Tennessee is not recruiting well just because they got 18 dudes
FL CB Tony Grimes and his teammate, FL DE Clarence Murphy, were amongst ten official visitors for the Ohio State game. Tom VanHaaren caught up with Grimes after he got back home and caught him for a brief, encouraging interview.
TOM: How was the trip, was it everything you expected?
TONY: It was my second trip up there, and I already knew I liked Michigan, so it met my expectations. It was pretty cool.
TOM: What was the best part about the game?
TONY: The atmosphere was crazy. Walking out of that tunnel and seeing the fans was pretty cool. None of the other games I've been to have compared to this.
TOM: So this sounds like a really good visit, what made the trip for you? What was so good about it?
TONY: It just felt like home. It really felt like home for me and Clarence. Clarence feels the same way I do about everything. The interaction with the coaches and players was great. There's a couple guys from Florida, so they knew what we were about, and what we were thinking.
TOM: What about seeing the defense in person. Did that give you a good look at how you'd be used?
TONY: Yeah, coach Gibson drew up some plays and schemes for me and Clarence, so we got a real good look at how they would use us.
TOM: Are you still going to be a package deal, and when will you announce your decision?
TONY: We're still a package deal, yes. We're probably going to take a couple more visits, not sure where yet. We're both going to announce on signing day, though.
TOM: One out of ten, how was this trip?
TONY: It was an eleven.
Grimes is a four-star to Scout (#10 CB) and ESPN(#16) and a three-star to Rivals(#36). Murphy is a three star all around.
A University of Michigan football player was arrested this morning after a female student reported he sexually assaulted her.
The man has been questioned and is scheduled to be released shortly as detectives continue to investigate the 2 a.m incident in the 600 block of South State Street, Ann Arbor police Det. Dave Monroe said.
Police would not release the name of the player today.
A tipster has given me the name of this player but I'm not sure if there's some sort of legal thing that would get me pwned if I relate it. The player in question did not see the field this year but is/was expected to start next year. (No, not Justin Turner.)
Update: don't comment about the name.
Update II: I probably should have done this before I put the post up, but I eliminated the comments after they veered off into long discussions about false accusations that got ugly and political.
A quick tour around heartfelt pre-OSU posts in the Wolverine blogosphere before they all expire:
Like many things in life that end broken, this started with good intentions all around.
Rich Rodriguez watched from the sidelines while Michigan avenged Carr and desecrated the Tebow Temple. Chad Henne dropped redemption from the sky into the waiting hands of Adrian Arrington and Mario Manningham. Mike Hart fumbled and laughed and Michigan were The Victors.
I dreamed of spread offenses and 70 point thrashings, a wild new Michigan built for the Mayan Apocalypse, slaughtering the Big Ten with lightning from the Yost Ages, standing atop the Big Ten as the world ended.
It was spitting down rain all morning, and it only picked up for gametime. I took one last lap around the stadium I'd always known.
If there was any justice in the world, they'd have won last year, so I didn't have high expectations. Not with Mike Hart hobbled and Chad Henne barely able to lift his arm and guys not named David Harris at linebacker. And so we yelled and screamed and Beanie Wells had 172 carries and Mario Manningham dropped 18 passes or something and Ohio State won an excruciating 14-3 game.
It wasn’t until 2004, my freshman year, that I really paid close attention to the Michigan football team (i.e., emotional investment). Before every game that season, I signed on to AIM and left an away message up: “Chad Henne, lead us to victory.” And though it worked a few times that year, it never did for the one that counted.
And for the last five years of my life, the week before Thanksgiving has been one of cautious anxiety. 2006 was devastating.
These are family values: wagons circled, debris, numb to the great outrage, taped ankles and a fuck you if you're not with us; look me in the eye and know that eventually this will all pass. They'll remember this day when they're old and sit on dusty sofas dozing in and out of consciousness. You lost a lot but not your dignity. And you realize that it wasn't just about winning but about patience and faith that it would get better.
|WHAT||Michigan vs #10 Ohio State|
|WHERE||Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI|
November 21st, 2009
|THE LINE||Ohio State –12*|
|TELEVISION||Nationwide on ABC|
|WEATHER||About 50, mostly sunny|
Run Offense vs. Ohio State
Michigan's faced four good or better rushing defenses this year and the overall trend is not great:
Iowa's the worst in that bunch at #43. Michigan's incredibly hot start has fallen off with injuries of varying severity to Molk, Brown, Shaw, Dorrestein, and Minor; the worst two of those will play a major factor Saturday as Molk and Minor will watch from the bench.
