...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
I watched this game on tape and isolated from what seemed like a generally negative atmosphere on MGoBlog during the game. Also, I forgot to turn off my phone, so the result was ruined at around halftime for me, so I saved myself the stress and nail-biting aspect I'm sure people watching live felt. As such, I came away with a generally more positive feeling about the offense. We seemed to be moving the ball a lot better than we have the last couple weeks (lowered expectations is a wonderful thing). 365 yards, 3.2 YPC and 5.3 isn’t great, but worlds better than recent efforts and a marked improvement. Still, only 9 points in regulation and no 3rd down conversions (3 for 17 overall) is concerning and shouldn’t be glossed over either. We seem to be improving, but not good enough yet to get out of our own way enough to keep drives alive and score TDs.
The following Diary is an attempt to analyze the cause of our abysmal performance on 3rd down conversions by looking at the entire set of downs preceding each one. I attempt to assign blame, much like Brian did in his similarly eye bleed inducing 27 for 27.
Drive 1: 1st and 10 from NW 8 after a promising opening drive
1st down. Gardner sees 9 man front, checks into .... run. Argh. Unblocked defender meets Green at the LOS for loss of 1.
- Gardner -1
2nd down. Waggle play. I absolutely hate this play call. Gardner does well to get back to the LOS.
- Borges -1
What exactly is the plan here?
3rd down. Shotgun 4 wide. Gardner has good protection but bugs out early after his 1st read is covered. Funchess hasn't even made his break yet and appears to be open just as Gardner heads into a defender for no gain.
- Gardner -1
FG good 3-0 Michigan
Drive 2: 1st and 10 from M 48 after a couple first downs from Funchess and Gallon screens and Green runs up the middle.
1st and 10. I form run. Gardner fakes the quick screen and hands off. Nice hole at the line between Glasgow and Bosch and Kerridge seals the edge. Green pounds it forward for 7. Good play, no minuses
2nd and 3. NW has 9ish in box against 8 blockers. M actually does ok picking up first level defenders but Kerridge doesn't get any push and gets shed easily. D. Smith misses a cutback lane and plows directly into the pile for a yard. There was some space to make a play here I think.
- Borges -0.3
- Blocking (Houma) -0.3
- RB (D.Smith) -0.4
It’s collapsing, but the hole does exist momentarily.
3rd and 2. Michigan does its best Stanford impression and lines everyone up in a bunch. NW responds in kind with everyone in the box. PA with a designed roll out to the right. Right side of line gets caved and Gardner has to redirect 7 yards upfield to avoid it. TFL
- Borges -0.8
- Blocking -0.2
Drive 3: 1st and 10 from NW 48 after NW goes 3 and out and punts.
1st and 10. Michigan 3 wide shotgun with Funchess in slot. Gardner looks for Funchess, hesitants and then tries to throw it to him but a defender has gotten into the lane. Lucky for that not to be INT. Pocket also breaks down just as he throws. Gallon looks open downfield later but could just be his defender broke off after the throw. I'm tempted to put this all on NW playing it well, but I Gardner might have been able to make a better throw there. So I guess
- Gardner -0.5
- NW -0.5.
2nd and 10. Shotgun with 3 receiver stack on one side and another on the other side. Michigan runs inverted veer. Not really sure what went wrong here. The option man does play this just about perfect, forcing the pull but yet still harassing Gardner enough to prevent him from getting north-south. Perimeter blocking is pretty poor as Gardner is tackled for no gain. I think I'm going with
- NW -0.75
- Blocking (Butt, Gallon) -0.25
3rd and 9. NW brings the house because we can't do crap with it in 3 weeks. Gardner nearly gets sacked but gets it off that's batted down. Chesson ran a quick out route and was open for the dump off but Gardner has his eyes the other direction. It probably wouldn't of picked up the 1st down either though. We had a man for every defender here but Bosch gets destroyed and Magnuson and Kerridge didn't do too much better. I know everyone will want me to put this on Borges, but there looked to be a quick outlet but Gardner was looking for more (understandable with 3rd and 10 I guess). I'm going to go
- Blocking (Bosch) -0.5
- Down and distance -0.3
- Gardner -0.1 from not getting rid of it see if Chesson can get some YAC
- NW -0.1 for covering the routes. 3rd and long is tough. :(
Very short window for Gardner to dump it off, Bosch allows instant penetration.
Drive 4: 1st and 10 NW 41 after a Funchess catch for 1st down.
1st and 10, play action. RB screen to Hayes for 5. Nice play that could've gone for much more with one better block from Bosch. No minuses though, that's a tough match-up for him I guess.
2nd and 5. I form run. Bosch has a tough combo block as the D line slants away from him. Green reads it and cuts behind Lewan but trips over him a bit. Paskorz ID's his block late and has a bad angle, probably because the play wasn't designed to go where Green went. Green falls forward for 3. I dunno, let's go with
- Blocking -0.5
- Crap happens/ok play for what it is -0.5.
