Michigan vs. BYU Awards

Michigan vs. BYU Awards

September 28, 2015

Jake Rudock

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Ty Isaac. Starter De’Veon Smith had a very good game (16 carries, 125 yards, 1 touchdown) on Saturday, but then he went down with a right foot injury. The nature of the injury is unknown at this point, but he came back to the sideline in a walking boot for the end of the game. If he does have a boo-boo that will keep him out for next week’s game against Maryland or more, Isaac needs more carries. After an 8-carry, 114-yard game against UNLV, he got just 2 carries for 9 yards against BYU. Even after Smith was injured, Derrick Green (10 carries, 28 yards) got the bulk of the touches.

Hit the jump for the rest of the awards.

Let’s see less of this guy on offense . . . referees throwing flags on Graham Glasgow. Glasgow picked up yet another flag for a false start, further cementing himself as the most penalty-prone center I remember in Michigan history. He’s the best center Michigan has to offer right now, but you have to think it’s not his best position after all of his false starts and bad snaps over the years.

Let’s see more of this guy on defense . . . Maurice Hurst, Jr. This guy have been making a name for himself over the past couple weeks. He had 2 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack, and 1 quarterback hurry on Saturday. He now leads the team with 2 sacks on the year. Starting nose tackle Ryan Glasgow also had a good game and has looked improved from last year, but Hurst is quick and should earn some more snaps as the season goes.

Let’s see less of this guy on defense . . . Willie Henry at defensive end. I’m nit-picking here, and overall, Michigan has a very good defense. What I don’t like about Henry playing defensive end is that it prevents him from being a huge factor in some ways, and he also lacks the speed to be an edge rusher. I hope that Michigan can develop and recruit some better athletes at defensive end, so someone like Henry doesn’t have to play there. I think he could potentially be a standout defensive tackle with his size and athleticism, but he’s not going to earn the recognition he’ll deserve if he’s a 3-4 defensive end for the rest of his career. Unfortunately, Brady Hoke didn’t recruit the defensive end position very well, so Michigan has an entire defensive line made up of defensive tackles, Mario Ojemudia, and Taco Charlton.

Play of the game #1. I can’t pick between this one and the next one. The first great play of the game was a fade thrown from Jake Rudock to wide receiver Amara Darboh. Cornerback Micah Hanneman had pretty good position, so Rudock threw it where only Darboh could get it, which he did. Darboh turned back to the ball, leaped, snagged it with his right hand, and secured it with his left as he fell to the ground.

Play of the game #2. I replayed this play a dozen times, and I just couldn’t figure it out. De’Veon Smith took a handoff at his own 40-yard line and slammed into the line of scrimmage, where he seemed to have been swallowed up by a sea of BYU players. Suddenly he popped out on the other side of the pile, got caught by safety Michael Davis, fought off Davis, fought off Davis again, spun around, and waltzed into the endzone. Only after a replay from a different angle did I finally see how Smith made his way through, which made it look like everyone was playing London Bridge is Falling Down as he crawled through, using his right hand for balance.

Player of the game . . . Jake Rudock. Darboh and Smith had great individual plays, and Smith put up good numbers, but his only standout play was that 60-yarder. Meanwhile, Rudock was steady throughout the game, didn’t turn over the ball, and mostly made good decisions. He also continued to show some decent mobility, rushing for 33 yards and 2 touchdowns on the day. He finished the game 14/25 for 194 yards, 1 touchdown, and 0 interceptions, plus 10 carries for 33 yards and 2 scores. There are a couple plays I’m sure he would like to have back, but he did plenty to win the game.


  1. Comments: 1356
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Sep 28, 2015 at 7:40 AM

    Yeah, Smith’s run was crazy. I put a no kidding 15 minutes into the thing trying to figure out how the BYU kid ended up turned the wrong way just as Smith hit. That might be one of the very few times in this life where being slow to the hole is a good thing.

    Anyway, it made me think of one of my all time favorite vid’s. Bo explaining Michigan’s D line technique as it was practiced in the day.


  2. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Sep 28, 2015 at 11:59 AM

    Ha. Points for consistency!

    Well, it is pretty hard to call for change when the team dominates a quality opponent.

