A couple weeks ago, I put together a google map with all of the Michigan bars I'm aware of (and also everything from the spreadsheet that bouje has been maintaining.) The map is here.
Hopefully this will prevent the "where's the Michigan bar in Pittsburgh/Fresno/Topeka/wherever" threads that pop up every week, but if your favorite gameday hangout isn't on here, put it in the thread and let me know. I'll do my best to keep the map up to date.
They wanted a drone to deliver the ball as part of the aerospace engineering 100th anniverasry celebration. Nixed by the FAA.
When he took over in Ann Arbor in 2011, to a swell of fanfare as the program finally bagged itself "a Michigan Man," he knew he had to win. As he told The New York Times in the fall of that year, "There are consequences for losing."
He must have known then, even as those consequences draw nearer now, that the bar was higher for college football’s all-time winningest program. He knew Top 25 rankings, BCS bowl games and beating "that school in Ohio" weren’t just bonuses — they were expected results.
But it’s not that Hoke doesn’t merit some sympathy, he just doesn’t need it.
Coach Kyle Whittingham said the memories of preparing for Hoke’s San Diego State teams in 2009 and 2010 aren’t useful, because too much has changed. But he observes something in Michigan’s game film that he noted back then, when the Aztecs gave the eventual 10-3 Utes a 38-34 dogfight.
"The style of football he likes is tough, hard-nosed, blue-collar football," Whittingham said. "That’s what he preaches. That’s what he’s all about. You can see that in the play of Michigan."
The problem, then, might be that Hoke is blue-collar, but the Wolverines are blue bloods.
I was surprised by this closing sentence:
Hoke’s 4-6 record against Ohio State, Notre Dame and Michigan State isn’t wholly satisfying, and he hasn’t beaten any of them on the road. Already, the speculation is rampant about potential replacements; some figure there’s no way Michigan keeps him barring a miraculous turnaround.
You guys really should put these in the m.go.licious links. It's my favorite weekly column on CFB. Just a whole bunch of trash talking:
Makes sense that AT&T is the official cellphone provider of Georgia football what with all those drops and gaps in coverage.
I've seen Georgia fans, and I'll tell you - they're hypocrites when they insist you gotta run more.
Missouri's the best team in the SEC East, and Texas A&M's the best in the West, and that's why they need to strengthen the Invasive Species Act.
Kentucky lost because of someone not being able to read a clock right, which is appropriate.
Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, the two biggest industries in Kentucky.
At the rate he's going, Charlie Weis gonna be the all time winningest coach in Kansas history. Two wins a year, that's just another 24 years, Jayhawk fans. God's real, and he doesn't like you at all.
You know Oklahomans, though. Just tell 'em the quarterback's an abortion clinic or a science class and they'll shut 'em right down every time.
Well he ain't named Charlie Smart, is he?
Pertinent on the heels of the UFR and with a game coming up tomorrow, I took a look at breaking down Doug Nussmeier’s rushing attack, and how it all fits well into one system. This combination of 4-5 base plays makes it very difficult for defenders to read keys and take appropriate angles to attacking the offense, putting a lot of stress on them to be gap sound, and opening up things to the outside and over the top.
Four Plays – Utah @ Michigan 2014
I’ve always respected Kyle Whittingham’s Utah program. Whenever I watched his teams play in the past, they impressed me as tough, physical squads that got the most out of their talent. The Utes took down BYU on the road last season and followed that up with a stunning upset against Stanford, so they've shown the ability to compete with anyone. Even so, I wasn’t particularly worried about this game heading into the season. The Utes ended up 5-7 the past two years and haven’t finished in the AP top-25 since 2009.
That changed a bit after I read up on ths year's Utes. Utah’s quarterback, Travis Wilson, is a 6’7” (!) dual-threat (386 rushing yards in 2013) coming back from an intra-cranial artery issue. They have talent at WR and RB, and in the off-season landed spread guru Dan Christiansen--i.e., the guy who ran Mizzou’s offense in the Chase Daniel era--as their offensive coordinator. They've already put up 115 points in their first two games, plus they have a serious playmaker on defense in DE Nate Orchard.
But while Utah looked pretty formidable on paper, I was a bit less impressed after watching some of their game against Idaho State on video. The Utes really are not stout against the run, and while they have a few outstanding playmakers I just didn’t see the usual physicality that I associate with vintage Utah teams. This game should be a good all-around challenge, and Michigan isn’t going to win with a -4 turnover margin performance--but I’m still pretty confident Michigan gets the win so long as they take care of the ball and find a way to cope with Nate Orchard.
