Dear Diary Runs on Denard Lumens

Dear Diary Runs on Denard Lumens Comment Count

Seth July 27th, 2012 at 7:51 AM

Can somebody with a uniqname go to the Music Library and get them a better soundtrack?

From time to time people from the less-heralded sports/activities at Michigan provide detailed diaries of their teams and their exploits. Sometimes they actually succeed in making us turn our heads and get into something other than the big five of hoops, hockey, football, football (teams we play), and football (Penn State).

This week we witnessed the Other Sports Diary to End All Other Sports Diaries by Bronco648, a running, day-by-day recap of their week-long race with a national title on the line, kicked off with a entire media guide that includes photos/profiles of each team member. Example:

Jordan Feight

Feight was raised by a family of wild Spartans then imprisoned by a mad skiing coach before discovering his mutant meteorological powers could help him escape to Ann Arbor.

It's like NASCAR except with clean energy and electrical engineering and a team meteorologist, so of course Michigan is awesome at it. The car's name is Quantum (who voted against Dilithium?) and it built a strong lead in the early going before the team got caught using Denard Robinson's smile to boost the radiant flux, a 90-minute penalty. To discover the ending, read the thing, or else find a freshman WLB or CRex family member to translate this for you:

2012 전국 챔피언을만 세!!!

Family members of CRex? Like another recent epic tale about a ring, the latest installment of CRex's great adventure begins with a flashback, where we discover how two Chinese gangsters and a deity named Guan Yu (go blue?) brought about the fall of the Sweatervest Lord. The action then shifts stateside, where Little Sister has gone from heartbreaking debutante to Warcraft addict to Marmot Rambo to Ricky Bobby in the span of two weeks. Q: How is it that vampires and obnoxious people from New Jersey have so many TV shows but this guy doesn't? A: Because CRex Family Hour's target audience would skip it anytime they can instead watch…

Footbawwwwwwww. Thank hart20 for diving into reams of stats to come back with data on how much production is returning from each of our opponents. Part the First puts all that data into tables that say things like 15 percent of MSU's receiving yards are returning, and 100% of Justin Siller isn't(!). Then the rubber hits the chart in Part II which you must read because we are going to quote from it all year. Sample? Sample.

II. Rushing Offense

The formula that I used to calculate the total returning percent for each team’s rushing offense was to give a 33.3% weight to each of returning carries, returning rushing yards, and returning rushing TDs.


Hart20 is your Diarist of the Week, plus 200 "Hero" points (I just made those up).

Great Scott, our freshmen are heavy. Just in before press time, LSAClassof2000 has put the weights and heights of Big Ten players into a spreadsheet. Included is a comparison of our freshmen versus the conference's mean, where we find our WRs, TEs, DTs, DEs, and DBs are already larger than the average B1G (which averages presumably include walk-ons). MSU is the heaviest in our division by a large (ha!) margin; Nebraska is the shortest, though they rate highest in the conference in returning rushing punch, which was quite the punch.


Quite the punch? Then why do I remember it more like an 8-year-old girl? Well, sonny, you just sit down right there and let Uncle BlueSeoul tell you about the greatest all-around performance by Michigan since 1997 Penn State. It (the diary) got bumped, and not just because somebody whose name rhymes with "Eyeco" left a pic of Urban Meyer bicep flexing on top of the front page all weekend. Actually these always get bumped, but you may not remember that because BlueSeoul hadn't done a GW(WPs!) since the middle of last season. The most anticipated MGoArticle you'd completely given up on not named "Upon Further Review: Virginia Tech" is finally available. And yes, m'boy, a man DID once force a pitch from the back side.


Geography. After I had already put last week's DD to bed TSS posted his next Michigan-Alabama Roster analysis and this one is just so cool: a chart of distance from campus for players on M/Bama's rosters.


The difference really highlights the regional strength of the South. Whereas Michigan recruits a bunch of guys from really close by and then a bunch of guys from all over the Pisces-Cetus Supercluster Complex, Alabama's players are primarily regional. If the mass you see at about 230 miles from Tuscaloosa is Atlanta and Mobile, and the cluster 200 miles from Ann Arbor is W-Mich and the Ohioans, then the big difference between us and them is their Floridians (cluster around 600 mark) are closer to home than ours (1200 to 1300 cluster).

Football (Penn State). NCAA's nuclear bunker-buster fell upon Happy Beaver State College Valley Whatever this week. Fallout diaries include jmblue suggesting a realignment of Big~Ten divisions, a "don't you get it?" message to PSU fans that probably qualifies under the definition of rant, and oakapple describes the path that will lead the nittany lion-beavers back to five/six stars of program strength.

Travel guide for Dallas. Eat BBQ, skip everything else. Dallas sucks. And America hates all of your teams.

Etc. Michigan Stadium brought to you by McDonArby's Dunkin' Save Mart Lanes and Shredder. Brian is entranced by David Brandon playing golf. Blazefire puts the 2012 season and Jerry Sandusky to Hotel California, though not sure I liked the result. The Blockhams visit football's Valhalla. This is one of my favorites so far, though I waited in vain for Fielding Yost to tap Bo on the shoulder and (with Bob Ufer standing behind him), say "you still haven't thanked me for AC and Indiana!"

Best of the Board


This is a reenactment of WH responding to an Adidas promo video of (Devin Gardner?) jumping around in the latest Michigan uniform that isn't as good as the regular uniform:

Michigan was always up there with schools like USC and Penn State (though I hate mentioning anything PSU now) as being football uniforms you don't screw with.


I know this is a fad in college football that I'm just going to have to get used to. But I always liked the whole, "If it's not broke, don't fix it," thing.

Fonts are Akka, Flynn, SuperMario256, and Shrek; if you don't get some of these references that's because a future created only lasts as long as the marketing campaign for it. If that is Gardner (can anyone tell?) in the video, it's at least no more ridiculous than the show he put on in the last ones.


By the time he steps on campus he'll have more content on here than any 4-year player on the roster. Still, photoshop thread is insta-linked:



Pre-Gaming With guy is shooting at 1p.m. on Sunday on the Diag if you want to be in the "I Love You Denard" music video. I do not believe he is accepting lyric suggestions.

Your moment of zen:


Yay ticket arrivals! If you're signed up to get the emails/texts/FB/twitter from MGoBlue, you can order individual tickets for AF/UMass/NW/Iowa ($75 each), plus the UMass family pack thing, starting about 8:30 this morning.


Opponent Recap: Nebraska

Opponent Recap: Nebraska Comment Count

Heiko February 21st, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Previously: Western Michigan, Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan, San Diego StateMinnesotaNorthwesternMichigan StatePurdueIowa, Illinois


If you can keep a secret, this image was actually taken in Iowa.


  • Chattanooga, 40-7 (W)
  • Fresno State, 42-29 (W)
  • Washington, 51-38 (W)
  • @ Wyoming, 38-14 (W)
  • @ No. 7 Wisconsin, 17-48 (L)
  • Ohio State, 34-27 (W)
  • @ Minnesota, 41-14 (W)
  • No. 11 Michigan State, 24-3 (W)
  • Northwestern, 25-38 (L)
  • @ No. 12 Penn State, 17-14 (W)
  • @ No. 18 Michigan, 17-45 (L)
  • Iowa, 20-7 (W)
  • No. 9 South Carolina, 13-30 (L) Citrus Bowl

Record: 9-4 overall, 5-3 B1G, 3rd place Bo Division


  Offense Defense
Rush: 217.2 ypg, 15th 158.5 ypg, 64th
Pass: 162.7 ypg, 104th 192.2 ypg, 19th
Total: 379.9 ypg, 66th 350.7 ypg, 37th
Scoring: 29.2 ppg, 49th 23.4 ppg, 42nd
T/O Margin: -1, 67th 

Recap: Today I learned where the state of Nebraska is on a map. It’s … :

When the B1I1G Ten anschlussed Nebraska, some were surprised that a school like Missouri didn’t even get more than a courtesy consideration. Guns, Germs, and Steel provides some great arguments for why it’s more natural for civilization to spread latitudinally (east-west) than longitudinally (north-south). I expect the B1G’s newest member to be Wyoming in several years unless Notre Dame finally gets culture-flipped* before that.

Anyway, footbaw.

(more after the jump)


Upon Further Review 2011: Offense vs Nebraska

Upon Further Review 2011: Offense vs Nebraska Comment Count

Brian November 24th, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Formation Notes: HAI GUYS I'M BACK


Been back for a few weeks now, but whatever.

Substitution Notes: No Smith, who was apparently laid up with a shoulder injury, and no Barnum. Odoms is getting more and more run as the seasons winds down. Other than that, the usual.

Show? Show.

