HTTV Hoops & Hockey arrived at our warehouse yesterday. They look rather nice. Rush orders should be getting theirs and the rest of you in not too much time. If you skipped ordering one on the kickstarter, get it in any UGP Store or Moe's, or have one delivered from the MGoStore. We also have another DraftStreet deal if you've got another email account. Saves you on shipping and gets you $30 extra to play with.
If you'd care to bother your local store to carry a few copies or next year's football books, have them email me ([my first name] @ [this site]). The more requests the better.
FORMATION NOTES: More tackle over stuff. This is the aforementioned play in Picture Pages that's just an I-Form with Lewan and Schofield flipped, mostly notable for PSU's super heavy package on the DL. Penn State brought this out three or four times.
They had one snap in an offset pro-form with Hayes in the backfield.
And, of course… this.
SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Gardner all the way at QB save one Morris snap after Gardner's helmet popped off. Toussaint almost all the way at RB; some scattered Green, and one Justice Hayes snap in a two-back look. Norfleet got one snap, a fake jet sweep that led to a middle screen.
At TE, Butt and Williams played a ton; Funchess put his hand down every once in a while but was mostly part of the WR rotation. That rotation has almost entirely come down to Gallon, Chesson, Funchess, and Dileo; Jackson got one snap IIRC and Reynolds none.
The OL was a revolving door. Magnuson first came in to replace Williams in tackle over sets after Williams gave up a sack, then replaced Lewan, with Schofield moving to left tackle and Magnuson generally existing on the right. Burzynski first replaced Kalis after his personal foul and then played most of the second half and overtime in place of Bryant.
[After THE JUMP: probably a rainbow of kittens]
Weekend Visitors: Goddag, Hr. Froholdt
Hjalte Froholdt (photo via 247)
The list of visitors for the Indiana game is short, though it's headlined by a very important potential member of the 2015 class who could be deciding quite soon. DT Hjalte Froholdt, who's currently playing semi-pro football for a year in his native Denmark, will be in attendance and tells Brandon that a list of top schools will shortly follow his visit:
Froholdt will release a version of his top list after his visit to Ann Arbor Saturday, but he already told me that Michigan will probably be toward the top of his list.
Froholdt has a very strong relationship with Greg Mattison, and as of now his recruitment looks like a classic Michigan/OSU battle, with the Wolverines possibly out in front. The picture may not be that clear, however, as Froholdt is in the midst of a country-wide recruiting tour that's included Arkansas, Alabama, and Florida State; he pulled in an offer from the Tide following his visit and already had one from the Razorbacks. With a decision planned within the next couple months, this is a very important visit for Michigan, especially with 'Bama now very much on the radar.
As noted in this week's previous recruiting roundup, the other big-time visitor for this weekend is 2015 Cass Tech RB Mike Weber. I said in that roundup that Michigan probably wouldn't take another back given the small class size and commitment of Damien Harris, but I may have been mistaken; with no running back committed in the 2014 class (which is unlikely to change), a second would be a high priority, and the Wolverines are also still heavily recruiting '15 FL RB Jacques Patrick. Weber still has significant interest in Michigan and has repeatedly said that he's not averse to competing with Harris; Michigan State, Ohio State, and Tennessee are all strong contenders, as well.
A couple younger brothers of current Michigan players will also be in attendance: 2016 Cass Tech DB Lavert Hill, brother of Delano, and 2017 OLSM LB Joshua Ross, brother of James, are slated to visit according to Tim Sullivan ($). Both are very talented prospects in their own right and have been steady presences in Ann Arbor; offers may not come imminently, but both could be Michigan-caliber players.
[Hit THE JUMP for updates on Malik McDowell and JuJu Smith, the latest commits to ink their LOIs for 2014, and more.]
FORMATION NOTES: Some additional things in this game. This was a special situation, but when PSU hurried to the line in the first quarter to attempt it on fourth and one, Michigan responded with the perfect pinched-line D:
This punched PSU off the field and earned Mattison a gold star.
Michigan occasionally split their LBs in the nickel package in what I called 5-1-nickel:
And they took to a thing where they're standing the WDE before the snap like so:
This has almost always meant he's dropping.
Finally, everyone milling about presnap with no one with a hand down:
This was just Okie in my book.
SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Secondary was as per usual, with Stribling getting in on a couple of dime packages in the second half and replacing Avery on the Fatal Bomb Drive. ILB was basically the same; Morgan and Ross spotted by Bolden. SAM saw a three-guy rotation with Beyer, Ryan, and Cam Gordon all getting snaps.
