Upon Further Review: Defense vs Bowling Green 2010

Upon Further Review: Defense vs Bowling Green 2010

Submitted by Brian on September 30th, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Formation notes: A couple new formations. One was a 3-2-6 dime package on which Banks and Ezeh were pulled for Avery and Talbott:

3-2-6 dime

Roh moves down to DE and Leach was usually in for Gordon for whatever reason. Sometimes this was a 4-1-6 with Mouton at DE, sometimes a 3-2-6 with Mouton a linebacker. Floyd would drop back to play safety when they went to this. The other was a nickel package where Avery would replace Gordon. This aligned just like Michigan's usual defense.

Substitution notes: plentiful. The usual rotation on the DL. Cullen Christian got a couple drives in place of Rogers (he struggled). Leach played a lot in place of Gordon; Fitzgerald and Demens saw some time at linebacker but less than I expected and neither did much of anything.

Charting note: I've changed up the points distribution to be more generous to CBs who make a play. Usually a zero-yard run will be +2 or +3 to the defense. When a CB breaks up a pass that's a zero yard play I've been giving a +1 to; I'm bumping that to at least +2 unless it's clear the offense is more responsible for the incompletion than the D.


Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O28 1 10 Shotgun trips Base 4-3 Pass NA PA out T. Gordon Inc
Michigan sucks up on fake and Pankratz has two receivers running wide open (cover -2) as Mouton(-1) doesn't get anything resembling a zone drop. Could this be man to man? I don't know; Rogers is looking at the QB but hops up on the curl, leaving T. Gordon chasing a WR on an out that he lined up inside of. His guy is open but he really had no chance to cover this. I'm not sure which guys to individually minus since the coverage doesn't make sense to me. (RPS -1.) Oh, right: Pankratz chucks it wide.
O28 2 10 Shotgun heavy something Base 4-4 Run ? Dive Martin 1
BGSU deploys two H-backs directly in front of their tailback and goes right up the middle. Martin(+1) engages his blocker and then discards him behind, popping up in the hole the H-backs are hitting. He does this despite being lined up outside of the C. He takes out a second blocker. T. Gordon(+0.5) is rolled up to the line and is now free; he forms up to tackle with help from Kovacs(+0.5), who was free on a backside blitz and leaps on the RB's back after making sure the handoff was actually made.
O29 3 9 Shotgun 3-wide 3-2-6 Dime Pass 3 Dumpoff Van Bergen 4
DL: Roh, Martin, RVB. LB: Mouton, Leach. Normal DBs plus Avery and Talbott. This is kind of rushing two since Martin just sits at the LOS after taking two blockers. Screen coverage? M covers the first read(+1) and then RVB(+0.5) gets upfield and harasses the QB into moving. Martin starts charging the QB down as he rolls, forcing a dumpoff as downfield options are covered(+1).
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-0, 11 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O30 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide bunch 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Hitch Mouton 3
Martin(+0.5) plowing through blocks to force a throw here; Kovacs(+0.5) covered the flat route, so the QB throws a hitch that Mouton(+0.5) was in position on, tacking immediately (cover +1)
O33 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass 3 Flanker screen T. Gordon 6
Major overload with a TE covered up and a WR in motion so everyone is to the right side of the field. They throw a screen out there. T. Gordon(-1) and Rogers(-1) are both cut to the ground but good flow from Mouton(+0.5) and Ezeh(+0.5) runs the play down before the WR can test Cam.
O39 3 1 Wildcat 3-3-5 stack Run ? QB lead draw Banks 4
Think the RB takes a bizarre cut here since it looks like the play design has the first easily. Banks(-1) was blown way out of the hole and Mouton(-0.5) took a weird angle right into Kovacs, giving BGSU a lot of space and blockers for everyone left over. So of course the RB cuts back behind everything, getting tackled by unblocked guys on the backside including Banks, who got really, really blocked. M fortunate to not give up more here.
O43 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 3-3-5 stack Pass 5 Sack Mouton -10
WRs to the paired side are stacked, and Rogers(-1) starts covering the same guy Gordon is(cover -1), so this post should be open. Qb decides not to throw it, though, and rolls right into a very blocked Mouton(+1.5), who to his credit does get off that block, close the space quickly, and tackle for a sack. Maybe Cam had this covered but I couldn't see it; I really doubt it. Think M got lucky with the n00b QB here.
O33 2 20 Shotgun 2TE Nickel 4-3 Pass 4 Slant Avery Inc
Avery in for T. Gordon. TE motions well outside to be a flanker. Avery(+2) is in man on a receiver and looks like he's biting outside as the WR takes a step out then slants; Avery recovers to get a hand in and break the pass up (cover +2).
O33 3 20 Shotgun 4-wide 3-2-6 Dime Pass 3 Throwaway Roh Inc
No one open(cover +1) as M drops everyone deep; Roh(+1, pressure +1) comes around the corner and his held, drawing a flag. QB scrambles out and chucks it away.
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-0, 6 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O35 1 10 Ace twins 3-3-5 stack Run ? Inside zone Martin 1 (pen -10)
Demens in for Ezeh on this drive. Martin(+1) again through the line before anyone can think of blocking him; Banks(-1) single blocked and easily sealed on the edge. Martin makes that irrelevant; Mouton(+1) gets into the lead-blocking TE at the line and erases any creases, forcing a bounce outside that Floyd(+1) has covered; he's held, giving the RB the corner, except for Kovacs(+1) roaring downhill and tackling at the LOS.
O25 1 20 Shotgun 2-back 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Out Mouton Inc
No pressure(-1) but no one open (cover +1) and the BG QB airmails a checkdown (cover +1) that wasn't going anywhere.
O25 2 20 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Hitch Floyd Inc
No pressure(-1) again; this time a 10-yard hitch is blanketed by Floyd(+2, cover +2) and broken up.
O25 3 20 Shotgun 4-wide 3-2-6 Dime Pass 3 Dumpoff ? 15
Again little pressure but Roh(+0.5) does come through quickly enough on a three man rush to prevent a minus; this forces a dumpoff(cover +1) in front of the coverage that Talbott and Mouton run down.
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-0, 3 min 1st Q. On the next drive lots of backups. Patterson, Black, and Sagesse are the DL for most of this drive, with Demens and Leach playing LB and Christian coming in for Rogers.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O36 1 10 Shotgun trips TE Base 4-3 Run ? Inside zone Kovacs 2
Three guys block Patterson so Kovacs(+1) can come in and thump the ballcarrier (tackling +1) without anyone bothering him.
O38 2 8 I-form big 3-3-5 stack Run ? Counter Patterson 4
It's hard to tell how the linebackers actually did on this play because Patterson(-1) is ejected from the center of the defense like he's Kovacs and Sagesse(-1) doesn't read the pull. He goes down to cut the lead blocker and create a pile but starts moving upfield and gets pancaked. So Mouton and Demens have blockers all over them and can't possibly shut down all the space. Both get blocked and Mouton gets pancaked, though, so -1 for Mouton; Roh fought through blockers to slow the tailback a little bit but it's an authoritative fill from Cam Gordon(+1.5, tackling +1) that holds this down when it could have been ugly.
O42 3 4 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 6 Out Kovacs 5
WR motions from trips side to create a 2x2 formation with two guys stacked, and then runs a pretty blatant pick on both M defenders, opening up an out. Kovacs(+0.5) is still right there to tackle, but just beyond the sticks. Blitz did not get there(pressure -1).
O47 1 10 Ace twins Base 4-3 Run   PA draw Sagesse 7
Screen fake to draw. DL slanting, getting Patterson(+1) in and disrupting anything up the middle. Problem on the backside is Sagesse(-2) getting way too far down the line and opening up a cutback lane. Mouton reacts and attempts to tackle but gets hit by a G peeling off Sagesse and has his tackle run through. I will -0.5 him but this is tough (tackling -1). Demens runs the guy down.
M46 2 3 Ace Base 4-3 Pass 4 Corner Christian Inc
Starting DL back. BG goes play action and finds a wide open receiver on a corner route because Christian(-2, cover -2) completely whiffed a chuck and got beat by yards. QB throws it long. Decent pressure and coverage everywhere else; coverage from Christian might force a sack.
M46 3 3 Shotgun 4-wide 3-2-6 Dime Pass 6 Slant Kovacs 20
This one is on Kovacs, who is in man on the second stacked receiver and gets smoked(-2, cover -2) to the inside so badly he can't even make a tackle on the catch. Mouton(+1) was flying over a cut block from an RB on the blitz(pressure +1) and hit the QB; an instant more coverage and this is end of drive. RPS -2 for getting Kovacs in single coverage for 20 yards.
M26 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 stack Run   Inside zone Martin 2
Christian exits for Rogers. Martin(+1) absorbs a double team without giving any ground, allowing Mouton(+1) to attack unmolested and tackle.
M24 2 8 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 stack Pass 4 Rollout hitch ? 6
Ezeh back. Roh running out on the edge but the little hitch here is wide open; not sure why but it just looks like this is a hole in a cover three. (cover -1). BWS disagrees.
M18 3 2 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Post Fitzgerald 17
Ezeh gets sucked up to a little drag route which is understandable, but Fitzgerald(-1) doesn't get any depth on his drop despite not having anyone in front of him and C. Gordon(-1) reacts late and there's a monster hole in the zone that's easy to hit for first and goal. (Cover –2.)
M1 1 G Goal line Goal line Run   Power off tackle Van Bergen -2
Campbell(+1) drives his man backward, gets lower than him, and falls in the backfield. Van Bergen(+2) does the same, stalling the RB and allowing Demens to run downhill at him for the stop.
M3 2 G Wildcat 3-3-5 stack Penalty   False start ? -5
M8 2 G Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 6 Scramble Van Bergen 7
House sent and gets there (pressure +2), with Leach(+1) immediately in the QB's feet after getting cut, forcing a scramble from a not-mobile QB that RVB(-2) badly overruns, turning a sack into a scramble down to the goal line.
M1 3 G I-form big Goal line Penalty   Offside Martin 0.5
Oh well.
M1 3 G Wildcat trips Goal line Run   QB draw Banks 0
QB motions out, no one covers him, it's a wildcat formation. Banks(+1) shoots past blockers into the center of the defense, eating blockers and creating a pile; Ezeh(+1) cleans up.
M1 4 G Wildcat trips Goal line Run   QB draw Campbell 1
Just a wad of bodies I can't make much out of; Campbell was right there but the guy managed to slam it up into his OL and fall forward into a massive pile of bodies that no one has a good view of. The refs eventually signal TD, but it's not like they have any idea.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-7, 8 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O29 1 10 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 stack Pass 4 Tunnel screen C. Gordon 71
The big bad thing from the day. I'm not actually that mad because this is kind of a freak thing. T. Gordon takes a good angle to the ballcarrier only to see the guy bang into one of his own OL and sort of get tossed upfield, which Gordon was not expecting; he ends up whiffing an attempted ankle tackle. I will give him a -1 here, but only 1 (tackling -1 as well). So now he's on a totally different vector than would otherwise be possible and there' no contain because Rogers is held and can't get outside and force it back into Cam Gordon. Cam gets a -2 for fighting to the ball too much when he had the other Gordon, Kovacs, Ezeh, and a billion other guys; he should never have been that eager to close down the space he tried to. So that's it. -3. The other -3 you can tack on the refs who missed the Rogers hold. I mean, the WR grabs the back of Rogers's jersey and pulls him four or five yards infield.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-14, 5 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O20 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Screen Mouton 0
Very slow developing. M only rushes three but Mouton is the only player in the area with Ezeh and the safeties very slow to read the play. Mouton(+2) evades a blocker and tackles the RB just as he catches the ball for nothing. Timing seemed off for BG so this is  only +2 because part of the screwup is on the QB.
O20 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel 4-3 Pass 5 Out Floyd 4
Avery in. M sends five and doesn't quite get there but does force a throw; this out is open just in front of Floyd(+0.5). He's there to tackle, which is good enough on a four-yard pass on second and ten.
O24 3 6 Shotgun 4-wide 3-2-6 dime Pass 4 Sack Van Bergen -7
The four man line with Mouton down. Martin and RVB stunt, with Martin(+1.5) driving the center back and threatening to sack as RVB(+1.5) comes around in the lane he's moving into to tackle(+1) for a big loss (pressure +2). Martin also draws a holding call.
Drive Notes: Safety (on terrible snap), 23-14, 13 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O10 1 10 Ace Base 4-3 Run   Power off tackle Ezeh -2
This is completely obliterated by everyone, with about four M players in the backfield. Ezeh(+2) saw a gap and attacked it, blasting a pulling guard two yards in the backfield and slowing the RB, at which point he's dead meat. Banks(+1) was just behind cutting off any lanes to the back and Leach(+1) beat a tight end, almost getting held; those two combine to finish the TFL.
O8 2 8 Shotgun empty Nickel 4-3 Pass 3 Tunnel screen Kovacs 24
Guh, Ezeh(-1) gives it right back by dropping out of a threatened blitz into a short zone and then running well upfield and out of the play when he reads screen. There is room as a result. Floyd(+0.5) does a good job of forcing a cutback inside, but Kovacs(-2) doesn't have faith his CB will do this and ends up overrunning the play in an embarrassing fashion. (Tackling –2.)
O32 1 10 Ace Base 4-3 Pass 4 Waggle deep out Mouton Int
Mouton(+3) bites on the play action a bit but then gets a great, great drop, going from two steps towards the LOS to 12 yards deep before the route can develop. By the time the QB throws it's right to him. +0.5 to Martin for getting in on the QB and possibly forcing a bad throw. (Cover +2.)
Drive Notes: Interception, 37-14, 7 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O31 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run   TGDCD Mouton 16
Ezeh starts charging upfield to contain what looks like a rollout and Mouton(-1) sucks out of position to the frontside of the play; Martin(-1) is also handled and gives up a gap to the outside when Mouton may have had a chance if it was forced inside. This always works, I want us to run it so bad.
O47 1 10 Ace Base 4-3 Run   Quick pitch Black? 8
Floyd(+0.5) cuts off the outside well and Banks(+0.5) reads the play quickly enough to seemingly close down the hole; Geter pauses, then stumbles, then cuts back across the field—and I'm not sure who to blame. Roh(-1) definitely eased up when he thought the play was going away from him and I think Black(-1) took an angle too far downfield instead of a proper cutback pursuit one. But I'm really just guessing here. Gordon and Christian converge after a nice gain.
M45 2 2 Shotgun twins 2TE Base 4-3 Pass 4 Rollout scramble ? 5
Excellent coverage(+2) from Christian and Gordon(+1 each) forces the QB to pull it down; Black(-2) again gets out of his lane fruitlessly, giving the QB an alley when he was about to be sacked. He scrambles for the first.
M40 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 5 Sack Banks -5
A quick look to one side is a feint and QB comes to the bottom of the screen where Mouton(+1, cover +1) has the first read covered, which gives the rush time to get home; Banks(+1) fights through a blocker and reaches out to grab the QB as the pocket collapses and Leach(+1) blitzed from the outside, coming around to finish the tackle.
M45 2 15 Ace Base 4-3 Pass 5 Waggle deep out Christian 12
Roh(+1) quick out to the edge, cutting the QB off and forcing a throw that's short and lofted (pressure +1), but Christian(-1, cover -1) is easily beaten in man coverage and should give up the first down. The BG player drops the ball, boots it skyward, and sees one of his teammates come down with it.
M32 3 3 Shotgun 4-wide 4-1-6 dime Pass 6 Slant Floyd 11
Blitz picked up (pressure -2) and Floyd(-1, cover -1) gets beaten on a slant for the first.
M21 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass NA Flanker screen Leach 20
Michigan is misaligned with no one shifted to the trips side. Given earlier formations this is on Leach(-1), who compounds his error by getting cut(-1) to the ground; Cam Gordon(-0.5) has to take on a blocker and attempt to make a diving tackle off of it and can't, allowing the WR to get down to the one. (RPS –2.)
M1 1 G I-form big Goal line Run   Iso Campbell 0
Campbell(+1) runs over his guy, essentially pancaking the OL(!) and ending up two yards in the backfield, forcing a cutback since Martin(+0.5) and Banks(+0.5) clogged the middle; Mouton(+0.5) fills unblocked and tackles with help.
M1 2 G I-form big Goal line Pass NA Fade Floyd Inc
Overthrown; Floyd doing okay enough I guess.
M1 3 G I-form big Goal line Pass NA      
RVB(+1) is lurking on the edge of the line and shoots out on the QB when he sees the roll, forcing a quick pass that ends up being inaccurate. It would have had to be just right with C. Gordon(+0.5) sitting there in proximity to the target. (Pressure +1, RPS +1)
M1 4 G Wildcat twin TE Goal line Run   Power off tackle ?- 1
Michigan totally stuffs this, with RVB(+0.5) and Campbell(+0.5) driving blockers backwards and Mouton(-1) giving the thump that ends his forward momentum but not wrapping up. RB bounces backwards, rolls out, cuts inside of a block, and scores. C'est la vie.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 44-21, 2 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O35 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass NA Rollout out T. Gordon 5
Starters still out there; weird. M not fooled by the PA and has good coverage on both these receivers from T. Gordon(+0.5) and Roh(+0.5, cover +1), who converge to tackle the receiver immediately.
O40 2 5 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 stack Run   Inside zone Mouton 4
Mouton(+1) hops in the hole before any one can peel off on him, which is good because he ends up cutting off the hole and drawing two blockers as Ezeh(-1) was dropping into coverage without so much as reading a key. RB cuts back where Kovacs(+0.5) fills quickly, causing the RB to delay and allowing Banks(+0.5) to come off a blocker and help tackle.
O44 3 1 Ace twins Base 4-3 Run   Power off tackle Ezeh -2
QB stumbles and this throws off the RB but this was dead anyway with T. Gordon(+1) setting up his blocker with the right shoulder and Ezeh(+1) clubbing the pulling guard in the hole, leaving nowhere to go; Banks(+1) takes the opportunity from the stumble and the jammed up front to tackle(+1) in the backfield.
Drive Notes: Punt, 51-21, 12 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O27 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 4 TE out Moundros 6
Scroobs finally come in with the score 58-21. At this point I'm just looking for individual performances and will discontinue metrics. Here pressure is poor but coverage is right there to tackle on the catch, with Moundros(+0.5) there. Campbell is not exactly Martin when it comes to pass rush. He just kind of sits at the line.
O33 2 4 Shotgun 2TE twins Base 4-3 Pass 6 Batted Campbell Inc
Rush is picked up as BG leaves a couple extra guys in to block. Campbell(+1) gets a hand up to bat the ball down.
O33 3 4 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 6 Out Avery Inc
Moundros(+1) does bash the tailback and get to the QB but Avery(-1) has been beaten in coverage and this should be a first down. Pass is too far upfield and bobbled, allowing Avery time to close and break it up. This bobble was super-slow-mo extended, which is why no plus.
Drive Notes: Punt, 58-21, 6 min 4th Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O31 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run   Inside zone Demens 0
I'd love it if Demens did something awesome here but no one even thinks about coming out to block him so it's pretty easy for him to step up and tackle. +1 for the hell of it, and +0.5 for Black, who came around a tackle and helped.
O31 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Out Anderson 6
Good coverage, quick tackle.
O37 3 4 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass   Out Moundros 13
Moundros is actually in pretty good coverage here for an out ten yards downfield but the throw is low and to the outside where he can't do anything about it. Campbell did beat a blocker and then sort of lumber in at the QB.
50 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel 4-3 Run   Inside zone Campbell 7
Campbell(-1) sealed as two guys release downfield into Demens, so he can't do anything about it; Marvin Robinson comes up to make a good open field tackle.
M43 2 3 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run   Inside zone Robinson 5
Moundros(+1) shoots upfield into a blocker as he tries to disengage from Campbell and delays the RB, allowing Robinson to come up and tackle, but the RB pops off and manages to drag Robinson forward past the sticks.
M38 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 3-3-5 stack Pass   PA post Vinopal Int
Play action leaves seven blockers against three rushers so the QB has all day; he fires a post that Vinopal(+3) steps in front of and intercepts, immediately sending everyone back to videos of Michigan safeties of the last 20 years to find out the last time that happened. Vinopal fumbles, of course, but whatever.
Drive Notes: Interception, 65-21, EOG. There is one more play but I can't believe I stuck around this long.

