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Date Title Body
10/18/2018 - 11:44am I would slightly challenge…

I would slightly challenge this by stating that  PSU's defense is not particularly great. In total Defense (which, granted, is not the most descriptive statistic) they are outside the top 50. They are outside the top 50 as a Rush defense. They are in the top 25 in passer efficiency defense, so give them credit there I guess.

Just saying that overall, Penn State hasn't shown to be a great defensive team this year. And just because MSU stood up to them sometimes does not mean that their OLine isn't HIGHLY suspect.

MSU v PSU box score for reference as well:

MSU v PSU stats.PNG

10/18/2018 - 11:26am They aren't a Wisconsin team…

They aren't a Wisconsin team that has legit reason to seem like an intimidating matchup. But all you have to do is look at the games (AGAIN!!!) that MSU shouldn't win and yet they do (See: State, Penn) and you can maybe squint your eyes and see a reason to think that, yeah, these guys, while not the best version of an MSU team, can still win some fucking games. 

There are certainly things that Michigan can exploit, but I've gone into M v MSU games before feeling overly confident only to see Michigan, hat in hand, walking off the sideline while the Spartan faithful hold up old John Bunyon and shit in our cereal.

Caution is warranted.

10/18/2018 - 9:46am That Felton Davis has been…

That Felton Davis has been such a large part of MSU's success this year lends me to think that while Don Brown will plan on attacking every down like it's a goalline stand to win it all, I would not be surprised if he made extra sure that Davis wasn't able to exploit any gaps and be the cause of a collapse. 

I mean, good players create on their own and I don't think there's a way to fully shut off the Felton Davis valve, he is a deservedly good player who has shown up for MSU on multiple occasions, but I would expect him to be a point of emphasis for the coaching staff. He had 8 catches for 100 yds and scored 2 TDs for MSU last week. Unquestionably the main reason they won. He has to be contained on Saturday.

10/18/2018 - 9:23am A few points of order here:

A few points of order here:

1. Wisconsin has been a notoriously good road team since Chryst became the head coach. You don't win that many games on the road as a bonehead coach. There IS a possibility that there was some method to his playcalling that we are simply not privy to. Caveat: Going for it/not punting was a game theory mistake, but one MANY, MANY coaches make.

2. Wisconsin has one of the probably 2 best OLines in the country and they couldn't pass on Michigan for 2/3 of the game. Yeah, they churned out some yards on the ground, but you can't run the ball 60 times in a game, despite many people here calling for Wisconsin to just run it 4 times every set of downs and guarantee a first down. Guys have to rest too.

3. Jonathan Taylor is probably a top 5 RB nationally. Dude's going to get some yards even against Michigan's very good Run D. Add that in with Wisconsin's great OL... You aren't going to be able to completely shut off the valve.

This felt like maybe a little overly pessimistic to me. I mean there are a number of things that Wisconsin could have done better, but a lot of that was predicated by the fact that Michigan's D was holding up well, putting pressure on the QB on passing downs (despite not getting many sacks) and generally having answers to Wisconsin's stout rushing offense. We bottled them enough to force them into some decisions they probably didn't want to have to make.

For MSU and the future, it seems like Michigan is well equipped to handle these kinds of offensive attacks. MSU doesn't seem to be as singularly good offensively as Wisconsin is at running the ball but I'm sure they will come out with a few counter punches we aren't ready for. I expect it to be close. It is MSU after all. 

10/17/2018 - 1:58pm I could see Shea as a…

I could see Shea as a journeyman Jeff Garcia type player. He's undersized but quick and evasive with decent vertical threat on the deep ball.

10/17/2018 - 1:57pm Saw a projection today that…

Saw a projection today that had Shea a mid-round pick with the suggestion he should go back to college for another year. Sorry, can't remember where I saw it... Prob ESPN somewhere.

More than likely he's gone but I think he'd benefit from another year. 

