Coaches' timeouts are worse. Basketball teams should get one, full stop.
Eleven months ago I used this space to discuss Michigan's crazy success in defensive short situations. That was brought on by a staggering performance against Illinois, at which point Michigan had stopped 15 of 27 3rd- or 4th-and-one situations, and 13 of 19 against real competition. This was up from stopping less than a quarter of such plays the previous two years, and almost as far above the going rate for all defenses.
This was huge. Getting one yard for any offense is far easier that stopping it for any defense—one good block can usually do it. Forcing a 4th down situation from 3rd and 1 or a turnover on downs on 4th and 1 is worth half a turnover or more. Jamie Mac addressed this further in his HTTV article, showing that the stoppage situation was affecting the happy margin between our yards-ceded defense and scoring defense as much as having a ridiculous year in turnover luck.
Michigan last year was really good at stopping the short stuff, but folks chalked it up to Martin and Van Bergen playing to their strengths and figured it was a blip. Except it wasn't just those guys. Here's last year's chart for short situations, through OSU:
|Ryan Van Bergen||6.5||0|
|Craig Roh (right/Heiko)||6||0|
|Campbell, Hawthorne & Heinigner||2.5||0|
|Black, Morgan, and Woolfolk||1||0|
|Herron and Beyer||0||-1|
Two thirds of Michigan's short-down production from last year returned (as did bad refs). Demens, Roh, Ryan, Kovacs, and Campbell were all key role players in that ridiculous shutdown rate, and if the UFR can be trusted, they weren't getting it just because of things the Team 132 seniors were doing.
This doesn't even count things like stopping Ohio State on 3rd and goal from the 2. Actually it doesn't count goal line situations at all, though 1st and goal from the 1 is as hard to stop as 3rd and 1 from the 40. So I revisited when updating the UFR database. Get ready to be happy (through MSU):
|Year||--FCS and MAC removed--||--All Opponents--|
|Stopped!||They got it :(||Stop %||Stopped!||They got it :(||Stop %|
It's still happening. It's happening more. We replaced Martin and RVB with Washington and Campbell, and if anything got better! And like last year Michigan's short defense seems to be getting tougher as the season goes on. Since Big Ten play started, the non-stops have read thusly: Purdue converting with 16 seconds left in the half while down 18, Illinois benefiting from a terrible spot, two plays where Bell was forced to cut back into the pile and just managed to squeak through, and one bust.
[After the jump, what's causing it, and the plays vs. State]
10/21/2012 – Michigan 12, Michigan State 10 – 5-2, 3-0 Big Ten
Denard Robinson is 13 of 29 for 143 yards; he's run 20 times for 96 yards. His team is down a point and has managed to turn 120 seconds into eighteen without moving the ball anywhere near plausible field goal range. A few drives ago Jeremy Gallon was as wide open as you can be on third and goal and Denard blasted it hard and behind the guy—if it was to keep it away from a defender it was because the throw was late—or Michigan would lead by three.
Behind me, some Michigan State meathead has spent the better part of four quarters screaming "throw it, Denard, huh huh huh." Juggalo Nation, reprazent.
"Is this guy really a QB I'll say my mans vento is a better QB lol. S/O to my boy vento by the way."
-Denicos Allen, MSU linebacker, on Denard and MSU walk-on QB Tommy Vento, 9/1/2012
Michigan has second and eleven but more importantly they have seventeen seconds to get in field goal range. State shows a three man rush but also sends Denicos Allen; Allen stunts inside Will Gholston, who Lewan has nerfed, and hits Ricky Barnum at full speed. Barnum gives ground—a lot of ground. Allen is flying up into the pocket, where Denard would be.
Denard has started to roll.
"DENARD IS SOOOO BAD! And it makes me feel so good."
-Kyle Artinian, MSU safety, 9/1/2012
The roll is bad. The roll takes out most of Michigan's routes, spends time Michigan doesn't have, removes downfield possibilities Michigan desperately needs. In the stands, my heart sinks. I have seen this script before, not just watching Michigan, but watching everyone. Michigan's win probability is sinking like a stone with every step Denard takes outside the pocket.
Denard stops. The roll steps have gotten Roy Roundtree a bracket, and made the middle of the field lonely.
Barnum has continued shoving Allen past everything. Gholston, lined up against Lewan, is as relevant to the play as I am. Denard sets his feet.
"I can play quarterback for the school in blue."
-Jamal Lyles, MSU linebacker, 9/1/2012
Denard decides setting his feet is not for him. He starts moving up in the pocket as the State nose tackle sheds Elliot Mealer.
Dileo's head is in a better spot to tackle someone than Gholston
As all of this has occurred with half the people on the field, the other half have been fighting hand-to-hand in remote locations. Drew Dileo has started outside, then come inside of MSU safety Isaiah Lewis. Lewis is tracking, in decent position. Dileo is entering a window between two underneath defenders. It's huge since Denard's temporary roll has caused Max Bullough to chase Roundtree—the roll truly was doomed.
Denard is moving up in a pocket that is less a pocket and more a space occupied by a no-longer-blocked Michigan State defender by the moment. He has not rolled. He is stepping into the future, whatever it brings.
Denard cocks, and throws. The stadium stops. The throw has to be on a line, at Dileo's chest. It's 20 yards downfield. As each frame ticks by, universes begin and end.
"Even a blind squirrel can get a nut ever once in a while...,"
-Nick Hill, MSU running back, 9/1/2012
It's in the number—not numbers. Drew Dileo only has one. It's #9. Denard uses the enclosed space in that number as a bullseye.
Michigan rushes to the line to spike the ball. Mark Dantonio watches Michigan execute a maneuver that cost him a game last week when his team went all John L Smith on it.
I keep thinking about how this clown beat us in the clutch. Sure, we beat ourselves, but for all the times we've shit on him for his arm or lack of, what did he do in the final minute?
Pride comes before... DAMN IT!
-Venomous G. Duck, 10/21/2012
…I mean, the guy knows. He's heard it all, whether he'll admit it or not. In this game the defenses dominated as both quarterbacks struggled to about 5.6 yards per attempt. The difference: Denard outrushed MSU's offense by himself and threw a meaningless interception on an end-of-half Hail Mary while Maxwell chucked one into Kovacs's chest after Michigan State had been set up with good field position. Run and armpunt that, homeboy.
"We've beat Michigan the last four years. So where's the threat?"
-Mark Dantonio, 4/18/2012
The remainder of Michigan State's season is a choice between not going to a bowl game and helping Michigan make the Rose Bowl.
Michigan State found a few nuts when one Michigan coach hung on too long and a second employed Greg Robinson, and couldn't wait to tell everybody every day all day. In the aftermath, they're asking Brady Hoke if they're as important as Ohio State and saying it's a real rivalry and it's level footing now, because Michigan is apparently also busy cutting off recruiting coordinators for no apparent reason and talking trash because Michigan State is losing a game. The little brother thing keeps getting brought up because it is the truest thing anyone has ever said about a 100-year-old football program.
Whatever. Michigan is rounding up a selection of ass-kickers and has its sights set on bigger things than one game against a program that's never been in a BCS bowl and hasn't seen Pasadena in 25 years. It doesn't matter if MSU or Iowa is Iowa. What matters is in Schembechler Hall, and MSU players watching Michigan play Alabama know it.
After the game, DenardX tweeted something about walk-on quarterbacks.
Me and the rest of the QBs after the game with our home boy Paul Bunyan!!! #GoBlue @teamdgizzle @rbellomy
As of press time, Denicos Allen has not given a shoutout to his boy Tommy Vento.
Other highlights from a guy named noonkick. Field level end of game video:
Honorable mention: Jake Ryan (obvs), JT Floyd (they tried but could never bust him), Greg Mattison (I mean, my God), Denard Robinson (HEYYYY COLUMN LADY), Taylor Lewan (Tom Lolston), Kenny Demens (LeVeon Bell, welcome to 2.6 YPC), Jordan Kovacs (ditto).
Epic Double Point standings.
