fair point that
This should be interesting after a win!
Here are mine...
Coach Borges: "Is there a particular reason Dileo hasn't been as involved in the offense as previous years?"
Coach Mattison: "How are the guys who are being redshirted looking in practice? Anyone standing out?"
I'd really be interested to know that if it weren't so late in the year, if we have guys who are ready to play...but won't because we're to the point where we're keeping their redshirt. That would be nice to know on the offensive and defensive sides.
After losing this weekend in the conference championship game 42-38, it was unclear whether or not they would be headed to the playoffs. During the announcement on Sunday, they made it as the 5 seed, and will be playing WInston Salem next week.
From the article "The Rock were the No. 5 seed in the six-team NCAA Division II Super Region 1 field announced Sunday afternoon by the NCAA office via a videoconference on www.ncaa.com.
As a result, the Green and White, who earned their first NCAA tournament berth since 1999, travel to fourth-seeded Winston-Salem State University for a first-round game Saturday."
Winston Salem was the runner up last year and has a 9-1 record this season.
For the season, Slippery Rock scored 500 points, and averaged 45.5/game. Senior QB Nigel Barksdale threw for over 4000 yards and had 36 TD's on the season.
An impressive season, and hopefully they can get the win on Saturday to advance.
I watched this game on tape and isolated from what seemed like a generally negative atmosphere on MGoBlog during the game. Also, I forgot to turn off my phone, so the result was ruined at around halftime for me, so I saved myself the stress and nail-biting aspect I'm sure people watching live felt. As such, I came away with a generally more positive feeling about the offense. We seemed to be moving the ball a lot better than we have the last couple weeks (lowered expectations is a wonderful thing). 365 yards, 3.2 YPC and 5.3 isn’t great, but worlds better than recent efforts and a marked improvement. Still, only 9 points in regulation and no 3rd down conversions (3 for 17 overall) is concerning and shouldn’t be glossed over either. We seem to be improving, but not good enough yet to get out of our own way enough to keep drives alive and score TDs.
The following Diary is an attempt to analyze the cause of our abysmal performance on 3rd down conversions by looking at the entire set of downs preceding each one. I attempt to assign blame, much like Brian did in his similarly eye bleed inducing 27 for 27.
Drive 1: 1st and 10 from NW 8 after a promising opening drive
1st down. Gardner sees 9 man front, checks into .... run. Argh. Unblocked defender meets Green at the LOS for loss of 1.
- Gardner -1
2nd down. Waggle play. I absolutely hate this play call. Gardner does well to get back to the LOS.
- Borges -1
What exactly is the plan here?
3rd down. Shotgun 4 wide. Gardner has good protection but bugs out early after his 1st read is covered. Funchess hasn't even made his break yet and appears to be open just as Gardner heads into a defender for no gain.
- Gardner -1
FG good 3-0 Michigan
Drive 2: 1st and 10 from M 48 after a couple first downs from Funchess and Gallon screens and Green runs up the middle.
1st and 10. I form run. Gardner fakes the quick screen and hands off. Nice hole at the line between Glasgow and Bosch and Kerridge seals the edge. Green pounds it forward for 7. Good play, no minuses
2nd and 3. NW has 9ish in box against 8 blockers. M actually does ok picking up first level defenders but Kerridge doesn't get any push and gets shed easily. D. Smith misses a cutback lane and plows directly into the pile for a yard. There was some space to make a play here I think.
- Borges -0.3
- Blocking (Houma) -0.3
- RB (D.Smith) -0.4
It’s collapsing, but the hole does exist momentarily.
3rd and 2. Michigan does its best Stanford impression and lines everyone up in a bunch. NW responds in kind with everyone in the box. PA with a designed roll out to the right. Right side of line gets caved and Gardner has to redirect 7 yards upfield to avoid it. TFL
- Borges -0.8
- Blocking -0.2
Drive 3: 1st and 10 from NW 48 after NW goes 3 and out and punts.
1st and 10. Michigan 3 wide shotgun with Funchess in slot. Gardner looks for Funchess, hesitants and then tries to throw it to him but a defender has gotten into the lane. Lucky for that not to be INT. Pocket also breaks down just as he throws. Gallon looks open downfield later but could just be his defender broke off after the throw. I'm tempted to put this all on NW playing it well, but I Gardner might have been able to make a better throw there. So I guess
- Gardner -0.5
- NW -0.5.
