Upon Further Review 2011: Offense vs Purdue Comment Count

Brian November 2nd, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Formation notes: We have lost control of the Denard categorization. Here's a quasi-Fritz with two twinned WRs:


They also ran this without the overload. Note the covered TE. Michigan's been covering the TE for big chunks of this year but never quite as frequently as they did in this game.

We also got Denard in the slot in a not-weird formation:


Denard was also an outside WR in a conventional ace set. On all of these plays he came in motion for a jet sweep fake or ran the end-around motion.

There was also the triple stack that featured in the Multiple Flood picture pages.


Michigan deployed a variant of this with double stacks on both sides of the LOS.

Substitution notes: The line was what it ususally is except Barnum got three drives towards the end of the half before tweaking his ankle and they finally pulled Lewan on the last drive I charted. Gardner you know about; he's getting a dozen or so snaps per game.

Hopkins played 80% of the FB snaps; Toussaint was the main back with Smith featuring in occasionally and getting his usual massive throwback screen; Shaw was the third guy. WR rotation was the usual. Jeremy Jackson may be getting a little more PT as the year progresses. Brandon Moore got in some actual snaps in place of Watson.

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M30 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Power off tackle Toussaint 15
Koger and Lewan block down with Molk and Schofield pulling and Hopkins acting as another lead blocker. Lewan(+1) buries the interior of the Purdue line. Koger(+2) has a battle on his hands; he eventually wins it, sealing the playside DE and giving Toussaint the outside. Molk(+1) shoves a linebacker attacking from the inside to the ground and Schofield kicks out the playside LB. Toussaint has a crease and his FB has no one to block until the first down marker. This makes yards.
RUN+: Lewan, Koger(2), Schofield, Molk RUN-:
M45 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 under Run QB iso Robinson 5
WDE jumps the snap count; Denard fumbles said snap. This doesn't have much impact on the play since it's going up the middle on a QB draw/iso type thing and he was going to delay anyway; the delay is now just picking up the ball. Omameh(+1) takes on a heavy rush from one DT and shoves him upfield, out of the play. Molk(+0.5) gets an easy downfield block on one LB; Smith(+1) has to dance through some traffic to get out on his guy; Robinson starts cutting behind those blocks into the secondary when Huyge(-1) loses his guy upfield; that guy disconnects to tackle.
RUN+: Omameh, Smith, Molk(0.5), Robinson(0.5) RUN-: Huyge
50 2 5 Denard jet 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Jet stretch Robinson -1
This is basically an outside zone. DE blows way upfield of Koger(-1), cutting off the outside and taking out Smith. Robinson is now hesitant(-1); instead of bursting to one side or the other of Molk's block he slows up, slips to the ground, and loses yardage. The cutback was there because Schofield(+0.5) slashed the backside DE to the ground; hitting it up hard past Molk would have gotten a few.
RUN+: Schofield(0.5), Molk(0.5) RUN-: Koger, Robinson(2)
M49 3 6 Shotgun stack 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Comeback Hemingway 10
Three WRs stacked behind each other on the wide side of the field. They split, with Grady on an out, Roundtree a post, and Hemingway a comeback. Denard steps up into a clean pocket on a five man rush and zips it to Hemingway, who is covered well. Good timing. This looks like a passing offense. You know. (CA+, 3, protection 3/3)
O41 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass TE Out Koger Inc
Robinson looks left, pumps left, comes to the TE out right, and nearly throws a pick as Holland undercuts the route and gets his hands on the ball. Preview of his INT here. Wonder if Borges saw something that looked vulnerable that Purdue changed. (BR, 0, protection 2/2) This isn't hesitation or anything—Robinson throws the ball just as Koger turns for it. Purdue only had six in the box, which screams “check to run” to me.
O41 2 10 Fritz twins 2 1 2 Nickel even Run Reverse Gallon 11 – 15 Pen
Screenshot above. Backside DE is keeping contain on Gardner; when he sees the handoff he takes off after Robinson. When Gallon gets it he's done. Gardner(+1) gets the key block on the containing corner; once that guy is being fussed with there's no one inside to deal with Gallon. Hemingway(-1) did not get out on the LB over him (Holland); that guy eventually runs down the line to tackle. This is pretty bad by Hemingway, who had all day to seal off a basically stationary opponent. RPS+2. Lewan gets a personal foul about 30 yards downfield; no replay.
RUN+: Gardner, Gallon RUN-: Hemingway
O45 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Hitch Hemingway 6
Simple pitch and catch with Purdue evidently in man. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
O39 2 4 Denard jet 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Counter pitch Smith 5
Jet motion, fake handoff, outside pitch with pullers. These are Huyge and Molk w/ Omameh and Koger blocking down. Koger(+1) seals his guy with authority; Huyge(+1) kicks out the corner; Molk(+1) picks off Holland; Schofield(-1) watched Holland, his intended block, run too far outside too quickly and turns around instead of trying to get out on the safety. Safety tackles
RUN+: Koger, Molk, Huyge RUN-: Schofield
O34 1 10 Ace twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 over Pass Throwback screen Gallon 23
WR in the backfield motions out. They run the play that always works. It works. Huyge(+1) gets enough of the corner and that's all she wrote. Molk is sitting, waiting for someone to block who never actually makes contact. Ditto Omameh. Omameh(+1) did do a good job of maintaining a position that caused the safety to keep backing up; he can't do anything when the guy lunges at Gallon twenty yards downfield. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +2)
RUN+: Huyge, Gallon, Omameh RUN-:
O11 1 10 Ace twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Pitch sweep Toussaint 8
Same motion. With two TEs, one covered, to the same side of the line as a tucked-in Odoms this screams run outside. It is run outside. Playside DE is beaten by Watson(+2), ending up pancaked five yards downfield. With that edge gone Purdue is in trouble. Koger(+0.5) kicks the CB; Schofield(+0.5) gets a shove on the playside LB; Odoms blocks Holland, a LB, to the ground. Toussaint can run until the last guy cuts him down. This was also massively open on the cutback with Lewan(+1) crushing one TE and Molk peeling back to get the other when no one showed for him.
RUN+: Watson(2), Koger(0.5), Schofield(0.5), Odoms, Lewan, Molk RUN-:
O3 2 2 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 4-3 over Run Zone read belly Smith 1
Short clubs Schofield(-2) to the inside; all Schofield has to do is have a mediocre handle on him and this is likely a TD with the backside DT getting doubled and Denard holding that DE outside. As it is Smith has to cut back and still gets tackled by Short. He did a good job just to get his yard.
RUN+: Smith RUN-: Schofield
O2 3 1 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Goal line Run QB power Robinson 2
Purdue has a stunt on that clears a big hole right where the play is going. Two LBs flow hard into it. Omameh(+1) pulls into Holland and puts him on the ground; Toussaint(+0.5) stands up the other. Robinson(+1) cuts back behind them and reaches the endzone before the backside help can run him down.
RUN+: Robinson, Omameh, Toussaint(0.5) RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-7, 7 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M37 1 10 Ace 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Run Inside zone Toussaint 2
Denard in the slot, running end-around action. This pulls the playside DE way upfield; Toussaint cuts back behind as Omameh(+0.5) and Huyge(+0.5) double and blow up the playside DT. Toussaint is cutting behind that block and is about to hit it up into the safeties creeping to the LOS when Schofield's guy fights through his block and tackles as he passes the LOS. -1 Schofield. I don't think Toussaint did anything wrong here since he's trying to hit it north-south and hugging the hip of that double. He can't expect this DT to come in out of nowhere.
RUN+: Omameh(0.5), Huyge(0.5) RUN-: Schofield
M39 2 8 Fritz 2WR 2 1 2 4-3 even Pass HB pass Gallon Inc
Counter pitch that's actually a halfback pass. Smith has pressure from a DE keeping contain and Gallon is covered; Smith chucks it anyway. Fortunately incomplete. Not charted as a pass because he's a tailback. RPS -1.
M39 3 8 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 4-3 even Pass Dig Roundtree 12
Initial protection is okay until a stunt gets a DE in past Omameh. Toussaint picks the guy up in a Smith-like fashion, giving Denard time to whip it to an open dig route Roundtree is running. Ball is deflected near the LOS but still gets there. Tough to judge; results-based charting. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
O49 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 4-3 even Pass Rollout hitch Jackson 5
Rolled pocket; Denard shoots it out to a short hitch Jackson is running. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O44 2 5 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 4-3 even Run Inverted veer keeper Robinson 1

