Upon Further Review 2010: Defense vs UMass

Submitted by Brian on September 22nd, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Substitution Notes: Starting secondary, Kovacs, Mouton, and RVB went the whole way. Patterson and Black got some time on the DL; Leach substituted in for Banks on passing downs and for Gordon a little bit. Moundros got one series at MLB; Fitzgerald came in for Roh a tiny bit.

Formation notes: More of the same, with Michigan spending most of the day in a stack but occasionally shifting to a 4-3 front (sometimes Roh did not put his hand down in the front but it was a 4-3) and using the same nickel rush package they've shown in the first two games.

Against the twin TE formation Umass showed a lot the stack looked like this:

 ezeh-nt-right-1

Kovacs is rolled up tight to the line there. Michigan appears to be aligning based on pass strength, so whenever they saw a formation like this it was Banks and Kovacs to the run strength.

Chartin' note: the "Rush" column contains the number of pass rushers on a pass; on a run I attempted to determine to which side of the line it was run, doing this by the Michigan DE that was nominally run at. "Banks" is a run at (surprise!) Banks. NA is for something that went either right up the middle or the DEs weren't relevant.

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O35 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 3-3-5 stack Run Banks Inside zone Mouton 9
This is supposed to go right up the middle by the looks of the blocking scheme but Martin(+1) tears through the center's block and Ezeh(+1) shoots past an attempt to get him on the second level, forcing a cutback. Kovacs has cut past his blocker too and the RB has to head way outside, where Mouton(-1, tackling -1) is unblocked and has an opportunity to tackle for loss but overruns the play, which lets the RB dart upfield because Banks(-1) was easily single blocked and controlled. Floyd is also out there with Mouton but his weak diving tackle attempt (-1, -1 tackling) is run through.
O44 2 1 Ace twins twin TE 3-3-5 stack Run RVB Down G Roh 0
TEs originally split but one motions over the other as they test the other side of the M DL. Roh(+2) slants past the TE's attempted down block, sliding in between two guys and meeting the RB in the hole a yard behind the LOS. He comes around to tackle, but the RB can fall forward because of the OL blocking Roh. Ezeh took on a blocker in a way that would have funneled the RB to an unblocked Gordon, FWIW, if that was necessary.
O44 3 1 I-Form big twin TE 3-3-5 stack Run Banks Iso Banks 4
Martin(+1) blows through a double and occupies two blockers; Banks(-1) is bashed back and sealed by a momentary double, opening up just enough space for the RB to run through a Mouton tackle. No minus because he had to fight through a FB block and did well to slow the RB; Floyd(-1) is slow recognizing and can't clean up in time. His tackle(-1) is run through but the RB falls afterward; Michigan fortunate.
O48 1 10 Ace 3-3-5 stack Pass 4 PA waggle Rogers 12
First of the many rollouts. Gordon covers the short guy well enough but Rogers(-1, cover -1) has his hips turned way early on the play, even before people scroll offscreen, and is easily beaten on the hitch. Roh(-0.5) sucked into the PA and gave the guy a wide open corner (pressure -1)
O36 1 10 Ace 3-3-5 stack Run RVB Down G T. Gordon -2
UMass center stumbles as he gets out of his stance and Ezeh(+0.5) reads the direction of the play, flowing to it under control. They've only got two guys blocking three defenders as a result; Ezeh takes the correct shoulder of his blocker and T. Gordon is the free hitter. He makes a solid TFL in some space (+1, tackling +1). Lower than normal plus for a TFL because Ezeh had it easy on the stumble.
O38 2 12 Ace trips TE 3-3-5 stack Run NA PA draw Mouton 5
Bubble fake to a draw. Martin absorbs a double, getting pushed a few yards downfield but occupying two blockers for the duration. This gives Kovacs and Mouton free runs at the carrier; Mouton(-0.5) makes a dodgy tackle after slightly overrunning the play, turning 3 yards into 6.
O33 3 7 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel rush Pass 4 Slant Ezeh 14
The reason this simple slant on third and seven is wide open is Ezeh(-1, cover -1) bumping a tight end two yards from the LOS instead of getting a zone drop. A senior four-year starter doesn't know to drop to the sticks on third and seven.
O19 1 10 Ace 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass NA PA waggle hitch Floyd Inc
PA fake is to the backside of the play so the LBs are there; Mouton(+0.5) gets a bump on the releasing RB, forcing him into Ezeh and forcing a throw from the QB that Floyd(+1, cover +1) breaks on to break up.
O19 2 10 Shotgun twins 3-3-5 stack Run RVB Zone read inside Mouton 2
Center again stumbles. We'll give some credit to Martin(+0.5) since he's occupying those guys. RVB(+1) has also flowed down the line, occupying the hole; the RB cuts back all the way to the backside where Mouton(+1) has scraped and tackles with T. Gordon. RB does a good job of getting YAC.
O17 3 8 Shotgun trips bunch 3-3-5 stack Pass 4 Drag Leach 5
Leach blitzes from a slot LB spot as the other three DL and no one else come; QB has to roll out away from Leach(+0.5, pressure +1) and away from his trips bunch. One of those guys is on a drag route and the QB hits him; Mouton(+0.5, cover +1) is there for the immediate tackle.
Drive Notes: FG(31), 0-3, 10 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O49 1 10 Ace 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run RVB Inside zone Roh 1
Martin(+1) shoves his blocker back into the path of the RB, forcing a cutback into an unblocked Roh(+0.5), who closes from the backside to tackle for minimal gain.
50 2 9 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 5 Hitch T. Gordon 3 (Pen -10)
T. Gordon(+0.5) gets out on the edge, forcing a throw on a short hitch that Rogers(+1, cover +1) can tackle on immediately. UMass gets a holding call but I have no idea who draws it because of crappy BTN production.
O40 2 19 Ace twins twin TE 3-3-5 stack Run Banks Down G Mouton 1
