I like Fitzgerald Toussaint. Think the kid has a bright future if his various limbs stay functional. Enjoy his running style. Get emails from time to time declaring "I don't know what you see in this kid." Sit and ponder these emails. Shake fist. Decide to write post about it. Fitzgerald. Toussaint.
So here's a reason I like Fitzgerald Toussaint: I think his vision and his shake are plus pitches, to borrow from another sport. Here's an example. It's first and ten on the SDSU 16 late in the fourth quarter with Michigan driving to clinch the game. On the next play Vincent Smith will jackrabbit his way into the endzone, but to set that up Michigan's going to Toussaint.
If this looks familiar, it should. This was one of the staple formations of the Rodriguez years. Here's Tate running it in the 2009 ND game:
Rodriguez would often send the TE backside to block the otherwise unblocked EMLOS as a counter to scrape exchanges. TE kicks out the guy coming down the line; WLB flies out to contain Robinson on the zone read, and viola:
[one of many examples that have been DMCAed by Thought Equity Motion.]
Michigan did this on the previous play. It was the first time they'd run it all game and it worked like a charm, opening up a huge lane for Toussaint to hit. He did so for eleven yards. When Michigan goes back to the well a second time things will be different.
SDSU's 3-3-5 was less dynamic than advertised. Instead of blitzing like mad from everywhere to mimic different fronts, it was mostly content to line up as very small 3-4s and 4-3s and run twist stunts from them. On this play they actually line up in the stack, which was rare.
On the snap the TE pulls backside as the mesh approaches.
Robinson sees the OLB headed upfield at him and hands off:
The problem is Koger is kicking out the QB contain guy:
This is very similar to problems Michigan had running this play against Illinois last year. When the scraper is hugging the backs of the OL TEs often miss him and head to the obvious guy on the outside. Once your pulling TE whacks the contain guy you've given up the advantage gained by optioning him off and are back to—horror—regular old 3.9 YPC running. When this happened against the Illini, Michigan gained a yard.
Since Huyge has released downfield there is an unblocked EMLOS tasked with the tailback on a play that usually tries to go backside. (This is a zone, but it is a zone with an idea of where it's going to end up.) Omameh is actually doing a good job on his guy since the play design nominally expects the ball to go behind him. Unfortunately, that means there's nowhere to go further playside. There is no room.
So Toussaint makes some. In the above frame you can see he's evaluated his situation and is about to take a critical step. This is what he does with it:
That's weird. It's easier to see on the video, but Toussaint takes this jab step outside and then bursts back upfield.
This little jab step… what is it? He slows for a half-beat and sticks that leg out as if he's going to veer outside, then shifts direction and heads away from the scraper. Is it just instinct, or is it a deliberate attempt to set up his block? Does Toussaint even know? This happened in a blink. This may be one of those things even the person doing it can't explain.
The result is most apparent on the guy Omameh is blocking:
In frame one the NT has already committed his momentum to the other side of Omameh's block because of the jab step; in frame two he's kindly GTFOed, giving Toussaint a lane as Schofield and Molk donkey a linebacker who blitzed into them. Toussaint set this up with the step, which convinced the NT he needed to fight to the other side of Omameh without slowing him down enough for the unblocked scraper to catch him.
Result: Toussaint runs up his OL's backs for nine yards.
Watch it twice. Watch the step, and then focus on Omameh and the guy he's blocking. See that yank that suddenly repositions the defender? That's the NT moving himself to where he thinks he needs to be.
Will this be consistent from Toussaint? This is a play SDSU RPSed that Toussaint made into nine yards almost by himself with that jab step. Is that a fair representation of his vision and his ability to make split-second decisions that get him lanes other guys don't, or was it getting lucky? I don't know, but I do know that the last couple weeks I've had occasion to use "lovely" more than once to describe a Toussaint run. Early returns are "not lucky."
Back to the well. Yeah, this wrinkle was a Rodriguez staple. It worked like you draw it up the first time. This time it worked like you don't draw it up; Smith would come in and run it a third time for a touchdown, but he'd have to weave his way through defenders to do so. I'm not sure whether running it three times in a row was a good idea—it worked but clearly SDSU adjusted to it. Against better run defenses this might end up going splat. To be fair, the third one was a second and one from the seven.
