stats, and this is the craziest:

Even though [Jake] Rudock has had an underwhelming season, he has one thing going for him. He leads the country in accuracy under pressure at 71.4 percent. That’s especially surprising considering he was ranked 40th last year in the same category at 56.8 percent. It’s not a small sample size either. Only nine quarterbacks have had more snaps under pressure than Rudock.

I guess "underwhelming" is a thing you could say about Rudock's 2015 if you are not a Michigan fan. If you are a Michigan fan he's the guy holding onto your hand as you reach for the Holy Grail in a crevasse. Also, his first half was indeed very underwhelming. His finish not so much.

Related: I thought Michigan's pass protection was more or less good this year, what's the deal with all the pressures?


Chris Wormley (DT, Michigan) is having the best pass-rushing season by a defensive tackle in the last two years.

Wormley is the definition of a pass rushing specialist. On every one of the 269 plays that he has lined up as a defensive tackle the opposing offense has passed the ball. On every pass play, Wormley has rushed the passer. … Wormley currently leads the country in PFF’s signature stat, pressure percentage (PRP) at 12.3. … The senior from Ohio has improved tremendously from last season. His current grade of +35.8 is over 25 points higher than is 2014 grade. He has graded positively in every game except last week’s game against Ohio State where he struggled with his run defense.

When I saw that I thought to myself "he's a defensive end, not a DT," but they cover that in the paragraph on him.

I think the way PFF is crediting rushes here is generous to Wormley. He benefited from the pile of stunts Michigan ran—without question the best thing Durkin did this year is base his pass rush on constant stunting—and in UFR I've started splitting credit between the guy who drives the lane open and guy who loops around for the glory. Wormley did have a major breakout season, don't get me wrong, but Michigan's ability to pressure was a team thing in which all three DT/DE types contributed about equally.

Etc.: NC State highlights. Holdin' The Rope on the game. Texas key plays. UT take on that game. Walton's issue a "slight ankle sprain"; exhale. Kansas still has a student athletics fee. Love Moritz McGary. The Big Ten has a big rights package coming up.



December 4th, 2015 at 11:59 AM ^

You've probably already addressed this already, but what should Michigan have done instead?

And what would OSU's counter have been to what you propose?


December 4th, 2015 at 12:10 PM ^

Run a 46 like Va Tech did to beat them last year. An aggressive, run stopping defense. Barrett hasn't been the passer this year that Miller was last year, so OSU's counters (IMO) wouldn't be as effective as they were last year later in the year when teams tried to run a 46 BEAR against them.

More details here:


Space Coyote

December 4th, 2015 at 12:40 PM ^

But it would open up other things. If you were saying what to do to stop the power read, then you were correct, the Bear defense is a great D for that (and I misinterpreted the chain of communication).

Don't get me wrong, I love the Bear defense against the run, think it's the best defense there is. Haven't really seen Michigan play it this year, but OSU does have options to counter it (flare screens, QB sweep, 2-back offense, etc).


December 4th, 2015 at 12:21 PM ^

Obviously this is a question that requires a complicated nuanced answer but to boil it down to the most basic thought I think Brian and other coaches have had is

-Move your safety down

-Play more zone

-Adjust better to the motioning TE

Ohio State would have answered by throwing it deep more.  Brian was fine with losing to OSU if Barrett could complete deep throws against J. Lewis and Clark.

OC Alum91

December 4th, 2015 at 12:10 PM ^

The Fulton breakdown makes it really easy to understand what happened. Really makes Durkin's ineffective response inexplicable. The only out for Durkin would be if there was no good alternative....i.e., pick your poison. But Fulton makes it seem that the problem was simply a lack of awareness of what was happening. Is that possible?


December 4th, 2015 at 12:11 PM ^


I thought Michigan's pass protection was more or less good this year, what's the deal with all the pressures?

Just a guess: when you've been eating nothing but gruel for the last few years, it's going to taste pretty good when you switch to ramen noodles, even though they're not so great themselves.


December 4th, 2015 at 12:15 PM ^

Has anyone considered Oliver Luck as a potential AD candidate? His track record as an AD is great, and I'm guessing Harbaugh would have a fairly good personal relationship with him already.


