Michigan vs. Florida Awards

Michigan vs. Florida Awards


September 5, 2017

Chase Winovich and Noah Furbush (image via GBMWolverine)

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Ty Isaac. Isaac averaged 10.4 yards per carry on 11 carries, giving him 114 yards on the day. He had 50% as many carries as starter Chris Evans, who averaged just 3.5 yards/carry, and Karan Higdon averaged 4.0 yards/carry on 7 chances. Isaac had the hot hand on Saturday, and some observers have said he’s in better shape now than he ever has been. I’m done expecting Isaac to be a breakout star, but I sure wouldn’t mind a few more performances like this.

Let’s see less of this guy on offense . . . Grant Perry. This has less to do with his performance on the field than his behavior on and off the field. The guy faced felony charges in the off-season, and on his first time touching the ball during the year, he spun the ball and earned his team a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Did he learn his lesson? Nope. He spun the ball again later in the game. I’m not saying the off-the-field and on-the-field things are related, but maybe he needs some more tough love to help the messages sink in.

Let’s see more of this guy on defense . . . David Long. It’s too early to call Long injury-prone, but he was injured and redshirted in 2016. Then he missed some time this spring with a nagging injury. And he exited this game early with a leg injury. He seems like a guy who’s in need of a steady diet of steak and whole milk.

Let’s see less of this guy on defense . . . Brandon Watson. Directly related to the Long situation, I don’t think Watson is a starting-caliber cornerback and he could be taken advantage of by teams who game plan for him and have the right athletes. He’s a stop-gap guy, and I think it’s concerning if he’s a long-term starter. It helps greatly that Michigan has a very good pass rush, which mitigates some issues on the back end.

Play of the game . . . Chase Winovich’s strip sack for a Noah Furbush touchdown. There are a few options for this honor, such as a couple Ty Isaac runs, a Brandon Watson pass breakup, a Josh Metellus tackle in the open field, a Wilton Speight deep ball to Nick Eubanks, etc. But the Winovich sack of Florida QB Malik Zaire sealed the game for the Wolverines, and Furbush did a great job of corralling the ball before it could trickle out of the back of the end zone.

MVP of the game . . . Ty Isaac and Devin Bush, Jr. I can’t really choose between the two. The offense struggled to move the ball through the air, and Isaac averaged a first down every time he touched the ball. He also made a couple clutch plays to keep drives alive. On the other side of the ball, Bush made 7 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks. He was all over the field and did a great job in his first game as a starting middle linebacker. He almost got booted from the game on the first defensive play when he was investigated for targeting, but luckily he stayed in the game to help Michigan win.

72 comments

  1. Comments: 904
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Sep 05, 2017 at 7:07 AM

    Let’s see less of this guy on offense … First Half Wilton.

    I was disappointed at Speight’s first half, to say the least. In the Spring Game, I thought that he didn’t look right physically. In this game his mechanics looked like Wilton Speight of pre-injury 2016, which is to say … both odd and inconsistent … to be charitable. Speight is a career 59% passer which isn’t good enough to begin with in today’s college game. Particularly if the goal is to win championships. In the first half of this game, he looked to be going backwards. Somebody here has been going on about fixing Speight’s mechanics. I hate the way Speight throws the football almost as much as I hated Gardiner’s throwing motion. Where Gardiner had that shot put thing going on, Speight is throwing darts, and not in a good way. I dunno, maybe he’s thinking too much and needs to be left alone to throw it the way he throws it. Still … Harbaugh! Who, by the way, is significantly more sanguine about Speight’s first half than is the fan base, myself included.

    I think we enjoyed some real good fortune to have played this game at a neutral site. Wanna scare yourself some? Imagine this game at The Swamp, Speight has just thrown two pick sixes, they’ve blocked a punt that didn’t turn into points, but the place is still rockin’. Now Thompson breaks one for a touchdown. The place is going bonkers. As clear as it was, I’m thinking that holding call just might not get made. Maybe the ref thinks, “Bush doesn’t get there anyway” … which … he might not have. So he decides to keep the flag in his pocket. I’m not suggesting here that an SEC ref, or any ref for that matter, might be swayed by circumstances and/or the crowd. I would never suggest such a thing. I’m just sayin’.

    Dwell on the consequences of that one for just a minute. Which is exactly why Speight needs to knock this crap off. LIKE RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! If only out of deference to our collective sanity.

    Let’s see more of this guy on offense … Second Half Wilton.

    As an aside, my first prediction for the year has fallen by the wayside, as Spanellis enters the game before Vastardis.

    I’m anxious to see the every snap thing that has come around the last couple years. I’m hoping that whoever it is doing that thing is still at it.