Coaching points with coach Rod. In the Illinois game Michigan adjusted to the Illinois adjustment by the end of the game, coaching that pulling TE to ID the scraper hiding behind the line and blocking him into the endzone for a touchdown. It'll be interesting to see whether Michigan makes that adjustment if necessary in future games.
Further wrinkles. So there was this, which was brought out right at the end of the game, and the speed option you've heard and read so much about, a speed option that seemed to use outside zone "basketball on grass" blocking. That's an encouraging echo of the Rodriguez ground game, when most games of import saw new features being deployed.
Title note: Since Brian moved this column to Wednesday morning, "Museday" is now "Hump Hypotheses," until that name also becomes stupid. New format, same old Miso soup.
Question: Against SD State we finally got to see Michigan play a full game against a pass-oriented offense. Against this Michigan usually sent four rushers, occasionally more. Last year I seem to remember this being three (out of a base 3-3-5) more often. I wonder if the extra rusher is making Michigan more effective against the pass this year?
Declaration of biases: Eeeeee Mattison.
Research: Thx Brian for adding rush stats to UFR since ND 2010. Yoink. Since it's not available yet I had to do my own SD State charting. From this I took out anything that looked like an end-of-half/4th quarter prevent, plus all of the runs, big play-action, waggles, and any plays from inside the 10, which make it hard to gauge if there were any late blitzers. I also excised last year's game against Purdue because that was played in a monsoon against Perry the Torn ACLephant.* Then I went about determining if each of those plays was a "Win" for the defense, defined thusly:
- 1st down: If the offense gained less than 1/2 of the yards for a first down (so 5 yards from 1st and 10) that's a "Win"
- 2nd down: less than 2/3 of the yards to first down=Win
- 3rd or 4th down: if the offense does not get the 1st down
- Turnovers are obviously Wins.
Incompletes go for zero yards—if the pass went to Tacopants, well it's results-based charting. Have at it.
*Michigan spent the whole day rushing three and this worked pretty much 90% of the time.
Hypothesis: We were right to be saying "Michigan sends 3 ARRRGGGHHH!" last year. Sending four this year is helping the defense improve.
Let's test that: In case your eyes haven't picked this up already, Mattison sends more guys after the passer. He's averaging about 4.5 rushers per pass play, versus GERG's 3.9 among those we count from last year. Here's a tendency chart:
This is not just a difference of a 4-3 defense versus a 3-3-5. Mattison has called a lot of zone blitzes where a DL backs into coverage, and the 3-3-5 is designed to often have one or two guys coming. Michigan's defense in 2011 is more aggressive than it was last year. Using the W/L formula above, let's see how much more effective it is because of that:
GERG in 2010:
Contrary to my memory, Robinson's 3-man rushes were kind of effective by this simple win/loss method. Everything else was flipping a coin.
I counted this as sending five; Gordon was covering the RB and
stepped up when he saw his man was in pass pro.
Mattison in 2011:
He's definitely sending more guys. Effectiveness seems to be..wait, down?:
AAHHHHHHH this isn't right. This can't be right. Well for one Mattison barely ever sends three. He did it once versus SDSU, and that when Michigan was up 28-7 with 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter. It went for 15 yards. However when I look at the wins and losses when the game is within 8 points it's still way favoring GERG:
AHHHHHHH. This is literally not what I expected. Maybe my Wins and Losses thing is just stupid. Let's do this by simple yards per play when Michigan rushes…
And there you see it. I may have found what's throwing me off here. The Pass/Fail nature of my system was not showing that when GERG's defense failed, it failed BIG. Look what happens to yards per pass when I only count the "Loss" plays:
|Rush 3||Rush 4||Rush 5||Rush 6||Rush 7|
When the 2010 pass defense failed, it didn't just give up the first down, but often a good chunk afterwards. The 2011 defense is still 50/50 to get the job done on any given passing play, but at least they're living to see the next series more often than not. That means more chances per drive for a turnover.
