Time of Possession...again

Submitted by Fresh Meat on September 26th, 2009 at 6:45 PM

I know this has been discussed already, but I just can't understand anyone who says time of possession doesn't matter. You can't convince me that if the defense is on the field for 5 straight minutes, as they were with Indiana's opening drive, and then on the field a minute earlier, after Michigan's big play, that that won't make them tired. Being tired affects how you play, plain and simple. I think this is especially important with Michigan, when they have so little quality depth on defense. I like that Michigan's offense can score quick at times, but it does concern me that our defense, and again especially given our lack of depth, is on the field so much. I will always believe being on the field more means more fatigue, which means they don't play quite as well.



September 26th, 2009 at 6:51 PM ^

In theory, this would seem to be true. But it's not.

If you ever watch an offense at the end of a 90-yard drive, they're much better off then a defense.

Defensively, you have all 11 guys sprinting to the ball on every single play. They're going all out for 5 or 6 or 10 seconds at a time.

Meanwhile, after the QB hands off the ball, he stands there and watches. After the QB throws the ball, the offensive linemen stare downfield and watch the ball go. On running plays, receivers often just stand in the way of a cornerback and don't run much at all.

Playing offense is much more energy efficient than playing defense.


September 26th, 2009 at 6:48 PM ^

Maybe it does affect the Michigan defense? You win!!

We're still 4-0.

Unless you would prefer that Michigan take a knee halfway into a 50 yard touchdown, this is something that will affect the defense all year long.

Again this week it seemed like Rich Rod was just trying to get through the week with trying to save another defensive player, this time M. Williams. The safety play should be better next week.


September 26th, 2009 at 6:49 PM ^

Time of Possession:



I don't think time of possession matters much at all, but even if it does, this isn't exactly the game to be griping.

Fresh Meat

September 26th, 2009 at 6:52 PM ^

In this game, I was mostly referring to that opening sequence. It has to hurt them that they were back on the field right away after already being on the field for a long drive. And it was closer this game, but typically under Rich Rod, both this year and last, we have been behind big time in TOP. Again, I'm not sure what the solution is because I like our offense, I just will never believe that this type of offense doesn't hurt your defense some.


September 26th, 2009 at 7:20 PM ^

I would hope our guys are conditioned enough they can handle one long drive at the beginning of the game, a couple play offensive drive for a TD and get back out on the field in the opening quarter. If this was in the 4th quarter I would understand where you are coming from but I will take a 50 yard touchdown everytime.


September 26th, 2009 at 7:28 PM ^

I can see if the defense is continually looking gassed at the end of games, or are letting teams claw back and/or win every 4th quarter because they are so tired.

But they aren't.

Our defense quite often looks lousy and/or clueless at the beginning of games, the middle of games, AND at the end.
None of the symptoms of "worn out D" are really that apparent, and they certainly haven't cost us any games so far.
I agree that they could however; but the whole point of RR's offense is to score points at will and put the games away. We're still sputtering a bit on offense so that isn't happening yet.

Right now our D isn't tired, it's just not that good.


September 26th, 2009 at 6:51 PM ^

So far TOP only seemed to really have an effect on our D in the 1st half of the ND game. Out of position play and poor tackling hurt us when rested and on long drives against IU.


September 26th, 2009 at 7:13 PM ^

The defense won't be on the field as much when they start stopping people. We just aren't that good on D this year. Luckily we have probably the top Offense in the Big Ten. When we actually start playing some D, we'll really be a team to be reckoned with.


September 26th, 2009 at 7:18 PM ^

If we take the glass is half full approach, then we can say at least our D is getting a lot of reps against other competition. If they weren't playing a lot and then got into a dogfight later in the season, then they might not be so prepared. It does fatigue them quite a bit, but isn't that why we have Barwis?!


September 27th, 2009 at 12:43 AM ^

It depends on WHY your defense is on the field. If your defense is constantly on the field because you keep turning the ball over or can't move the ball and go three and out (e.g. Michigan 2008), that is bad. If your defense is constantly on the field because you score quickly every time you have the ball, that is good. Once you score, you have to give the ball back. That's the rule.

The extreme example is if you run every kickoff back for a TD. Obviously, that would be good even though the other team would win the time of possession battle. So, the answer is IT DEPENDS.