Upon Further Review 2011: Offense vs OSU Comment Count

Brian December 8th, 2011 at 3:17 PM

THIS.

they don't like it

Formation notes: Almost entirely shotgun this week. As far as OSU's defense goes: they run a nickel package on every down with Tyler Moeller the "star", a sort of hybrid safety/LB. OSU had two main alignments, one with Moeller over the slot and one with him in the box. Moeller slot == Nickel. Moeller box == 4-3. "Plus" means a safety has walked down all the way into the box.

Substitution notes: Status quo on the line and at WR. Toussaint was obviously the main guy at RB; Hopkins got some time as a single blocking back on passing downs and Denard runs. Not sure if Smith is still dinged up or if that's a shift in deployment. Moore seemed to be the second TE in this game.

In lieu of anything interesting on the Michigan side of the ball, here's an oddity from OSU: planetoid DT Jonathan Hankins spent almost the entire game playing DE. No idea why. While he made some plays out there he was useless in pass rush.

Show? Show.

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M26 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over plus Run QB sweep Robinson 5
Barnett rolled down as another LB with the SLB over the slot. Michigan pulls Schofield and Molk; Odoms runs an end around fake. Koger(+1) gets a good downblock on the playside DE, opening the corner. Toussaint has the cornerback; Schofield(+1) has Barnett. Barnett bugs out and is about to go for a ride; Molk(-1) does not see Sabino coming from the inside and runs past him. Sabino was slightly delayed by the end-around fake and he can't cut Denard off until he picks up a nice gain; could have been big time if block is made.
RUN+: Koger, Toussaint RUN-: Molk
M31 2 5 Shotgun twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Zone read belly Toussaint 0
Odoms motions for the triple option look. Hankins is lined up at DE and is the unblocked zone guy. Weird. He shuffles down. Shazier is in the gray area as far as a handoff goes; playside CB is hard on the edge and will eat up a pitch. This is supposed to be a belly given the blocking but it's not there; MLB is unblocked and Toussaint has to dance around to get back to the LOS. The blocking does not make sense with Toussaint's angle of attack. Not sure who that screwup is on but assume Toussaint since the blocking is coherent. RPS -1; I can't figure out how Michigan is going to get yards here.
RUN-: Toussaint
M31 3 5 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Slant Odoms Inc
An accurate dart; Odoms is blatantly interfered with without a call. Refs -2. (CA+, 0, protection 1/1) Odoms got an illegal motion call so this would have offset.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-7, 11 min 1st Q. Three and out plus sack plus crappy punt sets Michigan up with good field position on the next drive.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O47 1 10 Pro set 2 1 2 4-3 over plus Pass Flare screen Toussaint 6
Actually a T formation(!) until Hemingway motions out. Michigan runs a delay fake to Hopkins and then hits Toussaint on the flare screen. Hankins is the playside DE again and gets chopped; he's useless out there. Shazier sucks up. Gallon whiffs a block in space, as does Schofield, and Toussaint doesn't realize he's got a lot of room behind Molk, so he ends up running into the corner after a decent gain. RPS +1. (CA, 3, screen)
RUN-: Gallon, Schofield(0.5)
O41 2 4 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Run Inverted veer keeper Robinson 41
Nickelback comes down off the slot to show blitz and then just forms up as LB. Short side corner does blitz. Hopkins ends up kicking him out as Denard pulls. Shazier covers Toussaint; Omameh is pulling and ends up ignoring Sabino, instead choosing to block Shazier. Robinson(+3) jukes Sabino as Omameh(+1) latches onto Shazier and pulls the Te'o special by driving him into a safety; Toussaint also improvises to help get that guy blocked. Gallon(+2) puts Barnett on the ground and that's all she wrote. Lewan(+1) crushed Hankins inside BTW. I thought Omameh screwed this up, which is why Denard had to juke, but it worked out in the end. I'm not sure about the screwup now; more later. RPS +1. Picture paged. Replay w/ Gallon block.
RUN+: Robinson(3), Omameh, Lewan, Gallon(2) RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-7, 9 min 1st Q. Safety gives M 9-7 lead and good field position on next drive.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M48 1 10 Denard jet 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Jet sweep Robinson 5
Basically the same play they started with from a new formation. Boise State "just plays" theory. OSU sends a guy off the edge who sets up in good position, making either the bounce or the cut upfield awkward. Michigan now running at Simon, not Hankins, and that's a big difference. Moore(-1) is owned. Denard has to bounce outside. Molk(+1) gets a shove on the contain guy Smith is blocking, giving Denard(+1) a little room before a safety comes up to contain; Smith's guy disengages to tackle.
RUN+: Robinson, Molk RUN-: Moore
O47 2 5 Ace triple stack 1 1 3 4-3 even Pass Throwback screen Gallon 2
This is dead since the corner is sitting on it and is right on top of it to tackle on the snap. Not actually sure how this gained any yards at all. (CA, 3, screen, RPS -1)
O45 3 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Run QB power Robinson 2
Well blocked and should actually be a nice gainer except Hopkins(-1) starts blocking the edge contain guy Odoms is already on, leaving Shazier free to flow to the hole. Koger(+1) got an excellent seal of Simon. Omameh did a meh job on his pull but did get a helmet on Sabino; Sabino gets playside and impacts Robinson, so when Shazier bangs into the pair their momentum stops dead.
RUN+: Koger RUN-: Hopkins
O43 4 1 I-Form Big 2 2 1 5-3 eagle Run FB dive Hopkins 3
Easy because Omameh(+1) and Huyge(+1) crush one DT; NT submarines himself and Hankins isn't terribly useful; Molk(+0.5) gets enough of a shove on the MLB to prevent anyone from coming over the top and Hopkins gets it easily.
RUN+: Omameh, Huyge, Molk(0.5) RUN-:
O40 1 10 Denard jet 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Counter pitch Smith 3
No sale. Shazier reads it and gets outside of Lewan, flowing down to tackle when the corner maintains contain. Still an okay gain.
O37 2 7 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 even Pass Rollout hitch Roundtree 8
With Simon doubled and Toussaint screening the edge is a given here since the slot LB is dropping into coverage. Denard finds Roundtree for a first down; throw is low and has to be dug out. Maybe that's intentional since he's keeping it away from coverage... but probably not. (MA, 2, protection 2/2)
O29 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 4-3 even Run Inside zone Toussaint 3
Odoms in motion underneath and after the handoff Robinson fakes a bubble screen. Which was CRAZY OPEN. Borges did this to spite Heiko. The run is close to working too; expecting belly the two linebackers end up on the backside as Toussaint hits the gap between Schofield and Omameh; Shazier has bolted up into the backside of the play and is sealed away by Omameh. Schofield(-1) got shoved into the backfield, however, and Hankins has both gaps covered. He reaches out to slow Toussaint, allowing the safety to fill. Toussaint(+0.5) breaks a tackle to get some yards after contact.
