WEEK 3 IN THE BIG TEN: REPORTS FROM THE EYEWASH STATION
As we are aware, the Big Ten has not exactly gotten out of the gate this season at a blistering pace. Just this past weekend, for example, Rutgers chokes away a lead against a Penn State team that seemed to be forever 3rd and 6, Iowa had the impudence to lose to Iowa State and saddle them with the CyHawk trophy, Indiana loses to Bowling Green, Minnesota gets curbstomped by TCU, Kent State really had Ohio State on the ropes for a few precious seconds when their bus parked across two spaces in the parking lot…and so on. Let’s just say that the explanation for all this probably sounds a lot like this:
So, let’s embark on a discussion of where Michigan sits after three weeks, and again, we’re going to rely a little more on a discussion format here as averages still don’t mean much at the moment. Still, for what it is worth, here are Michigan’s summary averages and where they sit with regards to the conference as a whole:
Scoring Offense – 28.7 points, 9th
Scoring Defense – 18.3 points, 5th
Now, 10.4 points in the positive for a differential may not be impressive to some, but slap a minus on the same number and you can be Purdue. Just saying.
Total Offense – 436.3 yards, 5th
Total Defense – 252.7 yards, 1st
The defense has definitely been doing its job. Actually, we’ve been gaining 2.1 yards more than our opponents so far on average on a per play basis, which is excellent.
Rushing Offense – 242 yards, 3rd
Rushing Defense – 80 yards, 3rd
On one side of the run game, a huge turnaround. We have made 44% of last year’s entire net rushing in three games. We’re also quite good at stopping the run so far too.
Passing Offense – 194.3 yards, 12th
Passing Defense – 172.7 yards, 3rd
Cumulatively for pass defense, we’re 52-93 for 518 yards total, good for a 55.9% completion percentage and about 5.6 yards per attempt. When we’re doing the throwing, it’s 48-73 for 583 yards overall, good for about a 65% completion percentage and about 8.0 yards per attempt.
Other notes – Michigan’s 1st down differential is quite good, averaging 6.1 more first downs than our opponents (all three of them, I know) to date, and our 3rd down conversion differential is 12.1% in the positive, so we win that battle too. Indeed, we’ve managed to allow only 31.8% of all third downs so far against us to be converted.
Here are some of the summary stats for the conference to date. Again, average of three numbers, strength of conclusions, grumble grumble…