MLive: O’Korn confident, has vision; will he start?

MLive: O’Korn confident, has vision; will he start?


September 28, 2017

I think John O’Korn will probably earn the start against MSU next Saturday (LINK). The bigger question will be whether Speight will be available to back him up.

Hit the jump for some beautiful women.

Rebecca Romijn

84 comments

  1. Comments: 762
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Sep 29, 2017 at 12:59 AM

    I think that GIF is Alice Eve

  2. GKblue
    Comments: 235
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    GKblue
    Sep 29, 2017 at 8:13 AM

    I think JOK has earned the start. If not, a shit storm will commence, this is MSU. Reward performance, meritocracy ya know?

    Usually if your starting QB gets dinged the best time is just before a bye week to rest and heal, so If Speight is healthy enough to start and does poorly or gets re injured JH hasn’t done anyone any favors. If his health permits him to dress he can always serve as a backup.

    I would love to see the bat signal for Peters go up in a fourth quarter blowout.

  3. Lanknows
    Comments: 3611
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 29, 2017 at 10:34 AM

    “While the offensive line certainly had its struggles, it was the second half adjustments the coaching staff made which sparked the line to turn things around. While there wasn’t a moment in particular where things clicked, adjusting to the unique looks Purdue gave the offense was the key to victory.

    “There were just some little things in the first half that they were bringing some blitzes we hadn’t seen,” Kugler said. “Slight adjustments and we were able to bring it to them in the second half.”

    https://scout.com/college/michigan/Article/A-look-at-four-star-defensive-tackle-Maurice-Hurst-as-a-high-sch-108121739

    I’m sure there are those who want to credit O’Korn with the better OL play. Those should at least consider an alternative hypothesis before crowning O’Korn the savior and consider why 4 of O’Korn’s 5 first half drives lasted only 3 plays.

    A possibility to consider – O’Korn’s strong 2nd half was in large part the product of a weak OL stepping up against a weak opponent – more about the O working as a whole than a dramatic change in QB performance.

    • Comments: 2275
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Sep 29, 2017 at 11:18 AM

      It’s funny to me that a huge part of your argument is saying that people have anointed O’Korn as the savior, when I haven’t seen that even once. What people ARE saying is that O’Korn played well, and therefore he deserves more playing time based upon that.

      As for the adjustments thing, um, sure. I suppose the whole offense could have made halftime adjustments and stepped up in the second half. I guess there were no halftime adjustments against Florida, Cincinnati, and Air Force. When Wilton Speight is your QB, you just do the same thing from the first half to the second half because he’s such an awesome player that he’ll overcome everything by himself. Nope, no halftime adjustments needed prior to the Purdue game…

      You’re really going out of your way to discredit O’Korn. He played a good game. That’s the best game we’ve seen out of a QB since the Maryland game last year. It’s been almost 11 months since we’ve seen a QB play that solidly. I don’t know why you can’t just accept it.

      BTW, Purdue is #72 in PER defense, the lowest of any of our opponents. Cincinnati is #71, Florida is #64, and Air Force is #50. Purdue was #99 in 2016, but it’s a new head coach and a new defensive coordinator. Nobody’s saying Purdue was a great defense, but the other defenses we’ve faced this year – that shut down Speight – aren’t a great deal better.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3611
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 29, 2017 at 11:52 AM

        I’ve said that too. People have said more than that. I don’t need to dig up the comments from 2 posts ago.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3611
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 29, 2017 at 11:53 AM

        I’m going out of my way to point out that the QB isn’t the problem with the offense and hasn’t been all year.

        • Comments: 2275
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Sep 29, 2017 at 12:20 PM

          Whom are you arguing against? Who is saying QB is *the* problem? Nobody. This has been talked about again and again. The whole offense needs to improve – QB, OL, RB, WR, and TE. I haven’t seen a single person saying “This offense would be great if only the QB were better.” A better QB doesn’t fix the problem at RT, the drops by Crawford, the lack of separation from the receivers, etc. You’re arguing against air.

          • Comments: 682
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            Sep 29, 2017 at 12:37 PM

            But even if the claim is that QB isn’t the BIGGEST problem, so what? The fact remains that O’Korn had a better game against Purdue than Speight has had against anyone for a long time. There is a very real chance that we’ll see a noticeable improvement in the offense with him as the starter. Even if the Oline is a bigger problem, there are no comparable substitutions we can make that have even a fleeting chance of improving our performance there. Same with RB, TE and WR…we’re putting the best we have out there already.

