Unverified Voracity Collapses Under Buffalo

Submitted by Brian on October 3rd, 2013 at 1:19 PM

As told by Bo. MGoUser Don unearthed this piece of coaching film nostalgia explained by Bo himself:

These days you don't see defensive linemen go to the ground like that when doubled, because they're not 230 pounds anymore. The rest of it remains accurate to this day. Meanwhile, the NFL's hot new trend is Bo offense. Someday that guy's going to make something of himself.

Ten years ago. At some point in the third quarter something terrible happened in the Metrodome, causing me to reflexively go "aaaurrrgh" or something similar, and part of this was a frenzied hand motion that relocated my girlfriend at the time from the couch to the floor. Then Michigan won the game. Minnesota 2003, everybody!

The Star-Tribune delves into the crippling loss ten years on:

“If we win that game, the program is 100 percent different, no doubt about it,” said former quarterback Bryan Cupito, a freshman in ’03. “If we win that game, I would say the next five years of Minnesota football is completely different. I think that would have changed things in a big way.”

For one, flipping the result of that game would have created a four-way logjam at the top of the Big Ten standings with Michigan, OSU, Purdue, and Minnesota all at 6-2. That Gopher team had an unbelievable amount of talent in the run game—Thomas Tapeh, Marion Barber, and Laurence Maroney were all on that team—but they could not survive the John Navarre show in the fourth quarter.

“Once they started scoring touchdowns,” Utecht said, “that little voice kind of pops into your head like, ‘Oh no, please tell me this is not going to happen again.’ ”

Maroney and Matt Spaeth would at last get their revenge two years later when Jim Herrmann called the worst blitz ever in that weird game where they turned the clock off.

Say hello to more iso. Space Coyote breaks down the manballiest play of them all, iso:


While iso's not really something you can base your offense around it can acquire larger chunks when linebackers are shooting gaps like crazy (like ND was) or when you've got a numerical advantage with your QB. In normal situations it's a small gain. This is a good point:

With the move of Glasgow to center and the insertion of Bryant into the lineup at LG, it means a few changes may be in order. Bryant, less the fleet of foot and more the very large, squatty man that is more of a hitter and less of a reacher, probably indicates that Michigan will go to more of a traditional man blocking scheme. Add on that Glasgow isn't the quickest of players for the center position in a stretch run team, and it's likely that Michigan will be running less zone stretch and more gap blocking type activities (with the occasional inside zone mixed in).

What a bizarre shift, and one that should sap your enthusiasm for the new-look offensive line. They've been trying to do one thing a lot for four games and now that they've got Bryant the thing that makes sense is to dump all that preparation in the trash and hope to do something not quite entirely different. Bler.

Not sure why inside zone isn't something SC thinks will feature; me, it seems to makes sense with the personnel and the apparent zone focus of the offseason.

Talking with Chatman's people. People get all out of joint about the 247 Crystal Ball when it's wrong, as it was with Kameron Chatman*, but, you know, like, whatever. It's just, like, people's opinion, man. They should add a confidence rating so we can distinguish between "I will eat my hat if Malik McDowell does not end up at Michigan" and "if I could withdraw this prediction I would but since I cannot here is a blindfolded man pointing a gun." Chatman would have been the latter for us.

Beilein got the thing done in the usual way: identifying talent early and getting on it before anyone else did:

"The thing we liked about Michigan was, first and foremost, Michigan has been recruiting us the longest," Mr. Chatman said. "Coach (Beilein) has been in with us. Coach Meyer started his recruitment in July of 2012, and he’s been there since day one. From him going up to Long Beach Poly, checking out open gyms, staying in contact when Kameron couldn’t play — our relationship even started prior to that, and then to stick through it and even turn it up. In the spring and summer, Michigan’s interest was apparent all the way through."

It was not the guy you might expect that really caught the Chatmans' eyes:

"I think Kameron was very impressed with the development of Jordan Morgan and his story. Not necessarily coming in being the guy who could be forecasted to play in the Big Ten as a contributor but will possibly be a full-time starter this year and is also in graduate school. He’ll go on to be successful."

That's a guy with his eye on some unusual things.

*[Note that Ace and I are jointly operating the main MGoBlog predictotron there; I was the one who projected Chatman to Arizona, not Ace.]

