Picture Pages: Maybe A Third Of Why We Suck At Running

Submitted by Brian on September 24th, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Estimates are approximate. Michigan's spent maybe half of their snaps in the shotgun/pistol on running downs this year, running about five things: jet sweeps to Norfleet, QB draws, speed option, the inverted veer, and a kind of alternate to the inside zone called "belly" that Rich Rodriguez was fond of during his brief spell in Ann Arbor.

Oddly, Michigan hardly runs anything like a base play from the shotgun. They don't run the stretch, they don't run any iso or power type plays. There is a faint smattering of inside zone, but that's it, and that's not anywhere near established. In their first three games of the year I've got them down for three inside zone runs from pistol or shotgun; they went for a total of three yards. Nobody's cheating to a base run play against Michigan.

This allows opponents to tee off on the things Michigan is kind of good at. More importantly, it often seems like they're going up against opponents who are better drilled at defending modern offensive concepts than Michigan is at running them. Here's an example:

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Michigan's in the pistol with Kerridge as a fullback, Williams the tight end, and both WRs to the field. It's first and ten. UConn responds by shifting their line to the strength (an "over" front) and aligning their linebackers about evenly with a safety rolled up over Williams.

Michigan wants to read the end to the bottom of the screen. That will allow Michigan to blast the playside end off the ball with a sustained double; Williams will head for the safety as Kerridge deals with the playside linebacker. If the end crashes, Gardner pulls. If he contains, Gardner keeps.

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Snap. You can see Williams release, Lewan and Glasgow begin to bash the playside end off the line, and the frontside UConn LBs react to gaps that may need to be filled.

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Gardner is now considering the end, who does what ends are supposed to do these days: try to split the difference so that they can be useful on a handoff and still contain the QB. Gardner's trying to figure out what to do about this:

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(Note that Lewan and Glasgow are battering their guy inside effectively.)

Now, I think that's a pull. I gave Gardner a minus for that, because I want Gardner to test the edge against a defensive end who's standing at the LOS. But it's a gray area for the quarterback. The end is neither flat-out containing or crashing down; this is a situation in which errors are common.

At the decision point, Gardner gives. Kerridge is staring down two defenders, doesn't know which one to deal with, doesn't really deal with either but it doesn't matter because whoever he does in fact block is just going to funnel to his buddy.

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Poor Damn Toussaint, 2013 edition.

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That's a loss of two yards.

Video

Slow:

Items Of Interest

Remember the wheel route from the Notre Dame game? That's the opposite of this. Borges saw the wheel open, gave it a try once, and then pulled it out in a similar situation later for a big gain. Here Michigan just abandons these runs. How is this a similar situation? Like ND, UConn is playing this play in a certain way. If they play it in the same way again, you can alter what you're doing to bust it open. But Michigan hasn't done this, and so rarely does things that are misdirection that twitter blows up about it when they get five yards on it.

Arc, arc, arc, arc. Nebraska demonstrated the tweak against Michigan a couple years back on an almost identical play. Michigan shuffled Jibreel Black down, planning to contain with Kovacs on the outside. The fullback approached the end, and then…

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Black could not recover in time to get out on Martinez, Kovacs got a guy in his face, and Nebraska ripped off a 23-yard gain.

Here it's a little different because the end does have contain on Gardner, but if Michigan pokes at that belly play again they can do something similar. Instead of having a true read it's a designated Gardner keeper on which Kerridge's job is to get outside and block whoever that contain guy happens to be, Michigan can burn the shuffle.

This is a paragraph of disclaimers and explanations. That's my thought process when I see things like that on the zone read, because that was Rodriguez's thought process. He probably forced defenses to create the shuffle a few years back when he started blocking backside ends trying to crash down and shooting Carlos Brown or Brandon Minor through the gaping hole scraping linebackers would leave. That burned scrape exchanges hard for a while, and then the cat and mouse game moved on.

Michigan is deficient at cat and mouse in the run game. I'm not trying to suggest that Michigan has to be a spread option team for their offense to work better; I am pointing this out because it remains my wheelhouse and it's a good example of the things Michigan doesn't do because they are a jack-of-all-trades offense that doesn't see how a defense is responding and do something to break it. Because to do that Nebraska thing above your fullback has to rep it and sell it, etc. It takes practice time.

Michigan's not thinking the zone game well at either the field level or the box level because they're not committed to it, and that extends to everything from stretch to power to iso.

Also maybe chalk that up as a missed read for Gardner. Because Michigan doesn't rep it consistently enough? I don't know. Has to be a consideration.

In other sad runs Michigan got out-schemed on. UConn was sending guys off the corner with frequency, but Michigan did not recognize it despite UConn tipping it hard. This inverted veer featured the dead giveaway of a safety moving down to line up directly over a wide receiver:

And on this one, how would you describe the playside corner's presnap technique? Is "right angle to wide receiver" a thing?

Michigan just gets lined up with 14 or so seconds on the clock and thus doesn't have much time to recognize what the defense is doing and adjust, like you saw Notre Dame and Akron do to Michigan's detriment several times. They're just eating bad playcalls. That's a natural consequence of spending 25 seconds in a huddle and not recognizing that one of the most common responses to spread stuff is to send extra guys off the edge.

None of this has anything to do with the offensive line. These are two TFLs and one miraculous Gardner escape wiped out by a Funchess holding call (which, BTW, ugh) on which the offensive line plays no part. The problems go deeper than their issues, which we'll get to later. This is Borges and to some extent Gardner—I don't know if he's got checks here—getting beat by the defensive coordinator. They got some back with the speed option, FWIW.

Who's up for a tedious 150 comment thread questioning whether it's worthwhile to read this? I certainly am! I hope there are content-free arguments. Let's make sure to ignore Ka'Deem Carey's 2000 yards last year when we're incensed at the idea Rich Rodriguez might be able to coach a run game.

Comments

TIMMMAAY

September 24th, 2013 at 7:48 PM ^

I came back to clarify before anyone read that, but you were quick. I didn't mean to say edge, but did mean to say outside. Maybe I'm wrong, but the way I see this play Fitz is supposed to go outside the end, DG to go outside the LB. I was only trying to say that by design, Fitz should not have cut right (which still would have worked in this case). 

Hugh White

September 24th, 2013 at 6:27 PM ^

I think Gardner should have pulled the ball, but, oh well, he didn't.  Now it's up to Fitz, and here I totally agree with you that he blew this one.  To me, however, the correct diagnosis of Fitz run is not that he missed a hole and not that he failed to "follow" his blocker.  Rather the important thing is that he did not read his blocker.  If Fitz can slow down the game to a point where he sees the angle of Kerridge's shoulders (it's not a subtle angle in this case), then he'll start heading where he is supposed to head. 

One Inch Woody…

September 24th, 2013 at 5:17 PM ^

Just saying... gardner probably gets tackled in the exact same place as Touissant if he keeps.. From what I understand, both players going to the same gap means that the defensive end isn't really being optioned off. Touissant should be going up the middle, where Kalis has an excellent seal and Miller is a couple seconds away from getting owned from what I understand about the belly play. Yet, at the mesh point, Touissant is looking to the edge... So what am I missing, because this can't be a Gardner -1 unless his role is to go up the middle (like an inverted veer)?

Ron Utah

September 24th, 2013 at 5:36 PM ^

I'm not sure you're right on this one.

DG's arc after the give, as well as his body posture before the give, as well as Fitz's first step all suggest that Fitz was supposed to take this play up the middle and DG was looking to go outside.

I think Fitz missed the lane on this one.

Space Coyote

September 24th, 2013 at 6:06 PM ^

The play is designed to pick on the DE, either going inside of him or outside of him. Fitz is "following his FB", though I love how many fans are going back and forth on that one depending on whatever they think makes their point (not saying necessarily who I'm responding to, but others and in general).

Garnder should keep this. The DE is lateral but trying to pinch the running lane. Gardner should keep this all the way. He's a better athlete than the DE. Fitz will attack that optioned defender if he doesn't receive the ball, essentially blocking him or at least bothering him enough for Gardner to get outside. FWIW: I would assume he's not receiving enough reps of it because they are working on so many other things, but this is not intended to be a base play.

This really all stems from one of the first things you said. Michigan is going to a bunch of none base plays because they can't effectively run a base play. That's hurting them a lot right now and it's probably due to more than just "Borges isn't calling it" or "Borges is trying to install to much". I think he's going to so many looks because Michigan can't effectively block anything well enough to validate having a go-to play.

Ron Utah

September 24th, 2013 at 7:10 PM ^

I was not trying to say that Fitz was supposed to run straight up the middle (bad wording on my part), but rather inside the tackle, or, more accurately, inside the DE.

The problem is that Fitz does NOT go inside the DE.  Yes, a LB moves into the hole (and Kerridge picks him up) but Fitz can't break this run to the outside if DG gives.  He MUST go inside the DE, which he does not.

If he cuts inside, hopefully he finds the crease that appears to be there; worst-case-scenario he gets caught in the trash for no gain.

But on an option play, you do NOT go where the other guy is going; Fitz did.

Maybe DG should keep, but Fitz certainly did not go the right way, and there were yards left on the field.  We'll never know how the play would have unfolded if goes inside, but that was where he was supposed to go.

 

JTrain

September 24th, 2013 at 9:44 PM ^

Your last sentence stings. Kind of what I've been in denial about the last two games. I'm hoping for a miracle in the next couple weeks but I fear that's not going to happen. I also fear maybe we are in for a lot of the same next year when we lose Lewan and schoffield and have to start with new bookends. Here's to hoping that things get better.....

Ron Utah

September 24th, 2013 at 7:46 PM ^

DG clearly has the ability to make checks at the line, but he couldn't complete easy passes all day, and, IMO, started to lean on his legs too much.

If we can't block, can't pass, and can't run, what can Borges call?  And what can DG check into?

Blaming the OC for everything might feel good, but it doesn't make any sense.

EDIT: I'm not sure if the play is successful if DG keeps; either way, Fitz went the wrong way, and did not follow the play design.

AriGold

September 25th, 2013 at 12:22 PM ^

you are making yourself look like an idiot...Fitz did what he was suppose to do by following his blocker....so what is you have against a guy who ran for 120 yards, 2 td's and basically kept Michigan in the game (along with Desmond Morgan)???

Last week you complained about Fitz bouncing around too much, now its he isn't bouncing enough when he is clearly doing what he was coached to do on this play....keep trashing the one guy on our offense who is making things happen instead of blaming the o-line and bad play calling the last two weeks, you look really smart doing so

Ron Utah

September 25th, 2013 at 12:33 PM ^

I'm not blaming Fitz for our bad offense.  I'm talking about one play where I don't think Fitz followed the play design (neither does Space Coyote).

I've said many times that there is blame to go around--DG, the O-Line, the RBs, and Borges all have to do a better job.  I've never blamed the offense's woes on Fitz.

I don't know what you're talking about, or why you seem so angry with me.  If the DE is being optioned on this play, which everyone agrees with, then Fitz was supposed to go inside of him.  He didn't.  What's so extreme about that?

AriGold

September 25th, 2013 at 1:25 PM ^

Fitz should have cut back away from the DE and backside line where the play was designed...he did exactly what the play was designed to do, but it was simply not there and Devin should have kept it....my point is you and half of the posters on this board have been shitting on Fitz for the "2 yard loss" plays when most of it is happening due to blown blocking assignments usually from the interior o-line.

you stated this:

"If we can't block, can't pass, and can't run, what can Borges call?  And what can DG check into?

Blaming the OC for everything might feel good, but it doesn't make any sense."

....so where exactly do you blame Borges??? it seems to me it is far easier for you to blame the best offense player we currently have than to blame the guy calling (ofent times) bad plays for the personnel we currently have...not sure if you watched the ND game, but we can both pass and run, lining up under center and making DG turn his back to the play is whats really killing this team (along with Devin's turnovers)

Ron Utah

September 25th, 2013 at 4:00 PM ^

No.  I'm saying the DE (#56) was being optioned.  You don't option a player and then run both guys to the same place.  DG was supposed to go outside of 56, Fitz was supposed to go inside of 56.  Look at Fitz's body position and first step (before the hand-off).  That tells you where he was supposed to go.  He changed his mind when he saw all the trash there.  I believe he should look for smaller holes and have more faith in the play instead of trying to bounce outside.

Look, I'm not blaming Fitz for all of our offensive problems.  I do believe he's missing some reads, as does anyone who has any football knowledge.  On this play, he went to the wrong spot.  And I'm not sure he would have gotten good yardage going to the right spot, but he wouldn't have lost two yards.  He needs to do better.  That doesn't mean he isn't making some plays, but he needs to do better.

And I do blame Borges.  This was a historically bad performance, and that always falls on the coaches.  Borges did not call a great game.  But I don't blame just Borges, and I don't pretend that if he would just call better plays our problems would be solved.

DG is turning the ball over--that's his fault.  The line is missing blocks and not getting push--that's their fault.  The RB is missing holes--that's his fault.  The WRs are not making enough plays--that's their fault.  The TEs don't block very well--that's their fault.  And the play selection needs to better--that's on Borges.  The performance isn't good--that's on the coaching staff.

Borges was certainly part of the problem against UConn (not so much against Akron).  But blaming it all on him is ignoring the mistakes the players make.

reshp1

September 25th, 2013 at 10:42 AM ^

His body of work so far is buried under so many caveats it's pretty much impossible to make that determination. Certainly, you can't judge him on UConn where the playbook got ripped in half because Gardner couldn't complete an easy hitch or slant to save his life, after it already got ripped in half all season because only 2 of 5 guys on the OL can be counted on on any given play (2 of 7 if you count TEs).

AriGold

September 25th, 2013 at 12:25 PM ^

simply on the basis that Borges is constantly trying to fit a square peg into a round circle...he refuses to make adjustments more often than not....that is the sign of an arrogant OC, not a smart one...there are no excuses, he ran a very similar offense in Auburn with a mobile QB...either adapt to what you have or leave, the end next year will tell if Borges is the man for the job

UMMAN83

September 24th, 2013 at 5:24 PM ^

its all about turnovers and an OC. Simple. Seems like to me we need to watch the Patriots TE play and get our small WRs involved. I expect the core OL to get dismantled. Plus a little Green ... or he is over ... rated. He needs reps.

Wolfman

September 24th, 2013 at 5:27 PM ^

In many of these type posts, it is easy to see they are using wrong blocking assignments, doubling where it isn't necessary and have yet to see this team, and I believe it's due to the relative inexperience of the Ol and Fitz not being an inside runner. He's just not tough enough to avoid the first three defenders that outnumber the number of backs we have in on any given play.  Fitz's biggest runs to date have been designed, and seemingly pretty well blocked because he normally has minimum of 7-10 yds of green to work with once outside the DE position.  I really would not mind seeing-but damn, Devin will have work to do on inserting the old type option, much like Al did against Akron by boxing four to the right and leaving Firz and hmiself to outplay one man. If Devin would have pitched, like he should have, about one second earlier when contain man had already made move toward him instead of attempting to do so when defender had him in his grasp, result would have been a minimum 1st down and possible 6. So instead of fine tuning, don't have to show same formation, i.e., box four, but you can get same matchups, they decided to scrap it, or so it appears, and keep running the gut where we've been so great NOT!!!! for about the past decade.       ^It's my hope they are working on this and plan to utilize it against opponents of our caliber instead of force feeding the baby and taking huge chances of going into conference play at 2-2 instead of 4-0.     ^In the end, we're 4-0 and most say that is all that matters. I'll go along with that if we're 7-0 with lesser opponents beating the shit out of us, mostly by foolish errors and pulling it out in the last couple minutes. Then, much like ND last season, I'll consider it our game plan to look shitty for the entire game and win at the end.

El Jeffe

September 24th, 2013 at 5:28 PM ^

If Rodriguez had not sucked so badly at the picking of the defensive coaches and the recruiting of the defensive players and the being of the Michigan Man, then he would have been a great coach for UM. Unfortunately...

But back to the issue at hand. I think it's clear that we are still in transition. Miller was Molk Lite. Toussaint is Not Derrick Green. Gallon is Not Campbell or Harris. Gardner is Not, well, frankly, RS JR Shane Morris after that ouch-y back thing gets diagnosed, amirite?

So there are still some square pegs. I maintained with RR that college coaches need 4-5 years before you can rightfully fire them (net of Bobby Petrino-like gaffes) and I maintain that with Borges. But it's clear that Borges does not believe in or know how to run an offense with base and constraint plays. He just has a big ol' bag o' plays, some of which he re-runs when they hit and others... not.

I will say that the fact that we barely run anything but inside zone out of the pistol is pretty damning. My understanding of the Borges offense was that it was a set of plays that are run out of a million sets, so everything is the same to the offense but dizzying to the defense. I honestly don't understand what his philosophy or our identity is now, except "run some stuff and when it works it's awesome and when it doesn't it's UConn."

Oy.

Kfojames

September 24th, 2013 at 11:44 PM ^

I watched the Akron game again last night and really focused on the OL as well as play calls. Miller just struggled mightily in that game. It's tough to get anything going when the center of your line gets caved in on almost every play. We talk about still having square pegs well how do we know that we don't have at least some square pegs with at least rounded off edges ala Chris Bryant. I still stay with the "at some point you have to try something different" philosophy. If it doesn't work you can always go back to the old way of doing it. And Borges with his melting pot of plays is hindering the and it's not allowing our offense to find an identity. We want to be a downhill power team but with the play calls I feel it's softening our offense to a finesse style of play. If you want to run power than get the guys in there who can move people and if they can't then you try another, simplify the offense and quit pussy footing around with these gimmick mis directions and reverse plays and get north and south. We number one have to stop the negative yardage on any down not just first, and keep pounding away and pounding away. Rotate Green in, then back to Fitz give 3-5 carries to Rawls or Smith. Will it always garner huge chunks of yards every down? No but the backs won't fumble and will push and fall forward for positive yards to set up a 3rd and very manageable and put our QB in positions to have success. Along with drilling it into his head to THROW THE BALL AWAY! This isn't Gardners playground to run around and play tag. Stress and Insist that we cannot have continuous 10 yard losses and turnovers. Then you take your periodical shots deep to Gallon, Chesson, Funchess/Butt. However we are committing more to the run. If we punt we punt but were not turning the ball over every other series and were giving our Defense a longer field to work with. And we do have a very good Defense that's getting better. IMO UM needs to shuffle and simplify things up and find their identity. I find myself scratching my head at some of the play calls like the UConn game when we had 3rd and 2 knocking on the door and we have Devin under center that went no where, yet earlier throughout the game when we should be under center were running our shotgun/pistol reverse and mis direction gimmick plays for negative yardage. With a young line I feel like Borges may be asking them to do too much. Make it a bit more simple and let them play physical.

MadMonkey

September 24th, 2013 at 5:36 PM ^

words he wrote . . . but he seems to answer his own queston(s) between the lines.   He just seems reluctant to place the blame on Borges.

If one accepts the premise that we can't decide between stretch, iso, or power, then how do you place the blame anywhere but with the OC?  

Ron Utah

September 24th, 2013 at 5:48 PM ^

Pro-style offenses have almost always included zone and power blocking schemes.  Michigan can't do either one well.  Would you rather we kept running unsuccessful zone plays and never ran power (or iso)?  Or would you prefer a bunch of unsuccessful power plays without zone?

Michigan doesn't have an offensive identity because they can't execute anything consistently.  There is no doubt that part of that blame goes to Borges (and Hoke), but to place all the blame on Al is to ignore the performance of the players, and to let the head coach off the hook.

Using Borges as the scapegoat for this team's offensive failures only makes sense if you have an agenda against him.  He's not blocking (or allowing free runners), not throwing the football (to the other team), not carrying the football (or dropping it), he's calling the plays.  Yes, he is responsible for offensive execution, but so is the head coach and so are the players.

Was Borges smart against ND and then became stupid against UConn?

MadMonkey

September 24th, 2013 at 5:57 PM ^

coaching to limit the requests of your personnel to what they are capable of doing.  After the Akron game, Mattison says as much about our pass rush.   

Michigan's talent should be capable of stretch, iso, and power,  However, that clearly hasn't been established in the last couple seasons.  It seems like the coaches need to make a decision to focus their efforts of developing those plays this group of athletes is most capable of executing right now.   We seem to be doing the opposite.   We seem to looking for what we do well, rather than deciding to focus on developing a set of plays we can execute consistently.

Ron Utah

September 24th, 2013 at 7:36 PM ^

As a coach, you would like to play to your players' strengths.  But if your players can't block zone or power, what do you do?  Stop running the ball?

No, Michigan's problem is not simply calling better plays.  Our problem is that we can't block any of them, and when they are blocked, the RB doesn't always find the hole.

Michigan clearly did EXACTLY what you're suggesting: they focused on the zone stretch in camp and wanted it to be their bread-and-butter.  They ran stretch plays 16 times against CMU, 10 against ND, and four times against Akron.  They ran almost exclusively zone blocking plays in the first half against Akron.  That's been the focus all season.  Borges only switched to options and veers and power when the zone blocking wasn't working against ND and Akron.

Faced with the fact that the stretch (and other zone plays) aren't working, Borges is forced to adjust.  If he didn't, the board would be saying, "How come he just runs the same damn plays everytime and never gets anywhere?"

I agree that Michigan's talent SHOULD be capable of more, but they aren't.  And that falls on the coaches and the players.  But there isn't a magic play call or strategy that will fix bad blocking.

MadMonkey

September 24th, 2013 at 8:06 PM ^

want fairy dust and magic incantations to solve our problems.   

Seriously, your answer probably reflects exactly the challenges the coaches are trying to overcome.   If that is true, many of us (including yours truly) need to rethink what the remainder of the season has in store for this team.   That's a bummer.  

Paired with the reluctance of the coaches to mess with the composition of the interior of the line , , . well.  

I still want to keep my rose-bowl colored glasses on for a while, but it is getting tough to see through them with all the shit getting kicked on them by drecks of the FBS.

Ron Utah

September 25th, 2013 at 12:37 PM ^

I want fairy dust and magic too.  I'm afraid I just don't see it.

The team that we've seen the past two weeks has no chance of winning the B1G.  My expectations for the season have been substantially downgraded, but there is hope.  We have a bye week to fix problems, look at other personnel possibilities, and maybe get back on track.

FWIW, if we don't turn the ball over so much these last two weeks, the scores probably look more appropriate.  But the problems on the O-Line and D-Line persist, and if they aren't fixed, we'll be lucky to win three games in November.

corundum

September 24th, 2013 at 6:22 PM ^

My problem with Borges is that he doesn't have any checks or audibles prepared for when our offense lines up and it's clear they are about to run into the gnashing teeth of a buzz-saw blitz. We line up with ten seconds on the play clock, don't make an attempt to look over to the sideline for guidance (no time to do so anyways), take our RPS ass-kicking, and hit the slot machine again on 2nd and 12.

Ron Utah

September 24th, 2013 at 7:38 PM ^

You don't have to look to the sideline to audible.  DG has the power to audible, and has clearly done so.  Borges DOES give him options to get into different plays.

Play-calling does not overcome bad execution.  The execution is on the players and the coaches, but there is no simple solution to this problem.

Bb011

September 24th, 2013 at 5:39 PM ^

I do not think that gardner should keep the ball, and I think that he shouldn't get a minus for that play either. He read the end correctly, and had he taken the ball he most likely would be tackled for a loss as well. There is always the chance that he could beat the end, even with the incorrect read on the end, but that doesn't mean you take that chance. Fitz read it wrong though, and he should have gone right instead of left. Granted, it would not have been a huge gain, but he probably would have gotten a gain of around 2 or 3 instead of a loss of 2.

Space Coyote

September 24th, 2013 at 6:14 PM ^

If you are uncertain on read option, you give. On this, if you're uncertain, you keep. The QB is the main runner on this. The RB is give in case the DE clearly over reacts to the outside threat and he can shoot up field quickly into the second level. I described why Gardner should have kept above. But just because the DE isn't crashing, doesn't mean he isn't pinching the hole Fitz is intended to run through.

Previously, Brian had a picture pages where he talked about how Gardner wasn't actually reading and that Fitz was intended to block the end. That wasn't the case, Fitz was just doing what he's supposed to when he doesn't receive the ball. If he doesn't receive the ball, he tries to scoop the DE to give Gardner an easier release and more blocking. DE hesitates here, QB keeps.

Bb011

September 24th, 2013 at 6:28 PM ^

Fair enough, the end definitely doesn't over-act upfield. Its still worth noting that the end doesn't crash at all though, especially at the time point gardner has to read the play, I don't think he deserves the - from it. If he keeps he is pretty likely going to be tackled in the backfield. The conclusion of this either way is still in support of Brians main point of the article though.

Ron Utah

September 24th, 2013 at 7:49 PM ^

It is possible that DG should have kept here; I've noted that above.

However, you can't argue that Fitz does the right thing on this play.  Fitz should go inside if DG is going outside.  Otherwise, why option?

I'm not claiming there was a TD to be had on this play, but rather that DG had a tough choice and Fitz went the wrong way.  Maybe DG was wrong, but I'm 100% sure Fitz was wrong.

And don't get me wrong--I'm not defending DG.  He was awful, and perhpas this decision was wrong too.  I just want Fitz to follow the play design and stop bouncing outside.

tenerson

September 25th, 2013 at 12:03 AM ^

I don't disagree with you but Fitz had nothing except a backside cut, which on an option play is not an option. DG has to keep that especially since there is no one outside of that DE. The DE had turned and that should have been enough of a commitment to get that read right. Kerridge has no chance there with two guys and everything is doomed if Fitz gets the ball. Sure, it's the difference between 0 and -2 yards but there was nothing there after DG gave. 

legalblue

September 24th, 2013 at 5:36 PM ^

Won't are Epic Recruiting (tm) make this all a non factor at some point.  I mean regardless of how the defense schemes to stop us won't are superior athletes at some point just run over the opposition.  I can see it now our blockers smash everything the touch 3 yards downfield.  Even on the worst play we'll just follow behind some monsterous tackle until the surge can take us no further.  We'll complain that we can't run for more than 3 yards on first down, but won't that be nice!