Last bit, just to see if this is changing running stats:
|Rush YPC||Rush YPG||Rush TDs/Game||Pass TDs/game|
|2010 (All of it)||4.4||188.9||2.6||1.6|
|2011 (4 games)||4.7||156.0||0.5||1.0|
Er. My expectation here was that Rushing YPC would be way down due to an extra rusher being around when a running play is called, but they're actually up a good bit. However the TDs given up are way way down. That combined with not once have we seen a freshman corner vacate his zone in dime, and this defense looks like it's already at mediocre and learning things that might make them good.
Holding this to 15 yards maybe should be a win.
Draw a Conclusion: Mattison hasn't even faced the best teams on his schedule yet so I can't claim anything is better or fixed. What I can say is the theory that the huge flip in turnover margin this year and/or improved defensive back play is probably having a bigger effect on Michigan's apparent defensive improvement than line scheme/aggressiveness. The data are way too close and inconclusive to draw anything for certain, and four games is not enough to assess, especially considering it's the first four games with this defense. But it is kind of interesting to see that rushing the extra guy seems to be doing a better job of keeping down the big plays than having eight men in coverage. That was really unexpected, though again it probably has a lot more to do with the efficacy of the specific defensive backs in coverage more than scheme.
Bonus: here's how they do on each down:
News bullets and other important items:
- Tailback will be committee of two (Fitz and Smith) as long as there is production from the position, i.e. >100 yards rushing.
- No comment on Marell Evans’ status.
- Going to help Denard’s passing by passing on non-passing downs.
- Ran inside zone against SDSU because SDSU wasn't expecting it (per Taylor Lewan)
“Is this a hat day or a non-hat day?”
How come you guys are perfect in the red zone? “Why do you say that!? Doggone it. It’s just like that kiss of death, okay?
“We know we’re certainly not efficient yet overall, but that part of our game’s been pretty good so far, and hopefully we can keep it going. We spend a lot of time working on it, too. It is a point of emphasis. There’s nothing more distressing than getting the ball down there and not scoring. And you’re not going to score a touchdown every time, but you’re not coming away with something. It’s an emphasis, but the kids have done a pretty good job of finishing drives once we get to that point.” But you have scored a touchdown almost every time. “Yeah. There you go again.” Do you feel a smidgeon of pride? “Oh yeah. Absolutely. They’ve done a good job down there. One thing I’ll say for this football team -- we are not perfect by any means, we are not there -- but we’ve got pretty good will. We have shown over the past four games: we overcame some bad plays in the second half of last game; we overcame tremendous adversity at the Notre Dame game; we started slow in the Eastern game; but the kids have demonstrated some will, and there’s something to that, because a lot of times teams don’t have a great will and you tend to fold. We’ve shown no signs of that. Not yet, anyway.”
Can you talk about Denard’s progress as a passer? “Well, it’s a work in progress with our offense. That’s the thing … because it’s different. Now part of that, too -- and I’m going to take the rap for that a little bit. I’ve got to get him some better throws. I’ve got to put him in position to complete some more balls so he can gain some confidence and gain some rhythm. Get in a little bit of a zone. He’s a capable passer, you know, but as a playcaller you have to consider everything we’re calling in terms of the passing game. This kid really threw the ball well in two-a-days and threw the ball well in spring. He did. All his numbers were better numbers than now. I think game situations are different. As he learns about how to do this, you’ll see progress. Because he does have a good arm, and he has an accurate arm when he’s comfortable. But part of that has to be my responsibility to get him in better situations to complete some throws.”
A year ago he was really accurate. Is there a reason why there’s such a big difference between this year and last year? “I studied the players, but I didn’t really study that end of it. Some of it was that he’s been in the offense more htan one year. That helps. You’ll see the difference in a year. Instantly. I had Cade McNown at UCLA. The first year he was tenth in the conference in passing efficiency. His second year he led the country in passing efficiency. How do you make that much of a quantum leap? Is it all of a sudden a magic wand touched you and you’re an accurate passer? No. It’s undrstanding the offense. And it’s not just his understanding, but it’s everyone else’s, too. It’s all the growing pains that go with it. With that said, we still have to do better than we’re doing. It’s not acceptable regarding the passing game.”
