Upon Further Review 2010: Offense vs Iowa Comment Count

Brian October 22nd, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Substitution notes: Obviously Tate came in for Denard. I think the injury Denard went off with was not one that would have prevented him from returning, but more on that later. On the line, Khoury came in for Molk when Molk left injured on the first drive; Huyge played about a third of the game after the Lewan penalty exhibition. Lewan returned late in the third.

Shaw continues to be limited, so Smith was the primary back. Hopkins continues to get more carries as the season progresses. At receiver, Stokes got more time in Odoms's absence (but not nearly as much as Odoms would have) and Gallon appears to be eating into Grady's playing time.

Formation notes: Iowa spent most of the day with one of their linebackers lined up over the slot. Since I am an idiot I did not take a snapshot of this, but that's "slot 4-3": two deep safeties with a linebacker outside the box on the slot guy. "Base 4-3" in this case was a 4-3 in the box with one of the safeties moving up on the slot guy and Iowa showing one-high. "Split 4-3" was a pass defense with the linebackers spread out; it was mostly featured late when Michigan was in pass-only mode.

Michigan didn't do anything new other than show a lot of I-form featuring one of the tight ends as a lead blocker.


Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 11
Simple as Molk(+2) and Schilling(+1) momentarily double Klug and then Molk gets a tough seal as Schilling pops out on SLB Hunter. Lewan(+1) kicks out Clayborn and Smith has a crease with no one filling until the safeties show up. Actually think a pull would have been correct here too as the backside end was getting blocked and there was no scrape but this worked. I'm not sure this is a read so no ZR.
RUN+: Molk(2), Schilling, Lewan RUN-:
M36 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 4
Omameh(+1) and Molk(+1) club Ballard out of the hole, cutting off SLB pursuit; Koger meets the MLB near the LOS and gets knocked back a little, allowing Dorrestein's guy to come off and tackle. Dorrestein -0.5 for a less than authoritative kick. Molk is injured and leaves.
RUN+: Molk, Omameh RUN-: Dorrestein(0.5)
M40 2 6 I-form 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run Iso Hopkins 4
The FB in this package was almost always a TE, FWIW. MLB is screaming downhill at this and runs into Koger at the LOS, standing everything up. Omameh and Khoury did an eh job on Ballard this time; Hopkins(+1) runs into beef at the LOS and lurches the pile forward four yards.
RUN+: Hopkins RUN-:
M44 3 2 I-form 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Pass Waggle deep comeback Hemingway 18
Inside zone fake with a rollout from Robinson. He's got Koger for the simple first down but also has Hemingway deeper so he goes for that, hitting it with perfect timing for a big chunk. (CA+, 3, protection 1/1)
O38 1 10 I-form 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run Iso Hopkins 7
Schilling(+1) and Khoury(+1) again abuse Klug, bashing him out of the hole. MLB comes up to pop Koger at the LOS again but this time there's a crease because Lewan(+1) has kicked out Clayborn. The difference on this play and the QB lead draw and other iso is Lewan giving Michigan more room behind the DE. Hopkins is tripped going through the small hole and manages to fall through a tackle for a nice chunk.
O31 2 3 I-form 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run ? Hopkins 2
Watching a replay of the previous play; impossible to make out what happens.
O29 3 1 I-form 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run Iso Hopkins 0
Once too many times: Schilling(-1) loses a prepared Daniels, who fights playside and crams the hole, forcing a Hopkins cutback that could get the first down if he was left one-on-one with a linebacker. He's not; Omameh(-1) also couldn't kick out Ballard. The two guys submarine the run for nothing.
RUN+: RUN-: Schilling, Omameh
O29 4 1 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 8
High snap takes an extra beat to bring in, screwing up the play somewhat. So I'm not sure if Omameh and Dorrestein have gotten pwned or if it just looks like it because Robinson is a step behind where he should be. It certainly looks like this is designed to go up the middle with Khoury(+1) and Schilling(+1) killing Daniels; Khoury then pops out on the MLB to erase him. Denard(+2) then cuts past the two linemen flowing outside and has room for the first because of that Khoury block. An arm tackle a yard downfield changes his momentum and sends him past another linebacker, but he's been slowed significantly and the secondary gets there after decent yardage. I do think the right side of the line should have done better here.
RUN+: Khoury, Schilling, Robinson(2) RUN-: Omameh, Dorrestein
O21 1 10 I-form 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Pass Waggle FB flat Koger 5
Iowa adjusts and runs a zone that has a safety coming over the top so the deeper route isn't there; Robinson checks down to Koger for a few. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O16 2 5 I-form 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 7
Inside zone looks just like an iso so the backside DT fights to what he think will be yet another run right in his face. The handoff is made on the other side of Robinson and all he's done is lock himself out. Schilling(+1) helps. Khoury(+1) and Omameh(+1) destroy Ballard and Lewan(+1) releases downfield to club the MLB, providing a lane for Smith to hit. He fails to see it and tries to cut outside, where there's is no blocking. Fortunately for M this is blocked by Dorrestein's ass. Smith comes to a stop, but the blocking is so good he can start up again in the same lane. Clayborn, given time by the missed cut, tracks down to tackle from behind.
RUN+: Khoury, Omameh, Schilling, Lewan, Dorrestein RUN-: Smith
O9 1 G Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 1
Safety moves down on the slot and all three LBs are in the box as Iowa shows one-high. I'm not sure what Michigan is doing with their backside reads here but since they're blocking the backside end (Clayborn) the guy to read is the SLB. He's not going anywhere and he's about to get a blocker in his face so there's a lane Robinson can take if he pulls; he gives (ZR -1). Because the interior OL has lost this round (-0.5 for Schillling, Molk, Omameh) Smith has nowhere to go and ends up cutting back into the hole Robinson could have hit if he'd kept it. He's there much later, though, and it closes off.
RUN+: RUN-: Omameh(0.5), Khoury(0.5), Schilling(0.5), Robinson
O8 2 G Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Yakety sax ? Inc
Snap fumbled. This isn't on Khoury; it's a perfect snap. Robinson recovers it and manages to avoid a tackle before chucking the ball. No idea where it's going or if he's trying to complete it because it's knocked down. (BA, N/A, N/A)
O8 3 G Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Split 4-3 Pass Slant Smith 8
Smith smokes a LB over and gets inside of him where there is no help; Robinson hits him for the easy TD. (CA, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +1)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-0, 8 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run QB stretch Robinson 7 -13 pen
Webb's guy on the end fends him off and forces Robinson to head back inside, where he just has enough room to slice upfield because Schilling(-1) got a couple shoves on Daniels and fell in his path, knocking him off stride but not cutting him or seriously delaying. Khoury(+1) and Omameh(+1) have obliterated Ballard and Dorrestein(+1) has walled off a linebacker, opening up a lane. Robinson runs by Clayborn; Daniels grabs him from behind and manages to ride him to the ground. This was opening up big but for the Schilling mess. Lewan then gets a dumb personal foul afterwards. That's not going on the run chart but guuuuuh.
RUN+: Khoury, Omameh, Dorrestein RUN-: Schilling
M14 2 16 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Split 4-3 Run QB draw Robinson 4
Fakes a flare screen. Indecision from Schilling and Khoury at first; Schilling then pops the NT, who falls, but falls well in the backfield right in Robinson's desired path. He has to improvise. Dorrestein(+1) does a great job of getting his guy back and giving Robinson the corner, but Hemingway(-1) whiffed on the outside and the charging corner forces the play back inside to help.
RUN+: Dorrestein RUN-: Hemingway
M18 3 12 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Pass TE flat Webb 3
No one open so Robinson checks down to a hopeless route and Michigan punts. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-0, 5 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M27 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 7
Just six in the box for Iowa still so this is a play with a lot of room to operate; Robinson decides to cut outside since there's no linebacker over there and he can get outside Dorrestein's(+1) good block; Omameh(-1) lost Ballard on a single block, cutting off that hole. Webb has lost the playside LB because he was blocking like Robinson would head inside the tackle; Hopkins runs by the guy in an effort to get to the safety and the LB disconnects to tackle, but not before a good gain. (RPS+1)
RUN+: Robinson, Dorrestein RUN-: Omameh
M34 2 3 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 9
Okay, this is pretty much the same play but operates differently since both lead blockers are heading inside the tackles. Michigan thinks is is different; I'm just a blogger talking to laypeople. Schilling(-1) gets chucked away by Daniels—impressive strength display there--but Hopkins(+1) sees this, changes his planned blocking path, and clubs Daniels out of the play at the LOS. Webb(+1) hits the MLB and Lewan(+1) again kicks Clayborn out, giving Robinson a lane he takes.
RUN+: Hopkins, Webb, Lewan RUN-: Schilling
M45 1 10 I-form 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Iso Smith 2
