Braylon Dedicates Browns win to fallen fan

As someone who wasn’t a Michigan fan until I stepped foot on campus in fall 204, Braylon Edwards will always be one of my favorite Wolverines. I missed the attitude problems prior to his junior and senior years, and showed up just in time for the classic Edwards performance of MSU ’04, and many other great plays he made on the way to the Biletnikoff Award.

I have been cheering for Braylon since he was drafted by the Browns, and I have been glad to see that heis not only coming into his own as an NFLer this year, but has been a class act his entire time in the league. Now, Braylon has dedicated the Browns’ win on Sunday to Denzel Douglas. Hats off to you, Mr. Edwards.

Posted under Personnel

New Member Coming Soon

In the next few days, look for Varsity Blue to unveil a new blogger, Adam. He will be primarily posting about Michigan basketball, though he is knowledgeable about football as well.

Posted under Blog News

Brandon Graham is dressed like the Burger King

Happy (early) Halloween.

Posted under Misc.

Monday Depth Chart

Interesting notes from the depth chart revealed at today’s press conference:

  • Henne and Hart both listed as starters.
  • Brett Gallimore back on offense, as 2nd string LG.
  • Obi Ezeh still starting in the middle over Johnny Thompson.
  • Jonas Mouton listed “or” with Brandon Logan as backup WLB.
  • Ciulla-Schilling right side of the OL.
  • Harrison-Hemingway as KR.

Carlos Brown was on KR against Minnesota, so his absence there this week probably doesn’t mean anything about Mike Hart’s status (i.e. wanting to keep Carlos healthy because he’ll be the feature back). Brett Gallimore’s re-switch to offense means that adequate depth has emerged on the DL. It also means that he probably won’t be asked back for a fifth year.

Posted under Personnel

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MSU Game to be on ABC

With both Wisconsin and Michigan State doing some flailing, it was up in the air which game next week would fall to the Big Ten Network.

Michigan/Michigan State has been selected by ABC
, and OSU/Wisconsin will fall to BTN. This means Michigan’s final three games of the season will be on network television.

Posted under Misc.

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Postgame Thoughts: Minnesota Edition

5 Passing plays were called on first and ten, 23 running plays.

  1. Incomplete pass to Moundros (0 yards).
  2. Pass Interference (15 yards).
  3. Mallett scramble (7 yards).
  4. Mallett sack (-16 yards).
  5. Manningham Touchdown Bomb (40 yards).

The running plays were distibuted as follows

  • Brown 9/42 (1 lost fumble)
  • Minor 11/110
  • Hemingway 1/-1
  • Milano 1/7
  • Mallett lost fumble, returned for touchdown.

Mallett obviously struggled as much on first down as he did on any other. Am I trying to contradict Brian’s assertions that running on first down too often sets Mallett up to fail? No, but it doesn’t seem that, at least against a team like Minnesota who can’t stop the run to save their lives, the data don’t necessarily support the conclusion. Seeing as how, in all honesty, I did this little analysis to find supporting evidence for Brian’s conclusions, I think it’s fair to say that against a team with a pulse, the data will support what he has said.

That said, Minnesota was actually much better against the run than I was expecting. When a team like North Dakota State is able to shred you for 394 yards, I would expect Michigan to have an easy go on the ground. 228 of Michigan’s 307 yards rushing came after halftime, when the Gopher defense started to wear down.

Zoltan didn’t have an excellent day punting the ball, as his gravitational mind powers couldn’t keep the ball from rolling into the endzone on 3 of his four punts. However, on at least 1 of said punts (and probably a second), Charles Stewart was in position to down the ball inside the five, and failed to make a play. Zoltan was putting adequate air under the ball, and his coverage team just let him down. The third touchback, however, was like 4 yards deep, and nobody had a chance to rescue it.

Interesting choice by Mike DeBord to have David Cone throw it deep on the last play of the game. It certainly showed that passing when the other team doesn’t know you have to (i.e. third and long), and especially running play action when they are almost certain you will run, definitely puts your quarterback in a better position to succeed. Congrats to David on being 1/1 on his career.

