Monday Presser Notes 11-16-09

Monday Presser Notes 11-16-09

Submitted by Tim on November 16th, 2009 at 3:06 PM

Rich Rodriguez

  • Brandon Minor is still nicked up, but he'll go if he can. Carlos's knee is still bothering him a little bit. Vincent Smith played well, Shaw "did some good things." Backups will be ready if the starters can't go.
  • "Legends are made in the Michigan-Ohio State game." Good feel for the rivalry. Doesn't take long to understand it. Don't have to coach or play here to get the intensity of it. What will it take to turn the rivalry around? Having a better team than the opponent. Emotion and passion will carry the team a little bit. The more experienced team (OSU) will be able to stem a tide of emotion. Use the big rivalry factor to help guys focus on preparation during the game. Win over OSU means something special especially for the seniors. Team has overcome a little adversity, that would be important for them. Try to accentuate the positives this week. It's an easy game to get them excited for. Our guys know it's a big challenge. You always have a chance. We have to play really well. Maybe they'll make a few mistakes.
  • Hasn't heard from past Michigan coaches about the rivalry. He doesn't need to be lectured on the importance of the rivalry. He gets it. Just because he's not from Michigan doesn't mean he doesn't get it. Everyone gets it. He coaches as hard as he can in every game. Ohio State is just a whole lot more important. College football has the most intense rivalries, none more important than M-OSU. '69 team was one of the best M-OSU games. They'll be honorary captains for the game.
  • A couple things different: Senior week. Practice won't be much different. There will be more in team meetings about the importance of the game, etc. Permanent team captains will be voted on this week.
  • Senior class. All programs have something special for last home game. Best week of seniors' careers. Devoted 4-5 years to the university & team. Small group of seniors.
  • We can play a whole lot better offensively. Defensively, we haven't been playing well. It's not a lack of effort, there are a lot of reasons. Solid on special teams. Have to make a lot of improvement on defense. Hopefully they rise to the challenge in the last game.
  • Made D changes, guys played pretty well. Looking for the right combination. Defense maybe moved slower than he thought it might. Last year's team had more experience defensively. Knew we were going to be inexperienced. They might make personnel moves from offense to defense in the offseason. In next couple recruiting classes, add talent on defense.
  • All coaches hate to lose. It eats at your soul. "I don't coach football, I live it." He loves what we're doing, so it eats at you to be unsuccessful. He's not used to losing, so it pretty much sucks. Each day is a new opportunity. This year or last year was the most emotionally taxing in his career. We've all fought through this thing together, and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. When the young guys lift weights, practice, etc., you can see that we're going to be back there. He likes winning too much to not evaluate everything the team does. If adjustments need to be made, they'll do it. Some of the problems are going to take longer to fix. "I feel very good about our staff." Good coaches, family men, recruiters. Scheme and stuff will be where the changes come. Personnel-wise it's tough to overcome. The players know how competitive the coaches are. As long as they're giving their best effort, that's all the coach can ask. This is a good group to coach.
  • Not getting back as quickly as he'd like. Only had 1 full recruiting class. When those 18-19 year olds are 20-21, they'll look more like men. There's a group of 4-5 college head coaches he keeps in touch with for encouragement, etc.. Also the assistant coaches he's been with for a long time. Sometimes things come up that aren't in coaching 101.
  • On offense, they feel a lot better than last year. Players have a better grasp of the offense. OSU will still be a huge challenge. Not showing up to hope it stays close, they want to win.
  • Comparing leagues to leagues is misinformed, there's no reason that a different style of football can't be played in the Big Ten. Every league has a variety of styles, etc. Coaching the pro-style to fit the talent. Our guys that started on offense last year hadn't played in any system yet. No mattter what system you ran, they hadn't played in it. Same with defense this year. Need to recruit guys who can play at the highest level, but experience is a big player too.
  • Tate - hopefully learned that you have to compete every week, continue to get better, different schmes and challenges every week. He and Denard are both very good for true freshmen. They'll get better when they have more practice time. Hopes everyone (not just tate) is committed to getting the seniors to a bowl game.
  • Koger played some last year. He's played well sometimes, other games he hasn't taken the next step. He'll get better.
  • Graham - doing all he can. He knows he's surrounded by inexperience. Still being a team guy and playing within the framework of the defense. Trying to free him up and use his ability.
  • Kovacs is a tough guy. It's just his first year playing, so he'll keep getting better. Lack of depth gave him an opportunity.
  • Boren: Doesn't do much good to go back in the past. "We pride ourselves on the closeness we have as a family." If you ask the players, they feel the closeness. Hasn't talked to Boren since he left.
  • Pryor. He's done extremely well. Started games as a true freshman. Very talented. Won a lot of games. Don't really like to play him because he's a talented playmaker. Nobody on scout team can replicate him (obvs). Denard will play him a bit on scout team.

Ryan Van Bergen

  • Scoring the touchdown against Wisconsin was pretty cool. He thought his days of scoring touchdowns were over after high school.
  • It would mean everything to this team to beat Ohio State. Bitter taste after last year's game is still there. Want to beat OSU and get the 6th win for the seniors. Looking to stop the streak of 4-5 consecutive OSU losses. There's an external sense that Michigan doesn't stand a chance. A lot of people around the rivalry know that records mean nothing on the field.Practices will stay the same, but in the group preparation "you always do a little extra for Ohio State." Film room, etc.
  • Defense is getting close, but they're still making fundamental and technical errors. They're getting better and better, but that's still not good enough. Can't lean on the offense. Mistakes this year aren't sustained drives or anything. It doesn't look better on the scoreboard, but if they can stop 4-5 plays of 60+ yards and TD, it will look a whole lot different. Guys aren't wearing out. Other teams have similar size and frequency of defensive rotation. Got away from scheming other teams, need to execute physically.
  • Michigan Ohio State game has an intensity level that can't be matched in other games. It's like you're on the front line of a battle. We enjoy it, and it's great to get after it with passion.

Roy Roundtree

  • Never grew up an Ohio State fan. Always got chills watching the big game. "I'm a Michigan man, that's all I'm worried about right now." Roundtree born in Pahokee, big Miami fan. Miami-OSU game in '02. McGahee, etc. "Just can't go for Ohio State, don't know what it is."
  • Desmond Howard, Charles Woodson. Great memories.
  • Preparation started saturday after Wisconsin. Practice is going to have to pay off this week. Veterans say to go all out. You never know when it's your last play, especially against Ohio State. Have to go harder this week. Put in the hard work all season. Learn from mistakes, prepare for Saturday. Everybody's ready.
  • Rodriguez toughest season. Just his second year, how the season is turning out. Roundtree and Hemingway sat together last year watching the game. "This year should be a turnaround."
  • Won't have his phone on this week because he needs to stay focused.
  • Big 2 weeks: It just happens. Shows the work he put in everywhere. Doesn't worry about how many balls he catches, etc., just worried about running his route. You can't back down in blocking.
  • The QBs have to work with each other to improve. Tate has to do more to show what he can do.

Stevie Brown

  • Same feeling against OSU every year (always do everything you can), but each year is different with his role increasing. "It'll be my last game in the Big House, I wanna go out with a win." This week, anything that's wrong has to be corrected Everyone has to be in watching film, everyone has to go hard in practice. Stevie and seniors lead by example. Getting to a bowl and beating Ohio State are linked together, so neither goal is bigger than the other, they're the same.
  • Boren - did everything he could while he was here, he'll be the same for them. No personal vendetta, just another O-lineman.
  • Pryor throwing it better this year. When the play breaks down, he's able to do things with his feet. Big guy, need to get a secure tackle on him.
  • Stevie doesn't try to think about "if we lose, it's over" type stuff. Worries about preparing to win the last game. Doesn't look at beating them in terms of breaking the OSU streak, just want to beat them.
  • Whenever we play very well, play together, we can shut teams down. We've shown flashes, just need to come together for 60 minutes.
  • Graham provides a lot of vocal encouragement. Leads by example as well. Works as hard as he can, makes plays he's supposed to make. The team doesn't want to let Brandon down. Stevie's not vocal. You can come ask him questions, but he tries to lead by example.

Mark Ortmann

  • Hasn't looked at Ohio State film yet. Heard Herbstreit say that this is one of Tressel's best defenses.
  • UT-A&M rivalry is the main one where Ortmann's from. The M rivalry is something he knew about, but didn't get to experience it that much.
  • The preparation week for OSU his freshman year, their helmets were taped up like OSU, you can sense a different atmosphere .
  • Loss= the end has been playing in everyone's mind. We've broken a lot of records and set some new ones the past couple years. Beating OSU would be a great spot to start a new record.
  • It's been a while since we've beaten them. Go in with mindset that we are capable of winning. The tackling dummies with the block o are just a reminder that OSU is the biggest game every year.
  • Boren - nobody has a relationship with him anymore really. Ortmann has talked to him just a couple times. They had a good relationship before. It was hard to hear him say what he did when he left. He was raised to be a Michigan fan and he loved Michigan. Had some underlying personal issues. What he said on the way out was unfair. People with their own individual reasons. Some statements have been inaccurate. They're entitled to their own opinions.

Donovan Warren

  • Big difference between the OSU games and all the rest. "Growing up, you know that this is one of the biggest rivalries in college football." Big for both programs. Definitely have more intensity this week, get the guys riled up. Help the young guys understand how important this game is.
  • Limit big plays. Make them earn everything that they get. Have to come out in practice, get some confidence rolling through the week. Believe in the gameplan, minimize what the opponent will do.
  • At safety last couple weeks - do what the coaches ask, and what's best for team. Trying to help the team win. That was for Wisconsin, doesn't know if it will be this week as well.
  • Discipline against Pryor. Tougher to stick to receivers because he might need help. Tougher to stick to receivers for longer. Posey - made some big plays with Pryor. Try to minimize that, make them earn it. Sanzenbacher started year as Pryor's go-to guy. Duron Carter is good too. Contain all three of those and the RBs.
  • Little things add up and lead to opponents' big plays. Can't let that continue to occur. Have to just keep working on it. Don't let it disrupt your confidence. Confidence - if you can limit big plays, the defense has actually been solid. Hear outsiders talk about how bad the defense is. Can't let it get to you. Continue to work and get better. Do the little things.
  • Is it disrespectful for Boren to go to the hated rival. "We're here and he's talking that the family values have eroded. Definitely, the family is still intact." He had to do what was best for him.
  • Losing rivalry games is tough. Have to look on the bright side. Don't have anything to lose. Win this one, go to a bowl game. Something to look forward to winning this game. What's in the past is in the past, worry about what you can do in this game.

David Moosman

  • Seen some great defenses this year - PSU, Iowa. OU has some solid guys, nobody stands out above everyone else they've seen this year.
  • "I don't talk to him, I don't think about him. He doesn't come up in my daily life. I don't have to play against him on defense. I wish I could." Boren
  • Tate and Denard don't need to be told things, they need to learn through intensity and preparation of teammates.
  • This game is huge, last regular season game, last game of the year. It's everything. Unfinished business against OSU - haven't beaten them in 5 years. This is what we have, we're going practice hard. The context can only mean so much. Don't need a "little brother" mentality. It's Ohio State. Records mean nothing, etc. Don't need more analogies.Just prepare every day. This falls under every category - last game, bowl eligibility, OSU, etc.
  • Hopefully we can get a big win, and the reality of never playing in M stadium again will kick in after the celebration.
  • Scout team players go extra hard this week. Some guys that normally wouldn't be on scout team go down because they want to practice against the best.
  • Omameh - nothing needs to be said to him. They'll watch film together. He'll show him what he needs to do to win. All we can ask is for him to play his heart out - and he will. As an OL, we are looking at their film to see how to attack their defense. I think we can do that.
  • 70-80% underclassmen. Always great to see the young guys (tate) take leadership roles.
  • Watched Purdue-OSU film. It's going to take our best effort to beat them. Purdue put together a great gameplan, and we've got one this week.
  • When the offense goes in, no matter the game situation, they go in to score. The defense goes in to stop them. Our job is to score and win. We want to score more than the other team. Minor's gonna play. He'll play hard and run hard. This is his last game. Concerned about his health, but he'll do what he can. "He's gonna do great, he always does."

Brandon Graham

  • Block-O tackling dummies are going to be in view all week. They have been all year. Lots of motivation to beat Ohio State. "If you can't get jacked up for this one, I don't know where you've been." If he doesn't beat Ohio State, it just wasn't meant to be. "We will beat them... sooner or later. Hopefully it's this Saturday."
  • Defense wants to have their best game of the year. Even if old goals weren't achieved you have to set new goals. Time to play their best. They haven't had many games where they could say they played their best and got beat. Showed effort in the last game, but Wisconsin came out with a plan to exploit their weaknesses.
  • BG trying to take it in now, since he's got one last game if they don't win. Kinda sad that his college career is done. Dreamt of this moment, now it's almost gone. Realized when he was watching Lamarr Woodley with the Steelers yesterday. Woodley told him to enjoy it, because it's over in a beat. Now he's telling the new young guys the same thing.
  • He doesn't want to think about his kids now, but when he eventually has them, he'll tell them he got to play in the greatest game in the country. When his kids go here, it will always be something special when they play Ohio State. Couldn't send his kids to Ohio State "I'm not Justin Boren." He's got a lot of words for Boren. "Just somebody who shouldn't have been here in the first place... We'll see him Saturday." Our front four can get the job done. Boren's got to prove he's still got it. He was good here, but isn't as good there because it's O-State. Family values thing was just an excuse for Boren because he wanted to leave. Never gave the new coaches a chance. "Some people just leave because they feel like they're better than what they is. Not trying to put that much work into it.... a lot of people get lazy and feel like it's supposed to come to them."
  • BG has noticed at times that he's a really good player on a bad defense. He doesn't worry about it, and just tries to get to the ball. He wants everyone else to play with the same attitude, they don't all grow as fast as others. Go hard every day. Whoever's in his way, he'll tell them to not come his way. He's in the best shape of his life, and he'll wear the opponent down.
  • "It's about to be his last, next year" for Donovan Warren. Does he know Warren plans to stay or is he just saying that?
  • Graham grew as a person and was humbled this year - can't take anything for granted. Feels like he could work harder or something to achieve success. My personal goals went OK, but it's about the team. I was happy to be able to help change the game and help my team. Stuff happens for a reason.
  • Seniors want to leave with a win "What's a better way than to beat O-State?"

Upon Further Review: Offense vs Illinois

Upon Further Review: Offense vs Illinois

Submitted by Brian on November 5th, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Personnel notes: Odoms did not play and was replaced by Roundtree. Patrick Omameh got a series late in the first half, probably because Dorrestein was injured. It sounds like Dorrestein might miss the Purdue game, with Patrick Omameh his likely replacement at RG. Robinson did not play until the game was over.

