Upon Further Review 2010: Offense vs Penn State

Upon Further Review 2010: Offense vs Penn State Comment Count

Brian November 4th, 2010 at 5:30 PM

Formation notes: Reduced use of the I this week, which evaporated after Magee felt a disturbance in the force when Vincent Smith ran for nothing on third and short on Michigan's first drive.

Substitution notes: Huyge played the entire game for an injured Dorrestein at right tackle. Smith still got the bulk of the snaps at tailback with Hopkins getting a decent chunk; Shaw was around but not for much.

At receiver Stokes didn't see any time after an initial catchable ball was dropped; Roundtree and Grady saw all or almost all of the snaps in the slot. TE rotation was as per usual, and Forcier got his weekly snap after Robinson got dinged.

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M28 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Yakety sax Robinson 1
You'll have to forgive any misidentifications; this is an SD torrent and it's fuzzy. Michigan's going to run a power off tackle, pulling Omameh around into what looks like it will be a cavernous gap, but Robinson fumbles the snap, misses the handoff, and takes off to the other side of the field, picking up a yard.
RUN+: RUN-: Robinson(2)
M29 2 9 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Midline option Robinson 7
Hey: midline. Still sets up, then bites on Smith, so Denard pulls(ZR+1). Colasanti bites on the handoff, too, splitting the two OL who get downfield. This draws attention from both, leaving the slot LB unblocked. He's well outside and can only make a diving ankle tackle from behind; I think Lewan made the right choice by blocking Colasanti because he was in position to do better than this and Schilling had no shot at him.
RUN+: Robinson, Lewan RUN-:
M36 3 2 I-form 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Iso Smith 0
Aaaaaargh Vincent Smith short yardage iso. This is inexplicable. They have three wide versus seven in the box so there's an extra defender they can't block. Schilling(-1) loses Still to the inside and though the playside double crumples Ogbu, Colasanti's just shooting into the play untouched because Koger(-1) ran right by him to block the SLB. Smith runs into both and goes nowhere. (RPS -1) A terrible, terrible play call. Michigan should never run from a three-wide in the I on third and short.
RUN+: RUN-: Schilling, Koger
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 13 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Robinson 4
I'm not sure if this is actually a read because the blocking scheme here is different: Huyge kicks out the backside DE and the TE heads up in the hole between the T and G to act as a lead blocker; Smith is running into a hole where there is no lead block and never will be one. Robinson keeps, then. Huyge(+1) got a great kick. Omameh(+1) got his DT a yard downfield, there's a gap; Webb(-1) did not get playside of the linebacker. He comes off to tackle at the LOS, with momentum pitching the crew forward.
RUN+: Omameh, Huyge RUN-: Webb
M24 2 6 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass TE Seam Webb 15
Linebackers suck up on no playfake at all and Webb runs into the vacated space behind them; Robinson nails him for a chunk of yards. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +1)
M39 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Midline stretch Smith 2
Midline; handoff this time. Playside DT is playside of Molk and Smith has to cut back, where Still runs him down from behind to hold the gain down. Still did a good job of forcing the handoff and recovering. Not sure if Denard should have kept it or not but I kind of lean towards yes? I think i have to (ZR -1) a play where the guy optioned off made a tackle for three yards.
RUN+: RUN-: Robinson
M41 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB stretch Robinson 9
Molk(+2) gets a tough reach block on Ogbu by himself. Nice. Molk cuts the guy and gives Denard a crease; Omameh(+1) was getting out to kick out the playside LB, who fell… very likely he's done anyway. Schilling(+1) got a cut on the MLB and Robinson has room to slash, which he does very quickly.
RUN+: Molk(2), Omameh, Schilling, Robinson RUN-:
50 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Power veer Smith 9
Never seen this before. Michigan runs a zone read. It's a veer, which mean chunks of the line block down, but it's power, meaning the backside G pulls around and the intended gap is between the playside G and T. WLB shoots up in the backside uselessly. Playside DT is obliterated by Lewan(+0.5) and Schilling(+0.5). Omameh(+1) blows up the LB at the LOS and Smith(+1) hits the gap between him and Webb(+1) quickly, cutting behind a Roundtree block and getting tackled by the safety Willis, who made a good fill.
RUN+: Lewan(0.5), Schilling(0.5), Omameh, Smith, Webb RUN-:
O41 2 1 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 2
Would rather see someone else take the hit on a down like this, or throw the seemingly open bubble in this offset formation. Playside double on Ogbu gets him back a yard but he comes through it and threatens to close off the hole; Omameh(-0.5) and Molk(-0.5) share culpability. Huyge(+1) got a good kick on the DE, though, and when he tries to come inside to close the hole off Huyge drives and pancakes him, giving Robinson the lane outside he takes for the first. These DTs can play, man.
