Dear Diary, Two-Man QB Depth Charts are Really Spooky!

Dear Diary, Two-Man QB Depth Charts are Really Spooky!

Submitted by Seth on November 2nd, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Can you guess what was wrong with Herb? Also the copyright to this at the end says "U.M.&M."

Of all the things to despise about the new divisions—like the MSU game being technically more important every year than Ohio State—at least let's admit there's one wonderful benefit: Michigan-Minnesota is back to every year.

The historians like this one because there were some major powers with some major players who went on or ended some major streaks back in the day. But with more than enough annual powers on the schedule these days, I kind of like having this one historically poignant yet presently non-stressful mid-year contest with the people who invented cooking the cheese inside the actual hamburger.

After yet another Hallow's Eve scare, a nice jug of hot cider and Minnesota's safeties are just the thing. Alas, it is not Jug Saturday yet, and there's some things from last week that we need to over again. Like what happens when you lose your 5-star quarterback?


You Get This One Chance. Why is it every time we've got like THE MAN under center, the minute he goes out it's terror central? Not just Denard against Nebraska but the crater drewhensonwhen Mallett departed, or the black hole that formed when Henne's arm was removed from its socket against Oregon in 2007, or the feeling in the pit of your stomach when that Buckeye Steinbrenner bought off Drew Henson (right). Enter oakapple, who goes back through recent history to show how the uber recruit tends to both work out and scare off competition. Whyfore wast thou oppos'd to class, bygone son of Forcier?

He hits on some good questions—like the handling of Gardner. But if he looked back further, to the deep recruiting of the time after Bo, he might have seen a different magic.

Gameboy went back over Michigan's 2012 opponents past to pull up percentages for how much better our defense fared against them than their average opponents. Michigan got blown out by Alabama about exactly the same way everyone else did, and we beat UMass the same way everyone else beat on UMass. As for the rest, the defensive performances have one other outlier in Air Force (we did marginally better than Mountain West teams) and otherwise stand as "omigod that was a tough defense" in the memories of everyone else. I fixed his charts to make them more legible so the descriptions may be a bit off.

[After the jump, more spooky things]

Upon Further Review 2011: Offense vs Michigan State

Upon Further Review 2011: Offense vs Michigan State

Submitted by Brian on October 21st, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Formation notes: Nothing new save the Denard Jet formation moving back to shotgun.

Substitution notes: Almost all Smith at RB, with cameos from Toussaint and Hopkins playing FB when one was needed, whether that was out of the I or in a two-back shotgun set. No Barnum; Mealer came in for Lewan after Gholston judo chopped him off the field for a couple plays.

You know about the QB rotation; WRs were the usual.

Argh? Argh.