Do you like how he’s targeting receivers? “Not all the time, no. We made a couple of bad decisions in the game. But for the most part over the past four games, he’s been pretty much on the right guy, okay. He’s still got a couple of deals. Most of them, he’s pressed a little. There’s people around him and he’s got to make the decision quick and there’s a sense of urgency to get rid of the ball. But again, as he gets more comfortable -- and I can’t emphasize that enough, guys -- all the quarterbacks I’ve had, they are all better the second year. Well we’re in a microwave here. We’re going to get this fast. We’re just going to keep working at it and keep getting better at it. And you’ll see by the end of the season, if he stays in one piece, that he will improve his passing. Almost every kid I’ve had has."
(more after the jump)
[ED: PGB - I took the liberty of adding each of these courses to the MGoHallofFame: http://mgoblog.com/content/user-curated-mgohalloffame. ED: bump.]
FF210: Screen Package
Whatchya know, I still exist. That’s right, I’m like either Santa Clause or the red M&M in that commercial. If you haven’t been here for more than a year, or worse yet, if you have a life outside of here, then you either don’t know or don’t remember about the series above. I’m formerly [name redacted] and am now a Space Coyote (deal with it, mostly because a Space Coyote from Space is awesome), and I’m going to do a slight continuation of the previous series. Heck, let’s call it FF210: Football Packages. Rather than talk about what the title suggests (wrong website), I’ll add this little section about screen packages. Other classes could include: blitz packages, coverage packages, bunch formation packages, etc. The fun could be never ending.
(Aside: If you’re wondering why the previous series seems a bit incomplete, like “where’s the defense?” it’s because it is incomplete. If you’re wondering why I didn’t finish it…yes. Also, I’ve been a bit busy.)
Lately there has been much confusion about screen type substances around these parts and I figured I would be a bit of a guest professor for a second and teach a few things. If you are looking for how to install a screen door, this is not the place for you, so I’ll just let Menard’s do that for you.
Not all screens are created equal. And as they are not all created equal, they are also not all designed to take advantage of the same things. There is a lot in common with many screen passes, but there are also key differences. There are lots of different types of screen passes, and I’m not going to cover them all. What I will cover today is probably the more fundamental screens. The discussion below will consist of what these screens are attempting to constrain (“constrain play” has become a favorite word around here), what the keys are to the type of screen, and how to successfully run the screen. Note, as I said above, there are many, many more screens out there that I won’t cover. There are also many variations of these screens that I won’t begin to touch. This is only meant to be an introduction to these basic concepts. The types of screens included are:
1. The ones where you throw to the WR, we’ll call those WR screens
- Bubble Screen
- Tunnel/ Jailbreak Screen
2. The ones where you screen to the RB, we’ll call those RB screens
- Slow Screen
- Crack Screen
Screens not covered: middle screen, TE screen, throwback screen, transcontinental (even though it’s a crowd favorite), etc.
Screens in College Football
In college football linemen can block down field at the snap as long as the pass play is completed behind the line of scrimmage. This is not the same in the NFL, but is a big reason why screens are so successful at the college level.
Wide Receiver Screen
Just because you’re throwing a screen pass to a wide receiver doesn’t mean it is in an attempt to do the same thing. There are two main types of WR screens that I will discuss, and each have very different keys and are constraints of different things. They are the bubble screen and the tunnel/jailbreak screen.
Better image with some play action
mgoblog bubble screen picture paged
This is essentially a run play constraint. The bubble screen is intended to strength the defense horizontally. It is an easy way to reach the edge without a clumsy pitch out of the shotgun. It is typically run to get defenders out of the box. It takes advantage of defenders peaking into the back field and reacting quickly and out of control to flow. Gap sound teams with safeties in the box with responsibilities in gaps will have trouble on bubble screens because they are not stretched horizontally and are focused on the play in the backfield.