RUN+: Huyge RUN-: Omameh(0.5), Molk(0.5)
O39 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 1
Confused as to why Michigan is blocking the ponderous backside DE here instead of optioning him; but they are. Omameh(-1) blown back by the DT, forcing a cutback by Smith into an unblocked fellow at the LOS. Think they need to hit the bubble here with the slot S thinking contain instead. Smith(-0.5) got no YAC against a single tackle; Hopkins probably makes this decent yardage.
RUN+: RUN-: Omameh, Smith
O38 2 9 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Roundtree 6
Excellent timing in a tight window, but I question the decision to go to the slot when PSU's been playing off the outside guys all night. Stonum is open for an easier throw and much more YAC potential. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O33 3 3 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run PA QB draw Robinson 33
Fake the bubble and Robinson jets. Bubble fake erases the two outside guys in man on the receivers, but there's still a lot of work to do. PSU blitzes one linebacker to the outside, which deletes him. Molk(+1) gets Ogbu inside; Omameh(+2) gets another one of those driving blocks that take out a second player trying to get an angle. Robinson's through; Hemingway(+1) shoves a corner to the ground and Roundtree picks off the last man; touchdown. (RPS +1)
RUN+: Molk, Omameh(2), Hemingway, Rountree, Robinson(2) RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-7, 4 min 1st Q. New stuff.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M27 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass PA short seam Grady 18
The lead-draw-to-anything fake. This one is impressive from Denard because the DE has slanted inside Lewan(-1) and is in Robinson's face as he pulls up to throw; the resulting ball is a bit behind Grady but he spins to catch it, stays on his feet, and picks up some YAC. Heavy pressure on the safety here to make a tackle; he does. (DO, 2, protection 0/1, Lewan -1)
M45 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Hopkins 4
Seems like the bubble is pretty open in this setup with PSU clearly in three-deep, but they don't go to it. With the backside DE getting blocked not sure what he should do here but there is a WLB keeping contain so okay(ZR+1). On the stretch Lewan(-1) gets slanted under and Still fights Molk into the backfield but Omameh(+1) has taken care of Ogbu so there's a cutback lane; Molk(+1) got a good second-level block on Colasanti. Hopkins(-1) has some room and could cut for good yardage or just bowl over a linebacker for some YAC; instead he crumples to the ground as soon as he's hit.
RUN+: Molk, Omameh RUN-: Hopkins, Lewan
M49 2 6 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 11
Odd looking play where Robinson seems to take off too fast for Hopkins to get in front of him. He repairs that after a couple steps, allowing Hop(+1) to club the playside LB with an excellent block that springs Robinson into the secondary. Lewan(+1) got a good kick and Schilling(+1) and Molk(+1) pancaked the playside DT. No one else in the picture with PSU shaded towards the other side of the field because of the trips; Robinson hits the secondary and is contained there.
RUN+: Lewan, Hopkins, Schilling, Molk RUN-:
O40 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Stokes Inc
Snag concept with Smith running a flare under this route. Linebacker vacates so Robinson goes to the slant. I'd love a replay here because the original shot is pretty fuzzy and this could be more on Robinson or Stokes than it seems. I don't have one, though, so: this seems a little in front of Stokes and is coming in hot but this is still catchable, hitting the receiver in the hands. (MA, 2, protection 1/1)
O40 2 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run PA QB draw Robinson 5
Hole opens up momentarily but Still shucks Schilling(-1) to the playside after taking a momentary double and he's able to force it outside. Smith is unable to do more than harry the playside LB as he breaks outside. Robinson(+1) takes a hard fall as he heads OOB and misses a couple plays.
O35 3 5 ? ? ? ? ? Penalty False start Stonum -5
Frustrating: Stonum moves because a PSU DE moves into the neutral zone. This should be a Michigan first down, or is that only for linemen?
O40 3 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Improv Stonum Inc
Hard to tell but this looks like a four verts concept. DL rush hard up the edge but Michigan's got it contained; Forcier steps up into a nice pocket and then gets happy feet, scrambling out. As he nears the sideline he tosses a soft pass to Stonum for the first down but it appears that the PSU safety Willis knocks it down or out of his hands--again, hard to tell. Forcier should have hung in and found someone, maybe his checkdown Smith. (CA, 1, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-14, 14 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Hopkins 5
Probably not a read. Backside DE kicked out by Huyge. Omameh(+1) and Molk(+1) double the backside DT and blow him yards off the line, with Omameh popping off on the linebacker. Hopkins his the hole and cuts behind Omameh, which has the potential to break big but for that DT fighting through the Molk block to tackle. Not even a starter—83 if you're interested.