I'm so confused. Was that good or not?

I kind of think it was, though extreme caution should be read into that given the epic suck of the backup BG QB. I saw a number of missed opportunities that I duly minused; there were probably a half-dozen more I could not see or did not notice. Here's one; watch the two receivers at the top of the screen…

…and also the guy on the drag there. Problems: we haz them.

Even so, BG tailbacks combined for 21 carries and averaged 2.8 YPC on them. Part of that was their inability to slam it into the endzone from the one, but stopping tailbacks for no gain or a loss five times on the goal line is a good thing.

Meanwhile, Spankratz had one screen pass for 71 yards and 27 other attempts on which he netted 5.9 YPA. That screen should have been about 20 yards, IME, as on replay the holding committed against Rogers is both flagrant and the main reason the play broke very long instead of sort of long:

Also the pinball game with the OL was a fortunate thing. Cam Gordon did screw up by fighting inside and not having faith that his teammates would deal, and then was outrun to the endzone, and these things add to the Hill of Cam Gordon Worry founded in the Notre Dame game.

That isn't exactly reassuring.

No, but at least this year our safeties are getting outrun by an actual wide receiver instead of a thumping Indiana tailback. So far. Still, the—


--is decent. Also chart.


Defensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Van Bergen 5.5 2 3.5 Decent impact in little opportunity.
Martin 7 1 6 Quick passing offenses reduce DL impact; still did well when called upon.
Banks 5.5 2 3.5 Totally adequate.
Sagesse - 3 -3 Seems I was wrong about him.
Patterson 1 1 0 Occasionally blasted to moon.
Black 0.5 3 -2.5 Got out of rush lanes a couple times.
Campbell 3.5 1 2.5 Impact in short yardage.
TOTAL 23 13 10 Three step drop city.
Player + - T Notes
Mouton 13 5 8 Sacks, TFLs, INTs.
Roh 4.5 1 3.5 Impact waning?
Johnson - - - DNP.
T. Gordon 1.5 2 -0.5 Banks at linebacker, except a freshman.
Leach 3 2 1 Bounceback.
Moundros 1.5 - 1.5 Only played in garbage time.
Demens 1 - 1 And that +1 is generous.
Herron - - - DNP
Fitzgerald - 1 -1 Eh.
TOTAL 29 13 16 Much, much better.
Player + - T Notes
Floyd 4.5 1 3.5 Been solid except for run support issues vs UMass.
Rogers - 2 -2 Eh, fine.
Kovacs 4 4 0 Burned in man coverage a couple times.
C. Gordon 3 3.5 -0.5 I feel like these numbers do not give him enough credit for not screwing up on run angles.
Talbott - - - Did play, did not register good or bad, which is probably good.
Christian 1 3 -2 Seems like the other two are ahead.
M. Robinson - - - Scant time.
Ray Vinopal 3 - 3 Go, Spinal Tap Drummer. Go.
TOTAL 15.5 13.5 2 Did what they should against a team like BG.
Pressure 9 5 4 Revenge of the three man rush.
Coverage 18 12 6 Could be an artifact of confused QB.
Tackling 4 4 0 Okay.
RPS - 5 -5 One misalignment, no free rushers.

[RPS is "rock, paper, scissors." Michigan gets a + when they call a play that makes it very easy for them to defend the opponent, like getting a free blitzer. They get a – when they call a play that makes it very difficult for them to defend the opponent, like showing a seven-man blitz and having Penn State get easy touchdowns twice.]