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M31 1 10 Shotgun twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Power sweep Toussaint -4
Odoms goes in motion to the weak side to be a potential pitch man as M runs a stretch one way w/ an option look on the other side. If this is a read Denard(-1) screwed up because he can get the corner easy and has a pitch guy. Meanwhile on the handoff, Michigan pulls Omameh and Huyge around the two TEs. This leaves the playside DT unblocked; he rushes into the backfield for a TFL. This has to be a bust but by who? I assume Watson(-2) but that is admittedly a guess; if he blocks down and Koger blocks down on the end this will get some yards. Omameh gets a minus for not doing what we saw Molk do on a previous mediocre outside run; that was a nine-yard difference.
RUN-: Watson(2), Omameh, Robinson
M27 2 14 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 over Pass Throwback screen Gallon 5
This does open up decently; Huyge(-1) whiffs an open-field block to get Gallon tackled after a modest gain. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +1)
RUN-: Huyge
M32 3 9 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Pass In Grady Inc
Late moving safety to the LOS. Nebraska sends six; OL does a great job picking it up and giving Denard a lane to step up into. He finds Grady somewhat open for a first down and throws it way behind him for a potential INT. Dropped. (IN, 0, protection 4/4)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 13 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M21 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 3-2-6 nickel Run Zone read keeper Robinson 16
LB over the inside slot receiver and five guys in the box with a safety creeping down weakside. Backside end gets crushed inside by Lewan(+1) and backside LB flows down the line; edge wide open so Robinson pulls. Dileo kicks the slot LB, though he was pretty far outside and didn't have much of a chance to get Robinson(+3) anyway. Robinson jukes the safety and is one step from a 79 yard touchdown when David recovers to tackle from behind. Robinson pounds the turf in frustration. Zookian RPS+2 here—WTF is Nebraska thinking?
RUN+: Robinson(3), Lewan RUN-:
M37 1 10 Pro set 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass Flare screen Toussaint 7
Dive fake to Hopkins as Toussaint runs a flare. Gallon(+1) cracks down on the playside LB as Schofield(+1) gets out in space; Toussaint sets up the Schofield block very well but his inside-outside juke does slow him enough that the safety can get over to chop him down after a good gain. (CA, 3, screen)
RUN+: Gallon, Schofield, Toussaint RUN-:
M44 2 3 Shotgun twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Zone read dive Toussaint 3
Straight inside zone here with no doubles. Omameh(+2) gets a little help from Molk but not much and ends up pancaking his DT; Molk(+1) peels off on a linebacker. Toussaint is cutting through the hole provided; Huyge(-1) couldn't get enough push/control of the playside DE, who comes off to tackle as Toussaint moves through the hole.
RUN+: Omameh(2), Molk RUN-: Huyge
M47 1 10 Shotgun empty 2TE 0 2 3 4-3 over Run QB inside zone Robinson 2
Odoms will come in jet motion on all these plays. Another double from Omameh(+1) and Molk on the just pancaked DT knocks him well out of the hole but Schofield(-1) has lost control of his man. Robinson jukes backside and the DT puts himself on the other side of the block; Robinson now has a hole. Unfortunately, Molk(-1) whiffed on David and he tackles in the hole.
RUN+: Robinson, Omameh RUN-: Molk, Schofield
M49 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over Pass Hitch Roundtree Inc
Molk gets his head up for a beat before snapping and picks up a blitz up the middle. David comes delayed and Toussaint basically misses him, forcing a throw to a covered Roundree. It's an okay throw and could be complete if not for obvious PI the refs miss. (CA, 0, protection 2/3, Toussaint -1) Refs -1.
M49 3 8 Shotgun triple stack 1 0 4 3-2-6 nickel Pass Fly Roundtree 46 + 2 pen
Toussaint motions out for an empty look. Nebraska rushes three with a fourth guy delayed; line picks it up and Denard has all day. He bombs it deep to a single-covered Roundtree, who slows down as is his wont; DB bangs into him and falls; momentum propels Roundtree into the path of the pass, which he catches. While the catch wasn't hugely difficult the setup was. (CA, 1, protection 3/3) Nebraska gets a PF tacked on.
O2 1 G Ace 1 2 2 Goal line Penalty Delay -- -5
No clock.
O7 1 G Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Speed option Robinson 0
Nebraska line stalemates M line, providing no obvious creases; Robinson bails on the play, cutting all the way back behind the line and into an unblocked contain guy. He manages to make that guy miss, seems like he's about to make another guy miss and get the corner, and then just goes straight into guy #2. IME: should have kept it to the playside, sucked in David, and pitched to Toussaint to see what he can do with the safety.
RUN-: Robinson
O7 2 G Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 4-3 even Pass PA cross Gallon 7
PA fake with Toussaint shooting outside; Toussaint beats the LB outside, sucking up a safety. Robinson looks at Toussaint then pulls up, gets square, and zips a dart to Gallon running free behind the Toussaint route for a touchdown. (CA+, 3, protection N/A)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-0, 8 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M45 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 even Pass PA Scramble Robinson 16
Waggle action gets Robinson all day as NU's DL doesn't get anywhere near Denard. Two fly routes take both safeties deep; Koger releases on a wheel that takes one linebacker and Toussaint releases into the flat, taking another. No one open, Denard finally runs. His breathtaking acceleration is just barely matched by David, who chops him down after a good gain. (SCR, N/A, protection 3/3)
RUN+: Robinson(2) RUN-:
O39 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel stack Run Zone read dive Toussaint 9
Koger H-back action. Nebraska has three down linemen and a LB over Koger, with apparently just six in the box. I again think this can be a keep read with a DE coming down and Koger coming around to block David; Robinson one on one with a safety. Denard hands off. Both playside linebackers hit inside gaps quickly, cutting off creases. Toussaint(+2) bounces. His outside bounce is quick but he's got the safety coming down and a corner containing. He takes a couple stutter-steps that fool the safety and shoots inside of the Grady block on the containing corner for a solid gain. Omameh(+0.5) picked up a stoning block on a LB entering his zone.
RUN+: Toussaint(2), Grady, Omameh(0.5) RUN-:
O30 2 1 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Toussaint 5
Doubles on both DTs are extended; Hopkins heads backside to hit the unblocked DE on that side. Hopkins(+1) gets a good thump on that guy but DE is shuffling down the line and Hopkins can't kick him out. Lewan(+1) releases and then flares to get the scrape exchange linebacker; Toussaint(+1) reads the blocking—Nebraska is slanting playside—and cuts back, where David hacks him down.
RUN+: Hopkins, Lewan, Toussaint RUN-:
O25 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 3-2-6 nickel Run QB iso Robinson 7
Three man line and five in the box is asking for this; M gives it to them. Molk(+1) blows up the NT. Omameh(+1) and Schofield(+1) also get good push. Robinson just has to run up their backs for a nice gain. RPS+1.
RUN+: Omameh, Molk, Schofield RUN-:
O18 2 3 I-Form 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Iso Toussaint 4
Nebraska kind of confused as to what they're doing here; chalk it up to multiple advantage. M runs same play, basically, with Hopkins lead and Toussaint running. Molk(+1) helps blow up the NT and then blows up David; Hopkins(+1) nails the other LB; Schofield(+1) ends up pushing the NT almost to the first down line. Toussaint hits it up for the first.
RUN+: Molk, Schofield, Hopkins RUN-:
O14 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Zone read keeper Robinson 2
Stupid tight shot. This looks wiiiiide open on the corner after Denard pulls but there might be a slot LB plunging down. No one mentions this so I assume not. If not, jeez Denard. DE is shuffling down the line in an attempted defense of the belly and Koger is about to seal the backside LB. Run for the corner and it could be a huge gain. Instead Denard pulls the Scheelhaase last week to poor effect. Still could have worked but for Huyge(-1) not being able to maintain his block but there are no blocks to maintain outside. Picture paged.
RUN-: Robinson(2), Huyge
O12 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Seam Grady Inc
Another blitz up the middle, this one not timed that well. It's picked up. Toussaint's coming off the mesh fake and runs right by the delayed blitzer, who is about to light Robinson up. He lets it fly to Grady on a quick seam that is a dangerous but does get through, clanging off a diving Grady's hands. (CA, 2, protection 0/2, Toussaint -2, RPS -1)
O12 3 8 Shotgun double stacks 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Sack -- -12
Hemingway motions from a triple stack to a double. Nebraska reveals man and sends seven. WRs are not open and Toussaint's cut block is not a Smith cut block, letting his guy through; Denard is under quick pressure with no options and tries to keep the play alive, taking a sack. Torn between asking him to throw this away and thinking about what happens if he dodges this guy. Six points, probably. (PR, protection 1/3, Toussaint -2, RPS -1). Where's our third down back?
Drive Notes: FG(42), 10-0, 2 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun empty 2TE 0 2 3 Nickel even Run Pin and pull zone Robinson 0
The jet sweep would have been a huge gainer as the D sells out on Robinson. I mean, Nebraska doesn't even react to the jet motion. Unfortunately, no read here so it's a straight run all the way. Koger(-1) loses his fight with the playside DE badly, Omameh(-1) does not delay the backside DT at all and leaves Huyge to chase him futilely, and the playside corner runs right by everyone to tackle. RPS -2. No chance structurally.
RUN-: Koger, Omameh
M20 2 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 4-3 even Run Zone read trap Toussaint 3
Safety rolled up hard and an overhang corner is eight in the box. Schofield pulls behind Molk to trap the other DT; Michigan splits them but the MLB reads the trap immediately and runs past Huyge. Tackle attempt is broken but delays Toussaint. David, over the slot, does not even look at the WRs and scrapes down to clean up. Screw it: this is a play that should have been bubbled and it cost Michigan a gain after a broken tackle. RPS -1.
RUN+: Toussaint RUN-:
M23 3 7 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Nickel press Pass Rollout out Hemingway 27
ESPN has a crazy tight angle on third and seven. Derp. Odoms motions out of the backfield. Nebraska plays tight man on the WRs and walks a safety down. They back him out and blitz off the slot to the side Michigan is rolling to. Hopkins gets a cut that delays the blitzer long enough to let Robinson set up and zing it to Hemingway on an out that's there and a lot easier because of the moved pocket. Caught, first down. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2, Hopkins special mention.) RPS +1; Hemingway on some white dude.
50 1 10 Shotgun twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Jet stretch Odoms 0
This is essentially a WR stretch play that Odoms(-2) screws up immensely. Playside end is not reached, which means go inside. He goes outside; this takes forever and a safety hacks him down at the LOS. Huyge(+1) had chopped the backside DT and Schofield(+1) driven the playside guy back yards so any back used to a zone would have cut inside and gotten something between five and a crapton of yards.
RUN+: Schofield, Huyge RUN-: Odoms(2)
50 2 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 4-4 even Pass Screen Toussaint INT
Oh, man. This is not Robinson's fault at all, really. Someone's got to cut this guy because the ball is headed directly to Toussaint and that guy has two blockers and air in front of him. It's gotta be Lewan, who's feebly pushing this dude as Schofield releases to block the screen. His dude leaps, bats, intercepts, and returns. (BA, 0, protection 0/2, Lewan -2, RPS +1)
Drive Notes: Interception, 10-7, 13 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M26 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Toussaint 9
This works out for Fitz but it's not as great as it seems on first viewing because he misread the play, started cutting back into unblocked guys, and then burst back to the hole that was open the whole time. Omameh(+1) beat up and controlled the playside DT, forcing him off the line. Toussaint stops behind a mediocre block from Schofield(-0.5) and thinks about going backside, then decides not so much. When he goes back the the original hole it's still there thanks to good extended blocks from Huyge(+1) and Hemingway(+1!) Toussaint then does earn a plus by dancing past a peeling DT to add three or four to his run.
RUN+: Omameh, Huyge, Hemingway, Toussaint RUN-: Schofield
M35 2 1 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel press Run Zone read belly Toussaint 2
Extended doubles here as Michigan adapts the zone to short yardage. Lewan(+1) and Schofield(+1) blow the backside guy off the ball and provide a lane as they cut off a linebacker. Safety coming down fills just past the LOS.
RUN+: Lewan, Schofield RUN-:
M37 1 10 Shotgun twin TE twins 1 2 2 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Toussaint 1
Denard misses a must-pull with the playside DE diving down hard. There is no one containing him; DE gets underneath Koger and the way-off-LBs converge to crush this.
RUN-: Robinson(2)
M38 2 9 Shotgun twin TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Zone read dive Hopkins 3
Nebraska shifts the LBs with the Odoms motion and Denard again misses a keep read. Yeah, there's a contain guy. There are two of you on the edge. The defensive end isn't even thinking about Denard, instead hugging the LT's hip as he releases downfield. When the MLB slants hard under Lewan to force a cutback that DE is there to tackle.
RUN-: Robinson
M41 3 6 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Comeback Hemingway 8
Good route and good placement by Robinson to take it away from the defenders; coverage wasn't bad but the throw and route here beat it. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2) RPS +1 as Hemingway again got defended by scrub.
M49 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-4 even Pass Waggle comeback Hemingway Inc
This inexplicably works well enough that a pulling Schofield has no one to block on the edge. All day for Robinson. He pulls up and fires to a wide open Hemingway. Total whiff. Should have set up instead of throwing on the run. (IN, 0, protection 2/2, RPS +1)
M49 2 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Pass PA Scramble Robinson 4
Stretch action fools no one—M does not run stretches, really—and Robinson has no one. When pressure comes he jukes it and gets outside for a few yards. (TA, 0, protection N/A, RPS -1)
O47 3 6 Shotgun triple stack 1 0 4 Okie Run Speed option Robinson 8
Okie at first and then Nebraska checks. They're still looking at the sideline when Michigan snaps the ball... and the blocking is really weird. Molk pass blocks, like it's a draw. This works. Odd. Huyge(+2) reaches the playside DE so Robinson heads outside. Omameh(+1) pushes David past the play; Robinson(+1) cuts back and jets upfield for the first. Lewan also got a block that pushed a player past the cutback.
RUN+: Huyge(2), Robinson, Lewan, Omameh RUN-:
O39 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Run Zone read belly Toussaint 16
DONKEY HATING. Too little of this this year. Inside zone with a probably designed cutback; Schofield(+1) pushes the backside DT out of the hole. Lewan(+2) destroys his DE, driving him four yards downfield. Hopkins(+1) kicks the contain guy after he contains. Molk can't quite get the MLB but the Lewan block gives Toussaint(+2) a lane he jets into. He jukes a safety for an extra five yards and bonus point. The replay on this is why I like Spielman no matter what anyone says.
RUN+: Lewan(2), Schofield, Toussaint(2), Hopkins RUN-:
O28 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-4 over Run Power off tackle Toussaint 0
Denard actually checks to this. Lord knows why. Nebraska has three relevant linebackers because the backside guy scrapes past Lewan before he can get out; not really on Lewan since the DT buried himself and made it impossible to get out to the second level. Michigan has two lead blockers. Toussaint(-1) tries to bounce and gets eaten up for nothing when just slamming it up in the nonexistent non-hole maybe gets a couple. RPS -1.
RUN-: Tousssaint
O28 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Scramble Robinson 9
A rollout that is intended to turn into a throwback screen that Robinson thinks isn't there... because it isn't. There's a DE in front of Toussaint. He's got a lane because Roundtree(+1) thumped a linebacker, who fell, and caused a DL to fall over him. (SCR, 0 (target: Toussaint), protection N/A)
RUN+: Robinson, Roundtree RUN-:
O19 3 1 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-4 even Run QB power Robinson 19
Late movement from Nebraska to get a guy over the slot. Four DL, five second level players. Koger(+1) kicks the playside DE and a blitz takes the playside DT out of the picture; Schofield does wall him off. Blitz also takes a LB away from the play out. Big hole, three on three in it. All three get outside of Lewan, with Lewan's guy beating that block; Omameh(+1) wipes him out. Robinson(+1) cuts behind that and is gone. RPS +1
RUN+: Robinson, Omameh, Koger RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 17-10, 6 min 2nd Q. Next drive starts with 3:21 left.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M11 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run QB sweep Robinson 7
Schofield and Molk pull to give Denard three lead blockers. Toussaint(+1) forms up to kick a charging LB past the play. Koger(+2) kills the playside DE, driving him five yards downfield. Huyge(+1) seals the playside DE. Robinson's lead blockers have no one to block until five yards downfield; Robinson follows them. He should really bust outside for a big gain; instead one guy submarines the whole pile.
