Upon Further Review 2010: Defense vs Wisconsin Comment Count

Brian November 24th, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Formation notes: Michigan had a gameplan and stuck with it, running the stack all day. In certain formations—mostly I—Michigan shaded the linebackers to the strong side and brought a guy up behind, which looked like a 3-4 except your OLB is Ray Vinopal instead of Lamarr Woodley; I called that a 3-4.

An example stack:

iso-no-1Or something, anyway. Michigan lined up Kovacs or Avery to the strong side and had Cam Gordon over the WRs, which is another way in which this isn't much like a stack. If Kovacs is the bandit he should be to the weak side of the formation, AFAIK.

I came out in this formation for most of the second half:


Substitution notes: Michigan platooned the entire line, sending RVB, Martin, and Roh out there as the first team and Banks, Martin, and Black as the second. When Roh went out in the second half Heininger took his snaps. Demens and Mouton went the whole way; Fitzgerald got some run behind Ezeh but not much. Gordon played most of the way at spur but Johnson got approximately three drives. Avery, Rogers, Kovacs, and Vinopal played the whole way except for a couple plays where Talbott replaced Rogers after a hand injury.

On with show:

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O8 1 10 I-form twins Base 3-4 Pass 4 PA TE corner Ezeh 16
Bizarre that Michigan will spend a good chunk of the game backing Cam Gordon out onto the slot receiver and let Ray Vinopal play run D. That's what they do here, with a 3-4-ish formation and Kovacs overhanging to the short side. Tolzien has all day (pressure -2) and finds his TE settling in the space between Ezeh(-1, cover -1) and Kovacs. Ezeh sucked up on the PA fake and was a yard or two away from batting the ball down. Kovacs escorts OOB immediately.
O24 1 10 Ace twins twin TE Base 3-4 Run   Down G Ezeh 14
TEs block down on playside DE and SLB. Ezeh(-1) sealed. RVB(-1) sealed. Two blockers on Kovacs and Mouton; Mouton(+1) slams into the pulling G and forces the play back inside, where there's no one since Demens(-2) got slashed to the ground instead of flowing hard down the LOS. Ezeh getting turned and shoved so badly opens the play up. Kovacs(-1) was pancaked easily by the pulling C to the outside. Ball squeezes through the hole and has no one until Avery(+0.5) comes up to make a solid tackle(+1) past the sticks.
O38 1 10 Ace 3-3-5 stack Run   Inside zone Roh 1
End around fake to the run up the middle designed to attack that backside gap where people are freaking out about the end around. Roh(+2) slants underneath the TE and is into the intended running lane. Demens(+0.5) slid past a blocker by hitting a frontside gap hard, but it doesn't really matter since Roh's tackling from behind.
O39 2 9 I-form 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 PA Post ? 26
All day (pressure -1) and Tolzien sits back, firing into a gap in the zone about equidistant from literally five Michigan zone defenders. (Cover -2) Caught, first down, etc.
M35 1 10 Ace twin TE 3-3-5 stack Run   Down G Mouton 0
Mouton lined up at MLB on this play four yards off the LOS, with Demens to the strongside and Obi weak. Badgers run the same down G play, blocking down on the playside end and LB, in this case Vinopal. Cam Gordon is lined up tight to the playside as well, so he takes on one blocker to the outside. Demens(+0.5) flows down the line to get outside the second blocker, allowing Mouton(+1) to come from the inside and tackle. Mouton was free because of his alignment--here two yards deeper and a yard or so playside compared to the first one--and the inability of the C to release immediately because of traffic in the middle; Black(+0.5) slanted in and impeded his progress. Intentional? Don't know. Results based charting.
M35 2 10 Ace twin TE 3-3-5 stack Run   Inside zone Martin 1
Looks like a designed cutback aimed at the backside; Vinopal rolls up to be the bandit as Michigan shifts strongside, making Ezeh the spur-type-object. Martin(+3) shoves the center back and reads the vertical path of the RB as he approaches the handoff point, cutting back behind the center, swallowing the play by himself.
M34 3 9 Shotgun trips Okie stack Pass   Sack Kovacs -11
Stack personnel; DL aligned as if it's a 4-3 with Demens lined up as an NT. Shafer used to do this on passing downs. (And third and one!) Zone blitz. Martin and Demens come, then back out; Mouton, Kovacs, and Ezeh come. It works as Kovacs(+2) gets a free run up the middle and sacks Tolzien to end the drive (RPS +2, pressure +2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 11 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Ace 3-3-5 stack Run   Inside zone Roh 7
