Upon Further Review 2011: Offense vs Nebraska Comment Count

Brian November 24th, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Formation Notes: HAI GUYS I'M BACK


Been back for a few weeks now, but whatever.

Substitution Notes: No Smith, who was apparently laid up with a shoulder injury, and no Barnum. Odoms is getting more and more run as the seasons winds down. Other than that, the usual.

Show? Show.

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M31 1 10 Shotgun twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Power sweep Toussaint -4
Odoms goes in motion to the weak side to be a potential pitch man as M runs a stretch one way w/ an option look on the other side. If this is a read Denard(-1) screwed up because he can get the corner easy and has a pitch guy. Meanwhile on the handoff, Michigan pulls Omameh and Huyge around the two TEs. This leaves the playside DT unblocked; he rushes into the backfield for a TFL. This has to be a bust but by who? I assume Watson(-2) but that is admittedly a guess; if he blocks down and Koger blocks down on the end this will get some yards. Omameh gets a minus for not doing what we saw Molk do on a previous mediocre outside run; that was a nine-yard difference.
RUN-: Watson(2), Omameh, Robinson
M27 2 14 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 over Pass Throwback screen Gallon 5
This does open up decently; Huyge(-1) whiffs an open-field block to get Gallon tackled after a modest gain. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +1)
RUN-: Huyge
M32 3 9 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Pass In Grady Inc
Late moving safety to the LOS. Nebraska sends six; OL does a great job picking it up and giving Denard a lane to step up into. He finds Grady somewhat open for a first down and throws it way behind him for a potential INT. Dropped. (IN, 0, protection 4/4)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 13 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M21 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 3-2-6 nickel Run Zone read keeper Robinson 16
LB over the inside slot receiver and five guys in the box with a safety creeping down weakside. Backside end gets crushed inside by Lewan(+1) and backside LB flows down the line; edge wide open so Robinson pulls. Dileo kicks the slot LB, though he was pretty far outside and didn't have much of a chance to get Robinson(+3) anyway. Robinson jukes the safety and is one step from a 79 yard touchdown when David recovers to tackle from behind. Robinson pounds the turf in frustration. Zookian RPS+2 here—WTF is Nebraska thinking?
RUN+: Robinson(3), Lewan RUN-:
M37 1 10 Pro set 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass Flare screen Toussaint 7
Dive fake to Hopkins as Toussaint runs a flare. Gallon(+1) cracks down on the playside LB as Schofield(+1) gets out in space; Toussaint sets up the Schofield block very well but his inside-outside juke does slow him enough that the safety can get over to chop him down after a good gain. (CA, 3, screen)
RUN+: Gallon, Schofield, Toussaint RUN-:
M44 2 3 Shotgun twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Zone read dive Toussaint 3
Straight inside zone here with no doubles. Omameh(+2) gets a little help from Molk but not much and ends up pancaking his DT; Molk(+1) peels off on a linebacker. Toussaint is cutting through the hole provided; Huyge(-1) couldn't get enough push/control of the playside DE, who comes off to tackle as Toussaint moves through the hole.
RUN+: Omameh(2), Molk RUN-: Huyge
M47 1 10 Shotgun empty 2TE 0 2 3 4-3 over Run QB inside zone Robinson 2
Odoms will come in jet motion on all these plays. Another double from Omameh(+1) and Molk on the just pancaked DT knocks him well out of the hole but Schofield(-1) has lost control of his man. Robinson jukes backside and the DT puts himself on the other side of the block; Robinson now has a hole. Unfortunately, Molk(-1) whiffed on David and he tackles in the hole.
RUN+: Robinson, Omameh RUN-: Molk, Schofield
M49 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over Pass Hitch Roundtree Inc
Molk gets his head up for a beat before snapping and picks up a blitz up the middle. David comes delayed and Toussaint basically misses him, forcing a throw to a covered Roundree. It's an okay throw and could be complete if not for obvious PI the refs miss. (CA, 0, protection 2/3, Toussaint -1) Refs -1.
M49 3 8 Shotgun triple stack 1 0 4 3-2-6 nickel Pass Fly Roundtree 46 + 2 pen
Toussaint motions out for an empty look. Nebraska rushes three with a fourth guy delayed; line picks it up and Denard has all day. He bombs it deep to a single-covered Roundtree, who slows down as is his wont; DB bangs into him and falls; momentum propels Roundtree into the path of the pass, which he catches. While the catch wasn't hugely difficult the setup was. (CA, 1, protection 3/3) Nebraska gets a PF tacked on.
O2 1 G Ace 1 2 2 Goal line Penalty Delay -- -5
No clock.
O7 1 G Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Speed option Robinson 0
Nebraska line stalemates M line, providing no obvious creases; Robinson bails on the play, cutting all the way back behind the line and into an unblocked contain guy. He manages to make that guy miss, seems like he's about to make another guy miss and get the corner, and then just goes straight into guy #2. IME: should have kept it to the playside, sucked in David, and pitched to Toussaint to see what he can do with the safety.
RUN-: Robinson
O7 2 G Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 4-3 even Pass PA cross Gallon 7
PA fake with Toussaint shooting outside; Toussaint beats the LB outside, sucking up a safety. Robinson looks at Toussaint then pulls up, gets square, and zips a dart to Gallon running free behind the Toussaint route for a touchdown. (CA+, 3, protection N/A)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-0, 8 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M45 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 even Pass PA Scramble Robinson 16
Waggle action gets Robinson all day as NU's DL doesn't get anywhere near Denard. Two fly routes take both safeties deep; Koger releases on a wheel that takes one linebacker and Toussaint releases into the flat, taking another. No one open, Denard finally runs. His breathtaking acceleration is just barely matched by David, who chops him down after a good gain. (SCR, N/A, protection 3/3)
RUN+: Robinson(2) RUN-:
O39 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel stack Run Zone read dive Toussaint 9
Koger H-back action. Nebraska has three down linemen and a LB over Koger, with apparently just six in the box. I again think this can be a keep read with a DE coming down and Koger coming around to block David; Robinson one on one with a safety. Denard hands off. Both playside linebackers hit inside gaps quickly, cutting off creases. Toussaint(+2) bounces. His outside bounce is quick but he's got the safety coming down and a corner containing. He takes a couple stutter-steps that fool the safety and shoots inside of the Grady block on the containing corner for a solid gain. Omameh(+0.5) picked up a stoning block on a LB entering his zone.
RUN+: Toussaint(2), Grady, Omameh(0.5) RUN-:
O30 2 1 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Toussaint 5
