Saturday Morning Psycho #6: the Monday Morning Ed.

Submitted by SMart WolveFan on October 29th, 2018 at 9:46 AM

I really needed the bye week .....was not ready for Saturday Morning.
("No game" mental stupor ....malaise ....power naps ....) 

But there's been improvement!  O Well, publish or perish.


So, what happened last game, again?




Riiight, just as I thought.
On to the next.

How's the field integrity D? Do we need the long cleats?



Weaponized "Hands Across East Lansing"



Hey fan base! It's a "rivalry" win, seemed emphasized, plus it was dominant! 
What'd ya think? They look really good right?

knew it.jpg

Sure ya did ;)


Hey critics! We can't have you go soft now, it's a crucial part of the season.
Remember, it's easier for a 17-22 year old to prove you wrong than to not disappoint you.
Maybe you guys can pull out some of that September BPONE to refill the revenge tank.


A moment of clarity:

Mostly I hear voices, sometimes I see numbers:

2down Efficiency: How good an Offense is at getting 1st downs before 3rd down; or how good a defense is at forcing 3rd down.

We know 3rd down is the crucial down in football and facing it is highly stressful to the offense.
So an offense that avoids 3rd downs will not only have more success, but also set itself up for future success. And on the other side, a Defense that forces the other team into 3rd downs, increases the stress and exposes more of the playbook on the "money" down.

*using first down and 3rd and 4th down conversion stats, rather than full drive chart info

Offensive 2Down Efficiency
Total # of first downs gained (-) 1st downs gained on 3rd or 4th = 1st Downs gained on 1st or 2nd down (+) total attempts on 3rd and/or 4th Down, (/) into 1st downs gained on 1st/2nd down = efficiency %

UofM: [165-(54+6=60)]= 105 + (113+12=125) = 230/ 105 = .456 or 46%
So, out of 230 opportunities, 105 times UofM gained a first down on 1st or 2nd down (46%) 
and it went to 3rd or 4th down 125 times (54%)

Defensive 2Down Efficiency
Total # of 1st Downs Allowed (-) 1st downs allowed on 3rd and 4th downs = 1st downs allowed on 1st or 2nd (+) total attempts on 3rd/4th, (/) into 1st downs allowed = efficiency %

UofM: [120-(31+8=39)]= 81 + (108+13=121) = 202/ 81 = 40%
So, out of 202 opportunities, UofM's Defense forced a 3rd or fourth down 121 times (60%) 
and gave up a 1st down on 1st or 2nd down 81 times (40%)

AP Top10; Offensive 2Down Efficency, 3rd Down Conversion rate:

Alabama        60%              56%
Clemson        54%              43%
ND                 49%              45%
LSU               45%              37%
UofM             46%              48%
UofTx            48%              43%
UGa              55%              47%
Ok                 67%              49%
UofF              53%              40%
UCF              55%               52%

AP Top10; Defensive 2Down Efficency, Opponent 3rd Down Conversion Rate.

Alabama        58%             30% 
Clemson        65%             26%
ND                 58%             38%
LSU               58%             32%
UofM             60%             29%
UofTx            59%             39%
UGa              59%             31%
OK                57%             40%
UofF              60%             38%
UCF              56%             41%


Michigan sits in great position defensively, forcing a 3rd down 60% of the time
and than only giving up a first down 29% of the time on the money down.
Offensively, they're in good shape with the 48% conversion rate on 3rd Downs 
but being forced into 3rd downs 54% is causing undue stress and exposing more 
of the playbook for future opponents, especially the "money" plays.
Here's hoping the Offense can get some low stress first downs the next few weeks, 
save some wear and tear on the 3rd down motor.

And, it's done ....back to the voices :) 



Nostradumass predicts the non determinate:

1) Revenge carries the team past PSU.
2) Rutgers mere presence in the B1G causes the need for revenge, so big win there.
3) Indiana .....?(wow we better figure out something to hate about them real quick)
4) As for The Game, it would've been nice to still be the huge underdog, but I have confidence that as OSU is trying to fix what is wrong with it's program over the next few weeks, the UofM staff is figuring out how to break it all over again on Nov 24th.

This seems to be a mentally tough Michigan squad but it will still be hard to focus the week we play Indiana. Maybe Harbaugh can have Tom Crean come in and spend a couple hours complaining about working there, that's gotta make the players grumpy at least.


Till next time stAy pycHo and GoBlue!



October 29th, 2018 at 12:50 PM ^

Nice analysis of the 1st down prior to 3rd down.  I've long wondered about that.

Back when Oregon was an offensive juggernaut, they'd show some ridiculously low number for first downs overall, and show very few third-down numbers.  That's because they'd score in about three plays, with what few 1st downs they notched coming off of 1st down plays, and they almost never faced a 3rd down.  

That worked until Auburn's defensive line decided to change the narrative a bit.

SMart WolveFan

October 29th, 2018 at 1:40 PM ^


Since my angle is the "psycho" thing, I try to focus on the things that might have a psychological impact on the game, and the avoiding / forcing 3rd down dichotomy might have one of the biggest cumulative effects; especially for Defenses, since it sucks to have trouble getting off the field on 3rd down but sucks waaaay worse when you don't even force one. 


October 29th, 2018 at 2:55 PM ^

So what's more demoralizing for a defense -- to have a team march down the field rarely facing third down, or to put teams into 3rd down (especially third and long) and getting gashed to give up the 1st?  

The former just means the defense isn't very good.  The latter says the defense might be good, but they fail to step up when it's really needed.  

The best is to force 3-and-out a lot.  Hello, 2018 Michigan defense. :-)


October 29th, 2018 at 1:39 PM ^

The reason to hate Indiana is that they have been bad and dragged down the B1G longer than anyone else, even Rutger.  In fact, it's not even close.  Here are the current streaks of those teams who have failed to be ranked in the AP top-25:

Indiana, 1994

Purdue, 2007

Wake Forest, 2008

Kansas, 2009

Illinois, 2011

Rutgers, 2012

OUCH!!  Hoosier << Rutger

SMart WolveFan

October 30th, 2018 at 9:55 AM ^


Unfortunately they aren't yet, this is more of a fuzzy look.

I need to refine it with drive data and filter out turnovers on 1st and 2nd down but when I did that for UofM using the UFRs it was a negligible difference in percentage points. Seems that right now even extreme t/o margins wouldn't be worth a full percentage point but i do plan to refine for when the Top8 is predictable.