Upon Further Review 2013: Offense vs MSU Comment Count

Brian November 7th, 2013 at 3:32 PM

ACCIDENTALLY APROPOS ERROR NOTES: Since the NCAA decided to replace their stat pages with much worse stat pages I've been using ESPN's items—still worse than the thing the NCAA just replaced but better. Their drive pages have been consistently erroneous all year, but my irritation just evaporated thanks to this magically accurate error in re: Michigan's drive immediately following Taylor's interception:


CORRECT, intern or robot or whoever. Correct. Except that drive started at the MSU 41, but we forgive all transgressions for spiritual correctness. The best kind of correctness.

FORMATION NOTES: So I just called MSU's stuff 4-3 over but I should point out that everyone is within ten yards of the LOS on damn near every snap. This is M's opener.


This was completely typical. For the most part, MSU did not try to match corners, they just ran their D. They would occasionally move guys down and whatnot, but mostly this was like watching magic. MSU has acquired a variety of guys big time programs didn't want and plays them more aggressively than the most athletic defense in the country, whoever that might be, and apparently no one can do anything about it. It is boggling.

MSU did on occasion flip to man press on the corners; this is designated with "press."


While it was the same personnel, when MSU shaded a guy outside the hash I called this a nickel. As always, with opponent formations I'm not trying to describe personnel.


SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Gardner until last three plays, Toussaint almost the whole way save one, maybe two snaps on which Derrick Green didn't seem any better at pass blocking.

Line was Lewan/Bosch/Glasgow/Magnuson/Schofield with some limited exceptions featuing Kalis entering as a sixth OL. Paskorz got some snaps at TE; Butt got most of the inline snaps. When Funchess was inline it is noted below; he was inline for every play on Michigan's final drive but mostly split out. No Dileo; WRs were Gallon, Chesson, and a little bit of Jackson.

[After THE JUMP: otters, so many otters]

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR DForm Type Play Player Yards
M17 1 10 Ace twins stack 1 2 2 4-3 over Pass PA Fly Gallon 35
Butt motions to short side of field, which also has the WRs. Play action, but Michigan sends the TEs out, so no max pro. Linebackers come, looking run first and then transitioning to blitz second. MSU is actually in deep trouble here as one safety also comes up on the run action and M has two guys running deep against one defender. Gardner is late and picks the wrong guyFunchess is gone. I'm not going to BR a long completion but this was a missed opportunity already. (MA, 1, protection 2/2). Bosch nearly lost his guy; Toussaint did a good job to help on him and also come off on Bullough. Refs ignore obvious targeting on Gallon. Refs -2. RPS +1; more of a bust by MSU than anything magic.
O48 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass Throwback WR screen Gallon 11
MSU backing out a bit on the snap. Chesson(+0.5) gets just enough of a block on the corner; Allen blitzed so playside LB is gone. Lot of room; Bullough makes it up really fast to help hold the play down. Magnuson(-1) whiffed on a safety badly; Schofield(+1) got his. RPS +1. (CA, 3, screen)
O37 1 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 over press Run Down G IV counter Toussaint 4
MSU matches up on the corners, leaving the safeties in the box. M runs a play that looks like veer in the backfield but is probably just a straight up run as M pulls the playside G and uses him to block the end, who's widening out in case there is a keep. Gardner hands off and then runs to the outside, but M isn't optioning anyone here. Lewan(+1) blows in the playside T. Glasgow goes right to the LB level, so the NT can flow down the line, no chance for Mags. Toussaint has to take it outside as a result, albeit inside of the DE Bosch; seems like that might be the plan here as M bets that T can't make the play while Bullough certainly can. Butt(-1) gets stood up, no motion. Funchess(-1) comes in from the slot and hits that guy, too, and while he does do something useful I imagine he's supposed to get the safety, who's overhanging at eight yards. DE Bosch is kicking comes off that block, reaches out, grabs a shoulder pad, spins Toussaint, delayed, buried, okay gain. RPS push; hole offset by MSU LBs in the wrong spot to be blocked. Picture paged.
O33 2 6 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 4-3 over slide Pass Throwaway N/A Inc
Double A blitz. This protection looks very strange with M basically doubling one DE with Butt and Lewan; Lewan ends up blocking no one the whole play. Bosch(-3) thinks he's handing off the DE as he dives inside and then just follows him upfield; Glasgow has to take one LB and Fitz the other, pressure right up the gut, Gardner spins out and throws it away. (PR, N/A, protection -3)
O33 3 6 Shotgun 4-wide stack 1 1 3 Okie two Pass Hitch Gallon 11
Seven guys at LOS, soft umbrella behind. MSU backs Bullough out presnap into a deep centerfield zone. M throws a hitch on the soft corner; easy. Underneath guy is trying to get over to duplicate the PSU INT but has to run around Chesson and cannot. (CA, 3, protection 3/3) Bosch's block is a little dodgy here, but does get the job done.
O22 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 3 4-3 over Run Power O Toussaint 0
Lewan super LT, Mags LT, Kalis RG. Bullough almost in the backfield on the handoff and ends up cutting Kalis two yards in the backfield. Mags(-1) couldn't do much with his DT; Lewan(+1) kicked out the DE authoritatively; Funchess(+1) blew up the star LB; do think Kalis(-0.5) was a bit slow getting to the hole here. Toussaint dodges that mess in the backfield, which gives a S time to get to the LOS and meet him. RPS -2; MSU responds to obvious run tip by blowing up play.
O22 2 10 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 6-1 over Pass Sack N/A -10
Absolutely nobody blocked. MSU stunts both ends and sends both LBs they've flared out. Toussaint(-2) gets run over. Mags(-2) never reads the stunt and lets one DE fly by him untouched. Glasgow(-1) at least makes contact but also gets run over. Lewan again ends up doubling a DE when he should be singled up against someone so that the rest of the line can help. Butt beaten around the edge. (PR, N/A, protection 0/5, RPS -2). MSU blitzed looking for PA like this all the way.
O32 3 20 Shotgun trips inner stack 1 1 3 Nickel over Pass Scramble Gardner 0
Five man shell behind six guys aligned oddly in the box. Gardner has a fine pocket since the two tackles end up singled and the rest of the line is concentrating on the other two guys, but can't find anyone and gets happy feet, scooting up in the pocket and getting himself in trouble by blowing up blocking angles. (TA, N/A, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: FG(49), 3-0, 10 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M35 1 10 Ace twin TE twins 1 1 2 4-3 over Pass PA corner Funchess 25
Schofield LT, Kalis RG, Mags RT, Lewan super RT. Max pro, passive LBs, plenty of time and a nice pocket, Lewis on Funchess and that works out for M. Gardner's throw is a little short and high but I think that's not a bad idea given Funchess's existence. (CA, 2, protection 2/2, RPS +1)
O40 1 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 1 3 4-3 over Run Inverted veer Gardner -2
Funchess inline. This is not actually an RPS play; it's Bosch(-3) running by a blitzer on his pull and blocking air. Funchess(+1) actually adjusted to the blitz and bashed Bullough to the ground. Schofield(+1) had a nice second level block. RPS push; could have worked.
O42 2 12 Shotgun trips TE 1 0 4 4-3 over Pass Wheel Toussaint 2
Funchess still inline. M looking wheel/hitch, probably because Gardner screwed up presnap read. Three guys in narrow space against two. Michigan again blows a stunt pickup; Lewan(-1) and Bosch(-1) combine to let a guy through free. Gardner takes the checkdown despite it not being open. (CA, 3, protection 0/2, RPS -1). Nothing open at all here.
O40 3 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Okie two Pass Sack Gardner -11
This is the throwback screen that the entire MSU defense has dead to rights. I would normally file a pass like this TA because it's not immediate pressure but really Gardner has zero options. (PR, N/A, RPS -3)
Drive Notes: Punt, 3-3, 6 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M32 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Nickel over Pass Scramble Gardner 3
I'll call this nickel with one of the LBs on the opposite hash and seven ish in the box. Green(-2) is in and has an airball as he attempts to pick up a blitzing Bullough; Bullough falls. Gardner has an opportunity to get a pass off but can't find Funchess wide, wide open on a circle route for the first down and instead takes off. To be fair there's just one dude in a ton of space. He gets cut down from behind as Magnuson's guy comes free. (TA, N/A, protection 1/3, Green -2)
M35 2 7 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass Out Gallon Inc
MSU shows more aggressive and then backs into their usual. Bosch(-2) tackles his guy, drawing a holding flag. MSU has all these routes blanketed as there is zero reaction to the PA. Gardner throws wide of a very covered Gallon. Not sure if that's a throwaway or just a miss. With the guy on Gallon's back I think there is a window for him. (IN, 0, protection 0/2, Bosch –2)
M25 2 17 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Pass Sack N/A -1
IT'S A TRAP. MSU has seven in the box, apparently ignoring the slot. M checks. MSU checks, dropping their star LB into Funchess and blowing him up. Gardner's looking there, doesn't like it. Toussaint(-1) gets a cut that delays the DE but then he falls past him and can't do anything more. That guy pressures, MSU is in their lanes, sack. Gardner had a throw to Gallon for a couple yards as he adjusted to doom. (TA, N/A, protection 2/3, Toussaint -1)
M24 3 18 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 2 Okie two Pass Sack N/A -6
Six OL lineup. MSU again shoots Bullough into a deep zone just moments presnap. Kalis(-2) blows his pickup, blocking a DE headed inside and letting a linebacker zip past. (PR, N/A, protection 0/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 3-3, 2 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M9 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Run Down G IV counter Toussaint 2
Slot LB ripping down, no chance for Funchess to block him. He fills, forcing a bounce from Toussaint(+1), which pops outside the end Bosch is blocking and prevents a TFL; safety fills for a minimal gain. Butt(-1) whiffed on Bullough on the interior. RPS -2.
M11 2 8 Ace twins twin TE 1 1 3 5-3 over Pass PA Post Funchess Inc
Funchess inline. MSU loads up but a safety backs out late to eight yards and drops into a zone. M running flood to the short side; Funchess is bracketed deep, Butt covered short. Gallon is the read, and he's still relatively covered. Bullough is one on one with Fitz(-1), who blocks him sort of. Garner steps up and chucks one at Funchess, which is way short, so short that it seems he must have been hit or something. (BR, 0, protection 1/2  Toussaint –1)
M11 3 8 Shotgun 4-wide stack 1 0 4 Okie two Pass Post Funchess Inc
Funchess runs a great route that gets separation; Michigan protects it; Gardner chucks it wide. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 3-3, EO1Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Run Inside zone Toussaint 9
The successful run. M goes zone read-ish, blocking the end. MSU sends two LBs inside of the gap between their end and the NT, M runs away from it. Bosch(+1) escorts a DT upfield out of the play. Glasgow(-1) sees that the LBs have exited the play and stays with the NT; he and Mags double there and they still lose the dude playside. Cumong. That's Toussaint's stutter. Chesson(+1) gets a good block on his press corner; Lewan(+0.5) got out on Allen. RPS +1.
M34 2 1 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 even Run QB power IV counter Gardner 6
This works exactly as intended and still requires Gardner to break tackles to get some yards, because MSU S is at eight yards presnap. The inverted veer fake takes in the playside LB enough for Schofield(+1) get around and seal him inside. Lewan(+1) blows up the end; should be there. Butt(-1)'s block on the corner is ineffectual; S filling hard hard hard makes Gardner hesitate; he breaks a tackle(+1) to pick up a decent gain. Brutal.
M40 1 10 Ace twins stack 1 2 2 4-3 over Pass PA comeback Gallon 11
Near max pro; Paskorz does go out in a route. MSU sends five and Allen ducks inside so there's a pretty obvious outside lane for Gardner to step up in; he does so comfortably; Gallon hitches up and is open by yards, executed. (CA, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +1)
O49 1 10 Pistol twins FB 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Yakety snap N/A -20
Man on the WRs with only one S over the run side of the formation, and then the guy on the corner also blitzes. Holy pants. Snap way over Gardner's head, doom. Glasgow –4.
M31 2 30 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 4-3 over Run QB power IV counter Gardner 1
Again this looks like it's about to work when it does not. End tries to rip inside Schofield(+1), who constricts and controls him; Lewan pops outside. He's leading; S comes up and cuts him, getting into Gardner's legs and flipping him over. Great play; Gardner(-1) still should have been able to bounce outside here.
M32 3 29 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 4 Okie two Pass Sack N/A -4 - 15 Pen
Gardner steps up like he wants to throw and hesitates and then he's in the middle of everyone and dies. Not the OL's fault this time, as they had contained MSU, but Gardner's lack of pocket awareness bites and his refusal to throw also does. Lewan(-3) picks up a PF afterwards. (TA, N/A, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 3-6, 7 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M22 1 10 I-Form twins 2 0 2 4-3 over press Run Iso Toussaint -2
Six OL, man press from MSU. Bosch and Glasgow(+1) blow the NT way off the ball; Kerridge does an eh job on Bullough, who sort of comes through him at the LOS. Kalis(-1) has been shoved into the backfield and makes Toussaint(-1) hesitant to follow the play design, so he ends up cutting back unwisely, directly into Allen, who went nuts for the LOS on the snap because he had no TE threat. RPS –1.
M20 2 12 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Nickel over Pass Post Chesson 58
MSU seems to indicate blitz and backs out. They stunt on the right side of the line; Magnuson(-1) gets banged by the guy coming inside Schofield and actually turns around 360 degrees. Toussaint finds that guy late and does impede him a bit. Guy goes up the middle of the pocket, Gardner steps into it and throws. He's chucking it a bracketed Chesson; Lewis never gets around because the throw doesn't really let him, Chesson jumps over him and makes a nice downfield grab. (DO, 1, protection 1/2, Mags -1)
O22 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 1 1 3 4-3 over Pass PA Post Funchess Inc
Funchess inline. He gets matched up in man against Lewis and gets no separation. Lewis is coming under Funchess as the pass gets there and gets a PBU. Gardner probably could have put it higher up to give Funchess a chance. (CA, 1, protection 2/2)
O22 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Pass Bubble screen Funchess 8
MSU shows a blitz off the corner and actually sends the other guy. MSU's actually got three guys to the playside but they're looking in the backfield. They're not bugging out for a bubble since M has never shown this this year. (CA, 3, screen)
O14 3 2 Shotgun 2back 2TE 2 1 1 5-3 even Run False IV QB stretch Gardner -8
6 OL, Lewan and Schofield paired to the field. M runs a stretch with a false veer a la Denard last year; MSU annihilates this. Playside LB shoots the gab, Kerridge goes outside. DE is setting up out there as well. Gallon(-1) ends up going upfield into the hole as he tries to crack down. Toussaint might be able to cut that LB and then Kerridge might be able to get a block if Gardner(-1) can get around the DE; instead he tries to reverse field and gets buried. RPS -3.
Drive Notes: FG(39), 6-6, 3 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M19 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 1 0 4 4-3 over Pass PA pop seam Funchess 13
Funchess inline. Run fake, LBs fire, small pocket between Funchess and the aggressive safety layer. Ball flutters out of Gardner's hands, forcing Funchess to spin around and pluck it out of the air; accurate enough. Also, a little more forgiving today because of the weather. (CA, 2, protection 1/1, RPS +1)
M32 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Run Inside zone Toussaint 2
Full on RR with Funchess on a bubble route. DE stays outside, give. Bosch(-0.5) and Glasgow(-0.5) can't get much motion or control on the playside DT. Mags(-0.5) and Schofield don't get the backside guy either. No serious penetration; Toussaint cuts all the way back, where the DE comes down from contain to tackle.
M34 2 8 Pistol 3-wide 1 0 4 4-3 over Run PA pop slant Gallon Inc
MSU showing blitz, check. MSU also checks. They go from soft on the corners to press, M tries to throw a PA pop slant at Gallon that gets disrupted. It is wide, results-based. (IN, 0, protection 1/1, RPS -1)
M34 3 8 Shotgun 4-wide stack 1 1 3 3-3-5 nickel Pass Out Gallon Inc
Near replay of the PSU INT where the slot guy is abandoned by the underneath player and he undercuts Gallon's route. That was a hitch, this is an out, DB can only get it off his fingertips. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 6-16, 8 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M7 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Run Inside zone Toussaint 1
Double A blitz. Glasgow(-1) does immediately abort a double to attempt to address it but whiffs; not like it mattered as there were two guys for one blocker. M blocked an end instead of holding him with a zone fake and ended up having Bosch and Lewan double another guy. RPS -3.
M8 2 9 Pistol 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Pass PA pop seam Funchess Inc
Funchess inline, this is a tip, Butt was the TE on the last play, cumong man. Bullough drops into the route and while the ball does get there this is really dangerous. Funchess drops it. (CA, 3, protection 1/1), RPS -1.
M8 3 9 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 3-3-5 nickel Pass Rollout comeback Funchess Inc
Rollout time. Bullough ends up shooting a gap to get late pressure but it's enough for Gardner to get the ball off. Ball is late, giving the DB an opportunity to come back and impact Funchess the moment after he catches the ball awkwardly against his facemask. You want him to catch this but this is a two. (CA, 2, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 6-16, 5 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M10 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide? 1 1 3 4-3 over? Penalty Offsides N/A 5
MSU manages to jump offsides while we're looking at the sidelines.
M15 1 5 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 4-3 under Pass PA post Gallon Inc
Plenty of time this time as MSU sends four and M picks it up. Gardner does have to move around a little, but he's got a nice pocket. He looks deep to Gallon, who's got a guy with him but also has a an opportunity to be open if thrown open; Gardner misses. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
M15 2 5 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass Hitch Gallon -2
Quick PA hitch against press. DB all up in Gallon's business, he catches it momentarily and then loses it, refs rule it complete somehow and Michigan loses two yards. /waves punt flag. (CA, 1, protection 1/1) I am filing this as incomplete for receiverchart.
M13 3 7 Shotgun trips stack TE 1 1 2 3-3-5 nickel Pass Throwaway N/A Inc
Slide protection gets everyone doubled except Calhoun on Toussaint(-1) who does a crappy job; Gardner(-1) then compounds matters by trying to flee and blowing up Fitz's blocking angle. (TA, N/A, protection 0/2, Toussaint -1, Gardner -1, RPS -1) Gardner is barely out of the tackle box and throws it as he goes down.
Drive Notes: Punt, 6-16, 3 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O41 1 10 Pistol 2TE 1 1 3 4-3 over Run Zone read belly Gardner -5
Funchess inline. Double A blitz, again Michigan can't handle it with Magnuson(-2) getting blown by by a DT; Glasgow(-2) catches air, again 2 on 1. MSU is containing Gardner(-1); he pulls anyway. This was actually Belly, a play that should work great against this blitz since it hits backside quick and doesn't use those gaps but Michigan screws up the blocking so badly that Toussaint will get eaten. Gardner should just try to outrun the DE to the sideline but reverses field and turns a no gain play into a large loss. Why the hell is Michigan blocking this play like this when they get the double A they want and still let dudes tear through? Horrible. RPS -1? Yeah.
O46 2 15 Ace twin TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 over Pass Sack N/A -9
Gardner turns back to LOS, Fitz goes for handoff fake, Fitz has to try to block rampant Bullough on another double A gap. This does not go well. (PR, 0, protection 0/5, Toussaint -1, Glasgow -2, Bosch -2, RPS -3). Compounding matters, Bosch and Glasgow lose their guys.
M45 3 24 Shotgun trips stack TE 1 1 2 3-3-5 nickel Pass Sack N/A -6
Bullough bailing out deep; five man shell with six sent. Toussaint(-2) gets smoked by Allen on his blitz. Bosch(-2) gets smoked on a stunt. Magnuson(-2) also gets smoked. Three guys meet at Gardner. (PR, 0, protection 0/6).
Drive Notes: Punt, 6-16, EO3Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M27 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 4 4-3 over Pass Hitch Funchess 4
Funchess inline. MSU sends a double A blitz and M actually picks it up. Funchess runs a short hitch that MSU still picks up and the gain is meh. (CA, 3, protection 3/3)
M31 2 6 Pistol 3-wide 1 0 4 4-3 over Pass Fade Gallon Inc
Funchess inlnie again. Try a fade at Gallon, he's blanketed, throw is long anyway. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
M31 3 6 Pistol 3-wide 1 0 4 3-3-5 nickel Pass Scramble Gardner 5
Funch inline. Another blitz; picked up. Gardner looks like he wants to throw at Funchess again but Funchess isn't turning around; he pulls it down and moves out, breaking into the open. He has the first down easy but I don't know if he's just beaten down by life or screws up where the thinks the sticks are and ends up just short of the line. (SCR, N/A, protection 3/3, Gardner -1 run)
M36 4 1 Ace 3-wide 1 0 4 5-3 over tight Run QB sneak Gardner 1 (Pen +5)
They get it. MSU had 12 guys on the field anyway.
M41 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 4 Nickel even Run QB draw Gardner 4
Have fun storming the castle. S at nine yards cuts it down as Gardner tries to get outside. Gardner(-1) should have gone more vertically, as that was where the block allowed him to go and popping outside is easy for the S.
M45 2 6 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 4 Nickel over Pass Rollout hitch Chesson 11
Magnuson(-1) driven back into Gardner's flight path, he has to pull up. He finds Chesson open in between a few guys in the zone, hits him, nice conversion. (CA, 3, protection 1/2, Mags -1)
O44 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Scramble Gardner 3
Good protection; Gardner doesn't like what he's presented with and pulls it down to pick up a few yards. This leans to TA and since M is down 2.75 scores just throw it man. (TA, N/A, protection 2/2)
O41 2 7 Pistol 3-wide 1 0 4 4-3 over Pass PA pop hitch Jackson Inc
This is a misread by Gardner on a great opportunity; it's a PA pop pass on which Funchess's short hitch gets undercut by Lewis, causing Gardner to go off it. Funchess then runs into wide open spaces a million years wide open with nothing between him and the goal line but grass. Gardner comes off of him to try a hitch to Jackson that's kind of covered sort of open and definitely overthrown. (BR, 0, protection 0/1, team -1) M unprepared to take advantage of opportunity.
O41 3 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 4 3-3-5 nickel Pass Out Chesson 13
Six sent, MSU playing off, out is open, hit. (CA, 3, protection 3/3)
O28 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 1 0 4 3-3-5 nickel Pass PA pop hitch Funchess 9
M ignores the NT, because of a blitz threat or something. I guess? Toussaint does come off to block that guy as Gardner gets a very quick hitch off to Funchess. That keeps him away from the S and gets a small chunk of yards. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O19 2 1 Pistol 3-wide 1 0 4 Nickel over Run Inside zone Toussaint 4
Handoff actually made this time. DE held outside by Gardner. Schofield(+2) splats playside end. LBs hanging back because of all the pop passes. Bosch(-1) and Magnuson(-1) both whiff on second level blocks so Toussaint gets bashed just as he runs up Schofield's back. Glasgow(+1) got a good seal on the NT.
O15 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 1 0 4 4-3 over Pass Yakety snap N/A -5
Gardner drops the ball as Toussaint runs by him to pick up a LB and knocks it out. Too many times to the well; Gardner was going to get buried either way. (PR, N/A, protection 0/1, Toussaint -1, RPS -1)
O20 2 15 Pistol 3-wide 1 0 4 Nickel over Pass Fade Gallon INT
Okay back shoulder fade I guess is the thing that gets called but this isn't getting completed either way as Dennard is all over it. (BRX, 0, protection 2/2).
Drive Notes: Interception, 6-22, 6 min 4th Q. Game is over when M gets ball back.

I should probably say something about how this feels like be flayed alive by acid or something.

I was expecting something along those lines.

I don't know, man, I just kind of put the second half on mute and didn't pay much attention. I didn't even get particularly excited when Taylor picked that ball off. I was just waiting for the end.

Progress. You are becoming an adult.

I don't feel like an adult. I feel nothing. I feel like I am wasting my time but am still chained to this miserable wreck, and that while none of this is my fault if I was a different person I would be happier.

That's adulthood.


Yeah, but you can vote?

I don't understand how it is possible to have your safeties playing as bonus linebackers for 60 minutes and not get dunked on from time to time.

It takes some cooperation from the opponent in the form of blown blitz pickups and missed reads. Michigan's first snap was a long completion; it should have been a blitheringly wide open touchdown.

Drummond bites hard and Funchess is alone, alone, alone.

Funchess was also blitheringly wide open for a touchdown on Michigan's final real drive, when the pop pass got jumped by a safety and Gardner came off Funchess instead of lofting it over the top for six points.

By that point, Gardner was probably trying to both play quarterback and prevent the pink weasels from eating the rest of his skin. There were also other instances in which Michigan was having a guy break open just as a Michigan State player was depositing his helmet in Gardner's chest, or ones on which Gardner did not see the guy for a fatal second or two.

So there were some opportunities. Whether Michigan had prepped Gardner to take advantage of all of them is questionable, especially on the pop pass.

Another part of it is that Michigan has zero play action out of their most dangerous running option: Gardner from the shotgun. Michigan got a second and one conversion in this game the hard way:

And that's a play that works. Michigan seals the edge. Then a safety ends up in Gardner's face at the LOS. That is no way to live. Whenever I bring this stuff up people say that they love the idea of getting a running back against a safety four yards downfield, but how about one? Is one a problem for you? Do I hear zero? If everything works out just right which it hardly ever does because football is hard and I find a safety in my grill before I break into the secondary, I am super not enthused by that. It's not 1970.

I appear to have started on yet another rant about 1970s football. I apologize. The point is: There has been no inverted veer, guy pulls play action all year. Michigan's play action does not actually simulate plays they run, so when they go PA and an MSU safety isn't hopped up on goofballs because it's the first play of the game, they just drop back into coverage, as they did on Chesson's double-covered long completion. The second potential Funchess TD is not a reaction to run action, it's a reaction to the previous pop passes they've run, and Michigan isn't even prepared to take advantage of that for reasons that may be Gardner but are also related to the fact that they don't run this pop pass enough to think about potential reactions to it and how to exploit them. Because they don't run anything enough to do anything, except "let's lose three yards on a run play."

YES this is another complaint about Michigan's offense not being coherent. Yes, I think it makes it easy for the opponent to look smart against it. It is what it is.

I've heard that Michigan just didn't execute.

They did not. This gets into a philosophical discussion about what the nature of a coach is: is it a person who sits around and says "well, you should execute and if you do not execute this is not my problem"? Is it reasonable that the players were not able to execute in this game, what level of responsibility do the coaches bear for that lack of execution, and can we just burn someone for heresy already? (You know. That sort of thing.)

Obviously, it is pretty hard to pick up stunts and blitzes from Bullough and Allen when you are a true freshman, a walk-on who switched positions midseason, and a redshirt freshman. I don't think we were expecting much different there. The fact that Michigan doesn't have one tailback who can pick up a blitz is damning, however, and at some point Michigan's quarterbacks looking confused consistently goes back to the QB coach.

And even though they're young, some of the OL issues still stick in my craw. Michigan still can't pick up a double A gap blitz to save their life, and when you're just running by guys, that's a problem. Maybe half of the Toussaint bitching after this game is excessive since Michigan was reduced to primitive slide protections that featured Toussaint blocking Calhoun and Taylor Lewan blocking nobody. Michigan ran that because they couldn't pick up seemingly any stunt MSU ran.

At some point, Michigan's insistence on running six OL out there reaches the level of farce. They don't have four OL. What the crap are you doing putting six out there? I mean, there are a lot of problems but you're just making them worse by flipping your 285 pound freshman RG to LT, except he's got Lewan outside of him, and then asking him to take on a DT. Magnuson can't move anyone, let alone a DT, Bullough is shooting the gap like a maniac because he knows for a fact that Lewan can't go downfield, and you have set you team up for failure:

It still doesn't work. And when you pass from it you aren't picking up anyone, possibly because the right guard is temporarily the left tackle and you just put a guy in cold off the bench. Precisely why Michigan was unable to pick up anything until the last drive (naturally) is unknown, but the constant realignment of the OL not only from week to week but from down to down is not helping.

The exception to this was the max-protect PA stuff, which did work for a little while despite the goofy lines. Probably would have worked just fine either way, though, and MSU's fix for that issue was making the linebackers more aggressive, not less—Michigan was not really working those linebackers but trying to get better pass blocking. I think, anyway. And Michigan got hammered by blitzes on those plays quite a bit.

The RPS number below is very bad, as are the other numbers. I think that is accurate. Michigan did not get anything easy save for one bust on the first play, and on many plays MSU had them dead before anyone on Michigan could screw up; they screwed up anyway. I mean, Youngstown State acquired more yards than Michigan did against MSU. WMU did. Purdue did. Failure this comprehensive indicts everyone.

But they weren't tough enough.

If you can define toughness into something that shows up on the field in ways other than flexing after plays made for reasons you don't understand, I'm listening. (I am not listening, because you're calling into Huge.) By the end of the game, Gardner had been worn down by the MSU defense, but how much of that was "toughness," whatever that might mean, and how much of it was bad technique and missed assignments from the OL?

Did Bosch not show requisite meanness on that play when he ran directly by a blitzer who then splatted Gardner? If he had shoved a sixth-grader in walk-through on Friday would he have not let a defensive tackle control his chest and then burst through the line like… all the time?

The sad thing is that Michigan was far away from making toughness a factor in this game. You can be the rootinest tootinest son of a gun west of the Pecos and it doesn't matter if you're watching MSU beat air to annihilate Gardner. Four about the fifth straight year Michigan State seemed like it was out-thinking Michigan.

All of this adds up to not a physical but a mental mismatch between the Michigan offense and the MSU defense. Part of this is youth, but part of it is Michigan trying to be all things and run all things with that young line.

And part of it is…?

Narduzzi generally eating Borges's lunch. On the two plays immediately following the Bosch airball above, Michigan threw a two-yard swing pass to Toussaint on the same wheel/hitch combo Michigan's run all year—MSU is all over it—and followed it with the most doomed throwback screen in the history of throwback screens:

At times it seemed like Narduzzi was calling Michigan's plays for them.

While the general structure of the gameplan was about all Michigan could do, it was disappointing that even after a bye week they had nothing that really caught MSU off guard. Even that new down G play discussed in picture pages was nerfed because Michigan was unprepared to run it against man coverage and then Narduzzi went T1000 on it. The six-man OL consistently saw MSU's LBs make the right read, whether it was to hold back on play action or bomb into the backfield on the run. That was part of the issue on the disastrous third and two: M goes tackle over, LB to that side of line bombs straight into the backfield.

Gallon's supposed to crack back on him and ends up chasing him all the way to Gardner. The consistency with which this happened makes it part of MSU's gameplan.

At some point someone is going to figure out that a big goddamn sign saying "we have no pass threat at this spot" is allowing teams to absolutely tee off on Michigan's run plays from this spot. That day is three weeks ago, and that someone is Penn State. The instant Michigan put that on film it became a disaster and they're still doing it.

Meanwhile, Michigan couldn't block the double A blitz to save its life until a couple of pass pro pickups on Michigan's final drive. Most of the time they left Glasgow alone against both LBs and saw Magnuson beat by a defensive tackle shooting outside of him. On this particular play they run a zone read without actually reading the end, eat a double A gap blitz, and are fortunate to cross the LOS:

[See footnote for aside]*

The one time they ran a play hoping to get a double A blitz and got it, Michigan still screwed it up, as Bullough's into the backfield so fast he'll TFL Toussaint on a handoff. And Lewis is filling behind anyway.

The number of plays M gets stuck in where they have no chance is alarming.

*[ASIDE: Oh man, the worst part of this is that MSU shows a corner blitz, backs out, Michigan runs the bubble, and the slot LB bugs out for it, removing himself from the box and giving Michigan an advantage if they just option a guy off on the read. Instead they block the backside end while running the constraint that should prevent that CB blitz that would allow the end to tear down the line at an inside zone. It's like watching a guy jamming a puzzle together no matter whether the pieces fit or not. "GODDAMMIT THIS IS PART OF CINDERELLA'S CASTLE I DON'T CARE IF IT HAS AN AUTOBOT ON IT."]

Did Michigan even try to get out of those?

Sometimes. Gardner saw this and checked into a quick throw to Funchess:


But MSU also checked and the end result was this:


Gardner took off for a minimal gain. There was another check on which Gardner saw MSU playing off Gallon and tried to check into a quick PA slant; MSU checked into press and knocked Gallon off his route.

Well, that's why Borges says he doesn't want to get into a chess match.

I wish Michigan was the team I thought would win a chess match. It sucks going into this game annually and expecting MSU to adapt while Michigan sticks its finger in its lip and goes brr-brr-brr. It took one newfangled run play for MSU to blitz it into oblivion, and it took one successful PA pop pass for MSU to almost tip the second one and threaten to intercept the third even if it leaves Funchess open for a TD, because Michigan doesn't understand what their potential responses to MSU's are. For years, MSU has been thinking three steps ahead of Michigan.

Sometimes this is hard and sometimes it's running a blitz up the middle when Michigan goes play action on second and fifteen with negative rushing yards on the day. When Michigan is consistently losing the mental battle that eventually goes back to the coaches.

I don't know, maybe it'll turn around next year. Maybe it really just is Denard not being fast enough mentally and Gardner not being fast enough mentally and having an offensive line that couldn't ID the MLB last year and can't do… anything this year and next year it'll seem a lot better. I'm finding it harder and harder to believe that is going to be the case.


Right, charts.

Devin Gardner 2012

Minnesota 3 7(1) 4 2(1) 2* 2 - 3 4 72%
Northwestern 4 16(2) 2 1 3* 2(1) 2(1) 2 5 79%
Iowa 3 16(4) - 2(1) 2 1 - 1 4 83%
Ohio State 3 11(1) 2 5* 2 1 - 3 2 65%
South Carolina 4 16(2) 2 8 3 4 - 2 2 57%

Devin Gardner 2013

Central Michigan 2 10(1)+ 1 1 2* - - 1 3 82%
Notre Dame 7+ 16(1)++ 4(1) 2 3* - 1 4 4 82%
Akron 3 14(2) - 5 3** 2 1 3 1 59%
UConn 2 13(1) 1 5*+ - 1 - 5 5 76%
Minnesota 4+ 7(1) 4 1 - - - 1 2 92%
Penn State 7+ 12(2) - 5+ 2** 3 1 4 4 66%
Indiana 5 18(3) 1 1 3 3 - - 5 78%
Michigan State 1 15(2) 1 5 4* 6 - 4 1 50%

Shane Morris

Central Michigan - 4 - 1 1* 1 - - - N/A

Gardner under siege, and his battered DSR reflects it. Gallon lock-on syndrome cost Michigan even though Funchess did get a ton of targets. One third-down PBU was a near-replica of one of PSU's interceptions:

And the final throw was pretty bad. Really hard to blame the guy because…

Offensive Line
Player + - Total Notes
Lewan 3.5 3 0.5 minus for PF. When relevant, blocked.
Bosch 1 4.5 -3.5 Lewan's fault.
Glasgow 2 8.5 -6.5 Minus four for snap. Also Lewan's fault.
Magnuson - 5.5 -5.5 My god Taylor Lewan is a terrible interior line.
Schofield 6 - 6 HOORAY BEER
Williams - - - DNP
Paskorz - - - DNC
Butt - 3 -3 Well what did you expect.
Kalis - 1.5 -1.5 Sigh.
Burzynski - - - DNP
TOTAL 12.5 26 32% Better than PSU.
Player + - T Notes
Gardner 1 5 -4 field reversals a bad idea.
Morris - - - DNP
Toussaint 1 1 0 Only eight carries
Green - - - DNC
Smith - - - DNP
Hayes - - - DNP
Rawls - - - DNP
Houma - - 2 DNC
Kerridge - - - DNC
TOTAL 2 6 -4 Made plays.
Player + - T Notes
Gallon - 1 -1  
Jackson - - -  
Chesson 1.5 - 1.5  
Reynolds - - - DNP
Dileo - - - DNP
Norfleet - - - DNP
Funchess 2 - 1 Much better as huge WR.
TOTAL 3.5 1 2,5 Indiana.
Player + - T Notes
Protection 46 35 57% Bosch –10, Toussaint –9, Magnuson-6, Glasgow –3, Green –2, Kalis –2, Gardner –1, Lewan –1, Team –1.
RPS 6 25 -19 Bye week wooooo

I should point out that even that miserable protection number doesn't quite encompass the horror of the day for Gardner. On MSU's last drive Michigan picked up three minuses to 12 pluses. Before that they were barely above 50/50 on getting their QB killed. Note that a few plays featured nearly unprecedented 0/5, 0/6 rankings as multiple players got swarmed, leaving Gardner snowed under even after he escaped the first guy, once the first two guys.

So. That's all obviously real bad. Michigan was bad at doing many things and the playcall matchups were often putting Michigan in terrible places from the start, like say running play action on second and fifteen with negative rushing yards on the day. That is what the RPS number tries to reflect: on how many plays did the two playcalls make M's job easier and on how many did it make it tougher? In this game that battle went to MSU in a landslide, and while that's because Michigan was selecting from a limited set of plays and they missed a couple opportunities, anyone disputing that Pat Narduzzi owns Al Borges has an incredibly difficult argument to make.

With fail this holistic the only thing to do is move on, quickly.


[Passes are rated by how tough they are to catch. 0 == impossible. 1 == wow he caught that, 2 == moderate difficulty, 3 == routine. The 0/X in all passes marked zero is implied.]

Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Gallon 4 1/2   3/3   24 3/4 9/11 38/41
Jackson 1         3 0/1   5/5
Reynolds           2 0/1 1/1 2/2
Chesson   1/1   2/2   3 1/3 1/3 8/9
Dileo           3 1/2 1/1 6/6
Norfleet           1     3/3
Funchess 2 0/1 2/3 3/4   9 1/3 5/7 22/24
Butt           1 0/2 0/1 6/6
Williams           1      
Toussaint           1     5/5
Hayes       1/1         1/1
Houma                 1/1

Gallon is Gallon but had a lot fewer opportunities to do things; Funchess was good but dropped a couple items.


He performed okay, displaying that combination of size and route-running that makes him so appealing. The size:

The route-running:

But he failed to separate on a few plays that ended up as PBUs and dropped some balls he could have had. He was under considerable duress on a couple of them. It was not the pantheon performance we were hoping for.


Yes. Well.


A salute to Michael Schofield is in order. You, sir, came out without a pass protection or run blocking minus in the midst of that. Also… Gallon. And Gardner, if only for not dying on us.

Not so heroic?

Everyone not name Schofield was overrun, except Lewan, and Lewan had a bad personal foul and something else besides he was lucky not to get ejected for. Borges should stop telling Narduzzi what he's going to run every play.

What does it mean for Nebraska and the future?

Duck. OL problems are here to stay. May not matter against Nebraska, at least not so much.

Chesson's developing a bit. Also Funchess keeps moving towards really good huge WR.

Drinking. Be prepared for the OSU game.


Indiana Blue

November 7th, 2013 at 3:40 PM ^

I highly doubt there will be any attention or analysis to what "may" have worked, since we will not see a defense that runs this scheme again this season.   

Move along, nothing to see over there ....

Go Blue!


November 7th, 2013 at 4:09 PM ^

unfortunately.... Hoke and Borges believe the same thing you do.  this is so crap, they have to pay attention and look at their flaws and not repeat them in their future offensive game plan.  I am just amazed by our staff, it seems that there is no preparation or any strategizing to take advantage of what the opponents like to do.  If we had a decent head coach, he would say I am not going to get beat by the a gap blitz, and made it the focus of the 2 weeks.  But of course he didn't.  This is MICHIGAN, what a loser saying

Colby Jax

November 7th, 2013 at 3:46 PM ^

You know Lewan is being criticized for his embarrassing conduct and making an ass out of himself with his statements, right?

Nevermind. There's no point when your MAAAAD RAAAAR at the mainstream media.


November 7th, 2013 at 4:01 PM ^

from the asinine article I'm referring to:

 In comparison to Lewan's performance and effort, Clowney looks like the second coming of Lawrence Taylor.

No one talks about offensive linemen because most sports fans cannot properly evaluate their play. Lewan plays my position. He's been embarrassing. The ridiculous and selfish unsportsmanlike conduct penalty he received in Saturday's game is indicative of his play all season. He's resorted to cheap shots and bullying because he failed to adequately prepare to have a dominant senior season.

His play all season has been very good. He got frustrated against MSU and took a dumb penalty. That does not justify slagging him as everything that's wrong with Michigan unless you are a dumbass. 

Colby Jax

November 7th, 2013 at 4:42 PM ^

I don't know if Whitlock totally lays into him as a player when he calls him embarrassing (which, in terms of on-field conduct and how he's handled the media, he has been).

Gholston's helmut-twist was not framed as merely "he was frustrated and took a dumb penalty" nor should it have been. Both are disgusting acts.

And on the podium, Lewan went from "A game like that will never happen again" (post-Akron) to "I'm not going to apologize for 4-0" (post-UConn) and now "We won't get bullied" (pre-MSU) to "I'm sorry for what I did" (subtext: Don't suspend me, Big Ten) post-MSU. He may grade out well but he has been an ass.




November 7th, 2013 at 5:06 PM ^

Yes, Lewan's post-MSU apology was really a disgrace.  He should have handled it like Gholston did -- I mean, everyone remembers Gholston's great apology, right?  Wait, you mean he didn't apologize, or even acknowledge his actions?  (For a play, incidentally, for which he was not penalized -- so your facts are just as wrong as your opinions.)


November 7th, 2013 at 3:53 PM ^

Borges throws rock.  Opponent throws scissors.  Michigan wins.

Borges throws rock.  Opponent adjusts and throws paper.  Michigan loses.

Borges throws rock - becauase Michigan does not have scissors.  Opponent throws paper.  Michigan loses. 

I really hope Michigan just doesn't have scissors right now.  I really hope Borges isn't failing to think about scissors (or "a scissor," as Larry David would say).  You have to have and think about scissors! 


November 7th, 2013 at 4:43 PM ^

I honestly don't know which is worse that we don't have it or that we don't use it... or maybe both.

The other thing here is that Michigan state is getting an extra move after us so we show rock and they show paper and we switch to scissors and they switch to rock before the play.  We really need counters that we can run multiple plays out of the same look.


November 7th, 2013 at 5:48 PM ^

The best offensive coordinators have all three and when you tempo the other team you get an idea of if the defense is rock, paper or scissors and on top of that give your offense the tools to run all three after the snap.  Borges, by framing his offense the way he does, has been screaming whether it's rock, paper, or scissors before the play even starts.  I can't teach defense even a bit, but I could tell the defense where to be at this point just by seeing what Michigan has run this year.  It's embarrassing, and the same people who had no patience for the previous coach seem to be comfortable making excuses for this staff.


November 7th, 2013 at 4:40 PM ^

I still feel that hit on Gallon was targeting.

• Launching toward an opponent to make contact in the head or neck area.
• A crouch followed by an upward and forward thrust with contact at the head or neck area.
• Leading with the helmet, forearm, fist, hand or elbow into the head or neck area.
• Lowering the head before attacking and initiating with the crown of the helmet.
People have been ejected for less than that hit this season - you know - the hit that knocked Gallon's mouthpiece to the sidelines on the helment to helmet shot on a defenseless receiver.  Despite missing out on a big play TD - getting a Targeting penalty there changes things.  I think they become less aggressive and wary of getting hit with another big penalty.

Space Coyote

November 7th, 2013 at 7:33 PM ^

But if it was, it was a very weak version of targeting, and I hate that call anyway because I don't think DBs can really do a whole lot in that situation to get the ball out of the WRs hands from the safety position he was in. And if he would have been thrown out for that... I really hate that rule.


November 8th, 2013 at 8:54 AM ^

as well - especially the subjective nature of it. 

This first is pretty much what happened to Gallon.  The DB cannot control where he hits the receiver because of the way he is coming down:


Because of the subjectiveness of the rule - nothing was called - nothing was reviewed by the league - despite the helmet-to-helmet contact on a defenseless receiver.

If you're going to have the rule - freaking call it.




November 8th, 2013 at 11:12 AM ^

The subjective nature of the penalty, I don't like the aspect that the 15yd personal foul penalty still stands even if the replay official says there was no penalty.  Happened again last night.  Baylor DB puts a lick on the Oklahoma receiver and was flagged.  Replay offiicial says the hit was legitimate, shoulder to shoulder, so the player isn't ejected but OU still benefited 15 extra yards for the PF.


November 7th, 2013 at 5:15 PM ^

For the most part Gardner only has eyes for the primary route, Gallon is his stated favorite receiver, and that route is usually run by Gallon.  It is little wonder that if the primary route is remotely open Gardner will throw to him even when other receivers are open to the EZ.  That play is not the first one Gardner has ignored or just didn't see the wide open receiver. 


November 7th, 2013 at 4:03 PM ^

I expect a near repeat next year.

MSU loses 5 senior starters on D I believe - the only one that will be very damaging is the MLB.  They lose Dennard at corner but their other corner probably is already as good as a 2 star RS sophomore.  They can find any 2-3 stars and make him into a very good CB.  Denicos Allen (3 star) is a complete beast - if he was 6'2 rather than 5'11 I think he'd be 1st rounder instead of 3rd or 4th wherever he is projected.  They have a 3 star replacing him named Ed Davis who quietly had 2.5 sacks I believe in this game.  So that's a wash.   They lose their DTs but have 2 sophomores DTs who are already getting a lot of playing time and effective so its a small step back.  Main issue for MSU will be the MLB where I dont see the easy replacement - they have Renshke (sp?) who has not played and Max's younger bro who was playing RB to start the year.   So I guess instead of terror double A gap blitzes it will only be horror double A gap blitzes in 2014.    Calhoun (3 star) has a chance to be pre-season All American next year, with a motor that doesn't quit.   Their other 3 star LB Taiwan Jones will be a terror as well, major NFL prospect.  And Drummond who is a major playmaker in the secondary will have another year of experience.

And our OL will be younger albeit the theory that "you are only as bad as your weakest link" will keep hope for some as Braden of 2014 > Magnuson/Bosch/Glasgow of 2013.  Anyone thinking a very different result is coming next year is drinking some stuff I'd like.    Defense will be top 10 next year again.

They just have an impressive pipeline on that side of the table and if Terry is 1/10th of what they make him out to be in practices they will have a real playmaker at QB rather than a guy who overthrows wide open WRs half the time.  They will take a step back on OL next year - so maybe UM defense can dictate things more in 2014 but that would require a DC who is aggressive rather than passive, and ability to blitz and press corners - none of which is evidenced in 2013.

/retort - well I guess we should not even bother to show up next year then smart guy!???!!



November 7th, 2013 at 4:15 PM ^

So you are saying we are getting our asses handed to us again for the second straight year, but wait people on mgoblog assured me that next year is our year and our experienced line will look better. LOL, hate people that just turn a blind eye to the issues at hand instead of fixing them and waiting another year and yet another year.  The only things that is suffering is the football program.

Three Yards an…

November 7th, 2013 at 4:15 PM ^

and we still have no answer for MSU's double A gap blitz.  None.  That defies logic.  Every year, I sit and wonder, is this the year we actually have a counter measure in place to defeat Narduzzi's favorite toy?  And every year, the answer is no.

Drives me crazy.

Space Coyote

November 7th, 2013 at 7:36 PM ^

7 man protections that give Michigan an extra blocker against it. Relatively simple 2-on-2 man protection schemes. That's didn't work so we went to gap slide protections.

Why those didn't work? Probably because of youth and because the coaching isn't getting through to these guys (this is on coaching, don't try to twist that by saying I'm just blaming the players). But Michigandid have a plan, and the plan was sound and probably the best option they had. Being able to execute it is far from easy. It still should have been better though.

Creedence Tapes

November 7th, 2013 at 4:17 PM ^

Can't beleive you graded out the OL so highly in this one Brian. Were you watching the same game I was? MSU was in the backfield almost immediately after the snap on just about every play I recall. Not sure how you found a way to blame this one on Borges plays being predictable, when our interrior line didn't block for squat. Are you suggesting he should have run the ball more instead of going with a very pass heavy game plan (38 pass and 17 run by my coun according to the UFR)? 


November 7th, 2013 at 4:17 PM ^

Brian or anyone,

Given the importance of having an experienced interior OL, especially vs MSU.... wouldnt have been far better, prior to MSU a bit, to have the experienced Schofield kick to RG, then play Braden or Magnuson at RT ?   This way the lineup looks like...

Lewan  ---   Kalis  ----  Glasgow  ---  Schofield  ---- Braden

This lineup seems far less likely to have interior issues, having a 5th year senior as one of the guards.  I put Schofield at RG and not LG only to have experience on both sides... and if not Braden, then Magnuson, at RT.... 

Someone please share your educated thoughts here, because having highly inexperienced youth all next to each other on the line, seems quite silly, especially when Schofield played guard well... it seems the RT is a spot better suited to have inexperience.


November 7th, 2013 at 4:29 PM ^

That would be a disservice to Schofield, whose NFL prospects are best if he's showing what he can do at tackle.  You're also just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, b/c having an inexperienced tackle is terrible for pass protection too.  You might as well go with the bad option that's good for Schofield over the bad option that isn't. 


November 7th, 2013 at 4:48 PM ^

It's going to eventually hurt your recruiting if you don't help guys out when it isn't costing the team, and I don't conceed that having Schofield at RT is costing the team.  As was also pointed out yesterday, coaches hate having young tackles.  Pass blocking as a tackle is generally harder than it is on the interior, and things might well be worse if one of the (redshirt) freshman played RT.