Upon Further Review 2010: Offense vs Illinois Comment Count

Brian November 11th, 2010 at 2:51 PM

[Ed-M: video problems now fixed.]

Formation notes: Nothing fancy from Michigan. I will note with pleasure the complete abolition of the I-form. Illinois took the ND approach by parking someone right over the slot receiver and either bringing a safety down or blitzing a corner or the slot LB to consistently generate seven man fronts. A presnap example:


Substitution notes: Huyge again went the distance at RT. Shaw got more snaps than he has since his injury. Gallon appeared to eat most of Grady's snaps. Jeremy Jackson took up the Stokes role of WR who never gets thrown at.

And here we go, kids, the first (and hopefully last) 10k word post in MGoHistory:

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass PA slot seam Roundtree 75
Hey, that's a nice start. Illinois comes out with a guy over the slot receiver and will spend a big chunk of the game blitzing that guy off the corner for contain on Robinson while bringing the safety to that side down. On this one the slot LB does go with the bubble route; Roundtree is lined up inside of that. He goes straight downfield. One safety comes up in a robber zone as Illinois run blitzes; a linebacker comes free on the backside, then forms up(!) to contain, giving Robinson time to find Roundtree down the slot. Free safety was moving towards the centerfield zone, then bit on the run play, leaving Roundtree wide open (RPS +3). Denard hits him in the numbers 20 yards downfield and he's got a five yard head start on everyone. Touchdown. (DO, 3, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-0, 14 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M17 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run QB down G Robinson 4
This is supposed to go outside with Lewan pulling around the down block of Koger(-1), but Koger got beat badly and the playside DE shoots upfield. There's a massive cutback lane, though, because Molk(+2) got a great reach block on the playside DE and erased him. The backside DE is flowing down the line just like that picture pages I did earlier in the year, however, because Omameh is releasing downfield. Robinson makes a good cut but misses a huge cutback lane outside after Lewan(+1) clubs his guy, Robinson gets run down from the backside of the play, fumbling. Michigan loses a couple yards on the exchange.
RUN+: Molk(2), Lewan, Schilling RUN-: Koger, Robinson
M21 2 6 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Edge pitch decoy Robinson 2
We get to this play late so it's tough to tell what happens. Michigan fakes that edge pitch they ran a few times last year in the hopes of getting someone out of position but there are three UI players to two blockers in the area and there's no room. Looks like Huyge(-1) missed a block but don't hold me to that.
RUN+: RUN-: Huyge
M23 3 4 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass Hitch Hemingway 11
Michigan runs a snag concept. Linebacker drops deep on the seam/corner, giving Hemingway a pocket of space at the sticks. Robinson's a little late with the throw, which could hypothetically get him tackled short of the sticks but Hemingway does that little orbit step that gets him around the inside pursuit and sees him pick up 6-7 YAC. Nice play. Picture paged. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
M34 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 13
They shoot the H-back to the backside on this; pretty typical inside zone for M. Illinois is using the slot LB as the contain guy so Webb doesn't really have anyone to block. Michigan's going at the gap between the weakside DE and DT on Illinois' overshifted line. Omameh(+1) momentarily doubles the playside DT to help Molk seal, then pops out on the MLB. Huyge(+1) walls off a crashing DE, giving Smith(+2) a crease that he sees and hits quickly. He then gets low and into the safety's shoulder, spinning off his tackle and turning five yards into 13. ZR+1.
M47 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 2
Lewan leaves a fraction early; the genesis of a later false start maybe. Schilling(-2) gets blown through like he isn't there on this one, sending Liuget into the backfield like a shot. Denard tries to take it outside but Liuget grabs him from behind, tackling for a short gain. Looked well defended otherwise but no one else seemed to get a good or bad block; mehs all around.
RUN+: RUN-: Schilling(2)
M49 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Midline stretch Smith 8
DE reads the play and slants under Lewan, sending him into the second level and giving Schilling(+1) a tough task to shove him by the play; he does. Molk didn't get a seal this time but did a decent enough job to harry the playside DT; he can't make a diving tackle on Smith, and the edge is open because Lewan's(+1) mobility and size are match for Martez Wilson's. Smith(+1) downshifts past the mess and cuts outside, getting run down by a safety. ZR+1 with Liuget forming up on Robinson. Illinois is the team best prepared for this in the league, I bet.
RUN+: Smith, Lewan, Schilling RUN-:
O43 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Midline keeper Robinson 2
The DT shuffles down the line and opens up a huge pocket of space; Denard keeps. Schilling gets a free release downfield and bashes the playside LB out of the play. Hooray beer? No, because Martez Wilson is exchanging with that LB and fills the hole. Michigan got baited. Robinson has to try the outside, which does not work very well. (RPS -1, but I'm not mad. That's clever. No ZR since I think Denard made the right read based on who he's reading.) Michigan drops the midline after this. It's clear the Illini are all over it.
O41 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass Hitch Roundtree Inc
Michigan takes advantage of the crashing slot LB by rolling Denard to his side and having him pull up to hit a wide open Roundtree for first down yardage and possibly a lot more if he can break a tackle, but he drops a ball in his hands. Tree! Why Tree, why! (CA, 3, protection N/A, RPS +1)
O41 3 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass Flare screen Smith Int
Guh. Illinois blitzes from the side of the field where the screen is going and there are a lot of M dudes out there and not a lot of Illini, but as Denard throws one of the blitzers bats it in the air, allowing Wilson to make an athletic interception. Is this just one of those things? Should I RPS-1 this? RPS+1? I don't know. Huge two-play swing there. (BA, 0, screen)
Drive Notes: Interception, 7-3, 6 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M15 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass PA TE seam Webb Int
Illinois changes it up a bit, with the safety coming down into the box and the slot guy staying on Roundtree. Michigan does the lead draw PA, shooting Webb wide open into the secondary as one safety is biting like a mofo and the other one is headed out to the slot. On replay: wow. Wow. This seriously could be a TD if accurate, but Robinson wings it over the head of Webb and Webb seems slow to react. It's not a throw he can't get a hand on at least. It zings by his head and the safety digs it out. Major missed opportunity. (IN, 0, protection N/A, RPS +3)
Drive Notes: Interception, 7-3, 5 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M22 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Zone stretch Hopkins 32
Illinois blitzes the playside corner. Molk(+2) with another defense-debilitating reach block on the playside DT. He is D-E-D dead. Schilling(+1) releases into the MLB and cuts him to the ground; he's done too. Omameh(+1) releases into the second level and doesn't actually have to get a block but does eliminate the SLB; Hopkins has one cut and acres of grass. Stonum(+1) cuts the safety who's come over to cover him because of the blitz and Hopkins is off to the races. He loses the race because he's 230 pounds. Check the replay for super Molk pwnage.
RUN+: Molk(2), Omameh, Schilling, Stonum RUN-:
O46 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 6
So after this guy tries to get upfield and gets burned the poor bastard nose tackle (who I just looked up: RS FR Akeem Spence) gets murdered off the ball by a double team. Schilling(+1) and Molk(+1) shove the guy three yards off the LOS and Molk seals him away from the hole; Schilling peels off to pick off a linebacker to the backside. Though Wilson is filling quickly the Spence ownage has given Denard a crease he hits. Unfortunately, he falls as he hits it and gives up a couple yards.
RUN+: Molk, Schilling RUN-:
O40 2 4 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Zone stretch Smith 5
Michigan runs the stretch towards the Illinois line shift instead of away this time so the blocking is different. Molk(+1) and Schilling(+1) have to scoop Spence, which they do. Spence ends up sealed two yards downfield and Molk pops off on a linebacker. Because of this, Smith(+1) can make a smart cut past Liuget, who beat Omameh(-1). Huyge and Shaw trip to the ground because of the Liuget penetration so folk can converge but not before another first down.