Dominoes. Everything is happening right away in basketball recruiting:

  • Michigan coaches visited IN SG James Blackmon Jr last night en masse, hours after Blackmon tweeted out "decision coming soon"; in the aftermath Bacari Alexander sent out something starting with "it's been real" but that he was returning to the guys already on the team to get practice going. Many internets have decided that this means something bad about Blackmon, but in context—Alexander tweeting out pictures of the jet he and the crew are flitting around in, another en masse visit to Grantham—I don't read anything into that.
  • Speaking of WV PF Donte Grantham, he announces between Michigan and Clemson tomorrow at noon. Insiders are all over the place on who it'll be. Grantham just took an unofficial to Clemson and Michigan just descended on him with the whole staff; tea leaves are murky. A 50-50 proposition.
  • There's no such uncertainty with CA PF DJ Wilson, who's visiting this weekend and should be offered, whereupon the universe expects an instant commit. Wilson's the lowest-ranked of the guys Michigan's after but as a 6'9" super-intelligent (he's got Ivy offers aplenty) shooter he's the sort of kid Beilein snaps up without thinking twice. If things get really crammed and Wilson is amenable he might take a prep school year, but with other BCS options and increasing interest that's asking a lot.
  • MS SG Devin Booker takes his official this weekend, and while most feel he's ticketed for Kentucky now I'm saying there's a chance. As previously mentioned, one or the other may get pushed away from Kentucky when the first one drops. Any rumors about MSU getting in on Booker look pretty flimsy given a couple of Plan D offers Izzo just shot out to wing types.

Blackmon has a visit to UK set for the 18th; Booker set a tentative commit date of October 31st; he later took that back but that remains a reasonable timeline. Michigan's 2014 class should be full-ish by the end of the month.

HEY YOU'RE A JERK (you're right shhh). Don't talk about my sister like that, only I talk about my sister like that:

"I think he kind of just panics a lot," Minnesota safety Cedric Thompson told the Minneapolis Star Tribune in a story published Wednesday. "I think when he scrambles, he kind of just throws the ball."

Gardner will revert to old bad ways when pressured or rolling out, which is about 90% of his accuracy issues. Not like Cedric Thompson is going to benefit from this information, since Cedric Thompson is probably going to be eating paste as someone runs by him. (Cue Minnesota blog version of this bullet.)

Trying to make it big. The NYT on the BTN's adoption of college hockey:

“We’re in an investing phase, not in a moneymaking phase, with Big Ten hockey,” Silverman said. “The hope is, over time, that we can grow the sport so it can pay for itself and hopefully be an overall benefit to the network.

“We think it will bring in new viewers. We think it will help with our ratings. But we’re making a significant investment, and it’s not a short-term investment.”

They have nine consecutive doubleheaders on Friday nights, which is the reason you have no gametimes on your tickets. A lot of those are at 7 or 6:30, which might dent attendance. Hopefully Michigan can make it work, as the atmosphere inside Yost is still one of the main draws to college hockey even after its undeniably steady decade-long decline.

By the way, those UNH games that were inexplicably going untelevised have been picked up by Fox College Sports. That leaves the following games as the only untelevised ones this year:

  • @ RIT (which is televised locally on what looks like a Time Warner channel like Comcast's)
  • Michigan Tech, Friday Nov. 1
  • @ UNO, Saturday Nov. 16
  • @ Wisconsin, Jan. 11
  • Wisconsin, Feb. 1
  • @ Penn State, Feb 7

That's a quantum leap forward, especially with UNO and RIT offering live streams. This is how far the college-hockey-on-TV thing has come: even the USA game is set to be televised(!) on FSD.

Etc.: Inside the Western Michigan rainout decision. Ole Miss players heckle "Laramie Project" performance. This never happens at New Miss. This is not a humor article about craft beer, because it is the truth. Losing, faking, and recovering the Brown Jug. The 1930s were fun. Jon Falk honored.



October 3rd, 2013 at 1:56 PM ^

For reasons that are evident, I cannot find the thinly veiled joke at Dogfish Head's expense funny. Although, it has a ring of truth.

But I completely agree that if there is something called "lager" or "red ale" on the menu, it is mostly likely very boring.

I WISH the high ABV beers were less expensive but unfortunately the price usually outpaces the relative increase in alcohol content.

His Dudeness

October 3rd, 2013 at 2:16 PM ^

I may be over the "craft beer" thing.

I went to Ashley's the night before the ND game this season and had 4 or 5 craft beers. The next morning I puked until about 3 PM.

I then went tailgating for the game at around 4PM and forced down the first 2 Coors and eventually finished off about 12 total. Never puked, wasn't hungover the next morning, nothing.

Something tells me I am either too old for "craft beer" or that "craft beer" is just shitty swish sitting in a barrel in some guys trunk out behind the Safe-Way.


October 3rd, 2013 at 6:23 PM ^

It depends on your circumstances.  If I'm hanging out at my house having a few beers over a short period of time, then drink whatever tastes best.  Maybe the craft beers are better because if you're only going to have a couple, at least the fancy ones will give you a buzz. 