Same play Martin swallowed last time. This time Roh(-1) gets washed too far down the LOS and allows a cutback behind him. Fitzgerald(-0.5) is in and the backside LB; he can't get off a block. This allows a big backside lane that Gordon(-0.5) can't cut down because he went with the end-around.
O32 2 3 I-form twins 3-3-5 stack Run   Iso Van Bergen 9
Huge cutback lane as RVB(-1) is crushed out of the play on the backside. Demens is again lined up a yard behind his center and has no choice but to take a step playside and get blown up by a guard so when Mouton funnels the play back to him he's busy getting hit by a guy with his arms wrapped behind his back and can't get back. This is *exactly* why the 3-3-5 has MLBs way off the LOS. Here Martin had gotten playside of the C, cutting off the A gap and if allowed to flow Demens could have hit it backside easily. Here he's got a guard in his face after one step. RPS –1. Picture paged.
O41 1 10 I-form 3-3-5 stack Pass   PA scramble ? 7
Back to the Mouton MLB at reasonable depth thing. Tolzien looks, can't find anyone (cover +1) and then Martin(-1) and Roh(-1) get some vague pressure that forces him to step up. He's got a big lane (pressure -1) and takes it for good yardage. Coverage due to linebackers being three or four yards further off the LOS and able to get deeper?
O48 2 3 Ace twins Base 3-4 Run   Down G Patterson 2
Slower developing. Downblock on RVB sees him shoot upfield and vacate a bunch of space as his blocker goes with him. Mouton(+1) comes up to hit the pulling G at the LOS and forces it back inside, where Patterson(+1) has time to get cut, get back up, and tackle as the cut is awkward thanks to Mouton. I'm not sure if RVB's play is good or bad; it did get rid of the trash and allow Patterson to flow but it doesn't seem very sound.
50 3 1 I-form big 3-3-5 stack Run   Iso Gordon 4
RVB(+0.5), Martin(+0.5, and Roh(+0.5) and control single blocks and stand up at the LOS ready to tackle in their gaps. Gordon(-2) gets locked outside really easily by a backside TE when he needs to be in the gap behind Roh, Roh gets shoved past the play just barely, and there's a cutback lane for the first down.
M46 1 10 I-form twins Base 3-4 Run   Iso Martin 1
Black(+0.5) and Martin(+0.5) slide together and block any possible release for a guard trying to get out on the linebackers. This opens up a backside hole that the RB does not take ; Kovacs may have filled it. Vinopal blitzes and peels the lead blocker, allowing Demens(+0.5) to tackle unmolested.
M45 2 9 I-form twins 3-3-5 stack Pass   PA deep cross Fitzgerald 21
Ton of time (pressure -2) this time the WR is wide open (cover -3). On replay it's clear Fitzgerald(-2) blew his drop.
M24 1 10 I-form big Base 3-4 Run   Power off tackle Kovacs 4
Michigan should have this dead as Kovacs is in overhang mode. Fitzgerald takes out a lead blocker and Mouton(+1) thumps the pulling G at the LOS, removing any lanes inside and funneling the back right to Kovacs. The Mouton blast has made the hole so small that the back has to slow up as he cuts. Kovacs(-1, tackling -1) tries to take down a guy 50 pounds heavier than him up high instead of taking out his legs and gives up a full 4 YAC.
M20 2 6 Ace twins twin TE Base 3-4 Run   Down G Fitzgerald? 19
Fitzgerald(-2) is doing something strange. He steps back and away in an attempt to get outside the downblock. This really does not work; he gets blown off the ball. Mouton(-1) avoids a cut but took an angle too shallow and allows the back outside of him. Fitzgerald is gone; Demens got crushed because the C released free on him instead of dealing with the NT, Patterson. Patterson(-1) has avoided a cut but was slowed by it and then takes a bad pursuit angle that's too aggressive and sees Ball run by him; Demens(-1) also gets a ding for getting so comprehensively owned; he should probably slow up at some point so that this cutback isn't so smooth.
M1 1 G Goal line Goal line Run   Power off tackle Anderson 1
Michigan actually does a good job defending this play with Quinton Washington(!) getting under the pads of the C and driving him back into the path of a pulling guard. Delays him and allows Tony Anderson(-1, tackling -1) to plug Ball behind the LOS, but this is a walk-on cornerback we're talking about and Ball just goes "I am made of ham" and falls into the endzone.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 0-7, 3 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O20 1 10 I-form big 3-3-5 stack Run   Power off tackle Black 5
They're doing that thing where Mouton is five yards off the LOS as the WLB and the other LBs are super close to the LOS. And the second team DL is in. Black(-1) is destroyed by a single block, giving the TE a really easy angle to block Demens since Demens is close to the LOS and can't avoid the traffic. Ezeh takes on the pulling G and forces the play inside, where Demens shucks his blocker and tackles. Freshman DE against Gabe Carimi. That's life, I guess.
O25 2 5 I-form big 3-3-5 stack Run   Inside zone Patterson 10
