Upon Further Review 2018: Defense vs Maryland

Upon Further Review 2018: Defense vs Maryland Comment Count

Brian October 11th, 2018 at 3:33 PM

image-6_thumb_thumb5_thumb_thumb_thu[1]SPONSOR NOTE: Reminder that Matt is hanging out at the Charity Tailgate at 327 East Hoover (if you were at the preseason MGoEvents this year and last it's the same place). It's right next to the train tracks on Hoover. The band goes right by it on their way to the stadium, which is cool, it supports charity, there's pizza and barbecue and beer, and the GameDay crew might stop by. Say hi.

When not tailgating Matt is also a person who will get you a mortgage right quick from the comfort of your own home.

FORMATION NOTES: Most notable development was the near-elimination of 3-3-5 snaps: just six, all of them on passing downs. Maryland ran a bunch of stuff from under center to facilitate their jet sweep game, and brought out a lot of pistol diamond formations when Piggy was in.

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Nothing worked until real late.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: With Gary absent and Dwumfour exiting in the first half, the DT rotation was mostly Kemp, Mone, and Marshall. Jeter and Myers came in late. At DE, Winovich was his usual omnipresent self until the final two drives. Paye got the bulk of the Gary snaps with about 10 from Hutchinson and 10 more during the backups portion of the game.

At LB, Bush and Hudson nearly omnipresent. Gil and Ross back to splitting about 50/50, with the usual ten or so snaps from Uche and Furbush. Secondary the usual.

[After THE JUMP: a lot of runs that go nowhere]

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Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs Maryland

Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs Maryland Comment Count

Brian October 10th, 2018 at 5:44 PM

image-6_thumb_thumb5_thumb_thumb_thu[2]SPONSOR NOTE: Reminder that Matt is hanging out at the Charity Tailgate at 327 East Hoover (if you were at the preseason MGoEvents this year and last it's the same place). There are food trucks, beer, televisions, a giant colorful bus, and it's right next to Revelli so the band will march past. Check it out.

When not tailgating Matt is also a person who will get you a mortgage right quick from the comfort of your own home. If you need one, he's the man, man.

FORMATION NOTES: Michigan added an entire bomber wing to the right side of their line for various snaps:

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These were part of a larger 3TE package that also had some more balanced looks, one from the gun. These were almost all runs. The above package specifically was a way to use the Big Big Boys on dive plays without exposing the backs to interlopers from the outside.

The rest of the day was pretty much par for the course. There were a few more pistol snaps(7), a couple of which featured the biggest lineup Michigan can muster save for Oliver Martin's presence, which is RB Mason, FB Wangler, and two TEs.

I had 26 snaps from under center, 7 from the pistol, and 36 from the gun, FWIW.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Mostly the usual. Large uptick in Wangler snaps, possibly as middle finger to DJ Durkin. Higdon got the large bulk of the RB snaps, with a few going to Mason and Wilson. Bell and Martin have settled in as the backup outside WRs. Gentry barely left the field; McKeon also got a ton of snaps. Eubanks got maybe ten as Michigan used some 3TE sets.

OL was the usual.

[after THE JUMP: it's a Zentry(!) kind of day]

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Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs Northwestern

Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs Northwestern Comment Count

Brian October 4th, 2018 at 5:31 PM

[Patrick Barron]

image-6_thumb_thumb5_thumb_thumb_thuSPONSOR NOTE: Reminder that Matt is hanging out at the Charity Tailgate at 327 East Hoover (if you were at the preseason MGoEvents this year and last it's the same place). Food trucks, beer, TVs, and also those things. When not tailgating Matt is also a person who will get you a mortgage right quick from the comfort of your own home. If you need one, he's the man, man.

FORMATION NOTES: Even more gun/pistol than usual. Up to almost 70%, and a number of the exceptions were short yardage/goal line stuff. I have just 11 snaps with a fullback on the field, and here's something I never thought I'd say: that's probably not enough.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: At this point this is all as expected. OL, QB, RB, FB the usual given Chris Evans's injury. Wilson got scattered snaps and nobody else saw the field at RB; Wangler got a few snaps but it was Mason when there was a FB. The most notable item was dearth of McKeon snaps after his drop. Usually one drop doesn't get you exiled. I wonder if something else was going on.

