landing spot. will be interesting to see how he does.
Ach: this one is late for no reason other than I forgot to post it yesterday. In keeping with our "you can't have one with the other" theme of late, Jamiemac of Just Cover appears but we forgo an Ohio State blogger on the premise that even if they tried really hard they couldn't be anything other than annoyingly condescending given the state of things.
Long, and mostly concerned with 2010 and basketball so timeliness is not a huge issue.
Links of use:
University of Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez announced Thursday (Nov. 19) following practice the four permanent captains elected for the 130th team in school history. Linebacker Stevie Brown (Columbus, Ind./Columbus East HS), defensive end Brandon Graham (Detroit, Mich./Crockett Technical HS), punter Zoltan Mesko (Twinsburg, Ohio/Twinsburg HS) and left tackle Mark Ortmann (Klein, Texas/Klein HS) were selected by their teammates as captains of the 2009 football team.
“Our players have selected four student-athletes who represent our program at the highest level both on and off the field,” said Rodriguez. “Stevie, Brandon, Zoltan and Mark have played at a high level all season and received the greatest honor that a player can receive, selection as captain by your peers. They, and our other seniors, will lead us into Michigan Stadium Saturday to play the greatest rivalry game in college football.”
Brown joins Graham as a defensive captain. He is the team’s leading tackler with 73 stops and is second with eight tackles for loss, both career highs. Brown has also contributed one sack, one forced fumble, one interception and four pass breakups. He has started all 11 games at linebacker and will see action in his 50th career game when U-M faces Ohio State.
Graham is the most dominant defensive lineman in the Big Ten, racking up a league and NCAA-best 21 tackles for loss. He has 8.5 sacks on the year and has contributed at least one quarterback stop in six of the past seven games. Graham has recorded a career-best 57 tackles, two PBUs, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He has also contributed on special teams, blocking two punts and returning another for his first career touchdown. An All-America candidate, Graham is second all-time at Michigan in sacks (27.5) and third in tackles for loss (51).
Mesko is one of the nation’s top all-around student-athletes, excelling on the field, in the classroom and the community. He leads the Big Ten and is sixth nationally in punting with a career-best 44.7-yard average this season. A semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award for the second straight season, Mesko has punted 46 times for 2,054 yards. He had 16 fair caught, 15 boots of 50 yards or better and 13 downed inside the opposition’s 20-yard line. Mesko is a finalist for the Lowes Senior CLASS Award, the Danny Wuerffel Trophy and has been named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. He earned CoSIDA Academic All-District IV first team honors and is top candidate for Academic All-America honors.
Ortmann has started all 11 games at left tackle and helped anchor the Wolverines’ offense that is rated top in the Big Ten in scoring (31.3 points per game) and is second in rushing offense (195.8 avg.). He has started 24 contests and played in 35 games during his career.
The captains will lead the Wolverines against No. 9 Ohio State Saturday (Nov. 21) at Michigan Stadium. The 106th meeting will be televised nationally by ESPN on ABC at noon EST.
Following is the team’s injury report for the game against the Buckeyes:
David Molk (knee)
Brandon Minor (shoulder)
Doubtful (25 percent chance of playing)
Mike Williams (ankle)
Probable (75 percent chance of playing)
Martavious Odoms (knee)
Most obvious captaining ever, but good for them. I really wish Brandon Minor could, like, play against OSU. They've appreared to have left injured people off the report, but the coaches have never listed someone as out and then played them. Damn.
Personnel notes: Smith replaced Williams for the whole game, and the linebackers were always Ezeh and Mouton. On (rare) obvious passing downs Floyd came in for Smith. I think there may have been a few plays where Floyd subbed in for Woolfolk, too.
Formation notes: Michigan spent the whole game in an eight-man front; late they moved up Kovacs for nine.
Video note: there was no HD torrent this week so the quality is poor.
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|O20||1||10||Ace||4-4 under||Pass||Dig||Ezeh||27 + 15 pen|
|The first of a thousand of these. Wisconsin goes play action and sucks the linebackers up a little but the problem is that Ezeh(-1) and Mouton(-1) don't get deep enough drops (cover -2) and leave a wide receiver wide open on a two-man route. There is no one threatening either of those guys underneath as Wisconsin goes max protect. Graham had worked underneath and nailed Tolzien just as he throws and picks up a terrible roughing the passer call. Egregiously bad call.|
|Aaand Graham(+1) owns the tackle and is blatantly held, which allows Tolzien to escape the pocket; Brown(-1) hesitates in case Tolzien decides to throw and gives up the corner, allowing a nice scramble.|
|M26||1||10||I-Form Big||4-4 under||Run||Inside zone||Martin||2|
|Martin(+1) takes on a double team and gives a little ground but not that much; Mouton(-1) is attacking the line of scrimmage and picks the wrong hole, which gives Clay an open cutback that he attempts to take; he trips over one of the offensive linemen trying to block Martin. Kovacs was filling strongly.|
|M24||2||8||I-Form Twins||4-4 under||Run||Inside zone||Graham||1|
|Graham(+1) gets off the ball quickly and gets inside of his blocker, convincing Clay to attempt to cut it behind that mess; Martin(+1) is looping around after taking on a double team and the two of them meet Clay to nail him at the LOS. Pretty sure this was a stunt that worked. (RPS +1)|
|M23||3||7||Ace bunch||Base 3-4||Pass||Dig||Ezeh||23|
|Three man rush gets no pressure(-1), partially because Graham is again blatantly held as he attempts to go around the corner. The Wisconsin OL has his hand outside Graham's shoulder pads and is hanging on for dear life; no call. This allows Tolzien to find his TE between Ezeh(-1) and Mouton(-1) wide open (cover -2); Mouton overruns the play, opening it up; Kovacs(-1) then misses a tackle(-1) to give him the last ten.|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 0-7, 11 min 1st Q.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|O20||1||10||I-Form||4-4 under||Run||Power O||Martin||-3|