Looks about right to me. The line didn't have much impact except when good coverage downfield allowed them to get to the QB or it was time to man up around the goal line. The linebackers made few errors, though part of that is no doubt BG's reluctance to test them in coverage with the backup QB. Mouton had an impact day and didn't do much to criticize, nor did Ezeh. And the secondary made about as many plays as they did errors.

I do chalk this up largely to the competition and expect that we'll be looking at some tattered numbers after Chappell gets done with Michigan's back seven.

Did we learn anything about new players?

Despite contrary indicators from the passing skeleton in the pregame, your #3 corner appears to Courtney Avery, a part of both the nickel and dime packages. Avery had an impressive recovery and PBU early:

We still don't know much about him but that's a good start. He seems obviously ahead of Cullen Christian, who did not have much to the good Saturday. Terrence Talbott was not tested.

Campbell was the other guy who leapt out as potentially useful. Though his strategy in the pass rush is "sit at the line of scrimmage and maybe raise your arms," he was a major reason that Michigan's goal line defense was so stiff, consistently driving his guy in the backfield and falling over. He's never going to be Mike Martin and has a long way to go if he's even going to be Gabe Watson, but for the first time he looked useful.

What about the so fresh, so clean linebackers?

Yeah… I've heard a lot of people talking up Kenny Demens after the game but I didn't see him do anything of note until the last drive when he was able to stroll into the BG backfield and make a tackle since three Falcon OL decided to block the same guy. It's possible I got 25 and 45 mixed up on a couple plays but since whenever Ezeh did something aggressive and successful I said "is that Ezeh?!" and double-checked, I don't think so. Talking up Demens seems to be a case of hoping something is true instead of thinking it.

And the old hands did have a good day. Mouton got an easy pick on a great pass drop after play action for the second time, and at no point did I get frustrated with Ezeh.

Hey, how about a special teams digression?

Yeah, I never ever cover special teams and so haven't systematically quantified how much additional suck there is this year in the unit. There is lots, obviously, but by virtue of not kicking anything but a point after and deploying that three-man punt return formation Michigan had its best week of the season. We heard all about how Drew Dileo was being recruited mostly as a returner, thus justifying yet another slot receiver, and the early… uh… returns are good. This is slick:

That's a punt a lot of guys would fair catch; Dileo WOOPs two gunners and then a third guy before getting taken down. That's a twelve yard return and potentially a 20- or even 30-yard swing in field position compared to a single returner like Gallon watching that thing bounce. Dileo is not that fast but he's got some skills.

Dileo === PR win.

Suck on that, low-rated-white-guy-offer complainers!

Yeah! And we totally weren't those guys. As long as we're on the topic of low rated white guys who the internet wasn't happy to see commit, how about Ray Vinopal?

Enormous disclaimers apply since by that point BG was down to their third-string walk-on but damn if that isn't the best play I've seen a Michigan safety make in a long time. This caused everyone to get way ahead of themselves about moving Gordon to bandit or linebacker in 2011; while I'm still keeping my hopes for an anonymous two-star in check that was about as good a start as you could hope for minus getting clocked and fumbling.

Maybe these guys really do have a knack for unearthing uncut gems.


Jonas Mouton was the most productive Wolverine on the day, notching a sack, an interception, and failing to notch any Mouton brain meltdowns.


No one stands out as a huge problem. The backups on the DL made some crappy plays, but that's to be expected, and some of the freshmen in the secondary had issues. Those guys aren't likely to play unless injury strikes, however. If I had to pick someone it would be Cam Gordon, who was one of three reasons Bowling Green hit the big play. That's weak, though, on a day when you hold the opponent under 300 total yards.

What does it mean for Indiana and beyond?

Not much, I'm afraid. Spankratz (in his first start, no less) is likely to be by far the worst quarterback on the schedule at year's end. Even second stringers or freshmen like Nathan ReallyDutchLastName at Illinois or Robert "Rob" Henry at Purdue will have way more experience when Michigan rolls into town, and there's no comparison between that guy and Indiana's Ben Chappell, who was genuinely impressive against Western Kentucky even when you take the opponent into account.

At least Michigan seems comfortable enough with the freshmen corners that they can throw them out there on passing downs—which will be most of them against IU—and get guys like Banks and Ezeh off the field. Avery showed well and the rest of the secondary kept it safe. I can see Michigan trying to get to Chappell with a four-man rush of Roh, RVB, Martin, and Mouton all day, content to take their chances when IU runs and bleed yardage until Michigan gets a sack or a couple incompletions, and I can see this working somewhat frequently. This year's IU team is far less of a threat on the ground than last year's, which still wasn't much of a threat.

UMass will probably be Michigan's worst defensive performance of the year; if the linebackers just play it safe and Michigan makes Indiana kick some field goals—probable once the field compresses and IU's total inability to run block comes to the fore—Denard and company should get a comfortable distance by game's end.

As far as beyond… not much. Indiana will give us way more information.

As a side note, I'm happy that the staff put in two new packages (the dime and the punt return) this week that are creative ways to address deficiencies. Minus punt fumbles, special teams has been a strength at Michigan under RR; moving towards a rugby-aware punt return system is another way in which Michigan's current coaching staff displays their willingness to adapt on a year-to-year basis. (The most powerful example this year is the near-shelving of the zone stretch in favor of QB lead draws and a lot of inside zone).

Upon Further Review: Offense vs Bowling Green 2010

Upon Further Review: Offense vs Bowling Green 2010

Submitted by Brian on September 29th, 2010 at 4:44 PM

Formation notes: Michigan debuted something sort of like Gator Heavy:


This isn't different personnel than the shotgun 2TE set that Denard scored on to beat Notre Dame but deploying the two TEs as H-backs gives Michigan added flexibility and unpredictability in the run game. I called this "Shotgun 2H," since if I did call it Wolverine Heavy I'd have to come up with something else if and when we see a formation that adds McColgan or Brandon Moore to the mix by taking one of the WRs off the field. Wolverine Super Heavy? Wolverine Weis*?

Other than that it wasn't too exciting. Bowling Green stuck with base personnel the whole game, deployed a ton of eight-man fronts either by alignment or a safety walking down before the snap, and played way more man than any previous opponent. You can see their "base 4-4," as I called it, above. Here's what I called "nickel 4-3," as the slot LB is way outside the box:


This almost always saw a safety walk down, FWIW, and often had the nickel LB blitz for contain.

Substitution notes: You know all about the carousel of incredibly dangerous quarterbacks. Lewan started at left tackle and Huyge did not get in until Dorrestein came off with a slight injury. On the last series before Michigan sent in the backups, Barnum replaced Schilling at left guard.

At tailback, Shaw and Smith remained the starters with Hopkins getting the first non-those-guys opportunities. When he fumbled it was back to the starters for a while, then Cox, then Toussaint, then Teric Jones. With Shaw and Toussaint "doubtful" for Indiana per RR, Hopkins and Cox are poised to get more first-team opportunities against Indiana.

At wide receiver, the usual rotation with less Terrence Robinson and more Jeremy Gallon.

*(Fairly indifferent to you at this point, xoxo.)

On with show:

