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Posts Tagged ‘Beavers’

Michigan 35 – Oregon State 7: Wolverines ground and pound Beavers

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

Harbaugh vs Oregon State(

Jim Harbaugh collected his first win in Michigan Stadium in 29 years when his Wolverines topped Oregon State on Saturday afternoon, 35-7. But he couldn’t have asked for a worse first three minutes.

Oregon State took the opening kickoff and diced the Michigan defense with ease, scoring the game’s first touchdown on a seven play, 79-yard drive that took just 1:59. Michigan took possession and on the third play, Jake Rudock was sacked by Rommel Mageo and fumbled, giving Oregon State the ball back at the Michigan 41.

Staring a possible 10 or 14 point deficit in the face, the Michigan defense came up with a big play as Mario Ojemudia forced a Victor Bolden fumble. Joe Bolden recovered at the 37 and raced 18 yards to the OSU 37. Eight plays later, Michigan was forced to settle for a 40-yard field goal by Kenny Allen.

The two teams traded punts on each of their next two possessions, with an Oregon State failed fourth-down conversion in between, until Michigan finally put together a scoring drive. The Wolverines took possession at their own 31 and went 69 yards in 12 plays, capped off by a 1-yard De’Veon Smith touchdown run, their first first-half touchdown of the season.

Final Stats
Michigan OregonSt.
Score 35 7
Record 1-1 1-1
Total Yards 405 138
Net Rushing Yards 225 59
Net Passing Yards 180 79
First Downs 21 12
Turnovers 2 1
Penalties-Yards 10-105 8-62
Punts-Yards 3-127 7-272
Time of Possession 38:01 21:59
Third Down Conversions 6-of-13 1-of-11
Fourth Down Conversions 1-of-1 0-of-2
Sacks By-Yards 2-17 1-17
Field Goals 2-for-2 0-for-0
PATs 3-for-3 1-for-1
Red Zone Scores-Chances 5-of-5 1-of-1
Full Box Score

Oregon State took the ball with 4:03 left in the half, looking to retake the lead before the break. Michigan’s defense held strong, forcing a punt, but as OSU punter Nick Porebski bobbled the snap, he appeared to tuck the ball and start running before finally booting it away. Michigan corner Jeremy Clark ran into him after the punt, and to Harbaugh’s dismay, was called for a 15-yard penalty. Harbaugh threw one of his trademark tantrums, the first time as Michigan’s head coach, but the call stood.

Now in Michigan territory, Oregon State still couldn’t muster any offense and was forced to punt once again. This time, Porebski got it away and it was downed at the Michigan 2-yard line. However, the Beavers were flagged for an illegal formation and backed up to the Michigan 49 to re-kick. The snap sailed over Proebski’s head and by the time he recovered, he was tackled at his own 3-yard line. Three plays later, Michigan scored again to take a 17-7 lead into the locker room.

Michigan took the opening possession of the second half 78 yards in 12 plays, but the drive stalled at the Oregon State 11 and Kenny Allen booted a 29-yard field goal.

After trading punts, Michigan had Oregon State backed up deep in their own territory, and on 3rd-and-9, Chris Wormley sacked quarterback Marcus McMaryion for a loss of nine. The ensuing punt gave Michigan the ball at the OSU 39, and after a first down run by Smith was called back for an illegal block, Rudock connected with redshirt freshman tight end Ian Bunting for 21 yards into the red zone. As the fourth quarter began, Smith ran it in from eight yards out to put Michigan ahead 28-7.

The Michigan defense forced a three and out, but Rudock was picked off by Mageo near midfield. Once again, Michigan’s defense rose to the occasion and forced another three and out. With the game in hand and clock needing to be run, Harbaugh put the ball in the hands of his running back stable. Derrick Green carried it four times for 23 yards, then Ty Isaac three times for 17. Green got two more carries for four yards before Rudock found Bunting for 12 to the OSU 17. Sione Houma got in on the action with a seven yard run and Isaac carried the ball down to the two before Green found the end zone to reach the game’s final score. On the drive, Michigan ran the ball 13 times for 61 yards.

When all was said and done, the Wolverines racked up 225 yards on the ground and 405 total yards of offense, while holding Oregon State to just 138. After the game’s opening drive, Michigan held OSU to just 59 total yards the rest of the way.

Smith led Michigan with a career high 126 yards on 23 carries (5.5 yards per carry) and three touchdowns. He also caught two passes for 24 yards. Rudock completed 18 of 26 passes for 180 yards and an interception. Amara Darboh led the Wolverines with four receptions for 50 yards, while Bunting caught two for 33 and Jake Butt caught four for 25.

Harbaugh got his first win as Michigan’s head coach, and just like his mentor, Bo Schembechler, did so by a 28-point margin. He’ll look for number two when Michigan hosts UNLV at noon next Saturday.

Game Ball – Offense

De’Veon Smith (23 carries for 126 yards, 3 TDs)
After a rough game against Utah in which De’Veon Smith struggled to find holes, the junior back set a career high with 126 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries against Oregon State. He got better as the game went on, routinely fighting through tackles and carrying defenders for extra yards. Oregon State’s front seven isn’t Utah’s caliber, but if Smith can run like this the rest of the season, Michigan’s offense will continue to improve.
Honorable Mention: Ian Bunting (2 rec for 33 yards)

Previous Game Balls: Jake Butt (Week 1 – 8 rec for 93 yards and 1 TD)

Game Ball – Defense

Chris Wormley (6 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack)
Wormley continued to wreak havoc on opposing backfields, recording his second straight game with three tackles for loss. Now with six through two games, he’s nearly halfway to matching last year’s team leader, Jake Ryan, who finished the season with 14.5.
Honorable Mention: Joe Bolden (team-high 7 tackles, 1 fumble recovery)

Previous Game Balls: Chris Wormley (Week 1 – 5 tackles, 3 solo, 3 TFL)