RUN+: Molk, Schilling, Smith RUN-: Omameh
O35 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 1
Spence fights back here, defeating a Schilling(-2) single block and tossing him to the ground. He's in the hole, forcing a bounce out and minimal yardage.
RUN+: RUN-: Schilling(2)
O34 2 9 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass PA RB flat Shaw Inc
Play action sucks the WLB in like whoah and Shaw breaks open into the flat. Easy first down and more on the way as Denard flicks it to him… dropped. (CA, 3, protection N/A, RPS +1)
O34 3 9 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass Scramble Robinson 1
Illinois slants its line a little bit and gets a guy in on Omameh one-on-one that catches him off guard. He doesn't let him through but he does give ground in the pocket. Doesn't warrant a minus but does cause Robinson to scramble out after he doesn't like his first read. He should either take off immediately or find Stonum on the sideline. He does neither, hesitating and pulling up, then deciding he has nothing and taking off too late to gain any yardage. Better than a bad throw, I guess. (TA, N/A, protection 2/2)
O33 4 8 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 3-2-6 dime Pass Cross Roundtree 33
Three linemen come plus the corner; Michigan picks up all of them and gives Robinson a ton of time. He sits in the pocket and fires a dart to Roundtree. I think he sees this late, which is why it's behind him; there's a guy coming over and he has to put it there. The throw forces Roundtree to spin around to make the catch but it's not too bad and the spin just takes him upfield faster. He's a step past the linebacker and there's no one filling as he hits the endzone for the second time. (CA, 2, protection 3/3)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-14, 12 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M36 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 ? Pass Hitch Robinson Inc
Late to this play so not sure but I think this is the exact same play Roundtree dropped the ball on right before the Wilson INT. Here Robinson gets some more pressure but 'Tree is just as wide open. The ball is zinged hard and to the outside, taking Roundtree off his feet and making this a difficult catch. He can't make it. Borderline MA/IN, 1/2 here. I think... (IN, 2, protection N/A)
M36 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run QB stretch Robinson 13
Molk(+2) again reaches Spence one-on-one. They are killing him. Lewan(+1) kicks out the playside DE, Schilling gets a free release on Wilson. Omameh can't do much more than run after the WLB but does wall him off. Webb(+1) blew up the backside DE and provides a lane for Robinson ten(!) yards downfield. Robinson's first cut is easy but then he makes yards on his own.
RUN+: Molk(2), Schilling, Webb, Robinson RUN-:
M49 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass PA rollout hitch Roundtree 9
Third time it's wide open(RPS+1) and this time Roundtree brings it in. Sarcastic cheer from the crowd is super harsh for a guy who's already got 100 yards receiving and two touchdowns, eh? (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O42 2 1 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 8
Omameh(+1) kicks out Liuget. Schilling gets chucked to the ground by Spence but Spence is way out of the hole a yard downfield after getting blasted and is in no position to make a play, so that's a weird looking +1 for him. Smith(+0.5) has a gaping hole between the tackles. He takes on two linebackers after about five yards, picking up 3 YAC.
RUN+: Schilling, Omameh, Smith(+0.5) RUN-:
O34 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 3
Omameh stalemates a backup DT but does not move him or seal him. Molk can't get playside of Wilson, so both those guys can shed and tackle Robinson as he creases the line. -0.5 each. Needs moar play action?
RUN+: RUN-: Omameh(-0.5), Molk(-0.5)
O31 2 7 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Zone stretch Smith 6
Spence manages to not get crushed this time. Molk does fine with him but this not an obliteration. Thanks to a monster kickout by Lewan(+1), Spence's flow isn't enough to close down the hole and when Hopkins(+1) comes through he clobbers Wilson. Wilson's already engaged with Schilling so this is not a fair fight but that block goes from one yard from the LOS to five in a snap. Smith follows it but can't make anything more than the blocking gives him this time.
RUN+: Hopkins, Lewan RUN-:
O25 3 1 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Penalty False start Lewan -5
Yes: he rocks a fraction early and they get him.
O30 3 6 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass PA Rollout fly Stonum Inc
This is a decent throw but a bad decision. He's got Webb in the flat for a sure first down after Illinois bites on the playfake but decides to go for a covered Stonum near the goal line. Tough throw, very tough catch. Tough throw is made and the catch isn't. Robinson had a guy coming into his face and had to throw it quickly, but I'm not sure why they're reading long to short on third and six. (BR, 1, protection N/A)
O30 4 6 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 4-2-5 nickel Pass Cross Roundtree Inc
Illinois safety chases after another underneath route and opens Roundtree for the first; if the guy trailing him can't tackle it's a touchdown. Unfortunately the ball is well behind him and this allows trailing guy to break it up. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 9 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Midline zone Shaw 1
Huge error by Robinson (ZR-1) as the DT is too aggressive and with one linebacker hitting it up past any block and the other flowing hard he's gonzor unless this DT makes a ridiculous play. Lewan(+1) again kicked the DE outside the hashmark; keep the ball, Denard. Illinois flows hard, which is why the keeper is vastly open, and a linebacker gets in untouched. He can tackle because the hard flow prevented any linemen from sealing off frontside creases. I think I have to minus Molk here, too.
RUN+: Lewan RUN-: Robinson(2), Molk
M21 2 9 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass Post Roundtree 75
So of course on the next play Robinson throws a gorgeous, could-not-be-better deep ball to Roundtree. Michigan slides the protection to combat the thing that gave them a little trouble earlier and the result is a ton of time for Robinson. He sits in the pocket and absolutely nails Roundtree on a re-enactment of that 97 yard touchdown from the spring game (ff to 1:05), except this time the guy chasing is faster and Roundtree gets run down inside the five. (DO+, 2, protection 3/3)
O4 1 G Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-4 Run Inside zone Hopkins 4
Some backups in for Illinois. Molk(+1) and Omameh(+1) obliterate one DT; Schilling(+1) hits the other back far enough and Hopkins just has to slam it up for four yards. This year Roundtree can get caught at the one all he wants.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-21, 6 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M27 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Inverted veer handoff Smith 3
Late moving safety adds another guy to the box. Michigan runs the Cam Newton at them, and with the DT staying inside this looks like the right read (ZR+1) but it's so open it could go either way. Late filling safety does a fantastic job to get outside of Shaw(-1) and gets some help from the LB who is coming off Robinson. Omameh(+1) got a driving, awesome block on the DT left in space to delay that LB and give Smith room, but defeating that Shaw block means Smith goes down hard after a few.
RUN+: Omameh RUN-: Shaw
M30 2 7 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 3
A wad o' bodies. Blocks are all adequate but not great. This is a staple now and folks are ready for it.
RUN+: N//A RUN-:
M33 3 4 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass PA rollout deep hitch Stonum 15
Illinois not surprised here; after the DE keeps contain he shoots upfield at Robinson in the same manner he did on the previous deep ball to Stonum. This time Stonum is breaking his route off after selling the fly, though, and he shakes the corner by yards. Robinson dodges the crashing DE and zings it high to Stonum to get it over hands; Stonum leaps and brings it in. (DO, 2, protection N/A, RPS -1)
M48 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Inside zone Shaw 3
Illinois slanting the line playside and having linebackers scrape to the backside with one of their safeties filling on the front. Lewan(-1) lets his guy playside, which costs Michigan some yards as he tackles near the LOS. A safety was filling at the same time but that was going to be at least a few more yards if the DE isn't tackling from behind. Double from Schilling(+0.5) and Molk(+0.5) had again destroyed Spence.
RUN+: Schilling(0.5), Molk(0.5) RUN-: Lewan
O49 2 7 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Zone stretch Shaw 4