3: Jake Ryan (ND, Purdue, Illinois)
2: Denard Robinson (Air Force, UMass)
1: Jeremy Gallon(Alabama), Drew Dileo (Michigan State)
DEE-FENSE. That image above is just perfect. LeVeon Bell crapped out 2.6 yards a carry against OSU… and 2.6 yards a carry against Michigan. That's all DL stuff and while the Michigan State line had the services of Dan France, they were out two of their three starters for most of the OSU game and did not have Treadwell much; Treadwell went the whole way against M and AFAIK Ethan Ruhland did not make an appearance. Dion Sims was gimpy; other than that it's basically the same performance against the same team.
Bell never got caught behind the line, which makes the 2.6 YPC even more impressive since Michigan didn't RPS their way into any TFLs. Michigan won the battle on third and short against LeVeon Bell. Thumbs up.
CLOCK MANAGEMENT. That was verbatim tweet I sent out Saturday and holy pants, WTF. Some of that was crappy luck and crappy decisions—Toussaint catching the Butterfield/Breaston memorial DON'T YOU DARE CATCH THAT pass, Denard checking down in the first place, but at one point the entire stadium was on its feet screaming SNAP THE BALL at once after Michigan let almost 20 seconds run off the clock for no apparent reason. Michigan had already burned nine seconds before the review on the Denard third-and-two lunge; they burned off a few more before snapping the ball.
If this was a one time thing it would be a one-time thing; after last year's Iowa two-minute debacle it's an issue. I don't think this is much on the players when they're looking to the sideline for a call, especially after Michigan burned two timeouts in this game just trying to get the playcall in.
Michigan huddling for half the playclock is killing me. There's no reason to do it, it doesn't seem to help their attempts to audible out of obvious blitzes, and their lack of practicing at tempo is an obvious detriment when they need to go fast.
Jake Ryan crazy thing of the week. This is not actually the Maxwell sack pictured at right, which came about after Ryan went around the 250-pound Bell like he was not there for Michigan's only TFL of the week. Though that was pretty awesome, you guys.
Even so, the crazy thing Ryan did this week was facing down three blockers on a screen that MSU had set up like whoah, trashing the guy who peeled off to deal with him, and holding Michigan State to seven yards. Michigan booted state off the field on the subsequent third and short.
Totals: 10 tackles, 8 solo, Michigan's only sack. HE'S SLIGHTLY GOOD YOU GUYS SRSLY
JT Floyd. It was clear once MSU started taking regular shots downfield that they had identified JT Floyd as the weak spot on the Michigan defense, but he held tough. The catch-and-YAC five yard hitch first downs from the Purdue game were eliminated entirely; he got beat deep by a step or two each time but was in good enough position that the throws had to be perfect lest he pull the press Michael Floyd and live (or "trail") technique.
The throws weren't perfect, and the only long completions Maxwell managed were against Thomas Gordon (bad play by him on a ball he would have had a play on if he found it) and Raymon Taylor (got an interference call and gave up an admittedly spectacular completion late). Floyd got off without issue.
What's more, MSU's big idea to get a touchdown on short yardage was to line up a fullback over Floyd and run Bell at him. Floyd held up, got the edge, kept leverage at the numbers, and prevented Bell from getting outside, whereupon Desmond Morgan helped him tackle. The guy had a target on his back all day and came through with flying colors.
Fumbles. Are a bitch.
Somehow Michigan did not recover this one, nor the other one, despite having nothing but Michigan players surrounding the Spartan who clutched the ball like it was a nugget of gold.
NOW DO YOU BELIEVE ME NOWWWWWW
Denard, my man. I am totally down with the whole "not getting torn limb from limb by defenses" thing, but…
…dude, there is a time and place to put your body on the line and turning your 44 yard run late in the fourth quarter into 50 is it.
Denard's bad throw to Gallon. Eric got a great shot of it:
Watching the replay, Denard is throwing it in the heart of the window between the two linebackers. Gallon should be sitting between the two guys; he overruns it a bit. My thinking here is influenced by seeing Borges at that coaches clinic, where he mentioned that he wants his QBs to hold up his receivers against zone coverage.
Still, probably at least 75% Denard. He's rifling that at a guy barely ten yards downfield so his margin for error is extremely small; he doesn't read the fact that he is wide, wide open and he can just soft toss it to him.
Matt Wile: most useful backup kicker ever. Matt Wile may not have displaced Keith Stone Sasquatch Brendan Gibbons as Michigan's starting kicker but he's the best third-most-important kicker since I've been watching Michigan football. He:
- kicks most kickoffs into the endzone
- is a pretty effective pooch-punter
- had a good plain-old punting record last year when Hagerup was jittery
- nailed a 48-yard field goal that, along with all other field goals, was the winning margin.
If either kicker got injured he'd step into their shoes. Michigan should be fine on the kicking stuff for a while now. Note foregone pun.
Hagerup confidence : 2012 :: Gibbons confidence : 2011. Whatever happened with Hagerup last year to tack a four-game suspension on to his OSU suspension from 2010 led to a lot of shanks and mortifiedpunter.gif. After a couple of Sugar Bowl shanks, Wile displaced Hagerup for the rest of the game.
At that point it was writin' off time, like Gibbons after 2010. When Hagerup was still atop the depth chart in September, that made people suspicious. It wasn't alarming like Gibbons since Wile was around and fairly established, but it was only 50-50 to stick. Stuck it has. Hagerup's averaging 47.5 yards a kick and would be fourth nationally if he had enough punts to qualify.
Special teams coach: do we have one or not? The fake punt was… frustrating. Michigan's trying to set up a return, which you can't really do against a spread punt anyway, and they're playing a team that loves nothing more than faking punts and field goals. Somehow this combination results in three guys leading the punter and blocking no one at all. Michigan's even got a designated special teams/TEs guy, but they can't cover or block on punts and they got gashed for 30 yards by a punter. WTF.
Michigan did get a big return out of Gallon at the end of the first half but even that emphasized the difference in punt coverage. Gallon had to split two unblocked guys and then run laterally past a second wave. Meanwhile the one Hagerup punt that was not a 48-yard, five-second-hang unreturnable moonball was a free 15 yards for the punt returner since MSU doubled a gunner and no one else on that side of the ball got downfield.
Whatever they're doing with the kickers is great… but is that anything other than hot babes visualization exercises? I'm not sure. Everything else is questionable at best.
Game theory bits. There wasn't a whole lot of interest from my eyes but a couple of decisions have sucked up post-game airtime.
- MSU threw on second down on their last drive. Not even close: right call. LeVeon Bell was averaging 2.6 yards a carry and had just been stuffed for nothing. Maybe you want some slants or a hitch or something instead of what they threw but you can't assume Michigan is going to run the worst successful two minute drill ever. All running on second down accomplishes is spending a Michigan timeout; getting the first down ends the game.
- Michigan punted on fourth and seven from the MSU 42 early. Did not have a problem with this. Not in true no man's land, yardage pretty big, and if you're in the kind of game that ends 12-10 puntosaur technology is the right tech.
- MSU attempted a 38-yard field goal on fourth and one from the 21. This was debatable—one of reasons puntosaur tech makes sense is that even if you get the first down you're probably kicking anyway. Is MSU going to score a TD? Eh… probably not. A 38-yarder is well within the range in which you expect your established PK to hit it. Even so… that was fourth and capital-S Short. If MSU is intimidated by Michigan's short yardage defense… well, I get that. Probably a mistake but in a puntosaur game I get it.
The assumption you're making on those early calls is that you are in a puntosaur game. IME, that was clear from the get-go.
Oh for crap's sake. Dollars to donuts this is new LSJ beatwriter and slappy Graham "Alex Carder Best Quarterback In The State™" Couch:
I don’t know if you guys saw after the game, but I almost got trampled out there. [MGo: -_______-] Have the fans ever trampled the field like that after a Michigan State win? Is this rivalry getting to the level of Ohio State?
[update: Heiko says it was a photographer, not Couch; stuff below stands.]
No, and no.
Couch derided Junior Hemingway—yup, Junior Hemingway—for his classlessness after the game in a tweet, going so far as to hashtag his tweet "#classless," because he interpreted Michigan's rush to get a Paul Bunyan trophy that was on the sideline last year but not this year as taunting. He's since deleted the tweet, because nothing goes better with stupidity than cowardice.
BONUS: This blog already has a "Graham Couch's laughable homerism" tag from his days covering WMU.