    Not clear to me if you WANT Smith to be out for a while (to give Isaac his shot) or if you’re just saying saying “if Smith is out”, then Isaac should play more than Green and Johnson.

    Besides “none”, I think “lets see more of” is Stribling on D. Seemed like BYU targeted Stribling and he stepped up majorly. Not that Clark played bad either, but Stribling seems to be locking down that spot.

    My “lets see more of” on O is … Ty Isaac. He got used nicely on the Rudock TD run and I’d like to see more of it. I think he’s got the best potential as a 3rd down back, so it’s just a matter of getting blocking down. No big deal right? Probably a big deal. Still, that’s his best way to get on the field on this team IMO. I’d like to see him do it.

    My other LSMO on O is Hill – who is finally starting to look healthy. I like his 2-way potential as I think he’s more of receiving threat than Poggi or Williams and a better blocker than Bunting.

    Less of – nobody I guess. O’Neill made a dubious decision to go for it on 4th, but he was close and I like that he has the option to make a decision like that. It was a low risk spot for him to take the chance.

    • Comments: 3844
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Sep 28, 2015 at 1:01 PM

      As I said, *if* Smith is going to miss time, I think Isaac deserves a shot.

      Stribling was fine. He’s just not a playmaker. He has improved since weeks one and two, so I’ll give him credit for that. But I’m not convinced that he’s superior to Jeremy Clark. Clark has looked good the past few weeks, too.

      • Comments: 6285
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Sep 28, 2015 at 2:52 PM

        I don’t really agree with you, but it’s hard to argue the point when he let the INT slip through his fingers. I think he catches that ball 9 out of 10 times, and he has more INTs than Peppers or Lewis on the year…

        But it’s beside the point. I’m a lot less concerned with “playmaking” than I am coverage. Stribling has been locking guys down. Clarks been good too, but I have no reason to think the coaches are wrong or that Clark is some sort of turnover-inducing superstud.

        • Comments: 3844
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Sep 28, 2015 at 9:39 PM

          I mean, you’re the one saying we need to see more of Stribling. I don’t really even know what that means. Again, I think you’re trying to stir the pot. And I disagree that Stribling would catch that ball “9 out of 10 times” because we’ve seen him miss picks before, including against Penn State as a freshman, potentially against Oregon State earlier this year, etc. He did catch a poorly thrown post route against UNLV, and I’ll give him credit for making a play on the ball, but I don’t see how you can say he’d catch that ball 90% of the time when he has 1 pick and numerous missed opportunities.

          • Comments: 6285
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Sep 29, 2015 at 12:04 PM

            Ha. I hope you appreciate the irony of calling for more Ty Isaac based on UNLV while implying the pass rush success against BYU isn’t meaningful because of the level of competition.

            When I talk about Smith and Stribling establishing themselves as starters — I don’t think that’s “stirring the pot”, so much as recognizing that positions we were unsure about in the offseason have stabilized with excellent play.

            The goals of the season aren’t to get a pass rush against MSU, to average a lot of YPC, or to get a lot of INTs. They are to win games. A big part of that is a RB who can block and who consistently moves the ball forward, even when the blocking doesn’t hand him yards. A big part of that is CBs who lock down on WRs so tight the QB doesn’t even throw it. Part of that is DLmen who shut down the run game and eat up blockers. Not everything is going to show up nicely in a statistic. There is more to football than highlights, as you well know, but when it comes to statistics that seems to be what you want to see.

            Anyway: Stribling has more INTs than Lewis or Peppers on the year! Are those guys lacking in playmaking ability? No – of course not. Have they been beat more often than Stribling? yes, they have. If you’re going off playmaker stats: Clark and Stribling should start over Lewis. If you’re going off locking guys down: Stribling and Lewis should start over Clark and Peppers.

            The DL has generated pass rush every game. Would it somehow be better if Wormley was getting his sacks from DE instead of DT and Henry from DT instead of DE? I don’t think so. BYU is a good team that Michigan dominated. Utah is a good team that our DEs had two sacks against and our projected DE (moved to DT) had 3 TFLs in and our DT (moved to DE) had another TFL.

            I get that you don’t want to just leave the column blank, but resorting to reasserting offseason opinions – when the team in front of you is doing things that disprove them becomes silly at some point.

