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Archive for the ‘Final Look’ Category

Final Look: Northwestern

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014


Michigan-Northwestern(MGoBlue.com)

Michigan topped Northwestern last Saturday in one of the ugliest offensive games played this season by both teams. The Wolverines get a bye week this week to rest up and prepare for the final two games of the season, of which they must win at least one to gain bowl eligibility. But instead of taking a bye week myself, I decided to torture myself during the by week by diving deeper into the advanced stats from Michigan’s 10-9 win in Evanston. And you get to read it. Luck you.

Advanced Statistics
Michigan Stat (National Average) Northwestern
59 Total Plays 84
 42.2 Avg. Starting Field Position (29.9) 28.1
15 Possessions 14
7 Scoring Opportunities 3
 1.4 Points per Opportunity (4.69) 3.0
 67.2% Leverage Rate (68.2%) 65.1%
 39.7% Success Rate (41.9%) 41.0%
 21.0% Success Rate Passing Downs (30.6%) 24.1%
 48.7% Success Rate Standard Downs (47.1%) 50.0%
 33.3% Success Rate Passing (40.2%) 50.9%
44.1% Success Rate Rushing (43.5%) 21.4%
3 Turnovers 3
14.5 Equivalent Points 12.3
0.25 Equivalent Points Per Play 0.15

As I’ve said before, I’m working to expand this section in the future, and hoping to put in some work to go back and calculate the previous games this season as well as last season so I can draw comparisons between this year’s offense and last year’s. The stats and formulas used are from Football Outsiders and Football Study Hall.

Northwestern ran 25 more plays than Michigan but didn’t score until its final two possessions, which went for 19 plays and 14 plays. Michigan had a huge advantage in field position, but didn’t take advantage of it until Tony Jones fumbled a punt and Michigan took possession at the Northwestern 21 and scored two plays later. Michigan had seven scoring opportunities and only scored on two of them, while Northwestern had only three, but scored on two. Michigan had a slightly better leverage rage* but Northwestern had the better overall success rate** on everything except rushing.

*Leverage Rate: Standard downs/(Standard downs + passing downs)
**Success Rate: 50% of necessary yards on first down, 70% on second down, 100% on third or fourth down
***Passing Down is considered 2nd & 7 or more, 3rd & 5 or more, 4th & 5 or more

Let’s take a look at the Five Factors.

Five Factors
Michigan Stat Northwestern
4.4 Yards Per Play 3.2
 39.7% Success Rate 41.0%
42.2 Avg Starting Field Position 28.1
1.4 Points Per Opportunity 3.0
Even Turnover Margin Even

Michigan won two of the five factors, lost two, and tied one. Per Football Study Hall, here are the chances of winning based on each of these five factors:

Yards Per Play (weighted 35%)
• Michigan +1.2 = 86.2 percent chance of winning, with an average scoring margin of 13.2 (Michigan won by 1).

Success Rate (25%)
 Northwestern +1.3% = 59.2 percent chance of winning, with an average scoring margin of 3.6 (Northwestern lost by 1).

Average Starting Field Position (15%)
 Michigan +14.1 = 86.7 percent chance of winning, with an average scoring margin of 19.9 (Michigan won by 1).

Points Per Opportunity (15%)
 Northwestern +1.6 = 74.7 percent chance of winning, with an average scoring margin of 11.4 (Northwestern lost by 1).
However, Michigan had more scoring opportunities (seven to three) and a worse scoring average, which equates to a winning percentage of 64.8.

Turnover Margin (10%)
 Even = 50 percent chance of winning, with an average scoring margin of 0 (Michigan won by 1).

Michigan won two — Yards per Play (35 percent) and Field Position (15 percent) — and tied turnover margin (5 percent). Added together, that equates to a 55 percent overall chance of winning, which they did by one point. Northwestern won two — Success Rate (25 percent) and PPO (15 percent) — and tied turnover margin (5 percent). Added together, that equates to a 45 percent chance of winning. They lost by one.

Sometimes the advanced stats show an outlier that can help explain the outcome of a game. But this game was about as even as it gets with neither team having much success offensively, and the advanced stats prove exactly that.

Drive Chart
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*Hover over team initials to see drive statistics, Dash indicates direction of drive, Green dash = scoring play, Grey = punt, Red = turnover, Pink = missed field goal, Black = end of half or turnover on downs, Shaded line = special teams or defensive touchdown

The numbers game

12: Michigan allowed a season-low 12 rushing yards

150: Michigan rushed for at least 150 yards in back-to-back games for the first time this season

45: Jake Ryan’s career tackles for loss, moving into a tie for sixth in Michigan’s record book with Glen Steele (1994-97)

121: De’Veon Smith rushed for a career-high 121 yards

2: Mario Ojemudia recorded the first two sacks of his career

6: Michigan has won six straight games at Northwestern

732: Devin Gardner passed Todd Collins (1991-94) and Tom Brady (1996-99) for fifth place in career passing attempts with 732

Final Look: Indiana

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014


UM vs IU(MGoBlue.com)

Michigan got back on the winning track with a 34-10 victory over Indiana last Saturday thanks to breakout performances by a pair of redshirt sophomores, receiver Amara Darboh and running back Drake Johnson. Michigan now needs to win two of its last three to earn a bowl invitation and avoid a losing season and the Wolverines head to Northwestern this Saturday. But before we turn our full attention to the Wildcats, let’s take a look back at the advanced stats from Michigan’s win over Indiana.

Advanced Statistics
Michigan Stat (National Average) Indiana
64 Total Plays 53
 41.5 Avg. Starting Field Position (29.8) 31.9
12 Possessions 12
6 Scoring Opportunities 3
 5.7 Points per Opportunity (4.69) 3.3
 66.1% Leverage Rate (68.2%) 67.3%
 48.4% Success Rate (41.8%) 34.6%
 57.1% Success Rate Passing Downs (30.5%) 11.8%
 43.9% Success Rate Standard Downs (47.1%) 45.7%
 53.3% Success Rate Passing (40.1%) 40.0%
43.8% Success Rate Rushing (43.4%) 33.3%
1 Turnovers 2
26.3 Equivalent Points 10.4
0.42 Equivalent Points Per Play 0.20

As I’ve said before, I’m working to expand this section in the future, and hoping to put in some work to go back and calculate the previous games this season as well as last season so I can draw comparisons between this year’s offense and last year’s. The stats and formulas used are from Football Outsiders and Football Study Hall.

Unlike the previous two games that we have broken down the advanced stats for, Michigan ran considerably more plays than Indiana, 64 compared to 53. Michigan also had a major advantage in average starting field position, and while both teams had the same number of possessions, Michigan had double the scoring opportunities. Indiana actually had a better leverage rate*, and that’s largely because the Hoosiers did well on first down, but both were slightly below the national average of 68.2 percent.

