Michigan Museday is The Wall Comment Count

Seth November 15th, 2011 at 8:01 AM


Is this not what you expected to see?

This week we're going to try a little Michigan defense word association. I'm gonna say a phrase and you're going to tell me what you're feeling. All set? Okay:

3rd and 1.

Lemme guess: Confidence? Excitement? Anticipation? A center sent airborne by a launching pad named Martin?

It is that, and Jake Ryan coming off the edge and hugging an opponent's running back two yards behind the line of scrimmage. And then it is RVB past his block and stopping all forward progress even though the running back's legs are still moving because Ron Zook told him if he keeps his legs moving he can still get yards. Then Heininger arrives. And maybe Demens, or a safety, and you know for certain it is over. You know, and now you've seen it so many times you think you knew before they even snapped it...

Dragging behind you the silent reproach of a million tear-stained eyes…
You slip out of your depth and out of your mind

Now I want you to wind your mind back one year. Michigan has just defeated Purdue to get to 7-3, with Wisconsin and Ohio State left. Same exercise, I say a phrase, you tell me what your last year brain is feeling:

3rd and 1

Did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter?

This isn't just your imagination. Opponents' conversion rates on 3rd- or 4th and 1 the last three years, from UFR-ed drives plus Illinois (:

  • 2009: 15 for 22 (68.18%)
  • 2010: 20 for 28 (71.43%)
  • 2011: 12 for 27 (44.44%)


What shall we use to fill the empty spaces?

The going rate, I've been told, is generally 70% so those '09 and '10 numbers are average-ish (help me Enjoy Life, Mathlete, anyone?) That would make sense with RVB and Martin around both years. But it makes this year's numbers just ridiculous. Michigan has stopped their opponent at least once in every game this year. Two of those conversions were from Illinois's 4th quarter drive down 24-7 versus Brink-Campbell-Heininger-Roh-Beyer.

This isn't a competition thing either. When I excise MAC and FCS opponents from all years it's far more pronounced:

  • 2009: 10 for 13 (76.92%)
  • 2010: 15 for 19 (78.95%)
  • 2011: 6 for 19 (31.58%)

Notre Dame (0 for 3), Michigan State (0 for 1), and Iowa (0 for 3) have extant pound-it tailbacks and went a combined zero first downs in 7 attempts. Thanks to the above-mentioned Letterman-collaring 4th quarter TD drive, the Illinois game actually made Michigan look worse than they've been since conference play started.

Of all the things Michigan's defense is doing this year, the sudden and remarkable ability to stone teams on 3rd and 1 is likely a big part of the Mattison Renaissance. Using a simple calculator (made for the NFL), that stop in the 1st quarter was worth 1.56 expected points for Michigan, the equivalent of a 28-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage.

Who could be responsible for such success? Just a couple bricks in the wall:

martinandrvb Don't leave me now. How could you go, when you you know how I need you
to beat to a pulp on a Saturday night? (Greilick|DetNews)

We are really, really going to miss these guys next year, period. But a glance at this year's UFR tracking of 3rd and 1, 4th and 1, and anything from the Michigan 1—not a perfect resource but useful for this at least—and it shows those aren't the only two guys showing up in the hole this year:

Player + -
Kenny Demens and Ryan Van Bergen each 6.5 0
Craig Roh 6 0
Jake Ryan 5.5 0
Mike Martin 4.5 0
Campbell, Hawthorne, and Heininger each 2.5 0
Jordan Kovacs 2 0
Black, Morgan & Woolfolk each 1 0
Herron 0 -1
Total 41.5 -3
RPS 7 -2
Refs   -2

Just a little pinprick. There'll be no more aaaaaah!

Keep in mind these sorts of plays make guys look overly good in UFR since giving up one yard generally doesn't net anybody minuses while stuffing them in the backfield causes them to rain. The encouraging part is many of these plus-earning pieces will be around next year. Even Campbell (who moved the line backwards in two chances v. Illinois) looks to be an asset in short situations. The cleanup crew of Demens, Roh, and Ryan should be around next year. Of course with freshmen etc. at the big man DL positions next year I expect this outrageous level of success to regress. /shakes Brian's fist at Rodriguez DT recruiting.