            I have a lot of offseason opinions and guesses that I’ve moved on from: I thought the freshman DE/Bucks would play, I thought Harris/Canteen would unseat Chesson or Darboh, I thought Derrick Green would emerge from the RB pack as the best all-around back, I thought Andrew David would be our kicker. But I’m not calling for those guys to play anymore. They are backups and I don’t doubt that the staff has made the right calls because the starters are playing well.

            Stribling has been really good. He should play more than Clark (and he does). He should play more than our LBs too – because he’s better at his position than they are at theirs. So maybe I should have said Michigan needs to play even more dime and nickel to be more clear, or maybe I should have said they should rotate the 2nd corner spot less often. It’s simplier to just say Stribling should play more, because he has been very good.

            You, of course, are entitled to your opinion. You can doubt Henry’s ability, Stribling’s, and Smith’s all you want. These guys just keep playing well though. It’s one thing against UNLV and Oregon State and another against BYU and Utah. MSU MIGHT be tougher. OSU almost certainly will be. But we are playing our best guys RIGHT NOW and IMO I don’t see any reason to pine for the success of offseason guesses. Kenny Allen may miss 2 kicks next week, but it won’t mean Andrew David should play more.

          • Comments: 3844
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Sep 29, 2015 at 1:36 PM

            Nice try on Isaac and Henry vs. lesser competition, but I’m not calling for Isaac based on what he did against UNLV. I’ve been calling for him to play all along, well before UNLV.

            If I’m going off playmaker stats, Lewis has batted down 6 balls this season (IIRC) while Stribling has 2 pass breakups and 1 interception. That’s not an open-and-shut case by any stretch.

            I’ve moved away from some off-season expectations, too (Seychel will be the placekicker, Watson will beat out Stribling, etc.), but that doesn’t mean that all of those off-season expectations need to be shelved.

          • Comments: 6285
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Sep 29, 2015 at 2:51 PM

            Yeah true. Didn’t mean to imply otherwise. You’ve been on Isaac for over a year. But the argument for him (at least when you use YPC to rationalize it) is based heavily on UNLV and/or at USC against bad competition. Either context matters or it doesn’t.

            A PBU is not a playmaker stat. A PBU means you left your guy open enough to be targeted. A PBU is not better than “I covered this guy” so the QB didn’t throw it to him. A PBU is not better than a ball thrown out of bounds intentionally or a coverage sack. Just because we don’t have a publicly avaialbe stat for “covered his guy” doesn’t mean that PBU corresponds to coverage ability.

            By no means do I think Stribling is better than Lewis (though with that height he could get there…) My point is that by the measures you are trying to apply can lead to making that kind of spurious conclusion.

            Playmaking is an important aspect of DB play. You’ll forgive a guy who gets beat a few times more often than another if he also steals a few more balls away from WRs. But some guys who don’t get INTs but instead just consistently lock down their man (i.e., don’t get beat) are just as, if not more, valuable. Thats Lewis and Stribling.

            Peppers is valuable because he is hard to block, decisive, and great at open field tackles. Wilson is valuable because he is reliable and consistent. Lewis and Stribling are valuable because they lock down coverage guys who can jam WRs at the line. Outside of Peppers, none of these guys are ‘playmakers’ in any way that can be meaningfully measured. And that’s just fine.

          • Comments: 3844
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Sep 30, 2015 at 8:24 AM

            “A PBU means you left your guy open enough to be targeted.”

            I don’t even know what to do with that statement. Quarterbacks throw the football to receivers; that’s their job. It’s a defensive back’s job to knock it down (or intercept it) if they can. If you look at All-American defensive backs and pass breakups, there’s a correlation:

            Vernon Hargreaves III was #12 nationally.
            Jalen Ramsey was #25.
            Kurtis Drummond was #33.
            Ifo Ekpre-Olumu was #70.

            Senquez Golson had 10 picks and 8 breakups.
            Gerod Holliman had 14 picks and 3 breakups.

            Elsewhere, Kendall Fuller tied for #6 and is a potential 1st round pick. Eric Rowe tied for #12 nationally and was a 2nd round pick.

