MGoPodcast 1.9: All Things Delaware State! (Not Really)

MGoPodcast 1.9: All Things Delaware State! (Not Really)

Podcast this week is long, long, long. Get some tea. We talk with Jamiemac of Just Cover, as per usual, and Mike from Black Shoe Diaries about the upcoming Penn State game. Also we talk about the Delaware State game a bit. Also we talk about Terrelle Pryor, because obviously you have to.

One item: at the end of Mike's segment he starts asking for "two seconds," which I totally failed to parse. That sucks, because I've always wanted to ask a Penn State fan harboring resentment about that game a single question: do you realize that Joe Paterno asked for and got two seconds—exactly two seconds!—when Penn State was driving for the go-ahead score?

Oh well.

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Upon Further Review: Offense vs Delaware State

Upon Further Review: Offense vs Delaware State Comment Count

Brian October 22nd, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Personnel notes: Everyone gets in. One correction from Monday's game column: the second-string center in this game was Tim McAvoy, not Rocko Khoury.

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O45 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel Run Zone read stretch Shaw 2
Moosman(-1) beaten down the line, partially because Schilling didn't stay to help any; a cutback is not possible with the backside DE crashing down and Shaw ends up plowing into the guy Moosman is escorting down the line, falling forward for a couple.
O43 2 8 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel Pass Rollout hitch Mathews 14
Wide open to the point where this five yard hitch can get turned up for nine more. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O29 1 10 I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Base 4-4 Run Inside zone Shaw 2
Huyge(-1) driven back by the DSU DT right into the path of Shaw, who slows up as a result, actually impacting the DT a yard in the backfield. He cant make a one-armed tackle, though, and Shaw squirts outside where an unblocked linebacker grabs him by the feet.
O27 2 8 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Odoms 25
Extremely open with the DSU LB lined up a good two yards inside of Odoms and slow to react to the bubble. He watches the exchange, only getting out on Odoms when Forcier pulls up to throw, by which point it's way too late. Despite the CB forcing the play inside Odoms can zip between him and the LB all the way down to the 1. (CA, 3, screen)
O2 1 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Iso Shaw 2
Yay we blew a I-AA team off the ball. Good YAC by Shaw, though.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-0, 12 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 QB lead draw Robinson 7
This isn't that hard against a shifted line: kick the DE out, double the DT, shoot the RB at the linebacker right over the hole, and use Robinson's speed to pick up good yardage. Both guys blocking the playside DT peel off to attempt a block on a blitzing linebacker who's just running himself out of the play, allowing that guy to come off his block and tackle after 6-7.
M35 2 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone counter dive Shaw 8
Backside DE, who looks like a sixth grader, gets kicked out, one LB runs up for contain and the other gets blocked, and Shaw makes a sharp cut into the hole we all know and love. Linebackers do recover to hold it down a bit.
M43 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB zone stretch Robinson 20
This actually gets strung out pretty well by DSU, with the playside DE fighting off Ortmann's block and forcing Robinson wider than he'd like. By the time he cuts up there are three DSU guys in the area and apparently no room, but Robinson manages to squeeze through a hole that doesn't even appear to be there and breaks into the secondary.
O37 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Edge pitch Shaw 16
One deep safety and an outside corner playing ten yards off the line with an OLB over Grady-19. That guy makes the mistake of trying to go inside of Grady, giving up the edge, but this was to the wide side of the field and there was no support so even if he tries to fight through the Grady block he's probably not going to have much luck.
O21 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Smith 11
DSUs DTs are headed straight upfield. One is easily sealed by Schilling(+1) the other beats Moosman(-1), leaving that guy attempting to charge down Smith. He can't, and there's a bunch of room because a DE's been blown downfield and Grady kicked out the linebacker to that side. Smith can just run outside of the DT.
O10 1 G Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Power off tackle Robinson 4
Michigan doubles and down-blocks the playside DT, pulling Schilling around to act as a lead blocker as Smith heads outside. The double on the DT gets him blown off the ball but he eventually splits it, throwing Schilling to the ground and tackling Robinson after a moderate gain.
O6 2 G Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Smith 6
This one goes outside the tackle as a textbook scoop block from Dorrestein(+1) and Huyge(+1) seals the playside DE and gets Dorrestein out on the MLB. Both those guys get blocked, the OLB to the playside gets taken out by Grady, and it's a walk-in touchdown.
Drive Notes: Touchdown,14-0, 8 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O39 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Shaw 11
DSU slanting into the play, driving Moosman and Ortmann back, getting playside of them and forcing a cutback. Ortmann does do a good job of sticking with the block and getting enough push to help with the cutback. The threat of Robinson holds one linebacker outside and he can't make a diving tackle from behind. Shaw spins through another tackle attempt and picks up good yardage.
O28 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB zone stretch Robinson 8
Excellent block by Moosman(+1) gets the playside DT sealed; Shaw sees the lane and cuts up inside to provide a block, which isn't great; Robinson hops behind it without losing much speed at all. He takes a hit from the DT, who's given up seven yards of field position, and the ball is raked free.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 21-0, 4 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O38 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA Deep Seam Grady 38
Play action fake sucks up the safety ridiculously and gives Grady huge room. Robinson finds him for the touchdown. The throw is short and if I hadn't seen Robinson leave a couple other balls like this short to poor effect I might give him credit for just making sure the ball is complete. I have, though, so I think he just underthrew it. It's not too bad, though, and it's a deep throw, so: (CA,3, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 28-0, 3 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M13 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Smith 13
Playside DE steps inside, which allows Dorrestein to engage him and double with help from Huyge, blowing him way off the ball and giving Smith an easy lane to dart into. Webb kicks out another linebacker, turning it into first down yardage.
M26 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Smith 11
Moosman(+1) gets enough of the playside DT to provide a tough reach block; Smith darts up through a smallish crease between Moosman and Dorrestein. Webb and Huyge have second level blocks, leaving Smith one-on-one with a closing safety in a phonebooth; Smith lowers his shoulder and pops him, falling forward. Tough little guy.
M37 1 10 Shotgun 2TE Twins 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 8
This is where I think Smith has some top-end ability. The backside DSU DT has split a double and gotten playside of Dorrestein(-1), which should jam the play up. Smith just hops around the mess, hardly breaking stride or slowing, and manages to zip up through a hole before the unblocked backside DE can close it down. That change of direction is stellar.
M45 2 2 Ace 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 42
