Inside the Boxscore - Team 136, Game 8

Submitted by ST3 on November 1st, 2015 at 9:28 PM


     Earlier this season, I proposed the Stribling's cat paws sequel to Schrodinger's cat illustration. I'm not sure everyone got the idea, so let me present it again. First of all, Schrodinger's cat is imagined as being in a box with a radioactive source and poison that will be released when the source emits radiation. According to quantum mechanics, the cat is considered to be simultaneously both dead and alive until the box is opened and the cat is observed.

      Likewise Channing Stribling's hands are either hands with fingers and opposable thumbs good for gripping a football, or they are cat paws that can only bat at a ball much like a cat plays with a ball of yarn. We can only determine which appendage is connected to his arms at any particuluar moment by throwing a football at him. It appears that this very odd law of quantum mechanics has spread to others in the UofM secondary, in particular, Dymonte Thomas. Seth did a great job recapping multiple points in this game where the cats paws returned. Those who aren't versed in the finer points of quantum mechanics, such as dear leader Brian, refer to this as, "the Gypsy," but it's really just an extension of Newtonian mechanics at the secondary level.

      For this theory to make any sense, I need to propose a plausible explanation for where their hands are going when their cat paws show up and bat seemingly interceptable balls right into the opponents' hands. Allow me to make a little detour. I took calculus and differential equations at MSU my senior year in high school. When I started at UofM, they gave me 7 credits for those three courses. Fast forward four years to when UofM tells me they reveiwed MSU's syllabus and it didn't include matrix algebra, so I would need to take a 400 level math class at UofM. It was an interesting class, but it mostly confirmed my decision not to pursue math as a degree. What I remember most was studying n-dimensional space where n>3. I consider myself a practical person, so the idea of studying mathematics to describe 4 or 5 or more dimensional space, when I've never seen more than 3 dimensions seems like a waste of time. What does all this have to do with Michigan's inability to intercept passes at random points this season? I propose that n-dimensional space where n>3 actually does exist and Michigan defensive backs' hands have occupied these multi-dimensional planes of matter at rather inopportune times this season.


Burst of Impetus
* Michigan raced out to a 14-3 lead and I, not thinking, said, "this game is wrapped up." After the three consecutive shutouts, could you blame me? However, as soon as I uttered those words, I wished I could call them back. Minnesota tallied a field goal to make it 14-6 and then the Burst of Impetus occurred, changing this game from what was headed for a 28-6 Michigan victory to a back-and-forth, sludgefart of a game.
* With about 5 minutes left in the 2nd quarter, with Michigan facing a 3rd and 7, They're'an Cockran was called for offsides. This moved Michigan to a very manageable 3rd and 2. Instead of powering for the first down, Michigan tried the naked bootleg play right into Theiran Cockran. He blew up a similar play only two plays earlier. I'm not sure why Michigan thought this was a good idea. Additionally, the receivers only ran 1 yard routes on 3rd and 2. Therean forced a hurried throw and Michigan had to punt. A relatively poor Blake O'Neill punt of 32 yards gave Minnesota reasonable field position.
* On the first play of Minnesota's drive, Desmond Morgan decided to engage a Gopher blocker instead of plugging a hole (UFR -3.) Rodney Smith ran for 23 yards. Two plays later, the gypsy struck Jeremy Clark, or Leidner threw a really horrible pass, that was somehow completed and turned into a 52 yard TD. (Gypsy, UFR -5, is that how this works?).
* But that's not all. Michigan once again could not keep the drive alive and turned the ball over to Minnesota. After a gypsy-aided 39 yard pass, Claeys played it very conservative (foreshadowing the end of the game) and settled for a field goal. Instead of taking a commanding 21-6 lead into halftime, it was Minnesota 16, Michigan 14. What the heck just happened?

