photo Michigan Display Ad gif_zps4dx5zr01.gif

 photo MampGB header 2015 v6_zpsdluogxnr.jpg

Posts Tagged ‘Cougars’

Five-Spot Challenge 2015: Maryland

Monday, September 28th, 2015


FiveSpotChallenge-Banner2015

Congratulations to bigboyblue for winning Week 4 of the Five-Spot Challenge. His deviation of 163 barely beat out the 2013 overall winner, Maizenblu62, by two points. Bigboyblue was the closest to BYU’s longest touchdown, which was zero because the Cougars didn’t score. He was also third closest to Tanner Mangum’s passing yards (55) and second closest to Jake Rudock’s passing yards (194),

Boggie was closest to Mangum’s passing yards at 60 yards away. Bluwolf77, Myrick55, JustJeepGear.com, tooty_pops, and MEKMichigan all correctly predicted that it would take eight minutes for Michigan to score its first touchdown. Maizenblu62 was just five away from Rudock’s passing yards, while tooty_pops, Ebenszac, and HTTV136 were all just three away from Michigan’s total made field goal yards (40).

Only two of the 27 contestants picked BYU to win. The average combined score prediction was Michigan 26 – BYU 21. No one correctly predicted the final score. Ebenszac and HTTV136 both correctly predicted Michigan’s 31, but had BYU scoring 20 and 21 points, respectively.

The weekly results have been updated.

Michigan travels to Maryland next Saturday for a primetime matchup. The Terrapins are 2-2 and coming off of a 45-6 loss to West Virginia. Here are this week’s picks:

Michigan 31 – BYU 0: Wolverines carry out mission vs BYU

Sunday, September 27th, 2015


Smith vs BYU - by junfuphoto(Junfu Han, Ann Arbor News)

When the oddsmakers opened last week with Michigan a six point favorite over BYU most fans figured it would come down as the week went on. But it turns out that none of us knew what we were talking about. Against a BYU squad led by a quarterback just off his mission it was Michigan that was on a mission on Saturday afternoon, dominating the Cougars 31-0.

After opening the game with a three-and-out, Michigan’s offense strung together five straight scoring drives to put the game out of reach by halftime.

The first touchdown, on Michigan’s second possession of the game, came on a 10-play, 80-yard drive that included a highlight-reel catch by Amara Darboh on 3rd-and-5. Jake Rudock also connected with Khalid Hill for a 19-yard gain on 3rd-and-11 and then Rudock found the end zone with a three yard run.

Michigan’s defense forced a punt and the offense went 90 yards in 10 plays, culminating with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Rudock to Darboh on 3rd-and-3.

UM-BYU-small-FINAL
Final Stats
Michigan BYU
Score 31 0
Record 3-1 2-2
Total Yards 448 105
Net Rushing Yards 254 50
Net Passing Yards 194 55
First Downs 22 8
Turnovers 0 0
Penalties-Yards 5-53 5-45
Punts-Yards 4-163 11-475
Time of Possession 38:38 21:22
Third Down Conversions 9-of-17 4-of-15
Fourth Down Conversions 0-of-2 0-of-0
Sacks By-Yards 3-27 2-15
Field Goals 1-for-1 0-for-0
PATs 4-for-4 0-for-0
Red Zone Scores-Chances 3-of-4 0-of-0
Full Box Score

After a BYU three-and-out, Michigan didn’t waste much time getting on the board again. Sione Houma rushed for eight yards and then De’Veon Smith broke out of a crowd and raced 60 yards, fending off a Cougar defender much of the way, for an impressive touchdown.

Another BYU three-and-out gave Michigan the ball back at its own 41 and the Wolverines kept the foot on the gas pedal. A roughing the passer penalty put Michigan in BYU territory and six plays later, Rudock crossed the goal line for the second time. This time, he raced down the left sideline from 17 yards out to put Michigan ahead 28-0. But they still weren’t done.

A clock-chewing drive that featured runs by Smith, Houma, Rudock, and Drake Johnson, as well as a 12-yard pass to Jehu Chesson and 18-yarder to Darboh, resulted in a 40-yard Kenny Allen field goal to give Michigan a comfortable 31-0 lead at the half.