I don't get why the WRs run off their opposition, including Hemingway. Seems like Hemingway should block down on the playside LB over the slot, which would open up the outside run. This doesn't happen; shouldn't really matter because the DE leaps out on Smith, as does playside LB, and Denard(+1) pulls correctly. This opens up big except for Schofield(-2) losing a downblock—very bad—and the playside DT getting in the lane. Denard has to cut back behind him, which exposes him to Short once Molk trips over the now-prone Schofield. Robinson should have just kept running; he had a big enough gap to run outside the DT and pick up a few. Plus revoked. RPS +1.

RUN-: Schofield(2)
O43 3 4 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Okie Pass TE Out Koger INT
Smith's hitch is covered; Denard comes off it to another hitch. Holland fakes a blitz and backs out right into this TE out; Denard throws it anyway. The out further outside was open enough for the first (probably); a missed read based on a bad pre-snap assumption. (BR, 0, protection 1/1) RPS -1.
Drive Notes: Interception, 7-7, 3 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M22 1 10 Ace twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Down G Toussaint -2
Barnum in on this drive until the end of the half. Schofield has struggled so far. Safety rolled up for an eighth guy in the box. Moore(-1) fires off well but gets inside of his DE and allows him to flow upfield. Omameh is pulling outside of the twin TEs and gets submarined in the backfield by the hard-charging safety. Not his fault. With Moore not sealing his guy Toussaint has no options other than bouncebouncebounce, but he's not Shaw and he reads it late, tripping over Omameh instead of trying to beat the linebackers to the outside. RPS -1. RUN-: Moore, Toussaint
M20 2 12 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 over Pass Sack -- -8
Second and twelve I-Form Big play action is basically asking the defensive coordinator 'are you stupid?' Turns out the answer is no. The playside DE gives negative ten thousand respect to the run, instead shooting upfield past Schofield, who has no chance, and the RBs, who are faking a run, to sack Robinson. (PR, 0, protection 0/3, team -3, RPS -2)
M12 3 20 Shotgun stack 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Rollout corner Roundtree 49
Four rushers and a spy; Robinson rolls as the playside DT shoots playside, getting outside and forcing Robinson to pull up. He's got a huge pocket, so no problem. He's also got Roundtree for a big gain on a deep corner route, rifling it to him 40 yard downfield. Pass is a little short or this could be a touchdown. Still... man, do this more often. (DO, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +1... getting a guy open deep on third and 20.) Featured in Picture Pages.
O39 1 10 Ace 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Pass Fly Gallon INT
Denard slot, end around fake. Gardner actually has Hemingway coming open behind the Denard freakout but throws an awful pass sort of at Gallon that's easily intercepted. I complained about this on the podcast; I was wrong. This is all Gardner. Borges got a guy open for a 20 yard gain. (BRX, 0, protection 3/3, RPS +1) Also featured in Picture Pages.
Drive Notes: Interception, 7-7, 14 min 2nd Q. Next play is a safety; Michigan gets a good return and 15-yard penalty to set them up in plus territory on the next drive.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O45 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 4-3 even Run Zone read stretch Toussaint 17
Oh, God, how I've missed this. Backside DE has contain; handoff. Molk(+2) reaches the balls off the playside DT. He gets a little help from Barnum but not much. This is mostly Molk bucket-stepping around the DT, taking the little bit of momentum Barnum took away from the guy and introducing him to the turf. That means you are dead, defense. Lewan(+1) kicks out the playside DE like whoah and Toussaint(+2) hits the gaping hole. He cuts inside a LB doing well to get out into two blockers and runs right past Holland, breaking one safety tackle and nearly cutting past the last safety for six; not quite. He settles for the first.
RUN+: Molk(2), Lewan, Toussaint(2) RUN-:
O28 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Run QB sweep Robinson 2
Barnum and Molk pull; Lewan(+1) blocks down on the playside DT and blows him up. Koger(+1) does likewise to the playside DE. Omameh(-0.5) and Huyge(-0.5) don't get a serious delay on the backside DT, leaving him to run down the line; Robinson is contained and about to cut it back behind the pullers to get as many yards as he can before that DT nails him (five or six) when he slips to the turf. Rats.
RUN+: Lewan, Koger RUN-: Omameh(0.5), Huyge(0.5)
O26 2 8 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-4 even Run Sweep Smith 4
Safety in the box for eight. Michigan runs the same blocking scheme at the other side of the line, pulling Molk and Omameh as they try to get outside the TE. Koger(+1) controls, seals, and blows up the playside DE. Omameh(+0.5) kicks the playside LB. McColgan(+1) manages to duck inside of this and dives at the legs of the MLB, getting a two-for one; Smith(+1) cuts up in the right spot and bursts into the secondary. RPS-1; the reason this is so tough is because Molk got shot back by a DL when he tried to pull and was made useless.
RUN+: Koger, McColgan, Smith, Omameh(0.5) RUN-:
O22 3 4 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 4-3 under Run Speed option Robinson 2
Robinson checks and then Purdue flips their line at the last second in response. They're still moving at the snap. Michigan runs a speed option and Purdue is out on it, getting a guy to drive Lewan(-1) back without getting sealed; Odoms can't get a block on the edge, Watson sees two guys outside of him... the outside is screwed. Robinson cuts up, where there's no room because Molk(-1) didn't get any help for Omameh on a tough reach block on a guy he didn't expect to be there. That guy and a safety lined up about seven yards off the LOS combine to tackle. RPS -1.
Drive Notes: FG(37), 12-7, 11 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M17 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Power off tackle Toussaint 16
Purdue makes this easy, as they're zone blitzing. The playside DE starts to drop into man coverage on Koger... who is covered up by Gallon and can't go into a route. Derp. Koger(+1) blocks down. Toussaint(+1) sees the total lack of edge and bounces it out, outrunning Holland to the edge. Gallon(+1) got a sustained block downfield to help, but this is just a gift. RPS+1.