|Martin(+3) blows past the down-block attempt from the playside guard and is into the backfield like a shot, destroying the play. Clay tries to cut back and is swallowed by Martin(tackling +1). Major TFL by one player = +3.|
|Michigan tipping cover three and Wisconsin goes after the edge, which Smith cannot cover in time (cover -1). Throw is marginal but catchable; it is dropped, costing Wisconsin ten or so yards.|
|O17||3||13||Shotgun 2-back bunch||4-3 under||Pass||Sack||Graham||Inc (Pen -15)|
|Smith out, Floyd in. Wisconsin going with a screen that Michigan has killed because the DTs stunt and by the time Martin(+1) cuts through the trash it's obvious and he gets out on it, causing Tolzien to hesitate and Graham(+1) to hunt him down. Tolzien ends up turfing a ball five yards from the receiver and gets called for grounding. RPS +1|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 5 min 1st Q.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|O8||1||10||I-Form Big||4-4 under||Run||Power O||Mouton||3|
|Mouton(+0.5) is a little late but does scrape to the hole past a center coming through the middle and meets Clay there, tackling(+1) with help from Kovacs. Ezeh got outside the pulling guard and forced it back.|
|O11||2||7||Ace Twins Twin TE||4-4 under split||Pass||Sack||Martin||-1|
|I mean, really, what is it going to take for an official to throw a flag on the Wisconsin offensive line? Martin(+3) zips around the center and is instantly into the backfield on this play action; center then grabs his shoulder from behind and starts slowing him down; no flag. Tolzien tries to evade Martin and manages to do so at first but Martin is agile enough to change direction and drag him down from behind. (Pressure +2)|
|Good time (pressure -1) on a four man rush before Martin(+0.5) does work his way through a double and to the quarterback. Tolzien fires to a guy open between Ezeh and Brown, but before the ball can get there Mouton(+1) deflects it and Kovacs(+2) digs out a tough, low interception of the deflected ball. (Cover +1)|
|Drive Notes: Interception, 7-7, EO1Q.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|O25||1||10||Ace Twins Twin TE||4-4 under||Pass||Waggle hitch||Roh||9|
|Absolutely no one on the corner (pressure -2) and Tolzien has epic time to wander towards the sideline in case someone gets open. Eventually, someone does. Roh(-1) got himself way far inside in anticipation of the stretch.|
|O34||2||1||I-Form Big||4-4 under||Run||Iso||Heininger||9|
|Martin(+1) gets playside of his blocker and cuts off the intended hole but Heininger(-1) has gotten upfield and gets crushed/sealed out of the play, opening up a cutback lane. Mouton(-1) overpursued to the front of the play, which might be understandable, but then he misses a tackle(-1) and cedes another five or six yards.|
|O43||1||10||I-Form Big||Base 3-4||Run||Power O||Ezeh||11|
|Wow. Watch Ezeh(-2) on this play. He watches and watches and waits and then he's got a center on him blocking him and he's about five yards downfield without having moved as this play develops and as a result there's no one at all to help after Brown forces the play upfield; Roh(-1) also looked pretty goofy as he goes to cut the FB at the wrong spot on this play, which allows a pulling guard to come around; he neither delays the RB nor takes out two-for-one.|
|M46||1||10||I-Form Big||4-4 under||Run||Power O||Smith||8|
|Hey, same exact play, virtually identical result. Here Graham(-1) cuts inside and gets absorbed by single blocking; he's cutting out of the area in which he can help. Smith(-1) gives up the corner and no one can flow to the ball carrier.|
|M38||2||2||I-Form Big||4-4 under||Run||Iso||Graham||3|
|Graham(+1) zips around the tackle trying to block him and is in great position to potentially make a TFL if Martin(-1) can just hold up better against single blocking; he doesn't, getting banged inside and giving the RB a crease. Graham makes a diving tackle with help from Kovacs and Mouton, but not before the first down line.|
|M35||1||10||I-Form Big||4-4 under||Pass||Out||Smith||Inc|
|Smith(+1) is blitzing from the edge and is in lighting quick, too quick for the RB to slide over to get much of a block. RB does get a cut; Smith ends up falling into Tolzien's knees as he throws. Resulting pass is inaccurate. (Pressure +1) Good thing, because out was wide open in front of Kovacs (cover -1)|
|M35||2||10||I-Form||4-4 under||Run||End around||Brown||5 (Pen -9)|
|Brown(+1) is flowing down the line to string this out when the TE grabs him, holds him up, and then cuts him to the ground. Gilreath gets a crease for a few yards; comes back for the hold.|
|M44||2||19||Ace 4-wide||4-4 under||Pass||Corner||Mouton||Inc|
|Mouton(+1) gets a good zone drop as Wisconsin is running a couple of routes to the short side of the field, one a short out and the other a corner. Mouton does take a step to the out, which is not his responsibility, before recovering deep and getting enough depth to deflect the ball; TE catches it on the deflection but out of bounds. (Cover +1) Pocket was too clean: pressure -1.|
|Graham(+1) is shooting inside his blocker and reads this screen, possibly because Tolzien is dropping too deep for it to be a real pass, so he peels off to tackle with help from Roh(+1), who also stopped in his tracks and recovered. (RPS +1, cover +1)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 10-7, 11 min 2nd Q. Roughing the kicker on Smith(-2) gives Wisconsin another opportunity. More about this later.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|M30||1||10||I-Form Big||4-4 under||Run||Power O||Heininger||4|
|RVB(-1) blown off the ball by a double; not a real surprise with that guy going up against the Wisconsin line. Heininger(+2), however, fights inside of his guy on the backside and gets inside quickly enough to make a diving tackle on Clay as he nears the LOS. Ankle tackle = YAC, but still a remarkable play; good thing, too, because Ezeh(-1) again sat around aimlessly near the hole and got blocked right out of it; Mouton(-1) had picked the backside of the line and without this play from Heininger Clay is probably scoring a touchdown.|
|M26||2||6||I-Form Big||4-4 under||Run||Power O||Smith||7|
|Wheee they do the same thing to one side or the other over and over. On this one Smith(-1) shoots upfield instead of getting into the pulling guards and spilling the play, leaving Ezeh and Mouton one-on-one with two pullers; Mouton has to get outside of one and does; Ezeh(-1) is crushed by the other one and can only make a desperation tackle eight yards downfield.|
|M19||1||10||I-Form Big||4-4 under||Run||End Power O||Smith||13|
