Michigan In The NFL: Who's Making The Cut?

Michigan In The NFL: Who's Making The Cut?

Submitted by Ace on August 13th, 2014 at 2:49 PM


wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

The NFL preseason is officially underway, and with mandatory roster cuts (down to 75) set for August 26th, now is a good time to check in with the former Wolverines currently playing in the league. After scouring the interwebs, here's my best guess at where each Michigan representative stands as we near the start of the season.

Locks To Make It

Jason Avant, WR, Carolina. After being relegated to decoy duty in Chip Kelly's offense for Philadelphia in 2013, Avant—who boasts the lowest drop percentage in the NFL over the last three years—should be one of Cam Newton's top targets with his move to the Panthers.

Tom Brady, QB, New England. Brady threw for over 4,300 yards with 25 touchdowns last season while working with a very raw receiving corps. It was universally considered a down year. I think he's gonna make it, y'all.

Alan Branch, DE, Buffalo. Branch was an integral member of the D-line rotation for the Bills last season, recording 39 tackles, and he should reprise that role working behind up-and-coming star Marcell Dareus again this year.

Stevie Brown, FS, New York Giants. After finishing second in the NFL with eight interceptions in 2012, Brown missed all of 2013 with a torn ACL. He's back from the injury and expected to start at free safety.

Larry Foote, ILB, Arizona. The longtime Steeler—Foote has played 11 of his 12 NFL seasons in Pittsburgh—was cut in the offseason, but quickly found a home in Arizona, which lost both of their starting ILBs from last season. He's currently atop the depth chart, and even if he doesn't hold that spot, he should stick around to provide veteran leadership for a young position group.

Jonathan Goodwin, C/G, New Orleans. According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Goodwin and Tim Lelito, the two players competing to start at center, are "certain to make the final roster." Goodwin's ability to play both center and guard gives him extra job security, even at 35 years old, as does his relatively cheap one-year deal.

Leon Hall, CB, Cincinnati. While Hall tore his right Achilles tendon last season, just two seasons removed from tearing his left Achilles, he's back in the starting lineup as Cinci's slot corner, a spot he plays about as well as anybody in the league when healthy. Barring further injury, his spot is very much safe.

David Harris, ILB, New York Jets. Jets head coach Rex Ryan called Harris "the most underrated player in the league" after he was left of the NFL Network's top 100 players list for 2014. Yeah, he's safe.

Junior Hemingway, WR, Kansas City. Even though Hemingway missed a good deal of training camp with a hamstring injury, he came right back and was a prime target for QB Alex Smith out of the slot. This very thorough rundown of the Chiefs' roster situation has Hemingway safely on the team—in fact, he should start in the slot—and that doesn't look likely to change.

Chad Henne, QB, Jacksonville. Though Jacksonville used the #3 overall pick on QB Blake Bortles, Henne started the first preseason game, and the Jaguars higher-ups insist there's no QB controversy. Bortles is the QB of the future; for now, however, this is Henne's job.

Taylor Lewan, OT, Tennessee. First-round picks don't get cut in their rookie seasons, especially when they're competing for starting jobs.

Jake Long, OT, St. Louis. Long is coming back from a torn ACL and MCL, so he's been held out so far in the preseason, but he's on track to make a surpringly quick return. Also, he's Jake Long, which should be enough.

Ryan Mundy, S, Chicago. Even though the Bears have shuffled their safeties around, Mundy has seen the most action on the first team of anyone, and he can play both free and strong safety in their system. He started the preseason strong, picking off a pass in the opener.

Michael Schofield, OG/OT, Denver. Third-round picks also don't get cut in their rookie season, except in very unusual circumstances. Considering Schofield is "in the mix" at both left guard and right tackle, it looks like he'll be a critical backup at the very least in Denver.

LaMarr Woodley, DE, Oakland. After seven productive years in Pittsburgh, Woodley was unceremoniously released by the Steelers over the offseason, and the Raiders were happy to get him. He provides a major upgrade from them at DE, a spot that may suit him better than 3-4 OLB, where he played in Pittsburgh.

Charles Woodson, S, Oakland. At 37, Woodson came back to Oakland, where he's beloved by the fanbase. He'll play safety there, and he is Charles Woodson, so he'll play well until he decides it's time to hang up the cleats.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the list.]

Unverified Voracity Is Coming To Your City

Unverified Voracity Is Coming To Your City

Submitted by Brian on July 24th, 2014 at 12:02 PM

RIP. Condolences to the friends and family of the deceased Jim Schneider. Madej has a great story:

"I remember (we had a student assistant) doing a press release one year on women’s gymnastics, and he knew nothing about women’s gymnastics, so (he asked) how (should he) write the release,” said former Michigan media relations director Bruce Madej on Tuesday. “And Schneids says to him, very nicely, ‘Don’t worry about it, the people reading it will know less than you do.’"

Words to live by.

dannyy-840241-albums-new-projects-pic65308-chicago[1]

pretty sure the building is somewhere in this photo

Hey guys, I'm going to be in Chicago. If you're in town and like terrible terrible powerpoint slides, boy do I have an event for you.

2014 Michigan Football Season Preview with Brian Cook (MGoBlog) and Chris Balas (TheWolverine/Rivals.com)- NEW

When: Tuesday, July 29th, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Where: McGuireWoods LLP, 77 West Wacker Dr, Suite 4100, (map)

Cost: $20 for Alumni Association members; $30 for non-members. Pay at the door for $30 with Cash or Credit Card

Details: Join fellow alumni and several special guest speakers as we preview the 2014 Michigan Football season. During the evening, alums will be joined by Chris Balas from TheWolverine/Rivals.com, Brian Cook from MGoBlog.com and others to be confirmed. You'll get insights on the upcoming season and an opportunity to ask your questions. There will be appetizers and complimentary beer & wine available for those in attendance.
Walk-ups will be available for cash or credit card of $30 day of the event.

Register/Contact: To buy a ticket, click here.  If you have any questions, email David Ingmire at [email protected]

I realize that terrible terrible powerpoint slides are not a great and superior attraction, but in my defense they are snappy and brief. Also, complimentary beer and wine. Last year they flagged down Gerry DiNardo and they may also get a BTN Personality again this year.

Pastujov[1]Michael_Pastujov_large[1]

Nick left, Mike right, please try not to think about how old you are vis a vis those guys, the answer is "old."

Hello, nurses. Hockey picked up a couple of massive commitments yesterday. As per hockey recruiting's wont, their commitment is the first time I'd ever heard of them. They're brothers separated by one year, both forwards. Nick Pastujov, the older, is (probably) class of 2016. He's committed to the NTDP program for next year after tearing it up with Belle Tire's U16 team, and was seriously high profile:

His younger brother Mike may be an even bigger prospect.

The usual OHL disclaimer applies. In this case, Nick's NTDP commitment and the obvious appeal of playing together will hopefully mean defection chances are low. Will be interesting to see if either tries to accelerate a la Werenski.

FWIW, Michigan's 2016 class is looking pretty badass right now with Pastujov, Luce, Sanchez, and a couple more potential NHL draft picks.

Meanwhile. Red on Werenski:

“The most difficult thing for younger players is the maturity level and social change going from high school to college, but Zach is mature beyond his years,” Berenson said. “He's like (former Michigan forward) Jason Botterill in that sense. I think he'll fit in really easily.”

I do not make fun of typos and errors, because we all make them. So I… I'm just going to… I'm just going to…

JnMjOF8[1]

Cumong man. I know I called Geoff Cameron "Jeff" and Axel Witsel "Alex" during World Cup preview bits but that's a whole additional level there. For one, there are approximately 12 words in this entire image. For two, CUMONG MAN.

(Via mgouser MiGit)

Big Ten media day, circa the paleolithic. Lee Corso was a game show host, Hayden Fry spontaneously impregnated your mom, Bo was just chillin', thinking about your mortgage, Denny Green wasn't angry yet, and everyone else was quickly and gratefully forgotten by history:

large[3]

Man that back row aside from Hayden is something.