            There are about 260 starting cornerbacks in college football, but somehow the best ones just happen to be pretty good at knocking down passes (or intercepting them), right? I guess Deion Sanders was such a good cornerback because he was a bad cover guy and allowed his guy to get targeted so much…

            There’s not much of a difference between a pass breakup and an interception. In both cases, the guy who makes the INT/PBU has been “targeted” most of the time. It’s just that some guys have the ability to do something about it, and some guys don’t. Stribling has not shown a great ability to do something about it.

          • Comments: 6285
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Sep 30, 2015 at 8:48 AM

            The difference between a pass breakup and an interception is: playmaking.

          • Comments: 3844
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Sep 30, 2015 at 9:01 AM

            So if you lead the country in passes batted down, you’re not a playmaker? Oregon’s Troy Hill had 18 pass breakups, but only 1 interception, so I guess he wasn’t a good corner. All he did was help his team get to the national championship game and get named All-Pac 12 Second Team. And Justis Nelson, who was #5 nationally with 16 pass breakups, didn’t make any plays last year?

          • Comments: 6285
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Sep 30, 2015 at 12:00 PM

            The correlation is very very weak.

            The NFL’s PBU leader last year was Bradley Fletcher. Bill Barnwell of Grantland called him “2014’s most conspicuously bad cornerback “. A lot of CBs made his list of top 100 NFL players…Fletcher wasn’t one of them, obviously.


            Barnwell’s well respected but he’s just one guy. However, there’s a bit of across-the-board consensus in the NFL about who is considered to be the best CBs in the league: Sherman and Revis.

            Those two ranked 16 and 81 (!) last year in PBUs and together are even lower in 2015.



            For some good corners PBU are going to show up (e.g., Vontae Davis seems to get a lot). For others they are not. Some bad corners are going to get a bunch of PBUs. Others are not.

            It’s not a great, or even a good, indicator of CB play.

            For INTs, at least there you can argue that they are an indicator of one element of playing CB: playmaking. For PBUs you can’t even argue that.

            And — like with INT’s, it’s still a high variance event. A CB plays a lot of snaps but it’s not typicall for a good CB to get even 2 PBUs in a single game. It’s a bit like measuring RBs by TDs or QBs by INTs. It’ll tell you something about usage, but it won’t tell you much about who the best player is.

            The NFL’s leading INT guys have 2. It’s a 13 way tie and I’m not sure that any of the league leaders are elite players. PBUs are more frequent, but still – through 3 games, there’s only 16 guys in the entire LEAGUE with more than 3.


            The point in all this:

            We’re all entitled to our opinions and two reasonable people can watch a fast-moving sport and see two different things. But when the numbers are so unrepresentative of what you are trying to assert it only serves to undermine your opinion.

            It’s hard to argue “look at that guy’s lack of INTs, he’s not very good” when the best CB on the team (quite clearly) has none. Lewis and Stribling have gotten very few INTs so far, and I’d take them both over Blake Countess, who got a ton of love for his high INTs in 2013. Same concept applies for PBUs. Some concept goes for other positions.

            If you go back through the last 20 years of RB YPC you can make same pretty ridiculous conclusions about who the better RBs are if you don’t consider context. To wit – Vincent Smith’s YPC in 2009 and 2011 were awesome and either led the team or close to it. In 2010 and 2012 they were terrible. Same guy. What changed was the context – his situational use, his blocking, etc.

            YPC is a FAR better stat than INT or PBUs though…for one simple reason: sample size. It’s not perfect but it’s a reasonable data point as part of an argument ONCE YOU HAVE ENOUGH (meaningful) DATA. 18 carries for Isaac isn’t that, especially when you remove the UNLV and decided-game stuff.

          • Comments: 6285
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Sep 30, 2015 at 12:04 PM

            More on Fletcher, if you are interested:


            This article makes the argument that Fletcher is actually decent, but

            “Fletcher ranked 92nd out of 108 cornerbacks last season. According to PFF, Fletcher allowed more yards (1,072) than any other cornerback. His nine touchdowns allowed were second worst.”

            This again is the NFL’s leader in PBUs last year…

          • Comments: 3844
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Sep 30, 2015 at 2:24 PM

            The thing that you seem to be ignoring regarding Isaac is that he has played the same competition and at the same time. He is not someone who has racked up carries late in games. In fact, those late-game carries have gone to Derrick Green, whom you identified recently as being your boy (and he hasn’t done well).