Virtual replay of the last play down to the backside DSU DT zipping inside and Smith smoothly cutting past it before the backside DE can react. This time a crushing downfield block by Webb(+1) has opened the corner and Smith is off to the races. He does not win the races. It's possible he's just tired. Look at this drive.
O17 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Penalty False start Schilling -5
O22 1 15 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout hitch Stonum 19
Corner to the side where the play is is headed for the parking lot, just amazingly far off the ball. Robinson's a tad late with the throw but it gets there and accurately; it's got some zip, too, allowing Stonum to turn it upfield in the cavernous space afforded and head for first and goal. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O3 1 G I-Form Twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Power off tackle Smith -1
Michigan breaks this bad boy out, as discussed yesterday, but to no effect because Smith does not get the playcall. He heads to the wrong side of Robinson, which makes for an awkward handoff, and runs right into the space the pulling guard vacated. Smith instantly pulled for Shaw.
O4 2 G I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout cross Roundtree Inc
Great block by Grady on the edge to stone a blitzer as Michigan goes play action waggle. Robinson uses the time afforded by Grady to find Roundtree breaking open at the back of the endzone; the throw is a little behind and low, forcing Roundtree to go down and dig it out. Catchable, but unnecessarily difficult; Roundtree can't bring it in. (MA, 2, protection 2/2)
O4 3 G Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB zone stretch Robinson 4
Robinson darts up in a crease between Dorrestein(+1) and lead blocker Shaw for a short touchdown. Rodriguez ticked at Shaw for something.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 35-0, 12 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M40 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Grady 5
Schilling(-1) and Moosman(-1) fail to seal the playside DT on an attempted double, so Grady has little choice but to slam it up into him. They meet at the LOS, are joined by another Hornet, and Grady manages to grind forward for five yards.
M45 2 5 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 9
Down-block double from Moosman and Huyge does get the playside DT blown out of this hole; Huyge(+1) then disconnects to take out one linebacker; Grady cracks the other. Robinson zips through the hole and ends up grinding a pile forward. Grady, okay, but man. When Robinson's doing that you've got issues.
O44 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Grady 9
Great cut block by Ortmann gets the backside DT to the ground and opens up a huge cutback lane as Koger blocks the WLB down the line and out of the hole and DSU flows too fast to the edge of the field. Grady cuts it behind, gets grabbed, and does his usual YAC thing.
O35 2 1 I-Form Twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Power off tackle Grady 7
Ortmann and Schilling down block and obliterate the playside DT; Koger kicks out the DE. Huyge pulls around but has no one to block because both DSU linebackers follow the FB outside. A filling safety brings Grady down.
O28 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Pass Waggle TE Post Webb 28
Play action fake again sucks up DSU almost wholly, leaving Webb in a sea of green wondering where everyone else is. He is Moeaki open. Robinson pulls up late and has a guy in his face, so the throw is harried and way way short. Coverage is so bad that it doesn't matter though. Robinson's problem on these is not seeing stuff fast enough, I think. (MA, 3, protection N/A)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 42-0, 7 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M17 1 10 I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Iso Grady 26
Sheridan in. Okay: so. I've been half-assing it so far and now this is like 3/4ths assing it. Michigan runs a simple iso play that should be good for a few but for a corner shooting too far inside and letting Grady outside of the leverage, turning like four into a big play.
M43 1 10 I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Moosman 6
Moosman(+1) seals away the playside DT and Schilling(+1) gets a very good second level block, springing Grady into the secondary. Quick fill from the safety and Grady's tendency to run right into filling safeties hold it down.
M49 2 4 I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Iso Grady 5
Plowing ahead; decent filling from DSU holds it down, somewhat,
O46 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Stokes 9
Open, decent YAC. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O37 2 1 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Grady(19) 9
A crappy throw Grady has to dig out; Webb got beat to the outside here but Grady(+1) makes that guy miss and zips outside the interior pursuit for a good gain. (MA, 2, screen)
O28 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Smith 1
Huyge(-1) gets pushed into the backfield and basically defeated by the DSU DT, who's playing pretty well here. Smith can't run to the outside of him because the MLB has shot up through the gap developing between the playside guy and the DE, so he has to slow up, spinning through the MLB's arm tackle attempt and getting a yard out of nothing.
O27 2 9 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA deep hitch Savoy 20
Man, when Nick Sheridan surveys, finds nothing, starts rolling out, is pursued by a DE who can't catch him, and finds a wide open WR, you are not good. (CA+, 3, protection 1/1)
O7 1 G Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Grady(24) 7
McColgan, the backup FB—where is Moundros?--whiffs on a blitzing LB, which gets him on on Grady; Grady makes him miss, then jukes another guy, then scores. See above about not good.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 49-0, 1 min 2nd Q. Last drive of half not charted. Shaw has a couple of nice runs. Charting stops here since the second team OL plays the entire second half. I'll chart certain plays of interest for the rest of the game.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M49 `1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA TE cross Moore 16
Play action on which Brandon Moore just sort of drifts into a hole in the zone, making his first catch as a Wolverine. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
O13 2 3 I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 7
More top end savior faire from Smith; just grabbing this for the smooth cut again.
M8 1 10 I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Outside zone Smith 15
Check the juke on the LB. Sweet.
M22 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Smith 35
McAvoy gets blown back but Smith makes the most of it, bouncing off the problems and zipping upfield thanks to a crushing block from Mealer.
M26 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Stokes 10
CONESTRAVAGANZA I: Stokes runs a hitch route at the sticks that Cone finds, but he leaves it short and forces Stokes to dig it out. (MA, 2, protection 2/2) Called back because Stoke lined up on the LOS.
M22 2 16 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Skinny post Savoy 19
CONESTRAVAGANZA II: straight dropback, Cone ZINGS it to a seriously covered Savoy over the outstretched arm of a linebacker. Dude is all over Savoy's back but he reels it in anyway. That's right: (DO, 2, protection 2/2)
M43 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Cox 57
McAvoy gets a seal of sorts and Ferrara manages to get a charging linebacker, so there's a small crease that Cox explodes into, easily outrunning the DSU safety for a touchdown.
O49 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Reyes 4
CONE... okay he just throws a bubble. (CA, 3, screen)
O45 3 6 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Seam Reyes 39
CONESTRAVAGANZA III: Dang, man. Reyes runs a seam route past his LB cover guy, doesn't get much separation, and then Cone just drops it in as perfectly as you can. I'm not fudging this it all: (DO, 3, protection 2/2)

