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Date Title Body
09/22/2018 - 2:35pm OK, I’ll bite...which…

OK, I’ll bite...which recruits are Michigan hosting today?

09/21/2018 - 2:27pm If its been going on for two…

If its been going on for two years, that doesn't sound like a nagging issue.

09/21/2018 - 1:22pm Yeah, if his main impact is…

Yeah, if his main impact is in a Charles Woodson-esque "just don't go on that side of the field" kinda way and he doesn't do much outside of that because of limited opportunity, then that's pretty OK.

Unless we can get him returning some punts and some touches on offense...

09/21/2018 - 1:14pm Exactly.  I mean, look at…

Exactly.  I mean, look at what Penn State did to them.

Also makes me wonder what the state of the offensive lines Michigan played against last season was.

09/21/2018 - 1:06pm Could be one of those…

Could be one of those injuries that you can play with at like an 80% capacity, but requires surgery and 8 weeks or so of recovery time to really fix.  In that instance, rest isn't going to do anything, surgery knocks you out almost the whole season, so may as well play.  Because 80% of Gary is still pretty damn good.

09/21/2018 - 1:01pm Think it just might be as…

Think it just might be as simple as the secondary was never as good as we thought it was, and was the beneficiary of a front 7 that got to the QB and collapsed pockets awfully quick last year.  The defense isn't getting to the QB nearly as quick as they were last year which is giving the WRs more time to get open and the QBs more time to find them.

Couple of early stats to back that up:

Opp. completion percentage 52.2% through three games (29th nationally) vs. 48.7% for all of last year (3rd)

Sacks: 2 per game (58th nationally) vs. 3.23 per game (7th)

TFLs: 7.67 per game (24th nationally) vs. 8.77 per game (1st)

Third down conversions: 34.8% (58th nationally) vs. 26.1% (1st)

 

Overall I don't think the concern is that the defense isn't going to be the A+ we thought it was going to be and will rather be an A- at worst, its that its going to be a solid B.  Because the only thing they've really been at an A or higher level is yards allowed per game (276 pg, 12th).  But the three offenses they've played are at 100th, 48th, and 126th nationally in yards per game.  So....not a whole lot to beat your chest about. (Also shout out to Western for being the best offense they've faced).

09/21/2018 - 12:46pm Definitely wouldn't surprise…

Definitely wouldn't surprise me to hear a bye week or end of season "Gary was playing through injury X all-season" report.

09/21/2018 - 12:43pm I don't buy that for a…

I don't buy that for a second because you have Winovich on the other side that's a pretty damn good counterpoint to that argument.  Also, Mattison's long track record at coaching guys up.

It could honestly be as simple as Gary lacks that "high motor" trait you always hear about.  Or lacks a super aggressive "I'm going to destroy you" trait.  All the crazy measurables and speed in the world don't mean much if you're trying to go around someone when you're capable of going through them or you're only going 75-80% on every snap.

Or maybe he has a lingering injury that doesn't prevent him from playing, but only allows him to go 75-80%.

//insert shrug emoji

09/19/2018 - 1:44pm The NFL cares about…

The NFL cares about measurables almost more than anything.

Source: Every debate around every draft that always has the counterpoint "yeah...but have you actually watched him play in college?"

09/18/2018 - 4:50pm Gary's play this season is…

Gary's play this season is just kind of perplexing.  I've seen the gifs of him getting triple teamed, and have read the bits about Don Brown asking him to take on some non-glory roles (like getting triple teamed) but man....feels like a first round DE candidate should have a whole lot more than 1.5 TLF and 1 sack through three games -- two of which were against tomato cans.

And its not like anyone else on the defense is really benefiting from him taking on triple teams.  The team is only 18th in TFLs and 53rd in sacks this season (down from 1st and 8th last season).

Am I missing something?

09/18/2018 - 4:42pm Would love to know the…

Would love to know the breakdown between what Rutgers brings to the table in terms of Big Ten Network subs vs. what they take from the larger Big Ten pool of money.  Like if you boot them from the conference, from a strictly financial perspective is it a net win or loss?

I'd imagine that there are kickers in the contracts the Big Ten has with ESPN and Fox that are tied to a number of teams that would change if you kick Rutgers out, but I'd also imagine that any negotiator worth their salt could entice the networks to just let that slide given they are going to get less Team X vs. Rutgers matchups shitting all over their ratings.

