THE BIG TEN WILL NOT BEST BOILERQUEST
Fortunately for all of us perhaps, there is only one more of these to do before the year-end review of trends, which will be Michigan-focused but will show comparisons to how other teams progressed throughout the year.
I usually try not to be judgmental, but it does appear to be bad when you can count the number of offensive yards your team gained in the second half of a game without utilizing all of your fingers. Well, that was true for much of that half anyway. As you’ll note in the new averages, there are still some bright spots, but the not so bright ones for us are not bright in the least, I would think.
At this point, much of the Big Ten has sorted itself out, so the numbers are not changing too much save for anything which includes a recent catastrophic performance or whatnot, so if the charts look eerily similar to last week, it is because they are. Indeed, they are so similar that I initially forgot to change the chart headers to reflect that it is Week 13 now and delayed this upload by a good 20 minutes.
SCORING OFFENSE AND DEFENSE:
As was the case last week, it doesn’t seem like anyone could catch Ohio State at this point when it comes to prolific scoring, but Michigan is a respectable fifth in the conference, sandwiched in a group of teams that include Michigan State, Nebraska, and Indiana. We’re also around the middle for scoring defense, allowing an average of 25.1 points per game, sitting comfortably between Nebraska and Penn State. The company isn’t too bad from a performance standpoint. The differential – eight points for Michigan – is also not terrible, but it is towards the middle of the conference as well.
TOTAL OFFENSE AND DEFENSE:
Like last week, we’ll just go with the tempo-free. We’re sliding into being essentially at zero here, meaning we give up as much as we get. If it looks like our offense has been standing still lately, that might be because the numbers say that it sort of has been.
RUSHING OFFENSE AND DEFENSE:
Like last week, there has been very little movement here. There is some minor stratification of rushing offenses at this point with OSU and Wisconsin clearly leading the way, then Nebraska and several teams reasonably close to one another. Of course, that leaves Michigan and Purdue. Well, we stop the run well enough anyway, right?
PASSING OFFENSE AND DEFENSE:
Good news here. Ohio State is ever so slightly worse than us on pass defense, so beating them through the air is a possibility. We even have an ever so slightly better passing offense than they do, so if we have anything, we have these things. Of course, Massey would also give us a 1 in 5 shot at winning this game, so there is that too. I remain cautiously optimistic as I do with most games.
We are in negative territory on third-down differentials, mainly due to our lack of success in getting them on offense. The tempo-free chart shows you that, of the five teams with negative differentials, ours is closest to zero, so there is that. First downs aren’t too much better sadly – we average less than one first down more than our opponents now, which can also be attributed to problems on offense.