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#17 Michigan vs Indiana - 10/14/17

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They'll end up 8-4. Maybe they'll get lucky against Wisconsin.

The improvement on the ground game was encouraging. 

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Yeah, the ground game has been good for the most part the past two weeks. JBB is obviously un upgrade over Ulizio in that regard.

But OKorn and the passing game is just completely inept. If he can't make the right read with a wide open Gentry in a two man route, there is no hope. 20 passes for 58 yards is historically bad. I imagine we will see Peters get some run after the PSU loss, it literally can't be worse than 3 ypa.

Shame to waste this defense and a senior Hurst, but it is what it is. 

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On 10/15/2017 at 10:15 AM, Nastradamus said:

Don't you disrespect Nick Sheridan that way

Phew....boy was he bad.

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8 hours ago, TigerNation said:

Yeah, the ground game has been good for the most part the past two weeks. JBB is obviously un upgrade over Ulizio in that regard.

But OKorn and the passing game is just completely inept. If he can't make the right read with a wide open Gentry in a two man route, there is no hope. 20 passes for 58 yards is historically bad. I imagine we will see Peters get some run after the PSU loss, it literally can't be worse than 3 ypa.

Shame to waste this defense and a senior Hurst, but it is what it is. 

Why even bother playing out the season at 5-1?

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9 hours ago, mickeyb105 said:

Why even bother playing out the season at 5-1?

Why bother discussing anything about the team when we can just point to their record?

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24 minutes ago, Shelton said:

Why bother discussing anything about the team when we can just point to their record?

Discuss away, Shelton.  This woe-is-Blue attitude by many posters seems very premature. 

Michigan lost to a team ranked neck-and-neck with them currently in the polls, has the best defense in the country with an improving run game and people are already accepting a loss. 

The offense isn't fun to watch, and likely won't be the rest of the way.  Harbaugh will continue to play field position football, and he has the tools to do it at a high level now that Robbins flashed some potential last game.  He's content to grind out wins by tiny margins and risk only what he has to. 

This kind of football isn't everybody's cup of tea, but it wins games when you have a the run game, defense, punter and kicker to do it with. 

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9 minutes ago, mickeyb105 said:

Discuss away, Shelton.  This woe-is-Blue attitude by many posters seems very premature. 

Michigan lost to a team ranked neck-and-neck with them currently in the polls, has the best defense in the country with an improving run game and people are already accepting a loss. 

The offense isn't fun to watch, and likely won't be the rest of the way.  Harbaugh will continue to play field position football, and he has the tools to do it at a high level now that Robbins flashed some potential last game.  He's content to grind out wins by tiny margins and risk only what he has to. 

This kind of football isn't everybody's cup of tea, but it wins games when you have a the run game, defense, punter and kicker to do it with. 

Not ready to give kudos to the punter just yet, here. I’m also not quite ready to declare the run game good. The defense is definitely very good, and the kicker, too. 

Nothing wrong with field position conservative football. The problem with doing that is that they still need to be able to move the ball. They couldn’t do it against MSU. They struggled to do that late in the game against Indiana. Unless teams have to respect the pass game, it’s not going to be easy to just move the ball on the ground. 

I don’t think it’s unreasonable for fans to be down on the game this weekend. A road game at night against a legitimately good team with a really bad QB is not exactly a game where it makes sense to be optimistic. That doesn’t mean it is a sure loss. Michigan can definitely win this game, but they are still significant underdogs. MSU came into Michigan stadium and walked away with a win by playing conservatively and converting their two scoring chances. Michigan can do the same. 

I don’t put much stock at all into top 25 rankings, to be honest, or even win loss record at this point. I don’t think MSU is better than Michigan. 

Is the defense still considered the best in the country? I’m not exactly sure how that is tracked. It’s definitely an elite unit. It can give Michigan a chance if it steps up. PSU hasn’t faced a defense like Michigan’s yet. On the flip side, has Michigan faced an offense like Penn State? Has the Michigan offense faced a defense like Penn State. I don’t know how good the PSU offense and defense are. But I do think PSU is better overall than any team Michigan has faced yet. And we are coming off back to back games against mediocre teams where we could have won both or lost both. 

There are reasons to be optimistic, sure, but there are also plenty of reasons to be pessimistic about this week. 

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michigan does not have a win over a team with a winning record this season.

florida 3-3

cincy 2-5

air force 2-4

purdue 3-3

indiana 3-3

michigan is not a good team this year.  this is a rebuilding year.  the defense is great but the offense is putrid.

they can still win every game because this is college football and luck means so much (see msu game).  but this isnt the tyoe of michigan team that can overcome a lot of bad luck and still win (see msu game).

its a 4 loss team that might squeak one out against a better team here and there.  unless peters turns into the second coming of rick leach.