Michigan had a 14 percent better success rate** (48.4 percent to 34.6 percent). It was Michigan’s second-best success rate of the season, behind the 57.4 percent it achieved in the season opener against Appalachian State. The only other category that Indiana bested Michigan was success rate on standard downs***, and that goes back to the Hoosiers’ success on first down, limiting the third- and fourth-and-longs. Michigan was above the national average on passing downs (57.1 percent), success rate passing (53.3), and success rate rushing (43.8). Michigan’s success rate on passing downs and success rate passing were both also the second-highest of the season behind Appalachian State. Michigan’s one turnover matched its fewest of the season, along with the Appalachian State, Rutgers, and Penn State games. Basically, this was Michigan’s best offensive performance of the season against a Power-5 team and second-best of the season overall.

*Leverage Rate: Standard downs/(Standard downs + passing downs)
**Success Rate: 50% of necessary yards on first down, 70% on second down, 100% on third or fourth down
***Passing Down is considered 2nd & 7 or more, 3rd & 5 or more, 4th & 5 or more

Let’s take a look at the Five Factors.

Five Factors
Michigan Stat Indiana
6.3 Yards Per Play 3.6
 48.4% Success Rate 34.6%
41.5 Avg Starting Field Position 31.9
5.7 Points Per Opportunity 3.3
+1 Turnover Margin -1

Michigan won all five factors. Per Football Study Hall, here are the chances of winning based on each of these five factors:

Yards Per Play (weighted 35%)
– Michigan +2.7 = 95 percent chance of winning, with an average scoring margin of 23.9 (Michigan’s was 24).

Success Rate (25%)
– Michigan +13.8% = 91.5 percent chance of winning, with an average scoring margin of 17.3 (Michigan’s was 24).

Average Starting Field Position (15%)
– Michigan +9.6 = 78.3 percent chance of winning, with an average scoring margin of 15.7 (Michigan’s was 24).

Points Per Opportunity (15%)
– Michigan +2.4 = 82.3 percent chance of winning, with an average scoring margin of 18.4 (Michigan’s was 24).
Michigan had more scoring opportunities (six to three) and a better scoring percentage, which equates to a 98.4 percent chance of winning.

Turnover Margin (10%)
– Michigan +1 = 64.5 percent chance of winning, with an average scoring margin of 8.1 (Michigan’s was 24).

Michigan won all five — Yards per Play (35 percent), Success Rate (25 percent), Field Position (15 percent), PPO (15 percent), and Turnover Margin (10 percent). Added together, that equates to a 100 percent overall chance of winning, which they did.

Drive Chart
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*Hover over team initials to see drive statistics, Dash indicates direction of drive, Green dash = scoring play, Grey = punt, Red = turnover, Pink = missed field goal, Black = end of half or turnover on downs, Shaded line = special teams or defensive touchdown

The numbers game

19: Consecutive wins for Michigan over Indiana, dating back to 1988

87-27: Michigan’s all-time record on Homecoming, including 4-0 under Brady Hoke

122: Michigan held Indiana 122 yards below its season rushing average of 289.9 yards

62: Michigan held Indiana running back Tevin Coleman, the nation’s leading rusher, 62 yards below his season average of 170.3 yards

220: Michigan’s 220 passing yards were a season high

7: Jake Ryan’s career forced fumbles after forcing two against Indiana. He moved into a tie with Brandon Graham for second in Michigan history

44: Jake Ryan’s career tackles for loss, moving into a tie for seventh place in Michigan history with Larry Foote (1998-2001)

10: Jake Ryan’s 10 tackles against Indiana were a career high, topping his previous high of eight against Rutgers

6,695: Devin Gardner’s career total yards, which rank fourth place in Michigan history, behind John Navarre (9,031), Chad Henne (9,400), and Denard Robinson (10,769)

Final Look: Penn State

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014


Jourdan Lewis INT vs Penn State(MGoBlue.com)

It seems like it was a lot longer than a week and a half ago that Michigan beat Penn State, but the bye week certainly came at the right time, allowing the team to heal up a little bit and gain an extra week of preparation for Michigan State. We took it pretty lightly last week as well and used that time to get started on some basketball previews, so today it’s time to take one final look back at Michigan’s 18-13 win over Penn State.

Advanced Statistics
Michigan Stat (National Average) Penn State
57 Total Plays 68
 38.3 Avg. Starting Field Position (29.8) 27.8
12 Possessions 12
4 Scoring Opportunities 4
 4.5 Points per Opportunity (4.69) 3.3
 58.2% Leverage Rate (68.3%) 58.8%
 32.1% Success Rate (42.0%) 35.3%
 26.1% Success Rate Passing Downs (30.5%) 25.0%
 37.5% Success Rate Standard Downs (47.3%) 42.5%
 26.1% Success Rate Passing (40.4%) 35.9%
36.4% Success Rate Rushing (43.5%) 34.5%
1 Turnovers  1
13.9 Equivalent Points 12.1
0.25 Equivalent Points Per Play 0.18

As I mentioned last week, I’m working to expand this section in the future, and hoping to put in some work to go back and calculate the previous games this season as well as last season so I can draw comparisons between this year’s offense and last year’s. The stats and formulas used are from Football Outsiders and Football Study Hall.

Like the Rutgers game, Michigan had considerably fewer plays, this time 11 fewer plays than Penn State. But Michigan had a 10.5-yard advantage in average field position thanks to the second half when neither offense could move the ball. Both teams had equal possessions and scoring opportunities. The leverage rates* were basically equal, but both were well below the national average of 68.3 percent. Penn State had a slightly better total success rate**, Michigan was slightly better on passing downs*** and success rushing, Penn State much better on standard downs and success passing. However, both teams were well below the national averages on all five of those success rate categories.

As far as how the offense’s performance against Penn State compares to the previous six games this season, Michigan’s average starting field position was its best so far, its 12 possessions were tied for the most (which they have done in three of the previous six games), and the one turnover matched the fewest in a game this season, along with the Appalachian State and Rutgers games. Michigan’s 12 first downs tied the Minnesota game for the fewest in a game this season. Michigan’s total success rate, success rate on standard downs, success rate passing, and success rate rushing were the second-lowest outputs of the season. Basically, this was Michigan’s second-worst offensive performance of the season behind the Minnesota game (yes, even worse than the Notre Dame game despite, you know, actually scoring points).

*Leverage Rate: Standard downs/(Standard downs + passing downs)
**Success Rate: 50% of necessary yards on first down, 70% on second down, 100% on third or fourth down
***Passing Down is considered 2nd & 7 or more, 3rd & 5 or more, 4th & 5 or more

Let’s take a look at the Five Factors.

