Will come as no surprise to anyone that M really struggled upfront against Wisconsin on Saturday. I expected we'd see some mistakes from Ferrara in his first game at LG, but I was surprised at how many mistakes the "veterans" made and how seldom the OLine managed to cut off backside in this game. Both Wisconsin DTs were able to beat our OTs on several occassions and cut off the zone read. The Wisky defense really seemed to be keying in on these plays in particular and did an excellent job against them.
RR and staff made some excellent adjustments at the half IMHO. First, they reinserted McAvoy at LG. McAvoy isn't a dominate blocker, but is a guy who understands his assignments and is capable of getting the job done. He had trouble handling the Wisky DT in one-on-one blocks, but did get better and better as the game wore on. He did an excellent job on two blocks near the goal line on M's final score.
The staff was spot on in coming out in the second half throwing the football..but a more subtle adjustment was made in the run game. Rather than rely on the zone read as the base running play, the staff decided to run directly AT the Wisconsin D. With Wisky's tackles biting hard on the lateral movement of the OL the belly play became effective and was instrumental in opening up the zone read that Threet busted loose on. The use of the Belly kept Wisky's tackles and LBs honest and didn't allow them to bite hard on the OLs first movement.
Some talk this week about RR moving Ortmann to LG and Dorrestein to LT. We'll see. From what I've see of Dorrestein, he's a powerful run blocker who might be more suited to the inside....and its always possible these are nothing more than motivational ploys to get that something extra from McAvoy.
Looking forward to next week...Go Blue!