RUN+: Toussaint(0.5) RUN-: Schofield
O26 2 7 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 4-3 even Pass Post Hemingway 26
Play action. Robinson has all day; great protection from the line and Smith lights up the LB when he comes on a delayed blitz. Live I thought this was late from Robinson but it's not really, Koger just screwed his route up by running a seam instead of what I'm sure must have been an in or something. With no safety over the top and Hemingway inside of his man all he has to do is box out. Denard underthrows it a smidge but nothing too bad; Hemingway's adjustment is simple. (CA, 3, protection 3/3)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 16-7
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M7 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Run Zone read dive Toussaint 2
Schofield heads to the second level immediately and Molk(+1) has to block the NT one on one; he goes playside and Molk locks him up; Toussaint(-1) has to cut behind. He reads this late, slowing up in the hole and gingerly picking his way through the traffic. This delay allows Simon, unblocked on the backside, to hug Lewan's hip and then come around. (Koger is headed outside to potentially block contain guy Shazier, but no keep.) There's a hole because of the overplay by the NT and Omameh/Huyge comboing the DT; Omameh(-1) gets out on the MLB but is shed easily, robbing Toussaint of the ability to fall forward for a couple more or run through Simon's ankle tackle attempt.
RUN+: Molk RUN-: Toussaint, Omameh
M9 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Run Inverted veer keeper Robinson 2
Okay, this is the second straight time the pulling guard has blocked the guy the read options off instead of heading to the second level. Michigan got away with it the first time; not so much here. Koger is blown up by Simon; Denard reads Klein shooting outside and pulls; Schofield(-1) blocks him anyway. Klein is so confused he runs after Toussaint well after the pull. This leaves Denard in a lot of space against Johnson, the safety. He makes a wrong move and Johnson makes a great open field tackle to prevent a big gain; Robinson fumbles but Michigan gets lucky on the recovery. Omameh(+1) got a good driving block to open up more room. RPS+1; this should have worked even with the screwup. (If it actually was.) BWS picture-paged.
RUN+: Omameh RUN-: Schofield, Robinson(3)
M11 3 6 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Pass Sack -- -4
Koger motions out. Michigan rolls out to that side and gets plenty of time; Robinson can't find anyone open and eventually eats a sack. Hopkins could have done a better job cutting Simon, I guess. (TA, N/A, protection ½, Hopkins -1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 16-7, EO1Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Toussaint 3
Ten man football. Backside DT slants inside Lewan(-1) and Schofield(-1) and charges down the line; Molk(+0.5) and Omameh(+0.5) have beaten up the other DT and Simon has to contain; Grady(+0.5) comes down on the safety and there is a developing gap. Toussaint has to run away from the backside DT and this gives Ohio State time to rally.
RUN+: Omameh(0.5), Molk(0.5), Gallon(0.5) RUN-: Lewan, Schofield
M23 2 7 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 4-3 even Run PA scramble Robinson 5
After an inverted veer fake Robinson pulls and sets up to throw. I think Robinson needs to ride the fake longer here to get the DE to commit to Toussaint; as it is he pulls and has that guy plus a linebacker scraping over with just one blocker. DE comes in on him; Robinson takes off. Without the pressure, I think he's got Hopkins on a wheel route as Shazier is confused as hell. (SCR, N/A, protection 0/2, Robinson(!) -1, Team -1)
RUN+: Robinson RUN-:
M28 3 2 Shotgun 2-back 2TE 2 2 1 5-3 eagle Run QB power Robinson 3
Simon blows up Koger(-2), who loses him outside immediately; Simon takes out the puller and forces a bounce that Robinson can manage because Toussaint(+1) got a good block and he is Denard Robinson. He gets the first down before fumbling; this time Michigan is not so lucky. Shazier gets all limpy on this play. He'll continue but he won't be full strength. (Robinson only loses two on this play because he got a +1 for the run before the -3 for the fumble.)
RUN-: Koger(2), Robinson(2)
Drive Notes: Fumble, 16-10, 9 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even plus Run Zone read keeper Robinson 1
One high with Moeller out on the slot and Johnson walking down. Sabino does a good job of getting outside Koger's block and Grady(-1) totally whiffs on the slot guy, so Denard can't just go outside. Would probably have gotten decent yardage if Grady gets anything on Moeller.
RUN-: Grady
M22 2 9 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass PA TE flat Koger 7
Both safeties back, for the most part. OSU blitzes a linebacker and has Simon drop off as a DT heads out on the edge for contain. No linebackers means the short flip to Koger is open; Robinson takes it. Moeller does a good job of filling; you'd still want Koger to maybe shake this guy a little and get more yards here. (CA, 3, protection N/A)
M29 3 2 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 3-4 nickel press Pass Scramble Robinson 9
DL in a 3-4 alignment with Simon in a standup position on the edge. OSU offsides; no call. Refs -1. Their early movement reveals a slant/stunt that gets Simon past Huyge(-1); Huyge does keep shoving the guy and eases Robinson's step past him. With a DL upfield there's a running lane Robinson hits for the first, picking up another five by dodging a tackler. (SCR, N/A, protection ½, Huyge -1)
RUN+: Robinson(2) RUN-:
M38 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even plus Run Sprint counter Toussaint 46
Sabino buries himself in the line on the counter action. Schofield(+1) seals one DT; Molk(+0.5) and Omameh(+0.5) the other. Huyge(-1) gets chucked by the playside DE and falls to the ground; a pulling Lewan(+2) improvises to pick him up. Shazier is in a lot of space and Toussaint can go either side of the Lewan block because it's at the LOS and Lewan is shoving the guy downfield; Shazier tries to maintain leverage, forces the cutback, and slips. I don't think the slip mattered; Toussaint(+2) was one step and gone upfield. Barnett can't close him down because he hesitated, thinking Denard might have it. RPS +3.
RUN+: Schofield, Molk(0.5), Omameh(0.5), Lewan(2), Toussaint(2) RUN-: Huyge
O16 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Inverted veer give Toussaint 2
This is all about Simon. Schofield's(+0.5) guy gets upfield and is sealed away; Lewan(+0.5) gets downfield with alacrity to seal Shazier. Molk deals with the backside DT easily enough. There's Simon, unblocked, Koger on Sabino, and Hemingway(-1) on Moeller; Hemingway loses Moeller quickly to the outside and Toussaint has to cut upfield. Koger's block is okay; Simon plays this perfectly to get the handoff and still make the play on Toussaint on the cutback; he reaches out and spins him 360 with an arm tackle on the shoulder, allowing the safety to fill. I think Denard has to ride the mesh longer here to make Simon pick. He's the only guy who can deal with this.