Banks gets doubled and blown back but does absorb two without crumbling. Mouton(+1) reads the OL pull and shoots into the play, cracking into one of the pullers in the backfield and drawing attention from both. This creates a pileup in the backfield; RB comes through the mess; the delay has allowed Kovacs(+0.5) to fill and tackle at the LOS.
O41 3 18 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel rush Run NA Draw Roh 3 (pen +5)
A give up and punt; Roh(-1) jumped offside.
O46 3 13 Shotgun 2-back Nickel rush Pass 4 Scramble Martin 6
Martin(+2) shoots past a double and is then flagrantly held, preventing a thunder-sack. He does force a rollout; no one is open and Havens has to run, whereupon the DEs converge. (Pressure +1, cover +1.)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-3, 6 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O33 1 10 Ace Base 4-3-ish Pass 4 Improv Roh 7
Moundros in for Ezeh. Roh as a standup DE with Gordon playing back; more of a standard 4-3 look. Roh pwns the TE(+1, pressure +1) but is almost literally dragged to the ground by the guy; no call. Very frustrating. He gets up and forces a scramble from the QB; as he rolls out he finds a TE open for several. He's immediately booted OOB. This drive likely ends immediately if the refs get this obvious call right.
O40 2 3 Ace twins twin TE 3-3-5 stack Run Banks Power off tackle Moundros 4
Backside G pulls around but is tripped because Martin(+0.5) is slashing into the backfield and pushed his guy back a little. Banks is cutting inside, as is Mouton, so this should provide an opportunity for Moundros to get a free hit if he hits the hole fast enough. Instead he sits around the first down marker and accepts a block(-1). Mouton rolls off a block and Kovacs comes up to tackle just past the first down sticks.
O44 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 stack Run Banks Power off tackle Banks 4
TE covered up and can't go downfield, so I'm a little disappointed Mouton isn't more aggressive here since he won't be threatened by the TE. Banks is sealed and bashed back a bit, allowing the RT to get a hat on Mouton and opening up what looks like a crease, but Banks(+0.5) fights through and sets up to tackle after a few yards. Cutback lane was there but untaken because Moundros(-1) immediately went into a pass drop without even checking a key.
O48 2 6 Ace twins twin TE Base 4-3-ish Pass 4 PA deep hitch Rogers 15
Covered TE. Martin is coming around on a stunt and is going to get there somewhat fast, but not fast enough if the primary read is open, which it is in front of Rogers(-1, cover -1) and behind Gordon(-1, cover -1) as he came up on a shorter receiver.
O33 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 3-3-5 stack Run RVB Power off tackle Van Bergen 1
RVB(+1.5) surges into the backfield past an attempted down block, cutting off the hole in the center and picking off the pulling guard. RB has to cut way outside where T. Gordon and Ezeh(+0.5 each) are waiting; they tackle.
O32 2 9 Ace 4-wide bunch 3-3-5 stack Pass NA PA drag Mouton 12
Pretty slick with the RB motioning in from an empty set and UMass faking a pitchout to him. This sucks in Mouton(-1, cover -1), opening up a drag route, though to be fair to the D the window here was not enormous because Kovacs was in decent position and this is just a good play. Catch is turned upfield for good yardage.
O20 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 stack Pass 5 Flare screen Mouton 5
Mouton(+1) appears to be pass rushing. He bumps an OL and then reads the flare screen, getting out between the releasing OL and running the RB down for a minimal gain despite a corner blitz that could have made this very bad. RB does fall forward so no tackling +1.
O15 2 5 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3-ish Run Banks Reverse Banks 5
End around coupled with a reverse gets Michigan confused as the motion sends Michigan into a check they never get completed. Mouton gets chop blocked by a guy coming upfield of him, which was apparently a penalty on Kelvin Grady last week but isn't here... which is it? Kovacs bit; it's Greg Banks(+2) who sets up outside in a bunch of space, positions himself so the WR cuts inside of him, then disengages to tackle and possibly prevent a TD. (RPS -2)
O10 1 G I-Form Big 3-3-5 stack Run Power off tackle 10
They load up the short side with two TEs and pull a guard around to go with the FB: 4 blockers. TE blocks down on Banks. Kovacs and Mouton both attack, getting caught in the wash but also jamming up the LOS and wiping out the last TE and the two lead guys, leaving Floyd(-2) totally unblocked on the edge with a RB; he lets the guy outside; touchdown. Good lord, if you're going to get beat get beat to the inside. Turrible.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-10, 14 min 2nd Q. Floyd's run support: very bad.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O15 1 10 Ace 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run NA Inside zone Mouton 16
Ezeh back, Patterson in, and as always the opponent goes right at him. Patterson(-1) goes behind the single block of the center, which might work if the linebackers were making him right but Mouton(-1) starts flowing away from the play instead of attempting to fill his gap, which is a shame because Ezeh had gotten playside of his blocker and could have held this down to a few otherwise. I do not understand the gap integrity here, but what it looks like to me is Mouton thinking this is play action. Kovacs(-0.5) does just manage to tackle(-1), but it's very tenuous and gives UMass another 5 yards. Given the blocking scheme I don't think this is a good play by Patterson.
O31 1 10 I-Form 3-wide Base 4-3-ish Run Banks Quick pitch Mouton 7
The FB-dive/quick pitch combo suckers Mouton(-1), who should at least be looking at the tailback on a running play, and Banks, which is more understandable. Mouton closes it down fairly well but misses a tackle; Floyd(-0.5) wasn't much help on the corner.
O38 2 3 Shotgun twins Base 4-3-ish Run NA Inside zone Gordon 12
