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2017 Michigan Football

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I agree that over the past decade MSU has been a clear tier above Michigan. MSU has a very successful run. Michigan clearly hasn’t been able to match that. 

But I also think that 2017 Michigan is a better team than 2017 MSU (despite the head to head result that says otherwise). And I also think that Michigan will have more success than MSU over the next few years. 

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3 hours ago, Euphdude said:

Michigan will win 8-9 games but they are in a tier behind OSU and MSU, and will remain so until Harbaugh can infuse some of that QB magic dust he’s supposed to have. 

We'll see at the end of the year, but you comparing putting MSU and OSU on the same tier is something that probably shouldn't be done this year--or most any year, ever.

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10 hours ago, Shelton said:

I disagree. I still think Michigan beats MSU this year 7 or 8 out of 10 times. It sucks that they lost, of course. In the end that’s all that matters on saturdays. 

I agree with this...however the one thing that bothers me this year is that they seem to lack the strong OL, RB and WRs that Michigan and other top programs can usually depend on. 

Harbaugh has done a great job recruiting, he clearly has a top 5/10 group of freshmen and sophomores.  Don't know if there's a transitional gap between the Hoke and Harbaugh rosters, or if Harbaugh is struggling to find the right offensive schemes, or a combination of the two.

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6 hours ago, Euphdude said:

If you compare records and accomplishments over the past 10 years, I think it’s clear MSU is a tier above UM.

The fact that people still regard UM in a higher tier than MSU gives Dantonio the fuel he uses to get results that could be considered overachieving. 

I didn't say UM was in a higher tier.  I merely said MSU was not a tier above UM.

I was basing that on the Harbaugh era as opposed to the past 10 years.

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2 hours ago, sabretooth said:

I agree with this...however the one thing that bothers me this year is that they seem to lack the strong OL, RB and WRs that Michigan and other top programs can usually depend on. 

Harbaugh has done a great job recruiting, he clearly has a top 5/10 group of freshmen and sophomores.  Don't know if there's a transitional gap between the Hoke and Harbaugh rosters, or if Harbaugh is struggling to find the right offensive schemes, or a combination of the two.

If the OL is above average, there is no problem with the RB position.  The trio has plenty of ability, but the OL is missing assignments and the right side is 2008 bad.  I suspect this has lead to the maddening play calling.  Cole is a top-five center in CFB, but swung out to LT he's maybe a click above average at this point.  Kugler appears to be doing OK at center, but is he communicating blitzes and confirming assignments pre-snap?  Ruiz and Filiaga will be all-B1G caliber linemen, but they likely won't start this as year true frosh barring injury.

Black was Michigan's best WR, and he's been out for two games.  The three leading receivers graduated, even if they were a mixed bag of production.  DPJ has ability, but that hasn't translated into him catching passes yet.  The TE group this year is really good, but the big package with Ruiz and multiple TE didn't seem to get much action on Saturday.   Trying to figure that one out.

 

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Michigan's outside receivers are awful. The highly recruited freshman WR's will probably be very good in 2019 but they aren't playing major roles now or, in Black's case, are injured. The loss of Chesson, Darboh and Butt hurt far more than any number of starters they lost on D and also likely made Speight look better than he really is last year. Its the worst collection of outside receivers that I can recall at U of M. I think that could have an impact on sack numbers too as the QB's need to hold the ball longer. On the other hand, the run blocking looks better than pass pro.

Its a frustrating season, b/c U of M has a top 5/top 10 collection of freshman and sophomores and a coaching staff with a top 10 resume, but they are in a transition phase with an eye toward 2018. And, 2019 is the real year where Harbaugh finally has all of his own recruits.

ST's should be set for a few years with Nordin and Robbins and Don Brown looks like one of the best DC's in CFB. So, the offense is the last piece. I suspect Drevno will leave in some fashion after the season.

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I think the most frustrating thing for me is the offense.  You look at last year's defense, top 2-3 in the nation, loses 10 players, & is still top 2-3 in the nation.  This is the thing that tells me Harbaugh is not the problem.  Harbaugh did a nice job with Rudock, but Speight/OKorn are not cutting it.  I would have liked to have thought Harbaugh would have had someone else in ready to go by now.  I don't want this becoming a yearly thing, which is why I'd pull the plug on Okorn now & just turn it over to Peters.  Get him reps now.