Neither team scored in the game’s final 30 minutes as Michigan’s offense simply tried to run clock. The biggest drama of the second half was whether or not the defense could keep BYU out of the end zone and hold the Cougars below 100 total yards. Well, the Wolverines achieved one of the two as BYU never got closer than the Michigan 44, but topped the 100-yard mark as the games closing seconds ticked down.

Michigan outgained BYU 448 to 105 and held a Cougar offense that came in averaging more than 30 points per game scoreless. Michigan rushed for 254 yards and held BYU to just 50.

Smith led the way with 125 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries (7.8 yards per carry), while Rudock completed 14 of 25 passes for 194 yards, a touchdown, and two rushing scores. Darboh led all receivers with four catches for 57 yards and a touchdown. Michigan’s stifling defense held BYU’s heralded freshman quarterback Tanner Mangum to just 12 of 28 passing for 55 yards, and sacked him three times. BYU running back Adam Hine gained just 33 yards on eight carries, 29 of which came on one run.

After the game, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall — whose team has already faced Nebraska, No. 20 Boise State, and No. 10 UCLA this season — was exceedingly complimentary of the team that dominated his Cougars.

“In my opinion, that was the best team we played to this point, not only physically, but execution wise,” Mendenhall said of Harbaugh’s Wolverines.

BYU offensive coordinator Robert Anae agreed with Mendenhall’s statement and added, “We were dominated in every facet, their defense over our offense — every guy, every play…we were beat from top to bottom, play one through, uh, whatever it was.”

Those words from the coaching staff of a ranked team that Michigan just manhandled are music to the ears of Michigan fans longing for a return to the Michigan of old. And Saturday’s performance was the closest they’ve seen to that in nearly a decade.

Michigan improved to 3-1 on the season and will begin Big Ten play next Saturday at Maryland (2-2). The Terrapins lost to West Virginia 45-6 this weekend. BYU, meanwhile, gets a major reprieve from a tough opening four games when they host UConn on Friday night.

Game Ball – Offense

De’Veon Smith (16 carries for 125 yards, 1 TD)
For 15 of Smith’s 16 carries, he averaged a pedestrian 4.3 yards per carry. But three of those runs were on the first two drives of the third quarter when the playbook went vanilla, up 31-0. And to discount his highlight-reel 60-yard run is doing him a disservice, especially since the whole thing was pretty much all him. He didn’t get a huge hole, he squeezed through one. He benefit from downfield blocks, he shrugged off a defender. The only negative of the day was a sprained ankle suffered in the third quarter, but as long as it doesn’t hold him out for long, it’s clear that Smith is by far the top guy in the backfield.
Honorable Mention: Jake Rudock (14 of 25 for 194 yards, 1 TD. 10 carries for 33 yards, 2 TDs)

Previous:
Week 1 – Jake Butt (8 rec for 93 yards and 1 TD)
Week 2 – De’Veon Smith (23 carries for 126 yards, 3 TDs)
Week 3 – Ty Isaac (8 carries for 114 yards, 1 TD)

Game Ball – Defense

Ryan Glasgow (3 tackles, 2 TFL)
When a defense holds an opponent to just 105 total yards, you can pretty much pick anyone as the game MVP. And Saturday’s performance was truly a team effort as no individual player had more than four tackles and none had a takeaway. But after the game when I stopped to think about which defensive player stood out the most it was Ryan Glasgow. Although he only made three tackles, he made the most of them with two behind the line of scrimmage. With BYU near midfield, he burst through the line and tackled running back Adam Hine for a loss of six. In the second quarter, on 3rd-and-8, he stuffed Hine for a loss of three. After years of mediocre defensive line play it is great to see the game ball go to a defensive lineman three of the first four weeks.

Previous:
Week 1 – Chris Wormley (5 tackles, 3 TFL)
Week 2 – Chris Wormley (6 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack)
Week 3 – Jourdan Lewis (3 tackles, 4 PBU)

