Michigan vs. Cincinnati Awards

Michigan vs. Cincinnati Awards


September 11, 2017

Lavert Hill (image via the Journal Gazette)

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Ty Isaac. I hit on it last week when Isaac had 114 yards, and the Michigan coaching staff listened. Can you guys believe Jay Harbaugh reads this blog? I’m honored and humbled . . .  Really, though, Isaac ran 20 times for 133 yards in this one and is averaging 8.0 yards a carry this year. So far he has been the best back on the team, and Michigan should continue riding him until Chris Evans and/or Karan Higdon step up their performances.

Hit the jump for more awards.

Let’s see less of this guy on offense . . . Michael Onwenu. I was not impressed with Onwenu’s effort on Saturday, and I do mean effort. There were several times where he just leaned on guys and expected them to move. That’s not how it works on college. He also made some mental mistakes with, oh, which way to block and whom he should block. Michigan has other options at offensive guard, and I’m curious to see whether someone else gets a chance.

Let’s see more of this guy on defense . . . Angry Rashan Gary. Some people were surprised that I wasn’t hopping on the Rashan Gary bandwagon over the summer, but he has yet to be extremely impressive for any long stretches. Don’t get me wrong – I think he’s good. But he’s not truly dominant right now. He made 3 tackles and 1 quarterback hurry on Saturday (even though I think he should have been given a couple QB hurries), but he seemed to play better once he was investigated for targeting. He was found not guilty, but for the next few plays, he was right in Hayden Moore’s face. He doesn’t appear to be a really fiery guy, but maybe he needs to find a way to get pissed off so he can play at his highest level.

Let’s see less of this guy on defense . . . Michael Wroblewski. Wroblewski didn’t do anything wrong, but I really hope one of the freshman linebackers steps up his play soon so the team can prepare for the departures of Mike McCray and Wroblewski. Wroblewski’s just a guy. Joshua Ross has already burned his redshirt, so maybe he’s the most likely guy.

Let’s see more of this guy on special teams . . . Grant Perry. Donovan Peoples-Jones was both indecisive and risky at punt returner, so give me more of Perry, who can at least fair catch the ball.

Let’s see less of this guy on special teams . . . Will Hart. Hart averaged 39.2 yards per punt on Saturday, and that included two shanks that went out of bounds. I’ve heard Brad Robbins had a solid fall camp, so I hope he gets a shot.

Play of the game . . . Lavert Hill’s pick-six. It’s tough to tell from the TV angles, but based on context clues, it sure looks to me like Hill baited Cincinnati quarterback Hayden Moore into throwing the ball there. Not only did he make the pick, but he then showed some speed and vision by cutting across the field to return it for a touchdown. If he can start to replicate the playmaking ability he showed in high school, he’s going to be very exciting.

MVP of the game . . . Mason Cole. When Michigan needed to run, they ran behind left tackle Mason Cole. The defense blew some assignments, the passing game was inconsistent, and the right side of the line struggled, but Cole did well for the most part. He may not be an elite player at his position, but he’s very consistent and dependable.

148 comments

  1. Comments: 904
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Sep 11, 2017 at 6:54 AM

    It probably doesn’t qualify for “play of the game” because it wasn’t big enough, but the best and certainly funnest play of the game was Chase Winovich’s TFL on a read option. He gets to the mesh point at just about the exact instant the QB and the RB meet up. He hits the running back a good lick, takes note of the fact that he doesn’t happen to have the football on him so he just throws him away, continues on his journey until he buries the QB. Made me happy.

    All of our DBs with the exception of Long really come up and hit people. Even the little guys will smack you. I except Long only because I haven’t seen him. To be more clear, I haven’t seen him not make a hit either.

    Chris Evans looks … not quick. This is probably exacerbated by the fact that he isn’t an imposing specimen heading at you, so defenders launch at him. Nobody is launching their bodies at Ty Isaac. With his size, people are coming without a lot drive, dropping their butts and grabbing for him. Thus the broken tackles. I can’t say I blame them.

    I am not getting the angst over the offensive line. There are holes, and Isaac is hitting them hard. Evans isn’t hitting them at all, and Higdon so far is meh. Isaac is breaking a weak attempt in the backfield every now and again or juking a guy running at the hole, but he really isn’t seeing lots of guys running at him Mostly there’s a pretty nice path to somewhere and he’s running through it. I noticed one just beautifully executed double pull that went for 8, maybe more. I think it was Bredeson and Hill. Yeah, yeah, technically a fullback doesn’t pull. I don’t care, he came all the way across the play to stand a guy up. I thought it was a beautiful thing.

    Speight isn’t running for his life back there either. Speight is the problem with Speight, not the offensive line. Is every protection perfectly blocked? Nope. Not even close. But it’s far from a problem. I thought Speight’s best ball on the day was the running, back foot dart … in a good way … he threw to Perry on one of the few plays he did get chased out. Made me think that he might be better were he running around back there a little more.

    Speaking of Perry, I didn’t notice much in the way of ball spinning.

    Crawford looks way tentative returning kicks. He doesn’t really ever get started running. I can’t believe we don’t have someone who can catch one and then wants to attack on kickoffs.

    Ruiz shows up on the participation list as having come in at Right Tackle, I can’t find the snap or snaps he was in there for.

    I agree that Wrobolewski is just a guy back there, but I thought he came up pretty stout at the goal line. They left him one on one with the back at the goal line twice in a row. He stops one, he far from got run over on the TD. I will say that you really notice Bush’s absence out there.

    • Comments: 904
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      Roanman
      Sep 11, 2017 at 7:00 AM

      Oh yeah, for a terrible blocking TE, Zach Gentry did a real nice job on a big Isaac sweep locking up what looked to be an LB and then turned on the jets after Isaac was safely past in an effort to get somebody else.

      • Comments: 904
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        Roanman
        Sep 11, 2017 at 7:09 AM

        Maybe that was the DPJ jet sweep.

        Speaking of jet sweeps, Crawford was too tight and jammed Speight in. The snap was late. Probably the second thing is on Speight.

    • DonAZ
      Comments: 319
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      DonAZ
      Sep 11, 2017 at 7:47 AM

      “Speight is the problem with Speight, not the offensive line.”

      As you say, not perfect, but not 2013 Michigan O-Line and Devin Gardner bad.

      It would be interesting to wave a magic wand and see Speight behind a truly dominant offensive line. Would his under/over-throws go away? If so, then it suggests the issue is mostly just mental — he has good pocket presence, but he’s a bit jumpy. Rather than translating into happy feet (O’Korn) it translates into poor footwork and off-throws.

      If behind a brick wall the throws continue to be inconsistent, then it’s just Speight.

      • Comments: 289
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Sep 11, 2017 at 1:18 PM

        There is a view out in the sports world. You pick the sport. It goes something like this, when under pressure the weakest part of your game will break down. I think that explains on some level what you are speaking to in regards to Speight.

        If Speight had a very good running game and he was throwing on 2nd and 3 then he would be more accurate. When he has to throw on 2nd and 8 then he isn’t quite as accurate.

        I have no stats to back this theory up. A weaker thrower is going to exposed in high pressure situations or in more difficult throws. It’s only logical. A great pitcher can throw a strike on the outside of the plate on a 3-2 count. A mediocre pitcher isn’t going to throw it as well and it may be way wide or over the middle of the plate. What we have right now is a mediocre pitcher. We have a guy who is going to walk about 6 guys a game and hit a couple of batters over the course of 9 innings but is also going to get some ground outs, pop ups and strike outs. It’s the total package. The good and the bad.

    • Comments: 3181
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 11, 2017 at 9:42 AM

      If the OL is blocking so well and Evans and Higdon stink – why did Isaac produce such mediocre results outside of his one big run against an awful defense?

      If the OL is pass blocking so well why is Speight getting sacked?

      Anybody can feel however they want. My feelings are the Speight is fine, the RBs are playing well, and the OL is bad. My feelings are backed by objective data and reasonable arguments. I prefer that to agreeing with the emotional crowd.

      • Comments: 568
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Sep 11, 2017 at 10:02 AM

        If speight were fine, why are each of his TDs & fumbles independent of OL play?

        • Comments: 3181
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Sep 11, 2017 at 11:42 AM

          Because all QBs make mistakes. e.g., Rudock threw more INTs than Speight.

          Anyway, TDs and INTs are not at all independent of line play.

          • Comments: 568
            Joined: 1/19/2016
            je93
            Sep 11, 2017 at 12:47 PM

            Which of Speight’s TOs this year are on the OL?
            In 30 attempts Saturday, how much pressure did he face?
            Not much, maybe 4 hurries
            RG/RT haven’t been great, but that’s not why speight fumbled, or gave away two pick6, or blew an open TD (following a great check at the line)

            • Comments: 3181
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Sep 11, 2017 at 1:15 PM

              There was an unblocked LB coming right at Speight on the 2nd INT (the bad one, to Perry). Some have said the snap timing contributed to the Crawford-reverse fumble.