RUN+: Molk, Omameh RUN-:
M30 2 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 4
Belly fake to a hitch that looks like it should be open—Stonum is wide open on the other side of the field and this should be obvious from before the snap. This is a run call so whateva. You can tell because the OL are releasing downfield. Omameh(+1) and Molk (+1) batter that backup DT pretty good and there should be a hole but Huyge(-1) got shoved inside by DE-type-object Jordan Hill and he's right in the intended path. Because of the crushing double on the playside DT Robinson can just run straight upfield for four.
RUN+: Molk, Omameh RUN-: Huyge
M34 3 1 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB iso Robinson 3
Not a read, this is not a mesh. Just a PA fake to Hopkins basically and then Robinson runs an iso with Koger as a lead blocker. Schilling(+1) stalemates and kicks Still out, which combined with Molk just managing to get enough of Ogbu (and Koger getting a piece) gives Denard the first.
RUN+: Schilling RUN-: Molk(-0.5)
M37 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Hemingway Inc
Michigan going to the wide open hitch they saw on the lead draw play; it is indeed wide open, with Hemingway five yards downfield and likely to pick up another 6-8 YAC. Throw is a bit low but eminently catchable. Dropped. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M37 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB power off tackle Robinson 18
Down G scheme with Huyge(+1) blocking down on Still and taking him out of the play as Omameh pulls around him. Koger(+1) blows the playside DE upfield, providing a big hole. Omameh gets a second level block on Colasanti; Hopkins kind of whiffs but that was because the OLB hopped inside of him and opened up the corner, which Robinson(+1) smartly takes. Stonum(+1) gets a cut to erase the playside corner and Robinson is barely run OOB by the last safety.
RUN+: Robinson(2), Huyge, Omameh, Stonum RUN-:
O45 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Belly Hopkins 2
With Koger coming around to block the backside DE and no real contain this is a missed keeper opportunity (ZR -1). Because of this, there is a WLB in the area to engage Lewan after he and Schilling double the playside DE. RPS -1. It's frustrating to see Michigan not exploit this... Denard on the edge here could be deadly.
RUN+: RUN-: Robinson
O43 2 8 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA short seam Hemingway 21
This again. Linebackers suck up and Robinson fires a dart to Hemingway for a goodly chunk of yards. (DO, 3, protection N/A)
O22 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Inverted veer keeper Robinson 2
Inverted veer! I've undoubtedly ranted about this before you got here. Here Robinson makes the right upfield read as the DE is way in the backfield and hopping outside (ZR+1) but Molk(-2) has gotten so crushed by Ogbu; Ogbu comes around the outside and grabs at Denard as he heads upfield. Denard steps through the tackle but his momentum--his moment--is gone and he has to dance back to the LOS without getting killed. On replay... wow. This opens up like whoah.
RUN+: RUN-: Molk(2)
O20 2 8 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA slant Hemingway Inc
PA fake, bubble fake, slant. Excellent play by the PSU corner (who I believe is the converted WR) to hit right on the throw and make this more difficult. May have been a tiny bit early, which makes Hemingway demand a flag, but you're never going to get this call. Hemingway still has an opportunity to make this catch; he does not. This is an example of what good Ds do that ours doesn't. (CA, 2, protection 2/2)
O20 3 8 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Cross Stonum 8
One deep read he doesn't like and the checkdown, which he throws on time and accurately, allowing Stonum to cut the four yards up for three more and make this an obvious opportunity to go for it. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
O12 4 In Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Power zone read Hopkins 2
Doubles on both DTs and Hopkins just roaring downhill; Omameh(+1) and Huyge(+0.5) drive their guy back and Hopkins runs up their backs.
RUN+: Omameh, Huyge(+0.5) RUN-:
O10 1 G Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Hopkins 0
Hopkins fumbles. Not his fault as Denard put it in his shoulder pads. Not sure it made much of a difference since Colasanti was totally unblocked. Maybe a yard or three. Bubble getting breathtakingly open.
O10 2 G Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Midline inside zone Smith 2 (Pen -10)
Molk(-2) gets shoved upfield into the crease between himself and the tackle, then draws a holding call that seems legit as the player fights inside of him. Denard(ZR -1) hands off again and the tackle reads and reacts to grab Smith at the LOS and hold down the gain anyway. Not a very good play. Denard has acres of space and one guy in it--beat him, yo.
RUN+: RUN-: Molk(2), Robinson
O20 2 G Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Deep slant Stonum Inc
