Hard Right Turn Comment Count

Brian November 14th, 2016 at 1:25 PM

11/12/2016 – Michigan 13, Iowa 14 – 9-1, 6-1 Big Ten


[Eric Upchurch]

The punt landed on the four and took an abrupt right turn, as if God himself had decided to intervene with a brief misapplication of the rules of physics. In my experience punts do not do this. Usually they continue forward on their merry way. Sometimes they'll catch the turf in a particular way and bounce backwards, which still would have been great for Iowa but not quite as great as what happened. Which was, again, a punt hitting inside the five and veering away from the endzone like it was remote-controlled. It settled at the two.

Behind me, an Iowa fan exclaimed "RON COLUZZI IS A GOLDEN GOD." You, dear reader, may think this was some sort of cynical punt-to-win exclamation from a fanbase that hasn't had much else to hold onto this year. I do not think this was the case. Coluzzi had already dropped a coffin corner punt inside Michigan's ten and induced Devin Bush's ejection with a certainly-intentional mid-play flip. I feel that the Iowa fan was expressing a genuine opinion that Ron Coluzzi has occult powers given to him in a satanic ritual.

After Khalid Hill fielded a pop-up to start the second half and fumbled it to Iowa, I had no choice but to agree. Ron Coluzzi is a golden god. Yea, and wroth.


The game veered at the same instant that punt did. Michigan was up 10-0 after a 72-yard touchdown drive and had collected 125 yards midway through the second quarter—not the flamethrower operation they'd been the previous three weeks, but not bad for three drives, one of them starting in Iowa territory and ending with a goal-to-go field goal.

Two plays later Michigan had given up a safety because Kyle Kalis let Iowa's best lineman into the backfield more or less free. Their next four drives went three-and-out, with a fifth stillborn thanks to Coluzzi's occult powers. Passes were dropped. Deep balls were vastly errant. Michigan's ground game could do little against a defense that just gave up a 300-yard day to Penn State.

And what do you say about that? Michigan appeared to be a knockoff version of itself, cheaply made and sold out of the back of a van. Iowa was vastly improved in this game after a wakeup call against Penn State. They brought out a bunch of traps and quick pitches and in general looked like a team actively attempting to win a football game, instead of one present at it and hoping things go their way. Desmond King made a series of excellent run defense plays; Jaleel Johnson got a bunch of pressure; Akrum Wadley is currently looking at an industrial washer on the spin cycle and thinking is that all you got? They were good enough to compete.

They should not have been good enough to win. This had little to do with the Iowa defense:

...an array of overthrown, late and underthrown deep balls saw the Michigan quarterback complete just one of his 13 passes aimed 10 or more yards down the field — a 29-yard gain to Jehu Chesson.

PFF had Iowa's coverage -4.2 on the night largely because Amara Darboh repeatedly got screamingly wide open downfield. Two yards here, four yards there—nobody was in his area code. Michigan completed none of these throws. When Wilton Speight did give his receivers reasonable opportunities, too many times they went clang. Chesson, Butt, and Darboh all had reasonably catchable balls thunk off their hands and too the turf. Yes, Speight could have done better. Yes, the receivers could have done better. They did not.

Michigan isn't this team. Unfortunately, it appears that neither are they the rampaging death machine that stomped through this season, barely dented by nine different teams' best shot. Because of the 9 in the record above and the way that 9 was acquired, this game has drawn a truly epic amount of stupid overreactions to it. This means Michigan isn't 'Bama. It doesn't mean they can't beat a team that beat Northwestern 24-20 at home.

How much of this is Michigan being a CLOWN FRAUD and how much is just college football losing its damn mind like it always does it yet to be determined. Ron Coluzzi is a golden god; Ron Coluzzi probably did not plan for his punt to veer sideways. Randomness is always a factor. Teams put up stinkers every year for no other reason than having a bunch of weighted coin flips go the wrong way, and it's not hard to move one or two balls a couple feet and exit this game undefeated and not particularly challenged.

They did not, and now it's a long wait to see how much of a weird night in Iowa is being in the wrong place when a punter ascends to the heavens and how much are real chinks in Michigan's once-impregnable armor.




