Upon Further Review 2012: Offense vs Purdue

Submitted by Brian on October 10th, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Formation notes: Stacks and stacks. Here's a "shotgun trips" with Dileo moving outside a couple of stacked WRs, one of whom is Kwiatkowski:

3-wide-iish

Totally standard three wide for some reason:

gallon-1

Michigan spent a lot of time in this, which was dubbed Shotgun 2TE twins:

keep-1

And triple stack tight:

stack-tight

Substitution notes: Nothing weird. No Rawls, a few Smith plays. Darboh got on the field for some real plays for the first time but no passes—not that there were many to go around. Didn't see Jerald Robinson at all, FWIW.

Show show.

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M22 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run Inverted veer keeper Robinson 5
Three man front for Purdue for whatever reason. Michigan doubles both playside DTs; Short is moving away from the play at the snap anyway. Omameh(+1) pulls past that and a double by Lewan and Kwiatkowski on the playside end; LB contains and Denard(+1) pulls. A safety has moved down to add another guy to the box; Denard has to go inside the Omameh block. Kwiatkowski(+0.5) peels off to get a pop on a linebacker, but these guys were a bit confused and did not try to seal the DE inside, so he can disengage from Lewan and tackle. Purdue in pure cover 0 here.
M27 2 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run End-around Gallon 4
I wonder if this might turn into a read at some point as Denard does appear to be looking at someone on the D as he executes the mesh; Barnum pulls around and heads up inside, so a pull could be viable here. I don't think it's a read yet, though. Denard hands to Gallon as the playside DE chucks Schofield in an effort to get to the inside. He removes himself from the play. Schofield didn't look too hot here but he's probably not expecting the DE to do his job for him. Toussaint(+1) gets a hit on an OLB that gives Gallon(-0.5) the corner as Gardner(+0.5) cracks down on a LB; Gallon kind of jogs out of bounds instead of trying to blast out the first down.
M31 3 1 I-Form Big 2 2 1 Base 3-4 Run Power off tackle Toussaint 1 + 15 Pen
Michigan barely squeezes this out as Mealer(-0.5) kind of loses Short and does not get around him to seal him out of the intended hole and Williams(-1) really loses the end; both of those guys are in the hole as Lewan and Barnum release into one guy. Bler. Omameh(+0.5) is pulling around and manages to get a hat on a filling LB; this gives Toussaint his tiny little crease he hits for a yard and a first down, with a facemask penalty aiding the cause.
M47 1 10 Shotgun empty TE 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run QB sweep Robinson 4
Kwiatkowski(+1) blocks down on the playside end and erases him. That's Short! Dang. Lewan and Barnum pull around him. Lewan(+0.5) kicks a linebacker type, easy. Barnum(+0.5) finds a linebacker farther inside and blocks him. Mealer and Omameh are trying to scoop the NT and don't quite get it done but it's a push since the guy has to give a ton of ground to prevent the seal. Robinson runs up in the huge gap and goes NS, picking up a decent gain on first down. The 3-4 seems to be screwing with some blocking assignments.
O49 2 6 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 under Run Pin and pull zone Toussaint -1
Michigan gets caught by a corner blitz that allows Purdue to slant towards the playside. Kwiatkowski(+0.5) shoves the playside end past the play. Omameh(-0.5) gets no movement on Gaston and loses him to the frontside; Short beats a scoop by Barnum(-1) badly, and when the LBs keep leverage on the pulling linemen the two DTs flow from the interior to eat up Toussaint. RPS -1. Nice kick from Schofield(+0.5) and cut by Mealer(+1), FWIW.
50 3 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Drag Roundtree 10
Pretty simple for Robinson as the MLB is stacked over the center and takes a step to the field as Roundtree drags inside of him. He recovers okay; not nearly enough to prevent the conversion. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
O40 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 under Run Reverse Gallon 7
Purdue blitzes off the slot; Michigan fakes a QB run to the field and pitches to Gallon coming the other way. Schofield(-1) blocks down on the backside DT for a moment and then lets him go, then thinks he's messed up and chases the guy. Gallon avoids him, then cuts up; the DE who is further downfield now comes up to contain and or tackle; he can't do anything. Schofield ends up blocking the DT but after Gallon beat him and doesn't actually make anything useful happen. Omameh(+1) makes the yardage happen thanks to a long-term block on the other DT that ends up sealing him away from the sideline. Gallon(+2) has already beaten two guys and throws in a third for good measure.
O33 2 3 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Nickel 3-4 Run Inverted veer give Toussaint 3
The playside end comes down a little bit, enough to convince Denard to give. DE can chase Toussaint outside but not catch him, so maybe this is right? I'm not sure. Dileo(-1) runs by the slot LB, who forces Toussaint to bounce upfield; Darboh(-0.5) also gets beat by his blocker. Toussaint(+0.5) bounces outside of the first guy and then tries to do the same with the second, getting slowed by one DB and bashed by a second when just hitting it up is a first down.
O30 3 In Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run QB sweep Robinson 2
Same bit with Kwiatkowski(+1) shoving an end well out of the hole; his block eventually takes out Short, who slanted inside an attempted double. Roundtree(-1) whiffs an easy crack down; Barnum(+1) pulls and slows up to knock a linebacker inside, which gives Robinson a crease for the first down despite Lewan(-1) getting only a bler kickout as he falls to the ground. Robinson(+1) had cut well and was one and a half of those missed blocks from a touchdown. RPS +1.
O28 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Iso Toussaint 6
The slightly odd shotgun iso Michigan broke out against Minnesota a while ago. Gap to get is between Lewan(+1) and Barnum(+1). Lewan gets movement and a kickout; Barnum's guy helps him but Barnum locks him out well despite a hands to the face that goes uncalled; Kerridge(+1) thumps a linebacker. Toussaint's got a good hole and hits it; overhang guy is unblocked and tackles.
O22 2 5 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 Base 3-4 Run Inverted veer keeper Robinson 0
Purdue moves a guy off the slot and blitzes right into the mesh. Again, have to prevent this from happening with bubble punishment. M runs the veer; Robinson does read it and pulls in time. Schofield(-1) is getting slanted under and gives up too much ground, knocking Barnum off his pull. That guy shoots past the play as Denard pulls; now he's past an initial wave and in space further inside than he wants to be. It really looks like he's got huge lane outside but because of the bump on Barnum he's not making contact with the LB at the LOS and Denard(-1) fails to read the open space he will have. He made a quick decision to take here, but a missed opportunity for more. Since he does not cut outside he has blown up the blocking angle of a down-blocking Omameh and an overhang guy can come in to tackle for no gain. Kind of want to RPS -1 this but M did have an opportunity to pick up yards if Schofield and Denard execute a little better.