Well, okay. Patrick Omameh is listed as a potential breakout player by ESPN. He's 25th on a list of 25, but that's not bad at all for a guy who went undrafted a year ago. Even if the article comes with one of those "are you sure you're talking about the right player" scouting reports:

Tampa Bay plucked him from there in mid-October, and while he never appeared in a game, the Bucs clearly had plans for him. He goes into training camp in the lead for the right guard position. The scouting reports on Omameh a year ago dinged him for sometimes being unable to finish blocks or move properly to the second level, but he's a consistent and powerful drive-blocker. His greatest attribute, however, is his intelligence. He was offered scholarships at MIT and Princeton before heading to Michigan, where he made academic All-Big Ten.

Um… what? Not to overrate one play or anything but the Te'obliteration is actually a pretty good representation of his career. Omameh was terrific when he was asked to move to the second level and not so good when a burly defensive tackle was put right over him:

Also I just like posting that.

If Patrick Omameh is a year two NFL starter that says something about something, there. Like maybe Michigan should have tried to keep doing the zone stuff they were good at.

NFL draft changes. The NFL is making an effort to tone down the number of underclassmen leaving college despite dubious prospects, at least according to one Nick Saban:

Now, teams can only submit five players for grades from the NFL Draft Advisory Board. Last year, Saban said Alabama submitted 11 names.

Also, the NFL will give just three grades of feedback: first-round grade, second-round grade or a "stay-in-school grade." The NFL previously had five grades: first round, second round, third round, fourth through seventh and not draftable.

If the NFL approves extra draft grade requests you can get them, FWIW. John Infante keeps banging the MLS drum here and he's probably right: MLS hand-selects a number of players who sign "Generation Adidas" contracts and makes them available in the draft; anyone not explicitly approved has to go to college. Or overseas or whatever, but they're not available. If the NFL only wants underclassmen who will probably go in the first two rounds, just make that explicit. They'll have to negotiate that into a CBA but current players are always happy to negotiate away stuff from future ones.

Funchessssss.

Etc.: Tiny Basque club manages to raise enough money to play in La Liga. EA settlement wrangling. Say no to fall weddings. "Embracing debate" is tolerating all sorts of things you shouldn't. The NCAA is Marxist. Michigan participates in Make A Wish. Get The Picture demolishes things better than just about anybody.

Upon Further Review 2012: Offense vs South Carolina

Upon Further Review 2012: Offense vs South Carolina

Submitted by Brian on August 22nd, 2013 at 5:16 PM

IT ALSO EXISTS

FORMATION NOTES: Michigan did a lot of that stuff the Redskins did in Tecmo Bowl, lining up in one formation and then changing everyone around. There were some oddities.

This I called "near twins." You can see that Kerridge is the nominal tailback and Denard is aligned to his left.

near twins

In the NCAA football games that constitute the closest thing to a Unified Internet Football Lingo Database this might actually be "far." I don't remember. Someone tell me which it is and I'll fix it going forward.

This was "full house near," what with the two fullbacks and Denard:

full-house neaer

And this is "I-Form offset tight":

i-form offset-tight

Michigan also ran a few plays where Schofield and Lewan were on the left side of the line with the tight end playing right tackle:

lewan-schofield-united

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Gardner was at QB the whole way except for a few Denard QB plays, and often he was at WR when those happened. Denard was essentially the starting tailback; Smith came in and that was it at RB. Kerridge was full-time at FB.

The line was the usual save for one drive on which Lewan got knocked out; when that happened Schofield flipped to LT, Omameh slid over to RT, and Burzynski came in at RG.

WRs were the usual rotation heavy on Gallon and Roundtree with Dileo and Jackson filling in.

[AFTER THE JUMP: Gardner gets wobbly, Gallon owns people, Lewan vs Clowney verdict]

With Pride

With Pride

Submitted by Ace on December 4th, 2012 at 12:25 PM


Heiko Yang/MGoBlog

"I will wear it with pride."

To a man, the seniors of Team 133 thanked the University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit for the rings presented to them at last night's annual football bust. They may have been told to do so; the sincerity rang true, regardless.

To earn those rings, the seniors endured far more tumult than the average Wolverine class. A handful committed to Lloyd Carr's class of 2008, witnessing a coaching change before they ever set foot on campus. Every one made the jarring transition from Rich Rodriguez to Brady Hoke, who had the privilege of introducing each senior, charmingly butchering the more complicated majors—the sciences presented a particularly tricky articulative obstacle—and presenting their rings with the requisite bear hug.

Then came the stories, the laughter, and in one case, tears.

Ricky Barnum, heading to the School of Social Work next year after graduating with a degree in Afro-American and African Studies, implored the audience to "hit me up" if they ever need a grant or proposal written.

Will Campbell thanked the strength coaches for turning him "from a 346-pound slob to a 308-pound stud, as you can see."

Brady Hoke, before introducing fullback Paul Gyarmati, noted that Gyarmati's father played bass with Carlos Santana for several years. Gyarmati, off the cuff, thanked his father for "stealing my thunder."

While introducing Jack Kennedy, graduating with degrees in Mathematics and Physics, Hoke quipped, "it was tough, but I got him through."

Elliott Mealer, lumberjack beard intact, started his speech by saying, "I cleaned up for you tonight." He finished with a quote from his late father: "If you don't have good dreams, you have nightmares."

Patrick Omameh, Dr. Arthur D. Robinson Award winner for his academic accomplishments, sweat profusely during his improvised speech. "It's my trademark," he said, with no hint of shame.

Craig Roh thanked Jesus Christ for getting him through two-a-days and fall camp.

Roy Roundtree lit up while reliving his recruitment, recalling high school teammates Michael Shaw and Brandon Moore telling the then-Purdue commit that he might get a Michigan offer—"Man, I get that offer, I'm coming to Michigan," he said, noting how good he looked in a winged helmet.

Roundtree later broke down in tears while thanking Director of Academic Counseling Greg Harden, whom he credited for getting him through Michigan; his genuine thankfulness, even awe, at the prospect of going to grad school was heartwarming.

Floyd Simmons revealed that during games he liked to sit to J.T. Floyd's right on the bench, spelling out "Floyd" "Simmons" with their jersey nameplates, "but no one ever gets a picture of it."

Vincent Smith joked about chasing rabbits in Pahokee, and thanked the coaches for teaching him how to cut-block defensive ends—quite well, one might add.

Hoke called out Steve Wilson for getting into Michigan State's medical school. After mock boos from the crowd, Wilson noted that, yes, he got into State, but the only medical school he really wants to attend is Michigan.

Going last, of course, was Denard Robinson, who thanked virtually everyone associated with the program, including the academic staff that corralled the self-proclaimed "free spirit" and helped him become the first member of his family to graduate from a four-year college. He also apologized to Al Borges—and his wife—for sending him home with so many headaches before closing, aptly, with "this is Michigan, fergodsakes."

The MVP of the bust, however, was also voted Bo Schembechler MVP by the team. Jordan Kovacs, a late arrival after attending the Burlsworth Award ceremony for nation's top former walk-on, brought down the house with his opener:

“I’d first like to thank coach Rich Rodriguez for allowing a slow, unathletic and undersized kid to play at the University of Michigan. That was really nice of him to let Drew Dileo play football here.”

Kovacs, who also won the Bob Ufer Spirit Award, finished by saying he was proud to call himself many things, walk-on included, but most of all to be a Michigan Man.

On this night, as the seniors had their football graduation of sorts—a few with more football ahead, many more on their way to becoming doctors, lawyers, social workers, or teachers—it was a fitting close from the captain. All have earned the right to wear their rings with pride.