Pom poms. I thought I was good when the guy three rows in front of me was an Air Force veteran—so said his hat—who would clearly rather eat glass than wave a pom-pom, but then some Ladies who Just Wanted To Have Fun ended up two rows in front of me. At some point I had to say "please don't wave those so high" because I couldn't see the field, at which point they said "it's a football game" and I said "I KNOW I WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT."
I don't know, man. This isn't an old man thing, it's just… if there are pom poms it is a guarantee that some dip in front of you will forget that there are people behind them and act affronted when you say there are people behind them. This is amazingly consistent in my and my friends experience: ask the kind of person who waves a pom-pom during actual football plays to not do that and you will be subjected to a "whateva, I do what I want" style rant and petulant extra-vigorous pom-pom shaking. And yet if I was to take the pom-pom and stuff it down the pom-pom waver's throat, I would be the one removed from the stadium.
Pom poms suck, because society.
Special K. False hope is worse than death.
What the incentive program should be. Any student who wasn't in the stadium at kickoff shouldn't be allowed to buy tickets next year. I mean, seriously: a 3:30 kick for the only decent home game all year and the upper 20 rows of the student section are half-full means the student section is too big.
We had Witvoet's crew for the game. After calling a penalty on State, he let Hawthorne have it. I'm not sure what Brandin did, but I'm just glad he didn't draw an unsportmanlike penalty call.
* The officials let it be known early that they weren't going to stand for any shenanigans this year, calling Lewan for a somewhat touchy late hit. I wish they would have sent a message by calling a penalty on the team responsible for all the shenanigans last year, but they kept things under control, so no complaints.
bronxbblue has a new thing called Best and Worst:
I’m sure this is a bit of coach-speak, but it is also something that needed to be said. Since, oh, the Eastern Michigan game, I don’t think most people saw MSU as a legitimate Big 10 championship team. The offense was too crippled by a porous line, poor WRs, and a somewhat-shaky QB to keep pace with teams like Wisconsin, UM, OSU, and Nebraska. The Iowa game cemented their ceiling for the year at 7-8 wins, even with an elite defense.
Outside of the Alabama game, though, UM’s ceiling was never defined. Notre Dame was a tough loss but one that felt more self-inflicted than the team meeting a superior opponent. Purdue and Illinois proved only that UM was probably as good as Louisiana Tech and and Marshall. MSU, frankly, was not going to validate UM’s season, but only give them another breakpoint from which to calibrate their potential.
And that’s what Hoke encapsulates in this statement. He recognizes that MSU is a rival and the game mattered, but this wasn’t the season.
Spartanfreude section. The "Post Your Big (Jail) House experience" thread is pretty good from an M standpoint—no one reports much untoward aside from some verbal sparring, and even that is pretty tame.
I was in Section 8 and saw some arguing going on. On the way back to the car had 3 assholes walking in back of us talking shit like everyone above said, "Little brother put back in his place again", "Leveon Bell for Heisman....", "130 seasons of football and 900 wins", "UM is back in their rightful place". This yapping went. on for the whole walk thru the golf course. Mind you that I took my 74 year old dad to the game. I finally blew. Stopped in my tracks and had a few words. That slightly shut them up.
A 74-year-old man had to listen to people describe how many wins Michigan had acquired, and was exposed to the opinion that Michigan State is not as good at football as Michigan. #thugs
Cut my hand open, Michigan fans threatened to "throw me out of the stadium" for cheering, got my backpack stolen, bought macaroni salad on the walk home. Typical saturday. Also I got called ugly a lot. I'm like a 6 let's be real.
Edit: in retrospect, I probably swore around children a lot more than I should have
Also This Guy:
It's an awful place. Will never return after my last visit in 2010, when I had to be retstrained from attacking Walvies who kept telling me to go back to jail. Nothing about the experience is fun, no matter the result.
And this guy made TWIS but you get a taste early:
Rolled out of bed today more upset and sick than last night
This sucks. Facing the world this week with every UM drag sporting that cocky arrogant grin, wearing their colors -unwashed.
I hate this.
Many if you rcmb'rs are too you to remember all the games from late 80's until Dantonio era.... I hate this week. I can't wait for the first one to offer some sort of mild apology or winning with fg's... Kill.
That is the same This Guy who complained about the Michigan fans who had the audacity to tell him the game would be close and Michigan wasn't good last week. If this man was ever exposed to a real taunt his head would disintegrate into a fine mist.
Blog folks. HSR:
Spock: Well, Michigan was quite fortunate to have won that game.
Kirk: Woooo! Don't care! Wooooo! Woooo! Woooo!
Spock: Four field goals is hardly the offensive output necessary over the long term to win the Big Ten Championship.
Kirk: Don't care! Don't care! Woooooo! Woooo! What the Dileo?!? Wooo!
As J. Lehman was interviewing Hoke during pregame (above), I heard a woman on the sideline (with a sideline pass mind you) gesture over to Hoke and ask, “Is that the coach?”. I gave the Jim Halpert stare to anyone who wanted it. And a lot of guys wanted it.
BWS points out that Michigan passed on 7 of 26 first downs, and only 5 of 22 before the two-minute drill. The lack of a reliable play action option really hurt in this one. I'm not sure why Michigan can't throw outs to their slot receivers.
The Only Colors has postgame react from the MSU perspective:
There aren't going to be any four-game winning streaks in this rivalry again for a long time. ("It takes four years. Of course it will be a long time." Shut up, guy). MSU will get the favorable schedule U-M has enjoyed for the next two years, and both teams are starting to stockpile talent. (If you bring up recruiting rankings, I'm going to punch you).
MSU fans are still clinging to the recruiting-rankings-are-meaningless thing. They're in for a harsh reality check once Michigan's recruiting rankings are paired with something other than crippling attrition, lackadaisical talent evaluation, and crappy coaching. Maybe not next year, when Michigan's breaking in a new quarterback and the upperclass talent levels are still relatively even, but after that… back to the salt mines, Sparty. Or maybe Alabama, OSU, and USC are only good because of their helmets.
SBN's Bobby Big Wheel was randomly at the game and randomly ended up on the field and wrote a thing defending being on the field:
…most college kids use "if it feels good, do it" as their main decision-making rule, not a six-factor test. Thus, a few jumped on the field. At first, I smiled and wondered how I'd get out of the stadium, but more people started jumping the fence. Michigan Stadium goes out instead of up, and the student section seems to run 100 rows deep. So, I learned that when you have a mile of drunk, yellow-clad college kids behind you and someone says you're rushing the field, you're rushing the field.
That's how I, a 28-year-old, job-having person, rushed the field at Michigan Stadium. And I did it con gusto. I joined in the chants, yelled "wooooo!" a lot and got my picture taken with the band. It might have been the rum and "Coke" (I suspect that the mixer was either another type of rum or a non-poisonous brand of varnish) that I'd been taking swigs of during the game, but it was still a fantastic experience. Please keep in mind that I have no ties to the University of Michigan beyond a sister in grad school there. Never mind that; running around a football field makes you feel alive.
I have to admit I rolled my eyes at the field-rush, which was epic in its half-assery. The first students over the wall waited for the team to leave the field, basically, and then it was a slow trickle as only 30-40% of the people in the front row at any particular juncture actually wanted to get on the field. The contrast from last year's OSU field rush to this one was appropriately vast.
Q: I can't remember anyone ever rushing the field outside of the 1997 OSU game before the two incidents mentioned above. Can anyone else?
The HSR is figuring out what's going on in the game based on Ace's ability to keep all of his veins in his head. Dr. Sap's decals go to Dileo, Floyd, and Gibbons, plus others. Brady Hoke's Pet Viking reprazent. MVictors did this:
MVictors is pretty cool, yo.
Moments after Michigan's 12-10 win over Michigan State on Saturday in Ann Arbor, Lewan, teammate Roy Roundtree and a host of other Michigan players rushed the field and sprinted toward the Spartan sideline.
They were, of course, searching for the famous Paul Bunyan Trophy. But the effort was futile.
"This was my first time beating Michigan State, so I don't know how this works," Lewan said, believing Michigan was supposed to receive the trophy from MSU after the game. "I ran over there to get the Paul Bunyan Trophy, because I remember (MSU having it on the field once before).
"I didn't see him until I went into the locker room. ... I think they were upset about it."
The Michigan victory brings the trophy back to Ann Arbor for the first time since 2007, even if it wasn't brought onto the field Saturday.