December 4th, 2015 at 1:47 PM ^

7 points in two years now there's a guy who doesn't speak unless he has something of interest. Not this one line comment that is supposed to be funny but it is far to corny for anyone to say wow that was a witty comment. More like why did you bother even writing anything...Anyway everyone is getting tired of poor posts and poor threads, its refreshing to see you aren't here to see what you wrote for entertainment...

Space Coyote

December 4th, 2015 at 12:54 PM ^

Not just a good play, an incredible one. He would have chased the RB step-for-step, past a block, all the way to the far side of the field, taking the appropriate angle the entire way from his LB spot to a spot nearly 25 yards away to make a play on a great RB.

Man, Bolden didn't have a good day, but complaining he didn't make a great play seems a bit much. Michigan was out numbered at the point of attack, Wilson took a bad angle, Thomas/Morgan didn't do great against the crack, Wormley crashed really far inside (further decreasing their numbers), and the complaint is Bolden didn't get all the way across the formation to the far numbers to tackle a RB that didn't even have to have to slow down in the slightest or make any other defenders miss.


December 4th, 2015 at 12:54 PM ^

he was counting on Dymonte to attack his blocker better and force Elliott upfield sooner maybe? It does seem odd for sure how he started out so deep but is making his turn virtually behind Elliott and having to chase instead of cut off. 

Space Coyote

December 4th, 2015 at 1:08 PM ^

The way his angle looks to me, and when he starts attacking, it looks like he's trying to insert himself in the box to help against the QB. It isn't until later he realizes that the RB has the ball. Thus, the poor angle.

Bo Glue

December 4th, 2015 at 12:17 PM ^

"Michigan should be properly chagrined by their decision to pass on the actual athletic directors their department had spawned last time."
Shouldn't it be spurned, not spawned?

Bando Calrissian

December 4th, 2015 at 12:21 PM ^

Not when the Athletic Department did, indeed, spawn these guys.

Awkwardly worded, yes. But Brian's trying to say they didn't hire any of the mountain of people with strong Michigan ties who also had signfiicant athletics administration experience the last time around.


December 4th, 2015 at 3:30 PM ^

No, it's definitely "spawned".  "Spurned" wouldn't make sense given that  "pass on" has already been used in the sentence, and moreover, without "spawned,"  the sentence would lose the crucial point, which is that Michigan has produced several actual athletic directors. 




December 4th, 2015 at 12:20 PM ^

are on that gameplan for OSU.  His defenses were equally inept at stopping the read option.  He may have talked Durkin into staying the course.

Still does not excuse Durkin for that damn debacle.  OSU could've hung 56 on our ass if they had wanted to.



December 4th, 2015 at 12:24 PM ^

Rudock's big change in "accuracy under pressure" is definitely a sample size thing IMO, despite the fact that he's had more such passes than most. Everybody has a small sample size, relative to the variability in completion percentages. Jumps like this are not surprising. There is such a poor appreciation for statistics in sports (I mean statistics, the branch of math and science). Even a baseball player's average across a full 600+ AB season will be expected to vary by ~20-30 points on average just by chance. For the number of under pressure throws in a season, the variation associated with repeated sampling is gigantic.

Everyone Murders

December 4th, 2015 at 12:50 PM ^

I take the huge jump in Rudock's "accuracy under pressure" as evidence that Harbaugh again has shown himself to be a QB whisperer.  By the end of the season, Rudock was making great decisions under pressure, in a new system, and against 2 good defenses (PSU and OSU). 

To see this analysis from PFF makes me smile - the future at QB will generally be bright so long as Jim Harbaugh is coaching this team.  We knew that already, but now we know it a bit more.


December 4th, 2015 at 1:12 PM ^

I understand that holding is a really hit or miss call and you could probably find one in every play, but I felt like the entire game I was yelling holding on a key player that should have been there to make the play and couldn't because of the hold.  What bothers me the most about this is that "fact" about the number of holding calls against OSU over the past several years.  I don't know how true it is, but I only remember two holding calls in this game (one against each team) and there were so many in both directions.  Maybe the refs were just trying to make it even?


I mean, look at the wide receiver holding... Peppers? I can't see who it is, but on the far left of this gif.first gif


December 4th, 2015 at 1:30 PM ^

It was an unnecessary hold by the WR, but big plays get called back by dumb penalties that occur behind the play all the time. We could've used a flag there, but M was never going to stop OSU with their idiotic passivity, so it's not worth getting upset about the missed holding call.


