Tyrone Wheatley accepts Jaguars’ running backs coach job

January 16, 2017 by  
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Another Michigan coach goes elsewhere

The University of Michigan is in need of another coach for its football team.

It was announced Monday that running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley is set to take on the same role for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL.

The former Michigan running back becomes the second coach to leave Michigan’s staff after Jedd Fisch left to be the offensive coordinator at UCLA back in December.

As pointed out by Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press, Wheatley has worked with new Jacksonvile Jaguars’ Head Coach Doug Marrone in the past. He worked with him at Syracuse from 2010-12 and then again with the Buffalo Bills from 2013-14.

Wheatley had been the running backs coach for the Wolverines since Jim Harbaugh took over as head coach in 2015. Now Harbaugh will have to find yet another replacement on his coaching staff.

Chuck Filliaga Talks His Recruiting Process and Decision To Attend Michigan

January 16, 2017 by  
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We caught up with Michigan’s recent offensive tackle commit.

Last Saturday, several recruits announced their college decision live during the U.S. All-American game. One of them was four-star OL, Chuck Filiaga, who had Michigan in his final group of three schools. He posted his announcement later that day on Twitter.

The 6-foot-6, 335-pound lineman was an important recruit for Jim Harbaugh to land after Isaiah Wilson selected Georgia. The Texas native is ranked No. 98 according to 247Sports and the 14th ranked player in the state.

Maize n Brew caught up with the latest 2017 Michigan commit a week after his announcement to find out more about his recruiting process and decision to attend Michigan.

1. When did your offer come from Michigan?

“My offer from Michigan came I think middle of junior year.”

2. What impressed you the most about Ann Arbor and the campus?

“What impressed me was the stadium. But aside from that was the academics mostly what interested me was the business school. But as a whole was the brother hood that was built there I felt very comfortable there.”

3. How would you describe Coach Harbaugh?

“Coach Harbaugh is a great guy. He's in it for the team, he would do anything for his guys. He's a hard worker and he has a great coaching staff working with him too.”

4. Which coach(s)helped the most in getting a feel for the program and school?

“This ones going to have to be all of the coaches they're all involved even for the ones that don't play their position.”

5. How would you describe your first time in The Big House?

“There's a reason they call it the Big House. Gameday experience was amazing, so many people in one place. But very beautiful campus.”

6. What was the overall reason you picked Michigan and when did you know that was the right choice?

“The overall reason was the academics I mean I can get great football, anywhere but the academics was most important to me. But what also helped it the most was the players.”

7. What other school(s) were you highly considering and what made you decide on Michigan?

“It was Oklahoma and I knew Michigan was a fit on my official visit. It was a long talk between me and the parents evaluating the schools when it came down to my final 3.”

8. What has been your overall biggest accomplishment in high school?

“My overall high school accomplishment would have to be winning state.”

9. What does being a college student-athlete mean to you?

“Being a college student-athlete is the same as high school, but with a higher level of education. It requires more focus and sacrifices, so that you can do what you want to accomplish.”

10. What do you look forward to when it comes to college and playing football at Michigan?

“I look forward to soaking everything in. Enjoy my time.”

With his size and strength, he could very well be part of the group in this class that see’s a lot of early playing time next year.

Michigan Swept at Minnesota

January 15, 2017 by  
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The Wolverines are downed easily at Mariucci

Minnesota 5 - Michigan 2

Minnesota 4 - Michigan 2

Coming into the weekend the Wolverines needed to do everything right if they were going to get a win at Mariucci. They never came close to a win, in fact, the Gophers took care of business like you would expect a first place team to do against a team near the bottom of the conference standings.

Friday and Saturday night at Mariucci gave us the same old stuff we’ve seen all year; goaltending was great, defensive zone play was shoddy and their offensive possessions were so short that Minnesota coasted in both games once they took the lead. During the second period of the Saturday game, the Wolverines got three shots on goal. Three! You can’t win games playing like that.

Michigan is now 1-5-0 in conference play and 8-11-1 on the year. In their 5 conference losses the Wolverines haven’t looked competitive and are being outscored 28-14 in Big Ten play.

The fast-paced transition style of play that Red Berenson has coached at Michigan for the last three decades doesn’t work with this team. They have a group of bigger forwards who would be more suited to grinding and they should be playing like that, but if the coaching staff hasn’t changed their philosophy after 20 games there’s no hope at all that a change will come now.

Report: Tyrone Wheatley set to accept job with Jacksonville Jaguars

January 15, 2017 by  
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The Wolverines may have to replace their running backs coach.

Michigan may need to fire back up a hiring cycle.