Unverified Voracity Picks From Hat

Unverified Voracity Picks From Hat

Submitted by Brian on November 27th, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Henson Locker 1Locker 4 (1)

Save these lockers. A few years ago Michigan redid the locker room. Where did the lockers go? Pretty much a warehouse:

We're a demolition company that does contract work for the university. A few years ago we got contracted for the locker room renovation and removed all the lockers. We were selling them for scrap metal and a UM fan almost killed us when he found out! We posted them on ebay and sold about 20 of them at $1000 each at that point.

We're getting busy (doing more UM jobs) and need to clear house on the remaining 20-30 lockers. They are full lockers, and we have working combinations for them as the university gave them to us to make taking them apart easier. We have a "letter of authenticity" which is a portion of our work contract signed by the athletic department asking us to remove them.

General numbers are going for $800-1000 and the big popular numbers for $1000-1500.

We run major shipments from here all the time and ship them in about 10 days anywhere in the USA via yellow trucking or UPS. We've been charging $200 to ship to a location with a loading dock and $250 to a residential address.

If you're interested, email [email protected].

Orson in Columbus. A must-read:

17. In summary: Ohio Stadium is brutal, gray, loud--yes, loud, by any standard--mean, cold, and constructed out of concrete bearing a few too many visible cracks for you to be totally comfortable seeing in a structure capable of holding over 100,000 people. (The ledge from the upper deck on the east and west sides had me hyperventilating.) There are grim bells, columns, and one jumbotron plastered onto the south endzone. The effect is that of a flatscreen slapped on the wall of a Roman gladiator's quarters, something very modern hanging on a wall bearing the scars of prehistoric combat.

18. Which, in cliche and reality, is totally what Michigan/ Ohio State is. I get that now after seeing it, because this is not about fun, glorious spite, or simple culture-clashes. Robots programmed this rivalry, and its only prime directives on either side is opposition. You may joke about other rivalries claiming to have been at war with Eastasia, but to either side, the war is eternal, and it is the other side that believes in obliteration of the self and will not stop chewing at the borders of the free nation of Oceania.

19. It feels old, and wears its own leather helmet while drinking scotch and staring at a gray sky. It had been a while since I'd been in the Midwest, and the thought initially filled me with a real and arbitrary sorrow. Driving through Columbus, there are all these lost things--cabbies that arrive on time, bland family restaurants with buffets and non-chain restaurant names, bells that ring in buildings ripped from a Wes Anderson movie's backlot--all these things that never existed where I'm from.

Um, okay guys. It's tough to tell which is the more bizarre thing when it comes to the coaches' half of the All Big Ten teams announced yesterday:

  • Jake Ryan, honorable mention
  • Patrick Omameh, first-team

In past years I've usually given the coaches' list more credence than the media, but putting Omameh on there is a pretty definitive indication that no coach has come within 50 feet of an All Big Ten ballot this year. They should rename it "SID's team," except then people would think of deceased infants and be sad.

Taylor Lewan and Will Hagerup made first teams and won their OL/P of the year awards. To maintain this blog's tradition of ignoring officially sanctioned Big Ten names for things I will tell you that these are the Long-Hutchinson and Zoltan-Zoltan awards, and feel slightly better about everything.

Craig Roh was second team to the SIDs and Ryan did scrape his way to second-team according to the media. Jordan Kovacs was second team to the coaches, but not the media. In his stead: Daimion Stafford!

definitely not discussing Stafford blowing a coverage so badly Bo Pelini had an aneurysm; definitely not something that has come up time and again

Micah Hyde! Johnny Adams! Josh Johnson!

/eyes roll so far back in head they explode

Positive spin! Michigan was third in total defense in the league, a mere four yards behind Wisconsin. Their haul of All-Big Ten players consists of some scattered second-team nods. Meanwhile Ohio State was seventh and had six different defenders lock down first team nods on either the coaches or media lists.

Imagine what might happen when Michigan has talented dudes. Pretty pretty good I bet.

GHOLSTONWATCH. Second team media. Four sacks on the year.

Salty. Collectively, Adam Rittenberg and Brian Bennett have bombed Hoke/Borges on twitter for the Denard/Devin thing and now they're all laying down the wood on the ABT choices:

That's not even the biggest stunner involving an Ohio State player. Buckeyes linebackerRyan Shazier did not make the first team, falling behind Michigan State's Max Bullough and Wisconsin's Chris Borland (Penn State's Michael Mauti is an understandable lock). There was talk of Shazier for Big Ten defensive player of the year after the way he blazed through the second half of the season. But that looks less likely now. (Unless the coaches want to engage in some serious trolling by naming Miller the offensive player of the year and Shazier defensive player of the year as second-teamers). Also bizarre: the coaches did not select Michigan's Jake Ryan for a first- or second-team spot. Ryan is undoubtedly one of the Big Ten's top four linebackers.

Fired up!

Quickly. One man's All Big Ten team, with the caveat that I didn't see much of Indiana or Penn State this year:

QB: Taylor Martinez, Nebraska (read too much of Ross Fulton pointing out Braxton Miller errors to give him the nod)
RB: LeVeon Bell, MSU (poor damn LeVeon Bell), Venric Mark, NW
WR: Allen Robinson, PSU, Kenny Bell, NU, Jared Abbrederis, UW
TE: CJ Fiedorowicz, Iowa
OL: punt

DL: John Simon, Johnathan Hankins (OSU), Kawaan Short (PU), Eric Martin (NU)
LB: Jake Ryan (M), Max Bullough (MSU), Ryan Shazier (OSU)
DB: Jordan Kovacs(M), Isaiah Lewis(MSU), Darqueze Dennard (MSU), Bradley Roby(OSU)

Other thing I looked up. Michigan had just 41 punts this year, which was last in the Big Ten by ten. Also despite having the second-best gross average their net was only seventh:

Rank Name Punts Avg PuntRet RetYds Touchbacks NetAvg TotYds Natl
Rank
1 Illinois 73 41.92 26 157 2 39.22 3060 24
2 Michigan St. 69 42.62 22 211 5 38.12 2941 40
3 Northwestern 59 39.61 20 86 1 37.81 2337 42
4 Purdue 67 41.88 24 179 7 37.12 2806 52
5 Indiana 71 38.25 19 86 2 36.48 2716 67
5 Wisconsin 71 40.42 26 180 5 36.48 2870 67
7 Michigan 41 42.20 17 137 5 36.41 1730 72
8 Ohio St. 61 39.69 20 128 4 36.28 2421 74
9 Nebraska 53 41.74 21 241 3 36.06 2212 80
10 Minnesota 65 38.23 19 124 5 34.78 2485 100
11 Penn St. 51 37.35 11 108 2 34.45 1905 103
12 Iowa 68 37.34 22 97 5 34.44 2539 104

Those punt returns stats aren't that bad despite seeming like they were going to be a disaster at any particular point; looks like the high touchback rate was an issue.

Scottish Premier League this baby. Tom Izzo is concerned [freep] that the Big Ten regular season title is no longer going to be an important thing, as I think everybody is. It was a big, big deal for Michigan to claim a share last year.

Once you get to 14 teams, you're playing everyone once and then missing about half the league the second time around. Schedule imbalances will lessen the importance of the regular season unless you go to 22 or more conference games, which may not be feasible.

Alternative: 19 game conference schedule.

PHASE 1: round robin.
PHASE 2: line is drawn between 7th and 8th teams in the league. Mini-leagues subsequently play round-robin. Rutgers is relegated to the Big East every year.

PROS: Absolutely fair. Winner is undisputed. Makes Big Ten title a huge important deal. Final six games for teams that make upper half would be knock-down drag out brutal free-for-all for league title. Would give top teams impregnable schedule strength. You could televise the schedule draw with Ronaldo and Messi in suits.

CONS: May cost league NCAA bids if the best team in the bottom half can't get any marquee wins in the last six games or the worst team in the top half just gets blitzed. Bottom half is just kind of sadly playing out the string. Uncertainty about final three home games may impact ticket sales negatively. Extremely distant possibility that the 8th best team 13 games in can climb all the way to the top.

