Michigan Monday Article at the Ozone (OSU fan website)

Submitted by StephenRKass on May 23rd, 2016 at 1:26 PM

As many of you know, the Ozone, an OSU fan website, has an article every Monday during the season about Michigan. This is one of those "know your enemy" things. I hadn't been over to their site since December, but wandered over this morning. Lo and behold, they have a long article on Michigan.

LINK:  Slow Down with the Michigan Hype

Being that content is sparse right now, I went ahead and linked to the article. Tony Gerdeman opines that while Michigan has improved, they aren't in the National Title discussion . . . just yet. Here is the key premise why:

Can they run the ball and can they stop the run against a skilled team that loves to run the ball?

On the offensive side of the ball, Gerdeman says this:

A year ago Michigan averaged over 5 yards per carry in a game against a P5 opponent just once – 5.04 yards against Indiana, who allowed 5.23 yards per carry to everyone else last season. They averaged 4.89 yards per carry against Florida. Over a season that would’ve ranked 33rd in the nation a year ago. It’s fine, but not, ‘Hey, wow, look at this!’ The offensive line is better and 5-star running back Kareem Walker will help, but can they take that 4.2 yards per carry average from last year and add at least another yard to it? Of the last eight national champions, five of them averaged over 5.5 yards per carry.

On the defensive side, the article points out:

The Wolverines finished No. 16 in the nation in run defense last year, allowing just 122.23 yards rushing per game. Against teams ranked in the top 30 in rushing, however, they allowed 338 yards per game on the ground. Sure, that was just two opponents – Indiana and Ohio State, but they also happened to be the two teams on Michigan’s schedule that could actually run the ball.

Lastly, he really wonders about the back 7 defensively, outside of Peppers and Lewis. And boils our season down to the 3 tough away games:  MSU, Iowa, and OSU.

My speculation has centered on the QB. But reading this, I have to admit, it raises questions for me. First, how will the OL and RB corps do in improving the running game? Can Drevno bring Michigan to the level Stanford was at on the ground, or are we still another year or two off? Second, how will the LB group and the secondary outside of Lewis perform? I'm very confident in the DL. Less so for anyone else not named Peppers or Lewis.

Anyway, it is something else to read for those of you who are bored and looking for more on Michigan football. Oh, and I apologize for putting up two threads in a row on the board.



May 23rd, 2016 at 1:29 PM ^

Those three tough away games ought to give anyone pause.  However it is the off season and talking and speculating is what we do...........


May 24th, 2016 at 8:50 AM ^

Those away games are what causes me to warn people to pump their breaks.  Those 3 teams went 34-2 in the regular season last year.  They each have some turnover to take care of, but I wouldn't expect OSU or MSU to suddenly become 8 win teams.  Those two games especially are going to be brutal.  Thanks Brandon.


May 24th, 2016 at 1:06 PM ^

and every off season for the last 20 years we have a big much of UM fans and media pundits talking about how " this is the year" that UM will finally win something. Then the games are actually played no they don't win a damn thing. As low no as Dantonio and especially Urban Meyer remain in the big 10 UM will only ever be off season champs. Congrats on another year, you have done it again.


May 23rd, 2016 at 1:30 PM ^

A blind girl scout leader from Peru could boil our season down to 3 away games.

Other than that, his opinion is damn near identical to everyones except Michigan fans.


May 23rd, 2016 at 1:35 PM ^

Iowa will go back to being Iowa. Last season was their good season and I expect them to not be 12-0 in the regular season. They exposed big time in the Rose Bowl, and they won't have the luck they did.

I also expect MSU to take a step back, but I imagine OSU will still be incredibly difficult.


May 23rd, 2016 at 1:44 PM ^

I don't really understand his concerns on the defensive side of the ball. By the end of last year the DL was so decimated with injuries (Ojemudia, Glasgow, Mone) that we were playing Tom Strobel at NT. And we all know about Durkin's ridiculous gameplan against OSU that I won't rehash. 

Michigan had a top 5 defense in the country last year and will probably improve upon that this year with the addition of guys like Rashan Gary (hello sackmaster) and Bryan Mone, along with more athleticism at linebacker (Peppers, McCray Gedeon, Bush) and improved play on the back end from guys like Dymonte Thomas and Channing Stribling. Hurst and Wormley were pro football focus' most efficient pass rushing tandem IN THE COUNTRY LAST YEAR. Taco was in the top 6. Jourdan Lewis had the highest CB grade IN THE COUNTRY. Again, why is this guy concerned about defense or pass rush again? Michigan is loaded on defense and anyone questioning otherwise is just being a hater.

I think the OL concerns are legit (can they take the next step) and the QB question mark is a fair one (but when has Harbaugh not developed a QB?), but I think Isaac and Smith are going to form a very good backfield and the recieving battery of Butt, Chesson, and Darboh will be the best in the B1G. 

OSU has way more question marks than Michigan does right now.


May 23rd, 2016 at 2:02 PM ^

From what I can see, he doesn't question the DL, even with all their injuries. An idiot can see that they were very good, until decimated with injuries.