RUN+: Schofield(0.5), Lewan(0.5) RUN-: Hemingway
O14 2 8 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 even Pass Waggle TE flat Koger 3
Nine guys tight to the line. Michigan runs PA because that's what they always do from this formation. Huyge(-2) inexplicably lets a DT go to block Shazier, DT pressures, Denard sidesteps. More guys come in now (Huyge whiffed on Shazier, too) but the threat of the run pulls Simon up and Koger is open on the sideline for a short catch and some YAC. (CA+, 3, protection 0/2, Huyge -2)
O11 3 5 Shotgun trips bunch 1 0 4 Okie Pass Drag Odoms 5
Three guys are sent up the middle; Molk and Hopkins pick up two. The last guy is unblocked as Schofield is blocking air with a DT dropping out. A guy is in Denard's face; he calmly hits Odoms on a drag route for the first. Ball is behind him but not too bad; Odoms gets hit by the safety and has to juggle and re-catch the ball as he goes to the ground. Tough, tough catch. (CA, 1, protection 0/2, team -2)
O6 1 G Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-5 umbrella Run Zone read dive Toussaint 0
Backside blitz sends contain DE Simon inside; Lewan(+1) blocks him. Koger, heading backside picks off the blitzer. Toussaint(-1) has a cut backside for six and misses it. Huyge(-1) has gotten shoved into the backfield and lost inside position on his DE; Toussaint bounces into a lot of trouble.
RUN+: Lewan RUN-: Toussaint, Huyge
O6 2 G Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 4-3 even plus Run Inverted veer keeper Robinson 6
DE upfield; obvious keep. Sabino heads outside for Hopkins, who he must be keying on to maintain leverage. Safety Johnson has no idea who has the ball and takes a step outside well after the mesh point. Huyge(+1) gets a good downfield block on Shazier, pancaking him; Omameh(+0.5) did enough with the playside DT, and Robinson(+1) strolls in. RPS +1.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 23-17, 3 min 2nd Q. Michigan gets the ball with little over a minute left inside their 20 and runs the clock out to end the half, then gets the opening kickoff in the second.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Run Inverted veer give Toussaint 8
DE is Hankins and he does not get upfield, so the handoff is made. Koger(+1) blocks Shazier, Omameh(+1) pulls and blocks Hankins, again leaving a rolled up safety one on one with Toussaint. Toussaint(+2) jukes him out of his jock with a jump cut reminiscent of his high school film. He's now on the edge; Sabino just manages to come around traffic to tackle with help from the corner, who chucked Hemingway upfield.
RUN+: Toussaint(2), Koger, Omameh RUN-:
M28 2 2 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run QB power Robinson 3
Odoms in motion for an end around fake. Denard keeps and it's power. OSU blitzes. Omameh(+2) crushes blitzing MLB to the ground, removing him and destroying backside pursuit. Playside DT slides outside, creating a big hole in the middle. Unfortunately, Koger(-1) is assigned to him and can't deal with it. He peels off; both Schofield and Toussaint see him as a threat so he ends up taking three blockers. Simon is to the outside of this so it's not that bad but it does leave Johnson unblocked. Robinson has a lot of space and should probably try to jet straight upfield. Instead he goes with the bounce and Moeller tracks him down, but after he picks up the first.
RUN+: Omameh(2) RUN-: Koger
M31 1 10 Ace triple stack 1 1 3 4-3 even Pass Throwback screen Gallon 8
Hemingway blocks the near guy this time as eight OSU defenders are dealing with the zone fake. Odoms... heads inside. Argh. One of the two WRs has to go to the safety. Neither does. He's still about eight yards off on the catch and Gallon does juke him to the outside, but the delay allows other members of the secondary to fill, turning a potential big play into a decent one. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +1.)
RUN+: Gallon RUN-: Odoms
M39 2 2 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 4-3 even Run Inverted veer give Toussaint 4
DE comes down so the give is made. Shazier heads outside to contain and is kicked by Hopkins(+0.5); Schofield(+0.5) comes around in time to bump the MLB. Zone stuff holds that DE inside long enough. Johnson is overhanging close to the LOS and fills quickly; Toussaint tries to bounce and Shazier closes him down. Johnson gets dinged, paving the way for Dominicoe.
RUN+: Hopkins(0.5), Schofield(0.5) RUN-:
M43 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even plus Run Triple option dive Toussaint 4
Or sort of anyway; Hopkins in motion on the speed and Toussaint runs after a handoff I bet a dollar is not a read. Toussaint sees nothing inside and bounces; Huyge(+0.5) did get the corner by not giving ground but this is not a slam dunk. Toussaint(+0.5) ducks under a Shazier tackle to turn a couple into a couple more.
RUN+: Huyge(0.5), Toussaint(0.5) RUN-:
M47 2 6 Shotgun twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Triple option keeper Robinson 5
Virtually the same play with Odoms coming in motion to replace Hopkins and a Denard pull. Not sure if this is a real read or not. Moeller blitzes off the edge; Koger pulls across, forcing him to delay but not actually getting a block. Robinson(+1) sees Lewan(+1) has shoved Simon down the line and shoots directly upfield, taking a shot from the MLB as he recovers from the playfake. Rolled up safety finishes it off short of the first, but very close.
RUN+: Lewan, Robinson RUN-:
O48 3 1 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Run QB power Robinson 3
Odoms motion, fake jet sweep action. Lewan(+1) and Schofield(+0.5) double the playside DT, busting him back and sealing him; Lewan then pops off to the second level. Molk(+0.5) gets an easy seal on a guy lined up outside of him. Robinson leaps over the prone DT Schofield is sitting on and gets it easily.
RUN+: Lewan, Schofield(0.5), Molk(0.5) RUN-:
O45 1 10 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 4-3 even Pass PA TE seam Koger 26
Blitz off the slot draws Lewan and leaves Schofield(-1) with Simon; Simon gets a dangerous rush. All for naught as Koger drives past Shazier after a not particularly convincing fake and Robinson lofts a perfect touch pass to him for a big gain. (DO, 3, protection ½, Schofield -1, RPS +1.) Shazier is in good position here but the throw is very good; need to make that fake better.
O19 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Run QB sweep Robinson 6
End around fake to Odoms as Molk and Schofield pull outside of Lewan and Koger. Lewan(+1) eliminates his DT. Koger almost loses Simon but manages to push him past the play as he threatens to TFL. OSU flows well to the play; Toussaint(+0.5) kicks out one LB and Schofield(+0.5) gets the MLB but those two have made creases difficult to find. Molk is also running at this situation; both he and Denard run up the back of Schofield and lurch the pile forward for a decent gain.
RUN+: Lewan, Schofield(0.5), Robinson(0.5), Toussaint(0.5) RUN-:
O13 2 4 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-5 umbrella Pass Triple option pitch Odoms -7