After the jump you can re-live the UFRs of every 3rd/4th and short since 2009 (but not Illinois 2011 'cause it's not written yet). This is entirely optional since hopefully my point has been made already. By clicking you agree to absolve MGoBlog of all damages from GERG-related coronary failures, strokes, embolisms, and/or cranial pyrotechnics. Fortunately, I have become comfortably numb.

2011 Iowa M38 4 I-Form Nickel even Run QB sneak 0
Excellent coaching for Michigan to know Iowa does this and show up in force on the interior of the line when Iowa hurries to the line. RVB(+2) is the key guy, getting under the G and push him back; Martin(+1) also got key push. RPS +2. Huge swing play due to coaching.
2011 Iowa M1 1 Goal line Goal line Pass PA TE flat 1
If you're going to call it, first down is the time. Damn you Ferentz. No minuses assigned for a difficult job not quite done.
2011 Iowa M43 3 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run Iso 0
Beyer and Ryan in. Beyer rolls to the line when Iowa evens its strength so you've got a 4-3 under with SLBs on both sides of the line, basically. Heininger(+0.5) and Morgan(+1) do well enough on the playside to force a cutback, with Morgan impacting the FB at the LOS and removing any hole. Demens(+3) sees the iso and roars at the line, taking on a block from the second guy releasing off Martin at the LOS and getting outside of it. Coker runs into him and Demens friggin' sticks the guy, holding Coker not six inches from where the impact happened until the cavalry arrives. That is almost unbelievable.
2011 Iowa O45 3 Goal line Goal line Run Power off tackle -1
Beyer and Ryan to one side of the line in a bear front. Iowa runs power at them. It is a heap of bodies. Ryan(+2) takes on a TE's block and sheds it to the outside, falling into Coker's feet in the backfield as Demens(+1) reads the G pull and scrapes to the hole on the outside; he's not needed because Ryan tackles but he would be there if needed. RVB and Martin(+0.5 each) help by standing up to double well enough that Coker couldn't try to cut it inside.
2011 Michigan State M1 1 Goal line Goal line Run Iso 1
They get it. Terrible camera angle and no replay so I can't really tell why this is so easy; I usually don't minus unsuccessful goal line plays anyway because the odds are so stacked against you.
2011 Michigan State O44 3 Ace trips Nickel even Run Broken play 0
RB does not go the right way. Cousins tries to scramble for it and is hacked down.
2011 Northwestern M32 3 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel even Run Zone read dive 1
NW goes tempo. Heininger(+2) takes on a double and holds, going to his knees in the backfield and absorbing both guys without budging. Martin(+1) is single blocked. He stands his guy up and sheds inside to meet the RB a yard on the backfield. Momentum from him and a blitzing Morgan coming from behind gets the pile to the LOS but no farther.
2011 Northwestern M31 4 Pistol 2-back offset big 46 bear Run Speed option -1
Roh(+3) takes on the playside TE and sheds him to the outside, then shoots up on Persa, forcing the pitch. Getting a forced pitch from a blocked guy is clutch here. Before the snap, Kovacs motions to Morgan, who takes a step shortside and then starts flowing hard; he takes the leading fullback's block, leaving Kovacs(+2, tackling +1) alone on the corner with the pitchback, who he cuts to the ground in the backfield. Watch Kovacs take the lighting quick path to the ballcarrier after the pitch. Baller. Also make no mistake: this is Roh's play at its heart.
2011 Minnesota O27 3 Pistol 2TE 4-3 under Pass Sack -4
I'm not entirely sure but Shortell appears to be looking for his TE on a tiny little hitch first but pulls it down because Black(+1, RPS +1) chucked him before going into his pass rush. This disrupts the timing and causes Shortell to move on. RVB(+1) gets in at this point, flushing the awkward Shortell out of the pocket, where Hawthorne(+0.5) and Ryan(+0.5) roar up to sack. (Pressure +1, cover +1)
2011 San Diego State O27 3 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run Power off tackle -1