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 5
Lewan starts at LT. BG slants a bit and the backside DT gets into the A gap past Schilling; Omameh tripped and so the frontside doesn?t look to good; Smith(+1) cuts it back behind Schilling. DE is moving laterally down the line and is in good position until Shaw pops him backwards, allowing Smith to snake his way for decent yardage. Lewan clamped onto a LB downfield, FWIW. He was not blocking for the cutback so it didn't really matter.
RUN+: Smith RUN-:
M25 2 5 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-4 Pass Rollout quick out Roundtree 7
Man coverage so Roundtree has plenty of room working against a safety. Robinson seems a little late on this but this is not a good D and it doesn't matter; Roundtree has time to catch and cut back inside past the safety overrunning the play to pick up some YAC and a first down. (CA,3, protection 1/1)
M32 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-4 Run Zone stretch Smith 5
BG flowing hard, so Molk and Omameh have no chance of scooping the playside DT; Omameh ends up taking him and riding him down the line; Shaw stands up a LB in the playside B gap. Molk(+1) sees what's going on and adjusts, picking off the MLB as he shoots up into the gap and giving Smith(+1) a crease he finds and hits. Schilling(-1) could do nothing with the backside DT, who did a good job of not getting sealed and makes a diving tackle just as Smith looks to be off to the races.
RUN+: Molk, Smith RUN-: Schilling
M37 2 5 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-4 Pass Corner Roundtree 35
BG has been putting their DBs in man on Michigan receivers and being very aggressive up front so Michigan goes after it, running a hitch/corner combo that opens up as Roundtree gets his man turned and ends up with yards of separation. Robinson reads it and pulls up on his roll, hitting Roundtree in the numbers. This was pretty easy but I usually DO any long pass that's right on the money and this is a 30-yarder to the edge of the field that could not be thrown better. (DO, 3, protection 1/1, RPS +2)
O28 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Shaw 12
Similar to the last stretch but to the other side: playside BG DT does not get sealed and neither does the backside guy. I'm not minusing either G here because they do control their guys well enough; neither manages any penetration. Molk(-1) whiffs on the MLB, though, and he's through on Shaw. Shaw(+1) runs through a tackle, then spins through another one(+2) past four BG defenders, stumbling his way for a first down. Lewan(+1) engaged the DE, who then attempted to shuck him upfield; Lewan was off balance for a moment but maintained contact and finished the kickout, providing a large amount of space for Shaw to operate in. Smith isn't getting a plus but I appreciate his instinct to bash the DT flowing past Schilling; too often in these situations under Carr guys just ran by and problems resulted.
RUN+: Shaw(3), Lewan RUN-: Molk
O16 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB power Robinson 9
A down G scheme where Koger and Dorrestein block down on the playside DL and Omameh pulls around to the outside. Omameh(+1) has the agility to wall off the MLB, who charges outside to force Robinson back into safety help; Molk(+1) got out on the WLB, providing a ton of space that Robinson hits it up into. This was the GTFO play.
RUN+: Molk, Omameh, Robinson, Koger RUN-:
O7 2 1 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Dive Shaw 3
A power look with Lewan and Schilling doubling the backside DT; Molk and Omameh double the playside DT. Koger kicks out a DE and this leaves the WLB unblocked. Schilling(+1) peels off the double to get a shove on the MLB blazing into the picture, giving Shaw a spot to cut up behind Lewan, who's burying a dead donkey. A note: I try to keep +/- about in line with how good a play was; as the field compresses I get more generous since a two-yard run from the six is much better than a two yard run from the 50.
RUN+: Schilling, Lewan RUN-:
O4 1 G Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Shaw 2
Omameh(+1) gets under one DT and kicks him out. Schilling gets a good shove on the BG DT but doesn't seal him away; there is still a big gap right up the middle. Molk again lets the MLB by him but I think that's partially on Schilling not getting his block exactly right. I won't minus Schilling because he did hit this guy back far enough that it's still two yards in a situation when you do that twice and you get a TD.
RUN+: Omameh RUN-:
O2 2 G Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 2
BG actually does a good job of coming underneath the blocks on to the playside but in doing so they just open up the outside, which Robinson(+1) reads, using his agility to walk in.
RUN+: Robinson RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-0, 12 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M12 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass PA circle Grady 9
This curl-flat combo was picture paged against ND. It looks like BGSU is running almost all man here, so the guy covering this is the safety. He is nowhere near the LOS when the play starts so it's a fairly simple read for Denard to see the open guy and hit him. Grady turns upfield for some YAC. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M21 2 1 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Nickel 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 24
Hopkins in. Schilling(+1) locks out his DT; Omameh(+1) locks on to his guy and starts driving him downfield, which is important because the BGSU LB is attacking the LOS. Hopkins(+1) gets a good block on him but the quick reaction and Molk(-1) missing another LB means Robinson can't cut it behind Omameh's excellent block but has to hit up the small crease Hopkins has provided. Second level and more because of excellent blocks from Stonum(+1) and Grady(+1).
RUN+: Schilling, Omameh, Hopkins, Grady, Stonum, Robinson RUN-: Molk
M45 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Nickel 4-3 Pass Flanker screen Hemingway 7
Hemingway is the outside WR; the other two guys attempt to get him blocks, with Roundtree doing okay since the BGSU CB attempts to go inside of him, opening up the outside and a good gain. (CA, 3, screen)
O48 2 3 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Nickel 4-3 Run Belly Hopkins 2
Correct handoff(ZR+1) as BGS blitzes from the backside, getting two guys in unblocked. Hopkins is immediately tackled by the second guy, falling forward for a couple. (RPS -1)
O46 3 1 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run QB stretch Robinson 46
Schilling(-1) does not get a seal again and this time his guy shoots into the backfield, which is bad. Robinson(-1) misses a pretty obvious cut since Omameh(+1) had sealed the backside DT and there was a crease up the middle. He heads outside, running past both Schilling's guy and a charging linebacker, then stopping on the sideline for a safety to overrun him and slide to the ground. He leaps past a tackle attempt from a corner and is then into the open field, at which point it's academic. Points to Dorrestein, Stonum, and Webb for getting downfield blocks that assured no BG players had angles. Oh, yeah: Robinson +4. BWS picture-pages.
RUN+: Robinson(3), Webb, Dorrestein, Omameh, Stonum RUN-: Schilling
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-0, 9 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M9 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 42
BG slanting again; this time Molk(+1) realizes it and starts a combo block with Schilling on the backside DT, bashing him downfield; Omameh(+1) seals the playside guy. Schilling(+1) peels off the combo to take out the WLB and there's a big hole; Smith is one on one with the MLB and gets a hat on the guy; hole is big enough for Robinson to move through it. Robinson(+2) then smoothly jukes a safety down in the box and is off, getting great downfield blocks from Odoms(+1) and Grady(+1); the last guy has an angle and tackles him as Robinson crosses the 50. Robinson bangs his knee and is done for the day.
RUN+: Robinson(2), Omameh, Molk, Schilling, Odoms, Grady RUN-:
O49 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Gardner 1
Gardner in. Correct read(ZR+1) as the DE crashes down and there's no one scraping over, but instead of slamming it upfield into acres of space he cuts outside and gets tackled by the cornerbacks.
RUN+: RUN-: Gardner
O48 2 9 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA fly Stonum 35
Stonum(+2, though I don't track this) smokes the corner with a great double move, getting yards of separation. There is no deep safety. Gardner has okay protection and launches it deep but the ball is well underthrown, forcing Stonum to cut back and haul it in underneath. This is something Stonum could not do last year; he's made a leap. Some part of the throw ending up short was Dorrestein(-1) letting his guy in on Gardner, shortening his release. Still... (MA, 2, protection 2/3, Dorrestein -1)
O13 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Gardner 2
Incorrect read since the crashing DE is not the guy to read since Shaw is going to cut him; it's the scrape backer who keeps contain. Gardner is run down from behind by a late blitzer who came free and either would have nailed Smith in the backfield if the handoff was made or (more likely) run right by him and given Smith a good shot at a TD. (RPS -1)
RUN+: RUN-: Gardner
O11 2 8 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Gallon 11
Just man on the edge and Gallon's guy is ten yards off the LOS so unless he tears at this immediately he's not in great shape; he does not. Hemingway(+1) blocks his corner into the sideline, leaving Gallon(+1) one on one with the safety, who he beats for a touchdown. (CA, 3, screen)
RUN+: Gallon, Hemingway RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-0, 4 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M26 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Nickel 4-3 Run Belly Hopkins 4
Slot LB is the contain and is tearing downhill so probably a correct handoff despite the DE crashing on Hopkins (ZR +1, RPS -1). Hopkins(+1) does well to carry the tackler four yards.
RUN+: Hopkins RUN-:
M30 2 6 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run PA circle Roundtree 5
Same play as earlier; BG again in man and the safety too far away to effectively combat this, overrunning the play. Roundtree cuts past him but slips as he goes and stumbles short of the sticks when he had an opportunity to pick up a lot of YAC. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M35 3 1 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Hopkins 7
Omameh(+1) latches onto and controls one DT with help from Molk(+1), who then pops off and whacks the MLB. Schilling and Lewan double the other guy and handle him, though really they should. Hopkins slams it up in the crease, picking up the first down and a bit more.
RUN+: Omameh, Molk, Schilling, Lewan RUN-:
M42 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Hopkins 19
The classic stretch we haven't really seen much of this year. Molk(+2) and Omameh(+2) execute a textbook scoop block, which seals the playside DT and dooms BG. This is tough to do and they make this look easy. After they seal the guy Molk crushes him backwards and Omameh peels off to batter the MLB; Webb(+1) kicks out another LB and Schilling(+1) successfully delays the backside LB with a cut; Lewan(+1) cut the backside DE. Essentially everyone on the OL except Dorrestein dominated his man on this play, and Dorrestein still did a good job of kicking out the DE. Hopkins has huge lanes to hit, which he does, running through an arm tackle and into the secondary. (Run+: Molk(2), Omameh(2), Schilling, Webb, Lewan.)
O39 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 4
BG slants under the blocking, which gives M trouble as Omameh and Dorrestein are split on the backside and Molk and Schilling have a tough time with the playside DT. The latter guys do get their guy under control but do not get out on LBs; Omameh(-1) does not help seal the other guy and he comes through Dorrestein. Dorrestein avoids a minus for pushing the guy beyond the play; allowing Smith(+1) to cut behind it and pick up an excellent edge block from Hopkins(+1) to pick up a few.
RUN+: Hopkins, Smith RUN-: Omameh
O35 2 6 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Hopkins -2
Well, first Michigan gets a deserved chop block call as Schilling(-1) engages with the backside DT and then Lewan chops him. I blame Schilling since Lewan had this guy. On the frontside BG again slants under, this time getting past Molk(-2) and Omameh(-1), leaving Hopkins facing down two guys in the backfield. He gets hit and fumbles. Fumbles are not a part of the run tracking.
RUN+: RUN-: Schilling, Omameh, Molk(2)
Drive Notes: Fumble, 21-0, 1 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M24 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 9
Gardner should have pulled with a TE coming to block the backside DE and Lewan moving out on the WLB (ZR -1). Schilling doesn't get a seal but manages to control his guy enough that he can't make a play in the backfield. With an unblocked linebacker coming up into the playside B gap the cutback's where it's at. BG DE does a good job of flowing down the line and cutting it off but Koger(+1) gets enough of him to provide Smith(+1) a window behind him; Lewan has engaged the WLB and though he ends up playside Lewan just donkeys him to the ground, giving Smith another cutback lane he takes; a safety fills at this point.
RUN+: Smith, Koger, Lewan RUN-: Gardner
M33 2 1 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Smith 11
Lewan(+1) gets a face-planting cut block on the backside DT, leaving him crumbled on the ground. On the frontside Molk(+1) and Omameh(+1) get a good scoop on the playside guy; Omameh pops out on a LB. BG brought a safety down late and has a guy in the gap, though, as Webb got caught up in some wash and can't get out front. Because of the Lewan cut, though, there's a huge cutback lane. Schilling(+1) gets a shove on the WLB and Smith has a lane, leaving a guy over the slot receiver to recover and tackle. Handoff was correct (ZR +1).
RUN+: Lewan, Molk, Schilling, Omameh, Smith RUN-:
M44 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Gardner 3
Should hand off with the DE maintaining responsibility; this is compounded by a safety filling fast, leaving three guys out on Gardner with no shot for him to do much (ZR-1).
RUN+: RUN-: Gardner
M47 2 7 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass PA Fly Gardner Inc
MICH obviously pissed about all this cover zero safety nonsense, so they go deep. Gardner sets up in the pocket and this time the pocket is excellent. He lays one out to Hemingway, who's got a step on the DB; DB falls; ball hits Hemingway in the hands at the ten... dropped. Breastonian. (DO, 3, protection 2/2)
M47 3 7 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Post Gardner 53 (pen + 2)
Gardner knows he has Grady on a linebacker and goes right to him, feathering a ball on a post route that fits perfectly in a window between that LB and the safety, who takes a terrible angle and turns a big gainer into a touchdown. Molk gets it called back for whacking some guy. (DO, 3, protection 2/2)
M49 3 5 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Hemingway 16
Zone this time; double slants to one side of the field. Roundtree's interior slant drags a defender and opens up Hemingway's; Gardner nails it for the first down. Finally. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2)
O35 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass PA circle Gallon Inc
BG prepared for this after seeing it a few times and blitzes into it, getting a guy in free(RPS -1). Gardner has an opportunity to make a play but his pass is inaccurate as he gets hit as he throws. Still think his delivery gets poor when he's under duress. I am going to mark this IN because the ball is out before he gets hit. (IN, 0, protection 0/2, team, RPS -1)
O35 2 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3- Run Zone stretch Shaw 3
BG again slanting under blocks. Lewan(+1) does an excellent job to react to it, latch onto the guy, and shove him out of the RB's path, giving Shaw a lane with Koger(+1) kicking out a blitzing LB. Schilling blocks a linebacker on the second level but Dorrestein(-1) could not do anything with the WLB, who flows down the line and tackles. RPS -1.
RUN+: Lewan, Koger RUN-: Dorrestein
O32 3 7 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass Flare screen Shaw 2
Great read by one of the BG DTs, who takes off after Omameh as soon as he feels him release. A safety is screaming down past blockers as well but while this play looks grim Shaw might have a cutback lane for big yardage if the DT(!) isn't quick enough to get out there and tackle him from behind. (CA, 3, screen)
O30 4 5 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Nickel 4-3 Pass Drag Hemingway Inc
Zone behind a four-man rush; Gardner cannot find anything and tries to hit Hemingway on a drag. He is between two guys, and one of them almost intercepts. Very poor decision since he was short of the sticks anyway. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 21-7, 4 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M31 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Nickel 4-3 Pass Flanker screen Odoms 2
