Upon Further Review 2017: Offense vs Wisconsin Comment Count

Brian November 23rd, 2017 at 10:09 AM

2017 logoo_thumbSPONSOR NOTE. We're having a charity tailgate before the OSU game. Details:

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Scratch provided the BBQ at the season-opening event, if you were there. It's good.



SUBSTITUTION NOTES. Same QB and OL as the previous few games until Peters was knocked out. Onwenu did get a couple snaps as a RG in a jumbo formation, with Ruiz popping out to a TE-ish spot. Still mostly Gentry/McKeon at TE, with a number of 3 TE formations that also had Bunting. DPJ the main WR, with Perry, Crawford, and McDoom filling out the snaps.

Evans, Higdon, and Walker at RB, with an Isaac cameo on which he got hurt again.

[After THE JUMP: meh]

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Pistol twin TE H 1 2 2 Base 3-4 8 Run Inside zone Evans 10
Split zone-ish action with TE motioning to backfield and then taking on the backside OLB. OLB dives under McKeon(-1), who is expecting that guy to be force. McKeon loses him such that Evans(+2) has no choice but to bounce. He does so. CB who started on McDoom at eight yards is coming up; Evans dodges him. LB who McDoom cracked down on with meh success is able to run him out after ten.
M35 1 10 Ace trips 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Pass Hitch McKeon Inc (Pen +10)
Protection okay for what this is; Evans cuts an OLB all the way to the ground and that’s enough time. Peters is throwing this way before McKeon is in his break and ball is right there right on time. McKeon can’t bring in mostly because he’s getting yanked around by the DB. (CA, 1, protection 1/1)
M45 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 Base 3-4 7 Pass Fly Crawford Inc
Crawford(route+) has a step and a lot of room to the sideline; Peters puts it a couple yards long. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
M45 2 10 Wildcat empty 1 1 3 Exotic 6 Run Split zone Evans 1
Bizarre all around as M runs a wildcat that ends up being 6 v 6 in the box and so not a tactically horrible thing; UW lines up in a bizarre setup that necessarily sees the DL slant hard to the field; Michigan can’t get their line call right, it looks like, as Kugler ends up releasing downfield into nobody. Heavy slant, LB comes behind it, and JBB has a choice between letting an OLB or MLB hit Evans. He tries to split the difference, slowing the OLB and sort of blocking the MLB. Evans gets crushed but this isn’t his fault, necessarily: all three of Ruiz, Kugler, and JBB are doing the wrong thing. -1 each I guess.
M46 3 9 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Nickel exotic 6 Pass Comeback McKeon 9
UW has both OLBs up the middle and their DEs outside; M picks up this stunt and gives Peters time to find McKeon, again acting as an outside WR, for the first down. (CA, 3, protection 2/2, McKeon route +)
O45 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 Base 3-4 9 Run Counter Higdon 1
Back to the one guy salt mines. Michigan blocks this up with the exception of Gentry(-2), who runs by a corner who’s very much in the box and gets this play hacked down for little gain. JBB(+1) and Spanellis(+0.5) clear out the playside end; do wish Spanellis had managed to get a bit more on the MLB he pops off on. Bredeson(+0.5) gets a kick. Poggi(+1) turns in the playside LB. If Gentry hits the CB this is either to the last LB at five yards or the S.
O44 2 9 Pro set 2 0 3 4-3 under 7 Run Jet sweep McDoom 3
Only two relevant blocks here; Cole(+0.5) gets enough of his guy to force him upfield a bit and put him in chase mode. Can’t get him down for long. Poggi(+1) cuts the playside LB. UW is exchanging their safeties on the jet motion and sending the FS at McDoom on the snap. He’s there to tackle near the LOS; McDoom(+0.5) probably prevented a nothing gain with a little shimmy in the backfield that got him the corner. RPS -1.
O41 3 6 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Nickel under 6 Pass Fade McKeon Inc
Again McKeon vs Nelson, and I get the idea but I don’t know what the QB is thinking here. CB jams McKeon, which is fine. Just throw it short and let your WR work back to it. Peters throws it like McKeon is going to get over the top of a corner, which he’s not. McKeon looks back and is more or less playing D at that point. (IN, 0, protection 1/1).
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 12 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M27 1 10 I-Form Big H 3 1 1 Base 3-4 9 Run Trap Higdon 8
Mason and Wheatley in along with Hill. Mason’s supposed to trap the DE. DE hops outside. Mason(+1) does get into him and stall him out. Hill(+1) stands up Edwards; Ruiz(+0.5) and Kugler(+0.5) have just moved the NT enough to get a crack. Higdon(+1) powers through a safety tackle to near the first down. Sucks to have so many things go right here and for this to be bleeding yardage still.
M35 2 2 I-Form Big H 3 1 1 Base 3-4 8.5 Run Counter Higdon 1
Blitz off the edge here almost run away from but the blocking gets messed up as a result. JBB(-1) sets up to hinge block a force guy and ends up losing him to the inside. Playside LB is running at this like he knows its coming and hits Hill a yard in the backfield. He can do nothing but eat that guy and hope. Higdon cuts behind this into JBB’s guy. Spanellis(+0.5) carved out what room there was by getting a little motion on playside DE. RPS -1. Downloaded.
M36 3 1 Goal line 2 2 0 Goal line 11 Run FB dive Mason 4
Onwenu is in on this play at RG with Ruiz at TE-ish. Uh. Onwenu(+1) then paves the NT to drive the bulk of this easy conversion.
M40 1 10 Ace trips tight bunch 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7.5 Pass Waggle flat DPJ 3
Guh, Wisconsin is good. Playside OLB runs to flat, dissuades outside throw to DPJ. Peters checks inside for option two, OLB has fallen off him and now threatens that route. Peters gets back to DPJ, who’s super open and on the sideline. Can’t turn it up. Peters coulda shoulda found this faster. (MA, 2, protection N/A)
M43 2 7 I-Form Big H 2 2 1 Base 3-4 8.5 Run Iso Higdon 0
Michigan runs an iso, and they crease the line but there are two ILBs and one fullback. McKeon, at H-back, buried himself in the back of the line hoping to draw attention, I guess, but he didn’t, and this play looks like a Borges play. RPS -2. Maybe file this under busted line call? I dunno.
M43 3 7 Shotgun trips tight bunch 1 1 3 6 Pass Sack N/A -8
