"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
Previously: Minnesota Offense
We're finally heading into conference play, which means this hopefully will be the last film breakdown of a body-bag game, in this case Minnesota's 24-7 steamrolling of San Jose State.
I'm not quite ready to deploy the "I have the sinking feeling this is totally useless" tag, which I waited until last year's Northwestern game to unleash for 2013, but it's getting close.
A pump-fake interception on a botched WR screen!
San Jose State managed 254 yards of offense in 11 possessions on 5.6 yards per pass and 2.1 per rush. They turned it over five times, on three fumbles and two ghastly interceptions. I'm going to attempt to keep this from being a total waste of time by going over the basics of Cover 4, which Minnesota ran a lot of in this game, to the great confusion of SJSU's quarterback.
Personnel: Seth has accounted for the uncertainty at quarterback by turning this into a GIF—click to embiggen and see who we expect will start on Saturday:
Fine, fine, we went with Morris, because that seems to be the gut feeling of those closest to the program today, as well as the common sense choice given Brady Hoke's presser comments (why keep the uncertainty if there isn't going to be a change?). Anyway, I'm sure this won't dominate the comments of a post that otherwise has nothing to do with M's quarterback situation.
Base Set? Against SJSU's multiple attack—which actually resembles Michigan quite a bit in terms of formations utilized—Minnesota had a dedicated nickel set against three wide, which is depicted in Seth's chart, and went to a 4-3 over against two receivers:
Their corners stayed to a dedicated side of the field except when SJSU went with a trips formation; that's the strongside LB between the hashes and a CB hanging out on the boundary next to the DE.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]
FORMATION NOTES: A lot of this kind of stuff.
Probably 50/50 between this and gun with more gun coming late as Michigan tried to make it look like they were trying to come back without actually doing so.
SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Everything as per usual, with the exception of Morris's late insertion and maybe a little more playing time for Jake Butt.
AGAIN APOLOGIES: Audio on the clips is messed up this week.
[After THE JUMP: a portal to another universe where Michigan doesn't suck (I DID IT FOR THE CLIIIIIIIIIICKS)]
BACKUP QB: CERTIFIED GOPHER TOUGH
We're finally heading into conference play, which means this hopefully will be the last film breakdown of a body-bag game, in this case Minnesota's 24-7 steamrolling of San Jose State. With starting QB Mitch Leidner sidelined due to a sprained knee and turf toe, injuries that could very well hold him out of this weekend's game, the Gophers turned to backup Chris Streveler to run the offense—and simply run, as he toted the rock 18 times to just seven pass attempts, of which he completed... one.
I'm not quite ready to deploy the "I have the sinking feeling this is totally useless" tag, which I waited until last year's Northwestern game to unleash for 2013, but it's getting close. The good news: Minnesota's run-heavy-to-the-point-that-run-heavy-doesn't-capture-it offense should play right into the strength of Michigan's defense, especially if Streveler is called upon once again to start.
Personnel. As you'll see in the formation chart, Minnesota almost exclusively ran their offense out of a one-back shotgun set with two tight ends. They still bring the beef—this is the list of their starters from their first four games, from Minnesota's game notes:
Yes, that features one WR who's started all four games, a FB/WR/TE spot, a TE/WR spot, and a dedicated TE spot. Spectacularly Gopher.
Anyway, here's the diagram from Seth, which now features Frank Clark and Jake Ryan getting their proper due as stars [click to embiggen]:
Minnesota's offense lacks experience, and it's even more glaring if you remove Maxxxxxx Williams (questionable, calf, didn't practice
[Ed-Ace: I wrote this up yesterday and there's been an update since. Williams practiced yesterday in a limited capacity, while Leidner has taken "about half" of the reps over the last two days, and Jerry Kill is "cautiously optimistic" he'll be able to play. Kill said he feels better about both players' chances to play compared to how he felt earlier in the week, for what it's worth.]
Spread, Pro-Style, or Hybrid? Pro-style. Even with the mostly shotgun look, well... see the section above.
Basketball on Grass or MANBALL? Basketball on grass. The vast majority of Minnesota's plays in this game were either inside zone or zone read. They mixed in some power, usually when running from under center or the pistol, and a couple outside zones, but they really could've won this game while running their two base plays.
Hurry it up or grind it out? This is Minnesota. They're in no hurry here.