Doubles on both DTs are extended; Hopkins heads backside to hit the unblocked DE on that side. Hopkins(+1) gets a good thump on that guy but DE is shuffling down the line and Hopkins can't kick him out. Lewan(+1) releases and then flares to get the scrape exchange linebacker; Toussaint(+1) reads the blocking—Nebraska is slanting playside—and cuts back, where David hacks him down.
RUN+: Hopkins, Lewan, Toussaint RUN-:
O25 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 3-2-6 nickel Run QB iso Robinson 7
Three man line and five in the box is asking for this; M gives it to them. Molk(+1) blows up the NT. Omameh(+1) and Schofield(+1) also get good push. Robinson just has to run up their backs for a nice gain. RPS+1.
RUN+: Omameh, Molk, Schofield RUN-:
O18 2 3 I-Form 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Iso Toussaint 4
Nebraska kind of confused as to what they're doing here; chalk it up to multiple advantage. M runs same play, basically, with Hopkins lead and Toussaint running. Molk(+1) helps blow up the NT and then blows up David; Hopkins(+1) nails the other LB; Schofield(+1) ends up pushing the NT almost to the first down line. Toussaint hits it up for the first.
RUN+: Molk, Schofield, Hopkins RUN-:
O14 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Zone read keeper Robinson 2
Stupid tight shot. This looks wiiiiide open on the corner after Denard pulls but there might be a slot LB plunging down. No one mentions this so I assume not. If not, jeez Denard. DE is shuffling down the line in an attempted defense of the belly and Koger is about to seal the backside LB. Run for the corner and it could be a huge gain. Instead Denard pulls the Scheelhaase last week to poor effect. Still could have worked but for Huyge(-1) not being able to maintain his block but there are no blocks to maintain outside. Picture paged.
RUN-: Robinson(2), Huyge
O12 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Seam Grady Inc
Another blitz up the middle, this one not timed that well. It's picked up. Toussaint's coming off the mesh fake and runs right by the delayed blitzer, who is about to light Robinson up. He lets it fly to Grady on a quick seam that is a dangerous but does get through, clanging off a diving Grady's hands. (CA, 2, protection 0/2, Toussaint -2, RPS -1)
O12 3 8 Shotgun double stacks 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Sack -- -12
Hemingway motions from a triple stack to a double. Nebraska reveals man and sends seven. WRs are not open and Toussaint's cut block is not a Smith cut block, letting his guy through; Denard is under quick pressure with no options and tries to keep the play alive, taking a sack. Torn between asking him to throw this away and thinking about what happens if he dodges this guy. Six points, probably. (PR, protection 1/3, Toussaint -2, RPS -1). Where's our third down back?
Drive Notes: FG(42), 10-0, 2 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun empty 2TE 0 2 3 Nickel even Run Pin and pull zone Robinson 0
The jet sweep would have been a huge gainer as the D sells out on Robinson. I mean, Nebraska doesn't even react to the jet motion. Unfortunately, no read here so it's a straight run all the way. Koger(-1) loses his fight with the playside DE badly, Omameh(-1) does not delay the backside DT at all and leaves Huyge to chase him futilely, and the playside corner runs right by everyone to tackle. RPS -2. No chance structurally.
RUN-: Koger, Omameh
M20 2 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 4-3 even Run Zone read trap Toussaint 3
Safety rolled up hard and an overhang corner is eight in the box. Schofield pulls behind Molk to trap the other DT; Michigan splits them but the MLB reads the trap immediately and runs past Huyge. Tackle attempt is broken but delays Toussaint. David, over the slot, does not even look at the WRs and scrapes down to clean up. Screw it: this is a play that should have been bubbled and it cost Michigan a gain after a broken tackle. RPS -1.
RUN+: Toussaint RUN-:
M23 3 7 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Nickel press Pass Rollout out Hemingway 27
ESPN has a crazy tight angle on third and seven. Derp. Odoms motions out of the backfield. Nebraska plays tight man on the WRs and walks a safety down. They back him out and blitz off the slot to the side Michigan is rolling to. Hopkins gets a cut that delays the blitzer long enough to let Robinson set up and zing it to Hemingway on an out that's there and a lot easier because of the moved pocket. Caught, first down. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2, Hopkins special mention.) RPS +1; Hemingway on some white dude.
50 1 10 Shotgun twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Jet stretch Odoms 0
This is essentially a WR stretch play that Odoms(-2) screws up immensely. Playside end is not reached, which means go inside. He goes outside; this takes forever and a safety hacks him down at the LOS. Huyge(+1) had chopped the backside DT and Schofield(+1) driven the playside guy back yards so any back used to a zone would have cut inside and gotten something between five and a crapton of yards.
RUN+: Schofield, Huyge RUN-: Odoms(2)
50 2 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 4-4 even Pass Screen Toussaint INT
Oh, man. This is not Robinson's fault at all, really. Someone's got to cut this guy because the ball is headed directly to Toussaint and that guy has two blockers and air in front of him. It's gotta be Lewan, who's feebly pushing this dude as Schofield releases to block the screen. His dude leaps, bats, intercepts, and returns. (BA, 0, protection 0/2, Lewan -2, RPS +1)
Drive Notes: Interception, 10-7, 13 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M26 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Toussaint 9
This works out for Fitz but it's not as great as it seems on first viewing because he misread the play, started cutting back into unblocked guys, and then burst back to the hole that was open the whole time. Omameh(+1) beat up and controlled the playside DT, forcing him off the line. Toussaint stops behind a mediocre block from Schofield(-0.5) and thinks about going backside, then decides not so much. When he goes back the the original hole it's still there thanks to good extended blocks from Huyge(+1) and Hemingway(+1!) Toussaint then does earn a plus by dancing past a peeling DT to add three or four to his run.
RUN+: Omameh, Huyge, Hemingway, Toussaint RUN-: Schofield
M35 2 1 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel press Run Zone read belly Toussaint 2
Extended doubles here as Michigan adapts the zone to short yardage. Lewan(+1) and Schofield(+1) blow the backside guy off the ball and provide a lane as they cut off a linebacker. Safety coming down fills just past the LOS.
RUN+: Lewan, Schofield RUN-:
M37 1 10 Shotgun twin TE twins 1 2 2 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Toussaint 1
Denard misses a must-pull with the playside DE diving down hard. There is no one containing him; DE gets underneath Koger and the way-off-LBs converge to crush this.
RUN-: Robinson(2)
M38 2 9 Shotgun twin TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Zone read dive Hopkins 3
Nebraska shifts the LBs with the Odoms motion and Denard again misses a keep read. Yeah, there's a contain guy. There are two of you on the edge. The defensive end isn't even thinking about Denard, instead hugging the LT's hip as he releases downfield. When the MLB slants hard under Lewan to force a cutback that DE is there to tackle.
RUN-: Robinson
M41 3 6 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Comeback Hemingway 8
