Upon Further Review 2010: Offense vs Michigan State Comment Count

Brian October 13th, 2010 at 3:48 PM

Formation notes: nothing new.

Substitution notes: Hemingway, Stonum, and Odoms split outside reps pretty evenly until Odoms was injured. Stokes got a few snaps after that but it was mostly the two juniors. Shaw played some at the start and then his PT trailed off, likely because of the injury. Hopkins got one drive as the primary back, seeing two carries; he also got some time as the second back in a two-back set but did not see the ball. OL was the usual.

Zone read metric note: MSU defended the zone read simply, by having the backside DE keep contain all the time. Denard never kept it on the read, so I got bored and stopped tracking it, though I did give him a couple minuses more from irritation than anything else.

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside power zone Smith 7
MSU DE keeping contain on Robinson(ZR+1) so the handoff is made. Michigan is doubling both DTs, with Dorrestein(+1) and Omameh(+1) driving the backside guy way downfield and providing Smith a cutback lane once Jones attempts to fill the hole created between the two DTs.
RUN+: Dorrestein, Omameh, Smith(+0.5) RUN-:
M32 2 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout out Roundtree 8
MSU in zone so the CB has to drop back with the outside receiver and Roundtree is wide open; Robinson reads it and hits it for an easy first down. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M40 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 8
This opens up wide as Dorrestein(+1) authoritatively kicks out the DE and the DT to that side of the field slants inside Omameh, but Robinson(-1) doesn't read it developing and ends up running almost straight into that guy instead of cutting outside in to a big hole that Smith(+1) has cleared with a thumping block on Gordon. If Robinson just runs right up this gaping hole he's one on one with a safety for six. Instead he almost falls trying to avoid the DT, manages to keep his feet, gets a second-effort block from Koger(+1), and still picks up decent yardage. Still minus because he gave up a ton with the bad read.
RUN+: Dorrestein, Smith, Koger RUN-: Robinson
M48 2 2 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run Inside power zone Smith 8
MSU keeping two deep safeties and inviting M to run here, so they do. Same play as last time and Michigan knows by alignment that the DE has to keep contain so they run the exact same play as the first on the drive, blasting the backside DT back with a double from Dorrestein and Omameh and having Smith cut back behind it before the backside DE can crash down.
RUN+: Omameh, Dorrestein, Smith(+0.5) RUN-:
O44 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run QB stretch Robinson 7
This is one block from a touchdown and that block is not even attempted. So: frontside scoop from Molk(+1) and Omameh(+1) gets Omameh(+1) out on the second level, where he obliterates Gordon because he just does that in space. Smith and Shaw hit it up, with Shaw taking out the safety and clearing Robinson for endzone takeoff... except for Jones tackling from behind. I think this is on Lewan(-1), who did not release downfield in an attempt to block Jones, instead peeling off to block the backside DE. Schilling(+1) sealed the backside DT, too, in excellent fashion. This is beautifully blocked all around but for the screwup on Jones.
RUN+: Schilling, Molk, Omameh(2), Dorrestein RUN-: Lewan
O37 2 3 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Shaw 21
MSU doing a somewhat strange slant/stunt that sees the backside DT shoot outside as both linebackers attack the interior; Michigan handles this confidently. Lewan(+1) reacts to the stunting DT, kicking him out; Schilling(+1) and Molk(+1) both get pieces of the linebackers, and Shaw(+2) makes a decisive cut behind Schilling to burst into the open field past the remaining linebackers, who cannot converge in time; a safety manages to make a lunging tackle to prevent six points.
RUN+: Lewan, Schilling, Molk, Shaw(2) RUN-:
O16 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Shaw 3
Unfortunate here as Molk controls and seals the playside DT; Lewan(-1) and Schilling are about to execute a perfect scoop on the backside DT and Jones when Lewan steps on Schilling, causing both to fall and forcing Shaw further inside, where Molk's guy does come off to tackle with help from the freed-up guys on the comical scoop.
RUN+: Molk RUN-: Lewan
O13 2 7 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside power zone Shaw 4
Less successful this time because Shaw can't cut back behind the double with Gordon waiting there. Shaw should just blast it upfield with the intent of meeting Jones four yards downfield, banking on his momentum plus Molk impacting him to have the pile fall forward for third and short. Instead he starts dancing a little bit and ends up getting hit by an unblocked Norman, who stops him for no YAC. Not a minus-worth offense but Hopkins probably gets six or so here.
RUN+: Omameh, Dorrestein RUN-: Shaw(-0.5)
O9 3 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Dig Roundtree Int
Yes, this is open with the DB trailing Roundtree by a good two steps. It's is thrown way behind him. Robinson pumps one way and then half-rolls left, pulling up to make the fatal throw. This has not been an issue so far this year and he's made a number of throws like this that have been right on the money. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Interception, 0-0, 11 min 1st Q. Hard to believe this run game slows down given what they did here.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M10 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB off tackle Robinson 5
Omameh pulls as Lewan and Schilling block down on one DT. Schilling(+1) seals and crumbles him. Lewan trips getting out to the second level; Smith(-1) runs by first Norman and then the safety, blocking no one. Omameh(+1) does pop Norman, giving Robinson a hole between him and a good kickout from Webb(+1); Lewan recovers enough to get some push on Jones, allowing a crease for decent yardage and avoiding the dread minus.
RUN+: Schilling, Webb, Omameh RUN-: Smith
M15 2 5 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 13
This is the run I think Shaw takes to the house. Lewan(+1) kicks out the DE. Molk(+1) doesn't seal the playside DT but does kick him down the line, which allows a crease since the backside DT is again getting doubled; Schilling(+2) hits the second level and clubs Gordon to the ground, erasing him and delaying Jones. Smith(+1) bursts through the hole to the outside and is a step from setting sail because of a crappy fill from the safety but gets taken down by a desperation shoestring tackle. A step. A half step, and this is 85 yards gone.
RUN+: Schilling(2), Lewan, Molk, Omameh, Dorrestein, Smith RUN-:
M28 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass PA short seam Roundtree 15
Zone fake gets a step forward from Jones and opens up the quick seam to Roundtree. Robinson hits him in he hands; Roundtree catches it and attempts to juke the safety who is the last guy between him and a long touchdown. He can't jump through the desperate arm tackle. (CA+, 3, protection 1/1, RPS +1)