O22 3 4 Shotgun 3TE 3 1 1 Base 3-4 Pass Flare Toussaint Inc
OLB is moving at the QB at the snap; Funchess is mainly picking the ILB to the short side, leaving Toussaint all alone on a little swing; Denard overthrows it. Toussaint almost makes a one handed stab-and-grab but can't quite. (IN, 1, protection 1/1, RPS +1)
O22 4 4 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 3-4 Pass Hitch Gardner 8
Great pocket; Denard zings it into Gardner's chest on time. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2)
O14 1 10 Shotgun 2-back trips 2 0 3 4-3 even Run Inverted veer give Smith 1
Covered slot play. Purdue has a CB to the non-WR side on the LOS, a LB there, and a safety who is reading run the whole way. Corner comes upfield at snap; this looks like a veer but if so it seems like Denard should pull, except it doesn't really matter since Toussaint blocks the corner and there is no one being optioned. Denard gives; Smith meets an unblocked guy at the LOS. RPS -1. Schofield(+1) had a good block on a slanting guy, FWIW, and Barnum(+1) got to the second level right quick. If they'd had a guy for the safety...
O13 2 9 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 4-3 under Run QB iso Robinson 4
This is an iso on which they run a fake veer mesh point and send Smith up the middle of the field. Barnum(+1) gets a tough scoop block on one of the DTs, sealing him. Mealer moves to the second level and would get an LB blocked if he knew where the ball was. Omameh(+1) kicks the other DT, Short. Lewan was blocking a guy who never tried to contain because the slot LB had it; he never gets sealed or kicked and flows down the line to tackle. Would like to see Mealer(-1) hold his ground and react on the fly once that LB starts moving away from the play. That's what the action is supposed to do, so set up and wall off anyone who shows, not just the LB.
O9 3 5 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 4-3 nickel Run QB draw Robinson 8
How does this even happen I don't know. Purdue is running man on the goal line against Denard. They send a corner who Schofield(+0.5) flings upfield; Short gets out of his lane all by himself, and this gives Robinson(+1) a crack to the outside that he takes, as he is wont to do. He cuts past a charging LB and extends the ball to score, probably, but is called down and the replay can't overturn it. Bah. RPS +1, amazingly.
O1 1 G Goal line 2 2 0 Goal line Run Trap Toussaint 0 (Pen +0)
Burzynski in and a Lewan/Schofield setup on the left side of the line. Schofield(+1) blows up Gaston and Kerridge(+1) blows up a linebacker; Toussaint(-1) has an easy dive into the endzone that he does not trust and goes too far outside, allowing Purdue to recover. Rawls scores this. Purdue is offsides.
O1 1 G Goal line 2 2 0 Goal line Run Off tackle Toussaint 1
Basically the same one gap over. Lewan(+1) and Barnum(+1) pave the way and it's Toussaint one on one with a safety; Toussaint manages to squeeze in.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-0, 4 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M37 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Nickel even Run Inverted veer keeper Robinson 38
Man, this is easy. Just six guys in the box for Purdue and the sixth flares out on the slot receiver. Playside DE contains, but it doesn't really matter since Omameh(+1) is pulling around and blocks him since he's got no one else to deal with. Lewan(+1) gets rid of the only(!) LB. Barnum got beat-ish by a late shift by Short but not enough to screw the play up; push. Robinson(+2) is into the secondary in a flash and turns ten into lots by making a safety look foolish. Gallon(+1) fended off a cornerback, adding a big chunk, too. RPS +3: five in the box against Denard Robinson.
O25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run QB power Robinson 3
NT blows upfield of Mealer(-1) and disrupts the pull from Omameh. Against a three man front this is bad. Mealer ends up blocking no one. Lewan(+1) crooshes silly donkey DE to the interior but Kwiatkowski(-1) shows to the inside too much and lets a linebacker run over top of him. Toussaint kicks a guy, leaving two unblocked in the hole. Denard(+0.5) dances for a couple.
O22 2 7 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 Base 3-4 Run Inside zone Toussaint 6
OLB comes off slot; Kwiatkowski blocks him out. Purdue slides its line playside and has a linebacker behind who's unblocked thanks to the blitz. He's staying outside, so handoff. The slant gets the Purdue OL past the M OL but the M OL gets good push on a couple guys. Mealer(-1) lets Short by him in frightening fashion; Lewan(+1) gets his guy two yards downfield and makes him give up a lot of space. Toussaint(+1) cuts backside and avoids that linebacker, stumbling as he manages to power through the arm tackle. Short can now finish the job from behind.
O16 3 1 Shotgun 2-back 2TE 2 2 1 4-4 even Run Speed option Smith 2
You know, Denard never ever pitches here and on this play of all plays he does. He's got a completely obvious lane for a first down; yeah, charging safety but he'll never stop you. Instead, pitch. That charging safety alters his angle and gets past Toussaint's hypothetical lead block; Toussaint does get a bit of a shove on him as Smith cuts inside, which gives Smith just enough to squeeze out the first. Schofield(+1) and Williams(+1) had crushed guys back for that lane; Denard(-1) should have kept this instead of risking the pitch.
O14 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run Power off tackle Toussaint 0
Funchess in as an H-back. This looks like the veer but they don't let anyone go so I assume this is an actual no read power to screw with folks. Schofield(-1) doesn't fire off, ends up catching a DE, lets him inside, and then Barnum(-1) blocks him too as he fills the hole. Toussaint bounces outside, unblocked LB, no gain. Barnum should be moving outside of this block instead of dealing with the guy who shows. If Schofield can't push him past the play that's not on you.
O14 2 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 Base 3-4 Run QB sweep Robinson -1
Bubble stuff. OLB comes hammering off the edge; Lewan(-2) is pulling around Kwiatkowski(+0.5) who again eliminates the DE easily. Barnum pulls up to wall off a LB coming from the inside and would have a crease for Denard but for Lewan getting blown upfield and the OLB disengaging to tackle. RPS -1.
O15 3 11 Shotgun 4-wide trips bunch 1 1 3 Okie zero Pass TE Dig Funchess 14
Okie look from Purdue with no single deep safety. Only four sent; M picks it up. Nice pocket that Robinson steps up into and rifles a pass to Funchess at the goal line in between three zone defenders that Funchess brings in. Slightly behind Funchess but still a good throw given the coverage and situation; even better catch by Funchess. (CA+, 1, protection 3/3)