RUN+: Koger(2), Toussaint, Huyge RUN-:
M18 2 3 Shotgun twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Zone read dive Toussaint -2
Another obvious blown read. The backside DE is let go and charges down Toussaint. There is no scraper and the two TEs are flaring out to clean that edge. Robinson must pull; he does not. MLB reads the mesh point and charges straight upfield at Toussaint, getting through the line about a second after the mesh. He bounces, which isn't a good idea, but he has no good ideas. RPS -1.
RUN-: Robinson(2)
M16 3 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run QB draw Robinson 2
Omameh(+1) crushes his DT out of the lane and to the ground, giving Robinson a lane. Schofield(-0.5) does a meh job. Molk heads downfield into a linebacker; that linebacker rushes outside as he thinks Robinson is going there, and Robinson should read that and cut behind that block so David can again tackle him by the ankles after ten yards. Instead he continues outside and gets chopped down by the LB.
RUN+: Omameh RUN-: Robinson, Schofield
Drive Notes: Punt, 17-10, 1 min 2nd Q. This is three straight Denard running screwups.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M43 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Dime even Run Inverted veer give Toussaint 5
With no apparent contain this is the right move but they blitz off the corner and Roundtree(-1) doesn't read it fast enough, letting his dude by. Toussaint(+2) is confronted by a corner in the backfield, he jukes past a la Hart. This allows a defender to come from the backside and tackle but it's still a +7 yard effort. RPS -1.
RUN+: Toussaint(2) RUN-: Roundtree
M48 2 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Scramble Robinson 3
Robinson drops back and finds no one. Protection is excellent and he has a lane, so he takes it. Toussaint realizes what's going on and sets up to block the one linebacker in the area; all Robinson has to do for a big gain is cut to the correct side of it. He instead bounces outside, where the LB is keeping leverage, and turns a big to huge gain into very little. Arrrrgh. (SCR, N/A, protection 2/2)
RUN-: Robinson
O49 3 2 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run QB draw Robinson -2
Nebraska seems to be looking for this; Omameh(-1) and Huyge(-1) lose their guys inside and Robinson has nowhere to go. He bounces but has to weave around guys and David tracks him down. RPS -1.
Drive Notes: EOH, 17-10. Argh. Terrence Robinson blasts a dude for the next drive.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O33 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Pin and pull zone Robinson 2
This thing again, oddly to the short side of the field. Koger(+1) blows the end off the LOS; Omameh(-1) loses his guy. Robinson has to bounce as the playside LB does a nice job of getting to the POA quickly and taking out Huyge in an inconvenient spot. Robinson gets to the sideline but a safety is there and he has no room to string it out to the corner. RPS -1.
RUN+: Koger RUN-: Omameh
O31 2 8 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 4-4 even Pass Throwback screen Gallon 24
I mean, seriously, Nebraska? You have zero guys within ten yards of this play. Have you watched Michigan ever? Huyge(+1) gets a block on the charging safety; Omameh(+1) picks off the backside LB, who bit hard on the play action. Gallon jets straight upfield for a big gain. RPS +2.
RUN+: Huyge, Omameh, Gallon RUN-:
O7 1 G Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Run Zone read belly Toussaint 0
Obvious pull is obvious; not made. Backside DE is shuffling hard and Hopkins is headed backside into the scrape linebacker. Safeties are an issue but the kind of issue that's “four yards or TD?” Denard hands off and the shuffle DE stops hugging Lewan's hip; he nails Toussaint at the line.
RUN-: Robinson(2)
O7 2 G Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Speed option Robinson 2
Oof. Schofield(+1) does a good job of ripping through the playside DT and heading out to the second level; at this point Molk(-2) should have an easy time of sealing this guy and Robinson shoots upfield near the goal line. He runs by the dude. Robinson sees the lane and hits it; DT ropes him down and Robinson plows into Molk to add insult to injury. If Molk makes this block touchdown is distinct possibility.
RUN+: Schofield RUN-: Molk(2)
O5 3 G Shotgun double stacks 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Cross Roundtree Inc (Pen +3)
Nebraska tips a blitz and still sends it. Michigan picks up six but cannot get a seventh because there's literally no one to block him. Robinson backs out and lofts one to Roundtree, who is one on one with their scrub DB. It's decently accurate but a little short; scrub DB is in Roundtree's chest, making this tough. It's dropped. Michigan is bailed out by a crap flag. Refs +2. (CA, 1, protection 3/3)
O2 1 G Power I 2 3 0 Goal line Run Power off tackle Toussaint -2
Nebraska DL just submarines on the snap, leaving four guys running at the ball. DE gets in on Hopkins well and blows up the play; Watson can't get over to block David as he shoots a gap, Toussaint tries a bounce and gets swallowed. RPS -1. What's wrong with calling an iso? Why always the slow developing stuff we suck at?
RUN-: Watson, Schofield
O4 2 G I-Form big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Speed option Robinson 3
No creases on the line; no one comes through as everyone does a decent job and Robinson manages to squeeze out three yards by diving forward as he nears the sideline. Unfortunately, this is run from under center, which means Robinson can't see the backside chop by Schofield that would open up a TD.
RUN+: Robinson RUN-:
O1 3 G Goal line 2 3 0 Goal line Run Bootleg Robinson 1
Huyge(+1) gets outside the playside DE and puts him to the ground. Koger releases downfield as if he's a pass option but when Robinson turns the edge is clean and he walks in. Omameh had pulled but didn't even have to block anyone. RPS +1.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 24-10, 11 min 3rd Q. Nebraska derps a punt on the next drive.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
50 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Toussaint 11
Linebackers are expecting the belly, which is dumb since the shuffling DE has it; they suck backside. Hypothetically this should be okay because the line is slanting and Omameh can't seal his guy but when Molk(+2) sees the linebackers moving away from the hole he holds up and seals the backside DT. Toussaint through the line. Hemingway(+2) then gets an excellent block in space as he cracks down on the safety. Stands the guy up and ends him. Toussaint(+1) darts past the corner and is ankle tackled by that dude and David.
RUN+: Molk(2), Hemingway(2), Toussaint, Schofield RUN-:
O39 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Toussaint 11 + 14 Pen
Same deal but oddly Molk doesn't make the same seal, instead moving out to the second level only to see David hit a gap in the line; he blocks nobody. Toussaint has to bounce playside, where the safety who got cracked on the last play is flowing hard downhill so he doesn't have that happen again. He's past Roundtree before he has a chance in hell of getting a block. Toussaint(+3) bounces outside the tackle, gets the corner, and picks up a first down. Lewan(+2) got a good block that shoves a leveraging DE past the LOS and helped get that corner. DE picks up an uber dumb late hit.
RUN+: Toussaint(3), Lewan RUN-:
O14 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Hopkins 14 (Pen -3)
Nebraska DL slanting hard playside; Omameh(+1) escorts one gentleman past where he wants to go, creating the crease. Koger(-1) biffs by not blocking down on the end, who almost tackles Hopkins as he attacks the back of the D. Instead he flares out on a guy who is uselessly containing. Hopkins(+1) runs through the arm tackle attempt; Molk(+1) gets a block on David, and Hopkins(+1 again) heads straight upfield, plowing the last five yards carrying a defender and Jeremy Jackson, who gets his hand caught in the defender's facemask.
RUN+: Hopkins(2), Molk, Omameh RUN-: Koger
O17 1 13 Pro set 2 1 2 4-3 even Pass Flare screen Toussaint -3
Defense looking for this; Lewan can't cut the relevant DE because he is alert for this play; Gallon(-1) whiffs as he cracks down on the playside LB. Toussaint makes a guy miss but can't even approach the LOS. (CA, 3, screen, RPS -2)
RUN+: Toussaint RUN-: Gallon
O20 2 16 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass PA Out Dileo 15
Stretch action into a rollout, which doesn't really fool anyone but there's either a bust or a huge hole in this coverage because a simple out to Dileo is wide open for YAC. Pitch and catch. (CA, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +1)
O5 3 1 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 4-4 even Run QB power Robinson 0
Schofield pulling short as M goes into the A gap. Molk(+1) and Omameh(+1) blow dudes up thanks in part to a slant. Huyge(+1) adjusts his release to pop a blitzing David; he only gets a piece but robs him of his momentum and creates a pileup. Denard sees the crease just in front of Omameh and seems to decide to go into it, then inexplicably runs right into David and another LB when he had a a crease for the first and possibly a TD if arm tackles don't get him.
RUN+: Huyge, Omameh, Molk RUN-: Robinson(2)
O5 4 1 FG 1 4 0 FG block Run Down G Dileo 4
Opens up wiiiiiide. This is not part of the offense and is not charted but +1 Hoke.
O1 1 G Power I 3 2 0 Goal line Run Power off tackle Toussaint 1
EMLOS on the playside dives down hard, getting inside of Hopkins (not his fault) and threatening major cloggage. Toussaint(+1) reads and smoothly bounces outside without losing much momentum. Nebraska doesn't have anyone on the edge like you would expect given the EMLOS giving up the edge (bust?) and Schofield(+1) adjusts his path to get outside of the two guys trying to adjust to their new reality. He impedes them enough and Toussaint walks in.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 31-10, 5 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M4 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Toussaint 2
Denard refuses to pull. Here he's got Koger blocking the contain LB and will be alone with the safety. Instead he hands off. Schofield(-0.5) gets beat but it's not really his fault since the DT is slanting; still you'd like to see him get more movement on the DT. Toussaint has to cut behind, where the shuffle DE eats him.
RUN-: Robinson, Schofield(0.5)
M6 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Toussaint 3
The Nebraska blitz with one LB up the middle and a delayed guy. Molk(+1) blows the blitzer out of the hole as the playside guys run themselves out of the play. Schofield(-1) releases but keeps his eyes to the backside, failing to adjust to the playcall. He misses an opportunity to block David and give Toussaint a big crease. Toussaint dances around and makes a few yards before David tackles.
RUN+: Molk, Lewan RUN-: Schofield
M9 3 5 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Rollout fly Roundtree Inc
Blitz picked up and Michigan gets the corner easily. Robinson has all day. He finds no one open and unleashes the dragon to a double covered Roundtree. Terrible decision; scramble. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 31-10, 2 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M14 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel press Run Zone read stretch Toussaint 3
Safety fully in the box as Nebraska gets aggressive. Michigan runs an actual stretch. Omameh(-1) just rides his guy down the line ineffectively when it seems a cut gets him to the ground or delayed. Nebraska strings the rest of the play out and Toussaint(-1) is hesitant when one hard upfield cut may get him past that backside DT. Instead he gingerly cuts behind Lewan and runs up the back of a couple OL until the DT runs him down from behind. Good push from Molk(+0.5) and Schofield(+0.5) gets the yardage.
RUN+: Molk(0.5), Schofield(0.5) RUN-: Omameh, Toussaint
M17 2 7 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Nickel even Run Zone read trap Toussaint 3
Insert bubble complaint here. Nebraska slants under the blocking and blitzes off the corner; there isn't a prayer in the world of covering Hemingway on a bubble. Toussaint appears to screw this up by not hitting it up in the trap area, which does crease, but he'll just get nailed by David anyway if he does and he manages to dance around for three yards on a totally dead play. RPS -1.
RUN+: RUN-: Toussaint
M20 3 4 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel press Run Speed option Robinson -3
All Nebraska players within five yards of LOS. M lets a DE go on the speed option; he forms up; Denard runs right into him. Pitch the damn ball. This is a huge gain if he does. Instead it's a loss because the QB guy hits the QB when he's still got the ball.
RUN+: Hemingway, Koger, Huyge RUN-: Robinson(3)
M17 4 7 Punt 1 2 2 Punt return Punt Punt -- Pen +15
Nebraska roughs the punter. You touch the plant foot in the air, automatic. Nebraska bitching about this is ludicrous.
M32 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Toussaint 14
Same deal as a previous play: both LBs backside, Molk(+1) comes off his release to seal the backside DT, Toussaint hits the gap and there are no LBs. This is to the RPS +1 point because Nebraska's scheme to deal with this is getting torn up. I won't minus him but Toussaint should have cut outside for even more yardage.
RUN+: Molk, Toussaint RUN-:
M46 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 2 1 2 4-3 even Penalty False start Molk -5
Molk messes the snap up. -1. That's okay, though, this was going to lose five anyway. At least we get to keep the down. I keed, I keed.
M41 1 15 Ace twins twin TE 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Iso Toussaint 8
Three different Nebraska LBs fill the intended gap. Uh. Cutback? Cutback. Molk(+0.5) manages to shove David a bit. He can't come from behind. Omameh(+0.5) does okay with the backside DT, but eventually does give ground and get pancaked; Huyge(+1) helped push him a bit and then comes off to get a LB. Toussaint(+2) somehow manages to squeeze through three arm tackles into the secondary, where he's tackled from behind. RPS -1. This should have died at the LOS.
RUN+: Molk(0.5), Omameh, Huyge(0.5), Toussaint(2) RUN-:
M49 2 7 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Power off tackle Toussaint 3
Oh, my god, it works. Koger(+2) destroys the playside DE. Schofield(+1) pulls around and seals the MLB. Hopkins(+1) gets an excellent kick on the SLB. Toussaint has a hole... that a safety fills with authority and thumps him to the ground as he tries to cut past him. Stupid power.
RUN+: Koger(2), Schofield, Hopkins RUN-:
O48 3 4 Shotgun double stacks 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass In Odoms 9
Odoms cuts inside against man coverage; good protection; Robinson stands in and zings an accurate one. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2)
O39 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Run Zone read belly Toussaint 0
Nebraska switches their defense of this play, sending the playside DE underneath Lewan and a LB behind that block. They send a LB off the slot, pulling Koger(-1) upfield on that guy (I may be giving him minuses when I should RPS minus but that is unknowable; I assume that blocking the guy optioned off by the zone read is not the play design). Scrape LB hits in the hole. RPS -1.
RUN-: Koger
O39 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel press Run QB iso Robinson 1
Opens up as Molk(+1) takes a blitzing LB and shoves him out of the play. Omameh(+1) escorts a DT well outside as well. Big hole up the middle filled by Hopkins, Robinson, David, and a safety. Hopkins(+1) gets a good block on David; Robinson cuts the wrong way into the safety and is tackled for a meh gain. He dances instead of either cutting behind or just testing his speed against the safety.
RUN+: Hopkins, Omameh, Molk RUN-: Robinson(2)
O38 3 9 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Fly Odoms 38
Michigan sets Roundtree and Hemingway up to the short side with Odoms alone in a lot of space to the other. With all day, Robinson sets up and absolutely nails Odoms in the back of the endzone for six. Double coverage my ass. (DO, 2, protection 3/3)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 38-17, 10 min 4th Q. Nebraska fumbles ensuing kickoff.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O23 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-4 even Run Power off tackle Toussaint -3
Backside blitz has no thought of containing Robinson; sellout to stop the run. This probably isn't going anywhere even if Toussaint hits it up but he sees the backside guy in his peripheral vision and bounces, which is a mistake. RPS has been turned off with M up 21 and less than 10 minutes left.
RUN-: Toussaint
O26 2 13 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Run Zone read dive Toussaint 1
Molk(-1) blocks a blitzing LB up the middle but needs to pass him off to Omameh and continue on; he does not and an unblocked dude tackles Toussaint in the hole.
RUN-: Molk
O25 3 12 Shotgun trips bunch 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Rollout out Odoms Inc
Rollout gets the corner but no one is open; Robinson throws a dangerous ball into coverage to Odoms that is deflected and could be intercepted. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Missed FG(42), 8 min 4th Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR DForm Type Play Player Yards
O31 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Toussaint 31
Same blitz; Molk(+1) kicks the LB. Contain DE flares out to cover Koger as the playside DT contains the read. Big hole, useless Huyge. Omameh(+1) gets out on David; Toussaint jukes a charging safety. Molk pushes the LB past Toussaint again as he peels back, eventually banging the other safety. Grady(+1) blocks a corner into that mess and Toussaint(+3) bounces outside of it, accelerating with fantastic agility to burst past everyone for six.
RUN+: Molk, Omameh, Grady, Toussaint(3) RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 45-17, 7 min 4th Q. Backups on next drive; charting done.