M43 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB stretch Robinson 1
Norman either blitzes or just recognizes this immediately and is heading into the backfield; Smith attempts to cut him but fails. Robinson should still be able to cut it directly upfield for good yardage since Omameh(+1) has sealed and crushed his DE and Molk(+1) has reached the playside DT, leaving space, two linebackers, and Dorrestein that could result in somewhere between three and eight yards. He doesn't read it, though and tries to head outside where Norman keeps contain, jumping on Robinson's back for little gain.
RUN+: Omameh, Molk RUN-: Robinson, Smith
M44 2 9 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Roundtree 6
Linebacker in space does a good job of getting into Grady and cutting off the outside but that just holds the gain down with Roundtree running directly upfield. (CA , 3, screen)
50 3 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout hitch Hemingway 15
Wide open just past the sticks as it appears MSU is in cover three and Robinson takes the easy pitch and catch for the first down. (CA, 3, protection 1/1) Good job by Hemingway to get considerable YAC.
O35 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Shaw 2
At first glance this seemed like Shaw being hesitant but on review he got the blocking exactly right. Playside DT slants and isn't sealed; Shaw initially looks for the cutback but Lewan(-1) doesn't attempt to cut the backside guy for some reason and does not get an effective block, At this point that DT comes underneath Molk; Shaw decides to pop outside, where there is now a gap. Omameh and Webb are there in space against a linebacker and filling safety; both go for the linebacker, leaving the safety to tackle at the LOS. I'm not sure who this is on, but Webb was behind Omameh and did not process his intent so he gets the minus.
RUN+: Shaw, Dorrestein RUN-: Webb, Lewan
O33 2 8 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run QB draw Robinson 5
Quick snap catches MSU off guard; Omameh(+1) gets under and controls his guy; Molk(+1) gets out on Jones. Schilling only did okay with his guy, who fights under him to tackle a few yards downfield. Pile falls forward.
RUN+: Omameh, Molk RUN-:
O28 3 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout fly Stonum Inc
MSU sends both LBs up the middle and slides one safety into a cover-one. Michigan runs an out coupled with a fly route on the rollout away from the pressure; Denard has the easy out for the first down but he also has the fly for a touchdown. He picks the more ambitious route and overthrows Stonum badly. (IN, 0, protection 2/2, RPS +2)
O28 4 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout scramble Robinson 4
MSU LB rolled up on the LOS blitzes; they expected this. Smith(+1) cuts the hell out of the guy and Roundtree is open for the first but Robinson does not throw it, spooked by the blitzer. He's on the corner, then, with Jones running after him. He just gets the corner by a step and scrambles for the first. Uh... (SCR, N/A, protection 2/2) Also Smith gets a run plus.
O24 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA out Roundtree 4
A variation on the lead draw fake to the seam where Roundtree breaks it outside and the outside receiver goes deep. Robinson hits Roundtree in stride but he bobbles the ball momentarily, coming to a stop. This allows the chasing safety to tackle after a minimal gain. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
O20 2 6 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Short bubble Roundtree 3
PA fake to the bubble but this is the one that goes straight upfield, hopefully the slot LB gets aggressive to the outside. Here Norman just shoves Grady back and sets up inside, convincing Roundtree he should try to cut it outside. This would work if Grady had actually blocked Norman, which he is in position to do now that he's fought inside. He doesn't so Norman can run him down. (CA, 3, screen)
RUN+: RUN-: Grady
O17 3 3 Shotgun 2H 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run QB stretch Robinson 0
Man, this is frustrating. Smith motions out again and absolutely no one goes with him. If Robinson just tosses him the ball this is possibly six, but that's not the call. Anyway: MSU shoots linebackers into the intended gap. Molk(+1) seals his guy; Omameh(+1) reads and reacts to the slant well enough. Webb kicks out a corner decently; Dorrestein(-2) runs right by two linebackers on an epic whiff, giving those two guys room to tackle at the LOS when a block is probably a first down and maybe lots more.
RUN+: Omameh, Molk RUN-: Dorrestein(2)
Drive Notes: FG(34), 3-0, 1 min 1st Q. Gahhhh. About five different plays on this drive could have been TDs if one more player had executed or Vincent Smith was fast. Getting three points out of these first two drives was doom.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O13 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 3
Robinson should pull with Koger coming out on the backside DE and the WLB sucking inside (ZR -1). Backside DT holds up much better this time against the double (Dorrestein -0.5, Omameh -0.5). Schilling and Molk(+1 each) seal the playside DT and make a mess that Jones can't get through so there's a crease; Omameh whiffs on the second level block, too, so that LB who should be containing Denard tackles. Michigan has not taken advantage of MSU's predictable scheme on the backside.
RUN+: Molk, Schilling RUN-: Robinson, Omameh, Dorrestein(-0.5)
O16 2 7 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA TE flat Koger 6
Instead of blocking the DE like Michigan usually does this time Koger releases into the flat. Open, and Robinson hits him. Koger turns up for decent yardage as he breaks a tackle and is pushed OOB. (CA, 3, protection N/A)
O22 3 1 Shotgun 2H 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Smith 0
MSU walks a safety up. MSU slants past blockers, jamming up the play on the frontside. Omameh(-1) did not read the slant and let the playside DT in without helping Molk. Robinson(-1) is staring down a safety charging at him at a poor angle and should pull the ball but does not (ZR-1). Smith(-1) has no choice but to run to the backside of the play where the guy who's been contain previously is now just flowing down the line looking for him; he hits Norman with a head of steam and goes straight down because he's 160 pounds. This cries out for Hopkins, and this failure is a hidden reason Michigan lost. (RPS -2)
RUN+: RUN-: Robinson, Smith, Omameh
Drive Notes: Punt, 3-0, 12 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M40 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB off tackle Robinson 6
Webb(+1) blocks down and eliminates the playside DE. Schilling is pulling around but gets shoved back by the DT before Lewan can get a hat on him, which isn't anyone's fault. It does knock him off course and prevent him from blocking anyone, though. Hopkins(+1) is in and does a good job kicking out Norman, leaving Robinson in space with Jones; he makes him miss. Molk(+1) got a great cut on the WLB. Way on the backside Dorrestein(-1) does not cut or control the backside DE, who ends up tackling just as Robinson's about to head downfield. This was picture-paged.