  2. Comments: 904
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Sep 05, 2017 at 7:19 AM

    I’m giving the play of the game to Lawrence Marshall. Lined up at Nose Tackle, he engaged with his guy then got off and started hustling after Franks, made Franks feel him and bend away just a touch, kept hustling to the sideline until he ran into a Florida guy and basically fell down right on the football.

    The single best hustle play I’ve seen on a football field for a long time.

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

      You’re right, it was great seeing Marshall busy his butt along the field. His reward was getting that ball!

    • Comments: 3181
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 05, 2017 at 10:45 AM

      Good point. The encouraging thing was you saw this sort of flow from all of the DL, backups and starters alike. People talk about being relentless, but it’s not just getting to the QB, it’s stuff like this.

  3. Comments: 904
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Sep 05, 2017 at 7:37 AM

    Lavert Hill did some very nice things. I was particularly impressed on a second/maybe third and 8 play where he just came in and cut a running back down in the backfield.

    Grant Perry was a disappointment and frankly, an embarrassment.

    There was a lot of talk about helping Ulizio with Wheatley. On Black’s TD catch, they sent Hill over, after the snap, to help from his original position behind and between Cole and Bredeson. I’m not sure I have ever seen that before. Speight even rolled lightly to his right.

    Ty Isaac ran some very nicely blocked plays and then put some very, very nice jukes on people. I thought he looked exactly like you want your senior RB to look, big, strong, quick, fast and serious about it.

    Young Glasgow knocked that ball loose with his hit before Thomas got there to strip it. That was just a glancing shot. If Glasgow gets that kid square, we’re hearing talk about too much violence in college football right about now.

    Gary was a beast, despite his fairly empty row on the stat sheet.

    • DonAZ
      Comments: 319
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      DonAZ
      Sep 05, 2017 at 8:30 AM

      “Ty Isaac ran some very nicely blocked plays and then put some very, very nice jukes on people.”

      It seems we have a re-born Ty Isaac. He seems to be more focused, and more deliberate. I’m wondering if the departure of Wheatley as RB coach has something to do with this. And by extension: I wonder how much of this can be attributed to Jay Harbaugh as RB coach?

      • Comments: 2083
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Sep 05, 2017 at 8:38 AM

        WOTS is that Isaac and Wheatley did not see eye to eye. And that’s something that I heard long before Wheatley’s departure.

        • DonAZ
          Comments: 319
          Joined: 8/12/2015
          DonAZ
          Sep 05, 2017 at 9:04 AM

          I’ve read the same in a number of places.

          I think I recall you writing that RB coach is one of the roles where there’s not as much to actually *teach* … that is, an RB either has what it takes or they do not. So I’m wondering to what extent Jay Harbaugh as RB coach could really make a difference. Perhaps not in the technicalities, but maybe in attitude? Maybe Jay Harbaugh is one of those guys who gets players to loosen up and play with a clear mind, while maybe Wheatley was too stern and foreboding?

          I have absolutely nothing to base any of that on. Just speculating.

          • Comments: 2083
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Sep 05, 2017 at 9:09 AM

            To be honest, I think Wheatley is kind of a hardass coach. That works for some coaches, and it doesn’t work for others. Obviously, he’s an NFL-caliber running backs coach, so he knows what he’s doing. But that doesn’t mesh with everyone. Jay Harbaugh is a little more laid back, and I think that fits well with Isaac.

            • Umichjenks
              Comments: 7
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Umichjenks
              Sep 05, 2017 at 10:46 AM

              Can someone explain to me why no reporters ask Harbaugh this question….”If you value taking care of the ball over anything else, why is Speight the starter?”

              Over the last 4 games he has 6 interceptions, 3 pick sixes, 2 lost fumbles (8 total TOs); 166 yds passing/game; and a 52% completion rate.

              That’s awful and MAC level stats.

              It’s time to see what the backups can do.

              • Comments: 130
                Joined: 9/15/2015
                ragingbull
                Sep 05, 2017 at 11:46 AM

                well they played some good Ds…osu, fsu, fla…i think okorn wouldve put up just as many turnovers as the starter over that stretch, and even if not, he wouldve been in such a shell he wouldnt have moved the team at all.

                its clear speight is a hot-cold QB and likely wont improve dramatically before he leaves…but the staff believes hes the best option the team has to move the ball, hold onto the ball, score points and win games. speight is a pretty good college QB and would be more if he nailed down the consistency part, which im sure the staff would love. im guessing its a combo of mental issues and mechanical flaws, but whatever the issues, hes the best overall option to move the ball and win games for m right now.
                if okorn or peters or anyone else offered similar upsides with same or less downsides, theyd be playing over speight.

                hopefully next year peters or mccaffrey show serious development and show enough to steal the job from a very inconsistent speight

              • Comments: 3181
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 05, 2017 at 12:20 PM

                Because it’s insulting and dumb. Speight was great at avoiding turnovers last year. Yes, even with the OSU game considered. The backup QB is not as good. Harbaugh would very likely say the 1st INT wasn’t on Speight. So one turnover by our QB against a potentially elite D – that’s not a reason to bench the guy anymore than Nordin missing a FG is a reason to bench him.

