SPONSOR NOTES: So we fixed the link, as someone informed us that the page had been password protected for seemingly no reason. That is no longer the case. You can go over to Matt's site and be lovingly led through the process of financing a home purchase now. Alacrity, that's the ticket.
In addition to being a gentleman replete with Michigan tickets, Matt is also a good man to know if you need a mortgage. It's striking that we actually get non-astroturfed comments about positive experiences with Matt not infrequently.
If you're buying a home or refinancing, he's the right guy to call.
FORMATION NOTES: Okay. I added a column. "D Pack" is short for defensive package and lists the personnel. 4-2-5 is Michigan's standard with two ILBs and Peppers on the field. Peppers counts as part of the 5 because he can play CB and S, which he did in this game. 3-2-6 lifts a DL for (currently) a safety. There was one 4-0-7 with Peppers at LB and six other DBs on the field.
I'm still sifting through what I want to do with the other columns. I'm probably going to split Front into Front and Coverage, but given how complicated coverages are these days and my lack of ability to see downfield sometimes that'll be noisy data.
Anyway. Most of the stuff wasn't crazy. I called this 4-3 SAM slide, as it's a 4-3 even with Peppers on the end of the line:
This was a more standard 4-3.
PERSONNEL NOTES: Almost zero rotation in this game. Starting defense when the whole way, with all 68 snaps given to the starting DBs. Kinnel and Watson got 10 and 7 snaps in various dime packages; Lavert Hill got in for that 4-0-7 play.
Peppers, Gedeon, and McCray all missed one snap. The DL rotated six guys close to evenly. By snap counts: Winovich(55), Glasgow(47), Godin(40), Wormley(36), Gary(33), Hurst(33). Marshall got 13 and was the only other DL to play.
[After THE JUMP: calm with bursts of WTF]
Previously: Colorado Offense
Colorado's defense has allowed only 14 points through two games, though opponent caveats apply: Colorado State was 60th in offense S&P+ last year and Idaho State is a I-AA team. Still, the Buffs look to have a truly impressive secondary, and Jim Leavitt's aggressive 3-4 scheme wreaked havoc in their dominant win over CSU. I'm using film from that game and grades from Pro Football Focus to take a deep dive on the Colorado defense.
Personnel: Seth's diagram [click to embiggen]:
We somehow managed to piece this together despite Colorado's best efforts to obscure their real depth chart. A couple of personnel notes: Laguda plays all the snaps despite being listed as a backup on the (last week's) depth chart; when CU goes nickel or dime, he shifts into the slot and Ryan Moeller enters as the free safety.
Corner Chidobe Awuzie, who's going to be discussed extensively in a moment, lines up all over the place. He'll play corner against two receivers, often shifts inside to the slot against three- and four-wide sets, and will drop back into a rover/safety role on occasion.
Base Set? This is another true 3-4 team, and when they go to nickel they usually lift the nose tackle. In dime, they'll pull one of the OLBs—usually McCartney, who's less of a pass-rush threat than Gilbert.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]
[Ed-Seth: We have the great pleasure of employing the services and serving utensils of the original barbecuing bloggerati Joe Pichey of GoBlueBBQ to write recipes for our most delicious sponsor, Stubb's BBQ sauce. It is all over America so you have no excuse for not trying it yet. Consider this your patriotic duty.]
Since Stubbs wouldn’t approve my purchase of a small buffalo for this week’s recipe, I went with the next best thing. I went to my favorite local meat market and picked up this little 3.5 lb Prime Tomahawk Ribeye.
From the minute I walked in the door, Smokey Bones (The official GOBLUEBBQ pup) was by my side. This thing is massive and packs some huge flavor. I love a good ribeye and really liked how it turned out after dry brining. This was the first time dry brining for me and it will be the way to go moving forward. This will work on steaks, chicken, turkey and pork. The thicker the meat, the longer you brine it for. You can’t get much easier than that.
- Steak (1 - 2 inches thick works best)
- Kosher Salt (1/2 teaspoon per lb)
- Stubbs Steak Rub
[Things get salty after THE JUMP]
Author’s note: Last week featured some BAD football in the Big Ten. Michigan’s opponents played Pitt, North Carolina, and a pile of broken pottery and assorted dishwasher parts. We get paid off this week, though; Michigan State plays Notre Dame, Ohio State plays Oklahoma, Iowa plays North Dakota State, and (for fans of the Saw movie franchise) Rutgers plays New Mexico.
