Unverified Voracity Was On The Other Side

Unverified Voracity Was On The Other Side Comment Count

Brian August 24th, 2015 at 3:59 PM

Rudock versus M. I missed this in April when it was posted; let me repair that omission now. Wolverine Devotee put together an every snap video of Jake Rudock playing Michigan in 2013:

Rudock threw three interceptions, but only one of those was really his fault. On the other two he got obliterated as he threw; one of them deflected to Brennen Beyer for a Rather Fit Guy Touchdown and the other required Raymon Taylor to make a great play to dig out a play that was otherwise open. The third was real bad, a Blake Countess bait and switch job that went directly to him.

For the day Rudock was 19/30 for 8 YPA and 2 TDs and the three INTs. Of note: every pass Rudock is actually trying to complete is dead on the money except a flea flicker that hung up in a 25 MPH wind. The long Tevaun Smith touchdown was greatly facilitated by Rudock locating the pass where Smith could catch it and keep running without so much as breaking stride—something that is a consistent strength of his.

The interceptions are not much of a worry since he just went through a season in which he had five against 16 TDs. I think he's pretty good.

More ENDZONE Brandon's Lasting Lessons excerpts. From Michigan Today on Hackett:

“I was retired,” Hackett recalls, “sitting at our home on Spring Lake, convalescing from my hip replacement on my right side. Already had the left one done. And the idleness hit me—and I realized something that I didn’t realize before: I don’t like to be idle. I’m wired to be busy. Serving on boards is good, but they only meet once a quarter. I have a lot of energy, and particularly like solving problems,” a central part of the CEO mindset.

Schlissel refrained from telling Hackett that Brandon had just resigned. Instead, Hackett recalls Schlissel saying, “I don’t know what’s going to happen next. I just need to know if you’re interested. And I need to know tonight.”

From ESPN on the 2011 coaching search:

And that's what it came down to. Not money. Not power. Not fame -- but love. And Michigan, under Brandon, wasn't offering it to Harbaugh.

"I will never know what Brandon's motivations were," Anson told me, "but it seems clear to me that Dave was so insecure that he needed to be the big deal and could not countenance a strong personality as Michigan's head football coach.

"The 49ers swooped in and grabbed Jim, while Michigan stood on the sidelines. In my mind, Michigan should have had Jim locked down a month before that, and could have. I can only conclude that Dave Brandon is the sole reason Jim did not become our football coach in 2010."

Now it can be told (because it's in the book) that Anson is the gentleman who bought Jim Harbaugh those ties.

The Hoover Street Rag has a review and Bacon talks with ESPN as well.

Well, yeah. Beilein, nation's top offensive coach:

Beilein, entering his ninth year as Michigan head coach, was voted as the best offensive coach in the country in CBS Sport's annual "Candid Coaches" series, an anonymous polling of nearly 100 Division I basketball coaches at all levels.

Unfortunately this poll doesn't come with the set of anonymous comments it has in the past. Those were always interesting and, in the case of Beilein, highly complementary.

Hiding in the hidey-hole. OH YEAH THAT GUY

John Beilein can take a good joke every once in awhile. Chalk it up to those Irish-German roots.

That's why he cracked his familiar wry grin last week. It was suggested that, should the 62-year-old Michigan basketball coach have any skeletons in his closet, now would be the time to air them out.

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"No one is paying attention, John," he was told.

"Oh man, I'm loving it," Beilein said, laughing. "I absolutely love that part of it. I have no problem with that."

John Beilein can start a world war or eliminate snakes from an island every once in a while. Chalk it up to those roots.

Not that bad. Joel Klatt visited Michigan practice and came away relatively impressed:

"They're not even in the same sentence right now in their own division with Michigan State and Ohio State, but here's the misconception," Klatt began, speaking on The Rich Eisen Show. "The misconception is that they're down talent-wise. I like Brady Hoke, but Brady Hoke underachieved to an enormous level with the talent he had. ... When I went yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to see the type of talent they had.

"I don't think nine wins is out of the question. I could see nine wins this year."

Since they only play two teams in the preseason top 25 that is certainly within the realm of possibility. Michigan's schedule has many winnable games… and many losable ones. Many outcomes are plausible.

Etc.: Michigan's director of social media on the hacking incident. I do like this. I do love the Big Ten. BYU loses a starting TE. 1977 player intros. Cometh the Doylepocalypse.


Upon Further Review 2013: Defense vs Iowa

Upon Further Review 2013: Defense vs Iowa Comment Count

Brian August 22nd, 2014 at 2:38 PM


A lot of big formations

Why did you do this?

