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Date Title Body
10/12/2018 - 12:45pm In other words you don't…

In other words you don't cyan guys if you ain't cyan enough of 'em?

OK, I'll slink away in shame now.

. . .

I REGRAT NOTHING!!

10/11/2018 - 3:01pm I actually feel pretty good…

I actually feel pretty good about the matchups.  I'm just terrified about "football".

If Hornibrook goes off, there is nothing any defense in the world can do to stop an accurate QB that's dealin'.  Gary can play but his shoulder seems to be sapping his hand speed and that's going to matter against a grabby O-line like Wisconsin's, and we know we can't rely on the refs to call holding.  You get the idea.

So yet again, I'm worried Michigan will outplay the crap out of an opponent but a combination of bad officiating and dumb luck will be the difference.

10/11/2018 - 2:57pm No, we don't, and that says…

No, we don't, and that says something.  Solomon, even if he plays, won't be a full speed after being out so long.  Gary has a bum shoulder.  If the Maryland injuries are toss-ups then it's likely at least one of them is still hurt.

I'm not necessarily talking "too hurt to play".  If any of these injuries aren't bad enough to keep them off the field but rob them of power and/or mobility, it's going to make a difference.

10/11/2018 - 2:51pm Serious answer, the first…

Serious answer, the first stretch of the season has shown that -- ND debacle aside -- we're a team with untested strengths and few weaknesses.  This is not a bad situation to be in.  It's easy to dismiss the WMUs and SMUs but their coaches still look for stuff on tape.  If they said something like, "We can pick on their left tackle," or, "We can attack their safeties," we would've seen it by now.  Instead our offensive run/pass yardage is close to 50/50, Shea is rarely sacked, we're #1 in total defense and opposing offenses have tried to beat us with slants.

The real question is how good are our strengths?  So far we've faced opponents that largely ran away from them, but Wisconsin is probably going to go right at our lines to see how they hold up.  I don't think they'll give us answers on offense -- statistically their defense is meh -- so this is really gut check time for the defense. . . but really, does anyone doubt Don Brown at this point?  I have some concerns about last year's PSU redux (Hornibrook is a lot better this year) or D-line injuries biting us, but it's not like Wisconsin's been a thorn in his side.

10/11/2018 - 2:32pm Just don't forget that Ed…

Just don't forget that Ed Warner is our O-line coach and you'll be fine.

10/11/2018 - 2:20pm vs. Wisconsin could get…

vs. Wisconsin could get silly as two teams with accurate QBs try not to throw the ball against defenses dedicated to stopping the run.

10/11/2018 - 11:42am I think a lot of the thread…

I think a lot of the thread dread is over Brown's roster of rocket-powered squirrels built to stop OSU.  Wisconsin's going to grab our undersized front 7 and push them back all day.  The problem with this assumption is that it implies Brown's defenses are content to sit back and get grabbed, although I concede Mone will have his work cut out for him.

Brown solves his problems with aggression.  A single TFL can endanger a Wiscy drive, and Brown's Ds are consistently among the best in the country at havoc.  Sure, Wisconsin's offense will march down the field IF all goes according to their plan, but FWIW Brown's career is built on blowing up others' designs.  Michigan winning a drive will play out like 1st and 10, 2nd and 2 (Taylor run), 3rd and 9 (TFL), 4th and Zook.

In other words, fans anticipate seeing a fleet outfighter going up against a mouth-smashing infighter and getting cornered or worn down.  This is really more like brawler vs. infighter -- Brown is going to fire his big guns (Bush, Chase, Hudson) into gaps in order to meet the football in the backfield, not give Hornibrook time to throw, and use Taylor's patience against him.  Can't say it'll work, but Brown will have plans of his own.

10/11/2018 - 10:24am Our DL is depleted but…

Our DL is depleted but frankly this is a good game to have Mone.  Also, while Brown's squads are built to stop spread attacks, if they've spent any amount of time repping against the first-team offense they're familiar with this look.  That don't guarantee a win, but they won't be unprepared.