3rd and 2. Shotgun, 2 reciever stack with Butt at TE on other side. 2 backs next to Gardner. NW brings the house and Gardner tries to dump it to Green leaking out of backfield. The one LB that stays in coverage reads Gardner's eyes the whole way and almost pick sixes it. Butt is all by himself, no defender within 5 yards. Too bad, blitz pick up was excellent. Snap gets bobbled, FWIW, might have thrown off timing.
- NW -.75
- Gardner -0.25 for telegraphing and not seeing Butt.
Butt is literally hand-wavingly open.
Drive 5: 1st and 10 M29 after a Gallon pitch and catch
1st and 10: Shotgun 3 wide with TE eligible. Bubble screen to Funchess, dropped.
- Drop (Funchess) -1
2nd and 10: I form PA, Gallon open on an out route. Throw is dead on but dropped.
- Drop (Gallon) -1
3rd and 10: Shotgun with triple stack on the field side. NW blitzes like you’d expect. Michigan actually gets in position to pick this up but the delay by the LB convinces Hayes to help Williams by making a diving attempt at Willams's guy’s feet. To be fair Williams is having a hard time, but com’n. Hayes has to pick the LB up.
- Blocking (Hayes) -0.8
- Gardner -0.1 for not dumping off
- NW -0.1 for presumably covering 1st down depth routes
You would assume Hayes blocks 44 here.....
...you would assume wrong. No.44, come on down!
Drive 6: 1st and 10 M 15
1st and 10: I form run into 8 man box. Michigan has 7 blockers. Blocking is also a complete mess as Kerridge seems to head to a different hole than the OL is blocking and Glasgow can't get a tough combo block. Green gets swarmed for no gain.
- Borges -0.75
- Blocking -0.25
2nd and 10: Play action from I form. NW blitzs 2 LBs and another gets sucked in by the PA, leaving a huge hole underneath. Gallon is wide open for 20 but Gardner puts it too far in front. Gallon gets his hands on it but can't bring it in. Nice play that had potential.
- Gardner -1
3rd and 10: Surprisingly NW rushes 4 and drops into coverage. Bosch gets chucked like a ragdoll allowing his guy a free run at Gardner. Glasgow looks to be releasing downfield, so the play call was probably a screen anyway. Gardner dumps off to Funchess. Michigan has this blocked well except Magnuson for whatever reason leaves the guy he's engaged with to go help Glasgow. The guy he leaves tackles. WTF.
- Blocking -1
Magnuson was in good position to block his man (the guy he's got his left hand on) but he’s losing him now because he’s worrying about Glasgow’s guy
Magnuson instead leaves his guy to go block Glasgow, not Glasgow’s guy, Glasgow. The guy he leaves covers and tackles Funchess on the screen pass.
Drive 7: 1st and 10 at midfield on a screen to Chesson and a nice pair of runs by D Smith
1st and 10. I form run. NW only has 7 in the box, but the safeties are in fairly shallow alignment and one tears at the LOS at the snap. Doesn't really matter since Magnuson and Paskorz both get chucked aside and there's two unblocked guys to meet Green at the LOS. Probably wasn't going far based on design and defense.
- Borges -0.5
- Blocking -0.5
2nd and 10: Gardner under center in I form with Funchess and Gallon out wide on either side. NW brings a safety blitz and Gardner hangs out coolly in the pocket as the unblocked defender is screaming towards him. Gallon is left singled up so Gardner goes to him. The corner does a fantastic job to undercut the throw. Seemed to be some confusion between Gardner and Gallon, maybe he had to get rid of it early, but I also think he left it a bit short/inside.
- NW -0.75
- Gardner - 0.25
3rd and 10: Shotgun with 3 wide to the field side. Michigan rolls the pocket as NW rushes 5 and sends a delayed blitzer. It's picked up well. Dileo is 1 vs 1 and Gardner throws it to him, but a beat late. As a result the defender makes a diving play to knock it away and also runs over Dileo in the process. Borderline PI no call.
- NW -0.75
- Gardner -0.15
- Refs -0.1
Ball is still in the air and Dileo is being run over, looks like PI to me.
Drive 8: 1st and 10 at NW 30 following a couple nice passes and a long Derrick Green run.
1st and 10: Assigning blame can be tricky business but this one is easy. Play action from under center and Schofield straight up gets beat by his guy as he takes a step inside at the snap (WTF?) Sack for 13. Ugh
- Blocking (Schofield) -1
Where are you going Schofield? Your responsibility is to your right, why are you taking a step left?
2nd and 23: Michigan spreads the field with 4 wide in shotgun. Pass is batted down at the line. Looked maybe ill advised anyway as a LB drops to undercut Funchess's route. Can't tell for sure, so we'll give this one to
- NW -1
3rd and 23: Shotgun with triple stack WRs opposite AJ Williams at TE, FB in backfield with Gardner. Delayed blitz. M has no chance at picking this up since the whole line shifts right leaving a gaping hole for Kerridge to defend and two guys coming through it. He gets neither. Dileo looked open for a hot read, but not sure. This is an RPS- type play, but more of the variety where the opponent does something well as opposed to you doing something stupid.