According to a report from The Sporting News’ Alex Marvez, running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley is set to accept a job on Doug Marrone’s staff with the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL.

Sam Webb of The Michigan Insider says that while no final decision has been made, Wheatley is contemplating the move.

This comes days after the reports emerged that Wheatley was interested in the head coaching vacancy at Western Michigan, who elected to hire Tim Lester to the position.

Wheatley has been the running backs coach under Jim Harbaugh in his two seasons in Ann Arbor and has ties to the NFL and Marrone, having worked under him with the Buffalo Bills and at Syracuse.

Wheatley of course is also a former star running back with the University of Michigan, playing in Ann Arbor from 1991-94.

This story is developing.

Michigan ends losing streak, defeats Nebraska 91-85

January 14, 2017 by  
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Mortiz Wagner, Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton have big days for the Wolverines

The Michigan men’s basketball team returned home to Ann Arbor to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers after experiencing a two-game skid which saw the Wolverines lose to Maryland and Illinois. Michigan was able to end the losing streak as it defeated Nebraska, 91-85.

Michigan was in a consent battle throughout the game against Nebraska. The Wolverines were able to beat the pesky Cornhuskers due to their “Big Three” (Zak Irvin, Derrick Walton and Mortiz Wagner) having big time games.

Wagner started out hot shooting wise for Michigan, as he scored 14 of his career high 23 points in the first half. He kicked off his career day with a three and also took out some frustration on the rim against Nebraska.

While Wagner cooled off after the first-half, which saw Michigan lead Nebraska 40-36 at halftime, Irvin and Walton picked up the slack. Especially late in the game.

It seemed like the Wolverines were about to let the game slip through their fingers, just like they did against the Virginia Tech Hokies. However, Walton scored 11 points in three and half minutes for Michigan after Nebraska pulled within four of the Wolverines’ lead.

In the last minute of the game, Irvin hit 6-of-6 free throws while Walton sunk 4-of-4 freebies. Irvin finished with 21 points and Walton finished wit 20. The trio scored 70.3 percent of Michigan’s points.

Against Illinois and Maryland, Michigan’s perimeter defense was poor. But against Nebraska, it was on point. Especially in the first half. The Wolverines held the Cornhuskers to only three attempts beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes.

Although, Michigan’s perimeter defense let up in the second-half against Big Red, the Wolverines’ ability to get to the free throw line and not foul helped them secure their second conference win of the season. Michigan went 26 of 30 from the free throw line while Nebraska was a mere 4 of 5.

The Wolverines defense was once again, not great. But at some point, their opponents will stop shooting blistering percentages from 3-point land. Until then, Michigan will have to whether the storm of non-existent defense and try to win with its high-octane offense. Which the Wolverines were able to do against the Cornhuskers.

According to KenPom, this was Michigan’s most likely win among its remaining games of the season. After the Cornhuskers, the Wolverines will face its likely to win against opponent, the Wisconsin Badgers, when they visit Madison on Tuesday night.

Fan Poll: What’s the biggest reason you’re a fan?

January 13, 2017 by  
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Where did it all begin for you?

I would like to take this opportunity and quickly introduce myself. I joined the team as a Staff Writer early this month and the news about the opportunity was a fantastic way to start 2017. I look forward to the future fan interactions and if you have a comment or suggestion, please share them.

Here's my quick story in two sentences. I’m a Michigan native and spent many fall Saturdays at The Big House, then attended Xavier University on a golf scholarship where I also met my beautiful wife. We live in the bluegrass state where I've successfully converted some of my in-laws to be maize and blue fans. The end.

From time-to-time, we will be doing poll questions to interact with the fan base. So here it goes:

Question: What's the biggest reason you're a Michigan fan?

Everyone has a reason and story behind why they’re are a fan. My reason, similar to many who voted, is very simple and it's because of how I was raised. My grandfather became a season ticket holder in 1969 after his father had tickets in the early 1950’s. He started taking me in the early 1990’s and we parked every game day in the same backyard off Berkley Avenue.

I attended many games through that decade and spending fall Saturday’s in The Big House is where some of my favorite memories were made growing up as a kid in Michigan. My father was a Norte Dame grad and fan, but never pushed hard for me to become an Irish fan, because he knew it would never happen. My passion grew over time and continued after leaving for school in yes, Ohio, where I was the minority as a Michigan fan among my college buddies. Anytime I get back to the mitten for a game or to see family, the worst part is having to drive through Ohio.

Poll Results

Thank you to all reading this who voted on the Twitter poll and I enjoyed reading all the great responses. While this may be a harder question for some to answer, here are the final results.

Below are a few of my favorites.

