the just released schedules were a flat-out statement that the B10 doesn't believe SOS will matter in playoff selection
upon further review
|1||10||O20||Pass||2||We drop eight and Stanton starts rolling all over the place before finding a last outlet one yard downfield. Harris comes up when Stanton starts rolling around. Coverage +1.|
|2||8||O22||Run||3||Stanton takes a rare snap from under center and they run up the gut. Harris(+1) sheds and tackles.|
|3||5||O25||Pass||18||Stanton rolls out and fires nicely along the sideline. Harris again has contain responsibility. Mason(-1) gets beaten easily.|
|1||10||O43||Pass||Inc||Another three man rush and Stanton misses his man coming across the zone. Trent(+1) had good coverage.|
|2||10||O43||Pass||Sack, -13||Stanton attempts to roll left but Woodley(+3) just crushes his man into the backfield and forces him to scramble back to his right where Biggs(+1) and Massey(+1) clean up the mess. +5 for one play? 13 yard sack against a team that's never sacked, you're damn right.|
|3||23||O30||Pass||20||Three man rush again. Stanton has a ton of time but can't find a guy deep enough for the first.|
|Drive Notes: 0-0 13 min 1st Q. Good enough. Woodley huge, huge, huge play to stop the drive. Get used to the three man rush on third and long, except most of them won't go as well as this one.|
|1||10||O20||Run||3||This is a win with six in the box. I believe it's Burgess(+1) who stands up to the lead block very well and forces Ringer back into the D.|
|2||7||O23||Pass||Inc||Stanton underthrows a ball badly and Mason(+1) almost picks it off. Danielson thinks it's a busted route... and then points out that Stanton ate Branch(+1). Thanks, Danielson!|
|3||7||O23||Pass||Inc||Stanton again can't find anyone due to the zone coverage (we're rushing four) and takes off on a magical mystery tour. Biggs gets flagrantly clipped right in front of the referee but there's no call, and then after Stanton finds an open receiver downfield who drops it they try to throw a flag for a late hit that gets picked up. Given what's going to happen later, the incomptence of this crew stands out.|
|Drive Notes: 7-0, 11 min 1st Q. Harris is definitely taksed with spying.|
|1||10||O20||Pass||5||Screen to Ringer. Woodley(+1) comes back a makes a nice tackle from behind.|
|2||5||O25||Run||2||Harris(+1) again with the shed and stick. He is obviously our best linebacker.|
|3||3||O27||Pass||13||A play fake on third and three and Stanton just has decades to throw.|
|1||10||O40||Run||-2||A sweep to the short side. Woodley(+1) gets out, forcing the RB to cut it back and Branch(+1) is there to crush smash destroy.|
|2||12||O38||Pass||Inc||Flanker screen is dropped. Would have worked, too.|
|3||12||O38||Pass||32||The pocket rolls a bit and again Stanton has forever to throw. It's worth noting that Branch is flagrantly held on this play. Christ, I'm getting angry just watching it. There's no excuse for not throwing that flag.|
|1||10||M30||Run||12||They run a pitch sweep the the short side and neither Hall nor Graham can get off their blocks. Fistfuls of jersey everywhere.|
|1||10||M18||Run||11||Direct snap to Jerramy Scott with Stanton lined up as a WR. It's Graham(-1) who shoots up into the wrong hole.|
|1||G||M7||Run||3||Nice play by Branch to get Caulcrick at the line of scrimmage, though he falls forward because there's no LB to fill the hole.|
|Drive Notes: 14-7, 3 min 1st. Seriously, that hold on the 32 yard completion is comical. The pitch sweep is questionable. Bam bam bam down the field with the run game after the bogus conversion. What was the last play Graham made? He's been a disappointment so far.|
|1||10||O35||Run||22||Massive hole courtesy of Massey(-3), though the play is well designed. Massey gets shoved out immediately and opens up a vast hole that neither linebacker can cover since they're eating blockers.|
|1||10||M43||Pass||16||They fake the damn counter draw, and there's a huge hole in the zone. Coverage -1.|
|1||10||M27||Pass||Int||The reviewed Barringer(+1) interception. Unbelievable that the guy in the box forced Lloyd to take a timeout to review this. Jim Augustine is NOT an outstanding replay official, Brent. Woodley(+1) forced Scott to bring the ball down instead of throwing it immediately.|
|Drive Notes: 14-7, End of First. It is a really good offense. One player on your defense blows the tiniest little thing and bam, it's 15-20 yards.|
|1||10||O22||Run||13||Argh! Contain. Jamar Adams(-2) is the nickel back here and doesn't even bother Ringer.|
|1||10||O35||Run||2||Toss sweep. Harris(+1) gets out on it and keeps it contained. Branch is again there for the tackle.|
|2||8||O37||Run||12||Massey(-2) gets crushed again, leaving a gaping hole that allows Caulcrick to easily avoid the linebacker who's attempting to fill the hole with a blocker in his face.|
|1||10||O49||Run||-2||Stanton pops the snap up into the air, busting the play.|
|2||12||O47||Pass||1||WR screen. Woods(+1) diagnoses the play well and the play develops slowly enough for him to get there.|
|3||11||O48||Pass||13||Zone blitz, we bring both corners and end up rushing 4. Barringer can't react quickly enough to prevent the completion.|
|1||10||M39||Pass||Inc||Play action rollout that Woods is about as on top of it as you can be. Jamar Adams(+1) knocks the ball loose from the receiver.|
|2||10||M39||Pass||Inc||A seam route over the middle that Barringer(+1) attacks and almost intercepts.|
|3||15||M44||Pass||32||Five wide, we rush three and Stanton finds an open Scott. Jesus, man, I know it's been working okay, but it's third and fifteen. This is a clear example of our fear of Stanton's legs overwhelming logical judgement.|
|1||10||M12||Run||6||Caulcrick is a load. Engelmon can't stop him before he plows for an extra 4 YAC.|
|2||4||M6||Run||3||Caulcrick again. Engelmon cuts him this time.|
|3||1||M3||Penalty||2||Defensive holding on Mason(-1).|
|Drive Notes: 21-14, 6 min 2nd Another killer third and long conversion for MSU ends up in a touchdown. Infuriating to watch a three man rush on third and fifteen.|
|1||10||O33||Run||6||Woods(+1) spins off his blocker and forces the play back inside. MSU is fortunate that Harris beat his man as well because the missed block turns into a perfect one with the cutback and Ringer schoots up into hole.|
|2||4||O39||Pass||61||Reed's screen touchdown. Another example of the slightest screwup equalling big yards and, in this case, six. The blitz and the fake roll to the other side of the field sucks away everyone except the two guys on the recievers. Harrison(-3) makes a huge mistake. He gets blocked by Trannon, but when he releases to block the other guy, he follows him(!), instead of switching off on to Reed and keeping that to no gain.|
|Drive Notes: Freshman mistake == touchdown. 21-21 3 min 2nd Q.|
|2||6||M13||Penalty||-10||Holding drawn by Woodley(+1)|
|2||16||M23||Pass||Scramble, 6||Stanton takes off and the coverage converges all right. Graham makes the tackle.|
|3||10||M17||Pass||8||Jailbreak screen that seems like it might get the first down but Barringer(+1) comes up to make the stop.|
|Drive Notes: FG. 24-24, 11 min 3rd Q. Can we get Lamarr Woodley a syndicated show that comes on right after Xena called DriveKiller?|
|1||10||O32||Pass||14||Rolling pocket and a wide open reciever in front of Hall.|
|2||6||50||Pass||Sack, -4||Fumble! Another sprintout, this one into a blitz from Burgess(+1), who forces him back inside, where Woods(+2) makes the sack and strip which Harris(+1) recovers. Hands down the play of the game.|
|Drive Notes: 24-24, 8 min 3 Q. We do nothing on offense here but given the yards the MSU offense has been snapping off in chunks, this play is absolutely huge.|
|1||10||O4||Run||1||Line holds up well, and Harris(+1) picks off the blocker, allowing Engelmon(+1) to come up and fill the hole at the LOS. Burgess(+1) correctly stays outside and wraps around the outside of the DE to assist on the tackle after Ringer commits to the inside hole. Contain. Yip.|
|2||9||O5||Run||4||Sweep that Burgess just barely cuts the corner off on, but Ringer manages to squeeze past him and get upfield a little bit.|
|3||5||O9||Pass||19||Absolutely no pass rush and Stanton has all day to find a receiver.|
|1||10||O28||Run||8||Accursed counter draw. Burgess(+1) fills the intended hole unblocked so Teague has to cut it upfield, which he can because Massey's(-1) getting throttled again.|
|2||2||O36||Pass||12||Flanker screen to Trannon. That's just hard to stop.|
|1||10||O48||Run||-4||Tim Jamison(+2) blows by the tackle and crushes Ringer with authorita.|
|2||14||O44||Pass||8||Another screen. There's no one close to him until Barringer comes up and makes a solid tackle.|
|1||10||M42||Run||1||Fortunate tackle by Harris, because the outside linebackers blitz and if he gets past Harris Ringer is going to gain 10 or so.|
|2||9||M41||Pass||8||Dropped eight again and Stanton finds his man.|
|3||1||M32||Run||5||Option. Michigan has no one to take the pitchman.|
|1||10||M27||Run||5||Harrison fails to wrap up after about 3 yards. Good job by Will Johnson(+1) on the line and how can David Harris be facing the exact opposite way he wants to be without it being holding? This I ask.|
|2||5||M22||Pass||10||Triple stack screen which is not well executed but still goes for a ton of yards. This drive is teeth grinding.|
|1||10||M12||Run||3||Graham fills nicely and Woodley comes off his block to tackle.|
|2||7||M9||Run||3||Stanton keeper. Woodley with yet another tackle despite the play going up the gut.|
|3||4||M6||Run||0||The much-discussed run on third and four. MSU is just outnumbered.|
|Drive Notes: Missed FG, 24-24, 13 min 4th Q. This drive shows all the scary death magic inherent in the MSU offense. There's more three man rush that Stanton's figured out and another play where Massey failing to hold opens up a huge hole against the spread.|
|1||10||O20||Pass||-2||Another rolling pocket, but there's no one open (Danielson credits Hall(+1) for the coverage), and Pierre Woods is there to force him out.|
|2||12||O18||Pass||-6||The Ringer screen that Gabe Watson finished with authorita. Credit to Harris(+2) and Massey(+1) for identifiying the screen immediately and showing up right when the ball gets there.|
|3||18||O12||Pass||Inc||Unbelievable, another freaking third and forever and we rush three again. Mason(-1) is in good coverage but does not really prevent the catch, which is fortunately dropped after a pushoff.|
|Drive Notes: 31-24, 9 min 4th Q.|
|1||10||O20||Run||20||Three man line with Woods as one of the DEs; he gets double teamed and crushed.|
|1||10||O40||Penalty||Illegal substituation on Massey(-1)|
|1||5||O45||Pass||-5||Wacky hook and ladder screen. Nice job by Mason(+1) to not overpursue here and make the big time TFL.|
|2||10||O40||Penalty||-5||Illegal formation calls back a 20 yard pass reception which upon review is even dumber to cite as a reason this game was lost by the Spartans: they had 7 seconds left on the clock. There is exactly zero chance they run a FG team out after another play so their options are 57 yard FG try (fat chance) or a rushed Hail Mary. This is No Big Deal.|
|2||15||O35||Pass||whatever||Meaningless dumpoff to Teague.|
|Drive Notes: 31-31, EORegulation.|
|1||10||M25||Run||4||The line holds up pretty well but there's no penetration. Harris takes on the blocker and Burgess makes the tackle.|
|2||6||M21||Pass||Inc||Superb coverage by Hall(+2) and a near interception that he can't quite come up with.|
|3||6||M21||Pass||Inc||Stanton has forever to throw but can't find anyone open and hurls it directly into the hands of Morgan Trent, who drops it.|
|Drive Notes: Missed FG. 31-31, 1/2 OT. Uh, yeah... you suck.|
So how did we do?
