"Coordinators have to execute, too. Penn State's DC did his prep work."
No - the PSU DC did his fucking job. Our OC did not.
Game, set, match PSU.
In this edition of why Michigan couldn't run against Penn State, here's a second-quarter zone stretch that goes for one yard. Michigan comes out in what looks like a traditional I-Form but has the tackle over thing where Lewan and Williams swap spaces.
Unlike virtually all of Michigan's runs from their tackle over formation, Penn State backs off this one. They've got two deep safeties and a gray area defender, but it's seven-ish in the box. Michigan will get one yard.
I'm trying to figure things out here and eventually it occurs to me that Penn State's line looks awfully damn big. Didn't Ace say Penn State's defensive ends were 250 pounds and liable to blow away in a stiff breeze?
/googles "penn state roster"
/sorts by number
From top to bottom, these gentlemen are:
Schofield gets rocked back by Johnson, Lewan can't put Jones in the bench, Glasgow and Kalis can't scoop Gaia, and Michigan does not "execute up front," because Penn State figures that if Michigan is going to tell 'em where they're running they're going to put four DTs on the field and line their best up over Michigan's tackles.
Coordinators have to execute, too. Penn State's DC did his prep work.
Well, poop. Yep.
"Coordinators have to execute, too. Penn State's DC did his prep work."
No - the PSU DC did his fucking job. Our OC did not.
Game, set, match PSU.
but our offensive (great term - because Borges is personally offensive to me) coordinator only makes excuses .... UGH - gotta go puke again!
So this happened. Did it happen more than once? Did it happen regularly? I don't think it did. Sometimes the other team comes out with something that you didn't expect. The fact that PSU ran a 5-2 once and Borges ran a zone stretch into a 7 man box and Gardner didn't check out of it isn't more proof that Borges is bad. There are other things to point at that say "Borges isn't doing his job". This is not another brick in that building, this is a brick in PSU's DC showed something different to counter it.
I'd put this more in the "this offense is way too predictable if Penn State felt comfortable trotting out the 5-2" and the "Michigan's unwillingness/inability to check out of unfavorable stuff is killing my soul" columns.
The mob mentality here is such that I wouldn't be surprised if we're blaming Borges for global warming by the end of the week.
Coordinators call plays before the defense shows their alignment, often before they even show personel (by rule, defenses are allowed time to substitute to match offensive subs). I don't see how this is can possibly on Al, especially the first time PSU shows it.
It's curious that all of a sudden our All American LT and All Big RT get complete passes for not being able to block unremarkable just-a-guy DT's, 300 pounders or not. Also curious is the complete 180 towards tackle over between this game and last. Most people last week were at least cautiously optimistic that it was a way to paper over some of our interior line deficiencies. This week, it's all of a sudden the stupidest idea ever even though, again, your two best linemen are in 1v1 on the defense and can't do squat.
This goes back to Y U NO GET OUT OF HUDDLE, then.
Brian this bother me as well but from a different stand point. Why is it taking so long for the play to get in? If you insist on huddling that's fine but it's 1st and 10, Michigan is going run from under center, in reality how long should that call take? Also, if you insist on huddling the entire team doesn't have to do so. Why do the WR's need to huddle? I played WR in college and we were taught the play signals just like the QB's. They don't even have to know the snap count because they should be watching the ball anyways. This could save a couple of precious seconds.
That, I certainly can get behind.
please re-watch the drive with 1st and 10 at the PSU 27 and 3:40 to play. Then realize that PSU is out of timeouts. Understand that if Michigan gets a 1st down, the game is likely over.
OK got it ... now look at the play calls from our OC. Look closely at the coverage on Funchess and Gallon. I don't even think Dileo is on the field. Remember 10 yards means Michigan wins the game. No points even needed ... just a first down!
Now go back ... and find me 3 consecutive Fitz runs that total 10 yards ANYWHERE during the ENTIRE 2nd half. How anyone can defend this MORON is beyond understanding football strategies.
Unicorns and kittens.
This is the problem when: 1) Williams isn't a real threat; 2) PSU probably reads Funchess as a TE still and so substituted for 22 personnel. Because this personnel doesn't need to be tackle over here. Still should be able to run into it though.