|Em. Well, it's the same play except this time they hand it to the pulling TE instead of Clay. Smith(-2) again gives up the corner, getting crushed backwards and giving Kendricks acres of space to head out in; Clay had fallen and if this play got forced back inside it probably wasn't getting much. Smith is every bit as bad as Williams.|
|M6||1||G||I-Form Big||4-4 under||Run||Power O||Graham||-1|
|Graham(+2) ducks under the offensive lineman trying to down-block him and ends up in the backfield, where the pulling TE attempts to block him; too late, he's in the path of the play, and Clay goes down meekly.|
|M7||2||G||Ace||4-4 under||Pass||Rollout corner||Woolfolk?||7|
|Ezeh heading out for some contain if Michigan can get this covered, though he runs himself right into a cut block and falls. Doesn't really matter because Woolfolk(-1) got sucked out his zone by the outside receiver and opens up the corner. (Cover -1)|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 10-14, 8 min 2nd Q. Smith is not a panacea.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|O25||1||10||I-Form Big||4-4 under||Pass||PA TE Corner||Brown||Inc|
|Roh(+0.5) gets outside and avoids a cut to provide decent pressure on Tolzien, forcing a throw; Tolzien tries to hit his TE on the corner route that's killed M all year but on this one Brown(+2, cover +2) is running the TE's route for him and if this pass is accurate can intercept. It's not.|
|O25||2||10||Ace Twins||Base 3-4||Pass||Hitch||Mouton||Inc|
|Mouton(+1) blitzes through and does a good job avoiding the RB's block, forcing a throw (pressure +1) to a guy who looks like he's plenty covered(+1) downfield. Doesn't matter since Campbell(+1) bats the ball away.|
|O25||3||10||Shotgun 3-wide||4-3 under||Pass||Sack||Graham||-25!|
|Both LBs blitz, leaving Graham(+3) one-on-one with the backup RT, and Graham duly destroys the guy and then destroys Tolzien, sacking him and forcing a fumble that RVB(+1) sees, scoops up, and runs into the endzone. Replay.|
|Drive Notes: Fumble + defensive touchdown, 17-14, 3 min 2nd Q.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|O26||1||10||Ace 3-wide tight||4-4 under||Pass||Counter pitch||Brown||6|
|Brown(-1) bites on the counter action, stepping inside. Roh(-1) gets blasted down the line and tries a futile spin move past the UW TE as three OL pull around. This wastes a good play from Banks(+1) who gets out, avoids a cut block, and is flowing down the line to tackle if only someone can force the play back to him. Not possible.|
|No pressure(-1), allowing Tolzien to step and fire to a TE underneath the zone.|
|O38||1||10||Ace||4-4 under||Pass||PA Dig||Various||35|
|Incredibly open dig #3. Ezeh(-1), Mouton(-1), and Kovacs(-1) are the nearest players(cover -2); no one anywhere near Tolzien(pressure -2). I mostly blame Ezeh: he's just sitting there with no one in front of him. He should be drifting back the whole time and in position to do something about this.|
|M27||1||10||I-Form||4-4 under||Pass||PA TE Seam||Ezeh||24|
|Incredibly open dig/seam #4. Partially on Roh(-1), who doesn't get an effective chuck on the TE; partially again on Ezeh(-1), who has no one in front of him and still doesn't get a good zone drop (cover -2). No pressure(-1) again.|
|M3||1||G||Goal line||Goal line||Run||Power O||?||2|
|Wide angle on this makes it really hard to tell what happens; I'm using an SD torrent this week... so I can't really tell you much other than it looks fairly well defended and Clay pops outside where he's met by a couple tacklers and John Clays his way for two yards.|
|M1||2||G||Goal line||Goal line||Run||Power O||--||1|
|Clay leaps over the top and is thumped back by Graham, but apparently not before he got the ball over the line. It's reviewed and stands; I think this is one of those plays that's so inconclusive that the call on the field will stand whichever way it's called.|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 17-21, 1 min 2nd Q. RR should have called time out after the first and goal play.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|O20||1||10||I-Form Big||4-4 under||Run||End around||Graham||3|
|Fake the power O and use the TE coming around on the end-around. Graham(+1) tears through the line and into the backfield; he can't make a tackle but does delay the TE. Smith(+0.5) gets deeper into the backfield this time and manages to occupy two blockers but does let a crease develop between himself and Mouton, which the TE hits; delay allows Ezeh and others to close it down. Runner fumbles; Wisconsin recovers but loses a couple yards. Kovacs(+1) forced it.|
|O23||2||7||Ace Twins||4-4 under||Run||Down G||Smith||21|
|Man, Smith(-2) just sits at the LOS with no idea what to do here instead of coming up to the line and forcing the play inside. He gets nailed by a G and driven literally ten yards downfield, which allows the RB the corner; Warren(-1) comes up to whiff a tackle(-1) that was made hard by the Smith crushage.|
|O44||1||10||I-Form Big||4-4 under||Run||Power O||Martin||-2|
|Smith does attack on this one as Wisconsin goes back to the power O scheme. I think they spent halftime coaching him up on this but he failed to recognize the down G scheme. Not much a hole as a result but it doesn't matter because Martin(+2) ripped through the line and tackles(+1) in the backfield, crushing the play by himself. I think Michigan was misaligned here because there are two guys on the backside who end up unblocked; this could have broken for a lot without Martin's play.|
|Tolzien has time for a quick throw and finds a receiver moderately open in front of Woolfolk but the pass is poor and not caught.|
|O42||3||12||Ace 4-wide bunch||4-3 under||Pass||Post||Mouton?||21|
|Graham(+1) tears around the corner and hits Tolzien in the back with one arm as he throws; a half-second more in coverage and this is a sack. But... no. This has got to be a huge zone bust by someone... it's third and freaking twelve and three players to that side of the field are short; I get Roh and RVB since it's a zone blitz but Mouton is covering no one. (Cover -2) ARGH. Is this Warren? How the hell do you cover this?|
|M37||1||10||Ace||4-4 under||Run||Down G||Smith||2 (Pen -10)|
|Smith(+1) does get upfield on this one, taking a blocker and forcing the play inside. Ezeh and Warren are there; two guys on one blocker, and they get a stop. Smith draws a holding call. Not that it will matter.|
|Incredibly open dig #4. I don't know what the coverage is here, but it looks like man, which would make Brown(-1, cover -2) the culprit. Or maybe it's zone? I have no damn idea. If it's zone it's Ezeh again getting ridiculously dragged out of position and opening this up. All these can't be on Ezeh, right? They'd pull him, right?|
