fair point that
Via MSC, the Mathews catch and the aftermath:
The final three plays of that drive are also on the tubes in high definition; there is also WOOOOO stadium video of considerable length; skip to 6:20 for the big one:
UPDATE: oh, and here's the hype video for the last game, which was perfect. They should use it again next week with the Forcier-to-Mathews throw at the end.
I just spoke to Aramide Olaniyan again (for those concerned, he's off campus now). The win seemed to push Michigan over the edge for Olaniyan. I'm not interested in writing a whole piece, so here's some quotes from our discussion.
- "This was way more amazing than I thought it would be. The fans were crazy, I couldn't believe it. This was the first place I've been that fans recognized me."
- "There's definitely some things I need to consider now. I don't want to say too much, but I need to sit down and discuss some things with my parents. I'm taking an official visit in December, and my parents will be there with me, so I want them to see what I just saw."
- "I actually got to talk to coach Robinson, and some other coaches. I also got to see how I would be used in the defense (the quick, or OLB). I love the defensive scheme. I think they played well today."
- "I've never seen anything like that before. I went to a couple games last year, and this was crazy."
- "I love Michigan, and that definitely exceeded my expectations."
- "I talked to Austin White, Dior Mathis, and Devin Gardner. They were all cool guys, I got along with them really well."
It seems like we've pushed ahead to the forefront. As expected, I don't think he'll make a decision until after his parents see it for themselves in December. I was supposed to talk to Josh Furman today, too, but that might not be for a couple days now.
Sometimes you're really fucking on, Tate Forcier.
And you can't have one without the other…
Everyone here has paid their dues, and they were not in vain. Drink, be merry, spawn a new generation.
As always, check out the Live Blog Chaos Mitigation Post for information on what this is and why your comments aren't showing up (it's moderated and if every comment published it would be unreadable).
Picture Pages: you see, Rudy, sometimes you just need to break down a play that's representative of a larger trend. This series picks out a play or two per game that seem significant in the grand scheme of things, Theo, and attempts to explain why. Vanessa.
I brought this up in UFR and wanted to make it clearer so here goes. This is a first and 15 on Michigan's first drive of the day.
Michigan lines up in one of their common sets, a three-wide shotgun look. Here the tight end is lined up as an H-back. Michigan often used the h-back as a pass blocker for Forcier rollouts, but this time he's going to go with the play. Western aligns in a 4-3 look with the nickel back shaded inside of the slot receiver. Michigan will run a zone read, and Western will do a version of a scrape exchange. In brief: in a scrape, the backside defensive end will take off after the tailback instead of maintaining contain. A weakside linebacker or corner will provide QB contain, thus hopefully minimizing or eliminating the quarterback's athleticism edge over the defender he's dealing with.
Below is the handoff point. As Western did basically the whole game, the unblocked backside end takes off after the tailback. Since this is the guy Forcier is reading, he pulls the ball out. A couple points: Michigan has six blockers against six defenders here and should be content to hand the ball off. As we'll see, Brown's going to end up with a lot of room.
A few moments later we see the scraper coming in: he's the corner/LB who was lined up over Grady. He comes flying in and threatens to tackle Forcier in the backfield. The scrape exchange Michigan saw a lot last year saw the WLB head outside; this one is less vulnerable to the veer or other quick-hitting backside plays that exploit the fact that your WLB is flying around the edge. But there's an obvious cost: HOLY GOD LOOK AT THE SLOT RECEIVER.
Forcier is, in fact, looking at a spectacularly open guy on a bubble route. One of the Western safeties is coming up but he's inside of and ten yards away from a guy who's quicker than him. At best he squares up and holds the gain down. If he misses a tackle Grady is born to run.
Also note the line moving to the second level and sealing those defensive tackles. Michigan had three or four plays like this where the tailback shot up to cavernous gaps in the line of scrimmage without the ball. And this isn't a reaction to Forcier's decision to pull the ball yet; only the WLB has seen that. The frames above make it pretty clear that if Michigan had handed the ball off Schilling was going to cut this guy off.
Forcier, unfortunately, decides against the bubble and cuts directly upfield:
Molk has finished burying the playside DT and if Brown had the ball he'd be cruising, as the WLB who peeled off to Forcier was about to get his clock cleaned by Schilling. But Forcier pulled the ball and then made a poor read, so he's got one option:
- Just because the backside DE is crashing down doesn't mean you have to pull the ball. This would have been a big gainer if Forcier handed it off.
- Scrape exchanges are not a magic pill. They pull defenders out of position and the right play call—or read—can exploit them.
- Forcier is, yes, a freshman. He made a number of mistakes against Western of this variety.
- But even so it's nice to have a guy like Forcier who can turn his mistake into positive yards. Michigan had a lot of screwups in game one but most of them still went forward. That's a huge difference from last year.