About Last Week:
Physics: fun for the whole family.
The Road Ahead:
Last week: Beat Idaho State, 56-7
Recap: Colorado did unspeakable things to Idaho State on Saturday. Really grizzly stuff. They held the Bengals to 96 total yards, including 61 yards passing on 41 attempts. That’s less than 1.5 yards per pass. I couldn’t remember if I’d ever seen a number that bad, and then I remembered that Eastern Michigan once threw 18 times for 4 yards against a MAC school. So, I guess it COULD be worse. But barely.
Offensively, Colorado scored touchdowns on seven of its eight first half drives. Quarterback Sefo Liufau racked up 384 total yards despite only playing one half.
Idaho State is bad. It’s as if beating Simon Fraser University in their opener 47-3 wasn’t worth anything. On the other hand, Colorado might be good.
This team is as frightening as:
— Colorado Football (@RunRalphieRun) September 13, 2016
A team that is moderately creative, but lacks the execution to spell “Axel Foley,” Olive Oyl,” or “Willy Wonka” correctly. Fear Level = 5.5
Michigan should worry about: There’s a chance Colorado can sneak in under Michigan’s radar.
Michigan can sleep soundly about:
— Colorado Buffaloes (@cubuffs) September 12, 2016
When they play Michigan: No tip up. Down. Knock down.
This week: at Michigan, 3:30 p.m., BTN
[AFTER THE JUMP: Into the Pitt]
Kyle [Kalis] last night was saying people shouldn’t panic about the run game after Saturday.
“No! You know, I was truly flattered, to tell you the truth. When you load the box like that and you send that many pressures it means you’ve done something. You’re doing something that’s making people take notice. Most defensive coordinators, hell or high water, they will not let you beat them running the ball. It’s a demoralizing feeling to be beat up front in the run game, so most people say, ‘If you’re going to beat us, beat us in the pass game.’
“Like I told my backs, I said, ‘Look, don’t look at the numbers on the board. Look at what they did to take this away, and take that in pride and [to] heart. The offensive line is blocking like madmen up front for us and we’re taking holes and making them into big gains. Take that to heart. Feel good about that.’ Hey, when a team comes in saying ‘we want to stop the run,’ that means you’re doing something. So the run game, not worried about it.”
You spread the carries around; no one had more than 10. Was that just to see if anyone had a different take on it and could do something, or was that--
“No, that was just something Coach Harbaugh came up with and just wanted to keep the guys rolling, keep them fresh. No more than that.”
Were there things that you saw that they did that maybe we couldn’t notice in terms of what they did? I guess De’Veon breaking the tackles was significant, but--
“Each guy kind of—Chris [Evans] is quick. He gets in there, made a couple of moves. Been able to use his ability in terms of quickness to make some guys miss [and] create some separation. Ty [Isaac] is a guy that can lean on some people and push the pile. But anything or one thing in particular that separated them? Not really. It was just a game where we just needed to get the tough yards. There was going to be some creases in there where if it was three it was going to be a tough three. The old three yards and a cloud of dust, that’s basically what it was. Or a cloud of rubber, rather, as a matter of fact. That’s what it was.”
What do you see from the rest of the room when you put the tape on and De’Veon, he’s breaking seven tackles and getting a first down on that one run. Do you tell the guys ‘This is it, right here’?
“In terms of what?”
[Hit THE JUMP to resolve this cliffhanger, as well as more on the Four Horsemen or Four-Headed Monster or whatever you prefer calling Michigan’s stable of RBs]
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 "38-0 Harbaugh!" 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 or I don't hear from the winner(s) we push it to next week or let it go.
Nobody won. This guy was closest:
This guy didn’t realize his post gets a time tag:
Or maybe he did?
This Week’s Game:
Colorado at Michigan while Seth is in Colorado. Zero tolerance is a nice slogan, but speaking from experience, people will agree to all sorts of dumb things to lock down a 5-star.
And on the Line:
It gets floody in Colorado.
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. The algorithm finds the winners as it chooses. The algorithm is self-correcting. The algorithm consistently runs power. The algorithm is banned in Jersey. The algorithm is legal in Colorado and several other states. The algorithm is still pissed about McGary that was some serious bullshit. Oops the algorithm swore. Algorithm’s sorry. Except to Scott Frost. And the NBA. And the NCAA. And Scott Frost’s mom. This is not Scott Frost’s mom. It is an algorithm.