After beating the Wolverines for a fourth straight time last season, Michigan State players were seen celebrating with the massive trophy on the field at Spartan Stadium. On Saturday, though, the exchange was more low-key -- it was done somewhere inside the stadium tunnel, and the trophy was waiting for the Wolverines in their locker room after the game.
More classless behavior.
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to One Frame At A Time, our new weekly gifs post that will go up each Monday morning after football weekends (and probably continuing into basketball season, too, and whenever else it strikes my fancy).
From here on out, words will be sparse; if one picture is worth a thousand, I won't bother to calculate how many are accounted for by a moving image—bajillions, probably. In that sense, apologies for my wordiness, but the Michigan State game was a treasure trove for gifs. Par exemple:
[Due to the large file sizes, the rest of this week's gifs are after THE JUMP. Remember that you can always hit 'escape' (except in Chrome) to stop the animation.]
Formation Notes: Michigan actually spent a lot of this game in the plain old 4-3 even, which seems to be a spread adjustment for M.
That's Ryan to the top of the screen at LB
This is against a 2TE set, which usually saw Michigan go to their default under; against three- or four-wide going even (with Ryan at DE) was the play.
In the past I've used "Diamond" to indicate a formation with four skill players to one side of the field in a diamond formation—invariably used for a screen or surprise backside TE thing—but I had to pull it our for the Holgorsen pistol thing that is a backfield diamond like so:
Note that Michigan's in the under there.
Substitution notes: Secondary same as it always is: Taylor/Floyd/Kovacs/Gordon with nickel Avery. Marvin Robinson came in once things got out of hand to replace Kovacs, thus giving us a hint of what next year's safety configuration is likely to look like.
The vets have fended off the challenge from the two freshmen at linebacker, it appears. Ross got a few snaps before garbage time; Bolden got none. Ryan was omnipresent until things got out of hand; Cam Gordon came in and did pretty well for himself.
Rotation on the line was more frequent. The starters were the same (Roh, Washington, Campbell, Clark) but both Beyer and Ojemudia took their turns at WDE; Pipkins and Black featured frequently at DT. Roh was replaced far less frequently. He gave way to Heitzman for only a few snaps before garbage time.
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||D Form||Type||Rush||Play||Player||Yards|
|O15||1||10||Pistol twin TE||4-3 under||Run||N/A||Power off tackle||Demens||7|
|WR comes for an end around fake. This draws Ryan(-1) well upfield and opens up a big crease. Roh(+0.5) comes under a down block to chase from the inside out; Demens(-1) runs into a block from the TE and gets stood up; he can't get outside, which allows a bounce. Gordon had come down late to be an extra guy in the box and tackles with a scraping Morgan.|
|O22||2||3||Shotgun twin TE twins||4-3 under||Pass||5||Out||Taylor||Inc|
|Pass is to Tacopants. Ryan(-0.5) had opened it up a little by coming up on play action but the end result here was going to be five yards with Taylor(+0.5) coming up to tackle on the catch. Cover push.|
|O22||3||3||Shotgun twin TE twins||4-3 even||Pass||5||Comeback||Washington||4|
|Illinois flips their two TEs, drawing little response from M except Roh and Washington widening out a bit. Illinois has some tepid inverted veer PA; Demens (+0.5) and Ryan(+0.5) are charging up the middle. Both get picked up but only momentarily and threaten to come through. Washington(+1) beats a block clean and takes out a second guy when the RB has to cut him. Scheelhaase has to throw it off his back foot. The throw is upfield and ends up being three yards; Floyd(+0.5) is there to tackle on the catch. Refs correctly spot the WR short of the first down since his own momentum took the ball short of the 25; replay guy is an idiot and overturns it. Woo replay guy. Pressure +1, Cover +1.|
|O26||1||10||Shotgun twin TE twins||4-3 under||Run||N/A||A gap power||Washington||4|
|Washington(-0.5) gives a little ground and gets sort of kind of sealed by what's really a one on one block as the G nominally doubling him moves to the second level quickly. This provides a small crease. Roh(+0.5) and Demens(+0.5) make it smaller by bulling a TE and pulling G backwards, respectively, and everyone sheds to tackle the back as he hits it up in the only available lane.|
|O30||2||6||Pistol twin TE||4-3 even||Run||N/A||Power off tackle||Morgan||9|
|Same play as their first. Either Morgan or Clark busts here as both of them fly hard upfield outside, containing the end-around, but also leaving a huge gap behind them. Think it's Morgan(-2) since the action suggests he is supposed to stunt behind Clark's attack, which ends up drawing two blockers and the end-around fake. Kovacs(-0.5) is rolled down into the box and reacts a little late; Ryan(-0.5) is folding back from a DE spot and has no threats anywhere near him and doesn't scrape down the line in time to make a tackle short of the sticks and set up a third and short; RB runs between arm tackles from both. Demens ate a free release but hard to blame him.|
|O39||1||10||Shotgun twin TE twins||4-3 under||Run||N/A||Inverted veer keeper||Ryan||5|
|Again TE flip; M is in an over to start and ends up in an under after the switch. Ryan flies upfield at the handoff, pull. I'm not sure if this is right since it seems M is slanting to the weakside and Ryan(-1) should attack the QB to force a handoff into a containing Gordon. Once that doesn't happen Scheelhaase has a lot of space and three blockers on the two LBs. Roh(-0.5) gave up a lot of ground, too. Demens(+1) sets up in a great spot to force a cutback and then surges through two blockers to cut off a lane inside of him. Morgan(+0.5) fends off a block to tackle downfield.|
|O44||2||5||Pistol twin TE twins||4-3 under||Run||N/A||Inside zone||Black||4|
|Pipkins(+0.5) bursts into a double, delaying a release from the G. Black(-1) gets blown down the line and sealed away; good cut from the back to take that hole. Ryan(+0.5) is keeping it down as much as he can; Demens(+0.5) uses the time Pipkins afforded him to pop up in the frontside hole and then scrape to the backside once he sees the cut; those guys tackle from the side.|
|O48||3||1||Pistol twin TE twins||4-4 even||Run||N/A||Power off tackle||Roh||0|
|I said this was +1 in the game column but Roh(+2) gets two here because he is the whole play. He destroys the TE, comes under him hard, and seeks out the pulling guard to blast him. This slows the tailback and allows Demens a free run. Washington(+1) had popped two DL, who get confused and also allow Morgan a free run. The TE Roh destroyed is collapsing to the ground down; Ryan(+0.5) reaches out to grab a foot and Demens(+0.5) grabs the guy's upper body to prevent him from falling over the first down marker. Morgan(+0.5) had also arrived to help if necessary.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 10 min 1st Q|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||D Form||Type||Rush||Play||Player||Yards|
|O25||1||10||Shotgun 3-wide||4-3 even||Run||N/A||Trap||Washington||9|
|This looks like a draw, actually a trap where the G pulls around the center. Washington(-1) and Campbell(-1) split as the both try to get a pass rush in a situation where that's not wise. Morgan is now one on one in a ton of space with a blocker as Demens was dropping into man coverage against a tight end. Morgan(+0.5) does avoid a block and get the tackle in as Kovacs fills, which prevents this from being super dangerous. RPS -1.|
|O34||2||1||Pistol 3-wide||4-3 even||Penalty||N/A||False start||N/A||-5|
|Michigan was late lining up and accidentally got Ojemudia(+1, tackling +1) in for a TFL, but it gets called back.|
|O29||2||6||Shotgun 3-wide||4-3 even||Pass||5||Bubble screen||Kovacs||0|
|Or close to it anyway. WR just kind of stands there instead of moving towards the LOS as another guy comes down to block Kovacs, who motioned down late after Ryan blitzed off the slot. Taylor is unblocked; Kovacs(+1) blew past the block anyway. Morgan(+0.5) aborted the blitz quickly enough to be useful as well; Taylor(+0.5) comes up to fill with help from those two and there's nowhere to go.|
