NORFLEET! Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog
1. The Four Factors
|Expected Pts||Conv Rate||Bonus Yards||Red Zone|
So…that was not a good offensive game. But you didn’t need me to tell you that. Below average conversion rates, no action beyond the sticks. One touchdown in four combined red zone trips. Michigan won the field position thanks to winning the punt battle, stopping the fake punt a turnover in field goal range. Other years this would be cause for concern, right now, a win anyhow anyway is no time to complain about the lack of offensive success.
2. Individual Performances
Devin Gardner: –1.1 pts, –7% Win Pct Added on 31 plays
Deveon Smith: +0.1, +7% on 15 plays
Devin Funchess: +0.8, –2% on 11 plays
Amara Darboh: +2.6, +4% on 5 plays
Christian Hackenberg: +0.5, –4% on 36 plays
Bill Belton: +1.0, –4% on 20 plays
Not a lot of offensive stars in this one. Devin Funchess barely finished plus on the game after a huge opening drive touchdown. Amara Darboh ended as the only Michigan offensive player with a significant positive contribution on the night.
As for Devin Gardner, he is broken. Prior to last season, I wrote about his amazing run to end the 2012 season and that he had done things that very few college quarterbacks had every done. Based on 2012, he had the makings of a QB capable of adding an average of two touchdowns above a normal offensive output every game. He had practically done it already. And then 2013 happened. Below is his chart of opponent adjusted EV (expected value or points added) for every game he had at least 10 plays (rushes + passes – sacks).
2010/11 were pretty pedestrian. 2012 was incredible and 2013 started pretty well too. Akron was a bad performance by his high standards. Things were ugly against UConn before rebounding against Minnesota. In his next 14 games, there were two great games against bad defenses (Indiana and App St) and the heroic one-footed game against Ohio St.
There are six negative games and five more that were essentially zero (which is below average for a QB). It’s hard to say when Devin Gardner was broken but it obvious, even without the numbers, that he has been. I don’t know if it’s possible for him to be fixed at this point with this staff, but I sure hope so, because he is poised to be the biggest casualty of the Hoke era.
3. Game Chart
Hey, this one goes up!
6. –10.1% Russell Bellomy incomplete on third down (late Q3)
5. +10.2% Deveon Smith picks up a first down on 3rd and 1 (mid Q4)
4. +10.3% Michigan stops the Penn St fake punt attempt (mid Q3)
3. –11.1% Devin Gardner incomplete to Darboh on 4th and 3 (early Q3)
2. +12.6% Jourdan Lewis intercepts Hackenberg (late Q3)
1. +16.6% Jake Ryan forces Hackenberg into a 16 yard intentional grounding (late Q4)
The Blame Game is now the credit game, with a fair amount of blame as well. The results should not surprise.
1. Pass Defense: +49%
2. FG/PAT: +22%
3. Rush Defense: +8%
3. Opponent FG/PAT: –6%
2. Rush Offense: –9%
1. Pass Offense: –22%
4. Dumb Punt of the Week
David Shaw is poised to get a lifetime achievement award at this point. Stanford punted two more times from inside the opponent 40, bringing the total to 7 on the year, 2 more than anyone else.
Other Dishonorable mentions:
Washington State punted down 2 scores with two minutes left. This was a tough one because they were inside their own 10 and it was 4th and 33. But two scores in two minutes ain’t happening after a punt.
Coaching man-crush at Wyoming also punted down 10 with less than 3 minutes left.
All three were worthy candidates, without a doubt. But this week’s award goes to Coach Six-Pack, Larry Fedora of North Carolina.
Facing a Notre Dame team that would put up half a hundred on the day, Fedora called for a punt on 4th and 7 from the ND 33 down 9 points in the third quarter. UNC averaged 6.2 yards per play on the day and 32% of plays went for 7 or more yards (yes, MGoReaders, this is legal). The punt of course went for a touchback and field position gain of 13 yards, and North Carolina lost by a touchdown.
5. Fumble Luck & Last Minute Timeouts
Way back in 2011 when Brady Hoke was lucky, Michigan was the second luckiest fumble team in the country at +9.4*. Since then, Michigan has been –1.7, +1.0 and so far this year, –5.2. There is a reason they call it fumble luck. Mattison didn’t have some secret voodoo magic that results in a multitude of fumbles and recoveries, because no one does. Fumbles are lucky and Michigan been extremely unlucky on the fumble side (especially on defense) so far this season.
The sane football fan knew that Hoke’s end of half timeout was idiotic. It is my understanding that there are some that think it was a good idea based on a defensive TD potential. Some quick numbers to put this to bed.
I looked back to 2003 and found 7 cases of a half ending interception return for a touchdown, the only case that could justify the timeout. Of those 7, three cases came when the offense was within ten yards of scoring a touchdown. Another three were on returns that began close to the line of scrimmage which I guess could be appropriate to this situation. And only one on a Hail Mary returned 100 yards for a TD and that was from a 2010 matchup between Tulane and UCF that was a 41 point game at the time. Compare this with 25 offensive touchdowns on end of half Hail Mary’s of at least 40 yards. That is between a 6 to 1 and 25 to 1 ratio of bad to good depending on how you want to count it.
* Fumble Luck is calculated based on this article assuming 1% lost fumbles on most plays, and 6% on sacks.
Michigan’s four factors for the season [Value (national rank/B1G rank)]
|Expected Pts||Conv Rate||Bonus Yards||Red Zone|
|Offense||24.0 (101/13)||65% (84/8)||1.8 (112/13)||5.2 (55/6)|
|Defense||26.1 (50/7)||62% (19/4)||1.9 (28/3)||5.4 (79/10)|
Michigan is 90th overall in net field position, only Penn St is worse in the Big Ten. The offense is below average at generating first downs and truly dreadful at pushing the ball down the field in big chunks. On defense, the news is better, as they crack the top 20 in conversion rate allowed and they are making opposing offenses almost as bad at generating yards beyond the sticks as Michigan’s offense is at getting them.
With a bye week upcoming, no game predictions. For the season, my numbers have an average of 1.8 wins left on the schedule with 3 wins and bowl eligibility at a 25% likelihood.