                • Umichjenks
                  Comments: 7
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Umichjenks
                  Sep 05, 2017 at 12:52 PM

                  Ohhh ok, so the first INT wasn’t his fault. I’ll give him a pass on that. What about the 8 turnovers (6 INTs), 3 pick sixes, 2 lost fumbles in our last 4 games. You know the biggest games of the past and present season?

                  Maybe we can blame the Oline and WRs for his 52% completion percentage too.

                  He is 13 games in as a starter and has been on campus for >3 yrs. The fact that he is still making the same mistakes as he did when we played Hawaii in last years opening is disturbing.

                  Aren’t QBs supposed to make the biggest jump from year 1 to year 2?

                  I just want JH to come out and say the job isn’t guaranteed to be his. He can talk a big game about meritocracy at every position, but the stats I supplied seem to contradict that theory.

                  I’m not saying Peters or O’Korn would be better, but at least give them a chance instead of bringing one of them in, only to hand the ball off 3 times in a row!

                • Comments: 3181
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 05, 2017 at 1:02 PM

                  Look at the FSU/Alabama game. This is what elite defenses do.

                  Michigan’s last 3 games are
                  OSU-FSU-FL. The Iowa game was awful.

                  And I mean – you did watch the Indiana game right?

                  Not so bold prediction: Speight is going to have good numbers these next 4 weeks. I hope that makes you feel better when he does. It’s not going to move the needle for me.

                  Speight made a leap from 2015 to 2016. We hope he can make another. Week 1 says not so much, but we’ll see…

                  JH already said the job isn’t guaranteed and replaced the QB in the game. I mean…

              • Comments: 3181
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 05, 2017 at 12:22 PM

                I like how mgoblog called these people the “Navarre Sucks Faction” of the fanbase.

                • Comments: 568
                  Joined: 1/19/2016
                  je93
                  Sep 05, 2017 at 11:51 PM

                  Why don’t you quote Brian when he quotes Harbaugh?
                  “Not throwing the ball high over the middle. Those balls get tipped and have a tendancy to go up in the air… ”
                  ” … But when you’re playing against (zone) safeties, you have to keep the ball below the shoulders. Shoulders down, so the arms of the receivers don’t go up and tip the ball. We’ve made more of an emphasis on that”

                  Sure, Crawford COULD have caught it, but speight didn’t have to throw that route at that time, and certainly not high

                • Comments: 3181
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 06, 2017 at 12:26 PM

                  It was a very catchable ball. Butt catches that. Probably Black or DPJ catch it too.

                  I do agree Speight gets some of the blame, but there’s going to be a dozen plays like that a game where a marginal pass can bounce off a WR hands and get intercepted.

                  The point about the zone defense is legit, I’m sure. But that’s a route the coaches called for and UF was playing zone all game. The guy was open.

                  I’m not going to get worked about a ball that will be caught more often than not and typically fall to the ground harmlessly.

                  Oh — and Harbaugh put the blame on himself for coaching. That’s not what they practiced (against Don Brown). They didn’t rep zone coverages enough per your source.

                • Comments: 2083
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Sep 06, 2017 at 2:10 PM

                  Of COURSE Harbaugh put the blame on himself. Have you ever seen him blame his players? Harbaugh is a good leader, and leaders don’t throw their subjects under the bus. But if any of my high school quarterbacks watched that play, they would know that Speight needs to bring the ball down with safeties over the top. If my high schoolers would know that, then I’m sure Speight has heard it and been coached it by Harbaugh, Fisch, Drevno, Hamilton, his high school coaches, etc.

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

                  LOL. Yes Harbaugh really saved Speight from the bus by saying he did the wrong thing in public there.

                • Comments: 568
                  Joined: 1/19/2016
                  je93
                  Sep 06, 2017 at 8:27 PM

                  How do you know butt catches it? He’s had a pass or two get by as well, it happens. That’s why it shouldn’t be thrown high!
                  Some of the blame is right. Fans are pissed though, because he did it again right after… Then overthrew a sure TD. It’s the trend that has folks up in arms

                • Comments: 3181
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 07, 2017 at 2:10 AM

                  Fans can be up in arms about whatever they want – it doesn’t mean it’s intelligent or logical.