Five Factors
Michigan Stat Penn State
4.6 Yards Per Play 3.1
 32.1% Success Rate 35.3%
38.3 Avg Starting Field Position 27.8
4.5 Points Per Opportunity 3.3
Even Turnover Margin Even

Michigan won three of the five factors, split the turnover margin, and Penn State won just one. Per Football Study Hall, here are the chances of winning based on each of these five factors:

Yards Per Play (weighted 35%)
– Michigan +1.5 = 86.2 percent chance of winning

Success Rate (25%)
– Penn State +3.2% = 59.2 percent chance of winning

Average Starting Field Position (15%)
– Michigan +10.5 = 86.7 percent chance of winning

Points Per Opportunity (15%)
– Michigan +1.2 = 74.7 percent chance of winning

Turnover Margin (10%)
– Even = 50.0 percent chance of winning

Michigan won Yards per Play (35 percent), Field Position (15 percent), and PPO (15 percent). Added together, that equates to a 65 percent overall chance of winning, which they did.

Drive Chart
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*Hover over team initials to see drive statistics, Dash indicates direction of drive, Green dash = scoring play, Grey = punt, Red = turnover, Pink = missed field goal, Black = end of half or turnover on downs, Shaded line = special teams or defensive touchdown

The numbers game

113,085: The game attendance, the largest this season and the eighth largest in Michigan Stadium history

5,543: Devin Gardner’s career passing yards, passing Tom Brady (5,351) and Jim Harbaugh (5,449) to move into sixth place in Michigan history

7: Devin Gardner’s spot in career pass attempts (648) and completions (392), passing Steve Smith and Jim Harbaugh, respectively

6,350: Devin Gardner’s career total yards, passing Elvis Grbac (6,221) for sixth in Michigan history

20: The number of consecutive games in which Devin Funchess has caught a pass, tying Anthony Carter for 10th in Michigan history

52: Dennis Norfleet’s 52 kickoff return yards set the school record in career kickoff return yards (2,029). That total also ranks seventh in Big Ten history

6: Michigan’s six sacks were the most in a game since the first game of the 2008 season against Utah

39.5: Jake Ryan’s career tackles for loss, moving into 10th place in Michigan history

Final Look: Rutgers

Thursday, October 9th, 2014


Taco Charlton vs Rutgers(MGoBlue.com)

I’m beginning to change up the Final Look to dive a bit more into the advanced stats to give us a better and more in-depth look at the previous week’s game. This will be a work in progress as it takes much more time than the way we previously did it, so bear with me. I have removed the top plays section and added an advanced stats section. This is the part that will be fine tuned each week with the hopes that by next season I’ll have it down pat.

Advanced Statistics
Michigan Stat (National Average) Rutgers
57 Total Plays 70
 27.7 Avg. Starting Field Position (29.7) 25.7
11 Possessions 11
5 Scoring Opportunities 6
 4.8 Points per Opportunity (4.69) 4.3
 74.5% Leverage Rate (68.4%) 54.5%
 47.3% Success Rate (42.2%) 39.4%
 28.6% Success Rate Passing Downs (30.7%) 43.3%
 53.7% Success Rate Standard Downs (47.5%) 36.1%
 37.5% Success Rate Passing (40.7%) 39.0%
 53.3% Success Rate Rushing (43.6%) 40.0%
1 Turnovers  0
21.3 Equivalent Points 28.3
0.37 Equivalent Points Per Play 0.40

I’m working to expand this section in the future, and hoping to put in some work to go back and calculate the previous games this season as well as last season so I can draw comparisons between this year’s offense and last year’s. The stats and formulas used are from Football Outsiders and Football Study Hall.

As you can see from the advanced stats above, Michigan had 13 fewer plays than Rutgers, but had slightly better starting field position, scored more points per scoring opportunity (a first down inside the opponents 40 or a touchdown scored from outside), had a better leverage rate*, a better success rate**, a better success rate on standard downs, and a better success rate rushing. However, Rutgers won the turnover battle, even though it was only 1-0, and it was turned into a touchdown. Rutgers also had a full touchdown more equivalent points.

*Leverage Rate: Standard downs/(Standard downs + passing downs)
**Success Rate: 50% of necessary yards on first down, 70% on second down, 100% on third or fourth down
***Passing Down is considered 2nd & 7 or more, 3rd & 5 or more, 4th & 5 or more

Let’s take a look at the Five Factors.

Five Factors
Michigan Stat Rutgers
5.7 Yards Per Play 6.8
 47.3% Success Rate 39.4%
27.7 Avg Starting Field Position 25.7
4.8 Points Per Opportunity 4.3
-1 Turnover Margin +1

So Michigan won three of the five factors, but lost the game by two points. Per Football Study Hall, here are the chances of winning based on each of these five factors:

Yards Per Play
– Rutgers +1.1 = 86.2 percent chance of winning

Success Rate
– Michigan +7.9% = 76.2 percent chance of winning

Average Starting Field Position
– Michigan +2 = 54.1 percent chance of winning

Points Per Opportunity
– Michigan +0.5 = 51.8 percent chance of winning
– However, despite having a lower points per opportunity, Rutgers had more scoring opportunities (six compared to five), which equates to a 64.8 percent chance of winning

Turnover Margin
– Rutgers +1 = 64.5 percent chance of winning

Football Study Hall weighs Yards per Play at 35 percent, Success Rate at 25 percent, Field Position and PPO at 15 percent each, and Turnover Margin at 10 percent. Rutgers won Yards per Play (35 percent) and Turnover Margin (10 percent) outright, and also slightly won PPO because they had more opportunities (15 percent). Added together, that equates to a 60 percent overall chance of winning, which they did.

Drive Chart
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*Hover over team initials to see drive statistics, Dash indicates direction of drive, Green dash = scoring play, Grey = punt, Red = turnover, Pink = missed field goal, Black = end of half or turnover on downs, Shaded line = special teams or defensive touchdown

The numbers game

5,351: Devin Gardner’s career passing yards after throwing for 178 yards against Rutgers, putting him in a tie for seventh with Tom Brady on the career passing list

624: Devin Gardner’s career pass attempts, passing Brian Griese and Jim Harbaugh for eighth on the career list

37.5: Jake Ryan’s career tackle for loss total, passing Mike Hammerstein (1981-85) for 15th on the career list

77.8: Devin Gardner’s pass completion percentage in the first quarter so far this season (28-of-36)

Final Look: Utah

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014


Henry-Ryan sack(MGoBlue.com)

Another week, another clunker. Michigan couldn’t muster any offense against Utah, instead turning the ball over four times and failing to reach the red zone or score an offensive touchdown for the second time in three weeks. Despite a valiant effort from the defense, which held the Utes to half of their season average yards per game, Michigan fell 26-10.

This Saturday, Michigan hosts the Minnesota Golden Gophers, hoping to hang onto the Little Brown Jug for another year. But before we fully turn our attention to Minnesota, let’s take one last look back at the big plays, numbers, stats, and observations from Michigan’s loss last Saturday.

