Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Wolverine Wednesday: Senior Day Isn't Just For Seniors Anymore

Wow, this season has gone very quickly.   It's hard to believe it's week 12 and this Saturday is Michigan's last home game.  Which has been classically called "Senior Day" for the final game in the Big House for 4th & 5th year seniors.

The list of seniors include:

  • Reuben Jones 
  • Jared Wrangler 
  • Jacob West 
  • Chase Winovich 
  • Brendan White
  • Matt Mitchell
  • Karan Higdon
  • Tyree Kinnel
  • Joe Hewlett
  • Brandon Watson
  • Jordan Glasgow
  • Berkley Edwards
  • Louis Grodman
  • Ken Ferris 
  • Casey Hughes 
  • Joseph Files 
  • Andrew Robinson
  • Noah Furbush
  • Nolan Ulizio
  • Jon Runyan 
  • Juwann Bushell-Beatty
  • Grant Newsome
  • Zach Gentry
  • Jack Dunaway
  • Grant Perry 
  • Bryan Mone
  • Lawrence Marshall
  • John Luby
Of course a number above players are seniors but can be welcomed back for a 5th year if they have a red shirt year available. 

Michigan is also going to lose a few juniors to the NFL draft:
  • Devin Bush was just ranked #6 on Mel Kiper's Big Board.   Many expect him to turn pro. 
  • Rashan Gary was ranked #8 and is also expected to be headed to the NFL draft 
  • Shea Patterson per insiders is expected to check his draft status and then return for another year at Michigan.  
  • Khaleke Hudson is a guy that could surprise many by heading to the NFL Draft, I think he will check his draft status and then figure out his next move.

-Michigan's Football Banquet will now be in Crisler on 12/9 which will let more fans attend.  

-Shea is #3 in ESPN's QBR

-Expected visitors this weekend include Michigan RB commits Zach Charbonnet and Eric Gray.  Zach just got a bump in 24/7's ranking and is now in 5 star territory. 

-Michigan Basketball plays at Villanova tonight

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Michigan Tuesday: Sad For Caris

You have probably heard by now that Caris LeVert suffered a horrendous leg injury last night.  Before the injury Caris was having the best year of his career by averaging over 18 points a game.   I hope his injury can be repaired successfully and will be stronger after he rehabs.  

  • Michigan Basketball continues to struggle and was down at halftime to Holy Cross on Saturday.  They had a big bounce back in the second half and won easily.   Michigan travels to Villanova tomorrow for a NC game rematch. 

  • Paye and Solomon will play on Saturday.  Hill continues to be in the concussion protocol and I don't expect he will play. 

  • Northwestern will make its first appearance in the Big Ten Championship game, I hope there is another team from the East that will make its first appearance. 

  • Rich Rod was seen on Alabama's campus on Monday.  

  • Ohio State has drained it's mirror lake two weeks prior to the Michigan game.   So it's now a muddy hole.  They don't want students jumping into the pond prior to the game, a student drowned in 2015. 

  • Michigan - IU Kickoff is set at 4:00 on Fox, which means the game should last until 9:00. 

  • Michigan is favored by 27.5

  • IU RB Coach Mike Hart has been nominated for the Broyles Award.  His name seems familiar? :-)

Monday, November 12, 2018

Michigan Monday: The Upside, Injuries, and an Early Look at IU

The media likes to say, "Michigan is peaking at the right time".  Which is a pretty accurate assessment with the #1 defense and Shea Patterson playing well under center.   What's exciting about this team is that the defense is much closer to the ceiling then the offense.

The Rutgers game is an example of that.  Michigan didn't put anything new on tape and Shea had the best performance of his college career.   Michigan's #1 rusher had less then 50 yards but still scored 2 TD's.   What I have really enjoyed this season is Shea's accuracy and that he doesn't turn the ball over.   After the ND game, he has done a great job at protecting the ball.

We also have to "call out" the offense line, who for many years have been one of the main reasons Michigan has struggled on offense.  This unit has greatly improved and has taken leaps and bounds forward.   Michigan is finally playing that downhill style that Jimmy loves.

I believe this offense is still running at about 80% of its capabilities.   Here is why:

  • Michigan hasn't put too many RPO's on tape this season and we know that is all the rage in football.
  • Tarik Black has been back for two games but hasn't seen too many targets yet 
  • How about the slot position?  Grant Perry is losing snaps to Martin and Bell as that position is playing very well. 
  • Evans is now just starting to look like 2017 Evans
  • Gentry has 28 catches and could easily have 20 more
  • Screens!  Michigan could be killing it on RB screens but have only ran a few all year 
  • The read option pass! 
  • Having to game plan to cover guys like Black, DPJ, and Collins has to be a nightmare
Those are a few reasons, I believe Jimmy is keeping 20% of this offense in the vault for the trip to CBus and anything after that. 

Injuries:  Insiders are saying the following:

-Hill is in the concussion protocol and very questionable for Saturday
-Paye is expected back on Saturday 
-Metellus is expected back on Saturday 
-McCafferty had surgery and is out for the rest of the season

Early Look at Indiana Football:

Best win: Virginia  
Worst Lost: Minnesota 

They pass for 255 yards per game ranked 44th 
Rush for 155 ranked 82nd 
They score: 28 points per game ranked 78th
Defense gives up: 30 points which ranks 84th

To get bowl eligible IU needs a win over Michigan or Purdue.  So Purdue.  

A few thoughts from the weekend:

  • The MSU offensive performance on Saturday against a questionable OSU defense was pitiful.  It was clear they had the wrong QB in and didn't have a game plan.  

  • The new Louisville opening will be very interesting for Michigan for two reasons, 1 - that is Purdue's head coach Jeff Brohm's job to lose or turndown.  2- If Jeff does decide to go home, that could mean great things for Michigan and 5 star George Karlaftis.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Business Trip

Julio Cortez, AP 
The Michigan Football program was on a business trip the last two days.  This wasn't a stop on the Revenge Tour, it was just another football game against an over-matched opponent.   Michigan did what they needed to do and destroyed Rutgers and kept Shea Patterson healthy.

Michigan wasn't great but they were good enough to do the job.  The temperature was low, the wind was blowing, and Michigan is leaving NJ with its undefeated Big Ten record intact.   Like we predicted, MSU couldn't get the job done in East Lansing as they rolled over like a tired dog and showed the Buckeyes their belly in the 4th quarter.  If there was a machine that could read your most deep thoughts, I'm sure the readout would say Mark Dantonio wasn't going to do a damn thing to help the Wolverines win anything.   On to the Cheers and Jeers...……..……..

  • Higdon getting over a 1000 yards on the season
  • Shea Patterson playing well 
  • Great pass protection from the Oline 
  • Tru Wilson and Chris Evans
  • Getting the job done! 
  • Hill has a concussion 
  • Paye has a arm injury 
  • Uche seems to have an ankle 
  • Josh Metellus has a soft tissue issue and didn't play 
  • Brad Hawkins has been involved in a ton of big plays this year 
  • 80 yard TD run 
  • Poor run blocking by the offensive line 
  • Higdon's 100 yard streak is over 
  • Solomon was sick 

Michigan had 453 yards of offense and Rutgers had 252.  Both teams rushed for 193 yards and that is about 100 yards over the average Michigan gives up.  

Gary seemed to be enjoying playing in front of his friends and family but other then that, the Wolverines were just a bit flat.   Which makes a ton of sense coming off the 3 high pressure games they have played over the last 4 weeks.   The strong QB play from Shea Patterson, kept this game from being a little too close for comfort.   If not for that 80 yard mistake, the Wolverines defense would of had a shutout.  

On to Indiana.