UA-59049186-1 Michigan 32, Michigan State 23 - Recap - Good if it Goes

Michigan 32, Michigan State 23 – Recap

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First thing’s first: a big thanks to @DGDestroys, who makes the every snap videos that make these a lot easier to do.

Box Score

Grading Primer

For 59 minutes and 50 seconds last year, Michigan had them. Then something stupid happened and Dantonio and the Sparty players and their fans acted as if it wasn’t a total fluke, as if Michigan wasn’t the better team that day. That sucked. A lot. So this one was circled on the calendar. Gotta re-establish the pecking order. Gotta get Paul back. Gotta shut Sparty up. Michigan has the guys to do it. Michigan State’s going to struggle to make a bowl. Gotta have this one.

Michigan State came out and marched down the field on their first drive on several brilliantly-scripted plays. They saved their good stuff for a game where they were four-score underdogs instead of any one of a few very-winnable games that they ended up losing, but whatever, man. Michigan responded by marching down the field themselves. Michigan would continue to do that throughout the first half. Michigan State – not so much. Michigan took their foot off the gas later in the game; they were up three scores, the goal was just kill the clock and bring Paul Bunyan home. I was totally fine with that so long as they kept the game out of the range where something stupid could happen again. Dantonio attempted to make it look like he wasn’t getting his butt handed to him by Michigan, despite the fact that he very clearly was. This would backfire spectacularly when upon going for two with a second left to cut the lead to five because reasons, the toss was botched and Jabrill Peppers took it back for a safety. There would be nothing stupid. Michigan won, and order is restored.

Now, on to volleyball coach Mark Dantonio. I understand what took place. The night before the game, you got down on your knees, put your little hands together, and said a prayer, and it sounded like this:

“Oh dear God, you see, my name’s Mark. And last year, we beat Michigan, and it definitely wasn’t a fluke. And we won the Big Ten. And we went to the College Football Playoff. But now, everybody thinks that we ABSOLUTELY SUCK.”

And then at that point, Mork, your house started to shake, the heavens opened up, and God himself, Fielding Yost, spoke to you and said this:

“Mike”

“But my name’s Mark.”

“IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOUR NAME IS.”

“You are absolutely right. You do suck. But there is one thing and one thing only you can do: you must go find the coach who is simply electrifying. You must go find Jim Harbaugh.”

“Oh, but God, anybody but Jim Harbaugh.”

“KNOW YOUR ROLE AND SHUT YOUR MOUTH.”

And then, Mitch, as fear went through your body, tears rolled down your cheek, and pee rolled down your leg, your house started to shake again, the clouds parted, the heavens opened, and what seemed like millions (and millions) of voices all said to you in unison “Jabroni!” IF YOU SMELLLLLLLL WHAT HARBAUGH…

…IS COOKIN’.

(Those that didn’t get the joke, click here.)

Player Grades

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How’d they do?

Ratings are out of 100 and should be read similar to Madden ratings. Overall ratings for the season are in parentheses.

QB: 84 (Season: 80, Change: +1)

Wilton Speight was not “Illinois/UCF/this is awesome Speight” nor was he “Rutgers/shaky Speight.” He was more than good enough to win this game; my only quibble is that a handful of his throws were off a bit. Shane Morris came in for a couple plays on which he was a blocker. Unless that’s leading to a trick play later in the year, it’s time to do away with those plays.

RB: 90 (Season: 94, Change: -1)

De’Veon Smith, Karan Higdon and Jabrill Peppers all had nice outings. There were a couple bad reads by the backs, but far more good ones. Smith caught a big minus on a pass pro biff.

FB/H-B: 92 (Season: 90, Change: +1)

Khalid Hill a.k.a. Hammering Panda had a great game. He had a big block on Smith’s TD where he hammered a guy and knocked him back a few yards. Henry Poggi continued to be meh.

WR: 99 (Season: 93, Change: +1)

Amara Darboh had a phenomenal outing, making a couple incredible one-handed grabs, including one where one arm was being hooked by an MSU defender. That, inexplicably, did not draw a flag. Darboh’s only minus came on an OPI penalty. Jehu Chesson had a fine game of his own. Eddie McDoom (Dooooooom) had a couple nice runs.

TE: 95 (Season: 94, Change: 0)

Jake Butt did Butt stu…er, uh, the type of things Jake Butt does. He made his presence felt in both the air and ground games. Devin Asiasi had another encouraging outing. Juwann Bushell-Beatty was used as a TE-ish guy, but really more of just an extra OL, but they gave him an eligible number, so who knows what the endgame here is. Harbaugh, man. He wasn’t very good. That’s somewhat troubling for OL depth.

