I am unable to embed, and for this I should be negged. But there's going to be a special tribute to Lloyd Carr before kick-off for Nebraska. Also, rally towels. He'd like you to be there at 11:45
Here's the link:
Apparently former university president Spanier lobbied to have a law passed in 2007 that all records and reports about anything happening on the campus or involving anyone connected to the university or its police force are private and are not subect to the Public Right to Know laws.
Apparently there are four schools in Pennsylvania that are exempt from the Commonweatlth of Pennsylvania version of the Freedom of Information Act; PSU, Pitt, Temple and some other school. The timing, 2007 seems quite fishy considering what is happening now.
Based on this report, we may never know what truly went on and Sandusky will never be prosecuted unless enough victims come forth. Problem there is, it's a he said/he said thing.
I came across this on Facebook this morning. Some people created an event for this Saturday to try and change the "You Suck" after Temptation to "Hoke Smash". I know that it has been discussed here before, and that there are people who did not like the "You Suck". I am not sure if "Hoke Smash" is perfect, but I definitely like it more than "You Suck". It will be interesting to see if there is even a noticable difference on Saturday (unlikely), but there are over 600 people listed as attending. Just figured I would do my part to spread the news.
[Ed: argh, having some editing issues. Bump.]
"Play hard and play with great effort"
Immediately after the game, I was struggling to come up with a thru-line for what had just happened. But then Brian posted "Defensive Annhilation Muppets" and then the video of Mattison getting emotional surfaced. And for a moment I thought, 'you guys are over-reacting. Illinois does not have a good offense'. I like when coaches just give coachspeak. But then I thought about the last three years and yeah, it makes sense. The difference in emotion between Chip Kelly's comments and Mattison's are where you're starting from.
A couple of years from now, a win like this will only be notable for constructive criticism. There were a lot of bad plays that need to be corrected. But given the circumstances of where we were last year and what we were expected to be this year and the fact that we're 8-2 with a decent chance of picking up at least one more win and a very small chance of getting to 11 wins, emotional celebration is more than appropriate.
What a difference a week makes!
Al Borges didn't have a great game against Iowa, and I pointed that out. He had a much better gameplan this week. I don't know if he or anyone close to him reads blogs or not, but he responded to several very specific criticisms leveled here last week.
Holding the backside DE
I mentioned something about a lack of reverses.
Thanks Al! Odoms is coming from his slot position to take an end around fake. Not only did it hold the backside OLB and prevent the DE from crashing down on Denard, it also froze the MLB just enough for Fitz to run right by him.
But that wasn't the only trick up Al's sleeve. He pulled out another wrinkle from the Richrod days.
One of the problems with protecting Denard and limiting his carries is that the DE that you're optioning on the zone read doesn't have to respect the keep and is free to chase the TB. But here we see Koger coming from his H-back wing to block #9.
The O-line is getting good lateral movement and both Denard and Koger are eliminating defenders from the pursuit.
One caveat is that their safeties were pretty bad (someone mentioned they had backups in the game). #5 has badly misread this play, and he's too slow to catch Fitz anyway. Meanwhile, if you wonder how a guy can get over 100 yards in the first quarter, you can bet he's breaking tackles. This arm tackle didn't even slow him down.
This arm tackle slowed him down,
but it didn't stop him.
So Fitz had about 45 yards of YAC from the first arm tackle and then about another 15 yards of super YAC downfield.
The offense as a whole had a much better day (despite some derpiness in the 2nd and 3rd quarters). The O-line was doing a great job with the zone blocking in the first quarter and opened up some nice running lanes.
Here we've got Hopkins blocking the DE from his FB position instead of Koger, but the result is about the same. Gallon cracks down on his man and Omameh does a good job scraping off the double team and getting to the linebacker.
Huyge takes his man where he wants to go and it opens up a nice line.
On this next play, there's only 5 in the box because the OLB's are out on the slot receivers.
Molk does an excellent job of tracking down his man and we've got a hat on a hat.
The Zen of zone blocking is you just get on your man and take him away from the play using his own impetus. Of course you need a guy like Fitz back there who is patient enough and has good vision to see the hole developing.
Even though the OLB crashes down for contain, he's nowhere near Fitz and Denard has read him properly. If this were the pros Fitz would be owing five really large guys a nice dinner for this play.
The Numbers Game
We had some issues in the red zone last week. Part of that is due to Iowa's talent on the D-line and part of it is having Denard sitting in the pocket or handing off or otherwise not putting pressure on the defense to account for him.
If this were a normal pitch play or off-tackle dive, it would've been completely stuffed because they've got more defenders than we've got blockers on the playside. But when Denard keeps it, we've got an even matchup and Denard just has to pick his way through and find a hole.
But what really makes this play work is that Omameh gets a great cut block, upending his man. Now we've got 6 blockers against their 5 defenders and Denard with no one to track him down.
Omameh's block freed up Molk to get on the pursuing linebacker and the result is an easy touchdown for shoelace.
So what happened in the 2nd Quarter? Well let's compare to a play where we don't have a numbers advantage.