But most of my drinking is with a handful of other guys - at a bar, at a BBQ, whatever.  If I'm going to hang out drinking for a few ours drinking craft beers, I'll be fall down drunk when everyone else is feeling tipsy.  That's not cool.  Anytime the total drinking time is over one hour, you better pick something easy.

Low Key Recidivist

October 4th, 2013 at 10:36 AM ^

The Dogfish IPA lineup is the best out there I've personally tried, but there's a lot of brewries (and apparently customers) out there who don't seem to understand that the key to a good beer is balance. 

That said, and in conjunction with your comments, there's some impressive IPAs out there; unfortunately, I've yet to find a really good Czech style pils from a microbrewery - If anyone knows of one, please let me know.


October 3rd, 2013 at 1:43 PM ^

I am optimistic that adding a healthy Bryant into the mix will make the blocking more better. One might suggest that this is and always was the best 5.

I honestly don't care what type of running play they run as long as it works.


October 3rd, 2013 at 1:44 PM ^

...tweets meant this: My fellow coaches and I were on a very important set of recruiting visits. You can tell they were extremely important because we flew in this very nice chartered jet. And these visits came right after we flew to Portland, OR and sealed the deal with our latest highly ranked recruit, a student-athlete whose game, mentality, and values were exhaustively scouted and whose recruitment was meticulously planned and executed. Now that we're back home from our very important set of recruiting visits, we will focus on our current student athletes, because that's what Michigan's program is about. Nuturing our talent and ensuring they develop in all aspects of basketball, academics and life. All you basketball recruits, parents/guardians, HS and AAU coaches, recruiting analysts and reporters, and fans of U-M basketball, you should be aware of these things. When you are aware of these things, you will understand why we do the things we do and why we seek out the kind of student-athlete we do during the recruiting process. So, when you consider joining us, determine what sort of advice to provide to your son/player, report on our program, cheer for us, keep these things in mind and you will be well served.


October 3rd, 2013 at 1:45 PM ^

On one hand, Cedric Thompson has a point.  Devin Gardner's problem isn't that he generally makes bad decisions; he usually makes good ones.  The problem is that several times a game, he'll make TERRIBLE decisions -- solid evidence that he does get rattled.

Also, as much as Michigan is the favorite and likely to win, it's pretty hard for this team to scare anyone.  I'm sure they respect the defense but at this point you can probably write two turnovers into the gameplan.  The fun will be in seeing if the bye week (and personnel adjustments) corrects these issues and proves everyone wrong.  It's why games are played.  But as far as opponent comments go, his assessment strikes me as neither controversial nor inaccurate.  Good food for thought for DG, though.

That said, Cedric Thompson's problem is not Devin Gardner.  Cedric Thompson's problems are that the corner won't be able to stay with Gallon, and that at some point he's going to be eating a block from Chesson the Destroyer.


October 3rd, 2013 at 1:46 PM ^

Schembechler was convinced that if your ran "right at 'em", right at the opposing defense's core strength enough times and with enough force, you'd physically beat and demoralize them, and by the 3rd and 4th quarter such opponents would have nothing left.  Just a leftover goey residue on Michigan Stadium's old 1970s Tartan surface.

It pretty much worked because it was "football".

From 1969 to 1979 Michigan was 104-19-3, second only to Oklahoma (119-17-3).

One third of Michigan's 19 losses took place in bowl games.





October 3rd, 2013 at 3:01 PM ^


"The other schools that we were at might have had more pros than coach Beilein has had. In fact, coach Beilein might have the least amount of experience dealing with pros. But he’s had an extreme amount of success dealing with people," Mr. Chatman said. "Working with what he’s had and making groups of people come together for a greater cause."



October 3rd, 2013 at 2:19 PM ^

That's a good article - nice perspective from the Minnesota side.  It'd be interesting to read a similiar article where the UM players are interviewed.

steve sharik

October 3rd, 2013 at 3:05 PM ^

When talking about D-line slanting: "The rest of it remains accurate to this day."

Actually, D-line slants are a little different, mostly b/c the D-line doesn't line up 1.5' off the ball.  D-linemen are taught to "crowd the ball", i.e., line up as close as you can.  The reason it changed was b/c back in the day, as soon as a D-lineman entered the neutral zone, it was instantly flagged.  When they changed the rules so it was only offsides if a D-lineman was in the zone at the snap, D-linemen were moved right up on the ball.  The 1.5' was a buffer so that if a guy flinched, he wouldn't be offside.

Now that D-linemen crowd the ball, the first step doesn't need to be 45 degrees to gain ground into the gap. The greater concern is for a D-lineman to get into his gap, and so the first step is now directly lateral to the side of the slant.