Adjustment from Illinois. They send linebackers over the top and blitz a corner. This means the linemen have easy blocks but Schilling gets hit by the DE and can't get out to the second level. Lead blocker has to hit the corner, leaving Shaw one on one with an unblocked LB. Contact made at the LOS; Shaw picks up four. RPS -1; Illinois sold out here and got it right.
RUN+: Shaw RUN-:
O45 3 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass Improve comeback Hemingway 45
Three man rush from Illinois. None of them get anywhere near the QB. First read covered, Robinson starts rolling and has huge amounts of space to pick up the first down. Instead he pulls up and zips a dart right on Hemingway's numbers 20 yards downfield. Hemingway is fenced in by three Illinois DBs but does a moog dance around them, turning 20 yards into 45 and making me be like dang. (DO+, 3, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 28-21, 3 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O26 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run QB draw Robinson 6
Illinois zone blitzes, which throws off this play a bit since the expected lanes aren't there. Wilson blows through Smith and it's looking grim before Schilling(+1) shoves an over-aggressive Liuget past him, opening up a crease that Robinson(+1) sees and exploits. The blocking's all messed up so Omameh has no chance to get the linebacker he's tasked with and Molk's guy can peel off to run Robinson down from behind.
RUN+: Schilling, Robinson RUN-: Smith
O20 2 4 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Dime 4-3? Run QB draw Robinson 2
Thoroughly bizarre, as it looks like a DE lines up over a slot receiver. It's a 6-6, 225 pound DE, yes. I'd probably audible into this too. Molk(-1) is stood up and then shucked by Spence. He does maintain his feet and stay in contact but Robinson has to slow as Spence shows up in the hole. Molk re-engages and Robinson goes to cut behind him. It looks like he may be able to squeeze out the first down when he slips.
RUN+: RUN-: Molk
O18 3 2 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass PA slot seam Gallon Inc
Another "aaargh run it" play as Illinois does not get out on the edge here and Robinson can pick up the first down easily if he just takes off. Can't blame him for the decision, though. The UI safeties split and Gallon breaks hand-wavingly open. Robinson throws it way, way too short and turns a potential touchdown into a near interception. (IN, 0, protection 1/1, RPS +1)
Drive Notes: FG(35), 31-28, 40 sec 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M11 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Dime 4-3? Run Zone stretch Hopkins 2
DE again hanging out near the bubble. Three down lineman, two linebackers, one blitzing guy on the frontside. Blitzing guy and playside DE get upfield of their blockers by attacking hard; this means that Smith and Lewan are both blocking one LB. Molk(+1) easily seals the NT and there's a huge gap... that Wilson is sitting in by himself. RPS -1.
RUN+: Molk RUN-:
M13 2 8 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass PA rollout deep hitch Hemingway Inc
Michigan rolls the pocket towards the open side of the field, where a large number of Illinois players are shifted. Nickel blitzer forces Robinson to hold up and throw to one of two receivers on the curl/flat but he hasn't had enough time to let the route develop and the corner to that side can sink into the ball and get a hand on it. Otherwise well thrown. Still, a dangerous ball. (BR, 0, protection 1/1, RPS -1)
M13 3 8 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel 4-3 Run QB draw Robinson -7
Yeah, this was actually a run. Both RBs release downfield to block, as does Omameh, and the DEs are permitted to roar upfield because that's where Michigan wants them. The problem is Liuget, who crushes Schilling(-2) backwards and shucks him. He's charging at Denard, delaying him and allowing those DEs to converge for an ugly looking finale.
RUN+: RUN-: Schilling(2), Huyge
Drive Notes: Punt, 11 min 3rd Q. Ugly stretch.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M22 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Roundtree 17
Michigan finally tests Illinois on the edge here as they keep blitzing this LB on the slot. They do so here. Safety fills but is a little late, at which point Roundtree(+2) smokes him on a juke and then spins through two more tackles at the sticks to turn a nothing play into a chunk of yards. Hemingway(+1) with a good block on the corner helped. (CA, 3, screen)
RUN+: Roundtree(2), Hemingway RUN-:
M39 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run PA QB Draw? Robinson 2 + 15 Pen
This is QB Lead Oh Noes, except the pass is a fake and Robinson takes off. This is a play action draw. So… yeah. Robinson has a lane between Hopkins and Huyge that the other Illinois MLB is trying to close down. He decides to cut back. This is not a good idea; Wilson comes off a block and tracks him down after not much. Illinois gets a weak, weak PF call for 15 more.
RUN+: RUN-: Robinson
O44 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Inside zone Hopkins 6
Liuget again smokes Schilling(-2) and is through immediately. Hopkins(+2) beats an arm tackle from him, runs through a Wilson tackle, and can get upfield; Lewan(+1) got a great second level block and Koger(+1) kicked out the playside DE
RUN+: Hopkins(2), Lewan, Koger RUN-: Schilling(2)
O38 2 4 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run QB down G Robinson 0
Looks like a stretch at first but not because that was the intent. Michigan blocks down on the playside DE with Koger and pulls Omameh and Huyge around. Koger(-2) does not get anything approximating a good block. He loses his guy to the outside on a down block. Not so good. Molk(-1) loses the playside DE. Huyge has to kick out Wilson and Omameh has no choice but to go behind Koger and block Molk's guy; with guys flowing down the line Robinson has nowhere to go and just tries to get back to the LOS.
RUN+: RUN-: Koger(2), Molk
O38 3 4 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Dime Pass Snag Stonum 17
Seems like the Illinois cornerback just busts here; everyone else is in man and he appears to be in zone, so he lets Stonum inside of him as he sits down on a snag; Robinson sees this quickly and zips it in for the first, with Stonum picking up some decent YAC. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
O21 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 2
I figured out what Liuget is doing. He's taking jab steps one way, convincing Michigan linemen that he's slanting, then coming back underneath as the other lineman releases downfield. That means he splits doubles by convincing one lineman he should immediately release downfield. That quickness is supremely impressive. This time he gets Molk(-1) on it, though he doesn't shoot through the line. Molk can only escort him upfield; Smith has to cut behind. Backside DT was doubled but no linebackers got hit because of the awkward cut; several free guys combine to tackle.
RUN+: RUN-: Omameh, Molk
O19 2 8 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Zone veer Shaw 19
This looks just like the inside zone but it's a counter, and kind of a veer. The entire line blocks down. Schilling(+1) gets a driving block on playside DT Spence; Lewan donkeys(+1) Wilson. Koger(+1) pulls to the backside to plug the DE, who was held outside by the threat of Denard. Shaw takes the handoff as if it's a regular inside zone, sucking linebackers and safeties to the frontside, cuts hard to the backside of the play, then drags tacklers the final five yards. RPS+2
RUN+: Lewan, Schilling, Koger, Shaw RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 38-31, 7 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Nickel 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 5
Molk blocks the playside DT, Schilling hits one MLB, and the play is basically a one-on-one matchup between Hopkins and Wilson. Stalemate, basically, and Wilson can come off to tackle at the LOS. Denard has room outside because of another good Lewan(+1) kick that opens the hole up wide enough for him to get decent yardage.
RUN+: Lewan RUN-:
M25 2 5 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass Hitch Roundtree 9
Illinois has been leaving the outside guys in man all day with these slot blitzes and Michigan uses that here, running a simple ten-yard hitch that the safety can't get out on. He's already been burned crispy, after all. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M34 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run QB stretch Robinson 4
Playside DE slides inside; Schilling(+1) steps up to seal him away. It's Lewan and Hopkins versus linebackers. Lewan engages Wilson about a yard downfield; Wilson gets outside. Lewan keeps driving and gets some more depth as they flow outside. Blitzy McSlotGuy is holding contain; he steps up through Hopkins's block, sending Hop to the field uselessly, and tackles as Robinson hits it up. Robinson was going to get tackled by the other MLB but he might have gotten a few more yards without the whiff.
RUN+: Schilling, Lewan (0.5) RUN-: Hopkins
M38 2 6 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Nickel 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 16
