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GDT: #22 Michigan at Maryland 10/3/2015

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Nice to get a chance to actually see Peppers play some CB and do it well.

EDIT: Nice misdirection by the FB set up Johnson there.

Edited by Gehringer_2

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So, Drake Johnson is good. Jabril Peppers is really good. D.J. Durkin/Harbaugh/Mattison are really good.

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Spartans escape. They should drop several spots but they probably won't. Maybe a few though.

Neither Sparty nor Bucky deserve to be in the top 5.

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Defense obviously continues to impress.

Anyone else concerned that we couldn't establish the run early? Seems like a really strong defensive team will just load up front and shut us down.

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Defense obviously continues to impress.

Anyone else concerned that we couldn't establish the run early? Seems like a really strong defensive team will just load up front and shut us down.

I am not concerned. At this point we know what the offense is. If anything, I am encouraged. Today was am opportunity for another RB to step up, and Drake Johnson did. He has vision and speed. He looks fully back from his knee surgery.

And as bad as some of the offense was, the fundamentals of the entire team stood up throughout the entire game. Bring on NW. Should be two top 20 teams squaring off.

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It's funny how Green has slipped, wasn't he the only 5* of the current RB rotation? Harbaugh seems to like that bruising style of RB so Green might get a chance today.

Isaac was also a 5*. So was Kelvin Grady, Will Campbell and Boubacar Sissoco.

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Before watching the game (taped it, have read recap):

--Maryland, similar to UNLV, should have been a team to hang 50+ on. Rudock, and to a lesser extent the OL, needs to execute with higher frequency.

--Smith was never going to play banged up vs this terrible Maryland team . . . and may not next week unless absolutely needed. Need him in the street fight that will be the MSU game.

--Chesson has now scored on two jet sweeps this season. When was the last time we had a WR score two rushing TDs? As middling of a pass catcher as he is, you have to wonder how he would look at tailback as a one-cut and go guy (stretch plays, toss or power sweep especially). It will never happen, just a thought.

--There is little doubt that Drake Johnson is the most complete back on the team, going back to last season. IMO Harbaugh wants to pick his spots with Drake to keep him fresh and reduce wear-and-tear on that new ACL. Green, if healthy, could very well start next week in the wake of Isaac's apparently epic fail this week.

--Too bad about Isaac, but anyone remember how awful Chris Perry was at a similar stage in development (he almost transferred at one point)? I have hope . . .

--Smith will be the Hoard-type of workhorse again once he his healthy, but the rotation will still continue. Why not use fresh legs as much as possible if all the guys have talent? Anyone remember how Michigan used to rotate carries years back even when they did have a superior talent on the team. Wheatley, Boles and A-Train were three of the four best Michigan backs I've ever seen but they surrendered carries to guys like Jesse Johnson, Hoard, Jefferson, Howard, Hoard and Fargas who also had game. All that changed with Perry and then continued with Hart (Martin was crazy talented, for example, but rarely got more than a few carries). Wheatley, as RB coach, has buried Fred Jackson's bad habits and has brought back a balanced rotation.

--Where are the O'Neill haters today?

--Peppers is living up to the hype, and the rest of the defense is following in spite of losing three starters to injuries to date (Mone, Stribling and Mario).

--Clark is the surprise of the year on D. Great decision to flip this kid back to CB by the staff!

--Many people are high on Lawrence Marshall as a possible Mario replacement, projected him as an upgrade in '16. Looks like we may get a preview soon.

--Lots of people talking about Rudock needing to put more air under his throws, will check it out when I watch the tape.

--Lots of people complaining about play calling in the first half. If Harbaugh can win with vanilla, I think he's going to do it. MSU will see more of the playbook at some point, maybe even NW.

--The defense hasn't faced a worthy QB since Utah, and nothing special at WR all year IMO. It is a real possibility that O'Korn is the best QB the defense will face before MSU and Cook. I'm looking forward to seeing how we match up. I suspect we will see a lot of Peppers in the box in tougher B1G play, doing his best Ian Gold impersonation. Harbaugh has a need for run stuffers that can cover in the box and has the depth at DB to pull Peppers if he chooses to press that button.

***After watching the game***

--Maryland was a much better defensive team than UNLV, but just as bad on offense.

--Rudock looked good running the ball, too bad he can't throw well at all while on the roll.

--It was great to see Drake hurdling defenders, but I still flinch every time he gets hit even if he doesn't.

--Our slot receivers continue to disappoint. Canteen and Perry fail to make plays and block, might as well be splitting out Bunting or playing Ways there more. Both of those guys will catch and block.

--I hope Isaac gets another shot this season.

--Punters that flop badly to any contact like Maryland's need a penalty created for them akin to the NBA's flopping penalty.

--Horrible crosswind and gusts must have been tough to kick or throw in yesterday, glad Michigan has a capable enough running game to win a game like that.

