This was boss from Harbaugh; Smith ignored it then got 10 yards with his own thing.
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||RB||TE||WR||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|O44||1||10||Ace twins H||1||2||2||Base 3-4||Run||Counter trap.||Smith||11|
|This gets jammed up on the playside and is gloriously ridiculously wide open on the backside. Glasgow is the guy releasing immediately and he has to go out to a guy lined up directly over a slot receiver to get a block. That's a trap pull behind Kalis. A cutback is a massive gain. Smith doesn't see that despite it being the play design but I still like what he does on this play. Hill can't get a seal on this because the DT is heading right at him inside; that's one reason the backside gap is so massive. Braden(+0.5) gets caught up; forms up, and cuts the guy off. Kalis(+1) doesn't have an angle unless this goes backside and still buries a linebacker into the mess w Braden and Hill. Cole(+1) gets a yard of depth; Smith(+1) spots the tiny crease and does a hard out-in cut. Three BYU players take a false step and Smith bursts upfield for near first down yardage. RPS +2.|
And he had a breakout discussion on what Smith did with his cut. So that's what Smithg did but what about the RPS +2 part that Smith ignored. I'd like to show you what Harbaugh did to break that backside wide open, because it's a good example of atypical wrinkles he can pull out to mess with teams overreacting to the base power plays.
[after the jump I draw it up and try to figure out what was supposed to happen]
That's the all-22 shot so you can see how the safeties plus the field CB and BYU's version of a hybrid space player (labeled "SLB") were aligning. When Khalid Hill went in motion the free safety on top of him bailed to deep coverage and the SS ("Kat" in BYU terminology) came down hard for an eighth man in the box. Here's a closer look at what's going on in there:
So you, and presumably the defense, have seen something that looks like this pre-snap motion quite often, especially if you watched football in the 1990s. You swing a lead blocker to the other side of the formation and hope to catch the defense in the middle of adjusting when you throw all of those dudes at the point of attack. Lots of stuff in a base power/iso offense will see this FB in motion to the opposite edge.
But this time he stops a little early. Again, not all that weird, but it did mean the SS—the eighth man in the box—is just coming into the picture at the snap.
And now the going does get weird. Rudock gives Hill a little handoff fake to help convince the nose to get lined up perfectly for Khalid to block. Glasgow (the red route above) runs a little pull behind a releasing Kalis.
And here's what it looks like:
We were a bit confused on what Braden is doing. He will wind up sealing the NT but we wondered for awhile why he's not firing at the MLB. I finally watched it enough times to see he's supposed to have a timed block; he kinda shuffles through his release and then was about to lunge for the MLB after all until that guy bites on a subtle outside step and abandons his gap entirely.
This gap is the failsafe; if the MLB reads the center's pull and hightails it to where Glasgow is going, you have nice frontside hole to run into (Smith would run into that hole for 11 yards). If the MLB instead moves up to pop Braden it opens up the counter side. [Update: this is a point of contention—it's possible that Smith's first read is this gap and the counter side is his second read. Either way he chose the wrong one since the MLB is right in this gap until the stutter-step)].
Magnuson's end wants to keep the edge and widens; that's a sign the defense has the safety or someone else eyeing that B gap. It was probably the backer Kalis is having for lunch (that dude ends up pancaked about where the ball was snapped from). Glasgow then has to seek either the free safety (who's still back at the 30 yard line) or—wisely—the SLB who was lined up on Perry and wasn't fooled.
From here Smith doesn't execute the play; instead he took his stutter-step to the left, which got the MLB to jump right out of his gap. Braden turned around to seal the nose, which is helpful since that dude is blocked by a tight end remember.
But the counter is open for yards. Having the H block the nose is a changeup—you're not going to get away with that consistently. But it was enough of a surprise here to get all those defenders overreacting to a frontside attack and ignore a pulling center. Think how often offenses have to spend a guard and a center blocking the NT and here Michigan neutralized him with an H-back. That means you have a mismatch somewhere else, in this case Michigan's best offensive lineman versus a safety-sized linebacker.
Michigan didn't bring this out against Maryland, but now that it's on film it's another thing that defenses have to practice. I thought power football was going to be boring. It is the opposite.