Oh some attempt at achieving completeness or something. Without actually doing so, of course.

Please tell me you didn't do the other side of the ball.

I did! At least it was short.

Well then. You may as well detail what you discovered.

Ah yes, but let's put in a jump here.

[After THE JUMP: Clark against the best tackle in the league, inexplicable LB sub pattern, Washington falls off a cliff, corners are in your base]


Hokepoints Empties the Bubble Drawer

Hokepoints Empties the Bubble Drawer Comment Count

Seth December 3rd, 2013 at 3:34 PM



The best reason I've been able to come up with for how this Michigan team could put up that kind of yardage against Ohio State is that Ohio State's defensive players are—man, how do I say this without being a total jackass homer rival?—more prone to mental errors than your average Big Ten starters.

I hereby dedicate this post In memory of the too-short MGoCareer of Heiko "Bubble Screen" Yang. Who needs doctor money anyway?

Another way to say it: the best and most representative player on that unit is Ryan Shazier, who is basically Jonas Mouton with five years of good coaching. Another way to say it: they're exactly as dumb as they are talented, and that's why a group of 5-stars are just an average defense. I am a total jackass homer rival.

The second-best reason, and the best you can say without coming off like a TJHR, is that which Borges himself apparently gave in the pre-game interview with Musberger: "We emptied the drawer." In other words, they finally ran all of those counters to the things they'd been doing all year.

There will be plenty of time in the months ahead to wonder why it took this long to throw paper, especially when that gamble came up just short (and the last play was a rock that OSU allegedly* RPS'ed) of paying off. For the moment, let's look at one of the "third" things they brought out for this game and what that did for the offense.


* Ohio State's players threw out one of those heartbreaking quotes about being uber-prepared for what was coming, but the play also had Gallon about to break open.

It's hard to argue Funchess isn't an "ideal" slot ninja, isn't it? [Upchurch]

The Bubble Package

Yards per attempt; attempts in parentheses:

Opponent Run Bubble Other Total YPP
MSU 2.0 (1) 8.0 (1)   5.0
Northwestern 5.3 (7) 5.7 (3)   5.4
Iowa 3.0 (5) 1.0 (2)   2.4
Ohio State 4.5 (4) 7.7 (3) 18.0 (1) 7.4
TOTALS 4.2 (17) 5.6 (9) 18.0 (1) 5.2

Michigan does the bubble differently than Rich Rod—he made it an automatic check against the slot defender getting too close to his running game—but both work under the same principle: keep your grubby SAM's hands away from my interior running game!

The Borges Bubble game debuted against Michigan State as a bubble screen(!) that got a remarkable-for-that-day eight yards, followed by a fake bubble (out of the shotgun) to inside zone that got unfortunately blown up by a double-a gap blitz. It really came out in the Northwestern game: ten plays for  5.4 YPP. Of those, three were the bubble screen, four were a fake to an inside zone, and three to an iso. Once it was on film, Iowa adapted but Michigan ran the same (basically) two things they had against the Wildcats. The result was 2.4 YPP on seven tries: 2 bubbles and 5 inside zones.

They run it out of different formations, usually with two tight ends opposite the bubble twins (20/27 plays I have charted were from the Ace twins twin TE or I-form twins). They do run other stuff from these formations but twins (two receivers to one side) with Gallon on the line and Funchess in the slot is a good sign the bubble game is in play.

It's a good fit for this team since it: A) de-emphasizes interior blocking by holding the SAM outside and letting his OL play 5-on-5; B) Utilizes the surprising multi-threats of Gallon (as a blocker) and Funchess (as a slot receiver), and C) Lets them get Derrick Green running downhill.


I don't have Iowa video but I can show you how they adapted. The first time Michigan ran it they threatened blitz with the SAM:


Then had that guy back out and attack Funchess. The idea was to lure Michigan into a screen if this was a check, and then blow it all to hell. Like I said, it's on tape. Fortunately Michigan doesn't run checks; they called run:


Iowa got to play their base defense against that basic zone run, and the result was 5-ish yards. That is rock on rock: it's blockers versus the blocked until safeties arrive, however the SAM was kept away from the running game by the threat of Funchess. The thing is, up to then Michigan only had a rock and a scissors, so Iowa could spend all day in this defense, ceding 3-5 yards when Michigan ran it, and blowing up the bubble constraint.

Here's what this looked like when OSU defended it:

Same playcall as Iowa except since they knew it wasn't a check they didn't bother with fake SAM ("Star" in Buckeye terminology) blitz—just lined him up against Funchess. A screen is dead.