Gurghelgasghas. Iso with Smith? Probably wouldn't have mattered if it was Jim Brown here because Khoury(-1) slips as he comes out of his stance and can't get the MLB; Omameh(-1) was beaten by Ballard. Both guys tackle downfield. Webb(+1) did help by getting a good block on the SLB, so this isn't zero.
RUN+: Webb RUN-: Omameh, Khoury
M47 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Pass Rollout hitch Hemingway 3
Rollout catches Iowa by surprise and Smith gets outside of Clayborn, opening up the corner. Hemingway is open, though, so Robinson throws. Ball is short and well upfield, turning an easy first down into something less than that. Hemingway makes a good catch to dig it out. (IN, 1, protection 1/1)
50 3 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Penalty False start Lewan -5
M45 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Pass Fly Stonum Int
So this is pretty much terrible. Illinois stunts. Schilling sees it and picks it up; Khoury(-1) has been bowled over by the DT. Robinson could stand there and fire. Instead he shows his inexperience and rolls back, then sets up to bomb it deep. Underneath he probably had Smith with a 50-50 shot at the first. Instead he chucks it deep. 1) this is covered. 2) it is so far away from Stonum that the WR can't even tackle on the INT and turn this into a glorified punt. Given the three guys around Stonum I'm giving this the bad one (BR, 0, protection 1/2, Khoury -1)
Drive Notes: Interception, 7-7, 14 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 Slot 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Robinson 7
With Binns shuffling down the line to take away the cutback this is open and the keep is correct (ZR +1). Binns does recover enough to help out from behind when Sash fills.
RUN+: Robinson RUN-:
M27 2 3 Shotgun empty H-back 1 1 3 Split 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 7
Koger(+1) blasts the MLB and Lewan(+2) caves in Clayborn to give Robinson an easy decision to slash it outside. Khoury and Schilling had also destroyed the playside DT, FWIW.
RUN+: Lewan(2), Webb RUN-:
M34 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 under Pass PA bubble screen Gallon 18
Iowa changes up their D and for the first time all day they do not have a linebacker over the slot to kill the bubble; Michigan goes with the bubble (CA, 3, screen). Stonum(+1) gets a good block on the corner and Gallon(+1) makes the most of it, smoothly cutting past the Stonum block and almost taking advantage of a falling safety before the slot LB manages to shut it down. RPS +1.
RUN+: Gallon, Stonum RUN-:
O46 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 4
You can tell Iowa's cheating a bit with the slot LB, and he blitzes. Michigan still has a decent crease for Robinson up the middle but Robinson decides to cut back, screwing up all the blocking angles. He gets past one DT, has to cut up behind Koger on the backside DE, and then Hunter has a clear shot since Robinson's cutback screwed up the angles. Not going to offer plus/minus here.
O42 2 6 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run QB stretch Robinson 3
Again cheating the slot LB and blitzing him; this is not good awareness. Khoury(-1) is beaten by the frontside DT and Robinson has to cut back. Dorrestein had no chance to cut a slanting backside DT, and that guy tackles after a short gain. RPS –1.
RUN+: Robinson RUN-: Khoury
O39 3 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Pass TE cross Koger 13
Koger actually falls down out of his stance but gets back up and finishes the route. It's tough to tell if he's coming to Koger second or staring him down all the way. Either way he goes to him in a pocket in the zone, getting the ball over a linebacker covering Stonum and getting it into him just before the safety can close him down. For the record, Clayborn did get by Lewan eventually, though not enough to warrant a minus since Robinson had been sitting in the pocket a while and Clayborn still had to pull up lest he pick up a late hit. (DO, 2, protection 2/2)
O26 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run QB stretch Robinson 5
Schilling(+1) cuts the backside DT down, but Lewan misses his difficult cut and there's no cutback. Playside guys do a great job of stringing it out as Dorrestein and Omameh fight the Iowa OL to a draw. Shoving knocks both Omameh and the playside Iowa DT off the ball a bit, leaving Robinson a small hole to hit, which he does.
RUN+: Schilling, Omameh(+0.5) RUN-:
O21 2 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Gallon 4
Michigan notices the cheating LB and throws the bubble at it. For some reason they're not running the adjustment where the outside WR blocks down on the safety, so Sash has a shot at Gallon for a major loss; Gallon(+1) jukes him out of his shorts and is off... to the.... tripping four yards downfield. Argh. Seriously, nothing tripped him but his own feet here. (CA, 3, screen)
O17 3 1 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 under Run QB lead draw Robinson 3
Khoury(+1) does an admirable job of fighting off an attempted stunt by the playside DT. This gives Michigan a gap that a charging LB is filling; Smith(+1) pops him and gives Robinson a chance outside, where Lewan(+1) has blasted Clayborn's backup off the line two yards; Robinson burrows in for the first.
RUN+: Khoury, Smith, Lewan RUN-:
O14 1 10 I-form 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Penalty False start Lewan -5
This is straight up WTF. I don't see Lewan moving at all. If he does it's a millisecond early. Incredibly ticky-tack.
O19 1 15 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB stretch Robinson -2
Iowa all over this with the playside DE moving outside before the snap and using that leverage to get outside Webb; Gallon(an unfair –1) is dealing with a LB who shifted right over him and gets owned, forcing Robinson back into the DE. (RPS -1)
O21 2 17 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Smith Inc
Both Iowa LBs on the slot guys to the playside get chucks on the routes, disrupting them. Smith tries to sit down in front of the safety and Robinson throws accurately to him but he's got such a tiny window that this would be an NFL-level throw. LB deflects it for the incompletion. Maybe Gallon had a better shot at a window here; the checkdown to Koger was available but probably not more than five or six yards. Excellent play from Iowa; if you can do this you are not going to have many QBs, let alone Denard, put it in your face. I have no idea what to chart this. I am going to go with MA; Robinson had a tiny window and missed it by a foot but this was probably his best option. (MA, 0, protection 2/2)
M21 3 17 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Stonum Inc
A good throw into more excellent coverage; this is a deeper throw that's not going to pick up the first but will get them into chip-shot FG range or give them the opportunity to go. CB Hyde is right there and reaches into break the pass up. Throw was high but had to be so the LB didn't bat it. Stonum would have had to be a magician to bring this in. (CA, 1, protection 2/2) Stonum gets flagged for not being close enough to the LOS, anyway.
Drive Notes: Blocked FG(38), 7-14, 8 min 2nd Q. Last series is three impressive plays from Iowa D and, on the first, whoever's calling the plays absent Norm Parker. I'm not even mad. Except about special teams, of course. Note that next drive would have started at 25 minus irrelevant, dumb block in the back.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M7 1 10 I-form 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run Iso Smith 1
Huyge has entered the game, FWIW. Playside DT fights through the initial double, getting playside of Schilling(-1) as the backside guy slides down the line because Omameh(-1) can't ward him off. Smith has two ugly options: run into nothing on the frontside of the play or cutback into an unblocked Hunter. He picks A.
RUN+: RUN-: Schilling, Omameh
M8 2 9 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 2
Clayborn maintaining contain as Webb heads outside him for a lead block; looks like M was hoping Iowa would switch it up and crash the backside DE, giving Robinson a pull opportunity. They do not; handoff (ZR+1, RPS -1). Schilling(+1) gets an excellent block on the backside DT, sealing him, but Khoury(-1) and Omameh(-1) do nothing with their double, failing to move the playside guy at all. No crease; Smith runs into bodies for a limited gain.
M10 3 7 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Slot 4-3 Pass Deep comeback Stonum 9
Looks like cover two man from Iowa; Robinson drops back and surveys but doesn't have time because Huyge(-2) has been pancaked backwards and Clayborn is about to eat him. He has to hop back and throw off his back foot. The pass is to an open Stonum but is well short; Stonum digs it out for the first. The replay doesn't look like it's a catch but it's not clear so they let it stand. Given the difficulty of the throw I'll mark this MA. (MA, 1, protection 0/2, Huyge -2)
M19 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 6
Iowa fakes the one-high but backs out. Khoury(+1) and Schilling(+1) bash one DT back and then Khoury hops out on the MLB. MLB sets up in a spot that convinces Robinson to cut back, which he does; DT and MLB come off now-invalid blocks to tackle. Still a nice gain; think Robinson should have tried to shoot right up the middle instead of cutting.
RUN+: Schilling, Khoury RUN-:
M25 2 4 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 10
Same thing; this one sees Webb pull across the formation and meet the MLB right in the hole. Schilling(+0.5) and Khoury(+0.5) have again beaten the playside DT back, so the MLB has to attack; he cuts off the hole but is walled off by Webb. Robinson(+1) slices outside too fast for Clayborn to react as Smith(+1) gets a solid block on the charging Sash, giving Robinson a lane that is only closed down by a pursuing Hunter.
RUN+: Schilling(0.5), Khoury(0.5), Robinson, Smith RUN-:
M35 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout hitch Hemingway 8