They've got 9 defenders in the box with both safeties playing up. If Denard has the freedom to audible (or we had gotten to the line with more than 8 seconds so that the coaches could call a check play #misshightempo), then he should be throwing a fade or "z out" to Roundtree at the bottom of the screen. We've got 9 in the box, but because we're in I form, the defense doesn't have to account for the QB (as his first 5 steps are backwards).
The play is a lead draw. The line shows pass blocking and then the center or whoever is free is supposed to head upfield after a couple beats. But this call means that Illinois has a lot of unblocked defenders. It doesn't help that Molk misreads the defense and doesn't scrape off to one of the linebackers. This means that Hopkins has three unblocked people he has to choose from. If Denard had been running, then both Hopkins and Fitz would have hit the MLBs so Denard would just have to juke the safety to get in the endzone.
Instead, Hopkins gets one LB and the other stuffs Fitz for a loss with both safeties racing up to make sure he doesn't fall forward.
[ed: follow the jump.]
Check it out. It's like Mattison and Borges are reading Heiko's transcriptions.
Via Facebook (no I'm not one of those guys, he used to go to my school).
Had a real nice visit at Michigan today...real nice place
I'm sure there will be some sort of news about it in tomorrow's Recruiting entry. Even though I am a little concerned about his loyalty, he is a very athletic prospect and has an opprotunity to earn a scholarship offer from Michigan.
EDIT: It's a problem with the player's loyalty, not that I wouldn't want him to go to Michigan.
Al Borges' 2011 offense has heavily utilized two-TE sets despite a lack of talent at the position (beyond Kevin Koger). It seems self-evident, to me anyway, that putting proven wide receivers (like Odoms or Roundtree) on the field is superior to a converted DE (Watson) or career backup TE (Moore). Borges obviously disagrees, and with the 2012 recruiting class now projected to include three TEs, there's no let-up in sight.
Using multiple TEs isn't groundbreaking - Most pro-style teams have plenty of two-TE packages and Rich Rodriguez routinely used them as well. But why do it at all? Chris Brown wrote commentary about how the Patroits evolved from a shotgun-spread-passing team (with Moss) to a pro-style system that uses TEs to combat blitzing defenses like the Jets.
New England's spread-to-pass became predictable instead of fearsome, and it was up to Brady on almost every play to throw the ball before some unblocked rusher took him down again.
Perhaps a parallel here to Denard trying to rush or pass the ball against crashing safeties and linebackers? Every coach worth a lick knows how to counter the basics of run-oriented-spread offense just as they can counter the basics of a pass-oriented-spread offense. There have certainly been a number of games in the last year where the Michigan offense appeared predictable. Even with a talented runner like Denard (or a passer like Tom Brady) counter-attacks are necessary to stay ahead. Back to the Pats...
So Belichick went out and drafted both Gronkowski and Hernandez...Hernandez is more of a pure receiver, and his chief advantage is as a substitution/personnel problem: If he's in the game, you don't know if he'll line up as a tight end or if he'll split wide so that Welker can play the slot, forcing you to decide whether to put your cornerback on Welker or Hernandez, potentially creating advantages in both the run and passing game. But Gronkowski is a true triple-threat from the tight-end spot: He can block, he can go out for passes, and he can even block and then go out for delayed passes. Multiple defenders have to keep their eyes on him... Of course, the problem for NFL teams—and for college or high-school teams that want to run a "pro-style offense"—is finding players who can do all these things... Wanted: 6-foot-6 freak athlete who can run a 4.5 40, has incredible hands, is willing and able to block 300-pound defensive ends, and can immediately memorize a 1,000-page playbook.
Does that sound like Devin Funchess or Pharaoh Brown to anyone? We can only hope...
It's clear that Borges wants to use multiple TEs. But with 2 of our best three graduating, personnel is going to play a potentially limiting factor in 2012. Moore is the only returning TE that begins to fit the Gronkowski mold of 'triple-threat' and he appears to have limited overall talent. Williams will likely play but (they say) is primarily a blocker. There are walk-ons, I guess, but they're not going to be as good as Moore or Watson even.
Everyone else (Miller, Funchess, and Brown) is a hybrid TE/WR - which we don't really use right now. Yet there will be three of them on the roster. Hmmm...seems like things might look a little different next year.
Brown writes: You must have players who can dictate terms back to the defense by presenting odd matchup problems...Unpredictability is the key. Is a play a run or a pass? Which direction is it going? How will it work? And these hybrid guys give you options in ways that even great players with more specific roles cannot. They simplify defenses by making them uncertain.
I know many of us are sick of hearing about hybrids, but I think the above is what Borges has in mind eventually. Maybe you don't have to have Gronkowski-level talent on one end to make it effective (though it would obviously help). Maybe a game-breaking-mistmatch-creating receiver/end is enough to give defenses fits. Especially, if your QB isn't the most accurate deep-ball passer but is a game-breaking run-threat. In that situaiton, maybe a 6-6 target on intermediate routes provides more benefit than getting little dudes the ball 'in space' or attempting low-probability deep passes.