Mid-term Report on Michigan Football 2002 after 4 games-September 22, 2002

Offense-We are averaging 76 plays per game and 386 yards in total offense. (B-)

Rushing Offense-We have averaged 176 yards per game with Perry leading the way with 102 yards per game; Askew is averaging 28 yards per game. (C+)

Passing Offense-Navarre has a 53% completion percentage with an average of 35 throws per game and nearly 19 completions per game. He has thrown 3 interceptions in 4 games with 7 TD passes (+4) and 214 average passing yards per game. Braylon Edwards leads our receivers with almost 6 catches and 94 yards per game; his average catch is over 17 yards and he is averaging 1 TD catch per game. Askew is averaging 4 catches per game for 31 yards per game. Our opponents have managed 6 sacks, and I don't believe any of these sacks resulted in turnovers. (B)

Blocking-Pass blocking has allowed only 6 sacks, but run blocking has only averaged 176 yards per game; this isn't up to Michigan standards. (C)

Coaching: Play Calling-The coaches (Malone and Carr) have a poor 3rd down conversion ratio (40%); this can be attributed to poor play calling and poor execution of plays called. Overall, one glaring problem is that we have only thrown once to Chris Perry for a 4 yard loss so we are not involving our tailback in the passing game. We also haven't thrown much to our tight end other than against Notre Dame. We don't seem to challenge teams in the middle of the field; we emphasize the sidelines, screens and corner (flag) routes. (C)

First Downs-We are averaging nearly 20 per game which shows we have the ability to move the ball against good defenses. We are fairly balanced averaging 9 by rushing and 10 by passing per game with one by penalty. (B-)

3rd Down Conversions-We are 27 of 68 for 40% and 5 of 6 on 4th down. (C-)

Red Zone-We had 7 points in 4 opportunities vs. Utah and 4 vs. Notre Dame for 20 points. I didn't keep track in Washington or Western Michigan; however, we are weak in this area. Anytime we are inside the 20, we should score and good teams find a way to score touchdowns. (D+)

Points after Turnovers-We are really poor here! I don't have statistical evidence, but we seem to be the type of team that doesn't capitalize very well on opponent's mistakes (D-)

Scoring Offense: We are averaging 24.8 points per game; our low was Utah with 10 and high was Washington with 31. We are showing strong first and third quarter performances offensively, but our opponents have dominated second and fourth quarters. (B-)

Defense-We have held opponents to 15 first downs per game and 67 plays per game for 314 yards per game. Our opponents have a 30% 3rd down conversion rate with 20 in 63 attempts, and 2 of 4 in 4th down. We have 38 tackles for losses which is nearly 10 per game. (B-)

Rushing Defense-We are holding opponents to 82 yards per game. This is a solid effort, but Notre Dame ran on us all day, and this is why they won and are now in the Top Ten. (A-)

Passing Defense-We give up 232 yards per game. Opponents are averaging 20 completions per game and a 58% completion rate in 34 attempts, but we are averaging 1.5 picks per game. We have 17 sacks so we average 4 per game, but we don't seem to have as good of a pass rush as last year with the same personnel. (B-)

Scoring Defense-We have held opponents to 18 points per game with 7 being our low with Utah and Washington being our high with 29. (B-)

Tackling-We are a poor tackling team technique wise. Hobson is leading the defense with an average of 8 per game. After that, June, Diggs and Jackson are next with almost 5 per game. This shows weak inside linebacking. (C)

Special Teams-We have some areas of strength, but glaring areas of weakness. (C+)

Punts-Finley is averaging nearly 44 yards per punt and we average 5.5 punts per game compared to our opponents 7 per game. We have held opponents to an 8 yard average on 9 punt returns with a 21 yard long return against Notre Dame. Unfortunately, we are not pinning our opponents inside the 20 very often with 6 touchbacks in 22 punts compared to only 3 inside the 20. We have no punt blocks after tying our team record last year. (B)

Punt Returns-We have 15 punt returns for a 12 yard average. (B+)

Kickoffs-We have held our opponents to a 19 yard average on 12 returns with Western Michigan having the longest return of 30 yards. (B+)

Kickoff Returns-We have 9 returns for a 24 yard average from LeSueur (8) and Perry (1). Many of us would like to see Breaston or other threats here. (B-)

Field Goals/Extra-Points-We are perfect on extra-points, 12 of 12; however, only 3 of 11 in field goals. On the bright side, we have a game-winner vs. Washington. Had we been in position, we would have had a similar opportunity vs. Notre Dame. (D+)

Snaps-I'm no expert, but it doesn't look like this has been a problem. (A-)

Holds-I don't know if Brabbs has had good holds from Navarre of not, but he sure has shanked his share of kicks.

Kicks-3 of 11=D- (Let's see what Finley can do)

Penalties-We are averaging 6 penalties per game for 45 yards; our low was Utah and our high was Notre Dame. The late hit out of bounds by Drake vs. Notre Dame was inexcusable! We also have 3 running into the punter penalties. Our opponents have almost similar statistics with Western Michigan having the most penalties against us. (C+)

Turnover Margin-We have 6 picks to our opponents 3, but we are even in fumbles so we have a +3 margin in 4 games. We probably would have beat Notre Dame, and been undefeated had we maintained a +2 in that game; as it ended, both teams had 4 turnovers.

Time of Possession-This is about even, but considering we were deficient against strong opponents while good against weak opponents; this will be a challenge for us.

Field Position-We had great field position vs. Utah, but lousy field position vs. Notre Dame. Good teams maintain game advantage by maintaining good field position. (B-)

Individual Players/Positions:


QB-Navarre (Brinton) B-
FB-Askew (Sanderson/Dudley) B+
TB-Perry (Underwood/Bracken) C+
WR-Edwards (Bellamy/Gonzalez/Avant) A-
FL-Butler (Bellamy/Bell) C+
TE-Joppru (Fisher/Mingery/Massaquoi/Dubuc) C+
RT-Pape (Solomon) B+
RG-Petruziello/Lentz B-
C-Pearson (Cristophel) C+
LG-Baas (Denay) C+
LT-Morgan/Stenavich C


DE-(Rush)-Orr (Kashama/Woods) C-
DT-Heuer (Massey/Watson) B
DT-Lazarus (Bowman/Ofili) C+
DE-(Anchor)-Rumishek (Stevens) B-
ILB-(Mike)-Diggs/McLintock D
ILB-(Will)-Kaufman/Reid (Spytek) C-
OLB-(Sam)-Hobson (Casseus/Manning/Sarantos) A-
DB-Jackson (LeSueur) A-
DB-M.Curry/Combs (Williams) B
SS-J.Curry/Drake (Shaw) C+
FS-June (Shazor) C

PK-Brabbs/Neinberg D-
P-Finley B+

Snaps-Sgroi A-
Holds-Navarre B