O1 1 G Goal line 2 2 0 Goal line Run Off tackle Toussaint 1
Purdue better prepared for this, getting into the pulling Barnum(+1) in the backfield; Toussaint(+0.5) feints outside, finds an unblocked guy, decides that's a bad idea, and then cuts back into Barnum's ass, which is busy escorting a dude into the endzone so that works out okay.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-0, 14 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O26 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Inverted veer keeper Robinson 5
Gallon motions in from the slot to be the possible handoff and Robinson(-1) keeps. That's an error as the DE is diving down. The corner is coming and this could be an issue but there's a lead blocker to pick the guy off. DE who has come down is in the hole... oh and I guess we take Denard's minus off the board(+1) since he bounces it outside after everyone sucks in and picks up five. Dios mio man. Gallon(+0.5) got a block on the edge. Barnum(+0.5) got a good pull and seal.
O21 2 5 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 3-4 Penalty False start Schofield -5
nyet. Schofield –1.
O26 2 10 I-Form twins covered 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Power off tackle Toussaint 0
FB offset, TE covered. A big gap develops between the Mealer block and a pulling Barnum on the playside DT. LB shoots the gap, Toussaint gets nailed. Not sure what to do here; Barnum has to block that guy, need that playside double from Kwiatkowski and Lewan on power, Purdue gets unblocked LB in backfield; RPS -2. Insert rant about running from the shotgun.
O26 3 10 Shotgun double stacks 1 0 4 Okie zero Pass Throwaway Robinson Inc
Purdue sends seven at first but backs out the middle three guys. Schofield doesn't get out on the outside blitz and lets the guy through but to be fair Omameh is thinking about blocking a guy dropping out and you go inside out on pass pro. If Schofield goes out the inside guy goes in. Robinson should step up in the pocket and be Dan Marino at this point, instead he rolls out and chucks it OOB. I'll take it! (TA, 0, protection 0/2, team -2)
Drive Notes: Missed FG(43), 21-0, 11 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M26 1 10 Shotgun empty TE 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run QB sweep Robinson 8
Kwiatkowski(+0.5) gets Short sealed for a moment before Short spins past the block; he falls. Mealer(-0.5) and Barnum are trying to scoop the NT and don't quite do it but he is delayed; Mealer releases into the second level and ends up blocking no one there as he lets a LB run past. He does get a safety as a second reaction but it seems like the 3-4 is confusing the line a bit. Schofield(+1) gets a good kick on the OLB; Omameh is leading Denard; a little slow but okay. Denard(+1) sees a crease and hits it fast.
M34 2 2 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run QB iso Robinson 10
Gallon comes in from the slot, fake end around. Short and the OLB both go way upfield and outside in an attempt to contain. Line does an eh job on the iso stuff; MLB meets Toussaint at the LOS and there is no crease. Schofield, Mealer -0.5 each for not getting movement on their guys; Kwiatkowski(-1) blew a block on the OLB. All of this is fine because of Short chasing Gallon, which opens up a huge cutback lane for Denard(+2), at which point he's into the secondary for a nice gain. RPS +1.
M44 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Run End-around power Gallon 2
Barnum pulls. Toussaint is a lead blocker and Gardner is cracking down on the outside. The corner comes, Gardner shoves him some, which causes the guy to spin (odd). Gardner then gets a shove on a linebacker. Toussaint hits the spinning CB and puts him on the ground; Gallon is headed way outside where an unblocked safety has time to fill. Gallon can't make him miss. This may be a read but they don't appear to be optioning anyone. Pull looked pretty good, FWIW. RPS –1; the corner blitz again.
M46 2 8 I-Form Big 2 2 1 Base 3-4 Pass Throwback screen Gallon 28
Always works, works this time even though the pass is deflected. Secondary is fearful of bomb; Funchess whiffs on his guy, but Gallon has so much space he can just run inside a little bit. Omameh(+1) is in space and gets a safety block. Schofield(+1) gets an effective cut way downfield, and Funchess saves a minus by keeping with the play and latching on to the guy Schofield cut to give Gallon(+1) an extra ten yards. (not charted, 3, screen, RPS +2)
O26 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 3-4 Pass Bubble screen Gallon 3
Jackson(-1) starts the play by taking steps inside like he's going to crack down on the LB, who has no chance at making a play here, and is thus late getting out on a safety lined up eight yards off the LOS. That guy gets outside and fights off a cut, so the inside guy can come up and make a play after a couple yards. (CA, 3, screen)
O23 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run Inverted veer keeper Robinson 0
I'm not sure who the read is since it looks like everyone is getting blocked. Jackson(-1) comes down on the OLB, poorly. The guy is upfield and can explode into Toussaint if he gets the ball; Funchess thinks about blocking him before moving to the second level inside that block. That leaves a charging safety for Toussaint if he gets the ball, so that's not likely to be successful. Denard pulls anyway. Schofield(-1) got beat and his DE sheds to the inside, where Barnum is pulling. Now Denard has to go outside of that block, where Jackson's guy comes down to tackle because he's got an angle. RPS -1; this one was hard to see working even if Schofield gets his block. Slot Jackson is kind of an obvious run tip.
O23 3 7 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Post Gardner 23
Purdue sends five and goes from two high to one high late with one safety coming up in a robber. Robinson reads it, finds that the other safety has dropped way too deep, and zings a twenty-yard post to Gardner as a stunting blitzer gets to him. He leaps, catches, falls into endzone. (DO, 3, protection 2/3, Barnum -1)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 28-3, 3 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M39 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run Inverted veer keeper Robinson 0
OLB tears at the mesh point; Denard pulls but too late and it looks like Smith is instinctively clamping down as he takes the hit. Denard(-2) should have just aborted the mesh early but it's tough to ask that.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 28-3, 1 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M38 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run QB iso Robinson 9
Same thing as the previous play with Gallon in motion sucking Short way upfield. The playside end is slanting hard under Lewan(+1), who latches on and shoves the guy inside and upfield. Barnum(+1) and Mealer(+1) get movement on the NT and Barnum pops out on a linebacker who is coming up. Toussaint pops the other ILB, leaving a safety who came down unblocked; Robinson(+2) cuts behind and thanks to the Lewan block and Mealer getting movement he's got that cutback lane generated by the Gallon fake. He takes it. Short recovers to tackle from behind. You would like Omameh(-0.5) to prevent this from happening. RPS +1.