Three key moments

1. Lewis saves a touchdown

For the second straight week Jourdan Lewis made a big play defensively, and while it didn’t ultimately affect the outcome of the game, it did save four points. Michigan kicked a field goal on its first possession to take an early 3-0 lead, but was unable to do anything with its second possession. But Will Hagerup pinned Utah at its own 3-yard line, giving the defense an opportunity to make a stop and get the ball back in good field position.

Quarterback Travis Wilson completed a five-yard pass on the firs play and Michigan stuffed running back Bubba Poole for no gain on the second. On third-and-five, Wilson found Poole on a screen pass and Michigan’s defense was nowhere to be found. Poole raced down the left sideline with nothing but green grass in front of him. However, Lewis sprinted from the opposite side of the field and caught Poole at the 25-yard line, saving a sure touchdown. Utah wound up kicking a 35-yard field goal, but three points is much better than seven.

Willie Henry scored Michigan's first defensive touchdown of the season (MGoBlue.com)

Willie Henry scored Michigan’s first defensive touchdown of the season (MGoBlue.com)

2. Clay channels Desmond

Not all key moments will be positive ones, and this is certainly the case here. In my opinion, this was perhaps the biggest play of the game as it served as a soul crusher for Michigan. Utah had tied the game at three, and Michigan had the ball heading into the second quarter.

The Wolverines went three-and-out, but the defense had been holding strong. If it could continue to do so, perhaps the offense could eventually put some points on the board. But Will Hagerup’s 46-yard punt was fielded by Utah return man Kaelyn Clay at the Utah 34-yard line and he was off to the races. He made Michigan gunners Jehu Chesson and Dennis Norfleet miss and then out-ran the rest of the group. Hagerup nearly caught him at the Michigan 30, but was unable to knock him off balance. Clay raced into the end zone and struck the Heisman pose, a nod — or mockery — of the infamous Desmond Howard pose against Ohio State in 1991.

3. Big Willie style

Michigan’s offense was struggling to string together a consistent drive and the Wolverines were in danger of falling behind considerably. After an opening drive field goal, Michigan went punt, punt, punt, punt, interception. Midway through the second quarter, Michigan needed a spark to come from somewhere. Utah held a 10-3 lead after Kaelyn Clays returned punt. Starting Utah quarterback Travis Wilson had been knocked out of the game — for a while anyway — by Joe Bolen and backup Kendal Thompson came in.

On his first possession, Jake Ryan sacked him on third-and-4, forcing the Utes to punt. After a Devin Gardner interception gave Thompson the ball back again, defensive tackle Willie Henry took matters into his own hands. On third-and-12 from the Utah 13, Thompson dropped back to pass and tried to float a screen pass. But Henry reached up and snagged it out of the air at the 7-yard line and rumbled into the end zone to tie the game at 10. It was Michigan’s first defensive touchdown since Brennen Beyer did the same at Iowa last November.

The numbers game

2:25: The amount of time the rain delay lasted

360: Devin Gardner’s career completions. He passed Brian Griese for eighth on Michigan’s career list

5,860: Devin Gardner’s career total yards. He passed Todd Collins and Jim Harbaugh for seventh on the career list

13: Jake Ryan had a career-high 13 tackles

Drive Chart
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*Hover over team initials to see drive statistics, Dash indicates direction of drive, Green dash = scoring play, Grey = punt, Red = turnover, Pink = missed field goal, Black = end of half or turnover on downs, Shaded line = special teams or defensive touchdown

Vote for the performance of the game

Previous winners:
Appalachian State: Devin Gardner (13-of-14 for 173 yds, 3 TD) & Devin Funchess (7 rec for 95 yds, 3 TD) – Tie
Notre Dame: Devin Funchess (9 receptions for 107 yards)
Miami (Ohio): Amara Darboh (6 receptions for 88 yards, 1 TD)
People Lists on Ranker

Final Look: Miami (Ohio)

Thursday, September 18th, 2014



Jake Butt vs Miami Ohio(MGoBlue.com)

Michigan bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 34-10 win over Miami (Ohio). It was a bit too closer for comfort in the first half thanks to three Michigan turnovers, but the Wolverines pulled away in the second half and the stat sheet shows a convincing win.

This Saturday, Michigan hosts a 2-0 Utah squad that has been piling up points in the early going. But before we fully turn our attention to Utah, let’s take one last look back at the big plays, numbers, stats, and observations from Michigan’s win last Saturday.

Three key moments

1. Lewis takes one away

All offseason Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison talked about a more aggressive defense with press coverage that would create more takeaways. But that press coverage got exposed against Notre Dame, and through the first two games of the season, it hadn’t forced a single turnover.

Against Miami (Ohio) last Saturday, Michigan took an early 3-0 lead with a 29-yard Matt Wile field goal. Miami started its first possession on its own 19. The first play was a one-yard run, and back-to-back penalties — a false start and a delay of game — moved the RedHawks back to the 10. On 2nd-and-19, quarterback Andrew Hendrix dropped back to pass and lobbed one up along the right sideline. Sophomore defensive back Jourdan Lewis, who was raved about all spring, and was filling in for injured starter Raymon Taylor, was in perfect position. He jumped up and snagged the pass and landed along the sideline, just in bounds for Michigan’s first takeaway of the season. It gave the Wolverines possession on the Miami 37-yard line and led to…

Jourdan Lewis recorded his first career interception (MGoBlue.com)

Jourdan Lewis recorded his first career interception (MGoBlue.com)

2. Darboh’s touchdown stretch

Michigan started the game with a field goal and got the ball right back when Jourdan Lewis intercepted quarterback Andrew Hendrix at the Miami 37. A six-yard run by Gardner and an eight-yard run by Derrick Green gave Michigan a first down. Gardner then completed a four-yard pass to Jehu Chesson and Green rushed for two yards, giving Michigan a third down at the Miami 17. Starting the game with two straight field goals, rather than touchdowns, against a team riding an 18-game losing streak would have caused some concern, especially coming off of the program’s first shutout in 30 years.

On 3rd-and-4, Garner threw a slant to Amara Darboh, who caught the ball at the 10, got his ankles wrapped up by the defensive back at the five, and laid out for the goal line. He stretched the ball over the line just before his elbow hit and gave Michigan a 10-0 lead. Darboh finished the game with six catches for 88 yards and the touchdown, the first of his career.

3. Butt’s big grab

After Darboh’s touchdown pass, Michigan turned the ball over three times in the second quarter to let Miami back into the game. Miami tied it up at 10 before Green put Michigan back ahead 17-10 heading into the half. Michigan punted away its first two possessions of the second half, and nervousness spread throughout the Big House crowd. Would Michigan let Miami hang around long enough, just like it did Akron and UConn a year ago, that it would take a heroic effort to pull out a win against a far inferior team?

Enter Jake Butt. The sophomore tight end missed spring practice and fall camp after tearing his ACL in February and played only a few snaps in the Week 2 loss to Notre Dame. However, he was back in action against Miami, and made his presence felt.

