Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wolverine Wednesday: Is Big Mo The Best Defensive Player in the Country?

Image result for mo hurst
saturdaytradition.com
Pro Football Focus thinks so and has an article up on the theWolverine.com.  Here's some highlights about Big Mo Hurst from the article:


“Maurice Hurst is probably the best player in the country regardless of position right now,” PFF Analyst Josh Liskiewitz said. “There’s no other way to put it at this point.”


“He’s just dominant in every single phase,” Liskiewitz said. “He reminds me of Gerald McCoy when he was at Oklahoma in that he’s just completely unblockable up front. Explosive first step and guys just can’t stay with him.”


Michigan State senior center Brian Allen is one of PFF’s highest rated centers in the nation, and Liskiewitz said Hurst “chewed him up and spit him out.”


“I would be stunned at this point if he wasn’t a top 15 pick,” Liskiewitz said. “When we do our next batch of top 32 draft prospects, he’s probably going to be No. 1 overall. Especially considering the quarterback play has been a disappointment throughout the country.”
At worst, he said he’d be top five in those rankings next week.


“Maurice Hurst has been as dominant as any player in the country at his position,” Liskiewitz said. “That’s a premium position as far as the NFL is considered. Solomon Thomas is nothing compared to Maurice Hurst, and he went No. 3 overall last year.”


I can't believe the accolades about Mo in this article.  There is more but I didn't want to past the entire article.  Check it out. 


  • 2019 5 star commit Chris Hinton and his 2020 class brother Myles will visit Ann Arbor on October 28th for the Rutgers game.


  • Update on announcement: 2018 Missouri City (Tex.) 4-star TE Mustapha Muhammad will announce at 6:30 on Friday at his school.  (7:30 EST)


  • Michigan sees something they like in 2018 3 star RB Hassan Haskins, he was just offered and his other offers were highlighted by the likes of Purdue and Memphis.   Hassan is expected to visit soon, I believe for the Rutgers game.  He will be on commit watch while in Ann Arbor for sure.


  • Sale Alert:  If you have been wanting the Jordan UM Trainer 2 Flyknit Shoes.  They are now on sale at Nike.com for $105.  They are at MDen for $140.


Jordan University of Michigan Football Trainer 2 Flyknit Training Shoes

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Michigan Tuesday: Is it Time For Peters?

Image result for Brandon Peters Michigan
freep
When the year started, the media said that Michigan was too young to be considered a legit contender for the playoffs.   Then Michigan dominated Florida and they changed their minds and put Michigan in the top 10.   In the next few games, Michigan struggled to score points, but looked like from a far they were playing well. 


Then the MSU Monsoon hit and Michigan dropped down the polls.  Add the OT win in Bloomington and the Wolverines find themselves barley in the top 20 at #19. 


Do we agree this is not a playoff team?  If we do, then its time to get Brandon Peters ready. 


The whispers on Peters is he is athletically the best QB on the roster but has yet to grasp the complicated Harbaugh offense.    A Rivals recruiting insider even called him a recruiting miss, this past weekend.   I don't have any direct info on the kid, but during the signing of the stars he looked disinterested and his body language was not great.    Some are comparing his personality to Jay Cutler, which is clearly the opposite of Jimmy's.   That could be a problem if accurate.


I was watching ESPN College's Game day before the IU kickoff and they showed Peters warming up and said that we might see Brandon Peters play today.   That was a unique take and maybe came from some inside info from Desmond? 


Here a few things we think we know:
  • Jimmy isn't going to throw Peters into a starting role on a night game in Happy Valley.
  • Jimmy got really mad at JOK when he got a delay call on the shovel pass to the hammering panda.  That play was not on tape on now it is.  Does that mean, Jimmy is holding back the offense to not show too much?
  • Peters looked pretty good during the Spring Game.
  • He is still a redshirt freshman that enrolled early. 
In fall camp, we were expecting to see a Pep Hamilton west coast offense this year.  I haven't seen anything like that in what Michigan has been running.   Was this a bad hire?  Is Jimmy holding him back?  Is his offense too complicated?   Are the Wolverines too young to run it?