Simple pitch and catch that's open; Hemingway grabs it for a decent gain and picks up a few more YAC. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M43 2 2 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run QB stretch Robinson 6
Khoury(-1) owned, driven far into the backfield and closing off what looks like a well-blocked play otherwise. Robinson has to cut back, way back, which kills the blocks on both backside DL. He has to run outside. A corner comes up; he cuts back inside, dodging that guy and sliding past Binns. Binns tackles desperately.
RUN+: Robinson(2) RUN-: Khoury
M49 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Slot 4-3 Pass Long handoff Stonum 2
Ball thrown low on a play that had a chance to get six, eight yards. Stonum digs it out for a couple but is on the ground as he brings it in. (IN, 2, screen)
O49 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Pass Hitch Webb Inc
Good route package gets Webb wide open on a short hitch he'll be able to turn up for a first down, but Robinson inexplicably pumps and then wings it well high. (IN, 0, protection 1/1)
O49 3 8 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Scramble Robinson 4
Robinson's looking at the left side of the field on which two Michigan WRs are drawing zone defenders deep; he should throw the out to Smith, who is probably going to have the first if the ball is thrown. Then he should hit Grady on the improv but doesn't, instead scrambling for a few yards. This was an easy read he biffed. (BR, N/A, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-21, EO1H. Give Michigan an extra 18 yards here and they can go for it. Penalty is a killer. I can see why they punted: hard to have a ton of faith in Robinson at that exact instant after he'd blown three straight plays.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M24 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run Inside zone Shaw 1
I don't understand what they're doing with Webb here. They send him out to block no one; if he just blocks down on Clayborn, Robinson is in a ton of space running away from a MLB. Instead they just send him down to block no one at all. So Robinson hands off (ZR +1, RPS -1). Omameh(-1) and Khoury(-1) get killed by the playside DT and Shaw has nowhere to go. Schilling(-1) falls over so there's no backside block.
RUN+: RUN-: Omameh, Khoury, Schilling
M25 2 9 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Roundtree -1
Webb(-2) is owned by the slot LB. Just make him go inside of you and this is good yardage; instead he gets beat outside and Roundtree is tackled for loss. (CA, 3, screen)
M24 3 10 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Slot 4-3 Pass Drag Hemingway 4
Same patterns they ran on the third and eight before the half; this time Robinson checks down to the inside drag, which is caught but has no chance. Maybe should have looked at Grady deeper, but had to step up in the pocket because Clayborn beat Huyge(-1) around the corner and probably felt he had to dump it. (CA, 3, protection 1/2, Huyge -1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-21, 13 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M15 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Pass Scramble Robinson 12
Show one-high and back out. Michigan rolls out and tries to hit a pass but Iowa has covered everything reasonably well and Robinson doesn't feel comfortable throwing. He cuts up just as Omameh(+1) gets an open-field shove on Clayborn, using his speed to pick up the first down. He takes a hit as he goes down and comes up holding his hand; he is done for the day.
RUN+: Robinson, Omameh RUN-:
M27 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Pass PA Hitch Koger 8
Forcier in; inside zone fake to a short hitch to the TE. PA had drawn the LB; open, hit with good timing; good YAC. (CA, 3, protection N/A)
M35 2 2 I-form 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run Iso Shaw 5
Playside double gets the DT blown back (+0.5 Schilling, Khoury), but Omameh(-1) lost the DT to the inside and there's no hole. Shaw(+1) reads it, leaps over the fallen Omameh, and hits a cutback hole; Khoury gets the other half of his plus for shoving Hunter along the line and giving Shaw a gap for the first.
RUN+: Schilling(0.5), Khoury, Shaw RUN-: Omameh
M40 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Pass Scramble Forcier 5
Hitches on this play covered, partially because Koger blocked Clayborn before releasing and knocked him back into a perfect accidental zone for his route. Forcier starts scrambling as Omameh lost Daniels on the interior; Khoury does well to pick him up but Forcier's moving. He cuts upfield into space, diving forward for a decent gain. (SCR, N/A, protection 2/2)
M45 2 5 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Slot 4-3 Run Inside zone Shaw 0
High snap Forcier manages to corral; this looks like a stretch but they're not blocking it like one so I guess it's inside. Omameh(-1) can't seal the playside DT; Khoury(+1) does a great job of getting control of and blocking the backside guy downfield. Shaw cuts back and would have a lane but for Schilling(-1) falling, providing a lane for an unblocked LB to force Shaw upfield and into traffic.
M45 3 5 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Hemingway 4
This is very well covered but Forcier chucks it anyway, away from the defender and in a spot only his receiver can get it. Hemingway makes a diving grab to set up fourth and inches. (CA+, 1, protection 1/1)
M49 4 1 I-form twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Iso Hopkins 15
Iowa tightens the line so there are two 1-tech guys right over Khoury; the backside guy is unblocked and lunges for Forcier, tackling him as he makes the handoff. He does make the handoff. Schilling(+1) and Khoury(+1) pick up the other NT and deposit him a couple yards downfield; Huyge gets an okay block on Clayborn and then McColgan(+1) thumps him backwards, opening up a crease; Hopkins sails through it.
RUN+: McColgan, Khoury, Schilling RUN-:
O36 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Pass PA Hitch Stonum Inc
Corner blitz on Stonum's side of the line finds Stonum open after he forced the safety to respect the vertical route; Forcier wings it wide. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
O36 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Pass Improv Stonum Inc
Iowa again covering these short hitches so Forcier starts wheeling around; Michigan is not switching their routes and Iowa is dropping into three deep (RPS -1). Forcier wanders around and tries to find Stonum at the sideline for a few; throw is high and at the sidelines and isn't brought in. (MA, 1, protection 2/2)
O36 3 10 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Drag Stonum 9
Same route set from before; why no ever the outside drag that actually has people dragging defenders too deep? Stonum has a step on his guy and Forcier hits him right in stride, allowing him to turn it up for near first-down yardage. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2)
O27 4 1 I-form 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Pass Waggle inside hitch Roundtree 12
Iowa way less aggressive this time, probably because M tips pass by bringing in a TE at FB instead of McColgan. Roundtree sits down inside as Iowa players fly out towards Koger on his little flat route (which was open and I thought he should have taken). Forcier sees it and throws a nice catchable pass high so no one knocks it down en route; Roundtree goes up to get it. (CA+, 3, protection 1/1)
O15 1 10 I-form 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run Iso Smith 0
The fumble. Schilling(-1) gets chucked by Klug and then Koger(-1) just runs right by him, allowing the guy to kill Smith in the backfield; Smith fumbles.
RUN+: RUN-: Schilling, Koger
Drive Notes: Fumble, 7-21, 6 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M35 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Deep slant Hemingway Inc
Corner blitz; Forcier looks to the other side of the field and finds Hemingway open on a deep slant since a shallower one sucked in Hunter. Throw is high to get it over hands but catchable; it is dropped. Hopkins whiffed on his block on Clayborn as M slid its protection. (CA, 3, protection 1/2, Hopkins -1)
M35 2 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Run Belly Hopkins 5
Omameh(+1) blasts the playside DT down the line. Dorrestein(-1) is moving to the second level but gets a push from the playside DE that makes him also block the already blown-out Iowa DT, leaving the playside LB free. Webb(+1) kicks that DE out and Hopkins runs directly upfield for decent yardage. Unblocked MLB does tackle.
RUN+: Omameh, Webb RUN-: Dorrestein
M40 3 5 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Improv ? Int
Forcier drops back and can't find anyone on his first read, at which point three Iowa DL come through the line, with Schilling, Omameh, and Huyge all picking up minuses. Forcier rolls out and throws a completely terrible INT right at an Iowa defender. (BR, 0, protection 0/3, Omameh, Schilling, Huyge.)
Drive Notes: Interception, 7-21, 4 min 3rd Q. That interception is a swing of 60 yards of field position relative to an average punt, or would be but for a personal foul on Iowa that brings it back to about the spot of the INT.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M15 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Slot 4-3 Penalty False start Schilling -5
Lewan returns. He does not cause the crowd to ask for his doom by false starting here.
M10 1 15 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Deep slant Hemingway 11
Again the slant opens up with an interior slant dragging a zone defender along. Pitch, catch, tackle. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
M21 2 4 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Pass Hitch Hemingway 9
Easy again; thrown with great timing as Hyde plays conservatively. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2)
M30 1 10 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Smith 14