Now, let’s look at some matchups.
When Michigan has the ball…
1. 26 Power
Somewhat ironically, Michigan’s best running play this season (not counting the jet sweeps to Norfleet) has arguably been not Inside Zone, but the play Michigan could never really get off the ground despite years of trying under Al Borges: good ol’ Power O. Maybe it has something to do with catching opponents by surprise, maybe all the years of practice are finally paying off, who knows? But the play is easier (mentally) on the running backs and Magnuson has looked good pulling this season, so hopefully the success continues.
Shown here from an offset I formation against Utah’s base 4-3 Under, Power O attacks the “6-hole” between offensive tackle and TE. Key features of the play include: (i) the RT and TE will double-team the opposing SDE at the point-of-attack; (ii) the LG pulls and leads the tailback through the hole; (iii) the tailback cuts off of the LG’s block. Note that Utah runs a 4-3 Under front and calls its strongside LB the “Stud” and the weakside LB the “Rover.”
LT Mason Cole: Down-block WDE Nate Orchard
LG Erik Magnuson: Pull and lead through hole; block first defender (likely MLB Jason Whittingham)
C Jack Miller: Down-block 3T Sese Ianu
RG Graham Glasgow: Down-block NT Clint Shepherd
RT Ben Braden: Block SDE Hunter Dimick (try to seal him inside)
TE Jake Butt: Double-team SDE Hunter Dimick; then pop-off and progress to second-level
FB Joe Kerridge: Kick-out block on “Stud” LB Uaea Masina
RB – Derrick Green: Counter step, then receive handoff and aim for 6-hole outside RT, cut off of Magnuson’s block
While Michigan’s running game remains a work in progress, Utah (i.e., Nate Orchard) has 21 TFLs and a nation-leading 11 sacks through just two games. Despite the impressive statistics, however, the Utes’ interior DL looked soft against FCS Idaho State. With Jake Butt taking another step toward a full return, Kerridge off to a strong start, Magnuson exceeding expectations, and Green starting to live up to his billing, I am cautiously optimistic here. Orchard is a beast though, and Michigan’s young line still makes too many mistakes to warrant the advantage.
2. Shallow Cross
As even the most casual football fans can tell you, there are few better ways of attacking man coverage than with crossing routes. And when it comes to crossing routes, there are few better concepts than the shallow cross—a quick-developing, safe play with an easy triangle read for the QB. So it’s no surprise that the shallow cross is among the most popular passing plays in football, and reportedly a long-time staple of Doug Nussmeier’s playbook.
Shown here from a shotgun look, the TE and flanker will cross on the right side of the formation, while the slot receiver runs a “choice” route in between them (the choice route is a fade, which the receiver converts into a comeback route if he can’t get over the top). This route combination promises to generate a massive amount of traffic in one spot on the field, which will hopefully catch up at least one defender.
XWR Amara Darboh: Run post (7) route vs. BCB Eric Rowe
RB Derrick Green: Run flat route covered by Rover LB Jared Norris (or, help Cole pass protect vs. WDE Nate Orchard, then release to flat)
LT Mason Cole: Pass protect vs. WDE Nate Orchard
LG Erik Magnuson: Pass protect vs. 3T Sese Ianu
C Jack Miller: Pass protect vs. NT Clint Shepherd
RG Graham Glasgow: Pass protect vs. NT Clint Shepherd
RT Ben Braden: Pass protect vs. SDE Hunter Dimick
UTE Jake Butt: Run flat route, covered by MLB Jason Whittingham
YWR Dennis Norfleet: Run choice route vs. NB Justin Thomas
ZWR Jehu Chesson: Run 5-yard in route vs. FCB Davion Orphey
QB Devin Gardner: 1-step drop; read “inside-out” from Z to Y to Y; if Z open, throw as back foot hits on pass drop; if covered, hitch and throw to Y if open; if covered, hitch and throw to U if open.
Utah is reportedly strong at safety, but its corners and LBs are suspect. A play like this matches Michigan’s quality receivers against that weakness. The primary reads come open under the safeties, and as a quick-developing play it limits Orchard’s chances of getting home on a pass rush.
When Utah has the ball…
3. Inside Zone Read
Still probably the quintessential play of the Chip Kelley/Urban Meyer axis of spread offense, the Inside Zone Read works just like the regular Inside Zone, but buys the offense an extra blocker by using the QB run threat to option-off the backside DE. That means covered linemen will block the defenders lined up across from them, while uncovered linemen will head to the second level.