Patterson(-2) blown down the line and off the ball by the C. The center gets a tiny bit of guard help but it's more like 'can you get this guy' and since the answer is yes the Gs get free releases. Demens is trying to cut behind Patterson, now mashed three yards downfield, when he gets plowed by a guard. He does what he can, which isn't anything. Ball cuts between the two guys. Vinopal comes up and can't tackle but with people getting blown downfield he's got a tough job. He causes the TB to stumble and Rogers finishes the play. RPS -1; this is a play with one WR and a three-deep umbrella.
O35 1 10 I-form big 3-3-5 stack Run   Power off tackle Mouton 3
Banks(-1) crushed back by a double and puts the LBs in a tough spot. Obi(+0.5) is scraping over the top and does a pretty good job of constricting space. Mouton(+1) attacks the Black block, hitting the outside guy before he can release into the second level and driving him back, messing up the other pulling guard's flight path. This allows Demens(+0.5) to scrape through the line without getting clubbed and tackle near the LOS.
O38 2 7 Ace twins twin TE 3-3-5 stack Run   Down G Martin -3
A stunt by Michigan frees Martin. RVB(+1) crashes inside, taking his blocker and smashing into the C who's supposed to deal with Martin. This allows Martin(+1) to run down the line, and since Avery(+1!) was the functional spur on this play and bashed the TE he's in a great spot to force an uncomfortable bounce that Martin swallows. (RPS+2)
O35 3 10 Shotgun H-back Nickel Pass 4 Dumpoff Mouton 10
Four man line with Carvin Johnson hanging out as a linebacker in a middle zone. Black(+0.5) gets enough of a rush to push Tolzien up in the pocket and force a checkdown to the RB (cover +1). Mouton(-1) overruns it and while he can recover to tackle he can't do so before Wisconsin converts.
O45 1 10 Ace 3-3-5 stack Pass 4 Wheel Ezeh 24
Vinopal rolls up as an OLB. Why? I don't know. He rushes as others drop off on play action; Tolzien has all day (pressure -3) and can comfortably zing in a wheel route to Kendricks that Obi(-1, cover -1) can't keep up on. Not really his fault, he's just too slow. (RPS -1)
O21 1 10 Ace twins twin TE Base 3-4 Pass N/A Bubble screen Rogers 1
Kind of an odd playcall as Michigan has Gordon lined up right over the slot. Rogers(+1) attacks the corner trying to block him and ends up running him over. He's prone at the LOS, where he forces Toon to jump over him. Gordon falls over the mess but Toon's elbow hits and he doesn't get a killer gain. Still dodgy.
O20 2 9 Ace twins twin TE Base 3-4 Pass N/A Waggle TE flat Ezeh 13
Rollout to the two TE side with one guy releasing right downfield into a pass pattern and the other blocking down on RVB to force him inside before releasing into the flat. Ezeh(-1, cover -1) rides the instant release guy downfield and then cannot get out on the edge to cover the flat guy--he can't even get over to tackle on a five yard catch. TE turns it up and it's first and goal.
O7 1 G I-form big Base 3-4 Run   Power off tackle Banks 2
Banks(+1) takes a double and holds at the LOS. He threatens to slant inside and takes both blockers with him. Mouton(+0.5) runs up to the LOS to take on the lead guy and with Martin(+0.5) taking two himself Kovacs and Demens are unblocked and can tackle.
O5 2 G Ace twins twin TE Base 3-4 Run   Down G Mouton 5 (Pen -15)
Mouton(-1) attacks a lead blocker well until he reaches the contact point, where he fails to get outside. All he has to do is turn it up and Demens and or pursuit will take the play out since Demens(+0.5) read and reacted too fast for the releasing G and turned him into a spectator. Touchdown comes back on an irrelevant chop block.
O20 2 G Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Dumpoff ? 7
Coverage(+1) is good deep and Tolzien checks down for a decent chunk. In the situation I think this is fine.
O13 3 G Shotgun trips Nickel Pass 4 Hitch Rogers  
A give-up-and kick since this is a three yard hitch. Guess he didn't like his other options(cover +1). Rogers(+1, tackling +1) is there to shut it down immediately.
Drive Notes: FG(25), 0-10, 8 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 I-form twins Base 3-4 Pass 4 PA post Avery? 30
Tolzien gets lit up by Martin(+1, pressure +1) as he throws but gets the ball off on a deep post that's behind Mouton and Demens and in front of Avery. No idea who's responsible this time, but lean towards Mouton or Avery since Demens was well inside of where the ball went. (Cover -3)
M45 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Hitch Mouton? 10
Plenty of time (pressure -2) and Tolzien zings one in to Kendricks at the sticks. Mouton with an immediate tackle.
M35 1 10 I-form twins Base 3-4 Run   Iso Van Bergen 8