|O29||3||6||Shotgun 4-wide||Okie two||Penalty||N/A||Offsides||Morgan||5|
|Morgan goes early. -1.|
|O34||3||1||Shotgun twin TE twins||4-3 under||Run||N/A||Inverted veer sax||Ryan||-5|
|M flips their line when Illinois flips. This looks like it's going to be a veer; bad snap. Campbell(+0.5) and Ryan(+0.5) do put an end to any ensuing wackiness before it can start.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 7-0, 5 min 1st Q|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||D Form||Type||Rush||Play||Player||Yards|
|O25||1||10||Shotgun twin TE twins||4-3 under||Run||N/A||QB sweep||Ryan||6|
|Michigan's run a lot of this this year. Playside TEs block down; C and playside G pull. Roh(-0.5) lets the play outside of him; not too bad but doesn't quite make a play. Ryan(+1) tosses away a RB trying to block him and comes inside, making contact a few yards downfield. Demens(-1) got cut pretty badly and thus can't help; Scheelhaase falls forward for a decent gain.|
|O31||2||4||Pistol Diamond||4-3 under||Pass||4||Hitch||Taylor||Inc|
|Airmailed. Beyer(+0.5, cover +1) had dropped off into a short zone and may have had a play on the ball if more accurate. Taylor in decent position for quick tackle on five yard hitch.|
|O31||3||4||Shotgun trips||Nickel even||Penalty||N/A||Offsides||Morgan||5|
|Morgan(-1) does come across the line to induce a false start.|
|O36||1||10||Pistol Diamond||4-3 even||Run||N/A||Inside zone||Pipkins||2|
|I guess, anyway. Not sure what Illinois is trying to do. Roh(+0.5) left unblocked, charges at the handoff point, gets picked off by one of the tailbacks flaring backside. Contains. RB now has to cut inside into a backside B or C gap, depending on what you believe constitutes which when a tackle releases downfield immediately. Pipkins(+1) has absorbed two OL entirely; Demens(+0.5) has an easy job to scrape behind him and tackle. Campbell(+1) had blown back a G one on one and there was nowhere else to go.|
|O38||2||8||Pistol twin TE twins||4-3 over||Pass||5||Bubble screen||Gordon||Inc|
|Ryan slides down from the slot, WR again stationary, Gordon(+1) shoots in to blow him up on the catch. Dropped. RPS +2, but a lolzook +2.|
|O38||3||8||Shotgun trips TE||3-3-5 nickel||Pass||3||Improv||Avery||Inc|
|Ojemudia(+0.5) kind of gets the corner and Roh(+0.5) kind of spins through to get pressure on a three man rush; Scheelhaase has to bail but can. Ryan is spying and shoots up into him. (Pressure +1). Scheelhaase throws a back foot pass that turns into a great back shoulder fade on Avery(-1, cover -1) that's dropped. Oh, Illinois.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 10-0, 14 min 2nd Q|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||D Form||Type||Rush||Play||Player||Yards|
|O34||1||10||Shotgun twin TE twins||4-3 under||Run||N/A||QB sweep||Roh||-3|
|Same play as the first play of the last Illinois drive. This time Roh(+2) gets under the TE, drives him back, fights playside, and shows up in the gap Scheelhaase wants to hit just as he tries to hit it. Ryan(+2) got upfield of a pulling blocker after taking a false step and bursts upfield like he always does to finish the TFL.|
|O31||2||13||Shotgun trips bunch||4-3 even slide||Run||N/A||QB draw||Morgan||8|
|Pretty well played by M as there is not a huge gap but with the LBs pulled and Demens booking for the edge instead of checking QB there's only Morgan against two guys releasing downfield. When the crease does just barely open up it's yards. Morgan(+1) does set up, boom into an RB, and almost tackle Scheelhaase near the LOS. He slows him and keeps leverage, allowing Campbell(+0.5) to peel back and tackle. He got good push in a lane so not too mad about letting the QB through. Demens(-1) was really tardy recognizing and the slide seems like something Illinois felt they could exploit. RPS -1.|
|O39||3||5||Shotgun twin TE twins||Nickel over||Pass||6||Scramble||Ojemudia||23|
|TE flip, Ojemudia and Ryan flip at DE. M sends a blitz, getting Demens(+0.5) through with Ryan(+1) beating a block to join the party; Scheelhaase dodges to the other side of the field; Ojemudia(-2) has gotten out of his lane badly despite clearly setting up to contain an escape like this and gives up the corner. Kovacs(-1) does not trust that Floyd will keep contain and ends up running into him; Black tackles on the cutback behind. Scheelhaase hits his head, is concussed, and out for the day. Wow... this did not look that bad from the stands.|
|M38||1||10||Pistol twin TE twins||4-3 under||Penalty||N/A||False start||N/A||-5|
|M43||1||15||Shotgun 3-wide||4-3 even||Run||N/A||Power||Black||3|
|Washington(+1) holds up to a double; when the G pulls he has very little crease to attack. Heitzman(+1) closes down the POA as well, getting a yard or so penetration; Black(+1) shucks the backside G and makes contact when the RB hits the LOS. RB does a good job to spin for yardage but there wasn't anything here more than YAC.|
|M40||2||12||Pistol twin TE twins||4-3 even||Run||N/A||Power||Demens||3|
|Campbell(+0.5) gives some ground but does not get sealed at all and Demens(+0.5) can scrape over the top of him without worrying about the wrong OL popping out on him. The one who does has the wrong angle. Washington(+0.5) avoids a cut and flows down the line a gap behind the play, so no cutbacks. Morgan(+0.5) moves and pops the lead guard, funneling to Demens, who tackles.|
|M37||3||9||Shotgun twin TE twins||4-3 even||Pass||N/A||Scramble||Taylor||5|
|Couple of short routes are covered(+1, Morgan +0.5, Taylor +0.5) by M and O'Toole is bailing after. More crappy QB play than anything great from M; Demens and Ryan are rallying to tackle in short zones against a not that mobile QB.|
|Drive Notes: Missed FG(50), 10-0, 8 min 2nd Q|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||D Form||Type||Rush||Play||Player||Yards|
|O25||1||10||Shotgun 3-wide||4-3 even||Pass||4||Throwback screen||Ross||12|
|WR comes on ostentatious orbit "I'm gonna option" motion to the wide side of the field. O'Toole stares at him as it appears Illinois is screening over there, and then pivots to a throwback screen. This works a lot. Clark(-1) could be helpful on a peel back; instead he's cut. Don't' really blame the DTs. Ross(+1) attacks hard and gets cut to the ground but did get a two for one, for all the good that does M since there are still two guys to block Taylor. That does let Kovacs fill without getting bothered and holds this down. RPS -2; burned pretty good here and it took a nice play from Ross to prevent a potentially large play.|
|O37||1||10||Shotgun 3-wide||4-3 even||Run||N/A||Draw||Campbell||4|
|Campbell(+1) gets a lot of push and threatens to fill the gap in the middle of the field. RB has to pick a hole further outside and start moving laterally. Would like Roh(-0.5) to not get so far upfield and maybe have a play when this happens. Demens(+1) beats a block and flows outside to force yet more lateral motion. Eventually RB has to turn it up into Demens and Ryan for a small gain.|
|O41||2||6||Shotgun twin TE twins||Nickel even||Pass||5||Dumpoff||N/A||9|
|M sends all three linebackers up the gut, dropping off both ends. Ross gets through clean but nobody really takes the RB and an easy dumpoff picks up the first down. Cover -1, RPS -1. Ross might have been late, not sure.|
|50||1||10||Pistol twins twin TE||4-3 under||Run||N/A||Inside zone||Demens||3|
|This turns into a quick hit at the left side of the line. Black(+0.5) does okay to narrow the gap; Ross(-1) gets into a blocker near the LOS and is outside of him but weirdly ends up trying to fight away from the guy with the ball, which gives a small crease; Demens(+1) scrapes down the line, gets a small pop on the OL trying to get into him, and then moves past the Ross block to tackle after a meh gain. Kovacs helps clean up.|
|M47||2||7||Shotgun 3-wide||4-3 even||Run||N/A||Draw||Black||6|
|Huge gap as Black(-1) and Washington(-1) split in an effort to get pass rush; no delay for the RB. LBs are pass dropping and eh. Ross(+0.5) beats a guy, as does Ryan(+0.5); Demens(-0.5) gets blocked and disengages late, falling on the pile the other two guys already made.|
