Upon Further Review 2012: Defense vs Illinois Comment Count

Brian October 18th, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Formation Notes: Michigan actually spent a lot of this game in the plain old 4-3 even, which seems to be a spread adjustment for M.


That's Ryan to the top of the screen at LB

This is against a 2TE set, which usually saw Michigan go to their default under; against three- or four-wide going even (with Ryan at DE) was the play.

In the past I've used "Diamond" to indicate a formation with four skill players to one side of the field in a diamond formation—invariably used for a screen or surprise backside TE thing—but I had to pull it our for the Holgorsen pistol thing that is a backfield diamond like so:


Note that Michigan's in the under there.

Substitution notes: Secondary same as it always is: Taylor/Floyd/Kovacs/Gordon with nickel Avery. Marvin Robinson came in once things got out of hand to replace Kovacs, thus giving us a hint of what next year's safety configuration is likely to look like.

The vets have fended off the challenge from the two freshmen at linebacker, it appears. Ross got a few snaps before garbage time; Bolden got none. Ryan was omnipresent until things got out of hand; Cam Gordon came in and did pretty well for himself.

Rotation on the line was more frequent. The starters were the same (Roh, Washington, Campbell, Clark) but both Beyer and Ojemudia took their turns at WDE; Pipkins and Black featured frequently at DT. Roh was replaced far less frequently. He gave way to Heitzman for only a few snaps before garbage time.

Scow scow.