Um... okay I guess. Here's the chart...
|Woodley||7||-||7||Consistently fierce. Penetrates, reacts, pursues, and tackles.|
|4||-||4||Forced the Stanton fumble and saw extensive time with Biggs out. Playing well.|
|Watson||-||-||-||Not the offense he's suited to defending. MSU avoided him when they ran at all costs, though.|
|Jamison||2||-||-||One impressive TFL in limited time.|
|Branch||2||-||2||Came down from his stratospheric UW performance but was still pretty good. Probably had a much tougher time against the Spartan line.|
|Burgess||4||-||-||Pretty good day; would like to see him shed more blocks. Often goes down without enough of a fight.|
|Harris||6||-||-||Playing very, very well. Entrusted with spying Stanton all day; shows the faith they have in him.|
|Graham||-||1||-1||Didn't play a ton.|
|Barringer||3||-||3||Made his presence felt for the first time. Hold onto those ints.|
|Harrison||-||3||3||One huge mistake on the screen touchdown. Hopefully he learns from it.|
I thought you said to lay off Massey.
Uh, yeah, I did, but there's no denying that when MSU had success up the middle it was because Massey was getting hurled to the side like Jennifer Aniston when Angelina came calling (OH SNAP!!!). He he had a couple nice plays in pursuit but the word "liability" is getting close to legitimate when it is applied to Massey re: run defense. He's too tall to hold at the point of attack consistently. When someone gets underneath his pads, he's done. When was the last time he penetrated into the backfield? I can't remember an instance this year.
I think he'll do all right against Minnesota because their line relies much less on the brute force Massey is ill-equipped to deal with, but big, tough interior linemen will continue to crumple him the rest of the year.
Aren't you concerned about 455 yards?
Yes, but I think if a few obvious penalties are called we greatly reduce that number. I swear that on the long third down conversion I kvetched about above that Branch was in a figure-four. I also believe that MSU has the best offense we'll see all year by a long shot. They have a very good offensive line, a trio of running backs who are all pretty decent, and Stanton, who is fantastic. Their wide receivers are distictly mediocre, but they're incredibly hard to stop with the rolling pockets and the run game from nowhere and the vast diversity of the screens, draws, counters, and option plays they run. We shan't see their ability to run and pass again.
So next year...
Hope their defense remains as bad. Senior Stanton winless against Michigan is going to be pissed off.
This game tells us what about Minnesota?
Nothing. You couldn't have two philosophies more diametrically opposed.
Well then indeed.
You're skimping on the analysis here.
It's Friday at 5:45. I've got a hockey game to go to. Screw you.
That's not very professional.
Some clarification on the pass designations, which now accompany every throw:
- DO: Dead On; reserved for downfield throws that are perfectly placed and are either fit into a tough place or require a lot of leading and provide a good opportunity to run after the catch. Generally should be reserved for fairly badass plays. (Note this is a major change. Expect far fewer DOs than I've been charting previously.)
- CA: Catchable; Standard downfield completions that are a little off--behind or tall or in front--that still don't pose a huge difficulty to the receiver or bombs that are reasonably well thrown even if slighly off. All successful screen and very short throws max out at this level.
- IN: Inaccurate; balls that are misthrown and give the receiver little or no chance of catching without a spectacular play or massive adjustment. Some completions are "inaccurate" if the catch made involves some eye-popping. Completed screens that are delayed by a poorly thrown ball and therefore stopped also go here.
- TA: Throwaways; balls that are not intended to be caught.
- BR: Bad Reads; Balls that are thrown into coverage or thrown away when there are open recievers.
- BA: Batted; Balls batted at the line or inaccurate because the quarterback was hit while throwing.
|1||10||M2||Run||Hart||1||Eight in the box and we choose to run anyway. Thompson gets no block.|
|2||9||M3||Pass||Tabb||8||Nicely designed play attacks one area of the zone and Henne diagnoses the right guy to throw to (primary read, it appears, since the other routes head straight into the local zone cover guys and force them to react). This happens all day. It's the same stop route Edwards used to run all the time. (CA) New designation == Tabbroute.|
|3||1||M11||Run||Hart||45||They've brought a safety down for eight in the box again. Thompson gets juuust enough of the LB filling the hole between Kraus and Lentz and the safety coming up takes a Shazor angle, misses a weak arm tackle and it's races time. This is a hole, by the way, that Grady/Martin just don't fit through. Hart has to leap through the tiny crack in the line.|
|1||10||O44||Pass||Manningham||18||Long handoff. MSU corner couldn't have played this worse. (CA)|
|1||10||O26||Run||Hart||1||Hart is forced to cut back here as MSU's DE gets penetration. Eight in the box.|
|2||9||O25||Pass||Ecker||9||Ecker sits in the hole in the zone and Henne finds him quickly. (CA)|
|1||10||O16||Pass||Avant||Inc||Sailed well over Avant's head. He was open. Bad Henne! (IN)|
|2||10||O16||Pass||Avant||5||Good diagnosis of the blitz and Henne finds his hot read, but the throw pulls Avant out of bounds else he can get another 3-4 (CA)|
|3||5||O11||Run||Bass||9||QB Draw. How does this work? In any case, a great seal block by Hart gets the first down. GREAT.|
|1||G||O2||Pass||Avant||2||Perfect fade for the touchdown. (DO)|
|Drive Notes: 7-0, 9 min 1st. Upon viewing you get a glimpse of how good Hart is. The 45 yard run is probably 2 with someone who isn't him and the critical third down conversion was due to Hart darting up and sealing the hell out of the MSU linebacker who would have filled the hole otherwise. Henne's sharp on this drive too, save for the one overthrown ball that's shades of UW.|
|1||10||M48||Run||Hart||9||Sweep gets the corner here as Michigan overloads one side of the line and they outnumber at the point of attack.|
|2||1||O43||Pass||Manningham||43||Sweet Jesus, Manningham has to slow up because the throw is a little behind him and he's still open by like three yards. Danielson points out the free safety bite. Quit doin' my job! (CA)|
|Drive Notes: 14-0, 7 min 1st. Yes, if you're wondering, I am detecting a certain buoyancy not found in previous editions of UFR. The touchdown here is a thing of beauty, with the safeties biting hard on the play action (how do you bite on second and one play action?) and Manningham rolling his hips a little bit like he's running a flag then cutting to the post instantaneously and breaking Jaren Hayes. You got served, Hayes!|
|1||10||M30||Pass||Manningham||3||Long handoff played better by Watson this time. Dangerous of him to be so aggressive, though... if Manningham breaks the tackle to the outside he runs a long way. (CA)|
|2||7||M33||Run||Hart||2||Toss sweep. Either the pulling guard Lentz is late or there's an extra guy in the box.|
|3||5||M35||Pass||Massaquoi||Inc||Maybe he gets the first down if he catches this, but he's got that cast on his hand. I seriously question playing a guy who can't catch. (CA)|
|Drive Notes: 14-0 M, early 1st Q. Two good plays by the MSU D and then a drop by the cast-wearing Mass.|
|1||10||M13||Pass||Avant||25||Avant's as wide open as can be. Ball is a little overthrown and Avant makes a nice catch. (CA)|
|1||10||M36||Pass||Hart||Inc||Screen that MSU reads well and Henne's forced to throw it over a defensive lineman. Better that was incomplete; would have been a loss if caught. (TA)|
|2||10||M36||Pass||Ecker||29||A seam route between two defenders that is timed and thrown perfectly. Could not have been done better; an NFL throw. (DO)|
|1||10||O35||Run||Hart||1||Massey the Younger is in at TE and gets killed by the DE. The play's blown up and Hart does well to not lose 3.|
|2||9||O34||Pass||Avant||14||Nice throw but the coverage here is EMU level. The CB had bailed out almost before the play began. (DO)|
|1||10||O20||Run||Hart||0||Like two guys are totally unblocked. Again Hart does well not to lose 3 or 4 yards.|
|2||10||O20||Run||Hart||8||Draw. Ecker gets a nice seal block and Hart gets three while being tackled by like three guys.|
|3||2||O12||Run||Hart||1||Again Hart is trying to deal with an unblocked guy right a the point of attack.|
|4||1||O11||Penalty||RTK||5||This call is also a joke, especially called as roughing. A cheap call. Officials == tards.|
|1||G||O5||Pass||Avant||Inc||Avant runs the fade as Henne throws the slant. Who's right? Avant. The DB was clearly taking inside position. (BR)|
|3||G||O5||Pass||Thompson||5||Uh, yeah... you might want to cover that guy. (CA)|
|Drive Notes: 21-7, 10 min 2nd Q. Danielson's been harping on Michigan running too much and I'm with him. Just look at this drive. Throwing is stealing candy and they're stacking 8 in the box and the runs go 1 0 8 1 0.< /td>|
|1||10||M20||Run||Grady||0||Both guards fail to block their men and there's nothing for Grady.|
|2||10||M20||Pass||Massaquoi||7||Stop route in the zone. The Carl Tabb route. (CA)|
|Drive Notes: 21-7 4 min 2nd Q. It's like a little piece of me dies whenever Avant drops a pass. I think I need therapy.|
|1||10||M28||Pass||Tabb||8||Carl Tabb runs the Tabbroute. There's much better coverage this time but Henne slides it in there. (DO)|
|2||2||M36||Run||Hart||4||I believe this is a zone-stretch type play that we'll see to great effect in the fourth quarter. Michigan makes a note of this.|
|1||10||M40||Pass||Avant||18||So easy, says Danielson, and I agree. Out route again taking advantage of the MSU Cornerback Terrors. Avant makes some yards afterwards (CA)|
|1||10||O42||Pass||Hart||6||Hart runs a little flat route that Watson reads well and comes off the single WR on that side to make a good tackle, else Hart had a ton of room. (CA)|
|2||4||O36||Pass||Massaquoi||5||Almost dropped again. I know he's a fifth year senior, but come on--he can't catch with that cast. (CA)|
|1||10||O31||Pass||Avant||7||Long handoff. (CA)|
|2||3||O24||Run||Hart||-4||Herron makes a really nice play, slicing up into the backfield, but the big issue here is Ecker getting shoved back at the LOS, opening up the slicing-avenue.|
|3||7||O28||Pass||Avant||6||CA. Same Tabbroute but just a tiny bit short.|
|4||1||O22||Run||Hart||10||Little man keeps running, making eight of these yards after he should have been tackled.|