Also, did they go 5-2 more than this? I saw a few times they had 7 in the box, but not sure it was 5-2 or if this was more of a one time thing
That's Chesson in the slot, not Funchess, FWIW.
I just picked up on this and can't tell you how consistent it was.
I certainly did not see it. I'll be interested in hearing the results. I'm sure it makes for a minor annoyance with the UFR that is probably mostly if not all the way done at this point.
While I agree Williams isn't a threat on his own, this formation doesn't bother to even make him one. He is covered by Gallon to the top of the screen. Why not make him eligible and run a simple roll-out to the right and give Gardner an easy high/read with Gallon running the a curl and Williams running the flat route? At worst Gardner throws it away.
They switch it up and sometimes Williams isn't covered.
That being said, I've always hated formation that makes an OT the eligible receiver and the TE is covered. Always hated them. Unless it's a trick play pass to the OT (if he becomes an eligible receiver), then those are pretty awesome.
I've always thought that making the true TE (guy playing the backside tackle) the eligible receiver was more difficult to defend. Because it easier for the defense to overlook him than the tackle lined up as a TE.
I can remember quite a few times in my old HS school games where we got burned by that guy running a veritcal on the backside.
One responsibility of a coach is to put their players into the best possible situation for success, something that Borges has not done for his OL.
Michigan's current focus on Manball is really no different than Bo's old approach from the '70's of "establishing the run." This translates to "the offense is going to try to cram (run) the ball down the throat of the defense, when everyone in the stadium, especially the defense, knows we are going to try to do it."
These approaches are the military equivalent of the old Frontal Assault. It only works when you have an overwhelming advantage in force. This could be the case in the days of 100+ scholarship teams, but not when teams are limited to 85 (or, well, in the case of Penn State, 60 or 65 or whatever it is).
Manball, establishing the run, and the old Frontal Assault are all abdications of leadership; in not trying to outwit an opponent it puts all of the responsibility on the backs and muscles of its subordinates.
MANBALL can work. Alabama does it, Stanford does it, Wisconsin does it. You just need to block it right.
That said, when it's not working, it's not working, and we need to do something else.
Alabama doesn't do it. They are extremely balanced on first down. McCarron averages about 30 attempts per game.
Wisconsin and Stanford do, do it. But I'd argue the history of those two programs show that absent having NFL linemen and NFL QBs, they lose to elite opponents. As the OP said, the system only works when you have superior players. Anything close to even and you start to see problems.
It's more than just block it right, you still need to balance the play calling to prevent teams from stacking the box. Alabama, Stanford, and Wisconsin MANBALL works because they balance it with other things that keep teams from putting four DTs at the point of attack with impunity.
It cannot work when the offense does not adjust to what the defense is doing.
If you do not have counters, constraints and play action to prevent teams from loading up stopping Manball, too much is heaped upon the players' execution. They practically have to be perfect. Not only have we have had no counters, in the past we had an irrational aversion to bubble screens when they were (and are still) wide open.
No, under these circumstances, and as has been demonstrated the past 2 and a half years, Manball as envisioned by this coaching staff, cannot work except when facing an over-matched team.
The case against Borges keeps getting stronger.
One thought I had was that our coaches felt that PSU would eventually wear down due to their reduced number of players. We saw how that worked out.
Saturday should prove interesting....if it is the same offensive strategy as employed by PSU, it could get ugly quikcly at the Stadium.
Forgive me if this is a stupid set of questions, but this formation is just a switch in formation, not personnel, right? If so that means the play isn't tipped until the huddle is broken, right? Is the offense so slow after breaking the huddle that as Michigan is lining up, PSU still has time to perform the necessary substitutions to get 4 DTs on the field? Or was M playing so run heavy that PSU often had 4 DTs on the field? I'm just curious what allowed PSU to get this set of personnel out there to stop the tackle over.
I would guess merely from a personnel, and down and distance stand point, Penn State thought this would be a hand off to the RB.
There is no down indicator on the screenshots, but given the black and yellow lines this appears to be a 1st and 10 after a touchback. So Penn St. is apparently just assuming Michigan is going to try to "establish the run" against any personnel they throw out there. Which is correct.
They're probably looking for 84 on the field. You do bring up a good point: if M recognized this they could just line up regularly and presumably have a pass rush advantage.
