the season has truly begun now
upon further review
Generally on these the reader knows what happens before the UFR hits the page, so: West Virginia beat Rutgers 31-3. Total yards for RU: 314. For WVU: 398. Turnovers, inopportune penalties, and missed field goals hurt Rutgers badly.
I picked out this game because 1) it was available, 2) Rutgers was a slightly better than average run defense that looks just average because it had to play West Virginia, and 3) Greg Schiano is reputed to be a fine defensive mind.
No video; I'm having trouble getting VirtualDub to recognize whatever these files were encoded in and thus can't slice out individual plays.
|M33||1||10||Shotgun 2-back||Run||Zone read handoff||Slaton||5|
|Schmitt used as a lead-blocker on a zone stretch play that looks eerily familiar minus the whole shotgun thing. Rutgers is doing a weird blitz where the WLB/SS guy blitzes off the slot receiver and the DE flows down the line instead of attempting to deal with the zone read. He ends up overrunning the play â€“ jammed pretty well on the frontside â€“ as Slaton cuts back; the threat of White caused the blitzer to delay just enough for Slaton to pick up a decent gain. Does Steven Threet inspire the same respect?|
|M38||2||5||Shotgun 5-wide||Run||QB Draw?||White||4|
|I won't know what the personnel is on any of these so I can only give you formations. I'm sure Slaton's still in so "five wide" is not right. I'm not sure if this is a read or a draw or what, but this appears to be a screen to Reynaud â€“ WVU bunched four guys to the bottom of the screen. White pulls it down and takes off, scrambling for a few yards.|
|Ur? On fourth and what looks like a foot â€“ sneak distance â€“ they hand it off and get stuffed. The DT shed the center and shot into the backfield as Rutgers sells out to stop this.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 10 min. Fireworks not so much yet. Schiano was asking for a bubble screen in his face on first down. High risk, high reward here.|
|M38||1||10||Shotgun 3-wide||Pass||Slip Screen||Jalloh||5|
|This is set up very well and looks like a potential big play but for two issues: White's a little late and upfield with the throw (just a little), and the defensive end did not get chopped by the OT, reads the screen, and makes a great play backtracking downfield. (CA, 3)|
|M43||2||5||I-Form Twins||Run||Inside Zone||Slaton||8|
|Reynaud comes around on an end-around fake. Slaton's already taking it up the gut. A double from the C and G blows the undersized Rutgers NT back; the other DT is cut and Schmitt obliterates the MLB. A diving tackle attempt from the unblocked DE is stepped through and Slaton's got his first chunk of the day.|
|O49||1||10||Shotgun 3-wide||Run||Zone read handoff||Slaton||6|
|Rutgers with only seven in the box here, one of them nominally covering the slot guy, both safeties back. Backside scoop on the DT works well enough and gets an OL into the second level, causing the Rutgers WLB to start cheating over there in case Slaton takes it directly up the middle. He bounces it between the G and T instead, where there's a crease. Rare instance of passive D from Rutgers.|
|O43||2||4||Shotgun 3-wide||Run||QB Draw||White||-2|
|It's actually pretty interesting to watch the Rutgers D at work here. They're stunting and blitzing like mad from all angles; here they get the TE blocking no one as the DE stunts inside and through; White can't take it outside because of another blitzer and gets hit for a loss. I have no idea what happens in this game other than a WVU win... I get the feeling there are going to be some big plays when Rutgers rolls the dice and comes up craps.|
|Man free for Rutgers as they bring another blitz, with a catch: it looks at first like there are seven blitzers but two peel off to cover receivers... poorly. Reynaud is nominally covered by a safety rolling up to the line but is open and darts for the first. (CA, 2, protection 1/1)|
|O38||1||10||Shotgun 2-back||Run||Zone read handoff||Slaton||38|
|Uh, check on the ol' big plays. Rutgers is consistently shooting the backside DE down the LOS and bringing the slot-covering WLB in as the contain guy. It's been pretty effective, as the weakside DE shot into the backfield and caused a cutback on an otherwise very well-blocked play. Problem: the backside contain decides to plow White and trip over his prone body. Slaton is â€“ WOOP â€“ gone.|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-0, 4 min 1st Q. No wonder Bo liked this guy: one real pass so far, and that because of a third and medium.|
|M39||1||10||Shotgun 2-back||Pass||PA Flare||Schmitt||13|
|Same late shift with the slot blitz and DE shoot; this time WVU goes play action, faking the same frontside zone read they've run a couple times before. This time Schmitt releases to the backside. He could pick up the blitzer but instead dummies him and slips into the flat; White hits him and it's beer truck time. (CA, 3)|
|O48||1||10||Shotgun 2-back||Pass||Bubble Screen||Reynaud||5|
|Good job by the Rutgers corner here to cut down on the gain here; Rutgers had again blitzed off the corner. (CA, 3)|
|O43||2||5||Ace 3-wide||Run||Inside Zone||Slaton||4|
|Slaton's got a nice hole up the middle as a scoop block seals one DT and gets a lineman out to a linebacker; Schmitt kills a DE and wipes out a weakside blitzer in the process. If you get your hands on these guys they crumple. Also: another end-around fake.|
|O39||3||1||Shotgun 4-wide||Run||QB Lead Draw||White||4|
|Schmitt in the backfield with White; Slaton split. ISQD is the call. A Rutgers DE zips right past the WVU RT and into White's path; White jukes past him and the unblocked weakside blocker to pick it up.|
|O35||1||10||Shotgun 3-wide||Run||Zone read keeper||White||3|
|Same slot blitz gets in an unblocked player; he tackles Slaton, leaving a major gap in the middle of the field. Unfortunately for WVU, the OL on the second level does not have an angle on the MLB. He meets White at the LOS. White spins out of it; the delay allows a safety to fill.|
|Bad snap and a bad block from the RT allows the DE to knock it down. (BA, 0, protection 0/1, RT). I don't think this RT is very good.|
|Snap flies over White's head.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 7-0, 11 2nd Q. White is all like "dude, snap it to me." Punt hits a gunner and goes back to WVU.|
|O31||1||10||Shotgun Trips||Run||QB Draw||White||19|
|Again, I'm not sure if White actually has an option to throw a screen here or if it's just a decoy. In any case, both Slaton and White take off towards the trips side of the field. The weakside DE gets way too far upfield â€“ the proper angle if this was a zone read with White peeling out to his side of the field, but it ain't â€“ and opens up a huge cutback lane that White exploits.|
|O12||1||10||Shotgun Stack?||Run||QB Sweep||White||2|
|Two WR, a TE, Schmitt and Slaton lined up approximately over the TE. This turns into something kinda like the sweep that was so deadly with QB Eagles in Techmo Super Bowl. Good contain from two separate players on Rutgers forces it back up inside for a minor gain.|
|O10||2||8||I-Form Trips||Run||FB Dive||Schmitt||1|
|Jammed in the center. Schmitt does what FBs do, which is run directly forward until they've hit the ground.|
|O9||3||7||Shotgun 2-back||Run||QB Sweep||White||8|
|Rutgers is blitzing from the weakside and bailing a safety out into a robber zone on the playside, leaving three guys chasing uselessly and one running his way out of the play. Almost doesn't matter as the RT gets beat again, forcing Schmitt to pick his guy up and allowing the DT to continue flowing down the line against a not-so-effective reach block. Schmitt gets enough of a push on the other guy to create a hole; the diving DT causes White to stumble but does not bring him down.|
|I think I need some differentiation between QB draws here. On this one, Schmitt is the single setback and White looks like he's going to give him a zone handoff before keeping the ball, using Schmitt as a lead blocker, and hopping into the endzone.|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-0, 9 min 2nd Q. White actually fumbled into the endzone but recovered his own fumble.|
|M15||1||10||Shotgun 3-wide||Run||QB Sweep||White||22|
|Schmitt the only setback. This play is actually gap blocked with the TE and LT blowing the Rutgers DE way off the ball â€“ sort of like the Navy offense, when you get these guys expecting not to get blocked and then they get hammered the results are not pretty â€“ and pulling the backside guard around. Schmitt picks the corner off and a filling linebacker gets swallowed by the guard; White lopes into the secondary.|
|M37||1||10||Shotgun Trips||Run||Zone read handoff||Slaton||5|
|Nice zone block by the center to carry the DT out of the play; big hole in the middle is filled by a couple meh second level blocks.|
|M42||2||5||Shotgun 4-wide||Run||QB Draw||White||0|
|Well-timed blitz from Rutgers gets a guy into the backfield, as two OL were scooping a DT and did not get out on him in time. Result is a mess.|
|M42||3||5||Shotgun 4-wide||Pass||In||Jalloh||11 + 5|
|Jalloh comes open in man, as the lack of safeties cause the cover guy to be cautious. Easy pitch and catch for the first. (CA, 3, protection 2/2). Incidental face mask tacks on five.|
|O42||1||10||I-Form 3-wide||Penalty||False Start||Some Guy||-5|
|They fake an iso or inside zone to Slaton then roll White out of the pocket. Schmitt, releasing into the flat, gets a hit on a linebacker and gives White enough time to fire a strike in front of rapidly-closing defender. (CA+... aw... DO, 3, protection 1/1)|
|O34||2||2||Shotgun 4-wide||Run||Zone read handoff||Slaton||1|
|Two guys come up to the wide side of the field and a guy backs out into zone on the other; WVU zones away from the rolled-up secondary. This should be a good gainer or at least a yard or so and a really short third down but Slaton decides to cut back needlessly and ends up losing ground.|
|O35||3||3||Shotgun 2-back||Run||QB Sweep||White||13|
|Rutgers sends the house with six guys coming through the LOS and a seventh trying to clean up. One cut block is quite effective and White sets up blocks from both Slaton and Schmitt before bursting upfield and picking up the first down and considerably more.|
|O22||1||10||Shotgun 2-back||Pass||Bubble Screen||Reynaud||Inc|
|Zone read fake to the bubble screen; White throws it well over Reynaud's head, possibly in an attempt to get it over the hands of onrushing linemen. (IN, 0)|
|There are 30 seconds left in the half now, so WVU is pressed for time and Rutgers is kinda expecting pass. White throws this into coverage, unwisely. (BR, 0, protection 0/2)|
|O22||3||10||Shotgun 2-back||Run||QB Draw||White||-2|
|Rutgers sends two guys right up the middle and almost right past White, who is this close to breaking a tackle and shooting into the secondary for at least a first down and very probably a touchdown when he goes to the ground. Roll them dice, Schiano.|
|Drive Notes: FG(42), 17-3, EOH.|
|M28||1||10||Shotgun 3-wide||Run||Zone read keeper||White||-7|
|Slot blitz as per usual, but no stunt. The DE shoots right into the backfield unblocked â€“ unclear whether this was intentional or not â€“ and tackles Slaton; Slaton doesn't have the ball. White keeps and starts rolling out; the tackle blocks the corner. Unfortunately for WVU the guard who moved directly to the second level does not get to the LB, who makes an excellent, quick read and shoots into the gap. White was planning on taking it up into the hole; he starts backing off and looks like he's going to throw the bubble screen, then hesitates and is lost.|
|M21||2||17||Shotgun 2-back||Pass||Bubble Screen||Reynaud||Inc|
|Poor throw; slot blitz and this was open. (IN, 0)|
|Nice throw, though it's short of the sticks and Rutgers closes Jollah down. Rare dropback pass. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 17-3, 14 min 3rd Q. Rutgers goes on a 7-minute drive that features a dropped touchdown pass and gets no points out of it.|
|M25||1||10||Shotgun 3-wide||Pass||FB Flare||Schmitt||Inc|
|Schmitt as an off-the-line TE. Same corner blitz; Zone read fake suckers in everyone and Schmitt shoots into a wide open flat. Big gainer but for the pass getting batted down. (BA, 0)|
|M25||2||10||Shotgun 2-back||Run||Zone read handoff||Slaton||-3|
|Corner blitz + DE stunt combo again. This allows the NT, who's shaded to the frontside of the play, to really shoot hard. He does so, and a poor cut-block on the backside plus the stunt leave Slaton surrounded.|
|M22||3||13||Shotgun Empty||Pass||Jailbreak screen||Slaton||51|
|Three man line and two blitzers up the middle; everyone rushes hard and takes themselves out of the play. Left side of the line releases; great cut block on an attacking safety by the LT, and excellent downfield blocks by the wide receivers. Slaton sprung, runs far. (CA, 3)|
|O27||1||10||Shotgun 4-wide||Run||Zone read keeper||White||1|
|The usual stunt-blitz. White pulls it out of Slaton's belly and attempts to shoot upfield past the CB; a diving shoestring tackle limits him to one yard; LB coming up may or may not have had an angle.|
|O26||2||9||Shotgun 4-wide||Pass||Bubble Screen||Sanders||6|
|Crappy block from the outside WR forces Sandesr to deal with the defender a yard or two after the LOS; he stiffarms his way for a number of yards. (CA, 3)|
|This appears to be a flare screen for Slaton designed to exploit the corner-blitz-mad Rutgers D. White bobbles the snap, however, and he never makes the throw. So he's got four defenders in his face and one guy who's made an attempt at a cut block. White just sort of darts up through the crack and is loose in the secondary just like that. Bad cut downfield or this is a TD.|
|O5||1||G||I-Form 3-wide||Pass||PA Rollout||N/A||Inc|
|Iso fake to Slaton coupled with a White rollout. No one open, so he throws it away. (TA, 0)|
|O5||2||G||Shotgun 2-back||Run||Zone read handoff||Slaton||5|
|Hard to tell what Rutgers is doing on this play since we get a terrible camera angle and the replay's not much more helpful. This is another cutback from Slaton though, and one that picks up a block from White.|
|O1||3||G||I-Form Twins||Run||Off tackle||Slaton||1|
|Another excellent job by the LT to seal the DE and use his hands to delay pursuit from two separate players. Schmitt, leading, can't find anyone to plow until he's five yards into the endzone.|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 24-3, 4 min 3rd Q.|
|M27||1||10||Ace Twins||Run||Inside Zone||Slaton||3|
|Reynaud with the end-around fake. Excellent play from the MLB to shoot into an offensive lineman, get playside of his shoulder, and make a tackle around the LOS.|
|Schmitt the only setback; Slaton in the slot... and yeah, you can kind of see this coming. A Mildly Surprising QB Draw. Nice push froom the OL but the stunting DE gets in, as does the blitzing corner, and another LB... Schmitt sort of stops to set up a block on the outside guy; White runs into him.|
|M33||3||4||Shotgun 2-back||Pass||FB Flare||Schmitt||19|
|Woo! Zone read fake coupled with Schmitt shooting to the backside of the play. White keeps, draws attention, and dumps it to Schmitt, who McGuffies some kid ten yards downfield, rumbling for excellent yardage. Side note: you know what this play reminds me of a lot? Carson Butler shooting backside against Oregon for 50-some yards. (CA, 3)|
|O48||1||10||Shotgun 4-wide||Run||Zone read handoff||Slaton||-10(pen)|
|Schmitt now in the slot. Zone read handoff is well-contained; holding called anyway.|
|M42||1||20||Shotgun 3-wide||Run||QB Draw||White||3|
|Trap block blows up an OLB; slanting from the DL gets the playside DE in past his assigned blocker; he delays White long enough for help to converge.|
|I don't catch the call; either a false start or delay.|
|Ton of time for White; he can't find anyone open. Eventually he scrambles out and gets back to the LOS. There's gotta be an outlet or something on second and long and any moderate gain significantly increases your chances of picking up the first, so... (BR, 0, protection 3/3)|
|M41||3||22||Shotgun Empty||Run||QB Draw||White||17|
|A give-up-and-punt; White's dangerously close to making this a first down.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 24-3, 14 min 4th Q.|
|We're watching some damn horse race instead of the game.|
|Rutgers has this contained until Reynaud makes a jab step upfield and bursts outside; the containing DE took a step in and when he tried to come back out he slipped. Reynaud has the edge and a decent gain.|
|M43||3||1||Shotgun 4-wide||Run||QB Sweep||White||7|
|Schmitt lone setback... not quite a MSQD but close. This is a sweep play with Schmitt lead blocking. He crushes a linebacker, blowing him back on his ass and giving White a lane.|
|50||1||10||I-Form 3-wide||Run||Inside Zone||Slaton||0|
|No creases in the front; when Slaton bounces it out he's got an unblocked linebacker to deal with.|
|50||2||10||Shotgun 2-back||Run||Broken play||White||-6|
|Snap is high. White bats it in the air; when he comes down with it it's too late to do anything but get to the ground.|
|M44||3||16||Shotgun 3-wide||Run||QB Draw||White||50|
|Safety blitz comes up late; this is the Wrong Answer. White
reads his blitz and zips past him with the help of a last-ditch push by an OL, and then there's one guy with a shot at him, a DE who's been blocked four yards off the LOS by Schmitt. Can he catch Pat White? No. A cutback turns a first down into a near-touchdown.
|O6||1||G||I-Form Twins||Run||Off tackle||Slaton||6|
|Clearly running over the strongside tackle. After momentarily blocking the DE, the LT passes him off to Schmitt and heads downfield to seal off anyone with an idea of getting to Slaton, eventually cutting the last hope of preventing a touchdown.|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 31-3, 8 min 4th Q. Up four touchdowns, WVU calls the dogs off. EOC.|
Well, that was... different.
In many ways, yes. The most striking to me is the protection tally, which is 9/12. For a game. Michigan would do that on some drives last year.