|1||10||O12||Run||Hart||4||I don't like this playcall very much, because if you're going to run it here you have to have a second play called in the huddle so you don't waste a down here. The clock spike was planned by the offensive staff and is throwing away a down; it's a horrible call.|
|3||6||O8||Pass||Tabb||4||Why even throw this? It's short of the sticks and if Tabb doesn't manage to squeak out of bounds they probably don't even get a FG attempt. (CA)|
|Drive Notes: 24-21, Halftime. The clock management on this drive is very bad.|
|1||10||M20||Pass||No one||Sack, -4||I don't understand why Henne pulls this down, since he had his guy on a stop route. (BR)|
|2||14||M16||Run||Hart||2||Again the interior of the offensive line simply fails to properly block the defensive tackles.|
|3||12||M18||Pass||Dunno||Int||A terrible read against fairly vanilla zone coverage. (BR)|
|Drive Notes: 24-21, 13 min 3rd Q. No excuse for the interception.|
|1||10||M20||Run||Hart||6||Finally an effective run between the tackles.Good block by Kraus.|
|2||4||M26||Run||Hart||1||Nowhere to run again.|
|3||3||M27||Pass||Manningham||2||A flanker screen that Manningham screws up. If he just runs it straight upfield, he gets the first down. (CA)|
|Drive Notes:24-24, 9 min 3rd Q. Again you've got the offense operating on the edge of annihilation here early in the second half; again these appear to be execution issues.|
|1||10||O46||Pass||Avant||5||Long handoff. (CA)|
|2||5||O41||Pass||Avant||Inc||A deep ball to Avant, wonder of wonders. Very nicely placed by Henne, who puts it where Avant, who's running step for step with the DB, has a chance but the DB does not. (CA)|
|3||5||O41||Pass||Hart||0||Unfortunately, McKinney stunts right into the screen. (CA)|
|Drive Notes: 24-24, late 3rd Q. MSU called rock to our scissors on the screen.|
|1||10||M20||Run||Hart||64||Strange aligment here for MSU. They have a huge gap between the DE and DT on the right side of the formation. This is a draw action and Thompson finds that gaping hole to seal the linebacker as the overloaded side of the line blocks off the Spartan defenders--there was no reaction to the TE going in motion here. This play was going for 20 before the ball was even snapped. I mean, seriously, there's no one within two yards of Riley.|
|1||10||O16||Run||Grady||5||(Note to this point that Hart has 109 yards on the two long runs and 49(!!!) on all his others.) Grady makes 3-4 after contact here.|
|2||5||O11||Run||Hart||7||More draw action right at the gaping hole between the DT and the DE. Hart gets three with like three guys on him.|
|1||G||O2||Pass||Penalty||1||Pass interference on Ecker in the back of the endzone. Incomplete only because Ecker bobbles it (and shouldn't have this been reviewed) but he has an excuse. (CA)|
|1||G||O1||Run||Hart||1||How the damn hell does he get this in there? Does he levitate into the endzone? Neither Paul nor Riley gets anything approximating a block but Hart does it yet again. YOU ROOLZ.|
|Drive Notes: 31-24, 11 min 4 Q. Amazing that we run this into the endzone given the fact that our run blocking is basically nonexistent unless State lines up with ridiculous gaps between their DL.|
|1||10||M46||Run||Hart||2||Could have gone for more but Hart trips up making his cut. There was actually a hole (draw action again).|
|3||1||O44||Run||Hart||3||They go on a quick count for this play and it catches the Spartans off guard.|
|1||10||O41||Pass||Hart||Inc||Henne throws this in the dirt as the screen is diagnosed and well covered. (TA)|
|2||10||O41||Pass||Tabb||5||Again a litte route against the zone. Tabb sits down. (CA)|
|3||5||O36||Pass||Avant||11||Long handoff to Avant. How do you allow this on third and five? It is the mystery. (CA)|
|1||10||O25||Run||Hart||0||Riley gets shoved three yards into the backfield and Hart runs up his back.|
|2||10||O25||Pass||No one||Inc||Henne can't find anyone and Henne tosses it off into the sideline. (TA)|
|3||10||O25||Pass||Hart||Inc||Unless you really think that the worst call since Hitler decided to attack Russia should have stood, in which case get off my blog, Sparty. (BA)|
|Drive Notes: 31-31, 7 min 4th Q. We just can't run the ball. Hart's yards are almost entirely due to one Shazoresque screw up and then a really strange presnap alignment. We can't line up and block anyone.|
|1||10||M40||Run||Hart||4||Draw; Thompson falls and only gets a small piece of his man, preventing the play from going further.|
|2||6||M44||Run||Hart||8||The previously mentioned zone stretch cutback. MSU aggresively overpursuees and the backside is wide open. Hart IDs and cuts.|
|1||10||O48||Run||Hart||7||Draw; Hart picks his hole outside and cuts up smartly to get all he can.|
|2||3||O41||Run||Hart||2||Ecker cannot block the DE, who holds the corner and makes the play on a sweep.|
|3||1||O39||Run||Grady||1||Grady is like an inch short.|
|1||10||O36||Run||Hart||5||Lentz gets a weak block and his man makes the tackle. At this point there are holes opening up but Michigan can't get that last block.|
|2||5||O31||Run||Hart||4||McKinney grabs Hart's shirt and manages to drag him down. Well blocked.|
|3||1||O27||Run||Hart||0||Again an unblocked guy at the point of attack, and he's joined by another player.|
|4||1||O27||Run||Hart||9||They do actually get the POA knocked back this time. Looks like the unsuccessful 4th and goal versus Wisconsin except the pulling guard gets to the hole.|
|1||10||O18||Run||Hart||2||All jammed up and Hart does not immediately identify the correct hole to pick. Again he runs into the back of Riley.|
|3||7||O15||Run||Hart||5||Burrows his way upfield.|
|Drive Notes: Missed FG, 31-31, 1 min 4th Q. The line finally starts getting it together on this drive, though there are points where execution is still lacking. Coming to the conclusion that Ecker is just not much of a blocker (hell of a receiver, though). Riley has gotten pushed back several times but he is playing out of position with injured thumbs.|
|1||10||O25||Pass||Avant||6||Long handoff. (CA)|
|Drive Notes: 34-31, EOG. Taste the sting of defeat! Lord knows I'm used to it.|
THE OFFENSE IS BACK BABY!
Unfortunately, I have to break this out: not so fast, my friend. Nearly 500 yards and 34 (should have been 40) points is something to get excited about, certainly, but there are a lot of parallels between this game and the Eastern game, save for the fact that the opposing offense was sweet instead of nonexistent. Henne's accuracy radically improved but we ran that long handoff play a lot. It was something that we relied on to keep our drives chugging down the field and it's something that the OSUs and PSUs of the world will take away.
More concerning is the run blocking, which was awful. Yes, awful. It was possibly the worst run blocking coupled with a 200 yard day from the accused team's running back in the history of NCAA football. Hart's first 45 yard scamper saw him literally hop through a nearly nonexistent hole and was aided by SirDarean Adams (I think) pulling a Shazor on his attack angle and badly missing. The 64 yard run was a really strange draw that MSU was completely incapable of defending from the start. There was no one within two yards of the RT when the play started and all Riley had to do to leave the massive hole open was casually step to his right and wall off the Spartan DE. While Michigan did well to take advantage of the situation, rest assured that said situation will not repeat itself against Ohio State. If we are being wholly honest with ourselves (and we are), Michigan State gave us those 109 yards almost in full.
All right, yes, you're looking for good news: Hart really is that damn good, a complete back who gives like 300% effort on every play and has the incredible ability to make three yards he shouldn't on almost rush. I had forgotten what an amazing player he is in his absence. If we can get halfway competent blocking, look out.
The second piece of good news is the Hennechart:
|Team||Dead on||Catchable||Inaccurate||Bad Read||Throwaways||Batted|
I meant to bring the "DO" numbers down but not that much--I'll have to work on it. Obviously the big 25 and the leetle 1 jump out at you. That is at least partially due to the incompetence of the Spartan DBs, since a lot of those CAs are little stop routes against the zone or long handoffs, but when you try to pass 37 times and get four execution errors from your quarterback, you are in the business, as they say.
Michigan only went deep twice and neither throw was perfect, but one was a 45 yard touchdown and the other was placed so that Avant had a chance but no one else did. The 15 yard outs and little zone stops were all thrown accurately. There were a couple instances of miscommunication on option routes, but, man... 36 throws. One inaccurate. That's night and day.
So what does it mean in the larger scheme of things?
I don't think we're going to be able to run against teams that can deal with our OL effectively and have the linebackers to back it up. This appears to be PSU and OSU. Hart doesn't have the pure speed to beat guys like Connor or Hawk and the UM running game is sadly dependent on him making guys miss. Tom, you were right: the offensive line was way overrated in the offseason. Mea culpa. (Though I wonder if we'd be saying the same thing with Jake Long at RT. We'll never know.)
However, the pieces for an effective passing game complemented by a finesse running game are certainly in place. When Manningham figures out what the hell he's supposed to be doing on a regular basis he is going to be #1 in spirit if not in jersey; he's spec-QEDMFer-tacular, like a Steve Breaston born to be a wide receiver. The route he ran on his touchdown was thing of subtle beauty, all Scarlett Johansson curves from him and all my grandmother's busted hip from Jaren Hayes. Avant's shown that he is mortal when it comes to dropping the occasional ball but he's also shown that he's not merely a possession option with a number of nice episodes of YAC and an awful lot of being open (being hit has oftentimes been another matter). He is very, very good. The Chad Henne panic should also be subsiding somewhat.
In my opinion, they k ey to this offense is going to be establishing Manningham as a guy you have to bracket with a safety. The combination of Hart, Michigan's run blocking issues, and their draw-adeptness means that the running game will suffer extensively with eight in the box but will be somewhere between adequate and great if the opposing safeties have to play off. Note that Hart's huge game against Purdue last year was against a very good run defense coupled with an awful pass D that could not afford to put their corners in one-on-one coverage with Edwards, et al.
So you're telling me...