09/18/2018 - 10:15am Michigan is currently…

Michigan is currently Northwestern.  Being Iowa would be an upgrade.

09/15/2018 - 9:42pm I think this is the correct…

I think this is the correct take.  The DL and LBs haven't been getting as much pressure, which allows the QB more time to scan the field and the WRs more time to get open.  Which is a combo that'll make your secondary look a whole lot worse.

09/15/2018 - 9:38pm The thing that stood out to…

The thing that stood out to me the most is that the front seven hasn't really been able to get much pressure at all through 3 games.  They had barely any at all in this game.  SMU's QBs frequently had ample time back there to do whatever they wanted.

Its really hard to argue that this defense isn't a clear step back from last seasons' defense.  Which given all of the talent that came back is really alarming.

09/15/2018 - 9:30pm I was going to reply that…

I was going to reply that they got kinda carved up, but decided to look at the box score again an eh...  passing wise they went 19/34 for 209 and had 31 rushes for 109 yards.  So maybe not.

But it did feel an awful lot like the Notre Dame game where they can't seem to get off the field when they need to, allow untimely 3rd and 4th down conversions (SMU was 3/4 on 4th down) and have a penchant for shooting themselves in the foot often.

If this was a young defense, you'd think time would iron some of those things out, but its an extremely vet heavy and experienced defense.  My guess is these are all season long issues.

09/15/2018 - 7:07pm It honestly really is one of…

It honestly really is one of the worst I’ve seen. Turned the game into an unwatchable mess. Fortunately it happened in a game that was a win and didn’t really matter.

Still made my blood pressure unnecessarily high though.

09/14/2018 - 2:34pm I've wanted an elite safety…

I've wanted an elite safety ever since Demar Dorsey (RIP No Fly Zone).  I've also wanted an elite RB commit for like several decades.

To get both in one class would be something.

09/14/2018 - 2:33pm It's worked out well for me…

It's worked out well for me.  Getting an actual job in the field of journalism/media is like 90% about connections and who you know anyway, and the Michigan name works out pretty well for that.  Then once you're in, its all entry-level grunt work and you pick up the finer points as you go.

If you really want to be a writer or something, then working for the Michigan Daily is essentially your major.  If you want to work in video, you really don't need a specific major for that.  Plenty of people teach themselves to edit, animate, shoot video, etc.  If I'm hiring someone out of college for a video role, I'd rather see what you've got on your YouTube page than hear about what you learned in some class.  Show me you have the basics down, and I can teach you the rest.

09/10/2018 - 11:08am There was a small part of me…

There was a small part of me that died and then a larger part of me that yelled out GODDAMNIT when Ambry came into the game on Saturday and they ran yet another sweep with him.

I mean...JFC...is there not even a smidge of offensive creativity on this staff, that the only play they can come up with for a player like that is a sweep?

If I never saw Michigan run another sweep play, I'd be pretty content.

09/08/2018 - 8:31pm Why? The running game was…

Why? The running game was equally as bad against Notre Dame.  Get that going against a cupcake, get your OL some confidence that they can do at least ONE thing right, and then work on the passing game gradually.

Throwing the ball 40-45 times ain't gonna accomplish shit.  Other than make a game that should in no way be close, be close.

I swear...some of y'all armchair coaches -- AND the people that upvote their nonsense -- are THE. WORST.

09/07/2018 - 6:49pm That’s my issue too, and…

That’s my issue too, and that’s why I said doing impersonations of other offenses. They are full *anything* but try and throw in their interpretation of others offenses.

Like in my world at work — and I think this applies to football too — there are some people that are creative and have a great design background and there are some that are not, but are technically sound enough to know what the other person is doing and do a knockoff/reaction/interpretation. But it’s never as good as the original and always behind the trends as a result of their deficiencies. To me, from what I’ve seen the last four years Harbaugh is the later. 

09/07/2018 - 4:59pm Protection grading is all…

Protection grading is all lumped together for the whole line in a single box at the bottom of the whole chart.

09/07/2018 - 4:52pm This team's offense is DOA…

This team's offense is DOA until Harbaugh cedes offensive play calling duties.  Get a real OC and quit trying to do impressions of other offenses.

