Michigan Monday at Ohio website "The Ozone"

Submitted by StephenRKass on August 20th, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Over at Ohio fan website "The Ozone," there are two articles on Michigan, previewing the offense and defense, along with the schedule and predicted wins for the year. For those of you struggling to wait the next 11 days, here is a little bit more information:

Link for Offense:  http://theozone.net/football/2013/MichiganMonday/offense.html

Link for Defense:  http://theozone.net/football/2013/MichiganMonday/Defense_SpecialTeams_Schedule.html

I don't think there is a whole lot that is earth shattering, although the review tends to be very positive.

The most surprising thing is that Gerdeman predicts at least 9 wins for Michigan, and doesn't predict any clear losses. He has MSU, Northwestern, and Ohio as tossups. He has ND as a win because of their QB situation.

A few other interesting schedule observations:

  • Michigan has their bye week before MSU. I hadn't noticed this before, or had forgotten, but this means that Michigan has two weeks to plan, and to heal up and rest up.
  • If Northwestern has won all their games prior to our matchup, they will do everything they can to win. If they have already lost several games, Michigan will probably prevail.
  • Regarding Ohio:

The final game of the season against Ohio State will be the most important in Brady Hoke's career. Because of this, I will be surprised if the Buckeyes can come out of that game with a win.

Some player bullets follow. There are quite a few more:  just go to the links.

Frank Clark:

To hear some tell it, Frank Clark is the second coming of Brandon Graham or LaMarr Woodley, and he very well may be. . . It could be a huge year for Clark, who has a ton of hype to live up to at this point.

Ondre Pipkins:

Pipkins is a former five-star defensive tackle with tons of promise. We should begin to see that promise much more than we did last year when he was a true freshman.

James Ross:

James Ross is a will linebacker with tremendous instincts, which complement his athleticism nicely. He could be in line for a huge year if the defensive line holds up.

Overall defense, and Greg Mattison:

Overall, even if the individual parts don't blow you away on defense, Greg Mattison has a special way of putting things together that end up being pretty successful. It's like on 'Top Chef' when the contestants are given popcorn, Slim Jims, sardines and an egg, and they turn it into a $40 plate.

Devin Gardner:

He ended up putting numbers on the board [last year] that would please any coach, even with his one-interception-per-game habit. This year, there is no doubt that he'll be better, and he was damn good last year. Yes, his two worst games came against the two best teams he faced, but that's how things usually work for quarterbacks.

Jeremy Gallon:

Jeremy Gallon may only be 5-foot-8, but he plays a half a foot taller. He's not the fastest guy, he's not the shiftiest guy, he just has this knack for getting open, and sometimes wide open. He will be Gardner's security blanket, albeit a short-sheeted version.

O Line:

Brady Hoke has loaded up on the offensive line in recruiting and he has blue chippers filling out the depth chart like thick-necked wall-to-wall carpeting.

Overall Offense:

Overall, this should be one of the best offenses in the Big Ten, even without one single workhorse tailback. There is plenty of talent on hand, but some of that talent is going to be called upon perhaps a little earlier than most coaches would like.


NOLA Wolverine

August 20th, 2013 at 2:19 PM ^

I don't see how you can consider ND a clear win if you consider MSU to be a toss up. They lost Gholson and are still much better at the QB position than MSU is. Not to mention that MSU was, uh, 3-5 in the B1G and barely got by TCU. ND has a pretty good chance of being the best team we see all year. 

Ali G Bomaye

August 20th, 2013 at 2:39 PM ^

MSU and ND are very similar teams, really.  Unproven on offense, especially at the QB position, but potentially dominating defenses.

In a vacuum, I think ND is the better team, mostly because their defensive line might be the best in college football, and because Brian Kelly should be able to make the most out of Tommy Rees's limited skills (the man may have anger problems, but he can coach offensive football).  However, I think that MSU will be the tougher game for us, because they consider it the biggest game of their season and because it will be on the road in a potential trash tornado, with a crowd that will have been drinking Mad Dog and burning couches for 10+ hours by gametime.


August 20th, 2013 at 2:43 PM ^

the ND game was always really close the last 4 years, we on on last minute touchdowns by tate to greg matthews, denard rushing and roundtree's catch. so i wouldnt really say we've had our way with them. If anything its has to be a tossup with how close we have played the last 4 years.

NOLA Wolverine

August 20th, 2013 at 2:47 PM ^

Why would the three years preceeding the last year be a more compelling indicator of the future year than the previous year's results when you have a new coach "settling in" at Notre Dame? Notre Dame returns a fantastic defense and Michigan State brings back a gaggle of proven untalented players on offense. 


August 20th, 2013 at 3:15 PM ^

Brian Kelly has been beat by less talented Michigan teams in the past. Last year was perhaps his most complete team yet they barely won and needed a crapton of luck, by Michigan committing six turnovers to ND's two. Sometimes certain teams just have other teams numbers. For what ever the reason it might be and that's why I said that. Michigan has seen to have had ND's while State has Michigan's.