Tate in. TRobinson(-1) gets chucked by the guy he's blocking and Roundtree(-1) whiffs on a cut, leaving Odoms dealing with two guys and no blocks. He gets what he can. (CA, 3, screen)
RUN+: RUN-: Roundtree, TRob
M33 2 8 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Roundtree 0
TRobinson(+1) gets a good cut this time, but instead of heading straight upfield and either juking the linebacker coming out on him or plowing into him and getting somewhere between 4 and 8 yards Roundtree(-1) spins around and falls to the ground in an attempt to get outside. (CA, 3, screen)
M33 3 8 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Deep hitch Odoms 13
Just a very long pitch and catch; worry that he does not have the arm strength to get this out there against top competition, because as it is this BG CB isn't exactly miles away here. Nevertheless today it's good enough and Odoms evades the CB for a few YAC, though it could have been more if he had kept his feet. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2)
M46 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Forcier 5
Eh? probably the right read since the DE was sliding down the line to prevent the belly and the LBs both came in(ZR+1). Tate ends up on the edge with the slot LB and I still want him to just run upfield until he gets tackled but he tries to juke the guy to the outside and gets tripped up.
O49 2 5 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Inside zone Shaw 10
Backside DT gets completely donkeyed by Lewan(+1) and Schilling(+1), ending up somewhere around the first down marker by the time Shaw flies by. Molk(+1) and Omameh(+1) had done basically the same thing to the other DT, with Lewan and Molk getting easy popouts on the BG LBs. One of them gets a diving tackle attempt that Shaw spins out of but he's lost his momentum and goes down. If this was a read it was the right one with a DE in an inconvenient place and a scraper over the top(ZR+1).
RUN+: Lewan, Schilling, Molk, Omameh RUN-:
O39 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA Bubble Roundtree 10 (pen -6 lol)
Forcier fakes the inside zone and immediately goes to the bubble; Odoms pounds a guy in the midsection for a good block and somehow gets called for a chop block because these guys are pure Sun Belt. (CA, 3, screen)
O45 1 16 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Throwback screen Stonum -3
The counter to the flare screen; Robinson(-2) gets confused and doesn't block the slot LB at all, which blows up the play. (CA, 3, screen)
RUN+: RUN-: TRob(2)
O48 2 19 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Nickel 4-3 Pass Improv fly Roundtree Inc (pen +15)
Ton of time as M stones four rushers; no one open for Forcier so he starts rolling in the pocket. His receivers break deep and he picks out Roundtree but throws the pass well short. Roundtree is run over, drawing a flag. I don't really know what to tag this. It was good play to chuck it because the DB was definitely in trouble but the ball was not great. I'm going with... (MA, 0, protection 3/3)
O33 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass PA Bubble Roundtree 23
All Roundtree(+3) as he jukes two different guys and turns this into a big play; Stokes(+1) did get a good block on the corner and finished it off by shoving the guy past Tree as he cut back for his final six or so yards.
RUN+: Roundtree(3), Stokes RUN-:
O10 1 G Shotgun 2H 1 2 2 Base 4-4 Run Inside zone Shaw 8
Wolverine heavy, sort of. It works, with Omameh(+1) controlling and shoving his man to seal him just as Shaw approaches the line; Dorrestein(+1) kicks out the DE and Koger(+1) gets an excellent lead block on a filling LB; Molk(+1) moves to the second level and plants the MLB. Shaw bursts through and gets cut to the ground by a desperate safety.
RUN+: Omameh, Koger, Shaw, Dorrestein RUN-:
O2 2 G Shotgun 2H 1 2 2 Base 4-4- Run Inside zone Shaw 2
Pretty much the same thing, with BG slanting heavily to the inside; Dorrestein(+1) caves his guy in and Shaw(+1) reads that, slipping outside and running over a linebacker who tried to fill. Webb(+1) got a good edge block.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 28-14, EOH.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M49 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Shaw 2
No cutback with Schilling(-1) unable to do anything with the backside DT; he is moving into the backfield. This is relevant because BG has slanted heavily and the frontside guy is shoving Omameh(-1) well into the backfield, forcing Shaw outside the tackle. Smith(+1) plugged the LB to that side, actually pancaking him, which does give Shaw a little crease; the delay allows a BG safety to thwack him just past the LOS.
RUN+: Schilling, Omameh RUN-: Smith
O49 2 8 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass PA cross Roundtree 21
BG again getting good pressure on this PA rollout protection scheme by having a linebacker zip up into the hole between the line and a pulling Schilling, so Forcier doesn't have much time. The BG linebackers jump the circle route M's thrown a few times today, opening up Roundtree behind them. Forcier reads it and finds Roundtree. Ball is a little high but just in front of the safety and Roundtree brings it in as he's hit. The guy in the face increases the DOD. (DO, 2, protection 1/2, team -1)
O28 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Shaw 8
Schilling(+1) owns one DT on a single block, shoving him back three yards. Omameh(+1) and Molk(+1) do the same to the other, with Molk popping out on a middle linebacker. All that beef moving downhill means Shaw is met four yards downfield and the pile lumbers another four. Lewan flashed his impressive agility here, too, though for no real purpose.
RUN+: Schilling(2), Molk(2), Omameh RUN-:
O20 2 2 Shotgun 2H 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone counter Shaw 2
At least I think this is designed to cutback with both TEs headed to the backside of the play, the line blocking down, and Shaw ready to cut back real fast. Lewan(+1) helps cave in the playside DT and then pops out on the LB. Webb(+1) takes out the slot LB and Shaw looks like he's about to be in the clear with Koger ahead of him and just one BG safety left; he heads outside, Koger(-1) watches the safety run by, and that guy makes a desperate arm tackle to prevent six.
RUN+: Webb, Lewan RUN-: Koger
O18 1 10 Shotgun 2H 1 2 2 Base 4-4 Run Zone stretch Shaw 9
Slanting under again and moving an eighth guy in the box. Molk(+1) moves past the playside DT and then realizes what's happening. He peels off and seals that guy. Lewan and Schilling are dealing with the playside DE who is threatening to slant between them as Koger(+1) kicks out a blitzer. Webb(+1) is leading Shaw and kicks out the playside LB, giving him a lane between that block and the Lewan/Schilling double. Shaw(+1) did a good job of finding and hitting a small crease.
RUN+: Shaw, Koger, Webb, Molk RUN-:
O9 2 1 Shotgun 2H 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 0
Confusion between Lewan(-1) and Webb(-1) as Lewan starts moving to the second level and then gets held up by the DE; DE is now in good position to eliminate a cutback. Webb runs by this for a second level block; this is not so good. Forcier could have kept but I don't know if he actually has a read here; since it would have been successful and he didn't keep it I have to ZR -1 him. Smith(-1) should have just run to the frontside of the play, where Omameh(+1) had blown out the playside DT badly and there was a gap for the first down and maybe more.
RUN+: Omameh, Koger RUN-: Webb, Lewan, Smith
O9 3 1 Shotgun 2H 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 3
These are not all the same play as the H-backs keep going in different directions, FWIW. Here Omameh(+1) and Molk(+1) pancake a BG DT; Schilling(-1) falls and loses his guy, drawing Webb's block and allowing a BG guy to come in to tackle after a short gain, but the obliteration of the DT was sufficient for the first.
RUN+: Omameh, Molk RUN-: Schilling
O6 1 G Shotgun 2H 1 2 2 Base 4-4 Run Zone stretch Smith 4
Good handoff (ZR+1) with lots of guys unblocked on the backside. BG is running down the line fast, preventing anyone from getting a seal, so the OL just rideS guys down the line. Omameh(+1) gets the relevant block, controlling his guy and keeping him at the LOS, driving him far enough along that there's a cutback hole between him and the unblocked backside DE; Dorrestein and Molk(+1 each) get second level blocks. Smith hits it up and is lassoed down by the DE.
RUN+: Smith, Dorrestein, Molk, Omameh RUN-:
O2 2 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Iso Shaw 0
No push from the line but there is a gap for McColgan to hit, which he does(+1), blowing his guy into the endzone. If Shaw(-1) had run up his FB's back it's a touchdown but he hesitates and then has nowhere to go.
RUN+: McColgan RUN-: Shaw
O2 3 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Pass PA boot FB flat McColgan 2
McColgan wide open as BG bites (RPS +1) and he flips it in for the easy TD. (CA, 3, protection NA)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 37-14, 9 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O37 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Fly Stonum Inc (pen +15)
Forcier fumbles the snap on what was going to be a bomb and just chucks it after he recovers. TA? IN? MA? I don't know. I'm going to file it TA since I think he's just getting rid of it to live another down. BG's corner has great position on the play and gets an awful flag for pass interference. This is raw, throbbing injustice in a can. A perfect example of the kind of play a cornerback in position should be allowed to make. (TA, 0, protection 2/2)
O22 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout quick out Gallon 14
No PA, just a plain old rollout that sees Shaw cut the playside DE, giving Forcier plenty of time to find Gallon yards in front of a slot LB that appears to be in man coverage. Easy pitch, catch, and YAC. (RPS +1, CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O8 1 G Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Smith 8
Molk(+2) gets a great reach block on the playside DT, creasing the line; Omameh(+1) gets a second level block, and Lewan(+1) cuts two(!) guys on the backside. Schilling(-1) whiffed his second-level block but Smith(+1) runs through the tackle into the endzone. Dorrestein(+1) pancaked his guy too.
RUN+: Molk(2), Omameh, Lewan, Smith, Dorrestein RUN-: Schilling
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 44-14, 7 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M38 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Roundtree 2
I am officially in half-ass mode, FWIW. Good play by a deep corner to charge this down. (CA, 3, screen)
M40 2 8 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Zone stretch Cox 3
Corner blitz provides contain on the QB so BG has a DE and a LB on the backside; they slant hard to the playside and don't get sealed. Cox cuts up in a big hole between Omameh and Dorrestein and sort of avoids two tackles before being whomped by a safety. RPS -1. Could have minused Dorrestein if I was feeling mean.
M43 3 5 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-4 Pass PA Deep comeback Stonum 10
PA rollout sees a BG blitz get in Forcier's face; he pulls up and nails a comeback route to Stonum. It's weird to remember he can do these things. (CA+, 3, protection 1/2, team -1)
O47 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-4 Pass Bubble screen Roundtree 16
This one is wide open by alignment and M takes it; Roundtree gets a block from Hemingway(+1) and it's easy. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +2)
RUN+: Hemingway RUN-:
O31 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 6
Little room as BG slants under again and Molk(-1) gets driven into the backfield some. Smith(+1) cuts back and gets outside thanks to a crushing block from Webb(+1) on the edge and jukes a tackler for decent yardage.
RUN+: Smith, Webb RUN-: Molk
O25 2 4 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 Base 4-4 Run Power off tackle Forcier 16
This is a broken play since Shaw just takes off to block someone on the backside as Forcier holds the ball out for a mesh that never comes. Okay, so Forcier just runs the play, which features Dorrestein(+1) and Webb(+1) blocking down as Omameh and Molk pull. Smith(+1) kicks out a linebacker; Omameh(+1) demolishes his guy, and Forcier hits the gap, makes a safety miss, and would be gone if he was Denard but is not Denard and gets a shoestring tackle for his troubles.
RUN+: Forcier(2), Omameh, Smith, Dorrestein, Webb RUN-: Shaw
O9 1 G Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 Base 4-4 Run Down G Smith 6
Other side of the line with Webb(+1) sealing the playside DE and Schilling pulling around. Schilling(+1) and Cox(+1) both kick out second level guys and Smith is one on one with a safety in some space; he lowers his head and is tackled. Meh.
RUN+: Webb, Lewan, Cox, Schilling RUN-: Smith
O3 2 G Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 Base 4-4 Run Inside zone Cox 2
Omameh(-1) whiffs on his guy, who ends up falling in the backfield in the path of the runner, forcing Cox outside where he runs through one arm tackle and then meets a safety while still off balance, getting stood up. This was possible thanks to Huyge, now playing RT, kicking his guy out far enough for Cox to have a lane.
RUN+: Huyge RUN-: Omameh
O1 3 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Zone stretch Smith 1
Omameh, Huyge, and Webb all blow their guys out and Omameh actually has a moment in this play where he's blocking two separate BG players by pushing them in the chest simultaneously. McColgan doesn't even have anyone to block as Smith strolls in.
RUN+: Omameh, Huyge, Webb RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 51-21, 13 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M6 1 10 Ace twins 1 2 2 Base 4-4 Run Inside zone Cox 4
Barnum in. Okay, I will do some vague charting here but I'm not going to bother with RPS since M is just running the game out. Here blitzing linebackers hit the gaps too fast for the linemen to get out on them, forcing a cutback from Cox(+1). He runs through a tackle and drags another guy forward four yards; would have gotten a couple more if the refs hadn't whistled it down for lack of forward progress that seemed to be progressing still.
RUN+: Cox RUN-:
M10 2 6 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Cox 2
Also discarding ZR since I don't want QBs carrying at this point, but this should have been a keep if it wasn't a 30 point game in the fourth. Omameh(-1) gets stalemated and then his guy fights inside; Dorrestein is only doing OK on the edge so Cox does not have gap to the outside and has to cut back into a crashing DE. He keeps his feet impressively on a tackle attempt but the delay allows BG to converge and he only gets an extra yard out of it.
RUN+: RUN-: Omameh
M12 3 4 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass Scramble Forcier 7
Five guys come and Michigan blocks them all; Forcier actually has Koger wide open for the first but sees a lane open up in front of him and knows he can get the first with his legs; he does so. (SCR, N/A, protection 2/2)
M19 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Forcier 2
Forcier keeps; no idea what or who he's reading here since the blocking is unfamiliar. He fakes the bubble as he attempts to get to the edge but a linebacker runs him down; Molk was blocking for the handoff and the LB read keep too fast. Denard gets the corner here but you knew that.
RUN+: RUN-: Forcier
M21 2 8 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Inside zone Cox 10
Omameh(+1) and Molk(+1) fire off to double one DT, who gives a ton of ground; Molk pops off on the MLB. The other DT is crushed by Barnum(+1) with help from Lewan; a crashing DE is taken out by Koger(+1). Cox just has to run up in the gaping hole and does.
RUN+: Barnum, Omameh, Molk, Koger RUN-:
M31 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Gardner 3
Gardner returns, and should definitely keep this since BG is cheating on the RB but still gets run down for two yards by taking an angle not far enough outside. I think he's plenty fast but he's got a lot of work to do as a runner.
RUN+: RUN-: Gardner
M34 2 7 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Power off tackle Toussaint 60
Features a pull from Omameh as Huyge(+1) blocks down on the playside DT and provides a big hole. Koger(+1) kicks out a DE; a blitzing MLB has taken himself out of the play and Omameh(+1) clubs the last LB out of the way, opening up green pastures for Toussaint.
RUN+: Huyge, Omameh, Koger, Toussaint RUN-:
M6 1 G Shotgun 2-back 2 1 2 Base 4-4 Run Zone stretch Toussaint 6
Backside DT is cut to the ground by Lewan(+1) and the frontside guy kind of lunges in at Molk, forcing Toussaint around him but falling uselessly; Omameh(+2) controls and then destroys the playside DE, who is blocked into the endzone. Toussaint with an easy TD. Barnum(+1) also did well to get a block on the second level.
RUN+: Omameh(2), Lewan, Barnum RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 58-21, 7 min 4th Q. Backup OL comes in and charting ceases, as we're not going to learn anything about this year's team from this game. You can watch Cox's long run, on which Quinton Washington obliterates some dude, though. And here's Gardner's touchdown.