Running the bubble screen will:
Running the bubble screen will open up lanes in the middle of the field as defenders must flex from sideline to sideline. This will give gaps for RBs/QBs on Zone Reads, RB power, and QB draws. This also opens up the deep middle of the field by often forcing safeties to play off the edge of the line rather than in the box as linebackers or OLBs out of the box to respect the sideline threat more. This makes it much more difficult for defenders to play both the run and the pass. If run correctly it will leave a WR one on one on a corner in space, or better yet, with both corner taken out of the play and a score up the sideline.
When to run it:
Typically you run it when corners aren’t pressing. If corners are pressing the pass can become very dangerous. More importantly, you run it when safeties and LBs are shaded too far inside in an attempt to play both run and pass. The danger: make sure the corners respect routes enough to not quickly jump the bubble.
How to run it:
It’s not as simple as just taking a snap and winging it out there. As I have been told before, a QB throwing a bubble screen is kind of like a short stop turning a double play as far as the importance of footwork, body position, grip, and not rushing.
Most of the time in the backfield there is some sort of zone read action. This means that the play looks like a zone read it terms of what the running back is doing. The process of the QB adjusting the ball and throwing means that an actual playaction is really necessary. What is so different about the bubble screen is that it doesn’t typically require linemen to block for a “screen”. The linemen also carry out the zone read play. This causes LBs and Ss to flow down to play the zone read, leaving the WR open on the edge.
The blocking WRs come off on the snap as if they are running routes. His job is to take the nearest threat, which is mostly the man covering him. As they converge on the man covering them, they square their bodies and force and get their backs to the sideline, blocking those covering them to the inside and leaving a lane down the sideline. If the defender does manage to get outside, continue to drive him to the sideline (this isn’t O-line blocking, there is a lot of space and the ball carrier will run off the blockers butt to the hole in the defense regardless). In most cases the WR blocks the man head up on him (or the man that appears to be covering him). In some cases the WR will crack down on the defender covering the screen receiver. It all depends on how the defense plays it at the snap. The reason that the WR usually blocks the man covering him is because it causes traffic for the inside cover guy to have to get through. You can, in essence, block two guys with one blocker, leaving a seal down the sideline. Some people crack the inside guy and hope the outside cover man follows inside, but you run the risk of the outside guy reading the play and blowing it up. All these decisions must be made based on the defenses alignment.
Oregon. The first one suffices (some of the others aren't really bubble screens). Note that they double the near man to the second corner. The second corner jumps outside and the WR kind of just blocks him straight up, making this play a first down rather than TD. This can be done with 3 or 2 WRs.
[Ed: others after the jump.]
This week on Weekday Warriors, mothers fawn over Tim Tebow during Blake Bars's game, Matt Godin and DCC notch a big win over Shane Morris and Warren De La Salle, Royce Jenkins-Stone goes HAM, and I accidentally stumble upon one of the best high school names ever.
TN OL Blake Bars
Montgomery Bell snapped a four-game losing streak with a 31-7 victory over Pearl-Cohn, and all the mothers loved it because Tim Tebow was there. No, seriously:
“He was there talking with our athletic director (Scott O’Neal),” Big Red offensive tackle Blake Bars said. “It was pretty cool seeing him over there. All the moms loved it, apparently. The moms were all staring at him, according to my mom.”
Tebow worked out on MBA’s field last winter when he was preparing for the NFL scouting combine.
“He was doing passing drills and I only remember this because we were all looking out the window at him from the building,” Bars said. “He was working on his drops and stuff like that, doing sprints, keeping in shape and doing some running and agility drills.”
Tebow was in the area because the Broncos played at Tennessee on Sunday. As for quotes from Bars about the actual game, he's optimistic the Big Red can turn their season around:
“Coach (Marty Euverard) said that now we’re 1-0 because he feels that we’re going to win the rest of our games, and move forward from here,” said Bars, a Michigan commitment. “It was a good feeling for the win and everything. I think we’re finally getting our groove.”
This week: The Big Red (2-4) play at Father Ryan on Friday at 7.
