Michigan vs. Indiana Awards

Michigan vs. Indiana Awards


November 17, 2015

Jake Rudock had a record-setting day on Saturday

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Joe Kerridge at H-back. Kerridge, a virtual starter on offense at fullback, has been splitting time with Sione Houma. Kerridge, however, is the superior blocker, and that’s pretty much all H-back Henry Poggi does on offense. With Michigan’s defensive line depth depleted, it might be a good idea to get Kerridge some snaps at H-back and let Poggi concentrate on defense. Meanwhile, Houma can handle the fullback duties.

Hit the jump for the rest of the awards.

Let’s see less of this guy on offense . . . Henry Poggi. Poggi has improved as the year has gone along, but he is limited as an offensive player. He has struggled at times with blocking, and he is not a receiving threat. It may be possible for Poggi to move to defense without losing much on the offensive side. Kerridge, Wyatt Shallman, Chase Winovich, Ian Bunting, or Khalid Hill may be able to do the same things Poggi does without much of a dropoff.

Let’s see more of this guy on defense . . . Willie Henry at nose tackle. Henry was a nose tackle and defensive tackle under Brady Hoke, but he moved to strongside end when Jim Harbaugh was hired. Despite the position change, he did not trim any weight. He would almost certainly be a better option at nose tackle than Tom Strobel, who has been playing a lot of offense this year and was previously a defensive end. Starting nose tackle Maurice Hurst, Jr. is listed at 6’2″, 282 lbs., and Strobel is 6’6″, 270 lbs. Meanwhile, Henry is 6’3″, 311 lbs.

Let’s see less of this guy on defense . . . Tom Strobel. I thought Strobel played okay on Saturday, especially considering that he was sort of an emergency replacement. He made very few plays (3 tackles), but I don’t think he was completely dominated. However, there are more talented and more experienced players available to play the position (a.k.a. Henry).

Play of the game . . . Jehu Chesson’s 5-yard touchdown catch from Jake Rudock. There are several options for play of the game, including Chesson’s 64-yard score and Delano Hill’s pass breakup to end the game. But on 4th-and-goal with six seconds left in the game, it was do or die. Rudock couldn’t get sacked, the ball couldn’t get batted down, the ball carrier couldn’t get tackled short of the goal line. Michigan was right there but not quite there. Rudock tossed a short jump ball to Chesson in the front of the endzone, who leaped up to catch the ball while getting hit by two defenders. I have criticized Chesson at times for his inability to catch the ball outside the framework of his body, but he took a major step forward on Saturday. He dropped a critical pass against Michigan State that was also thrown high. It’s good to see him developing as a receiver, and it’s nice to see that he and Jake Rudock are developing chemistry.

MVP of the game . . . Jake Rudock. Rudock played an excellent game on Saturday, so good that he was named Walter Camp Offensive Player of the Week. He finished the game 33/46 for 440 yards, 6 touchdowns, and 1 interception. He also ran 7 times for 64 yards (9.1 yards/carry). He hit deep balls and everything! He has taken a lot of criticism this year for being unable to complete passes down the field, but Indiana’s defense – and some improvement from Rudock – fixed that issue. From what I saw, he only made two bad decisions – a lofted crossing route to A.J. Williams that was snagged by a sinking defender, and a near-interception down at the goal line when he was trying to get rid of the ball, bringing back bad memories from the Minnesota game. Rudock’s previous career-high in yardage was 327 yards (against Rutgers last week), but more impressively, his previous career-high in passing touchdowns was 3 (as an Iowa Hawkeye against Ohio State in 2013). Those 6 touchdowns were a Michigan record, his 440 passing yards were #3 all-time, and his 504 total yards were #2 all-time. Who would have thought that a one-year rental of a game-manager quarterback would end up setting records that we’ll be looking at for years?

12 comments

  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1307
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Nov 17, 2015 at 7:34 AM

    I like Poggi at H Back, he’s an eager blocker despite some misses targeting. There was a play early on, maybe UNLV where he had his head on a swivel seemingly frantic to hit somebody, never found his guy and came off the field disgusted. Made me LOL. But I do like the idea of sending Henry inside to the nose, Poggi to DE depth, Kerridge to H Back and Houma getting the FB snaps. A lot of good things could happen from that move.

    I still haven’t sat with this game yet, but what I’m reading indicates that both Godin and Strobel took snaps at Nose Tackle. Is that the case?