DPJ, Perry, and Collins got the large bulk of the WR snaps, with Martin and Bell getting the remainder. There was a distinctly Carr-ish thing where Michigan tended to tip run when Martin and Bell were in.

[After THE JUMP: a bit of a festivus]

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Upon Further Review 2018: Defense vs Nebraska

Upon Further Review 2018: Defense vs Nebraska Comment Count

Brian September 27th, 2018 at 3:34 PM

image-6_thumb_thumb5_thumb_thumb_thumbSPONSOR NOTE: Reminder that Matt is hanging out at the Charity Tailgate at 327 East Hoover (if you were at the preseason MGoEvents this year and last it's the same place). Food trucks, beer, TVs, and a large bus you can honk the horn on. This is not a metaphor. It is a literal true thing. You'll be able to find it at Northwestern if you get lucky.

When not tailgating Matt is also a person who will get you a mortgage right quick from the comfort of your own home.

FORMATION NOTES: Nebraska was all gun and almost all single back, single TE. There were scattered snaps with another blocky/catchy type on the field. The only thing of note were frequent snaps with a covered slot receiver:

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Uh. The idea is that the two outside guys are on the LOS and the #3 WR is not. This was a bad example but I forgot to grab a screenshot of it and the only clip is the failed RPO. Michigan did this on offense some as well. I've never been a fan since you're telling the defense a bunch of stuff about what you're doing and hoping they aren't prepared for your thing. This hijink has been around long enough that you should have a plan.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: A super quick hook for many defenders. Kemp, Mone, Gary, and Winovich all sat for the entire second half; Gary did come off a little sooner than the rest of the D but Winovich only got a few more snaps than he did—could just be a rotation thing. Second team line remained as you'd expect (Paye-Marshall-Dwumfour-Hutchinson); Rueben Jones, Donovan Jeter, and walk-on Carl Myers also got a fair number of snaps late.

LB level lasted much longer on the field for obscure reasons. Hudson's was less obscure, I guess. Bush and Ross played deeper into the game than any other non-Hudson starters. Ross is starting to assert himself as the starting WLB, with about a 2:1 snap ratio vs Gil. Furbush is still ahead of Uche, who got maybe a half-dozen snaps, and when Bush finally went out it was Jordan Anthony who replaced him.

DBs the usual. Hawkins, Kelly-Powell, Hughes, and Ambry Thomas all got significant backup snaps; absence of Myles Sims (and all other DBs) means redshirt is coming.

[After THE JUMP: the usual]

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Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs Nebraska

Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs Nebraska Comment Count

Brian September 26th, 2018 at 4:46 PM

[Eric Upchurch]

image-6_thumb_thumb5_thumb_thumbSPONSOR NOTE: Reminder that Matt is hanging out at the Charity Tailgate at 327 East Hoover (if you were at the preseason MGoEvents this year and last it's the same place). Food trucks, beer, TVs, and also those things. When not tailgating Matt is also a person who will get you a mortgage right quick from the comfort of your own home. If you need one, he's the man, man.

FORMATION NOTES: A bit more balanced, with Michigan going shotgun (or pistol) on about 40 snaps and under center on the other 30. All murderback snaps were three TE ace sets:

mason form

Nebraska stuck in a 3-4 with their line shaded to the run strength for most of the day, frequently adding their strong safety into the box after starting him from the gray area.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Patterson, then McCaffrey and Peters at QB. No Milton, boo. At RB Higdon a clear #1, Wilson a clear #2, and Samuels sprinkled in on a couple carries before garbage time. By the middle of the third it was Samuels and a debuting Christian Turner. Mason got some run at RB, obviously. Jared Wangler got some backup FB snaps.

Collins and DPJ your primary outside WRs with a healthy dose of Oliver Martin, who stayed out there deep into the game. Ronnie Bell got a bunch of second-half snaps; Ambry Thomas got three total. TE the usual with maybe a little more Eubanks because of the 3TE sets and garbage time. Redshirt freshman walk-on Carter Selzer got snaps in the fourth quarter, which is a definitive statement that Schoonmaker and Muhammad are redshirting.

