Sunday, September 05, 2010

Damn Lies: Connecticut

[Author's note: I'm going to try this year, in the vein of statistical analysis, to try and find things that struck my from the Michigan box score after each game. However, because I do not have as much time as I used to to write meaningful things, this analysis will be limited to 120 seconds of looking at the box score and attempting to find something. Sometimes it will build off something that struck me while watching the game, other times it will just be something that stands out. My impressions could be wholly and completely incorrect, my conclusions could be completely wrong, but this is why I am calling this feature "Damn Lies", because well, we're looking at statistics.]

1). Michigan was 15 for 19 on third down, and 1 for 2 on fourth down yesterday.

Michigan needed an average of six yards yesterday on those 19 third downs. Their average game on those third downs was 7.3 yards. Of the 14 conversions, Denard Robinson ran for 7 of them himself, and passed for six of them. Michael Shaw's two yard run in the first quarter was the only third down conversion for which Denard was not partially or wholly responsible. More amazingly, of the four failed third down conversions, none were the result of an incomplete pass. Which is why Michigan likely only needed to punt once.

2). Michigan had drives of 96 yards (5:57), 77 yards (2:35), 75 yards (8:05), 96 yards (4:22) and 51 yards (7:59).

If you're convinced that Rich Rodriguez's up-tempo style does not protect leads (or by extension, the defense), look at those drive totals. While Michigan did have some short drives, Michigan ate up the clock with a long early TD drive, a long TD drive to start the third quarter, and a long drive late that came up short, but left Connecticut without much time to do anything.

3). Denard Robinson targeted 8 different players yesterday, but a running back scored the only receiving touchdown of the day.

I thought that Stonum and Roundtree came up on the short end of the stick yesterday, and I was partially right, Roundtree was targeted once, the first play of the second half, and lost one yard on his catch. Stonum actually caught five balls, so my bad on that one.

[Author's addition (Monday): So, missed this initially, but Roundtree was hurt during the game, which would further explain this. Sorry Shaft!]

4). The officials called a total of three penalties in the game. Two false starts on the Connecticut offense, one personal foul on the Michigan offense.

I am not saying this is the most penalty free game I have ever seen, but I would be hard pressed to remember a game where there was a gap between penalties from the second drive of the game to the final drive of the game. Whether this was an effect of coaching, officiating, or a combination thereof remains to be seen.

5). Denard Robinson was 19 of 22 passing yesterday, after being 14 of 31 passing...for all of 2009.

Robinson's Quarterback Rating was 188% higher than his average QB rating for all of last season. More impressively, his 197 yards are 56.12% of his rushing total from last season. I have no idea what this means, it's just what it is.

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