Upon Further Review 2010: Offense vs UMass Comment Count

Brian September 23rd, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Formation notes: Nothing unusual from Michigan. UMass did not appear to do any substitution, staying in a 4-3 the entire game. They did occasionally shift their front to a 3-4, for what it's worth. This was usually what M went up against, with the standup DE sometimes up, sometimes down:


Substitution notes: The only major change is the one you've already heard plenty about: Taylor Lewan came in on the second series of the first half at left tackle and played the remainder of the game. Shaw and Smith again got all the RB snaps. Junior Hemingway came back and rotated in regularly; you could consider him a co-starter with Odoms and Stonum if you want. The slots were the same rotation between Roundtree, Grady, and Robinson.

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M34 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 1
Correct handoff with two guys watching Robinson. Schilling(-1) and Omameh(-1) both get beaten by their OL, forcing Smith outside and allowing UMass time to shuck blocks; he's eventually run down by three guys. (ZR+1)
RUN+ RUN- Schilling, Omameh
M35 2 9 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Skinny post Roundtree Inc
Linebackers bite without so much as a run fake and the OL locks out four rushers, giving Robinson a ton of time to throw. He stares down Roundtree, allowing one safety to come underneath his pass as he tosses it. He deflects the ball and the other guy, badly beaten by Roundtree, picks it off. This is exactly what happened on the pass Te'o broke up against ND: Roundtree is open for a TD but Robinson throws it on a line, allowing an underneath defender to bat it. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Interception, 0-3, 9 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M7 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 9
Molk(+1) and Omameh(+1) crush the playside DT backwards so far the MLB gets caught in the wash; Shaw gets a meh but good enough block on the SLB and Robinson has a crease he takes for near first down yardage.
RUN+ Molk, Omameh, Robinson RUN-
M16 2 1 ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 5
We're watching OSU beat up Ohio. Thanks, BTN, I hate you. It was a short completion to Roundtree for the first. Guess: (CA, 3, protection 1/1) It's taken off the board with an illegal substitution penalty.
M21 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 3-4 Run Inside zone Shaw 6
UMass shifts the line and uses the slot LB to the field side as a blitzer; correct handoff with the weakside LB scrape exchanging with the blitzer. Molk(+1), Schilling(+1), and Omameh(+1) completely destroy the NT and the single MLB, opening up a ton of room for a potential big gainer; Shaw does not perceive the backside guy and heads upfield before cutting out into the space, which gives the blitzer an angle to tackle from behind. He does get upfield quickly and drag the tackler, FWIW. (ZR+1)
RUN+ Molk, Omameh, Schilling RUN-
M27 2 4 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Base 3-4 Pass Yakety OMG Roundtree 73 (pen -5)
Get to this play late, too. This is Michigan's double screen play; Robinson fumbles the snap, then improvises, chucking it deep to Roundtree, who got open behind everyone just as he gets crushed; Roundtree jets for the endzone. It comes back for two separate penalties: not getting set before the play and Schilling ending up a few yards downfield. I thought you got some leeway with the latter, not that it matters. Uh... (CA+, 3, protection NA)
M22 2 9 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass PA circle TRob Inc + 15 pen
Half-roll after the zone fake and Robinson wings it too high for TRob on a pass that would have gained maybe five and then gotten him blown up. He still gets blown up and UMass gets a penalty for going helmet to helmet against a defenseless receiver. From the stands this looked pretty bad, FWIW. (IN, 1, protection 1/1)
M37 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass PA slant Odoms 16
Zone read fake and then a bubble fake and then Michigan hits the slant behind it; UConn in tight man so Odoms has very little room in front of good coverage; Robinson zings it in right on the money. I'm still in a bit of disbelief when he does stuff like this. (DO, 2, protection NA)
O47 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson -1
Robinson gives a hard count and appears to get UMass offside but no call. The SLB blitzes with great timing at the snap, coming through the line, picking off the lead blocker, and forcing Robinson to cut to the backside of the play, where everything falls apart because the blocking angles are busted. (RPS-1)
O48 2 11 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Flat TRob Inc
Curl-flat combination against man; Robinson reads it right and hits TRob about three yards downfield with plenty of room to turn it up; TRob drops it. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O48 3 11 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Fly Grady 43
With the safeties rolled up and a linebacker transparently in man on Grady this is a pretty easy read for Robinson. UMass loads up and sends six, with an unblocked guy coming right up the middle. Robinson steps back to give himself just enough time and chucks a 40-yard pass that basically hits Grady in stride; Grady brings in an over-the-shoulder catch and stumbles at the five. Super impressive. (DO+, 2, protection 1/3, team -2)
O5 1 G Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Shaw 4
Molk(+1) and Omameh(+1) seal the playside DT and Omameh has an easy job of sealing the MLB since he's running up behind said DT. Dorrestein(+1) locks out the DE and it's Shaw one on one with a safety in a ton of space; he makes a good cut and falls forward to the goal line.
RUN+ Omameh, Molk, Dorrestein RUN-
O1 2 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Iso Shaw 1
Hurray touchdown. Molk and Omameh blow up the same DT; McColgan gets a good block on the LB, and it's easy.
RUN+ Molk, Omameh, McColgan RUN-
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-3, 3 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M40 1 10 Shotgun 2-back H-back 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Robinson 20