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O15 1 10 Pistol twin TE 4-3 under Run N/A Power off tackle Demens 7
WR comes for an end around fake. This draws Ryan(-1) well upfield and opens up a big crease. Roh(+0.5) comes under a down block to chase from the inside out; Demens(-1) runs into a block from the TE and gets stood up; he can't get outside, which allows a bounce. Gordon had come down late to be an extra guy in the box and tackles with a scraping Morgan.
O22 2 3 Shotgun twin TE twins 4-3 under Pass 5 Out Taylor Inc
Pass is to Tacopants. Ryan(-0.5) had opened it up a little by coming up on play action but the end result here was going to be five yards with Taylor(+0.5) coming up to tackle on the catch. Cover push.
O22 3 3 Shotgun twin TE twins 4-3 even Pass 5 Comeback Washington 4
Illinois flips their two TEs, drawing little response from M except Roh and Washington widening out a bit. Illinois has some tepid inverted veer PA; Demens (+0.5) and Ryan(+0.5) are charging up the middle. Both get picked up but only momentarily and threaten to come through. Washington(+1) beats a block clean and takes out a second guy when the RB has to cut him. Scheelhaase has to throw it off his back foot. The throw is upfield and ends up being three yards; Floyd(+0.5) is there to tackle on the catch. Refs correctly spot the WR short of the first down since his own momentum took the ball short of the 25; replay guy is an idiot and overturns it. Woo replay guy. Pressure +1, Cover +1.
O26 1 10 Shotgun twin TE twins 4-3 under Run N/A A gap power Washington 4
Washington(-0.5) gives a little ground and gets sort of kind of sealed by what's really a one on one block as the G nominally doubling him moves to the second level quickly. This provides a small crease. Roh(+0.5) and Demens(+0.5) make it smaller by bulling a TE and pulling G backwards, respectively, and everyone sheds to tackle the back as he hits it up in the only available lane.
O30 2 6 Pistol twin TE 4-3 even Run N/A Power off tackle Morgan 9
Same play as their first. Either Morgan or Clark busts here as both of them fly hard upfield outside, containing the end-around, but also leaving a huge gap behind them. Think it's Morgan(-2) since the action suggests he is supposed to stunt behind Clark's attack, which ends up drawing two blockers and the end-around fake. Kovacs(-0.5) is rolled down into the box and reacts a little late; Ryan(-0.5) is folding back from a DE spot and has no threats anywhere near him and doesn't scrape down the line in time to make a tackle short of the sticks and set up a third and short; RB runs between arm tackles from both. Demens ate a free release but hard to blame him.
O39 1 10 Shotgun twin TE twins 4-3 under Run N/A Inverted veer keeper Ryan 5
Again TE flip; M is in an over to start and ends up in an under after the switch. Ryan flies upfield at the handoff, pull. I'm not sure if this is right since it seems M is slanting to the weakside and Ryan(-1) should attack the QB to force a handoff into a containing Gordon. Once that doesn't happen Scheelhaase has a lot of space and three blockers on the two LBs. Roh(-0.5) gave up a lot of ground, too. Demens(+1) sets up in a great spot to force a cutback and then surges through two blockers to cut off a lane inside of him. Morgan(+0.5) fends off a block to tackle downfield.
O44 2 5 Pistol twin TE twins 4-3 under Run N/A Inside zone Black 4
Pipkins(+0.5) bursts into a double, delaying a release from the G. Black(-1) gets blown down the line and sealed away; good cut from the back to take that hole. Ryan(+0.5) is keeping it down as much as he can; Demens(+0.5) uses the time Pipkins afforded him to pop up in the frontside hole and then scrape to the backside once he sees the cut; those guys tackle from the side.
O48 3 1 Pistol twin TE twins 4-4 even Run N/A Power off tackle Roh 0
I said this was +1 in the game column but Roh(+2) gets two here because he is the whole play. He destroys the TE, comes under him hard, and seeks out the pulling guard to blast him. This slows the tailback and allows Demens a free run. Washington(+1) had popped two DL, who get confused and also allow Morgan a free run. The TE Roh destroyed is collapsing to the ground down; Ryan(+0.5) reaches out to grab a foot and Demens(+0.5) grabs the guy's upper body to prevent him from falling over the first down marker. Morgan(+0.5) had also arrived to help if necessary.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 10 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Run N/A Trap Washington 9
This looks like a draw, actually a trap where the G pulls around the center. Washington(-1) and Campbell(-1) split as the both try to get a pass rush in a situation where that's not wise. Morgan is now one on one in a ton of space with a blocker as Demens was dropping into man coverage against a tight end. Morgan(+0.5) does avoid a block and get the tackle in as Kovacs fills, which prevents this from being super dangerous. RPS -1.
O34 2 1 Pistol 3-wide 4-3 even Penalty N/A False start N/A -5
Michigan was late lining up and accidentally got Ojemudia(+1, tackling +1) in for a TFL, but it gets called back.
O29 2 6 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Pass 5 Bubble screen Kovacs 0
Or close to it anyway. WR just kind of stands there instead of moving towards the LOS as another guy comes down to block Kovacs, who motioned down late after Ryan blitzed off the slot. Taylor is unblocked; Kovacs(+1) blew past the block anyway. Morgan(+0.5) aborted the blitz quickly enough to be useful as well; Taylor(+0.5) comes up to fill with help from those two and there's nowhere to go.
O29 3 6 Shotgun 4-wide Okie two Penalty N/A Offsides Morgan 5
Morgan goes early. -1.
O34 3 1 Shotgun twin TE twins 4-3 under Run N/A Inverted veer sax Ryan -5