Robinson looks to the trips side of the field, drawing the MLB out of his zone, and immediately comes back to rifle a slant to Stonum that will pick up about half of the distance. Ball is a little high but still very catchable; it goes right through Stonum's hands. (CA, 2, protection 2/2)
O20 3 G Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Slant and go Hemingway Inc
Route not that successful, as you might figure on third and goal from the twenty, but if he gives it up to Hemingway in the right spot he might have a shot. His throw is well long and a safety nearly intercepts. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: FG(38), 10-14, 8 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M2 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA rollout hitch Stonum Inc
Play action rollout picks up a good cut from Smith on the edge and Robinson finds Stonum open for a would-be first down. It's not well thrown and incomplete. Without a replay it's tough to assess whether this is MA or IN and whether the catch is a 1 or 2. My guess is the harsher one towards Robinson. (IN, 1, protection 2/2)
M2 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 2
Double the playside DT and pull Schilling around. Huyge(-1) and Omameh get a good push on Still and if they keep driving they can probably open up a crease with the two lead blockers taking on the playside LBs but Huyge peels off the block to take on the MLB, who Schilling's already moving out towards, and Still comes through to tackle as Denard cuts back. PSU jumping this and with all the LBs on the field this had little chance of success. Tough situation, but (RPS -1).
RUN+: RUN-: Huyge
M4 3 8 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Roundtree Inc
Linebacker running right underneath the route. He tips it skyward; Robinson lucky this wasn't a pick six. (BR, 0, protection 1/2, Smith -1 for having his cut block leapt over.)
Drive Notes: Punt, 10-21, 2 min 2nd Q. The Gallon error and the poor throw on first down here are killers.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M29 1 10 Shotgun empty 0 1 4 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Roundtree 4
Again with the hitches and again Robinson throws the covered slot one instead of an easy first down on the outside. I don't BR completions but this is the second time this has happened. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M33 2 6 Shotgun empty 0 1 4 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Stonum Inc
Hitches on the other side of the field; this time PSU jumps the outside one and leaves Roundtree open; Robinson throws to that guy and is fortunate his throw is inaccurate or this is another possible pick six. (BR, 0, protection 1/1)
M33 3 6 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run PA QB draw Robinson 5
Bubble screen fake to a draw that opens up with a DT running upfield fast. Robinson avoids him and heads into open space. He should have the first down but for FR Hill, the other DT on this snap, tackling him from behind. Mansome for a FR DT. Michigan lets the clock run out.
Drive Notes: EOH, 10-28. Forcier Hail Mary not charted.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 10 (Pen -7)
In this four wide package one of the LBs flexes out on the boundary slot receiver, so this is sort of a nickel look. Michigan is trying to block the playside LB with Smith and that playside LB is reacting *very* quickly so there's no hole to the inside. Lewan(+1) gets a great kick on Hill, then drives him downfield as he tries to get inside, giving Robinson(+1) the corner. Robinson's heading for near first down yardage when Stonum(-2) stupidly clips a PSU player that he could have just walled off with the same result, turning a near first down into long yardage.
RUN+: Lewan, Robinson RUN-: Stonum(2)
M13 1 17 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Power veer Smith 4
Playside DE slants inside Webb(-1) and draws attention from the pulling lineman Schilling as result. Playside DT is doubled by Omameh(+1) and Huyge(+1) to drive him back two yards; Omameh pops out on the MLB. Unblocked SLB has a clear path to Smith, who runs up the backside of the DT double for a few. Still think Robinson needs to keep here periodically to put the fear of God in folk but I don't know if this is actually a wrong read. Hard to tell. No ZR.
M17 2 13 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run Inverted veer keeper Robinson 18
BWS already picture-paged this, which is a shame because I totally would have if he hadn't. This is the it play in college football right now, a staple of Oregon's offense and Auburn's, and I'll talk about it more later. Anyway: Schilling pulls around. Molk(+1) shoves Still way out of the play as he's expecting something different so when Ogbu pwns Omameh(-1) it doesn't matter because Robinson's optioned off the playside DE (ZR+1) and has so much space that he just runs right past Ogbu. Huyge has released straight downfield into Colasanti but because of the Omameh screwup he's blocking the wrong side; no matter, as CC fights through the block only to find the QB is headed the other way. Koger(+1) walls off the linebacker to the backside of the play and fights with him as he starts to cut back outside once Robinson heads out there. Stonum(+1) gets a good downfield block on the corner and forces him to release real late; that guy makes a saving tackle after the first down. (RPS +1)