Pulling guard trips as he comes out of his stance, which helps quite a bit. Roh(+3) is one on one with a tight end, pushes him into the backfield, and then throws him to the ground. He meets Hillman head-on a yard in the backfield for a thumping tackle. Strong possibility this is still stuffed with the pull since Hawthorne(+0.5) had flown up into the gap outside Roh and was in position to tackle behind the LOS.
2011 San Diego State O39 3 I-Form big 4-3 under Run Power off tackle 7
TEs flip and this time Ryan has his head on straight. Martin(+1) slides through the center instantly. He's into the backfield, picking off a puller. This provides Michigan a free hitter, which is a hard-flowing Demens(+1), who is in position to tackle for loss; Hillman bounces. Woolfolk(+1) is there on the edge but is held to the point where his shoulder pads pop out; no call. Refs -2.
2011 San Diego State O39 3 I-Form Big 4-3 under Run Iso 2
Seems like M is playing this too conservatively, with two deep safeties and the LBs five yards off the LOS. Campbell(+0.5) stands up a G and comes off to tackle but it's not enough with the LBs having to come down from far away.
2011 San Diego State M37 3 I-Form Big 46 eagle Run Down G 2
Going at Fitz, lined up over the TE. He does an okay job to stay at the LOS but gets no penetration. Playside DE is RVB, who shoots into the backfield and gets blown out of the play. That is something that happens when you're gambling on short yardage. Demens(+0.5) gets to the lead blocker at the LOS and forces Kazee up the back of the TE; Hawthorne(+0.5) comes under a block to tackle but Kazee can fall forward for the first.
2011 San Diego State M43 4 Ace 3TE 4-3 under Pass PA TE Seam 0
PA is wildly effective and this guy is wide open (RPS -2, cover -2) but either Lindley misses or his TE turns the wrong way and it's incomplete.
2011 Eastern Michigan O32 3 Goal line 4-4 even Pass Flea flicker (scramble) 19
Black and Hawthorne both get in basically unblocked and are there to pressure(+1, RPS +1) Gillett. They miss because Hawthorne(-1) gets too fast and Gillett manages to move around them. Demens is then trying to scrape to wherever Gillett's going to pop up when Martin pops back out of his stance and trips him. Just one of those things.
2011 Eastern Michigan M28 4 Ace Firedrill Run Tricky pitch 14
EMU to the line quickly and snaps before Michigan is prepared; line dive blocks as if they're going for the QB sneak. Everyone bites on it; they pitch outside, where there isn't anyone. Kovacs(-1) was the playside guy who did not stay responsible on the RB, but this is mostly an RPS play as EMU caught Michigan unprepared. Growing pains. RPS -2. Taylor gets a legit but pretty weak late hit after.
2011 Eastern Michigan M1 4 Power I Goal line Run Iso 0
Everyone does the low-man-wins goal line blocking as EMU tries it again. Roh(+1) is in the path of the pulling dudes and wins his block, penetrating into the backfield. The second FB is tripped up/leaps from about the three. The RB tries the same thing only for Kovacs(+2) to roar around from behind him and stall his momentum, spinning him to a halt short of the goal line with an assist from Demens(+0.5). Picture-paged by MGoFootball.
2011 Eastern Michigan O44 3 I-Form trip TE 4-4 under Run Power off tackle 3
Line shifting in response to the formation flip and Michigan has this defensed for a loss except for a pretty good cutback by the EMU back. He just manages to squeeze through a gap between RVB and Martin's blockers, tripping as he goes; Demens is there to bump but the cutback was too quick—guy just went straight upfield, really—to do anything about it.
2011 Notre Dame M36 3 Goal line 4-3under Run Dive 0
Linemen just fall all over each other, leaving Hawthorne(+1) to leap over the pile with beautiful timing and nail Wood in the backfield. Could be a stop but Wood does burrow for the first. Refs got this spot on the money.
2011 Notre Dame M41 3 Ace twin TE 6-2Bear Run Iso -2