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M30 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Long handoff Mathews 5
Illinois walks a safety down. Corner is playing off Mathews a bit so Michigan takes the quick pass for a few yards. (CA, 3, screen)
M35 2 5 ??? ? ? ? ? Run ? Brown 3
First missed play of the day; we cut to Brown with the ball and an indecipherable blocking scheme; think Michigan pulled out something new and it didn't quite work.
M38 3 2 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Koger 9
Good timing from Forcier, with the ball getting thrown before Koger fully turns around, which allows him to pick up a few YAC. (CA+, 3, protection 1/1)
M47 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone veer keeper Forcier 4
Okay, so the veer: here the line blocks one way—they downblock—and the running back comes across the line going the other way, with the frontside DE ending up unblocked. Here Forcier should definitely give it off as the DE came inside (ZR -1), but he does juke the DE in question and turns no gain into three yards. Forcier could have had a couple more but he's clearly been told to get down before he gets hit.
O49 2 6 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read stretch Brown 10
Illinois crashing the DE and using an OLB on a scrape. Schilling and Ortmann are trying to scoop block the backside DT and can't get it done because the DT is serious about flowing down the line but Schilling(+1) adjusts well, deciding to seal the guy instead of attempting to pass him off and head to the second level. Since Illinois has slanted hard to the playside and neither Moosman or Huyge has managed to seal his guy, Brown's only option is to hit it up in the small crease the Schilling block provides. Good read there and he hits the crease, bouncing off Schilling and running through a diving ankle tackle attempt by the backside DT, hitting it up into a vacant second level. This could be a touchdown but Brown bizarrely cuts right instead of left and finds Illini.
O39 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Power off tackle Brown 4
Moundros in. This is a gap-blocked play with Huyge pulling around in an attempt to attack the gap between Koger and Ortmann. Schilling(-1) does not seal his guy, who closes off the intended hole and forces Brown away from the blocks of Huyge and Moundros. Moosman(+1) got a really effective down-block on the backside DT, though, and this gives Brown a cutback behind Schilling. Unblocked LB meets Brown two yards downfield; he picks up two more.
O35 2 6 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Brown 6
Huyge gets a good stretch block on the backside DT, who was lined up in such a way that made this relatively easy as Illinois appeared slightly misaligned at the snap. Schilling loses control of his guy but it's not quite quick enough for that DT—Josh Brent, he's pretty good—to close down the gap. Brown squirts through it and meets a linebacker that Moosman(-1) had a free run at and could not block. He tackles just short of the first.
O29 3 In I-Form Big 2 2 1 Base 4-3 Run Power O Brown 2
Pretty easy, as Illinois' line is slanting away from the play. Moundros(+1) gets a good kickout block on the OLB on the line and Schilling gets a block downfield, clearing the way for a first down.
O27 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run QB power O Forcier 4
Another power run play, this with Forcier as the primary ballcarrier. DE they're running right at slants himself out of the play; Huyge pulls around with the MLB in his sights; MLB attacks the LOS well and is in a difficult spot for Huyge, cutting off the outside hole and then getting inside of Huyge when he tries to block the MLB. Forcier does well to read the play and cut upfield and looks like he's got a big crease; MLB makes an ankle tackle to hold it down. (RPS +1, Huyge -1) Excellent play by 38 here. Our linebackers never do this.
O23 2 6 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Bubble screen Roundtree 8
This is called, as Forcier makes only a token fake to Brown before pulling it out for the bubble. This isn't a true bubble, either, as Roundtree takes a couple steps outside and then sets up; he's not running as the ball comes to him. He makes a good, decisive move outside and picks up first down yardage; good block from Koger. (CA, 3, screen)
O15 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Iso Brown -1
Huyge(-1) is blown back into the backfield by the playside DE, which erases the hole. Brown has no options and gets tackled for a loss.
O16 2 11 I-Form twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Pass Waggle hitch Mathews 14
Schilling pulls around and does a good job blocking on the edge; Forcier pulls up and zings one to Mathews just as he breaks open in front of the DB. On replay, throw is a bit inside, but this close to the sideline that might be okay. (CA, 2, protection 2/2)
O2 1 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Zone stretch Brown 2
Dorrestein(+1) gets off the ball and knocks the playside DE back by himself, opening up the corner and providing a lane for an easy Brown touchdown. Huyge(+1) and Moundros(+1) also erased guys, providing a walk-in.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-7, 3 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M21 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Brown 8
Vincent Smith the other back. Michigan running away from the line shift, and Illinois is slanting away from the play, meaning Moosman hardly has to try to block the playside DT. Schilling(+1) makes a good adjustment to get the slanting DE, Smith(+1) pops the blitzing OLB, and Ortmann seals the MLB. Brown can't cut upfield of Stonum's block because of the flowing WLB and cuts outside where a diving ankle tackle sees him fall.. Pursuit would have limited this to a couple more without the fall.
M29 2 2 I-Form twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Iso Brown 4
Similar to the previous third and short conversion, with the backside DT getting himself easily sealed by Schilling(+1) but no frontside crease; Brown cuts back, where the frontside DT peels and tackles, but not before the first down.
M33 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Long handoff Mathews 15
This is interesting: it's new. It's basically the zone-read-to-bubble play except instead of throwing the bubble it's just a long handoff to Mathews, who is the lone receiver away from the playside. With the CB there cheating down it's open and Mathews(+1) cuts it up for good yardage, making the most out of the room he was given. (CA, 3, screen)
M48 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read veer Forcier 2
This doesn't really work because Illinois is running a scrape. Result: backside DE crashes down on Brown, causing Forcier to pull it (ZR + 1), but the scraping OLB gets out on Forcier and prevents him from picking up any yardage. When Michigan was running this against Iowa and Penn State they were blocking the backside DE and reading the OLB; I guess they thought Illinois would adjust to that. They didn't.
50 2 8 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Edge pitch Brown 2
Roundtree(-1) fails to get a block on the OLB to that side, so the play gets strung out. There was not really an option for a cut up since this is not a true option play and Forcier did not take the DE away by forcing him to come up.
O48 3 6 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Throwaway Brown Inc
Wholesale OL failure as both OTs get run around and Forcier has to step up in the pocket, where Huyge and Schilling have both failed to control the IU stunt/blitz. The pocket collapsing, Forcier steps up, finds more pressure, and just tries to get rid of it to Brown; ball is understandably inaccurate. (PR, 0, protection 0/2, team)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 13 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O43 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Brown 5
Omameh in at right tackle(!). I didn't notice this live but Craig Ross did, and it's true. Dorrestein is apparently having injury issues. Omameh kicks out the DE on the stretch; DE gets upfield enough to take out Smith and force Brown up behind him. Playside DT gets doubled by Moosman and Huyge; that double takes long enough that the release into the second level does not get the MLB, who can tackle Brown. Still a decent gain.
O38 2 5 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Smith 4
Hell of a four yard run as this is epic OL fail. Omameh(-1) gets slanted inside by the DE and he's going to crush the play for a four yard loss but Smith runs through the tackle. Corner comes up to try to finish it off and misses; Smith spins through his tackle attempt past another DL, where he meets a diving linebacker, avoids him, and falls forward. This is basically 8 YAC; great, Hart-like run. Announcers are talking about Halloween costumes.
O34 3 1 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 split Run Power O Brown 2
Koger and Ortmann double the playside DE, driving him off the ball; Moundros(+1) pops the OLB, knocking him backwards and giving brown enough room to pick up the first. It's remarkable how bad Brown is about contact.
O32 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read stretch Brown 19 (Pen -0)
Only six in the box for Illinois as they are manning up on the outside with a single deep safety. Omameh is blocking the backside end since Michigan assumes a scrape and they're right; MLB eliminates himself as Forcier contain. SLB then freaks out to the playside, giving Brown a huge cutback lane as Huyge(+1) slices the backside DT to the ground. Brown jets into the secondary. He cuts outside a good block from Mathews to make the safety chase and gets down to the 13; Mathews gets a somewhat ticky-tack holding call... but I can see it. Dumb. It comes back and we have a do over, basically.
O32 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Sack -- -2
PA stretch fake with Grady rolling out for some pass pro. Forcier appears to have a hitch for a few but doesn't throw it immediately and then the CB comes up, then definitely has a corner route for lots but doesn't throw that, either, and eventually starts running around, taking a sack. Should have thrown it. (BR, 0, protection 1/1)
O34 2 12 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 ? Pass Tunnel screen Roundtree 4
Late to the play again. This is not actually a bubble, as Roundtree is moving inside at the catch. Probably an attempt to take advantage of people over-reacting to the bubble, but on this play Illinois does a good job of staying responsible and holds it down. (CA, 3, screen)
O30 3 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Sack -- -8 (Pen+15)
A couple of blitzers. One of them attempts to spectacularly hurdle Minor and gets owned, but that blitz and the general tendency of the OL to give ground spooks Forcier and he ends up attempting to roll out against DEs way upfield; he rolls himself into a sack. Should have stepped up in the pocket, where the spectacular leap attempt would have given Forcier a lane to escape the pocket and do his Forcier stuff. He gets facemasked on the tackle. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
O15 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Smith -1
Poor read by Smith(-1) as he does not have faith that Moosman can seal the playside DT. Moosman eventually does in the manner of many successful stretches. By that point Smith has abandoned the idea and attempts to hit it up behind Moosman, which ends with Smith getting tackled by the unblocked MLB.
O16 2 11 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone veer keeper Forcier 5
Michigan's version of what Illinois does all the time. They must have practiced this all week to prepare for it and threw it in the playbook. Downblock the line, fake the handoff, Forcier(ZR -1) makes the wrong read again when he should give it off, I think, jukes the DE again, and gets a decent gain out of it. Man, this thing can be dangerous if run by a huge fast guy.
O11 3 6 I-Form twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout corner Mathews Inc
Good playcall gets Illinois in man and should see this open up but the corner here makes a good play and Mathews doesn't sell his route; his in cut does not turn the CB, possibly because it's a rollout, and the guy is close enough to grab Mathews's shoulder as the pass arrives. It's high and as a result Mathews can't extend to bring it in. Pass interference? Technically, yes. The grab came before the pass arrives. Does this ever get called? No. So it's a good play by the DB. (MA, 1, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: FG(28), 10-7, 7 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M46 1 10 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Pass PA short seam Hemingway 21
New item! Michigan runs a zone read, basically, but Forcier pulls it out and immediately throws to Hemingway, who is open because his guy has set up to play on the corner, allowing Hemingway to lope past unmolested. Forcier hits him for a first down. (CA, 3, protection NA, RPS +1)
O33 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read stretch Brown -7
Schilling(-1) fails to pick up on the slanting DT and just runs by him; slanting DT shoots into the backfield. Brown(-1), for his part, should instantly slam it up behind the failed block and hope he doesn't get run down by the backside DE. Even if he does it would be a minimal loss; as it is he tries to stretch it out to the sideline and ends up giving a ton of ground and getting tackled for a big loss. Brown is fast as hell but has little in the way of RB skills.
O40 2 17 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Scramble Forcier 16
Forcier does have a pocket this time and steps up into it as a DE comes crashing around the outside of Ortmann. Seeing no one open, because there is no one open, he takes off for good yardage. I won't chart this, because it's a good decision and doesn't deserve a TA. Protection 2/2.
O24 3 1 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 split Run Power O Brown 2
Another good double on the playside DE blows him back; Moundros(+1) kicks out the OLB, and Schilling pulls around into the SLB. Brown has the first down before he hits anyone, at which point he goes down immediately.
O22 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Brown 5
Very similar situation to the seven yard loss, with the playside DT slanting hard; this time Brown makes the hard cut upfield and because Huyge(+1) got a great block on the backside DT he's out of the play. Brown can run up into folk for a decent gain. I think Molk is getting some of these reach blocks and the cutbacks aren't so constant.
O17 2 5 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-4 split Run Iso Brown 0
OL sliding over to run an iso off tackle; Huyge(-1) is pwned and blown back into the intended hole. I'd rather see Michigan double the guy and leave Brown with the linebacker; instead they shoot Omameh at the linebacker and leave Huyge to get pwned. Brown heads outside and is lucky to get back to the LOS.
O17 3 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Sack -- -8
Actually very good protection from the tackles, who don't let the DEs tear around the corner this time, but Schilling(-2) is just beat one-on-one by an Illinois DT—no trickery—and the immediate pressure up the middle gives Forcier no choice but to eat a sack. I do think Forcier had a slant for the first but just did not have the confidence to throw it. Still... (PR, 0, protection 0/2)
Drive Notes: FG(41), 13-7, 1 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Brown -2
Illinois shifts a LB late and Michigan busts his pickup as Ortmann doubles the playside DE with Schilling. Koger(-1) lets the LB right inside of him without getting a block; that guy tackles for loss.
M18 2 12 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB draw Forcier 5
I don't know what Forcier's looking at because he's got a crease between Ortmann and Moosman that Brown's heading up into to provide a lead block, but Forcier heads directly upfield instead. On his way through a small crease someone knocks the ball loose; Michigan is fortunate to recover.
M23 3 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Post Roundtree 77
Excellent pocket this time gives Forcier time and room to step up and throw; he rifles a ball 20 yards downfield that hits Roundtree right in stride. A trailing safety is beaten, but a Roundtree stumble gives him a shot at a tackle; he misses it. Roundtree is on the 45 and gone until Hawthorne tracks him down. (DO, 3, protection 2/2)
O1 1 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Iso Brown 0
Schilling(-1) is blasted back by a single blocker on the backside; the frontside DT double gets him moving backwards and should be enough for Brown to get in but for Schilling falling backwards and giving him no room. Brown falls forward to about the half-yard line; probably could have extended it in.
O1 2 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Power O Brown 0
They've got a gaping hole to run a sneak but they don't check to it. Argh. Dorrestein(-1), back in for Omameh, gets blown back and Schilling runs into him, falling right in Brown's path. Resulting unblocked guy tackles Brown just short of the line.
O1 3 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Inside zone Brown 0
Brown's fault: the interior line freaking caves the DTs back and if Brown hits it up immediately this is a walk-in touchdown. His vision has always been bad, though, and he waits too long, and his balance has always been bad so he can't run through a tackle here.
O1 4 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Outside zone Minor 0
Again a missed read from the RB as Grady takes an interior LB charging up and the OL has slammed Illinois into the endzone. Minor should still get in, but ends up tackled as his elbow hits.
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 13-7, 11 min 3rd Q. After the review, Rodriguez looks like Don Draper on this week's Mad Men.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Smith 0
This looks like it's going to go pretty okay as a double on the frontside DT looks like it's working. Playside DE gets upfield so there's a crease; Schilling pops off the double to block the playside LB, at which point the DT they were doubling beats Moosman(-1) and shoots up into Smith at the LOS. My kingdom for a Molk. This play has one of my persistent pet peeves about the stretch: Brown goes outside the playside DE and basically makes himself useless. If you tell him to shoot it up then the players never have to stop doubling the DT here and this is a good gain.
M20 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Flare screen Brown 7
Good gain; great cut block from Roundtree gets a DB to the ground and the Illinois DL sucked up, removing themselves from the play. Dorrestein(-1) manages to whiff on the charging safety, but Brown cuts up behind him, where a DT and the CB the outside WR was blocking converge. (CA, 3, screen)
M27 3 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB stretch Forcier 2
Michigan hurries to the line and catches not one but two Illinois players on the field of play as they snap the ball. No call. Ridiculous. Anyway, again Brown just heads outside the tackle and Forcier has to cut it up; a quick-reacting corner blazes past Stonum and Schilling can't block the backside DT, so Forcier gets taken down after just two. If Brown was acting as a lead blocker maybe they get this; I really don't get this blocking scheme on third and short.
Drive Notes: Punt, 13-14, 7 min 3rd Q. That is a ridiculous noncall.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M36 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Koger Inc
Quick hitch identical to the first one from earlier; Koger drops a ball that hits him in the hands. (CA,3, protection 1/1)
M36 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Roundtree 4 (pen -15)
Come to the play late as it's being thrown so not much detail; simple pitch and catch for just four. (CA, 3, protection 1/1) Moosman gets a dumb, unnecessary chop block call.
M21 2 25 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Corner Stonum Inc
Stonum runs what looks like a slant at first before breaking it out into a deep corner route on which he's got a step and there's a window. Good pocket for Forcier breaks down with a delayed blitz but Forcier can stand in and throw just before he gets hit; the ball is a couple yards long. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
M21 3 25 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Improv comeback Stonum Inc
Third and twenty five sees a four-man rush that's picked up well; instead of stepping confidently and firing to someone, Forcier hesitates, bringing his eyes down and then scrambling out. He pulls up to fire deep to Stonum, who's trying to get open, and throws it a bit wide of a covered receiver; ball is deflected away. Trying to make the best of a bad situation and a throw that was okay after finding no one open, so... (TA, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 13-21, 4 min 3rd Q. Michigan's trying to avoid the hellacious wind and ends up with a line drive rugby punt for little yardage.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Brown 17
Michigan again blocking the backside DE so maybe this is supposed to be a cutback sort of thing. Huyge(+1) cuts the backside DT, who leaps over the block and stumbles wildly; scraping MLB runs himself out of the play chasing Forcier and the SLB move out anticipating a stretch; huge cutback lane. Brown cuts behind the out-of-control backside DT and heads right up the middle, grabbing a chunk of yards before the safeties close him down.
M37 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass TE seam Koger 22
Bubble fake with Koger faking a block on the LB lined up over him, then releasing beyond him; Forcier hits him as he clears the second level but before the safeties get up on him. Poor block from Huyge(-1) gets a guy in Forcier's face and forces him to get rid of it when he had two receivers breaking deep against one safety and could have waited for a home run if a guy wasn't in his grill. Good play anyway; throw is a bit high but Koger brings it in. (CA, 2, protection 1/2, Huyge -1)
O41 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Brown 17
Excellent blocking by the interior line with Schilling getting a seal on the backside DT easily. He's out of the equation. Moosman and Huyge double and blow back the playside DT, with Huyge releasing onto the MLB; he gets outside and threatens to hold it down but the blocks by Moosman(+1) and Schilling have provided a major crease; the backside DE is getting blocked so he's out of the picture, too, and the scraping backer has run himself out of the play for Forcier. Brown's got space and this is what he's good at: darting into the secondary. Again the safeties close him down.
O24 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Forcier 2 (Pen +5)
Backside DE unblocked this time and stays home but Forcier pulls it out(ZR –1). He's one on one with the DE and jukes him pretty well... and then fumbles for no reason whatsoever. The ball is juggled and he brings it back in; the distraction may have prevented him from fully juking this guy. Result is two yards; Michigan finally gets the “hey you have 12 guys on the field” call as Illinois is egregiously late getting off.
O19 1 5 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Brown 9
Backside DT slices into the backfield past Schilling and Ortmann and threatens to make a play but he needs Brown to get delayed and that doesn't happen. Brown runs past, then cuts up. Schilling's gotten out on the MLB and a double from Moosman(+1) and Huyge(+1) has stoned that guy; Brown slices through a crease between Schilling and Moosman before getting taken down by a safety.
O10 1 G Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Brown -6
Three fold: Huyge(-1) gets absolutely blasted back into the backfield by the playside DT and Moosman, attempting to get the same double he did on the previous play, ends up running at no one, with a linebacker coming behind him. This is not a good situation. Brown should just cut up behind Huyge and take his 0 yards, but instead he tries to get outside—preposterous—and ends up giving up a ton of yards. Freshman mistake.
O16 2 G I-Form twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Pass Waggle throwaway -- Inc
No idea why this is so open; Illinois should have someone cruising in to crush Forcier on the rollout. It's second and goal from the sixteen. It is open, though. Forcier doesn't like his deep options and should throw to Moundros in the flat for a few yards but doesn't and ends up getting to the sideline and throwing it away. Borderline BR, but (TA, 0, protection 1/1)
O16 3 G Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Sack -- -4
Dorrestein(-2) gets completely destroyed by the DE, run around like the other guy is Brandon Graham. Huyge(-1) is bowled over, too, so Forcier has no lane to scramble up in. He gets the ball banged loose and Illinois recovers. (PR, 0, protection 0/3, Dorrestein -2, Huyge -1)
Drive Notes: Fumble, 13-28, 14 min 4th Q. Michigan fit all that in like two minutes of game time BTW. Jet tempo is fast.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Stop and go Mathews Inc
Great stop and go route from Mathews coupled with a pump fake from Forcier gets Mathews open deep for what could be a long completion. Mathews looks inside for the ball the whole way, adjusting only when it's clearly farther outside than he thought it was going to be, at which point it's too late. Mathews had plenty of time to adjust and just did not. The throw as not great but it wasn't that bad, either; this is more evidence that the receivers aren't adjusting to balls well. (MA, 1, protection 2/2)
M20 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Deep post Hemingway 66
Great protection allows Forcier to step up in the pocket and nail Hemingway as he smokes an Illinois safety, getting two and half steps on his guy. Hemingway has to break stride a tiny bit, allowing the safety to catch up, but the end result is still a huge gain. These last two plays invite the question: why are these the first deep balls of the day? (DO, 3, protection 3/3)
O14 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Roundtree 4
Roundtree has a bunch of space and manages to cut inside the crashing safety for a few yards. Timing seemed a little off on this; also if this was Odoms maybe he makes the guy miss totally? (CA, 3, screen)
O10 2 6 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Hemingway Inc
Hemingway has this for near first-down yardage when a DB comes up to hit him, jarring the ball loose. DB made it tough but you'd still like to see him make the catch here. (CA, 2, protection 1/1)
O10 3 G Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Flare screen Brown Inc
This is too far in front of Brown but it's possible this is on Brown for not running the route right or adjusting to the pass as it came. Still: (IN, 2, screen)
O10 4 G Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Stonum Inc
Forcier finds a window to zing this in to Stonum. It'll be a tough-ish catch with the safety breaking to possibly make a play on the ball, but it is there; Forcier wings it high and wide. (IN, 0, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 13-31, 8 min 4th Q. Charting stops as this game is over. Forcier fumbles on the next play after a blocked punt.

