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09/18/2018 - 11:34am Looking through the stats on…

Looking through the stats on the Team Rankings, I think a certain picture emerges.  The UM defense is elite on a down to down basis, doesn't give up many chunk plays, and as a whole doesn't allow a lot of yardage.  But this year's defense so far is giving up more points per play (in the 20s now as opposed to #2 in the nation in 2016), and the biggest thing is third down.  The last two years UM has been #1 in defensive third down conversion percentage.  This year, number 46.  To go along with that, UM is now #57 in sack percentage, as opposed to #1 the last two years.  I think this goes along with the 'feel' of the defense; it's great, but is giving up third downs by not pressuring the QB as we expected from the past two years.  

The question is, why?  I think the number 1 reason is lack of interior push and pass rush.  Losing Hurst probably affected this metric hugely.  Also, I'm not sure about the LBs.  They aren't racking up the sacks as much as previous years as well.  Are they not as effective on blitzes?  Is UM blitzing less and asking more coverage?

Also, the penalties are killing UM.  And the dropping of INTs.  How many drives would have been stopped early so far this year if the defense made the INT instead of dropping it or the opponent got a first down because of a penalty (sometimes legit, sometimes not).

09/18/2018 - 10:18am Yes, it's saying that with a…

Yes, it's saying that with a min of 3 FBS opponents, UM is the best in the country at preventing plays of 10+ yards.  Opponents are getting 10+ yards on a play 14.4% of the time.

09/18/2018 - 10:16am I mean, that's the thing…

I mean, that's the thing about sports.  A lot of opinions are based on 'feel' and not actual facts or stats.  Of course stats don't tell the whole picture, but if you're trying to have evidenced based opinions, they are crucial.  Now, I don't have stats for this, but it would be interesting to see how the UM defense stacks up in 20+, 40+ yard plays given.  It could be that UM's D is elite on a play to play basis, but when it does break, it breaks really big.

I hope someone does have those stats.  And I also would like to see TFL and sacks numbers compared to the last two years.  I feel (see no stats to back this up yet), that part of the problem is the D is not getting as many chaos plays, such as TFLs, sacks, TOs.  Like Ohio States Ds in the past years I believe gave up more yards often, but were really good at getting sacks and forcing TOs which made their defense elite in the advanced stats.  

09/15/2018 - 10:47pm To me, just form tackle. …

To me, just form tackle.  Keep your head up, wrap up.  Anytime you keep your arms in and lead with a shoulder you're asking for targeting.  Just form tackle.

09/15/2018 - 10:46pm I don't want the D to lose…

I don't want the D to lose it's aggression.  But aggressive doesn't mean undisciplined.  There's no reason for backside DEs to crash so goddamn hard on things way on the other side without using your eyes to check for a reverse.  If OL lets you go by, someone check for a screen.  Aggressive and undisciplined are not mutually exclusive.

09/15/2018 - 10:41pm You do realize that all the…

You do realize that all the advanced stats that have Brown's defenses as some of the best in the nation no matter where he goes are adjusted for opponent strength and exclude garbage time, correct?

09/15/2018 - 10:35pm There's nothing gimmicky at…

There's nothing gimmicky at all about it.  Every defense and scheme has weaknesses.  Brown's have always been QBs able to break the pocket and in press-man, get some yards, and also be vulernable to reverses/screens becasue of aggressiveness.  Brown needs to just adjust as other adjust to him.  The biggest thing to me is lack of pass rush TFLs.  I'm not sure if that is because of DTs or blitzes not getting home.  But containing the QB and getting pressure is number one concern right now especially given the modern game.  I think there needs to be more disguising of different coverages as well.

08/31/2018 - 2:11pm A good QB can make quite the…

A good QB can make quite the difference though.  UM and ND are otherwise probably pretty equal.  I would say based on previous performances, Shea is a much better passer.  Wimbush however ran for 5.7 ypc last year and got over 800 yards.  The easiest way to lose this game for both teams is turnovers.  Outside of that, UM wins if they can force ND to throw the ball.  And don't let Wimbush break the pocket.