Bear? Why the hell not. This is a line of six dudes across ND's line with the DL shifted one way and two linebackers lined up above SDE Heininger. Demens is the lone LB; Kovacs also ends up in the box at LB depth as Eifert motions in. RVB(+2) blows through his blocker and is into the backfield; Ryan(+1) blitzed untouched from the outside; Martin(+1) avoided a submarine block from the center and leapt into the path of Eifert up the middle, allowing Demens(+0.5) to charge through the gap unmolested and finish off the tackle RVB and Ryan started. RPS +3; big big stop.
2011 Notre Dame M29 3 Ace trips TE 6-2Bear Run Inside zone -2
Credit could go to either Ryan or Campbell. Campbell(+2) destroys the RT. He gets under him and pancakes the dude. He dead. This constricts the hole and picks off the pulling TE. Wood has to take it inside slightly, where Ryan(+2) blazed past the other tackle on an outside blitz and took a perfect angle to Flying Squirrel Tackle Wood; Demens(+0.5) was there to clean up if necessary. Either Ryan or Campbell was enough to stuff this. Both and you look dominant. (RPS +3)
2011 Western Michigan O35 3 Power I Base4-4 Run Iso 2
This was the chaos play Blue Seoul noted. They did get set eventually in a 4-4 with six guys on the LOS, including Kovacs and Herron and Demens as MLBs. They run at the gap in the shifted line between Martin and Roh, doubling both. Both hold up; Roh manages to slide inside the LT and restrict the hole but can't get any penetration. He's kind of being held but no way they call it. Herron (-0.5) reads the play maybe a hair late or is lined up too deep, meeting the FB at the first down marker instead of the LOS. That's a stalemate and the RB can fall down across the line in a heap of bodies.
2011 Western Michigan M1 3 Wishbone Goalline Run Iso 0
RVB(+1) times the snap perfectly, shooting through the G assigned to him and nailing the FB at the two. RB hits FB. Martin has made a pile at the one and the delay allows the massive pile of meat to not end up in the endzone. Whoah: actually, they messed up the handoff and Carder followed it up. Same result.
2011 Western Michigan M1 4 Power I Goalline Run Iso squared 1
They get it this time by running everybody on their offense straight up the middle.
2011 Western Michigan M38 3 Wishbone Base4-4 Run Iso 2
Someone's got to win an individual battle here to prevent this from happening and no one does. Martin holds up to a double; Fitz takes the FB, and Herron(-0.5) hits the RB after a yard. I think he can get to the hole more efficiently.
2010 Wisconsin 50 3 I-form big 3-3-5stack Run Iso 4
RVB(+0.5), Martin(+0.5, and Roh(+0.5) and control single blocks and stand up at the LOS ready to tackle in their gaps. Gordon(-2) gets locked outside really easily by a backside TE when he needs to be in the gap behind Roh, Roh gets shoved past the play just barely, and there's a cutback lane for the first down.
2010 Wisconsin M1 1 Goal line Goalline Run Power off tackle 1
Michigan actually does a good job defending this play with Quinton Washington(!) getting under the pads of the C and driving him back into the path of a pulling guard. Delays him and allows Tony Anderson(-1, tackling -1) to plug Ball behind the LOS, but this is a walk-on cornerback we're talking about and Ball just goes "I am made of ham" and falls into the endzone.
2010 Purdue O34 3 Shotgun empty 3-3-5stack Run Jet sweep reverse 0
Jet sweep to a reverse that catches Michigan because RVB(-1) did not read the play and flowed down the line too close to the LOS. Moundros is also gone to the frontside but I think he has to be. This could get some major yards but as Henry comes back to block RVB he hits the runner, robbing him of his momentum and allowing Kovacs to come up. Kovacs(-0.5, tackling -1) misses the tackle but the cavalry has arrived.
2010 Illinois M35 3 Ace 3-wide Base3-4 Run Inside zone 2
Kovacs comes down into the box and Gordon backs off to cover the slot. Patterson(+0.5 and Roh(+0.5) slant past OL and cut off any hope on the frontside. Ezeh(-0.5) is blitzing on the backside and can't quite get there to close off the cutback lane. He tackles but the RB's momentum takes him forward.