OH LB Joe Bolden
Bolden recorded eight tackles as Colerain limited Middletown quarterback and blue-chip 2013 recruit Jalin Marshall to just 31 yards on 20 carries en route to a 21-13 victory.
This week: The Cardinals (4-1) host Fairfield on Friday at 7:30.
MI OL Ben Braden
Braden once again stood out on the offensive line as Rockford rushed for 344 yards in their 29-26 win over Muskegon in a battle of OK Red powers. The Rams are now 4-1 on the season.
This week: Rockford hosts East Kentwood on Friday at 7.
OH DE Pharaoh Brown
Brush fell to Twinsburg, 48-27, but Brown stood out on both sides of the ball, and we have a first-hand report from MGoReader WojoRisin:
I took in the Twinsburg vs. Brush game tonight and thought I’d share my observations on Pharaoh Brown. It’s obvious he’s a great athlete with a lot of potential. At 6’6”, 220lbs he wears #2 and physically looks like several 6’6” college QBs that have worn #2 in recent years. He’s a very smooth athlete with a lot of speed. When I left the game after the 3rd quarter, he had around 6 tackles (1 sack) and 3 catches for around 100 yds and a TD. Most of those yards came on an 85 yd TD reception where he broke one tackle on a post pattern and outran everyone on the field. Defensively he showed excellent closing speed and some good burst on the line.
Unfortunately, like many high school studs, he relied too heavily on his speed and athleticism. He was often single blocked by a very well coached O-line and neutralized by good technique and a physically stronger OT. His pad level was consistently high, and it really hurt him at times. When double teamed he didn’t show the physicality I expected, often standing up and chasing plays rather than occupying blockers. On the goal line he made several nice plays on outside runs to his side, but struggled against physical MANBALL directly at him. There were times when he looked gassed, but he played all but 4 snaps on offense and defense so that’s to be expected.
What I took away from the game was that the things he needs to work on (technique, size) are correctable (and somewhat expected) issues. He’s got a good frame with lots of room to put on weight, and was receptive to coaching he received on the sideline. The things you can’t coach (speed, athleticism) he’s clearly got. It’s pretty easy to see a future B1G football player when you watch him play, and I’m excited to see him wear the winged helmet. Go Blue!
Brown reportedly finished with 11 tackles and a pass breakup to go along with his sack and long touchdown reception.
This week: The Arcs play at home against Mayfield on Friday at 7.
MI TE Devin Funchess
Funchess sat out Harrison's 43-0 shutout of Southfield-Lathrup with a torn ligament in his toe, but he's expected to be back next week.
This week: The Hawks (5-0) host Oak Park on Friday at 7.
OH S Allen Gant
Gant was the subject of this week's Creeper Van Original feature, and finished with seven tackles, a pass breakup, one catch for 20 yards, and a two-yard rushing touchdown in Southview's 45-27 road win over Maumee. Highlights:
This week: The Cougars (4-1) welcome Perrysburg to Sylvania on Friday at 7.
MI DT Matt Godin
Godin had seven tackles and four QB hurries as Detroit Catholic Central held on against Shane Morris's Warren De La Salle squad, 14-10, to improve to 5-0. Godin's teammate Wyatt Shallman had 13 carries for 58 yards and a touchdown to help propel the Shamrocks to victory.
This week: The Shamrocks host U-D Jesuit on Sunday at 1.
UT FB Sione Houma
Houma returned from an ankle injury but was still limited, carrying the ball six times for 24 yards, and Highland's offense suffered as they barely mustered 200 total yards in a 27-3 loss to Bountiful. The Rams fell to 4-2 on the season.
This week: The Rams take on Woods Cross at home on Friday at 7.
MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone
Jenkins-Stone led the charge offensively for Cass Tech with 75 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 11 carries while also chipping in eight tackles on defense as the Technicians beat King 20-18 in a rare home night game. RJS on the win:
"I was thinking of how we were going to score on those drives," Jenkins-Stone said. "We came out, made big plays and left with the 'W' and that's all that matters."