- NW -0.3
- Down and distance -0.4
- Blocking (Kerridge) -0.2 for not even slowing down either guy
- Gardner -0.1 for holding on to it.
Drive 9: Michigan 1st and goal at NW 10 following the shankapotamus punt from NW.
1st and Goal: NW has 8.5 in the box shifted towards the boundary side because AJ Williams and Butt next to each other screams run to that side. Michigan runs to that side. Goes about as well as you'd expect.
- Borges -1, but also gotta check out of that one man.
I think NW might know we’re running left guys.
2nd and goal: Shotgun with 2 stacked receivers to the field side and one to the boundary. Butt motions past the stacked guys. Nice play design leaves 3 recievers on 2 defenders and Funchess is open. But... Michigan rolls the pocket that way to help out the OL and Gardner turfs it because he's on the run and doesn't set his feet. It's actually still catcable, especially for Funchess, but tough.
- Gardner 0.8
- Drop (Funchess) 0.2
3rd and goal: Play action I form. Gallon is one on one and Gardner tries to hit him on a fade in the corner of the endzone but air mails it. Wind was probably a factor here and defender had pretty good position.
- Gardner -0.7
- Crap happens -0.2
- NW -0.1
FG - 6-9
Drive 10: 1st and 10 at NW 13 on a couple nice pass and catch to Gallon.
1st and 10: Freaking waggle. Gardner jukes 2 guys to make something out of nothing for 5, getting plastered in the process. I'm still minusing Borges for the play even though it worked. It worked in spite of the play call not because of it.
- Borges -1
Again, what is the plan here? Gardner is running for his life 10 yards behind the LOS.
2nd and 5: Shotgun 4 wide. Gardner looks screen (probably fake) and then gives a delayed handoff to D. Smith who jukes a guy and burrows for 4. No minuses
3nd and 1: Michigan in jumbo package under center with 2 TE and a H-back. Bosch cedes ground at the snap and that's all she wrote. Play design seems borked too since I don't know where Schofield is pulling to and Kerridge seals the edge instead of blocking the point of attack. Thought D.Smith got hosed on the spot as he got back to the LOS but they docked him a yard for 4th and 2 FWIW. Also, gotta question why you don't have Green in this situation instead.
- Borges -0.8 doing something Michigan can't do, even if it's the right play for 1 yard.
- Blocking (Bosch) -0.2
4th and 2: Tackle over, *sigh*. I get the idea here: sucker NW into over playing the left so you can sneak Gardner around right. The problem is it doesn't look like the normal tackle over since you bring in Williams in as a TE on the other side with an extra lineman too. Add in a pulling Kalis and NW has this sniffed out and dead to rights. A couple weak blocks by Green and Magnuson were the cherry on top.
- Borges -0.9,
- Blocking (Green, Magnuson) 0.1.
Hoke seems on tilt after going conservative burns him a couple times earlier in the season
Drive 11: 1st and 10 at NW 30, following a (legit) PI on NW. Michigan is running it's 2 min drill and if you want to be technical, they failed 2 3rd down conversions on this drive earlier, but converted on 4th
1st and 10: Shotgun 3 wide. NW rushes 4. God. Damn. It. Schofield. He does his step inside thing when he's got a guys shaded outside of him. I don't get it man. He's not even trying to sell PA or something. I mean come the f*ck on man.
- Blocking -1. Gardner needs to get rid of it here, but he had very little time.
Again Schofield? Your guy is outside of you, what are you looking and stepping inside for?
2nd and 23: Nice play, overthrown. Chesson had a step on his man. Wind a factor on such a long throw. Protection was good. Could maybe question a shot down field when you should be working back into FG range, but that's nit-picky. FWIW
- Gardner -0.75
- Crap happens -0.25
3rd and 23: Shotgun 4 wide, 3 on the far side. Gallon catches it short and in bounds.
- Down and Distance.-1
Monkey Rodeo FG ties it. Lulz
(OT1: Hey Hey! Michigan converts 3rd and 5 on their way to scoring, the first of the game.)
OT2: Michigan converts another on 3rd and 1. The next one.. not so much
1st and 10: I form PA. Play action does suck up the LBs and leaves Butt 1 v 1. Gardner holds for way too long staring him down, not sure what he's waiting for. Bosch gets beat and forces Gardner to scramble for a loss of 1.I guess Butt can turn his head a little sooner, but this play is there if Gardner gets the pass off.
- Gardner -0.75
- Blocking (Bosch) -0.25
2nd and 11: Shotgun 3 wide. Butt runs a flat route and Gardner hits him. NW does a good job not allowing YAC. No minuses, par for the course for everyone.
3rd and 8: I form PA again. Again the play action sucks up the LBs. Gallon works a post in front of his corner and Gardner hits him dead on. Dropped. *sigh*
- Drop (Gallon) -1.
OT3: Gardner scores on 3rd and goal FTW, literally. What’s this feeling? Happiness? No too far… Not sadness? Yes, definitely not sadness.
Gardner comes out with the largest chunk, but I think a lot of that is just the nature of his position. I ding him small fractions of points for not making the exact correct reaction to someone else's screw up. Still, he did miss some key throws, held the ball too long a couple times, and failed to check out of bad plays and/or made bad checks.