10/11/2018 - 9:42am (No subject)

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10/11/2018 - 7:05am This is the best angle I…

This is the best angle I could find of the replay.

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10/10/2018 - 9:38am No, leveling the Horseshoe…

No, leveling the Horseshoe is a good deed, one that Ace does early on when exploring his newfound abilities, before he becomes intoxicated with power and spirals out of control.

10/10/2018 - 6:42am This thing needs stretch…

This thing needs stretch goals.

$90k: Brian dyes his mustache orange.  First he grows one.

$135k: Jim Harbaugh will personally autograph the MGoBlog banner on the site server.

$180k: Not only will Ace get better, he will develop superpowers and use them for evil.  I mean good.  Well, mostly evil but he'll learn a lesson in responsibility along the way, making the premise of a smashing movie.

10/09/2018 - 11:30am I see your point but I can't…

I see your point but I can't get down on Ace taking care of himself.

10/09/2018 - 11:16am Don't sell yourself too…

Don't sell yourself too short; we've been lucky to have you too.

P.S. Chronic fatigue was one of the symptoms I got through a medication mishap I've luckily since recovered from.  You don't see a light at the end of the tunnel, every day is measured by how much of what needs to get done is do-able before your fuel tank runs out, and sleeping long hours in our "bootstrappy" culture brings on depression.  You're trying as hard as you can yet feel less of a human being than anyone else because it's "pathetic" that you can barely wash dishes without getting dizzy.  It's also terribly lonely because you're either unconscious or trying to catch up, and you don't feel like seeing people anyway because you're afraid they'll think you're lazy and worthless.  Point is, I don't know Ace's hell, but maybe I was able to see it from where I was.  I have ambitions (heh, if you can call them that) of becoming a writer and having been through a mild, temporary battle with chronic fatigue, I'm amazed Ace was able to write as well as he could with a fraction of my daily energy.

10/09/2018 - 10:24am Not that I disagree with…

Not that I disagree with your point but as long as we're in a position to judge "deranged fans" based on MGoBlog threads, you might want to check your assumption about e-mails with the actual transcript:

On Twitter there’s always the kinda, the fan, rah-rah stuff. Do you feel like Shea has done enough — people were kinda on his back, people always want to see the backup quarterback. Do you feel like Shea has done enough to kinda just quiet all the criticism, with a rabid fanbase?

10/09/2018 - 10:06am I don't think it surprises…

I don't think it surprises anyone that a 7-year-old is smarter than Twitter.

10/09/2018 - 9:04am Twitter.  Which, I mean,…

Twitter.  Which, I mean, that's where sports news is at now.  They're getting their leads from Twitter.

Twitter.

Sports news < Twitter

Think about that, then realize the people who met Harbaugh at this presser were paid.  With money.

10/09/2018 - 9:01am He's tried.

He's tried.

10/09/2018 - 8:42am Goodness, this might be a…

Goodness, this might be a new low in terms of reporter idiocy and belligerence, and to think they'd already dug a trench to drop the bar into before this presser.  Harbaugh's composure is incredible.

10/09/2018 - 8:32am Ace is a damn good writer. …

Ace is a damn good writer.

That is all.

10/09/2018 - 8:25am Really?  What's it like…

Really?  What's it like being dead?

10/08/2018 - 2:49pm Speaking of which, next…

Speaking of which, next couple of weeks may be the time to make Wilson a temporary starter; MSU's run defense numbers in particular are absurd.  Higdon's a great all-around back but no one runs on MSU; I feel Wilson's pass pro is better and that could be a difference we need.  I don't expect Harbaugh to rock the boat this way, though -- he's going to at least try running the ball and Higdon's the guy for that until he isn't.

10/08/2018 - 2:32pm Hand on the ground does not…

Hand on the ground does not count as down, unless the hand touches out-of-bounds.