              Beyond the specific plays I think the bigger issue is that Speight is getting consistent heat which leads to a lack of comfort, patience, confidence, etc.

              In general, QBs are most accurate when they are comfortable in the pocket or rolling on the move. The feeling of security (either through individual action or trust of others) is a critical element to accuracy.

              Now – that doesn’t excuse Speight entirely as it FEELS like he is unusually accurate under duress and unusually inaccurate when the pressure doesn’t come. But I don’t think it’s a coincidence that his biggest statistical days have come against opponents that haven’t been able to get much heat on him and the wisconsins, osus, fsus, and UFs of the world have resulted in games where turnovers happen.

              There have been a lot of sacks. I don’t think that part is even in dispute. Speight is good at avoiding pressure – that’s consensus opinion, I think. I guess we can argue about the degree of heat if we want to. Typically sacks are a decent indicator of overall heat.

              UF generated a lot more heat than Cinci because duh. Speights passing results were better against Cinci (145 rating compared to 102).

              But when you take into consideration the opponent, Cinci was a more concerning performance. He had less heat and Michigan had fewer scoring drives.

              The Florida game didn’t affect my feelings about Speight. The Cinci game moved the needle. But, it’s one bad game and it wasn’t just Speight struggling.

              • Comments: 904
                Joined: 8/13/2015
                Roanman
                Sep 11, 2017 at 1:59 PM

                That LB came from inside out all the way around the DE. That guy was nowhere near Speight’s grill. Speight had all kinds of time to miss that throw. He didn’t even shorten his stride on that pass. If that rush is too tough for our boy, he needs to go back to tennis.

                • Comments: 289
                  Joined: 9/13/2015
                  michymich
                  Sep 12, 2017 at 4:31 PM

                  I think Wilton likes golf. For the record.

                • Comments: 904
                  Joined: 8/13/2015
                  Roanman
                  Sep 12, 2017 at 4:45 PM

                  Really? With all that height, I would have tried tennis.

            • Comments: 3181
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Sep 11, 2017 at 1:21 PM

              Not-so-fun fact:

              The Cinci game was the second worst performance by adjusted QBR of Speight’s career. The worst was Iowa.

              That’s interesting to me because it matches the two times I’ve FELT most disappointed in Speight. The two games where it seemed like he played the worst relative to expected outcomes.

      • Comments: 904
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        Roanman
        Sep 11, 2017 at 11:31 AM

        Isaac is averaging 8 yards per carry. Almost 250 yards on 31 carries. That’s far from mediocre.

        But, let’s play your ridiculous game and take out 53 yards and 1 carry just because we don’t want any of them pesky big gains around here. Oopsies!!! He’s still gaining 6.5 yards per carry. What on earth do you want from the kid?

        Your bias is showing and it ain’t pretty

        It’s Evans and Higdon dragging down the numbers. Speaking of not pretty.

        • Comments: 3181
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Sep 11, 2017 at 11:54 AM

          There’s a lottery element to the big play thing. Something I’ve argued for years and Bill Connelly demonstrated with a large dataset this offseason.

          This is why the median is more informative than the average in most situations. Being a ‘playmaker’ has great value but being consistent and sustainably winning the situation is more important.

          Success rate is what I’m talking about.

          Isaac had 19 carries for 80 yards outside of 1 big run against Cincinnati. That is worse than Derrick Green does against cupcakes. And yes – I took out his outliers too.

          You’re entitled to your opinion but there’s a dark cloud of reality in the run game that the YPC numbers don’t reflect. It’s the same dark cloud that has made our run game ineffective against most good defenses the last X years.

          Look if you want to say that Isaac is great, the OL is fine, the other RBs are bad/slow/whatever, you can. At surface, the stats so far this year back you up. But watching the games you can see the struggles inside and how limited the run game is (off Cole, outside).

          I admit when I’m wrong (Isaac is #1 and deserves it). If the run game struggles against better defenses – or when Evans or Higdon look good – Will you?

          • Comments: 904
            Joined: 8/13/2015
            Roanman
            Sep 11, 2017 at 1:18 PM

            I’d love for Evans and Higdon to be good. They haven’t been up to now. If they get good in the next game, I’d love to acknowledge them. But, they still won’t have been good up till now.

            Again, let’s play your silly game. 80 yards in 19 carries is 4.2 ypc. That was Smith’s YPC for the 2015 season, with his longest runs all there. Smith only ran for 4.5 over his entire career. His best year, he went for 4.8. You got Isaac running for 8. then you go and do your silliness, and he’s still running for 6.5. But, we have problems with the offensive line so far and you’re seeing “a dark cloud of reality in the run game that the numbers don’t reflect”.

            You jerk the numbers around to support your whim and then congratulate yourself for your objectivity. I think you got a future with the BLS. Hell, maybe even the Fed.

            I think at some point, beyond any shadow of a doubt, we’re gonna run into a real good defense having a real good day, and are going to have problems both running the football, and keeping Speight upright. But that’s what real good defenses do. They bottle up the run and knock down the QB. But I’m not gonna sit here and say our line hasn’t been good, we haven’t run the football and Speight hasn’t had time to throw accurately, because my eyes know better.

          • Comments: 3181
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 11, 2017 at 1:35 PM

            It’s Cincinnati! 4.2 ypc is not OK. You need to look at Cinci and compare them to cupcakes. Not numbers that include Deveon Smith bashing his face into the OSU DL or Wisc LBs.

            The backup RBs getting less than 4 ypc is not OK. They showed they are better than that last year. I’m not going to ignore the fact that Isaac had a big play – that’s great – but it’s one play.

            Isaac had a very good game against Florida – that earned him the start and he did fine with it against Cincinnati. But when you look beyond one big play the OL struggled to run block against an awful defense.

            This is not a silly game. Michigan should be able to score on Cincinnati with an elbowless QB who hands the ball off on every play. This is what Michigan is supposed to do to cupcakes. Instead it was 3rd and long and 3-4 yards per carry most of the game.

            The offense bogged down very badly in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. If they had a strong RB and run-blocking OL that wouldn’t happen. If they had a QB playing well that wouldn’t happen. Not across 2 quarters. Across 2 quarters it takes both when we are talking about a bad team.

            • Comments: 904
              Joined: 8/13/2015
              Roanman
              Sep 11, 2017 at 2:44 PM

              In order.

              The YPC against Cincinnati was not 4.2, it was 5.2.

              Unfortunately, the back up RBs have not been better than that, this year.

              The offense bogged down because of ball handling errors and missed passes by our QB to mostly open receivers.

              So, what we have determined to be the case, so far. Isaac = real good, Offensive Line = pretty good although weaker as you move from left to right. Running game = pretty good. Quarterbacking = not very good at all.

            • Comments: 3181
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Sep 11, 2017 at 2:51 PM

              I’ll remind you now of your comments after 3 games last year. You were for Speight before you were against him. You put a lot of stock in small sample sizes, outcomes against bad competition, and highlights. I would caution you to have a little more perspective.

              So far what I’ve seen is this:
              – The OL struggles to run block on the majority of downs.
              -Michigan has made hay in the run game mostly on a small number of outside runs off Cole. (This is not likely to last IMO as teams scout and take away the strength and attack the weaknesses).
              -The offense bogs down because of inconsistent run game just as much as QB errors.

              We’ll see what happens in the weeks to come.

              • Comments: 904
                Joined: 8/13/2015
                Roanman
                Sep 11, 2017 at 3:00 PM

                I’m not against Wilton at all, I believe him to be our best option at QB. I just think he’s playing poorly.

                I also think that the law of averages is swinging wildly in his favor.

                I’ll tell you what, I’ll work on my perspective if you’ll work on not torturing statistics.

                • Comments: 3181
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 11, 2017 at 3:06 PM

                  The ‘torturing’ is an attempt to illustrate evidence that I think runs counter to obvious overreactions.

                  Clearly it’s not convincing to people, so it’s not worth my time.

                • Comments: 568
                  Joined: 1/19/2016
                  je93
                  Sep 12, 2017 at 12:10 AM

                  I think this is most fans. The defenders try lumping anyone in this category with the extreme that want to “hand” the job to Peters

                  “I’m not against Wilton at all, I believe him to be our best option at QB. I just think he’s playing poorly”

            • Comments: 3181
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Sep 11, 2017 at 3:03 PM

              Isaac’s YPC on 19 carries was 4.2 yards against Cincinnati when you remove the 53 yarder.