RUN+: Koger, Toussaint, Gallon RUN-:
M33 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run QB draw Robinson 2
Only six in the box so this should work; it doesn't. Omameh(-2) is chucked to the ground by Short. Since this is directly in the path of Robinson that is an issue. Gallon(-1) loses the corner lined up over him and those two combine to tackle. RUN-: Gallon, Omameh(2)
M35 2 8 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Penalty Offsides -- 5
Hard count gets them; Robinson kneels instead of taking the free play.
M40 2 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Sprint counter Toussaint 16
I think? Lewan pulls... away from where Toussaint is running. This may be a bust. Purdue dives inside and Lewan walls off Short as Toussaint runs to the backside, finding two unblocked defenders he simply outruns to the corner.
RUN+: Toussaint(2), Lewan(0.5) RUN-:
O44 1 10 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass PA fade Gallon 42
Aw, man, I don't know. Doug Karsch says he overheard Denard talking about throwing it outside($) here so I'll give the benefit of the doubt, but.. man. I don't know. Anyway, PA fake with Barnum pulling outside to get the containing DE. Toussaint(-1) then sets up to block a guy who is already blocked and lets a linebacker in on Denard. Robinson chucks it off his back foot to the outside; Gallon adjusts and makes the catch. (CA+, 2, protection ½, Toussaint -1)
O2 1 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Iso Toussaint 2
Interior line blows the DTs off the ball. Molk, Omameh +1. Toussaint can hit it straight upfield and get in unless a safety takes him down at like the inch line. Instead he bounces, making a move outside and then a second shift that gets him into the endzone. Not a huge fan of the bounce here so no plus.
RUN+: Molk, Omameh, Barnum RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 19-7, 5 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M48 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Inverted veer keeper Robinson 28
Barnum pulls; Smith takes the playside DE upfield and Denard pulls the ball out. Barnum(+1) kicks the too-aggressive Holland and Denard(+1) shoots up in the hole; Omameh(+1) dealt with Short well enough to prevent him from even waving an arm. Huyge(+1) is fighting a linebacker the whole play, gets turned around, and manages to latch back on; Grady(+1) blocks another dude and Denard(+1) jets between them. Smith actually breaks his stride by running past him as he threatens to run straight into the endzone; the jump outside gives the corner an angle. Denard runs OOB. RPS +1.
RUN+: Robinson(2), Barnum, Omameh, Huyge, Grady RUN-:
O24 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Iso Toussaint 0
Barnum(-2) driven back by Short. This is right in the lane Toussaint wants; he has to cut back. Omameh is chucked downfield by the other DT, which isn't really his fault because he's trying to seal him under the assumption the play will go to the other side. DT and unblocked backside DE tackle. RUN-: Barnum(2)
O24 2 10 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Counter pitch Smith 7
Denard at WR. Purdue doesn't seem taken in by the fake but Michigan manballs them anyway. Key is again Koger(+2) dominating the playside DE. He manages to get slightly outside the hash on the LOS and then is sealed. Barnum(+1) shot out on the MLB and got in his feet, delaying him. Huyge(+1) kicks out the corner; Molk(+1) blocks the playside LB and Smith has a big lane. He runs into it; Molk's guy does a good job to come off the block and deliver a thumping no-YAC tackle.
RUN+: Molk, Huyge, Koger(2), Barnum RUN-:
O17 3 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Run QB power Robinson 4
Blitz up the middle sees Omameh(+0.5) knock the blitzer back but he bounces off and gets playside; Huyge(+1) buries short; Koger(+1) deals with another crappy playside DE. Smith(+1) pops the linebacker in the hole and Denard, after initially taking it too far outside, dodges a charging safety and picks up the first.
RUN+: Huyge, Koger, Smith, Omameh(0.5) RUN-:
O13 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 even Pass Corner Roundtree Inc
I guess he has a shot at this if it's thrown to the corner of the endzone but it's way short and Roundtree ends up playing defense on it. He had Koger wide open on the other side of the field in the flat; guy could have probably walked into the endzone. (IN, 1, protection 2/2)
O13 2 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 4-3 over Pass Throwaway Hemingway Inc
Ton of time but the routes here are weird with Hemingway running a corner route and both other WRs to the trips side just kind of hanging out. Robinson can't find anyone quickly and by the time he comes off the right side of the field everything's covered. He chucks it out of the endzone. (TA, N/A, protection 2/2)
O13 3 10 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Nickel even Pass Hitch Moore 9
Protection is good; Molk's guy eventually comes around him on a DT stunt he manages to track and get a cut on. This is only a delay; Robinson steps and fires. Some confusion in the zone defense opens both Moore and Gallon up, Gallon on a drag and Moore on a ten-yard hitch. Drag is better but the hitch is there and zinged accurately; Moore makes the catch in traffic to set up fourth and short. (DO, 2, protection 2/2)
O4 4 1 Ace 1 2 2 Goal line Run QB sneak Robinson 3
They get it.
O1 1 G Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Goal line Run QB draw Robinson -4
This is the Zookian thing. Barnum's hopping around on one leg, Michigan's burning 20 seconds off the clock, they're running a QB draw from the one... not good ideas, these. Barnum(-2) is blown backwards and his guy annihilates Robinson in the backfield. I won't charge this to Barnum because he's clearly hurt. 
O5 2 G Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Throwaway Koger Inc
Michigan blows a stunt pickup spectacularly because Schofield(-2) does not get enough depth and allows the DE to dive inside of him. Robinson is instantly pressured. He avoids the first guy but has broken the pocket now and has little time. He backs up and throws one off his back foot that is in the general direction of Koger but not catchable. This is on the OL. (PR, 0, protection 0/2, Schofield -2)
Drive Notes: FG(22), 22-7, EOH. Barnum leaves for rest of game.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M33 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 over Run Pitch sweep Toussaint 3