RUN+: Molk, Robinson, Huyge, Stonum, Koger RUN-: Omameh
M35 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Belly handoff Shaw 4
Missed read of some variety because Robinson has plenty of room and should keep; the slot safety is crashing down but that should allow him to throw the bubble if he has no room. Instead he hands off. Huyge(+1) does a great job of driving the backside DE well off the LOS; Shaw runs right into the LB not really keeping contain on Robinson. (ZR -1)
RUN+: Huyge RUN-: Robinson
M40 2 6 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Improv TE seam Koger 60
Robinson's first read is a couple of hitches PSU is running under. He starts to throw but manages to prevent himself from making another INT-possible throw. Next he's got to dart through a bad block from Lewan(-1), who let his guy inside of him, and a bad cut from Shaw(-1). He smoothly steps up and as he does so finds Koger wiiide open about 25 yards downfield. Playside safety is gone because of the pump. Denard's throw is short and soft but in this situation that's the right idea; Koger brings it in and can set sail for the endzone with Roundtree running some slight interference on the safety. The  WR/CB guy gives Koger a frustration facemask for PSU's only penalty of the day. (CA+, 3, protection 1/2, Lewan –1, RPS +1)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 17-31, 7 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M47 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass PA seam Grady 19
Robinson pumps a fake to the left side of the field and then comes off to Grady, who is running into a gap between levels in the zone; Robinson nails him in the numbers right on time. Nice gainer. (DO, 3, protection 2/2)
O36 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Stonum Inc
Corner in excellent coverage. Probably gets there early but it doesn't matter since the ball appears to be one-hopped. (IN, 0, protection 1/1)
O36 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 1
Ogbu makes a terrific play by getting into Omameh at the LOS, seeing where the play is going because he's set up inside, and spinning off as Robinson nears the LOS to make a tackle for nothing by himself. All Conference player, Ogbu. Awesome individual play. Also -2 Omameh.
RUN+: RUN-: Omameh(2)
O35 3 9 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Flare screen Smith 19
Here's the effect of all those PA draws: neither linebacker gets out on this, or even attempts to. Roundtree(+1) gets a downfield block on the playside guy; Hemingway(+1) stalks the corner like whoah, and Lewan(+1) has the mobility to get out in front of the safety and force him to play it very conservatively. Smith just has to head outside and he's got the first down and more. (RPS +1)
O16 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 8
PSU sends a blitzer off the edge and Robinson seems to perceive this, because he's looking at the backside of the play from the start. Once Webb(+1) locks on to the blitzing LB and starts shoving him back Robinson slashes outside, where the blitz came from and there's no one left to deal with him. On the corner there's room for a good gain.
RUN+: Webb, Robinson RUN-:
O8 2 2 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 4
Terrific single block by Molk(+1) on Ogbu controls him and shoves him a yard downfield. Omameh and Huyge can't do much with Still, however (-1 Omameh, –1 Huyge), and Smith(+1) does well to see the LB crashing in on him from the outside and hit it up in the crease Molk's block provided. Schilling(+1) released into the MLB and got an effective block.
RUN+: Molk, Schilling, Smith RUN-: Omameh, Huyge
O4 1 G Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 3
Molk(+1) and Schilling(+1) scoop Ogbu and Molk gets out on the MLB. Omameh(+1) gets a good block on Still and all Smith has to do is run right behind the scoop to get near the goal line.
RUN+: Molk, Schilling, Omameh RUN-:
O1 2 G ? ? ? ? ? Run QB sneak Robinson 1
We don't get to watch this, but we do get a replay.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 24-38, 1 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M28 1 10 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Slot 4-3 Run QB draw Robinson 6
Penn State way off with the LBs and with a guy over the trips side for bubble protection. Ogbu splits Omameh(-0.5) and Molk (-0.5), coming right up the center as Denard tries to get loose; Huyge(+1) walls off then pushes back the DE, giving Robinson(+1) the corner.
RUN+: Robinson, Huyge RUN-: Molk(-0.5), Omameh(-0.5)
M34 2 4 Shotgun empty TE 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB power off tackle Robinson 4
Omameh pulls around. PSU looking for it, though. The MLB is right in the hole, getting outside of Omameh and forcing Robinson back into the middle. Lewan(+1) and Schilling(+1) have pancaked the playside DT, giving Michigan all but a first down. (RPS -1)
RUN+: Lewan, Schilling RUN-:
M38 3 In Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB power off tackle Robinson 8