We get to watch Smith not have the ball as Robinson(+3) beats a DE set up to contain him, then beats a safety to the outside, then gets a good block from Odoms(+1) to the corner. This ends 20 yards downfield. We don't even get a replay. WOO BTN. I'd ZR-1 this but it kind of went 20 yards.
RUN+ Robinson(3), Odoms RUN-
O40 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Sack ? -7
Looks like they're going with the zone read fake to seam combo and looks like they have Roundtree wide open; Robinson bobbles the snap and gets sacked by the blitzing LB. Not charted. This is all on Robinson; snap was perfect.
O47 2 17 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Base 3-4 Run QB draw Robinson 7
Stunt opens this up big time and this could go for a lot of yards if not for a great reaction from the MLB and Molk(-1) whiffing the block, allowing said MLB to come around and make a diving ankle tackle. (RPS+1)
RUN+ RUN- Molk
O40 3 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Sack ? -6
Robinson rolls out. UMass is blitzing a LB from that side of the field and scrapes another guy; first LB is picked up by Smith but there's no one to block the second. A pump fake from Robinson gets the guy in the air but he manages to crunch DR for an impressive sack. (PR, 0, protection NA, RPS-1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-10, 13 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M16 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Zone read bubble Roundtree 5
First time this year they've actually thrown this, as Robinson pulls the ball with apparently no contain. A safety is coming up hard as the scraper though (first time I've seen that) and Robinson bails out into the bubble, which gets a few. (CA, 3, screen)
M21 2 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run QB off tackle Robinson 16
Opens up big as UMass slants the wrong way. Koger(+1) crushes the playside DE out of the play on a down block as Dorrestein pulls around. Shaw(+1) kicks out a LB, Dorrestein(+1) does the same, and Schilling(+1) shields the MLB out of the play. Omameh(-1) got turned around on the same guy and did not move to the safety, which is probably the only thing preventing a touchdown here. (RPS +1)
RUN+ Robinson, Koger, Schilling, Dorrestein, Shaw RUN- Omameh
M37 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Roundtree 8
Not a read this time but does come with the zone fake. Stonum(+1) gets a great cut block, opening up the edge; Roundtree can probably get more than he does if he just runs up the sideline. (CA, 3, screen)
M45 2 2 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Flare Shaw 5
Snag concept minus the corner route, but the same slant/flare combo we saw a lot earlier this year. This time Robinson should probably hit the slant but chooses the flare, which he impressively drops over a retreating DE and right to Shaw, who has to deal with a LB charging at him immediately. He spins by for the first. (CA+, 3, protection 1/1)
50 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run QB stretch Robinson 8
Playside DE crushed back by Huyge(+1) and gets caught in wash behind Koger's(+1) block of the slot LB. With those guys giving ground the outside is where it's at and Robinson takes it out there, where Shaw(+1) takes out that playside LB once and for all and gives Robinson the corner.
RUN+ Shaw, Huyge, Koger RUN-
O42 2 2 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Shaw 0
DE has contain and doesn't crash so I guess this is a correct read but I'd like to see Denard pull since he's got a ton of space and can probably pwn this guy. But technically correct. So Shaw gets it. Interior line does its usual blow-back job on the interior UMass line but Dorrestein(-1) gets slanted inside of; no hole. Shaw(-1) should just run up the backs of the interior OL on second and two but attempts to spin by the backside DE and gets swallowed.
RUN+ Molk, Omameh, Schilling RUN- Robinson, Shaw, Dorrestein
O42 3 2 ? ? ? QB off tackle Robinson 17
Guh: let's watch a play from last week instead of one from this week. On replay we get some details, but the replay is a field-level view. PUNCH PUNCH PUNCH. Anyway: downblock and Omameh pulls around. Shaw(+1) gets a good block on the edge, as does Odoms(+1) and the corner is assured. No idea about the line. (RPS+1)
RUN+ Shaw, Odoms, Robinson RUN-
O25 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 5
Schilling(+1) and Molk(+1) crush the playside DT, providing a crease, with Omameh getting out on a LB and attempting to seal him to one side only to see Smith cut behind the block. Dorrestein has only done an OK job on the backside DT, who tackles. Smith(-1) could have done better here.
RUN+ Molk, Schilling RUN- Smith
O20 2 5 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith -1
UMass slants under the blocking (RPS -1), with Molk(-1) completely whiffing a DT and getting Smith nailed in the backfield. Handoff seems okay. Run minus: Molk(2)
O21 3 6 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass PA rollout Roundtree Inc
Rollout cuts off most of the field and a charging DE gets cut off by Schilling but still eliminates the outside and forces Robinson to pull up and throw to Roundtree, open-ish in the endzone but covered by the safety; he makes an excellent play to break it up. (CA+, 0, protection 1/1) I guess he got there a tiny bit early but i would hate it if this was called PI if I was a neutral fan.
Drive Notes: Missed FG(39), 7-10, 4 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M33 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Tunnel screen Stonum 67
This is mostly set up by the coverage, which is tight man on the edges. This gives Grady(+1) an easy block of the corner. Omameh(+1) comes out to plant the safety, Molk(+1) was out fast enough to make the MLB come upfield of him despite slipping, and Stonum(+3) has the speed to just plain outrun the one remaining deep safety, running through a tackle as he goes. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +1)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-17, 1 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M45 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 3-3-5 nickel Run QB draw Robinson 4
