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Old October 17th, 2017, 07:46 AM   #41
Jeff Buchanan
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I generally don't find practice week pressers to be very revealing. I think this one with JOK is:

How would you assess your play, especially the last two weeks?

“Yeah, I need to pick it up. There’s no way around it. Definitely not up to my own goals and aspirations. I need to pick it up, simple as that.”

When you say you need to pick it up, what specifically?

“Hit the guys that are open, run when I need to, trust the offensive line. Really just there were a few plays on Saturday where we had guys open. Just need to hit ‘em.”


I have no doubt players read what's posted about them on the web. I'm also confident coaches tell them to not pay any attention to it then go digging for comments about themselves. Human nature.

Brian was really tough on O'Korn in his Monday recap:

So here we are. That's three of four O'Korn games with extended playing time where he's been horrible. I have no idea what happened against Purdue, but if you're asking me to project future performance it's more in line with the last two weeks than the outlier. Teams are now preparing for a guy who's only good when he breaks the pocket, and there goes the efficiency of that gambit.

It's bad, man. It's so bad that Michigan spent half of its dropbacks presenting O'Korn with just two guys—or even one—in a downfield pattern. The interception he threw at a dominated Eddie McDoom was third and seven; Michigan had outside receivers run fades. Nobody else was in a pattern. O'Korn somehow still threw the wrong fade, choosing the 5'11" guy being checked by Indiana's best cornerback. Michigan dumbed down their passing offense to an extraordinary extent in this game, and their quarterback still couldn't keep up.

Game over, man. Game over.


Harsh but fair.

I'm not sure what to feel about John O'Korn. Sympathy? Empathy? Anger? What I do know is that he's a young man (what 22?) trying to do his best and then there is a hypersensitive fanbase - deservedly so after a decade of frustratingly bad M football and now the expectations v. reality of HARBAUGH!!! coming home to roost - throwing rocks at the guy.

Anyway, I like how it appears he responded to questions about his performance that were not soft balls. Kid's got some character.

http://mgoblog.com/content/monday-pr...-16-17-players
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Old October 17th, 2017, 07:52 AM   #42
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Well, J.O.K. doesn't have another school to transfer to, so he's stuck at M. Amazingly, he's playing. IMO, that's a terrifying comment on Peters.
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Old October 17th, 2017, 08:37 AM   #43
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I don't think we know the whole story on Peters. Just my gut feeling.

O'Korn is from Pennsylvania and wanted to play for PSU. His family are life long PSU supporters. When Hackenberg committed, PSU was not going to take 2 QBs so O'Korn looked elsewhere and ended up at Houston.

So, playing this Saturday in HV is a bit of a homecoming for John. Makes the game personal I would think.

I'll be a huge JOK fan Saturday night regardless of his performance and the outcome. He had a decent game v. Purdue. Maybe because it was personal - like that game was for him playing against the team that hired the coach that benched him at Houston.
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Old October 17th, 2017, 08:41 AM   #44
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Can that be measured by analytics? ^
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Old October 17th, 2017, 08:43 AM   #45
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Heh ..... feelings ball has it's place.

The analytics on JOK though ...... THAT IS frightening.
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Old October 17th, 2017, 08:49 AM   #46
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JOK can run the ball, that's been proven. You have a great field goal kicker and a great defense. You will want to squeeze the air out of the ball. Your head coach is famous for springing a game plan nobody saw coming when he went heavy to the read option in Lambeau when the Niners didn't run it all the much during the season.

The blueprint is there for a heavy underdog to go into enemy territory to get a win. You only need to look at how TOC went into the Shoe and got a win in 2015.
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Old October 17th, 2017, 08:52 AM   #47
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M WILL SHOCK THE WORLD!
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Old October 17th, 2017, 08:55 AM   #48
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Penn State is good...but how good? They have played no ranked teams, and only beat Iowa by 2 points. Putrid schedule.
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Old October 17th, 2017, 08:59 AM   #49
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The defense is good, not great. The DL is really good, but the secondary is too young and the LBs outside of Bush are questionable. I'm truly worried about seeing McCray out in the flat against Barkley this weekend or trying to contain McSorley on scrambles.

On the flipside, as has been pointed out, Penn State has a good pass rush and their D has been very good so far this year. That does not bode well. Throw in the fact that PSU will be looking for a little payback for the beat down they suffered last year (though they probably want to thank UM as they pulled it together and ran the table after that) and I'm not nearly as confidant as Froot is.
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Old October 17th, 2017, 09:06 AM   #50
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You guys have three things going for you.

1. As Whodean pointed out, we really don't know good PSU is, don't buy the hype.
2. It's a night game with an absurd line, the Wolverines will be amped for an upset.
3. Here's the most important point, PSU is rated #2 in the middle of October. It's a huge predictor of a loss. Teams like that are bound to lose, everyone knows this subconsciously, FancyStats does not even attempt to measure this metric.
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Old October 17th, 2017, 09:19 AM   #51
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Not sure what you mean there in #3. I do agree with the idea that it's early in the season still, and PSU's ranking reflects other teams' losses as much as it does their wins, some of which have not been impressive at all.