2010 Illinois M1 3 Goal line Goalline Run Iso 1
LeShoure manages to burrow in, but it's not easy.
2010 Illinois O20 3 I-form big Base3-4 Run Power off tackle 1
Both safeties move down into the box and Avery sets up deep. Fitz(+0.5) blitzes off the edge and gets into the pulling G in a good spot, occupying both him and the FB and giving no creases for the RB. Martin(+1) flows into the gap behind him, beating an OL, and it's the two LBs versus the backside G and LeShoure. They've got him short until a second effort just gets him over the line. I'm fine with this, really.
2010 Illinois O27 3 Shotgun 3-wide Base3-4 Run Inside zone 0
Vinopal rolls up late for another guy in the box. RVB(+1) gets under his blocker and into the intended running lane; Mouton(+0.5) fills a frontside gap hard, leaving Vinopal(+1, tackling +1) a free hitter in a constricted area. He brings enough wood to stand LeShoure up and the cavalry arrives.
2010 Illinois M1 4 Goal line Goalline Run Down G 1
They block down on RVB and shoot the FB right at Mouton, who can't make a great play this time. LeShoure finds the endzone.
2010 Penn State M1 1 Goal line 3-3-5stack Run Dive 1
Whatever. This isn't even M's to-date successful goal line package. RPS -1.
2010 Penn State M19 4 I-form big 3-3-5stack Run Power off tackle 2
Demens(+3) shoots the gap between the NT and DE at the snap, blasting into the guard pulling around to provide a lead block, shucking him, and meeting Royster a yard in the backfield. Monster play, and a dead drive if he can get some help. Marvin Robinson(-1) comes up and wraps up Royster's shoulders; Cam Gordon(-2) takes an angle upfield and comes too far inside, running himself out of the play when Royster spins free. This is an amazing play by Royster, but Michigan should never have let this happen.
2010 Penn State M1 2 Goal line Goalline Run QB sneak 1
They get it.
2010 Penn State M14 3 I-form big Base4-4 Run Power off tackle 0
Michigan slants the line right and sends two linebackers into the gap right, which is exactly where PSU is going with the ball. DL get crushed out of the hole but that's what you expect; Mouton(+1) roars up into the hole to take on the outside shoulder of the pulling guard, which funnels the tailback to Demens(+0.5). Demens engages to tackle but it's 50-50 whether it's a first down or not until RVB(+1) comes in. RVB was well to the backside, shoved his blocker back, and shot through the same hole the linebackers hit to help. Nice job. (RPS +1)
2010 Penn State M5 3 I-form big 3-3-5stack Run FB dive 5
Sagesee(-2) is crushed, erasing the MLB; Banks(-1) slants inside a TE but takes a way upfield angle and can't close down the resulting hole. Kovacs is pulled outside by a pitch fake and Mouton eats a free release from a tackle.
2010 Indiana M23 3 Shotgun empty 3-3-5stack Run QB sneak 1
Chappell runs up under center and takes a snap; they get it. Very tough to stop this with how they've spread the field.
2010 Indiana O40 3 Ace 3-wide Base4-3 Run QB sneak 1
They get it.
2010 Indiana O37 3 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5stack Pass Hitch 7
DL tight in case of a sneak so not likely they'll get pressure; IU does not sneak, instead hitting a receiver in front of Floyd's soft zone (cover -1).
2010 Indiana M1 2 Pistol FB twins Goalline Run Power off tackle -1
Van Bergen(+2) slants past the tackle into the play, absorbing the pulling guard and forcing the RB up the middle of the field, where Demens(+1) forms up and tackles, driving the tailback backwards with help from Mouton, who basically tackled Demens from behind to provide extra momentum.
2010 Indiana M1 3 Shotgun empty bunch quad 3-3-5stack Pass Circle 1
Rush gets unblocked guys in (pressure +1) and Chappell has to get rid of it, which he does by throwing a circle route in front of Talbott, who is right there but can't do anything about a perfectly placed pass that required the 6-5 Belcher to lay out. Again: Indiana's passing offense is legitimately good.
2010 Bowling Green O39 3 Wildcat 3-3-5stack Run QB lead draw 4