Hurray points.

Hurray points. This game exemplifies why points are not independent of the defense and special teams.


Hurray points.

Run breakdown?

If you cut out runs from inside the opponent 4 you've got this in the under center category:

  • 2 iso for 12 yards
  • 3 power off tackle for 0 yards

The sub-trend from under center is that we can get motion against certain bad DL and Hopkins is actually a pretty good fullback; meanwhile we suck uproariously at running power. Shotgun runs averaged a hair over 5 YPC excluding Denard scrambles.

So, the usual. Except not quite the usual because Michigan left an absolute ton of yards on the field from the shotgun. But for that we'll need a—

Chart… but this is not the order of chart.

No, but does it really matter what order the charts are in?

What's next, Blog Brandon? Are you going to have maize stripes for one game a year?

Fine, fine. QB chart.

[Hover over column headers for explanation of abbreviation. Screens are in parens.]

2009, All Of It 1 7 6(2) 3(1) 4 4 - - ? 44%
Notre Dame 3 25(8) 3(1) 4 1 - 4(1) 2 - 71%
Michigan State 4 14(3) 1 7(1) 1 - - 2 2 68%
Iowa 1 11(3) 2 3(1) 2 - 1 - - 64%
Illinois 4 9(1) 1 4 1 3 1(1) - - 60%
Purdue 2 12(1) 1 3 1 1 1 3 - 68%
WMU '11 - 6(1) 4 3 1 - - - 1 56%
Notre Dame '11 6 7(1) 1 6(1) 5 1 1 1 - 50%
EMU '11 1 10(1) - 5 1 - 1 1 1 59%
SDSU '11 - 10(2) - 4 2 1 - 1 - 53%
Minnesota '11 1 13(3) 1 3 1 - - - - 73%
Northwestern '11 4 12(3) 1 7 2 - - - 1 59%
MSU '11 1 8(1) 4(1) 6 5 - 1 7 1 40%
Purdue '11 1 7(1) - 1 2 1 - 2 - 66%
Iowa '11 2 21 2 7 1 - 3(1) 2 - 69%
Illinois '11 1 4(1) 1 2 - 1(1) - 1 1 66%
Nebraska '11 1 12(3) - 2 2 1 1(1) 1 3 66%

A trend: it is sensed. Denard again hits the mid-60s that has been his domain for much of the Big Ten season. Three of the last four games he has been at exactly 66%.

The DO was the inch-perfect Odoms throw…

…and I was tempted to bump one of three or four CA+ throws up. He had his traditional Unleash The Dragon moment when he threw to a bracketed Roundtree on third and medium when a scramble held promise and he could have thrown a more dangerous interception on his other BR. Other than that he had a pretty good day. I don't really blame him for the INT:


He's getting pressure, it's wide open, and he's got every right to expect that Lewan will get into this dude's legs, preventing him from getting his arms up. Not so much:


Too bad, because that thing was going to be a big gainer. Note that this isn't a Denard height issue since the guy deflecting the ball is seven yards away. If he threw it in such a manner as to miss him it would also miss Toussaint.

There were a couple other throws that shoulda/coulda been intercepted, so don't take this as a declaration all is right in the passing world. Just this particular item.

Overall, it was further proof that Denard is not the guy we saw in the nonconference schedule. He even added some scrambles, which the entire diaspora said "finally" to. Those were opened up by Nebraska playing man two deep. On the one linked in the previous paragraph watch the replay: man with two safeties bracketing on two deep routes, two guys out to cover Michigan players on the sidelines, four rushers, and Lavonte "Goddammit Ankle Tackle" David. They must be really dedicated to man coverage to run it against Denard.

It's just… you know… I mean…

You're going to do it. I'm going to put my fingers in my ears. LA LA LA LA LA

This does not prevent you from reading.

Offensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Lewan 9 - 9 Finally some productive donkey hatred. Belly helps him produce; also got Toussaint the edge on a play that would have gone badly otherwise.
Barnum - - - DNP
Molk 12 5 7 Adaptability helpful on a couple of Nebraska slants.
Omameh 13 6 7 Solid.
Huyge 10 4 6 Also solid.
Schofield 10.5 4.5 6 Solid?
Mealer - - - DNP
Watson - 3 -3
Koger 7 3 4 These numbers are eerily similar to last week.
TOTAL 61.5 25.5 71% Numbers last week: plus 61.5, minus 28.5. Weird.
Player + - T Notes
Robinson 9 21 -12 If refusal to pull the ball because it's not actually a read, migrate a bunch of those to Borges.
Gardner - - -  
Toussaint 22 4 18 Dang, son. Caveat: –5 pass blocking.
Shaw - - - Eh.
Smith - - - DNP
Hopkins 7 - 7 Turned into a solid fullback quickly.
Rawls - - - DNP
McColgan - - - DNP
TOTAL 38 25 13 Copious discussion later.
Player + - T Notes
Hemingway 4 - 4 Probably got a lot of stick in practice this week.
Odoms - 2 -2  
Gallon 1 - 1  
Roundtree 1 1 0  
Grady 2 - 2 --
Jackson - - -  
Dileo - - - --
TOTAL 8 3 5 There's a weird role reversal for you.
Player + - T Notes
Protection 33 7 82% Toussaint 5, Lewan 2.
RPS 14 17 -3 Robinson execution probably pushes this way positive.