Michigan took possession with five minutes left in the third quarter, still leading by just seven points. On the first play, Gardner floated a pass across the middle towards Butt, but the defensive back was in position to make the interception. Butt came back for it and snagged it from the defender’s hand for a 22-yard gain. De’Veon smith ran for 12 yards on the next play, setting Michigan up with first down at the Miami 29. Gardner faked a quick out to Darboh along the left sideline and Butt ran right past the safety that had cheated up. Gardner lobbed the pass up to a wide open Butt, who caught the ball at the eight-yard line and waltzed into the end zone. The score gave Michigan some breathing room.

The numbers game

75: The win was the 75th of Brady Hoke’s career, including his previous stints at Ball State and San Diego State. He is now 75-64 in 12 seasons

33: The final tally of Miami (Ohio)’s rushing yards, the lowest Michigan has allowed in a game since Bowling Green was held to 32 on Sept. 25, 2010

4,986: Devin Gardner’s career passing yards. He passed Steve Smith for eighth on Michigan’s career list

365: The number of passing yards Gardner needs to pass Tom Brady for seventh on the career list

7: Gardner’s rank in career touchdowns (39), passing Todd Collins. He needs four more to pass Steve Smith for sixth

80%: Michigan’s red zone touchdown percentage so far this season. The Wolverines have scored on all 10 trips and have scored touchdowns on eight of 10

Drive Chart
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*Hover over team initials to see drive statistics, Dash indicates direction of drive, Green dash = scoring play, Grey = punt, Red = turnover, Pink = missed field goal, Black = end of half or turnover on downs

Vote for the performance of the game

Previous winners:
Appalachian State: Devin Gardner (13-of-14 for 173 yds, 3 TD) & Devin Funchess (7 rec for 95 yds, 3 TD) – Tie
Notre Dame: Devin Funchess (9 receptions for 107 yards)

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Final Look: Notre Dame

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014


Gardner vs ND(MGoBlue.com)

Last season, Michigan pulled off a big win over Notre Dame in the Big House, a performance that garnered some (premature) national championship talk. A week later, lowly Akron came to town and nearly pulled off a monumental upset. In fact, Michigan needed a last second goal line stop to stave off defeat.

This time around, Michigan heads into a matchup with lowly Miami (Ohio) with its tail between it legs, fresh off of a humiliating 31-0 defeat in South Bend. Before we fully turn our attention to Miami, let’s take one last look back at the big plays, numbers, stats, and observations from Michigan’s loss last Saturday.

Three key moments

Typically, this will feature three big moments that helped Michigan win the game, but that doesn’t mean they will always be positive. In the case of Saturday’s loss to Notre Dame, there isn’t much positive to glean, so here are three key moments that shaped the game.

1. Matt Wile’s missed field goals

Notre Dame won the coin toss and elected to receive, thinking that they could set the tone of the game by marching down the field and scoring. But Michigan’s defense held firm and forced a punt. The Michigan offense took the field full of confidence and wasted no time moving the chains. On the second play, Devin Gardner hit Devin Funchess for 12 yards. On the next play, Dennis Norfleet rambled 13 yards and Michigan was already to midfield. Michigan converted a fourth down and then Funchess caught a seven-yard pass at the ND 30. But the drive stalled there as a pass to Norfleet lost two, and on 3rd-and-5, Derrick Green picked up three. Matt Wile trotted onto the field to attempt a 46-yard field goal to give Michigan an early three-point lead. But it missed wide right. Notre Dame answered with an eight-play, 71-yard touchdown drive to take an early 7-0 lead.

Matt Wile's missed field goals on Michigan's first two drives were demoralizing in a tough road environment (MGoBlue.com)

Matt Wile’s missed field goals on Michigan’s first two drives were demoralizing in a tough road environment (MGoBlue.com)

Michigan got the ball back, and on the third play, Gardner found Funchess for 27 yards to get into Irish territory again. On first down from the ND 34, center Jack Miller false started, moving Michigan back five yards. Three plays later, Michigan faced 4th-and-6 instead of 4th-and-1, so Wile came in to attempt another field goal, this time from 48 yards out. His plant foot slipped and the kick never had a chance. Six points left on the field.

Notre Dame didn’t score on its next possession, instead punting it back to Michigan, but this time the offense was unable to string together a drive. We will never know how the game would have changed had Wile made those two field goals, but Michigan would have at the very least led 3-0, trailed 7-3, then pulled within 7-6 early in the second quarter. In reality, it snowballed from there and Michigan’s offense that moved the ball fairly well on its first two possessions went into desperation mode. Even after the Irish scored again, heading into the half down 14-6 would have been much more manageable, until…

2. Notre Dame’s third touchdown

After Notre Dame went up 14-0, Michigan got a seven-yard run by Norfleet on the first play of its ensuing possession. But then the Devin Gardner tuck rule that wasn’t the tuck rule fumble occurred and Michigan lost 12 yards. Facing 3rd-and-20, Nussmeier elected to go the safe route with a Justice Hayes draw that gained 10. Michigan punted back to Notre Dame.

A 12-yard punt return gave the Irish possession on their own 44 with 1:24 remaining in the half. A few plays later, on 3rd-and-1 at the Michigan 24, Golson lofted a perfect pass into the end zone and William Fuller leapt over Blake Countess for the touchdown. That play was essentially the death blow. At halftime, trailing 21-0, the game felt completely insurmountable. Had that pass gone incomplete and Michigan held ND to a field goal, 17-0 would have somehow felt better. And had Michigan made its two field goals, 17-7 would have felt even better, especially since Michigan was getting the ball to start the second half. But that’s a lot of ifs.

3. Gardner’s first interception

While the 21-0 halftime lead felt more like 49-0 because Michigan’s offense hadn’t put up any points and the defense was allowing Golson to pick it apart, there was still a sliver of hope for most Michigan fans because of the comebacks the Wolverines have pulled off against the Irish in recent years. But that was all dashed when Gardner was picked off on the fifth play of the third quarter.

Michigan had picked up a first down on a nine-yard Gardner run and a two-yard Derrick Green run. Gardner then ran for six yards, but on second down, Green was tackled for a three-yard loss, setting up 3rd-and-7 at the Michigan 39. Gardner dropped back to pass and fired across the middle for tight end Khalid Hill, but safety Max Redfield stepped in front and picked it off. He returned it 17 yards to the Michigan 38, and although the Michigan defense forced ND to punt, the Irish downed the punt at the 2-yard line. The interception flipped field position and it paid off for the Irish on their next drive as they punched it in for a 28-0 lead.

Given the ifs above, and if Gardner hadn’t thrown that interception and instead Michigan scored, it could have been 17-13 and we would have had a ball game. But again, if there are that many ifs in a game, you’re not going to win, especially on the road against a good opponent.