Koger motions to an offset FB and tucked in WR. Let's have a pitch. Michigan... pitches. Purdue didn't really adjust much and is now shifted away from obvious pitch side. Denard almost screws it up but realizes where the play is going belatedly and gets the ball out. This time (finally) the playside DE holds the edge. Purdue has pulled the guy Michigan was killing off the field. Koger(-1) can't seal the guy, who ends up running all the way to the sideline. Roundtree(-1) shoulders the playside LB and runs by him; Schofield(+1) cuts the MLB. This is all pretty irrelevant because of the DE stringing it to the sideline, exposing Toussaint to a safety.
RUN+: Schofield RUN-: Koger, Roundtree
M36 2 7 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Inverted veer sweep Smith 6 + 15 Pen
Playside DE forms up as if it's a zone read so Denard(+1) gives. Good read. Omameh is pulling into space with just one linebacker out there as Lewan(+0.5) got out on an unprepared WLB. Smith(-1) should cut off Omameh's rear to set up that block and burst to the safeties; instead he runs to the edge. Gallon(+1) gets a good sustained block; Hemingway can't prevent his guy from bursting upfield but I think he's in good shape if this actually cuts where it should. RPS +1. Facemask tacked on.
RUN+: Robinson, Lewan(0.5), Gallon RUN-: Smith
O43 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Power off tackle Toussaint 2
This doesn't seem like a great idea with eight in the box. Hopkins(-1) fails to kick the DE, who comes under him. He can do this with impunity because there's a LB hanging over the slot ready to kill any bounces. Short comes through a double from Huyge(-1) and Omameh(-1) and the two DL combine to tackle at the line. Tempted to RPS-1 this... I used to do this for I-form runs at a stacked boxes.
RUN-: Hopkins, Huyge(0.5), Omameh(0.5)
O41 2 8 Fritz 2WR 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass Throwback screen Smith 26
It always works and it works. Sweep handoff fake to Denard with Gardner rolling to the same side the fake is headed to, so anyone keying on anything is headed to the field. Lovely to watch the backside DE hold up on the fake and then start hauling after Gardner. By the time the pass gets to Smith, nine Purdue defenders are done. The one frigging guy left in the area beats Molk, but I don't really blame Molk, because he should be able to pass said guy to Schofield except both of the other OL are screaming downfield at one safety. Smith(+1) does well to avoid the guy and let Molk set up another block but the delay prevents this from being six points. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +3)
RUN+: Smith RUN-: Schofield
O15 1 10 Ace twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Pitch sweep Toussaint 8
WR motioning out, Odoms tight to the 2TE side. Pitch? Pitch. Watson(+1) blows up the playside DE, who is the replacement for the other DE who was getting killed. Playside LB inexplicably hits it up inside of the Watson block, erasing himself. Molk peels unnecessarily. Toussaint still has plenty of room with Omameh and Koger leading; he hops outside of Koger, which is maybe not the best idea, but then makes up for it by dancing past a couple tacklers to pick up some YAC. RPS+1.
RUN+: Watson, Toussaint, Omameh, Koger RUN-: Molk
O7 2 2 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 under Run Power off tackle Toussaint 5
Same story, really. Purdue's DEs suck. This time #2 dives inside late and submarines McColgan, which just bounces Omameh and Toussaint outside. Gotta get two for one to spill. Schofield(+0.5) seals Short with help from Lewan(+0.5); Lewan pops out on LB; Omameh(+1) pulls around to get the last LB after the McColgan business is dealt with, and Toussaint cuts straight upfield once Omameh sets the block up.
RUN+: Omameh, Lewan(0.5), McColgan(0.5), Schofield(0.5), Toussaint(0.5) RUN-:
O2 1 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Iso Toussaint -3
Omameh(-2) chucked immediately, blocking no one. McColgan(-1) peels to try to block the guy shooting past Omameh and blocks no one. Many people converge on Toussaint. RUN-: Omameh(2), McColgan
O5 2 G Fritz 2WR 2 1 2 Goal line Pass Scramble Gardner 4
Fritz-based rollout gets Gardner the edge and he correctly decides to run for it since his receivers are covered. He nears the goal line and slows up, which is the difference between falling forward into the endzone and getting spun 180 and not making it. (SCR, N/A, N/A)
O1 3 G Ace 1 2 2 Goal line Run FB dive Toussaint 1
Toussaint over the top again. This play has run its course and people know it's coming, but this is about an inch from getting in.
O1 4 in Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Goal line Run QB power Robinson 0
Omameh has no chance to pull as Short plunges into the line and nails him. Without that lead blocker and with a crappy block from Toussaint on the edge, two guys can converge on Robinson at the goal line. RPS -1. RUN-: Toussaint
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 22-7, 9 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Iso Hopkins 1
Schofield(-1) is beaten upfield; McColgan aborts to block Short. Omameh(-1) beaten as well and while it's not quite as bad his DT tackles at the LOS. Hopkins(-1) had a massive open cutback lane that makes me think the OL blocked this just fine and he should be running at the gap left by the Purdue defense pursuing playside while the end deals with an end-around fake. McColgan is the only thing that stops me from making this assessment. Still, this is pretty terrible by Hopkins. RUN-: Hopkins, Omameh, Schofield
M21 2 9 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Smith 6
Inside zone read for the first or second time today. Molk(+1) and Schofield(+1) blow the playside DT five yards downfield. This engulfs the LBs. Omameh(-1) loses Short and a less comprehensive asskicking on the playside DT would end this play. Gallon(+1) is cracking down on the safety and does well to push him past Smith(+1) who similarly does well to dance past the falling S. Corner is left; Smith makes contact at four yards and goes down at six.
RUN+: Smith, Molk, Gallon, Schofield RUN-: Omameh
M27 3 3 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Dig Gallon 14
WR stacks on both sides of the line. LB takes Hemingway's hitch, opening Gallon up on a dig route inside of it. Looks like Purdue is in man and got killed by the routes. Robinson nails Gallon in the chest for the first down. Well executed all around. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +1)
M41 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Counter pitch Toussaint 59