                  Speights a solid QB who has played a murderers row of defenses. You can’t compare his stats to Luke Falk. You can compare him to CJ Beathard, Jake Rudock, and Trace McSorely — and guess what, he stacks up pretty well in that company.

      • Comments: 3181
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 05, 2017 at 10:53 AM

        I don’t want to be a debbie downer because Isaac had himself a big day and for a senior that’s struggled, that’s great to see. Can’t take that away from him.

        But – I would pause on the “it’s a new day / new attitude ” talk a bit. Isaac’s looked good on outside carries before. I’ve seen other people talking about UF’s lack of force defenders and aggressiveness to stop the conventional runs. Clearly Michigan worked hard to run the ball outside and they had success with it. They also had some excellent calls on 3rd and long — the kind that fans HATE when they don’t work.

        So yes, Isaac had some very good runs and an excellent day — if that’s something to expect to see consistently moving forward…we’ll see. It was encouraging for him that he got more carries than Higdon but he’s still clearly behind Evans and he still didn’t get anything between the tackles.

        As Harbaugh said – they were still in way too many 3rd and long situations because the run game couldn’t make the consistent progress on 1st and 2nd down. Maybe that was playcalling.

        • Comments: 289
          Joined: 9/13/2015
          michymich
          Sep 05, 2017 at 12:18 PM

          Completely agree. See below. This OL still has plenty of room to improve. They realize that. Bottom line is this team will be running left and both Evans and Higdon could definitely do better.

          I am still looking for that historically high end rb to lead this offense. I would take a Fitz OR a Minor and give up any of the 3 guys. Not bad players but this team needs a little more help on offense.

          Happy but looking for more.

  4. Comments: 568
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Sep 05, 2017 at 9:17 AM

    Watching the game again, Perry did the ball spin twice, as did Eubanks
    Harbaugh isn’t going to blow up, because he & his staff may have allowed this in practice
    Other than that, I have to give credit because I was against the guy preseason: Perry looked great, and our QB needs him

  5. Comments: 1
    Joined: 4/5/2017
    ldevon1
    Sep 05, 2017 at 10:21 AM

    Why so hard on Perry? He made a mistake last year and paid a price. We’ve had guys do worst and didn’t pay as much. I watched a ton of football this past weekend and saw a lot worst than a guy spinning the ball after a 1st down reception where a guy was holding him the whole time and no penalty was called. I didn’t like it either, but to call that the most disappointing is a little much IMHO.

    • Comments: 3181
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 05, 2017 at 10:58 AM

      It’s hard to find a lot of people to be disappointed in when the team plays so well. For me, it was Crawford. Targetting so often yet mostly bad things happened when he was.

      • Comments: 2083
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Sep 05, 2017 at 11:17 AM

        Well, he did make a tough catch on the negated touchdown that should have gone into the box score for Michigan. And he was wide open running up the sideline when Speight air-mailed the ball out of bounds for no good reason. I wasn’t impressed with Crawford, but he should have had 2 touchdown catches in this game if not for referee/Speight idiocy.

        • Comments: 904
          Joined: 8/13/2015
          Roanman
          Sep 05, 2017 at 11:23 AM

          I’m saving idiot for the refs and then Perry … see below.

          Speight was just bad.

        • Comments: 3181
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Sep 05, 2017 at 11:58 AM

          Crawford ran good routes and got open a lot and deserves credit for that – but in the same way that people are getting on Speight, I’m getting on him. Bad things kept happening when he was thrown the ball. The difference is that Speight made plays other times – Crawford didn’t this day.

          I did not think it was a particularly good catch. I thought it was a great throw in traffic by Speight. Eye of the beholder, I guess. Speight threw it where it needed to be after things broke down. Crawford did his job. Wasn’t an easy catch but it wasn’t particularly hard either.

          Speight is the one who audible’d to the play that got Crawford wide open. He airmailed the throw — to me that was the worst pass he threw all day, worse than both pick 6s. But it was a brilliant audible.

          Honestly the two Speight passes that frustrate and concern me the most are the two just-missed TD catches to Perry and Crawford where he led them a little too far outside of the end zone.

          The encouraging thing was that the problem was consistent on the day — too much air on the ball on a half dozen throws. Fixable IMO.

          • Comments: 289
            Joined: 9/13/2015
            michymich
            Sep 05, 2017 at 12:47 PM

            I agree with you that Crawford looked less than ideal. I think he is a legit #1 but didn’t play like it other than the endzone td. That int was partially his fault. It wasn’t a legit #1 attempt.

            Junior Hemingway would have made that catch. I am a fan of Junior if you haven’t noticed.

