Preview: Michigan at Indiana

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13Nov 2015
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Preview: Michigan at Indiana

Rush Offense vs. Indiana Rush Defense

Michigan has struggled to run the ball the past three weeks. After topping 4.0 yards/carry for five straight weeks, the Wolverines have averaged 1.9, 3.7, and 3.6 yards/carry in the past three; that last number came against Rutgers, who didn’t sack quarterback Jake Rudock even once. De’Veon Smith leads the team with 524 yards and 5 touchdowns, and he made it through last week’s game without appearing to re-injure his ankle. He’s the bruiser and needs all the leg drive he can get. Meanwhile, Drake Johnson is the speedster and is averaging 4.9 yards/carry. Ty Isaac is back on the depth chart after two weeks of banishment for an undisclosed reason. Michigan is #66 in rushing yardage (172 yards/game) and #72 in rushing average (4.27 yards/carry). Indiana is #78 in rushing defense (174 yards/game) and #92 in rushing average against (4.73 yards against/carry). Indiana’s leading tackler is linebacker Marcus Oliver with 79. Next on the list is fellow linebacker T.J. Simmons, but the next three are defensive backs: strong safety Chase Dutra, free safety Jonathan Crawford, and cornerback Rashard Fant. Outside linebacker Zach Shaw, defensive end Nick Mangieri, and defensive tackle Darius Lathan share the team lead with 8 tackles for loss each. Indiana runs a 3-4 defense that can function a bit like a 4-3 with Shaw at the end position. Indiana manned up to hold Michigan State to 3.23 yards/carry, and the Wolverines aren’t any better at running the ball than the Spartans. Michigan will probably need to throw the ball to free up the running game.
Advantage: Indiana

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12Nov 2015
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Site News: November 2015

The message board/forum (LINK) has not taken off like I had hoped. This was one of the aspects of the new site that I had most looked forward to having, but for whatever reason(s), it seems to have been forgotten. One reason may be that the new site launched right when my football season began, so I have not been able to devote a ton of time to posting and discussion. However, it is something I would like to promote, and I do appreciate discussion of various topics (sports, music, movies, books, even politics and religion as long as people are respectful). What do you think could be done to promote discussion on the forum? Now that you’ve had a few months to settle into navigating the site, what suggestions might you make?

I have continued to forget to note this, but I was really excited in the spring/summer of 2014 when I was contacted by a national college football preview magazine to write a feature on Michigan football. Lindy’s Sports was doing their annual Big Ten football preview, and they wanted me to scope out the offensive line for what would turn out to be Brady Hoke’s final season. I wrote the piece, had their editor make a few suggestions, and . . . then got the rug pulled out from under me. Lindy’s decided not to run the magazine. I was given a “kill fee” for my work, which meant I got 50% of what I had originally agreed. I wasn’t too concerned about the payment, though; it was more the publicity that the site would have received. I never set out to be a journalist, but it would have been cool to published in Lindy’s, which I used to buy from Borders in Ann Arbor every year.

11Nov 2015
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Recruiting Update: November 11, 2015

Ann Arbor (MI) Pioneer LB Antjuan Simmons

Boulder (CO) Fairview defensive end/outside linebacker Carlo Kemp committed to Michigan (LINK).

Cincinnati (OH) Moeller offensive guard Matthew Dotson was offered by Michigan. Dotson is a 6’5″, 225 lb. prospect with offers from Kentucky, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, and Tennessee, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #12 tight end, and #354 overall. He claims a 4.82 forty. Dotson is a big body with good body control, but he is not supremely athletic or dynamic after the catch. Ohio State typically gets its pick of the litter from Ohio tight ends (witness Jake Hausmann and Luke Farrell in 2016), but Michigan has a really good chance at finishing second.

Hit the jump for a few more new offers, a commitment elsewhere, and some random bits.

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10Nov 2015
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Michigan vs. Rutgers Awards

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . 
Sione Houma. I’m not in love with Houma as a tailback, but it sure is fun to watch him play with his hair waving all around and his 240 lb. body barreling into people. He finished the game with 6 carries for 19 yards and 1 catch for 32 yards. He’s a decent enough threat at fullback now that I think opponents are going to have to keep on eye on the fullback dives and traps, and that might spring one of the tailbacks on the outside at some point. Houma isn’t quite the blocker that Joe Kerridge is, but Houma is good enough at catching and running that I think it mostly makes up for the blocking differential.

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9Nov 2015
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Ex-Wolverine Updates: Week 10

Kaleb Ringer

CB Blake Countess: Countess had 5 tackles, 1 pass breakup, and 1 interception returned for 5 yards in Auburn’s 26-10 win over Texas A&M.

TE/DE Keith Heitzman: Heitzman was held catchless in Ohio’s 62-24 loss to Bowling Green State on Wednesday night.

RB/WR/CB Dennis Norfleet: Three weeks ago against Stillman, Norfleet had 4 carries for 74 yards and 1 catch for 38 yards in Tuskegee’s 49-20 win. Two weeks ago in a 38-28 win over Kentucky State, Norfleet had 5 carries for 83 yards and 1 touchdown, 1 punt return for 22 yards, and 3 kickoff returns for 18 yards.  Last week against Central State, he ran 14 times for 106 yards, caught 1 pass for 22 yards, and returned 2 kickoffs for 39 yards in a 19-7 win. This past Saturday, Norfleet ran the ball 15 times for 92 yards and returned 1 kickoff for 17 yards in a 26-23 loss to Miles.

LB Kaleb Ringer: Ringer made a career-high 10 tackles, plus 1 tackle for loss, in Georgia State’s 23-21 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette.

Hit the jump for new on former commits and coaches.

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