Clarification(?) on the bizarre Bush incident. So this happened to Devin Bush on the SMU reverse:

Actual refs on Reddit suggest that the ref is forcing Bush off the field because of an equipment issue, which is 1) unannounced, 2) does not stop SMU from snapping the ball, and 3) goes unpenalized when Bush understandably reacts to the ball being snapped. Some explanation: 

>If this was the case why did he allow Bush to continue to stay on the field

This is a valid question. The player should not have been allowed to participate in the next down. Unfortunately some guys have been letting players fix the issue and stay in rather than enforcing the rule as written.

>not throw a penalty flag?

This is not a foul, so we don’t throw a flag for it. He just has to leave.

>It also still seems improper to be telling a player to get off the field as the ball is being snapped.

Officials said the same thing before the season, but we’re told this isn’t what the rule makers wanted.

Also, the theorized equipment issue—uncovered knees—doesn't seem to be actually there. Immediately after the play:


The umpire then comes over, says something to him. Bush continues playing, apparently not adjusting anything. I can't say I've seen anything like that before.

[After THE JUMP: spidermens]

"Never mind the maneuvers, just go straight at them." –Horatio Nelson, maybe

This game was spectacularly unexciting from just about any standpoint, though my spot in the corner opposite the action and directly in the sunlight might be in the running for least spectacular fan experience.

On replay I thought most of Michigan's struggles running the ball were they were trying to practice running power into stacked boxes when the linebackers were firing aggressively at power and the safeties were starting at eight yards and stepping forward at the snap, not so different from what Michigan State does. So rather than show some amazing adjustment to the very unsound thing SMU was doing, I thought it might be interesting to pick apart one Power run where Michigan needed to get two yards and failed to do so.

1. The Primary Gap

The setup: It's 3rd and 2 later in the 1st quarter, about the point where Michigan needs to make it 7-0 to prevent what was supposed to be a laugher from turning into a grumbler. Michigan comes out their Heavy (fullback + two tight ends) formation, with both tight ends on the front side.

What happened? Michigan ran power, SMU slanted into it, Evans tried to cut back, and there were two unblocked guys waiting for him there.

What's Power? Power, or Power-O (for off-tackle) is God's play. It's a gap play where you try to pry open the frontside of the defense and then send all a bunch of material into it before the defense can close it down.


You block down on the linemen to the backside of the play, kick out the edge, and—this is the key—pull a blocker from the backside of the formation to thwack whoever appears in the gap. Send any unused frontside blockers into the linebacker level, add fullbackery and other frippery as necessary, and serve. Mostly that's changing up who gets the kickout block versus the playside linebacker (e.g. have the fullback kick and the tight end release on that SLB).

Power is one of the few plays that deserves a spot in the pantheon of base plays that can work against virtually any defense if you're good at it. My main takeaway from this game is Michigan wants to learn power until the offense can punch its way out of a coffin with it, and the coaches' opinion of SMU's defense was they might make a solid practice plank:

[After the JUMP: Michigan breaks its hand]


Things discussed:

  • Harbaugh has thoughts on the penalties. Especially the targeting. Don't get him started on the targeting.
  • Shea Patterson continues to be good
  • Hassan Haskins is working with the LBs
  • Injury updates on Karan Higdon, Chris Evans, Aubrey Solomon and Jacob West

[After THE JUMP: Harbaugh was kinda personable!]

So it's Big Ten Season, for a definition of that which includes annual games against Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers. Stock Up/Stock Down?

i spent so long in the sun waiting for commercial breaks that i'm a joshua tree now

You have these referees who can't tell their ass from their other ass

Shea Patterson isn't the only reason to be optimistic about Michigan's passing game.