Final Individual Stats
Passing Comp-Att Yds Avg. TD INT Long Sack
Jake Rudock 18-26 180 6.9 0 1 22 1
Seth Collins 9-16 79 4.9 1 0 21 1
Marcus McMaryion 0-3 0 0 0 0 0 1
Victor Bolden 0-1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Rushing Car. Yards Avg. TD Long
De’Veon Smith 23 126 5.5 3 19
Ty Isaac 6 35 5.8 0 12
Derrick Green 8 35 4.4 1 12
Chris Brown 7 33 4.7 0 26
Victor Bolden 4 30 7.5 0 21
Seth Collins 11 28 2.5 0 17
Sione Houma 2 20 10.0 0 13
Storm Woods 3 13 4.3 0 8
Deltron Sands 3 13 4.3 0 6
Jehu Chesson 1 4 4.0 0 4
Drake Johnson 1 3 3.0 0 3
Ross Douglass 1 3 3.0 0 3
Joe Kerridge 2 3 1.5 0 3
Jake Rudock 3 -5 -1.7 0 7
Marcus McMaryion 2 -7 -2.3 0 2
Receiving Rec Yds Avg. TD Long
Amara Darboh 4 50 12.5 0 22
Ian Bunting 2 33
16.5 0 21
Jordan Villarmon 3 26 8.7 0 12
Jake Butt 4 25 6.2 0 10
De’Veon Smith 2 24 12.0 0 20
Victor Bolden 3 23 7.7 0 16
A.J. Williams 1 22 22.0 0 22
Hunter Jarmon 1 21 21.0 1 21
Jehu Chesson 1 14 14.0 0 14
Ty Isaac 1 9 9.0 0 9
Caleb Smith 1 9 9.0 0 9
Joe Kerridge 1 3 3.0 0 3
Drake Harris  2 0 0.0 0 3
Chris Brown 1 0 0.0 0 0
Kicking FG Pct Long XP Pts
Kenny Allen 2/2 100.0 40 3/3 9
Punting No Yds Avg TB In 20 Long
Blake O’Neill 3 127 42.3 0 1 49
Nick Porebski 7 272 38.9 0 1 43
Kick Returns No Yds Avg Long TD
Jabrill Peppers 1 11 11.0 11 0
Rahmel Dockery 3 57 19.0 21 0
Punt Returns No Yds Avg Long TD
Jabrill Peppers 3 14 4.7 6 0
Rahmel Dockery 1 3 3.0 3 0

M&GB staff predictions: Oregon State

Friday, September 11th, 2015


Oregon State comes to town tomorrow as Michigan looks to pick up its first win of the Jim Harbaugh era. The Beavers topped Weber State, an FCS school, last week, 26-7 while Michigan fell 24-17 at Utah. While Michigan had to deal with Utah’s altitude last week, the Wolverines get an ancillary advantage this week in the form of time. When toe meets leather at high noon, it will be 9am Oregon time, not normally a time to play football. Michigan, of course, is used to noon kickoffs, so a quick start could put OSU away early.

Let’s get to our picks:

Justin: Harbaugh’s first game in the Big House as head coach of his Alma mater is sure to be a momentous occasion. SportsCenter will broadcast live outside the stadium in the morning and ESPN’s mobile Heisman House will be available for fans to tour. But what the Michigan faithful will really want is to witness Harbaugh’s first win.

Seth Collins’ running ability will test Michigan’s defense early on, but Harbaugh’s experience with Colin Kaepernick could pay dividends in the defensive game plan. The key will be forcing Collins to pass the ball and make him make plays with his arm. Jourdan Lewis will have his hands full with the size of Jordan Villarmon, but the rest of the receiving corps is manageable. Don’t expect Oregon State to score very often.

Staff Predictions
Michigan Oregon St.
Justin 31 12
Derick 38 17
Sam 27 10
Josh 24 21
Joe 27 17
M&GB Average 29 15

Michigan’s offense, meanwhile, will finally get rolling against an inexperienced defense that allowed 31.6 points per game in 2014. The rush defense allowed 158.2 yards per game, and even though Weber State couldn’t mange a ground game last week, Michigan is a much tougher matchup for the Beaver front seven, which is not close to Utah’s level. Jake Rudock will also show more of a comfort level than he displayed last week and take care of the ball.

Michigan won’t blow OSU away, and the game will stay close in the first half, but the Wolverines will pull away in the second half for a comfortable win just like Harbaugh did 29 years ago.

Michigan 31 – Oregon State 12

Derick: After falling short in an upset bid last Thursday, Michigan really needs a win in its home opener against a weaker Oregon State team.

The Beavers are coming off a 26-7 win against Weber State in which they allowed fewer than 200 yards on defense. But Michigan will be a much tougher task on Saturday. Jake Butt and Amara Darboh emerged as the two top targets in the offense last week and will face an easier assignment against the Oregon State secondary.

Jake Rudock won’t throw three interceptions again, and after his disastrous opener, I think he’ll bounce back and take better care of the ball. More importantly, Michigan needs to get some semblance of a running game going against a front seven that’s much less formidable than Utah’s.

I expect the defense to put up another strong performance and lead Michigan to a big win.

Michigan 38 – Oregon State 17

Sam: After a poor showing last week, I think Michigan’s offense (and specifically the line) will bounce back to open some big holes for the running game and Michigan’s stout defense should shut down a freshman-led Beaver attack. Drake Harris records his first catch and a touchdown and De’Veon Smith goes for 100-plus. Give me the Wolverines for Harbaugh’s first win back in Old Ann Arbor.

Michigan 27 – Oregon State 10

Josh: Oregon State won’t pose the same challenge as the stout Utah defense did but their offense might be troublesome. They only return two starters so this team is very young and inexperienced. Michigan traditionally has had issues with mobile quarterbacks and Seth Collins is mobile. The good news is that Oregon State’s spread offense is very run heavy so Michigan should be able to devote an extra man (Peppers) to keep Collins in check. If Michigan devotes too many men to stopping the run they might get exposed with a deep ball or two thrown in Stribling or Clark’s direction. Overall, this offense shouldn’t be too much for Michigan to handle.