Virtual replay of the first TD with the three WR side drawing a lot of attention and Smith beating the LB over him on the slant despite the guy having inside leverage; he bites on the out step. Good route. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2)
M44 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Slot 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 4
Just five guys in the box as the trips drags two LBs to the outside. Michigan runs right at the five guys and can't get much because Klug beats a double from Khoury(-1) and Schilling, hopping inside and forcing Smith to bounce it behind. Khoury didn't get enough push on him to seal him before releasing. Smith does cut behind Klug as Schilling pancakes him but this robs Khoury of his angle on the LB in the box and forces Smith to the side with all the dudes on it.
RUN+: RUN-: Khoury
M48 2 6 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Pass Improv Hitch Stonum 7
Forcier looks for Hemingway but decides that hitch at the sticks is covered, at which point Lewan(-1) gets run around by Clayborn; Forcier has to roll out. I'm going to toss in a bonus point for the protection because Forcier has all kinds of room to roll because Dorrestein walled off the playside DT and Webb and Smith took turns on the DE, giving Forcier a relaxing amount of time to survey. Stonum comes back to the ball and Forcier hits him with a hitch for the first down. (CA, 3, protection 2/3, Lewan -1)
O45 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Pass Rollout stop and go Stonum Inc
Michigan rolls the pocket, then Forcier stops as he pulls up and tries to exploit the safety over-reacting to the roll. Stonum suckers the CB in and gets open deep; the half roll has gotten the safety out of position to defend this and Michigan has an opportunity. Throw is good but Stonum seems to lay out unnecessarily (trip?) and the pass clangs off his hands. Would have been incomplete anyway because of the dive. (CA, 2, protection 2/2)
O45 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Slot 4-3 Pass Post Roundtree Inc
Max pro and a three-man route. Schilling(-1) gets beaten by Daniels and Forcier has a guy coming at him up the middle; must throw. He's got a window to hit Roundtree on a post, but it's a small one. He's close but it's in front of him. Good timing, tough throw to see and make, but did not quite execute. (IN, 0, protection 1/2, Schilling -1)
O45 3 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Split 4-3 Pass Improv Hitch Stokes 11
Forcier gets happy feet here and starts rolling around when protection is decent. His roll puts a stunting DT in his face but Stokes is breaking open on a hitch anyway, so Forcier chucks it accurately. Stokes spins through one tackle then drags Hunter two yards past the sticks. Nice play. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
O34 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Split 4-3 Pass Deep slant Stonum 17
Iowa adjusting to this but it's not enough. Sash is sitting down in a robber zone and attempts to blow Stonum up, but the ball's already in and caught by the time he gets there; Stonum runs through that hit and almost breaks into the open field; corner drags him down by one foot. (DO, 2, protection 2/2)
O17 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Split 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 6
Iowa with a late shift and stunt that gets Klug through Khoury(-1) and the other DT almost past Schilling(+1) before he reacts and knocks him out of the hole. Khoury then tackles Klug and gets away with it. Lewan is doing a good job on Clayborn but he manages to get a handful of jersey as Smith passes. This slows him and ends up being beneficial, allowing Dorrestein(+1) to get a bizarre but effective block on the MLB; Smith(+1) runs through the tackle and picks his way for decent yardage.
RUN+: Smith, Schilling, Dorrestein RUN-: Khoury
O11 2 4 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Split 4-3 Pass Fade Stonum Inc (Pen +6)
Slant fake to a fade from Stonum fools Hyde. Hyde bangs him and then continues impeding his progress with the ball in the air; the flag is obvious. Probably should have been a PI with the ball at the two but was called holding so it's half the distance. Not charted.
O5 1 G Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Hopkins 3
Hopkins displays surprising agility here. Interior double kicks out the DT but Iowa is slanting Binns inside of Dorrestein and there's not going to be a hole. Dorrestein starts driving Binns further inside, turning a nothing play into an opportunity and actually gets +1 here. Webb(+1) heads outside to block a scraping LB and Hopkins shows good agility for a beef machine to follow him, getting sliced down by that LB making a nice play. Yes, you can get +3 for a 3 yard run if it's from the five.
RUN+: Hopkins, Dorrestein, Webb RUN-:
O2 2 G Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Hopkins 2
Same play. This time Hopkins says eff it and just goes straight upfield; a gap-shooting Iowa LB has a narrow lane and a slight adjustment in Hopkins's path results in Hop running through an arm tackle. From there Omameh(+1) pancakes Ballard and Khoury(+1) improvises, pulling around the falling pair to pop Hunter; Hopkins is untouched into the endzone.
RUN+: Hopkins, Omameh, Khoury RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-28, 13 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Split 4-3 Pass Deep hitch Stonum 18
Deep in the hole again; Iowa gets a delay on Stonum and the safety is coming over to club. Forcier pumps and then lays a ball in that takes Stonum off his feet just as the safety comes over to nail the guy; Stonum avoids the hit thanks to the throw and makes a moderately difficult catch. (DO, 2, protection 2/2)
M43 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Slot 4-3 Pass Out Grady 8
Grady catches a quick out and then makes a linebacker charging out miss, turning five yards into eight. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O49 2 2 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Split 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 3
Another stunt from the DTs. Schilling(+1) seals off Klug, preventing him from getting into the backfield, and Lewan(+1) kicks out Clayborn; Smith does have to deal with a DT right in the hole but manages to fall forward for the first.
RUN+: Lewan, Schilling RUN-:
O46 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Split 4-3 Pass Fly Hemingway 46
Slot LB blitzes and it looks like Hyde massively busts a coverage on what should be three-deep. Forcier recognizes and tosses a soft floater that hits Hemingway in stride at the five for a touchdown. (DO, 3, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-35, 10 min 4th Q. This color guy is outstanding, by the way.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M31 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Split 4-3 Pass Deep slant Stonum 13
Same story, no adjustment this time from Iowa: double slants and Forcier hits the deeper one when the inside zone is cleared. Disadvantage of running a 4-3 all the time. At this point it's RPS+1 time. (CA+, 3, protection 1/1)
M44 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Split 4-3 Pass Hitch Stonum 11
Hyde bails out deep and Stonum pulls up; Forcier nails him with excellent timing. (CA+, 3, protection 1/1)
O45 1 10 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Split 4-3 Pass Deep hitch Stonum Inc
Hyde makes a good play to force Stonum OOB; this is a quick throw that Forcier thinks he has but doesn't because of the chuck. Not sure what to chart this as. He had an out he could have gotten a few yards on, but this isn't a terrible read or throw even though it has no chance. I guess this is a very weak (BR, 0, protection 1/1)
O45 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Split 4-3 Pass Deep slant Stonum 11
Same thing, man: double slants. What does it mean? (CA, 3, protection 1/1, RPS +1)
O34 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 3-4 Pass Fly Hemingway 31
Adjustment, as Iowa goes to a three-man line and rushes only those three. Michigan slides the protection, which is dumb because that leaves a DE one on one with Smith. Smith does what he can but that's only "delay the guy." Forcier pump fakes, then rolls away from the pressure a bit. He pulls up and launches a bomb to Hemingway on the other side of the field. Hemingway's beat his guy but the pass is well short; Hemingway adjusts to the ball much better than the corner and since it's short the safety is not a factor. Hemingway high-points the ball and brings the catch in. Uh... (CA, 2, protection 2/2)
O3 1 G Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 5-3 Run Zone read keeper Forcier 3
Forcier pulls. Not sure why since the backside DE is getting blocked but he does seem to have a lane up the middle. That lane closes as Clayborn comes off Lewan (a yard downfield so no minus); Webb(+1) is blocking a LB and has control of him, pushing him downfield as he tries to fight inside and banging him into a filling safety; Forcier(+1) bounces outside as Clayborn dives at his feet and lunges for the endzone. Not Denard, but shifty.
RUN+: Forcier, Webb RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 28-35, 6 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M37 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Tampa 3-4 Pass Fly Stonum Inc
This is very well covered by both the corner and the safety coming over and should not be thrown. Inaccurate anyway. (BR, 0, protection 1/1)
M37 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Tampa 3-4 Pass Sack ? -9
Lewan(-2) smoked by Clayborn on a three man rush, forcing Forcier to scramble around. He slips during this yakety sax exhibition, but this was going to end badly either way. (PR, N/A, protection 0/2, Lewan -2)
M28 3 19 Shtogun trips 1 0 4 Tampa 3-4 Pass ? ? Int
Dorrestein(-2) smoked by Binns; Forcier steps up and throws to? no one. This is some kind of miscommunication or insanity, because only Iowa players can catch this ball. (BR, N/A, protection 0/2, Dorrestein -2)
Drive Notes: Interception, 28-38, 2 min 4th Q; EOG.