10/15/2018 - 2:03pm 100% agree. That outcome is…

100% agree. That outcome is bonkers. I was at a wedding so unable to watch the MSU game (I saved my phone data for watching Michigan v Wisconsin) and am wondering what cacophony of blunders Franklin unleashed to reach that outcome.

On the podcast they mentioned how the stats showed that the game should have been a landslide victory for Penn State. James Franklin = idiot.

10/15/2018 - 1:56pm MSU has a very good FG…

MSU has a very good FG kicker in Matt Coughlin. IF they are able to limit Michigan offensively, solid special teams play MAY be in MSU's favor?

I'm choosing optimism though.

Michigan wins 31 - 10.

Go Blue.

10/15/2018 - 1:52pm I have it on no authority…

I have it on no authority whatsoever that Brandon Peters will transfer at the end of this year. In other words, this is a guess. Since he is clearly #3 at best though, a transfer wouldn't be terribly out of the question. Maybe it hinges on whether Shea comes back next year?

All speculation.

10/15/2018 - 1:49pm As an intangible, watching…

As an intangible, watching MSU pull off that win last week against Penn State felt very much like the kind of MikeD witchcraft that sets his team up to overperform against Michigan. Dantonio and company sell their souls to beat Michigan and I expect nothing less from them this time around (the selling of said soul, not necessarily an MSU win).

Everyone knows that stats get thrown out the door in this matchup anyway. 

I really hope the momentum Michigan has been building can see them bring the hurt to East Lansing this time around. I so want to drink a flagon full of Sparty tears on Saturday.

10/15/2018 - 1:06pm Good one, Earnest!

Good one, Earnest!

10/15/2018 - 12:56pm I Forgot about Dre...

I Forgot about Dre...

Dre.jpg

10/15/2018 - 12:52pm Hard to disagree. Also, isn…

Hard to disagree. Also, isn't it crazy that I'm actually think how lucky M is to not have Purdue on the schedule this year, all things considering? Never thought I'd say that...

10/14/2018 - 3:21pm Not a reasonable take. For…

Not a reasonable take. For one of those, see a bit higher.

10/14/2018 - 3:19pm He only knows how to kick 1…

He only knows how to kick 1 way... As hard as possible. Kids got the death of a pig bladder on his brain every time he goes to kick. If he could just silence the anger, channel his inner Che, and listen for the still, small voice, he'd do just fine.

Also, he's a kicker, and kickers are nervous birds. Never eat a kicker, that's what Jim Harbaugh says.

10/12/2018 - 2:39pm 27-17.

Nico Collins scores…

27-17.

Nico Collins scores a TD on a route that takes the top off W's defense. 
Higdon scores a 30-ish yd TD.
Defense has 2 takeaways.

10/12/2018 - 12:32pm Sorry that the title isn't…

Sorry that the title isn't more informative... my bad.

10/12/2018 - 10:34am I remember that as well, but…

I remember that as well, but I think his reason for NOT playing DG in that game was justified. Devon hadn't been practicing at QB and asking a guy to step into a position he's not practiced for some time is probably asking for a major slobber-knocking. Turns out it didn't matter in the end.

I think the more indefensible thing was not practicing DG at QB when it was clear to anyone with a pair of eyes that Russell Bellamy was never going to be a QB that could play at Michigan. How you make that decision is absurd.

 

10/11/2018 - 9:28am This is such a fantastic…

This is such a fantastic dissection of Wisconsin's strengths. In years past it might be slightly mollifying to say that Michigan's D goes up against a very Wisconsinesque offense every week in practice, but not so anymore. 

IMO, Michigan is much more suited to defend OSU than they are Wisconsin. 

I feel some sense of relief knowing that Don Brown is the king of drilling in defensive soundness and gap integrity. Maryland <> Wisconsin, but there is no doubt that gap integrity was an integral part of Michigan's dismantling of the Terps and I think it's safe to say that it will be a huge part of this game's outcome too, one way or another.

That Wisconsin Oline... I be like damn.

