I'll be interested to the UFR on pass blocking, expecially in the second half. IIRC, it was fairly lousy from the second half on.
Picture Pages: Adjustments Not So Much
We're back with a trips formation.
Check out that guy lined up outside of Mathews way out there: that's a linebacker. He is on the LOS outside of a couple wide receivers. Weird.
Michigan will run a zone stretch, and Illinois will do what they did:
Again we see the backside defensive end crashing in with no thought for Threet. He can do this because Miller is shooting out to contain the QB, like we saw on the last play.
Also, check the linebacker, already flowing upfield as soon as he sees the play start.
Check the very top of the screen: if Michigan was to throw a bubble screen Odoms would probably get lit up, as the linebacker has used his advantageous position to hop past the wide receiver. This defense takes away all three prongs of the Rodriguez system.
But it doesn't take away everything. Look at the vast huge gaping hole between that linebacker and Miller. If Odoms was just to not go anywhere, or if he was to run a little hitch to the line of scrimmage, he would be wide open. Illinois's secondary is playing in the parking lot. If Odoms was to come in at the snap and establish a pitch relationship with Threet, there's no one to cover him on the option. This is not defeat for the zone read; it's just defeat for Michigan's zone read at this moment.
Anyway, McGuffie is forced to cut back because Schilling's been driven into the backfield…
… and gets smooshed.
The instant conclusion to jump to is that Rodriguez got beat. Illinois regularly deployed this gimmicky defense specifically aimed the staple of his offense. It has big gaping flaws in it that Michigan did not adjust to. They assumed Michigan would run on first down, put themselves in a position to stop it, and did; Michigan did not go to a throwing mode.
It's not that easy, of course, when you're a coach at a new school and you're using freshmen everywhere. Illinois, like Oregon, has guys who have been in this offense for multiple years and they pulled out a vast array of sleight-of-hand. Michigan probably doesn't have that rabbit in its hat yet.
Still… doing the UFR here was a sad trip into the recent past. At this point we know the line is better at pass blocking than run blocking—though Ortmann was way worse at guard than he was a tackle—and that teams are teeing off on the zone-read/bubble on first and ten; too rarely did we go away from that.
Maybe its written into Rodriguez's contract that he has to call Avalanche occasionally. I bet Lloyd pushed for this.
I give a slight nod to the pass blocking......Threet has not been running for his life and when the blocking has broke down in front in front of him, it has not been so much of a jail break that he didn't have running lanes to scramble through.....this is no ND OL from last year putting jimmah under constant seige.
But, the Illini pass rush dominated those first two three and outs to begin the second half....I think three sacks in sx plays including back to back plays turning a 2/9 into something like 4/22.....the field position disadvantage created there led to the Illini drive where Michigan blocked their FG attempt.
The sack on the 2/9 play, though, I put on Threet......he could have easily tossed it to Moudros, who would have at least go half the yards needed for a first down.....but that Britt Miller dude (who was freaking everywhere) honed in on Threet and he clammed up and could not get the throw off.....he should have made that throw, but kinda, sorta freaked out.......which, sadly, is a typical redshirt freshman mistake, so I am not trying to be super hard on him.
Judging by Odoms' footwork, I actually think he would have run an option with Threet, but from the slot position, not motioning into the backfield. Again, Threet should have kept it, and then optioned the 'backer who was there to cover him.
Funny, I never thought my years as a wishbone QB would ever be so relevant to Michigan football, but I think I'd be a more instinctive QB right now than anyone else we have on the roster. (That said, I'd suck for LOTS of other reasons.)
.....Brian, or anyone else......these picture pages today has given me a glimpse of what has been frustrating in recent weeks.....we seem to be running plays that have zero chance at working.....the D knows we will run them, just look at how the Illini have schemed.
Now, I know we're implementing a new system.....but doesn't there come a point, where the coaches need to start sprouting plays and strategies that work off of plays that the team has demonstrated it can run effectively.....or do something to counter the D's strategy.
