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2014 Michigan Football

December 21st, 2014 by Justin Potts


2014 Schedule – Michigan BCS Ranking: NR
Date Opponent Rank Site Time TV Result
Sat, Aug. 30 Appalachian State Ann Arbor, Mich. 12 p.m. ESPN2 W 52-14
Sat, Sept. 6 Notre Dame 16 South Bend, Ind. 7:30 p.m. NBC L 0-31 
Sat, Sept. 13 Miami (Ohio) Ann Arbor, Mich. 3:30 p.m. Big Ten Network W 34-10
Sat, Sept. 20 Utah Ann Arbor, Mich. 3:30 p.m. ABC/ESPN2 L 10-26
Sat, Sept. 27 Minnesota Ann Arbor, Mich. 3:30 p.m. ABC/ESPN2 L 14-30 
Sat, Oct. 4 Rutgers Piscataway, N.J. 7 p.m. Big Ten Network L 24-26
Sat, Oct. 11 Penn State Ann Arbor, Mich. 7 p.m. ESPN2 W 18-13
Sat, Oct. 25 Michigan State 8 East Lansing, Mich. 3:30 p.m. ABC L 11-35
Sat, Nov. 1 Indiana Ann Arbor, Mich. 3:30 p.m. Big Ten Network W 34-10
Sat, Nov. 8 Northwestern Evanston, Ill. 3:30 p.m. ESPN2 W 10-9
Sat, Nov. 22 Maryland Ann Arbor, Mich. 3:30 p.m. Big Ten Network L 16-23
Sat, Nov. 29 Ohio State 6 Columbus, Ohio 12 p.m. ABC L 28-42 
Big Ten Standings – End of Regular Season – East
Rank Team Record Big Ten Last Next
1 Ohio State 12-1 8-0 Beat #13 Wisconsin 59-0 Jan 1 vs #1 Alabama 8:30pm
College Football Playoff
2 Michigan State 10-2 7-1 Beat Penn State 34-10 Jan 1 vs #5 Baylor 12:30pm
Cotton Bowl
3 Maryland 7-5 4-4 Lost to Rutgers 38-41 Dec 30 vs Stanford 10pm
Foster Farms Bowl
4 Rutgers 7-5 3-5 Beat Maryland 41-38 Dec 26 vs UNC 4:30pm
Quick Lane Bowl
  Michigan 5-7 3-5 Lost to #6 OSU 28-42 Season Over
6 Penn State 6-6 2-6 Lost to #10 MSU 10-34 Dec 27 vs Boston Col 4:30pm
Pinstripe Bowl
7 Indiana 4-8 1-7 Beat Purdue 23-16 Season Over
Big Ten Standings – End of Regular Season – West
1 Wisconsin 10-3 7-1 Lost to #5 OSU 0-59 Jan 1 vs #19 Auburn 12pm
Outback Bowl
2 Minnesota 8-4 5-3 Lost to #14 Wisc 24-34 Jan 1 vs #16 Missouri 1pm
Citrus Bowl
  Nebraska 9-3 5-3 Beat Iowa 37-34 OT Dec 27 vs #24 USC 8pm
Holiday Bowl
4 Iowa 7-5 4-4 Lost to Neb 34-37 OT Jan 2 vs Tennessee 3:20pm
Taxslayer Bowl
5 Illinois 6-6 3-5 Beat Northwestern 47-33 Dec 26 vs La Tech 1pm
Heart of Dallas Bowl
6 Northwestern 5-7 3-5 Lost to Illinois 33-47 Season Over
7 Purdue 3-9 1-7 Lost to Indiana 16-23 Season Over