Guh, come on, you're on the backside of a run play that happens to have 2TEs to the backside, maybe a cutback is coming? Roh(-1) is ridden down the line out of the play; T. Gordon(-1), crashes down way too far, opening up the cutback, and Ezeh(-1) just eats a block as per usual. Mouton was free and could have finished a play if someone had funneled to to him, but no one did.
50 1 10 Shotgun trips bunch 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Sack Martin -12
Martin(+3) tears through a double team and authoritatively sacks. Beast mode. (Pressure +3)
O38 2 22 Ace twins twin TE 3-3-5 stack Run Banks Down G Mouton 3
Mouton(+1) flashes to the hole immediately, blasting the pulling guard and forcing the play inside where Banks(+0.5) and Floyd can combine to tackle.
O41 3 19 Ace trips 3-3-5 stack Run NA Draw Martin 1
A give up and punt, but Martin(+2) still blazes past blockers and then forms up, having read the play, to tackle for no gain.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-10, 8 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O21 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 stack Run Banks Power off tackle Banks 4
Leach in for Gordon. UMass runs power at Banks(+0.5) and he seems to get doubled out of the play but comes around it to help tackle with Floyd(+0.5), who set up well and came off a block to deal with it.
O25 2 6 Ace 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 PA rollout flat Roh 13
Roh(-1) sucks up too far after the play action instead of taking an angle that goes straight outside; Leach(-1) overruns the play and allows the receiver inside of him for big yardage. (Cover –1.)
O38 1 10 Ace 3-3-5 stack Run RVB Pin and pull zone Roh 10
New play sees three UMass players pull around. RVB(-1) gets pushed out of the play pointlessly, leaving Roh and Leach and Ezeh on three blockers. Play goes outside so Ezeh has no chance. Leach has to turn it inside and does. Roh? I think he's held, personally, but I'll leave the question open: is this is egregious or not? I am going to -1 him for not forcing it back inside. Michigan was caught in a slant away from the play, too. (RPS -1) Rogers(-1) was weak on the corner.
O48 1 10 Ace Base 4-3-ish Pass 4 PA Scramble Roh 3
Play action pass sees no one open at first (cover +1), at which point Roh(+1) spins off a blocker and charges in on Havens. He scrambles for a few yards. (Pressure +1)
M49 2 7 Ace 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Slant Leach 14
Leach's(-2) drop is terrible, opening up the easy slant because he took a step forward without so much as a PA fake (cover -1)
M35 1 10 Ace twins twin TE Base 4-3-ish Run NA Inside zone Mouton 15
More completely terrible outside angles reminiscent of last year. There is nothing inside thanks to RVB(+0.5) and Kovacs(+0.5) shutting down running lanes and the bounce meets an unblocked Mouton(-2.5), who can force the play back inside to two unblocked LBs but instead lets the RB outside, turning nothing into a first down. Awful, awful, awful. Picture-paged yesterday.
M20 1 10 Ace twins Base 4-3-ish Run Banks Dive Banks 5
Backside G pulls; this is supposed to go more directly upfield. Banks(-1) gets rudely escorted out of the play like he's Kovacs, providing a ton of room the LBs can't shut down. Ezeh does force it back, where Kovacs(+0.5) tackles solidly.
M15 2 5 Ace twins twin TE 3-3-5 stack Run Banks Power off tackle Mouton 6
Sagesse(-0.5) gets pushed too far inside; Floyd takes out a blocker as the outside contain, leaving a guy one on one with Mouton and Kovacs coming up to help; Mouton(-0.5) doesn't really take either shoulder of the defender, instead plowing into him and giving the RB a lane to the inside that Kovacs can't close down.
M9 1 G Ace twins 3-3-5 stack Power off tackle Ezeh 9
Ezeh(-2) has a simple job: get the outside shoulder of the lead blocker and let unblocked Mouton pound the guy; he doesn't do it, instead letting the RB outside, where he scores a touchdown. His uncertain waddle to the line is incredibly depressing.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-17, 1 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O36 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 5 Rollout hitch T. Gordon Inc
Leach in for Banks with Roh playing DE. Mouton(+0.5) is blitzing from the backside and is fast enough to make this a problem; coverage(+1) is good enough for the QB to hesitate, then try to hit a drag route late that he ends up turfing. Rogers +0.5, T. Gordon +0.5, Ezeh +0.5.
O36 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run NA Inside zone Leach 20
Martin(+1) shoves his guy back and cuts off any holes in the middle of the play, forcing a cut outside. Leach(-3) is sitting approximately a thousand yards outside, sitting and waiting and watching the bounce here cut up for major yards. He should be there for a free hit, or at least a delay, on the back. Instead we again get a big gainer when the DL set the LBs up for a zero-yard run. Kovacs(+3) comes in from the side, strips the ball out, and recovers.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 14-17, 50 seconds 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O26 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 3-3-5 stack Run Banks Inside zone Ezeh 6
So in the 3-3-5 the job of the MLB is to make the NT right, which means when he closes off one A gap (between a C and G) you close off the other. Martin(+1) blasts the C back and cuts off one A gap; Ezeh(-1) flows into the same gap instead of shooting into the huge gap in the line on the other side of the center created because of Martin's disruption. This allows a G to come off and harass him and allows the RB to cut back. Banks and Kovacs are doing a meh job, standing up but not making any headway, and there's a TE out there to block Mouton. Mouton scrapes over; RB jukes out, Mouton cuts it off; Floyd's corner support does the exact same thing, meaning both guys head outside for a bit, providing a crease; Floyd and Kovacs tackle, but not before the RB plows for six. -0.5 Floyd, -0.5 Kovacs, though Kovacs's minus is simply because he's leetle.
O32 2 4 Shotgun 3-wide bunch Base 4-4 Pass 4 Out ? Inc
