Review of 2013 Season Predictions

Tag: 2013 predictions

30Dec 2013
Uncategorized 22 comments

Review of 2013 Season Predictions

Jeremy Gallon set several records this season.

Here’s a link to my 2013 Season Predictions, which were posted at the end of August. This might be more fun for me than for you, but it’s interesting to me to see how things played out this year.

Prediction: Fitzgerald Toussaint, 900 yards
Actual: Fitzgerald Toussaint, 658 yards
Thoughts: The offensive line was worse than anyone expected it to be, and Toussaint struggled to average 3.5 yards/carry. The next highest total was Devin Gardner’s 483 yards.

Prediction: Jeremy Gallon, 1100 yards
Actual: Jeremy Gallon, 1373 yards
Thoughts: Gallon had an outstanding season and goes down in the record books with the top yardage output by any receiver in Michigan history, surpassing Braylon Edwards’s 1,330 yards in 2004. I expected him to have a very good season due to the Gardner-Gallon chemistry, but this was more explosive than anyone probably envisioned.

Prediction: James Ross III, 90 tackles
Actual: Raymon Taylor, 86 tackles
Thoughts: It’s bad news when a cornerback leads the team in tackles, especially when that tackle total is so high. Opposing quarterbacks completed a lot of passes in front Taylor. Ross missed the second half of the Iowa game and the entire Ohio State game, so I’m pretty confident that he would have led the team in tackles if he had remained healthy.

Prediction: Frank Clark, 8 sacks
Actual: Frank Clark and Cameron Gordon, 5 sacks (tie)
Thoughts: Clark started off slowly before turning on the jets a little bit in the middle of the season, but his season was somewhat of a disappointment considering all the offseason hype. Gordon started off quickly but lost some playing time once Jake Ryan returned midseason.

Prediction: Taylor Lewan and Jeremy Gallon
Actual: Taylor Lewan was chosen by the Coaches and the Media. Devin Funchess and Blake Countess were chosen by the Media only.
Thoughts: Lewan was an obvious choice, and Gallon was robbed after conference finishes of #2 in receptions, #2 in yards, and #3 in touchdowns. Funchess earned his accolades as a tight end despite playing mostly at wide receiver, and Countess might be the Comeback Player of the Year in the conference after tearing his ACL in 2012. Nobody else on the team really had an argument to earn First Team honors.

Prediction: Fitzgerald Toussaint, 12 touchdowns
Actual: Fitzgerald Toussaint, 13 touchdowns
Thoughts: Toussaint ended up scoring 78 points on 13 rushing touchdowns, while I thought he would score 10 rushing and 2 receiving touchdowns, leaving him with 72 points. Gallon was next with 54 total points.

Prediction: Jehu Chesson
Actual: Jake Butt
Thoughts: Chesson had an okay year with several devastating blocks, some nice plays on special teams coverage, and 15 catches for 221 yards and 1 touchdown. But I think Butt deserves this award as he improved as a blocker and became a reliable receiving target with 20 catches for 235 yards and 2 touchdowns.

 James Ross
Actual: I don’t even know who to pick here. Perhaps the answer here is Blake Countess, but I don’t believe I even thought of him as being in the running since he was a starter as a true freshman in 2011. You could probably make an argument for Ross, Cam Gordon, or Frank Clark, who are the three guys I mentioned considering back in August.
Thoughts: Ross nearly led the team in tackles and might have surpassed 100 if he had been healthy. Gordon and Clark tied for the team lead in sacks. I don’t really see any other legitimate options here, although we saw glimpses of what Chris Wormley, Willie Henry, Ben Gedeon, and Jarrod Wilson can do.

Prediction: Jack Miller
Actual: Jack Miller?
Thoughts: Again, I’m not sure whom to pick here. Miller started the first several games at center before being benched, never to see the field again. There was lots of disappointment to go around due to the underachieving offense (Devin Gardner, Fitzgerald Toussaint, Taylor Lewan, Kyle Kalis, even Devin Funchess). I guess Miller wins because he was really the only starter to get permanently benched, but I’m open to arguments.

 Jarrod Wilson
Actual: Courtney Avery
Thoughts: This is another tough choice, but Wilson made some nice plays early in the season. Avery proved to be kind of a lost cause at cornerback and safety, where he didn’t really make one significant play all season except half of a sack against Michigan State. Otherwise, he was invisible except when guys were running past him. He went from a good nickel corner in 2011 to an okay one in 2012 to a liability at two different positions in 2013.

Central Michigan:
Notre Dame: Win
Akron: Win
UConn: Win
Minnesota: Win
Penn State: Win Loss
Indiana: Win
Michigan State: Win Loss
Nebraska: Loss
Northwestern: Win
Iowa: Win Loss
Ohio State: Loss
Prediction: 10-2
Actual: 7-5 (7-6 after bowl game) 

29Aug 2013
Uncategorized 20 comments

2013 Season Predictions

Here are my 2012 predictions, in case you’re interested.