M flips their line when Illinois flips. This looks like it's going to be a veer; bad snap. Campbell(+0.5) and Ryan(+0.5) do put an end to any ensuing wackiness before it can start.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-0, 5 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun twin TE twins 4-3 under Run N/A QB sweep Ryan 6
Michigan's run a lot of this this year. Playside TEs block down; C and playside G pull. Roh(-0.5) lets the play outside of him; not too bad but doesn't quite make a play. Ryan(+1) tosses away a RB trying to block him and comes inside, making contact a few yards downfield. Demens(-1) got cut pretty badly and thus can't help; Scheelhaase falls forward for a decent gain.
O31 2 4 Pistol Diamond 4-3 under Pass 4 Hitch Taylor Inc
Airmailed. Beyer(+0.5, cover +1) had dropped off into a short zone and may have had a play on the ball if more accurate. Taylor in decent position for quick tackle on five yard hitch.
O31 3 4 Shotgun trips Nickel even Penalty N/A Offsides Morgan 5
Morgan(-1) does come across the line to induce a false start.
O36 1 10 Pistol Diamond 4-3 even Run N/A Inside zone Pipkins 2
I guess, anyway. Not sure what Illinois is trying to do. Roh(+0.5) left unblocked, charges at the handoff point, gets picked off by one of the tailbacks flaring backside. Contains. RB now has to cut inside into a backside B or C gap, depending on what you believe constitutes which when a tackle releases downfield immediately. Pipkins(+1) has absorbed two OL entirely; Demens(+0.5) has an easy job to scrape behind him and tackle. Campbell(+1) had blown back a G one on one and there was nowhere else to go.
O38 2 8 Pistol twin TE twins 4-3 over Pass 5 Bubble screen Gordon Inc
Ryan slides down from the slot, WR again stationary, Gordon(+1) shoots in to blow him up on the catch. Dropped. RPS +2, but a lolzook +2.
O38 3 8 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 nickel Pass 3 Improv Avery Inc
Ojemudia(+0.5) kind of gets the corner and Roh(+0.5) kind of spins through to get pressure on a three man rush; Scheelhaase has to bail but can. Ryan is spying and shoots up into him. (Pressure +1). Scheelhaase throws a back foot pass that turns into a great back shoulder fade on Avery(-1, cover -1) that's dropped. Oh, Illinois.
Drive Notes: Punt, 10-0, 14 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O34 1 10 Shotgun twin TE twins 4-3 under Run N/A QB sweep Roh -3
Same play as the first play of the last Illinois drive. This time Roh(+2) gets under the TE, drives him back, fights playside, and shows up in the gap Scheelhaase wants to hit just as he tries to hit it. Ryan(+2) got upfield of a pulling blocker after taking a false step and bursts upfield like he always does to finish the TFL.
O31 2 13 Shotgun trips bunch 4-3 even slide Run N/A QB draw Morgan 8
Pretty well played by M as there is not a huge gap but with the LBs pulled and Demens booking for the edge instead of checking QB there's only Morgan against two guys releasing downfield. When the crease does just barely open up it's yards. Morgan(+1) does set up, boom into an RB, and almost tackle Scheelhaase near the LOS. He slows him and keeps leverage, allowing Campbell(+0.5) to peel back and tackle. He got good push in a lane so not too mad about letting the QB through. Demens(-1) was really tardy recognizing and the slide seems like something Illinois felt they could exploit. RPS -1.
O39 3 5 Shotgun twin TE twins Nickel over Pass 6 Scramble Ojemudia 23
TE flip, Ojemudia and Ryan flip at DE. M sends a blitz, getting Demens(+0.5) through with Ryan(+1) beating a block to join the party; Scheelhaase dodges to the other side of the field; Ojemudia(-2) has gotten out of his lane badly despite clearly setting up to contain an escape like this and gives up the corner. Kovacs(-1) does not trust that Floyd will keep contain and ends up running into him; Black tackles on the cutback behind. Scheelhaase hits his head, is concussed, and out for the day. Wow... this did not look that bad from the stands.
M38 1 10 Pistol twin TE twins 4-3 under Penalty N/A False start N/A -5
M43 1 15 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Run N/A Power Black 3
Washington(+1) holds up to a double; when the G pulls he has very little crease to attack. Heitzman(+1) closes down the POA as well, getting a yard or so penetration; Black(+1) shucks the backside G and makes contact when the RB hits the LOS. RB does a good job to spin for yardage but there wasn't anything here more than YAC.
M40 2 12 Pistol twin TE twins 4-3 even Run N/A Power Demens 3
Campbell(+0.5) gives some ground but does not get sealed at all and Demens(+0.5) can scrape over the top of him without worrying about the wrong OL popping out on him. The one who does has the wrong angle. Washington(+0.5) avoids a cut and flows down the line a gap behind the play, so no cutbacks. Morgan(+0.5) moves and pops the lead guard, funneling to Demens, who tackles.
M37 3 9 Shotgun twin TE twins 4-3 even Pass N/A Scramble Taylor 5
Couple of short routes are covered(+1, Morgan +0.5, Taylor +0.5) by M and O'Toole is bailing after. More crappy QB play than anything great from M; Demens and Ryan are rallying to tackle in short zones against a not that mobile QB.
Drive Notes: Missed FG(50), 10-0, 8 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Pass 4 Throwback screen Ross 12
WR comes on ostentatious orbit "I'm gonna option" motion to the wide side of the field. O'Toole stares at him as it appears Illinois is screening over there, and then pivots to a throwback screen. This works a lot. Clark(-1) could be helpful on a peel back; instead he's cut. Don't' really blame the DTs. Ross(+1) attacks hard and gets cut to the ground but did get a two for one, for all the good that does M since there are still two guys to block Taylor. That does let Kovacs fill without getting bothered and holds this down. RPS -2; burned pretty good here and it took a nice play from Ross to prevent a potentially large play.
