This Week's Obsession: Ridikuhlis

This Week's Obsession: Ridikuhlis Comment Count

Seth November 12th, 2014 at 12:05 PM

A man in my position cannot afford to be made to look ridikuhlis.

Ace: Brian and I did a segment on this week's podcast in which we each listed our top five most ridiculous games of the Hoke era. Not only were our bottom three picks entirely different, but between Twitter and the comments at least a dozen games that didn't make the cut were suggested as meriting inclusion, and... it was really hard to argue with a lot of them.

So let's try this again. List and explain your top five, perhaps mention a few dishonorable mentions, and feel free to explain your methodology—I'm intentionally leaving "ridiculous" open to interpretation.


BiSB: I just drew up a quick list of candidates. There are 16 games on that list. I HATE ALL THE THINGS.


Ace: Now remember that the very first game Hoke coached featured two Brandon Herron touchdowns and was called due to a biblical storm before the third quarter ended...

Even the wins, man. Even the wins.


[After the jump: we discuss 60% of the games under Hoke]


Upon Further Review 2013: Offense vs Penn State

Upon Further Review 2013: Offense vs Penn State Comment Count

Brian October 17th, 2013 at 8:29 PM

FORMATION NOTES: More tackle over stuff. This is the aforementioned play in Picture Pages that's just an I-Form with Lewan and Schofield flipped, mostly notable for PSU's super heavy package on the DL. Penn State brought this out three or four times.


They had one snap in an offset pro-form with Hayes in the backfield.


And, of course… this.


SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Gardner all the way at QB save one Morris snap after Gardner's helmet popped off. Toussaint almost all the way at RB; some scattered Green, and one Justice Hayes snap in a two-back look. Norfleet got one snap, a fake jet sweep that led to a middle screen.

At TE, Butt and Williams played a ton; Funchess put his hand down every once in a while but was mostly part of the WR rotation. That rotation has almost entirely come down to Gallon, Chesson, Funchess, and Dileo; Jackson got one snap IIRC and Reynolds none.

The OL was a revolving door. Magnuson first came in to replace Williams in tackle over sets after Williams gave up a sack, then replaced Lewan, with Schofield moving to left tackle and Magnuson generally existing on the right. Burzynski first replaced Kalis after his personal foul and then played most of the second half and overtime in place of Bryant.

[After THE JUMP: probably a rainbow of kittens]


Upon Further Review 2013: Defense vs Penn State

Upon Further Review 2013: Defense vs Penn State Comment Count

Brian October 17th, 2013 at 2:28 PM

FORMATION NOTES: Some additional  things in this game. This was a special situation, but when PSU hurried to the line in the first quarter to attempt it on fourth and one, Michigan responded with the perfect pinched-line D:

4-4 pinch

This punched PSU off the field and earned Mattison a gold star.

Michigan occasionally split their LBs in the nickel package in what I called 5-1-nickel:


And they took to a thing where they're standing the WDE before the snap like so:


This has almost always meant he's dropping.

Finally, everyone milling about presnap with no one with a hand down:


This was just Okie in my book.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Secondary was as per usual, with Stribling getting in on a couple of dime packages in the second half and replacing Avery on the Fatal Bomb Drive. ILB was basically the same; Morgan and Ross spotted by Bolden. SAM saw a three-guy rotation with Beyer, Ryan, and Cam Gordon all getting snaps.

The line was also about per usual: Heitzman/Washington/Black/Clark with Wormley/Ash/Henry/Ojemudia spotting. Ash's snaps were extremely scanty, FWIW. When Washington was out it was more often two of Henry/Wormley/Black than Ash.

[After THE JUMP: a heroic 43 allowed.]


Wednesday Presser Transcript 10-16-13: Brady Hoke

Wednesday Presser Transcript 10-16-13: Brady Hoke Comment Count

Heiko October 16th, 2013 at 5:02 PM


  • The coaches had to take Taylor Lewan's helmet from him during the game to keep him off the field. He should be good to go Saturday though.
  • Everybody's rotating at guard. Except Ben Braden. I heard second-hand that Joey Burzynski and Kyle Bosch took a lot of 1st team reps yesterday, but who knows what it will be today.
  • I don't think we've seen the last of "tackle over."


