I did not make this headline up
[ed-M: bump. always bump.]
Do we have any Pinnacle Studio 12 experts among us? I seem to have lost the ability to have my titles display lower-case letters properly (compare this MPP to my previous ones).
Setup: EMU will run power right against Will Heininger (left DT).
Wha'hoppon: Roh stands up the TE on the edge but Heininger gets blown out of the hole, leaving three blockers coming out against three linebackers going in. Roh's positioning against the TE forces the FB to 'finish him,' Hawthorne stands up to the pulling guard, and the RB dives into the pile, which poops him out six yards downfield.
Full YouTube page is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaJI_5GgNDc
Original PP is http://mgoblog.com/content/picture-pages-emu-runnin-us-i
MGoBlog user the fume suggested in the comments of my last diary that Kovacs' interception in the 2nd quarter came from the same defensive play call that led to Notre Dame's final score, so I thought that I'd satisfy my own curiosity and look at that play too.
It's 3rd and 9 at the 36 yard line, ND 14-UM 0. Michigan brings all of its defensive personnel to within 3 yards of the line of scrimmage, with three down linemen (Black, MM, RVB), three linebackers (Hawthorne, Demens, Ryan) and five defensive backs (Avery, Gordon, Robinson?, Kovacs, Floyd). Here's the look:
Rees checks into a new play. This is the play he checks into:
He's focused in on Floyd at the bottom of the screen. Michigan, however, is going to rush 3 and drop 8 into coverage. It's a 3-deep zone coverage with five players in the short zones:
The pressure on the defense will come at the bottom of the screen, since the slot receiver will run a seam route straight up the hash marks, and Floyd is running a 12 yard curl route. Although the seam route is open, Rees apparently expects man coverage, as he seems to have decided already to throw it to Floyd.
The seam route is open. If Rees sees it, it's probably a touchdown. Note that the safety playing the center of the field is at the 44 yard, on the other hash marks, running like crazy up field. He's the only defender who has a chance at preventing a touchdown if Rees sees the seam.
But Rees is staring at Floyd, and Kovacs is watching Rees' eyes. Here's what it looks like when Rees starts to throw, with Black breathing down his neck. Note how open the slot receiver still is.
Rees compounds his error by making a poor throw too far inside. I suppose he thinks that Kovacs is running with the slot receiver and that Floyd will be wide open.
The result: Kovacs makes the pick.
It's a great play by Kovacs. This defense clearly has a problem, however. The player who plays the center deep third of the field needs to turn at the snap and get deep. He doesn't have time to survey the field and adjust his position. Here it's even worse than on the touchdown in the fourth quarter, as the deep center defender is on the opposite side of the formation from the receiver he needs to cover.
As several people commented, Mattison is not adverse to taking risks with his defensive play-calling to generate turnovers and uncertainty. Sometimes, as here, it works. Sometimes it doesn't. But I think all of us are happier with this approach than the very passive approach taken by the past coaching regime.
Here's the video (1:00 mark):
Like about everybody else here, I'm still basking in the afterglow of the win over ND, but I still wanted to get this done before the next batch of Picture Pages comes out. In other news, I finally figured out how to slow down video, which some people have asked for.
Setup: (Brian's original post is http://mgoblog.com/content/picture-pages-how-not-defend-power-part-ii) In Part I (http://mgoblog.com/content/picture-pages-how-not-defend-power-part-i), we see that Brennen Beyer overran a counter play Western ran to the left, losing contain and opening the door to a 25-yard gain (to be fair, he just opened the door; bad linebacker play exacerbated the lack of contain and escorted the Western RB through it). He was undoubtedly coached about said overpursuit afterwards (without, I am assuming, the use of stuffed animals) and returned determined to not repeat that mistake.
Wha'hoppon: Naturally, Beyer made the opposite mistake this time by engaging the pulling guard inside, proving there's more than one way to lose outside contain. A cut block on the MLB took out both him and the backside LB, and Herron steps up into the pile instead of out to force the play back inside, completing the loss of contain. Once again, Kovacs comes across from his deep safety position to make the tackle far downfield.