Not so different in all ways. The West Virginia run game is not much different than the zone stretch stuff Michigan ran the last two years under Mike Debord. The two major differences:
- The quarterback is in the shotgun, and
- said quarterback can reach a cruising speed of 600 kph.
That latter point is the difference between the West Virginia rushing attack (6.15 YPC) and the Michigan tepid advance (3.97 YPC), as it forces the backside defensive end into a no-win situation more often than not.
I feel conflicted about whether this was a dominant performance or a kinda meh outing rescued by a few huge plays.
You and I both, hypothetical guy who talks in bold. West Virginia got stuck in third and long twice only to be bailed out by 1) a screen that would have every Michigan fan howling until it reached the sticks, then muttering until it passed 30 yards, then grudgingly pleased, and 2) Pat White going "woop" past several blitzers on a broken play and gliding for days. Both plays went for better than 50 yards and turned what otherwise would have been limp, punt-terminated drives into touchdowns. Similarly, WVU's first touchdown was opened up by a colossal Rutgers screwup -- banging into Pat White, who obviously did not have the ball.
Without that, West Virginia's day was kind of a sputtery mess, and it's reasonable to question whether or not the offense relies on opponent screwups to function.
On the other hand, this was a remarkably short game. West Virginia had nine meaningful drives, only one of which started in opponent territory, and scored four touchdowns and a field goal. I should really go back and get a number for Michigan drives per game over the last couple years, but I can tell you nine is probably tied for a record low. More realistic numbers are 13 or 14, which likely would have seen WVU put up 40-some points against an opponent that went 8-5, was 17th in total yards ceded, and allowed opponents only 22 PPG.
Charts. White's passing chart for the game; I've taken the additional step of breaking down his throws into screens (which also include little flares and the like -- anything that doesn't cross the LOS, basically) and downfield attempts.
You can see why White isn't often tasked with going downfield: here his positive results are just three of seven throws. For comparison, Chad Henne's chart for all the games he played more than half of:
The receiver chart is really boring and is omitted. There were no drops, and the only catch rated harder than an easy '3' was a third-down conversion early that was only tough because Darius Reynaud is a smurf.
So... is any of this replicable by Michigan next year?
Not much. The similarities between the two sets of personnel are a good, fast running back, -- we don't know who Michigan's is yet but there are six of them, someone will step up -- a good left tackle, and a bad right tackle. Things WVU has that Michigan does not:
- Pat White
- little slot buggers (maybe)
- Pat White
- a facemask-busting maniac fullback
- Pat White.
Things Michigan has that WVU does not:
- receivers the NFL will not laugh at
- sixty-five tight ends
- hypothetically, a strong-armed quarterback.
Michigan is going to be more balanced by necessity this year, and probably next year.
What was the deal with Greg Schiano's mad blitz-stunt scheme?
I don't want to steal too much of my own thunder here, since one of my articles in the upcoming Hail To The Victors 2008 is all about Schiano's response to the West Virginia zone read, but this is the basic concept:
Shooting the defensive end down the LOS as shown above makes him useful again, and allows the defensive tackle on the playside to have one-gap responsibility. It slowed West Virginia's attack down considerably. Many of their rushing yards came from a variety of White draws, and Slaton was a nonfactor outside of his... uh... 38 yard touchdown run and 50-some yard screen. So it's got a fatal flaw: the cutback. The HTTV article has much more.
|So last year Ohio State frequently lined up Ted Ginn just outside of the tackle or right end about five or six yards off the LOS. 90% of the time this was shotgun, and this was dubbed the "Shot-Ginn," which is fine because jargon like that communicates complex ideas quickly.
So OSU's first play is sort of that, except with Boeckman under center, Wells lining up in a standard tailback position, and Ray Small in the shot-ginn position, except of course this isn't the shotgun and this isn't Ted Ginn. But anyway, when OSU does this it will be noted as such. This is a three WR set that gets Michigan in a nickel; Harrison is actually playing as a sort of WLB to Small's side. OSU fakes a dive to Wells, then runs an end-around to Small out of said I-Ginn. Jamison(+1) is unblocked and maintains contain, forcing Small to take a long detour; Will Johnson(+1) uses the time Jamison buys him and takes Small down behind the LOS.
|Player intros: Jim Cordle looks sixteen and Steve Rehring has a future in ogre-dom. Michigan shows eight in the box, then backs out; Ohio State runs it right up the gut. Taylor(-1) doesn't hold up well against a double and Ezeh(-1) is very hesitant, allowing Wells to move up in the hole despite Johnson doing a decent job and CGraham taking out the fullback early.|
|Ezeh(+1) reads Boeckman's eyes and starts drifting over towards the slant that Harrison's covering; Harrison's gotten a bit of jam, too. He comes off it (cover +1) and takes off; Ezeh(-1) gives the point right back by overrunning it and allowing the conversion.|
|O46||1||10||Ace Bunch||Base 4-3||Run||6||Dive|
|A single back set with two TEs, both of them to the short side of the field; they are inverted; a WR is out there with them. Michigan shifts away from the strength of the formation a bit but has Crable as a sort of short-side corner obviously in zone. They run at the apparent gap in the Michigan formation; BGraham(+1) holds up pretty well and two Michigan players meet Wells for what should be a meh gain; Adams(-1) and Ezeh miss their tackles and allow him to spin three into six.|
|M48||2||4||Ace Twins||Base 5-2||Run||5||Iso|
|Taylor(+1) does a great job getting through his man, forcing the fullback to take him. (And take him he does with an absolutely crushing block; not really TT's fault). Still, this is an ISo play stripped of the FB by a DL and it works. Why? CGraham(-1) runs up into a blocker and gets his little stubby arms engulfed. Crable comes around from the backside.|
|Michigan stunting here and is unfortunate to be stunting right into a play set up to handle it; BGraham runs right into a guy who's doubled TT and moves to the second level. Ezeh's blitzing himself out of the play; CGraham(-1) is clocked by the FB; big hole. Wells makes a questionable read, cutting it back inside, and falls as BG(+1) gets off his block and forces a cut a bit harder than he wanted.|
|M40||2||7||I-Form||Base 5-2||Pass||3||PA TE Drag|
|First pass comes with token draw play action; corners bail out deep and Boeckman checks down. Adams(+1, cover +1) is right there to tackle for minimal gain. (Additional cover +1 for the deep routes.)|
|M37||3||4||Shot-ginn 5WR||Nickel Press||Pass||Int||Flag|
|Wow, M in press man with a single deep safety. A very Arkansas w/ Chris Houston thing to do. Boeckman calls TO; M and OSU line up in the same fashion when they come out of the TO. This play is all marginal: Jamo gets cut a bit but stays up, so does he hurry the throw? The throw is a terrible one, way short, on a flag route Trent got torched on.
He recovers and manages not to draw a flag by whipping his head around and attempting to locate the ball when he notices Hartline slowing up. Could this be PI? Maybe. Hartline, OTOH, kind of tackles Trent in an attempt to prevent the INT.
|Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0 10 min 1st Q. No surprises so far from the D: bad linebackers kill all. On replay I think Trent has the recovery speed to deal with Hartline on this. Tressel punts on 3rd and 4 from the 37 and gets what he deserves: touchback.|
|Trent in very soft coverage on Robiskie; OSU takes the easy out, though it's looped and this removes any YAC opportunity. (Cover -1)|
|O38||2||4||Ace Bunch||Base 5-2||Run||1||Delay Iso(?)|
|Same setup on both sides of the ball as the previous Ace Bunch play; M clearly has a gameplan for this. Crable(+1) is blitzing off the snap; since he's very nominally lined up as a corner the TEs ignore him and he's in unblocked, albeit from a position not often associated with success. He gets hand on the passing Wells; Johnson(+1) has fought inside his man and ends the play. Taylor effectively singled blocked by Cordle. As for Iso(?): there's no FB, but the play is a delayed handoff and the RG pulls around to act much like a lead blocker would.|
|O39||3||3||Ace 3-wide||3-3-5 Nickel||Pass||5||Short In|
|Play design is clearly a pick w/ the TE coming to rub as the WR takes a little in route. M is in zone, which should be advantage M. CGraham can't get there in time, but this was generally well executed by OSU and it's hard to blame him. Immediate tackle.|
|O44||1||10||Shotgun Empty 2TE||Base 4-3||Pass||-5||Fumbled Snap|
|Right, you're all like ??? about the formatioin, but yeah there you go: base personnel for OSU, Wells split wide. Would have been interesting to see what they intended to do with this, but this is the first Boeckman fumble pratfall. Probably irrelevant, as a clever blitz got Crable(+1) in unblocked in the interior. (Pressure +1)|
|O39||2||15||I-Form 3-wide||Nickel||Pass||-8||Free sack|
|Adams comes up as a seventh guy in the box, and again we don't know what would happen because as Boeckman drops to throw, presumably deep with his 7-step drop, he slips to the turf.|
|A give-up-and-punt playcall that doesn't even get the five or so yards it should because Michigan stunts into it; Jamison(+1) blows his guy into the backfield â€“ his guy is an interior lineman! -- and forces Wells to change direction; he slips, too.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0 6 min 1st Q. I liked those plays.|
|O27||1||10||Ace 3-wide||Nickel||Pass||15 (pen)||Fade|
|Adams up as a blitzer, Michigan in an aggressive press again with a cover-one behind it. Warren(-2) does interfere here, getting behind Robiskie and grabbing him to prevent a completion. (Cover -1)|
|O42||1||10||I-Form Big||Jumbo 5-3||Run||2||Iso|
|Pollack in as the SLB. They again double Taylor and attack the gap between him and BG â€“ part of the gameplan to go after BG, who was pretty shaky against MSU's power running? Ezeh(+1) manages to get the guard peeling off the double on his heels a bit, forcing Wells to slow in the hole. BG(+1) has beaten his guy to the inside and comes back to tackle; Adams also there. BG leaves the game, injured.|
|Adams brought as a late blitzer; both LBs charging at the snap. A lead delay; CGraham(+1) reads it well and avoids the peeling C, leaving two LBs against one blocker. CGraham makes contact at the LOS... and misses the tackle(-1). He did slow him enough for help to arrive relatively quickly.|
|Wells motions out; Boeckman drops to throw and drops the ball without provocation. Another free sack.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 3-0, 15 min 2nd Q. They had a Clausen exorcism after this.|
|Same play as the Delay Iso earlier; this time CGraham(+1) attacks it well, getting to the FB in the backfield and making a tackle at the LOS.|
|M43||2||9||I-Form Big||Jumbo 5-3||Pass||5||Waggle|
|Delay fake and a Boeckman rollout; the TE has gotten outside Crable(-1); Adams(+1) reads it and tracks him down for minimal YAC. (Cover -1)|
|M38||3||4||Shotgun 3-wide||3-3-5 Nickel||Pass||9||Slant|
|Quick drop; Harrison(-1, cover -1) beat in one-on-one man.|
|M29||1||10||Ace Bunch||Base 5-2||Pass||7||Out|
|Trent in soft coverage and OSU takes advantage. (Cover -1)|
|M22||2||3||I-Form Twins||Base 5-2||Run||5||Iso|
|Taylor(-1) blown out and buried by a single block. Ezeh clubbed out of the hole by the FB; no chance to prevent the first.|
|Pulling guard takes out Crable blitzing from the outside and an ill-fated stunt gets Jamison out of the outside lane. result: acres. Englemon(-1) misses a tackle after a few yards; Adams tracks Wells down at the five.|
|M5||1||G||Shotgun Empty||Nickel||Run||4||QB Draw|
|Empty backfield inside the five? Not technically an ISQD, but as close as you can get. Ezeh(+1) actually does a great job of plowing the pullling guard and getting a hand on Boeckman to prevent the TD.|
|Well, when Wells meets Brandent Englemon head-on needing a yard we all know how that battle ends.|
|Drive Notes: TD, 3-7, 10 min 2nd Q.|
|Big gap opens up between BGraham(-1) and Johnson(-1). Michigan's linebackers are on a stunt blitz; CGraham does a good job getting to the right side of the FB, but the hole's too big to close.|
|O47||2||2||I-Form Big||Base 5-3||Run||1||Iso|
|Jamison(+2) gets inside the tackle and forces the pulling guard to take him, then slips past said guard to make a tackle for no gain.|
|O48||3||1||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||2||Iso|
|Well played by M; Wells bowls over Banks for the first.|
|50||1||10||Ace Twins||Base 5-2||Pass||Inc||Deep comeback|
|Plenty of time as M rushes four (pressure -1); Taylor is particularly ineffective. Boeckman waits, then throws awkwardly off his back foot; ball is off target. Coverage evidently good. (Cover +1)|
|Either well-read or poorly executed; Crable reads this and makes the throw a bit difficult by leaping in the passing lane; tough catch for Wells and it's dropped. Wasn't going anywhere anyway. (Cover +1)|
|50||3||10||Ace 3-wide||3-3-5 Nickel||Pass||3||Scramble|
|Jamison(+1) swims outside the tackle, then slashes up past the TE to get to Boeckman before the play can develop. Boeckman scrambles out as Jamison misses the tackle, but this drive's over (Pressure +2).|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 3-7, 5 min 2nd Q.|
|O4||1||10||I-Form Big||Jumbo 5-3||Run||3||Iso|
|Standard: distressing hole, good FB block and decent LB play; Adams comes up to tackle.|
|O7||2||7||I-Form Big||Base 5-3||Run||1||Iso|
|Taylor(+1) plows his guy back and into the path of the FB; Wells cuts behind and has unblocked players up the wazoo. Good job by Banks to flow down the line, too.|
|Taylor(+2) shoots past his guy and is hog-tied to the ground, drawing a holding flag. Wells falls over the mess, ending the drive.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 3-7, 2 min 2nd Q. Tressel has already pulled in the horns, no?|
|Should really be a no-gainer as both linebackers have shown up in the approximate hole well and there's only one blocker. CGraham(+1) cuts off the inside; Ezeh(-1) somehow manages to get shoved and contrives to let Wells between himself and the OL.|
|Warren comes up, forcing Wells inside of him; Graham(-1) has gotten blocked out of the play but Ezeh has beaten his blocker... just in time to get run over by Wells. Is this his fault? I dunno.|
|Boeckman has all day despite a blitzer (pressure -2), eventually finding Robiskie open for a 15-ish yard gain in front of Warren, w
ell off. (Cover -1)
|CGraham is flaring out to cover a short TE out and in doing so looks like he's about to cover Boeckman's slant; Boeckman hesitates. (Cover +1). Jamison(+1, pressure +1) bowls over Wells and Boeckman decides to attempt to scramble, getting nowhere.|
|Tape only has a replay of this. Crable(+1) shoots in on a blitz, inducing Boeckman to fling a duck off his back foot that Englemon makes an easy interception off of. (Pressure +2)|
|Drive Notes: Interception, 3-7, 30 sec 2nd Q.|
|O38||1||10||I-Form Twins||Base 5-2||Run||62||Iso|
|A simple iso play is the game-killing dagger, and the fault is all on the safeties. Adams(-2) is coming forward at the snap but fails to fill the hole between Crable and Banks, instead getting caught inside where Ezeh is taking on the FB. Banks gets a -1 for getting driven back badly and making this a more difficult play for Adams. So this puts Wells into the secondary for what should be a 20-yarder or so; Englemon(-2) is in position to make a tackle but overruns it, falling, and Wells runs to the endzone.|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 3-14, 14 min 3rd Q. Sadly, the main thought in my head was "this game's over" and that didn't seem like unwarranted pessimism to anyone around me.|
|Taylor(-1) gets a bit of a bump from a second man after standing up the first guy; this knocks him off kilter and he ends up pancaked. BGraham(-1) failed to take advantage of the opportunity to get inside the tackle and there's a gaping hole that linebackers can only close after a significant gain.|
|O38||2||4||I-Form Twins||Base 5-2||Run||12||Iso|
|Ezeh(-1) stood up by the blocker; BG(-1) completely dominated by the LT. Adams misses a tackle and Wells looks like he could be headed for the endzone until he slips to the ground.|
|Englemon an additional guy in the box, allowing both linebackers to come up into the hole, which is between the C and G. CGraham(+1), unblocked, sticks Wells in the hole.|
|M49||2||9||I-Form Twins||Base 4-3||Run||4||Iso|
|Saine in. A Crable blitz blows up the FB in the backfield and forces Saine outside, where CGraham(-1) should have an angle for a no-gain tackle; he overruns it and misses it. The Crable-induced delay means this is only a mediocre gain anyway.|
|Taylor(-1) crushed backwards by a double team; Michigan is blitzing Ezeh from the outside leaving only CGraham to combat this run up the middle. He actually does a decent job given the situation â€“ Taylor's inability to hold the POA has made it impossible to flow to the ball. It's still a first down as Saine manages to fall forward.|
|M39||1||10||I-Form Twins||Base 5-2||Run||2||Iso|
|Slocum in, getting decent push. Ezeh is submarined by the FB; Slocum(+1) peels off to tackle after a small gain.|
|Both safeties moving to the LOS at the snap. Englemon fills a hole near the LOS; OSU simply doesn't have enough blockers to get a hat on him.|
|Harrison(+1) sent on a corner blitz and is roped to the ground; no call. Since Boeckman doesn't know Harrison's going to get tackled, he starts scrambling around, eventually throwing the ball away. (Pressure +1)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 3-14, 8 min 3rd Q. The remote defensibility of this OSU punt is sad, sad, sad.|
|Will Johnson(-2) is momentarily doubled, then hurled to the ground. He was caught out as the NT on this play as OSU switched the strongside by motioning the tight end and Michigan didn't do their customary tackle flip. CGraham has to deal with the Johnson chipper and cannot â€“ no surprise at this point in his career. Wells into the secondary.|
|M41||1||10||Ace Bunch||Base 5-2||Run||4||Iso|
|TE from the bunch comes in motion to act as a lead blocker; another Iso. This one goes better as Johnson manages to hold up decently, though not exactly spectacularly. The chip guy is delayed and can't get out in time to block Ezeh; Johnson dives at Wells' feet near the LOS; the two combine to tackle.|
|Taylor(+1) stands up a couple blockers, jamming up the intended POA, and Ezeh fills the weakside hole at the LOS. Wells slips trying to cut.|
|Michigan blitzing right into this; Ezeh(+1) evades Cordle and is into the backfield, as is Adams.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 3-14, 4 min 3rd Q.|
|O19||1||10||I-Form Twins||Base 5-2||Run||-1||Iso|
|Safety blitz from Englemon forces Wells to cut away from the FB. Taylor(+1) has stood up a single block and Ezeh cuts in to make a TFL.|
|O18||2||11||I-Form Big||Jumbo 5-3||Run||1||Iso|
|Patterson(+1), slanting, occupies one blocker and plows him into a second; Wells soon follows. He bounces off, then meets Crable.|
|Jamison(+1) maintains QB responsibility â€“ not hard on third and ten â€“ forcing Boeckman to chuck it into the ground. (Pressure +1)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 3-14, 14 min 4th Q.|
|O9||1||10||I-Form Big||Jumbo 5-3||Run||3||Iso|
|Right, same thing as before. Ezeh scrapes well and Englemon fills.|
|O12||2||7||Ace Bunch||Base 5-2||Run||0||Delay|
|Nine guys near the LOS, Michigan swarming to the ball as OSU runs the only run play they've used out of this formation today.|
|Give up and punt.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 3-14, 11 min 4th Q. Tressel has packed it in, obviously.|
|O26||1||10||I-Form Twins||Base 5-2||Run||5||Iso|
|Good job by Johnson; Ezeh(-1) crushed downfield and pancaked.|
|Okay. I don't care. I just don't care. Something happens on this play and Ohio State gains four yards.|
|O35||3||1||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||0||Iso|
|Still don't care.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 3-14, 8 min 4th Q.|
|O33||1||10||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||4||Iso|
|Good job by Crable(+1) to cut off the outside; Ezeh defeats the FB block and tackles.|
|O37||2||6||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||-1||Iso|
|Slocum in; pushes his guy back into the backfield and tackles for loss.|
|Jamison shoots in unblocked and ends this in the backfield.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 3-14, 4 min 4th Q. This game has ended.|
You don't care?