So, um, charts?


(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) - - - - - -


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 - - - - -

I'd love to see some Hennechart visualization of those babies.

Wait, why are you providing charts for this one but not the other one?

Offense has a number of defense-independent things. Did you throw the ball in the right place? To an open guy? Did said guy catch it? Etc. It's slightly useful to have the numbers. The defense numbers are not useful at all. 

Also, several readers threatened terrible things if I didn't provide this:


Delaware State 2 1 1 - - - - -

Dang, son, do work:


This Game Totals
Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Hemingway - - - - 3 - 1/2 7/7
Mathews - - - 1/1 7 1/4 1/2 7/7
Stonum - - - 1/1 2 1/3 3/4 10/10
Savoy - - 1/1 1/1 2 - 1/2 4/4
Odoms - - - 1/1 4 1/3 4/6 13/14
Grady-19 - - 1/1 1/1 2 - 2/2 9/12
Roundtree - - 0/1 - 3 - 1/3 -
Stokes - - 1/1 1/1 - - 1/1 1/1
Koger - - - - - 3/4 3/4 6/7
Webb - - - 1/1 1 - - 3/4
Minor - - - - - - - 1/1
Brown - - - - - 1/3 1/1 5/6
Shaw - - - - - - 0/1 -
Smith - - - - - - - -
Grady-24 - - - - - - - 1/1

Not exactly a hugely challenging game but they didn't screw up. Roundtree's incompletion was a borderline 1/2.