Opens up big time with UMass only rushing three and dropping everyone else. Grady(+1) gets a good block on a LB; he sets up outside to keep contain. Omameh and Schilling end up double-teaming another linebacker; there's a crease between them and one UMass player trying to fill it, but Robinson slips as he tries to cut and eats the turf.
RUN+ Grady, Omameh RUN- Turf
M49 2 6 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 3-3-5 nickel Pass Dig Hemingway 36
Three man rush is stoned by the OL; Robinson has all day to find Hemingway, who got deeper than the first wave and then cut inside about twenty-five yards downfield in front of the safety. Denard hits him in the numbers with perfect timing and Hemingway can pick up some YAC because of a poor angle by a safety. (DO, 2, protection 2/2)
O15 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass PA circle Grady 6
Looks like cover two and this is either a checkdown or a missed read, but the timing's good enough for Grady to pick up five, though he doesn't get OOB. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O9 2 4 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Grady Inc
Molk(-1) fails to cut the UMass DT here and he leaps to bat it down; probable touchdown otherwise. (BA, 0, protection 0/1, Molk -1)
O9 3 4 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Circle Stonum 9
Confusing set of routes here since Grady is running another circle and Stonum is doing the same thing except deeper. I don't know if I've seen this before. Stonum's route gets the CB to bite to the inside a bit, at which point he looks at Robinson and loses the plot; Robinson nails Stonum (but not before the ball flashes by Grady, who gets tackled and momentarily makes me think this is a disaster) for a touchdown. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-17, EO1H.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M31 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Nickel Run QB lead draw Robinson 2
Only six guys in the box so Michigan naturally tries the lead draw since they hypothetically have no one to defend it. The UMass LB to the playside makes a great play to shoot into the backfield and hit Shaw a yard behind the LOS, cutting off a hole and forcing Robinson to cut back behind him, where Huyge(-1) has gotten chucked by the DE. DE tackles, Robinson manages some YAC. (RPS –1)
M33 2 8 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run Reverse Grady 15
Robinson stretch fake sucks six guys to the frontside and the playside LB hesitates. Shaw(+1) gets out on him to cut him. Dorrestein gets out and bothers but does not get a safety down; Stonum(+1) maintains a stalk block a long time, providing Grady an alley outside; safety runs him out. (RPS +2)
RUN+ Shaw, Stonum RUN-
M48 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Shaw 9
Correct handoff (ZR+1) with the DE maintain contain; Webb was headed outside to provide a lead block on a scraping LB if the DE crashed. MLB is charging inside to cut off holes; Huyge(+1) walls him off and pushes him far enough inside that Shaw(+1) can make a decisive cut behind the entire OL, in which there are no holes, and burst into the second level.
RUN+ Huyge, Shaw, Schilling RUN-
O43 2 1 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 3
Schilling and Molk(+1 each) crush the NT back; Huyge(+1) shoves the DE back a couple yards and cuts him off as he tries to slant inside. Robinson is cutting outside, but a weak block from Shaw(-1) on the edge gives his man an opportunity to hit Robinson. As he's being driven back he makes a pitching motion to Shaw, causing the entire stadium to go noooooo, so he doesn't.
RUN+ Schilling Molk, Huyge RUN- Shaw
O40 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Robinson 7
TE is on the backside of the formation and blocks the DE out there so it appears Robinson is reading the playside LB. He comes inside, so he pulls (ZR+1). The slot LB comes in to provide belated contain; Robinson jukes upfield and darts behind downfield blocks from Webb(+1) and Huyge(+1)
RUN+ Webb, Huyge, Robinson RUN-
O33 2 3 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run Inside zone Shaw 33
The longish Shaw touchdown on which he comes to a complete stop in the hole despite there being an obvious lane in front of him. Schilling(+2) gets a driving, sealing block on an NT lined up well inside of him. Omameh(+1) fights off the DE to that side of the field; Molk(+1) gets a downfield block on the MLB and Webb(+1) stones a player coming off the edge that would have crushed Shaw because of his hesitation. When Shaw finally decides to run up in the gaping hole in front of him, he is fast and cruises into the endzone easily because the safety to his side of the field tore after a Robinson keeper or something. Can you minus a tailback on a 33-yard touchdown? (BTW: ZR+1; Denard had a guy blitzing directly at him.)
RUN+ Schilling(2), Molk, Omameh, Webb RUN-
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 28-17, 12 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M6 1 10 Ace twins 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 4
Enter Taylor Lewan. UMass linebackers screaming downhill past the double of Schilling and Molk right in the frontside C-T gap. (RPS -1) On the backside Dorrestein(+1) gets enough of the backside DT to push him back and seal him, providing a tiny crease that Smith can dart into; that LB dives and ankle-tackles from behind, causing Smith to fall.
RUN+ Dorrestein RUN- Schilling
M10 2 6 Shotgun Twins 2TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run QB stretch Robinson 9
Omameh(+1) gets a reach block on the playside DT, opening up gap between himself and Webb(+1), who is crushing the DE out of the play. Dorrestein gets a free release. He walls off the playside LB(+1), but Smith(-1) does not get a good block on a crashing corner and he tackles, though Robinson runs through it for some bonus yards. Also: Taylor Lewan(+1) latched on to the backside LB and blocked him 15 yards downfield.
RUN+ Omameh, Webb, Dorrestein, Lewan RUN- Smith
M19 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB counter Robinson 4
