I don't think it really changes anything short term as far as who has a spot.
That national title was over 50 years ago. I don't think 1964 history really applies at this point. Wisconsin has been the far superior program for 20+ years now. One program competes for conference titles and finishes top-10, the other is just hoping to win 8 games.
I think you're dead on with the frustration source. That, and those plays tend to happen at key points on short yardage plays, or kill promising drives.
Speaking for myself, I vote based on results to date. It's hard to put Michigan ahead of MSU after losing on their home field, and quite frankly, not looking all that impressive in their wins either. Still two more months of football to go though.
I will also add that the game @ MSU has looked dangerous to me for awhile. End of a tough three game stretch, on the road, potentially adverse weather, etc.
I was sitting in that end zone when he missed that kick and it was quite windy.
I'm just going off of memory here, but 3 or 4 of the misses you can't put on him at all. If a guy comes right through the line and blocks it, the kicker has zero chance. There was also at least one miss (Iowa, I think) with an absolutely horrible snap. You can see how the timing threw him off.
As far as I'm concerned, Davis is the best option at this point, because despite his struggles, they haven't gone to Barbir or anyone else for that matter. I think it's pretty telling that no one else has even had so much of a small look. On top of that, he was automatic last year, so you know he has it in him.
I also think they've just scratched the surface on what they can do with that grouping.
Gameday's location might be riding on Michigan vs. Indiana this weekend.
The fact that Barbir hasn't been given a shot despite Davis' struggles should be pretty telling of where the staff feels he is.
It is also worth noting that on the miss Saturday, Davis was kicking into the open end of Ryan Field with a very strong wind.
I mentioned it above, but I'm willing to bet at least part of the reason they haven't taken as many downfield shots this year is the lack of time to let those routes develop, on top of defenses likely trying to take that play away. Without the all-22 film it's impossible to say.
And as for the field goals, kicking from the 3 isn't that egregious statistically. You lose, on average, less than a point by kicking than you do by going for it. That compares to almost 2 for kicking at the 1. I know I wasn't as incensed about it on Saturday as I was vs. Iowa!
I'm fascinated by this continued idea that "we should see what Tommy Stevens can do". Why? Name me one team that pulled their entrenched starting QB, during a championship season? You flat out don't do it unless he implodes or gets hurt. The ramifications are huge in a locker room.
But looking past this, here are Trace's numbers in the first four games this year beyond the LOS (Lions247):
- Akron: 14/21, 278 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT (1 drop)
- Pitt: 9/18, 135 yards, 2 TDs, INT
- GSU: 14/17, 277 yards, 3 TD
- Iowa: 20/34, 218 yards, TD, INT
And if 20+ is your thing:
- Akron: 4/7, 125 yards, 1 drop
- Pitt: 1/3, 23 yards, INT (Hail Mary)
- GSU: 0/2
- Iowa: 0/2
- Indiana: 4/7, 104 yards, TD
In 2016 on 20+ yard throws, he was 44.68% for 15 TDs, 5 INTs. Andrew Callahan did not have completions and attempts in his numbers.
Point being with all of that, we are clearly not going down field as much as we did last year. To me, that's an indication they haven't had the same sort of matchups they did a year ago, the QB does not have time to go down the field, and he probably doesn't trust his WRs as much as he did last year.
As Callahan pointed out in his Indiana tale of the tape, they made an adjustment to what Indiana was giving them, and it paid off to the tune of their most downfield throws since the Akron game.
The 40-plus vs. Iowa were certainly the exception. It was also an exceedingly hot and humid night. I believe it was 27 touches vs. Indiana counting kickoffs, and about the same, maybe less, in the first three games of the year.
I dunno, getting the ball into the hands of the best player in the country in a 1-on-1 situation and open field seems like a good idea to me.
That is correct