Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Real problem

The real problem last year was Michigan's offense not the defense as so widely stated by the media. Why?:

-> Held Notre Dame to it's LOWEST point total for all of 2005 at 17.
-> ND was pretty consistently high scoring before/after us aside from the Fiesta Bowl.
-> ND offensive average was 38.18 pts/game, we held them to 17.

-> Only allowed 23pts against high flying Wisconsin (yes Wisconsin)
-> Wisc's offensive average was 35.33 pts/game, we held them to 23.

-> Held Minnesota to it's 2nd lowest point total of the year.
-> Minnesota's offensive average was 36.18 pts/game, we held them to 23.
-> Minnesota scored 31 points against the tough OSU defense.

-> Held PSU to it's 3rd lowest point total of the year.
-> PSU's offensive average was 35.18 pts/game, we held them to 25.

-> Held high-flying Northwestern to it's 2nd highest point total of the year. They were averaging 37.14 pts/game BEFORE they played us.
-> Northwestern scored 29 points against the tough PSU defense, we held them to 17.

-> Held OSU to it's 3rd lowest point total of the year behind 2 stalwart defenses, PSU and Texas

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

2006 Questions

I'd like to take a quick interruption of my 'What makes a good X' posts to throw out what I believe are the top questions for the Wolverine team that will take the field in 2006:

1) Which Chad Henne will show up?
  • Simple question but the biggest. This has been asked earlier and is the biggest factor for the Wolverines in 2006.
2) Will the offensive line be better than last year? This question has to be broken down into multiple parts:
  1. How will the line function as a whole? Will it gel?
  • This question has a lot to do with how Henne does this year. If the o-line has another rocky year then Henne will most likely follow suit.
  1. Who will be the RT and how well will that person do?
  • I can't help but think that this is the biggest position question mark on the whole team. Kolo? Riley? Zirbel/Ortmann?
  1. Can Bihl be more than just a filler at center?
  • Sure he "had a good spring" but can he bring that to game day?
  1. Why does the formatting on blogger suck? Argh!!!
3) How much will our LB play improve this year?
  • It will be interesting to see the change between Herrmann and Szabo and what results that has on the field. Throw English into the equation here as well. We should field a good to decent front 4 and our defensive backfield should be good-great with only 1 unproven CB to get up to speed. That leaves LB play as the only real question for the 2006 defense. Even a small improvement over last year should reap big overall rewards in terms of defensive performance.
4) What impact will Ron English have on our Defense?
  • English will be scrutinized fiercely this year and hopefully there won't be any bloggers using the excuse "well, he did have to work within Loyd's framework" by the end of the year.
Honestly those are the main questions. The other positions seem to be taken care of:

-RB's: We should field a good stable of RB's that will be great if Hart stays healthy.
-WR's: Same thing. Mario, Arrington (my bet this year for a breakout season), Breaston, Tabb, Savoy, Dutch...
-TE's: Ecker, Massey, freakazoid Butler should equate to a good year.
-S: 5 returning starters.
-DB's: 1 good starter with 1 nickel-db with experience and 2 other good potential DB's (Stewart/Sears)
-DE's: Woodley, Jamison, Biggs (rumored to be much improved) should be good.
-DT's: Taylor/Branch should hold down the fort with Walton/McKinney/Johnson and possibly Slocum adding to the mix. This one could be tenuous if injury strikes but fingers crossed.

OG/C follow-up

Taking a look at the 'What makes a good OG/C' post below, the end result was that for recruiting purposes there isn't a magic bullet based on recruiting stats. In a previous post, I stated that there didn't seem to be a single OG/C headed our way in 2007 but things have changed. There now appears to be at least 1 in that category: David Molk.

My impressions are that it will come down to West Virginia or Michigan for Molk and he looks to be deciding in the next few weeks. Hopefully he will stay closer to home and pick Michigan.

Molk is ~6'1" and 270lbs running a 5 in the 40. Overall he would fall into the first category of less than 300lbs and mobile. He looks to have a mean streak which is another trait that seems to come in handy for offensive lineman. He also blew up the Michigan camp and was seemingly the best offensive lineman there.

All-in-all I will be EXTREMELY happy if we can pick up Molk plus a decent OT. It would be even better if we can add John Elliott to the mix as well but I haven't heard much at all about him which isn't a good thing as there are usually at least whispers on folks looking to head to Michigan.

Updating my previous skepticism, it looks like we might be getting at least one of the Schwartz/Ziemba OT pair heading our way. Fingers crossed on that.