I learned some things yesterday... UConn

I learned some things yesterday... UConn

Submitted by Lordfoul on September 5th, 2010 at 8:52 AM

Yesterday's game showed me just how different it can feel to be a college football fan.  It was strange to question whether Michigan was legit, to wonder if we might be embarrassed by a blowout loss in our own Bigger and Newly Redecorated House.  Every turn in our favor filled me with relief more than excitement.  In the end I felt calm, with none of the jubilant, happy-dancing, shake my ass celebration that followed last year's blowout opener.  It seems that the last two seasons, and especially last year's collapse, have allowed my brain to be more detached from the game emotionally.  I am happy and relieved that we won, but I am afraid to jump on the wagon that could be heading for another cliff.

I do think this year will be different though, because I learned some things yesterday...

On Offense:

  1. Denard Robinson is so awesome, he deserves to have his name spelled out in its entirety whenever it is written or spoken.  
  2. Michigan is capable of good turnover Karma after all, what with recovering all three bad fumbles/muffed punts committed.  (Gallon, really?  WTF?)
  3. Michael Shaw is possibly the best compliment to Denard Robinson at tailback because of speed.  When the two of them come together for the exchange the defense almost has to commit before they know who has the ball in order to have a chance at stopping the play.
  4. UConn showed what happens when the defense does not commit.  The combined speed of Shaw and Denard Robinson tears the defense asunder.
  5. We are spoiled at Michigan when it comes to sure handed receivers. 

On Defense:

  1. GERG has installed the first defense I can recall that seems to actually "bend" but not "break."  The lack of big, game-changing plays was refreshing.
  2. Giving up yards while making the other team sustain a drive can actually be a recipe for success.  The one turnover of the game seemed almost scripted to illustrate the virtues of this defensive approach.
  3. Ipso-facto, I guess GERG is actually a good coach that maybe we can all have a little faith in.
  4. Craig Roh is going to be a huge factor in this defense's success.  When left unmarked (or marked by a TB) he creates big problems in the backfield.  Marking him leaves less beef to stop Mike Martin and Co. 
  5. Jonas Mouton and Obi Ezeh are good at some things at least.  Mouton can really deliver the wood, and Ezeh is a sure tackler.  Hopefully they can show continued improvement.  Our run D up the middle still looks pretty bad at times.

Looking Ahead:

So the opener is a win once again (YAY!).  ND may expose our defense more with their spread attack, but after watching them some yesterday I feel good about our chances.  If Charlie was still their coach I would be penciling in a win.  I think we should be ready for some regression on offense though.  Studying the film from the UConn game will no doubt give the ND coaches an edge that UConn couldn't have.  Can a defense focused on stopping Denard Robinson actually slow down this offense?  There is still much to learn...


Shout out to Kovacs who looked even better than last year.   Dude is still way undersized and gets dragged at times, but he was no doubt in great position to make plays.  

Also let's all try to keep away from the Tate bashing.  That is a 19yo that played his heart out for this team a year ago, only to be sitting at 3rd string now.  I could plainly make out that he was simply trying to hide from the cameras at the end of the game and we should all try to have some respect for what he is going through.  For all sorts of reasons this team needs him and I hope he feels that and stays.

Edit: I forgot to mention our lack of penalties.  One personal foul at the very beginning and that was all she wrote.  The discipline of this team, should it hold going forward, may be what keeps the results mostly positive.



Submitted by jvp123 on March 26th, 2010 at 7:23 PM

= -5. But seriously folks...

I have been reading that it looks like the 3-3-5 is in fact the primary defense being used right now in practice. The D-Line will be Martin, Campbell, RVB, but right now Greg Banks is in Martin's spot. The Spur and Bandit are the Strong (Box) Safeties that will line up outside the D-line and closer to the line of scrimmage than the Linebackers. The Spur and Bandit spots are occupied by Kovacs and Mike Williams. Your MLB is still Ezeh, LOLB is Mouton, and ROLB is Roh. Woolfolk and JT Floyd are your CB's and Vlad is your FS (Cam Gordon is in his place right now)

I also wanted to put this topic in because it looks like the 4-3 Under is also being implemented with the same line-up, only Roh is the 4th D-lineman with his hand down and Mike Williams is the new SAM.

I think most of us on this board that were going back and forth about 4-2-5 and 3-3-5 changes with Roh putting his hand down, but it looks like instead it will be GERG's Under package.

New LB Coach Candidate: Ruffin McNeill?

New LB Coach Candidate: Ruffin McNeill?

Submitted by CCBlue on January 14th, 2010 at 12:50 PM

It appears that the much beloved Ruffin McNeill, the former DC and Interim Head Coach for Texas Tech, has been fired by the new Tuberville regime. He was apparently also their LBs Coach.


Would love to get him in the mix for LB Coach consideration as possible. He appeared to be beloved by the players who had supported him to replace Leach after the Alamo Bowl win. He seems like a players coach would also likely give us more recruiting chops/connections in TX and the South.

Is animosity between teammates normal?

Is animosity between teammates normal?

Submitted by kenfizzle on November 9th, 2009 at 9:54 AM

So after 10 games, I think its finally time for me to pose the question to MGoWorld, is animosity between a teams offense and defense a good thing or a bad thing?

My boy from HS is a manager and my roomates GF is a trainer, they both say that our offense and defense HATE each other, especially in practice. I can imagine the offense not enjoying the D allowing points every drive and 400 yds a game, but from what I've heard the D hates the offense more. Now I've never played organized football but is this normal? Is it an overall detriment to a team's chemistry? Is this due to Rich Rod's style of letting the DC do all the defensive coaching? I'm curious what you guys all think.