It's not on Borges that he has to recognize in the middle of the game that PSU rolled out four DTs. That would require memorizing the roster, which is an unreasonable expectation. That's not the problem.
The problem is that THERE IS NO WAY THIS DEFENSIVE PERSONNEL GROUP SUCCEEDS UNLESS THE OC IS HORRIBLY, STAGGERINGLY INCOMPETENT, STUBBORN, EGOTISTICAL AND DOWNRIGHT STUPID. That applies whether or not the OC is aware of it.
Why? Because in the same way that a single-minded MANBALL offense will see nine guys in the box stuffing the run, a single-minded MANBALL defense is extremely vulnerable to counters and constraint plays. In this case the strongside DE has been swapped with a 318-pound DT, so the pass rush will be sluggish and the only meaningful edge defense is the SLB in the box. I mean, yeesh, one half-assed cut block by the RB on a QB counter and DG can practically graze on the field. Play-action is accounted for just by keeping the weakside DE in against Michigan's crappy platoon of TEs -- that's the football equivalent of calling a bluff. This is a porous defense that is begging to give up 8-12 yards on even a meh-executed counter. So why does it work? Because Borges doesn't use counters or constraint plays, so PSU can run a sub package that's middle school level in its simple-mindedness and get away with it.
There is NO WAY a collegiate DC should be able to roll out a sub package like that and not get obliterated. That it worked against an OC making $700k is almost a sick joke.
There should be someone on the offensive staff that tells Borges the personnel that PSU went with. Once Michigan came off the field Borges should discuss it with Gardner and explain what to do. Misdirection run or pass to take advantage of only 2 LBs. If Michigan ran into it again like this on normal downs and distances then it's on Borges. Though this play can still succeed it is far from optimal and is enough reason to discuss with DG the proper check to an unexpected D front
If Borges used constraint plays then either PSU would've gotten burned or they wouldn't have rolled out that asinine package to begin with. It's like you're saying a driver should notice a flat tire, OK, I get you, but I'm saying the guy drove through a nail factory.
Seven and a half in the box is "backing off."
Just kill me.
RG - Trap the SAM on the eol.
C - block back to DT
LG - block back to NG
LT - Double with SLT then off to the MIKE
SLT - Bury the DT
FB - ISO Will
Doesn't get any more Manball than that.
Is a big reason why I think Borges needs to stick with a blocking scheme: man or zone.
This is a wham play. 49ers run it a bunch. Lots of trap blocks and what not. But Michigan hasn't run traps yet this year, for whatever the reason. And I'm a big, big fan of traps, especially with today's pass heavy teams and how DL are trying so hard to get after the QB.
Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the Wham traping a NT or DT. His design above has the guard kicking out the SAM and the FB taking the WILL. That's just counter.
I really like the Wham play as a different look off inside zone. When the Hback keeps sealing the backside end and then all of a sudden he blows up the NT instead.
(Edit: Ok i got his FB assigment mixed up. FB should be on MIKE to make it the counter I was thinking. But I still don't see this as a wham. At least the wham i know.)
Is first man lined up over the playside OG or outside. Very difficult to trap a nose in these situations when you're not giving to an up back. Could be wrong on that though.
From what I've seen, you snap the ball while the H is in motion. So the H has given you that look all game of motioning back to the backside to seal the backside end. Now you snap it when he's about at the playside guard and he ear holes the nose. You gotta have one tough son a bitch of an h-back to do that to a nose though.
I know the Redskins had two plays like this. One where they actually kicked out the backside end instead of just sealing him (or just not letting him chase it down). This was a designed cutback. The other was to have him kickout the nose mid way through the motion. It gave them a true trap play without have a fullback get the ball. I think the John Robinson used to run something like that with the Rams when they had Dickerson too.
(Edit: Yes, just looked up an old Skins playbook. The Gut Cutback where the H kicked out the backside end and Lead Nose where the the H kicks out the nose if there is one, depending on front it could be anywhere from a 1 to 3 tech. If you're interested, the site fast and furious football has a bunch of old nfl and college playbooks for download. Its free. There is are 1986 and 1993 Redskins playbooks. Tons of good stuff about gap scheme counter/powers and inside and outside zone. I got this cutback and lead nose stuff out of the 93 playbook. Obviously their way isnt the only way and I did see the 49ers do this a few weeks back but can't recall exactly how they blocked it. Gore had some nice gains on it though)
That's a common zone counter. That's a play that used to be run a ton in the NFL.