Borges is at just about 25% too, which is higher than I initially expected. The waggle plays were just brutal, I just don't see the upside with it. Gardner has to scramble for his life to make a couple yards if he's lucky, usually at the cost of getting lit up. The jumbo package stuff is also frustrating. It might be the right call if you have the right personnel for short yardage situations, but it's beyond clear we don't. In the interest of fairness, I do feel compelled to say Borges made some nice adjustments that helped keep the ball moving at times and kept the blitz at bay except on obvious passing situations. Also, in his defense, some of the minuses were based on the defensive alignment, which he can only guess at when calling the play, but I'm following Brian's convention here for consistency. That said, when Borges's lizard brain took over, it was costly to Michigan in terms of keeping drives alive.
Blocking was next up. There was improvement but consistency was still any issue. When things went bad, they were costly. The sacks left Michigan in deep, deep holes. Even on 3rd and short, basic assignments were missed that cost us the first down on several occasions.
Also, you gotta give NW credit. Their defensive backs were all over our receivers and we were extremely fortunate not to have many INTs, some of the pick six variety. Beyond that, we had some drops and the wind played a factor but those weren't really persistent problems.
So.. takeaways? None really that we didn't know. We have a lot of issues everywhere still. At least we were ending some long drives with screw-ups at times instead of never getting drives going. That's something to build on going into Iowa I guess.
Last week I posted a rather critical Diary highlighting some of the mistakes of the offensive line.
It’s only fair that, this week, I show some of the things that they did right. Indiana defense caveats apply, and they need to be much more consistent, but they did showed flashes of competency that was sorely missing last week.
Play 1: First play of Michigan’s 2nd drive after going 3 and out to start.
Last week, I highlighted some issues with lineman executing combination blocks. This play features a textbook combo block by one guy and another guy reacting on the fly to something he doesn’t expect before the snap.
Pic1: Michigan lines up in shotgun with one tight end (Funchess) next to Lewan.
Pic2: On the snap, Lewan and Burzinyski double one DT and Magnuson and Glasgow double the other. Schofield handles the DE lined up over him, while Funchess goes out in a route, leaving his DE unblocked and to be optioned off.
Pic3: Glasgow executes his combo perfectly, pushing the defender directly in front of Magnuson and then going out to find the OLB. Lewan and Burzinyski’s guy is a little more trouble as he’s slanting playside. This prevents Burzinyski from getting his release, but he adjusts and tries to keep the guy from getting penetration. Gardner reads the unblocked DE containing the edge so he gives to Fitz.
Pic4: The slanting DT is starting to constrict the hole but Burzinyski (you can just see his helmet peeking out between Lewan and the DT) has fought hard to get playside and seal it. Fitz, for his part, does a nice job getting skinny and squeezing through. The MLB that Burzinyski or Lewan was supposed to pick up has scraped to fill behind the slanting DT and taken himself out of the play (this is where Indiana caveat applies, btw)..
Pic5: Glasgow has a little trouble holding his block but gets one last shove as Fitz gets through before the optioned DE can get his ankles. With nothing but green until the first down line, this goes for 9. 2nd and 1 sure is better than 2nd and 13.
Play 2: Michigan’s 3rd drive, 4th and 1 at the goal line
I also harped on individuals getting beaten 1 v 1, guys not targeting the right defender, and lead blockers not blocking second level defenders cleanly. This play is one where all of these errors were eliminated and everyone does their job, allowing the play to work (almost) just as you would draw it up.
Pic6: Michigan is in jumbo personnel with Lewan, Schofield, Bosch, Glasgow, Kalis, Magnuson, Paskorz across the line, and Butt and Houma in the backfield as lead blockers. Indiana responds with all 11 in the box in 5-4-2 (?). Manball baby.
Pic7: At the snap, a lot of things are happening simultaneously. Live, I thought the interior gets blown up, but it actually looks like pretty good blocking upon closer inspection. Glasgow (helmet peeking out behind Schofield's guy) squeezes through playside of the NT to engage a LB/safety while Kalis pancakes the NT. Magnuson cuts the other DT and impedes the DE lined up over him who Paskorz has no chance on (not sure if intentional, but it works). This forces the DE to vault over Magnuson. Meanwhile, Lewan and Schofield have sealed their guys inside and Bosch pulls to go kick out the OLB.
Pic8: Bosch has kicked the OLB upfield and out of the play. The playside MLB is the only guy that has a shot to make the stop and shuffles down to occupy the hole, but Houma is on his way to meet him. On the backside, Butt runs around Paskorz to engage the backside safety, leaving the backside OLB unblocked because he’s too far away to matter (and he’s responsible for contain on any boot action if Gardner keeps).
Pic9: Luckily, the guy hurdling over Magnuson can’t stay on his feet, otherwise he makes a spectacular play in the backfield. You’d maybe like to see our guys in the middle stay on their feet (especially Kalis), but they do take the first level defenders out of the play and make a giant pile for the second level guys, like the backside MLB, to go around/over.