Fox 2 highlights:
This week: The Technicians (4-1) play at Detroit Crockett on Friday at 6.
OH OL Kyle Kalis
St. Edward came away with a 52-13 victory over visiting Tampa (FL) Jefferson, and Kalis led an offensive line that paved the way for over 300 rushing yards:
The Eagles have five linemen who have committed to BCS colleges. Their offensive line averages 6-3, 283, and they dominated the line of scrimmage, opening huge holes for an undersized but dynamic trio of juniors — tailbacks Dwayne Aaron (5-5, 165) and Kenny Butler (5-10, 175), and quarterback Ryan Fallon (5-11, 170).
"They were a very, very, very big and physical O-line,'' [Jefferson defensive end Tyriq] McCord said. "This was the best O-line I've faced since Plant City last year.''
This week: The Eagles play at Ursuline on Friday night at 7.
CA OL Erik Magnuson
La Costa Canyon improved to 2-2 with a 28-13 road win at Redlands on the strength of 147 second-half rushing yards, which helped the Mavericks reel off 21 unanswered points.
This week: The Mavericks host Fallbrook on Friday at 7.
MI DE Mario Ojemudia
Ojemudia continued his dominant play with six tackles and two sacks in Harrison's 43-0 victory over Lathrup.
This week: The Hawks (5-0) host Oak Park on Friday at 7.
MO DT Ondre Pipkins
Pipkins recorded five tackles in a losing effort as Park Hill dropped to 3-2 with a 42-0 loss to local power Jefferson City. In the Kansas City local high school roundup, you'll find that there's a school named Excelsior Springs, which may just be the LEVITICUS PAYNE of high school names. EXCELSIOR!
This week: The Trojans travels to North Kansas City on Friday at 7.
MI CB Terry Richardson
No stats were available for Richardson.
This week: The Technicians (4-1) play at Detroit Crockett on Friday at 6.
OH LB Kaleb Ringer
Northmont won a shootout over Lebanon, 40-33, as the defense was able to come away with two critical fourth-quarter stops to preserve the victory. Ringer finished with nine tackles, including one TFL.
This week: Northmont plays at Beavercreek on Friday at 7:30.
MI LB James Ross
No stats are currently available for Ross, but Orchard Lake St. Mary's came away with a 42-21 win over visiting Columbus St. Francis de Sales to move to 4-1 on the season.
This week: The Eaglets host Brother Rice on Friday at 7.
OH OL Caleb Stacey
Oak Hills edged out Lakota West 25-21 to improve to 3-2 in 2011.
This week: The Highlanders host Hamilton at 7:30 on Friday.
IL CB Anthony Standifer
Standifer had three tackles and a forced fumble as Crete-Monee beat Kankakee 35-7. Standifer's teammate, 2013 wide receiver prospect Laquon Treadwell, led the offensive charge with four catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns.
This week: The Warriors host Bloom (no, Brian, not Bloom County) on Friday at 6.
OH DE Tom Strobel
Strobel recorded a sack and forced fumble as Mentor shut out Parma, 49-0, to notch their fifth straight win to open the season:
“We got after it this week,” said senior defensive end Tom Strobel, whose night was highlighted by a sack/forced fumble in the second quarter. “Our coaches wanted a big game out of us because we haven’t been proving ourselves lately. I think we made a statement tonight.”
This week: The Cardinals plays host to Brunswick on Friday at 7.
OH TE A.J. Williams
Williams, playing tackle, still hasn't recorded a catch on the season, but his blocking helped Sycamore quarterback Kyle Sess rush for 133 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-25 win over Lakota East. The Aviators are now 5-0 on the year.
This week: The Aviators look to stay undefeated at Princeton on Friday night at 7:30.
OH S Jarrod Wilson
Wilson had four tackles as Buchtel's defense dominated in a 32-6 win over Akron East:
“(The defense) is just perfecting all the little things, which lets us play faster and we make more plays,” Buchtel senior safety Jarrod Wilson said.
“The defense just made our minds up that we were going to play hard and make it happen, even though we kept getting put in a bad spot,” Wilson said.
