Maryland Offense Very Manageable for UM Defense - CJ Brown is no Gary Nova

Submitted by alum96 on November 11th, 2014 at 6:27 AM

I am going to remain unfashionable around here and talk about actual football.  I am seeing a lot of angst about this Maryland game  - maybe due to the 6-3 record I suppose.  Yes we are mediocre as all hell, but taking a closer look at Maryland so are they.   Looking at their advanced stats they are basically Rutgers level with a slightly better defense.  And we get it at home.

I was curious how their QB (CJ Brown) stacks up so I did a run down of the QBs we have played in Big 10 + Golson, and threw in Tommy Armstrong.  Indiana had a pylon out there so didn't bother.   CJ Brown is not a good QB.  In the words of Lloyd Bentsen "I knew Gary Nova, Gary Nova was a friend of mine.  Brown, you're no Gary Nova."

While difficult to believe, Gary Nova is most likely the 3rd best QB in the Big 10.  As shockingly, one can make a case Hackenberg is among the worst.  Here they are sorted by adjusted QBR.

  QBR Comp % Yds YPA TD INT Sack
Barrett 84.2 64 2156 9.3 26 7 19
Cook 81 60 2226 9.2 19 5 6
Golson 74.3 62 2757 8.3 24 11 21
SuperNova 69.4 58 1995 9.4 14 10 16
Armstrong 64.2 53 1827 7.9 13 8 8
Leidner 62.2 53 1225 8.1 10 6 12
Brown 47.1 54 1477 6.3 9 6 24
Gardner 43.2 61 1557 6.9 8 13 19
Siemian 44.4 58 1837 5.5 5 8 28
Hackenberg 33 56 2206 6.4 7 12 35

Brown is a less accurate version of Siemian - who torched Ray Taylor but still.  The only QB who threw for less yards per attempt is Siemian.  Brown's 54% completion rate is only better than Mitch Leidner and Tommy Armstrong.  (by a whole %)  And those guys at least attempt to throw the ball farther (nearly 2 yards per attempt).  He gets sacked a boatload of times.  So it's a guy who throws a lot of short passes, in an inaccurate fashion while getting hit all day.  This is not a guy who is going to throw over our safeties like Nova could.

Speaking of Leidner, Minnesota at least has Cobb, a very good RB.  Maryland's leading rusher?  CJ Brown and his 380 yards.  About 100 more than Leidner. (Cobb has 1200 for perspective)  So Brown is the whole show; their leading RB has about 50 more yards than Drake Johnson on the year.

Further, of Brown's 1477 paltry yards, Stefon Diggs and his nearly 700 looks like will be sidelined.   And an angry MSU is going to Maryland this weekend to tenderize them for us.

3 wins in a row baby?  If our salty offense can chuck up 17-20 pts it sure looks possible.  Doesn't mean much in the big picture but no reason to be fearful of these Terps.

Tangent: look at poor Hackenberg.  His stats (aside from yardage) all trail Devin.  That's what 35 sacks and countless pressures will do to you.  Will be interesting to see if he recovers mentally in 2015.



Maize and Blue…

November 11th, 2014 at 6:55 AM ^

isn't a good quarterback but threw for 400+ yards against us.  Over 20% of Nova's yards came against us which is comical at best.  Nova has only surpassed 200+ yards in three other games, Washington State whose D is a joke, Howard, and Tulane.

In Big 10 play, Nova's stats:

PSU 15 of 30 for 192;  OSU 17 of 28 for 192, Nebraska 8 of 19 for 158, Wisconsin 5 of 15 for 46.




November 11th, 2014 at 8:01 AM ^

First, I didnt say Nova is a "good" QB.  I am saying there is a case he is the 3rd best QB in the Big 10 this year.  That says a lot more about the Big 10 than Gary Nova. 

Every team has played a few non conf tomato cans and every QB had a chance to stuff his stats against them.  Hell I'd argue playing Indiana defense is easier than most MAC teams D right now. 