Uh... sorry. This enterprise has seemed irrelevant, though. What does it tell us about Michigan's future? Virtually nothing, as the coaches are gone and this 3-3-5 stack is coming in. What does it tell us about Michigan's game against Florida? Virtually nothing, as Florida runs an offense diametrically opposed to Ohio State's. Pants.
Well, the performance seemed okay.
The defense gets an incomplete, IMO. A couple first-half drives were stopped by (literal) pratfall instead of any swarming viciousness on the part of Wolverine defenders; Tressel packed up shop after the Wells touchdown run, figuring that an obviously-broken Henne and an offensive line that couldn't block anyone (this, on one particular play, was also literal) was not likely to throw up two touchdowns in the second half. And it's just not that hard to stop an offense that doesn't complete a pass, as anyone who read the offensive UFR knows.
|Jamison||7||-||7||After a dismal performance versus Wisconsin, was the D's best player.|
|Taylor||6||4||2||Positive day, but a disappointing one nonetheless. Given his status as Michigan's most consistently disruptive DT and the steady diet of iso plays, he should have had a bigger impact.|
|Slocum||2||-||2||Shaping up to be a force next year.|
|Thompson||-||-||-||DNP, I think.|
|Ezeh||4||5||-1||Needs to make a leap next year.|
|Trent||-||-||-||Gave up a couple outs, otherwise not tested much.|
|Warren||-||2||-2||Just the one PI.|
|Englemon||-||3||-3||Critical missed tackle on the long Wells TD.|
|"Pressure"||7||3||4||Hardly any throwing, but a decent job of getting to Boeckman when he did.|
Jamison was a standout, frequently getting to guys in the backfield and not being directly liable for any of the long Wells runs.
Taylor should have done better against a steady diet of interior running; the linebackers were meh; the safeties combined to yield OSU's second touchdown.
What does it mean for Florida?
As noted, not much.
|M sends five and does not get there (pressure -1); Crable picked up. Stocco [Yes, I called him "Stocco" here and had to mentally correct myself several other times. Wisconsin quarterbacks all look alike. -ed] throws behind a well-covered Hubbard. (Cover +1, Englemon +1)|
|O34||2||10||Ace Twins||Nickel||Run||3||Off tackle|
|ABC is in a really wide view here as they introduce the offense and I can't pick out anything specific. Taylor(+1) with a tackle two yards downfield.|
|BG stunts around both a DT and a DE as CGraham blitzes into the spot he vacated. They pick up the CGraham blitz but not the looping stunt; said stunt takes so long to loop around that Donovan has just enough time to get off a throw to a decently covered Hubbard. BG pounds him just after the ball is released. No, on replay Warren(-1) gave up position right away and was beaten easily. (Cover -1)|
|M41||1||10||Ace Twins||Base 5-2||Pass||Inc||TE Seam|
|Actually goes to the non-Beckum UW TE as Michigan sends seven(!) guys. BG gets cut but gets up; Ezeh(+1) in unblocked on a well-timed delayed blitz; both get there just as Donovan throws. The resulting throw is long and uncatchable. (pressure +1)|
|M41||2||10||Ace||Base 5-2||Run||1||Zone right|
|Taylor(+1) holds up against a double team and Crable(+1) takes a momentary double without getting sealed; Crable's push and disconnect slows the RB long enough for help to close from the backside.|
|Michigan again blitzing heavily; both linebackers come. Ezeh gets in unblocked due to a UW miscommunication, hitting Donovan as he releases the ball. Adams(+1) reads Beckum's crossing route and comes up to tackle immediately. (Cover +1, pressure +1)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 12 min 1st Q. A couple of impressive plays on the part of Donovan already. I think this might be the hidden story of the game: Donovan playing his ass off.|
|O18||1||10||I-Form||Base 5-2||Run||-9 (pen)||Counter Trap|
|Adams comes up very hard right in the intended gap between the FB, who's crushed Crable(-1) inside, and the pulling guard. This forces Brown outside and should give Michgian time to react; Ezeh(-1) is late. Good reaction from Trent(+1) holds the play down. Hubbard, who came down to block Adams, picks up a holding call.|
|O9||1||19||Ace 3-wide||Base 4-3||Pass||25||Improvisation|
|Base personnel; Crable lined up in zone over the slot receiver. BGraham(+1) gets quick pressure from a four man rush but in doing so gives up contain as he's fought inside of the OT. I have a hard time blaming BG here, as the alternative is to sit around not getting pressure, something we've seen a lot of against mobile QBs. Donovan rolls out, finding Hubbard open for a big gainer and a first down. (Cover -1.) Another excellent play from Donovan.|
|Wooo for getting CGraham in coverage against a WR. The outside WR runs a fly, driving Trent off and creating a huge pocket for Hubbard to find another 20-yarder; Donovan overthrows it. (Cover -2, pressure -1). Adams blitzed and was through, but was forced to his knees and could not get to the QB.|
|The pocket starts collapsing from all sides as Donovan finds Beckum open on a stop route. He can't step into the throw and sails it. Um... pressure +1.|
|O34||3||10||Ace 3-wide||3-3-5 Nickel||Pass||Inc||Slant|
|Trent(+2) jumps a slant, breaking up the play and nearly intercepting the ball. (Cover +2)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 8 min 1st Q.|
|O45||1||10||I-Form Big||Base 4-4||Pass||0 (penx2)||Interception|
|Donovan gives Henne's INT back as Crable shoots into the backfield and forces a horrible throw; Adams picks it off. (Cover +1, pressure +1). A stupid, legit roughing the passer call follows. Crable(-3). A late hit on UW evens out the yardage.|
|Are you kidding me? Michigan is in a 4-4 with two safeties as UW comes out in a big formation, then splits Beckum out. The man covering Beckum: Tim Jamison. It's irrelevant, as Trent(-1) has given Hubbard a huge cushion, which UW exploits for an out; Trent can't make an immediate tackle and Hubbard drags him for another five yards. (Cover -2)|
|M41||1||10||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||5 + 15||Option|
|Crable levels Donovan, picking up a completely garbage PF; meanwhile the pitch is out and the FB makes a nice cut block on a charging Adams; linebackers are nowhere to be seen. Adams had a really tough assignment here and I'm not sure what he could have done other than this.|
|M19||1||10||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||7||Iso cutback|
|Englemon at the LOS for another guy in the box. Stunt gets Jamison(+1) right in the intended POA, forcing a cutback. On the backside Taylor has gotten a little penetration but not much. BGraham(-1) left unblocked, is owned by the fullback, creasing the backside and getting Smith into the secondary. Ezeh(-1) again late and cannot tackle at the hole.|
|M12||2||3||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||2||Iso|
|UW unbalances its line, tipping run with a covered up TE. Also no Beckum. Ezeh(+1) blitzes from the corner and gets stood up by the FB, but disengages as the RB passes and makes a diving tackle.|
|M10||3||1||I-Form Big||Base 4-3||Pass||10||Waggle throwback|
|We do have extra guys in the box on these last two plays, evening up the blocking. UW goes with the waggle, shooting Beckum out to the backside of the formation. CGraham(-1) loses him and whoever the safety is is just gone. Appears to be Englemon(-1). (Cover -2)|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 0-7, 4 min 1st Q.|
|O25||1||10||I-Form Twins||Base 5-2||Run||5||Iso|
|Both DTs single blocked and pretty much controlled; Taylor avoids a minus by flowing down t
he line and tackling. Johnson(-1) however, was pancaked and blown out of the play.
|O30||2||5||I-Form||Base 5-2||Run||6||Off tackle|
|Taylor(-1) can't take on a double, crumpling on contact and allowing the second guy to get out on Ezeh. CGraham(-1) runs up into the hole, meeting the FB and getting plowed backwards. Result: first down.|
|O36||1||10||I-Form 3-wide||Base 4-3||Pass||34||Flag|
|Beckum is the third "wideout." He's a matchup problem, that guy. Crable lines up over him in zone; they run the flag again, it's wide open again, and this time Donovan makes the throw. Getting bludgeoned by this route. (Cover -2). Crable is basically a DE now and he's trying to cover the best receiver on UW. Wait... is this man? I think it might be man. Oh god. I can't tell.|
|Crable(-1) blitzing into this play action; he comes up too far inside and gives up contain. Donovan scrambles for good yardage.|
|M19||1||10||I-Form||Base 5-2||Run||3||Off tackle|
|Same power off tackle they've run much of the day; this time Crable(+1) blitzes and stands up the fullback in the backfield, forcing Smith to bounce it outside. Ezeh(-1) gets caught up way to the inside, turning a potential TFL into a three yard gain.|
|Crable knifes through the line but can't keep his feet; the extra moment or two allows Donovan to hit the other UW TE, who's slipped out of the backfield to provide a late option. CGraham(+1) tackles immediately. (Cover +1)|
|M11||3||2||I-Form||Base 5-2||Run||1||Off tackle|
|Johnson(+2) drives into the backfield, picking off the pulling guard with his man's butt and creating a huge mess at the POA. Brown attempts to cut back behind it but falls and the drive ends.|
|Drive Notes: FG(27), 0-10, 12 min 2nd Q.|
|O41||1||10||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||3||Iso|
|Johnson(+1) again drives his guy backwards, fouling the hole and causing a cutback. Taylor(+1) has also driven his man back a bit and disengages to tackle; Adams(-1) had an opportunity to stick this for a small loss or no gain but whiffed.|
|O44||2||7||Ace||Base 5-2||Pass||Inc||Middle screen|
|The middle screen that's killed us the past couple years against Wisconsin re-emerges; we have apparently figured it out. ("Killed us" in last year's game == got a couple first downs.) Ezeh(+2) reads this and is there as the ball shows, breaking it up. (Cover +1)|
|As soon as Ezeh(-2) gets chopped and flies wildly past the QB, we're dead meat. CGraham has shot into the line and Jamison has stunted around him, leaving acres of space as Michigan mans up. Donovan can run for days. (Pressure -2)|
|Yeah, you know those effective runs from the Oregon game that we shelved? This is that. Other UW TE comes in motion and sets up over the guard, looking like he's going to help on a frontside run. The play starts and the blocking looks like a zone stretch; the TE comes to the backside and cuts Crable. A slow-reacting CGraham(-1) doesn't scrape(!) correctly, allowing an OL to get out on him. Bam, Smith into the secondary.|
|M29||2||1||I-Form||Base 5-2||Pass||24||TE Post|
|No pressure(-2) on Donovan at all. He has a huge pocket and can step up unfettered; this he does, finding Beckum just in front of Warren, who is draped on him and ready to rake as the ball arrives. A perfectly placed ball prevents him from making a play.|
|M5||1||G||I-Form Big||Base 4-4||Run||4||Off tackle|
|Crable does a good job crashing down on this but Ezeh(-1), even though he's seen this play like a half-dozen times already, just waits to get blocked by an OL. He gets off it and since Crable's crashing delays the RB he has a chance to make a play near the LOS, but he whiffs on the tackle. Also -1 to BGraham, blown way off the ball.|
|Waggle bootleg to give Donovan a run-pass option. He might have the TE open but decides not to chance throwing over Crable and heads for the corner. BGraham can't quite get there in time.|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown,0-17, 7 min 2nd Q. Impressive drive from UW here.|
|O35||1||10||I-Form||Base 5-2||Run||1||Inside zone|
|No pull from the guard and the FB shoots off to cut the unblocked backside DE: this is a zone play. Taylor(+1) absorbs a double team and flows down the line to tackle after the G gets a tardy release; BG and Johnson also do well to cut off any room.|
|Both TEs in two point stances. Delayed blitz from CGraham doesn't get there, Taylor bullrushes a guy back into Donovan, which might cause him to shorten up his stride and sail it a bit. No plus but no minus on pressure. Donovan tries a bomb to Beckum that's well covered by Warren(+1, cover +1)|
|One of the many plays that make me scream profanity during the game. BG gets a break here as Brown, trying to pick up a blitzing CGraham, picks off the guy blocking him; he gets in for what looks like a drive-killing sack but Donovan spins free and miraculously manages to keep his balance, split through the mess of OL and DL and roll out. He signals Hubbard downfield and hits him for a 30-some yard completion. I find it hard to blame anyone in particular on this except maybe BG. I mean, what is Harrison supposed to do here after six seconds covering a guy a foot taller than him? I dunno. BG(-1) for missing the tackle. Pressure(-2) for losing contain.|
|M37||1||10||Ace Twins||Nickel||Run||5||Zone right|
|Slocum in; he takes a momentary double, then stands up the OL and closes what looks ike the intended crease. Johnson's(-1) single blocked and handled, creating a crease between the two DTs. Ezeh(-1), unblocked, does not react. CGraham was trying to deal with a huge Wisconsin OL and managed to not give ground.|
|Slightly different blocking scheme here as Crable's blocked on the first level whereas before he has been let free for the FB to handle. Maybe this is designed to go outside? Think so. Crable(+1) beats his guy and eventually draws attention f
rom three badgers; Ezeh(-1) overruns to the frontside and CGraham(-1) is obliterated by an OL; a cutback lane opens and Smith takes it.
