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Featured Musician: Chirp
[After THE JUMP: The things said.]
1. Sign-Gate and Penn State Preview: Defense
starts at the top
No news unless the Big Ten hands down a suspension to a coach who's already in Happy Valley, which would on its owns be grounds for a judge to issue an immediate injunction. We infer from Michigan's letter that the B10's case right now is as substantial as your average Ohio State twitterer, and that putting this in the realm of courts where facts matter more than what amoral hypocrites want to believe dramatically alters the parameters. Local sports radio probably isn't where you should be going for investigative news—the thing about Michigan having other schools for Stalions operations feels bogus on the surface.
The Penn State defense is very good. The engine is the ends—even if Chop Robinson isn't full-go they have three more very good ones. DTs aren't bad; there's one whom Alex likes but Seth thinks he's exploitable. They blitz a lot, play a lot of man, got beat by Ohio State because Kalen King really isn't the star he's made out to be. Manny Diaz effect. The way Michigan loses this game is turnover.
2. Penn State Preview: Offense
starts at 26:39
They torch bad defenses who can't pressure Drew Allar, who's 39% accurate when off-platform and 78% accurate when his feet are set. We saw the same thing last year. Only have one receiver. RBs are having Donovan Edwards-like years—Allen can do RB things but Singleton is kind of a gadget guy. OL cannot run block; they can pass protect okay. Theo Johnson is having to be their 2nd receiver. Why pick Michigan over the spread on this one: PSU is bult to blow up a UMass but fall off a cliff when you can match up to them athletically. Stunts are a big problem for them. Wild that they can't develop OL; Seth notes he talked to recruit's dad who said his kid's already more developed than Fashanu.
starts at 45:27
They're scoring! Dug is seeing the court well, though he won't be shooting 60 percent with a 40 percent assist rate. Nkamhua has been a revelation—immediately a captain, exactly what we want for a one-and-done. Imagine Tray Jackson instead of Caleb Houstan or Jett Howard. Quantum leap defensively. Having athletic defenders out there means you can use a T-Will or a Tschetter because they're not so athletically exposed. Need a backup PG—gonna be a nervous few months waiting until Llewellen gets healthy.
4. Purdue After Review
starts at 57:36
Our Michigan homerism apparently extends to defending JJ McCarthy's performance as REALLY GOOD YOU GUYS, except this is a defensible position (and PFF agreed). His marginal throws are still very catchable, and when they're caught nobody notices. YMMV on 4 or 5 of them but even if then it was a excellent day from him. Not a good day from the OL; Seth thinks these guys are all guards recruited for a run-first offense and this is kind of what happens against an opponent who makes you pass-first and has two great edge rushers. Defensively it's really hard to beat Michigan because they can put five guys against your five guys and someone will win a block to get your back. It was the Will Johnson Show otherwise—he was doing things away from the ball as well as coming to it.
About the Featured Musician: CHIRP
This year we are partnering with The Blind Pig for bumper music, since that's where I've seen most of the bands I've been pushing anyways.
This is the week we're featuring the four-piece Ann Arbor band Chirp, which has a funky rock/jazz fusion thing going on. Their live shows are the main thing; they have a dedicated fanbase who remind me of Deadheads of a generation earlier even if the musical style isn't any more jam band than anything else. The music is bright and catchy and keeps you on your toes; they're at their best when just getting lost in the music because there's some real musicians with proggy ideas under all the good times. They've been touring since 2015 and return to the Pig next week.
Also because Across 110th Street will get our Youtubes taken now now, the opener and outro:
- “The Employee is Not Afraid”—Bear vs. Shark
- “Ruska Vodka”—Motorboat