OL was the usual on both first and second units, except that Michigan brought in Andrew Vastardis at C after one drive and bumped Stephen Spanellis out to RG. Stueber and Paea got the last drive.

[After THE JUMP: down G over and over]

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Upon Further Review 2018: Defense vs SMU

Upon Further Review 2018: Defense vs SMU Comment Count

Brian September 21st, 2018 at 10:57 AM

image-6_thumb_thumb5_thumbSPONSOR NOTE: If you need a tailgate location and a mortgage at the same time there's only one place to go: the Charity Tailgate at 327 East Hoover (if you were at the preseason MGoEvents this year and last it's the same place). Food trucks! Beer! A home lending expert! TV! Watched Nebraska lose to Troy there last week, which was certainly a thing of relevance this week.

FORMATION NOTES: Just 15 3-3-5 snaps versus 51 with four DL, and almost all of those 3-3-5 instances were passing down exotics. All but two, in fact. And they got gashed on one. Thus explaining the lack of that.

I should probably stop noting "press" since every single Michigan snap is press coverage, but the split between one (slash zero) and two high is a good proxy for zone snaps versus man snaps. Michigan was in a two-high look for about a third of its snaps.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Less rotation on the DL, which was in its new normal setup of Gary/Mone/Kemp/Winovich backed up by Paye, Hutchinson, and Dwumfour. Dwumfour's snaps in this game were almost exclusively pass rush DT in the 3-3-5. Without Solomon there was no real backup NT; Donovan Jeter only got in on the last drive. Marshall dressed IIRC but did not play.

The usual at LB with Bush omnipresent save injury and Gil and Ross splitting snaps approximately down the middle; Jordan Glasgow came in for Hudson after the targeting call. Furbush was the extra guy when Michigan added a pass rush LB. Uche did not play.

Usual CB rotation with Long ahead of the game in snaps slightly; Ambry Thomas got maybe a dozen snaps late. Brad Hawkins rotated in behind Metellus and Kinnel, with reduced playing time after the big bust. Jaylen Kelly-Powell, who's been quietly hurt, got snaps on the last drive.

[After THE JUMP: slant slant slant slant]

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Upon Further Review: Offense vs SMU

Upon Further Review: Offense vs SMU Comment Count

Brian September 19th, 2018 at 6:54 PM

[Patrick Barron]

image-6_thumb_thumb5_thumbSPONSOR NOTE: Reminder that Matt is hanging out at the Charity Tailgate at 327 East Hoover (if you were at the preseason MGoEvents this year and last it's the same place). Food trucks, beer, TVs, and also those things. When not tailgating Matt is also a person who will get you a mortgage right quick from the comfort of your own home. If you need one, he's the man, man.

FORMATION NOTES: Closer to a 50/50 gun/under-center split, although a high number of goal line snaps (6) and short yardage I-Form (5) distort things. Outside of short yardage is was close to the 2/3rds gun ratio we've seen so far this year. SMU responded by playing MSU's defense, more or less:

4-3 over

4-3 over, over and over. Their safeties were less aggressive; their linebackers were more aggressive; their CBs were more prone to off coverage than press. Still pretty close.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: As per usual on the OL and at TE. With Higdon out, Wilson got maybe a third of the snaps. O'Maury Samuels got one near the end. WR rotation also pretty much what you'd expect, except Grant Perry got a fair amount of his PT as an outside WR since Michigan ran a ton of 2TE sets—2/3rds of their snaps. There were even three 3TE sets.

Ben Mason got his usual dozen snaps, in this case heavily slanted to short yardage.

[After THE JUMP: run woes, or no?]

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Upon Further Review 2018: Defense vs WMU

Upon Further Review 2018: Defense vs WMU Comment Count

Brian September 13th, 2018 at 4:13 PM

image-6_thumb_thumb5SPONSOR NOTE: Hey folks. In addition to providing mortgages, Matt also tailgates. You can hang out and support a good cause by going to the Charity Tailgate at 327 East Hoover (if you were at the preseason MGoEvents this year and last it's the same place). Go around back to the MGoBus and say hi.