            • Comments: 539
              Joined: 9/13/2015
              michymich
              Sep 29, 2017 at 1:12 PM

              Yes.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 3611
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Sep 29, 2017 at 5:13 PM

              The problem here is the assumption that we’re putting the best guy out at every position except one. The somehow we have a difference-maker just sitting on the bench.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3611
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 29, 2017 at 5:06 PM

            It’s revisionist history to say that people are blaming every position. The bulk of the blame is on the QB. It should be on the OL.

            I’m not interested in digging through all the comments on here to point out the fact that people are blaming the QB far and above any other position for the offenses struggles. That should be obvious. Pick a post from the last month at random. The logic has gone: the QB is the most important position, therefore the QB gets the bulk of the blame.

            JE said something similar – “nobody is saying this” – and I pointed out a bunch of quotes from the post-Florida posts. These include you.

            The run game has been praised. The TEs have been praised. Our starting RB is a “difference maker”. etc. Now our backup QB is too…

            If I’m arguing against air why are so many jumping to disagreeing?

            • Comments: 2275
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Sep 29, 2017 at 5:22 PM

              It’s not revisionist history. Nobody is saying the whole thing is on Speight. I challenge you to find one comment where people say the whole blame for the offensive shortcomings falls on the shoulders of Speight. You’re not interested in digging through all the comments because you know it would be futile.

              People are jumping to disagree because your series of posts is bonkers. You’re making arguments up, and then you’re pretending that you’re the only sane person in the room.

              The QB is always going to get more credit when a team wins and more blame when a team loses, and that goes for the head coach, too. But “more” is not the equivalent of “100%.”

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 3611
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Sep 29, 2017 at 5:42 PM

              Speaking of making up arguments – who the hell said “100%”?

              I’ve never said the QB is the ONLY thing that is ever criticized, I am saying the QB is the primary thing that is criticized. Which is not “bonkers” but obviously true – if you read any post on here, the comments have been very heavily oriented to criticizing Speight.

              You seem to think this is fine, while at the same time arguing against me pointing it out or arguing against it.

              As to QB being the main problem — We don’t even have to talk about people in general – though we certainly can – we can just go back to your comments praising the run game against Florida, defending the OL, refusing to blame WRs for Speight’s INTs, praising Issac as a difference maker, etc.

              Tell me why I should bother digging through the comments? I agree it would be futile — but not because I couldn’t find them.

              • Comments: 682
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                WindyCityBlue
                Sep 29, 2017 at 6:17 PM

                Your backpedaling was anticipated. See my response above. 100% or not, it doesn’t matter.

              • Comments: 2275
                Joined: 7/13/2015
                Sep 29, 2017 at 8:03 PM

                When you say that some are insinuating Speight is THE problem, then that’s 100%. “The” is a definite article. It doesn’t mean “one of the” or “the primary.” It means “the one and only.” You said people were saying Speight was THE problem, and I don’t think you can back that up.

                You shouldn’t bother digging through the comments, because it would be a waste of your time in a futile effort. But you also shouldn’t be misrepresenting what has been said. If you’re going to misrepresent what has been said, then I think you should review the comments so you can see that you’re wrong.

              • Comments: 2275
                Joined: 7/13/2015
                Sep 29, 2017 at 8:18 PM

                LOL. Hmmm…well, Jim Harbaugh himself said that Speight needs to throw that ball (to Crawford) lower, which we’ve discussed. It’s a few weeks later, and you’re still not accepting that fact. If I say it and Jim Harbaugh says it, I don’t know why you’re trusting yourself in that assessment.

                Isaac HAS been a difference-maker. Without looking at the stats, he was averaging 2.5 yards/carry MORE than the next-best guy. If that’s not making a difference, then I don’t know what is…

                So on and so forth.

                Regardless, I’ve never said that Speight is THE problem. In fact, I think I’ve twice called for Onwenu to lose playing time to Jon Runyan in my awards posts. I don’t know how that equals absolving the OL from blame, but I guess you’re unable to recognize that.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3611
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 30, 2017 at 3:51 AM

                Ironic that I’m being accused of creating a strawman here.

                We all agree the offense has multiple issues. Even to those who put the troubles on the QB, I’ve never ascribed this extremist view of one single problem to them.

                I didn’t write THE PRIMARY PROBLEM nor did I write THE ONLY PROBLEM.

                What we’ve been debating on here for weeks now is what the biggest issue is. Shorthand – what is THE problem.

                • Comments: 2275
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Sep 30, 2017 at 7:46 AM

                  Look, if you say “the problem” when you don’t actually mean “the problem,” then that’s on you. You should probably say “Sorry, that’s not what I meant” rather than trying to continue to argue along that same path. That would save some confusion.