              Evans averaged 9.6 ypc against Hawai last year when you remove his 43 yarder. (Albeit on only 7 carries)

              Smith averaged 4.9 ypc against Oregon state in 2015 when you remove his longest gainer.

              Derrick Green averaged 7.7 ypc against App State when you remove his longest gainer in 2014.

              This list could go on forever.

              Michigan’s running game was not good against Cincinnati, even though the overall YPC and yardage look acceptable, you have to account for the level of opponent.

              The same goes for Speight. His numbers were OK overall, not great, but the inconsistency was a problem and it led to trouble for the offense when things bogged down.

              Be consistent in your grumbles about inconsistency. You want to credit Isaac for making plays then credit Speight for making places. You want to ding Speight for being inconsistent ding the OL for being inconsistent.

              • Comments: 904
                Joined: 8/13/2015
                Roanman
                Sep 11, 2017 at 3:12 PM

                Team ran for 5.2 against Cincinnati.

              • Comments: 904
                Joined: 8/13/2015
                Roanman
                Sep 11, 2017 at 3:18 PM

                No, because Speight has been killing us, whereas the offensive line has been pretty good.

                To refresh your memory. 2 picks for a negative 14 points in game one.Two fumbles lost in game two. Numerous receivers running open in both games, missed. The suckage from Wilton Speight in the first two games of this season has been extraordinary.

                We’re in deep caca without the offensive line play and running game we’ve had.

              • Comments: 3181
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 11, 2017 at 3:19 PM

                Yes – which is bad for a cupcake. But you wanted to dismiss that or blame it on the backup RBs.

                So I went with a stat that reflected Isaac’s inconsistent production.

                • Comments: 904
                  Joined: 8/13/2015
                  Roanman
                  Sep 11, 2017 at 7:12 PM

                  So you manufactured a stat that reflects nothing at all.

                • Comments: 3181
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 11, 2017 at 7:27 PM

                  Sometimes I assume a basic knowledge of math that may not be fair to everyone.

                • Comments: 2083
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Sep 12, 2017 at 7:39 AM

                  Perhaps the reason that a lot of people come out of the woodwork to argue with you is that you have numerous posts (like this “basic knowledge of math” one, calling people with different viewpoints “ignorant and thoughtless”) anointing yourself as superior to others on the site.

                • Comments: 904
                  Joined: 8/13/2015
                  Roanman
                  Sep 11, 2017 at 8:27 PM

                  Rather than assuming a knowledge of math, lanky, you should maybe actually obtain some.

              • Comments: 904
                Joined: 8/13/2015
                Roanman
                Sep 11, 2017 at 3:20 PM

                None of that nonsense has anything to do with anything important other than your desperate need to argue.

              • Comments: 3181
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 11, 2017 at 4:35 PM

                This conversation is light on stats so let me just note:

                Michigan’s has 439 passing yards on the season and 402 rushing yards.

                They average 8.0 yards per pass play and 4.9 yards per rush.

                3 passing TDs and 1 rushing.

                • Comments: 289
                  Joined: 9/13/2015
                  michymich
                  Sep 12, 2017 at 12:42 AM

                  LK, I understand the points you are trying to make. It’s not all Speight’s fault. He can play better and probably will. He has done some good things. Got it.

                • Comments: 3181
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 12, 2017 at 12:57 AM

                  That wasn’t the point here. The point here is the passing game (getting killed in fan perception) is more effective than the running game (getting celebrated by fans) as carrying the offense on it’s back.

                • Comments: 2083
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Sep 12, 2017 at 7:32 AM

                  LOL. Well, when a bunch of the yardage comes on PAP, I’m not sure how valid that point is. Not many people are afraid of the DBP from Speight.

        • Comments: 3181
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Sep 11, 2017 at 2:24 PM

          Let me ask you a question. Imagine 2 subdivisions out in the burbs. One has 9 houses constructed in 2000 on (formerly) large lot that still has a 1900 farmhouse standing. The other has 10 houses all built in 1986. One neighborhood has most of it’s houses 14 years older than the other, but one very old house.

          Which neighborhood would you identify as older?

      • Comments: 1
        Joined: 9/10/2017
        davptodd
        Sep 11, 2017 at 11:51 AM

        Except your feelings are not backed up by objective data. I know you like to bring up Speight’s overall line from the game, but you consistently ignore context. It is one of the costlier mistakes a data scientist can make. Not all completions are equal, nor are all incompletions. For a staunch advocate of data, you need to look at the larger picture, instead of placing numbers in a vacuum, and using that to justify your reasoning. And believe me, I love digging through numbers, but you can’t just post a line from the game, and use that as some sort of QED.

        • Comments: 3181
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Sep 11, 2017 at 12:04 PM

          I think you’re talking to me (?).

          I strongly agree that context does matter. And you are absolutely right that not all plays are equal. That’s why I advocate for looking across a season – those kind of differences get smoothed over a larger data set.

          I’ve tried to come at the Rudock vs Speight question multiple ways. A set of comparable opponents. Season by season at Michigan. Soph year to soph year. The numbers all point to the same story.

          The story also matches what I see when I watch the game. Speight is not consistently accurate – this I don’t dispute. But he does make consistently good decisions and he does have elite, downright special, pocket presense. Both have great value and both are not really captured in the stats.

          When the stats and the “film” tell the same story and it covers a large enough sample of games, I’m inclined to believe it.

          That goes for this year too – the stats and the eye both are saying Speight is regressing. But we’re 2 games in and 1 was a tough defense presumably. I’m not going to send Speight to the gulag because he had an off day at Cinci anymore than I’m going to insert Peters as a starter because he had a nice day at practice during the spring.

          The larger data say that QBs get better with age and experience. That remains my expectation. Speight was pretty good, albeit inconsistent, last year. I think he’ll be better this year. Results so far do not support that. I think it anyway.

        • Comments: 3181
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Sep 11, 2017 at 12:05 PM

          Maybe that is confirmation bias talking.

          Maybe that is the long history of QB play over thousands of people.

      • Comments: 289
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Sep 11, 2017 at 1:52 PM

        Hey LK,

        Here is a line that you may have heard of before.

        Lies, Damn lies, and statistics.

        What makes you think us critics are emotional? Should we as fans just blow off 2 pick 6’s, a missed easy td where the ball was overthrown and out of bounds and other easy throws not to mention other passes. My question to you. Are you saying these last couple of performances are good or acceptable or should just be brushed away and won’t impact the performance of the team going forward? Are you saying Speight is playing well for the most part? My eyes see something different. I see a jekyl and hyde qb who can look good on occasion but his inconsistency is a problem and is winning because of defense. One last question. Is this Speight over the last two games good enough to beat PSU on the road?

        • Comments: 3181
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Sep 11, 2017 at 2:03 PM

          I think you have facts or you have opinions. You have data or you have feelings.

          Yes, the data can be sliced and diced many ways. To be insightful you have to look at them objectively and consider context. That’s what I’m trying to do, based on my long experience of watching Michigan football, college football, and crunching numbers.

          The real issue in your question is how much weight you put in the extremes – the outlier plays. A pick 6 is brutal. A 70 yard TD is great. But what about the 20, 30, 40 plays in between? If you believe, like I do, that outliers are largely random events then you focus on the center of the distribution. I think that’s why I have some different ideas about things than other fans.

        • Comments: 3181
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Sep 11, 2017 at 2:08 PM

          I don’t think Speight is playing well. I think he did OK against UF given the situation. That was acceptable. I think he was worse against Cinci. The raw stats don’t reflect this, but adjusted QBR does.

          When I said Speights numbers would be better against Cinci I was right. I did not expect him to play worse, but I should have qualified my statements last week by saying “even if he plays worse he can put up better numbers”.

          But yes – the number of mistakes is concerning. Speight needs to cut them down. I’m not sure if this fits what you’d call “acceptable” or not. I accept that Speight is the best QB we have and I accept that he needs to play better for Michigan to beat Wisc, OSU, or PSU.

          Based on his track record I have to be honest that I am not very worried about our QB at all.

        • Comments: 568
          Joined: 1/19/2016
          je93
          Sep 11, 2017 at 2:55 PM

          It’s common, especially recently. Too many feel their opinion–and selected data–are beyond reproach. Anyone in disagreement is stupid, ignorant, or closed-minded…

          For every stat Lank throws around, a poster will mention the mistake factor, but he ignores it. When comparing QBs, he goes with season stats, because we’re comparing improvement. When discussing mistakes, he ignores the HIGH cost of Speight’s pick6, fumbles, incompletions, and their impact on the game
          He’s in love with his own numbers, of course he won’t be reasonable

          • Comments: 3181
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 11, 2017 at 3:15 PM

            I don’t think that’s fair. Most of the stats I’m putting out there are responses to the limitations raised by others. For example, the season long comparisons of Speight vs Rudock. Your argument was that Rudock got better as the season went so my numbers don’t account for that. So I bring up game-to-game comparisons later in the year. Those don’t get a response because stats are fake news. It’s feelings that matter.

            Interesting that I’m ignoring costly mistakes — while Rudock vs Utah doesn’t count because Rudock was just a little innocent baby lamb back then at the start of his 5th year senior season.

            You’re talking about the limitations of data and I’m responding to them. I’m talking about the limitations of feelings and I hear how dumb my approach is.

            I may be a black kettle but you are the pot.

          • Comments: 289
            Joined: 9/13/2015
            michymich
            Sep 11, 2017 at 7:17 PM

            There is a time and place for stats. Not saying they don’t have any value but I think stats are more important within one game.

            I’ll give you a great example. If the Pats lose the Super Bowl do I use the entire season for this game? Of course not. Brady threw how many total int’s during the season incl super bowl but that wouldn’t begin to explain the outcome of the game against the Falcons. Brady had gaudy numbers but you ask him and he will tell you it wasn’t his best game.

            So that is an example that numbers within a game don’t tell the whole story. Brady was throwing every other pass because they were so far behind. The numbers don’t tell you the mistakes made by Matty Ice. You gotta take this stuff with a grain of salt. In the entire context of what happened during the game, the opponent and of course the season.

            I am not even including the Edelman catch or the Jones catch. I remember the Kordell Stewart game. Want to know the key play of the game? It was Collins running out of bounds to stop the clock. He slides and stays in bounds then history is different. It’s the little things.

    • Comments: 3181
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 11, 2017 at 1:25 PM

      Roanman’s thoughts after 3 games last year:

      “Roanman SEP 19, 2016 AT 10:48 AM
      C’mon! Third flipping start, three wins. He’s thrown just about every ball you can throw successfully. He gets absolutely pounded, makes some poor decisions but also delivers some proper balls under big time game pressure.

      Backup QB insanity evidently spares no fan base, regardless of the quality of their education.”

      I don’t think you were wrong in your conclusions but you were relying heavily on Speight’s performance in the first 2 games against Hawaii and UCF. This is the danger of just watching film and not looking at data to tell you context.

      • Comments: 904
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        Roanman
        Sep 11, 2017 at 3:22 PM

        He was better after three games last year than he has been after two games this year. And … he isn’t getting pounded this year. He’s pretty much upright and missing.

        • Comments: 3181
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Sep 11, 2017 at 3:34 PM

          He was under a ton of pressure against UF. Cinci – I agree, there wasn’t as much and the misses were mostly on him.

  2. Comments: 568
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Sep 11, 2017 at 9:22 AM

    That was a Jake Ryan moment!

    “He hits the running back a good lick, takes note of the fact that he doesn’t happen to have the football on him so he just throws him away, continues on his journey until he buries the QB”

  3. Comments: 3181
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 11, 2017 at 9:33 AM

    I’d like to see more of DPJ at punt returner. Hoping he can figure it out.

    Hart does not look very good.

    They need to keep giving it to Evans and Higdon but Isaac has earned his #1 spot it seems. A big play here or there can be dismissed but when your number gets called and you produce with a bigger workload – that’s proving your doubters (like me) wrong.

  4. JC
    Comments: 121
    Joined: 8/17/2015
    JC
    Sep 11, 2017 at 9:58 AM

    I’m hoping the OL gets a little time to gel and become cohesive rather than swapping anyone out quite yet. I don’t know how they graded out the battle at RG during camp. If it was close throw someone in with the ones tomorrow, but all I remember reading before the season was RT was not settled.

    Our offense has not looked great in two games. 2 TDs, 4 FGs against Florida, and 2 TDs and 2 FGs against Cincinnati. Speight hasn’t been great, QB rating of 125, QBR of less than 50 in each game. Running game is about where I thought it would be at slightly Higdon’s ypc > Evan’s ypc is not something I think anyone was expecting.

    I don’t really want anything to change on offense. If there are better options on the line I think we would have seen them in game one. I’d like to see some coaching effects in the next few games rather than cycling anyone out. There is a month before the first BIG10 test: MSU.

    I want to see Ambry Thomas, St. Juste, and Watson each get a few snaps to preserve Long’s health. Watson is servicable, but I want Thomas and St. Juste getting snaps to be acclimated to the game sooner than later, as I think their ceilings are higher, and we could need them in the second half of this season.

  5. Comments: 3181
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 11, 2017 at 11:40 AM

    Comparing Speight vs Rudock there is some revisionist history going. Rudock is being viewed as a reliable mistake-free machine who outplayed Speight by a significant margin. If only Speight could play like Rudock, all the offenses problems are solved…

    I think this is 90% about feelings – feeling that last through the offseason after a crushing bowl victory (FL) as compared to a crushing (emotionally) loss (FSU). That outcome, swung on a Glasgow tackle or Jourdan Lewis deflection, seems to be affecting perceptions greatly.

    Rudock threw 3 INTs against Utah. Those cost Michigan that game. But he (a 5th year senior with extensive Big Ten starting experience) was in a new system is the excuse here. OK – and Speight has a new OC this year and all new skill position starters and 1 returning OL starter at the position he played this year…but let’s ignore all that.

    Fast forward to midseason. Rudock throws for 168yards / 6.8 ypa against MSU. Good solid mistake free football – Michigan lost the game. Compare to Speight 244 yards / 9.8 ypa. But he threw an intercepton because he is inconsistent and bad and as a result MIchigan lo…. beat MSU handily.

    But that was midseason, what about later in the year when Rudock really hit his groove you say. Against PSU he thres for 256 yards/ 6.7 ypa. What a machine he is now but…clutch your pearls…he threw an interception! Gasp. Michigan won the game. How’d Speight do against PSU? 189 yards / 5.6 ypa in a blowout – no INTs though so score one for the sophomore.

    And what about OSU. Surely Rudock was in prime form now in his penultimate game as a collegian. Indeed he was 263 yards/ 8.2 ypa and no INTs. Michigan must have crush…they got trounced. Not only because of defense, but because the offense only managed to put together 3 scoring drives in regulation for a total of 13 points. Speight, despite playing on the road, against a tougher defense, and while hurt managed to get Michigan scoring more in regulation (17) than Rudock. He had 2 TDs and 2 INTs but he also stayed in the game long enough to put Michigan in a position to win in OT. Rudock did not. Defense was obviously the difference in outcomes – the point is that the offensive results were about the same.

    If 5th year Rudock is the standard – then Speight was already there, or at least damn close. Yes, even the end of the year world-beater version who couldn’t score on OSU and threw an INT against PSU. Speight at his best is comparable to Rudock at his best. Rudock at his worst is comparable to Speight at his worst. You want to excuse his mistakes due to transition – you can see how he did at Iowa and compare soph year to soph year. You can see how Rudock, despite his ‘lack of mistakes’ still didn’t do enough to win (with an elite defense also, mind you.)

    I don’t dispute that Speight needs to get better for Michigan to get where we want to be. The mistakes need to be cut back. But let’s not pretend that Jake Rudock would be a massive upgrade to Speight because that’s just glossing over what actually happened in 2015 and 2016. Rudock was more accurate and more consistent, but not significantly better overall.

    Don’t overreact too much. Speight is still a good QB. O’Korn is still a decent backup. Peters is still a promising future prospect. All of these guys would look a helluva lot better behind a good OL that generated a consistent run game on 1st and 2nd down and kept the pocket clean.

    • Comments: 3181
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 11, 2017 at 1:57 PM

      I read Brian Cook’s post today and I think it is worth the Speight-haters / Speight-blamers time. In it is a link to 2 years ago that offers an interesting look back to criticism’s of Rudock after a couple games. It included inaccuracy on easy passes to RB. Fans were ready to send Rudock to the gulag after playing poorly against a cupcake. Bring on Morris! – oh did we try that already?

      Rudock got better. (or, perhaps more accurately, he played better). By quite a bit. Bad games happen.

      ————–

      It also offered a reminder of a time when Ty Isaac ran for a one big play and was cheered by many fans.

      Isaac got benched.

      —————

      Past is no guarantee of future but it’s good perspective. Don’t discard your offseason hopes or ignore last year just yet. I think Ty Isaac is a better player now and has learned a lot the last couple years. I don’t think he’ll get benched again. I also think Cinci will be Speights worst game of the year relative to expectation/opponent level of difficulty. Bad games happen.

