Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Time to Get Down with the Blues Streveler

Is that an airplane bottle of Grey Goose in his sock?
Is it time to get on board with Chris Streveler?

Its early, certainly, but I think I may have already seen enough.  Sure, we haven't really seen him throw at all and his only start has come against a San Jose St squad that wasn't ready for the for the crushing running game (again); but aren't you a little excited?

I'll be the first to admit I felt the same exact level of excitement last season when Mitch Leidner romped all over SJSU to the tune of 151 yards and 4 touchdowns.  Leidner even passed the ball better (not exactly well) in that game going 7-12.

However, watching Streveler run the read option was a thing of beauty.  When he saw he could take the edge he just exploded out there like flippin' rocketship.  He's got speed and power and has shown the ability to make good decisions on the run.  He was named co-Big Ten freshman of the week with his 161 yards on the ground and now finds himself 3rd all-time for a Gopher single game rushing by a quarterback.

The passing obviously wasn't anything to write home about, but I have a few thoughts.  First of all, how many times have we all heard the old cliches about getting your quarterback a few completions early to get into the flow of the game?  Especially in big games like the Superbowl you'll hear about getting the quarterback a short completion or two just to ease the nerves.  I imagine Strev's nerves were at about an 11 for this game, and with only throwing the ball 7 times and just twice in the first half, it's hard to expect much at all.

That being said, the deep ball he threw was on target and certainly could have been caught, but the WRs are probably as cold as the QB is on plays like this.  There was another play that looked a little interference-y to me too.  It also seemed to me that Streveler was either making the right reads or his number one targets were getting open, which is good.  His release seemed quick, but a couple of the throws it looked like he threw them a tick too late and by the time the ball got there the receiver was no longer quite as open.  The good news on those types of things is that the arm is there, the release is there, its just getting a feel for the speed on the field.

We've also gotten a heavy dose of Streveler's personality in the past week.  His celebration on a monster run (which my drunken memory believes was called back, but who cares) was epic and he had this to say about it on twitter:

He also was quoted in Marcus Fuller's blog comparing his game against SJSU to Leidner's from a year ago:

“Mitch and I were talking before the game on the similarities,” Streveler said. “I wasn’t really expecting to do anything like that, I was just trying to help the team to be honest. We were more talking about the passing game. I think he had 71 yards (last year vs. San Jose State) I had like seven, so he got me there. The rushing, I got him.”
That's good self-deprecation right there.  CStrevy has the funny.

For all of you saying you can't give up on Mitch Leidner yet, you're right.  However, we've seen much more of him throwing the ball and I'm starting to get a little worried it might not get better.  There's still plenty of time of course and when Mitch gets healthy I'll welcome him back.  For now, I hope Kill resists the urge to bring him back too soon and that his coy comments this week are typical gamesmanship.

When Mitch does return I would support playing both quarterbacks.  Let's keep getting Streveler touches (drives?) and let him be a the spark plug that he's shown to be so far.  All bets are off though if Streveler unleashes some bombs on Michigan in the Big House.

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