Power Rankings

East

B1G East Week 13

WestB1G West Week 13

2014 Michigan Football Roster (Numerical)
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr./Elig. Hometown (High School)
2 Blake Countess DB 5-10 183 RS Jr. Owings Mills, Md. (Our Lady of Good Counsel)
3 Bo Dever WR 6-2 195 RS So. Lake Forest, Ill. (Lake Forest)
4 De’Veon Smith RB 5-11 223 So. Warren, Ohio (Howland)
5 Justice Hayes RB 5-10 190 RS Jr. Grand Blanc, Mich. (Grand Blanc Community)
5 Jabrill Peppers DB 6-1 210 Fr. Paramus, N.J. (Paramus Catholic)
6 Brian Cleary QB 6-3 213 RS So. Detroit, Mich. (Detroit Jesuit)
6 Raymon Taylor CB 5-10 182 Sr. Detroit, Mich. (Highland Park)
7 Shane Morris QB 6-3 202 So. Warren, Mich. (De La Salle)
7 Henry Poggi DT 6-4 271 RS Fr. Baltimore, Md. (Gilman School)
8 Channing Stribling DB 6-2 176 So. Matthews, N.C. (Butler)
8 Russell Bellomy QB 6-3 210 RS Jr. Arlington, Texas (Mann)
9 Mike McCray LB 6-4 242 RS Fr. Trotwood, Ohio (Trotwood-Madison)
10 Da’Mario Jones WR 6-2 198 So. Westland, Mich. (John Glenn)
12 Allen Gant DB 6-2 222 RS So. Sylvania, Ohio (Southview)
13 Terry Richardson CB 5-9 172 RS So. Detroit, Mich. (Cass Tech)
13 Alex Swieca QB 6-1 210 RS Jr. New York, N.Y. (The Frisch School)
14 Drake Harris WR 6-4 180 Fr. Grand Rapids, Mich. (Grand Rapids Christian)
15 Garrett Moores QB 6-3 209 RS Fr. Detroit, Mich. (Detroit Catholic)
15 James Ross III LB 6-1 225 Jr. Orchard Lake, Mich. (St. Mary’s Prep)
16 Jack Wangler WR 6-1 200 RS Fr. Royal Oak, Mich. (Warren De La Salle)
17 Freddy Canteen WR 6-1 170 Fr. Elkton, Md. (Eastern Christian Academy)
18 Antonio Whitfield RB 5-4 156 So. Canal Winchester, Ohio (Canal Winchester)
19 Wilton Speight QB 6-6 230 Fr. Richmond, Va. (The Collegiate School)
19 Jared Wangler LB 6-2 215 Fr. Royal Oak, Mich. (De La Salle)
20 Drake Johnson RB 6-0 212 RS So. Ann Arbor, Mich. (Pioneer)
22 Jarrod Wilson S 6-2 202 Jr. Akron, Ohio (Akron Buchtel)
23 Dennis Norfleet WR 5-7 167 Jr. Detroit, Mich. (Martin Luther King)
24 Delonte Hollowell DB 5-9 175 Sr. Detroit, Mich. (Cass Technical)
25 Dymonte Thomas DB 6-2 191 So. Alliance, Ohio (Marlington)
26 Jourdan Lewis DB 5-10 174 So. Detroit, Mich. (Cass Technical)
27 Derrick Green RB 5-11 227 So. Richmond, Va. (Hermitage)
28 Brandon Watson RB 5-11 185 Fr. Elkton, Md. (Eastern Christian Academy)
29 Ross Douglas DB 5-10 186 RS Fr. Avon, Ohio (Avon)
30 Reon Dawson DB 6-2 178 RS Fr. Trotwood, Ohio (Trotwood-Madison)
31 Nick Benda LB 6-0 209 RS So. Champion, Mich. (Westwood)
32 Shaun Austin S 6-1 196 RS So. Plymouth, Mich. (Plymouth)
32 Ty Isaac RB 6-3 225 So. Shorewood, Ill. (Joliet Catholic Academy)
33 Wyatt Shallman RB 6-3 243 RS Fr. Novi, Mich. (Detroit Catholic Central)
33 Taco Charlton DE 6-6 275 So. Pickerington, Ohio (Central)
34 Jeremy Clark DB 6-4 206 RS So. Madisonville, Ky. (Madisonville N. Hopkins)
35 Joe Bolden LB 6-3 225 Jr. Cincinnati, Ohio (Colerain)
36 Joe Kerridge FB 6-0 247 RS Jr. Traverse City, Mich. (St. Francis)
36 AJ Pearson DB 6-0 202 RS So. John’s Creek, Ga. (Northview)
37 Bobby Henderson RB 5-11 239 RS So. Hopewell Junction, N.Y. (John Jay)
38 Francois Montbrun DB 5-10 187 Fr. Ishpeming, Mich. (Westwood)
39 Sione Houma FB 6-0 240 Jr. Salt Lake City, Mich. (Highland)
40 Will Hagerup P 6-4 225 RS Sr. Milwaukee, Wisc. (Whitefish Bay)
41 Anthony Capatina DB 5-9 181 RS Sr. Novi, Mich. (Detroit Catholic Central)
42 Ben Gedeon LB 6-3 236 So. Hudson, Ohio (Hudson)
43 Scott Sypniewski LS 6-1 226 RS Fr. Ottawa, Ill. (Marquette)
43 Chris Wormley DL 6-4 292 RS So. Toledo, Ohio (Whitmer)
44 Delano Hill DB 6-0 205 So. Detroit, Mich. (Crockett Technical)
45 Matt Wile PK 6-2 223 Sr. San Diego, Calif. (Francis Parker)
47 Jake Ryan LB 6-3 235 RS Sr. Westlake, Ohio (St. Ignatius)
48 Desmond Morgan LB 6-1 232 Sr. Holland, Mich. (West Ottawa)
49 Anthony Dalimonte CB 5-9 170 RS Fr. Bloomfield Hills, Mich. (Brother Rice)
50 Tom Strobel DE 6-6 268 RS So. Mentor, Ohio (Mentor)
51 Michael Ferns LB 6-3 233 Fr. Saint Clairsville, Ohio (Saint Clairsville)
51 Greg Forelich OL 6-2 266 RS Fr. Maplewood, N.J. (Montclair Kimberly Academy)
52 Mason Cole OL 6-5 275 Fr. Tarpon Springs, Fla. (East Lake)
52 Royce Jenkins-Stone LB 6-2 221 Jr. Detroit, Mich. (Cass Tech)
53 Mario Ojemudia DE 6-3 250 Jr. Farmington Hills, Mich. (Harrison)
54 Brady Pallante DT 6-1 255 Fr. Naples, Fla. (Barron Collier)
55 Garrett Miller DL 6-4 254 RS Fr. Adrian, Mich. (Sand Creek)
55 David Dawson OL 6-4 295 RS Fr. Detroit, Mich. (Cass Technical)
56 Joey Burzynski OL 6-1 288 RS Sr. Carlsbad, Calif. (Carlsbad)
56 Ondre Pipkins DT 6-3 313 Jr. Kansas City, Mo. (Park Hill)
57 Patrick Kugler OL 6-5 295 RS Fr. Wexford, Pa. (North Allegheny)
57 Frank Clark LB 6-2 270 Sr. Cleveland, Ohio (Glenville)
58 Chase Winovich LB 6-3 216 Fr. Clairton, Pa. (Thomas Jefferson)
59 Noah Furbush LB 6-4 229 Fr. Kenton, Ohio (Kenton)
60 Jack Miller OL 6-4 297 RS Jr. Perrysburg, Ohio (St. John’s Jesuit)
61 Graham Glasgow OL 6-6 308 RS Jr. Aurora, Ill. (Marmion Academy)
62 Blake Bars OL 6-5 290 RS So. Nashville, Tenn. (Montgomery Bell Academy)
63 Ben Pliska OL 6-3 277 RS So. Kirkland, Was. (Lake Washington)
64 Michael Wroblewski LB 6-2 228 Fr. St. Clair Shores, Mich. (Detroit Jesuit)
65 Kyle Bosch OL 6-5 301 So. Wheaton, Ill. (St. Francis)
66 Dan Liesman LB 6-2 223 RS So. Lansing, Mich. (Lansing Catholic)
67 Kyle Kalis OL 6-5 304 RS So. Lakewood, Ohio (Saint Edward)
69 Willie Henry DT 6-2 297 RS So. Cleveland, Ohio (Glenville)
71 Ben Braden OL 6-6 319 RS So. Rockford, Mich. (Rockford)
72 Logan Tuley-Tillman OL 6-7 290 RS Fr. Peoria, Ill. (Manual)
73 Chris Fox OL 6-6 310 RS Fr. Parker, Colo. (Ponderosa)
73 Maurice Hurst, Jr. DT 6-2 277 RS Fr. Westwood, Mass. (Xaverian Brothers)
74 Dan Samuelson OL 6-5 282 RS Fr. Plymouth, Ind. (Plymouth)
76 Juwann Bushell-Beatty OL 6-5 295 Fr. Paramus, N.J. (Paramus Catholic)
78 Erik Magnuson OL 6-6 295 RS So. San Diego, Calif. (La Costa Canyon)
80 Khalid Hill TE 6-2 255 RS Fr. Detroit, Mich. (Crockett)
81 Csont’e York WR 6-3 194 So. Harper Woods, Mich. (Chandler Park Academy)
82 Amara Darboh WR 6-2 214 RS So. Des Moines, Iowa (Dowling Catholic)
83 Jaron Dukes WR 6-4 200 RS Fr. Columbus, Ohio (Marion Franklin)
84 A.J. Williams TE 6-6 263 Jr. Cincinnati, Ohio (Sycamore)
86 Jehu Chesson WR 6-3 195 RS So. St. Louis, Mo. (Ladue Horton Watkins)
87 Devin Funchess TE 6-5 230 Jr. Farmington Hills, Mich. (Harrison)
88 Jake Butt TE 6-6 250 So. Pickerington, Ohio (Pickerington North)
89 Jonathan Keizer WR 6-5 215 RS Jr. Portage, Mich. (Portage Northern)
90 Bryan Mone DT 6-4 315 Fr. Salt Lake City, Utah (Highland)
91 Alex Mitropolous-Rundus DL 6-2 265 RS Jr. Ann Arbor, Mich. (Pioneer)
91 Kenny Allen K/P 6-3 230 RS So. Fenton, Mich. (Fenton)
92 Keith Heitzman TE 6-3 271 RS Jr. Hilliard, Ohio (Hilliard Davidson)
93 Lawrence Marshall DE 6-4 230 Fr. Southfield, Mich. (Southfield)
94 Ian Bunting TE 6-7 223 Fr. Hinsdale, Ill. (Hinsdale Central)
95 Michael Jocz TE 6-4 231 RS So. Novi, Mich. (Novi)
96 Ryan Glasgow DL 6-4 297 RS So. Aurora, Ill. (Marmion Academy)
97 Brennen Beyer DE 6-3 256 Sr. Canton, Mich. (Plymouth)
98 Devin Gardner QB 6-4 218 RS Sr. Detroit, Mich. (Inkster)
99 Matthew Godin DT 6-6 283 RS So. Novi, Mich. (Catholic Central)

M&GB Preseason Roundtable Series

Season preview

Posted August 22, 2014

It has become our tradition at the beginning of each season to preview the upcoming season via a staff roundtable. We answer several questions with our predictions and expectations for what the season will bring. Drew has moved on, but we still have Justin, Sam, Derick, and Josh. We also invited our partner at MmmGoBluBBQ, Joe, to join us for the roundtable. We also invite you to give your answers in the comments below. Tell us what you agree with or disagree with. Next week we will begin our game week coverage.

What are you most excited about this season?

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Freshmen, but not THAT freshman

Posted August 1, 2014

So far this offseason we have discussed the status of Hoke’s hot seat (we pretty much all agreed this is not a make or break season for him) and the Michigan Football Legends jerseys program (we’re all in agreement that we like them, but they need a few guidelines). As we continue our offseason staff roundtable series today, we’re providing our thoughts on freshmen. You may have heard about this incoming defensive back named Jabrill Peppers, but we’re not talking about him. Here’s the question:

Which freshman — true or redshirt — are you most excited about this season, not named Jabrill Peppers? Who, other than Peppers, do you think will have the biggest impact this fall, and why?