I think the best solution is to give Peters a start or at least some snaps at home for the Rutgers game.   I agree this week is not the time and the Michigan coaches will have to continue to coach up JOK to find the Purdue QB instead of the IU/MSU QB to upset the Nittany Lions.


If Michigan does lose this weekend, then there is no reason not to play Peters even if he knows 20% of the play book.   Maybe he is one of those bad practice - great game guys?  We won't know for sure until we see it in a real game.



Monday, October 16, 2017

Michigan Monday: Looks Ahead to Penn State

I felt good about this game prior to the last few weeks of non-offensive football (which was pretty offensive to most Michigan fans).   Penn State has played nobody this year, how about this for a murders row:  Akron, Pitt, Georgia State, Iowa, Indiana, and Northwestern.    Their only tough game  was at Iowa, which they won on the last play. 


So Michigan might have a chance this weekend, right?  That's hard to answer.  Michigan's defense should keep them in the game, the issue is will Michigan score any points on offense?   It's like Florida bit the Wolverines on Labor Day weekend and now they have the Gators non-offense good defense disease.   Next thing you know, Jimmy will be deep sea fishing for sharks.  :-)


Penn State Stats:
Avg. Passing Yards: 291 (22nd)
Avg. Rushing Yards: 165 (67th)


Points Scored: 39 (15th)
Points given up:  9 (#1)


ESPN Big Ten Rank: #1
AP/Coaches Poll: #2
Penn State -10 favorite


Here is what's interesting to me.  Saquon Barkley is the clear Heisman favorite right now, here is his rushing totals this year:  172, 88, 47, 211, 56, and 75.   The 211 came on the national TV game against Iowa and the 172 came against Akron.   I know he returns kicks but those are questionable rushing totals for sure.   If he can have a big game against a top defense like Michigan's he will surely start to cement that award.


Penn State plays Michigan, OSU and MSU in consecutive weeks.  OSU and MSU are on the road.


  • Michigan 4 star TE Target Mustapha Muhammad is ready to announce his college decision on Friday.  The crystal balls are 100% to the Maize and Blue.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Higdon Saves The Day

Michigan running back Karan Higdon (22) scores on the
AJ Mast AP - OT TD
Time to re-re set expectations again.  Indiana again played Michigan tough and somehow figured out a way to lose the game in overtime -  again.   Michigan is probably two inches and a few steps of Indiana's Cobb from losing this game. 


Michigan is not good at offense folks.  I know its hard to believe with the offensive coaching staff that is in Ann Arbor, but its a fact.   If it wasn't for Don Brown and an unbelievable performance from Karan Higdon, Michigan would have its second disappointing loss in a row.


Michigan got nothing out of it's QB today.   JOK threw for 58 yards on 20 attempts which is an average of less then 3 yards per completion.  He also threw a terrible pick that was erased by a questionable PI call.   Let's not forget the missed bomb to DPJ and throwing into triple coverage instead of hitting a wide open Gentry on a crossing route.  


Where does that leave the position?  Nowhere.   Wilton is hurt and probably done for the year, insiders are saying that Peters is nowhere near ready,  Jimmy is not ready to pull McCaffrey's redshirt, and Alex Malzone is in the witness protection program.  Your also not going to give Peters his first start in Happy Valley in a white out night game on national TV.


Spend the ride home enjoying this win and then start figuring out how they are going to compete in Happy Valley in another dreaded night game.   Fun Times!


Cheers
  • Karan Higdon = Game Ball for 200 yards and 3 TD's
  • Michigan Defense for 3.5 quarters and a goal line stand
  • Michigan's OLine for its run blocking
  • Levert Hill had a pick and a nice game
  • Quinn Nordin for 2 good field goals
  • Big Mo Hurst for a field goal block and a good game
Jeers
  • 16 penalties. Are you freaking kidding me?
  • A junior bunch of Big Ten officials that were way to involved
  • No passing game
  • 4th quarter punt return coverage
  • Giving up a 4th quarter lead
  • 3 and outs on offense
I was really surprised how well the IU offensive line played.  I expected that the Michigan defensive line would dominate the entire game.  They played well, but the IU Oline kept them in the game.   You also have to give a tip of the hat to the Michigan offensive line who run blocked well on a day where the Michigan offense couldn't throw the ball in the ocean from the beach.


