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Old November 13th, 2017, 08:36 AM   #21
Jeff Buchanan
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As usual, bronxblue in his piece called "Best and Worst" does a great job at lending balance to the outlying fan claims of prepare for two bad losses versus 10-2 is in the bag.

He goes over the Maryland game in the context of the preceding two and concludes we still don't have a good feel for how M will do v. teams with equal or better talent. All we have is MSU and PSU and, unfortunately, things did not go well in those two games.

For the hand-wringers among M's fan base, the offensive outburst by Maryland in the second half does not mean M's defense is not good anymore and will not hold up v. the Badger. He provides details. You can take my word for it or read the article yourself. The defense is very good and will hold Wisconsin's offense in check. Keep in mind while Taylor is good, M's defense has been practicing against Higdon and Evans. As well, Hornibrook has more interceptions than TDs and has thrown at least one INT in every game this season (except BYU and Utah State) against pass defenses that rank at or well South of 26th. M's pass D ranks 7th.

He offers no reassurances about injuries and says, we're not going to know about them until Saturday so, don't get worked up about it. It is what it is going to be, my excellent analysis of the injury situation above notwithstanding.

I thought the best part of these always humorous and well written articles was the part where he offers to the meat eating, battles in the Roman Colosseum crowd who wanted a blood bath this explanation - M's average starting field position was the their own 44; Maryland's was their own 20. This explains why Maryland had more yards than M. And this ....

Compounding this yardage discrepancy was how efficient Michigan was at scoring. Michigan's average scoring drive in this game was 5 plays; Maryland's was 11. Michigan ran 56 plays to get their 35 points, while Maryland ran 70 to get their 10. For the game Michigan's average play was 5.4 to Maryland's 4.9, but that masks the fact Michigan was averaging 6.8 ypp in that first half while Maryland barely eclipsed 3.

I'd add, we will not often see a Harbaugh coached team try to dismember an opponent that has for all intents and purpose already been killed (2016 Rutgers excepted). There are two reasons for that. JH isn't into style points on the field, maybe off it and during recruiting trips but, no, he's not going to embarrass an opponent. Well, except Rutgers and Ash and his boys deserved it after the public trash talk that went on before the game (something about "Rutgers is going to become M's biggest rival" or such).

As well, after a 28-0 lead gained in the first half, the coaches had every reason to substitute freely, which they did on D, to a lesser extent on O to reduce the chances of injury. The offense is purposefully limited for Peters anyway and there was absolutely no reason to show to the respective coaching staff of these programs how it might get opened up v. Wisconsin or osu..... and ......

M got to play rope a dope with Maryland in the 2nd half with a solid performance by punter Brad Robbins that precipitated the situation where the Terps had to burn clock while driving the field to score. They only did this twice with one of those drives ending in an endzone INT by Long and an 80y return. Hard to watch for the Roman Colosseum crowd looking for the kill but imminently wise and in that context understandable.

http://mgoblog.com/diaries/best-and-worst-maryland-2

So, after 10 games, I don't think we really know how M will do on the road, inside Camp Randall against the #5 ranked football team in the country. Looking at that statement, you'd think no chance.

Disregarding that my takes are obviously biased because I am the ultimate homer, other than the ridiculous distraction of Badger fans stomping their feet to put the rickety stadium that is Camp Randall in some sort of harmonic motion on every important defensive play, I like M's chances. A win in Madison will increase my perception of team 138, Jim Harbaugh and the likelihood that M will beat osu in Ann Arbor the following week.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 08:45 AM   #22
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After multiple 10,000 word essays, the ultimate conclusion is this:

Quote:
I don't think we really know how M will do on the road, inside Camp Randall against the #5 ranked football team in the country.
Great stuff, Buchanan.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 08:48 AM   #23
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How dare fans inside Camp Randall stomp their feet and make noise, how unbecoming can they be?
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Old November 13th, 2017, 09:11 AM   #24
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LMAO at mgoblog apologism and data mining. The eyeball test against Maryland was clear -- the defense got shredded by a team with their fourth QB. A dropped pass on a trick play, a missed field goal, and an interception in the end zone cost Maryland 13-17 points. UM's offense was "efficient" because Maryland handed them the ball inside their 35 yard line on three consecutive posessions. The only defense of this turd is the argument that everyone quit playing once we were up 28-0, so therefore nothing that occurred after that mark matters. That's not a very encouraging scenario either.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 09:16 AM   #25
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Michigan hasn't played a decent power running team yet this year. They'll probably do an okay job of holding of physically, but Paul Chryst is a terrific offensive coach and he'll find our weaknesses. The Badgers are great at combining smashmouth football with jet sweep action to keep the defense honest and coach Chryst has always had a great feel for what mix to run -- dating back to his days as Bielema's OC.

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Old November 13th, 2017, 09:59 AM   #26
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Yeah, Michigan's schedule isn't all that impressive outside of PSU and MSU, who they were manhandled by. Wisconsin's win over Iowa is arguably the best win on either team's resume this season.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 10:54 AM   #27
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This one is easy. One tough team on the road - PSU - and the result was pain and embarrassment. This one is at Camp Randall, and Wisconsin is playing for payback and to clinch their spot in the B1G Championship game. The offense can run against inferior defenses, but Wisconsin ain't Minnesota. Take away the TEs, and Peters won't hit a pass. Defensively, smallish players like Bush, Hudson, Metellus, and Kinnel will not hold up against the power run attack of the Badgers. Gonna be ugly, Optimigos. 28 - 0 ugly. Unless Quinn finally breaks out of his slump and finally hits a FG.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 12:25 PM   #28
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Wisc isn't playing for a spot in the BIG championship game. They already clinched that. They're playing for a spot in the CCG
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Old November 13th, 2017, 12:55 PM   #29
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I think Michigan will win, based upon pure homerism. All the injured will play for us. Peters will throw a couple of deep bombs for TDs. Hurst with a tummy rub or two. Breakout games for Donovan Peoples Jones and Ambry Thomas. Might as well throw in Jaylen Kelly Powell, with a surprise big play on special teams.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 01:24 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UMStan White View Post
Wisc isn't playing for a spot in the BIG championship game. They already clinched that. They're playing for a spot in the CCG
You are correct. Also, Jim Leonhard should make life hard for Peters. I look for at least 3 sacks. Just not our year. Probably would have been better if O'Korn hadn't crapped out against Sparty.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 03:15 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Rocky Bleier View Post
........ Jim Leonhard should make life hard for Peters. I look for at least 3 sacks. Just not our year. Probably would have been better if O'Korn hadn't crapped out against Sparty.

Yes and correct ......

I started doing some research on Wisky's D and turned out several good articles on Aranda's (now Leonhard's) defensive schemes.

They run a Hybrid 3 - 4 (nickel 4-2-5) with a space backer. It's a lot like Brown's except different - whatever that means. Apparently at the time of these articles, Wisconsin had been toasted by osu, did some tinkering and shut down Auburn in the Bowl. Not sure I have those details right but the point is that Leonhard is a very good DC and will know that Kugler doesn't hold up well v. a strong NT and that the pass-pro on the right is weak.

The only place I'd quibble with is your prediction of 3 sacks. I think M has done a really good job protecting Peters despite these two weaknesses in the OL. They've gone with heavy sets/a 6th OL and run and passed out of them to avoid signaling a pass plays. Obviously this limits the 22 formation on a pass play (2RBs and 2 TEs = a "22" formation) to one WR. That's why Peters checks down to one of either the TEs or RBs so often.