*EDIT: This is not something new that has been happening only since our recent losses. This has been happening since the beginning of camp.

Strange Defensive Formations At Times

Strange Defensive Formations At Times

Submitted by those.who.stay. on October 25th, 2009 at 1:11 PM

I don't really want to discuss much the play of the defense. It is too soon and I'm not really in the mood to talk about the execution side of yesterday's game. However, I did notice some very strange formations out there at times.

For instance, IIRC Penn State lined up in a two wide set. Woolfolk was lined up at corner, Warren was lined up as safety on the same side and Ezeh was in man coverage against the other WR.

Seemed crazy to me. Anyone else notice this?

The End of the Spinner?

The End of the Spinner?

Submitted by marvel99 on August 9th, 2009 at 9:09 AM

Despite constant speculation from the MGoBoard experts, there actually is no Spinner. According to GERG, there is no fancy name for the position.

"There’s not much hybrid about the linebacker-safety position Stevie Brown will play this year. Robinson said he doesn’t call the position “spinner” or anything else. “He’s our SAM,” or strong-side linebacker, Robinson said."

Can't say that I'm disappointed, Spinner doesn't sound like a football term anyway.

Full article with some notes on the DEATHBACKER! (or Quick) position.


Brandon Graham, the 4-3 under, and other defensive musings

Brandon Graham, the 4-3 under, and other defensive musings

Submitted by remdies on July 15th, 2009 at 12:39 AM

Warning! I am not a coach and I haven't played football since eighth grade. However, I have taken an interest in offensive and defensive schemes lately. Most of what I have learned has come from reading Smart Football, Three and Out, Trojan Football Analysis, and of course Brian; especially his piece in HTTV 2009.

I think one of the biggest reasons why the hybrid positions are getting so confused is the fact that coaches all have different names for the same hybrid position. To Pete Carroll the “Spinner” is called the “Elephant” and others call it the “Quick.” All this position really is, is the WDE. Now in the 4-3 under (at least the one we are using) he is moved way outside the tackle. The reason I believe we do this is so that we can use a smaller player and that is able to speed rush the passer, hold weak side contain, and fall back into coverage for a zone blitz. With the player being so far outside they don't need to be as refined in their technique and can use their athleticism in space. This is the position that is being battled for by Evans, Herron, and Watson.

Brandon Graham is going to be the SDE this year. This of course could limit his effectiveness as a pass rusher. However, he has the most refined technique of all the defensive ends and will probably draw many double teams. These double teams will most likely lead to one-on-one battles for at least two defensive linemen (which I am considering the “Deathbacker/Spinner/Quick/Elephant” to be).

The other hybrid position in our defensive is the one occupied by Steve Brown. But just like the “Spinner” is just a WDE but with a fancy name, Mr. Brown's position is just the SLB but not the John Thompson version. Obviously, spread offenses are everywhere and to combat this defensive coordinators made the SLB more like a safety. But they also want someone who can handle a tight end in man coverage and in run situations so this may be why the coordinators just didn't use a normal nickel package. In the 4-3 under the SLB is in an inside-foot to outside-foot alignment on the tight end also called a 9-tech. If there isn't a tight end then I believe he will play nickelback to the strong side – however GERG determines which side is the strong side.

Different coaches use different conventions for which side is the strong side. Some call the strong side the side with the tight end. Others call the strong side the side to the quarterback's front (non-blind) side. I am not sure but I think that we will be using the first convention.



Note that Steve Brown and Brandon Graham are going to be on the same side. And both will be lined up on the line of scrimmage.

According to Pete Carrol the WLB is protected in this scheme, so they don't have to be “thick necked jokers” either, they need to run sideline to sideline and make plays. This is Jonas Mouton's position.

It looks to me like a guard might have a free release on Obi in this formation, but I would like to defer this question to someone who knows more about football than I.

Earlier someone posed the question as to why we don't use Brandon at the WDE position (they called it the 'Shembackler' which I like but for clarity's sake I'm sticking with WDE). This was actually why I started writing this in the first place. It seems to me that what is most important for the WDE position in this scheme is the ability to rush the passer and the ability to play in space. Brandon can most certainly rush the passer and given that he played linebacker in HS he could probably play in space – not to mention his freakish athleticism! So why don't we move him there? I think the answer is because we don't have a DE as polished as Brandon to play the SDE, especially since Ryan Van Bergen could be starting at the 3-tech DT! We have athletes, and this is the number one criteria to playing the WDE spot in our 4-3 under; as far as I can tell anyway. Hopefully they can at least speed rush the passer; playing well in space would also be helpful.

On to other musings! If our starting D-line is going to look like BG, Martin, Van Bergen, someone at WDE then I would think we should be pretty good at penetrating the O-line (clean thoughts people!). Does this mean we will be susceptible to counters and traps? Can someone weigh in on what the advantages of having a small line like ours might be? Plus, I think we can all envision what the disadvantages are so I was wondering what the bright side could be.

If you are craving more info I would recommend reading this Trojan Analysis link keeping in mind that Steve Brown is the SLB in the diagrams and BG is the DE on his side. Then delve as much as you wish! Chris Brown and gsimmons85 have so much football knowledge packed into their sites you can read on for days andlike Brianforget what the sun looks like!

I'm not one to get defensive so feel free to tear this apart! In fact I welcome any criticism since I will most likely learn something or get a laugh.

One last thing. If you frequent mgoblog and you don't buy HTTV 2009 then you are a fool! In fact you will be known as a fool all your life and when you die all people will say about you is: 'The fool is dead.' So don't be a fool and buy HTTV 2009 today!