This week: The Griffins host Ellet in a noon game on Saturday.
OH DE Chris Wormley:
Wormley had four tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble as Whitmer crushed 2013 quarterback recruit Brogan Roback and Toledo St. John's, 35-7, to stay undefeated in 2011:
University of Michigan-bound, 6-foot-6, 270-pound defensive end Chris Wormley sacked Roback for losses of 7 and 5 yards.
"We were playing fast and hard, and we were hitting," Wormley said. "[Pressuring Roback] was one of the main points of our defense. We just mixed up the schemes and threw a lot of blitzes at him."
Whitmer's play-by-play man Mason Lowry of WRSCSports.com was kind enough to offer another first-hand account:
Chris looked outstanding against St. John’s. He had two sacks and forced a fumble, and even when he couldn’t get his hands on Brogan Roback enough to bring him down, he usually did enough to force him into bad decisions. He’s just so powerful, and the SJ offensive line was completely overmatched. There were some questions going in about how Whitmer would respond to finally going up against a good team after assaulting Canadian teams and a couple of other programs going thru rough patches, but I’d say that they looked pretty damn good, and Chris was a huge part of that.
Roback, meanwhile, wasn’t so lucky. He’s a pocket passer, and when forced out of the pocket under intense pressure, he’s still prone to making bad decisions and throws. Most of his success came late in the game against a sagging defense that he could pick apart. He’s a good passer when given time to throw, but he’s got to improve against quick defenses that can get to him.
On the way out of the stadium, I chatted with a longtime Toledo high school football observer. He told me that this Whitmer team “might be the best that Toledo has ever seen.” Pretty lofty praise, indeed.
Thanks to Mason for the report, and you can now hear his commentary and stream all of Whitmer's home games live at whitmer.ihigh.com.
This week: From Mason - "This week is a home game against the Eagles (or Fightin' Kovacses, if you prefer) of Oregon Clay at 7pm"—if you're looking for something to do on Friday, streaming Wormley's game in an option.
KY S Jeremy Clark
No stats are available for Clark from North Hopkins's 49-6 win over Owensboro.
This week: The Maroons (5-1) have a bye week.
MI QB Shane Morris
Morris had a tough time making a big play against Godin, Shallman, and the DCC defense, completing 14 of 26 passes for 131 yards and an interception in De La Salle's loss. The junior had a chance to win the game late, but it appears his wideout's hands failed him when looking for the go-ahead score:
On fourth and four in the red zone with under a minute to go, De La Salle had a chance to win. Quarterback Shane Morris dropped back and drifted to his left, then threw the ball to an open receiver, only to have it deflect off the fingertips of the wideout.
It also appears Morris's interception did not come without a bit of controversy, courtesy of some aggressive defending that could have drawn a flag:
The biggest play of the game came in the third quarter with De La Salle driving to add to its 10-7 lead. Morris dropped back to pass and threw an interception into the hands of David Racey. There was plenty of contact, and the play easily could have been ruled pass interference, which would have given De La Salle a first down near the red zone.
Coach Paul Verska wasn’t too happy about the no-call.
“You saw it. Would you have made that call? It blew my mind,” he said.
The loss was De La Salle's first on the year, dropping them to 4-1.
This week: The Pilots play Inkster at Lake Shore High School on Friday at 7.
OH RB/S Dymonte Thomas
Thomas rushed for 46 yards and was in on 16(!) tackles as Marlington defeated Salem, 42-7, to push their record to 4-1.
This week: The Dukes play at Carrollton on Friday at 7.
MGoBlog isn't a representative slice of Michigan fandom but I thought it would be interesting to ask the assembled folk here what their opinion of the sonic landscape is at Michigan Stadium. Neutral questions follow; you're asked to approve or disapprove of each.
I've left the poll open to everyone, but it does track usernames and if there's a flood of suspicious results I'll probably dump all the anonymous entries. If you've got a username make sure you're logged in when you submit.
If you're so inclined, bug your internet-unaware friends and relatives to fill out the form, too, so we can get a broader sample. I'll compile the results next week.
To take the survey, click through.