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun twins twin TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Pass PA Flat Hemingway 5 (Pen +5)
They are running curl/flat here but Robinson doesn't have time to let the corner truly pick one as the LBs are flying up hard into gaps into the line. This would be wide open for nice yardage if it was a slant. As it is the zoning corner doesn't drop back far enough to give up the edge and can come up to tackle. Pickleman offsides anyway. (CA, 3, protection N/A)
M25 1 5 I-form 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass Throwback screen Gallon 1
MSU shows man as Gallon motions across the formation. Michigan runs an iso fake that sucks in the backside LB, who's blitzing, and Denard runs the throwback. Lewan(-2) whiffs on the corner and Schofield was late getting out because of traffic; two guys converge for no gain. (CA, 3, screen) RUN-: Lewan(2)
M26 2 4 Shotgun jet 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Jet QB power Gardner 5
Jet fake pulls a safety down and forces the other guy to go one-high. Michigan pulls to the backside; Koger(+0.5) kicks out Gholston as Lewan(+1) and Huyge(+0.5) club Worthy to the ground. Smith leads into the WLB as Omameh pulls around into... also the WLB(-2). MLB is sitting unblocked in a big hole; Gardner(+1) hops outside and gets the edge thanks to Hemingway(+1) sustaining a block downfield. RPS+1; if Omameh makes a block on the MLB this could be a big chunk.
RUN+: Koger(0.5), Huyge(0.5), Lewan, Hemingway, Gardner RUN-: Omameh(2)
M31 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read dive Smith 9
Just the basic zone read. Worthy fights outside and upfield of Huyge(+0.5), which is not what you're supposed to do. Because of that there's a big cutback Smith(+1) hits; it also looks like Michigan might have creased the frontside but why risk it. Smith cuts back; Omameh(+1) gets a pop on the MLB and Smith gets to the safeties.
RUN+: Smith(0.5), Huyge(0.5), Omameh RUN-:
M40 2 1 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read dive Smith 26
Double A gap blitz on which they time the snap based on Molk's head motion. Molk(-1) goes down, comes back up, and immediately snaps so he has no concept of the blitz and moves out on a DT, which lets a LB right through. Denard is looking at a containing DE so hands off. Smith(+1) breaks the tackle from the over-aggressive WLB; Lewan(+2) gets a great seal on Worthy, and Schofield(+1) kicks the MLB. Once Smith is past the line there isn't anyone on the second level and he grabs a big gain. Koger(+1) adjusted to kick a DB once he noticed there isn't anyone on the second level. RPS -1. Picture paged.
RUN+: Lewan(2), Smith(2), Schofield, Koger RUN-: Molk(2)
O34 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA TE seam Koger Inc (Pen +5)
Not so aggressive is the WLB this time; he drops into coverage as Koger tries to release. Robinson has the slot guy wide open and isn't pressured as he releases the ball but he still goes to the covered guy; I guess he might have to get this out fast because linemen are getting downfield on their blocks. Still, pass to covered guy instead of open guy. (BR, 0, protection N/A) LB interferes and is flagged. This is the Lewan-Gholston judo chop play, which is not flagged.
O29 1 10 Shotgun twins twin TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run QB power Robinson 0
Mealer in at RT as Huyge flips. They run at him. Weird. He loses his down block(-2) to a spin move and that guy gets in the hole; Schofield comes up to hit him but there's nowhere to go. Robinson tries to cut back, at which point Koger also gets his block spun through; wasn't going anywhere anyway. RUN-: Mealer(2), Koger
O29 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA Flat Hemingway 9
Same play as the first one; this time Michigan gets a man coverage look so when Hemingway breaks for the flat there is no one to hit him on the catch. He turns it up for some YAC. This was wobbly and upfield because the DE got a fingertip on it. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O20 3 1 Maryland I 2 3 0 Base 4-3 Penalty Delay -- -5
This play never happened but they got most of the way through it before they whistled it dead, so you could see that it was a power counter to the iso look NW blew up that would have worked, possibly for a touchdown, thanks in large part to Koger annihilating Gholston on the edge; dude got pancaked. The linebackers were gone and Toussaint would have been one on one with a safety for six. Oh well. RPS +1? Sure.
O25 3 6 Shotgun 2back TE 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Speed option Smith 3
WLB overhanging on the weak side. Michigan goes option and gets the playside sealed except Omameh(-1) getting out late from his block, allowing the MLB to flow unimpeded. Robinson cuts upfield of the overhang guy, has to pitch when the MLB comes up, and Smith is not fast enough to get the edge.
RUN+: Molk, Huyge RUN-: Omameh, Schofield(0.5)
O22 4 3 Field goal - - - Field goal Run Fake FG Dileo 3
This is actually a pass. It's not wide open so Dileo quickly decides to hit it up, just picking up the first. I'm not going to grade this for obvious reasons.
O19 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Pitch sweep Toussaint 4
Koger standing up a little outside the tackle. MSU brings the corner down; Roundtree points him out but I don't think Denard sees him. Michigan motions in Hemingway; the FB is offset to the strongside, this screams outside run, they run outside. Lewan(+1) seals Worthy. Koger(-0.5) does a mediocre job on the DE, eventually getting a crease but giving ground and heading outside, delaying the point at which Toussaint can hit it up. Hemingway(+1) takes out the playside LB; Hopkins gets a push on the edge guy; MLB scrapes from the interior to tackle. No one on him; Schofield(-0.5) was leading through and ran through to the safety instead of peeling.
RUN+: Lewan, Hemingway RUN-: Koger(0.5), Schofield(0.5)
O15 2 6 I-Form Big 2 2 1 Base 4-3 Pass Scramble Robinson 15
Surprise, except no not surprise. Two man route, one of them Hopkins, both covered. Molk(-2) thinks he has help behind him, which he does not because of an MSU corner blitz, and lets a DT through to pressure Robinson. Molk manages to recover to shove the guy past after he reaches out to tackle, and then Robinson's scrambling around and doing his Robinson thing. (SCR, N/A, protection 0/2, Molk)
RUN+: Robinson(3) RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-0, 8 min 1st Q. Goodbye offense.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M37 1 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Sprint counter Smith -2
Man... WTF. Lewan(-2) lets DE inside of him on the playside and Molk(-2) lets the WLB upfield of him without getting a hat on him. That's inexplicably bad play from our best two OL. Schofield is pulling around and shoves Rush, allowing Smith the cutback that isn't there because of Molk's screwup. Line opened up big time on this and Michigan just didn't block it. RUN-: Molk(2), Lewan(2)
M35 2 12 Shotgun 2back TE 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout out Gardner Inc