Same play except Smith is in the backfield as a lead blocker. Omameh pulls and the MLB gets a double this time, with Smith(+1) leading the charge, and Robinson squeezes past the DT Lewan(+1) followed to the ground when he fell, getting the first down and a considerable chunk more.
RUN+: Smith, Robinson, Lewan RUN-:
M46 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB draw Robinson 12
Pump fake to a draw. One DT rushes upfield and takes himself out with help from Schilling; other is doubled and pushed away by Molk(+0.5) and Omameh(+0.5). Big lane for Robinson. He takes it, getting a good downfield block from Webb(+1) to open up the first down.
RUN+: Molk (0.5), Omameh(0.5), Webb, Robinson RUN-:
O42 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 3
Correct handoff with a LB running up the lane Robinson is looking at (ZR +1). Huyge(-1) gets slanted inside by Still, forcing Smith behind him and into the guy checking Denard. Other DT is doubled and Omameh(+1) gets a nice downfield block on the MLB to give Smith a little crack of daylight before he's tracked down.
RUN+: Omameh RUN-: Huyge
O39 2 7 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 0
Essentially what happened on the last play, with Omameh(-2) getting blown up by Ogbu. Ogbu funnels Smith into the unblocked LB checking Robinson.
RUN+: RUN-: Omameh(2)
O39 3 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Pass Flare screen Smith 17
PSU overloaded to the short side of the field with four guys near the hashmarks or outside of it. To the field there's just two guys. Michigan throws the flare screen to the field and since the one linebacker inside the hashmarks takes his initial steps away from it there's acres of space for Smith (CA, 3, screen) after the catch. Hardly anyone to block; Omameh(+1) peels off to set up that linebacker; Huyge(+1) gets a cut block on the free safety(!), and Roundtree and Stonum do adequate jobs on the outside guys. Smith runs straight upfield, getting tackled by backside pursuit after a big gain. (RPS +2, but mostly because PSU screwed up.)
RUN+: Omameh, Huyge RUN-:
O22 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 4
MLB pops Smith at the line and erases the intended crease. Robinson has to cut back, slithering in between the DTs since Omameh got a decent block before literally being chucked to the ground by Still. That is a strong dude. Doubles everywhere, guys everywhere, Robinson manages to minimax himself some yards. RPS -1.
RUN+: Robinson RUN-:
O18 2 6 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Roundtree 5
Finally throw the bubble and it works, but Roundtree has to cut it upfield because Hemingway(-1) could not seal the safety, who bounces of his block and tackles Roundtree. He gets bowled over doing it but still a good play. (CA, 3, screen)
RUN+: RUN-: Hemingway
O13 3 1 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB stretch Robinson 9
Molk(+2)makes this. He gets a great reach block on Ogbu, first getting his helmet across and then getting under Ogbu as he tries to shuck and come back around. Molk then drives Ogbu four yards downfield. This allows Robinson to cut behind Schilling and Colasanti, who are moving rapidly playside since Colasanti read and attacked the play; Schilling(+1) did a good job to push him but that should be a win for the defense if the DT is anywhere near the LOS. Lewan(+1) got a cut block on Still, so he's done, and that cut takes out the backside DE, too. The WLB can't flow because of the awesome Molk block. The other members of the front seven are flowing to the frontside, so it's into the secondary and first and goal.
RUN+: Molk(2), Schilling, Lewan, Robinson RUN-:
O4 1 G Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 4-4 Run Zone read keeper Robinson 4
Finally, man. Backside DE is let free and crashes; not used to standing up at this point. Robinson pulls (ZR+1) and there's no one to contain him. Koger(+1) gets a block on the playside LB; Lewan(+1) and Schilling(+1) crush the playside DT, and it's a walk-in for Robinson.
RUN+: Lewan, Schilling, Koger RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 31-38, 9 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M26 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Stonum Inc
Still drives upfield of Omameh and gets his hand on the ball. (BA, 0, protection 0/1, Omameh)
M26 2 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Slot 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 2
No hole as the Molk(-1) and Schilling(-1) double fails to contain Ogbu, who forces Robinson outside where a linebacker has had time to come down and tackle.
RUN+: RUN-: Molk, Schilling
M28 3 8 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Slot 4-3 Pass Comeback Stonum Inc
Play action; Robinson has to step up to get past a charging DE that Schilling picks off. Once he's done that he's got some space and time; he finds Stonum open for the first down and throws it well short. Stonum cannot dig it out. (IN, 1, protection 2/2)
M28 4 8 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Slot 4-3 Pass Hitch Smith Inc
This isn't actually terrible. It's well overthrown but it has to be since PSU has everything blanketed and there's a LB right in front of Smith. Robinson gets it over him but Smith mistimes his jump and the ball goes over him by a few inches. (CA, 2, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 31-41, 4 min 4th Q. EOG.

