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Date Title Body
09/20/2010 - 1:01pm Don't be so literal with a cliche

I completely agree with you, but that's exactly what the cliche means.  Make sure you try as hard as you can to maximize the time you have possession of the ball.  Sure you will eventually have to give the ball back to the other team, but you can effect the conditions to which you give the ball back.  If a team only passes, I guarantee there will be more possessions in a game.  If your defense sucks, that's a bad thing.  Along the same lines, if you always go for it on 4th down, you're still going to give the ball back the other team, it's just that you are more likely to give the ball back after scoring yourself more.  Sure sometimes you'll give the ball back to them in better field position than they would have got if you had punted because you didn't make the 4th down conversion.  But when your defense is bad enough to the point where it probably doesn't matter, then try to maximize the amount of possessions you score points, and not play for field position.

09/20/2010 - 12:41pm Going for it on 4th Down

Brian said something that I have been thinking all season.  We should never punt the ball whenever we are on the opponents side of the field.  I have to imagine that almost any of our opponents will be able to make it back to the 50-yard line at almost a 50% clip even if we punt it down to their 10-yard line.  So why ever punt.  If you game plan always going for it on 4th down in that situation, then you can call a larger variety of plays in 3rd down and over 5+ yards.  Also, with how explosive our offense is, if you do pick up the 1st down, we will score the majority of the time.  I haven't examined the numbers, but I bet we have scored on an extremely high-percentage of drives that weren't submarined by penalties (and I wouldn't be surprised if maybe we would have scored on more of those if we had just planned on going for it on 4th down).

And finally, to me, it's like the how other teams talk about defending Denard cliche.  The best way to prevent Denard from hurting you is by keeping Denard on the sideline.  The best way to keep the inexperienced, depleted Michigan defense from hurting us is by keeping them on the sideline.  Even if you only make 50% of those 4th downs, that's still half as many drives that the other team has a chance to take advantage of our defense.

12/10/2009 - 11:50am The buck doesn't stop at UofM sports teams either...

I know not everyone that is a Michigan fan cares about Detroit sports as much as I do, but for those that do, this is even worse because the Tigers just lost the Division after leading since May on the last game of the season (a record), the Lions continue to be the worst franchise in the NFL, the Red Wings are having their worst season in decades with no end to the injuries in sight, and the Pistons are struggling through their re-building phase with 3 of their top 5-6 players injured. This year makes considering '"When it rains, it pours" is a complete understatement' a complete understatement.

There is no escape anywhere.

04/07/2009 - 3:15pm ShockFX

I agree with you completely. OSU had a better offense then ours lately with all aspects included, but this original post was intended to argue that Michigan had a "meh" running game the last 5 years, and therefore, needed to be improved. It was argued this way due to the data that was put forth. And I'm not necessarily arguing against that. My only point is that the data does not "necessarily" support the intended argument. That's all.

This is going to be ridiculous, but let's assume Michigan ran the ball 50% of the time and passed 50% of the time. Let's say every time we ran the ball, we gained exactly 10 yards, and every time we passed the ball, we got sacked for 10 yards. Every time. Therefore, it would appear our running game averaged 0 yards per attempt. However, we actually got 10 yards per carry every time we attempted to run the ball. Our running game was fantastic and our passing game just sucked for whatever reason (receivers couldn't get open, QB went into the fetal position, whatever). If I then argued with you that we had a crappy running game over that year, would you agree with me? This is obviously a very extreme example, but I hope you see what people are getting at.

04/07/2009 - 2:27pm Nothing

Unfortunately, I don't really think any general statistic is worth anything in college football. There is too much variability amongst opponents and playing styles, and way too small of a sample set, for any general statistic to mean much of anything. You really need to do in depth adjusted efficiencies while removing outliers (which is still a problem based on only 12 games and the fact that most of those games aren't even similar with blowouts, etc.), but the general stuff gives people something to talk about and the media something to hype, so it's a tolerable evil. In this case you would want to compare UofM vs. a Big Ten team with a similar style QB in the Big Ten games where they played against the same teams, and remove any sack yardage (sorry, but comparing a team with Chad Henne with a team with Troy Smith is not a good comparison). That would be a start any ways.

04/07/2009 - 1:56pm Troy Smith and Michael Hart

One comment I would have on this analysis, is that you have to remember that OSU had a running QB in place over this span. Considering running QB's tend to have very skewed statistics when it comes to yards/attempt, this could affect the numbers. Also, I would say this is more indicative of our inability to break the big play in the run game more than having a consistent running attack. Yards/attempt is a bad metric in college football because of the variability in the talent of the defenses, and the ability of some break away speed backs to rack up big numbers on a few plays against mediocre defenses. However, Hart was never going to have those games because his top end speed was just too slow.

03/02/2009 - 2:48pm Novak

I completely disagree with your assessment of Novak. The kid is all heart and is deadly from behind the 3-point line. Don't forget that this kid is a true freshman and has been asked to play as an extremely under-sized power forward all year. I am sure he had bouts of being tired, adjusting to college life, etc. I am excited to see just how good Douglass and he is going to be in a year or 2.

10/13/2008 - 11:44am Finally...

I was waiting for someone with some form of sanity to realize that it isn't physically possible to "adapt" to our current level of talent. My head is going to explode if I see another internet comment/blog screaming for this. How do you adapt any system to a QB that can't hit a wide-open receiver only 10 yards down-field when your OL can't run-block? Well, let me tell you... YOU CAN'T. So stop with it already. If you want to argue that we might still have Mallet and other OL if we had gotten a different coach, then fine, but at this point we are going to have to live with what we got and prepare for the future. However, Brian, I disagree with your "pre-hab" debunked comment. It would take more than one off-season to completely undo the "conditioning" program from the previous regime.