Think the RB takes a bizarre cut here since it looks like the play design has the first easily. Banks(-1) was blown way out of the hole and Mouton(-0.5) took a weird angle right into Kovacs, giving BGSU a lot of space and blockers for everyone left over. So of course the RB cuts back behind everything, getting tackled by unblocked guys on the backside including Banks, who got really, really blocked. M fortunate to not give up more here.
2010 Bowling Green M1 1 Goal line Goalline Run Power off tackle -2
Campbell(+1) drives his man backward, gets lower than him, and falls in the backfield. Van Bergen(+2) does the same, stalling the RB and allowing Demens to run downhill at him for the stop.
2010 Bowling Green M1 3 I-form big Goalline Penalty Offside 0.5
Oh well.
2010 Bowling Green M1 3 Wildcat trips Goalline Run QB draw 0
QB motions out, no one covers him, it's a wildcat formation. Banks(+1) shoots past blockers into the center of the defense, eating blockers and creating a pile; Ezeh(+1) cleans up.
2010 Bowling Green M1 4 Wildcat trips Goalline Run QB draw 1
Just a wad of bodies I can't make much out of; Campbell was right there but the guy managed to slam it up into his OL and fall forward into a massive pile of bodies that no one has a good view of. The refs eventually signal TD, but it's not like they have any idea.
2010 Bowling Green M1 1 I-form big Goalline Run Iso 0
Campbell(+1) runs over his guy, essentially pancaking the OL(!) and ending up two yards in the backfield, forcing a cutback since Martin(+0.5) and Banks(+0.5) clogged the middle; Mouton(+0.5) fills unblocked and tackles with help.
2010 Bowling Green M1 2 I-form big Goalline Pass Fade 0
Overthrown; Floyd doing okay enough I guess.
2010 Bowling Green M1 3 I-form big Goalline Pass Rollout out 0
RVB(+1) is lurking on the edge of the line and shoots out on the QB when he sees the roll, forcing a quick pass that ends up being inaccurate. It would have had to be just right with C. Gordon(+0.5) sitting there in proximity to the target. (Pressure +1, RPS +1)
2010 Bowling Green M1 4 Wildcat twin TE Goalline Run Power off tackle 1
Michigan totally stuffs this, with RVB(+0.5) and Campbell(+0.5) driving blockers backwards and Mouton(-1) giving the thump that ends his forward momentum but not wrapping up. RB bounces backwards, rolls out, cuts inside of a block, and scores. C'est la vie.
2010 Bowling Green O44 3 Ace twins Base4-3 Run Power off tackle -2
QB stumbles and this throws off the RB but this was dead anyway with T. Gordon(+1) setting up his blocker with the right shoulder and Ezeh(+1) clubbing the pulling guard in the hole, leaving nowhere to go; Banks(+1) takes the opportunity from the stumble and the jammed up front to tackle(+1) in the backfield.
2010 Massachusetts O44 3 I-Form big twin TE 3-3-5stack Run Iso 4
Martin(+1) blows through a double and occupies two blockers; Banks(-1) is bashed back and sealed by a momentary double, opening up just enough space for the RB to run through a Mouton tackle. No minus because he had to fight through a FB block and did well to slow the RB; Floyd(-1) is slow recognizing and can't clean up in time. His tackle(-1) is run through but the RB falls afterward; Michigan fortunate.
2010 Massachusetts 50 3 I-form big 3-3-5stack Pass Waggle out 9
Michigan in man, biting on the fake. (RPS-1) Open in front of Rogers(-1, cover -1) and UMass converts. RVB charging down the QB, but for naught.
2010 Notre Dame M1 3 Goal line Goalline Run QB sneak 1
They get it.
2010 Connecticut M33 3 I-Form Big 3-3-5stack Run Power off tackle 4
Either Roh or Moundros screws up because they both head inside and one guy blocks both. Blocker gets driven back a bit and ends up tripping the OL pulling through the hole, allowing Floyd to dart by him and deliver a solid tackle(+1). I blame Roh on review: -1.
2010 Connecticut M1 4 I-Form Big Goalline Run Power off tackle 1
They rush to the line and snap it before M gets set. Frustrating no TO. (RPS-2.)
2010 Connecticut M6 4 I-Form Big 3-3-5eagle Run Down G -4
Mouton blitzes and is erased by a downblock; Kovacs kicked out, Ezeh manages to get past one guard only to get crushed off his feet by a second; Floyd is free and fills, putting his head on the ball(+2), jarring it free; Ezeh has it pop to him, recovering.
