A week or two ago I posted what was to be the new logo around this place and hinted that further changes were on the way. Well, within the next week those changes are going to be here and things are going to look a lot different than before. SBN United is a new platform that will allow site managers like myself to have more control over how the site looks and what is featured, while giving readers access to more interesting information from around all of SB Nation's 322 sites. It is an exciting time.
Some of the perks of the new platform:
- SB Nation United is going to make our sites load faster and run better meaning you can get to the content you want faster.
- SB Nation United is going to make sure that you're seeing the best and brightest content up front with our flexible layout, modern design and reduction of clutter.
- SB Nation United is going to make the experience on our sites run seamlessly from every platform, whether mobile, tablet or computer. No matter where you are, the experience will not change.
- SB Nation United will not take away or change any of the community elements you love like FanPosts and FanShots and GameThreads.
But you can count on one thing staying the same: all of us here at Maize n Brew will continue to produce the kinds of things that you want to read, and we will always foster an environment of thoughtful discussion and playful banter. If you want more info on how this thing is going to look, you should check out the great introductory post at Team Speed Kills for more details.
So now you know. Expect this to happen soon (I don't have an exact date for you), and while it might take us a few days to work out all the little kinks, I promise that this change it going to be hugely positive for everyone involved.
Now, how about some links for Friday:
Denard Robinson, enjoy him while you can - John U. Bacon on Michigan radio talks about Denard Robinson and how little time we have left to watch him suit up in a Michigan uniform.
This is Robinson's third season as Michigan's starting quarterback, and every fall, he's been a strong candidate for the Heisman Trophy. Still, the fans complain that he runs too much, that he can't pass well enough, and he doesn't beat enough of the big teams.
All these points obscure a far bigger one: How lucky Michigan fans, students and alumni are to count Denard Robinson as one of their own.
Um, cosign 100%. Do you realize how awesome it has been to watch Denard and how terrible things were for a while there? Sure, he may not be a future NFL hall of famer, but he worked hard, cared, and did it the right way while he was here. I'm going to write about this down the road, but it is a good reminder: ENJOY DENARD WHILE YOU CAN. Our time with him is limited.
Also, I've got to give a shout out to my father for sending me that link.
Packaged plays - BWS looks more in depth at a certain group of plays that Michigan has been running that hint at a progression toward packaging different play concepts together.
Packaging plays. I like that Borges is packaging plays here. The problem with this and similar packages however, is that the offense is optioning a defender who will most likely force the ball out of Denard's hands. Teams would rather see anyone other than Denard carrying the ball, so they instruct their defensive ends to force the handoff. It's possible that whenever a defensive end fails to force the handoff, the remaining defenders will overreact to Denard carrying the ball who can dump it into the flat for the screen.
Opponent Watch: Week 3 - Heiko at MGoBlog with his weekly opponent watch.
Offensively Notre Dame was underwhelming but relatively error-free. The game plan was to rely on the defense to win the game, so offensive playcalling focused on the ground game save for a couple spectacular big plays that ultimately resulted in points. The conservative approach resulted in some ugly stats like 1 of 14 on third down conversions, but it won the game, so I won’t criticize. I’d be surprised if the Irish deviate from that plan against Michigan since offensive errors cost them the last two games in the series.
Michigan Wolverines look back on first night game - ESPN did an oral history of last year's under the lights game that is worth checking out.
Borges: Even though he didn't run the route right out of a textbook, he got where he belonged, and Denard knew where he was and threw it up where only the good guy can get the ball, which is what you have to do. That was really it. Was it exactly how you draw it? No. It was not a pretty play. It was probably a microcosm of how we played the whole night. But it worked.
Michigan 'Ask Kyle' questions answered: Will Devin Gardner play quarterback or receiver next year? - Kyle Meinke gives his best guess as to whether Gardner's move to wide receiver will stick next year, and other things.
Video: Irish expand initiative urging docile fans to actually cheer, cheer for Notre Dame - Matt Hinton on Notre Dame's new campaign to get fans up and cheering during games.
OSU v. Cal: Defensive Breakdown - Ross Fulton at 11W takes a look at what went wrong against Cal a week ago on defense, and comes up with quite the illuminating list.
The Ohio State defense gave up over 500 yards and 28 points in flirting with disaster against Cal. Yet a whopping forty percent of those yards were on six plays. Granted, the Buckeye defense was at times left in a precarious position by offensive three and outs and poor punting, but that cannot adequately explain the big play problem. The Ohio State defense has now given up 13 plays of 20+ yards. So these big plays cannot be explained away as skewing stats. They instead are the problem. So, as with last week, we ask whether the defense has a schematic problem, a personnel problem, or an execution problem. And, as with last week, the answer is all of the above.
Cam Newton and the Diversity of Carolina's Zone-Read Package - Chris Brown looks at the zone-read packages that the Carolina Panthers are employing with Cam Newton. Interesting X&O stuff as always from Brown.