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Michigan Football Legends jerseys

Posted July 11, 2014

Two weeks ago we debuted our M&GB Roundtable series that will run every couple weeks throughout the summer. Each of these roundtables will discuss a hot topic related to the upcoming season. Last time, we discussed the status of Brady Hoke’s hot seat and the consensus seemed to be that unless Michigan goes downhill once again this season, Hoke is safe heading into 2015. Today, we continue the series, this time giving our thoughts on the “Michigan Football Legends” jerseys. Here’s the question:

What’s your take on the “Michigan Football Legends” jerseys? Do you like or dislike them? Are they a good way to tie in tradition or are they too gimicky? Do you think they should be given out every year? If so, who should get numbers 11 and 21 this season? Finally, are there any other numbers you feel should be given legends status?

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The status of Hoke’s hot seat

Posted June 27, 2014

As we continue our 2014 season preview series, the time has come for our first M&GB Roundtable. These roundtables will be posted on Fridays a few times throughout the summer and will discuss a hot topic relating to the upcoming season. Given the way last season went and the overall pessimism throughout the fan base at the moment, the first topic is certainly a hot one:

Is Brady Hoke on the hot seat? If not now, what kind of season does Michigan have to have to avoid the hot seat heading into next season? If so, is there a scenario in which you would want him fired after this season?

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Position Previews

Predicting Michigan: The special teams

Posted August 7 by Derick

Special teams never receives the same attention as the offense or defense, but this unit has a major impact on every game and how the field position battle is determined. Young players use special teams reps to earn time at their natural positions early in their careers, so the athletes that Michigan has brought to Ann Arbor in recent recruiting classes bodes well for coach Dan Ferrigno. In 2014 Michigan will feature a new-look core of specialists despite an array of familiar faces.

Kicker

Special teams utility man Matt Wile will take over the primary kicking duties during his senior year after an up-and-down campaign as the starting punter. Wile gives Michigan an added dimension to the offense, as his power makes longer field goal attempts much more of a reality.

Wile showed flashes of greatness during 2013, including a 49-yard field goal through the rain in East Lansing to give Michigan a temporary 3-0 lead. The junior also booted one of the finest punts in school history: A 69-yard blast that pinned Nebraska on its own three-yard line on Nov. 9.

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Predicting Michigan: The secondary

Posted July 22 by Derick

Greg Mattison owns all of the tools to turn what was a shaky secondary in 2013 into a strength of the defense during his fourth season under Brady Hoke at Michigan.

Last season Michigan’s tendency to surrender the big play allowed teams to hang around before eventually costing the Wolverines in a late comeback by Penn State in Happy Valley. This unit has all the tools to shut down Big Ten receivers, but a few key players need to make major spring adjustments.

The Starters

Blake Countess was the clear-cut top defensive back for Michigan during the 2013 season, snatching a team-high six interceptions and taking on opponents’ best receivers every week. But this is an important offseason for the redshirt junior, as his ability to turn when the ball is in flight stands between him being a good defender and perhaps becoming one of the best in the conference. Countess often got beat despite tight coverage because he was looking at the receiver rather than finding the ball. If he can make an adjustment to look for the pass while staying in front of his man, offensive coordinators might stop throwing his way.

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Predicting Michigan: The linebackers

Posted July 20 by Derick

Despite the overall struggles of the defense for the majority of the 2013 season, the linebacking corps laid a solid foundation for Greg Mattison and carried the bulk of the load between a mediocre defensive line and frustrating secondary.

The unit took a huge blow during the 2013 offseason when its leader, Jake Ryan, tore his ACL and figured to miss the majority of the year. Ryan astonished the trainers by returning against Penn State on October 12, one week short of seven months after suffering the injury. The captain made an immediate impact by recording his first tackle for loss of the season.

Mattison will surely look to his linebackers to lead the defensive turnaround this season. Three of the most talented players on the Michigan roster will start for this unit and set the tone for an otherwise unproven defense.

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Predicting Michigan: The defensive line

Posted July 7 by Derick

For much of the 2013 season, Michigan effectively stopped the running game with a defensive line that appeared to be the strongest unit for Greg Mattison. The defense dominated the rushing attack of weaker opponents and allowed an average of just 89.5 yards per game through six games.

But as the schedule got tougher, opponents found it much easier to bully Michigan’s line. Big Ten teams averaged nearly 190 rushing yards per game against the Wolverines in the final six regular season games, and Kansas State polished off the campaign with 149 yards on the ground in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

Michigan returns most of its major contributors on the defensive line this season as Mattison tries to instill consistency into a group that showed flashes of greatness in 2013. Starting tackles Jibreel Black and Quinton Washington both graduated, but a wealth of talented young options will step in to fill the void.

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Predicting Michigan: The offensive line

Posted June 30 by Derick

Michigan’s offense was difficult to watch for much of the 2013 season as a normally-reliable Wolverine rushing attack imploded before vanishing from the offense by the middle of Big Ten play.

To compensate for the struggles on the ground, quarterback Devin Gardner was asked to drop back on more than half of the team’s snaps. Unfortunately for Gardner, he was almost never alone in the backfield. The middle of the offensive line was a sieve and turned the mobile quarterback into a proverbial tackling dummy.

Despite the group’s struggles, both tackles, Taylor Lewan and Michael Schofield, were selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, further weakening the unit and raising major question marks for Brady Hoke and his new-look offensive staff.

The Starters

Perhaps the brightest spot on Michigan’s offensive line comes in the form of two talented young guards. Sophomore left guard Kyle Bosch and redshirt sophomore right guard Kyle Kalis played a major role on the line last season and hope to solidify a group that lost its two leaders during the offseason.

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Predicting Michigan: The tight ends

Posted June 23 by Derick

Michigan football made a few announcements this offseason that gutted the tight end depth for offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier. The team’s top option throughout much of the last two seasons was Devin Funchess, who will be moved permanently to wide receiver for his junior season. Transitioning Funchess was much easier after the emergence of freshman Jake Butt, but a torn ACL sidelined the young star and left the Wolverines without their top two options at tight end, at least for the first few games of the season.

Brady Hoke opted against moving Funchess back to tight end, and will instead choose from a number of veteran options that have made smaller impacts during their Michigan careers.

The Starters

With the offense under construction after the hiring of Nussmeier, it remains to be seen what type of role the tight ends will play in 2014. During the spring game, the majority of Michigan’s sets featured one tight end, often junior A.J. Williams.

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Predicting Michigan: The wide receivers

Posted June 17 by Derick

When wide receiver Jeremy Gallon walked off the field in Arizona after Michigan’s loss to Kansas State, the Wolverines lost 42.6 percent of their receiving yards for the season and the top playmaker on the team.

Michigan’s receiving corps was a one-man wrecking crew in 2013, with Gallon averaging 15.5 yards per catch and scoring nine times. His departure leaves room for a deep group of young wide outs to grow with the rest of the Wolverine offense.

The Starters

Devin Funchess represents Michigan’s top returning receiver after transitioning from tight end to wide out during the 2013 season. Funchess was moved to receiver officially after playing a tight end-wide receiver hybrid position that highlighted the tall sophomore’s downfield skills.

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Predicting Michigan: The running backs

Posted June 13 by Derick

The most glaring hole in the Michigan offense during 2013 was the absence of a legitimate rushing threat. A porous offensive line and indecisive running backs combined to cripple the one-dimensional Wolverine offense and led to a 755-yard decrease in rushing yards from 2012. Fortunately for offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, several players emerged as potential contributors in the backfield towards the end of the 2013 campaign.

Michigan’s worst rushing performance in the team’s 134-year history (minus-48 yards against Michigan State) came during a season in which a recruiting class loaded with running back talent took the field. Brady Hoke brought one five-star recruit and two four-star recruits to Ann Arbor in the class of 2013, only to watch his team rush for 3.3 yards per carry on the season. If Michigan hopes to steer the program back in the right direction, that number will have to improve drastically under Nussmeier.

Michigan did add USC transfer Ty Isaac last week, but this preview assumes that he does not receive a hardship waiver from the NCAA and has to take a redshirt this fall.

The Starters

When he arrived in Ann Arbor, Nussmeier announced that he will use two primary running backs during the 2014 season. Much as he did with Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon in 2012 at Alabama, the new offensive coordinator will use the depth at his disposal to get the most out of his rushing attack.

