Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs Indiana

Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs Indiana Comment Count

Brian November 22nd, 2018 at 12:52 PM
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image-6_thumb_thumb5_thumb_thumb_thu[2]SPONSOR NOTE: Hey folks, this column is made possible in part by Matt Demorest, who's been one of our longest-term sponsors. He's also caused a steady stream of unfailingly high praise to hit my inbox from people who use his services. He is a person who will get you a mortgage right quick from the comfort of your own home. If you need one, he's the man, man.

FORMATION NOTES: Pretty much the standard by this point in the season: Michigan alternates between 1 and 3 TEs, spends 70% of its time in the gun and/or pistol, uses Ben Mason a little bit less than you'd like, and has largely abandoned Stanford-esque manball formations.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: QB, OL as per usual except Bushell-Beatty came out after the first two drives and Stueber went the rest of the way. Higdon resumed taking the plurality of RB snaps, with Evans, Mason and Wilson spotting him about half the time. Mason got some FB snaps as well; Wangler had a couple out of the pistol.

WR and TE were about usual too. Black got more snaps; Bell and Martin fewer than last week, but it was still Collins and DPJ most of the time with Perry in the slot. Michigan was slightly less TE heavy, with McKeon and Gentry out there about two-thirds of the time; Eubanks got his usual 15-20.

[After THE JUMP: everything but the girl]

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Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs Rutgers

Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs Rutgers Comment Count

Brian November 15th, 2018 at 7:40 PM

image-6_thumb_thumb5_thumb_thumb_thu[2]SPONSOR NOTE: Reminder that Matt is hanging out at the Charity Tailgate at 327 East Hoover (if you were at the preseason MGoEvents this year and last it's the same place). There are food trucks, beer, televisions, a giant colorful bus, and it's right next to Revelli so the band will march past. Check it out.

When not tailgating Matt is also a person who will get you a mortgage right quick from the comfort of your own home. If you need one, he's the man, man.

FORMATION NOTES: Pretty much the usual with shotgun and pistol dominating Michigan's formations, usually with at least two TEs on the field. 3 WR snaps were limited; there were another 12 snaps with 3 TEs. These latter were usually from under center and made up a majority of Michigan's under-center snaps.

The fullback is not a frequent participant, still.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: The usual at QB and OL. Michigan did not extend Peters's brief-as-possible cameo past the one snap because the ensuing possession with Joe Milton was with the backup line, and Milton got quick pressure as a result.

RB was an almost even distribution of snaps between Evans, Wilson, and Higdon. This might have been Rutgers-related or it might have been because Higdon made a number of bad cuts. Ben Mason was once again facing limited deployment with maybe a dozen snaps.

WR was a nearly equal rotation between the two established starters, Oliver Marin, and Ronnie Bell, with Grant Perry and Tarik Black getting about a dozen snaps. McKeon and Gentry were near-omnipresent at TE, with Eubanks mostly getting in on 3TE snaps. Luke Schoonmaker saw his first action of the year.

The backup OL was Ulizio/Filiaga/Vastardis/Spanellis/Stueber. Jalen Mayfield continues to head for a redshirt.

[After the JUMP: throwz!]

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Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs Wisconsin

Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs Wisconsin Comment Count

Brian October 18th, 2018 at 4:24 PM

image-6_thumb_thumb5_thumb_thumb_thu[1]SPONSOR NOTE: Reminder that Matt is hanging out at the Charity Tailgate at 327 East Hoover (if you were at the preseason MGoEvents this year and last it's the same place). There are food trucks, beer, televisions, a giant colorful bus, and it's right next to Revelli so the band will march past. Check it out.

When not tailgating Matt is also a person who will get you a mortgage right quick from the comfort of your own home. If you need one, he's the man, man.

FORMATION NOTES: Michigan's most gun-heavy game of the year with just 18 under-center snaps vs 43 from the gun or pistol. Unlike previous games Michigan was perfectly happy to run from the gun on short yardage. There wasn't a whole lot of weird stuff by formation. Michigan had a couple of quads packages, one from a bunch and the other more spread out.

Wisconsin stuck in their base 3-4 defense for virtually the whole game, with the exception of passing downs.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Mostly the usual. OL the starting five the whole way. At QB McCaffrey and Milton both got a a few snaps. Two of those came during the competitive portion of the contest. Evans returned and got backup snaps behind Higdon. Wilson was all but absent until about halfway through the fourth. Christian Turner used up game #2 with a few late carries.

Collins and DPJ backed by Martin and Bell at WR, as per usual. Very little Grant Perry—ten snaps and change—as Michigan played a ton of 2TE sets. McKeon and Gentry were both on the field for large chunks of the game; Eubanks got a few snaps.