Moeller moves late to the edge and blitzes off the corner, which forces a pitch from Robinson about a half second after the mesh point. The pitch is wildly off. I'm not sure why he kept; having that guy coming off the edge is bad news even if the pitch is completed and the handoff is the move.
RUN-: Robinson(2)
O20 3 11 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Dig Odoms 20
OSU gergs it, dropping Simon into a short zone and attempting to rush with three DTs (Hankins is still playing DE). With Hopkins protecting that's doubles for everyone and a billion years in the pocket. Robinson surveys and finally throws a dart to Odoms in between four defenders, two of whom derp each other, allowing Odoms the last three yards for the touchdown. (DO, 3, protection 3/3) Replay.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 30-24, 9 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M9 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Sprint counter Toussaint 1
Molk(+1) buries the NT. This has the unfortunate effect of taking out Schofield's legs from behind and freeing Hankins to flow down the line. Omameh(-1) whiffs on Sabino on the second level. Huyge(-1) is in a stalemate with the playside DE, who successfully forces the play back inside as Huyge kicks Shazier. Hankins whiffs as Toussaint jukes; Sabino makes the play. Somewhat unfortunate.
RUN+: Molk RUN-: Huyge, Omameh
M10 2 9 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Nickel over Run QB draw Robinson 10
This screams QB draw but OSU can't do much about it. I assume this is a draw but the receivers mostly go into routes; Odoms is the only guy mountain goating up. Michigan doubles the NT and runs at the gap between that guy and the DE as OSU shifts their line; when neither of those guys fights into the gap it opens up wide. Huge room and Shazier can't close the space down. RPS +1.
RUN+: Robinson, Omameh(0.5), Huyge(0.5) RUN-:
M20 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel over Run Inverted veer keeper Robinson 22
Omameh(+0.5) kicks the playside DT easily as he slants. DE and Shazier have to go out for the fake; Sabino picks up a hypothetical -2 by not being in the hole; he goes for Toussaint as well and this opens up huge. Huyge(+1) gets a downfield block on the filling safety. Schofield again goes for the DE; not sure I understand this but it seems like that is the way it's coached. Robinson(+2) jets for the secondary, getting a good block from Roundtree(+1) downfield. RPS +1.
RUN+: Robinson(2), Omameh(0.5), Molk(0.5), Roundtree, Huyge RUN-:
M42 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 4-3 even Run Triple option dive Toussaint 3
Hopkins motions as the pitch guy. Definitely good decision to hand as a LB is scraping over and they've brought Moeller off the slot. Huyge has a tough job as OSU aligns their playside DE inside of him and scrapes Shazier over the top of that, so the DE gets penetration and the bounce is not there. With Schofield(-1) getting busted back by Hankins there is no room; Toussaint(+0.5) wisely just burrows straight upfield, which gets Michigan a few yards when the pile is shoved forward.
RUN+: Toussaint(0.5) RUN-: Schofield
M45 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Pass PA rollout out Dileo 4
Robinson's throwing on the move to his left, which is awkward, and leaves this ball short and upfield. It's catchable but Dileo is taken off his feet and denied the chance to turn upfield for a shot at the first down; probably third and one, though. (MA, 2, protection N/A)
M49 3 3 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Nickel even tight Pass Corner Grady Inc
Pure man from OSU with no one deeper than six yards. OSU sends two blitzers against five blockers, the second delayed, and there is obviously a free guy. Molk blocks both, actually, letting the initial blitzer go as Shazier comes. Not much he could do. No one is open, really—he could try Hemingway on a hitch and rely on him to box out his defender, but he's stopped and covered—and he tosses a corner route to Grady that's OOB. Torn between IN, TA, PR here. I guess it's (IN, 0, protection ½, team -1) but this is about as understandable of an IN as you can have. I also wonder about these routes. You know you're getting man, so a slant or a drag maybe? Hemingway had an opportunity to pick the guy covering Hopkins's flare but did not. RPS –1.
Drive Notes: PUNT DISASTER, 30-24, 1 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Shotgun triple stack 1 1 3 Nickel even Run QB sweep Robinson 3
Odoms in motion for end around fake. Simon does a good job of stringing out the edge here; Koger(-0.5) cannot get a handle on him. This really slows things up and makes for a lot of people in the area when decision time comes. Simon does end up falling and Schofield is moving out; I think Denard makes a bad cut here as Toussaint(+0.5) got a good kick and the charging safety is coming up inside of Schofield; if he follows his lead guy he will burrow for decent yardage. Instead he cuts behind and gets tackled just past the LOS, almost losing the ball. Tough read in a brief window, but still lost yardage.
RUN+: Toussaint(0.5) RUN-: Koger(0.5), Robinson(0.5)
M28 2 7 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 under Pass Waggle deep out Hemingway 20
No real play action fake, just Denard spinning around to the outside as Schofield pulls to provide some edge protection. Simon dives inside and Schofield has an easy time kicking the contain-concerned LB upfield. Denard pulls up and finds a wide open Hemingway about 20 yards downfield. Better thrown ball picks up a bunch of YAC; at this depth that's the difference between a DO and (CA, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +1). You can argue Denard is throwing the safe ball here and I get you.
M48 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Run Zone stretch Toussaint 11
Oh argh argh. Perfect time to call this as OSU sends a blitzer straight up the middle who Molk(+2) seals and disposes of. Backside guys are slanting outside and not useful; Omameh(+1) gets a seal on the other linebacker, who was almost moving away from the playside. Hankins is pushing hard to the the playside and forces it back inside, into the cavern just described. Lewan has a block on Moeller on the edge but Toussaint(+1) can't cut upfield and back outside quick enough to not bang into it; he stumbles a bit. Grady(-0.5) loses his block downfield and Hopkins(-1) doesn't block the safety, instead going to double the player Hemingway already has. Toussaint is stumbling forward when the corner and safety converge on him. RPS +2; Michigan was a block and a half from one BILLION yards.
RUN+: Molk(2), Omameh, Toussaint RUN-: Hopkins, Grady(0.5)
O41 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run QB draw Robinson 10
Robinson delayed by a stunt that gets Hankins thrumbling his way into the backfield. OL does a reasonable job with it and the stunt does open up a big running lane once Robinson(+1) gets around it, so RPS push. Omameh(+1) deals with the other DT well, holding his block a long time. Molk's looking around for someone to block and finds no one; Shazier beats Toussaint thanks to the delay but is delayed himself; Denard runs through his arm tackle attempt. Safety fills near the sticks. Hemingway(+1) gets a  great, extended block on his guy. RPS +1 overall.