RUN+: Webb, Molk, Robinson(2), Hopkins RUN-: Dorrestein
M46 2 4 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA out Roundtree 12
Same play as earlier, with the QB lead draw fake leading to the out. This time Roundtree does not bobble it and cuts right upfield for good yardage. Robinson got clocked on the throw as MSU slanted under Omameh(-1) and Molk, who was headed to the second level. Hopkins picked one off; the other nailed Robinson. (CA+, 3, protection 0/1, Omameh)
O42 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Belly Hopkins 7
This is our old friend the belly, which I used to call the zone veer and Brandon Minor made a living on. Schilling(+1) blocks down on the backside DT, kicking him down the line. Webb(+1) kicks out the contain guy on the LOS, who is crashing, and Lewan(+1) releases into the MLB. Hopkins slams it up, picking up two or three YAC.
O35 2 3 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass PA deep seam Roundtree Inc
Inside zone fake sucks up the safety and man free turns into cover zero. Grady runs a slant that sucks one guy up, Roundtree runs past a safety who's late reacting, and Denard throws before the contain guy can get to him. Throw hits Roundtree in the hands 25 yards downfield and will be an easy touchdown... dropped. (DO, 3, protection N/A, RPS +3)
O35 3 3 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run QB draw Robinson 6
Pump fake and then go, with Robinson swiftly cutting outside when the hole opens up between Omameh(+1), who got a good block on the DT, and Dorrestein. Once in space the first down is academic.
RUN+: Robinson, Omameh RUN-:
O29 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Hopkins 6
I may be splitting hairs here but I think this is a different play since the backside tackle, Dorrestein, does not release downfield and instead tries to block the DE. He doesn't get sealed so Hopkins cuts behind the two guys and runs directly into an unblocked LB. Dorrestein releasing == belly. Doubling a DT == inside zone. I still think Denard should be pulling more often but will not ding him this time.
RUN+: Webb, Dorrestein RUN-:
O23 2 4 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass PA slant Grady 11
State blitzes the LBs and gets pressure. Schilling(-1) let his guy through; another guy comes through unblocked because of the blitz. Hopkins can't change direction fast enough after the fake to get a piece of him. Not his fault. With guys bearing down Robinson has to get rid of it immediately and nails Grady with a bullet he snags and takes for a first down. Excellent play all around. (DO, 2, protection 0/2, Schilling -1, team -1)
O12 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB stretch Robinson 0
Well defended by State but I think someone busted an assignment because M runs by the backside DE *and* the backside DT, so when Robinson cuts back that DT is right there to tackle. This is almost always the backside tackle's job so -1 Dorrestein. On the frontside, Lewan(-1) may be trying to turn his guy inside but lets him too far in and the DE shoots into Robinson's path, forcing the cutback that the DT swallows.
RUN+: RUN-: Dorrestein, Lewan
O12 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass TE counter flare Webb 12
New. Michigan does the half-roll away from the TE side; Webb sets up to block the blitzing LB to that side, then releases into the flat. Stonum has taken the corner to that side away from the play so Webb is wide open and can stroll into the endzone. (CA, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +2)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 10-7, 8 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M15 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Smith 1
MSU aggressively getting upfield here and Molk(-2) gets beat by the NT as Lewan barely gets a cut on the backside DT. Molk ends up three yards in the backfield and his man is still not sealed out of the hole. Smith tries to run up in the C-T gap anyway and gets dragged down by the guy who beat Molk; Dorrestein(-1) also couldn't kick out the DE and he helps tackle.
RUN+: RUN-: Molk(2), Dorrestein
M16 2 9 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Deep hitch Stonum Inc
M runs the same route combination we've seen work for them before in the ND game where they have an out and a hitch behind it. MSU shows two deep before the snap but is actually running three-deep so when the corner on the outside comes up on the out and Denard goes to the deeper hitch there's a safety coming over to defend it. The throw is good but the safety arrives with Stonum, breaking up the pass. (BR, 0, protection 2/2, RPS -1) Maybe the BR is harsh because his other options were pretty well covered hitches and maybe this had a chance; still threw it into coverage.
M16 3 9 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Scramble Robinson 1
MSU sends a delayed blitzer that Michigan does not pick up; Schilling ends up blocking air as this guy has a free run. Robinson is looking at covered guys and has to scramble once that blitzer gets in. He's about to break free in some space when a DL grabs him from behind. He runs through the tackle but trips shortly after. (PR, 0, protection 0/2, team)
Drive Notes: Punt, 10-14, 3 min 2nd Q. I guess I will chart the last couple plays of the half, though they're weird.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 3-3-5 nickel Run QB draw Robinson 6
Opens up as MSU is expecting pass; Jones avoids a cut from Roundtree(-1) so Robinson has to set up a juke that allows the NT to come from behind and tackle.
RUN+: RUN-: Roundtree
M26 2 4 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 3-3-5 nickel Pass Fly Odoms 54
Robinson looks one way then changes his target to the other side of the field and launches one to Odoms, who's got a couple steps on the defensive back. The pass is short but it's also in the air for 45 yards so it's hard to criticize; Odoms pulls up and makes a leaping grab with the DB's hand in his face, bringing it down. He's chopped down by the safety. (CA, 1, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Missed FG(42, blocked), 17-10, EOH. Michigan let six seconds run off the clock before calling TO on the first play; could have had another play here.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M30 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Smith 2
Contain; ZR+1. Smith(-1) misses his cut since the playside DT has fought through the attempted scoop attempt from Molk(-1) and Omameh(-1), who also missed a linebacker. Lewan(+1) had cut the backside DT and with Schilling shoving Jones a hard cut behind Molk finds daylight.
RUN+: Lewan RUN-: Molk, Omameh, Smith
M32 2 8 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 12
Omameh(+1) dominates the playside DT with a single block and Dorrestein(+1) kicks out the DE, leaving a big gap. Smith(+1) walls off Gordon and Robinson is through the gap; he's taken down from behind by a guy Shaw only got a weak shove on.
RUN+: Omameh, Dorrestein, Smith, Robinson RUN-:
M44 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout fly Hemingway 27