Sigh. My ennui.

It grows large.

There was this episode of House where an amply proportioned lady who came to the clinic was told she had a 25-pound cyst in her stomach that had to be removed and she was livid because her husband likes amply proportioned ladies.

Is there a question coming?

If Michigan football is good again what are the chances that my entire body consists of ennui and I'll evaporate into a fine mist when Michigan looks like a national championship contender in October?

Chart.

 

DENARD ROBINSON

Opponent DO CA MA IN BR TA BA PR SCR ZR DSR
2009, All Of It 1 7 6(2) 3(1) 4 4 - - ? - 44%
UConn 2 15(6) - - 3 2 - - 2 - 68%
Notre Dame 3 25(8) 3(1) 4 1 - 4(1) 2 - - 71%
UMass 4 10(3) - 1 1 - 1 1 - - 73%
BGSU 1 4(1) - - - - - - - 1/1 N/A
Indiana 2 8(2) 1(1) 5(1) - - - - - 9/11 66%
Michigan State 4 14(3) 1 7(1) 1 - - 2 2 N/A 68%
Iowa 1 11(3) 2 3(1) 2 - 1 - - 3/4 64%
Penn State 3 12(3) 1 4 2 - 1 - - 6/10 63%

TATE FORCIER

Opponent DO CA MA IN BR TA BA PR SCR ZR DSR
Iowa 3 14 1 2 4 - - 1 1 N/A 74%

Michigan averaged 5.6 YPC against Penn State, which is second only to Alabama's 5.9, and yet the offense seemed sluggish at times. That's mostly the above chart, especially when you consider that a couple of Robinson's CAs were throws that should have gone farther outside where first downs were to be had. As the season goes along it's becoming clear that Robinson's accuracy is something of an issue. He's still light years from where he was last year but the last few weeks he's thrown some errant balls, made some bad decisions, and generally looked like something other than a golden God.

The zone read metric above is also less than great, though since most of those minuses were plays on which Denard should have kept the ball the low score may be part of an attempt to keep him from carrying on every snap. I do think part of the tailback's lack of effectiveness is in the rarity of zone read keepers. Many times this year it's seemed like a small alteration to Michigan's blocking scheme could punish teams that get too predictable with what they do on the backside.

The other part of the offensive sluggishness is here:

  This Game   Totals
Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Stonum 3 0/3 0/1 1/1 9 1/6 6/10 16/16
Odoms : ( - - - 1 1/1 3/4 11/11
Hemingway 1 - 0/1 1/2 4 2/2 3/4 14/18
Stokes - - 0/1 - - - 1/2 -
Roundtree 1 - - 3/3 8 2/3 3/5 29/30
Grady - - 1/1 1/1 4 1/1 3/3 8/9
T. Robinson - - - - - 0/1 - 2/3
Gallon - - - 2/2 1 - - 3/3
                 
Koger - - - 1/1 - - 2/3 7/7
Webb - - - 1/1 - - - 3/3
                 
Smith - - 0/1 2/2 1 - 0/2 10/10
Shaw - - - - 1 0/1 0/1 4/4
McColgan - - - - - - - 1/1
Hopkins - - - - - - - -
Toussaint - - - - - - - -

Michigan had five reasonable opportunities to help Robinson out and only took one of them. Add in a flat drop from Hemingway and an o-fer for Stonum on three catches labeled 1—a couple of which were borderline—and it was easily the worst day of the year for Michigan receivers. They didn't do anything egregious but they didn't help out much either.

Hemingway's hands are verging on officially iffy—he's got four of Michigan's seven drops in just 18 opportunities.

And while we're talking about the passing game,

PROTECTION METRIC: 30/34, Lewan –2, Omameh –1, Smith -1

Excellent day from the line in pass protection but with Penn State scrambling at DE and content to sit back that's not a big surprise.