In conclusion, anything that amps up the value of the regular season is good. Play For Stuff.

OFAAT: Seniors, Iowa Past

OFAAT: Seniors, Iowa Past

Submitted by Ace on November 16th, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Brian has already waxed poetic about the seniors, so I'll stick to moving pictures and keep the words to a minimum. I've done my best to cover each member of the outgoing class. Let's just say it was hard to pick one moment for this guy:

He may make some cameo appearances later.

[For the rest of the gifs, hit THE JUMP.]

Tuesday Presser Transcript 11-13-12: Al Borges

Tuesday Presser Transcript 11-13-12: Al Borges

Submitted by Heiko on November 13th, 2012 at 6:11 PM

file

“Hi guys. What’s up. Heiko, what’s going on?”

MGo: Not much. Just hangin' out.

“It’s really good to see you.”

MGo: It’s good to see you, too.

“I’m not just saying that.”

MGoBeaming: Really? Aw.

“Yeah, I kind of am.”

What’s the word of the day?

“What’s the word of the day? I had one. If you wouldn’t have asked me, I would have come up with it.”

Denard?

“No. That was coming up somewhere, but … let me think. I’ll get back to you on that, okay?”

Can you define Denard?

“Can I define Denard? Fast. That’s the first word that comes into my mind. Like those word associations that you do ... Denard Robinson, fast!”

Devin Gardner?

“Devin Gardner? Funny. Pretty funny guy.”

In all seriousness, Denard’s legacy? Can you discuss?

“Well, I can honestly say he is the most electric player that I have ever coached. That would be the first thing that comes to mind. And a joy to coach, I might add. Comes with energy every day. Wants to learn. Tough. Competitive. All those things. His demeanor might lead you to believe that’s not true, but he’s highly competitive.”

Upon Further Review 2012: Offense vs Illinois

Upon Further Review 2012: Offense vs Illinois

Submitted by Brian on October 17th, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Formation notes: With the Norfleet jet sweep thing becoming consistent enough to call out, it's now "Shotgun Jet":

shotgun-jet

Norfleet is to the top of your screen, with a tight end. He has always come in motion. I'm sure they'll start doing some other stuff with it.

Aigh stack stack stack (not ours)

aigh-stack

Aigh.

Substitution notes: Same stuff on the OL, with Burzynski coming in for both Barnum and Lewan when Barnum was dinged and Lewan was lifted a drive or two before the rest of the line. Jack Miller got in for his first non-garbage time plays on the two unsuccessful goal line dives when Denard was out.

Moore returned at TE but was clearly behind the guys who had already been playing. WR stuff was about what you would expect; Jerald Robinson only got in once Michigan had salted the game away.

RB rotation began in earnest, with Toussaint, Rawls, and Hayes splitting carries. Norfleet got a few specialized plays. Smith missed the game with a hamstring issue. Hopkins was also held out in favor of Kerridge again.

You of course know about the QB substitutions.

Flow flow.