Wilson screws up, giving Smith the wrong shoulder and sending Denard outside away from his fellow MLB. Good block from Molk(+1) to deal with the playside DT and Huyge(+1) kicked out the DE effectively; Omameh(+1) nailed the other LB, who also screwed up by shucking to the wrong side. Robinson has space, cutting outside to pick up eight or ten more yards.
RUN+: Molk, Omameh, Huyge, Robinson RUN-:
O46 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 3
Liuget beats Omameh(-1) badly, shoving him back and coming off inside; Illinois is running a scrape exchange and sends the DE shuffling down the line as Wilson pops out to contain Robinson. Bizarrely, Webb just ran out to block a safety instead of doing something at the line, so this was damned either way. No ZR. Smith is swallowed. He gets three because Schilling(+0.5) blew the DT downfield some. RPS -1.
RUN+: Schilling(0.5) RUN-: Omameh
O43 2 7 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass TE Fly Webb Inc (Pen +15)
Robinson has a million years to survey. He looks left, finds nothing, and then comes back to his TE running a fly downfield against the overhang corner. Robinson chucks it up there and puts it in the right place, sort of. It's a bit short. This allows the corner to come through and break it up, but he gets a flag doing so. He did grab the arm but this is a real rinky-dink call. (MA, 0, protection 3/3)
O28 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 7
Nothing, really. Just a wad of bodies with no holes. Backside DE is shuffling down the line; Koger can't do much but hit him and drive him inside, which he does; Smith cuts behind it. Wilson hops out to cover the cutback; Lewan(+1) adjusts and gets a block that Smith(+2) can cut behind again. Tacklers hit him about four yards downfield; he gets three more.
RUN+: Smith(2), Lewan RUN-:
O21 2 3 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass Scramble? Robinson 0
I have no idea if this is a called draw or Robinson just decides not to throw for whatever reason. I think it's the latter from the mannerisms but that's a WAG. Robinson scrambles upfield and then tries to break it outside into two basically unblocked defenders, getting chopped down. Pretty bad all around from DR. Just throw the bubble. (TA, N/A, N/A)
O21 3 3 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Nickel 4-3 Pass TE circle Webb Inc
I like bringing in the 2TE set and then going pass. Illinois sends six but no one gets home and Webb's circle route is open for the first. It's high-ish and forces a leap out of Webb but it still goes through his hands. Come on, man. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Missed FG(38) 38-31, 3 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M35 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass Yakety sax ? -9
Forcier in. He fumbles his first attempt to pass. YAY.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 38-38, 14 min 4th Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M37 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass PA Hitch Roundtree 11
Illinois actually shifting the outside corner onto this route as the safety drops back, maybe trying to bait Forcier, but his first read is Roundtree and Forcier nails him for a first down. (CA, 3, protection N/A)
M48 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Zone stretch Shaw 8
This PBP guy calls everything a trap handoff. WTF? Anyway, Illinois slants the other way and Huyge(+1) seals the playside DE immediately. This does not happen often. Shaw has a clear lane outside and the rest of the DL are done. Smith(+1) gets a feisty block on Wilson as Shaw cuts it up and though Schilling couldn't cut the other MLB Omameh(+1) moves out on him and harasses him; Shaw is tackled from behind after about four yards and ends up with eight.
RUN+: Huyge, Smith, Omameh RUN-:
O44 2 2 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass Scramble Forcier 6
PA rollout from a stretch fake. Illinois covers everything including Smith's little flat route, but in doing so they open up the edge. Forcier brings it down and picks up the first with ease. (SCR, N/A, N/A)
O38 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Zone stretch Smith 2
Molk(+1) again seals the playside DT on a reach. Schilling(-1) falls to the ground, unfortunately, so Wilson's unblocked as Smith hits the huge obvious gap. Smith tries to cut outside, where Shaw's(-1) cut block attempt is easily stepped over by Wilson. At that point it's time to get whatever you can.
RUN+: Molk RUN-: Schilling, Shaw
O36 2 8 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass PA Throwaway Roundtree Inc
Been running this PA rollout too much and the backside DE sees it quickly. He shoots up at Forcier, who manages to dodge the guy. At that point he chucks it well long of a double-covered Roundtree because otherwise this guy is going to nail him. RPS -1. (TA, 0, protection N/A)
O36 3 8 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Nickel 4-3 Pass Cross Gallon 35 (Pen -10)
Virtual replay of an earlier play on which Robinson had Roundtree by a couple steps on a crossing route and threw it behind him. Here Forcier nails Gallon in significantly tighter coverage; Gallon is hit in stride and the trailer can't tackle, so he cuts it up and dives for the endzone, coming up just short. It comes back because Lewan got a legit holding call. (DO, 3, protection 0/2, Lewan -2)
O46 3 18 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass Fly Hemingway Inc
Forcier sets up and bombs it deep to Hemingway. Coverage is decent but Hemingway has a step and room to the outside and could have a less contested catch if the throw is perfect. It's not. It's still very good, hitting Hemingway in the hands and falling to the turf as he gets bumped by the DB. I think this was deflected a little and even if not the DB was disrupting him, so this isn't a pure drop but you'd like to see him bring this in. (CA+, 2, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 38-45, 9 min 4th Q. Can't blame Forcier for any of this, man. Sharp after the 'sax.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass Throwaway ? Inc
Serious miscommunication on the M line sets Liuget free. Forcier tosses it well OOB. (TA, 0, protection 0/2, team)
M20 2 10 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Split 4-3 Pass Improv comeback Hemingway 21
Illinois stunt gets Liuget somewhat through. He shoots into the backfield but Omameh does shove him through and Forcier can roll. Hemingway's open on a hitch route at the sticks so Forcier throws it; Hemingway attacks the ball to make sure no funny stuff and orbits past the corner. He sets off down the sideline for another ten yards. (CA+, 3, protection 1/2, Omameh-1)
M41 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Forcier 11
No contain at all so Forcier pulls (ZR +1) and is into the secondary. Umpire gets in the way or this could have been a few more before folks converged. This never happens when Denard is in.
RUN+: Forcier RUN-:
O48 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Nickel 4-3 Pass Quick out Smith 5
Forcier reads man and hits Smith for what he thinks will be a good gainer but the Illinois safety is very aggressive and comes down on this fast, tackling after minimal YAC. And by that I mean zero. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O43 2 5 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run QB draw Forcier 3
Should/would be massively open with big Illinois line splits but Koger(-1) gets smoked by the DE and Forcier has to cut outside of him. DE gets an ankle tackle on the cut; Forcier falls forward for a few.
RUN+: RUN-: Koger
O40 3 2 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Inside zone Shaw 4
Schilling(+1) and Lewan(+1) crush the backside DT so when Omameh(-1) loses Liuget Shaw has a cutback lane he can hit. Molk(+1) also got a good downfield block on the MLB.
RUN+: Lewan, Schilling, Molk RUN-: Omameh
O36 1 10 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass Quick out Shaw 3
This time it's the outside corner coming up to hit immediately after the catch. Illinois has these route packages pretty well scouted. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O33 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Dime Pass Hitch Hemingway 6
Forcier rolling out again and Illinois all over it, attacking with two guys and basically covering everything. Forcier chucks it as he gets hit to Hemingway along the sideline; two Illinois guys are there. The ball flutters over the first; the second comes up to plow Hemingway after the catch but cannot prevent him from dragging a toe. Illinois had this dead and Michigan beat it with a ridiculous play. (DO, 1, protection N/A, RPS -1)
O27 3 1 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 12
