Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Wolverine Wednesday Extra Post: Injury Updates and Rocky IV

There is plenty of injuries that could affect the outcome of the Michigan - Nebraska game.

Higdon and Evans have been practicing this week and both are expected to play on Saturday, per Jay Harbaugh this morning.

Per reports, Nebraska true freshman QB Adrian Martinez has been practicing this week but is still questionable to play and probably will be a game day decision.   I expect he will play as he gives Nebraska the best chance to win in on Saturday.

Also, I couldn't let this go:  Nebraska is treating this game like "Rocky IV," running backs coach Ryan Held said.  

"Nobody thinks we can win this game," Held said. "National people don't think we can win this game. We have to be able to rally, come together as a group, go on the road, get on that airplane like Rocky Balboa did and frickin' beat Ivan Drago."

Wolverine Wednesday: Hill Street Maize and Blues

I have seen many 5 star recruits come to Ann Arbor but I have never seen A2 name a street and a auditorium after one!  :)

I wrote last week that Michigan's biggest win this past weekend wouldn't be a W over SMU,  it would be to get 5 Star and #1 Safety in the nation Dax Hill to commit to the Wolverines.   Michigan got that win last night at 8:00 when Dax Hill decided to pull the trigger on commitment to the Wolverines. 

“After this weekend he said it was a no-brainer,” Hill’s father Derrick told The Michigan Insider moments ago. “He told me last night (about the plan to commit). (Daxton) had bonded well with the coaches, and he also had some good bonding relationships with some of the players that are either committing or have committed so far in this class. He seemed to connect well with them.”

Mom and I had a good feeling about our visit… all aspects of it,” he continued. “It felt right. Being able to talk to parents away from coaches (and) away from hosts (was a positive). They had a parent tailgate, so you got to hear up close and personally about the richness of the school. (You heard about) if you took the football element out of the equation, what does the university have to offer? Not only for four years, but a forty-year look.  I think all of those factors played into (the commitment).”

Daxton Hill is the #8 player in the country (#12 composite) and #1 Safety to 24/7.  He is from Tulsa, OK and is just over 6'0 and 185 pounds.  His offer list included everyone but Dax was down to Alabama and Michigan and clearly made the right decision after the official visit this weekend.  I'm sure he also saw a huge need for a skilled Safety in Don Brown's defense. The biggest losers in this process has to be Oklahoma and OK State, not keeping this talent instate.  Many believe behind Rashan Gary, this is Harbaugh's most important recruit to Michigan. 

Dax is known for his speed and runs a 4.3 which is Denard like.   Many believe he will be the starting Safety as early as next season as his talent will get him on the field right away.  Michigan now has the #7 class in the country to 24/7 and still has eyes on a outside WR and at least one tackle prospect.  Michigan is also still on list for 5 stars Zach Harrison, Quavaris Crouch, Kyle Ford, and George Karlaftis.   When a 5 star commits, other 5 stars take notice. 

Michigan's top tackle prospects are IL Trevor Keegan and MN Bryce Benhart.  We also know that George Karlaftis is committed to home town Purdue who is 0-3 in the early season, which I'm sure doesn't help his recruitment.  Michigan now has 2 - Five Stars players in this class with  Hill and Hinton.   They also have a fighting chance with the 5 mentioned above.   I also wouldn't be surprised if Michigan commit and CA RB Zach Carbonnett ended up as a 5 star as he is running through opponents during his senior year. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Michigan Tuesday: Things We Know & Things We Don't

Things we know:

  • Michigan's offense line continues to struggle and each opponent Michigan has left on the schedule will blitz and try to shut down the run.   Michigan has to keep a TE or RB in every time to provide extra protection. 

  • Urban Meyer lied and continues to lie:  he lied at Big Ten Media days, he lied about knowing about Zach Smith's domestic abuse issues, he lied about deleting text messages, and now he is lying during all his 1000 apologies.  OSU will sell their soul for wins on the football field and now they have exactly done that.   If you watch the ESPN interview, when they pan out you can see Urban rubbing his hands and playing with some bracelet on his wrist.   In poker, they call that a tell. 

  • The Northwestern game will be a 4:30 kickoff on FS1.   So Michigan has been on NBC and Fox channels all year long.  No ESPN yet, which seems sort of strange.   (BTN is co-owned with Fox).

  • Jimmy will describe all  (except season ending) injuries as "working through something".   

  • Walk-on WR Jacob West tore his ACL during a kick off on Saturday.