Another massive cutback lane as RVB(-1) is easily kicked out and removed from the play. He ends up pancaked outside the hash. The linebackers flow to the frontside, which just gets Mouton erased by a guard; Kovacs(-1) is in overhang mode and is late to react; Fitzgerald comes from behind to ankle tackle.
M27 2 2 I-form 3-3-5 stack Run   Inside zone Martin 0
Attempted single block of Martin(+1) ends up with the C getting stood up two yards in the backfield. Roh(+1) slanted under a kickout block at first, then that guy gets his position back. He's given up too much ground, though: Roh spins off him and the two DL meet the RB in the backfield.
M27 3 2 I-form big Base 3-4 Run   Power off tackle Vinopal 27
Vinopal(-1) is an eighth guy in the box and doesn't react appropriately when he sees the down block. He should shuffle down the LOS and cut the pulling guard to create a pile and bounce the play. Instead he runs into the FB and physics owns him. Carvin Johnson is at spur; he runs unabated from the outside and gets a diving arm tackle attempt on Ball; Ball runs through it. Demens(-1) and Mouton(-0.5) got eaten by blocks and couldn't help despite the slowdown; Demens was closer to the play and didn't read it fast enough to get in the hole; he also loses it to the outside. Two UW guys are now running downfield to pick up Avery, the FS; he gets run out of the play. Rogers(-1, tackling -1) is unblocked and can stop this after about ten; he whiffs.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 0-17, 3 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O16 1 10 I-form 3-3-5 stack Pass 4 PA Dumpoff Mouton 9
Vinopal sent as the fourth rusher as he was lined up as an OLB. He actually does a decent job to get around the RB and with a little help from Martin pressures Tolzien into a throw. It's a dumpoff to the tailback, but Mouton(-1, cover -1) is so far off the TB can turn upfield and get five YAC. Frustrating when the dumpoffs are almost first downs.
O25 2 1 Ace twins Base 3-4 Pass 4 PA quick out Gordon 14
Coverage(+1) good deep and Tolzein has to check down after again being given all kinds of time (pressure -2). This will get the first and a few more until Cam Gordon(-2, tackling -2) gets depressingly run over by Kendricks and gives up ten extra yards.
O39 1 10 Ace twins twin TE Base 3-4 Run   Down G Mouton 61
We get like no good camera angles. Mouton(-2) again gets inside a blocker and lets his guy outside. Demens(-2) was thunderously chopped by the center; RVB(-1) and Fitzgerald(-1) were easily sealed by down blocks. Alignment of the LBs was such that this was easy, I think. You're shifted away from the strength of the formation here so if they can downblock our guys on the line you're screwed. RPS -2.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 0-24, 2 min 2nd Q. Gallon fumbles the ensuing kickoff.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M27 1 10 I-form big 3-3-5 stack Run   Power off tackle Banks 5
Banks(-1) crushed and pancaked by a double. Mouton(+1) gets upfield into the pulling G quickly, hitting him at the LOS and getting outside. This picks off both lead blockers. Demens had no chance to scrape because of the Banks pancake, leaving Avery(-0.5, tackling -1), the overhang guy, alone in space; his ankle tackle is run through and Wisconsin grabs five.
M22 2 5 I-form big 3-3-5 stack Run   Inside zone Mouton 3
Patterson(-1) blown off the line, allowing UW to crush Demens, again lined up about a yard off his NT. Mouton(+2) evades his blocker and scrapes past the Patterson mess to meet the RB in the hole, standing him up with help from Demens.
M19 3 2 I-form big 3-3-5 stack Pass   PA corner Roger Int
Good coverage(+2) all around, with Gordon maybe intentionally bashing a TE heading for the flat so Kovacs can get out on him. Tolzien makes a terrible decision to throw to a bracketed WR on a corner route that Rogers(+2) attacks to intercept.
Drive Notes: Interception, 0-24, EOH
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O27 1 10 Ace 3-3-5 stack Run   Down G Mouton 4
Michigan late getting aligned and this shot is way removed so it's hard to tell exactly what's going on but this is an adjustment, with Carvin Johnson farther outside. This prevents him from getting down-blocked. The TE can't do much with him and the pulling guards end up neutralized at the LOS. RB has to cut inside. Black shot directly upfield and gave up a big hole but I think that's on purpose since if he gets downblocked he's useless and he might as well terrorize the QB on play action. Michigan will do this most of the half. Mouton(+1) evades a releasing OL, coming upfield of him and flowing down the line to tackle. Pile falls forward.
O31 2 6 I-form twins Base 3-4 Pass   Rollout scramble Johnson 2
Seems like a UW bust as they have two WRs within a couple yards of each other and Johnson covering(+1) both. Vinopal charges in and gets uselessly chopped; Demens(+0.5) is out on the edge and shoves Tolzien OOB as he nears the LOS.
O33 3 4 Shotgun trips bunch 3-3-5 stack Pass   Cross Demens 6