10/10/2018 - 4:31pm (No subject)
10/10/2018 - 4:29pm and???

and???

10/10/2018 - 9:11am yes, you're not the first,…

yes, you're not the first, sweetheart.

10/09/2018 - 9:06am Valenti embodies everything…

Valenti embodies everything that is wrong with sports fandom. 

Word to the wise: Don't be this guy.

10/09/2018 - 8:40am Ace,

Thank you for your…

Ace,

Thank you for your thoughtful, kind-spirited, humorous, gif-filled insights on Michigan sports. Your contributions to this site won't be forgotten and your charisma for Michigan will be missed around these parts. Hopefully, you won't be a stranger.

I hope you find health in all its forms. Good luck as you take on new challenges. 

You will be missed.

Go Blue.

 

10/09/2018 - 8:34am tl;dr

tl;dr

rockyB.jpg

10/08/2018 - 4:30pm Part of this is due to…

Part of this is due to opponent's ability, but so far this year I have not seen Harbaugh do that bonehead thing where he just keeps trying to impose his will vis-a-vis a certain play/set of plays. If a defense is committing everything to the run game, he takes what is given. 

You never know, the next few games will be telling, but I think it's important that the offense has gotten the job done in different ways this year. This can allow for a lot of flexibility based on what looks a defense is showing. 

Stack the box? Play action pass and 5 wide sets.

Try and tee off against a perceived Michigan tendency? Down G, ISO, Power all day.

Want to try and stuff the 4th and short? Ol' Murderface (and now some cool variants on that look).

I don't know, man. This feels like an adaptable offense to me. Feels like I'm jinxing it by saying it but we can only hope that they maintain that level of playcalling flexibility in the next few weeks.

10/07/2018 - 7:46am Well aren't you all sunshine…

Well aren't you all sunshine and... Rainbows.

 

This is awkward.

10/06/2018 - 9:37pm Lol.

Lol.

10/06/2018 - 9:34pm Nice INT for VT. Let's see…

Nice INT for VT. Let's see if they convert.

10/06/2018 - 8:18pm Loathing, in Las Vegas in…

Loathing, in Las Vegas in particular, is the other.

10/06/2018 - 8:12pm I'm loving how elusive Shea…

I'm loving how elusive Shea is. His escapability is a huge weapon under pressure and will hopefully serve the team well against a tough Wisconsin D!

10/06/2018 - 5:36pm Me too, but not likely.

Me too, but not likely.

09/26/2018 - 9:08am I was thinking the same…

I was thinking the same thing though I expect we may see some of that this week w/ NW having presumably more disciplined LBs. My understanding is their secondary isn't the best so might be playing a bit soft to the outside. If that's the case, get the LBs chasing the pulling frontside down G action, quick pitch it to the flat (would love to see this to a late-breaking TE actually) out of a heavyset or 2TE formation. Don't know if the TE could get the backfield depth that might be necessary to setup the appropriate blocking from a WR on the outside, but I could see that as a cool play design.

09/20/2018 - 5:17pm Any team that loses a likely…

Any team that loses a likely top 10 draft pick (maybe even #1 overall) will be affected somewhat. Not sure it stays things much though 

09/19/2018 - 2:17pm Doesn't frost have…

Doesn't frost have coordinator experience at Oregon though? That's a pretty big gig. Hoke was never a coordinator anywhere and was HC at 2 small schools. Frost has been on a P5 trajectory and mentioned a lot, right? 

I honestly don't see Frost and Hoke as similar, but maybe that's just me.

09/19/2018 - 2:15pm Owen Fields.

Owen Fields.

09/18/2018 - 8:51am There's a video out there of…

There's a video out there of Ben Herbert when he was at Arkansas talking about his focus on nutrition, hydration, and proper fuel for workouts. It's a really interesting watch if you've got 45 minutes to kill. I do not think he's the sort of guy who fails to take hydration seriously. This is a product of it being quite a bit warmer this year than in years previous.

