Fall Camp Presser Transcript 8-7-13: Greg Mattison

Fall Camp Presser Transcript 8-7-13: Greg Mattison

Submitted by Heiko on August 8th, 2013 at 10:34 AM

"First one of the year, huh? Here we go."

Here we go.

"Well it seems like we've been practicing for two months already and we've only had three. I don't know if that's a sign of old age or just the intensity of how we're going, but it's really good to be out here. It's good to be practicing again."

There hasn't been a whole lot of yelling. It's a lot more instructing. Do the kids seem to be on message?

"Well our style of coaching is teaching. And I think if you compare our staff -- I don't think a lot of times you have to do a lot of yelling. This team that we have right now is trying to do it right in every way. When a team's trying to do that, whether they're really young or making mistakes because they're young, as long as they're showing the effort that they are, there's really no reason to yell at them. You just have to correct them. When you have a young team, you have to be a great teacher. That's what our staff is really working hard to do."

So the effort is there?

"Yes. I've been really pleased. Now we don't have pads on yet obviously, and a lot of times what happens with programs, when pads come on, sometimes some programs slow down. I don't think that's going to happen with this team. This team seems to really really embrace and has bought into 'we must play as hard as we can on every play, and we have to get 11 bodies to the football.' When you watch practice with not pads on, we're getting 11 bodies to the football. We're getting really really good effort, so that's been positive."

<No pads. Nothing to see after the jump.>

First Look: 2013 Defense

First Look: 2013 Defense

Submitted by Brian on January 8th, 2013 at 12:09 PM




  1. S Jordan Kovacs. Long time safety blanket specialized in open-field tackles, especially on fourth down, and was rarely victimized by his brain. Speed exposed by speedy South Carolina receivers, but you'll miss him early when someone screws up and you remember what it's like to have a safety biff a tackle and turn not much into lots.
  2. SDE Craig Roh. Journeyman switched positions every year, finally finding a home at SDE. Four sacks were second on the team to Jake Ryan; did a lot of non-boxscore stuff. Quality player; never quite panned out into the QB terror he was purported to be. Production should be replaceable.
  3. MLB Kenny Demens. Started every game, finished second on team with 82 tackles, 50 of them solo. Surprisingly quality in coverage; never great; guy you  can win with.
  4. DT Will Campbell. Long-time disappointment got serious in 2012 and turned in adequate, blocker-absorbing season. Not an impact player—1.5 TFLs on the year. May go late in NFL draft thanks to sheer size.
  5. CB JT Floyd. Three-year starter turned career around after debacle of 2010, but was always kind of a sore spot as teams went after him and his lack of speed over and over again. Rarely cracked; had to be covered for at times. Iffy run defender. NFL FA type.
  6. WLB Brandin Hawthorne. Nonfactor.



Ryan, Ross, QWASH

  1. SLB Jake Ryan. Barbarian was Michigan's sole impact player on defense; shut down screens consistently, explosive rusher led team with 16 TFLs and four forced fumbles. Remember that thing he did? Yeah.
  2. MLB Desmond Morgan [probably]. With James Ross champing at the bit to enter the starting lineup, the stout Morgan is likely to move over to middle linebacker, allowing Ross to flow freely. Morgan was third on the team in tackles last year—M's linebackers were 1-2-3 like nature intended, with Gordon and Kovacs next—and displayed tackling prowess. He'll get pushed; he'll have to be forcibly unseated.
  3. NT Quinton Washington. Season surprise turned nose tackle from looming liability to actually kind of a strength. Not a Martin-type penetrator but ended up powerful and difficult to block. Range spans from merely okay to All Big Ten. Has future as wrestler named QWASH if football doesn't work out.
  4. CB Blake Countess. Freshman starter was hyped up as next great Michigan corner before being hewed down in the first game covering a punt. Will likely return to the field corner spot he locked down in the offseason.
  5. CB Raymon Taylor. Stepped in for Countess after Courtney Avery didn't seem up to the task and held his own for the most part. Teams mostly went after Floyd, leaving him alone. Did get burned for a touchdown in the bowl game. Tendency to get lost on zones should attenuate; has better size than any other experienced corner and will probably end up at boundary with Floyd's departure.
  6. WLB James Ross III. Bloodhound as a true freshman but too slight to take on blockers and big tailbacks effectively. With a season in the weight room should go from promising to excellent. 2012 : Jake Ryan :: 2013 : James Ross.
  7. FS Thomas Gordon. Unsung counterpart to Kovacs has not made as many flashy TFLs but is part of the Michigan defense's remarkable ability to prevent big plays over the last couple years. Probably takes over Kovacs's frequent blitzes.
  8. MLB Joe Bolden. Played a lot as a true freshman and will push Morgan and Ross equally. Survey says he loses the starting job but gets so much time he's essentially a third ILB starter. Needs to get a little meaner, work on pass drops, all that freshman business. Will be quality.
  9. Nickelback Courtney Avery. Diminutive but quality underneath cover guy; PBU and INT sealed OSU game; also a crappy edge tackler; fine option as a third corner.
  10. DT Jibreel Black. Spotted Roh, could not take his job; may be a candidate to move to SDE if he can put on the weight; emergence of Frank Clark threatens to cut into playing time.
  11. WDE Brennen Beyer. Best of the three WDEs at run D; nonfactor getting to the QB. Let's all focus our Heininger Certainty Principle at him.
  12. WDE Frank Clark. Co-starter at WDE made more plays behind the line (9 TFLs) and batted down a lot of passes, but had trouble beating blocks—thus all the batted passes—and still blows contain responsibility on the read option a maddening amount. Up or out for him.
  13. SDE Keith Heitzman. Redshirt freshman flashed a couple things in the spring game and came on as a rotation guy about halfway through the year, grading out okay. Could emerge into SDE starter or could maintain that rotation thing another year.
  14. NT Ondre Pipkins. Massively hyped recruit was rotation partner with Washington. Got knocked over by a running back once; did bull his way into the backfield impressively a couple times. DTs need time; Pipkins should make a leap in the offseason.
  15. WDE Mario Ojemudia. Hilariously undersized high school DT promised to be mini-Martin… still working on that. Needed size, technique; may burst past WDE competitors with strong offseason.



A couple guys on the DL. Last season this post focused on the three departures from the line, found only Washington and Campbell and what seemed like a woefully undersized Roh, and was pushing any button available whether it was marked "PANIC" or not. A year later, Roh was good, Washington dang good, Campbell at least serviceable, and we're all like COME AT ME ATTRITION BRO.

The problems here are insignificant compared to last year. Michigan gets Matt Godin, Willie Henry, Chris Wormley, and Tom Strobel off redshirts. They'll add an early-enrollee in Taco Charlton plus a couple of guys who just showed very well at their respective all star games in Maurice Hurst and Henry Poggi. They return Washington, Pipkins, Black, Heitzman, and three guys who saw time at WDE. They will find folks to fill in the gaps.

They do have to figure that out. First up: dollars to donuts Black moves to SDE. It's a better fit with his size, he spent that fateful final drive of the Outback Bowl running around the South Carolina left tackle, and even if it's a horde of redshirt freshmen who would hypothetically replace him, there is a horde.

At the now-vacated three-tech spot, pick from Wormley, Henry, and Godin. I bet Wormley is the winner there. There will be rotation, and improvement, and you will feel fuzzily positive about this in September.

Lineback—nevermind. Demens was missed in said bowl game, but with another offseason behind Morgan, Bolden, and Ross the ILBs should actually  get better next year.

Not having an utterly reliable tiny linebacker at safety bailing your ass out for four years. Miss you, small guy xoxo.



Keith Heitzman is like a living breathing miracle of having a two deep

DEPTH DEPTH DEPTH DEPTH DEPTH DEPTH DEPTH WOOOOO! We covered the line. Each positions has a two-deep of non-true freshmen, many of them proven or hyped. At linebacker there are three quasi-starters plus a solid rotation at SLB. The secondary is a bit dodgier but Terry Richardson should be serviceable as a sophomore.

Experience. Michigan loses five starters, yeah, but that's almost literally all they lose. Mike Jones may or may not return for another season of staring from the bench, other than that the only player they lose is Brandin Hawthorne, who was exclusively special teams as a senior. They return 16 heavy contributors to the D, 17 if you count Jarrod Wilson.

Linebackers. Ryan, of course, and then you've got Ross/Bolden/Morgan returning in the middle. Many people will pine for Michigan's linebacking corps next year.

My difficulty in thinking about bullets for the following two sections. Only got two in each.



looks good; was Mattison getting a free rusher at Miller's backside

Getting to the quarterback. Mattison generates lots of free blitzers with his schemes; other than that the only guy to consistently generate pass rush was Ryan. WDE, the glamor spot in a 4-3 under, barely produced. Three guys had three sacks between them last year. All of those guys are back, and Charlton gets added in. The time for someone to step up is now.

Matters should be a bit better on the interior, as whoever replaces Campbell is going to be a leaner, quicker guy who can get more penetration than he did.

A lack of outright stars. You've got Ryan, and I think Ross will get there next year, and then… maybe Countess, but that's asking for a lot after an injury like he had, and… dot dot dot.


Will not having Jordan Kovacs doom Michigan to a Yards After Safety kind of life? I don't think so but the parade of incompetents (and Jamar Adams) before him makes me leery.

Can anyone step in right away and be a QB terror? Looking at you, Taco Charlton. He and Ojemudia seem like the best bets for a truly fearsome edge rusher—we've seen a lot of Frank Clark this year and he just hasn't done much.