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2 hours ago, mickeyb105 said:

Michigan lost to a team ranked neck-and-neck with them currently in the polls, has the best defense in the country with an improving run game and people are already accepting a loss. 

michigan lost to a team that was unranked at the time and had been blown out at home by the only good team they played all season.

and they did so at home.  as a double digit favorite.

you can point to lots of fluky reasons why they lost, but that is a bad loss.  that msu is currently ranked near michigan means nothing as to how good msu is.  just like florida being ranked meant anything either.

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1 hour ago, Shelton said:

Not ready to give kudos to the punter just yet

Robbins has the tools to be a very good college punter, although he is very likely not elite like Mesko was.  His hangtime is just about as good as it gets for a college punter, and for a true frosh, I'm very pleased with how he stepped up the past week.  I know you want sample size, but Kohl's had him ranked #4 in the country--maybe that doesn't mean a lot to most people, but IMO Kohl's is the best evaluator of specialists around and more reliable than Tony Kornblue (who ranks him as #1).

Quote

Robbins had a dominant showing at the 2017 Senior Showcase. He averaged over 5.0 seconds on his charts at camp and hit several 5.2+ second punts during the drill work and competitions. He is one of the most college ready punters in the country. He is D1 ready right now. Robbins had an impressive camp at the 2016 Eastern Winter Showcase. He won the punt competition and the punt charting at camp. Robbins has solid technical refinement and great power. He is explosive in his hips, the ball jumps off his foot and his repeatability in his catch/mold is probably his most impressive trait that he has.

When you can get a crowd of specialists oohing and ahhing to your 5.0 average, that's good stuff.  I do wish he turned it over more consistently, but this kid has talent.  I like that he was offered by Navy, which means he passed some serious character criteria and almost certainly won't be another Hagerup headcase.

There is obviously nothing to insure that Robbins won't shank one when Michigan needs to be bailed out, but he's a nice player to have for what Harbaugh is trying to accomplish.

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I don't really care that they haven't been a great team. I want them to keep winning in case something unexpected happens, like O'Korn having a Rudock moment where he suddenly turns a corner and becomes average. Or the o-line somehow clicks and we rush for 200 yards in a big game.

The defense is good enough that we have a legit chance to win each game we participate in. Maybe not 100% on merit, but 1 big play can change that around.

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15 minutes ago, Buddha said:

michigan lost to a team that was unranked at the time and had been blown out at home by the only good team they played all season.

and they did so at home.  as a double digit favorite.

you can point to lots of fluky reasons why they lost, but that is a bad loss.  that msu is currently ranked near michigan means nothing as to how good msu is.  just like florida being ranked meant anything either.

Florida lost its other two games by a combined three points and could as easily be 5-1 as 3-3.

The State loss is terrible, and I'm not sure why Harbaugh felt like he had to roll out trips formations and start passing once the monsoon came, but this is a season where much of the pre-season top 10 has lost to an inferior opponent.  This doesn't make the pre-season top 10 garbage, it's just college football and anything can happen.

Chalking the PSU game up as an automatic loss, when they couldn't even run the ball on Indiana, is a mistake.

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18 minutes ago, mickeyb105 said:

Robbins has the tools to be a very good college punter, although he is very likely not elite like Mesko was.  His hangtime is just about as good as it gets for a college punter, and for a true frosh, I'm very pleased with how he stepped up the past week.  I know you want sample size, but Kohl's had him ranked #4 in the country--maybe that doesn't mean a lot to most people, but IMO Kohl's is the best evaluator of specialists around and more reliable than Tony Kornblue (who ranks him as #1).

When you can get a crowd of specialists oohing and ahhing to your 5.0 average, that's good stuff.  I do wish he turned it over more consistently, but this kid has talent.  I like that he was offered by Navy, which means he passed some serious character criteria and almost certainly won't be another Hagerup headcase.

There is obviously nothing to insure that Robbins won't shank one when Michigan needs to be bailed out, but he's a nice player to have for what Harbaugh is trying to accomplish.

That’s good infinity there. What worries me about him this year is that he wasn’t the #1 punter to to start, right?

and of course he screwed up the punt late against Indiana. 

Is he good enough? Sure. I just don’t think he’s an asset or worth mentioning as a reason for how this team will overcome its issues on offense. 

I miss Blake. 

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5 minutes ago, Shelton said:

That’s good infinity there. What worries me about him this year is that he wasn’t the #1 punter to to start, right?

and of course he screwed up the punt late against Indiana. 

Is he good enough? Sure. I just don’t think he’s an asset or worth mentioning as a reason for how this team will overcome its issues on offense. 

I miss Blake. 

The kickoff specialist, Foug, is the one worth mentioning. And Nordin of course. Robbins has provided needed stability, but he hasn't been super like the other 2.