Robinson has to pull up with a DE getting out to contain; Michigan runs the out-fly combo and this time the safety is late getting over, allowing Hemingway the opportunity to make a leaping catch on a well-timed dart. (DO, 3, protection 1/1)
O29 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 16
Playside DE slants inside Lewan(-1), getting into the backfield; Hopkins(+1) has to use himself to get rid of the guy, which he does thumpingly. Robinson's now on the edge but Shaw is headed too far outside to deal with Gordon; Robinson WOOPs him, and then WOOPs a safety and Jones back to the outside, running through a desperate lunging tackle. The last DB chops him down as he nears the ten.
RUN+: Robinson(3), Hopkins RUN-: Lewan
O13 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run Broken play Robinson 1
Shaw does not come to the mesh point so Robinson takes off and gets what he can, which isn't much. Should have thrown the bubble but it's a broken play so whatever.
O12 2 9 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout hitch Odoms Inc
Michigan rolls away from blitzing linebackers and Odoms sits down in front of the zone on the interior; Robinson sees him and pulls up to zip it in for first and goal at the two… turfed. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
O12 3 9 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Hemingway Int
Robinson reads the coverage and does have window for Hemingway but again just throws it two steps behind his receiver, getting it picked off. (IN, 0, protection 0/2, Molk -2 for a chop block)
Drive Notes: Interception, 10-24, 10 min 3rd Q. And boom does not go the dynamite.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M36 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA slant Grady Inc
MSU has this well covered with Norman all over Grady's back. There is an opportunity to hit Grady for maybe five but Robinson throws it high. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
M36 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Flare Shaw 7
Robinson is about to throw a slant to Odoms that MSU has covered as Michigan runs a snag concept but stops himself and then hits the wide open flare route. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
M43 3 3 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson -3
MSU blitzing and slanting the DT M is running at, causing Molk(-1) and Schilling(-1) to end up blocking no one as three guys come right up the middle. Robinson can avoid one, but not two. (RPS -2)
RUN+: RUN-: Molk, Schilling
Drive Notes: Punt, 10-31, 3 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O41 1 10 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Smith 9
Bubble screens on both sides with no linebacker covering Smith in the slot; MSU must be concerned with the draw. Smith has an easy nine yards. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +1)
O32 2 1 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Smith 4
Blitz up the guy from MSU puts them in man so the safety is coming up hard and holds this identical play down. (CA, 3, screen)
O28 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Roundtree Inc
Too far in front of Roundtree. (IN, 0, screen)
O28 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout hitch Hemingway Inc
Hole in the zone has Hemingway catching the ball six yards downfield and probably picking up 3-4 YAC, except he drops it. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O28 3 10 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Stonum Inc
Tight window but Robinson throws it right on time, almost before Stonum turns around. This ball is a little in front of him but I'm not sure if that's on him or Stonum's route. Could be either. (MA, 2, protection 1/1) On replay, Stonum's pulling up a yard short of the ball and could easily be in the right spot. I think this is on the WR.
O28 4 10 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Deep hitch Grady 17
Four verts concept on which Grady sits down right behind the linebackers and Robinson throws a rope right in front of the safety. Grady gets nailed but hangs on. Good execution all around. Free blitzer meant Robinson had to get rid of it, too. (DO, 1, protection 1/2, team -1)
O11 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run QB draw Robinson 7
Schilling and Omameh(+1 each) kick out the DTs, who appear to be thinking pass, and Molk(+1) gets a good second level block on Jones; Robinson hits it up and the safeties converge.
RUN+: Molk, Omameh, Schilling RUN-:
O4 2 3 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB power off tackle Robinson 4
Lewan and Schilling block down on the playside DT; Omameh pulls around and Hopkins is the other lead blocker. Webb kicks out the DE; everyone gets their block, and it's a touchdown.
RUN+: Webb, Hopkins, Omameh RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 17-31, 14 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run QB draw Robinson 3
An MSU stunt gets the DEs in and forces Robinson outside, where the delay takes him away from the downfield block of Molk and allows one of those DEs to tackle from behind. (RPS -1)
M23 2 7 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Scramble Robinson 8
MSU has a safety on the corner route and drops the corner back when Gordon gets over to cover the hitch so Robinson, who did get the edge thanks to some dogged blocking from Shaw, says screw it and takes off. (SCR, N/A, protection 1/1)
RUN+: Robinson, Shaw RUN-:
M31 1 10 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Post Grady Int
Depressingly similar to the Iowa INT last year, as a the corner covering Stonum's hitch at the sticks bails out to cover the deep post well before Robinson throws the ball. If Robinson reads this the throw to Stonum is a first down and lots of YAC, but instead he throws it deep. Grady has a step, two steps, on a safety who bit up on a hitch, but the ball is way too far outside and intercepted by the sinking corner. (IN, 0, protection 2/2) If this is thrown five yards further inside Grady has a great shot at a touchdown.
Drive Notes: Interception, 17-31, 12 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M29 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Sack ? -10
MSU sends a DT between the tackle and guard, occupying Dorrestein on a possible stunt, but just sends the DE outside anyway. Dorrestein pops out on him; Omameh ends up blocking air as the DT comes up the middle. (PR, 0, protection 0/2, Omameh -2)
M19 2 20 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout bomb Roundtree Inc
Schiling(-2) pwned by Worthy and Robinson has to scramble out. He gets on the corner as a linebacker comes up and ends up chucking a back-foot punt that is actually to Roundtree, who's got a step on the last MSU defender. Ball hangs up but is fairly accurate. It's a little short but Roundtree's got a shot at it. He leaps and it clangs off his hands. (CA, 2, protection 0/2, Schilling -2)
M19 3 20 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Flare screen Shaw 11
MSU playing off so there's a lot of room once Roundtree(+1) shoves his block to the ground. (CA, 3, screen)
RUN+: Roundtree RUN-:
Drive Notes: Punt, 17-34, 6 min 4th Q. Lame.