RUN+: Robinson, Omameh, Hemingway RUN-: Toussaint(0.5)
O31 2 In I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Power off tackle Toussaint 5 + 13 Pen
Line slants away from the play; Schofield(+1) buries the playside DT. Hankins has slid inside and blows up Omameh(push, he is not expecting to deal with a cutback and gets on the wrong side) but the Schofield block means Toussaint(+1) can cut behind that easily. He picks up the first, at which point unblocked dudes converge since Toussaint has cut away from his blocking. Shazier rips his head off for 15 more. RPS +1
RUN+: Toussaint, Schofield RUN-:
M13 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Run Zone read keeper Robinson 3
Cover zero with man. Michigan lets Hankins go and Koger(+1) flares out on Shazier, eventually pancaking him. When Hankins gets too aggressive Denard pulls. Good decision but Lewan moves to the second level and ends up blocking no one because his assumption is he's walling the defender off from the zone. Robinson ends up tackled by both those guys in space.
RUN+: Koger RUN-:
M10 2 7 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 4-3 even Run Inverted veer keeper   6
Simon comes HARD off the edge, unblocked, and crushes Toussaint in the mesh point. Denard pulls at the last second a la MSU 4th down conversion. Robinson gets bumped, too, and instead of heading straight upfield into open space he has to orbit around this mess. Shazier comes underneath a block; Robinson runs past him, jersey tugged but not enough. He cuts behind Roundtree(+1) blocking a DB and gets chopped down by the last man, Barnett. Dang, Denard(+3). Hemingway did a good job of moving on to another DB after Shazier got upfield, creating some of that space Denard used.
RUN+: Robinson(3), Hemingway, Roundtree RUN-:
M4 3 1 Goal line 2 3 0 Goal line Pass Waggle TE corner Koger 4
Hopkins and Toussaint offset, in a semi-pro-style thing. Michigan runs a deeply bizarre play action fake with OL blocking like it's a sweep and Toussaint coming in a counter motion; Koger releases downfield and is wide open for six. Confusion. (CA, 3, protection N/A, RPS +2)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 37-27, 8 min 4th Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Sweep Toussaint 2
Unbalanced. M tries to pull Molk and Schofield; Hankins goes straight upfield and removes Molk from the play while simultaneously forcing Toussaint outside. Koger(-1) is on Simon and Simon swims past him; Toussaint can only run to the corner. He does well to get a couple yards. RPS -1.
RUN-: Koger
M22 2 8 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Pass Rollout corner Dileo 28
M gets the corner, at least enough. Denard pulls up and fires as Sabino starts rushing at him, finding Dileo just breaking open in front of the safety and hitting him in the safest place possible; Dileo has to make a tough catch to bring the ball in. NFL all around. (DO, 2, protection 2/2)
50 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Zone read dive Toussaint -1
Only six in the box and this should be money. Not so much. With the TE to the same side as the RB, this is a situation in which a cutback is your primary read off the handoff; since it's made the DE is upfield and since Omameh(+1) got a good block on the backside DT it's there. Toussaint(-2) cuts to the wrong side of Schofield, robs Molk of his blocking angle, and gets swarmed. Denard even cuts the backside DE! Cut back, Fitz!
M49 2 11 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Nickel even Run QB draw Robinson 16
Shazier blitzes and is picked up by Hopkins(+1). Hankins is sliding into the lane; Molk(+1) blocks him into Schofield(+0.5) and then releases. Denard(+1) into the second level. He sets up Molk's downfield block and glides to an easy first down. RPS +1.
O37 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Power off tackle Toussaint 20
Moeller over the slot, leaving just two LBs and the overhang corner plus a safety in the area. Omameh(+2) and Huyge(+2) destroy the playside DT. Molk(+1) throws Hankins to the ground. This plus a good read from Toussaint and the OSU LBs flowing hard to the intended hole gives a cutback lane that is hit with authority; Lewan(+1) walled off Simon on the backside with help from Denard's waggle motion. Toussaint into the secondary, where he's barely roped down.
RUN+: Toussaint, Lewan, Omameh(2), Huyge(2) RUN-:
O17 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Power off tackle Toussaint 2
Well blocked but eighth guy in the box plus power from the I equals bad. Koger(+0.5) flares out on Moeller; Schofield(+1) seals Hankins; Omameh(+1) makes a much better pull, getting to the hole as fast as possible, getting a block on Sabino. Hopkins(+0.5) kicks Simon and this should work except for the unaccounted-for safety. RPS -1.
RUN+: Koger(0.5), Hopkins(0.5), Koger (0.5), Schofield. RUN-:
O15 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run QB power Robinson 11
Odoms end around fake. OSU has two LBs at the LOS and they blow themselves out of the play. Toussaint(+1) takes on a charging, unblocked Simon at exactly the right spot and shoves him out of the play upfield. Koger(+1) and Lewan(+1) donkey Hankins. Schofield(+1) seals blitzing Shazier. Denard has all of the room. Omameh(+1) gets a good block on the safety; Robinson cuts to the wrong side of that block and turns this from a TD into not quite a TD. I am not that mad since he plows inside the five. Push there. RPS +1.
RUN+: Omameh, Lewan, Koger, Toussaint, Schofield RUN-:
O4 1 G Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 Goal line Run QB power Robinson -1
A massive pile of bodies. Hankins beats Koger(-1) upfield. Schofield gets slanted under. A blitzing LB gets past Molk and takes out the pulling Omameh, removing any cutback lanes. Hopkins(-0.5) should pound the dude Schofield has sort of lost and helped the burrowing, but it's pretty much a lost cause by then. RPS -1.
RUN-: Koger, Hopkins(0.5)
O5 2 G Goal line 2 3 0 Goal line Run Power off tackle Toussaint 5
NT slants outside and live I thought this was Toussaint making a great play; it's not, its Schofield(+2) reacting to push the slanting NT past the play. Toussaint(+1) does cut past the problem smoothly, but it's Schofield adjusting that makes this. With the NT gone it's Molk(+1) owning a blitzing LB and Huyge(+1) getting a downfield block on Shazier that gets Toussaint into the endzone. Sort of, anyway. There are two angles, one of which is obviously out and one of which is obviously in. SURPRISE: it's based on the angle of the camera. Refs -2.
RUN+: Molk, Schofield(2), Toussaint, Huyge RUN-:
O1 3 G Goal line 2 3 0 Goal line Run Bootleg Robinson 1 (pen -25!)
This gets the corner; Omameh(-2) does hold the guy on the edge. Watson does plug this guy. I kind of wish they just did the QB sneak. The downside there is nil. RPS -1.
RUN-: Omameh(2)
O25 3 G Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Throwaway Roundtree Inc
I'm surprised this is a throw instead of free ten yards given the situation, but they go for it; Robinson has no one except maybe a check down and is being pursued so he just chucks it OOB. (TA, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: FG(42), 40-34, 2 min 4th Q