Purdue shows man on the motion and has their LBs shifted to the side this play eventually goes to. Purdue has gone back to their original DE; Koger(+2) again kicks his ass at the LOS, sealing him inside the hash. One LB blitzes. Another immediately peels outside looking for this play; there is a second LB on the playside and a safety. That's three. Lewan(+1) kicks one out. One LB keeps leverage, one safety overruns it. Toussaint cuts back. Molk peeled back to deal with the blitzer; blitzer read the play and then pursued out of Molk's reach. As Toussaint nears that guy's pursuit he cuts back behind the meta-pursuing Molk(+1), who picks off the over-pursuing safety. Toussaint slid past this guy on his own. Now past the first level he cuts inside the backside DE's pursuit, sees a gap between the last two guys, and engages the afterburners. Total carnage for Toussaint: four decisions, five Purdue players left in his wake. +4. Replay.
RUN+: Koger(2), Lewan, Molk, Toussaint(4), Omameh RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 29-7, 2 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M14 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Iso Toussaint 6
Purdue is shifted to the strong side on the line and in the LBs, so M runs weak at the gap between their one tech and WDE. I think they've also subbed some backups in. Molk(+1) and Omameh(+1) deposit the playside DT five yards downfield and that's all she wrote on an iso. McColgan(+1) also gets a good block; Toussaint is about to burst into the secondary when he's chopped down from behind by a linebacker Schofield couldn't pop out on quick enough.
RUN+: McColgan, Molk, Omameh RUN-: Schofield(0.5)
M20 2 4 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 4-3 over Run Zone read stretch Toussaint 0
Fail by alignment here; line and LBs shifted playside before the snap. The frontside of this play is blocked really well, with Omameh(+1) cutting the backside DT , Molk(+1) getting into the playside guy and driving him downfield, and three guys getting blocked outside of this but Huyge has no shot at the WLB; he darts into the hole and tackles. RPS -1. Not that I should be tracking RPS anymore.
RUN+: Molk, Omameh RUN-: Schofield
M20 3 4 Shotgun stack 1 0 4 Nickel even Run QB draw Robinson 9
Just five in the box. You are in little jean shorts in a 1980s Heat of the Night episode, Purdue: asking for it. Molk(+1) and Omameh(+1) blast one DT; Molk moves out on the single LB. Omameh maintains a block on that DT forever w/ some help from Robinson, who sets the guy up one way, then cuts back behind. Linebacker comes up to hack him down, but this was easy. RPS +1.
RUN+: Robinson, Molk, Omameh RUN-:
M29 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Iso Toussaint 10
Same play as first in this drive w/ no adjustment from Purdue. Schofield(+1) bangs the playside DT; Molk starts blocking him and Schofield pops out on the MLB. Lewan kicks out the DE; Hopkins(+1) gets a thumping kickout on the SLB. That's a big gap and no linebackers. Toussaint to the secondary. He feints outside and comes back inside, getting tackled by the filling safety. RPS+1.
RUN+: Hopkins, Schofield, Molk(0.5), Lewan(0.5) RUN-:
M39 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Iso Toussaint 5
Same setup, same play. LBs are quicker to the hole, forcing a cutback. Schofield and Hopkins still wall them off; Toussaint smoothly cuts behind them to bend it back. Eighth guy in the box comes from the slot to tackle. Molk(+1) made this by kicking backup NT's butt.
RUN+: Molk, Toussaint, Schofield(0.5), Hopkins(0.5) RUN-:
M44 2 5 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Nickel even Run Inverted veer keeper Robinson 19
Playside DE is in no man's land; Denard keeps. Playside DT held off by Omameh(0.5). SLB gone on the RB fake; Huyge(+1) gets a block on the MLB; Gallon(+1) is cracking down on the hard-charging safety and can't quite seal him but does give him a good whack that spins him backwards. That is one hell of a lot of room since the RB fake took two guys. Denard into the secondary, where he cuts outside, outruns Holland to the sideline, and tiptoes for a nice gain. RPS+2.
RUN+: Robinson(2), Huyge, Omameh(0.5) RUN-:
O37 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Iso Shaw 37
The iso culmination. End around-fake removes the playside DE. Schofield(-1) is hit back too much for the playside to remain relevant; Shaw cuts back behind. Instead of bouncebouncebounce he finds a lane behind Omameh(+1),who is riding a DT down the line, and Huyge(+1) who started to release downfield and then peeled back when no one showed and the backside LB stayed outside. Molk(+0.5) also got a block on a linebacker. Shaw(+3) shifts backside and hits the hole, bursting through a lame tackle attempt and hitting the afterburners. RPS +1 for pulling the DE out.
RUN+: Shaw(3), Huyge, Omameh, Molk(0.5) RUN-: Schofield
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 36-7, 12 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR DForm Type Play Player Yards
M1 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Power off tackle Shaw 14
Mealer in for Lewan, Huyge to LT. Schofield(+1) makes perhaps the best pull I've seen from a guard this year, getting down the line quickly and planting the MLB. Short is doubled out of the play by Koger(+0.5) and Mealer(+0.5). Hopkins just manages to kick the playside DE, who almost makes a diving tackle near the LOS, but does not. Shaw(+1) breaks outside and outruns Holland to the edge.
RUN+: Schofield(2), Koger(0.5), Mealer(0.5), Shaw RUN-:
M15 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Power off tackle Shaw 3
Playside DE gets inside of the Hopkins lead block and Holland is actually on the edge for once. Shaw considers bouncing when he sees the DE get inside Hopkins but reconsiders and hits it up for a modest gain. Average all around, I guess. Tempted to RPS -1 this but it is 36-7.
M18 2 7 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Down G Shaw 1
Michigan just running into stacked lines now with Gardner on the field, so I should stop charting. Here the DE does dive inside again and cause some confusion; Molk has to get around this and get a block on one of the LBs; he does so but that guy still has the agility to get around and tackle from behind.
M19 3 6 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 over Run Pitch sweep Shaw 3
Koger(+1) seals the edge; Huyge(-1) runs past a flowing LB that Molk can't get out on; Shaw is driven outside and should really do a better job of hitting this up but... whatever.
RUN+: Koger RUN-: Huyge
Drive Notes: Punt, 36-7, 7 min 4th Q. I shouldn't have even done this last drive.