Non-embedded version at http://youtu.be/9asASKuFZ-I?hd=1
[Ed-M: Gord morning. No it wasn't a dream. Read this. Also: AIIIIIIIIIEEE!!!]
I was curious to see what Mattison dialed up on Notre Dame's last score, to see what he was trying to accomplish and what went wrong. Here is what it looked like:
If you count Michigan and ND's players, you get to 10: there must be another WR at the bottom of the screen, covered by Troy Woolfolk. Michigan has everyone near the line of scrimmage, but the call is actually a Cover 3 and they will rush three defensive linemen, leaving 5 players to play the short zones:
I think that Woolfolk's assignment is the deep third at the bottom of the screen, but thanks to ESPN we can't see him. Here is what the defense looks like right after the snap:
You can see the three rushers, four of the five short defenders, and two of the three guys trying to get deep.
Notre Dame is going to run the following play:
Floyd is in the slot, and is presumably Rees's main target since it is third down and they need to convert (although it is obviously four-down territory).
The result of the play we all know.
(The play starts at 2:24)
I don't know anything about football beyond watching and reading mgoblog and smart football, but I think the idea of the call is this: by putting all our defenders close to the line of scrimmage, to bully ND into checking into a play that involves a quick pass (remember it's 3rd and 5). Then you rush 3, flood five players into the short zones, hopefully allowing you to break up the pass or make a tackle before the first down markers. The problem was that Rees didn't force it to Floyd, who was covered by Jake Ryan; instead he threw long, and Woolfolk and Marvin Robinson don't cover Theo Riddick.
I think that Mattison's call was sound; either Woolfolk or Robinson should have had Riddick (although it's hard to be sure since we can't see the whole field on ESPN's feed). The problem is, as Dr Saturday and Chris Brown of Smart Football pointed out,
In case anybody's wondering, I'm Chris of Dangerous Logic here, but parkinggod pretty much everywhere else on the web, including YouTube.
(apologies to those who are familiar with MPP from last year; this is for the new folks)
I love Picture Pages, but I'm so obtuse that I usually have to replay the video as I'm reading in order to understand what's happening. Finally it dawned on me that I have the game footage, a video editor, and a little bit of free time, so (with Brian's permission) I have annotated the play with pauses, spot-shadowing, and other kindergarden video effects to make it easier to follow. I notice that Brian has also started including an annotated version at the end of his regular picture pages posts (in this case, http://mgoblog.com/content/picture-pages-how-not-defend-power-part-i), but he points out different things there so I think this is still useful.
Setup: It's second and two on the Michigan 47 on Western's second drive of the day. Western runs a counter out of the shotgun against Michigan's 3-4 front with corners pressing and only Kovacs deep.
Wha'hoppon: The LT ignores Brennen Beyer to double RVB. Beyer crashes into the backfield only to get hit by a pulling guard as the RB runs by him on the counter. Demens steps up into the hole but loses outside contain, and the RB cuts outside and may well have had a TD if Kovacs doesn't make a tackle 25 yards downfield.
This is another illustration of how the positioning of the MLB so close to the line of scrimmage in Michigan's 3-3-5-that-isn't-really-a-stack renders him more vulnerable to being eaten alive.
In other news, I don't know if it's the prospect of the upcoming bludgeoning by Columbus Community College or the fact that most of these are of a play that didn't go well, but these are starting to get hard to do. "Here's how we screwed up again, in excruciating detail."
Anyway. Wha'hoppon: Wisconsin has second and three at their own 32 on their second drive of the day. Michigan plays a stack over Wisconsin's I-formation. The play starts out as an iso to the right. Martin stands up a double team and then slants playside, and Ezeh takes on the FB to close the playside hole. The blocking works much better on the other side, with Mouton being erased by the backside guard, RVB being kicked out, and the playside guard releasing off Martin to devour Demens. Avery fills the hole between the guard and tackle, but the blocks on Demens and Mouton leave a cutback lane open to the inside of the tackle and Montee Ball rolls through it for a ten-yard gain before Vinopal can chop him down.