2010 Connecticut O37 4 I-Form Big 4-4under Run Iso 2
Todman burrows for the first. Martin has been out most of the last two drives, BTW, and Black is playing in RVB's stead--they're basically packing it in. Black does get through the line and almost finds himself in position to thump this, but not quite.
2009 Wisconsin M1 2 Goal line Goalline Run Power O 1
Clay leaps over the top and is thumped back by Graham, but apparently not before he got the ball over the line. It's reviewed and stands; I think this is one of those plays that's so inconclusive that the call on the field will stand whichever way it's called.
2009 Purdue M43 3 Shotgun trips TE Nickeleven Pass Bubble screen 6
Tough to stop on third and one with Michigan loading the box and with only two guys on the edge here. Brown does a decent job getting out; Woolfolk(-0.5) was late reacting after the guy was clearly stalk-blocking him off the line; he does shed and force the player out of bounds.
2009 Illinois M10 3 Shotgun 2-back 2TE 4-4under Run Zone stretch(?) 4
Illinois confuses Michigan by shooting one RB past Juice and using the other one as a lead blocker for him; Brown(-1) ends up sitting back the whole play, sucking inside when Williams does his draw fake and giving up the corner for the RB instead of following his assignment and getting out on the edge to hold this down. He was not blocked at all and could have crushed this since Graham absorbed a double team and no one was out on him.
2009 Penn State M45 3 I-Form 4-4under Run Naked boot 12
Williams(-2) loses contain like whoah and there's no one else on third and short.. (RPS -1)
2009 Penn State M20 3 I-Form Big 4-4under Run QB sneak 1
They get it.
2009 Delaware State M47 3 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3under Pass Sack -5
Graham(+1) avoids a lame cut attempt and after the quick throw is covered(+1) comes in to crush the QB.
2009 Delaware State O38 3 Shotgun 2TE 4-4under Run Inside zone 0
Hey, this is pretty good from Fitzgerald(+1), who recognizes the play, finds a hole in the line, shoots through it, and tackles. Taking that opportunity represents some progress.
2009 Iowa M1 3 Goal line Goalline Run Power off tackle 1
Not enough penetration, so Wegher can leap in.
2009 Iowa O33 3 I-Form Big 4-3under Run QB sneak 2
They get it.
2009 Michigan State M1 4 Goal line Goalline Run Off tackle 1
They get it. I think I blame RVB, sort of, as they run right at him and he gets blown back, leaving Mouton basically 1 on 2 with the FB and the RB. Momentum happens and it's to the endzone.
2009 Michigan State M7 3 I-Form 4-3under Run Off tackle 0
Not sure exactly what this is supposed to be but the fullback heads outside so I assume that's the play design. RVB(+1) slants to the playside, getting past his blocker and occupying the fullback. Brown reads the direction of the play and the coming Winston bounce, evading an attempted stiffarm and throwing Winston to the ground for a loss. Big, big play in the open field (+2, tackling +2).
2009 Michigan State M4 3 I-Form Big Base3-4 Run PA TE Cross -2
Graham(+3) slants past his guy, explodes into the backfield, and crushes this play singlehandedly. Huge; a play that will go on his NFL highlight reel. Tackling +1, too.
2009 Michigan State M18 3 I-Form Big 4-3under Run Power off tackle 2
Michigan expecting this, diving Roh down inside to come up under the dive block, which almost but does not quite work. Brown comes around the outside to tackle but Roh only got a glancing blow, which allows Caper's momentum to carry him forward and across the line.
2009 Indiana M47 3 Shotgun empty 4-3under Pass TE out 0
This is open and Chappell gets it to the receiver in a tight space—impressive timing—but Ezeh(+2) gets there and wrests the ball out. Could have been ruled a fumble, actually, though Michigan was lucky it wasn't: IU recovered. (Cover +1)
2009 Eastern Michigan O29 3 Ace 4-3under Run Zone stretch left 2