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M15 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Inside zone Toussaint 2
Two deep safeties and what looks like man with only six in the box. Both safeties are coming hard on the run action, though, with one containing Denard as Buchanan crashes down on Fitz after he handoff. Barnum(-1) gets handled by a DT, pushed back and almost into the lane, so cutbacks are absent. Omameh(+0.5) and Mealer(+0.5) have gotten movement on the other DT, which does provide a small crease, but the DT set up to the outside and thanks to the Barnum bleah Fitz has to test that. He takes an outside angle, where the quick-filling safety goes boom on him. Denard(-1) probably should have pulled with Funchess arcing around Buchanan.
M17 2 8 Shotgun 2-back 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Inverted veer keeper Robinson 7
Handoff is very viable here as well but Denard saw a lane and hit it so okay. Lewan(+0.5) comboes with Barnum(+1) to get movement on a playside DT; Barnum pops off quickly to shove a blitzing linebacker. Blitzing linebacker on the frontside is coming hard but there's a gap behind him; Omameh kind of maybe gets a tiny touch on him, but it's really just Denard(+1) pulling and accelerating unbelievably fast through a small crease. Another quick safety fill by a guy who is just playing centerfield on runs holds it down after Denard makes it through the first level.
M24 3 1 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 even Run Iso Toussaint 6
Straight up the gut. Mealer(+1) and Omameh(+0.5) get movement on one DT. Barnum can't do much with Spence but he still can't affect the play; Kerridge(+1) clubs a linebacker out of the hole and Toussaint(+0.5) bursts right up the middle, leaping over a little trash to get five instead of one.
M30 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 2 1 2 Base 3-4 Run End around Norfleet -1
Norfleet as a tight receiver, comes in motion. This is no read, just a handoff. I feel like M screwed up their blocking here as both the bulling Omameh and cracking down Gardner take a playside LB; the playside OLB is hanging on the edge; playside end is unblocked as this is fake veer. Toussaint(-1) heads on a path too far upfield and ends up not even touching the OLB; DE pursuing from inside out forces Norfleet into him. RPS -1; this feels like something went awry in the design.
M29 2 11 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 even Pass Throwback screen Gallon 71
Always works and so much this time. Borges uses Illinois's aggressive safety fill against them. Motion from Roundtree reveals man coverage, the fake sucks eight Illinois defenders away from the playside and kills them. Now it's three M players in space against three Illinois players. Roundtree(+1) blocks a corner well outside the hashes. Barnum(+1) walls off a linebacker trying to recover. Lewan(+2) does a great job on a safety, slowing up, extending to make contact, and then driving through him when he tries to shed to the inside. And then the cavalry arrives in Schofield(+2), who released to the second level, realized no one was coming back and the went to the third level. He checks out Gallon and then hauls ass to get to the last safety, walling him off as Gallon(+1) cuts behind. Then it's just Kwiatkowski(+0.5) cutting off a guy who probably isn't catching Gallon anyway and six points. RPS +3. 20 yards and a one on one matchup with that S if Schofield doesn't climb to him minimum.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-0, 8 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M34 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run Sprint counter Toussaint 12
Backside LB shoots an interior gap as the backside DE is blown off the line by Schofield(+1); he also fights into the interior gap. That means outside is wide open, Fitz(+0.5) takes it. Four guys converge at the sticks. RPS +1. Mostly bad play by the Illini.
M46 1 10 Shotgun empty 2TE 1 2 2 4-3 even Run QB sweep Robinson 3
Not a surprise. TE blocks down, Mealer and Omameh pull around. Williams(-1) should have an easy seal as Buchanan's first step is upfield; move outside a step and seal and he's gone. Instead, step back, get beat. Omameh(+1) gets a good pop on the linebacker trying to full; Mealer(-0.5) should probably see Buchanan and peel back to pick him off. Instead he moves through the hole; Denard follows and is tackled by Buchanan. Good gain if M just deals with that guy.
M49 2 7 Shotgun 2-back twins 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Inverted veer give Rawls 3
M blocks the end and sends Kerridge outside; end gets upfield of Kwiatkowski but Denard is reading a linebacker and hands off. With two guys coming up against just a pulling Barnum, right decision. Rawls(+0.5) sees the business outside and cuts up; Barnum just gets a shove on one of the LBs, who funnels to help and gets in an ankle tackle attempt. His buddy finishes from the side; Rawls falls forward for four but gets a crappy spot. Not usually a fan of not having your FB block anyone, but I guess this is a push.
O48 3 4 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Pass Angle Rawls 6
Rawls goes on a little angle route underneath; Denard steps up through traffic nicely. He's got a much easier throw if he just takes another step towards the LOS and lets a linebacker come up on him so that Roundtree's out is wide open but instead rifles a dart to Rawls just in front of a recovering linebacker. He was getting some pressure so I get it. (CA, 2, protection 2/2). Barnum goes out for the rest of the drive.
O42 1 10 Shotgun twins twin TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 Pass PA post Roundtree 33
Four verts for Michigan and Robinson thinks he's got Roundtree in a window behind an underneath cover three slot defender who's dropping and two of the safeties. He's... right! The outside guy comes over the top but can't do anything about it; ball is high but I think here that's where you want it since you want to keep it away from the underneath guy and it's a 33 yard completion in between three guys do I really have to explain this is a DO? (DO, 2, protection 2/2)
O9 1 G Shotgun twins twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 even Run QB power off tackle Robinson 8
No read, this is just a fake. Toussaint is hauling at the unblocked end; end hops outside because he fears the end around. He's gone. Burzynski(+1) picks off a linebacker charging up into the gap; Schofield(+1) checks on the playside DT, sees Omameh(+1) has him off the LOS and sealed inside, and climbs to the second level in a flash. MLB walled off. Denard(+0.5) is fast, down to the one, leaves with boo boo. RPS +1. End around fake earned yards.
O1 2 G Goal line 2 3 0 Goal line Run Iso Toussaint 0
Mealer(-1) and Omameh(-1) do not handle a slant well; Mealer gets blown into the backfield and Toussaint has to cut behind; Omameh could not cut the gap behind and there is a guy in it; delay, and on the goal line that is doom. Jack Miller's(+1) actually in at RT and he put an Illini guy in the endzone impressively.
O1 3 G Goal line 2 3 0 Goal line Run Iso Toussaint 0
Mealer(-0.5) again can't get much movement; Toussaint(-1) can probably still squirm in at some point but he decides to leap when there's nowhere to leap and when contact is made he has no choice but to go backwards. Physics is a bitch.
Drive Notes: FG(18), 10-0, 1 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M18 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 4-3 even Run Inside zone Rawls 3 + 15 pen
Bellomy's drive. Toussaint goes on an orbit motion presnap, threatening an option thing. M just hands off on an inside zone to Rawls; seriously doubt this is a read Bellomy is allowed to make. DT double from Mealer(-0.5) and Omameh does not quite get the playside guy sealed away; Omameh has to pop off to block a linebacker; Rawls does not trust the block and goes laterally instead of NS, getting tracked down by the LB. Rawls -1; be who you are. Gallon +1, as he flattens a safety. Schofield(+0.5) got a good kick. M gets lucky with a facemask call.
M35 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Iso Toussaint 3
Illinois runs an exchange with their MLBs that successfully confuses M. Mealer releases into a guy who is moving past him as a LB sets to fill the gap that leaves; Kerridge also hits him. Toussaint has no choice but to whack the unblocked LB. -0.5 for both Kerridge and Mealer, who collectively did not adjust to the Illinois play but did get movement on their guy and helped make this somewhat positive; Omameh(+0.5) got a nice block on playside DT to help, though that guy was going vertical in the B gap.
M38 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Pass PA TE flat Funchess Inc
Quick hitter off mesh PA; DE is instantly in Bellomy's face. He does a good job to get it off; throw is a little high and behind Funchess but right in his hands; ends up spiked to the ground. (CA, 2, protection N/A, RPS push I guess)
M38 3 7 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 Nickel 4-3 Pass Drag Roundtree Inc
Bellomy rifles it to Roundtree; dropped. This was a four yard pass open by about five yards and was likely to pick up the first. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 10-0, 12 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M32 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 3-3-5 stack Run Power off tackle Toussaint 4
Denard back. Illinois shoots a linebacker at the snap with impeccable timing; he gets under Barnum and knocks Omameh off his pull. Kerridge(+1) gets a nice cut on the contain guy, which gives Toussaint a slight window to run away from the filling MLB. He takes it; filling MLB just makes an ankle tackle. RPS -1. Williams(-1) again loses a downblock he should be able to finish easily.
M36 2 6 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 4-3 even Run Inverted veer give Hayes 8
Man, keep looks good too, but DE is not outright containing so give is right. Blocking is almost irrelevant; Toussaint(+0.5) gets a decent lead block and Hayes(+0.5) cuts it up behind and hits a DB so the pile falls forward past the first down marker. RPS +1. Barnum(+0.5) got a good block on the playside DE to open up a hypothetical shot up the middle by Denard.
M44 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Inside zone Rawls 6
Rawls(-1) misses a huge cutback lane as Omameh(+2) crushes Spence off the ball; Barnum(+0.5) and Mealer(+1) shoot the other DE playside and then Mealer pops off behind to pick off a linebacker. With the backside end blocked, a cutback is Rawls thundering at a WLB for 5-8-10 yards. Instead he bounces and gets lucky as the end gets overaggressive and gives him the corner. I don't care that you got yards, man, GO NORTH SOUTH THAT'S WHAT YOU DO. I cant' give him a bigger minus because he did get yards.
50 2 4 Shotgun Jet 1 1 3 4-3 even Run QB iso Robinson 4
The Norfleet end around plus iso thing from last week. LB is screaming at the LOS; Spence has set up so that a cutback doesn't seem like a great idea. Rawls(+0.5) bangs LB, stands him up. Barnum(+0.5) handles the other DT okay as he tries to hop outside; his falling tackle attempt has no momentum. Denard hits it up for near first down yardage.
O46 3 In I-Form Big 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Iso Rawls 3
Boom. Omameh(+1) handles Spence as he tries to chuck and get to the hole; Kerridge(+0.5) gets an okay MLB block; Rawls(+0.5) is just a bowling ball.
O43 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 4-3 even Run QB iso Robinson 33
Sweep fake is Toussaint from the two back formation. Backside DE tries to shoot upfield; Barnum(+1) ends up pancaking him on what may be a hold but results based charting. Omameh(+2) blows Spence off the ball one on one. This is an ass kicking. Rawls(-0.5) lets a LB under him, he could disconnect to tackle in the hole but massive cutback thanks to the G blocks; Robinson(+2) takes it. Mealer(+1) has shot a linebacker way out of the hole; hello, safeties. Robinson makes 10-15 more yards by making them terrified he's going to cut outside.
O10 1 G Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Zone read belly Toussaint 4
Vertical RB attack angle means this wants to go backside. Unblocked DE contains. Schofield(+1) blocks down on Spence, kicking him down the line and providing a nice lane. Omameh(-1) is surprised by the too-quick attack of the playside LB, and turns back to try to block him; Toussaint(+1) cuts behind the fine Schofield block and is going vertically at the endzone when he runs into Omameh. Find someone else downfield, man, he's gone. RPS +1, should have been six. Mealer(+1) also blew out a DT. Might have been better to shoot Kwiatkowski at that LB than Omameh instead of flaring him out and going safety but not sure.
O6 2 G Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Pass PA rolllout Dig Gallon Inc
This is just well defended all around. Playside DE is released by Funchess and is quick enough to get out on Denard so that he can't run. Three routes in the endzone all pretty well covered; Denard does pick out Gallon coming across; ball is on the money and Gallon has body position on the defender so INT is not in play; defender makes a +2 play to get the PBU. (CA, 0, protection N/A)
O6 3 G Shotgun double tacks 1 1 3 Dime Run QB draw Robinson 6