                  As for the argument about whether QB is the primary problem, I’m not convinced either way. Michigan was struggling on offense, in the red zone, in the passing game, etc. until O’Korn entered the Purdue game. Without the #1 WR target, with a banged up Ty Isaac, and with a guy who hadn’t been taking starter’s snaps, the offense took off. I don’t see how you can confidently imply “The offense took off because the OL made halftime adjustments,” but that seems to be what you’re saying.

                  In short, if you do the same thing over and over and over again and get the same results, but then you change one variable and the results swing wildly, then it should at least be considered that the one variable you changed was significant. Again, I haven’t seen anyone saying that O’Korn is the savior, but you yourself have said that Michigan should go with the hot hand here (O’Korn). If O’Korn is the hot hand, then it would seem to me that Speight was the cold hand. Funny how that works.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3611
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Oct 01, 2017 at 3:17 AM

                Score one for literal interpretation I guess, even though I’ve made my outlook be known “again and again”.

                Just because one thing is ‘hot’ doesn’t mean another is ‘cold’.

                It’s interesting that you’re happy to excuse Isaac’s terrible performance due to injury.

                I’m linking to the comments from the 5th year senior staring OC. You can ignore it if you want to and continue to blame the QB.

                Fact is the offense wasn’t any more productive in the first half than it had been the prior 2 weeks. As for the red zone stuff – everybody remotely aware of statistical variance was expecting a reversion to the mean.

                Here you sit saying no one is calling him a savior while giving him credit for the turnaround…
                “Michigan was struggling on offense, in the red zone, in the passing game, etc. until O’Korn entered ”

                Maybe you aren’t SAYING it, but you’re implying it again and again and again.

                • Comments: 2275
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Oct 01, 2017 at 10:23 AM

                  It’s a statement of fact regarding the red zone troubles. O’Korn being the “savior” would imply that all the offensive woes would disappear if he entered. That’s not the case. It’s quite a coincidence that Michigan would “revert to the mean” shortly after a QB change, but it’s possible.

                • Comments: 762
                  Joined: 1/19/2016
                  je93
                  Oct 01, 2017 at 12:13 PM

                  Anyone watching football knows speight wasn’t getting it done, and that–against purdue–JOK did

                  “everybody remotely aware of statistical variance… “

            • Comments: 762
              Joined: 1/19/2016
              je93
              Sep 29, 2017 at 9:23 PM

              The disagreement is in your exaggerated and ‘spun’ application of stats, and arguing feverishly that speight is good. I’ve actually said repeatedly that the continued debate on QB distracts from a large issue at OL

              “The bulk of the blame is on the QB. It should be on the OL”
              ” I’m arguing against air why are so many jumping to disagreeing?”

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3611
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 30, 2017 at 3:59 AM

                Spinning stats is claiming people who know them don’t watch games.

                No spin in saying Speight was good last year – he was 3rd team all conference. No spin needed to point out his ability to avoid turnover. No spin needed to say Michigan played a lot of tough defenses. This is all common sense stuff backed up by numbers.

                As is the fact the offense struggled this year. What’s up for debate is the critical factors of why.

                You have argued the biggest one is QB play – I don’t agree.

                • Comments: 762
                  Joined: 1/19/2016
                  je93
                  Sep 30, 2017 at 11:42 AM

                  It’s spin when, he was third–in a bad passing conference, mediocre nationally; it’s spin when he turned it over or played his worst in three games we lost
                  It’s just straight up wrong when you say he’s “fine” this year, but at the bottom of a still bad passing conference

                  “No spin in saying Speight was good last year – he was 3rd team all conference. No spin needed to point out his ability to avoid turnover. No spin needed to say Michigan played a lot of tough defenses. This is all common sense stuff backed up by numbers”

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3611
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Oct 01, 2017 at 3:21 AM

                  No spin in favorably comparing to Beathard or Rudock.

                  You can call the B10 weak if you want but OSU, PSU, and Iowa had quality QBs even if you refuse to include Speight.

                  It’s not spin to point out that turnovers happen against bad teams. It’s just reality and you can see it with the guys who are supposed to be elite QBs right now.

                • Comments: 762
                  Joined: 1/19/2016
                  je93
                  Oct 01, 2017 at 12:15 PM

                  Except, the elite guys do things to offset their mistakes. With Speight, we could only hope to return to mediocre, or pray that centralflorida/Maryland2016 can happen again

          • Comments: 762
            Joined: 1/19/2016
            je93
            Sep 29, 2017 at 9:17 PM

            Arguing against air is Lanknows favorite
            Dude has some pretty solid posts whenever he’s NOT bickering about nothing

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3611
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 29, 2017 at 11:58 AM

        What is PER defense? I’m not familiar with this.

