Michigan's Defense vs. Ohio State--1st Half

Submitted by DoubleB on December 22nd, 2018 at 2:10 PM

Ohio State's offense versus Michigan's defense in the 1st half. This is a little more geared to both what Ohio State did to attack Michigan and Michigan's coverage response to it as opposed to grading players.

This is probably easier to follow watching the game. Terminology is mine that if you have a question I'll be happy to expand upon anything in the comments. For example, "Mesh" is not traditional Air Raid Mesh, but two routes crossing in the box. I tried to keep terminology simple and self-explanatory, but that's not always easy.

                     Backfield      Motion      Formation             R/P                Play                 Gain

1  0-10 -43     Gun Wk       Y Mo       Slot Twins L           Run               IZ Arc                 9

Slot (89) motions to boundary pre-snap and then comes back across the formation to “Arc” upon the first player he sees outside the DE. 21 blocks down and seals Hudson blitzing off the edge putting 89 on Metullus allowing Haskins to get outside with a lead blocker. Looks like Michigan running a simple scrape exchange with pressure, but Hudson doesn’t do his job and loses Haskins completely. Michigan running Over (to me, WS A Gap and SS B Gap with DTs) Cover 1. Without EZ film not always easy to determine DL techniques, but will do best I can.

2  2-1 +48     Gun Wk                        Slot Twins R          Run               IZ Split               2

OSU lines up fast and runs split zone where 89 now kicks out the DE opposite the direction of the zone play. Gary sheds the poor block by 89 and gets underneath to get in on tackle. Everyone else looks gap sound, Dobbins tries to cut back to B Gap where Kemp makes the tackle (along with Gary). Hudson is responsible for Haskins on Read look. Michigan running Over Cover 1, but tight shade by Nose and 4i Technique by Tackle.

3  1-10 +46   Gun Stg        F Mo        Pro Twins L           Pass              Shallow             16

Straight dropback pass. 21 motions across formation to boundary and then runs a Shallow route across the field. A simple play, but so well designed. Motion forces a change in matchup. The Shallow goes up the field a few yards before cutting across and actually uses the umpire as a pick. The RB crosses the formation to clear the non-blitzing LB from the field side. The single WR to the field runs off CB and blocks just after the catch. Michigan running Over Cover 1 with an End-Tackle stunt to both sides with Bush blitzing the A Gap. It is easily picked up.

4  1-10 +30                                          Penalty                                                                 -5

5  1-15 +35  Gun               T Leave    TE Empty R           Pass              Mesh                 11

Straight dropback pass. RB leaves the backfield to line up weak and runs the exact same Shallow route 21 ran the play before (upfield, in front of umpire). #2 WR Strong is fairly tight to box and runs a Curl at 10 yards over the box. TE runs a Crossing route and gets in between RB and Gil. Again the Field side is cleared out and it’s complete. The Front is a mess but looks like a Tite 3/5/7 to Field (4 to a side). Bush blitzes Field B Gap while 3 and 5 Techs work down 2 full gaps. OSU does a great job picking it all up. Cover 1 again.

6  2-4 +24    Gun Split       F Box         Slot R                     RPO              IZ Split               0

IZ Split action by OL and TE, but Haskins is throwing Flare to 14 the whole way. Bad throw prevents what could be a pretty big play. WR at bottom of screen is trying to block Thomas (guy covering 14), but while he misses, does create some a lot of space if the ball is thrown well. Front is a mess (3-3-5 personnel), but DTs slant to TE side (and do a good job getting across 2 gaps) and a scrape exchange blitz to the open end--unsure if Winowich is correct here, possibly should be under TE and handling the RB (who might get yards if he gets the ball). Again Cover 1.

7  3-4 +24    Gun Stg                           Bunch R FiB          Pass              Mesh                 24

Bunch formation is into the boundary. Same play, just run slightly differently. #1 WR runs the Shallow (again upfield 2-3 yards before coming across), single WR to Field runs the Crossing route. #2 runs vertical and #3 runs the Curl into the box at 10 yards. No real pick here as 17 simply has leverage on Watson and then outruns him to the EZ. Because the RB stays into block, Michigan has a low hole player in Hudson who Haskins does a great job of looking off. The field is cleared out again for the WR. Michigan has 2 3 Techs (NFL pass rush Front). Weakside slants down while Bush comes off the WS edge. RG locks onto Dwumfour a bit much, but the RB picks up Bush easily. The DTs are useless on this play.

8  0-10 -25  Gun Wk                            Unb Slot Quads R Pass             2 Verts                0

Play action pass with the slot and RB both blocking OSU’s left edge. It looks like 2 verticals with a Bubble by the covered #3 WR which gets blown up by Hill. Michigan looks like they struggle to line up to the unique formation, but OSU does nothing right on this play. The pass is actually illegal (no call) to a covered #3 WR and 89 holds Ross on the play. 3-3-5 with a slant to the field and Kinnel and Ross off the WS edge. Looks like 4 under 2 deep coverage by Michigan and the Verts were covered.

9  1-20 -15  Gun Wk                            Unb Slot Quads R Run              IZ Split                2

Straight forward run here. The unique formation I think changes some Run Fit responsibilities forcing Kinnel to fit inside like an LB. He’s a bit slow to get there, but Dwumfour fights just enough, while getting blocked to the ground, forcing Weber to adjust/jump and preventing a straight line run through the middle. 2 3 Techs and Cover 1 by Michigan.

10  2-16 -19 Gun Wk                           Slot Trey L             Pass             Smash                0

Play action pass with the slot and RB blocking OSU’s right edge. Return route by #1 to the Strength and a very deep Corner route by #2. WS #1 runs 15-18 yard Stop route. Haskins telegraphs this one waiting for the Corner to open. It never does and falls incomplete. 2 3 Techs by Michigan and they try a longer developing ET pass stunt (I think it’s to both sides but Field DE doesn’t run it--possibly because he thinks he’s being read). The stunt gets nowhere. Coverage is unique. SS #1 is Man as well as the LBs on TE/RB. Looks like bracket coverage on 21 and WS #1.

11  3-16 -19 Gun Wk                            Deuce                   Pass             Snag/Rail            0

Straight dropback. Snag concept to the 3 WR side (Snag/Corner/Flare) and what I call a Rail concept to the Field (#2 Fade). OSU is probably hoping to get Man to hit either #2 WR, but Michigan runs same coverage as last play. Bracket the #2 WRs and man everywhere else. Haskins steps and tries to hit RB on late wheel but incomplete. Watson gets away with a blatant hold on this play. Front is 2 3 Techs and this time the DTs fake rush and mirror the QB. As he steps up and to his left, Paye forces a throw. Good adjustment by defensive coaches.

12  0-10 -25 Gun Wk                            Slot Twins L          Pass              Flare                   1

Quick flare to RB out of the backfield. OL is blocking pass so no screen look. Quick game route to boundary (Slide-Vert). Michigan disguises pre-snap and I believe confuses Haskins into making the flare throw into a Man look. OSU’s WRs try to block a man inside in order to get Watson to follow. However, it’s Cover 2ish to the Field. Watson jams #1 WR, sees throw, and makes tackle with Ross for a yard. Boundary slants by 5 and 3 Tech (with Hudson off edge) sees Gary clean, but ball is out before he can be a factor. Over Front with Man to boundary and Cover 2 look to Field.

13  2-9 -26 Gun Wk                              Slot Twins R         Run                IZ Split                8

OSU lines up quick again and runs IZ Split. Michigan isn’t finished lining up and RB takes it for an easy 8 yards straight through the PS B gap. There’s no LB on the boundary side at all. Bush sheds a block and makes the tackle at 8 yards. Dwumfour looks like he was held, but no call. However, a late after the play penalty costs OSU the down and 15 yards, effectively ending the drive. Not sure what the Front is supposed to be (maybe the 3 man look), but it’s definitely Cover 1 with a 5 man pressure.

14  3-16 -19 Gun Wk        Z In              Slot Trey L            Pass             Wk Flood             0

OSU motions the Z in (1) to create a Stack look to attack Man coverage. Michigan obliges. 1 runs an Over route deeper across the field trying to create separation from Long. He has a bit, but Haskins throws behind and Long gets the PBU. Front looks like 2 2 Techs (head up on guards) with a slant to the boundary and outside pressure from Hudson. Hudson gets chipped by the TE and Winowich gets chipped by the RB coming outside on a late Flare route. Interior DTs get little push giving Haskins time.

15  0-10 -20 Gun Wk                             Trey L                   Pass              Mesh                  0

Back to the mesh routes. This time Michigan is in some type of 2-High zone and play it poorly. Weber runs a straight Wheel route up the sideline and Gil is 3 steps behind him. Haskins just misses the throw or it’s a potential TD. Unsure of blame here. Are Gil and Hill supposed to switch this with an immediate In route by #1 WR? Gil thinks so and when he realizes Weber is open runs after him. Hill looks lost. Looks like C-2 everywhere else with boundary safety tracing the TE vertically. Over front with no interior pressure and edge players upfield.

16  2-10 -20 Gun Stg                             Deuce L               Run                FS Zone Rd       9

Haskins is reading Dwumfour here and it’s an easy 9 yards. Michigan is back in the bracket coverage. Man on the #1 and RB, bracket the 2s. Bush runs with the back and the 3 Tech headed straight up the field, it’s an easy read and keep. Hudson could make this play earlier but looks like he reads pass from the OT and turns his back to the box. Haskins goes 8 yards before he’s touched and slides. Michigan is in their 2 3 Tech front anticipating pass.

17  3-1 -29 Gun Wk       Y Mo                Slot Twins L        Pass               Boot Hide           5

Quick boot off the IZ Split/Arc action from earlier. 89 comes back across to the flat to be the only viable WR on the play. Motion allows #2 WR (14) to determine who to block as well as identify Man coverage. 14 blocks the correct guy, but Metullus makes a really good play to sniff out what’s happening which isn’t easy after all the mesh routes. If he takes 2 more steps inward, 89 might run forever. Over front becomes an Under on the motion.

18  1-10 -34 Gun Wk                              Slot Twins R       Run                IZ Split              -1

OSU tries to go fast after getting the 1st down, but doesn’t work this time. Michigan doesn’t look perfectly aligned, but has bodies in the box. Gary gets pinned inside a bit and Weber takes it outside, but Kennel is there to make the play for the TFL. I would guess the bracket coverage again from Michigan.

19  2-11 -33 Gun Wk                              Trey L                 Pass              Mesh Return      11

Same route concept as the missed Wheel earlier, but the shallow and cross now become return routes. Hill gets caught looking in backfield as ball is thrown to 83 who fights through Gil for the 1st down. Michigan is again in straight Cover 1. ET stunt again to both sides but Gary doesn’t run it leaving  2 guys too far outside to the field to be effective pass rushers. Bush runs straight into the center. Winovich not having success inside either.

20  1-10 -44 Gun Wk                              Slot Twins R       Pass             3 Verts                0

OSU goes “Check w/me” to the sideline to identify the coverage. They run play action pass with 3 verticals down the field and the two Field verticals are open. Haskins misses the wide-open Field Fade. I’ve assumed Long was playing man on #1s with the bracket coverage before, but he clearly zone turns after about 10 yards as if it’s Cover 2. If it is Cover 2, then Kinnel isn’t deep enough. Both guys look at each other after the play (which we can safely say isn’t a good sign). OSU pulls the center on the protection look which holds an unblocked Winovich. Interior DL literally doesn’t move from LOS.

21  2-10 -44 Gun               Z In               Empty L            Pass               Mesh                  28

OSU motions twice. First time to go to Empty identifying man coverage. Second time, to get to a Stack look to the boundary. Same Mesh concept as before. Michigan with a 4 to a side look that is perfectly picked up by the OSU OL. Winovich is also handled giving Haskins plenty of time. Again, the route technique by 14 is excellent going upfield, putting Watson on his heels, and then moving away from him. Route concept leaves no secondary support giving OSU their biggest gain of the day thus far.

22  1-10 +28  Gun Wk                            Slot Trey R       Run                 IZ Split                4

Same split zone run as before. Winovich creates a big hole by running upfield and Metellus/Hudson seem confused on who has the TE and the RB. Could be a big gain, but Hudson tracks the RB keeping it to 4. Bush blitzes to the SS. Looks like 2 3 Techs again with stand up ends. Possible that OSU tends to go with a shot play after a big play which would explain the pass defense look on 1-10.

23  2-6 +24 Gun Wk                              Unb Slot Quads R Pass         2 Verts                 24

The 1st play of the second drive of the game. This is what it was SUPPOSED to look like. Play action pass off a split zone look. #3 runs a bubble but he’s actually covered and ineligible (unsure if Michigan recognizes it). It looks like we are getting a bracket on the #2 WR leaving Watson on #1 WR. He doesn’t make the play. Coverage isn’t bad, but Watson can’t find the ball until it’s too late. There is some pressure on the play, but it’s a bit late from Winovich. Looks like an ET pass stunt (later developing) to the Field that is ineffective.

24 0-10 -21 Gun Wk     Y Mo                 Unb Slot Trips R Run             IZ Split                 1

Michigan starts in their 3 Man front and looks a bit confused or a late call from sideline. Either way this should be a good play for OSU, but their RT somehow doesn’t block Ross in front of his face. Michigan essentially ends up with 3 guys playing Haskins on this play (which seems like overkill). Winovich gets inside to the B gap to slow the RB down and Ross is right there unblocked to make the play.

25 2-9 -22 Gun Stg                                Slot Trey R       Pass              Mesh                    8

Condensed splits by the #2 and #3 WRs here. Mesh routes with the Wheel--just running out of a different look. Michigan blitzes Watson from the corner and Ross off the edge (DL slants down to the Field) and for the first time all day, Michigan gets home. Unsure if Ross should hit the B gap or not--looks like he’s finding the best path, but he and Watson end up outside the OT and Ross doesn’t make the play. Watson stumbling doesn’t help the cause either. Haskins immediately sees an open gap and runs for 8 before sliding. Michigan in a 4 under 2 deep zone. Meyer picks up a 15 yard penalty off the non-call on Haskins hit.

26  3-16 -15 Gun Wk                              Slot Trey R      Pass              3 Verts                  0 (15)

Straight dropback here. Michigan in their bracket coverage from play 10 above (Man on #1 SS, TE, and RB). Bracket #1 WS and slot WR. Slot WR converts his Vert to a Dig with the coverage, but I think Haskins is going to 17 the whole way here after looking off the safety. The ball is badly underthrown but Watson finally gets tagged with a hold/PI. TE chips Gary, interior DL goes nowhere. Winowich is 1-on-1, but can’t quite get there in time.

27  1-10 -30 Gun Wk         Z Orbit          Unb Trey R      RPO              IZ Read                 -5

Not sure the reason for this call. Michigan has run enough scrape exchange with Cover 1 to make this real tough. The orbit motion simply forces an exchange of responsibilities in the Michigan secondary. 3 Tech slants to A Gap. There are two guys off the edge (Gary and Bush) as 89 runs his RPO slide route. Haskins keeps and loses 5. Ohio State had run something like this before but worked to pin the LB with a WR (Play 1).

28  2-15 -25 Gun               A Leave         Quads R         Screen           Slip                       33

OSU motions RB to SL to Quads formation. A simple Slip screen to 21 who again is being bracketed. Hudson comes off his man but can’t quite make the tackle at about 3 yards and Campbell now just makes a play. Terrible job by Long who loses contain making it a big play. DL does a poor job recognizing screen but works to get back in the play. Man coverage again with a bracket on Campbell.

29  1-10 +42 Gun Wk                             Slot Trey R      Run                IZ Split                  4

OSU goes “Check w/me” and runs their base run play (at least for this game). Michigan run stunts the 3 and 5 techniques allowing Gary to get involved on the play. Winovich sheds a block as well. Ross pressures off WS edge. Dwumfour ends up in wrong gap for whatever reason. Michigan in Over Cover 1.

30  2-6 +38 Gun Wk         F Box             Slot L               RPO              IZ Split                  3

Same play as first drive. An “RPO” that is going to 14 the whole way. This time Haskins completes it and OSU mostly gets what they want--a WR blocking Hill while Watson goes with him. While Hill doesn’t make the tackle he makes the play by slowing 14 down enough to let Watson get back in the picture. Michigan is in their 3 Man front bringing pressure with 2 and playing Cover 1.

31  3-3 +35 Gun Wk                               Slot Twins R    Run                IZ Split                  4

Check w/me. Base run play gets the first down. DTs are in really tight 3 and shade techniques, but both end up in A gaps. Hudson blitzes off edge and Bush looks like he wants to pressure also which leaves the PS B Gap uncovered. Dobbins cuts back too soon, but finds the open PS B Gap late to get the first down. Paye makes the tackle. Cover 1.

32  1-10 +31 Gun Stg                            Slot Trey L        Pass              3 Verts                 31

Play action pass. One of the reasons it’s been tough to determine some of the bracket / 2 high coverage is that I’m not sure how well Michigan is running it. I’m pretty sure a guy isn’t supposed to be wide open by 15 yards in the end zone. Similar to the play 20 except this time Haskins boots to his left, sets and throws to 1 in the end zone. Clearly man coverage on the outside, but what is Kinnel doing? He’s probably supposed to trace the TE, but the TE blocks and that just leaves him looking in the backfield and then falling down. Hill looks like he’s playing true C-2 dropping off the hash a bit at the snap. Commentators said it was a blown coverage, but in reality it’s been blown most of the day. This is first time OSU gashed Michigan with it. No pressure on the QB at all. Paye gets stoned by a TE.

33  0-10 -25 Gun Stg       F Jet             Deuce L            Run                IZ/OZ?                 9

40 seconds left in the half. Michigan is in their pass front (2 3 Techs). Man coverage with 2 deeper safeties, but they look very confused on the Jet motion by 14. It’s a simple run (I’d say IZ and they are just blocking it wider with the front, but could be OZ tracks). Winovich gets caught inside allowing RB to get out the gate, but Bush runs him down for a gain of 9.

34  2-1 -34 Gun Wk                              Trips L              Pass               Stick                    0 (10)

Stick concept with the 3 WRs at the top. Haskins is looking at what I think is the Sluggo route to the bottom. Watson is all over 9 and gets the flag. Michigan is in Cover 1 with a low hole player as a safety. Dwumfour beats the guard and gets some pressure. Paye drops out and spies the QB. Gary destroys his OT also. Good pressure with what is essentially a 3 man rush.

35  1-10 -44 Gun Wk                            Trey L              Pass               Mesh                    0

Same Mesh concept. Bracket coverage does a nice job. Man on the RB/TE/ and SS #1. They bracket the WS #1 (83) and slot WR (14). When 83 goes inside Watson drops off helping on Wheel by the RB and Kinnel runs with him. When 14 goes inside Hill zones off and Matellus chases him. Good coverage on Wheel by Bush and ET stunt gets Winovich free getting a hit on Haskins (first of day?)

36  2-10 -44 Gun Wk                            Slot Trey L       Pass               3 Verts                 0 (15)

3 Verts where 14 converts his Vert to a Dig with the bracket coverage. Same bracket coverage as before. This time OSU gets more protection by chipping Winovich with the RB and Gary with the TE. Absolutely no pressure on the QB. Haskins throws the Field Fade and draws the flag on Long. Tough call in my opinion.

37  1-10 +41                               Penalty--12 men on the field

38  1-5 +36 Gun Stg        Y Mo            Slot Twins R    Pass                 Mesh                  33

Condensed set. Same mesh route with the Wheel out of the backfield. Bush just gets ever so slightly picked losing one step and this time Haskins hits the RB in stride for the big gain. Same 4 to a side blitz that is easily picked up by OSU. Gil I believe on the pressure. Cover 1.

39  1-G +3                          TIMEOUT OSU--Michigan has 13 men on the field

40  1-G +3 Gun Stg          Z In              Pro Twins R     Pass                 Flare                   1

This is a Flare the entire way. Z (85) tries to block RB’s man (Bush), but can’t quite do it as Bush goes over the top as opposed to underneath. 6 man rush with 5 blockers leaves Dwumfour free but he only touches Haskins. Cover 0.

41  2-G +2 Gun Stg          F Mo            Pro Slot R        Run                  Q Sweep            0

Martell in the game for QB run game. Sweep action to the outside but in trying to release upfield TE doesn’t take his guy with him (Furbush) who makes the tackle essentially unblocked for no gain. Otherwise, it’s a walk in TD. Great cut block on Bush by RB, although I do wonder if he was supposed to block Furbush. Cover 0.

42  3-G +2 Gun Wk                              Trips L             Pass                 Stick Up              0

Stick concept with a return route by #2 and up route by #3 to the Field. Haskins is looking boundary the entire way. A short Fade Stop is caught by 9 but not in the end zone leading to a FG. Watson does a good job holding his ground forcing 9 to shorten his route.



December 22nd, 2018 at 3:00 PM ^

Thanks for doing this.

I remember the 31 yard TD where no defender was within 15 yards of the receiver quite well.  What a huge bust.

I thought that the game might be over when Ohio State drove the field in 40 seconds on the last drive.  Michigan wasn't getting any pressure on the QB regardless of what they did with stunts and blitzes.


You Only Live Twice

December 22nd, 2018 at 10:27 PM ^

Watching the IU game felt weird, ominous, I have yet to come to terms with it completely and was no longer confident about The Game after that, particularly with it being in their stadium.... I didn't share any of my negative thoughts here save for trying to get people not to see this as the game for all time because I was skeptical we were going to go down to Columbus Hell and win.  


December 27th, 2018 at 1:37 PM ^

"Watching the IU game felt weird, ominous..."

I know the teams and game contexts are very different from IU in 2018, but I had the exact same ominous feeling after the 2006 Ball St. game. Michigan was #2 with an allegedly dominant defense, but a 3-7 Ball St. team put up ~ 300 yds in offense (mostly through the air) and had two chances late in the game to tie the score in our own stadium.

It did not augur well for our next two games.

Lan DIm Sum

December 23rd, 2018 at 2:53 AM ^

Thanks so much.  This is the biggest failure of mgoblog in my opinion, that Brian refuses to do the analysis of an O$U loss.  A few weeks after the emotional pain is gone, I'm quite interested in his analysis.  Alas, he needs to up his dose of Lexapro.  


December 23rd, 2018 at 5:18 PM ^

YAY!!! I finally get to see an OSU UFR! Thank you so much!  :-)

I hang around here all year, reading Brian's analysis of Michigan's team and always wondering how it will mix with OSU. And then I rarely get to read both put together.

I thought the first half was close enough that I might still get a UFR from Brian even if Michigan lost...but then when the score started to get out of hand on the 2nd half, I knew it wasn't happening.

DoubleB just became one of my favorite MGoBloggers!


December 29th, 2018 at 11:09 AM ^

I agree, I'm also very interested in the play-by-play details and the assessment of who screwed up, who had a surprisingly good game, etc. Brian didn't even want to talk about the game at all on the WTKA roundup. I realize the site is free (rabble rabble), but the cynical, fatalistic attitude toward anything to do with OSU is still rather childish. 


December 23rd, 2018 at 1:01 PM ^

I'm glad it was cathartic for you. Ironically, it wasn't for me at all. I'm not sure Ohio State even played that well (drops, Haskins missed some wide open throws, missed running lanes) except for the offensive line and they could have scored every possession in this half. I don't imagine the second half is going to get better.

2 overarching points watching the first half:

1) OSU just absolutely hammered man coverage. I'd have to go back, but I only recall 1 true zone coverage in the first half--Watson/Ross blitz, Haskins scrambles for 8. Even in the Cover 2 Trace stuff, the BS player is man. Someone is always in man at the snap and they went to that coverage player 80% of the time. The times they didn't--the 31 yard TD to make it 21-6 for instance--someone was wide ass open.

2) Michigan looked confused defensively when things started to get away from them. Gaps left open in the run game, handling split zone run, confusion on who or how to cover when in zone coverage. OSU didn't break out a boatload of formations except maybe the Unbalanced Quads stuff, so I'm surprised at the complete breakdown in Michigan's defense.


December 23rd, 2018 at 1:04 PM ^

I sat in the stadium through that Indiana game thinking we were going to have some difficulty with a passer like Haskins, but I didn’t expect anything like the defensive breakdown that happened throughout the OSU game. It was painful to watch a Michigan defense literally get picked apart, and I’m still feelin’ it.

You Only Live Twice

December 23rd, 2018 at 1:44 PM ^

I wonder if perceptions are different being there vs. watching on TV.  There was definitely little cause for optimism if you were there.  During the first half I looked at my son and said, "Haskins is going to eat us for lunch."  He replied:  "And I told you a week ago that Haskins is good."

Chase was injured in front of or close to the Section 43 line of sight.  It was sickening.  A young boy a few rows up, maybe 7 or 8, was pleading, "Please get up, Chase!"  I don't see how he could have been 100% for The Game.  

After we secured the win, son, daughter and I walked out of the stadium feeling the worst we ever have following a victory. Worse than after DCaf was injured at the end of Penn St. game.   "Well, this adjusts our expectations for next week." son finally said.  



December 23rd, 2018 at 11:13 PM ^

Glad somebody else mentioned the picks: they either use the umpire, or the other receiver on the Mesh (which is basically a pair of shallow routes, one from each side). The OSU receiver was running pretty much straight at the umpire, and breaking off of him.

Meyer and Belichick (wouldn't surprise me if they talk about this stuff when they get together) have mastered the art of the gray area when it comes to officials and officiating and getting/not getting calls--picks.

Folks (including Klatt) were blaming Watson for not being slow, and it might have been a mismatch, but he had no choice but to go under or over the umpire, which put him several steps behind. It is definitely a structural weakness when playing man-to-man underneath, and tOSU was looking to exploit this. I was just surprised Michigan wasn't more prepared for it.


December 23rd, 2018 at 11:39 PM ^

The other thing that made it easy for Haskins to complete these crossing routes was that Michigan's DL were not getting enough pressure up the middle, so he had a pretty clear view to throw it.

Reminded me of the ND game, where without much inside pressure (and Gary and Winovich getting pushed deep) the QB had too clean of a pocket and was able to make a lot of relatively unhurried throws.


December 24th, 2018 at 5:09 PM ^

There wasn't one "Mesh" type play in the first half where I thought a flag should have been thrown for offensive PI or blocking downfield because of a pick. Not even close. 

Ohio State knew they were going to get a diet of man coverage and had their "man-beater" routes ready. They executed relatively well: protection held up very well, routes got open, QB mostly delivered the ball, and the balls were mostly caught.


December 27th, 2018 at 1:39 PM ^

"Ohio State knew they were going to get a diet of man coverage and had their "man-beater" routes ready."

And in time-honored Michigan football fashion, there wasn't even the slightest attempt to cross up the other team with an unexpected game plan either on offense or defense.


December 26th, 2018 at 11:27 AM ^

Love Don Brown like most around here but I don't imagine the conversation between him and Harbaugh was a comfortable one after this game..

No way UM should have played this poorly and been this poorly prepared on D...and its primarily on the coaches. A performance this bad, in a game of this importance is perception altering (certainly to one C-Bus area high profile recruit and his family) and it will take a full season for the program to get a shot at fixing this...because next year the D could come out lights out again through every game leading up to it..but everyone will wait until the Game to make any real judgement on Don Brown and the D.


December 29th, 2018 at 11:18 AM ^

I agree it's primarily on the coaches, as usual, but the players were undeniably flat too. I mean how on Earth did Michigan's DL not get even a single hurry, much less a sack? They've got two NFL DEs, one of them was the #1 overall high school recruit in the country. No matter what sort of blocking scheme OSU was running, I'd expect a modicum of pressure.