    • Comments: 904
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      Roanman
      Sep 05, 2017 at 11:12 AM

      Perry, “made a mistake and paid the price”. Yes, first of all, an almost mind boggling in it’s crass stupidity kind of mistake and secondly, seemingly he has learned nothing from the experience.

      I don’t have a big problem with spinning the ball the first time. It was stupid, but … kid … and he made a nice play for a big first down, so oopsies. But now having cost his team 15 yards once, the moron comes right back and decides to test the ref and tempt fate. It was a blindingly stupid and arrogant move. And in doing so, he proves Darryl Rogers right.

      This is Michigan, feel free to be arrogant but for god sakes, eschew stupid. If I’m Harbaugh, that idiot is running steps for a good long time. Maybe the rest of his career.

      • Comments: 289
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Sep 05, 2017 at 12:56 PM

        I can only speak for myself but when had his legal issues I said well he is a kid who had too much alcohol and I am willing for a young man to pay the consequences and be given a 2nd chance. This is America after all and who on this board hasn’t done something they regret. Apology and community service, etc. I do remember the other party (could have been lawyer) who wasn’t happy and it seemed like they were inferring that he was entitled. Maybe he wasn’t as remorseful as he should have been.

        When he started spinning it hit me. This guy is one of these kids who doesn’t follow the rules and his ego is out of control. I don’t want people like this groping women. I don’t have a daughter although I am married. I was young once but I knew not to grope women and alcohol shouldn’t be the excuse.

        I am just not only disappointed but I do wish the coach would sit him down because it clearly seems he feels like he is above the system and is cockier than ever which isn’t good for anybody. I’d rather play without the guy now. Just not a fan.

  6. Comments: 3181
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 05, 2017 at 10:57 AM

    The construct of these posts (let’s see change) is always a little awkward when the team plays really well. Nice reasonable balanced tone struck here. Nice work Thunder.

    I don’t agree on Perry but Thunder’s big on tsking guys who do dumb stuff. To me – he made a mistake. He’s owned it and said it won’t happen again. I’m not going to hold it against the guy if he continues to look like the best overall WR we have.

  7. Comments: 289
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Sep 05, 2017 at 11:36 AM

    I believe UM needs an upgrade at the rb position. Still comes across as solid but not elite. Maybe Samuels or someone else down the line but for all the talk of the OL the running game although efficient and solid against FL is not going to get it done against an elite team.

    Evans is not elite. He is essentially a very good scat back. Isaac is a hybrid. Higdon is a scat back. I like the direction of the running game but I’d actually prefer Minor and Fitz to our current stable of guys.

    Program is progressing nicely. Not complaining at where UM is at this point in time but I see an elite defense but an offense that isn’t keeping up with the growth of the program except for wr’s and TE’s.

    • Comments: 3181
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 05, 2017 at 12:25 PM

      I thought it was the best game from the RBs I’ve seen in a while. All 3 looked fast, all 3 made plays. It was a career day for Isaac, obviously. Evans ran tougher than I had hoped and had some nice moves. Higdon looked faster too. I thought they did great with what they had.

      I’ll plead ignorance on their blocking ability – didn’t notice one way or the other.

      Pass catching was non-existent. When Speight checks down he looks for TE and slot WRs it seems. I dont know if this is a playcall or Speight thing.

      • Comments: 289
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Sep 05, 2017 at 12:42 PM

        I think I speak for the coaches (lol) when I say I’d rather Speight make the throws he feels comfortable with which are throws within 10-15 yards. I think it gives him less time for the ball to float or carry on him.

        He is very good at throwing straight ahead passes within a certain distance. Any ball that requires some finesse or touch like a perimeter throw, forget it. Alabama and Saban would take every throw he does well away from him. If Speight has a good running game and some decent protection and an ability to make 3-4 types of throws, we have a winner.

        Good news is I think he is improving on his long ball (Eubanks) but he needs all sorts of throwing development.

      • Comments: 3181
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 05, 2017 at 12:54 PM

        Speight had the best down field success rate in the big ten last year. Better even than McSorely, albeit on lower volume. He was successful on most of his downfield throws Saturday too.

        If anything his issues with sailing the ball have come on shorter easier throws like the post-audible one to wide-open crawford.

        I think I agree with Harbaugh that he needs to focus a little more on mechanics. That may be the fix for inconsistency with accuracy. Of course it’s maybe hard to ask that of a guy whose brain is clearly on another level when it comes to pocket presence and composure. His best throws seem to be down the middle of the field.

        Hopefully we see better results over the next few weeks.