That was schizophrenic.

Yeah, no kidding. Michigan went from ground-based to lighting up the sky with Denard's exit—I didn't even register a Zone Read +/- for Tate. Iowa didn't cope well with the change, unless they did by picking Tate off twice. –7 turnover margin over two weeks makes evaluation difficult.

I heard on the talk radios that Tate should start now.

Riiiight. About that, first we're going to need—


Yes, with a z:


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%


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

Tate's number is justifiable since he averaged 9.2 YPA on 26 attempts; again, since the system doesn't weight things like throwing an awful interception more heavily the first Tate INT is not anything more than a single BR. (I'm not that concerned about the second INT. If you don't try something there you're facing fourth and nineteen and you're pretty much done anyway.)

Robinson, meanwhile, completed a lot of passes but didn't get many yards on them. He ended his day with a Scheelhaase-like 7.3 yards per completion. So the CAs there aren't inspiring, and neither is the DSR, a season low. For the second straight week Denard killed his own drives. On Michigan's third drive he threw an easy hitch well upfield and forced Hemingway to dive to catch it. That turned a sure first down into three yards. Lewan false-started and then he threw the ugly interception on the next play. On Michigan's final drive of the first half they were moving the ball, the drive stalled entirely because of Denard:

  • First down: long handoff to Stonum is thrown in the dirt and Michigan only gets two yards.
  • Second down: Webb is open on a hitch he can turn up for a first; Denard pumps for no reason and then throws it over Webb's head.
  • Third down: Denard misses a read and does not dump it down to Smith, then does not see Grady as he rolls, then scrambles for four yards.

He was off.

Tate start?