Roh hops down to the line and C. Gordon comes up in the box as a fourth linebacker. Simple out is open for the first (cover -1) but dropped. Pressure was getting there.
O32 3 4 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 stack Pass 6 Out Floyd 16
Confusion from Roh as he flops over to the other side of the line only for Ezeh to point him back where he used to be. Doesn't really matter since six guys are rushing and Martin dropping off into one of those screen-destroyer zones; another quick out at the sticks is thrown, with Floyd making a great break on the ball but whiffing (cover -1), yielding a tackle and some YAC. Kovacs(-1) misses an open field tackle(-1); Martin is the guy who tracks him down. Actually, I won't minus Floyd here since he did deflect the ball and the receiver was just lucky it bounced off his facemask and into his chest.
O48 1 10 Shotgun twins twin TE Base 4-4 Run NA Inside zone Ezeh 4
Zone read look from UMass. Ezeh(-1) has another one of those plays where he just sits exactly where he is and eats a blocker as the line flows down, leaving absolutely nowhere for the RB to go (+0.5 Martin, Roh). T. Gordon(+0.5) maintains contain and then crashes down after the handoff, tackling the RB from behind as he passes the LOS.
M48 2 6 Ace 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run Banks Inside zone Martin -3
Martin(+3) blasts through the line into the path of the RB, tackling for loss by himself. Banks(+0.5) had also fought through a block and was there to help if Martin couldn't get the job done himself.
O49 3 9 Shotgun 3-wide Stack rush Pass 5 Out Mouton Inc
Mouton(+0.5) gets a free run on a Michigan blitz, with Martin again dropping out (RPS +1, pressure +1). This forces an errant throw, though it's depressing how open this is in front of Floyd(-1, cover -1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 28-17, 10 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O30 1 10 Ace twins Base 4-3-ish Run RVB Off tackle Ezeh 4
Michigan slants, leaving Ezeh(-0.5) alone with a motioning TE. He takes the wrong shoulder of the defender, leaving a big gap between himself and Gordon, who's set up outside the slot receiver; Cam(+1) fills quickly and makes a good open field tackle to hold it down(tackling +1)
O34 2 6 Ace trips TE 3-3-5 stack Run Banks PA draw Kovacs -2
Martin(+0.5) shucks the C to the ground and gets in on the G; RVB(+0.5) and Banks(+0.5) also do good jobs of driving into the backfield without vacating lanes. RB has to cut outside, where Kovacs(+2) reads the play, shoots the gap, and tackles(+1) behind the LOS, albeit a tiny bit shakily. He is a good linebacker. He should play middle linebacker. I am not kidding.
O32 3 8 Shotgun trips bunch Nickel rush Pass 4 Drag Leach 9
Leach(-1) and Ezeh drop super deep, leaving this simple drag route open for the first (cover -1)
O41 1 10 I-Form 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run Banks Quick pitch Floyd 8
No idea what Floyd(-1) is keying on but his run read is way late given the single receiver to his side is obviously blocking from the snap. Kovacs(-0.5) also could have read this faster.
O49 2 2 Shotgun twins twin TE Base 4-4 Run NA Inside zone Roh 1
Roh(+2) slants into the backfield into the path of the runner and tackles at the LOS. Since he gets no help from the LBs the RB can fall forward near the sticks.
50 3 1 I-form big 3-3-5 stack Pass NA Waggle out Rogers 9
Michigan in man, biting on the fake. (RPS-1) Open in front of Rogers(-1, cover -1) and UMass converts. RVB charging down the QB, but for naught.
M41 1 10 Ace twins twin TE Base 4-4 Run Banks Power off tackle Banks 5
Banks(-1) doubled and blown too far back this time. Ezeh(-0.5) sits and eats another block; Patterson(+0.5) does an admirable job to eventually fight through his block and make an ankle tackle as the RB slashes past the LOS.
M36 2 5 Ace 3-wide Base 4-4 Pass NA Waggle hitch ? 8
An absolute ton of time (pressure -2, RPS -1) as Michigan is slanting towards a run play and needs Mouton/Kovacs in coverage (cover +1), which they do well. Havens comes off those two guys, finding a third open for the first in front of Ezeh. No blame there; just too long.
M28 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 3-3-5 stack Run RVB Power off tackle Fitzgerald 0
Fitz in for Roh. Not sure about this play since it looks like an off tackle play with a backside guard pulling but the RB's angle is kind of directly upfield. Maybe a bust by the RB. Anyway, Fitzgerald(+2) is being blocked down by the TE but gets in the gap, picking off the pulling lineman and causing the RB to try to bounce outside; he can't because Fitzgerald throws him to the ground. Possibly the best play by a LB all day?
M28 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 6 Seam T. Gordon Inc
Michigan sends six and does not get there (pressure -2); T. Gordon is in man on the slot receiver and his man gets a step (cover -1); ball is low and tough to dig out and not dug out. Probably a TD if accurate.
M28 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel rush Pass 5 Tunnel screen 0
Man to man, tight man, and Rogers(+1, cover +1, RPS+1) is right there for the tackle. Maybe some credit to Martin(+0.5) for harassing the QB and forcing a suboptimal throw? Sure.
M28 4 10 Shotgun trips bunch Nickel rush Pass 6 TE corner Mouton 13
Five or six sent; not sure WTF Mouton is doing. He chips the TE and then starts moving inside, which is weird since that means there's no contain to the short side of the field, where the QB rolls and finds the TE, who's broken just in front of Kovacs in man coverage. (Pressure -2, RPS -1) Anyone with a theory as to what Mouton's assignment is here please inform. Man cover on the RB?
M15 1 10 Shotgun twins twin TE 3-3-5 stack Run NA Inside zone Ezeh 9
RB makes a quick cut to the backside as Martin cuts off the playside A gap. Mouton attempts to funnel the RB to help, which is Ezeh(-1), who stepped to the wrong side of the play and had to leap a cut block and is late. A desperate ankle tackle from Kovacs(+0.5) prevents a TD. Please tell me if I'm right and Ezeh is insane or not here.