 

09/16/2018 - 11:45am All signs point to Rodgers…

All signs point to Rodgers playing. I'm sticking with him for now. Hot hand.

09/16/2018 - 11:34am I'm in the same boat, as…

I'm in the same boat, as mentioned 1 post below your post. Sorry bout that.

I have Rodgers for now b/c he is historically good in rivalry games and has a bit of that Brett Favre iron Man thing to him. Plays well when hurt.

09/16/2018 - 11:32am I have Aaron Rodgers or…

I have Aaron Rodgers or Jarod Goff for qb. Thoughts?

09/15/2018 - 10:57am That is a great write up. Go…

That is a great write up. Go blue, beat calamity (which means win by 60 and not 30? Yes.)

09/14/2018 - 11:22am Interestingly enough, this…

Interestingly enough, this is the advert I see on top of the banner at the moment:

spartaaaaaaywhat.PNG

09/13/2018 - 11:00am So, thinking out loud, let's…

So, thinking out loud, let's consider:

1. Runyon and JBB play against Wiscy, MSU, PState and OSU. They perform marginally okay to badly in all outings. Let's say we lose 3 of 4.

2. Mayfield and Hudson play against Wiscy, MSU, PState and OSU. They perform mostly bad to badly in all outings. We lose 4 of 4.

Is there any marked difference between the two, really? What's one more win going to allow?

The 2nd scenario at least allows those young players to gain valuable game time experience. 

Back to Warinner's point, I guess: you don't want to ruin the player. Destroying their confidence could be devastating if it has a lasting effect.

09/13/2018 - 10:55am I don't know why, but I had…

I don't know why, but I had not thought about that relative to what happened to Michigan against ND.

I personally don't think that Michigan has the pieces to replicate that OSU season (OSU stands in the way, unfortunately) but it does give one pause.

Even good teams lose on the road sometimes. It doesn't mean you can't rebound.

09/12/2018 - 1:52pm This is an interesting point…

This is an interesting point. Michigan did all sorts of "interesting" things with the TE position when we had Jake Butt. Screen game, seam routes etc... Michigan has shown a lot of underneath and crossing routes with the TEs so far and while it obviously paid off last week in McKeon's TD, I think there is still room to further exploit smaller DBs against these mansome TEs.

Part of that is probably predicated on M's desire to run more shotgun spreadout looks that maybe rely less on TEs? I could be wrong about that though. I haven't gone back and reviewed personnel groupings from the last 2 weeks.

09/12/2018 - 1:26pm I was a little bamboozled by…

I was a little bamboozled by the Power Zone Read play when I watched it live. As you said, the camera angle and the speed that Ruiz releases to the 2nd level originally made me think that it was Ruiz who was pulling. When I finally realized it was the front side guard I was again surprised as I don't really recall seeing that in the past. 

This is a cool wrinkle that allows Michigan to plan around our current weakness and gives me even more confidence that the coaching staff can help account for some of the areas where personnel is deficient. 

Thinking about the infamous double A gap blitz against this kind of scheme does give me pause for concern though. MSU's hyperactive blitzing linebackers tend to sniff this kind of stuff out and I can see a time or two of Higdon scraping himself off the turf after Joe Bachie cuts through the abandoned Guard gap.

09/12/2018 - 12:02am Well that's that. G'night…

Well that's that. G'night everyone!

09/11/2018 - 12:39pm I hear chemical burns are…

I hear chemical burns are pretty painful. So that may be an option as well. If fire doesn't work, I mean. 

09/10/2018 - 8:32pm OSU has deployed a downhill…

OSU has deployed a downhill running game for a long time and routinely has guys like this for space f#[email protected] Florida did too back in the Urban days.

Just saying... It could happen. 

09/10/2018 - 4:35pm McSorley?

Hornibrook?

I…

McSorley?

Hornibrook?

I saw no evidence to suggest that Martinez was better than either of those two guys. 

EDit: redundant