Good route and good placement by Robinson to take it away from the defenders; coverage wasn't bad but the throw and route here beat it. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2) RPS +1 as Hemingway again got defended by scrub.
M49 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-4 even Pass Waggle comeback Hemingway Inc
This inexplicably works well enough that a pulling Schofield has no one to block on the edge. All day for Robinson. He pulls up and fires to a wide open Hemingway. Total whiff. Should have set up instead of throwing on the run. (IN, 0, protection 2/2, RPS +1)
M49 2 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Pass PA Scramble Robinson 4
Stretch action fools no one—M does not run stretches, really—and Robinson has no one. When pressure comes he jukes it and gets outside for a few yards. (TA, 0, protection N/A, RPS -1)
O47 3 6 Shotgun triple stack 1 0 4 Okie Run Speed option Robinson 8
Okie at first and then Nebraska checks. They're still looking at the sideline when Michigan snaps the ball... and the blocking is really weird. Molk pass blocks, like it's a draw. This works. Odd. Huyge(+2) reaches the playside DE so Robinson heads outside. Omameh(+1) pushes David past the play; Robinson(+1) cuts back and jets upfield for the first. Lewan also got a block that pushed a player past the cutback.
RUN+: Huyge(2), Robinson, Lewan, Omameh RUN-:
O39 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Run Zone read belly Toussaint 16
DONKEY HATING. Too little of this this year. Inside zone with a probably designed cutback; Schofield(+1) pushes the backside DT out of the hole. Lewan(+2) destroys his DE, driving him four yards downfield. Hopkins(+1) kicks the contain guy after he contains. Molk can't quite get the MLB but the Lewan block gives Toussaint(+2) a lane he jets into. He jukes a safety for an extra five yards and bonus point. The replay on this is why I like Spielman no matter what anyone says.
RUN+: Lewan(2), Schofield, Toussaint(2), Hopkins RUN-:
O28 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-4 over Run Power off tackle Toussaint 0
Denard actually checks to this. Lord knows why. Nebraska has three relevant linebackers because the backside guy scrapes past Lewan before he can get out; not really on Lewan since the DT buried himself and made it impossible to get out to the second level. Michigan has two lead blockers. Toussaint(-1) tries to bounce and gets eaten up for nothing when just slamming it up in the nonexistent non-hole maybe gets a couple. RPS -1.
RUN-: Tousssaint
O28 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Scramble Robinson 9
A rollout that is intended to turn into a throwback screen that Robinson thinks isn't there... because it isn't. There's a DE in front of Toussaint. He's got a lane because Roundtree(+1) thumped a linebacker, who fell, and caused a DL to fall over him. (SCR, 0 (target: Toussaint), protection N/A)
RUN+: Robinson, Roundtree RUN-:
O19 3 1 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-4 even Run QB power Robinson 19
Late movement from Nebraska to get a guy over the slot. Four DL, five second level players. Koger(+1) kicks the playside DE and a blitz takes the playside DT out of the picture; Schofield does wall him off. Blitz also takes a LB away from the play out. Big hole, three on three in it. All three get outside of Lewan, with Lewan's guy beating that block; Omameh(+1) wipes him out. Robinson(+1) cuts behind that and is gone. RPS +1
RUN+: Robinson, Omameh, Koger RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 17-10, 6 min 2nd Q. Next drive starts with 3:21 left.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M11 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run QB sweep Robinson 7
Schofield and Molk pull to give Denard three lead blockers. Toussaint(+1) forms up to kick a charging LB past the play. Koger(+2) kills the playside DE, driving him five yards downfield. Huyge(+1) seals the playside DE. Robinson's lead blockers have no one to block until five yards downfield; Robinson follows them. He should really bust outside for a big gain; instead one guy submarines the whole pile.
RUN+: Koger(2), Toussaint, Huyge RUN-:
M18 2 3 Shotgun twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Zone read dive Toussaint -2
Another obvious blown read. The backside DE is let go and charges down Toussaint. There is no scraper and the two TEs are flaring out to clean that edge. Robinson must pull; he does not. MLB reads the mesh point and charges straight upfield at Toussaint, getting through the line about a second after the mesh. He bounces, which isn't a good idea, but he has no good ideas. RPS -1.
RUN-: Robinson(2)
M16 3 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run QB draw Robinson 2
Omameh(+1) crushes his DT out of the lane and to the ground, giving Robinson a lane. Schofield(-0.5) does a meh job. Molk heads downfield into a linebacker; that linebacker rushes outside as he thinks Robinson is going there, and Robinson should read that and cut behind that block so David can again tackle him by the ankles after ten yards. Instead he continues outside and gets chopped down by the LB.
RUN+: Omameh RUN-: Robinson, Schofield
Drive Notes: Punt, 17-10, 1 min 2nd Q. This is three straight Denard running screwups.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M43 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Dime even Run Inverted veer give Toussaint 5
With no apparent contain this is the right move but they blitz off the corner and Roundtree(-1) doesn't read it fast enough, letting his dude by. Toussaint(+2) is confronted by a corner in the backfield, he jukes past a la Hart. This allows a defender to come from the backside and tackle but it's still a +7 yard effort. RPS -1.
RUN+: Toussaint(2) RUN-: Roundtree
M48 2 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Scramble Robinson 3
Robinson drops back and finds no one. Protection is excellent and he has a lane, so he takes it. Toussaint realizes what's going on and sets up to block the one linebacker in the area; all Robinson has to do for a big gain is cut to the correct side of it. He instead bounces outside, where the LB is keeping leverage, and turns a big to huge gain into very little. Arrrrgh. (SCR, N/A, protection 2/2)
RUN-: Robinson
O49 3 2 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run QB draw Robinson -2
Nebraska seems to be looking for this; Omameh(-1) and Huyge(-1) lose their guys inside and Robinson has nowhere to go. He bounces but has to weave around guys and David tracks him down. RPS -1.
Drive Notes: EOH, 17-10. Argh. Terrence Robinson blasts a dude for the next drive.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O33 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Pin and pull zone Robinson 2
This thing again, oddly to the short side of the field. Koger(+1) blows the end off the LOS; Omameh(-1) loses his guy. Robinson has to bounce as the playside LB does a nice job of getting to the POA quickly and taking out Huyge in an inconvenient spot. Robinson gets to the sideline but a safety is there and he has no room to string it out to the corner. RPS -1.
RUN+: Koger RUN-: Omameh
O31 2 8 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 4-4 even Pass Throwback screen Gallon 24
I mean, seriously, Nebraska? You have zero guys within ten yards of this play. Have you watched Michigan ever? Huyge(+1) gets a block on the charging safety; Omameh(+1) picks off the backside LB, who bit hard on the play action. Gallon jets straight upfield for a big gain. RPS +2.