O37 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Run N/A Draw Campbell 4
Campbell(+1) gets a lot of push and threatens to fill the gap in the middle of the field. RB has to pick a hole further outside and start moving laterally. Would like Roh(-0.5) to not get so far upfield and maybe have a play when this happens. Demens(+1) beats a block and flows outside to force yet more lateral motion. Eventually RB has to turn it up into Demens and Ryan for a small gain.
O41 2 6 Shotgun twin TE twins Nickel even Pass 5 Dumpoff N/A 9
M sends all three linebackers up the gut, dropping off both ends. Ross gets through clean but nobody really takes the RB and an easy dumpoff picks up the first down. Cover -1, RPS -1. Ross might have been late, not sure.
50 1 10 Pistol twins twin TE 4-3 under Run N/A Inside zone Demens 3
This turns into a quick hit at the left side of the line. Black(+0.5) does okay to narrow the gap; Ross(-1) gets into a blocker near the LOS and is outside of him but weirdly ends up trying to fight away from the guy with the ball, which gives a small crease; Demens(+1) scrapes down the line, gets a small pop on the OL trying to get into him, and then moves past the Ross block to tackle after a meh gain. Kovacs helps clean up.
M47 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Run N/A Draw Black 6
Huge gap as Black(-1) and Washington(-1) split in an effort to get pass rush; no delay for the RB. LBs are pass dropping and eh. Ross(+0.5) beats a guy, as does Ryan(+0.5); Demens(-0.5) gets blocked and disengages late, falling on the pile the other two guys already made.
M41 3 1 Shotgun twin TE twins 4-3 under Run N/A QB power Campbell 0
Ojemudia is standing up on this, which may tip mischief. Campbell(+2) slants playside on the snap and gets past an attempted downblock; he gets penetration and fouls the play. One blocker is taking him. A second squeezes through the closing gap and is now useless since he has no angle. A third runs up the back of that OL. Ross ends up washed out in the pulling G; Demens(+0.5) reads where O'Toole is going and puts in a hit that stop him in his tracks; Ryan(+1) had blitzed from the backside and was tackling as this happens. RPS +1, slant caused blocks to fail and exposed runner to Ryan.
M41 4 1 Pistol twins twin TE 4-3 over Run N/A Power off tackle Ryan -1
Ryan(+2) blows inside of a tight end, getting upfield and picking off the pulling G. Demens(+2, tackling +1) has a free run and makes it count, making contact well in the backfield and tackling by himself. Boom. RPS +2. Perfect call.
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 17-0, 1 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O27 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Pass 4 TE post Demens INT
Orbit motion from slot WR. Play action fake. No sale from either LB; Demens(+3) gets a fantastic drop (cover +3, as no one is open anywhere) and picks the ball off as O'Toole chucks it into his chest.
Drive Notes: Interception, 24-0, 11 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun twin TE twins 4-3 under Run N/A Counter Campbell 1
Campbell(+2) dominates the G, gets penetration, releases into intended hole, forces cutback; Washington(+1) has also gotten penetration and can release as RB cuts behind him to tackle; Demens(+1) finishes it off by beating a block and plowing the RB, already going down to the QW tackle.
O26 2 9 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Run N/A Draw Washington -7
Zone blitz from M sends Washington and Campbell playside while dropping Clark. Ryan(+0.5) and Demens(+0.5) both zoom into the hole on the backside. Washington(+2) fights past a block from the center and is there to shoot upfield when the RB cuts away from the blitzers. He TFLs. RPS +2, dead meat.
O19 3 16 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Screen Kovacs Inc
Blitz gets a free run from Morgan(+0.5, pressure +1) , which forces a too quick, inaccurate throw. Kovacs(+1) had zipped past a defender and got blocked by another; two for one, very likely enough of a delay on the screen to allow the cavalry to rally, certainly before the sticks.
Drive Notes: Punt, 31-0, 9 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O4 1 10 Shotgun twins 4-3 even Run N/A Power off tackle Washington 2
Campbell may move early, not called. He gets(+0.5) decent penetration on the backside. Washington(+1) gets push on the down-blocking G and fights playside. Roh's(+0.5) being doubled but doesn't give much. Demens(+1) reads and hits the G at the LOS. Nowhere to go, heap of bodies, pile falls forward a couple yards.
O6 2 8 Pistol 3-wide 4-3 even Run N/A Power Demens 3
Kickout on Roh as the play goes inside. Campbell(-1) blown out by a double, big hole. G releases into Morgan. Demens(+2) reads, attacks, gets past the pulling G and gets in a tackle after funneling to help; that help is Washington(+1), who got push on the backside and came under to flow down the line and finish the tackle.
O9 3 5 Shotgun trips Okie one Pass 5 Sack Ryan -4
Kovacs moves up late and blitzes off the edge. Two more DL attack to that side as Ryan(+2) stunts inside past them at great speed. He's in clean (pressure +3) and flying at the QB; QB side steps and he flies by. Scrambling now; Morgan(+1) reads it and flows up to prevent the scramble from going anywhere. O'Toole prepares to throw and is annihilated by a recovering Ryan from behind. Fumble, recovered by M. RPS +2. I mean, goddamn watching Ryan find the hole and accelerate through it is not that much different than seeing Denard do it.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 31-0, 4 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O24 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Run N/A Counter Campbell 3
