The "M00N" and 2015 Northwestern

Submitted by team126 on October 4th, 2015 at 7:54 AM

One of the memorable games of 2014 was the "M00N" - not in a good way. Michigan won by an astonishing score of 10-9.

Fast forward to 2015 and the cats are coming to town. They are on a 5 game winning streak and has beaten up a good Stanford team in their dreams, and shut out Jerry Kill's team last week.

It is thus interesting to look back of the M00N, and check out the Northwestern-Minnesota game yesterday.

Their pass D:

    2014 M00N: Gardener had a QBR of 6!

    2015 Minnesota: Gophers QBs have an average QBR of 7.1!

Their run D:

    2014 M00N: Deveon and company ran over 150 yards (Devin's negative run excluded)

    2015 Minnesota: Gophers ran a total of 74 yards

Their pass O: 

    2014 M00N: Siemian had over 270 yards with 2 interceptions to go with that

    2015 Minnesota: Thorson had 128 yards but much more efficient and no interception

Their run O: 

    2014 M00N: 37 yards (negative runs excluded)

    2015 Minnesota: 184 yards!

So Northwestern has indeed improved (if the M00N Michigan team and 2015 Minnesota can be used as reference) but they are not world beaters. 2015 Michigan D will probably limit their run to under 100 yards, and also limit their pass to somewhere around 100 yards as well. On the other hand, we cannot do worse than the M00N Michigan team in pass O, and will probably on par or better in the run O.

Limit the interceptions (Yes, Mr. Rudock!) and fumbles, and I see Michigan beats Jumping Pat 31 - 17.

Comments

JayMo4

October 4th, 2015 at 9:37 AM ^

Whatever grains they had at the time, they forfeited them when they came within three plays of being 0-5 by just barely edging past Colorado State, Kent State, and Ohio.  One play would have lost any of those three games.  Think about that.

 

Meanwhile, Stanford is beating USC and wiping the floor with Arizona. I'll admit, I picked Northwestern in week one largely based on the fact I thought Stanford was overrated and it was an early start in Evanston.  But I feel like I gotta take it back on Stanford.  They're still a really good team - at least when Hogan is playing well.

 

You can't compare Minnesota squeaking past MAC teams to Stanford dominating PAC 12 teams.

HimJarbaugh

October 4th, 2015 at 8:13 AM ^

M00N was just foreshadowing of the stout defenses each team would have in 2015. Right now, Northwestern and Michigan are the 1 & 2 scoring defenses in the country at 7 and 7.6 p/g.

Since B1G football can shrink to frigid November 6 to 3 punt fests, one or both may end the regular season giving up fewer than 5 points a game.

/s

blueday

October 4th, 2015 at 8:19 AM ^

For once to keep the D honest. The number of turnovers is concerning. Hopefully Smith is back. However, looks like Johnson is making a push again for the number one back. The O needs a step forward. This is the week.

Leonhall

October 4th, 2015 at 8:35 AM ^

No way we score 31! Although I do think Harbaugh becomes ultra conservative in games against Maryland and UNLV because he knows they're better and we'll see creative play-calls against better competition. I see like a 14-6 type game.

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LSAClassOf2000

October 4th, 2015 at 8:40 AM ^

Here's how TeamRankings compares them. I wouldn't be shocked at all if this was a low-scoring affair and I wouldn't even feel bad about it, unlike last year.

Offense NW MICH
Yards/Play 4.6 5.4
Points/Play 0.27 0.383
Rush Play % 67.92% 57.02%
Pass Play % 32.08% 42.98%
Completion % 54.08% 58.55%
3D Conv % 46.91% 42.11%
RZ Scoring % 71.43% 92.86%
Defense NW MICH
Opp Yards/Play 4.0 3.0
Opp Points/Play 0.128 0.123
Opp Completion % 51.77% 48.25%
Opp 3D Conv % 23.44% 19.44%
Opp RZ Scoring % 60.00% 83.33%

 

Moonlight Graham

October 4th, 2015 at 8:44 AM ^

This post is a classic example of "overthinking it." NW's offense is no better than OSU, UNLV or UMD's and worse than BYU's, so 0-7 points allowed seems about right as long as we don't turn the ball over in our territory. Their defense is much better, but the Harbaugh Gameplan Template™ figures out how to probe for a big play or two. We won't score 28-35 points on them like the previous 4 "template" games, but a couple big plays will break and I predict a 14-0 or 17-7 win for UM. Or, realistically throw in one costly turnover (just playing the percentages here, sorry) and say 14-7 or 17-10.

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TrueMaize

October 4th, 2015 at 8:51 AM ^

But I did some stat digging, could someone post this for me?
TFL 17th
First Downs Defense 7th
Kick off Defense 19th
Kick of return 32nd
PYA Defense 3rd (behind SJSU and BC)
Rushing defense 5th (BC, Boise St, K State and Pitt)
sacks allowed tied at 17th
TFL allowed TIED 11th
Passing efficiency defense 2nd (BC)
Time of possession 6th

Total Defense 2nd (BC)
NW 5th
OSU 14th
PSU15th
MIN 26th
ORST 33rd
UTAH 61st
MSU 64th
BYU 65th
RUT 78th
UNLV 94th
MARY109th
IND 118th

Total Offense 77th
IND19th
OHST 33rd
RUT46th
UTAH 76th
NW 79th
BYU 81st
MSU 86th
UNLV 87th
ORST 111th
MIN 112th
MARY 114th
PSU 116th

UMForLife

October 4th, 2015 at 9:01 AM ^

So, you are saying 2015 NW is better than 2014 NW and so is M. But 2015 M improved more than 2015 NW. That seems to be your evaluation, if I follow your logic. Sorry, a little confusing presentation.