Gardner, in, play fake, rollout, pulling Schofield gets a block and the pocket is decent but everyone deep is covered in man; Gardner throws to Odoms anyway and it's broken up. Insert usual rant about rolling away half the field here. The checkdown to Hopkins was there for at least a few and possibly a rumble up the sideline. Everyone's Rex Grossman. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
M34 3 12 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Okie press Pass Post Roundtree Inc
Another half roll doesn't get anyone open quickly and finds pressure from the backside; Robinson has to step up and chucks a bomb to Roundtree. Roundtree has a step but the pass isn't anywhere near him. (IN, 0, protection ½, team -1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 4 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M6 1 10 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Hemingway 29
With an interior blitz two of the three guys to this side of the field are open. This does not include Hemingway. LB jumps the route and is headed for a pick six; Denard throws it high and it's over his hand and caught. Hemingway picks up a big chunk of YAC. I cannot condone this throw even though the result is good—the other two guys are open. (BR, 2, protection 1/1)
M35 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read dive Smith 0
Double A gap blitz again. Michigan never checks. This play cannot work with two LBs roaring up the field at the snap. Molk(-1) goes to double a DT because Michigan does not realize this is coming; Omameh can't get over to block the LB, and Smith gets eaten. (RPS -2) This is not getting out-toughed, it's out-stupiding MSU. RUN-: Molk
M35 2 10 Shotgun jet 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Reverse scramble Gallon 8 + 15 pen
Intended to be a pass but never develops since Worthy got way upfield. That wasn't a good play by Worthy, he's just overrunning everything like whoah, but it means Gallon has to start making evasive maneuvers before he can even consider passing. Because it's a pass no one got downfield to block guys and MSU folk are charging from the inside. Gallon heads out to a couple of guys hanging out near the numbers, points at them to block, and picks up some yardage. We get stupid MSU personal foul #2 (first one was a horsecollar on special teams) afterwards.
O42 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA Flat Koger 4
Not the jet package with a WR lined up behind Robinson; still jet motion as Robinson heads for the 2WR side. Michigan runs a play action rollout off this; two guys in Gardner's face with no support so he has to dump it off. Four yards. (CA, 3, protection N/A)
O38 2 6 I-Form 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Penalty Offsides -- 5
Michigan goes under center for a hard count and Worthy jumps it.
O33 2 1 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read dive Smith -3
Pickleman slants under Molk(-2) and destroys the play. RUN-: Molk(2)
O36 3 4 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Gallon Inc
DB runs Gallon's route for him and breaks it up. Excellent play. Not sure if Denard should get blamed here or not. (MA, 0, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 12 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M32 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Pass PA FB Flat Hopkins Inc
Corner blitz catches Michigan running a play that has the QB facing backwards. This is a terrible omen. Everybody in the world is open here but it doesn't matter because it's all Denard can do to get the pass off without getting sacked. It is wide of Hopkins in the flat. (PR, 0, protection N/A, RPS -1)
M32 2 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Screen Smith Inc (Pen +15)
Toussaint runs a flare to one side that Robinson fakes to before coming back to Smith on the other side. I think Smith got caught up trying to get out of the backfield because the MSU DL is slanting hard. He has to wait on Worthy and by the time he gets out he finds himself too far inside. He is well inside the OL pulling out, which means the WLB can hit him without worrying about those guys. The throw is hard and inside; Smith drops it. (MA, 2, screen) Worthy gets a derp penalty.
M47 1 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run QB power Robinson 5
Denard takes a counter step that gets the MLB and SLB. Lewan(+1) and Schofield(+1) blow out Pickelman big time, but Omameh(-1) is too freaking slow to get to the vast hole; Denard is running past him as he nears the LOS. MLB unblocked but because of the counter step Denard can burst outside for a good gain thanks to Koger(+1) kicking out Rush well.
RUN+: Robinson, Lewan, Koger, Schofield RUN-: Omameh
O48 2 5 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run QB power Robinson 3
Another double A gap blitz timed on Molk putting his head down. No check. Michigan's running power. Omameh pulls into the WLB and has no chance to get playside; Schofield(+1) does a good job to kick the MLB. Lewan(-1) loses Worthy to the outside; there is a cutback but WLB is bearing down and the safety attacking no longer has a blocker with an angle on him. RPS -1.
O45 3 2 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Speed option Robinson 2
Late move with two guys on the backside of the line; State slants under and sends linebackers playside. Koger just manages to push Gholston past the play; Robinson has to circle around, giving some time. Omameh(-1) failed to read the situation and releases downfield into no players as Huyge has no chance of dealing with backside DT. Lewan(+1) gets a driving block on the WLB that gives Robinson just enough room for the first down.
RUN+: Lewan, Robinson RUN-: Omameh
O43 1 10 Shotgun 2back TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Pass Fly Hemingway Inc
Robinson overthrows Hemingway by ten yards, in part because he got tangled up with the DB, who fell and knocked Hemingway off stride. Still way long even without that. Koger was open by yards shorter. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
O43 2 10 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Pass Fly Hemingway Inc
Gardner. He throws deep to a somewhat open Hemingway, missing; he did not see Hopkins blitheringly wide open for an easy touchdown. A better throw here and this is still good; wind problematic. (BR, 0, protection 2/2, RPS +2) This was the play to punish these linebackers and safeties and for the love of God, why isn't Gardner looking for Hopkins first?
O43 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Okie press Pass Random heave -- Inc
Corner blitz is not recognized by Smith(-2), forcing Robinson to scramble out of the pocket. At this point he should just run, maybe set Michigan up with a makeable fourth down. Instead he makes a crazy heave that three MSU players have a better shot at than anyone on Michigan. One of them drops an easy INT. (BRX, 0, protection 0/2, Smith -2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 6 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M46 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Pass PA out Grady Inc
You know, if you're going to run three wide you have to make them respect the slot—here three wide is just one fewer blocker since MSU doesn't care. And as I type this Michigan does make them respect the slot, running the pop pass out they've run a few times already. Denard throws it wide. Probably 6-8 if accurate (IN, 0, protection 1/1)
M46 2 10 Shotgun jet 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Jet sweep Robinson 15
