don't we all
Michigan's running game wasn't quite as bad as it looks in the stats, as they had some good gains wiped out by phantom holding penalties, but it warn't good. One of Michigan's main issues was not getting the Akron nose tackle blocked, but when this happened the guy in the backfield seemed only partially at fault, because Michigan was asking him to do something very tough.
Here's a play at the end of the first quarter. Michigan has just shifted various players around and gotten Akron to do this in response:
That is a massive gap between their nose tackle, who's "shaded"* over Miller, and their end, who's outside of Jake Butt. Michigan decides to run at this, which seemed like a good idea at the time.
*[ie, lined up between the center and guard, closer to the center.]
Michigan's going to run a stretch to the wide side of the field, and get a loss out of this. I know. So. Akron's got about seven guys in the box. Michigan has two uncovered OL to the playside plus Kerridge. This should be easy.
[After the jump, it's not going to be]
That's my compilation of all the Zips passing plays and check-downs. What you saw:
- Lots of quick, dinky-dunky passes (not on the DL)
- A handful of screens the DL didn't chase
- Black consistently getting into the backfield but nobody else.
The first complaint of many from the near-disaster on Saturday was the front four's continued inability to get any pass rush, with the bonus problem this time of no contain. Many observers noted, and the coaches confirmed, that part of the problem was the pass rushers were often chasing the quarterback instead of keeping him boxed in so the rest of the rush could arrive. Other culprits mentioned: Akron was doing a lot of max protect, a lot of uncalled holding, and of course the biggie: our DL getting completely owned.
So let's look at some Akron passing plays and see who to blame:
While the Zips are mostly a dinky-dunk offense, when they do go long they tend to leave the running backs in to help with pass pro. Max protect is generally a win for the DL already since spending seven (or eight!) guys on four DL gives the DBs an easy time. You usually want to call it against blitzes, since defensive linemen who don't have to worry about the run will break through eventually. (Unless they don't).
They did this a lot in the first half. On Akron's first drive there were two long pass calls on 2nd and 10 and 3rd and 10 that give us a baseline.
Michigan was in their base 4-3 under and rushed four. Akron had the RB and both TEs both stay in to block. Both back and the TE to the strong side help the RT block Heitzman; he's not going anywhere. Washington gets off slowly and is doubled by the right guard and center; he gets no push on the center and the guard only has to help a little while watching to see if Bolden comes.
Clark is doubled by the weakside TE and the LT—he tried to bull rush the TE, got stood up, then ripped around him and was in the middle of trying to split the two when the pass got off. Black gets the only single-team, but he tried to go inside of the LG who ran him right into Washington's mess; Black tried the other side and got held but that wouldn't have mattered since the pass is already gone.
Blame: Knock QWash for not even moving his center, and Clark and Heitzman can't split their double-teams.
Position: Defensive End
Ht/Wt: 6'6" / 215 lbs.
Location: Lutheran High School – Orange, CA
Offers: Arizona, Boise State, California, Colorado, Miami (FL), Oregon, Oregon State, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt, Washington
It’s pretty clear that Plan A for the coaches at defensive end in the 2015 class is Jashon Cornell out of Cretin-Derham Hall, unfortunately CDH has traditionally been a Notre Dame pipeline and many believe that’s where Cornell will end up. Michigan has offered two other defensive ends in the 2015 class, Anthony Wheeler out of Texas and Terry Beckner Jr. from Illinois. Neither of them are being recruited as hard as Cornell is by the Wolverine coaching staff and it’s safe to say they are far from being Michigan leans. In fact, I exchanged a few texts with Wheeler and he informed me that he hasn’t been in contact with the coaches in a long time and has virtually no interest in Michigan at this point in time. That being said Keisean Lucier-South is a young man that if offered could be considered a Michigan lean.
Lucier-South hails from California and as evidenced by his offer list is quite a talent. He has that long, athletic body type that scouts drool over at defensive end in terms of potential. Lucier-South has been compared to long-time NFL star Jason Taylor because of his length and athleticism. He stars on the gridiron and the basketball court, yet another testament to his versatility and coordination.
