Hello. First Diary entry, woo! [ EDIT: Lol nope, my 2nd. forgot about the one I did in '09]
So, when the offensive line struggles, the claim is frequently made that the offensive line is too small. I heard this alot on call-in radio shows during the RR era, and it's starting to creep back into style, or so it seems to me.
So, I thought let's see just how big Michigan's line is compared to the rest of the B1G. I basically went through every B1G teams site, got the roster and then checked the game participation notes from the most recent game they were in to see who was listed as starting on the OL.
I then computed the average weight of the OL for that team/game.
Notes: I didn't include any TE's or FB. Just from one tackle to the other.
I didn't check for situation subs (unbalanced lines, etc.)
I went by weight alone, didn't look at height. Perhaps I should have gone by body mass index?
Would be nice to do a comparison of games played / experience as well. Maybe next time.
Also some teams rather suspiciously seemed to have players weights in exact increments of 5 pounds. Some teams roster's were worse than others in this regard. But the roster is all I really have to go on, so, it is what it is.
So, here is the sorted list of average weight of offensive lines in the Big Ten.
*If Kalis is in UM's line instead of Glasgow, the average drops to 301.0
Michigan is smack right in the middle. No surprise Wisconsin is tops, by a relatively large margin. Iowa, a somewhat run-first offense, is surprisingly near the bottom. Indiana's potent offense is also only at 295.
The most notable thing here is probably that in terms of weight most lines are roughly the same.
So IMO this shows that Michigan's line isn't undersized. To some this may not be a big deal, but I've always bristled at the claims of UM's line being small for a reason for them struggling. I always felt that is just a knee jerk superficial criticism. It's kind of a pet peeve and I wanted to dispel any such notion.
Raw data below
52 Mason Cole OL 6-5 292 FR
78 Erik Magnuson OL 6-6 294 RS SO
60 Jack Miller OL 6-4 299 RS JR
61 Graham Glasgow OL 6-6 311 RS JR
71 Ben Braden OL 6-6 322 RS SO
67 Kyle Kalis OL 6-5 298 RS SO
average weight: 303.6
w/Kalis instead of Glasgow: 301.0
LT 71 Lewis, Alex 290
LG 68 Cotton, Jake 305
C 56 Pelini, Mark 290
RG 74 Moudy, Mike 305
RT 57 Sterup, Zach 320
LT 66 Cermin, Cameron 303
LG 72 King, Jason 309
C 57 Kugler, Robert 298
RG 70 Roos, Jordan 312
RT 73 Prince, J.J. 302
LT 68 Cvijanovic, S. 310
LG 5H Hill, Alex 310
C 71 Spencer, Joe 300
RG 69 Karras, Ted 310
RT 74 Heitz, Michael 310
LT 65 Campion, Josh 317
LG 52 Epping, Zac 318
C 58 Olson, Tommy 306
RG 77 Bush, Foster 304
RT 78 Lauer, Ben 315
LT 78 Jorgensen, Paul 295
LG 53 Mogus, Geoff 295
C 66 Vitabile, B. 300
RG 57 Frazier, Matt 290
RT 76 Olson, Eric 290
LT 68 Scherff, B. 320
LG 79 Welsh, Sean 285
C 63 Blythe, Austin 290
RG 65 Walsh, Jordan 290
RT 78 Donnal, Andrew 305
LT 68 Decker, Taylor 315
LG 65 Elflein, Pat 300
C 50 Boren, Jacoby 285
RG 54 Price, Billy 312
RT 76 Baldwin, Darryl 307
RT 59 Nelson, Andrew 305
RG 53 Dowrey, Derek 323
C 66 Mangiro, Angelo 309
LG 70 Mahon, Brendan 292
LT 76 Smith, Donovan 335
74 Jack Conklin OT 6-6 303 SO
63 Travis Jackson OL 6-4 291 SR
66 Jack Allen C 6-2 299 JR
76 Donavon Clark OL 6-4 306 JR
79 Kodi Kieler OL 6-6 304 SO
average weight: 300.6
61 Marz, Tyler OL 6-5 321 RS JR
73 Lewallen, DallasOL 6-6 321 RS SR
70 Voltz, Dan OL 6-3 311 RS SO
54 Costigan, Kyle OL 6-5 319 RS SR
78 Havenstein, Rob OL 6-8 333 RS SR
LT 78 Spriggs, Jason 300
LG 68 Kaminski, David 295
C 64 Rahrig, Collin 285
RG 67 Feeney, Dan 305
RT 62 Evans, Ralston 290
T 76 Dunn 300
G 68 Altamirano 290
C 65 Conaboy 295
G 66 Zeller 310
T 55 Doyle 300
I decided to review the 1st quarter, mainly because I'm going through one of my frequent bouts of insomnia and college football is the only sport I follow closely.