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13 minutes ago, mickeyb105 said:

Florida lost its other two games by a combined three points and could as easily be 5-1 as 3-3.

The State loss is terrible, and I'm not sure why Harbaugh felt like he had to roll out trips formations and start passing once the monsoon came, but this is a season where much of the pre-season top 10 has lost to an inferior opponent.  This doesn't make the pre-season top 10 garbage, it's just college football and anything can happen.

Chalking the PSU game up as an automatic loss, when they couldn't even run the ball on Indiana, is a mistake.

We also beat Florida when they were reeling from their scandal and with Wilton speight at quarterback and black at receiver. This team is worse now than it was when it beat Florida. 

Penn State beat Indiana 45-14. They led 28-0. I don’t think it’s that telling that Barkley didn’t have a big day. Penn State torched them in the air, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Indiana was committed to stopping the run when they were down big expecting PSU to be in clock killing mode. 

I don’t think it’s going to be easy to stop both the run and the pass against them, but we’ll see I guess. 

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32 minutes ago, Shelton said:

We also beat Florida when they were reeling from their scandal and with Wilton speight at quarterback and black at receiver. This team is worse now than it was when it beat Florida. 

Penn State beat Indiana 45-14. They led 28-0. I don’t think it’s that telling that Barkley didn’t have a big day. Penn State torched them in the air, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Indiana was committed to stopping the run when they were down big expecting PSU to be in clock killing mode. 

I don’t think it’s going to be easy to stop both the run and the pass against them, but we’ll see I guess. 

The passing offense is definitely worse than it was when Michigan beat UF, but maybe the running game is better.  Robbins is an improvement over the walk-on at punter.  The defense is battle-tested and likely much more confident than it was WK1.

Indiana sold out against the run on Michigan and still gave up 271 yards rushing.    Barkley and Higdon each had 20 carries, and Higdon gained 150 more yards in spite of zero threat of downfield passing.    The days of slow safeties at Michigan is a thing of the past.

Purdue was supposed to test the Michigan secondary, but 13-30 for 159 yards passing was that result.  McSorley will stretch the Michigan defense, but he'll be under attack all day by the top defense in the country as ranked by the NCAA.  If you want to go with another site's rankings that weighs more factors, that's fine, but any amount of data you find will tell you that PSU hasn't faced a defense close to as good as Michgan's.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Shelton said:

That’s good infinity there. What worries me about him this year is that he wasn’t the #1 punter to to start, right?

and of course he screwed up the punt late against Indiana. 

Is he good enough? Sure. I just don’t think he’s an asset or worth mentioning as a reason for how this team will overcome its issues on offense. 

I miss Blake. 

That Robbins didn't start the season as the starting punter is a mystery for sure.  As a guy who can touch 5 seconds of hangtime right now, I'm OK with calling him a nice complementary piece of what Harbaugh is trying to implement.  Are you talking about the 37-yard punt in the Indiana game?  Obviously not what you want, but not a complete shank.  Nine punts in a game may be something he'll have to get used to this year.

O'Neill's MSU botch was one of the most unfortunate plays I've seen as a Michigan fan dating back to about '80.    Great leg, but Mesko is still the measuring stick IMO.

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1 hour ago, Who is the Drizzle? said:

The kickoff specialist, Foug, is the one worth mentioning. And Nordin of course. Robbins has provided needed stability, but he hasn't been super like the other 2.

Foug has been great, but was really saved by the Indiana returner who caught his KO out of bounds.

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37 minutes ago, mickeyb105 said:

The passing offense is definitely worse than it was when Michigan beat UF, but maybe the running game is better.  Robbins is an improvement over the walk-on at punter.  The defense is battle-tested and likely much more confident than it was WK1.

Indiana sold out against the run on Michigan and still gave up 271 yards rushing.    Barkley and Higdon each had 20 carries, and Higdon gained 150 more yards in spite of zero threat of downfield passing.    The days of slow safeties at Michigan is a thing of the past.

Purdue was supposed to test the Michigan secondary, but 13-30 for 159 yards passing was that result.  McSorley will stretch the Michigan defense, but he'll be under attack all day by the top defense in the country as ranked by the NCAA.  If you want to go with another site's rankings that weighs more factors, that's fine, but any amount of data you find will tell you that PSU hasn't faced a defense close to as good as Michgan's.

 

 

All good stuff. Not sure about the defense and its confidence but whatever. 

Yes, Michigan has a better day on the ground against Indiana than Penn State. It still is hard to take too much from a couple games like that. I think Penn State has a good running game despite the Indiana game. 

I also think the Penn State passing game is better than Purdue. But who knows. Purdue’s running game isn’t all that good, so we were probably able to commit more to stopping the pass. 