        I’m using last year’s numbers because they are the best available info and generally there is decent correlation year to year for programs. S&P and FEI doesn’t update till week 7 because of sample size issues.

        • Comments: 2275
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Sep 29, 2017 at 12:21 PM

          You’ve asked this same question before, and I’ve answered it: Passing Efficiency Rating.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3611
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 29, 2017 at 5:07 PM

            I didn’t realize that was a defensive stat. Where is this listed? I googled and could not find.

            • Comments: 2275
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Sep 29, 2017 at 5:13 PM

              CFBstats.com

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3611
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Sep 29, 2017 at 5:50 PM

                I believe you that it’s somewhere on there. I can’t find it though.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3611
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 29, 2017 at 12:00 PM

        I’m pretty confident in predicting that the Florida D will be a helluva lot better than the Purdue D when it’s all said and done. I don’t feel like that’s going out on any sort of limb.

        • Comments: 2275
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Sep 29, 2017 at 12:17 PM

          Yep, as I would expect – I gave you 3 examples, and you (kind of) refuted one based on a prediction, rather than any statistics. That’s an argument, but not a great one at this point.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3611
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 29, 2017 at 5:27 PM

            You calling my argument that Florida D is significantly better than Purdue D not very good is about as defensible as the time you called Denard Robinson not a good QB.

            • Comments: 2275
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Sep 29, 2017 at 8:09 PM

              Do you feel that draft? That’s from the point going completely over your head.

              The point is that I gave you 3 data points, and you refuted just 1 of those. And that lone refutation was a prediction for the upcoming portion of the season based on what happened last year. I’ll give you 50% credit for saying Florida’s defense will be better than Purdue’s this year (because duh), but there are still 2 data points – and that other pesky 50% due to uncertainty – that you’re ignoring.

            • Comments: 2275
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Sep 29, 2017 at 8:25 PM

              P.S. If Denard Robinson were a good QB, somebody would have given him a shot at QB in the NFL. The Dolphins even gave noodle-armed Pat White a shot at QB. Denard Robinson? No chance whatsoever to play QB, and he ended up as a mediocre RB for a few years. He had 5 TDs and 6 lost fumbles on 263 career rushing attempts and was 0/2 on halfback passes during his NFL stint. Feel free to argue that he was a good QB, but I’ll let him NFL GMs speak for my side of the argument.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3611
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Oct 01, 2017 at 11:49 PM

                The list of good to excellent college QBs who had zero success in the NFL is very long.

                • Comments: 762
                  Joined: 1/19/2016
                  je93
                  Oct 02, 2017 at 12:48 AM

                  NFL? All I want is to win now. Pro football success is of little importance to me

                • Comments: 2275
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Oct 02, 2017 at 7:35 AM

                  Right…and yet tons of them got opportunities to play QB in the NFL. Not so for Denard Robinson. NFL teams didn’t even waste their time.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3611
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Oct 02, 2017 at 9:57 AM

                  Well, he was a better runner than thrower so RB makes sense at the next level. Still a helluva college QB – one of the greatest Michigan’s ever had.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3611
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Oct 02, 2017 at 10:02 AM

                  @JE – I agree 100%.

                  Still – The NFL can be a useful indicator of overall ability. To me it’s more often an indicator that a guy was misused or underused (e.g., Patrick Omameh, Devin Funchess, Thunder’s opinion on Mix Cox – which I disagree with – but his point about talent is strengthened by,).

                  I do think there are great college players (Robinson, Gallon) who get no NFL attention (at their college position) simply because the talent level and game are different — but that doesn’t change how effective they were in the college game.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 3611
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Sep 30, 2017 at 4:02 AM

              Here’s all 3:

              http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/feidef2016

              I gave the most egregious example to illustrate the point. I’ve tried giving a lot of numbers on here and it doesn’t seem to work, so I tried to keep it simple for you.

              • Comments: 2275
                Joined: 7/13/2015
                Sep 30, 2017 at 7:36 AM

                Right…and your stats come from last year. Granted, FEI isn’t available for this year, but Air Force improved from #82 to #40 from 2015 to 2016. Michigan improved from #26 to #8 in that same time. So pointing to last year’s stats and saying, “Here’s the smoking gun, so I win” might not be as convincing as you think.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3611
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Oct 01, 2017 at 3:25 AM

                Yeah…the whole point of the debate is that the first 3 weeks or whatever aren’t reliable.