|M41||3||1||Shotgun twin TE twins||4-3 under||Run||N/A||QB power||Campbell||0|
|Ojemudia is standing up on this, which may tip mischief. Campbell(+2) slants playside on the snap and gets past an attempted downblock; he gets penetration and fouls the play. One blocker is taking him. A second squeezes through the closing gap and is now useless since he has no angle. A third runs up the back of that OL. Ross ends up washed out in the pulling G; Demens(+0.5) reads where O'Toole is going and puts in a hit that stop him in his tracks; Ryan(+1) had blitzed from the backside and was tackling as this happens. RPS +1, slant caused blocks to fail and exposed runner to Ryan.|
|M41||4||1||Pistol twins twin TE||4-3 over||Run||N/A||Power off tackle||Ryan||-1|
|Ryan(+2) blows inside of a tight end, getting upfield and picking off the pulling G. Demens(+2, tackling +1) has a free run and makes it count, making contact well in the backfield and tackling by himself. Boom. RPS +2. Perfect call.|
|Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 17-0, 1 min 2nd Q|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||D Form||Type||Rush||Play||Player||Yards|
|O27||1||10||Shotgun 3-wide||4-3 even||Pass||4||TE post||Demens||INT|
|Orbit motion from slot WR. Play action fake. No sale from either LB; Demens(+3) gets a fantastic drop (cover +3, as no one is open anywhere) and picks the ball off as O'Toole chucks it into his chest.|
|Drive Notes: Interception, 24-0, 11 min 3rd Q|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||D Form||Type||Rush||Play||Player||Yards|
|O25||1||10||Shotgun twin TE twins||4-3 under||Run||N/A||Counter||Campbell||1|
|Campbell(+2) dominates the G, gets penetration, releases into intended hole, forces cutback; Washington(+1) has also gotten penetration and can release as RB cuts behind him to tackle; Demens(+1) finishes it off by beating a block and plowing the RB, already going down to the QW tackle.|
|O26||2||9||Shotgun 3-wide||4-3 even||Run||N/A||Draw||Washington||-7|
|Zone blitz from M sends Washington and Campbell playside while dropping Clark. Ryan(+0.5) and Demens(+0.5) both zoom into the hole on the backside. Washington(+2) fights past a block from the center and is there to shoot upfield when the RB cuts away from the blitzers. He TFLs. RPS +2, dead meat.|
|O19||3||16||Shotgun 3-wide||Nickel even||Pass||4||Screen||Kovacs||Inc|
|Blitz gets a free run from Morgan(+0.5, pressure +1) , which forces a too quick, inaccurate throw. Kovacs(+1) had zipped past a defender and got blocked by another; two for one, very likely enough of a delay on the screen to allow the cavalry to rally, certainly before the sticks.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 31-0, 9 min 3rd Q|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||D Form||Type||Rush||Play||Player||Yards|
|O4||1||10||Shotgun twins||4-3 even||Run||N/A||Power off tackle||Washington||2|
|Campbell may move early, not called. He gets(+0.5) decent penetration on the backside. Washington(+1) gets push on the down-blocking G and fights playside. Roh's(+0.5) being doubled but doesn't give much. Demens(+1) reads and hits the G at the LOS. Nowhere to go, heap of bodies, pile falls forward a couple yards.|
|O6||2||8||Pistol 3-wide||4-3 even||Run||N/A||Power||Demens||3|
|Kickout on Roh as the play goes inside. Campbell(-1) blown out by a double, big hole. G releases into Morgan. Demens(+2) reads, attacks, gets past the pulling G and gets in a tackle after funneling to help; that help is Washington(+1), who got push on the backside and came under to flow down the line and finish the tackle.|
|O9||3||5||Shotgun trips||Okie one||Pass||5||Sack||Ryan||-4|
|Kovacs moves up late and blitzes off the edge. Two more DL attack to that side as Ryan(+2) stunts inside past them at great speed. He's in clean (pressure +3) and flying at the QB; QB side steps and he flies by. Scrambling now; Morgan(+1) reads it and flows up to prevent the scramble from going anywhere. O'Toole prepares to throw and is annihilated by a recovering Ryan from behind. Fumble, recovered by M. RPS +2. I mean, goddamn watching Ryan find the hole and accelerate through it is not that much different than seeing Denard do it.|
|Drive Notes: Fumble, 31-0, 4 min 3rd Q|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||D Form||Type||Rush||Play||Player||Yards|
|O24||1||10||Shotgun 3-wide||4-3 even||Run||N/A||Counter||Campbell||3|
|Campbell(+1) dominates the G, gets penetration, shows up in gap, forces cutback. Pipkins does even better with the penetration but does not understand where the ball is going and can't disconnect to tackle at the LOS, push. Morgan(-0.5) gets slashed to the ground and is lucky that the hole is narrow enough that he can reach out an arm from his knees and do something useful. He does, though.|
|O27||2||7||Pistol 3-wide||4-3 under||Run||N/A||Power off tackle||CGordon||6|
|M slants under. Heitzman(+1) is past his guy and into the backfield. Two guys follow. CGordon(-1, tackling -1) is now all alone on the edge with the back; he gets beat to the outside. Gordon(-1) is set up outside of a blocker after a few yards and also lets the back outside when he had a ton of pursuit helping out. Taylor and MRobinson combine to tackle at the sticks.|
|O33||3||1||Pistol twin TE||4-3 under||Run||N/A||Power||Bolden||2|
|Double just gets enough movement on Heitzman for a crease; Bolden(+0.5) gets a good hit at the line on the pulling G, restricting and funneling; Morgan(+1) scrapes over to hit right at the first down marker, and it looks like it's short, generous spot. Very generous.|
|O35||1||10||Pistol twin TE||4-3 even||Run||N/A||Inside zone||Bolden||6|
|Washington gives some ground on a double; he also chucks a guard to the ground, so a push since that guy never blocks anyone. Bolden(-1) gets too aggressive and picks a hole that the back cuts out of; CGordon(-1, tackling -1) is coming down from the slot and overruns the play; RB runs through a tackle. Roh(+0.5) tackles from behind.|
|O41||2||4||Pistol Diamond||4-4 even||Run||N/A||Inside zone||Morgan||3 (Pen -15)|
|Black is doubled and gets pushed out, so the inside guy releases into Morgan(+1); Morgan goes boom and stands him up. The backwards motion takes away potential cutbacks and forces him in between that block and that of Black, where MRobinson(+0.5) is there to fill as the extra guy in the box. Illinois OL Morgan popped loses a helmet and gets a penalty for continuing to block him. Not a big fan of the rule here since the guy is already engaged. For some reason play is yardage gained minus yardage penalized but the down doesn't count? Someone screwed up I think.|
|O29||2||16||Shotgun trips TE||4-3 even||Pass||5||Dumpoff||Clark||Inc|
|Blitz comes as Illinois cuts everyone; Clark(+1, cover +1) is dropping into this short out thing the RB is running and will kill it for minimal yards if caught; dropped. RPS +1.|
|O29||3||16||Shotgun 3-wide||Okie one||Pass||5||Sack||Ryan||-7|
|Another stunt gets Ryan(+2) under a guard before he can react to seal off the hole. This time Ryan doesn't quite run by the QB and gets a hand on; he's starting to bring him down when Roh(+1, pressure +3) beats his block to join in and make it a sure thing. RPS +2.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 38-0, EO3Q|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||D Form||Type||Rush||Play||Player||Yards|
|O41||1||10||Shotgun 3-wide||4-3 even||Pass||4||Screen||N/A||-1|
|RB falls down as he catches the ball for no reason. ILLINOIS! Ross and Pipkins may or may not have held this down.|
|O40||2||11||Pistol 3-wide||4-3 even||Pass||4||WR screen||Gordon||-1|
|Outside WR the target with slot guy blocking. Not a bubble, but not sure what it actually is. Anyway, Gordon(+2, tackling +1) reads this and is out on the receiver when he catches the ball, picking up a TFL. ILLINOIS|
|O39||3||12||Shotgun trips TE||Nickel even||Pass||4||Dig||Taylor||Inc|
|Ojemudia playing DT, a la HS. M stunts, sort of picked up, sort of not. CGordon(+0.5) and Clark(+0.5) threaten to sack; a containing Roh(-1) slips when QB starts moving around. He finds a guy running a dig a yard short of the first down. Taylor(+1, cover +1) reads, adjusts, and whacks the guy as the ball arrives, jarring it loose. Would have been short anyway.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 38-0, 11 min 4th Q|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||D Form||Type||Rush||Play||Player||Yards|