So I'm still having this ichor problem.

Man… man. This is going to sound insane, but if Michigan just stops turning the ball over they'll have a pretty good offense.

If my eyes weren't empty sockets dripping with a viscous black goo, I would have perfect eyesight.

Hush, tentacled alter-ego cornerback.

Ain't sayin' it. In fact, here's a chart—





big-ten-2009 HA HA HA


(Hennechart legend; MA is "marginal", screen results are in parens.)


Western Michigan 2 14 1 2 1 2 - 3
Notre Dame 5 20 (6) 2 4 3 3 - 4
Eastern Michigan 1 8 (2) 1 1 (1) 1 4 (1) - -
Indiana 3 13 (3) 1 (1) 2 5 3 - 2
Michigan State 5 19 (3) 2 4 3 3 - 5
Iowa 1 8(1) 1 3 (2) 2 3 2 2
Delaware State - 2 (1) - - - - - -
Penn State 3 9 (3) - 4 (2) 4 2 1 1
Illinois 2 13 (6) 2 3(1) 2 2 - 2


Western Michigan - 1 1 1 2 - - -
Eastern Michigan - 1 1 (1) 2 (1) - - - -
Indiana - 1 1 (1) - - - - -
Michigan State - - - - - 2 - -
Iowa 1 2 - - 1 1 - -
Delaware State - 2 2 - - - - -
Penn State - - 1 - 1 1 - -

Robinson DNP until garbage time late.

Forcier had a decent game. He was not asked to do a whole lot until late. Illinois was apparently vulnerable to screens, so we saw an uptick in little short throws that were effective until the last one. The downfield success rate is good, not great: 9 / 15 = 60%. And the BRs weren't killer interceptions but just poor reads or poor decisions where to scramble, which is progress. I might need another category for "aigh."

The fumbling issue remains a problem, though: Forcier was irresponsible with the ball and coughed it up twice, once on a QB draw he made a poor read on. Michigan lost one, causing everyone to turn the TV off. Hopefully this is a major point of emphasis in the offseason; Forcier can't be as careless with the ball going forward or the offense is never going to get off the ground.

Receiver chart is interesting mostly for its distribution:

[Receiver chart explanation: throws are rated on how difficult they are to catch. A 3 is a totally routine ball that would induce groans if dropped. 2 is moderately difficult; you'd like to see players catch 50-70% of these. 1 is a circus catch on which the QB is bailed out by a great play from a WR or, more usually, not bailed out. 0 is totally uncatchable and mostly exists to chart how often a player is targeted.]

This Game Totals
Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Hemingway - - - 1/1 3 - 1/2 8/8
Mathews - 0/2 1/1 2/2 8 1/6 3/4 11/11
Stonum 3 - - - 6 1/3 3/4 10/10
Savoy - - - - 2 - 1/2 4/4
Odoms - - - - 5 1/3 4/6 16/17
Grady-19 - - - - 2 - 2/3 9/12
Roundtree - - - 5/5 5 - 1/4 5/5
Stokes - - - - - - 1/1 1/1
Koger - - 1/1 1/2 - 3/4 4/6 7/11
Webb - - - - 1 - - 3/5
Minor - - - - - - - 1/1
Brown - 0/1 1/1 - 1/4 2/3 6/7
Shaw - - - - - 1/1 0/1 -
Smith - - - - - - - -
Grady-24 - - - - - - - 1/1

Roundtree tied for the most looks with Mathews, and Stonum is the new Roundtree. Roundtree has passed Grady on the depth chart in what looks like a permanent way because when he is thrown a ball that hits him in the hands it does not fall to the ground. At least, not yet.

Koger also had another bad drop, further sullying his crazy start to the season. He's kind of a tight end version of Braylon, capable of making spectacular catches and dropping routine ones.

And PROTECTION METRIC: 22/27, Schilling –2, Team –2, Huyge –1.

Actually a good day here, though it was against a poor pass rush and Michigan got smoked a couple times. Note the low overall number: Michigan was ground- and screen-heavy.

Why the hell couldn't we get it in from the one?

In four ugly acts:

  1. Schilling is blown back into the path of an iso play that otherwise would have worked. Even with the pwnage Brown should have an opportunity to extend the ball over the goal line; he does not.
  2. Michigan attempts to run off tackle where Dorrestein, who's apparently injured and missed the last drive of the first half in favor of Omameh, gets blown off the ball; Schilling runs into him and Brown has no lead blockers.
  3. Brown waits way too long on a stretch play that sees Illinois's line cave in.
  4. Minor fails to read the blocking in front of him as Illinois's line again caves in and cuts to the wrong side of Grady's block.

Minor scores on third down and possibly second down if he's in, assuming he is healthy, which is a bad assumption. Actually, at this point I'd rather see Vincent Smith down on the goal line instead of Brown, who is a terrible short-yardage back. Brown's quick and nimble but has no balance or power: you hit him and he's tackled. Sometimes if you wave at his foot he's tackled.

Does this make you want to rage about the coaching?

Yeah. If Minor was healthy enough for fourth down he's healthy enough for first down. I think the coaches thought, as everyone did, that a sustained goal-line stand from Illinois was highly unlikely and didn't think it was a good risk. I can understand that on first and second down. On third, though, it was painful to see a play that Minor would have slammed into the endzone easily end short.

The other major coaching bitch from the game: why didn't Michigan take timeout with a minute left in the half? There was another possession waiting against a terrible defense there if Michigan would have just taken it. I'm willing to live with Rodriguez taking risks like the ones at the end of the first half against Iowa as long as he does it when it's a good idea, too. 

My theory as to why Michigan did that, FWIW: they wanted to come after the punt hard but didn't want to give Illinois a chance at a drive afterwards if they got a penalty. That was why they waited to take TO but eventually did at about 30 seconds. Michigan did come after Illinois punts hard all day and blocked one. So it might not have been a terrible decision.

What is wrong with the run game?

Remember that it did pretty well against Penn State so failures against Illinois are not a trend. But issues exist:

  • Brown is not an effective short-yardage runner. He's very fast and the risk-reward with him is good on normal downs where a zip into the secondary is a possibility. On short yardage he is bad because his vision and cuts aren't great and he goes down very easily. Without Minor or Shaw, Michigan could either deploy Cox or Smith in those situations; they are freshmen.
  • Moosman is not as good as Molk on tough reach blocks. Lot of cutbacks against Illinois because the playside DT did not get sealed. Cutbacks are tougher sledding, usually.
  • For whatever reason, Illinois was blowing guys back all day. I don't know if they were timing the snap count or just beastlier or whatever, but there were many instances where the playside DT would shoot into the backfield, which is very bad. Backside DT you can run past; playside DT not so much. This, again, is a Molk issue but it's also a RG/LG issue and a RB issue. Brown compounded problems twice by not cutting his losses and turning zero-ish-yard plays into huge TFLs. This goes back to his lack of vision. Moving Moosman out of the RG spot hurts Michigan there, too.
  • Dorrestein is apparently hurt.

Here's a successful run from Brown on which Moosman does not seal his guy and Brown has to hit it up behind Moosman in front of Schilling:

From what I've seen, Molk is more likely to actually get that block on the frontside. He won't do it all the time and the cutback can be effective but then you're relying on the backside block, which is often a tough one.

The other thing on this play: why in the hopping hell does Brown cut right instead of left? This could be a touchdown if cut left, but instead Brown heads into three guys. I mean this…


…leads to…




Forcier, I guess, and Roundtree, I guess. I didn't think anyone on the OL played particularly well, and Brown's drawbacks were evident.


Brown? I know he had a good number of yards but he was one of three players primarily responsible for the goal-line stand, with other demerits going to Schilling and Dorrestein.

What does it mean for Purdue and the rest of the season?

I still think this can be a fairly effective offense when it doesn't turn the ball over willy-nilly. Is that ever going to happen this year? I don't know.

That effectiveness is seriously lessened by Molk's absence. A healthy return for Minor—which is supposed to happen this weekend—would help out; Brown and Minor have their strengths and when Michigan has only one the effectiveness of their game is compromised. Getting Odoms back would help, to. Though Roundtree had a good game, Odoms has proven himself a tough blocker and reliable option more likely to break a screen long, and maybe he won't fumble punts.

I think they'll be able to move the ball against Purdue effectively, with stupid mistakes the difference between a good output and the Illinois game. Wisconsin and Ohio State are a little dodgy with Molk out.

Monday Presser Notes 10-26

Monday Presser Notes 10-26

Submitted by Tim on October 26th, 2009 at 12:48 PM

Rich Rodriguez

  • Injuries: David Molk has a torn ACL and is out until the summer. He will have surgery and miss spring practice. David Moosman will start at center for the rest of the year, and Rocko Khoury and Tim McAvoy will get more reps at center as well. Martavious Odoms is day-to-day with a knee injury. There is no ligament tear, and they're expecting him back. Junior Hemingway has a knee bruise, and he's day-to-day. Brandon Minor bruised his heel (on the opposite leg that has been giving him ankle problems this year). He's day-to-day as well.
  • Defensively, there were more technical errors and missed assignments than usual. Sometimes, it's a matter of guys trying to do too much and losing responsibility. The coaches are always evaluating every scheme and personnel choice. Sometimes adjustments work, and sometimes they don't. Rodriguez has full confidence in the defensive coaching staff.
  • Denard and Tate are both naturally confident young men. Struggling in games may rattle their confidence a bit, and it's up to the coaches to bring it back up. They can't worry about dropped balls, and should only be concerned with what they can fix. They are still learning to use their eyes properly on passing plays.
  • Holding is a point of emphasis for the referees this year. Rodriguez has seen a lot of calls that he doesn't agree with this year - both in favor of and against Michigan. Another thing Rodriguez is upset about is being called for too many men in the backfield. The team was lined up properly and still got called on Saturday - he'll send that play in to the conference for review.
  • The coaches can see the places on the team where talent is lacking. They'll develop the younger guys, but also address the talent issue in the next two recruiting classes. They'll primarily recruit high schoolers, partially because it's difficult for Junior College credits to transfer to Michigan.
  • Illinois is a pretty good team, they've just been unlucky at times. They're still very talented.