        • Comments: 289
          Joined: 9/13/2015
          michymich
          Sep 05, 2017 at 3:44 PM

          I wouldn’t call that pass to Black very good. It was late would have been an int if covered properly. I am willing to give a guy credit or blame depending on the situation. I support Speight as the qb. I don’t want to see JOK at anytime.

          The further ball has to travel the lower the probabilities of a good pass. Now, you bring up a very good point. The shorter the pass the more increased difficulty for him since he is a big man who has a strong arm although clearly an unconventional throwing motion. Glad to hear Harbaugh talk about mechanics. Hamilton and Harbaugh need to work on one thing asap which is his fade throws. He throws most of these balls out of bounds. He has tall receivers, let them make a play now and then.

          This is going to surprise you but I think Speight could be a pretty good college qb and a Pro if he ever became a much better passer. It’s not out of the question but those mechanics are going to make him look worse than he actually is as a qb.

          • Comments: 3181
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 05, 2017 at 5:14 PM

            Speight will get drafted and play in the NFL – I think there’s little doubt about this.

            • Comments: 568
              Joined: 1/19/2016
              je93
              Sep 05, 2017 at 11:05 PM

              There’s plenty of doubt

            • Comments: 3181
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Sep 06, 2017 at 12:20 PM

              Next to none. This is a lock.

            • Comments: 3181
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Sep 06, 2017 at 12:21 PM

              Speight is better than Beathard, Rudock, and a host of other NFL QBs.

              I think he’s better than McSorely too.

              • Comments: 568
                Joined: 1/19/2016
                je93
                Sep 06, 2017 at 8:30 PM

                No he’s not better than Rudock
                This is borderline trolling, I’m done

                • Comments: 2083
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Sep 06, 2017 at 9:38 PM

                  Yeah, I wasn’t going to mess with that one, either.

              • Comments: 3181
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 07, 2017 at 2:02 AM

                QBR
                Rudock (SO): 126.5
                Rudock (SR): 141.4
                Speight (SO): 139.8

                YPA
                Rudock (SO): 6.2
                Rudock (SR): 7.7
                Speight (SO): 7.8

                TD:INT
                Rudock (SO): 18:13
                Rudock (SR): 20:9
                Speight (SO): 18:7

                Speight is better.

                • Comments: 2083
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Sep 07, 2017 at 6:13 AM

                  Apples and oranges. You’re comparing Rudock at Iowa to Speight at Michigan. And you’re comparing Rudock with one month in the system to Speight with 1.5 years in the system, plus the fact that everyone on the team had been in the system for a year before Speight got his first start.

                • Comments: 3181
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 07, 2017 at 11:01 AM

                  You directly compared playing Akron to playing Florida but you want to pull apples & oranges on this?

                  No two people are ever going to be in the EXACT same situation. Comparing Speight and Rudock one year apart at the same school and soph year to soph year in the same conference is far from apples and oranges.

                  Speight’s had 3 OCs in his time at Michigan and committed to play for Hoke/Borges. Rudock signed up to play at Michigan for a few months.

                  Yes, Speight was in the system for 1 year longer than Rudock – he was also a first year starter who had 25 fewer starts and 2 full seasons behind.

                  Anyway we’re sitting here comparing him to NFL QBs and people want to argue he is playing bad.

                • Comments: 2083
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Sep 07, 2017 at 11:06 AM

                  Nope, never compared Akron to Florida.

                • Comments: 3181
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 07, 2017 at 11:17 AM

                  Also – Beathard had a solid season in 2015 statwise – showing that a Iowa QB can produce.

                  His 2015 numbers were better but they fell in 2016 (below Speights). Does that mean he played bad? Well – he still got drafted pretty high in the NFL, so probably not.

                  What explains the production dropoff? How about a much harder schedule where you play at least 4 top 15 defenses (UM, PSU, UF, Wisc).

                • Comments: 3181
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 07, 2017 at 11:18 AM

                  Yes – you argued Speight was 13/14 QBs. That’s a direct comparison with someone who played Akron (amongst a slew of other cupcakes).

  8. Comments: 3181
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 05, 2017 at 2:46 PM

    Based on S&P defensive rankings Speight has faced 7 of the top 15 defenses in the country in his last 11 games.*

    That’s playing elite defenses in nearly 2/3s of games.

    That’s nearly half (7/15) the elite Defenses in the country.

    *
    S&P Defensive Rankings for 2016: Florida 4, OSU 5, Wisc 7, FSU 10, Colorado 12, PSU 14, Iowa 15.

    Treating 2016 UF D as 2017 UF D for the purpose of this exercise. i.e., Assuming UF will once again have an elite D may or may not be valid, but we don’t know any better for now.

    • Comments: 3181
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 05, 2017 at 3:33 PM

      Some of you guy are being too hard on him and not not fully taking into consideration how challenging the slate has been. Not to mention the injury. The results may be “bad” but the player performance isn’t when you consider the context.