Unlike someone like Saban who adapted his offense to the way CFB changed, Harbaugh hasn't and also hasn't show any desire to do so.

So.....I guess this is just how it is for the foreseeable future. [shrug emoji]

09/07/2018 - 4:37pm I noticed the same thing,…

I noticed the same thing, and to me, it just felt like there were several guys a play (especially in the first half) that were about a half step slow from making a play.  Like if they had just been a tiny bit quicker they would have gotten someone in the backfield, or stopped a long run, or contained Wimbush.  Maybe that's just rust, maybe Notre Dame is pretty good and fast themselves, or maybe our guys actually did get slower.

If people are noticing the same thing the next few weeks, then we really know we have an issue. Until then, it could just be written off as first game rust.

09/07/2018 - 4:33pm The offensive line should…

The offensive line should start to be better next season, and then probably be pretty decent -- maybe even good -- by 2020.

But the DL?  Woof.  There are red flags galore for next season and beyond.

09/07/2018 - 4:26pm Don't forget Penn State or…

Don't forget Penn State or Maryland.  That Maryland game has trap game written all over it.  Its the week after going to Northwestern, and the week before Wisconsin.

09/07/2018 - 4:15pm Here are the DT's they've…

Here are the DT's they've recruited the last four classes.

2019: Chris Hinton

2018: Decided to take this year off from recruiting DTs, I guess.

2017: Solomon, Irving-Bey (transferred to CMU), Jeter (transferred to CMU), Paea (moved to OL)

2016: Dwumfor, Kemp (currently a SDE)

 

Which, yes, if Hinton makes it into the class leaves them with three whole DTs on the whole roster.  Solomon, Dwumfor, and Hinton.  Maybe four if Kemp moves inside.

Soooo....no.  No they are not.  In 2019 or 2020 when there are cries of WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DL, this is your answer.  Just print this off and hang it on your fridge for later reference.

09/07/2018 - 3:11pm Ehhh...some things were…

Ehhh...some things were Drevno's fault, but the OL was already in dire straights when Harbaugh and Co. got here.  Had Harbaugh emphasized a need for more OL like the giant red flag it was, the program and OL wouldn't be in the state is is now.

Instead, in his 2015 transition class he picked up: OT Newsome, OT Ulizio, and OT Runyan. 

Then he followed that up in 2016 (the class where it should have been a MAJOR priority with 5-6 linemen) with OT Bredson, OG Onwenu, and OG Spanellis.  That's it.  He signed three goddamn TEs that class.  WHY?!?!?!  How much better is the OL this year if 1-2 of those TEs are offensive linemen?

And even 2017 isn't that great.  They got C Ruiz, OT Filiaga (now plays guard), OT Ja'Raymond Hall (now plays for CMU), OT Joel Honigford, and OT Andrew Stueber.

 

Four seasons in, and the OL is much worse off than it was when he got here.  Because at least that 2015 OL had Magnuson, Braden, Glasgow, and Cole -- four guys that are in the NFL.  Would be surprised if anyone on this current OL outside of Ruiz (assuming he improves) is headed for the NFL.

09/07/2018 - 1:57pm What if I told you, the RB…

What if I told you, the RB would only pick up 4 more yards from here.  ESPN 30 for 30 Presents: My Kingdom For A Good Running Back

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09/07/2018 - 11:36am "A look at your wife…

"A look at your wife compared to Tom Brady's wife" -- an MGoPost

09/07/2018 - 11:25am A lack of recruiting,…

Have you looked at the (lack of) depth chart recently?

A lack of recruiting, transfers, iffy development...lot of similarities between the DL now and the OL from a few years ago.  Like all of the people that were saying in 2015 and 2016 "hey should't we be recruiting some OTs?"...yeah been a lot of those people the last few years when it comes to DL recruiting.  Especially recruiting DTs.

09/07/2018 - 11:20am As soon as Michigan gets…

As soon as Michigan gets their OL squared away, we're going to have to start doing all the customary lookback posts of "why is the DL bad?"  All of the issues that made the OL the way it is -- ignoring the position in recruiting, ill-timed transfers, lack of development -- its all there on the DL.  We just don't know it yet because they still have Gary and Winovich.