08/31/2018 - 1:34pm God, I would love to have a…

God, I would love to have a nice thing when it comes to UM football.  But you know that even if UM wins it just is going to turn out ND kind of stinks, UM is mediocre, and a win won't mean much.  Like it always does

08/30/2018 - 10:14am I think the NCAA though the…

I think the NCAA though the hockey playoffs has proved that 100% empty isn't a problem as long as the money keeps coming in.  Wherever the balance between appearances and money is, that is where they will draw the line.

08/30/2018 - 10:12am I don't think what you said…

I don't think what you said was false at all.  Probably the debate is over what does it mean and why.  I would say that section is probably the most important to long term viability as that is who will be giving the program money in the next 10-40 years.  So kind of got to deal with the issues inherent with having young adults with busy schedules experiencing the most freedom and independence they've likely ever had.

And to go along with that, the bigger problem in my view, and perhaps this is skewed by my focus on UM, is that why aren't they showing up?  It seems weird to me that in this case, we often blame the consumer for not wanting to buy the product instead of looking at the product to see why people don't want to buy it.  I'm the later category personally.  I just can't get excited for this season.  The last 15 years since I started at UM has been a string of disspointments and no fun.  Why would I want to buy that when there's so much other parts of life that can offer the opposite.  I actually made plans this Saturday night.  It's going to be the first season opener I miss in like 15 years unless my irrational love for UM overrides my ennui, or plans change last minute.  With twin 22 month olds, the later happens quite a lot.

08/29/2018 - 1:57pm I think your post is really…

I think your post is really more of an indictment of UM and their inability to modernize their offense and run game.  You are correct that Mike Hart was a career 5.0 runner.  He is probably one of the 'best' although as a pure ball carrier, career 5.0 with no deep speed does not speak well for your offense. 

08/29/2018 - 1:34pm Exactly.  Fournette averaged…

Fournette averaged like 6.2 per carry for his college career.  Dillion's freshman year is much more akin to Mike Hart.  So good!  But not elite by any means.

07/16/2018 - 2:06pm I don't know how it works…

I don't know how it works world wide, but in Europe, if you have an EU passport, you can work in the EU before 18.  That's why a lot of young Europeans train outside of their home countries, and also why dual nationals will get EU passports if they live abroad.  Like Pulisic got his Croatian passport when he was like 16 or something so he could move and train with Dortmund before 18.  Matt Miazga got his Polish passport to do the same.  

I think in most of the world, the domestic leagues's business models involve selling players to bigger clubs when young.  Like Brazil's domestic league trains and develops a ton of talent that they will sell to bigger clubs around the world when able, even if after 18.  They're good enough that European countries will buy a guy they didn't develop from like 15.  That's the model MLS needs to embrace if US soccer as a whole is to take the next step forward.

07/16/2018 - 1:33pm I was really surprised Amon…

I was really surprised Amon didn't get a call up for those friendlies the US played earlier this summer.  Not the highest league he's playing in, but he put some impressive performances in a legit pro league a young age.  Hopefully we see him for the next round of friendlies.  And it's crazy to think about, but if the qualifying schedule follows past cycles, WC qualifying will start in little over a year, in fall of 2019.  So even some of those older guys, if they're not in for the next WC in 2022, the US is going to need them (like Altidore and Johansson).  

And speaking of Johansson, I doubt he regrets choosing US over Iceland.  Remember, he's already played and started in a World Cup.  And got further than Iceland did!  And with his injuries lately, he probably wouldn't have gotten called up to the Iceland squad anyway.  So he's still ahead with the US so far.  And since he's a Bremen also, it would be awesome to see a Johansson/Sargent strike force do well there.

06/28/2018 - 11:34am Also, I think Panama and…

Also, I think Panama and Tunisa might be a more interesting game than Belgium/England.  Not as good soccer, but both teams have nothing to lose and will be looking to salvage some good memories out of the world cup.  It might be quite interesting actually.

06/28/2018 - 11:29am I mean, England and Belgium…

I mean, England and Belgium shouldn't try to lose...but it would be adventageous to maybe rest your starters, but your B team out there, avoid yellows, etc, and if you end up losing and end up in a much easier bracket, well then that's a bonus.

06/22/2018 - 11:27am Yeah, that dive was bad.  He…

Yeah, that dive was bad.  He should have gotten a yellow.  I'm hoping VAR cuts down on that.  4 years ago that penalty would have stood.