      Speight clearly recognizes theres things to fix. Everybody sees that. As Cook argues, there’s lots of reasons to think the things that need fixing can be fixed.

      • Comments: 289
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Sep 11, 2017 at 3:21 PM

        Can you fix a bad thrower in like two weeks? The big difference between Rudock and Speight is that Rudock has good throwing mechanics whereas Speight has all sorts of issues. Did Denard get better as a passer? How about Gardner?

        • Comments: 289
          Joined: 9/13/2015
          michymich
          Sep 11, 2017 at 3:25 PM

          Did DeVeon get more explosive? I like your optimism. I hope you are right about Speight. Navarre did get slightly better throwing the ball by the end of his last year. How about you promise me a slightly better passing Speight where you take out his 2 worst passes a game and we have a deal.

        • Comments: 3181
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Sep 11, 2017 at 3:37 PM

          Rudock got better. Bounced back from bad games. Was it mechanics? IDK.

          Speight got A LOT better from 2015 to 2016. Speight bounced back from bad games last year.

          So yes, plenty of reasons to think improvement can come.

          The reasons to think it can’t get better are there to. I just think they’re flimsy.

    • Comments: 289
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Sep 11, 2017 at 1:58 PM

      Lies, damn lies and statistics. Here you are taking aggregate statistics. I don’t think Rudock was a better qb in the first 1/3 of the season of his senior year. Let me go look up his numbers. He was a pretty solid qb in the meaty part of the season and beyond.

      You are really working those numbers. You are clearly in the minority. I will say this. Speight could be better than Rudock. He does some very nice things but his accuracy is pretty weak. Speight is better at throwing the long ball down the middle of the field. I don’t think anyone is saying Rudock was Chad Henne or Grbac but Rudock at the middle/end of his senior year was definitely better than the aggregate of Speight so far. Inconsistency and inaccurate are the terms associated with Speight.

      • Comments: 3181
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 11, 2017 at 2:11 PM

        Those are feelings. You are entitled to them.

        I feel that Speight is off to rough start in 2017, but he did enough in 2016 to show that he’s likely to be better than Rudock was in 2015. And don’t get me started about 2018…

        • Comments: 289
          Joined: 9/13/2015
          michymich
          Sep 11, 2017 at 2:34 PM

          Are pick 6’s the equivalent of an interception in the opponents red zone?

          If I am a qb and I throw a pick 6 but a fan says it wasn’t entirely my fault because the wr didn’t make the catch do I get a mulligan or is that view based on emotion?

          • Comments: 3181
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 11, 2017 at 2:38 PM

            An INT is often on a QB. A pick 6 is usually a team outcome.

            • Comments: 289
              Joined: 9/13/2015
              michymich
              Sep 11, 2017 at 3:12 PM

              How about an int returned to the 10 yard line? Where the two pick 6’s Saturday to Kinnel and Hill on the Cinci OL and team and not on the qb?

            • Comments: 3181
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Sep 11, 2017 at 3:18 PM

              The pick 6s are on the team (including the QB)- like I said above.

              Michigan dominating Cinci’s OL had a lot to do with the outcome yesterday. It felt like a big chunk of Cinci’s yards came when they conceded the battle and threw tunnel screens.

            • Comments: 2083
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Sep 11, 2017 at 3:58 PM

              This is horse manure. Poppycock.

              • GKblue
                Comments: 175
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                GKblue
                Sep 11, 2017 at 4:28 PM

                A statistical conclusion? Lank can’t get out of his own way sometimes.

    • JC
      Comments: 121
      Joined: 8/17/2015
      JC
      Sep 11, 2017 at 9:48 PM

      If you watched that Utah game, Grant Perry was responsible for two interceptions. He’s a freshman in his first game and learned, but that wasn’t all Rudock. Utah was not the best game to break in a new QB playing on a new team with new receivers for only a month at the time.

      • Comments: 2083
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Sep 12, 2017 at 7:36 AM

        Right. Despite Rudock’s experience at Iowa, I don’t expect any QB to be fully indoctrinated into the team, have the timing down, etc. when he joins a team a month prior to the first game.

    • Comments: 568
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Sep 12, 2017 at 12:25 AM

      One less drop by a WR and we beat sparty with Rudock. That loss wasnt on him, but yeah… team game
      In speight’s midseason game against a BAD Spartan squad, his ugly INT changed the momentum and Harbaugh’s playcalling. The staff tiptoed around their unpredictable QB
      The stats don’t tell the whole story…

      Ohio was the same. The entire team got taken to the woodshed in ’15. After a heroic start, speight’s turnovers limited playcalling, including a ridiculously unproductive 4th Q
      The stats don’t tell the whole story!

  6. Comments: 3181
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 11, 2017 at 12:34 PM

    I just watched the film and it looks to me like Speight almost never misses.

    https://youtu.be/POZIscqNXVI

    QED

    • Comments: 289
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Sep 11, 2017 at 3:19 PM

      I will take that guy. Is there anyway you can get me a clinic like they had in the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind?

    • Comments: 568
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Sep 12, 2017 at 12:26 AM

      Haha, a highlight tape
      Nice

  7. Comments: 289
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Sep 11, 2017 at 2:18 PM

    Here you go LK. Looks like Rudock got better as the season went along. Should I expect the same for Speight?

    https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/jake-rudock-1/gamelog/2015/

    • Comments: 3181
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 11, 2017 at 2:36 PM

      This is where I’ve been pulling most of my numbers from. I’ve already run through this a countless number of ways to try to illustrate my point.

      Yes – you should expect Speight to get better relative to the last 2 weeks and last year as well. You should also expect Speight to struggle against tough defenses because that’s what tough defenses do.

      Again, if Speight has still has Florida numbers (44% completion percentage, QB Rating around 100, 2 INTs per game — any of it) I will join the haters, call Speight “Bad”, and call for Peters or one the 2 guys ahead of him. And I will eat all the crow that can be eaten.

      Even if Speight has worse numbers than last year (62% completion percentage, 140 QB Rating, 2:1 TD/INT ratio or better) going into PSU I will be disappointed in him. But I will not call him a bad QB if he manages to hold steady at least year’s level. Because he wasn’t bad last year.

      There is a difference between being disappointed in a lack of improvement shown and calling for somebody to get benched and calling them ‘bad’ or using them as a scapegoat for all the offenses issues.

      • Comments: 289
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Sep 11, 2017 at 3:09 PM

        That is fair. Have you heard me calling for him to be benched? I don’t think so. I agree, Speight is frustrating people over his lack of improvement. In my mind, it’s his inaccuracy that irritates me the most because things are going to get tougher as the book has been written and teams are going to design defenses to make him do things he doesn’t do very well.

        I can live with the int’s. I know that is surprising but that is not how I am judging him. Now this is important to understand. What really bothers me about Speight is that half of his completions are wr’s catching tough balls not in stride which limits the athleticism and talent of his wr’s.

        Here is what I like and dislike about Speight. Let’s leave off all the OL and rb shortcomings.

        1. I like that Speight seems like a competitor.
        2. I like that he has moxie inside the pocket.
        3. I like that he is tough and knows when to scramble
        4. I like that he seems to do better in crunch time. Embraces pressure

        1. I don’t like that he is hot and cold. Inaccurate.
        2. I don’t like that he throws the ball too high and out of bounds on fade routes and intermediate sideline routes.
        3. I don’t like his lack of touch/finesse passes.

        This is sort of like saying I like the wr who can run fast and go over the middle but I don’t like that he drops balls.

        I would take the good of Speight and put it in Rudock’s arm and I would call it a day. Not a great qb but somebody who can keep up with the growth of this program. As I have said before, Speight would have been a better option than Gardner in the Hoke era but Speight is not good enough for the Harbaugh era. Maybe I should blame coach Harbaugh and Hamilton for this predictament. After 3 years and all this good recruiting, UM should have a more EFFICIENT and effective qb. Isaac, Higdon and Evans are better than Smith. Crawford, Black and Perry are better than Darboh and Chesson. Everything seems to be trending upward except you know what.

        Even the stinking OL is gradually getting better but all I see on the horizon, including next year, is some version of John Navarre throwing the ball behind, high or below the intended target.

      • Comments: 3181
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 11, 2017 at 3:24 PM

        It’s true that we are down to a only extremists calling for benching. O’Korn playing a bit and Peters rumored to be behind McCaffrey has squashed a lot of the calls for backup QBs. Imagine though if Peters had found someone open instead of taking a sack against UF…1 play would change the narrative entirely. So it goes it seems.

        Point is: people are still out here calling our QB bad. People are still saying our QB is the #1 problem with the offense. etc I would love to make a wager that this will not be the case by the end of the year, but of course there is no objective arbiter in a team game.

