Chris Brown at Smart Football uses Mattison to make a point

Chris Brown at Smart Football uses Mattison to make a point

Submitted by patrickdolan on November 16th, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Chris Brown at Smart Football uses Mattison on the challenges posed by Nebraska's offense to make a point about watching the Denver Broncos. Brown also makes a point how the Michigan defense is developing. Both are highly complimentary. I think most of us will agree.…

Enhanced Viewing of Defensive UFR for Illinois Game

Enhanced Viewing of Defensive UFR for Illinois Game

Submitted by WolverineBlue on November 16th, 2011 at 4:40 PM

The UFR viewer web app is now available for viewing the Defensive "Upon Further Review" report for the Illinois game. Video links are provided to all plays, thanks to

The main link is:

There have been issues lately with this site being temporarilly blocked for excessive resource usage, which seems bogus to me, but I have set up a mirror site at:

You can use either link. If the main site gets blocked again, I will probably automatically re-route.

Disappointment of no recruiting buzz

Disappointment of no recruiting buzz

Submitted by BILG on November 16th, 2011 at 4:12 PM
Given our sweet early recruiting returns and solid season thus far, the only thing that seems out of whack is that we arent getting more positive vibes from undecided recruits. Looking at you brionte dunn! Anyone else a little surprised by lack of further developments or buzz from recruits? I know we are still in it for a bunch of top recruits, but i would love to be hearing the constant good news that was coming in back in september. Any predictions on who else we land and if our class remains top 5?

2012 Defense

2012 Defense

Submitted by Ziff72 on November 16th, 2011 at 3:51 PM

This year Mattison has not used many exotic packages this year in terms of personnel.  I'm curious if you think he will utilize more players next year?

One of the things that has perplexed(can't say mad after the improvement this year) me time and time again this year has been the use of Demens in our nickle package.  He has been fine but it seems with all of our hybrid type guys they would be perfect in a nickle/dime package.    We are finding out  why certain guys may not have been out there this year, but next year we should have some athletic type guys with experience in the system that have physically matured. 

So basically my question is do you think Mattison will try to utilize players like Furman, Robinson, Jones, Hawthorne, Cam Gordon etc in certain passing/blitz situations or will he stick with the base?


Coach wants you in your seats early

Coach wants you in your seats early

Submitted by Bodogblog on November 16th, 2011 at 3:43 PM

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

OT: All PSU records are private by state law since 2007

OT: All PSU records are private by state law since 2007

Submitted by AMazinBlue on November 16th, 2011 at 1:17 PM

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.

stubhub question for nebraska

stubhub question for nebraska

Submitted by MichFan1997 on November 16th, 2011 at 1:07 PM
So I'm gonna surprise my sister with her first Michigan game Saturday. I see tix for as low as 68. Several tickets are listed with section like this: 1:35. What is the 1 for? Also, a matter of opinion, but is 68 about at reasonably low as I should expect this weekend? Thanks for feedback

Attempt to change the "You Suck" chant after Temptation to "Hoke Smash"

Attempt to change the "You Suck" chant after Temptation to "Hoke Smash"

Submitted by ILwolverine on November 16th, 2011 at 12:30 PM

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.

Illinois game wrap (with pics!)

Illinois game wrap (with pics!)

Submitted by SFBayAreaBlue on November 16th, 2011 at 12:00 PM

[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.]