I was worried about a backslide last year. If there was one, it was exceedingly minor. In 2011 Michigan was 17th in yardage, 6th in scoring defense, 36th in pass efficiency D, and 39th in rushing D. Last year those numbers were 13th/20th/50th/51st, and if you'd added Blake Countess for the whole year, well…

I tend to trust the poorer numbers there since Michigan moves at such a slow pace and their YPC average allowed—3.8—is pretty meh. Pre-Outback Bowl, FEI has them 20th, and that feels about right.

Michigan is probably still a year away from being capital E elite, but you could see how they get there ahead of schedule. It requires three things:

  1. Countess comes back and is a "war daddy," to use super secret football lingo.
  2. Someone emerges as as serious pass rush threat at WDE.
  3. Kovacs, peace be unto him, is adequately replaced by Jarrod Wilson.

#1 is possible. #2 seems doubtful, and #3… I hesitate to predict anything about that because it will blow up all over.

Anyway. Michigan tightens up its run D, moving from around 3.8 YPC allowed to under 3.5. The pass defense looks worse superficially because the Big Ten isn't as terrible at throwing the ball next year (right?) but is actually better since neither starting corner spends the entire year getting balls thrown over his head. The D moves up to around tenth in the advanced stats, stays static in yardage and improves pass D efficiency.

Wednesday Presser Transcript 11-14-12: Brady Hoke

Wednesday Presser Transcript 11-14-12: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on November 14th, 2012 at 1:34 PM


  • Hey hey what can I say, day to day day to day to day day.



Opening remarks:

“[We had a] good work day yesterday, [good] preparation. [Iowa is] one of the good football teams, especially a team that, capacity-wise, they’re playing well when you look at taking care of the football, turnovers, and the running game from an offensive line standpoint. They’re typical Iowa where they’re going to get on you and they’re going to do a great job in the zone schemes. Defensively they’re going to play very tight up front and let the linebackers flow. You see that. In the kicking game, they’ve got some real weapons in their kickoff return and their kick coverage and in the kickoff that they’ve done a nice job with. For us we had a good practice. Like I said, it was a good work day. Need another good work day today.”

Monday Presser Transcript 11-12-12: Brady Hoke

Monday Presser Transcript 11-12-12: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on November 12th, 2012 at 3:10 PM


  • If Denard were a rapper his stage name would be Day2Day.
  • Hoke says decision on Denard's status for Saturday will be made based on health, not sentiment.
  • Mario Ojemudia is "coming along," which probably means he won't be ready for Saturday.
  • Will Campbell "probably played his best football game" against Northwestern.
  • Hoke did think about going for a touchdown instead of a field goal at the end of regulation but decided not to.
  • Whether Denard could play situationally even if he were unable to throw the ball is something Hoke may consider. (What does that even mean. Aye aye aye.) Take two: Hoke will talk to Denard about playing situationally or as a runner if he remains unable to throw the ball on Saturday. Maybe.




How are you doing?

“Better than the alternative.”

Opening remarks:

“Really proud of our football team. I’m proud of how they stuck together. I think I mentioned, I may not have -- they really stuck together the whole game. They believed in each other, believed in what we were trying to get accomplished. I thought there were some really smart decisions made by players and by some of the guys on the staff when the two returners at the end of the game on the punt, because of the way they tried to punt the ball, Gallon was able to get some real positive yardage and set up being able to get the ball to whatever yard line it was to try for the field goal to tie it. If you have one returner back and that ball bounces, you lose field position and those things. Kids executed it well.

“This week’s a special week. Number one, our seniors. Last time they get to play in the greatest stadium in this country. Get to wear that blue jersey here at home and so it’s really special for us as coaches and for those underclassmen who go out and play well. Iowa, as you know, they’re a very good football team. They’ve lost the last two games I think by a total of six points. Run the football well. I think they’ve had some nicked up people when you look at it earlier in the year, but I think they’re really coming together. James Vandenberg, I think, is a very good quarterback. We’ve got our work cut out for us, and we have a lot to do.”

Monday Presser Transcript 11-5-12: Brady Hoke

Monday Presser Transcript 11-5-12: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on November 5th, 2012 at 5:56 PM


  • Denard is improving slowly.
  • Russell Bellomy is suffering from Things and Stuff. Probably. Hoke wouldn't comment. Whatever it is should not be season-ending, however.
  • Mario Ojemudia's status is up in the air because he has a Boo Boo.
  • Jeremy Gallon is taking it easy with his ankle issue, but should be good to go on Saturday.
  • The coaches have talked about bringing in Jack Miller or Joey Burzynski to address some of the interior offensive line issues. 




Opening remarks:

“We all set? I was obviously pleased with the win on the road. Every week is a championship game, and we look at it that way, so going to Minneapolis and winning was important. Did we play our best? No. I don’t think we did. Kicking game and a lot of areas we have to do a better job -- kicking, covering, punting. We had two dumb penalties, the blocks in the back that obviously moves the ball back, puts you in a worse position. Defensively [I] thought we kept ourselves in the game and at the same time, we need to do a better job against the run. Didn’t think we did as well a job against the rush, but that being said, it kept us in the game offensively. We talked afterwards. I thought Devin did a nice job managing the offense. Thought he made some plays, extended some plays, and did a great job in that area. On the one pick, it was one that he’d like back, we’d all like back, but I think he learned from it. Took care of the football and did a nice job.

“This week we play a very good football team in Northwestern. Well coached, and I have a lot of respect for Pat. How he coaches and how his team plays. They have some threats, you know, offensively. Venric Mark is an extremely shifty, quick runner. Does a tremendous job. I think they’re blocking well up front. Defensively, overall as a team they’re plus six in turnover margin, which is a very good number, so from the defensive side, they’ve done a good job. They’ve only thrown three interceptions on the year. That’s with both quarterbacks in -- Colter and Siemian. So they’re doing a nice job managing that part of it. And Tyler Scott on the defensive side is a guy who’s very active. Leads the Big Ten in sacks and forced fumbles. We have our work cut out for us.”

Monday Presser Transcript 10-29-12: Brady Hoke

Monday Presser Transcript 10-29-12: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on October 29th, 2012 at 4:31 PM


  • Be an organ donor. Beat Ohio. Save lives
  • Mario Ojemudia has a "thing" and "stuff." You think I'm making this up but I'm not.
  • Denard has a tingly thingamaling that has not completely resolved itself yet.



"Sun came up on Sunday" / file

Opening remarks:

“I want to thank Wolverines for Life and the transplant center for all they do. To Tucker, who you heard from earlier. We’re glad to have you here and glad to be part of it. I know we have a couple guys who are pretty involved who were part of it. Thanks for that.

“As far as where we’re at right now football-wise, we need to do a better job from the perspective of a coaching standpoint, because it starts right there. It starts with me. We need to play better football. We need to play better in the red zone from an offensive standpoint. And part of that and most of that is you have to be able to run the football in the red zone. That’s an important place because in the throw game, it shrinks down there a little bit. Your verticalness of what you can do and being able to run the football is a big part of it. We didn’t do that well obviously the other night, but that’s something that will take a front seat and center during this week as we get ready to go to Minneapolis. It’s an important game for multiple reasons. Number one, it’s in our devision. It’s an opportunity that we get back out on the field, which we need to go to, and the Brown Jug is part of that great rivalry and tradition and trophy that we’d like to keep here in Ann Arbor.”

Tuesday Presser Transcript 10-16-12: Greg Mattison

Tuesday Presser Transcript 10-16-12: Greg Mattison

Submitted by Heiko on October 16th, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Greg Mattison


Opening remarks:

“This is the week you look for. This is a big week for us, and you know, I know our guys are going to prepare that way. I think as a football program, we’re very very excited about this challenge.”

Can you talk about the emphasis on physicality this week?

“There’s no question about it. I think last year if you look back, that’s something that kind of sticks with us the entire year. They took it to us. You can cut it any way you want. They lined up, ran the football, and knocked us off the football and we don’t like that. We don’t believe in that at Michigan. It’s going to be that kind of game. It’s going to be a very physical football game.”

Do you feel like that game motivated your defense the rest of the way?

“Oh no. I don’t think -- any time you don’t play well, I hope you don’t use that for motivation. I think if anything, it emphasized that each and every week you must play physical. You can’t go out there anytime and think we’re Michigan, we’re going to play. In this league, against the people we play each and every week, you have to bring your a game.”

Monday Presser Transcript 10-15-12: Brady Hoke

Monday Presser Transcript 10-15-12: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on October 15th, 2012 at 7:17 PM

Bullets of informative information:

  • Michigan State. This is a rivalry game. Rivalries are important.
  • Vincent Smith getting held out for his hamstring was precautionary. May be back this week. Maybe not.
  • Hopkins is "back."
  • Frank Clark's decreased playing time was due to rotation, not due to injury.
  • Denard is fine.


“You know, obviously it was a great team win the other night. Played well as a team. Played together. Probably our most complete game when you look at the offense and defense. In the kicking game I thought we did some very good things. Had some penalties that we don’t want to have when you look at hitting the returner late and we had two defensive offsides penalties that we need to be a little more poised and a little more composed about that. A couple dropped passes. I think we were 9 of 14 on third downs, probably could have been 11 of 14. Missed assignments, I think we had 10 of them on offense. Defensively, early in the game I thought they ran the ball a little too well, so we have to do a better job with the integrity of gaps and getting off blocks. Best we’ve played, but a long way from playing championship football, so we have a lot of work to do. We’ll go back to work.

"This is a great week because it’s a rivalry game and those are always special, always fun. At the same time it’s another championship game, which we’ve started that run two weeks ago. We have to prepare like we have, and I think we will because we’ve done a nice job to this point and the maturity of our team – I think we are maturing, so we just have to keep going forward.”

Upon Further Review 2012: Defense vs Purdue

Upon Further Review 2012: Defense vs Purdue

Submitted by Brian on October 11th, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Formation notes: Michigan set to blowing up Purdue's screen game by sliding their linebackers over to any trips formation like so:


The guy nose to nose with the WR on the LOS is Jake Ryan. I called this "4-3 even slide." Here's a closer look on another play:

trips bunch TE

Kovacs would come down on the other side to play tiny linebacker.

A couple of times Purdue went to formations like this and Michigan split their linebackers way out wide:


Yeah that looks super-vulnerable to the run but Purdue couldn't get any creases so it's not. Nice trick to put five in the box with two deep safeties and not get gashed.

Note that M spent most of the game in an even front instead of an under. This appears to be their default against spreads.

Substitution notes: Secondary was as usual: Taylor/Floyd/Kovacs/Gordon with Avery coming in for nickel packages. Morgan and Demens got almost every meaningful snap; Ryan saw most but Cam Gordon did get a couple drives.

The line was more Washington/Campbell regular stuff than the nickel business that didn't work so well against the UMass spread.

Shoe shoe.

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-3 under Pass 4 Quick hitch Ryan 4
M ends up way spread out by Purdue in a double stack-ish formation. Purdue goes with a dink pass that Ryan(+0.5, tackling +1) is close enough to get a no-YAC tackle on, but only just. He would have delayed the receiver long enough for the D to rally even if he hadn't managed to get the receiver down.
O29 2 6 Shotgun trips bunch TE 4-3 even slide Run N/A Zone belly Kovacs 5
M moves Ryan all the way out to the hash where the bunch is and has Demens a bit further inside; Morgan is the only actual LB in the box; Kovacs overhangs to the short side. Purdue tries to take advantage by running a belly zone at the backside. Clark contains; give. Campbell(-0.5) gives a little too much ground and Kovacs(-0.5) is hesitant when he's got a free run at the ballcarrier—seems like he doesn't entirely trust Clark, which fair enough. Clark comes down to tackle with help from Kovacs near the sticks.
O34 3 1 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run N/A Pin and pull counter Demens 0
Fullback goes away from the play and RB takes a counter step as two linemen pull around the other way and TerBush pitches. This probably should have worked but one of the pulling linemen goes for Taylor instead of looking for a linebacker flowing from the inside. The other blocks Ryan(+0.5) who sheds quickly and comes upfield but does get in a shoestring tackle attempt that helps make the RB an easy target; Demens(+1) did flow quickly and get to the hole to tackle(+1) short of the sticks. Mostly just a Purdue screwup but M did execute some.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 13 min 1st Q. See you in ten minutes, D.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O32 1 10 Shotgun 2TE 4-3 under Pass 4 Sack Ryan -11
Clark flares out just as the field WR goes in motion, which gives M more of a 3-4 look but the DEs are tucked inside. Anyway, he's upfield to deal with the potential-end around on the snap. It's play action; no one open as Gordon(+1, cover +1) pulls up and moves out on the TE drag coming across the field. Ryan(+2, pressure +2) is unblocked backside and making for the QB all the way. He has the agility and discipline to not overrun the QB and makes a massive sack as Terbush can't risk the throw to the covered safety valve. RPS +3—this was dead to rights.
O21 2 21 Shotgun trips bunch Nickel even Run N/A Counter trap Morgan 10
Roh(+0.5) actually does a good job to not run way upfield once the G over him releases and comes down on a the trapping OL, which forces the RB to go outside of him. Demens(-0.5) and Morgan(-1) do not take that opportunity. Morgan doesn't read the G pull right over him and gets locked out by a tackle releasing. Demens goes upfield of his blocker and doesn't make a play; probably not relevant because Morgan didn't read it but still bad. Kovacs fills for his only tackle of the day(!).
O31 3 11 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 nickel Pass 4 Rollout hitch Floyd Inc
Rollout gets TerBush all day (pressure -2) but no one is open at all (cover +3) and Floyd(+2) is there to break on the ball and get a PBU when TerBush eventually has to pull the trigger on a throw as he nears the chalk.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-0, 3 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O37 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-3 even slide Pass 4 Hitch Floyd 11
Floyd(-1, cover -1) is unable to tackle on this five-yard hitch and turns it into a first down.
O48 1 10 Shotgun double stack 4-3 even split Pass 4 PA bubble screen CGordon 3
Ish, anyway. Cam Gordon(+1) is getting blocked by the outside WR in an almost-stacked formation as TerBush throws to the inside guy who is shuffling backwards on the catch. That's one on one with Taylor but Gordon's blown his blocker back and cut off the inside so the WR has nowhere to go and gets sandwiched by Taylor and Gordon after a small gain.
M49 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Rollout fly Beyer Inc
Beyer(-1, pressure -1) is hacked to the ground by the tailback and just kind of stops there; he didn't get cut, he got CUT. This gives TerBush all day on the edge. Demens is coming up to turn that pressure on and TerBush misses badly on a WR who had an okay gap between Avery and Kovacs. Coverage push; this wasn't too bad in the secondary.
M49 3 7 Shotgun 2-back Okie two Pass 5 Hitch Morgan 5
Slot blitz from Avery plus a hash to hash zone drop from Morgan that he holds up on; notably, this h2h drop features the guy looking all the way. Avery(+0.5, pressure +1) gets in free, forcing a quick throw. Morgan(+0.5) is combining with Gordon(+0.5, cover +1) to box in the obvious hot read from the corner blitz and get the guy down short of the sticks. RPS +1; M got exactly what they wanted on this play.
M44 4 2 Shotgun trips 4-3 even slide Pass 4 Hitch Taylor INT
This should be a five yard completion for the first down, which okay. Terbush throws it high, WR deflects, Taylor(+1) is like okay free touchdown yay. Cover –1.
Drive Notes: Defensive TD, 21-0, 12 min 2nd Q. Boilers fumble ensuing KO.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O27 1 10 Shotgun 2-back Nickel even Run N/A Quick pitch Floyd 0
CGordon(+1) in for Ryan, playing with his hand down. He is upfield on the snap as the T releases downfield and forces a scary pitch that is well behind the RB and almost dropped. RB brings it in, spinning. The spin takes him outside into Floyd(+1), who has set up at the numbers at the LOS and forces it back to the pursuing CGordon, except not actually because the RB runs his face into Floyd's.
O27 2 10 Shotgun trips Nickel even Pass 4 Hitch Floyd 11
Another five yard hitch Floyd(-1) is lax on and turns into a larger gain. He's indecisive, taking a couple false steps before attacking. I'm not too mad since getting beat over the top is worse against this flailing O but be there to tackle before the sticks plz.
O38 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone Roh 3
Roh(+0.5) holds up pretty dang well to a double for a guy his size at three tech. Clark(+0.5) is unblocked on the backside, keeps contain, and comes down quickly. Washington(+0.5) doesn't really know what's up but has blasted a single block back and will ass tackle if Clark doesn't actually tackle; more to the point there's nothing to burst through because of Washington.
O41 2 7 Shotgun trips Nickel even Pass 4 Improv Floyd 7
Floyd(-1) in press along with Avery; they're backed by safety help. Aggressive on the short routes, Terbush finds nothing (cover +2) and rolls. Token pressure from Clark; Terbush does find a WR late, with Floyd getting lax as TerBush rolls out. Get up on your man; he's not going anywhere that close to the sideline.
O48 1 10 Shotgun trips bunch 4-3 even slide Pass N/A Scramble Ryan 2
Ryan(+1) is destroying things before they even exist on this play as Terbush aborts a WR screen so that Ryan doesn't kill all the people. Roh(+0.5) contains; Pipkins(+0.5) helps tackles, but this is RPS +2 mostly.
50 2 8 Shotgun double stack 4-3 even split Pass 4 Improv Beyer 20
Cut blocking so they want a quick throw. Ryan(+0.5) and Taylor(+0.5) are all over the routes TerBush wants and then he has to exit pocket posthaste. Roh(+1) avoided that cut and leapt, preventing a throw. Beyer(-1) overruns the QB and lets him outside the pocket, at which point Kovacs(-1) gets beat by the TE for a big gain.
M30 1 10 Shotgun Trips TE 4-3 even slide Pass 4 Slant Demens Inc
Purdue fakes the WR screen Ryan is set to destroy and goes for a short slant behind it; ball is in front of the WR and dropped. Demens(+0.5, cover +1, RPS +1) was right there on a deeper slant and would have likely tackled this for a minimal gain if complete.
M30 2 10 Shotgun trips bunch 3-3-5 nickel Pass 4 Improv Gordon 3
Nothing at first(cover +2) as TerBush goes through a couple reads. Internal timer goes off and he starts trying to find a way out of the pocket. Roh(+1) gets pressure(+1), forcing a TerBush throw off the back foot that loops to his WR. He's penned in by three Wolverines and it's third and long. This ball is obviously fumbled but the refs screw it up by calling forward progress. Gordon +1 for the strip, refs –2.
M27 3 7 Shotgun empty Okie one Run N/A Inverted veer keeper Morgan 4
Slot comes in motion for the handoff. Okie stuff gets three guys blocking the backside DT as two folks drop to LB depth. Morgan(+1) reads the pull and stands up a pulling G two yards downfield despite having no momentum; Ryan(+1) is unblocked on the backside and has the speed to close and tackle near the LOS; Demens(+0.5) reads it and finishes the play unblocked.
Drive Notes: FG(40), 21-3, 7 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O31 1 10 I-Form 4-3 under Run N/A Yakety snap N/A -2
Fumbled snap.
O29 2 12 I-Form 4-3 under Pass 4 Waggle hitch Floyd Inc
Again they get the edge (pressure -1) but Roh is pursuing so it's not super easy. Coverage(+3) is excellent downfield for a long time; TerBush finds an open-ish guy that Floyd(+1) is there to break up. PBUs are usually two but this was pretty easy on a stationary WR.
O29 3 12 Shotgun trips Nickel even Pass 4 Scramble N/A 1
Michigan looks like they're trying something fancy as both DTs move way way outside, opening up a huge lane for TerBush to step into. He does, and he's looking to find someone downfield when he runs into his own tailback; the delay forces him to start moving again, at which point it's too late for him. Um. Pressure -1, Cover +2? I think we got a little lucky here.
Drive Notes: Punt, 28-3, 2 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M36 1 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 4-3 under Pass 4 PA WR screen Kovacs 8
Play action allows Purdue to get a TE out to the edge without drawing LB attention. Kovacs(-1) sucks in a step or two and doesn't read the TE; he gets stalled many yards downfield. Floyd comes up to keep leverage okay. Kovacs does get off the block and Ross starts dancing around, eventually getting stuck(+0.5, tackling +1) by Morgan in space.
M28 2 2 Shotgun 2TE twins Base 3-4 Pass 4 Bubble screen Beyer 3
Beyer's(+1) flared out as an OLB type as Michigan goes with more of a 30 look. He's got a blocker he gets outside of, forcing the WR inside of him. Campbell and Morgan are coming out and are now useful because of the leverage but can't cut him off before the sticks. That'll happen.
M25 1 10 Shotgun trips Nickel even Run N/A Trap Morgan 9
Tough to defend this with 5.5 in the box and DTs Black and Roh. Black(-1) gets blown out as CGordon shoots upfield unblocked but also useless; two guys move through the center of the field to find one guy, Morgan(-1), who gets cut really badly. Demens(+0.5, tackling +1) flowed down the line and smashed the TB just as he breaks to the secondary; fortunate. RPS -1.
M16 2 1 Shotgun trips Nickel even Pass 4 Flare CGordon Inc
CGordon gets a hand up but doesn't actually deflect the thing; it's just a crappy pass. I guess he gets +0.5 for maybe making the pass go badly. Taylor was coming up, with indeterminate results if this is complete.
M16 3 1 Shotgun trips Nickel even Run N/A Trap Morgan 3
M slanting, which means the DT Purdue is running at ends up running at the trapping G and kind of seals himself, but at least this time Morgan(+0.5) is moving fast at the snap, knowing the playcall, and ends up in the hole before the tackle coming out on him can block. He can't quite get out there, though, and while he makes the tackle it's not the thumper required to prevent a first down. Demens(+0.5) did a good job to pop a guard releasing and come off to finish the tackle. RPS push; good idea but evidently tough to execute.
M13 1 10 Shotgun trips Nickel even Pass 4 Slant Morgan 9
Purdue pulls a guard and Morgan(-1, cover -1) does suck up on it, but I'm not sure I'm even mad. Demens(+0.5) is not coming up and almost drops right into the route, getting a hand out and coming about an inch away from a PBU. Gordon(+1) gets a good tackle(+1) right away.
M4 2 1 Shotgun trips Nickel even press Pass 4 Slant Taylor 4
Taylor(-1, cover -1) is lined up with inside leverage, bites on a feint outside, and gives up the easy slant.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 28-10, EOH
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O21 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Run N/A Sweep Roh 0
Roh(+1) bursts upfield and outside of the TE, as he's aligned outside of him and is tough to seal. That blows up any sweep type ideas as he's now cutting off the outside, which is 3 for 1! Morgan(+1) flows, takes on an awkward block by a redirecting G, and those two combine to tackle for no gain. RPS +1. Mattison blew this up with alignment.
O21 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even split Pass 4 Hitch Floyd 11
Floyd(-1, tackling -1) again turns a four yard hitch into a first down or near it by being unable to tackle on the catch.
O32 1 10 Shotgun double stack 4-3 even split Run N/A Trap Washington 0
Five guys in the box, Purdue wants to test it. Washington(+1) goes boom into the center, driving him back; this picks off the trapping G. Campbell(+0.5) gets into him in the backfield and forces an awkward bounce. Roh(+1) is riding a tackle so he can't get into Demens; as he sees the cutback he releases upfield and makes the tackle for no gain. BWS picture-paged.
O32 2 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 nickel Pass 4 Slant Floyd Inc
Credit to Floyd(+2, cover +2) on this one: he is right there on this slant and gets a PBU.
O32 3 10 Shotgun Trips TE Okie one Pass 5 Tunnel screen Avery 3
Clark(+1) reads the tackle releasing and starts moving outside. This doesn't get a tackle in or anything but it does force the WR vertical before he wants to go vertical; Avery(+1) is charging at the WR and tackles after a modest gain. Got lucky, as the tackle coming out should have pounded Avery and then Gordon is the man who is basically the only thing between Purdue and a TD. He probably makes the play but would have been do or die right there.
Drive Notes: Punt, 28-10, 11 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O36 1 10 Shotgun trips bunch TE 4-3 even Pass 4 Rollout hitch Demens Inc
Coverage(+2) is good on the rollout. Ryan(+0.5) picks up a flat; Floyd(+0.5) has a deeper route; Demens(+0.5) has a hitch to the inside. Heitzman(+0.5) is delivering nominal pressure, and TerBush eventually chucks it across his body wildly; Demens almost gets a hand on it and likely would if this was more accurate.
O36 2 10 Shotgun trips Nickel even Pass 4 Slant Clark 2
Demens(+0.5) seems to have the inside slant; Purdue runs a bubble fake to the outside and Floyd(+1, cover +1) is definitely all over the slant that's supposed to be the gotcha counter. TerBush throws it anyway; Clark(+1) bats it as he is wont to do. Inside slant guy catches it for a few.
O38 3 8 I-Form twins Nickel even Pass 4 Rollout dig Floyd Inc
Clark is containing but there are three guys on the edge blocking so he's got no shot. This looks like it's designed to suck Michigan to the edge of the field and then hit them back inside as the outside WR runs a dig; Floyd(+2, cover +2) is all over it and gets a diving PBU.
Drive Notes: Punt, 31-10, 5 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O23 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-3 even slide Run N/A Power off tackle Washington -3
Washington(+1) shoves his man into the backfield and picks off the pulling G. Roh(+1) chucks the tackle trying to block down on him; Demens(+1) beats a WR block; Ryan(+1) does likewise and attacks, getting a diving TFL. If he misses he's still forced the guy upfield and Demens and Gordon will blow him up anyway. Morgan(+0.5) was scraping to the hole if it went further upfield. Ain't nowhere to go.
O20 2 13 Shotgun 2TE twins Nickel even Pass 4 Hook and ladder N/A 20
More like a fake tunnel and ladder but whatever. Okay, they get M. I'm not minusing the D, but this is an RPS -2.
O40 1 10 Shotgun empty 4-3 even Pass 4 Out Taylor 14
A five yard out Taylor(-0.5, cover -1) can't tackle on the catch. CGordon(-1, tackling -1) is coming out as the WR turns upfield and overruns it. Gordon fends off a block to slow the guy and gets an ankle tackle as Taylor recovers to tackle.
M46 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Sprint counter Pipkins 11
Heitzman left unblocked; he flows up to contain the QB. The line hasn't gotten gapped on the backside but there's a big hole between Heitzman and Pipkins(-0.5), who doesn't slow the back...I think he may be right to cut this thing off but I'd like to see him realize where the ball is going faster and at least bother the guy. Demens was pass-dropping; he gets into a blocker and contains about three yards downfield. Morgan(-0.5) went around a blocker upfield and almost almost makes a nice play to hold this down but cannot. Kovacs fills; pile falls past sticks. RPS -1.
M35 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Pass 4 WR screen Taylor 2
M shows cover one and that they will send CGordon off the edge. Purdue shows a sweep to the left and just throws it at a single receiver to the right. Taylor(+1, tackling +1) comes up to make a stop after a minimal gain. Beyer flowing out from the line helped, I guess, but not really sure what Purdue is trying to accomplish here.
M33 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 nickel Pass 4 Scramble N/A 6
Again all of the time on the edge. Clark(-1) gets sealed inside, though the RB leading out there is just looking to block. Pressure –2. No one open (cover +3) despite all day, Marve runs for a few.
M27 3 2 Shotgun 2TE tight 4-3 even Pass 4 TE out Kovacs 1
Kovacs(+0.5) and Floyd(+0.5, cover +1) are right there on one yard pass and force a fourth down. RPS +1.
M25 4 In Ace trips Nickel even Run N/A QB sneak N/A 1
They get it.
M24 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 4-3 even Pass 4 Scramble Beyer 2
Initial read is covered and then Beyer(+0.5) and Campbell(+0.5, pressure +1) collapse the pocket, with Beyer going around the edge and Campbell bulling an interior OL back. Still nobody open(a total over cover +2) as Marve gets the edge; he scrambles for a couple.
M22 2 8 Shotgun trips 4-3 even slide Pass 4 Throwaway Morgan Inc + 11 Pen
Looks like miscommunication but Marve is just throwing this away; his OL cut the interior guys so the WR's route is right. That's a slant that Morgan(+1, cover +1) is going to pick six if thrown. Roh(+0.5) and Beyer(+0.5) are beating guys upfield and meeting at the QB so Marve has to get rid of it. Pressure +1. Washington(-1) gets a personal foul. No idea why, no replay.
M11 1 10 Shotgun 2-back TE Nickel even Pass 5 Sack Ryan -6
Max pro with two WRs. Marve thinks they're covered(+1) and starts rolling, unwisely, as Ryan(+1) avoids a cut and charges at him. Ryan can't bring him down but does force him to the sideline. Roh(+0.5) pursues fast and finishes forcing him OOB.
M17 2 16 I-Form 4-3 under Run N/A Draw Roh -2
Purdue's OL derfs as both guys blocking Roh(+1) let him go and move to the second level. Roh does contain the back and force him back to the rest of his DL; Beyer(+0.5) finishes the tackle.
M19 3 18 Shotgun empty Okie zero Pass 4 Throwaway Ryan Inc
Mattison zone blitz as Demens is lined up over the G, fakes like he's coming, and backs out. That occupies a G; C occupied by Black. Ryan(+1, pressure +2, RPS +2) gets to roar straight up the middle of the pocket untouched and level Marve, who chucks it out of the endzone.
Drive Notes: FG(36), 31-13, 12 min 4th Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O16 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Run N/A Reverse Roh 11
Ryan and Roh are on the edge here. Ryan goes straight upfield to cut off the outside; Roh starts running straight for the sideline, opening up a lane. Roh(-2) should have let Ryan handle the contain. Gordon comes up to tackle.
O27 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-3 even Pass 4 Out Taylor 5
Taylor(+0.5, cover +1) in cover two and tackles on the catch.
O32 2 5 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 5 Drag Ryan INT
Ryan(+1) blitzes, stunting inside into the center, beating him and again shooting straight upfield at Marve. Clark(+1) beat the RT with a speed rush. Those guys are going to crush Marve, so he throws. It's a drag route Demens(+0.5, cover +1) is going to blow up short of the first down; WR deflects it directly to Gordon(+1), who makes the easy INT. Pressure +2, cover +1.
Drive Notes: Interception, 34-13, 9 min 4th Q. Rob Henry gets the next drive but M starters are still mostly in so okay.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O27 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-3 even slide Run N/A QB draw Campbell -2
Campbell(+1) drives the G back into the intended crease, convincing Henry to go outside, where he and Ojemudia(+1) combine to TFL.
O25 2 12 Shotgun trips 4-3 even slide Pass 4 Hitch Demens 5
Five yard route, immediate tackle. Demens +0.5
O30 3 7 Shotgun trips bunch 3-3-5 nickel Pass 5 TE out Ojemudia 4
Three man front with two LBs flanking. Ojemudia(+1) swims past a guard, as does Black(+0.5), though Black is not as quick. Ojemudia looks held, no call. QB chucks another short dink route; Floyd(+0.5) there for an immediate tacke. Pressure +1, cover +1.
O34 4 3 Shotgun trips 4-3 even slide Run N/A Inverted veer keeper   -1
Ojemudia(+2) shuffles down a bit, then moves upfield as the back gets there, which causes a pull... and causes the pulling G to go for him. Ojemudia goes upfield of that block and starts making an ankle tackle; Morgan(+0.5) was unblocked thanks to the Ojemudia play and helps finish with CGordon, who came from the backside quickly.
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 37-13, 5 min 4th Q. One more drive but mostly backups so fin.

I almost kind of expect this.

I know. Like… I know. But even if you kind of expect that you can't actually expect that, you know?

I don't know, you know?

Well, the thing is I've been doing these things for a while and I kind of know what a reasonable number is for a lot of this stuff and the numbers for this game are just not reasonable. I think we should look at


a chart.

Defensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Roh 8.5 2 6.5 Reliable. Active. Mini-RVB.
Campbell 2 0.5 1.5 Purdue only bothered to test M DTs a couple times.
Washington 2.5 1 1.5 So like whatever.
Black 0.5 1 -0.5 Again marginalized.
Clark 3.5 1 2.5 Another batted pass.
Beyer 2.5 2 0.5 Got cut pretty badly that one time.
Pipkins 0.5 0.5 0 eh
Heitzman 0.5 - 0.5 no comment possible for one half point
Ojemudia 4 - 4 All of this on last drive but that was impressive on the veer
Ash - - - DNP
Brink - - - DNP
TOTAL 24.5 8 16.5 When Purdue tried to run at hilariously few guys in the box they got zip.
Player + - T Notes
Morgan 5.5 3.5 2 Overshadowed with +2, is this real life?
Demens 6.5 0.5 6 As I said after ND: !!!
Ryan 10 - 10 I call him mini Clay Matthews.
C. Gordon 2.5 1 1.5 Getting some run now.
Ross - - - DNP
Bolden - - - DNP
Hawthorne - - - DNP
TOTAL 24.5 5 19.5 That is incredible. Has to be the best +/- LB ratio ever.
Player + - T Notes
Floyd 10.5 4 6.5 Got 3-4 PBUs to go with 3-4 not quite tackles on short stuff.
Avery 1.5 - 1.5 Tunnel screen stick.
Taylor 3 1.5 1.5 TD was a little bad.
Kovacs 0.5 2.5 -2 Plz ignore, see "coverage"
T. Gordon 4.5 - 4.5 Playing pretty well these days.
Holowell - - - DNP
Wilson - - - DNP
TOTAL 20 8 12 LOL
Pressure 11 7 4 Rollouts a little annoying but…
Coverage 34 5 29 I don't even know what to do with myself.
Tackling 5 2 71% Eh.
RPS 11 4 7 Mattison must break you.

Okay, so the LB numbers and the coverage numbers I will tell you flat out without even looking are completely unprecedented. Linebacking is hard, and covering people is hard, and I've been tolerant of scores around zero for both groups. To come out of a game with 80-90% good marks just never happens.

When something like this goes down I naturally would like to sanity-check it, so… yup, eleven drives, a flat 200 yards on those drives and 13 points. 10% of Purdue's yards on a hook and ladder. Purdue starting QB averages 4.4 YPA. When hook and ladder removed, all Purdue QBs combine for 4.2 YPA and throw two INTs. Purdue rushes for 3.0 YPC. Sanity checked. Sanity is like "maybe those numbers should be a little higher."

So, yeah, don't look at the –2 for Kovacs on like the few plays he was on the screen for, look at the coverage metric, and nod your head and say woo pig sooie. (Do not say that.) This was the quintessential play from yesterday: good play action from Purdue sucks Morgan up a fraction and…

…Demens almost bats it down and Gordon tackles the guy as soon as he touches the ball. College teams cannot execute in these windows very often, and even when Purdue's stuff was working they were operating with a tiny margin for error.

I started a tweet BOOM on Saturday and later thought to myself that was out of character; now I kind of wish I had added the SHAKALAKA deserved.

I thought you were kind of mad at JT Floyd?

I am still a little when 33 of Purdue's scanty yards are acquired on little five yard hitch routes Floyd cannot tackle on immediately:

(It happened to Taylor once, FWIW. These plays were about a quarter of Purdue's entire offensive output.) Reviewing the film I found 4 PBUs—even though the official stats only give him two in my book you get a PBU for being in position to catch a ball no matter how ugly the duck that misses the WR is. PBUs are hard and get points and again, no yards for Purdue and massive coverage metric.

Floyd also had a good run fill on a quick pitch, so there's that.

Is it weird they're just going at Floyd all the time?

A lot of those were rollouts and it's easier to roll out right for a right handed quarterback and then when the play is over you're on the right hash and Floyd is the boundary corner. I bet that if Michigan had swapped their guys Purdue still would have been throwing rollouts to the boundary, only at Taylor.

That said, it is a little weird. Taylor did give up that slant on fourth and two and just got lucky; he also gave up a slant on first and goal that was not so good. If that guy beats you to the outside and they complete the fade, okay. That's a much tougher recipe than chucking that easy slant.

Taylor's still doing very well in general—again, holy coverage metric. The bet here is that Floyd's frequent targeting was just a symptom of the limited offense Michigan was going up against.


Yeah man yeah yeah. Okay, so he spends a big part of the day hanging out on the edge making or threatening to make plays like he did against that one ND screen on third and four. Purdue eventually just had to abandon that part of their gameplan entirely after they couldn't even throw the ball:

Another part of the day is spent pass rushing. He's unblocked here but TerBush is decently mobile and how many times do you see guys set loose overrun opponents?

Brandon Harrison sucked at that* and he was about half Ryan's size.

Also, murderdeathkill.

Mostly Mattison but again demonstration that Jake Ryan has a killer size/speed combo. On the next drive Ryan would do that again, and Marve was all like ball gone please leave me alone.

+10, no minus, yeah baby.

*[No offense Mr. Harrison. Brandon Harrison should have been much more involved in the 2008 defense, which insanely benched him until Minnesota when the 4-2-5 nickel came back.]

Demens? Morgan?

Demens now has a +14, –0.5, +13.5 line the last two games. Morgan hasn't had that kind of eye-popping UFR production but he's not that far off as a true sophomore. Note that in this game the veterans kept the rookies entirely off the field—that should tell you the coaches are a lot happier with them than they were a couple games ago.

Against a team that runs as much dinky pass stuff as Purdue that's mostly a compliment to their pass coverage.

DL marveling?

I'll have to take a pass this week as Purdue barely tested the DTs. When they did, Michigan responded, as BWS documented in a picture pages. I will say that Roh is handling SDE duties just fine so far; he's becoming the half-point machine RVB was last year where he's not lining up the opposing QB for killshots but is getting to him consistently, is stringing stuff out and closing off holes and doing all the littler things that make life easier for everyone else.

Anyone new emerging?

I was impressed by Mario Ojemudia's brief cameo at the end of the game. He swam past an offensive guard on a play reminiscent of his high school tape, and then he played an inverted veer just right. So here he delays the QB's decision, forces a pull, occupies the pulling G, and helps tackle:

Can't do that better. Just getting the two for one (contain and the pulling G) is a major win; doing that and making the subsequent tackle easier for the unblocked LB you caused to be unblocked is great.

While I'm not sure how much more we'll see him in important moments with Beyer back, he's shown the first flashes of quality play. Whoever wins the WDE dogfight going into 2013 is going to be pretty dang good.


Jeez. Pick someone. Entire secondary, Jake Ryan, Demens, and Roh. There you go.


Srs. GTFO, man.

What does it mean for Illinois and the future?

Illinois will put up 14 or fewer points and totally fail to move the ball consistently.

As for the future, it seems like the veteran ILBs have reasserted a hold on their jobs, and for the best reason: playing better. We'll see more of the freshmen when the defense isn't booting the opposition off the field in three plays while Michigan takes 17 to matriculate down the field; I don't think they'll be huge threats to displace the oldsters. Michigan's LBs are clean and playing a lot faster.

We got a few extra hints that the DL was pretty good, and that whatever coverages Michigan is running are being executed extremely well. Michigan's short a couple elite athletes in the secondary; other than that there's not much to criticize.

Mattison must break you. Jake Ryan is his tool.

Upon Further Review 2012: Defense vs UMass

Upon Further Review 2012: Defense vs UMass

Submitted by Brian on September 20th, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Formation notes: Michigan spent virtually the whole game in a nickel package, with occasional forays into okie stuff. I started labeling various okie looks "one" "two" and "zero" with the number denoting the number of deep safeties on the play. This was zero:


Also there was this weird thing once.


That is okie two, one they shifted into late. Look at Campbell there right next to Roh.

Substitution notes: Avery slid back inside and it looks like your new field corner is Raymon Taylor. Guessing it's Taylor out there when Michigan is in a 4-3 set.

At linebacker, heavy rotation between Bolden, Ross, and Demens; Hawthorne got in a bit thanks to Morgan's absence. Mike Jones came on in garbage time.

On the line, the aforementioned nickel oddity where Roh and Black were usually the DTs, flanked by Clark and Ryan. Cam Gordon and Ojemudia rotated through at DE; at DT it was Brink and Heitzman with some appearances by Campbell and Washington. Pipkins did not get in until late.

Show show.

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun trips covered Nickel even Run N/A Zone counter Demens 5 (Pen -10)
TE motions into the backfield to act as an H-back as UMass goes with a covered slot guy. TE then goes backside and nails Ryan. Demens is slow to the hole, getting hit two yards downfield, and Black(-1) is sealed out of the hole. Ryan(+0.5) does a pretty decent job to constrict that hole and forces Cox to knock into some of his own blockers; Demens would get a minus for missing the tackle here but his blocker is called for a hold. Gordon(+0.5) fills decisively, holding the gain down. He can't tackle Cox cleanly but does delay him enough so that there is no YAC.
O15 1 20 Shotgun trips bunch TE Nickel under Pass 5 Quick out Gordon 6
A little dink pass is complete on a half-roll. Gordon's a little iffy on his approach and falls down, but Demens flowing out makes the WR run into the prone Gordon anyway. Push, but I'm eyeing Gordon warily.
O21 2 14 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Tunnel screen Black -1
Black(+2) reads it, backs out, gets to the spot, and tackles for loss. Roh helped out as well and Ross(+0.5) fended off a block to put himself in a position to contribute.
O20 3 15 Shotgun trips bunch Nickel even Pass 4 Corner Floyd Inc
Stunt doesn't quite get there but that's because the QB is going from five yards back to 11 by the time he throws. DL is getting in, with Roh(+0.5) getting pressure that forces a throw. Floyd has a better shot at a reception than anyone else and should really have an INT but misjudges the ball badly. No points for you. (Cover +2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-0, 11 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O6 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone N/A -2
Fumbled exchange. FWIW, looked like Cox was going to get popped by an unblocked Ross near the LOS.
O4 2 12 Shotgun trips 3-4 nickel Run N/A Zone stretch Ojemudia 11
Ojemudia(-1) as a 3-4 DE, which goes about how you'd expect. A 230 pound freshman is doubled and pancaked, cutting off the outside. I feel better about this because Michigan's not going to do this against a real opponent unless it's third and twelve, not second and twelve. Campbell(+0.5) got some good push, but it was irrelevant. RPS -2. I moved a minus to the RPS from Ojemudia, FWIW. Because obviously.
O15 3 1 Shotgun trips Okie zero Penalty N/A False start N/A -5
Same guy who got the hold.
O10 3 6 Shotgun trips Nickel even Run N/A TGDCD Ryan -1
M sends Bolden and Avery, sending Ross on one of those hash to hash drops. They've slanted the line away from this and had Ryan back off the LOS, which is fortunate because the playcall goes right where Ross just vacated. Roh(+0.5) comes around the tackle and squeezes the hole down; Ryan(+1, tackling +1) brings down Cox in space. RPS +1
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-0, 7 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O26 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Stop and go Taylor Inc
Good time(pressure -1); Taylor hops up on the hitch route but has safety help so that's fine. There's a small window for a 15 yard completion that's missed. Cover push. Illegal man downfield penalty is declined.
O26 2 10 Shotgun trips TE Nickel even Run N/A Counter Ross 6
Ross(-1) doesn't read the T pull and gets sucked away from the play, sealed into oblivion. Bolden(-1) does an okay job of getting to the hole and makes contact with the pulling T at the LOS, but slows up. Instead of lowering the boom like Ross he gently contacts the T, and there's still a gap. Needs to hit that blocker in the mouth, drive him back, and then be able to come off and tackle. As it is, Ryan, the contain, is the only guy trying a tackle attempt and that doesn't go so well. Black got sealed away but I'm not sure that's really on him. Need some linebackers to not get blocked. Gordon(+1, tackling +1) makes a nice fill. Picture-paged.
O32 3 4 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 cover one Pass 5 Out Avery 4
M shows man and runs zone, but this still comes off as Avery isn't quite able to tackle on this little out before the WR can reach the sticks. This will happen on this down and distance; push.
O36 1 10 Shotgun trips covered Nickel even Run N/A Zone counter Black -1
Same as their first play. Black(+1) gets some backwards motion and this convinces Cox to go nuts. Instead of slamming it up in a meh hole and getting tackled from the side by Black or Ryan, he hits a blocker, bounces, runs into Roh(+1), who shed a blocker to get into the backfield, and then Clark(+0.5) cleans up on the edge. Somewhere, Rich Rodriguez has an inexplicable urge to spike his headset.
O35 2 11 Shotgun trips bunch Nickel even Pass 5 Rollout out Avery Inc
Michigan brings a blitz that UMass rolls away from. Same little out they got the first on is preferred because Michigan has good coverage(+1) in the area. It's turfed. Avery(+0.5) looked ready to light this guy up on the catch.
O35 3 11 Shotgun empty Nickel even Run N/A QB draw Ross 16
Michigan stunts out of the gap UMass is attacking. That leaves Ross(-1) alone in a ton of space against two blockers. One runs by, he fends off the other, and can't get out to the QB to even slow him. Ojemudia was tearing back in pursuit and safeties were filling, all Ross needs to do is slow the guy a half beat and this is not a conversion. But really, this is RPS'd. RPS -2.
M49 1 10 Shotgun trips covered Nickel even Run N/A Zone stretch Ojemudia 14
Campbell is moving and gets chopped, but I guess I can't minus him because this convinces Cox to reverse field. Or maybe it was Ryan(+1) coming under a guy—usually a no-no—with enough speed to make me think the outside is cutoff. Ojemudia(-2) abandoned his cutback contain to start a long-term pursuit angle, which opens up the corner once the QB cuts off a redirecting Ross.
M35 1 10 Shotgun trips Okie one Pass 5 Fade Taylor 22
One on one to the boundary, Taylor takes inside leverage and is basically step for step with the guy on the sideline. QB throws it perfectly, WR makes incredible catch, nothing you can do. Cover +1.
M13 1 10 Shotgun trips bunch Nickel even Pass 5 Out Avery 11
Kovacs comes up late for a safety blitz, UMass dumps it short. Ryan(+1, pressure +1) is through the line and about to nail the QB, so he has to dump it. Avery(-2, tackling -1) is there for a tackle attempt on a stationary guy one yard downfield that he misses. He manages to hold on to the guy but guy drags him ten yards.
M2 1 G Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Pin and pull zone Clark -1
Clark(+1) blows outside a TE trying to seal him, Roh gets push on a G trying the same. Cox cuts behind that, away from his blockers. Ross(+0.5) is in in the hole and gets a tackle attempt in from the side. Black got cut and reaches out as well. Cox falls over.
M3 2 G Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone Ryan -1 (Pen -10)
Ryan(+2) motions in late, shoots inside the RT, gets held, and still stops Cox in the backfield by diving at his feet. Black(+1) drove through two blockers to meet Cox in the backfield as well. Slant got it here. RPS +1.
M13 2 G Shotgun 4-wide tight 3-4 nickel Pass 5 Improv Black Inc
Black(+2) motions late to a gap between the C and G and jumps the snap Worthy style. He's offsides, obviously, but they don't call it. So you get a plus. He's up the middle of the pocket immediately, forcing a flush (pressure+2). QB actually has a shot at a WR but can't hit it. Gordon and Avery in pursuit. Gordon(+1, cover +1) was there to bat at it.
M13 3 G Shotgun empty Nickel even Penalty N/A Offsides Clark 5
Clark(-1) also offsides, this time they call it.
M8 3 G Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Dumpoff Roh Inc
Roh(+1, pressure +1) splits two OL and gets in to force a dumpoff. Clark(+1) reads this, backs off, and bats it down. Michigan had this killed dead anyway (cover +1)
Drive Notes: FG(25), 14-3, 13 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O26 1 10 Pistol 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Power off tackle Bolden 4
Bolden gets to the hole at the LOS and Cox has only a narrow gap, but he should be funneling back inside and does not. He got there pretty well, so I'll say push. Roh(-0.5) got blown up momentarily, so maybe Bolden's leery about that subconsciously. Gordon(+1, tackling +1) fills nicely, holding a dangerous-looking burst through the line to four yards with help from Avery.
O30 2 6 Shotgun 3-wide Okie one Pass 5 Rollout out CGordon 5
They roll the pocket away from the blitz and Gordon has to try and track down a slot guy running an out, which doesn't go well. He does enough to make the throw outside and diving, removing a potentially large amount of YAC from the equation. RPS -1.
O35 3 1 Pistol 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Power off tackle Roh 3
Still playing Roh at DT on third and one. He gets blown out of the center by a double, and that's enough. I'm not minusing the guy for being 280 pounds. Gordon(+1) fills well, hitting at the LOS, but without DL support this is always going to get it. RPS -1.
O38 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Hitch Floyd Inc
Half roll deflates pressure but M is all over the receivers (cover +3); a two-yard checkdown is jumped by Floyd(+1) and may have been an INT if more accurate. Nowhere to go.
O38 2 10 Shotgun trips 3-4 nickel Pass 5 Rollout out Gordon 3
Avery cuts off the outside and forces a throw. Pressure is not exactly rampant but it's a push. Pass is a four yard out Gordon(+0.5) is in good coverage(+1), guy runs OOB anyway.
O41 3 7 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Out Clark Inc
Hawthorne sent as Gordon backs out. Clark(+1) gets around the edge(pressure +1) and gets the QB's feet moving. Floyd(+1) jumps one out; CGordon(+1, cover +2) has the one underneath. QB turfs it, possibly on purpose.
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-3, 10 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O35 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide tight Nickel under Penalty N/A False start N/A -5
O30 1 15 Shotgun 4-wide tight Nickel even Pass 4 PA Out Clark Inc
They leave Clark unblocked, try to throw a three yard out and miss. Clark may have gotten a finger on it. RPS +1? By default, I guess. Clark +0.5.
O30 2 15 Shotgun 4-wide tight Okie two Pass 5 Tunnel screen Ross 4
WR ends up in front of all his blockers. Bolden(+0.5) and Ross(+0.5) force the guy upfield away from all those folk. Gordon(+0.5) comes up to keep leverage well inside the numbers, and then everyone rallies to tackle.
O34 3 11 Shotgun 2-back Nickel even Pass 5 Sack Bolden -24
This is a screen. Bolden(+1) is charging forward at the snap along with Avery; Bolden gets through clean. Ryan(+0.5) has dropped right into the screen; not sure if this is read or if QB is just panicking. Roh also gets some pressure before bailing out; QB ends up tossing the ball away well short of the sticks after giving up 24 yards, giving Bolden a sack. RPS +2, Pressure +2, cover +1.
Drive Notes: Punt, 28-10, 6 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O28 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Counter Gordon 6
LBs do a much better job of reading this, with Ross(+1) sticking the pulling T in the hole and Bolden(+0.5) getting around a block to fill if Cox is going to go where Ross wants him to. He doesn't because Gordon(-1) has lost the edge. Kovacs and Taylor fill on the bounce; still gave up more yards than they had to there.
O34 2 4 Shotgun 2-back Nickel even Pass 4 In Ross 9
M ran this against NW last year: double flare screen fakes with an little middle hitch opening up. Ross(-0.5, cover -1) books out for the flare, opening a slant behind him. I don't really blame him. RPS -1.
O43 1 10 Pistol 3-wide Nickel under Run N/A Power off tackle Clark 9
Okay so our DL on this play includes Clark as a DT. M blitzes one LB-type substance—Kovacs is the other—and stunts Roh back around. Clark(-1) gets blown back, so Roh can't flow; Kovacs is taking on a pulling G and there is no one on the second level. Clark does spin off his block and take Cox down with a lunging shoulder grab; otherwise this is Gordon vs touchdown. RPS -2. Virtually nothing any M player could do. Hope they're just screwing around at this point.
M48 2 1 Ace twin TE 4-3 even Pass 4 Flea flicker Taylor 33
This looks like man coverage w/ Avery going in motion to mirror his guy presnap. The flea flicker sucks up all the underneath guys, giving the QB a look at the deep guy, who is covered(+1) by Floyd and Gordon. Taylor(-2, cover -2) got way behind the second option, a deep in by the other receiver. Not close enough to tackle immediately, Taylor gives up another 20 yards after the catch.
M15 1 10 Shotgun trips bunch TE Nickel under Pass 4 Rollout out Floyd 2
Another one of these dink passes. This one takes the WR off his feet; Floyd(+0.5, cover +1) looked like he would tackle anyway.
M13 2 8 Shotgun trips bunch TE Okie zero Pass 6 Throwaway Clark Inc
Mattison sends the house. Clark(+1) leaps a cut block, Roh(+0.5) and Kovacs(+0.5) both come free as the T can't get out and the G has another guy to block. QB just gets rid of it. Had no one anyway. (Pressure +2, Cover +1, RPS +1)
M13 3 8 Shotgun trips bunch tight Nickel even Pass 4 Throwaway N/A Inc
Miscommunication and QB tosses it into the endzone, where none of his WRs are. Coverage(+1) looked good.
Drive Notes: FG(30), 35-13, 2 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Pistol trips bunch Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone Roh -3 (Pen -13)
Roh(+2) shoves an opposing guard into the backfield, causing a full stop by Cox as he reaches where he'd normally cut despite Black getting chop-blocked to the ground (no minus, that ain't right). Ryan(+0.5) cleans up as the unblocked backside guy. Ross(+0.5) split blockers and was going to be useful if Roh hadn't beat him to it. Flag overrides play.
O12 1 23 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Zone stretch Black 3 (Pen -6)
Runner is actually a slot receiver who comes in motion and takes a shovel pass. Ryan(+0.5) gets upfield, forcing it back and stripping the WR of a lead blocker. Black(-0.5) avoided a cut but got delayed sufficiently that he can't close the hole. Ross is bugging out, gets blocked. Demens is taking 'er easy, which fine given down and distance. Ross forces back to Demens; before Demens can tackle the RB falls of his own accord. Another chop block backs them up even further.
O6 1 29 Shotgun trips covered Nickel even Run N/A Zone counter Black -1
Again with the counter; Ryan(+0.5) squeezes down and prevents that backside hole from forming. Black(+1) and Roh(+1) both shed blocks and meet Cox in the backfield to tackle for no gain.
O5 2 30 Shotgun empty Nickel even Pass 4 Hitch Clark 7
Clark(+1, pressure +1) rips around the corner and is about to safety the QB when he fires out a short hitch that is complete. Instant tackle from Demens(+0.5, cover +1)
O12 3 23 Shotgun 2-back Nickel even Run N/A Draw N/A 10
Give up and punt.
Drive Notes: Punt, 42-13, 12 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Pistol 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Power Brink 7
Brink(-2) blown up by a double. This means Ross can't flow; Bolden(+1) got to the hole, stood up the blocker, and funneled to his help but that help got washed out. Ross does come through the block to tackle; Brink spun off and added a little help too.
O32 2 3 Shotgun 4-wide tight Nickel even Pass 4 Scramble Clark 6
Clark(-0.5) left unblocked and gets in on the QB as coverage(+1) takes away whatever he was about to dink. Clark misses the tackle(-1); Campbell(-1) misses another tackle(-1) and QB squeezes out the first down. Campbell's was worse because QB didn't even put a move on.
O38 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-4 nickel Run N/A Inverted veer keeper Avery -1
Avery(+2, tackling +1) comes up hard, stalls out a couple yards in the backfield, convinces the QB to give, and then tackles the guy. Ojemudia(+0.5) had prevented an OL from releasing into Ross so he was likely to hack this down pretty quickly.
O37 2 11 Shotgun empty Nickel even Run N/A QB draw Roh 3
Roh(+1) takes a shove from the C but still doesn't get kicked out and this convinces the QB to start rolling outside, away from the guys releasing downfield. Black(+1) also helped this no crease situation and when he read the play he's the guy containing, forcing the QB back into blockers.
O40 3 8 Shotgun 2-back Nickel even Pass 5 Throwaway Demens Inc
Blitz gets picked up but Demens(+1, pressure +2) drives inside his blocker and gets upfield pressure; Roh(+0.5) also got in on the edge. QB is like seeya ball, don't need you no more.
Drive Notes: Punt, 49-13, 8 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O29 1 10 Shotgun 2-back Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone Washington 4
Washington(+1) clubs a G backwards, which cuts off the guy trying to move backside to pick up Ryan. Heitzman(-1) has gotten shoved backside, though, and there's a crease. Ryan(+0.5) comes down to tackle from behind. I still wish the LBs would be a little more aggressive here but this is single blocking and immediate release stuff. Bolden does shed to help tackle downfield.
O33 2 6 Shotgun 2-back Nickel even Run N/A Zone stretch Clark -6
Clark(+1) shoots past the RT and gets upfield, picking off a leading block. That's a two for one. Cox stops and thinks about hitting it up. I think Heitzman is again getting too much motion; Washington(-0.5) gets cut but Michigan gets lucky as Cox slips on his cut. By the time he gets going forward again Washington is to his feet and unblocked backside guy Ryan is a factor. Cox doesn't know when he's beat and gives up a bunch more yards by trying to outrun Ryan(+0.5) upfield. Shades of that Sugar Bowl play.
O27 3 12 Shotgun 2-back Nickel even Pass 4 Rollout corner Avery 13
Mostly an RPS thing as Richardson gets run off deep and there's no one in the zone to get the corner that develops underneath it. I'm guessing Avery may have been able to play this better somehow, but it probably wouldn't have been enough to stop it. (Cover -2, RPS -1)
O40 1 10 Shotgun 2-back Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone Washington 2
Washington(+2) blows up the LG and shows up in the middle of the line. Brink(+0.5) is also there, albeit still blocked and just holding on. Bolden was free thanks to Washington's work and moves up in the hole, but doesn't actually get to do anything because Washington eats the guy instead. NT play. Just UMass. Remain calm.
O42 2 8 Shotgun 2-back Nickel even Pass 3 Throwaway Hawthorne Inc
Another double flares and slant combo that is designed to get the LBs bugging out and open up the inside. Hawthorne(+1, cover +1) doesn't bite as Gordon flares out with the flare. Pipkins(+1) avoids a cut block and trundles up them middle, forcing a throwaway. RPS +1.
O42 3 8 Shotgun empty Nickel even Pass 4 Out Hawthorne 11
Stunt doesn't get there (pressure -1) and the man cover behind it is vulnerable to a route like this; would still like Hawthorne(-1, cover -1) to at least be there to challenge on the catch, maybe try a tackle. He's not and then misses his tackle attempt. No real damage, but first down yielded.
M47 1 10 Pistol 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Power off tackle Jones 4
Heitzman(-0.5) gets plowed back; he also lets a guy through, a guy that Hawthorne(-1) eats when he really should be able to scrape past it. Jones(+0.5) gets a hit on the pulling G at the LOS; Ojemudia(+0.5) can peel off and tackle thanks to the small hole created.
M43 2 6 Shotgun empty Dime Pass 5 Rollout out CGordon 15
Rollout away from pressure effective; again running off that outside corner and finding space underneath. No idea if this is Gordon or Richardson or just RPS; we'll give it to RPS. (Cover -1, RPS -1)
M28 1 10 Shotgun empty Nickel even Pass 4 Scramble N/A 1
Thought this was a draw but no one releases downfield and the WRs are running routes, so just QB panic. No particular reason for this; unblocked LBs converge after a yard.
M27 2 9 Shotgun empty Nickel even Pass 6 Batted Bolden Inc
Bolden(+0.5) gets a free run(pressure +2) and hits the QB as he throws. RPS +1
M27 3 9 Shotgun trips bunch 3-4 nickel Pass 6 Batted Clark Inc
Clark(+1) bats down an out that may or may not have had it; Hollowell in coverage that is not great.
Drive Notes: Missed FG(45), 56-13, 13 min 4th Q. It's walkon white CB time the next time UMass gets it; charting ceases.


I was with you man, but then I was like "oh, they are putting 250 pound guys at DT and 230 pound guys as 3-4 DEs."


Oh, I'm not saying we're not going to die. We may very well die. But the yards UMass was grabbing weren't evidence of things that should carry over against bigger opponents. They were evidence you should not expose Mario Ojemudia to OL double teams at this juncture.

wer gon live?

Well, the Big Ten sucks. I'm a little worried about what it means when Michigan is not even playing its DTs on first and ten. Okay, it's a sub package. Why run that on a potential running down even if you've got the nickel in there? Is it because you're wondering if you can get away with it against other opponents? What does that say?

Mattison talked up Washington, FWIW…

"I will say this, the one guy if you ask me to single out, one guy I was really really pleased with as far as seeing his technique really come on was Quinton Washington. When he went in there, he did some things that we have been trying to get done, and it was just the technique. I was real pleased with him.”

…so I'd wait on any conclusions you might draw from the substitution patterns until after the ND game. If you've got some extra heebie to go with your jeebie I can't say I disagree.

That said, Roh and Black did turn in nice games. Here's this—


--chart I've got.

Defensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Roh 8 0.5 7.5 Tiny opponent funtime.
Campbell 0.5 1 -0.5 Not much PT.
Washington 3 0.5 2.5 Ditto.
Black 8 1.5 6.5 Snuffed his share of runs.
Brink 0.5 2 -1.5 Eh.
Ash - - - DNP
Pipkins 1 - 1 One play late.
Beyer - - - DNP
Heitzman - 1.5 -1.5 Needs weight. Ideally would not see field until 2013.
Clark 8 2.5 5.5 Whacks down all the passes.
Ojemudia 1 3 -2 Too small to be anything but situational pass rusher.
TOTAL 30 12.5 17.5 Problem solved forever you guys.
Player + - T Notes
Morgan - - - DNP
Demens 1.5 - 1.5 Didn't notice him do much either way.
Ryan 8.5 - 8.5 Essentially a DE in this game.
C. Gordon 1 - 1 Ditto.
Ross 3 2.5 0.5 Another couple blocks split; still think he got lost on misdirection.
Bolden 3.5 1 2.5 bring more BOOM plz
Hawthorne 1 2 -1 Nevermind the Hawthorne PT thing.
TOTAL 19 5.5 13.5 Jones also +0.5. Move Ryan to DL and this is a lot of nothing.
Player + - T Notes
Floyd 3 - 3 Shoulda had a pick though.
Avery 2.5 2 0.5 Permanickel.
Taylor - 2 2 Flea flicker is the negative. Check cover metric below.
Kovacs 0.5 - 0.5 No deep passes at all.
T. Gordon 6 1 5 Various authoritative fills.
Holowell - - - DNC
Wilson - - - DNC
TOTAL 12 5 7 Not much to do.
Pressure 15 2 13 No time… no time!
Coverage 19 7 12 Open downfield guys were about zero.
Tackling 5 3 62% Whiffs mostly on QB oddly.
RPS 8 11 -3 Weird personnel most of this.

That's about what you'd expect when an opponent's offense scores six points.

Overall numbers are low because of a low number of plays and a lot of dinky four-yard routes on which pushes are extremely common since the DL doesn't have time to get to the QB and the thing to do in the secondary is let the pass happen and tackle.

Is any of this meaningful? Doubt it.

We did get a few additions to Frank Clark's rapidly expanding collection of knocked-down scuds. If he keeps doing this I might start calling him the Patriot Missile.

I'm worried about everything DL related.

I feel you. At least Clark is making plays out there. He was batting stuff down, he got a one on one speed rush that almost racked up a safety…

…and he made some plays against the run. He does tend to get far upfield quickly, which is nice on passing plays but could expose Michigan to things like That Goddamned Counter Draw, which ND used for a big gain against the Spartans.

Meanwhile on the other side, quasi-DL Jake Ryan is playing at a high level. Those two guys are your pass rush. Their performance against ND will be crucial, especially since Golson loves rollouts, whether they're called or impromptu.

Also, Quinton Washington made a couple of plays. He's driving UMass's center back and blowing stuff up…

…so this is obviously going to happen against ND. But that's what Mattison was talking about. If your NT is not going to do that when single-blocked, thus demanding another guy, your linebackers are doomed. It's hard to put their iffy performances to date in perspective when the line is not helping them out at all.

Kind of pointy for Gordon there.

Yeah. I thought he came down well when Cox popped through the line. If he missed a tackle it was after he'd created a long enough delay to prevent any more yards from being gained, and he didn't often do that:

The coaches were talking him up over the course of camp and we're beginning to see a sliver of that there. Yes, UMass, etc.

What's this "covered" thing?

A high school coach convinced me that "unbalanced" was not a great term for plays on which only four guys are eligible receivers because one is covered on the LOS. So I'll go with covered since that's explicit. For the people asking why you'd do this, UMass had a play made possible by it:

Michigan adjusted after that first one when UMass tried it a couple more times. Here they've dragged coverage outside and gotten that counter to work since Kovacs is in man and can't get through the trash as the LBs attack the frontside.

Mike Cox is good?

While he's tough to bring down and fairly athletic, I totally get why coaches benched him. He has a bad tendency to miss holes and then start running around in the backfield in a way you can't get away with in college.


Everybody! The line mostly because UMass couldn't get past the line.



What does it mean for ND and the future?

Another playmaking performance from Clark offers hope that Michigan can get some impact from their WDE spot. Notre Dame will be the big test for that. They probably should use NTs against the Irish, and Washington might be the man there. And… uh. Don't play Ojemudia as a five-tech?

It's UMass. It is not that useful.

Generally, this is going to be when we find out what happens against a bunch of mortals instead of the godly, dead, or bizarre. I'll be looking to see if Clark and Ryan can beat guys one on one on the edge, if Washington in particular can hold up—Campbell hope is flatlining—and looking out for Taylor on the edge. Moment of truth stuff this weekend.