24 January 2010

Michigan's Offense Tries to Throw the Game, But the Defense Is Up To the Challenge

Vladimir Emilien making a nice interception

Michigan's offense was constantly getting in their own way today, but in the end, Michigan's offense and defense were both much too strong for the Hawkeyes. Michigan would fumble the ball 4 times, lose 3 of them and throw an interception during the game. These 4 turnovers kept putting Michigan's defense in rough spots, but they pulled through. Michigan's 1st team defense only surrendered 3 points in Michigan's 45-17 victory @ Kinnick Stadium.

Michigan ran the ball well as they had 4 HBs gain at least 45 yards on the day. Starter Vincent Smith was the big gainer as he ran for 81 yards and 2 TDs on 13 carries. Michigan had 3 runs on the day for 20+ yards. QB Tate Forcier didn't throw the ball often, but when he did it was usually for a big gain as he threw for 203 yards on only 10 completions. Michigan's defense only allowed 267 yards on the day and they forced 2 turnovers themselves.

#3 Michigan will next play on the road again next week. This time they'll travel to Minnesota to try to retain the Little Brown Jug.

Game Statistics

First Downs1814
Total Offense457267
Passing YDS203187
3rd Down Conv6-94-15
4th Down Conv0-01-2
2pt Conv0-00-0
PR Yds585
KR Yds55172
Total Yards570444

18 January 2010

Michigan's Defense Does It Again!

Michigan was simply bigger and stronger tonight

Michigan came into their game with the #9 Florida State Seminoles expecting a dog fight and a likely offensive shootout. When it was all said and done, the Wolverines would walk out of Doak Campbell Stadium with their 2nd shutout in 3 games, 30-0.

FSU's defense played fairly well as they did a decent job of taking away what Michigan's offense does best; run the ball. Yards were very difficult to come by on the ground which forced Michigan to pass much more than they are comfortable doing. Luckily, the Michigan QBs were very proficient in the passing attack today. They completed 20 of 27 passes and threw 1 TD pass with 0 INTs. Due to the driving rain which was prevalent all game, Michigan played it safe and thus the QBs only averaged about 11 yards per completion. Despite the difficulty to run on the ground, Michigan stuck to their running game down the stretch and managed to gain 124 yards and 2 TDs on 34 carries. Michigan was also fairly difficult to get off the field as they converted 8 of their 14 3rd down conversions and scored on all 5 red zone trips.

While Michigan's 331 yards of offense seems like little, it towers over what their counterparts were able to achieve against our defense.
  • They only allowed 167 yards of offense.
  • They didn't allow FSU to convert a single one of their 8 3rd and 4th down conversions.
  • They only allowed 8 first downs in the entire game.
  • They never let FSU enter the red zone.
  • They forced 3 turnovers.
  • They only allowed the Noles to possess the ball for 9 of 28 minutes in the game.
As is usually the case with this Michigan defense, they weren't on the field long enough to rack up many stats so coach Jello gave the game ball to the entire defensive squad.

It didn't seem to matter what FSU tried on offense, Michigan's defense seemed to be 1 step ahead of them and their players just seemed to outplay their counterparts. FSU employed the help of the former Oregon Duck's O.C. for this game and mixed things up nicely. They tried various things from the wildcat. They tried a lot of pistol formation. They tried going 5 wide with a DB taking the snap. They tried using their SG wing formations. None of this worked. Michigan held both of FSU's QBs to under 81 QB rating and under 40% completion percent. They held the scarily dangerous Marcus Baker to less than 3 YPC.

Michigan will now begin their trek to try to win back the Big 10 title after failing last year. They open up in Ann Arbor against Indiana.

Here are some highlights of the game:

Game Statistics
CategoryMichiganFlorida State

First Downs168
Total Offense331167
Passing YDS207125
3rd Down Conv8-140-6
4th Down Conv0-00-2
2pt Conv0-00-0
PR Yds291
KR Yds21150
Total Yards381318

16 January 2010

Michigan's Defense Gets Thrashed, But Offense Gets the Job Done

Michigan traveled to Cincinnati for the 2nd year in a row to face the Bearcats. Their defense looked completely lost at times and they did everything in their power to ensure a Bearcat victory (including three roughing the passer penalties). Luckily, Michigan's offense was just good enough to overcome this poor defensive performance and pull out a 26-14 victory. Cincinnati managed nearly 400 yards of offense on the day including 104 yards rushing and nearly 300 yards passing. Michigan was incapable of stopping either facet of Cincinnati's offense. While our defense did a lot of bending, it did very little breaking as they only allowed 2 TDs and 3 of 12 3rd down conversions.

When the D finally caught the Bearcats, they smacked them in the mouth.