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3658
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 17, 2015 at 7:42 AM

      I can’t say that I remember seeing Godin at NT. He did play quite a bit, and he was playing tackle (not DE), but I never saw him in a true nose position on the center. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, but I didn’t see it. Strobel was playing nose at times, though.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1307
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        Roanman
        Nov 17, 2015 at 7:51 AM

        I think I’d go Henry/Hurst ….. Godin/Wormley/Strobel ….. Wormley/Charlton/Strobel/Poggi

  2. DonAZ
    Comments: 514
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    DonAZ
    Nov 17, 2015 at 9:04 AM

    Didn’t Blake O’Neill hold for the FG and PAT kicks?

    If so, given the dicey snaps, a minor shout-out to O’Neill is in order. Particularly on that last PAT to send the game into OT.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3658
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 17, 2015 at 9:44 AM

      Yeah, O’Neill is our holder. That’s one reason why I feel bad for him regarding the PSU game – if he didn’t have good hands, he wouldn’t be our holder. That was just an unfortunate, freak thing.

  3. Big_H
    Comments: 6
    Joined: 8/18/2015
    Big_H
    Nov 17, 2015 at 9:12 AM

    Thunder,

    Why do you think Harbaugh and Co. didn’t play Henry at Nose last weekend?? I figured it was going to be a no-brainer once they knew the status of Glasgow. I would have to say it was a head scratcher to me anyways.

    Maybe they just wanted to try it and go with that 100 percent, but it just didn’t make sense to me but that’s why I’m not the coach I guess. It just seems that it was common sense. You have a 311lb giant that you could put in the middle WHO USED TO PLAY THAT POSITION THE LAST COUPLE YEARS and could definitely give you better run stopping ability than your third/fourth string guys who are smaller and lighter. They should have at least tried it for a series or two, right? I mean, we we’re getting gashed in the run game. You would think they would at least give it a go considering the situation.

    This week I would like to see

    Taco..Wormley..Henry..RJS

    OR

    Wormley..Godin..Henry..RJS

    Can you please talk more about this situation, because I just don’t see why we didn’t try it. Maybe Henry hasn’t been holding up in the middle during practice, etc. Idk man. I just don’t know.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3658
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Nov 17, 2015 at 9:52 AM

      I can’t say for sure. I would surmise that the coaches have been very pleased with Henry’s play at SDE, and they didn’t want to disrupt the whole defensive line. It’s a common issue I’ve found in coaching. If you move a good player to a new position, you generally get less production from him at the new spot, plus a step down from his replacement.

      If Henry is an A player at SDE, maybe he becomes a B player at NT and his replacement at SDE is a B player. So is it better to have two B players in there, or is it better to have an A player at SDE and a C player at NT?

      Anyway, I imagine that the coaching staff was wondering if they could get away with Strobel as a backup nose tackle. So they went ahead, coached the heck out of him during the week, and threw him in there during the game. It doesn’t seem to have worked out very well, so they might go back to the drawing board this week.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5998
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Nov 17, 2015 at 6:43 PM

        Well put!.

  4. Avatar
    Comments: 142
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    coachernie
    Nov 17, 2015 at 2:24 PM

    I don’t care about all these awards and crap. We’ve got PSU to prepare for and their DL is tremendous…arguably #1 in the B1G.
    Not being able to run against IU except sporadically (Rudock mainly) is very concerning. Going into Happy Valley with this squad instills anything but confidence.
    I will consider this season a failure if we lose the next two and close out 8 – 4!!
    Should we bring Hoke back??

    • DonAZ
      Comments: 514
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      DonAZ
      Nov 17, 2015 at 3:35 PM

      Did you forget your /sarc tag?

      The team is what it is at this point in time. There is no magic potion that will suddenly make the offensive line brick walls or bulldozers.

      The only question is whether Harbaugh and staff can plan around the known deficiencies and pull out a victory. And the only way to determine that is to suit up and hit the field.

      Prior to the season several people asked me if Michigan can win this year. My response each and every time was: “If we can’t win with Harbaugh, we can’t win at all.” Meaning: we have in Harbaugh one of the top 3 or 4 coaches in the whole country. Seriously … other than Meyer and Saban, who is possibly better?

      Any talk of wanting a different coach is delusional. Any talk of wishing Hoke back is doubly-delusional. Harbaugh is our best bet to get as many wins as possible given the current roster, and to improve the roster into the future.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5998
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Nov 17, 2015 at 6:21 PM

      ernie the troll

  5. Lanknows
    Comments: 5998
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Nov 17, 2015 at 6:43 PM

    I don’t think Poggi would be any sort of upgrade over the DL rotation they have. Maybe he is better than Strobel, but if so, only marginally. The better answer IMO is to not play Strobel and to instead rely on the top-flight 6 guys you have to play a little more and/or move around. Like you said: more Henry, less Strobel.

    I’m surprised Poggi is playing this much too, but you can obviously argue they want to develop him for next year starting spot at FB.

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