RUN+: Huyge, Omameh, Gallon RUN-:
O7 1 G Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Run Zone read belly Toussaint 0
Obvious pull is obvious; not made. Backside DE is shuffling hard and Hopkins is headed backside into the scrape linebacker. Safeties are an issue but the kind of issue that's “four yards or TD?” Denard hands off and the shuffle DE stops hugging Lewan's hip; he nails Toussaint at the line.
RUN-: Robinson(2)
O7 2 G Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Speed option Robinson 2
Oof. Schofield(+1) does a good job of ripping through the playside DT and heading out to the second level; at this point Molk(-2) should have an easy time of sealing this guy and Robinson shoots upfield near the goal line. He runs by the dude. Robinson sees the lane and hits it; DT ropes him down and Robinson plows into Molk to add insult to injury. If Molk makes this block touchdown is distinct possibility.
RUN+: Schofield RUN-: Molk(2)
O5 3 G Shotgun double stacks 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Cross Roundtree Inc (Pen +3)
Nebraska tips a blitz and still sends it. Michigan picks up six but cannot get a seventh because there's literally no one to block him. Robinson backs out and lofts one to Roundtree, who is one on one with their scrub DB. It's decently accurate but a little short; scrub DB is in Roundtree's chest, making this tough. It's dropped. Michigan is bailed out by a crap flag. Refs +2. (CA, 1, protection 3/3)
O2 1 G Power I 2 3 0 Goal line Run Power off tackle Toussaint -2
Nebraska DL just submarines on the snap, leaving four guys running at the ball. DE gets in on Hopkins well and blows up the play; Watson can't get over to block David as he shoots a gap, Toussaint tries a bounce and gets swallowed. RPS -1. What's wrong with calling an iso? Why always the slow developing stuff we suck at?
RUN-: Watson, Schofield
O4 2 G I-Form big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Speed option Robinson 3
No creases on the line; no one comes through as everyone does a decent job and Robinson manages to squeeze out three yards by diving forward as he nears the sideline. Unfortunately, this is run from under center, which means Robinson can't see the backside chop by Schofield that would open up a TD.
RUN+: Robinson RUN-:
O1 3 G Goal line 2 3 0 Goal line Run Bootleg Robinson 1
Huyge(+1) gets outside the playside DE and puts him to the ground. Koger releases downfield as if he's a pass option but when Robinson turns the edge is clean and he walks in. Omameh had pulled but didn't even have to block anyone. RPS +1.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 24-10, 11 min 3rd Q. Nebraska derps a punt on the next drive.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
50 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Toussaint 11
Linebackers are expecting the belly, which is dumb since the shuffling DE has it; they suck backside. Hypothetically this should be okay because the line is slanting and Omameh can't seal his guy but when Molk(+2) sees the linebackers moving away from the hole he holds up and seals the backside DT. Toussaint through the line. Hemingway(+2) then gets an excellent block in space as he cracks down on the safety. Stands the guy up and ends him. Toussaint(+1) darts past the corner and is ankle tackled by that dude and David.
RUN+: Molk(2), Hemingway(2), Toussaint, Schofield RUN-:
O39 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Toussaint 11 + 14 Pen
Same deal but oddly Molk doesn't make the same seal, instead moving out to the second level only to see David hit a gap in the line; he blocks nobody. Toussaint has to bounce playside, where the safety who got cracked on the last play is flowing hard downhill so he doesn't have that happen again. He's past Roundtree before he has a chance in hell of getting a block. Toussaint(+3) bounces outside the tackle, gets the corner, and picks up a first down. Lewan(+2) got a good block that shoves a leveraging DE past the LOS and helped get that corner. DE picks up an uber dumb late hit.
RUN+: Toussaint(3), Lewan RUN-:
O14 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Hopkins 14 (Pen -3)
Nebraska DL slanting hard playside; Omameh(+1) escorts one gentleman past where he wants to go, creating the crease. Koger(-1) biffs by not blocking down on the end, who almost tackles Hopkins as he attacks the back of the D. Instead he flares out on a guy who is uselessly containing. Hopkins(+1) runs through the arm tackle attempt; Molk(+1) gets a block on David, and Hopkins(+1 again) heads straight upfield, plowing the last five yards carrying a defender and Jeremy Jackson, who gets his hand caught in the defender's facemask.
RUN+: Hopkins(2), Molk, Omameh RUN-: Koger
O17 1 13 Pro set 2 1 2 4-3 even Pass Flare screen Toussaint -3
Defense looking for this; Lewan can't cut the relevant DE because he is alert for this play; Gallon(-1) whiffs as he cracks down on the playside LB. Toussaint makes a guy miss but can't even approach the LOS. (CA, 3, screen, RPS -2)
RUN+: Toussaint RUN-: Gallon
O20 2 16 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass PA Out Dileo 15
Stretch action into a rollout, which doesn't really fool anyone but there's either a bust or a huge hole in this coverage because a simple out to Dileo is wide open for YAC. Pitch and catch. (CA, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +1)
O5 3 1 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 4-4 even Run QB power Robinson 0
Schofield pulling short as M goes into the A gap. Molk(+1) and Omameh(+1) blow dudes up thanks in part to a slant. Huyge(+1) adjusts his release to pop a blitzing David; he only gets a piece but robs him of his momentum and creates a pileup. Denard sees the crease just in front of Omameh and seems to decide to go into it, then inexplicably runs right into David and another LB when he had a a crease for the first and possibly a TD if arm tackles don't get him.
RUN+: Huyge, Omameh, Molk RUN-: Robinson(2)
O5 4 1 FG 1 4 0 FG block Run Down G Dileo 4
Opens up wiiiiiide. This is not part of the offense and is not charted but +1 Hoke.
O1 1 G Power I 3 2 0 Goal line Run Power off tackle Toussaint 1
EMLOS on the playside dives down hard, getting inside of Hopkins (not his fault) and threatening major cloggage. Toussaint(+1) reads and smoothly bounces outside without losing much momentum. Nebraska doesn't have anyone on the edge like you would expect given the EMLOS giving up the edge (bust?) and Schofield(+1) adjusts his path to get outside of the two guys trying to adjust to their new reality. He impedes them enough and Toussaint walks in.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 31-10, 5 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M4 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Toussaint 2
Denard refuses to pull. Here he's got Koger blocking the contain LB and will be alone with the safety. Instead he hands off. Schofield(-0.5) gets beat but it's not really his fault since the DT is slanting; still you'd like to see him get more movement on the DT. Toussaint has to cut behind, where the shuffle DE eats him.
RUN-: Robinson, Schofield(0.5)
M6 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Toussaint 3
The Nebraska blitz with one LB up the middle and a delayed guy. Molk(+1) blows the blitzer out of the hole as the playside guys run themselves out of the play. Schofield(-1) releases but keeps his eyes to the backside, failing to adjust to the playcall. He misses an opportunity to block David and give Toussaint a big crease. Toussaint dances around and makes a few yards before David tackles.