Ryan Van Bergen

  • On a down-to-down basis, the defense isn't bad. It's the big plays that have really hurt Michigan this year. Everyone needs to lay their assignments to reduce the big-lay threat of opposing offenses.
  • Van Bergen and Molk are roommates, and Molk's injury is unfortunate, but "it's a part of the game." Molk will help the team vocally since he can't do it on the field.
  • The defensive line is a tight-knit group, and they're fun to play with. If Brandon Graham happens to win a postseason award, he's promised to give the credit to the rest of the defensive linemen.
  • The comments from Penn State that the defense looked confused about where to line up were inaccurate. The team knew what they were doing, and some of the movement was shifting to confuse Penn State's offensive line.
  • Illinois is still similar on offense to what they were last year. Despite the numbers, they still have explosive potential. They make a lot of mistakes though, and Michigan will have to capitalize on that.

David Moosman

  • Moosman is ready to help the team by moving to center full-time. He needs to calm down and remain collected to succeed at center, since he has to direct the entire offensive line. Hopefully, he got all the bad plays out of his system already.
  • The snap through the endzone was the culmination of a bad series by the OL and the offense in general. There was a miscommunication between Tate and Moosman, and Moosman takes the blame for the safety.
  • Since Moosman went to high school outside Chicago, he was asked if he was interest in going to school at Illinois. "I visited Illinois, saw what it was all about, and decided to come here." ICE BURN.

Carlos Brown

  • Carlos's health is good. The headaches from the concussion have gone away. Brown also had "another issue" in spring ball, related to a head injury.
  • The team struggled with the little things against Penn State, and it all added up to result in the loss. Part of that was the fumbling. Brown made a mistake to switch carrying hands on his own fumble. Fred Jackson has a lot of ball security drills that he'll make the players go through this week.
  • Carlos doesn't think Tate Forcier has hit a "freshman wall." He's still the same player he was through the first 4 games of the season, and he's going to pick up that pace again.
  • With Carlos's career almost over, it's crazy to think that he only has 4 or 5 games left. The team's goal has to be making a bowl game to extend to the 5th game. Brown's first career start came against Illinois, and he's hoping to have a good time down there this weekend.

Troy Woolfolk

  • Woolfolk didn't mind switching back and forth between corner and safety during the game Saturday. The package where he plays safety and Cissoko comes onto the field is called the SWAT package by Greg Robinson. It's designed to get the best pass coverage onto the field. Sometimes when the defense lines up in man coverage, it's the CB's decision to press the receiver or play off.
  • The Penn State game wasn't a matter of one or two plays changing the result. Unlike Michigan State and Iowa, the Wolverines were just outplayed for 4 quarters. It was a definite eye-opener for the team to have that happen.
  • The defense is capable of greatness, but they just aren't consistent enough. "We allow people to score [with mistakes], it's not that they're scoring on us." If MIchigan can eliminate the little errors, this could be a good defense. There wasn't confusion for the team, just guys not fully executing their assignments.
  • Woolfolk has thought about returning kicks since he's one of the fastest guys on the team. However, in his only KR experience in high school, he muffed the ball and the other team recovered. His high school teammate Darryl Stonum told the Michigan coaches to avoid putting Troy back to take kicks.
  • Arrelious Benn is a very physical and strong receiver - Woolfolk joked that the DBs will have to get in a lot of reps on the bench press this week. Illinois overall is a big, hard-nosed team. Michigan can't have execution errors and expect to win.

Upon Further Review: Offense vs Iowa

Upon Further Review: Offense vs Iowa

Submitted by Brian on October 15th, 2009 at 2:52 PM

Personnel notes: No switching on the OL in this game, with Huyge-Dorrestein the right half of the line for the entire game. I don't think I saw Webb except in rare 2TE situations, and Kelvin Grady had a very limited role. The three-man rotation at the two outside receiver spots seems about even. Roy Roundtree came in on some four WR sets.

Complication notes: attempting a "zone read" metric that gets a +1 when a QB makes a right read and a –1 when he doesn't. Handoffs will usually get zero here. May not be accurate because some plays aren't reads, but better than nothing.

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M26 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Forcier 9
Pretty simple as Iowa has two guys in deep halves and is manning up on the outside, leaving five guys against six in the box; Forcier keeps it (ZR +1) and gets a good gain before getting to the ground. Note: Michigan blocked the backside defensive end straight up here. Hm? I think Forcier is reading the WLB lined up over Odoms(!) here to see what he does.
M35 2 1 Ace trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Minor 9 (Pen -10)
Schilling pwns and pancakes an Iowa DL, somehow drawing a horsecrap holding call in the process. Truly terrible call. Minor(+1) cuts behind the Schilling block and has room up the middle as a stretch-anticipating LB has shuffled himself into a block and the other LB was in man on Odoms, so he picks up 7-8.
M25 2 11 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Draw Minor 2
Huyge(-1) gets driven back, straight back, right into Minor's intended path. Minor has to bounce out and the play's timing is disrupted, so he's tracked down.
M27 3 9 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Post Stonum Int
Linebacker abandons the circle route of Koger, dropping into the throwing lane and picking off a ball that Forcier should never have thrown. (BR, 0, protection 2/2) He had the Koger circle and a square in from Mathews; just a terrible read. Wouldn't have mattered much because either Stonum or Koger lined up wrong and Michigan got a flag. Worst part about this read is that if the LB didn't drop off a safety still would have picked it off.
Drive Notes: Interception, 7-7, 7 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M28 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 9
Iowa really keeping those safeties back, which is problem for them because it leaves just six guys in the box. Here Huyge does not get a seal on the playside DT despite blocking a guy lined up over him, but a great scoop from Moosman(+1) and Schilling(+1) seals away the backside DT and MLB; the SLB has overreacted to the stretch. Minor(+1) reads the hole and shoots up into space, spectacularly flipping over a safety's tackle and picking up a few YAC.
M37 2 1 I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Iso Minor 9
Pretty easy, as Michigan just doubles the playside DT and shoots Grady at the LB over that gap; no one else can reach Minor before the LOS. Minor(+1) meets a safety four yards downfield, then drags tacklers for four more.
M46 1 10 Ace trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Minor -1
Iowa's ignoring contain here, shooting the DE down the line and not leaving anyone for Forcier, but this is from under center and thus not a read, it's just a playcall. Iowa jams the middle of the line, allowing that backside DE to come from behind and tackle in the backfield. Probably some run minuses on the line here, maybe, but the issue really is Iowa selling out and Michigan not catching them.
M45 2 11 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Kooger 8
Man, the linebacker is all over this and Tate should probably look for Stonum outside, but he zips it to the only spot it can be and Koger makes a tough catch. (CA+, 1, protection 1/1)
O47 3 3 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Cross Odoms 6
Odoms beats a linebacker in zone to a spot and Tate zings it to him for the first. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O41 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Edge pitch Shaw 5
This play featured in Picture Pages. It's a clever way to exploit the backside DE's tendency to freak out on the zone. He's unblocked and takes his crash step; Forcier just takes a couple of hops and pitches it outside to Shaw. Odoms(-1) sees his cut block leapt over, and the safety to this side is running downhill right to the play; this basically did not work, and it still picks up five. This would work better against teams that were playing more aggressively, with only one deep safety.
O36 2 5 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Forcier 1
Blocking the backside end again on this. Hmm. Forcier (ZR -1) keeps this and gets swallowed by a scraping MLB; the frontside of the line creased big and Minor would have zinged right into the secondary if Forcier had handed this off.
O35 3 4 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout out Odoms Inc
The quick slot out we've run a bunch for first downs this year; Forcier hits Odoms, but he can't reel it in as he falls to the turf. (CA, 2, protection 1/1)
O35 4 4 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Scramble Forcier 9
Vincent Smith is, for some reason, inserted. He runs a little out that's open. Forcier doesn't care; he sees Iowa stunt and a run lane open up in front of him and immediately decides to take off for the first. Good decision. I'm not going to file this a TA, like I usually do, because this wasn't a decision to run as a last resort, it was a decisive move to exploit a weakness in the D.
O26 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read inside Smith 2
Iowa seems a wise to this; I think Michigan's thrown them a little curveball here by scooping the backside DT and hoping the frontside guy runs himself out of the play so that the RB can hit it straight up the middle. This time Schilling(-1) gets totally beaten by the playside DT, which cuts off the hole.
O24 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout corner Odoms 21
Another counter to something they've shown a lot, and actually showed on this drive already; the little slot out. Iowa is in what looks like cover two, bashing Hemingway's outside route and shooting a linebacker out into the flat to cover Odoms, except Odoms breaks it deep, getting a step or two on a safety that was anticipating a shorter pass. Forcier lays it in for first and goal. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2)
O3 1 G Shotgun 2-back Big 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 3
Key to the play is doubling the playside DE with Koger and Ortmann(+1), blowing him into the endzone. The DTs beat their blockers down the line but because the DE's been caved  downfield they can only flail at Minor's legs and watch him bash in for six.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-10, 1 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M30 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read inside Minor 8
Same play as earlier with a dedicated double team on the backside DT from Moosman(+1) and Huyge(+1) blowing said DT off the ball and opening up a cutback lane for Minor. Huyge comes off the block to peg the WLB and Minor gets five yards downfield before the S comes up to tackle; he falls forward.
M38 2 2 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Edge pitch Minor 2
The least successful edition of this all night, and it's because Grady(19)(-1) runs right by the safety instead of blocking him, which forces Minor outside and holds this down to a couple.
M40 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Yakety Sax -- 5
An attempted bubble screen on which the ball just slips out of Forcier's hand. Um... (IN, 0, screen)
Drive Notes: Fumble, 14-10, 13 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M27 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 7
A more conventional look where the frontside DT gets scooped; this one's supposed to go inside as Grady shoots up into the crease between the C/G and T to block the LB in the hole. He does a pretty decent job but Minor does get forced back inside where the backside LB can tackle. Still excellent YAC from Minor.
M34 2 3 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Koger 4
Five man rush from Iowa with good man coverage behind it; Forcier finds Koger in front of it and hits him with good timing for the first. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M38 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Forcier 6
So here's a great example of why the scrape exchange exists: here Iowa does not run it and the DE stays home; Forcier keeps it anyway.  (ZR –1.) He then fakes outside and smokes the guy to the inside, turning a loss into significant positive yardage. Forcier still should have handed this off, as Minor had a huge cutback lane.
M44 2 4 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Sack -- -10
Live I thought this was terrible; on replay I think it's not that bad. Forcier's looking at a Stonum slant here but doesn't throw it because he's afraid of a LB dropping into the throwing lane. I think he can wing it in there but it's close and not throwing it is ok. However: I think Forcier screwed up here because the rest of the line is blocking as if this is a rollout play, and he does not roll out until much later, at which point he trips over his own feet. (TA, 0, protection NA)
M34 3 14 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Throwaway -- Inc
Iowa DT zips right through Huyge(-1) and Moosman(-1) to pressure Forcier immediately, forcing a rollout and a throwaway. (PR, 0, protection 0/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-13, 10 min 2nd Q. Rodriguez and Forcier have a somewhat heated conversation afterwards; I assume this has to be about the second-down play where the line blocked for a rollout and Forcier did not roll out.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M22 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone counter dive? Minor -3
I don't know what this is. Michigan blocks the backside DE and shoots Grady backside as well, but Grady does not slam it up between the T and the G/C, he heads outside, and Minor follows him. This does not so much work as Minor ends up cutting himself out of 2-3 yards and into a loss. This wasn't going to work but Minor should know better than to do this.
M19 2 13 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Jailbreak screen Odoms Inc
A jailbreak screen that really should work since Michigan catches Iowa in a blitz, but Forcier chucks it way high and not far enough inside, causing Odoms to get hammered and the ball to fall to the turf. (IN, 1, screen)
M19 3 13 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Scramble Forcier 9
DE gets upfield of Dorrestein(-1) and causes Forcier to flush up in the pocket, where a DT spinning off of Huyge(-1) means Forcier can't survey in an attempt to find a receiver. He takes off, gets some yards, but is well short. (TA, 0, protection 1/3, Dorrestein –1, Huyge –1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-20, 4 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M19 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 12
I'll get to more of this later, but this game reminds me of last year's ND game, when the insistence on dropping two deep safeties opened up the opposition for a lot of grinding runs. Here Michigan gets to double the frontside DT and seal him and have Grady(+1) crunch the SLB, which gives Minor a crease he shoots up into, running until a good fill from the safety takes him down.
M31 1 10 ??? ? ? ? Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch? Minor 2
We miss this play in favor of shots of the sideline.
M31 2 8 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Scramble Forcier 2
Okay, so this stunt is something Iowa will run lots until the end of the game with great success; the DEs crash inside and the DTs loop all the way around the opposite DEs, getting in clean every time. Forcier manages to juke a guy in clean and then scramble out; he should hit Minor for a first down, or very close to it, but scrambles for some yards instead. (TA, 0, protection 0/2, team)
M33 3 6 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Improv Odoms 37
Good protection for Forcier gives him plenty of time to survey; he finds nothing, rolling out eventually and pulling up to chuck a dangerous ball to Odoms. Nearly intercepted, maybe deflected, aigh! Odoms reels it in, though, and turns it into a big gainer by slipping down the sidelines, dodging a safety, and darting down to the 30. (CA?, 2, protection 2/2)
O30 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 0
No hole this time as Schilling(-1) can't get a seal on the playside DT and can't even wrestle him into position for a scoop from Molk. Minor's got nowhere to go and cuts it up into defenders, fumbling when someone whacks at the ball. Lame.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 14-20, 1 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M33 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 2
This is a missed read by Forcier as they're again blocking the backside end and the MLB is not providing contain (ZR -1). Playside DT beats Huyge(-1), driving him back and making either side of his block unpalatable. Minor gets what he can.
M35 2 8 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Hemingway Inc
Open, and Forcier actually throws it this time after looking off folks to the other side of the field. Throw is hard and low, making this a tougher catch than it needs to be. Hemingway is taken off his feet and can't bring it in. Not routine but you'd like to see him make this catch. (MA, 2, protection 2/2)
M35 3 8 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Roundtree Inc
Roundtree runs a little out that turns into a hitch as it reaches the sideline and Forcier sees no one else open so he goes for it despite the route being a couple yards short of the sticks and unlikely to pick up the first down. It's batted down, the first of the year. (BA, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-20, 14 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M39 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA Rollout TE cross Koger 15
Zone read fake to a rollout pass with outside protection being provided by a pulling Schilling. Koger streaks across the formation and is Forcier's second read, one that he comes to late. By the time he throws he's risking an interception from Sash, but he does zip it in there for a first down. Should have thrown it earlier. (On replay... maybe not.) Extremely impressed by the WLB's ability to stick with an Odoms circle route—the first read—despite the PA fake. (DO, 2, protection 2/2)
O46 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Flare screen Minor 1
This play as run just can't work. The outside WR comes back to crack down on an inside player and the pass is thrown outside, so the corner just shoots upfield. A DL is coming back, too... there's nowhere to go. I don't know if it's timing or scheme or Iowa's D or what. I lean towards something other than Iowa's D since Michigan's screen game has been subpar all year. (CA, 3, screen)
O45 2 9 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Edge pitch Shaw 4
Iowa in press man so Hemingway just runs downfield for ten yards and then starts blocking his guy, taking him out of the play. Odoms gets an effective block on the LB; Sash fills quickly and well, forcing the play to the sidelines. Still picks up five. There's huge amounts of room to cut up into if Michigan can turn this into a speed option and take that backside DE out of the play. As it is Shaw has one cut, outside.
O41 3 5 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Circle Odoms Inc
You like this matchup, with Odoms running another circle on a linebacker but with tons of room outside since it's to the field. Forcier sees it, fires it, Binns knocks it down. Binns wasn't even pass rushing, really, he just gave a little push to Dorrestein and then dropped back. Lazy fortune or telepathic offense destroying tweak? Dunno. (BA, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-23, 9 min 3rd Q. Forcier pooch time. Michigan is very unfortunate to see this kick hit at the eleven but bounce backwards.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M43 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 6
Again they're blocking the backside DE. Michigan cannot successfully scoop the backside DT but the double does end up driving him down the line and downfield a bit, which opens up a cutback since the backside DE is busy. Minor decides to take it eventually, meeting an unblocked MLB two yards downfield and turning it into five. Forcier, again, seems to have the edge if he keeps it.
M49 2 4 Ace trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Minor 5
Michigan to the line quickly, pushing the tempo. This is a virtual replay of the last play when it comes to the blocking, with a hard slant from the backside DT thwarting an attempted scoop and Minor cutting behind that. This time the cut is quicker and Michigan releases downfield on the LB, leaving the backside DE unblocked. He makes a diving tackle attempt that Minor powers through, stumbling for a first down.
O46 1 10 I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Iso Minor 10
Old fashioned power football with Michigan getting a small crease between a DT and DE and shooting Minor into it to take out one linebacker. Grady gets him but doesn't exactly bury him, leaving Minor to hurdle a linebacker, run through an attempted arm tackle from the DE, and RAGE into the secondary, where three guys eventually take him down.
O36 2 In I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Waggle scramble Forcier 1
Ortmann(-2) starts run blocking the backside DE and gets shucked, leaving Forcier one-on-one with this guy immediately and in possession of no open receivers. He does a good job to juke him and head upfield, squeezing out the first down. (PR, 0, protection 0/2, Ortmann -2)
O35 1 10 I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Waggle dumpoff Grady(24) 4
Run fake with the rollout for Forcier; has plenty of time but can't find anyone open. Grady, blocking a DE, eventually lets his block go and slips into the flat. Forcier hits him for a small gain. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
O31 2 6 I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone right Minor 7
Iowa stunting the DTs, so the playside guy runs himself out of the play and the backside guy can fight through the scoop effectively, which he does, all he wants without closing down the hole. Linebacker sees Grady head outside and follows him, allowing Minor to slam it upfield for the first down. Not really good execution, but caught Iowa in the wrong D here. (RPS +1)
O24 1 10 I-Form Twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone left Minor 4
Good reach block by Moosman but not a great one as the Iowa DT releases, gives a little ground, and then starts flowing down the line. That does open up some room between himself and the DE. Two LBs hit the hole and are taken out by Schilling and Grady, but there's not a whole lot of room. The DE comes inside Ortmann to tackle. This happens two yards downfield and the whole mass of humanity is lurching forward, giving Michigan a couple more.
O20 2 6 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Edge pitch Minor 12
The most effective one of these on the night. Odoms, Koger, and Mathews get good blocks on the edge and Minor(+1) first threatens to cut upfield, drawing the LB Koger's blocking inside. He then bounces it to the sideline, picking up the first with room to spare.
O8 1 G Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Shaw 7
Minor out for a blow after running 6 of the previous 8 plays. Michigan runs the stretch, and Shaw decides to attack the gap behind Moosman after Moosman ends up pancaking the playside DT, albeit after he didn't get the reach on him. Michigan's doubled and blown back the backside DT, though. Schilling(+1) pops out on the MLB, giving Shaw a lane he shoots into, falling at the one after hurdling detritus.
O1 2 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Iso Minor 1
Minor slams it up in a mess of bodies, meets a DT at the two, and drags him into the endzone.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-23, 4 min 3rd Q. The drive of rage.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M2 1 10 Ace twins 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone right Minor 0
I think this is at least partially on Minor, who takes an angle right into the heart of the Iowa D instead of attacking the gap between the NT and the DE to that side. Other than that it's wholesale OL fail, with Schilling(-1) the culprit who actually lets an Iowa defender through. It pains me to see Iowa eight yards off the LOS on the outside; long handoff is at least a few.
M2 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Improv Fly Stonum Inc
Spectacular pass protection, though M has six guys against four blockers. Forcier sits in the pocket forever, finding no one before loading up and attempting to find Stonum deep; the ball is overthrown. Live I thought this had a chance and Stonum made yet another poor adjustment on a deep ball. (IN, 1, protection 3/3.) No replay, unfortunately, so I can't confirm that suspicion.
M2 3 10 I-Form Twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout fly Mathews Inc
Iowa all over this; Hemingway is way, way covered on the out, and Mathews is the only other guy in the route. Forcier just loads up and chucks a hopeful deep ball that a safety comes over and nearly intercepts. Given the situation and the depth of the throw, fine. I don't really know what to chart this. It was a nearly uncatchable throw into double coverage that I would have actually liked to have seen intercepted, as it would have been a 50+ yard punt with no return. I'm not charting it. (N/A, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-23, 13 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M26 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Penalty False start -- -5
Rodrigez... eh... slightly mad.
M21 1 15 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Random chuck Roundtree Inc
Iowa runs the stunt where the DT loops all the way around the opposite DE, and it gets a DT in unblocked. Forcier starts running around, can't find anyone, and just chucks a jump ball to a double-covered Roundtree. Tres horrible. (BR, 0, protection 0/2, team)
M21 2 15 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Draw Minor 1
Huyge(-1) driven back and owned to the inside, as is Moosman, so there's no hole here. Man, Iowa isn't going to go for this in this situation.
M22 3 14 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Throwaway -- Inc
Again the same stunt, this time it gets Schilling(-2) confused and a DT through; Forcier scrambles out and dumps it. (TA, 0, protection 0/2, Schilling -2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-30, 11 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M41 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 8
Pretty simple as Michigan just doubles and seals the playside DT and shoots Minor at the MLB. MLB gets banged, then grabs Robinson as he zips by. Robinson keeps the legs moving and picks up four more after contact. Maybe this is more of a QB iso than a draw.
M49 2 2 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB zone stretch Robinson 2
Designed to go outside and gets there thanks to a good job from Dorrestein(+1) on the edge DE; MLB does an excellent job shucking Huyge(-1) and getting to Robinson as he moves up past the LOS; Minor, running past, attempts to react but does so too late.
O49 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 5
Same play as the first on this drive; this time the MLB attacks immediately, getting to Minor at the LOS and causing some delay from Robinson in the backfield that allows him to tackle earlier and cut down on the YAC. Still, zippy Robinson grabs some yards.
O44 2 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout hitch Stonum 9
Spastically wide open as the corner to that side bails out into a deep, deep zone. Robinson hits him. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O35 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB sweep Robinson 3
Michigan pulls Huyge around, attacking the gap up the middle of the field.Robinson thinks he's got a crease behind Koger and in front of the LT because the playside DT has given a lot of ground, but Angerer evades an Ortmann(-1) block and Koger loses his guy, so everything collapses around Robinson after a minor gain. Second level blocking from the tackles has been problematic all year.
O32 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Scramble Robinson 9
Robinson's got Stonum on that same hitch if he's decisive about it, but he's not. Meanwhile, the linebackers are understandably focused on Robinson and let Odoms by; he reads the safety coming up on him and breaks it outside, waving his arms as the Iowa LBs go into zone drops. Sash comes up. Robinson decides “screw it, I'm Denard Robinson” and takes off. He zips past a couple DL and is into the second level, where he WOOPS Angerer and trips, but after he gets the first down. (TA, N/A, protection 2/2)
O23 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB zone stretch Robinson 8
Excellent sealing block from Moosman(+1) on the playside DT gives Michigan a big crease they use to good effect. Schilling gets a free release on the MLB and gets a block, but Angerer is really good at getting off blocks and grabs Robinson as he zips but; I'd really prefer it if the lead blockers here would whack the linebackers on a double and leave the safeties for Robinson.
O15 2 2 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout hitch Hemingway 6
Same play as earlier; well executed and the Iowa corner is still playing off. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O9 1 G Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Shaw 2
Decent job by Moosman to reach the backside DT but he does not successfully bang him back far enough for Schilling to execute a scoop. Huyge(-1) basically gets beaten by the playside DT, so Shaw has to cut back. Schilling is improvising and trying to block Angerer, which isn't going that well but bothers him enough for Shaw to try a freakin' awesome spin move... that gets him lit up by the backside DE because Ortmann(-1) got smoked. One block from Ortmann from some highlight-reel-stuff.
O7 2 G Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB zone stretch Robinson 4
Moosman seals the playside DT excellently, getting a crease for Robinson to hit. Schilling(-1) again misses Angerer, who's been great on this drive, and forces Robinson back into a morass of bodies that Michigan is shoving towards the end zone. They eventually come to a halt at the three.
O3 3 G Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Goal line Run QB off tackle Robinson 3
Version of a power off tackle we've seen from a lot of opponents with Michigan down-blocking on the line and using Minor as a lead blocker; Iowa's all over it but Minor bumps two separate Hawkeyes outside and the unprepared Iowa line has been crushed inside by the downblocks, allowing Robinson to squeeze under the last remaining Iowa LB for a touchdown.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 28-30, 3 min 4th Q. Weirdly methodical, that.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M17 1 10 Shotgun empty 0 1 4 Base 4-3 Pass Deep comeback Odoms 14
Iowa's DT-outside-DE stunt gets in again but just as the DT is coming around to crush Robinson he zings one right on the money to Odoms between three guys for a first down. Dang. (DO, 2, protection 0/2, Ortmann -1, Schilling -1)
M31 1 10 Shotgun empty 0 1 4 Base 4-3 Run QB sweep Robinson 7
Line pass rushing so he gets outside easily, but Angerer is dropping off and unblocked, so he has to dodge outside into the secondary and does well to pick up seven. Very questionable playcall given the situation.
M38 2 3 Shotgun empty 0 1 4 Base 4-3 Pass Fly Hemingway Int
Aigh. Odoms is running hand-wavingly open after Michigan ran off dudes in zone coverage but a pressured, panicked Robinson chucks it deep at a safety, who picks it off. Maybe Hemingway could have done something with this if he hadn't broken his route off, and I don't know who that's on, but even if Hemingway continues he's throwing it basically at this safety, who didn't even have to move. Guy was covered. Odoms was not. (BR, 0, protection 0/2, team -2). Damn Iowa stunt worked again BTW.
Drive Notes: Interception, 28-30, EOG.