Campbell(+1) dominates the G, gets penetration, shows up in gap, forces cutback. Pipkins does even better with the penetration but does not understand where the ball is going and can't disconnect to tackle at the LOS, push. Morgan(-0.5) gets slashed to the ground and is lucky that the hole is narrow enough that he can reach out an arm from his knees and do something useful. He does, though.
O27 2 7 Pistol 3-wide 4-3 under Run N/A Power off tackle CGordon 6
M slants under. Heitzman(+1) is past his guy and into the backfield. Two guys follow. CGordon(-1, tackling -1) is now all alone on the edge with the back; he gets beat to the outside. Gordon(-1) is set up outside of a blocker after a few yards and also lets the back outside when he had a ton of pursuit helping out. Taylor and MRobinson combine to tackle at the sticks.
O33 3 1 Pistol twin TE 4-3 under Run N/A Power Bolden 2
Double just gets enough movement on Heitzman for a crease; Bolden(+0.5) gets a good hit at the line on the pulling G, restricting and funneling; Morgan(+1) scrapes over to hit right at the first down marker, and it looks like it's short, generous spot. Very generous.
O35 1 10 Pistol twin TE 4-3 even Run N/A Inside zone Bolden 6
Washington gives some ground on a double; he also chucks a guard to the ground, so a push since that guy never blocks anyone. Bolden(-1) gets too aggressive and picks a hole that the back cuts out of; CGordon(-1, tackling -1) is coming down from the slot and overruns the play; RB runs through a tackle. Roh(+0.5) tackles from behind.
O41 2 4 Pistol Diamond 4-4 even Run N/A Inside zone Morgan 3 (Pen -15)
Black is doubled and gets pushed out, so the inside guy releases into Morgan(+1); Morgan goes boom and stands him up. The backwards motion takes away potential cutbacks and forces him in between that block and that of Black, where MRobinson(+0.5) is there to fill as the extra guy in the box. Illinois OL Morgan popped loses a helmet and gets a penalty for continuing to block him. Not a big fan of the rule here since the guy is already engaged. For some reason play is yardage gained minus yardage penalized but the down doesn't count? Someone screwed up I think.
O29 2 16 Shotgun trips TE 4-3 even Pass 5 Dumpoff Clark Inc
Blitz comes as Illinois cuts everyone; Clark(+1, cover +1) is dropping into this short out thing the RB is running and will kill it for minimal yards if caught; dropped. RPS +1.
O29 3 16 Shotgun 3-wide Okie one Pass 5 Sack Ryan -7
Another stunt gets Ryan(+2) under a guard before he can react to seal off the hole. This time Ryan doesn't quite run by the QB and gets a hand on; he's starting to bring him down when Roh(+1, pressure +3) beats his block to join in and make it a sure thing. RPS +2.
Drive Notes: Punt, 38-0, EO3Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O41 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Pass 4 Screen N/A -1
RB falls down as he catches the ball for no reason. ILLINOIS! Ross and Pipkins may or may not have held this down.
O40 2 11 Pistol 3-wide 4-3 even Pass 4 WR screen Gordon -1
Outside WR the target with slot guy blocking. Not a bubble, but not sure what it actually is. Anyway, Gordon(+2, tackling +1) reads this and is out on the receiver when he catches the ball, picking up a TFL. ILLINOIS
O39 3 12 Shotgun trips TE Nickel even Pass 4 Dig Taylor Inc
Ojemudia playing DT, a la HS. M stunts, sort of picked up, sort of not. CGordon(+0.5) and Clark(+0.5) threaten to sack; a containing Roh(-1) slips when QB starts moving around. He finds a guy running a dig a yard short of the first down. Taylor(+1, cover +1) reads, adjusts, and whacks the guy as the ball arrives, jarring it loose. Would have been short anyway.
Drive Notes: Punt, 38-0, 11 min 4th Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O13 1 10 Shotgun twin TE 4-3 under Run N/A End around CGordon 1
Actually a touch pass to the WR end around but whatever it's an end around. Heitzman unblocked, lets it outside, does cause some delay, push. CGordon(+1) is taking on two blockers and moves inside when the WR threatens to go vertical but has the ability to redirect to the corner once he play goes all the way outside; Taylor(+1) beats a block and joins to tackle after a minimal gain.
O14 2 9 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Pass 4 PA rollout cross Bolden Inc
Bolden(-2, cover -2) is way late to read the PA and opens up a first down and more; ball is behind and incomplete. ILLINOIS.
O14 3 9 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Pass 4 Sack Ojemudia -2
M stunts; CGordon(+1) gets inside a tackle and pressures(+2). He's too far upfield and can only force the QB to move around in the pocket, but that's an accomplishment. O'Toole still readjusting when Ojemudia(+1), who flew past a chip from a releasing TE without getting touched and got chopped by the back, gets up and sacks from behind.
Drive Notes: Punt, 38-0, 7 min 4th Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O28 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 4-3 even Run N/A Inside zone Ross 3
Nowhere to go; Black(+0.5) gets in a crease as Heitzman(+0.5) shuts down a frontside one; Ross(+0.5) shoots a backside gap to force the RB outside. Ojemudia gives too much ground, permitting the bounce, but does come off to tackle so a push.
O31 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 under Pass N/A WR screen N/A 6
Black tracks it down from behind. GAF... expiring.
O37 3 1 Pistol twin TE 4-3 under Run N/A Inside zone Ross -2
And the reason I bothered with the drive. Pipkins(+0.5) and Black(+0.5) get quality push; Ross(+2) shoots the gap with perfect timing and goodbye Illinois.
Drive Notes: Punt, 4 min 4th Q. EOG for D.