The defense again stepped up, allowing only one sustained drive (on which Minnesota went 68 yards in 10 plays, ending with a field goal). The only other Gopher points were on a fumble return for touchdown (should we start worrying about “Argh Mallett huge mistake” costing us the game in the next three years?).

Junior Hemingway lined up at tailback a few times (in addition to running an ISQD). Is it possible that he moves there in the future? He certainly looks more the part. He has thicker legs than your average wide receiver, and if he’s the same height as Adrian Arrington, I’m the same height as Andre the Giant.

Did anyone see the linesman take out a Gopher player as he and Manningham were talking a little too angrily after a play?

As far as Hart and Henne go, Lloyd used the term “optimistic” when asked whether they would be good to go against State.

Posted under Analysis

Manningham will not be charged in infamous spring trafic stop

You may remember this spring, when various reports indicated that Mario Manningham and Johnny Sears, Jr. were involved in a traffic stop that resulted in their being arrested for possession.

With Johnny Sears dismissed from the team, his status is no longer relevant to the Wolverines, but Mario Manningham will not be charged in the incident.

Now that the legal situation is cleared up, more details are available. Manningham was essentially arrested in a situation that he should not have, according to legal experts familiar with the case, and Manningham’s family.

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WOLV Top Ten

1. Ohio State (7)
2. LSU (1)
3. Boston College
4. Oregon
5. Oklahoma
6. Arizona State
7. West Virginia
8. Virginia Tech
9. Missouri
10. Florida

Posted under BlogPoll

My WOLV Top Ten

This ballot is my personal opinion. Tim will probably post the final Top Ten tomorrow.

It really seems that are about 4-5 top ten teams, so after Oregon it’s fairly arbitrary. I looked at the schedules, and I can’t decide whether it’s more important to win over cream-puffs or play well against good teams. Take Kentucky for instance. Despite the SoCar loss looking worse after their loss, it was still a largely fluky game against a team that, at that point, was playing like a top ten team. Florida also came out and played Kentucky tough the week after a brutal 3OT game (Woodson’s back still has to be sore from the shot he took for the last TD). On the other hand, Boston College is undefeated, but decidedly pedestrian.

Oh well. Without further adieu:

  1. OSU
  2. LSU
  3. Oregon
  4. BC
  5. Oklahoma
  6. Arizona State
  7. Mizzou
  8. USF
  9. WVU
  10. Michigan

Some explanations may be in order. Top 5-6 I feel are fairly defensible. Mizzou’s only loss was to Oklahoma and that was a fairly competitive game. And while their schedule besides OU is a bit light, they have looked impressive against the teams they have played, including getting Nebraska’s AD fired.

I didn’t like USF as a top 5 team. I thought their signiture win against WVU was fluky (mainly due to the Pat White injury), but I can respect them in the bottom half of the top ten. They have a solid defense (whose kryptonite appears to be Ray Rice) and a play-making QB. I still can’t decide who I think will come out of the Big East.

Finally, I’m pretty sure having Michigan that high is blatant homerism (luckily I’m not eligible for the CK award), but I’ll be damned if Michigan has looked like a top ten team of late. All five wins have been by double digits, and many games were more dominant than the scores appeared. Penn State, while close on the score board was the Wolverines clearly dominating. Offense has been explosive, and the defense has been absolutely lights out in the second half. Themes of this paragraph will be expanded on in a post later.

As always, feel free to tell me how wrong I am.

Posted under BlogPoll

3 Illinois Players out Saturday

Three Illinois freshmen, Brian Gamble, Daryle Ballew, and Mark Jackson, were arrested outside a bar on campus Wednesday night. Coach Zook decided after practice Thursday to suspend the three for at least this weekend. The charges against all players are alcohol-related.

Gamble has played in six games for the Illini, clocking time as both a receiver and ball carrier, as well as in the defensive secondary. He has 5 rushes for 19 yards, and 8 receptions for 77 yards. Jackson and Ballew have both been non-contributors so far this year.

Posted under Misc.

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