Running away - Chris at BWS breaks down the Purdue game and comes to the same conclusion about the offensive line as I have.
Fitz Toussaint. Toussaint is not broken, but Michigan's offensive line might be. The only way Michigan could move the ball on the ground is when Denard read a Purdue defender who didn't stay disciplined. Otherwise, the Purdue front seven tore up Michigan's offensive line. That's how Fitz Toussaint goes from a 1,000 yard rusher to getting 19 yards on 17 carries against Purdue. Sure, a few of those were carries form the one yard line that netted exactly as much as was needed, but the interior of Michigan's offensive line is precisely as shaky as it has seemed all year.
I don't think it is a matter of Fitz vs. Rawls, but a matter of the O-Line continuing to show improvement on the ground. There has been some, and it is doubtful this team sees an interior defensive lineman as skilled as it has in the last two games (Nix and Short) until the last game of the season.
Michigan's offensive line trending up after turning in best game of season - Even in an article praising the offensive line's maturation this season, Kyle Meinke can't help but tack on the caveat, "well, other than when it comes to running back production."
The one hole in the offensive line's resume through five games: Production from the tailbacks. Michigan's non-Robinson running game is accounting for just 69.4 yards per game. Starter Fitz Toussaint is averaging 42.3 per game. But overall, the Wolverines are rushing for 208.4 yards per game, 29th nationally and fourth in the Big Ten.
Its a problem, yo.
Ask the Beat: Making sense of preseason expectations - Another installment of this excellent series from UMHoops.
But that’s one end of the spectrum. It shouldn’t be the expectation. Because, as I just explained, there’s just way too many question marks right now to be that bold (or maybe I’m a chicken … maybe it’s both). In terms of goals, Michigan’s goal should be to win the Big Ten regular season again (which will be even more difficult this season), and to get past the Round of 32 for the first time under Beilein. Anything more than that, I think, is gravy. Anything less should go down as a failure.
I worry about the seemingly runaway hype surrounding this team, but you can't help but get a little awestruck at the potential if things work out.
One Trick Ponies And The Michigan Wolverines - Graham Filler asks is Michigan for real? I just don't know, man. But I think so because of the defense and the continued ability of Denard Robinson to create yards like MacGyver creates duex ex machina like plot twists with the crap he finds in his pockets.
Quinton Washington for President - Chris (again) on Quinton Washington's improvement this year.
OK, OK, this was against Purdue, but if I had told you before the year started that Washington would be capable of doing this against any BCS competition, you'd call me crazy. This is just more proof that Mattison and Hoke can turn just about anyone into a good defensive tackle. I assume this play is catnip for the coaching staff in the film room. Washington gets off the ball quickly, gets his hands inside the offensive guard, and drives him straight upfield, single-handedly blowing up the running play despite it not showing up in the box score. Though Washington wasn't this effective on every play, he was often making a difference that didn't show on the scoreboard by taking on double teams and getting good penetration.
If this coaching staff can keep turning also-rans into solid defensive linemen, things could get scary for opposing offenses once the current class of freshmen and recruits has a few years in the system.
Happy Birthday, Greg Robinson - Our friends at Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician celebrate everyone's favorite former D-Coordinator's birthday.
Maize-N-Brew: Michigan's rush attack could carry them through Big Ten | Michigan Wolverines - My Freep column from yesterday on Michigan beating Purdue in a way a lot of us didn't see coming. The easy way.
The Leaders of the Legends - Isn't it cute when Iowa fans talk themselves into their divisional chances?
With 1 word, Patriots' no-huddle an NFL marvel - The Boston Globe looks at the Pats no huddle offense with an eye to Oregon. Good stuff for those football scheme junkies like myself.
Forget time of possession. It's all about total numbers of plays to Kelly. What he's really looking for is yards and points per minute.
Fast might be an understatement when describing Oregon's offense. When they're really going, they get plays off in five seconds. Oregon fans will boo the chain gang moving the sticks on the sideline because they are holding up the offense. Oregon players tell tales of defenders saying that if the Ducks go any faster they're going to vomit or pass out.