Inside zone fake but this is not a read, it's just a called play. Playside DE slants between Lewan and Schilling without either of them picking up on it. Think this is on Lewan(-1) since its his third snap ever. This means there's an unblocked guy in the middle of the play and Robinson has to improvise, which he does by dodging the contain guy, getting out to the edge, and picking up a few by slinking past a corner.
RUN+ Robinson RUN- Lewan
M23 2 6 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA Fly Stonum 46
Michigan does a PA fake QB stretch and then Robinson pulls up after a slight roll. The playfake has erased the safety to Stonum's side of the field and the corner there is in tight man coverage. Ball is very slightly underthrown, which causes Stonum to slow up and should draw a PI flag on an early-arriving corner who's not even looking for the ball, but Stonum brings it in anyway. Maybe they throw it if he doesn't catch the ball? Anyway: this is a 40-yard deep ball and is accurate enough for the DO despite being a tiny bit short. If he can do this consistently, jebus. (DO, 2, protection 2/2) Credit to the corner: this is pretty good coverage given the situation.
O31 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Smith 4
Molk(+1) reaches the playside DT, sealing him off. Lewan(+1) has driven the playside DE back—something that has almost never happened on M stretches in the RR era, or for that matter the Carr era—so Koger and Smith head outside, where there should be green pastures except for Schilling(-1) essentially whiffing on the OLB, who reads the play and makes a great tackle as Smith approaches the LOS. I would so trade our MLBs straight up for theirs.
RUN+ Lewan, Molk RUN- Schilling
O26 2 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 11
UMass line is slanting to the right and pushing the LBs left to compensate, but Schilling(+1) and Molk(+1) successfully control the playside DT and Lewan(+1) locks out the DE, giving Smith a lane and no linebackers. He takes it, but slips as the safety comes up and is not able to make the man miss.
RUN+ Lewan, Molk, Schilling RUN-
O15 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 7
Complete obliteration of the same guy by Molk and Schilling(+1 each); Schilling then pops out on the playside LB. It's only a corner blitz that provides anyone who can stop this; Smith runs through a terrible shoulder block of a tackle(+1) to pick up good yardage. Lewan dangerously close to a holding call here.
RUN+ Molk, Schilling, Smith RUN-
O8 2 3 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Robinson 8
No contain so Robinson pulls(ZR+1) and then beats a late-reacting DE to the corner, zipping up between him, a corner, and a safety for the TD.
RUN+ Robinson(2) RUN-
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 35-17, 6 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M28 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Shaw 50
UMass does pretty well on the frontside of the play but on the backside Lewan(+3) completely destroys a DT. Turns him into goo. Massive cutback lane seen and taken by Shaw(+1). Shaw then breaks a tackle(+1) and takes off, with Grady, Webb, and Robinson(!!!) acting as downfield convoy. Webb(+1) kills a DB but the cutback forced allows the playside DE to ankle-tackle Shaw. Robinson should have peeled back.
RUN+ Lewan(3), Shaw(2), Webb RUN-
O22 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 3
Another big cutback lane as Omameh(+1) shoves the backside DT well out of the play, but Smith(-1) does not cut back enough and ends up running directly into Omameh's guy.
RUN+ Omameh RUN- Smith
O19 2 7 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 8
This time it's Schilling(+1) and Molk(+1) doubling and shoving back the playside DT with Lewan(+1) kicking out the DE. Schilling can't get out on the MLB and he and a crashing slot LB tackle.
RUN+ Lewan, Schilling, Molk RUN-
O11 1 10 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Shaw 7
Molk(+1) blasts the playside DT, this time not attempting to reach him but content with pushing him back. This provides a cutback lane as Schilling(+1) and Lewan(+1) scoop the backside DE and Schilling pops out on the WLB. Shaw(+1) makes a good cut but can't shake the safety.
RUN+ Lewan, Schilling, Molk, Shaw RUN-
O4 2 3 Ace 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Shaw 4
Frontside totally jammed up; Koger(+1) drives the backside DE far, far inside, giving Shaw(+1) a cutback lane he takes for the TD.
RUN+ Koger, Shaw RUN-
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 42-24, 12 min 4th Q. Michigan has passed once in the second half and I hadn't even noticed until this drive.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M37 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 Base 4-4 Run Inside zone Smith 1
Schilling(-1) does not dominate his man and there's no frontside crease; Smith(-1) misses a cutback lane behind Omameh, who got a decent block on the DT. Cutback open thanks to Dorrestein's(+1) excellent LB block and McColgan cutting off the backside DE.
RUN+ Dorrestein RUN- Schilling, Smith
M38 2 9 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB stretch Robinson 8
Heading way outside here. Koger(+1) gets enough of the playside DE to give the corner. Roundtree gets enough of a CB to force him inside; Jackson(-1) gets discarded by his guy but Robinson(+1) shoots past him and nears the first down.
RUN+ Koger, Robinson RUN- Jackson
M46 3 1 I-Form twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Iso Smith -3
Unblocked backside LB blitzes and owns Smith in the backfield (RPS -2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 42-30, 3 min 4th Q. Punt is blocked as Hagerup drops it.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O35 1 10 I-Form big 2 2 1 Base 4-4 Run Iso Shaw 7
Omameh(+1) and Molk(+1) blow the NT off the ball, allowing Omameh to peel off on the MLB and giving Shaw a fairly large gap for a last-minute iso up the gut against a stacked line. He duly slams it up.
RUN+ Omameh, Molk, Shaw RUN-
O28 2 3 I-Form big 2 2 1 Base 4-4 Run Iso Shaw 2
Same deal, with Dorrestein more important since the play cuts back a little bit due to faster-reacting UMass LBs. Shaw does a crappy job of getting YAC here.
RUN+ McColgan, Dorrestein RUN- Shaw
O26 3 1 I-form big 2 2 1 Base 4-3 Run Iso Shaw 2
Hurray they get it runing behind Lewan(+1) and Schilling(+1)
RUN+ Lewan, Schilling RUN-
Drive Notes: EOG, 42-37.