First thundersack. Evans immediately goes in a route here. Line sets to left like it’s a slide protection. OLB sacks Peters. Could be Evans, could be a bad line call because Evans is leaving the backfield. Could be both JBB and Ruiz screwing up in the same way at the same time. But probably not. (PR, 0, protection 0/3, TEAM -3)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 6 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M14 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Nickel over 6.5 Run Inside zone Higdon 2
Again more or less even numbers in the box and M can’t do anything with it. Ruiz(-1) fired back by a DT and he sticks in between the two DL. JBB(-1) doesn’t make much difference. Bunting’s guy dives inside, leaving CB as force. Higdon tries to poke his nose in up the middle and this is a wad of bodies I cannot get more details out of.
M16 2 8 Shotgun 4-wide tight 1 1 3 4-3 over 7 Pass Screen Higdon Inc
DT reads it and tackles Higdon before the ball gets there. No PI in the backfield. Still… is there holding? (Not charted, 0, screen, RPS -2)
M16 3 8 Ace 3-wide 1 1 3 ??? ? Run Crack sweep ??? ?
Tape does not have this play. It was dumb and bad.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 1 min 1st Q. Ensuing punt returned for TD.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M30 1 10 Pistol twin TE H 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7.5 Run Inside zone Higdon 4
Higdon(-2) misses a cut here in a big lane. JBB(+1) and Gentry(+1) shoot in a DE and Gentry seals a LB. McKeon(+1) kicks an OLB well; he tries to rip back and can’t get there. Higdon does head to the backside where the blocks are good but inexplicably runs into JBB and Gentry’s backs instead of the big gap.
M34 2 6 Ace 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 7 Pass Drag Perry 5
Isaac(-2) just about airballs on an OLB; he is very slightly delayed and Peters can get a ball out to Perry, who stops just before he runs into an LBs zone and is hit with the ball; he turns upfield to set up third and short. Called or sight adjustment based on zone look? (CA+, 3, protection 0/2)
M39 3 1 Goal line 2 2 0 Goal line 11 Run FB dive Hill 3
Less easy. Cole(+0.5) and Spanellis(+0.5) seem to give it the most oomph.
M42 1 10 Ace 3-wide 2 2 1 Base 3-4 7 Pass Scramble Peters 1
Evans motions wide, Hill the RB type substance. Pass; Hill gets Peters spooked a little bit but mostly maintains his block. Peters has an opportunity to step up after one read and takes it but runs into JBB, sort of clumsily, and spins, so no chance to find someone downfield. He takes off for one. (TA, 0, protection 2/2)
M43 2 9 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even 6 Run Inside zone Evans 2
Again zilch. Ruiz(-1) leaves too early and DT drives through JBB(-1) to the hole. Kugler(-0.5) and Bredeson(-0.5) can’t do much with their guy. Evans decides to bounce instead of getting two max and this might have some shot, but DPJ(-2) ran a route instead of blocked. Evans has two guys out there and almost cuts inside of them; he gets tripped. Got those two yards anyway.
M45 3 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 2 2 Nickel even 6 Pass Improv Gentry Inc
Delayed blitz from UW; Ruiz commits to a DT; JBB(-1) gets beat clean to the inside and Evans runs in to try to pick it up. He mostly gets run over. Outside guy coming free. Ruiz does get off his guy and get a shove; Evans also shoves him. Peters, miraculously, can step up through this. He’s got Gentry open for a big play and leaves it way short; PBU. (IN, 0, protection ½)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-7, 12 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
O40 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 Base 3-4 8.5 Run Power O Walker -1
Ruiz(-2) pulls; TJ Edwards is his target and Edwards is able to slash through him to the inside and tackle for no gain. McKeon(+0.5) and Cole(+0.5) had cleared the path relatively well.
O40 2 10 Offset I Big 2 2 1 Base 3-4 9 Pass TE wheel Gentry 35
Technically PA but RB doesn’t even go to fake side so not really. UW playing with straight up nine in the box, one CB, and an S in Bolivia. DPJ runs post, CB goes with, Bolivia safety brackets, Gentry runs past a level of basic, flat zone from the guys in the box, very open. Hit, runs down to 5. Peters obliterated on the throw as JBB(-1) gets run around. He is able to slow the guy just enough. (CA+, 3, protection ½, RPS +2).
O6 1 G I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 under 9 Run Power O Higdon 1
O’Korn in for a play. This again looks like a busted line call as Kugler(-2) inexplicably helps double the NT. Guy lined up inside of JBB shoots inside him. JBB tries to block him, to no avail, and that guy runs right at the power from the back. So does the backside OLB. Otherwise this was getting yards as McKeon(+1) and Cole(+0.5) fired in a DE with McKeon getting a good second level block. Ruiz(+0.5) did stand up his guy this time; Poggi(+0.5) got a good kick.
O5 2 G Ace trips tight bunch 1 3 1 Base 3-4 10 Pass Fade DPJ Inc
The much discussed fade. This is a very good throw that probably deserves a wee bit better from DPJ, who should be able to get one foot in, except he did, except maybe it shouldn’t have been that close. (CA, 2, protection 1/1)
O5 3 G Ace trips 1 2 2 Nickel even 6 Pass Scramble Peters 4
Peters thinks he’s going to get a box-out slant from McKeon; LB undercuts it. Peters comes off that and has absolutely nothing. He tries to run for it, reaches out, fumbles. (MA, N/A, protection 2/2, Peters -3 fumble)
Drive Notes: Fumble, 0-7, 8 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M16 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 Base 3-4 9 Run Power O Evans 0
This isn’t likely to get a ton since the other ILB has scraped over without issue, but this is the other play where Ruiz(-2) gets whipped by TJ Edwards. McKeon(+1) does a good job to adjust to a guy diving inside; he provides a clear path for the puller and drives his man inside. Ruiz pulls around and Edwards again shoots inside of him to tackle. Other LB is right there but this costs Michigan a few yards. Poggi(+0.5) had a good kick. RPS -1. Very difficult for any M player to deal with LB #2.
M16 2 10 Ace 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Pass Post DPJ 48
Anyway here’s the M offense this year: second and ten, UW safety at eight yards and running at the LOS on the snap. Both S focus on a TE route. Another wide open DPJ post down the middle, and Peters hits this one. He doesn’t hit-it-hit-it or this is a TD, but good enough. (CA, 2, protection 2/2) RPS +2.