Before we talk about Denard, yes, Toussaint really is the man and yes, he bailed Michigan out a lot. This is despite good play from the OL, Hopkins, even Hemingway—other than Watson (the assumed culprit on the busted first play from scrimmage) it is hard to find anyone who had a bad day other than a point or two from the WR corps.


Wow. Don't you think that's a little rough on a guy who averaged 4.5 YPC and had an efficient day throwing?

No. No I do not. The numbers are the numbers and there is a system. When someone makes a mistake that makes a play end after a yard, they get a minus. It's possible I'm not giving sufficient plus points when something goes right but the minuses are the minuses. Given the performance of the rest of the team Michigan should have had a dominant rush offense, not just a pretty good one. Repeated screwups on zone reads and option plays prevented this.

When I cut the clips the striking thing is just how many of them I had taken because they were crap gains when Denard refused to make blindingly obvious reads. Meanwhile, the screencap folder is full of images titled "denaaargh" and the like. Setting aside the three plays already covered in the Argh Denard Picture Pages (here's a clip of the missed Odoms triple option), these are my screenshots:


Handoff for zero yards as Hopkins flares to block the backside LB and the shuffle DE makes the play.


Hesitates and then cuts to the side of the Hopkins block where the extra player is for one yard.


Denard ran this directly into David for no gain, forcing the fake FG. Notice in both of these shots his weight is shifted back, indicating he's stopping when the hole is obvious.

pitch the damn ball

Denard did not pitch this and lost three yards, setting up the punt on which Hagerup was roughed.


Actually a good gain by Toussaint as Lewan donkeyed Toussaint the corner.

And then there are the clips I took.


Aaaaaargh araaarghg aaargh. That looks like a play designed to pull.


There are two separate issues here. One is Denard making crappy cuts. Those are frustrating but that's life. I don't think you can do anything about that—at some point Denard just has to be a Football Player and cannot be coached to slash the right way. Mike Shaw. QED. I do hope someone took him aside this week and told him to go upfield whenever possible and if he runs out of bounds against OSU it had better be after he crosses the goal line. Get yards. Make touchdowns. Don't dance. Just make your decision and go:

That decisiveness has been lacking. See air: go.

The other is Denard consistently making bad reads. These come in two varieties. On the speed option he never pitches. Like… I don't think he's pitched once this year. In the zone read game he almost never pulls.

The one time he did pull the backside tackle blocked the end inside and nobody scraped, which makes me wonder if I am putting all of this on his shoulders when Michigan has abandoned the zone read in favor of making it look like the zone read but not actually giving Denard the option.

Man, I wonder if that guy who tediously claims you are incapable of being objective about Denard Robinson on half of your posts says that about this one.

That guy clearly cannot read, so probably.


[Passes are rated like so: 0 = uncatchable, 1 = very difficult, 2 = moderately difficult, 3 = routine.]

  This Game   Totals
Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Hemingway 1 - - 2/2 11 0/2 8/9 20/23
Roundtree 2 1/2 - - 12 2/7 5/7 9/10
Odoms - - 1/1 2/2 4 - 1/1 4/4
Grady 1 - - - 6 - 0/1 2/2
Gallon -


0/1 2/2 7 - 2/3 23/23
J. Robinson - - - - - - - -
Dileo - - - 1/1 - 0/2 2/3 3/3
Jackson - - - - - - 1/1 1/1
Koger - - - - 6 1/3 3/4 10/11
Moore - - - - 2 - 1/1 -
Toussaint - - - 2/2 - - - 4/5
Shaw - - - - - - - 1/1
Smith - - - - 4 0/2 1/1 7/8
Hopkins - - - - 2 - - 1/1
McColgan - - - - 1 - - 1/1

Not too much of interest save Roundtree getting his bump-and-extend technique on the money this time:

Never in the history of this guy watching football have I seen a wide receiver get flagged for interference without shoving a receiver with his hands, so that seems like a a safe way to eliminate the cornerback and get a reception without risking a flag. He just needs to judge the ball a little better. We saw him try it against Iowa on a ball that was perfectly thrown; the ball escaped his fingertips because of his delay.

Anyway, "1" reception awarded.

Toussaint… so silky.

Yes. He was a major reason Denard's consistent lack of pulls did not destroy the offense. Here he misses a hole but his Hart-like ability to weave in traffic still gets him nine:

I'm not even kidding anymore. That run is full on Hart déjà vu. He is quality.

There is a significant caveat. Vincent Smith is the third down back for a  reason.

Denard didn't "panic," he is used to that linebacker getting sliced to the ground and knows if he gets outside the tackle he has seven rushers and man coverage behind it. Toussaint picked up all of the actual pass-rush minuses (Lewan's came when he did not cut block the eventual interceptor on the screen).

Hemingway had a bounce back, didn't he?

Yes. Difference between this:

And last week makes me wonder if Hemingway spent practice getting chewed out. Also on this play: check the subtle adjustment Molk makes. When he sees that both linebackers have headed backside he stops releasing into the second level and seals the DT slanting past Omameh, giving Toussaint the crease. He did this on another successful run that probably should have been a pull. Smart.

The previous section was not really about Hemingway.


On a day where virtually everyone played well Toussaint was first among equals, consistently making more yards than the plays had set up for him. The offensive line was all but perfect in pass protection and had a solid day against the Nebraska DL.


Denard's reads on the read option and the plain ol' option, or Borges calling a bunch of plays that look like the read option but actually aren't. It's not like they were saving Denard—he had 23 carries.

What does it mean for the Game?

With Andrew Sweat questionable, it's looking like the Ryan Shazier show at the critical OLB slot that will be scraping over to contain Denard on zone read type items. This is a good matchup for OSU unless it's really not. "Really not" will consist of Borges getting the freshman running very fast in the wrong direction with various trickery. If he's just allowed to hang out on the edge, Denard won't be able to keep at all and it'll be more of the same this week except OSU's defensive line will be better than the mediocre Nebraska outfit.

OSU's safeties are crap tacklers and mediocre players so getting past that linebacker level may produce the big plays that have not been around on the ground for Denard so far this year. Just have to do it. I wonder if they'll try to stretch Hankins, who's kind of a tub, and hope Shazier's run fits are iffy.

As far as passing goes, Denard's level has been established. When not pressured and allowed to set his feet he is pretty accurate; he'll still throw a ball or two in a dangerously inaccurate place. He will still unleash the dragon once or twice. He'll be able to move the chains, I think, but expect a lot of rollouts away from Simon if they line him up over Huyge.

I think it'll be a frustrating struggle, but I also think this is not a department in which I can be particularly objective given the frustrating struggles past.


Upon Further Review 2011: Defense vs Nebraska

Upon Further Review 2011: Defense vs Nebraska Comment Count

Brian November 23rd, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Programming note: Tomorrow will be somewhat lighter than usual but the Game waits for no man, so expect a UFR, an interview with Laquon Treadwell, and probably a UV type thing, along with Midweek Metrics. The timing of these things may be all wacky because of family obligations but UFR should be up relatively early. Recruitin' hits Friday.

Formation notes: The usual 4-3 under against plays with two guys blocking in the backfield and nickel against one or zero. They had a couple snaps in what looks like a 3-4:


This only came out a couple times and may just be a tweak to get the WDE in a pass drop. They didn't passively two-gap anything.

As for Nebraska, they spent some time in the shotgun above, ran a lot of pistol…


…and on their late touchdown drive they ran some I form pitches and broke out the flexbone:


Gratuitous okie shot:


Top to bottom: Kovacs, Martin, Van Bergen, Morgan, Roh, Demens, Ryan.

Substitution notes: Michigan is all but settled. Secondary is Countess/Floyd/Kovacs/Woolfolk with Avery coming in for nickel plays and Gordon subbing in for Woolfolk from time to time. Kovacs missed the rest of a drive after his immensely fake injury; Gordon came in for that as well.

At linebacker, Demens, Morgan, Ryan 95% of the time with occasional snaps for Brennen Beyer spotting Ryan.

On the line, RVB, Heininger, Martin, Roh most of the time with scattered snaps for Black and Campbell. Brink had a very brief cameo; when they got to the nickel they lift Heininger and put Ryan's hand down.

Last year this section would be discussing the 16 position changes made at midseason.

Show? Show.