Final Individual Stats
Passing Comp-Att Yds Avg. TD INT Long Sack
Jake Rudock 14-25 194 7.8 1 0 41 2
Tanner Mangum 12-28 55 2.0 0 0 14 3
Rushing Car. Yards Avg. TD Long
De’Veon Smith 16 125 7.8 1 60
Adam Hine 8 33 4.1 0 29
Jake Rudock 10 33 3.3 2 17
Francis Bernard 4 30 7.5 0 13
Derrick Green 10 28 2.8 0 6
Drake Johnson 5 26 5.2 0 11
Sione Houma 4 17 4.2 0 8
Blake O’Neill 1 9 9.0 0 9
Ty Isaac 2 9 4.5 0 8
Nate Carter 3 9 3.0 0 4
Ross Taylor-Douglass 3 7 2.3 0 5
Tanner Mangum 6 -18 -3.0 0 9
Receiving Rec Yds Avg. TD Long
Amara Darboh 4 57 14.2 1 21
Jake Butt 1 41
41.0 0 41
Khalid Hill 2 39 19.5 0 20
Jehu Chesson 2 17 8.5 0 12
Drake Johnson 1 14 14.0 0 14
Devon Blackmon 1 14 14.0 0 14
Colby Pearson 2 11 5.5 0 7
Ian Bunting 1 10 10.0 0 10
Nick Kurtz 2 10 5.0 0 7
A.J. Williams 1 7 7.0 0 7
Derrick Green 1 7 7.0 0 7
Mitchell Juergens 2 6 3.0 0 5
Adam Hine 1 5 5.0 0 5
Mitch Mathews 1 4 4.0 0 4
Nate Carter 1 4 4.0 0 4
Terenn Houk 1 3 3.0 0 3
Henry Poggi 1 2 2.0 0 2
Moroni Laulu-Pututau 1 -2 -2.0 0 -2
Kicking FG Pct Long XP Pts
Kenny Allen 1/1 100.0 40 4/4 7
Punting No Yds Avg TB In 20 Long
Blake O’Neill 4 163 40.8 0 3 49
Jonny Linehan 11 475 43.2 1 2 55
Kick Returns No Yds Avg Long TD
Devon Blackmon 2 30 15.0 20 0
Eric Takenaka 1 19 19.0 19 0
Punt Returns No Yds Avg Long TD
Jabrill Peppers 4 20 5.0 11 0
Micah Hannemann 1 5 5.0 5 0

M&GB staff predictions: BYU

Friday, September 25th, 2015


StaffPicks_banner2015

Bronco(BYUphotos.com)

After winning 10 games or more in five of his first seven seasons in Provo, Bronco Mendenhall’s Cougars have finished 8-5 in each of the last three seasons. A 3-1 start in a very tough September schedule very well could set BYU up for 10 wins this fall since the remainder of the slate features UConn, East Carolina, Cincinnati, Wagner, San Jose State, Missouri, Fresno State, and Utah State. A loss to Michigan would mean winning out to reach 10.

For Michigan, meanwhile, BYU provides a good measuring stick before heading into Big Ten play. The season-opening loss at Utah showed that despite a heralded new coach, there are still missing pieces. Wins over Oregon State and UNLV showed some promise, but Michigan was expected to win both of those. BYU gives Michigan a chance to beat a ranked team for the first time since topping Notre Dame in 2013. It’s a swing game for both teams, but BYU’s swing is higher and Michigan’s swing is lower.

Justin:

Staff Predictions
Michigan BYU
Justin 20 16
Derick 24 20
Sam 27 24
Josh 17 27
Joe 27 25
M&GB Average 23 22.4

The most terrifying matchup tomorrow is Jake Rudock against BYU’s pass defense. Although the Cougars rank just 86th nationally in passing yards allowed, they lead the nation with seven interceptions. Rudock has already matched his 2014 season total with five. Nebraska and Boise State were able to take advantage of the Cougar secondary, combining for 616 passing yards. But UCLA, with freshman quarterback Josh Rosen, managed just 106 yards and three picks on 23 attempts.

The good news, however, is that UCLA showed the path to success on the ground, rushing for 296 yards with an average of 7.8 yards per carry. But Mendenhall is sure to stuff the box to stop the run and force Rudock into obvious passing situations and then try to take advantage of his miscues. The quick outs and receiver screens will be big for Michigan’s receivers to gain yards, and I predict this will be the game in which Rudock finally connects on a deep throw, giving Amara Darboh a nice American citizenship present.

Defensively, Michigan will likely give up a scoring drive early on and then settle in. Jourdan Lewis, who leads the Big Ten with six pass breakups, will have his hands full with Mitch Mathews and Mitch Juergens, but Michigan’s defensive line should be able to keep enough pressure on Tanner Mangum to keep him out of rhythm. UCLA got to him four times, Boise State five, and Nebraska three. The 13 sacks allowed are the most in the nation and that’s where Michigan has the advantage.