O36 1 10 Goal line 2 3 0 Base 3-4 10 Pass PA scramble Peters 0
Three TE routes that are all covered as UW doesn’t bite. Blitzer comes around the edge but Peters is able to step up fairly comfortably. He runs right at the LOS and gets nothing because it’s a bunch of TE routes near the LOS. RPS -1. (MA, 0, protection 2/2)
O36 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even 6 Run Power O Evans 2
M unprepared for the D call, which has the playside end dive inside Bunting(-1). Bunting loses this. Bredeson runs up inside here. This worked a bit last week. Not here, as JBB(-1) runs by a DE to the second level, leaving Ruiz in a tough spot. Ruiz does okay with it but can’t move the guy enough to provide lane inside. JBB then misses his second level block, though that’s not relevant. Evans bounces, no choice, two guys, hacked down. RPS -1.
O34 3 8 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over 6.5 Pass Dumpoff Evans 19
Protection fairly good here as Kugler does come across to pick up an OLB stunt inside. Peters can’t find anything deeper; his eyes drag the LBs to the boundary. Evans releases; checkdown; Evans(+1) in open spaces is good. His giddyup once he gets the ball and turns upfield is impressive. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
O15 1 10 Ace 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over 6 Pass TE hitch McKeon 14
Too many UW LBs go after a Perry drag route so the TE is open in front of the Petersface. Peters reads it and nails McKeon near the goal line. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
O1 1 G Goal line 2 2 0 Goal line 11 Run FB dive Mason 1
Hill(+1) is the main factor here with a Bush Push of great effectiveness.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-7, 2 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M38 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 Base 3-4 9 Pass FB wheel Hill 22
M motions Crawford across the formation; CB to boundary is now relatively free. He follows a TE on a crossing route, leaving the boundary flat wide open. M takes advantage, running and hitting a FB wheel to Hill that’s probably the first read even if Peters does some looking off to start the play. (CA, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +2)
O40 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 Base 3-4 9 Run Trap Walker 0
Trapping the NT; Mason(+1) hits him and moves him pretty well. Should be a gap up the middle and there is sort of, but Kugler(-2) airballs on a free release on the MLB, who then falls at Poggi’s(-1) feet and he’s taken out two guys and jammed up the middle. Unblocked guy hacks Walker down as he tries to cut.
O40 2 10 Ace trips tight bunch 1 3 1 Shift 3-4 8 Pass Scramble Peters 2
Protection is eh. Cole(-1) can’t stand up to a bull rush well so Peters gets spooked and starts moving. He runs away from all his receivers and has no choice but to take off for a minimal gain. Probably should have spun out to the field but he can’t see that and that’s a way to get clocked. Still had time for a read or two. (TA, N/A, protection ½)
O42 3 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Exotic 6 Pass Sack N/A -10
Kugler(-2) first sets up to block the NT sliding right; Ruiz(-1) is sliding right to take a guy slanting away from him and doesn’t react in time to help pick this up when it’s clear his guy has just become JBB’s responsibility. Kugler then leaves that guy, just in time for a good cut block by Higdon to turn into a chop block. Guy who Kugler left then sacks. (PR, N/A, protection 0/3)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 11 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
O41 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 Shift 3-4 8 Penalty False start JBB -5
I don’t know if this is intentional but Wisconsin’s DTs both jolt on some motion. They don’t cross the LOS so the ensuing M false start isn’t induced, per the rules. Just induced in real life. Both JBB(-1) and Wheatley(-1) move.
O46 1 15 I-Form Big twin TE 2 2 1 Base 3-4 9 Pass TE Y cross Gentry Inc
PA, good protection, three man flood concept to the field. Gentry is open as he draws man coverage from a safety, I think. Peters leaves it well behind, allowing the beaten DB to get a hand in for a PBU. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
O46 2 15 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Nickel over 7 Pass Scramble Peters 4
Busted line call. UW moves a DB to the LOS and sends him while they drop the OLB/DE guy to the boundary. Cole is given the choice of which guy to give a free run as the line sets right. Peters spins away from the DB. He can’t find anything downfield and gets what he can. (PR, N/A, protection 0/3, TEAM -3)
O42 3 11 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Exotic 5 Pass Slant Perry Inc
Peters picks the wrong route here; Perry’s getting undercut by a LB who gets a hand up and PBUs; ball goes anywhere and could easily be intercepted. In route outside is safer but it’s the corner route at McKeon that’s the actual best option. Peters probably doesn’t have time to get to it because he gets crushed right after the throw. Kugler(-1) and Bredeson(-2) can’t handle a stunt. Bredeson doesn’t get off the outside rusher until way too late; Kugler does try to get to the looper, also late but not as terrible. (BR, 0, protection 0/3)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 8 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
O29 1 10 Offset I Big 2 2 1 Base 3-4 9 Run End around DPJ 12
McKeon(-1) lucky here, in two ways. He gets ripped through and probably holds (refs +2) but gets away with it. Then the guy who ripped through him has a moment of confusion about where the ball is; this allows DPJ past him. Cole(+1) gets around this and kicks a corner. McKeon buys a point back by releasing his dude and getting downfield to cut off a linebacker. Ruiz(+1), of all people, gets out in space and blocks a safety. JBB(+0.5) harassed a guy on the backside and bought some time. RPS +1.
O17 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 under 9 Run Pin and pull Walker -3
Both Gs pull; this is a different scheme and could should work but does not. Ruiz gets bent on his pull as Kugler(-1) is shoved backwards; playside LB is roaring at this and it probably doesn’t matter, but maybe Ruiz can get there if the path is clear. Bredeson(-1) pulls around and blocks the playside DE, who spins through that and presents himself in the lane. Walker chopped down. RPS -2.
