Ryan is the sam in the under, but the will in an even front. Interesting.
Picture Pages: EMU Runnin' On Us I
Q: How did Eastern Michigan run for 4.5 YPC despite having their quarterback attempt five passes all game?
A: There were a few different issues. Here's one of the minor ones.
It's first and ten on EMU's first drive of the day. They've just gotten a first down on a jet sweep. Their second play from scrimmage is POWER they will run with POWER and on the BIG TEN NETWORK they use HUGE WIDE ANGLES instead of REAL TIGHT ANGLES and this was going to be MATT FOLEY but now it's more like a BRAWNDO COMMERCIAL.
Anyway. EMU I-Form, Michigan responds with an even front with three linebackers back. They'll run power at Will Heininger. The images will be a little fuzzy. Tackle box:
On the snap the backside G pulls; linebackers start creepin':
The playside DE is Craig Roh and he'll do a pretty good job. He's at the LOS, his guy is a yard or so behind it, he's able to release either way. He is not sealed. This is what he looks like:
This is the essence of a half-point. You are relevant to the play. You are basically doing your job. When everyone does their job and you don't get rock-paper-scisssored you are not going to give up many yards. Roh will eventually get plastered by a pulling G and tumble to the ground, but that's fine. Two guys blocking you means someone's free to hit.
If the rest of the line did this there'd be nothing. Unfortunately, this is Will Heininger's fate (second from the top in the first frame):
You can see the blue stripe. Roh has his helmet on it. Heininger ends up a yard behind it and sealed away. That middle frame is a butt-kicking, and the third frame is the result: two Michigan players with no hope of making a tackle.
The result of this is a hole with blockers headed out to the linebackers:
Here's the key point as EMU's #13 has to whack Roh, leaving the pulling G for Hawthorne. If there's a crack here the RB is into the secondary:
Hawthorne holds and the RB runs up the back of his blockers. His other option is a bounce outside that Floyd may or may not have covered:
The blob stops moving after about six yards.
I don't think Heininger can hold up. Last week I pointed out a couple instances where one on one blocking handled him easily against ND; here he gets blown up by a couple of dudes from Eastern Michigan. He makes plays from time to time but I shudder to think about what will happen when we play Illinois, Nebraska, and Ohio State to close out the year. Those OSU drives against Miami where their interior line whooped that of the 'Canes give me the heebie-jeebies.
So Campbell's pretty important, and every time I see something like this it increments my Rodriguez firing justification meter, especially with Jon Hankins starting as a sophomore for OSU.
The playside DT is probably the most important player on a power. We've explored what happens when DEs aren't in the right spot, but what happens when they are in the right spot is not often impactful. The play kicks you out and you need to restrict the hole; you also need to be prepared for a bounce. This makes it hard to do much* except sit there and maybe try an arm tackle if the running back passes by close enough.
The playside DT is kind of the key to the whole thing. If the DE is in the right spot and that DT holds up to the double two things are going to happen:
- the hole in the line is going to be very narrow or nonexistent.
- one of the linebackers is going to be a free hitter.
If the guy gets caved in it's hard not to give up your three to seven yards. It's hard not to get caved in—that's why they double you—and this is why planet-sized DTs are popular.
*[Exceptions for slants and stuff granted.]
Michigan's alignment exposes Heininger to the double. This is not the "under" alignment that usually allows the three-tech to take on single blocking. Here he's on the strongside between the G and T. Ryan is not on the line hovering over the TE.
That's about it. It's bad if your DT gets his butt kicked. SCIENCE!
He was still playing SAM here. They ran at Roh, so the weakside of the formation wound up being the playside, but everyone was still aligned in their usual positions.
as a poster below mentions, I'm guessing EMU flipped the strength of their formation before the play. We didn't get to see that presnap on TV.
they were flipping their formations all day, and the D got burned/almost burned a couple of times because they were flipping with the TE and not/barely in position when the ball was snapped....
do you think that they were coached to not switch?
do you think that one of the adjustments they made was to go to an even set as opposed to staying in an under set????