FORMATION NOTES: Increased emphasis on four-man fronts, with about 2/3rds of all snaps featuring four DL. That's up from about 50/50 in the opener, and with almost half of Michigan's 3-3-5 snaps on passing downs standard downs were heavily 4-2-5. WMU spent almost the whole day in a three-wide shotgun featuring The Biggest Boy at H-back. He featured on this play that I still find hilarious almost a week later:

Odell Miller is listed at 270 on the roster and that is a lie, a lie, a lie. Harbaugh had to admire WMU running out a nose tackle as an offensive skill position player.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: With Marshall out, Carlo Kemp got the start and did well. Rest of the DL rotation was similar to the first game, with Bryan Mone getting even more snaps because of the Solomon injury and the reduction in 3-3-5 snaps. Paye and Hutchinson semi-frequently spotted Gary and Winovich, with Rueben Jones getting a little time late. Donovan Jeter got some late snaps as well. Dwumfour rotated in semi-frequently but was a clear backup to Kemp and not in a platoon.

LB level was Hudson and Bush for every snap and a rotation of Gil and Ross at WLB, with a slight Ross bias. Jordan Glasgow and Jordan Anthony were the late replacements for Hudson and Bush. The usual CB rotation between the three guys, with Watson being more prominent than the other two—a change. Kinnel omnipresent; Metellus got pulled for Hawkins after his personal foul and somewhat frequently after that.

[After THE JUMP: Kemp story.]

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Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs WMU

Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs WMU Comment Count

Brian September 12th, 2018 at 4:24 PM

[Eric Upchurch]

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SPONSOR NOTE: HomeSure Lending will provide you a mortgage. It's a simple process, really: some tax returns, maybe some other stuff, and then Matt works with various lenders to get the best deal. It is a quick process, as well, and one where you know the guy providing your mortgage has your best interests at heart because he gets business through word of mouth and MGoBlog advertising. Also he has opinions you can talk about related to Michigan in down times.

FORMATION NOTES: About 50/50 between shotgun and other stuff, with an emphasis on TEs and WRs—just 12 fullback snaps for Mason. Nothing stood out as unusual. WMU responded with a four-man front on every play and some rolled up safeties... sometimes absurdly so.

This was less of a problem for the run game than you'd think but RBs did have to dodge these guys at the line from time to time. The flipside was the Nico Collins touchdown, which was super easy because a safety lined up at eight yards.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Same OL as the opener. Second team was Mayfield/Filiaga/Spanellis/Honigford/Hudson. QBs went Patterson, McCaffrey, Peters. Higdon and Evans got closer to equal reps with Wilson indeed the #3. WR rotation was pretty much the same as the opener, with DPJ and Collins clear-ish starters on the outside and Martin the only guy rotating in much. TEs were the same.

Muhammad, Schoonmaker, Turner, Milton, and Hayes not getting in strongly implies redshirts are coming for them.

[After THE JUMP: I am down with the G]

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Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs Notre Dame

Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs Notre Dame Comment Count

Brian September 7th, 2018 at 4:31 PM

image (6)_thumbSPONSOR NOTE: Hey new logo. Matt Demorest has boiled the logo down to its bare essentials, thus symbolizing how simple a mortgage can be when acquired from a qualified, dedicated provider running his own business. At this point the logo can get no simpler, and therefore Matt has reached his final form as a very fast mortgage acquisition machine. Take advantage of this.

FORMATION NOTES: Nothing particularly odd from Michigan. They were about 70% gun, which is obviously a huge uptick. A couple of hurry-up drives (-ish) at the end of the game were always going to be from the gun; even without those Michigan was almost two-thirds shotgun.

ND ran a very standard 4-2-5.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Patterson except for the extended cramping period in the second half when McCaffrey played. Runyan/Bredeson/Ruiz/Onwenu/JBB the whole way except one snap for Spanellis after Ruiz's helmet came off. Higdon got a large majority of the RB snaps, with Chris Evans the only other back to play.

At WR Collins, DPJ, and Martin got all the outside snaps with Perry getting all the slot snaps. McKeon and Gentry got almost all the TE snaps with the occasional contribution from Eubanks.

[After THE JUMP: it says something about expectations that I felt this could have been worse?]

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