We met a real defense and scored 17 points and our defense is tuberculosis in a uniform we're going to DIEEEEEE…

Aw, come on, you know Michigan left a ton of points on the field.


It's not that bad, look at the—


Chart. Hennechart:


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%

That success rate has to be wrong.

It's not wrong, it just doesn't weight passes based on how damaging the particular inaccurate ball is. Against MSU, Denard threw the following balls not to his receiver:

  • Endzone interception #1 on route Roundtree had two steps on. [Zero points]
  • Wide open Stonum on fly route about 20 yards downfield that's airmailed. [Three points]
  • Hitch to Odoms on second and nine from the 11 that would have been first and goal. [Zero points]
  • Endzone interception #2 on slant that Hemingway was open on. [Zero points]
  • Covered slant zinged over Grady [Zero points]
  • Bubble too far in front of Roundtree. [Seven points]
  • Other interception on route where Grady had plenty of room to the inside of the field but the ball was way, way too far outside, allowing sinking corner to react and intercept. [Zero points]

How big of a deal is it to throw a bubble screen a step in front of a receiver? One unit of big deal. How big of a deal is it to throw a makeable 20 yard touchdown over someone's head on third and three? Two, three units of big deal. How big of a deal is it to throw endzone interceptions when you have open receivers? Five units of big deal.

The reason the rate is the rate is because a bad pass is a bad pass; in reviewing a performance we're trying to strip out the emotion from the game and use it as a predictive measure. If Robinson had thrown those balls out of the endzone instead of behind the receivers Michigan would have had maybe seven more points but the QB play would have been equivalent.

So Robinson has been exposed?

Not enough data so you make big. The terrible horrible no good very bad off day against Michigan State is a data point, but so is this:

And this:

The numbers above speak for themselves—Robinson's overall accuracy was much better than he showed against Michigan State.

Did Michigan State have anything to do with this, then?

Not really. Robinson had open receivers on all of those throws except the Grady slant; that slant was the only throw on which he was pressured, as well.

He just missed.

So he's inaccurate?

Maybe? I pulled those clips above because that's what it's been like when Robinson throws those sorts of passes this year. Against Notre Dame his four downfield INs were:

  • an overthrown bomb on third and long,
  • a turfed hitch identical to the one he left short of Odoms Saturday,
  • a seam to Roundtree he threw accurately but on a line, allowing T'eo to knock it down, and
  • a seam on the next play that was well high as he tried to compensate.

Against Indiana it was three overthrown bombs and another hitch in the dirt. That and one overthrown out to Terrance Robinson against UMass were the sum total of his bad passes to date. He hadn't thrown many of the above zingers but he'd had at least a dozen, maybe two. The passes well behind players were unprecedented.

Robinson's early enough in his career that randomness plays a major factor in how his accuracy is perceived. The Michigan State game knocks expectations down several notches but they are still high; I'm willing to wager small amounts of money or pocket lint that MSU is Robinson's worst performance of the year.

Meanwhile, other--


--chart. Receivers:

  This Game   Totals
Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Stonum 2 - 0/1 - 3 - 3/5 11/11
Odoms 1 1/1 - - 1 1/1 3/4 11/11
Hemingway 1 - - 3/4 3 - 2/2 7/9
Jackson - - - - - - - -
Roundtree 2 - 0/1 5/6 7 2/3 3/5 25/26
Grady 1 1/1 1/1 - 4 1/1 2/2 6/7
T. Robinson - - - - - 0/1 - 2/3
Gallon - - - - 1 - - 1/1
Koger - - - 1/1 - - 1/2 4/4
Webb - - - 1/1 - - - 1/1
Smith - - - 2/2 1 - 0/1 6/6
Shaw - - - 1/1 1 0/1 0/1 4/4
McColgan - - - - - - - 1/1
Hopkins - - - - - - - -
Toussaint - - - - - - - -

Robinson's disappointing day statistically was compounded by some errors by his receivers. Roundtree dropped a 30-yard touchdown, Hemingway an 8-ish yard hitch; Stonum and Roundtree did not come up with a couple coulda-had-its, one a long bomb on Michigan's last drive. He did get some help from Odoms and Roundtree, who both reeled in big gains in tough situations.

Protection metric: PROTECTION METRIC: 30/41, Omameh –3, Schilling –3, Molk –2, Team –3.

This number is much larger than most metrics to date, and it's not so good. 75% is pretty bleah, though before the final drive when Michigan was forced to pass it was 30/37, which is pretty decent. The suggestion is that Michigan's pass blocking is greatly aided by Denard's run threat and when that goes away so does a chunk of the assumed competence in the line.

And, finally, a running chart that is a step back but not off a cliff or anything:

Offensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Huyge - - - DNP
Lewan 4 5 -1 Had some trouble.
Schilling 8 1 7 Excellent day.
Molk 9 4 5 Had a little trouble on stretches in the second half.
Omameh 12 3 9 The usual.
Barnum - - - DNP
Dorrestein 6 5.5 0.5 Fights guys to stalemates; could be vulnerable against Iowa.
Webb 6 1 5 The secret weapon.
Koger - 1 -1 Didn't play much.
TOTAL 45 20.5 23.5 Good, not great.
Player + - T Notes
Robinson 8 4 4 Also left a lot of yards on the field on rushing plays.
Gardner - - - DNP
Forcier - - - DNP
Shaw 4 0.5 3.5 Injury limited, still seems like clearly the #1.
Smith 3.5 5.5 -2 Needs to make that 13-yarder 85.
Cox - - - DNP
Toussaint - - - DNP
Hopkins 3 - 3 Lot of beef back there to pair with Robinson.
McColgan - - - DNP
Jones - - - DNP
TOTAL 18.5 10 8 Line gave them some opportunities to bust big ones but they did not take them.
Player + - T Notes
Stonum - - - .
Odoms - - - --
TRobinson - - - --
Roundtree 1 - -  
Grady - - - --
Gallon - - - --
Hemingway 1 - 1 --
TOTAL 1 - 1 Limited long runs so not really involved.

This seems about right to me since Michigan averaged 5.2 YPC. In any other year people would be delirious that Michigan managed that against a non-pushover Big Ten team.

Why do you hate Vincent Smith? He's adorable and tough.