But watch Joey Bosa (#97 on the bottom of OSU's line) get way too upfield and try to knock down the screen pass that isn't coming, thus taking himself completely out of the play. He's matched against Lewan instead of Butt, though, so Michigan was probably going to get something out of that block anyway; you still don't want to make it so easy.

The middle linebacker (#14 Curtis Grant) compounded matters by Obi Ezeh-ing his way to the hole, which gave Kerridge enough time to arrive and pop in an advantageous position. Finally, the safety (#3 Corey "City in Pennsylvania" Brown) took a long time to read the play, backing out a few steps before setting up at the 1st down line. He might have been run through if the other safety (#4 C.J. Barnett) hadn't made his way over, got depth with a neat little athletic step, and helped stop it.

So rock on rock nets a big hole and big yards, because Ohio State's defenders are something-something box of rocks. But they're not the only talent-deficient guys on the field. Michigan's OL screwed up rock on the third bubble package play of the game:

That's inside zone. With the Star taken out by the bubble fake, everyone is blocked except the safety coming down (#3 Corey "a Jewish suburb west of Pittsburgh" Brown). And he was set up outside so if Mags and Glasgow can hold their downfield blocks this could bust huge. However Glasgow and Kalis didn't do a very good job on their exchange—or else the DT (#63 Michael Bennett) just did a great job fighting through it—and the Buckeye DT ends the play with a mouthful. Bennett was bent back when Glasgow released so my inclination here is to point at Kalis and call it ten-man football.

In the Iowa play I wish I had video of, that DE threw off Butt, and the middle linebacker, despite drawing Lewan, managed to attack quick enough to cut off escape until everyone else arrived, which didn't take long since Iowa's safeties were playing with their ears back. However Green's momentum vs the size of those guys got an extra two yards. Here his 240 lbs. are irrelevant against a wall like Bennett.

[After the jump: other things you can make your fist into]


Tuesday Presser Transcript 11-26-13: Al Borges

Tuesday Presser Transcript 11-26-13: Al Borges Comment Count

Heiko November 27th, 2013 at 1:09 PM


Opening remarks:

“Another week. How are we doing?”


What was the biggest takeaway after reviewing the film?

“Well, individual breakdowns. We had a lot of individual breakdowns that caused a lot of three-and-outs, you know? Too much 10-man football. It’s the same story. When we don’t play well, we don’t get in sync, and a lot of individual breakdowns that caused that to happen. At this point in the season, there’s just way too much of it. We’ve got to go back to work and see if we can get something fixed because we’ve got the biggest game of the season coming up.”

Brady implied that it’s a different guy every time?


One Frame At A Time: A Weekend Of Moments

One Frame At A Time: A Weekend Of Moments Comment Count

Ace November 27th, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Brennen Beyer won't forget that moment. Long after Al Borges is just a name from a past that may or may not haunt us as fans, the Canton native who stayed close to home will delight in telling his family and friends about the time he—a defensive end—scored a touchdown; he'll have the football to prove it, and the final score of the game will be largely irrelevant.

These moments have been frustratingly few and far between this season, especially this month; even in the shadow of defeat, however, they provide fleeting flashes of joy, even when we're doing our best to detach emotionally.

When Devin Gardner rolled out, couldn't reach the corner, then threw aside Tanner Miller like a defective Weeble-Wobble before hitting A.J. Williams for his first career reception—in the end zone, no less—my reaction wasn't to slump back onto the couch, muttering something about Al Borges's doomed waggles; it was "F*** YEAH, DEVIN." Maybe not so profound or eloquent, but damn if it didn't feel good.

Then Michigan lost, miserably, and I drove home in a funk. But they had their moments, and so did I.

[After THE JUMP, basketball moments.]


Tuesday Presser Transcript 11-26-13: Greg Mattison

Tuesday Presser Transcript 11-26-13: Greg Mattison Comment Count

Heiko November 26th, 2013 at 6:08 PM

[No MGoQuestions because of Thanksgiving and ennui. Audio for the following transcription is courtesy of Chantel Jennings.]

Opening remarks:

“As far as last game, I was disappointed that we gave up that lead. That’s not what our defense tries to do. No matter what happens, we have to hold onto it. But moving forward, we’ve got to get this one.”

What kind of challenges does Braxton Miller give you?

“Braxton Miller is a great football player. I am very very impressed with his development. He’s becoming a complete quarterback. He’s not only a tremendous athlete but he’s got a very good arm and he’s making a lot of great decisions. I mean, he’s going to be a great challenge. That’s why they are who they are. He’s really done a great job.”


Monday Presser Transcript 11-25-13: Brady Hoke

Monday Presser Transcript 11-25-13: Brady Hoke Comment Count

Heiko November 25th, 2013 at 4:40 PM

"And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. 

