Thursday, October 17, 2019

Michigan Thursday: Who is Hassan Haskins?

Michigan was so deep at RB last season, they moved 6'1 220 pound true freshman Hassan Haskins to LB as he played both RB and LB in high school in St. Louis.   HH wasn't the highest rated or recruited guys in the nation, he was rated 3 stars and his top offers where from the likes of Purdue, EMU, and Memphis.  He was barley in the 24/7's top 1000 (975) and only had a 4.7 40 yard dash.   Some fans have the opinion the reason the program can't turn the corner is because Michigan is offering recruits rated this low.

Fast forward to the end of last season, 1 RB starter is headed to the NFL, another transfers out, and the holdover starter has an academic issue and is suspended.  That left a former walk-on Tru Wilson, Christian Turner, and incoming true freshman.  Michigan needed more tailbacks and pulled Hassan back from defense.   Fast forward again to this season and Michigan is struggling at the RB position.  Tru was hurt, Charbonnet was banged up, and Turner is having trouble holding on to the ball.   Which meant that HH now has his chance in Champaign, Illinois.

Jimmy on Monday said: "First started seeing some wow-type of plays in practice, and now we’ve seen them in the games,” Consistently getting better and better. This last game, he had a great game, over 100 yards, along with Zach Charbonnet”

Clearly the game is starting to slow down for HH as he speeds up.   He started the season mostly on the bench with a total of -5 yards through the first 3 games.  HH started to shine during the Rutgers game where he got more playing time and totaled 45 yards, then 2 caries against Iowa for 22 yards before his career Saturday with 125 yards against Illinois.   His most impressive run all day might have been the 4th and 2 in the 4th quarter.  He didn't make it, but it took the entire Illinois defense to get him down.   (BTW, Shea scores if he keeps the ball on that play - huge miss read)

Now, he will be a big part of the game plan in Happy Valley.  Michigan's offense needs a kick in the pants or a secret weapon and maybe HH will fill that role.   My advice, keep running hard and hold on to the damn ball!!
  • Amara Darboh has been signed and promoted from the Tampa Bay Bucs practice squad. 

  • Fingers crossed that Coach Howards lands his first 5 star recruit tonight at 7:45. 

  • MSU has had 5 players enter the transfer portal in the last month.

  • Tyree Kinnell was also drafted by the XFL and will join Pep's team in DC. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Wolverine Wednesday: Penn State and The Numbers

I usually start this post with: Is Michigan better than (opponent that week)?  This week there really isn't much discussion on which team is better.   The talent maybe even or slightly tilts in the Wolverines favor but Penn State has greatly outplayed Michigan this season.

On to the numbers:

Scoring Offense:
PSU #9
Michigan #59

Passing Offense:
PSU #36
Michigan #73

Running Offense:
PSU #43
Michigan #78

Scoring Defense:
PSU #2
Michigan #15

Passing Defense:
Michigan #9
PSU #49

Rushing Defense:
PSU #3
Michigan #39

I guess those numbers really tell the story of the season so far.   Penn State is preforming much better than Michigan in every category besides passing defense.  Unless Jimmy shows up with a much different team on Saturday night, its going to be a difficult watch for Wolverines fans.   But don't worry, Michigan can do it all over again a week from Saturday night against another Top 10 team.   Thank you Warde for everything you do!

  • 5 star F Isaiah Todd will announce a decision between Michigan and Kansas on Thursday night. 

  • Blake Countess has been signed by the Jets

  • 4 Former Wolverines got drafted by the XFL:  JBB, Big Will Campbell, LTT, and DeVeon Smith.   Pep Hamilton will have former OSU QB Cardale Jones as his QB in DC.   Big Will has been playing in the CFL the last two years.  Stribling got drafted today. 

  • ESPN's Bill Connelly has predicted PSU 28-Michigan 20

  • Devin Bush was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Michigan Tuesday: Lots of News For a Holiday Monday

I thought it was going to be a quiet Monday, it wasn't.

  • Michigan's 2nd highest rated commit in the 2020 class Braiden McGregor has torn his MCL, PCL, and Meniscus.  He will have surgery and still plans to enroll early.   Glad he will get to rehab with the Michigan S&C Staff starting in a couple of months.  

  • Michigan redshirt freshman Mustapha Muhammad has decided to enter the transfer portal.  MM has had issues seeing the field and has seen freshman like Erik All and Luke Schoonmaker jump ahead of him on the TE depth chart.   Luke scored a TD against Illinois.  