Good corners in man are taking the deep ball away. However the throws to the TEs and RBs have been effective on roll-outs/waggles and Peters sees the field when he scrambles and has made some plays. I'd add that I'm pretty sure Peters has been coached up to take the deep route only if it is wide open (i.e., a coverage bust) and look for those same coverage busts on the TEs or RBs that he chooses to put it up. O/W, throw it away. He's been very disciplined in this regard with few exceptions

After the two big time hits that Peters didn't see v. Rutgers, It appears he wasmuch more conscious of this v. Maryland. Wisky will obviously work to get penetration and hit Peters; how that works out for them we'll have to wait and see.
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Old November 14th, 2017, 08:21 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Jeff Buchanan View Post
The only place I'd quibble with is your prediction of 3 sacks.
Peters is fairly mobile, but I think he'll be forced to throw more since he'll be playing from behind. No need to throw v.s. Minnesota or Maryland. Wisconsin sacked Nate Stanley 4 times, and Leonhard will surely come after the redshirt freshman QB on 3rd and long in the second half when he's up 2 or 3 scores.
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Old November 15th, 2017, 02:46 PM   #33
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Wisconsin has a very capable defense. This could be a low scoring affair.

Keep them below 24 points and we'll have a decent chance for a W.
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Old November 15th, 2017, 03:01 PM   #34
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Too many 3 and outs lead to a tired defense that even at its best over-pursues and is susceptible to big plays. That does not bode well playing a strong running team. The offense needs to get some sustained drives early that result in points.
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Old November 15th, 2017, 03:20 PM   #35
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Can't give up the big plays like they've to inferior opponents, I'd hope to see a less aggressive Don Brown but that has yet to happen.
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Old November 15th, 2017, 04:21 PM   #36
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"We solve our problems with aggression."
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Old November 15th, 2017, 04:52 PM   #37
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Can't give up the big plays like they've to inferior opponents, I'd hope to see a less aggressive Don Brown but that has yet to happen.

I think Brown (and by the approval of JH) is fine with the risks endured by Brown's aggressiveness. I also think that Wisconsin is vulnerable to this unlike, say, Maryland or osu, maybe IU by virtue of the offensive styles they all run. Not so with Wisconsin's pro-style offense.

Another thing, if you look objectively at Wisky's offense it's not great as measured by a number of advanced stats - and by this time in the season, these numbers tend to be more predictive.

Wisconsin in rushing is 21st in S&P+, 27th Success Rate, 52nd Power Success Rate (3rd/4th down < 3y to go); in passing, 28th, 19th respectively and take a bunch of sacks (Sack Rate = 95th).

M ranks 2nd in Overall Havoc Rate so, the numbers would indicate an aggressive D will pay off against this particular offense.

I would be remiss and guilty of homerism if I didn't remark about who is #1 in Overall Havoc Rate. That would be Wisconsin's D. It's a lot like Browns. So M needs to keep up the QB harassment regimen as you can bet Wisconsin is going to be working really hard to work Kugler and JBB ..... neither QBs are likely to burn the D and I'd actually give the edge to Peters, not so much because he's a better QB but because my eyeball tells me he is used better than Hornibrook.

One further comment: M's win probability v. Wisconsin is actually lower than it is v. osu. both around 30% based on S&P+.
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Old November 16th, 2017, 04:52 PM   #38
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Lightbulb

Quote:
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...... One further comment: M's win probability v. Wisconsin is actually lower than it is v. osu. both around 30% based on S&P+.
I'm quoting myself because now I think I understand why ......

Let's go through this. Advanced Stats says Wisconsin is good and because M's SOS is not much better than Wisconsin's, the "they haven't played anyone" doesn't wash. Neither has M and that M lost to the two teams they played that were other than "anyone" (MSU & PSU) doesn't speak well of SOS comparisons as an indicator that M has some kind of advantage here. It doesn't.

The comparative Advanced Stats that's done at mgoblog was out this morning. I read it carefully. It's depressing. Nearly a clean sweep in every category for the Badgers. It concludes with a few rays of hope:

Well, it was fun while it lasted, but the days of seeing matchup charts that are predominantly and overwhelmingly maize-and-blue-colored has come to an end.