ALL OF THE POINTS

All of the points. Michigan had not scored that many points against Ohio State since a 58-6 whipping by Fritz Crisler and company in 1946. If you give the safety to the defense 2006 beats it and 2000 ties it, but then you've got the whole touchdown fiasco.

And what's more, that was a short game. Michigan had only ten drives. None of them were turnover-spawned and many of them were long. Michigan put up 460 yards of offense. Against Ohio State. In ten drives.

How did this happen?

Remember the 2005 Rose Bowl, when Michigan felt the wrath of Vince Young? While Young did put up 192 rushing yards what lost Michigan the game was the invincible robot going 16 of 28 for 180 yards in the air.

Invincible robot chart?

Invincible robot chart.

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

Opponent DO CA MA IN BR TA BA PR SCR DSR
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%
Ohio State '11 3 10(3) 2 1 - 2 - - 1 77%

Lethal, lethal, lethal. His one IN was a corner route thrown to Grady on a third and medium when everyone was covered and he had an unblocked blitzer coming up the middle. His two MAs were completions. His DOs were fantastic. Finding Odoms on third and eleven was the best:

He sees that linebacker vacate his zone to chase Hemingway and lasers it in. Pray this is a consistent thing.

Meanwhile in open versions of Hemingway:

Various Buckeyes on twitter bemoaned the fact that Denard missed Koger so badly that he hit Hemingway, which is laughable, man.

Robinson dealt with a lot of pressure effectively, scooting out for a scramble and calmly hitting Odoms for a critical third down conversion in the redzone. There is nothing to criticize in his passing this game. You know what that performance warrants? The "Denard Robinson killed Tacopants" tag.

So… we have a pattern now. In the beginning of the year Denard had no idea what to do with this passing offense and his lack of comfort screwed up his mechanics. As he progressed and Borges adapted to his strengths the comfort level rose and he hit a plateau of totally acceptable performances before lighting up OSU. The progress is undeniable. He'll regress a bit against VT but if he nudges his DSR above 70% it's time to quietly hope he can have a ridiculous career capping year in 2012.

The best part of going 14/17 for ten YPA? Three QB draws for 10, 10, and 16 yards. Run and tell that, homeboy. If Denard is the QB he became after the trash tornado game, look out: 59% completions, 7-4 TD-INT, 8.4 YPA against Purdue/Iowa/Illinois/Nebraska/OSU translates into… I don't even know what.

Yea, and we looked unto his serene face and praised him.

So the big chart is the big chart and you are going to be skipping to the last bit:

Offensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Lewan 9.5 1 8 Effective against DTs, mostly, also getting to the second level.
Schofield 9.5 4.5 5 Fortunate to have a sixth OL as competent as this.
Molk 10 1 9 Great day picking up blitzing LBs.
Omameh 15 4 11 Has picked it up late.
Huyge 7 3 4 Had some issues but hardly a weak link.
Barnum - - - DNP
Moore - 1 -1 Heir apparent next year.
Watson - - - DNP
Koger 5.5 5.5 0 Simon was a tough matchup.
TOTAL 56.5 20 65% Slight step back from Nebraska but still a quality day. Very little penetration yielded.
Backs
Player + - T Notes
Robinson 16.5 8.5 8 A bunch of awesome and then two fumbles and a bad pitch.
Gardner - - -  
Toussaint 12.5 4.5 8 Step back from his 18(!) last week but consistently a playmaker.
Shaw - - - DNP
Smith - - - Did not register; did get a critical Mountain Goat.
Hopkins 2 2.5 -0.5 Bit of an off day.
Rawls - - - DNP
McColgan - - - Did not register.
TOTAL 31 14.5 16.5 Two! Two fantastic runners. AH AH AH
Receivers
Player + - T Notes
Hemingway 2 1 1  
Odoms - 1 -1  
Gallon 3 1 2 Key block on long Denard TD.
Roundtree 3 - 3  
Grady 0.5 1.5 -1 --
Jackson - - -  
Dileo - - - --
TOTAL 8.5 4.5 4 Solid.
Metrics
Player + - T Notes
Protection 21 10 68% Team 4, Huyge 3, Robinson(!) 1, Schofield 1, Hopkins 1
RPS 19 7 12 BAM

The inverted veer tore Ohio State up and Borges got good mileage out of the throwback screen. There were plenty of open receivers and Borges pulled out some old staples that had been put in the barn for a while: the sprint counter and PA TE seam picked up huge chunks on Michigan touchdown drives. He even got an easy flip into the endzone on play action.

I want to focus on what happened in the fourth quarter. After the punt disaster Michigan gets the ball back on their own 20 up three points. Their drive goes like so:

  1. QB sweep for 3
  2. Waggle action rollout to deep, uncovered Hemingway for 20
  3. Zone stretch for 11
  4. QB draw for 10
  5. I-Form power for 5 on second and inches
  6. Zone read keeper for 3
  7. Inverted veer keeper for 6
  8. Waggle TE corner for 4 yards and a TD

These are all different; OSU had not seen plays 2, 3, 5, or 8. On second and medium in the fourth up three, Borges throws the ball downfield. On the next play he RPS+2s OSU by running a stretch against a linebacker blitz up the middle. A few plays later he does it again. Remember how we were talking about the Boise State "just plays" philosophy? The TD was that incarnate.

So you've got this pro-set sweep thing with counter something something and what the hell is going on? Michigan hasn't aligned in that formation all year. It hasn't run anything like that all year. There is nothing for the defense to key on. They have no idea what's happening in front of them and end up so mesmerized Koger can declare his corner of the endzone Kevin Koger's Kogerland and hold elections without anyone noticing. President for life of Kevin Koger's Kogerland: Kevin Koger. First order of business: a motion to put six points on the board. Vote: unanimously in favor. Ratify that baby, Vice Exchequer Gibbons.

And then on the next drive Michigan gets the ball up three with seven minutes left; on second and eight Borges dials up the Dileo corner for 28 yards. Michigan marches down the field and coulda-shoulda-did put the game out of reach.

That continued aggression got Michigan ten points on drives starting from the 25 and 20 in the fourth quarter. Without it Michigan does not win this game.

How about that offensive line?

Hey, remember early in the year when everyone was saying they were overrated and Michigan was doomed? Yeah. No. While they too experienced a frustrating transition period, once they got their feet under them they helped rack up Michigan's massive rushing numbers.

Against OSU they were executing at a very high level; when they were defeated it was because Hankins and Simon are very good players, not because of anything poor they did. Sometimes when runs went backwards it was the tailback's fault, not theirs. They even broke a power big when Omameh and Huyge thumped a DT five yards backwards:

mmmmm grasss

Watch Omameh pull along the line and get to the hole way before Robinson:

That is how it's done, and that's night and day from Omameh's kind-of-sad attempts to pull earlier in the year. Compare and contrast the above with a similar QB power from the MSU game:

Funk has brought him a long way in a short time. I'm not sure if Omameh will ever have the size and strength Michigan wants in their guards but he's a hell of a lot better now.