We can conclusively say at this point that the preseason expectations for the offense (propagated by me, yes, but not just me) were excessively optimistic. We have a good pass-blocking line but not a great one. Our run blocking is good only in a finesse sense, which is to say that it is not good. Breaston has been invisible but largely replaced by Manningham. Henne's accuracy has been erratic, though it's trending to the good.
So what does this mean for the Gophers?
Probably not much, despite the fact that I've been relentlessly negative considering we just racked up 500 yards. The Gopher D is about as bad as the MSU D, especially without Brandon Owens and his backup. They're going to have a tough time stopping Michigan's offense--I mean, they gave up 44 points to a team that completed about a third of its passes. They'll have a tough time stopping anyone.
Watch out for Penn State, though. They have the cornerbacks and (evidently given 48 for Maroney) the run defense to put a serious damper on our offensive forays and, even though I still hold to my belief that Michael Robinson is a better ninja space admiral than quarterback, the game is going to be a tight, ugly one.
|1||10||O28||Run||0||Draw. Weird call for the first play of the game. Graham(+1) slices in to make the tackle as it's slow developing.|
|2||10||O28||Run||15||Biggs(-1) and Graham(-1) get blocked and lose contain. Scooting downfield occurs.|
|1||10||O43||Run||7||Again Graham(-1) gets caught inside and Hall can't come up to take away the corner. Contain rears its ugly head again.|
|1||10||M47||Run||2||This is crammed up pretty well inside and when he tries to bounce Burgess is there for the stop.|
|2||8||M45||Pass||7||Despite the completion this is great coverage by Mason(+2), who picks this ball off half the time.|
|3||1||M38||Run||1||Watson in. They run away from him. Massey(+1) and Woodley(+1) hold and push really nicely and this is just a good play by Calhoun to squeak out the first down. A better tackle from Barringer(-1) stops this conversion.|
|1||10||M37||Pass||Sack, -13||Woodley(+3) owns the tackle, makes the sack, and forces an obvious fumble that the referees fail to call.|
|2||23||50||Pass||Inc||Screen is thrown over the head of Calhoun. Would very probably have gone for very few yards if caught, as Mason and Hall were there.|
|3||23||50||Pass||Inc||Stocco gets decent time but a blitzer that I think is Brandon Harrison(+1) penetrates and forces the incompletion.|
|Drive notes: Woodley sack singlehandedly ends this drive. Really distressing lack of contain here. That line with Biggs and Massey lined up on one side is like a giant sign that says run here. Brandon Harrison appears to be two or three weeks away from starting at FS the way he's going.|
|2||9||O2||Run||6||Line is Branch-Watson-Massey-Woodley here, they run between Woodley and Massey after a cut he has to make at the line. Massey(-1) just sort of falls down at the snap. He's walking a fine line between being too high and falling over every snap... 6'8, you now.|
|3||3||O8||Run||2||David Harris(+1) shows up in the hole at the line of scrimmage largely because the blocker was forced to take on Engelmon(+1), and cuts it back where a host of Wolverines are waiting.|
|Drive notes: 1 min left in the first, 0-0. 3 and out here, can't ask for anything more. A 58 yard punt and a bad-as-in-dumb holding penalty screw up the field position, though. First glimpse of the Branch at DE thing.|
|1||10||O11||Pass||Inc||Hall(+2) comes in and makes the breakup. Stocco didn't even stare him down, though he didn't exactly rifle it out there.|
|2||10||O11||Penalty||5||Offsides on Rondell Biggs(-1), but Branch(+2) made a TFL on the actual play.|
|2||5||O16||Pass||Sack, -10||Burgess(+1) and Engelmon(+1). Burgess leaps in Stoccos face, causing him to stop his throw and then Engelmon cleans up. Even if the blitzers weren't effective, Branch(+1) was held.|
|3||15||O6||Run||11||Whatever, we concede the 11 in pass coverage.|
|Drive notes: 12 min 2nd q, 0-0. Branch with two plays here and there's more coming.|
|1||10||O28||Run||0||Branch(+1) and Woodley(+1) both hold at the point of attack and collapse into the hole as Calhoun passes. Then they go WOOO like they're Ric Flair.|
|2||10||O28||Pass||3||Dumpoff to Calhoun rather quickly after Branch(+1) (guess who?) gets a great interior pass rush.|
|3||7||O31||Pass||Inc||Stocco missed Daniels badly, but an accurate throw is still not a first down. Branch drops 10 yards downfield on the zone blitz.|
|Drive Notes: 8 min 2nd Q, 3-0. Branch is everywhere. He got a drop on his pass rush comparable to a linebacker. At this point the defense is dominating.|
|1||10||O26||Run||0||Burgess(+1) holds the corner and when Calhoun cuts it back it's into a few Michigan defenders, most notably Harris.|
|2||10||O26||Pass||Inc||Stocco throws a ground ball to Daniels. Massey got good push up front, though I wouldn't call it a hurry.|
|3||10||O26||Pass||12||Three man line and one blitzer comes... Brandon Harrison? Yep. Stocco finds an open guy after the blitzer is picked up.|
|1||10||O38||Run||4||Sweep outside and Michigan's just outnumbered. Wisconsin is in a three wide here and Burgess is spread out to the slot receiver, leaving just six in the box.|
|2||6||O42||Pass||8||No one picks Calhoun up coming out of the backfield--a zone. Don't know who to blame.|
|1||10||50||Pass||15||No pass rush and Stocco has time to find Daniels. Both safeties are in pursuit. Obviously the line expected run. They've been flipping the DEs to get Woodley on Urbik on passing downs but on this play Woodley's rushing against Thomas and then it's Biggs on Urbik.|
|1||10||M35||Pass||18||Zone blitz look that rushes four but Stocco doesn't even look to the short side where the zone drop is . Hall(-1) gets sold a bill of goods on White's route.|
|1||10||M17||Pass||Inc||Two blitzers but this could have been a touchdown. Very close to interference here, but Mason just fell down and Williams fell over him.|
|2||10||M17||Pass||Inc||Stocco gets plowed by one of the DTs right as he throws. Black guy who doesn't look like a mountain so probably Branch(+1). I think Barringer(+1) deflects Stocco's pass, which was on target.|
|3||10||M17||Pass||Inc||Another blitz that's picked but, but there's no one open past the first down sticks(Mason(+1) again has excellent coverage, this time on Daniels) so Stocco rolls out and dumps it out of bounds.|
|Drive Notes: FG. 1:17 2nd Q, 10-3. Stocco got big ideas for a bit here in the best stretch of QB play this game sees. None of the blitzes on this drive get to the QB and thus the big chunks of yardage coming off. Mason is playing extremely aggressively; marked contrast to the soft zone stuff he was playing against ND.|
|1||10||O37||Run||5||Again a bounce from the RB. Burgess(-1) foolishly attacked the tackle when he should have sat back and kept better contain.|
|2||5||O42||Run||3||Three yard runs are not easy to comment on.|
|3||2||O45||Pass||7||Four wide here and I hate this soft zone on third and two. Calhoun makes the catch. Make Stocco replicate that last drive to beat you.|
|1||10||M48||Pass||Inc||OOB. Engelmon(+1) shoves him out, otherwise this is a catch.|
|2||10||M48||Run||11||Swearing erupts. Crable(-1) i s actually in on this play as a defensive end, they run right at him.|
|1||10||M37||Run||1||Nice play by Harris(+1) to shoot out to the sideline, beat a block, and force Calhoun inside.|
|2||9||M36||Pass||11||Evil TE screen to Daniels in the middle of the field. It *looks* like a screen to the left, it's got a receiver running an end around, it's confusing as shite, man.|
|1||5||M20||Run||-2||Calhoun falls over but Watson(+1) was in the backfield here, causing the cut that caused the fall.|
|2||7||M22||Pass||-4||Stocco sacked by Branch(+3), who has a beautiful bull rush move and singlehandedly ends this play.|
|3||11||M26||Pass||Inc||Stocco shortarms Orr. The line had pressure coming and Stocco moves to avoid it and throws this awkwardly.|
|Drive Notes: FG, 9 min 3rd Q, 13-6. That TE screen is a badass, brilliant little play that looks like it could be any of three different things. It freezes the outside defenders on one side with the end around, on the other side with the threatened Calhoun screen (that looks almost exactly like a screen because it IS a screen), and opens the middle up. Never seen that before. It's clearly the Wisconsin Secret Weapon this year, because they brought it out when they really needed a play twice.|
|1||10||O29||Run||-1||Burgess(+1) drives the pulling guard backwards and Harris(+1) actually tracks down Calhoun before he can get ot the corner. Harris is legit.|
|2||11||O28||Pass||7||Screen, called at the exact right time as we blitz and the screen is right where the blitzers were. Burgess does well to recover and hold the play to 7.|
|3||4||O35||Pass||Inc||Stocco throws it high. Mason(+1) again in good coverage.|
|Drive Notes: 7 min 3rd Q, 13-6. A huge Breaston return is wiped out by a Charles Stewart block in the back.|
|1||10||O26||Pass||Scramble, 11||Stocco rolls out and finds no one open on the boot so he takes off. Biggs gives chase but is slow.|
|1||10||O37||Run||11||The linebackers all meekly accept blocks but the big issue is Crable(-1) again, who has no idea that Wisconsin's allowed to run on first and ten and has no chance at preventing a big gain. Wisconsin sees Crable, they run at Crable.|
|1||10||O48||Run||3||I can't believe this doesn't end up gaining more yards, as Calhoun gets the corner but some Michigan dudes show up.|
|2||7||M49||Run||-4||Branch(+2) annihilates Daniels and Harris(+1) cleans up the mess.|
|3||11||O47||Pass||14||Very quick screen out to the left rolls for 13. This is entirely on Mason(-2), who is unbelievably moving towards the center of the field when the screen is released instead of slicing past the lumbering OL and up to stop the conversion.|
|1||10||M39||Run||-1||Woodley(+1) holds the point of attack and Watson(+1) leaps over a couple defenders to assist on the tackle.|
|2||11||M40||Pass||Inc||No real rush here and the backup TE has an 8 yard reception which he drops.|
|3||11||M40||Pass||11||Effing middle screen to Daniels. And this time we rush three and still don't stop it.|
|1||10||M29||Run||9||Both Burgess(-1) and Engelmon(-1) whiff on tackles.|
|1||10||M18||Run||11||We have eight in the box against this and lose contain again. Harris(-1) can't keep Calhoun from getting the corner and Engelmon(-1) moves up a bit and gets blocked by the WR. I think he needs to be moving outside here with eight in the box and both middle backers moving up into the inside holes. Crable(-1) comes in way low on Bernstein and just collapses to the ground... he's supposed to be the OLB on that side.|
|1||G||M7||Pass||Inc||Harris(+1) times his blitz really well and hurries Stocco, who throws it away.|
|2||G||M7||Run||-2||Strung out nicely by like everyone.|
|3||G||M9||Pass||Inc||Biggs(+2) gets instant pass rush and forces the throwaway.|
|Drive Notes: FG. 13 min 4th Q, 13-9. Crable's established why he's a backup. Why they keep playing him I'm not entirely sure. Some first chinks in the Engelmon armor.|
|1||10||M12||Run||6||They had this jammed up again... lost contain! This is on Graham(-1).|
|2||4||M6||Run||6||Goddammit! Crable(-2) did it again! He just plunges in towards the nearest blocker like a useless git.Can anyone who knows more than me tell me whether this is actually a run defense strategy?|
|Drive Notes: TD. 11 min 4th Q. 13-16. You see what I do for you?|
|1||10||M36||Penalty||-10||Holding drawn by Branch(+1) I believe.|
|1||20||M46||Pass||Int||Mason(+3) miiight have interfered here, but he jumps the cut, reads the route, and makes a huge interception.|
|Drive Notes: 10 min 4th Q, 13-16. Mason playing out his mind except for the badly misread screen. Ditto Branch. I completely fail to understand the strategies of the OLBs here, who seem to be giving up contain by design as the middle linebackers slide into the middle of the opposing line.|
|1||10||O46||Run||6||Big hole as Watson(-2) gets turned way inside by the center, leaving a gaping gash between him and Branch which Harris can do nothing about.|
|2||4||M48||Run||12||Harris(-1) has GOT to get out to the outside faster when he sees the bounce.|
|1||10||M36||Run||6||They drop Woodley into a zone. We're just getting crushed.|
|2||4||M30||Run||-1||Raiola tries to catch Watson offsides but doesn't and Stocco fumbles the snap.|
|3||5||M31||Penalty||-10||Illegal block on the back when Mason comes up to combat the screen (now he gets it). Carr takes the penalty.|
|3||15||M41||Pass||4||Stocco dumps off underneath the zone.|
|Drive Note: 5 min 4th Q, 20-16. Even though they down the punt at the 3 it's a dumb decision anyway.|
|1||10||O48||Run||2||Strung out well. Woodley(+1) is unblocked at the line for some reason and holds up against the FB unlike Crable.|
|2||8||50||Run||6||Harris(-1) has to read this play earlier and fill the hole. By the time he reacts the pulling guard is already on him and all he can do is wave a hand at Calhoun.|
|3||2||M44||Run||3||I don't know how he makes this. He gets turned inside and it looks like he's dead meat but he squirts up for the first anyway.|
|1||10||M41||Pa ss||9||Play action and there's no pass rush whatsoever. Stocco finds the hole in the zone.|
|2||1||M32||Run||0||Engelmon comes up to the line and isn't blocked, he makes the tackle.|
|3||1||M32||Run||8||Despite Biggs doing a great job on the corner there's no one there on the edge to stop the outside run.|
|1||10||M24||Pass||9||Calhoun takes the dumpoff and scoots upfield.|
|1||G||M5||Pass||Inc||Batted at the line by Watson(+1)|
|1||G||M5||Pass||Inc||Hall(+1) knocks it away.|
|Drive Notes: Argh.|
General opinions on the performance?