Ohio State, meanwhile, has crushed all comers. They are #4 in rushing defense, though it should be noted that there aren't a whole lot of great rushing offenses in the league. Wisconsin had the closest thing to a good day, averaging 4.1 yards per carry on 38 attempts, but from the stats the bread-and-butter wasn't working particularly well: John Clay eked out 59 yards on 20 carries. Wisconsin got up to 4.1 with peripheral contributions from Tolzien scrambles and a number of successful carries from David Gilreath. Also Wisconsin's rushing offense is nothing like Michigan's. The closest analogue on Ohio State's schedule is Illinois, which managed to grind out 3.6 YPC excluding sacks.
Ohio State is probably going to make the same bet Wisconsin did by trusting their defensive line to beat the Michigan offensive line, which will allow them to put six guys in the box, take away the bubble, and still keep two deep safeties. If Michigan's going to move the ball at all they'll have to get the creases they couldn't against Wisconsin or break out some new-fangled stuff that gets Ohio State moving away from the ball. And it might be tiny, zippy Vincent Smith leading the way. Carlos Brown might be more likely to break a long one, but I think I'd rather have the guy who can turn –4 yards into 4 against a defense that's not likely to let a big one break. So… true freshman n00b against #4 rushing defense in the country.
Key Matchup: Fancy Schemes vs Fundamental Stuff. Michigan's line is going to get overrun; it'll take a major tactical victory—one that may not even be possible given the personnel—to get a bunch of yards.
Pass Offense vs. Ohio State
Michigan's taken some steps forward the past two weeks as Tate Forcier has performed well against decent-to-good defenses:
His efficiency rating the past two weeks would be top 15 nationally extrapolated over the entire season, which is something you absolutely can't do but hey it's fun to pretend you can. Stat magic or no, those numbers and those performances represent a significant improvement over an eh Illinois game and poor outings versus Iowa and Penn State. Maybe those were injury-induced? More likely they were freshman-induced; Forcier noted in a press conference that the proverbial slow down occurred somewhere in the Illinois game and since then he's shown it.
Michigan still has issues elsewhere: they have no real deep threat, though they did pop a couple guys open against Wisconsin and had some success bombing it late against Illinois, and can't pass protect worth a damn. Against Wisconsin Michigan resorted to a ton of max-protect schemes where the line would slide one way and tailbacks would pick up DEs/blitzers to one side; this worked but limited Forcier's options significantly. A repeat performance is in order against a ravenous Ohio State defense; when Michigan attempts to hit it deep there will be seven guys blocking.
For Ohio State's part, they've also obliterated opposing pass offenses except against Purdue, where Joey Elliot was 31 of 50 for 280 yards. Can Michigan imitate Purdue's quick-strike dinky attack? Actually… yeah, maybe. Forcier's an accurate short passer who can throw on the run and Roy Roundtree has emerged into a serious option in the middle of the field since Martavious Odoms came down with a knee injury. Greg Mathews is reliable, Hemingway is a good leaper, and when Koger isn't dropping easy passes he's making spectacular ones. With Ohio State struggling a tiny bit in short zones and man-to-man with their nickelback, Michigan might be able to move the ball from time to time by having Forcier zip it around the field. Someone or something will blow up consistently enough for this to be a sputtering sort of game plan, but Michigan's probably got to start here, attempting to pass to set up the run.
Key Matchup: Forcier versus Not Getting Nervous. Big game for the kid here; he's made significant strides the past two weeks and if he can put together a good game against this defense as a true freshman there will be something to get excited about going into 2010.
Run Defense vs Ohio State
Let's repurpose a table from last week that purported to show Michigan was decent against traditional running attacks:
[Note: QB/WR runs excised for tighter focus on 'rock' style running.]
John Clay went for 156 yards at 5.8 a pop; so much for that. The reason Michigan was pretty decent against the above three teams except when tackles were been missed or overrun was that they are not good at rushing; Wisconsin is. Ohio State's rushing offense is close to Wisconsin's statistically without the benefit of playing Michigan (yet), and it's coming on of late:
Michigan, meanwhile… well, you know. The defensive line is playing valiantly but one side of it is desperately undersized and the linebacker support is almost nonexistent. It's a really bad rushing defense, and chances are Ohio State may have noticed this. Expect them to pound and pound and pound until they crack through.