|M29||2||2||Ace||4-4 under||Pass||Waggle comeback||Woolfolk?||14|
|Waggle gets Tolzien forever(pressure -2) and allows him time to set and fire to a receiver on a comeback (cover -1) in front of Woolfolk.|
|M15||1||10||I-Form Big||4-4 under||Run||Power O||Mouton||0|
|Linebackers read the play direction and are all flowing into the hole; Ezeh's headed outside in case it spills. Line creases because RVB is slanting away from the hole and he gets down-blocked; Mouton(+2) makes a really nice play to dodge the pulling guard and tackle(+1) at the RB's knees.|
|M15||2||10||Ace Twins||4-4 under||Pass||Waggle throwaway||Roh||Inc|
|Michigan better prepared for this as Roh(+0.5) does not get sealed inside by the tackle and eventually shakes free, drawing Tolzien's lead blocker and allowing Ezeh(+0.5) to shoot into the backfield, forcing Tolzien to chuck it. (Pressure +1) Graham was, of course, coming hell for leather from the backside. Whatever hell for leather means.|
|M15||3||10||Shotgun 4-wide||4-3 under||Pass||Fade||Warren||15|
|Warren(-1) has great position but doesn't get his head around and ends up allowing Toon to make a spectacular catch; Warren also gets flagged for PI. I've made my opinion on PI known. No cover +/-.|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 17-28, 10 min 3rd Q. Aaaaaaaaaaargh|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|O34||1||10||Ace||4-4 under||Pass||Deep out||--||25 (Pen -10)|
|Tolzien has a zillion years (pressure -1) as Wisconsin max protects and Graham is getting a breather. He eventually finds a receiver wide open (cover -1); can't blame the secondary too much because of the protection but maybe a little bit. One reason for the time: Roh(+1) is getting held by the LT like whoah. It comes back, not that it will matter.|
|O24||1||20||I-Form Big||4-4 under||Run||Power O||Ezeh||33|
|Nine frigging guys in the box and this still happens. Jesus. Heininger(-1) gets crushed inside and pancaked by the down-block. Kovacs(-2) totally misreads the play and actually tries to tackle the TE, and Ezeh(-2) hits inside of the Kovacs mess, leaving no one in the secondary. I can't believe he hasn't gotten pulled yet.|
|M43||1||10||I-Form Big||4-4 under||Run||Power O||Ezeh||6|
|Ezeh does a good job of banging into the lead blockers right at the LOS, cutting off the hole, but then inexplicably starts spinning, which allows an OL to start driving him downfield. Brown(-1) then eats a block passively, allowing Clay to lurch forward.|
|M37||2||4||Ace Big||4-4 under||Pass||Waggle cross||Floyd||13|
|Floyd(-1) in man on the outside WR and is nowhere near the route; no pressure(-1) on the edge. (Cover -1)|
|M24||1||10||I-Form||4-4 under||Run||Power O||Mouton||4|
|Mouton(+0.5) does a good job of getting into a lead blocker behind the LOS, forcing Clay behind him; he trips over his OL. Graham(-0.5) had gotten caught by the snap count and blown off the line, ceding the room that Graham uses to pick up the yardage he gets.|
|M20||2||6||I-Form Big||4-4 under||Run||Naked boot||Kovacs||1|
|Odd. Fortunate, too, as Graham had torn into the backfield and would have tackled this for a four yard loss. Instead Tolzien takes it himself and gets on the edge one-on-one with Kovacs(+1, tackling +1), who forms up and takes him down.|
|M19||3||5||Ace||4-4 under||Pass||TE Hitch||--||12|
|Brown(pressure +1) gets a free run at Tolzien on a blitz but Tolzien impressively stands in an nails a tight end (cover -1) in between like four guys. At this point, I am swearing like a sailor. ARGH|
|M7||1||G||I-Form Big||4-4 under||Run||Power O||Graham||0|
|Graham(+1) is just a beast, tearing through the backside(!!!) tackle and pancaking him(!!!) en route to the tailback, who runs into Graham's side and slows, allowing Roh(+0.5) and Ezeh(+0.5) to converge and tackle for no gain.|
|M7||2||G||Ace Twins||4-3 under||Pass||TE flat||--||7|
|Wisconsin basically blocks Kovacs(cover -1), who's got coverage on the flat, and gets away with an obvious offensive PI. Touchdown. Anger.|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 24-35, 2 min 3rd Q.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|O40||1||10||I-Form Big||4-4 under||Run||Power O||Martin||7|
|Actually well defended at the POA with linebackers rushing to the FB and taking out the hole right there but Martin(-1) attempted to come inside of the center and got sealed out of the play, opening a cutback lane.|
|O47||2||3||I-Form Big||4-4 under||Run||Power O||Mouton||3|
|To the other side of the line. Kovacs is rolled up so this is a true nine-man front. He takes out a lead blocker, allowing Mouton(+0.5) to scrape to the hole and meet Clay there; Clay pops through a tackle somewhat and manages to fall forward for the first down.|
|50||1||10||I-Form Big||4-4 under||Run||Power O||Mouton||13|
|Mouton(-2) gets lost in the middle of the field and there is no one to take on the tailback after Ezeh gets outside of the lead blocker. He's supposed to be there, unblocked, on this play and he's not, so it's a huge run.|
|M37||1||10||I-Form Big||4-4 under||Run||Power O||Mouton||3|
|Mouton(-1) manages to get it right this time and shows up in the hole but misses the tackle(-1) and allows the RB to fall forward; Roh(+0.5) had peeled off to help.|
|M34||2||7||Ace||4-4 under||Run||Counter pitch||Brown||16|
|Roh(-1) gets crushed inside and Brown(-2) gives up the corner, then gets escorted almost 20 yards downfield by a pulling UW OL.|
|M18||1||10||Ace Twins||4-4 under||Run||Power O?||Smith||-2|
|Maybe? I think the center is pulling but he gets delayed because Graham(+0.5) blew into him, allowing a blitzing Smith(+1) a free run at the tailback, which he uses to tackle.|
|M20||2||12||Ace Twins||4-4 under||Pass||Waggle flat||Ezeh||6|
|I can't help but notice both Mouton and Ezeh are two feet from each other as the rollout begins, which opens up the little flat route as Ezeh(-1) slowly chases. Quick fill from Brown(+1, tackling +1) ends up as a solid tackle to keep the gain down.|
|M14||3||6||Ace Twins||4-3 under||Run||Down G||Mouton||14|
|Both the C and the playside G pull around to the short side as UW overloads the wide side and there's no one except Roh and a couple of quasi- or actual defensive backs over there. Roh(-1) gets crushed back, and Mouton(-2) overruns the play, giving the RB a crease between Roh and Warren when if he had just taken the inside gap this is little or no gain.|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 24-42, 12 min 4th Q. Wisconsin gets the ball back up three scores with nine minutes left and chokes out the rest of the game. Charting ceases.|
Let's just get to the chart.