Linebackers blitz up the middle, but this time they tip it early—just a screwup as Molk didn't put his head down yet. As a result Michigan can actually block these guys. Omameh(+1) cuts Allen; Molk(+1) moves over to wall of Bullough. DT playside falls in all the wreckage; Smith(+2) annihilates Rush with a cut block, sending Denard into acres of space. Lewan is running downfield to try to get a block; safety fills and Robinson tries to cut back right into Lewan's path. Safety manages to get a diving arm tackle on Robinson. Left a bunch of yards on the field here.
RUN+: Molk, Omameh, Robinson, Smith(2) RUN-:
O39 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass Post Roundtree Inc
Corner blitz is picked up. Lewan shoves the guy out into the flare Toussaint is running, which dissuades Denard from throwing that, his first read. Found the open spot and it was not open. Robinson has a good pocket and starts stepping up into it in case there is pressure from behind; as DTs converge on him he throws a short post to Roundtree that's just outside and is dropped. I may have complained about this not being a run but I was wrong, Robinson was right to throw here. The throw was too far inside, though. (IN, 1, protection 3/3)
O39 2 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run? QB iso/seam Robinson 2
You know that short pass to run thing from Smart Football? This is it. M has a run play on and is optioning Bullough. He stays inside, so throw, but Denard has lost the plot. He panics a bit because Worthy is slanting but that's not relevant, just get the ball out. He doesn't, running outside, stopping, and coming back under to the gap that was already there; blocking angles killed he picks up two. Either hit it up in the big seam or throw it. Don't do this. (BR, N/A, protection N/A)
O37 3 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Okie off Pass Hitch Gallon Inc
Four man rush; Michigan picks it up, though Schofield gets bulled back a bit. Robinson pumps, then airmails a hitch into the sidelines. Not a first down if accurate but definitely in go-for-it territory. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 2 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M27 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run Zone read dive Smith 2
Worthy slants under Schofield(-2), which makes Smith think he's got an alley but Worthy comes around from behind to tackle, forcing him upfield into Bullough for a minimal gain. RUN-: Schofield(2)
M29 2 8 Shotgun twins twin TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Pass Dig Roundtree Inc
Play action and max protect; two man route with Smith leaking out late. Robinson has forever and finds Roundtree breaking open for a big gain; airmailed. AAAAAAAARGH (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
M29 3 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Okie press Pass Scramble Robinson 5 + 15 pen
Huyge(-2) smoked by the blitzing Allen, Robinson has to roll out and scramble as a result. Omameh(-1) got bowled over backwards and Schofield(-1) let a stunt through; this was a comprehensive crapfest. (PR, 0, protection 0/4) Gholston does the helmet rip after.
M49 1 10 Shotgun 2back TE 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Pass Sack -- -9
Double blitz off the backside and a late developing play; Robinson has no chance. (PR, 0, protection N/A, RPS -2)
M40 2 19 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB draw Robinson 11
MSU stunting; Schofield(+1) comes off Worthy and shoves Gholston past the play. This does force Robinson away from lead blocking but with the SLB dropping into coverage there is no one to make him pay and he runs back to said blocking. Koger and Molk both got good, extended downfield blocks.
RUN+: Robinson, Schofield, Molk, Koger RUN-:
O49 3 8 Shotgun trips bunch 1 0 4 Okie off Pass Improv Roundtree 15
Nice pocket momentarily despite a blitz but Smith(-1) gets shoved back and doesn't cut Allen and a stunt starts coming through so Robinson has to roll. He does so and heaves one that Roundtree manages to get up and grab as he continued his route across the field. (MA, 2, protection ½, Smith -1)
O34 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read dive Smith 2
Koger as an H-back. He pulls backside. Huyge(-1) fails to get around and seal the backside DT despite that guy moving backside as the play starts and Omameh helping. Smith(-1) still has a lane up the middle he might be able to hit; instead he bounces to the frontside of the play, where SLB is sitting unblocked because he's loitering around the LOS without having to care about the slot. Bubble grumble.
O36 2 8 Shotgun 2back TE 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Hitch Gallon Inc
Double A gap blitz. Molk whiffs so both guys get up the middle of the field; Denard has to start backing up and chucks a duck well short of an open Gallon. (IN, 0, protection 0/3, Molk -1, team -2, RPS -2)
O36 3 8 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Okie off Pass In Grady 10 (Pen -10)
Huyge(-2) destroyed by Allen, who times the snap (RPS -1) and gets in. Huyge holds. Robinson rolls out and manages to throw back across his body to Grady on an in route that would be a first down, though he only got the opportunity because of the hold. (CA+, 3, protection 0/3, Huyge -1, team -2)
O46 3 18 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Okie press Pass Post Grady Inc
Press man, which is odd, and Denard throws it to an open-ish Grady on a post that would pick up the first. CB gets playside and breaks the pass up—great play. I don't mind the decision or the throw here since it's third and 18. It could work, you have nothing to lose, go for it. (CA, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-14, 6 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O41 1 10 Shotgun 2back TE 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Pass Angle Hopkins Inc
Gardner in; Koger covered. Michigan runs a power fake to play action that MSU has covered because of their playcall; Gholston upfield of Lewan and into Gardner; same thing with SLB getting underneath Toussaint. Gardner has to chuck it to Hopkins, it's yards off. (IN, 0, protection 0/2, Lewan -1, Toussaint -1, RPS -1)
O41 2 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Okie off Run Speed option Robinson 2
MSU jumping around in a three man line. Michigan does get them to show the blitz and then they motion Toussaint behind Robinson before the snap—kind of a giveaway. Still, Huyge(-2) is playside of Bullough and just has to release downfield and seal him to make this play; he does not. Smith(+1) slashes Gholston to the ground; Robinson(-1) should pitch as the edge man is too close to him but fakes it and Huyge's guy manages to make the tackle as Robinson can't cut back far enough inside to burst upfield.
RUN+: Smith RUN-: Robinson, Huyge(2)
O39 3 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Okie off Pass Sack -- -7
Huyge(-3) destroyed by Allen on four man rush. Woo third and long; amazing how this got covered up last year. (PR, N/A, protection 0/3, Huyge -3)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-14, 4 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun twins twin TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Pass PA out Hemingway Inc