Zone coverage looks coherent on this play as Mouton gets drawn deep by a vertical release from the single receiver. Avery has a wheel coming out of the backfield. Both are covered, so Tolzien's third option is a drag that Demens correctly diagnoses is his and follows, but follows a step too late. Receiver catches and turns it up for the first down; Demens(+1) and Avery(+1) combine to jar the ball free as he does so. Mouton jumps on it.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 7-24, 9 min 3rd Q. IT'S PEANUT BEAVER JELLY TIME
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O31 1 10 I-form big Base 3-4 Pass   Scramble Mouton 5
Good coverage(+2) forces Tolzien to scramble as he rolls to the sideline, but Mouton(-1) doesn't realize he needs to attack and gives up six yards that could be two.
O36 2 5 I-form big Base 3-4 Run   Inside zone Mouton 5
Line and LBs not on same page, as the line slants its way to the left, which is good. There's nothing on the frontside and Martin(+0.5) got a quick attack that got a releasing G off balance so Mouton(-1) is totally unblocked as the RB cuts it back; Demens absorbs the FB heading backside. Mouton hesitates and only gets a weak ankle tackle. I guess you could get on Black for getting pushed down the line too far but here there's one place for the RB to go, no one blocking the LB filling, and they still get five yards.
O41 1 10 I-form big 3-3-5 stack Run   Power off tackle Avery 4
Van Bergen(+0.5) takes a momentary double and holds; Demens again close to the LOS and threatens to shoot into the backfield so the interior guy has to peel off quickly. Kovacs(+0.5) sets up well outside. Mouton(+0.5) takes on a pulling G at the LOS and the RB almost trips as there's not much room at all; Avery(-0.5) misses a tackle(-1) and Wisconsin gets a decent gain.
O45 2 6 I-form twins Base 3-4 Run   Delay Mouton 14
Martin(+0.5) again absorbs a double long enough to delay the release of the C, so no one is on Mouton. Heininger is slanting inside and gets sealed away, so the play is going outside. Vinopal avoids a cut block but runs upfield; Demens(+0.5) gets outside his blocker and forces the play back into Mouton(-2), who completely whiffs the tackle(-2) and turns like three yards into a big gain.
M41 1 10 I-form twins 3-3-5 stack Run   Iso Banks 2
So this is how I think the earlier iso wants to be defended. Line slants playside hard, with Banks(+1) getting under the TE. Tackle released downfield but on the previous play the DE was just sitting outside, not driving down. Patterson(+0.5) gets a good push and stays at the line; Demens plugs a guard in the hole thanks to his position. No holes; Black(+1) swam past the tackle and the two DEs swallow the RB at the LOS.
M39 2 8 Ace twin TE 3-3-5 stack Run   Down G Johnson 12
Again Johnson is outside the TE and he has to go downfield to find someone to block, but this time Johnson(-2) kind of hangs out casually on the edge, waiting for the pulling OL to get there. Given the sizes involved he needs to run up and cut the lead guy to the ground, making an ugly pile. Instead he stands up, gets inside the lead guy, and ends up sealed off five yards downfield. Demens charged up between the two guards and got cut by the second but because of the Johnson error it didn't really matter what he did; that could have actually been good. Ezeh's getting out on the edge; he gets pushed past the play via no fault of his own. A note: Black had not accepted the down block this time and was fighting to the ball. Mouton(-0.5) also sucked up oddly, though he recovers to tackle; could have been short of the sticks maybe otherwise.
M27 1 10 I-form big Base 3-4 Run   Power off tackle Mouton 4
Well defensed, with Mouton(+1) and Ezeh(+1) attacking and getting to blockers at the LOS; no creases. RVB(-1) had been doubled and tried to fight through it but just ended up getting blown off the line, so momentum allows Wisconsin to lurch forward for a decent gain.
M23 2 6 Ace twins twin TE 3-3-5 stack Run   Down G Heininger 23
This is odd and I think Mouton does something fairly right that ends up being terrible. UW blocks down on the one guy they can, RVB, who does the thing where he tries to shoot upfield for play action. Two blockers release downfield to get Demens and Mouton; M is playside of both. Mouton suddenly takes a vertical flight path past one and shoots upfield, where the second pulling guard stops to wall him off. This leaves Demens dealing with two guys; the guy who's supposed to get Kovacs, the overhang guy, has now been removed by Mouton. RB has to cut back as Kovacs attacks, leaving the backside pursuit to run the play down. This is Will Heininger(-2), getting his first action of the year. Heininger is rusty, coming off an injury, and a walk-on. His angle is too close to the LOS and he doesn't have the athleticism to make up for it, diving at the RB's legs and getting his tackle(-1) run through, at which point White is off to the races. Vinopal(-1) is late getting to the POA at the sticks; Heininger did slow him down but no one could get there.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-31, 5 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M45 1 10 Ace twins twin TE Base 3-4 Run   Down G Mouton 1