|O13||1||10||Shotgun twin TE||4-3 under||Run||N/A||End around||CGordon||1|
|Actually a touch pass to the WR end around but whatever it's an end around. Heitzman unblocked, lets it outside, does cause some delay, push. CGordon(+1) is taking on two blockers and moves inside when the WR threatens to go vertical but has the ability to redirect to the corner once he play goes all the way outside; Taylor(+1) beats a block and joins to tackle after a minimal gain.|
|O14||2||9||Shotgun 3-wide||4-3 even||Pass||4||PA rollout cross||Bolden||Inc|
|Bolden(-2, cover -2) is way late to read the PA and opens up a first down and more; ball is behind and incomplete. ILLINOIS.|
|O14||3||9||Shotgun 3-wide||4-3 even||Pass||4||Sack||Ojemudia||-2|
|M stunts; CGordon(+1) gets inside a tackle and pressures(+2). He's too far upfield and can only force the QB to move around in the pocket, but that's an accomplishment. O'Toole still readjusting when Ojemudia(+1), who flew past a chip from a releasing TE without getting touched and got chopped by the back, gets up and sacks from behind.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 38-0, 7 min 4th Q|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||D Form||Type||Rush||Play||Player||Yards|
|O28||1||10||Pistol 3-wide||4-3 even||Run||N/A||Inside zone||Ross||3|
|Nowhere to go; Black(+0.5) gets in a crease as Heitzman(+0.5) shuts down a frontside one; Ross(+0.5) shoots a backside gap to force the RB outside. Ojemudia gives too much ground, permitting the bounce, but does come off to tackle so a push.|
|O31||2||7||Shotgun 3-wide||4-3 under||Pass||N/A||WR screen||N/A||6|
|Black tracks it down from behind. GAF... expiring.|
|O37||3||1||Pistol twin TE||4-3 under||Run||N/A||Inside zone||Ross||-2|
|And the reason I bothered with the drive. Pipkins(+0.5) and Black(+0.5) get quality push; Ross(+2) shoots the gap with perfect timing and goodbye Illinois.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 4 min 4th Q. EOG for D.|
I AM ENJOYING THIS A GREAT DEAL
Hey remember the 67-65 game
It just happened two years ago
WHAT IS THIS TWO YEARS AGO BUSINESS
THE BIBLE SAYS FOOTBALL STARTED IN 2011
No it doesn't
MY BIBLE IS GREG MATTISON'S WIKIPEDIA PAGE
Oh then it probably does… n't
DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH MY CHOICE OF BIBLE
No not at all, I mean—
HOLY SCRIPTURE ANNOTATIONS
|Roh||8||2.5||5.5||Half sack, half points, half ten|
|Campbell||9||2||7||just Illinois just Illinois just Illinois|
|Washington||8.5||2.5||6||ditto ditto ditto please don't just be Illinois|
|Black||2.5||2||0.5||Definitively backup three tech.|
|Pipkins||2||-||2||Getting some push, still learning what to do with it.|
|Heitzman||2.5||-||2.5||Hope he can give Roh some breathers later.|
|Ojemudia||2.5||2||0.5||Half point WDE party.|
|Morgan||7.5||4.5||3||This is relatively bad!|
|Demens||16.5||3.5||13||Thanks for playing, freshmen.|
|Ryan||14||3||11||I call Clay Matthews mini Jake Ryan.|
|C. Gordon||2.5||2||0.5||Could probably step in without huge downgrade.|
|Ross||4||1||3||Knifing knife guy with knives.|
|Bolden||0.5||3||-2.5||Basically one blown coverage on last drive.|
|TOTAL||45||17||28||excuse me I'm going to go run in circles now|
|Avery||-||-||1.5||Oh yes please|
|Taylor||3.5||-||3.5||Cream and sugar?|
|Kovacs||2||1.5||0.5||Oh no thank you|
|T. Gordon||3||-||1||Here is your tea|
|M. Robinson||0.5||-||0.5||I like tea|
|Wilson||-||-||-||is there football?|
|TOTAL||7.5||2.5||5||not for the secondary|
|Pressure||11||1||10||Multiple unblocked Ryans.|
|Coverage||7||4||3||what is this pass you say of speaking|
So that's what a UFR chart looks like when I do a whole game in which Michigan holds the opponent to 130 yards.
Again, Demens has Stepped Up with capitals after picking OL out of his teeth for many of the first three games. Demens had an easy outing with Illinois OL virtually incapable of getting to him, and made the most of it with a series of third down stops and the track-and-follow INT. While I seriously doubt he'll ever scrape a +13 again if only because the opponent has to cooperate extensively for that to happen, this is a third straight game in which he has performed well as Michigan throttles an opponent's ground game (and everything else game).
Ryan is basically what we expect of him now. I would like to emphasize that sometimes when he comes on blitzes and accelerates through a hole in the OL after a change of direction, the feeling in your scalp is not entirely unlike that when Denard does it. He is a man of unusual speed. I mean, goddamn he hits this hole HARD:
And hey hey hey, defensive tackles. We has them, at least against OLs like Illinois. Let's check the schedule… yeah, lots of Illinois type outfits on the docket, not many Alabama's.
The metrics are pretty much irrelevant but a big part of Illinois's inability to pick up more than a couple yards per passing attempt was Michigan flinging its way at O'Toole whenever he tried. 11:1 is a pretty good ratio there.
Yeah, I don't know man. Illinois was turned into goo, and helped the process themselves.
Well, the Illinois offense hasn't been this throttled yet.
- vs Wisconsin: 284 yards
- vs Penn State: 364 yards
- vs Louisiana Tech: 324 yards
- vs Arizona State: 332 yards
The Arizona State game is particularly relevant since Scheelhaase missed it. Illinois put up 14 points, which is more than Utah and three less than Cal and Colorado have managed on ASU.
I mean, things happen to defenses. Guys blow stuff and then yards are acquired. Michigan hardly blew anything except a couple of contains on Scheelhaase; safety blanket Jordan Kovacs went virtually unused. This is kind of like picking through a UMass game for something useful, but even in that context what Michigan did was impressive.
Any, like, other things?
It does seem like Michigan's getting a bit better at containing short stuff. Illinois's screen game was non-existent:
RPS somewhat, also Kovacs beating a block like whoah. Gordon had a similar event late. I wonder if that will continue against teams that have a prayer of completing a pass longer than five yards.
So sort of a thing.
Hey, here's Will Campbell getting under the pads of what's probably an awful guard:
And doing it again:
Also, the other DT there eats a double team without giving more than a yard—that's Pipkins. We'll all be watching for signs of progress from him over the next few games, as a Pipkins-Washington DT combo next year seems like the best available option. Both are nose tackles now, but Pipkins moving to the three-tech may be possible.
Also, add another to the pile of Craig Roh plays that don't show up in the box score:
I just love how effective he has been. That's pretty nice above; the TE chuck featured in picture pages is an elite play. Just Illinois disclaimers, sure—he's already made more plays this year than he did last year. That development is another data point for what we'll call the Heininger Theory: Michigan's DL is going to be awesome at technique for the foreseeable future. [UPDATE: Heiko suggests "Heininger Certainty Principle," which SOLD."
What about that extremely disturbing section of the game in which Illinois gained like 30 yards?
Just random stuff. On this play the end-around fake opens up a lot of room and holds Gordon outside; Demens and Morgan end up in the same gap:
Remember yesterday's picture pages? This is the same thing from M—note Beyer folding back. The difference? Ryan is way way outside because of the end around fake when that's probably not his job. Thus… seven yards. And a stop two plays later incorrectly overturned by replay.
After that overturn Michigan gives up nine yards when it looks like Desmond Morgan gets the wrong call and does not blow up a play by stunting inside. These things happen. For Michigan they are turning into 8, 9, 10 yards and that's it. Anemic opposing offenses, yes yes. We pillage the lemonade stands.
A couple of times they got RPSed by draws:
They'll figure that out, in all likelihood. After zero(!) shotgun runs from MSU a week ago they will undoubtedly break tendency a couple times.
Aaaand… that's all.