(Smack-down correction in 3, 2, 1. . .)

10/08/2018 - 2:29pm Michigan put a few things on…

Michigan put a few things on tape that I kind of wish they hadn't. . .  Those could have come out last week and I would have been all about it; Maryland was never threatening in this game. So, like, why?

To reiterate what I said last week, we're not flies on the walls of Schembechler Hall but we do know that Harbaugh doesn't call plays he's not comfortable the offense can execute, to a fault.  In his defense this program alone has shown how an out-of-sync offense can botch plays.  An RPS win that gets dorfed still winds up going backwards and all.  On the other, Fisch argued with Harbaugh for that legendary playcall against Indiana because while it was a play they had repped, it wasn't one they repped that week.  Well, Fisch is gone, so we just have to live with playcalling that errs on the side of preparation.

So the Occam's Razor answer is that Harbaugh would've liked to use those plays against Northwestern, sure, but for some reason or other he felt they just weren't ready.  Also, no matter how well the defense is playing, Harbaugh's known to keep the throttle open on his offense until the opponent would have to basically mount the largest comeback in history to win -- 35 points in the 4th quarter, more or less.  The margin was never that big, so I'm not surprised Harbaugh kept trying to put the game away.  Unlike Borges, though, I don't get the feeling he emptied the cupboard -- I recall only 4-5 wacky plays.  More than I would've liked to see, but that can't be the bottom of the bag.

10/08/2018 - 1:26pm If you look at Patty's stats…

Patty's per-game stats look pedestrian at a glance -- pass yards, completions, TD passes and rush yards (as a run threat) are all meh against the squishy part of our schedule.  The toughest defense he's faced is ND and he didn't do too well against them.

We know this is largely because the O-line wasn't ready for ND and after that Harbaugh has been trying to keep the offense balanced and his QBs upright.  If you're an opposing fan, though, this is probably beyond the scope of your curiosity in Michigan.  I doubt coaches are fooled.

10/08/2018 - 1:20pm An injured Maryland QB? …

An injured Maryland QB?  What are the odds!

10/05/2018 - 1:49pm No, that would be crazy. …

No, that would be crazy.  Down 17 points in a conference game isn't the time to be thinking ahead.  Anything in the cupboard should've been out there.

The only thing I can think of (aside from Harbaugh channeling his inner Borges)  is that something inside Ft. Schembechler made him uncomfortable.  An injury, or something in practice that wasn't going well.  We know Harbaugh will avoid calling a play if he's not comfortable with the team's ability to execute it, and that goes double on the road.  I mean, we've seen past offenses throw screens and run FB dive.  It's not like he hates these plays.  But I think Harbaugh would rather run Higdon -- whom he trusts -- into a stacked box than invite disaster with a play he feels the offense has repped enough yet.

If you remember Chesson's Indiana-beater, the story is that Fisch had to fight with Harbaugh and all but stake his job on it, because even though it was a play they'd repped, it wasn't one they'd repped that week.

Folks 'round these parts think Fisch is some sort of genius, but I think what the offense misses most is that he was willing to challenge Harbaugh's risk-averse tendencies to call game-winners.  Last time we saw that kind of play-calling was O'Korn vs. OSU, but I think that's because he couldn't execute anything so eff it, why not call what beats the defense.

10/05/2018 - 1:22pm Hey Seth,

A few days ago…

Hey Seth,

A few days ago you woke up inhabiting Jim Harbaugh's body.  What's your answer for Brooks?  Bearing in mind that your offense's idea of play-action is apparently, "Have Shea vaguely wave the ball in the RB's direction before rolling out."

10/05/2018 - 11:39am Assuming they run that way…

Assuming they run that way in the first place. . .

10/05/2018 - 11:36am Well, I speak for myself but…

Well, I speak for myself but most of the analysis makes sense.  This sudden change from always using Murderwolf to these weird star thingies doesn't make a lick of sense.