Major shift late sends two guys in on the backside of the play. Robinson throws it to the out; deep slant wide open as well; blitzer leaps to bat it down. Would like Denard to read the coverage and go deeper but this was open-ish and he had three guys in his face quickly. (BA, 0, protection 0/1, team)
M20 2 10 Shotgun 2back TE 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Power off tackle Toussaint 3
RB power; key here is Norman, the backside LB, immediately shifting playside when he sees the pull.This prevents Lewan from getting a block on him. M opens up the hole as Schofield(+1) gets to the POA in time and blocks Allen; he does not force it back to Bullough and spills it outside so Toussaint is through despite not having a real lead block; Norman scrapes over and tackles. The initial movements of the MSU LBs are much better than those of the M LBs.
RUN+: Schofield, Omameh(0.5) RUN-:
M23 3 7 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Okie off Pass Deep cross Roundtree 8 + 15 pen
Four man rush; good protection. Robinson steps up and has his space restricted. He finds Roundtree running his cross past all of the zones to the sideline and hits him as he clears the last LB; his throw is a wobbly duck but it does get there. (CA, 3, protection 2/2) Gholston gets punchy afterwards.
M46 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Penalty Offsides -- 5
The slight compensation. Three of four MSU DL jump offsides! THREE!
O49 1 5 Shotgun jet 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Jet stretch Robinson 13
Double A-gap blitz that gets through again one play after a freaking offsides penalty. Come on, people. Come on. Michigan has a playcall on that works against it but barely. Playing with fire. After being burned with fire. Molk(+1) is stepping playside in the bucket fashion; he sees the blitz and peels off to shove Allen; this prevents him from deathsacking Denard in the backfield. Schofield(+1) gets a seal on the playside DT; Smith(+1) kicks out the DE. Lewan has no one to block so he trundles downfield. Robinson is cutting back behind his blocks when Bullough chops him down from behind.
RUN+: Robinson, Schofield, Molk, Smith RUN-:
O36 1 10 Shotgun twins twin TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run QB power Gardner 3
Gardner QB; TE covered. Blocked well; Gardner screws it up. Watson(+1) doubles and then releases into MLB; sealing him. Toussaint(+0.5) kicks out WLB. Koger(-0.5) lets playside DE inside off him but Schofield(+1) is hitting it up quickly and can wall him off; SLB is going to flow down the line to tackle but this is 5-8. Gardner(-1) bounces. This exposes him to the safety and costs Michigan 3-4 yards.
RUN+: Watson, Schofield RUN-: Gardner, Koger(0.5)
O33 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA Hitch Roundtree 9
Play action and a zing to the sideline for the first down. Genuinely impressive throw in context. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2)
O24 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB iso Robinson 0
Robinson back in. Omameh(-2) and Molk double Worthy; Omameh does not bucket step around the DT when Molk is blocking down. He's in the hole; Robinson stops and is swallowed. RUN-: Omameh(2)
O24 2 10 I-Form 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Pass Sack -- -1
Jesus. S walks down and is obviously blitzing along with WLB. Telegraphed, Michigan checks out of nothing and runs play action they cannot block because the edge guy has to cut the blitzing safety and leaves Gholston alone on the edge. Robinson has no time to deal. RPS -2. (PR, 0, protection N/A) This is Gholston's sack, BTW: unblocked. MSU will not miss him against UW. He's the fifth or sixth best player in their front seven.
O25 3 11 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Okie off Pass Yakety sax Gardner -6
Gardner fumbles a perfect snap.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-21, 12 min 4th Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O34 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Roundtree 34
With no deep safety, if a WR breaks a tackle on this route it is six. Robinson zings a deadly accurate pass to Roundtree and 'Tree breaks that tackle; six. Much better route than Gallon's earlier failed slant. (CA+, 3, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-21, 9 min 4th Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O32 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Sack Robinson -8
Double A-gap blitz is a little better picked up because it's not timed quite as well. Molk takes Bullough; Smith takes... Bullough. Allen unblocked up the middle, sack. (PR, N/A, protection 0/2, Smith -2)
O40 2 18 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Drag Hemingway 5
Four man rush is held off and Robinson has plenty of time to throw. He can't find anyone significantly downfield and ends up hitting Hemingway for a few. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
O35 3 13 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Okie press Pass Drag Koger 12
Omameh(-1) fails to read the play and lets Gholston by him. Smith comes over to pick him up. Everyone else is blocked, so Robinson can move past him in the pocket; he finds Koger open and tosses a duck that almost hits the ground. Koger still has time to turn it up and create fourth and short. (MA, 2, protection ½, Omameh -1)
O23 4 In Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Robinson 5
Yet another double A-gap blitz gets straight through, with Molk(-2) failing to read it and letting Allen in. Robinson(+3) appears to make a brilliant improvisation here; there is a contain guy but Robinson sees Allen tackling Smith at the mesh point and yanks the ball out, cutting inside of that tackle and finding space because Omameh(+1) got over to block Bullough; Bullough then falls over the legs of Huyge. Robinson has a crack he uses to get the first down. RPS -2.
O18 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Yakety sax Robinson -1
Fumbled snap.
O19 2 11 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Quick seam Koger Inc
Double A-gap. Not perfectly timed so Molk's head is up and he gets a block; Smith(-1) shoulders Bullough but only gets a piece; Robinson has to throw. He has a quick seam to Koger that he misses. May be a timing issue because Koger got chucked coming out, but results based charting. (IN, 0, protection ½, Smith -1)
O19 3 11 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Cross Gallon 10
Decent time until Omameh(-1) is beaten on a bull rush; Robinson steps around the rusher and he falls. He sets up again and zings a tough throw into a covered Gallon. Gallon brings it in. Q: is this the right spot? Is it where he catches it or where he hits the ground? (DO, 2, protection 1/2, Omameh -1)
O9 4 In Goal line 2 3 0 Goal line Pass Sack -- -9
DOOM. Hopkins lined up as the deep back and Toussaint the FB. Moore(-3) fails to even get out of his stance on the snap and lets the blitzing LB through untouched, doom. (PR, N/A, protection 0/3, Moore –3, RPS -3)
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 14-21, 7 min 4th Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR DForm Type Play Player Yards
M35 1 10 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Smith INT
Double A gap doom; picture paged already. (PR, 0, protection 0/3, team -3, RPS -2)
Drive Notes: Interception, defensive TD, 14-28, 4 min 4th Q

