Upon Further Review 2013: Defense vs Akron Comment Count

Brian September 19th, 2013 at 2:51 PM

FORMATION NOTES: Nothing weird. This one has pinched DTs, but they only did this once. This was in the first quarter, so you can see the three linebackers on the field:

4-3 pinch

In the second half they ditched a linebacker in favor of nickel packages (and probably tipped a stunt):

stunt-giveaway

This is what I mean when I say pistol diamond: four guys in the backfield, hanging out and stuff.

pistol-diamond-te

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Secondary was almost entirely Wilson/Gordon/Taylor/Countess with the nickelback usually Jourdan Lewis and occasionally Delonte Hollowell. I don't think I saw Stribling except on special teams.

At LB, it was the usual Bolden/Ross/Morgan rotation. Bolden had some issues and late it was just Ross/Morgan. SAM mostly didn't exist, but Beyer got the vast majority of those snaps if you include the nickel DE looks.

On the line, much rotation.Clark and Ojemudia rotated with a little bit of Charlton. Black was almost omnipresent. Wormley, Godin, and Heitzman all got significant amounts of playing time; Glasgow was marginalized in this game to make way for Willie Henry. The nose tackles played a bit but they were largely lifted in the nickel.

[After THE JUMP: it's fine, it's fine, it's fine… erp.]