      • Comments: 3181
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 11, 2017 at 3:31 PM

        I agree with your Speight pros/cons. I think the cons are fixable. I understand why people can be reactive to turnovers, but again I am not going to sit and hold fumbles against the guy. He’s played too much and fumbled too little for me to worry about it. The accuracy needs to improve — better protection should help. At this point there is plenty of reason for doubt about it ever settling in, I acknowledge.

        I disagree about your takes on the other positions. I don’t see improvement from WR, RB, or TE yet. Perry looks good – but there’s a reason he sat behind Darboh and Chesson and Crawford failed to make plays against UF. Isaac looks good – but there’s a reason he sat behind Smith. Bunting is getting passed over it seems. I don’t think we are holding these guys to the same standard we are holding Speight to.

        The OL has shown some signs that run blocking is better. Pass blocking looks no better, maybe worse. It’s really too early to say on all this stuff but OL in particular feels wobbly and I’m not the only one noticing. The film is there talking about Onwenu and Ulizio struggling. The lack of consistency is problematic for the OL. I don’t see a great reason to think they are improved yet. Florida was encouraging, Cinci was not.

        • Comments: 289
          Joined: 9/13/2015
          michymich
          Sep 11, 2017 at 5:00 PM

          Crawford did catch that td pass that wasn’t against FL. Crawford looks good in my opinion. Runs well, blocks well, good hands, explosive. The most polished outside of Perry but bigger upside. People are selling him short.

          Do you know why we aren’t holding these other guys to the same Speight standard? Because the qb is by far the most important position on the field and everything he does good or bad is magnified. I would rather have Isaac right now than Smith. I wouldn’t trade Crawford for either Darboh or Chesson. This offense is an effective and consistent qb away from being a college playoff participant.

        • Comments: 3181
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Sep 11, 2017 at 5:36 PM

          Stat:
          The QB is 1 of 4 returning starters on O.

          Question:
          To explain a decline in offense (if such a thing is even happening) Is it more likely that a) veteran starters got worse or b) new starters not as good.

          • Comments: 568
            Joined: 1/19/2016
            je93
            Sep 12, 2017 at 12:36 AM

            If I were a betting man, I’d be jumping up & down to pick: b) new starters not as good

            But I’m not…

            And since our QB hasn’t been able to consistent get the ball to them yet, my answer is TBD

  8. Comments: 289
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Sep 11, 2017 at 4:53 PM

    Let’s talk about wr’s and TE’s.

    I think Crawford is going to be a heck of a wr. Really like his potential. Definitely a #1 option. He is legit. Once he has a few more games to iron things out then look out.

    Perry looks like a heck of a wr. I’ll leave it at that.

    McKeon is really good. Great underneath possession wr. Gentry is going to be a weapon. Wish he was about 1 ft taller. Looks like Bunting is down the depth chart. What I like about McKeon is that he seems to be willing to block.

    How about this positive post?

    • Comments: 3181
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 11, 2017 at 5:38 PM

      I like em all and all of them are fine. None of them are worrying opposing DCs.

      If you’re a DC what do you focus your efforts on stopping?

      A: Speight.

      • Comments: 289
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Sep 11, 2017 at 9:04 PM

        Nothing really scary with the UM offense. I would play them straight up and funnel the run game inside and the passing game outside. Speight isn’t scaring any OC. Make him throw with single coverage and have safeties over the top looking for errant passes.

  9. Comments: 289
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Sep 11, 2017 at 5:08 PM

    From Harbaugh. Good stuff. Glad to hear that Speight is still the guy and Peters is still with the program.

    I know you talk about how the competition is always ongoing but is that true once the season starts at the quarterback position or do you not want the quarterback looking over his shoulder and thinking that something could still change.? How do you handle that?
    “Yeah. Uh. Wilton’s the starting quarterback and we’re forging on.”
    A lot of people talked about Peters early on and we haven’t heard much about him. Is that—
    “Progressing. Progressing nicely. You got a follow-up to that.”
    No.
    “Good. We’ll move on.”

    • Comments: 3181
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 11, 2017 at 7:28 PM

      Harbaugh also said he was “fine”. Obviously he doesn’t want to talk about QB play much after a disappointing performance. But he doesn’t seem worried.

      • Comments: 3181
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 12, 2017 at 9:14 PM

        I’ve seen the same stuff with Brady, Navarre, Robinson, Gardner, Rudock, now Speight. People put a whole lot of blame on QBs. The hostility is there and a natural reaction to it is that some people (not all) will call for the backup.

  10. Comments: 3181
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 11, 2017 at 10:54 PM

    “It kind of infuriates us as a group, because that’s our QB, and we want to protect him,” senior fullback Khalid Hill said. “But at the same time, what we’re going to do is go out and play. And then, when he’s balling and everything’s going good, people that say: ‘Oh, Wilton’s doing this and that!’ — don’t jump on the bandwagon then, you know what I’m saying? If you want to be a criticizer now, stay a criticizer. Don’t jump on the bandwagon when we get rolling — period.”

    Period.

    • Comments: 289
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Sep 12, 2017 at 12:37 AM

      O.k. Khalid. I am a bad fan. By the way Khalid, I have been a Michigan fan for 40 years. I was going to games before you were born. Now, I do appreciate all of your hard work and commitment and wish you only the best. I also wish the best for Wilton but will not boo him but will still criticize. Something tells me that I will always have plenty of criticism going forward.

    • Comments: 568
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Sep 12, 2017 at 12:38 AM

      Kinda like you, regarding isaac!

      • Comments: 3181
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 12, 2017 at 12:48 AM

        I’m not on the bandwagon. Just giving credit where credit’s due. I don’t think he’s the best back but I trust Harbaugh and acknowledge he’s earned the #1 job.

    • Comments: 2083
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Sep 12, 2017 at 7:35 AM

      Very few people (at least on this site) are jumping on anyone else’s bandwagon. I haven’t heard any cries for O’Korn, and only an occasional longing for Peters. What people are saying is that Speight is playing poorly right now, and that’s accurate. You’ve basically said so yourself, although you were in denial after the Florida game.

      • Comments: 3181
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 12, 2017 at 9:12 PM

        You don’t have to be on someone else’s bandwagon to jump off Speight’s. Hill’s saying don’t bother trying to hop on later.

        If you’re going to scapegoat, if you’re going to be so fickle as a fan… don’t expect a welcome back.

      • Comments: 3181
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 12, 2017 at 10:18 PM

        People are saying that he is playing bad. That he is what he is. That he won’t improve. That he is ‘bad’.

        They are saying this about perhaps the 2nd or 3rd best player on the offense. One of only 4 returning starters. Save Mason Cole, he may be the highest drafted player by the NFL.

        When you are a fan and you are calling the leader of the team and one of it’s best players bad (or far far worse in some cases).

        If you want to say he’s playing poorly right now – that’s a lot less of a claim.

        And, for the record, I don’t think he played bad against Florida still. Cincinnati wasn’t a good performance but his numbers were fine. Either you are grading on a curve or you aren’t. Speight had one solid game and one bad one, if you look at the production or if you look at the performance relative to level of difficulty.

      • Comments: 3181
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 12, 2017 at 10:30 PM

        “his footwork and mechanics on short and intermediate throws are all out of whack. How much can that be improved when the guy is an old redshirt junior in his third year in the system?”

        – That’s saying more than “he’s playing poorly right now”. That’s doubting he can play much better…even though countless 20 something QBs have.

        No revisionist history (like the Rashan Gary comment) will be permitted here.

        You are saying he is playing bad and doubt he can get much better.

        • Comments: 2083
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Sep 12, 2017 at 10:36 PM

          I am saying he is playing bad, and so are you. And so is Harbaugh, although without using those words.

          I have doubt that he can get much better, because he’s older than most redshirt juniors, and he’s already in his second year as a starter. I don’t see the consternation about that statement. Is he a guy who’s going to bump up his completion percentage to 65% or 67%? Are these accuracy issues going to get fixed? Is he going to stop turning over the ball? I have doubts, and so do most people who have been observing him.

          • Comments: 3181
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 13, 2017 at 12:52 AM

            You are saying he is playing bad and doubt he gets much better. So, you are saying you expect him to continue to play bad.

            I could dig through the various comments on here and list many who express more than “having doubts”. Speight is being cast as the weak link.

            Nobody on here is close to death threats and only a handful want to see the 4th string QB anymore (though the offseason had many who did). That’s great but it’s a low bar. Let’s be honest – It’s only because they’ve seen what O’Korn has to offer. The same happened with Morris.

            I am talking about the people who say Speight is the #1 problem with the offense. This is not just jumping off the bandwagon, it’s throwing stones at it afterward.