|M26||1||10||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||12||Iso|
|Johnson(-1) crushed out of the hole and way to the outside, creating a cavernous gap CGraham can't hope to fill. Taylor(-1) also blown back by a double. He gets blocked by the FB; Ezeh(-1) is caught inside waiting for a cutback that never comes and can't close him down to the outside. Englemon(-1) whiffed on a tackle downfield.|
|M14||1||10||I-Form Big||Base 5-3||Run||-10 (pen)||Pitch sweep|
|UW shifts before the snap, pulling TEs to create huge overload to one side. Jamison drops off the line and lines up as a WLB. They run a pitch play which gets down to the two, but largely because Crable(+2) had shot into the backfield and was held to prevent a major TFL.|
|Adams blitzes and doesn't quite get there; the two linebackers, delayed, do, forcing a throw from Donovan. (Pressure +1) It's way overthrown and just as well for UW as Warren(+1, cover +1) has Beckum blanketed.|
|Taylor(+1) reads the draw, fighting inside to close down the desired gap between the DTs; CGraham also does a good job of coming up. As Brown cuts it outside Taylor fights back to the other side of the OL and dives to make a tackle at the LOS.|
|Five guys blitz but no one gets there; Donovan has a nice pocket. (Pressure -1) He finds Hubbard open enough (cover -1), but misses.|
|Drive Notes: FG(39), 7-20, EOH.|
|O20||1||10||Ace Twins||Base 5-2||Run||8||Off tackle|
|Sort of on the formation. Beckum not quite on the line in a two point stance. One WR lined up just to the outside and back of him; TE offset behind him. Wisconsin then flips the formation, moving the TEs to the other side of the field, then bringing in the other WR as the RB goes from offset to directly behind the QB: they've moved from an obvious pass formation into a run formation that overloads the other side of the field. Crable switches sides, then starts motioning for a timeout that the refs don't give him. Jamison and Johnson get split but Johnson's absorbed a double team so there's no one to block Ezeh(-2), who sits back , fails to attack the hole, and lets Hill â€“ in the game for a couple carries â€“ burst by him.|
|O28||2||2||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||2||Inside zone|
|Odd alignment by the D with Jamison in a two point stance; he passively accepts a Beckum block. Weird, but looks like his assignment. Johnson slants into the backfield but is taking Donovan on a rollout fake; Crable shoots into the backfield from the other side as Michigan brings a run blitz; the FB takes him out but Hill's path is altered. Taylor(+1), doubled, holds up and makes a diving tackle as Hill passes. Still a first down.|
|O30||1||10||I-Form Twins||Base 5-2||Run||2||Draw|
|Adams brought as a blitzer. He's taken out by the fullback; Taylor's gotten some penetration but allows the RB to slip behind his block. Ezeh(+1), unblocked, makes a tackle after a small gain.|
|Harrison sent on a blitz; Wisconsin has a wall of blockers out there and Donovan has tons of time. (Pressure -2). Can't find anyone (cover +1), starts rolling out towards Harrison then flips around and starts running for it. Crable can't track him down... Donovan's a fast dude.|
|O39||3||1||I-Form Big||Base 5-3||Run||2||Iso|
|Pure straight ahead power from a FB as UW puts out a huge set in the backfield. Good job by Johnson to penetrate but he can't get there in time; Slocum in but not able to make a play.|
|O41||1||10||I-Form||Base 5-2||Pass||-10 (pen)||TE Out|
|No pressure(-2) at all; excellent pocket and Donovan has plenty of time to step up and fire. The TE runs an out in front of Warren in zone coverage; Warren is close enough to take a diving stab at the ball and attempt to rake it out but it's just beyond his reach and a completion. Carimi gets called for holding; BG(+1) drew it but it was unnecessary.|
|O31||1||20||Ace 3-wide||Base 5-2||Run||10||End-around|
|Same flip UW executed on the first play of the drive. Ezeh(-2) gives up contain immediately; Adams(-1) comes up hard but too hart, allowing Jefferson to beat him to the corner.|
|O41||2||10||Ace 3-wide||3-3-5 Nickel||Pass||19||Hitch|
|Blitz from Michigan; Ezeh(+1) plows right into the center and starts driving him back, forcing Donvan to throw; he finds Hubbard on a comeback route in front of Warren(-2, cover -2), who compounds the meh coverage by whiffing on a tackle and yielding significant YAC. (Pressure +1)|
|M40||1||10||Ace Twins||Base 5-2||Pass||7||Waggle scramble|
|Waggle action from UW; they use a pulled TE to block the backside DE and give Donovan some time. Coverage(+1) is good and Donovan decides to scramble. Ferrara(-1) overruns the play and Johnson(-1) was pancaked, so there's no one to clean up as he cuts back and scrambles.|
|M33||2||3||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||-2||End-around|
|End-around to Beckum(!); this time Crable(+2) is shooting in from the strongside unblocked. He's past the FB â€“ who seems to let him go â€“ and the RB, almost too far upfield to make a difference on the play but he grabs Beckum's leg and eventually hauls him down for a loss.|
|Again with the long-looping stunt of Graham around the DT and DE; it is about to get to Donovan but it's too late as he finds Jefferson wide open on a comeback route in front of Englemon. (-1, Cover -1, pressure -1)|
|M20||1||10||I-Form Big||Base 5-3||Run||4||Iso|
|Mouton in the game as an extra LB. Taylor(+1) drives into the backfield towards the hole, closing it just as the FB passes. Smith has to cut it back; the linebackers have all run themselves to the frontside of the play and gotten blocked, so it takes Englemon coming up to make this tackle. I should hand out a -1 somewhere... Mouton.|
|M16||2||6||I-Form Big||Base 5-3||Pass||8||Stop|
|Mouton out, Jamison in in Crable's usual place over the TE; he drops into coverage. Crable playing as a WLB. Beckum motions out to be a seco
nd receiver and runs a simple stop route in front of Trent(cover -1).
|M8||1||G||I-Form Big||Base 5-3||Run||5||Naked bootleg|
|Hey, wow, haven't seen this in a while. Run all the way here with no one in a route. Crable(-1) gets cut to the ground, opening up the backside; Warren makes an adequate tackle to prevent a TD.|
|Hill in, and we send out the big boys: NT Taylor, DT Slocum, DT Kates. Our DEs are usually DT Johnson and sometimes DT Graham. They run at Slocum(-1), who's stood up by one blocker. Taylor(+1) has burst into the backfield and delayed the progress of a couple pulled guys, forcing a Hill cutback and an eventual tackle just short of the goalline.|
|Full credit to CGraham(+2), who launches himself forward, plowing into the FB, stoning him, and driving back as Hill arrives, eventually sticking him short of the endzone. Taylor(+1) also helps make this play, eventually driving the center back and preventing Hill's added momentum from driving the pile forward. At the time I just thought "oh, god, put me out of my misery" but if things go a bit differently in the fourth quarter this could have been a deciding play.|
|Drive Notes: FG(18), 7-23, 5 min 3rd Q.|
|O23||1||10||I-Form Big||Base 6-2||Run||3||Iso|
|Johnson(+1) slants past his blocker into the desired path of this play, forcing a cutback. Patterson disengages to tackle as the RB passes him near the LOS, but can't prevent him from falling forward.|
|No pressure(-1) from a four-man front; Hubbard wide open in front of Trent(-1, cover -1).|
|O36||1||10||I-Form Big||Base 6-2||Run||7||Off tackle|
|Greg Banks(-1) is doubled, immediately crumbling and getting pancaked. Crable(-1) stoned by the FB as a guard and Beckum pull around from the strongside of the formation. Taylor's again fought to get himself into the hole â€“ I can't believe what a monster game he's having given the results on the field â€“ but Johnson(-1) is easily handled by his guy and can't do likewise; there's a major gap between them.|
|O43||2||3||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||3||Iso|
|Jamison(-1) is stunting around the DT and right into this hole; he should at least take out the FB and allow a linebacker to close unblocked; instead he shoots upfield uselessly. Ezeh(+1) and Taylor do a good job of closing the hole, but the momentum of the back bowls them over and he sqeezes out near the first down.|
|O46||1||10||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||5||Inside zone|
|Michigan slants hard to the left, which means Taylor takes himself out of the play and Ferrara(-1) is slanting into a double team that crushes him. Ezeh, blitzing up the middle, comes up hard but the back can slant away from him because of the large gap. Adams makes an arm tackle as he passes.|
|M49||2||5||I-Form Big||Base 4-3||Run||4||Delay|
|Highlight of this one provided because I'm not sure exactly what to term it and not precisely sure what everyone's responsibilities are. Anyone who can chip in, please do. We're laying back and blitzing hard at the snap; Ezeh(+1) meets the C and stands him up, making this hole smallish â€“ think Brown should cut back here into big space as Ferrara's run himself way out of the play and into trouble, but he does not â€“ but Adams(-1) does not fill it, instead moving outside to follow the fullback, which appears to be Crable's responsibility. Result is that the RB can slip up this crease for four as Ezeh and Slocum disengage to tackle.|
|M45||3||1||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||0||Iso|
|Johnson(+1) slants hard inside as Jamison(+1) loops around behind him on what's not really a stunt but a sellout to stop the hypothetical iso. Both guys get there, stuffing this at the LOS and forcing a punt.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 7-23, 14 min 4th Q.|
|Taylor(+1) gets interior pass rush and nails Donovan as he releases the ball(pressure +1); it's a bit of a duck. Warren(+1, cover +1) is there to rake the ball out as it arrives. Stevie Brown in the game.|
|O30||2||10||Ace 3-wide||Base 5-2||Run||-1||Off tackle|
|Same formation UW ends up in after the flip, but they just line up in it this time. M shows man press. And end-around draws two players two it, potentially opening up a running lane. Crable(+1) blitzes from over the WR and is not blocked; BG(+1) slashes past his blocker and into the backfield; the pair tackle for loss.|
|O29||3||11||Ace 3-wide||Nickel||Pass||Inc||Middle screen|
|Adams is creeping forth at the snap â€“ a spy, maybe? -- but not blitzing, so he's in perfect position to read this screen and break it up(+1, cover +1)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 14-23, 12 min 4th Q.|
|O24||1||10||I-Form Twins||Base 5-2||Run||2||Draw|
|Johnson(+1) does a good job holding up against a double team; Ezeh sort of comically plows into the back of one of his teammates and falls as the running back approaches the LOS, which forces a spin and eventually a fall due to the traffic the immobile Johnson has created.|
|Crable(+1) shoots past a blocker but is flat-out tackled, opening up a huge gap for the RB to exploit. No call. Ezeh(-1) got blocked right out of the play and ther was no second-level help.|
|BGraham(+1) fights outside of his blocker and gets into the hole the FB is running up into. He gets blocked out of the play but he's successfully stripped the RB of his crease and his lead blocker. Johnson(-1) gets blown back by a double, forcing Ezeh to go around the guy still blocking Johnson and whiff an arm tackle; he gets pushed a couple yards downfield and turns this from 0 into 3.|
|O41||2||7||Ace Twins||Base 5-2||Run||0||Inside zone|
|Actually more of a 6
-2 as CGraham comes to the LOS and Adams moves up to be a second linebacker. Crable gets upfield and Jamison is doubled, creating a large crease between the two; Adams(+2) comes up and fills with authority, tackling for no gain.
|O41||3||7||Ace||Base 6-2||Pass||Inc||TE Out|
|Michigan crowding the line, threatening major blitz. They come with seven guys and have Brown come up to play spy, leaving three downfield recievers in man coverage. No one nears Donovan (pressure -2). He finds Beckum; Adams(+2, cover +2) is all over him, diving to break the pass up near the sticks.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 14-23, 9 min 4th Q.|
|O26||1||10||Ace Twins||Base 5-2||Pass||29||PA Flag|
|Adams comes up as an eighth man in the box; Wisconsin runs a play-action fake and sets up as Michigan shows man free. Warren(-1) gets beaten on a flag route by Hubbard; Donovan hits him on it. Nice pocket this time (pressure -1, cover -1)|
|M45||1||10||I-Form||Base 5-2||Pass||Inc||PA Out|
|Ezeh sent on a blitz that the UW FB screws up real bad, moving out to block Crable, who's already dealing with an OT, and allowing Ezeh a free shot on Donovan. The resulting, hurried throw is well wide. (Pressure +1) Donovan bangs his finger on Ezeh's helmet; Allen Everidge comes in. Question: why was Donovan, who had clearly hurt his finger, allowed to sit on his butt in the middle of the field? I've seen neck injuries that took less time. Obvious gamesmanship by Bielema; it's up to the refs to get Meathead under control.|
|M45||2||10||I-Form||Base 6-2||Run||2||Off tackle|
|Michigan stacks the line and comes; Jamison stunts into the gap that's attacked but is blown out of there by an OL. Johnson(+1) has driven into the backfield and disengages to tackle at the LOS.|
|M43||3||8||Ace||Base 5-2||Pen||-5||False start|
|BG(+1) nearly gets past the OG and is very close to being held. He doesn't get to Everidge, but does convince him to scramble out into an onrushing Jamison(+1). Everidge just gets rid of it. (Pressure +2)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 21-23, 6 min 4th Q.|
|M33||1||10||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||1||Inside zone|
|Adams comes up for an eighth guy in the box; both Johnson(+1) and Taylor(+1) stand up to double teams, Johnson splitting his and leaving an OL in the hole looking for someone to block. As the RB reaches the hole he bangs into the OL and Taylor reaches over to tackle and finish the play.|
|M32||2||9||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||19||Iso|
|Taylor(-1) gets effectively scooped; there's a crease between the two DTs as Johnson gets some penetration that might be voluntary on the OL's part. CGraham(-1) comes up to fill and gets pwned by the FB. Brown(-1) misses a tackle, turning this into 10 additional yards for UW.|
|M13||1||10||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||7||Off tackle|
|BG(-2) obliterated by the OT, falling flat on his ass immediately. Ezeh(-1) and CGraham(-1) get blocked out of the resulting hole; another big gainer.|
|M6||2||3||I-Form Big||Base 5-3||Run||6||Off tackle|
|Same play; this time Brown cuts it to the backside. Jamison(-1) ran himself out of the play; Johnson(-1) blown back by a double team, and woop touchdown.|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-30, 3 min 4th Q. Charting stops here, as the rest of the game is academic.|
That was horrible.
Pretty much. Wisconsin had 12 drives and scored on six of them. Two of UW's field goals were chip shots; Michigan was fortunate to hold in the redzone. Early on, I was just "oh, okay, Donovan is making some great throws." Late, though... ugly.
It is worth mentioning, though: Donovan did play a great game and Travis Beckum is an impossible matchup.
It seems to me that some of the blame on the UM defense is related to the offense's lack of production. When the offense is constantly going three and out the defense gets tired and tends to reach to make big plays. This leads it open to both missed tackles and big plays. It seems when the offense is able to move the ball the defense can stiffen up and hold the other team in key situations. But when the offense is ice cold the D seems to give up more ground.
Is this fair? Or are they unrelated?
[Actual question from actual reader. -ed]
I think there's some blame to be assigned to things that aren't the defense, but it's not due to fatigue. Look above: after a couple stops Michigan gives up five consecutive scoring drives of significant length, both in terms of yardage and plays, one of which is right after halftime. If we were seeing an exhaustion effect it wouldn't start in the first quarter and end midway through the third. And if there is an exhaustion effect, it's just as much on the D for being unable to get on the field as the O for being unable to get off it. Maybe if Michigan started off with a series of three-and-outs and put together a noble front before crumbling, I could see it. But not here.
The item that might mitigate the D's performance: Zoltan's suddenly crappy punting -- the past two weeks he's regressed badly -- and Michigan's consistent inability to stop any kickoff return before it reaches the 35. Look at UW's drive starts early: 34, 18 (bad pooch punt), 45, 25 (bad punt), 41, 35. That's losing the field position battle.
Chart. This one's a doozy.
|Jamison||3||2||1||No pass rush at all. What happened to this guy?|
|Johnson||8||7||1||Caved several times; several other times made nice plays. Confusing day.|
|Taylor||11||3||8||I thought he was great, but grant you that you might be skeptical. Nine tackles is a hell of a number for a DT, though.|
|Crable||9||7||2||Stupid PF was a huge turning point.|
|Banks||-||1||-1||A hidden source of damage: sparsely used backups, collectively -4.|
|Ezeh||8||15||-7||Not ready for prime-time, IMO.|
|C. Graham||3||6||-3||Is who he is.|
|Trent||3||2||1||Gave up a couple outs, otherwise not tested much.|
|Warren||3||4||-1||Relatively tough day.|
|Adams||6||3||3||Should he be playing LB?|
|"Pressure"||10||18||-8||This should color your views of the DL significantly.|
|"Coverage"||15||17||-2||Okay, not great; flag routes killed them.|
A huge positive score for Taylor and a huge negative score for Ezeh jump out. Taylor I'm pretty confident on after checking the box score and seeing the aforementioned nine tackles. That's outstanding for a DT, especially since AFAIK every one of them was at or near the LOS. He was a standout.
Ezeh... well. Is UFR presdisposed to hate linebackers? I don't think so. I went back to a few games last year and found no negative scores except a 1-2-(-1) put up by a wounded Burgess in the OSU game. Is it reasonable that he's playing really poorly? Yes, he's a redshirt freshman in a run defense that's consistently gotten gashed up the middle; Michigan was so worried about their linebackers they brought in their first JUCO in ten years. So the ugly number above is legit, IMO. Ezeh is the Ryan Mallett of the defense, forced on the fiwaeld a year (or two) early.
Arrrgh Crable aaaargh.
Yes, pretty much with the personal fouls and the containment issues and all that jazz, but do note he was positive for the game despite taking a -3 on the first PF (the second, being complete bullcrap, did not draw UFR-scorn). He remains a net positive on the defense and will be important against Ohio State. If he can make Boone look as silly as Florida's southern-speed laced DL did, we might have a chance.
I would also like to point out that Meathead has a basic lack of football knowledge if he thinks Crable would get ejected for two personal fouls.
Taylor and Jamar Adams.
Ezeh, Crable, and everyone assigned to rush the passer.
What does it mean for Ohio State?
If Michigan's performance against Michigan State was a "please ask again later" in re: Michigan's run defense versus a pounding, between-the-tackles ground game, the Wisconsin game was "outlook not so good." Beanie Wells is way better than anyone Michigan's faced the past two weeks and the Ohio State offensive line is likely to be at least the equal of MSU and UW. Unless we have some magic schematic mushroom in our pocket, expect Wells to go nuts.
The passing game will be more even, IMO, and will require Ohio State to play off the run -- note that this is not "set up" the run; a first-snap play action bomb would terrify me -- to neutralize a Michigan DL that's highly effective at getting to the quarterback when there is no threat of a handoff but could not get to Hoyer or Donovan on play action or even just your average run-pass down. If Boeckman makes a mistake here or there or a blitz gets in or one of our DBs makes a play or two... but it'll take a fluke event or three to keep Ohio State from moving the ball effectively.
Yes, despite the Illinois game. Illinois has J Leman. He is a real American hero. Do we have real American heroes? Not on defense. Not at linebacker.
Poll coming early PM.