The line was also about per usual: Heitzman/Washington/Black/Clark with Wormley/Ash/Henry/Ojemudia spotting. Ash's snaps were extremely scanty, FWIW. When Washington was out it was more often two of Henry/Wormley/Black than Ash.
[After THE JUMP: a heroic 43 allowed.]
Indiana's quarterback battle isn't quite over yet (photo via courier-journal.com)
Indiana fell back to earth after their program-first triumph over Penn State, allowing 473 yards in a 42-28 loss to Michigan State and pulling starting QB Nate Sudfeld in the fourth quarter after he struggled to move the ball. I've watched each of these games and think I have a grasp on Indiana's overall quality: a well-coached offense that can put up points on anyone but is limited by their talent in the backfield and on the line coupled with a defense that's ... well, pretty bad.
For an expansion on that boiled-down point, let's go to the full breakdown.
WR Cody Latimer is off to the best start of his career (Andrew Weber/US Presswire)
Spread, Pro-Style, or Hybrid? Spread. The Hoosiers don't have a fullback, almost always have at least three receivers on the field, and never go under center, even in short-yardage situations.
Basketball on Grass or MANBALL? Basketball on grass. They didn't run much in this game, but when they did it was read option with QB Tre Roberson or simple inside zones.
About last week:
Indiana (3-3, 1-1 B1G)
Last game: Michigan State 42, Indiana 28 (L)
Recap: Indiana put up 28 points against MSU, which was 11 points more than any other team has scored against Sparty this year. But they also gave up 42 points, which was 14 more points than Sparty has scored against any FBS team this year. Given the nature of Indiana’s season, neither of these should be surprising. IU jumped out to an early 7-0 lead when Tevin Coleman broke a 64-yard touchdown on the first series of the game, but he finished with only 15 yards on 14 carries outside of that. IU kept it close until State scored on the last drive of the first half and the first drive of the second half to take a 14 point lead.
Indiana simply couldn’t stop Michigan State, either in the air or on the ground. Sparty averaged 5.6 yards per carry and 7.6 yards per pass, both of which are, I believe, non-FBS highs for State. Indiana couldn’t defend the run in any way, shape, or form; their defensive ends were just getting destroyed, and their linebackers were leaving cutbacks and counters open all day. If the front side didn’t look like a cavern, the back side looked like a moonscape. And while this is a steadily-improving Michigan State offense, we’re still not talking about the ’85 Bears.
If Michigan can’t run the ball against Indiana… oh dammit I can’t even find a humorous way to finish that sentence because Michigan probably can’t run the ball against Indiana because even Indiana’s defense can stop the run when they put 13 guys in the box.
IU’s bowl quest is probably still on track, because they still have Minnesota, Illinois, Purdue, and (sigh) Michigan on their schedule. Three more wins until the Pizza Pizza Bow… wait, there is not Pizza Pizza Bowl anymore? WHY CAN’T WE HAVE ANY NICE THINGS ANYMORE?
This team is as frightening as: An octopus. Noted for its intelligence and resourcefulness. Can open jars, pick works cup winners, and occasionally knock off some bigger prey, but for the most part they will just hang around looking unassuming and not standing out too much in any respect. Fear level = 4
Michigan should worry about: Kevin Wilson has an office. That office has a television. That television is attached to a video-playing device of some sort. As a result of this freak confluence of factors, that tackle-over thing won’t work, even against Indiana.
Michigan can sleep soundly about: Hey, a home game. Sometimes those don’t start with Michigan doodling randomly for 40 minutes before looking at the clock and realizing “oh shit this exam is over in 20 minutes and if I hand it in like this I’ll fail.”
I SAID “SOMETIMES,” okay?
Seriously, this is the kind of game where if the defense plays well, the offense can MANBALL stumble its way to 30 points. Indiana isn’t a bad team, but they are an abysmal defensive team.
When they play Michigan: I still think Michigan wins this game. IU’s defense is terrible, their offensive line is banged up. One important matchup to watch will be Tevin Coleman coming out of the backfield. I don’t think Desmond Morgan can run with him, so it’ll be up to Mattison to figure something out or risk getting wheel routed like whoa.
Next game: @ Michigan
[AFTER THE JUMP: I get a little less snarky. No, that’s a lie. I can’t back that up.]