 Answer the question one more time. And don't fake like you don't know what I'm talking about.

If I'm going to do that I'll need a—



(Hennechart legend; MA is "marginal", screen results are in parens.)


Western Michigan 2 14 1 2 1 2 - 3
Notre Dame 5 20 (6) 2 4 3 3 - 4
Eastern Michigan 1 8 (2) 1 1 (1) 1 4 (1) - -
Indiana 3 13 (3) 1 (1) 2 5 3 - 2
Michigan State 5 19 (3) 2 4 3 3 - 5
Iowa 1 8(1) 1 3 (2) 2 3 2 2


Western Michigan - 1 1 1 2 - - -
Eastern Michigan - 1 1 (1) 2 (1) - - - -
Indiana - 1 1 (1) - - - - -
Michigan State - - - - - 2 - -
Iowa 1 2 - - 1 1 - -

This will be no surprise, but that was Forcier's worst game of his career. The only thing that came close was the who-cares Eastern game and that didn't approach this one in terms of damage. The downfield success rate* in this game was 8 / 16 = 50%, which is not good and is way short of the 70% he picked up against Michigan State. Also, the chart doesn't quite get how disastrous a couple of the throws were: one screen IN was a fumble and one of the BRs was the game-opening "anything you can do, Stanzi, I can do better" interception.

Forcier's zone read metric was +1, –3 = –2.

Robinson, on the other hand, was doing awesome until he ignored a hand-wavingly wide open Martavious Odoms on the last play of the game. I have seen Odoms ignored on more hand-wavingly wide open routes than anyone to date; someone get that midget a neon helmet.

*((DO + CA) / All Throws Not MA or PR)

So… the question?

Aw, hell, I don't want to talk about it anymore. If you were just going on the Iowa game it made total sense. If you incorporated Forcier's previous late game magic, it still didn't. The charts basically say what everyone already new: Forcier played very poorly. That was never in question.

So… more charts?

More charts.

The receivers didn't have a lot to do:

This Game Totals
Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Hemingway 1 - 0/1 1/1 3 - 1/2 7/7
Mathews - - - - 7 1/4 1/2 6/6
Stonum 1 0/1 - 1/1 2 1/3 3/4 9/9
Savoy - - - - 2 - 0/1 3/3
Odoms 1 0/1 1/2 2/2 4 1/3 4/6 12/13
Grady-19 - - - 0/1 2 - 1/1 8/11
Roundtree 2 - - - 3 - 1/2 -
Rogers - - - - - - - -
Koger - 1/1 1/1 1/1 - 3/4 3/4 6/7
Webb - - - - 1 - - 2/3
Minor - - - 1/1 - - - 1/1
Brown - - - - - 1/3 1/1 5/6
Shaw - - - - - - 0/1 -
Smith - - - - - - - -
Grady-24 - - - 1/1 - - - 1/1

I may have been generous in filing a couple of those 2s; they were borderline and you'd like to see Odoms and Hemingway catch those, though you can understand why they might not have. The most interesting things on the chart to me: no attempts to Mathews, who also may have lost his punt return job after the muff, and Koger's picked up 6/8 tough or moderate catches so far this year. He needs the ball more, I think.

As for the protection:

PROTECTION METRIC: 25/41, Team –6, Huyge –2, Moosman –1, Dorrestein –1, Ortmann –3, Schilling –3.

That is not good, and is responsible for a lot of Forcier's running around. He was willing to sit in the pocket when he got one, but that wasn't often. And I'd say 60-70% of the negatives—all of the "team" negs and probably half of the player-specific ones—came on this:

This stunt never failed to get pressure and never opened anything up for Michigan; very frustrating they couldn't adjust to it even after Iowa had run it 6, 7, 8 times. Michigan did get a couple of good runs out of it, but in pass protection they got killed.

The run game bounced back from the State game, didn't it?

Absolutely. Watch Schilling and Moosman:

With Minor in Michigan did that a lot, doubling the backside DT and blasting some RAGE right up the middle of the field. That, too, was a new wrinkle in the run game that didn't show up against Michigan State.

And here watch Moosman seal the defensive tackle by himself:

That basically never happened against MSU, and I don't think it's got much to do with the quality of Iowa's DL versus Michigan State's. The offensive line bounced back from the ugly day against State, further suggesting that Dantonio has put a lot of effort into defending the spread 'n' shred and Michigan must go into next year's game prepared to break any and all previous tendencies.

Here's where we get back to the stuff about the Iowa defense: I wonder if Norm Parker will be this two-deep and passive against Michigan in future years. This game reminded me a lot of Corwin Brown's Notre Dame defenses, which absolutely loved leaving two safeties back on every play and got gashed by Michigan every year until he was deposed by Tenuta. It worked for Iowa in this game, though just barely, because of a slew of unforced errors and that damn stunt above. Given the Iowa D's rep, I bet they'll sit back even when Michigan has the spread 'n' shred up at full thresh, and in years like that they'll get blown apart. Watching the film, I was struck by a lack of adaptation on Iowa's part. They're fundamentally good but very boring, and I think that will play to Michigan's advantage going forward.

Why couldn't Michigan break this sort of stuff out against Michigan State?

The edge pitch is pretty obvious: don't want to debut a new play that can result in a fumble if your dinged up quarterback doesn't throw it in the right spot. The subtle variations in the run game, though, could have been inserted and I'm not sure why they weren't. Michigan blocked the backside defensive end quite a bit in this game, and that opened up a lot of cutback runs a crashing DE would have wiped out. I also think it convinced that backside DE that Michigan was not running a zone read and caused him to give up quarterback contain, because it certainly didn't look like there was anyone on Forcier much of the day. Not that it mattered, because Michigan was creasing the line time and again.