I don't hate Vincent Smith. It's weird being critical of running backs because at most other positions you can make obviously bad plays, like missing a block or a tackle or a throw. Other than fumbling and the occasional obvious missed cut, mistakes running the ball are rarely obvious. It's just that some guys are just guys. Barking Carnival described Texas's running backs as a "bunch of JAGs" a couple weeks back, and that popped into my head as the perfect way to describe a meh tailback. Smith is just a guy*. I can't think of a better example than this:

Carlos Brown? Touchdown. Shaw? Touchdown. Baker or Bell? Touchdown, possible touchdown. Minor? Good chance to rage through the tackle and possible touchdown.

Meanwhile, there was that third and one on which MSU did a decent job of stacking it up but Michigan had a running back hit at the LOS by a single linebacker and got zero yards. He doesn't fumble, he knows the plays, he's healthy… I can see why Michigan is using him. I just hope that they can get Shaw to 100% and get Hopkins on the field at least as much as Smith as the season goes on.

*(At least right now. I can't shake the impression I had from the tail end of last year when he seemed really quick and exciting. He could get a lot better next year as he gets back to 100%.)

Denard did not get a billion yards. I am confused. Why?

Michigan ran a lot of zone read and they defended it simply by having the DE keep contain. This was a major reason Michigan's early drives went right down the field:

Without a scrape exchange or something similar that gap is always going to be open, especially when you can get a double team on that tackle. Michigan was content to do that for a while and Denard was content to hand off; Michigan State was content to let Smith and Shaw run, especially later when Shaw exited.

I still don't like this. Michigan could have played a ton of games with the backside end since they knew how MSU wanted to defend the read. Here is the complaint about midline: where is midline? That DE is begging to get kicked out and MSU's DT's got crazy aggressive in response to the constant double teaming. Letting one of those guys go would have seen Robinson get an opportunity in lots of space. Want midline.

You want more things?

In general I'm dissatisfied with what seems like a tendency to have this cool new package in the first half that works and then when the defense adjusts Michigan doesn't have the next thing. In the second half Michigan tried some more of the double-the-DT thing on short yardage and got it blown up when MSU blitzed into it. They needed to have a different thing to go to in the second half before the defense even tried anything.

I should say that the RPS was 9-6 = +3, which is good, but Michigan spurned most of those positive chances with drops and misthrown balls. They ran out to a big lead in that category and then gave it back as the game progressed. Part of that was being so far behind and getting out of their gameplan, I guess, but that didn't really happen until late.

I do like that Michigan anticipated that MSU would have some answers for things they'd already run and changed it up. The PA fake where Denard fakes the iso and they throw a slant was changed into an out/fly combination that didn't have the big play potential but I assume the safeties for MSU were ready to deal with that.


The interior OL controlled the MSU DL for the most part, and Webb had a great day blocking.


Denard, first and foremost and close to only.

What does it mean for Iowa and beyond?

I'm not that depressed; the overall impression I got from the game was that Michigan's offense set them up for many big plays and because of poor execution—unusually poor execution, unlike the defense—by one guy here, one guy there, and a lot of Robinson they couldn't take advantage. If Robinson throws those balls to his open receivers in the endzone Michigan is tied at 31 at the start of the fourth quarter and the game has an entirely different complexion. They didn't, but that doesn't mean they're headed to the bottom of the Big Ten scoring standings. I'm still confident this is going to be the best Michigan offense in a long time.

We'll see about Denard. I think he'll bounce back but there's a chance it was the early bits that were false. The preponderance of the evidence is still in favor of accuracy, however.

The interior OL seems like it's got a fighting chance against the Iowa DL. They stumbled a little bit in the second half but did not have much opportunity as Michigan got down and the clock got short. If Iowa is going to run the same vanilla scheme MSU did that could allow Michigan to option off Clayborn and maintain their run game. They had a good day in Iowa City last year and Michigan has upgraded probably a little bit more than Iowa did with returning starters and new players.



October 13th, 2010 at 4:02 PM ^

did not shut Michigan offense down.  Michigan left a lot of points on the board and they shot themselves with turnovers and execution.  My guess is they'll be much better execution wise agaisnt Iowa.  I'm encouraged that it was Michigan who shot themselves in the foot rather than MSU defense shutting the offense down.


October 13th, 2010 at 4:08 PM ^

I've only read the first series so far, and it literally made me feel sick. So so frustrating to think that we had them there for the taking early on. Comforting in a way, but also exceedingly frustrating.


October 13th, 2010 at 4:17 PM ^

...subsiding.  Nearly everything I see here are correctable mistakes.  The dropped balls, especially late in the game were absolutely unacceptable.  Two in a row by Roundtree?  Ridiculous.  They'll be better for this game moving forward.  I'm confident in that.  If they aren't, its a coaching issue IMO.

I also agree with the assessment that the interior OL will be able to manage the IA DL on Saturday.  I think we'll see some special things from Denard and the hopefully a healthy Shaw, Smith and Hopkins (we need the latter to rage.)

Go Blue!


October 13th, 2010 at 4:19 PM ^

with Denard is that he read the DE and felt handing off was the correct read? That makes sense I guess. I know I was frustrated with the offense for (beyond the obvious mistakes) getting away from our strength (Denard running) and showing far less ingenuity in the face of a huge rivalry game than I had hoped. I didn't notice the double the State DT thing, so I guess that qualifies as something new. But beyond that I'm really stumped by what seems to me to be RR's great offensive ingenuity in creating and updating his system, but at the same time seeming to not have mid-game adjustments or really new offensive play calls.

Regarding Denard's passing accuracy, I think we will see in the future that he will be terribly accurate when he's running for 170 yards per game, but not so accurate gaining 75. The running threat he represents makes for much better and more wide open reads for him in the passing game. When he's not running wild, those WR's are not as open as they have been.


October 13th, 2010 at 4:30 PM ^

For the Zone Read you read the DE. MSU told their DEs "Key in on Denard every time" and they did, so Denard handed it off every time (the correct read). MSU was determined not to let denard beat them with his legs

ND had kind of the opposite game plan "Make denard carry it every time, more carries = more hits = ND WINZ!!!" 