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Predicting Michigan: The quarterbacks

Posted June 9 by Derick

In the first season of the post-Denard Robinson era, Michigan quarterbacks suffered from many of the mistakes that made “Shoelace” so inconsistent. Turnovers and mental errors led to Al Borges’s firing in favor of Alabama’s Doug Nussmeier, who will look to construct a more concrete identity for the Wolverines. Nussmeier has plenty of quarterback options to choose from, as Michigan returns its top two candidates from 2013 and adds a talented recruit to the mix.

The Starter

Despite speculation and fan frustration that call for the senior to lose his starting position in 2014, Devin Gardner will certainly be under center for Michigan at the start of the season.

Gardner took a small step back early in his first full year as the starting quarterback, throwing 10 interceptions in his first six games. The veteran was reluctant to take a sack and threw passes into coverage instead of protecting the ball. A costly interception in his own end zone nearly cost the Wolverines the game against Notre Dame, and similar plays put Michigan behind against Akron and Connecticut.

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Opponent Previews

Aug. 30 – Appalachian State
Posted June 10 by Justin

Appalachian State logoLike last year, our preseason opponent preview will go from what we feel is the easiest opponent on the schedule to the toughest. We will feature one opponent per week throughout the summer, leading up to the first game week. To kick things off, the team we feel is the easiest on the schedule also happens to be the first opponent on the schedule, Appalachian State.

Overview

Despite the objections of most Michigan fans, Appalachian State is on Michigan’s schedule once again solely because of what happened seven years ago. Beating the Mountaineers does nothing except bring the all-time head-to-head series to even. Doing the unthinkable — losing — once again, gives opposing fans more ammo, while simply playing the game allows the media to rehash the horror that occurred back in 2007. There’s nothing good about this. But here we are, and the good news is this isn’t the same Appalachian State team.

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Sept. 6 – at Notre Dame

Coming soon

Sept. 13 – Miami (Ohio)
Posted June 23 by Justin

Miami OH logoLast week, we previewed Michigan’s first opponent of the season, who we also feel is the easiest opponent on the schedule, Appalachian State. Today, it’s time to take a look at the second-easiest, although the difference in “toughness” between Appalachian State and today’s featured opponent, Miami (Ohio), is very minimal. Miami got the nod over ASU because the Redhawks are already an FBS team.

Overview

After a surprising 10-4 record in 2010, Miami hired former Michigan State offensive coordinator Don Treadwell and he went 8-21 the next two-and-a-half seasons. He was fired on Oct. 6 last season after starting 0-5. Interim head coach Mike Bath didn’t fare any better as the Redhawks failed to win a game all season. Following the season, Miami turned to another offensive coordinator from one of Michigan’s rivals, this time hiring Notre Dame’s Chuck Martin.

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Sept. 20 – Utah

Posted July 21 by Justin

Utah logoIn our Minnesota preview, we touched upon the upward trajectory in which Jerry Kill has the program headed. Utah, on the other hand, is going the other way. After taking over from Urban Meyer following a 12-0 2004 campaign, Kyle Whittingham rebuilt the program and went from 7-5 to 8-4 to 9-3 to 13-0 in four consecutive seasons. The latter included a 25-23 win in the Big House and a Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama. And while there was nowhere else to climb, the Utes continued their success with back-to-back 10-3 seasons in 2009 and 2010. But Whittingham’s squad went 8-5 in 2011 and 5-7 in each of the past two years, leaving one to wonder whether Whittingham’s early success was more due to Meyer’s recruits than his own coaching acumen.

A closer look into last season shows that Utah wasn’t quite as bad as the record indicates. The Utes took care of business against an FCS foe, Weber State, 70-7, and Pac-12 bottom-feeder Colorado; won rivalry games against 9-5 Utah State and on the road against 8-5 BYU; and upset Stanford, 27-21. But it was the losses that show how close the team was to a much better season. Utah lost to Oregon State by three, 51-48; knocked on the UCLA redzone with a chance to tie in the final minute; and gave up a 12-point fourth-quarter lead to Arizona State. Coming close doesn’t count for anything, but it does show that a couple of bounces going the right way could have turned a 5-7 season into an 8-4 one with a bowl game. Of course, there was still a 23-point loss to Oregon, 11-point loss to Arizona, 16-point loss to USC, and 12-point loss to Washington State, so before we read too much into the close losses, let’s take a look at what this year’s team presents.

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Sept. 27 – Minnesota

Posted July 16 by Justin

Minn logoWe have already previewed the two easiest teams on Michigan’s schedule, Appalachian State and Miami (Ohio). On the docket today is the third-easiest, and the first Big Ten opponent on the schedule, the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Overview

Minnesota is on an upward swing in Jerry Kill’s fourth season. The Gophers have gone from 3-9 to 6-7 to 8-5 the past three seasons, and if they can improve their record again this fall — a tall order, to be sure — Kill will have done something that hasn’t been done since the 1940s — improve Minnesota’s record for three straight seasons. Minnesota’s legendary coach, Bernie Bierman, was the last to do it from 1945-48. Glen Mason had a chance to achieve the feat twice during his tenure, but each time fell back to earth. He did, however, reach 10 wins in 2003, and Kill will hope to parlay the momentum he has built into a similar outcome.

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Oct. 4 – at Rutgers

Posted Aug 5 by Justin

Rutgers logoChugging along with our opponent preview series, we have come to the first of two new additions to the conference, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, who we feel will be the sixth-easiest . Previously, we previewed, in order from easiest to not-so-easiest, Appalachian StateMiami (Ohio)MinnesotaUtah, and Indiana.

Overview

Remember 2006 when Michigan was unbeaten heading into Columbus for the game of the century? You know, the last time Michigan was really good? Well, Rutgers is also trying to get back to those days. Since going 11-2 that season and finishing ranked 12th nationally, the Scarlet Knights have gone 8-5, 8-5, 9-4, 4-8, 9-4, 9-4, and 6-7. Now, as they move into the Big Ten with considerable experience returning, they were done no favors by their new conference.

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Oct. 11 – Penn State

Coming soon

Oct. 25 – at Michigan State

Coming soon

Nov. 1 – Indiana

Posted July 27 by Justin

Indiana logoIn a similar fashion to Jerry Kill at Minnesota, Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson has his program headed in the right direction. In his first season after taking over from Bill Lynch in 2011, the Hoosiers managed just a single win, topping South Carolina State of the Football Championship Subdivision, 38-21. His first four losses were all within a touchdown, but the rest of the season wasn’t even close. Indiana lost its final seven games of that season by an average of 25 points.

Year two was better as the Hoosiers improved the win total by three, going 4-8, and winning two conference games, a 31-17 win at Illinois and a 24-21 win over Iowa the following week. There were still lopsided losses — 62-14 to Wisconsin, 45-22 at Penn State, and 56-35 to Purdue — but there were also near-upsets — a 52-49 loss to Ohio State, 31-27 loss to Michigan State, and a one-point heartbreaker at Navy. Progress.

Last season, Wilson’s squad managed five wins, none over FCS opponents, and three against Big Ten foes, the most notable being a 44-24 win at Penn State early in the season. The Hoosiers faltered down the stretch, losing 51-3 at Wisconsin and 41-14 at Ohio State, but the progress was evident. The offense was second only to Ohio State in the Big Ten and scored more points (28) than anyone all season against Michigan State’s vaunted defense (Nebraska also scored 28), including Ohio State.

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Nov. 8 – at Northwestern

Posted August 12 by Justin

NorthwesternLogoOur last two opponent previews have been about the new kids on the block, Rutgers and Maryland. Today, we take a look at one of the old guards, the Northwestern Wildcats, who we feel will be the fifth-toughest opponent on Michigan’s schedule. Previously, we previewed  Appalachian StateMiami (Ohio)MinnesotaUtahIndianaRutgers, and Maryland.

Overview

A year ago at this time, there was a lot of excitement surrounding the Northwestern program that many assumed was ready to take the next step forward. The Wildcats were coming off a 10-win season and a bowl victory and started the 2013 season ranked for the first time in over a decade. A 4-0 start got Northwestern to 16th in the country heading into a Big Ten opener against fourth-ranked Ohio State. ESPN College GameDay was there for the nationally televised primetime battle.