Video trouble? Try VLC.
|M20||1||10||I-Form 3-wide||Run||1||Brown||Zone left|
|Wisconsin has a corner rolled up over the backside, obviously showing zone, and goes with a shifted defensive front that lines an NT up over the C and has a DT over Boren. Kraus and Boren double the DT but get no push; Boren(-1) eventually falls. Meanwhile, the NT is the responsibility of Mitchell and slants behind Kraus as the play snaps. Mitchell has no chance to block him and does his best to follow him down the line. As Brown cuts up behind Long's block of the DE, the NT closes to tackle; a host of unblocked second-level Badgers follow. This play was doomed from the start.|
|M21||2||9||Ace 3-wide||Run||14||Brown||Zone right|
|Butler on the left side of the line; same shift by Wisconsin and Michigan runs away from it. Kraus gets squared up on the NT as Mitchell heads out to the second level; Boren(+1) blows the DT way off the line w/ help from Long(+1) and Butler(+1) manages to get in front of and drive the DE back. Brown pops through a hole and into the secondary. (Replay)|
|M35||1||10||Ace 3-wide||Pass||9||Mathews||Long handoff|
|Mathews working on the freshman corner for good yardage. (CA, 3)|
|M442||2||1||I-Form Big||Run||6||Brown||Zone left|
|NT Newkirk slants left at the snap, running himself out of the play and into the block of Butler. Wisconsin compensates by blitzing linebackers right up them middle. Mitchell(+1) chops one; Moundros(+1) does the other; Brown cuts up smartly into the vacant area.|
|O49||1||10||Ace 3-wide||Run||-1||Brown||Zone left|
|Hayden straight-up crushes a scoop block by Boren(-1) and Kraus(-1), ending up right in Brown's path. With nowhere to go he attempts to cut back; he's not Mike Hart.|
|Uh... okay. One WR on second and long. Debord will do this several more times and throw out of it, which is, IMO, completely insane. At this point Wisconsin has one all-star corner and then freshmen and losers. Why allow Ikegwuonu to cover the only receiver on the field? Why not force the nickelback on the field? I dunno. Anyway, Ikegwuonu gives tons of cushion and Michigan takes the simple out. Henne loops the ball awkwardly and makes this a tougher catch than it should be. (CA-, 2, protection 1/1)|
|Henne turfs one. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 8 min 1st Q. Henne does look wonky to start.|
|MLB bites on the play action and the WLB in zone coverage freaks out and starts heading to the sideline in an attempt to cover a WR after biting a little bit himself. Butler comes open and Henne hits him for a first down. Pass is a little low but reeled in. (CA, 2)|
|Inverted TEs, one of whom is "TE" Vince Helmuth. We often run draws from this formation, leaking the FB inside, and that's what we do here. Wisconsin is prepared for this, shooting two linebackers into the backside gap. Helmuth takes out one of them, but his counterpart forces Brown into the line; Brown bangs into an OL and goes down amongst a host of red shirts, driving for a few yards he did well to get.|
|The horribly thrown interception. (IN, 0, protection 2/2). Had Mathews for a first down otherwise. Goodbye, Henne.|
|Drive Notes: Interception, 6 min 1st Q. Henne out, Mallett in.|
|M32||1||10||Ace 3-wide||Pass||9||Arrington||Long handoff|
|Wisconsin brings up an extra guy, expecting run, and... hey! They took advantage of a soft corner. It's the freshman again. Throw was well in front of Arrington, presaging further wildness. (CA-, 3)|
|Not a stretch, close to what I'd call an Iso in any other offense. Left side of the line gets good push, but no creases appear. Hodge sticks Brown just short of the first down.|
|Not sneaking it on third and an inch seems needlessly reckless, but it works. Mitchell(+1) makes a good reach block, knocking back the DT and creating a bit of space for Minor. Good thing, too, as the other gaps were filled by hard-slanting badgers.|
|Arrington on a comeback route; Mallett waits and waits, finally throwing it wide as he nears the sidelines. It looks like Manningham is wide open here. (IN, 0)|
|I dunno, like WTF man. The weakside DE is totally ignored as long shoots out to the second level immediately; Minor gets a handoff on delay action and the unblocked DE makes a TFL. I'm at a loss to explain this play. Maybe it could work if the DE freaks out and goes after Mallett, but in this offense backside DEs are left unblocked all the time as the tackle shoots out to the second level, so as soon as the play snaps the DE is thinking run. Butler was off the line; maybe he was supposed to pull around? I don't understand this play at all. Video included in case someone wants to theorize as to what's going on here.|
|Good protection, as UW only rushes three. Mallett can't find anyone, eventually rolling out and taking a sack. (TA, 0, protection 2/2) On replay, good coverage with plenty of bumping from UW. No one open; can't blame Mallett there.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 0-7, 1 min 1st Q.|
|M20||1||10||I-Form 3-wide||Pass||17||Arrington||PA Flag|
|Excellent protection; draw fake t
o Minor. Mallett scans, pumping once before finding Arrington, who's beaten the freshman Henry, on a flag route. Mallett throws; the pass is a bit low but catchable, Arrington digs it out. (CA, 2, protection 2/2)
|M37||1||10||Ace 3-wide||Run||-2||Minor||Zone left|
|Kraus(-1) blows right past the backside DT, leaving him for Mitchell on a reach block; Mitchell does not make this block. Minor is forced to cut back into an unblocked linebacker. This play is explored in more detail below.|
|M35||2||12||I-Form||Pass||Inc||Arrington||Post and go|
|Arrington torches this Henry kid again, getting yards past him; Mallett overthrows it. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)|
|Hayden splits a double from Boren(-1) and Kraus(-1), coming straight up the middle and sacking before Mallett's routes can develop. (PR, 0, protection 0/2)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 0-10, 11 min 2nd Q. FTR: Debord calling a diverse game here. Unless you think any play featuring an Alex Mitchell reach block is a bad playcall, there's not much to criticize.|
|M20||1||10||I-Form Big||Pass||Inc||Arrington||PA Out|
|This is where I don't understand this formation. Okay, you've run play action and gotten Mallett lots of time. But the only actual receiver in the route is covered by Ikegwuonu. And I mean this literally: there is one receiver in the route. Michigan's run this a couple times before, but it's an all-or-nothing strategy that banks on a really convincing run fake. Ikegwuonu is in man and doesn't buy it; Mallett throws it anyway and it's nearly picked off. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)|
|M20||2||10||I-Form Twins||Run||3||Brown||Zone left|
|Eight in the box for UW and Hayden gets a jump off the ball directly into the path of the play. Mitchell is just trailing the backside DT hopelessly when Moundros(+1) slams into him (the DT), driivng him back and pancacking him. Mitchell gets in on the act, generally shoving people and turning this into a small gain as Brown cuts back behind Kraus and Boren trying to handle Hayden.|
|Mallett's drop is ridiculously deep â€“ ten yards â€“ and he fails to step up into a nice pocket the OL has provided, so eventually a guy comes around Schilling but it's not his fault. Mallett thinks about rolling out, then flicks a perfect pass off his back foot to a guy 25 yards from him. Uh. Okay. (DO, 2, protection 2/2)|
|Seven guys in the box and the linebackers are shifted to the TE's side of the line; Mallett checks off and hits Arrington on a post after looking off a safety. Could be a little more accurate â€“ Arrington pulled of his feet â€“ but Mallett looks like a real quarterback on these back-to-back throws. (CA+, 2, protection 2/2)|
|O42||1||10||I-Form Twins||Run||5||Brown||Zone right|
|Good job by Mitchell to get a solid shove on the DT. Moundros(+1) pounds a linebacker back off the LOS as he shoots into the hole; Brown follows him for a pounding five-yard gain.|
|O37||2||5||I-Form Twins||Run||-1||Minor||Zone left|
|Schilling asked to reach-block Newkirk, but Newkirk is slanting so hard to the playside he's immediately behind him and has no chance to block anything; Newkirk flows down the line and tackles at the POA. Without his presence this is a six-to-eight yard gain, IMO.|
|Mallett can't find anyone open, but smartly scrambles around pressure to buy time. He motions Mathews to head downfield and lofts up a bomb to him. He's well covered â€“ amazingly well covered, #3 here did a stellar job â€“ but Mathews comes over his back to make a simultaneous catch and pick up the first down. Is Mathews blanketed? Yes. Is this a bad decision? Not really. He didn't have any other options and it's third down. Even if intercepted this is a nice punt. (CA+, 1, protection 2/2)|
|Manningham beats Ikegwuonu, who falls, and jets into the endzone. (CA, 3)|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown,7-17, 4 min 2nd Q. An 80 yard touchdown drive gives false hope. At this point Mallett looks acceptable; it's almost all downhill from here.|
|M18||1||10||I-Form Twins||Pass||Inc||Manningham||PA Fly|
|Manningham has a step here; Mallett throws it well short and to the inside. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)|
|M18||2||10||I-Form Twins||Run||6||Brown||Inside zone|
|Wisconsin only has about six guys in the box here, though they're clearly in zone and two DBs are looking in at the snap, prepared to jump a run. Brown ends up cutting back as the frontside is jammed up. Long(+1) and Kraus(+1) have creased a large area to the play's rear and Butler(+1) has cut of the backside DE. A safety comes up and with no one on the second level it's just him and Brown; theh ole is big enough for Brown to schoot past him and fall forward for a nice gain.|
|UW sends the house â€“ seven guys â€“ getting a corner in unblocked. Mallett throws off his back foot, winging a pass into the sidelines. Manningham was open for the first down. (IN, 0, protection 0/1, team)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 7-20, 14 min 3rd Q. A Zoltan MIND BULLET on an otherwise crappy day for him gets Michigan the ball back in UW territory.|
|Eight in the box, and we run straight ahead with no zone blocks. Boren(+1) does a good job on Hayden; Kraus gets out on the MLB. Moundros has trouble with another LB attacking hard; Brown's forced to cut up inside instead of head out into open space. The backside DE, unblocked comes into tackle near the LOS. Brown falls forward.|
|Ikegwuonu has this blanketed; this ball should not be thrown. Manningham ends up playing DB. (BR, 1, protection 2/2)|
|O35||7||Shotgun 3-wide||Pen||-5||--||Delay of game|
|Wisconsin rushes three; Hayden is in the path of the throw, leaps, and knocks it down. (BA, 0, protection 1/2, team)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 7-20, 13 min 3rd Q.|
|Manningham open on the out for about nine, as UW is stacking the box. Thrown to Tacopants. Woo, Tacopants! (IN, 0, protection 2/2).|
|UW still has eight in the box, and this is going nowhere. Hayden breaks free from Boren's(-1) block, taking a swipe at Minor in the backfield but missing. The WLB gets sucked inside too far and Minor manages to get the corner after getting knocked back and jetting out to the sideline. All the RB here.|
|M29||3||1||I-Form Big||Pass||4||Manningham||Long handoff|
|Well, if they're going to play off, sure. Ikegwuonu pissed afterwards. (CA, 3)|
|Way, way, overthrown. Not even Tacopants can get to that one. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)|
|M33||2||10||I-Form Twins||Pass||0||Arrington||Long handoff|
|Maybe one too many times to the well.... maybe it's late? Don't know. Henry was pretty far off at the snap. (CA, 3)|
|UW sends the house again; good pickup; Mallett throws it way wide and high to Manningham on an out. Better coverage this time, though. (IN, 0, protection 3/3)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 7-23, 3 min 3rd Q.|
|Hard to tell what happens on this play, as ABC is devoting significant screen space to people doing "Jump Around", but it looks like the usual: tough reach block on the backside, this one Schilling's, does not work and when there's a slight disruption on the frontside fails reach block results in a minimal gain.|
|Excellent pocket, Manningham sort of open but not really, Mallett throws it in the dirt. A commenter wondered if Tacopants had a 2'6" sister named "Tacoskirt." Yes, yes he does. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)|
|Mallett picks Manningham out just as he passes the first level in the zone but before the safety can come up and lays it directly in his hands. Carter takes a bad angle, falls, and Manningham is off to the races. Divers alarums. (DO, 3, protection 2/2)|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-23, 13 min 4th Q. Yeah... well. Okay.|
|So a stunt gets Newkirk in and Mallett knows he's going to get crushed. He chucks it up for grabs; it's picked off. Jesus Christ. (BR, 0, protection 0/2, team)|
|Drive Notes: Interception, 14-23, 12 min 4th Q. At least that was quick.|
|M14||1||10||Shotgun 3-wide||Pass||5 + 15||--||Scramble|
|Pocket holds up well, but Mallett can't find anyone. He scrambles out of the pocket, scanning downfield for potential receivers, then decides to take off and get what he can, which is five yards and a late hit penalty. Legit, as there's no reason for Levy to bang helmets with Mallett after he's down. (TA, 0, protection 2/2)|
|Manningham is open for a seven or eight yard gain, but Mallett throws it way too far downfield. It's almost intercepted; Manningham, going for the ball, bangs into the DB and the ball falls to the turf. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)|
|M34||2||10||Ace 3-wide||Pass||Inc||Mathews||PA Wheel|
|Mathews actually lined up as a TE, albeit off the LOS; he runs a wheel route that gets wide open against Levy and could be a 15-20 yard gain. Mallett loops it but throws it short, Mathews can't dig it out. (IN, 1, protection 2/2)|
|A blitz/stunt gets a UW guy loose right up the middle. Mallett is sack-- OH GOD WHAT ARE YOU-- RUN, CARSON, RUN! (Uh... N/A, N/A, 0/2, team)|
|Manningham beats Ikegwuonu this time and Mallett finds him between levels in the zone; Manningham drops it. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2)|
|50||2||10||Shotgun 3-wide||Pass||Inc +10||Arrington||Improvisation|
|Levy blitzes around the edge; Mallett steps up and starts rolling out. He doesn't really have to roll out, as there's a nice pocket, but maybe it's good to get away from Levy. He finds Arrington open but throws it in the turf. (IN, 0, protection 2/2) Manningham was mugged by Ikegwuonu; holding call.|
|Should be a simple pitch and catch, but Mallett throws it a bit low. Not so low that it's an impossible catch; Arrington overreacts to it a bit and manages to get under it, eventually dropping the ball. (CA-, 2, protection 1/1)|
|UW only rushes three, which simplifies things; huge holes everywhere in the line. Long(+2) helps out by completely obliterating his guy, kicking him all the way to the other side of the field and making it really obvious where Minor soult go. Butler kinda whiffs on his block but the player in question is forced to head outside; Minor cuts up smartly and into the secondary.|
|Beautiful pocket; Mallett loads up and goes for the endzone. Ikegwuonu is in better postion than Manningham and makes su
re the pass is incomplete. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
|Wisconsin sends the house; seven players cross the line â€“ I've almost never seen a game with this many crazy-ass blitzes on both sides â€“ and one gets through up the middle after a stunt. Mallett finds Arrington on a corner route but throws it too long. I... well. It's (IN, 0, protection 1/3, team), but that's admittedly harsh.|
|UW obviously just rushing three with eight guys nowhere near the LOS. Mallett drops back in a nice pocket and throws to Arrington, who separates from the DB and lays out to catch a perfect throw. (DO, 1, protection 2/2)|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-23, 7 min 4th Q. Is this not the least impressive 86 yard touchdown drive you've ever seen?|
|Nearly picked off by Casillas as I think Butler was supposed to get a bit of a pick on his zone drop and did not. Mallett's throw is a little behind Arrington, so it's a completion instead of a pick six. BR? CA? Dunno. Benefit of the doubt. (CA, 2, protection 1/1)|
|Boren(-1) driven back by Hayden; no holes. UW had a seventh guy in the box here... Mallett probably should have checked off.|
|Butler(-2) gets beaten by the DE and flagged for holding; Mallett moves up into the pocket, then starts scrambling around like a madman, eventually taking an enormous loss and attempting to hurl the ball to Minor underhand as he gets sacked. (BR, 0, protection 0/2)|
|Thrown directly to Ikegwuonu. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)|
|Drive Notes: Interception, 21-23, 4 min 4th Q. Oy.|
|The Mallett dumpoff this ref decides is a sack because he doesn't like the cut of our young man's jib. Mallett was in trouble because Schilling(-2) was humilliatingly thrown to the ground by a linebacker and woop guys on top of him. (PR, 0, protection 0/2)|
|Dropped. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)|
|Mallett steps up, finding Arrington just in front of a safety, but the safety lunges to break it up. (CA, 1, protection 2/2)|
|Actually open and a quasi-decent throw, just too long. Mathews lays out but can't make a near impossible catch. (CA-, 1, protection 2/2)|
|Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 21-30, 2 min 4th Q. Charting ceases.|
This guy was Mr. Super Fun Awesome Guy out of high school?
Yes. Evidently. We should really check the--
We busted out a similar disclaimer during Henne's 2005 nadir: four of Mallett's CAs were long handoffs. When he went, or rather attempted to go, downfield the results were awful: 12 good (CA + DO) results and 19 bad ones (IN + BR + TA), a 38% success rate.
So, was this the worst game by a QB in UFR history?
Yes. The previous gold standard was the 2005 Wisconsin game in which Henne had a whopping 11 INs and the legend of Tacopants really began to take off. But even in that game Henne's ratio was 10:14, a 41% success rate. Before 2005 things get murky and are not backed up by nice numbers, but it was probably the worst performance by a Michigan quarterback since Navarre gave away the 2001 OSU game, and even that was more a spate of hideously bad intercept
ions than Mallett's relentless series of bad reads and inaccuracy.