*Elaborate yawning mechanism.*

Yes, yes, steampunk fictional questioner who does not appreciate where he has come from.

Well, is there really even a point?

No, not on this side of the ball. I would have cut this off sooner but for BG's annoying persistence on offense and our first extended look at Devin Gardner. The offensive line was crushing to the point where it was tough to tell whether or not I should be handing out pluses to the tackles on plays where the interior linemen were ridin' that donkey five, six, seven yards downfield. Here's Fitzgerald Toussaint's touchdown. Watch Omameh:


This was most of the day. So take everything below with a grain of salt. Michigan won't face a defense this bad after this weekend again.

We demand low-information charts anyway.

Low information charts, then.

Hennechart comes with a reminder that numbers in parentheses are screens! I've also added the zone read metric to these charts instead of spreading it out. It's in the format correct decisions / opportunities.


2009, All Of It 1 7 6(2) 3(1) 4 4 - - ? - 44%
UConn 2 15(6) - - 3 2 - - 2 - 68%
Notre Dame 3 25(8) 3(1) 4 1 - 4(1) 2 - - 71%
UMass 4 10(3) - 1 1 - 1 1 - - 73%
BGSU 1 4(1) - - - - - - - 1/1 N/A


BGSU 2 4(2) 1 1 1 - - - - 4/7 N/A


BGSU 2 9(6) 1 - - 1 - - 1 3/4 N/A

Nobody had enough downfield throws to warrant a downfield success rate, but everyone impressed. Denard hit a 30-yard corner route, Devin had two long should-have-been touchdowns, the second a beautiful touch seam, and Forcier rolled out and pulled up to hit Roundtree over the middle.

My only complaint/worry here was the short toss to Gallon on which Gardner was pressured. He defaulted to that pushing motion, it looked, and the resulting pass was well off target. Oh, and there was the failed fourth down attempt. In any case, it certainly looks like Michigan is more loaded at quarterback than they've ever been.

Who works for number two?


Uh… if that's a question about the second-string quarterback, I think it should be Tate, but not because of any of the passing numbers above. It's the zone read stuff, where Gardner's barely above 50%, and the numbers from the—


Run chart, but whatever. BEHOLD THE DONKENING

Chart II?

Chart II.


Offensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Huyge 2 - 2 Couple of good plays at RT late.
Lewan 11 1 10 Was very effective on cuts, too.
Schilling 10 5 5 Had some trouble with BG slants.
Molk 16 5 11 Wish he'd be more consistent on MLBs.
Omameh 20 6 14 Most of Michigan's long runs came over his side of the line.
Barnum 2 - 2 I'll take it from the back of the rotation starter.
Dorrestein 6 1 5 I'll take it from the back of the rotation starter.
Webb 9 1 8 Fetch me the club…
Koger 7 1 6 …and smite the heathen seals.
TOTAL 83 20 63 Even more obliteration.
Player + - T Notes
Robinson 8 - 8 Not bad for four rushes.
Gardner - 5 -5 Yeah… about that.
Forcier 2 1 1 Was limping, too.
Shaw 10 2 8 Broke some tackles, seemed to hit all the right holes.
Smith 10 2 8 Smart blocking, good cuts, an occasional broken tackle.
Cox 2 - 2 Physically impressive. Good balance again.
Toussaint - - - Runs were super easy.
Hopkins 3 - 3 Fumble not included.
McColgan 1 - 1 Usual.
Jones - - - Stopped charting by the time he got in.
TOTAL 36 10 26 Shaw again most impressive.
Player + - T Notes
Stonum 2 - 2 --
Odoms 2 - 2 --
TRobinson 1 3 -2 --
Roundtree 3 2 1 --
Grady 2 - 2 --
Gallon 2 - 2 --
Hemingway 2 - 2 --
TOTAL 14 5 9  

So this was more of the same, with Lewan being impressive for a tackle just because he is noticeable on so many run plays. Tackles mostly just lock out DEs who are happy to cut off the outside; Lewan is making an impact comparable to an above-average guard. Also, the tight ends were just clubbing guys all day.

At tailback, Smith and Shaw came out about even in the numbers above and the official ones (both had 12 carries; Smith had three more yards) but if I had to pick it would be Shaw and it wouldn't be that close. The three backups who got charted all flashed some ability and didn't screw up except for the Hopkins fumble. Cox really is physically impressive, capable of dragging tacklers and again flashing great balance. I'm hoping we get to see more of him as the season goes on.

So about number two?

Right, so, Gardner has a –5 up there, the only minus of the day aside from Terrance Robinson. This came about because he pulled the ball on three separate instances when he should have handed off and got roped down for little gain; on a couple other runs he eschewed certain yards for more of that high school stuff where you just cut it outside all day on the assumption you are faster than everyone else. Tate has more experience at the college level and when he cut it way outside he had a block and got tracked down by a linebacker from behind; he also seems to be better at ascertaining when to hand it off.

That plus Tate's excellent day throwing makes me lean towards Forcier in the unfortunate event of a serious injury to Robinson.

I still have a couple more charts, by the way. Receivers:

  This Game   Totals
Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Stonum - - 1/1 2/2 1 - 3/4 11/11
Odoms - - - 2/2 - - 3/4 9/9
Hemingway 1 - - 2/3 1 - 1/1 2/3
Jackson - - - - - - - -
Roundtree 1 - 1/1 8/8 5 2/3 1/2 19/19
Grady - - - 2/2 2 - 1/1 6/6
Robinson - - - - - 0/1 - 2/3
Gallon 1 - - 1/1 1 - - 1/1
Koger - - - - - - 1/2 2/2
Webb - - - - - - - -
Smith - - - - - - 0/1 4/4
Shaw - - - 1/1 1 0/1 0/1 3/3
McColgan - - - 1/1 - - - 1/1
Hopkins - - - - - - - -
Toussaint - - - - - - - -

A fairly boring day here. Just one drop, but it was a big one: Hemingway's oopsie on Devin Gardner's first shoulda-been touchdown.

And this isn't a chart but PROTECTION METRIC: 26/31, Dorrestein –1, Team –4.

The "team" minuses were for blitzes into Michigan's favored rollout package that got Forcier and Gardner in trouble a couple times. Michigan might have to go way from that now that Bowling Green has demonstrated how to pressure it consistently. M got away with it against a team with little talent, but add some speed to that linebacker or some competence to the secondary and bad things might happen.

Did we see anything new?

Obviously the Wolverine Heavy look was new, but Michigan also started responding to BG's tendency to slant like there's no tomorrow by breaking out the pulling OL. Watch Omameh:

That's a completely standard run play I've seen Michigan defend dozens of times over the past few years. I've even got an automatic link for it: Down G. See? It linked.

On Down G you've got a tackle and sometimes a tight end blocking down on the line as Michigan pulls one OL and finds a lead blocker from somewhere else, whether it's a tailback or a H-back or whatever. This is a response to BG's uber-slanting. If the DL slant in the direction of the play, they meet the downblockers head on and get blown up as they do above. Then there's lots of space off tackle and usually the linebackers will be hanging out on the backside of the play where the cutbacks are on a zone. On this play one blitzes right up the middle, another heads to the backside, and there's just one guy in a big hole starting down the mobile death that is Patrick Omameh. And then you get a lot of yards.

Here's another example, on which Shaw busts his assignment but BG is so confused that it doesn't matter and Molk doesn't even have anyone to block:

Michigan has not shown this much in the RR era (and literally never ran it during the DerpBord stretch-and-stretch-only era). I wonder why they chose to do so in a game they'd salted away already. It's not like this is rocket science—it's a totally standard play—but I'd rather break it out against Michigan State than BG.

What does a can of injustice look like?


Poor BG cornerback. This is my least favorite iteration of pass interference, where a guy is running in front of or even with a receiver who tries to run through the DB. The DB has great coverage and is penalized for it. They should clarify the rule to express that a player who is even or deeper with a wide receiver can't be penalized for not changing his momentum. If you're beaten and the ball's underthrown and you run a guy over, fine, flag. But that stuff above is painful even when you're on the right end of a wrong call.


Again, you could almost pick anyone. Special commendation to the offensive line and tight ends.


Hopkins fumbled, Molk got that personal foul, and Devin Gardner had some iffy running plays, but that's it when you score touchdowns on 9 of 11 drives.

What does it mean for Indiana and beyond?

Indiana is going to get nuked. They are currently sporting the 92nd-best rushing defense in the land thanks to the dynamic ground attacks of Towson, Western Kentucky, and Akron. None of those teams have a win over a I-A opponent, and they're actually 1-3 against I-AA thanks to Towson sucking and Gardner Webb beating Akron in OT. Akron exceeded their season average in yards by over 100 and their opponents other than the I-AA team were Syracuse and Kentucky. They are donkeys.

As for the rest of the season, Taylor Lewan seems to have locked down the left tackle job and pushed that position from average or slightly above to good, potentially verging on great. His emergence gives Michigan spare bodies on the OL and makes the offense close to bulletproof without an Angry Michigan BLANK-Hating God injury monsoon with the lone exception of quarterback, where your prayer vigil should be unceasing.

Even there, both Michigan quarterbacks showed well. Michigan gave up a couple scores late in the first half and there was a rumble of worry in the stadium when it was 21-14, but Rodriguez just threw Forcier out there and watched him march down the field for a touchdown, another touchdown, some more touchdowns, additional touchdowns, etc.

I'd ratchet up expectations another half-notch here. Lewan gives the offense more depth, Denard's added a few more items to his "not a fluke" pile, and the backup quarterbacks look solid. Also they just put up 721 yards, and I don't care who it's against if it's a I-A team: 721 yards means your offense is scary.

MGoPodcast 2.1: Return Of The Mack

MGoPodcast 2.1: Return Of The Mack

It returns. Why didn't we have them for the first four games? Our super-inside connect with WOLV moved to Chicago and it took some time to coordinate with WTKA, which is generously providing studio space, and get everything up and going. But that's all in the past and we'll have them on the regular from here on out except maybe next week because I have to go to a wedding in Arizona this weekend and most of Sunday is driving or being on a plane. We'll try; no guarantees.