Illinois scraping this time after the Forcier keeper. Forcier hands off (ZR +1). This pulls the MLB to the contain side out of the middle. Lewan(+2) is moving to block him, reads this, and pulls back to nail the DE shuffling down the line. That's great. The scrape is designed to get that tackle blocking no one and Lewan has been coached here to read and react to that. I'm delighted by this. The backside DT is escorted down the line by Schilling(+1) and the hole opens up wide for Smith, who hits it. Molk cluelessly blocks some guy with his butt, allowing Smith to cut upfield, where the two linebackers hit him from behind.
RUN+: Lewan(2), Schilling, Smith RUN-:
O15 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 2
Liuget blows through Omameh(-2) and makes a tackle at the LOS. This time the Illinois scrape comes from the other linebacker, so the shuffling DE gets inside too and there's nowhere for Smith to go. Michigan went at tempo here and Illinois adjusted quickly. I know Koenning got bombed but this is impresssive. RPS -1!
RUN+: RUN-: Omameh(-2)
O13 2 8 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass PA Rollout Fly Hemingway Inc
The usual play action rollout. Illinois has a hard corner so the Koger route isn't super open but it looks open enough for some yards; instead Forcier tries to go for the endzone to a well covered Hemingway and ends up winging it OOB by a considerable margin. (BR, 0, protection N/A)
O13 3 8 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Dime Pass PA rollout flat Koger 4 (Pen +5)
UI jumps so Forcier spends the play looking for the endzone and can't find anything. He checks down to Koger. Not charted.
O8 3 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass Improv circle Stonum 8
Lewan(-2) gets crooshed by the Illinois DE and Forcier has to deal with a guy coming right at him after a beat or two. Forcier dodges him easily and is now on the edge. He sees Stonum on the sideline in the endzone, and throws a ball low and outside. Stonum digs it out. (CA+, 1, protection 0/2, Lewan -2.) Stonum made an *outstanding* play to get himself open once he realized what was going on.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 45-45, 2 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M31 1 10 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Split 4-3 Pass Hitch Roundtree 6
Another quick hitch underneath the coverage; filling safety is there in time to prevent much YAC. I think a momentary bobble by Roundtree also delays him a little. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M37 2 4 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Split 4-3 Pass Hitch Roundtree 11
Same exact pattern and throw except this time Roundtree orbits outside, away from the safety, and gets a few extra yards. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M48 1 10 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Split 4-3 Pass Hitch Roundtree Int
The third time in a row is a little much (RPS -2) and the route is jumped and picked off. Ball was inside, making it easier to pick off, and shouldn't have been thrown anyway. (BR, 0, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Interception, EOregulation
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass PA rollout throwaway ? Inc
The usual stretch fake and rollout. Forcier looks deep and with a couple of Illini players coming up on him he chucks it away. Webb was momentarily covered underneath but came open late; Forcier should have taken the short throw for at least a few yards. (TA, 0, protection N/A)
O25 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass Snag Stonum 6
Snag concept again. Webb's deep corner is momentarily taken by Wilson, which opens up Stonum. Forcier zings it in; Wilson has come off and is there to tackle on the catch. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O19 3 4 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass Rollout deep hitch Hemingway 13
Forcier's got Roundtree at the sticks for the first down but decides to go deeper as Hemingway is sitting down about eight yards behind Roundtree. The corner to that side isn't really covering anyone, stuck halfway between the safeties. Forcier's got a smallish window that he hits. (CA+, 3, protection N/A)
O6 1 G Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Inside zone Shaw 1
Safety in the box because it's first and goal and while Omameh and Molk effectively double Liuget and get out on Wilson that gives the safety a free run into the hole created. Shaw tries to cut back, where a shuffling DE has gotten inside the attempted pull block from Webb and tackles. Forcier should have kept as he'd be one on one with a safety with a decent chance of beating him and probably getting good yardage anyway (ZR -1).
RUN+: RUN-: Forcier
O5 2 G Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Zone stretch Shaw 5
Liuget shoots into the backfield; Molk(+2) has an easy time getting playside of him then but now has to slow up his momentum and prevent him from getting to Shaw. He does so, pancaking Liuget as he tries to come through. Omameh(+1) gets a second level block, Lewan scoops the other DT with Schilling but got it for free as that DT saw the Liuget play and hesitated because he thought a cutback was coming. Schilling(+1) gets a downfield block on Wilson and Shaw's got an easy five yard touchdown.
RUN+: Molk(2), Omameh, Schilling RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 52-45, OT1
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass PA throwback wheel Smith 14
Anything you can do I can do somewhat as well. Michigan runs virtually the same play Illinois just got another touchdown on and gets a big chunk of yards. The corner dropping in zone to that side does come off his receiver as he reaches the safety level and manages to tackle, but not before a big chunk. (CA, 3, protection 2/2, RPS+1)
O11 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 2
Curveball from Illinois as they send their DE upfield and use the blitzing slot guy as a cutback contain. This works as Koger(-1) picks the wrong guy to kick out. Omameh(+1) had nailed the backside DT and Huyge released on Wilson, leaving Smith a big cutback lane if Webb attacks the LB. Picture paged.
RUN+: Omameh RUN-: Webb
O9 2 8 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass PA throwaway ? Inc
First two options covered, Forcier stands in until he can't anymore… he should definitely take off and try to scramble for yardage. It's wide open. Instead he does his scramble around thing and chucks it OOB. (TA, N/A, protection 2/2)
O9 3 8 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass Slant Hemingway 9
Forcier throws a slant that's blanketed by the cornerback. The ball deflects in the air and Hemingway snags it. Hooray skill! (BR, 3, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 59-59, OT2
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Forcier 8
I can't tell if this is a good decision and a terrible play by Webb or Illinois getting Michigan. Forcier sees the DE crash and pulls; Illinois has Wilson scraping outside. Webb(-1) bizarrely releases outside and wanders downfield, blocking no one, so Forcier cuts it back inside and basically runs what Shaw would have run if the handoff was made. Molk(+1) seals Spence and Omameh(+1) releases, finds no one to block, and helps double the playside DE. Both linebackers saw the keep and went outside so there's an obvious crease. Shaw runs up it and hits a linebacker; Forcier runs up it and gets tackled from behind by about three guys.
RUN+: Forcier, Omameh, Molk RUN-: Webb
O17 2 2 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Forcier 13 + 3 pen
DE shoots down the line and Illinois brings the corner in to contain. Forcier keeps(ZR+1) and will have the first down because Lewan got out and got enough of a shove on the backside LB to get him off balance. Could have done better but okay. The corner's crashing down; Forcier(+2) jukes him to the outside and nears the goal line. Two Illinois personal fouls put it at the one.
RUN+: Forcier(2) RUN-:
O1 1 G Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 4-4 Run Inside zone Shaw 0
Schilling(-1) gets driven into the backfield, forcing Shaw to cut back. A crashing DE tackles him as he does this; Shaw falls forward to about the foot line.
RUN+: RUN-: Schilling
O1 2 G Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 4-4 Run QB lead draw Forcier 0
Schilling(+1) wins this one, getting a much better push on a play designed to go behind him anyway. Shaw gets a lead block on the LB in the hole and Forcier just has to burrow behind it for a touchdown. He instead tries to leap. Wilson says no.
RUN+: Schilling RUN-: Forcier
O1 3 G Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Run Inside zone Shaw 1
Same curveball that Webb screwed up on in the second OT with the nickel guy coming down to contain; this time Webb(+1) correctly diagnoses the blitz and heads out on the slot guy. Never gets a block but does make the guy go around him and that's enough. Picture paged.
O3 2pt 2pt Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel 4-3 Pass Circle Hemingway 3
Hemingway sells the slant on the same CB that just blew one up and got unlucky in the last OT, and a rolling Forcier has an easy throw for the game-winning points. Hemingway almost drops it, but does bring it in. (CA, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +1)
Drive Notes: Touchdown(2PT), 67-59, OT3