The Beavers didn’t look all that great in pass coverage, playing mostly zone, and left a lot of holes underneath against Weber State, who unfortunately didn’t have anyone to exploit that. Michigan should be able to get its pass game going with Butt and maybe Darboh or Perry but the run game still concerns me. The offensive line didn’t do that great of a job against Utah and just looked flat out lost sometimes. Old habits die hard and they should get better as the season progresses. Luckily this Oregon State defense isn’t a world beater.

I expect Harbaugh to win his home debut but not by nearly as much as most people seem to think. Oregon State will get on the board with a big play here and there and I think Michigan’s offense will take time to hit its rhythm.

Michigan 24 – Oregon State 21

Joe: Game two of the Harbaugh era is an important one for me as I want to see how several key players rebound from an opening weekend loss. I expect Rudock to bounce back and have a much better game. I’m assuming his performance in the opener was due to nerves and a some inexperience of several receivers. If he can manage this game and keep the turnovers to a minimum, Harbaugh will have his first win.

I also expect Peppers to play a complete game instead of just one half.  He showed flashes of greatness in the opener with a very strong second half. This kid is a STUD and will only get better as the season progresses. I expect a pick and maybe a big return to help jump start this team.

Jake Butt needs to keep doing what he’s doing. He makes things easier for his quarterback and is the top option in this offense (for now). This kid is fun to watch and could turn into a game changer by years end.  I’m not expecting miracles in the first year, but I do want to see improvement every week. I think we see that and also see a Michigan victory.

Michigan 27 – Oregon State 17

Michigan vs Oregon State game preview

Friday, September 11th, 2015

Game Preview_OregonState_banner

The Jim Harbaugh era opened with a loss last Thursday, but the hype continues tomorrow when Harbaugh mans the Michigan Stadium sideline in a real game for the first time since 1986. The last time he won in the Big House was Nov. 1 of that year, a 69-13 win over Illinois. Incidentally, the last time the Oregon State Beavers visited Ann Arbor was that same year, the second game — and home opener — of Harbaugh’s senior season. In that game, Harbaugh completed 14 of 18 passes for 171 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception and rushed for 21 yards and another score to lead the Wolverines to a 31-12 win.

Quick Facts
Michigan Stadium – 12 p.m. EST – ABC
Utah Head Coach: Gary Andersen (1st season)
Coaching Record: 50-38 (1-0 at OSU)
Offensive Coordinator: Dave Baldwin (1st season)
Defensive Coordinator: Kalani Sitake (1st season)
Returning 2014 Starters: 11 (9 offense, 2 defense)
Last Season: 5-7 (2-7 Pac-12)
Last Meeting: UM 31 – OSU 12 (1986)
All-Time Series: UM leads 4-0
Record in Ann Arbor: UM leads 3-0
Record in Michigan Stadium: UM leads 3-0
Jim Harbaugh vs OSU: Tied 2-2
Last Michigan win: 1986 (31-12)
Last OSU win: Never
Current Streak: Michigan 4

This time Oregon State comes to town fresh off of a 26-7 win over Weber State, an FCS school that has won just two games in each of the past three seasons. New head coach Gary Andersen is looking for his fourth straight season of at least nine wins. In 2012, his fourth season at Utah State, he took the Aggies to an 11-2 record, a win in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, and a top-20 final ranking. He took the Wisconsin job vacated by Brett Bielema’s departure to Arkansas and continued the success that his predecessor started, going 9-4 in 2013 and 10-3 last season. But he moved back west to accept the Oregon State job when Mike Riley moved on to Nebraska.

He has his hands full taking over a Beavers squad that went just 5-7 in 2014 and tied Washington State for last place in the Pac-12 North. In addition, Andersen has to deal with just 11 returning starters, only two on the defensive side. The biggest loss was quarterback Sean Mannion, a third-round draft pick by the St. Louis Rams back in June. Mannion set the school’s and Pac-12’s career passing record with 13,600 yards.

Could Oregon State pull off its first win over Michigan in five meetings? Let’s look at the matchups.

When Oregon State has the ball

Last season, Oregon State’s offense ranked 72nd nationally in total offense, 110th in rushing, 31st in passing 69th in pass efficiency, and 86th in scoring. The Beavers’ 25.7 points per game ranked dead last in the Pac-12, though it was still nearly five points better than Michigan’s average of 20.9. The rush offense ranked second to last, but the pass offense was a respectable middle of the pack in a pass-heavy conference. That was flipped in the season opener against Weber State when Oregon State rushed for 281 yards and passed for just 110.

The main source of their rushing attack last Saturday was Mannion’s replacement, true freshman quarterback Seth Collins, who racked up 152 yards on 17 carries (8.9 yards per carry). Through the air, he completed just 10 of 18 passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns. The three-star recruit out of San Diego, Calif. enrolled early and performed well enough to win the job over a pair of redshirt freshmen and he didn’t disappoint in his first game. But a Weber State defense is nothing like a Michigan defense.

Collins does have help in the backfield in the form of senior running back Storm Woods, who led the team with 766 yards and five touchdowns a year ago. He also rushed for 940 yards and 13 touchdowns as a redshirt freshman in 2013. Last Saturday, he managed just 63 yards on 15 carries. Junior Chris Brown added 54 yards on 14 carries.

