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Recent Comments
On College Football 2022: Week 6 Recap and Week 7 Pre...
Ken said:
Yeah, we've both had our share of hope and disappointment in this game. Let's just hope for a good b...
On College Football 2022: Week 6 Recap and Week 7 Pre...
Dan* said:
I'm not sure how I feel about this game. On one hand, I feel pretty optimistic that we have the tale...
On College Football 2022: Week 1 Preview
Dan* said:
Glad to see you'll be back writing football again, Ken! Congrats on the easy win today. You didn't ...
On College Football 2021: Week 10 Recap and Week 11 P...
Ken said:
Yeah, sorry one of our teams had to lose. I've come to appreciate Penn State as a classy and sympath...
On College Football 2021: Week 10 Recap and Week 11 P...
Dan* said:
Hey Ken, congratulations on the win yesterday! Some really odd choices by our coaching staff in that...


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College Football 2021: Week 10 Recap and Week 11 Preview
Saturday, 2021 November 13 - 2:30 am
All the good guys win in pedestrian fashion; showdown between Michigan and Penn State up next. This will be an abbreviated article because I’m traveling this week.

Michigan 29, Indiana 7
This was a game marred by a lot of injuries on both sides. Michigan was out Blake Corum, AJ Henning, and Andrew Anthony among others. But a big day by Hassan Haskins, combined with a lot of Indiana ineptitude, sealed the day for Michigan. Michigan did show a few new wrinkles on offense, with a revival of the stretch zone running play. Hopefully that will play some dividends down the road.

Penn State 31, Maryland 14
I think this was another indication that Clifford is the key to this offense, as he threw for 363 yards while the team only rushed for 93. Jahan Dotson continues to be the danger man downfield.

The team is who at is at this point, I think. There are holes in the run defense that get papered over by good secondary play; there are clear problems on the OL that get bailed out by Clifford. That leads to an interesting discussion…

Michigan at Penn State, 12:00 PM ABC
Will Penn State be able to run on Michigan? No. Will Sean Clifford improvise his way to some big plays? Yes. Will he get hit with crushing sacks also? Yes. Will Jahan Dotson get loose in the secondary? Yes. Will Penn State contain Michigan’s rushing attack? Ah. That’s the question there. There’s a lot of talent in the Penn State front. And yet Illinois ran all over them.

There are many strength on strength matchups, but the key will come between the tackles on the lines. If Michigan finds itself winning on early downs with inside zone, good luck.

I see a defensive battle, but traditionally that goes to the power ball control offense, and I think this year that’s Michigan.

Prediction: Michigan 23, Penn State 16.

NC State 28, Florida State 14
A good solid win against an upstart contender… I don’t have much to say beyond that. Now we get:

NC State at Wake Forest, 7:30 PM ACCN
Who would have thought this would be premiere matchup in the ACC this year, but here we are. Wake Forest comes straight off an upset loss to UNC that show again an explosive offense paired with an awful defense. Last one to score wins?

Prediction: NC State 54, Wake Forest 38.

Elsewhere
MSU lost to Purdue, haha. Wake Forest lost. Illinois crushed Minnesota. Wisconsin demolished Rutgers. We’ll see you next week for more in-depth analysis of the postseason.
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Posted by Ken in: sports

Comments

Comment #1 from Dan (Guest)
2021 Nov 14 - 4:52 pm : #
Hey Ken, congratulations on the win yesterday! Some really odd choices by our coaching staff in that one, but at the end of the day, Michigan was clearly the better team and it showed. I blame it on Mike Hart. We could never stop that guy when he played. Now he's finally back at UM and he obviously whispered his Lion-killing secrets into Haskins' ear.

By the way, your preview on this one was incredibly accurate. You hit all the keys to the game and the reasons why Michigan would probably win. You even pretty much nailed the score! Ever think of doing this for a living?

Ahh well... I think this is the end of my season for the most part. It's been one of the most disappointing PSU seasons in my lifetime. Don't get me wrong, we've had worse seasons and plenty of worse teams, but those all came with lower expectations. This one had so much promise and potential, and the early success to go with it, only for us to watch it all go down the toilet in stunningly painful fashion.

Some can be blamed on the injuries. Clifford of course, and the season ending injury to PJ Mustipher in the Iowa game gets overlooked - he was the keystone of our defensive success. But from where I sit in my armchair, I feel like the failures of this season rest on the shoulders of James Franklin and his staff. They came into the season with a decent plan that worked for a few weeks. But when adversity came along, they didn't or couldn't adjust. And I mean that from both the perspective of in-game adjustments, and from the bigger picture of season long strategy issues which stemmed from lack of foresight and preparation. For example, our backup QB was the #9 dual-threat prospect in the nation coming out of high school and has been with the program for 3 years! How is it possible that he is STILL not ready for game action? After 3 years, you either coach that kid up and have him ready to go, or you need to recognize that he doesn't have it and make sure you find a viable alternative from the transfer portal. Either way, it's inexcusable.

And it isn't new. We've seen similar patterns for years. I was grumbling about Franklin's in-game adjustments during his first season, but I naturally assumed he would get better. Now we are in year 8, and still no evidence that lessons are being learned. So, while I've never been in the "Franklin must go" crowd and still am not, I can now say that I have reached the point where I no longer care if he stays.

Best of luck to you and the Wolverines going forward! I'm ready to see anyone other than anOSU win the BIG 10. As usual, I very much appreciate the blog and getting to read your perspective every week. I probably won't pay much attention to the games from here out, but I'll still be here as a reader. Keep up the great work!
Comment #2 from Ken (realkato)
2021 Nov 15 - 1:59 pm : #
Yeah, sorry one of our teams had to lose. I've come to appreciate Penn State as a classy and sympathetic football team. I think Michigan and Penn State share a lot of characteristics.

Mike Hart has definitely brought a lot to the Michigan running game; most notably, the backs play with patience and wait for the holes to develop. That's been missing in previous years.

As for Penn State, yes, injuries have been a problem and I feel like Clifford has not been 100% for these past couple of weeks. But the offense line is a serious issue, mostly on target identification, and maybe that falls on OL coach Phil Trautwein? And definitely, I feel like Franklin dials up gimmickry way more than he should. If I were a Penn State fan, I'd have been fuming about that fake field goal attempt. Michigan was on its heels; a run up the gut would have been more likely to work there.

I think the issue with Ta'Quan Roberson's readiness is that his style is a lot different from Clifford's, and the first team offense doesn't get much chance to practice the sort of zone-read run-heavy game that would fit his talents. He got thrown into the Iowa game with very few first-team snaps and a very limited playbook, I think. You have to have an identity as an offense (as Michigan finally seems to be figuring out) and you have to recruit to that identity, if you want to maintain continuity.

Anyway, I do appreciate you being a reader and offering up your comments. I'll still be covering Penn State (and rooting for them to beat MSU). And we'll see if Franklin ends up going to LSU or USC or something. Penn State is still a prestige job but coaching transitions are always difficult. Joe Moorhead might be a leading candidate if there's a change.

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