Ln Dn Ds O Form DForm Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 4-3 under Run N/A Inside zone Beyer 12
Beyer nominally over the slot, walks down and blitzes on the snap. M is slanting away from the play but the linebackers don't seem to understand it; Bolden(-1) gets locked inside and Morgan(-1) does not scrape behind the slant and gets blocked; Beyer(-1) got too far upfield and could not come under control fast enough to get in a tackle attempt from the side.
O37 1 10 Shotgun empty 4-3 over Pass 4 In Beyer Inc
No pressure(-1); Beyer(+2, cover +2) in position on a little in route that he breaks up.
O37 2 10 Pistol 2TE 4-3 under Pass 4 Fly Wilson Inc
Max pro against a four man rush, they take a shot. Wilson(+1.5, cover +2) is over the top with Taylor(+0.5) also there, though he slows up late for seemingly no reason.
O37 3 10 Shotgun 2-back Nickel even Pass 4 Scramble Black 0
Both backs stay in. Black(+1, pressure +1) is executing a DT twist with Wormley that gets him through and flushes the QB after initial coverage(+1) is good. Nobody open as the QB rolls away from his throwing hand; Clark and Countess track him down.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 13 min 1st Q. Washington in on the first three snaps.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Pistol 4-wide 4-3 pinch Run N/A Inside zone Henry 2
Pipkins(+1) and Henry(+0.5) your DTs lined up in the A gaps. They attempt to shoot those gaps, preventing any of the three interior linemen from leaving. Wormley has the backside gap; Morgan(+0.5, tackling +1) flows unimpeded to the hole and tackles; Pipkins helps, getting the extra half point. RPS +1.
O27 2 8 Pistol 3-wide 4-3 over Pass 4 Screen CGordon 5
Good old fashioned RB screen. The two playside DL are stunting and a little slow to pick up on developments; CGordon(+1) gets upfield, gets cut down, still is in a good spot to force the RB away from his blocks, and gets up to tackle(+1) with help from TGordon.
O32 3 3 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel even Pass 5 Hitch Countess 5
Michigan's in man and Jarrod Wilson gets dragged across the formation by a guy in motion. This forces Countess to give Wilson some room between himself and the WR, opening up a short hitch for the first down. RPS -1.
O37 1 10 Pistol 3-wide Nickel under Run N/A Inside zone Ross 4
Backside stunt isn't relevant but does seem tipped. Akron runs at the bubble to the frontside; both LBs flow to that hole. Ross(+0.5) gets outside of a guard and trips the RB as he passes; would like to see CGordon(-0.5) constrict this hole a little bit more but he's trying to play DE at 230.
O41 2 6 Shotgun 2-back Nickel even Pass 4 Comeback Lewis 7
M sends Ross, dropping Clark into a short zone. Black eventually rips through to pressure, but late(-1); everyone else got stoned. Akron completes a comeback in front of Lewis that finds an immediate tackle.
O48 1 10 Shotgun 2-back Nickel over Run N/A Inside zone Ross 3
Black(+0.5) gets to the outside of the center as the G over him releases; M stunts on the backside, opening up a crease. Ross(+0.5) reads the handoff quickly and shoots up in the gap to tackle; wish he'd be a little more direct here and tackle from the front. Clark did help tackle as well.
M49 2 7 Shotgun empty Nickel even Pass 4 Throwaway Beyer Inc
Stunt gets Beyer(+1) through up the middle with Black(+0.5) looping around (pressure +2), forcing a rollout and throwaway. RPS +1.
M49 3 7 Shotgun 2-back Okie two Pass 6 Skinny post Ross Inc
M tips a corner blitz; Akron checks. They then run the blitz anyway. Taylor playing with outside leverage on the WR, clearly expects someone to come underneath in the zone, that's Ross(-1, cover -1), who does not get near enough depth on his drop. WR is open for a conversion, but Michigan sent six and got Clark(+1, pressure +2) to loop around on a stunt and in free. He hits the QB as he throws. RPS +1. I guess Ross's drop wasn't too far off allowing him to deflect the ball.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-0, 6 min 1st Q. Next drive starts on the M 31 thanks to a shanked punt.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M31 1 10 Pistol FB 4-3 under Run N/A Yakety snap N/A -5
QB falls on a bad snap.
M36 2 15 Pistol 4-wide 4-3 over Run N/A Inside zone Ojemudia 4
Washington(+0.5) pushes his guy back; Ojemudia(+1) gets the LT rocked back, then disengages to tackle as the RB passes. Bolden and Morgan were pretty eh reading and reacting, but on second and fifteen that's probably reasonable.
M32 3 11 Shotgun 2-back Nickel even Pass 4 Improv Ojemudia 3
More stunts stunts stunts. Ojemudia(+1) knifes inside and upfield, convincing the QB to roll out. Wormley keeps his feet and has mediocre contain; he should really be headed further outside here. He does roll off a block to chase, forcing a dumpoff. Pressure +1, cover +1.