Known Friends And Trusted Agents Of The Week

-2535ac8789d1b499[1]you're the man now, dog

#1 Chris Wormley had a sack and another TFL; he did a great job on a reverse to pursue and get outside to hold the damage down on a play that looked real bad for a second; he bounced between DE and DT and was consistently pushing the middle of the pocket on passing plays; he dismissed various tight ends with authority, as per usual. His impact outstripped the box score, and the box score is pretty good.

#2 Taco Charlton was similarly dominant on the night. He got the hit on Beathard that resulted in the late interception, dismissed yet more tight ends, and had a major hand in Michigan's dominant pass rush despite not picking up the stats himself.

#3 Channing Stribling had that late interception and was repeatedly tested by an Iowa offense determined to keep it away from Jourdan Lewis at all costs. He had multiple pass breakups and dominated a couple plays so comprehensively that Beathard just booted the ball out of bounds instead of risking a throw. A pass or two completed against him and some iffy run D don't offset an otherwise terrific game.

Honorable mention: Jourdan Lewis, as per usual. Ryan Glasgow and Maurice Hurst were both good on the interior; Chris Evans had a solid day running the ball; Mason Cole was a bright spot on an OL that had a rough night.

KFaTAotW Standings.

10: Wilton Speight (#1 UCF, #1 Illinois, #3 MSU, #1 Maryland)
9: Jabrill Peppers(T2, Hawaii; #3 UCF, #1 Colorado, #2 Rutgers, #2 MSU)
5: Ryan Glasgow(#2 UCF, #1 UW), Chris Wormley (three-way T1, PSU, same vs Rutgers, #1 Iowa), Taco Charlton(three-way T1, PSU, same vs Rutgers, #3 Maryland, #2 Iowa).
3: Mike McCray(#1, Hawaii), Ben Gedeon(#3 Colorado, #3 PSU, three-way T1 Rutgers), Amara Darboh(#1 MSU), Jourdan Lewis (#3 UW, #2 Maryland).
2.5: Karan Higdon(four-way T2, PSU, #2 Illinois).
2: Jake Butt(#2 Colorado), Kyle Kalis (#2 UW)
1: Delano Hill (T2, Hawaii), Chris Evans (T3, Hawaii, four-way T2, PSU),  Maurice Hurst (three-way T1, PSU),  Devin Asiasi(#3 Rutgers), Ben Braden (#3 Illinois), Channing Stribling (#3 Iowa).
0.5: Mason Cole(T3, Hawaii), De'Veon Smith (four-way T2, PSU), Ty Isaac (four-way T2, PSU).

Who's Got It Better Than Us Of The Week

This week's best thing ever.

Ty Isaac puts Michigan up 10-0.

Honorable mention: Interception that nearly sealed the game; Kenny Allen nails a 51-yard field goal to give Michigan the lead.


Hawaii: Laughter-inducing Peppers punt return.
UCF: Speight opens his Rex Grossman account.
Colorado: Peppers cashes it in.
PSU: Wormley's sack establishes a theme.
UW: Darboh puts Michigan ahead for good.
Rutgers: Peppers presses "on".
Illinois: TRAIN 2.0.
MSU: lol, two points.
Maryland: very complicated bomb.
Iowa: The touchdown.


This week's worst thing ever.

Kyle Kalis leaves Jaleel Johnson on the two yard line, creating a safety that started Michigan's weird ride towards a loss.

Honorable mention: QB sneak is down a yard short of the first down line and is not reviewed; Ron Coluzzi being a golden god repeatedly; Darboh can't bring in a fade that would have just about ended it


Hawaii: Not Mone again.
UCF: Uh, Dymonte, you may want to either tackle or at least lightly brush that guy.
Colorado: Speight blindsided.
PSU: Clark's noncontact ACL injury.
UW: Newsome joins the ranks of the injured.
Rutgers: you can't call back the Mona Lisa of punt returns, man.
Illinois: They scored a what now? On Michigan? A touchdown?
Michigan State: a terrifying first drive momentarily makes you think you're in the mirror universe.
Maryland: Edge defense is a confirmed issue.
Iowa: Kalis hands Iowa a safety.