I also think that, at some point, some of those bounces are going to go our way, and some of our guys are due for some big plays, on defense. Bush and Gary are terrors out there but haven't yet made much in the way of huge-moment plays, and they're good enough to have some by the end of their time here. Lavert Hill will be too. Maybe DPJ returns one. All of these guys are going to have those kinds of plays at Michigan, and, if all other things go well, one of them doing it Saturday could be the difference.

But that's a lot of ifs and conjecture. A lot has to go right. It's easier for a few things to go wrong.

Last edited by hack; October 17th, 2017 at 09:23 AM.
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Old October 17th, 2017, 09:21 AM   #52
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Froot, college players are, for the most part, not NFL ready. So, yeah, JH can do this and has demonstrated it before at the NFL level but installing a surprise offense in college ball is tough to do. Stuff like that usually turns out to be ugly.

I don't think JH will stray too far from what Harbaughffense is. Before Purdue, it was hard to say what that actually was but both the Purdue and IU games demonstrated some skills on offense with both IZ and power and Higdon has emerged as a featured RB on those plays. There's an identity there. M's O appears to have decent success rates running those two plays, in this case, against a decent run defenses (IU was statistically decent). Like most opponents facing M they'll put 2 Ss within spitting distance of the LOS. That M rushed for 271 with Higdon going over 200 was pretty impressive.

osu, rush 292y, 51atps, 5.7ypc
PSU, 177, 47, 3.8
M, 271, 44, 6.2


I'm going to wait a bit before I'll post on what I think O'Korn will be asked to do v. PSU. Most observers think the coaching staff, to date, has simplified what reads O'Korn had to make on pass plays. That he still missed open receivers v. IU is worrisome ...... but he seems to recognize the error of his ways. Whether he can correct them remains to be seen. Feelings ball tells me he will. The facts don't.
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Old October 17th, 2017, 09:26 AM   #53
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I think an offensive surprise would be great, but it is equally if not more likely that a win would come from major help in the other two phases.
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Old October 17th, 2017, 09:41 AM   #54
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If you're going to compare games, then you have to also compare OSU's passing game vs IU and M's passing game vs IU. And that was, arguably, when OSU's passing game was at its worst (as we would see a week later). In fact, the entire OSU offense was largely incoherent for the first half (feelings observations made by several, including Buchanan). Even the 2nd half was choppy. Penn State also obliterated IU's secondary.

The point being that if you want to tout M's running game then there has to be complete and total condemnation of the passing game (based on IU comparisons).

The biggest point, IMO, for the M-PSU game is that PSU's OL is suspect. Barkley makes them look ok, but they have struggled to run the ball way too often this year. I think PSU is going to have a really hard time moving the ball.

On the other side, PSU will load up and dare M to throw the ball and, IMO, stuff them. It's going to look a lot like the Sparty game. No one in their right mind should respect the passing game in the least.

But all of that is fine. M has a really good kicker. If they can play some field position and win ST, then this is a brutal game and M has a shot. My gut feeling is that M's defense will give up two drives -- either on big plays or inexplicable -- and that will get PSU to 20 and that will probably be more than enough to win.
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Old October 17th, 2017, 09:46 AM   #55
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Two drives give you 14 though? Otherwise I think that's spot-on. If Michigan drives the length of the field it will be because they've found a running game, and maybe once or twice spring something we haven't seen before that's a feasible constraint. There will be no passing game because this offense is a perfect example of the ``things can happen and two are bad" concept. The risks are massive and the reward very unlikely for downfield passing. JH finally learned that. Just a week too late.
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Old October 17th, 2017, 09:46 AM   #56
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M's running against IU, incidentally, was easily it's best performance of the season. I mean, better than against total shit defenses like AFA and UC. And way better than bad running games against Purdue and Sparty.

If I were looking at the body of work, I'm not sure IU isn't an outlier.
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Old October 17th, 2017, 09:47 AM   #57
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Quote:
Two drives give you 14 though? Otherwise I think that's spot-on
Yeah, but you pick up a couple FGs on shorter drives/field possession -- something. IU put together 2 nice drives -- one to start the 2nd half and one at the end of the game. Along the way they also added 10 points.
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Old October 17th, 2017, 09:47 AM   #58
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We'll see. Signs of life from the groundgame against MSU too, but I sure wouldn't count on it.
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Old October 17th, 2017, 09:48 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by iam416 View Post
Yeah, but you pick up a couple FGs on shorter drives/field possession -- something. IU put together 2 nice drives -- one to start the 2nd half and one at the end of the game. Along the way they also added 10 points.
makes sense. I think they got 3 first downs on flags. Our defense is going to have to play flag-lite football, and that's a challenge for it.
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Old October 17th, 2017, 09:52 AM   #60
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I have watched a few of Penn State's games this year. They are perfectly comfortable trading a couple of three-and-outs for a quick score. That's what our defense will give them -- punt, punt, 60-yard Barkley screen pass. Give them 14 posessions and they'll score 30 or so points. Way more than they'll need. I see this game going a lot like their game against Pitt. We'll win TOP but they'll score the TDs.

Fortunately, Barkely will be gone after this year and we'll find out next year whether Franklin is a really great coach or whether Barkley was a one-time fluke.

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