Come on now. I think Michigan could have put Denard back in the game but given his shaky performance throwing and the score they decided to roll with Forcier after he drove them down the field on the Smith fumble drive. In the press conference afterwards Rodriguez said he'd re-aggravated a shoulder injury he'd been dealing with. If that's healed and he returns to the accuracy levels he displayed in the first few weeks of the season he's the guy.

Michigan might be more confident they can turn to Forcier if Michigan's offense isn't doing anything, but that doesn't seem particularly likely.

How did the offensive line do?

For that we'll need another chart:

Offensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Huyge - - - Did not register a run plus minus, which is probably a win against Clayborn
Lewan 8 1 7 The biggest part of limiting Clayborn to one solo tackle and two assists.
Schilling 10.5 8 2.5 Won his battle but not by much.
Molk 3 - 3 Good start, then sideline.
Omameh 6.5 9.5 -3 Struggled in a fashion similar to his first start against a beefy UConn tackle. Probably still progress since the Iowa guy is probably better.
Khoury 10 7.5 2.5 Had his share of issues but was not a liability; backup situation this year so much better than the Moosman shuffle last year.
Dorrestein 6 2.5 3.5 Binns also had one solo.
Webb 5 2 3 Opportunities reduced.
Koger 1 1 0 Eh.
TOTAL 50 31.5 18.5 A solid day against a very tough line.
Player + - T Notes
Robinson 8 1 7 Could not find space often.
Gardner - - - DNP
Forcier 1 - 1 Shifty TD.
Shaw 1 - 1 Heal, MFer
Smith 3 1 2 Okay, but still averaged 3.9 YPC.
Cox - - - DNP
Toussaint - - - DNP
Hopkins 4 - 4 Effective in short yardage, getting more trust, led backs in YPC, good blocker.
McColgan 1 - 1 One play but made it count.
Jones - - - DNP
TOTAL 18 2 16 Did what they could, with Hopkins grinding in short yardage and .
Player + - T Notes
Stonum - - - .
Odoms - - - --
TRobinson - - - --
Roundtree - - -  
Grady - - - --
Gallon 2 1 1 --
Hemingway - 1 -1 --
TOTAL 2 2 0 No screens, no long ones, no numbers.

Also while we're talking line we should throw in the PROTECTION METRIC: 54/68, Lewan –3, Huyge –4, Schilling –2, Khoury –1, Omameh –1, Dorrestein –2, Hopkins –1. That's about 80%, which is good, and on the last drive-type substance when Iowa was all out of GAF and could rush like madmen Michigan was 1/5 with Dorrestein and Lewan picking up –2s.

This would be a good point to explain Taylor Lewan, the beginning and end of all things.

After the third Lewan penalty Michigan Stadium was ready to throttle the guy. (Good thing it's impossible to get guns in the stadium!) It would have taken most of the stadium to do so, but the "AWWWWWWWWW" coming from the stands suggested it was possible.

Huyge came in, and everyone thought that was a good idea to settle Lewan down. This provided a window in which the Huyge/Lewan battle—such as it is after Lewan cemented a place in the starting lineup—was once and forever resolved in the exact same way the Demens/Ezeh battle was: by some Iowa guy running over the backup. In Ezeh's case this was Iowa OL Julian Vandevelde. In Huyge's it was Adrian Clayborn.

Huyge wasn't terrible but when you play a third of a game and you don't get a single +/- on the run chart you're being avoided to some extent and just doing okay at when you're not. He's got a –4 in pass protection; Lewan has a –3 in twice the time. Lewan was +7 on the ground, tied with Denard for the best score.

He's good. The Clayborn line: one solo tackle, two assists, a half sack on the last desperate Michigan drive. Last year Clayborn had 70 tackles, 20 for loss, and 11.5 sacks. Against Penn State earlier this year Clayborn had ten tackles, three TFLs, and a sack. He's a holy lock first-rounder, and Taylor Lewan all but erased him.  Also, his second false start does not seem to exist. Presenting the first and only clip of a false start penalty in the history of football:

Pinky twitched or something.

That was a star-making performance. Lewan == Long has gone from optimistic ceiling to serious possibility.

And the rest of the guys?

I thought they were "dominant" in the game column at the beginning of the week; they were not. The rest of the line settled in an area around +3 each save Omameh, who again had difficulty with a big strong DT and finished in the negative.

Losing Molk was a chunk of that. While Khoury didn't seem out of place he's the backup for a reason and his lack of experience contributed to a couple of screwups; the occasional iffy snap that threw timing off was not included in the numbers. I don't think I saw him get a tough seal like this all day:

Even so a redshirt sophomore backup notching a positive number against Iowa's veteran, deep line is encouraging.

However, Michigan's inability to crease those guys consistently was key until Forcier came in. Iowa bent but did not break because their defensive line afforded them the ability to put a guy over Michigan's slot receiver to erase the bubble screen and keep two deep safeties; Iowa spent the bulk of the day with six guys in the box against Denard Robinson and did not get crushed. That's why Iowa's defense is so tough: they can do that when in theory it should get you crushed against up to seven blockers.

For a given definition of "crushed," anyway. Thanks to turnovers, bad field position, and the &#*$ing field goal kickers Michigan exited the first half with 223 yards and 7 points. That's bend but don't break. We've got break sooner or later. Also when the Tate Forcier Air Show started going off, it was not seriously bothered by pass rush until the last drive. That's an accomplishment.

Weekly plea for Hopkins.

Weekly plea for Hopkins, except he's clearly getting more run as the season progresses. I like his vision and surprising agility. A lot of beef machine types would not be able to make this cut:

And a lot of freshmen would not peel off to effectively block a guy who's just chucked away Schilling:

Rumors about fumbling in practice dog him—Rodriguez said Smith is "not a fumbler" after the game, thereby implying that some other guys were—and that's a good reason for his time to be limited. I'm anxious for those problems to recede.

His size makes him a far more effective blocker than anyone else Michigan has available. Unless Brandon Moore emerges (possible), I think we're going to see a lot more two tailback sets in 2011. Webb will be gone and Hopkins brings that kind of blocking.

Are you forgetting something?

Oh, right. Receivers:

  This Game   Totals
Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Stonum 3 1/3 3/4 4/4 6 1/3 6/9 15/15
Odoms : ( - - - 1 1/1 3/4 11/11
Hemingway - 2/2 1/1 6/7 3 2/2 3/3 13/16
Jackson - - - - - - - -
Roundtree - - - 1/1 7 2/3 3/5 26/27
Grady - - - 1/1 4 1/1 2/2 7/8
T. Robinson - - - - - 0/1 - 2/3
Gallon - - - 2/2 1 - - 3/3
Koger - - 1/1 2/2 - - 2/3 6/6
Webb - - - 1/1 - - - 2/2
Smith - - - 2/2 1 - 0/1 8/8
Shaw - - - - 1 0/1 0/1 4/4
McColgan - - - - - - - 1/1
Hopkins - - - - - - - -
Toussaint - - - - - - - -

The receivers had a great day, with just one drop, that by Hemingway, and three very tough catches on poorly thrown balls. (Stonum's may not have actually been a catch but it was ruled one.) Hemingway bailed Forcier out on the late bomb and made up for his drop with some key conversions on tough balls. With the screen game limited and downfield runs almost nonexistent, all they had to do was catch and they did.

