With such a surehanded Jug grip, Falk thinks Jabrill would make an excellent assistant equipment manager.
Mr. Peppers do pretty much anything better than the people who usually do that thing. We've been told he can play corner, nickel, safety, linebacker, returner, holder, kicker, punter, receiver, running back, quarterback, and do your taxes. I have no doubts he could write this blog better.
Peppers can't be everywhere, but Michigan did use the bye week to put him into the offense in interesting ways. So I thought I'd show all of them. Happy Peppers fun time everybody!
PLAY 1: Empty End-Around
Personnel: Peppers + QB, 2 WRs, 2 TEs (looks like Ace)
Peppers is a: Z receiver
Formation weirdness: Peppers lines up as a receiver and Butt is a flex TE to the same side as the Y-TE, A.J. Williams, who also is split off a good yard from the edge. This will come in hand. The result is an empty 4-wide look; safeties back off.
The play: End around. Peppers starts his motion just before the snap so the defense has barely reacted to it. Mason Cole pulls, other two uncovered OL release, and Kalis and Braden have to reach their guys.
How it worked out: The split of Williams comes into play here as the playside end is shooting that gap and gets caved [A.J. Williams heart bubbles!]. Braden and Kalis both got playside of their guys for just enough to delay while Peppers bursts past. All the 2nd level defenders except the MLB are expecting pass and don't react until Peppers has already turned the corner. They get blocked really far downfield. However Glasgow couldn't get a good angle on the SS, who gets a tackle in space after the 1st down.
[Hit the JUMP for two more of these]
Play 2: A Match Made in Harbaugheaven
Personnel: Peppers + QB, RB, 2 TEs, WR (looks like Ace)
Peppers is a: Fullback!
Formation weirdness: See above. Otherwise it's a standard offset I with TE twins on the field side.
The play: This is all about getting Peppers manned up against one of the LBs. I think they're expecting the Gophers to put the WLB on Peppers, then use Darboh's slant-n-go route as a pick to get Peppers wide open downfield. If it's covered the TEs are running levels, which space should clear out as the LBs react to Peppers.
How it worked out: Surprised Minnesota didn't see this coming, or maybe they did and that's why the SS was slow to get over to cover A.J. Williams. Anyway the MLB having Peppers works as well as the planned WLB pick and all Rudock needs to do is loft it downfield so the huge speed mismatch can be cashed in for six. Instead Rudock shorted it by a lot. Peppers has to stop, MLB pushes him down, intercepts, and gets flagged for interference.
Play 3: Reverse
Personnel: Peppers + QB, RB, TE, 2 WRs (looks like 3-wide)
Peppers is a: Slot receiver
Formation weirdness: Minnesota is showing a 3-3-5 over with the NT shifted to the backside and MLB (a freshman backup) showing blitz. Michigan's in a straight up under-center 3-wide waitaminute…
The play: Peppers goes in motion AND MINNESOTA FREAKS OUT OVER THE END-AROUND. There's a wad of bodies closing in when Peppers stops and flips it to Chesson for the reverse (EDIT: Sorry I'm one of those who calls a reversed end-around a "double-" even though I've been informed that's incorrect. Fixed.)
How it worked out: Swimmingly. The nickel (Boddy-Calhoun) bugged out for the backside the moment he saw Peppers motion, and everyone except Myrick (lined up on Chesson) did likewise. Murray (the RCB) went way downfield with Darboh. At the pitch the Gophers are dead:
Myrick's the only guy facing the direction of the play, and M has blockers everywhere, because the threat of Peppers got everyone else to react.
Play 4: Quarterback Sweep
Personnel: Peppers + QB, 2 TEs, 2 WRs (looks like Ace)
Peppers is a: Quarterback (Rudock is a WR)
Formation weirdness: This starts with Rudock under center and Peppers at halfback. Then Rudock motions out to the flanker position.
The play: The interesting part here is that Cole and Glasgow are pulling, while Williams, Braden, and Kalis are tasked with reaches. Kalis and Braden do this by cutblocks. Chesson has to block the SAM. If all those tough blocks work, it's Peppers and an escort of Butt and Michigan's best two OL versus a linebacker and defensive backs.
How it worked out: Not how you'd expect. The cutblocks go well, and A.J. Williams dominated the playside end, remaining in contact and going downfield to avoid getting called for having that dude's jersey (these holds are rarely called but it affected the play). Chesson couldn't do better than harass the SAM, and that used up Butt's block. Glasgow was beat to the point of attack by the MLB but Cole picked that guy off. With the blocks used up, now it's Peppers versus two defensive backs: Eric Murray (the CB) with con tain, and Ayinde, the SS we don't think much of. Peppers makes contact with Murray at the 3 and De'Veon Smiths his way in from there.
PLAY 5: QB Outside Zone Lead
Personnel: Peppers + 1WR, 3 FB/TEs, 6th OL (looks like goal line)
Peppers is a: Wildcat quarterback
Formation Weirdness: This was pretty cool in that Michigan came out in wide tackle splits; Mason Cole was even standing up like a receiver. Grant Newsome [insert redshirt ranting] is in as the extra OL. Readers of HTTV may recognize this formation as what Stanford started with in that six-shift Virginia Tech run. But Michigan is using it to go Wildcat. As a balanced formation it can attack either side equally. Minnesota is in an over alignment and cheating to the side with the extra lineman.
The play: Pretty straightforward outside QB keeper, not all that different from what Michigan ran as its base with Denard in 2010. I didn't use the "Power" designation from that era because I associate that with pulling. This is more something Yost would run. Strobel and Mags doubled the playside end, Houma sealed an excellent run defender of a CB out of the hole, and it's up to the two lead blocks to connect and send Peppers into a 1-on-1 with the free safety.
How it worked out: Kalis and Glasgow couldn't combo the NT so Kalis never got out on the MLB, Chesson could only cut the WLB so that guy is just on the ground in the gap, and Braden lost the backside DT (Mags walled him off), so all of those defenders are closing in when Peppers gets to the LOS.
Peppers cuts inside the WLB and uses Chesson as a shield to eke out 4 yards.
Play 6: The One Where He Tried to Pass
Personnel: Peppers + QB, RB, TE, 2WR (3-wide)
Peppers is a: Quarterback (Speight is a WR)
Formation Weirdness: We were all watching them put Speight out there as the Z receiver and motion Chesson to RB, and I didn't even notice until rewatch that Michigan had an unbalanced line (where technically the guy snapping it is the right guard).
The play: They're running a zone read play-action bootleg to the underweighted side, and from the looks of it they're hoping the DBs are watching all the motion and are freaked out by Peppers at QB and forget to cover Butt.
How it worked out: They don't freak out or get confused. Minnesota isn't even cheating to the unbalanced side except that the SAM has come down. Butt is covered right through the point where Peppers runs out of bounds.