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The problem with that, as I understand it, is there are some concerns about Peters attitude / leadership abilities, so handing him the job before he deserves it may not be the best message to send presuming the concerns are founded.

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4 hours ago, Scottwood said:

Michigan's outside receivers are awful. The highly recruited freshman WR's will probably be very good in 2019 but they aren't playing major roles now or, in Black's case, are injured. The loss of Chesson, Darboh and Butt hurt far more than any number of starters they lost on D and also likely made Speight look better than he really is last year. Its the worst collection of outside receivers that I can recall at U of M. I think that could have an impact on sack numbers too as the QB's need to hold the ball longer. On the other hand, the run blocking looks better than pass pro.

Its a frustrating season, b/c U of M has a top 5/top 10 collection of freshman and sophomores and a coaching staff with a top 10 resume, but they are in a transition phase with an eye toward 2018. And, 2019 is the real year where Harbaugh finally has all of his own recruits.

ST's should be set for a few years with Nordin and Robbins and Don Brown looks like one of the best DC's in CFB. So, the offense is the last piece. I suspect Drevno will leave in some fashion after the season.

This is encouraging.  It is a weak upper class of skill players on O, the last and worst of the Hoke holdovers (which were generally good).....going into next year, the new crop of Harbaugh juniors are highly rated.

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8 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

The problem with that, as I understand it, is there are some concerns about Peters attitude / leadership abilities, so handing him the job before he deserves it may not be the best message to send presuming the concerns are founded.

Yep.

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5 hours ago, Scottwood said:

 Its the worst collection of outside receivers that I can recall at U of M.

There is no way this collection of outside receivers is worse than the 2008:  Matthews (409 yards), Stonum (176 yards), Hemmingway (41 yards, Savoy (38 yards), Rogers (64 yards) and Babb (45 yards).   

Black (149 yards in 3 games) alone could have approached the production of all these guys with a healthy season this year.  Crawford (99 yards) and DPJ (60 yards), right here and right now, are certainly not a #1 WR (Crawford) and need more time on the field (DPJ).  It is possible Gentry (111 yards, 5 games) slides to the outside given TE depth and his athletic ability.  Collins and Martin have the ability to line up out there this year, but somehow Ways got the reps in the State game.  

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1 hour ago, djhutch said:

I think the most frustrating thing for me is the offense.  You look at last year's defense, top 2-3 in the nation, loses 10 players, & is still top 2-3 in the nation.  This is the thing that tells me Harbaugh is not the problem.  Harbaugh did a nice job with Rudock, but Speight/OKorn are not cutting it.  I would have liked to have thought Harbaugh would have had someone else in ready to go by now.  I don't want this becoming a yearly thing, which is why I'd pull the plug on Okorn now & just turn it over to Peters.  Get him reps now.

Just wait another week or two and O'Korn will get injured because of the swiss-cheese OL.  Then you can sit there and hope Peters doesn't get hurt.

Whoever plays QB right now is a straight-up sacrificial lamb.

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On 10/10/2017 at 7:48 AM, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

The problem with that, as I understand it, is there are some concerns about Peters attitude / leadership abilities, so handing him the job before he deserves it may not be the best message to send presuming the concerns are founded.

 

On 10/10/2017 at 7:57 AM, sabretooth said:

Yep.

Interesting.  I hadn't heard that.  There's no way Harbaugh puts a guy like that in.  Any idea where that information comes from?

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7 minutes ago, djhutch said:

 

Interesting.  I hadn't heard that.  There's no way Harbaugh puts a guy like that in.  Any idea where that information comes from?

Per Sam Webb, O'Korn will get the start this week over Peters.  Webb says Peters is a quiet kid by nature, but very competitive.  He didn't take losing the starting QB battle well, even though Speight won it outright in fall camp, and was very frustrated.  In not so many words, Peters sounds like a kid that is easy to misunderstand because he is quiet and has negative body language.  He is, however, the most talented QB on campus until Milton arrives in December.

With Speight maybe done at Michigan and JOK out of elg after this season, Peters will get every shot to win the QB battle over the next few games.  It might not mean rotating in vs Indiana, but it could mean a quick hook if JOK isn't getting it done. 

IMO, the competition is back on.