            Meanwhile, Isaac’s carries have come usually as the second back in the game and mostly in the early/middle portions of the games. Yet at every point until last Saturday, he had better numbers than De’Veon Smith. Even after Smith’s big day, he bumped himself up to just 4.8 yards/carry and he got some carries when BYU was down 31-0. I don’t see you making excuses for him and saying, “Well, if BYU was still playing hard, he wouldn’t have put up those numbers.”

            Isaac played Utah and had a better average than Smith. Isaac played UNLV and had better numbers than Smith. Isaac played Oregon State and had better numbers than Smith.

            As for cornerbacks, we’ll just have to agree to disagree. When the top defensive backs in the country are in the top 12 or top 33 or even top 70 (out of 260) in pass breakups, then I’d say that’s a correlation. It’s not the only stat that matters, but I’d say it’s to be taken under consideration.

            And when I see someone like Stribling “almost” make a number of plays, but then he doesn’t, I have questions. For example, the play on Saturday where the ball slipped through his hands resulted in a first down for BYU. That can be costly in close games.

          • Comments: 6285
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Sep 30, 2015 at 7:57 PM

            Very few of Isaac’s carries have been in meaningful situations. He got what – 4 carries against Utah…maybe a couple in Oregon State? The rest was UNLV (bad team) or after games were decided (i.e., not meaningful). So you’re comparing 6 or so meaningful carries to …anything, doesn’t matter what, it’s not a meaningful sample.

            The same competition? No. UNLV and Utah are not the same thing. 3rd and 1 in the 1st quarter against BYU is not the same thing as 1st and 10 in the 4th quarter against Oregon State.

            Smith is not inflating his numbers in decided games, he is moving out of the way for the other backs – the backups. Anyway, Isaac is NOT the second back in. That’s drake Johnson. Isaac was that for Utah, when Johnson was hurt. No longer.

            Green had many meaningful carries the last two years but this year…1 or 2 is it and I think both were against Utah. Isaac is (to me) quite clearly ahead Green right now. While I didn’t feel strongly about it at all, I did guess that Green would win out at the RB spot in the end, based on the fact that Hoke/Borges/Nussmeir all started him the last two years. I was wrong about that. Smith beat him out and Isaac is ahead of him too. He’s the 4th string back and I’d be shocked to see that change at this point. Harbaugh knows what he is doing. If he starts Isaac this week I will say “well I guess Thunder and all the other hype-believers were right.”. He’s not going to because he already starting the best RB Michigan has.

            As I wrote in my forum post (which…BTW how come that doesn’t show up?) Isaac has gotten well blocked plays 60% of the time compared to Smith less than 40% of the time on the year. That explains a lot of the YPC production difference you want to hang your hat on. And most of it is the result of lots of carries against UNLV.
            The biggest correlation between CB play and PBUs is well…you have to play to get them and good players play. Playing time = PBUs. That’s why the NFL leader in them last year was generally considered one of the worst CBs. He kept playing because his team didn’t have a better option. Then they waived him. THE NFL LEADER in that category! That tells you all you need to know.
            So yeah…agree to disagree.

            I see ‘almost making a play’ as a step towards making the play. Stribling’s made tons of plays, they just aren’t INTs or PBUs they’re ‘in his hippockets’. The same plays Lewis is making. FWIW (maybe not much) Stribling has consistently graded very well in Mgoblog Brian’s UFRs too. Imperfect as it is – it’s better than PBUs.

          • Comments: 3844
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Sep 30, 2015 at 8:26 PM

            I don’t know why the forum post hasn’t gone through. I haven’t received it to approve. Maybe you lost a connection on your end when you sent it?

            Stribling has been “close to making plays” since he was a freshman. Now he has “made a play” or two against UNLV. Good for him. He deserves credit for that. Meanwhile, Ty Isaac also made a play (or plays) against UNLV in the second quarter of a game that was 14-0 at the time. That either counts or it doesn’t.

            I guess I’ll just continue to rant against Channing Stribling, since apparently, making plays against UNLV doesn’t count.