The edges will be under threat. Last week Wisconsin lined up in big sets that had Brandon Graham tucked inside tight ends and then attacked the outside time and again, exploiting Roh's youth, Brown's lack of size, and Smith's total uncertainty. With Terrelle Pryor and little in the way of pounding backs, Ohio State's best attacks will be to the outside; given the success of Juice Williams on simple veer plays that Michigan hasn't shown any ability to defend in two years Pryor figures to get his share of opportunities to run past linebackers nowhere near the, you know, ball.
Something similar to the Wisconsin game is in store: a number of good plays turned in by the defensive line followed up by crushing linebacker/safety errors that throw it all away.
Key Matchup: Linebackers showing up in the right hole/maintaining the correct option responsibility. Hey, it could happen.
Pass Defense vs Ohio State
Last week's prediction of doom over the middle may have gotten the main target wrong by picking Garrett Graham instead of Everyone, but it was on-point as far as the doom bit goes. Michigan can't cover anyone over the middle of the field, and when they go to man the safeties can't cover anyone anywhere.
But Michigan is going up against Jim Tressel, a guy who packed up shop after getting a two-score lead and threw the ball twice in the second half of the 2007 game. And his quarterback is erratic Terrelle Pryor, and almost the only way Ohio State can lose the game is by ending up –2 or worse in turnover margin, and really if I was him I'd just avoid anything remotely dangerous until you feel threatened, which probably doesn't ever actually occur. Terrelle Pryor's line from the Illinois game might be illuminating: 8 of 13 for 82 yards. Also, Ohio State never, ever throws to the tight end. So… yeah, Michigan might do okay here if the corners stick to the receivers and Pryor isn't permitted much time. They might also give up two 60-yard touchdowns, but first they'll have to make Ohio State throw.
When they do throw there's a fair chance that Brandon Graham makes Pryor eat turf. Though Ohio State is above average in sacks allowed that's because they've only thrown 261 times. Chances are that Pryor just runs up a gaping hole in the middle of the field, but, hey, you know. Whatever helps.
For his part, Pryor has been frustrating and inconsistent all year. He's 57th in passer efficiency—behind true freshman Forcier—and alternates NFL ropes with arm-punts. If—when—Michigan leaves guys wide open because they're freaking out about play action he can hit guys up, but every time he drops back to throw there's a chance of disaster. Actually… that goes for both teams.
Key Matchup: Making This Exist versus Not Making It Exist.
Ohio State's punt returns are average. The kick returns, though infrequent, have been pretty decent thanks in large part to a kick return touchdown in Ohio State's bizarre win over Wisconsin (note: after UFRing the UW game—offense is coming like Sunday or something—I think Wisconsin is obviously the best team in the league this year but for Tolzien's tendency towards interceptions). Punting is meh, and the starting kicker is out so we don't really know anything about the kicking game.
Michigan, again, should have a solid edge here, but as we've seen that's just not enough to overcome shortcomings elsewhere.
Key Matchup: CATCH THE DAMN BALL.
Abuse your kids' future psyches for Michigan == fame.
- The offensive line is as overrun as it appears they'll be.
- Michigan starts a freshman walk-on against Ohio State…
- …and he's not the most overmatched defender on the field.
Cackle with knowing glee if...
- Pryor is arrested for BEING IN A BAR before he is 21.
- Fairies drop from the sky and turn the Ohio State defensive line into eggplants.
- I'm banking on the fairies.
Fear/Paranoia Level: 10 out of 10. (Baseline 5, +1 for We Won't Run, +1 for We Won't Pass, +1 for They Won't Pass… +1 for Because They Won't Have To, +1 for ).
Desperate need to win level: 10 out of 10. (Baseline 5, +5 for Duh.)
Loss will cause me to... well, it will be over.
Win will cause me to... rush the field, probably. For real.
The strictures and conventions of sportswriting compel me to predict:
Thematically, this reminds me of the 2007 game a lot. In that one, Ohio State was not particularly confident in their quarterback but was in their defense, especially with Chad Henne's shoulder not containing his arm and the offensive line's failure to exist. So they just ran and ran and ran and eventually Wells broke a big one and that was it.
Michigan's better on offense than that team was if only because their quarterback is functional but they're way, way worse on defense. There should be more scoring but the final result will be the same: a game that Michigan is vaguely in for a half before a couple things break down, at which point they trail by two scores until time runs out.
Finally, opportunities for me to look stupid Sunday:
- Smith is the primary ballcarrier and ekes out 80 yards.
- Graham is sackless because Pryor throws like 15 times.
- I have lots of fun listening to the people around me.