  • It's going to be a White Out at Penn State on Saturday and one team will be dressed in all white.  That team will be Michigan. 

  • Illinois and Nebraska will open the 2021 season in Dublin.  I feel bad for the people in Ireland having to watch that game. 

  • Like I predicted, Michigan will play back to back night games on ABC as Michigan - ND will be at 7:30 kick.   

  • Highly ranked 2020 TE from Windsor Theo Johnson visited Iowa over the weekend.  Theo has Iowa very high on his list and some consider the Hawkeyes his leader.  Jimmy is very high on this recruit and would like to keep him close to home.  

  • I thought the Big Ten Refs where bad, but NFL Refs are starting to catch them in their inability to call a fair game.   Two terrible calls cost the Lions the game last night.   That Umpire might be looking for a new job today. 

  • Pep Hamilton picks up Cardale Jones to lead his new XFL team in DC this morning. 

  • Jimmy on Michigan's starters that are injured:  "Tend not to comment on those," Harbaugh told the media on Monday. "If I were to comment on it, it would be a positive comment."

Monday, October 14, 2019

Michigan Monday: Big Ten Pre-Season Predictions Were Mostly Wrong

I know many fans want to go to the playoff and have a shot at a National Championship.   I do as well, but I much prefer a Big Ten Championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl.  I thought Michigan had a decent shot this year, with OSU going through a coaching change.   I had a bunch of pre-season expectations that have been mostly wrong with a few that were right.

Pre-Season Predictions

Ryan Day is not Urban Meyer and Justin Fields would struggle early and get a little better as the year went on.    Prediction was Wrong!  Ohio State could be playing the best football I have seen out of them in a number of years.  Could make a case for the #1 team in the nation.   Big swing and a miss by me.

Michigan State would have a decent defense but will struggle on offense to score points.   Prediction was Right!  I was looking forward to watching the Wisconsin - MSU game on Saturday.  I got through a few minutes and knew the game was over.   MSU is in big trouble this year.  

Wisconsin would be very one-dimensional on offense and struggle to stop teams on defense.  Prediction was Wrong!  I might have been 50% correct here but I was way off on Wisconsin's defense and ability to stop Big Ten Teams.   Wisconsin travels to Columbus in two weeks and then we will see.   Their defense has given up a total of 29 points all year (14 to Michigan and 15 to NW).

Minnesota has an easy schedule and will look really good until late in the year.   Prediction was Right!  PJ Fleck is 6-0 and will have an easy road to 8-0 before they have to play PSU, Iowa, and Wisconsin.   A schedule with no Michigan, OSU, or MSU is just crazy.   The Golden Gophers will come back to earth when they play Penn State and will end the year with at least two loses and probably 3.  

Penn State and James Franklin were going to struggle without Moorehead, Barkley, and McSorley.  Prediction was Wrong!   Outside of the Pitt game, Penn State looks like what my expectation of what Michigan would look like.  Solid offense and a solid defense.   PSU didn't play great at Iowa but did do enough to win the game against an Iowa team that all of sudden has the turnover bug.  

Michigan's offense would finally get modernized.   That Josh Gattis would scheme an offense that made it easy for Shea Patterson to find open WR's.  The offense line would be the best we have seen in 10 years, and the RB's might struggle due to lack of experience.   The defense would take a small step back but would match-up well against Wisconsin, Iowa, MSU, and PSU.   Prediction was Wrong!   Further explanation is not needed. 

Here is the funny thing.  Many people would have predicted that Michigan would be 5-1 at this point in the year, with a tough loss at Wisconsin.   Yes, the Wolverines got embarrassed but a blow out is the same as a 1 point loss in the standings.  

Ohio State being 6-0 is not a surprise to anyone with their toughest game being MSU in Columbus so far.  

Same for Penn State, with their toughest game being their win in Iowa on Saturday.   Wisconsin doesn't seem to play road games and are 6-0, with their biggest test coming up in two weeks.  

If the year has gone pretty much the way you thought, what is all anxiety about?

Michigan fans have a crystal ball and if they could get themselves to bet against their favorite team would make a killing in Vegas.  Wolverine fans know that Michigan is going to struggle and probably lose by a decent number in Happy Valley, come back and play a talent ND team close, beat MSU, and lose to another uber-talented Ohio State team.  

You know what's stupid but accurate?  I would give Michigan a much better chance next week if the game was played at 12:00 or 3:30.   I'm also willing to bet that the ND @ Michigan will end up being back to back night games for the Wolverines.   Which seem to be the only program in the country that can't play at night.