      The only breaks Speights has had from terrifying defenses have been MSU, Rutgers, Illinois and Maryland (and those were consecutive last Oct). His numbers across those 4 games were very good. –> When given a chance against an average or weak D he has done an excellent job.

      So what about the tough defenses? His numbers against Florida were better than his numbers in 3 or 4 of those tough 6 games last year (they bombed PSU but otherwise things were a struggle.) Not clear if that’s getting better or stagnating or just variance.

      To be clear: Speight has NOT been an elite performer in these games. Trubiansky bombed FSU. But maybe he’s been a good performer. Watson threw 2 INTs against both OSU and FSU. Beathard managed 55 yards and threw 3 pics the last game UF played. McSorely had his worst games of the year against elite defenses(OSU and UM) and threw 3 interceptions against USC. So who are you comparing against exactly when you say Speight is ‘bad’ and should be benched?

      Even excellent college QBs struggle against great defenses most of the time.

      • Comments: 3181
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 05, 2017 at 3:44 PM

        Prediction:

        Speight does really well these next 6 weeks and you hear a lot of talk about him “improving” between now and 10/21 (PSU). Will be hard to tell if it’s real or just the competition getting much easier.

        • Comments: 289
          Joined: 9/13/2015
          michymich
          Sep 05, 2017 at 3:49 PM

          Hey LK. How about this compromise. I believe Speight will play well at home.

          Let’s only judge Speight after the PSU game. That will be a real test. Wr’s will have had more time to develop along with OL. PSU will put pressure on UM defense. Great environment and a true test.

          I am assuming the world will not have been blown up by North Korea by that time.

          • Comments: 3181
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 05, 2017 at 5:11 PM

            Speight is already being judged but yes, I am saying we won’t know if he’s made progress until after PSU – even if he plays really well the next handful of games as I expect.

            If by PSU Speight is still outside of the top 10 QBs in conference then I’ll sign up with the Navarre Sucks faction. I’m assume we’ll get a dose of O’Korn by then too, if the next 2 weeks go as hoped.

            • Comments: 568
              Joined: 1/19/2016
              je93
              Sep 05, 2017 at 11:14 PM

              So you’d be fine with Speight being the #9 QB in the conference? The Big 10?!?

              Look, most “reasonable” fans accept that Harbaugh picked speight because he gives us the best chance of winning. The criticism comes from a string of poor performances & costly turnovers, and the fact that no one in that position group is better

              We all want the team to win

              • Comments: 3181
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 06, 2017 at 12:17 PM

                Obviously winning isn’t enough. Our offense put up a bunch of yards and points on a potentially elite defense and people are calling the QB bad, poor, or calling for the backups.

                Most reasonable fans know that results depend on opponents — and Speights faced a very difficult slate.

                Again – you’re going to hear about improvement from Speight over the next few weeks. The numbers are going to look good (based on efficiency at least, if not volume). He can do that with being the exact same QB he was against OSU, FSU, and FL.

                Speight was “bad” against Iowa. Hasn’t been since.

                • Comments: 2083
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Sep 06, 2017 at 2:13 PM

                  I mean, the QB was bad in this game. You’re conflating two separate ideas, that “Speight is bad” and “Speight was bad in this game.” I’ve already given you the numbers, and I’ve given you other numbers to compare them to. You’re the only person who comes out of a game where the QB goes 11/25 and throws two pick-sixes and says, “Eh, not bad.”

                • Comments: 3181
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 06, 2017 at 3:26 PM

                  Was Jalen Hurts “bad” when Alabama beat UF 54-16 in the SEC title game? He had a lower QBR than Speight, lower YPA, threw for fewer yards, etc. He did make up with hit for his legs by rushing for…1 yard total.

                  What I’m actually doing is making a distinction that says a player can play well (or just “not bad”) and end up with unimpressive results. That’s what good defenses do to people. See: Michigan vs McSorely.

                  Michigan won the game. They racked up 400+ yards while doing it. Speight played fine.

                  You want to say every QB who faces a tough defense and struggles to put up numbers played “bad” you can. I’m going to consider the context. You can go look up what Florida did to guys like Eason and Beathard last year. In the case of the OSU game you can compare Speights numbers to guys like Mayfield and McSorely. Maybe they all played “bad”. Or maybe they all did fine given what they were up against.

                  Nobody is saying Speight played great. But the vast majority of people acting like this is a problem spot for Michigan are off the mark. Our QB played fine. That’s just reality.

                  You comparing him to guys who played Akron doesn’t change reality anymore than you comparing garbage time YPC to starters trying to get 4 yards against an NFL caliber DL.