- Ohio State, 30-14
I was standing in front of a big group of people in a bar in midtown New York City, and I knew that the year before I had wandered in in a suit and told them that this would be an off year for Michigan football because the quarterbacks were probably bad and the offensive line probably worse. That sounds right from 10,000 feet, but I'd splashed an Alamo Bowl logo up at the end of the presentation when I should have put up a map of Tajikistan underneath the title MOVE HERE IMMEDIATELY.
So I had a slide at the beginning that noted some of the things I'd been very wrong about the year before, and I noted my errors, asked for forgiveness, suggested that football was a crazy game, and promised them less than I'd promised the year before but more than they'd gotten. That seemed to go okay.
Around here, I asked Paul to splice together a bunch of highlights and set it to a song that seemed particularly apropos and posted it on the eve of the season. To call it hopeful sells it short. A bunch of good plays strung together that ignores last year's woe is hopeful. One that acknowledges them and then flashes to color when the good stuff kicks in is closer to an explicit promise.
It's not a surprise that as the season has dragged along, the team an increasingly unrecognizable piece of roadkill grinding away the remnants of a jaw along the highway of the Big Ten, that more than the occasional comment or email references "Sometimes When You're On" as a source of gallows humor. Sometimes there's no humor and the emailer is just lamenting the hope that has transubstantiated into misery. That's considerably worse.
Kennedy is dead and I'm sitting here telling anyone who will ask "things are going to be all right" and now, finally, it's not working. And deservedly so.
In 2002, I was in Ireland for the summer. I'd graduated from undergrad and had a chunk of money saved up from summers spent interning at engineering firms and my girlfriend of over a year had broken up with me in slow motion and I thought I'd have an adventure. I planned on working. A friend of mine had spent a chunk of time in Ireland working IT when jobs were available for anyone with working knowledge of a screwdriver, but the Celtic Tiger had imploded dramatically with the rest of the tech world in 2001 and I was reduced to wandering around wondering why the hell I needed a resume to pick plates up and put them other places. Surely there was some sort of spatial reasoning test that could be done on the fly.
So I didn't work. I rented a room in a Galway house shared by a bunch of marine biology students—when The Abyss was on TV, the rig-envy was palpable—and screwed around. One of the things I did was watch every game of the World Cup, because why the hell not? Ireland was in it after a famous upset of Holland, not that I knew about this, or how infrequent Irish World Cup appearances are, at the time. I got up at eight in the morning—impressive to me, at least—to watch them tie Cameroon in their first match.
The second match day was a huge, nerve-wracking one with the US taking on Portugal and Ireland staring down the Germans and freaking Oliver Kahn, the robot goalie. Kahn would become a personal sporting bête noire over the course of the tournament, a man worthy of his last name. He would win the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player, the only time in World Cup history that the award has gone to a goalie. And his team didn't even win. He was good.
The USA could really use a win in their first match; Ireland just needed a draw with Saudi Arabia the last game on the schedule.
I debated heading down to the pub at eight in the morning, but eventually decided against it mostly because it was a twenty minute walk. But the US scored, and scored again, and scored again, and with the game 3-1 at halftime and my house abandoned I said "screw it" and spent halftime scurrying downtown. I watched Jeff Agoos score a spectacular own goal while nursing a pint of cider* in a moderately full pub. The USA won and that was well and good. For everyone else, it was a small moment of schadenfreude in before the main event.
So here's the main event: Ireland goes toe-to-toe with the Germans, putting more shots on goal but unable to crack Kahn. In the 19th minute enormous robot striker Miroslav Klose puts the Germans up, but from that moment on they're on the back foot. Ireland presses to no avail. Kahn seems everywhere. He makes three insane saves to keep Ireland off the board. I loathe him. I hate his incredibly German hair, and his insane excellence.
Then it's gone. Ninety minutes are over and they're just kicking it around in stoppage time. Ireland has made their desperate substitutions, sticking creaky old Niall Quinn, a 6'4" battleship of a target forward, out there in the vague hope he can get his head to the ball. In the 92nd minute some defender boots the ball upfield as people do at the end of the game when there's no time and no hope. Quinn finds this ball and flicks it down to an onrushing Robbie Keane. That bastard Kahn is out, though, out fast and in position and Keane has to shoot after one touch and the shot actually deflects off that fucking bastard Kahn…
You have no doubt experienced some variety of sports pandemonium in your life, but you probably haven't watched an entire country take the day off to drink next to the river. In the immediate aftermath I remember hugging some guy who looked like he was from Pakistan. I was instantly recognizable as an American, so maybe that made sense. Ever since, I've rooted for Kahn in his losing battle against preening Jens Lehman, and maybe that makes sense, too.