The meme all off season was we were finally going to get adjustments. Are we satisfied on that front? Or are we ok with not adjusting knowing its a throw away season? I cant shake the feeling that at times, the offensive staff has treated this season as an exhibition season and has been slow to work off things that have been succesful.
Am I nuts, does anyone else feel like this? Do I need to stop over thinking......actually, am I thinking at all?!?!? Wait, dont answer that last one.
I would have thought the RR and staff would do just enough to keep the bowl streak alive, since who needs the grief of being the regime that killed a 33 year streak.
This means doing enough to win 7 games with the talent you have, which means going away from purely running the spread for Threet's sake and running a considerable mix of Pro-I formations with pre-snap reads and audibles. Get to 7 wins, then conduct Spread School.
It looks like RR and staff are not all that concerned about the bowl streak. I think you hit the nail on the head. It looks almost like the season is being treated as an exhibition and the goal is to get your players as much training for the future as possible. Winning along the way is secondary.
freakin' blows. they have a LBer out manning up on 3 WRs. how did we NOT take advantage of this?
we seem to be running plays that have zero chance at working
For all the talk about RichRod destroying Michigan's tradition, this is one tradition I'm glad has remained intact. Although for nostalgic reasons I wish this "trips run formation" could be dumped for the old faithful zone left.
BTW does anyone think Minor should be getting more carries?
Brian hit the nail on the head with his summary analysis on this post. Way to be the hammer!
Thru the 1st 3 qtrs, M had 23 1st down plays. They ran on 17 of those 23 plays. The 6 times they did pass, they completed 4 of them (67%) for an average of 16.0 YPC.
On their 17 1st down runs, they averaged 2.5 YPC with 1 fumble lost.
Gee, I wonder what they should've done more of?
Nah, I hate fumbles.
"BTW does anyone think Minor should be getting more carries?"
Poster "Other Chris" listed stats on fumbles per touch; McGuffie comes in at 1% and Minor at 20%. Thanks, but no thanks.
- Run Triple option off same formation with slot
- Jail Break Screen would also look promising
- Odoms = slant or quick hitch
- LB covering WR should bring back some bad memories
in the 2nd half was that once ILL got up 31-14 and KNEW that M had to resort to "pass, pas, pass" they could pin their ears back and get after Threet. The idea is to pass when the D still "thinks" there could be a run coming.
Dammit, where is Rich's Coal Spoon for Chrissakes!!
from Illinois. Despite the plan from Illinois though, if Schilling were doing a better job with his man I think McGuffie could have taken gotten some yardage but he was forced too far back inside. I was at the game and I felt like Schilling spent most of his time getting shoved back killing any chance of running we had.
With RR talking so much about the QB in his system really having to make a lot of quick decisions, I've got to think that eventually Threet (or whomever) will indeed not only be able to, but be EXPECTED to make those decisions whether or not to pass to Odoms in the slot, or to Savoy in the flat, or keep it and run, or hand it off to the RB.
A smart QB in RR's system, with the proper skill players around him, should be able to absolutely SHRED any defense, even with a marginal OL.
I think this paragraph summed it up best,
"It's not that easy, of course, when you're a coach at a new school and
you're using freshmen everywhere. Illinois, like Oregon, has guys who
have been in this offense for multiple years and they pulled out a vast
array of sleight-of-hand. Michigan probably doesn't have that rabbit in
its hat yet."
Although I wouldn't call it sleight of hand, it's just more options. You pointed out where there was still a play or choice that would have worked. What you post does not give an allowance for is how long it takes for players to learn the complete system.
Illinois of course analyzed the play that Wisconsin got smoked on twice, once with Minor, and the second with Threet. In fact Illinois' Defense probably sees this every day in practice.
Based on the continuing fumbles, and other problems with fundamentals, I'm guessing that RR is pushing his players to the limit of their learning curve.
It's very fortunate that UM has Toledo next week, to allow some fundamentals to creep back into the learning.
I bet that in two years many on this blog will be screaming about RR continuing to use Threet over more talented, but less experienced QB's. And stating things like, yeah Threet succeeded, but just think how much better the fast guy who doesn't know anything yet would have done!