Everyone Murders

August 20th, 2013 at 2:52 PM ^

Maybe it's the amount of emphasis that these opponents put on the game.  For ND, the Michigan game is merely very important.  For MSU, the Michigan game still largely decides their season's success and whether they can walk the sidewalks for an entire year.  That MSU Monomania (TM) could push MSU to "toss-up" status.



August 20th, 2013 at 3:38 PM ^

MSU always plays their best game of the year against Michigan.  They also intentionally try to injure the QB as the primary focus of their game plan, especially against Michigan.  When Sparty was a .500 team and Michigan was winning or sharing Big Ten Championships, Sparty still found a way to win one game out of three.  

Sparty always overachieves against Michigan.  Hopefully, this year it won't be enough.  I would settle for a one point win and a healthy Devin Gardner at the end of the game.


August 20th, 2013 at 6:17 PM ^

MSU underachieved last year and had horrid QB play.  Comparing the teams year over year the back 7 of MSU should be even better - all they lost was Adams and they bring back the entire LB crew including 2 seniors.  The front 4 on defense they lose Gholson but supposedly the MSU fan base now says he is no big loss (after 12 months ago being potentially the best player in the BIg 10!!) but still a decent front 4.   On offense the QB has to be better just by experience and they might be buying the Terry hype and use him as a change of pace QB since it sounds like Dantonio wants to play 2 QBs.  They lose at the RB and TE positions year over year but gain on the OL simply from health - they were piece meailing together an OL last year and most everyone is now healthy.  Their WRs were a joke last year and I expect better this year; Burbridge could be the breakout player of the year for their team.  He is a potential NFL player who will be making the freshman to sophomore jump.  If their offense did anything last year they would probably have had 3 more wins.  

Notre Dame on the other hand beat Michigan when Denard decided to throw every pass in the 2nd quarter to a golden domer, beat an average USC team who lost their QB the week before the game, beat Stanford by means I am still trying to figure out etc. We saw with Alabama Notre Dame is not much different than Michigan overall... neither could do a thing.  ND WAS better than UM last year - but it was not like the gulf btw UM/ND/OSU vs Alabama. ND loses their 'playmaker' type of QB as well, and put in a competent "manage the game and make decent plays" type of QB. ND game is at home, MSU is on the road.  I expect both games to be close and for all this nonsense about MSU playing UM as a SUper Bowl game, do you really think UM doesnt get hyped up to play MSU? Esp after getting their face handed to them 4 of the 5 past years?  Thats Sparty talk. 


August 20th, 2013 at 6:57 PM ^

Wow - that's a very rosy view of MSU.  Not only did they lose Gholston on the DL, but they lost their two starting DTs as well, which is the position they've recruited the worst the last few years.  And you say their OL is healthy now?  First of all, they lost their starting LT to career ending injury, and they have so little depth than one more injury and they're back to where they were last year (and they won't even be that good without injuries). 

Their back 7 will be good, but their front 4 will get pounded, making the LBs' jobs much harder.  And Bell was their entire offense last year and he's gone with no replacement.  They will now have to rely on their passing game to move the ball, which just one year ago was a complete joke - and they already lost their LT.  I'm not optimistic on MSU.


August 21st, 2013 at 6:44 AM ^

Front 4 pounded just because they are putting younger players in?  By that measure our front 4 which aside from 2-3 players in the 2 deep will be pounded since it is chock full of redshirt freshman and sophomore types.  Say what you want but one thing Dantonio can recruit is talent on defense and unless all the underclassmen are scrubs I doubt it will be "pounded".  They also have a cupcake schedule with 4 ranked teams on it so I dont see the likes of Purdue or Indiana pounding MSU - even under Perles they were a physical team if not very talented.   As for OL yes you are correct on the LT but that ignores the rest of the line.  Also Conklin their walk on is "supposedly" showing great in camp - we shall see, there seems to be a lot of hype coming out of their camp so I am not taking it as gospel just noting the smoke signals.  It is hard to argue that the rest of the line being healthy is not a year over year advantage.  Look the defense gave up 16 TDs last year - Alabama gave up 18.  I dont see any major drop off in that defense even with some experience lost in the line.  (they lose 6 seniors on defense next year so thats when a drop off will happen) Depth has always been an issue for them but we can make similar comments here for another 12 months in a lot of spots.  Assuming they suck again assumes no progress anywhere out of the QB, WR and OL.  They have a schedule even OSU can admire (and Nebraska).  I have them at 9-3 or 8-4, similar to Michigan.


August 20th, 2013 at 7:44 PM ^

They may be banking a bit on ND still working the kinks out offensively when they come to Ann Arbor, while MSU is on the road later in the year.  I think both are basically toss-ups, though MSU is probably a bit tougher because of that defense at home and the potential on both sides.  I know ND made it to the title game last year, but this is not a consistent winner over the years, and a couple of games the other direction and ND is back to a decent BCS squad.


