- UM PASSED 16 TIMES vs UNLV AFTER LEADING BY 21
- UM PASSED 17 TIMES vs BYU AFTER LEADING BY 21
- UM PASSED 8 TIMES vs Maryland AFTER LEADING BY 21*
- UM PASSED 21 TIMES vs Northwestern AFTER LEADING BY 21
Spartan Sports Media Headlines at Page Bottom. Sign Up for Post Alerts Right Column
Monday, October 12, 2015
HAS JIM HARBAUGH BEEN "RUNNING UP THE SCORES" AGAINST WEAK DEFENSES?
Many Michigan fans accused Mark Dantonio of "running up the score" last year when Michigan State won by a score of 35-11. Their rationale was that MSU ran the ball for seven consecutive plays with a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter. That claim never made sense. The Spartans did not throw the ball even once on that final drive, but UM could not stop the running plays, leading to a final touchdown for the 24-point margin. Dantonio DID NOT "run up the score" against Brady Hoke.
What about Jim Harbaugh, has he been running up the score this season? Hard for me to say since I haven't watched their games. But I have checked the record, and here is what I found.
Michigan had no chance to pile it on in their first game, a loss to Utah. And they had only a few minutes left to play against Oregon State when their lead expanded to three touchdowns.
In their other four games, Michigan continued to
pass the ball frequently after taking a 21-point lead.
Here are the numbers:
*very little time was left when UM took their first 21-point lead
Since everybody agrees that Mark Dantonio has been "taking his foot off the gas pedal" in every game this season, there is no need for me to look up the exact numbers in his games. We know that MSU passed only eight times in 43 minutes of game-time after taking a 21-0 lead on Central Michigan. And we all saw Spartan running backs hammering into a 10-man front against Air Force after building a 28-point lead.
So it seems possible that Harbaugh has inflated the final margins of his games this season by keeping his foot on the gas pedal on a regular basis. And you can't blame him, he's trying to pump up his program.
But what would the MSU game scores look like
if the Spartans kept throwing the ball in balance
with running after building big leads in each game?
What would the team statistics look like if they had done so?
And what do the teams look like who were on the receiving end of the wall-to-wall aggressive play-calling by UM? What level of "Team Defense" has Michigan faced while passing for 60 minutes per game?
The Wolverines have played only one team this season with a Team Defense ranking better than #66 in the country. Ironically, this was Northwestern, ranked #9 even after giving up so many points to UM. The other five teams on the Michigan schedule are ranked in the lower half of the NCAA:
UM OPPOSING TEAM DEFENSE RANKINGS
110 - MARYLAND
96 - UNLV
78 - BYU
67 - OSU
66 - UTAH
For comparison, here are the same rankings for the teams MSU has played, including three very bad defenses, and two pretty good ones:
MSU OPPOSING TEAM DEFENSE RANKINGS
112 - OREGON
108 - WESTERN MICHIGAN
100 - PURDUE
85 - RUTGERS
38 - CMU
20 - AIR FORCE
What do you think of the original question:
HAS JIM HARBAUGH BEEN
"RUNNING UP THE SCORES" THIS SEASON?
Tweet ****** Click on NO COMMENTS (or # comments) below to enter and view reader comments. ----- Remember to check Spartan Headline links, updated real time, in the left column of SpartanResource.com (Web version only). *****Note: If you are receiving this post via automated email, you need to go to the site to view headline links and embedded videos in this post: http://spartanresource.com/ (Web version only). SIGN UP TO RECEIVE POSTS VIA EMAIL, TWITTER OR FACEBOOK IN THE RIGHT COLUMN.*****