I generally comment on what catches my critical eye.  Otherwise it's just, "Good work, Brian."

10/05/2018 - 11:00am What do the stars mean?  Is…

What do the stars mean?  Is that like a recent change from the Murderwolf icons we'd always used to indicate dangermen?

10/05/2018 - 6:23am Don Brown doesn't loosen up…

Don Brown doesn't loosen up his safeties.  He's content to be burned if you can beat 'em, and you die if you don't.

10/04/2018 - 1:25pm I was about to look under my…

I was about to look under my seat but I was called for holding.  As in, John O'Neill called me and then put me on hold.

I really hate that guy.

10/04/2018 - 1:14pm And the only thing that I…

And the only thing that I did a poor job is, I was coaching it on Sunday, don’t get up so quick. Don’t rush up. We tackled them on the field of play twice. Oooooh. Take your time.

Anyone know what he's talking about here?  Is he saying the defense shouldn't get back up so quickly to milk the clock?  Wouldn't that risk offsides?  I'm confused.

10/04/2018 - 1:13pm It confirms what I've…

It confirms what I've suspected, DB knows what he's doing, and what he's doing is he's forced to coach his players differently compared to other DCs because Michigan's playing 11-on-14.  The recent PIs are legit but there's no effin' way DB doesn't know how many game jerseys Chase has gone through.

10/04/2018 - 12:51pm He's clearly not telling the…

He's clearly not telling the full story (if only because there'd never be enough time), and while I won't say he's lying, I sense he's telling the reporters what they want to hear.  They've already got their damn articles written up about how things are simplified and are just fishing for quotes, so why contradict that with the minutae of what goes on in practice, since any intel you leak is going to wind up in your opponents' hands anyway.

I mean, sure he has simplified things based on what we've heard, but one of the things I daresay he's simplified is the story he's giving to reporters.  For example, he compares six things vs. two but this is rhetorical.  Actual practice might well be sixty vs. twenty, for all I know, but for a conceptual explanation he has no need or incentive to use his actual numbers.  He's just explaining how triage works.

10/03/2018 - 12:12pm Yup.  I wouldn't even be…

Yup.  I wouldn't even be surprised.

I mean, we already share a conference with MSU, OSU, and PSU.  The only step beyond institutionalized predatory behavior is a Dark Lord-like penalization of Good Things.  If Rivendell joined the conference Delany would lobby the NCAA to get lembas banned.

10/03/2018 - 12:08pm Could be a redshirt thing?

Could be a redshirt thing?

10/03/2018 - 9:07am I want to be a shark in a…

I want to be a shark in a game full of guppies.

Win with cruelty.

I threw up the crown, which her mom helped me with. Which is, her sorority at Michigan, Zeta, that’s their sign. And for me, it’s like, it means nothing to throw up something after a sack, but I knew it meant a lot to her and I wanted to make it special.

Win with character.

10/01/2018 - 11:29am Joined: 11/07/2011

Joined: 11/07/2011

MGoPoints: 29

Well, someone's gotta represent or we won't know!  If you're a lurker by nature then rest assured I'm not out to throw anyone into the deep water, but I hope we're not making some of our fellow MGoBlog readers into wallflowers out of hostility or misogyny.  That would make me sad, especially in light of recent events.

10/01/2018 - 11:18am The slant isn't some magical…

The slant isn't some magical play.  Opponents run slants against UM because Brown doesn't give them much else.  The DBs play a lot of press man and the front blitzes often, so OCs will try their hand with some rub routes into slants behind any blitzing LBs, get the ball out quickly, and have had some success with it.  It's a good sign when the defense forces the opponent into a particular dink-and-dunk play.  It's not like it loses us games; I'd rather be somewhat vulnerable to slants than, say, 50-yard TD passes.  Brown just has us in a spoiled world where we get mad if the opponent gets 5-7 yards, plus the defense tends to dorf about 1-2 times a game.