Since this is the first one since the season preview we talk about the entire nonconference season, discussing positives in negatives in a meandering conversation. A special section is dedicated is to One Of These Seasons Is Not Like The Other.

After that we bring on regular guest Jamiemac of Just Cover to talk Indiana—he is a nominal Hoosier when it comes to the football—and the rest of the Big Ten, with far too much time spent on this weekends epic clash between Minnesota and Northwestern. (Note: the lines we talk about were the LSVC opening ones since that's all we had at the time; the line moves since have conformed to expectations by making Wisconsin about a field goal favorite at MSU and pushing the Indiana-M line out to about two touchdowns.

The usual links:

Monday Player Presser Notes 9-27-10

Monday Player Presser Notes 9-27-10

Submitted by Tim on September 27th, 2010 at 4:17 PM

The Darryl Stonum fashion show marches on.


Darryl Stonum

Long drives speak to the team's preparation in practice to execute. "It becomes clockwork, and I think that's what we do - we execute very well and that just goes to how well-coached we are... Wherever we are on the field, we feel like we can execute at any time." The offense is explosive. "I think it's 'no limits' when we execute."

Kelvin Grady has been working hard on the field and in the weightroom. He's catching and blocking well. "He's a lot more comfortable - as well as all of us."

This offense is fun because there are so many options. "You never know who's going to be the one having a big game."

The collapse last year is motivation to keep working hard this year. "We can't get our heads big right now. Like Coach Rod said - we can't swallow the poison."

"I think we're just together as a team... it's a family atmosphere in the locker room." Everyone is comfortable with each other, and they're able to have fun out there.

"Troy's happy... He wants to get back out there with us so bad." He'll be on the sidelines as soon as he can.

Haven't watched any Indiana film. "I'm pretty sure Indiana's a great team, and they're gonna be a great team for us to play this week."

Kelvin Grady

Grady will graduate in December and start working on a Master's.

"I actually smiled" when he saw the penalty flag calling back his touchdown. "It's one of those things where - it happens." Felt good to score, even if it didn't end up counting.

Feels comfortable in the system. Has had the opportunity to play three different positions. Understanding the other positions had made him more comfortable at slot.

"I'm blessed to be able to get to different positions and learn other positions." Now he has the experience to help younger guys out.

"We're gonna go in this week and we're gonna work hard." Playing Indiana is no different than another opponent.

Avoiding team's recent struggles in Big Ten play? More guys are interested in their individual role on the team. Some guys have stepped up. "Darry Stonum has really stepped up this year for us." Mike Martin has stepped up on D, and the DB corps is getting better all the time.

Is Denard at 75% healthy faster than most QBs? "I'd take 25% Shoelace as faster than most quarterbacks." He's worked hard to step up. Devin and Tate came in and showed the depth at the position. "It's very key" to have the quality of backups Michigan has. "This game is more about patience. Obviously we have Denard that's stepped up and is doing very well for this team. But we've also got a 12-game starter as his backup." There are plenty of guys to step up.

Success on the ground: "I feel like we have weapons all over the place." It helps to have a fast QB.

"Being 1-7 is something obviously we don't want to look back on." Use it as motivation for this season.

"Denard is really humble. A really humble kid. Sometimes, I think we actually - I don't think he recognizes or knows the accolades." They tease him that he doesn't even know he's on TV every 10 minutes. "A great person, a great teammate. Humble, has great faith. It's all positive." He's not selfish - wants to see the other QBs play well.

Taylor Lewan

"Did you see those glasses? They were awesome."

Starting "was the goal as a redshirt freshman." It's been a blessing to get the opportunity, glad to be out there. "You're just way more into the game." It was frustrating against Penn State last year, because there was nothing he could do. "The biggest thing is I can help change."

Working out with Barwis helped Lewan - "really just fueled the fire." Worked on strength, speed, quickness, using everything he has to his advantage.

Jersey number - "When I actually committed, one of the things was, 'I want #77.'" Didn't know much about Jake Long until after he started wearing the number in high school. Watched Long play for the Dolphins last night: "He does it all, and that's awesome." Saw Long once last year on the sidelines. "That's a very large individual."

Favorite thing about Ann Arbor is all the different people. See all sorts of interesting people.

Balancing mean streak with avoiding penalties. In high school, got probably three penalties a game. Need to be nasty, but also smart. "When I go out there, I'm trying to be as mean as possible, and make sure nobody's having a good time when they're playing against us."

Lewan's dad gives him constructive criticism after every game.

"We were 4-0 last year at this time. We've gotta keep out head down, keep playing."

The QBs are playing like seniors. "They're playing like champions, and that's awesome."

Zac Ciullo has probably never played a snap [Ed: Got in at left guard during CONESTRAVAGANZA '09], but he's a huge leader out there. He has great work ethic. "He works harder than every other person on this team."

The OL blocks equally hard for all three QBs. "I'm gonna do what I can to protect them no matter what."

At first, Lewan was bitter to lose the LT competition in camp. "It just made me work harder."

Likes left tackle because they get all the attention of the offensive linemen.

"I feel like I just turn off my head and play football" to get the mean streak going.

Ryan Van Bergen

"I think it's a more mature 4-0 team. I think it's a hungry 4-0 team. A lot of guys on this team have been 4-0 before and didn't accomplish a lot of things they wanted to ."

Chappell is an experienced QB. Have to account for him on every play, they protect him well.

Young guys on D. "I think that the play of Thomas Gordon" has been a pleasant surprise. When Carvin went down, he stepped up. They'll compete when Carvin returns.

Lewan: "He's a pretty physical guy. I'll give him credit." Joked with him a lot that he'd never get big enough to play, but that motivated him. They've exchanged blows in practice, but are still friends after. "The ceiling for him is really high. I think he's got a lot of potential."

Facing Denard in practice is helpful, because you're never going to see a guy like that in the opposition. Helps learn pursuit angles, but it's frustrating to chase him on D.

"I think it's a common misconception that if you play to your assignment, you can get to Denard. That's why we have him out there, because he breaks your assignment."

Martin - "Since he's playing in that 0 head-up on the center..." people are doubling him up, but they don't get there in time because he can get rid of the center before the guard can get over. Credits his quickness to wrestling.

RVB's role on the D is to help break down the Xs and Os for the younger guys.

RVB's mom is telling him to keep it up. "She's happy with the way we've been playing."

JT Floyd

Lewan competes on each and every play, he shows the nasty streak in practices.

The D knew they had to come out aggressive to improve from the UMass game. Worked on tackling, but still need more improvement. "A lot better energy going into the game, and I just think we were a lot more focused."

The defense is versatile, they have a lot of different schemes, and can put guys in many positions to make plays. Can disguise things, etc.

"We definitely remember what it was like 4-0 last year. We know this year we can't get our heads big." Need to continue to progress.

"Playing at Notre Dame was a great experience." It gave the young guys a chance to get ready for a hostile atmosphere.

Indiana is a Big Ten team, the Wolverines can't look ahead to MSU. "No chance. We look at each game like it's the most important game of the season."

IU's receivers are another challenge to step up to. "They're definitely a talented bunch."

Let's Not Talk About Slight Indigestion

Let's Not Talk About Slight Indigestion

Submitted by Brian on September 27th, 2010 at 12:00 PM

9/25/2010 – Michigan 65, Bowling Green 21 – 4-0

Torehan Sharman/Daily

It's been a long time since this has happened, but in the aftermath of a 721-yard outburst against a I-A opponent there's no grand emotional narrative arc to relate. Last year there was a sense of relief after the Western game; the Eastern game was a reminder that sometimes Michigan plays teams obviously worse than they are and beats the pants off them and isn't that nice but sometimes the quarterback goes down and that's not nice at all. The Bowling Green game was that minus a loss to a 3-9 MAC team the year prior—i.e., a pleasant nothing in which crappy special teams play was just an opportunity to rack up more yards on offense.

There was a bout of slight indigestion when it was 21-14, but in the aftermath of an offensive performance in which Michigan scored 9 touchdowns on 11 drives (and kind of scored two more on the drives that technically came up empty) complaining about that would miss the forest for the trees. I mean, Michigan took the admonition to "STOP KICKING THE DAMN BALL" from the preview literally. I can't even make yet another impassioned plea against I-AA games since Bowling Green is part of the MAC, as I did after last year's silly offensive yardage number. So let's just get to the bullets.

Well, one thing first: Tate Forcier seems pretty level-headed for a guy the internet spent most of eight months deriding as an immature quitter bound to transfer ten seconds after Denard stepped on to the field against UConn and he declared himself "out" in the aftermath.

Somehow he's still here. He could have gone. He could have put in his papers like LaLota or Turner and spent a redshirt year somewhere else and preserved a year of eligibility and had three years to compete on a two-deep that doesn't feature Denard Robinson. But he's here, picking up small children in #16 jerseys after going 12 of 12 and running around on broken plays despite being obviously gimpy.

TATE: "Hey, kid. The offense scored a touchdown on every drive I had a part in."
SMALL CHILD: "Hold me up higher so I can see Denard."

My fiancée starts rooting for the other team whenever they are obviously overmatched, something that happened seven minutes into Saturday's game. She made an exception when Forcier rolled on the field. After the game he said he loved Michigan and would never go anywhere. You can't blame him if that turns out to be untrue, but I hope he stays around. I've got a feeling Michigan is going to need him.


Denard. Fine. Jumping higher than mortals for no reason late in a blowout:

25 September 2010: Quarterbacks Devin Gardner (7) and Denard Robinson (16) of the University of Michigan jump in the air to celebrate a Gardner touchdown as the Wolverines defeat the Bowling Green State University Falcons 65-21 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, MI.

Lon Horwedel/AnnArbor.com

Would have liked to see him get a couple more drives and finish his day with 200 yards rushing on ten carries just on the off chance he leads Michigan to enough stunning shootout wins to hit up the Heisman ceremony with a serious chance to win, but the important thing is that he's healthy. If he doesn't stop doing this, however, I am going to die with worry.

Number two. IME, Forcier. Gardner was certainly impressive downfield but on first glance seemed to make a ton of mistakes running the zone read and even when he did get some room displayed a nasty tendency to cut everything outside like he's still in high school, turning 6-8 yard gains into 2-3 yard gains. Forcier was crisper despite his status as Michigan's nominal #3.

Devin Gardner redshirt conspiracy. Yes, I am a one man Rubicon when it comes to this: Forcier was warmly welcomed by the crowd and got another big cheer when he came off the field late, then spent the postgame press conference saying things about how he will never, ever transfer. If that is true, that could be huge for the 2014 Wolverines because it might provide an opportunity for Gardner to redshirt next year. I want my fifth year senior Gardner, dammit.

Have I been advocating for this publicly? Someone gave me a shout out on the twitters when Michigan debuted a punt formation featuring three returners, so I must have been crabbing for it at some point.

I've been grumbling vaguely about the necessity for a second returner in this space for a while, but when Michigan came out in their new punt return formation on Saturday I was livid at myself for describing exactly what Michigan should do against spread punt formations during my Thursday WTKA appearance… during the commercials. Doh.

Anyway, the situation:

  • The spread punt formation has virtually erased punt returns.
  • Spread punting is almost impossible to fake out of as long as you rush the punter and cover the outside guys on the line.
  • A single punt returner is insufficient in an era of line-drive rugby kicks.

The response I suggested (in the commercials) and Michigan implemented exactly:

  • Two cornerbacks line up over the outside guys and cover/block them.
  • Six guys charge after the punter on every snap to prevent fakes and maybe block a couple punts.
  • Three returners are spread across the field so that Michigan fields almost every punt and maybe gets a return or two.