Before we get to this, I should say that I might have lost my mind at some point in the third quarter and started shooting out minuses to particularly incensing players on particularly incensing plays and some of the numbers may be exaggerated. It's tough to say that given the end result of the game, but I kept attempting to check my desire to throw out huge negative numbers; some rage probably slipped through into the numbers.
But, yes, chart.
|Graham||13.5||1.5||12||Poor pressure metric should slightly degrade your opinion here, though he did get two sacks and forced a defensive TD.|
|Heininger||2||2||0||One impressive play, a couple not so impressive ones.|
|Roh||4||6||-2||Wisconsin was always going to be the team to own him.|
|Martin||12.5||2||10.5||Huge day, especially early.|
|Van Bergen||1||1||0||Not a major factor.|
|Banks||1||-||-||One nice play for naught.|
|Campbell||1||-||-||Batted a pass.|
|TOTAL||35||12.5||22.5||21 tackles from the big two… you should have a great day against the run with that contribution.|
|Ezeh||1||11||-10||I can't believe he didn't get pulled.|
|Mouton||6.5||11||-4.5||Jonas Mouton: big positive, bigger negative.|
|Brown||4||6||-2||Gave up the edge a few times.|
|Warren||-||2||-2||Had no work, basically.|
|Smith||3.5||7||-3.5||This should actually be filed under LB, maybe.|
|Woolfolk||-||1||-1||Also mostly a non-factor|
|Kovacs||4||4||0||Did pretty okay. No idea why they moved him to deep safety; he's pretty effective in the box.|
|TOTAL||7.5||15||-7.5||Not much to do.|
|Coverage||7||19||-12||Ratio is awful.|
|Tackling||6||4||2||Still need to definite this more precisely.|
|RPS||3||0||3||Small number because UW just did the same thing over and over.|
[A reminder: RPS is "rock, paper, scissors." Michigan gets a + when they call a play that makes it very easy for them to defend the opponent, like getting a free blitzer. They get a – when they call a play that makes it very difficult for them to defend the opponent, like showing a seven-man blitz and having Penn State get easy touchdowns twice.]
If I'd charted Wisconsin's last grinding drive that ended in a field goal and game over, man, the numbers here would have been even worse but general policy is not to chart stuff after the game is effectively over, and down three scores when the other guy has the ball with nine minutes left is over.
You rage, contrary to the above statement, seems particularly well-focused.
Yes. Most of the poor performances on the chart that can be explained by size or youth or confusion or all three. Roh was always going to get pwned by beef machine OL 100 pounds bigger than him. Brown is basically a safety playing LB. And poor Brandon Smith is a redshirt freshman with no playing experience who has flipped positions twice this year.
What positions can't be explained by talent or youth or whatever… well, you know the story: Mouton and Ezeh. Wisconsin's passing game was almost exclusively zingers over the middle to incredibly open receivers 20 or even 30 yards downfield. On every damn one both MLBs were vastly out of position and the throws were easy. The pair was also very poor in run support: Graham and Martin combined for 21 tackles. They combined for eight!
These are returning starters and redshirt juniors. They have gotten so much worse this year, and it's obvious to everyone from Bret Bielema to stupid bloggers with charts. There is not quite enough data to outright support the ouster of a coach but I find it hard to believe that Jay Hopson could be any good. Maybe he just got stuck with mugs, but Jesus these guys can't even scrape to the right hole when Wisconsin is literally running the same play to different sides of the line four times in a row. Is this a defensive scheme change? I don't think so. Run to the damn hole.
The only possible mitigating factor is that maybe I'm not perceiving some errors by the defensive line that make it really difficult for guys to play linebacker. If one of the coaches who hangs around these parts thinks this is the case, please let me know and I'll post something about it. But I don't think that is.
Q: where were Leach and Fitzgerald? They busted a couple times against Purdue but good lord at some point I think you have to put them in just in case they do better. I thought they were okay.
Is Brandon Smith better than Mike Williams?
No. His contributions were on a couple of unblocked blitzes; he was very hesitant in the run game and often got blocked into the next county. He looked like a freshman in his first game in a new system, which he is. He's still got a lot of time to get better, but having Williams on the field was a necessary evil.
Is there anything we can take out of this for next year?
Well, Mike Martin probably turned in the best game of his career. He was in the backfield a ton, picking up a sack and a couple other TFLs amongst double-digit tackles, and nearly matched Graham's typically Graham-like performance. It's just one game and Martin fell off after a gangbusters first quarter, so it's possible that Wisconsin was just not prepared for his quickness, but if he can do something half (maybe two-thirds) as good against Ohio State that will be a step towards Martin turning into the death beast everyone thinks he can be and Michigan will need with Graham off to terrorize people in the NFL.
The rest? Bupkis.
Graham and Martin.
MLBs. See above.
What does this mean for Ohio State and next year?
See above about Martin. For Ohio State: doom.
A silly MGoBlog tradition.