Oh my god.

Seriously. That table is 8400 words. I am openly campaigning for the return of those hated clock rules starting now.

But at least this was the happy bit?

Yes, absolutely. Michigan comprehensively destroyed an excellent defense by land and sea. Despite Denard Robinson averaging 3.3 yards an attempt, the Illini rush defense gave up more than a full YPC relative to their season average. They consistently went one-high to do so, which opened up passing lanes that allowed Robinson to average over 15 YPA(!). Illinois' defense dropped from 15th nationally to 34th after the game, and while overtime has something to do with that Michigan gained almost 600 yards of offense in regulation.

That's all very impressive. Is it more or less impressive that it could have been a lot worse? Illinois shot themselves in the foot on offense from time to time but I think Michigan topped them by dropping balls, fumbling, and Robinson throwing inaccurately. It's one thing to fail to convert a third and three. It's another to miss a wide open tight end who's going to run until someone catches him from behind. Michigan did that plenty; there were opportunities to score even more points than they did.

It all makes for an interesting—




2009, All Of It 1 7 6(2) 3(1) 4 4 - - ? - 44%
UConn 2 15(6) - - 3 2 - - 2 - 68%
Notre Dame 3 25(8) 3(1) 4 1 - 4(1) 2 - - 71%
UMass 4 10(3) - 1 1 - 1 1 - - 73%
BGSU 1 4(1) - - - - - - - 1/1 N/A
Indiana 2 8(2) 1(1) 5(1) - - - - - 9/11 66%
Michigan State 4 14(3) 1 7(1) 1 - - 2 2 N/A 68%
Iowa 1 11(3) 2 3(1) 2 - 1 - - 3/4 64%
Penn State 3 12(3) 1 4 2 - 1 - - 6/10 63%
Illinois 4 9(1) 1 4 1 3 1(1) - - 3/4 60%


Iowa 3 14 1 2 4 - - 1 1 N/A 74%
Illinois 2 11 - - 2 3 - - 1 3/4 72%

A schizophrenic day from Robinson, who was either throwing picture-perfect balls to wide open receivers headed for the endzone or badly missing wide open receivers headed for the endzone. There were three of each; Robinson hit Roundtree twice and Hemingway once but badly missed Webb (INT), Gallon (near INT), and Roundtree (breakup) on wide open routes.

Meanwhile, Forcier was robotically efficient when he wasn't going yakety sax on the first play of the game. He didn't pick up the same yardage numbers Robinson did but that wasn't all his fault. On his second drive he had a 35-yarder to Gallon called back and then Hemingway did not bring in a makeable 46-yard touchdown catch. He's clearly more comfortable sitting in the pocket.

This is the nicest thing I can say about Forcier: I no longer want to die when the inevitable Robinson ding comes. I want Robinson to return ASAP but I do not want to die.

And what about the receivers?

More schizophrenia here, where drops from Roundtree, Shaw, Webb, and a makeable touchdown catch dropped by Hemingway combine with a couple of 1s and a lot of yards:

  This Game   Totals
Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Stonum - 1/1 1/1 2/2 9 2/7 7/11 18/18
Odoms : ( - - - 1 1/1 3/4 11/11
Hemingway 2 1/1 0/1 5/5 4 3/3 3/5 19/23
Stokes - - - - - - 1/2 -
Roundtree 2 - 2/3 7/8 10 2/3 5/8 26/38
Grady - - - - 4 1/1 3/3 8/9
T. Robinson - - - - - 0/1 - 2/3
Gallon - - - 1/1 1 - - 4/4
Koger - - - - - - 2/3 7/7
Webb 2 - - 0/1 2 - - 3/4
Smith 1 - - 2/2 2 - 0/2 12/12
Shaw - - - 1/2 1 0/1 0/1 5/6
McColgan - - - - - - - 1/1
Hopkins - - - - - - - -
Toussaint - - - - - - - -

The drops were kind of a big deal. Webb's third and three drop forced Michigan into a missed field goal attempt. Stonum's immediately preceded the Wilson interception, and Hemingway's coulda/shoulda been a touchdown. Michigan did overcome the moderately tough Roundtree drop; Shaw's eventually saw Michigan convert a fourth and nine into a touchdown.