            Those are the critics to whom Hill is talking about I think. And if he isn’t I am.

          • Comments: 3181
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 13, 2017 at 12:52 AM

            I would guess he is around 62-65% the rest of the year given he was at 62% last year.

            Most QBs don’t peak in their early 20s. Unless they stop playing football.

          • Comments: 3181
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 13, 2017 at 1:12 AM

            Speight played bad in one game and was fine the other.

            • Comments: 568
              Joined: 1/19/2016
              je93
              Sep 13, 2017 at 8:21 AM

              Costing the team 21pts…

              Man, drevno should get a raise by your standard!

              • Comments: 3181
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 13, 2017 at 9:44 AM

                Anything but – the OL is a disaster.

            • Comments: 2083
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Sep 13, 2017 at 12:28 PM

              That’s just, like, your opinion. I think he played poorly in both, and most of the stats agree, aside from YPA. If you take out all the big plays, his YPA really drops off a cliff…

              • Comments: 904
                Joined: 8/13/2015
                Roanman
                Sep 13, 2017 at 12:38 PM

                Curse you, I had tucked that one away for myself.

              • Comments: 3181
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 13, 2017 at 12:48 PM

                Nice try but I’m not arguing Isaac played poorly.

                • Comments: 904
                  Joined: 8/13/2015
                  Roanman
                  Sep 13, 2017 at 1:13 PM

                  Incorrectly.

                • Comments: 3181
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 13, 2017 at 3:22 PM

                  This is…something.

  11. Comments: 289
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Sep 12, 2017 at 12:43 AM

    I wonder if coach Harbaugh and coach Hamilton constructively criticize. Think of me as the TTB message board coach trying to make the team better.

    • Comments: 3181
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 12, 2017 at 12:49 AM

      I don’t think Hill is saying fans can’t ever say anything critical. It’s a reaction to the level of negativity — Extreme and outsized.

  12. Comments: 3181
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 13, 2017 at 1:01 AM

    It’s too early to take these too seriously but thusfar Michigan’s run game stinks according to advanced stats.

    86 in Rushing Success Rate
    27 in Rushing IsoPPP
    80 in Opportunity Rate
    68 in Power Success Rate
    108 Stuff Rate 23.8%

    The pass game is…. similar.
    Passing success rate also sucks. 108th.
    15 in Rushing IsoPPP

    What does it mean?

    The story of the season for Michigan is that they are hitting big plays on offense but failing to be consistent.

    https://www.footballstudyhall.com/pages/2017-michigan-advanced-statistical-profile

    • Comments: 3181
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 13, 2017 at 1:01 AM

      So — why is this celebrated as a great thing for the run game but framed as a disaster for the pass game?

    • Comments: 3181
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 13, 2017 at 1:10 AM

      Also interesting is comparing standard downs vs passing downs.

      Standard downs Michigan is doing terrible. 119th in sack rate, 118th in success rate, 93rd in line yards (OL play proxy)… but they’re maxing big plays (28th in IsoPPP).

      No great shakes on passing down objectively, but they are ranked much higher.49th in success rate, 36th in IsoPPP, 51 in line yards, 89th in sack rate.

      Michigan is running on 69% of standard downs and passing on 64% of passing down.

      So – what does it mean?

      It means the passing game is doing better than the run game and the OL is bad. All the OL measures are once again woeful – some of the worst in the country including all the lower leagues.

      These numbers were just posted but they match almost exactly with what I’ve been saying on here the last 2 weeks. People are getting excited about the outlier highlights in the run game and ignoring the lack of consistency. People are killing Speight for a lack of consistency but ignoring the highlights. There is a double standard for the QB vs. the rest of the offense.

      Speight’s 3 turnovers obviously have something to do with that but it doesn’t explain everything.

    • Comments: 568
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Sep 13, 2017 at 7:06 PM

      So Wilton Speight has been bad too? Your own Football Study Hall link disagrees with your posts of the last few weeks. I don’t have to comb through stats, or read numerous articles on stats, because I know what I’m seeing…
      As for the run game, who’s celebrating? I think the general consensus is that because of the turnovers and other significant mistakes, OL is not the most glaring issue. (I did post after the game though, I think that is the enduring problem)

      “Speight’s 3 turnovers obviously have something to do with that but it doesn’t explain everything”

      • Comments: 3181
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 13, 2017 at 8:34 PM

        Which part disagrees?

        • Comments: 568
          Joined: 1/19/2016
          je93
          Sep 13, 2017 at 9:05 PM

          Your quote, not mine: “Passing success rate also sucks. 108th”

          Hope that’s simple enough

          • Comments: 3181
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 13, 2017 at 9:24 PM

            And big plays are in the top 20. So no.

            Speight’s consistency has sucked. His playmaking has been good. Overall – OK.

            Similar story for Isaac. Except, see below, I make a distinction to credit big run plays more on the RB and blame inconsistency on the OL. That’s why I say Isaac has been good and Speight has been OK and the OL has been bad.

      • Comments: 3181
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 13, 2017 at 8:42 PM

        I’ll boil it down for simplicity:

        Overall offense performance has been…less than good. Cinci was worse than Florida given opponent.

        Overall run game has been highly inconsistent but made big plays.

        Overall pass game has been somewhat inconsistent but made big plays.

        The pass game has been more efficient and productive than the run game but not by a huge margin.

        Speight has been OK.

        Isaac has been good.

        The OL has been bad.

        • Comments: 3181
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Sep 13, 2017 at 8:55 PM

          At this point you may ask why I say Isaac has been good and the OL bad?

          1. Rushing success rate (consistency) is the hallmark of a good line. Credit for big plays is more on the RB. The OL sets the table, it’s up to the RB if he gets the “highlight yards” (i.e., make the most of opportunities.)

          2. The sack rate is atrocious. Speight’s completion percentage is about halfved when he is blitzed. Some of his inaccuracies are on the OL, though certainly not all. The standard down failures (mostly an issue of run game consistency) is also contributing to the passing game issues.

          I could go on in much more detail, as I’m sure you’re aware.

          The QB and skill positions are fine. Nothing special but they’re fine. The OL is holding the entire offense back.

          Speight and Isaac are making big plays so far. Big plays are somewhat random so up to you how you want to project it going forward. They are both vets with track records.

          My worry lies entirely with the OL. Isaac has been a pleasant surprise but I don’t expect anything special from him when it counts – maybe he’ll prove me wrong again. Speight has been disappointing relative to expectations. But he’s still our most important offensive player – and one of our best as well.

          • Comments: 568
            Joined: 1/19/2016
            je93
            Sep 13, 2017 at 9:13 PM

            How many of his biggest mistakes this year are on the OL?
            pick6 down centerfield? No
            pick6 to an open Perry? Nope
            Overthrowing a sure TD? No way
            Endzone fumble? Not that I recall
            Flysweep fumble? Still no

            The youngest team in the country cannot have it’s returning starter making the most costly mistakes! THAT’S where the criticism comes from

            “Speight’s completion percentage is about halfved when he is blitzed”

            • Comments: 3181
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Sep 13, 2017 at 9:26 PM

              Thank for acknowledging the double standard.

              “The youngest team in the country cannot have it’s returning starter making the most costly mistakes! “

              • Comments: 568
                Joined: 1/19/2016
                je93
                Sep 13, 2017 at 9:31 PM

                What double standard?

                • Comments: 3181
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 13, 2017 at 9:38 PM

                  The responsibility you are putting on Speight vs the “youngest team in the country”. Blame for the mistakes. Little to no credit for the successes.

                  Sidenote: Youngest team in the country?? I very much doubt this is true.

                • Comments: 568
                  Joined: 1/19/2016
                  je93
                  Sep 13, 2017 at 9:53 PM

                  The turnovers are all on speight

                  The issues include the OL. The OL is the enduring issue. I’ve stated this before

                • Comments: 3181
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 13, 2017 at 10:06 PM

                  Does pressure affect accuracy? Does inaccuracy play a role in turnovers?

              • Comments: 568
                Joined: 1/19/2016
                je93
                Sep 13, 2017 at 9:43 PM

                I don’t blame only speight. After each game, I’ve expressed concern over OL
                In the preseason, OL & Secondary were my two biggest concerns
                I post more on speight though, because I get caught up on replying to your excuses and numbers spin

                • Comments: 3181
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 13, 2017 at 9:47 PM

                  “Except each of the mistakes I listed were speight’s fault”

              • Comments: 3181
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 13, 2017 at 9:44 PM

                A reasoned argument backed by facts = spin. I see your perspective.

      • Comments: 3181
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 13, 2017 at 9:06 PM

        All this qualified by – it’s 2 games. We don’t know how good Florida and Cinci D’s are. The sack rate number (near the worst in the country) will probably look a lot better after Air Force.