We are this close to having a really good defense. The line did a great, great job in this game, getting constant pressure on Stocco and jamming up the interior of the line very well. Mason played out of his mind and the secondary actually looks above average. However, the persistent inability of the linebackers to keep outside containment on running plays has burned us in every game when we weren't playing a glorified high school team. Almost all the rushing yards the defense has given up this year stem directly from one of two situations:
- Michigan is spread in an obvious zone against a three-wide formation. There are only six men in the box.
- A running back feints into an interior hole or just plain heads outside and there is no one to stop him.
Shawn Crable was the worst offender on Saturday, but David Harris, Brandent Engelmon, and Chris Graham were all culpable at some point or another. Graham did almost nothing all day, though it appears that Wisconsin ran to the strong side almost exclusively.
Other than that glaring problem which Calhoun was extremely well suited to exploiting, they did very well.
What about designated Internets whipping boy Pat Massey?
Still mostly neutral. Batted one pass down and got a -1 for a goal line run play that gained six (Wisconsin still went three and out). That was partially because Watson played a lot more. That was partially because Wisconsin was bouncing outside with regularity and rarely tested us with runs up the middle. And that was partially Massey just doing a decent job. He held up. Leave him alone, whydontcha?
Pick a linebacker other than Harris, who at least balanced out his bad plays with good ones. Burgess and Crable were both highly culpable for the defense's late collapse, and Graham was mostly invisible.
Jesus, Alan Branch was a monster, blowing up run plays, getting held twice, and getting a superior pass rush with regularity. He could be our best defensive player right now. And that's despite the fact that Woodley turned in another very good game and is one of the best defensive linemen in recent Michigan history.
Also singled out for special commendation is Grant Mason, who had one bad play on a third down screen but was otherwise great. Mason's interception kept Michigan from going down two scores in the fourth quarter and allowed Michigan to forge into the lead. He was constantly harrassing the Badger passing game and outplayed Leon Hall.
David Harris is tenously here as well, as he made a great number of good plays, but part of me believes that he's at least partially responsible for the containment issues, though I can't be entirely sure.
Roll that beautiful bean table.
|Woodley||7||-||7||A drive-killing sack and a very good job against the run.|
|Woods||-||-||-||Didn't even play I think.|
|Biggs||2||2||0||Did all right but is clearly just servicable.|
|Watson||3||3||0||Might be harsh because of all the bounceouts... rarely went up the middle for a reason, probably.|
|Crable||-||4||-4||Just a total disaster late in the game against the run. Why was he playing at all?|
|Branch||12||-||12||Sweet fancy Moses!|
|Harris||4||3||1||Reading and reacting in the short zone.|
|Mason||7||2||5||Great in coverage all day.|
|Engelmon||3||2||1||Did okay but part of the contain issues..|
|Adams||-||-||-||Didn't see him play.|
|Harrison||2||-||2||Pressing Barringer, I think.|
OMG DREW STANTON.
Well, yeah. The good news is that I think Michigan actually has three solid cornerbacks in Hall, Mason, and Trent and the safeties have at least been competent in pass coverage so far this year. If Branch can even do half of what he did against UW it will help a lot and Michigan's been preparing for the spread all year. He will get his yards and he will put points on the board--he's really that damn good--but I think the major danger for the Michigan defense is freshman running back Javon Ringer, who had almost 200 yards on 13 carries against Illinois. Ringer is a lot like Calhoun, a juky scatback with slashing ability and the speed to get to the corner. If he hadn't blown out his knee last year he would have been a huge recruit and I've been really impressed with him so far this year. Unless we can slow him down or JLS gets loopy and decides that The Pedestrian Jason Teague is the answer for UM, we are going to have to split our attention between Ringer and Stanton and the prospect is too horrible to contemplate.
Don't get your hopes up.
Update: Commenters point out that the deflection at the end of the game was Watson's, not Massey's.
Also: I totally forgot the strategic blunder. Soy muy estupido. Here:
So how about that strategic blunder?
Michigan allowed the worst possible thing to happen to them on Wisconsin's final drive: a touchdown with vanishingly little time on the clock. When the Badgers got the ball back Michigan should gone nuts with aggressive man to man and blitzing to prevent the 8-10 yard plays that Wisconsin got with frequency. They were aggressive up front with eight man fronts but the coverage they played behind it was soft and the corners and safeties were playing far off. When it became clear that Wisconsin was A) going to have more than enough time to do whatev er they want and B) not going to punt, Michigan should have taken its timeouts and told Wisconsin that if they were going to score, they were going to score quickly. First and ten from the 24 was the tipping point, if not sooner. Passively watching Wisconsin drive down the field and getting the ball back with 29 seconds left is a recipe for defeat, and defeat is not Good Eats.