M6 2 1 I-Form Big 3-3-5 stack Run RVB Iso Ezeh -1
Martin(+1) pounds the center back, allowing Ezeh(+1) a lane he takes, shooting up between the C and G and pounding the fullback. No room, RB slides along the line, meeting RVB(+0.5) for no gain.
M7 3 2 I-Form big 3-3-5 stack Pass Waggle scramble Kovacs 7
Kovacs(-2) bites like a mother on the run fake, opening up the corner wide enough for Havens to stroll in. Mouton(-1) also bit, and then passed up a chance to pound the guy at the two.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 35-24, 13 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O27 1 10 Ace Base 4-3-ish Pass 3 Deep hitch Floyd 19
Just bad luck and bad refereeing here. Play action sees RVB and Martin through the line, with Martin(+0.5) recovering in time to force a throw(pressure +1) that Floyd(+1, cover +1) deflects. Receiver steps OOB, is STILL OOB when he touches the ball, and somehow gets credit for a completion.
O46 1 10 Shotgun twins twin TE Base 4-3-ish Run NA Inside zone Ezeh 4
I am really, really frustrated with Ezeh(-1) at this point. Here he is totally unblocked but just sits on his ass the whole play instead of hitting it up in a gap that opens behind RVB and in front of Roh. RB goes through a gap, Ezeh tackles, but it's four yards instead of zero.
50 2 6 Ace Base 4-3-ish Pass Waggle hitch Rogers 15
No pressure (RPS-1, pressure -2) and all day for Havens to hit his receiver in front of Rogers(-1, cover -1)
M35 1 10 Ace 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run NA Inside zone Martin 0
Martin(+1) blasts the C back and sheds to the playside, forcing a cutback. RVB(+0.5) got inside the pulling WR block and forces the RB into Mouton(+1), who zipped past a blocker. The trio tackles for nothing.
M35 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 4 C. Gordon Int, fumble
Corner blitz from Floyd is picked up; Banks(+0.5) gets enough pressure to force a rollout from havens once his first read is covered by Ezeh(+0.5) and Roh(+0.5, cover +1). As he rolls out he throws it to a drag route still pretty well covered by Ezeh(+0.5 again). Pass is way overthrown and intercepted by Gordon, who runs it back to the 30 and fumbles it because of course.
Drive Notes: Interception, 42-24, 10 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M26 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 stack Run Banks Down G Banks 5
Patterson in. Banks(+1) holds up to a double team well enough to occupy two guys and get Mouton in clean on the tailback; he hits him, so does Kovacs, and there are like five M guys and three UMass guys as this tailback just drags a pile five yards. I'm not minusing anyone because who do you minus? Impressive by UMass; kind of depressing for M.
M21 2 5 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 5 Slant Floyd Inc
Fake six, drop Ezeh into short zone, open up slant in man from Floyd(-0.5, cover -1) that is behind the WR and dropped.
M21 3 5 Ace Nickel rush Run NA Down G Martin 2
Martin(+2) shoves back the C, refuses to get sealed, fights off a hold, and runs down the tailback for nothing. Ezeh and Mouton were around but not needed.
M19 4 3 Shotgun 3-wide bunch Nickel rush Pass 4 TE out Leach 4
Wide open; totally lame coverage from Leach(-1, cover -1, RPS-1)
M15 1 10 Ace trips bunch 3-3-5 stack Run RVB PA draw Ezeh 6
Ezeh(-0.5) drawn out of position by the fake; RVB(-0.5) rushes upfield after the passer and vacates the lane.
M9 2 4 Shotgun twins twin TE Base 4-3-ish Run Banks Inside zone Ezeh 8
More zone read action. M slants the line again and totally destroys the play, with Martin and Roh ready to obliterate; Ezeh(-2) ran himself way to the frontside of the play, got sealed, and there's no one back there. T. Gordon blitzed at the QB, opening up a lane, too. (RPS -1)
M1 1 G Goal line Goal line Penalty False Start ? -5
Oops
M6 1 G Ace twins Base 4-3-ish Run NA Inside zone Martin 0
Martin(+2) flashes into the backfield impossibly quick and almost has a five-yard TFL but a last-second shove from an OL causes him to miss the tackle. Still, he's destroyed the play and Michigan just has to clean up. Ezeh(-1) overruns a stationary RB and Gordon has to clean up at the LOS.
M5 2 G Ace 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 6 Waggle cross C. Gordon 5
Man coverage as Michigan is going heavy after the run; Cam Gordon(-1) is beaten easily by the WR, opening up an easy TD (RPS -1, cover -1)
M3 2pt 2pt Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Improv Kovacs Int
Drop eight, covering everyone(+1) for the first read, at which point the QB starts scrambling because of good pressure from RVB(+0.5, pressure +1). He rolls out, finds no one, and chucks a hopeless pass back across the field that Kovacs(+0.5) picks off.
Drive Notes: Touchdown(2pt failed), 42-30, 5 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Ace 3-3-5 stack Pass NA RB scramble ? 5
They try a halfback pass but it's covered(+1). RB decides to scramble and picks up five. Not charting this one too harshly since this is such an outlier of a play.
M20 2 5 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Out Rogers 7
Martin(+1) rips through the line instantly (pressure +1) on the roll but the soft corner (Rogers) opens up the little out for the first. (Cover -1)
M13 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 4 Dumpoff ? 6
Good coverage(+1) downfield forces a checkdown as Banks is collapsing the pocket; Ezeh tackles immediately.
M7 2 4 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 7 Fade Rogers Inc (Pen +5)
Michigan sends the house and gets there(Pressure +1) so the QB chucks one off his back foot that's too long; Rogers(-1, cover -1) is called for PI. Weak call, but they all are.
M2 1 G Goal line Goal line Pass 2 PA flare Kovacs 2 (Pen -5)
Kovacs(-1) overruns the play and the RB cuts past him into the endzone. This ceases to exist because of a false start but no one knew it when he scored.
M7 1 G Shotgun trips bunch 3-3-5 stack Pass 7 TE corner Mouton 7
Mouton(-2, cover -2) doesn't bother to cover the TE.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 42-37, 2 min 4th Q. M gets the onside kick and runs out the clock.