M47 2 1 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run QB power Robinson 2
Kwiatkowski and Lewan get a little movement on the end; Fitz kicks the OLB. Omameh is trying to get to the ILB to the playside; a safety in the box comes down unblocked to fill and tackle. Denard does get it. Okay, fine, short yardage against cover zero no funny stuff up 18. Push for everyone.
M49 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run Sweep Toussaint 3
Well blocked, with Kwiatkowski(+0.5) bashing the DE inside; he trips as he spins upfield past the block; would prefer this to not look like it's going to work before it doesn't but the movement Kwiatkowski gets is the reason someone steps on him. Lewan(+0.5) kicks; Barnum(+0.5) gets the ILB, and Toussaint... has an eighth defender in his face because Purdue is in pure cover zero. He makes a good cut past the containing safety and is about to get some nice yards when Short, unblocked on the backside, tackles from behind. RPS -1, technically, not that I'm all upset about it or anything.
O48 2 7 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 even Pass PA TE Wheel Funchess Inc
Throwback screen fake that is supposed to get Funchess wide open down the sideline; it does not. Whatever the safety's key was it wasn't something M showed; he drops off and has great coverage that forces Funchess OOB. That's Denard's only receiver and he doesn't have anywhere to scramble so he tosses it up. The pass is perfect, except Funchess is running OOB so that ain't legal for catchin'. Um. (CA?, 0, protection 2/2, RPS -1)
O48 3 7 Shotgun trips stack tight 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Out Funchess Inc
Denard finds Funchess for about ten and it looks like they'll convert but the pass ends up well behind him and wobbly. I looked at this a lot and I think Short got a finger or two on it, as it looks like a tight spiral until it reaches Short reaching up and then it gets wobble on it. I get it if you're like IN, but this got deflected. (BA, 0, protection 2/2). BAs still count against your downfield success rate anyway.
Drive Notes: Punt, 28-10, 13 min 3rd Q. Man, the drop from NBC to BTN is enormous.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M27 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Belly give Toussaint 2
Poor damn Toussaint. Again he's eating an unblocked guy in the backfield. The end shuffled down and then collapsed on the handoff; give or not is a push for Denard because the corner was blitzing. Play was dead on the snap. RPS -1.
M29 2 8 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel 3-4 Pass Bubble screen Gallon 6
Second bubble, second screwup by the WR blocking. Darboh(-1) stands at the LOS like a doof and Gallon actually reaches the guy as he catches the ball. From there Gallon(+1) does Gallon things to pick up pretty good yardage. More Gallon touches. (CA, 3, screen)
M35 3 2 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run QB sweep Robinson 4
Outer two players block down as Mealer and Omameh pull around. WR motions in right before the snap and cracks down. Kwiatkowski(+0.5) shoves the DE inside, getting the edge. Toussaint(+1) kicks the corner with authoritah. Big hole with three M guys in it and three Purdue guys; Denard gets a little impatient and runs up his blockers' backs. Omameh(+1) gets a good second level bock and Mealer is leading, looking at the safety, when that safety goes low, submarining Mealer and just tripping Denard as he tries to cut behind. Think Short had him in pursuit even if this doesn't happen but pretty close to making things happen.
M39 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run Zone read keeper Robinson 46
This pull is brilliant madness. M leaves the back two guys unblocked; Short tears after Toussaint. The OLB is unblocked and containing, Denard pulls anyway, and goes straight upfield. Short's still after Toussaint; the end cannot reach Denard as he goes straight NS. Mealer(+1) moved the NT playside and got him a yard off the LOS. Schofield(+1) was releasing downfield to get the other ILB, who starts heading outside even before the mesh and runs himself out of the play; Schofield adjusts to eliminate him. Then, Denard(+3), space, fast, etc. No shoe. Runs OOB. Would like to see him be more aggressive in big games. Keep yer shoe on.
O15 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run Sweep Toussaint 0
Kwiatkowski(-1) does not get a seal on the end this time. Schofield(-0.5) loses the OLB upfield because he's attacking aggressively there. Mealer and Barnum can't get a seal on the backside DT. Toussaint has to arc outside that DT and then try to hit it up; Mealer(-1) couldn't get to a LB despite leaving early and he and Short blow it up at the LOS. Nobody got blocked here. RPS -1.
O15 2 10 Ace big 1 3 1 Base 3-4 Run Inside zone Toussaint 0
Michigan runs an inside zone away from the strength of the formation and into five guys against four blockers. This doesn't work, especially when the playside ILB bugs out to beat a block. Maybe this should have been a cutback. Yeah, maybe, but tough when Barnum(-1) has just caught a guy and is a yard in the backfield. Still, Toussaint -1.
O14 3 9 Shotgun 3-wide tight 1 1 3 Okie zero Run Speed option Smith 4
Jackson(-2) is the main blocker on the edge here and barely touches the cornerback. Denard gets some pursuers from the interior and ends up pitching late, but it's so late that as one pursuing guy tackles Denard becomes a human cut block on a second, leaving Smith in space with the corner and Jackson; if Jackson can even shove this guy a little Smith can score a TD; he does not. RPS push since normally the second guy on Denard would hold this down.
Drive Notes: FG(29), 6 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M11 1 10 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 4-3 even Penalty False start Lewan -5
bah. Lewan –1.
M6 1 15 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Iso Toussaint 0
Safety overhanging is an unblocked guy in the box as M bizarrely doubles the backside DT. I guess Denard could pull and go vertical again; he doesn't. There is a DE that seems to be containing but I'm not sure if he can do anything about this. Anyway, blocking is good for the iso; Toussaint(-2) sees the overhang guy and tries to bounce away from him, turning five yards into zero. Lewan(+0.5) got a good kick; Kerridge(+1) bombed the MLB. Barnum only did eh with Short, understandably.
M6 2 15 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run QB iso Robinson 6
Gallon end around fake. This again gets Short chasing, but no cutback as one of the ILBs is filling that gap. Omameh(+0.5) and Mealer(+0.5) are able to shove and seal the nose. Toussaint(+0.5) gets an okay lead block and Denard(+1) just hits it straight upfield. A safety comes down to tackle after a few; he's doing it from the side and Robinson can drag. This play... this play will be able to hit big on PA. This is going to get an RPS +3 sometime in the next three games.