And a very teeny protection metric:


As they say, nothing to see here.

Anything of note on this side of the ball?

Yeah, some stuff. It's a lot easier to pick out interesting plays against overmatched opponents when Michigan is running the ball lots. The good:

  • Vincent Smith showed top-end shiftiness and looks like he'll be a solid back. I compared him to Mike Hart on Monday, and think that remains a pretty good comparison. He's also got a little Noel Devine in him; the way he darts through crevices and effortlessly shifts around traffic is reminiscent of the WVU star. He appears to lack Devine's fifth—or eighth—gear, but he's delivered more pop to defenders in one game than Devine has in three years. He'll be something less than a star but he can be very productive.
  • Denard Robinson completed some passes yay.
  • And, of course: CONER.

The bad:

  • Robinson left both touchdown passes well short. Against other teams those may have been incompletions or worse. He also left a ball to Robinson well short, turning an easy touchdown into a drop. He didn't do much to dispel the idea of him as a one-trick pony. Pretty good trick, though.
  • I was a little bothered by how often Delaware State DTs, especially #95 Tyron Hurst, beat Michigan OL on stretch blocking, forcing those smooth backside cuts from Smith. Part of that could be Michigan being very predictable and DSU selling out to contain the stretch, but I didn't think the interior OL had a great day.




Dude. 63 points, why ask that question?

I always ask it.

Yeah, well, maybe you need to re-evaluate your life some.

Don't go all sanctionious on me here. We've had enough of that for one week.

Fine, fine.

What does it mean for Penn State, and the future?

Not much other than the tailback position should be in good hands for the next few years.


Upon Further Review: Defense vs Delaware State

Upon Further Review: Defense vs Delaware State Comment Count

Brian October 22nd, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Personnel notes: Um, well, there were a lot of them. The most interesting things from my perspective: Sagesse reclaimed his spot as the backup NT, and Kovacs was the deep safety whenever Michigan went to eight-man fronts, which was frequently. Kenny Demens and Brandon Smith didn't even see the field, IIRC. And James Rogers moved to corner.

On with the very boring show:

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O5 1 10 Ace 4-4 under Run Dive Mouton -1
No one gets out on linebackers, leaving Mouton(+1) free to hit it up in the intended hole; Graham(+1) zips around two blockers to meet the Delawarian in the backfield; Roh there too.
O4 2 11 Shotgun 2-back twins 4-4 under Run Zone read stretch Roh 0
Roh(+1) flows down the line into the path of the tailback; Martin(+1) avoids a cut block and flows down the line to tackle on the cutback
O4 3 11 Shotgun 2-back twins 4-4 under Pass Screen Martin Inc
Martin spying on it and there to tackle immediately if its caught, but it isn't. (Cover +1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 14 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O29 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-4 under Run Inside zone Graham 0
Martin(+1) slants past a guard, causing a cutback; Graham(+1) has also sliced past his blocker and tackles(+1) for no gain.
O29 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-3 under split Run Inside zone Mouton 3
Linebackers flanked outside of the DL here, which I've seen before and will now attempt to deliniate as you see above. Same play as the last one; Graham(+0.5) again gets playside of his guy, causing a cutback. Mouton was blitzing, sees the handoff, and closes down on the cutback to tackle.
O32 3 7 Shotgun trips bunch 4-3 under Pass Hitch -- Inc
Quick three step drop finds a guy open for a few yards; it's dropped. Probably not a first down even if reeled in.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-0, 10 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O20 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-4 under Pass Throwaway Martin Inc
Martin(+1, pressure +1) zips past the G and gets instant pressure on the QB; he responds by chucking a long, covered (+1) out route well OOB.
O20 2 10 Shotgun trips 4-3 under Pass Screen Heininger Inc
Heininger(+1) reads it and hangs back in the throwing lane; the QB turfs it in response.
O20 3 10 Shotgun 4-wide stacks 4-3 under Pass Out Warren 5
Complete, but well short of the first down and with no chance of getting one.
Drive Notes: Blocked punt, defensive TD, 21-0, 7 min 1st Q. Here it is, you sick bastards.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O10 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide stacks 4-3 under split Run Draw Ezeh -2
Timing on this is really poor; develops super slow. Sagesse takes a double, as does RVB, leaving Ezeh(+1) wide open to read the play, shoot through a big hole, and tackle with help from Sagesse in the backfield.
O8 2 12 Shotgun trips Base 3-3-5 Run Inside zone Van Bergen 1
RVB is left unblocked and Sagesse(+0.5) cuts off the frontside so he can read the QB and close down on the handoff no problem. (Tackling +1)
O9 3 11 Shotgun trips Base 3-3-5 Pass Out Woolfolk 10
Am I going to give a minus here? I think so, actually. Woolfolk(-1) is play way far off of this, which means that this ten-yard throw could get turned up for the first down if it was more accurate. It's a marginal throw, though, and it pulls the receiver off his feet as he brings it in. (Cover -1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-0, 5 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O19 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 under Pass RB flat Heininger Inc
Heininger(+1) bats it down. Williams(+1, cover +1) was going to crush this for little or no gain anyway.
O19 2 10 Shotgun trips Base 3-3-5 Pass Out Williams Inc
Three-man rush and a short drop so no pressure(-1); receiver is just open at the sticks but cannot come down in bounds; Williams in good not great zone coverage.
O19 3 10 Shotgun 4-wide stacks 4-3 under split Pass Scramble Graham 6
Graham's(-0.5) pass rush move is to the inside and doesn't work; Ezeh is blitzing up the same lane. This induces a scramble from the QB, an unnecessary one, and gives him a lane to run up into. Williams(+0.5) tracks him down and tackles(+1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 3 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O24 1 10 Shotgun 2TE 4-4 under Run Zone read stretch Fitzgerald -1
Starting to rotate already, and hey, Fitzgerald(+1) does well here, reading the play and zipping up in a small crease that forms as Banks(+1) gets playside of his guy and into the backfield. DSU's ponderous tailback has to kick it outside, where there's help; game over, man.
O23 2 11 Shotgun 4-wide stacks 4-3 under Pass Out Mouton 3 (+15 pen)
A nothing play that's covered(+1) well; tackle made by mouton but he grabs the facemask, giving DSU its first first down.
O41 1 10 Shotgun empty 2TE 4-3 under Pass Out Brown Inc
Brown(+1) bats the pass down on a blitz (pressure +1); illegal formation declined.
O41 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide stacks 4-4 under Pass Bubble screen Warren 1
Warren(+1) shoots past the lazy, inept block attempt from the DSU WR out there and tackles(+1).
O42 3 9 Shotgun empty Base 3-3-5 Pass Sack Graham -5
Three-man rush but Graham(+2) comes tearing around the corner to sack.
Drive Notes: Punt, 28-0, 1 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O10 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-3 under Run Inside zone Van Bergen -2
Possibly more of an RB messup than a great play as Sagesse got blown back by a double team and there seemed like some possibility they could get some yards here. RVB(+1) does beat a guy into the backfield, causing a cutback into Roh and doom.
O8 2 12 Shotgun trips 4-3 under Pass Angle Williams 7 + 15 pen
Williams(-1, cover -1) gets bumped by a releasing TE, which opens up a little angle route under it that he's not close enough to to close on before the guy can rack up some YAC. He then misses a tackle and picks up another facemask call.
O32 1 10 Shotgun 2TE 4-4 under Pass Hitch Ezeh 12 (pen -15)
Simple hitch for five or so gets turned into more because Ezeh(-1, cover -1) is late reading and arriving, overrunning the play and letting a DSU TE zip up for eight more. A legit chop block call on DSU brings it back; Sagesse got the brunt.
O17 1 25 Shotgun trips 4-3 under Pass Angle Leach Inc
Same angle route they ran just two play ago; it goes through the RB's hands. Leach was coming up and this looked like a minimal gain. (Cover +1)
O17 2 25 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 under Penalty Delay of game -- -5
Baby seal, no!
O12 2 30 Shotgun trips 4-3 under Pass Out Woolfolk 5
Two guys there, small gain, okay. (Cover +1)
O17 3 25 Shotgun 3-wide Base 3-3-5 Run QB draw -- 7
Give up and punt.
Drive Notes: Punt, 42-0, 9 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O44 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 under Run Zone counter dive Graham 3
They us it against us! Sort of! They actually block Graham and use the pulling h-back on Mouton; a crease opens up as Graham(-1) got caught outside. Kovacs, unblocked, fills after a few.
O47 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 under split Pass Out Jones 6
Teric Jones in for Woolfolk, as Woolfolk has tweaked his ankle. Jones gets run off but does close to tackle immediately on the catch, so, hey, not terrible.
M47 3 1 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 under Pass Sack Graham -5
Graham(+1) avoids a lame cut attempt and after the quick throw is covered(+1) comes in to crush the QB.
Drive Notes: Punt, 42-0, 5 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M23 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide stacks 3-3-5 Stack Pass Corner -- 19
QB has plenty of time (pressure -1) and manages to thread a needle between Jones and Williams, hitting his WR a moment before he heads OOB. Um... good job, Hornets?
M4 1 G Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 under Pass Throwaway -- Inc
Plenty of time (pressure -1) but no one open, so a roll. Still no one open, still no one. Throws it away. (Cover +2)
M4 2 G Shotgun trips 4-3 under Pass Hitch Leach Inc
Leach comes on a good delayed blitz (+1, pressure +1) that gets to the QB, who attempts to throw it but ends up turfing it because he was hit as he threw. Coverage(+1) was good so that was probably for the best.
M4 3 G Shotgun trips 4-3 under Pass Dumpoff -- 0
Strange cut blocking ends up with a billion people chasing the QB, who can't find anyone (cover +1) and eventually dumps it to the RB, who is swarmed.
Drive Notes: FG(21), 49-3, EO1H. Charting stops. Certain second-half plays of interest are below.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O36 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 under Pass Hitch Jones 11
Representative of Jones' play; plays off, doesn't make plays on the ball does tackle after the catch. Obviously needs work.
O38 3 1 Shotgun 2TE 4-4 under Run Inside zone Fitzgerald 0
Hey, this is pretty good from Fitzgerald(+1), who recognizes the play, finds a hole in the line, shoots through it, and tackles. Taking that opportunity represents some progress.
O49 1 10 Shotgun 2TE 4-4 under Pass Stop & Go Jones 42
No to pick on the guy, but the story of the second half on D is DSU just going at Jones again and again. I'm surprised he wasn't given a redshirt.
O22 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-3 under Run Zone read stretch Campbell 21
Freshman and all that sure but man Campbell just doesn't know what he's doing here. I'm down on the guy. I'm sorry if that makes me pessimistic.
O44 2 9 Shotgun 2TE Twins 4-4 under Run Zone read stretch Banks -4
Banks(+2) cuts under his blocker and bursts into the backfield to tackle.