A win is a win and another ugly one in Bloomington.   The bright spot on the day was the running game but that won't be enough for a W in Happy Valley.   The Michigan coaches are going to earn their pay this week. 



Friday, October 13, 2017

Indiana Preview

Image result for Indiana mascot

Time: Noon
Location: Memorial Stadium
Weather: 72 no rain
TV: ABC
Stream: ESPN App
Line: Michigan -7.5


Time to lace them up again for the Wolverines.   Every time John O'Korn has played significant minutes in a game there has been extreme weather.   IU last year had snow, Purdue had extreme heat, and a monsoon last weekend.   What should we expect this week?  A sandstorm? eclipse?  acid rain?


The weather is supposed to be a warm 72 and clear.  That is clearly gamesmanship! :-)  Side Note: JOK is 1-0 in the State of Indiana and 2-0 against teams from the state!


Tale of the Tape
Mike DeBord vs. Don Brown = Donnie B
Michigan O vs. IU D = Push
Intangibles = IU
Coaching = Michigan
Need for a win = Push


This is really going to be hard to believe, but the IU defense is probably better then it's offense.   They led at half time over Ohio State before going Indiana and the defense actually played well in the Penn State game, the special teams and turnovers cost the Hoosiers the game. 


How can that be?  Mike DeBord is the IU OC.  He is the guy that lead the Michigan offense for many years under Lloyd Carr.   He is guy with the 2 play playbook: run right and run left.    The IU offense is a bit different and they play really fast.   They may hike the ball the quickest I have ever seen in college football.  The Michigan defense will not be able to substitute and the personnel will have to stay focused.   They have an NFL WR in Simmie Cobbs, Jr.  and he will test the Michigan secondary.   I expect the Michigan defense to give up a couple of big plays and it will be interesting to see if the Wolverines offense can score points. 


Yell, This is what we wanted last week if.......................
  • The Michigan offense scores TD's
  • Doesn't turn the ball over
  • Finds a running game
  • Turns the page in the play book
  • Plays the defense we are used to
  • Plays angry
Just shake your head and scream WTF if............
  • Michigan hasn't addressed any issues on offense
  • Michigan is asleep for a 11:00AM local time kick
  • Michigan is hung over from last weeks loss
  • Michigan can't score points
  • The defense is tired and giving up big plays
IU always plays Michigan tough.  It always seems both sides of the ball is not ready for this style of quick tempo.  I don't understand it but they always do.   The biggest miss match on the field is the Michigan Defensive Line Monsters vs. IU offensive line.   If these guys can dominate, it will help the Wolverines with 3 and outs and field position.   It will also limit Cobbs touches. 


We don't need to list all of Michigan's issues on offense as that horse has been kicked all week.   Please find someone that can play RT and call a play that gets a TE or WR open.    It would also be nice to run the ball a little bit.   How about some option looks with JOK?  He will need to use his feet to get first downs and extend drives.  He has to make quick reads in the passing game and can't hold the ball like he did against State.  The IU QB is mobile and will run and scramble a bit, the Michigan defense will have to spy on him as well. 


This is going to be one of those games that Michigan continues to struggle to find its rhythm on offense.   The IU defense will stack the box and invite Jimmy and John (not to deliver subs) to beat them in the passing game.  Pep what you got?  I haven't been impressed by an offensive game plan since Florida.  Who is going to step up at WR?  Protect the football and win a damn football game! Look for the special teams to have some big plays.