He told me that his recruitment is really starting to pick up lately in terms of mail and flyers being constantly sent to his house with Arizona and Texas sending him the most. He ranked Michigan at about 4th when it came to pieces of mail being sent to him but he puts Michigan atop his list of who he wants an offer from. I congratulated him on his USC offer at the end of August and he said that while it was an honor to receive the offer from the Trojans, one from Michigan would “just be more insane” with a laugh. In fact, when I asked him which schools he’d like to receive an offer from he answered, “Just Michigan.”
For a California kid his interest and knowledge in Michigan was quite impressive as well. He rattled this off like he grew up somewhere in the middle of the mitten. “Michigan is just amazing and some of the best talent goes there to play football. I know that Michigan has the most wins in college football, their main rival is Ohio State, and a lot of great players have played there like Tom Brady, Braylon Edwards, and Charles Woodson. They also have the largest stadium in the country. Honestly I don’t really have a favorite, but Michigan would be high high if they offered.”
Keisean doesn’t plan on committing until sometime during his senior season so there is still plenty of time for the Wolverines to evaluate him to see if he is worthy of an offer. When you watch his highlight tape his athleticism is undeniable and his frame could easily add 50 lbs. in college, but with the 2015 class more than likely being on the small side, and already containing several members, the coaches will have to be picky moving forward with offers.
- Boo boo watch: Courtney Avery and AJ Williams are improving. Devin Funchess had a cramp. Mario Ojemudia will be fine. Taylor Lewan is in a boot because it's fashionable.
- Jake Ryan is getting closer every day. Hoke is more scared about bringing him back than he is.
- Practice in full pads was held yesterday. Needed a kick in the pants.
- Hoke thought about putting in Kenny Allen. Didn't end up doing it because he didn't want to crush Matt Wile's psyche.
- Jake Butt's pancake got called for a hold.
"Obviously there's some things that are pretty obvious. It's good to win the game. That's always important, and that's why you play. Didn't play our best football. We need to get that straightened out. You have to give Akron some credit. They came in and played very good. We didn't play as well as we can. We have to for the goals that we set for our program. That being said, we'll improve. We went back to work yesterday. Pointed out a lot of things we have to coach better and a lot of things we have to do playing better."
Seems like a lot of Devin's turnovers came from third and long. Do you have to stay out of those --
"Well yeah. Any time you get into those situations, people can make life hard on you, either by bringing pressure or dropping eight or spying a guy because of Devin's athleticism and all that. When they do drop eight, various things [happen], and we have to not self-destruct protection-wise, not self-destruct route-running wise, not self-destruct decision-making-wise."
MISCELLANEOUS WHAT WAS THAT TALKIN'
The press box while that was happening, and the stands.
What's going on, Devin Gardner? THEORIES! We can't run. This is sad. It's bad and sad and bad.
Frank Clark: what's up. And that goes for the rest of the defensive line. Pipkins isn't playing, and we don't get why. Why is Countess at nickelback if Michigan can't cover deep?
TALKING BIG TEN WITH JAMIEMAC
Oh, Big Ten, you pick us up.
"Across 110th Street."
"Wreck of the Old 97," Johnny Cash. Yes, again. The second verse is applicable.
"Young Pilgrims," The Shins
"The Legionnaire's Lament," The Decemberists
The usual links:
Free Hugs: Not An NCAA Violation
The Washington Post series "First and 17"—following VA WDE Da'Shawn Hand as he goes through his senior year—continues with a look at his first day of school, Woodbridge's second game, and his official visit to Michigan. Watch to see Hand hug seemingly every student and faculty member at Woodbridge, drop a hint about potentially knowing his college destination at lunch*, lay into his teammates (physically and verbally) during practice, help his team to victory, and then discuss his Notre Dame visit. The positive vibes for Michigan continue unabated, and Hand also comes off as a genuinely pleasant and likable guy—as long as you're not facing off against him in a game or loafing on a practice rep, that is.
*If you can't/won't watch the video:
Girl in cafeteria: Do you have any idea?
Girl: For real?
Girl: So you know and you're just not saying it.
Hand: (slight pause) I have an idea about where I'm going.
Yeah, you have permission to feel good about that. Meanwhile, random Woodbridge girl just locked down a job at the recruiting service of her choice, as that's the most telling quote anybody's got from Hand in months.
[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on the Glenville duo and a wrapup of Michigan commits in action over the weekend.]