In a low-scoring game, Michigan will win the special teams battle, finally get a big play from Rudock, and hold Mangum in check. Kenny Allen hits a field goal late to make BYU have to drive the field for a touchdown, and the defense prevents another Hail Mary.

Michigan 20 – BYU 16

Derick: Finally, after Michigan hosted a pair of West Coast cupcakes to open the home schedule, the fans will see this team put to its first test as No. 22 BYU makes the trip east to the Big House. Michigan rolled over Oregon State and UNLV thanks to a defense that surrendered just 14 total points.

But BYU is already battle-tested. The Cougars lost starting quarterback Taysom Hill and didn’t miss a beat as Tanner Mangum took over and led the offense to last-second wins over Nebraska and Boise State. BYU nearly went into the Rose Bowl and beat No. 10 UCLA, but a late push fell short as the Cougars suffered their first loss, 24-23.

Magnum will battle a Michigan defense that ranks seventh in the country with just 237 yards allowed per game. Unfortunately for BYU, the offense has been largely one-dimensional this season, averaging just 3.4 yards per carry, and matches up poorly against a Michigan defense that allows just 92.7 rush yards per game. In order to move the ball consistently against the Wolverines, Mangum will have to be extremely efficient in the passing game. The freshman is completing over 60 percent of his passes, but played against the 126th, 85th and 40th ranked passing defenses in Weeks 1-3, respectively.

BYU’s defense is slightly more susceptible to the pass (240.7 yards per game — 86th) than the run (162 yards per game — 74th), but Michigan will have some success running against this front seven. Drake Johnson has been cleared to play and De’Veon Smith and Ty Isaac offer strong, physical options out of the backfield for the Wolverines. Look for Michigan to set the tone through the ground attack, as it did in each of the last two games.

The Cougars are underdogs for the fourth straight game to start the season, but this could be Michigan’s toughest test of the nonconference schedule. BYU hung with UCLA on the road and there’s no reason to expect it can’t do the same in Ann Arbor. But Mangum won’t see another defense of this caliber all season and the Wolverines should take care of business at home for the third straight week. I’ll take Michigan in a dogfight.

Michigan 24 – BYU 20

Sam: I don’t feel too confident about this game after seeing BYU’s generally favorable results over the first three weeks paired with Michigan’s extra vanilla with a dash of more vanilla offense last week, but I also am not as good at predicting outcomes as Vegas, which has the Wolverines favored by nearly a touchdown at home now. Perhaps the strong defense will slow Tanner Mangum just enough for the Rudock-led offense to outscore the Cougars. I’ll begrudgingly take the home team for three straight.

Michigan 27 – BYU 24

Josh: I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why the odds makers had Michigan a favorite over BYU. Then I went back and watched some BYU tape and saw why. BYU is a boom or bust offense. They’re either getting big plays downfield or dinking and dunking it, but not moving the chains. Nine of their 11 touchdown drives had at least one play over 20 yards. So now the key to this game becomes can Michigan stop the big plays? I’m not so sure they can. The stats say that Michigan has been pretty good at preventing big plays over the past couple years, but lost in that is the fact that they don’t really play many explosive offenses.

I don’t think Michigan will get beat deep a lot, but they’ll get beat deep a few times and it could yield a good deal of points. Which will be a major issue for the Michigan offense, one who is not built on explosive plays and hasn’t shown they can go downfield with their passing game yet.

That said BYU isn’t a top 10 team and they haven’t been very consistent, on either offense or defense. If Michigan can take advantage of turnover opportunities, continue to run it consistently and not turn it over themselves then they’ll win this game handily. But I don’t think that’s what is going to happen. I think BYU goes up early on some deep balls (two of their receivers are over 6-foot-5 and will be damn near impossible for Lewis and Stribling to cover consistently, not to mention their slot ninja is pretty good too) and Michigan has to pass more as they play from behind. Rudock tosses an interception, or maybe two, and BYU adds a few more points.

While it’s been nice seeing Michigan beat up on bad teams the past two weeks they haven’t done anything to impress me or make me think they can beat a decent team, and one who has played in three tough venues each week thus far. The pass game is meh, the run game is decent but it’s not conducive to big plays and the defense still can’t get to the quarterback with just four. Michigan is just not a team that can beat anyone that is going to put points on the board and I think that’s exactly what BYU is going to do.