The thing that stood out most was the lack of Ben Mason, who didn't have a role on those 2TE shotgun snaps but also ceded some playing time to Wangler.

[After THE JUMP: fire up the ground game]

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Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs Maryland

Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs Maryland Comment Count

Brian October 10th, 2018 at 5:44 PM

image-6_thumb_thumb5_thumb_thumb_thu[2]SPONSOR NOTE: Reminder that Matt is hanging out at the Charity Tailgate at 327 East Hoover (if you were at the preseason MGoEvents this year and last it's the same place). There are food trucks, beer, televisions, a giant colorful bus, and it's right next to Revelli so the band will march past. Check it out.

When not tailgating Matt is also a person who will get you a mortgage right quick from the comfort of your own home. If you need one, he's the man, man.

FORMATION NOTES: Michigan added an entire bomber wing to the right side of their line for various snaps:

image

These were part of a larger 3TE package that also had some more balanced looks, one from the gun. These were almost all runs. The above package specifically was a way to use the Big Big Boys on dive plays without exposing the backs to interlopers from the outside.

The rest of the day was pretty much par for the course. There were a few more pistol snaps(7), a couple of which featured the biggest lineup Michigan can muster save for Oliver Martin's presence, which is RB Mason, FB Wangler, and two TEs.

I had 26 snaps from under center, 7 from the pistol, and 36 from the gun, FWIW.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Mostly the usual. Large uptick in Wangler snaps, possibly as middle finger to DJ Durkin. Higdon got the large bulk of the RB snaps, with a few going to Mason and Wilson. Bell and Martin have settled in as the backup outside WRs. Gentry barely left the field; McKeon also got a ton of snaps. Eubanks got maybe ten as Michigan used some 3TE sets.

OL was the usual.

[after THE JUMP: it's a Zentry(!) kind of day]

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View from the Sidelines: Now what?

View from the Sidelines: Now what? Comment Count

Ethan Sears October 6th, 2018 at 9:43 PM

The obvious question came with an obvious answer.

 

Do you guys feel like you’re adequately prepared for Wisconsin next week?

 

“Absolutely,” said Cesar Ruiz. After Michigan's 42-21 dismissal of Maryland, it was hard to expect another answer.

 

The obvious follow-up — why? — continued the pattern. Michigan has been preparing well, practicing well and, all things considered, playing well. Yet, after six weeks, we know little more about this team than we did in August.

 

Well, let’s walk that back a little bit. We know Shea Patterson is as good as advertised, that the defense hasn’t lost a step, that the offensive line maybe isn’t all that bad. But all six games have gone, more or less, the way they were supposed to go. A one-score loss at Notre Dame in Patterson’s first game where a couple 50/50 plays went the Irish’s way; blowout wins against Western Michigan, SMU and Nebraska; a comeback victory at Northwestern; a game that defined routine against Maryland.

 

That’s half of the regular season, and other than a bad first half in Evanston, there’s been little outside the realm of the expected. Starting right now though, with a gauntlet of Wisconsin, at Michigan State and Penn State, we’re going to figure out what this team is.

 

[After THE JUMP: Unpacking this]

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Michigan 42, Maryland 21

Michigan 42, Maryland 21 Comment Count

Adam Schnepp October 6th, 2018 at 6:25 PM

[Upchurch]

Deep in the fourth quarter, Michigan lined up from seven yards out in an offset I-form on first-and-goal. Fullback Ben Mason took his place as the deep back and Jared Wangler, the one-time linebacker, was aligned two yards behind Shea Patterson and offset to his left. Patterson took the snap, turned to his right, and faked a handoff to Mason while Wangler ran across the front, dipped inside a shuffling defensive end, and found himself all alone on the right side. Seeing Patterson rolled to his right while Wangler flattened his route and started running for the front corner of the end zone. Patterson hit him in front of the maize “N” in Michigan’s end zone scrawl, and a game that was marked by domination in all other box score metrics finally reflected that on the scoreboard.

Scoring out of a two-fullback set was extremely BIG TENNNN enough to justifiably grab the attention of Michigan twitter, but the catch was more than a novelty: it was a sign of what Michigan’s offense can be. The athleticism of Michigan’s fullbacks allowed them to play two at once without tipping run or pass, the offensive line gave the backs and quarterback time and space, Karan Higdon made smart cuts that helped keep the offense on schedule, the receivers brought in almost everything thrown their way, and the tight ends were Patterson’s go-to chain-movers. The Wolverines scored on seven of their 10 drives, including their final six.