        The story so far is not very encouraging for the rest of the season IMO. NOT because of Speight.

        • Comments: 568
          Joined: 1/19/2016
          je93
          Sep 13, 2017 at 9:16 PM

          Two games. Lots of points given away… that part IS because of speight, and THAT is what store the criticism

          • Comments: 3181
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 13, 2017 at 9:30 PM

            https://thepowerrank.com/reason-small-sample-size/

            “Randomness plays a big role in football. Sometimes, a tipped pass lands in the hands of the receiver who scores a winning touchdown. Other times, the ball lands in the hands of a defender, ending the game. The outcome of a football game is not that different from the flipping of a coin. To show the fallacy of judging based on small sample size,”

            I encourage you to read and think about just how upset you want to be about 3 TOs in 2 games.

            • Comments: 568
              Joined: 1/19/2016
              je93
              Sep 13, 2017 at 9:36 PM

              Except each of the mistakes I listed were speight’s fault
              Sure, I think Crawford COULD have caught the first pick6, but seeing Gentry wide open for a first down, and then seeing the second happen immediately after, leads me to think speight could have avoided it all together
              MAYBE Crawford was too tight on the flysweep. But we teach QBs to put the ball in the belly–not cheat–and LOOK THE BALL IN, all the way through the exchang. Speight’s fault again

              Nothing random, just excuses

            • Comments: 3181
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Sep 13, 2017 at 9:42 PM

              Lots of random.

              You are holding Speight to unrealistic expectations.

              There are going to be incompletions – on the QB and WR. There are going to be turnovers. 1.5 per game is not so terrible. Speight has made mistakes and he has not been very accurate. But it’s a team game. And you are not crediting Speight for covering up for a lot of the mistakes that others make.

              What it all boils down to is analysis by highlight. Superficial and reactionary.

              • Comments: 568
                Joined: 1/19/2016
                je93
                Sep 13, 2017 at 9:51 PM

                Credit to speight: he’s made quite a few good throws

                But that’s like congratulating my kid for getting a couple A’s & Bs, and then a D & an F

                Consistency would mean less criticism; noone is demanding perfection

              • Comments: 3181
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 13, 2017 at 10:01 PM

                Do you think Speight is going to continue to hand the other team 14 points every other game because he’s done it in 2 of the last 4?

                I think you should recognize that Speight had very few TOs last year and that there’s a good chance he will decrease from the 3 he has had so far this year.

                I think you should recognize that pick 6s (and other highlight plays) have an element of randomness to them. It requires good luck and bad – like the otherwise flawless performance by that aussie kicker until the MSU debacle. Stuff happens to good players sometimes.

                Speights done more than enough to earn my trust in his dozen plus starts.

                So it COULD be a trend. But, per the Ed Feng post again, it’s probably just human nature to try to assign a pattern where there isn’t one.

                • Comments: 568
                  Joined: 1/19/2016
                  je93
                  Sep 13, 2017 at 10:12 PM

                  Three TOs this year (plus one recovered fumble)
                  1 in the Bowl
                  Three TOs in The Game
                  1 against Iowa
                  The INT against sparty kept killed both momentum, and put the staff in “protect-speight” mode

                  The trend isn’t recent. I expect big mistakes to continue. I really hope I am wrong

                • Comments: 3181
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 13, 2017 at 10:18 PM

                  Through 9 games last year Speight had 3 INTs and 0 fumbles lost.

                  In the last 5 games he has 6 INTs and 2 fumbles lost.

                  The entire basis of consternation is the recent trend.

                  I’m willing to ascribe a lot of it to randomness. Read the Feng article if you want to understand why.

                • Comments: 568
                  Joined: 1/19/2016
                  je93
                  Sep 13, 2017 at 10:24 PM

                  I don’t hate the guy, and I respect his effort. I assume speight is a man of his word. He points to his lower body mechanics; I agree
                  That’s not random, it’s something that needs to be corrected. A few too many occasions for me to disbelieve speight, and go with ‘random’

                  “Speights done more than enough to earn my trust in his dozen plus starts”

                • Comments: 3181
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 13, 2017 at 11:02 PM

                  The outcome of the inaccuracy is what’s random. The inaccuracy is not random.

                  His accuracy has come and gone multiple times and is clearly an issue he has to work on. When you’re completing 55% of your passes, accuracy needs to be better. Period.

                  Not saying there’s no relationship to TOs. Inaccuracy leads to INTs. But the chances that 2/3s or whatever of INTs being returned for a TD are very very low and unlikely to repeated. Likewise, his ball security has been great and fumbles rarely cost teams as much as they’ve cost UM/Speight in recent games.

                  We don’t go 3-0 against PSU, Wisc, and Colorado if Speight isn’t as turnover averse as he was. Worth remembering. He has played better and done great avoiding turnovers – just a few games ago.

                  That ball to Crawford – how many times does it get caught, or fall to the ground harmlessly, or bounce in another direction, or get dropped by a DB. How many times does that run back result in 0/11 whiff in tackling. I think you can run back that same play and end up with a different outcome 80% of the time.

                  So yes – it could just be like a coin landing tails 6 times in a row.

                • Comments: 568
                  Joined: 1/19/2016
                  je93
                  Sep 13, 2017 at 11:37 PM

                  Only 10% when throwing outside
                  “When you’re completing 55% of your passes… ”

                  “8 TOs in the last 5 games. That’s almost half a season… Not random
                  “Likewise, his ball security has been great… ”
                  Are we gonna talk about a parralel universe?
                  “how many times does it get caught, or fall to the ground harmlessly, or bounce in another direction, or get dropped by a DB. How many times does that run back result in 0/11 whiff in tackling”

                • Comments: 3181
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 14, 2017 at 12:25 AM

                  So you expect it to continue? I should expect to see at least 2 pick 6s in the next 2 weeks?

                • Comments: 568
                  Joined: 1/19/2016
                  je93
                  Sep 14, 2017 at 9:08 AM

                  Do I think speight will have 8 more TOs in the next 5 games? Dude, I hope not!!!
                  My expectations aren’t unrealistic. We need a TD:INT ratio CLOSER to 4:1 to win the conference

                • Comments: 2083
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Sep 14, 2017 at 9:12 AM

                  On a side note, this post has now moved up to #2 all-time in comments. With seven more comments, it will surpass the Florida post-game comments record. These are quite lengthy discussions.

                • Comments: 568
                  Joined: 1/19/2016
                  je93
                  Sep 14, 2017 at 9:15 AM

                  Thunder, I’ve tried tapping out several times, but am glad to help!

                  GO BLUE!

              • Comments: 3181
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 13, 2017 at 10:04 PM

                Speight is inconsistent when he throws. Nobody is arguing the point.

                What is up for reasonable debate is if it will get better and by how much can it improve.

                What should not be up for debate/recognition is that there are other elements to being a QB. This is not golf or darts this is football. Decision-making matters. Toughness matters. Composure matters.

                So when people call him a bad QB I think it’s BS. Just like when people called Denard a bad QB.

              • Comments: 3181
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 14, 2017 at 10:51 AM

                Either it’s a trend or it isn’t.

                The Great Speight Debate is trending this blogs comments up dramatically.

                If he throws 2 INTs at Air Force and gets benched for O’Korn then I will be forced to admit the turnovers + poor performance are a trend rather than an anomaly.

                And then it will all be over and the 100 comment threads will wither and die.

                -Fuel 4 Fire

                • Comments: 568
                  Joined: 1/19/2016
                  je93
                  Sep 14, 2017 at 11:19 AM

                  8 TOs, 5 games. Yes, it’s a trend

                  The discussion drags on when you change your question, don’t like the response, throw more stats or links out, and then ask another

                • Comments: 3181
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 14, 2017 at 11:24 AM

                  so you expect 8 more the next 5? or worse?

          • Comments: 3181
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 13, 2017 at 9:36 PM

            Lots of points given away on missed blocks and sacks too.

            As for pick 6’s – 10 other guys can make those tackles. Crawford could have caught one of them.

            Speight’s generated a lot more points than hes given up. Not sure anyone else on offense can match his net production.

            • Comments: 568
              Joined: 1/19/2016
              je93
              Sep 13, 2017 at 9:39 PM

              Haha, you’re a mess

              Sure, blame the guys on offense for not making a tackle… That’s exactly what speight was thinking (no he’s likely too accountable for that BS)

              • Comments: 3181
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 13, 2017 at 9:43 PM

                Well, you’ve devolved to insults. Sorry to have upset you so.

              • Comments: 3181
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 13, 2017 at 9:48 PM

                Harbaugh blamed both. So do I.

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