Drive Notes: FG(44), 7-3, 2 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O28 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 4-3 over Run N/A Zone stretch Henry -2
Michigan sending Beyer and dropping Ojemudia. Henry(+2) is slanting playside and quickly gets under the G, driving three yards in the backfield in a flash and forcing a major bounce. Ross(+1) reads the bounce and is on it, cutting the RB off and getting a TFL.
O26 2 12 Shotgun trips Nickel over Pass 4 PA pop seam Morgan Inc
Morgan(+0.5) does a pretty good job to read this and get out to harass the catch or at least tackle immediately; the WR dropped it by himself, but if he didn't Morgan might have jarred it loose. Cover +1.
O26 3 12 Shotgun 4-wide 3-2-6 dime Pass 3 Throwaway Black Inc
Black(+2, pressure +3) goes right by the center, who ends up in a heap; pressure right up the middle means the QB has to roll and get rid of it. This is uncalled grounding, as there's no one in the area and the ball doesn't get to the LOS. Refs -2. A sack in spirit for Black.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-3, 13 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O22 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-3 even Pass 4 Screen TGordon 6
Set up pretty well; Beyer is sucked in on a hitch route but avoids a cut when he recovers and TGordon(+0.5) fills quickly to hold it down somewhat. RPS -1.
O28 2 4 Pistol trips Nickel under Pass 4 Hitch Bolden 8
Bolden(-0.5) mistimes his blitz and the hitch behind him is hit by the Akron QB before a safety can fill for him.
O36 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 4-3 over Pass 4 PA slant Taylor 9
Way too easy, as Taylor is in no position to make a play on this. (Cover -1, Taylor -1). He was in press man and gave up the inside. No bueno.
O45 2 1 Pistol 3-wide 4-3 even Pass 4 PA out Beyer Inc
Another shift blitz; Beyer(+1, pressure +2) times this one up perfectly and nails the QB. He just gets it away. RPS +1.
O45 3 1 Pistol Diamond TE 4-4 under Run N/A Inside zone Ross 10
Excellent decisive cutback by the Akron back. The lane is to the backside behind Beyer. With the line slanting hard playside this is on Ross(-1.5), who doesn't see the fact that there's no lanes in front of him and then head to the back. By the time he does it's too late; he misses a tough tackle(-1) attempt past the sticks. Beyer(-0.5) got washed down the line too much, maybe.  Henry(+0.5) shot past the Akron OL on his slant and got penetration, possibly causing the cutback quickly. Bad luck, maybe.
M45 1 10 Pistol trips 4-3 even Pass 4 Hitch Henry INT
Henry(+1, pressure +1) gets a legit pass rush up the middle, driving inside of a guard, who holds him so badly that he ends up facing 180 degrees from where he wants to as he approaches the QB. No call. Refs -2. Akron's got a guy open for a few yards plus maybe a little YAC, QB rifles it through his hands, Countess(+1) intercepts and returns for many yards. Washington(+0.5) was also rushing rather well.
Drive Notes: Interception, 7-3, 5 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Screen N/A Inc
Akron just misses this one. Looked like M had it covered with Countess(+0.5) and TGordon(+0.5).
O25 2 10 Pistol 2TE 4-3 under Run N/A Inside zone Morgan 1
Black(+1) gets penetration on the frontside. He almost gets pancaked doing so but he causes a lot of indecision for the back; results based charting. Pipkins(+0.5) rocks back the C trying to double him, delaying his release. Morgan(+1) takes that guy on and disengages to tackle. Godin(+0.5) flowed down the line on the backside to prevent a cutback the RB looked for once Black showed up in the backfield.
O26 3 9 Shotgun empty Nickel even Pass 4 Seam Bolden 30
BTN literally only has field-level replays, which are about as useful as Rutgers is in the Big Ten, so I'm not 100% sure what's going on here. I'm pretty sure this is Bolden(-3, cover -3) abandoning the seam. Michigan generally has a nickel or LB carry the seam downfield on virtually all plays like this. Here the empty set makes that a linebacker instead of Countess. Clark(+1, pressure +1) had come around the edge and would have made trouble if not for the biff here.
M44 1 10 Pistol 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Iso Pipkins 5
FB dives in from an H-back spot to lead. M stunted its way out of half of the hole. Pipkins(-1) gets blown back by a double in the other half. Both linebackers are trying to get to the playside, and I'm not sure what to do with Morgan hopping around the FB lead block. May work; RB cuts back since Pipkins got blown up. I think it's bad that Morgan(-1) does that since it potentially opens up a major crease. Ojemudia(+1) helps out by chucking a tackle and coming down to prevent this from getting to the secondary. RPS -1.