M12 3 9 Shotgun double stacks 1 1 3 3-3-5 nickel Pass Dig Roundtree 13
Only three rush. Denard sits and zips it to Roundtree for a first down. (DO, 3, protection 1/1)
M25 1 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 Base 3-4 Pass Veer PA post Gallon Inc
M continues to have trouble blocking this play action as Barnum sort of overruns his gap and a LB threatens. Barnum does get a shove that allows Denard to move outside and reset but now he knows he's got to go go go and can't let a wheel develop, etc. Gallon is one on one on the outside and has inside position, so this is a throw you may as well make. It's accurate enough despite being a back foot throw; Gallon leaps... and is too short. It does go off his hand, which is pretty good for a 40 yard throw under these conditions. (CA+, 2, protection 2/3, Barnum -1) Funchess or Gardner likely brings this in.
M25 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run QB sweep Robinson 2
Gallon end around action to the sweep. Kwiatkowski(+0.5) bombs the DE. Schofield(+0.5) gets a good kick. M can't seal the NT but does okay and Robison can run by him.Smith and Omameh(-1) are leading into two defenders; Omameh lunges at his guy and doesn't cut him but does fall as he hits in the midsection; gotta pick one thing to do. Robinson is thinking he'll hit a hole between his two lead guys and burst into the secondary; that plan is foiled when Omameh's guy comes through the block to tackle.
M27 3 8 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 3-4 Pass Corner Gardner Inc
Gardner gets himself open with a post corner; Robinson hits him a little high and a little hard but it's still right in his hands; dropped. (DO, 2, protection 2/2) Denard threw this so the ball was in the air on target as Gardner came out of his break.
Drive Notes: Punt, 31-10, 3 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 Base 3-4 Run Zone read keeper Robinson 59
Pretty much the basic spread play bursts huge. M lets the DE go with Kwiatkowski blocking the OLB. DE shoots for Toussaint, pull. LBs also going for the frontside, so there's a big hole. Safety coming down to fill it; Denard cuts behind Schofield(+1), who latched on to one linebacker and shoved him outside, giving Denard a lane. Lewan(+1 released downfield and though the LB has the angle on him he still collapses to his knees and falls. Boom, lane, gone. 50 yards later there are members of the secondary. He dodges one, then gets ankle-tackled. Dangit. Robinson +3. RPS +2.
O16 1 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 Base 3-4 Run Zone read handoff Toussaint -1
Exact same thing except Denard(-1) hands despite the DE crashing. At least five if he keeps. Schofield(-1) got blown up too, making things worse for Fitz.
O17 2 11 I-Form twins covered 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Sweep Toussaint 2 (Pen -15)
LB overhanging goes upfield and gets a two for one as he picks off Kerridge and forces Toussaint inside. Williams(-1) loses his block; both LBs are flowing hard, and there is a safety. Four Boilers, one blocker. Ball game. Schofield(-1) gets called for a chop block.
O32 2 26 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run QB draw Robinson 8
Man, Short can recover like whoah. He gets way upfield, M runs a draw right up in that lane, and he still almost comes back to kill it. Robinson(+1) manages to cut inside the containing LB for a nice gain.
O24 3 18 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Pass Batted ball Gallon Inc
Five man rush with two delayed guys. Picked up. Can't tell if this is a good idea or not. Gallon thinks so, FWIW. (BA, 0, protection 3/3)
Drive Notes: FG(42), 34-13, 10 min 4th Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O27 1 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 Base 3-4 Run Inside zone Toussaint 2
Purdue selling out now and M just killing clock so I'm not going to be too tough. Toussaint would have a shot at a cutback for some yards but the MLB is ripping at the LOS at the snap and bowls Barnum(-1) over backwards; Lewan can't get on him because he's just charging. Situation, whatever. Toussaint does well just to get a couple.
O25 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run QB iso Robinson 11
Playside DE slants inside hard and is shunted away by Lewan(+1). Kwiatkowski(+0.5) kicks the OLB. Toussaint(+0.5) stands up a LB who is containing. Barnum(+1) managed to sidle out into the other ILB; Denard(+1) shoots through the gap and brushes past Barnum for a first down.
O14 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run Inside zone Toussaint 0
This is the frustration play where Toussaint(-2) has 4-5 just by running up his OL's back but bounces for zip. Lewan(+1) had pounded a DE. Mealer(+0.5) locked the NT out.
O14 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Run QB power Robinson 4
Gallon end around action. Barnum pulls, power etc. Well blocked; Robinson(-0.5) probably makes an unwise decision to bounce but has the speed to pick up five or so so no full minus. Kwiatkowski(+1) had gotten a ton of movement on his guy. Barnum went for a safety instead of the LB, but that decision wasn't tested.
O10 3 6 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Pass Slant Gardner Inc
Batted at the line, and then by a linebacker. Fingertips both and he may have had Gardner otherwise so no BR. (BA, 0, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: FG(30), 37-13, 6 min 4th Q. That's it for Denard. I'll take a look at Rawls in the next drive but I'm not charting too hard at this point.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR DForm Type Play Player Yards
O33 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 Base 3-4 Run Inside zone Rawls 5
Lewan out, Burzynski in at RG, Omameh RT, Schofield LT. Barnum(+1) and Mealer(+1) blow the NT off the ball; Rawls cuts behind and rams it into a safety.
O28 2 5 Ace 1 2 2 Base 3-4 Run Inside zone Rawls 2
Basically same thing except Schofield gets slanted under a little and Rawls has to cut further back, allowing the safety time to get to him near the LOS. He tries to bounce and probably should just slam it right upfield.
O26 3 3 I-Form twins covered 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Iso Rawls 19
Barnum(-2) whiffs on his DT, falling; Kerridge is forced to take him instead of the LB charging up the middle of the field. Schofield(+1) has enough push on the DE to allow Rawls(+3) a bounce; Rawls then runs over a filling safety and turns barely a first down into a big gain.
O7 1 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 even Run Iso Rawls 7
DT slants under Barnum(+1) again; this time Barnum latches on to drive Short past the play and gets a cutback lane. Schofield(+0.5) kicks the DE well; Mealer(+0.5) gets out on one ILB, with the other trying to fend off Kerridge. Mealer's guy can't extend to tackle in time and Rawls(+2) runs through another safety tackle after the cut for six.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 44-13, 2 min 4th Q. Rest of M snaps are kneels.