RUN+: Molk, Lewan RUN-: Schofield
M9 3 5 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Rollout fly Roundtree Inc
Blitz picked up and Michigan gets the corner easily. Robinson has all day. He finds no one open and unleashes the dragon to a double covered Roundtree. Terrible decision; scramble. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 31-10, 2 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M14 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel press Run Zone read stretch Toussaint 3
Safety fully in the box as Nebraska gets aggressive. Michigan runs an actual stretch. Omameh(-1) just rides his guy down the line ineffectively when it seems a cut gets him to the ground or delayed. Nebraska strings the rest of the play out and Toussaint(-1) is hesitant when one hard upfield cut may get him past that backside DT. Instead he gingerly cuts behind Lewan and runs up the back of a couple OL until the DT runs him down from behind. Good push from Molk(+0.5) and Schofield(+0.5) gets the yardage.
RUN+: Molk(0.5), Schofield(0.5) RUN-: Omameh, Toussaint
M17 2 7 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Nickel even Run Zone read trap Toussaint 3
Insert bubble complaint here. Nebraska slants under the blocking and blitzes off the corner; there isn't a prayer in the world of covering Hemingway on a bubble. Toussaint appears to screw this up by not hitting it up in the trap area, which does crease, but he'll just get nailed by David anyway if he does and he manages to dance around for three yards on a totally dead play. RPS -1.
RUN+: RUN-: Toussaint
M20 3 4 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel press Run Speed option Robinson -3
All Nebraska players within five yards of LOS. M lets a DE go on the speed option; he forms up; Denard runs right into him. Pitch the damn ball. This is a huge gain if he does. Instead it's a loss because the QB guy hits the QB when he's still got the ball.
RUN+: Hemingway, Koger, Huyge RUN-: Robinson(3)
M17 4 7 Punt 1 2 2 Punt return Punt Punt -- Pen +15
Nebraska roughs the punter. You touch the plant foot in the air, automatic. Nebraska bitching about this is ludicrous.
M32 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Toussaint 14
Same deal as a previous play: both LBs backside, Molk(+1) comes off his release to seal the backside DT, Toussaint hits the gap and there are no LBs. This is to the RPS +1 point because Nebraska's scheme to deal with this is getting torn up. I won't minus him but Toussaint should have cut outside for even more yardage.
RUN+: Molk, Toussaint RUN-:
M46 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 2 1 2 4-3 even Penalty False start Molk -5
Molk messes the snap up. -1. That's okay, though, this was going to lose five anyway. At least we get to keep the down. I keed, I keed.
M41 1 15 Ace twins twin TE 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Iso Toussaint 8
Three different Nebraska LBs fill the intended gap. Uh. Cutback? Cutback. Molk(+0.5) manages to shove David a bit. He can't come from behind. Omameh(+0.5) does okay with the backside DT, but eventually does give ground and get pancaked; Huyge(+1) helped push him a bit and then comes off to get a LB. Toussaint(+2) somehow manages to squeeze through three arm tackles into the secondary, where he's tackled from behind. RPS -1. This should have died at the LOS.
RUN+: Molk(0.5), Omameh, Huyge(0.5), Toussaint(2) RUN-:
M49 2 7 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Power off tackle Toussaint 3
Oh, my god, it works. Koger(+2) destroys the playside DE. Schofield(+1) pulls around and seals the MLB. Hopkins(+1) gets an excellent kick on the SLB. Toussaint has a hole... that a safety fills with authority and thumps him to the ground as he tries to cut past him. Stupid power.
RUN+: Koger(2), Schofield, Hopkins RUN-:
O48 3 4 Shotgun double stacks 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass In Odoms 9
Odoms cuts inside against man coverage; good protection; Robinson stands in and zings an accurate one. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2)
O39 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Run Zone read belly Toussaint 0
Nebraska switches their defense of this play, sending the playside DE underneath Lewan and a LB behind that block. They send a LB off the slot, pulling Koger(-1) upfield on that guy (I may be giving him minuses when I should RPS minus but that is unknowable; I assume that blocking the guy optioned off by the zone read is not the play design). Scrape LB hits in the hole. RPS -1.
RUN-: Koger
O39 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel press Run QB iso Robinson 1
Opens up as Molk(+1) takes a blitzing LB and shoves him out of the play. Omameh(+1) escorts a DT well outside as well. Big hole up the middle filled by Hopkins, Robinson, David, and a safety. Hopkins(+1) gets a good block on David; Robinson cuts the wrong way into the safety and is tackled for a meh gain. He dances instead of either cutting behind or just testing his speed against the safety.
RUN+: Hopkins, Omameh, Molk RUN-: Robinson(2)
O38 3 9 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Fly Odoms 38
Michigan sets Roundtree and Hemingway up to the short side with Odoms alone in a lot of space to the other. With all day, Robinson sets up and absolutely nails Odoms in the back of the endzone for six. Double coverage my ass. (DO, 2, protection 3/3)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 38-17, 10 min 4th Q. Nebraska fumbles ensuing kickoff.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O23 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-4 even Run Power off tackle Toussaint -3
Backside blitz has no thought of containing Robinson; sellout to stop the run. This probably isn't going anywhere even if Toussaint hits it up but he sees the backside guy in his peripheral vision and bounces, which is a mistake. RPS has been turned off with M up 21 and less than 10 minutes left.
RUN-: Toussaint
O26 2 13 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Run Zone read dive Toussaint 1
Molk(-1) blocks a blitzing LB up the middle but needs to pass him off to Omameh and continue on; he does not and an unblocked dude tackles Toussaint in the hole.
RUN-: Molk
O25 3 12 Shotgun trips bunch 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Rollout out Odoms Inc
Rollout gets the corner but no one is open; Robinson throws a dangerous ball into coverage to Odoms that is deflected and could be intercepted. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Missed FG(42), 8 min 4th Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR DForm Type Play Player Yards
O31 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Toussaint 31
Same blitz; Molk(+1) kicks the LB. Contain DE flares out to cover Koger as the playside DT contains the read. Big hole, useless Huyge. Omameh(+1) gets out on David; Toussaint jukes a charging safety. Molk pushes the LB past Toussaint again as he peels back, eventually banging the other safety. Grady(+1) blocks a corner into that mess and Toussaint(+3) bounces outside of it, accelerating with fantastic agility to burst past everyone for six.
RUN+: Molk, Omameh, Grady, Toussaint(3) RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 45-17, 7 min 4th Q. Backups on next drive; charting done.