Pic10: Houma does a nice job hitting the playside MLB in the hole and adeptly pivoting his legs around to seal the MLB to the inside. Compare his positioning between this picture and the previous one. David Molk would be proud. Glasgow, and then Schofield each managed to get out and get enough of second MLB to slow him down before a pile of bodies lands on top of them, so that guy can’t get to Fitz until he’s already in the endzone. Ditto goes for Butt’s guy, who was forced to redirect around him. That’s basically everyone with even a remote chance of executing their block doing so in a hugely chaotic situation with lots of moving pieces. Indiana or not, this is encouraging.
Lastly, after the beating he took he took on the board last week, I have to highlight a couple great calls by the big man upstairs (NTBMU).
The throwback screen (almost) always works, so it’s not really surprised that it worked on a undisciplined Indiana defense. However, the timing of calling this play was a stroke of genius. On the previous play, Indiana had just flushed Gardner out of the pocket, chasing him all over the field and ultimately forcing that intentional grounding that was ruled (correctly) a sack after video review.
Pic11: Michigan is in shotgun with Butt as the H back.
Pic12: At the snap, Michigan rolls the pocket left as protection breaks down. Magnuson’s guy gets away with major illegal hands to the face FWIW, which just sells this even more. Butt gets beat by the DE, while Lewan lets his guy, #96, by untouched.
Pic13: At this point the alarm bells should be ringing in #96’s helmet, but he smells blood in the water after missing out on the sack on the previous play and he wants in on the action. He's still coming full bore as half of Michigan's OL is sneaking off behind him.
Pic14: By the time any of the Indiana guys realize what’s up, it’s too late, Devin lofts a nice touch pass over #96 and Fitz is rumbling down field with a convoy of blockers.
A bit later in the game, after Michigan’s new air raid offense has gone into full effect, Borges calls another good one. Michigan had already victimized Indiana on play action and pop passes a few times at this point. Three plays before this one, Gardner lined up in shotgun and hit Jackson after a quick fake handoff. There was another under center PA play two plays to Gallon two plays before
Pic15: This play, Michigan lines up in a similar, shotgun spread formation to the Jackson reception play.
Pic16: The LBs are justifiably hesitant at the snap after getting the ball thrown over their heads so many times already. A quick pump fake by Gardner, and they both take a step back to drop into coverage.
Pic17: As the hand off is made, you can see the guy on the “M” is in full bug out mode, while the other LB is just sitting flat footed as Reynolds is about to engage him.
Pic18: A couple seconds later, Fitz crosses the LOS with both LBs still 5 yards back and blocked. Profit. It's an easy 10 yards before a safety comes in to tackle.
That's a pretty masterful job of seeing how your performance on previous plays, good and bad, is influencing the defense and calling the right play to stay one step ahead.
In the “What is the Source of Our Run Blocking Issues” thread, I offered my list of things we are doing poorly (hint: everything). This Diary delves deeper into each of those items by examining an example of each in a brief picture page format. Let’s jump right in.
1. Bad individual technique. A lot of plays start from a fresh line of scrimmage 2 yards behind where the ball was snapped because of just plain getting beat 1 vs 1.
Example: First play of Michigan’s second possession.
Pic1: Butt motions next to AJ Williams, who is the defacto LT since Lewan is lined up outside of Schofield on the right in "Tackle Over."
Pic2: Michigan runs outside zone away from Lewan/Schofield. This goes about how you'd expect. Bryant and Williams both take a step laterally and allow their guys to get in on them with leverage. Before the ball is even handed off, they’ve each ceded 2 yards. Bonus: Schofield releases without chipping the DT, leaving Lewan an impossible angle.
Pic3: By the time Fitz gets the ball he has a wall of bodies in front of him 5 yards behind the line. The DT Lewan had no chance at is also there to prevent any hope of a cutback. Michigan would go on to throw for short gain on 2nd down, then Gardner throws his first pick on 3rd.
I case you missed it, new footage was released today of highlights from the 2nd scrimmage.
If the first scrimmage was to get the starters some live action looks, this one was reserved for 2nd team and guys still in a battle for the open starting spots. This means we got some of our first looks at some of the incoming freshmen, like Morris, (a not getting buried) Green, Da'Mario Jones, Channing Stribling, etc.
I went through and describe some of the plays, including personel where I could. Fort Schembechler's resident cameraman was instructed to shoot this up close and personal, as with the last one. This made things difficult, I tried to do as much detective work to ID as many guys as I could (ENHANCE!).
Handoff to Hayes
Gardner in shotgun, Hayes to his left. Handoff. Magnuson releases downfield, probably to pick up Bolden, probably misses Bolden. Bolden is sitting in the hole as the camera pans back, waiting for Hayes. Neither Kalis nor Funchess gets beat, but both cede ground (to Wormley and Beyer respectively) which basically boxes Hayes in forcing him into Boldon's tackle. Hurst as nose tackle also beats Miller to help out. Yeesh.