Down or across?

What?

Should I cut down or across with the razor? The former is just a cry for help, the latter is srsly.

Maybe on the diagonal?

I HATE YOU

Yeah, okay… chart?

Yeah.

If you'd like an answer to "what if Brandon Graham played every snap against Delaware State like his life depended on it," here you go:

Defensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Van Bergen 5 1.5 3.5 Lots of half points for doing decently on run plays.
Martin 25 - 25 I just write the numbers down! More on this later.
Banks 6 4 2 Not great but not the big problem.
Sagesse - 0.5 -0.5 Very few snaps.
Patterson 0.5 1 -0.5 Not exactly Martin but seems okay.
Black - - - Did play, didn't record anything.
TOTAL 36.5 7 29.5 Hulk smash.
Linebacker
Player + - T Notes
Ezeh 4.5 12.5 -8 Hopeless.
Mouton 7 10.5 -3.5 Reversion.
Roh 7.5 4.5 3 Okay, not great.
Johnson - - - DNP.
T. Gordon 3 0.5 2.5 Doing okay.
Leach - 8.5 -8.5 Extremely poor performance spotting Gordon and acting as a passing down LB
Moundros - 2 -2 Poor on single series.
Herron - - - DNP
Fitzgerald 2 - 2 +2 play may have been in error but it worked.
TOTAL 24 38.5 -14.5 What the hell happened? This was +21 last week against ND!
Secondary
Player + - T Notes
Floyd 2.5 8.5 -6 Major issues in run support..
Rogers 2.5 5.5 -3 Guys were open in front of him consistently.
Kovacs 7.5 5.5 2 Michigan's best linebacker.
C. Gordon 1 2 -1 Not tested much.
Talbott - - - DNP
Christian - - - DNP
M. Robinson - - - DNP
Ray Vinopal - - - DNP
TOTAL 13.5 21.5 -8 Corners were exploited for the first time.
Metrics
Pressure 12 9 3 Pretty mediocre.
Coverage 12 19 -7 Scary against a I-AA team
Tackling 3 5 -2 Dodgy.
RPS 1 11 -10 GERG fail.

[A reminder: RPS is "rock, paper, scissors." Michigan gets a + when they call a play that makes it very easy for them to defend the opponent, like getting a free blitzer. They get a – when they call a play that makes it very difficult for them to defend the opponent, like showing a seven-man blitz and having Penn State get easy touchdowns twice.]

What didn't go wrong?

Mike Martin.

First a word on that number: holy pants. I don't even know if I can stand by that but what I saw is Martin either occupying two blockers or obliterating the blocking concept on almost every play. He tore into the backfield for +3 TFLs twice and got a a pair of +2 near TFLs. He was completely un-containable, and the number is just this side of literally incredible because what would happen if a ridiculously good player happened to be on a terrible defense that kept him on the field the whole game and saw the opponent put together multiple grinding drives on which to rack up points by destroying run concepts only to see the confused ducks behind you clack heads and fall over?

He would get a damn lot of points, is what. That's a UFR record.

Also, I went into the UFR after watching UMass go at Banks and Kovacs all day to good success and thought I would end up with big negatives for at least one of those two guys. I didn't. Neither exactly covered themselves in glory but both ended up on the positive side of the ledger, and on this day that makes you immune from criticism. RVB had a solid day. You'd like to see him do better than that against a I-AA team but he was not tested much what with all the running at Banks. For the record, I have ten rushes at RVB for 2.1 a carry and 18 at Banks for 4 a carry, so the intuition wasn't wrong: UMass ran at Banks a lot and did better than they did when they ran at RVB, but the defensive ends weren't involved in the big gainers much.

And that is all.

I trusted you! Linebacker GERG fairy theory! I HATE YOU

Yeah, man, hell if I know. A week after racking up thirteen tackles and getting talked up by the NFL risers and sliders guy, Mouton forgot seemingly everything he'd learned over the offseason, repeatedly getting lost. Ezeh, meanwhile, is back to that thing where he stands around until someone blocks him, whereupon he starts moving backwards and maybe falls over to make an ankle tackle:

And then:

And then:

At this point it's almost hopeless. What are the chances Obi Ezeh learns how to be a linebacker in the last ten games of his career if he's still making incredibly basic mistakes like that after starting for three years? This has nothing to do with scheme. This is basic play recognition/ability to remember how to make your legs go.

Mouton's mistakes, too, are things common to every defense like "don't let the tailback outside of you when you are a force defender," but at least he makes some plays to help with his deficiencies. The ugly fate foretold by the "Mark Moundros could start" preseason meme appears to be coming true.

Here is where I take up the shield of someone who knows what he's talking about to forestall the inevitable complaints that I'm not being very nice and we should really give Boubacar Cissoko a chance before declaring him not good at football: this is an opinion shared by former M LB Ron Simpkins, whose latest interview with Rivals($) has the word "inexcusable" in the title in re: linebacker play and is even less kind behind the paywall. These seniors are not good at football.

What are they so indecisive?

So I think what the coaches mean by "this is not a stack" is that in a stack everyone has a gap. The line will slant one way and from a combination of blitzes and other attacking bits all the non-DL gaps get filled. Usually the OLBs and DEs will have specific B and C gaps depending on the slant; the goal is to kick runs out to the spur and bandit or just fill your gap and tackle there. The MLB's read depends on the NT. The NT has to take a double, and then he has to slant into a gap, and the MLB has to figure out which gap he's covered and attack the other one.