Hurray points.

Hurray points. This game exemplifies why points are not independent of the defense and special teams.


Hurray points.

Run breakdown?

If you cut out runs from inside the opponent 4 you've got this in the under center category:

  • 2 iso for 12 yards
  • 3 power off tackle for 0 yards

The sub-trend from under center is that we can get motion against certain bad DL and Hopkins is actually a pretty good fullback; meanwhile we suck uproariously at running power. Shotgun runs averaged a hair over 5 YPC excluding Denard scrambles.

So, the usual. Except not quite the usual because Michigan left an absolute ton of yards on the field from the shotgun. But for that we'll need a—

Chart… but this is not the order of chart.

No, but does it really matter what order the charts are in?

What's next, Blog Brandon? Are you going to have maize stripes for one game a year?

Fine, fine. QB chart.

[Hover over column headers for explanation of abbreviation. Screens are in parens.]

2009, All Of It 1 7 6(2) 3(1) 4 4 - - ? 44%
Notre Dame 3 25(8) 3(1) 4 1 - 4(1) 2 - 71%
Michigan State 4 14(3) 1 7(1) 1 - - 2 2 68%
Iowa 1 11(3) 2 3(1) 2 - 1 - - 64%
Illinois 4 9(1) 1 4 1 3 1(1) - - 60%
Purdue 2 12(1) 1 3 1 1 1 3 - 68%
WMU '11 - 6(1) 4 3 1 - - - 1 56%
Notre Dame '11 6 7(1) 1 6(1) 5 1 1 1 - 50%
EMU '11 1 10(1) - 5 1 - 1 1 1 59%
SDSU '11 - 10(2) - 4 2 1 - 1 - 53%
Minnesota '11 1 13(3) 1 3 1 - - - - 73%
Northwestern '11 4 12(3) 1 7 2 - - - 1 59%
MSU '11 1 8(1) 4(1) 6 5 - 1 7 1 40%
Purdue '11 1 7(1) - 1 2 1 - 2 - 66%
Iowa '11 2 21 2 7 1 - 3(1) 2 - 69%
Illinois '11 1 4(1) 1 2 - 1(1) - 1 1 66%
Nebraska '11 1 12(3) - 2 2 1 1(1) 1 3 66%

A trend: it is sensed. Denard again hits the mid-60s that has been his domain for much of the Big Ten season. Three of the last four games he has been at exactly 66%.

The DO was the inch-perfect Odoms throw…

…and I was tempted to bump one of three or four CA+ throws up. He had his traditional Unleash The Dragon moment when he threw to a bracketed Roundtree on third and medium when a scramble held promise and he could have thrown a more dangerous interception on his other BR. Other than that he had a pretty good day. I don't really blame him for the INT:


He's getting pressure, it's wide open, and he's got every right to expect that Lewan will get into this dude's legs, preventing him from getting his arms up. Not so much:


Too bad, because that thing was going to be a big gainer. Note that this isn't a Denard height issue since the guy deflecting the ball is seven yards away. If he threw it in such a manner as to miss him it would also miss Toussaint.

There were a couple other throws that shoulda/coulda been intercepted, so don't take this as a declaration all is right in the passing world. Just this particular item.

Overall, it was further proof that Denard is not the guy we saw in the nonconference schedule. He even added some scrambles, which the entire diaspora said "finally" to. Those were opened up by Nebraska playing man two deep. On the one linked in the previous paragraph watch the replay: man with two safeties bracketing on two deep routes, two guys out to cover Michigan players on the sidelines, four rushers, and Lavonte "Goddammit Ankle Tackle" David. They must be really dedicated to man coverage to run it against Denard.

It's just… you know… I mean…

You're going to do it. I'm going to put my fingers in my ears. LA LA LA LA LA

This does not prevent you from reading.

Offensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Lewan 9 - 9 Finally some productive donkey hatred. Belly helps him produce; also got Toussaint the edge on a play that would have gone badly otherwise.
Barnum - - - DNP
Molk 12 5 7 Adaptability helpful on a couple of Nebraska slants.
Omameh 13 6 7 Solid.
Huyge 10 4 6 Also solid.
Schofield 10.5 4.5 6 Solid?
Mealer - - - DNP
Watson - 3 -3
Koger 7 3 4 These numbers are eerily similar to last week.
TOTAL 61.5 25.5 71% Numbers last week: plus 61.5, minus 28.5. Weird.
Player + - T Notes
Robinson 9 21 -12 If refusal to pull the ball because it's not actually a read, migrate a bunch of those to Borges.
Gardner - - -  
Toussaint 22 4 18 Dang, son. Caveat: –5 pass blocking.
Shaw - - - Eh.
Smith - - - DNP
Hopkins 7 - 7 Turned into a solid fullback quickly.
Rawls - - - DNP
McColgan - - - DNP
TOTAL 38 25 13 Copious discussion later.
Player + - T Notes
Hemingway 4 - 4 Probably got a lot of stick in practice this week.
Odoms - 2 -2  
Gallon 1 - 1  
Roundtree 1 1 0  
Grady 2 - 2 --
Jackson - - -  
Dileo - - - --
TOTAL 8 3 5 There's a weird role reversal for you.
Player + - T Notes
Protection 33 7 82% Toussaint 5, Lewan 2.
RPS 14 17 -3 Robinson execution probably pushes this way positive.

Before we talk about Denard, yes, Toussaint really is the man and yes, he bailed Michigan out a lot. This is despite good play from the OL, Hopkins, even Hemingway—other than Watson (the assumed culprit on the busted first play from scrimmage) it is hard to find anyone who had a bad day other than a point or two from the WR corps.


Wow. Don't you think that's a little rough on a guy who averaged 4.5 YPC and had an efficient day throwing?

No. No I do not. The numbers are the numbers and there is a system. When someone makes a mistake that makes a play end after a yard, they get a minus. It's possible I'm not giving sufficient plus points when something goes right but the minuses are the minuses. Given the performance of the rest of the team Michigan should have had a dominant rush offense, not just a pretty good one. Repeated screwups on zone reads and option plays prevented this.

When I cut the clips the striking thing is just how many of them I had taken because they were crap gains when Denard refused to make blindingly obvious reads. Meanwhile, the screencap folder is full of images titled "denaaargh" and the like. Setting aside the three plays already covered in the Argh Denard Picture Pages (here's a clip of the missed Odoms triple option), these are my screenshots:


Handoff for zero yards as Hopkins flares to block the backside LB and the shuffle DE makes the play.


Hesitates and then cuts to the side of the Hopkins block where the extra player is for one yard.


Denard ran this directly into David for no gain, forcing the fake FG. Notice in both of these shots his weight is shifted back, indicating he's stopping when the hole is obvious.

pitch the damn ball

Denard did not pitch this and lost three yards, setting up the punt on which Hagerup was roughed.


Actually a good gain by Toussaint as Lewan donkeyed Toussaint the corner.

And then there are the clips I took.


Aaaaaargh araaarghg aaargh. That looks like a play designed to pull.