          • Comments: 6285
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Oct 01, 2015 at 11:57 AM

            My point is to be consistent. Either apply the dubious data or don’t. Use INTs as a measure or don’t. Consider UNLV or don’t.

            I would all but ignore stats from cupcakes, just as with exhibition games in pro sports. But if you want to use them, don’t cherry-pick the data.

            I’ve posted things to the forum twice in the last week and neither has shown up. I don’t think it’s a connection issue. I haven’t had any issue my (lately quite frequent) comments.

          • Comments: 3844
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Oct 01, 2015 at 12:24 PM

            I think the thing that bugs me about the discussion regarding Henry/Stribling/Isaac is that you want apples-to-apples comparisons all the time. There are guys who can do well against inferior competition, and that doesn’t translate to success against better competition. There are guys who do well against both good and poor competition.

            Denard Robinson obliterated weak opponents, but he often struggled against the better teams (Alabama, Wisconsin, Michigan State, etc.).

            That does not mean that anyone who does well against poor competition is flawed, or that conclusions cannot be reached. It’s perfectly okay to think that Willie Henry can have success against BYU, but not against teams with better tackles. It’s also perfectly okay to think that Ty Isaac can do well against both UNLV and better teams.

            I don’t need to have apples-to-apples comparisons just to formulate an opinion. You seem to be striving for factual evidence in every case, and if you want to make blanket statements based on level of competition, then that’s your prerogative. My job includes determining whether the starters going against our scout team can replicate their practice success (against backups/scout team players) against other teams’ starters on Friday nights. I’ll admit I’m not the best coach in the world, but there are certain conclusions you can reach based on what you see.

            I do not need to see Shane Morris throw a go route to Amara Darboh against UNLV and then watch Jake Rudock throw a go route to Amara Darboh against UNLV to determine that Shane Morris has a stronger arm. I watched De’Veon Smith run past high schoolers at Warren (OH) Howland against poor competition, and I was able to determine that he would be slow for a college running back; I didn’t need Carlos Brown to blow past those defenders and leave them in the dust to figure out whether Smith was fast or not by using a comparison.

            For the same reason that we see some guys get plucked from FCS or D-II (against relatively weak competition) in the NFL draft, it’s perfectly okay to make assertions based on what you see. You don’t see NFL guys saying, “Well, Steve McNair only had success against the sucky teams that Alcorn State plays, so we can’t pick him in the first round.” They took his body of work, looked at his film, and thought he could play QB at a high level in the NFL.

            (Again, I’m not saying I’m an NFL scout or a football genius. I’m simply saying that analyzing football is about more than apples-to-apples comparisons in the same game situation, with the same play calls, against the same defenders, etc.)

          • Comments: 6285
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Oct 01, 2015 at 5:41 PM

            “You don’t see NFL guys saying, “Well, Steve McNair only had success against the sucky teams that Alcorn State plays, so we can’t pick him in the first round.””

            Actually you see it all the time. People ask questions about level of competition for MAC guys, let alone D3 guys, pretty much every time.

            Agree with the first part. Killin scrubs is necessary but not sufficient evidence. If you suck vs scrubs (like Green kind of has) – you probably aren’t going to make it when it counts. If you kill the scrubs, well – you’re supposed to.

            Now’s the part where you argue that Smith sucks against UNLV. Well OK, but as Brian noted they stacked the box for inside runs which is sort of Smith’s thing and gave away the edges which is more Johnson’s thing. Isaac’s solid at both but (IMO) not as good as either guy at his specialty.

            Anyway, at this point Smith has a track record. He’s bombed scrubs, he’s done well against some good teams, so I don’t really care what he does against UNLV when there is all this other more meaningful information.

            Everybody does worse against good defenses. That’s the whole point. You can’t take Isaac’s production against a bad team and compare it to Smith vs good teams. It’s apples and oranges.

            We don’t have apples to apples. Fair enough, but the answer isn’t to introduce oranges it’s to say mmmm apples. The oranges might be better, maybe than these delicious apples. MAYBE. But we have the produce guy, let’s call him “Jim”, who says “Yeah, you want the apples, they are delicious. The oranges aren’t ripe.” Probably best to take his advise and enjoy the apple.