M39 2 5 Shotgun 2-back Nickel even Pass 4 Fly Lewis Inc
Four man rush gets nowhere (pressure -2); Lewis(-2, cover -2) is beat over the top despite giving eight yards on the snap and clearly interferes, raking the WR's arms before the ball arrives. No call. Refs +2.
M39 3 5 Shotgun 2-back Nickel robber Pass 6 Hitch Taylor 7
Six sent, stunt, free guy up the middle, Taylor(-1, cover -1) not able to even vaguely bother a seven-yard hitch on third and five when he knows he's got the house coming. Pressure +1.
M32 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 4-3 under Run N/A Inside zone Charlton 5
M tipping this blitz by rolling down a safety. Charlton(-1) folds back and ends up taking on a guard; this is easy for him to stay outside and funnel back, but he does not. Henry(+1)) had gotten inside and got an arm tackle attempt that slowed the back, but with no contain he can head outside. Washinton(-1) also inexplicably fought his way out of the hole, which was his gap as a DL.
M27 2 5 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Scramble Henry 3
QB decides he doesn’t like a sticks-moving hitch and takes off. Washington thought they were twisting the DTs; Henry did not, providing the lane. Bet that's Henry(-1). Ross(+0.5) reacted quickly to force third down.
M24 3 2 Pistol Diamond TE 4-4 under Run N/A Inside zone Ross 1
M slants under hard, getting many people through the line and forcing a cutback into an unblocked Ross. Ross(+1) has lot of space to shut down because Henry got a little overzealous as he shot upfield, and makes a tackle attempt at the LOS that provides for some YAC; Henry(+0.5) comes around the guy trying to block him to help finish the tackle. RPS +1.
Drive Notes: Missed FG(45), 7-3, 1 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M38 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Throwaway Ojemudia Inc
Ojemudia(+1, pressure +2) beats the right tackle and gets into the QB; Black(+0.5) follows up, threatening to sack. Hit, off balance QB throws one into the stands. Had an open guy at the sticks(cover -1) that he missed because of the pressure.
M38 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Throwaway Godin Inc
Matt Godin(+2, pressure +2) swims through a guard and gets instant upfield pressure, forcing a roll and throwaway.
M38 3 10 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Wheel N/A Inc
A clearly spooked QB just chucks it OOB. Pressure +1, cover +1.
Drive Notes: Missed FG(55), 7-3, EOH.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 4-3 over Run N/A Iso Washington 3
Zips shoot their H-back inside of the left tackle and try to hit that gap. Both linebackers read IZ instead of an iso; Morgan(+0.5) ends up taking the FB block downfield but does shed quickly to the outside. Washington(+0.5) got motion on a single block and makes a diving tackle attempt that does slow the RB somewhat; TGordon(+1) fills very quickly to hold it down with help from Clark, who finishes the play once Gordon's slowed the back significantly.
O28 2 7 Pistol 3-wide Nickel over Pass 4 Comeback TGordon 13
More stunts. Akron looking for it, plenty of time (pressure -2). Heitzman eventually spins free; too late. QB fires a looping comeback route between TGordon and Countess that's actually a really good throw, arced enough to get over Countess and there just in time. Cover -1, but if he's harassed he has no shot at this throw.
O41 1 10 Pistol 3-wide Nickel over Run N/A Inside zone Clark 6
Black(+0.5) holds up to a double and Ojemudia(+0.5) squeezes his guy inside. Heitzman(+0.5) gets movement on his guy too and there's no lane inside. But there is a big old cutback because Clark(-2) got sealed inside and gave up the edge. Bolden does about as well as he can once he sees the cutback, but since the RB isn't delayed at all he can't get out on the corner. TGordon fills, forcing the back into Lewis.
O47 2 4 Pistol 4-wide Nickel over Run N/A Inside zone Ojemudia 3
M sends a blitz, with Morgan coming off the corner. Ojemudia(-0.5) gets pushed too far down the line, providing a cutback lane; Morgan(+0.5) cuts that down enough on his blitz that the guy trips over his own OL; Bolden(+0.5) hops around a second level block and finishes the tackle with Morgan.
50 3 1 Ace Diamond 4-4 under Run N/A Blast N/A 2
One of those plays where everyone burrows down and the RB leaps over the pile. They get it.
M48 1 10 Pistol trips Nickel over Run N/A Draw Ross 1
Black surges to the outside, taking the center with him, and the guard who has no one over him ends up delayed on his release but does manage to adjust and get downfield; another example of OL awareness I don't know if M has yet. Wormley(+0.5) did a nice job to two-gap the G who he's dealing with, and Ross(+2) looks like he's hitting it up an interior gap before redirecting just before contact, beating the OL block and making a nice open field tackle(+1).
