[Isaiah Hole]

That escalated quickly. The above-the-break portion of last week’s roundup was dedicated to coverage of Daxton Hill’s upcoming visit because obvious things are obvious. I did not expect to be writing about him in the same portion of the round up again a week later. Sure, the articles linked in that post were packed with restrained optimism, but this was a Michigan v. Alabama recruiting battle. And yet.

Things started to pick up with a Sam Webb board post that detailed Hill’s visit as close to minute-by-minute as possible and detailed everything from who Hill sat with to his body language. He closed that post by saying “My read on the confidence level in Ann Arbor coming off the visit is it's as high as ever.” Then WolverinesWire’s Isaiah Hole interviewed Hill on his podcast and Hill responded with a hesitant “Uh, I really don’t know” when asked about whether he was going to take any other officials and how long it would be before he made a final decision about committing. That’s no surprised in hindsight, as Steve Lorenz reports that the Michigan staff knew Hill was going to commit to them after his official visit. Hill even shared with Hole in an off-the-record conversation that, though he wouldn’t say where, he knew what school he would commit to but wasn’t sure when he would do it.

Then Hill dropped the news publicly on Tuesday night, and the recruiting sites are still surveying and reporting on the aftermath. Any recruit rated as highly as Hill by all of the services naturally induces some by-the-numbers content after he commits of the “highest-rated since…” variety like this post from The Wolverine, this post from Nate Wiggins of The Wolverine Lounge, and this list of 15 quick-hitters from The Athletic’s Cody Stavenhagen; Hill’s verifiably insane verified testing results from The Opening also lend themselves to these articles.

Analysis posts of various sorts have also popped up, such as this Josh Helmholdt piece and accompanying video (which features film of Hill from field level) on Hill’s skillset and what adding him to the class means to Michigan fans. WolverinesWire’s Isaiah Hole sat down with Devin Gardner for their weekly segment and Gardner gave a detailed scouting report based off of Hill’s ludicrous highlight reel. 247 has a few bits about who helped with the recruitment behind the scenes, including this Steve Lorenz piece that mentions lead recruiter Sherrone Moore, about whom Brice Marich has more.

Another round of articles were published after reporters had a chance to reach out to others for comment. Sam Webb put up a piece with some choice quotes based on an interview he did with Stan Edwards (yes that Stan Edwards) on the radio.

“Daxton Hill the player…I think you described him perfectly,” said Edwards. “I would agree with you because I was around when Tripp Welborne came through here. That is a pretty good comparison. I sat next to Daxton (at the SMU game). Berkeley (i.e. Stan’s son) is on the team now, so our tickets are always in the same area. So I got a chance to sit next to Dax during the game. We talked about safety play. I said, ‘listen, you’ve got skills like Eric Berry. You’ve got skills like Ed Reed.’ I said, ‘don’t ever forget about your man to man cover skills.’ He stopped me in the middle of conversation, put his hands on me and said, ‘nah, I work on that every day. That’s something I always work on.’”

[After THE JUMP: More on Hill. Also, remember that other five-star, the one who was supposed to commit and still hasn’t?]

image-6_thumb_thumb5_thumbSPONSOR NOTE: If you need a tailgate location and a mortgage at the same time there's only one place to go: the Charity Tailgate at 327 East Hoover (if you were at the preseason MGoEvents this year and last it's the same place). Food trucks! Beer! A home lending expert! TV! Watched Nebraska lose to Troy there last week, which was certainly a thing of relevance this week.

FORMATION NOTES: Just 15 3-3-5 snaps versus 51 with four DL, and almost all of those 3-3-5 instances were passing down exotics. All but two, in fact. And they got gashed on one. Thus explaining the lack of that.

I should probably stop noting "press" since every single Michigan snap is press coverage, but the split between one (slash zero) and two high is a good proxy for zone snaps versus man snaps. Michigan was in a two-high look for about a third of its snaps.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Less rotation on the DL, which was in its new normal setup of Gary/Mone/Kemp/Winovich backed up by Paye, Hutchinson, and Dwumfour. Dwumfour's snaps in this game were almost exclusively pass rush DT in the 3-3-5. Without Solomon there was no real backup NT; Donovan Jeter only got in on the last drive. Marshall dressed IIRC but did not play.

The usual at LB with Bush omnipresent save injury and Gil and Ross splitting snaps approximately down the middle; Jordan Glasgow came in for Hudson after the targeting call. Furbush was the extra guy when Michigan added a pass rush LB. Uche did not play.

Usual CB rotation with Long ahead of the game in snaps slightly; Ambry Thomas got maybe a dozen snaps late. Brad Hawkins rotated in behind Metellus and Kinnel, with reduced playing time after the big bust. Jaylen Kelly-Powell, who's been quietly hurt, got snaps on the last drive.

[After THE JUMP: slant slant slant slant]

Previously: Offense (image via Huskers.com)

The film: Last year Nebraska's defense was kind of a mess. S&P+ had them ranked 110th (out of 130 teams), 116th in rushing, 102nd in passing. Some of that was a rejection of Bob Diaco's switch to a 3-4. Most of it was a rejection of Diaco himself.

A thing about college football however is it's not that hard, with an injection of competence, to get a group of 4- and 3-stars from the 100s to the 50s. You all remember Hoke and Mattison doing that with Michigan's defense in 2011. You see what skills you have on hand, choose a system you know how to teach that uses those skills, and make this an identity. Voila: something approximating competence.

Through two games it appears Frost's fellow UCF import Erik Chinander has built just this sort of jalopy. They're not a GREAT defense, but they might be good? Two games against questionable competition (Colorado might be bad, Troy is a good Sun Belt team) and high-tempo throw off the counting stats but they're giving up 4.2 YPC rushing, and 4.9 YPA passing (counting sacks with the latter).

Their strength is at safety, where some experienced starters returned from injury and are joined by a former UCF star, and a seven-man deep defensive line. Whether both units are a B+ or A+ is hard to tell—they do have three guys starting over the one bona fide GOOD player they had last year, and given his job was taken by last year's late breakout player that might not even be a Godin/Give-the-2nd-Unit-a-Hurst kind of way. Colorado made this doubly difficult on me by not blocking the guys I was trying to assess:

You may note all of those links show the same two offensive players. One of those guys is a grayshirt redshirt freshman, but the other is a third-year starter and former freshman All-American. Are Colorado's center and left guard two of the worst collegiate players I've ever watched on film, or was Nebraska's line so dominant they just made it look that way?

Personnel: Official depth chart. My diagram (PDF, click image for larger):

image

Nebraska's defense so we are using black shirts instead of stars. Like Michigan's opponent last week Nebraska's defense was still in find-out-who-can-play mode and was thus rotating a lot of players, especially up front. Also note the "Key Player" from my HTTV preview is now on the bench. My entire section on the front seven needs to be rewritten.

Base Set: 3-4, and considering they mostly kept the same personnel on the field against a modern spread offense all day that's unlikely to change now.

image

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown]

Scott Frost's mom didn't put Rutgers in the Big Ten

It's a Rutgers Rutgers Rutgers Rutgers World

frosty

Things gettin' mighty Frosty

Chris Partridge talks to the media.

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