I really hope you are right. Eye test says yes, but NW is confusing. They beat two good teams but played poorly against a bad team. Minny this year could be a very bad team. Turnovers can change this game. We are home and I expect us to put pressure on their QB. If Smith is full strength, we can handle them with a lot of confidence. It was great to see Drake turn it on yesterday. We need him to take pressure off Rudock and Smith.

CoachBP6

October 4th, 2015 at 9:37 AM ^

both teams couldn't possibly be more different from last season to this. northwestern has a legit dual threat who was very efficient vs minny, and that defense is nice. Maryland shut our offense down for most of the game and only gave up points because the offense was exhausted. most fans keep talking about MSU, I'm not overlooking NW bc they are a very solid team this year, and its going to take a BYU type effort on offense to get the win. if the offense plays like they did against UNLV northwestern will have a real chance at a win.

A Michigan win likely puts us in the top 15-18. with MSU & OSU not looking great, a new years six bowl is not out of the question.

Year of Revenge II

October 4th, 2015 at 9:45 AM ^

2015 Michigan in particular is a better team than the 2014 Michigan team even though the players are not that much different.  Some of the players are a year older, and the coaches are MUCH MUCH better for those out there who are finding it curious why this team is so improved.

2015 NW beat Stanford, spanked Minn that is close to the Minn that manhandled Hokefest at concussiongate.

The Michigan performance v BYU will be required to win this NW game is my guess,  Could not care less what the score is, or how shitty that M00N game was (and it was chilling it was so shitty), we need a win badly to reestablish our Big Ten dominance.  

CRUSH Michael Wilbon, Brent Musberger, and all things Northwestern!!!

HermosaBlue

October 4th, 2015 at 10:18 AM ^

2015 Minnesota is not close to the Minn that "manhandled Hokefest" last year. They lost their top rusher (Cobb) and receiver (Maxxxxxxx Williams) and their previously challenged offense is now thoroughly inept.

Their defense is still decent, though, and basically held Northwestern's offense to 2 TDs (excluding the 4 yard drive after the punt return and the scoop and score off the Leidner fumble).

If Minnesota held NU to 2 meaningful offensive TDs, I'm pretty confident that our defense can hold them to the same or better.

Our offense just needs to put up 17 and we'll win.

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DrAwkward

October 4th, 2015 at 9:58 AM ^

There is only one moon orbiting Earth and, mercifully, there is only one M00N game.

Hoke is gone.

If the 2015 UM - NW game is low scoring, it will be a defensive battle, rather than a race to determine which offensive is more inept.

PopeLando

October 4th, 2015 at 11:07 AM ^

It was a game most depressing last year, in which Michigan and Northwestern competed to see which offense was worse. Due to the names of the teams, and the prevailing score of zero-zero for much of the game, the ticker at the bottom of your television screen read "M 0 0 N".

Michigan won the game, but in reality the losers were all of us. It isn't the most stark example of Hoke's ineptitude ever, but it's damn close. It was at this point that most people realized that, not only was our offense terrible, but it was unlikely to improve. There was no excuse for our performance.

To me, M00N will always be the greatest example of a game in which my team is 'competing', maybe in the lead, maybe tied, but I don't care: I want it over, I want to move on, I could feel my fandom leaking out of my pores one no-gain run at a time.

M00N was the worst of times, and we shall not see it's like again.

MadtownMaize

October 4th, 2015 at 10:44 AM ^

I attended the MOON game (as well as the firedrill FG game the year before). For the sake of all things Michigan I plan on watching this one from my couch. You are all most welcome

Playing The Field

October 4th, 2015 at 10:58 AM ^

Based on the date's you two joined I can't tell if you're serious about not knowing what M00N is or not. With that I'll fill you in, last year the game between Michigan and Northwester was so bad the score was 0-0 and when the score graphic appeared on TV it showed M00N. Therefore Brian has since referred to this game as the M00N game, or any other game that resembles how bad that game was as a reference to the M00N game. That being said, this week has no chance of being a M00N game, but could very well be a N00M game. 

Playing The Field

October 4th, 2015 at 10:58 AM ^

Based on the date's you two joined I can't tell if you're serious about not knowing what M00N is or not. With that I'll fill you in, last year the game between Michigan and Northwester was so bad the score was 0-0 and when the score graphic appeared on TV it showed M00N. Therefore Brian has since referred to this game as the M00N game, or any other game that resembles how bad that game was as a reference to the M00N game. That being said, this week has no chance of being a M00N game, but could very well be a N00M game. 

BlueMan80

October 4th, 2015 at 11:00 AM ^

So, first visit to the Big House could be rough given our D and some good crowd noise. Give the kid a case of happy feet. They are a run-first team that doesn't want to put the game on the QB's arm.