There are two separate issues here. One is Denard making crappy cuts. Those are frustrating but that's life. I don't think you can do anything about that—at some point Denard just has to be a Football Player and cannot be coached to slash the right way. Mike Shaw. QED. I do hope someone took him aside this week and told him to go upfield whenever possible and if he runs out of bounds against OSU it had better be after he crosses the goal line. Get yards. Make touchdowns. Don't dance. Just make your decision and go:

That decisiveness has been lacking. See air: go.

The other is Denard consistently making bad reads. These come in two varieties. On the speed option he never pitches. Like… I don't think he's pitched once this year. In the zone read game he almost never pulls.

The one time he did pull the backside tackle blocked the end inside and nobody scraped, which makes me wonder if I am putting all of this on his shoulders when Michigan has abandoned the zone read in favor of making it look like the zone read but not actually giving Denard the option.

Man, I wonder if that guy who tediously claims you are incapable of being objective about Denard Robinson on half of your posts says that about this one.

That guy clearly cannot read, so probably.


[Passes are rated like so: 0 = uncatchable, 1 = very difficult, 2 = moderately difficult, 3 = routine.]

  This Game   Totals
Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Hemingway 1 - - 2/2 11 0/2 8/9 20/23
Roundtree 2 1/2 - - 12 2/7 5/7 9/10
Odoms - - 1/1 2/2 4 - 1/1 4/4
Grady 1 - - - 6 - 0/1 2/2
Gallon -


0/1 2/2 7 - 2/3 23/23
J. Robinson - - - - - - - -
Dileo - - - 1/1 - 0/2 2/3 3/3
Jackson - - - - - - 1/1 1/1
Koger - - - - 6 1/3 3/4 10/11
Moore - - - - 2 - 1/1 -
Toussaint - - - 2/2 - - - 4/5
Shaw - - - - - - - 1/1
Smith - - - - 4 0/2 1/1 7/8
Hopkins - - - - 2 - - 1/1
McColgan - - - - 1 - - 1/1

Not too much of interest save Roundtree getting his bump-and-extend technique on the money this time:

Never in the history of this guy watching football have I seen a wide receiver get flagged for interference without shoving a receiver with his hands, so that seems like a a safe way to eliminate the cornerback and get a reception without risking a flag. He just needs to judge the ball a little better. We saw him try it against Iowa on a ball that was perfectly thrown; the ball escaped his fingertips because of his delay.

Anyway, "1" reception awarded.

Toussaint… so silky.

Yes. He was a major reason Denard's consistent lack of pulls did not destroy the offense. Here he misses a hole but his Hart-like ability to weave in traffic still gets him nine:

I'm not even kidding anymore. That run is full on Hart déjà vu. He is quality.

There is a significant caveat. Vincent Smith is the third down back for a  reason.

Denard didn't "panic," he is used to that linebacker getting sliced to the ground and knows if he gets outside the tackle he has seven rushers and man coverage behind it. Toussaint picked up all of the actual pass-rush minuses (Lewan's came when he did not cut block the eventual interceptor on the screen).

Hemingway had a bounce back, didn't he?

Yes. Difference between this:

And last week makes me wonder if Hemingway spent practice getting chewed out. Also on this play: check the subtle adjustment Molk makes. When he sees that both linebackers have headed backside he stops releasing into the second level and seals the DT slanting past Omameh, giving Toussaint the crease. He did this on another successful run that probably should have been a pull. Smart.

The previous section was not really about Hemingway.


On a day where virtually everyone played well Toussaint was first among equals, consistently making more yards than the plays had set up for him. The offensive line was all but perfect in pass protection and had a solid day against the Nebraska DL.


Denard's reads on the read option and the plain ol' option, or Borges calling a bunch of plays that look like the read option but actually aren't. It's not like they were saving Denard—he had 23 carries.

What does it mean for the Game?

With Andrew Sweat questionable, it's looking like the Ryan Shazier show at the critical OLB slot that will be scraping over to contain Denard on zone read type items. This is a good matchup for OSU unless it's really not. "Really not" will consist of Borges getting the freshman running very fast in the wrong direction with various trickery. If he's just allowed to hang out on the edge, Denard won't be able to keep at all and it'll be more of the same this week except OSU's defensive line will be better than the mediocre Nebraska outfit.

OSU's safeties are crap tacklers and mediocre players so getting past that linebacker level may produce the big plays that have not been around on the ground for Denard so far this year. Just have to do it. I wonder if they'll try to stretch Hankins, who's kind of a tub, and hope Shazier's run fits are iffy.

As far as passing goes, Denard's level has been established. When not pressured and allowed to set his feet he is pretty accurate; he'll still throw a ball or two in a dangerously inaccurate place. He will still unleash the dragon once or twice. He'll be able to move the chains, I think, but expect a lot of rollouts away from Simon if they line him up over Huyge.

I think it'll be a frustrating struggle, but I also think this is not a department in which I can be particularly objective given the frustrating struggles past.



November 24th, 2011 at 1:29 PM ^

Disagree on the INT.  I don't think Denard should have attempted that pass at all after the DT broke through.  Screens are all about timing and if you try to throw it too early or late, bad things happen.  A lot of other QBs in that play will just throw it in the dirt.  In Denard's case maybe he can try to scramble.


November 24th, 2011 at 1:47 PM ^

New here so be gentle please. Can someone please explain to me the difference in Brian's ratings of Denard (-12) & Fitz (+18) vs. Mathlete's Denard (+14) and Fitz (-3) ? Are they measuring two fundamentaly different things? Who should I trust? I tend to understand Brian's better.



November 24th, 2011 at 2:39 PM ^

I don't have a perfect understanding, but here's a few thoughts:

Both Brian and the Mathlete's systems are attempting to evaluate performance based on things that actually occurred, rather than general impressions and feels.

Their methodologies are very different: the Mathlete has his own set of mostly original, advanced statistics; they can be worked out without viewing the game. They are amazing for comparing players across teams and conferences. Brian reviews each play and makes slightly subjective observations about what's going on, who impacted the play, and what made the key players on a given play succeed or fail. 

IMO, refer to Brian for understanding how a player did in any particular game; refer to the Mathlete for comparing teams and players across the country, since Michigan is the only team to undergo UFR each week.


November 24th, 2011 at 10:25 PM ^

Brian is counting up good and bad plays to give you an in-depth review of the game. Mathlete uses a system he created called PAN (Points above normal). Basically, he does a lot of statistical analysis and he assigns values to plays based on the expected points to come out of that play.

Where you might see the differences is where someone makes a mistake and it doesn't hurt the outcome of the play. If Denard makes a bad read or bad pass and the RB/WR still makes a big play out of nothing, Brian will ping Denard for that, but Mathlete's results will only look at the outcome of the play and how you can expect that play to affect the score.