The only thing I can think of is that they were still trying to figure out the basics with their reconfigured offensive line and weren't confident enough in those, so they spent their time trying to get that down instead of putting in bells and whistles. Even that explanation is not very convincing. Maybe they just screwed up.


I'd say Minor but for the fumble. How about the interior OL, which had a very good day against the Hawkeye front? Also, Koger and Odoms are productive and look like they'll continue being productive.


Forcier and the Mysterious Reason Michigan Couldn't Block That Stunt.

What does it mean for Delaware Penn State and beyond?

The debacle against Michigan State appears to be the lesser of two evils: MSU has just turned in anomalously good rush defense performances two straight years. The run game is not a smoke-and-mirrors fraud. Almost 200 yards against Iowa is a good output, especially when the long run of the evening was twelve yards*. If Michigan could have put together a decent passing game or not, you know, been –4 in turnover margin, we'd be spending this week rhapsodizing about the offensive line and MINOR RAGE.

Minor's ankle might not be totally healthy, but it's good enough for government work.

In the passing game: Odoms has taken hold of the slot receiver position and it looks like Mathews is getting a little marginalized. It's hard to tell given the output there. Forcier had a bad game but remains the #1 guy, without question. Robinson should get a lot of time against Delaware State, where we can all see him wing some bad passes and fret about it.

*(General theory here is that long runs are sort of random and very distorting.)

Wednesday Presser Notes 10-14

Wednesday Presser Notes 10-14

Submitted by Tim on October 14th, 2009 at 7:23 PM

Brief today (mostly because Rich was 20 minutes late)

  • Tate didn't really practice yesterday, but RR expected him on the field today. If he's healthy, he'll start on Saturday.
  • Brown and Minor should be close to 100% today. If both are healthy, Minor is the starter. The coaches still want more game reps for Shaw and Smith.
  • Woolfolk will stay at CB for the time being, but he could go back to safety in the future. They like having 2 veteran CBs to defend the pass.
  • Kelvin Grady has gotten less PT because they've been going for more (football) experience in big games. Martavious Odoms has gotten more snaps instead.
  • Moosman has improved at center, particularly with his snaps.
  • Zoltan has been punting very well from both the rugby kick and standard punt plays. He might have even been kicking too well against Iowa, beating his coverage down the field.

Monday Presser Notes: 10-12

Monday Presser Notes: 10-12

Submitted by Tim on October 12th, 2009 at 1:56 PM

Rich Rodriguez

  • Tate suffered a minor concussion on his last play against Iowa. It was not the reason he sat out the last two drives, however. That was a coaching decision. He is still expected to start against Delaware State, but that's up to the team's medical staff. Both Tate and Denard are still pretty small guys, so the coaching staff is trying to limit the contact that they have to take. People need to remember that they are just freshmen, so a mental mistake here and there is inevitable. Most freshmen, especially QBs, have the luxury of redshirting. Part of what makes Tate and Denard so good is their ability to improvise. Like Pat White, Rasheed Marshall, and Shaun King, they need to be able to improvise within the system.
  • The outside receivers are doing a good job blocking, but the team needs to do a better job of getting them the ball as well. Inside receivers are also doing well. Martavious Odoms is very physical despite his size, and Kevin Koger is probably on pace to get a record number of receptions for a tight end under Rich Rod.
  • The offensive line played solidly, but they didn't have their best game. That's understandable, because Iowa is one of the best defensive fronts they'll see all year. There are some technical and fundamental things that need to be improved still. The trainers will let Molk run a little this week to evaluate his discomfort.
  • Moving Woolfolk down to corner enabled Jordan Kovacs to move to strong safety. Rish first thought about the move after the MSU game, though the defensive coaches may have already been giving it some thought.
  • Boubacar Cissoko's suspension is to due academics and other things. He's only practicing with the scout team at this point. He knows what he has to do in order to get back on the field.
  • There's still no guarantee of a redshirt for freshmen who haven't seen the field yet. There are 6 more weeks to go, and you never know what can happen. The Cissoko suspension will leave the door open for Justin Turner, in particular.
  • It's hard to keep the team emotionally prepared for the Delaware state game, especially coming of a the primetime showdown with Iowa. They need to remember that they'll get DSU's best shot. The reason for games like Delaware State is to get the 8th home game. Hopefully in the future, Michigan will be able to get a bit better competition for that game - though they'll probably stay within the 1-AA ranks. Rodriguez would probably rather have a bye week.

David Moosman

  • Moosman and the entire offensive line were "great, but not perfect" against Iowa. The snaps have improved, and Moosman feels like he's finally in a groove at the center position. Moosman is a less intense player at center, and that intensity is what makes Molk great.
  • Young QBs are going to make mistakes. They just need to remember that they aren't the only ones: "everyone makes mistakes, they're just in the spotlight."
  • Halfway through the season, you'd prefer not to have the two losses, but they've come out and played hard in all 6 games. They've already done better than ;ast year, but there's still a lot more work to do. "We're ready to go."

Zoltan Mesko

  • Zoltan's mom called to make sure he knew he was selected Big 10 special teams player of the week. It's an honor, but he's not too happy about it because he wanted the team to win.
  • Zoltan needs to manage his emotions, and not get too high after a good performance (i.e. against Iowa), nor too low after a bad one (against Michigan State). On the fake against Michigan State, Zoltan said he thought he should punt it, but by the time he had made a decision, he was past the point of no return.
  • Zoltan doesn't feel good about the team being 4-2, mostly because of the way it happened. Starting 4-0 then dropping a couple games is a damper. everyone would prefer to be 6-0.

Troy Woolfolk

  • Troy is happy at either corner or safety, whichever will help him get on the field. He's not sure which is his more natural position, but moving from safety to corner is easier, because he needs to only worry about his guy, and not the entire defensive scheme. When Coach Gibson texted him during class that they needed to have a meeting, Troy thought he did something wrong. He was relieved that it was just about a position switch.
  • Soup Campbell always gave Troy a hard time when he was coaching at Michigan. He wanted to talk some trash to soup before the game, but couldn't find him. He thought that Iowa would pick on him all game, but was surprised to see they mostly attacked Donovan.
  • Cissoko has responded well to his suspension. He's headed on the right track, and he knows what he did. "Boubacar: He's a fighter, he'll be back."

Brandon Minor

  • Minor's health is improving each week. The only thing that's still bothering him is that he's unable to explode out of his cuts. Still, he's getting pretty close to 100%.
  • The offense keeps improving from week-to-week. They need to continue fixing the little things to achieve what they want.
  • Though he's a skill-position player, Minor savors contact. He likes to deliver the hit rather than receive it.
  • Regardless of the situation, Minor talks to the QBs and keeps their heads on straight. Minor has faith in anybody the coaches throw in there. Denard's pick was a common freshman mistake.

Brandon Graham

  • The team needs to be able to play all 60 minutes of a game in order to win. It's tough to think about being just a couple plays from a 6-0 record. They've lost, however, so 10-2 is the new goal.
  • Graham has accepted a more vocal leadership position this year. He still sometimes gets nervous about what exactly he's going to say. Gotta go out there and keep leading, keep practicing hard. Leaders can't be down because the team loses. They have to be the ones to keep the guys up.
  • RVB and Mike Martin said sorry to Graham: Don't want him to lose another game in his senior year.
  • 3rd down defense is kinda bad, but they're trying to get it together. Sometimes, it's just good plays by the opposing offense. "I don't wanna say lucky, but 3rd and 24? Man, luck has gotta be on your side."

Wednesday Presser Notes: 10-7

Wednesday Presser Notes: 10-7

Submitted by Tim on October 7th, 2009 at 4:46 PM
  • Tate was limited in practice Monday and Tuesday, but did everything on Wednesday. He came out of the locker room in a green jersey, but was in the normal practice jersey by the time the team actually started drilling.
  • Minor has been having his healthiest week of practice since training camp. He went through all of the practice yesterday - and Tuesday is the most physical day. Minor has been limited in games because of those injuries. He's only been able to play because he already knew a lot of the offense.
  • David Molk has worked with the trainers, but he's still not ready to play. He might not practice even next week. Without him, the line is trying to develop a sense of continuity. In Moosman's 3rd consecutive game at center, there should be some improvement.
  • The second corner position is still open. It shouldn't be resolved for another several weeks. Kovacs has played well enough to inspire confidence in the coaches. Mike Williams is healthy now, so he should get some playing time.
  • Team needs to work on execution in passing game, in addition to running game. Rodriguez doesn't care if the team scores on the ground or through the air, as long as they score.
  • Iowa has an active defensive front, they'll be difficult to beat. They jump the snap well, and play with good upper-body technique. The OL just needs to have good fundamentals up front and get on blocks.
  • The athletic department hasn't discussed night games. ESPN really wants them to have one, but there are logistical issues that make it more difficult than it seems. For the coaches, they have meetings and a walkthrough, and sit around and watch a couple of the early games. There isn't as much of a rush to finish a walkthrough the day before. West Virginia had a good night game record, and the players there took pride in that. The fans have all day to prepare (read: drink) for night games, which has an effect on the atmosphere.In Morgantown, that sometimes meant burning couches afterwards.
  • The pink locker room isn't a concern for the coaches. It's not that big of a deal to the team. Rodriguez has no plans to paper over the pink walls, like Bo once did.
  • Rodriguez is friendly with Soup Campbell, the former WR coach for Michigan and current WR coach for Iowa. They haven't talked since the season started.
  • Mike Martin is one of the team's most consistent performers. Rodriguez would like to be able to have more guys play, and get the defensive line more rest.
  • GERG may have an advantage against Iowa, because he's coached against them before, when he was at Syracuse. Of course, that means Iowa has seen his defensive schemes before, as well.
  • Rodriguez got a chance to watch the Tigers last night. He's met with Jim Leyland, and Jared Van Slyke's dad is a coach for the Tigers. "They'll be back."

Upon Further Review: Offense vs Indiana

Upon Further Review: Offense vs Indiana

Submitted by Brian on October 1st, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Personnel bits: Indiana basically did the same thing as Eastern presnap. Post-snap stuff gets extensive discussion below.

BONUS: I'm trying to integrate previous explanatory posts into the UFRs in an effort to reduce confusion.