The general rule in defending zone read plays is to make sure the ball winds up in the hands of the less-dangerous threat. In Utah’s case, the backs (Devontae Booker and Bubba Poole) are considerably better runners, so Michigan will want QB Travis Wilson to keep. The simplest way to accomplish that is to have the WDE, who is normally responsible for defending the C-gap (outside the LT), exchange gaps with the WLB, who is normally responsible for the B-gap (between the LG and LT). That way, the WDE can crash down on the running back—and when the QB pulls and attacks the C-gap, the WLB will be there waiting for him (in theory, anyway).
WDE Frank Clark: Gap-exchange with WLB Joe Bolden; backside pursuit of RB Devontae Booker
NT Ryan Glasgow: Defend backside A-gap against LG Junior Salt
DT Willie Henry: Defend playside B-gap against RG Isaac Asiata, constrict playside A-gap
SDE Brennan Beyer: Defend playside D-gap (outside TE) vs. TE Westlee Tonga; backside pursuit if QB keeps, set edge point and force run back inside if QB gives
WLB Joe Bolden: Gap-exchange with WDE Frank Clark; defend backside C-gap vs. LT Jeremiah Poutasi, set edge point and force back inside if QB keeps, backside pursuit if QB gives
MLB Jake Ryan: Defend playside A-gap vs. C Siaosi Aiono
SLB James Ross: Defend playside C-gap vs. RT J.J. Dielman
This is the first of two games that will tell us whether Michigan’s stout run defense is the real thing or just fool’s gold. Both of Utah’s featured RBs have big-play speed, and can beat you both between the tackles and on the edge, so it’s a true matchup of strength vs. strength.
4. All Curls
Different teams run All Curls different ways, but the basic concept is to attack Cover 3 by having four receivers occupy the four underneath defenders, then stress one of the flat defenders by sending a fifth receiver (i.e., the running back) into the pattern. Of course, that means the play is not particularly effective against man coverage or even against zone schemes that leave five underneath defenders (e.g., Cover 2 Zone). But Utah ran All Curls to good effect against Idaho State, using the play to stretch the Idaho State defense horizontally and create one-on-one match-ups for the Utes’ superior athletes.
As Space Coyote explained in the comments to the Miami UFR, Michigan ran Cover 4 as its base scheme against the Red Hawks. All Curls is not a particularly good call against Cover 4, because the CBs stay in man coverage on the outside WRs and the WILL picks up the RB releasing into the flat. But the only other downfield Utah pass play I was able to discern from Pac-12 Network’s broadcast looked like a version of Levels, and that play isn’t particularly effective against Cover 4 either. So, FWIW, here is Utah’s All Curls play against the Cover 3 scheme we hope to see Michigan run very little of.
Before the snap, the QB chooses one side of the field to attack (based on the defensive alignment). At the snap, each receiver runs a 5-10 yard curl, attempting to sell the vertical routes before settling into open areas. The quarterback reads outside-in, and has an outlet to the releasing RB in the flat.
BCB Jabrill Peppers: Drop to cover deep 1/3 zone (sideline to hash on weakside)
NCB Blake Countess: Cover weakside flat vs. WR Dres Anderson, RB Devontae Booker
WDE Frank Clark: Pass rush vs. LT Jeremiah Poutasi
3T Willie Henry: Pass rush vs. LG Junior Salt
NT Ryan Glasgow: Pass rush vs. C Siaosi Aiono
SDE Brennan Beyer: Pass rush vs. RT J.J. Dielman
WLB Joe Bolden: Cover hook/curl zone on weakside vs. WR Kaelin Clay
MLB Jake Ryan: Cover hook/curl zone on strongside vs. TE Westlee Tonga
FS Jerrod Wilson: Cover deep middle 1/3 zone
SS Jeremy Clark: Cover deep 1/3 zone (sideline to hash on strongside)
FCB Jourdan Lewis: Cover strong side flat vs. WR Kenneth Scott
The Michigan secondary has the talent to stick with Utah’s receivers and Travis Wilson is not an overly-impressive passer. But Michigan’s pass rush still can’t seem to get home, and that same vaunted secondary had a rough outing in South Bend and now face an at least comparable set of receivers in Dres Anderson and Kaelin Clay. Deep-down I think M really has the advantage here, but I’m calling this even until the young DBs prove they can perform up to their talent level in a big game.