|1||10||M6||Run||Martin||4||Wonky signal cuts off most of this play.|
|2||6||M10||Run||Martin||27||Lentz annihilates his guy. By the time Martin flies by him he's 6 yards downfield. Martin makes a good read and shows his speed.|
|1||10||M37||Run||Martin||2||There's like nine guys in the box here! The offensive line does a good job blocking but the ninth guy plunges unblocked makes the tackle. Malone or a missed check by Henne?|
|2||8||M39||Pass||Avant||Inc||Four wide and a slant is open but Henne throws it way, way behind Avant.|
|3||8||M39||Pass||No one||Scramble, 21||Three wide and checking off at the line.. Henne takes off smartly and rolls downfield but there's a dumb holding penalty by Massaquoi.|
|3||1||M46||Run||Grady||1||Good second effort here by Grady to get the first, but Henige pulls right and there's a hole there and Grady goes left, failing to following his blocking.|
|1||10||M47||Penalty||-5||Illegal formation because Massaquoi is like two inches too far back to count as a man on the line. Crappy call. The play was a nice slip screen to Manningham for a first.|
|1||15||M42||Pass||Manningham||3||Same play. Massaquoi misses his block.|
|2||12||M45||Run||Martin||3||Seems like everyone does a decent job blocking but there are no creases.|
|3||9||M48||Pass||Ecker||14||This a duck, but it's an accurate duck. Ecker makes a niiice lunging catch.|
|1||10||O38||Run||Grady||3||Grady's pretty tentative when he reaches the line here.|
|2||7||O35||Pass||Avant||Inc||Henne misses a wide open Avant at the 10 yard line.|
|3||7||O35||Pass||No one||Scramble, 8||Okay, it's good he gets the first down on these rushes, but it seems like more evidence he's not totally confident in his arm.|
|1||10||O27||Pass||Avant||21||Avant makes 15 after juking past the DB after a six yard hitch.|
|1||G||O6||Run||Martin||1||Nothing even resembling a hole here.|
|2||G||O5||Pass||Avant||Inc||Henne misses... a wide open Avant. Throw is rifled a couple yards over his head when a deft toss would have been a TD.|
|3||G||O5||Run||Grady||4||A counter draw type thing that springs blockers downfield. I really like this call, and it's only a fantastic tackle by Zalewski that keeps Grady out of the end zone. Grady did slice past two Badger defenders before getting to Zalewski. That tackle... dammit.|
|4||G||O1||Run||Grady||0||As reported elsewhere, there's a pull here that gets fouled up when Lentz trips over Kraus. Still the right call.|
|Drive Notes: 0-0, 2:48 left in the first. Three times Henne misses Avant wide open. Our offensive line is only getting a push sporadically.|
|1||10||M34||Run||Martin||4||Makes the right cut here, but since the OL can't seal anyone he's forced to cut back into the linebackers.|
|2||6||M38||Run||Jackson||-1||Again no push from the OL. There's nowhere to run.Kraus just gets shoved back right at the snap.|
|3||7||M37||Pass||Breaston||Inc||Henne throws it low and Breaston can't make the catch, but it wouldn't have been a first down anyway.|
|Drive Notes: 14 min, 2nd quarter, 0-0. If you're counting, that's four poorly thrown balls and two well thrown, not counting the screens.|
|1||10||M41||Pass||Breaston||Inc||Deep ball to a well-covered Breaston that's overthrown.|
|2||10||M41||Pass||Manningham||24||Out route that's jumped by Bell since Henne stared Manningham down. Still got it there, I guess, but man. Manningham gets his customary YAC... kid is a player.|
|1||10||O35||Run||Martin||7||Thompson with a nice block and there's actually a hole to the outside.|
|2||3||O28||Pass||Avant||4||Three step drop and fire taking advantage of the corners playing off Avant.|
|1||10||O24||Pass||Avant||Inc||Misses... a wide open Avant! This time he's in the endzone.|
|2||10||O24||Run||Grady||3||Paul, on the other hand, does not get a good block that could have sprung Grady to the outside.|
|3||7||O21||Pass||No one||Sack, -11||Henige utterly and completely misses his blitz pickup, as he decides to take a linebacker coming from the outside that Grady's got and lets someone come up through the inside unmolested. Henne intentionally grounds it.|
|Drive Notes: 49 yard field goal? No! 44 yard field goal? Yes! Don't go changing, Rivas. 3-0, 10 min 2nd quarter.|
|1||10||M29||Run||Martin||1||EMU style sweep. Not EMU style results. They've got eight in the box again an then two safeties relatively near the line of scrimmage... I'd scream about throwing, but look up.|
|2||9||M30||Pass||Avant||27||Henne misses... a wide open Ava--oh. That was actually totally accurate after a ton of time. Gottfried starts waxing about how Henne made the play and I attempt to strangle him with telepathy.|
|1||10||O43||Run||Martin||1||Another sweep that fails due to tons of people in the box.|
|2||9||O42||Pass||Grady||7||A little dumpoff designed to get Grady on a LB and he makes a nice play to pick up 5 or so yards after the catch.|
|3||2||O35||Run||Grady||12||A hole does open up this time but it seems accidental. In any case, Grady is not tentative this time and flies up through it and makes 4 or 5 YAC.|
|1||10||O24||Pass||Grady||19||Flare screen Michigan's run several times this year to good effect.|
|1||G||O5||Run||Grady||1||Just a wad of players in the middle.|
|2||G||O4||Pass||Avant||Inc||Henne gets nailed as he releases the ball because NO ONE BLOCKS HAYDEN. Otherwise, TD.|
|3||G||O4||Pass||Avant||4||Touchdown. Slant that is accurate.|
|Drive Notes: 4:27 2nd Q, 10-0. Henne is better on this drive but there's only one downfield throw here, the long one to Avant.|
|1||10||M36||Pass||Grady||5||Screen again, but it's read well by the DT(!) Jason Chapman and thus doesn't go for several more.|
|2||5||M41||Run||Martin||4||This sweep is successful-ish because they aren't loading the box.|
|3||1||M45||Run||Martin||17||Breaston gets a nice block on this four wide draw type thing (Stenavich's block is to shove the pass rush of his man 10 yards upfield) and Martin beats a couple Badgers to the corner.|
|1||10||O38||Run||Grady||2||Strange, strange call here with 30 seconds left in the half and one timeout. Especially because Wisconsin still has seven in the box against a three wide, one back set. Missed check? Gottfried CONTINUES to fluff Henne without cause.|
|2||8||O36||Pass||Manningham||30||What a terrible throw, at least ten to fifteen yards short of its intended destination that Manningham adjusts to. You can see Manningham about to get a yard or two of separaton and then coming back for the ball.|
|2||G||O6||Pass||No one||Inc||Henne throws it away. Why not a fade to Avant here?|
|Drive Notes: FG, End of half, 13-3. Much screaming ensued about the FG call, more on that later. Henne was unbelievably lucky to hit that Manningham pass and given the way Carr was talking to him after the timeout, I think he missed a check on the strange run.|
|1||10||M16||Run||Martin||2||There's just no push or hole or crack up front. Period.|
|2||8||M18||Pass||Massaquoi||Inc||Play action and Henne gets hurried and misses Mass. He had Mass for 4 or a first down if he could break the LB's tackle.|
|3||8||M18||Pass||Avant||Inc||Avant drops it. It should be noted that this pass is behind Avant, though still catchable.|
|Drive Notes: 14 min 3rd quarter 13-3. Note NO shell. Ryan 45 yard punt fair caugt, that's what I'm talking about.|
|1||10||M30||Pass||Avant||Inc||Slant that's way behind Avant again.|
|2||10||M30||Pass||Martin||Inc||The much rumored wheel route down the sideline that's broken up by the safety very nicely. If you're blaming henne for throwing it too late... well, you're harsher than I am. Just a nice play.|
|3||10||M30||Pass||Avant||Inc||Batted at the line.|
|Drive Notes: 8 min 3rd quarter 13-6. No shell.|
|1||10||M8||Penalty||5||Offsides on UW. The play was a 1 yard dive with no push from the OL again.|
|1||5||M13||Run||Grady||2||The safety just comes screaming up on the run. Are we tipping our play action?|
|2||3||M15||Run||Grady||5||Finally some push from the line.|
|1||10||M20||Run||Martin||2||Nothing. Again eight guys in the box.|
|2||8||M22||Pass||Avant||18||A nice jailbreak screen for Avant features Kraus plowing his man like 10 yards downfield.|
|1||10||M40||Run||Martin||5||Sweep. Thompson misses Zalewski or Martin gets the corner and somewhere from 10-20 yards.|
|2||5||M45||Pass||Breaston||0||He catches the little screen thing and slips. Had him in position to run after the catch.|
|3||5||M45||Run||Martin||4||Same counter draw we ran on 3rd and goal from the five on the first drive. It again gets four.|
|Drive Notes: 2 min 3rd quarter 13-6. Ryan shanks the punt and it goes approximately 30 yards downfield. Again an execution thing, Breaston's slip, kills the drive. He probably had the first otherwise.|
|1||10||M8||Pass||Avant||9||Another bad throw that Avant manages to scoop off the turf just in time (after review).|
|Drive Notes: Killer. Just killer. 12 min 4th Q, 13-9. No idea what the personal foul on Henige is for.|
|1||10||M20||Run||Grady||3||Again we try to run against an eight man front.|
|2||7||M22||Pass||Avant||Int||Henne throws it right to the UW linebacker.|
|Drive Notes: Head... veins... losing... integrity.|
|1||10||M39||Run||Grady||6||Off tackle and he finds the crease and follows Thompson into the hole.|
|2||4||M45||Run||Grady||6||Cuts it back and gets moving upfield, 3 more YAC.|
|1||10||O49||Pass||Manningham||49||Flea-flicker touchdown, and credit where it's due: this could not have been thrown more beautifully.|
|Drive Notes: 9 min 4th Q, 20-16.|
|1||10||M3||Run||Grady||3||No hole, no push.|
|2||7||M6||Run||Grady||3||Sweep outside to the short side. I dislike this call.|
|3||4||M9||Pass||No one||Inc||Thrown away, ridiculous. If he had come off the three receivers to his right he had Mass open for the first down.|
|Drive Notes: 4 min 4th Q, 20-16.|
|1||10||M44||Pass||Avant||Inc||Behind Avant and knocked down by the DB.|
|2||10||M44||Penalty||-10||Holding on Stenavich.|
Well? We expect knives re: coaching, buddy.
I just don't see it.
This is what is see:
|Team||Dead on||Catchable||Inaccurate||Bad Read||Throwaways||Batted|
Of the 17 passes I flagged as accurate or catchable (note that two completions were flagged "inaccurate": the 30 yard Manningham bomb at the end of the first half and the reviewed Avant slant), seven were screens or short dumpoffs (IE, 5 yards or less). That means when Henne dropped back to pass and actually threw downfield you got ten good (or just acceptable on some of the "accurate" throws) events and fourteen bad ones if you eliminate the two batted passes ("OMG Navarre" people: only one was actually batted. Another throw that was inaccurate because Henne was hit as he threw was inserted here). Scheme and playcalling this: Henne flat missed open receivers 11 times.
He was terrible, and Michigan knew it, and Wisconsin knew it. However, this did not stop Michigan from trying to throw. Look at the beginning of the second half: f ive passes on six plays on our two three-and-outs. The only drive we pieced together came when we stopped trying to throw downfield.
There's other blame to go around: the offensive line was consistently stonewalled by Wisconsin's defensive front. Martin's fumble was an absolute killer. Breaston had a big return wiped out by a Charles Stewart penalty. Manningham dropped a TD. Avant dropped a first down. Henige blew a blitz pickup. But these were isolated events that the offense could have survived if the quarterback wasn't forcing the rest of the offense to play perfectly.
THEY KICKED A FIELD GOAL ON THIRD DOWN.
All right, yes, that was dumb and the explanation proffered on Michigan Replay (Carr did not know the clock was going to be reset from six seconds to nine seconds) further highlights the fact that Carr isn't the sharpest tool in the game theory drawer, but third and goal from the eleven is probably going to be a throwaway anyway in that situation and the end result would have either been the same or an LSU-like screwup that cost us the field goal. A smidgen of expectation was given away but it's not a big deal.
There was a major strategic blunder in this game, but it was on the defensive side of the ball.
#1, #2, #3: Henne. Simply put, if he makes any one of six to eight relatively easy throws we probably win this game.
Also on my bad list are Lentz, Kraus and Henige, who could not get any push up front all night. Henige also contributed a key sack and a key incompletion by deciding not to block people.
Max Martin's fumble... well, fumbles happen, yes. But that turnover is the difference in the game.
Avant, despite the one drop. That's a tougher catch than he'll admit--thrown behind him and a rocket--and the rest of the night he was great. He would have had an even bigger night if Henne had hit him more often. Manningham was also very good when called upon, and the tackles didn't allow any pass rush really.
All right, yes. Gutierrez has to be an option against State if Henne struggles in the first half. We don't have time to screw around with Drew Stanton and company: we need points and we can't abide missing wide open guys. If Henne turns in another stinker and Gutz does not play white knight, I guarantee you can stop by for some good old fashioned Internets Bitching.
So what does this mean for Michigan State?