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Nov. 22 – Maryland

Posted August 11 by Justin

Maryland logoLast week we previewed the first of the two new Big Ten additions, Rutgers. Today, it’s time to take a look at the second, the Maryland Terrapins, who we feel will be the seventh-easiest, or sixth toughest, opponent on Michigan’s schedule. Previously, we previewed Appalachian StateMiami (Ohio)MinnesotaUtah, and Indiana, and Rutgers.

Overview

In last week’s Rutgers preview, I mentioned the intrigue that new offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen brings to the Rutgers offense. As the head coach at Maryland for 10 seasons, Friedgen raised the Terrapins profile, transforming a program that had just one winning season in the previous decade — and a 6-5 one at that — into a perennial ACC contender. The program hadn’t won a bowl game for 15 years prior to his tenure, but Friedgen guided the Terps to five bowl victories. But he was unceremoniously let go after a 9-4 campaign in 2010 — a season in which Maryland finished second in the ACC, won a bowl game, and finished ranked nationally — and replaced him with UConn’s Randy Edsall.

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Preseason Big Ten Position Rankings

Coaches (part two)

Posted August 15 by Drew

This week, as part of our summer-long preview of Michigan football in 2014, we at Maize and Go Blue are ranking who will be the top head coaches in the Big Ten this upcoming season. This may be bending the definition of “position,” but this series has already listed who will be the best offensive, defensive, and special-teams players in the Big Ten in 2014. The head coaches included in this top 10 are whom we believe have been the best coaches recently and will be next season, not necessarily those who have had the best overall careers. Yesterday, we revealed the Big Ten head coaches ranked No. 6 through No. 10. If you missed it, we encourage you to catch up here. Done? Perfect! On that note, let’s unveil who will be the five best head coaches in the Big Ten this fall.

5. Gary Andersen, Wisconsin | Overall Record: 39-35 (6 yrs) – Record at Wisconsin: 9-4 (1 yr)
Big Ten Records Overall W/L Big Ten W/L Standing Bowl
2013 9-4 6-2 2nd (Leaders) Capital One (L)
Career Totals 9-4 6-2   0-1

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Coaches (part one)

Posted August 14 by Drew

This is the 11th installment of Maize and Go Blue’s series that ranks the best Big Ten players at each position for the upcoming season. Each week, until Michigan’s opener, one position will be previewed, looking at the players who will excel in 2014, not necessarily the ones who did so in previous seasons. However, now that offense, defense, and special teams have been covered, we are bending the definition of the words “position” and “players” and ranking the Big Ten’s best head coaches. This list will be split into two parts in order to provide you with thorough and in-depth analysis. Here’s Part One:

10. Kevin Wilson, Indiana | Overall Record: 10-26 (3 yrs) – Record at Indiana: 10-26 (3 yrs)
Big Ten Records Overall W/L Big Ten W/L Standing Bowl
2013 5-7 3-5 4th (Leaders)
2012 4-8 2-6 5th (Leaders)
2011 1-11 0-8 6th (Leaders)
Career Totals 10-26 5-19    

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Return Specialists

Posted August 7 by Drew

This week, as part of our summer-long preview of Michigan football in 2014, we at Maize and Go Blue are ranking who will be the top special-teams performers in the Big Ten this upcoming season. The players listed here are whom we believe will be the most successful in 2014, not necessarily those who have performed the best in previous years. On Wednesday, we ranked who will be the five best kicking specialists—placekickers or punters—in the conference. Today, we reveal who will be the five best return specialists in the Big Ten this fall.

5. Kevonte Martin-Manley, Iowa (WR) | 5th-yr Senior – 6’0”, 205 lbs
Kick Ret Yds/Ret Long TD Punt Ret Yds/Ret Long TD
2013 0 0 0 0 20 15.7 83 2
2012 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2011 4 20.5 23 0 0 0 0 0
2011 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career Totals 4 20.5 23 0 20 15.7 83 2

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Kicking Specialists

Posted August 6 by Drew

This is the 10th installment of Maize and Go Blue’s series that ranks the best Big Ten players at each position for the upcoming season. Each week, until Michigan’s opener, one position will be previewed, looking at the players who will excel in 2014, not necessarily the ones who did so in previous seasons. This week, we are taking a look at special teams. Like the past nine editions of this series, this position preview is split into two parts—one for kicking specialists and one for return specialists—in order to provide thorough and in-depth analysis of each of player ranked. Today, we reveal who will be the top five kicking specialists—placekickers or punters—in the Big Ten this upcoming season.

5. Matt Wile, Michigan (K) | Senior – 6’2”, 219 lbs
FG Made FG Att FG % Long 1-39 40+ PATs
2013 3 5 60.0 49 2-2 1-3 5-5
2012 2 3 66.7 52 0-0 2-3 0-0
2011 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0
Career Totals 5 8 62.5 52 2-2 3-6 5-5

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Safeties (part two)

Posted July 31 by Drew

This week, as part of our summer-long preview of Michigan football in 2014, we at Maize and Go Blue are ranking who will be the top safeties in the Big Ten this upcoming season. The players listed are whom we believe will be the most successful in 2014, not necessarily those who have performed the best in previous years. Part One of our safeties rankings was posted yesterday. It revealed the bottom half of who will be the Big Ten’s 10 best safeties. If you have not had an opportunity to read it yet, I encourage you to do so before proceeding. All set? Excellent! Let’s unveil who will be the five best safeties in the Big Ten this fall.

5. Corey Cooper, Nebraska | 5th-yr Senior – 6’1”, 215 lbs
Solo Assisted Total Tackles Tackles-for-Loss Sacks P Def INT
2013 52 39 91 5.0 2.0 1 1
2012 8 9 17 2.0 0.5 0 0
2012 8 1 9 0 0 0 0
2012 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career Totals 68 49 117 7.0 2.5 1 1

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Safeties (part one)

Posted July 30 by Drew

This is the eighth installment of Maize and Go Blue’s series that ranks the best Big Ten players at each position for the upcoming season. Each week until Michigan’s opener, one position will be previewed, looking at the players who will excel in 2014, not necessarily the ones who did so in previous seasons. The analysis provided is thorough and in-depth, so each position preview will be split into two parts. The best Big Ten players on offense and in the defensive front seven have been covered. This week, it is time to preview who will be the best cornerbacks in the conference this season. Here is Part One:

11. Jabrill Peppers, Michigan | Freshman – 6’1”, 202 lbs

Okay, I am cheating. The parameters of this 2014 Big Ten Position Rankings series indicate that only the Big Ten players who will be among the 10 best at their respective position shall be ranked. However, an exception must be made for Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers, whom you just may have already heard a bit about here and there.

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Cornerbacks (part two)

Posted July 24 by Drew

This week, as part of our summer-long preview of Michigan football in 2014, we at Maize and Go Blue are ranking who will be the best cornerbacks in the Big Ten this upcoming season. The players listed are whom we believe will be the most successful in 2014, not necessarily those who have had the most success in previous years. Part One of our cornerback rankings was posted yesterday. It revealed the bottom half of the Big Ten’s top-10 cornerbacks. If you have not had the chance to read it yet, I recommend that you do so before proceeding. Read it? Fantastic! Then let’s unveil who will be the five best cornerbacks in the Big Ten this fall.

5. Desmond King, Iowa | Sophomore – 5’11”, 190 lbs.
Solo Assisted Total Tackles Tackles-for-Loss Sacks P Def INT
2013 44 25 69 3.0 0 8 0
Career Totals 44 25 69 3.0 0 8 0

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Cornerbacks (part one)

Posted July 23 by Drew

This is the eighth installment of Maize and Go Blue’s series that ranks the best Big Ten players at each position for the upcoming season. Each week until Michigan’s opener, one position will be previewed, looking at the players who will excel in 2014, not necessarily the ones who did so in previous seasons. The analysis provided is thorough and in-depth, so each position preview will be split into two parts. The best Big Ten players on offense and in the defensive front seven have been covered. This week, it is time to preview who will be the best cornerbacks in the conference this season. Here is Part One:

10. Nick VanHoose, Northwestern | RS Junior – 6’0”, 190 lbs
Solo Assisted Total Tackles Tackles-for-Loss Sacks P Def INT
2013 40 21 61 5.0 0 8 0
2012 26 7 33 0.5 0 7 3
2011 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career Totals 66 28 94 5.5 0 15 3

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Linebackers (part two)

Posted July 18 by Drew

This week, as part of our summer-long preview of Michigan football in 2014, we at Maize and Go blue are ranking who will be the best linebackers in the Big Ten this upcoming season. The players listed are whom we believe will be the most successful in 2014, not necessarily those who have had the most success in previous years. Part One of our linebacker rankings was posted yesterday. It revealed who is in the bottom half of the Big Ten’s top-10 linebackers. If you have not had the opportunity to read it yet, I encourage that you do so before proceeding. Read it? Excellent! Let’s reveal who will be the five best linebackers in the Big Ten this fall.