Run chart:

Offensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Huyge 7.5 4 3.5 Not much, if any, dropoff from Dorrestein
Lewan 8.5 1 7.5 Much easier task this week, same results.
Schilling 8.5 3 5.5 Did not suffer some of the big failures his interior linemates did.
Molk 12.5 6 6.5 A winning effort against a great pair of DTs. Two outstanding solo blocks.
Omameh 14.5 8 6.5 A little more eventful, which is overall worse than Molk, but still a nice day.
Khoury - - - DNP
Dorrestein - - - DNP
Webb 3 2 1 Michigan didn't use H-backs much.
Koger 3 1 2 Also some of these points should  belong on the other play, but can't be sure.
TOTAL 53.5 25 28.5 Solid performance from the interior line.
Backs
Player + - T Notes
Robinson 13 6 7 That six is a big negative. Some errors, some zone read misses.
Gardner - - - DNP
Forcier - - - Two plays.
Shaw - - - Bit player.
Smith 3 0.5 2.5 Par for the course.
Cox - - - DNP
Toussaint - - - DNP
Hopkins 1 1 0 Did not get many opportunities.
McColgan - - - DNP.
Jones - - - DNP
TOTAL 17 7.5 9.5 Meh day.
Receivers
Player + - T Notes
Stonum 2 2 0 Clip was pretty dumb.
Odoms - - - --
TRobinson - - - --
Roundtree 1 - -  
Grady - - - --
Gallon - - - --
Hemingway 2 1 1 --
TOTAL 5 3 2 Eh.
Metrics

By now this is the usual, right? The four guys who aren't the right tackle do okay to very well and the right tackle does okay. The lone exception was some tough swimming against Iowa; here Michigan ends up solidly positive across the board, though it's a step down from some of their earlier performances. Averaging 5.6 YPC when you're running two-thirds of the time against Ollie Ogbu and Devon Still is pretty impressive.

Ogbu, by the way, is a beast. I'm probably going to put together an All Big Ten team this year since I've been watching a ton of games and he's a lock. So Molk doing this…

And this…

…speaks pretty well to his ability.

You said some stuff about new stuff?

Yes. Michigan's added some tweaks to the run game. They ran the midline a couple times, but went away from it after Ogbu or Still (forget which exactly) formed up, forced a handoff, and then tackled that handoff twice. Penn State probably saw a ton of midline against Illinois, so they were ready.

Then there's this. I called it "power veer" but I'm not sure what it is, really:

So okay: this is similar to the veer play Oregon runs and a Illinois used to run and probably still does except the frontside end that you usually option off of is being blocked and instead of the line blocking down and the tackle rushing out to meet the playside LB, you pull a guard around. I'm not sure if this is a read at all since it's not apparent what Robinson would be reading or where he would go if he kept the ball. Maybe he pulls if the DE slants inside hard?

And then there's the inverted veer, AKA "That Thing Cam Newton Runs A Billion Times A Game." The first one didn't work so well but if you wait for the replay here you'll see that the only thing preventing this from being a Denard waltz into the endzone is Ogbu crushing Molk and coming around a block to make a great play:

The other time they ran it they grabbed 18 yards on second and thirteen. BWS broke that down; that play worked so well that Omameh got totally killed by Ogbu (surprise) and Denard still had vast amounts of room to cut past him.

You must have offensive annoyances, too, right?

Given the way opposing LBs continue to freak out about Denard's running they should spam the run-to-the-line play action far more heavily than they do. You'll have to vary the routes but some way to get opponents to loosen up against Michigan's isos and draws and whatnot would be helpful; a lot of times these days the problem with a particular run play isn't awful blocking but ravenous linebackers nailing guys at the LOS.

But other than that most of the stuff with the offense seems like execution. Michigan had the ball first and ten on their own two and called a rollout pass that had a critical first down but Robinson's throw was meh and Stonum couldn't help him out. You have to build your players' abilities into your playcalling model and it's hard to argue with the balance they've pitched right now. Also I'd like to see a few more bubbles. Michigan only ran one in this game and it certainly appeared like PSU was vulnerable. It took a great play for the Nittany Lions to hold down the one bubble they ran to five yards.

But mostly I like that in this game they could hypothetically only run one bubble without the world imploding. The last time we saw the flare screen actually run was, what, against Notre Dame? Michigan went back to it late in the Penn State game for two important twenty-yard gains on third and medium-to-long.

Heroes?

The offensive line as a whole.

Goats?

The receiving corps and a little bit of Denard.

What does it mean for Illinois and beyond?

Michigan will be able to score on anyone to some extent but three of the next four weeks feature challenging defenses. To score as consistently as they have been Michigan has to eliminate a good chunk of the execution errors in the passing game.

As for the offense itself, they're adding new wrinkles to the run game that should make it harder for opponents to key in on any one thing. It's night and day from the DeBord stretch left, stretch right offense. Michigan runs power, iso, inside zone, stretches, veers, damn near everything, and runs all of it at least decently.

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