Also Rock Paper Scissors was 5 – 5 = 0, though it could have been slanted more heavily in Michigan's direction if I'd started dinging Iowa for giving up all those identical slants earlier.


Lewan turned Adrian Clayborn into just a guy. Stonum and Hemingway were major positives in the second-half comeback.


Lewan helped kill two drives with actual penalties and may have killed a third if that false start wasn't phantom. And… yes… Denard's two-week streak of playing like a sophomore was extremely harmful.

What does it mean for Penn State and beyond?

Penn State's injury situation will have a lot to say about that, but Michigan has to get Robinson healthy and find enough of a tailback rushing game to force teams out of two-deep coverages. If anyone can do what Iowa did—which not only removed the bubble but removed all those games Michigan plays with it for good yardage—Michigan's base offense is going to have to slog downfield and will be vulnerable to the kinds of mistakes that have plagued them these last two weeks. (Aside for TOP junkies: Michigan won TOP against Iowa because their drives weren't two-play TDs. Was that helpful to either offense or defense? Not so much.)

I'm not sure whether this Denard shoulder injury is a good thing or a bad thing. Will it heal? Is it just an excuse? Is it more evidence that he will shatter into a thousand pieces? If his inaccuracy the last couple weeks was a temporary shoulder thing that will heal and he can get back to his earlier sharpshooting—even chucking short routes was a problem this week—it's good, I guess.

The other skill positions are getting better as the season progresses. The outside receivers are establishing themselves as good options and if Hopkins and Shaw can get an even rotation with Smith Michigan will have a variety of different looks they can go to depending on what's working well. Smith showed he's an asset as a quasi-slot in this game, as linebackers have difficulty covering him in man and zone opens up those double slants.

On the line, Lewan showed he should be able to neutralize any defensive end in the conference if he can just keep from going Yosemite Sam on the world and the rest of the line showed itself slightly inferior to Iowa's excellent DL. I'll take it.



October 22nd, 2010 at 3:02 PM ^

I really liked smith shifting into the slot for a few plays. He seems like a competent receiver and could be a big part of our offense moving forward. He looks like he's getting more confident as the weeks go by. 

Thanks again for the in-depth coverage!

MI Expat NY

October 22nd, 2010 at 3:09 PM ^

On Lewan's second false start, I think he's rocking forward before the snap.  I'm not sure it's a tough call, and probably much more perceptible staring down the line.


October 22nd, 2010 at 8:01 PM ^

I've seriously watched that 5 second clip 30 times.  It looks like Lewan is juuuust a big early, like a tenth of a second.  It took me that long to figure out that he maybe (i'm still only 75% sure) false started.

I think this is a case where Lewan got himself in trouble jawing at the refs.  Has this crew done other Michigan games this year?

Kilgore Trout

October 22nd, 2010 at 5:42 PM ^

From my vantage point on the east side of the stadium, it looked like he pretty clearly moved early.  I think he was doing it a lot against MSU and not getting called.  Either he's got considerably faster reflexes than everyone else on UM's O-Line or MSU and Iowa's D-Lines, or he moves early a decent amount.  To be honest, I think he's lucky to only have had two false starts called on him. 


October 22nd, 2010 at 3:11 PM ^

Wow I didn't realize Clayborn only had one solo tackle, two assists, and .5 of a sack. If Lewan can get his penalty prone-ness (yes made up word) under control, he is going to be what we all expected and projected, the next Jake Long.

If Denard can come back with a healed shoulder and control his mistakes (throwing for long passes into double coverage where the WR has almost no chance), we will be back to normal on offense (scoring 30+ points a game).


October 22nd, 2010 at 3:12 PM ^

A question and a comment.  I still haven't had a chance to  rewatch the game on the DVR, but from what I saw at the Stadium, we ran right at Iowa with great success during the first (possibly second) drive.  It seemed we then went away from that?  Why?  What am i Missing? Hopkins was killing them...why take him out?

As far as Denard is concerned, he is a superb runner.  I was blown away by his accuracy passing the first five games.  He had a mid-40's completion percentage in HS and while I figured he would improve with good coaching, his passing numbers in HS made me suspect.  His numbers are still very good, but his passing game isn't. My hunch is that he will never have Tate's accuracy, but i can live with a 60% passer who leads the country in rushing.


October 22nd, 2010 at 3:25 PM ^

I stand by what I said.  There are 60 QB's with a completion percentage >60 percent, including Denard, who is well above that mark  with 67.8.  Let's see how he does against B10 play.  I am absolutely, totally, completely not suggesting that Denard should be replaced, just showing a bit of concern which hopefully will be idle worry.


October 22nd, 2010 at 3:28 PM ^

I'm with you on the Hopkins question.  When Shaw is 100% I like him in the backfield for his blocking as well as his overall quickness but if he cant go then I would rather see Hopkins back there more than anyone else. 

That guy hits the pile and everything moves backwards about 3 yards.


October 22nd, 2010 at 3:15 PM ^

I may be way off on this, but it appeared during the game that Campbell got the blame for the block.  He appeared to get pushed back a little,but then held. It actually looked as if the left side of the line (past Campbell) was got blown up first and that is who  blocked the kick.  Then Campbells guy got a hand on it?  I  have not seen replays, but would love to verify what really happened there.



October 22nd, 2010 at 3:57 PM ^

Agreed. I'll say it: Forcier should start next week. If Forcier hadn't come in, this game would've been a blowout. Remember that it was 28-7 when he came in.

We should mix using Forcier and Robinson against PSU to keep the D off-balance.


October 22nd, 2010 at 4:14 PM ^

... but I've been saying that if it's obvious that Denard is having an off day or the D has his number to give Forcier a shot (which I thought was a pretty common sense thing to say) and I got negged for it and accused of wanting to bench an All-American...


I'll say it again, if Denard is off and we're getting the sh!t kicked out of us there's no reason to leave Forcier on the bench, he's a talented kid that can help us win ball games and, I'd at least hope we can all agree on this, winning ball games is the most important thing...


Given how Forcier played in this game I think he gives plenty of evidence to support the idea that we have the best 2nd string QB in the country.


October 23rd, 2010 at 10:17 PM ^

Tate is an accurate passer and a competent runner. That's fine for a normal offense but not enough for Michigan's offense. Tate is not going to become a great runner.

Denard is a spectacular runner and a competent passer. With practice, he may become an excellent passer. He isn't going to get that practice on the bench.

I agree that Forcier should get snaps in garbage time and when Denard is hurt. I absolutely do not agree that Forcier should start, and I absolutely do not agree that Denard should get the hook whenever he gets shaky.

Besides, it's not like Robinson is having bad games against Minnesota-level competition. He threw three picks against a team that could very well be in the top 5 next week, and he had 5.8 yards per carry and 72% completions against a top-20 team with a defense designed to take away the big plays. A sophomore QB with fewer than 10 career starts struggling against top competition is hardly news, even if it's a QB with Heisman-level expectations set for him.

If Robinson is going to dominate his junior year (and hopefully his senior year), he needs to get that experience somewhere. If he doesn't get it against the top half of the conference, where will he get it?


October 22nd, 2010 at 4:11 PM ^

You just said two posts up that the Iowa game only appeared close because Iowa had built up a big lead and played conservative.  But you credit Forcier with the yards he racked up under that scenario?  Were our numbers against Iowa garbage-time stats they let us have or did we play them pretty evenly without a few mistakes?  I can respect either position Sir Jack, but you have to pick one.