            But you don’t have to of course. I’m not trying to tell you you can’t have an opinion. I’m trying to tell you you can’t try to substantiate your opinion by using bad stats (and poorly at that.) So if you want to say – Stribling isn’t using good technique, is let receivers behind him, is missing opportunities – OK, you get to say what you want. But if you want to say he’s not a playmaker because he doesn’t get enough INTs then you have to use the same logic for Lewis. And if you want to say – Isaac is faster and moves better – OK, but don’t pull the YPC number out when it’s based on like 4 carries or against UNLV backs.

            If I was capable of posting on your forum I’d give you a list of spurious conclusions about Michigan RBs over the last 20 years based on season long YPC… if I based on 3 games things could get REAL ridiculous.

          • Comments: 6285
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Oct 01, 2015 at 5:43 PM

            obviously mcnair did go in round 1 but many many others drop in the draft due to doubts about competition.

          • Comments: 3844
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Oct 02, 2015 at 7:44 AM

            …and then they picked McNair, anyway. Why? Because they saw what he had done on film. They didn’t say “We can’t pick him in the first round” because they did.

            I don’t think it’s using stats “poorly” to say Player A averaged more yards per carry than Player B against the same team. We just don’t agree on that.

            Also, Jourdan Lewis makes plays on the ball more often than Stribling. There are numerous occasions where Stribling has had a chance to make a pick or knock down a ball (against BYU, against Penn State, against Oregon State, etc.) and he has failed to do so. I don’t have any stats to back that up because nobody keeps track of those stats, but I am pretty confident that we could go back and find the evidence to back up that assertion.

          • Comments: 6285
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Oct 02, 2015 at 1:32 PM

            I don’t think there are any stats to back up the Stribling/Lewis thing. But I think our eyes tell us that Lewis is better. Even if they don’t the coaches quite clearly view Lewis as the #1 CB and unlike Stribling, there is nobody nipping at his heels.

            I think that this year Stribling has made significant mistakes maybe two or three times. At Utah he messed up on the first drive in run defense. Last week he should have picked off that ball that went through his hands. He got a PI, but I think our DBs are supposed to get those sometimes.

            So, if we want to go back to his freshman year and Allen Robinson. I mean, OK…but Jourdan Lewis wasn’t shutting down all comers back then either. I think it’s time to move past something from the season before last season.

            Striblings been really good this year. We can argue about playmaking forever and ever but he’s covering people right now. If he gets an INT this week or doesn’t is beside the point to me. I take A LOT more from our defenses shutout than I do turnovers. But if Stribling does get one at least it’ll ease some doubts for you. So I hope it happens. Go Blue.

          • Comments: 6285
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Oct 02, 2015 at 1:41 PM

            I wonder if there are NCAA stats available for yards completed against certain CBs. I bet Lewis has more than Stribling and I remember him getting beat a handful of times this year — which is more than I can remember Stribling getting beat.

            Again, I don’t think that means he’s a better player. I think it’s a function of playing time.

            I just don’t really buy the “not taking advantage of opportunities thing”. Outside of UNLV both guys have equivalent stats in terms of INTs and PBUs — not many at all. Lewis is playing more snaps than Stribling, so… the opportunities getting missed thing seems to apply to him moreso than Stribling.

        • Comments: 6285
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Oct 02, 2015 at 1:36 PM

          To me, there’s a more interesting debate to consider:

          Clark vs Bolden/Ross.

          It seems like the dime worked pretty dang well last week. Maybe that was a BYU-specific thing, maybe not. I wonder if our Junior 6’4 CB with speed isn’t just a better player right now than our senior ILBs…

          Not saying it’s going to work against every team of course, but it might be a better option against anybody who can’t try to slam the run game down our throats.

  3. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Sep 28, 2015 at 12:06 PM

    I don’t get the complaints about DL. Henry played his best game of the year and absolutely he has the talent to play it. The difference between a 3-Tech DT and 5-Tech SDE is small, as Mattison and others have noted many times.

    But if your concern is passing downs, it seems like Michigan is lifting (or shifting) Henry for Charlton in those situations. Anyway,Henry showed his pass rush skills pretty well yesterday.

    I have zero complaints about our DL. They are dominating.