Jim Harbaugh led Michigan to a 31-12 win over Oregon State in 1986

Jim Harbaugh led Michigan to a 31-12 win over Oregon State in 1986

The receiving corps is headed by sophomore Jordan Villarmon, who caught four passes for 70 yards and a touchdown last week. At 6-foot-5 and 231 pounds, Villarmon is the exact same size Devin Funchess played at last fall. As a redshirt freshman a year ago, Villarmon caught 35 passes for 578 yards and a team-leading six touchdowns. He’s complemented by 5-foot-9, 174-pound junior Victor Bolden, who led the team with 72 catches for 798 yards in 2014. Bolden caught three passes for just six yards last week, but one was for a score. He had four 100-yard games last season. Senior tight end Kellen Clute caught 19 passes in 2013, but just one last season due to a season-ending knee injury. Last week, he caught one pass for no gain.

The offensive line returns 77 career starts, including last week’s game. Left tackle Sean Harlow is a three-year starter with 22 starts under his belt, while left guard Fred Lauina is the greenest of the big uglies with just five career starts. Center Josh Mitchell started all 12 games a year ago and was on the preseason Remington Award watch list. Right guard Isaac Seumalo is the most experienced with 26 career starts, though he’s breaking in a new position. He started 23 games at center and two at right tackle in 2012 and 2013 before missing last season with a foot injury. With Mitchell’s emergence in 2014, Seumalo was moved to right tackle this season. Finally, right tackle Dustin Stanton is a converted tight end who started six games at right tackle last season.

When Michigan has the ball

Oregon State’s defense held Weber State to just 178 total yards, but strength of opponent considerations apply. Last season, Oregon State’s defense ranked 74th nationally in total defense, 51st in rush defense, 91st in pass defense, and 96th in scoring defense. The 406.2 yards allowed per game ranked fourth in the Pac-12 and the 248.1 passing yards allowed per game ranked third. The good news is that Andersen was able to steal Kalane Sitake, who built Utah’s defense into one of the Pac-12’s best, to become his new defensive coordinator. The bad news is that Sitake has just two returning starters to work with.

With the move to Sitake’s favored flex 4-3 defense, senior Lavonte Barnett and sophomore Titus Failauga are the defensive ends. Barnett has just five career starts and recorded 5.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks last season, while Failauga made his first career start last Saturday. Senior nose tackle Kyle Peko transferred from Cerritos Community College prior to last season but wasn’t able to play. In his first game action last Saturday, he made three tackles and one pass breakup.

The STUD linebacker, Jaswha James, is one of the returning starters, having started seven games a year ago, but didn’t record a tackle last week. With eight career starts, MIKE linebacker Rommel Mageo is the team’s most experienced linebacker, but spent last season as a backup. He led the team with 11 tackles last week, including a sack. The WILL is junior Caleb Saulo, who made five tackles against Weber State, while redshirt freshman Bright Ugwoegbu is the fourth linebacker.

The secondary is thin on experience, but is led by cornerback Larry Scott, who started all 12 games last season. The other corner, Treston Decoud, transferred from Northwest Mississippi Community College, where he was a First-Team All-American in 2014. Junior Cyril Noland-Lewis and sophomore Justin Strong are the safeties. Strong was the team’s nickel last season and started three games, recording 56 tackles, five for loss, and a sack. He notched six tackles last week. Noland-Lewis bounced between safety and outside linebacker the past couple of seasons, but is back at strong safety.

The other third

Sophomore kicker Garrett Owens has a big leg, having made a 57-yarder in high school. As the main kicker last season, he connected on 11 of 13 field goal attempts with a long of 46. He was 2 of 3 from 40 yards or more. Punter Nick Porebski is an Aussie who transferred to OSU from Snow College where he averaged 45.4 yards per punt. Last week he booted six punts for an average of just 37.7 yards, but downed three of them inside the 20.


Harbaugh’s first game in the Big House as head coach of his Alma mater is sure to be a momentous occasion. SportsCenter will broadcast live outside the stadium in the morning and ESPN’s mobile Heisman House will be available for fans to tour. But what the Michigan faithful will really want is to witness Harbaugh’s first win.

Collins’ running ability will test Michigan’s defense early on, but Harbaugh’s experience with Colin Kaepernick could pay dividends in the defensive game plan. The key will be forcing Collins to pass the ball and make him make plays with his arm. Jourdan Lewis will have his hands full with the size of Villarmon, but the rest of the receiving corps is manageable. Don’t expect Oregon State to score very often.

Michigan’s offense, meanwhile, will finally get rolling against an inexperienced defense that allowed 31.6 points per game in 2014. The rush defense allowed 158.2 yards per game, and even though Weber State couldn’t mange a ground game last week, Michigan is a much tougher matchup for the Beaver front seven, which is not close to Utah’s level. Jake Rudock will also show more of a comfort level than he displayed last week and take care of the ball.

Michigan won’t blow OSU away, and the game will stay close in the first half, but the Wolverines will pull away in the second half for a comfortable win just like Harbaugh did 29 years ago.

Michigan 31 – Oregon State 12

Oregon State Q&A with Andy Woolridge of Building the Dam

Thursday, September 10th, 2015


With Oregon State coming to town this Saturday, Andy Woolridge of the OSU blog Building the Dam was kind enough to answer a few questions about the matchup. You can follow him on Twitter at @BuildingtheDam.

1. How sick are you (and OSU fans) of hearing about Jim Harbaugh?

Most Oregon State fans have had more than enough of the Harbaugh blitz, but then we had years of it while he was at Stanford, and then more years of it while he was at San Francisco too, so its old hat by now. Most understand why its happening though.

2. For Michigan fans who didn’t see Oregon State’s game last weekend, give us a quick rundown. On the surface, it doesn’t seem like beating Weber State, who has gone 2-10 in FCS each of the past 2 seasons, is much of an accomplishment. What’s your take?

It was a good first step on a long road. Oregon State doesn’t just have a new coaching staff, they are running an altogether different system on offense, defense, and special teams. The Beavers also have a freshman starting quarterback, and which freshman that would be wasn’t even determined until during the 3rd quarter of the Weber State game. And they have only 2 returning starters on defense.