Opening remarks:

“We had a good practice yesterday. I thought we had a lot of energy. This is a pretty resilient group. I think they’ve proven that throughout the year. I think the leadership’s been good. Especially the senior class and the captains have taken their roles very seriously and have done a great job of how we approach each day. We have a big test on Saturday against Indiana from an offensive perspective. They’re top three in a lot of categories in our league. Have a lot of skill players. I think their offensive line got a little beat up through the course of the year, but they’re very athletic. Run very well in that system. They’re going to try to create some space with different things formationally. Defensively they have some new faces in there. I think the secondary and the linebackers they’re very active. It’s a good football team and Kevin [Wilson’s] done a nice job.”

Potential changes on the offensive line?

“We’ll see. Guys are working hard.”

In the last couple weeks, you’ve known by this point in the week what the switch would be.

“But I don’t know by now this week.”


27 For 27: A Document

27 For 27: A Document Comment Count

Brian October 16th, 2013 at 3:53 PM

[SITE NOTE: Due to a confluence of things including a long drive home, four overtimes, thrilling CONCACAF qualifier business, the Tigers, this post, and a desire to stab my eyeballs whenever I look at the tape, UFR is not quite done and will go up tomorrow.]

Fitzgerald Toussaint set a Michigan record for sustained futility on Saturday by running for 27 yards on 27 carries. Since 1949, no other back has gotten as many carries without gaining at least twice as many yards. Posterity demands that someone detail what happened.

A note: blame is apportioned. When things are designated playcall it's because I don't believe it's reasonable to expect Michigan to block player X, either because he's an extra guy in the box or he's tearing towards the line of scrimmage on the snap because he has no fear of a pass. You can adjust your personal indignation levels on this based on how reasonable you thought running into stacked boxes was vis a vis Devin Gardner's 13 YPA and constant turnover threat; I'm just trying to figure out how much of the run splat was preordained by playcalls.

Ready? No. I know you're not. But here we go anyway.



Play: Power O
Formation: Tackle over I Form H
Yards: -3

Why it didn't work:

  1. Graham Glasgow ignored the NT.
  2. Predictable playcall sees PSU linebackers flow hard with effectively nine in the box.
  3. Jake Butt gets beat badly by a PSU LB in the hole.

Blame: 80% OL, 10% playcall, %10 TE/FB



Play: Zone stretch.
Formation: Tackle over I Form big
Yards: -3

Why it didn't work:

  1. PSU has straight up nine in the box.
  2. Michigan tries to be clever by running at Williams and Bryant, both of whom get destroyed.
  3. Schofield leaves immediately, so Lewan has no shot at the backside tackle.

Blame: 30% TE/FB, 30% OL, 40% playcall



Play: Power O
Formation: Tackle over Ace H
Yards: 12

Why it didn't work:

  1. Actually it did work.
  2. It works because Schofield gets nice push, giving Toussaint a crease. Glasgow gets movement on a DT and the eighth guy in the box for PSU tries to get over to the frontside when he should probably stack this up near the LOS.

Blame: Everyone is happy!



Play: Counter
Formation: Tackle over trips TE
Yards: 1

Why it didn't work:

  1. Seven guys in the box against six blockers; extra guy makes the stop.
  2. PSU WLB doesn't get suckered by the counter, gives Glasgow no shot to block him.
  3. Kalis gets shed, falling to the ground.

Blame: 80% playcall, 20% OL.

[After THE JUMP: just don't click through. I'm sorry I even did this.]


This Week's Obsession: Extent of Panic

This Week's Obsession: Extent of Panic Comment Count

Seth October 16th, 2013 at 1:04 PM


Another identity. [Upchurch]

We predicted at the start of the season that Michigan is talented enough to finish with 9 or 10 wins given normal progression and competent coaching—more if they get the breaks to go their way. After flirting with several disasters before finally succumbing to one, it is clear that the progression is way behind schedule and the offensive play-calling in a severe detriment.

The coaching staff:

Brian completely insane.

Seth finally past my patience point.

Ace and 12; let's line up in an unbalanced formation and run into a 9-man front.

Mathe definition of insanity is actually the definition of science, and Michigan's offense is scientific proof that bashing one's head into a wall repeatedly is not a successful strategy, which most people knew without the study.

Coach broken; it's dead Jim.

Heiko you know the bubble screen is open.

Blue in so long dreams of beating Ohio State.


Time to reassess the season. Can Michigan defeat anyone left on their schedule and make a bowl this year? Will the coaches be able to find offensive competence? What's the expected fallout of a bad November? Is this a massive overreaction?