                Just look at Speight’s stats last year through 3 games.

                I’m not sure what I’m missing here to point you to the obvious flaws in this approach. Nobody is saying 2016 is the end all be all but at this point it’s still highly meaningful data.

                • Comments: 2275
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Oct 01, 2017 at 10:26 AM

                  Sure, it’s meaningful – and so is 2017 data.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3611
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Oct 01, 2017 at 11:42 PM

                No one said it wasn’t.

                But raw stats don’t take into account the big picture.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3611
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Sep 29, 2017 at 5:25 PM

          I’m giving you a specific example to illustrate the point. The 2017 season is still too young to draw statistical conclusions using S&P and FEI – two advanced stats I am familiar with and are pretty battle-tested in my experience.

          Everything right now is either raw (not adjusted for level of competition, which is HIGHLY variable this early in the year) or it uses 2016 data to fill in the blanks.

          Purdue has one of the worst defenses in the country in 2016. Florida one of the best. Maybe that’s flipped in 2017 but I doubt it – and so do you if you’re not being obtuse.

          I’m struggling to even find the defensive stat you are talking about online and have no idea what goes into it.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3611
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 29, 2017 at 5:48 PM

        I’m not discrediting O’Korn. I’m discrediting the people who think O’Korn is a difference-maker.

        O’Korn is fine. He’s a good backup. If he beats out Speight he’ll probably be a solid starter – because Speight is that, and if we have somebody better that’s good.

        I’m the guy who repeatedly told the nutters to not count O’Korn out before they inserted Peters into the starting lineup. So it’s ironic that those same people – whose thirst for better offense led them to put all their hopes in our 4th string QB – are now calling me crazy for saying the same thing I said then —

        slow your roll on the hype based on one game.

        Last time it was the spring game. Now it’s Purdue.

        • Comments: 682
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Sep 29, 2017 at 6:16 PM

          Now you’re making shit up again. Point us to where anyone called O’Korn a “difference maker”. You can’t, and everyone knows it.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3611
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 30, 2017 at 4:03 AM

            “There is a very real chance that we’ll see a noticeable improvement in the offense with him as the starter. “

            • Comments: 539
              Joined: 9/13/2015
              michymich
              Sep 30, 2017 at 3:24 PM

              LK, I think that is reaching. Calling someone a difference maker and saying that we will see a noticeable improvement in the offense is really saying that the qb play will be better because Speight was more mediocre and JOK might be good or noticeably better. A difference maker in my mind means a really good player. I haven’t seen that yet at the qb position. Bush is a difference maker. Winovich is a difference maker as is Hurst. I wouldn’t call Evans a difference maker but if he plays well, he will make a noticeable difference in the running game.

              I think people (almost everyone I have read) is saying JOK might make an improvement at the qb position as he did in the PU game. We will see. I don’t expect a difference maker but an improvement at the qb position to offset some other flaws on offense. I think I speak for everyone on the board except for you.

              By the way I support JOK coming off the bench or whatever Harbaugh wants but I’d personally go with JOK until proven otherwise because of what I have seen over the past 6-7 games. I can’t tell you how it will all shake out but I am willing to give it a look.

              Still luv ya LK.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 3611
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Oct 01, 2017 at 3:26 AM

              noticeable improvement = a difference

              the player who creates it = the maker

  4. Comments: 539
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Sep 29, 2017 at 12:38 PM

    Speaking of defense and going off topic, the defense is definitely going to take a step back next year. Enjoy this year but next year losing Hurst, Mone, Winovich and especially losing McCray and Furbush is going to be very difficult to replace. Seems like the middle of the defense is going to be gutted.

    I am guilty of not appreciating Winovich. Furbush is a major contributor who doesn’t even get acknowledged by fans. McCray is rock solid and is overlooked because Bush is so darn good at making great plays that who are going to replace these guys? They are the foundation of this defense, not Gary and Bush.

    I thought this defense was going to be good and surprise people before the season started. I believe next year is the real transition year on the defense. Not saying the defense won’t be good but the first real step back.

    Yes, I am early on the pessimism but how many times can you talk about JOK and Speight? Thought I’d throw a curveball.

    • Comments: 682
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Sep 29, 2017 at 12:53 PM

      Except we don’t lose Furbush, Mone or Winovich. All of those guys are RS juniors. They’ll all be back, unless Winovich leaves early.

      So now what’s your take on our D next year?

      • Comments: 539
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Sep 29, 2017 at 1:13 PM

        I stand corrected. I looked up Winovich as the site Sr. but these guys must be younger. I now back track.

        • Comments: 682
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Sep 29, 2017 at 1:16 PM

          Hey, it’s Xmas in September!

  5. Comments: 539
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Sep 29, 2017 at 1:21 PM

    I feel much better. I would assume Winovich comes back. You are right, my perspective is much brighter. No significant step except in replacing McCray. Anybody as good? Hurst will be a loss but only losing one guy is something Brown/Mattison can deal with.

    It is Christmas and Thanksgiving too. You made my day WCB.

  6. Comments: 169
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Sep 29, 2017 at 10:47 PM

    Sheesh! You’ld think Michigan was 1-3 or something similar.
    There is a big picture issue here that needs to at least be mentioned:
    Starter QB vs backup QB.
    The starter is the Number 1 QB designated (by Coach)
    The Backup is the Number 2 QB……….

    To my knowledge Sp8 is still the ‘Starter’ as I’ve not heard any different from HC. Even if JOK starts the MSU game he’s still the Backup fulfilling his job function for backing up Sp8 as Starter due to Sp8’s injury.

    Also, I’m not going to pretend to know Harbaugh’s overall season long QB strategy in utilizing Sp8 or JOK. There maybe extenuating nuances – idk. i.e – seems as tho the chances of any Starting QB lasting the entire season are remote and it hasn’t happened yet under Harbaugh. Therefore whoever is Backup has a very crucial roll as its only a matter of time when the Backup will NEED to fill in for Starter. Harbaugh MUST know this I would think; therefore its possible to think (all other things being essentially =) that Sp8 may have in fact been named ‘Starter’ to be used as best available ‘cannon fodder’ only if because he is so much bigger of a guy than JOK and therefore able to – one would think – absorb more punishmentent; again idk.

    JOK certainly played better than Sp8 vs Purdue – frankly I don’t think Sp8 has played well going way back to last season yet JOK has never been named Starter but always as No 1 Backup. Frankly I don’t know why Harbaugh would think he needs to alter this as he doesn’t givashit about ‘depth charts’ anyway.

    JOK did his job, admirably as Backup – to come off the bench and lead the Team to victory when called upon to do so. Should he then be ‘promoted’ to being Starter vs starter as Backup?

    America has a way of promoting people who succeed until they are promoted to a position they are no longer successful at and then that is where they remain rather than returning to their previous position of success……..
    I hope this is not JOK’s future but that he stays successful. If that means coming out of the bullpen and as long as Michigan keeps winning; I’m good with it.

    Either way its Harbaugh’s decision who takes the snap and I’m good with that.
    INTJohn

  7. Comments: 539
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Sep 30, 2017 at 3:35 PM

    Here is another off topic issue.

    Which guy on this team has overachieve so far in YOUR mind and which guy has underachieved in YOUR mind. No right or wrong answer. No Speight is allowed.

    Winovich is a stud. Way better than I realized. My bad. Bush is also much better than I could imagine. Tough baller. I have yet to see him take on bigger blockers while trying to run downhill but still impressive. My bad again. I had a gut feeling McKeon would be good but Gentry is a big time stud. Big, runs fast, good hands and elusive. Star.

    Bunting has underachieved but again it’s more that guys are just better than him. K. Hill a little but again just passed by better options. Crawford. I think he is very talented but he has disappointed. Onwenu but probably to be expected as he is young. Maybe the entire OL?

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3611
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Oct 01, 2017 at 3:51 AM

      IMO (I suddenly feel the need to state that my opinions are opinions to meet the quota for being literal) the Overacheivers are:

      Isaac. He played a helluva game against Florida and the coaches are figuring out how to play to his strengths and limitations, but his career is filled with low success rate in tough situations. In his defense, this isn’t the kind of OL that he needs. Still the big challenge for him is to make it through the season. His first 3 years ended up in a transfer back home, benched, and benched again.

      McKeon and Gentry go here too. Kugler too, he appears to be following the Jack Miller career arc pretty closely.

      Defensively I want to say Long and Hill but I think that a)they haven’t really been tested by any QB/WR combo yet and b) expectations were affected dramatically by Zordich’s harsh comments late in camp. In January we all thought these guys could potentially do what they’re doing.

      So the defensive overacheiver has to be Furbush, at least if you take into account his huge role. He seemed to be tracking to a bigger role but no one knew where that position/opportunity might be. Turns out it was a scheme change literally nobody predicted or expected.

      Oh – and one more offensive guy — Poggi. He looks noticeably slimmed down and far more effective to me.