Is this blood running down my cheeks or have my tears turned to rust waiting for this?

You are a jerk. And apparently a robot. A robotic jerk. So it's rust, I guess.

Are you any calmer about the snap thing?

I am less calm. A full review of the game tape reveals ten(!) of Michigan State's double-A-gap LB blitzes. Plays on which one of the two guys was unblocked into the backfield are bolded:

  1. Smith dodges tackle in backfield, picks up 26.
  2. Zero yard inside zone from Smith
  3. Three yard power from Robinson*
  4. 15-yard jet sweep as M picks up blitzers
  5. Incomplete hitch to Gallon as both guys come unblocked up the middle.
  6. 13 yard jet stretch (ie: outside zone blocking)
  7. Eight yard sack.
  8. Five yards on fourth and one when Robinson saves Borges's bacon with a brilliant late pull
  9. Quick seam to Koger incomplete as M picks up 1.5 of the linebackers.
  10. DOOM

Michigan picked the blitz up two, maybe three times: on the two jet sweeps and on the second-to-last one. On the first jet sweep they picked it up because MSU screwed up by revealing their blitz before Molk put his head down. On the second one they let a guy through but managed to adjust after he was in the backfield, so I'm being generous(!).

By the time the pick six arrived Michigan had literally seen this blitz nine times and they still had no adjustment to their timing so that Molk would be able to see what was directly in front of him. This was well over half of MSU's penetration and Michigan had no clue what to do with it even deep into the fourth quarter. They did not check out of a single play because they didn't check at all. They didn't run a freeze or attempt to change the timing of the snap after the second quarter.

I mean… when Worthy bowled over Omameh to pick up their third and final offsides call, three of the four DL were across the line.


That is a snap-jumping machine. This was the last time Michigan altered their snap count.

They should have been doing so several times a drive. Not doing so led to all the problems above and made the OL's job very tough in pass protection. This would end up a holding call on Huyge after Denicos Allen shot past him:


Huyge is beaten and the ball isn't even to the QB yet.

No checks, no answers, no ability to address an obvious issue. That was a total failure by the coaching staff.

Now for the tedious disclaimers: I like Borges, I like the coaches, I think MSU fans declaring epic gameday domination for all time based on a single matchup are getting way ahead of themselves. But there is no gray area here.