  • The targeting penalty is too severe.  Throw the kid out for that game, having that penalty effect the next game is wrong. 

  • Michigan is now -18 on Saturday. 

Things we don't:

  • How much of the offense have we seen?  Who knows?  Big Mike Onwenu said yesterday, Michigan hasn't shown half of its offense yet.   I hope he is right, but I don't understand how much more they can run without better protection from the O-Line.  Lets stop running that RB dive that is called 10 times a game on 1st down. 

  • What is Michigan going to do at RB?  If Higdon and Evans are out this week, Jimmy said, Tru Wilson will play, Christian Turner, and then Hassan Haskins.  No mention of Kurt Taylor or Berkley Edwards. 

  • Why isn't Michigan offensive line better?  These are highly rated recruits.  Is it coaching?  Grey Frey's offensive line at FSU has been terrible so far this year. 

  • Does Michigan have a safety problem?  It seems that position was getting picked on by SMU.  How about we put another CB out there when a slot guy is killing the defense?  Where is Utah transfer Casey Hughes? He was a little banged up after camp.   How about Woods?  He played last season.  

  • Who is going to play QB for Nebraska this week?  

  • Which teams are good in the Big 10?

  • Reports are positive after the Dak Hill visit.  That he could be down to Michigan and Alabama.  Tough to call at this point. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Michigan Monday: Nebraska an Early Look

Some talking heads thought the Big Ten was going to be the best conference in the country this year.  They saw, OSU, Wisconsin, Penn State, Michigan, and MSU leading that charge.   Everyone now but OSU and PSU (they had a huge scare week 1 with App. State)  have taken an early season loss and that talk has evaporated.  

Nebraska was also considered another program on the rise with Scott Frost coming home and turning his program into a national power again.  Nobody thought he would do it year 1 but everyone excepted improvements from last year.   Nebraska games so far have included: a cancellation and two loses to Colorado and Troy.   Scott is not happy at the effort and neither are Nebraska's faithful.

To add salt to the wound, Nebraska had two QB's competing for the starter role prior to the season.  True freshman Adrian Martinez won the job and back-up QB Tristan Gebbia transferred to Oregon State. 

I watched the Nebraska - Colorado game and is was a pretty interesting game.  Colorado got to an early lead and then Adrian Martinez brought Nebraska back through his runs and timely throws.   Colorado played like they were trying to lose the game by continuing to run into the Nebraska line when the short passing game was killing the Huskers defense.    Colorado pulled out a late one and Martinez went out with a leg/knee injury.   

Nebraska with Martinez in runs this RPO - option offense that absolutely gets their QB hit on pretty much every play.   When heathy, Martinez is dangerous and is the type of QB that gives Michigan's defense a ton of trouble.  He went through warm-ups but didn't patriciate against Troy.   My guess is Nebraska thought they could get by Troy and have Martinez for the trip to Ann Arbor.   That worked until they found themselves down 17-0 at the half.   

If you look at this game on paper it should be a Michigan blow out win.  When you actually watch both teams, you know if Martinez is healthy this could be a close game.   He still is a true freshman and this will be his first road start, so there is plenty for Michigan to capitalize on.   With that said, Vegas is even confused and has yet to put a line on the game.

  • BYU upset over Wisconsin was surprising but as Michigan fans know they will play you tough and it seems Wisconsin wasn't ready and took the loss at home. 
  • Purdue is 0-3.
  • OSU looked pretty good but was gifted 3 TD's by TCU.   Urban is back now. 
  • Speaking of Urban, he did an interview with ESPN and part 1 aired on Sunday.  His people needs to tell him to stop doing interviews, he still doesn't get it and looks completely lost on what the true issue is.    Though, with his team probably the second best in the country, many will continue to take a blind eye to his lack of leadership and compassion. 
  • What the hell happened to Northwestern?  Duke has a solid team but losing to Akron is very surprising. 
  • Maryland was the surprise of the conference prior to Saturday and then they lose to an 0-2 Temple team at home.  

-Quick surprising stat of the day:  Which Michigan unit is the highest ranked in the country?  This one is a bit of shocker coming into the season.  Punting right now is ranked #3 with over a 50 yard average.  

-No word yet on the injuries of Higdon and Evans.   We should hear more today during Jimmy's press conference.  Evans looked like a cramp. 

-No feedback on Dax Hill's visit.  If he watched the game from a Safeties perspective, I hope he saw immediate playing time.

-Sonny Dykes said that #10 might be the best LB he has ever seen.