Showing posts with label Derrick Green. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Derrick Green. Show all posts

exHAIL: The improbable in Evanston

Sunday, November 17, 2013

In a game that was dominated by regulation field goals, one kick - and one power-slide - salvaged what could've been a disastrous night in Evanston for the Wolverines.

With less than 10 seconds left in the game seemingly melting away before our eyes and Michigan trailing by three, the special teams rushed out on the field to attempt a 44-yard field goal desperation attempt. With a second to spare, Gibbons boots one home and the game is headed to overtime.

In a long line of dramatic Gibbons kicks, this one at least began to salvage what is left of the month of November.

Michigan would eventually win the game after three overtimes. A game most thought that the Wolverines had no business winning yesterday. With all the rosiness and cheerfulness aside, the Wolverines were lucky to win this game.

The Michigan team that out-manned Northwestern in overtime was not the same team we saw in regulation. If anyone on the Northwestern defense could catch a football, albeit soggy conditions had something to do with it, this game could be drastically different. 

Keeping a team in the game by not capitalizing on turnover chances will add up over time. 

For the Wildcats, their defense dropped at least four sure interceptions. One of which was an easy pick-six. In a game that did not see a touchdown until overtime, I'm sure Northwestern would want a do-over.

Michigan fans saw a brief look into the future Saturday when highly-touted and seldom-used freshman running backs Derrick Green and De'Veon Smith saw significant playing time. Green finished with a respectable 79 yards on 19 carries and Smith finished with 41 yards on eight carries.

It was also encouraging to see the amount of yards per play both running backs were able to average. Green finished with a 4.1 yards-per average with a longest of 23 whereas Smith finished with 5.1 yards-per average with a longest of 16. Significantly higher than what fifth-year senior Fitzgerald Toussaint has been able to manage as of late. 

Though considering Northwestern is a battered team and can be much better than their record indicates, these stats should be taken with a grain of salt.

With the freshman tandem, Michigan finally got out of the rushing funk and finished with positive yardage. Even though Toussaint did not play, it doesn't mean the running game is completely fixed. However, it is encouraging. 

According to Michigan head coach Brady Hoke, Toussaint was injured for most of the week and did not see enough practice time to play. Considering Toussaint is a senior and has been around the block a few times, it is a strange explanation as to why he could not play.

Another bright spot in an otherwise forgettable season is that the Wolverines welcomed another receiver into their prestigious 1000 yard receiving club. Jeremy Gallon, the first Michigan receiver with a 1000 yard season since Mario Manningham, finished yesterdays contest with 11 catches for 115 yards. Although Gallon dropped one of the easier potential game-winning touchdown passes he might have seen in his career in the second overtime, all is forgiven.

With Saturday wrapped up and in the record books, the Wolverines hope the magic continues for the next two weeks as tough match-ups against Iowa and Ohio State are looming. Though winning the next two games do nothing for their conference championship aspirations, finishing the season on a high note could take the bitter taste most of this season has brought upon on.

One thing is for certain, the boot of Gibbons brought up the spirits of a locker room and University that desperately needed it. At least for one night, Michigan can "exHAIL" to the victors, valiant.

Breaking down the running back position

Monday, August 12, 2013

On roster: 
1.) Fitzgerald Toussaint (Sr): 5-10, 200
2.) Thomas Rawls: 5-10, 217
3.) Justice Hayes: 5-10, 192
4.) Derrick Green: 5-11, 240
5.) De'Veon Smith: 5-11, 224

The State of the Position

The running back position is probably one of the more curious positions on this Michigan roster. Not only because there is a surplus of talent in the pipeline, but where or to whom are the carries going to?

In 2011, we all assumed that Michigan had found their guy of the future in Fitzgerald Toussaint. In 2012, it was apparent those hopes were slightly off base. Finishing with just over 500 yards, a nasty leg break late in the year against Iowa added the exclamation mark to a disappointing season. Granted, a bad season is not all Toussaint's fault, the offensive line is to blame as well.

But, the biggest question mark with Fitz is if he can come back 100% healthy. He proclaims that he is healthy and also went as far as saying that he will be the starting running back. We know what he is capable of, but will returning from a broken leg separate him further from the 2011 season? Only time will tell. The competition is incredibly tight and there are others on the roster looking to damper his proclamation of being a starter.

With the move to a more power running game, it suits returning junior Thomas Rawls' skillset perfectly. Considering he has had in game experience, he is definitely a candidate to see playing time. The major gripe with Rawls has been his inability to produce. Granted he has had little time to shine, but the chances he did have at the end of last season were disappointing to say the least. Rawls is a big and physical back who has the physical ability to run you over but won't necessarily burn you if he finds a crease. Weighing close to 220 pounds, his size is definitely something the Michigan coaching staff have been looking at through recruitment. Coming out of high school there was a comparison of fellow Flint native Mark Ingram, but Michigan fans have yet to see those comparisons come through. Once a fullback has been established in the system, Rawls could see greater success lining up than in seasons past.

The potential of this 5-10, 192 pound running back has yet to be untapped. Only a redshirt sophomore, one could argue that he may not have a spot on this depth chart. But, if used correctly, he could be a very valuable piece. RS Sophomore Justice Hayes returns heavier and set to make an impact on this Michigan offense. He is slightly smaller than Toussaint but has a lot of speed, "giddy up" if you will. I think there is a definite spot for him. The coaches could want speed out there, or throw out a two-back system, Hayes could be that guy if he earns the coaching staff's trust that he can be productive. Not to mention, Hayes is absolutely benefiting from Norfleet's move to the slot. As he is really the only pure speed back on the roster.

The biggest conundrum on the roster is where the two freshman will fit in. In one corner, you have Derrick Green. A highly publicized commitment, brings a lot of hype to campus day one. In the other corner is oft forgotten De'Veon Smith. Don't forget about De'Veon Smith. Weighing in at 240 pounds,
Green has the body size and muscle to be a legitimate candidate for day one starter. Which wouldn't surprise me at all if that is what happens. Not only can Green run you over, but he also has the burst of speed to hit holes and make defenders miss. He isn't a five-star recruit for nothing, he has an elite skillset. With Smith, he could be the perfect complement to Green if the coaching staff decided to use two running backs in the future. Smith is not as physical and not as fast as Green, but arguably has better vision. The statistics don't lie, both are very talented football players poised to make an impact on this team.

Bottom Line

Derrick Green will eventually take over and lead the running backs this season. He is way too talented and physically read to lead to waste an eligibility year grooming him. I think Green is the difference maker Michigan has been looking for on offense and it will be proven this year. 

Woe is the world: A collection of Derrick Green hate tweets

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rejoice, Michigan fans! Brady Hoke has landed arguably the most important piece to the 2013 recruiting class. What are you going to do? Let's go to Disney World!

For others, it might be a dark and lonely night crying to The Notebook whilst eating your pint of Ben & Jerry's. Or, better yet, taking to Twitter and venting their frustrations on the loss of Green. Now, I must warn you, there is language that is NSFW here.

But, it's Twitter. What else would you expect?

These tweets were easily accessible. As it only takes someone with half a brain to sift through all the tweets-- though many of them were positive and classy. A search of keywords, many of them expletives, lead you where you need to go. The @ mentions were much more difficult as you needed to open up the mentions from ten hours prior and sift through them one by one. Luckily for you all, I got very lazy and ended up using my browsers finder to find most of them. The moral to this story is simple. No matter what you think will end up private, isn't. Social media can hurt you more than most realize. So, smile! You're on candid camera!

At any rate, feel free to go point and laugh at the salty folks that run a muck on a Twitter search.


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