Somewhat similar but Michigan's LBs are not running down the line as far; Mouton is inside this time and again goes upfield of his blocker as Demens heads out. Mouton(+2) swims past the pulling G and tackles for a minimal gain by himself.
M44 2 9 I-form twins Base 3-4 Run   Iso ? 18
Banks slants inside the G, which I assume is what he's supposed to do. Play ends up going directly outside of him. Vinopal(-1) is blitzing from the outside and just runs way upfield out of the play uselessly, opening up a huge hole. Demens is getting blocked by the tackle and Mouton hangs back because another massive cutback lane has opened with Van Bergen again getting sealed out of the play. Martin can't quite get to the RB to close off the hole. With Mouton seriously delayed Demens(-1) and Martin(-1) get split for a big gain.  RPS –1.
M26 1 10 I-form twins Base 3-4 Run   Iso Mouton 1
Good God. RVB shoots upfield immediately outside of the tackle. With Martin slanting playside and Demens headed there too this opens up a cavern for the tailback. Fullback does well to read the jammed up frontside and cut back; Mouton(+3) sets him up inside, gives the back the impression he should cut it out, dodges the FB block, and tackles for a one yard gain. All in a days work. RPS -1.
M25 2 9 I-form big Base 3-4 Run   Inside zone Martin 3
Van Bergen is left unblocked and flies upfield as linebackers fill behind him. I'm not sure what he's doing in this game but either he's confused or someone else is because it doesn't make sense. He's upfield, preventing a cutback. Ezeh gets blocked by a guard; Demens is free behind him but has to cut one way or the other; tough. Fortunately, Martin(+1) shoves the center back and the RB trips.
M22 3 6 Ace twins twin TE 3-3-5 stack Run   Down G Avery 15
This actually looks like a WVU stack with the MLB six yards deep. This is irrelevant to the play. Mouton(+1) gets playside of a releasing TE and avoids a cut. He's there to absorb a block, so Avery(-2) just has to keep contain and Kovacs can clean up for a FG attempt. He gets obliterated and gives up the corner. Kovacs(-1) has a shot but whiffs a shoulder tackle(-1), and blah blah blah.
M7 1 G Ace twins twin TE Base 3-4 Run   Down G Mouton 4
Same thing. Mouton(+1) gets playside of the TE again and forces an awkward bounce; Kovacs(-1) stops dead for some reason and gives up the corner.
M3 2 G Goal line Goal line Run   Power off tackle Kovacs 3
Bounced out to Kovacs(-1) and if he was attacking could be a no gain; instead he is slow to react and it is three yards.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-38, 14 min 4th Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M40 1 10 Ace big 3-3-5 stack Run   Inside zone Heininger 8
Demens aligned behind Patterson as this line is unbalanced, two yards off the LOS. Patterson(+1) does a good job to get playside of his blocker, forcing a cutback. Demens gets blown up by the guard; Heininger(-1) got scooped on the backside; Ezeh(-1) also is walled off and well out of the play. Cutback lane, yards, etc.
M32 2 2 Ace big 3-3-5 stack Run   Inside zone Mouton 2
Patterson(+0.5) stands up his blocker and pushes outside, which cuts off the space between himself and Patterson. Running lane is now further inside and it's filled by Mouton(+1), who darted past the OL assigned to him and doesn't get burned because of the Patterson play. Ball still gets the two he needs.
M30 1 10 I-form big 3-3-5 stack Run   Power off tackle Banks 1
Banks(+0.5) takes a double and gets pushed down the line but slowly and doesn't get blown off the ball. Hole is pretty small. Kovacs takes the outside. Mouton(+0.5) turns it inside at the LOS. Ezeh(+0.5) and Demens(+0.5) scrape to the ball, with Ezeh getting a break when UW's OL stumbles as he tries to get out on him. He takes on the last lead blocker and Demens tackles.
M29 2 9 I-form twins 3-3-5 stack Run   Iso Kovacs 3
Same story here: DT and Demens both hit the playside A gap hard; Mouton flows, too, leaving a huge cutback lane. Kovacs(+1) fills relatively quickly.
M26 3 6 Ace twins twin TE 3-3-5 stack Run   Down G Van Bergen 2
RVB(+1) refuses the down block, getting outside his TE and driving into the second of the pulling linemen. A cutback forced, RB is run down by Heininger from behind and Mouton(+0.5) and Demens(+0.5), who beat blocks.
Drive Notes: FG(42), 21-41, 9 min 4th Q. Wisconsin gets the ball back after an onside kick and goes down and scores but with the ball, six minutes, and a thirteen point lead it's academic. Not charted.