This is where the mitigation goes: yes, he's a true freshman and yes he has an enormously high ceiling. I still love his pocket awareness, his feel for moving away from pressure (most of the time), and his rocket arm. I am not suggesting that Mallett is destined for failure. It's just that at the moment he sucks real bad. He's going to have to work his ass off to hold off Steven Threet, and I say that having never seen Threet do anything at all.
Maybe Mallet was just under seige?
To some extent, okay. Yes. Protection numbers:
Protection: 55/69. Boren -1, Kraus -1, Butler -2, Schilling -2, Team -8.
I know a huge number for "team" is unsatisfying, but I could not assign blame for many of the stunt screwups, partially because many of the shots were wide-angle and picking out exactly what happened was difficult.
Anyway, the blocking grades out at 80%, not great, but it wasn't last week versus MSU. Mallet had a decent amount of time and when he didn't it was usually because Wisconsin was bringing a huge rush.
Arrington gets in on the parade of uncatchable balls this week; the rest of it is about as you might expect, with a couple of unusual drops from the main guys but in limited opportunities to prove they can catch routine balls.
Hey, how about that Debord!
I will give him this: his playcalling was relatively diverse and did not put Mallett in a position to fail; this was all on him. It was kinda shocking, actually, but in retrospect Michigan got down 10-0 right away and played the entire game from behind, so out came the scoring offense even with the freshman quarterback going FAIL FAIL FAIL. If you ever needed proof that Michigan thinks a diversified offense with a fairly even run/pass split on first down is the best way to score and deliberately chooses something else whenever they can, this game was it.
Uh... Mallett. Yes. I think so.
Oh, lord. I actually though Brown did a fine job taking what was given him on his limited rushing opportunities. Moundros got a couple nice blocks, and Long was a rock as per usual.
What does it mean for Ohio State?
Hopefully damn near nothing. If Mallett plays, we lose. If Hart does not play, we probably lose.
Other than that obvious conclusion, at this point we know the zone running game is highly susceptible to getting overplayed when we use it so much; maybe the precious counter trap or just plain zone counter will re-emerge to give Buckeye DL something to think about. Ohio State fans are very nervous about their starting DTs but our run game will allow their slight but relatively quick guys to penetrate without having to worry about taking on a drive block; unless Hart pulls some magic out expect another disappointing performance.
Schilling did okay, but after last week's severe troubles with the Sackmaster it's clear Schilling-Gholston is this year's biggest individual mismatch in The Game. I am not optimistic.
Video trouble? Try VLC.
|M29||1||10||I-Form Twins||Run||8||Hart||Zone left|
|Kraus appears to be the permanent center, BTW. This is all Hart: there's a crease as Moundros and Kraus take out the playside DT â€“ barely â€“ and Long(+1) does his thing as Boren picks off a LB. A safety run blitzes at the snap and should have this at the LOS; Hart jukes him and heads for eight.|
|M37||2||2||I-Form Twins||Run||5 (pen)||Hart||Zone left|
|Butler starts out wide; we motion him in. A commenter informed me that this "handoff" block I was searching for nomenclature on was actually a scoop block, so that's what we'll call it. Anyway, a scoop on the DT between Kraus and Ciulla doesn't go so well; the DT runs down the line and tackles. Rest of the play well done. Doesn't matter, as MSU is offsides.|
|M42||1||10||Ace Twins||Pass||5 (pen)||Arrington||Waggle|
|Arrington starts out on the other side, motioning to Manningham as the play starts; we have a TE off the line on the side of the waggle tasked with blocking the DE who often shoots into the backfield. Arrington gets open on a circle route; Henne hits him but takes him off his feet doing so. A short gain is negated for another offsides penalty. (CA-, 2, protection 1/1)|
|M47||1||5||Ace Twins||Pass||15 (pen)||Manningham||Fly|
|Inverted TEs here, with the guy lined up off the line inside the one on it. Michigan drops back and bombs it for the first time; live I thought this was inadvisable but results-based and all that. (CA, N/A, protection 2/2)|
|Minor in. This is the stupid playcall I mentioned Monday where Arrington is covered up; Butler comes in motion and they run right. Schilling(-2) is owned by The Sackmaster; the DE is right through and tackles for loss. Might Hart break this tackle?|
|Henne misses Butler busting wide open on a seam route, instead settling for a little dumpoff to Manningham that's covered. MSU blitzed; M picked it up. This should not be a one-yard completion. (BR, 3, protection 3/3)|
|Oh, this Henderson guy got owned by a double move and fell down; Henne whiffs badly on a potential touchdown. Announcers claim this could be a penalty, but it looked to me like Henderson was trying to commit one but couldn't manage it. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 0-3, 8 min 1st Q.|
|Inverted TEs; Arrington motions out of the twins. Henne looks at Manningham, then comes off him and has his pick of three wide open guys on little stop routes on the other side of the field. Maybe a decoy read? He picks Butler out; he rumbles for a first down. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2)|
|Motion Butler to the right side of the line and run left; both safeties fly up. By the time Hart gets the ball both are committed to the run. I always hate seeing this; where is our play action? Anyway, Hart should be thinking cutback and eventually does; Ciulla(-1) failed to cut the backside DT, who meets him at the LOS. Butler(-1) also completely whiffed on The Sackmaster. Not relevant to the play, but a really poor job of blocking.|
|O49||2||7||I-Form Twins||Run||38||Hart||Inside zone?|
|I'm not sure what this is, but I'm sure that this wasn't supposed to happen. It looks like Hart's supposed to pick a hole on the right side of the line; Boren is defeated by the weakside DE; Hart decides that the intended hole is not for him. On the backside, oddly, Long is blocking the DE as Butler just sort of wanders off downfield. Moundros ran up and plugged the MLB; the WLB, however, is unblocked and shooting through the hole. Hart hops around him as both safeties come up way too hard. Hart runs for a long while. Like the first play of the game this required Hart to make an awesome play to avoid a TFL. I have my doubts about the long-term viability of such a strategy.|
|Reach block for Ciulla on the backside DT just doesn't work; he flows down the line. No minus, as these are hard when the DT slants right away. Kraus gets no push on a Spartan linebacker on the second level; neither does Moundros.|
|Manningham takes a couple of stutter steps off the line, then bursts outside Henderson. Henne lays it in perfectly. (DO, 3, protection 2/2)|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-3, 4 min 1st Q. Hart's long run here reminiscent of one of the long ones the last time M played at Spartan stadium: some poor blocking that Hart makes do with and safeties who get way too aggressive.|
|M46||1||10||Ace Twins||Run||-1||Hart||Zone right|
|MSU again swarming this at the snap. Ciulla and Kraus end up doubling a DT, but no one gets out on the LB, and since he's really selling out on the run he's at the LOS almost at the handoff. Long can't make a reach on the backside DE; Schilling doesn't get any push but doesn't get beat, either.|
|you are so SMRT|
|A token draw fake as MSU blitzes; Michigan picks it up. Henne finds an open Arrington for 15 yards; he drops it. DB made a hit but this is a drop. (CA+, 3, protection 3/3)|
|Wide open; Henne has a 2005 flashback. (IN, 0, protection 2/2) Butler(-2) gets an MSU-level personal foul afterwards.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 7-3, EO 1Q. A really crappy punt combines with the personal foul to change the field position..|
|O42||1||10||I-Form Twins||Run||32||Hart||Zone left|
|Again, this teeters on the edge of a TFL. MSU has shifted its defense to the left side of the line; the weakside DT is shaded well inside Mitchell (new to the game), so when Michigan shows zone left he shoots into the backfield. Mitchell has no realistic chance to block him; Hart runs through his tackle. On the frontside, Moundros, Kraus, and Long have all gotten crushing second-level blocks and Boren has sealed away the DT. Long's block also picks off a DE tracking back, Hart runs up into Moundros' back for a moment before popping outside and motoring downfield. +1s for all mentioned, +2 for Moundros, whose driving, extended block sprung Hart into the secondary.|
|O10||1||G||I-Form||Run||-1 + 5||Hart||Zone right|
|MSU swarms this; Mitchell(-1) blown back and Boren(-1) fails to do anything useful with the backside DT Moundros trips on fallen bodies as he gets to the hole; virtually no one is blocked and Hart is snowed under. A personal foul on MSU follows the play. Sparty, no!|
|O5||1||G||Ace Twins||Pen||-5||Mitchell||False start|
|We motion Butler away from the offset TE; perhaps as a result of this the backside DT does not flow down the line on the snap of the ball, instead taking his first step upfield and immediately putting himself behind Mitchell. A big hole results, as Long and Boren kick their guys out. Kraus takes out one LB, Moundros the other; Hart is taken down from behind by The Sackmaster, who got chopped but got up and made a good play; without it high probability of a cutback behind Butler and a TD.|
|MSU blitzes a corner right into this; Hart has no option to cut it up as an MSU LB dashed inside of Long(-1). Maybe the -1 is harsh here, since Long has to expect the guy to attempt to keep contain. Without the corner blitz here this would be suicide on his part. Hart spectacularly leaps the CB, avoiding a loss, but the delay means he's swarmed under.|
|Yeah, MSU blitzes seven(!!!) guys. Michigan has Manningham on one side and runs three guys on different levels to the other side of the field. Henne lofts it to an open Butler. (CA+, 3, protection 3/3). Say goodbye to Good Chad. It's Evil Chad for the next two quarters plus.|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-3, 12 min 2nd Q. If I can digress for a moment: I think the five-yard run on our second first-and-goal on this drive is an example of how Michigan's playcalling hurts them. To wit: we almost never see this sort of error out of a DL. The first step upfield was deadly and opened up an immediate, huge hole for Hart. This never happens: it's all slant slant slant as Michigan hardly ever runs misdirection. 80% of our run plays are zone stretches; how easy to defend is that? Quite.
Also, put on your ugly hats, folks.
|Butler spread out wide to start; he motions in. The MSU DT times the snap perfectly â€“ tipped by the Butler motion? -- and drives Mitchell back instantly; Hart has to cut up, powering through arm tackles for a couple yards. No minus; excellent play from MSU.|
|M8||2||8||I-Form Twins||Run||5||Hart||Lead draw|
|MSU gets split immediately as the defensive tackles slant, anticipating a stretch. On the second level, Moundros(+1) effectively cuts the MLB; Butler(-1) whiffs on an OLB, forcing Hart to leap over the FB detritus and turning a potential first down into five yards.|
|Hart(-1) left to take on a DE; he cuts him but not that well and he gets up; Henne decides to scramble out. The ball's punched loose and there's a scramble for it; a Michigan OL falls on it. (PR, 0, protection 1/2, Hart)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 14-3, 10 min 2nd Q.|
|M7||1||10||I-Form Big||Run||1||Hart||Zone left|
|Butler(-1) blown back and controlled by the DE, causing Hart to cut back up into a mess of bodies when otherwise it looked like he could shoot into a gap between Butler and Long and maybe beat a safety for a nice gain. As it is, he's tracked down by the backside DT, who Mitchell(-1) could not do much with.|
|M8||2||9||I-Form Big||Run||6||Hart||Zone left|
|Frontisde completely jammed by Spartan jumping the play, but the extra TE in this formation allows Michigan to block the backside DE and there's a cutback lane Hart takes for a decent gain. Hart limps off.|
|Schilling owned by the Sackmaster and shoved aside as he comes up inside, forcing Henne to get rid of it early. He does find an open Minor leaking out of the backfield, but throws off his back foot and sends it wide. (IN, 0, protection 1/2, Schilling -1)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 14-3, 5 min 2nd Q.|
|Mitchell(-1) and Boren(-1) both get beaten by DTs, and when that happens your play dies.|
|M20||2||10||Ace 3-wide||Pass||Inc||Arrington||Skinny post|
|Butler(-2) gone right around by Saint-Dic, forcing Henne to get off a hurried throw on a skinny post to Arrington. This is actually excellent given the situation, a tough catch for Arrington with great coverage from the DB, who knocks it loose. (CA+, 1, protection 0/2, Butler -2) If Henne had more time he could have come down to Manningham on a wide open stop for the first.|
|M20||3||10||Shotgun 3-wide||Pass||Inc||Manningham||Stop and go|
|Saint Dic goes right around Butler again, who should probably be flagged for holding; as it is Henne's forced into a quick throw to Manningham on an stop and go. There's room to make this completion, though not much, and a MSU DB leaps up and just gets a hand on it. Maybe a little bit harsh, but (IN, 0, protection 0/2, Butler -2) On review, no... this is just way short and the IN is not harsh.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 14-3, 3 min 2nd Q. Mesko launches one.|
|Mathews comes in motion, revealing zone as no one follows him; Arrington driv
es off the CB with a deep route and Michigan hits Mathews on a short out with decent room in front of him. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
|O35||2||4||Ace 3-wide||Pass||-2||Arrington||Long handoff|
|I mean, seriously, can we block the frickin' DT on a WR screen? This has to be the only WR screen in history to be broken up because of pressure. Kraus(-2) just ignores the man lined up directly over him, causing the throw to be low and forcing Arrington to his knee to make the catch. (PR, N/A, protection 0/2, Kraus -2)|
|This is open for the first down but Henne's throw is upfield, forcing Manningham to come back and allowing the Spartan DB to close him down before the sticks. (IN, 3, protection 1/1)|
|Excellent play by the DB to chuck Arrington, then start watching Manningham; when he moves to the slant he jumps it and finds the ball, intercepting. Poor decision. (BR, 0, protection 1/1)|
|Drive Notes: Interception, 14-3, 1 min 2nd Q. IMO, two clock errors on the 4th down play. 1) why wouldn't Michigan run the clock down all the way? 2) why would MSU, which will have a minute and field position at the 35 if they stop Michigan, waste a TO?|
|A stunt gets a DE in unblocked and Minor has to cut it outside. He does so â€“ Long(+1) has stoned his guy and driven him back â€“ and gets a decent gain out of it.|
|Henne throws it wide; a potential completion, otherwise. Butler was holding anyway. (IN, 0, 1/2 Butler -1)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 14-3, 13 min 3rd Q.|
|A 65 yard touchdown waiting to happen; Henne overthrows it but only just. Manningham needs to lay out for this ball. (IN, 1, protection 2/2)|
|Ah, the incredibly surprising second and ten draw. MSU blitzes right into it. Also, Boren(-1) lets his guy inside of him.|
|Protection is fine, but Henne can't find anyone. Saint Dic eventually gets loose and sacks. (TA, 0, protection 2/2)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 14-10, 5 min 3rd Q.|
|MSU, as you might expect, jumps all over this. There are just too many to block; Boren(-1) didn't do a good job on a Spartan DT.|
|Arrgh, stay on your feet! Uh... yeah, other than that a perfect pitch and catch. (DO, 2, protection 2/2)|
|Manningham wide open again; Henne overthrows him. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)|
|Mitchell(-1) blown back into the backfield on what might be a designed cutback... we again motion the TE to the backside of the play and block the DE out there; Minor hops out there but the penetration slows him up enough to make this a short gain.|
|Saint Dic stunts around two other defenders, getting in clean. He hits Henne as he throws, the resulting pass is to no one. Don't know how you pick this up, but someone busted. (BA, 0, protection 0/2, team)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 14-10, 1 min 3rd Q.|
|M27||1||10||Ace 3-wide||Run||-1||Brown||Zone left|
|Long passes Saint Dic off to Butler(-1); Saint Dic just splits the pair and forces Brown up into bodies.|
|State in a four deep coverage with cornerbacks bailing at the snap; Henne bombs away despite the DB having yards on Manningham and it falls incomplete. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)|
|Boren(-1) gets fooled on a stunt between a DT and a linebacker, picking up the DT and allowing the LB in unfettered; Minor(-1) attempts to chop the guy and does a crappy job of it; Henne sees the pressure and sets up to throw but is sacked by the LB; corner coming unblocked meant he had to get rid of it right away anyway. (PR, 0, protection 0/2)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 14-17, 13 min 4th Q. Another bad punt from Mesko.|
|Arrington wide open on the sidelines, catching it nine yards downfield and running up for the first down. (CA, 3, protection 2/2) Henne limps off.|
|Wooo Hart! Can't really blame Mallett for this, as the corner is totally unblocked as there's a protection screwup and he's looking at the other side of the field. Hart scoops the ball up and motors. (PR (not charted), N/A, protection 0/2, team)|
|Manningham this time; same play to the other side of the field. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)|
|O44||1||10||Shotgun 3-wide||Pass||4 + 15||Mathews||Quick out|
|Henne throws this little out late, so Mathews can't turn it upfield. The play's over by like ten seconds when MSU pops him. Sparty, no! (CA-, 3, protection 1/1)|
|Virtual replay of the first catch. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)|
|Our second time out. Debord, you only have two plays, please get one of them in. Henne misses Arrington largely because Arrington was shoved with the ball in the air 15 yards downfield. No call. I'm not charting this one. (N/A, N/A, protection 2/2)|
|Henne loops it over the DB's head; a perfect throw that needed to be. A stunt got a DE in unblocked again. (DO, 3, protection 1/2, team)|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-24, 6 min 4th Q. Good Henne.|
|And it's wide open again. Henne throws it upfield, forcing a tough diving catch from Arrington. (CA-, 1, protection 2/2)|
|M44||2||1||Ace 3-wide||Run||1||Minor||Zone left|
|MSU's trying to stunt here; Boren(-1) can't seal the DT and no-one bothers blocking the stunting DE; all Butler(-1) had to do was step inside and he was auto-sealed; the DE is free to track Minor down. Minor manages to reach out near the first-down marker and gets it.|
|Way long; Henne complains for a flag afterwards; ABC shows a replay of Mathews, so his complaint goes unevaluated. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)|
|Jesus Christ, Mario, get the first down! Aaaaigh! (CA, 3, protection 2/2)|
|O46||3||1||Ace 3-wide||Run||-10 (pen)||Minor||Zone right|
|Butler(-1) driven back and holds as Mitchell and Schilling double the DT, driving him back; Minor manages to squeeze through the MSU tackle.|
|And it's a long, long drag as MSU rushes three and gets no pressure. Henne puts it just past the outstretched arms of the LB to Arrington, who has room up the sideline for the first. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2)|
|MSU sends the house; Manningham's drag route is wide open. Henne hits him. Good pickup from the OL. (CA, 3, protection 3/3)|
|Kraus(-2) driven way back by Baldwin, lined up as an NT; Minor has to bounce it out. Manningham(-1) doesn't even bother blocking the CB opposite him.|
|Manningham falls down. (N/A, 0, protection 2/2)|
|Well... goddamn, son. (DO, 2, protection 3/3)|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 28-24, 2 min 4th Q.|
I can't decide if I should be mad or thrilled. I hate Henne! I love Henne! I hate Manningham! I love Manningham!