Man coverage on a three-ish man rush takes a linbeacker away from the field, no one releases from the line at all, everyone convinced this is a throw, corners get thumped by WRs and Denard breaks outside, easy six. Funchess, Lewan, Roundtree, Denard +1; RPS +2. Funchess's drag got a two for one as the guy in man went with him and he picked a guy off, and that was about it as Illinois stunted and gave up the corner.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 17-0, 4 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M42 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Run QB draw Robinson 13
Illinois running a stunt that I've seen blow up draws before but it just doesn't work for them. Schofield(+0.5) got a big kick on the DT running outside, Omameh(+0.5) handled the DE coming inside. Denard's lane is farther outside than he wants but it's there and he can hit it fast enough so it doesn't matter. Second level; Denard(+1) decides to slide as Mealer(-1) misidentifies who he should block and a safety gets in. RPS push, I think, since Illinois just executed poorly.
O46 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Pass Hitch Dileo 9
Snag concept goes to the interior receiver, Dileo. Great protection, on target throw, open guy, nice catch. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
O37 2 1 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 3-3-5 stack Pass Yakety snap N/A -6
Robinson fumbles a good snap and ends up falling on it. Not charted but keep it in mind when we talk DSR.
O43 3 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 3-3-5 stack Pass Drag Roundtree Inc
Delayed blitz stunt thing gets a LB around the edge against Lewan(-1), albet pretty far around the edge. Denard has to throw and goes after a pretty well covered Roundtree; we don't get a replay but it looks like this is broken up from behind. Maybe should have ran? Anyway, pressure from a stunt and no one open on hot stuff so got RPSed. (CA, 1, protection 1/2, Lewan -1, RPS -1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 17-0, EOH
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M26 1 10 Shotgun Jet 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Inverted veer keeper Robinson 9
This may or may not be an inverted veer; it could just be a called play. Action is IV. Playside end moves way down as Illinois slants away from the play and the outside contain from the LB is way outside. Pull is obvious, made. MLB is trying really hard to funnel to help and makes contact to the outside of pulling Omameh(+0.5), but with Toussaint(+0.5) banging the contain guy no chance. Denard(+1) pops outside a tackle attempt and is into the secondary. Gallon(-1) ran right by his guy, who tackles as Denard neared the sticks. RPS +1. Basically impossible for Illinois to not have this happen with their playcall.
M35 2 1 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Inside zone Toussaint 0
Barnum(-1) blown up, loses his guy playside, gives up penetration. Ditto Omameh(-2), except he also falls instead of continuing to escort the guy where his momentum takes him. Toussaint can cut back behind the first biff, but not the second. Worst play of the day from the OL I'll bet.
M35 3 1 Shotgun 2-back 2TE 2 2 1 4-4 under Run QB power off tackle Robinson 4
Rawls moves to give some speed option action but I think that's just a decoy. Schofield(+1) blocks down on Spence from some distance and gets him. Spence tries to spin past the block and loses ground, he's done. Williams(+1) locks out the playside end well, possibly aided by the Rawls option motion. Barnum(+0.5) is coming around to get a middle linebacker; Robinson(-1) reads the hole poorly and almost gets tackled for nothing by picking the wrong side of Barnum after the LB shows up to the inside unexpectedly. He does manage to sidestep the tackle and get a few, but that put the play in danger and cost him yards. RPS +1, as the option motion really helped.
M39 1 10 Shotgun Jet 2 1 2 4-3 even Pass Corner Gardner Inc
Fakes to both Norfleet and Toussaint into play action. Protected well. Denard tries to throw over a dropping corner and that corner deflects it. Kind of close to an INT; should have checked down to the Norfleet wheel route. (BR,0, protection 2/2)
M39 2 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 4-3 even Run Inverted veer give Toussaint 12
DE sitting on Denard(+1) so a good non-default handoff. Corner now open as Dileo(+0.5) cracks down on a linebacker, so it's Toussaint vs secondary now. Hard fill from safety; Toussaint(+1) hops inside, then out to set up a nice block from Jackson(+1) and pick up an extra five.
O49 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 4-3 even Run QB iso Robinson 49
Toussaint takes the jet fake, Rawls leads. Omameh(+2) gets control and push one on one with Akeem Spence. Rawls(+1) bombs the MLB. Schofield(+1) locks out the DE. Denard can get five or six easy if he just slams it up; he decides to pop outside as Spence has given ground to shed the Omameh block. Denard dodges Spence's tackle attempt as he comes behind. Filling safety now plus the MLB coming off the Rawls block; Denard cuts back to the middle of the field. This is open because Lewan(+1) continued his block on the other end as he tries to pursue and a lazy NT accepts a block from Mealer(+0.5), hole, edge, Toussaint sees it and has the speed to get the only other guy with the angle and seeeeyaaaaaa. Denard +3. Jackson(+1) got a good block on a safety that prevented him from coming down as well.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 24-0, 12 min 3rd Q. I like Denard.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O27 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 4-3 even Run Sprint counter Toussaint 1
Denard motion holds a box defender outside, leaving six on six plus Toussaint. Schofield(+1) gets a big kick on the playside DE. Omameh(+1) gets a seal on the playside DT, big hole. Lewan(+1) fills it, sealing the one remaining LB inside as Mealer(+1) releases into a MLB. Everyone blocked, big hole, major yards... Toussaint(-3) cuts away from the design of the play for crap yardage for no reason.
O26 2 9 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 4-3 even Pass Screen Toussaint 15
This actually works. Denard finds a lane through the bodies so he doesn't have to loft it, which has been a problem in the past. He can just fling it directly to Toussaint, which he does. No DL peel, so those four guys are gone. Kwiatkowski(+1) is in the slot, he seeks out the playside LB and hits him inside, allowing Mealer and Omameh to release outside. Secondary time. Dileo(+1) gets a block on a filling safety; Omameh(+1) gets a leveraging corner; Toussaint(+1) sets those blocks up and splits them. He cuts past a safety, gets a block from Barnum(+1) and is about to jet for the endzone when the backside DE manages to tackle him. RPS +1.
O11 1 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Inverted veer give Toussaint 3
DE does not contain so give. Roundtree(-1) does not adjust to the goal line situation and allows a safety to shoot up past him when he's supposed to crack down on him. That strings Toussaint out. He lowers the shoulder on a tackle and sheds it a la Rawls, but with a containing corner he cant' pick up much more than he would have without the broken tackle.
O8 2 7 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 even Pass Waggle PA corner Funchess 8
The coverage is there, thrown anyway, thrown over the coverage, reach, spear, touchdown, whoah. (DO, 2, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 31-0, 10 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M40 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 4-3 even Run Zone stretch Toussaint -4
Mealer(-2) is blasted yards into the backfield by a Spence shove. He ends up at the same depth Toussaint is. Lewan(-1) is chucked past the playside end as well, so outside is not a solution. Those two DL surround Toussaint in the backfield, end run.
M36 2 14 Ace 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Run Inside zone Toussaint 4
Weird scheme sees all DL blocked; usually you'd let the end go and let him contain Robinson. Spence gets blown up by Mealer(+1) and Omameh(+0.5), so big hole that also engulfs MLB since the other DT slanted out of the play; Barnum(+0.5) escorted him. Now unblocked WLB in space against Toussaint(-1). He runs right straight ahead until tackled. Meh.
M40 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide tight 1 1 3 3-3-5 stack Pass Deep hitch Gardner 17
All day, as it's only a two man rush with two spies. Robinson sets up and zings a ball directly to Gardner in between two guys; NFL window. Caught, first down. (DO, 3, protection 1/1)
O43 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 ??? Run Inside zone Hayes 2
Moore(-2) smoked by Buchanan, who is instantly in the backfield and can tackle despite having to go outside of everything and attack outside in. Other stuff goes wrong but hard to tell what since the TV doesn't get much of this play.
O41 2 8 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Sprint counter Hayes 3
Lewan(-2) busts and pulls directly into a pulling Schofield. Hayes has his choice of unblocked LBs to run into. Barnum(+1) got a good one on one block to at least create some yards. LBs were confused by the Lewan pull and so did not attack, either.
O38 3 5 Shotgun trips stack tight 1 1 3 3-2-6 dime Pass Drag Roundtree Inc
Motion from Jackson is paired with a guy moving with him, which usually indicates man. This is zone. Robinson misreads the coverage on a curl flat and almost gets Roundtree killed; Gardner was open on the deeper hitch. (BR, 0, protection 2/2, RPS -1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 31-0, 6 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O6 1 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 even Run Iso Toussaint 4
Spence goes loose cannon and tries to shoot inside of Barnum on the snap, directly upfield. He ends up just falling. Barnum(+1) got enough. Kerridge(+1) slams a LB trying to fill; Toussaint cuts behind that block into the wide open space left by Spence. Unblocked guys at that point.
O2 2 G Goal line 2 3 0 Goal line Run Power off tackle Toussaint 2
Kwiatkowski(-1) loses the playside end. He continues harassing but this is pretty bad. Omameh(+1) kicks the edge guy on his pull, which just gives Toussaint(+1) a lane to move outside the end and hit. Kerridge(+1) plowed a DB, so the stumble Toussaint is in after breaking the end's tackle is not relevant.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 38-0, 3 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M33 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Iso Toussaint 5
Lewan out, Burzynski in. Mealer(+1) and Burzynski(+1) combo one DT way out of the hole; Mealer goes to the second level. Barnum(+0.5) gets the other DT; he was headed upfield anyway. Kerridge(+1) pops the other LB, nice hole, aggressive safety fill.
M38 2 5 Ace twins 1 2 2 4-3 under Run Sweep Toussaint 4
Moore(+0.5) eliminates the playside DE. Reynolds gets a block on the playside LB; Mealer and Burzynski are pulling and both guys end up going for the MLB. Aggressive safety fill; Toussaint(+0.5) spins through a tackle to near the first down.
M42 3 1 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 even Run Iso Rawls 4
They get it. Mealer(+0.5) with good push. Kerridge(+0.5) finds a linebacker and Rawls hits a crease hard.
M46 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Iso Rawls 5
Run at a gap outside a bit. Burzynski(+1) escorts a DT upfield out of the hole; Kerridge(+1) thumps a linebacker inside, big gap. Overhanging corner comes down to tackle Rawls; Rawls(+0.5) gets some YAC as he cuts behind a second level block from Mealer(+0.5)
O49 2 5 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 4-3 even Run QB draw Bellomy 9
Opens up large. Schofield(+0.5) escorts a gentleman upfield. Barnum(+0.5) fights off a backup DT for a crease. Bellomy hits it, gets the first, slides. RPS +1.
O42 1 10 Ace 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Run Yakety snap N/A 0
Fumbled snap turns it over.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 38-0, 12 min 4th Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR DForm Type Play Player Yards
O45 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 4-3 even Run Inverted veer give Hayes 3
Correct handoff but safety is filling really hard so Hayes is on the edge with him; can't beat him. Would RPS -1 this if it wasn't 38-0.
O42 2 7 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 even Pass Fly JRobinson Inc (Pen +5)
Bellomy gets Illinois to jump and goes deep with the free play. Bellomy throws a nice back shoulder fade to JRobinson, which he just drops. It was in his hands, DB watching. Tough catch in the rain and falling backwards but not impossible. (DO, 2, protection 1/1)
O37 3 2 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Iso Rawls 1 – 15 Pen
We come back to this late and I can't be bothered to piece together the circumstantial evidence at this point. Reynolds gets an unnecessary roughness call.
M49 3 16 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 3-3-5 stack Pass Hitch JRobinson 8
Deeper stuff not open; Bellomy checks down to a hitch well short of the sticks. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 38-0, 9 min 4th Q. First team OL all gone after this drive, so no more charts. Here is the Rawls run though.