MANBALL

LLOYDBALL

BOBALL

RUNBALL

Runball?

Fine, you win.

MANBALL

We get it.

RUNBALL

Yeah, but how about this business on the passing—

CHARTBALL

--chart?

[Hennechart legend is updated. Hover over column headers for quick explanations]

Opponent DO CA MA IN BR TA BA PR SCR DSR
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%

How about that BR number compared to the TA number? Yeah. Yeah man. Oh, Denard threw it away. Threw it away LIKE A BOSS. That one time.

Anyway, very low numbers so don't take the DSR super serious you guys. Potential alterations: a particular throw behind Gardner may have been IN instead of BA, the one charted IN was filed a screen since it was a little flare behind the LOS, and I gave Denard a CA on the Funchess wheel route that was OOB since he did as well as he could in that situation and it wasn't his fault that the WR was running out of bounds. Also I didn't chart the deflected screen to Gallon.

The line kept him clean, and he responded with a quality small-sample-size day. What happens when he has to throw more than 16 times? We'll cross that bridge if we have to.

I think having faith in the OL is key for Denard. Here's a third and eleven from the 15 on which Denard's got a great pocket, steps forward a couple times, and rifles it to Funchess:

BOOM. Denard with/without pressure is just night and day. Also when he's set up in the pocket he seems to handle it better than when his feet aren't set.

FUNCHESS.

Word.

There was a bubble screen!

As Borges pointed out to a shamed Heiko, there were two. Weirdly, both got crap blocking as exterior WRs seemed to not get the playcall. Jackson started a crackback block on no one on the first and I have no idea what Darboh thinks he's doing on the second:

Even so they picked up 3 and 6 yards. You don't want to get so bubble dependent you're getting Jake Ryans in your face on the edge but if you want big plays—and if we've learned anything in the past year and a half it's that Borges has a Fathead of a freestyle ski-jumper screaming GO BIG OR GO HOME in his room—you've got to pull those corners up when they try to play you from the parking lot. Next week maybe the outside WRs will even block for them.

A side note on this section: man, we need more Gallon touches. He had three runs, three catches, and a fourth target in this game. I'd like to see him get to 10-12. Toss him screens, use him as a pitch back on the speed option, hand it to him on an inverted veer from an otherwise empty formation, etc.

All right, passing whatever, MANCHART

ballchart

RUNCHART

lloydchart

Offensive Line
Player + - Total Notes
Lewan 10.5 4 6.5 Best drive blocker on the line.
Barnum 11.5 6 5.5 Big numbers because M is now lefthanded.
Mealer 5.5 5.5 0 Can't seal like Molk against big time competition.
Omameh 7 2 5 Reliable, got some space stuff.
Schofield 10 8 2 Gets pushed back more than the other linemen.
Kwiatkowski 7 3 4 M's running all those sweeps for a reason.
Moore - - - DNP
Williams 1 2 -1 Less effective than 81.
Funchess - - - Got a push on the screen
TOTAL 52.5 30.5 63% Slightly below desired 2:1 ratio, but game situation mitigates
Backs
Player + - T Notes
Robinson 20.5 6.5 14 9.8 YPC is good, right?
Bellomy - - - DNC
Toussaint 5 6 -1 Discussed previously.
Rawls 5 - 5 Made a case for more PT.
Smith - - - Didn't get a plus or minus.
Hayes - - - DNP
Hopkins - - - DNP
Kerridge 3 - 3 Insert complaints about scholarship FBs x3
TOTAL 33.5 12.5 21 Denard kind of good at the running thing.
Receivers
Player + - T Notes
Gardner 0.5 - 0.5  
Roundtree - 1 -1  
Gallon 5.5 0.5 5 More touches more touches more touches
Jackson - 4 -4 For a designated blocking WR he needs work on blocking
Dileo - 1 -1 Bad crackback.
J. Robinson - - - DNP?
Darboh - 1.5 -1.5 Bubble biff.
TOTAL 6 8 -2 Gallon ran well, receivers blocked poorly.
Metrics
Player + - T Notes
Protection 20 4 83% Team –2, Barnum –2.
RPS 12 11 +1 massive credit to Borges that this is positive with 76% runs and Purdue selling out on them

