Upon Further Review 2012: Offense vs Minnesota Comment Count

Brian November 8th, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Formation notes: much, much more under-center in this game. FWIW, Minnesota had some packages where they'd put a linebacker in between two DL, as below:


Last year people told me this was a bear front, so that's what I called it. On short yardage Minnesota would do this to both sides of the line, so that's double bear. As always, lingo may not be compatible with your local football lingo-knowing guy and only exists to provide extended conversations with Seth about what the hell I meant when I classified X as Y.

Also here's this guy again:



Substitution notes: Gardner the whole way at QB, Rawls got some playing time, Smith was back, and the line was exactly how it always is. Burzynski got a few goal line plays on that package where they line up Lewan and Schofield next to each other.

The WR rotation was about what you'd expect as well, except there was a lot more Jerald Robinson. He has apparently inherited most of Devin's snaps.

[AFTER THE JUMP: so how was Devin really, and ARGH runs ARGH]

Ho ho ho

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M8 1 10 Ace 4-wide tight 1 1 3 4-3 even Run Pitch sweep Toussaint 1
A safety is rolled down over Funchess, FWIW. M pulls Lewan and Mealer around Funchess(-3), who just has to get a DE going straight upfield blocked inside a bit—harassed, really—to make this play work. He lunges at the guy, stalling the DE's momentum. He then stumbles past the guy. Guy is free to flow to the outside of the play. Mealer's chasing, can't get there, not his fault. Minnesota LBs had gone straight upfield too and Roundtree(+1) cracked down on the playside guy, so even if Mealer doesn't do anything at all this is a nice gain. Would RPS +1 this but it does involve your freshman TE who isn't a good blocker being a key blocker.
M9 2 9 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Pass Hitch Gallon 6
Corner playing off; Gallon hitches up at about six yards and Gardner gets it to him. Throw is a little low, maybe a tiny bit late, and may have prevented some YAC but probably not as the safety is filling well. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M15 3 3 Shotgun twin TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 even Pass Sack N/A -5
Smith motions out of the backfield before the snap and this is clearly supposed to be a quick out to Kwiatkowski since Smith's route is pretty hilarious: go bury the corner. He's too close to the line, though, and he has to do this before the ball is out, so a throw will be PI. There is no throw since Mealer(-2) and Barnum(-1) get collectively smoked on a stunt and Gardner eats a sack. (PR, N/A, protection 0/3, RPS -1 since this was going to be a flag anyway.)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 9 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M41 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-4 even Run Iso Rawls 2
Thought this was an unblocked guy live; it's not, it's just Omameh(-1) bouncing off a Minnesota linebacker. Ugh. Mealer and Barnum do a meh job of getting motion on one DT, that and an aggressive couple of linebackers hitting the hole hard close off the intended hole. There is a cutback as Omameh had gotten a push on the other DT and Schofield(+1) buried him. Rawls(-1) cuts behind but misses that he should cut further back behind Omameh and runs into the last LB, compounding the issue by falling.
M43 2 8 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 even Pass Waggle TE cross Williams INT
Playside DE left alone by Kwiatkowski(-1), who is supposed to chip the guy instead of just sit there for a second, not blocking anyone or moving. This makes him covered when he goes in the route and forces Gardner to avoid the DE. Gardner does this, whereupon a linebacker is pressuring. No one open; Gardner chucks it at Williams anyway, behind him a bit, INT. (BRX, 0, protection 0/1, Kwiatkowski -1, RPS -1)
Drive Notes: Interception, 0-0, 6 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M16 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 4-3 even Run Jet sweep Gallon 9
M leaves playside end unblocked, he charges at Gardner, and it's about over from there. JRobinson(+1) gets a pounding block on the playside LB; Schofield(+0.5) gets out on the MLB. Toussaint(+0.5) is leading and goes for the corner, but the corner actually never gets touched because he's just running around all crazy. Barnum can't keep up with Gallon, who accelerates past him and into the filling safety. RPS +1.
M25 2 1 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-4 over Run Power off tackle Toussaint -4
8.5 in the box with a corner overhanging. Gardner checks to a power run... and disaster! Mealer(-3) doesn't get the call and ignores the NT, who blows into a pulling Omameh and the RB; LB Omameh can no longer block joins in. Poor damn Toussaint.
M21 3 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel bear Pass Out Dileo Inc
Six sent with the LB lined up on the LOS inside the end backing off to take Funchess. Good pickup at first; Toussaint picks the wrong blitzer and eventually a guy gets in free. Gardner still has time to throw, and finds Dileo on an out. S rakes the ball out. If there's blame here it's Dileo not shaking that S when he faked inside before the out. (CA, 1, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 2 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M9 1 10 Ace twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Iso counter Rawls 5
Funchess motions back into a FB position, which seems like asking to get the guy lit up if you run. M runs, but they use him as a decoy, faking iso and pulling around to run power at the other side of the line. Power fake gets rid of the backside LB and gets the MLB to take a false step. Lewan(+0.5) kicks the DE effectively. Schofield(+1) gets to the hole from a gap further than a guard usually is and kicks out the playside LB. Mealer(+0.5) and Barnum(+0.5) double the playside DT and get some movement; Barnum gets out on the MLB with help from that false step. All clear except that the corner seemingly in man on Gallon has not been dragged downfield by Gallon charging at the safety and is sitting a couple yards downfield to tackle. RPS push, then.
M14 2 5 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 4-4 even Pass Throwback screen Dileo 4
Safety walks down. M runs the end around thing to Gallon and shoots the throwback at Dileo. Lewan(+1) takes an excellent, tough, odd angle to actually get out on a hard-charging corner, but the safety is coming down too and though Dileo starts using the Lewan block as a shield he gets nabbed from behind. Push, I guess. (CA, 3, screen)
M18 3 1 I-Form Big 2 2 1 6-2 double bear Run Iso Rawls 4
LBs lined up between both DE/DT pairs. I dunno. Randomly calling it double bear. Explained above. Minnesota sends another LB to the line, so this is actually good for M's weak iso call recognition since there's not really anyone at the second level except the guy for the FB. Mealer(+1) seals the LB in his face; Barnum(+1) sends Hageman outside. Kerridge misses on the second level but whatever he's just supposed to go straight ahead and batter someone on this short yardage play and if Rawls follows him he's got it. Rawls goes outside on the guy still recovering from dodging Kerridge and tries to break it big; he can't break the tackle. Well, the second tackle.
M22 1 10 Ace twin TE 1 2 2 4-4 even Run Inside zone Rawls 0
Roundtree motions in and goes for the end around fake. Minnesota ignores it. Barnum(-3) gets run over by Hageman on the backside, and that's about it. Omameh(+0.5) locks out one DT, who ends up falling when Schofield(+1) releases behind him and rakes his feet as he gets to a linebacker. Schofield plows that guy inside and if Hageman isn't bearing down Rawls has a lane straight up the middle for yards since Mealer(+0.5) climbed to the second level effectively. Unblocked overhang S comes in from the side to make the tackle a sure thing.
M22 2 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Counter quick pitch Rawls 12
The FB dive to outside pitch thing. Minnesota bites on it hard. Schofield(-1) should be able to release and seal off the playside LB, but goes too vertical and never lays hands on him. Rawls still gets the corner, could have had more if the block is made. RPS +2.
M34 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 even Pass Hitch Gallon 8
Corner blitz tipped. Schofield flares out on him as M runs some iso PA. Rawls gets a nice pickup on the end left alone. Gardner hits Gallon in front of the S trying to cover for the blitz. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
M42 2 2 Ace 3-wide 1 1 3 4-4 even Run Power off tackle Rawls 1
Pure cover zero, M runs right at it. Minnesota slants down. Lewan(-1) can't get a finger on the three-tech; Kwiatkowski(-1) misses the end and a pulling Omameh decides to abort and deal with him. I can see that. Rawls(+1) ends up eating an unblocked LB a half yard in the backfield, and then the three tech comes in, and he still manages to spin for a yard or two. RPS -1.
M43 3 1 I-Form Big 2 2 1 5-3 bear Run PA QB down G Gardner 9
PA on a called run? Sure! M runs an iso fake and pulls Omameh outside of Schofield. Iso fake sucks in four second level defenders. Schofield(+1) contacts the end and seals him by stepping around. Omameh(+0.5) gets out on the playside CB, who's really the only guy with a chance. Gardner has the corner for the first down and more. RPS +1.
O48 1 10 Ace twin TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 even Pass Scramble Gardner 5
PA fake, no roll, only two guys in the pattern plus Toussaint leaking out. The dumpoff to Toussaint is probably a better move than taking off but the scramble after nothing there picks up enough yards to get the good you didn't throw designation. (SCR, N/A, protection 2/2)
O43 2 5 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 even Pass Freeze fade JRobinson Inc (Pen +5)
Man safeties are just creeping down all day. This is the old RR freeze play except that never friggin' worked and this does. Gardner huts, gets the guy to jump, and then it's up to Mealer to snap or not. On snap automatic fade route. JRobinson is blanketed and normally this would be a bad throw but given the situation I'm not charting this. (NC, 0, protection N/A, RPS +1)
O38 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Power off tackle Rawls 1
Omameh(+0.5) and Schofield(+0.5) double the playside end and do get him in as Schofield releases into a WLB. Not dominant, pretty good. Kerridge(-0.5) takes on the playside LB and gets stood up. Barnum(+1) pulls around and hammers the MLB inside. Rawls(-1) does have a crease and should just slam it up. Instead he bounces into unblocked guys away from his blocking.
O37 2 9 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Pass Sack N/A -8
Barnum(-3) smoked by some backup and Gardner plastered by pressure right up the middle. (PR, N/A, protection 0/3, Barnum -3)
O45 3 17 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel even Pass Improv Dileo 45
More like yakety sex, amirite? (DO, 3, protection 3/3)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-7 8 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M10 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Run Sprint counter Toussaint 8 – 9 Pen
Oh my God, poor damn Toussaint gets some blocks. Counter action sucks the MLB playside. Mealer(+0.5) and Barnum(+0.5) eventually get movement on the DT and Barnum pops out on the MLB. Schofield(+1) pulls around and shoves a charging LB past Toussaint as Lewan(+1) gets a big kick on the DE. Gallon fights with his guy and eventually loses him but the flag he draws for a block in the back is horsecrap because he never loses contact with the dude. Refs –2.
M9 1 11 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-4 even Pass Waggle deep hitch Roundtree 17
I kind of want to RPS-1 this since there's a DE charging at Hopkins who prevents him from releasing, gets into Toussaint, and makes Gardner chuck it off a back foot. Meanwhile two other guys are flying at Gardner's face. But this is part of eight guys running at the LOS, leaving just three behind. Gardner chucks a floater at Roundtree that reaches him a yard or two in front of the one guy tasked with him. That's kind of ugly, kind of excellent, no idea what to do, aigh. (CA, 3, protection 0/1, Toussaint -1, RPS +1?)
M27 1 10 Ace twin TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 even Pass PA dig JRobinson 21
Another two man route with Fitz leaking out. Kwiatkowski(-1) has trouble with the DE he's assigned to; he does get some shoving on him but the guy is coming around the edge, forcing Gardner to step up and threatening to sack. Both routes are wide open; Gardner doesn't have time to choose and grabs the short one. Throw is behind JRob and takes him off his feet, otherwise he picks up significant YAC. (MA, 2, protection ½, Kwiatkowski -1, RPS +2)
M48 1 10 Ace twin TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Iso counter Toussaint 4
Another play on which Funchess withdraws to FB depth and runs at a LB away from the play as a tackle pulls. This time it's Lewan. The counter action again sucks the MLB away. Mealer(+0.5) and Omameh(+0.5) double and seal the NT and Omameh pops out on the MLB with plenty of time thanks to the counter action. Lewan(+1) buries the playside LB; Reynolds(-2) also goes for the playside LB, who he has no realistic chance of blocking, and lets a safety in unblocked. Toussaint can't make him miss. RPS +1.
O48 2 6 Ace 4-wide tight 1 1 3 4-3 even Pass TE out Funchess 7
Double outs to both sides. M picks the boundary. I guess Funchess is open; Reynolds seems more so but Funchess is probably first read so okay. Gardner has an awkward no-step throw but it's on the money; Funchess grabs it and then kind of backs over the first down line. Toussaint(-1) should have chopped the end he got to instead of meekly bang into him, which caused the awkward throw. (CA, 3, protection ½, Toussaint -1)
O41 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 even Pass Throwback screen Gallon Inc
Gardner turns around to see a DE in his face and panics a little, chucking a hard ball outside of Gallon's frame. May or may not have gotten yards here as the playside LB responded relatively well and may have split the two lead blockers. (IN, 0, protection N/A)
O41 2 10 Shotgun triple stack 1 0 4 4-3 even Run QB draw Gardner 4
Opens up decently as Minnesota gets upfield; Omameh(+0.5) shoots a DT inside as he gets aggressive and Gardner has a lane relatively straight upfield. Seems Gardner has a lane if he cuts 45-60 degrees left to set up his blocks, but his decision is not, er, decisive and he gets an arm on him from the guy Rawls blocks decently. His momentum slows, allowing the guy Mealer is blocking decently to come in to tackle.
O37 2 6 Shotgun triple stack tight 1 1 3 Nickel over Pass Scramble Gardner 19
WLB sent on a blitz around NT Hageman and that gets through as Smith(-2) gets impatient and hits someone instead of waiting for the blitzer to show. Gardner(+2 run) moves up past the blitzer and finds a lane between Omameh and Schofield. Since a Minnesota LB just obliterated the DB checking Roundtree's drag route there's a lot of space. Gardner jukes another DB for his second plus and gets OOB after a nice gain. (SCR, N/A, protection 1/3, Smith -2)
O18 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 4-3 even Pass Rollout out Dileo 9
Fuggin finally, M exploits the slot-LB matchup here by running Dileo on a speed out and rolling Gardner his way. Dileo gets open against the LB as the outside WR runs off the corner, Gardner hits him, YAC. (CA, 3, protection 1/1, RPS +1)
O9 2 1 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Inside zone Toussaint 3
Barnum hits Hageman and well, then releases. He whiffs on the second level because the MLB charges up a backside gap with no RB, so okay. Mealer(-2) gives all the ground and loses his seal on Hageman, who gets to the hole at the LOS and tackles. Without that, touchdown. Kwiatkowski(+0.5) and Lewan(+0.5) had doubled a DE and Lewan got to the second level; with the vacated MLB if Toussaint can get through the first level he cuts behind Lewan's block and gets tackled from the side at the two or something. PDT. 
O6 1 G Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 5-2 nickel Pass Scramble Gardner 2
Minnesota sends six and M picks it up okay with Toussaint getting a special badge for a tough pickup on a blitzing LB. M running four slants against man, none of which are open, Gardner says eff it and takes off. This could be PR or SCR; more QB-friendly designation chosen. (SCR, N/A, protection 2/2). I need some sort of WR measure but I think that's impossible.
O4 2 G Ace twin TE twins 1 2 2 4-4 over Pass Waggle TE out Funchess Inc
Funchess gets no chip on the DE so this is sort of his fault. Gardner gets pressure from that guy and a LB. He kind of has to fling it and flings it way behind Funchess but he had to because there was a DB all over this and he put it where only his guy could get it. He did have Roundtree in the back of the endzone... yeah, that's really open. Okay. So. Tough, but if he has patience here he gets an open guy, probably. (BR, 0, protection 0/1, Funchess -1)
O4 3 G I-Form 2 1 2 4-4 over Pass Fade Funchess Inc (Pen +2)
Clear call. Ball in the air, DB shoves Funchess. This is kind of a crappy throw, should be well outside and more arced. (MA, 0, protection N/A)
O2 1 G Goal line 2 2 0 Goal line Run Down G Rawls 2
Burzynski in at RT as M stacks Lewan and Schofield. They run away from the double tackles, pulling Omameh around. Kwiatkowski(+1) blows up the edge guy and pancakes him. Omameh(+0.5) kicks one LB, and that's it. Hopkins pretty much misses but Rawls gets in anyway.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-7, 47 sec 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-4 even Run Sprint counter Toussaint 0
Cover zero again. Barnum(-3) beaten playside by his DT, giving up a ton of ground and forcing Lewan to hit that guy. Toussaint has to cut behind that into unblocked guys. PDT. Seems like Omameh(+0.5) and Mealer(+0.5) had successfully comboed the other DT if Barnum doesn't get blown up.
M25 2 10 Shotgun twin TE twins 1 2 2 4-4 over Pass Slant Gallon Inc
Cover zero, M throws at the soft corner. Ball is behind Gallon and would stop his momentum if caught; probably still should be caught but it's a 2 when this was open. (MA, 2, protection 1/1)
M25 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 nickel press Pass Sack N/A -10
Five sent; Smith picks up the blitzer. Nothing open right away and then Barnum(-2) is beat again one on one by a DT, forcing Gardner to start running around like a lunatic. They sack him this time. (PR, N/A, protection 0/2, Barnum -2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-7, 13 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M14 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-4 over Run Iso Rawls 2
Almost 4-5 as the other Gopher safety walks down. This is actually blocked okay with the possible exception of Lewan/Barnum on the backside DT. Barnum releases immediately, and Lewan has a tough job to try and get a guy slanting under; guy falls, tripped by Barnum, who also falls. Woo! Push I guess. Omameh(+1) gets a shove on the other DT that helps Mealer(+0.5) get movement on him and gets out on a LB. Kerridge(+0.5) pops another guy; just no room with nine-ish in the box, Rawls tries to cut behind, gets cut down by an unblocked guy. RPS -1.
M16 2 8 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 over Pass Freeze fade Roundtree Inc (Pen +15)
Both S just out of the box with a corner overhanging. M gets Minnesota to jump and goes with the freeze fade again. CB over the top of this in great position, gets terrible terrible PI call on him. Refs +2. Pass not charted, because free play. (NC, 0, protection 1/1, RPS +1)
M31 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass PA Hitch and go Gallon 47
Safeties back, corner blitz. The last time M found this corner blitz they got a hitch in front of it. This time Gallon runs a hitch and go and gets wiiiide open. Gardner hits him in stride 40 yards downfield; safety prevents a TD. (DO, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +3)
O22 1 10 Ace 4-wide tight 1 1 3 4-3 even Run Pitch sweep Rawls 7
Funchess does a little better here but still can't prevent the playside end from picking off Mealer. DE was upfield so fast not sure there was much he could do about it. Roundtree(-0.5) gets some shove on the playside LB, playside LB comes upfield of it and can flow out. Omameh(+0.5) gets out to lead against a corner and gets cut to the ground but hey he's there; Rawls(+1) runs through an ankle tackle and rumbles along the sideline.
O15 2 3 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 over Run Iso Toussaint 5
DEs flared out wide here. Schofield(+1) kicks the playside guy well upfield and out of the hole, with help from that guy. LBs coming down so hard that there's hardly any time for Omameh to double the playside DT; he has to catch the MLB at the LOS and does so. Ditto Kerridge. No hole. Toussaint(+0.5) has to bounce it out; he can as Kwiatkowski(+0.5) spent a long time first kicking and then chasing the playside corner. Safety comes up as Toussaint breaks it outside; Toussaint manages to drag guys for YAC.
O10 1 G Ace 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Inside zone Toussaint 0
Minnesota slants under everyone. No doubles on the LOS, immediate releases, so slightly tough for the guys on the DL, but come on. Omameh(-2), Barnum(-2), and Williams(-2) all lose their guys into the backfield. Toussaint cuts behind one and gets eaten by a second. PDT. RPS -1.
O10 2 G Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Pass Throwaway N/A Inc
Trying a two man route with a corner route and a circle beneath it as Gardner rolls. Both routes blanketed. Gardner has nowhere to go and should probably just get his two or three yards on a scramble; instead he tries to keep the play alive and is almost sacked before chucking it OOB. (TA, N/A, protection 1/1, RPS -1)
O10 3 G Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Pass Fade Gallon 10
Okay fade to five eight guy in endzone okay. Yeah! Throw is basically as good as it can be, Gallon goes and gets the thing, and maintains possession most of the way to the ground, at which point a safety raking at it makes him slightly bobble it as he's laying OOB. Is this legit? Not sure (DO, 1, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-7, 5 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M21 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 4-3 even Run Jet sweep Gallon 12
This basically turns into a veer handoff. Minnesota is blitzing a corner and slanting away from the play so all the DL except the playside end are done, and that end runs himself out of the play. Toussaint(+1) buries the corner as Gallon cuts inside of him. Lewan(+1) releases into the MLB and blows him out. JRob(+0.5) trips into the playside LB, but it works. Mealer(+0.5) set up on a backside end and tracked him down the field, walling him off; Dileo(-1) got confused and ends up blocking no one as Gallon(+1) hits the second level. Gallon cuts behind Mealer and eventually gets tackled from behind, falling forward for a nice gain. RPS +1.
M33 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Power off tackle Toussaint 2
Hageman bursts upfield past Omameh(-2), picking off Lewan. This leaves the traditional unblocked LB. Hopkins(+1) and Schofield(+1) had gotten nice blocks; I still think Mealer needs to chip that end or something before releasing into a backside LB but they've got so many problems I kind of get it. Toussaint(+0.5) runs through a tackle. PDT.
M35 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Pass Scramble Gardner 3
M running curl-flat to the outside with another TE out further inside. Funchess is covered, but I suspect one of the two outside guys is open. Can't tell and Gardner doesn't think so, taking off. He had a nice pocket and not much of a lane. (TA, N/A, protection 2/2)
M38 3 5 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Rollout hitch Dileo 12
M rolls the pocket, getting a cut block from Smith that gets Gardner the edge. He can and should just run for it once this happens but instead fires a pass into a tiny window at Dileo; triple coverage! Pass is hard and behind Dileo in traffic, he goes up and makes a great catch. (MA, 1, protection 2/2) MA in part because this was a risk he didn't have to take.
50 1 10 Shotgun double stacks 1 1 3 4-3 even Pass Seam Roundtree 47
Gallon motions outside his stack presnap. Minnesota blitzes a LB and backs an end off. Toussaint picks off the LB, but Gardner doesn't trust it and starts moving around. As he breaks outside the pocket he finds Roundtree breaking open way deep for six and throws it... ball is way, way short, requiring Roundtree to slow up and play crazy ninja defense on a CB who was in bad position to start but as the ball comes down seems likely to intercept. Meanwhile M had Funchess open by about 20 yards. (IN, 1, protection 2/2) Replay.
O3 1 G Goal line 2 3 0 Goal line Run Down G Rawls 0
Lewan(+1) and Schofield(+1) next to each other. Each crushes the guy over them inside. Barnum(+1) kicks the end. Rawls(-2) will walk into the endzone if he just runs the damn play, instead he heads for the edge and gets nothing.
O3 2 G Goal line 2 3 0 Goal line Run Down G Rawls 0
This time to the other side. Burzynski(+1) seals a DT inside well. Kwiatkowski(-0.5) does an eh job with a LB, who forces things further outside. Hopkins reads it and flares out a bit more. Rawls(-1) does not, running ahead of both of his lead blockers and directly into the guy disengaging from Kwiatkowski. He spins off that guy's tackle attempt and then gets hammered back. We have finally found out why he's not used on short yardage. He can't see.
O3 3 G Goal line 2 3 0 Goal line Pass Scramble Gardner 3
Guys all over everything, Gardner(+2) avoids a DE and manages to power into the endzone. Heroic right there. (SCR, N/A, protection N/A)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 28-10, 9 min 4th Q. M gets the ball back up 15 with five minutes left, for context.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
50 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 over Run Power off tackle Toussaint 6
Barnum(+0.5) knocks Hageman inside, where he was already going. Kwiatkowski(+1) gets a lot of movement on the playside end. I think Kerridge should probably go for the LB instead of an overhang corner, LB goes for Kerridge anyway so okay. Omameh(+1) pulls around and nails the MLB; Toussaint(+0.5) runs up his back for a nice gain.
O44 2 4 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 over Run Iso Toussaint 3
Line slants away; Barnum(+1) escorts DT out of the hole as Omameh(+0.5) does an okay job with the other one. Gap. Mealer releases into the MLB but I bet that was Kerridge's guy and he should have gone to an OLB. Kerridge stops, blocking no one, and Toussaint gets hit by the unblocked OLB. I guess Mealer at least got to the second level?
O41 3 1 I-Form Big 2 2 1 6-2 double bear Run Iso Toussaint 1
Everyone at the line, unblocked guy shoots up the middle, think Kerridge(-1) needs to take the guy who shows first, instead he runs at a guy directly in front of him and the S submarines Toussaint(-0.5), who should probably do better than this against a diving ankle tackle.
O40 4 In I-Form Big 2 2 1 6-2 double bear Run Power off tackle Toussaint 40
Lewan(+2) crushes a DT well off the ball. Schofield(+1) does well to cut off a hard charging DT. Mealer(+1) seals away another DT. Kerridge(+1) does hit that OLB this time and nails him; Toussaint(+2) has a window that he hits with authority, running through a tackle and jetting for the end zone since there are no safeties.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 35-13, 3 min 4th Q. Last drive not charted. It's a few Rawls runs for a few yards with the backup OL in.

So there's this thing where the guy runs in the area with the name painted on it.

Uh huh.

Then everyone stops playing for some reason.

Yes, and?

And they celebrate like something has been accomplished. I mean okay guy you ran two yards I don't get it.

That's a touchdown!

A touchdown.

You get points for it.

And then you can exchange those points for stuffed animals or drink tokens?

No, you just get the points, and if you have more than the other team at the end of the game you get a feeling of well-being and relief.

So, like, there's no way you can redeem touchdowns for the GameBoy that's been on a shelf since 1992.

Not as far as I know.

No wonder we stopped scoring them I mean lame.




For reference, Denard's chart:

[Hennechart legend is updated. Hover over column headers for quick explanations. [I'm putting little asterisks in for BRX or INX plays now. One per awful event.]

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%
Air Force 1 14 3 2 1 - 2 1 - 75%
UMass 1 16(4) - 4 - 1 1 1 3 68%
Notre Dame 4 10(1) 2 4(1)* 2** 1 1 3 1 65%
Purdue 3 7(2) - 1(1) - 1 2 - - 73%
Illinois 3 6(2) - - 2 - - - - 78%
MSU 4 9(2) 3(1) 4 2* 1 5 2 - 48%
Nebraska 2 9(2) 1 1 - - - 1 1 90%

That's Denard. His only miss was his first pass, which went wide of Gallon.


Nebraska 1 4(1) 2 7* 1* - 1 4 1 31%

And Gardner:

Minnesota 3 7(1) 4 2(1) 2* 2 - 3 4 64%

So. That is okay, extremely eventful, and has a BRX in it. (The two freeze play fades were not charted since they were free plays knowingly thrown into coverage.)

I spent a small amount of time in a fight in the comment section of the game column as a bunch of people went "lol Brian loves Denard too much to think any other quarterback is good at football," which is of course infuriating, the equivalent of going "nuh-uh" a thousand times in a row, with the added irritation that these blind optimists scrabbling for any positive thing they can find about next year's QB situation are providing evidence-free assertions about how my thought process is biased.

Since they are not my little brother and I am not ten I cannot hit them, unfortunately. I can only mention that the way I chart these things is systematic. MAs are given when catchable but suboptimal throws are made: the throw is hard to catch or pulls a guy off his feet. The Jerald Robinson catch is a perfect example. INs are given when the guy flat misses, and yes the Roundtree bomb was filed IN, because it was.



…became this…


…and then Roundtree somehow came down with the ball. Ball at yards-open WR that hits DB in the hands == IN. Deal with it.

Similarly, this was the regular ol' BR, when Gardner rifled it at Funchess behind him in an effort to keep it away from that linebacker as Roundtree was literally hand-wavingly wide open behind him:


Overly defensive for a good DSR, probably yeah. Whatever.

Gardner's passing stats may be more impressive than they probably should have been but he doesn't get much credit in the above for not forcing entire stadiums to scream "RUNNNNNN" at him when he should RUNNNNNNN:

With four scrambles, Gardner is nearly to Denard's season total in one game. Also that bomb to Gallon was a thing. Also he was a WR two weeks ago. I'm still leery about his accuracy and his decision-making, but he is definitely viable.

Oh, I supposed we have to talk about the offensive line.


Offensive Line
Player + - Total Notes
Lewan 8 1 7 Iso counter and sprint counter got tackles more involved.
Barnum 5.5 8 -2.5 -6 pass blocking as well.
Mealer 5.5 5 0.5 Primarily responsible for first sack.
Omameh 6.5 5 1.5 Surviving a bit better.
Schofield 10 1 9 Coming on strong after awkward start.
Kwiatkowski 3.5 1 2.5 Better.
Moore - - - DNP
Williams - 2 -2 Got slanted under once.
Funchess - 3 -3 Ugly first play.
TOTAL 39 26 60% Includes garbage time drive which was +8 for OL. Without, percentage drops to 54%.
Player + - T Notes
Robinson - - - DNP.
Gardner 4 - 4 One scramble, one blown QB power.
Toussaint 5 0.5 4.5 Blocking better, got +2 on last run.
Rawls 2 5 -3 Be who you are!
Smith - - - DNC
Hayes - - - DNP
Hopkins 1 - 1 One good relevant block.
Kerridge 1.5 1.5 0 FB fight seems to be even now.
TOTAL 13.5 7 6.5 PDT
Player + - T Notes
Gardner - - - -
Roundtree 1 0.5 0.5 -
Gallon 1 - -  
Jackson - - -  
Dileo - 1 -1  
Reynolds - 2 -2  
JRobinson 1.5 - 1.5  
TOTAL 3.5 3.5 0 Could have had some long gainers if WRs find safeties.
Player + - T Notes
Protection 28 15 65% Yikes. Barnum –6, Mealer –2, Kwiatkowski –2, Toussaint –2, Smith –2, Funchess –1
RPS 15 6 +9 Hitch and go with Gallon a beauty, also freeze plays worked.

So the interior line is still struggling to keep its head above water. The tackles had a very good day—Lewan got some old time mashing in—not only in the run but against the pass. Note that despite Michigan's very crappy protection number, the tackles were collectively clean. After some rough moments to start, Schofield is rounding into form. Hopefully he keeps it up the last few weeks so we can go into 2013 relatively confident about left tackle.

Yeah: left tackle. There's a lot of message board muh muh muh about how Lewan was overhyped and overrated and isn't playing that well and etc. that seems based on Michigan's inability to run and a few penalties he took early in the season. It is baloney, I say, as do NFL teams. Y'all can muh muh muh about him when he goes top ten in the draft this year. There are about to be a ton of embeds below on which Rashede Hageman destroys a member of Michigan's offensive line. This is what happened when Lewan lined up over him:

Whatever problems Michigan has in the running game are not on him. (Except that time when he and Schofield both pulled.)

What's the deal with Rawls?

Michael Shaw disease. Here's a first and goal from the three on which it was just like BE WHO YOU ARE:

On the next play, Kwiatkowski had some difficulty with a DE that Hopkins routed around as Michigan set up the edge; Rawls didn't follow his blockers and ran directly into a guy—the opposite mistake. His vision is not there yet, and now we have our answer about why he hasn't been the short yardage back.

I see you busted out –3s above, like, a lot.

-3s are extremely rare. Or, at least, they are usually. They happen when one guy just gets destroyed and the resulting play has no chance of success as a direct result. Sometimes this is a blown assignment, like when Mealer didn't get a check and ignored a nose tackle on a power that turned into a four yard loss. Too often in this game it was just Michigan getting owned. This was just a –2 but watch Mealer get moonwalked back into Toussaint on an otherwise well-blocked play:

Poor damn Toussaint. That is probably a touchdown if Hageman doesn't beast up there.

Devin Funchess, at least, has an alibi as a freshman "tight end" who's really just a big WR at this point. Even so, it's bad when your block actually helps the guy you're blocking defend the play:

This is just a cost of not having any veteran TEs you can turn to, and will be a major offseason focus. He did get a push on another pitch sweep later—his guy did pick off a pulling lineman but there wasn't much he could do about it and at least he didn't make the tackle.

Ricky Barnum, though… man. Rough, rough day. Here Rashede Hageman uses him as more of a launching ramp than an obstruction:

Here some guy named Johnson who doesn't even start for Minnesota beating him one on one:

And to finish the triptych:

Oy. You knew it was a bad sign when Michigan flipped the two new starters on the inside of the line right before the season, and then things were… well, pretty much okay for a while. Then everything fell apart. The inverted veer must be a hell of a play to paper over Michigan's OL problems.

Compounding things: Barnum was –6(!) in pass protection, directly responsible for two sacks and partially for a third. [BONUS: watch Vincent Smith bury an unsuspecting cornerback at the bottom of the screen. Cracks me up every time.] The big Gardner scramble came when Smith went to bop Barnum's guy instead of waiting for a blitzing LB to show, too—that's on Smith but probably doesn't happen if Smith has confidence in what's going on with that matchup. [BONUS: Watch for a Minnesota linebacker plowing one of his teammates. Also cracks me up.]

What I'm saying is it was bad. Michigan scraped above 60% thanks to the final charted drive; they were not quite as bad as they were against Nebraska but it's looking grim enough that Hoke is talking about inserting Jack Miller or Joey Burzynski ten games in.

A single zero yard run was –6?


I try to keep two things in balance: the same blocks get the same scores and a zero yard run adds up to about the same thing as any other zero yard run, but when three blocks get whiffed and any of them would have been sufficient to blow up the play, well, here we are. Thinking of that picture from the 2007 OSU game.

They did a new thing.

Yes, they ran a couple plays where Funchess would motion to an H-back spot and then run like Michigan was running an iso. Meanwhile a tackle pulled around behind.

Tackles are pulling this time because usually LBs are keying off the guard, so it helps sell the iso if the guy they're looking at is coming at them. Michigan can do this because both of their tackles are extremely mobile.

Also note another excellent example of Never Block Upfield: slot WR Joe Reynolds goes for a linebacker he has no chance on and turns a potential big gain into a meh one since the safety can come down unmolested.

Do you happen to have an example of the kind of sideline routes that you have been frustrated do not exist so far this year?

Why yes, how nice and unexpected of you to ask. For large hunks of the year, opponents have been putting extra guys in the box and playing soft behind it, which should open up routes on which a sideline-breaking route by the slot receiver, whether it's a corner or an out, forces the cornerback to make a choice as to which of two guys to cover. Like so:

Michigan would sort of go back to that a little bit later on that drive and Minnesota would cover it, but that happens in passing when you're goal to go. It is tough to stack the box, cover that, and not leave a single safety trying to cover two guys going vertical on the other end. The complaint has been that Michigan is not stretching the field horizontally, and that's a way to accomplish it without running screens Borges doesn't like.


Take a bow, guys.


[Passes are rated by how tough they are to catch. 0 == impossible. 1 == wow he caught that, 2 == moderate difficulty, 3 == routine. The 0/X in all passes marked zero is implied.]

Player 0 1 2 3   0 1 2 3
Gardner           12 0/5 2/5 14/15
Roundtree   1/1   1/1   10 1/4 4/4 10/11
Gallon 1 1/1 0/1 3/3   10 1/2 3/6 19/21
J. Robinson     1/1     1 0/1 1/2 2/2
Dileo   1/2   3/3   1 2/3 3/3 8/8
Jackson           5     5/7
Kwiatkowski                 3/3
Funchess 2     1/1   6 2/4 1/3 9/9
Williams 1                
Hopkins             0/1    
Toussaint           1 0/2 1/2 4/4
Smith             0/1 1/2 6/6
Kerridge             0/1   1/1

It is remembered that throwing to Dileo is a good idea, even when it's not a good idea.

Also, Michigan receivers grab three circus catches, doubling their total for the year. Bonus: no routine drops, and only two catch opportunities of any variety that do not get reeled in. Gallon couldn't bring in a slant that was behind him, and Dileo had a third down conversion raked out. They weren't used often—just 18 attempts for Gardner—but they did about as well as they possibly could. That unit was big time, for at least this game.

Borges got a big RPS number this week.

Yeah. A lot more under center stuff did seem to make him more comfortable, and most of the things that went wrong were not Michigan eating unblocked guys but actual blocks actually being beaten. The long toss to Gallon was a beauty: Minnesota ran that same corner blitz earlier in the game and got hit with a hitch at the vacated zone. When they ran it again, boom, wide open as the hitch and go works. Separation! Dios mio, man.


Wide receivers, collectively. Tackles, collectively. Gardner.


Interior OL, again again. Rawls, please stop bouncing and know who you are.

What does it mean for Northwestern and beyond?

Michigan has a viable quarterback for next year and maybe the year after. The interior offensive line seems to be getting worse weekly. Rawls has vision issues and bounces too much. Mike Schofield is rounding into the sort of form we had hoped for and projected last year.

Funchess won't be able to block until next year. Throw it at Dileo!



November 8th, 2012 at 4:21 PM ^

Leon? Leon Tweedy the Stadium Superintendent?

I never met the guy so I don't know but have a funny Leon Tweedy story none-the-less.

I knew a guy who worked on the sideline during games for Leon Tweedy. He quit just before the OSU game in 1995 (the Biakabatuka Game) but kept his sideline pass. He gave it to me but I didn't want to risk getting kicked out of the game, being OSU and all, so I used my student ticket and gave the sideline pass to another friend. If asked what he was doing on the sidelines he was supposed to say "I work for Leon Tweedy." In the third quarter, he was approached and used that line. Unfortunately, he was talking to Leon Tweedy and was escorted out.

The story ends happy because he was able to come back in through another gate that was unmanned and still see most of the 4th quarter from the stands.


November 8th, 2012 at 3:16 PM ^

"Beard guy" is my friend's stepdad, Leon.  He has been an equipment manager for a long time at Michigan and always ends up on camera a few times per game.


November 8th, 2012 at 3:24 PM ^


No, you just get the points, and if you have more than the other team at the end of the game you get a feeling of well-being and relief.


We get that and this....

Suck it Minnesota....


November 8th, 2012 at 3:33 PM ^

inside running ability, but he is one hell of a blocker.  On the last pass to Dileo, he got a great block on the blitzing backer.  If he doesn't, Gardner is toast and there is no way he is able to pass the ball.  I will miss his toughness next year!


November 8th, 2012 at 3:36 PM ^

I think an underrated part of Gardner's performance was his pocket presence that Denard lacks sometimes.  He was able to expertly avoid pass rushers consistently.

Shop Smart Sho…

November 8th, 2012 at 3:36 PM ^

Our two competent to good linemen are the tackles, so of course we run inside more often than not throughout the season.


Anyone else just wish sometimes they would put Schofield at LG and just run left constantly?






November 8th, 2012 at 3:39 PM ^

I've always known a "bear" front to mean that the center and both guards are covered by linemen, so your usage will confuse me for a while. Then again, "okie" had always meant something else to me too but I've come to accept your version of it. So yeah, use whatever terminology works for you.

I'm getting greatly concerned about the interior OL. We need Coach Funk to get whatever magic dust Mattison is sprinkling on the DL.


November 8th, 2012 at 3:44 PM ^

So no, it's not exactly what NW did, but it is similar in that they had 6 men on the line, 4 down linemen and 2 LBs, with an LB and a Saftey behind them. Calling it a "Bear" front kinda works, and I agree with you, when Brian explains formation names above and then uses them for consistency, it works.


November 8th, 2012 at 3:43 PM ^

It seems, reading this, that our tackles did quite a bit of pulling, which strikes me as odd. Is this at all to compensate for 2 guards that seem to routinely not get to the hole before the RB when they pull?


November 8th, 2012 at 3:46 PM ^

I'd say it's 2 fold. 1 - our tackles are our best blockers, and pulling them to the hole means we have better point of attack blocking (your point) and 2 - it makes it harder for defenses to read our plays. Defenders talk about their "keys" or how they can tell where the ball is headed before it gets there. On a typical power play, the off guard pulls into the hole as a lead blocker. LBs typically read guards and follow them to the hole. If we don't pull our guards, it messes with the LBs.


November 8th, 2012 at 3:46 PM ^


MAs are given when catchable but suboptimal throws are made: the throw is hard to catch or pulls a guy off his feet.


But couldn't the deep ball to Roundtree fit this definition as well? Certainly, it was thrown short (and conventional wisdom says it's better to overthrow than underthrow), but the intended receiver was still able to haul it in. I'm not sure that throw should be filed in the same category as, say, a throw 10 yards over the guy's head.



November 8th, 2012 at 4:11 PM ^

Well, it's debatable.  An overthrow is simply a lost down, with no possibility of a positive outcome or a turnover.  An underthrow like that one is high-risk/high-reward.  I don't know how it should be categorized, exactly, but I see the two as belonging into different categories. 

It seems a little counterintuitive to me that our longest pass play of the day is not included as part of the 64% of passes that were "successful."  It wasn't a very good throw, but it did give the receiver a chance to catch it, which is the most basic thing you can ask for on a deep ball.

EQ RC Blue

November 8th, 2012 at 3:57 PM ^

You can be systematically biased.  Also, the fact that you have a set of categories with definitions does not mean that you are objective in deciding into which category a given throw belongs.  The UFRs are not objective.

I have no idea whether Brian judged the throws as he would have had Denard been making them.  I guess you could go back and find similar throws Denard made and see how they were categorized.  The Roundtree bomb does not seem like a good throw, although we have heard about the benefit of underthrowing the bombs.

EQ RC Blue

November 8th, 2012 at 4:18 PM ^

...they include a lot of information and insight.  They take a ton of work - I can barely muster the patience to read them, nevermind write them.  And they provide a lot more evidence than simply saying Denard can't throw and Devin is awesome (or the reverse).  My point was that categorization does not equal objectivity.  And +s and -s could vary by the viewer and moment.  For instance, I was glad to see Devin huck the ball deep after an offsides call -- free play, ended up with a 15 yard penalty.  I can recall times yelling at Denard to do that, and he doesn't.  Does that always show up as a + or -?  I would + it, but maybe that's not the right call. 

For what it's worth, I have not made any Denard vs Devin arguments, nor argued that your assessment of Devin was wrong or biased.  I hope Denard comes back soon for both his sake and the team's.  And I can understand that, after putting a ton of time into something long and extensive, like a UFR, you have no interest in responding to a simple "Denard sucks, Devin is awesome."  All that said, while I enjoy the UFRs and think they add a lot of interesting information, I don't assume that they are "objective."  I do learn from them.



November 8th, 2012 at 4:00 PM ^

Under-throwing a ball only works when the coverage is over the top, not trailing like it is here. For instance, against ND last year, Denard underthrew a few long passes on which the WR came open by stopping for the ball as the DB kept going. You see NFL QB's throw to the back-shoulder on plays like this frequently.

Otherwise, overthrowing is alomst preferred - you either overthrow so much that it's incomplete, or you may ahve a high-pointing wizard like Hemingway who can just go get it.


November 8th, 2012 at 4:06 PM ^

Re: the hitch and go.... The announcers commented that this was a live read that Gallon and Gardner both made pre-snap based on defensive alignment. Do you think there's any validity to that? I was kinda thinking no, given Al's reluctance to allow audibles and especially since this was Gardner's first start after missing a lot of practice time while playing WR. I'm kinda salivating at the idea of our offense evolving to that point though.


November 8th, 2012 at 4:21 PM ^

How is a jump ball to a somewhat well covered Jeremy Gallon not at least an RPS -2?  That's an awful play, by design, that probably doesn't work against any team with decent athletes at DB, even though Gallon is somewhat of an overacheiver when it comes to jump balls.  Either the blocking or the play design on the Gardner TD run was attrocious, but the only number on that play is Gardner +2.  How is it that almost every major metric in the UFR is positive despite the fact that Michigan did almost nothing at all within the framework of their offense, and instead relied on receivers and the QB to rescue bad plays over and over again?  How many times did we run the waggle and how many times did Gardner not immediately have somebody in his face when we ran it?  Seems to me the UFR needs a little bit of recalibration.  It seems too kind the past few weeks.  Hell on that last Fitz Toussaint run, Omameh blocks nobody, Barnum blocks Mealer's rear end, and an unblocked defender is there ready to make a tackle for a 2 yard gain (at which time he pulls a Stevie Brown)


November 8th, 2012 at 4:29 PM ^

For one, Minnesota doesn't have decent Defensive Backs.  Secondly, the defensive back had his back turned to the ball the moment it was snapped.  He had no shot. 

If the scouting report on that defensive back was "Does not turn hips on fades in the red zone." then by all acounts, it was a great read no matter who our WR was.  

I'm at work, so I do not have access to youtube clips, but that's how I remember it.


November 8th, 2012 at 4:33 PM ^

But a jump ball isn't really how that play is supposed to go.  The fade is supposed to be a quick throw that the receiver catches in stride over his outside shoulder (à la Mercury Hayes vs. Virginia).  When the WR runs out of room in the endzone, he stops and then it becomes a jump ball, but ideally the QB throws the ball before that happens. 

You generally throw the fade to your quickest WR (not necessarily your biggest - Desmond Howard and Hayes were both 5'9" and we regularly ran it with them), which is why we throw it to Gallon and not Roundtree (or Gardner, when he's playing WR).  However, our QBs tend to be late on the throw and force him to outjump the DBs.



November 8th, 2012 at 4:46 PM ^

Here's the thing. You can go hurr durr short WR stoopit jump ball.


You can realize that Gallon levitated like... something that levitates really well and made an awesome play. This is not the first time the coaches have seen him do that because they keep throwing him those balls and he keeps catching them.

Do you go with your preconceived notions or your lyin eyes? You pick.

TMS-Mr. Ace

November 8th, 2012 at 4:17 PM ^

"Lewan got some old time mashing in—not only in the run but against the past."

So you're telling me Lewan is going back in time and mashing?  So he's a superhero.


November 8th, 2012 at 4:29 PM ^

Great work, Brian. I wonder what the chances are that the 2013 OL, with probably four new starters (all younger and with more prep hype) will actually improve in interior run blocking? We should definitely see an improvement in size, but I'm wondering how low or high we should be setting the expectations for next year's line. Clearly it seems that Hoke and staff wanted to RS the entire freshman OL class regardless of what happened this year, and so far it's worked, but I can't help but think about some of the good things we've been hearing about guys like Braden and Bars (in addition to the massive hype of Magnuson and Kalis). This is also taking into account Miller and Burzynski who I'm assuming are legit contenders for starting spots and not just placeholders for this year.


November 8th, 2012 at 4:34 PM ^

Especially "Throw it to Dileo" earlier on that play you highlighted - DG waited until there was no room for him to cut it up. If he hits him earlier Dileo might score.


November 8th, 2012 at 5:34 PM ^

Everyone assumes they can't because they're short (and they play a position called 'slot receiver').  Both Gallon and Dileo got open deep and it wasn't because anyone else was stretching the field for them or because Denard was forcing the safeties up.  Roundtree, too, made plays downfield.  We didn't have Gardner or any other big WR (save Funchess) as a major threat and yet... the passing game worked. 

I've been arguing for a while that there is no difference between slots and outside receivers since Rodriguez left. I've also been arguing that height is a vastly overrated attribute for a WR.  Of course, it is preferable to have a tall guy (big target, better liklihood of success for the odd jumpball), but on a down-to-down basis Dileo and Gallon seem to do the best job of getting open and catching the ball (which Gardner was horrible at anyway).  Plus, Gallon IS pretty good at catching the jump balls and fades because, like rebounding, its about strength, positioning, and timing moreso than height and leaping ability.

Given that we're going to run a lot of 2TE sets with Funchess next year, are we sure we NEED one of the tall freshman (or Darboh) to start at "outside receiver" next year?  I think Dileo and Gallon are our best two receivers and should be out there as much as possible.


November 8th, 2012 at 6:21 PM ^

Usually when we're discussing what the hell you meant with your formation names, it's the personnel I'm trying to pin down, since the database tries to keep track of who's in at any given time.

In this case I think it's quite straightforward: there's four down linemen, two linebackers, and two bears.

I wouldn't run at that either.


November 9th, 2012 at 8:42 AM ^

If you see a real bear, do not run! Bears have terrible eyesight, but great chase instincts and they're faster than you. If you do see a bear, make youself seem as big as possible (arms up) and move in-place a bit, and make a little noise (I'd always heard that singing take me out to the ballgame at a med volume is good). Bears don't see well, so they'll think you're a bigger, lumbering, off-key something and leave you alone.

If you run from a bear, it will catch you.

/camp counselor'd


November 8th, 2012 at 7:30 PM ^


I don't have any complaints about the charting of Gardner. I don't think there's any argument that he had a good enough day passing, but not an exceptional one. However, for his first ever start after playing WR all year, I am mentally "rounding up" a bit.


Really though, Gardner's willingness to scramble is what made him more effective IMO in the passing game than Denard. Denard just doesn't scramble, he just doesn't. His worst throws tend to come on plays when he absolutely should be scrambling, whereas Gardner is perfectly happy to tuck and just run somewhere. That's the best way to minimize risk in the passing game really. So to me, that makes Gardner more effective as a passer and makes me optimistic for next year as I think he's a much more natural Borges fit than Denard - Borges will probably be more comfortable next year calling plays with Gardner since passing with Gardner is a bit less risky since he's so willing to just run. I don't think it's dumb for this game to make us optimistic at the thought of a whole spring camp with nothing but Gardner getting reps in an offense Borges is better at managing. 

However, there's no doubt that Denard really does an amazing job at masking our terrible, terrible running game. Gardner can't do that - he isn't the natural runner that Denard is. We're just a totally different team with each QB. Saying Gardner should be our starter over healthy Denard is still stupid.