Weber State also appears to be on the upswing this season. So a game in which the defense played way better than could be hoped, the quarterback competition was settled, and the team generally made progress as the evening went on, was a good thing, and probably a better thing than could have been expected.

How good we will learn much more about this week.

3. Similar to the previous question, 110 total passing yards against a team like Weber State doesn’t look very good. Is that more a product of OSU’s ability to run the ball (281 yards, 5 ypc), or will the passing game be a sore point after losing Sean Mannion?

As noted, there is a new offense in place, one that at least initially, will be run first instead of pass first, and also one that primarily makes a lot of short throws, and takes fewer shots down field, so comparing passing numbers is the ultimate extreme in comparing apples and oranges.

But looking just at the numbers without seeing the game misses a couple of additional points. There were a couple of flat out drops on well thrown balls, a predictable result of working with a new quarterback. Had a couple of plays been made, and a couple of plays not been wiped out by holding penalties, all of which is correctable, the passing numbers and the score would have looked better, and good enough that no one would be questioning them.

The numbers also don’t include the yards that came from a couple of intentional pass interference penalties, where a well thrown ball to an open receiver, in the case of Jordan Villamin, one that’s going to be a mismatch for most corners all season, left no option but to commit a penalty. Those plays don’t show on the offensive stat sheet, but they did move the chains.

4. What matchup or aspect of this week’s game worries you the most?

After watching the Utah game, its apparent that Oregon State is going to have to prevent Michigan tight end Jake Butt from running free off the line.

5. Is there a specific matchup that you feel Oregon State has the advantage?

Everyone else will be looking at Oregon State’s running capable quarterback Seth Collins, and I do think he will be real problem for the Michigan defense outside the box, even though coach Andersen will be trying to rein him in for purposes of keeping the kid from getting himself killed.

But I will point to Villamin, whom I mentioned above. At 6’4” and 235 lbs. (and no, he is NOT a tight end playing wide out), he is a physical mismatch for most corners. He had the big touchdown catch that broke open the game, and prompted penalties as the only way to deal with him.

6. Prediction time. Who will win? What will the score be? And why?

Everyone in Michigan seems to want a prediction! We at Building The Dam normally steer clear of score predictions, because so much can happen in any football game, and with all the changes in place for both the Beavers and the Wolverines, that’s all the more the case here.

But I don’t think this will be a real high scoring game, and I also have a feeling the 2 touchdown line is too large, especially given the accuracy issues Michigan’s transfer senior quarterback Jake Rudock displayed against Utah.

I like how the Oregon State defense is playing, but I don’t like the 9 AM body clock start; those rarely work well for west coast teams.

Because of the unknowns, I’m not even comfortable calling a winner, but I do think the first team to 24 points will probably wind up winning.

Tailgate Tuesday: Smoky spiced Beaver nuts

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Tailgate Tuesday_Smoky Spiced Nuts

Tailgate Tuesday is our weekly collaboration with Joe Pichey from MmmGoBluBBQ. These tailgate recipes will be posted each Tuesday throughout the football season and most of the time will be themed around that week’s opponent. Meat Church, a Dallas, Texas based BBQ joint sponsors this feature by providing their killer rubs for use in the recipes. Buy them here

Trying to find a “go to” BBQ recipe that the Beaver fans prefer proved a little tougher than I expected. The one dish that kept coming up (thanks Google) was Buffalo chicken dip. While I love this dip and make it a few times each season, I wanted to make something that you can’t find on the side of every single buffalo sauce bottle at your local grocery store. And since we have a brand new sponsor, I decided to go with one of Meat Church’s favorites, the Smoked Spicy Nuts. Beavers like nuts, right?


1 pound of nuts (almonds, cashews, and peanuts are all great choices)
2 TBSP olive oil
1/4 cup Meat Church rub (Bacon BBQ or Deez Nuts)


This recipe is not only easy, it is extremely addicting. It will also save you TONS of money. How you ask? You won’t need to buy the small tins of nuts at your local grocer for $8 and you can give these away to family and friends around the holidays as Christmas gifts. See that…’re saving $$$ already.

Fire up your grill for indirect heat. If you’re using a smoker, even better. We are looking for a temp of about 275 degrees. I like a pecan wood for this as we don’t want to overpower the seasoning. While the grill is heating up, drizzle two TBSP of olive oil per one pound of nuts. Mix with wooden spoon to ensure each nut is coated. Sprinkle ¼ cup of Bacon BBQ Rub or Deez Nuts Rub per one pound of nuts. I also like to toss a few pinches of cayenne in if I’m feeling spicy. While this seems like a lot of seasoning, some will fall off during the smoking process. Use more than you think you need.

Spread nuts on baking sheet in single or double layer. Make sure you do not overload the pan as some may not get exposure to the smoke.

Nuts 1-2

Smoke at 275 for one hour. After an hour, stir nuts with spatula to make sure they all get a little smoke. They will still have a little shine from the oil at this point but will start to dry out around the one hour mark. Smoke for an more hour until the nuts are completely dry. They will lose some of the seasoning once they are dry, which is why we added extra at the beginning. These will go fast, so stock up. They tend to get spicier the longer they sit.

I have been making these weekly for the last few months. I get requests for these from co-workers and friends and they all say the same thing. They love the smoke flavor and they can’t get enough of the spice. Whether it’s Bacon Rub or Deez Nuts, you can’t go wrong. Make yourself a few pounds and smuggle em into the Big House to share with friends. You will love these nuts. Guaranteed. Go Blue!

Nuts 3-4

Visit Meat Church to purchase their new Bacon BBQ rub or any of their other great rubs and seasonings. You can follow Joe on Twitter at @mmmgoblubbq.

Five-Spot Challenge 2015: Oregon State

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015


Congratulations to the first Five-Spot Challenge winner of 2015, bluwolf77. His deviation of 84 was the only one under 100 and 18 better than second-place Hazel Parker. Bluwolf77 wasn’t the closest to any individual question, but was the most consistent across all five, as his highest deviation was 37 on Michigan’s total yards. Hazel Parker was the closest to that one, just 11 away.