*[Counting this because Allen shot into the backfield and picked off a pulling guard, FWIW.]

This is fun. Now show me the chart in which Denard Robinson makes angels tear off their wings.

Chart in which Denard Robinson makes angels tear off their wings.

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

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

Yeah, so that was like putting freshman Denard out there. Note the huge PR number. If he had happy feet he had good reason to have them. The protection metric is incredible in this game.

But first, receivers:

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

  This Game   Totals
Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Hemingway 2 - 1/1 3/3 7 - 7/8 12/13
Roundtree - 0/1 1/1 3/3 4 1/4 5/6 7/7
Odoms 1 - - - 2 - - -
Grady 2 - - - 4 - 0/1 2/2
Gallon 2


1/1 1/1 4 - 1/1 18/18
J. Robinson - - - - - - - -
Dileo - - - - - 0/2 1/2 2/2
Jackson - - - - - - 1/1 -
Koger 1 - - 1/1 3 1/3 2/3 8/9
Moore - - - - 2 - - -
Toussaint - - - - - - - 1/2
Shaw - - - - - - - 1/1
Smith 1 - 0/1 - 2 0/1 - 5/6
Hopkins 1 - - - 2 - - 1/1
McColgan - - - - 1 - - 1/1

It was Oprah out there: YOU get an uncatchable ball, YOU get an uncatchable ball, YOU get an uncatchable ball.

And now the ugliest run chart I've put together (in the year and a half I've been doing them):

Offensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Lewan 6 5 1 Lucky to have both arms in his shoulder sockets.
Barnum - - - DNP
Omameh 3.5 7 -3.5 Watching him pull is like watching an iceberg wander around the titanic.
Huyge 2 3 -1 Pass blocking not so good.
Schofield 7 3 4 Easy winner for best performer.
Mealer - 2 -2 One snap did not go well.
Watson 1 - 1 Eh.
Koger 3.5 2 1.5 So… yeah.
TOTAL 27 30 -3 But wait, there's more.
Player + - T Notes
Robinson 11 1 10 Yay running him 12 times.
Gardner 1 1 0 One good bounce, one bad bounce.
Toussaint 0.5 - - Two carries!
Shaw - - - DNP
Smith 7 1 6 Most of this was on a couple plus runs.
Hopkins - - - Did play.
Rawls - - - DNP
McColgan - - - DNP
TOTAL 19.5 3 16.5 Denard still has legs.
Player + - T Notes
Hemingway 2 - 2  
Odoms - - -  
Gallon -- - - --
Roundtree - - -  
Grady - - - --
Jackson - - -  
Dileo - - - --
TOTAL 2 - 2 Hardly anything got to them.
Player + - T Notes
Protection 30 32 48% Team 9, Huyge 7, Smith 6, Omameh 4, Molk 3, Schofield 1, Lewan 1, Toussaint 1
RPS 4 14 -10 See above.

Last week against NW there were 39 protection points. Here 62, which the team acquired less than half of.

Good hopping Lord in a pickle can.


I mean, sweet clod-kicking Jesus knickers.


That is just… something.

It was a—

Holy baboon-faced god of ancient river peoples spinning around on a pogo stick screaming "hey dilly dilly hey-o."

We get it.

I mean, where do you go from the above? Michigan was comprehensively annihilated. Denard was awful, Borges was awful, the line was awful, everything was awful. So… yeah, the players shoulder a lot of the blame. Borges got guys open with frequency only to see them ignored.

What happened to Omameh?

Michigan pulled him in this game, seemingly to prove once and for all that for whatever reason he can't pull. He's a light, quick lineman who gets to the hole slightly slower than Tom Harmon, who is dead:

Combining him with the lightning-quick Robinson is not so good. This is frustrating because last year he was a killer scooping dudes with Molk and heading to the second level. This year he looks like a guy who'd be benched if there was a plausible backup. Chalk it up to transition costs.

Should there have even been a fourth and one?

I'm not sure. Are they supposed to spot it where you catch the ball or where you touch the ground? If it's on the catch they screwed up the spot. If it's where the ball is when you get a foot down they are relatively close.


I'm guessing it's the latter, because that's where they put the ball.


Yes, yes.


Michael Schofield. I guess the receivers didn't drop anything.


Literally everyone else.

What does it mean for Purdue and beyond?

It means we have to change our snap counts, figure out some new ways to run the ball, and hope like hell this is by far the worst game of Denard's career.



Submitted by Brian on December 3rd, 2009 at 11:32 AM

12/2/2009 – Michigan 58, Boston College 62 – 3-3

Oh_Noes_by_wormhappy1plz oh_noes_its_fella_by_luminaeus

via luminaeus

Apparently there was a meeting this offseason and Michigan's three major sports bet each other they could be the most disappointing outfit on campus. Hockey is winning, but narrowly. Assorted thoughts on basketball season so far:


Can We Please Assemble Yost To Point At The 1-3-1 And Call It A Sieve? Holy hopscotching hell. Michigan finally moved away from the disastrous fringe zone defense against Boston College, but before that it had given up enough points to seal Michigan's doom. This comes after the Marquette game, in which the Eagles averaged 1.27(!!!) points per possession, the worst output of the Beilein era, and the Alabama game, which wasn't as bad but lord it wasn't good either.