Mathlete: Pros:

Would we be this upset if Gibbons made one more FG like he does always? Honestly yes but we'd feel less inclined to feel like it's the right time to criticize. [Upchurch]
  • We are a Gibbon's chip shot from being 6-0 right now.
  • Devin Gardner leading this offense can be very dangerous.
  • This defense has been solid and just got's its biggest playmaker back.
  • Michigan should be at least a toss up if not favored against the remaining schedule before The Game, which is at home this year.
  • We're rightfully furious at last weekend's game plan in a game in which we scored 34 points in regulation.


  • That game plan was dreadful and it was far from the first.
  • The defense is far from dominant.
  • At this point, there are no gimmes left on the schedule.

Where does that leave us, I have no clue. This is both a seriously flawed team and a team that has played far below its potential and is nearly undefeated. I could see this team going 5-1 and playing for a Big Ten title. They could also go 2-4 and limp to the finish. Will the coaches find offensive competence? If they don't have it now, no reason to indicate its going to change. There will be some lip service and probably some window dressing but I'm not expecting any fundamental changes.

Chances are this is the low point but there will certainly be more pain ahead. I have no clue what Hoke is thinking now. He came in talking MANBALL at first it seemed more lip service to the faithful than true philosophy. Over the last two seasons or so things have been creeping back to a results/personnel/performance independent MANBALL philosophy. Realistically, things will look slightly better over the course of the year but the fundamental problems will hold. My guess is that in a world where things don't really change, there is enough success that Hoke gives Borges another year with some of the new toys a year older before seriously considering a change.

A tire fire conclusion to the season would obviously change that timeline, but I don't see that happening. There are enough pieces in place for this team to finish out with at least eight wins and nine is certainly still on the table. The sky isn't falling as fast as it seems this week but at this point I feel comfortable putting a solid ceiling on the offense. The talent will be there to dominate 8-9 games every year but the remaining games will be end up being various levels of excruciating.



Picture Pages: Tackle Over Prep

Picture Pages: Tackle Over Prep Comment Count

Brian October 16th, 2013 at 11:03 AM

In this edition of why Michigan couldn't run against Penn State, here's a second-quarter zone stretch that goes for one yard. Michigan comes out in what looks like a traditional I-Form but has the tackle over thing where Lewan and Williams swap spaces.


Unlike virtually all of Michigan's runs from their tackle over formation, Penn State backs off this one. They've got two deep safeties and a gray area defender, but it's seven-ish in the box. Michigan will get one yard.

I'm trying to figure things out here and eventually it occurs to me that Penn State's line looks awfully damn big. Didn't Ace say Penn State's defensive ends were 250 pounds and liable to blow away in a stiff breeze?

/googles "penn state roster"

/sorts by number



From top to bottom, these gentlemen are:

  1. A 258 pound DE
  2. A 281 pound DT
  3. A 280 pound DT
  4. A 302 pound DT
  5. A 318 pound DT

Schofield gets rocked back by Johnson, Lewan can't put Jones in the bench, Glasgow and Kalis can't scoop Gaia, and Michigan does not "execute up front," because Penn State figures that if Michigan is going to tell 'em where they're running they're going to put four DTs on the field and line their best up over Michigan's tackles.

Coordinators have to execute, too. Penn State's DC did his prep work.

Items of Interest

Well, poop. Yep.


Tuesday Presser Transcript 10-15-13: Greg Mattison and Al Borges

Tuesday Presser Transcript 10-15-13: Greg Mattison and Al Borges Comment Count

Heiko October 16th, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Greg Mattison

What are you stressing in practice this week?

“Well, getting ready for Indiana and getting ready for the rest of our season. It’s playing fast. Teams we play send a lot of tempo at you, and sometimes the next play is in 7 seven. It’s guys getting back to the huddle, it’s guys getting the signal on the fly, all those things. The good thing is we’ve been working on the rotation all along. If a guy has to play five plays rather than three plays, fine, we’ll get them in and out that way.”

Some teams prepare for a high tempo offense by having two entire scout offenses rotate in and out. Do you do that at all?

“Well Brady does a great job with that. We’ve played against this kind of offense before. Brady does a great job getting the tempo as fast as it can be.”


MGoPodcast 5.6: DEBACLE

MGoPodcast 5.6: DEBACLE


Roy Manning facepalm at left. [Bryan Fuller]


We read our @ mentions! We talk about the late game decision-making, bleed into talking about the offense, and then sigh at each other about overtime.




Heroic despite the 43 points. Basically five turnovers you guys.


We deeply regret all things said about Michigan State earlier this year and would like the football gods to absolve us.


"Across 110th Street."
"Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now," The Smiths
"William, It Was Really Nothing," The Smiths
"This Night Has Opened My Eyes," The Smiths

The usual links: