Unverified Voracity Bought You A Turtleneck

Unverified Voracity Bought You A Turtleneck Comment Count

Brian December 12th, 2017 at 12:23 PM

Words fail. Holiday greetings from Patrick Kugler, Henry Poggi, and Chris Petzold.

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If anyone knows what to do with their hands after seeing this please let me know.

Peters transfer: nope. The lingering concern about Shea Patterson's transfer is that it would cause Brandon Peters to transfer out, thus leaving Michigan just as thin at quarterback and reliant on an NCAA waiver for their presumed starter. That does not appear to be happening. Sam Webb talked to Peters's father; you can listen to a WTKA segment on that conversation—helpfully summarized here—or read his take on The Michigan Insider:

“That's good,” Mr. Peters said of Patterson’s transfer. “Iron sharpens iron. Brandon is up for a good fight. Put the gloves on, (get) both fists up, (and) let's go! Brandon said, ‘bring in 30 QBs. I'm going to my job at hand and work.’

“Coach Harbaugh said it’s going to be a competition and we believe him.”

Webb also cleared up the strange yes-no-yes Patterson saga: Michigan was content to go into 2018 with three quarterbacks, but once Speight decided to grad transfer they wanted to add a guy and Patterson wanted to come, so... yeah.

The grad transfer rule might also be helping Michigan keep Peters around, BTW. He will compete for the job this year. If he doesn't get it he will be the backup; if Patterson's one and done then he's in line for the job again in 2018. If he's not, Peters can almost certainly graduate in 3.5 years and have two to play two, a la Alex Malzone. He doesn't lose anything by staying, and he will be a serious candidate for the job. I'd tentatively give him the edge given his familiarity with the offense.

Not quite crootin' visits of note. JaRaymond Hall took a visit to CMU this weekend, which seems like a significant step towards a transfer. Hall is on the fence after receiving his release earlier this month.

Also: potential Ole Miss transfer Van Jefferson visited Louisville yesterday. As of Monday, Jefferson was the only one of the three guys who had not told a recruiting reporter that he was at least virtually committed, and it appears that there is a genuine race on for his services. Louisville is closer to home since Shawn Jefferson is the Titans' WR coach. If this is a backup plan because of transcripts thing expect that to get resolved almost immediately—all three guys want to be on someone else's campus for the winter semester.

Doesn't sound great for Newsome. This is reading between the lines, admittedly, but that's all we've got here. And if Grant Newsome isn't cleared for spring it's probably not good news for his career:

Michigan left tackle Grant Newsome still holds the goal of being medically cleared to return to football by the start of the 2018 season.

"Before then hopefully," Newsome said Sunday night. "As soon as possible." ...

"Trying to get back on the field as soon as possible," said Newsome, who was honored with the Pete Schmidt Courage Award at the National Football Foundation/Free Press All-State Dream Team banquet in Dearborn on Sunday. "I want to play right now. But it's up to the doctors when they'll let me go."

Not being cleared more than a year removed from his injury is fairly ominous.

Shooter. Adrien Nunez is the who-dat afterthought in Michigan's 2018 basketball recruiting class, at least if you go by rankings. If you go by the ability to make threes off the dribble, though:

That's one game and thus fairly representative. Nunez ventured inside the three point line once; he makes multiple off the dribble threes; he also catches and shoots. Nunez doesn't look like the kind of athlete who gets the shiny rankings, but he looks like a guy who can get his shot in a variety of ways. That shot is always a three pointer. Beilein kind of kid.

A disastrous nonconference schedule. Michigan isn't the only Big Ten team to suffer through a disappointing basketball stretch here. The conference has imploded:

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This looks like a four bid league. Northwestern, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Maryland, and Wisconsin have all badly undershot preseason expectations. Michigan really needs this game against Texas tonight and then will have to go... uh... 11-7 in conference play to be on the bubble? Is it that bad? I think it might be.

Etc.: There's an early signing period now. Weird. Jourdan Lewis doing Jourdan Lewis things. Scorekeepers is the most popular Uber destination in Michigan: opposing ridesharing in a college town is tantamount to endorsing drunk driving. Somehow, Michigan—Michigan!—is 335th in FT shooting. FFS.

A reminder that Amani Toomer has a history of yellin' about stuff that seems ridiculous. Mo Hurst, All American.

Comments

Thursday Presser 12-7-17: Players

Thursday Presser 12-7-17: Players Comment Count

Adam Schnepp December 8th, 2017 at 10:00 AM

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[Upchurch]

Maurice Hurst

So, not a Bosa fan?

“No, I am.”

What were your thoughts on that?

“Uh, I don’t know. It was kind of tough for me. Felt like I probably should have gotten the award, me or Chase [Winovich], but it happens. Can’t dwell on it now. It’s just the way things go sometimes.”

Were you expecting it?

“Uh…you know, kind of but…whatever.”

Do you ever think about not playing in the bowl game?

“A little bit. Still not really sure. Right now it’s just business as usual, practicing and all that type of stuff.”

So you haven’t made a decision?

“No, I haven’t.”

What’s going to go into that decision for you?

“Just, you know, speaking with my family, talking to Jake [Butt], talking to Chris [Wormley], some of the other guys that may have had a similar decision. Talking to coach Harbaugh—just trying to use all my resources to make sure that I make the best decision for myself and my family.”

[After THE JUMP: Hurst on his timeline and insurance, Karan Higdon: South Carolina fan,  Kugler on next year’s O-line, and McCray on SEC speed and the 2018 defense]

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Upon Further Review 2017: Offense vs Wisconsin

Upon Further Review 2017: Offense vs Wisconsin Comment Count

Brian November 23rd, 2017 at 10:09 AM

2017 logoo_thumbSPONSOR NOTE. We're having a charity tailgate before the OSU game. Details:

MGoBlog and HomeSure Lending are having a tailgate before The Game at The North End Zone tailgate space, 1011 S. Main Street (map) from 9 a.m. to a little before noon, with food from Scratch Barbecue and beer donated from Wolverine State Brewing, and proceeds going to the T. Wall Foundation.

  • Tickets (food & beer included): $12 if you buy them ahead of time on EventBritegets you in, gets you a wrist band for the food.
  • Tickets (just beer at the door): $10 suggested donation just to come hang out on your way to the game.
  • Watch/Afterparty: Your ticket for the tailgate also gets you a round at Wolverine Brewing. If you don’t have a ticket for The Game but want to come, you won’t be alone; there’s a Lyft pickup spot across the street so when people go into the game a handful of us (I’m still in the market) are gonna go back to Wolverine State Brewing to watch it together, and more are planning to come back there (and park there) after.

Scratch provided the BBQ at the season-opening event, if you were there. It's good.

FORMATION NOTES. THERE WERE DEFINITELY SOME FORMATIONS, BACK TO YOU JOHN.

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SUBSTITUTION NOTES. Same QB and OL as the previous few games until Peters was knocked out. Onwenu did get a couple snaps as a RG in a jumbo formation, with Ruiz popping out to a TE-ish spot. Still mostly Gentry/McKeon at TE, with a number of 3 TE formations that also had Bunting. DPJ the main WR, with Perry, Crawford, and McDoom filling out the snaps.

Evans, Higdon, and Walker at RB, with an Isaac cameo on which he got hurt again.

[After THE JUMP: meh]

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Original Sin

Original Sin Comment Count

Brian November 20th, 2017 at 1:13 PM

11/18/2017 – Michigan 10, Wisconsin 24 – 8-3, 5-3 Big Ten

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[Bryan Fuller]

In the aftermath of a good thing that turned bad, or vice-versa, there's always the attempt to say This Was The Moment. Most of the time this is just ad-hoc narrative placement; obligatory XKCD link goes here. Not so Saturday. Anyone attempting to slap a big ol' narrative on Michigan-Wisconsin couldn't help but land on Brandon Peters lying on the turf, and the team-wide deflation that took place immediately afterwards. And... yessir. You are correct.

Wisconsin's offense had just emerged from a deep and restful slumber to go up 14-10 thanks to consecutive third and long conversions, one a 51-yard slot fade at a guy who was Not Lavert Hill, the other a slick double post route that Alex Hornibrook executed on. Before that the Wisconsin offense looked like any other Big Ten outfit beset with a quarterback trying to find out how many limbs he had. The Badgers had eight drives; they had four first downs*.

Maybe if Michigan was still up because the replay official was any average person on the internet capable of deciphering a still frame...

...or a two-hand shove in the back to Ambry Thomas was called on a freak punt return TD, the defense would have held together better. As it was, being down four points with the dead certainty in your heart that you will not score is an invitation to crack. We saw that many times under Brady Hoke, the valiant three quarters undone by an exhausted and spiritless fourth. That and a quarterback assaulted to the point where he could not continue.

-----------------------------

Michigan's not real good this year for a variety of reasons. Foremost amongst them is pass protection even Devin Gardner thinks is bad. Michigan is down two quarterbacks headed into the Ohio State game, which is bad even for a program that can't get their QB to the final week without some Spinal Tap drummer business befalling him. This is the original sin of the Michigan offense.

Some of the things that happen are relatively explicable: freshman Cesar Ruiz screws up in his first start; Mason Cole occasionally proves he's not an NFL left tackle; a running back gets run over. What takes Michigan from mediocre to awful is the inexplicable stuff.

Michigan's pass protection has often been absurd this year, what with gentlemen going entirely unblocked on any sort of stunt, or not-stunt. This reached its apex on third and six in the first half when Garrett Dooley, an outside linebacker who entered the game with a team-leading 6.5 sacks, lined up clearly intending to rush and ran directly at Brandon Peters for a thunder-sack. Juwann Bushell-Beatty was the nearest OL; he was blocking another dude. Cesar Ruiz, a gap further inside, also had a rusher. Chris Evans went in a route immediately. Patrick Kugler ended up blocking nobody.

There were two other instances of horrendous pass protection that saw Michigan fail to handle a stunt. On one Karan Higdon chopped a guy ably; Kugler left his man to also block that guy. That resulted in a chop-block call. Meanwhile, Kugler's guy ran up the middle and sacked Peters. The Peters injury was another stunt on which Kugler was the most obvious culprit.

Kugler might be a major issue. That's certainly the nicest way to interpret Michigan's pass protection issues since he's gone next year, and anything that's the nicest way to think about a problem should be interrogated thoroughly. But I don't remember things like this happening last year, when Mason Cole was at center. Kugler hasn't been physically overmatched—he generally grades out okay to well in UFR—so the most obvious reason he hasn't been able to get on the field until year five is an inability hack it mentally. I wonder if Michigan would stick with Cole at center and whatever may come at tackle if they had a do-over.

Probably not if the second best tackle on the roster is then Nolan Ulizio.

There are two ways to proceed from here. One is to point out the colossal failure of Brady Hoke's offensive line recruiting and the Grant Newsome injury, which is currently in its second year. Michigan had barely enough dudes to field a good OL and a cliff after, and then the least replaceable guy went out, etc.

The other is to point at a fifth-year senior at center who's organizing one of America's very worst pass protection units and wonder why Tim Drevno and company couldn't field, like, the #80 pass pro unit with a bunch of highly touted four stars. This line of questioning will pause briefly to note the total lack of tackles in the 2015 class after Swenson was booted and Hamilton flipped to Stanford. It will also cherry-pick random freshmen or backups from the history of college football who weren't total disasters.

The latter take is way more likely to @ you, or call a radio station to declare something UNACCEPTABLE, but it's correct. (Ish.) So is the calmer take. Both are correct except insofar as they ignore the correctness of the other half of the equation. Michigan was unprepared to block this season, and that's because they aren't the kind of program that just reloads everywhere. Part of that is having your six-man class of would-be redshirt seniors whittled down to one guy who might not be very good, and part of that is that Michigan's reloading with Rashan Gary on defense and Nolan Ulizio on offense.

We'll see what happens next year. I don't have enough information to start yelling about it. I do have enough to approach the game this weekend with zero expectations other than pain. That's all too familiar, but whatever.

*[I am counting the drive right before the half since it started with 2:20 on the clock.]

AWARDS

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[Patrick Barron]

Known Friends And Trusted Agents Of The Week

-2535ac8789d1b499[1]you're the man now, dog

#1 Mo Hurst. I am pretty sure that the long run was on the other DT, not Hurst, which means that Hurst was a major force in the middle without much to blame as Michigan throttled the Wisconsin offense almost wholly until a late fade.

#2(T) Chase Winovich and Rashan Gary. See above: Gary was regularly tackled by his opponent but still got drive and sent backs elsewhere; Winovich had two TFLs against a Wisconsin O that rarely gives them up. This is a point split here because I want it to be. The points are made up and don't matter.

#3 Donovan Peoples-Jones. Four catches for 64 yards and one should-have-been touchdown on which he did (barely) get his left foot down first. Translating from Michigan offense to normal offense, that's approximately 300 yards and six touchdowns.

Honorable mention: Devin Bush had a Default Hornibrook Interception; though Aubrey Solomon had a solid day early but may have faded late. Long and Watson were all over the UW receivers; Metellus and Kinnel both got called for some garbage PI calls but were in excellent coverage otherwise.

KFaTAotW Standings.

8: Devin Bush (#1 Florida, T2 Cincinnati, T2 Air Force, #1 Purdue), Mo Hurst (#1 MSU, #2(T), Indiana, #1 Wisconsin).   
7: Karan Higdon (#1 Indiana, #2 PSU, T2 Minnesota).
6: Mason Cole (#1 Cincinnati, T2 Rutgers, T3 Minnesota), Chase Winovich(#1 Air Force, #2a Purdue, T2 Wisconsin), Rashan Gary(T2 Indiana, #1 Rutgers, T2 Wisconsin).   
5: Khaleke Hudson (T2 Cincinnati, #3 PSU, #1 Minnesota), David Long (T3 Indiana, #1 PSU, #3 Maryland)    
4: Chris Evans(T2 Minnesota, #2 Maryland).   
3: Ty Isaac (#2, Florida, #3 Cincinnati), Lavert Hill(#2 MSU, T3 Indiana)), Josh Metellus (#1 Maryland).   
2: Quinn Nordin (#3 Florida, #3 Air Force), John O'Korn (#2 Purdue), Sean McKeon(T3 Purdue, #3 Rutgers), Mike Onwenu(T2 Rutgers),
1: Tyree Kinnel (T2 Cincinnati), Mike McCray(T2 Air Force), Zach Gentry (T3 Purdue), Brad Robbins(#3 MSU), Brandon Watson (T3 Indiana), Ben Bredeson(T3 Minnesota), Donovan Peoples-Jones (#3 Wisconsin).

Who's Got It Better Than Us Of The Week

Quinn Nordin hits a field goal to put Michigan up 10-7, which momentarily feels like enough.

Honorable mention: Michigan scores a touchdown!

imageMARCUS HALL EPIC DOUBLE BIRD OF THE WEEK.

10-7 turns to not be enough as Jaylen Kelly-Powell is torched on a slot fade that Hornibrook slots in there. Major question why JKP was deployed there since that coverage instance was far worse than any slot fade the safeties had dealt with this year.

Honorable mention: Brandon Peters is blasted out of the game. Brandon Peters is blasted earlier.

[After THE JUMP: eat at Arby's]

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Six Friends, Five Years, One Last Chance: How Patrick Kugler Became Michigan’s Man in the Middle

Six Friends, Five Years, One Last Chance: How Patrick Kugler Became Michigan’s Man in the Middle Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 17th, 2017 at 2:07 PM

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[Upchurch]

We’re standing in the shadows to the side of the sun-soaked center of Schembechler Hall. Henry Poggi’s eyes drift over my shoulder and narrow in an unnerving manner if you are the object of attention of a 257-pound man with a penchant for Stone Cold Steve Austin t-shirts. “Look at him,” Poggi says. “He’s so sassy. That sassy walk.” I look back to see Patrick Kugler turn down a hallway to his left, his shorts swaying, his beard straining to reach a sleeveless block-M hoodie that he’s thrown on over a t-shirt.

I ask Poggi about Kugler’s beard, specifically whether it’s some kind of follicular revenge plot to get back at Jake Butt, Ben Gedeon, and Poggi for, respectively, the Snidely Whiplash, Wolverine-plus-a-mustache, and Undertaker looks they famously deployed for their 2016 team photos. “Pat thought he looked good in his picture and he thinks his beard looks good even though he looks disgusting,” Poggi says. “Pat was making fun of us about it.”

It’s the kind of barb you’d expect from someone’s brother. “I love his beard, personally,” Robert Kugler, Patrick’s older brother says. “I used to rip on him because I can grow a decent beard, my dad grows a good beard, and his has just been disgusting. This is the first time it’s been thick enough that he can grow it out. I know he’s pretty proud of it.” Okay, maybe Poggi’s comment is more like something you’d expect a friend and housemate who’s almost as close as a brother to say.

At the very least, he’s uniquely qualified to talk about the beard’s progression. Kugler and Poggi started living together their freshman year in West Quad. They’re now on their fifth year of living together and their third year in a house on Vaughn Street that, like the Michigan program in April 2017, lost quite a few guys to the NFL.

The Vaughn Street house is nothing spectacular; it’s a typical college-town house on a typical college-town street. Its importance, though, is difficult to overstate. From running up the On Demand bill with bad movie rentals to silently sitting in the living room, from watching too much American Ninja Warrior to making life-altering decisions, the house saw it all and was the catalyst to a bond between seven guys—Patrick Kugler, Chris Fox, Henry Poggi, Jake Butt, Ben Gedeon, Shane Morris, and Chris Petzold—who came to college from all over the country and left closer than most families.

Before their group could form each of the seven had to decide Michigan was the right place for them. The seeds of that decision were planted more than a decade ago for Kugler. Unlike most recruiting stories this one doesn’t start with a letter or a call or a DM but a golf course, a tailgate, and an extra ticket.

[After THE JUMP: “I wanted to be a four-year starter, wanted to be All-Big Ten, wanted to be an All-American, and just as time went on I just wanted to prove to everyone that I did belong here at the University of Michigan, that I wasn’t a dud or someone who they wasted a scholarship on.”]

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Upon Further Review 2017: Offense vs Maryland

Upon Further Review 2017: Offense vs Maryland Comment Count

Brian November 15th, 2017 at 4:24 PM

2017 logoo_thumbSPONSOR NOTE. We're having a charity tailgate before the OSU game. Details:

MGoBlog and HomeSure Lending are having a tailgate before The Game at The North End Zone tailgate space, 1011 S. Main Street (map) from 9 a.m. to a little before noon, with food from Scratch Barbecue and beer donated from Wolverine State Brewing, and proceeds going to the T. Wall Foundation.

  • Tickets (food & beer included): $12 if you buy them ahead of time on EventBritegets you in, gets you a wrist band for the food.
  • Tickets (just beer at the door): $10 suggested donation just to come hang out on your way to the game.
  • Watch/Afterparty: Your ticket for the tailgate also gets you a round at Wolverine Brewing. If you don’t have a ticket for The Game but want to come, you won’t be alone; there’s a Lyft pickup spot across the street so when people go into the game a handful of us (I’m still in the market) are gonna go back to Wolverine State Brewing to watch it together, and more are planning to come back there (and park there) after.

Scratch provided the BBQ at the season-opening event, if you were there. It's good.

FORMATION NOTES. Slightly less heavy this week with 14 3-WR snaps, some of them on standard downs. Most, actually. There were 12 two-WR snaps, 17 one-WR snaps, and 7 beef machine snaps, one of which was the beefiest: a 7-OL, 3 TE formation on which Poggi scored. BEHOLD THE MAJESTY.

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I called this simply BEEF, since brevity is the heart of our goal here.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES. QB and OL were as expected. Per 24/7, Spanellis got ten snaps as a bonus OL and Runyan got two. Evans and Higdon got about 20 each, with Walker filling in for Higdon after his exit with 7 snaps. FB snaps were 2:1 Poggi.

DPJ and McDoom got the most run at WR, with Perry getting just 13 snaps coming off injury. Schoenle was at 12 and Ways 8. Gentry and McKeon continue to lead the way at TE; Bunting got 23 snaps, though, and Wheatley 12.

[After THE JUMP: run run run run, but more zone]

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One-Play One-on-One: Patrick Kugler

One-Play One-on-One: Patrick Kugler Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 14th, 2017 at 11:02 AM

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[Upchurch]

I sat down to do my usual Sunday-night film dig and didn’t have to dig far to find the play I wanted to go through on Monday. I started with Chris Evans’ vault because a human wearing full pads shouldn’t be able to jump over another pad-wearing, presumably angry human whose only object is to fling their mass into said person. I didn’t even get to the vault itself before something at the top of the screen caught my eye: the numbers printed on the back of a Maryland defensive lineman’s jersey. Like leaping a person, that, too, is a sight to behold on the football field. To gain additional insight, I asked Patrick Kugler about the technique behind how he and Ben Bredeson spun that guy.

Let’s start broad: were the defensive linemen tipping anything during the game?

“No. The formation that we were in, we knew kind of what they were going to be in and we knew that inside zone scheme was going to be pretty good because it’s a box-sensitive play which means you can only have [redacted] in the box usually for the play to work but by spreading them out with the three-receiver set we knew that one of the linebackers was going to go out and cover the slot, so it allowed us to get good double teams up to the backers and yeah, got to see Chris make the pretty sweet play.”

So I wanted to talk about the art of the double team. Take me through that. What’s most important? Is it speed off the ball or is it leverage or is it something else?

“I think the most important thing is getting hip to hip, definitely. With the 2i, because he’s playing on Ben [Bredeson], Ben’s got to get a good initial lift on him. Then I come in and get really tight with him, and if I bring a lot of power to that we’re going to get some good movement, so it’s all about that initial pop and getting hip to hip and being able to drive them off the ball.”

How’d you end up turning that 2i?

“Like I said, yeah, Ben got two really good steps down and was able to turn his shoulder a little bit which allowed me to get in there and kind of get squared up on him, allowing Ben to work up to the backer.”

To go back to double teams for a second, does it depend at all on chemistry and time on task with the guy next to you, or is that something where if you’re both sound technically you can kind of plug and play?

“It definitely helps when you have a lot of practice at it. Coach Drevno does a great job. We work at double teams countless hours during the week. Yeah, but it definitely becomes an art form. I think me and Ben got a pretty good feel for most of our double teams because we’ve been doing it all season. Me and Mike [Onwenu] as well and Cesar [Ruiz], just getting everyone in there. But it definitely takes a lot of work to get a really good double team.”

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Monday Presser 10-30-17: Players

Monday Presser 10-30-17: Players Comment Count

Adam Schnepp October 31st, 2017 at 8:12 AM

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[Fuller]

Mike McCray

Penn State and Rutgers were able to get you on those big plays. What is it that’s missing when you’re defending that direct snap?

“We just fit our gaps wrong. Nothing too big. Our mistake, really. I feel like it was just on us. We’ll get it right.”

What’s it like when you lose the Jug? I think players and coaches and fans assume you’re just always going to have it. Was it weird or awkward or more disappointing?

“It was kind of weird. That whole year [2014] was just awkward and weird but when you lose a rivalry game and especially a trophy game, everybody—as a kid you always wanted a trophy. I feel like it’s the same thing when you come to college. You win that game to keep the trophy. That game was just one of those awkward things that sits in your mind for a while.”

What impresses you the most about Mike Onwenu at right guard?

“He’s so big. To be that big and be able to move that well at that size is a good asset for him. [/swats a fly away] Like I said, he’s really big, and for him to be able to move like that helps our offensive line create space. Strong, big, powerful guy.”

How do you deal with getting past a blocker like that when he’s coming at you, pulling across the line?

“It’s kind of hard to get around him. You’ve just got to be stout, really. Don’t let him push you back, but it’s kind of hard. 350 pound lineman who can move, it’s pretty hard to beat.”

[After THE JUMP: Kugler and Higdon]

Comments

Upon Further Review 2017: Offense vs PSU

Upon Further Review 2017: Offense vs PSU Comment Count

Brian October 26th, 2017 at 5:20 PM

2017 logoo_thumbSPONSOR NOTE. You know who'd never give you a mattress when you were expecting a mortgage quote? HomeSure Lending. They leave that stuff for the bloggers and their ilk, writing a whole piece about a mattress that people no doubt expect will pivot to football as so many pieces do but it never does because of obvious reasons.

No, at HomeSure Lending they just get your information and get you a mortgage, quickly and inexpensively. Because they're responsible citizens. Not bloggers.

FORMATION NOTES. Michigan was mainly big sets early, except when forced into passing downs. That pattern changed a bit as the game went on and Michigan put more WRs on the field, more in an effort to see if something else worked. Answer: not really.

Penn State, meanwhile, put their safeties in Michigan's face the whole game, except for passing downs.

image

Michigan will have to get used to this unless they discover a passing game.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES. QB, OL, RB, and TE were about as they've been. Gentry and McKeon get the large bulk of the TE snaps. Higdon is the main RB with Evans and Isaac getting run behind him. WR saw Schoenle return and the debut of Nico Collins, who played a half dozen snaps, none of which he had a target on. Crawford, DPJ, and Perry remained the main targets.

[After THE JUMP: one guy]

Comments

One-Play One-on-One: Patrick Kugler

One-Play One-on-One: Patrick Kugler Comment Count

Adam Schnepp October 10th, 2017 at 3:52 PM

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[Upchurch]

The defensive line shifts over right about the time you’re snapping. What are you thinking about there?

“Well, we know it’s probably going to happen with the line shifting over. That was shown with the tight end, the Y [shift]. They showed it versus Iowa so we figured that the front was going to shift. With [Sorry, state secrets] the fullback’s going to block the widest and then the tackle’s going to pull to the alley and I’m going to pull around to the Mike and if I see [Oof, so close, Indiana. So close.]. So the guard’s going to block the 3-technique there and the backside guard’s going to have to try to reach that nose. Difficult block for him because I’m pulling around, but it’s been a very effective play for us this year. Got like, eight, nine yards on that. Was it Karan running the ball?”

Got 12. And yeah, it was Karan.

“Yeah, and he had a hell of a game. He runs that play really well. It was blocked pretty well. I was pretty comfortable on it.”

In that 4-3 Over look they’re giving you, did you see anything unusual out of it or pretty much what they put on film?

“They did what we expected them to do. That play worked out. Some didn’t, but that play was pretty effective against them.”

At that point it had been raining off and on for a little while. You do the dead-ball snap, right?

“Yeah.”

Is that tough in that kind of weather?

“No, I like it. I think it’s really accurate. He started doing that with Graham Glasgow when he was here and I adopted it. It’s just almost hard to have a bad snap with it, and the refs did a really good job of keeping the ball dry so I had no problems with my snaps.”

I know footwork near the line is intricately prescribed, but on a stretch like that does something else become more important technique-wise like hands?

“Yeah, definitely, we have placements on every play. The guard right there, he’s got to get his outside hand on the shoulder and the sternum so he can reach him and have the ability to strain him and pull out. For pulls on that, we know we’ve got to get two to two-and-a-half yards of depth just in case the Y lets up a little pressure on the D-end if he shoots upfield. If we don’t get two to two-and-a-half yards depth we’ll probably cut ourselves off. Even then, I got probably two or three yards depth on that and I still almost got cut off but then I came around and was able to block Chris Frey on that. That’s the key on that, then the backside it’s just running and being able to chop ‘em down on the backside.”

My next question is actually about that DE who shoots the gap there. Obviously you were kind of expecting it, but how are you able to track through traffic where you’re supposed to go. Is it tough to see or do you just have a feel for where you need to be?

“Yeah, you know where you’re going to. You know the fullback’s going to get the widest on this particular play, the tackle’s going to clean up anything in the alley, and I’m supposed to be pulling around for the Mike. [Really though, do your GAs search for this stuff or is it the SIDs?] It’s just a matter of getting around that Y-tight end, because that’s a very difficult block. Probably one of the hardest blocks in football, so just pulling around and getting your depth is key.”

Comments