It means bad. We can't expect a consistent running game against the Spartans since Domata Peko seems to have emerged as a solid DT and our interior OL is soft like kitten. To move the ball consistently we absolutely require consistent quarterback play that Henne has shown no indication he is capable of this year, but he still has to start given his history and talent. We need him to turn it around right goddamn now or we are D-E-D dead.
|1||10||O20||Pass||22||Not a good start. No pressure on a 4 man rush and the zone has a big hole in it.|
|1||10||O42||Pass||5||Three step drop and fire. Note: everyone on the EMU OL chops. No batted pass.|
|2||5||O47||Pass||Inc||Nice play by Harris(+1), Woodley(+1) gets pressure on a three man rush.|
|3||5||O47||Pass||Inc||Another blitz from Hall, who's lined up as a linebacker. Nice call from Herrmann to pull Burgess into a short zone from a three point stance, which confused Bohnet.|
|Drive Notes: The three man rush rears its ugly head again, but we actually get a play from someone in zone coverage.|
|1||10||O45||Pass||Inc||Again the chop and fire. Bohnet just throws it low.|
|2||10||O45||Run||4||QB draw. Nice play by Woodley(+1) to come back and make the tackle.|
|3||6||O49||Pass||Inc||Another three man rush. The EMU guy dropped it, but Harris(+1) was in good position and very close to making a play.|
|Drive Notes: Largely EMU screwups this time.|
|1||10||O20||Run||0||Burgess(+2) fights off a block and buries the RB. Nice play.|
|2||10||O20||Pass||Inc||Harris(+2) reads the QB, breaks on the ball, and deflects the pass.|
|3||10||O20||Pass||Sack, -10||Branch(+2) is in the backfield instantly, allowing Woodley(+1) to come off his block and make the sack.|
|Drive Notes: Three nice plays. Branch has been our best DT so far this year. He has the power to hold up in the run game and the quickness to get penetration and rush the passer. It's just EMU, but this drive (or lack thereof) is sweet.|
|1||10||O17||Run||3||Burgess(-1) misses a tackle that would have kept it to 0, Harris(+1) reads and sheds to make the tackle at 3.|
|2||7||O20||Pass||5||More of this short yardage stuff. If it was a five or seven step drop Biggs(+1) was going to sack Bohnet, though.|
|3||2||O25||Pass||1||Woodley(+2) stays home on the tricky shovel pass thing that used to kill us. Nice.|
|Drive Notes: OMG lane responsibility. Continued good play. Just... Eastern... not... excited.|
|1||10||O19||Run||0||QB keeper on the offtackle counter option a lot of spread teams run. Burgess(+1) makes the tackle but it's because Engelmon(+1) came up and had good contain.|
|2||10||O19||Pass||Inc||WR was open but Bohnet shortarms it.|
|3||10||O19||Pass||Scramble, 3||Another three man rush. Bohnet just takes off even though there isn't much pressure.|
|Drive Notes: Nice play on first down by Engelmon (OMG CONTAIN) but the other two plays are just EMU screwups.|
|1||10||O20||Run||2||New QB. Is it a rule that when you put your black QB in the first play he has to run is a draw? Football is racist. Engelmon makes the tackle. HUGS ENGELMON.|
|2||8||O22||Pass||Inc||Counter option with a pass attached that's dropped after being thrown too hard. Probably goes for 5 if it's caught.|
|3||8||O22||Pass||Scramble, 5||Graham(+1) comes up and prevents the first down.|
|Drive Notes: Someone describe a difference between this guy and Troy Smith. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?|
|1||10||O16||Pass||0||Screen to the French guy, who surrenders to Burgess and Mason. Ha! I kill me!|
|2||10||O16||Pass||19||Same thing as the first play of the game. Bohnet has time and fires between levels in the zone.|
|1||10||O35||Run||1||Watson(+2) is in and crushes his man into the backfield, disrupts the hole, allows the linebackers to slice up, and then assists on the tackle. Same page!|
|2||9||O36||Pass||33||Fluketasm where Bonhet just heaves up a prayer which is answered. Crable(+1) gets a really nice pass rush but fails to make the sack.|
|1||10||M31||Pass||Inc||Bohnet throws this out of bounds, probably because Jamar Adams(+1) jumped the route and throwing to the receiver would be unwise.|
|2||10||M31||Pass||Int||Bohnet badly overthrows his man. Trent makes a nice play to come off his man and make the pick.|
|Drive Notes: The closest thing to a drive EMU mounts until the second/third stringers are in, and it's one nice play and one ball that was just heaved in to the sky.|
|1||10||O27||Pass||Inc||Three man rush. Branch actually gets some pressure after a bit but can't make the sack. Bohnet just launches it downfield.|
|2||10||O27||Pass||Inc||Inaccurate pass underneath prevent coverage (it's just before halftime).|
|3||10||O27||Run||3||Sarcastic bastard screams key play, key play into the sideline mic (It is also 38-0 or something now).|
|Drive Notes: Halftime.|
|1||10||O19||Run||3||Biggs(+1) holds the corner and makes the tackle.|
|2||7||O22||Run||5||Draw. Watson(+1) holds his ground on a double team and slows up the RB a little bit, but can't make the tackle, and there's no one to fill the hole.|
|3||2||O27||Pass||3||Mason(+1) reads the short pass in the flat well and prevents any YAC but EMU squeaks the first down out anyway.|
|1||10||O30||Run||-2||Watson(+1) holds the point and when the RB bounces it outside Biggs(+1) disengages and makes the TFL.|
|2||12||O28||Pass||7||Three step drop and a slant with the corners playing off.|
|3||5||O35||Pass||7||Another three man rush/soft zone combination.|
|1||10||O42||Pass||9||Jailbreak screen that Harrison(-1) and Thompson(-1) don't read very well.. I think.|
|2||2||M49||Run||4||Dunno. Again a replay obliterates the live action.|
|1||10||M45||Pass||Inc||Thompson(+1) has good zone coverage and forces the drop.|
|2||10||M45||Pass||11||A lot of time for Bohnet and he hits an outlet on the sideline, and Lloyd is PISSED at someone? Hood(-1) I think for a really weak tackle.|
|1||10||M34||Run||-1||Branch(+1) drives his man in the backfield, fouling the play up, and Woods(+1) shucks his guy at the line and cleans up the mess.|
|2||11||M35||Penalty||-10||Holding drawn by Jamison(+1), who beat the tackle around the end. I think this is his first play.|
|2||21||M45||Pass||1||Little dumpoff pass for a yard. Note: Jamison gets chipped by the RB.|
|3||20||M44||Pass||Inc||Crable's just unblocked and forces Bohnet to throw it away.|
|Drive Notes: Something resembling a drive here with the help of a lot of NIU-ish passive zone. A lot of plusses and few negatives because it's hard to really blame anyone in specific for those things.|
|1||10||O20||Run||-3||Jamison(+2) shoves his man three yards into the backfield and into the RB, Thompson(+1) cleans up.|
|2||13||O23||Pass||Inc||EMU QB#2 floats it way up high and lets Harrison get there and nail the exposed WR.|
|3||13||O23||Pass||Inc||Nowhere near the receiver here.|
|Drive Notes: A tantalizing glimpse into the possibilities of Jamison.|
|1||10||O20||Pass||-2||Screen to some dude but Hood is in press coverage. Uh.|
|1||10||O30||Run||2||Spread counter option but the QB falls down. Probably would have gone for a few. Walton bit hard.|
|2||8||O32||Pass||Sack, -6||Dude, Jamison(+2) you kick ass, and then immediately reach for your shoulder.|
|Drive Notes: Yes, the only reason I watched this thing was for the Jami-sack.|
Same question: does it mean anything?
It means more than the offensive performance, I think. Eastern had a pretty decent offense last year (21st nationally, albeit against the MAC and its matador defenses), had a returning quarterback, and were totally shut down by the Michigan defense. Eastern mounted two drives the entire game, one of which consisted of a good pass and a back-foot prayer. The other didn't even result in a field goal attempt.
The yardage numbers are slightly flattering--that disastrous punt snap ended up a 30-ish yard loss, but the defense held EMU under 200 yards and shut them out--they couldn't have performed any better. It is just Eastern, but it's a start.
Any new faces stand out?
Obviously Tim Jamison had an impressive debut (sort of... he did play a little bit his first couple of games as a freshman), drawing a holding call on what I believe was his first play of the season and notching a QED, MFer-type sack. Also of note was a running play where he drove his man into the backfield a la Watson. His shoulder's clearly still bothering him so he might not see a ton of playing time the next couple weeks, but it seems likely he'll be a contributor by midseason.
Morgan Trent has solidified the nickel spot and made a nice play on the interception. Not amazing, but efficient. Brandon Harrison also closed nicely on an overthrown ball and laid a lick on an Eagle wideout.
Give me that sweet table loving.
Note: the scale increased this week, and that combined with the dominating performance means the numbers got very high relative to last week. Comparisons between the two are probably not valid. Better to note who didn't make an impact.
|Woodley||5||-||5||Again didn't really show up on the stat sheet much, but didn't play much.|
|Biggs||3||-||3||Coming around on Biggs. He was overmatched at times against ND but has made plays the last two weeks.|
|Watson||3||-||3||Get on the same page, I beg.|
|Crable||1||-||1||Could have had a couple sacks if he would slow down a tiny bit.|
|Jamison||5||-||5||Impressve debut. If he can duplicate it against UW, get excited.|
|Branch||3||-||3||Now a starter. Deserves it.|
|Harris||5||-||5||Reading and reacting in the short zone.|
|Graham||1||1||0||Didn't really do much.|
|Engelmon||1||-||1||Another solid outing.|
|Trent||1||1||0||Has responded when called on so far.|
|Adams||1||1||0||Played a lot as a nickel back over the slot receiver. Looks more like a linebacker than a safety.|
|Hood||-||1||-1||Got chewed out by Carr with his team up 40 or 50--an accomplishment.|
|Harrison||-||1||-1||-1 might be harsh.|
What does it mean for Wisconsin?