BYU edges out a game that feels closer than the score indicates and Michigan fans around the world finally realize that not only was this team poorly coached in the near past but also these kids aren’t as good as we thought they were (save for a few like Butt, Peppers and Lewis). Of course, I hope I’m wrong and Michigan just throttles them.

Michigan 17 – BYU 27

Joe: This is a huge game for the growth and development of the Wolverines. It’s a chance to battle a top 25 team in the Big House and show the nation that this team is on the rise. I hope the offense can establish a strong running game right off the bat and control the clock. The last two weeks were confidence boosters in both the run game and the overall defense. We will not be able to dominate defensively against BYU as we did the last two weeks, but we should hold them under to under 28 points. This team will go as far as the defense takes them. Peppers will have them pumped up and should create a few turnover opportunities early. If Rudock can “dink and dunk” without losing the ball, this team will control things with Butt and Smith doing the heavy lifting. I think the good guys pull this one out.

Michigan 27 – BYU 25

Michigan vs BYU game preview

Friday, September 25th, 2015


Game Preview_BYU_banner

A look through Michigan football’s record book reveals very few opponents that can boast a winning record against the Wolverines, but tomorrow’s opponent is one of them. Brigham Young overcame a 17-10 fourth quarter deficit to beat Bo Schembechler’s squad 24-17 in the 1984 Holiday Bowl. Redshirt sophomore Jim Harbaugh watched from the sidelines — he broke his arm in the fifth game of the season — as the Cougars claimed the national title.

Tomorrow, Harbaugh gets a chance to atone for that loss, but once again he’ll be on the sidelines, albeit in a far different capacity. He’ll try to do one of the few things his idol couldn’t: beat BYU.

UM-BYU-small
Quick Facts
Michigan Stadium – 12 p.m. EST – ABC
BYU Head Coach: Bronco Mendenhall (11th season)
Coaching Record: 92-40 (all at BYU)
Offensive Coordinator: Robert Anae (3rd season)
Defensive Coordinator: Nick Howell (3rd season)
Returning 2014 Starters: 15 (8 offense, 7 defense)
Last Season: 8-5
Last Meeting: BYU 24 – UM 17 (1984)
All-Time Series: BYU leads 1-0
Record in Ann Arbor: 1st meeting
Record in Michigan Stadium: 1st meeting
Jim Harbaugh vs BYU: 1st meeting
Last Michigan win: Never
Last BYU win: 1984 (24-17)
Current Streak: BYU 1

It won’t be easy as the Cougars come to town already battle tested with wins over Nebraska (33-28 on the road) and 20th-ranked Boise State (35-24), and a near-upset of No.10 UCLA in Pasadena. Twenty-one years ago this week, Michigan suffered defeat at the hands of Colorado via the same method of victory BYU has used so far this season: the Hail Mary.

In the season opener, BYU completed a 42-yard Hail Mary with no time remaining to stun the Cornhuskers. A week later, BYU trailed Boise State by three in the closing minute, and facing 4th-and-7, completed a 35-yard Hail Mary to take the lead and ultimately win. The luck ran out last Saturday against UCLA as the Bruins scored with three minutes left to take a one-point lead and the Cougars comeback fell short.

But BYU enters tomorrow’s tilt as the college football darling and a sexy upset pick to beat the Wolverines, although the Cougars are the ranked team. Michigan secondary coach Mike Zordich spent much of the week discussing his team’s preparation for the Hail Mary and BYU’s tall receivers.

“It’s tough to watch, especially as a secondary coach, to see those kinds of throws from the quarterback,” Zordich said. “But it just adds to our challenge.”

It will be a challenge for sure, and a great test of how far Michigan has progressed since the season opening loss to Utah. Let’s take a look at the matchups.

When BYU has the ball

Through the first fourth of the season, BYU ranks 55th nationally in total offense (432.3 yards per game), 111th in rushing (121.7 yards per game), 24th in passing (310.7 yards per game), 70th in pass efficiency (132.61), and 72nd in scoring (30.3 points per game).