The numbers game

365: Michigan’s consecutive games without being shutout, dating back to Oct. 20, 1984, prior to last Saturday’s 31-0 loss at Notre Dame

24-17-1: Michigan’s all-time record against Notre Dame

172: The number of passes Devin Gardner had thrown since his last interception on Nov. 3, 2013 against Michigan State

9: Devin Gardner’s rank on Michigan’s career completions list, passing Steve Smith

Drive Chart
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*Hover over team initials to see drive statistics, Dash indicates direction of drive, Green dash = scoring play, Grey = punt, Red = turnover, Pink = missed field goal, Black = end of half

Vote for the performance of the game

Obviously it was a putrid performance all around, but hey, let’s vote for Michigan’s top performance of the game!
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Final Look: Appalachian State

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014


D Green run vs App State(MGoBlue.com)

While Michigan evened the all-time series with Appalachian State on Saturday, it doesn’t take away the sting of the first meeting that Michigan fans will forever be reminded of. But on Saturday, the current team did what it was supposed to do and looked impressive in doing so. Before we get into previews of Notre Dame, let’s take one last look back at the big plays, numbers, stats, and observations from Michigan’s 52-14 win.

Three big moments

1. Devin to Devin times three

Devin Funchess became the first WR in Michigan history to catch three touchdown passes in the season opener (MGoBlue.com)

Devin Funchess became the first WR in Michigan history to catch three touchdown passes in the season opener (MGoBlue.com)

Michigan wasted no time getting the ball into the hands of its top receiver. On the first play of the game, Devin Gardner quick-pitched it out to Devin Funchess for an 11-yard gain. The drive ended with a nine-yard touchdown pass to Funchess on 3rd-and-7 when Funchess ran a beautiful route, splitting the linebacker and safety in the middle of the end zone. On the second possession, Gardner hit Funchess for 18 yards to start the drive and then the pair hooked up for a 34-yard touchdown pass. On the score, Funchess caught the ball at the 10-yard line, stiff-armed an App State defender at the five, and waltzed into the end zone. Midway through the second quarter, Gardner tossed up a jump ball in the back of the end zone and Funchess went up and got it over two App State defenders for his third touchdown.

2. Special teams touchdown

Heading into the game, if someone had told you Michigan would score a touchdown on special teams, probably 95 percent of Michigan fans would have guessed it would be either Jabrill Peppers or Dennis Norfleet. Linebacker Ben Gedeon might have been the 75th guess, but indeed he was the man of the moment.

It appeared that Michigan was going to take a 28-0 lead into the half as the defense forced Appalachian State to punt from its own 29-yard line with about a minute remaining. But linebacker Mike McCray got a hand on the punt and Gedeon picked it up and raced 32 yards for a touchdown. His dive toward the goal line was reviewed and upheld, giving Michigan a blocked punt touchdown for the second season-opener in a row.

3. Big plays on the ground

Last season, Michigan’s running game was anemic, averaging just 3.3 yards per carry and 125.7 yards per game. Not only did it have trouble simply gaining positive yards — the Wolverines led the nation in tackles-for-loss surrendered — but big plays were solely up to the passing game. In fact, the longest rush of the season was by backup quarterback Shane Morris, who rumbled 40 yards on a  play in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

That was not the case on Saturday as Michigan rushed for 350 yards and three touchdowns on just 36 carries. Both Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith topped 100 yards, and perhaps most importantly, Gardner rushed only five times for nine yards. The running game has relied on quarterbacks too much in the past few years.

On Saturday, after struggling initially, the running game looked very good. Green had runs of 59 and 62 yards and Smith had a 61-yard run, giving the duo three rushes going for more yards than last season’s high.

The numbers game

9.7: Michigan’s average yards per carry in Week 1, which leads the nation through the first full week of the season

252: The number of consecutive games in Michigan Stadium with more than 100,000 fans

111-21-3: Michigan’s all-time record in season openers

13: The number of schools that have an all-time winning record against Michigan after the Wolverines evened the series with Appalachian State

1: Devin Funchess’ new jersey number after switching from 87. He is the first Michigan receiver to wear the coveted number since Braylon Edwards in 2004

6: Mason Cole became the sixth true freshman to ever start a game on offensive line. He was the second to start at tackle and the first to start a season opener

37: Devin Gardner’s career touchdown passes, passing Tom Brady and moving into a tie for seventh all-time with Todd Collins

5,280: Gardner’s career passing yards, passing Tom Brady and moving into ninth place all-time

Oct. 27, 2007: The last time Michigan had two 100-yard rushers in the same game. Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith became the 38th duo in Michigan history to accomplish the feat.

3: Devin Funchess became the first Michigan player to catch three touchdown passes in a season opener

Drive Chart
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*Hover over team initials to see drive statistics

Vote for the performance of the game

 
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Final Look: Indiana

Thursday, October 24th, 2013


(MGoBlue.com)

Last week, following a 43-40 quadruple overtime loss to Penn State, Michigan’s offense was decried as too conservative, too predictable. Al Borges was accused of not knowing how to put his players in the best position to make plays. Offensive line coach Darrell Funk was called to be canned because he couldn’t develop an offensive line.

The Wolverines responded with possibly the best offensive performance in school history, moving the ball up and down the field at will and breaking several records en route to a 63-47 win over Indiana. But everyone knew coming into the game that Indiana’s defense was one of the worst in the nation. The concerning part now is Michigan’s defense which allowed almost 47 points and 600 yards.

Greg Mattison now gets two weeks to shore up his unit before Michigan travels to East Lansing to face rival Michigan State. But before we look ahead to that one, let’s take one more look back at the big plays, numbers, stats, and records from the win over Indiana.

Three big moments

1. Gallon goes off

Instead of narrowing this one down to a single moment, I’m just going to include Jeremy Gallon’s entire record-breaking performance. The senior hauled in 14 passes for 369 yards and two touchdowns. The 14 receptions included gains of 15, 70, 16, 15, 6, 17, 10, 21 (TD), 50 (TD), 70, 12, 8, 33, and 26. Several of those catches would have made for a good receiving day on their own. In fact, he had more receptions of over 50 yards than he did of under ten yards!

As Drew highlighted in this week’s Inside the Numbers, the big game put Gallon on track to finish in the top five of all major season and career receiving totals in Michigan history. Gallon has surely benefited from the emergence of Devin Funchess as a wideout as the sophomore had big games against Minnesota and Penn State. Opposing defenses can no longer key on Gallon, which means one or the other will likely continue to have big games going forward.

2. Gardner (also) goes off

All the talk was about the offense but Thomas Gordon's two fourth quarter picks sealed the game (Patrick Barron, The Michigan Daily)

While Gallon got the majority of the attention for his video game-like performance, Gardner deserves credit for the best game of his career. The junior threw for a Michigan record 503 yards, shattering John Navarre’s record of 389, and gained a school and Big Ten record 584 total yards, topping Denard Robinson’s record of 502.