Why did you do this?

I have responsibilities to people!

Seriously, there is something wrong with you.

I stopped before the last touchdown drive, at least. That was theoretically important still.

No it wasn't since everyone on the planet knew they would run and score.



Yes, let's.


Chart, you'll see this in numbers:

Defensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Van Bergen 3 6 -3 Did not make many plays; seemed to give up big cutback lanes easily. Maybe an RPS thing.
Martin 8.5 2 6.5 One old-style I destroy this play plus a few more scattered good bits and some half points.
Banks 2 3 -1 Eh.
Heininger - 3 -3 Eh.
Patterson 3 4 -1 Eh.
Black 2.5 1 1.5 Less of an issue, I guess.
Roh 3.5 2 1.5 Basically one nice play and then not much.
TOTAL 24.5 21 3.5 This is very very bad, especially because the pressure metric is –10 on 15 throws. The DL did virtually nothing.
Player + - T Notes
Ezeh 2 5 -3 A couple minuses in coverage. Wasn't a huge problem on the ground.
Mouton 19 11 8 Made a lot of very tough plays. Blew some others but I thought he had an excellent day amongst a sea of bleah.
C. Gordon - 4.5 -4.5 Not involved much and didn't do well when he was.
T. Gordon - - - DNP
Johnson - 2 -2 Error on a down G was painful.
Leach - - - DNP
Moundros - - - DNP
Demens 6.5 6 0.5 Variety of half points, a couple of instances where he got cut like whoah.
Herron - - - DNP
Fitzgerald - 5.5 -5.5 Reason he's behind Ezeh.
TOTAL 27.5 33.5 -6 Nevermind about the linebackers when they don't have to defend passes.
Player + - T Notes
Floyd - - - DNP
Rogers 4 1 3 INT machine
Kovacs 3.5 6 -2.5 Did not tackle well.
Talbott - - - Not involved on his few plays.
Christian - - - DNP.
Avery 2.5 3 -0.5 Maybe should have been harsher on him in overhang mode.
Ray Vinopal - 3 -3 Questionable deployment.
TOTAL 9 13 -4 Also not so good.
Pressure 3 13 -10 Owned.
Coverage 10 12 -2 Scrambles made even the good coverage bad plays.
Tackling 2 10 -8 Pwned.
RPS 4 7 -3 Right.

[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.]

Note that the "Pressure" metric was developed to get a sense for how the defensive line is doing at getting to the QB and most of the responsibility for making it not –10 in 15 throws is on the DL, so that vaguely positive number above should be taken in context. Also the system has traditionally slanted towards the DL and coming out even as a DE is not a good day.

So that's comprehensive.

Yes, it is. What is there to say?

Isn't it my job to ask questions?

What would you like to know?

Is this a reference to "questions" from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern?

Are you suggesting that I am emphasizing the foolish pointlessness of this exercise?

Why, God, why?

You win. Seriously, folks, I'd like to have something new and interesting to say about the defense at this juncture but I don't. I don't really understand what the defense is supposed to be doing, the players can't execute in any case, and the whole thing is such a shambles it's hard to figure out who did something bad on most plays. Like… I can tell what goes wrong here:

Demens doesn't react fast enough to the crossing route to tackle it. Okay, fine, that's tough and it happens to defenses all the time. Good conversion, six yards, okay. Fumble tacked on the end is a bonus for the D but fundamentally they got beat and I know why.


Okay, Will Heininger misses a tackle and takes a bad angle, but even if he tackles it's like five to eight yards. Mouton's all jetting up into the play and Kovacs is slow and I could say that but I saw Wisconsin succeed on this play in five different ways. I'm not really sure what they're trying to do or why it's not working.


Mouton was doing valiant work most of the day. Martin had the best day other than him.


Everyone else.

What does it mean for Ohio State?

Super fun times.



November 24th, 2010 at 2:50 PM ^


What does it mean for Ohio State?

Super fun times.

That's surely one way to put it. Ah shit, please for the love of anything, can someone please come to play on defense Saturday. I'm really sick of losing to tOSU. Someone please make some big plays, that's all I'm asking.


November 24th, 2010 at 2:51 PM ^

I went on a tirade about this earlier in the year, but Michigan's inability to play man coverage is what's killing them here and what makes the defense look so confusing and disjointed. No team in its right mind would play 3-deep against Wisconsin in an I-formation. But since they won't test man coverage on the outsides, that's what they have to do. This is the result.


November 24th, 2010 at 2:54 PM ^

Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaah we're gonna winnnnnnnnnnn!


I've currently relegated my RED TOMATO JUICE to the back of the fridge but not before I was done BOOING IT because it's RED like OHIO and I HATE OHIO and WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!


Seriously this is so depressing i want to jump out my second story office window out of spite for the bushes underneath and because I feel like I deserve the pain at this point.


November 24th, 2010 at 2:55 PM ^

that I just want to curl up in a ball on Saturday and stab myself repeatedly in the eye with a fork when our defense is on the field?  I have nothing but feelings of dread for this Saturday and my soul is being crushed a little more each day living amongst the gloating @$$ hats here in Columbus.  Please, Angry Michigan Blank Hating God, I've had enough.  I need sunshine in my Michigan football world and all I see are flashes of it for a couple minutes at a time each game when the offense is on the field.  For the love of all that is holy, intervene here and get us a win we can't possibly fathom.


November 24th, 2010 at 2:57 PM ^

And I still am flabbergasted by the stuffed animal on the sidelines.

I fully expect GERG to come out in a clown wig and Big Bird leggings and tickle player's noses on Saturday. The wheels are falling off.


November 24th, 2010 at 3:04 PM ^

My coworkers asked me this week what it would take to win.

I thought, well maybe if Pryor breaks his leg in practice this week we have a shot.  But, I think OSU would run the ball and Tresselball us to a long, slow, painful death.  If someone can also convince the offense that we are losing by three scores to start the game then I think we win.