The Cougars suffered a huge setback in the season opener against Nebraska when starting quarterback Taysom Hill — a darkhorse Heisman candidate — suffered a season-ending injury for the third time in four years. But that bitterness quickly turned sweet when his backup, 22-year-old freshman Tanner Mangum, executed the late-game comeback to stun Lincoln and followed it up with another against Boise State. He has completed 62.8 percent of his passes for 664 yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions, and although the college football world is just now hearing about him, he was a highly prized recruit in the 2012 class. He was ranked the third-best pro style quarterback in the class, was named MVP of the Under Armour All-America Game and co-MVP of Elite 11 along with some guy named Jameis Winston.

Mangum has a solid group of receivers to throw to in junior Mitch Juergens, senior Mitch Mathews, and senior Devon Blackmon. Juergens is the leading receiver with 244 yards and two touchdowns on 13 catches, but Matthews is the big play guy with 17 receptions for 185 yards and three scores. At 6-foot-6 and 215 pounds, he’s a tough matchup for defensive backs, and he’s the one that caught the Hail Mary to beat Nebraska. Juergens caught the one against Boise State. Blackmon, meanwhile, has 14 catches for 171 yards, but no scores. The fourth wide out with more than 100 yards receiving is 6-foot-5, 205-pound junior college transfer Nick Kurtz, who has nine catches for 161 yards.

While the passing game is dynamic, the running game leaves a lot to be desired. Expected starter Jamaal Williams withdrew from school in August for personal reasons, leaving senior Adam Hine to carry the load. He’s already more than halfway to Williams’ 2014 yardage total with 279 yards on 46 carries (6.1 ypc), but he isn’t getting much help. Hill’s 72 yards in the first game before his injury are second on the team by a wide margin, and since Mangum isn’t a running threat — though he is nimble in the pocket — the Cougars’ offense has taken on a much more pass-heavy look. Junior running back Algernon Brown has the second most rushing yards by a running back with just 23 yards on eight carries (2.9 ypc).

The offensive line returned three of last year’s starters with 62 career starts among them. Senior left tackle Ryker Mathews leads the way with 20, while junior left guard Kyle Johnson brings 11 and sophomore center Tejan Koroma has 16. The right side of the line is less experienced, although sophomore Ului Lupuaho has started 11, but the right tackle spot is a work in progress. Junior Brad Wilcox, who brought just one career start into this season, started the first three games.

When Michigan has the ball

Defensively, BYU is traditionally tough, partly because Mendenhall is a former safety and linebacker and has spent his whole career coaching defense, and partly because most of the players are physically older and more mature than those from schools that don’t require a two year mission. This season, BYU’s defense ranks 86th in total defense (402.7 yards per game), 74th in rush defense (162 yards per game), 86th in passing yards allowed (240.7 per game), 59th in pass efficiency defense (120.73), and 75th in scoring defense (25.3 points per game). Despite winning the first two and nearly pulling off the third, the Cougars have allowed at least 24 points in all three contests.

Last season’s sack leader (seven), defensive end Bronson Kaufusi, is the leader of the line in Mendenhall’s 3-4 defense. He has two tackles for loss and a sack so far this season. The other end is senior Graham Rowley, who has half a sack. Junior nose tackle Travis Tuiloma was the starter in the middle, and the team’s best defensive player according to Mendenhall, but suffered a knee injury that will keep him out for a few more weeks. In his place is a combination of sophomore Kesni Tausinga (who loves burritos, according to his profile on the team page) and senior Columbus native Logan Taele. Taele has three tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks so far.

The linebacker unit is led by junior middle linebacker Harvey Langi, who has a team-high four tackles for loss and three sacks to go along with 20 tackles and two interceptions. Fellow middle linebacker Manoa Pikula has 18 tackles, two for loss, and one sack. The outside linebackers are sophomore Fred Warner and senior Jherreymya Leuta-Douyere. The pair has combined for 25 tackles and 1.5 tackle for loss.

The secondary has allowed 240.7 passing yards per game, but free safety Kai Nacua has already picked off four passes and broken up three. The other safety, senior Michael Wadsworth, leads the team with 22 tackles. Michael Davis and Micah Hannemann are the starting corners and have combined for 19 tackles, one pass breakup, and an interception.

The other third

Senior kicker Trevor Samson has made all five field goals he has attempted so far this season with a long of 45 yards. All five have been between 32 and 45 yards. While Michigan has an Aussie punter, BYU counters with New Zealander Johnny Linehan, who is averaging 42.6 yards per punt. Blackmon and junior defensive back Eric Takenaka handle kick returns. The latter is a transfer from Snow Junior College, where he led the nation with 44.1 yards per kick return. Hannemann is the main punt returner with three returns for 16 yards thus far.