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14 hours ago, mickeyb105 said:

Per Sam Webb, O'Korn will get the start this week over Peters.  Webb says Peters is a quiet kid by nature, but very competitive.  He didn't take losing the starting QB battle well, even though Speight won it outright in fall camp, and was very frustrated.  In not so many words, Peters sounds like a kid that is easy to misunderstand because he is quiet and has negative body language.  He is, however, the most talented QB on campus until Milton arrives in December.

With Speight maybe done at Michigan and JOK out of elg after this season, Peters will get every shot to win the QB battle over the next few games.  It might not mean rotating in vs Indiana, but it could mean a quick hook if JOK isn't getting it done. 

IMO, the competition is back on.

That sounds better than "privileged little brat", which is what I read into it the first time.  Talent wise, do we think Peters is above McCaffrey?  I know Dylan is redshirting, but I figured he'd be in the mix next spring.

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4 hours ago, djhutch said:

That sounds better than "privileged little brat", which is what I read into it the first time.  Talent wise, do we think Peters is above McCaffrey?  I know Dylan is redshirting, but I figured he'd be in the mix next spring.

Comparing Peters and McCaffrey, you see some real similarities.

Peters: Ranked the #6 Pro-Style QB by 24/7, given a composite score of 9.674. On Scout he was a high 4*, ranked the #3 Pro-Style QB and 77th overall in the 2016 class.  He comes from just outside of Indianapolis in a pretty typical-looking suburb.  He played pretty average competition in HS if you compare it to all the kids on scholarship for football and the talent pools they came from.  Peters was the darling of the Spring Game at Michigan this year, where he flashed a plus arm/accuracy as well as mobility.  Check out the easy throwing motion as he hits receivers in-stride on the video below.  He also hits Watson in-stride for a pick-six, but hard to hold it against him considering what we've seen this year.  My gut says he won't handle pocket pressure much different than JOK, but he throws with as good of touch as I've seen from a Michigan QB in quite some time.

McCaffrey: Ranked the #5 Pro-Style QB by 24/7, given a composite score of 9.435.  On Scout he was a medium 4*, ranked the #5 Pro-Style QB and 135th overall in the 2017 class.  He grew up in a wealthy suburb of Denver and is the son of Bronco (and Stanford) great Ed McCaffrey.  His uncle is former All-American SG Billy McCaffrey, who shared a starting backcourt with Bobby Hurley on a Duke championship team then transferred to Vanderbilt where he blossomed.  His brother Max played at Duke and now plays for Green Bay.  His brother Christian was a standout RB at Stanford and now plays for Carolina, who drafted him 8th overall.  The football talent in Colorado is perhaps a little below-average, so it is hard to say how much he was tested by talented defenses.  But there is no denying that athletic talent flows through his veins.  McCaffrey has good straight-line speed, not unlike Devin Gardner.  He showed good judgement in HS on when to take off and run, and when to sit in the pocket and survey the field.  His ball comes from a very high point of release, and at 6'5+ he has the height to survey the field--which he seems to see very well for a young QB.  I could see him thriving in more of a spread offense environment, as he really hits that slant well and makes decisive reads.

Just for kicks, check out his HS hype video with highlights of Brady spliced in.

 

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Yesterday's display of downhill running by Higdon (200 yds on 25 carries, 3 TD) and the OL was probably offset by JOK passing for 58 yards on 50% passing against a middling IU secondary for many Michigan fans.  Let's face it, IU will always be thought of as a basketball school and a B1G Football bottom-feeder.

All of that said, IU has former Michigan OC Mike DeBord as its OC and Mike Hart for a RB coach.  Would Michigan be a better team if they traded OC and RB coaches with IU?  I think so, but to the point, IU isn't as bad as many here would like to think.  Similarly, Penn State isn't as good as most on this board would like to think.

Here are some numbers to chew on IRT the Michigan's trip to Happy Valley this week:

--The defences PSU has faced this year are:  Ind 38th/NW 50th/Iowa 87th/Akron 103 TD/Pitt 117th/Georgia ST. 489th.  Just kidding, GSU isn't ranked but they are way worse than Pitt.  Michigan has the #1 defense in the country by a 13 YPG average--a big lead over Washington. 

--Barkley 's last two games have totaled 36 carries for 131 yards and 3TD which came against IND and NW.

--The PSU kicker is not good:  6/13 this year overall, 2/8 on FGA over 30 yards.