Hey remember the 67-65 game


It just happened two years ago




No it doesn't


Oh then it probably does… n't


No not at all, I mean—



Defensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Roh 8 2.5 5.5 Half sack, half points, half ten
Campbell 9 2 7 just Illinois just Illinois just Illinois
Washington 8.5 2.5 6 ditto ditto ditto please don't just be Illinois
Black 2.5 2 0.5 Definitively backup three tech.
Clark 1.5 1 0.5 Eh
Beyer 0.5 - 0.5 Eh
Pipkins 2 - 2 Getting some push, still learning what to do with it.
Heitzman 2.5 - 2.5 Hope he can give Roh some breathers later.
Ojemudia 2.5 2 0.5 Half point WDE party.
Ash - - - DNP
Brink - - - DNP
TOTAL 37 12 25 just Illinois?
Player + - T Notes
Morgan 7.5 4.5 3 This is relatively bad!
Demens 16.5 3.5 13 Thanks for playing, freshmen.
Ryan 14 3 11 I call Clay Matthews mini Jake Ryan.
C. Gordon 2.5 2 0.5 Could probably step in without huge downgrade.
Ross 4 1 3 Knifing knife guy with knives.
Bolden 0.5 3 -2.5 Basically one blown coverage on last drive.
Hawthorne - - - DNP
TOTAL 45 17 28 excuse me I'm going to go run in circles now
Player + - T Notes
Floyd 0.5 1 0.5 Tea?
Avery - - 1.5 Oh yes please
Taylor 3.5 - 3.5 Cream and sugar?
Kovacs 2 1.5 0.5 Oh no thank you
T. Gordon 3 - 1 Here is your tea
M. Robinson 0.5 - 0.5 I like tea
Wilson - - - is there football?
TOTAL 7.5 2.5 5 not for the secondary
Pressure 11 1 10 Multiple unblocked Ryans.
Coverage 7 4 3 what is this pass you say of speaking
Tackling 3 2 60% Eh.
RPS 12 5 7 Ah so.

So that's what a UFR chart looks like when I do a whole game in which Michigan holds the opponent to 130 yards.

Again, Demens has Stepped Up with capitals after picking OL out of his teeth for many of the first three games. Demens had an easy outing with Illinois OL virtually incapable of getting to him, and made the most of it with a series of third down stops and the track-and-follow INT. While I seriously doubt he'll ever scrape a +13 again if only because the opponent has to cooperate extensively for that to happen, this is a third straight game in which he has performed well as Michigan throttles an opponent's ground game (and everything else game).

Ryan is basically what we expect of him now. I would like to emphasize that sometimes when he comes on blitzes and accelerates through a hole in the OL after a change of direction, the feeling in your scalp is not entirely unlike that when Denard does it. He is a man of unusual speed. I mean, goddamn he hits this hole HARD:

And hey hey hey, defensive tackles. We has them, at least against OLs like Illinois. Let's check the schedule… yeah, lots of Illinois type outfits on the docket, not many Alabama's.

The metrics are pretty much irrelevant but a big part of Illinois's inability to pick up more than a couple yards per passing attempt was Michigan flinging its way at O'Toole whenever he tried. 11:1 is a pretty good ratio there.

So… things.

Yeah, I don't know man. Illinois was turned into goo, and helped the process themselves.

Any things?

Well, the Illinois offense hasn't been this throttled yet.