I completely agree with your last paragraph (not so much on the rest of it). Threet is a freshman but I'm pretty sure he will start next year as well (not accounting for a dual-QB system of course, which is the most likely IMHO) . Then what do you do in 2010 when you have an unathletic-ish upperclassmen with 2 full years of starting experience and an athletic sophomore with zero? What about 2011, do you bench a 3-year starting senior over the younger, more athletic model?
All I'm saying is Juice Williams looked like a god against us mostly because of the offense and his experience with it. I'm pretty sure Forcier is head and shoulders above Juice talent-wise but I can realistically see him not being the starter till his junior year.
-- Also blue and in seattle
I agree that Threet will most likely be the starter going into next season. The addition of Forcier/Beaver gives RR options if Threet is struggling. We have seen enough of Sheridan to know that even crappy/streaky Threet is better than the alternative. Next year, not so much. I will be extremely happy if Threet is a 4 yr starter bc that most likely means that he has played at a high level for the last 3 of those yrs.
Remember how much Juice sucked his first year (Dixon too, for that matter).
Does anyone have a clue what Ortmann is doing in this play? Dorrstien's on his ass, molk almost looks like he's pulling and Ortmann's five yards up field. Something ain't right.
This post absolutely nailed it. Our run game is absolutely not at a point at which we can handoff 80% of the time on first down and still expect productivity. Given that every defense (save ND) expects it on first down, we're basically throwing that down away most of the time. To make matters worse, the second-down call is often very predictable as well - often a little pass in the flat, which usually gets stuffed. And then Threet has to bail us out with his arm on 3rd and long when the D brings the house. This play-sequencing has to change.
I agree with your basic point, and this type of playcalling isn't going to get the job done most of the time, with our weak O-line. But, come on, if you and I can see this, I think Rich Rod and his staff who spend 14 hours a day on Michigan football and have 15+ years of experience also recognize it. The obvious answer is that there's something deeper.
Maybe Threet can't throw that screen to the flat well. Maybe the receivers can't execute the blocks on the perimeter. Perhaps we turn it over in practice trying to run a zone-read with a throw option. The staff aren't stupid--they've got a career's worth of evidence and results showing that they understand football better than us. They will make mistakes, but there must be fundamental reasons that we're running on 17 of 23 first downs. I don't believe it's simply that RR wants to run the football--it might be the case that the other options are worse.
then that's really annoying. a mere slant/seam behind the blitzing backer would have put odoms alone in space on a safety. an inside screen would have done the same. i'm really surprised that they couldn't see this coming. it's not that different than the rutgers blitz you outlined in the HTTV.
ortmann is supposed to go to the second level and take out the lb, but the lb has jumped outside to get threet so he has no way to get to him
Actually, I think this play WAS the adjustment to the previous one Brian showed. Odoms is now stepping in to establish that pitch relationship, and Matthews above Odoms is attempting to seal his man (sadly an LB) to the outside. Since Illinois brought that DE crashing with the other LB onto Threet, I would be a large sum of money Threet is supposed to pull the ball from McGuffie and use Odoms as a pitch man. However, Threet must have decided McGuffie could get the outside corner, and if Schilling wasn't 5 yards in the backfield it would have worked.
I'm actually really happy with this play call. We know now the best decision would have been for Threet to keep and use Odoms. But his decision to hand to McGuffie would have been acceptable if Schilling wasn't 5 yards backwards. Hell, if Schilling is only 2 yards backwards this would have worked to the outside. Also, looks like someone totally whiffed a cut block.
It wouldn't matter who Threet handed the ball off to. The pass will have to set up the run. I'll say it again, the pass will have to set up the run. When Threet gets ready to set the offensive line he always looks to the sideline to make sure of the play being called or atleast He appears to. I can't believe the play called in this defensive set. A quick slant(or out) to Odoms was the play to call, if you run the spread you look for the mismatch-I say call the play that has a chance to go for yardage. How difficult can it be? Does anyone else think that Threet needs to work on his release of the ball? I do think by the plays being called, that this offense is still stuck in chapter one-I know patience.
