Here is dragonchild's summary of Michigan's offensive gameplan versus Penn State.
Doing exactly what we've done 18 times before is exactly the last thing they'll expect us to do this time! (Remote play prohibited; click the photo or here)
After studying abroad I spent two months backpacking Europe, marveling at their master works while being constantly amazed at the pointless waste accumulated over genera. Nearly every city and town has at least one monument (pre-Napoleonic ones are inside the churches) to townsfolk whose lives were the grist in one war or another's death mill. Overwhelming bodies marching toward an objective worked for the first Louis and Edward, and Europe kept running that same play—regardless of technology—for another thousand years.
Afterwards I spent a week ("The Long Shower") at a friend's apartment in London to get reacquainted with civilization, playing Perfect Dark, watching Black Adder tapes, and just appreciating the hell out of the fact that I was born to the one country in Western Civilization that expects tactical change whenever something isn't working. We lost one Custer (and frankly he probably deserved it) by telegraphing where our inferior force would be, then stopped doing that. From the Euro perspective America is the country that came to the trench war with tanks, and the tank war with an Air Force. Huddling isn't just outdated; it's un-American. As for sending barely trained draftees into machine gun emplacements…
It's not the Philosophy; It's the Fit. Here's Eye of the Tiger from his updated "Reading the Tea Leaves":
Now, as an aside, can we please bury the notion that this result had anything to do with inherent superiority of offensive scheme or philosophy? We didn’t lose because “MANBALL” (i.e. i-formations, power running, play-action and so forth) is inherently worse than “basketball on grass.” (i.e. shotgun spread formations, read-option running, constraint passing and so forth). We lost because our coaches called plays we don’t have the personnel for, then called them again and again when it should have been clear that we couldn’t execute them. Wisconsin, Stanford and Alabama can. We cannot. It’s that simple.
Before there was the UFR of the offense reshp1 tried his hand at identifying what went wrong with the run blocking. This leaves the coaches out of it and talks about the technique problems on the OL:
Conclusion. I can only imagine how frustrated the coaches are getting at this point. There is no one problem or even one guy. Quite the opposite, on any given play, we have the ability to screw up in 4-5 different ways, by anyone on the line save maybe Lewan. That’s wack-a-mole futility right there, where do you even start?
That was bumped. The other bump this week was bronxblue's Best and Worst weekly, which is beginning to really stand out for Sunday content after a game. Co-sign everything up until he says 5 wins and a crazy loss ain't so bad: immediately after it ended I was like "we deserved that," but each day since I'm convinced the level of persistent coach derp it exposed, has me terrified. How confident are you that they're saying to themselves "Wow, predicating our offense on the bet that our young guards will play like All-Americans was just about the dumbest thing we've ever coached; we need to take all of this criticism to heart." So how do things get better?
[More whining, after the Jump]
The other top weekly is ST3's Inside the Box Score. Long quote:
19 plays were run from under center. 12 of those 19 plays gained zero or negative yards. Five plays lost yardage.
17 plays were run from the shotgun. 2 of those plays were incomplete passes that should have been caught, and three resulted in turnovers. The other 12 resulted in positive yards. There were no negative yardage plays.
Final 7 minutes of regulation
10 plays run from under center gain 9 yards total, with 5 producing zero or negative yards.
4 plays were run from the shotgun. They gained 55 yards and there were no turnovers.
He did each OT drive in detail. Theme: we ought to do the things that work and not the things that don't work.
Magnum P.I. summed up my thoughts on the matter in "Pride and Playcalling: Know They Team." IE Michigan's offensive coaching and play-calling follows a philosophy that does not match the talent on hand and does not lend itself to compromise: the "okay we'll do some of your spread stuff too" nets us an offense that's about as coherent as the latest federal budget. Th more the players are put in a position to fail the less likely they'll be to succeed when they're not. See: Toussaint (who got every yard available to him this game by the way so that's not a good example anymore).
Etc. Coach Schiano mapped the score guesses in last week's Guess the Score, Win Stuff, which is taking a week off because the guys who have to service that are sending out the books. 1484 wrote about the visit. Turnover analysis says to avoid turnovers THROW the ball (Woody Hayes dies (Again. (Not sorry (a little sorry)))). LSA's stat check. MGoBlueline points out the hockey team is good news.
Best of the Board
SPACE COYOTE: DON'T BLAME BORGES FOR OT!
The article was on MNB but the discussion happens here, as usual, and because it looks like a contrarian viewpoint from Brian's it gets down to the thin replies. Other than the "they're just setting up for a high-percentage field goal" things we agree on, so far as I can tell his argument boils down to "the burned downs showed him what he needed to see to get the passing matchups."
Except everyone in America already know what PSU was going to do when Michigan lined up like that (tackle over to the left). If they ran PA it's two receivers on two cornerbacks and a safety. Who didn't know this? If you say "yeah I'm not a fan but I know what he was thinking" that is just a nicer version of "I know what he was thinking and it was stupid."
RUN VS. PASS BY FORMATION
Victors5 took the UFR (you guys I keep a database that pulls this stuff up instantly if you ever need it) to see what Michigan's formation says about Michigan's pass/run breakdown. Well?
Shotgun - 32 run, 108 pass, 77% pass
Pistol - 22 run, 12 pass, 65% run
I Form - 75 run, 15 pass, 83% run
Ace - 50 run, 58 pass, 54% pass
Tackle Over - 29 run, 5 pass, 85% run
GAMEBOY: DO BLAME MATTISON FOR IT!
Interesting stat box on number of rushers versus YPA for M's defense vs. PSU:
|Rush||Count||Completion %||Avg Yards||TD Allowed||Sacks||YPA|
The more you do something the less effective it's going to be, but I totally agree with his assessment about rushing three linemen against a freshman quarterback. That's an ultra-conservative changeup you throw against a guy like Tommy Rees to punish him for checking into quick-hitters he thinks he sees, and it's less of a good idea the less you trust your pass rushers to beat doubles. However the 1-to-3 ratio of one-man blitzes seems to be doing a good job of preserving the effectiveness of a blitz while holding most downs to 6.6 YPA—a decent line vs. a passing offense. To reiterate something Ace mentioned a few podcasts ago: if Mattison is broken then it's already cliff jumping time anyway.
WERE THERE 10 MEN ON THE FIELD FOR THIS?
11th (EDIT: TENTH!) guy's helmet is right above the 'PE' in the score. You're just I am confused because there's only one defender out there and no defensive coordinator in the world would give up 10 yards like that unless he was convinced his opposing coordinator is the kind of idiot who'd run into that. Hamburgers.
STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT JUST GET TO THE PART WITH ANTHONY CARTER AND ZEN ALREADY!
YES. Wolverine Historian with the top 10 plays against Indiana. No guesses which is number 1.
Trivia: name the last time a guy at Michigan wearing #1 threw a pass to a guy wearing #2.
Indiana highlights are mostly "oh thank god we didn't lose to Indiana this time" highlights. Another 10 would have to include the Odoms over-the-shoulder catch, or the contested interception by Donovan Warren, or Brady to "Terrell is loose." A third 10 could be Desmond Howard kick returns.
Back when I had a greater capacity to appreciate greatness in other teams there was that perfect running toss by Antwaan Randle El (5:39 of this) which convinced me that guy deserved to win the '99 Heisman and made me a Randle El fan for life. I mean…he's leaping backwards, he's got James Hall about to rip his shoulder blades from his back and Victor Hobson (I think—just seeing his huge shoulder pads) is coming up to make sure his head isn't attached when that occurs, and he lays it into his receiver's hands 50 yards downfield so gently…man. They ought to show that one all the time instead of Kordell Stewart chucking a lucky Hail Mary.