August 20th, 2013 at 2:21 PM ^

"Spence and Washington will make Lewan look pedestrian once again."

Yeah. No. Ask Clowney.

Unless, did Lewan play poorly against OSU last year? I can only remember frustrating play calls on offense...


August 20th, 2013 at 5:46 PM ^

Oriental Andrew, not offended. I guess with only a face, and the size and resolution of an avatar, who can tell?

The photo of her I intend to scan and change to my avatar will leave no doubt on gender, however.

Funny thing is the reason I originally chose her as my avatar was not only I like how she looks, but also as a personal reminder. (i.e., her asking me, "And Steve, just how much time are you spending on mgoblog?" :-) )

BTW, were you at the meet and greet in Chicago with the coaches this summer?


August 20th, 2013 at 2:38 PM ^

With him, you always get the facts and the snarky metaphors, mixed with a little insight and opinion. He's usually skeptical, mostly respectful, and largely right-on in his point of view. Hard to argue with his seasonal outlook, possibly 9-3. 

Of course, his hater readership is another story, altogether. There are the dumb and dumberer comments from the small and painfully limited intelligentsia, including one commenter on  the defense preview who claims he's unimpressed with Michigan recruiting. OK. Then you have another moronic respondent who claims that Ohio will roll into Ann Arbor undefeated while Michigan is 8-4 and simply outspeed the Wolverines. 

But let's save the best for last, the comment that tops all the others, is the claim that Buckeye D-ends Spence and Washington will have a field day against Lewan, just like they did last year in Columbus. Sure. And Ohio is the best team in the nation. Just ask their fan base. 

I guess that's why the play the games. 


August 20th, 2013 at 2:48 PM ^

... is the claim that Buckeye D-ends Spence and Washington will have a field day against Lewan

Here's where my knowledge of offensive line nuance breaks down.

How much does the play of the left guard factor into the effectiveness of the left tackle?

I'm pretty sure Taylor Lewan can take care of himself quite nicely ... but as I understand it the offensive line really does work as a unit, and I'm curious about how much the left guard typically plays into how well the left tackle performs.


August 20th, 2013 at 6:23 PM ^

I am also at 9-3 with a 1 game swing either way (8-4 to 10-2) based on breaks, turnovers, penalties, the normal things.  This assumes Devin plays 95%+ of the plays past the 4th week of September, and doesn't have an injury lasting more than a series or three.  If so, then all bets off.  It is a very back loaded schedule and if we go into November with Shane or Cleary ...well...


August 20th, 2013 at 2:42 PM ^

Idk why I read the comments at those OSU sites. They always just upset me. The author of the article did such a great break down of M (outside of Pachortz (sp?) being called a fullback type). Then they commentors have to go and ruin it with their narrow sited views. 

Only real issue I had with the write up was the possible trip up in Iowa? Does he know what Iowa is? Did he think Iowa and Iowa St. have swaped conferences? I was totally lost at that point.


August 20th, 2013 at 4:19 PM ^

For the past decade or so, trips to Iowa have not been kind to Michigan. I've long maintained that Purdue has Ohio State's number when playing at Purdue; well, one may argue that Iowa has Michigan's number when Michigan travels to Iowa. That game in Iowa has been tricky from Michigan for some time, no matter how good (or bad) Iowa is that year.


August 20th, 2013 at 2:44 PM ^

The o-zone has, by far, the best Michigan commentary by a non-Michigan blogger on the internet.  Michigan Monday is a highly entertaining read. 

Blue Durham

August 20th, 2013 at 7:10 PM ^

From what I have read of Michigan Mondays, I totally agree (and from his previous posts, Kass agrees very much as well).

If you want a very honest assessment of how good you are, you go to your competitor's opinions. Whether it be in business (particularly sales), the military, sports, law, whatever.


August 20th, 2013 at 2:55 PM ^

Part of the "identity" on offense, I think, does hang a little on having Gallon and Dileo coming back. Combined, they were targeted 110 times and made 69 of those catches, good for 62.7% overall from two WRs. A similar rate of success will be fairly critical this year, especially for Gallon as a go-to WR on short or intermediate routes. 

Thanks for sharing this - pretty level-headed review overall from a rival site, I thought. 


August 20th, 2013 at 2:56 PM ^

Thanks for posting this as I had forgotten about these.  They typically provide more insight into UM football than most UM sites/sources.  I, unfortunately, forgot to never read the comments.  


August 20th, 2013 at 3:00 PM ^

I always like reading The Ozone game recaps, but there was a couple time last year where it felt like he was just ripping off Brian's analysis.


August 21st, 2013 at 5:42 AM ^

Its ohio state* you all may remember losing to ohio in basketball ;). But anyways. It will be very hard for tOSU to go undefeated again. Especially if they have to play michigan twice. That would make me very nervous.michigan, i see winning 9-10 games. Honestly i wish you all would go undefeated until The Game, but you all have a pretty tough schedule.good luck to you all.