With the exception of a flubbed kickoff that Ty Johnson took 98 yards for a touchdown, Michigan shut Maryland down, full stop. Maryland’s run game was a test for Michigan, particularly with the perfectly timed handoffs off of jet action that Maryland deployed; excising the 78 rushing yards Maryland racked up on a garbage-time drive down 28 points with four minutes left, the Terps rushed for 69 yards on 31 carries. 133 of their 220 total yards came in the fourth quarter, as did 101 of their 147 rushing yards. Maryland converted 38.5% of their third downs, which is only surprising because their average distance to go on third down was 9.3 yards and Brandon Watson's pick-six came on third down. The defensive standout today was the defense as a whole, though Tyree Kinnel, Devin Bush, Josh Ross, and Khaleke Hudson also get special mention for knowing when to fill and for holding down big gains; unsurprisingly, these four were Michigan’s leading tacklers.

[More after THE JUMP]

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Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs Northwestern

Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs Northwestern Comment Count

Brian October 4th, 2018 at 5:31 PM

[Patrick Barron]

image-6_thumb_thumb5_thumb_thumb_thuSPONSOR NOTE: Reminder that Matt is hanging out at the Charity Tailgate at 327 East Hoover (if you were at the preseason MGoEvents this year and last it's the same place). Food trucks, beer, TVs, and also those things. When not tailgating Matt is also a person who will get you a mortgage right quick from the comfort of your own home. If you need one, he's the man, man.

FORMATION NOTES: Even more gun/pistol than usual. Up to almost 70%, and a number of the exceptions were short yardage/goal line stuff. I have just 11 snaps with a fullback on the field, and here's something I never thought I'd say: that's probably not enough.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: At this point this is all as expected. OL, QB, RB, FB the usual given Chris Evans's injury. Wilson got scattered snaps and nobody else saw the field at RB; Wangler got a few snaps but it was Mason when there was a FB. The most notable item was dearth of McKeon snaps after his drop. Usually one drop doesn't get you exiled. I wonder if something else was going on.

DPJ, Perry, and Collins got the large bulk of the WR snaps, with Martin and Bell getting the remainder. There was a distinctly Carr-ish thing where Michigan tended to tip run when Martin and Bell were in.

[After THE JUMP: a bit of a festivus]

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Upon Further Review: Offense vs SMU

Upon Further Review: Offense vs SMU Comment Count

Brian September 19th, 2018 at 6:54 PM

[Patrick Barron]

image-6_thumb_thumb5_thumbSPONSOR NOTE: Reminder that Matt is hanging out at the Charity Tailgate at 327 East Hoover (if you were at the preseason MGoEvents this year and last it's the same place). Food trucks, beer, TVs, and also those things. When not tailgating Matt is also a person who will get you a mortgage right quick from the comfort of your own home. If you need one, he's the man, man.

FORMATION NOTES: Closer to a 50/50 gun/under-center split, although a high number of goal line snaps (6) and short yardage I-Form (5) distort things. Outside of short yardage is was close to the 2/3rds gun ratio we've seen so far this year. SMU responded by playing MSU's defense, more or less:

4-3 over

4-3 over, over and over. Their safeties were less aggressive; their linebackers were more aggressive; their CBs were more prone to off coverage than press. Still pretty close.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: As per usual on the OL and at TE. With Higdon out, Wilson got maybe a third of the snaps. O'Maury Samuels got one near the end. WR rotation also pretty much what you'd expect, except Grant Perry got a fair amount of his PT as an outside WR since Michigan ran a ton of 2TE sets—2/3rds of their snaps. There were even three 3TE sets.

Ben Mason got his usual dozen snaps, in this case heavily slanted to short yardage.

[After THE JUMP: run woes, or no?]

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Monday Presser 9-17-18: Jim Harbaugh

Monday Presser 9-17-18: Jim Harbaugh Comment Count

Ethan Sears September 18th, 2018 at 12:03 PM

[Upchurch]

Things discussed:

  • Harbaugh has thoughts on the penalties. Especially the targeting. Don't get him started on the targeting.
  • Shea Patterson continues to be good
  • Hassan Haskins is working with the LBs
  • Injury updates on Karan Higdon, Chris Evans, Aubrey Solomon and Jacob West

[After THE JUMP: Harbaugh was kinda personable!]

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Wednesday presser 9-13-18: Ed Warinner

Wednesday presser 9-13-18: Ed Warinner Comment Count

Ethan Sears September 13th, 2018 at 1:13 AM

Things discussed:

  • Some Jalen Mayfield and James Hudson excitement
  • Insight into Cesar Ruiz's progress
  • Warinner on how he looks for and measures improvement on the O-line
  • A non-comment on the Urban Meyer situation

[After THE JUMP: Boy, sure seems like they want to do something about those tackles]

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