Upon Further Review 2012: Offense vs Alabama Comment Count

Brian September 5th, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Formation notes: Just the usual array of stuff. Mostly shotgun, etc.:


Nothing really jumped out.


Substitution notes: OL was steady until Lewan went out with a thankfully minor injury, at which point it went from Lewan-Barnum-Mealer-Omameh-Schofield to Schofield-Barnum-Mealer-Burzynski-Omameh. At TE, Moore went out early and it was mostly Kwiatkowski with Williams appearing in two-TE sets. Funchess got in very late.

WR starters were Roundtree, Gallon, Gardner. Jeremy Jackson and Dileo were the next most-frequent participants; Jerald Robinson got a little run. At RB, Smith and Rawls and only them. Only Hopkins at FB.

Show? Show.

[Note: I forgot about my RUN+/- separation, but got them for the run chart. I'm probably going to dump the extra confirmation since it's useless.]

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M22 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 3-4 Pass Deep slant Gardner Inc
Safety walks up on slot and Bama shows seven man front. Michigan goes play action at Gardner, who runs a deep slant after being given inside leverage. I think this is a crappy route that does not get the requisite separation because he just kind of drifts inside instead of cuts. Throw is accurate, Milliner makes a great play to break it up. (CA+, 0, protection 1/1)
M22 2 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Flare Smith 9
Gallon motions into a trips. Moore releases downfield, holding the corner in a little bit, Denard reads it and hits Smith on a little flare. Smith runs through an ankle tackle and nears the first down; gets a crappy spot. (CA, 3, protection 1/1, RPS +1, would like to RPS +half this but let's not get crazy)
M31 3 1 I-Form Big 2 1 2 ??? Run Iso Smith 3
Lewan(+0.5) and Kwiatkowksi(+0.5) combine to kick out the OLB; Barnum(+0.5) just does handle the playside DE, and Hopkins(+0.5) gets enough on his lead block to give Smith a gap.
RUN+: Lewan, Kwiatkowski, Hopkins, Barnum(0.5 all) RUN-:
M34 1 10 I-Form 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Slant Roundtree Inc
Safety rolls up. Michigan repeats their first play with the same result. Milliner is all over Roundtree (in a legal way) and breaks it up. (CA, 0, protection 1/1). If this is in front of Roundtree more maybe there's a shot, but that's an NFL window.
M34 2 10 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 Nickel even Run Inverted veer Smith -1
Eight in the box with the safety rolled up; this is unbalanced so TE cannot go downfield. Michigan pulls Barnum and uses Hopkins as a lead blocker. Playside DE is inside of Hopkins, so if this is a read it's a give, but then why block the guy? (Because he blocked you.) Denard gives and Smith heads outside, but there's a free guy on the edge and he shuts it down. RPS -1. This is not the blocking's fault, it's Alabama defeating the play. Picture-paged.
M33 3 11 Shotgun trips stack 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Scramble Robinson 8 (Pen -15)
Alabama rushes three; Lewan(-3) gets beat one on one, ripping off the DE's helmet in the process for a 15-yard penalty. (PR, N/A, protection 0/3, Lewan -3)
M18 3 26 Shotgun trips tight bunch 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Rollout corner Roundtree Inc
Borges actually gets Roundtree open at the sticks, but they let the backside guy go and he pressures Denard, who doesn't really have time to set and step into it. Ball sails. (IN, 0, protection ½, team -1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 11 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M29 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Run Inverted veer Rawls 0
Alabama sends the corner down and plunges the DE inside. Denard reads that the DE is diving down and hands off. Corner nails Rawls. RPS -2. Also picture-paged.
M29 2 10 Shogun 2-back tight 2 0 3 Base 3-4 Pass PA corner Gallon Inc
Corner pulls up on the short route, opening up a corner for about 15 yards. Denard misses; again, some token pressure on the edge seems to have spooked him. Just overthrew it. (IN, 1, protection 1/1) If Gallon was 6'2 he's got a good shot at this.
M29 3 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 3-4 Penalty 12 men -- 5
yoooo deeeed
M34 3 5 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Fly Gardner Inc
Gardner gets a step but takes a weird gallop as he does so and drifts a step or so inside. Denard's throw is pretty good but Gardner's not getting there fast enough. He leaps and gets a hand on it, but that's it. (MA, 1, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-7, 6 min 1st Q. Yay 30 yard throw on third and medium.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M24 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 3-4 nickel Pass Bubble screen Gallon 8
Almost ceases being there on the snap as the LB to that side backs out closer to Gallon. Still not enough as Jackson(+1) hacks down the LB out there and Gallon(+1) turns it up quickly enough to burst past the LB despite being a yard or so inside the numbers. (CA, 3, screen)
RUN+: Gallon, Jackson RUN-:
M32 2 2 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Run Iso Smith 1
Mealer(-1) leaves his block too early and Barnum can't keep the guy outside; he does okay. Omameh gets stalemated by the other DT, Schofield same, the end result is a big pile of dudes a yard past the LOS.
M33 3 1 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 under Run Iso Rawls 2
Barnum(+1) takes a DT who's trying to slant and buries him. Lewan(+0.5) prevents the guy he's got from coming under him, creating a crease. Two guys are coming up that crease; Hopkins(+0.5) submarines one and Rawls falls forward for the first.
M35 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Run Sprint counter Rawls -2 (Pen -10)
One high with a seventh guy in the box. They run the sprint counter from last year (what is it a counter to, though?). Lewan pulls. Schofield(-1) gets chucked by the DE as Lewan nears; Lewan is now running directly into Schofield. Rawls(-2) still has an opportunity to just go straight upfield for a few yards. Instead he tries to bounce it, which works about as well as you might expect. Refs get Lewan for holding, which I don't see, and miss an obvious facemask on Rawls. Refs -3. Hoke said something about this being a BS call on Lewan, FWIW. BWS picture-paged.
M25 1 20 I-Form twins 2 1 2 Base 3-4 Pass PA corner Gardner Inc
Bama does not care that we are running PA from the I. They're all over all three guys. Denard throws it at Gardner and does get it over the corner. It's also over Gardner. Could be IN but Robinson had no better options. (CA, 0, protection 2/2) Also, watch Gardner's route. He holds up. If he runs through the route this is a potential DO.
M25 2 20 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass PA fly Roundtree Int
Milliner chucks Roundtree OOB and intercepts. It's hard to tell but it certainly looks like this happened after the ball was released. Either way, this is a frustrating playcall. Second and twenty with Roundtree matched up against their best corner, let's have guys with free runs at Denard and see what happens. (BR, 0, protection N/A, RPS -1)
Drive Notes: Interception, 0-14, 2 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M26 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Pass Bubble screen Gallon 9
Robinson actually double clutches this, which is bad, but it still works as the WRs come through. Roundtree(+1) puts a safety on the ground. Gardner does likewise, and then Roundtree gets another block that Gallon(+1) runs behind for good yardage. (CA, 3, screen)
RUN+: Roundtree, Gardner, Gallon RUN-:
M35 2 1 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Pass PA slant Gallon Inc
This one's actually open. Not sure if Gallon is more of a threat or it's just because this is not Milliner. Robinson misses somewhat, but this is catchable. Gallon doesn't catch it. (CA, 2, protection 1/1)
M35 3 1 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 Run Speed option Robinson 3
Smith flares out for a pitch but Denard is just running this one from the word go. Blocking is okay on the frontside except for Williams(-1), who gets beat. Schofield(+0.5) just manages to delay the backside pursuit and Denard(+1) hits a very small gap to convert.
M38 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 3-4 Run Iso Smith 2
Running at the backside. There is a S containing Denard so he hands, but not sure this is really a read. Bubble open, but again these are not reads. Omameh(-1) lets his guy spin back to the hole. Schofield(-1) does as well. Hopkins blocks one LB; the other is there to help tackle. Possible that Smith could have cut to a backside hole if Schofield doesn't lose his block. RUN-: Schofield, Omameh
M40 2 8 I-form twins 2 1 2 Base 3-4 Run Power off tackle Smith -2
Schofield(-2) loses his guy on the backside of the play and he tackles. That's the easy stuff. Barnum(-1) loses his guy on a double, too, despite blocking down. I do like Hopkins(+1) blocking the stuffing out of a guy, may have gotten the edge. BWS picture-paged.
RUN+: Hopkins RUN-: Schofield(3), Barnum
M38 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Fly J. Robinson Inc
It's third down so we throw it 30 yards. Alabama blitzes, sending six. Michigan picks it up. Robinson panics and chucks a back-foot throw when just scrambling out of the pocket probably puts him in epic space against man coverage. J. Robinson is blanketed, DB knocks it away. Pass was actually right on the money, but the coverage was superb. (CA, 0, protection 3/3) Where's the dig route?
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-21, 13 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M5 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Nickel even Run Inside zone Smith 0
Bubble wide open, no threat of Denard, OL cannot get any push, Smith runs up the backs of his guys for nothing. Barnum(-1) pushed back. Smith(-1) could have run behind the double but did not.
M5 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 4 Base 3-4 Pass Out Jackson 4 (Pen +5)
Late move to a seven man front. Safety comes down on Jackson, Denard throws the out accurately, instant tackle. Alabama offsides. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M10 2 5 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Smith 2
AAAAARGH. Anyway: hole almost forms. Barnum manages to get his body across the backside DT, but only with his back; that guy comes around. Omameh(-0.5) and Mealer(-0.5) can't kick the other DT and the narrow path is closed down by the guy coming around Barnum.
M12 3 3 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Flare Smith 2
Denard makes a somewhat bad read on the LB and should go to Kwiatkowski underneath as the LB bugs out for the flat. He had a window. This is still complete and has a shot at the first so I won't BR it, but he could have done better. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-24, 7 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M2 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 under Pass PA fly Gardner Inc
Plenty of time for Robinson as Michigan goes with just three guys in the route. Denard tries it deep to Gardner, who's covered again, but he has no other options. Pass is a tiny bit short but 40 yards downfield. Gardner has it in his hands; Milliner punches it out. (CA+, 1, protection 3/3)
M2 2 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 under Run Power off tackle Rawls 1
Williams tears through Omameh(-2) and is right in the hole. Barnum ends up going outside of the Hopkins block as the playside LB comes in to spill power outside. Rawls goes inside. Barnum is not a factor on the LB, who tackles at the LOS. Not sure if this is a Rawls problem or a Barnum problem. I get why both of them did that. I'm guessing Rawls, but tenuous. RUN-:  Omameh(2), Rawls
M3 3 9 Shotgun trips stack 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Post Gardner Int
Denard throws it directly at a linebacker underneath the route. (BRX, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Defensive TD, 0-31, 4 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Run Inside zone Rawls 3
Okay crease but only okay. Omameh(+0.5) gets decent push on the nose, Mealer gets out to the LB, Barnum is eh on the other DT, and Rawls can fit in this gap until the LB sheds Mealer in a tight space.
M28 2 7 Shotgun 2TE 2 1 2 Base 3-4 Pass PA stop and go Gallon 71
Max pro again and Alabama is containing, so plenty of time. Denard can load up and fire deep to Gallon, who's the first M receiver to have an inch of separation all night. Denard hits Gallon right in stride at the 20; Gallon gets to the goal line before he can get tracked down. (DO, 2, protection 3/3), RPS +1. Why aren't we throwing at this corner instead of Milliner?
O1 1 G Goal line 2 2 1 Goal line Penalty Illegal sub -- -5
O6 1 G Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Goal line Run QB power Robinson 6
Schofield(-2) gets beat by the backside DT as Omameh pulls.This guy gets into Omameh in the backfield and destroys his pull. LB in the hole now gets cut by Smith. Denard his headed outside where there is contain, which gets the Alabama DE to pull upfield. Denard(+2) changes direction in a flash, heading straight upfield. Omameh(+1) gets to the hole now and picks through Smith, blocking the guy he just cut. He blows the LB off the ball; Barnum(+1) does the same, and Denard can burrow behind those guys to fall into the endzone.
RUN+: Robinson(2), Barnum, Omameh RUN-: Schofield
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-31, 2 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M22 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Nickel even Run Inverted veer Smith 3
Same stuff minus Hopkins. DE comes down, Denard hands off, Smith ends up on the edge against an unblocked guy as Dileo comes down on a linebacker and Jackson flares out on one of the three guys in M2M to the trips side. That leaves another guy, who tackles with help from that DE peeling back. RPS -1. No run plus minus, as there were no relevant blocks.
M25 2 7 Ace 3-wide 2 1 2 Base 3-4 Penalty False start Lewan -5
M20 2 12 Shogun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 3-4 Pass PA quick seam Dileo 20
Not sure if this is an iffy pass or an attempt to keep it away from the defender but knowing Denard it's probably the former. An easier catch would probably not have resulted in anything bad. Dileo spins 360 degrees, grabbing the ball halfway through, and keeps his feet for a nice gain past the Bama secondary. This a borderline 1 or 2; I'll give the one for keeping his feet. (MA, 1, protection 1/1, RPS +1)
M40 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run QB sweep Robinson 2
Mealer and Omameh both pull. Kwiatkowski(+0.5) seals the playside end. Barnum(-1) gets out but his attempted cut is not effective; that LB gets up and gets outside, hitting near the LOS. Smith just ran into the secondary; would prefer it if he helped out here. At least this time we're asking them to beat a block. A great play by the LB here; if Smith had doubled down on this Denard is getting some yards.
M42 2 8 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Pass Flare Gallon Inc
Michigan brings Gallon across the formation and then fakes a stretch(!) into the boundary(!) that fools the backside LB. Denard has Gallon wide open for quite a few yards and misses. (IN, 0, protection N/A, RPS +1)
M42 3 8 Shotgun trips stack TE 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Scramble Robinson 5
Michigan rolls to the field, right into a safety blitz. Smith can only chop one of them; other guy is right in Denard's face, forcing a scramble that doesn't get there. (PR, N/A, protection N/A, RPS -1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-31, 12 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M35 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Nickel even Run Zone stretch Rawls 5
Bubble is open as they've got two safeties back, but M runs. It's a stretch into the boundary, which is a little odd. Rawls(-1) misses the cutback lane behind the backside tackle that would have gotten him going NS against a DE trying to contain Robinson and only coming back later. He ends up bouncing off Omameh and going around to the outside, which somehow works. Lewan(+1) bludgeoned the DE there and Gardner(+1) spent a long time fending off a corner. Lucky, lucky.
M40 2 5 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 3-4 Pass Scramble Robinson 5
Denard is looking at Jackson on a little slant at the sticks and decides against it... I think if he throws it on time it gets there but hard to tell. Instead he decides to take off and run for stuff. (SCR, N/A, protection 2/2)
M45 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Nickel even Run QB inside zone Robinson 9
Alabama slants under the line and blows up the blocking. Mealer(-1) is left in a heap, Lewan(-1) also falls to the ground as his guy gets inside of him, and Barnum(-1) releases to the second level without checking. Alabama's guys fall, too, which gives Denard(+3) an opportunity. He hops, then hops again outside; Schofield(+0.5) does a decent job maintaining his block and this gives Denard the edge. Once he's out there he uses a dodgy block from Gardner to get outside and jets for near first-down yardage. Standard bitching about lack of Denard. Musberger finally gets to tell us Usain Bolt story with 6 minutes left in the third quarter.
RUN+: Denard(3) RUN-: Lewan, Mealer, Barnum
O46 2 1 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Run Inside zone Smith 0
Odd blocking here as AJ Williams goes backside into the gap just inside Lewan; Bama NT two-gaps on Barnum(-1) and when Smith picks the hole to the frontside comes off to tackle. Crappy read by Smith? I don't know. Don't know why you send a guy to the second level and not help on Williams here.
O46 2 1 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 Pass Speed option Rawls -2
Bama has everyone within a few yards of the LOS; Sunseri is deepest at eight. Michigan orbits Rawls and runs a speed option; they block it well enough but Sunseri is tearing like a bat out of hell for Rawls and plants him two yards in the backfield. Ingram Rawls is not. RPS -1; this probably gets the first down except for no deep safeties.
O48 4 3 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 Run Broken play Robinson 2
Robinson(-1) fumbles the snap, picks it up, and starts running around on a broken play. He gets tripped up, reaches for the first down, and doesn't quite make it. Overturn is correct.
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 7-31, 4 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M14 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Sprint counter Smith 1
Schofield(-2) gets destroyed by the LB he's assigned to. That guy comes through the block and tackles Smith. Otherwise this is okay, though it's not fooling anyone. Since M never runs any plays that look like this but are not the counter, the counter action does not work.
M15 2 9 Shotgun trips stack 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Screen Smith Inc (Pen +15)
Blitzing LB is straight up the middle too fast. Denard is hit as he throws and the ball is behind Smith. (PR, 0, protection 0/1, RPS -1) M gets bailed out by the LB getting a hit on Denard's head. Very marginal call.
M30 1 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 Base 3-4 Pass PA fly Gardner Inc
Fake inside zone with Barnum pulling to the backside, which they don't do. Three guys go out, two going deep another sort of deep. No one is really open. Denard chucks it deep at Gardner, who has a shot at it before being tripped by the safety. They throw a flag, and then pick it up. [fumes] This was a fifty yard throw that beat bracketed coverage and was a yard inside the edge of the field. (DO, 0, protection 2/2).
M30 2 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Run Zone stretch Smith 22
Omameh(-1) can't get a cut or any control on the backside DT so Smith(+3) can't really find anything on the cutback despite Barnum(+1) and Mealer(+1) blowing the frontside guy almost to the sideline. That guy eventually splits the two and comes up on Smith, who miraculously hops outside and shoestrings the sideline for 22. Lewan(+0.5) and Hopkins(+0.5) had a hand in it.
O48 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run QB power Robinson 4
Alabama tips a huge blitz from the field with six guys at the line and no one within the two outside receivers except one guy eight yards downfield. Michigan runs at the boundary again. Kwiatkowski(-2) whiffs on the playside DE entirely, allowing him outside. He runs into Barnum, cuts off Smith, and forces Denard to cut up. Denard is into that hole before Omameh can get there, unblocked guys, tackle.
O44 2 6 Ace twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Pass PA Fly Gardner 44
No pressure; Milliner looks back, gets his legs tangled up with Gardner, and goes down. Denard hits Gardner in stride for the TD. (DO, 2, protection 2/2.)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-34, EO3Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M8 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 3-4 Run Iso Smith -1
Nickel rolls down. I think this is an iso but it's hard to tell since the blocking gets blown up so hardcore. Mealer(-1) loses his guy into the gap Hopkins is attacking, and Barnum(-1) is stood up at the LOS. Smith goes away from the gap Hopkins did because there is no gap and unblocked guys tackle. RUN-: Mealer, Barnum
M7 2 11 I-Form twins 2 1 2 Base 3-4 Pass PA corner Gallon 19
Unbalanced, Michigan goes PA, no one is buying it. Schofield(-1) is beaten but does manage to maintain contact and shove the guy who beat him past Denard, who sidesteps, sets up, and threads a dart to Gallon 20 yards downfield. Same throw he made to Gardner earlier except the WR didn't misjudge it. Tough play all around. (DO, 2, protection ½, Schofield -1)
M26 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Run Iso Smith 2
They try the other side of the line. Omameh(-0.5) does better with his guy but can't really control him; Schofield(-1) cannot kick the DE. Those two guys converge to tackle as Smith passes the LOS.
M28 2 8 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 under Pass PA fly Roundtree Inc
Everyone is bracketed, Denard chucks it deep to Roundtree, overthrown by five yards, almost intercepted. (BR, 0, protection 2/2, RPS -1)
M28 3 8 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Deep hitch Gardner Inc
Ugh, Musberger calls M and Alabama two of the great brands in college football. Shoot me. Mealer(-1) gets over aggressive on a stunt and a rusher slides through right up the middle. Smith takes him out, Denard gets squirrelly and chucks one over Gardner's head. (IN, 0, protection ½, Mealer -1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-34, 10 min 4th Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR DForm Type Play Player Yards
M35 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Rollout hitch Roundtree 5
Short pitch and catch. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M40 2 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Slant Roundtree 7
Milliner turns for three-deep and the slant opens up. Now just trying to bleed yards. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M47 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass TE out Kwiatkowski 6
Again open underneath as Alabama is playing off. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O47 2 4 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run QB draw Robinson 1
Omameh(-1) and Mealer(-1) fail to combo the NT at all.
O48 3 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Sack -- -6
Schofield(-2) smoked; Burzynski(-2) fails to read a stunt and two guys converge on Robinson. (PR, N/A, protection 0/4, Burzynski -2, Schofield -2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-41, 4 min 4th Q. Final snap is a Bellomy INT and not charted.


Which kind of YAAARGH FALARGH is this now?

There are multiple kinds of YAAARGH FALARGH?

Yes. There is the YAAARGH FALARGH that YAAARGHs about Denard getting about two carries in the first half and FALARGHs about the idea that fate has consigned us an offensive coordinator who can make delightful minute adjustments in a West Coast passing offense and a quarterback who can't run them that. Then there is the YAAARGH FALARGH that YAAARGHs about the idea that Rich Rodriguez might have some good ideas when it comes to offense and FALARGHs whenever this here guy points out that Borges is not an invincible superman.

Didn't Rich Rodriguez almost get West Virginia to a national title game?


And put up 48 against Oklahoma and 38 against Georgia in BCS games?


The former then.

An excellent choice.


Like, oh my God. Alabama does that to everyone. It is virtually impossible to tell how Michigan will do against an earthly defense when this is basically the best defense since M 1997 minus some important guys and the guys replacing the important guys are dudes like DeMarcus Milliner, who is insane. Insaaaaaaaaaaane.

What happened Saturday may not have any bearing at all on what happens the rest of the year.

Okay, good UFR, let's go home.

Not so fast.

But I want to go home. You have no idea.

There are things to learn! Expectations to tweak!

I would rather not.

Scriven away, Bartleby, this is happening.

Not saying it.


[A reminder about what this means can be found in the UFR FAQ. Note that screens behind the LOS are in parens, so in the first half of 2011 Denard threw 66 balls labeled catchable, 54 downfield and 12 screens. The DSR metric is Dead On and Catchable balls divided by all throws not marked Marginal, Pressure, or Scramble.]

2011 through MSU 13 66(12) 11(1) 34(1) 17 2 3 10 4 55%
2011 after MSU 9 77(9) 7 17 9 6(1) 5(2) 9 5 69%
Alabama 4 15(2) 1 4 3 - - 3(1) 1 71%


lol wut

I know. A couple caveats: three of those CAs were late when Milliner had lost interest and a fourth was borderline on a slant that took Gallon off his feet (but was still very catchable), and one of the BRs was of course the BRX—the X stands for XTREME—on the pick six. On the other hand, I marked the Dileo seam an MA because it was behind the guy when you can make a case that he was keeping it away from the defender, and now I feel guilty for asserting that "knowing Denard" it had to be inaccurate. Blame on the first interception can be split between Denard, Borges (no other options), Roundtree, and possibly the refs. Call it a push.

In terms of accuracy, Denard had a good day. Maybe very good. Those first two slants are in the receiver's chest. The problem was that Milliner was also in said chests.

That kid is nasty, and Michigan's wide receivers could not get separation from him unless he fell down. Maybe there was a square foot in which the ball could be caught without Milliner making a play on it… maybe. I doubt it.

Sometimes when it looked like Denard missed, it was his receiver blowing the play. This deep corner looked like an overthrow live, but the replay shows that 1) ain't nobody open, really, and 2) despite that if Gardner does not first slow up and then misjudge the ball once it's in the air this is probably a fantastic completion:

Later in the game, Gallon would run the route correctly for a twenty-yard completion. Even when Denard chucked a back foot throw to Jerald Robinson thirty yards downfield on third and ten, it was right on the money. It was broken up by Milliner, of course, and I'm leery of him trying that again, but we're a results-based charting service.

And then you've got a couple of perfect deep completions plus a third that would have been if not for the Alabama safety coming over and tripping Gardner. He plain missed about as often as McCarron. The difference was in the defenses and the wideouts.

This was actually encouraging. Possibly really encouraging. I know, I know.

But the horrible horrible interceptions!

Yeah, we got the three NOOOO Denard throws: the two picks and a chuck-and-pray to a bracketed Roundtree that was five yards to long and almost intercepted. You'd like for Denard to find someone else, but on at least two of those there was no one else open. So then you'd like him to throw it away or RUN FOR THE LOVE OF GOD JUST RUN, but we're stuck with it, I guess.

This is a situation that, like all situations, may improve when you're not playing Alabama. Various YPAs from veteran QBs against Alabama the last couple years:

  • Tyler Wilson, Arkansas: 5.3
  • Clint Moseley, Auburn: 3.4
  • Ryan Mallett, Arkansas: 9.4
  • John Brantley, Florida: 6.5
  • Kirk Cousins, MSU: 7.5
  • Denard Robinson, M: 7.7

If Michigan's receivers were capable of getting separation—or Michigan had manufactured some with play action Denard—things would have been fine. If Robinson's accuracy continues against mortal defenses he'll have outstanding numbers and Borges will get a gold star.

What about Gardner?

Well, first, the receiverchart. I'll leave the season numbers blank because obviously.

[Passers are rated by catchability:

  • 0: uncatchable
  • 1: very tough
  • 2: moderately tough
  • 3: routine

The 0/X in all passes marked zero is implied.]

Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Gardner 4 0/2 1/1            
Roundtree 2 0/1   2/2          
Gallon 1 0/1 2/3 1/1          
J. Robinson 1                
Dileo   1/1              
Jackson       1/1          
Kwiatkowski       1/1          
Smith       2/2          

So there's obviously a huge difference between the accuracy credited Denard above and the catch rankings above. Part of that is Milliner and other guys always covering everything. Part of that that I didn't adjust for crappy routes. This is supposed to be a hands measure. I can only hand-wave at the routes.

Anyway, a routine day in limited opportunities. Hands were fine, separation was not.

And Gardner?

Obviously looked very, very raw. The corner route above is evidence enough of that, and on the touchdown I don't think the 360-degree spin-around is a standard move. His routes suck, but he's a 6'4" guy who can leap out of the gym. We'll see how good that speed is against mortal teams. He should get better day by day; Michigan really needs him.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the freshmen as early as next week.

The run game.

Look away.

Offensive Line
Player + - Total Notes
Lewan 2.5 1 1.5 Above zero!
Barnum 3.5 6 -2.5 Not above zero.
Mealer 1 4.5 -3.5 Now a lot more worried about Molk transition after flip
Omameh 1.5 7 -5.5 Blown up, but not a surprise
Schofield 1 9 -8 woof
Kwiatkowski 1 2 -1 Current nominal starter.
Moore - - - Injured early.
Williams - 1 -1 Hard to tell.
Funchess - - - One play.
TOTAL 10.5 30.5 26% All time worst.
Player + - T Notes
Robinson 6 1 5 I don't want to talk about it.
Bellomy - - -  
Toussaint - - - DNP
Rawls - 4 -4 Pretty much Mark Ingram.
Smith 3 1 2 Basically the one sideline jaunt.
Hayes - - - DNP
Hopkins 2.5 - 2.5 Hard to judge since he rarely had a shot at going one on one
Kerridge - - - DNP
TOTAL 11.5 6 5.5 I don't want to talk about it.
Player + - T Notes
Gardner 1 - 1  
Roundtree 1 - 1  
Gallon 2 - 2  
Jackson 1 - 1  
Dileo - - - --
J. Robinson - - -  
Darboh - - - --
TOTAL 5 - 5 omg bubble bubble bubble
Player + - T Notes
Protection 26 10 72% Lewan –3, Team –2, Schofield –2, Mealer –1, Burzynski -2
RPS 4 9 -5 Not like it mattered but it didn't help.

So that's the line getting annihilated and getting no plays from the runners save a couple from Denard. Let's not take any of this too seriously until next week.

Ugh, Rawls?

Yeah, for a north-south mooseback he had a case of the Shaws. Go upfield, young man.

Other running type things?

Fitz will obviously be a huge boost. Neither of the guys who got carries broke tackle one, both missed holes, neither juked guy one. I really, really want to reserve judgment on the offensive line until next week. They were straight-up destroyed; let's see what happens later in the season.

Borges said he didn't regret how little Denard ran, and that Alabama was doing stuff with its safeties that prevented Michigan from going with him.

I find that… unconvincing. For one, two of the three runs all night where someone made something despite the blocking being poor were from Denard:

(The other was Smith's 22-yarder.) For two, you can just call his number. There is nothing preventing you from doing that instead of handing off to Rawls or Smith. If you're going into the game thinking "don't get hurt!" why are you even playing it?

By the time Michigan was down a billion, okay, whatever, the next two quarters are an exhibition. If this happens in a critical Big Ten game that Michigan ends up losing, though, the torches and pitchforks will be out in force.

It's not about scheme!

That's the DeBord way to look at it. Players can get beat; so can coaches. Both played a factor in the loss. When you hand off and there's an unblocked guy waiting for you…

…the blocker isn't at fault. Because there isn't one. I'm not sure why Michigan thought they could get away with straight-up inverted veers against Saban nine months after they tore up OSU.

In a weird way, I'm actually encouraged about Borges long-term since his response to a defense that stacks the box is to throw at it. Once you get the receivers and the line and Morris in, that stuff is going to work, and we won't have to facepalm after yet another run into a stacked front on first and ten.

But it is about scheme, in addition to the players getting whipped. A failure that comprehensive touches everyone. E-fact.


Gallon. Maybe Denard? Sort of Denard.


Even adjusting for level of competition the OL was very disappointing. While Lewan got off easiest in the run chart, he also got three penalties, two of them legit.

What does it mean for next week and the future?

God willing, nothing whatsoever.

A few things I'll be looking to confirm or disconfirm before Notre Dame:

  • Is Denard way more accurate now?
  • Will Denard be less interception-prone against humans?
  • Is Schofield in trouble at tackle?
  • Is Gardner a real actual receiver?

If the OL can't move Air Force I'm going into full on bunker mode.



September 5th, 2012 at 4:28 PM ^

But I've been waiting for this confirmation all week(end). I feel like this is a very "I told you so" moment for me, since everyone was bashing Denard. This is why we really need to not bash players in the immediate aftermath of a bad game. Thank you for actually UFRing this, if for no other reason than to confirm that Denard actually had a good, if hidden, game.

lexus larry

September 5th, 2012 at 4:45 PM ^

Anonymous Internet Guy, I won't neg you.

Without internet access over the w/e, the mental post was brilliant.  Days late, but brilliant. 

I too, refrained from bombing away at any players.

Coaches, an athletic director and Brent/Herbie, OTOH, were fair game for my witty lampoons.  Sadly, too much said on too many threads for me to be relevant a couple days after the game.
C'est la vie!


September 5th, 2012 at 5:45 PM ^

I as well was struck by how good of a game Denard was having, but it was maddening how little it showed (Milliner playing Superman/receivers being inept, lack of carries, interceptions overshadowing everything, etc).  But he was moving in the pocket really well and threw accurately overall, which is encouraging for the future.  UFRs are helpful yes.


September 5th, 2012 at 7:25 PM ^

Milliner had some great PBUs, Gardner ran some bad routes, we had some drops, etc.  The first interception was a PI that wasn't called (that happened later in the game too, it was bullshit on how obvious both of them were).  The second was a legitimate bad pass right to Mosley.  Overall, I was impressed by Denard but his receivers (other than Gallon) and line didn't give much help.


September 5th, 2012 at 7:22 PM ^

I said the same thing as you, Denard was actually throwing the ball pretty well.  I watched a video of every pass from Denard against Bama and it only strengthened my opinion.  There was a lot of bad routes by Gardner, drops, and just good PBUs by Milliner.  He threw the quick slants pretty damn well and should've had a perfect pass to Gallon except their timing was about a foot off.  It's not like he had a ton of time to throw either like McCarron.

People jump on the bandwagon that Denard is a bad passer and don't know what they're talking about.  I read a ton of comments (on the CFB sub-reddit on reddit.com) about how he threw terribly and I was bewildered because the mechanics weren't bad at all.


September 5th, 2012 at 4:39 PM ^

If you're going into the game thinking "don't get hurt!" why are you even playing it?

Michigan's coaches didn't schedule this game, and the program couldn't have known its exact circumstances when it was scheduled.  Yet there are obviously reasons not to literally* forfeit the game.  What we maybe got was a compromise...I don't mind the idea of saving Denard for the Big Ten.  Maybe I'm getting old. 

*yes, literally


September 5th, 2012 at 4:37 PM ^

240-260lb DTs from Air Force, we're gonna need a bigger bunker.

I think this game had a lot more to do with how good Bama is as opposed to how good/bad we are. Denard played better than we thought, and... Borges called a better game than I thought. If we're crediting Denard with all those almost-perfect-throws that were beaten by amazing defense, shouldn't Borges get credit for those too? It originally sounded to me like he was blaming the players when he talked "execution", but I think he was just saying that Bama won the matchups. He called good plays, and Denard threw good balls, the D just made better plays on them.

MI Expat NY

September 5th, 2012 at 5:03 PM ^

Yes and no.  Borges does deserve credit for taking the right theoretical approach against Alabama's D (passing frequently against a stacked box, etc.).  But your comparison is inapt.  When judging Denard's accuracy, we can only judge "to what degree did he put the ball in the best place possible?"  Offensive playcalling is judged on whether the coach put his players in the best position to succeed.  When a ball is thrown very well and gets deflected by a good or great defensive play, it will reflect well on a QB's accuracy, but not necessarily well on an offensive coordinator, who should be aiming to not even have a defender there to potentially make a play.  

That isn't to say that Borges necessarily had a bad day.  In my opinion the lack of Denard runs is a legitimate critique.  Denard was the only player available that could challenge the Alabama run D and we only called his number (in non read plays) 5 or 6 times.  I don't think his passing offensive game plan was bad at all.  I think we were just going to be out-manned.  Maybe you could criticize relying on a WR as raw as Gardner to break the long plays that the whole game plan so desperately needed, but who would be better suited?  Maybe Gallon?  

In sum.  We didn't have many wide open receivers on the day.  Denard threw accurately enough to his receivers, it just wasn't bound to be very succesful.  Can't say whether or not that was x's and o's or the Jimmys and the Joes.


September 5th, 2012 at 4:38 PM ^

Then there is the YAAARGH FALARGH that YAAARGHs about the idea that Rich Rodriguez might have some good ideas when it comes to offense and FALARGHs whenever this here guy points out that Borges is not an invincible superman.  

Nobody here has ever disputed that point. What a colossal red herring.


September 5th, 2012 at 5:29 PM ^

Yes, there are the two very well known instances of Rodriguez' offenses blistering Jowlgia and Choklahoma. Nobody can take that  away from Rodriguez.

However, it must be said that both of those squads were headed by men whose teams traditionally fare poorly in bowls. Oklahoma even lost to Boise fergodsakes! Knowing this how much of Rodriguez' success in those games can be chalked up to poor preparation vis a vis the superiority of the scheme? 

Of the three teams to win a national titles running the spread all had physically imposing quarterbacks running their spread. The shortest--Tebow--was built like a linebacker. Young and Newton were  the size of John Navarre, but with the speed of a Derrick Alexander. Denard is much smaller in size and in strength to all three as was Pat White.  It will be interesting to see what RR can do in Zona if he can ever land a Young or Tebow-type player.

Nick Saban has coached against three of the most well known spread QBs. He had sizable leads against all three. He left Denard in pain andTebow in tears. If not for Newton going all Frank Reich on Bama the talk of Saban being the anitdote to the Rodriguez/Meyer spread attack would be reaching Metropolitan Opera Chorus loud.

The spread can be stopped. Heck, even Oregon slowed Newton down. The problem is that it requires NFL-caliber athletes that few schools have. But those who do and have the coaching to go along with it(MSU, OSU, Bama) can fairly easily stifle the "spread and shred". 


September 5th, 2012 at 5:58 PM ^

Yes the spread can be stopped by elite defenses...that's why they are elite defenses.  What the anti-sperad crowd fails to realize is that even accounting for that, the spread usually does better than traditional offenses against elite ones, unless it's a pro-style offense stacked three deep with NFL talent.  I think there is an argument to be made that maybe pro-style is better if you're going to be flush with 5* talent, but then again any offense is gonna be awesome in that circumstance anyway. 