I feel adrift in a sea of unknowing.

A sea of unknowing, yards and points.

Fair enough. What about this multiple business?

Well, the money quote from Borges that has been replicated all across the places-that-quote-Al-Borges-sphere:

“That’s really what we’ve wanted to do all year. With two weeks to get ready and some careful considerations with regard to not getting our quarterback beat up, that was a huge issue. We worked hard on trying to get back to what we originally wanted to do. We wanted to be more of a combination of pro to spread offense without, of course, completely divorcing ourselves from spread concepts. We still run a lot of it, but that is closer to what we wanted in the beginning. We just weren’t executing very well. Touss did a great job, and the offensive line moved some people, not only on the line of scrimmage but also on the perimeter.”

This is the direction the offense is headed long-term. There will be all kinds of formations that are rarely the same three plays in a row, shotgun mixed in with big I-form sets, presnap motion up the wazoo, and weird packages that change on a week to week basis.

You say long-term. Isn't this a post-bye week ability to insert more of the actual offense effective immediately?

Maybe, but I have my doubts about how well it will work against teams stouter than Purdue. I know the Boilers coped vaguely well with Illinois and Penn State. I just have no idea how they managed that. Purdue's run defense suuuuuuuuuuuucks.

They have two main issues: the defensive end who is not senior Gerald Gooden and their outside linebackers. Gooden was all right holding the edge, so Michigan ran away from him most of the day. This is because Purdue's other DE is terrible whether it's the starter or the backup. That guy got sealed all day:

That is Michigan's first play from scrimmage. Koger seals the playside DE and that's about it. When that guy isn't stringing the play to the sideline or taking out another blocker your pitch is 75% of the way to success. On this play the MLB taking a dumb angle upfield of the Koger block is the rest of it.

Compounding matters was Joe Holland, who may be one of Purdue's top playmakers but is also slow as hell:

I'm just like… okay. That's two guys alone on the edge with Toussaint and he outruns both of them. A real defense chops this down for a meh gain since the safety flares out to contain.

Even Gooden was subject to a few instances where he was deposited on his butt far away from the tailback:

It's cool that Michigan identified an issue with the opposing defense and exploited it. I don't know if they'll be able to execute something similar against teams with better defenses, which is all of them. Even Iowa.

Is there anything we can take from the run game here?

Boy, they did a lot of stuff. They ran a couple stretches, a couple of inverted veers, a bunch of power stuff… I'm hoping we see Borges pick and choose the things that work and Michigan can execute them effectively.

The veer in particular is something I'd like to see become if not a staple at least something they pull out a few times each game:

As I fruitlessly argued under RR, the zone read is a way to get the ball into your RB's hands while keeping the backside DE honest. The veer is a way to get the ball into your QB's hands while keeping the frontside DE honest. Needs moar veer.

I noticed slightly fewer hearts being ripped out of watchers' own chests when Michigan was throwing the ball this week. Yes?

For this let's—

Rip a chart from the still-breathing chest of an innocent.

Man, you do not like Danny Hope. Chart.

[Hover over column headers for explanation of abbreviation. Screens are in parens.]

2009, All Of It 1 7 6(2) 3(1) 4 4 - - ? 44%
Notre Dame 3 25(8) 3(1) 4 1 - 4(1) 2 - 71%
Michigan State 4 14(3) 1 7(1) 1 - - 2 2 68%
Iowa 1 11(3) 2 3(1) 2 - 1 - - 64%
Illinois 4 9(1) 1 4 1 3 1(1) - - 60%
Purdue 2 12(1) 1 3 1 1 1 3 - 68%
WMU '11 - 6(1) 4 3 1 - - - 1 56%
Notre Dame '11 6 7(1) 1 6(1) 5 1 1 1 - 50%
EMU '11 1 10(1) - 5 1 - 1 1 1 59%
SDSU '11 - 10(2) - 4 2 1 - 1 - 53%
Minnesota '11 1 13(3) 1 3 1 - - - - 73%
Northwestern '11 4 12(3) 1 7 2 - - - 1 59%
MSU '11 1 8(1) 4(1) 6 5 - 1 7 1 40%
Purdue '11 1 7(1) - 1 2 1 - 2 - 66%

Gardner had a SCR, a CA on a screen, and the BR-extreme.

Denard was 9/14 and back into the range his sophomore year hung out at, hoorah. His misses were the INT, a play almost identical to the INT that Holland dropped, a way-short corner route, and two throwaways in the red zone. On the corner route he did not see a blitheringly wide open Koger.

That's still too many dangerous throws given the small number of passes but at least he wasn't missing much. That's a relief after Michigan quarterbacks made the V1 look accurate two weeks ago. Part of that is an increased emphasis on short stuff. BWS pointed out that this first triple stack completion…

…is just a gussied-up version of the snag triangle Michigan ran last year. Denard got a lot of hitches and other routes where he could step in and zing it to the player in question. I was torn on a few different plays about whether to DO them or not because they were slick darts with good timing. While most got filed CA I like it when I'm wondering CA or DO instead of MA or IN.

His one deep ball was thrown in the right spot for his WR to get it—and Gallon had run a good route to give himself a ton of space to the outside.

As for the receivers, they were again strong:

[Passes are rated like so: 0 = uncatchable, 1 = very difficult, 2 = moderately difficult, 3 = routine.]

  This Game   Totals
Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Hemingway - - - 2/2 7 - 7/8 12/13
Roundtree - 0/1 - 1/1 4 1/5 5/6 7/7
Odoms - - - - 2 - - -
Grady - - - - 4 - 0/1 2/2
Gallon 1


1/1 2/2 5 - 2/2 20/20
J. Robinson - - - - - - - -
Dileo - - - - - 0/2 1/2 2/2
Jackson - - - 1/1 - - 1/1 1/1
Koger 3 - - - 6 1/3 2/3 8/9
Moore - - 1/1 - 2 - 1/1 -
Toussaint - - - - - - - 1/2
Shaw - - - - - - - 1/1
Smith - - - 1/1 2 0/1 - 6/7
Hopkins - - - - 2 - - 1/1
McColgan - - - - 1 - - 1/1

They didn't have much to do in the passing game but Gallon made a good adjustment to the deep ball and there were no drops. Gallon is pushing Hemingway for the most-targeted WR, though he gets a boost from the screens.

The run chart has a few surprises and a couple things that reinforce what I was suggesting above:

[note: I'm moving to a percentage on the offensive line for the total.]

Offensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Lewan 7 1 6 Would like to see him more involved somehow.
Barnum 3 2 1 Also picked up a –2 on the last play he was in on but I didn't hit him for it since he was obviously injured.
Molk 15 2 13 Even got a killer reach block for old times' sake.
Omameh 13 7 6 Had some issues with Short.
Huyge 7.5 2.5 5 Easy time on the edge.
Schofield 5.5 10 -4.5 Big step back from two weeks ago. Did get a thumper late.
Mealer 0.5 - 0.5 On last drive charted.
Watson 3 - 3 Got in on some of the edge bashing.
Koger 14.5 2 12.5 Completely clobbered his DE whenever asked to.
TOTAL 69 27.5 72% Moore put up a –1, FWIW. Strong day almost hitting 3:1.
Player + - T Notes
Robinson 7.5 2 5.5 Four good reads on the veer.
Gardner 1 - 1 Probably should have scored on the boot.
Toussaint 12 2 10 I like it when he gets 20 carries instead of 2.
Shaw 4 - 4 Enjoy your TD sir.
Smith 6 1 5 Frustrating on that screen. Not his fault obviously.
Hopkins 1.5 2 -0.5 Now FB, as predicted.
Rawls - - - PT not charted.
McColgan 2.5 1 1.5 Not giving up without a fight.
TOTAL 34.5 8 26.5 Big positive day thanks to two long runs RBs did much of the work on.
Player + - T Notes
Hemingway - 1 -1  
Odoms 1 - 1  
Gallon 5 1 4 Don't know what it is about tiny receivers from Florida but they can block.
Roundtree - 1 -1  
Grady 1 - 1 --
Jackson - - -  
Dileo - - - --
TOTAL 7 3 4 Gallon had a day with and without the ball.
Player + - T Notes
Protection 22 6 79% Team 3, Toussaint 1, Schofield 2. Big bounce-back.
RPS 20 9 11 Throwback screens always work.

