Wisconsin question

Submitted by MgoFunk on September 24th, 2018 at 12:17 PM

Brian likes Hornibrook and that’s fine but, I watched Wisconsin play WKU and their receivers struggled to get separation for large stretches of the game.  It looks like Wisconsin relies on the run game just softening up the defense until they break and then they start to pull away.

With Michigan’s two deep and our excellent man coverage, are we in better shape than we thought?

I’m legitimately curious on others’ opinions and I know the game is a few weeks out.  It just looks like things are starting to come together for us.



September 24th, 2018 at 12:34 PM ^

JT, Hornibrook, and their offensive line have a longer record of success than anything in our offense. You are liking our offense against their defense more because you are a homer, which is fine. Its probably about a 50-50 game that leans Michigan's way for being at home. I would predict like a 20-14 win for Michigan right now, but it would only take a few bombs to start the game like ND got for us to lose 24-17 too.


September 24th, 2018 at 1:25 PM ^

Eh... They probably don't.

Using official NCAA statistics to try to judge football teams is like trying to cure diphtheria with a poultice of Uncle Mike's Award-Winning All-Inspiring Authentic and Amazing All-Knowing Cure-All (Now with Lemon!)

There are three gigantic problems with the official NCAA stats: sacks are counted as negative rushing attempts; they're not adjusted for the opponent, venue, etc.; and, they're not adjusted for pace.

There's also a fourth problem, which is that it's way too early in the season for any of this stuff to have stabilized.  S&P+ doesn't start doing passing vs. rushing breakdowns until week 7.  Come back to me then.


September 24th, 2018 at 5:46 PM ^

I honestly haven't been that impressed with their defense save for TJ Edwards. I don't know how good Iowa is, but it seemed like they fought the Wisconsin DL + OLBs to a draw for the most part. No sacks, and 148 yards rushing at 4.8 YPC doesn't jump out as particularly terrifying. 


September 24th, 2018 at 12:24 PM ^

When they really needed to throw the ball against Iowa he was on the money and their receivers looked good.  It will be a tough game.  I like our chances better than couple of weeks ago but other teams improve throughout the season too.


September 24th, 2018 at 12:25 PM ^

Mash the 2016 and 2017 games together and that is what I expect. 

Close, low scoring, tight windows. In 2017 Hornibrook hit them. 2018 will come down to if Hornibrook or Shea hits more. Hopefully like the last two years, the home team wins!


September 24th, 2018 at 12:25 PM ^

Their receivers didn't get separation last year...and most around here think it's 50-50 M wins that game if Peters stays healthy. With Shea and the ability to score potentially more than 21 points...well...we'll find out soon enough.

carolina blue

September 24th, 2018 at 12:47 PM ^

The offense already knows the play and goes one direction toward that goal, more or less. The defense is always reacting; lots more energy spent diagnosing a play, changing directions, etc. There’s also the mental aspect...generally, if you’re on the field longer it means you’re getting beaten more often than you’re winning, so you are now late in the game with a different mental state. It wears on you. 


September 24th, 2018 at 12:50 PM ^

That’s true.  But think about how the plays work.  Defense fights to the ball in the backfield, then chases the ball down the field.  Unless there’s a convoy you’re talking about the legs of one or two offensive players and the entire defense chasing them.  Those two offensive players rotate out but most of the defensive guys that ran the ball carrier down have to stay in.

That’s why you’ll see o-linemen trot up to the line take a couple deep breaths then get into position and d-linemen put their hands on their hips tilt their heads back to get more air and then get set almost at the last second.


September 24th, 2018 at 1:08 PM ^

having played both, though admittedly only offense the last 10 yrs i played, i respectfully disagree that the reasons cited are significant enough to make that big of a difference.  i think its more momentum in general and the impact on a D's psyche when you/we keep pounding away and grinding out yards and points. 


September 24th, 2018 at 8:33 PM ^

I'm not sure what 'momentum in general' means.

I think in most sports defense is more tiring. No doubt some of it is mental. But also the offense controls the pace and can therefore play to its strengths and the opposition's weakness. Also, the offense knows what's coming and can rest certain positions and players on certain plays of its choosing, while on the defense every player always has to be going at 100%. In basketball, defense is also more tiring for the same reasons. In baseball, it is the pitchers, not the players on offense, that tire out. Soccer is a bit different because there's no shot clock or play clock or outs, and there are limited substitutions, but even there, defending is more tiring than being in possession.


September 24th, 2018 at 12:27 PM ^

UW lost both of their returning starters from last year, so they're hurting at the pass catching positions.  The guys that couldn't get separation should be sitting on the bench this year until garbage time, or at least spot duty for breathers. 

We should not feel bad for taking advantage of the bad situation UW finds themselves in.  They are still a competent team, and will be a tough out.  And nobody felt bad for us...  Ever.


September 24th, 2018 at 12:27 PM ^

I honestly dont know OP.  Like I've said before - we are in the midst of a five game stretch where we should run the table and do so convincingly.  I predicted we'd be 5-1 going into the Wiscy, MSU, PSU gauntlet and ranked about 10th.  So far, so good on that one.

But we wont know if we're Notre Dame Michigan or Nebraska Michigan until we see Wisconsin Michigan. 

Enjoy the next few weeks.


September 24th, 2018 at 2:23 PM ^

100% agree mGrowOld. I don't get the insistence on looking ahead. By the time we play Wisconsin, the season will be half over! I'm not looking forward to that. I wouldn't say our performance to date has been consistent enough to project current form onto future outings either. And lastly, guessing how we will do in the Wisconsin game today would be using only 4 out of 6 possible data points that will be available to us during game week. Why dismiss 50% more data just to be the first to say "hey we have a shot"



September 24th, 2018 at 12:28 PM ^

In before the predictable and stupid response of: "Let's focus on NW first." (as if our focus matters).

Before the season started I pegged Wisky and MSU as our only 2 loses on the season.  Now that we've lost to ND, I actually see us winning the Wisky game.  Strange logic, I know.  Despite them winning at Iowa, they did lose to BYU and I think UM is starting to gel.  Evidence for this is the much easier time UM had against the soft portion of the schedule relative to last year's frustrating early wins.


September 24th, 2018 at 12:41 PM ^

Yes we say this every year... but I don't see the MSU loss. 

Their defense is outstanding against the run.  Right now they are very vulnerable vs. the pass.  If they get some guys back from injuries, maybe they're better.  But the secondary is painfully slow, and their corners still get beat on the regular, with the receivers most often overthrown by the opposition.  DPJ and Collins can probably get behind their corners often, and Patterson can hit them.  Can we protect that long?  Well Sparty's pass rush hasn't been great.  So I think so. 

On offense they cannot run the ball, and just trotted out a totally new offensive line formation last week. It's doubtful whether they can protect Lewerke against M, and they should be burning a down every time they hand off.  Yes Dantonio will have some nice schemes, and they could improve.  But right now I don't see it. 

I think MSU is a better team than Indiana, but not that much better.