30932652746_3157226a97_z (1)


Welp. I'd like to know what the point of having things happen is if they are in no way indicative of things that will happen in the future. Wilton Speight drove off a cliff in this game. He missed every one of his deep shots, most of them badly, and started turfing relatively easy throws midway through the second quarter.

There was no apparent reason for this. Immediately after the safety, Speight left an open comeback route five yards short and then missed a blitheringly open Darboh deep. On both he had some mild pressure—the first was a waggle that was reasonably contained, the second had guys coming in but unable to get a hit on him—but nothing that should have thrown off his throws. The latter was especially disappointing since he threw off his back foot unnecessarily.

We've seen Speight stand in and deliver over the past month; not so against Iowa.

Things proceeded from there, with Speight and his receivers repeatedly combining to not quite catch passes. Both Darboh and Chesson had opportunities to make moderately difficult plays on balls that could have been thrown better and did not. Chesson had a touchdown in his hands that some jostling from a CB knocked loose; Iowa would get down to the three on their TD drive when one of their WRs brought in a four-yard pass despite Lewis hammering the guy much harder.

But it was mostly Speight. He threw a ball way behind Butt on third and two on Michigan's opening drive of the second half that had some people wondering if Butt ran the wrong route or needed to settle further outside against zone coverage. He did not. Grant Perry was running a slant against a linebacker just outside Butt and was wide open for the conversion. Speight picked the wrong WR. The interception was a fight between Chesson and the CB because it was a couple yards behind an open receiver.

I don't know, man. Nothing in the past means anything in the future.

Unless he's hurt and that is the explanation. Harbaugh:

Speight appeared to suffer a left shoulder injury during the final offensive snap against Iowa on Saturday night. After the game, he spoke with the media -- without any ice or a shoulder sling -- and said he felt sore, but wouldn't know more until later in the week. ...

"I would anticipate today, the next couple days that (O'Korn and Morris) will get the majority of the reps," Harbaugh added.

Michigan was looking at Speight's shoulder even before the final three-and-out, as ESPN cameras caught him working with trainers and testing out some throws. Things looked much worse after Speight got hammered on Michigan's final offensive play. There are rumors flying around that Speight might be seriously hurt; Harbaugh's not going to tell anyone that, ever.

The safety. Looks like it's Kalis busting his assignment, passing Johnson off to nobody as both Asiasi and Magnuson flare out to defenders to get kickout blocks.

Hypothetically possible that Magnuson was the issue but if that was the case Asiasi should be attempting to hit the DE, not the LB. Unlikely that both of those guys got it wrong.

Meanwhile in Kalis's night. Johnson owned him in pass protection. Michigan got away with an obvious hold on the big pass play on their touchdown drive and Johnson was ripping through him on a lot of Speight dropbacks. Michigan's attempt at a one minute drill before the half started with a Johnson sack on which Kalis got whipped.

Hugely disappointing night from a guy who has been Michigan's best offensive lineman this year.

Ugly crack sweep stuff. Michigan's outside run game was completely throttled, culminating in the bizarre decision to pitch it outside on third and one against a defense that had been swarming sweeps all night. Remember that stuff we were talking about where Penn State would point out Iowa's obvious audibles? Well, when Michigan motioned into looks-like-crack-sweep, Iowa had a call they'd make with their linebackers, and Iowa would get seemingly their entire D to the ball.


I mean, it's not like you can blame them. Iowa gained barely over 200 yards and scored ~13 points. You can hand out blame to some missed tackles here and there, but... I mean... Iowa receivers gained 14 yards. Michigan sacked Beathard for more yardage than that. In almost all situations that wins a game by one billion points.

Michigan faced 13 drives*. They gave up a touchdown right before halftime on a drive starting on the Iowa 48; two field goals resulted from drives starting in Michigan territory. That was it. Even against an offense that's been scuffling like Iowa's that's about on par with expectations.

*[12 in the box score but functionally 13 since the double running-into-the-kicker event didn't have anything to do with the D.]