Here's Ezeh not doing that even a little bit on a counter:

Ezeh does not key off Martin or he'd shoot the gap in the backside after Martin closes off the frontside A gap. He reads the running back, steps to the wrong side of the play, does not take the opportunity to shoot in a gap for a TFL, and allows the back to run up the backside of a bunch of blockers for decent yardage. He did this all day. He does not have a gap, he has to figure out what's going on and then try to close it down, usually with poo results of poo.

Why isn't it a stack?

Don't know. I think it should be because anything that gets Ezeh moving forward is good. Especially when you've got Martin, an incredibly active NT who is going to be able to close off big gaps frequently, I'd rather have Ezeh shoot gaps and get guys in the backfield or at the line than rely on all this reading business that the linebackers suck at and ends up bleeding the kind of yards UMass had on the ground last week. My complaint here is they didn't go far enough.

What can we do?

The worst part is that when Michigan got tired of Ezeh they put in Moundros for a series and Moundros proceeded to do the exact same things, except in his case it's obvious why: he was a fullback last year. He's no substitute, and he's the #2 guy on the depth chart! JB Fitzgerald and Kenny Demens: where are you? You are nowhere.

Everyone's got their crackpot theories of how to fix the defense with random positions switches or, in the case of a couple dedicated caterwaulers, overhauling the scheme to be more of a 4-3 to take an extra defensive back off the field, which makes zero sense because Michigan's 4-3 would have the exact same personnel as last year's 4-3 and this year's 3-3-5. None of that is going to do anything, and Will Campbell is not a useful football player right now.

My suggestion is going to sound utterly ludicrous but here it is anyway: replace Ezeh with Kovacs and bring Marvin Robinson in. This is nuts, I know. Kovacs is a leprechaun-sized walk-on. But I go back to the stack DVD Casteel put out back in the day. In it he made two things clear: the NT is by far the most important player in the defense and makes things go (check), and the middle linebacker can be spectacularly undersized as long as he is a heady, instinctive player who can put a hat on the right shoulder of the right guy at the LOS after "making the nose tackle right". Casteel specifically says that the player they had the previous year was 190 pounds. Raise your hand if you'd take West Virginia's 2002 defense right now. That's everyone.

I mean, Kovacs does this:

He is a decisive slasher. Mike Martin is peeling the faces off of people right now and Kovacs will have free runs to the ball plenty. It won't be good, lord knows, but it almost can't be worse.

Enormous secondary minus?

Part of that was the return of rollout doom reminiscent of that Toledo game. Midnight Maize tallied up the results of those:

  • Out of 11 Roll Outs or Moved Pockets UMASS hit on 8 of them. Two were good Michigan defense and one was a UMASS holding call.
  • UMASS gained 87 yards on Roll outs
  • James Rogers was to blame for 5 of them.

This is also a major source of the crappy RPS metric; Michigan had no effective response to these all day, though that may be due to the fact they couldn't consistently stop a I-AA team's running game.

Not sure what to do about that since M is in cover three a lot and the cornerbacks are so weak they have to play soft, basically. Floyd did make a few plays on the ball, though he had the misfortune to see two deflect to his receiver anyway; Rogers was not going to challenge anything. I might do more edge blitzing against QBs who can throw on the move, and though Rogers hasn't been a huge liability it might be time to start seeing some of the freshmen work in.

Goats?

Mouton and Ezeh primarily with assists from the corners. Especially Ezeh. Also Kevin Leach managed some impressive minuses in a brief window. Missing Herron and Jones is hurting; where is Hawthorne?

Heroes?

Mike Martin a thousand times. Not exactly heroes but okay: the Gordons, Kovacs, the DEs.

What does it mean for Bowling Green and the future?

It means the linebackers are going to either revert back to their decent form of the first couple weeks or it's happy-happy walk-on time again, at which point they'll basically play like the starters and we'll get a rotation and everyone's brains will explode. I do think this game was a perfect storm of crappy play by Michigan and excellent execution by UMass and that there will be a couple Big Ten teams that get Denarded this year and fill their message boards with threads like "but UMass scored 37, fire everyone!" Michigan did not see that level of offensive execution from their first two opponents and it's hard to picture some of these upcoming Big Ten foes matching it what with their freshman quarterbacks and stapled-together run games.

But, really: it's time to replace Ezeh once and for all, except they can't. Mouton will turn in up and down games but as long as Ezeh is on the field Michigan is going to get gashed, nice guy though he may be. Who do you do that with, though? Michigan's inability to see the enormous problem mounting here and have four kids shoehorned into the position who aren't former walk-ons is a failing on par with starting Sheridan over Threet. Fitzgerald and Demens should have been backing Ezeh all year; their failure to develop, and Michigan's failure to acquire and keep any reasonable linebacker sorts in the last three years, is killing the defense.

QB pressure does remain an issue, though against passing teams Michigan has used a series of blitzes that get free guys in because you have to deal with Mike Martin before outside threats. Play action and rollouts will be issues; passing downs will be okay if they can just get some zone drops.

Comments

Magnus

September 23rd, 2010 at 8:58 AM ^

larsonlo is quickly becoming one of my favorite posters.  He did a good job of deconstructing the criticism of Ezeh up above.  This blog is WAY too hard on Ezeh.  And all the lemmings who read this blog essentially read EZEH SUCKS coming from Brian . . . and they all believe it.

Some of you are expecting Ezeh to be Superman.  He can't make every play run to the middle.  It's not his job.  Hell, there was one play run to the outside where Thomas Gordon blitzed himself out of the play and there was a freight train-sized gap . . . and who gets the blame?  Ezeh.  If anything, it should be an RPS -1 and we should move on.

