5 Passing plays were called on first and ten, 23 running plays.
- Incomplete pass to Moundros (0 yards).
- Pass Interference (15 yards).
- Mallett scramble (7 yards).
- Mallett sack (-16 yards).
- 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