They're not great all along the line like some of Michigan's units from a decade ago but combined with Robinson and Borges they've put up better numbers than anyone in 15 years. Molk is an all-timer at center, Lewan is still on the Jake Long track (and past the half-way point), and Schofield is going to be a very good three year starter. The right side is a little shakier but I don't think I'd trade for any line in the conference save Wisconsin. OSU's went out the window when Mike Adams got thrashed in pass protection two or three times.

What about that third and goal from the inch call?

That is the one thing I had an issue with. From that spot on the field I would sneak it 100% of the time since the chance of success is very high and the downside is a yard loss, if that*. Putting yourself on the edge exposes you to the possibility of negative events without a commensurate increase in success rates.

There was a second thing: once you're back on the 26 I'm just taking the free chunk of yards OSU will cede and setting up a chip shot field goal. The chances of actually scoring from the 26 are close to zero and the field goal from the 43 is not a gimme. Running for ten yards makes your FGA a lot less harrowing and strips OSU of its last timeout.

*[If you're thinking about Chad Henne's fumble against ND in 2005, you have to make the exchange on any call you make.]

Receivers?

Ah, yes. Those guys. Very strong day.

[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 - - - 2/2 11 0/2 8/9 22/25
Roundtree 1 - 1/1 - 12 2/7 6/8 9/10
Odoms 1 1/1 - 1/1 4 1/1 1/1 5/5
Grady 1 - - - 6 - 0/1 2/2
Gallon -

-

- 2/2 7 - 2/3 25/25
J. Robinson - - - - - - - -
Dileo - - 2/2 - - 0/2 4/5 3/3
Jackson - - - - - - 1/1 1/1
                 
Koger - - - 4/4 6 1/3 3/4 14/15
Moore - - - - 2 - 1/1 -
                 
Toussaint - - - 1/1 - - - 5/6
Shaw - - - - - - - 1/1
Smith - - - - 4 0/2 1/1 7/8
Hopkins - - - - 2 - - 1/1
McColgan - - - - 1 - - 1/1

100% on catchable balls with a 1 and three 2s. They were money.

Have you ever felt personally taunted by a college coordinator?

Not until last Saturday.

/shakes fist at Borges
/looks at above RPS numbers
/sheepishly ceases fist-shaking
/makes a golden idol or something

So what was with the pulling guards blocking optioned guys on the inverted veer?

I thought this was a mistake due to a lack of reps, but like Troy Woolfolk jumping short routes it happened with such consistency that it eventually became clear it was no mistake. Tyler Sellhorn has a possible explanation:

Dear Brian,

I think Schofield and Omameh were coached to block the DE. Hoke/Borges do not like leaving unblocked defensive linemen out there. A famous unattributed coaching axiom that I am sure that Hoke/Borges believe in is: "First level defenders cause fumbles, second level defenders make tackles." To me, this is the "MANBALL" component of M's "option" game.  True power running game people think like that.  I think that is the reason there have been fewer really long runs (the second level has been blocked less consistently this season). 

This is one philosophical difference: RR's first thought always was, "How can we dick with the safeties to get big yards when we break through the line", Hoke/Borges first thought is "How can we dick with the DL so they are less aggro (in run and pass situations) and we don't ever have a negative play." Both work well as we have seen.

Tyler Sellhorn

To me it's weird that you'd option a guy off and still block him, but we saw Denard keep on the inverted veer five times and these were the results:

  1. WOOPS unblocked Sabino in the hole and gets to the sideline for 42-yard TD.
  2. Does not WOOP unblocked Johnson in the hole, gains two yards.
  3. DE flies way upfield, Hopkins takes Shazier outside without having to block him, Schofield moves to second level to block Johnson, six yard TD.
  4. Sabino blows his assignment and heads out on Toussaint. Pulling G blocks DE.
  5. Simon annihilates mesh point, Robinson pulls and miracles his way into six yards.

We can't glean anything from #5 since it did not go as intended. On three of the other four the pulling guard blocked the optioned DE. On the other, he got to the second level. Why? My theory is because there was no one else on the edge but the DE. On the other runs OSU ran blitzes that forced Hopkins to block guys other than the DE, who was then in a position to make a play on the ball, hypothetically, and received the attention of the pulling G. On the six yard TD the DE flew upfield to contain Toussaint and the puller moved on.

Goats?

Nobody. The only bad things to happen on the day were Denard's fumbles.

Heroes?

Everybody. Denard, Molk, Omameh, Lewan most of all.

What does it mean for Virginia Tech and the future?

It means we're going to be disappointed when Michigan does not execute flawlessly in the Sugar Bowl.

It also hints at fantastic things for next year. If Denard can maintain that level of play in the air the offense goes from dang good but inconsistent to

image

Can he? Well… probably not. We've got a lot more evidence pointing the other way. But you can't rule out something like the last five games, if not a little better, over the whole of 2012. That would be a great offense if they can just keep every single offensive lineman healthy throughout the whole year and find a tight end. And figure out what life without David Molk is like. So… some questions, but so much promise.

Comments

JBE

December 8th, 2011 at 3:35 PM ^

I don't think I saw a traditional sneek either, but they did run QB keepers on 3rd and short a bunch.  Maybe they use the keeper instead because it gives Denard more space, and he can potentially turn a one yard gain into much more, whereas the sneek is proabably only going to yield a couple yards.

M-Wolverine

December 8th, 2011 at 3:31 PM ^

Since this is the first we've gotten for OSU in, like, forever, couldn't we have taken a little medicine on the defensive struggles first, but been left with the great taste of the offense to cap the regular season?

Here2CWoodson

December 8th, 2011 at 3:40 PM ^

I go to Ohio (biggest UM fan you'll find, brother is user Deepundercover). Anyhow, those people in that picture just so happen to be 4 of my best friends and roommates as well as my girlfriend. I didn't think they were famous when they were on TV, but now that they are on MGoblog, they are famous!!!

pdgoblue25

December 8th, 2011 at 4:59 PM ^

2003 was my freshman year and I acted like the biggest asshole after that win.  Put  my stereo in the hall of my dorm (Steeb) and played the fight song.....needless to say I got what was coming to me and more the next couple years.....

joeyb

December 8th, 2011 at 3:47 PM ^

Willing to trade 5'8" slot receiver equipped with cloaking device. Looking for upperclassman center with experience as a starter. Not willing to negotiate. Please only contact if SRS about offer.

Mr. Yost

December 8th, 2011 at 4:16 PM ^

Now, after reading...I'm officially excited about next year.

That inverted veer play fits our personnel PERFECTLY.

TE is definitely going to be the weak link, IMO...unless Funchess is amazing.

So with that said, I think shotgun 3 WR, 2 RB...and shotgun 4 WR, 1 RB are going to be our best and most consistent sets.