Yes. God willing, any ESPN Classic replays of this game will excise the vast majority of the second quarter. I've never seen such a schizophrenic performance. We should just head right to the--
That's a tough day. Making it weirder is the breakdown (Good Henne == up until the second touchdown; Robot Henne == final two drives; Evil Henne == everything in-between):
There is some mitigation here: there were a lot of bombs into a swirling wind, Henne was playing hurt, and it's no coincidence that the three PRs came when Henne was in Evil Henne mode. During the middle of the game, Henne got pounded time and again.
In fact, to fully appreciate Henne's day we should check...
PROTECTION: 58/74, Hart -1, Schilling -1, Butler -5, Kraus -2, Minor -1, Boren -1, Team -5.
Minuses assigned to "team" were generally stunts that got MSU players through.
Ugly, ugly, ugly, especially on the part of Butler, not only complete fail in pass protection but also the culprit on several run plays that went nowhere and the recipient of two critical penalties, one a stupid personal foul and the other a comically inept holding call on Michigan's final drive.
We can break this down further, as well. The final two drives were 26/29, and one of the minuses was on Henne's touchdown throw to Mathews. The rest of the day was 32/45. That's a failure rate of 29%, well into the completely unacceptable range.
A glimpse at the Hart Chart tells a similar story in the run game. For the first time all year the totals are negative, and that's only charting Hart's 15 carries. The numbers would undoubtedly be uglier if Minor and Brown's collective eight carries for -4 yards were included. Our line got straight up owned.
What happened in the shotgun offense?
Part of it was the exceptional generosity of the MSU corners. Time and again they got driven off and receivers were wide open. I don't think Henne had to find a second read on either drive; if I was, god forbid, an MSU blogger the D UFR on the the last drives would be something like:
AAAAARGH they're running the same out for the FIFTH STRAIGHT TIME and no one is even in the same ZIP CODE as these guys. (Cover -2) Someone give me a kitten to strangle.
#*$#!!!!! What are you thinking, Kendall Davis-Moron? I hate you! I hate you so much! I hate you so much I am giving up on saying anything clever about you and just calling you Davis-Moron! Where is my whiskey? I drank it during the Northwestern game? AAAARGGGHHHH
When kids are that open it's hard to get to the QB. Also, MSU started dropping eight guys into coverage, which was something they actually did to good effect earlier in the game, as the faked blitzes often would end up getting The Sackmaster one-on-one on Butler anyway, resulting in pressure against an eight-man zone. Michigan managed to fix that protection somehow and the same three-man rushes were just invitations to give up yards. It was an outstanding performance that pushed the final protection numbers up to mediocrity. Football is so weird sometimes.
Oh, yeah. Ye receive:
Nothing of particular note except the "8" in Manningham's uncatchable column, which was 50% of his season total before this game.
Yes... yes. I do hate to be That Guy, and plead guilty to some That Guy pessimism earlier in the year, but one of my bedrock beliefs about football is that it's stupid to be as predictable as Michigan is and this game was a good exemplar of that.
Simply-titled Michigan blog Blue, run by oft-cantankerous commenter Meechigan Dan, helpfully points out Michigan's first down playcalling, which was... not particularly creative. Here's the first half:
1-10-MI29 (11:14) Mike Hart rushed for 8 yards.
1-10-MIST38 (9:00) Brandon Minor lost 4 yards.
1-10-MI28 (5:45) Chad Henne passed to Carson Butler for 10 yards.
1-10-MI48 (5:27) Mike Hart rushed for 3 yards.
1-10-MIST11 (4:35) Mike Hart rushed for no gain.
1-10-MI44 (1:31) Mike Hart lost 1 yard.
1-10-MIST42 (14:40) Mike Hart rushed for 32 yards.
1-10-MIST10 (14:04) Mike Hart rushed for 5 yards.
1-10-MI6 (11:15) Mike Hart rushed for 2 yards.
1-10-MI8 (6:50) Mike Hart rushed for 1 yard.
1-10-MI20 (4:17) Mike Hart rushed for no gain.
1-10-MIST41 (1:57) Mike Hart rushed for 6 yards.
1-10-MI18 (0:16) Chad Henne lost 1 yard.
The last one is a kneeldown and doesn't count, but that's 11 runs out of twelve opportunities. Things got slightly better in the second half; before the dual de
speration drives started Michigan had three runs and two passes. Total: 14 runs, 3 passes. I don't care how much confidence Michigan has in its ground game, that ain't right.
Exemplar: I had an odd moment whilst reviewing the game for UFR. Michigan was on its final touchdown drive and had just gotten down to the MSU 29. They went under center and ran Brandon Minor on a zone left. MSU's defensive end bizarrely cut inside the DT and I couldn't understand what in the hell he was doing; for a moment it looked like he had lost his mind. Then it occurred to me: they were stunting. Why was it so hard to identify this? I mean, look at the above. Many of the mentions of pressure on Henne involve a stunt. MSU stunted all the time when Michigan found itself in obvious passing downs. But not once did they ever stunt when Michigan was running the ball until they were in, yes, an obvious passing down.
If Carson Butler had just decided to block the DE Minor would have had a nice gain, but he did not and it was a TFL. So... didn't work out so well, but MSU put itself in a bad position. By my estimation they did this all of once the rest of the day, that on Hart's run from the MSU 10 to the 5 on Michigan's second touchdown drive. Michigan opponents make very few mental errors because Michigan hardly ever puts them in a position where they can make a mental error. Scant misdirection; limited play action; low variety in the run game. This thinking belongs to another era of football.
Caveats can be extended for this game: the pass blocking was bad -- though no worse than the run blocking -- Henne seemed dinged, and the wind was nasty. But this is no one-game trend.
I'm sorry, I know: beating a dead horse. Or dying horse. Or retiring. Whatever. Beating a very tired and old but not quite dead horse over and over again. I'm obviously never going to stop or I would have by now, but please accept my profuse apologies.
Robot Henne, Mike Hart's one good leg, and Mario. And Long, always Long.
Evil Henne, Mike Hart's one bad leg, and Mario. And OH MY GOD CARSON BUTLER BLOCK SOMEBODY. Seriously, I would not be surprised to see a lot of Criswell coming up. We don't really need a dynamic receiver at TE. We do need someone who can block.
What does it mean for Wisconsin?
There's a VEQ coming up; in it Bruce Ciskie says the UW safeties have been atrocious and Ikegwuonu pretty average; second starting corner Allen Langford is also out. Ciskie also says the run defense has been atrocious; starting DT Jason Chapman is also out. So all right we run them the hell over yay!
Uh... probably not. Wisconsin is likely to note Michigan's difficulties on the right side of the line, which only get worse when Carson Butler is put over there, as the expectation of nonexistent help is worse than the cold knowledge of your infinite loneliness versus The Sackmaster, and blitz like hell. The return of Alex Mitchell probably says more about the situation at right guard than Mitchell's health and motivation -- dude looks way out of shape -- and Debord... well... if he ever sat down at a poker table I was at I'd get tingly. It'll probably be MOTS: ugliness interspersed with good and 20-something points.
|O26||1||10||Ace Twins||Base 5-2||Run||2||Off tackle|
|Hey, wow, no nickel. I'll attempt to distinguish between a conventional 4-3 with actual linebackers and a 5-2 where two MLBs sit behind five guys on the LOS. On MSU's first play they motion the TE across the line, then bring him behind the guard as the play snaps; he acts as a lead blocker. BG(-1) is shoved downfield after a momentary double; Taylor(+1) refuses to get sealed and bashes into the pulling guard; no hole. Ezeh(+1) picks through the traffic and makes a tackle as Ringer tries to bounce it out.|
|Handoff fake coupled with an end-around to Thomas in approximately the same area the play would go, except more outside. Jamison(-1) manages to shoot past the blocker intended for him but comes too far up inside on the initial handoff fake; Thomas runs around him. Englemon comes up to tackle after a decent gain.|
|O33||3||3||Shotgun 3-wide||Nickel||Pass||17||TE Out|
|Adams(+1, cover +1) is right there, swiping as the ball arrives. Unfortunately, it's high and outside; Davis reaches up but can only bat in the air. It comes right back down to him, and he rumbles for significant yardage. Bad luck and a great catch.|
|50||1||10||I-Form Big||Base 4-4||Run||3||Iso|
|Caulcrick in the game. Not sure why he decides to cut away from the fullback â€“ looked like a good gain was possible â€“ but he does; the backside looks open but two guys are attempting to block Pollock and another two have engulfed a DT, allowing Graham to close unblocked.|
|M47||2||7||I-Form Twins||Base 4-3||Pass||8||WR Screen|
|This WR screen is actually a RB screen as the "WR" in question is Ringer, who's motioned out of the backfield. This is not good: we're zone blitzing Crable and Ezeh, leaving Graham to chase Ringer down all the way from the backside. Adams does a good enough job of forcing the play back to him; Ringer slips between two tacklers, nearing a first down.|
|Johnson(+1) dives into Hoyer's knees just as he throws; the resulting pass is has no velocity on it. But it is accurate, as there's a ton of room in front of Trent. (Cover -2, pressure +1) This was man, so -1 Trent, too.|
|M21||1||10||Ace||Base 5-2||Run||2||Off tackle|
|Adams comes up and is clearly in man cover over a motioning tight end. This play is the same as the previous off tackle but run to the opposite side of the line. Johnson(+1) reads his man pulling and starts flowing down the line; CG(+1) shoots into a gap, forcing Caulcrick to bounce it out a bit; Johnson is there to tackle with help from Ezeh.|
|M19||2||8||I-Form Big||Base 4-4||Pass||Inc||TE Corner|
|Davis wide open for a touchdown (cover -2, CG -1), but Hoyer throws off his back foot and sails it to Tacopants. Taylor(+1) was coming and may have helped save the TD, as another second or two and Hoyer might be more accurate. (Pressure +1)|
|Wow. Michigan clears out the center of the zone; one LB chases a TE on a corner route as the other deploys a very, very delayed blitz that has no hope of getting home. (CG -1, pressure -1). A shallow cross to Thomas should be wide open except for Englemon(+2) reading this from the instant Thomas cuts his route inside and clubbing him just as the ball arrives. Outstanding. (Cover +1)|
|Drive Notes: FG(36), 0-3, 11 min 1st Q. In our 4-4 package Max Pollock comes in as a strongside linebacker over the TE. I can't remember another non-FB walkon who played actual downs on something other than special teams. Can anyone?|
|O18||1||10||Ace||Base 5-2||Run||0||Pitch sweep|
|Well, if you're not going to block the CB on this he's probably going to come up and do something about the run. Trent does this (he's in zone, allowing the quick reaction). Ringer cuts up into Jamison(+1) and Taylor for no gain.|
|O18||2||10||I-Form Twins||Base 5-2||Run||5||Iso|
|Man, we shift the front again, leaving that 5-3-1-7 gap between Johnson and Jamison; they run right at it. CGraham shoots up, burying himself under the fullback as Johnson is doubled and a major hole opens up. A safety eventually fills. Hard for Michigan to stop this given the shift.|
|Excellent coverage (+1) forces Hoyer to come down to Thomas; Harrison(+1) is right there and tackles immediately.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 0-3, 6 min 1st Q.|
|O20||1||10||Ace Twins||Base 5-2||Pass||5||WR Screen|
|Don't know if this is poor timing or what, but it seems like this play has no hope of succeeding as Hoyer throws a pass a couple yards backwards to Thomas. Trent(-1) meets him at the LOS and should have him for no gain but gets bowled over for five yards.|
|O25||2||5||Shotgun 2-TE||Base 5-2||Penalty||-5||False start|
|O20||2||10||Ace Twins||Base 5-2||Pass||-7||Swing|
|The swing pass CGraham(+2) reads and destroys. (+1 cover)|
|Jamison(+1) bats it down. Usually this is a pressure +1, but Michigan blitzed and didn't get anywhere near Hoyer.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 7-3, 2 min 1st Q.|
|O41||1||10||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Pass||Inc||PA Fly|
|A miscommunication here as Trent(-2) obviously thinks he has deep safety help and lets Thomas go by him without even pretending to cover until it's too late. No pressure(-2); Hoyer loads up... and underthrows his guy badly. (Cover -2)|
|O41||2||10||I-Form Big||Base 4-4||Run||1||Counter|
|MSU motions the TE away from the offset fullback, then runs to his side after a counter fake from the RB, pulling an offensive lineman around with him. CGraham(+1) picks his way up into the hole and makes initial contact; a mass of bodies ends up with Ringer on the ground.|
|Hoyer throws the seam without bothering to check if Jamar Adams might be in the middle of the field, which he is. He breaks and picks it off(+2). (Cover +1)|
|Drive Notes: Interception, 7-3, 14 min 2nd Q.|
|O37||1||10||I-Form Twins||Base 5-2||Run||-2||FB Dive|
|Ringer motions out. They hand it to the FB, but Taylor(+1) shoves into the backfield right in his path and BGraham(+1) finishes the play.|
|O35||2||12||I-Form||Base 5-2||Pass||Inc||PA TE Flag|
|A play action fake kills the pass rush, giving Hoyer lots of time (pressure -1); he throws to Davis, blanketed by Adams(+1, cover +1). Adams breaks the play up.|
|Wow... Michigan sends three delayed blitzers. Crazy. I don't necessarily mind one delayed blitzer, but Jamar Adams from eight yards off the LOS? None of them get anywhere near Hoyer, but that's okay because Taylor(+1) and BG(+1) both bust through from the DT spot after a moment or two. With the crappy blitz, good job by the secondary to cover(+1).|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 14-3, 12 min 2nd Q. Mathews lets the punt go over his head; a disastrous shift in field position from a seventy-yard punt.|
|M44||1||10||I-Form Twins||Base 5-2||Pass||Inc||PA Out|
|Thomas open (cover -1) as a State deep route pulled off the coverage and the linebackers bit; Jamison(+1) manages to get free of a pulled pass blocker and knock Hoyer as he throws, forcing the one-hopper. (Pressure +1)|
|M44||2||10||Shotgun 2-TE||Base 5-2||Run||3||Counter|
|Thomas comes in motion as a potential end-around target. Taylor(+1) reads the counter action, fighting his way back inside; CGraham(+1) had also popped up in a hole. Ringer's fortunate to fall forward after finding himself surrouded by Wolverines.|
|M41||3||7||Shotgun 2-back||Base 5-2||Pass||-10||Holding|
|Good coverage(+1) but no pressure(-1) ends up with Hoyer rolling out of the pocket and finding his TE on an out for the first down. It comes back for holding, as Taylor was tackled trying to chase down the rolled out Hoyer.|
|O49||3||17||Shotgun 3-wide||3-3-5 Nickel||Pass||5||Screen|
|Thompson(+1) does a good job of tracking back on this; Adams comes up and tackles.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 14-3, 7 min 2nd Q.|
|M49||1||10||I-Form||Base 5-2||Run||9||Pitch sweep|
|Johnson(-1) late reacting and allows a TE to block him out of the play. Taylor does a good job of fighting down the line, but his dive at Ringer's feet fails to trip him up. CGraham eventually tracks him down after picking through a lot of traffic.|
|M39||1||10||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||1||Iso|
|This time it's MSU with the unbalanced line, as soon as Crable sees the shift he demands a safety come up and shifts the LBs to the overloaded side; MSU duly brings the other TE in motion to the unbalanced side of the line. CGraham(+1) knifes through the line and gets a hand on Ringer; Ezeh finishes. Taylor absorbed a double team; no second level blocks were offered by the MSU OL.|
|M38||2||9||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Pass||Inc||PA Out|
|Ton of time(pressure -1); Hoyer eventually throws it way high to a pretty well covered Thomas(+1 cover, Warren +1).|
|CGraham(+1) times a blitz well and is in too quickly for the RB to do anything but knock him off balance; Hoyer has to throw. Hoyer overthrows Thomas, who blatantly interferes with Warren and doesn't get called for it. (pressure +1)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 14-3, 4 min 3rd Q.|
|O28||1||10||Shotgun 3-wide||Base 5-2||Run||-2||End-around|
|Thomas motions into the backfield as he's done before; this time he gets the handoff and Ringer acts as a lead blocker. Crable(+1) stands his guy up and drives him back, forcing Thomas wide. For some reason, two guys go to block Adams; Ezeh(+1) read and picked through the traffic, hammering Thomas in the backfield for a loss.|
|5-3-1-7 shift to the strongside; we don't adjust as they motion the TE. Odd. They're trying to run a trap right at the gaping hole but the OL bumps Hoyer and he never makes the handoff. After scrambling out for a bit he falls over. Fortunate, as this looked bad if they didn't screw it up.|
|O20||3||18||Shotgun 3-wide||Nickel||Pass||Inc||TE Seam|
|No pressure(-1) whatsoever; CGraham(+1) in great coverage, tipping the ball and getting the PBU. (Coverage +1)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 14-3, 2 min 2nd Q.|
|Michigan in a zone; Warren(-1) stops on a shorter route, allowing this flag to come open as CG can't possibly cover this guy any longer. (Cover -1, pressure -1)|
|Michigan sends six but does not get there; Hoyer does roll out. He eventually finds a guy open on the sidelines, but throws it wide. (Pressure -1)|
|M48||2||10||Shotgun Empty||Nickel||Pass||Inc||TE Cross|
|A huge bust in the middle of the zone has Davis open for a TE cross with a ton of room in front of him; he drops it. (Cover -2)|
|M48||3||10||Shotgun Empty||3-3-5 Nickel||Pass||Inc||Stop|
|Jamison(+2) schools an OT, forcing a quick throw from Hoyer as he's hit. It's high. (Pressure +1)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 14-3, EOH. Lucked out a bit there. Where's Crable?|
|O25||1||10||Ace Twins||Base 5-2||Run||2||Inside zone|
|State OL s
till having major issues getting off their blocks and into the second level; this time Taylor(+1) fights off a double and tackles in the hole with help from an unblocked Ezeh.