I (like Brian) hope that we can come up with more counters to this in the future (Pulling Omameh to pancake the DE as denard keeps it?)


October 13th, 2010 at 9:18 PM ^

Wouldn't the logical counter to reading the DE be to block the DE and read the DT?  It's easy for me to say but it might be a tougher thing to execute on the field, I don't know.  I seem to recall reading somewhere about a team recently doing this....perhaps Oregon or Purdue?

Blue in Seattle

October 13th, 2010 at 4:41 PM ^

I find it unlikely that he can demonstrate brilliance in some play calling and then a lack of brilliance otherwise.  One component that we can't know, but the coaches know well is how well the team performs the "next thing" in practice.  This isn't just Robinson reading his options or run and pass, but also how the entire team blocks.  Compare the times the UFR or the Picture Pages demonstrate the brilliance of Coach Rodriguez and then ask yourself, "does he suddenly get really stupid, or does he know exactly how well his team can perform on specific plays?"  I think it's the latter, and he seems to be really good at keeping his players within situations where they can execute at there best.  Then take into account the recent statements in the press releases where he says, "Denard really is a redshirt Freshman".  I take this to mean, "if you are going to compare him to Pat White, compare him to redhirt freshman Pat White, who did not see the field much because he didn't know all of the playbook ".  Also think back to last year where Denard was to my memory completely unseuccessful except for one run against WMU, and one drive against Iowa where they were two scores up and happy to let Michigan burn the clock.

The only constant between these instances is Denard's speed.  Denard's physical talents alone will result in nothing.  He needs to get the opportunity and the rest of the team needs to execute exactly hat for hat to reap an instant touchdown.

MSU was the toughest test, and from what I saw the desparation level was very high on the star players.  They mentally got beat by their toughest opponent to date.  A rough learning experience, and one that is magnified by the youth of this team overall.

Since football execution is not linear, but a complex series of Pass/Fail, I do think there is a tipping point in the near future.  Hopefully it happens next week.

All I know is that I'm very excited to watch the rest of this season.


October 13th, 2010 at 4:58 PM ^

While watching the game, especially the first few drives, I thought the play calling and offense itself was great, obviously excluding the interception.  We gained a decent chunk of yardage on almost every play. 

My concern sort of like Tate last year, does he get happy feet in the pocket or throw off his back foot in there.  I can't say definitely without rewatching the game, but I wonder if he had poor form in the two end zone INTs.  I recall durign the game it looked like he didn't step into his throw on at least one of them.


October 13th, 2010 at 4:22 PM ^

"The interior OL controlled the MSU DL for the most part ..."

I was glad to see this.  I'm sure a few Michigan fans and most Sparties would buy into the idea that they "got pushed around."

El Jeffe

October 13th, 2010 at 4:31 PM ^

What's the play besides the midline where you play a team that is pretty vanilla like Iowa and has a bunch of film that makes it seem like you can shut down Denard by having the backside DE always keep contain and turn the DTs loose so instead of the midline where you option off the DT you crack the backside DE or something and make him pay somehow for keeping contain?

That's the play I want.

But it will be interesting to see how Iowa plays it. Part of me thinks we should say eff the backside DE. Like on this play you can't tell me that even if Denard had pulled it that DE would have stood a chance, especially if Stonum was taking his guy deeper. Plus, that DE made the tackle anyway, so it wasn't like we faked him out much anyway.


October 13th, 2010 at 4:31 PM ^

On Vincent Smiths's not touchdown runs that most every other back would have scored on...........you forgot to mention that Dee Hart would have been gone for 6 as well.  


October 13th, 2010 at 4:35 PM ^

I'm also glad to see the positive evaluation of our interior OL against a legit front 7, bodes well for the B10 schedule.  Denard (peace be upon him) hasn't all of a sudden stopped being fast, heady and mostly-accurate, how much can you hold it against the kid for having some early jitters starting his first big rivalry game at home?  These guys are still going to curbstomp some B10 defenses. 


October 13th, 2010 at 4:36 PM ^

of mistakes by Michigan in that game that can be corrected and the players know it........for whatever reason, all the "bad stuff" happened at once.

As long as Michigan can keep the TO margin to breakeven, our offense can score 30+ points/game, giving us a chance in every game.


October 14th, 2010 at 3:00 AM ^

for whatever reason, all the "bad stuff" happened at once.

Why is it that if we would have won last weekend against Sparty and had the bad game against Iowa, that all would seem right in the world - and the FREAKOUTS would not be FREAKINGOUT right now.

I have to assume that Iowa (who we almost beat last year - away - like Sparty) will play a similar game to what MSU gave us. If we capitalize on Offense early this time (I don't think Iowa will have an early answer for us until they get used to what we show them with the New and Improved Denard) and get up a few scores (like we should have done with Sparty), we will absolutely be in the game against Iowa.

You just gotta take the opportunities when they knock. These games ALL may end up in shootouts this year, but if we simply capitalize and then control turnovers to our favor we have the ability to WIN OUT.

That's the insanity of this whole season. As bad as out D is, they still stopped Sparty enough to allow our O to drive down the field and go up early (if we would have capitalized). You can't ask for more than that with these kids. If they give us a couple chances a game for the O to get up a few scores, they'll keep the momentum, and force our opponent to change their gameplan, instead of us having to change ours.

When this team really starts clicking on both sides of the ball, it is going to be absolutely mindblowing to watch. I hope Dave Brandon feels the same way and gives Rich the time he needs to keep putting the pieces together. If the kids love the coach and are playing their hearts out for him, it would be a crime against them to turn the whole f-ing ship over again, just to please a bunch of bluehair donors who can only support a program financially, but never fully committ to it emotionally - which is just as necessary IMO. (All in for Michigan as long as we're winning, BS).

I also say this. That an explosive Offense will bring high level recruits on both sides of the ball, whereas a suffocating Defense won't do much of either. Having a Heisman candidate that runs his own circus, does wonders for getting national exposure as well. The D will come around in time as we pack the stalls with Stallions on O. If we won our games by 14-3, 17-6, 9-0 - those would all be wins - yes - but IMO no "impact players" would want to climb aboard our train to win in that fashion. I think today's kids are built on video game mentality, and they want action. Defensive studs will go where the Offensive action is to play UP at that level, even on the other side of the ball. They too, want to be part of something explosive - not just stifling. Patience will go a long way as we build this thing from the ground up.