Prediction

After winning 10 games or more in five of his first seven seasons in Provo, Mendenhall’s Cougars have finished 8-5 in each of the last three seasons. A 3-1 start in a very tough September schedule very well could set BYU up for 10 wins this fall since the remainder of the slate features UConn, East Carolina, Cincinnati, Wagner, San Jose State, Missouri, Fresno State, and Utah State. A loss to Michigan would mean winning out to reach 10.

For Michigan, meanwhile, BYU provides a good measuring stick before heading into Big Ten play. The season-opening loss at Utah showed that despite a heralded new coach, there are still missing pieces. Wins over Oregon State and UNLV showed some promise, but Michigan was expected to win both of those. BYU gives Michigan a chance to beat a ranked team for the first time since topping Notre Dame in 2013. It’s a swing game for both teams, but BYU’s swing is higher and Michigan’s swing is lower.

The most terrifying matchup tomorrow is Jake Rudock against BYU’s pass defense. Although the Cougars rank just 86th nationally in passing yards allowed, they lead the nation with seven interceptions. Rudock has already matched his 2014 season total with five. Nebraska and Boise State were able to take advantage of the Cougar secondary, combining for 616 passing yards. But UCLA, with freshman quarterback Josh Rosen, managed just 106 yards and three picks on 23 attempts.

The good news, however, is that UCLA showed the path to success on the ground, rushing for 296 yards with an average of 7.8 yards per carry. But Mendenhall is sure to stuff the box to stop the run and force Rudock into obvious passing situations and then try to take advantage of his miscues. The quick outs and receiver screens will be big for Michigan’s receivers to gain yards, and I predict this will be the game in which Rudock finally connects on a deep throw, giving Amara Darboh a nice American citizenship present.

Defensively, Michigan will likely give up a scoring drive early on and then settle in. Jourdan Lewis, who leads the Big Ten with six pass breakups, will have his hands full with Mathews and Juergens, but Michigan’s defensive line should be able to keep enough pressure on Mangum to keep him out of rhythm. UCLA got to him four times, Boise State five, and Nebraska three. The 13 sacks allowed are the most in the nation and that’s where Michigan has the advantage.

In a low-scoring game, Michigan will win the special teams battle, finally get a big play from Rudock, and hold Mangum in check. Kenny Allen hits a field goal late to make BYU have to drive the field for a touchdown, and the defense prevents another Hail Mary.

Michigan 20 – BYU 16

Five-Spot Challenge 2015: BYU

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015


FiveSpotChallenge-Banner2015

Congratulations to Freezer566 for winning Week 3 of the Five-Spot Challenge. Not only did he have the lowest deviation, but he also became the first contestant in the history of the challenge to correctly predict the final score. Even if he hadn’t, he still would have won, but the correct score prediction knocked his highest single deviation down to zero, giving him a total deviation of 45 for the week. He was the closest to Michigan’s total yards (377), only nine away, second closest to UNLV’s total yards (235), 15 away, and third closest to De’Veon Smith’s rushing yards (33), 57 away.

TheZachster came in second with a total deviation of 133, He was only one away from Michigan’s total punt return yards (24), just one away, and also consistently low across the other four questions. HTTV136 was the only one to correctly predict that Michigan’s first touchdown would be five yards, while Hazel Parker was second closest to Michigan’s total yards (11 away) and UNLV’s total yards (eight away).

All 23 contestants this week predicted Michigan to win by an average score of Michigan 44 – UNLV 8.

The weekly results have been updated, and I promise I’ll update the overall standings soon.

Michigan hosts BYU at noon this Saturday in what should be a good test of how much the Wolverines have progressed since the season opening loss at Utah. Here are this week’s questions:

New in Blue: Houston transfer quarterback John O’Korn

Thursday, February 5th, 2015


John OKorn(Justin Tijerina, The Daily Cougar)

John O’Korn – QB | 6-4, 220 | Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – St. Thomas Aquinas (University of Houston)
ESPN: 3-star, #38 QB, 77 grade Rivals: 3-star, #31 ProQB 247: 3-star, #24 ProQB Scout: 3-star, #38 QB
Other top offers: Wisconsin, Mississippi State, Louisville, Syracuse, Houston, North Carolina, South Florida
*Class of 2013

Less than 24 hours after polishing off his first 14-man recruiting class at the University of Michigan, Jim Harbaugh has apparently added some future insurance to the quarterback position by landing Houston transfer John O’Korn.