                  I’m not the only one who thinks Speight was fine, even if everyone on this board disagrees.

                • Comments: 2083
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Sep 06, 2017 at 9:43 PM

                  I don’t know. I didn’t watch the Alabama-UF game. I did watch this one, and Wilton Speight was bad. He also put up bad numbers. And he missed open throws. And he threw two pick-sixes.

                  Your argument that Michigan won the game while racking up 400+ yards is irrelevant. We’re not talking about the offense. We’re talking about Speight.

                • Comments: 3181
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 07, 2017 at 2:03 AM

                  Speight is the QB. He runs the offense. If he plays bad the offense plays bad. See: Iowa.

                  Nobody puts up 400+ yards if the QB is bad.

                • Comments: 3181
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Sep 07, 2017 at 2:05 AM

                  You certainly don’t destroy the UF defense with a bad QB.

                  Hurts and Speights didn’t throw up impressive numbers but they did their jobs.

    • Comments: 289
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Sep 05, 2017 at 3:47 PM

      As Gerdeman said from the Ozone, he is what he is. His variance is huge from play to play. Smart qb but when that ball comes out of his hand it could be a fast ball on the corner of the plate or a pitch that gives the hitter brain damage.

      Wild thing. You make my heart sing?

      • Comments: 3181
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 06, 2017 at 12:19 PM

        Maybe Speight should consult with Nordin’s barber.

  9. Comments: 289
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Sep 05, 2017 at 7:46 PM

    Can anyone enlighten me on the targeting rule? He did seem to lead with his helmet. From another article.

    The first: This play was reviewed for a potential targeting violation. Targeting was not called, and thus Michigan’s Devin Bush (29) was allowed to stay in the game. If that’s not targeting, then The Dash is a Mongolian sheep herder

    • Comments: 904
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      Roanman
      Sep 06, 2017 at 8:40 AM

      No, nobody can enlighten you on the targeting rule.

      It’s not you. Targeting is in the eye of the beholder.

      Here’s a link to a decent piece with the rule’s language examined.

      https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2016/9/7/12829482/targeting-penalty-rulebook-ncaa-football

    • Comments: 2083
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Sep 06, 2017 at 9:18 AM

      He didn’t lead with the crown of his helmet, so that’s one thing. He doesn’t have to lead with the crown of his helmet, but that’s one indicator. Another big indicator is “forcible contact.” I think that’s where the referees felt there was insufficient evidence. It was not really a direct blow to the head, and I’m not sure I would label it “forcible contact.” Furthermore, forward progress has to be stopped for the runner to be protected by being in the grasp of a defender, and the Florida player was still moving forward at the time of impact.

      • Comments: 904
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        Roanman
        Sep 06, 2017 at 10:53 AM

        Ok, Ok, maybe Thunder can, but nobody else can.

  10. Comments: 289
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Sep 06, 2017 at 1:46 AM

    Brian was trying to soften the comments from Harbaugh. I have noticed from some bloggers that they want to poo poo the performance. But here is quote from the coach. Coach gets it. I am not on the bashing bandwagon but lets stop sugar coating bad throws.

    “Not throwing the ball high over the middle. Those balls get tipped and have a tendency to go up in the air. During camp we played a lot against man-to-man defenses (vs. Don Brown), with a lot of pressure,” Harbaugh said. “I take this onto myself coaching. There are times you throw high and you get away with it because it’s zero coverage and there’s no deep safeties back there. … But when you’re playing against (zone) safeties, you have to keep the ball below the shoulders.
    “Shoulders down, so the arms of the receivers don’t go up and tip the ball. We’ve made more of an emphasis on that.”

    • Comments: 2083
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Sep 06, 2017 at 8:03 AM

      Yep. That throw is more on the QB than Crawford. I didn’t see the quote until it was posted on MGoBlog, but I’m glad someone asked Harbaugh about that and he gave a good football answer.

    • Comments: 3181
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 06, 2017 at 12:19 PM

      “It’s just a motivational tactic” – Peters-truthers, 1 week ago.

      “Navarre sucks” – Peters-truthers, now.

      • Comments: 289
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Sep 06, 2017 at 1:50 PM

        That is what a good coach does…demands better performances from his players. I am not a Peters guy. He is a bench guy. It’s Speight and then JOK and I don’t want to see JOK.

        I don’t think Speight sucks but he does remind me of a much better Navarre. Speight is a good qb. Could be a really good qb if he was more accurate.

        I am like you, tired of talking or beating up on Speight. He is the qb and look forward to watching him against Cincy. I think this staff is going to really focus in on the accuracy so this game may be a long term blessing in disguise.

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