5. Quinton Alston, Iowa | Senior – 6’1”, 232 lbs
Solo Assisted Total Tackles Tackles-for-Loss Sacks QBH
2013 5 7 12 0 0 0
2012 2 3 5 0 0 0
2011 4 3 7 0.5 0 0
Career Totals 11 13 24 0.5 0 0

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Linebackers (part one)

Posted July 17 by Drew

This is the seventh installment of Maize and Go Blue’s series that ranks the best Big Ten players at each position for the upcoming season. Each week until Michigan’s opener, one position will be previewed, looking at the players who will excel in 2014, not necessarily the ones who did so in previous seasons. The analysis provided is thorough and in-depth, so each position preview will be split into two parts. The best Big Ten players on offense and the defensive line have been covered. This week, it is time to preview the linebackers. Here is Part One:

10. Michael Rose, Nebraska | RS Sophomore – 5’11”, 240 lbs
Solo Assisted Total Tackles Tackles-for-Loss Sacks QBH
2013 39 27 66 6.0 0 2
2012 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career Totals 39 27 66 6.0 0 2

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Defensive Line (part two)

Posted July 10 by Drew

This week, as part of our summer-long preview of Michigan football in 2014, we at Maize and Go Blue are ranking who will be the best defensive linemen in the Big Ten this upcoming season. The players listed are whom we believe will be the most successful in 2014, not necessarily those who have had the most success in previous years. Part One of our defensive line rankings was posted yesterday. It revealed who is in the bottom half of the Big Ten’s top-10 defensive linemen. If you have not had the chance to read it yet, I recommend that you do so before proceeding. Read it? Great! Let’s unveil who will be the five best defensive linemen in the Big Ten this fall.

5. Noah Spence, Ohio State | Junior – 6’3”, 252 lbs
Solo Assisted Total Tackles Tackles-for-Loss Sacks QBH
2013 24 28 52 8.0 14.5 4
2012 7 5 12 1.0 1.0 0
Career Totals 31 33 64 9.0 15.5 4

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Defensive Line (part one)

Posted July 9 by Drew

This is the sixth installment of Maize and Go Blue’s series that ranks the best Big Ten players at each position for the upcoming season. Each week until Michigan’s opener, one position will be previewed, looking at the players who will excel in 2014, not necessarily the ones who did so in previous seasons. The analysis provided is thorough and in-depth, so each position preview will be split into two parts. The best Big Ten players at each offensive position have been covered. This week, it is time to begin previewing the defense, starting with the defensive line. Here is Part One:

10. C.J. Olaniyan, Penn State | 5th-yr Senior – 6’3”, 252 lbs
Solo Assisted Total Tackles Tackles-for-Loss Sacks QBH
2013 28 22 50 11.0 5.0 4
2012 6 9 15 1.0 1.0 0
2011 3 0 3 0 0 0
2010 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career Totals 37 31 68 12.0 6.0 4

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Offensive Line (part two)

Posted July 3 by Drew

This week, as part of our summer-long preview of Michigan football in 2014, we at Maize and Go Blue are ranking who will be the best offensive linemen in the Big Ten this upcoming season. The players listed are whom we believe will be the most successful in 2014, not necessarily those who have had the most success in previous years. Part One of our offensive line rankings was posted yesterday. It revealed who is in the bottom half of the Big Ten’s top 10 offensive linemen. If you have not had the chance to read it yet, I recommend that you do so before proceeding. Read it? Great! Let’s unveil who will be the five best offensive linemen in the Big Ten this fall.

5. Jack Allen, Michigan State | RS Junior – 6’2”, 300 lbs
Starts Games Played
2013 12 12
2012 12 13
2011 0 0
Career Totals 24 25

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Offensive Line (part one)

Posted July 2 by Drew

This is the fifth installment of Maize and Go Blue’s series that ranks the best Big Ten football players at each position for the upcoming season. Each week until Michigan’s opener, one position will be previewed, looking at the players who will excel in 2014, not necessarily the ones who did so in previous seasons. The analysis provided is thorough and in-depth, so each position preview will be split into two parts. The best Big Ten quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends have been covered. This week, I rank the last offensive position: offensive linemen. Here is Part One:

10. Kaleb Johnson,  Rutgers | Senior – 6’4”, 305 lbs
Starts Games Played
2013 13 13
2012 13 13
2011 11 11
Career Totals 37 37

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Tight Ends (part two)

Posted June 26 by Drew

This week, as part of our summer-long preview of Michigan football in 2014, we at Maize and Go Blue are ranking who will be the best tight ends in the Big Ten this upcoming season. The players listed are whom we believe will be the most successful in 2014, not necessarily the players who have had the most success in previous years. Part One of our tight end rankings was posted yesterday. It revealed who is in the bottom half of the Big Ten’s top 10 tight ends. If you missed yesterday’s post, I encourage you to read it before proceeding. With that said, let’s unveil who will be the five best tight ends in the Big Ten this fall.

5. Dan Vitale, Northwestern | Junior – 6’2”, 225 lbs
Receptions Receiving Yds Rec TDs YPC Long YPG
2013 34 382 3 11.2 53 31.8
2012 28 288 2 10.3 41 22.2
Career Totals 62 670 5 10.8 53 26.8

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Tight Ends (part one)

Posted June 25 by Drew

This is the fourth installment of Maize and Go Blue’s series that ranks the best Big Ten football players at each position for the upcoming season. Each week until Michigan’s opener, one position will be previewed, looking at the players who will excel in 2014, not necessarily the ones who did so in previous seasons. The analysis provided is thorough and in-depth, so each position preview will be split into two parts. I have already covered who will be the best Big Ten quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers. This week, I rank the last offensive skill position: tight end. Here is Part One:

10. Matt LaCosse, Illinois | Senior – 6’6”, 245 lbs
Receptions Receiving Yds Rec TDs YPC Long YPG
2013 20 237 3 11.9 45 19.8
2012 3 32 0 10.7 12 2.9
2011 1 11 0 11.0 11 1.1
Career Totals 24 280 3 11.7 45 8.5

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Wide Receivers (part two)

Posted June 20 by Drew

This week, as part of our summer-long preview of Michigan football in 2014, we at Maize and Go blue are ranking who will be the best wide receivers in the Big Ten this upcoming season. The players listed are whom we believe will be the most successful in 2014, not necessarily the players who have had the most success in previous years. Part One of our wide receiver rankings was posted yesterday. It revealed who is in the bottom half of the Big Ten’s top 10 wideouts. If you have not had an opportunity to read it yet, I encourage you do so before proceeding. On that note, let’s unveil who will be the five best wide receivers in the Big Ten this fall.