|We shift to the 5-3-1-7 shaded front before the snap, they run right at the gap. Why are we doing this? Johnson(-1) doubled and gone, CGraham blocked out of the play by the FB. Ezeh(-1) meets Caulcrick three yards downfield and gets trucked.|
|O34||3||1||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||2||Iso|
|Taylor(+1) gets great penetration here, forcing Caulcrick to cut back; Ezeh(-1) and Graham(-1) are late, missing an opportunity to punch MSU off the field.|
|O36||1||10||Ace||Base 5-2||Run||6||Off tackle|
|Taylor(-2) clubbed out of this play by the double., ending up four yards downfield and getting Ezeh caught up in the wash. Everyone else did fine, but when your NT gets blown four yards back and they're running right at him it's ugly.|
|O42||2||4||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||2||Iso|
|Johnson(+1), not even the playside DT, drives his guy into the hole behind the penetration of Taylor; Caulcrick is robbed of his momentum and gets surrounded by Michigan defenders.|
|O44||3||2||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||3||Iso|
|Taylor does an okay job on the POA; Crable comes from the backside to grasp; the linebackers flow up but Caulcrick squeezes through.|
|O47||1||10||Shotgun Big||Base 5-2||Pass||21||PA TE Cross|
|They fake the end-around they've run to Thomas before; both LBs bite (Ezeh -1, Graham -1) and Davis is wide open. (Cover -2)|
|M32||1||10||Ace||Base 5-2||Run||9||Pitch sweep|
|BGraham(-1) slants inside, giving up the outside immediately. Adams(-1) has filled, as Michigan is coming up hard against the run, for a minimal gain but Ringer spins past him and stumbles near first down yardage.|
|M23||2||1||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||6||Counter|
|BG(-1) blown down the line, opening up a considerable hole as Crable gets cut. Ezeh gets thumped by a blocker, reaching out to slow Caulcrick as he passes, but that's a tough job.|
|M17||1||10||I-Form Twins||Base 4-3||Run||8||???|
|We get to this play late; CGraham(-1) has overpursued and left a huge cutback lane, which Caulcrick uses. Should probably be another minus in here but I can't tell with the late showing of the play. And if this isn't a fumble â€“ which it isn't â€“ has the tool who called the exact same play a fumble when it happened to Antonio Bass been tarred and feathered?|
|M9||2||2||I-Form Big||Base 4-4||Run||1||Iso|
|No creases and a good fill by CGraham(+1) causes a cutback for minimal yardage.|
|M8||3||1||I-Form Big||Base 4-4||Run||2||Iso|
|F***, CGraham, you bolt into the backfield all awesome like and should have this dead to rights, then miss a tackle. Come on. No plus/minus, as CG did slow him up at least.|
|Yeah, we have ten guys on the field after a bunch of switching. Awesome. Anton Campbell(-1) in the game; he should have Caulcrick for a one-yard gain but gets trucked. Why is Anton Campbell in the game? Englemon got knocked out a few plays earlier.|
|Plowed in from six inches.|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 6 min 3rd Q. Well, that was repulsive.|
|O28||1||10||Ace||Base 5-2||Run||9||Pitch sweep|
|Fairly simple explanation as to why this works: Crable is held blatantly without a call. Ringer pops outside, as Crable's understandably lost contain.|
|O37||2||1||Ace||Base 5-2||Pass||15 (pen)||Fade|
|Warren(+1, cover +1) blankets Dell, but gets the world's weakest PI call, which happens to be like ten seconds late. Awful.|
|M48||1||10||Ace||Base 5-2||Run||4||Off tackle|
|Ringer shoots through a hole that appears to not exist, as Ezeh came up and took out the lead-blocking pulling guard and did well; Taylor stood up to a double team okay. Somehow he leaks through between the two and darts for decent yardage.|
|M44||2||6||I-Form||Base 5-2||Run||-2||Pitch sweep|
|Crable(+2) blows the trapping guard into the backfield, discarding him and closing Caulcrick down for a loss.|
|M46||3||8||Shotgun Empty||3-3-5 Nickel||Pass||6||Out|
|Michigan sends six, but the blitz is ill-timed and doesn't really get there fast. Johnson(+1) eventually hits Hoyer; he still gets a pass off, which is complete but close enough to the sidelines that the WR can't turn it up.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 14-10, 3 min 3rd Q.|
|O17||1||10||I-Form Twins||Base 5-2||Pass||6||WR Screen|
|Stevie Brown(-1) in, coming up and moving in on Caulcrick, ignoring the WR screen. Trent has to fight off a cut and get up to tackle with no help; he does so.|
|O23||2||4||I-Form Twins||Base 5-2||Run||71||Pitch sweep|
|Well, hell, Crable(+1) busts into the backfield and slings Ringer around. 99% of the time this is a TFL by him or someone else; he didn't tackle him but he also set MSU up for a big loss. Jamison(-1) relaxes, thinking the play's over, and Ringer shoots out to the other side. Brown(-1) has also vacated the backside. Ringer takes off, you know the rest. I don't know who to blame.|
|M6||1||G||???||???||Pass||6||PA TE Seam|
|My copy of the game doesn't actually have this play. As I recall, MSU ran play action and had a guy wide, wide open. (Cover -2)|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-17, 15 min 4th Q.|
|O48||1||10||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||7||Off tackle|
|BG(-1) blown off the ball by a double; a pulling guard comes through and blocks one LB as the guy on the double peels off.|
|M45||2||3||Ace Twins||Base 5-2||Run||4||Inside zone|
|5-3-1-7 shift and they run at the overloaded side... maybe. This might be an intended counter, as
the predictably large gap opens up on the backside and they've motioned Davis right over that spot. For some reason Davis and the OT double Jamison, though, leaving CGraham unblocked in the cutback hole; he tackles but only after Ringer picks up the first down.
|M41||1||10||Ace Twins?||Base 5-2||Run||-5 (pen)||Inside zone|
|Hard to tell what happens here â€“ poor production â€“ but Taylor(-1) and BG(-1) are blown off the ball... possibly another shifted front since there's a big hole and it looks like Johnson is offset. Caulcrick just pounds ahead. Illegal formation brings it back.|
|M46||1||15||I-Form Twins||Base 5-2||Pass||9||Bubble screen|
|Michigan in obvious zone; Brown lined up significantly inside of Thomas and can't get an angle; Trent playing back. (Cover -1)|
|M37||2||6||I-Form Twins||Base 5-2||Run||16||Iso|
|Massive cutback hole as Johnson again tries to flow down the line of scrimmage, but it's CGraham(-2) who abandons the backside here instead of meeting Caulcrick in the developing hole.|
|M21||1||10||I-Form Big||Base 5-2||Run||5||Iso|
|Johnson(-1) blown back by the double, allowing an MSU OL to peel off and hit a LB.|
|Slocum(+1) is in at NT; he's double but holds up, causing Caulcrick to slow as he reaches the hole; Crable comes around and grabs him, but Caulcrick falls forward.|
|M15||3||4||I-Form Big||Base 4-4||Pass||9||Broken play|
|MSU runs the fumblerooski throw that worked for a touchdown versus Notre Dame; Michigan is not fooled. (Cover +1). Trent, initially up on Thomas, gets too close and lets him run past him to the sideline; Hoyer makes his best throw of the day and completes it for a first down.|
|M6||1||G||I-Form Big||Base 4-4||Run||2||Iso|
|Johnson(+1) holds up on the frontside; Caulcrick cuts back into an unblocked Adams and falls forward for two.|
|Michigan has this stopped, or should, but Thompson(-1) falls down as he attempt to tackle, allowing Caulcrick to grind forward. A big play that turns this from third and goal and the three to third and goal at the one.|
|Tape does not have this play.|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-24, 7 min 4th Q.|
|O25||1||10||I-Form Big||Base 4-4||Run||1||Off tackle|
|Jamison(+1) makes this play. driving Davis back and into the center of the line, taking out a pulling guard and allowing CGraham to close and tackle unblocked.|
|O26||2||9||Ace||Base 4-3||Run||7||Off tackle|
|Well, this isn't exactly great by the DL but it's not horrible either. Jamison(-1) is effectively controlled and pushed back, though. Ezeh(-1) is hesitant, allowing a man to peel off onto him and CGraham(-1) does not close the hole.|
|O33||3||2||I-Form Big||Base 4-4||Run||0||Pitch sweep|
|Crable(+1) gets enough push on the pulling guard to convince Caulcrick to cut it up, where a host of Michigan defenders meet him. Taylor(+1) did a good job flowing down the line and creating the pile.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 21-24, 5 min 4th Q.|
|O31||1||10||Shotgun Empty||3-3-5 Nickel||Pass||7||Stop|
|A little stop in front of soft coverage. (Cover -1)|
|O38||2||3||Shotgun 3-wide||3-3-5 Nickel||Pass||4||Circle|
|Curry beats Harrison; a blitz was sent but did not get there. Harrison does make an immediate tackle. ( Pressure -1)|
|Jamison in unblocked due to a blitz (Pressure +1); Hoyer finds a quick stop route that Warren escorts out of bounds for a minimal gain. (Cover +1)|
|Again blitzing more guys than they can block; Hoyer finds Davis for a short gain. (Pressure +1).|
|I think this is a combo coverage with zone on the left side and man on the right; Warren breaks out to a deep zone and the safety takes the short flat. This would make this bust CGraham's, as he got way too far inside on the TE and allowed Thomas to cross into the middle of the field with no one within 10 yards of him. (Cover -2) On replay.. i dunno. This could be Ezeh, as the swing was covered by Englemon and he was flying up towards it. I think it's Ezeh(-2).|
|Six men cross the line, one of them is an unblocked Crable(+1); Hoyer hesitates on his stop route â€“ Crable just too fast â€“ and is lost. (Pressure +2, cover +1)|
|Max pro for MSU; Michigan rushes only four and still gets pressure from BG(+1), forcing the drag dumpoff. It's dropped; Brown(+1) comes up to tackle anyway; two yards even if caught. (Cover +1, pressure +1)|
|Morgan Trent(+1) jumps this out, which is late, and breaks it up. (Cover +1)|
|M42||4||18||Shotgun 3-wide||Nickel||Pass||Inc||TE Seam|
|Harrison in good coverage(+1); ball is overthrown anyway; Hoyer had to rush it because of a blitz and Jamison(+1) coming free of a blocker.|
|Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 28-24, EOG.|
I'm so confused. Was that a good performance or not?
I tentatively suggest it was. Obviously, the first half was great: 85 yards and three points despite facing a ton of possessions, many of which started near midfield. After halftime things got dicey, but the end results were still 352 yards -- about 75 under MSU's season average -- and 24 points on 15 MSU possessions. That's around 24 yards per drive.
Also, how much do you want to blame the D for Ringer's reverse-field 70 yar
der? I tend to look at those things as fluke occurrences and not reflective of defensive quality; that was fully 20% of their yards. (This is the second straight year Shawn Crable has missed a potential TFL and an opponent has turned it into a long run by using the impetus provided; last year it was Beanie Wells. Crable, wrap up plz.)
But what happened in the second half?
Well, let's look at the char--
|Jamison||7||3||4||Quiet statistically but batted a pass and caused a few others to be inaccurate with his pressure.|
|Taylor||8||3||5||A couple diving tackles that really helped out the befuddled linebackers.|
|Crable||6||-||6||A couple plays on those pitch sweeps; no real pass-rush presence until the end.|
|Trent||1||4||-3||Was fortunate not to give up two big plays.|
|Warren||2||1||1||Still can't believe that PI call.|
|Adams||4||1||3||I will miss these safeties...|
|Englemon||2||-||2||...such a weird thing to think.|
|"Pressure"||10||10||0||In reality worse than this, as many of the +1s came on MSU's final drive when State went empty and M sent six.|
|"Coverage"||17||18||-1||Decent day, though the D was fortunate not to|
Right, on Ezeh: Carr provided effusive praise for him in the postgame and I'm not so in love with my numbers to totally dispute him... but I didn't think he did much, and I assigned a couple pieces of blame to him that I may or may not be right about. Thirteen tackles is a lot, but on most of those he was cleanup or getting the benefit of the doubt in a pile or getting run over by Caulcrick.
I tentatively suggest this was confidence building and pride in his work ethic more than praise for his play. It is nice that we have a mediocre starting MLB who's a freshman; he should have an excellent career by the time things are said and one.
So, anyway, what happened in the second half?
A couple things: sometimes we shifted into that shaded 5-3-1-7 front with the big NT-DE gap and State usually ran right at it, picking up good yardage. Also, they attacked Brandon Graham successfully. He's got a -2 up there, by far his worst total of his career, and it was largely because he got booted out of the line by double teams frequently.
About that shaded front: I don't get it against this offense. I understand its purpose against the zone read, but when MSU is lining up under center and can hypothetically attack any portion of the line without a shift it seems... odd.
A contribution from Greg Simmons, who you may know if you've been reading the comments. He's a defensive coordinator at a NC high school. He thinks the problems in the second half were not schematic but rather on a player level. These are paraphrased:
- DTs getting blown off the ball or collapsing, leaving a hole no non-All-American LB could fill. These were three or four different people. (I thought Taylor was pretty good, though he did get blown out once. Johnson was similar, and Graham a frequent culprit.)
- Missed tackles; LBs and safeties putting their heads down and diving for feet, instead of wrapping up and driving. [This was definitely an issue on a particular second and goal that should have been one yards and was instead three.]
- LBs and safeties not correctly scraping to open gaps on the power off tackle, either out of stack [labeled Maryland I above] or out of I with a pulling tackle or guard. They suck up on the iso, and fail to scrape when the linemen squeeze the down blocks in front of them.
Too many people on Michigan's defense are trying to make all the plays themselves. Why is Taylor trying to spin his way into the backfield when he is getting a double team from a nose and a guard? Because someone is teaching or allowing him to try to make every big play, instead of making a pile and allowing unblocked LBs to make the play.But what if you think your LBs are terrible, and the strength is the DTs and ends? Then don't play gap responsibility, which means dropping the 4-4 scheme or the 3-4 50 scheme that Michigan has employed since I was born.
I do think the scraping issue is something that is a real problem but it's a subtle one I don't quite understand as a layman. When and how a linebacker should move remains one of the truly arcane aspects of football to the interested observer.
What does seem clear is that whereas last year our linebackers were always thumping people at or near the LOS and gaps were hard to come by, this year guys are squeezing through small gaps and blowing through large ones; some of that is on the linebackers and their scraping.
I also have some disagreements, most prominently on Taylor and with the schematic issues, as the shaded front seem an invitation to run right at the gap... but it's food for thought, anyway. Anyone with technical thoughts is invited to comment.
(A clarification for those who fear my latent grumpiness: it's not like they're terrible. Remove the Ringer thing and MSU backs averaged just under 4 YPC. They are what they are, average. )
Terrance Taylor was Michigan's best player on the day, often in the backfield and always occupying two guys.
Trent gets to be a quasi-goat as he was beaten deep twice but Hoyer bailed him out. Other than that, Brandon Graham could not hold up as an every-down SDE against a pounding attack -- he's not Woodley yet -- and the linebackers were erratic.
What does it mean for Wisconsin?
Michigan has to be concerned that the Badgers can find something in the second half to exploit, although to this amateur's eyes it didn't seem to be a schematic change. BGraham's inability to stand up in the run game could prove problematic the final two weeks of the season (or it could be a fluke or something correctable).
At this point we know what to expect from the secondary: solid, but not great coverage and (knock on wood) reliable safety play. The linebackers are good for a bust or two a game.
Wisconsin's almost identical to MSU on offense, though their #1 receiver may be less of a threat and PJ Hill is banged up, and Wisconsin should move the ball sporadically with an eye on making it to the mid-twenties.