The Two Jakes
* Sad Ghost Snake Boodock completed 62% of his passes with only 1 INT, (2 of my arbitrary efficiency marks) but only threw for 6.7 ypa. He also was credited with a fumble on a play that didn't matter since it was 4th down anyway. He left the game after getting Malachi-crunched by a couple gophers. I hope he is able to return next week as I don't remember being impressed by the movie, "Butt Speight."
* Jake Butttt caught four passes for 38 yards. I'm positive there's a parallel universe where the M in MGoBlog stands for Minnesota and their main blogger Briean Boddy-Cook is giving Jake the Maxxxx Williams treatment.
* Doesn't "speight" sound like the name of a ghost or supernatural being? I looked it up and found something even better:
A russian name meaning fun, awesome, and a name to be jealous of
That Speight guy is really cool
I wish i could be Speight, because they are so cool

Root Tree Runners
* Amara Darboooo led Michigan with 6 receptions for 73 yards. Je-whoooo had 3 for 33.
* Khalid Hell was the only other TE to make a reception.
* De'Vil Smith and Sione Whooo-ma each had one reception. The lack of RB participation in the passing game was glaring. With They'rean Cockran regularly making a beeline to the QB, you'd think a screen pass might work.

Jack O'Lanterns
* Drake Johnson led all ballcarriers with 10 carries and 55 yards. I think we beat MSU if he was healthy for that game.
* Joe Cinderella Kerridge gained 7 key yards on 3 carries. However, the fullbacks were not able to break one of their patented 30 yarders.
* De'Meon Smith carried 9 times for 15 yards and appeared to be banged up later in the game.
* Derrick Green continued running into the first tackler and getting tackled.

Smelly Worms and Moss
* James Moss III and Joe Olden led Michigan's defense with 9 tackles. Moss also contributed a 12 yard sack.
* Is it possible after all those years of getting torched by spread offenses that Michigan has done a complete 180 and now dominates spread O's, but can't stop Pro-Style offenses?
* Ryan GlassGhost had 6 tackles from the nose tackle position and won the game single-handedly by stuffing the last play QB sneak. (That's in response to a poster saying Peppers won the game single-handedly. Hey, everybody's hands helped, except those that turned into cats paws.)
* Jourdan Lewis definitely does not have a scary, Halloween style name and should return to Michigan next season to work on that. He had a BrUp and 5 tackles.
* Delano Hell had 3 tackles as did Maurice Liverwurst. Former Israeli prime minister and UofM linebacker Ben Gurion had one tackle.
* Michigan only had 3 TFLs all game and that was one of the big reasons this game went down to the wire.

Baughscore Bits
* Even though first downs were even at 20-20, Minnesota outgained Michigan 461 to 296. This is a new trend that I don't like.
* Minnesota averaged 19.8 yards per completion. Shoot me in the head. Just go ahead and do it. 19.8 yards per completion?!?
* Cody Poock was second for Minnesota with 10 tackles. I knew he was terrifying.
* The story of this game is the "Red-Zone Scores-Chances" section. For the "Touchdowns" line, it read 4-4 for Michigan and 0-4 for Minnesota. You have to convert when you get your chances, and that's how you overcome a 165 yard discrepancy while losing the turnover battle 2-0. Wait, we won the game? Huh...

* While Michigan was going over what play to for the critical two point conversion, Jehu Chesson decided it was a good time to play that old party game, guess what card I have on my forehead. I mean, WHAT ARE THOSE?


Officiating Madness
* After the MSU game, I decided to eavesdrop on the officials for this game. I pressed record and slipped my cell phone in referee Dan Capron's back pocket. You see this happen all the time on sitcoms. I'm sure it's plausible, so go with me. I got the phone back and was shocked. I'll spare you the gory details, but I did want to transcribe two interesting sequences - the penalty for Thomas interfering with the Gopher punt return and the late hit on Leidner they picked up.

Play 1
{Referee Dan Capron meets up with Line Judge Brian Bolinger near midfield}
Ref (whispering): drop your flag.
LJ: Wut?
Ref (whispering, a little louder): Drop your flag.
LJ: I didn't see nuthin.
FJ Al Terry approaches, and says: Hey guys, how you doing?
Ref (again to LJ): DROP YOUR FLAG!
LJ: Oh, OK (and he drops his flag.)
SJ Craig Jeffreys enters the scene: Hey guys, we can't let Michigan get the ball back. They're ahead and I need this game to become an instant classic. I'm depending on those residuals to get the boys something good for the holidays.
CJ Steven Thielen approaches: Are you guys getting anything for Jerry Kill for his retirement? I was thinking maybe some dilly bars, but he might take that the wrong way.
LJ: mmm, dilly bars.
FJ: How about a nice crockpot. I hear you can't go wrong with a crockpot. It's good for any occasion.
SJ to Ref: Dan, I need those residuals...
LJ: Isn't a Capron a type of chicken?
FJ: That's a capon, you idiot.
Ref: Personal foul on Michigan for interfering with the punt returner.