Opening remarks:

"Thanks for coming. This is one of the weeks in football where if you are passionate about the University of Michigan or passionate about Ohio, which is exciting. We are excited. We had a chance to get together as a team. It's such a great rivalry that we’re very fortunate to be able to play in and to be able to coach in. This is a week that gets everybody involved: media, fans, all those people. Everybody has an opinion, which is good. It's good for the game because the game is talked about. It's going to be a lot of fun on Saturday to play the football game."


MGoPodcast 5.11: Scythian Empires

MGoPodcast 5.11: Scythian Empires




This was before the UNC-Charlotte game, and therefore it is dated. Ace makes a really good point about how a lesser burden on Walton on offense makes his job in the 1-3-1—running the baseline—more feasible than it was with Burke, who had to hoard his energy. We do not talk about how both of those freshmen losing guys on switches is going to catch up with them soon, possibly as soon as 7:30 PM.

/shakes fist at schedule


Funchess implodes. Bad numbers. Bad everything. Feelings are bad.


The usual script: good good good and then Henri The Otter Of Ennui at the end. Frank Clark had a game. Starting linebackers start for a reason.


Jamie puts an extra significant digit on all his stats. Discussion of getting on team X's level. Wherefore do we go now?


"Across 110th Street."
"Scythian Empires," Andrew Bird
"San Quentin," Johnny Cash
"Another Day Full Of Dread," Bonnie Prince Billy
"Dead Flowers," Townes Van Zandt covering the Rolling Stones

The usual links:

Let's Go Bowling

Let's Go Bowling Comment Count

Brian November 25th, 2013 at 5:06 AM

11/23/2013 – Michigan 21, Iowa 24 – 7-4, 3-4 Big Ten


Ypsi-Arbor Bowl was demolished in early October.


I am one of those irritating people who believes the Big Lebowski is deep, man. I think this because of everything about it but mostly because of one particular scene. If you have not seen the Big Lebowski, you are about to be spoiled. Also, screw you you're a bad person and you deserve to be spoiled. What is wrong with you? You are bad and should feel bad.

Sorry. I am taking things out on people. I hip-checked an old lady into the frozen pizzas on Saturday because her earrings annoyed me*. That was wrong. I know that now. I will stop doing this posthaste.

The scene is the funeral. Because of miserable copyright bastards you have your choice of an official thing that cuts off before the crucial line or one with the volume turned way down. Here's the latter, turn up for hearings:

It is just so Dave Brandon that the Official Movieclips.com version manages to cut itself off before "Come on, dude… fuck it, man. Let's go bowling." Anyway.

At this point I simultaneously feel that I have to explain and that I have to explain that there's no point in trying. But fuck it, I'm talking to the guys who had the world's saddest tailgate before the season opener and came up to me at our event before the Notre Dame—another world—and were just so excited to be the world's saddest tailgate. They told me about their jury-rigged pancake plans for Notre Dame. They were engineers. That part is probably obvious. I loved them, and I feel badly for them. They're all 18 and probably don't know a damn thing about a movie that came out when they were three and Michigan was national champions.

I don't know anything about Buddhism but the Big Lebowski feels pretty Buddhist. The Dude comes into his apartment to a guy peeing on his rug and from that point on he's propelled through this rollercoaster over which he has zero agency. Literally everything he does in the movie is at the behest of someone else, and what little gestures towards doing something himself are quickly co-opted by the people he's doing them with. He picks up Walter to make the drop; Walter presses his underwear upon the dude and shoots up his car with an uzi. He has sex with Maude; Maude reveals that he acting as a living sperm bank. Etc.

The movie is a series of unfortunate events culminating in the death of Donny thanks to the bullheaded stupidity of Walter, who doesn't want to give up his fifteen dollars to some nihilists. That Donny dies as an indirect effect of that decision is the capper: your desires and actions are futile; you are subject to the random capricious whim of a universe that doesn't care about anything and if it was going to care about something it absolutely wouldn't be you. I don't have to spell the rest out for you. Sports! Fuck sports.

The thing about the funeral scene that kills me every time is the shoving rant from the Dude and Walter's scalded-dog reaction hug in the midst.


what THE FUCK does anything have to do with Vietnam?!?!

This is the guy with the Uzi who pulls a gun on the pacifist, and that is pious. It's a prayer for forgiveness. That kills me every time. And then the song. I mean.