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M39 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass PA Deep Hitch Hemingway Inc
Zone read fake into a pass rollout; Koger picks off the unblocked backside DE and Forcier steps up into a ton of room. He could run for 5-8 and looks like he's going to; at the last minute he pulls up and throws to a wide open Hemingway. Airmailed. Indecisive. (IN, 0, protection 1/1)
M39 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Flare screen Brown 61
Explosivo. Odoms(+2) gets a great cut block on his corner that takes out a charging safety; Hemingway(+1) crushes his corner to the ground, and Schilling and Ortmann drive a linebacker into the Odoms mess. Brown turns on the jets, at which point no man catches him. (CA, 3, screen) Replay.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-7, 8 min 1st Q. Pam Ward: bleah.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M29 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass PA Deep Post Mathews Inc
Little bit of a different sort of PA with your typical zone read fake but instead of rolling out Forcier hangs in the pocket. Koger(-1) is tasked with one-on-one blocking of one of Indiana's good DEs and loses him, allowing Forcier to get hit and perhaps making him throw sooner than he'd like. Pass is just about on the money but the Indian DB jumps on Mathews' back and seemingly interferes. There's even a flag, but then it's waved off. WTF? I mean, the guy clearly grabs Mathews's shoulder. (CA, 0, protection 1/2, Koger -1)
M29 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone counter dive Brown 6
Check the link for a primer. Indiana 1) blitzes a corner for the QB contain, which means the WLB isn't running himself out of the play on a scrape, and 2) has the backside DE a bit better prepared for this; he takes Koger's block and starts flowing downfield in pursuit. The WLB did go for the stretch fake, though, and got pulled out of position. The two IU players recover to tackle after a good gain.
M35 2 4 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Out Odoms 7 + 15 Pen
Odoms only has a step on what appears to be an OLB because I think he runs a sloppy, rounded out. Opinions? Forcier lays in an excellent pass given the good coverage and Odoms brings it in, turning it up for a first down. (CA, 3, protection 1/1) Stupid PF on Middleton gets 15 more.
O43 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Dive Brown 2
End around fake does not hold the unblocked DE and there's apparently no other contain; handoff would have gained a lot. May have to calll the end-around more to keep folks honest. Not sure if this is supposed to hit the backside or be an actual inside zone play but I do know that Schilling(-1) got blown back, which cut off both holes, basically, and condemned Brown to run up into the backside DE and unblocked WLB.
O41 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read stretch Brown 41
Various parts: 1) outstanding seal by Moosman(+1) immediately takes the backside of the play out. 2) Schilling(+1) reacts adroitly to a blitzing linebacker, kicking him out well enough for 3) Brown to cut up behind him into the gaping crease provided by 1. DE fights outside to maintain the contain he's supposed to, and... 4) Koger(+1) cuts inside the block! I have not seen a Michigan lead blocker sort do this on a zone stretch yet. I complained all last year about Moundros wandering outside to block no one when a stretch play failed to get outside the tackle; here it appears that Koger reads the block of the DE and decides to cut inside to pick up a block where Brown will head. This he does, allowing Brown to cut around him for first down yardage. 5) Mathews blocks the corner, and Brown is gone. Replay.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-7, 6 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M7 1 10 Ace Twins 1 2 2 4-3 under Run Inside zone Brown -1
Huyge(-2) straight up beat by the Indiana DT; coupled with a blitz this leads to two guys crushing Brown in the backfield.
M6 2 11 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 4-3 under Pass Rollout hitch Savoy 8
Max protect look with both TEs and the RB staying in to block. Indiana is playing way off and the hitch is open. Hit; escorted out of bounds; next play. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M14 3 3 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Savoy Inc
No rollout but a very similar play on which Indiana calls scissors to our paper, shooting an OLB into a short zone and getting him to knock down the pass despite the fact he's not even looking at it. Forcier might have come off the outside hitch to someone more open, like Webb. But... eh, just a good D play. (CA, 0, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-7, 3 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M38 1 10 Shotgun Trips 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Bubble fake to slant Webb Inc
Three WRs with only two guys attempting to cover them to the bottom of the screen, which M figures will cause a bubble freakout. It does, but it's a fake, and Webb runs a little slant that's wide open. Forcier hits him in the hands; he drops it. Would have been 8-10. (CA, 3, protection 1/1) Michigan should try running this as a bomb; Indiana's safety was biting hard and this would have (also) been wide open deeper.
M38 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone counter dive Shaw 2
Someone finally defends this, with the DE reading the H-back and flowing down the line to cut the hole off. This should open the bubble screen since the contain on the play is from the nominal nickelback, but more about that later.
M40 3 8 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Improv deep hitch Stonum 25 (Pen -5)
Dorrestein(-2) flat beat by the DE opposite him; fortunately for M the other DE has crashed inside and Forcier can scramble out, which he does, finding Stonum along the sideline for big yardage. Stonum drags toes to make a nice catch. Play comes back because one of the OL is ruled to have lined up doo far in the backfield, which never gets called. CONSPIRACY. (DO, 2, protection 0/2, Dorrestein -2)
M35 3 13 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Fly Hemingway Inc
Miscommunication between Hemingway and Forcier. From the stands I saw Forcier motion to Hemingway, indicating he should have continued deep. In any case, this was thrown into double coverage and could have been intercepted. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-14, 1 min 1st Q. CONSPIRACY
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M19 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Grady 2
This should be open as the nominal nickel defender is coming in and the safety Polk is charged with running this down but Polk does an excellent job and Forcier's throw is a little far upfield, which gives him time to close. (MA, 3, screen)
M21 2 8 Shotgun Trips 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Sack -- -3
Dorrestein(-2) smoked by the DE, forcing Forcier to scramble up in the pocket. Unfortunately, Minor's double to help Ortmann has just changed the other DE's momentum so that he can more easily track Forcier down from behind; he grabs Forcier and drags him down. Forcier tries to Mallett it but is ruled down. (PR, 0, protection 0/2, Dorrestein -2)
M18 3 11 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Nickel Run QB draw Forcier -4
Oh, Rodriguez... lame. Lame. I wondered if this was Forcier doing scramble stuff but the WRs are stalk-blocking. It's a QB draw. And it's one that Indiana blitzes right into, so Forcier just goes down and lives to fight another day.
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-14, 12 min 2nd Q. Yeah, I thought Forcier was getting too scrambly in this game too but there's nothing so far that wasn't the right play.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M30 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel Run Zone read stretch Minor 5
Good scoop block seals the backside defensive end and gets Schilling out on the WLB, but Ortmann(-1) can't hold his ground well enough to allow Minor to dart into the secondary. Minor ends up running into Ortmann's but a yard or so downfield and is sufficiently slowed for the crease to close; decent gain anyway. Minor had to take that alley because the frontside scoop by Moosman and Huyge didn't work out well, FWIW.
M35 2 5 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel Run Zone counter dive Shaw 3
Robinson in. Indiana does not appear to respond. M runs a variation of the counter dive using Minor as the H-back; since Indiana continues to use the nickel corner as contain, Brown is running directly at the WLB. Still picks up some yards.
M38 3 2 Shotgun Empty 2TE 0 2 3 Nickel Run Outside zone Robinson 3
Apparently a short-yardage variation of an outside zone with the RT and RG not scoop blocking the playside DT but just plain doubling him and sealing him. Koger, unfortunately, trips as he attempts to get out on the playside LB, which leaves him unblocked. Denard takes a pop at the LOS but manages to bounce off it a bit and fall forward for the first down.
M41 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read stretch Minor 6 (Pen -10)
Forcier back. Moosman(-1) does not get playside of the DT on this play despite help from Huyge and then drags his guy to the ground, drawing a deserved holding call. That guy in the backfield still disrupts the play; Minor does a valiant job of cutting it up and bouncing off guys for a good gain. For naught.
M31 1 20 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass PA argh -- Int
Same version of the zone read play fake that leaves Forcier in the pocket. He has an opportunity to survey the field, decides against a throw, and then gets pressure. He goes one way, finds a DE there, goes another way, finds the same the other way, and then moves up, out... he's clearly just trying to chuck the ball away but gets tackled and the ball appears to slip out of his hand. It floats and is grabbed by a DL. Torn between TA and BR, but he was in a lot of trouble and did too much. Also probably should have just chucked it earlier. (BR, 0, protection 2/3, team)
Drive Notes: Interception, 14-17, 7 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M30 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Yakety... ok. 5
Robinson in for this drive. He fumbles the snap, because that's his finishing move. This was supposed to be a QB draw and pretty much remains one; Robinson slips a tackle darts outside, and is one good safety fill from another ridiculous run.
M35 2 5 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass PA Rollout Circle Grady 3
Again they are in man on the slots with this safety guy, and after Robinson's read fake into a rollout he throws a circle route on-time and accurately to Grady, who should be able to turn it upfield except for another great play from this safety Polk. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M38 3 2 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Yakety Sax -- -Lots (Pen +5)
First freeze play, the one that works. Robinson barked a cadence and Moosman just chucked it way low; this is a bad snap not on the freeze. Which worked.
M43 1 10 Shotgun Trips 1 1 3 Nickel Run QB zone stretch Robinson 2
Better blocked than two yards except for the inability of the backside DT to be handled by Dorrestein(-1) and Huyge(-1); even so Robinson had more room slightly more outside and shouldn't have cut it up so dramatically, I think. Another stretch play where Michigan's lead blocker just heads outside a tackle that the runner won't.
M45 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Rollout hitch Grady Inc
Robinson late on this throw and compounds that by throwing it inside, allowing an IU DB to break it up. (MA, 1, protection 1/1)
M45 3 8 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Seam Koger 35
Robinson stands in an excellent pocket, finds Koger streaking past the linebackers in the zone, and hits him with excellent timing. Accuracy... well... I'm not filing it MA but it could have been better. Koger makes a terrific leaping adjustment, spinning back to face forward after he reels it in and picking up 10 YAC. (CA, 2, protection 2/2)
O20 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run QB zone stretch Robinson 8
Playside IU DT forgets about the stretch threat or something because he steps straight upfield and invites Moosman(+1) to seal him, which he's happy to do. Huge hole and two downfield blockers on the LBs; Robinson hits it up for eight.
O12 2 2 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read dive Minor 12
Ooh: variant. Michigan's sick of IU adjusting to the counter dive and pulls out a different thing that looks like it, with the H-back kicking backside but Minor hitting it up in the gap between the two DTs—the “zone counter dive” goes between the backside DE and DT—as second level blockers level the LBs. Minor gets on the right side of a great Huyge(+1) downfield block and rages into the endzone.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-20, 2 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M24 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Penalty False Start Brown -5
Robinson still in; odd with two minutes left in the half. Eh?
M19 1 15 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB draw Robinson 6
Six yards, but six exciting ones. This play breaks down because Huyge(-1) can't control his man and the intended crease is filled up, leaving Robinson to dance around Indiana defenders until he's finally hauled down.
M25 2 9 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone counter dive? Brown 0
This seems like a bust, because it's sort of the zone counter dive but the h-back just runs by the backside DE, leaving him to tackle Brown immediately. This looks like the QB counter play covered in picture pages except for Robinson handing the ball off. Merph.
M25 3 9 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read keeper Robinson 3
Indiana blitzing and bringing both safeties up, which means Robinson nails one of them when he bursts into what would otherwise be open space; Michigan was probably looking to punt and go in at halftime. Robinson, unfortunately, fumbles.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 21-20, 1 min 2nd Q. Michigan does have a couple plays before the end of the half but they're not charted since Indiana is just giving Michigan the yards on the final play.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M49 1 10 I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA Waggle flat Grady(24) 15
Basically the zone counter dive except faked; Forcier rolls out and finds Grady a yard or two in front of an Indiana linebacker. Forcier hits him. Odoms(+1) comes back to delay, if not block, that linebacker, and Grady(+1) makes Polk miss, turning it up for excellent yardage. (CA, 3, protection NA)
O41 1 10 I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Nickel Run Inside zone Minor -1
Safety walks up, presenting a seven-man front. Odoms comes in motion for an end-around fake. Up the middle to Minor; Huyge(-1) and Schilling(-1) get beat by slants and Minor gets swallowed in the backfield.
O42 2 11 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass PA Out Odoms 7
Zone read fake with a pulling guard to provide some pass blocking on the backside. With the nickelback acting as QB contain and a fly route dragging the outside corner upfield, Odoms' little out route is wide open. Forcier's throw is a bit behind and Odoms has to make a pretty tough catch; Polk makes a nice tackle. (CA, 2, protection 1/1)
O35 3 4 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Yakety Sax -- -18
The play where the Indiana DE jumps twice and Moosman snaps it, apparently catching the guy... but no. Forcier was looking to the sideline when the snap came, and the snap itself wasn't bad.
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-23, 12 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O40 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass PA Bubble screen Grady Inc
Probably a run-pass option similar to the one we saw in the Western game where Forcier takes it out and then has the bubble if he wants it. This was not called. Mathews(-1) bizarrely heads inside in an attempt to block the safety, then decides he' wrong and tries to come out on the corner, which means he doesn't block anyone. That corner is charging hard and would snuff this out even if it wasn't dropped by Grady(19) (CA, 3, protection NA)
O40 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Yakety Sax -- Inc
This snap is high but catchable; it's also really zinged back, which makes it tough to handle. Forcier can't, but does manage to recover the thing and chuck it away to avoid a loss of yardage. Not charted.
O40 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Throwback screen Hemingway 1
Poor block from Koger(-1) lets the corner in on Hemingway and disrupts the play; Indiana had a delayed blitz and a stunt on and had two other players in the area, so this was probably going to be snuffed out anyway. (CA, 3, screen)
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-23, 10 min 3rd Q. Michigan was going to try a quick kick but got a false start, so Zoltan punts. I think this playcalling is done with a go-on-fourth mentality, BTW: screen probably doesn't pick up all the yards and if they get anything more than, oh, one, Rodriguez probably goes.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M29 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run QB sweep Robinson 8
Robinson in. Michigan runs off tackle, pulling Huyge and using Minor as a lead blocker. Koger gets discarded by the Indiana DE, causing both lead blockers to go after him and stripping Robinson of his convoy, but Odoms(+1) gets a fantastic block on the nickelback and allows Robinson the corner, where he jukes the safety Polk and ends up with a nice gain.
M37 2 2 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run QB zone stretch Robinson 5
Excellent sealing reach block from Moosman(+1) gets a crease between himself and the tackle, and Robinson hits up into it. Indiana's DE got upfield enough here to force the cutback, which reduces Minor to a guy running outside and forces the cut-up; he then comes back to grab Robinson as he passes and holds this gain down. Excellent job by that guy.
M42 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Yakety Sax -- -20
I think the issue here is that Moosman is just whipping the ball back way faster.
M22 2 30 I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Nickel Pass PA Scramble Forcier 9
Forcier. Some initial time but then Dorrestein(-1) just sort of pushes his guy away and disengages, allowing a DT up into the pocket and causing Forcier to bug out. He rolls out and finds open space, picking up good yardage on the scramble. (TA, N/A, protection 1/2, Dorrestein -1)
M31 3 21 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Cross Odoms Inc
Good pocket and Forcier actually moves up into it, rifling a ball to Odoms as he comes across the zone. This isn't going to pick up the first but would be worth ten yards of field position; it's low and Odoms can't dig it out; it bounces off his knees. (CA, 2, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-26, 3 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass PA Rollout sack -- -1
Indiana changes up their backside DT stuff, shooting their guy well upfield instead of having him move down the line cautious in case Michigan hits them up the middle. They might have found a tell here. Koger's backside block is okay but forces Forcier up into a pocket that doesn't really exist, where an unblocked linebacker closes to tackle. Had Stonum on a hitch and should be more willing to throw; will come with time. (BR, 0, protection 1/1)
M24 2 11 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read stretch Brown 8
Excellent seal by Moosman(+1) gets your standard giant C-T crease. Downfield Koger(+1) has a nice block on one linebacker but Huyge(-1) can't cut or seal the other linebacker, who disengages to tackle.
M32 3 3 I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA Waggle flat Grady(24) 3
Same play they ran earlier with a zone dive fake and the FB heading out into the flat. Indiana actually in a good D for this because it's cover two and a CB is a short zone but Grady(+1) manages to power through the tackle for first down yardage. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M35 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read keeper Forcier -2
Forcier keeps it despite the DE not crashing down, then doesn't throw the bubble despite said DE having contain on him. Not so good. (BR, N/A, N/A)
M33 2 12 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Rollout fly Mathews Inc
Plenty of time on the edge as there's no one out there and Brown is acting as a personal protector. Forcier has time to survey and finds Mathews between the safety and corner, but underthrows it. (IN, 1, protection 2/2)
M33 3 12 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Seam Grady(19) 20
Drop back; plenty of time, no one open. Forcier starts rolling to by time and finds Grady sitting down between levels in the zone, hitting him for the first down. (DO, 3, protection 2/2)
O47 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read stretch Brown 5
Playside DT gets doubled by the C and backside G on a scoop block, which doesn't quite work but does delay the DT, driving him a couple yards off the LOS. Koger(-1) gets a cut block that's pretty silly because there's time for the guy to get up afterwards; Schilling has to deal with him. Brown sees the traffic and the safety coming up to fill unmolested and cuts back a little bit, running up the back of the previous-mentioned DT; pile falls forward for decent yardage.
O42 2 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read stretch Brown 12
Moosman(+2) reaches the playside DT and then authoritatively pancakes him. Sweet, sweet block. This provides a gaping hole for Brown that he cuts up into; Huyge(+1) and Dorrestein(+1) first scoop the backside DT and then block the WLB, sending Brown into the secondary. Hoosiers just do drag him down.
O30 1 10 Shotgun Trips 1 1 3 Nickel Run Yakety scramble Forcier 9
Another bad snap, but Forcier(+1) manages to turn this one into something positive because the backside DE freaked out about the fumble and lost his contain. An inadvertent successful zone read.
O21 2 1 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 under Run Power off tackle Minor 8
Webb(+1) and Ortmann(+1) basically pick the playside DT up and escort him roughly back as Michigan attacks the tackle area. Huyge pulls around and Grady acts as a lead blocker; Grady kicks out the SLB, leaving Huyge one-on-one with the safety; safety dives in a desperate attempt to trip Minor... and does. That was the only thing between him and the endzone, as Indiana blitzed up the middle. Our rock, their scissors.
O13 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 under Run Power off tackle Minor 1
Exact same play to the other side of the line. Basically works, too, with Minor about to slash upfield into the secondary and possibly the endzone when the backside(!) LB completes an amazing slash through a crease in the line and makes a shoestring tackle. Best play I've seen any LB make all year.
O12 2 9 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read stretch Brown 5
Playside DT doesn't get sealed but does get shoved down the LOS too far, giving up a yard or two of ground. Backside DT should have this as he's avoided the backside cut but he heads too far upfield and allows Brown to hit it up behind Moosman for five.
O7 1 10 I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Scramble Forcier 7
Same waggle they've hit in the flat a couple times. Now... this is not the world's best read from Forcier since he's got Odoms hand-wavingly open in the back of the endzone for six and instead decides to take off, but with only one guy out there and Grady blocking, fine. At least he's decisive. And he's not wrong: first down is easy and the touchdown comes with a spectacular endzone leap. (TA, 0, protection NA).
O8 2PT 2PT Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Nickel Run QB draw Forcier 8
False start brings it back here. Good call for the D as Indiana's blitzing from the outside and once Forcier is through the crease in the OL he's just got members of the secondary. Safety comes up to hit as Forcier tries to leap again, at which point M Bush Pushes him into the endzone.
Drive Notes: Touchdown (2PT), 29-26, 9 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M26 1 10 I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Dive Minor 3
Heading right up the middle with an end-around fake. Here a momentary double on one DT from Moosman and Schilling(-1) does not get the DT sealed, leaving him to tackle in the hole. Couple yards because he gave some ground there.
M29 2 7 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read stretch Minor 0
DL slanting hard to the playside; playside DT ends up driving into Huyge and never gets sealed; backside DT is similarly uncontained. The two guys tackle Minor as he approaches the LOS.
M29 3 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Sack -- -12
Indiana sends six with a delayed seventh and the pickup here is decent but there are soon more guys than there are blockers. Forcier absolutely has one guy on either a post or a wheel but instead of throwing it runs out and is eventually sacked; he throws it away but it does not get to the LOS, so it's grounding. (BR, 0, protection 2/3, team -1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 29-33, 7 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M48 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass? BOOM MALLETTED Brown 2
Oy. Tate stands in the pocket, but is forced to scramble around because Brown(-2) whiffed a cut block on the Indiana DE. Tate manages to step through that guy's tackle attempt, then flips it backwards to Brown a la Mallett-Butler against Wisconsin, turning a sure sack into like two yards. Brilliant? Idiotic? I don't know. (PR, 0, protection 0/2 Brown -2)
50 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone counter dive Brown 4
DE is sliding down the line so the backside hole is cut off. Rest of the line is a mess. People are getting some push but not a lot; no one's in the backfield but there are no creases. Brown does a good job of picking his way through heavy traffic for four yards. An all around “eh” play.
O46 3 4 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Rollout scramble Forcier 5
Forcier rolls out and he's only got two options to look at; one gets cut off short but it sort of looks like Grady's deep hitch is open. Can't see the safeties so maybe not. Forcier scrambles out, finding a crease back through the middle of the line for a first down. (TA, 0, protection 2/2)
O41 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 7
Tate goes out with shoulder stuff so Denard is in. Good seal by Moosman with help from Schilling but either Minor just doesn't read the blocks quite well enough or Moosman doesn't quite hold his ground enough because Minor trips over Moosman's legs as he passes. Minor(+1) then impressively keeps his balance and blows through a linebacker's tackle, turning two yards into seven.
O34 2 3 Shotgun Trips 1 1 3 Nickel Run QB lead draw Robinson 4
Just easy, as Indiana only has six in the box. Michigan doubles a DT, kicks out a DE, and sends Minor to act as a missile on one of the LBs; Robinson picks it up easily.
O30 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read stretch Minor 5
Forcier returns. Almost identical to the other stretch on this drive down to the trip as Minor gets through the hole, though this one is on Ortmann more than Moosman. Michigan is not getting the WLB blocked well enough and he's coming through to tackle after the RB breaches the hole.
O25 2 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson -2
Robinson in. Not a fan of this again; Indiana is blitzing the nickelback and a linebacker into this. Linebacker scoots past Koger(-1); Koger should just take on the MLB but instead peels back; two guys are now trying to deal with him. MLB unblocked, Robinson tries back juke that doesn't work.
O27 3 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Post Odoms 27
Indiana sends the house, with six guys crossing the LOS and another delayed blitzer; they're in man cover zero. Forcier stands in, gets good protection – blitz wasn't timed that well – and lays it in beautifully. Okay, a tiny bit underthrown. Great analysis, Van Gogh. (DO, 3, protection 3/3) Replay.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 36-33, 2 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O30 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 Base 4-3 Run Power off tackle Minor 5
Moundros in for the first time all game. Same thing as earlier: double and blow the playside DE off the ball, pull opposite OG around, use lead blocker. Moundros(+1) crushes the OLB and Schilling gets a good block on the edge; Minor has a ton of room before oddly holding up after about five yards, probably because he was afraid of going OOB. Still should have had a few more.
O25 2 5 I-Form Big 2 2 1 Base 4-3 Run Iso Minor 4
Excellent kickout by Moundros(+1), who blows the MLB right out of the hole, providing an easy four yards for Minor.
O21 3 1 I-Form Big 2 2 1 Base 4-3 Run Iso Minor 2
Same deal except the Indiana safety Polk is screaming towards the LOS and actually meets Minor in the backfield. He gets trucked, though, and Minor falls forward for the first down and the win.
Drive Notes: EOG, 36-33. Kneeldowns not charted.