Sisyphus in pads
thunders through endless legions
third and long again
aw, hell, you're all right
sorry about that dong joke
after the Horror
Worst luck at QB
in Michigan history
I guess that's life, man
The faint annoyance
was the right way to handle
Freep jihad PC
too bad you never
played next to Rocko:
"Moos and squirrel"
We will always have
That Indiana game in
Two thousand and four
In this instance, I must defer:
RAGE! RAGE RAGE RAGE RAGE!
RAGE, JUKE, RAGE! RAGE! RAGE! RAGE! RAGE!
My everything hurts.
If you didn't fall
when winter breathes on your foot
you'd be a ninja
No offense, good sir
But I think I'd rather have
had DeSean Jackson
spring's blossoms were grim
but fall had competency
extra point: dang, man
the high arc of time
will record you as greatest
human(?) ever born
Punt block, Feagin thing
Plus Cone nailed you on two seams
A career in sum
I did this before:
su. Your name is long.
bomb-dropping fourth string QB
the coner, always
- Brandon Minor is doubtful for Saturday. His ankle is healed, but now the shoulder is a problem. He didn't practice at all yesterday, and they're hoping he can do a little today.
- Martavious Odoms should be healthy enough to play on Saturday.
- Carlos Brown should be full-go.
- Last week's Tate/Denard issue was overplayed. Tate and Rodriguez never "argued," but the coach was giving a coachly lecture. The two QBs split snaps with the first team last week (contrary to rumors), and Tate will likely start this week, though both will play.
- Carlos Brown, Mike Shaw, and Vincent Smith are considered co-starters for Saturday at this point. Kevin Grady will get some carries as well.
- Woolfolk is at corner because there were concerns with that position. Brown's position is almost like a nickel safety, rather than a linebacker, so that's a natural fit for him.
- Brandon Smith and Mike Williams are competing in practice this week for the starting safety spot.
- Obi Ezeh and Kevin Leach are still competing for the starting linebacker spot.
- Brandon Graham and MIke Martin are the only defensive players who graded out high in the Wisconsin game.
- The season's permanent captains have been decided, but they won't be announced until tomorrow afternoon - even to the players.
- If you can't get fired up to practice and play this week, something is wrong with you. The players still need to focus that energy towards improving to win the game, not worrying about the implications of the game.
- Rodriguez has not talked to Terrelle Pryor. Still, he's a talented player, and it will be tough to simulate him in practice.
- They'll run more more 1st team v. 1st team this week, in order to practice against the best in preparation for OSU.
- The CARA reporting issue was taken care of as soon as Rodriguez found out about it. He can't say anything else about it, however, as the NCAA investigation is ongoing.
- The team had higher goals this season than scraping into a bowl game, so regardless of the outcome on Saturday, the season will be a disappointment. However, it's not discouraging for the program, and the groundwork has been laid for future success.
- Taking the ball off the coin toss against Wisconsin was one of the few times Rich has ever done it. He wanted to get on the scoreboard early, and Wisconsin's students still hadn't made it into the stadium, so he thought it would give them an advantage.
On UFR. Yes, it's coming, but not today. I'm trudging through it as fast as Henri will let me, and plan to get both up tomorrow.
This. This is the greatest thing in the history of creation.
Via the WLA. Of course.
Hype video. You might have noticed that this space is not very hyped about the football game on Saturday what with all the depressed otters hanging out around these parts. But still, hype video exists:
Not a Paul hype video, FTR. Would have more Explosions in the Sky or whatever that pretentious indie band is. [/hypocrisy]
Hey now. Many points to Rittenberg for having the same reaction Rich Rodriguez did when he was asked the same stupid question about "getting the rivalry" for the 100th time:
"Just because I did not coach here before, I did not play here, I'm not from the state of Michigan, doesn't mean I don't understand the rivalry," Rodriguez said. "I understand it as well as any coach can understand it. I've only [coached] in it in one game. Trust me, I understand the importance of the rivalry."
The fact that Rodriguez has to keep defending himself on this issue is ridiculous…
…and it perpetuates the argument that Michigan will always be skeptical of anyone outside the fraternity.
Wait, what? Doesn't it perpetuate the argument that press conferences are useless things and many reporters have never had an original thought in their lives? I don't see how a meme propagating itself across a group of people that basically asks the same dumb stuff every week/year reflects on anything except newspapers.
I mean, in the same press conference someone asked Rich Rodriguez if he thought there was something to the idea he didn't "fit" at Michigan. Rodriguez spluttered out similarly incredulous answer that did everything except directly call the questioner a dip.
Irrelevant but must happen. The Silverdome just got sold to some Canadians who want to renovate the thing to turn it into a soccer stadium for use by an MLS team. This will never work. The Silverdome was too big for an NFL team. Soccer-specific stadiums in this country seat about a quarter of the dome's capacity. And the MLS commissioner just shot down the idea.
HOWEVA, I feel compelled to bring up the greatest idea I've ever had: if and when Detroit gets an MLS team, it should be called "Detroit City" and the crest should have a big rock in the middle. They can call the team "the Rock" and it can be sponsored by Prudential. This must happen.
Is this a shark? I haven't read Malcolm Gladwell's latest book or the slam job the New York Times executed it, but I find Gladwell's counterargument disappointingly shallow:
In one of my essays, I wrote that the position a quarterback is taken in the college draft is not a reliable indicator of his performance as a professional. That was based on the work of the academic economists David Berri and Rob Simmons, who, in a paper published the Journal of Productivity Analysis, analyze forty years of National Football League data. … I found this analysis fascinating. Pinker did not. This quarterback argument, he wrote, “is simply not true.”
I wondered about the basis of Pinker’s conclusion, so I e-mailed him … He had three sources, he said. The first was Steve Sailer. Sailer, for the uninitiated, is a California blogger with a marketing background who is best known for his belief that black people are intellectually inferior to white people. … Pinker’s second source was a blog post, based on four years of data, written by someone who runs a pre-employment testing company, who also failed to appreciate—as far as I can tell (the key part of the blog post is only a paragraph long)—the distinction between aggregate and per-play performance. Pinker’s third source was an article in the Columbia Journalism Review, prompted by my essay, that made an argument partly based on a link to a blog called “Niners Nation."