I've probably mentioned this before, but in the aftermath of The Horror the one thing I wanted and needed to do more than anything else in the world was watch The Big Lebowski. I don't think I knew why at the time; it was my favorite movie but if you asked me why I wouldn't have been able to come up with much in particular. As I was watching it the whole Lebowski-Sports thing dawned, the lack of agency over your emotional state, the attempt to come to terms with arbitrary bullshit wreaking havoc on your emotional state, the lumbering oaf you've chosen to have far too much influence on your emotional state. I revert to it still, because at the end the Dude reaches out and clasps Walter to him, and fuck it, let's go bowling.

I have to tell you that I am at a low ebb right now.

3-9 was awful but had an element of fun in it in the same way Naked and Afraid does: holding my frozen hands to the pretzel machine and feeling guilty when I returned to the stands to find that I'd tried to heat myself so long I'd missed Michigan's first three-and-out of the second half. This is worse, six years on. It's lost its novelty, and now staring at the Armageddon that is the last week of the season is just Promethean fate. I can't imagine accidentally missing any part of this football season and thinking anything other than "stroke of luck, that." I don't see a way in which Michigan gets on Ohio State's level in the near future, and even plotting out Michigan State's level is pretty murky.

I also don't see a FIRE THIS TURDFACE solution. This is the culmination of a dozen different things, all richly deserved by everyone except the fanbase, and my belief is that the best course of action is to persist with this low-attrition, good-dude, quality-talent recruiting and hope that the blithering recedes as things go along. I hate this, because I know that any realignment towards an offense that I actually like will be met with a reaction equivalent to George Wallace hearing that they're integrating the schools, and that the burden of Michigan's past hangs over them in a way that Ohio State was perfectly happy to throw over before Urban Meyer even showed up. I also feel that Michigan will insist that it's anyone's fault but their own, and that the best we can hope for is 1997: an outlier.

This is massively enervating. We're staring down a 20-year period in which Michigan beats Ohio State like 4 or 5 times. Memories of when Michigan could claim equality are as fresh as Jim Delany's letter about how the SEC was a bunch of stupid poopy pants, and as relevant. This feels like a new order, right now. Inescapable.


Fuck it, dude. I'm going bowling. At 5 PM after Michigan gets its anatomy explored on Saturday, I'm going to Colonial Lanes on Industrial, which still exists, and I'm going to throw some balls in the general direction of some pins.

I can't stand bowling. I suck at it and there is nothing more frustrating than sucking at throwing a ball straight at things that aren't defended or even moving. Any time you fail to bowl you have failed to be a vaguely functional person. I hate bowling. So it is obviously perfect for Saturday.

If you promise not to talk about this year's football team, I would love for you to join me. I will tell you it is not your fault. You will tell me it is only about 5% my fault. It will not be a great time but I'm sick of staring at a computer screen trying not to check twitter. By God if I am going to be enervated it is going to be by not being able to throw a ball straight for a moderate distance. I'm done being enervated by sports, if only for just this moment.

In the moment where I take the ball down from its perch between my hand and my clavicle there will be a moment of beautiful, stupid hope that will persist past the results. And that moment will be enough to mitigate what follows.

Therefore I will bowl.

*[For the people who run the Children of Yost account: that's a joke, and your hat is unflattering.]

Other Stuff

There is no other stuff, except the elsewhere section because by God ST3 and bronxblue persist. Goddamn if bronxblue doesn't nail it:

And yet, I still can’t find it in myself to turn off these games.  I know why, of course:  there are only 13-14 games a year, and when times are good or at least exciting there is nothing better to watch.  And when the team isn’t that good (which, let’s be honest, started well before RR’s tenure made it official), the calcified memories of former greatness and the diminishing hope of a return keep me coming back.  And despite the losses and the continuing sense that UM is still on the wrong side of history, I’ll keep watching and coming back to watch, even games like this when you could feel the loss coming after Iowa’s first drive of the 2nd half.  And in all likelihood, my kids will love watching UM football as much as me, even when they realize that patch of missing hair isn’t because Dad was pranked.  But this simply cannot end soon enough for me, and next week’s OSU game will likely get the background treatment as I shop online, listen to music, and otherwise tool around the apartment.

And ST3 goes with the Smiths, because yeah:

Stop me, oh, stop me...

Link: http://www.mgoblue.com/sports/m-footbl/stats/091413aaa.html

Akron, yes Akron, records 8 TFLs

Stop me if you think that you've heard this one before

Link: http://www.mgoblue.com/sports/m-footbl/stats/092213aaa.html

UConn, still winless as I write this, records 10 TFLs.

You are both champions, gentlemen. Thank you for your posts.

Also, if you want a graphical representation of the way Michigan's offense is going, dnak438 has your evidence. It is grim.


Not that I needed to tell you that.