Perhaps the biggest and most impressive play Gardner made on the day was a 6-yard touchdown run to start the fourth quarter. Indiana had cut the Michigan lead to just 42-40 after a failed two-point conversion. Michigan needed to respond.

Gardner looked to Gallon often on the drive, connecting for gains of 12, eight, and 33, and Michigan made its way into the Indiana red zone. On 1st-and-10 from the 18, Gardner scampered for 11 yards setting up 1st-and-goal on which Toussaint gained a yard. On 2nd-and-goal from the six, Gardner faked the handoff to Toussaint and rolled to the right. But IU defensive end John Laihinen didn’t bite and Gardner found him in his face. At the 14-yard line, Gardner pump faked, drawing Laihinen up into the air, allowing him to race right by. He split a pair of defenders at the goal line and was hit three yards deep, drawing a 15-yard personal foul on the Hoosiers. The touchdown put Michigan back ahead by nine.

3. Gordon seals the deal

Michigan’s defense forced Indiana to punt on four of its first five possessions of the game, but the Hoosiers scored the next seven times they had the ball, gaining 387 yards in the process. They were matching Michigan score for score and Greg Mattison’s defense had no answer. It was apparent that whichever team made the first stop was the one that was going to win.

After Indiana had cut Michigan’s lead to 49-47, the Wolverines mounted another long drive that looked to be headed into the end zone. But Gardner fumbled a snap on the Indiana 2-yard line and the Hoosiers recovered. Could this be their chance to seize the game? Two straight six yard runs moved the ball away from the end zone, but on 1st-and-10 from the 14, Nate Sudfeld dropped back to pass. He had an open receiver down the left hash, but the ball was underthrown and Thomas Gordon stepped in front to pick it off. He weaved 30 yards to the IU 5-yard line, setting Michigan up for yet another touchdown.

On Indiana’s next possession, trailing 56-47, the Hoosiers marched into Michigan territory, but on 1st-and-10 from the 30, Gordon was in the right spot at the right time once again. This time it was Tre Roberson that he intercepted and Michigan responded with another touchdown to reach the final score of 63-47.

Nobody will mistake Michigan’s defense for good after the game, and Mattison will be the first to admit that, but Gordon rose to the occasion when needed and sealed the win for the Wolverines.

The numbers game

18: Consecutive wins for Michigan over Indiana dating back to 1987

751: Michigan’s total yards, a school record, 24 more than the previous high against Delaware State in 2009. It is also second-best in Big Ten history

1,323: The combined total yards, a Michigan record

584: Devin Gardner’s total yards, a school record. It is also the second highest total in Big Ten history, one behind Illinois’ Dave Wilson which was set in 1980

503: Devin Gardner’s passing yards, a school record

369: Jeremy Gallon’s receiving yards, a school and Big Ten record. It is also the second highest total in FBS history

831: Jeremy Gallon’s receiving yards through seven games, two more than he had all of 2012

6: The number of Michigan running backs that have rushed for four touchdowns in a game. Fitzgerald Toussaint became the sixth

2007: The last time a Michigan running back carried the ball 30 or more times in a game (Mike Hart) before Toussaint did so against Indiana

3: Players made their first career start (Joey Burzynski, Erik Magnuson, and Channing Stribling)

948: Dennis Norfleet’s return yards this season, which currently rank second on Michigan’s all-time single-season list

Drive chart
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*Hover over team initials to see drive statistics

Record Watch
Career Receiving Yards
Rank Name Yards Still Needs
1. Braylon Edwards (2001-04) 3,541 1,379
2. Anthony Carter (1979-82) 3,076 914
3. Amani Toomer (1992-95) 2,657 495
4. David Terrell (1998-2000) 2,317 155
5. Mario Manningham (2005-07) 2,310 148
6. Roy Roundtree (2009-12) 2,304 142
7. Tai Streets (1995-98) 2,284 122
8. Marquise Walker (1998-01) 2,269 107
9. Jason Avant (2002-05) 2,247 85
10. Greg McMurtry (1986-89) 2,163 1
11. Jeremy Gallon (2010-present) 2,162
12. Desmond Howard (1989-91) 2,146
13. Mercury Hayes (1992-95) 2,144
14. Derrick Alexander (1989-93) 1,977
15. Jack Clancy (1963-66) 1,917
Career Rushing Yards
Rank Name Yards Still Needs
1. Mike Hart (2004-07) 5,040 2,823
2. Denard Robinson (2009-12) 4,495 2,278
3. Anthony Thomas (1997-2000) 4,472 2,255
4. Jamie Morris (1984-87) 4,393 2,176
5. Tyrone Wheatley (1991-94) 4,178 1,961
6. Butch Woolfolk (1978-81) 3,861 1,644
7. Chris Perry (2000-03) 3,696 1,479
8. Rob Lytle (1973-76) 3,317 1,100
9. Billy Taylor (1969-71) 3,072 855
10. Gordon Bell (1973-75) 2,900 683
11. Tim Biakabutuka (1993-95) 2,810 593
12. Lawrence Ricks (1979-82) 2,751 534
13. Harlan Huckleby (1975-78) 2,624 407
14. Ricky Powers (1990-93) 2,554 337
15. Russell Davis (1975-78) 2,550 333
16. Ron Johnson (1966-68) 2,440 223
17. Ed Shuttlesworth (1971-73) 2,343 126
18. Tony Boles (1987-89) 2,247 30
19. Fitzgerald Toussaint (2010-present) 2,217
20. Stan Edwards (1977-81) 2,206
21. Rick Leach (1975-78) 2,176
Career Field Goals Made
Rank Name Yards Still Needs
1. Garrett Rivas (2003-06) 64 27
2. Remy Hamilton (1993-96) 63 26
3. Mike Gillette (1985-88) 57 20
4. JD Carlson (1989-91) 38 1
5. Brendan Gibbons (2010-present) 37
6. Ali Haji-Sheikh (1979-82) 31
7. Bob Bergeron (1981-84) 29
8. Hayden Epstein (1998-01) 26
9. Mike Lantry (1972-74) 21
KC Lopata (2007-08) 21
Career Point-After-Touchdowns Made
Rank Name Yards Still Needs
1. Garrett Rivas (2003-06) 162 12
2. Brendan Gibbons (2010-present) 150
3. JD Carlson (1989-91) 137
4. Mike Gillette (1985-88) 130
5. Ali Haji-Sheikh (1979-82) 117

Final Look: Penn State

Thursday, October 17th, 2013


(John T. Grellick, Detroit News)

The way Michigan had been playing in recent weeks, it was inevitable. They were going to lose sooner or later. Most didn’t expect it to happen at Penn State, but alas, it did and meltdown has ensued. Calls for the firing of Brady Hoke, Al Borges, and/or Darrell Funk; for starting Shane Morris over Devin Gardner;  for making Gardner the lead rusher; for completely abandoning the run in favor of the spread; and for any number of “solutions” one can come up with. Some are more outrageous than others, and some actually make sense, but the reality is Michigan lost a game it should have won and the Michigan faithful aren’t happy.