Like my wife and many others, she became a fan by marriage. We've gone to a few games and I remember taking her by Michigan Stadium when we started dating to make a stop in the M Den for some gear before the 2005 Rose Bowl game.

Others turn fans the minute they enter this world. The new parents buy the gear, watch the games together, attend games, teach the traditions and sing the marching band songs.

For others, it’s because of a relationship in their life or other influential reasons they decide to cheer for the maize and blue, like we saw in the responses to my poll.

The several living generations that cheer for Michigan started out one day a fan, somehow, someway. Anytime I meet people who support the team, it’s always interesting to hear how they became a Michigan fan and the story behind the decision to join one of the best fanbases in all of sports.

Michigan – Minnesota Preview

January 13, 2017 by  
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The Wolverines head to Minnesota to face the Gophers

Michigan resumes conference play after an underwhelming showing at the GLI where they were shutout by Michigan Tech and barely hung on to beat a bad Michigan State team.

Minnesota is a good team. The Gophers always seem to ice a team that has a lineup balanced by an upperclassmen core complemented with talented underclassmen and this season is no different.

The core of Justin Kloos, Vinni Lettieri, Mike Szmatula and Leon Bristedt have paced a team that boasts the 5th highest goals per game average in the country (3.72) and the 5th best best power play (24.3%). Sophomore Tyler Sheehy is second in Big Ten scoring with a 12-13—25 line and Grand Rapids, Michigan, native Brent Gates Jr. has added nine goals.

Defensively the Gophers have been up and down this season in part due to blueline struggles as well as goalie miscues but they went into the break on a high note allowing six goals through their last four games.

It’s been a streaky year in net for Eric Schierhorn. He did not start the year well at all but he finished the first half strong and looks to round back into form after a much needed break.

Jake Bischoff is most capable offensve threat on the Gopher blueline posting a 2-14—16 line and has anchored the top pairing this season with Ryan Lindgren. Freshman Ryan Zuhlsdorf is the only other defenseman with more than one goal, however, Zuhlsdorf and Lindgren have been battling the flu and I’m not sure what their availability will be for this series.

For Michigan

If you’re still holding out hope that this team can turn it around then that makes this series a must-win. They’re in the last place that they wanted to be in at this point in the year: 1-3-0 in conference and playing at the venue that Michigan has had the least amount of success in since joining the Big Ten.

The Wolverines do not play well at Mariucci and it’s because of the wider ice surface. That extra ice is a trap for forwards who think they can blaze down the wing but these Minnesota defensemen know how to use the boards as an extra defender and sandwich them as they try to drive wide.

The Michigan defensemen have had equal struggles against this attack. The Gophers know how to use the space and they’re really good at using wide rushes to get the defensemen stretched out and open the middle of ice.

To make matters worse for the Wolverines, Michigan will be without Will Lockwood for this series.

WATCH: New Michigan Assistant Head Coach Pep Hamilton talks football, Harbaugh

January 13, 2017 by  
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“The ultimate goal here in this program is to win a national championship.”

Just because the Michigan Wolverines are back to their winning ways doesn’t mean Jim Harbaugh isn’t going to shake things up and bring in fresh faces on the coaching staff.

UM has hired Pep Hamilton, a coach with extensive experience in the NFL and past ties to Harbaugh, as assistant head coach and passing game coordinator.

Hamilton worked under Harbaugh at Stanford and was the highest-ranking offensive assistant with the Cleveland Browns before heading to Ann Arbor.

Watch Hamilton’s interview with Go Blue TV as he gets settled into his new role:

“It’s exciting for me to have an opportunity to be reunited with coach Harbaugh and ultimiately to have a chance to win a national championship.” Hamilton says. “Coach [Harbaugh] is the master at establishing a culture of compliance and winning. It’s all about having an opportunity to help the young men within this program realize their potential as students and as athletes.

“The ultimate goal here in this program is to win a national championship.”

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

December 21, 2016 by  
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Let’s Go Bowling.

Here we are, in the final weeks of the college football season. So much time spent for its arrival and it’s gone faster than a Michigan State player can spell disrespect correctly.

Michigan’s season will be viewed by many as a disappointment purely on the grounds of missing out on the playoff. But I offer up an alternate view: never forget where this program was two years ago. It’s a gargantuan first-world problem to be playing in only the Orange Bowl, against one of the sport’s other perennial powers.

Jim Harbaugh has reclaimed a recruiting foothold on home turf, shown that he can develop talent at quarterback and elsewhere, and isn’t beholden to jive turkeys. Depending on which sports talking head you listen to, he’s either never leaving Michigan until the end of time, or already on his way to coach the LA Rams.