November 24th, 2011 at 3:29 PM ^

Can somebody please tell me what the correlation is?  I very much beleive its going to be something right in front of my face but there is something keeping me from getting it.  Can someone humor the idiot, please?


November 24th, 2011 at 4:28 PM ^

Gotta believe those are just inside zones without a true read.  I'm not sure what I'd prefer as that either makes me pissed at Borges while the alternative is worrisome for Denard.  Even though Denard has never been great on the read he's never been THAT bad.  They also might have been trying to limit his carries some since he racked up a bunch early in the game.

With regards to the speed option, he did dangerously pitch in the the SDSU game when the speed option debuted, but that might be it.  Just going from memory.  Like much of what we do, what looks like an option or read is often just a decoy it seems.  It's either that or Denard just makes up his mind what he's going to do before the snap.  But certainly Hopkins is not a true read on the dive and Odoms is not a true read on the jet motion or end around.

I suppose there's a reason why we never saw the speed option (or additional reads) for Denard under RR.


November 24th, 2011 at 4:52 PM ^

That's a zone-read and, yes, Denard is that bad at making the correct read. It's exactly why RR had to abandon it last year. If you want to blame Borges for continuing to call the ZR even though Denard is seemingly incapable of executing it correctly, then, fine, but, don't blame Borges for Denard's mistakes. I love DRob as much as the next guy, but, he's almost through his junior year at UM and the fact that he still can't execute this play properly is somewhat disconscerting. They practiced the ZR all spring, all of fall camp leading up to the season and spent much of the bye week working on it. Denard must get better. It's okay to believe that and doesn't make you a hater or a bad fan to say it.


November 24th, 2011 at 5:32 PM ^

I would be more inclined to agree with you if all of the "mistakes" seem to be him not pulling the ball rather than mistakes of him keeping when he should give AND not pulling the ball when the end crashes or LB doesn't scrape.

Denard does make lots of mistakes but the examples against Nebraska are quite egregious and repetitive.  Do you really think Borges wouldn't have been in his ear after a couple of those if they were true reads?  If so, he's not a very effective coach.

While RR ran the zone read less than we ever thought he would, it certainly wasn't abandoned.  We had to guess in 2009 and 2010 that he simply turned a lot of the reads into straight zone runs which is exactly what we're surmising now.

Pete99, have you been attending practice?



November 24th, 2011 at 5:49 PM ^

Zone read is not Borges' favorite thing, despite his time with it earlier in his career. It's possible that he doesn't grasp all the nuances of the concept. If he is a zone dilletante then he may be coaching the players to key in on the wrong defender on certain kinds of reads.

To argue that Robinson, who seems to be pretty good at picking up other offensive concepts, would be so consistently terrible due to his own limitations, makes less sense than him getting bad coaching on which defensive player to key on for any given formation.



November 25th, 2011 at 11:09 AM ^

I had the privilege of attending two practices back in the spring.


Borges is in Denard's ear when he makes bad reads, just as Coach Rod was. I'm not sure why you think that makes Borges a bad coach? Coach Rod & Coach Smith couldn't get DRob to execute the ZR properly, either. The ZR was, in fact, all but abandoned last year as the season went along for this very reason. Far too often, whether its a run play or pass play, Denard predetermines what he's going to do with the ball before its even snapped. It was a problem last year in Coach Rod's offense and its been a huge issue again this year. A second straight year in the same system should go a long way in alleviating this problem (hopefully).


November 25th, 2011 at 2:23 PM ^

Well, I don't think either of us truly know what happened on those specific plays against Nebraska. I appreciate that you were at 2 spring practices but how do you know they spent much of the bye week working on it? It seems to me that they spent the bye week re-dedicating themselves to running I-Form Power and Iso's and setting themselves up to lose to a mediocre Iowa team.

I've already ceded the point that Denard often makes the incorrect read but I personally think in the 2nd half of the Nebraska game he was instructed to handoff. That's just a guess, as is your assertion.

As for the part about Borges being ineffective...

In your scenario, running the zone read properly has been a focus all spring, fall, and during the bye week. Yet, Denard just had perhaps his worst performance in that area. If he's getting worse, or at least not getting better, it would seem to me that would make Borges pretty ineffective at that coaching point, no?

For the record, I've been pleasantly surprised by Borges this year but his gameplans against State and Iowa cost us a shot at the Big Ten Championship.

Either way, let's see what happens this week.

Beat Ohio.


November 24th, 2011 at 8:48 PM ^

The issue was hinted at during a presser; Borges said he coached D-Rob to pull only if the edge is "clean".  That means Denard isn't reading the DE; he's reading jersey color.

I looked at the re-plays.  In every single case, there was either an OLB or DE on the edge, outside the tackle.  Didn't matter what position or if he was facing the wrong direction, where Robinson would smoke him outside.  Robinson's just keying in on the jersey color.  In fact, the defender actually pushes the pile inside, as just being there ensures the pull won't happen.  It's agonizing to watch.

The only way for Denard to pull is if the tackle seals the outside defender, but it's hard to do that without screaming to every defender within fifteen yards, "GET TO THE CORNER EVERYBODY, DENARD'S PULLING!"  There pretty much has to be a bust.

In other words, Denard's just doing what he was coached, but it's a screaming obvious tell.  The opposing defenses have this play figured out.  The contain guy just has to step outside, Denard sees the jersey and hands off, and the entire defense descends on Toussaint.  Every one of those minuses on Denard for handing off should be an RPS -2.


November 25th, 2011 at 10:54 AM ^

I think this is exactly correct. And it's super frustrating, because if we have noticed his decisions on pulls, it's a certainty opposing coaches have noticed that and more. IMO there is no way that this play goes for so few yards so often if Denard truly keyed on the DE and had a a much more even ratio of pulling and giving.


November 24th, 2011 at 5:26 PM ^

I wonder what you're thinking when you post the same incorrect thing on every post. Do you think anyone is waiting with bated breath for your latest revolutionary opinion on my opinions? Or are you just determined to waste everyone's time by posting the same obviously incorrect assertion over and over again because, like a comic book supervillan, something went terribly wrong with your childhood?


November 25th, 2011 at 11:34 AM ^

Your QB grading system is terribly flawed.  You CANNOT have the QB who was responsible for 4 TDs (four BEAUTIFUL touchdowns by the way: two dead-on great throws and 2 runs where he showed his jet-like speed) and only 1 turnover and grade him -12 on the day.

NEGATIVE TWELVE?  You can't be taken seriously with grading him like that after such a great overall game. Drew Sharp himself wouldn't grade Denard that poorly!

I've seen net-negative QB performances before, in 2008 and 2005. I know what a net-negative performance looks like.  THAT simply was not a net-negative performance!

I think you alluded to the solution. You need to give him much better positives to offset his missed reads. 

-12??  C'mon man!