Handoff to Hayes
Gardner in 'gun, Hayes to his left. Thanks to Mr Tight Angle, I have no idea what's going on at the line. Looks like a similar play to the last one. As the camera follows Hayes to the line, Glasgow has a good block on Washington but Wormley is beating Magnuson to the inside. Wormley sheds and tackles. Looks like it's Kalis's job this time to block Bolden and he gets blown up so much it actually takes Bolden past the play. Miller seems to have latched onto C Gordon and riden him out of the play FWIW. Worlmey likely saves the day here as there's good blocking downfield.
Nominal Play Action pass attempt to Williams
Gardner under center. Someone motions to the right side of the formation. Gardner "fakes" a handoff to Hayes, who actually runs behind his back. Defense is blitzing C Gordon around the right edge and Boldon up the middle, with Black also beating Glasgow on the left. Gardner is flushed to left and fires on the run at the sideline with C Gordon in hot pursuit. Wilson is there on coverage and makes a play on the ball but whiffs. He probably distracts Williams enough that he drops the pass, which was probably out of bounds anyway. Ojemudia (!) has also made his way some 30 yards downfield.
Gardner in shotgun with Hayes to his right. C Gordon beats Schofield. This is a pretty good example of what Mattison was talking about. C Gordon gets the edge but Gardner could have just stepped up in the pocket and given Schofield a better blocking angle if there was no interior pressure. From his reaction, it looks like there was interior pressure so he back pedals and puts Schofield in even worse position. Thanks to the jerk cameraman, the world will never know.
Handoff to Green
2nd team in. Burzynski, Chris Bryant, Gunderson and Bosch are your OL. Morris under center hands off to Green. The intended gap is between Bryant and Gunderson. Gunderson and K Hill combo Godin and but Gunderson releases before really handing off the block, putting Hill in a bad position. Bryant gets a good block on Ash to seal off the left. Bosch is pulling but gets there at the same time as Green, and actually looks to have impeded him. Green bursts through the collapsing hole with a head of steam, with a nifty cut around Godin and breaking Jenkins-Stone's arm tackle. Jeremy Clark coming of the left edge in run support makes a nice diving tackle to slow up Green, mystery player (Hollowell?) comes from outside to make the tackle. Delano Hill(?) is also in position to prevent a big gain. Jake Butt walks into the frame at the end too, not sure where he was on this play, but probably lined up to the right of Hill.
Pass attempt to Da'Mario Jones
Morris in 'gun, slings a quick pass to a blanketed Da'Mario Jones. Delonte Hollowell on coverage immediately nails Jones and drives him into the ground hard, resulting in a PBU. Ball was maybe slightly overthrown anyway. Pocket was clean FWIW, but I have no idea who was out there.
Pass attempt to ???
First team back in. Gardner under center drops back and makes a half-hearted fake handoff to Rawls(?), who goes on to pick up an unblocked Charlton, borderline holding. Pipkins or Black fights his way through and gets his hands up in the throwing lane forcing Gardner to bail out of a collapsing pocket as Godin and Beyer are also converging. He slings an ill advised pass as he's crossing the LOS to a covered receiver. Stribling is in perfect position to make the catch but it clanks of his hands.
Pass attempt to Jackson
Gardner in 'gun. Gunderson directs Godin coming off the edge upfield and behind Gardner. Gardner has lots of time, but still ends up forcing it to a blanketed Jeremy Jackson. Stribling makes a diving play on the ball for a PBU. I can see why Stribling caught the coaches' eyes during camp.
Pass to Chesson
Gardner under center. Slips on his drop back (yips!) but recovers impressively to dump a short pass to Chesson. Stribling comes up to tackle, has to resort to a WWE style takedown. I can also see how Stribling probably needs another year to bulk up. Rawls has a nice pick up on Wormley in pass pro.
Handoff to Smith
Blake Bars in at RG, Gunderson RT. Morris under center (Miller), drops back and hands off to Smith. Gunderson seals off Godin to the outside, TE gets OLB Jack Doyle.... Bars is sealing off Ash to the inside as the camera pans away. As Smith hits the gap with a nice quick cut to avoid Ash who is beating Miller (?) and accelerates quickly. Ash is
Morris in 'gun between Hayes on his left and Smith on his right. Smith looks like he actively avoids Godin after Godin's clearly beaten David Dawson and is beelining to the QB. What the freshman giveth, the freshman taketh away. Not that it matters because Ben Gedeon and Dan Liesman (?) both are coming clean too. Morris is happy he is wearing an orange jersey. Braden does look pretty good at LT here with a smooth kick slide and stonewalling the DE, FWIW.
Bootleg pass to Bo Devers
Morris under center. The OL zone blocks right as Morris play action fakes and rolls out to the left (damn lefties) and fires a laser to Bo Devers sitting in a gap in zone. Tackled by RJS and Clark. Willie Henry was the DL mirroring Morris on the roll out.
Pass to Funchess
Gardner in gun, quick throw to Funchess underneath. Taylor and Wilson (?) on the tackle.
Pass to Wangler
Morris in gun, quick slant to Wangler. It's almost like they've done this before. Wangler is met by Gedeon and Hollowell but neither wrap up and Wangler manages to stay up. Jeremy Clark has to come in and lay a nice tackle to bring him down.