--PSU has the 9th defense in the country, even after playing GSU, Akron and Pitt.  How did they ever survive such a barrage?  Point is, they haven't had a Purdue to test them and Michigan may be the best rushing team they've played to date.  

Michigan kept running the ball because they knew they could get away with it vs IU.  My gut says they also might be able to get away with it vs PSU if they commit half the penalties.  They set a program-record with their 16 penalties vs IU, and combined with the 50 passing yards, it is amazing Michigan could beat anyone yesterday--let alone the 38th-ranked defense in the country.

For a team that supposedly didn't have a running game this season, Isaac has 403 yards in 68 carries and Higdon has 401 yards in 70 carries.  Combined, they are averaging 7 YPC.  Many thought Evans would be the bellcow this season, but he's third in the rotation and isn't even averaging 4 YPC.  The good news?  All three backs have a 50+ yard run to their credit.

If JOK is marginally better, and Michigan can commit in the neighborhood of half the penalties, Michigan can beat an overrated PSU squad in Happy Valley.  Way better teams (Clemson, Washington State)  lost this week to way worse teams ('Cuse, ASU).  It is PSU's turn to go down.

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8 minutes ago, mickeyb105 said:

Yesterday's display of downhill running by Higdon (200 yds on 25 carries, 3 TD) and the OL was probably offset by JOK passing for 58 yards on 50% passing against a middling IU secondary for many Michigan fans.  Let's face it, IU will always be thought of as a basketball school and a B1G Football bottom-feeder.

All of that said, IU has former Michigan OC Mike DeBord as its OC and Mike Hart for a RB coach.  Would Michigan be a better team if they traded OC and RB coaches with IU?  I think so, but to the point, IU isn't as bad as many here would like to think.  Similarly, Penn State isn't as good as most on this board would like to think.

Here are some numbers to chew on IRT the Michigan's trip to Happy Valley this week:

--The defences PSU has faced this year are:  Ind 38th/NW 50th/Iowa 87th/Akron 103 TD/Pitt 117th/Georgia ST. 489th.  Just kidding, GSU isn't ranked but they are way worse than Pitt.  Michigan has the #1 defense in the country by a 13 YPG average--a big lead over Washington, who just got beat by ASU.

--Barkley 's last two games have totaled 36 carries for 131 yards and 3TD which came against IND and NW.

--The PSU kicker is not good:  6/13 this year overall, 2/8 on FGA over 30 yards.

--PSU has the 9th defense in the country, even after playing GSU, Akron and Pitt.  How did they ever survive such a barrage?  Point is, they haven't had a Purdue to test them and Michigan may be the best rushing team they've played to date.  

Michigan kept running the ball because they knew they could get away with it vs IU.  My gut says they also might be able to get away with it vs PSU if they commit half the penalties.  They set a program-record with their 16 penalties vs IU, and combined with the 50 passing yards, it is amazing Michigan could beat anyone yesterday--let alone the 38th-ranked defense in the country.

For a team that supposedly didn't have a running game this season, Isaac has 403 yards in 68 carries and Higdon has 401 yards in 70 carries.  Combined, they are averaging 7 YPC.  Many thought Evans would be the bellcow this season, but he's third in the rotation and isn't even averaging 4 YPC.  The good news?  All three backs have a 50+ yard run to their credit.

If JOK is marginally better, and Michigan can commit in the neighborhood of half the penalties, Michigan can beat an overrated PSU squad in Happy Valley.  Way better teams (Clemson, Washington) lost this week to way worse teams ('Cuse, ASU).  It is PSU's turn to go down.

Peters time

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14 minutes ago, Deleterious said:

I'm out of town and not near my computer. Someone else please do the PSU game thread. Thanks.

I can do it. 

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24 minutes ago, Nastradamus said:

Peters time

I would start Peters, run play action the first play and hit DPJ over the top.  The kid throws a nice deep ball, why not put PSU down an easy score early? 

JOK will get the start barring injury, but I think Harbaugh would do anything to beat PSU right now.  PSU will sell out on the run early. 

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i'd be surprised if a conservative coach like harbaugh starts peters in his first game at penn state on the road at night.

but stranger things have happened.

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34 minutes ago, Buddha said:

i'd be surprised if a conservative coach like harbaugh starts peters in his first game at penn state on the road at night.

but stranger things have happened.

Sam Webb said JOK will definitely start FWIIW.

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