So… about that.

Yeah. About that.

Is there anything at all you can draw from this performance?



Well… I guess Brandon Graham is still awesome. Teric Jones got torn up by DSU, which isn't a surprise since he's a true freshman who was a tailback in high school and never saw a snap on defense. I'm shocked he's not redshirting. And Will Campbell was a primary reason Michigan got gashed on a zone stretch play late. I totally understand why he's a goal-line only guy right now. I know he's a true freshman and all that but I'm starting to get concerned he will not live up to the considerable hype. That would score one for ESPN's scouting service, BTW.

Other than that… no. There is nothing. I guess we know that Justin Turner is definitively redshirting.



What do you mean, "no"?

Man, there's no point. I only did the first half and the backups were in by then. Here's your chart.



Um. Everyone.


I guess if you want to pick on the freshman corner or something you can.

What does it mean for Penn State and beyond?

Absolutely nothing.


Baby Seals

Baby Seals Comment Count

Brian October 19th, 2009 at 10:40 AM

10/17/2009 – Michigan 63, Delaware State 6 – 5-2, 1-2 Big Ten

 baby-seal teric-jones-delaware-state

This what everyone wanted after last year's decision to schedule Utah didn't go as planned and Michigan slumped to a 3-9 record: a tomato can's tomato can. Someone to take lunch money or candy from. A baby seal to club, and then club some more, and then club some more until David Cone's lyrical daggers were targeting only a wet, damp smear. This is what we got, a game in which I was pondering at which point in the second quarter I'd stop charting for UFR.* A bye week in all but execution.

Actually, scratch the first several words of that sentence: an execution. It was kind of depressing. In the aftermath, Dr. Saturday took time out of a busy Saturday to glance at the box score, blanch in horror, and write a post about it:

The final ledger against the Wolverines could not have been more grisly: Michigan outgained DSU by more than 500 total yards despite pulling starting quarterback Tate Forcier after the first series, averaging 10 yards every time it snapped the ball while also blocking a punt for a touchdown for good measure. The Wolverines led 49-0 after two quarters and began emptying the bench at halftime to keep the margin below 100. I hope Michigan's belly is full, the Hornets are enjoying their half-million-dollar payday and the MEAC championship doesn't come down to handing a win to NCA&T, because children had to watch this.

Delaware State's fluke inability to reschedule the NC A&T** was long known. The reason DocSat brings it up is the pure grisly horror of the thing: 49-3 at halftime, 727 yards for Michigan at the end of everything. "Grisly" is the right word, and "bodybag game" seems like only a slight exaggeration. Michigan killed DSU's long snapper on their first punt, blocked the next one, and pointedly refused to approach another one all day despite the replacement offering up Scorched Earth-worthy parabolas. Michigan, for its part, did not punt.