2nd and 10. Shotgun with 3 receiver stack on one side and another on the other side. Michigan runs inverted veer. Not really sure what went wrong here. The option man does play this just about perfect, forcing the pull but yet still harassing Gardner enough to prevent him from getting north-south. Perimeter blocking is pretty poor as Gardner is tackled for no gain. I think I'm going with
- NW -0.75
- Blocking (Butt, Gallon) -0.25
3rd and 9. NW brings the house because we can't do crap with it in 3 weeks. Gardner nearly gets sacked but gets it off that's batted down. Chesson ran a quick out route and was open for the dump off but Gardner has his eyes the other direction. It probably wouldn't of picked up the 1st down either though. We had a man for every defender here but Bosch gets destroyed and Magnuson and Kerridge didn't do too much better. I know everyone will want me to put this on Borges, but there looked to be a quick outlet but Gardner was looking for more (understandable with 3rd and 10 I guess). I'm going to go
- Blocking (Bosch) -0.5
- Down and distance -0.3
- Gardner -0.1 from not getting rid of it see if Chesson can get some YAC
- NW -0.1 for covering the routes. 3rd and long is tough. :(
Very short window for Gardner to dump it off, Bosch allows instant penetration.
Drive 4: 1st and 10 NW 41 after a Funchess catch for 1st down.
1st and 10, play action. RB screen to Hayes for 5. Nice play that could've gone for much more with one better block from Bosch. No minuses though, that's a tough match-up for him I guess.
2nd and 5. I form run. Bosch has a tough combo block as the D line slants away from him. Green reads it and cuts behind Lewan but trips over him a bit. Paskorz ID's his block late and has a bad angle, probably because the play wasn't designed to go where Green went. Green falls forward for 3. I dunno, let's go with
- Blocking -0.5
- Crap happens/ok play for what it is -0.5.
3rd and 2. Shotgun, 2 reciever stack with Butt at TE on other side. 2 backs next to Gardner. NW brings the house and Gardner tries to dump it to Green leaking out of backfield. The one LB that stays in coverage reads Gardner's eyes the whole way and almost pick sixes it. Butt is all by himself, no defender within 5 yards. Too bad, blitz pick up was excellent. Snap gets bobbled, FWIW, might have thrown off timing.
- NW -.75
- Gardner -0.25 for telegraphing and not seeing Butt.
Butt is literally hand-wavingly open.
Drive 5: 1st and 10 M29 after a Gallon pitch and catch
1st and 10: Shotgun 3 wide with TE eligible. Bubble screen to Funchess, dropped.
- Drop (Funchess) -1
2nd and 10: I form PA, Gallon open on an out route. Throw is dead on but dropped.
- Drop (Gallon) -1
3rd and 10: Shotgun with triple stack on the field side. NW blitzes like you’d expect. Michigan actually gets in position to pick this up but the delay by the LB convinces Hayes to help Williams by making a diving attempt at Willams's guy’s feet. To be fair Williams is having a hard time, but com’n. Hayes has to pick the LB up.
- Blocking (Hayes) -0.8
- Gardner -0.1 for not dumping off
- NW -0.1 for presumably covering 1st down depth routes
You would assume Hayes blocks 44 here.....
...you would assume wrong. No.44, come on down!
Drive 6: 1st and 10 M 15
1st and 10: I form run into 8 man box. Michigan has 7 blockers. Blocking is also a complete mess as Kerridge seems to head to a different hole than the OL is blocking and Glasgow can't get a tough combo block. Green gets swarmed for no gain.
- Borges -0.75
- Blocking -0.25
2nd and 10: Play action from I form. NW blitzs 2 LBs and another gets sucked in by the PA, leaving a huge hole underneath. Gallon is wide open for 20 but Gardner puts it too far in front. Gallon gets his hands on it but can't bring it in. Nice play that had potential.
- Gardner -1
3rd and 10: Surprisingly NW rushes 4 and drops into coverage. Bosch gets chucked like a ragdoll allowing his guy a free run at Gardner. Glasgow looks to be releasing downfield, so the play call was probably a screen anyway. Gardner dumps off to Funchess. Michigan has this blocked well except Magnuson for whatever reason leaves the guy he's engaged with to go help Glasgow. The guy he leaves tackles. WTF.
- Blocking -1
Magnuson was in good position to block his man (the guy he's got his left hand on) but he’s losing him now because he’s worrying about Glasgow’s guy
Magnuson instead leaves his guy to go block Glasgow, not Glasgow’s guy, Glasgow. The guy he leaves covers and tackles Funchess on the screen pass.
Drive 7: 1st and 10 at midfield on a screen to Chesson and a nice pair of runs by D Smith
1st and 10. I form run. NW only has 7 in the box, but the safeties are in fairly shallow alignment and one tears at the LOS at the snap. Doesn't really matter since Magnuson and Paskorz both get chucked aside and there's two unblocked guys to meet Green at the LOS. Probably wasn't going far based on design and defense.