Essentially everyone but Ryan and Demens bear special mention; DTs and Roh are vying to show.
What does it mean for MSU and beyond?
Demens and Morgan are about to get a stiff test against LeVeon Bell. Even if they're getting in clean, Bell is more than capable of juking you or running you over. Bell YAC is the key stat for Michigan's defense, and I don't know how that's going to go. For all of Demens's excellent play in the last three games he has not faced a back of that caliber.
I am pretty confident that Demens will get his chances, though, after watching the Michigan DL and the post-injury Spartan OL. Chris McDonald has been getting knocked back a lot, and he's their #1 guy. Both MSU tackles were susceptible to slants against Iowa, which means guards won't be getting where they're going and holes will be filled by clean linebackers.
On the outside, Burbridge will be a challenge. He's probably the best receiver Michigan has faced to date—yes, already—and if Maxwell is protected (maybe) and dry (probably) M will probably get some yards in its face that you wouldn't expect given the stats. Other than that?
Ignore the part at the end where he catches one.
MSU will be a step up from the previous two offenses—I know I know you don't believe it—but I'm expecting them to score under 20.
I TOLD YOU ABOUT THE BIBLE
wsg Slanty, the football-playing, jean-vested gecko who is inexplicably the first hit in Google images for "line slant football", or at least was a year ago.
One of my main concerns going into the season was what would happen to the short-yardage defense that Michigan was so good in a year ago without Mike Martin and RVB. Turning a third and short into a punt is 50% of a turnover, and Michigan could paper over a lot of deficiencies last year by telling Mike Martin to destroy some guys on third and one, thus allowing other guys to tackle.
Illinois disclaimers are in full effect—they can't do anything against anyone—but the Illini could do even less of anything against Michigan Saturday, and getting bombed on short yardage was a major part of that.
Michigan blew up Illinois short yardage with slants. Multiple times we saw this pattern:
- Michigan slants away from a power run.
- The playside end gets inside and upfield of the tackle or end trying to block down on him.
- The pulling guard bangs into the playside end.
- Linebackers profit.
Actually, Michigan doesn't so much "slant away" as show one defense and run another. When Michigan isn't running their base 4-3 under call they are inverting it by blitzing Ryan and moving everyone else over a gap.
Let's see it in action. /fishduck'd
It's fourth and one on the second and final Illini drive to make it past midfield, just before the half. Michigan has just stoned a power run by Riley O'Toole for a half yard to set up this opportunity. Illinois comes out in one of their standard sets, a pistol with two tight ends to one side of the line and twinned WRs.
Michigan is in an over this time since the strength is to the boundary, but Illinois will move a tight end over and not have an unbalanced strength on the line on the snap anyway so whatever.
This is what Michigan does:
They're essentially moving everyone over a a gap and dropping Ojemudia into a short zone. On run plays he "folds" which consists of backing off, keep an eye out for cutbacks, and allowing the linebackers to run to the frontside. If you're watching a replay and are wondering if Michigan's doing this gap-shift thing, the WDE backing off the LOS is a sure tip. If you watch for it, you will find it—Michigan runs this on upwards of 20% of downs.
On the snap, Ojemudia backs off and the line shoots down. Gordon, who is right behind Ojemudia in the above frame, has followed the TE across the field and now takes contain responsibility to the playside.
You can see the slant better from this angle:
Campbell is now attacking outside the left tackle, like he's a WDE. Roh and Ryan both shoot gaps to the inside. They get penetration, giving up an outside crease to do so.
Ryan gets under fast. He's essentially through clean, so the pulling G has no choice but to pick him off. Demens is already a yard off the LOS and charging as the handoff is made.
Now it's all about tackling.
Demens went inside out here as the back tried to go north and south on fourth and inches. That allows him to use the pile as help, and look at Desmond Morgan popping up to say hi/clean up any messes.
If you take a second look at this frame:
Note how Morgan is also clean and has stepped playside as the slant develops. He's still trying to check for any potential cutbacks and find the gap he's going to fill; he is available if the back makes Demens miss or threatens to power to the line.
[After THE JUMP: play it sort of again, Sam.]
Past Jake Ryan, hopefully not future MSU
Snap jumping. Not again?
Please address Sparty jumping the snap. What can be done to prevent it or even use it to the Wolverines' advantage?
Please, please, please use all your influence to prevent Sparty snap jumping from successfully occurring this Saturday. This is an important key to Michigan's offensive success.
I AM USING ALL MY INFLUENCE MAN YOU JUST DON'T KNOW. Unfortunately, that influence consists of squinting really hard and making "wahwahwahwah" noises to project psychic sound waves about me. I have no influence.
I do think that we will see that snap jumping significantly reduced in frequency, possibly almost eliminated. One of the hidden transition costs last year was a coaching staff that had not endured Jerel Worthy's sometimes-offside-but-usually-just-eating-your-heart dance party and did not spend big chunks off the offseason fuming about it and scheming themselves a plan to defeat it. This year everyone is well aware that snap timing blew up the Michigan offense in all different ways and that changes must be made. We have seen Michigan vary their snap counts—they did it last week—and with a home game Michigan should be able to use audible signals if they want. Meanwhile, Worthy is gone and I haven't seen the Spartan replacements be able to replicate that maddening skill of his.
Unfortunately, this prediction about the snap jumping has reached the status of turnovers under Rich Rodriguez: logic says it can't happen again, and then it happens again. At this point I'll have to see a Michigan coaching staff enter a Michigan State game as prepared to play as the Spartans are before I believe it.
If not this year, though, when? Michigan State's coming off three straight nail-biters that required them to dump everything they had on the field in an effort to win the game. Michigan's coming off a bye and two laughers. MSU is shuffling guys on their OL, has benched a senior captain LB, and is trying to find two tight ends to rub together.
They don't have the depth to do much other than what they've done already. They don't have a changeup like Baker they can go to; they don't have the tight end depth that threw Michigan off; they are trying to find anyone who can catch a ball. Please, Angry Iowa Running Back Hating God, yea the most powerful of all fictional supernatural football deities, hear our plea.
Bellomy on the goal line.
I am a little confused by the play calling after Denard went out with his "boo-boo".
1) Why is Toussaint in the "jumbo" (unsure if package name is correct)? Rawls just seems to have the short yardage figured out a little bit better i.e. size and running style: see 6:35 Q2. (I know my example comes after and did not have 6/7 on the line and all 11 within 5 of the LOS and inside the tackles but still). Was Rawls insertion later a sign that he may now have the short yardage job?
You've got me on this one. I have two theories, neither of which seems that convincing.
Theory one: Fitz is in a funk and rusty and getting flack from people and some cheap touchdowns will help his morale, maybe get him driving harder at the goal line.
Theory two: Rawls is fumbling a lot in practice or going BOUNCE BOUNCE BOUNCE.
Pick one or make one up yourself; I think either explanation is going to quickly fall by the wayside as Rawls becomes a preferred option inside the five. He probably would have scored on one of the two attempts. I do think the BOUNCE BOUNCE BOUNCE theory has some credibility behind it since I just watched Rawls look at this…
…and decide to bounce that outside the TE instead of slam it up at the gaping cutback lane like he was born to do. Amazingly, the guy seems to have some Michael Shaw to him. Go north-south, young moose.
2) Why the vanilla play calls? It was clear later that they trust Bellomy with some measure of the offense that is clearly larger than watching the RB run into some ineffective down-blocks. With the alignment of weak-side DE, LB, and FS, why not run a PA boot with the TE rubbing off and going all Funchey in the back of the end zone? Is this just a manball fundamental that we must live with this year while the donkey punchers are being groomed?
There's a big difference between trusting Bellomy to run around and fling stuff once you're up a billion points and having him take his first meaningful snaps in a rainstorm in a game that could still go either way.
Personally, I wanted him to hand off come hell or high water—when you're the silverback you want to lower variance, and having Bellomy think about all the stuff he's going to do after the snap could lead to bad news. Bellomy fumbled a snap later, after all, and Michigan doesn't want to open the door for anything cheap for the Illini because that's the only way they lose.
In general I don't think there's much to criticize either way about goal line playcalling. The defense is selling out one way, you pick one or the other and succeed or don't.
[After THE JUMP: clock management, Afghanistan face-off, Legends logistics, Jake Ryan of the past.]