So, yeah, monster day from Koger and major, surprising struggles from Schofield. By the time he got pulled in the first half he was already –5 or so. When he came back in the second he was about even, a step forward but still one that saw him finish solidly negative on the day. Both he and Omameh had problems with Short. Short chucked Michigan guards to the ground multiple times—you know those plays on which they ran up the middle into seemingly no blocking? That was Short treating our guards like they were Dileo.

You probably don't need be told about Fitz or the rest of the ballcarriers. The best thing about Fitz's day was the raw speed he showed for the first time. He's been caught from behind more than once in his career. After yesterday…

…that seems injury induced. Also Purdue is slow as hell on D.


Toussaint and Koger may have been able to pick up 4 YPC playing the Purdue defense by themselves. Molk also had a strong game since he wasn't trying to block two guys he didn't know were coming on every play. Gallon was a threat running, receiving, and blocking.


Both guard spots were weak, with left guard particularly glaring. Gardner's INT was egregious and he missed an opportunity to punch it in on the goal line series Michigan was eventually stuffed on.

What does it mean for Iowa and beyond?

Though they didn't throw much I think the developments there may actually be more important as far as the rest of the season goes. Having Denard bounce back and have a strong, if still flawed, day is a relief after the Michigan State debacle. The receivers are pretty good and Borges is getting them open, a trend that should continue against the Iowa secondary or I will be sad. I like the routes Borges is developing; they're obviously more diverse than RR's stuff.

The running game seems like a one-off development based on extremely weak edge play by the Boilers. Toussaint's emergence is the main takeaway for future weeks; put him in situations he can find holes and let him go 15-20 times a game. I'm a bit worried about the OL with Lewan constantly rising from the grave, Barnum tweaking his other ankle, and Schofield having a mighty struggle, but I also think Short is an all Big Ten player next to Devon Still… so we might be able to get away with it against the rest of the schedule. There is no Liuget or Clayborn or Crick; the big flashing danger sign is OSU's John Simon.



November 2nd, 2011 at 4:44 PM ^

"There is no Liuget or Clayborn or Crick; the big flashing danger sign is OSU's John Simon."

I hear that Illinois' DE Mercilus is pretty... well.... merciless on the line as well, but he'll be facing off against our tackles more often than a DT would.

Buzz Your Girlfriend

November 2nd, 2011 at 4:52 PM ^

Some opinions on Koger in re: to the NFL? I've always thought of him as a pass-catching threat, but it seems as though Denard always misses him. His blocking as improved tremendously this year and week by week, what do people think about his draft stock and NFL promise?


November 3rd, 2011 at 11:26 AM ^

Kevin simply doesn't have the production to warrant being picked in the first few rounds -- only 10 catches so far this year, and just 14 last year. (I'm really surprised Borges hasn't used him more in the passing game in the new offense -- his size and huge hands should make him a favorite target for our short, not-incredibly-accurate (but still AWESOME!) QB.)  Still, scouts will cut him some slack b/c of the offense he's been in, and they'll like his big hands, frame, and overall athleticism.  They'll like his character too (team captain, etc.). I think he goes somewhere in the mid to late rounds and sticks on an NFL roster, as long as he keeps improving his consistency as a pass-catcher, route runner, and blocker, and shows he can contribute on special teams.

Most of the good NFL draft websites have Kevin ranked from #7-10 among senior TEs. Here's a write-up by National Football Post's Wes Bunting, one of the best draft guys out there IMO:

<blockquote>A tall, athletically put together tight end prospect with a big set of hands, long arms and impressive range when asked to go make a play on the football. However, is still developing in all areas of the game and likely saw his growth/production stunted because of the offense that has been in place at Michigan since his arrival. Isn't the most natural benders when asked to sit into his stance, keeps his base a little high off the line and doesn't generate much explosion releasing into his route. Does a decent job initially trying to drop his pad level off the snap, but too often stands upright taking away from his forward momentum. Isn't real sharp or sudden as a route runner at this stage either, seems to drift into his breaks and looks more confident running away from defenders. Possesses average strider speed, but natural coordination, a big frame and can go up and make a play on the football off his frame. Displays impressive range when asked to go get the football. Plus, does a nice job extending his long arms and using his hands to routinely pluck off his frame.

Isn't a real balanced blocker. Struggles to keep his feet under him, lunges into contact and doesn't create much power as an in-line guy. Possesses a naturally strong frame, but his inability to gain leverage and maintain balance kills him at the point. Possesses long arms and strong hands that allow him to stick initially when he gets his hands on you, but is still learning the nuances of being a consistent run blocker.

Impression: Flashed on tape at times and does have some talent. However, is raw in all areas of the game and looks more like a low round pick/ free agent only who could blossom.</blockquote>




November 2nd, 2011 at 5:05 PM ^

I haven't gone back over the whole tape again, but in reading Brian's play list it jives with my recollection of how the game went and I don't quite understand the trend over the last few weeks..

I counted 19 3 WR sets from the set above.   Odoms is the best blocking wr ever(a little overboard but he's dam good I call him the Heinz Ward of Michigan), Gallon has proven to be a good blocker, Hemmingway and his 225lbs is usually pretty good, Roundtree is adequate. 

Considering all 4 of the above WR's have proven to be at least decent WR's why do we keep clogging up the running lanes with TE's who are not of the same caliber?

I have seen too much of Hopkins, Moore and Watson the last 3 or 4 weeks.   This goes back to match and match ups.   I don't care if you are in the I or the shotgun, but if you ask me do I want Odoms blocking a CB on the edge with a threat of a deep pass or Watson trying to block a LB with little concern for  him to catch the ball I want Odoms on the field. 

While eveyrone seemed to agree the weakness of Purdue was their terrible DE, I can understand the gameplan this week, but moving forward I want  MOAR Odoms, less Watson/Moore.



November 2nd, 2011 at 5:15 PM ^

Great (?) minds think alike.  After paying close attention to Odoms all year, my conviction that he needs to be more involved is getting stronger and stronger.  I know its been said that he's clearly in there to block, but why is he never targeted as a receiver?  I mean, even Jackson is getting targeted.  Could it be that Odoms is not as good as Jackson today?  I just refuse to believe it.  Also, what you said - Odoms is one of the best blockers on the team.  Watch clip #6 - he freaking pancakes his guy!

