The Wolverine

January 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  michigan football have redshirted be allowed to perform in bowl games with no eligibility penalty in succeeding years. He noted Johnson might have been an Outback Bowl option, were that the case, saying: "Maybe. We like what Drake's done, to this point." Hoke Likes Michigan Leaving Before Christmas U-M head coach Brady Hoke has been involved with a number of different bowl preparations, and knows what he likes. His approach involves shorter, very intense workouts, with considerable focus and attention to detail. That's what he's witnessed in some of Michigan's finest moments, and what he aims to employ on the way to Jan. 1. "As an assistant coach, I like a lot of what we did here, especially staring in '97," Hoke said. "I believe in intensity in how you practice, a focus, a pace and a tempo. When you have those things, you're getting a physicalness and execution. "Instead of being out there for two and a half hours … 20 minutes into one thing, they get a little bored. You've got to change it up enough." The Wolverines head for Tampa, Fla., and the Outback Bowl Dec. 23. Players will enjoy a few days off prior to that departure, and Hoke noted Michigan's game plan will be fully installed before they leave. Once there, it's a matter of getting used to the surroundings, including the change in temperature. To keep his team from getting stale, the Wolverines will spend three days in one location, then the rest of the time leading up to the bowl in another. U-M figures to put winning the Outback Bowl above everything in its preparation days, Hoke noted. Still, the extra practice time has allowed and will allow for development of Michigan's younger performers. "All of them are improving," he said. "You like their knowledge of what we're doing. They lose a little bit of it when they're down on scout team, going off cards. It's good to have them in your meetings, instead of in a scout meeting. "It brings some fundamental stuff back. Whether it's a movement on defense, or a technique, coveragewise, or a blocking scheme, it kind of solidifies that back with them." Head coach Brady Hoke and the Wolverines will head out on Dec. 23 for Tampa, Fla., and their Outback Bowl showdown with South Carolina, which will be played on Jan. 1. photo by lon horwedel U-M Shows Large Disparity On Road Vs. At Home In college football, as in all other sports, winning on the road is crucial to a championship season. Every team, every year, will be tested in hostile environments, against tough teams — away from the friendly confines of the home stadium and encouraging fan support. This year, the Wolverines had a particularly tough road slate, playing Alabama in Dallas (41-14 loss); at Notre Dame (13-6 loss); at Purdue (44-13 win); at Nebraska (23-9 loss); at Minnesota (35-13 win); and at Ohio State (26-21). All told, the Wolverines finished a disappointing 2-4 away from The Big House in 2012. Diving deeper into the statistics, it becomes more clear how — and why — Michigan struggled on the road. In six home games, all of which were won by the Wolverines, the offense averaged 38.5 points per game. If Michigan had scored at that clip over the course of the entire season, it would have ranked 15th nationally and first in the Big Ten in scoring offense. But that number dipped dramatically away from The Big House. The Wolverines averaged just 21.5 points per game on the road, a threescore difference from their home numbers. Had Michigan scored at that rate all year, the offense would have ranked No. 99 nationally in scoring offense. The offense gained 159.8 more yards per game at home than on the road (465.3 to 305.5). Because the offense stalled — especially in the second half of games at Nebraska and Ohio State — the defense struggled to keep pace. In fact, Michigan scored the exact same number of points on the road that it gave up this season (129). In fact, nearly every major statistical category showed a marked dip on the road versus at home (see charts for details). ❑ U-M Defensive Performance Home Vs. Road Statistic Home Total Scoring 96 Total Def. 1,854 Rushing 995 Passing 857 Pass Eff. D Third Down 42 of 99 Home Avg. 16.0 309.0 165.8 142.8 122.6 42.4 Road Total 129 1,895 892 1,003 19 of 69 Road Avg. 21.5 315.8 148.7 167.2 122.3 27.7 U-M Offensive Performance Home Vs. Road Statistic Home Total Scoring 231 Total Off. 2,792 Rushing 1,356 Passing 1,436 Pass Eff. Third Down 42 of 73 TO Margin -2 Home Avg. 38.5 465.3 226.0 239.3 160.3 57.5 Road Total 129 1,833 892 941 37 of 81 -6 Road Avg. 21.5 305.5 148.7 156.8 113.2 45.7 January 2013    the wolverine  29

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