Now, Michigan returns home to face an explosive Indiana team before getting a bye week to prepare for the final stretch of the season. But before we fully turn our attention to Indiana, let’s take a final look back at the big plays, numbers, stats, and observations from the 43-40 quadruple overtime loss to Penn State.

Three big moments

1. Frank Clark’s scoop and score

Michigan wasn’t able to muster much offense in the first half and found itself trailing 21-10 at the half. Penn State started the second half with possession and a chance to stretch the lead to three scores. On the first play of the half, running back Zack Zwinak took the handoff, was hit two yards behind the line of scrimmage, and bounced off to the left. James Ross III got his hand on the ball and knocked it out. Frank Clark scooped it up at the 24, evaded a tackler at the 15, and raced the rest of the way to the end zone to pull the Wolverines within four. It was exactly what Michigan needed to kickstart a comeback.

Jake Ryan's return is sure to lift the Michigan defense (CentreDaily.com)

2. Devin squared…twice

Entering the season, everyone knew Devin Funchess had the ability to be something special. But through the first four games he made just eight catches for 145 yards and a touchdown. After the bye week, however, Michigan began lining him up at receive and he went off for 151 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions against Minnesota. Many wondered whether he could do it again against Penn State, and he did.

In the first quarter, he got Michigan’s scoring started with a 59-yard touchdown reception from Devin Gardner. It was Michigan’s third possession of the game after the first one went three-and-out and the second resulted in an interception. The drive began with a 12-yard run by Fitzgerald Toussaint and a 15-yard run by Gardner. On the third play, Gardner faked the handoff and stepped up into the pocket. He pump faked to hold the safety and then unloaded a bomb down the middle of the field to a wide open Funchess who had slipped behind the safety. He caught it at the 13 and easily trotted into the end zone to tie the game at seven.

In the fourth quarter, he did it again. Michigan had taken a 27-24 lead on its final possession of the third quarter and Penn State missed a 47-yard field goal that would have tied it. Michigan took possession on its own 30-yard line. Five plays later, Funchess got behind the Penn State secondary once again. On 1st-and-10 from the PSU 37, Gardner faked the handoff and dropped back. He got great pass protection allowing him to step up into the pocket and heave the ball towards the goal post. It was right on as Funchess hauled it in in the back of the end zone to put Michigan ahead by 10.

3. Jake Ryan’s return

Because Michigan lost and because there were a lot more big plays made by Penn State than by Michigan, Jake Ryan gets the honor for his performance in his return from a torn ACL. He finished with just three tackles, one for loss, but his presence was a welcome sight and Michigan had its best pass rush of the season so far. He played over 30 snaps and said afterward that he felt good and it didn’t bother him a bit. That should lead to an increased work load going forward, especially after the next bye week. Michigan will need his athleticism and experience for the stretch run in November.

The numbers game

4: The number of overtimes, marking the longest game in Michigan history

2004: The last time Michigan scored a defensive touchdown in consecutive games before it did so against Penn State on Saturday

32: Consecutive games with a reception for Jeremy Gallon. It is the third longest streak in Michigan history behind Braylon Edwards (38) and Jason Avant (35)

207: Days from the time Jake Ryan tore his ACL to returning to action against Penn State

127: Consecutive extra points made by Brendan Gibbons. He passed JD Carlson (1988-91) for first in Michigan history

Drive chart
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*Hover over team initials to see drive statistics

Record Watch

Instead of three observations this week, since everything has already been played out more than enough, I’m going to highlight where some current Michigan players currently rank in the record books and what they still need to keep moving up the charts. We will keep this as a part of the weekly Final Look feature to show the movement week-to-week.

Career Receiving Yards
Rank Name Yards Still Needs
1. Braylon Edwards (2001-04) 3,541 1,748
2. Anthony Carter (1979-82) 3,076 1,283
3. Amani Toomer (1992-95) 2,657 864
4. David Terrell (1998-2000) 2,317 524
5. Mario Manningham (2005-07) 2,310 517
6. Roy Roundtree (2009-12) 2,304 511
7. Tai Streets (1995-98) 2,284 491
8. Marquise Walker (1998-01) 2,269 476
9. Jason Avant (2002-05) 2,247 454
10. Greg McMurtry (1986-89) 2,163 370
11. Desmond Howard (1989-91) 2,146 353
12. Mercury Hayes (1992-95) 2,144 351
13. Derrick Alexander (1989-93) 1,977 184
14. Jack Clancy (1963-66) 1,917 124
15. Jeremy Gallon (2010-present) 1,793
Career Rushing Yards
Rank Name Yards Still Needs
1. Mike Hart (2004-07) 5,040 2,974
2. Denard Robinson (2009-12) 4,495 2,429
3. Anthony Thomas (1997-2000) 4,472 2,406
4. Jamie Morris (1984-87) 4,393 2,327
5. Tyrone Wheatley (1991-94) 4,178 2,112
6. Butch Woolfolk (1978-81) 3,861 1,795
7. Chris Perry (2000-03) 3,696 1,630
8. Rob Lytle (1973-76) 3,317 1,251
9. Billy Taylor (1969-71) 3,072 1,006
10. Gordon Bell (1973-75) 2,900 834
11. Tim Biakabutuka (1993-95) 2,810 744
12. Lawrence Ricks (1979-82) 2,751 685
13. Harlan Huckleby (1975-78) 2,624 558
14. Ricky Powers (1990-93) 2,554 488
15. Russell Davis (1975-78) 2,550 484
16. Ron Johnson (1966-68) 2,440 374
17. Ed Shuttlesworth (1971-73) 2,343 277
18. Tony Boles (1987-89) 2,247 181
19. Stan Edwards (1977-81) 2,206 140
20. Rick Leach (1975-78) 2,176 110
21. Fitzgerald Toussaint (2010-present) 2,066
Career Field Goals Made
Rank Name Yards Still Needs
1. Garrett Rivas (2003-06) 64 27
2. Remy Hamilton (1993-96) 63 26
3. Mike Gillette (1985-88) 57 20
4. JD Carlson (1989-91) 38 1
5. Brendan Gibbons (2010-present) 37
6. Ali Haji-Sheikh (1979-82) 31
7. Bob Bergeron (1981-84) 29
8. Hayden Epstein (1998-01) 26
9. Mike Lantry (1972-74) 21
KC Lopata (2007-08) 21
Career Point-After-Touchdowns Made
Rank Name Yards Still Needs
1. Garrett Rivas (2003-06) 162 11
2. Brendan Gibbons (2010-present) 141
3. JD Carlson (1989-91) 137
4. Mike Gillette (1985-88) 130
5. Ali Haji-Sheikh (1979-82) 117