Nevertheless, preparation for Florida State has gone forward unabated, and Michigan can have a second consecutive 11-win season with a victory.

Seasons can be viewed through homer goggles, but a program isn’t built in a day or with one golden recruiting class. Deep down, the rest of college football knows Michigan is coming for them. Harbaugh would say it’s just the next phase that consists of taking any lingering frustration or disappointment out on the poor Seminoles.

The season is still successful. The Wolverines were in the playoff discussion until the final weekend of the regular season. Had a few things fallen their way, they’re staring mighty Alabama in the face on New Year’s Eve. Remember how Michigan beat three top ten teams this season? Raise your hand if you saw that coming. And only two teams can say they’re spending part of the holiday season on South Beach and playing in the Orange Bowl.

Bowl season is a mash-up of exotic locations, unusual matchups, half-empty stadiums, and SWAG. My kingdom for an inflatable “big lazy” couch or the mysterious “gift suite.” There have already been a few interesting ones. Around 20 people watched Tulsa and Central Michigan play in the Miami Beach Bowl. Grambling won on a blocked PAT in the final seconds of the game.

It only gets better from here.

Tonight, Brigham Young and Wyoming go at it with two of the top running backs in the country. Eastern Michigan (!) plays Friday afternoon in the Bahamas, cementing their status in the Everyone But Michigan State In the State of Michigan Made a Bowl Game Club. Well done, Eagles!

Friday night there’s a battle of Ohio mid-majors, as Troy and Ohio clash to see which team will continue to be Ohio State’s cupcake of choice for future non-conference scheduling.

Next week in the lead-up to the premiere bowls, some fun weeknight entertainment. Mike Leach’s Washington State team gets a crack at a Minnesota team that almost chose to bail on the game. Leach was ready to just hold a four-hour press conference in place of the game where he could wax poetic about the Boer War or the best kind of sushi.

Indiana finally dumped Kevin Wilson and takes an interim coach into a buzzsaw in the form of Utah next Wednesday. Ahead of the Orange Bowl, Tennessee, fresh off their Championship of Life, will have to play football against a very good Nebraska team that has won several actual championships. On New Year’s Eve before the playoff games, Kentucky is bowling for the first time in six seasons, and they get Georgia Tech.

The batch of January 2nd bowls that don’t fall on New Year’s Day this year because of the NFL is the real deal.

Western Michigan gets their stage to go for 14-0, but, surprise! Wisconsin has done this before, and it might be over quick. Row the boat...down the Trinity River back to the airport with your heads held high, Broncos. No one thought you’d make it this far, and maybe WMU should get ‘Bama.

Iowa probably didn’t want Florida, and Auburn probably didn’t want Oklahoma, but they still gotta play the game, right? I secretly hope the Rose Bowl is the most bonkers of all after last year’s dud — Penn State is currently wearing the cinderella slipper, but they’ve gotta take it into the land where Cinderella lives and works, in the sun-soaked shadow of the Magic Kingdom.

The Maize n Brew staff will be dueling each other in picking the winners of all the bowls. Safe to say we all think Michigan will win their game, but stay tuned for some results and general tomfoolery once they’ve all been played and a winner has been declared.

Merry Bowl Season, college football enthusiasts.

Maurice Hurst Will Return To Michigan For A Fifth Year

December 21, 2016 by  
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He’s baaaaaaack

According to Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com, Wolverine defensive tackle Maurice “Mo” Hurst will return for his final year of eligibility at the University of Michigan.

“I’ve decided I’m going to come back for my fifth year next year,” Hurst told reporters in Ann Arbor Wednesday. “I’ll pursue my Master’s degree and play another year of football. I talked with my family, Coach Harbaugh and Coach Mattison and figured out this is what I wanted to do.”

The Massachusetts native playing in 11 games in 2016, only missing the season-opener against Hawaii due to injury.

He also was named to Pro Football Focus’ College Big Ten Team of the Week after the Sept. 24 game against Penn State, where he made seven tackles, three tackles for loss and one sack on the Nittany Lions.

Hurst didn’t get heavy playing time on the Wolverines’ defensive line due to guys like Taco Charlton, Chris Wormley, freshman phenom Rashan Gary, among many others that split playing time with him, but he was still able to contribute when asked to. The Massachusetts native had 31 tackles — nine and a half tackles for loss — three and a half sacks and a fumble recovery in 2016.

And with Charlton and Wormley heading to the NFL in April, Hurst will get a boost in playing time next year with players like Gary.

The Wolverines got one potential NFL draft pick back for next season. They will now await answers from Khalid Hill, Mason Cole and, of course, Heisman-finalist Jabrill Peppers.

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