- Borges -0.5
- Blocking -0.5
2nd and 10: Gardner under center in I form with Funchess and Gallon out wide on either side. NW brings a safety blitz and Gardner hangs out coolly in the pocket as the unblocked defender is screaming towards him. Gallon is left singled up so Gardner goes to him. The corner does a fantastic job to undercut the throw. Seemed to be some confusion between Gardner and Gallon, maybe he had to get rid of it early, but I also think he left it a bit short/inside.
- NW -0.75
- Gardner - 0.25
3rd and 10: Shotgun with 3 wide to the field side. Michigan rolls the pocket as NW rushes 5 and sends a delayed blitzer. It's picked up well. Dileo is 1 vs 1 and Gardner throws it to him, but a beat late. As a result the defender makes a diving play to knock it away and also runs over Dileo in the process. Borderline PI no call.
- NW -0.75
- Gardner -0.15
- Refs -0.1
Ball is still in the air and Dileo is being run over, looks like PI to me.
Drive 8: 1st and 10 at NW 30 following a couple nice passes and a long Derrick Green run.
1st and 10: Assigning blame can be tricky business but this one is easy. Play action from under center and Schofield straight up gets beat by his guy as he takes a step inside at the snap (WTF?) Sack for 13. Ugh
- Blocking (Schofield) -1
Where are you going Schofield? Your responsibility is to your right, why are you taking a step left?
2nd and 23: Michigan spreads the field with 4 wide in shotgun. Pass is batted down at the line. Looked maybe ill advised anyway as a LB drops to undercut Funchess's route. Can't tell for sure, so we'll give this one to
- NW -1
3rd and 23: Shotgun with triple stack WRs opposite AJ Williams at TE, FB in backfield with Gardner. Delayed blitz. M has no chance at picking this up since the whole line shifts right leaving a gaping hole for Kerridge to defend and two guys coming through it. He gets neither. Dileo looked open for a hot read, but not sure. This is an RPS- type play, but more of the variety where the opponent does something well as opposed to you doing something stupid.
- NW -0.3
- Down and distance -0.4
- Blocking (Kerridge) -0.2 for not even slowing down either guy
- Gardner -0.1 for holding on to it.
Drive 9: Michigan 1st and goal at NW 10 following the shankapotamus punt from NW.
1st and Goal: NW has 8.5 in the box shifted towards the boundary side because AJ Williams and Butt next to each other screams run to that side. Michigan runs to that side. Goes about as well as you'd expect.
- Borges -1, but also gotta check out of that one man.
I think NW might know we’re running left guys.
2nd and goal: Shotgun with 2 stacked receivers to the field side and one to the boundary. Butt motions past the stacked guys. Nice play design leaves 3 recievers on 2 defenders and Funchess is open. But... Michigan rolls the pocket that way to help out the OL and Gardner turfs it because he's on the run and doesn't set his feet. It's actually still catcable, especially for Funchess, but tough.
- Gardner 0.8
- Drop (Funchess) 0.2
3rd and goal: Play action I form. Gallon is one on one and Gardner tries to hit him on a fade in the corner of the endzone but air mails it. Wind was probably a factor here and defender had pretty good position.
- Gardner -0.7
- Crap happens -0.2
- NW -0.1
FG - 6-9
Drive 10: 1st and 10 at NW 13 on a couple nice pass and catch to Gallon.
1st and 10: Freaking waggle. Gardner jukes 2 guys to make something out of nothing for 5, getting plastered in the process. I'm still minusing Borges for the play even though it worked. It worked in spite of the play call not because of it.
- Borges -1
Again, what is the plan here? Gardner is running for his life 10 yards behind the LOS.
2nd and 5: Shotgun 4 wide. Gardner looks screen (probably fake) and then gives a delayed handoff to D. Smith who jukes a guy and burrows for 4. No minuses
3nd and 1: Michigan in jumbo package under center with 2 TE and a H-back. Bosch cedes ground at the snap and that's all she wrote. Play design seems borked too since I don't know where Schofield is pulling to and Kerridge seals the edge instead of blocking the point of attack. Thought D.Smith got hosed on the spot as he got back to the LOS but they docked him a yard for 4th and 2 FWIW. Also, gotta question why you don't have Green in this situation instead.
- Borges -0.8 doing something Michigan can't do, even if it's the right play for 1 yard.
- Blocking (Bosch) -0.2
4th and 2: Tackle over, *sigh*. I get the idea here: sucker NW into over playing the left so you can sneak Gardner around right. The problem is it doesn't look like the normal tackle over since you bring in Williams in as a TE on the other side with an extra lineman too. Add in a pulling Kalis and NW has this sniffed out and dead to rights. A couple weak blocks by Green and Magnuson were the cherry on top.