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O40 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 4-3 under Run N/A Zone read keeper Roh 5
Roh(-0.5) isn't far enough upfield on this to prevent a keeper from being a good choice so Martinez pulls and heads for the sideline. He's not going Clark here—he does run out on the edge—but he could have done better. Floyd(+0.5) comes up quickly to escort OOB after a modest gain. He didn't have to beat a block because the WR was anticipating the inside zone.
O45 2 5 Pistol 2TE 4-3 under Run N/A Speed option Ryan -5
Ryan(+1) on the edge here. He does a good job of getting width and forming up on the LOS, forcing a pitch that Gordon(+0.5) and Kovacs(+0.5) seem to have contained w/ some help from Countess. We don't find out because the pitch is crappy and fumbled. Demens(-1) got cut to the ground alarmingly.
O40 3 10 Pistol trips Nickel even Pass 3 Comeback Floyd Inc
M flips Ryan and Martin and then backs Ryan out into a spy zone. Martin is one on one with the LT and gets decent pressure; Martinez throws. Floyd(+2, cover +2) is step for step with the WR and has as good of a chance to catch it as his opponent, but it's not well thrown and hits the ground.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 12 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O9 1 10 Pistol 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Zone read keeper Ryan 11
Ryan(-1) is in better position than Roh and is a bit faster on the edge and so almost tracks Martinez down before he can get to the LOS but stumbles a bit. Floyd(-1) has a tough job but ends up sitting a few yards downfield with a WR trying to block him; his move to tackle is late and futile. Could have shot upfield to force it back to Ryan. Martinez is on the sideline and picks up a first down.
O20 1 10 Ace twin TE 4-3 over Run N/A Inside zone Martin -3
Second TE is an an H-back spot over the strongside tackle. Martin(+3) annihilates the center and eats Burkhead in the backfield; RVB(+1) had beaten a block by sliding inside and was there to help clean up; Demens(+0.5) and Heininger(+0.5) also slid past blocks to make this a gang tackle in the backfield. RPS +2; Mattison got all the backfields. Worthy of screenshotting at BWS.
O17 2 13 Shotgun 2-back Nickel even Pass 5 Quick out Countess 5
Mattison sends five, dropping Ryan into a short zone and sending Morgan hash to hash as Demens(+0.5) and Avery(+0.5) come. They time it well and get in on Martinez(pressure +1), forcing a quick throw that Countess(+1, cover +1) is there to tackle on. RPS +1.
O22 3 7 Shotgun empty Okie Pass 4 Seam Demens Inc
Roh gets a free run but forms up, afraid of overruning Martinez and opening up a scramble. Not sure how I feel about that. Martin(+0.5) is coming around to hit from behind as Roh decides to close; Martinez still gets the ball off without issue. It's a seam to a TE lined up in the slot that Demens(+2, cover +2) is running step-for-step with. He never gets his head around but when the receiver goes for the ball he gets his arm in the dude's chest and breaks it up. Example of NOBODY CARES coverage tech. RPS +1.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 6 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O35 1 10 I-Form 4-3 over Run N/A Pin and pull zone Morgan 8
Heininger(+1) and Roh(+1) do a great job of slanting outside their guys and absorbing the two pullers. Burkhead has to cut back, which he can do because Martin(-1) got sliced to the ground a la Campbell, Morgan(-2) overran the play, and Demens(-1) ate a block well downfield. Morgan is running free here and should chop this down at the line even with the two guys who got blocked; instead this is a good gain.
O43 2 2 Ace 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone Morgan 3
Martin(+0.5) beats his man to the inside and threatens to tackle for loss. RVB manages to fight through a double and falls at the feet of the RB, causing him to leap; Morgan(+1) takes on a block and comes through it to tackle the leaping Burkhead. He still picks up the first, but good play from Michigan. If RVB can keep his feet this is a minimal gain.
O46 1 10 Pistol Diamond 4-4 nickel Pass N/A PA post Gordon 54
M very confused, w/ motion up to and including the snap. Avery in the box functioning as a sort of playside LB. UNL goes with the same sweep fake Blue Seoul picked out in their game against OSU and sucks the linebackers up. Floyd(-3) is beaten and tries to tackle the WR; Thomas Gordon(-3, cover -5) sucks up way, way too much and we've got a Worst Waldo situation on our hands. Gordon and Countess wiping each other out is very yakety sax but ultimately irrelevant; this guy wasn't getting caught. RPS –1…  Michigan got beat here but there was a deep safety on the play who biffed. Not really on the coordination.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 10-7, 1 min 1st Q. Denard screen INT sets up next drive.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M34 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 4-3 under Run N/A Speed option Martin -5
Mike Martin(+3), who is the nose tackle—THE NOSE TACKLE—forces a pitch on the speed option. He leaves the backside guard in a crumpled heap as he does so. Demens(+1) is flowing hard from the inside and Kovacs(+2, tackling +1) beats the WR to the outside. Burkhead has no choice but to try to bounce it. Kovacs puts him down.
M39 2 15 Pistol 3-wide Nickel even Pass N/A Tunnel screen Van Bergen Inc
Van Bergen(+1, pressure +1) leaps to bat it down. Roh(+1, cover +1) had dropped off and impeded the WR so this was either incomplete or dead anyway. RPS +1.
M39 3 15 Shotgun empty Okie Pass 4 Tunnel screen Demens 5
Demens(+1, tackling +1) and Martin(+1) combine to tackle here; Demens was dropping into a convenient short zone and Martin peeled back from pure pass rush.
Drive Notes: FG(52), 10-10, 12 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O18 1 10 Pistol offset 4-3 under Run N/A Zone read keeper Kovacs 16
FB and TE in this pistol set. Kovacs rolls down late and Nebraska does what I've always wanted M to do: FB comes down like he's going to attempt to kick out the DE. Black forms up to take the hit, expecting that he will have to get the backside gap on a handoff while Kovacs takes the QB. FB then jukes outside and gets a great block in space on Kovacs, opening up the edge. Martinez gets the edge and a big gain until Floyd vaguely forces him OOB. RPS -2; opposite of a Zook RPS. I do need to minus Kovacs(-1) for getting thoroughly owned on the block. Picture paged.
O34 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Jet sweep Countess 23
Roh does a mediocre job of stringing this out but it's not too bad. Morgan flows out hard and while he gets chopped he drew the attention of a blocker and this allows Gordon a free run at the ballcarrier. Unfortunately Countess(-3) executes the cardinal sin, losing leverage and letting the guy outside. There is a bit of a hold here; it shouldn't have to come to that. That turns the play from a decent 4-6 yard gain, assuming a Gordon tackle, into a big play.
M43 1 10 I-Form twins 4-3 under Run N/A Down G Beyer 0 (Pen -10)
Unbalanced. Total OL ownage by the DL. Beyer(+2) gets into his blocker in a good position, causing the pulling G to run into his block. RVB(+1) comes under his blocker and takes out the fullback. Martin(+1) destroys the C and flows. Burkhead has to bounce; an unblocked Demens(+1) scrapes and flows to tackle for nothing. Beyer's guy picks up a holding call to compound matters.
O47 1 20 Pistol 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Zone read keeper Ryan -7
Ryan(+2) sets up on the edge well; Martinez makes a mistake by pulling. Even so he seems shocked by Ryan's upfield acceleration. Ryan tackles five yards in the backfield... Martinez escapes. He's still doomed. Martin(+0.5), Gordon(+0.5), and Avery(+0.5) are the effective pursuit. The missed tackle actually costs Nebraska two yards. (No minuses for missed tackle attempts that effectively end plays.)
O40 2 27 Pistol 2TE Nickel even Pass 4 Scramble Ryan 2
Martinez with good time; he goes to two reads and finds nothing (cover +2, pressure- 1). At this point he bugs out; Ryan(+1) comes off a block to tackle just as he passes the LOS.
O42 3 25 Pistol 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Scramble Martin 6
First read not there; not really enough time to get the necessary depth by the time Roh(+0.5) and Martin(+0.5) flush Martinez. He scrambles, which like whatever. Demens(+1, tackling +1) does a good job to cut his gain down in space. (Cover +1, Pressure +1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 17-10, 3 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O32 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 TE out Martin Inc
Martin(+2, pressure +2) through the line instantly, forcing a quick throw. He's got a TE in front of Demens for a modest gain; dropped. Coverage push. Decent coverage on a short route.
O32 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide Okie Pass 4 Scramble -- 5
This is a pass but Martinez bugs out immediately, scared of the pressure. Kovacs comes up to shove him out after a modest gain. RPS +1 for Martinez happy feet.
O37 3 5 Shotgun 3-wide Okie Pass 4 Sack Ryan -2
This is the same blitz that Kovacs annihilated Alex Carder on in the first game of the year but Ryan(-1) screws it up by not ducking inside a la Kovacs. This gives Martinez a couple seconds when he should rightly be taking a helmet to his chest. Coverage(+2) is good, at which point the unblocked dude is relevant even if he took a crappy path(pressure +1) and Martinez bugs out into the arms of RVB(+1). RPS +2.
Drive Notes: Punt, 17-10, 1 min 2nd Q. This first half is the long touchdown, one good RPS play, a freshman screwup, and jack else.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O20 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-4 base Run N/A IVSO Gordon 9
IVSO = inverted veer speed option. Nebraska runs the veer; Martinez keeps and Burkhead gets in a pitch relationship. Martinez heads to the line where Demens(+1) takes on a lead blocker and is reaching out to tackle along with Martin(+1) who did his usual jet through the line. Morgan(-0.5) reads it late and Gordon(-1) sucks in when he needs to have the pitchman. This is a Cool Play and therefore that is a little less harsh than I would otherwise be; Michigan does have this on film so it shouldn't be a total mystery. Beyer(-1) also could have helped out on the pitchman instead of sucking in. RPS -1.
O29 2 1 Shotgun 2-back 4-3 under Run N/A Inverted veer give Demens 16
Campbell in for Martin. Nebraska runs the veer at a two WR side and there is no contain, so give. RVB is optioned off. Now four blockers on three M defenders. Ryan(+0.5) does a good job of getting the edge, pushing his man back and forcing the play inside the hashes. Demens(-2) is cut to the ground way too easily; Abdullah is breaking past the secondary and threatening a big gainer one on one with Floyd when Kovacs manages to ankle tackle him. RPS -2; Nebraska attacked the perimeter here and by optioning RVB got a big numbers advantage.
O45 1 10 Pistol offset 4-3 under Run N/A Zone read belly Morgan 4
Inside zone blocking with the FB headed to the back. Morgan(+1) makes a good read this time and cuts backside to tackle; Gordon was creeping down and is also there. Burkhead gets a couple YAC.
O49 2 6 Shotgun 2TE 4-3 under Run N/A Inverted veer keeper Martin 0
Two playside DL are slanting outside so Martinez keeps. This looks pretty dangerous as Demens is left backside and gets swallowed on the second level but Heininger(+1) gets sufficient penetration to narrow the lane here and Martin(+2) beats the center and flows down the line to nail Martinez at the LOS. Morgan(+0.5) had gotten outside his blocker and may have been some help; he got held but it wasn't relevant at that point.
O49 3 6 Shotgun 3-wide Okie Run N/A QB draw -- 1
Nebraska had it big time as M has three guys to one side and just one to the left of the center. That's three free blockers against air. Martinez inexplicably runs to the side where RVB and Martin are to get tackled. Let off. Martin(+0.5), RVB(+0.5), I guess. RPS -1. Hypothetical Nebraska UFR just gave Martinez -3.
Drive Notes: Punt, 24-10, 8 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O26 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 under Run N/A Inverted veer keeper Van Bergen 1
Martinez keeps when he should give; there is no contain up the field and Abdullah will be running at blocked guys on the edge. As a result, RVB(+0.5) gets inside and forces Martinez away from his blocking, as he alters the pulling G's path. This makes him useless and gives Demens(+0.5) a free run. Martin(+1) has beaten a block and also enters the picture; Ryan(+1) blew the slot receiver up with an explosive burst and there are four guys converging on Martinez at the LOS.
O27 2 9 Pistol 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Hitch Floyd Inc
Martinez is a little late here and the ball gets out as the WR is turning. He's got a crap arm so the ball floats, allowing Floyd(+2, cover +2) to jump it. It's two yards short of the WR or this is a pick six. Floyd tries to dig it out; he cannot. Normally I would give a jump like this three but this was easy pickings.
O27 3 9 Shotgun 3-wide Okie Pass 4 Skinny post Avery Inc
Martinez has time but happy feet also; he starts scrambling up in the pocket despite decent blocking. RVB comes off a blocker to force a throw, which is to a post route Avery(+2, cover +2) has dropped right into. He's in the WR's chest as the ball arrives; WR awkwardly backs off and bats the ball skyward; it falls incomplete. RPS +1; no routes open.
Drive Notes: Punt, 31-10, 4 min 3rd Q. Bad punt and good return sets the next drive up deep in M territory.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M31 1 10 Ace twins 4-3 under Pass 4 PA seam Woolfolk Inc
Time(pressure -1); Martinez throws too early to a guy who Woolfolk(+2, cover +2) has blanketed; Woolfolk bats it down.
M31 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide 3-4 base Pass 4 PA improv Martin 12
Play action inverted veer catches M slanting away from the play and is either a brilliant call based on inside knowledge or damn lucky. Either way, Campbell(+1) and Martin(+1) slant through the OL and force Martinez to scramble. As he nears the sideline he chucks a ball you're certain is doomed that a WR plucks out of the air on the sideline. Well played? I guess. If they're going to do this, fine. Pressure +1.
M19 1 10 I-Form Big 4-3 under Run N/A Down G pitch Morgan 7
Roh(+1) doesn't get sealed; he flows out onto the edge with his blocker and drives him back, picking off the fullback. Kovacs(+0.5) is the outside guy and he maintains leverage inside the numbers, forcing Burkhead into a narrow crevice without a lead blocker. Morgan(-2) has no job but to flow to this (on a pitch) and has help behind him; he slows, actually briefly stops, and by the time he resumes his path outside he's too late to crush Burkhead at the LOS like he should. Floyd(-0.5) comes up and makes a dodgy ankle tackle that gives Burkhead a few extra yards.
M12 2 3 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run N/A Down G pitch Kovacs 2
Beyer/Ryan package. Looks like the exact same play but it develops differently; RB just runs into the back of blockers this time instead of trying to get to the edge. Beyer(-0.5) is cut to the ground on the edge; he does contain. Morgan(-1) is again late in case there's a cutback when the entire defense is behind him, which gives Nebraska some yards despite the lack of a FB again; Kovacs(+2, tackling +1) thunders down into the hole and crunches Burkhead after two yards, setting up third and short.
M10 3 1 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run N/A Down G pitch Kovacs 2
Seems to want to go inside since the FB does, taking out Morgan. Burkhead doesn't like that pile at the LOS and bounces outside since Beyer(-1) gives up the edge. He gets in the backfield but he does not maintain outside leverage. Bounce available and taken; Kovacs(+1, tackling +1) again shoots down to the LOS at great speed to tackle, but he can't prevent the first.
M8 1 G Flexbone 4-3 even Run N/A Outside toss Beyer 5
One of the flexbacks goes in the looping motion flexbacks do and takes an outside toss pitch. Gordon(+0.5) keeps the edge well; Beyer(-1) is chopped to the ground by a WR. Demens(-1) took a block and got blown into the endzone; this would near the goal line but for the pursuit of Martin(+0.5) and RVB(+0.5).
M3 2 G Shotgun 2-back 4-3 under Run N/A Inverted veer triple pitch -- 3
Tip of the hat. RPS -1. Picture paged at BWS, because someone had to do it.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 31-17, 1 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun trips Nickel even Pass 4 Hitch Demens 7
In front of Demens(-0.5, cover -1); WR falls down or would have a YAC opportunity.
O32 2 3 Shotgun trips Nickel even Pass 4 Sack Morgan -1
Mild zone blitz sees Roh drop off and Morgan(+2, pressure +2) sent. Morgan does not get a free run; he gets the RB blocking him. He deftly steps around and threatens to sack, forcing Martinez up into the pocket, where Ryan(+1) peels off a block and steps up to sack.
O33 3 4 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Sack Demens -1
Zone blitz is picked up; Martinez has happy feet again and scrambles into Demens(+1) and Ryan(+2), the latter of whom rakes the ball out for Michigan to fall on.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 38-17, 7 min 4th Q. Michigan scores on the next play and it's garbage time. Charting stops. The starting D does get the next drive but Taylor Martinez forced to throw is bloodsport, not useful.