I don't blame Rodriguez or Martin or Michigan for lining the game up. One bad I-AA team is like any other; Martin probably did a quick scan for back-to-back national championships, found none, and said "okay." It was just bad luck to get the opposite of Appalachian State. Given the state of the program, which was precarious after last year and needed an auto-win for its open date, and college football, which GIMME MONEY, some unchallenging I-AA team was a good move in the abstract. Outside of the three hours in which the game actually took place, it was the right decision.

Obviously, I blame the NCAA. They're the ones who approved a twelfth game, allowed I-AA wins to count for bowl eligibility every year, and placed no limits on the number of home games you can force your bored fans to sit through. At that point it's race to the bottom. Michigan punched a baby seal until it was unconscious and then brought in its six-year-old brother to continue punching the baby seal because he's got to execute the playbook and every play in it is "punch baby seal," and the reason this was a good idea is the NCAA's decade-long money grab.

I think this can this be fixed, or at least mitigated, though. Rodriguez's preseason assertion that the NCAA should allow an exhibition game looks brilliant today. Michigan's 5-2 after beating up a terrible I-AA team, and in the process they set a hollow record for total offense. Michigan improved 35 places in total offense and 20 in total defense in one game. They've still gotten outgained in every game they've played against teams not in the MAC or MEAC, but they're currently the #25 offense and #64 defense in the country because they picked a really, really bad tomato can instead of one of those half-decent ones you only beat by 40. Everyone outside of accounting and the walk-ons at the end of the roster would have been better off if this game didn't exist.

Rodriguez's plan is a way to make the accountants and everyone else happy. Allow teams to open the season a week earlier against a team of their choice in an exhibition game. Sell exorbitantly priced tickets to season-ticket holders, have your sleepy quasi-spring game, open up an actual bye week during the season, and make sure the corrupt statistics from games against teams starting 22 guys your walk-ons could play straight up don't infect record books and season statistics.

We're already paying exorbitant amounts of money for bloodsport; they least they can do for us is stop pretending these count.

*(Answer: probably when Sheridan comes in, at least as far as serious charting goes. I'll stick around longer to evaluate backups on defense and offer some opinions on Cox and Smith.)

**(Fun fact: North Carolina A&T is where Larry Harrison briefly landed after his tendency to scare young women by enthusiastically manipulating his dangly bits caught up to him. He was forced to leave by Concerned Folk who were evidently not concerned about Larry Harrison's future. And yet Corey Tropp can skate against Steve Kampfer this year.)


  • I don't want to get into another huge band flamewar, but I'm sure it didn't escape anyone's notice that the DSU band was sacrificing pitch control and accuracy for loudness. Personally, as the APPROACHING STORM blatted its way through its pregame and halftime shows, I was appalled. The popular music! How am I supposed to choke down the substandard camembert my idiot brother thought would go with an Australian malbec? (About which, as the children say in their vulgar tongue, LOL.)

    Now, the clown who laughs as he cries inside, that's showmanship.

  • For serious, though: I literally LOLed when the pregnant pause following "and now, the Michigan Marching Band presents…"  was followed by "OPERA!" The earlier complaint about the band's focus on things other than putting on an entertaining show could not have been reinforced better. DSU had a third of the people and vastly less practice time; they were a MEAC band from a school of under 4000. Even I could tell that the notes coming from them weren't quite right.  And yet they got a bigger, more sincere cheer than the MMB. They so enraptured Michael Rothstein that he dedicated an article to the band with statements like "That was when the band took over," and… yeah, I'm with him.

    And it's not like the MMB hasn't done stuff like this in the past: the Ferris Bueller halftime show, the Holy Grail one, and the Titanic one where the band formed a ship and the broke itself on an iceberg were all entertaining and memorable enough for me to remember them years later.

  • The APPROACHING STORM has a a website that is true to the nature of the band, all rickety glory and awesome animated lightning GIF backgrounds. It's on Angelfire!
  • Pardon the blasphemy, but you know who Vincent Smith reminds me of? Mike Hart. Same lack of killer deep speed that prevents the guy in question from being an elite prospect—Noel Devine would have housed two or three of Smith's carries. On the other hand, Smith appears to have Hart's ability to juke guys out of their shorts and hit zone creases with authority, and when it comes time to get tackle Smith delivers a blow impressively for a member of the lollipop guild. He's probably even shiftier than Hart, not quite as liable to drag a pile but set to become an excellent player over the next few years. I still think Mike Shaw is the odds-on favorite to start next year because he has the explosion to take it the distance and the moves to break more than his share, but in this offense the #2 back is almost a starter and Smith should be productive.
  • To repeat a tweet: the second team offensive line from L to R was Barnum, Mealer, Khoury, Ferrara, and Omameh. Is Barnum's presence at left tackle a statement about his ability or the lack of tackles who aren't redshirting at the moment? Probably the latter.
  • Will Campbell fell behind Renaldo Sagesse on the depth chart again after his struggles against Iowa. Was Sagesse dinged for that game? I wouldn't be surprised if he was. It would be pretty weird to elevate a true freshman over a productive backup for a night road game against an undefeated team without extenuating circumstances.
  • Mike Williams was the last member of the starting defense to leave the field. Kovacs was second-to-last. You can read many things into that. My things: backup safeties do not exist, Williams was indeed a major culprit in the Iowa loss, and Vlad Emilien is not getting a dodgy medical redshirt.