Also Nova is now hurt (mid way thru the  Nebraska game)  They still tried to throw him out there vs Wisconsin since his backup seems Shane Morris-y.  (2/12 vs Wisconsin)

Again Gary Nova is not that good of a QB.  But vs his peers in the Big 10 statistically he is the 3rd best QB in the league.  Which is a damning statement about the other 11 starting QBs.  And why currently the Big 10 has 7 of the top 21 ranked defenses in "total defense" in the country.  (which doesnt adjust for SOS)

Its a LOL offense conference full of horrible passers.  Of which Nova is the tallest midget once you remove the 2 QBs who are actually decent (Cook/Barrett)  And CJ Brown is not in his class...


November 11th, 2014 at 8:41 AM ^

Their defense is at about Northwestern's level.  Which prior to UM showing up gave up 48 to Iowa, and 38 to Nebraska the 2 prior weeks.  Maryland gave up 52 to Wisconsin a few weeks ago.

It's a midde of the pack mediocre Big 10 defense.  If we can score 7, 10, 14, 17, or 20 is up to what Devin wants to do that day and how often he wants to give away the ball. 


November 11th, 2014 at 7:44 AM ^

If nothing else, having the chance to get in another 3 weeks of practice for Morris, Speight and hopefully Malzone if he stays the course and enrolls early are clearly worthy of playing for against Maryland.  

I get the consideration that it might present a ray of light in retaining or not retaining Hoke, but I think that ship has sailed with his boss no longer around, and most certainly a new AD is not going to want to have that tied to them immediately upon arrival.  


Webber's Pimp

November 11th, 2014 at 7:55 AM ^

Gary Nova was no Johhny Manziel yet he tore us apart. The bottom line is I don't trust our offense to put up enough points to beat anybody. Gardner is broken and Funchess is an outright fraud. 


November 11th, 2014 at 8:57 AM ^

people keep saying it but I funny even think he's Jimmy Graham level ceiling right now. Funch gets outmuscled/worked by guys so much smaller sometimes. I've seen him get outplayed by a guy across from him that was giving up 8 inches and will never sniff an NFL roster. He can't be JUST a WRTE that doesn't block or hit anyone ever. He isn't a pure outside WR in the NFL. I don't think it'll be Warren/Shazor level bad but going early could be a long term mistake.


November 11th, 2014 at 8:52 AM ^

turn into a fine NFL player but we've all seen the bad possibility play out in situations like his right now. If he goes, he could be a star or get one big paycheck (by no means set for generations money) and be out. It is sad he won't get to be a part of a featured offense should he go. Such a waste of freakish talent while here. Seems like he was in HS just yesterday.


November 11th, 2014 at 9:07 AM ^

and joke (given all the talk). I'm basically saying he's still very likely going even if we get an absolute home run hire that could boost his readiness in one year. If Jim, he wouldn't ask him to be an inline guy. He'd use him right but I think he'd be taught better fundamentals and a bit of a physical mentality. Yet, based on everything I hear.....he gone haha.


November 11th, 2014 at 7:59 AM ^

in the sense of what we made him look like. Like it or not we have a habit of allowing players to have "coming out parties", "career days" and/or generally playing better than their prior games indicate their ability to be. I don't wish injury on kids so I'm not happy Diggs is out but that should help. IIRC, his HS teammate is their starting HB and he can get it going. I'd honestly say that we SHOULD and CAN win this game but I don't like the feeling of it. An Randy E coached squad either forces you to go 12 rounds of hard hitting, get blown out or rarely blow you out. They have talent, speed, adequate coaching and haven't essentially given up on one side of the ball as far as I can tell. We should win but I wouldn't say they are Rutgers level. They have different strengths & weaknesses. If away, I'd bet against us (if a betting man). At home I'd still call it a push. Supposed to be about 35 degrees Saturday and injuries seem to take more of a toll the colder it gets. I call this a push and our bowl bid game. We're not beating osu - period. We have to win this one because even though I want and I think we'll see Hoke gone, I also want that time you speak of for a few reasons.


November 11th, 2014 at 8:12 AM ^

The top ten QBs in the conference by passing efficiency using the NCAA rating calculation:

  Comp-Att-Int Pct. Yards TD Effic.
Barrett, J.T.-OSU 150 - 233 - 7 64.4 2156 26 172.9
Cook, Connor-MSU 145 - 243 - 5 59.7 2226 19 158.3
Nova, Gary-RU 123 - 212 - 10 58 1995 14 149.4
Leidner, Mitch-MINN 81 - 152 - 6 53.3 1225 10 134.8
Armstrong Jr.-NEB 122 - 230 - 8 53 1827 13 131.5
Rudock, Jake-IOWA 158 - 248 - 4 63.7 1653 10 129.8
Sudfeld, Nate-IND 101 - 167 - 3 60.5 1151 6 126.6
Gardner, Devin-MICH 139 - 227 - 13 61.2 1557 8 119
Brown-UMD 127 - 236 - 6 53.8 1477 9 113.9
Hackenberg, C.-PSU 195 - 347 - 12 56.2 2206 7 109.3

If we were to look at it this way, Brown is a slightly less efficient Gardner by the raw data. Interestingly, using the NCAA formula, Siemian sits at comfortable 104.2. 


November 11th, 2014 at 8:57 AM ^

Yep yep yep.  Put another way - if Maryland and Rutgers were not in the league who would be the 3rd best QB in the Big 10 this year?  You'd be staring at a wall for hours pondering. It's bad out there... real bad. 

Hackenberg being at the bottom third is the real shocker.

I like what I am seeing out of Appleby for a first year starter who was pushed in there half way thru the year, and hell next year with how bad the talent is in this league he might be the 3rd best QB in the Big 10 if he makes a year over year jump.  (if PSU's OL doesnt improve)  Hazell at least seems to know how to coach offense.  He doesnt have any playmakers around him unfortunately.  You put a guy like Appleby in UM's offense and we probably have 2 extra wins and look a lot better in our losses.



November 11th, 2014 at 8:21 AM ^

Michigan offense extremely manageable for Maryland's defense. It's sad that we are this bad. I just hope we win. Wins won't save Hoke with the way we have won, so those cheering against us let it go please. Everyone knows he isn't coaching properly at all, so cheer the team on! It will be an ugly win if we do win and that's guaranteed with the way they are ill prepared.


November 11th, 2014 at 9:09 AM ^

Defeating OSU should not save his job.  One miraculous victory should not trump three years of mediocrity and ineptitude.

Brady Hoke should be relieved of his duties as head coach on November 30, 2014.  End of story.


November 11th, 2014 at 9:15 AM ^

Unlike your name, "I only live once". I pray that I see another NC and it is not with this coach. Change needs to happen regardless of what happens at OSU.

We have had great games against OSU in the past with a mediocre team. It does not tell the state of the program. Sorry. He needs to go.

Perkis-Size Me

November 11th, 2014 at 8:46 AM ^

Have to say that I feel terrible for Hackenberg. Last year showed he was an immense talent that was going to fully blossom by his junior/senior year. And now, mostly because of the historically bad O-Line protecting him, I wonder if he'll mentally recover enough to get back to where he was during his freshman year.

Its hard to play well when no one can block for you, but I'd hate to see a talent such as him go to waste. He has the tools to be playing on Sundays. And the Big Ten needs marquee players.

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November 11th, 2014 at 9:09 AM ^

Our D is good. Having Lewis in the secondary gives me a lot of confidence against MD, but not against OSU. We should win this one. Hope we get the practices, but not with the same coach.


November 11th, 2014 at 9:55 AM ^

After I watched Maryland get waxed by the only good teams on their schedule, I want too worried. Everything had to go right for Rutgers to win, and it feels like the defense is rounding into form. It won't be pretty, but this feels like a game UM can win.


November 11th, 2014 at 11:47 AM ^

Anytime somebody breaks down a football game by talking almost exlusively about QBs I make damn sure I listen because football is basically tennis with an offensive line instead of a net.


The other thread where you grasped at straws to see a reason for optimisim with this awful team was better.

Michigan has a chance because because Maryland is not very good.  But Maryland is a respectable football team with a functioning O and functioning D.  Michigan hasn't beaten a team like this yet. 

If they score more than 14 points, it will be the best offensive performance of the season against a D this good. Rutgers was not as good.  

If they beat Maryland, it will be their most impressive victory of the year, and it will be a surprise.

I do very much like that you're talking about football, but I have to splash some cold water on the irrational optimism.