06/22/2018 - 10:10am Brazil haven't look great so…

Brazil haven't look great so far and it probably doesn't help starting an 80% Neymar, but this is also just what Costa Rica does.  For like the last 8 years they've devised and drilled a system of heavy deep defending with efficient low volume counter attacks that has worked wonders.  Brazil is not the first big time team they've made look worse than they actually are.

06/22/2018 - 10:10am Brazil haven't look great so…

Brazil haven't look great so far and it probably doesn't help starting an 80% Neymar, but this is also just what Costa Rica does.  For like the last 8 years they've devised and drilled a system of heavy deep defending with efficient low volume counter attacks that has worked wonders.  Brazil is not the first big time team they've made look worse than they actually are.

06/22/2018 - 10:07am Man, if casual fans hate…

Man, if casual fans hate theatrics and time wasting, then casual fans must also hate every other sport in existance.  No wonder no sports teams can make money in America.

Personally I love to watch Costa Rica play at the World Cup.  We as USMNT know their game, but it's hilarious to see other big national teams get Concacaf'd and not understand what is happening, nor expect it.  It was awesome to see Costa Rica do this exact same thing to Italy, England, Uruguay, the Netherlands and they never see it coming

 

06/19/2018 - 2:11pm It's not just you. …

It's not just you.  Sometimes when I listen to him on podcasts, he says some genuinely insightful things, and to here him talk about preparing to be on air, he does a lot of research.  Then by the time he distills everything into the few minutes he has to talk on air, it ends up being just another Hot Take with no insight.

06/19/2018 - 12:47pm I mean, in theory I agree. …

I mean, in theory I agree.  But I think the problem, at least historically, is that you didn't get the call without theatrics.  I mean why does Jay Wright and Tom Izzo constantly berate the refs no matter what happens?  I mean I hate that, but it works.  They get the calls with no repercussions, so they do it.  Same principle.  I don't think this applies to you, but I also get annoyed with people who complain about flopping and why it's the reason they don't like soccer without applying that same logic to other sports they enjoy.  But that's like just my opinion man.

06/19/2018 - 12:47pm I mean, in theory I agree. …

I mean, in theory I agree.  But I think the problem, at least historically, is that you didn't get the call without theatrics.  I mean why does Jay Wright and Tom Izzo constantly berate the refs no matter what happens?  I mean I hate that, but it works.  They get the calls with no repercussions, so they do it.  Same principle.  I don't think this applies to you, but I also get annoyed with people who complain about flopping and why it's the reason they don't like soccer without applying that same logic to other sports they enjoy.  But that's like just my opinion man.

06/19/2018 - 12:37pm If Japan and Senegal get out…

If Japan and Senegal get out of the group with Columbia and Poland...well that would be very entertaining in a chaos way.  Probably less entertaining in quality soccer way at least if Columbia is eliminated.  But with the US not even making it, I just want chaos.  And for Mexico to lose badly.

06/19/2018 - 12:35pm I personally don't get all…

I personally don't get all the hate about flopping.  I mean, I laugh at the over the top rolls, but whatever.  A player is under no obligation to act tough after getting fouled.  And with how difficult it is to see fouls, I don't have a problem with a player calling attention to getting fouled.  What I really hate is the diving.  At least VAR might take a big bite out of that, especially the dives that try and get a player red carded or a penalty called.

06/19/2018 - 12:33pm Yes, they do look better…

Yes, they do look better today.  Historically according to the FIFA rankings the past two years is the only time Poland has been in the top 10.  Most of this decade they were 50-70, until this past cycle when the started gaming the rankings and vaulted way up.  With the new ranking system FIFA is going to use I think Poland is low teens in rankings.  Senegal is like mid-low 20s in the same ranking (about the same as the US).

06/19/2018 - 12:30pm Total mismanagement by the…

Total mismanagement by the referee there for sure.  But also a really bad back pass by Poland there.  And the Senegal guy even bent his run to stay onside.  Not that I think it mattered with Poland back passing.

06/19/2018 - 11:57am As far as Poland, I don't…

As far as Poland, I don't think it's too surprising.  Mostly because it's a bit difficult to actually know how good Poland is.  They totally gamed the rankings this past cycle to get into Pot 1 and get an easier draw.  They just decided not to play friendlies, so they have limited evidence to say exactly how good they are.  They're good, but probably closer to Senegal than one might think.