- Borges -0.9,
- Blocking (Green, Magnuson) 0.1.
Hoke seems on tilt after going conservative burns him a couple times earlier in the season
Drive 11: 1st and 10 at NW 30, following a (legit) PI on NW. Michigan is running it's 2 min drill and if you want to be technical, they failed 2 3rd down conversions on this drive earlier, but converted on 4th
1st and 10: Shotgun 3 wide. NW rushes 4. God. Damn. It. Schofield. He does his step inside thing when he's got a guys shaded outside of him. I don't get it man. He's not even trying to sell PA or something. I mean come the f*ck on man.
- Blocking -1. Gardner needs to get rid of it here, but he had very little time.
Again Schofield? Your guy is outside of you, what are you looking and stepping inside for?
2nd and 23: Nice play, overthrown. Chesson had a step on his man. Wind a factor on such a long throw. Protection was good. Could maybe question a shot down field when you should be working back into FG range, but that's nit-picky. FWIW
- Gardner -0.75
- Crap happens -0.25
3rd and 23: Shotgun 4 wide, 3 on the far side. Gallon catches it short and in bounds.
- Down and Distance.-1
Monkey Rodeo FG ties it. Lulz
(OT1: Hey Hey! Michigan converts 3rd and 5 on their way to scoring, the first of the game.)
OT2: Michigan converts another on 3rd and 1. The next one.. not so much
1st and 10: I form PA. Play action does suck up the LBs and leaves Butt 1 v 1. Gardner holds for way too long staring him down, not sure what he's waiting for. Bosch gets beat and forces Gardner to scramble for a loss of 1.I guess Butt can turn his head a little sooner, but this play is there if Gardner gets the pass off.
- Gardner -0.75
- Blocking (Bosch) -0.25
2nd and 11: Shotgun 3 wide. Butt runs a flat route and Gardner hits him. NW does a good job not allowing YAC. No minuses, par for the course for everyone.
3rd and 8: I form PA again. Again the play action sucks up the LBs. Gallon works a post in front of his corner and Gardner hits him dead on. Dropped. *sigh*
- Drop (Gallon) -1.
OT3: Gardner scores on 3rd and goal FTW, literally. What’s this feeling? Happiness? No too far… Not sadness? Yes, definitely not sadness.
Gardner comes out with the largest chunk, but I think a lot of that is just the nature of his position. I ding him small fractions of points for not making the exact correct reaction to someone else's screw up. Still, he did miss some key throws, held the ball too long a couple times, and failed to check out of bad plays and/or made bad checks.
Borges is at just about 25% too, which is higher than I initially expected. The waggle plays were just brutal, I just don't see the upside with it. Gardner has to scramble for his life to make a couple yards if he's lucky, usually at the cost of getting lit up. The jumbo package stuff is also frustrating. It might be the right call if you have the right personnel for short yardage situations, but it's beyond clear we don't. In the interest of fairness, I do feel compelled to say Borges made some nice adjustments that helped keep the ball moving at times and kept the blitz at bay except on obvious passing situations. Also, in his defense, some of the minuses were based on the defensive alignment, which he can only guess at when calling the play, but I'm following Brian's convention here for consistency. That said, when Borges's lizard brain took over, it was costly to Michigan in terms of keeping drives alive.
Blocking was next up. There was improvement but consistency was still any issue. When things went bad, they were costly. The sacks left Michigan in deep, deep holes. Even on 3rd and short, basic assignments were missed that cost us the first down on several occasions.
Also, you gotta give NW credit. Their defensive backs were all over our receivers and we were extremely fortunate not to have many INTs, some of the pick six variety. Beyond that, we had some drops and the wind played a factor but those weren't really persistent problems.
So.. takeaways? None really that we didn't know. We have a lot of issues everywhere still. At least we were ending some long drives with screw-ups at times instead of never getting drives going. That's something to build on going into Iowa I guess.
Does anyone have a torrent of yesterday's game? Full game?
ESPN has Michigan going to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in one projection facing Texas. The other one has the Texas Bowl to play Oregon State.
Jerry Palm from CBS Sports has Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl to face Texas Tech.
ESPN thinks for some reason that the Gator Bowl will take Minnesota. Highly doubt Michigan falls below the Gator Bowl since the Gator took ohio in 2011.
Although I rather not play an SEC team and go back to that shitty city. Wonder if any of the coeds of ASU will be around for the BWW Bowl?
Watching the Lions vs. Steelers (worst throwback unis ever) game and waiting for the MBB game. So, why not? My offering: Fire Borges still reigns. Dileo safe at second. A win we will take.