Ezeh makes some bad plays, but if I trusted what most posters say on this board, our defense would be awesome if not for #45.  Ray Lewis might be able to make this defense look good, but not many college MLBs could fix the problems on our DL (mainly a lack of depth and elite talent) and in our secondary (lack of experience and elite talent).

caup

September 23rd, 2010 at 11:21 AM ^

The UFR seamed to heap a bit too much blame on Ezeh's perceived missed assignments, BUT...

My biggest beef with Obi is his lack of tenacity.  He accepts too many blocks.  He isn't a reliable tackler.  He loafs on plays. He is soft.

If Obi was at least a mediocre John Thompson-level ILB I'd be happier: a guy who was slow and had his fair share of MAs, but at least he fought through blocks and brought the wood. Way too many guys go right through Obi's lame arm tackles.

tspoon

September 24th, 2010 at 9:56 AM ^

Those who thought Brian was overly harsh on Ezeh really surprise me.  I thought Ezeh was as spectacularly missing from the play as I have ever seen him.

I was actually hoping to read a snide remark from Brian in the breakdown of the late 1H play where Kovacs forced the fumble.  Yes Leach completely FAILed on that play, but watch Obi ... he does his little pause and then AGAIN runs the wrong way.  Mouton started right away and took a step outside/upfield on the front side of the play.  The RB was looking backside before he got the ball and never thought about going elsewhere.  Obi basically just decides he is going to throw himself into the strength of the line as a (semi-)speeding bullet.  He just runs up into the wash and makes himself entirely irrelevant as a defender.  In fact, Mouton has seen where the RB is going and is trying to come across the line and has found a hole (it won't work if he makes it, because he's too far away ... but at least he is doing what he can), but Obi plows into him from behind.

???

There is no question that Leach was just a disaster here.  But Obi ought to have been defender #2 on the scene of the tackle, but instead he does what he specializes in: he goes in completely the wrong direction.

The MLB spot in this D ought to make plays.  Obi doesn't.  He's just a mess of a football player.  He has anti-instincts.

mendrygal

September 23rd, 2010 at 11:32 AM ^

Develop the young guys and recruit better players.  Forget all this move-this-guy-switch-scheme-attack-gap nonsense.  In the immortal words of Butthead, you can't polish a turd. Oh yeah, this is still better than the last 2 years.  I don't dread Saturdays right now, and that's nice. 

ND Sux

September 23rd, 2010 at 11:54 AM ^

I particularly enjoyed this nugget:

He was completely un-containable, and the number is just this side of literally incredible because what would happen if a ridiculously good player happened to be on a terrible defense that kept him on the field the whole game and saw the opponent put together multiple grinding drives on which to rack up points by destroying run concepts only to see the confused ducks behind you clack heads and fall over?

LMFAO

rcrichlo

September 23rd, 2010 at 12:03 PM ^

I think it might be flawed under this 335 defense.

I just can't see why the DL should continue to get good grades if we are getting ZERO pressure on the QB and mauled on the run. Granted lots of times they are "tying up blockers" but they need to make plays too.

maybe I just don't understand the DL's role in the 335 like I should though. Just seems like they should be somwhat responsible for sacks and stopping the run, both of which are things the D has been terrible at.

rcrichlo

September 23rd, 2010 at 12:03 PM ^

I think it might be flawed under this 335 defense.

I just can't see why the DL should continue to get good grades if we are getting ZERO pressure on the QB and mauled on the run. Granted lots of times they are "tying up blockers" but they need to make plays too.

maybe I just don't understand the DL's role in the 335 like I should though. Just seems like they should be somwhat responsible for sacks and stopping the run, both of which are things the D has been terrible at.

TXmaizeNblue

September 23rd, 2010 at 12:20 PM ^

Agreed.  Obi-wan-ka-nobody is deadwood.  He can't blame his back this year.  I've never seen a more pathetic LB crew than Michigan's present group.  Ezeh has no killer instinct - a must for a linebacker.  He will never dominant anyone...he's too soft.  The fact a walk-on - Kovacs is one of the better players on the defense says it all!!!  Wake up Rod, and get off your offensive obession and put together a defense!  What good is a QB gaining 500 yds when you almost lose?

CarlisleWolverine

September 24th, 2010 at 7:33 AM ^

Who cares if you went to Michigan or not.  I didn't.  Does that somehow dilute my love and passion for the school?  Hockey, Football, etc.  I was indoctrinated as a kid, by my dad, before cable, before every game was available on tv.  Listening to Bob Ufer on the radio, putting on my maize and blue sweatshirt on cool fall days.  Sundays were tough however when looking for the newspaper article celebrating a UM victory.  Instead, growing up 10 miles from Southbend we had to look at sooo many Irish articles (Al Gore had not yet invented the internet).  My brothers and I were preteens when I asked my dad, "Why aren't we Irish fans?"  Simply put he would only say, "Because you live in MICHIGAN".  Not sure how my older brother became a sparty fan?  Revolt I guess.  Besides, the school I went to hadn't had a football team since 1972.  God bless anyone with passion for the maize and blue!   Your no less a fan because you didn't attend.

Tim

September 24th, 2010 at 8:24 AM ^

Brian,

(I searched Kovacs on ever comment, so I'm not sure if this has been mentioned, but I don't think so). I'm not sure if blame is properly assigned on the final UMass touchdown. Mouton and Kovacs are the two defenders in coverage to that side of the field, and Mouton gets a -2 and Kovacs gets off scot-free.

Howeva, after the play, Mouton is clearly pissed at Kovacs, not the other way around, and he explains something to Jordan for like 15 seconds. The body language on Kovacs definitely says something like "oh shit, you're right" more than anything, so I think, at the veryry least, this is a -1 for each, not a -2 for Mouton and nothing for Kovacs - especially when Kovacs is drawn in by a run fake... that's didn't even exist.