5. Deon Long, Maryland | Senior – 6’0”, 195 lbs
Receptions Receiving Yds Rec TDs YPC Long YPG
2013 32 489 1 15.3 47 69.9
2012 (Iowa Western) 100 1,625 25 16.3 90 135.5
2011 (New Mexico) 47 809 4 17.2 80 80.9
Career Totals 179 2,923 30 16.3 90 100.8

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Wide Receivers (part one)

Posted June 19 by Drew

This is the third installment of Maize and Go Blue’s series that ranks the best Big Ten football players at each position for the upcoming season. Each week until Michigan’s opener, one position will be previewed, looking at the players who will excel in 2014, not necessarily the ones who did so in previous years. The analysis provided in these posts will be thorough and in-depth, so each position preview will be split into two parts. I have already covered the best Big Ten quarterbacks and running backs. This week, I rank the top wide receivers. Here is Part One:

10. Dontre Wilson, Ohio State | Sophomore – 5’10”, 185 lbs
Receptions Receiving Yds Rec TDs YPC Long YPG
2013 22 210 2 9.5 32 15.0
Career Totals 22 210 2 9.5 32 15.0

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Running Backs (part two)

Posted June 12 by Drew

This week, as part of our preview series, we at Maize and Go Blue are ranking the Big Ten’s best running backs in 2014. Part One of the running back preview was posted yesterday; it ranked the running backs that I believe are No. 6 through No. 10 at their respective position in the conference. If you have not had a chance to read Part One yet, I encourage that you do so before reading Part Two herein. With that said, it is time to reveal who will be the five best running backs in the Big Ten this upcoming season.

5. Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State | Sophomore – 6’0”, 225 lbs
Rushing Yds YPC Rush TDs YPG Rec Yds Rec TD
2013 262 8.7 2 37.4 23 1
Career Totals 262 8.7 2 37.4 23 1

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Running Backs (part one)

Posted June 11 by Drew

Last week, we introduced Maize and Go Blue’s series that will rank the best Big Ten football players at each position in 2014. Each week until Michigan’s season opener in late August, one position will be previewed. The analysis provided will be thorough and in-depth, not just a brief summary, so each position preview will be split into two parts. I kicked off the series last week by ranking the best quarterbacks in the Big Ten. If you missed it, you can catch up with Part One and Two here. This week, I take a look at the quarterbacks’ buddies in the backfield: the running backs.

10. Mark Weisman, Iowa | 5th-yr Senior – 6’0”, 240 lbs
Rushing Yds YPC Rush TDs YPG Rec Yds Rec TD
2013 975 4.3 8 75.0 41 0
2012 815 5.1 8 81.5 90 1
2011 0 0 0 NA 0 0
Career Totals 1,790 4.6 16 77.8 131 1

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Quarterbacks (part two)

Posted June 6 by Drew

Yesterday, we introduced Maize and Go Blue’s series that will rank the best Big Ten football players at each position in 2014. One position will be previewed each week in preparation for Michigan’s season opener in late August. These position previews will be thorough and in-depth, so the preview for each position will be split into two parts. Part One of the Big Ten’s best quarterbacks was the first post of the series. It ranked the quarterbacks whom I believe are No. 6 through No. 10 at their position in the Big Ten. If you have not read it yet, I recommend that you do so before continuing below. On that note, let’s find out who are the five best quarterbacks in the Big Ten. Here is Part Two:

5. C.J. Brown, Maryland | 6th-Yr Senior – 6’3″, 210 lbs
Passing Yds Pass TDs INTs Comp % Rush Yds Rush TD
2013 2,242 13 7 58.9 576 12
2011 842 7 6 49.4 574 5
2010 0 0 0 NA 12 0
Career Totals 3,084 20 13 55.4 1,162 17

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Quarterbacks (part one)

Posted June 5 by Drew

The dog days of summer are upon us, which means we are just a few short months away from the start of a brand new college football season. Although summer is the time for vacations and fun in the sun, it is also the time to learn in advance what you will see on the football field each and every Saturday this fall. Therefore, it is time to rank the best Big Ten players at each position for the 2014 season.

This is the first time Maize and Go Blue has previewed the Big Ten position by position. We are introducing these lists because we are striving to provide you the most comprehensive Michigan and Big Ten football preview in the Michigan blogosphere. To accomplish this, one position will be previewed weekly until Michigan’s first game week. The preview for each position will be very thorough and broken into two parts. The first will rank the Big Ten players I believe are No. 6 through No. 10 at their respective position; the second part will list the top five Big Ten players at their respective position. The criteria for these rankings are past performance as well as potential for the upcoming season only. Ultimately, the purpose of this series is to preview the most impactful Big Ten players in 2014, not recap the best returning players from last season.

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 Tailgate Tuesday

Smoked Gobbler Legs

Posted Nov. 25 by MmmGoBluBBq

Smoked Turkey Leg 5This is my favorite week of the year and for good reason. We have the best grilling day of the year and also have some huge football games on the schedule. Not only do I get to see my Lions play this Thursday, but I also get to watch the biggest rivalry in college football. We may be underdogs by more than 20, but it’s still a huge game for the Maize and Blue. This recipe for smoked gobbler legs can be done a few days early and enjoyed as leftovers or done on the morning of the big game. Either way, you will love these. GO BLUE!

Ingredients:

• Turkey legs
• 1 Gallon of water (enough to cover turkey legs)
• 3/4 Cup brown sugar
• 1 Cup salt or Creole seasoning
• Your favorite rub (I will include a sample rub below)
• Cooking spray

Rub:
• Equal parts of each
• Paprika
• Onion powder
• Cavender’s Greek seasoning
• Garlic powder

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Caveman cowboy ribeye

Posted Nov. 18 by MmmGoBluBBQ

Caveman cowboy ribeye 7The CAVEMAN Style of grilling is my new favorite way to cook steaks. Not only does it produce one of the most tender steaks ever, but it will impress any BBQ guests that are lucky enough to be on that day’s invite list. The concept is simple. We are going to cook this beauty like the cavemen did back in the day. Directly on the fire. The key to this recipe is using LUMP CHARCOAL ONLY. Lump charcoal does not ash like your regular briquettes and burns much hotter. It’s a more pure form of charcoal and will produce a great tasting char on the exterior of the meat.

Ingredients:

• Steak (ribeye, t-bone or flank steak)
• Salt ‘n pepper
• Compound butter (mix and refrigerate)
• 1 stick of butter (room temp)
• 3 Tbsp of your favorite BBQ rub

Directions

Set your grill up for direct heat. Light your lump charcoal up until they are WHITE hot. As the coals are heating up, remove your steak from the fridge and let it rest for about 15 minutes on the counter. We want to bring the meat temperature closer to room temperature. Once the coals are white hot, even them out as much as you can so that we have an even cooking surface. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

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Crockpot reuben dip

Posted Nov. 4 by MmmGoBluBBQ

IMG_4570When I think of Northwestern, I think of the the windy city. I also think of some very good friends that live in the Chicago area. Like most cities, they all claim to have the best food around and will argue nonstop if you want to. And by nonstop, I mean until the beers are all gone. I’ve visited Chicago on several occasions and each time came away with tighter fitting jeans. Not sure how that happens every single time.

There are two things I always order in Chicago and they cannot be avoided. The first is a good deep dish pizza (shocker) and the other is a big ol’ reuben sandwich. I think the reuben is the perfect sandwich. It has it all and Chicago knows how to do it right. The following recipe is a favorite of mine when the cold weather rolls in and could not be any easier. Anything that involved the crockpot has to be easy, right? This is the simplest recipe we will make all season. Here is what you will need.

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Caveman style tri-tip

Posted Oct. 28 by MmmGoBluBBQ

IMG_4742“Caveman style” grilling is quickly becoming a fan favorite in backyards everywhere. Not only does it create a SUPER juicy and tasty cut of meat, but it also has that “WOW” factor that will impress every guest in attendance. Let’s be honest, every grill master loves his EGO stroked a little. And by a “little”, I mean A LOT!!!! This is an extremely easy style of grilling that can be somewhat intimidating at first, but trust me, it shouldn’t be. A good friend of mine is from Indiana and got me started on this style of cooking. I thank him for this weekly. Follow these simple guidelines for a great steak, or in this case, a Hatch Green Chili Tri-Tip. CAVEMAN STYLE.

Ingredients:

• 2-3-pound Tri-Tip Roast
• Stubbs Hatch Green Chili Marinade (my new addiction)
• Salt, pepper, and garlic combo or your favorite steak rub

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Moink balls (a.k.a. Moinks)

Posted Oct. 21 by MmmGoBluBBQ

IMG_1512“MOINKS” are perfect for tailgating for a large crowd against ‘Sparty.’ Typically, this game gets the biggest crowds in my backyard, so let’s make something that feeds a bunch of hungry people and are always a hit. They are easy to make. They include bacon, they are very tasty, they are wrapped in bacon, you can eat them with your fingers, and did I mention the bacon?