Michigan's offense was average at best, but they got the job done. They gained 142 yards on the ground and 157 through the air. HB Vincent Smith was the biggest weapon as he gained 85 yards and 2 TDs on 12 carries. Michigan's RBs were beat up during the game as the top 3 guys were knocked out @ 1 point forcing Michigan to go 5 deep @ HB. Luckily, everyone is healthy after some ice baths and ready to make the trip to Tallahassee next week. Hopefully both the offense and defense will play better against the Seminoles as they'll have to if Michigan has any hope of a victory.
Vincent Smith and the offense played just good enough to win.

Game Statistics

First Downs1319
Total Offense299397
Passing YDS157293
3rd Down Conv3-93-12
4th Down Conv0-01-4
2pt Conv0-00-0
PR Yds522
KR Yds73144
Total Yards377563

10 January 2010

Wolverines Defense Dominates #6 Texas in Season Opener

#8 Michigan, who plays a positively brutal schedule this year playing 4 teams ranked in the top 6, opened the 2012 season against #6 Texas. While the game looked good on paper, the Wolverines showed early who was the better team. SR QB Tate Forcier returned from his devastating injury last year to lead the offense and they played very well. The well balanced offense rushed for 249 yards while passing for 211. Michigan spread the carries around as they had 3 guys rush for at least 48 yards and had 3 guys rush for a TD. Forcier had a solid game, completing 61% of his passes for 185 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT. He also led Michigan in rushing with 85 yards on the ground and 1 TD.

With as impressive as the offense was, this game was all about Michigan's defense. The defense last year dominated opponents last year including 2 shutouts and 2 games where they only gave up 3 points. In this game, the defense picked up where they left off last year. They got after the QB all game and Texas' offense was ineffective throughout. They forced 4 fumbles, caused 2 turnovers, sacked the QB 4 times, held Texas to -3 yards on 17 carries, allowed 76 passing yards and 73 total yards. In addition to all of those impressive numbers, they allowed 0 points and didn't allow Texas to convert any of their 10 3rd or 4th down conversions.

After this impressive victory Michigan will rest a week as they prepare for #11 Cincinnati the following week.

Game Statistics

First Downs519
Total Offense73460
Passing YDS76211
3rd Down Conv0-86-10
4th Down Conv0-21-1
2pt Conv0-00-0
PR Yds1171
KR Yds1800
Total Yards264531

09 January 2010

2012 Season Preview

Michigan is coming off of a disappointing 10-3 season, but hope is very much alive in Ann Arbor. Michigan returns a ton of talent this year and should contend for a Big Ten title, and possibly a national title in only coach Jello's 4th season. Michigan lost some talent on offense in their top rusher, Mike Shaw, and 3 of their top 4 receivers, not to mention 2 starters on the offensive line. Defensively, they lost a studly DT (Mike Martin), 3 excellent LBs (including superstar MLB Kenny Demens), and the most prolific corner in the coach Jello era in Boubacar Cissoko.

The Offense:
None of this seems to matter, however, as the Wolverines are even better this year than they were last year. Everyone hopes that QB Forcier can remain healthy this year (he has 2 seasons where he threw fewer than 105 passes due to injuries) in his final campaign for the maize and blue. Michigan will miss Shaw at HB, but they have plenty of backs to step up and fill his shoes. While they lost 3 great WRs, they've replaced them with equally good, and much faster ones. @ TE, Michigan has a potential secret weapon in Brandon Moore if coach Jello chooses to utilize him (which he has yet to do in the past). Moore is 6'6 and is rated 94 OVR with 86 speed. Michigan's O-line should dominate as they boast 4 90+ rated guys with an 88 as their only "weak" link.

The Defense:
It would seem that Michigan's defense has nowhere to go but down. They were rated #1 in the country in several categories last year and on several occasions would completely dominate the opponents' offenses. Surprisingly enough, this years defense should be even better than last year! Their SO MLB is rated an 86 OVR and he is the only guy on the defense that's not rated in the 90s. Michigan's defensive line is surely the best in the country. DEs Lalota and Roh are rated 99 and 96 with 87 speed each. In the middle is Michigan's all time sack leader Big Will Campbell who is rated 99 and true SO DT A.J. Keller who comes in rated 93. Their LBs are rated 90, 86, and 96. The MLB is the only slow guy with 81 speed while the OLBs have 89 and 88 speed. Turner and Floyd are the starting corners and are rated 96 and 95. The safeties, Emilien and Bell (both returning starters) are rated 95 and 94. Michigan's defense is extremely talented, powerful, smart, and fast. They should dominate opposing offenses once again this year.

Here are the preseason all american and conference players from Michigan:

1st Team All-American

2nd Team All-American

1st Team All-Conference

2nd Team All-Conference