Preview: Delaware State

Preview: Delaware State Comment Count

Brian October 16th, 2009 at 12:47 PM

Why? Because I have to. Not because I believe in jinxes or anything, but because readers do and I serve at their pleasure. For a fuller Hornet breakdown check When Carcajous Attack(!).

The Essentialsdelaware-state-hornets

WHAT Michigan vs Delaware State
WHERE Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
WHEN 12:00 EST, October 17th, 2009
THE LINE Hypothetically? M –35.5
TELEVISION Nationwide on BTN
WEATHER Cloudy, mid-40s, dry.

Run Offense vs. Delaware State

This should be no contest. Despite the debacle against Michigan State, Michigan is 23rd in rushing offense in I-A. The Hornets are 105th in I-AA, giving up 202 yards a game at more than 5 YPC. The most interesting thing here will be the performances of Shaw, Smith, and Cox. I expect Brown to get like three carries.

Key Matchup: Probably Hornet safeties versus repeated attempts to run by them into the endzone.

Pass Offense vs. Delaware State

Delaware State is marginally better here, in the 50s in both pass efficiency and total yardage defense when it comes to the pass. And Michigan is considerably weaker, currently hovering around 81st in passer efficiency, though a large chunk of that is Denard Robinson's tendency to chuck interceptions. Forcier is middling (55th) nationally.

Key Matchup: Pass protection versus Anonymous Hornets. Forcier's dinged, let's keep him that way instead of seriously dinged.

Run Defense vs. Delaware State

Michigan's coming off two good performances marred by things outside the defensive line's control. Delaware State is the #84 rushing offense in I-AA. This will be a potentially depressing test of Michigan's opponent-invariant defense. Will Delaware State rip off some gashing runs when Michigan players either line up wrong or blow an assignment?

Key Matchup: Mouton and Ezeh versus Aforementioned Blown Assignments. Plz keep getting better here.

Pass Defense vs. Delaware State

Delaware State is 91st in passing offense and 103rd in passing efficiency. It'll be interesting to see how Woolfolk does and if Williams does better at free safety.

Key Matchup: Williams versus Getting Beat Deep.

Special Teams





Kittens are not deployed for games against I-AA teams. Here's this instead:

Cheap Thrills

Worry if...

  • This is at all close.
  • Someone gets injured.
  • Delaware State does anything positive at all.

Cackle with knowing glee if...

  • Tate looks like he's back to his old, better self.
  • No one gets injured.
  • I don't know, don't cackle, it's not nice.

Fear/Paranoia Level: 0 out of 10. (Baseline 5, –1 for I-AA Team, –1 for 1-3 I-AA Team, –1 for 1-3 I-AA Team That Just Gave Bethune-Cookman Its First Win Of The Season, –1 for 1-3 I-AA Team That Just Gave Bethune-Cookman Its First Win Of The Season And Is Worse Than 90th In Both Total Offense And Total Defense, –1 for 1-3 I-AA Team That Just Gave Bethune-Cookman Its First Win Of The Season And Is Worse Than 90th In Both Total Offense And Total Defense And Has Been Pegged With A More Than Five-Touchdown Spread By Crazy Offshore Gambling Folk).

Desperate need to win level: 10 out of 10. (Baseline 5, +1 for No Horror Redux, +1 for This Would Actually Be Worse, +1 for Way Worse, +1 for I Expended All My "Get Out Of Spending Two Days In Fetal Position Free" Cards Last Year, +1 for Just No.)

Loss will cause me to... spend the next twenty years of my life digging a ditch around Delaware, and the following ten trying to push it out to sea.

Win will cause me to...  react in no way whatsoever.

The strictures and conventions of sportswriting compel me to predict:

Michigan wins.

Finally, opportunities for me to look stupid Sunday:

  • Vincent Smith and Michael Shaw have a ton of carries.
  • Michigan does nothing new at all.
  • Denard gets half of the snaps.
  • Michigan, 45-10.