This was early and it looked like they shifted. Later they flipped the entire D.
Call me Dr. Reads Too Much Into Things, but the way the quarterback and right tackle, among others, are settling into their spots, I have to imagine this is how they broke the huddle. The tight end couldn't have shifted from left to right because the quarterback wasn't set. Perhaps they were anticipating a shift in the tight end? Oh well. I bet this is rather insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
When we face real teams I think we do the following
1. Slant- It appears we are doing a bunch of 2 gap stuff against Eastern. I think Mattison will be forced to guess and we'll just start guessing and slant accordingly leading to -1, -1, 3, Kovacs save us!!!
2. RVB down in the box flip Roh. The emergence of J. Black playing some decent run defense has me thinking a position change may be coming. I like Roh, Martin, RVB, Black as our base line. Roh does pretty well holding up against double teams, I'd take an undersized Roh over Heininger getting blown up. I guess the N. Brink may be JJ Watt hope is over. He has disappeared completley from the rotation.
3. OSU had decent drives against Miami? Urban may already be hired by then and we'll be worried about stopping Braxton Miller on the zone read.
to watch Heiniger get PT while Big Willie Style goes the way of Will Smith's rap career. I was so pumped when he signed with UM thinking hed follow in the model of moderately effective to down right nasty dlinemen UM has had in recent years like Branch, Watson, and Taylor (not in order of nastiness)....but alas dreams are made to be broken. If he doesn't give consistent effort under Mattison and Hoke its just never going to happen. Unless someone lights a Texas-sized wildfire under Will's large arse I don't see him doing much - doesn't seem motivated despite incremental improvements from time to time.
I see this as a huge problem and i think Ziff72 is right: some type of position change or personnel swap is needed - even if its just for certain downs/distance to give the other team something to think about. I do like the idea of sliding RVB inside as I think he and Martin are savy enough to cause trouble on the inside...maybe even try Roh inside and see if he can't beat some of that muscle with his athleticism or make some tackles with his longer arms. Either way this situation seems to spell Barney Rubble
BWC is getting some meaningful snaps. He is basically backing up Mike Martin so it is tougher for him to see the field. I still have hope in BWC and the coaching staff to put him in the right spot and teach him proper technique.
BWC has shown some really good promise these last two games when he's been in. I imagine that he's just not in good enough shape to play long series.
Hopefully Pipkins and O'brien will prove better for this next interior hype.
his weight. the dude just doesnt seem like he wants it...until someone nags his arse about his weight then he gets mad that someone called him seasonable plumb (big boned) and improves over the course of the season....to bad this happens in week 2 of the season and not durign the spring. and then he eats deep fried cheese covered powder sugar coated donuts all winter. i feel like if he was getting truely meaningful snaps he would be starting over a walk-on...conditioning shouldnt be a problem at this point in the season . say what you want about a redshirt but the dude was a 5 star recruit if im not mistaken...and he plays behind a walk-on...faaaack the normal trajectory, dude should be playing given the talent he is competeing against based on pure natural ability - which speaks to my point: he just doesnt want it every play. i hope he gets it together, i really really do because he has the measurables to be dominate, but i just dont see the effort outside of the few snaps a game he gets spelling martin (p.i.c. he is only willing to play hard for a few snaps because he wants some [not curly] french fries from the concession stand).
if BWC gets into starting rotation before the end of the season i will stop smoking a pack of cigarettes during michigan football games (only day a week i smoke) - someone can hold me to it
Don't bail on BWC just yet. He hasn't been the soul-crushing monster everyone expected but he's had some moments this season that make it seem like the light might be coming on. Also, keep in mind that he should be just a redshirt soph right now (thank you, Angry Redshirt Wasting Gods), and might actually be following the normal development arc for a college lineman. Which is to say that he might actually be serviceable next season (in what should be his redshirt junior year - grrr).
when he uses Science! Nice detail ...