06/18/2018 - 1:36pm I mean, yes, I've been…

I mean, yes, I've been watching soccer since like 2012 closely.  Hence why I qualified it with recent years.  But even in the early part of this decade, Belgium had some really nice players on the roster used for Euro qualifying; Hazard, Kompany, De Bruyne, Dembele, Mertens, Fillaini, Benteke, Lukaku.  Granted, they were all younger and not in current form, but still, that's a lot of talent to lose to not qualify for Euros over Turkey.  Kind of fits the narrative that they have a lot of talent, but the national team can't quite put it together.

06/18/2018 - 12:28pm Hasn't that been pretty much…

Hasn't that been pretty much the story with Belgium in recent years though?  On paper as much talent to seemingly go toe to toe on the biggest stages with the global powers, but just never can seem to put it together.  I feel like they're the perennial 'dark horse' to win at every big tournament since I've been watching soccer.

At least they still make great beer.

06/18/2018 - 11:12am I mean, of course, the only…

I mean, of course, the only reason to dislike Mexico is because they're the US's main rival.  I mean otherwise, they're just a bunch of regular ol' people from a fine country.  But this is sports.  I need no other reason than that they're a rival to hate them with the fire of the sun.  I see them as OSU because they're the main regional power that stands in the US's way from dominance of the conference if only the US could get out of it's own way.  Just like UM.  But either way, all that matter is that Mexico lose so bad they decide to dismantle the whole program and all the dual nationals declare to play for the US.

06/18/2018 - 9:49am Since the USMNT didn't make…

Since the USMNT didn't make it, my rooting interest is for everyone to loose and every fanbase to have a terrible time.  Especially Mexico.  They're the Ohio State of the soccer world, in that their fan base is terrible and they are terrible and should cease to exist.  Can't believe they beat Germany.  

06/15/2018 - 1:11pm This is what the program has…

This is what the program has been missing.  Now UM can win a championship!

But seriously....meh, they're fine.  Look good.  Looked good without them too.

06/14/2018 - 4:00pm Ummm, I mean Brian is a huge…

Ummm, I mean Brian is a huge USMNT and soccer fan.  Every four years with the US in the World Cup MGoBlog turns to world cup content.  And promptly pisses of a handful of die hard soccer haterz.  But I personally love it.  

06/14/2018 - 2:43pm So, even though the US shat…

So, even though the US shat the bed for the World Cup this cycle, I'm really missing the every 4 years WC coverage that usually is in this blog.  Any chance you can dry your tears and give some coverage?  Or if the apathy is just too much, any chance for a post-WC US preview for the coming cycle after our nightmare is in the rear view and US Soccer tries not to utterly implode over the next few years?

06/13/2018 - 11:50am Old easily.  Finding the…

Old easily.  Finding the quickly looking at the message board was far easier in my phone with the old.  I need four clicks and  multiple pages to load to get to it on mobile now.  Plus I felt the old was much cleaner design.  I never understood why people complained about the old one.

05/31/2018 - 2:40pm Yes, that's the guy.  I

Yes, that's the guy.  I believe when the violations started getting reported, Godfrey basically parroted the Ole Miss coaching staff in some articles/interivews and 'reported' that the vioaltions and such didn't concern football and weren't a big deal and nothing would happen.  Basically didn't do any due diligence in his reporting.  Contributed to why guys like Patterson even went there in the first place because Ole Miss convinced a lot of people there were no real violations and it was all nothing.  Godfrey contributed to that.  Pretty sure Brian calls him out on that and Godfrey doesn't like to be reminded about it.

05/24/2018 - 2:16pm No crap we're not peaches. 

No crap we're not peaches.  We're human beings.  Not fruit.  Typical woman; doesn't even know the difference between a person and a fruit.

05/24/2018 - 2:08pm He partied too much.  I

He partied too much.  I remember reading an article that about when Messi started at Barca and the Barca higher ups were worried that Messi was hanging out with Ronaldinho too much.  They were afraid that Messi would follow Ronaldinho down the hole of not applying himself and achieving his full potential.

