Here is the official snowflake thread for discussion of the defense and defensive playcalling in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
Snowflakes: Bowl Game Edition - Defense
Fuck everything. Fuck 2013.
Lots of questions about the defense after the first half. Wojo's twitter feed is startlingly critical.
And maybe there's a point to that. Michigan should not be this soft defensively.
But, in fairness, Michigan was within two scores for most of the second half and the D kinda kept the team in there. No offense, of course, but the D wasn't totally embarrassed.
I would say it was more a dropped KSU TD (followed by a missed FG) and fumble that kept us in there (if we were really in the game at all).
I thought it was embarrassing. Mattison seems to have caught the Jim Herrmann disease of being overly afraid of giving up big plays. We trot out ultra-soft coverages that negate our pass rush and cause us to get steadily bludgeoned in 10-15 yard doses (some of which end up turning into big plays anyway).
MSU has figured it out: get in the WRs' grill and maybe you'll get burned sometimes, but you'll disrupt their routes a lot more often, and give the pass rush more time to get there. The philosophy of backing off and basically hoping the opposing QB screws up doesn't work so well anymore.
Hmm...not sure about the MSU reference. The secondary wasn't so great the first few years. They've had NFL level talent in the secondary the last few years and have been able to get away with press man coverage. We'll see how things shape up once Dennard (sp) is gone. Unfortunately, Waynes looks pretty serviceable.
was it recruited or developed?
When does someone come to M and outperform relative to their "prognosis". The paid staff here sucks.
I don't think MSU is as talented as people here make them out to be. They're not Alabama. They have a lot of undersized guys that probably won't measure out that well in the Combine. However, I think their philosophy maximizes the talent they do have. Ours does not. Countess/Taylor aren't the greatest pair of corners in the world but they're not as bad as they looked tonight. Any corner is going to look bad when he's forced to give a cushion and backpedal at the snap, every time.
I'm wondering if he is a bit handcuffed by Hoke, whether or not the orders to be cautious regarding big plays come from the top.
Of course the problem is that risky defenses HAVE yielded a lot of big plays. See the Outback Bowl, for example. Maybe that is on Mattison too, but I at least get the logic. Unfortunately, our opponents appreciate the logic, too.
There's just nothing in the toolbox to overcome problems that occur when players do not win matchups. Our D-line does not dominate O-lines, and the secondary is not good enough to shut down receivers. Who is at fault? I can't say.
We only stopped them once in a normal fashion (punt). Even that was after 39 yards gained.
Definitely Countess' worst day as a Wolverine. Got torched all day.
They were bad. This snowflake is really a rainstorm.
how Michigan can make mediocre players look so damn good.
we just got smoked by a a team full of average joes. But their coaches earn their salaries
Any time your opponent puts up over 400 yards it is not a good defensive day. K-state scored early too so Mattison defenders can't blame Borges for keeping the D on the field too long as the explanation- the D was fresh and still got beat. Everything Hoke touches seems to go soft- with this much failure on all sides of the game it is amazing that many are still fixated on the assistant coaches. Things will not change as long as Hoke is in charge- this much I am certain about- everything else is trivial by comparison.
K-State was perfect in the first half. Three meaningful possessions, three TDs.
K-State only had to punt once, and even that was after we had yielded 39 yards on that drive.
If you looked at it with a yards-per-meaningful possession metric, it would look much worse.
What is this 'defense' you speak of?
We put a defense out there?
Lockett dropped one sure TD pass where he was wide open and ball was right in his hands and they fumbled. But for those breaks, this would have been really ugly. The defense could not stop anything. The second half was better than the first but just barely.
the 30 yd FG that they missed too.
No pass rush and soft coverage. Linebackers running around looking a bit slow. Loss of contain. I other words, what we saw in their worst games all over again. Whatever the plan was for this year, it wasn't a good one. Let's hope Pipkins, Hurst, Poggi and Peppers make a difference next year. Countess had a very bad game.
Our secondary plays so far off the receivers that there is always someone wide open. Countess was playing way too far off Lockett every time I saw them lined up opposite each other. With that kind of cushion, Lockett is going to catch the ball, and he usually did so long enough before Countess could recover that he was able to juke Countess into missing him completely. KSU's secondary was always in our receivers' pockets. Why don't we try that???
didn't fear Michigan's WRs getting behind them.
Well, they did fear it in the first half. That's why the screens worked so well. I think they knew that Shane Morris could chuck it deep, so they were wary of Gallon and Funchess. When it became apparent that Borges didn't want to push the ball down the field, the secondary just sat on short routes and made it very tough for Morris, Gallon, Funchess, etc.
The defense did very well adjusting in the second half. Good halftime adjustment
no. They got just about every 3rd down conversion and moved the ball at will all night. Only the dropped TD and fumble made it seem like we ever had a chance. Make no mistake about it, they pushed our D around all night
I can only assume you are being sarcastic.
It was terrible, and there's no excuse for playing that bad after a month of preperation. I'm going to deal with such a bad performance by listening to some Ween. Remember folks Ween and good beer fixes everything sports related.
Fuckn terrible execution it's like they watched zero game tape
I felt the defensive performance was way worse than the offense. The offense showed signs of life and had a first time starter at QB which is excessively determental when you consider that Devin is 75% of the offense. The defense was just inexcusably shitty.
he's no better than any other DC. This defense has no studs except Ryan and as a result, the secondary ist STILL terrible and SLOW, the D line gets no penetration and the LBs miss their gap assignments routinely.