Spot the fallacy: ad hominem. Berri and Simmons may be "academic economists" but they're also the people who wrote a whole damn book attempting to justify Dennis Rodman as one of the greatest players of all time and basically fudged their way to an arbitrary metric or two that the basketball statistics community very politely ripped to shreds. I'm inherently skeptical of their work since Wages of Wins was those guys applying a lot of advanced statistics to reach an obviously dumb conclusion. (Presenting: a very complicated mathy explosion of the idea that Rodman was particularly valuable.) If there was going to be a brilliantly written fisk blog dedicated to tearing statistical zealots a new orifice it would be called "Fire David Berri."
So… yeah. Just because two guys have a lot of complicated metrics that say one thing doesn't mean much to me when they've got the track record they do.
Don't re-write history plz. This site's had a love-hate relationship with Jay Bilas ever since Tommy Amaker started flailing about towards the end of his tenure at Michigan. Bilas is one of the best color guys in college basketball, a genuinely smart guy who adds a lot of value to the games he broadcasts. He was also totally insane about Michigan's supposed lack of support for Amaker, and when Manny Harris made a basketball move that no one on the opposing team said was dirty, he went off on him. Why? I don't know. It sounds like Bilas doesn't even know:
There are times in dealing with coaches and players you have a relationship with and dealing with comments you get off the record. That's where you hope your best judgment comes in. I worked with Manny Harris of Michigan two summers ago. I have not worked with or been around a better kid. Last year, he was involved in an elbowing incident and I was pretty hard on him. I could have sat there and said, 'Great kid, let's dismiss it,' but I didn't. I said what I thought and I had a lot of critical comments from Michigan fans. But I didn't know any other way to handle it. I worked with Manny again this summer and we joked about it. Adults don't handle that situation better than he handled it. I wish I had the poise that kid has.
Bilas got a lot of critical comments from Michigan fans—including in this space—because he absolutely deserved every last one for misrepresenting his play, especially given his reaction to a far more flagrantly unsportsmanlike act committed by his alma mater:
Bilas on his relationship with Duke:
"If I criticize Duke when I think it's warranted, I don't particular care whether they like it or not. As long as I am confident in what I say and the judgment I made, I will stick up for what I say. If I am wrong, I will say I'm wrong, and I am wrong on occasion."
That's… well… tough to defend. Bilas was wrong about Manny Harris…
"I respect his right to protect his kid and stand up for him, and I respect that, but that doesn't mean I have to buy it. I don't buy it. I saw (the play) 100 times. That's not a basketball play. That's not the way the game is played. How many games are played every day, high school, college or pro, and players execute rip-through moves, and how many noses are broken?"
…and has yet to say so.
Etc.: I think I had beef with "Cold Hard Football Facts" at some point in the past—maybe they repeated the Brady-didn't-start myth?—but their breakdown of the disparate reactions to the Belichick forth-and-two between the mainstream media and the blogosphere is awesome. Well known national sportswriters actually think "fourth and jackass" is funny and on point. From the MB: every OSU torrent in the universe that you'd want to download. Smart Football has thoughts on people's thinking about Belichick.
Out of Town Guests
Wow, this would be an awesome recruiting weekend if it weren't for a game in which Michigan is likely going to get taken to the woodshed (plz don't, guys). Looking at past recruiting updates, we have the following list:
- FL CB Tony Grimes
- FL DE Clarence Murphy
- CA LB Tony Jefferson (pictured at right, courtesy of the Detroit News).
- PA CB Cullen Christian
- FL RB Cassius McDowell
- FL S Rashad Knight (leaving for Ann Arbor at 6:45 AM Saturday)
- FL S Commit Marvin Robinson
- 2009 FL CB Adrian Witty
- MI CB Dior Mathis
Jefferson came in for the Sam Webb treatment in the Detroit News last week:
"They said they are in need of a player like me," Jefferson said in April after he received his Michigan offer. "They said I could play early at whatever position they think I could play -- outside linebacker, safety, or even offense. They liked my (physicality). That's what Michigan recruits."
He's a 4-star to both sites. MGo-Recruiting Guru Tom Van Haaren adds that Jefferson will not be the only California prospect in attendance. CA WR Kenny Stills will be in town along with CA Ath (and USC Commit) Dillon Baxter. Tom talked to Baxter yesterday. CA RB Brennan Clay, an Oklahoma commit and high school teammate of Tate Forcier, might also make it in. Or not.
SoFlaFootball says FL DT Richard Ash will visit for the Ohio State game as well. Ash comes from the familiar Pahokee pipeline, so Michigan might have a good chance to land him.
Add to that TX DT Jatashun "Big Tex" Beachum.
FL WR Kenny Shaw will be in the house as well. Remember, he's a former teammate of Ricardo Miller and current teammate of 2011 FL RB (and heavy Michigan lean) Demetrius Hart. Speaking of whom...
Expect a bunch of juniors as well, including Hart. Demetrius may be in the "good visit = commitment" category. 2011 OH S Ron Tanner will also be in attendance ($, info in header).
As previously discussed, GA teammates DT Michael Thornton and LB Tyrone Cornelius will take a fall visit. I wouldn't be surprised if it's for this game, though that's certainly not confirmed.
Added OH S Ray Vinopal, who has received a Michigan offer. Vinopal had been on the radar much, much earlier in the process, but it didn't seem like he'd ever receive an offer. With that offer in hand, expect a winter visit from him. Here's his highlight video, courtesy of ScoutingOhio:
I honestly don't intend to reinforce racial stereotypes, but just from the highlight film, he looks like a guy who is always in position because he plays smart, not because he has elite speed. Vinopal also looks to be a big hitter. Cardinal Mooney is a traditionally strong program, and it couldn't hurt Michigan to have an in there.
For those concerned about his low recruiting profile, it appears that Vinopal's strong senior year is drawing interest from Notre Dame, Pitt, and a number of other local BCS programs. If a couple of those inquiries are followed up with offers, it'll be clear he's a Lewan sort of late bloomer, not a reach.
Cullen Near the End
PA CB Cullen Christian, as noted above, is visiting Ann Arbor this weekend. He had also planned to visit Ohio State last weekend, but that apparently didn't happen. The Buckeyes were one of the prime challengers for his commitment, so not visiting the Buckeyes can only hurt them. He still plans to decide on November 24th, so as long as his Michigan visit doesn't go poorly, he could be the next addition to the 2010 recruiting class.