What's that? You like bloodsport? Okay. Martin. Kovacs. Campbell wsg Hawthorne.

So… this happened two weeks in a row. Something approximating total domination.

It did. It's almost as if one-dimensional teams who can't throw and only have one receiver, if that, are totally screwed against this defense.

Does this remind you of anyone?

Hush, now.

Was it as dominating as it seemed?

Almost. When Nebraska picked up yards I found myself not irritated with players or frustrated with the defense's playcalling but, well, like this.

I was annoyed because WTF was that? About half of the negative RPS points in this game I'm not even mad about. When that wasn't happening Michigan was strangling them.

The one issue that may have made things look a little better than they were were Taylor Martinez errors—give or keep, run into Martin and Van Bergen or away. Nebraska had some openings they failed to take advantage of. But not many.

So are we legit? Legitimately legit?

I still have a slight fear of what happens in the event Michigan goes up against a truly good offense. I don't see any of them on the schedule save Notre Dame, against whom Michigan struggled. Iowa is okay, MSU is okay, Nebraska is okay.

But dang, man, put them up against anything short of excellent and you're dead meat. Some of the issues from earlier in the season may be an effect of not having Mike Martin performing at an insane level.

Insane level you say?

You have to see this—



Note that a paucity of plays charted—only 40—means you should multiply numbers by about 1.5 to get an average day's work. I am going to work on something that fixes this variability for next year.

Defensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Van Bergen 5.5 - 5.5 The usual production adjusted for time on field.
Martin 18 1 17 No foolies. I mean, the guy forced a pitch on a speed option.
Roh 3.5 0.5 3 Didn't get much action his way and is frequent dropper in blitz packages.
Heininger 2.5 - 2.5 Has established himself an asset.
Clark - - - Garbage time only.
Black - - - Don't blame him for the Martinez run.
Campbell 1 - 1 Also crushed face.
TOTAL 30.5 1.5 29 Flantabulous.
Player + - T Notes
Morgan 4.5 5.5 -1 Still a bit slow reading plays.
Demens 9.5 5.5 4 Three straight +4s. Surprisingly good in coverage for MLB.
Ryan 8.5 2 6.5 First real impact game.
Fitzgerald - - - DNP
Beyer 2 3.5 -1.5 Nebraska went after him in the 4-4 package and got rewarded.
Hawthorne - - - Garbage time.
Jones - - - Garbage time.
TOTAL 24.5 16.5 8 Improvement here is palpable from beginning of year.
Player + - T Notes
Floyd 4.5 4.5 0 Two route jumps, one big error.
Avery 3 - 3 Excellent coverage on a post.
Woolfolk 2 - 2 Joined PBU party.
Kovacs 6 1 5 Some excellent tackling.
T. Gordon 1.5 4 -2.5 As guilty, potentially moreso, as Floyd on the long TD.
Countess 1 3 -2 Lost leverage on big run.
Van Slyke - - - Garbage time.
TOTAL 18 12.5 5.5 Check the coverage.
Pressure 9 2 7 Doesn't even count lets kill Martinez time
Coverage 17 6 13 NUTS
Tackling 5 - 100% I can't even remember a broken tackle.
RPS 9 8 1 Ain't even mad.

So you're probably like "LOL WUT MIKE MARTIN" and yeah. I cannot emphasize enough that he forced a pitch on a speed option. I don't… I…

…I mean… how does that even happen? Just look at the crumpled heap the backside G is in.

Martin did not show up in the box score as much as he impacted the game. I want to retroactively award him the EPIC DOUBLE POINT because dang, man. Nebraska's center didn't block him all day:

I should have checked whether the above statement is the literal truth or not. Martin's day is in the UFR hall of fame.

Jake Ryan candle count?

Getting up there. If 16 is the maximum number of candles Jake Ryan can have I'd say he's gone from a 4 or 5 early in the year to 10 around now. He's already made about as much improvement as he will over the rest of his career. This does not mean he's going to top out at not awesome. When Taylor Martinez pulled on first and 20 late in the first half Ryan had sucked in a bit and you could make a case he made the right read, especially with a WR forming up for a pitch relationship outside.

Then Ryan leapt on his face.

That is great technique combined with great athleticism. He even cleverly misses the tackle to induce Martinez to give up another two yards. ("All in the game," he tells Martinez afterwards.)

Ryan with another couple candles is All Big Ten.

Did we all get too excited about Floyd last week?

Maybe a little but I'm not that down on the guy when he jumps two different routes in the same game, one of which would have been a pick six if Martinez throws it well, even if he did get sucked up on play action and help give up the long one.

Yeah, help. IME, Thomas Gordon is as much or more at fault since he is in a deep centerfield role and biffs hard.

That is not cover zero. Watch Countess on the other side of the field give up inside position on the post; he expects deep help and has none because Gordon's gone. If Gordon does not bite harrrrrrrrd on the play action this is much more difficult and possibly not a touchdown even if complete. Floyd blew it; Gordon blew it harder.

Anyway, Floyd isn't perfect. One big mistake in 11 games makes him good, though.

[SIDE NOTE: apparently Worst Waldo has not entered the vernacular here yet. An explanation: a Worst Waldo play is one like the above on which the receiver is the worst Waldo ever because he's the only one in the frame (or at least would be if the throw was any good). Some receivers, like Manningham, can generate these on their own. Usually it's the effect of a bust or a secondary overreacting to play action.]

What of Morgan?

Morgan is about where Ryan was halfway through the season. This makes sense because he's had about half the playing time and was reportedly laid up with a nagging injury of some variety. As a result he's still missing some plays available. When Nebraska started their pitch series on their final touchdown drive Michigan had the first one thumped but for #44:

While he's clearly getting better, linebacker hesitancy remains an issue with the D that may bite them if they ever face a team that can throw again.

By the way, the back to back pitches here are a great way to contrast the fill skills of Floyd (above) and Kovacs:

Floyd is bad, Kovacs elite.

What's the point of those wacky pass defense formations that have Martin as a quasi-linebacker?

I was wondering this myself, and then the answer came to me when Nebraska decided they would get Martinez killed try to make the score look nicer. When he is a delayed blitzer many teams will treat him like a linebacker, which means deploying the running back to block him. Here's how well that works:

This is also a reason Michigan's okie package flares him outside the tackle, I'm guessing.


Martin. The secondary as a whole except for that one play—take out the cover –5 on that one and the day is 17 to 1 positive, which is nuts. Ryan, RVB… take your pick, really.


Floyd, sort of, and Thomas Gordon. Basically for that one play.

What does it mean for the Game?

Michigan's tackling in space will get a test against Miller, who's liable to say "eff it" and do whatever he wants as soon as his first option is not there. What's more, Michigan's defensive line is going to see their level of competition take a big step forward.

I know OSU fans just grunted derisively at this statement, but it's true. When not snapping it into his ass, Mike Brewster is an NFL prospect at center worlds better than the fools Martin has been pwning the last three weeks. Ohio State has shown it can move guys off the ball with frustrating regularity and we may see our Will Heininger renaissance disappear into some frustrating Dave playcalls. Michigan's linebackers have been iffy at getting off blocks and will continue to be iffy this weekend.

In the air? If Posey doesn't blow up they aren't moving the ball except in erratic chunks that won't make drives. Michigan's blitz packages seem like a perfect fit here; if Miller gets spooked and scrambles there are usually seven guys in coverage. Michigan can go with a delayed blitz/spy package without making too many compromises downfield.

OSU's not going to get crushed like the last two opponents. It is not possible. They are going to have a hard time moving down the field without hitting big plays, of which there will be a couple. Miller's a scary dude like that and Posey may provide some deep passing OSU has not had to date.

After the biff by Gordon on the deep pass I'm not sure I'm totally comfortable with him in that role. Woolfolk may be less prone to breaking down and I expect to see him most of the day. Kovacs will be roving around the box for 60 minutes.


Wednesday Presser Transcript 11-23-11: Brady Hoke

Wednesday Presser Transcript 11-23-11: Brady Hoke Comment Count

Heiko November 23rd, 2011 at 3:03 PM

News bullets and other important things:

  • Brennen Beyer is the only major injury the team is dealing with. He hurt his leg.
  • Barnum is practicing, will get consideration to start.

Brady Hoke

From file, just to spice things up. Still can't believe this game happened.

Opening remarks:

“This is a great week to follow college football. Obviously with this game, I thought we had a very good practice yesterday. Hopefully we can follow that up today with our preparation. Our seniors have done a tremendous job with really the focus and the things that we need to do as a team and being the leaders out there, so it’s been good so far this week, and we just have a lot of work ahead of us.”

You say the focus was up. Has the focus gone to another level this week?

“You know, I think there’s been a lot of consistency, which is what we want to have a on weekly basis. I can’t tell you if it’s up more, but I think they understand how fun this game is.”

Do you feel like they’re focused on the fun and opportunity rather than the pressure and stakes?

“I think the consistency that we’ve had week to week, I think that the intensity of it and doing all those things has been good. I think they’ve been pretty focused on it.”

Not tight?

“This group doesn’t get tight very often.”

(more after the jump)


Picture Pages: Absolving Jibreel Black

Picture Pages: Absolving Jibreel Black Comment Count

Brian November 23rd, 2011 at 1:43 PM

If you're like me, there was a point late in the first half of the Nebraska game where you went "argh Jibreel Black" because Taylor Martinez burst outside for a big gain. After last week, when Nathan Scheelhaase got a couple of big runs because the backside end was unfamiliar with the concept of the zone read, this was a natural reaction.

A closer view shows Black was duped, but understandably so.

It's first and ten for the Huskers on the first play of their fourth drive; They come out in a pistol formation with an H-back and two WRs. Michigan is in their usual under. They've got a lot of backups in: Black, Campbell, and Beyer are three of the five folk on the line. Black is to the top of the screen.


On the snap Nebraska runs a pistol version of Michigan's staple play (this week, anyway): the belly. On the belly an H-back or FB will shoot into the backside end and the opponent will try to attack the weak spot caused in the backside of the line.