The efficiency and success rate matchups alone suggests we can expect to witness a slobber-knocking sludge-fart of a game. Scoring will be low, and the intangibles like turnovers, hidden yards, penalties and weather may factor significantly in the outcome. That said, execution will be critical to avoid the adverse effects of such elements of this game we call Football in general, and Big Ten Football in particular.

So how can Michigan sneak out of Mad-town with a victory? The LYPC advantages for Michigan are largely attributable to the power and gap-blocking schemes in its rushing offense. If UM chooses to reverts to zone-blocking as it did against Maryland, this advantage will be lost, as evidenced by the chart. Michigan has the bodies and the proficiency to make this work. The uptick in OL performance actually began with the MSU game, and the trend in LYPC (as Mathlete pointed out a couple weeks back IIRC on the podcast?) is steady and consistent until Maryland, when zone-blocking was for some inexplicable reason given a new emphasis. Phooey on that. UM needs to stick with its Power, Isos and Counters.


Should Michigan attempt to pass, step one will be to minimize the Badger pass rush. In other fancy stats, the Badger Defense currently ranks #1 in Overall Havoc (UM is #2), as well as #1 in LB Havoc, #1 DB Havoc and #1 in PD to INC. It also ranks #3 in regular old sacks.

Therefore, failing step one, steps two and three will be.... (insert ".gif of medieval, armor clad sword wielding soldiers running away) ...... But seriously ..... An emphasis on the blocky-catchy types and heavy sets particularly multi-TE/H-backs - and the tackle-over has worked on occasion as well. These sorts of things could be effective to keep the Badger defense guessing as to whos blocking or running a route. Also, continued use of the waggle, with its pulling protection, may work as far as keeping Peters clean while buying time to take a shot or two downfield - preferably on first down or second-and-short situation. This also might also be a good time to resurrect that shovel pass UM ran once at IU that got whistled before it went anywhere. Lets not forget the mesh, either, should UM persuade the safeties to back off. Its high time to run a couple or three of those.


I did find an article about CFB that ranks teams in terms of a combo of S&P+ and SOS, i.e., their resume. It's long and tedious. I read it, you don't have to. What this does is highlights win margin (nod in talent's direction re our discussion this morning on osu wailing or not wailing M) among others within the S&P+ stats as a component of a team's comparative ranking.

The article is linked below. Wisconsin ranks #3 by S&P+ but drops 4 slots to #7 in S&P+ Resume (SOS); Likewise, M ranks 16 but drops to 22. The author suggests that the Resume S&P+ rankings are quite meaningful in separating the top 5-10 but less so beyond that. His Top 4 by this ranking system are Alabama, osu, PSU and Auburn. First two teams out are Central Florida and UGA.

So, my point is that Wisconsin is really not a good choice as a play-off team. Still, they are very good at what they do.

Key to an M win:

Stop RB Jonathan Taylor and TE Troy Fumagali. Sounds simple but it's not and that is because of the unique style of Harbaughesque man-ball that Paul Cryst puts on the field (yep, he's got Flexbone stuff in there - see Fi-Fi-Fo-Film Offense at mgoblog for film. Very cool in an I hate that shit v. M sort of way). His goal is keep ahead of the sticks; he uses Taylor to do that and selectively throws to Fumagali on 2nd or 3rd down and short. It's effective.

Wisconsin 24 - M 20

https://www.sbnation.com/college-foo...kings-2017-sos

http://mgoblog.com/diaries/advanced-...igan-wisconsin

http://mgoblog.com/content/fee-fi-fo...offense-0#more
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Old November 16th, 2017, 09:26 PM   #39
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This is what one mgoboarder posted when the crowd was asked in a serious sort of way, "what do want to see from M's offense v. Wisconsin." .... I LOL'ed at this one:



Sometimes there is some funny and clever stuff on mgoboard.
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Old November 16th, 2017, 10:11 PM   #40
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You just have to search way too damn hard at that place to find it.
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