In other words this defense SUCKS! Changesa need to be made.
looked lost and confused numerous times. Out of position, made poor tackles, played with little passion or intensity. Absolutley pathetic effort.
My opinoin of Matteson has gone way down this season.
Hopefully we get some serious physical and mental development in the next 8 months. As a coach of two teams this season that were 90% Freshman, 10 % sophomores (new school, new programs) it is "Pick your poison." When you are young and thin on your dline, your safeties and linebackers... You can't somehow compensate for all three.
Next year, we should start to see a little depth and some maturation at those positions... hope for the best.
The defense was atrocious. It was non-existant. James Ross III side stepping a gap? Srsly?! That shit shouldn't be happening in week, 18. Not having a pass rush, once again, also just kills the defensive scheme from the get go. Sometimes we were able to negate that factor through games and still win but it's not a deficiancy that leans toward success. I defened LB play a few weeks back and I still think it's an okay unit but like the JRIII comment above, they struggled at times. I'm not sure the secondary is put in position do succeed on a down to down basis but jebus H criminey...Burnt to a crisp all day by an admittedly good WR. How about some jumping of opponents receivers once in a while? Are they capable of that? Ugh.
wouldn't have helped as the CBs were giving 10 yard cushions to the WRs.
You're right...it's definitely a culprit for giving the cushions.
Most uninspiring defensive game plan I have seen in a long time. I worry that quality players will not want to play in such milktoast schemes. This Mattison D was supposed to be aggressive, confusing for the other team, and high pressure.
Instead, our team looks confused and just waiting to react.
Our DBs could not possibly be more lost. And they are NOT inexperienced players.
Something is drastically wrong here, and its approaching GERG proportions really fast.
LBs are slow and unathletic (even Ryan took a huge step back). James Ross is waaaaaay too small to start at LB for a major program - he gets washed out of too many plays. Who the hell knows if the DBs are any good because the QB has all day to throw the damn ball. Other than that, i think the defense is solid. /s
Ross's size is fine. He's a weakside linebacker. He's the same size as KSU's weakside linebacker, as well as a lot of others. Linebackers aren't big anymore. They're small and quick to account for spread offenses. The days of 6'3", 250 lb. inside linebackers are pretty much gone (at least for now).
Played the worst game of his career in my opinion. He continually got beat over the top to the tight end and he never adjusted. I think our linebackers in general are terrible in coverage. Taylor and countess should both have their scholarships pulled for that. They should be absolutely embarrassed by that performance.
all the speculation that the cupboard is bare for Mattison too? I call Bull crap.
When does the excuse parade end? The next coach that says execution ought to be executed.
Can someone explain to me how we're #13 in the nation in total yards allowed per game? I was expecting much, much worse.
We're not. We were 36th nationally going in. That's going to go down after tonight and it's misleading anyway, because we faced very few good offensive teams this season.
Once again, the run defense shines a bit more than the passing defense. In fact, the 149 yards of rushing we did give up is only above the regulr season average by about ten yards, so really that is not too bad overall even though the 4.14 yards per rush that KSU was getting was not one of our better showings from that standpoint. Through the air, we gave up 271 yards against a regular season average of 228 yards, and to put that in some perspective, 228 yards would be a middling performance in FBS play. That actually was about the most vertical we've been as a defense and as a result, KSU was getting 9.68 YPA and about 12.9 yards per completion.
The problem starts upfront, permeates to the linebackers and settles on the back end. The Dline doesn't eat space, keep oline off linebackers or get any qb pressure. Linebackers are never clean to make tackles, cannot shed blocks and consistently blow pass coverage assignments. DBs are tentative.
I truly believe we have more than adequate talent at every level so I conclude its coaching. Since it all starts upfront and Hoke is the position coach there, I suggest we start by making changes there.
Wait, what third down defense?
We wanted bigger players and that's what Hoke has given us, big players who are also slow. K State had the quicker, faster, and more athletic team, that much was obvious.
As noted, CBs were terrible. It was a bad game for them, Countess's worst. I don't know how to evaluate the safeties or the nickle, especially Thomas being out there. Thoughts?
Linebackers, wow. Geddeon I'll give a pass as he's a freshman, but Ross wasn't good and Morgan, geeze. I don't recall Bolden messing up big time, but I only recall one play he made as well. Ryan seemed to be the most effective of the lot though we'll need more than that from a guy at his level of expectations---of course, with the knee he gets a pass too.
Man there are a lot of needs on the defensive line.
- Did I see Black playing NT? Is that really a workable arrangment? Here's hoping Pipkins and Mone are ready by fall. Here's noting that hoping isn't really a plan.
- The D-line had 7 tackles and 2 assists in this game. No sacks, no TFLs. Am I wrong or is that pathetic? It's worse when you consider that none of them could be described as effective space eaters. Of the lot, the only one to have more tackles in the game than Matt Wile was Willie Henry.
- Was Chris Wormley playing with a cast on his hand? Did I miss some report.
It'd be nice if the D-line could get some pressure. The d might have gotten a third down stop if the line did something. I mean the corners got burned, but the QB could just stand back there and pick them apart.
the run / pass "tells" provided by which K State QB came into the game.
Taylor and Countess were just getting torched all night long. They're supposed to be a solid Big Ten corners but they looked like MAC level talent last night