  • vs Wisconsin: 284 yards
  • vs Penn State: 364 yards
  • vs Louisiana Tech: 324 yards
  • vs Arizona State: 332 yards

The Arizona State game is particularly relevant since Scheelhaase missed it. Illinois put up 14 points, which is more than Utah and three less than Cal and Colorado have managed on ASU.

I mean, things happen to defenses. Guys blow stuff and then yards are acquired. Michigan hardly blew anything except a couple of contains on Scheelhaase; safety blanket Jordan Kovacs went virtually unused. This is kind of like picking through a UMass game for something useful, but even in that context what Michigan did was impressive.

Any, like, other things?

It does seem like Michigan's getting a bit better at containing short stuff. Illinois's screen game was non-existent:

RPS somewhat, also Kovacs beating a block like whoah. Gordon had a similar event late. I wonder if that will continue against teams that have a prayer of completing a pass longer than five yards.

So sort of a thing.

Personnel things?

Hey, here's Will Campbell getting under the pads of what's probably an awful guard:

And doing it again:

Also, the other DT there eats a double team without giving more than a yard—that's Pipkins. We'll all be watching for signs of progress from him over the next few games, as a Pipkins-Washington DT combo next year seems like the best available option. Both are nose tackles now, but Pipkins moving to the three-tech may be possible.

Also, add another to the pile of Craig Roh plays that don't show up in the box score:

I just love how effective he has been. That's pretty nice above; the TE chuck featured in picture pages is an elite play. Just Illinois disclaimers, sure—he's already made more plays this year than he did last year. That development is another data point for what we'll call the Heininger Theory: Michigan's DL is going to be awesome at technique for the foreseeable future. [UPDATE: Heiko suggests "Heininger Certainty Principle," which SOLD."

What about that extremely disturbing section of the game in which Illinois gained like 30 yards?

Just random stuff. On this play the end-around fake opens up a lot of room and holds Gordon outside; Demens and Morgan end up in the same gap:

Remember yesterday's picture pages? This is the same thing from M—note Beyer folding back. The difference? Ryan is way way outside because of the end around fake when that's probably not his job. Thus… seven yards. And a stop two plays later incorrectly overturned by replay.

After that overturn Michigan gives up nine yards when it looks like Desmond Morgan gets the wrong call and does not blow up a play by stunting inside. These things happen. For Michigan they are turning into 8, 9, 10 yards and that's it. Anemic opposing offenses, yes yes. We pillage the lemonade stands.

A couple of times they got RPSed by draws:

They'll figure that out, in all likelihood. After zero(!) shotgun runs from MSU a week ago they will undoubtedly break tendency a couple times.

Aaaand… that's all.


Essentially everyone but Ryan and Demens bear special mention; DTs and Roh are vying to show.



What does it mean for MSU and beyond?

Demens and Morgan are about to get a stiff test against LeVeon Bell. Even if they're getting in clean, Bell is more than capable of juking you or running you over. Bell YAC is the key stat for Michigan's defense, and I don't know how that's going to go. For all of Demens's excellent play in the last three games he has not faced a back of that caliber.

I am pretty confident that Demens will get his chances, though, after watching the Michigan DL and the post-injury Spartan OL. Chris McDonald has been getting knocked back a lot, and he's their #1 guy. Both MSU tackles were susceptible to slants against Iowa, which means guards won't be getting where they're going and holes will be filled by clean linebackers.

On the outside, Burbridge will be a challenge. He's probably the best receiver Michigan has faced to date—yes, already—and if Maxwell is protected (maybe) and dry (probably) M will probably get some yards in its face that you wouldn't expect given the stats. Other than that?

Ignore the part at the end where he catches one.

MSU will be a step up from the previous two offenses—I know I know you don't believe it—but I'm expecting them to score under 20.


Yeah, yeah.


Yinka Double Dare

October 18th, 2012 at 3:01 PM ^

Heh, I was reading through on the front page, got to the Heininger Theorem thing and thought "hey, he should call it the Heininger Certainty Principle", click through to the article, and see the UPDATE.  Nice.


October 18th, 2012 at 3:04 PM ^

I know that Illinois is not very good at this whole football thing, and any attempt to extrapolate from this game is suspect, but this game really does give me more confidence going into MSU.  To win that game, we are going have to hold MSU under 20.*  The way that Demens, Ryan and the whole DL are playing from a technical and fundamental perspective, combined with our fairly decent secondary, leads me to believe that this is possible.