Now this looks like what should happen against a I-AA team minus those ever-increasing scores for the opposition in the drive notes section.

Yes. This probably would have been abandoned early if not for the defense's inability to get the Minutemen off the field. Michigan punted twice. The first time Robinson bobbled a snap and got sacked on a play that was wide open. The second came on a drive when they were just trying to run clock.

For a stretch in the second half they ran on 19 of 20 plays and I didn't even notice because those were three consecutive touchdown drives. Michigan threw once in the second half and put up 42 points that should have been 45 with a makeable field goal; it was a dominant performance after Robinson's oops-I-forgot-I'm-awesome-now interception.

It's just against a I-AA team, sure, but it is further confirmation that this offense looks like the best since Henson and Terrell were lighting it up in 2000. We won't be able to say for certain until they get through the Indiana-MSU-Iowa stretch.



Hennechart comes with a reminder that numbers in parens are screens!


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%

(I've added the Downfield Success Rate to the chart on the suggestion of a reader; hover over the column header for its definition.)

We all had a Letterman neck moment on that interception but Robinson recovered to have a very efficient day. The most important bit of his performance were the three deep balls to Grady, Stonum, and Hemingway. The first one was truly impressive since he had the footwork to hop a step back in the pocket, giving himself time to get the ball off:

Even after two games in which Robinson has established himself a quarterback who doesn't suck that's a stunning combo of poise, agility, and accuracy.

The second was a dead-on fly route of 40 yards; the third was Denard IDing a hole in zone coverage and throwing it to an area his WR would be in. All of that is advanced stuff, though standard quality of competition disclaimers etc. Another step forward in any case. Kid can throw:

He added one inaccurate pass to his brief gallery of misses but if those deep balls are hit consistently they take the offense from very good to napalm in cleats. Can this really keep up? As the weeks pass it becomes more and more likely. He is now 19th in passer efficiency against a tougher-than-average schedule.



This Game Totals
Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Stonum - - 1/1 2/2 1 - 2/3 10/10
Odoms - - 1/1 - - - 3/4 7/7
Hemingway - - 1/1 - - - 1/1 -
Jackson - - - - - - - -
Roundtree 2 - - 4/4 4 2/3 0/1 11/11
Grady - - 1/1 1/1 2 - 1/1 4/4
Robinson - 0/1 - 0/1 - 0/1 - 2/3
Stokes - - - - - - - -
Koger - - - - - - 1/2 2/2
Webb - - - - - - - -
Smith - - - - - - 0/1 4/4
Shaw - - - 1/1 1 0/1 0/1 2/2
Cox - - - - - - - -
Hopkins - - - - - - - -
Toussaint - - - - - - - -

Not a lot of action with the limited throws but the guys came through. Stonum catching that deep ball under duress is an encouraging item, and Grady pulling in an over-the-shoulder grab is also progress from last year. The other Robinson did have the receiving corps' first flat drop of the season. That's one in 43 opportunities. The receivers are officially exceeding expectations.

And PROTECTION METRIC: 15/18, Molk –1, Team –2.

Not much to see there.


Right, well, for the running stuff we need a—

Chart II?

Chart II.

Offensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Huyge 4 1 3 In just over a half of play.
Lewan 9 1 8 Start the hype machine, yo.
Schilling 12 4 8 Bounce back from the meh ND performance.
Molk 15 3 12 Totally dominant as you would expect.
Omameh 11 2 9 Didn't pwn anyone downfield, still doing well.
Dorrestein 6 2 4 I might not be giving the tackles enough credit for locking out DEs.
Webb 4 - 4 Plus eight between the TEs is impressive.
Koger 4 - 4 Word.
TOTAL 65 13 52 Complete obliteration.
Player + - T Notes
Robinson 11 1 10 Also check the ZR metric.
Gardner - - - DNP
Shaw 10 3 7 Didn't get a plus on the long TD but ran hard, found cutback lanes, and broke a couple tackles.
Smith 1 4 -3 Most of that is blocking but he did have some opportunities to pick up more yards than he has. I don't know if it's the injury but he certainly doesn't seem as agile as he did as a freshman. It's probably time to see some alternatives.
Cox - - - DNP
Toussaint - - - DNP
Hopkins - - - BEEF MACHINE, but DNP.
McColgan 2 - 2 Functional.
Jones - - - DNP
TOTAL 24 8 16 Shaw seems established as the #1.
Player + - T Notes
Stonum 5 - 5 Broke that screen for the TD.
Odoms 2 - 2 Goatman.
TRobinson - - - --
Roundtree - - - --
Grady 2 - 2
TOTAL 9 1 8 Also a –1 from Jackson
Zone Read 6 - 6 Dangerous for opponents if M and Robinson have figured out scrape responses.

Finally, the RPS number was 6-7=-1.

Those numbers don't seem that high to me; Michigan averaged 7.7YPC minus the kneeldown and Robinson's sacks (UMass was only credited with one but the bobbled snap play was a pass; in any case it's not representative of the line's performance). If you are averaging nearly 8 YPC and running 80% of the time your OL should come out +52 or so.

Another item in Robinson's development: no bad reads on the zone play except one he may have gotten away with but 1) gained 20 yards on and 2) faked out the BTN cameraman to the point where it's impossible to tell if he should have pulled or not. I'm a fan of the play where Michigan pulls the TE all the way around to the outside (detailed in a Tate picture page), which Michigan has been showing intermittently and will destroy the scrape exchange against teams who run it consistently. It's just a matter of time before Robinson rips into the secondary.

Well, then: Lewan?

I have to agree with the hype. Wow. This is his second snap from scrimmage:

"Hello. My name is Taylor Lewan. I am here to inform you that, while you believe you are a linebacker, you are actually a donkey. Let's go for a ride."

And then there's Shaw's 50-yarder:

"I hate you, donkey. Sincerely, Taylor Lewan."

The standard UMass disclaimers apply. However, you are in a good situation when a tackle who seems to be playing somewhere between adequately and well is getting pushed out of the lineup by a redshirt freshman who racks up a 9-1=8 in just under a half of play in his first extended playing time. This is good for this year; it is very good for next year, when it seems like Michigan will be able to plug in whichever LT loses the battle this year without missing a beat.

This is the exact opposite of the MLB situation. At LT, a hyped player is forcing his way through an experienced veteran who's playing well. At MLB, an experienced veteran is not playing well and there's no one to pick up the baton.

Tailback situation any clearer?

I also have to agree with the mounting Smith criticism. In this game he had a couple opportunities to add plus yards on runs that broke open and couldn't do it. He's not breaking or dodging tackles and he obviously lacks the raw speed of Shaw; Shaw is also heftier and seems less prone to missing blocks. I'd say he's earned the first shot at the Big Ten schedule and Michigan should start rotating in Cox, Hopkins, Toussaint, and even Teric Jones to see if they can find something there.

Shaw, meanwhile, was making decisive cuts for the most part. The primary exception was the 30-yard touchdown, on which he came to a total stop in the hole and then burst upfield when it was pretty obvious there was going to be room directly in front of him. I can understand slowing up a bit to set up the blocks, but it looked like Shaw was considering a cutback. I think he's the best Michigan has right now but am hoping Toussaint lives up to Fred Jackson's hype. Or, like, 10% of it.

What about the I formation runs at the end?

It seems like a waste to have a running QB and then line him up in the I-form to hand off when everyone knows you're running. While you should expect to get it anyway against a I-AA team you are vulnerable to that guy tearing off the edge that might get blocked if you just had the QB take it ahead.

I mentioned this in the game column but to repeat: with two veteran TEs who are blocking well and a fullback who exists I'd like to see a Wolverine version of the Gator Heavy formation in which Tim Tebow tanked his way to the promised land. I can't find a shot of it except from NCAA players who complain about how it's an exploit:


Here the guys are using it as an exploit by shoving the leetle tailbacks in instead of the beef, but it seems like M's short yardage formation should be a 2TE set with McColgan and whichever other back is the best blocker (hypothetically Hopkins but probably Shaw right now). Robinson isn't Tebow but he's probably going to be about as effective in heavy since he can dart into any crease that opens up.

OTOH, they're doing pretty well right now without trying this.


Essentially everyone. Special praise for the interior OL.


Smith is about it.

What does it mean for Bowling Green and beyond?

Tackle, thought to be a potential weak spot going into the year, now has a competent or better player on the bench. I'm still waiting for the Iowa game to declare Frey a miracle worker; initial returns are excellent. The offensive line is meeting high expectations.

The receivers are catching everything and Denard flashing an accurate deep ball is the second to last thing he needs to add to his arsenal to be virtually unstoppable (the last: a seam with some touch). His progression continues to be remarkable, and while there will be at least a couple bumpy roads in the Big Ten we're nearing the point where Denard is just Denard and we're all lucky for that.