Pass to Butt
Shane in gun, pocket is collapsing but he's showing good instincts to step up and throw it on the money to Butt, as Ojemudia and Clark are bearing down on him. Gunderson and Glasgow were the guys blocking those two, respectively. Butt has Ross beat by a step and uses his body to shield Ross from making a play on the ball. Ross can't bring him down either and Jarrod Wilson comes up for a lackluster tackle attempt to force Butt out of bounds.
Pass attempt to Chesson
Morris in gun. Looks like a nice pocket and with time and space, Shane unleashes the dragon. The ball rises in a beautiful arc, then rises some more, and drops perfectly onto the hands of.... a blanketed Chesson. Stribling with another nice play on the ball, knocks it away. Artillery: acquired.
Pass attempt to Reynolds
Morris in gun again. Hayes to his right. Pressure comes from his right as Clark or Ojemudia beats Gunderson. The rest of the line (Magnuson, Glasgow, Miller, Kalis) is doing well though, which gives Morris room to step up and throw. Wilson(?) in coverage tips the ball but Reynolds stays with it and brings it in. Unfortunately he is 3 yards out of bounds. Again, good instincts and footwork by Morris to step away from pressure. Also again, Mattison's comment about the interior guys needing to get penetration applies.
Pass to Butt, TD
Play action bootleg. The line zones left as Morris fakes the handoff to Green and rolls out right... right into an unblocked(?) defender. Morris plants a foot and flips the ball to Jake Butt. Impressive. There looked like several open guys (K Hill, D Jones) in the vincinity as well. Green looked to have a nice lane had Morris handed it off.
So, this is what this "depth" thing I keep hearing about is. There were some areas of clear drop off from the starters, but on the other hand there were many others where was some quality play from backups. And there are some future stars hidden out there.
Stribling had the speed to stay with guys and the length to make plays on the ball. Add 10-15 pounds and this kid could be special. Pretty amazing we were able to snatch him up with a camp offer late. Jeremy Clark also looked pretty solid at safety.
Morris is showing what made him a blue chip recruit. Selection bias caveats apply but he's also showing a surprising maturity in the pocket. I'm sure some of your typical freshmen QB errors were made and edited out, but I definitely feel a lot better after seeing this.
The TE position is actually a strength now, which is amazing considering the position hardly existed 2 years ago. This is good because....
Receivers looked pretty meh. Gallon looks to have sat this one out, but the committee of guys other than him seemed to struggle getting an inch of daylight. Starters not getting separation against your 2nd team corners usually isn't a good sign. The Darboh injury is going to hurt more than some are willing to admit I think.
Well, just about 7 days until we find out (and I hand off charting to people that actually know what they're doing).
I hope this is okay that I'm making a new thread for this, the other one was getting quite long and bogged down in Derrick Green weight Chicken Littles vs Polly Annas.
Since I've already spent an embarrasingly long amount of time this Sunday watching the CTK scrimmage footage, I figure I'd write down some of my observations. Let me know if I missed something or got something wrong and I'll try to edit the OP. Mr. tight cam definitely makes this pretty tough to get 100% right.
EDIT: Here's the link to the video
Hand off to Fitz
Glasgow and Miller block Washington. Williams also seals off Heitzman to the inside. Kalis pulls around him and nails Ross (?) in the hole. Darboh tries to block Gordon but gets there late. Gordon makes initial contact with Fitz. Big pile of bodies converge and brings him down. Funchess comes into the screen tied up with Cam Gordon, looks to be holding his own.
Hand off to Fitz
Glasgow and Miller block Washington, <camera pans to Handoff to Fitz>, the line is already a clusterfuck as he gets there and is buried. Looks like Morgan and Washington combine to make the tackle. Kalis is up to the next level but doesn't seem to have found his target.
Pass to Chesson
Nose tackle seems offsides? Almost looked as if Miller snaps the ball to catch him as the rest of the line is a beat slow off the ball. Fitz does a good job to pick up the rusher off the edge, giving Devin time to find Chesson on the right boundary. Ball is thrown beautifully where only the receiver has a play. Countess is right there but can do nothing about the height advantage. Avery comes in just in time to lay a hit on Chesson had he kept his feet, may even have been in position to light him up in the air but held up on a defenseless receiver.
Hand off to Fitz
Willie Henry in at 3 Tech. Hand off to Fitz, Kerridge is lead blocker and Fitz follows him through a nice hole by the time the camera pans back. Actually Schofield is just losing his man but Fitz is by in time. Not really sure what happens here, lots of motion blur. Looks like Kerridge thumps someone at the LOS. I can tell Millar and also Glasgow has gotten to the next level on Morgan, Countess comes up in run support for the tackle. Lewan looked to pulling to fwiw.
Hand off to Fitz
Funchess motions (?) next to Lewan. C Gordon gets into the backfield but gets juked. Fitz gets the left edge but C Gordon doesn't give up and weaves through traffic to track him down. Fitz meanwhile jukes a DB out of his shoes. Funchess is in great position here to lay a mean crack back block on C Gordon, but is too busy watching Fitz. Probably a tough ask to have awareness that C Gordon is in pursuit. Taylor comes in to mop up.