09/06/2018 - 2:33pm Yeah, I came back to edit…

Yeah, I came back to edit that comment.  I'm not going to now since people have replied, but when I wrote it I was thinking more along the lines of the people he called out -- specifically Ruiz.  Because when I first saw his tweet and saw he mentioned Ruiz, I thought he was nuts.  But after seeing some of these clips, I think he was right to an extent.  Calling out players sure, but not the heart or softness part.

09/06/2018 - 2:29pm Agree with this, but prior…

Agree with this, but prior to the season I was of the mindset that well at the very least the interior of the OL will be good.  Now?  There's more gaps in the OL than there are in Urban Meyer's memory.

09/06/2018 - 1:15pm 38-13 Michigan

38-13 Michigan

09/06/2018 - 12:31pm Yeah, if anything these made…

Yeah, if anything these made me feel slightly better about Runyan and much, much worse about Ruiz.

09/06/2018 - 12:30pm So.....Braylon was right?

So.....Braylon was right?

09/06/2018 - 12:30pm I can't imagine having your…

I can't imagine having your center ever chase a guy across the line is ever a good idea.

09/06/2018 - 12:28pm His efforts in this game may…

His efforts in this game may be why he wasn't playing center last season.

09/06/2018 - 12:27pm First start at center, but…

First start at center, but he played half the year at guard last year.  Granted this is only a few plays, but man...Ruiz looked pretty bad.  When the UFR comes around, I'd expect him to grade out slightly above Runyan territory.

09/06/2018 - 10:43am These guys are living out my…

These guys are living out my fantasies.  There are more than a few coworkers I'd like to throat punch.

09/05/2018 - 1:20pm Michigan also is working…

Michigan also is working uphill in terms of academic standards, geography, and very likely large bags of money. It's not like you can offer someone anything more just because you really really need them, other than just more attention. 

I don't buy that for a second.  Wisconsin, Iowa, MSU, ND, etc all have the same limitations Michigan does.  Stanford too.  But they all manage to field offensive lines that aren't crippling to their offenses.

09/05/2018 - 1:15pm If we're talking next season…

If we're talking next season, that's still a pair of tackles who are only in their second season of action at the position, so its still going to be a giant red flag and a big weak spot for that OL.

2018 is likely just going to be a really bad year for the OTs and the OL in general -- worse than last year.  2019 might see them get back to a plus version of 2017's bad OL.

2020 is going to be the year that there's actually some depth, experience, and age across the OL.

09/05/2018 - 12:32pm That 2016 class failure is…

That 2016 class failure is just so, so bad.  Whatever impact you feel Newsome's injury may have had on the program the failure to recruit a single tackle in a class that should have had four of them is just so much worse.  It will continue to drag the offense down for at least this season and the next.

09/05/2018 - 12:25pm Likely two seasons, counting…

Likely two seasons, counting this one and then in 2020 it might be OK if the true freshman tackles pan out.  But even then, you're going to be starting redshirt sophomores or true juniors (maybe a redshirt JR if Hudson pans out) at tackle which is still less than ideal.

09/05/2018 - 12:23pm Next-next year is the year,…

Next-next year is the year, baby!  In 2020 Michigan might have a semi-functional OL.  Wooo!!!

09/04/2018 - 10:18pm The significance of the 0-17…

The significance of the 0-17 stat and the 9-9 is that for all the hype and promise, in terms of beating good teams and actually turning the program around in a notable way, Harbaugh isn't much different than his predecessors.

Saw someone on Saturday critique the notion that the loss to Notre Dame was program-defining.  And they were right, but for the wrong reason.  The loss to Notre Dame is just more of the current definition of the program: can't win on the road, can't beat good teams.  A win against Notre Dame would have been the program-defining moment.

09/04/2018 - 10:07pm Tis true. Over the last 10…

Tis true. Over the last 10 seasons:

Northwestern: 77-51

Michigan: 74-53

 

And just for shits and giggles:

Iowa: 82-48

 

So just look at the bright side.  Maybe Harbaugh is our Kirk Ferentz.

09/04/2018 - 8:38pm Yeah somehow I feel worse…

Yeah somehow I feel worse. Didn’t quite realize that streak went back a decade plus. To me, “hasn’t beat a ranked team since 2007” sounds worse than 0-17. Sorry, 0-16.

09/04/2018 - 8:37pm I don’t know that pointing…

I don’t know that pointing out that they actually beat a ranked team on the road 11 years ago is really helping the matter.