Thanks for this Brian. My brother, who is a tOSU fan, watched ten minutes of the ND game, saw "#39" consistently getting blown out, and cackled with knowing glee...
I can understand a cousin or co-worker or even a spouse being an OSU fan (hey, the heart wants what it wants), but how is your own flesh and blood an OSU fan? Perhaps you meant to type "hated soulless red-headed step-brother?"
Yes, Hankins wanted to go to UM, but was too flabby for Rich Rod and then goes and starts at OSU. Guh.
I think way too much gets made of RichRod's shortcomings as a recruiter, but Hankins is neck and neck with "one offensive lineman in 2010" for the biggest recruiting screw up during the Rodriguez years, given the current roster.
I'm not sure how you can choose his biggest screwup with all of the attrition, the lack of offensive linemen and tight ends, etc.
but kickers too.
I'm ok with the kicker recruiting. Gibbons was well regarded. He didn't work out as a redshirt freshman. You can't blow a bunch of schollys on kickers. That's more unlucky than a screwup.
On Hankins, my memory is that they not only told him to get in shape, but they slow played him. Maybe my memory's wrong.
mine is too.
was come to camp in good enough shape to play a few downs in a row. He didn't. So the coaches said they'd offer after looking at his senior tape. They did. He went to OSU. Why? Who knows, but maybe before blaming RR for being totally honest with Hankins, we should consider where Hankins went to school?
really offer Hankins either despite their strong ties with Detroit Southwestern. Two instate BCS school didn't offer Hankins which is telling because of his work ethics.
Watched Hankins against Miami and he wasn't real impressive at DT though he slimmed down considerably.
Did Eastern motion the TE over to the far side pre-snap, pre-video? Our defensive alignment is off. RVB, the SDE is lined up to the weakside of the formation along with our SAM Ryan. Hawthorne and Roh are over the strongside of the formation when they are both weakside players. I wonder why we lined up this way if we knew off the bat what was the strong and weak side of the offensive formation.
You've blinded me with SCIENCE. In a good way...
The explanation of the relationship btw the DT and the DE, and the alignment description, is something that really made sense to me. I can dissect the plays now from my couch a lot easier.
This gives me a stronger sense of why I have hoped for a long time that Campbell works out better. Glad to see that he's getting more game time and practice reps.
But in the very limited time I've watched his snaps, he has held up well against doubles and made some plays. Even though interior DL don't have tell-tale stats, BWC has played low and has gotten some push up the middle, which allows LBs to read and react to their gaps as opposed to dealing with blockers.
At this point in the season, I still say that our best combination, even though it almost never on the field at the same time, is WDE of Roh/Black, MM, BWC, and then using RVB at the SDE. Yes, RVB packed on some #'s, but I think he's got the body of a DE not a DT.
At this point it is too much to ask Big Will to be an every-down DT, but I think based on what we've seen from him and Heininger I don't see any reason why we can't have Campbell in on running downs. I'd even like to see Washington get a little more playing time. And has there been a Richard Ash sighting at all this year?
Losing out on those two DT in his first full recruiting class and then not even offering Hankins until late probably doomed RichRod's defensive front seven as much as Gerg did......okay, not really, but it hurt.
There hasn't been a Richard Ash sighting all year, but it seems the Nathan Brink hype train has stopped.
I know he's only a RS freshman, but with everybody else playing (and the fact that he saw time in the Spring game, though got beat during some of it) I thought KW would see time by now. He must be in dog house in a dog pound in an open lot across the street and several cities away.
I would like to see KW get some PT, but it might not be much different than Heininger. KW is listed at 280 and WH is listed at 295 and still getting blown back. Maybe KW is stronger, but obviously the coaches feel that he is not ready.
as part of the rotation. Just some snaps/PT - not expecting a star at this point. But the total lack of Ash and Wilkins is a little alarming. They must not be ready, as you say.