(I actually like the idea of mixing TF in occasionally)


October 22nd, 2010 at 4:38 PM ^

You make a good point. I was thinking it was on offense that Iowa was able to play conservative. But it's true that perhaps their lead allowed us to get production out of a safe-mode defense.

I just think that Tate's ability to throw deep in addition to the playcalling messed with Iowa's D.

Kilgore Trout

October 22nd, 2010 at 5:48 PM ^

I thought Tate looked good.  That first INT was obviously horrible situation wise, but it looked like no one from UM broke on the ball and Iowa's DB made a really nice hard move on it.  I don't think it was thrown right to him.

I think for this season and this team, Denard is the best option for QB.  But, if we manage to get a dominant RB (healthy Minor comes to mind) then I think you seriously have to consider if Forcier would be better at running the team.  If you have a real home run threat at RB, having the better passer seems to make more sense.  Tate clearly needs to work on staying in the pocket (though it's sure exciting when he starts scrambling).


October 23rd, 2010 at 12:58 AM ^

I disagree and feel that if DR gets a competent RB in the backfield with him this offense will explode like the WVU offenses of years past. Tate looked good this game but he also threw two picks. Denard is our QB but it does feel good to know we have a good backup on the bench.

Blue in sec country

October 22nd, 2010 at 3:20 PM ^

Thanks Brian. I ve got a buddy who follows Alabama football like I follow UM, he asked me what happened this weekend and I told him what I thought but that I'd know for sure later this week. I told him about the UFR and he's jealous. So thanks.


October 22nd, 2010 at 3:34 PM ^

While we have had some dumb position switch ideas (denard to RB has to be the biggest one) I humbly submit this idea to further scrutiny:

Smith to Slot and Hopkins to starter (@RB) (of course, this preculdes a Shaw injury)


October 24th, 2010 at 9:35 PM ^

Smith averages 4.6 yards a carry.

Which doesn't sound too bad, until you realize that every other running back has a better average (Shaw 5.5, Hopkins 4.9, Cox 9.3, Toussaint 33.0).  Not that I expect Cox or Toussaint to maintain those averages, but at the very least, Smith is the #3 runner on the team.


October 22nd, 2010 at 4:35 PM ^

He scores a TD about once every 14 or so touches, which is something that puts him in some rare air in the Michigan annals.

He's also scored a TD in 4 of Michigan's last 5 Big 10 games. That's why he's in the gameplan. And why he should stay in the gameplan

Dude is halfway towards becoming the most maligned player in Michigan history this side of Steve Smith. And I just dont see why


October 22nd, 2010 at 5:08 PM ^

I know why.  People easily remember negatives and forget positives.

Smith has been great for us this year, but there have been multiple times where the coaches or his teammates have put him in tough positions.  He's gonna have a tough time picking up 3 and 1 and he will fumble 5/10 times when he gets demolished by a D lineman that weighs over 100 lbs more than him...

I love Smith but he is a situational player, not an everydown back.


October 22nd, 2010 at 5:26 PM ^

He's getting just the right amount of touches as far as I am concerned. It's not like we're plunging him into the line 20-24 times a game. Or that's he's getting 25-30 touches. His number gets called about 12-15 times a game, which is pretty situational already.

I would agree the third and one playcalls for him are better served for Hopkins. We gave the kid his first carry near the goaline in South Bend, not sure why that right there didnt make him our short yardage guy.

But my thing has always been that Smith is getting just the amount of touches and he's been pretty effective most of the time. As for him being maligned, it seems like everyone wants to shrug off his good plays as being part of design and his OLine; but he bears the brunt on his shoulders for every bad play.

I have faith that he can get the job done. He's been a pretty solid contributor for nine games in a row. Frankly, not many other Wolverines can really say that. Dude is a tougher motherfucker. I'll keep him.

It really is beginning to remind me of the fans vs Steve Smith, circa 1981-83.


October 22nd, 2010 at 6:07 PM ^

You are right, and I wasn't trying to say that he isn't good and hasn't been consistent this season.

My point was that most people are too quick to judge him based on the bad plays he's been involved in.  And even during those plays, he was generally put in a bad position.

Overall he is a HUGE asset to this team.


October 22nd, 2010 at 6:41 PM ^

I knew what you were getting out; we're just rapping.

You're right about the mentality about the fan. I remember every single fricking penalty call that goes against me on a game I've wagered. I never seem to recall all the luck I have had, though, in other games.

In a way, the greatest thing about what Wolverine Historian does is remind us how many great players, plays and games Michigan has had. I was just taking about this with some Michigan friends at a reunion last week. We always remember the painful moments and forget, that beyond a reasonable doubt, we've had more fortune than most fan bases.

Vinny is just a tough, reliable football player. The kind we've really lacked during this rebuilding. And I get a little jumpy because some of the criticism is unwarranted. Fricking Brian got his case last week in a UFR for a 13-yard gain, fer gawds sake. Good grief.


October 22nd, 2010 at 8:51 PM ^

You are right on jamiemac.  I'm good with Smith.  Your analysis of what you remember from games you wager on can be carried over to work and relationships for a lot people.


October 22nd, 2010 at 3:34 PM ^

Rumors about fumbling in practice dog him—Rodriguez said Smith is "not a fumbler" after the game, thereby implying that some other guys were—and that's a good reason for his time to be limited. I'm anxious for those problems to recede.

Who spent the last two weeks saying turnovers are completely random??

And curse you again, Brian....I'm not going to be able to see Lewan driving someone into the turf now without thinking-


October 22nd, 2010 at 3:44 PM ^

The last two weeks have sucked, but if we just don't make mistakes we have an excellent chance to win both games. Its very possible and I will be very happy if we win 3 of the next five.


October 22nd, 2010 at 3:54 PM ^

I completely disagree. MSU demoralized us.  No single game has shaken my confidence in RR like the State game.

Both State and Iowa were able to play conservative because of significant leads. They beat us soundly.


October 22nd, 2010 at 4:09 PM ^

I agree with you on the count of MSU. They beat us badly, and they contained our offense quite well, however, Iowa did not beat us soundly.

Against Iowa, we beat ourselves. 4 turnovers and short fields for them made the game easy for them, and we moved the ball at will and still put up 530 yards of offense. They did not beat us soundly, we removed ourselves from the game.


October 22nd, 2010 at 4:58 PM ^

Dude, we had as much - if not more - of a shot against MSU as we did against Iowa. We threw two INTs in the Spartan endzone. Anther time we missed a wide-open receiver in the endzone and settled for a FG. Another time we missed a FG. Ignore the nonsense your Spartan friends may be telling you.


October 23rd, 2010 at 10:22 PM ^

if for no other reason than surrounding talent. Clayborn plays on a line with other talented players and has talent behind him at LB and DB. He's solid, no question, but he doesn't have to do it himself.

Martin and Ryan Kerrigan have similar impact with much less help: in my admittedly biased view, I would take either of them over Clayborn.

Still, the fact that Lewan shut down an excellent DL on his own is significant, and it'll be much more noticeable if he does that against Purdue. If Kerrigan isn't pressuring Robinson, there will be dilithium tracks all over the end zones.