Protection stellar, Denard a flaming tower, line could have done better but got a win. Wide receivers were a problem when not in possession of the ball.

Why can the line block for Denard but not Toussaint?

Well so the thing is Purdue spent a lot of bullets blitzing against zone stuff. On plays where Fitz took inside zone handoffs and ate turf for no yards the handoff was always correct because someone was containing. If Denard keeps, he's meat (except that one time). Then you're left with a weird conundrum about why.

Well, one reason why: blocking the inverted veer is relatively easy. It's power without a kickout usually, because the end is containing the back. So the kickout can't screw up, and you get a free release from the guy who would be kicking out, and then you get a downblock on the DT, and you get a bonus guy pulling around to clean up first level mistakes and head-hunt LBs. It's a pretty good play you guys.

Also, sometimes Denard is just dang.

Hello, OLB specifically designed to contain me. Goodbye, OLB. Say hello to Walrus when you get chewed out on the sideline.

There is something to the idea Purdue was going after Toussaint aggressively. On Denard's 59-yarder the unblocked end charged after Toussaint, causing a pull. Denard dipped inside a Schofield second level block when the safety charged up and that was all she wrote. Why you would construct your defense to get Denard Robinson to pull I have no idea.

How much should we care about this?

Um… not much? Michigan put up 6 yards a carry* while running 76% of the time. Completely erase Denard's 59 yarder and you're a hair under 5 yards. That doesn't even make sense! That is a totally unfair thing to do! And Michigan is still kicking ass against a team that did this to Notre Dame:

  • five sacks for 40 yards
  • 3.3 YPC, sacks excluded, while running 40% of the time

ND just rushed for 376 yards against Miami. Purdue did better against the ND offense than World Best Defense MSU did. Michigan spent the entire game running into stacked fronts. I'm willing to give the OL a pass for getting blown up by Kawann Short a bit en route to 300 yards rushing.

That this game comes after a second half in which Michigan bulled its way down the field against the mansome ND front seven only makes OL fretting even sillier. These guys aren't Steve Hutchinson clones but come on man. They'll be fine until the final test against Hankins and Simon.

*[kneels excised as per usual]

What is your Kwiatkowski deal?

I tried to back off on the assumption that what he was doing wasn't that hard, but Michigan's running that sweep thing where the TE blocks down and the two guys to the interior pull around all the time and you have to figure Kwiatkowski is a reason why. I mean, this is against Kawann Short:

Later in the game Short would start fighting back upfield of this by spinning but Kwiatkowski had usually shoved him so far that he could not recover to make a play. He's kept AJ Williams, a 285 pound player who was a tackle last year, largely off the field. Dispense with anti-walk-on bias—he's a pretty good player. I'd be surprised if Moore got his job back when he returns from injury.

You teased something about QB iso, and I want it more than crack cocaine.

It's back, albeit in a modified form. One of a few things Michigan ran off the Gallon end-around action was an iso where the back would move a gap or two over and Robinson would go straight upfield. The first couple times they ran it, the playside DE to Gallon's side of the field blew out of his gap to chase the end around and Robinson got big cutback runs…

…that would end later when LBs started filling behind the DL. They also ran it with Toussaint a little, but the lack of ostentatious presnap motion didn't cause the same kind of freakouts on the DL.

That vertical motion is going to lead to some freakouts if opponents are going cover zero as much as Purdue and ND did. In the Toussaint link above, if Smith runs by the LB it's game over for the Boilers as Denard flips it into space for an easy TD. In the embed the worst thing that happens is you have pure one on one matchups with both outside WRs; you may be able to shoot a TE down the seam against certain defenses, though this one looks like man to man so that's not the best option.

The return of the iso is what can truly bring back QB Oh Noes, as fear of Denard will drive safeties to abandon deeper responsibilities. If Kwiatkowski gets a shove and then releases downfield on this play… well… you know what happens.

It's called "Tony Moeaki 2009."

Someone's getting burned big time in the next few games. Not Illinois.

Rawls?

Okay, he's shown a little something with the annihilation of the UMass LB and running through tackles against Purdue. Upgraded from Mark Ingram But Fast to Jim Brown But Fast, by which I mean I am intrigued and would like to see some real carries for the guy on Saturday.

The guys who do the… thing. With the hands. Catching?

Oh right those 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 1 - 0/1 2/2   9 0/3 1/3 12/13
Roundtree     - 2/2   4 0/1 1/1 9/9
Gallon     0/1 3/3   5 0/1 3/5 12/12
J. Robinson           1 0/1   1/1
Dileo           1 1/1 2/2 2/2
Jackson           1     3/4
Darboh                  
Chesson                  
                   
Kwiatkowski                 2/2
Moore                  
Funchess 2 1/1       2 2/2   7/7
Williams                  
                   
Toussaint   0/1         0/2 0/1 1/1
Smith               0/1 3/3
Kerridge             0/1    

Minimal numbers, most notable thing the Funchess circus catch.

Heroes?

Denard, the left side of the OL, Kwiatkowski.

Goats?