    …OK, it’d be nice if we had an explosive pass rusher backup Buck/DE for passing situations, but converting a LB to the spot (i.e., RJS) is a valid approach that I’d like to see continue (hopefully with Caleb Kelly).

    • Comments: 3844
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Sep 28, 2015 at 1:04 PM

      As I mentioned in the post, it would be nice if Henry didn’t have to play end. BYU’s weakest points on offense were the two tackles, in my opinion, so getting a pass rush on those guys is not a sign of anything great. Ultimately, it would be nice if Michigan could get a true edge rusher or two, which would allow Henry to get his push up the middle. It’s a small thing because the defense played well, but it’s a thing nonetheless.

      • Comments: 6285
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Sep 28, 2015 at 2:58 PM

        If you hypothetically had a DE that bumped Henry inside, it’d mean fewer snaps for Wormley and Glasgow (not to mention Hurst, Godin, and Charlton). I mean sure, I’d love to have Brandon Graham at SDE, but Wormley and Henry are doing work. The only thing that’s a little strange is that they put the bigger guy at DE instead of DT, but that decision seems to be working out fine. Henry may be our best SDE since Graham.

        It doesn’t get much better than the DL we have right now. Maybe they won’t generate as much pass rush against MSU, but if nothing else putting a >300 pounder at end should reap benefits in locking down run games and free up the LBs a bit.

        • Comments: 3844
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Sep 28, 2015 at 9:33 PM

          The ultimate goal of the season is not to bum rush UNLV and BYU. The goal is to be able to get a pass rush against MSU, OSU, etc. We’ll see how that plays out, but I don’t see Henry having the same success against those teams.

  4. Comments: 117
    Joined: 9/28/2015
    Sep 28, 2015 at 12:10 PM

    So…why doesn’t Ty Isaac get more touches? Doghouse? Trying to keep him hungry thing? I’d rather see him bulk up, play FB,(next year now!) and have Isaac and Johnson take the majority of the snaps!

    • Comments: 3844
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Sep 28, 2015 at 1:06 PM

      Isaac supposedly got ripped on the sideline for not lowering his shoulder and grinding for two yards on 2nd-and-2. Wheatley wouldn’t give him any carries after that.

      I don’t think it makes much sense to put Isaac at fullback when all along, the biggest knock on him has been his toughness.

    • Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Sep 28, 2015 at 3:06 PM

      The main reason is that Smith is a lot better at playing RB.

      Isaac should get better at blocking and should improve in this system but he’s had rumors of maturity and determination dogging him up until this summer. Hopefully he’s learning from watching Smith.

      I brought up a move to FB in the offseason and mgoblog suggested an H-back role (due to Isaac’s size and pass-catching skills) but yeah…you have to block and you have to be tough.

      For now Isaac’s the 3rd string RB and he’s going to have to deviate from the Mike Cox career arc to move ahead of anybody who is ahead of him right now. He’ll have a much clearer path to playing time in 2017 though, so Michigan is wise to keep developing him, and he would be wise to listen to his coaches.

  5. Comments: 1364
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Sep 28, 2015 at 8:06 PM

    More on offense? Rudock. Not because he’s playing less than he deserves, but because he needs to make himself a bigger part of the offense if we’re going to have a good chance to beat the tougher teams on our schedule. He needs to be making a greater variety of throws with confidence because our running game probably cannot sustain too many drives all by itself. His reads and communication with his receivers have to improve if our offense is going to improve.

    • Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Sep 29, 2015 at 4:18 PM

      Do you see run/pass balance as an issue? It seems fine so far to me.

      Maybe you’d like to see more downfield stuff. I generally agree, but they’ve taken some shots here and there. Anyway, I’m not sure that’s playing to Rudock (or our WRs) strengths. I like the screen passes and TE targets they’ve been using to keep defenses honest. It’s doesn’t take a ton of downfield stuff to keep defenses on their toes.

      • Comments: 1364
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Sep 30, 2015 at 9:23 PM

        I think the run/pass balance has been fine. YPA in the passing game is only 6.5 through 4 games, though, and needs to be better, so yes, our downfield capability needs improvement. YPC in the rush game is 4.8, which is not bad compared to the last couple years, though not great either, but I don’t think there’s as much room for improvement there, especially not if teams keep stacking the box because our passing game isn’t stretching the field.

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