This was posted as a fanpost a few days ago, but I wanted to draw everyone's attention to it.
Martavious Odoms has started a Kickstarter to fund a community project in his hometown of Pahokee, Florida (also the current hometown of VIncent Smith, Brandin Hawthorne, and Richard Ash). The project is planting a large community garden in coalition with Urban Greenworks of Miami. The garden will sell its crops locally and hopes to be self sufficient.
Not only is this a good cause, but it is a good cause headed by a former Wolverine. You know what to do Maize n Brewers. Donate.
5 Michigan keys: A look at who has the most to gain against UMass (with prediction) - Kyle Meinke looks at some keys to the UMass game, and includes increased production from Roundtree.
But Michigan also is a better team when Roundtree is catching passes. If he could get it going, it would add a dimension to a passing game that has carried on without him in Gardner and junior Jeremy Gallon. Even Jeremy Jackson.
I respectfully disagree. Without taking anything away from Roy Roundtree as a player, leader, and do-er of little things like blocking, I don't see Roundtree as a real x-factor player in this offense.
The reason Roundtree hasn't been as productive as the sophomore version of himself isn't a slump, it is a wholesale transition in the offense. Furthermore, his skills just don't suit the offense or his role in it. Unless Roundtree is working in the slot in a primarily spread offense where his route running can get him open against nickel corners, linbebackers, and safeties, there really isn't a whole lot he can do. Saying that Roundtree would add an extra dimension to the passing game is like saying Ricardo Miller would add an extra dimension: of course any extra passes caught add something. It is just disingenuous to stress that the offense is missing something without Roundtree's production because it never had it.
Hold the edge, fergodsakes - BWS breaks down one of the same plays that I did earlier in the week: a defensive breakdown on the edge against Air Force (with the added correction that the player in question was Raymon Taylor, not Courtney Avery). His conclusion is much the same (that Raymon Taylor screwed the pooch by not holding the outside edge).
Brian at MGoBlog disagrees slightly, on the premise that Taylor is actually blitzing at the snap, and therefore the fault lies with Mattison:
He was uneven, as you might expect. I don't blame him on the easy pitch touchdown Air Force got since he was blitzing at the snap-watch Floyd for confirmation-and got blocked in the back something fierce without a call from this ref crew deathly afraid of throwing a flag on America. Mattison dialed up a risky play in an effort to get a stop and got beat, which is fine on the one yard line. You've got to dial it up somehow.
Brian also blames the blocking the back call that was missed when the outside blocker gave Taylor a quick shove. Chris at BWS doesn't think its a true penalty, and I can see it being a no call (it doesn't look like the blocker did much more than what Taylor was already doing diving for a tackle he had little chance to make after being taken out of position on the blitz.
Miscellaneous Minutiae - MnB's own Fouad from his home site Holdin' the Rope, takes a look at a column written by Brian Fischer at CBS meant to address the Big Ten's dificiency when it comes to competing nationally in football. Fischer:
The biggest issue for the conference is overall team speed. Sure, that's subjective. But it's accurate. From the safeties to the slot receivers, one can't compare how most Big Ten teams operate between the lines to their counterparts in the Big 12, Pac-12, SEC and, even in some cases, the ACC.
Nevermind the fact that he calls this observation subjective but accurate, or that the basis for this column is a quote from an Oregon State defender about how slow Wisconsin's receiver seemed, those don't really apply in the world where we blame the Big Ten's problems on one single factor. Fouad sums the counterargument up nicely.
I've always been sort of mystified by the fact that people will, without fail, chalk up the B1G's struggles to a lack of speed. Not only is it reductive, it doesn't really give the teams beating B1G squads their due credit. Football games are not won and lost solely because of team speed.
The real problems, like everything else, are much more complex than simply, "They don't have enough burners PAWWWLLLL."