If it was me, I would amp up my play calling on the deep threats versus Toledo. It's a perfect game to try deep, long range attacks. Score quick, get Toledo out of the game asap. Then play the backups and get a good look for next year.
They will run a good deal though.
Here’s the problem with trying to criticize play calling right now.
1. We’re not playing with a full deck. The full offense hasn’t been installed or at least mastered. I’m sure they’re also limited in what audibles they can call and certainly what presnap reads Threet can make and respond to with play calls. Even if they get the perfect play in…
2. The offense can’t execute standard plays. The line can’t block. The running backs drop the ball. Threet can’t even throw a screen consistently (or even avoid throwing it backwards) or even pitch the damn ball w/o causing a fumble or making the RB come to a complete stop. When Threet is accurate the WR has run the wrong route or drops the ball.
So, here’s some plays that the defense had cold. That happens. We hardly even notice when Magee makes a good play call because Schilling is blasted into the backfield or Butler misses his block or Threet overthrows a WR who’s 5 yards behind the defense. Threet has missed a wide open WR for a bomb pretty much every game. Execution on those plays alone would completely change the complexion of everything.
Illinois uses a common "stunt" that is designed to confuse the QB making the read on the outside. The DE "crashes" and the LB stunts to the outside to try and confuse the read.
If Dorrestein gets the DT cut, then McG can cut this up into the middle for a huge gain..but our OL isn't getting it done on the inside.
Not sure what is up with Schilling....he needs to force his guy wider.
to Mr. Richard Rodriguez, head coach for the University of Michigan football team, this year or ANY year, is terrribly, terribly misinformed.
That man is OBSESSED with winning. Every. Fucking. Time.
Period. End of story.
There's no harm in analyzing theory! And there's no harm at looking at what would've helped Michigan's Offense accomplish things in an easier fashion.
I'm not being critical of anyone here or over analytical BUT this whole,"we need the right players, the chips didn't fall our way, wait until next year," argument is also a little old ok. When I think of West Virginia football, I think of Pat White making something out of nothing. There's no strategy or need for coaching involved when gifted players bail you out! 9/10 times you still have to out think your opponent EVEN when you do have all the intangibles(the right players, the right sun-moon alignment, whatever).
The perfect girl will always come into your life at a somewhat imperfect time. Or perfect moments rarily present themselves. It's what the players and coaches LEARN to make out of the imperfections that make perfect moments in time.
"When I think of West Virginia football, I think of Pat White making
something out of nothing. There's no strategy or need for coaching
involved when gifted players bail you out! 9/10 times you still have to
out think your opponent EVEN when you do have all the intangibles(the
right players, the right sun-moon alignment, whatever). "
Bill Stewart calls your bet and raises you a PPG average of <24 with Pat White, Devine, and a fully returning offensive line.
Also, if you can explain to me how "The right players" is an INtangible I'll personally buy you season tickets.
Well they, as a staff, are not Rich and his staff. There is also no Slaton. It is impossible to compare and contrast teams under different coaches and players. What I do know is Pat White, under Rich, was the perfect combo. There were numerous, NUMEROUS times the play broke down and the guy made people miss for big yards. If I was a coach, coming off of coaching a Pat White, and going to coach a Steven Threet, with no line. I'd publically say, I'm confidant but even for me as a coach I also am not used to this. I think you see it, the adjustments even the coaches are making. I also think they are barely into knowing the offense, the players that is. It's two fold. Herculean task to try and compare WV under Coach Stewart and Coach Rodriguez or to compare any coaches for that matter. Was it Les Miles or Nick Sabans players. Was it Lloyd's demeanor or Moellers recruits. Endless sea of comparisons when talking winning and losing in a year of coaching changes. I am talking about learned prefences and behaviors dealing with making adjustments on the fly with the personel available.
I'd contend that, at worst, Noel Devine is a modest drop-off from Slaton.