September 5th, 2012 at 6:15 PM ^

or s challenged by a well-coached defense. I have seen the spread ran by lesser teams(EMU) and it was stopped. The spread is not an invincible offense. It has flaws. Flaws that can be exploited by well-coached teams. WVU largely played against terrible teams so the challenge was never really there for Rodriguez to adjust. Will he do so once he runs into SC and Utah, teams with traditionally stout defenses??



September 5th, 2012 at 7:31 PM ^

I never said the spread is an invincible offense, However, it can take a guy who probably couldn't be a QB in an Alabama style offense (Denard, Pat White) and can make him one of the five most dangerous weapons in college football. Unless you have either an elite defensive line or athletes on all three levels, it's very difficult to stop a talented spread squad.

The reads are also much easier for QBs to make compared to say a West Coast style, which is a huge factor with limited practice time. This is why when that limited time element is taken out and you do have athletes on all three levels(NFL), the run based spread is not nearly as effective. 

Also your point about Rodriguez never having to adjust suggests you don't quite grasp all the nuances of what he tries to do (to be honest I obviously don't either, otherwise I'd be making a cool half million to be a DC). The way he tinkers with slight blocking assignments and different ways to mess with defenses in the run game is just as complex as what Borges is trying to do with passing routes. The difference is he tries to take the complexity out of the QBs hands and merely drill him on doing a few things well (see also recruiting of specialized positions such as slot ninjas to do one thing really well),

In conclusion though, offensive scheme doesn't matter nearly as much to winning national titles as does building an elite defense(or at the very least having an elite defensive line) which is why I'm quite confident in UM's ability to compete in this regard 2-3 years down the road under Hoke/Mattison.  


September 5th, 2012 at 8:21 PM ^

then dedicated himself to changing his scheme against the spread after that game and ended up beating Florida 32-13 in SEC championship game in Tebow's senior year. Also, both Newton and Tebow were power running QB's. Denard doesn't weigh 250 lbs.

Maybe a spread coach would've had more success with M's personnel, but would it have made much of a difference? I certainly don't think so.

coastal blue

September 5th, 2012 at 8:42 PM ^

At the same time, Saban's never really faced a quarterback like Denard. 

Now he won't have to, as Borges made sure of that. 

And yes, a spread coach would have done better with this personnel because that's what they are here for. 

If Hoke and Borges wanted to sacrifice this game because they saw it as impossible to win and thus the plan was to save Denard and hope to keep it remotely close, I'm okay with that, as this offense isn't really their specialty. But people trying to pretend like this gameplan gave us the best chance to win are somewhat ludicrous. 

Edit: Wouldn't the ideal time to play Denard in a Tebow/Newton role be the first game of the season? You know, when he's fresh? And we have two games against mid-level opponents next when we can rest him? Are we really worried about Denard getting 10 first half carries in the first game of the season in these circumstances? 


September 5th, 2012 at 6:24 PM ^

he's the last coach. Doesn't matter if its apropos, he's dead to us. Also doesn't matter whether Alabama graduates anyone, how they get them, or even whether they're good. Just suck it up and offer some monosyllabic nonsense because we're not here to exchange ideas in the first place. . . 

let alone feelings. Or we here your butthurt manhood will fall off. 

These people find it increasingly inconvenient that it's Brian's house.  


September 5th, 2012 at 4:54 PM ^

Well....I'm still surprised the Oline got smoked so bad. On that same note do we continue to run away from Lewan? It seems we continue to pull away from him and watching schofield get blown up time after time was not pretty.

I dont understand how we have a potential top 15 pick and we dont go behind him constantly. I dunno maybe they are afraid of Barnum not getting the job done but I would hope with fitz we are at least a 60% run left team behind Lewan.


September 5th, 2012 at 6:13 PM ^

Disclaimer:  I'm (also) probably wrong about this.

Lewan did not look much like a top 15 pick out there.  He's still a really good tackle and a major key to future offensive success, but IMO the hype train may have gotten a little ahead of itself on that.  Yes I know that Mel Kiper said so, but still part of me thinks people see #77 in a Michigan helmet and think OMG Jake Long 2.0!!!


September 5th, 2012 at 4:58 PM ^

Honestly my initial post game reaction was that Denard played better than his stats indicated and that has been borne out. I mean how many other teams have CBs even close to Alabama's level(can only think of MSU...argh). This also makes me feel like ND is WAAAY more beatable especially as not having any TEs will force us to go shotgun and 3/4 wide a lot more. 


September 5th, 2012 at 5:00 PM ^

I have to think that the West Coast Offense has a short passing game. Yet, I never see little flares into the flat (to a TE) or dump off passes to a back coming out of the backfield.

Am I uneducated or does UM not have the personnel or is Borges stubborn or......?

TIA for enlightening me.


September 5th, 2012 at 5:18 PM ^

I fins it interesting how damaged our souls are after the Malone/DeBord years that 5 seasons after Carr has retired we still reference it in comparison to what we do now. My oh my what an atrocity that truly was.


September 5th, 2012 at 5:02 PM ^

that being that Alabama may just be so silly talented that it would be competitive with my NCAA 05 team of 75% 5 stars. I think given what Alabama does to...everyone, that we're probably still pretty great.