That was methodical dissection of some not very good defense up in there.

Pretty much.

So… things to take away: are there any?

Illinois's interior DL is veteran and Spence is going to get drafted in the mid-rounds at worst, plus Buchanan's pretty good and they've got some linebacker talent, so… yeah, I think being able to run the way Michigan did on them despite the rain allowing opponents to tee off on ground games is another meaningful indication that Michigan's rush offense is very good.

6.9 YPC is a ton, and far better than Wisconsin/PSU/Arizona State managed. Slash out the two long runs in the fourth quarter (Rawls's 63 yard TD and the 24-yard fumble-recover-run by Hayes) and Michigan is still at 5.4. That latter number probably would have been higher if the game had remained competitive and Denard acquired 20 carries; he could have cracked 200 again if necessary.

I'm especially impressed with Omameh; after coming out and getting movement on guys in the second half of ND he had another good game last week and blew it out this week. Let's start with the—

MANCHART

ballchart

Offensive Line
Player + - Total Notes
Lewan 5.5 4 1.5 Would have been fine but pulled on a spring counter going his way.
Barnum 9.5 2 7.5 Ver' nice.
Mealer 9 6 3 Got blown up pretty good a couple times, otherwise okay.
Omameh 15 4 11 !!! Owned Spence repeatedly.
Schofield 9.5 - 9.5 Pulls and operation in space and DE kicks; best day at M.
Kwiatkowski 1.5 1 0.5 Didn't get a whole lot of relevant opportunities.
Moore 0.5 2 -1.5 Got a play blown up.
Williams 1 2 -1 Still like Kwiatkowski better.
Funchess 1 - 1 Occasionally blocks guys.
TOTAL 55.5 21 73% Burzynski +3 with no minuses; excellent performance overall.
Backs
Player + - T Notes
Robinson 10.5 2 8.5 49-yarder laugh-inducing
Bellomy - - - DNC on runs.
Toussaint 6.5 6 0.5 Scuffling.
Rawls 6 2.5 3.5 Awarded +3 for big run at the end.
Smith - - - DNP
Hayes 0.5 - 0.5 A couple late runs not charted, but also gets away with a fumble as a result.
Hopkins - - - DNP
Kerridge 7 0.5 6.5 Really nailing guys. Wonder if Hopkins could have been back already but Kerridge is keeping him off the field.
TOTAL 30.5 11 19.5 Kerridge goes boom.
Receivers
Player + - T Notes
Gardner - - - -
Roundtree 2 1 1 -
Gallon 2 1 1 More touches more touches more touches x2
Jackson 2 - 2 Bounce-back.
Dileo 1.5   1.5  
J. Robinson - - - DNC
Darboh - - - DNC
TOTAL 7.5 2 5.5 Better day after some eh blocking.
Metrics
Player + - T Notes
Protection 18 1 95% Lewan –1.
RPS 13 4 +9 Tim Beckmann is a clueless dude, and Michigan got a screen to work! To a RB!

I'm going to need some overly defensive analysis of the right side of the offensive line.

Okay, coming right up. On Schofield: he used his agility well in this game and didn't get overpowered by anyone. The Denard run that temporarily knocked him out is a good example, as he flashes to the second level extremely quickly and rubs out a linebacker:

That was his day: not needing overwhelming power, using his ability to move.

Omameh… well, I never thought I'd see the day he clubbed a legit defensive tackle for most of a game. I have seen the day. On both of Denard's long runs it was Omameh obliterating Spence that was the difference between six yards and Denard loose in a secondary, shoes flying everywhere. These are one on one blocks, too. The first:

The second:

Exact same play, simple QB isos. Cutback is there because Omameh doesn't just win the battle, he shoves Spence yards off the LOS. Spence did some stuff to other guys so I don't think he's a scrub, and Omameh got push on Nix some in that ND game. If he can move MSU's DTs I'll be extremely happy.

Could I get some overly defensive comparisons between the TEs too?

Sure!

So this is the kind of thing I'm not seeing happen much to Kwiatkowski. Watch the TE at the top of the screen, which is Williams in this case:

That should be an easy block since the DE's first step is upfield. You step around him and seal him and ballgame; here Williams is chucked and the DE can flow from the inside to tackle Denard just as he's about to do something fun.

Williams made a similar error later on a play that also got blown up by an LB blitz that erased a pulling guard. That rarely seems to happen against Kwiatkowski.

But what about Toussaint?

Again the short yardage is somewhat distorting. Toussaint had two carries from the one, a carry from the two, and a carry from the six. The latter two got two and four yards, respectively. There was also a second and one play on which Mealer got blown up. Remove those five carries for six yards that are extremely low upside and you get 13 for 56 yards, a decent 4.3 a pop. It's not quite as bad as the number disparity suggests.