A friend of mine also pointed out that since punt coverage guys are focused on the returners, not the ball, having multiple guys back there has the potential to confuse them. If the ball's coming down to Dileo and Gallon's moving upfield like he's going to field a short one, the coverage team has an unpleasant choice between splitting their duties between all three guys and teaching their guys to look up and find the ball, forcing them to take their eyes off their destination and possibly exposing them to killshot blocks.

The results in game one of the experiment were encouraging. Michigan fielded all but one punt and got some of those return things—what are they called—oh yeah—yards. Dileo looked as smooth as promised, fielding punts and making one or two guys miss before getting tackled.

I don't think Michigan can pull off the triple return threat against a conventional formation since it would be vulnerable to fakes, but against spread punt teams they should use it all the time.

The other thing I was advocating for was the deployment of a Wolverine Heavy package and we sort of saw one near the goal line. Koger and Webb lined up as H-backs, there was a tailback, and Michigan ground forward as you might expect. That's not quite Heavy, in which there are two tight ends, two H-backs, and no one in the backfield except a tank, but the flexibility provided by the H-backs should make short yardage hard to stop; I'd like it if M put one of the TEs on the line and brought in McColgan.

Corner what. The third and final thing Michigan debuted was a dime package in which the MLB and one of the DEs come off the field in favor of two additional cornerbacks on passing downs. JT Floyd dropped back to deep safety with Gordon; Kovacs stayed underneath. This also gets a thumbs up assuming the freshmen corners can cover people. This is not certain, but it's hard to imagine them being worse at it than Roh or Ezeh, no offense to either.

Here's a confusing thing: Cullen Christian has practiced with the ones in warmups two of the last three weeks. I thought he was going to start against Notre Dame because of it. But when Michigan brought in its dime it was Talbott and Avery getting the PT; Christian alternated some with Rogers. The first bit implies that Christian is the #3 corner; the second implies he's the #5. Maybe the freshmen have different responsibilities in the dime package and they're working the players in at different positions until they learn both.

Running back mess, verdict, no verdict. Shaw continues to look like the best tailback available. As long as he's running hard and finding the lanes, something he's done a much better job of lately, he's the #1 guy. Smith was okay but as the games pass it seems more and more indisputable that he's lost some burst after the ACL surgery and probably won't be full strength until 2011.

Of the four backups, Cox seemed the most impressive in limited time since Toussaint's runs came on vast, gaping holes in the line. Also, he got run down by a MAC linebacker. What's up with that, Fred Jackson? (A: he's still wearing a knee brace and is not 100%. People of twitter: I was joking.)

Preview: 2011. Late in the game we got answers to obscure personnel questions:

  • What position does Brandin Hawthorne play? Spur.
  • What position does Steve Watson play? Defensive end.
  • Who is the primary backup at guard? Ricky Barnum.
  • What's the deal with Kenny Demens? Oh, there he is.

Michigan also got a preview of its 2011 offensive line when Perry Dorrestein "got a hangnail or something." Taylor Lewan was entrenched at left tackle so Huyge came in to play on the right, and Michigan lifted Steve Schilling for Ricky Barnum. That is 99% likely to be your '11 starting OL down to the positions: Lewan-Barnum-Molk-Omameh-Huyge. They got lifted for backups on the next drive.


Photo galleries from the Daily, MVictors, Maize N Blue Nation, . MVictors' pregame shots feature "Little Miss Buckeye State" decked out in the colors of her favorite team.

Preview: Bowling Green 2010

Preview: Bowling Green 2010

Submitted by Brian on September 24th, 2010 at 2:07 PM

Note: for more on the BGSU perspective check out Oriental Andrew's Other People's Pressers series.


WHAT Michigan vs Bowling Green
WHERE Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
WHEN Noon Eastern, September 25th 2010
THE LINE Michigan –25.5
TELEVISION The saddest ESPN2 game ever
WEATHER Partly cloudy, around 60 degrees
0% chance of rain

Run Offense vs. Bowling Green

This should be the now-usual demolition job. Michigan's currently the #6 rushing offense in the country, averaging almost six yards a carry. Denard and all that.

On the other side of the ball, Bowling Green has struggled badly against their opening slate of Troy, Tulsa, and Marshall, ceding 5.3 YPC against teams not featuring Denard and all that. The slate:

Opponent Att Yards TD YPC
Troy 43 207 2 4.8
Tulsa 40 190 1 4.8
Marshall 26 185 3 7.1

They're 98th in rushing defense. By the Mathlete's reckoning they're 95th and giving up an extra touchdown per game than a hypothetically average team would; Michigan is eighth nationally at +11. If Bowling Green even slows Michigan that will be a win for them and an ominous omen for Michigan. They probably won't live up to the bounty promised by results to date—getting that +18 on the ground would be a truly stupendous day,.

One point in BG's favor: they kind of sort of shut down Marshall's primary tailback, who averaged 2.9 YPC on 14 attempts. Unfortunately, some other guy had a 68-yard run… and six other carries that averaged 8.8 yards apiece. They are not so good at the run defense.


They seem to know this. This is their plan to stop Robinson, according to FalconBlog:

TWB: How do you expect the Falcons to game-plan against Denard Robinson and the Michigan offense?

FB: Answer 1:  Not to give anything away, but it will include religious conversions, incense, and the sacrifice of a small animal.
Answer 2:  You can game plan for Denard Robinson?
Answer 3:  Let him score on every play and take our chances with the defense.
Answer 4:  OK.  Seriously.

My guess is that we will game plan for Michigan by trying to limit the damage Robinson does on the ground and try to force him to hurt us in the air.  I think he will get his yards, but we have to tackle him when we get the chance.

Not to get all arrogant or nothin', but Michigan's main concern in the run game should be finding another tailback to join the Shaw/Smith pairing. Fitzgerald Toussaint is "probable" this week and did dress against UMass; he and Cox should see some carries starting in the second quarter. Hopefully Michigan will get enough breathing room to limit Denard's carries.

Key Matchup: TAYLOR LEWAN HATES DONKEYS (if his ankle is okay)

Pass Offense vs. Bowling Green

BG is less of a disaster zone here thanks to the generosity of Marshall's quarterback, who served up four interceptions last week en route to a 71.2 passer rating. Their dossier to date:

Opponent Att Cmp Yards TD INT PCT% YPA
Troy 41 28 268 1 2 68% 6.5
Tulsa 48 27 356 2 1 56% 7.4
Marshall 47 20 191 1 4 43% 4.1

Not bad, but not consistent. The Mathlete has them a field goal below average; Michigan is +5 in their games against I-A opponents and saw Robinson put up a +15 in just 14 throws against UMass. BG will be a tougher matchup unless they get killed on play action after Michigan starts gashing them on the ground; they're 21st nationally in pass efficiency defense. They're only 87th in sacks, though, and a big chunk of their success against opponent passing attacks has been those seven interceptions.

The key for Michigan will be keeping themselves out of obvious passing downs and attacking linebackers and secondary members who are anticipating run plays. If Michigan has the sort of success on the ground the above section implies they will, Robinson should have another efficient day throwing to single covered receivers and the occasional guy who's ridiculously wide open.

Key Matchup: Denard realizing when he needs to put some air under the ball if Roy Roundtree is open deep.

Run Defense vs. Bowling Green

Bowling Green is not much of a running team but will it matter against Michigan? Let's hope so, since they might be more of one with their starting quarterback out. After two weeks in which BG threw almost two-thirds of the time, BG flipped that in the Marshall game. That's partially the injury, partially a desire to run out the clock late.

Either way, the results weren't great. Starting tailback Willie Geter netted exactly 100 yards on 31 carries, an average of 3.2; his backup did a half-yard better on six carries. Michigan's run defense might not be much better than Marshall's, but it probably won't be a worse. Or that much worse, anyway. The Herd is currently 86th nationally.

Michigan and BG are both about average nationally to the Mathlete, but those numbers don't include the bludgeration Michigan suffered against UMass. Reasonable expectations are yielding Geter's best day of the year… but not by much!

Key Matchup: Obi Ezeh against his many critics, those many critics against critics of the critics, and the original critics' criticism of the criticism of the critics' critics.

University of Tulsa Photography Pass Defense vs. Bowling Green

This is likely to be the bulk of Bowling Green's offense even with the expected absence of starting quarterback Matt Schliz, who seriously needs a T in his last name. Schliz put up 43 and 40 attempts in his two healthy games, averaging 5.1 and 6.6 YPA, which fits in with descriptions of the Clawfense as an offense mad for short passes.

In his absence it looks like Bowling Green will go with more of the same, except not that good:

The Wolverine Blog: How will the injury to quarterback Matt Schilz affect Bowling Green’s pass-heavy offense?

FalconBlog: The injury to Schilz will definitely have an impact on our offense.  He is the only QB on the team who has started a game, and has by far the most game experience.  Furthermore, he won the job pretty handily.  Our other QBs are talented but untested in game situations, and this is the Big House.  Now, they are both from the same general mold—drop back passers who are not real threats to run, so we probably can pretty much keep the same game plan in, only with a skinnier playbook.  I would expect the biggest impact to be accuracy and facing pressure.

Aaron Pankratz, who seriously needs an S in his last name, came in when Schliz was hurt, completing five of eight passes for 111(!) yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He may or may not start, with a walk-on the other primary option.

Whoever is the starter will make it a point to pepper Kamar Jorden with passes. The JUCO transfer already has 34 catches this year despite having a 42-yard Hail Mary and a 79-yard screen pass called back against Tulsa. The catch pictured above was brought in. BGSU's next leading receiver has twelve catches. The Falcons tend to have eyes for one guy—last year Freddie Barnes was the nation's leading receiver with a mindboggling 155 catches for 1770 yards.

Key Matchup: Kovacs and Gordon tackling. An offense like this puts a lot of pressure on the wing defenders to buzz flats, make solid tackles, and set up plenty of third downs that will eventually see the punt team show up. At least, that's the idea.

Special Teams




Kittens still not warranted for a spread basically as big as the one against UMass even after, you know, the UMass game.

her life is in your hands

But, yeah, Michigan: her life is in your hands.

Aw, don't say that.

Her life is in your hands.

Cheap Thrills

Worry if...

  • Bowling Green's wack ground game is consistently picking up yards, like 6-8 yards.
  • Cam Gordon is tested and doesn't do so good.

Cackle with knowing glee if...

  • Taylor Lewan reprises the donkey ridin'.
  • A tailback emerges from the depths and impresses, probably Toussaint
  • Denard adds another tool to his Batman utility belt.

Fear/Paranoia Level: 1 (Baseline 5; –1 for Denard!, –1 for Bowling Green's Run Defense!, –1 for The Combination Of The Two!, –1 for MAC Team, –1 for MAC Team Minus Their Starting Quarterback, –1 for Passing Oriented MAC Team Minus Their Starting Quarterback, +1 for Oh God What Was That Last Week, +1 for There's A Toledo Never Forget, Too)

Desperate need to win level: 10 (Baseline 5; +1 for All That Stuff From Last Week Pretty Much Except With Slightly Less Force, +1 for But Not Really Any Less Force Since I Bet UMass Would Spank BG Minus Their Starting Quarterback, +1 for This Week Was Highly Annoying And Michigan Actually Won, +1 for Hey Who Wants A CHOCOLATE BOWL GAME, +1 for Constant Rich Rodriguez Job Savin' Campaign.)

Loss will cause me to... wrap myself into a eight-foot taco, label it "GIANT FOOD," and hope Taylor Lewan walks by hungry.

Win will cause me to... read hopeful signs into the defense's performance even if unwarranted.

The strictures and conventions of sportswriting compel me to predict:

Michigan wins.

Finally, three opportunities for me to look stupid Sunday:

  • Linebacker bounceback day, with Mouton having a good-ish game and Ezeh approaching zero.
  • This time we finally get some carries for non-Shaw/Smith tailbacks, with Toussaint getting half a dozen.
  • We get to see some backup quarterbacks this time around.
  • Michigan, 46-21.