Martin(+0.5), slanting, slips past a momentary block from the center and avoids getting scooped, which along with a quick reaction from Ezeh forces a cutback. RVB is flowing down the line behind Martin & Co and makes a good tackle(+1), but momentum carries the back forward for the first.
2009 Eastern Michigan O34 4 Ace 4-3under Run Dive 22
Michigan still getting into alignment as the ball is snapped, which seems like poor planning since the snap comes with two seconds on the clock. Eight man front with press man and big spreads between the DL; Michigan is coming after it. Sagesse(-1) steps inside and gets sealed. This cedes a big crease with help from similarly creased Brown(-1). No linebacker help since everyone's selling out on fourth and one, and the RB is into the secondary immediately. Woolfolk takes a good angle and comes up to tackle after about ten, but misses it (-1, tackling -1), giving up another ten before Warren can haul him down.
2009 Eastern Michigan O47 3 Ace tight 4-3under Run Dive 4
Fully ten guys in the box as EMU lines up in a tight set with both wideouts acting as quasi-TEs. They run right at a sizeable gap between Martin and Graham that Leach(-0.5) doesn't attack fast enough. Looks misaligned or mis-called or something because this didn't seem like a defense likely to prevent a quick burst up the middle.
2009 Eastern Michigan O49 3 Ace Twins 4-3under Run Down G 3
Kovacs is in the game for Williams, BTW, and will play the rest of the game. EMU goes back to their down G play, running right at Roh. Roh(-1) is in good position to squeeze the gap and force a bounce but basically gets run over by the G, which provides enough crease for the first. Should go low here, I think.
2009 Eastern Michigan M23 3 Ace Big 4-3under Run Inside Zone 3
Martin(-0.5) gives a yard or two, as does Ezeh, but that's not really his fault, and there's enough of a push up front to get the first.
2009 Notre Dame O33 3 Ace 3-wide 4-3under Run Pitch sweep 5
It's third and one and ND runs a no-deception pitch sweep and ND's no block tight end ends up blocking Ezeh six yards downfield. -2. Brown(-1) jumped inside on the snap and gave up the corner, too, but Roh's ability to get outside forced an Allen cut that might have been no gain if our MLB wasn't six yards away from the play facing 180 degrees in the wrong direction.
2009 Notre Dame M22 4 Ace 4-3under Run QB sneak 1
They get it.
2009 Western Michigan M17 3 Shotgun Tight Base3-4 Run QB draw 0
WMU screws something up because Mouton just isn't blocked and the pulling guard has no chance to get to him by the time Hiller arrives. He submarines and tackles(+0.5). Actually, this is the backup QB.
2009 Western Michigan M17 4 Ace 3-wide 4-3Under Pass Rollout out 0
This is open in front of Brown in man; he didn't look totally prepared for the snap. Hiller again does Michigan a favor and wings it wide.

And when they've given you their all
Some stagger and fall, after all it's not easy
Banging your heart against some mad bugger's wall.

"Isn't this where...."



November 15th, 2011 at 9:22 AM ^

I'm sure Hoke doesn't mind, but sure seems like he deserves some credit for the return of the defense (especially D-line) as well as Mattison (who is, clearly, the man).


November 15th, 2011 at 10:53 AM ^

So, so you think you can scheme

really coach this team,

get stops on D.

Can you defend the field and not give up the score?

Stop third and four?

Can you prevent the score?

Did we really just trade stuffed beavers for HOKE? 

Bad scheme for a stout D?

TDs for I-N-Ts?

Tired sadness for pride?

And did we return to a top tier team on the defensive side?

How I'm glad,  glad GERG ain't here.

We're just two more games from going to a good bowl, what a great year!

Running back to the big time bowls.

What do we find? We belong here.

Glad GERG ain't here.



November 15th, 2011 at 1:07 PM ^

GERG:   "Goodbye cruel world"

Hoke:  "How can you have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?"

Tate Forcier:  "Toys in the attic, I am crazy"

Denard:  "You'd better run.  Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run,  you'd better run all day & run all night"