HOWEVA, he does seem just… off. He would have ripped off a big gain on one of the sprint counters except he completely failed to read Lewan's block and cut away from a gaping hole into traffic:

WHERE DO YOU GO ON THIS PLAY?

image

NOOOOOOOOOOOO

image

To boot, he's not providing much in the way of extra yards from his shake 'n' bake as he was last year. OL issues are part of it, as are some odd play calls—iso?—and Michigan's reliance on him at the goal line. At this point it's open season on carries, though. Rawls has made post-contact yards in consecutive games in limited opportunities.

I'd expect Michigan makes Rawls the full time short yardage and goal line guy for MSU and the rest of the season and leave Toussaint to his spread stuff he's pretty good at. Rawls isn't perfect either, as noted in the game column when I put up that still showing a mile-wide north-south cutback lane Rawls inexplicably ignored in favor of bouncing it outside.

And Kerridge is racking up big numbers.

I may be giving him too much credit for standing up linebackers but to my eyes he really appears to be whacking them and providing the impetus for an improved under center run game. Those isos and such are effective. Hopkins was supposed to be back by now; at the very least they're taking their time with him because Kerridge is not much of a downgrade. If he is at all.

He's just a redshirt freshman, too. Grumble about scholarship fullbacks inserted.

Why does the throwback screen always work?

I don't know man, but I'll picture page that touchdown so everyone can get a handle on what it's trying to do. I will say that busted very large because Michigan's tackles can move in space really, really well. Schofield came from a backside second level block to nail a guy 20 yards downfield:

That kind of agility in a 6'8" guy also makes the sprint counter go, too, so there are compensations for not having a road grader at RT. (Lewan kind of is a road grader, which makes him the NFL prospect he is.)

Denard has now gone two games without an INT.

Fiesta!

Also

charrrrrrrrrrt

a chart.

[Hennechart legend is updated. Hover over column headers for quick explanations]

Opponent DO CA MA IN BR TA BA PR SCR DSR
2011 through MSU 13 66(12) 11(1) 34(1) 17 2 3 10 4 55%
2011 after MSU 9 77(9) 7 17 9 6(1) 5(2) 9 5 69%
Alabama 4 15(2) 1 4 3 - - 3(1) 1 71%
Air Force 1 14 3 2 1 - 2 1 - 75%
UMass 1 16(4) - 4 - 1 1 1 3 68%
Notre Dame 4 10(1) 2 4(1) 2 1 1 3 1 65%
Purdue 3 7(2) - 1(1) - 1 2 - - 73%
Illinois 3 6(2) - - 2 - - - - 78%

Denard's incompletions other than the two bad reads—which were garden variety bad reads, not OH GOD LINEBACKER BRXes—were the crossing route to Gallon in the back of the endzone that was broken up by a very good play by the Illinois defender and a covered hot route on third and long that was broken up; Denard was getting pressure and had a chance to run he didn't take.

Also on the downside: on Michigan's two minute drill at the end of the half he fumbled a perfectly good snap.

I'll take it given the rain and the fairly harmless nature of the screwed up reads—PBUs, not INTs. There is of course the stuff on the ground, which makes me think I like Denard.

Yeah. I like Denard.

Oh no, the collapse of the offense when Bellomy is in?

Ugh, correlation is not causation. He had a DO and 3 CAs in four attempts only to see his receivers spike three of those balls to the ground. It's far too early to say anything about him as a potential starter next year.

Statements like "if Denard goes down we are in trouble" are O RLY level analysis. The freshman quarterback is a lot less good than the senior busy breaking every record he possibly can? Somebody call the CDC.

One catch for everyone chart.

[Passes are rated by how tough they are to catch. 0 == impossible. 1 == wow he caught that, 2 == moderate difficulty, 3 == routine. The 0/X in all passes marked zero is implied.]

Player 0 1 2 3   0 1 2 3
Gardner 1     1/1   10 0/3 1/3 13/14
Roundtree 1 0/1 1/1 0/1   5 0/2 2/2 9/10
Gallon 1     1/1   6 0/1 3/5 13/13
J. Robinson     0/1 1/1   1 0/1 0/1 2/2
Dileo       1/1   1 1/1 2/2 3/3
Jackson           1     3/4
Darboh                  
Chesson                  
                   
Kwiatkowski                 2/2
Moore                  
Funchess     1/2     2 2/2 1/2 7/7
Williams                  
                   
Toussaint       1/1     0/2 0/1 2/2
Smith               0/1 3/3
Kerridge             0/1    

Nothing to see here, really.

Norfleet?

Yeah, pretty cool to have this guy around.

Why it took so long to offer him I have no idea.

Heroes?

Schofield and Omameh. Denard. Also Barnum.

Goats?

No one was atrocious or anything but Fitz is in a funk.

What does it mean for MSU and beyond?

For the first time in a while I feel pretty confident that Michigan will be able to get movement on the interior DL of MSU. Worthy is gone and they have just switched starters at one spot; Hoover seems out as well, if he'd even be useful as a Pat Massey-sized DT. Anthony Rashad White seems pretty good but Omameh has done well the last three weeks with guys better than him. That should make the run game go even with Bullough breathing down Michigan's neck.

The passing offense remains a question but we keep getting little bits of data that suggest the Notre Dame thing was a horrific one off performance and that if Michigan can keep Denard clean they can get production out of him.

Michigan's not going to run MSU out of the stadium. If they persist with the run game, deploy some new tricks, and just remain patient they should be able to get enough yards and points to win.

Illinois Postgame Presser Transcript: Players

Illinois Postgame Presser Transcript: Players

Submitted by Heiko on October 15th, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Something came up yesterday and I had to drive to Cincinnati, which is why this is late. I will  post today's presser transcript later this afternoon/evening. Apologies for the whacky timing.

Desmond Morgan and Denard Robinson

Opening remarks about Gerald Ford’s jersey:

Morgan: “I’d just like to say it’s quite an honor and privilege not only to represent a former Michigan player -- obviously left his legacy on the program, was a standout person and player -- but on top of that the President of the United States. It’s an honor, and I’m going to wear it proud.”

Denard, what did you hurt and were you scared that it was going to be more serious than it turned out to be?

Denard: “No, it was just a boo boo. I mean, everybody gets hurt, so I mean, it was all good. I came back in and it didn’t bother me at all.”

What’s ‘it?’

Denard: “It didn’t bother me. I don’t know. It was nothing. Funny bone. Nothing serious.”

Denard, can you talk about the defense and how much you feel like you can rely on them?

Denard: “Uh, I think every great team has to have a great defense. It starts with the defense, to be honest with you. If they can stop people, we could score three points and win the game if they shut them out. They’re playing well and it was a team effort.”

UMass Postgame Presser Transcript: Players

UMass Postgame Presser Transcript: Players

Submitted by Heiko on September 16th, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Denard Robinson and Vincent Smith

I'm so artsy.

Not to be a total buzzkill or anything, and this is totally the best way to open up a presser after a 63-13 blowout win, but can you talk about your pick six. What did you see there?

Denard: “Uh. Jeremy Jackson came open. I just threw it behind him. It was just a bad, bad throw. It was a good read, just a bad throw. I have to put my feet into it and follow through with the throw.”

On your ermahgerd touchdown, Joe Kerridge blocked for you. Did you notice that?

Denard: “Um… I mean, when you’re on the football field, everybody on the team has to be accountable. Even from the scouts and everybody. When Joey gets on the field I know he’s going to be accountable. He just told me about it. He said, ‘Man, I came in and chipped him,’ and he says [the other guy’s] mouthpiece came out, so it was pretty funny.”

With Notre Dame a week away, is this a game you needed to have?

Denard: “Yeah we needed to get a good win. Every day we need to come out and get better. When we came out today I felt like we got better but we still have some things we have to work on.”

(After the jump, more questions -- some fluffy, some confrontational, some misunderstood -- and maybe one or two interesting responses.)