I'm not pretending to be an expert or have all the football jargon down. I defer the finer points to Mr. Cook and others.
The first quarter of the MSU game really seemed to get people upset (understandably, due to the epic 10 minute drive) and while I have no intention of doing a full blown UFR like Mr. Cook I decided to review that part of the game because it seemed that 10 minute drive of MSU's set the tone for the game. I don't think I'll have time to do the whole game and besides, I'm sure others (Brian Cook) will do a better job than this. I'm just throwing this out there for everyone to review or ignore as they please.
So here goes.
We only ran 6 plays on offense in the first quarter. I'll discuss those in some detail before summarizing what I thought MSU did on offense.
Our first play (after the early INT) was going to be one of these, I believe:
However unlike the ND game, MSU's defensive tackles both penetrate, blowing up the play. Fault lies on Huyge and Dorrestein on this one, IMO.
The next play (2nd and 12) was going to be one of these, I believe:
TE rolls out into flat instead of blocking the DE
But instead of making the DE miss, like in the ND game, the DE gets a piece of Tate and the MSU LB is upon him very quickly (scouted this play well?) and finishes off the tackle.
Here the BTN announcer says something I found funny....
"Tate Forcier's intangibles are off the charts." How does one make a chart to measure intangibles? Anyway...
3rd and 15.
This was the "MY GOD CARLOS TURN AROUND" play. MSU blitzes on 3rd and long, Tate throws to what you'd assume is the hot receiver but Carlos Brown is still running. If he turned around and caught the ball, would have probably easily been 5-10 yards, maybe more.
So, ok, FG.
We didn't get the ball back until 10 minutes into the quarter later...
1st and 10 from the 28 - Schilling doesn't quite make his block on the DT and the DT forces Carlos Brown to cut up, into the unblocked DE. 2 yards. Perhaps Moosman should have at least gotten a piece of the DT before releasing downfield, I don't know.
2 and 8. What looks like could have been a bubble screen to either side, Tate throws to Carlos Brown. Unblocked LB and a safety are on top of Carlos quickly, limiting him to 3 yards. Again, scouting?
3rd and 5. Spartans rush only three with what looks to be 2 LB's acting as spies on Tate. Dorrestein can't keep up with his DE, forces Tate to scramble and into one of the waiting spies. He's forced to throw the ball, incomplete.
So that was it for the offense. Dorrestein didn't play well in that quarter. Which isn't saying a lot since it was only 6 plays. But there it is.
And now here's what I found when I revisited Sparty's epic 10 minute drive...
Just about every time MSU tried to run between the tackles, we stuffed it. Our defense did well in these situations.
We seemed to be playing zone a lot, from what I could tell. Most of MSU's completed passes were their guys moving into a hole in the zone.
Our corners were playing very, very soft, even Warren. This allowed MSU to get some big gains by throwing to a quick bubble screen to the slot WR with the outside WR blocking Warren, forcing the hybrid or safety playing up near the line to chase down the slot WR. This worked every time MSU tried it, fortunately at least a couple times it was negated due to penalties.
By the end of the drive, I don't see Williams. Kovacs is already playing and it's clear that when Woolfolk is in he's got one good arm. We're thin at safety and it appears that both starters are banged up. Not good. Related to playing soft zones? Probably.
The scrambles - the first one, we had good pressure on the QB and had Ezeh not stumbled when the MSU TE/H-back runs into him on a crossing route, Ezeh catches the QB for a minimal gain. But no. It seemed like everyone but the d-line and Ezeh was back deep covering (this was on a 2nd and 25) and so the MSU QB had room to run. The TE running the crossing route who hit Ezeh, kept running, and became a lead blocker and bam, 19 yards.
The second scramble was similar to the first. Good pressure, everyone else back covering WR's, QB just takes off. Not sure what else to say.
Also I think there was one play where the Spartans had an illegal formation, don't the tackles have to be covered? By either a TE or WR? Sparty had one play where I thought the LT wasn't covered by anyone, may have had 5 guys in the backfield.
Note to BTN announcers: It's WOOL-FOLK. Not Whirr-fork. Jesus.
So that's pretty much the first quarter. I have a new found respect for the UFRs, this is actually a lot of work, breaking down each play. Props to you Mr. Cook. Now I know why coaches spend long hours doing what they do.
Lastly, I have a strange urge for queso dip. Ro-tel and Velveeta to be specific. It's 1155pm and I've gotta make a run to the grocery store...