TheZachster was the closest to Jake Rudock’s passing yards (279), while MEKMichigan was just four away from Devontae Booker’s rushing yards. BigHouseBrandon and chris12qb were each just one away from Jabrill Peppers’ return yards (36), while chris12qb and gavanneste were each just one away from Michigan’s longest field goal (29 yards).

Of the 25 contestants, 22 picked Michigan to win by an average score of Michigan 25 – Utah 21. No one correctly predicted the score, although NRank, Northsider7, and tooty_pops each picked Michigan to win by the same score, 24-17. Chris12qb was the closest to the actual score with his prediction of Utah 21 – Michigan 17.

The weekly results have been updated.

Michigan returns home to face Oregon State this Saturday in Jim Harbaugh’s home debut. The Beavers beat Weber State 26-7.

First Look: Oregon State

Monday, September 7th, 2015

Oregon State(

While Michigan opened the season with a loss to Utah last Thursday night, Oregon State got the season started in the win column with a 26-7 win over Weber State. With the Beavers coming to town this Saturday, let’s take a first look at how the two teams compare through the first week of the season.

Oregon State Team Stats & Michigan Comparison
Oregon State | Michigan Rank Defense Rank
Points Per Game 26.0 | 17.0 T78 | T91
7.0 24.0 T19 | T70
Rushing Yards 281 76 58 129
Rush Avg. Per Game 281.0 | 76.0 21 | 109
58.0 | 129.0 T24 | T58
Avg. Per Rush 5.0 | 2.6
3.2 | 3.5
Passing Yards 110 279 120 208
Pass Avg. Per Game 110.0 | 279.0 T113 | 42 120.0 | 208.0 T20 | 63
Total Offense 391 355 178 | 337
Total Off Avg. Per Game 391.0 | 355.0 80 | 88 178.0 | 337.0 10 | 59
Kick Return Average 0.0 | 36.0 N/A | 10 17.6 | 00.0 35 | T1
Punt Return Average 7.7 | 0.0 49 | T84 4.0 | 14.0 T67 | T110
Avg. Time of Possession 35:25 | 30:41 18 | 52
24:35 | 29:19
3rd Down Conversion Pct 35.3% | 37.5% 83 | 75
00.0% | 23.1% 1 | 29
Sacks Allowed-Yards/By-Yards 2-11 | 0-0
T68 | T1
3-13 | 1-6
T28 | T76
Touchdowns Scored 2 | 2
1 | 3
Field Goals-Attempts 4-4 | 1-2
0-1 | 1-3
Red Zone Scores (3-3) 100%|(3-3) 100% T1 | T1
(0-0) 0%|(3-3) 100% T1 | T61
Red Zone Touchdowns (1-3) 33%|(2-3) 66.7% (0-0) 0%|(2-3) 66.7%

Michigan played a much tougher opponent in Week 1 than Oregon State did. Weber State is an FCS team that has gone 2-10 in each of the past two seasons. But Oregon State had no problem running the football, totaling 281 rushing yards compared to the 76 Michigan was able to tally against Utah’s stout defense. However, Oregon State managed just 110 passing yards compared to Michigan’s 279. But Oregon State threw just 22 passes, while Michigan threw 43.

Oregon State’s defense allowed just 178 total yards — 58 rushing and 120 passing — compared to 337 that Michigan allowed to Utah. Oregon State didn’t allow a single third-down conversion, or the Wildcats to reach the red zone, and recorded three sacks. But again, comparing Michigan and Oregon State’s first games is comparing apples to oranges. Let’s take a look at individual stats among each team’s starters:

Michigan-OregonState starters comparison_Offense

Rudock threw for nearly 200 more yards than did OSU’s quarterback Seth Collins, but what’s missing is Collins’ 152 rushing yards which led the team. Neither team’s running back did much, but Storm Woods averaged 4.2 yards per carry compared to De’Veon Smith’s 2.8. Oregon State tight end Kellen Clute didn’t catch a pass, while Jake Butt had a great opening game with eight catches for 93 yard and a touchdown. Amara Darboh, Jehu Chesson, and Grant Perry each had bigger receiving days than their counterparts, Jordan Villarman, Victor Bolden, and Hunter Jarmon.

The offensive lines are about equal in terms of experience with Michigan’s five having a combined 82 career starts and Oregon State’s a combined 77 career starts. OSU did allow two sacks last week and Michigan’s line kept Rudock on his feet.

Michigan-OregonState starters comparison_Defense


Michigan’s defensive line has the advantage in terms of Week 1 production, with the exception of Ryan Glasgow, who made just one tackle while his counterpart, Kyle Peko, made three. Mario Ojemudia and Chris Wormley recorded five apiece, along with four combined tackles for loss and one sack, while Titus Failauga and Jashwa James didn’t tackle anyone.

At one linebacker spot, Desmond Morgan and Rommel Mageo were about even, except that Mageo recorded a sack. Joe Bolden’s team-leading 13 tackles are countered by just five by Caleb Saulo.

In the secondary, only one starter on either team recorded a tackle for loss, and that was Jabrill Peppers who had two. His eight tackles led all defensive backs.

Overall, Michigan is favored and should win, but the Wolverines’ defense will have its hands full with Oregon State’s running game, notably the running ability of Collins. But if Michigan’s offense can have more success than it did against Utah, it should allow the defense to stay off the field a bit more and thus, be fresher. Stay tuned for our full game preview at the end of the week.

2015 opponent preview: Oregon State

Monday, July 27th, 2015

2015 Opponent Preview_OREGON STATE

Gary Andersen(Scobel Wiggins, Oregon State Athletics)

Our season preview series continues today with the second of our opponent previews. We kicked off the series last week with a preview of the team we feel will be the easiest on Michigan’s schedule, UNLV. Today is the second easiest, the Oregon State Beavers, who come to Ann Arbor on Sept. 12 for Jim Harbaugh’s home opener.