And the run game?

As with the defense you'll want to turn down the volume down (by about 20%) to get a relatively normal day at the office.

For context, Michigan averaged 4.9 YPC on 53(!) carries. They threw the ball 40 times, so that's slightly more pass oriented than normal. Those passes broke open for big gains because Illinois was bringing guys into the box consistently.

Offensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Huyge 3 2 1 Did a lot of okay stuff. Not beaten, but didn't MAKE PLAYS either.
Lewan 12.5 1 11.5 Major cutback lanes provided on the regular.
Schilling 15 10 5 Got beat by Liuget a lot, but held up despite that.
Molk 16.5 4.5 12 Clobbered Akeem Spence consistently. Move to the stretch plays into his strengths.
Omameh 10 6.5 3.5 Easier day than Schilling since a lot of the time he had no one over him and Molk was killing Spence; when he did get Liuget he struggled like Schilling.
Khoury - - - DNP
Dorrestein - - - DNP
Webb 2 1 1 Reduced role?
Koger 2 5 -3 Not so good.
TOTAL 61 30 31 A slight step back from the Penn State game—slightly more positive but a lot more plays (53 vs 42) to get that number in.
Player + - T Notes
Robinson 3 4 -1 Not a lot of room to make magic and some bad decisions on cuts.
Gardner - - - DNP
Forcier 4 2 2 Shiftiness paid off in overtime on a couple keepers. Desire to fly not so much.
Shaw 2 2 0 Fully healthy, it seems.
Smith 8.5 1 7.5 Excellent day. Hopefully he can keep it up.
Cox - - - DNP
Toussaint - - - DNP
Hopkins 3 1 2 Established as the third guy, it seems.
McColgan - - - DNP.
Jones - - - DNP
TOTAL 20.5 10 10.5 Still not great, but at least Smith had a nice outing.
Player + - T Notes
Stonum 1 - 1 --
Odoms - - - --
TRobinson - - - --
Roundtree 2 - 2 One bubble.
Grady - - - --
Gallon - - - --
Hemingway 1 - 1 Does not get a number for this but the moog dance for the TD was wicked.
TOTAL 4 - 4 Moog dance.

I think I may be paying more attention to Lewan than Huyge and will try to see if that's the case next week, but the number of runs that work because Lewan's kicked a guy outside the hashes or driven someone three yards downfield and opened up a cutback lane is significant, where Huyge is just a guy. Huyge did get a win in one other area:

PROTECTION METRIC: 37/44, Lewan –4, Team –2, Omameh –1

That's a tick over 80%, which is good. It might be pessimistic, too, because this is just 3/3:

And so is this:

I value consistency in protection over individual good plays, and that was a four man rush, and people are terrified of Denard scrambling. But Denard and Tate had Navarre-like time on several important plays, something that would be unimaginable last year, and don't get me started on 2008.

The only exceptions were when Lewan got beat a couple times, drawing a holding call that wiped out a Gallon crossing route that got down to the one and forcing Forcier to become MacGuyver again on the game-tying touchdown. He also turned a third and one into third and six on a false start. Lewan's the Jonas Mouton of the offense [Ed-M: except the guy making the occasional, drive-altering freshman mistakes is a redshirt freshman, not a 5th year senior]. I did love this, though:

That's a scrape designed to get Lewan blocking no one. I see OL release downfield and look around in vain for someone to hit all the time. Here he sees his linebacker head outside, knows it's an exchange and the DE is flowing down the line, and pulls up to kick the DE out. Result is a big gain.

As for the rest of the ground game, Smith's good day was offset by a bad one from Robinson. Michigan pulled out the inverted veer and the midline a little bit but dumped the midline after Illinois ran a crazy scrape Michigan was unprepared for that got Martez Wilson unblocked on Robinson. They dumped it after that. After four years of Juice Williams Illinois has more experience defending that stuff than anyone else in the Big Ten, so

I see a lot of Liuget above, and a lot of big negatives for the interior line.

Yes. Liuget went ham. Whenever someone was tearing into the backfield untouched it was him. He did this by feinting one way, as if he was going to slant. This would cause the lineman to the other side to release downfield. Then Liuget would change direction and burst through a double that didn't really happen. Bad things (or great play from the tailbacks) ensued.

That's why this was impressive from Molk:


Many times Schilling or Omameh had not been able to keep pace with that spring into the backfield; here Molk gets playside of him, hurls him to the ground, and sent Liuget to the ref making a flag motion.

But they were still positive?

Michigan abused the NT all day by running stretches away from Liuget and having Molk reach block Spence like he was stationary. Spence is a freshman and while he displayed impressive strength on a couple plays where he chucked Michigan blockers to the ground he was dead meat when Michigan got him moving. Molk was a beast. Watch him on this play:

I have seen more zone stretches than anything else in my time doing this and I can tell you that getting that seal on that reach block is rare and powerful. if that happens the defense is giving up at least five yards and usually a first down. Molk did it probably five times in this game.

The tailbacks seemed much better, right?

Yeah, though they dropped off a bit in the second half. Smith had a couple of impressive cuts and one spin cycle [Ed-M: video didn't make it] past a tackle; the other two guys ran hard and didn't seem to make any obvious mistakes.


No one had an out and out bad day, really. I mean… 67 points, 45 in regulation, against a good defense.

All right then. People responsible for the few times Michigan didn't score?

Robinson's inaccuracy burned Michigan a few times, though Robinson's ability opened those passing lanes wide open. Lewan did kill a couple drives with mistakes. The tight ends did not have a great game.


David Molk, Roy Roundtree, Tate, Denard, Lewan, and a partridge in a pear tree.

What does it mean for Purdue and beyond?

This offense is going to move the ball on everyone, and will be stopped mostly by its own mistakes. Robinson's erratic accuracy is the biggest problem facing the offense now, and that's the #11 guy in passer efficiency we're talking about. Tate is an excellent backup Michigan could rotate in from time to time without enduring much of a dropoff.

The deep passing game was the main development here; if Michigan has that working good luck, everyone. I think they'll be able to put up points on anyone the rest of the year, even Ohio State—probably not enough points, but points.



November 11th, 2010 at 3:00 PM ^

Watching in person, my dad kept mentioning what a beast that Martez Wilson was for Illinois against the run.  It is hard from me to tell from this UFR, but it seemed like big #2 had his nose in all kinds of plays.  My dad was impressed but I, on the other hand, was annoyed.

Other Andrew

November 11th, 2010 at 3:05 PM ^

The big question to me is how much room for improvement remains this year? Denard is probably not going to get more accurate until next season, but what else can improve in these last few games?


November 11th, 2010 at 3:57 PM ^

I disagree. While the offense it still effective and scores points with Tate in there, it is not neraly as explosive. The threat of scoring on every single play just isn't there with him.

While he is a more accurate passer, his decision-making is on par with Denard's or possibly worse.