Tailback is the only spot at which it seems Michigan could improve. I'm trying to keep expectations in check after last year but this feels different; this feels like the best offense at M in a long time.



September 23rd, 2010 at 1:59 PM ^

Every time Brian talks about Denard developing even more, I can't help but to grin like an idiot just imagining the offense in the future (and by future I mean like MSU with the way Denard has been improving).  Here's to napalm in cleats!


September 23rd, 2010 at 2:05 PM ^

is a bit overrated or Arizona OL is much much better than most people thought.  Arizona OL pushed Iowa DL and was the more physical team of the two.  I'm assuming that it's a bad game by Iowa DL because they're on the road out in west against a Pac-10 team.  Sure they have Adrian Claybourn but he hasn't show much to deserve the hype as the best DE in the country.  Nick Foles had all day to throw the ball.

With that being said, I think Michigan OL is much better than Arizona OL and if we use Iowa/Arizona game as an indicator, I think that Michigan offense should dominate.  Michigan OL ran all over Iowa defense even though they were on a 6 man front(!!!!!) for most of the game.  If Iowa tries to employ the same strategy with a 6 man front, I'd expect Michigan to run all over Iowa just like last year except worse.


September 23rd, 2010 at 2:14 PM ^

It's just against a I-AA team, sure, but it is further confirmation that this offense looks like the best since Henson and Terrell were lighting it up in 2000.

Better than the Navarre-Perry-Braylon offense from 2003?  High praise indeed.  I hope you're right.  It's hard not to be very excited about this offense. 


September 23rd, 2010 at 2:24 PM ^

In its first 3 noncon games - 45, 50, and 38 against CMU, Houston, and ND - UH went to a bowl, ND was 5-7 but only two teams scored more than 38 against them.

The next week a decent Oregon team TOP'd us to death until Lloyd finally let the reins slack on the passing game (too late) for 27 points (21 by the O).


B10 play, UM never scored less than 27, and laid 35 on a #2 OSU defense.


So yeah, 2003 offense = pretty sick.


September 23rd, 2010 at 4:01 PM ^

Almost two more points a game than the 2000 offense...and likewise, about 2 more than we're averaging right now.

I think Brian's getting a little excited too fast. We've played 3 bad defenses. Yes, it actually looks like we have an offense for the first time since the Capital One Bowl, but lets see if those numbers continue vs. the MSUs and Iowas and Penn States, no more the Wisconsins and Ohio States.  Till they've played the good defenses, let's hold off on calling this offense better than 2007's, no more than 2003's.


September 23rd, 2010 at 4:45 PM ^

I used 2007 because it wasn't (due to the reasons you mentioned) a great offense.  But still could be better than this one after we've played teams like OSU in 2010. It was saying that 2003 was better than 2000, so you have to make that comparison first....but before you even start debating 2010 vs. 2003, 2000, or even 2005 or 2006, how about we see how this offense does vs. real defenses, and see if it's even better than ones like 2007.


September 23rd, 2010 at 4:42 PM ^

If the time of possession cuts down on total possession, then you don't score as much. But if you give up points fast, or a lot of them, you get the ball back faster, and more. The reason we won the ND game was because we gave up a TD for 94 yards in one play. If it  takes four minutes, we score less points.

If some of those offenses got the ball back as fast or as often as this one does, who knows how well they would have done?

Blue in Yarmouth

September 24th, 2010 at 12:45 PM ^

I am not sure what games you have been watching, but this teams doesn't seem to be getting the ball back very fast once our D takes the field. I can't remember the last time I saw a UM team (prior to RR's arrival I mean) give up so many long drives as I have the past few years. Three and outs have been virtually non-existant and until the ND game our defense has forced very few turnovers. I am just curious to figure out how you think this team gets the ball back quicker than our offenses of the past?


September 24th, 2010 at 4:38 PM ^

And sometimes the play. Against ND the opening drive and final Touchdown took very little (to almost no) time. Vs. U-Mass they controlled the ball most of the game. Last year we let Iowa march down the field...and let Tight Ends score in one play. This defense isn't even consistent in how it's bad...it's just consistently bad.


September 23rd, 2010 at 2:39 PM ^

I've been trying to locate some email addresses in order to start a complaint crusade against the BTN's coverage of Michigan games.  Like Notre Dame's conversation with NBC about their hurry-up offense, the BTN should know better than cutting to in-game updates when Michigan has the ball.  The Michigan offense is arguably the reason why a majority of the viewers are watching this game (I would watch regardless) and they should pay some credence to this fact!  Anyone know who we should direct complaint messages to?


September 23rd, 2010 at 2:18 PM ^

Can you minus a tailback on a 33-yard touchdown?

I thought the same thing on this play.  The guy hesitates nearly every single time he gets the ball.  This is sometimes mistaken for patience, but it is not always necessary.  There's no need to be patient when there's a gaping hole to hit.  I hope Shaw can un-learn this tendency, but it may be too ingrained at this point.


September 23rd, 2010 at 2:24 PM ^

I think we're all forgetting that Vincent Smith tore his ACL less than 10 months ago. This is why some of us were hoping that he would redshirt this year, rehabilitate his knee, and be ready to go in 2011.