Toussaint did get antsy. Jackson needs to block better if he's going to be a blocking WR. Schofield got pushed back a bit too far for my tastes.

What does it mean for Illinois and beyond?

MANBO

RUNLLOYD

Encouraged by the new stuff in the run game; if Borges is focusing on that it looks like we may get little tweaks to keep it fresh.

Denard had a big bounce back from ND and we can tenuously hope he has found turnover religion. Funchess: bad ass.

The line… is okay. They'll never blow guys off the ball but the best DL in the league other than OSU is now in the rear view mirror and they'll be fine.

Gallon needs more touches.

Toussaint will get some holes the next few weeks.

Funchess.

Comments

JeepinBen

October 10th, 2012 at 5:01 PM ^

I know sometimes it's inseperable (like Purdue stupidly having 5 guys in the box) but is there a way to split the RPS into M good, M Bad, Opponent Good, Opponent Bad sections? Again, this game may not be the best place to do that, especially when you're going to run the ball and your opponent is going to play cover 0 , but instances where the Corner Blitz beats an inverted veer, that seems like M RPS 0 and P RPS +1.

Too much detail? Dumb idea? I just think it might clairfy if one coordinator made a good decision or if the other made a bad one.

WolvinLA2

October 10th, 2012 at 5:24 PM ^

But isn't the point of RPS that neither decision is bad, it's just that one guy made a decision that worked perfectly against another guy's decision?

For example, if I throw rock and you throw paper, you can't really say that I screwed up by throwing rock or that you made a good decision by throwing rock. 

That's how I take it, at least.

ca_prophet

October 10th, 2012 at 7:50 PM ^

... that there are a few plays which the UFR describes as "Not sure how this should work even if the DE is blocked", "This play is DOA", etc.

In other words, there seem to be a few plays which Michigan should tear out of the playbook and burn, because they are goop that can be squished, smothered and cut.

Smash Lampjaw

October 10th, 2012 at 5:03 PM ^

Two observations about Denard. First, and probably duh, but it is very predictable that after a long run of -say- 59 yards, that he is not going to pass or keep. It is wise of the defense to look for the hand-off. Sorry Fitz. More suspectly, I wonder if on read plays, that Denard reads whether he has a lane to run, and if not, hands off. Again, sorry Fitz. It makes good sense, given his Denardness, but it is not likely to reflect well on his sidekick.

Make that second.

Michael

October 10th, 2012 at 8:41 PM ^

I think he's talking about the line relative to what the coaching staff wants to be able to d in the future. This is an above average line, but it's still not that great when it comes to executing the type of (POWER/MANBALL) running game this staff wants to get to. At leat that's how I interpreted it. 

Also, your avatar is brilliant. Who is that?

unWavering

October 11th, 2012 at 9:53 AM ^

I realize that, I just found it funny that after a 300 yard rushing performance the line was labeled as just okay.  When would that ever happen for any other team?  Almost never.

In regards to the avatar, I have no clue who he is, but it's a picture of a random guy shotputting.  His face is hilarious, so I decided to make it my own.

EGD

October 10th, 2012 at 6:35 PM ^

Seems like the thing to do with Rawls might be to try him in short yardage & goal-line situations and let him truck people where you need a yard or two.  I still don't like taking Toussaint off the field between the 10s.

smwilliams

October 10th, 2012 at 9:40 PM ^

Borges certainly seems to have a case of Jekyll and Hyde. Sometimes the Doctor comes out and we get halfback passes from the 10 yard line, ideas of making Denard into Tom Brady, and a general WTF? about the game plan.

Other cases we get a rational, let's use Denard's legs to set up other stuff, bubble screening man.

I just hope we don't get the crazy doctor against MSU, Nebraska, and Ohio.

ChopBlock

October 10th, 2012 at 9:40 PM ^

I've been an MGoBlogger for a couple years now and I still can't figure out what the protection metrics mean. Such as in the following:

DO, 3, protection 2/3, Barnum -1

What does 2/3 mean? It can't mean DLs rushing, because sometimes you see 1/1 or something like that.

BlueReign

October 10th, 2012 at 10:12 PM ^

So, this is the first UFR ive ever read, and i chose to read it 24 hours before an exam i have yet to begin studying for. and well... I fucking love you. amazing work.

 

<3

Magnus

October 11th, 2012 at 9:12 AM ^

I don't think Kwiatkowski could have helped downfield on that last video play.  If he was going to get any kind of shove outside, the play was too far inside for him to help at the second level.

ND Sux

October 11th, 2012 at 9:56 AM ^

Here's what I'd like to see vs. Illinois;

  • Moar Rawls
  • TD pass (reward) to Kwiatkowski
  • Justice Hayes sighting
  • Moar Gallon
  • Less Denard (not as necessary this week)
  • Don't give away ANY surprises to MSU

MikeCohodes

October 11th, 2012 at 10:33 AM ^

about why any team would try and make Denard pull on the handoff and keep the ball - here is my take on it.

I think the reason why Purdue was keying on Fitz all game was to try and force the offense into being one dimensional, with that one dimension being all Denard all the time.  Yes, Denard can be extremely difficult to stop (duh) but at the same time, he's unfortunately also prone to making mistakes (see ND game) and also more likely to get injured and have to miss a few plays if he is getting hit on every down.  I'm sure they rather would've faced our backup QBs than Denard.  So, I think that based on the film from this season that Purdue had to evaluate to prep for this game, they thought that if they could force the O to be all Denard that sooner or later he would make a costly mistake or three that would allow Purdue to have a short field or snag a pick-6.  He did fumble once, so thankfully that didn't happen the way Purdue wanted, and also thankfully he didn't get hurt.

That being said, do you think any other team will try this same method of stopping Michigan this year?  Key on our non-Denard running game to take that away, forcing Denard to be all of the offensive output?  I hope they don't because I don't want to see Denard running it 25+ times a game as that will likely impact his durability and we need him for 11/24 and 12/1.