* I know that many think that we will be able to score against MSU, but throughout Denard's career, he has struggled against decent defenses.  MSU is a decent defense, and to make matters worse, they have spent the past year doing little other than devising ways to stop Denard.  WE should be able to score, but I don't see up putting up 30+ points.


October 18th, 2012 at 3:25 PM ^

That Secondary writeup on the --chart? was perfect.

Edit: I'm very excited about next years potential Washington/Pipkins combo. We'll call it Branch/Watson 2: Attack of the Clones. In the 3 games where offenses actually tried to test our interior (Alabama, Notre Dame, Illinois) Washington has come out looking pretty pretty good. Umass and Purdue? they just avoided Manball altogether, but Q still came out on the good side of plus/minus there. Also: "Technique."


October 18th, 2012 at 5:49 PM ^

I'm also hoping we have better depth with hopefully Black, Henry, Wormley and Godin getting better/healthy over the next year.  We lose Q and Black after that, but then Poggi and Hurst will be ready to step in and maybe with a true freshman like McDowell.  DT will be a strength...as will LB...WDE...safety...etc...


October 18th, 2012 at 3:21 PM ^

The M perofrmance was great, but can I just say wtf is Illinois doing?  I thought after watching the game I was exaggerating but going thru the UFR I think I was correct in stating that Illinois never thru the ball farther than 10 yards downfield.

It worked for us but as a football fan in general how lame was that gameplan?   We are terrible, we are getting housed each week by teams in the Big Ten fergodssakes, we have in fighting, we're boring and the fans hate me.  We are going on the road for our most watched game of the year against a ranked Michigan.     After reading all the above why wouldn't Illinois throw the kitchen sink at Michigan hoping to ignite something in their player?   Did the coaches really think they were going to execute 18 play drives running and making these little dink passes?    Is losing 45-0 feel better than 63-7?    Not going for it on 4th down, no imagination,  no deep passes( don't you at least test JT Floyd and Ramon Taylor you could get a PI if you have no faith your player could actually catch it).    All right I'm done randomly ranting about pussy college football coaches that coach horrible teams that don't matter and will meet their doom in  3 years with a firing.

Johnny Blood

October 18th, 2012 at 4:14 PM ^

The D-Line development has been awesome to watch over the past several weeks.  Can't wait to see this continue over the next several years -- I love the trajectory we are on!


October 18th, 2012 at 4:29 PM ^

All I know is, we couldn't have asked for a better opponet the week before the MSU game.

We viturally had 4 quarters to work on technique, not show much and stay healthy.   Basically completely opposite of last year where Michigan was coming off a Dog Fight at Northwestern and MSU had a bye to prepare.  We were banged up, they were healthy.

My have the tables turned.

I am expecting a blood bath on Saturday.  We may very well win by 4 TD's.  This game will not be close.  There might as well be a sign on Michigan's 30 yard line that reads: NO TRESPASSING because MSU is not getting beyond that.    

This is coming from a guy who dreaded this game the past 4 years, including last year and tries to be as realistic as possible when making predictions about Michigan Football. 

We are the better team at every position group at this point in the season (and better coached)


October 18th, 2012 at 5:31 PM ^

I kinda thought Ojemudia would have graded out better. I thought he was all over the field when he was in. Then again he bust contain that one time so i guess it makes sense. 


October 18th, 2012 at 5:52 PM ^

What was with the overturned call?  I thought forward progress is only credited after the defensive player makes contact?  Does the offensive player get the benefit of his own momentum taking him backwards, or did the booth just totally blow the call?


October 18th, 2012 at 6:30 PM ^

Ahhh that's what the "overturned" call was; I couldn't remember what play that was.  Yeah, I was thinking the guys own momentum taking him back behind the 1st Down line should not constitute as forward progress.  He wasn't touched like you say and his own doing is what caused him to lose the yardage.  In sumation, BS call.


October 18th, 2012 at 7:24 PM ^

on that Kovacs bubble, which you're right, what a great sidestep of a block.  But check him out on the sideline, as he basically has to dive out of the way before Morgan chucks the Illinois RB to the ground.

Also, that first BWC clip is incredibly encouraging - a very dominant line play.

I Bleed Maize N Blue

October 19th, 2012 at 2:32 AM ^

Oh, no, I couldn't, really ... Well, if you insist.

On that Jake Ryan stunt blitz, I like how he zips past the LG, who turns as if to say, "What was that??"  He completes the turn and follows, but when he sees Ryan on the ground, automatcally lowers the priority on him and turns back north, whereupon Ryan gets up, reacquires the QB, and missiles in for the kill.

Woo Will Campbell pad level!  I hope he continues that.