The Michigan defense is very good and is the best one Penn State will have seen yet. That’s fine. We will need it to shut down Penn State if we want to have a chance. Maybe Barkley goes for 60 yards again and mcsorley completes fewer than 50%. It could happen. 

Michigan may be the best team Penn State has faced, but Penn State is the best team Michigan has faced, too. One of these teams struggled against a couple of mediocre teams, so it still stands to reason that Michigan is deserving of being a 9-10 point dog. 

If Michigan goes out and plays a clean game and uses their field position prowess and wins, I’ll be a lot more optimistic of its chances going forward. But right now, I think it is more than reasonable to chalk this one up as a loss. I hope they prove me wrong. And I hope they do it without needing a bunch of turnovers and luck. 

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38 minutes ago, mickeyb105 said:

That Robbins didn't start the season as the starting punter is a mystery for sure.  As a guy who can touch 5 seconds of hangtime right now, I'm OK with calling him a nice complementary piece of what Harbaugh is trying to implement.  Are you talking about the 37-yard punt in the Indiana game?  Obviously not what you want, but not a complete shank.  Nine punts in a game may be something he'll have to get used to this year.

O'Neill's MSU botch was one of the most unfortunate plays I've seen as a Michigan fan dating back to about '80.    Great leg, but Mesko is still the measuring stick IMO.

I was referring to the late punt where he kicked it away from the coverage and the guy returned it to the 20 or whatever. 

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i think they can beat penn state because penn state is overrated and michigan has a really good defense.  i also think its more likely that they will lose because its on the road and penn state is a good team.

i'm still a bit flabbergasted that anyone is impressed with this michigan team's performance against bad teams.

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3 hours ago, mickeyb105 said:

Florida lost its other two games by a combined three points and could as easily be 5-1 as 3-3.

The State loss is terrible, and I'm not sure why Harbaugh felt like he had to roll out trips formations and start passing once the monsoon came, but this is a season where much of the pre-season top 10 has lost to an inferior opponent.  This doesn't make the pre-season top 10 garbage, it's just college football and anything can happen.

Chalking the PSU game up as an automatic loss, when they couldn't even run the ball on Indiana, is a mistake.

florida beat tennessee on a 50 yard hail mary and beat kentucky on a last second score when kentucky forgot to cover a wide receiver.  they could easily be 1-5.

and tennessee and kentucky suck.  especially tennessee.

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40 minutes ago, Shelton said:

If Michigan goes out and plays a clean game and uses their field position prowess and wins, I’ll be a lot more optimistic of its chances going forward. But right now, I think it is more than reasonable to chalk this one up as a loss. I hope they prove me wrong. And I hope they do it without needing a bunch of turnovers and luck. 

After the last two games, all bets are off on how clean of a game Michigan is capable of playing.  The environment will be hostile and PSU wants blood from last year's curb-stomping.  I get why Michigan is an underdog, even if I don't get why much of the fanbase is already punting on the season.

JOK needs to stretch that defense a little bit and early IMO.  Gentry must get five targets minimum (is Eubanks still hurt?) and McEwen must be trusted again.  The way the TE targets have been abandoned at various times this year is a tragedy.  I would have already moved Gentry to the outside with all the TE depth and lack of playmaking out there, but Crawford is apparently never coming out this year.

On defense, Michigan doesn't need any new wrinkles--just keep attacking the LOS.  PSU has given up more sacks than anyone in the B1G, and it is fair to expect that total to go up quite a bit on Saturday.  If McSorley gets knocked out of the game, look out.  Don't get too aggressive once PSU crosses the the Michigan 40--let them get into range for longish FG, because they are like 2/8 from range.

If I'm coaching the PSU secondary I'm making JOK complete over-the-top before I stop the stranglehold on everything 15 yards and in the middle of the field.  Make the outside receivers beat a jam, especially DPJ.  Eight and nine in the box all day and gamble on the TE posse getting less than six targets.  If I'm coaching the PSU offense, I try to stay balanced and go with quick reads throwing the ball.  Use the defense's aggression against it with double-moves on the outside, a few wheel routes and some rub routes.  Attack McCray and make him cover Barkley in space--make Bush get through the wash and not tackle going downhill (easier said than done for sure, kid's feet are amazing).

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12 minutes ago, Buddha said:

florida beat tennessee on a 50 yard hail mary and beat kentucky on a last second score when kentucky forgot to cover a wide receiver.  they could easily be 1-5.

and tennessee and kentucky suck.  especially tennessee.

This just in:  The SEC plays good football.

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1 hour ago, Shelton said:

I was referring to the late punt where he kicked it away from the coverage and the guy returned it to the 20 or whatever. 

Just rewatched that a few several times and it looks like Watson blew his contain duty as the flyer.  He was so far inside, no way that coverage was designed for him to be there.  That punt went almost straight up the field from where Robbins booted it from inside of the left hash.

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