December 4th, 2015 at 2:01 PM ^

I was just using this as an example.  It happened on at least 3 of their touchdowns as well.  One of their TDs I counted 3 missed holding calls, two on the same player!  It looked like this:




 And I'm not trying to be biased, I threw my hands up in the air saying we were going to lose 10 yards on offense only to see the flags stay in the refs pockets all the time during this game too.

Bando Calrissian

December 4th, 2015 at 1:22 PM ^

Special K has infiltrated Yost, too. The thing with Yost is that the ceiling has always made sound louder. Stuff bounces around, which is why the student cheers have always been so effective. Special K is now blaring music at what he thinks may be normal volume, but is transformed in the seats into a deafening, mind-numbing roar. 

I know I've come out against Special K pretty hard, but I mean this with all seriousness: My ears were killing me by the end of pregame warmups last Friday night. Special K was BLASTING music up until the second the team hit the ice and the M Fanfare started up. It was unbelievably loud and totally unnecessary.


December 4th, 2015 at 1:18 PM ^

times now and the defense didn't need to be blocked. The Sr. safety takes the worst angle I have seen since high school. The DE crashes down alright, right out of the play and he also was unblocked. The unblocked linebacker made an Obi Ezeh attempt at the tackle, which means he was to slow to react and totally whiffed on the tackle. Another DB was actually blocked somewhat on the play so he did get to see the back run by him and he promptly joined the rest of the defense running down field after the back. I don't remember this defense getting beat like this except in the indiana game. I hate saying names which would have been easier but its bad enough seeing this defense get beat so badly without calling players out by name. Their offensive line looked more confused than last years offensive line for U of M. OSU did not look very good on that peticular play but (the defense was so out to lunch) it worked like a charm on sweetest day. M-bare-assing.


December 4th, 2015 at 1:32 PM ^

If you read the comments on that BC Interruption piece they are seriously contemplating if they should replace Brad Bates with either Doug Flutie or Bruce Springsteen.

Mr Miggle

December 4th, 2015 at 1:58 PM ^

He's staying through LOI day, Then he's joining Durkin in Maryland as a position coach. I'd love to see us keep him in an expanded role in recruiting, but if he has a real offer to coach I think he will go.

This Maryland site has a list of (allegedly) likely candidates to be his coordinators. Warriner and Beck from OSU, Drevno and Fisch are the top four for OC. Mattison is second for DC. Zordich is on the list too, in case he isn't promoted to our DC  It's funny, but a little scary at the same time..




December 4th, 2015 at 3:05 PM ^

Yeah, lots of straw-grasping going on there.  I have my doubts that Warriner, Drevno, or Fisch would leave their good situaitons for Maryland, same with Mattison.  Beck I could see if he reads the writing on the wall with Meyer kind of kicking him out, and I guess Zordich could leave but that seems unlikely as well.

Mr Miggle

December 4th, 2015 at 3:45 PM ^

Beck is going to command a high salary even if he is getting pushed out. I can imagine Durkin making a play for Jedd Fisch., He should be in line for a big raise here, but I could see him wanting to run an offense. Zordich would not seem to be a DC candidate. .I'd think he's more likely to grab Will Carr than one of our position coaches. I can only wonder if the suggestions from outside the Big Ten are as unlikely as the ones from in it.


December 4th, 2015 at 3:29 PM ^

I was always a bit bemused by the Ferentz criticism.  At a school with next to no recruiting base, and not that much of a national profile to compensate for it (in contrast to Nebraska), to post winning records nearly every season seems like a solid accomplishment to me.  What do people think is the floor for the Iowa program?  I think it's considerably lower than what Ferentz has delivered.



December 4th, 2015 at 4:10 PM ^

always has been lack of imagination and conservatisim on both offense and defense. Defense rarely blitz and prefers to rush 4 and drop everybody back while offense just want to run the ball.  If it doesn't work, Ferentz seemingly wants to stick with the gameplan which is understandable from their perspective.


December 4th, 2015 at 4:17 PM ^

That conservatism might be a function of not having exceptional athleticism.  When you blitz, you put pressure on your secondary.  And if your offensive skilled talent isn't great, maybe you want to avoid getting into shootouts.

He does punt an excessive amount in short yardage situations, I'll grant that. 


December 4th, 2015 at 3:43 PM ^

"If you are a Michigan fan he's the guy holding onto your hand as you reach for the Holy Grail in a crevasse."

You have chosen wisely.