Michigan 24 IU 17

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Big Ten Week 7 Preview

This has seemed like a long week as it always does after loss.  The best thing to get over a loss is a win and let's hope Michigan can muster one on the road.   Let's look at the other games in the league this weekend:


Big Ten Game of The Week:


Rutgers at Illinois:  Ok, this is a joke.  Between these two teams they have 3 wins and ESPN Power rankings of 13th (Rutgers) and 14th (Illinois).  Yes, Rutgers is not last.  This should be a very competitive game if you like bad football.  The line has the home team -2.5.   I think Lovie pulls this one out.   Illinois 12 Rutgers 6


Northwestern at Maryland:  Maryland has its 4th string QB running its offense and lost by a million points at OSU last weekend.  Northwestern has looked better as the season goes on, but looked terrible early on.   Maryland is a home dog at +4.   Go with the home team.  Maryland 24 Northwestern 21


Purdue at Wisconsin:  The badgers better be on upset alert but Vegas doesn't think so and is making them a -17 favorite.  Wisconsin continues to be quietly very good this year and keeps wining.   On a side note, former Wisconsin coaches are doing pretty bad this season as Brett Bielema is 2-3 and Gary Anderson got his walking papers this week at Oregon State.


Ohio State at Nebraska:  OSU after the Oklahoma game really hasn't had a difficult game.  This will be another easy walk over for the Buckeyes.  OSU -24.   OSU 31 Nebraska 14


MSU at Minnesota:  Hasn't MSU already played Western Michigan this year?  The Spartans just won their personal Super Bowl and will be on letdown alert this week as they travel to Minnesota.  Both teams are boring and whoever turns the ball over loses.  Vegas thinks it will be close with MSU -4.   MSU 13 Minnesota 6.


  • Michigan offered 4 star 2018 DE Jayson Oweh yesterday.   Jayson is a highly touted DE and most believe it was down to Penn State and Ohio State for his services.   He seemed really excited about his Michigan offer and this is one late recruitment you might want to keep an eye on.  Jayson is 6'5 and 236 pounds and plays at The Blair Academy in NJ.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wolverine Wednesday: Where Is The Drake?

Image result for drake harris michigan
Mgoblog
Drake Harris came to Michigan in the 2014 class out of Grand Rapids.   He was a two sport 4 star athlete in basketball and football and had scholarship offers from the likes of MSU in basketball and Michigan in football.  He originally committed to MSU for basketball and then changed his mind and decided to play football in Ann Arbor. 


He then missed his senior season in high school due to a hamstring injury.


Drake redshirted his freshman year and played a bit as a sophomore at WR and totaled 6 catches.  His junior year he played in 10 games but only caught 2 passes all year.   Injuries has slowed his development in Ann Arbor and limited his playing time.


This year in fall camp he switched to CB in fall camp and even saw a snap in Florida game.   Then a report came out that he was joining the basketball team and his status with the football team was unknown.  Drake did average 19 points per game in high school.


Fast forward to the current state of the program.  Michigan is coming off a loss to MSU and the offense is clearly struggling.   The WR's with the injury to Black, don't seem to be getting open and Michigan is using its back-up QB.    Michigan's true freshman WR's Oliver Martin and Nico Collins has not played and seem to be heading to a red shirt year at this point.   Crawford has struggled to get open and Moe Ways is still seeing second team snaps.   DPJ has shown flashes but seems a bit raw at the WR position.  Grant Perry seems to be the only Michigan WR that is playing somewhat well at this point.  For example, Michigan decided to play kick returner Eddie McDoom at WR with the game on the line with only seconds to go.  We know how that turned out. 


Jimmy mentioned yesterday that Drake Harris is back at WR.   Why even mention that?  Is Michigan going to play him at WR against IU?  Do they need a deep threat?  Drake did run a 4.4 before he hurt his hamstring.   Drake from the limited snaps I have seen of him, does have good hands and maybe that is the #1 reason he is switching back. 


Either way, I'm still waiting for him to break out and lets hope its this weekend.  I hope he remembers which meeting room to go to during practice this week.  Jimmy also said, he was working through a hamstring issue.  :(