Franz Schubert

November 2nd, 2011 at 5:18 PM ^

I have also thought about this scenario.

One wonders why it took so long to realize Fitz was our best runing back since he performed well every  game with the exception of NW? I love V. Smith  and his intangibles but he is a 3rd down back as opposed to a starting Big Ten RB. 


November 2nd, 2011 at 5:11 PM ^

I'm keeping my fingers crossed from now until the last Saturday in November that our interior offensive line gets, and stays, healthy. I can see that being the deciding factor in the OSU game because I don't see them giving as much room on the edge as Purdue.


November 2nd, 2011 at 5:22 PM ^

All of it is great, but I jump to the OL every week.  I love that M football has had so many great ones.

I would have bet Schofield had a good day.  / shakes fist at lack of discernment

Blue in Seattle

November 2nd, 2011 at 5:23 PM ^

...is that the games and opponents that Michigan would traditionally control, are being controlled.  There is still quite a lot of football to be played, but I don't have the feeling I had after the Illinois game last year.  Basically, "whew, glad we squeaked that win out, because our defense isn't going to do anything against Wisconsin and OSU".  Yeah, I'm not having that feeling this year.

It's not yet an expectation that we win the tough ones, but for the first time in three years, I feel there is a chance we do.



November 2nd, 2011 at 6:14 PM ^

Are those plays actually the veer? When we ran veer in high school, we never pulled anyone. I guess Denard is reading playside DE, so it's the veer principle, right?


November 2nd, 2011 at 7:45 PM ^

those plays are known as the inverted veer or dash read...I think the term inverted veer was invented by Chris at smart football based on what you mentioned, optioning the playside end but reversing the roles of the RB and QB
<br>no matter the blocking scheme, it's not a traditional veer anyway
<br>as for the blocking it can be run with or without pulling lineman depending on your preferred blocking scheme
<br>we deployed the inverted veer last year with some success against Penn State and ran some zone read veer with Tate against Illinois in 09
<br>those weren't our only use of those plays but they just stick out from memory and the Illinois example was picture paged


November 2nd, 2011 at 6:16 PM ^

Brian writes,

I like the routes Borges is developing; they're obviously more diverse than RR's stuff.

This sentence highlights something very subtle and interesting. Brian doesn't compare Borges to Calvin McGee. And Brian didn't compare Hoke to RR. Brian compared Borges to RR, a comparison that really shouldn't happen.

Without criticizing the past, I think Hoke gets something critical:  hire and put the best staff you can find around you, and let them do their thing. It's not Hoke's job to design offensive or defensive plays and sets, but rather, your coordinator's job. I don't get the feeling that Hoke is micromanaging either Borges or Mattison, but has supreme confidence in their ability. This amount of trust percolates through to the team. The more they trust and count on each other, the better off everyone is. If Hoke does any coaching, it is probably on the defensive line.

An interesting hypothetical would be, how would RR coach if he had exactly who he wanted as OC and DC? I can't answer that question, but I will say, given his staff, I do think that RR either didn't trust them, or that RR couldn't keep from meddling with what they did.

I think that it was mgrowold who said Hoke had excellent management skills, and this whole area is an example of that.



November 2nd, 2011 at 6:38 PM ^

The offense was RR's baby. Based on my understanding of the structure of last year's staff, RR designed the plays and called them during the games, so he was the de facto OC of the team. McGee was more involved in quarterback position training and execution work.

This isn't an unusual stup, and doesn't reflect a trust or micromanagement approach. Many head coaches call the plays even if they have an OC in the box. The vast majority of head coaches served as OC or DC first, and feel comfortable leading in that role. Hoke's skill position is the line, so he defers decision making during the game to Borges and Mattison.

However, it does highlight an interesting difference in Borges and RR that I've been thinking about a lot. The typical focus on play by play decision making this must be very distracting, and deflects from the bigger picture a head coach might achieve. In the last game I watched Hoke talk to one of his players on the sideline, during an ongoing drive. He may have seen something important about his play that he wanted to observe, or he may have just been giving him a pep talk. The kid had his total attention; he acted like he had all the time in the world.

The most noteworthy model of this kind of leadership I have seen is Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers, another position coach (Secondary, IIRC) who took on the head coaching position and doesn't seem to be very involved in the play by play calls. Seems to work for him.


November 2nd, 2011 at 8:27 PM ^

Easy mistake: Calvin Magee, not McGee.

An interesting hypothetical would be, how would RR coach if he had exactly who he wanted as OC and DC?

This isn't a hypothetical. It's what actually existed at WVU before Rodriguez came here. And the answer appears to be, he calls plays on offense and leaves the defense alone.

I Bleed Maize N Blue

November 2nd, 2011 at 7:09 PM ^

I would have given Devin a -2 for not scoring a TD when he had the chance.  I thought for sure he was going to score easily and couldn't believe it when he didn't.  He's got to lower his shoulder and get across that goalline.


November 2nd, 2011 at 8:26 PM ^

the 2QB sets progressed through the game.  I think Toussaint's td was set up nicely by the previous (not so successful) 2QB plays.  Truly looking forward to more of those formations!

steve sharik

November 3rd, 2011 at 12:21 AM ^

What you're calling "veer" is not.  It's not even inverted veer.  A play is named by its blocking scheme first and foremost.  This is QB power with a frontside read.  Clemson and TCU (and many others) have run this in previous years.

It's QB power with the RB running to the perimeter.  The QB reads the frontside DE.  If he plays the RB (as he did here), the QB pulls the ball and follows the backside pulling guard.  The difference is instead of kicking out the frontside end (as in traditional power), you use the threat of RB sweep to influence him outside.  If the DE ignores the back and squeezes the down-block of the OT over him, the QB simply gives the ball to the RB, who is on the perimeter in space with a hat on a hat, including the #3 slot WR essentially crack-back blocking on the force/primary contain player. 

Such is why playing a 4-man defensive front against 10 personnel is difficult.

Imagine this same scheme w/Devin at QB and Denard in the RB spot, including a run/pass throw to the #2 WR.


November 3rd, 2011 at 8:59 AM ^

 I don't know if they'll be able to execute something similar against teams with better defenses, which is all of them. Even Iowa.

Is there a stat to suggest Iowas run defense is better than Purdues?

Against common opponents, PSU and Minnesota, Purdue was OK to good and Iowa was bad to terrible against the run.


November 3rd, 2011 at 11:05 AM ^

I think the difference is the average player on Iowa is better than the average of Purdue but I think Short is the best player on either team. A great DT can make a poor team have a decent run defense especially if the opposing team insists on running up the middle. That is why we ran outside so much. The thing with Iowa for the entire time Ferentz has been there that they don't have any glaring weaknesses on D. Average 5th year seniors in a system they know really well make for a good D.