      • Comments: 2275
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Oct 01, 2017 at 10:31 AM

        I agree on Poggi. I did a double-take when I first saw him this year. He looked like an actual fullback rather than a TE/DE lined up in the backfield.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3611
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Oct 01, 2017 at 4:00 AM

      Underachievers:

      Speight’s the highest profile one but the biggest is Bunting. He was supposed to step right in for Butt but instead he’s getting passed by younger and more raw players. Wheately would seem to be on here too if playing time is any indication.

      Crawford isn’t far behind Bunting.

      Evans lost his starting job, but looks like he should get it back and like the other backs is constrained by the OL.

      More generally – too many fumbles. That should go away but we miss Smith’s security.

      The OL is probably an answer for many but I think it took a maize-colored glasses view to expect improvement. It’s gone as bad as expected, though I can see perhaps the run game consistency being a little worse than thought.

      Defense: Mone I guess but his flip with Furbush seems to be 1 for 1 and I don’t think Don Brown has ever made clear what the motivation was.

      Punt game is a big one, though I think you can argue we should have seen it coming when a walk-on and true freshman are competing.

      • Comments: 2275
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Oct 01, 2017 at 10:30 AM

        I don’t really agree about Bunting. We didn’t really know what we would get from Bunting, and other guys are producing. Is he underachieving, or are other guys overachieving? Considering Gentry’s emergence as a matchup issue and McKeon’s breakout game against Purdue (5 catches, 82 yards), it might be more on those other guys than any dropoff from Bunting.

        Crawford is WELL behind Bunting. I believe I read a stat the other day that Crawford had been targeted 21 times this season and only has 7 catches. Yikes.

        Wheatley has been injured.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3611
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Oct 01, 2017 at 11:34 PM

          I was expecting a complete 2-way TE in Bunting. The likes of which we haven’t seen since probably…Koger?

          I take your point that there is a positive spin here. McKeon and Gentry developing is great, but I still don’t think they would/should be playing so much if Bunting was on track.

          TE blocking remains less than ideal. Typically you expect vets (Bunting) and bigger guys (Wheatley) to excel here more than skinny young guys. Wheatley has been healthy enough to play.

          Hopes were high for Crawford but we knew there were a lot of candidates at WR. Not a defense of Crawford – who has been flat out bad IMO – just a recognition that uncertainty was high.

          • Comments: 2275
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Oct 02, 2017 at 7:33 AM

            Wheatley has been in and out of a cast, and he missed the Air Force game. He might be healthy after the bye week, but he’s been injured.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 3611
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Oct 02, 2017 at 9:56 AM

              OK, I think I forgot he was out for AF.

      • Comments: 682
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Oct 02, 2017 at 7:16 AM

        Add McDoom in as an underachiever. He’s one of the receivers who has significant game experience from last year, and he has yet to make an impact play this season. 2 catches for 14 yards and 3 carries for 10 yards in 4 games is a disappointing showing for him.

        • Comments: 2275
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Oct 02, 2017 at 7:36 AM

          I’m wary of labeling McDoom an underachiever, because he hasn’t been given opportunities. He’s not on the field as much as he should be (IMO), and they’re not really getting him the ball when he is. I would like to see some of Crawford’s 21 targets go McDoom’s way.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3611
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Oct 02, 2017 at 9:40 AM

          The “he hasn’t gotten opportunities” argument sort of pretends like practice doesn’t exist. If McDoom is far enough behind Crawford to barely play it seem strange to call Crawford disappointing and not McDoom.

          • Comments: 2275
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Oct 02, 2017 at 10:00 AM

            Well, okay, but Crawford is wearing the #1 jersey and is a starter. The expectations are therefore higher. Practice does exist – which is why catching 7 out of 21 targets is especially terrible. If he’s getting all the starter’s reps and is still that bad, then maybe McDoom (or someone else) should be getting those reps instead.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3611
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Oct 02, 2017 at 9:48 AM

          Wasn’t it you WCB who argued we lacked any WR experience this offseason because they caught so few balls last year? Now you’re saying his experience last year was significant.

          FWIW I agree on Mcdoom. I thought he might be a starter and at least an important playmaker in special teams, screens, reverses, etc. Even his YPC is down this year, albeit on way too few carries to be meaningful. The biggest concern – Schonle seems to be taking snaps that could be his.

          That said, the entire WR situation was uncertain so it’s a little hard to be disappointed in any one guy when you’re basically throwing out a bunch of unkowns, even talented ones. Black and DPJ are keeping people on the bench. Crawford has talent and is getting open enough to be targeted frequently. Perry has looked great. etc.