Anything that has two ingredients and 50 percent of those ingredients is bacon, I am a fan of. Whenever I make these for a party or at a tailgate, I get two questions. The first is always “What are these?” They are Moinks. The follow up is always “What the wha???” So begins my explanation of what Moink Balls are. Simply put, they are bacon wrapped meatballs. We have beef meatballs — “moo” — wrapped in yummy bacon — “oink.” Combine them and cover with your favorite rub and sweet BBQ sauce and we have “Moinks,” the perfect tailgating food.

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Brady back ribs

Posted Oct. 7 by MmmGoBluBBQ

image007Well, this season isn’t quite going as planned, but let’s not allow it to ruin our Saturday afternoon quest for the perfect BBQ. When I am having a bad day/week/month, one thing always cheers me up. Okay, two things. I love an icy cold “barley pop” along with a great rack of baby back ribs. For the purpose of this recipe, let’s call them Brady back ribs. You can choose which “Brady” works best for this recipe. I’ll go with that guy up in New England. My good buddy Bob is from Pennsylvania and is a huge Penn State fan and says that ribs are the only thing they cook at their tailgates. Bob is a good pal, so I trust he wouldn’t lead me down the wrong BBQ path. Here is my GO TO when smoking a few racks. And get this: no sauce needed!!!!

Ingredients:

• Baby Back Ribs
• Worcestershire Sauce or Tobasco
• Apple Juice or Apple Cider
• Rub – (equal parts kosher salt, granulated white sugar, dark chili powder, Montreal steak seasoning). Add some cayenne for some heat (optional)

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Pork loin with mustard glaze

Posted Sept. 30 by MmmGoBluBBQ

IMG_6540While researching Rutgers and their most popular tailgating recipes, three common ingredients kept popping up: PORK……PORK……..and more PORK. Since I couldn’t get my hands on a New Jersey “Pork Roll”, I went with the next best thing. A delicious pork loin fit the bill for this week’s recipe. Yay PORK!!!!

Ingredients:

• 2-3-pound pork loin (not tenderloin)
• Basic BBQ rub (equal parts)
• Kosher salt
• White granulated sugar
• Dark chili powder
• Montreal steak seasoning
• A little cayenne or chipotle powder if you like some heat

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Smoked “land of 10,000 lakes” catfish

Posted Sept 23 by MmmGoBluBBQ

IMG_6477Bring on those Golden Gophers from the great state of Minnesota. Or, as they say, the land of 10,000 lakes. I wanted to venture out and try something new for the start of the Big Ten season. Since I didn’t have any moose meat laying around and didn’t know if gopher was even legal to eat, I decided to try some smoked fish. I went through the freezer looking for some walleye I had tricked into the boat last year on our Canadian fishing extravaganza but had no luck. The best I could do was a mess of fresh catfish filets a buddy of mine dropped off. They turned out to be extremely tasty and will be a staple moving forward for sure. Here is what you will need.

Ingredients:

• 1 Catfish filet (Per person)
• Buttermilk
• Hot Sauce (your favorite)
• Seasoning (your favorite BBQ rub will do)

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Grilled Ravioli

Posted Sept 16 by MmmGoBluBBQ

IMG_6372Okay, I’ve gotta admit a little something. Trying to find a tailgate recipe with a “Utah Utes” theme was more difficult than trying to squeeze into my national championship t-shirt from 1997 last weekend. That darn dryer shrinks everything. I reached out to several friends with Utah connections and not a one of them could think of anything. Really guys??? Nothing??? Finally, one of my buddies mentioned they like to grill ravioli’s on game day and that was more than good enough for me. I’ve made these before and had the ingredients on hand, so let’s get to it. These are a crowd pleaser and super easy to make. Plus, 90 percent of the prep work can be done ahead of time, so it’s WIN/WIN. The filling options are endless, so go nuts!

Ingredients:

• Won Ton Wrappers – (I like the Nasoya All Natural)
• Shrimp…..Shredded cooked chicken….beef….pork….veggies (Pre-Cooked)
• Havarti Cheese (Great melting cheese)
• Jalapenos (optional)
• Egg (egg wash)
• BBQ sauce for glazing (optional)

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Spatchcock RedHawk

Posted Sept 9 by MmmGoBluBBQ
IMG_5625We need something to get that bad taste out of our mouth and I can’t think of a better way than with a super juicy “Spatchcock” smoked chicken. This is my “GO TO” chicken recipe when I need to feed a group of hungry tailgating Wolverines and feed ‘em rather quickly. While I love a good beer can chicken or a bird thats been brined overnight, this butterflied clucker could be the juiciest yet. The compound butter adds great flavor and keeps things extremely moist.

Ingredients:

• 3-4 lb. whole chicken fryer
• BBQ rub of your choice.
• Compound Butter (mix together and set aside)
• 1 stick of butter, room temperature
• 1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ Rub

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Irish stout pepper beef

Posted Sept 2 by MmmGoBluBBQ

Pepper beef 11Now that we’ve got that Mountaineer monkey off our back, it’s time to start focusing on those “Fighting Irish” in Week 2. Since I have a few Guinness Extra Stouts leftover from last week’s drink recipe, let’s put em to good use in this version of Pepper Stout Beef. This was not only easy, but could be my new favorite sandwich. It combines everything I love when tailgating: meat, peppers, onions and beer. Find something in that combo that is not good.  I dare ya.  It’s not only tasty, but very versatile and freezes well. I love it on a toasted ciabatta roll, but could also be served on sourdough, hawaiian bread, french rolls, tortillas or even regular hamburger buns. This is perfect for a night game as it takes about six hours to complete. Here’s what you will need.

Ingredients:

• 4-5 lb chuck roast
• 3 bell peppers. (I used three: one red, one green and one yellow)
• 4 jalapeños (I like it hot, but use two for less heat)
• 1 large red onion

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Hot-‘n-fast pulled pork with Carolina mustard slaw

Posted Aug 27 by MmmGoBluBBQ

Pulled pork 1I can’t believe the college football season is finally upon us. It’s been way too long since I’ve had the guys over for a “GO BLUE Game day BBQ”. This is my favorite time of the year as my excitement level couldn’t be any higher. It’s time to see how this new offense will function under new leadership and if the latest group of highly ranked recruits can make a difference. It’s also time to fire up the grill or smoker and make our tailgate neighbors or next door neighbors extremely jealous. Because we have Appalachian State in town, let’s do a little “Hot-N-Fast Pulled Pork” with some Carolina Mustard Slaw. Here is what you will need.

Ingredients (Pork Butt):

 Bone In Pork Butt (7-9 lbs., often referred to as Boston Butt)
• Regular Mustard
• Rub (Equal parts Kosher Salt, Granulated White Sugar, Dark Chili Pwd, Montreal Steak Seasoning). Add some cayenne for some heat (optional)
• Your favorite hamburger buns and BBQ sauce

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Smoked or “Reverse Sear” Cheeseburger

Posted July 1 by MmmGoBluBBQ

Smoked CheeseburgerFriday is the Fourth of July. For most of us, that means a day off work, gathering with family and friends, and cooking out. With that in mind, we are introducing a new series that will run each week during the season. We teamed up with Joe from MmmGoBluBBQ to provide weekly recipe ideas for your tailgate or barbecue.

Today, we’re just providing a quick meat recipe for your Fourth of July cookout, but during the season we will feature both a meat and a drink recipe themed around that week’s opponent. Whether you’ll be tailgating in the shadows of the Big House or barbecuing at home, we hope to provide you with new ideas to impress your friends and satisfy your hunger.

When I think back on past July 4th holidays, two great memories come to mind. The first is the annual herring fishing trip to Drummond Island with my dad and his co-workers. The second revolves around the Weber grill, usually overstuffed with hot dogs and hamburgers. Both hold great meaning for me and my family and will always be a fun source of “story telling” (that’s code for fishing tales). When I was asked to write a recipe for our nation’s birthday, there was only one true option — the all-American CHEESEBURGER.

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