How ya like me now?

Bolded, questioning alter-ego, you mean all this time you've been Martavious Odoms?

Maybe, maybe not.

Well, to answer your question, Shmarvious Modoms, I like you quite a bit, even when you're not touching the ball. The hidden secret of Brown's sixty-one yard screen is you pwning a guy way bigger than you:

There were more examples of downfield blocking turning small plays into first downs throughout the game. And, of course, there was the game-winning touchdown set up by the other you, Kelvin Grady.


Michigan ran a couple bubble screens that got blasted by Indiana safety Nick Polk, who had a great all-around day until a certain play. Here's one of them. Watch the safety come charging up.

This indicates a couple things: the nickel guy is frequently being deployed as the contain, which seemingly closes down a lot of things but opens up the bubble. Except that Polk is getting downhill like a mother and tackling with authority. But you do know that Indiana's scheme in reasonable down and distance situations features a lot of man-to-man coverage with a safety on a slot. (Here's another example.) This comes in handy later:


Teams have schemed to take away the bubble screen this year but that opens up other stuff. Finger in a dike.

Also, poor Polk is the guy Minor trucked on the final real snap of the game.

I am going into withdrawal. Charts?


(Hennechart again; MA is "marginal", screen results are in parens.)


Western Michigan 2 14 1 2 1 2 - 3
Notre Dame 5 20 (6) 2 4 3 3 - 4
Eastern Michigan 1 8 (2) 1 1 (1) 1 4 (1) - -
Indiana 3 13 (3) 1 (1) 2 5 3 - 2


Western Michigan - 1 1 1 2 - - -
Eastern Michigan - 1 1 (1) 2 (1) - - - -
Indiana - 1 1 (1) - - - - -

Robinson is basically a wildcat quarterback who throws a little bit.

As for Forcier: his accuracy remains extremely good but there are a hefty number of BRs on that chart, as Indiana often trapped him in the pocket or dragged him down as he tried to leave it and sacks and that interception resulted. That kind of freshman stuff is going to continue to happen. Forcier's downfield success rate did take a dip down to 57%, which isn't great. It's worth noting that those three TAs were scrambles that totaled 21 yards. One was a touchdown, the other a key first down. The only TA which you could construe negatively was a nine-yard gain on second and thirty after a Yakety Snap. On the other hand, the true damage wrought by those BRs is considerable.


This Game Totals
Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Hemingway 2 - - 1/1 2 - - 5/5
Mathews 1 - - - 5 1/4 1/1 6/6
Stonum - - 1/1 - 1 0//1 2/3 4/4
Savoy 1 - - 1/1 2 - 0/1 3/3
Odoms - - 1/2 2/2 3 1/1 1/2 7/8
Grady-19 - - - 3/4 2 - 1/1 8/10
Roundtree - - - - 1 - - -
Rogers - - - - - - - -
Koger - - 1/1 - - 1/1 2/2 5/5
Webb - - - 0/1 1 - - 2/3
Minor - - - - - - - -
Brown - - - 1/1 - 1/2 1/1 4/4
Shaw - - - - - - 0/1 -
Smith - - - - - - - -
Moundros - - - - - - - -

Two flat drops, one by Grady on a screen that probably wasn't going anywhere and, for the second consecutive week, a ball that hit Webb between the 8 and the 0 and would have gone for a first down. Not a whole lot of excitement elsewhere as Michigan struggled to protect Forcier and largely avoided downfield passing.


PROTECTION METRIC: 22/32, Koger –1, Brown –2, Team –2, Dorrestein –5.

That is not good. That is bad, and all of it save the "team" category came when Indiana defensive ends pwned the opposition. That might be understandable when you're a pass-catching tight end or a tailback, but Dorrestein was responsible for a lot of the Forcier chaos and didn't do much to justify Mark Huyge's move inside. Huyge's struggled in pass protection himself; unless Patrick Omameh surges into the starting position he lost in spring—not likely at this point—it's going to be those guys the rest of the way and the protection will be dodgy.

What happened to the counter dive of doom?

Indiana adjusted to it. Watch the backside DE:

He sees the H-back pull across the formation and starts flowing down the line in preparation for the block. Here Koger pops him good and he gets blown back and must make a tackle downfield after giving up a crease but the next couple times Michigan ran the dive of doom they closed the hole off at the line of scrimmage and kept it to a couple yards. Michigan then abandoned it, but on second and two they ran a similar-looking variant that sucked a linebacker into a downfield block and popped Minor into the endzone:

Michigan will probably try it out a couple times against Michigan State to see how MSU plans on responding to it, and if they do a similar thing they'll pull out the Swiss army knife and start countering it. One thing that should be quite successful against this adjustment is the QB-breaks-contain-with-lead-blocker play we saw in an earlier Picture Pages. This is where I think the offensive philosophy of Rodriguez pays off: okay, you adjusted to that. Instead of attempting to out-execute you, here are three things that look like that but aren't it and something entirely different. In Hail to the Victors 2008 I compared the backside end to the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog and the zone read to the Holy Hand Grenade; in keeping with the Monty Python theme can we declare Rodriguez's offensive philosophy "and now for something completely different"?

Did the run game seem to slow down to you given those adjustments?

Slightly but the numbers are totally deceiving. The Indiana Shut Michigan's Ground Game Down meme's been floating around out there, mostly in the Ohio State reaches, but if this constitutes "shutting down":

Twelve of Minor and Brown’s 23 carries went for four yards or less.

Um, okay. That is a spectacularly convoluted way to say "half of the RB carries went for five or more yards." To the numbers: remove the 4 team carries for –28 yards (three kneeldowns and a grounding penalty), the two Forcier sacks for seven yards, and the 38 yards lost on two separate Yakety Snaps and your numbers are 42 carries for 222 yards, or 5.2 YPC. That is indeed a decline from the Eastern Michigan game, but it's not something to get worked up about.


Not to blame Moosman particularly, but the whole snap fiasco from C to QB to guy who thought the freezes were ready to go was a downer. And Dorrestein was a problem in pass protection.


Odoms, for actions with and without the ball, plus Schilling had a very good day.

What does it mean for Michigan State and beyond?

Not having Molk is a downer because I thought Dorrestein had a rough go in pass protection and doesn't bring as much in the run game as Huyge was. And Michigan will have to bring out its ninjitsu stuff next week because I guarantee Michigan State will have everything Michigan's done to date scouted; catching them overreacting to last month's hotness will be a key in the game, and exploiting State's lack of discipline and general hatred will be the order of the day. Hate makes you strong, and stupid.

Other than that it was pretty much par for the course: Carlos Brown is ridiculously fast. Brandon Minor is a moose. Tate Forcier is really accurate and really good for a freshman but hasn't quite learned what he can and what he can't do at this level. I have a feeling Michigan State's ability to make Forcier pay when he tries to scramble out of the pocket will be the difference.

Picture Pages: Scrape Counterpunch

Picture Pages: Scrape Counterpunch

Submitted by Brian on September 17th, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Last week in Picture Pages we saw one of Michigan's counters to the "scrape exchange" that Western ran constantly last game. Michigan ran a ton of bubble screens or "long handoff"* routes and gave Forcier another option after he decided to pull the ball out: run or toss it to a (usually) wide open receiver. Once Forcier got over some early jitters, this worked well.

Notre Dame was determined to take that away:


This is Michigan's first drive of the second half. Michigan's moved the ball and just got a gashing Brandon Minor run on a zone stretch. They're going to play off that success here.

You can see Notre Dame's response to what they saw in the Western game: line up in press coverage all day, including over the slot receiver. There will be no bubbles here. To prevent Notre Dame from being outnumbered in the box, 80% of the time Notre Dame walks one or both safeties up just before the snap. And to deal with the zone read, Notre Dame is running a scrape exchange every play. (Reminder: on a scrape exchange the backside DE just hauls ass for the tailback and a linebacker pops out to contain the QB.)

Notre Dame has countered Michigan's counter to their counter and pretty much shut down Michigan's rushing attack in the first half. But it's time for the counter-counter-counter-counter.

Here's the snap as it approaches the handoff point. Note that 1) there's no bubble available and 2) Kevin Koger is pulling across the formation. Oh and 3) Moosman, who is the second OL from the top, is just drive blocking his guy instead of taking zone steps to the left in an attempt to get his helmet across. His ability to shove the DT back a yard or two is key to this play.


A couple of moments later, Michigan's diabolical plan is revealed:


Points of interest:

  1. Kevin Koger's pull block pops the backside defensive end, providing a lane between that guy and RG David Moosman.
  2. Mark Huyge gets a free release on the linebacker, who you can see moving upfield and to the outside to contain Forcier. When he realizes Forcier does not have the ball he will have run himself into a spot where Huyge has a great angle to block him.
  3. Molk and Moosman have terrific angles to block their guys. Why are these blocks so easy? Notre Dame is anticipating a stretch play, which is what Michigan usually runs from this formation, and if it was a stretch play it would be imperative for them to get playside of their blockers. On this counter, that expectation runs them into places where it's easy to seal them away from the play.

This is basically over. A moment later, you can see the motion of the scrape linebacker has taken him into Huyge's block and that Moosman and Molk have locked up their defenders. Brandon Minor doesn't even have to cut:




The play ends at the one yard line. Watch it in glorious Youtube-o-vision:

Minor misses a cut on first down, Forcier fumbles on second, and a pitch gets blown up on third; Michigan misses a chip shot field goal, providing yrs truly with a wave of despair. But it ended well: Michigan was provided a short field on the next drive after a Notre Dame fumble and went from the 26 to the 7 with a six-yard stretch and 13 more on this play; that drive ended in a touchdown.

*(I don't have good lingo for that. Basically, the outside receiver stands there.)

Presser/Practice Notes 9-17

Presser/Practice Notes 9-17

Submitted by Tim on September 16th, 2009 at 4:59 PM

Utah Michigan Football

Editor's note: I asked Tim to ask about shading the coverage to Warren's side and about Renaldo Sagesse's play to date.

On the shade:

"You can do a lot of things. But if you rotate your defense to one side or the other, they can throw to the other side or they can run the football. I thought our defensive coaches had a pretty good plan. They [Notre Dame] made some plays and we didn't. Boubacar didn't have his best game, but he's a good football player, and he's a competitor, and I'm sure he'll come back and play better the next time"

On Sagesse:

"He played pretty well. He didn't get a lot of reps, but he's continuing to get better. He's a big guy that we need to keep progressing because we want to play him more. You know, Greg Banks is a guy that's played very, very well, and we're gonna get him more snaps because he's shown that he's a guy that we feel comfortable that we can give 20-30 snaps a game. And Renaldo, hopefully we can get him to the same spot."

So sounds like no thought to realigning the DL.

Other bits:

  • Junior Hemingway practiced yesterday and looked pretty good. Hopefully he'll be moving around better today. He was wearing a green (limited contact) jersey.
  • The OL Lineup Saturday will depend on David Moosman's progress. Moosman was wearing a red non-contact jersey and riding the stairmaster. They're trying different right side combinations. David Molk has played well so far, which is exciting because it's just his second year. There's 7-8 guys that will play on OL. Err on the side of caution with all injuries.
  • On Jonas Mouton's "punch," Rodriguez said he didn't see anything that he thought was a penalty, and if something had happened, the refs would have called something. There will be no additional punishment.
  • Eastern is an intense team, they have good fundamentals and blocking. They almost won their last game. They made a great improvement from week 1 to week 2, and they'll make the same progress this week. They're focusing on Eastern instead of ND. Hungry to prove themselves each week.
  • Getting more players in. "Our plan... is to get more guys ready to contribute, and particularly the young guys... If they're not ready, we can't put them in there. It's not fair to them or the team."
  • Talking to guys about sportsmanship. "Let me make it perfectly clear. No personal fouls will go unpunished (by the coaches)." It's emotional, and sometimes emotional things happen. Play between the whistles and play fair. Penalties can be due to lack of discipline, but the team is doing OK in that respect so far. Saturday didn't seem to be much chippier or physical than most games.
  • Brandon Graham hasn't gotten too much more attention from the first teams than you'd expect. Notre Dame is a heavy max-protect team, so they would probably double him no matter what. He still got some good pressure, and made plays in the run game.
  • Denard Robinson will not be a package guy. "We want him to continue to be an every-down quarterback." He can make all the throws, he's just still learning the offense. The college game is pretty complicated. In the walkthrough, Nick Sheridan seemed to be getting fewer reps than either Tate or Denard.
  • Troy Woolfolk is very active, and has made some big plays, very fast. Safety is the right position for him.
  • The walk-on tryouts went well. 2-3 guys will get asked to join the team for a couple weeks. Looking for a bit of athletic ability, size, or speed. If guys look good, their HS film will be evaluated.
  • Vincent Smith is just a freshman, so blitz protection against TAH-NOO-TAH blitz was the main reason he didn't play against Notre Dame.