Although it hasn’t been made official by the program, the newest Wolverine to be announced the news via Twitter on Thursday.

O’Korn lit up the American Athletic Conference in 2013 as a freshman, setting Houston records with 3,117 passing yards and 28 touchdowns. He completed 58.1 percent of his passes and posted a passer rating of 133 en route to winning the AAC’s Rookie of the Year award.

Following his breakout freshman season, as Smart Football’s Chris Brown pointed out, O’Korn had to adjust to a new offensive coordinator due to Doug Meachem’s departure for TCU, and the entire offense suffered because of it. O’Korn lost his starting role after throwing just six touchdowns and eight picks through five games. The sophomore struggled after starting the season with a four-interception performance in the opener against UTSA.

With a hew head coach coming in this season, former Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman, Houston granted O’Korn his release in January. Due to NCAA transfer rules, the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. native won’t don the winged helmet until 2016 and he will have two years of eligibility remaining. As it stands, O’Korn will likely jump into a position grouping that includes Shane Morris, Wilton Speight, Alex Malzone and Zach Gentry.

Michigan hoops preview: IUPUI

Monday, November 12th, 2012


#5 Michigan v. IUPUI
Monday, Nov. 12
9pm ET
ESPNU
1-0 Record 1-0
100 Points Per Game 67
62 Scoring Defense 54
38-for-66 (57.6%) Field Goal % 26-for-59 (44.1%)
24-for-65 (36.9%) Def. Field Goal % 21-for-54 (38.9%)
12-for-19 (63.2%) 3-point % 8-for-23 (34.8%)
6-for-21 (28.6%) Def. 3-point % 5-for-17 (29.4%)
12-for-19 (63.2%) Free Throw % 7-for-8 (87.5%)
12.0 FT Made/Game 7.0
42.0 Rebounds Per Game 36.0
31.0 Opp. Reb. Per Game 33.0
19.0 Assists Per Game 14.0
9.0 Turnovers Per Game 14.0
5.0 Steals Per Game 5.0
3.0 Blocks Per Game 2.0
G – Tim Hardaway (25.0)
G – Trey Burke (21.0)
Leading Scorer G – John Hart (19.0)
C – Mitchell Patton (15.0)
G – Tim Hardaway (10.0)
F – Mitch McGary (9.0)
Leading Rebounder F – Donovan Gibbs (9.0)
C – Mitchell Patton (7.0)

Michigan throttled Slippery Rock on Friday night and now returns to action tonight in the NIT Season Tip-Off against IUPUI. It will be the first Division I team Michigan has faced so far this season – both exhibition games and Friday’s game were against Division II foes.

IUPUI won its first game of the season on Friday 67-54 over Utah Valley. The Jaguars were picked to finish fifth in the preseason poll for The Summit League after finishing 14-18 last season. Two starters from that squad return this season, as well as a transfer from Purdue.

The leading returning starter is Ian Chiles, who averaged 10.5 points per game last season. He shot 45 percent from the field and 42 percent from three.

The transfer from Purdue is John Hart who led the Jags with 19 points on Friday night. He played in 63 games over three seasons for the Boilermakers and averaged 3.8 points per game during the 2010-11 season.

Sophomore forward Lyonell Gaines started 27 of 32 games as a true freshman last season, averaging 6.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. However, he scored just two points in 13 minutes on Friday night.

Center Mitchell Patton scored 15 on 7-of-11 shooting. He averaged 3.9 points per game a year ago. The other starters were guard Greg Rice, forward Donovan Gibbs, and guard Sean Esposito. Rice and Gibbs both scored 10 and Gibbs led the team with nine rebounds, while Esposito scored just three on 1-of-8 shooting. He was a 40 percent three-point shooter last season while coming off the bench.

The first game of the NIT Season Tip-Off shouldn’t give Michigan much trouble, especially inside where Michigan is now strong with the addition of Mitch McGary, the presence of Jordan Morgan, and emergence of Jon Horford (provided he stays healthy). On the perimeter, IUPUI just won’t have the talent to keep up with Michigan’s highly-touted backcourt. Expect another big win to pull Michigan within a win of advancing to the semifinals at Madison Square Garden.