LB Scrape/Contain and moar DEMENS!!!

Submitted by tasnyder01 on November 7th, 2010 at 4:42 PM

Table of contents:

I.  Basics of scraping/link to Brian’s thoughts
II. Mouton
III. Demens’ Pass D.
IV.  Demens scraping
V. Final thoughts


[this is for people who might not know what scraping is or want another opinion.  If you understand scraping/contain feel free to move on]
On How UM has lost contain:
On how this can be fixed:

    For the second one notice how Kovaks tells Floyd to get up to the LOS and Floyd says “Yeah, I’m gonna F*#K this play up.”  He does, because he takes the outside shoulder of the lead blocker.  However, that is not enough; Demens also scrapes to the play.  In the first play Mouton doesn’t contain (even though Demens scrapes) and it gets a…TD.  [For a more full discussion see the links above.  Many much smarter people than I have well thought out ideas there.]


My belief is that a large amount of us here think Mouton might have issues playing with Demens because he had to play to tackle instead of play his assignment when Obi was in.  Well, playing to tackle instead of your assignment sure sounds like someone who will lose contain.   Also, see this. So, here's that nice little chart:

First Half: Mouton v. Iowa Run
What Who When Notes
Loss of Contain Mouton 2:25 Picture paged
Ditto Mouton 1:40 Cut-back
Scrape Mouton 2:15 Failed scrape
  • This is only one half, but it should become clear that Mouton has had trouble holding contain.  I’m sure someone could do a much better analysis on this, and I would applaud any such investigation.  However, with the data at hand, we’ve shown that Mouton is not that good at holding contain.  The small # of bad contain plays wouldn’t be an issue, except that Iowa got 35 yards on them! [after looking back, that’s not outstanding, but it is a first down each time.
  • This failure to contain is not a “who is around me” problem.  It is a fundamentals problem.  It doesn’t matter who is around you, you still need to know your fundamentals.  If Ray Lewis were playing Mouton would still need to tackle.  This is no different.  Contain is just something you need to do, regardless of who is around you.
  • There might be other issues about him playing with Demens instead of Obi, but I just can’t see any.  What most people have been saying is that Mouton plays to make the tackle instead of doing his job.  That sounds a lot like missing your contain assignment to me.

III. Demens Pass D:

Because this seemed to be the issue for Demens, I figured I’d make the anaylsis on his coverage.  This will be a combination of 2 things: Brian’s UFR on Iowa, and my Iowa  “Demens UFR”.


+1 for pass break-up. (4th play)
+.5 (12th play)
(no +/- but on this picture paged play Brian gives Demens credit)
+.5 (18th play)
+.5 (25th play)
-1 (38th play)
-1 (35th play)
+1 (37th play)
Total: +1.5  Not terribleWas this the thing that was holding him back?

My Iowa UFR:

+1 (4th play.  Blasts the receiver after the catch to break up the pass.)
+1 (The touchdown play at 3:05.  Knocks the TE down as Avery derps up.)
+1 (starts at 3:20.  Demens comes up on the bootleg.  Notices the RB blocking and gets on his horse.  Brian gave a +.5 but I believe that because Demens came in so fast, he knew exactly what his assignment was and played it fully.)
-1 (at 4:10).  Demens leaves his TE open, even tho the pass goes over his head.
-1 (at 6:39) Missed the RB/drop-down read coming out of the backfield late.
-1 (9:00) Bit on the PA.  He did this again on the next play, which was the same play-call.  I’m not sure if he’s just biting a lot or if it’s his job to do that?  Is this some new Defensive thing?
+1 (on that play where Avery missed the 3&8 tackle, which effectively ended the game) Demens was all over his guy when the pass happened.
Noticed that they put in Roh on a few downs at MLB.  I’m assuming this is to get more speed on the field against the pass.

+1 total.  Well, I'm more negative than Brian.  Told you.

Overall: nothing really bad here.  I don't believe this was what held him back.  He should be at least acceptable in pass D.  Dispell all rumors.


Based again, off of the multiple UFR from Iowa and previous games.
Iowa: +3 on scraping, although I’m a negative guy.
Penn State: +2 on scraping.

When I find a better way  to format, I’ll add in the plays too.  Still, this is at least decent, which is better than Obi was playing.  More analysis at bottom.


Demens is a good scraper.  Obi obviously wasn’t.  An upgrade in playing ability and potential for next year, when we will return a decent starter, instead of a player who would have had no experience.

Contain is a huge issue.  When Mouton lost contain he gave up a first down every time.  This is a momentum killer for a few, rather obvious reasons. 

  • 1.) It allows a first down on a third and ten draw.
  • 2.) it destroys team fatigue.
  • 3.) It just sucks.  Nuff said.

Can we fix this?  How long will GERG coach this and how long until it’s fixed?  I don’t know, but I’m sure the debate will continue.  Mouton and Obi were in the system for 3 years and they didn’t scrape/contain this year.  However, Demens is a RS Soph (3 years) and learned how to do it.  Contrary evidence=I don’t know.

What does this mean for next year? I don’t know.  Really.  It depends on the aforementioned “Can we fix this.”  I think we’ll be better because we’ll have Demens instead of Obi, but if Mouton outplayed the other guys, doesn’t that mean we regress in that department.  I’ll assume that Cam Gordon (who might take Mouton’s old spot?) is faster than Mouton which might help, but I really just don’t know.  Debate away.

The other thing that I’d notice about Demens is that he bites a lot.  Those PA are going to kill him.  Just wait, OSU and Wiscy are going to have fun with this.  Let’s hope he gets better by that time.





Blue in Seattle

November 7th, 2010 at 5:16 PM ^

From all the play/scheme/player analysis I see on this blog, there are too many examples of good coaching (play calls, player development, game time decisions) that the time where it's a toss up between player execution and coaching that it must be coaching to blame.  I guess I just can't believe that a coaching staff could be so inclined to multiple personality disorder.

From a skill and fundamentals point of view (based on what I read here) the Seniors Mouton and Obi seem to peak at average at best.  Clearly we could look at circumstances and say, "5th year seniors have suffered the most from Coaching Staff inconsistency (Ron English-Scott Shafer-Greg Robinson) while at worst redshirt Sophs/true juniors are only affected by the Shafer to Robinson transition.  I don't see how anyone could know this as a fact, but it is a circumstance that most affects Juniors and Seniors, and least affects the underclassman, if at all.

Then why not push all the underclassman into the starting lineup?  From my limited experience of playing high school football, it's amazing how much is taught from the first game of the season to the last.  This of course affects the underclassman more than the upper classman, and affects them the most on how many different plays can be called.

This makes it clear to me that as a play calling coach, you get the widest range of tactical options with the maximum amount of upper classman in the starting lineup.  I would bet that you would actually stick to less talented upperclassman over inexperienced underclassman.  Even a redshirt sophomore.  Until it was the middle of the season and you find yourself in a situation where things couldn't get any worse.

The Illinois game looked to me to be the game where GERG sad, "screw coverage, I'm sending a lot of people"  The result was better performance stopping the run than experienced against PSU, but an increase in the amount of possessions since Illinois was scoring just as frequently/in the same short amount of time as Michigan.

I think this coaching staff will stick around.  I think the players for next year will have good fundamentals, and they definitely will have more experience.

It's not going to be shut-out level D, but it's going to be a notch closer to average.  Let's hope that it combines with an extra coat of polish on offense that creates a tipping point in the W/L columns, rather than just another bump up.

But we'll see,  we'll definitely get to see it.



November 7th, 2010 at 8:05 PM ^

So basically what your saying is....... You don't know? Is this correct.

I think Kenny will be fine, the more playing time he gets and more film he watches will help him diagnois the plays faster and not get burned by the play action. Overall though I agree with you, losing contain just kills our defense for the reasons you have already listed.


November 7th, 2010 at 6:26 PM ^

That I cannot seem to pin point the singular problem with this defense.  I admit it...

So I have come to realize/fear that:

1.  Defensive coaching seems to be ineffective.

2.  Players are consistently out of position.

3.  Players are not improving much.

4.  I do not think that the defensive scheme is appropriate (again, not an expert here)

I have no opinion on the longevity of the defensive staff.  I hope that Rodriguez is a better judge of his team and it's coaches than any of us are.  

I would like to see GERG and the defensive staff stay - IF they can improve the team.  And that's a big IF.

Right now, having come off the terrible Illinois game (560+ yards and 60+ points) - I just need a beer.


November 8th, 2010 at 8:26 AM ^

I think all this analysis is way to complicated. Defense is played on instinct and offense is played on plan. It looks to me like the most of the defense is slow to read. If you are a half step slow in recognition or take a half step the wrong way you will never get there against a good offense. The defense plays slow (on their heels).


Time and experiance will fix the issues! Dare I say it, even  Lombardi can not give them experiance.