If we can find a staple running play like that veer, that's HUGE IMO. I look forward to seeing the following lineups tear it up next year:

QB: Robinson
RB: Toussaint
RB/FB: Hopkins
WR: Stonum
WR: Roundree
Slot: Gallon
LT: Lewan
LG: Barnum
C: Khoury
RG: Omameh
RT: Schofield

and...

QB: Robinson
RB: Toussaint
WR: Stonum
WR: Roundree
Slot: Gallon
Slot: Dileo
LT: Lewan
LG: Barnum
C: Khoury
RG: Omameh
RT: Schofield

greenphoenix

December 8th, 2011 at 4:17 PM ^

Brian, I really like your thoughts on the zone read; it makes a lot of sense. When you see multiple players doing something repeatedly that looks like a mistake, it's probably a coaching decision, and your thought on what is being coached is logical.

I'm not sure I agree with this approach, if only because it forces the ball carrier to make a move against a linebacker in a fairly constrained space in order to get more yardage, as opposed to an open field juke against a DB. But it does get yards and plays to a ball control approach.

I asserted on BWS' blog that the blocking schemes were evidence of Borges not understanding the zone read. I retract my assertion. It's an interesting wrinkle.

One thing that surprised me: do you really think first level defenders force more fumbles? Is there any evidence of this? I don't have stats in front of me but that feels counterintuitive.

dragonchild

December 8th, 2011 at 6:30 PM ^

I think Brian and his friend are correct about the mindset, but the quote has the wrong nuance.  Borges has stated from the get-go that he intends to keep Denard healthy.

RR got more yards out of Denard, but also a lot more injuries.  I have no proof of this, but I think here's Borges' philosophy:  "Sure, blocking the optioned DE means no one for the linebacker.  But if the QB has to juke one guy anyway, he's going to fail sometimes. . . and I'd rather see him get tackled by a 240-pound guy than a 290-pound guy, even if the sole point of optioning the 290-pound guy is to minimize his chance of even getting a finger on Denard."

It's not about the first-level guys causing fumbles; it's that you never want your QB tackled by a first-level guy if you can ever avoid it.  Now, we've discussed before that Denard has a give-first mentality, but in the event the DE focuses on the QB and Denard has a catastrophic breakdown and pulls, if he can't juke out of trouble he'll get absolutely crushed.  Sounds like a pretty neurotic insurance policy, but I will have to concede that losing Denard for the game would've been catastrophic for the offense.  If he went down, no question we would've lost this game.

Mission accomplished.  The zone read wasn't a reliable defense-shredder, but Denard started every game played through this one.

imafreak1

December 8th, 2011 at 4:22 PM ^

 

O37 2 7 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 even Pass Rollout hitch Roundtree 8
With Simon doubled and Toussaint screening the edge is a given here since the slot LB is dropping into coverage. Denard finds Roundtree for a first down; throw is low and has to be dug out. Maybe that's intentional since he's keeping it away from coverage... but probably not. (MA, 2, protection 2/2)

When asked if the late throw to Dileo was Denard's best this season, Hoke also referenced this throw--specifically how Denard threw it low--as being really good.

champswest

December 8th, 2011 at 4:24 PM ^

correct.  Question: Were the last couple of games just the most recent UP in Denard's up and down season?  Or were they the Ah -hah moment that Borges has promised?  If Brian is right, I can't wait until next year.  And, I don't think that Denard should regress in the bowl game as he will have several more practices to continue to grow and gain comfort and confidence.

lunchboxthegoat

December 8th, 2011 at 4:26 PM ^

So you've got this pro-set sweep thing with counter something something and what the hell is going on? Michigan hasn't aligned in that formation all year. It hasn't run anything like that all year. There is nothing for the defense to key on. They have no idea what's happening in front of them and end up so mesmerized Koger can declare his corner of the endzone Kevin Koger's Kogerland and hold elections without anyone noticing. President for life of Kevin Koger's Kogerland: Kevin Koger. First order of business: a motion to put six points on the board. Vote: unanimously in favor. Ratify that baby, Vice Exchequer Gibbons.

pure comedy gold.

kehnonymous

December 8th, 2011 at 4:28 PM ^

It'd stand to reason that first level defenders force more fumbles since they're typically stronger than cornerbacks and there tend to be more of them in the same spot potentially hacking at a RB's arm.  At any rate; I'd rather have four six yard runs, than -2, -2, 30, -2

DefenseWins

December 8th, 2011 at 4:37 PM ^

This UFR, even more than the previous few, have convinced me that Denard is actually progressing under Borges' system.  I wasn't sure for a while, but it's hard to argue with a lot of his decision making and the results in the last four games of the season.  There will still probably be issues because he's not a traditional QB by any means, but I think the Denard Borges fusion is well on its way to being successful overall.

Blue boy johnson

December 8th, 2011 at 4:44 PM ^

So Denard missed his first pass (possible PI), missed his last pass, and hit every pass in between except the one to Grady. Very impressive, 14-15 in a very long stretch of the game. Combined with his running, Denard probably had the best performance by a QB in the history of The Game.

kehnonymous

December 8th, 2011 at 4:53 PM ^

1) how did the refs only get -2 on the overturned Fitz TD?  Are there some extra zeroes missing there from that number?

 2) Why are the Akron State Golden Bobcats abbreviated as "OSU"?

los barcos

December 8th, 2011 at 4:53 PM ^

That negated touchdown still bothers me.  What was that ref thinking? Seriously. What was he looking at?  Did he just utterly neglect the one camera angle?  There is no way that call should have been overturned.  The worst part is listening to all these osu mouthbreathers: “they couldn’t even beat the spread against our worst team in a decade derp derp.” But uhm we kinda did beat the spread.

 

Also, there is no doubt in mind we beat msu if we played them today.  The improvement from week 1 – when brian literally lol’ed a poster for suggesting we win 10 – to now is unfathomable.

jackw8542

December 8th, 2011 at 5:17 PM ^

Do we ever get any feedback from the B1G about calls that are forwarded for review?  I am sure Hoke sent that one to the league for review, and from everything I have read elsewhere, even other former officials (like the head of NFL referees) said it was totally wrong to reverse the call on the field.  At the very least, the official should have been reprimanded in a public manner for that totally wrong call.

higbe

December 8th, 2011 at 4:58 PM ^

First...as most know I am Michael father..............second I thought he had played a good game against Ohio while being injured......(Michael got hurt in the Nebraska Game)...if you watch the Ohio film he had a hard time pulling...(injuried right ankle)...anyway....this year is the first time he ever played Guard...nver played it in H.S. got better as the year progressed..Michael Taylor and Molk Gelled the last three games to create at solid left side...next year do you keep him at Guard or move him to tackle.....

Michael's injury...look at his right ankle