Play 2
{Umpire Pat Bayers has dropped his flag indicating a late hit on Michigan}
Ref to Ump: What'd you see Pat?
Ump: Michigan swung the QB around like a rag doll. That's something you see on WWE wrestling. That's gotta be a foul of some sort.
SJ wanders over: Guys, you're ruining this for me. Minnesota's ahead and if you don't let Michigan get the ball back, that ruins any chance we have for an instant classic. The boys need presents for the holidays.
FJ approaches: I've been having second thoughts about that crockpot. Just look at Jerry. I'm sure he's eating fine. How about some crystal stemware?
BJ Scott Buchanan joins the conversation: No, the traditional retirement gift is a watch.
LJ: mmm, dilly bars.
SJ: Guys, Harbaugh is really chewing my ear off. He suggested we look at that big video monitor thingy.
{they all look and see nothing out of the ordinary}
Ref to rest of crew: we're going to look pretty bad throwing a flag on that after not throwing one when Rudock's helmet got torn off and he was injured to the point he had to leave the game.
Ref to CJ: Just to be sure, Steven, what'd you see?
CJ: I'm still trying to figure out what Jehu Chesson has on his forehead...

(H/T to Bull Durham)




November 1st, 2015 at 10:29 PM ^

The refs were breathing out of the wrong eyelids. Anyway, this scene from Bull Durham is what inspired the referee conversations (and it was candlesticks, not a crockpot, but whatever):


P.S. I just read the rest of the Speight Urban Dictionary page. It is seriously NSFW. Do not click the link, just trust me on this one.


November 1st, 2015 at 11:48 PM ^

I am glad the refs picked up that flag.  That was absurd.    However, I am having a really hard time figuring out what is targeting.  Didnt rudock get hit square in the head?  His helmet popped off even?  How is that any different then what happened to morgan against MSI.    I think they need to rework the targeting rule and come up with a clearer distinction of what is a foul and what is incidental contact.



Goggles Paisano

November 2nd, 2015 at 6:37 AM ^

Been around for awhile but just started posting a couple weeks ago.  Inside the Boxscore has always been one of my favorites each week.  Thank you ST3 for your work!  

On the game, I said the same thing you did.  After they went up 14-3 it looked like we were rolling.  I thought conservatively that we would take a 17-6 lead into halftime and in the blink of an eye it was 16-14.  I was like - how the heck did that happen?  


November 2nd, 2015 at 6:54 AM ^

Great stuff.

I have a general rule never to look at urban dictionary because I don't need to know new words that reference human bodily fluids, but that was fun.


November 2nd, 2015 at 8:35 AM ^

Jehu's been sporting that forehead bandage all season. You see line men with forehead cuts and bruises all the time, but it's a credit to his effort as a blocker that you see him have one as a WR.

Blue Durham

November 2nd, 2015 at 9:12 AM ^

On Rudock's last play, shouldn't he have been flagged for a personal foul for not properly affixing his equipment?

His loose helmet could have seriously hurt the gopher that was trying to rip his head off.


November 3rd, 2015 at 8:56 AM ^

As the seaon progresses and we are now seeing better teams that have sorted themselves out we should recognize the Harbaugh coaching staff as well. I know they have already drawn raves, but consider:

1. Many have noted that they have taken largely the same (or in many cases less experienced or talented squad than last year) and done more - especially on the defensive side.

2.On  offense it is now becoming more and more obvious that Michigan will be in a serious hunt for half/tail backs and QBs. Jake Ruddock has largely done what he was brought in for. He has done a good job - not great, not Heisman hype worthy and probably won't get him drafted even in the 6th round of the NFL draft but he has done OK - better than others who have bopped into a program near the end of eligiblity (for every Russell Wilson there are a lot of flops). Next year will be interesting - will Speight improve more? Will Morris be around? Who will continue to develop and become more accurate.

Despite gaudy HS ratings and "stars" many of the highly heralded RB recruits have not shown the cutting and acceleration one would expect. Drake Johnson is the one major exception - show his running clips to experts and amateurs and everyone agrees - this kid can run the ball. I know that Drake is listed as a senior but didn't he redshirt his freshman year? So does he have one more year? IF so, it might be worth trying him as a flanker or slot receiver at times - easier on his knees, and get him into space.

3. It will be interesting to see how well recruiting goes, who they get and how they develop.