We didn't run as many slants against NW because we chip the DE with a TE and they're more of a zone team.  That's not to say we can't send someone on a slant, but it's just another route for our offense.

10/01/2018 - 11:01am I can see their logic.  NW…

I can see their logic.  NW is a very aggressive, downhill defense with a very good front, and we have ents for WRs so the gamble is, whether they're near the LoS or no, we have better athletes so put the ball out in space and dare NW's scrappy secondary to stop it.  It didn't pay off, but whether you're mashing up front or matching WRs with DBs, the gambit is the same -- "we're better than you and you can't stop us". . . well, they stopped us.

But I think Brian has a point.  Teams haven't consistently stopped ol' Murderface.  We don't want to grind him into the ground, but their usage of FB dive seemed conservative, especially on key downs.

09/28/2018 - 4:08pm I’VE BEEN SCHEMED

I’VE BEEN SCHEMED

09/28/2018 - 4:01pm I know Brian, I know.

I know Brian, I know.

Seriously though, we’re all hoping his recovery is going well.

09/28/2018 - 3:02pm It won't necessarily be a…

It won't necessarily be a nail-biter, and Northwestern will never be #CHAOSTEAM, but something will not go according to plan, logic, or even the laws of physics.  There's always something. . . off about this game.

09/28/2018 - 2:56pm This is an ongoing false…

This is an ongoing false choice perpetuated by distracting from the reality that the two perceptions aren't mutually exclusive.

Northwestern is a very one-dimensional team.  No one-dimensional team is going to be very good, so Michigan winning isn't going to tell us much about the rest of the season.  But assuming Michigan averts disaster, that doesn't mean there won't be takeaways from the game.  If they win by holding their own against Northwestern's front seven, that's matching strength with strength and bodes well for the rest of the season.  If they survive by emptying the playbook and having Patterson run around like a panicked chicken, we've known they have those options, and it won't be enough to keep up with more balanced rosters.

09/28/2018 - 2:45pm Loss will cause me to… pine…

Loss will cause me to… pine for Jake Long and photoshop his face on all of the tackles on Michigan's roster.

Not Murderwolf?  I'm expecting the shield to be replaced with Murderwolf's head on subsequent FFFFs, the way we're going.

09/28/2018 - 11:01am The QB was not, but the ball…

The QB was not, but the ball clearly crossed the plane.  Martinez jumped from just in front of the goal line and had to reach backwards for the ball.

The safety, I think, illustrates just how terrible the NCAA is at writing rules.  I mean, we see it all the time from the compliance side, but this is embarrassing.  If you think of the QB as a receiver, it was most definitely not a catch.  But Craig has a point -- if the QB tried to throw the ball to a receiver, it would've been a forward pass.  As infamously bad as O'Neill's crew is (no officiating crew should become famous because it means they're that bad, which these clowns are), there's no way to get this perfect because the rules themselves are complete nonsense.

09/28/2018 - 9:54am Now, Nebraska is shit and we…

Now, Nebraska is shit and we can’t take much away from the game?  So which is it? Is Nebraska “sneaky good” or not?

I understand the benefit of hindsight

If your reaction to people with the humility to admit their predictions were wrong is to fail to tell the difference between prediction and revision, and thus demand they clarify their stance again, then no, you don't understand the benefit of hindsight at all.

09/27/2018 - 10:12am Now, I've noticed a tendency…

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Now, I've noticed a tendency for this blog to get rather silly.  Now I do my best to keep things moving along, but I'm not having things getting silly.  Those two last Photoshops Ace did got very silly indeed, and that last one about the bed was even sillier.  Now, nobody likes a good laugh more than I do, except perhaps my wife and some of her friends. . . oh yes, and Captain Johnston.  Come to think of it, most people likes a good laugh more than I do.  But that's beside the point.  Now, let's have a good clean healthy UFR.  Get some air into your lungs.  Ten, nine, eight and all that.