One-Play One-on-One: Noah Furbush

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 5th, 2017 at 4:00 PM



A Florida team intent on beating the brakes off of Michigan found themselves bracing for impact again and again Saturday. Don Brown made a strong case for inclusion in the next Nefarious Mustachioed Character Hall of Fame class by putting together what once seemed oxymoronic: a suffocating 3-3-5. Deploying the 3-3-5 in turn led to more playing time for redshirt junior linebacker Noah Furbush, who recorded two tackles and a fumble recovery. I spoke with Furbush about the play that led to his fumble recovery touchdown and subsequently sealed Michigan’s opening-game victory.

On that play, it was the second time you had them backed up inside their own 10-yard line the entire game. Did you have a good feel for what they might run, and how tough is that when you don’t get those looks very often?

“We knew that they were moving the pocket a lot of the game. When we get them down inside our own 5, inside our own 10, we really want to put the pressure on. We really want to make them feel uncomfortable. We wanted to get after them and we wanted to make a big play like something that happened. Chase stepped up and made a huge play for us.”

As far as what their offense was doing, was it what you expected when they were backed up?

“Yeah, I suppose.”

How important then is gap integrity against a guy like Zaire?

“Yeah, a guy like Zaire can spread a defense out, really change a play, and change how a defense can operate. It’s important to be assignment-perfect, do everything you’re supposed to do, and not lose contain on the play.”

It looked like you had to slide over a gap but first it looked like you looked inside before you did that. Is that related to Zaire and his running ability? Is that trying to stay gap-sound?

“Yeah. I just wanted to make sure that he didn’t get out of the pocket. I wanted to keep him in there and keep him inside so Chase could finish him off.”

You obviously had to shed a block to get there. What are some of the fundamentals of stacking and shedding, and what happened on that block?

“Every day we practice shedding blocks, working the hands, and that’s basically just instinctual stuff. You do it without even thinking about it.”

And that’s what happened on that block.

“Yep, yep.”

At what point do you see that Chase has gotten to the quarterback and at what point do you see the ball come out?

“Right when I got off the block I saw Chase hit the quarterback and then as I was running to him I just saw the ball. Another instinctual reaction, something we work every day. We have a fumble circuit and we work that every day: hopping on balls, fetal position, secure the football.”

So it’s just second nature at that point? You just know to dive and go?

“Yep, all reaction.”

And keeping it in bounds is the same thing?

“All muscle memory, yep.”

[gif courtesy of Ace]



September 5th, 2017 at 4:19 PM ^

Watch McCray freeze the guard, then back off... can't wait for the UFR.  Also, 80 for FL who is supposed to (?) block Furbush takes a false step just as Furbush comes in... Maybe Furbush's delay led 80 to think he could release into an underneath safety valve route?  Either way Brown using stunts/fakes/misdirection and a complex front totally made this play!


September 6th, 2017 at 11:25 AM ^

I was just watching the same thing looking for the LT's reasoning for missing on Winovich. Gary blew through a double, and drew the RB max protect leaving the lane completely open on the right side. Win will get the credit and glory for the sack, but Gary effectively took 3 defensive players from the protection. Going to be a lot of sacks and TFL if Gary does that all season long!

I Like Burgers

September 5th, 2017 at 4:19 PM ^

Hearing his comments about all of the steps that led up to the fumble recovery being muscle memory, I wonder how much Michigan practiced creating turnovers and recovering fumbles in the past.  I know there is a certain amount of luck involved in recovering them, but for a while there (prior to Harbaugh) Michigan was absolute dogshit in forcing them.  Like bottom of the FBS for several years bad.

Not many Hoke holdovers on defense left, but I'd be curious to know how much emphasizing creating turnovers has changed.  McCray would probably be a good one to ask.


September 5th, 2017 at 4:22 PM ^

Still don't understand why the tackle is giving shit to the guard.  73 was the guy who allowed Winovich into the backfield. 61 had to honor the fake blitz from McCray first, then help on Solomon. 


September 5th, 2017 at 4:28 PM ^

I don't get what Ivey was doing on this play. I get that he's expecting the guard to block Winovich, but there's no one else in the vicinity for Ivey to block. So why would he pass him off like that?


September 5th, 2017 at 4:35 PM ^

Meanwhile, this week a decade ago Dennis Dixon had the Michigan defense looking like fools with their pants around their ankles, with a fake Statue of Liberty play the essentially ended the game.

Well, you can kiss that shit goodbye.

I am standing in the long line to kiss Don Brown's forehead.



September 5th, 2017 at 5:04 PM ^


It was actually the Oregon game that launched me into the depths of despair in 2007, not App State.

Bad as it was, I could sort of explain App State.  

It was the first game of the season on a beautiful day.  The team obviously had their heads in the clouds and zero focus.  Mike Hart got hurt when we needed to sustain some drives.  App State was 1-AA, but they were the reigning 2-time back to back National Champion.  They could have beaten a third of 1-A that year.  It was like we lost a season opener to Washington State while being ranked #5.  That kind of shit happens.  Play the game 99 more times and we win all 99.

But the Oregon loss was structural, man.  This was a system we had no anwser for.  Play that game 99 more times and we lose all 99.  This wasn't just going to go away.  

I never felt more like the game had passed us by than on that day. 

That is why I am so thrilled with where we are right now.  We are the ones for once setting the pace that the other befuddled programs can't keep up with.


September 5th, 2017 at 8:57 PM ^

We did not get dominated in that game because of injuries, anymore than Florida got dominated because of suspensions.

We got domintaed because of coaching, scheme, and lack of athleticism in key positions.  Just like Florida.