O20 2 13 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Pass Stop and go McDoom Inc
DB playing in the parking lot here. McDoom stops for like two seconds and the guy is still nowhere near. If this is a hitch it’s complete for 8-10. It’s a stop and go, so McDoom just runs into a guy with dominant position. This isn’t the route. It’s just how the guy is playing this. Peters either has to come off this or throw a back shoulder in this situation. He throws it as if the play is still on. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
O20 3 13 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Nickel even 6 Run Inside zone Evans -1
I think? I don’t know? This doesn’t look like everyone is running the same play. Cole and Kugler are yelling at each other presnap. Cole(-1) pass sets. Nobody else does. Also JBB(-1) and Ruiz(-1) both run by a DE. Bredeson(-1) blocks the same guy Kugler does. Two guys into the backfield untouched. Hooray.
Drive Notes: FG(39), 10-7, 7 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Offset I 2 1 2 Base 3-4 9 Pass PA waggle flat DPJ 2
DPJ open to the boundary for a catch and run of some distance as coverage is focused on a deep route by McKeon. Peters throws it high and upfield and robs DPJ of a chunk of YAC. (MA, 2, protection N/A, RPS +1)
M27 2 8 Pistol FB 2 1 2 Shift 3-4 8 Run Inside zone Higdon 3
Bredeson(+1) gets a shove on the NT and gets a good second level block. Kugler(+0.5) keeps driving that guy downfield; play doesn’t open up more because McKeon(-1) got fired back by Edwards on a free release to the second level. Cole(-0.5) got driven back a little and this allows his guy to pop off productively when the back passes.
M30 3 5 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Exotic 6 Pass Fade Evans Inc
UW tries the LB on RB as outside WR thing and M goes after it. Connelly does an okay job despite turning his hips inside on a threatened slant. Evans is running at the numbers and has plenty of room to the sideline to make a play but not much separation. Evans misses. Peters is also annihilated as he throws, as Kugler(-1) and Bredeson(-1) collectively fail to pick up a stunt. Ruiz(-1) also should have looked for work once his guy went outside to JBB. (IN, 0, protection 0/3)
Drive Notes: Punt, 10-14, 2 min 3rd Q. O'Korn enters.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 Base 3-4 7 Pass Hitch DPJ 11
Kugler(-1) again peels off a DL to go pick up a linebacker who is getting blocked by Poggi. Not a chop block this time. DL does fly through at O’Korn; but ball is out to DPJ on a hitch. (CA, 3, protection ½)
M36 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Power O Evans 9
Variant where Schoenle comes down into the box and is set to cut the backside guy as both Cole and Bredeson pull. It works; why did it take 3 quarters to try this new thing? JBB(+1) and Gentry(+1) fire in playside DE, with Gentry climbing to ILB. Gentry could do a little better here to keep his man out of Evans’s lane but does put the dude on the ground. Bredeson(+0.5) kicks; McKeon(+0.5) goes to the CB; Cole(+1) around to seal in Edwards, finally. Evans is slightly delayed as he decides on which side of the Gentry block he should go; both are actually right answers. He just about breaks the S tackle and goes a long way but can’t quite.
M45 2 1 Ace 4-wide tight 2 2 1 4-3 under 7 Pass TE cross Gentry Inc
Good protection; O’Korn finds Gentry over the middle, but a hair late. Ball is a bit behind and a bit high, within Gentry’s frame, but the combination of these three things allows a Wisconsin S to violently separate Gentry from the ball. (MA, 1, protection 2/2)
M45 3 1 Goal line 2 2 0 Goal line 11 Run Iso Evans 6
Spanellis(-2) crushed back by a DE and will eventually go over backwards; with charging LB nothing to play design. Cole(+1) and Bredeson(+1) provide a backside gap that Evans(+1) sees and hits. Also Kugler(+1) got to the second level after helping blow out the NT with Ruiz. This could be intentional?
O49 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 Base 3-4 8 Pass Fly DPJ Inc
Not only does DPJ have a CB who bailed on the snap on top of this route, but also a safety. O’Korn throws it anyway, missing ten yards long. Whee! Dumpoff to Higdon was a first down. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
O49 2 10 Ace 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over SAM 7 Pass In DPJ Inc
All day as UW only rushes three. Not much; DPJ on an in route is probably four yards but the ball is thrown upfield and a DB can lunge at it for a PBU. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
O49 3 10 Offset I 3-wide 2 1 2 Exotic 6 Pass Throwaway N/A Inc
PA on third and ten is dumb, and what’s worse is the line sliding left, towards Hill. Hill is offset left. He pass sets left. The line does the same thing. Neither Cole or Hill has anyone to block and another free rusher that Higdon doesn’t have time to get to because of the playfake. (PR, 0, protection 0/3, TEAM -3, RPS -1) O’Korn avoids the blitzer, rolls, and throws it away.
Drive Notes: Punt, 10-21, 13 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M24 1 10 Ace twins 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7.5 Pass PA TE Y cross McKeon Inc
And we’ve hit for the cycle in bad passing offense here. M pops McKeon open with PA and has him for a chunk play. Ball is a mite high and behind but very much in the right area. McKeon drops it. (CA, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +2)
M24 2 10 Ace trips tight bunch 1 3 1 Base 3-4 7.5 Run Counter Evans -2
Cole and Bredeson(+1) club and clear the DE but Cole makes no attempt to climb to the other ILB. Doesn’t matter as Kugler(-1) gets shoved back and disrupts McKeon’s pull across the formation. McKeon(-1) met in the backfield, late, and gets more or less run over by the dude. RPS -1. Evans(-1) should cut inside of this upfield for a decent gain since M blew that DE so far down the line that there’s a gap. He misses it.
M22 3 12 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Exotic 6 Pass Scramble O’Korn 1
Pocket is basically fine. O’Korn bugs out without a Wisconsin player within five yards of him. He then rolls away from his throwing arm and scrambles for a minimal gain. (TAX, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 10-21, 8 min 4th Q. M gets it back down two TDs with 2 minutes left. I’m not charting it but O’Korn gets a CA, IN, and two TAs.


isn't Die Hard a Christmas movie

also, "yippie kai ha?"


i see


she doesn't like jewelry


can i talk about the game


sorry buddy


Offensive Line

Player + - Total Notes
Cole 5 1.5 3.5 And there was much rejoicing.
Bredeson 4.5 2 2.5 The relatively good news ceases right here.
Kugler 2.5 7 -4.5 oh no
Ruiz 2 8 -6 shock to the system
JBB 3.5 7 -3.5 Welp.
Onwenu 1 1 Good push on one short yardage snap.
Spanellis 1.5 2 -0.5 Got blown up once.
McKeon 4 4 Could be worse!
Bunting 1 -1
Gentry 2 2 0 One blorp.
Eubanks   DNP
Wheatley 1 -1 False start on one of few snaps.
Hill 2 2
Poggi 3 2
Mason 2   Go fullbacks!
TOTAL 33 36.5 49% A disaster.
Player + - T Notes
O'Korn   DNP
Peters 3 -3 Fumble.
Isaac DNC
Evans 4 1 3 Did what he could.
Higdon 1 2 -1  One missed cut.
Walker   Killed immediately.
Samuels     DNC
TOTAL 5 6 -1 No opportunities to do anything.
Player + - T Notes
Crawford DNP
Black DNP
DPJ 2 -2 
Perry DNP
Schoenle 1 1
McDoom 0.5   0.5
TOTAL 1.5 2 -0.5 If your WRs have one downfield block charted and that's –2...
Player + - T Notes
Protection 35 23 60% TEAM –8, Kugler –5, Bredeson –3, Ruiz –2, JBB –2, Isaac –2, Cole –1.
RPS 10 13 -3 Another all pass positives, all run negatives RPS.

So that's a disaster. And one thing jumps out: eight unassigned protection minuses.

You were twitching and saying "line calls" earlier this week. I assume this is about that?

Yes. Michigan's apparently busted line calls cropped up even more often than I thought they did live. This killed a number of plays, both on the ground and in the air. The pass pro issues were immediately obvious; we've already talked about that ugly sack Peters took from UW's leading sacker on an early third and six. Maybe that's on Chris Evans. This was not, and it's the same issue:

There are only five guys on the line of scrimmage. It doesn't seem too hard to default to "I get the guy over me" and then try to adjust on stunts and the like. Instead Mason Cole is picking which guy to let through free. Because the line appears to be calling a shifted protection to the right. After a fifth guy walked down and announced himself as a potential blitzer to the left. With no running back.

Then there was the double-damn play where Kugler both gave up a sack and caused a chop block call. If Kugler sticks to his original guy here this protection is good and maybe Michigan converts here. Instead he peels off and woop up the middle.

Maybe Ruiz is partially at fault here but that's another instance where it seems Kugler doesn't know what the players around him are supposed to be doing.

Similarly, Michigan ran a lot of total nonsense on the ground. The early wildcat snap to Evans wasn't actually a tactical issue—Wisconsin had just 6, 6.5 in the box—but the world's most obvious slant. Michigan took the bait, with Kugler releasing downfield into nobody. JBB is picking which guy to not block, and kind of picks both, and kind of blocks both:

#57 C and #76 RT

When I see things like this I try to figure out how the offense could make this work. Here the solution is relatively simple: Ruiz shoves his guy, Kugler picks him up, and Ruiz attempts to release to the linebacker; JBB holds his original block. So why didn't this happen? Kugler couldn't read what was going on despite having no one in the world he can block on the second level. But also JBB seems to have no doubt that he should head to the LB on the second level; he assumes McKeon can pick up the guy he passes off. McKeon has a guy further outside. When I see two guys extremely wrong about what the defense is doing, that points at a bad line call. It is more likely that the kind of failure above is a systematic one than two guys independently borking.

And when you see this kind of thing over and over, question marks begin to resolve themselves into accusatory fingers. This absolutely has to be a bad line call, because Kugler uselessly doubles a nose tackle on a power play, leaving JBB to futilely chase a guy lined up inside of him while no-damn-body blocks the edge player:

#57 C, also poor damn #76 RT

That's how you get a power play destroyed by two all-but-unblocked guys on the backside. That is all Kugler screwing up what looks like a basic call. When I grade power plays I don't even look at the backside (except in situations like this) because the assignments are "vaguely obstruct this person and it'll be fine." To get a power blown up by two backside guys rather boggles the mind.

I've been muttering about this for most of the year because there have been a lot of plays on which I struggle to understand what Michigan's trying to do. Those largely went away because Michigan could just pave people with power and counter and—except in this game, I guess—those are really easy to figure out your assignment on unless you're a puller*. When the heat got turned up here Michigan busted repeatedly and spectacularly, in concert. This points to the center. Because sometimes he and Cole are clearly talking to each other presnap, trying to get on the same page, and then nobody runs the same play.

I imagine there's a reason Kugler struggled to get on the field until year five despite Michigan's exceedingly mediocre OLs the past few years. There's a reason Michigan preferred a true freshman over Kugler last year when they moved Braden out to left tackle. (Remember that Braden was out with injury for the Hawaii game so Kugler started.) Since Kugler doesn't seem physically overmatched and the above stuff is happening imagine the reason is because he dorfs an ungodly number of line calls.

I mean, right? That stuff above is confusion plain and simple, and not of the one-freshman-goes-the-wrong-way variety. But what do I know? Kyle Kalis just started an NFL game. (On the other hand, he had three penalties.)

*[Guys pulling to the POA on power will have to identify and deal with various games the defense plays.]

Why would this get better if nobody on the team is able to displace Kugler now?

For the same reason the offense was less moribund when Brandon Peters came in. Younger players improve faster than older ones, coaches make excessively conservative decisions about who to play, and Michigan has at least two solid-looking bullets in the chamber with Cesar Ruiz and Stephen Spanellis. Ruiz in particular is a natural center who hasn't had the luxury of practicing there all the time because he appears to be the top backup at 3 or even 4 spots along the line. Also he is starting at RG now.

If Ruiz was anything other than a true freshman I'd be alarmed about that that says for next year. Since he is, it's understandable.

And then... the rest of it?

When not having wholesale breakdowns because they had no idea what they were looking at, there was some of the One Guy stuff from the Penn State game. Zach Gentry ran by a cornerback on an otherwise well blocked power. Higdon ran into his own OL on a well blocked play for no reason:

Twice TJ Edwards slashed inside of Cesar Ruiz on power plays that were good enough to get some yards otherwise. Here's a Trademark Useful FOX Endzone Replay:

TJ Edwards is a total badass but have to hope that a more experienced version of Ruiz is able to make these blocks. Alas, we have the freshman version.

But more often Michigan could not move the Wisconsin defense at all. UW shed blocks; they got a little depth on Michigan OL, and their linebackers got to shoot a bunch of fish in a barrel since they were 100% unafraid of Michigan's passing game.

At least we could throw a little? Until you know what?

A little. This felt about the same on a rewatch. Peters was noticeably less efficient than he had been against the lesser foes on the schedule. He missed five makeable throws, only one of which was a true deep shot. His DSR took a big dip.


  Good   Neutral   Bad   Ovr
Rutgers 10++     1   2 1*   77% -
Minnesota 9(3)+     3 2   2   75% -
Maryland 11(2)+     1 1   1 2(1) 2   69% -
Wisconsin 9++     4 4   2 2 5   50% -

The mountain of pressure he faced does matter. YMMV on a few throws where the ball was off but there was a significant mitigating factor: angry people trying to hurt Peters. Does Peters come off Perry and hit what looks like an open corner route if Bredeson and Kugler can pick up Yet Another Stunt?

Maybe. As it is he's sped up and it's third and eleven and you're on the Wisconsin 42, time to try to make a play. Ditto Michigan's attempt to replicate the Saquon Barkley vs Mike McCray touchdown, on which Peters misses, possibly because he can't fully step into his throw after—surprise—Yet Another Stunt gets through again.

Those got filed as negative instead of neutral PRs but they were borderline.

When not getting buried it was a mix of promise and frustration. Peters did some nice, relatively advanced stuff, whether it was getting the ball out before McKeon was in his break on his first pass or offering up trademark soft tosses on the two wide open intermediate shots he was presented with. And he hit DPJ! Woo!

Unfortunately, the mistakes were about as prominent. Twice he turned potential DPJ catch and run plays into not much, once by holding on to the ball too long, once with a marginal throw. Part of this is just Wisconsin being good. The first DPJ YAC issue featured a Wisconsin LB doing a good job to flow out on DPJ initially and then fall back to the interior route that was the second option.

Wisconsin OLB #17 to bottom of screen

With more experience Peters can maybe bait that guy with a quick look inside to get that fallback and then come back to DPJ. Here it was Serious Read, Serious Read, Too Late; as he goes along hopefully that turns into Serious Read, Quick Feint Read, Lots Of YAC. But don't sell the Wisconsin defense short. It was as advertised, and that creates a lot of problems for a young QB.

This was just... aigh.

I know he's on the run but the target area there is so huge. Peters had a similar miss on a crossing route for about 20; he left it behind Gentry and let a beaten DB recover to PBU.

Peters didn't look like the second coming of Tom Brady here but the circumstances make it tough to judge. For a first road game against a tough opponent it was fine. He looked like he belonged. His mistakes were generally low magnitude, and he showed reasonable command of the offense. I'll take it.

And O'Korn?

The same. Chart:


  Good   Neutral   Bad   Ovr
Indiana 2016   6(1) 1   2 3   1 1 3* 2   46% -2.5
Florida 1     1     1*   50% -
Purdue 6++ 14(2)+++   3 2   1 3 2   75% -
MSU 3 16(4) 2   4 5   2 4*(1) 6*   60% -
Indiana 1+ 9(3)+   2(1)   3 3 3***   44% -
PSU 3+ 9(3)+ 4 5 3+   5** 1 1   65% -
Rutgers 2(1) 2(1)   1 1*   N/A -
Wisconsin 3 1   3* 2 1   33% -

This is the bit where I say "it is what it is."

I thought they'd saved up a bunch of stuff over the past few weeks and were going to dump it on the Badgers?

Uh. So did I?

They didn't.

No. Michigan's tweaks in this game were limited. Some looked like total nonsense, like running the wildcat on third and eight—or at least trying to before calling timeout. Setting the goofiness of that approach aside, when you can barely get lined up in the first half that doesn't really seem like a thing you've been lovingly polishing for a month.

Also in the total nonsense category, this!

I would assume throwing McKeon into the back of the line for no purpose is a McKeon error, except Michigan's been doing that on various plays for no readily apparent reason for a few weeks. So Michigan runs an iso at a 3-4 with one blocker for two ILBs. The spoooooky ghost of Al Borges appeared to me in a dream this week, and gave me a finger in the shape of this play.

Some things worked better than... that. One was a package featuring McKeon as an outside WR that looked like it might be reasonably effective after the first edition featured a UW cornerback having to hold to prevent McKeon from breaking open on a hitch:

Later on Michigan's first drive the hoodie patrol would keep its paws off and McKeon would convert a third and long on that same hitch.

But this should be a "punt it up against the 5'10" guy" package and Peters didn't get the memo. Michigan's first drive ended when he didn't throw the back shoulder fade that seems to be the whole reason you'd put McKeon wide in the first place.

Michigan also popped open some tight ends and fullbacks past the linebacker level. I don't think the TEs can be considered a tweak since that's what TEs are supposed to do. Khalid Hill on a downfield route is a new thing. And an effective one, here.

That attacks the same spot the long Gentry catch did in a different fashion, with near-equal effectiveness.

A second was a power variant on which Schoenle motioned inside to  cut an outside linebacker, thus allowing both the backside T and G to pull. This worked for nine yards:

It didn't come out until the end of the third quarter, and was only run once. Woof.

Michigan also brought out a couple of traps, one of which was a solid gain. It too underscored that Wisconsin is a tough customer. There is slim crack here and safety hitting Higdon at about four yards on a play where just about everything went right:

That's tough sledding.

That sucks! I dislike that!

I am disappointed, too, but here's Michigan popping open Gentry for 35 yards and Peters getting lit up.

And here's Wisconsin's playside linebacker so hell for leather he's a yard from the LOS when the handoff is made... up two scores halfway through the fourth quarter.

Michigan had a pin and pull from a big set—something they haven't shown yet—and it died largely because the playside LB was one yard from the line of scrimmage and charging as the handoff is made. Ruiz gets thrown off slightly because Kugler gets pushed back into him, but I'm not sure it makes a bit of difference:

What can men do against such reckless hate? Throw? Ha.

I don't think it would have mattered much since Michigan's pass protection is so wretched Michigan cannot put an ounce of hesitation into anyone's linebackers and safeties. That DPJ post above was second and ten. Sure, run a post with no safety help, Wisconsin said. And Michigan did and they still scored 10 points. Or 17, I guess.

This is the difference between the #80 pass protection and #120: when you are that horrid the opposition can tee off on your run game and it just doesn't matter because football drives are multiplicative affairs. 30% * 30% * 30% drops off much much faster than 40% * 40% * 40%. Michigan sucks too hard at pass protection to have a decent offense against good defenses. No matter what they do or do not do schematically. The end.


[0 = uncatchable, 1 = circus catch, 2 = moderate difficulty, 3 = routine]

Player 0 1 2 3   0 1 2 3
Crawford 1      2/5   0/2  10/12 
Black       1   0/1 10/11 
Perry 1 1/1   10 1/3 4/6   16/16
DPJ 1 4/4     9 0/1 6/9 11/12 
Schoenle       1   1/1 2/2 
McDoom 1       6 0/1   9/10
Ways       2      3/3
Collins         1/1   
Wheatley       0/1 3/3 
McKeon 1 0/1 2/3   1/3 1/1 24/26
Gentry 2 0/1 1/1   3    0/2 1/1 12/13 
Eubanks         1/1 1/1 
Bunting                   1/1
Hill   1/1   1 0/2   1/2 2/3   
Poggi                     2/3
Evans   1/1    2       2/2 5/5  
Isaac               3/3
Higdon     4       0/2 6/6

ROUTES: McKeon +, Crawford +.

Note that nothing DPJ brought in was routine. Also I gave him credit for the non-TD, since it was a TD.


Peoples-Jones did everything he could except make one block. Cole was up for the challenge.

Maybe not so heroic?

Every other OL was overwhelmed.

What does it mean for Ohio State?

Pain. Pain.



November 23rd, 2017 at 11:13 AM ^

No, I was told yesterday by this blog I was being too negative when I suggested he was a huge problem. Maybe after the trifecta of Logan Brown, Devonte Dobbs, and Justin Rogers all commit to our biggest rivals and we field another shit show on the OL against OSU people will get on board. Actually no they won't they'll just keep saying "everything will fine" "Harbaugh" "shut up troll" etc. I don't know what's worse, starting JOK over Brandon Peters for half the year or giving Pat Kugler the responsbility to make line calls he clearly cannot. What a mess.


November 23rd, 2017 at 12:07 PM ^

This is the moment Harbaugh can prove he is not like his three predecessors. The downfalls of Rodriguez, Hoke, and Carr were primarily, if not entirely due to the fact that they had buddies in their staff whom they refused to part ways with.

When Harbaugh was hired, one of the main expectations that everyone shared was that he would never keep an incompetent coach purely out of loyalty. We'll find out if he lives up to that expectation soon enough.


November 23rd, 2017 at 10:45 AM ^

how about some theories?  Are the offensive line schemes too complicated, simply poorly developed, or is the talent simply incapable?  Nature, nurture, coaching, what?


November 23rd, 2017 at 10:55 AM ^

I mean, Glasgow and Cole did fine with them right? I feel like (as Brian notes) this must be a mental issue with Kugler because he physically is able to play center so why wouldn't he have started on so many mediocre lines? It's probably because he just cannot execute these line calls. Hopefully Ruiz is a significant plus in that department next year


November 23rd, 2017 at 10:50 AM ^

This is the summary of the Drevno-led offense over the last three years:

I thought they'd saved up a bunch of stuff over the past few weeks and were going to dump it on [DIFFICULT OPPONENT]?

Uh. So did I?

They didn't.

So anyone trying to delude themselves into things Drevno & Co. are going to have some great offensive plays saved up like The Borges Miracle of 2013 is in for a big disappointment Saturday.

On the plus side, I feel like I see a good offense in this team that's 1-2 years away. Peters looks the part, the run game sometimes looks the part, the tight ends look the part, and the young wide receivers will certainly come into their own. If the line can improve those line calls next year, it's reasonable to see the entire offense taking a significant leap forward.


November 23rd, 2017 at 11:04 AM ^

Brian- great, great write up- simply great. This analysis lays out the incompetancy of the coaching staff completely. The offense is making very basic, head scratching blocking errors OVER AND OVER play after play. 

This screams "lack of coaching quality control" during practice- these kids don't know what they are doiing out there. Where the hell is Harbaugh during practice?


November 23rd, 2017 at 11:05 AM ^

In college, a 2-gapping 3-4 defense gives you some real advantages. Not only is it rare, almost exotic, it's a completely different animal than most college defenses these days. This advantage cannot be overstated. Also, the front just makes it harder to identify the assignments presnap.  I do think this explains the "extra" OL confusion this week. The 3-4 compounded Kugler's weaknesses in almost every way.


November 23rd, 2017 at 2:49 PM ^

We HAD to pass around 40 times vs UCF; we could NOT run and according to Scott Frost, they were tougher.
Vs Colorado we were pushed around & Speight got DRILLED before we went with numerous screens to loosen them up; were trailing when we knocked their QB out.
Vs Wiscy we scored 14 pts (albeit with multiple missed FG)

I would not describe ANY of that as having "no problems"...


November 23rd, 2017 at 3:27 PM ^

Last years center was a 3-yr starter on the OL, surrounded by seniors, with a Jr QB, 5th yr senior RB, and senior WRs.  Kugler is in his 5th year, and this is the first playing time he's ever seen.  And its pretty easy to see why.

Comparing this OL to last years is a non-starter.


November 23rd, 2017 at 11:06 AM ^

And this is why I'm literally going to run/hike 20+ miles in the woods in Northern Michigan with minimal cell coverage during the game. I'll set my DVR up so if we pull off a miracle I can watch it. Otherwise, I'm just not bothering this year. The board will go into a meltdown. Twitter and FB will be garbage. Better to be doing something I enjoy. 


November 23rd, 2017 at 11:46 AM ^

...pass up going to The Game, but have since decided to go and support the Wolverines. I am not expecting a great outcome, but I have to cheer the team on. Go Blue!


November 23rd, 2017 at 11:47 AM ^

So with a bad offensive line, shaky QB play, receivers who struggle to get seperation, and unimaginative play calling OSU goes 11-1 and to the playoff in 2016. We go 8-4 and have literally one of the worst offenses in the country. Not trying to be a debbie downer here, but maybe we should drop this prostyle dinosaur offense, and move to something our kids can execute.


November 23rd, 2017 at 12:08 PM ^

If they incorporate some RPO and spread, quick passing concepts, that can help keep defenses off balance.  The problem right now is that we can only do one thing with any success and defenses know it.  If defenses know you're running the ball, you become easier to defend and need perfection from everyone on offense.



November 23rd, 2017 at 12:02 PM ^

I think we can appreciate how great Glasgow was and even have a better appreciation for Cole at center last year. I think you give Harbaugh a pass because he has recruited for that position (Ruiz) and has to work with what he has at this point. Who shouldn't get a pass is Drevno or Frey. If being the OC takes away too much from being the offensive line coach then you need to bring in someone to be that guy or make Frey that guy full time or something. This has to be the worst coached offensive line in the country. Game 11 should not have as many pass pro mistakes as we had. Those are things you work on day in and day out at practice. And a majority of film study is dedicated to. We picked on Kugler a lot, but Bredeson was also significantly exposed because he really struggled with passing off guys during twists and stunts. 

Harbaugh will need to either bring someone in who can build this offensive line into an well-oiled machine and be dedicated to that and that alone or make that Drevno's #1 responsibility and take over play-calling duties or something. 

I think the talent is there, this staff needs to really focus on coaching and developing that talent. 


November 23rd, 2017 at 12:04 PM ^

The OL couldn't get much worse with line calls and picking up stunts leaving the O about as disjointed as one could imagine.

But, if you don't think the O is on track to be CFP bound next year and question the efficacy of the OL coach or anyone on the O staff you dont understand context?



November 23rd, 2017 at 12:28 PM ^

that this year's version of UM offense is not a permanent condition. It's tough to watch live or in the UFRs - cannot imagine the difficulty of playing QB behind that mess. Only 13 healthy OL and only 8 who are not true frosh so the coaches' options are thin, but the OL mess goes beyond the roster.