Leading Rusher
Michigan no longer has a quarterback who’s much of a threat to lead the team in rushing, although he’s a pretty good runner. Fitzgerald Toussaint is the best running back currently on the roster, but he struggles to stay healthy. I make this choice with very little confidence.
Prediction: Toussaint, 900 yards

Leading Receiver
The top receiver returns from last year, and that player has great chemistry with quarterback Devin Gardner. Jeremy Gallon had 829 receiving yards last season, despite having Denard Robinson as the primary passer for the first half of the season. Gallon should see an uptick in receptions and yardage this season, but without another proven threat, he might be bracketed a little more often.
Prediction: Gallon, 1100 yards

Leading Tackler
Strongside linebacker Jake Ryan led the team in tackles with 88 last year, but he’s out with a torn ACL until at least October. The choice comes down to middle linebacker Desmond Morgan or weakside linebacker James Ross III, and I think I’ll go with sophomore Ross, whose instincts are unmatched by anyone else on the team.
Prediction: Ross, 90 tackles

Leading Sacker
Ryan also led the team in sacks with 5.5 last season, but he probably won’t have time to get to the quarterback that much since he’ll miss half the season or so. There’s been a lot of buzz about weakside end Frank Clark’s improvement this offseason, and I think he’ll gather a few sacks in some early season games against the likes of Central Michigan and Akron.
Prediction: Clark, 8 sacks

Leading Interceptor
The safeties aren’t huge playmakers, and the best cornerback (Blake Countess) is coming off a torn ACL. Countess has good cover skills but has never been known as a true ball hawk. I think three players end up tied for this honor.
Prediction: Countess, Thomas Gordon, Raymon Taylor, 2 interceptions each

All-Big Ten First Team
Prediction: Jeremy Gallon, Taylor Lewan

Leading Scorer (non-QB, non-kicker)
I’m calling 10 touchdowns for Toussaint and Gallon rushing and receiving, respectively, but add a couple touchdowns through the air for Toussaint.
Prediction: Toussaint

Breakout Offensive Player
There are a few options for breakout players. I’m not going to count Devin Funchess, who already showed what he can do last season, even if he didn’t get targeted much toward the end of the year. This leaves some backup running backs and whoever shows up across from Gallon. I think I’ll go with Jehu Chesson, who should be targeted plenty.
Prediction: Chesson

Breakout Defensive Player
This is a really tough choice, because I foresee a few guys stepping up this year to make some plays: Frank Clark, James Ross, and Cam Gordon. I’m most confident in Ross, but I think the other two will take large steps forward as well.
Prediction: Ross

Most Disappointing Offensive Player
I think the interior of the offensive line is going to struggle, and that starts with redshirt sophomore Jack Miller. Miller will be a new starter and he’s not the biggest or strongest of guys, so there will be both mental and physical issues there.
Prediction: Miller

Most Disappointing Defensive Player
I think the issues at free safety will carry over from last season, when Jarrod Wilson really struggled as a backup. This year senior Courtney Avery is competing with sophomore Wilson for the job, but Avery’s out for a couple weeks after arthroscopic knee surgery. Wilson has good physical abilities, but gets himself out of position too much.
Prediction: Wilson

The Big Finish
August 31 vs. Central Michigan: WIN. The Chippewas are a mediocre MAC team.

September 7 vs. Notre Dame: WIN. Notre Dame got lucky a lot last season, and while their defensive front seven will still be good, the offense will sputter too much.

September 14 vs. Akron: WIN. Another mediocre MAC team.

September 21 at Connecticut: WIN. If for no other reason than the fact that I saw Paul Pasqualoni at a clinic this offseason and didn’t care for his attitude, I’m picking the Wolverines.

October 5 vs. Minnesota: WIN. Jerry Kill has a good history of improving teams, so I don’t think it will be a cake walk, but Michigan is more talented.

October 12 at Penn State: WIN. I have a feeling Penn State will drop off a little bit after the emotion of last season carrying them a little bit. It won’t be easy, but I think Michigan wins.

October 19 vs. Indiana: WIN. Indiana isn’t very good at the football, but the offense will be entertaining.

November 2 at Michigan State: WIN. The Spartans will have a good defense, but they’ll struggle this year on offense. Michigan is more balanced.

November 9 vs. Nebraska: LOSS. After the emotion of beating MSU and facing a pretty good team in the Cornhuskers, Michigan loses a squeaker.

November 16 at Northwestern: WIN. Michigan is getting more athletic on defense, and Jake Ryan should be back by this point to help out defensively. It might be a shootout again, but I pick the Wolverines.

November 23 at Iowa: WIN. Iowa will probably be bad.

November 30 vs. Ohio State: LOSS. Michigan just won’t have the running game to keep Ohio State honest because of the mediocre interior line.

Final record: 10-2