The Wolverine

February 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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24 THE WOLVERINE FEBRUARY 2018 Michigan's scoring dropped off in one year from 40.3 in 2016 to 25.2 in 2017. The latter number is certainly one the Wolverines expect to bounce back in strong fashion in the fall of 2018, a daunting schedule notwithstanding. How fully Michigan bounces back on the scoreboard remains to be seen. Throughout their history, the Wol- verines have taken some dramatic jumps in just one year. Here's a look at the top five scoring rebounds for Michi- gan squads throughout college football's modern era: 1. 1946-47 (+13.5) — Fritz Crisler's '46 squad averaged 25.9 points per game, coming off of personnel upheavals related to World War II. But the Mad Magicians — includ- ing war hero Bob Chappuis — were off and running the following season. They averaged a resounding 39.4 points per game, stormed through the season undefeated and secured an unprecedented post-bowl vote as national champions. 2. 1942-43 (+11.5) — Another pair of Crisler's crews saw a dramatic war-time jump in on-field production. The '42 Wolverines averaged a meager 22.1 points per game. The following season, they hummed along at a 33.6 clip, winning the Big Ten with a 6-0 record. They hammered Ohio State 45-7 in the season finale to finish No. 3 in the Associated Press poll. 3. 1984-85 (+10.7) — Jim Harbaugh well remembers this particular turnaround. The Michigan quarterback broke his arm against Michigan State in '84, the Wolver- ines spiraling down to 6-6, their worst record in 21 sea- sons under Bo Schembechler. But the very next season, with Harbaugh behind center and a fearsome defense in place, Michigan went 10-1-1, edged Nebraska 27-23 in the Fiesta Bowl and finished No. 2 in the major polls. They averaged 28.5 points per game, after scoring only 17.8 on average the year before. 4. 2014-15 (+10.5) — Harbaugh was involved in this turnaround as well, only wearing the headset. The year before he arrived, Michigan averaged 20.9 points per game. Behind impor ted quar terback Jake Ruddock in Har- baugh's initial Michigan season as head coach, the Wol- verines averaged 31.4 points per contest, winning 10 games and finishing the season ranked No. 11. 5. 1968-69 (+10.3) — So much changed in 1969, upon Schembechler's arrival. Part of it involved a scoring aver- age jump from 21.7 in 1968 to 32.0 with Schembechler leading the way. Michigan put 24 on the board in the season finale, pull- ing one of the greatest college football upsets ever, 24-12 over Ohio State and Woody Hayes. — John Borton Greatest Scoring Turnarounds For U-M tant head coach and recruiting coor- dinator in 2017. Moore created a buzz on the re- cruiting trail even in his initial days at Michigan. The Wolverine's own recruiting editor Brandon Brown tweeted out that Moore and new de- fensive coach Al Washington "are already killing it at Michigan and are going to be extremely valuable on the recruiting trail." Moore also demonstrated the abil- ity at Central to produce very capa- ble tight ends. His players at that position teamed up for 47 catches, which went for 645 yards and six touchdowns, during the past sea- son, despite the top tight end being limited to eight games due to a pre- season injury. During the 2015 season, Moore mentored a second-team All-MAC performer in Ben McCord. That season, McCord himself caught 39 passes for 612 yards (15.7 yards per reception). He pulled down 10 catches in a game against Syracuse, a school record for a tight end. Tyler Conklin paced the 2016 CMU tight ends, securing 42 passes for 560 yards and six touchdowns. Conklin wasn't a stranger to big situations, ei- ther, catching a pair of game-winning passes along the way. Conklin followed that up this past season with 35 receptions for 504 yards and five scores after he missed the first five games with an injury. He earned invitations to both the NFL Scouting Combine and the Senior Bowl. Prior to his stint at CMU, Moore coached at Louisville for five seasons. He handled the tight ends the final two years of that association, after working as a graduate assistant the first three campaigns. A former offensive lineman at Okla- homa, Moore played in 14 games in 2006-07, helping the Sooners to a pair of Big 12 championships and two BCS bowl bids. Before that, he started two seasons at Butler County (Kan.) Com- munity College. Skene's contact with Moore is lim- ited, but when his son, Nathan Skene, was coming out of high school, he at- tended football camp at Central Mich- igan. The younger Skene is a tight end, and thus his dad had a chance to size Moore up. "The things he was teaching, as far as stance and balance and footwork, where your feet need to be and block- ing approach angles, all that stuff was fundamentally sound," Skene said. "He understands fundamental block- ing, which is the core of the Harbaugh offense with the tight ends. "Our guys have shown pretty good effectiveness, but obviously there's still room for improvement. The 2017 tight end group blocked all right, but at times we played way too high and couldn't get anybody moved at the point of attack. "I'm looking forward to Coach Moore getting a hold of [redshirt sophomore tight end Zach] Gentry and [sophomore tight end Sean] McKeon, and continuing to capital- ize on the raw, God-given talent that [redshirt sophomore tight end Ty- rone] Wheatley Jr. has." GROWTH AREAS FOR 2018 It's reasonable to expect more pos- sible changes on the offensive side of the ball. There are items on the check- list to address regardless of further coaching adjustments, according to Skene. No. 1 on the list for the former All- Big Ten offensive lineman is easy. Simply stated, get better up front, in a variety of ways. "Offensive line effectiveness is at the top," he said. "[No.] 1-A involves cleaning up the missed assignments. We can't have as many as we did. "[No.] 1-B, they've got to clean up the technique and execution. You cannot play as high as we did. You cannot block defensive linemen with your head playing above the shoul-

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