Michigan 42, Iowa 17

Tag: Floyd Simmons

18Nov 2012
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Michigan 42, Iowa 17

Devin Gardner was responsible for 6 touchdowns on Saturday (image via AnnArbor.com)

Devin Gardner is awesome.  Prior to the game, I didn’t realize how terrible Iowa’s secondary is.  In the game preview, I predicted that Gardner would play his worst game as a quarterback.  That wasn’t close to being true.  The Hawkeyes blew coverages repeatedly, and Gardner completed 18/23 passes for 314 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception; he also ran 9 times for 37 yards and 3 touchdowns.  He makes some questionable passes at times, and frankly, he has been lucky several times.  Both Northwestern and Iowa have had defensive backs misjudge passes that have allowed for long completions to receivers Jeremy Gallon and Roy Roundtree; better defensive backs pick off or knock down some of these passes, but I’ll take it.

That Fitzgerald Toussaint injury hurts.  I didn’t see it on the initial play, but the replay was nasty.  Toussaint is obviously done for the year and I would be surprised if he returns in time for spring ball.  There were rumors that he was considering leaving for the NFL after this season, but combined with his mediocre performance thus far, that seems like it won’t be an option.  Hopefully he can return healthy next year, get back to his 2011 form, and raise his draft stock for 2014.  In the meantime, that hurts the Wolverines for the Ohio State game and beyond, because he was improving over the past couple weeks and the backup running backs are just so-so.

I do not like the usage of Denard Robinson.  Michigan could have won this game without playing Denard Robinson.  He’s obviously not fully healthy, and he tweaked his elbow injury in the second quarter.  The coaches obviously don’t trust him to throw the ball, and tweaking the injury probably means he won’t be able to throw against Ohio State, either.  Yes, it was fun to watch and it gives Ohio State some other formations and plays for which to prepare, but it also potentially cost the team Robinson’s throwing ability, however mediocre.  I don’t understand the need to unleash those plays and formations on Iowa if Michigan could have surprised the Buckeyes with those things next week.

James Ross, welcome to the Big Ten.  Ross got his first career start at WILL in place of Desmond Morgan, and he did a pretty good job.  There were a couple issues in pass coverage and he got pushed around when offensive linemen were able to latch onto him, but the kid led the team with 12 tackles  That’s a pretty good beginning, though he has played plenty throughout the year.  My expectation for next year is that Morgan will move to MIKE to make room for Ross to play WILL full-time.

Cover the tight end!  Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg didn’t really try the outside, but he did repeatedly attack the middle of the field by hitting tight ends.  I don’t blame him for attacking the middle of the field due to Ross’s inexperience, but Iowa has decent receivers and Michigan has so-so cornerbacks.  Tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz had 8 catches for 99 yards, and Coble Krieger had 3 catches for 24 yards and 1 touchdown.  It was a good day for those guys, but it’s tough to keep up a good scoring pace by dinking and dunking your way down the field with 5-yard passes to the tight ends.  Kevonte Martin-Manley was the only Iowa wideout to catch a pass, and he finished with 2 receptions for 7 yards.

Josh Furman isn’t a safety.  Let me mention once again how out of place Furman is at safety.  Furman is a good special teams player, but playing safety just isn’t his thing.  He entered the game late and failed to make a couple plays that were right there.  When he’s not attacking downhill, he’s lost.  The kid played rush linebacker in high school, and you just can’t move guys back in a defense and expect them to be successful.  You can move a kid from corner to safety or safety to linebacker or linebacker to defensive end or defensive end to defensive tackle, but you can’t go the other way.  If he can hold some additional weight, the coaches ought to bulk him up to play SAM.

Good for the seniors.  Twenty-three seniors played their final game at Michigan Stadium yesterday, and they were undefeated at home over the past two seasons.  It’s a pretty amazing turnaround, because these fifth-year guys were the first Rich Rodriguez class from 2008 that saw Michigan lose on their home turf to Toledo.  A bunch of guys got in the stat book in their final home game, including Steve Wilson and Floyd Simmons.  Jack Kennedy took the final snap.  And Vincent Smith caught a screen pass for a touchdown for old time’s sake.  Those who stay will be . . . undefeated at home.

12Jun 2012
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2012 Season Countdown: #79 Floyd Simmons

Floyd Simmons (#23)

Name: Floyd Simmons
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 194 lbs.
High school: Detroit (MI) Crockett
Position: Strong safety
Class: Fifth year senior
Jersey number: #23
Last year: I did not rank Simmons.  He made 6 tackles, mostly on special teams, and forced 2 fumbles.

Simmons has become a special teams mainstay over the past few seasons, playing in 34 games over the last three seasons.  He even forced two fumbles last season in big games against Nebraska and Notre Dame – not bad for a walk-on.

At this point, it seems likely that Simmons will once again be used on coverage units.  His contributions might be made even more valuable if his presence can prevent a freshman defensive back like Allen Gant or Jeremy Clark from burning a redshirt.  Hopefully he can improve his numbers once again and force three fumbles, preferably against Michigan State this time.  Those bastards.

Prediction: Special teams coverage

24Jul 2010
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2010 Countdown: #41 Floyd Simmons

Name: Floyd Simmons
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 197 lbs.
High school: Crockett High School in Detroit, MI
Position: Spur
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #23
Last year: Simmons was unranked. He contributed 5 tackles, 1 forced fumble, and 1 tackle for loss from the SAM linebacker position.

Simmons is pretty high up on this list for being a walk-on. He started off as a practice squad cornerback in 2008. Last season he moved to SAM and backed up Steve Brown, posting 5 tackles. This season he’ll be playing Spur, which is a hybrid strong safety/linebacker. Three different positions in three different years.

Spring practices went well for Simmons, and there was a time that he was considered the frontrunner for the Spur job. By the end of spring, it seemed he was beaten out by Thomas Gordon. Regardless, Simmons is vying for playing time this year. He’ll be challenged by a freshman or two (Carvin Johnson, Josh Furman), but he has the advantage of spending a couple years with the coaches, knowing what they expect, and working with them in the weight room. He’s not a star in the making, but he’s been solid wherever these coaches have deployed him.

Prediction for 2010: Backup Spur, special teams coverage

1Jul 2010
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2010 Countdown: #67 Carvin Johnson

Carvin Johnson (#1) makes a tackle

Name: Carvin Johnson
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 185 lbs.
High school: Rummel High School in Metairie, LA
Position: Strong safety
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Prediction for 2010: Redshirt

As a high schooler, Johnson led his team to a second place finish in the state playoffs. He played free safety and wide receiver, although he was mainly a decoy on offense. Johnson is a prototypical strong safety in my mind, although Cameron Gordon seems like a strong safety to me, too, so what do I know? For now I’ll stick with that assessment, although it looks like Greg Robinson is tweaking this defense in ways we can’t fully grasp yet. We went from having a former cornerback and Big Ten sprinter (Troy Woolfolk) playing center field to a slow-ish wide receiver who many projected as a college linebacker (Cameron Gordon) playing free safety.

I think there’s a fair chance that we’ll see Carvin Johnson playing defense this year. The depth in the defensive backfield is thin, and walk-ons litter the depth chart (Floyd Simmons, Jared Van Slyke, Jordan Kovacs). I don’t expect Johnson to earn a starting job this year, and he’ll most likely redshirt. But I don’t think Rich Rodriguez can afford to throw too many former walk-ons out there this fall and expect to win a bunch of games. Either Johnson or Marvin Robinson will play this fall, and I give Robinson the edge due to superior athleticism.