This isn't even a preparation issue. Marquette and Alabama did not put in special practice time to deal with Michigan when there was a 25% or less chance those teams would play the Wolverines; Michigan just sucks at the 1-3-1. Hard.

If this was football I'd have some amateur but fairly accurate point about scheme; since it's basketball I'm about as mystified as anyone else. The defense wasn't good last year but it wasn't anywhere near this bad and the only difference is replacing a couple walk-ons with Darius Morris. Morris hasn't seemed like the problem so far. Problems: Stu Douglass is a really terrible defender, Manny Harris is lackadaisical himself, and no one got any taller.

…but on the other hand. Morris has given Michigan zero offensively other than some fast break buckets against poor competition. I guess he makes sense in a high-paced transition offense that results from a ton of steals forced by the 1-3-1. Since Michigan is not getting a ton of steals, he's a non-shooter whose main contribution on offense is to pass the ball around the perimeter. Freshman and all that, but right now Stu Douglass is a much better passer and shooter and seems considerably more useful on offense. Is that worth the 3-4 wide open threes he'll give up? This is not a lovely choice.

And now we devolve into talk radio platitudes. Forgive me: I am about to sound like whichever post-Spielman droid is currently Pam Ward's color guy. In multiple ways. Brace yourself.

Doesn't this team look horribly coached? I keep going back to the haunting Manny Harris three against Alabama. With 20 seconds on the shot clock in a tie game with under a minute left, Harris comes over a half-hearted screen from DeShawn Sims and jacks up a three with a hand in his face. It, like 90% of Harris's threes to date, misses, and Alabama comes down for the winning basket after the rebound. Beilein benched Harris and Sims for large portions of the Boston College game, and they deserved it, and the team didn't play much worse. That's about all he can do but good God, by now the upperclass stars on the team shouldn't have to get benched.

Elsewhere in this theory: the 1-3-1 failure and the number of possessions that end with few ideas and few good shot options. Sometimes the dread specter of Amaker offense shows up. This should probably not be happening in year three.

I don't want to overstate the case: obviously I still support Beilein and think he's a good coach who will—has—been the most successful one at Michigan since Tom Goss and Ed Martin crushed the program's will to live. But in the aftermath of the Evan Smotrycz rise, Brundidge commitment and potential acquisition of Casey Prather or Trey Ziegler, I was teetering along the edge of taking back the "Beilein won't ever make Michigan elite" theory offered here earlier… now not so much.

Second: could "leadership" actually be an issue here? Resorting to leadership is the last option around here, but the team seems way, way worse than last year—even when you take things like losing to Iowa and almost doing the same against Indiana—and the only difference is that CJ Lee is running for congress or something and David Merritt is starting the next Nike. Similarly, the hockey team lost Aaron Palushaj but nothing else aside from a couple of gritty grit Gritsteins in Tim Miller and Travis Turnbull and has collapsed to the point where its decades-long tourney streak is in serious doubt.

I usually dismiss heart and leadership and whatnot. I still think this holds in football because football is a bunch of short, complicated bursts of activity. Whatever effect trying really hard has is dwarfed by knowing what the hell to do and doing it right. Aside from the occasional tired defensive linemen, coasting isn't an option. Football is kill or be killed; it has your full attention at all times.

In hockey and basketball, on the other hand, you can sort of do things. You can defend the post with token effort, or lackadaisically close out, or not rotate. You can coast on your forecheck or not backcheck or not finish a check. It's far more possible to give poor effort. So it's conceptually possible to me that gritty heart dirt dog blah blah is actually important, and then you've got two separate teams that are a thousand times worse than they were last year despite personnel situations that should be considerably better but for the absence of Gritzilla. The conclusion, horrifyingly, is that maybe people who like Colin Cowherd aren't always wrong about everything forever.

It's just about over, isn't it? Michigan's put themselves in a position where they've blown virtually all of their winnable quality nonconference games—Creighton doesn't look like it will count—and now must either pull vast upsets against Kansas and/or UConn and maybe also beat Utah to scrape into the tourney with a similar conference record. If they win one of those games they probably have to go 11-7 in the conference to make it, and raise your hand if you think that's likely. Right.

Kitten? Kitten.

bengal-kitten3 You know, if I ever thought I'd get so much use out of the "i know it's over and oh it never really began but in my heart it was so real" tag, I might have considered another line of work. Like ninja.

a note from a former life

a note from a former life

Submitted by Brian on September 2nd, 2007 at 3:09 PM

a couple complaints about yesterday's technical difficulties. if you're an non-michigan fan, whatever. if you're a michigan fan... sorry. but what is there to say? and why the fuck are you on the internet? this is what you should do: get drunk and watch the big lebowski. seriously. we are all the dude. that's what i did yesterday. or like go outside. the internet is not your friend. i'll be back tuesday.

now... KITTENS!