Hand off to Hayes
Glasgow pulls around and gets a nice block on Morgan but it's all for naught as C Gordon slips his blocker (Funchess?) and makes the tackle. Lewan is sealing the backside against Ojemudia. Matt Godin sighting at DE. Ball comes out but I think he was down.
Hand off to Green
Ojemudia shoots through the gap inside Schofield and draws both Schofield's and Kerridge's attention. Meanwhile Henry has stunted around and meets Green in the backfield. Kalis arrives late as Ross beats Funchess (?) and, along with a helpful shove from Countess, swarm Green.
Screen pass to Hayes
Heitzman (?) eats a screen as he breaks through the line and by Hayes. Devin lobs over him and on the money to Hayes. D Thomas impressively diagnoses the play and slices in to get Hayes by the ankles, looks like Dileo was assigned to block him. Ojemudia also looks to have beat Glasgow, but falls down. RJS was in the area too. This one probably wasn't going to work
Devin in shotgun with what looks to be an empty backfield. C Gordon and Avery come free and Devin is barely able to get rid of it, hopefully past the line of scrimmage and out of bounds, like a ceiling fan. PLEASE BE CAREFUL WITH THE GUY IN THE ORANGE JERSEY, K THANKS. Also, get that damn golf cart out of there.
Play action pass to Reynolds, TD
Braden is your LG. Oline is zoning towards the left, Gardner fakes the handoff to Green (?) and rolls right. He has good protection, nice blocking by Willams, and he has time to find Joe Reynolds beating Taylor by a step. Avery in the area as the safety. Gunderson sighting at the end.
Play action to Dileo
Similar to previous play but reversed. Ash at DT, Magnuson at LT. C Gordon takes a step laterally to the inside and comes screaming through this time just as Devin fakes the handoff to Smith. This diverts C Gordon a bit or else he was in position for the sack (probably by design), then gets shoved to the ground from behind. Looks like Henry is also in the backfield but Devin has just enough time to find Dileo all alone underneath. Taylor and Avery make the tackle after Dileo picks up another 5 YAC. DILEO!!!!
Hand off to Rawls
Ash at NT. Defense reads the play and converge. Rawls hits the wall of bodies and gets nothing. Braden appears to have lost his man there. Ross appears to have put Miller on his ass and he's not happy. Willie Henry and Ash are your nominal tacklers but the whole front 7 is there a split second later.
Play action pass Reynolds, TD
Devin drops back and fakes the handoff to Hayes and fires the ball downfield, caught by Reynolds. Delonte Hollowell makes a break on the reciever but over runs it. He manages to wrap his hands on Reynolds but can't keep him out of the endzone. There is much singing and rejoicing.
Hand off to Hayes
Looks like a nice hole between RT GUnderson and RG Kalis but Hayes sees something he doesn't like and hesitates. That something is James Ross, who makes a great diving tackle on Hayes, as Ojemudia slips Gunderson's block and comes from the outside to assist. Looks like it was Miller's job to get out and block Ross here, judging by body language. James Ross is probably not getting a Christmas card from Jack Miller this year.
Pass to Hayes
Looks to be stacked recievers to the right. Devin takes the ball from shotgun. Lots of time initially, but Devin's 1st/2nd reads seem to be covered. Eventually a trio of defenders (Henry, Wormley,???) and breaks through and flush Devin to the right. Devin throws a nice touch pass on the move over Countess to find Hayes who walks in the endzone before Countess can bring him down
Hand off to Rawls at the goal line
Glasgow pulls nicely, almost too nicely as he seemed to tip it off. He nails Gordon in the hole as Magnuson also pushes his man upfield. Kerridge kicks out someone too, if only momentarily. Braden loses Heitzman as they both move laterally behind the LOS and Heitzman is able to grab Rawls from behind as he hits the gap, preventing Rawls from being able bring his feet to truck Taylor for the TD. Heitzman looks a bit shaken up.
Not to pick on the kid, but the OL probably does enough there for Rawls to pound it in and he shows you why he's not a very good short yardage back despite his size. Hard to tell from the tight angle, but it seems he was slow getting to the hole and doesn't keep his legs pushing much after contact.
Hand off to Smith, TD
Heros: James Ross was everywhere, his instincts appear to be the genuine article. Devin looked great too, but I'm guessing the footage was selected based on his best throwing plays. Fitz looked fantastic, someone is still looking for his jock strap out there. Ojemudia and Henry also both had moments to shine, hopefully we see some contributions from these two from the rotation.
Goats: Rawls still didn't really impress on his two carries. I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that his plays were selected to show off the defense, but it certainly fits his MO. The goal line play really showed this IMO. There was a visible hole there and he doesn't get there in time and doesn't do anything after contact. Miller struggled in a few plays, including getting rag dolled by James Ross once, and was visibly frustrated on a number of occasions. Funchess is still a liability in blocking, but maybe improving?