Michigan's LBs are prepared, attacking backside, and Kovacs has walked down to provide an eighth guy in the box.


The eighth guy is usually the solution to bounce issues; here having Kovacs behind him allows Black to shuffle down the line in preparation for this very play.

Except… what if you told your fullback to read the play too?


This is the frame were thing start going wrong. The fullback has convinced Black he needs to squeeze this space down, and now he's juking outside after Black has gotten set to take him on.


Now there are problems. Black has just realized Martinez has the ball. He's inside the tackle box a yard upfield. Meanwhile, the fullback has released outside to get the contain guy.


Because this is Taylor Martinez versus a defensive end the corner will be achieved. Kovacs takes the blocker on, but this is Kovacs kryptonite. Dude runs at your face in space. Block him and he gets put on skates.


Kovacs does not have a real good time here as he ends up giving up leverage eight yards downfield. Floyd is late arriving because he is in man coverage over a guy going deep and has a 54-yard pass in the back of his head.


I don't think the linebackers did a stellar job here—there are a couple of frames where they can reach out and touch each other—but when the ball goes outside the numbers behind a blocker they aren't doing much no matter how well they play.

Martinez jets down the sidelines, where he's barely forced by Floyd.


Nebraska would get outside on the next play for 23 yards before a holding call and Jake Ryan stunning Martinez with his acceleration put Nebraska in a big hole; they would punt on fourth and forever.


Items of interest

This could just be a playcall but I think it's a read. Nebraska's offensive coordinator is a mad scientist tinkerer who pulls out inverted veer triple options and inverted veer to speed options and it's not like Nebraska can possibly be doing anything else in practice other than relentlessly repping the option game. So I think this is not an out and out call but the fullback and the quarterback both reading the DE doing his shuffle down the line and punishing him for it.

So… yeah, this isn't on Black. Black was optioned off by a clever play requiring coordination between multiple readers and would have been wrong no matter what. Kovacs rolling down to the outside should free him to defend the belly, which Black does until it's clear he's in trouble.

If Black goes outside Burkhead's roaring upfield with Kovacs pulled outside. That is much worse news than what actually happened.

Kovacs gets owned. Not to be too hard on him because like some of the other stuff Nebraska pulled out of their bag of tricks this is a situation where you're caught off guard by the play developing in front of you. Martinez pulls, and the thought process goes:

Okay: I have to get infield to cut off cutbacks and then if he tries to bounce I will use KOVACSPOWER to tackle him in the open field.

But then it goes:

What's this? A blocker? My one weakness! Nooooooooooo…

This happened with some frequency last year when Kovacs was rolled up to the line more frequently. Some fullback or OL would latch on and then just donkey him off the field. This is not a huge problem for a safety—it's much more important to be able to run at guys full speed without ever missing a tackle—but I don't think anyone was surprised when this scenario on the edge went poorly.

Confusing the hell out of Michigan was the only way Nebraska moved the ball. Nebraska got Michigan misaligned here and there, caught guys off guard here and there, and burned JT Floyd (and Thomas Gordon) on play action. Other than that they got almost literally nothing. Michigan destroyed them up front.

Yes, I did exhale "finally" when this happened. I have been pining for this play since about two seconds after the UConn game started. It seems evil, unfair. So why didn't Nebraska run it again? I don't know. Maybe they didn't have an opportunity what with the fumbles and Mike Martin destroying stuff before they could get back to it.

Michigan's been running a lot of blocking schemes like this and it never seems like the QB and TE/FB are on the same page. When we do get a shuffle scheme with linebacker contain and Koger moves to the second level to block, Denard biffs it. Other times a slot LB gets sent and Koger goes upfield to block the guy who is containing the handoff.

O let do it. Nevermind. Need to rep it.

Nebraska's offense might ignite at some point in the next couple years. Martinez is a sophomore and has a couple more years to get better at his reads, and you can see pieces here and there of an offense that makes you wrong even in the world of scrape exchanges and whatnot.

I'm not saying it will happen. Their offensive line will have to get a ton better if they're going to get away with Martinez's arm. But if they get the blocking taken care of and maybe find a wide receiver who's not a liability, I can see Nebraska turning into an offense you loathe playing.


Opponent Watch: Week 12

Opponent Watch: Week 12 Comment Count

Heiko November 23rd, 2011 at 11:32 AM

(Wait. Which one is Michigan playing again?)

About Last Weekend:

No. 16 Nebraska 17, No. 18 Michigan 45 (W)

"Guess why I smile a lot."


"Uh, 'cause it's worth it."


The Road Ahead:

Ohio State (6-5, 3-4 B1G)

Getty / via the Huffington Post


  • Akron, 42-0 (W)
  • Toledo, 27-22 (W)
  • @ Miami, 24-6 (L)
  • Colorado, 37-17 (W)
  • Michigan State, 10-7 (L)
  • @ No. 14 Nebraska, 34-27 (L)
  • @ No. 16 Illinois, 17-7 (W)
  • No. 15 Wisconsin, 33-29 (W)
  • Indiana, 34-20
  • @ Purdue 26-23 OT (LOL)

Last game: No. 21 Penn State 20, Ohio State 14 (L)

Recap: Recap. Have to do a recap. Last recap. Gotta finish by the end of Tuesday. Tuesday's over. Damn. Gotta finish by Wednesday. One-day-late Championship recap. Okay.

... Ohio State fell into a hole early. Penn State RB Stephfon Green took a run up the middle, evaded some tackles, and sprinted 39 yards for a touchdown. 7-0 Nittany Lions.

The ensuing Buckeyes drive stalled because Ohio State C Mike Brewster snapped the ball into his ass while QB Braxton Miller was in shotgun formation. (I think this is when this particular bad snap happened. Bad snaps happened many times throughout this game. I think Brewster ended up blaming it on his gloves.)

Penn State drove and got a field goal, miring the Buckeyes in their third 10-0 deficit in as many weeks.

Ohio State wasn’t dead, though. Not yet. Miller ran the option to good effect and scored on a 24-yard keeper; most of the Buckeyes’ large chunks on the ground came from his option keepers, which is to say he kept the ball every time. He and Denard are both members of the “never pitch” movement.

That’s not anything relevant, but I google imaged “option keeper” and it’s what I got.

Also, WR DeVier Posey returned from suspension. He didn’t make a huge impact (4 catches, 66 yards), but he was pretty much the entire passing offense, and he did do this.

All of this game’s points were scored in the first half before the allure of B1G football got the better of both teams. Penn State scored another touchdown and field goal in the first half but failed to convert on a redzone opportunity in the second half when Ohio State turned the ball over on a fumble.

On that possession, the Buckeyes defense mounted an impressive goal-line stand to keep the Nittany Lions out of the end zone.

The second Buckeye touchdown came in the second quarter when Braxton Miller found TE Jake Stoneburner on a deep crossing route in the end zone. It was an impressive throw. Something tells me that he might eventually be pretty good when he’s given a real offense to work with.

You probably know the rest. Ohio State drove ferociously for a Hail Mary opportunity in the final minutes, but the first fourth-down conversion fell short when a Miller scramble, set back by a false-start penalty, fell short of the first down marker. The second attempt after a quick Penn State three-and-out fell incomplete because Penn State actually knows how to cover receivers. Unlike you, Wisconsin. For shame.

Right now they are as frightening as: Voldemort down to his last Horcrux.

Michigan should worry about: When you look at Miller’s highlight reel, the thing that stands out is that he scrambles effectively to buy time for his receivers to get open. He keeps his eyes downfield, and his instincts are usually good when it comes to finally tucking and running. A lot of his game-winning or almost-game-winning touchdowns came when he danced around in the backfield for some length before finding his target.

To get to him, Michigan’s secondary will need to stay on receivers for a lot longer than they’re used to, and D-line discpline will be essential. If he’s able to break through the containment, Miller will make plays.

Michigan can sleep soundly about: The Nittany Lions rushed for 239 yards on not that many carries. Their running backs consistently found enormous holes in the Buckeyes defensive line and frequently had to be tracked down from behind by linebackers. It looked like Ohio State’s defensive line was caught in pass rush mode at the wrong times -- the ends were way overcommitted, allowing the backs to run right by them.

Next game: No. 15 That School Up North 

(more after the jump)


Tuesday Presser Transcript 11-21-11: Greg Mattison

Tuesday Presser Transcript 11-21-11: Greg Mattison Comment Count

Heiko November 22nd, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Greg Mattison

from file

When you were considering coming back here, was being able to play in this rivalry game again part of your decision-making?

“No. Honestly I can’t say that. I mean, I’d like to say yeah. That goes with coming back to Michigan. If you coach at the University of Michigan, playing this game is the biggest rivalry in college athletics. But I don’t think you think about that and say 'I’m going to come back so I can coach in that game.'”

What memories of this game stick out to you?

“Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I can remember this game probably better than any other game. I had the opportunity to play them six times, five times here. They’re a good football team. There’s no question about it. It’s what college football’s all about, this game. You always remember those games.”

Everybody talks about scheme, but tackling is the foundation. How do you tackle well?

“By getting a lot of people to the football. I think if you watch any defense and you see one person trying to make a tackle, you’ll see a team that’s not a very good tackling team. But if you see a lot of people around that football, then you see teams that do well tackling. The big thing is, it closes the space. It closes the opportunity for a running back to cut.”

Is that effort or scheme?

“I think most of defensive football is effort. Wanting to get to the football. We talk about it all the time. When you look at somebody pursue, you always have to talk about ‘Why are you pursuing?’ Are you pursuing because that coach says you’re supposed to run to the football or are you pursuing to try to go make a tackle? I think that players understand that after a while that ‘Hey, my job is to tackle the football, so I have to pursue to get there,’ and that’s effort.”

(more after the jump)


Tuesday Presser Transcript 11-22-11: Al Borges

Tuesday Presser Transcript 11-22-11: Al Borges Comment Count

Heiko November 22nd, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Al Borges

from file

Have you noticed any difference in Brady this week at all?

“Not really, no. I mean, it’s Ohio, so he’s fired up about that, but in terms of prep, no. It’s not just another game, but it is pretty much just the same preparation.”

How has the focus been?

“Well we haven’t practiced yet. We did a little bit Sunday, but it was off the charts. You can tell that there’s a little more pep in the step”

Was last Saturday as complete a performance you’ve seen from Denard this year?

“I think yeah, it would rank among one of the top ones. We’ve been encouraging him so much, and in this game particularly, to pull the ball down when guys aren’t open. And he did that, and it made a difference, so that helped us keep some drives alive. We’re going to continue to do that, but because the way they played their defense particularly … there were some opportunities to pull it down and run. He did [throw the ball], when there were open receivers … there were a couple throws that were a little ill-advised but for the most part he played a solid football game.”

What do you think has kept him from scrambling previously?

“Yeah, sometimes as a quarterback, and everyone I’ve had is like that -- they want to prove that they can throw the ball, but there’s a point where you have to use your skills. We talked about it before, I said, ‘You have to use your skills more. You have great skills. Let’s make these guys pay for some of this stuff.' He took it to heart. Here’s the delicate balance: you don’t want to turn down open receivers. If you start looking to run every time you drop back, you can’t pass the ball. You can’t do that. That has to be something that’s instinctive or just comes from a result from the receivers being covered. But you can’t drop back and say every play’s a quarterback draw and then if somebody’s open, throw it, and expect to have any sort of passing game. That’s absurd. I don’t care how good the running quarterback is. That being said, where does one start in the other end? But in this game we were a little more quarterback-is-going-to-be-the-check-down oriented. And we’re like that anyway.”

(more after the jump.)