November 24th, 2010 at 8:09 PM ^

we need to put it all together on Offense for the whole game, long list: no turnovers, Denard breaking one of the almosts, Shaw taking one 35+ for a TD, hitting those wide open streaks that have been missed all year, some smashmouth (which we can do if the D is off-balance) and some clever/surprising playcalling.
<br>D is going to have to get lucky, but they'll play better if the score is close. Everyone does. They can make a few stops
<br>Illinois took these guys deep into the 4th qtr


November 24th, 2010 at 3:10 PM ^

I don't ever recall seeing a Michigan defense so outmatched (though it's distinctly possible that I've sublimated worse performances, just as I will repress the trauma of this performance immediately after the season is over and hope once again futiley taunts me).

I expected their offense to have its way, and it did.  Wisky's O-line simply dominated, and its big backs pounded away at our undersized D. Tolzien picked us apart methodically, just enough to keep up the pass threat.    


November 24th, 2010 at 3:11 PM ^

They are outsized, out weighed, out talented and out coached. These poor devils are literally put out there in the arena to be embarrassed and injured. Very much like the old Roman games. 

For this I blame the coaching staff. They are unable to recognize and recruit players appropriate for Big Ten defenses.

Many assume it will be different next year. For those of you, I have a swamp in Florida to sell you. The players we have on defense are way out of their element and next year even with a decent recruiting class they will nevertheless be freshmen without experience.


November 24th, 2010 at 3:59 PM ^

I think with another year experience, Demens has the potential to be a solid B10 level LB at a good B10 size.  When uninjured and in a formation where they aren't perpetually set up for doubles our D-line is competitively sized and talented.  In fact, other than Vinopal and Kovacs, I think most everybody on the field physically and raw talent could develop into B10 quality players.  Or, UNACCEPTIBLE, I guess your call.


November 25th, 2010 at 5:53 AM ^

Your logic is completely skewed. Teams like Iowa and Wiscy do not have four or five star recruits on their rosters. They have players who are as talented or less talented than Michigan's. They have the luxury to not play anyone on a regular basis until they're a (RS)Soph/Junior, though, which Michigan can't do. People who don't understand how much better players get after just two years of weight training and practices know very little. Even most five star recruits aren't ready for the college game right away, let alone the three star guys that make up 75% of Wiscy's roster. They're good because they have depth and the ability to coach guys for two years before they throw them into regular game situations.

The problem is youth and the scheme we play (which is why Robinson definitely has to go). The players will get exponentially better over the next year or two, though.


November 24th, 2010 at 3:15 PM ^

during OSU week, but these are not normal times for UM football.
<br>Hopefully Magee can call - and DR execute- the games of their lives on Sat. Maybe if we drag them into a track meet our Barwising will make them crumble in the 4th quarter? Please??

Dark Blue

November 24th, 2010 at 3:29 PM ^

I get that you are sad, and upset about how bad our D has been. But I think you need to put up a happy facade for the rest of this week. So many people on this board follow your lead. This is Ohio State week, we have a chance to win. Lets act like it.


November 24th, 2010 at 4:23 PM ^

Agreed. The antiRR crowd expects doom (they can be pretty negative these days, ahem). And the proRR crowd expects doom (and is diligently preparing all the reasons in advance as to why we'll lose).

Man, even in 2008 I thought we had a shot.

Go Blue.


November 24th, 2010 at 4:51 PM ^

I get where you're coming from Dark Blue, but one of the best parts of Brian's writing is the honesty.  I look forward to the days when his honest opinion causes the Happiness Quotient on this blog to increase!

I still think we can win on Saturday - if we can just score early and often!!


November 24th, 2010 at 3:31 PM ^

I understand the general tendency to avoid man-to-man coverage in order to protect the cornerbacks, and because constantly giving up big pass plays would be bad.  But holy pants, man, when the defense is doing this poorly I can't understand at least TRYING to get aggressive and play man on a few plays here and there, if even to keep the offense honest.

I want to say they should do this because the defense literally couldn't get any worse - but I know that's technically a poor use of the word "literally".  But holy fuck, dude, it can't get any worse!  Avoiding a coverage because the alternative is DOOM makes no fucking sense when all we've seen is DOOM for what feels like all year.

Good God, it's midweek and I'm depressed enough to drink myself into a stupor.  I got a bad feeling about this.

Crime Reporter

November 24th, 2010 at 3:45 PM ^

It's a minor thing, but it's been bugging me for a while now. We have lots of smallish guys who play LB. What I do not get, however, is why a guy like Carvin Johnson is rotating in as a spur, when he would be so much more useful playing safety.

Also, I fast-forwarded through most of the defensive series in the second half.


November 24th, 2010 at 3:48 PM ^

There's just no point to a defensive UFR anymore.  There's no information to glean.  It all sucks, it's unfixable, and it's completely hopeless.  I assume that for the third year in a row, there probably won't be an Ohio State UFR.