Christian has made several unofficial visits to Ann Arbor, most recently in June. He is comfortable with what the program has to offer, but wants to spend a few days around the players, coaches and students before rendering his decision.
"I want to get everyone's opinion about Michigan before I make a choice,” Christian said.
Definitely sounds like his mind is all but made up. Michigan has been eliminated from contention for his teammate, S/WR Brandon Ifill, so don't expect a package deal.
VA LB Aramide Olaniyan, who had previously named Michigan near the top of his list, has committed to UCLA. He visited the Bruins a week ago, whereafter he named them his favorite. I'd accept a trade of Olaniyan for Jefferson (a UCLA commit), if it's possible. Olaniyan's off the board.
CA CB Joshua Shaw, who I removed in the last update, picked Florida yesterday.
Permanently removed TX DT Jay Guy, who has switched his soft Cal commitment to a hard Nebraska one.
Spurned commit Holmes Onwukaife may be back in the picture for the Wolverines. Michigan and VT are the leaders for MD LB Josh Furman ($, info in header). MI QB Commit Devin Gardner isn't wavering, which is good because he does things like this. 2011 DL Donte Phillips was "wowed" by his Michigan visit a couple weeks ago ($, info in header). OH TE Alex Smith has parted ways with Cincinnati. He'll make a final decision within a couple weeks.
Probably, but unconfirmed.
So Rodriguez was asked about the audit stuff that came out yesterday on Columbus radio and was explicit about his inability to go into it much:
"The only thing, because the investigation is still under process, the NCAA won't let us comment about it other than the fact that the practice-log process, that thing was corrected as soon as I learned of the issue," Rodriguez told hosts Bruce Hooley and Chris Spielman. "As soon as this whole thing is over, I'll be happy to discuss all the other details."
Rodriguez wasn’t asked and did not specify when he corrected the problem.
This goes to the heart of the matter: was this a minor administrative issue quickly corrected when the papers went from one desk to another, or is this a major, embarrassing documentation gap? Yesterday I speculated that these forms probably didn't exist, otherwise someone would bring it up to turn this mountain-type object into a molehill. The Rodriguez appearance makes it clear that the reticence to go into detail not a smokescreen but widespread caution.
And then there's this: a contact close to the team has told me that the 2008 forms do exist, were found shortly after the audit, and have been turned in to the university and NCAA. I'm trying to confirm that with the AD itself, but I'm betting they won't say anything official about it. If that's the case, this is a minor administrative goof and not a potentially damaging development worthy of Free Press quotes like…
“The enforcement staff is going to be looking at whether the institution failed to monitor,” Buckner said. That could be “a major violation. It’s one step below lack of institutional control.”
…but, hey, that's just someone else making a statement in response to an unpublished, possibly leading question and an objective reporter can't be held responsible for framing that.
A. If that's the case, various Free Press staffers are going to have to explain just how that closet is full of dead hookers.
Before this turns into a huge Ron Burgundy parody, let's just get everything out of the way now: BAXTER! You ate a whole wheel of cheese? San Diaaagooo. It's German for a whale's va....ok, that's enough.
Dillon Baxter is a four star running back prospect from San Diego, CA. Though he's currently a USC commit he will be visiting this week along with CA WR Kenny Stills and CA LB/S Tony Jefferson. Yes, he plays offense. No he doesn't play defense. He's really good, though, and his highlight video is jazzy.
On with the interview.
TOM: This visit kind of popped up out of nowhere; how did it come about, and what piqued your interest in Michigan?
DILLON: Michigan was one of my first places I wanted to look, but I never really got a chance to. I just want to make sure USC was the right place. I have an opportunity to go see it, so I wanted to do it now.
TOM: What made Michigan a place that you liked in the beginning?
DILLON: I like the crowd, and I’ve always liked them since I was little. They were kind of my team growing up, so I’ve just always liked them.
TOM: Have you made any other visits besides USC?
DILLON: USC is really only the main place. I’ve been to UCLA a little bit, but not really for that long.
TOM: You, Tony Jefferson, and Kenny Stills will be on the visit, are you all friends? Are you all friends with Tate?
DILLON: Yeah, we’re all friends; Kenny’s going to spend the night at my house before the flight. We all know Tate (Forcier) from high school, so that should be fun to all be together again.
TOM: Have you guys every thought about all playing together, or talked about it?
DILLON: We talked about playing together all last year, so we’re all kind of looking around to find a cool place. It didn’t work out that we’d all play for USC, so we’re going to see if there’s maybe anywhere else we all like.
TOM: Can this trip change your mind? A lot of people think kids that are committed sometimes take trips just to have fun, is that the case here?
DILLON: No, if this is better than USC then yeah. I’m pretty serious about USC, but who knows. The coaching staff at USC are all hype, and always happy to see you and teach you. I just want to find out how the Michigan coaches are, too.
TOM: What are you most excited for at Michigan?
DILLON: I can’t wait for that game; I’m excited. I don’t really know if I’ve been in front of that many people. I just want to see how the game is, the crowd is, just everything. Coach Dews is who’s recruiting me. We’ve been talking the last couple days. So, I want to build on that relationship more and meet the rest of the coaching staff. The offense is exciting, and I hope I can fit in that offense. I want to stay at running back and slot, so that would be right for their offense.
TOM: If this visit does change your mind, or make you think, when will your ultimate decision be?
DILLON: This is the first week of playoffs for us, so probably once our season is over.
The Great Oregon-Southern Cal Debate lasted all of one week and ended in a highly satisfactory fashion for bloggers who did not automatically look at the Trojan on the helmet and slot them in ahead of a team that had just steamrolled them: the same team that handed Oregon a two-score loss then opened up the proverbial can on USC.
There does remain one blog win versus the mainstream folks: bloggers remember that 1) Penn State's best win is over Northwestern and 2) Iowa's is over Penn State. Yes, at this point the Blogpoll should be part of the BCS. I give up. The only worse idea is the current one.
Rest of it at CBS Sports. Tim's final ballot after the jump.