On Wednesday, Ireland missed the World Cup on the most flagrant handball since Diego Maradona.
It has not been a good fall. Since Michigan scraped by Indiana, the team they are vying with for outright possession of the Big Ten cellar, I haven't watched Michigan beat any team that plays at scholarship parity with them in two different sports. Football hasn't beaten a I-A team since September 26th. Hockey is currently languishing at 4-6 after consecutive sweeps at the hands of Miami and, of all teams, Michigan State. In that series, Corey Tropp scored in a game that finished 3-2. Hell, the one hockey game I've listened to on the radio this year was the dismal 2-0 defeat against Fairbanks to open the year.
It's been hard for me. In the past my strategy when sports were more pain than they're worth has been to disconnect as much as possible, but that's obviously not possible any more. So I've seen everything that's happened the last two years somewhere between four and eight times.
But it's been hard on everyone else, too. Johnny emerged from his slumber to write something beautiful about Brandon Minor…
On Saturday he will be there. Maybe not on Thursday or on Friday, but you don’t prepare for the deranged violence.
…and this is how life repays him:
David Molk (knee)
Brandon Minor (shoulder)
He sent me one of the semi-annual IMs we exchange to ask me what percent chance I put on Minor playing. I said "I don't know," and that was that. This is life at the bottom.
Everyone who's joked or not joked about "Sometimes When You're On" is hurt because their expectations have not been met, because they hoped for more. I've played a role in that, and for that I'm sorry. There are days when two minnows come up against world powers and win, or tie their asses off, though. When I went to RBUAS I saw that Jake and Mike and Chad had given way to a new era, however brief it will be:
A beautifully futile gesture. Johnny had the old guys up there forever, and it wasn't hard to figure out why. But what I said after the Notre Dame game still holds, even if it's cast in a different light by the events that followed: this is Michigan now. Though they're still plainly deficient, they'll be there Saturday. I don't know if things are going to be all right anymore. But I'll be there, too, and God help anyone who talks about "heart" within earshot.
Saturday contains itself. For three hours, let hope bloom, and think about the consequences afterward.
*(Don't judge me. It was before noon and somehow Bulmers has this marvelous nutty tinge if you get it from the tap in Ireland. I've had the stuff stateside and it suffers far more than Guinness does.)
Yes, there's an OSU preview coming.
|WHAT||#15/16 Michigan v. Houston Baptist|
November 20th, 2009
|THE LINE||No line, junkie|
Michigan will probably come out with the same lineup they played last game: Darius Morris at the point, Laval Lucas-Perry at guard, Manny Harris and Zack Novak at forward, and DeShawn Sims in the middle. Stu Douglass will replace LLP at the first substitution.
With the quality of team HBU appears to be (more on that in a moment), Michigan will probably be able to get lots of subs into the game. It may not mean multiple minutes for Eso Akunne and Josh Bartelstein, but Beilein has a big tournament coming up next weekend, and should try to build a bit of depth.
Matt Vogrich, Stu Douglass, and Zack Gibson will probably get a bunch of time. If Ben Cronin is healthy, he can be the biggest guy on the court by 3 inches. Anthony Wright will probably get some time for a 10-man rotation, but he hasn't played well so far.
For the Wolverines, this should be little more than a tuneup for the Old Spice Classic next weekend.
It's hard to know exactly how good teams are this early in the season, but early returns on Houston Baptist say they're pretty bad. The Huskies have only played South Alabama, Sacramento State, and Rice, and have lost all three games (two on their home court).
The majority of their problems have been on offense, where they're 300th in efficiency (again, don't read tooooo much into the rankings this early in the season). They turn the ball over on more than a quarter of their possessions, and they can't shoot the ball, especially from long range, where they've made fewer than 9% of their shots(!). They also have 13.1% of their attempts blocked.
Defensively, they've been good defending the three-point line, holding opponents to 19% shooting. They've also been above-average in holding opponents from making 2-point buckets.
So, with three games under their belts, Houston Baptist has looked like a very bad offensive team, and a decent defensive team. The Wolverines will be the most talented team they've seen yet by far.
This is definitely a team that won't give Michigan matchup trouble with size. The Huskies' most used players have been post Mario Flaherty (their tallest player at 6-9), 6-6 forward Andrew Gonzales, 5th-year senior guard Wendell Preadom, and guard Michael Moss. Those guys have played more than 3/4 of available minutes, and nobody else has played more than a third.
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.