I watched Minnesota's Duane Bennett tear his ACL in October 2008, and play slow, without power, and tentatively in 2009. He now has over 300 yards this year in slightly more than 2 games of action.

I think Smith can be effective, but while he looked great against UConn, it seems his knee might be holding him back as the cumulative effects of game play are wearing on him.

Blue in Yarmouth

September 24th, 2010 at 12:55 PM ^

I don't know where you read this but simply put, that is wrong. Acknoowledging that everyone heals a little differently is important, but when his injury occurred I spoke with the orthpods in the hospital I work in and all said the same thing. These injuries usually take anywhere from 7 months to a year to heal.

There are some freaks that heal a little quicker and others who heal a little slower. None ever came close to stating that it could take 2 years to be 100%. Physiologically you are usually 100% after a year. Where they say the problem lies is with the players confidence in the joint after it heals. They generally are tentative on it for a year after it has healed because they fear the same thing will happen again.

This is where I think Smith may be right now. Healed 100% but not entirely confident when running and making cuts etc. That was his bread and butter last year and a lack of confidence in his knee could easily explain what is going on here.

Anyway, that is my medical opinion that has been provided from 11 different orthopedic surgeons.


September 23rd, 2010 at 3:23 PM ^

I know this from experience since I tore my ACL playing football.  I came back the next season but I wasn't myself and I didn't have my speed, explosiveness and quickness.  The year after that, I regained it and I did some things that I couldn't do the year before.


You can play in about 5-6 months, but it takes a year or two to fully recover.

Maize.Blue Wagner

September 23rd, 2010 at 2:26 PM ^

Wow, I have to watch that first Lewan clip (part 13) over and over.  Talk about playing through the whistle; he is an amazing asset to our OL.  It's seeing things like that, that assure me that this isn't last year, part 2. 


September 23rd, 2010 at 2:37 PM ^

I also have to agree with the mounting Smith criticism.

Bummer.  He's got the cool dreads.  I won't be completely happy until our entire offense has the 'Predator look'


September 23rd, 2010 at 2:39 PM ^

If Lewan doesn't start on Saturday then it's a travesty.  He's bigger and much stronger then Huyge and in 20 minutes of work dominated on nearly every play.  His attitude is something that we need on the line.  He and Molk are man killers that want to rip off defenders heads on every play, an o-line with a mean attitude is a great asset to have.  Plus starting Lewan from this point out also gives him a huge head start on the rest of his career, establishing himself alongside all time great Michigan tackles before he's done.


September 23rd, 2010 at 2:43 PM ^

That block on the 50 yarder was ridiculous by Lewan, he blocked the entire DL by completely obliterating that tackle and pushing him into the rest of the linemen.


You could have driven a Mack truck through that lane.


September 23rd, 2010 at 3:09 PM ^

and they turn themselves around, the OL can still maintain blocks even when they're blocking their back.  It's not considered a block in the back.  For example, if a DL make a spin move and OL hit them on the back, it's considered to be a legal move because DL is engaging with the OL.

J. Lichty

September 23rd, 2010 at 4:30 PM ^

(called a blocking zone by the NCAA)(called the clip zone by my 9th grade football coach)


c. A block in the back is illegal (A.R. 9-1-2-XVII, A.R. 9-3-3-VII, A.R.

9-3-4-III and A.R. 10-2-2-XXII).


1. Offensive players who are on the line of scrimmage at the snap

within the blocking zone (Rule 2-3-6) may legally block in the back

in the blocking zone, subject to the following restrictions:

(a) A player on the line of scrimmage within this blocking zone may

not leave the zone and return and legally block in the back.

(b) The blocking zone exists until the ball is touched outside the zone

or the ball is outside the zone after a fumble or muff from inside

the zone.

2. When a player turns his back to a potential blocker who has

committed himself in intent and direction or movement.

3. When a player attempts to reach a runner or legally attempts to

recover or catch a fumble, a muff, a backward pass, a kick or a

touched forward pass, he may push an opponent in the back above

the waist (Rule 9-1-2-d Exception 3) (A.R. 6-3-1-III).

4. When the opponent turns his back to the blocker under Rule 9-3-3-a-


5. When an eligible player behind the neutral zone pushes an opponent

in the back above the waist to get to a forward pass (Rule 9-1-2-d

Exception 4).


September 23rd, 2010 at 2:48 PM ^

I think it says something when on the 50 yard run after he hands the ball off and is passed up you instantly see DR the furthest player down the field. He then seems to have a moment in his brain where he's like "oh yeah, they're not as fast as me. Maybe I should block someone?" His speed is incredible but I'm betting as the season progresses RR will inform him to stay back behind the play at times to avoid the unnecessary shot being taken downfield trying to block.  


September 23rd, 2010 at 2:49 PM ^

Great stuff, as usual Brian.

I'd have to agree with your instincts. This does feel like the most potent UM offense I've seen in years. I dont think we'll have problems at all come Big 10 play. I think some of the defenses in our league a little overrated anyway.

Of course the 2000 team was torpedoed by the awful defense. Sounds familiar. I fully expect a 2000 NW-type game to break out at some point.