Like Michigan, Oregon State is ushering in a new head coach this fall. Mike Riley took a step up at Nebraska after 14 seasons in Corvallis (10 as head coach), so Gary Andersen bolted Wisconsin for Oregon State after just two seasons. He inherits a team that has gone backwards in each of the last two seasons.

Date Opponent
Sept. 4 Weber State
Sept. 12 at Michigan
Sept. 19 San Jose State
Sept. 26 Stanford
Oct. 10 at Arizona
Oct. 17 at Washington State
Oct. 24 Colorado
Oct. 31 at Utah
Nov. 7 UCLA
Nov. 14 at California
Nov. 21 Washington
Nov. 28 at Oregon

Andersen made no bones about the fact that Wisconsin’s academic standards pushed him out, so he took a major step down to get to a place that allows him to recruit who he wants. He voluntarily left a school that has been to more Rose Bowls since 1993 (six) than the school he left it for has conference championships in school history (five). In fact, Oregon State hasn’t won the Pac-12 since 2000, and while the Beavers have finished in the top 25 four times since then, it’s not a program with a rich history.

Riley was able to attain unusual success in Corvallis, averaging nearly eight wins per season since 2003 at a school that had only seven eight-win seasons in 110 years before that. Riley’s Beavers won at least nine games four times, including a 10-4 season in 2006. But he followed that up with back-to-back 9-4 seasons, then 8-5, 5-7, and 3-9. OSU rebounded with a 9-4 campaign in 2012, but again went downhill with a 7-6 2013 and 5-7 2014. If history repeats itself Andersen is on track for 3-9 this fall.

Andersen has a good track record. He inherited a very bad Utah State squad in 2009, and while it took a couple of 4-8 seasons to build his foundation, he got over the hump with a 7-6 season in 2011 and broke through with a 11-2 season, a conference championship, and a bowl win a year later. He left for Wisconsin and didn’t miss a beat, taking an 8-6 team and going 9-4 and 11-3 with a Big Ten championship game appearance.

When he jumped to Oregon State, Andersen brought in a solid pair of coordinators. Offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin has been around the block, coaching at 12 different schools since 1978. He served as offensive coordinator at Cincinnati in 2001, Baylor in Michigan State from 2003-06, New Mexico from 2007-08, Utah State (win Andersen) from 2009-11, and most recently, Colorado State from 2012-14. He served as CSU’s interim head coach in the Las Vegas Bowl last December when Jim McElwain left for Florida.

Andersen’s hand-picked defensive coordinator is up-and-coming Kalani Sitake, who has run Utah’s defense since 2009. In fact, since 2005, Sitake has continued adding roles to his title, going from linebackers coach from 2005-08 to defensive coordinator and linebackers coach from 2009-11 to associate head coach, defensive coordinator, and linebackers coach from 2012-14.

Let’s take a look at Oregon State.


Projected Starters
Position Name, Yr. Ht, Wt 2014 Stats
QB Seth Collins (Fr.) 6’3″, 186
RB Storm Woods (Sr.) 6’0″, 203 121 rush for 766 yds (6.3 avg), 5 TD; 26 rec, 179 yds, 1 TD
WR Hunter Jarmon (So.) 5’11”, 198 20 rec for 334 yds (16.7 avg), 1 TD
WR Victor Bolden (Jr.) 5’9″, 172 72 rec for 798 yds (11.1 avg), 2 TD
WR Jordan Villamin (So.) 6’4″, 235 35 rec for 578 yds (16.5 avg), 6 TD
TE Caleb Smith (Sr.) 6’6″, 263 20 rec for 202 yds (10.1 avg), 1 TD
LT Sean Harlow (Jr.) 6’4″, 298 12 starts (21 career starts)
LG Isaac Seumalo (RS Jr.) 6’5″, 310 Redshirt (25 career starts)
C Josh Mitchell (Sr.) 6’3″, 306 12 starts (15 career starts)
RG Gavin Andrews (Sr.) 6’6″, 343 10 starts (10 career starts)
RT Dustin Stanton (Jr.) 6’5″, 289 6 starts (6 career starts)

Baldwin has his work cut out for him with an offense that ranked 72nd nationally in total offense. While the Beavers ranked a very respectable 31st in passing offense last season, it was largely due to quarterback Sean Mannion, who was drafted in the third round of the NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. The Beavers’ running game ranked 110th nationally and second-to-last in the Pac-12, averaging just 118.1 yards per game, and that’s where Baldwin will have to apply his expertise. At Michigan State, he turned the Big Ten’s worst rushing offense in 2003 into the second-best in 2004. At Utah State, his rushing offense ranked sixth nationally in 2011 and 26th in 2012. In 2013, his Colorado State offense ranked 27th nationally in rushing.

Storm Woods is an experienced back with 2,183 career rushing yards and 932 receiving yards

Storm Woods is an experienced back with 2,183 career rushing yards and 932 receiving yards

The good news is he has a starting running back returning in senior Storm Woods, who averaged 76.6 yards per game last season with three 100-yard games. As a redshirt freshman in 2012, Woods rushed for 940 yards and 13 touchdowns, so he has as much experience as any back on Michigan’s team. However, behind Woods is a bunch of nobodies. Terron Ward the second half of the one-two punch the past two yeas. He was second on the team with 696 rushing yards and lead the team with 10 touchdowns last fall. He also led the team in rushing in 2013, but now he’s gone, leaving Woods to carry the load himself.

The biggest loss, however, is quarterback Sean Mannion, who finished his career as Oregon State’s and the Pac-12’s all-time leading passer with 13,600 yards. By comparison, Michigan’s all-time leader, Chad Henne, passed for 9,715 yards in his career. With Mannion gone — as well as Luke Del Rio, who transferred to Florida — Oregon State doesn’t have a quarterback on the roster with game experience. That leaves Andersen with a choice of redshirt freshmen Nick Mitchell or Marcus McMaryion or true freshman Seth Collins. The latter is the presumed pick, but it will be worked out in fall camp.

Regardless of who wins the job, he’ll at least have experience to throw to. Junior Victor Bolden caught 72 passes for 798 yards and two scores last season, while sophomore Jordan Villamon was second with 35 for 578. He led the team with six touchdowns. And while Bolden stands just 5-foot-9, 172 pounds, Villamon is 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds. That’s a nice one-two punch to have back. Fellow sophomore Hunter Jarmon led all receivers with 16.7 yards per catch and also returns as a big-play threat.

The offensive line was a game of duck-duck-goose last fall, but by season’s end, a competent five was solidified. And the good news for Andersen is that four of the five return, in addition to Isaac Seumalo, who started 25 games in 2012 and ’13 before taking a redshirt last season due to an injury. Combined, the five have 77 career starts and should at the very least be able to improve on last season’s poor showing.


Projected Starters
Position Name, Yr. Ht, Wt 2014 Stats
DE Jaswha James (Sr.) 6’2″, 264 16 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 1 FR
DT Jalen Grimble (Sr.) 6’2″, 291 6 tackles, 1 TFL
DT Lavonte Barnett (Sr.) 6’3″, 262 18 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks
DE Luke Hollingsworth (Jr.) 6’3″, 270 11 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack
LB Caleb Saulo (Jr.) 6’1″, 232 6 tackles
LB Rommel Mageo (Jr.) 6’2″, 232 23 tackles, 0.5 TFL, 1 FR
LB Darrell Songy (RS So.) 6’0″, 223 Redshirted
CB Larry Scott (Sr.) 5’11”, 192 43 tackles, 2 TFL, 11 PBU
CB Dwayne Williams (RS Fr.) 5’9″, 176 Redshirted
FS Cyrill Noland-Lewis (Jr.) 6’1″, 206 33 tackles, 2 PBU, 1 FR
SS Justin Strong (So.) 5’9″, 195 56 tackles, 5 TFL, 1 sack, 3 PBU

While Baldwin at least has some experience to work with on offense, Sitake is essentially playing with a blank slate. Only two starters return from a defense that ranked 74th nationally in total defense, 96th in scoring defense, 51st in rush defense, and 91st in pass defense. Only three Pac-12 teams allowed more points per game than Oregon State did (31.6). Sitake had Utah’s defense the second-best in the Pac-12 last fall behind only Stanford.

He’ll have a lot of work to do to replace its top six tacklers. The leading returning tackler is strong safety Justin Strong, who started just three games in 2014 and recorded 56 tackles, five for loss. He’ll be joined in the back by junior free safety Cyrill Noland-Lewis, who has bounced back and forth from outside linebacker. His 33 tackles last season are the third-most returning. The elder statesman of the secondary is senior cornerback Larry Scott, who brings back a team-high 11 pass breakups in addition to 43 tackles. The other corner spot will likely fall to redshirt freshman Dwayne Williams, a former high school national champion track star from Killeen, Texas.

The linebacking corps returns just 29 total tackles and no starters. Middle linebacker Rommel Mageo was the unit’s first reserve last fall and recorded 23 tackles, though he did start seven games in 2013. Junior Caleb Saulo has a lot of special teams experience, but not much game experience, while the other likely starter, Darrell Songy, redshirted last season.

The defensive line returns only senior end Jaswha James, who recorded 16 tackles and just one sack. The other end should be junior Luke Hollingsworth, a junior college transfer who started two games last season. Senior tackle Lavonte Barnett started four games last season and led the team with 4.5 sacks. The other tackle will likely be senior Jalen Grimble, who is recovering from a knee injury suffered against USC last season.

Special Teams

Projected Starters
Position Name, Yr. Ht, Wt 2014 Stats
K Garrett Owens (So.) 5’9″, 181 11-of-13, Long 46
P Mitch Seeley (So.) 5’10”, 183
KR Chris Brown (Jr.) 5’10”, 205 1 ret, 27.0 avg
PR Rahmel Dockery (Jr.) 5’10”, 179 8 ret, 6.1 avg

Kicker Garrett Owens gets the job to himself after sharing it with Trevor Romaine last season. He made 11-of-13 field goals, five of which came in the season opener against Portland State, and four of which came against Washington State. Punter Keith Kostol is gone, leaving only sophomore walk-on Mitch Seeley and Snow College transfer Nick Porebski to battle for the job. Not much is known about either, but Seeley is the one currently on the roster.

In the return game, last season’s leading kick returner, Malcolm Marable, is gone, leaving the job to backup running back Chris Brown, who returned one kick last fall. Junior receiver Rahmel Dockery resumes his punt return duties after averaging 6.1 yards per return a year ago.


The offense is sure to improve in the running game with experience along the line, the return of Woods, and Baldwin’s run-heavy system. But the passing game will take a major step back without Mannion, so it will likely net out pretty evenly. However, it will take mite for Sitake to transform the Beavers defense. In all reality, Sitake should be able to keep the defense at least even with where it was last year. But a schedule that finds Oregon State traveling to Michigan, Arizona, Utah, and Oregon, and hosting Stanford and UCLA, will be near impossible to produce a winning record in 2015.

What it means for Michigan

If Michigan can survive Utah in Week 1, the Wolverines will return home with a great chance to go 2-0 and give the fans hope for an exciting season. Since Michigan plays Utah on Thursday night, they’ll get an extra day to prepare for Oregon State, which opens with Weber State on Friday, Sept. 4. The Beavers will give Harbaugh’s squad a good test on the ground, as well as an opportunity to put up some points offensively. Michigan should cruise through Harbaugh’s home opener.