OL: 84 (Season: 86, Change: -1)

Mason Cole had a rough day going up against Malik McDowell. He’s had trouble with the better interior linemen he’s faced; in this case, he got driven backward a few times and just beat a few others. He’s a definite asset on plays to the outside; he’s very agile and can get to the blocks and makes the blocks when he gets there. At this point, I’d think about seeing if either he or Bredeson can play RT, with the other playing LG next year. Speaking of Ben Bredeson, there was another not-so-great day. Ben Braden was fine. Erik Magnuson had a nice outing. Kyle Kalis was excellent.

DE: 98 (Season: 95, Change: 0)

Taco Charlton had an excellent game, the only way MSU was stopping him was by tackling him. This went uncalled by the referees, because it is written in the Big Ten bylaws that this game must always be officiated by a bunch of drunk chimps. Chris Wormley had a solid game. He got some snaps at DT as well in this one. Rashan Gary was fine, but still has a little work to do on setting the edge at the college level. Chase Winovich was just meh.

DT: 93 (Season: 95, Change: -1)

Maurice Hurst was excellent. It looked like he’s going to be the starter at DT (for whatever that’s worth given how much Michigan rotates) after he had another excellent game and Matt Godin, uh, didn’t. Godin graded out only slightly positive and this follows a game where he was in the negatives. That’s not good for anyone and extra not good for a D-lineman given how grading works. At nose, Ryan Glasgow had another Ryan Glasgow-type game and was bear hugged on a few occasions, also without reprimand from the drunk chimps. Bryan Mone still looks to be less than 100%.

LB: 80 (Season: 89, Change: -3)

So…yeah…that, uh that wasn’t good. Peppers was very good. Ben Gedeon and Mike McCray – oof. Coverage has got to tighten up and the missed tackles have got to stop. This was Gedeon and McCray’s first actual bad game, so I wouldn’t worry too much unless it becomes a pattern. The hope is that this was just their tribute to Joe Bolden after he was as the center of something stupid each of the last two years in this game.

CB: 85 (Season: 93, Change: -1)

Channing Stribling had a bit of a rough day. Jourdan Lewis wasn’t lights out, but was still quite good. As far as the PI calls on him, he got +0.5 each on two of them later in the game. One because it was good coverage and the flag was total bullcrap. The other because it happened with Michigan up 13 in the closing seconds with MSU in the red zone. At that point, PI’s a legit strategy. The only way MSU could have won was quick TD, onside kick, quick TD. Do whatever you have to do to prevent the first TD whilst killing off the last few seconds. Even if you end up giving them an untimed play at the end, who cares? They can’t get 13 points off of that.

S: 71 (Season: 85, Change: -4)

Delano Hill was solid. Dymonte Thomas…oof. This isn’t his first game like this, and the rest of the time, he’s been fine-to-very good, but that he remains susceptible to a game like this is a tad worrying.

Takeaways

MSU coach Mike D’Antoni is obsessed with Michigan. MSU’s opening sequence was their best of the year and Mtch D’Orazio saved it for a game he was almost certain lose at a point in the year when the best he could hope for is a trip to the Quick Lane bowl and even that’s beginning to appear out of reach. After that drive, Michigan adjusted and MSU didn’t get much until they tried to make t look good while Michigan was looking to just kill the clock. About that part – eh, whatever. Playing conservatively was the right call at that point. I was just like “make sure it doesn’t get close enough that something stupid can happen.” And it didn’t. MSU had a tiny, tiny, tiny chance at the end where they would’ve needed an onside kick and a heave to the endzone for the win. That was torpedoed by Matt Donatello’s decision to go for two to try and make it look just a tiny bit better.

Going forward, Hurst should be the started at 3T, unless you’re going up against someone that’s going to run tempo, in which case splitting Hurst and Glasgow up for the sake of balancing the lines seems like the right play. Am I as excited about the D-line depth as I was at the start of the year? No, but Matt Godin would still start for a lot of teams. So would Chase Winovich. Bryan Mone just doesn’t seem all the way back. It’s beginning to look like it might be next year before he is, but I’m still quite optimistic about him once he gets there. The defensive S&P+ rating fell to 1.7, still #1 by a good margin.

Helmet Stickers

Up to 3 may be awarded per player. Not necessarily the highest-graded players since different grades mean different things to different players (refer to the primer).

Offense

3: Amara Darboh, Kyle Kalis, Khalid Hill, Jake Butt, Jehu Chesson

2: Jabrill Peppers, Erik Magnuson, Wilton Speight, De’Veon Smith

1: Devin Asiasi, Eddie McDoom

Defense

3: Taco Charlton, Maurice Hurst, Ryan Glasgow, Jabrill Peppers

2: Jourdan Lewis

1: Chris Wormley, Delano Hill

Helmet Sticker Count

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Go Blue!

Twitter: @KSchroeder_312

E-mail: schroeder.giig@gmail.com

 

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