I know there is a cutback type play that kicks the nose, but the wham play I'm thinking of isn't a counter, though upon looking it up on google I see it described the way you're saying (HB hitting the NT). Maybe I'm just getting terminology mixed up here or football, as it often does, has made the naming of things extremely confusing and inconsistent.
I know what you mean with terminology. Often times people agree 100% but the terminology makes them think they aren't. I believe thats happened to you and I a few times on this board.
Anyways, no it's not really a counter (at least what I consider a counter). Playside its going to look exactly like inside zone. Backside is going to look like a classic trap. Just an adjustment off zone to mix things up.
I have to dig out another old dvd I have entitled "Seperating the Defense using the Wham PLay" by Larry Beightol. I think his wham might be more what you are talking about.
It was to a kick out pull block (basically a trap) on a DE, basically designed to hit the gap against a wide 9. Can't find it now. I think I'm confusing things.
Thats your basic gap scheme counter right there. Same as the Power but swap the FB and RG. The problem isn't the scheme. Its all the blown assignments. And thats not me putting it on the players either. They are blown assignments whether the players are flat out blowing them or the coaches are coaching them wrong its still a blown assignment and thats why none of them are working.
(Edit: I would rather see the LT combo working to the Will here and the FB taking the MIke)
I don't understand all the rancor and disrespect being thrown at our coaching staff. He said they didn't execute and they're going to fix it. OK?
rancor. great word choice. kudos.
My UM degree is good for something.
Thank God BB starts soon.
do you not notice that PSU now has a bunch of large, large men on the field?
Think about that for a moment and I think you'll see the answer. Here's the series of events. He calls a play, it goes down the sideline. The position coaches make the necessary subs to make the play happen. They huddle and Gardner gives the play. Meanwhile, Penn State is looking at the personel that just came out and making substitutions of their own. Unless Al Borges is a time traveler, it would be pretty damn hard to know PSU will be running this defense, particularly the first time they do it.
This goes for a lot of the WHY U KEEP RUNNING INTO BOX type criticisms. Sure, by mid-way into the game he should have a good idea of how the defense is defending things and adjust accordingly in play calling, but at the same time he has to show his hand before the defense does. A lot of times, to get out of those situations, you need to check after lining up, but as has been discussed numerous times, we don't get out of the huddle fast enough to do that.
we don't get out of the huddle fast enough to do that.
And here, along with the spread punt issue, is where I think we have to be extremely critical of Hoke. Hoke mostly but not entirely alles.
My assumption (and coaches help me out here) is that the reason to huddle is that the QB can explain a more complicated play or formation. Actually, let me stop there. What is the reason to huddle? My assumption was what I said but now I'm not sure.
Anyway, if the reason to huddle is that you get to run more complicated formations and shifts and motion and such, then there has to be some evidence that those complicated formations and shifts and motions are actually doing something to the defense. My untrained eye says that at least PSU said later for that noise and just assumed we were going to run when we were in tackle over and pass when we were in shotgun.
So then I say, if your coach won't go no-huddle, making checks out of bad plays easier, then you are bringing a knife to a gunfight. If this were the pros, that would get you either fired or a stern talking-to from the owner. I'm glad that it is not the pros, but I do wonder what it will take to drag Hoke out of the 1970s.
No huddle, as I understand it, requires everyone, or at least more people to memorize plays and signals. There's more chance for people to not be on the same page. When huddling, the QB has the plays right on his armband. A lot teams huddle and seem to get to the line much faster than we do. Hoke has mentioned on more than one occasion that he didn't like the way they were getting plays in or out of the huddle, so I think he's aware that it's a critical part of the offense. Not sure why it's still an issue though.
It's really not that hard to learn the play signals. I'm actually disappointed the skill positions don't know them. If the WR's knew the signals, they could line up faster and save precious seconds. Just because Hoke/Borges insist on huddling, doesn't mean the eniter team has too. We could run a quasi huddle.