However, it is reasonable to question the LB's . . . until they show us what they can do. And come on, we don't have a returning starter with the LB group, unless you count Peppers. Of course, Peppers is great, but I'm waiting to see how he is deployed, and how he works out against a power running game that is skilled.

I have more faith in the secondary. However, as Brian is wont to mention, safeties are one of those areas where you don't hear much . . . until they fail. We are ok at safety, but a bit thin after the starters.

I agree with you on the OL, and questions as to whether they step it up or not.


May 24th, 2016 at 9:06 AM ^

MSU is Oct 29th, Iowa Nov 12th, and OSU Nov 26th.  What's to say we won't have 3 more DL injuries this year?  If Mone, Wormley, and Hurst go down are you confident we win those 3 games?  While it's unlikely all 3 of them will get injuried it's probably a pretty safe bet that some major contributor(s) will get injured as they do every year.  I just don't think you can assume we are going to be full strength.  The question is do we have enough depth to deal with the inevitable injuries that occur.


May 23rd, 2016 at 1:38 PM ^

Interesting in his example for Indiana he shows what everyone else averaged against Indiana to make our numbers look bad. I wonder why he doesn't do the same for Florida. Anyone know what Florida's other opponents rushed for on average against them?

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May 23rd, 2016 at 2:05 PM ^

In terms of total, LSU had 221 rushing yards with 180 of them coming from Leonard Fournette.

Alabama had 233 yards with 189 of them coming from Derrick Henry.

Tennessee had 254 and Michigan had 225 (which was much more than we expected going into that game).

Everyone else struggled mightily to run on Florida including Georgia (69), Ole Miss (68), South Carolina (21) and Vandy (110).

East Carolina ran for -13 yards on Florida and somehow lost by only a touchdown. That must have been an interesting game.

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May 23rd, 2016 at 1:39 PM ^

I think the hype is a little out of control, but it's weird that they say Michigan gave up a lot of yards to the teams that are good at running the ball. If you play teams that are good at something every week, you're bound to "struggle" against that thing. Every team has good and bad opponents on the schedule. That's why there are things such as "averages."

It also glosses over the fact that Michigan had a very depleted defensive front by the time the Ohio State and Indiana games rolled around (no Mone, Glasgow, or Ojemudia).

Frank Chuck

May 23rd, 2016 at 2:11 PM ^

...stats need to be contextualized for them to be accurate, precise, and meaningful. (I'm a Data Scientist which is the en vogue term for statistician.)

It's no surprise we struggled with spread rushing attacks that took advantage of our reshuffled DL and overmatched LBs. Even Penn State was able to move the ball on us but sucked in the redzone.

I blame Durkin for not being prepared for Ohio State. We were outmanned on the DL but there were a number of things he could have done to stack the box and force Ohio State to beat us through the air. Instead, Durkin didn't take away the run and we played every down as if Ohio State had a 3rd and 4.

I'm looking forward to the Don Brown era because I love:

1. his philosophy ("You either apply the pressure or feel the pressure. I'm not big on feelin' it.")


2. his scheme (which is essentially Jimmy Johnson's Miami 4-3).


May 24th, 2016 at 9:23 AM ^

1. Did OSU give up any big rushing yards in any games the way UM did?  Didn't they play good rushing teams too?


2. What's to say defensive injuries won't happen agin this year?  All 3 of those games are late in the year.  It seems we have a major defensive injury every year.  The question isn't will we have injuries, it's when they do inevitably happen to we have the depth to deal with them.


May 23rd, 2016 at 1:42 PM ^

Bottom line is we knocked the snot out of the SEC runner up and we have plenty of momentum heading into next year.

Is the hype a little too much? maybe but we improved drastically in 1 year under Harbaugh and I dont expect that to slow down moving forward.



May 23rd, 2016 at 1:48 PM ^

I am not worried about the run game, like everyone reading this site in May I know we return 4 starters that have all been playing for three years. I am also not worried about the back 7, it seems like the LB's will make some mistakes, but in this system it seems like a lot of what they need to do will be based on just being an athlete making plays. Which they all should be able to do. The d line will be better and deeper, which will cover up a fair amount of warts behind them.


May 23rd, 2016 at 1:45 PM ^



I will say that I'm excited to see what a motivated, in shape, out of the doghouse Ty Isaac can bring to the table along side a healthy De'Veon.


May 23rd, 2016 at 1:46 PM ^

I suppose if Michigan were my rival and I desperately wanted to rationalize any hope that they are not quite there yet I would probably say these same things while simultaneously ignoring Harbaugh's track record of developing offenses and particularly his run game.

Wolverine Devotee

May 23rd, 2016 at 1:48 PM ^

Having a weekly, dedicated section of your site about your rival is a perfect representation of their obsession with us.

You don't piss off osu fans by insulting their team. You piss them off more by just being a Michigan fan and supporting Michigan.

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May 23rd, 2016 at 3:26 PM ^

What is it like being so oblivious to irony? You're becoming a complete clown. So they have only been our rivals for the last 75 years... what's the big deal? 

For a while there I held out some hope that you could turn it around, but I think I was very wrong about that. Make another Rutgers thread, or socks thread or something.