Ron Utah

October 3rd, 2013 at 3:46 PM ^

I would not coach it the same way you describe...do you not find your linemen losing ground when they step laterally?  I'm assuming they keep their shoulders square, and having a hard time imagining how they can maintain leverage while moving directly laterally--a small step might work, but then you aren't really getting into your gap.  This sort of reminds me of what Pipkins did in the picture pages that didn't work...maybe you can clarify?  I'd love to learn better ways to coach.

IMO, for DTs, you are certainly taking a more lateral step, but definitely still trying to get upfield, ripping and trying to get into the gap ASAP.  For DEs, we have our guys aim for the waist of the lineman towards which they're slanting, which is not really 45 degrees, but close, depending on the alignment and positioning of the O-Line.

I think the video is accurate in terms of where you want to go and even the stepping technique, even if the 45 degrees isn't precisely right.

But maybe your defense is better than mine :)

steve sharik

October 4th, 2013 at 12:43 PM ^

...my slant is supposed to be across a guy's face and into another gap, and that guys zone steps away from me, and if I step forward in any way, I have zero chance.  That said, it is not a huge step, but more of a power step.  The way we did it was more of an "L" shape.  

I also think it's easier to stay square if the first step is lateral.  Not saying you can't be square with an angled step, just easier if you step flat.  Also, we didn't emphasize getting upfield, as the natural inclination is to do that, anyway, and getting too far upfield is a bad thing, especially at levels of football lower than college.

That said, I think there is no right and wrong here, so I apologize if I suggested that.  I just believe that what I'm describing is the more widely used and currently accepted technique among the college and pro coaches I've learned from.  Moreover, I've found that if you believe in a particular technique and coach it the proper way, you'll be successful.  In my opinion, the lateral step is a better technique and puts a player in a better position to be successful, but, yeah, well, you know, that's just like...my opinion, man.

Ron Utah

October 4th, 2013 at 4:55 PM ^

I understand what you're saying and it makes some sense, especially for DTs.  But what about for DEs?  Do you coach them differently?

It's definitely easier to stay square if your first step is lateral.  And I think that might be more effective against a zone step by the O-line.  But what about power?  If you're stepping laterally and that blocker gets into you on a gap play, you're probably going backwards.  I like kids to get themselves moving upfield ASAP to give them the best possible chance to penetrate and beat blocks.

But I really like your ideas and will definitely watch some film to compare your concepts with what I prefer.

EDIT: It occurs to me that maybe you're talking about a Loop?  Or maybe you don't use Slants?  Here's a quick article that I think is representative of the way most slants and loops are coached:


However, I disagree with stepping first with your opposite foot; so does Mattison, based on film.

Space Coyote

October 3rd, 2013 at 3:27 PM ^

I do think Michigan will still run inside zone. I still don't think it will be the primary play, but the bodies they have in the lineup now allow them to run that better. But I think they are going to go to more of a man/gap blocking scheme, possibly for ease until the OL can gel a little bit more.

Ron Utah

October 3rd, 2013 at 3:39 PM ^

I think part of this discussion might be because Bryant is so big; but the dude can move (according scouting reports and player accounts at practice).  I think we'll still see the stretch play with some regularity, especially against a Minnesota team that is strong in the middle but seems pretty weak outside.

If they worked on the stretch as much as it appears they did during camp, I can't see them going away from it too much.

That said, if this line proves they can run power better than zone, I'll gladly take it.  I think what we can all agree on is that inside zone won't go away.

Ron Utah

October 3rd, 2013 at 5:21 PM ^

LOVE the breakdown of the ISO.

I love that Fitz hits the hole and is immediately attacking the safety.  If Funchess holds his block just a second longer, that play might have been worth six points.

I do hope we run this play more, as I think it can help constrain opposing LBs.


October 3rd, 2013 at 7:48 PM ^

but mostly us and our Big Ten brethren. The NCHC has some debacle of a TV agreement going on where North Dakota has vastly less games televised this year than the last. And Hockey East has a vague NBCSN/CBSSN agreement. Us getting on TV could set the Big Ten apart from the rest of college hockey

Also, way to go Mississippi. You get all pissed off when you get stereotyped and then crap like this happens. Who does that?


October 3rd, 2013 at 11:43 PM ^

Thanks for the video clip. Is this from a coaching film series by Bo? Any idea if the rest of the series is available somewhere?

It is very interesting to see these old videos.

1. The formations were a lot more compact then - the backs seem very close to the line of scrimmage and the splits between the OL don' t seem as wide as they are today.

2. Very specific instructions!

3. It sounds like a base defense instruction set.


Thanks again.