I BLAME THEM FOR THIS. Both Ace and I praised Akrum Wadley and puzzled at his relative lack of impact on an Iowa defense otherwise devoid of playmakers. Temporarily Non-Idiot Ferentz finally let Wadley get more carries than LeShun Daniels; Wadley had 28 touches in this game for almost literally all of Iowa's yards. Just about everyone in Michigan's back seven missed a tackle on him.

Also, McCray in space. The only significant passing gain of the game was a second and ten dumpoff to Wadley on which McCray got beat so badly he couldn't get a tackle in. Exacerbating my frustration is the fact that Wormley aborted a pass rush to chuck Wadley and did so successfully. To still get beat that badly despite getting help is alarming.

Then it was McCray chasing Wadley into the endzone on Iowa's fourth down conversion; McCray overrunning a reverse that Wormley had brilliantly strung out. That's the blinking weak spot on Michigan's defense. It's still a small target—see the rest of the game.

The pass defense is still outstanding. Beathard couldn't hook up with one of his WRs on a post on the first drive with Delano Hill arriving late, and that was the last open receiver on the night for Iowa. Per PFF Beathard was pressured on half his dropbacks, which is insane, and on several throws he was fortunate that he was way off because Michigan players were in better position than his wide receivers. Stribling missed his usual tackle and gave up an early slant but was otherwise unbeatable; Jourdan Lewis was Jourdan Lewis.

Tyree Kinnel got most of the second half. Hill exited with what looked like a harmless cramp; I don't think he returned. Kinnel entered and there didn't appear to be any dropoff. So that's nice for next year.




"Ron Coluzzi is a golden god." Michigan started drives on their own 2, 7, and 8 because of what seems like a freaky Coluzzi ability. The guy has just 5 touchbacks on the year, and none in this game. When not feathering punts inside the 10 he was blasting them: he averaged 47 yards a kick despite a number of pooch punts. Peppers only got one return (and nearly broke it).

Nearly broke it. In the aftermath of that game, Peppers's single punt return sticks out as a major what-could-have been moment. He'd broken a few tackles and reversed field and for a second I thought he was gone.  If he is gone, that is all from Iowa City.

In conclusion, dammit.

A good scout. Coluzzi had the two popup kicks bookending halftime. Michigan anticipated the first, move Peppers to the kick's pending location, and got a return out to the 38 for their troubles. They did not anticipate the second since it was not in a squib scenario. Khalid Hill fielded it. This could have gone better.

Just hand it to Peppers. If you are an upback and catch a kickoff, hand it to Peppers. Trust me. It's a good idea.




Iowa is terrific. This is the second time I went to Kinnick and probably the last* for a while, so I'd better tell you about it now because I might not have an opportunity in the future. Iowa football is great. It is a sneaky tentpole program of college football; it's the main locus of sporting passion in a state that doesn't have any pro teams but can cobble together enough people to make a D-I program work.

So you go there. The first thing you notice is that Kinnick is gorgeous. It's all brick, even on the interior, and if we're being totally honest it kind of feels like when Bill Martin added the luxury boxes he pointed at Kinnick and said "do that." Upon entering it was nigh-impossible to tell where the student section was because everyone was in black and standing the whole time. This is a very disappointing 5-4 (now 6-4) team that had its bloggers overreacting and predicting Rutgers-esque scores before the game but that stadium was packed to the gills 20 minutes before the kick.

At halftime I ducked back under the concourse because it was about ten degrees warmer underneath and hung out for a while. An Iowa fan engaged me and asked where I was from, how I was doing, that sort of thing; there was no animosity. He was checking on his fellow fans, mostly. I had only good things to report.

Afterwards the logistics of having working media and plain old fans driving in the same car caused us to wait outside one of the main exit points of Kinnick for about 20 minutes; probably half that stadium walked by us. Other than one or two guys who said things too dorky to actually be threatening, everyone was happy and polite. There was one guy out there the whole time just high-fiving everyone.

The existence of Iowa is one of the reasons I like college football so much better than the NFL.

*[I'm 0-2 and they're in the other division and I'm guessing that most M-Iowa games in Iowa City are going to be at night going forward. Surprise: November night games suck.]

Also, this guy. I mean, cumong.



Kirk Ferentz would be a much better coach if every game was against Michigan. It never fails. I watch Iowa. Iowa looks like they're coached by a person who has not seen the last 50 years of football. I watch Iowa play Michigan, and Kirk Ferentz goes for it on fourth and three, correctly. I don't know who's more frustrated by this pattern: me, or Iowa fans. Every time they play Michigan they get a glimpse of what their program might be like if they tried to win every game. 

Hooray these guys. This crew is the one that obliterated reason in last year's MSU game, and they didn't do great here. Michigan was unfortunate that the things they screwed up in Michigan's favor (the first quarter non-catches by Chesson and Darboh, a missed hold on Kalis) were mostly reviewable and overturned while the things they screwed up in Iowa's favor (running into a kicker who's rolled outside the pocket and is no longer protected, a bogus facemask, a missed false start) were not. The horrendous spot on the late scramble stands out as a reviewable play that both the crew on the field and the booth blew.

This wasn't nearly as bad as either of the last two MSU games. It's still appalling that this crew hasn't been busted down to intramurals.


deserved it [Barron]

Running into a rugby kicker. They should change that rule. As soon as a punter takes off as a runner he loses the protection afforded stationary punters. The end. If you want to rugby punt you risk getting run into on the punt. Remove the ambiguity of the tackle box, which only lends itself toward bad calls.

End of game Lloydball. After the interception you're up two with about two minutes on the clock. Iowa's got all three timeouts so you're in a situation where you should be calling it just like you would in the first half. Getting a first down is paramount because they can stop the clock three times and get the ball back with almost nothing run off the clock.

I wanted something other than a run up the gut with Smith on first down. Even with Speight struggling, I'd rather take a chance and get five or seven yards or whatever and give myself a good shot at a short yardage conversion. Didn't like the Peppers call on second down; Michigan put Speight in a bunch with two other WRs and Iowa flat out ignored him. The overhang corner to the other side was free and bottled Peppers up. Take Speight off the field and you've got a much better chance at having that work.


Best and Worst:

It was a crazy weekend, so maybe it’s fitting UM joined the lot.  Washington and Clemson lost just as badly, exposing their own weaknesses in the process, and the end of the season remains the gateway to accolades it’s always been:  beat IU and OSU, and UM will be in the B1G championship game and have a chance at a playoff spot.  And maybe I’m in the minority, but OSU still feels tractable simply because it’s a team with decided issues (QB accuracy, limited rushing attack outside of Barrett) and performances that have exposed them.  But after a tumultuous week off the gridiron, I wasn’t expecting to be writing about another underdog stunner.

As you might imagine, the State of our Open Threads was "sailor with stubbed toe":

Many of the advanced stats told a similar story of stunned despair:

FART (Fucks Adjusted For Real Time) Rate - 3.956, so nearly 4 fucks per minute of airtime, which is a season high and over 1 fuck more per minute of air than MSU

SHART (Shits Adjusted For Real Time) Rate - 1.167, twice the rate of the MSU game and I can assure everyone I was adding to them in the living room

SQUIRT (FART / SHART) Number - 3.390, which is actually a little less than half of Wisconsin's 6.492, but we underutilized shit heavily in that game

FAP (Fucks Per Play) Rate - 5.519, which is the highest for the season so far, far above 3.701 for MSU, and low for my own inner monologue during this game. Not sure how others feel.


Due to the long trip the around the web bit about the game is coming later.


Blue and Joe

November 14th, 2016 at 1:39 PM ^

The failure to end games is an alarming trend. U-M could have ended the last two MSU games with 1 first down. Could have ended the Wisconsin game with 1 first down. Could have ended this game with 1 first down and it finally came back to bite us.

Can't keep letting teams stay in the game.


November 14th, 2016 at 3:08 PM ^

1) If we had a great, or even good, OL -- then you could just say, "Screw it. We are going to run over you, again, even though you know it is coming." We do not have said OL, so that's been a problem for a Bo-disciple like Harbaugh. It's like he is trying to will it to happen.

2) The playcalling is mystifying. Speight was clearly hurt, so it was crazy he was out there on the 2nd and long Pepcat. If Peppers reverses field, does UM want its starting QB who -- at minimum -- has a very hurt shoulder to have to block someone and likely hurt it further? He was useless as a decoy and useless as a productive player. That play should get a RPS: minus-infinity.


November 14th, 2016 at 3:11 PM ^

agreed - tough to put it any other way.  great squads know how to finish and do so.  

they mightve missed numerous opportunities to put away an inferior opponent but that almost always occurs over the course of championship level seasons - theyre gonna struggle for a stretch, not bring their A game or end up turning a winnable game into a dog fight.  championship squads typically find ways to win those dog fights (and if they dont, it usually doesnt happen again).

its not easy to finish close games, especially when lacking ones A game - great squads get that critical stop on D or gain that massive 1st down to ice a game though.  great squads also know how to rebound from those rare letdowns, hopefully m does so and finishes strong

Indiana Blue

November 14th, 2016 at 1:41 PM ^

but ... I was pushed by others in my group to enter the stadium when the gates opened 90 minutes before kickoff.  We were in the "safety" endzone and watch th eentire Michigan warm up right in front of us, and Speight was missing receivers throughout the warm up ... which is weird.  Just sayin ....

Go Blue!

Pepto Bismol

November 14th, 2016 at 2:34 PM ^

It was clear as day on the broadcast when he got hurt.  He tried to scramble up the middle in the 4th quarter (2nd to last drive?) and picked up about 6 yards and got drilled, as you mention - crown of the helmet right on the shoulder. 

After that series, he was being checked out on sideline, and then started throwing with O'Korn to see if he was okay.  Then came in and tried to tough it out on the last series. He got hit on that same left shoulder on the final pass attempt of the game.



November 15th, 2016 at 1:02 AM ^

...you "take aim at an opponent for purposes of attacking with an apparent intent that goes beyond making a legal tackle or a legal block or playing the ball."

There's a useful list of indicators officials are supposed to look for here:


I'll have to go back and look at it again but I think they were probably right not to call either one. The tackler didn't launch, contact wasn't above the shoulders, and I don't remember an obvious and unusual lowering of the head to attack with the crown.


November 15th, 2016 at 2:04 AM ^

At least once a defender speared him in the shoulder... Well, that used to be called spearing, I think it just falls under targeting. The msu dt got rejected for doing the same thing but aiming at the qb's stomach.
Of course, the msu fan base turned it into how the big ten has a conspiracy involving made up rules. But it happened in another game where the guy lunged with the crown (and I mean by the old definition meaning very top, and not just above the face mask like it us now) and the guy was thrown out. The announcer did a very good job explaining the rule and why that contact is clearly targeting.
Nevertheless, that crew is horrible and should never be allowed to ref a college game again.


November 14th, 2016 at 1:48 PM ^

It's my fault. I haven't watched a game on TV all year and finally got the chance. I shouldn't have taken it. I somehow jinxed the team. I apologize.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


November 14th, 2016 at 1:48 PM ^

It's my fault. I haven't watched a game on TV all year and finally got the chance. I shouldn't have taken it. I somehow jinxed the team. I apologize.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


November 14th, 2016 at 1:49 PM ^

Thank you for not overreacting. Our defense did not feel invincible, yet gave up only 12 points. Offense was an absolute mess from playcalling to quarterbacking to failed receiving.

I am hoping this is our Ohio State-Michigan State 2015 Urban Meyer wtf were you thinking reckoning where the entire staff reevaluates and corrects all their deficiencies and goes and smacks down its remaining opponents the rest of the year.


November 14th, 2016 at 1:49 PM ^

the more I think about it the more I think it just got away from us. Even 1 or 2 other things go our way and we win that game easily because Iowa's offense did so little

If Speight hits even one deep ball, if Chesson rips that ball away from the Iowa DB, if that damn ball goes in the endzone like it should instead of taking a right turn, if Jabrill breaks it, if Darboh gets one foot in the endzone, if Khalid doesn't fumble the ball, if Devin Bush doesn't "target" the Iowa punter, etc. Any one of those going the other ways feels like enough to escape with a W, but no, the AIRBHG pointed his wrath at us and let Akrum Wadley go free.


November 14th, 2016 at 2:08 PM ^

reminded me of the 2003 game at Kinnick.  When Lloyd picked a crucial BIG game to trot out a new punt package that resulted in doom and was never tried again.  It was another team we had no business losing to, and another game in which "funky Kinnick voodoo" is a very apt description.

Weird things happen in that place.  Even our wins there have been frequently weird and rarely clean.


November 14th, 2016 at 1:50 PM ^

Honestly, sometimes shit just happens. 

Remember, Harbaugh was on the other side of one of these games when Stanford beat a top-5 USC team 24-23...at USC. 

If anything, this is a wake-up call going into the last two weeks of the season, similar to OSU's shit the bed performance against MSU last year (and/or MSU's loss to Nebraska). 


November 14th, 2016 at 1:52 PM ^

I saw some chatter that Hill blew the assignment, but if he doesn't go block the linebacker, that guy is getting the safety. Kalis has to do more with Johnson before going after a linebacker.

While doing the UFR, you are going to see a lot of Michigan blockers wandering around in space looking for someone to block while Iowa defenders fly past and tackle our guys for minimal gains or loss of yardage.

Way too many times we called the same play where Smith runs up to the LOS, hesitates, waiting for a hole to open up, only no hole opens and he's dropped for minimal gain. Evans rips towards the line and squeezes through whatever space is there. They should have flipped the usage from 12-8 for Smith to 12-8 for Evans, and given Isaac more than 1 carry.


November 14th, 2016 at 1:53 PM ^

if Hill executes his wham block on Johnson instead of blocking the same guy Bredeson's got, Smith is one-on-one with a safety 10 yards downfield. I don't think that one's on Kalis.

Too many mistakes to win Saturday.


November 14th, 2016 at 2:00 PM ^

I retract my comment. Bredeson had the other DT and still tried to block that LB that Hill took. I missed Cole releasing to the second level when I first watched, so thought he had Bredeson's guy and Bredeson was peeling off to take the LB. 

My bad.

Space Coyote

November 14th, 2016 at 2:06 PM ^

But Cole and Kalis are both going after the same LB, which initially I didn't see. Kalis executes what looks like a perfect technique to let the DT past him, but likely there was a communication error between Mags and Kalis in which Kalis thought Mags was going to take over for him.

Blue Durham

November 14th, 2016 at 5:45 PM ^

that for Hill to block Johnson, he would have to go right through Speight. If he goes either side he has no angle.

I would believe that the play was designed as a wham block if Speight was more to the left (probably by spinning the opposite way, counter-clockwise).

I don't think this was on Hill.


November 14th, 2016 at 1:55 PM ^

don't think they sat on it at the end of the game because Speight was struggling, I think it was because he was clearly hurt.  The only throw he made was a moon ball-duck on 3rd down that was clearly painful.  Every game this year in which we were right on the brink of blowing a team out but still having meaningful possessions, I have said that Harbaugh should be playing O'Korn more.  First half series.  There is no reason why he could not have taken more meaningful snaps against Maryland, Rutgers, even Penn State.  We needed a guy to be able to step in and hit the ground running on that possession and we didn't have one.


November 14th, 2016 at 3:14 PM ^

We have been very fortunate to have so many blowouts, so it's a high-class problem. But frequently at the end of games, even when we are up 40-plus, you'll see Peppers, McCray, Gideon, etc still out there. We have basically zero depth at that position, so if they got hurt then, it would be incredibly stupid and pointless.

An example of this was Peppers fair catching a ball against Illinois late in the 2nd half when it was 38-0 (or whatever). He had room to run, and the staidum audibly sighed when he didn't run, but I was figuring he was saying, "This game is over. WTH am I going to return a ball and risk injury?"

On the offense, O'Korn should have gotten many more reps, considering all the blowouts. Thank goodness he got a few, but unless he is significantly worse than Speight (which supposedly he isn't and we now all hope is correct), O'Korn should have been playing and throwing much more when we were up 35-plus.

Blue Durham

November 14th, 2016 at 5:52 PM ^

the game has been decided, he doesn't even look like he glances at the coverage. I have assumed all along that he has no decision - he has been told to fair catch it regardless. Thus injury is removed from the equation, but you have one of the most sure-handed guys still catching the ball and thus minimize muffing it.

Regarding O'Korn, I agree, and have thought he should have been brought in earlier, as well as a lot of other players. The big scores are only window dressing and don't really matter. But I think more reps for some of these guys would.


November 15th, 2016 at 1:09 AM ^

After they were checking his shoulder after the next-to-last series?

I tried to tell myself it looked bad because it's so cramped over there, but he was obviously in a bad way...so much so that I cringed when he dropped back on third down. I was hoping (and I'm guessing I was the only one) they'd run it one more time and at least get something useful out of it by using up the last Iowa timeout. The duck he threw was actually better than I was expecting.


November 14th, 2016 at 1:54 PM ^

On the safety play, is Smith supposed to run to the left behind Hill and that's why Kalis releases?


I realize there looks to be more real estate to the right and Asiasi is kicking out to the right, but there's also a kickout on the left. I just wonder if smith is supposed to make a B-line behind Hill and then there's not a chance (maybe...) for Johnson to get there.


November 14th, 2016 at 1:57 PM ^

I expected this kind of game under Rich Rod or Hoke and when they inevitably happened it was a lot easier to just go "ya, whatever". Under the new regime I thought we were done with this kind of slog where we play down to a supposedly outmanned opponent and I think that change in expectation, which is great overall, makes this kind of game a lot harder to take.


November 14th, 2016 at 2:23 PM ^

Hopefully they'll get it figured out but time is not on our side. With Speight probably done for the season, logic says our hopes for the OSU game are dimmer than they've been all season. As Brian pointed out though, the past is not indicative of the future, and college football is weird.


November 14th, 2016 at 5:46 PM ^

I think we all just think we're the only ones to do this because the only team we watch 100% of the time is Michigan

Ohio State lost to MSU & their backup QB last year, then lost to Penn State on the road in an immensely frustrating game since someone else just clubbed that same team (sound familiar?) and nearly blew it vs Northwestern at home

Alabama even has struggled with Hugh Freeze and his band of mercenaries despite Alabama being Alabama. They always blow some game they have no business doing.

Point being, even the best lose a game a year. If we go on to win the Big Ten, no one outside of the Michigan fanbase if going to think anything of that loss


November 14th, 2016 at 2:06 PM ^

where there are already blockers and should have gone right?  There is a huge hole on the right side it looks like he is supposed to be the lead blocker.  I don't know enough about the play, but it clearly looks like Kalis' main responsiblity is the second level. 

EDIT - can't quite tell here b/c both Cole and Kalis release to second level.  Did Smith maybe go the wrong way?

Space Coyote

November 14th, 2016 at 3:01 PM ^

And it's a scheme that Harbaugh has used a ton in the past. He used it to great success against Suh while he was with the 49ers. Great DTs tend to over penetrate when they are let go, the H-back is just asked to get enough of him for the RB to burst through the LOS.

In retrospect it doesn't look like a wham play though.


November 14th, 2016 at 2:03 PM ^

I've always been impressed with Iowa fans.  I currently work with one, and he actually apologized to me this morning about the game.  He almost seemed more broken up about it than I did.


November 14th, 2016 at 2:49 PM ^

 at my son's middle school is a big Iowa fan. I was expecting him to say something in the carpool line, but I had to broach the subject first and invite him to speak, to which he said "the sun even shines on a monkey's ass sometimes!" (i.e, more critical of Iowa football than giving me shit).

Kinnick and Camp Randall are the two on my list of must get to for an away game.


November 14th, 2016 at 2:06 PM ^

He threw a ball way behind Butt on third and two on Michigan's opening drive of the second half that had some people wondering if Butt ran the wrong route or needed to settle further outside against zone coverage. He did not. 

Wasn't there a replay on this play from behind the QB that showed the Iowa LB sitting on this route? It looked like he threw it way behind Butt because he didn't want to throw it right into the LBs gut.