          Overall I think WR play has been about as expected – up and down.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3611
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Oct 02, 2017 at 3:45 PM

          I wonder if McDoom isn’t making some poor route decisions.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR8-bsYeazg

          The UFR puts this on a bad throw by Speight. If so – it’s an awful one, even with pressure coming. That’s certainly a possible explanation but it looks to me like as Speight is releasing he expects McDoom to run the route to the inside but McDoom goes outside instead. This ball isn’t sailing it’s thrown to the wrong spot.

          Brian says McDoom ” Evaporated for some reason.” and I suspect that ‘some reason’ might be running the wrong route. This was his only target of the game (I don’t know if he played after this).

          That may be the kind of thing that’s keeping him off the field in favor of Crawford, Schonle and company.

          Sidenote: Note that McDoom is outside WR here, and that Perry has been playing a decent amount of outside WR, as has Shoenle. The ‘slot’ designations continues to be vaguely useful at best.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3611
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Oct 02, 2017 at 3:53 PM

            Or maybe it’s just a bad route, not a bad route decision. It looks like Crawford is running the exact same route opposite McDoom and he ends up maybe a step outside from where he lines up (below the yard number). McDoom ends up a couple yards further out.

            Either way Speight is releasing before the cut is made and it looks like he is trying to throw it a lot closer to the hash, straight away from where McDoom lined up.

    • Comments: 762
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Oct 01, 2017 at 12:24 PM

      This could be its own thread:
      OVERACHIEVED
      Bush. I thought we’d be good here, but daaang…
      Gentry & McKeon
      Nordin. See Bush

      UNDERACHIEVED
      speight. I know you said not to, but this couldn’t have gone worse for him
      Evans. Not just the fumbles, but looks like he’s trying to be something he’s not
      Crawford? I just want to see ONE big play. His QBs aren’t good enough to do this without help

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3611
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Oct 01, 2017 at 11:38 PM

        Nordin! Not sure how I forgot to mention him.

        I think losing to Florida or Air Force is one way things could have gone worse for Speight, but yes a season-ending injury is very awful for him, and the team.

        • Comments: 762
          Joined: 1/19/2016
          je93
          Oct 02, 2017 at 12:57 AM

          Playing poorly and then suffering an injury that may cost him the season is worse than losing to Florida
          Crawford’s big TD was good, but credit is split between him & speight. When I say BIG (all caps) I mean, come down with that highly-thrown pick6… Or make something out of one of the other bad passes that have been thrown

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3611
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Oct 02, 2017 at 9:49 AM

            I disagree. Ultimately it’s the W that matters most.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3611
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Oct 01, 2017 at 11:41 PM

        Why does Crawford’s 43 yard TD catch not count as a big play?

        • Comments: 2275
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Oct 02, 2017 at 7:34 AM

          Crawford’s 43-yard TD catch does count as a big play, but he was wide open. Credit to him for getting wide open, but he hasn’t made any outstanding catches, had any noteworthy catch-and-run plays, etc. He has been average to poor in the passing game.

          • Comments: 762
            Joined: 1/19/2016
            je93
            Oct 02, 2017 at 9:10 AM

            Yeah, what he said

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3611
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Oct 02, 2017 at 9:55 AM

            Yes, poor overall, I would say. But JE said he hasn’t made a single big play and I disagree with that. To me a 43 yard TD is a big play. Speight’s throw was nothing special or difficult. Crawford was wide open. If you want to credit somebody for that one and you can’t credit Crawford – then give it to the OL for excellent protection on that play – a rarity this season.

            Getting open is the most important thing a WR can do. I think while Crawford has played poorly overall, his ability to get open is the one good thing, along with blocking, that’s earning him more snaps than any other WR.

            • Comments: 2275
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Oct 02, 2017 at 10:05 AM

              Oddly enough, we recently had this discussion on our staff. We’ve got a guy who can get open and block, but he can’t catch the ball. One coach wanted to put him out there in a third down spread package, which doesn’t make any sense. I’d rather put a guy out there who maybe can’t get the same separation but who will catch the ball if the QB gets it there.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3611
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Oct 02, 2017 at 4:06 PM

                If he can’t catch he can’t be a WR. I would side with you here. That’s just a basic prerequisite to being a WR.

                I don’t think that’s the problem for Crawford. His problem is fighting through contact, snatching the ball, etc. The one-on-one physicality of the position. This is what gallon excelled at despite having little size and meh speed. Hemingway too. Going further back: Howard, Kolesar — these guys went and got the ball. Crawford’s not doing that at all.

You must belogged in to post a comment.