Submitted by Hoke_Floats on September 27th, 2010 at 4:51 PM

I was about to post about how upset I am over penalties, and how this is going to ruin our season and coaches need to get players to do a better job.  I was going to post that Rich Rod is not getting the right players and all kinds of other nasty things.

But it turns out UofM is 87th in the nation with 19 for 186 yards through 4 games tied with ND, BYU, ILL and others

It does seem they have come at bad times and ruined drives but not as bad as I thought

And a few might have come during garbage time and on special teams and should probably not be the basis for a crazy rant

However, Indiana is pretty disciplined.  They have only committed 11 penalties for a total of 110 yards.  I know it may seem like I am looking for something to worry about... but this worry seems as important as the D or the special teams 

I believe the only thing that can stop Denard is a false start.

FWIW MSU is 3rd in the nation at 37.  So our stereotypes are still somewhat intact

PSU is the best team penalty wise in an automatically qualifying league (they have only committed 11 for 70 yards) 


grand river fi…

September 27th, 2010 at 4:59 PM ^

I also think it's important to point out that we have experienced some horrible officiating.  A particular annoyance  is the numerous dodgy illegal chop block calls.  The one called on Odoms this weekend was absurd, same wih the call on Grady's whiff vs ND

Big Ten officials really worry me.  They were awful against ND, and seemed incredibly confused this weekend.   Penalties seem to have become a lottery in this conference.


September 27th, 2010 at 5:15 PM ^

I just found the Odoms one and it was a bad call. However, the Grady one was a good call. Just because he missed his block doesn't mean that it shouldn't be a penalty. If a guy grabs a facemask, but doesn't tackle the ball carrier, should it not be a penalty? If there is pass interference but the player catches the ball, should it not be a penalty? It's the attempt that matters, not the success of it.


September 27th, 2010 at 5:27 PM ^

A facemask is a penalty regardless of whether or not the defender was able to tackle the ball carrier or not. Pass intereference is independent of whether or not the receiver catches the ball. Holiding/clipping/chop blocking is dependent on executing the action. You can't hold a guy you never touched just because you were trying to reach out to stop him from getting by you. If you don't touch him it is not a penalty.


September 27th, 2010 at 5:42 PM ^

I think you are missing the point. It's a rule created for safety purposes. Just because he missed the block doesn't make the action OK. He needs to be penalized for it. If they don't get penalized for it, then he does it again the next time they run the same play and that time the defender might not be so lucky.


September 27th, 2010 at 6:01 PM ^

The intent of pass interference is to prevent the receiver from catching the ball. If he catches it, you still interfered but failed at your goal, much the same way that Grady still took the defender out of the play by forcing him to react to an illegal block even though he didn't actually take out his knees.

3:05 is the play I was referring to with the pass interference analogy.


September 27th, 2010 at 10:00 PM ^

I see what you're saying but I think I disagree with it.  How about this situation:

The ball is thrown deep to a WR who has 4 steps on the CB.  The CB knows that there is no way he can stop the pass or tackle the WR after the ball arrives and so it will be a score.  He decides pass interference is better than giving up a score.  So he dives and tries to tackle the WR but is still too far away and makes absolutely no contact.

You make the call: pass interference or no penalty?


September 27th, 2010 at 5:02 PM ^

We have committed a good amount of penalties but how many of them have been questionable, to say the least.  A couple of holding calls against ND that were less worthy of being called then some of the ND holds and I believe it was Grady's missed chop blocked that got called against ND.  I still don't know how you get called for an illegal block when you miss the guy....oh well.  Anyways, I am not that worried about penalties as we move forward throughout the season. 

oriental andrew

September 27th, 2010 at 5:12 PM ^

has been covered by many outlets.

per Football Outsiders:

Teams with more offensive penalties generally lose more games, but there is no correlation between defensive penalties and losses.

Defensive penalties often represent strong defensive play that goes just over the line between legal and illegal. As long as penalties are only called every so often, this kind of close play leads to successful defense.

Connected to this precept: The penalty that correlates highest with losses is the False Start, and the penalty that teams will have called most consistently from year to year is the False Start.

Doc Saturday, when he was still Sunday Morning QB, did a multi-part feature showing which stats most closely correlated with winning.  He did every conference, but only the big ten results are listed below:


Basically, it's nice to not give away yards on O or D via penalty, but it's not as highly correlated to wins and losses as other factors, like 3rd down conversion % and rushing yards (where UM is doing VERY well).  Even with penalties, if FO's data are to be believed, I can't recall more than one false start penalty so far this season.  


September 27th, 2010 at 5:22 PM ^

When you say Indiana has only committed 11 penalities, remember that they have also played 3 games compared to our 4.  So if they played harder teams than Towson and played a 4th game, I would have to guess they would be close to our amount of penalties.


September 27th, 2010 at 5:25 PM ^

Remember we only committed 1 penalty against UCONN and 3 against UMASS.  When we play at ND, there is an above average number of penalties called against us ( a paywall but basically Michigan "commits" more penalties at ND than their season average), and I think Saturday was a combination of very poor officiating and guys making sure there wasn't a repeat of last week.

Look at the last 2 years under RR.  The only consistently positive thing was discipline and very few penalties.  It's a really good thing that you didn't go off on RR bringing in the wrong players and that he needs to teach discipline.  He is doing that.