November 11th, 2010 at 4:11 PM ^

What Tate does is completely change the way the defense has to attack the offense because he is a better passer. I think the reason why he is having so much success when he comes in is because the defense has to adjust on the fly, instead of preparing for him all week. Tate looks good when he gets in, however with a full week to prepare against him I don't see him running the offense as good as Denard. What RR is talking about, when he said the offense can get better is that Denard isn't hitting the passing game like he could be, whereas this is an area that Tate is probably ahead of Denard in. Either way Im glad we have Tate as a back up because even if he's not a playmaker like Denard, he's still capable of putting points on the board. 

Blue in Seattle

November 11th, 2010 at 4:31 PM ^

I've enjoyed Brian Griese's commentary the couple of times it's been there, and even for Tate he was mentioning a tendency to stay with the #1 receiver too long, or try to force in a difficult pass when the TE or #2 option was coming wide open.

Tate is the more accurate passer, but will always end up with more coverage because he is not the same running threat.

Therefore I see more ceiling for Denard, or at least more results per increment in decision making and accuracy improvement.

I think Mathlete's analysis is right on that this offense doesn't have much room left to improve statistically, but that's based on results of teams without Denard.

I mean, even changing two of those interceptions seems to swing this game into one of building a comfortable lead, rather than praying we hold them to a field goal.

I think one aspect that would help this defense could be forcing the opposing offense to play catch up and become one dimensional.  The second half seemed like it was going to become that, but did not.  Then again, the QB was dizzy with headaches for a series or two.


November 11th, 2010 at 4:59 PM ^

I think at one point Griese was actually frustrated with Denard and Tate as he talked about their "aversion" to taking the tight end on the roll-outs. This had to be a little annoying to Brian as we know that in his playing days he displayed no such aversion. Any chance the Big Ten Network would consider offering Griese Chris Martin's job?


November 11th, 2010 at 3:07 PM ^

Hopefully the numbers only go up from here.  Maybe I'm not understanding this as best I should as I'm reading it at work (gasp), but Roundtree had a huge day and only got a +2?  Please correct my ignorance.  Go blue.

S.G. Rice

November 11th, 2010 at 3:26 PM ^

That is a lot of words.  A pleasure to read, though.

I didn't see or add up what the final RPS numbers were but it was definitely a good game for playcalls by RR and Magee.  The offense keeps getting better.


November 11th, 2010 at 3:30 PM ^

He was using Liuget's (and the rest of the DL's) momentum against them all day long. On the Shaw touchdown, he looked like a Matadore, pulling the flag out from in front of Liuget, ending with Liuget confused on the ground.

El Jeffe

November 11th, 2010 at 3:35 PM ^

I still wish we had an offense that would work in the B10. Like the kind we used to run in the old days, where we would pose such a running threat that we could get single coverage on our athletic wide receivers and then burn the other team with the deep ball.

Maybe Jim Harbaugh could coach one of those offenses, what do you think?


November 11th, 2010 at 3:57 PM ^

This offense has put up 222 points in 5 B10 games, thats 44.4 points per game, with a defense that never gives them good field position and rarely gives them the ball back. In fact their ppg are higher against B10 opponents then non-B10 opponents. Clearly you were joking, right?


November 11th, 2010 at 3:39 PM ^

I think they'll be able to put up points on anyone the rest of the year,


even Ohio State


probably not enough points, but points.

So you're saying there's a chance? Woo!!!


November 11th, 2010 at 3:57 PM ^

Since OT doesn't use game clock, this team is now in the company of Fielding Yost's marauders from early last century.
<br>Reading this UFR convinces me that we should have hung 65 in regulation. Incredible.


November 11th, 2010 at 3:59 PM ^

one of the most impressive things about the first play - the 75 yard TD to Roundtree - was that stonum also outran the DBs and got in front of them to prevent them from tracking down roundtree and in position to block them if they tried.  the WR blocking is a big reason this offense is effective.


November 11th, 2010 at 4:03 PM ^

forcing Forcier to become MacGuyver again on the game-tying touchdown

I think the MacGuyver analogy for Tate is as apt as any. The guy can put a play together with twine and paperclips. Problem is, sometimes it's just as flimsy.


November 11th, 2010 at 4:06 PM ^

I can't shake the feeling that - despite lacking the big plays/numbers of Hemingway/Roundtree - he may be the biggest reason for the improved WR production.  As one poster pointed out, running down the potential tacklers and getting in their way on the 1st play TD, while not necessary, was impressive... but his downfield blocking has been solid all season.


I guess I'm just glad to see a guy who seemed on track for a boom or bust "diva" WR career turn into a guy that can routinely make tough catches (that last TD of regulation was not easy, and getting open on the broken play was huge) and make big downfield blocks. 


What's that?  Yeah. I'm gushing about our WR corps.  Seriously - I like Hemingway/Tree/Stonum and Odoms :( a ton.


November 11th, 2010 at 5:25 PM ^

Hemingway, Tree, Stonum, and Odoms are all very good, not great, receivers who put in the work blocking on the edges to help spring other players while also being able to put up a huge play or two every game.

You can't ask for much more out of a group of guys.


November 11th, 2010 at 4:44 PM ^

Great stuff, Brian. Thanks for the effort and time in putting these together for us.

Good to see Vincent Smith finally getting some well deserved, long overdue love around these parts. He's been a good player all year for us and its about time he got some kudos.


November 11th, 2010 at 5:25 PM ^

Firstly Brian, full hat tip to you, this is remarkable.

Secondly, please do not misunderstand, Treezy's day is fantastic and he deserved every honor he received this week, but damn Junior and Stonum both had fantastic days in their own way.

Junior's dance was exceptional.  I was frustrated with him as he was doing it (it was a clear view from where I was sitting in the south end zone), but all of the sudden, he gets clear and boom, he's in the end zone.  It was an exceptional level of trust to place in one's own abilities and I was glad to see him rewarded for it.

Stonum's digout out the game tying* catch was just awesome and it made me realize, Michigan wasn't perfect, but, unlike so many other times these past few years, enough good things happened that the scales tipped in our favor.  It may be nothing, but for now, it feels like something.

*-OK, technically there was an extra point to come, but you know what I mean.

Huntington Wolverine

November 11th, 2010 at 5:27 PM ^

This is the nicest thing I can say about Forcier: I no longer want to die when the inevitable Robinson ding comes. I want Robinson to return ASAP but I do not want to die.

Unduly harsh.  You're better than this.

Tate is an excellent backup Michigan could rotate in from time to time without enduring much of a dropoff

That's more like it.


November 11th, 2010 at 5:35 PM ^

I agree that the phrasing in the first block quote is weird, I didn't read it as insulting. I read it more as that despite the fact that Denard is probably the most electric player in college football, Forcier is good enough that the dropoff isn't the end of the world(hence the 2nd block quote cleaning it up a little)


November 11th, 2010 at 5:47 PM ^


M48 1 10 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Split 4-3 Pass Hitch Roundtree Int
The third time in a row is a little much (RPS -2) and the route is jumped and picked off. Ball was inside, making it easier to pick off, and shouldn't have been thrown anyway. (BR, 0, protection 1/1)

Seriously only -2? Did Tate miss a read or something? I mean, that was a painfully obvious playcall, and this isn't Madden.