Not sure. I'm very happy to see Branch listed as a starter. He's a star in the making. Burgess and Harris are playing well, the safeties are settling in, and the cornerbacks are at least three deep. I think the best DL for Wisconsin probably looks something like Massey-Branch-Watson-Woodley. Massey played DE in the 3-4 last year when the interior run defense was great, Watson may have motivation issues but is still like 600 pounds, and Branch and Woodley are just plain good. I'm optimistic that Calhoun will find the going tough on Saturday.
|1||G||O10||Run||Martin||8||Nice blocking by Thompson, taking out two Eagles.|
|Drive Notes: Not much to say. It's Eastern. I do think Martin looks pretty good here.|
|1||10||O20||Run||Martin||8||Martin makes a nice read here, cutting up into the hole as soon as it opens. Kraus gets enough of the EMU linebacker to give him the lane.|
|2||2||O12||Run||Martin||2||This is a really nice run, actually, as Henige gets beat and his man is right in the hole, as is a blitzing linebacker. Could have been a loss of 4.|
|1||G||O10||Run||Martin||10||Touchdown. Again a couple of nice cuts. Martin seems to understand his blocking pretty well.|
|Drive Notes: See previous drive.|
|1||10||O49||Pass||Breaston||8||One of those long handoffs to a WR. The route is stop and wait for the pass.|
|2||2||O41||Run||Grady||3||Not much push from the line, but Grady leaps and spins for the first... his YAC ability is closely related to his fumbling, I think.|
|1||10||O38||Pass||Avant||Inc||Avant is wide open and Henne misses him. Nice triple route to the left that Henne reads correctly, though.|
|2||10||O38||Pass||Breaston||11||Breaston makes 3 after the catch by cutting inside the corner. Henne sort of sidearms this, disturbingly.|
|1||10||O27||Pass||Avant||13||Easy, easy short pass where Avant is wide open. They're on the 27 and giving a 10 yard cushion.|
|1||10||O14||Pass||Avant||14||Touchdown. Henne gets nailed as he releases this due to miscommunication between Mitchell and Riley, who fail to block the DT. That's on Mitchell, who doubles the other DT even though Riley clearly has the responsbility to take the DE.|
|Drive notes: Well, 4/5 for Henne here. All I remembered from the game here was the badly missed Avant. There's no coverage at all, so it doesn't mean much.|
|1||10||M33||Pass||Avant||8||Long handoff. EMU is all like way back and stuff.|
|2||2||M41||Run||Jackson||5||Jackson looks quick.|
|1||10||M46||Run||Jackson||2||This another missed block by Mitchell, who just sort of runs at the DE without engaging him. He's not ready.|
|2||8||M48||Pass||Bass||Inc||This looks like a bad pass from Henne but postgame someone mentioned that Bass rounded his route off and was in the wrong place when the pass was thrown, which I buy given the location of the pass.|
|3||8||M48||Pass||Bass||Inc||Ball was there but not well thrown and Bass dropped it. Would have been short anyway. Major problem with the play, though, is Riley, who gets beaten badly by the DE, who hurries the throw even though Riley held him.|
|Drive Notes: First disturbing play from Riley on the day, who had trouble with the EMU DE.|
|1||10||O40||Run||Martin||7||Another sweep, facilitated by a nice block from Paul.|
|2||3||O33||Run||Martin||4||Mostly just crushing blocking here. Ball pops out when Martin hits the ground--not what the coaches wanted to see, even though it wasn't a fumble.|
|1||10||O29||Pass||Avant||3||Long handoff is well defended this time.|
|2||7||O26||Pass||Avant||26||Touchdown.I mean, it's nice and all, but so easy that it probably doesn't mean anything. Avant's open by a couple yards.|
|Drive Notes: Like the NIU game, the running game is unexplosive but very steady. The coaches must like Martin's vision and cuts, because they keep giving him the zone stretch play that Terrell Davis made famous and Fred Russell drove me nuts with.|
|1||10||M39||Pass||Grady||10||Just a flat dumpoff, appears to be the primary read, too. Grady breaks a tackle and makes five extra yards.|
|2||1||M49||Run||Grady||10||Sweep with the crushing blocking again. Key block is Ecker, who seals the DE with authorita(!).|
|1||10||O41||Run||Grady||7||Crushing blocking again. Very Big 2, Little 8, this blocking.|
|2||3||O34||Pass||Avant||5||Quick out for Avant, which EMU can't defend if they insist on playing 10 yards off the line of scrimmage.|
|1||10||O29||Run||Martin||-2||Draw and EMU stunts... I think this is just a defense winning the rock-paper-scissors.|
|2||12||O31||Pass||Avant||Inc||Avant dropped a pass! My world is ending.|
|3||12||O31||Pass||Henne||Scramble, 13||You can hear the sorostitutes screaming as their precious Henne starts rolling down the field|
|1||10||O18||Pass||No one||Sack, -7||Riley beaten like something beaten a lot (insert domestic violence joke).|
|2||17||O25||Pass||Grady||17||Screen, and Grady puts a nice juke on to get six or seven yards.|
|3||1||O9||Run||Grady||5||They run behind Steno and Henige and they crushify the opposition.|
|1||G||O4||Run||Martin||-2||The DT slips behind Kraus here on the zone sweep they run with Martin a lot and he makes the tackle.|
|2||G||O6||Pass||Thompson||6||Touchdown. Henne had Thompson open earlier but took a while to get to his read here. Nit, yes, but nits is all you get against EMU. Hyyyaaaaarrr!|
|Drive Notes: Yes, I knew the screen was coming, but it worked anyway. Second incident of Riley being beaten by the EMU DE.|
|1||10||M14||Run||Martin||5||Another zone sweep which Martin cuts up inside.|
|2||5||M19||Run||Martin||4||More outside. I think he got what he could but Breaston misses his block entirely or he could have gotten the corner and gone zip.|
|3||1||M23||Run||Martin||4||Finally an inside run for Martin, who picks the right hole, but is seemingly a little slow in getting there.|
|1||10||M27||Pass||Henne||Scramble, 3||This was supposed to go deep but Henne pumps and decides better of it.|
|2||7||M30||Run||Martin||3||Martin against cuts it up inside as Riley gets shoved back a bit.|
|3||4||M33||Run||Martin||13||Martin gets to the corner and fast.|
|1||10||M46||Pass||Breaston||Inc||Henne shortarms the long handoff.|
|1||10||O38||Run||Martin||4||Martin cuts it back outside when the planned run doesn't appear to be there.|
|2||6||O34||Pass||Massey||17||Massey's wide open underneath the coverage.|
|1||10||O17||Run||Martin||4||This is a run that Martin could have broken bigger but getting outside faster.|
|2||6||O13||Run||Martin||-6||All I see of this is the very end as a replay replaces the play. Thanks ESPN+!|
|3||12||O19||Pass||Avant||Inc||This comes out of Henne's hand funny and launches on a ridiculous trajectory that takes it out of the end zone.|
|Drive Notes: FG. At this point I should note that Martin is running exclusively outside. Gutierrez takes over after this.|
|2||6||M43||Run||Martin||3||Draw. I think Martin is tentative when he's facing opponents, he doesn't set them up and juke past them, a la Hart.|
|3||3||M46||Run||Martin||7||Gaping hole and Martin does make a few yards after contact before going down.|
|1||10||O47||Pass||Avant||13||Slant and then six or seven yards afterwards.|
|1||10||O34||Run||Martin||8||Some miscommunication, as Martin has Bihl out with him and one corner to block, and he cuts inside of Bihl, who misses the corner.|
|2||2||O26||Pass||Thompson||8||Gutz loops this one out to Thompson... the difference in arm strength is remarkable.|
|2||7||O15||Pass||Gutz||Scramble, -3||Rollout that Gutz just takes out of bounds when no one is open.|
|3||10||O18||Pass||Manningham||3||This looks like a bobbled pass at first glance but it's actually a GREAT catch where he sticks one hand out to slow a ball too far out in front of him and then makes the catch and cuts upfield.|
|2||G||O7||Run||Martin||3||Martin gets to the outside but can't beat the corner and get in.|
|3||G||O4||Pass||Breaston||Inc||Caught out of bounds... Gutz can't come off the covered Ecker in time to get it to Breaston in the end zone.|
|Drive Notes: There's noticably less to critique because everything works, essentially. That Manningham play was the definition of tantalizing--smartly spearing and catching a poorly thrown ball and then making 12 extra yards with moves that would make Smoove B proud. FG.|
|1||10||M12||Pass||Tabb||Inc||Gutierrez has all day, all night, and then a taco afterwards, rolls around and then nearly throws a pick. Not his best play.|
|2||10||M12||Run||Martin||12||Huge hole up the middle and Thompson gets a good block. Martin does well here to get all he can.|
|1||10||M24||Run||Martin||10||Another hole, and he makes a good cut to pick up another five, but his cutting doesn't look like it will work against better teams.|
|1||10||M35||Run||Grady||2||Cuilla pulls around but doesn't block the linebacker in the hole.|
|2||8||M37||Run||Grady||2||Seems to make the right cut outside here but can't get by the guy that Bihl's blocking.|
|2||6||M39||Pass||Massey||7||Wide open, again.|
|1||10||M46||Run||Jackson||14||A cavernous hole on the right side features Kraus pancaking a guy and Jackson just sort of cruises up the sideline.|
|1||10||O40||Pass||Manningham||22||12 YAC with some dipping and diving and moving and stuff. I think he's the real deal.|
|1||10||O18||Pass||Bass||11||Long handoff and Bass shows his stuff, juking two guys out of jocks and making five after contact. Woohaa.|
|1||G||O7||Run||Jackson||7||Touchdown. Jackson takes the corner on low at the four yard line and just plows into the end zone.|
|Drive Notes: I like 'em both.|
|1||10||O41||Run||Jackson||3||Kraus can't get out on the LB quick enough.|
|2||7||O38||Run||Bass||2||Bass lines up under center and runs a sweep, he slips so it's hard to tell if it would have worked.|
|3||5||O36||Pass||Tabb||5||Kind of a low, sloppy throw from Gutierrez.|
|1||10||O30||Run||Bradley||-5||Alijah Bradley? Yeah, this is the last drive I'm blogging.|
|2||15||O35||Pass||Tabb||17||Should have been a pick six by the EMU defender. I think the concerns about Gutz's arm strength are legitimate.|
|1||G||O1||Run||Bradley||1||Yay 5'2 walkon touchdown.|
|Drive Notes: I can't believe I blogged this. Someone get me into detox.|
So... what does it all mean?
Probably not a whole lot. It was interesting to see the running game completely change with Martin in the game--runs between the tackles were few and far between, zone stretches as far as the eye can see, etc.--but the only thing we really learned is that we really need Kolodziej back as soon as possible, because Riley just isn't a tackle.
New guys who impressed?
Alex Mitchell got extensive playing time and did all right, though he missed a couple blocks, one of which got Henne killed. Manningham and Bass... well, I wish one was redshirting, but it looks like both are the kind of guys that when they say "I want to play as a freshman" you nod and say "yessir," Manningham in particular. It might be next year when they come to the forefront--both had some freshman issues with their routes (mostly Bass, though)--but the kids are all right.
Max Martin also counts as new, since I'd never really seen him with an opportunity for extensive playing time. You can see why the coaching staff likes him. He does have a very high top speed and has good vision when it comes to picking a hole at the line of scrimmage. He's big enough that he can deliver a whack at the end of the play, too. But he's not much for making guys miss and Michigan didn't even attempt a pass to him--either they're k eeping it under wraps (certainly possible) or the whole Martin's-like-Reggie-Bush thing was just a private joke the coaches were playing on us.
Impossible to tell. Eastern rarely got pressure and what they did get was all due to Riley or Mitchell. The results were a sack, an incompletion, and a 26 yard touchdown to Avant. A lot of his completions were long handoffs to receivers and he badly missed a couple passes. The chart looks good, though:
|Team||Dead on||Catchable||Inaccurate||Bad Read||Throwaways||Batted|
The competition was so soft it's meaningless, though, and a large portion of those throws were very short and easy. He gets an incomplete for the day.
What does it mean for Wisconsin?
We'll probably see Martin start and a lot of Manningham.