05/24/2018 - 2:02pm Wait, wait, wait...you think

Wait, wait, wait...you think it's bonkers that rich, famous man is doting on and banging two women at the same time?  Or that even said two women are aware of each other?  Or is the bonkers part just that such an arrangement is happening under one roof instead of two seperate ones?  Frankly, nothing about this seems very unusual to me, except the label 'marriage' he's applying to it.

05/02/2018 - 2:04pm I don't know, I can see how

I don't know, I can see how it may help.  I'm probably a small demographic here, but I have boy/girl twins, I am an Eagle Scout any my wife has her Gold Award, we both want our kids to do scouting, but in our discussions about scouting, it's pretty clear the infrastructue to offer greater experiences is, or at least was, much higher in the BSA.  My wife says she wishes she could have been in my troop.  We both had well run troops (mine was probably extrememly well run), but I had easier access to all the high adventure camps and jamborees that my wife just didn't.  I know Ventures in co-ed, but that's not until your older and getting in a troop and enviornment that fostors growth toward those high adventure experiences is important for retention and growth. 

And secondly, man, it makes it a hell of a lot easier on us parents to juggle one troop instead of two.  I know that's a bit selfish, but man, we already got a lot going on in life.  

My wife and I acknowledge there are definiate advantages, at least in our opinion, to single-gender spaces at times, so it would be a big change for a co-ed troop, but I can also see a lot of advantages.  In the end, how this turns out will probably have to do with how well individual troops are run.

04/12/2018 - 1:36pm I mean, thanks for the off

I mean, thanks for the off season content, but this offseason is going to be brutal.  I was really looking forward to reading all the world cup content we get once very 4 years, but instead it looks like content on the most boring, flopping-est league in the world, the NBA.  Ugh.

03/30/2018 - 10:30am This feels like typical

This feels like typical offseason stuff and trying to rationalize sub-par performance last year.  Maybe S&C had something to do with it.  But the defense was still dominate.  It was just poor QB play, uninspired offensive strategy/playcalling (until the OSU game), bad luck, and above all, poor OL play (and that's technique and learning how to pick up a damn stunt).  Last year didn't feel like they got overpowered.

03/28/2018 - 11:28am Kind of my thoughts exactly. 

Kind of my thoughts exactly.  He never seemed like a bad dude, but he is the embodiment of a recent Izzo team: athletic marvel that plays an old style of basketball and thinks toughness is yelling a lot and flexing after getting an open dunk.  Has no idea what true toughness is, as do none of Izzo's recent teams as far as I can remember.

03/27/2018 - 8:35am In the little bit I was able

In the little bit I was able to catch from his highlight packages in the tournement, seems like he got a lot/most of his baskets off pick-and roll.  Man, this team really does remind me of an older Jordan Morgan led Beilein team.  Great ball movement, passing, 4 out offense, non-athletic 5 that finishes at the rim assisted with a high clip.  They're really gonna have to work on that pick and roll D this week, as that seems like how the Jackson scores and he's gonna be like 50%ish of the minutes at the 5.

03/26/2018 - 10:46am Yeah, I forgot about that

Yeah, I forgot about that goaltend, and then I believe they turned that into a fast break and Wagner got called for a teerrrrible block that was pretty clearly a charge, they hit both free throws, and it was a 4 point swing.  UM had the chance to put the hammer down so many times in that game.  

Also, but FSU is a pretty bad three throw team and they hit 90% in that game.  Normalize UM's three shooting and FSU's FTs and UM wins by like 20.

03/26/2018 - 10:10am Yeah, I'm really interested

Yeah, I'm really interested to see how they do.  This year felt a little flukly, i.e won games, but not in great fasion, bouyed by 1) the B1G POY, who was legit really really good, and 2) the unbalanced schedules.  I think they played MSU, Purdue only once, lost to Penn State twice, split with UM, played Nebraska once at home.  What kind of recruiting classes are they bringing in?

03/26/2018 - 10:03am When Krutwig is on the bench,

When Krutwig is on the bench, what does the line-up look like?  Who is the replacement center?

03/26/2018 - 10:00am Didn't Beilein put in Livers

Didn't Beilein put in Livers at the 5 for a short period at some point this weekend?  I imagine that would be the move if needed.