Did ash rs? This is wilkins freshman year, yes?
I didn't see the game, but I was wondering what happened after the 1st quarter that really slowed down EMU's running game. I know that the score was only 14-3 at halftime, so it is not like EMU just had to start flinging it around and abandon the run. But after those initial jitters, I didn't see any real sustained drives by EMU in the gamelog. Did Mattison move Heininger out of the lineup, or did he simply blitz more?
Regardless, BWC needs to be playing out there. If Heininger is killing him in practice then I understand while Campbell is on the bench, but otherwise you might as well give the kid a chance to sink or swim out there; it's not like Heininger is doing much better.
I've resolved myself to the idea that, without question, San Diego State will put up 17 to 21 points on us in the first half. They'll probably move the ball early and often unless they wilt FROM THE SHEER SIZE OF THE THING, which they probably won't.
The question becomes, what's the window for the Mattison Effect, and what will the coaching staff do to keep the offense from starting cold again??? That could be the bottom line of the entire day, if we get behind them early...
I'm unnaturally worried about this game, and this post does NOTHING to help ease those fears. Can anyone HELP ME MAN?????!!!!
Repeat after me: Denard Robinson, Denard Robinson, Denard Robinson
Al and Brady know they can step on the gas all the way whenever they want. But they also know what will happen when the tank is empty. I'm guessing we will have a shotgun start to the game, with a lot of hope that Denard doesn't have to pull the ball away from Vincent much. Then if he can get Denard settled enough to start connecting on throws I think the offense will be able to stay ahead without having to go to after burners, umm too much.
Will someone have time to do a picture page of the jet sweep play that gashed the defense in the first half? I am having a hard time understanding how that was so effective and could use a good edumacation.
Check out Burgeoning Wolverine Star's blog
I'm a little less down on Demens because I've seen a lot of incoherence from the defense thus far--it's clear that there's a lot of confusion everywhere. EMU's offense was based around exploiting this with formations and heavy motion.
I think they actually did us a favor. There's going to be a ton of stuff to look at on film study.
by Burgeoning Wolverine Star. It's a blog worth reading, IMO.
Edit: Wow. Ask and ye shall receive, apparently.
Why are we coming out in that personel package on the first drive of the game when we know all EMU does is run the ball? Heininger proved over the first two weeks that he doesn' t have the size or strength to survive on the interior line. As much as we don't want to, Van Bergen needs to be inside.
Heininger and RVB are better suited for the SDE position. Campbell has shown enough that he's the man in the middle next to Martin.
Roh/Black - Campbell - Martin - Van Bergen
The problem is depth. Right now we only have 3 guys who can play inside and all 3 should be in the starting lineup.
I'm really interested to see how well Will Campbell does in the UFR since he seems so crucial right now to having anything that resembles an actual run defense.
Compare this to what Western was doing against us, and I'm really assured as to the progress of our defense. I think this whole EMU game was really a test given by Hoke for our D-line. I don't think we rushed any more than 4 or 5 at a time the whole game and by the end they actually started to do the right thing with regards to jet sweeps and power.
It is slightly disconcerting to see most of our team stationary while a receiver is in motion and then, after he gets the ball, a frantic effort to get to the corner. But by the end of the game, one outside linebacker would move up to the playside and the other would drop back, which is, if I am not mistaken, how most defenses counter a jet sweep audible.
I have learned more about football in the last two years thanks to Brian and all MGoBlog participants than I thought possible. I've watched football for more than 30 years and didn't know what I was missing. Thanks for providing educational content with all of the fun stuff.
My son started playing football last year as a tackle and DE and I use what I learn here to be able to talk with him about his responsibilities on the field. Great stuff!
(edit - updated link since board post got updated to Diary)
Moving Picture Pages now available: