Unverified Voracity Blitzes The A Gap

Submitted by Brian on November 1st, 2010 at 5:51 PM

Schadenfreuede starring you. You may be featured in TWIS…

It's time to play "MGoBlog Content Or Smiths Song?"

  1. "Embarrassing really doesn’t cover what this is"
  2. "If you have a pitchfork I want to talk"
  3. "That joke isn't funny anymore"
  4. "I've got nothing left"
  5. "I started something that I couldn't finish"
  6. "Searching for something to hold on to"

…but so am I so it's only fair. Also the first one isn't actually MGoBlog content, it's from MGoFootball, but it was too perfect.

What happened when that other thing was happening. If you weren't one of the sixteen people at Yost on Saturday this is what happened:

That completed a four point weekend after Michigan's last-ditch tying goal led to a shootout loss in Big Rapids. The NCAA does not use shootouts as part of the PWR formula so to them it's just 1-0-1, which is a decent enough weekend against an opponent that traditionally plays Michigan very tough at home.

Michigan heads up to Fairbanks this weekend for a tough series against Alaska (That Alaska):

The Nanooks are 5-2-1 on the year and have a win over Colorado College; they've beaten some weak teams and lost to North Dakota at home and had a 0-1-1 trip at Munn in their first and only weekend outside of Alaska. After that Michigan gets a rejuvenated Notre Dame program at Yost; the next two weeks will go a long way towards establishing just what Michigan is this year after a slightly shaky start.

Brian Kelly terror level: reduced. I'm on record saying that in Brian Kelly Notre Dame had found a real coach who was likely to whip the talented but lost Weis leftovers into a formidable team sooner or later, likely sooner. Eh… not so much. The decision to have your freshman backup toss a fade to Michael Floyd when you need a field goal to win and a Groza candidate at kicker is Weis-level outsmarting yourself. Also it was against Tulsa.

So that's one thing. More damning still was what happened in the Navy game. At halftime Brian Kelly mumbled something incoherent about the "veer" to the sideline reporter, implying that the Mids had brought out the fireworks for their big game against Notre Dame:

If you saw the game you might have thought this was weird since the Navy offense looked pretty much like the Navy offense always does except the fullback wasn't getting tackled until he was 20 yards downfield. Navy blog The Birddog, which breaks down Navy games in detail equivalent to UFR, explains what the fancy new scheme was:

Kelly and Diaco just have absolutely no clue how the Navy offense works.

Navy started the game in the heavy formation, with two tackles lined up on one side and a wide receiver in the tackle position on the other side. Contrary to Kelly’s comments, this isn’t unusual at all for the Navy offense. Offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper frequently uses the heavy formation when the defense has an inside linebacker with exceptional playmaking ability; in Notre Dame’s case, that would be Manti Te’o. … The first down lineman on or outside the B gap is still unblocked as the quarterback’s first key, and the next player out is still #2 in the count. Since it is the lineman in the B gap that is left unblocked, that’s the path that the fullback takes on his run. If that lineman steps upfield and takes the quarterback, that’s where the running lane will be.

That isn’t something new that the Navy coaches saved for Notre Dame. That is Navy Offense 101. It’s the absolute basics; the bread and butter play run in every game out of every formation. If Diaco and Kelly hadn’t seen it before, then I have no idea what film they’ve been watching, or if they even watched any at all. That isn’t even hyperbole; they thought that Navy’s fullback ran through the A gap. And that was their plan– to send the inside linebackers crashing into the A gap that nobody was running through.

The Birddog explains Kelly's odd veer comment as a fundamental misunderstanding of the Navy offense based on the idea they run the midline a ton (they did run it against ND, but only twice). Which fine he's an offensive guy but that's got to be the explanation he got from DC Bob Diaco, then, so you're just devolving the gaping incompetence to the coordinator level. (This does not sound familiar at all.) So Notre Dame goes in at halftime aware they've made a fundamental mistake when it comes to the Navy offense and they change their scheme up like so:

Those ILBs kept running into the A gap for the entire game. Once or twice Te’o scraped outside to make a play in the backfield, and I’d think,”OK, now we’ll see something else.” But we didn’t. Notre Dame would go right back to the same old thing on the next play, and the Mids would pick up a big gain.

That's how you lose 35-17 to Navy. Navy then went out and lost to Duke, rushing for 148 yards at 4.0 a pop. So… yeah. As long as Diaco's around I'm not going to be that terrified of Brian Kelly. (This is not a criticism you can level at Michigan.)

Give me back mah bukkit. Elsewhere in Charlie Weis comparisons, Danny Hope is one easily-peeved walrus:

After Purdue cut its deficit to 37-10, Illinois threw three passes on a 57-yard scoring drive, including a 15-yard scoring strike from Scheelhaase to Chris James with 1:36 left.

"I probably would not have done that but I’m not going to cry about it," Hope told reporters after the game. "That's their choice, their call. I would not have done it. He’s the coach. If it makes him feel better about him and his team, call it, chuck it and run it up."

Unlike former Minnesota coach Tim Brewster, who had a heated postgame exchange with Wisconsin's Bret Bielema after an Oct. 9 game in Madison, Hope doesn't intend to confront Zook.

"Why would I say something about that?" Hope said. "Game's over. It's his call. It’s done. I'm not going to cry about it."

Charlie Weis press conferences were laden with statements like "I'm not going to blame Jimmy Clausen for overthrowing Golden Tate, I take that responsibility myself. Another thing I'm taking responsibility for: our defensive line being comprised of mewling kittens. That's on me, and does not reflect poorly on the character of Ian Williams." Here Hope repeatedly states he's not going to cry about the thing he is crying about.

Etc.: 2011 PG commit Trey Burke continues to play well in local tournaments, going head to head with a top-50 player and coming out almost even in points (33 to 34) and seeing his team pick up the W.

Comments

funkmob_starchild

November 1st, 2010 at 6:00 PM ^

My new favorite least-favorite coach in all of sports.  What a passive-aggressive little bitch . . .

"That's their choice, their call. I would not have done it. He’s the coach. If it makes him feel better about him and his team, call it, chuck it and run it up."

Seriously, Danny?  "If it makes him feel better about him and his team?"  God, what a passive-aggressive prick.  If you can't stop, don't whine about it.

zlionsfan

November 2nd, 2010 at 9:09 PM ^

because Purdue doesn't have a QB capable of completing passes, nor does it have an offense capable of building the kind of lead where the opposing coach might ask such a question.

I say this as a Purdue grad: I'm tired of Hope complaining about things. News flash: the Big Ten is not the fucking Ohio Valley Conference. It is loaded with schools that a) will tear your heart out and serve it with mashed potatoes and corn or b) are working feverishly at making that happen. Purdue is not a school currently capable of running with the wolves (even in Tiller's heyday, we needed help to get to a good bowl), nor is Morgan Burke the type of AD given to searching for a man who can make this happen and paying him what he's worth (based mostly on the fact that Matt Painter doesn't have a contract for life, or at least 10 years - yes, he has a long-term contract signed, except he owes nothing if he leaves after 2010-11).  Oh yes, and Tiller shit the bed the last season or two, so clean that up, would you?

So, it's not an easy situation to fix. You haven't yet shown that you can - in fact, you haven't really shown anything other than that Purdue isn't that good yet (which was true before you arrived) and isn't deep (which was also true).

Less bitching, more fixing plz.

Again, we have a rival, Indiana. We have another rival, Notre Dame. Pick that one in particular - it may be an easier target now. Illinois is kind of a rival, I guess, but obviously it's one-sided for now.  Stop picking fights with other schools, especially ones you aren't going to win. Beat the goddamn MAC schools first, then find guys who can play defense (because the defense without Kerrigan next year is not looking good), find depth at offensive skill positions, and win games.

P.S. If people "steal" your recruits, it's because you can't keep them. That is how Purdue football works right now. Schools like UM and OSU "take" from you, you "take" from MAC schools, etc. etc. If you don't like it, build the program to the point where it doesn't happen as often.

jlcoleman71

November 1st, 2010 at 6:06 PM ^

think of one decision made by Kelly that makes me think he's a "great" coach.........every other game, there seems to be at least one boneheaded call on the ND sideline.

erik_t

November 1st, 2010 at 6:35 PM ^

CC was just DESTROYED at home by Minnesota, who should be but is not terribly good right now. 4-1 Minny on Friday, 9-4 (yes) UMN Saturday.

MGoShoe

November 1st, 2010 at 6:52 PM ^

...I'm "Still Ill" about the PSU game.  At times during the game, I had to wonder "What Difference Does It Make?" and I recalled 2009 and said to myself, "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before."  

But then I realized that "I Want the One I Can't Have" and will have to wait until 2011 for the payoff. "How Soon is Now?", too soon apparently.  For 2010, I guess "Suffer Little Children" may have to be our anthem.

jmblue

November 1st, 2010 at 7:37 PM ^

As long as Diaco's around I'm not going to be that terrified of Brian Kelly. (This is not a criticism you can level at Michigan.)

What does this mean? 

MaizeAndBlueWahoo

November 1st, 2010 at 8:27 PM ^

Diaco's lack of ability to scheme for Navy is baffling.  Especially the fact that he sends his linebackers to the wrong places.  He's got personal experience beating that offense: he was UVA's linebackers coach in 2008 when we beat Georgia Tech with Paul Johnson coaching GT.  UVA shut them down to the tune of a measly field goal after the first two drives.  You'd think it wouldn't be that hard for him to remember how that happened.

Unless he schemed exactly that way and Navy does it different now.  But I doubt that.

SpartanDan

November 1st, 2010 at 10:12 PM ^

when you're one game away from matching your optimistic preseason win prediction with two of the three worst teams in the conference still to go and the third looking more like a triage unit than the solid team you'd expected coming into the season (though still a threat) and your chance at the Rose Bowl - thought to be a pipe dream in the preseason - is measured in double-digit percentages instead of parts per million.

Yeah, Saturday sucked in almost every way imaginable. But if before the season you'd offered me 8-1 at this point and a Rose Bowl chance dependent on winning two games we absolutely should not lose and a third that seems entirely winnable, then hoping Ohio State drops one and either Wisconsin wins out or Iowa doesn't, I'd have said "HELL YES GIMME GIMME GIMME!"

Penn State Clips

November 2nd, 2010 at 9:51 AM ^

I'm excited about Penn State making the move to varsity hockey.  A few questions:

  • Do you believe there will be a Big Ten Hockey conference? Will it be limited to the six Big Ten schools or will they add Miami (OH), Notre Dame, etc.?
  • Does the prospect of Big Ten hockey make MGoBloggers happy or sad?
  • What is the state of prep hockey in Penn State's "natural" recruiting territory on the East Coast?
  • How tough is it to get hockey tickets at UM and MSU? Will I need to buy them in advance or are they typically available at the gate?

Thanks in advance.

AeonBlue

November 2nd, 2010 at 10:01 AM ^

My favorite was when Kelly said to the press:

"You better get used to it. If we get a 1-on-1 matchup we're going to call that play every time."

Have fun with your new coach ND! To Rich Rod's credit: when he made that call to punt in the 4th against MSU he said afterwards that it was probably a mistake. I respect that more than coming out and saying "I don't give a shit if it's wrong, I'm the f-ing head coach and I do what I want!" Then again, I don't get paid a million bucks to make that decision...

zlionsfan

November 2nd, 2010 at 9:13 PM ^

that given certain events that happened recently (OK, one specific event), Kelly would be a litle more careful about emphasizing that he's responsibile for everything that happens to the program. (FWIW, I think Kelly and Swarbrick should be gone, end of season probably, but until that happens, every time Kelly makes some kind of comment like that I'm going to be thinking "you can take responsibility for Declan Sullivan's death any time now.")