--The secondary is maybe the best I've seen at Michigan in 35 years of watching. Defensive line top 5. Linebackers not so much.

Edited by mickeyb105

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Isaac was also a 5*. So was Kelvin Grady, Will Campbell and Boubacar Sissoco.

Gee, thanks for the history lesson. Isaac and Green were actually rated as 4* by some services. Green though was rated higher among RBs by most. Green though seems more like the power back that Harbaugh likes...he also showed today that he's bad at pass protection so that probably accounts for lack of playing time.

Edited by Truth

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Thoughts: Defense is good, strong d-line with depth and a great secondary. The linebackers rarely even have to do anything.

The O-Line is still only Ok and Rudock is god awful. Nick Sheridan level arm and he's not showing any better decision making with his 8 turnovers in 5 games. Says a lot about Shane Morris that this guy is starting. I hope O'Korn or one of the freshmen is the answer, because if so this team seems like it has the potential to be really really good as soon as next year.

And of course, with Sparty and OSU looking like crap, maybe they can do some real damage this year even with those weaknesses.

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Gee, thanks for the history lesson. Isaac and Green were actually rated as 4* by some services. Green though was rated higher among RBs by most. Green though seems more like the power back that Harbaugh likes...he also showed today that he's bad at pass protection so that probably accounts for lack of playing time.

You're welcome. Running back ratings are highly subjective, due to how uneven high school play is across the country, even more so than most positional ratings. Camps can only sort out so much with RBs, to boot. Smith was a 4* and ranked the 62nd best prospect out of HS on Scout, for example, while Rivals didn't have him ranked top 250 and gave him 3*. Rivals ranked over 20 RB higher than him.

Unfortunately, Green doesn't have a power back's mentality like Smith. Green has good enough feet to evade some defenders, but you want your big back who runs a 4.6 to run over guys. Smith WANTS to be a plowhorse, wants to hit defenders in pass pro, so he gets the workload.

Edited by mickeyb105

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Not to get ahead of ourselves but it is looking more and more like Michigan is going to beat the Spartans. I remember last year when Dantonio forcefed Jeremy Langford into the endzone for a meaningless touchdown in the late seconds of the game to make the score 35-11 and angrily said after the game "we had to put a stake in them" eluding to a Michigan player putting a stake into Spartan Stadium turf before the game last year.

I really hope Harbaugh uses this Langford TD for fuel in the Spartan game. Dantonio should have been the bigger man and played the right way - if he wanted to score late he could have used a bench player and not risked Langford to injury. Harbaugh has been known to run up the score so I expect the Spartans are in for a real battle in a couple weeks.

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Not to get ahead of ourselves but it is looking more and more like Michigan is going to beat the Spartans. I remember last year when Dantonio forcefed Jeremy Langford into the endzone for a meaningless touchdown in the late seconds of the game to make the score 35-11 and angrily said after the game "we had to put a stake in them" eluding to a Michigan player putting a stake into Spartan Stadium turf before the game last year.

I really hope Harbaugh uses this Langford TD for fuel in the Spartan game. Dantonio should have been the bigger man and played the right way - if he wanted to score late he could have used a bench player and not risked Langford to injury. Harbaugh has been known to run up the score so I expect the Spartans are in for a real battle in a couple weeks.

I'm not confident M will even score a point against NW let alone beat MSU. That is not a good O, it's not even a make-do O, it's a bad O.

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I'm not confident M will even score a point against NW let alone beat MSU. That is not a good O, it's not even a make-do O, it's a bad O.

The offense will be ready for NW, just like they were for BYU. Harbaugh and CO. really dumb down the offense and do not show much unless they have too.

I think you are giving way to much credit to NW, who barely beat Ball State a few weeks ago. Their offense will also struggle against UM's defense. Big game for sure, but they are beatable.

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The offense will be ready for NW, just like they were for BYU. Harbaugh and CO. really dumb down the offense and do not show much unless they have too.

...

I will admit they almost seemed to be going away from worked to keep trying other stuff yesterday, and yes - they have played a couple games where throwing conditions were not great. But they must get better at stretching the field to be able to run successfully against better Ds, and I'm not seeing any sign of progress in that direction at all. Rudock has neither touch nor accuracy on longer throws, and we only have one receiver that has shown any ability to get open running down field.

Sooner or later even the best D is going to have a breakdown or have a couple of bounces or calls go against them and they are going to need more from the O.

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I will admit they almost seemed to be going away from worked to keep trying other stuff yesterday, and yes - they have played a couple games where throwing conditions were not great. But they must get better at stretching the field to be able to run successfully against better Ds, and I'm not seeing any sign of progress in that direction at all. Rudock has neither touch nor accuracy on longer throws, and we only have one receiver that has shown any ability to get open running down field.

one WR but Butt,

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