The Gophers did go up-tempo to great effect on one first-half drive, covering 59 yards in eight plays while taking just 2:41 off the clock—and increasing the tempo as they went down the field—but the drive ultimately failed when running back David Cobb fumbled a first-and-goal carry into the end zone for a touchback. Other than that lone drive, Minnesota took their sweet time.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]
[What this is: We yoinked Joe Pichey from MMMGoBluBBQ to share his tailgating recipes and Stubb's offered to sponsor it. This is one of those things where we really liked their BBQ sauce, and it turned out their CEO really likes this blog, and we like Joe's recipes, and we all end up with sticky fingers.]
I love a great rib. It doesn't matter if it's pork, lamb, elk, beef or an albino sasquatch rib, I love em all. There is something extra special about eating meat off a stick or bone. Let's face it, it's just more fun. The beef short rib is no different. This meaty "goodness" has it all. It's juicy, it's packed full of flavor and it won't break the bank. What else could you ask for? It's also perfect for game-day due to its shorter cook time. (4-5 hours)
[After the jump: how to achieve your badge of honor]
How this works again:
- Readers predict the final score of a designated game by placing a guess in the comments, preferably in the format of [M score][hyphen][Opp score], for example "41-30" or "35-31 Michigan", or "28-24 Go Blue", or "38-34 Gardner FTW!" or "38-0" etc.
- The three guys who read this part holler at people who post in a different format
- First person (by timestamp) to post a particular score has it.
- If you got it right, I contact you for an address by your MGoBlog account email, and you give me some time to get that to you.
- If nobody got it right we push it to next week or let it go.
- Brian voices displeasure at the puns in the headlines.
Why we do it:
Hey look: we sell t-shirts. Also sometimes there's free stuff to give away.
About Last Week:
Nobody won. Even Utah fans went home wet long after they were supposed to be drinking with the knowledge they were outgained by a team intent on shooting themselves in the face.
This Week's Game:
And on the Line:
Reference is to when much ado was being made over Gardner not learning to ID blocking assignments (Borges had the RBs and OL doing it). Six Zero went ahead and made a shirt out of it. It is good advice for anyone facing blitzes in their faces, be the pressure real, imagined, or metaphorical.
Fine print: One entry per user. First user to choose a set of scores wins, determined by the timestamp of your entry (for my ease I prefer if you don't post it as a reply to another person's score--if you do it won't help or hurt you). Deadline for entries is 24 hours before the start of the game. MGoEmployees and Moderators exempt from winning. Nine people read this last time and thus was MGoBlog broken forever. The algorithm must've been something before electricity. The algorithm is a Cindarella story out of nowhere. And I say "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." The algorithm killed Gardner.This is not the algorithm. It tells people it is anyway.
News bullets and other items:
They have a plan for what they want to do at quarterback, and it won’t be revealed until the game.
Same goes for any other personnel changes.
“We ready? Alright. The team- we had a great practice yesterday. Came out and had a good day of work. It’s exciting to move forward, as you all would expect. We get to start the Big Ten season. The Brown Jug is a very big deal to us and keeping the Brown Jug here. We’ve talked about it as a team. We read the history of the Brown Jug and it’s something that has another part, not just being a Big Ten game but being a game that’s the oldest trophy game in Division I college football, so we’re excited about that. Obviously getting to conference play is exciting and we have to have another great day today, another great day on Thursday and Friday in our preparation and we will do that.”
Brady, any further developments on the quarterback situation?
“Well, you know, we’ll wait until game time with it. We’ve got an idea of what we want to do but for what’s best for us and the program and what we’re trying to get done, and that’d be the same at any other position.”
Coach, is Brad Berlin capable of being keeper of that little Brown Jug?
“Yeah, Brad does a great job and obviously some of you don’t know [but] Brad is our new equipment manager and he has big shoes to fit himself into [since] we’ve had Jon Falk for 40 years, but Brad on Sunday came up and said, ‘Okay, what do we do with the Jug’ so I had to educate him a little bit but he’s done a great job.”
What have you told the kids about the history of the Jug?
“Well, the inception of it and the games that have been those games that have been very exciting and down to the end. I think one of the messages is you don’t want them to come over and take the Jug off the sidelines. We want to keep it stored away here.”
[After THE JUMP: all the quarterback talk that’s fit to (electronically) print]