Very excited for the future of this program. 


October 13th, 2010 at 4:38 PM ^

Not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. Mostly execution, but that is fixable and understandable to happen at least during one game. I see the offense getting back to normal and grinding it out against Iowa's defense. We will have some big plays like we would have against MSU if not for some mistakes. Either way you look at it we are 5-1 and ending up at least 8-4, IME.


October 13th, 2010 at 4:38 PM ^

Reading the UFR started bringing back all the old pain from Saturday (I think I may have blocked the game out of my mind), but by the end I was encouraged as Brian basically confirmed everything I thought about the offense.  They executed badly, they had an off day, they'll be back next week.  I'm sure the pain will return tomorrow when the defensive UFR comes out, which begs the question: maybe we should've gotten the bad news first and saved the offensive UFR to cheer us all up.

His Dudeness

October 13th, 2010 at 4:42 PM ^

If Robinson throws those balls to his open receivers in the endzone Michigan is tied at 31 at the start of the fourth quarter and the game has an entirely different complexion.

That's all I have been saying since last Saturday. I got blown up for it on this here blog, but I still believe it. There were a handful of plays that really F'd us in the A there and the final score doesn't really tell the tale. Our team is not as bad as that game made us seem. Iowa is in for a great game this Saturday.


October 13th, 2010 at 4:42 PM ^

"Getting three points out of these first two drives was doom."

Watching the game I didn't necessarily think it was doom.  I was encouraged by how well the offense had moved the ball.  At the same time though, there was a sinking feeling that UM should have had at least 7, if not 11, more points on the scoreboard.


October 13th, 2010 at 4:45 PM ^

conservatively left on the field by the O was and will be too much - all though on correctable mistakes/misexecution. I feel cautiously optimistic this performance is an outlier & that DR will be dilithium again on Sat. Thanks for the as always outstanding analysis Brian.
<br>I am chugging gallons of Maalox to prepare myself for "the tuberculotic defense" tomorrow's UFR promises though.

His Dudeness

October 13th, 2010 at 4:53 PM ^

I was talking to Fins about the UFR and a question came up is it possible that Omameh is getting inflated numbers due to assignment? I mean Omameh gets to the next level on most plays because that is his assignment and Schilling blocks the DL most plays. I would assume a LB would be pancaked more easily than a DL...

We were just talking about how Schilling hasn't really graded out that highly in UFR this season compared to Omameh and I got to thinking about possible reasons why because I think Schilling has been having a great albeit understated year.


October 13th, 2010 at 4:56 PM ^

That I feel the need to remind people that Mike DeBord's RPS score would have been negative eleventy billion (had Brian kept the RPS metric in those days). Remember: we used to throw rock 99 times out of 100.


October 13th, 2010 at 4:58 PM ^

... but do these UFR's give away too much to other teams -- kinda doing their homework for them?  

I do however enjoy reading this - i had the worst seats in the house this past Saturday 85th row endzone and didn't really see the plays that well and made a DVR fail.


October 13th, 2010 at 5:01 PM ^

Seems like Denard is innacurate on longer throws and accurate on shorter ones.  I'd expect more of the 3rd INT (long pass INTs), where Denards downfield pass is basically a jump ball.  Sometimes it'll work (Hemingway's long gain to beat Iowa, Odoms long gain against MSU) other times its an INT.  OTOH, I'd be willing to chalk up the 1st INT to Roundtree as a fluke.  Denard probably pressed a little bit and tried to avoid an overthrow and overcompensated.  Freshman mistake (which, as a passer, Denard pretty much is).  He'll figure out that an incompletion out of the end zone isn't the worst outcome.


October 14th, 2010 at 3:19 AM ^

....have been getting in synch in the offseason, and it shows. A year ago, Robinson makes NONE of the throws he is making now. The reason they both still smile about the dropped TD passes and overthrown receivers in the end zone - is that they know they can do it in their sleep 99% of the time now. It is confidence in their ability, not lack of ability. I don't know of anyone in college or pro levels of this sport that have completed 100% of their passes or caught 100% of their catches. NONE.

It's not like the kids lack confidence that they can make those throws and catches, but in all reality it is simply this: what do you do when you get excited and your body emits a surge of addrennalin into your bloodstream - just as you are about to throw or catch a football? What do you do? How do you overcome it? Once you figure that out, you will have icewater running through your veins.

Deer hunters can practice on foam targets for precision kill shots. They repetitiously make the same shot from 10 different positions just so that when it comes "game time", they are as prepared as they can be. As soon as Goliath Buck walks into range, you can just about guarantee that the "repetitious practicer" will have a hard time even pulling the bow back, or keeping the gun steady with all of the addrennalin coursing through his veins. It takes as much MENTAL composure as it does physical, if not more during the high excitement perionds.

That's why a millionaire pro golfer can beat 99% of the common man in the game and yet when a championship is on the line, he can miss a 4 foot birdie putt, because he lost his concentration - mental. Noonan.

You just gotta block it all out and, Be The Ball.


October 13th, 2010 at 5:04 PM ^

It really is excruciating to see how close we were to 30+ points on Saturday. There were a lot of good things to take away. Just a little more accuracy and a little more Shaw and Hopkins will go a long way

I for one am excited to see how they performa against Iowa. If we can neutralize their front four a little bit, I thnk we'll have success.


October 13th, 2010 at 5:06 PM ^

I was impressed with Grady against MSU.  He had two great catches (balls that arguably should have been caught, but still) and held onto that one when he got blown up.  I thought this performance at least deserved a tip of the hat.


October 13th, 2010 at 5:10 PM ^

hell out of us. This post is getting a lot of traffic. Seems the final analysis is that Denard had a bad day because he was pressured more than ever and Iowa expects to pressure even more = really really bad day. But, sounds like Brian's anaysis is quite the opposite... Delithium just had an off day... overcharged perhaps? Rivalry game? I'd love to see us keep it close (or win, of course) with Iowa, but I'm also trying to remember that, in August, I was really hoping we'd win 7 games this year.