M47 2 9 Shotgun empty Nickel even Pass 4 Hitch Countess? 9
Michigan leaves a huge hole underneath on a simple hitch. Gross. Cover -2, RPS -1. This looks like Tampa 2 that Countess(-1) doesn't get the message on.
M38 1 10 Pistol twins twin TE 3-3-5 stack Pass 5 Fade Taylor Inc (Pen+15)
Blitz doesn't quite get through but threatens to enough to force the QB to put up a punt, basically; Taylor(-2, cover -2) is right there but doesn't turn around and gets a legit PI flag. Pressure +1.
M23 1 10 Shotgun empty Nickel even Penalty -5 False start N/A -5
Orp;
M28 1 15 Shotgun empty Nickel even Pass 4 Hitch and go Bolden 28
Twist doesn't quite get there; Bolden(-3, cover -2) bites on a little out on first and fifteen and gets burned over the top; safeties playing 15-20 yards deep and dropping can't get there. Grim. RPS -2. Just all the space in the world.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-10, 9 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O22 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 even Pass 4 RB flat Beyer Inc
Beyer(+1, pressure +1) times up his blitz well and leaps over an attempted cut block. QB is throwing something like an RB bubble screen; Beyer leaps at it and can't bat it but is pretty annoying to both QB and RB; RB drops the ball. TGordon(+0.5) was there for a likely no gain tackle anyway.RPS +1.
O22 2 10 Shotgun empty Okie zero Pass 6 Slant Countess Inc
M gets both ends in free in a 6-on-5 situation. Pressure +1; Countess(+1, cover +1) is there to tackle on a three-yard slant that's dropped anyway.
O22 3 10 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel even Pass 5 Hitch Lewis 5
Wilson walks down late and both ILBs and Wilson blitz as the ends drop off. Doesn't have time to get there; Lewis(+1, tackling +1) is there to tackle immediately on a five yard hitch that the QB probably got spooked into.
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-10, 7 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Pistol 3-wide Nickel over Pass 4 PA pop slant Countess 9
Wilson in the box, follows TE across formation. Man, then. Tough ask for Countess as this looks like a run all the way until the slot WR breaks inside for a slant; Countess tackles on the catch. Cover -1. No help to the inside here.
O34 2 1 Pistol 3-wide Nickel under Run N/A Iso Glasgow 8
Second and one and the DTs are Wormley and Glasgow. Cumong man. Glasgow(-2) gets put to his knees by a double so even though he's not sealed the playside guy just releases into Morgan easily. He's facing 180 degrees from the play. Ross(+1) plugs the fullback at the LOS and immediately sheds; nice play. For naught as there's a gap inside. Morgan(-0.5) didn't read the play and isn't there to hold this to a few.
O42 1 10 Pistol 3-wide Nickel over Pass 4 Rollout throwaway Ojemudia Inc
Play action boot. Ojemudia(+0.5) does a good job of redirecting to annoy; this is also an awkward roll. Ross(+0.5) and Taylor(+0.5) have initial coverage(+1), QB tosses it away.
O42 2 10 Shotgun empty Okie zero Pass 6 Tunnel screen TGordon -4
A tunnel screen that no one releases on as M blitzes, mostly. Morgan goes at first and then drops off but he draws two OL. Countess gets walled off by one receiver; TGordon(+1) and Ross(+1) read it and blow it up. RPS +2.
O38 3 14 Shotgun 4-wide 4-1-6 dime Run N/A Inside zone Black 2
A give up and punt. Black(+1) comes under his blocker to slow and Godin(+1) drives his guy back, realizes it's run, and ends the play.
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-10, 1 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O39 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Slant Taylor 11
This slant is way, way too easy. Taylor -1.5, cover -1.
50 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Slant Taylor Inc
Taylor(+1, cover +1) kind of makes up for the last one by jumping this one, knocking the WR off his route.
50 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Fly Lewis 43
Ain't even mad about this one except that pressure(-1) doesn't really come. Lewis(+1, cover +1) is step for step for this, looking out for the ball, and it just happens to be in the exact six inches it needs to be. This is basically indefensible.
M7 1 G Shotgun trips 4-3 under Run N/A Inside zone Ross 5
Ross(-1) gives up the corner, but Akron's got him on the LOS against an OT, so that's RPS(-1) since that's a 230 pound guy instead of Beyer trying to play SAM. Wilson comes up to fill.
M2 2 G Ace Diamond TE Goal line Pass 6 PA TE seam Wilson INT
Wilson(+3, cover +2) doesn't freak out about the run action, hangs back, undercuts the throw, and intercepts. This was the only route, so QB was either going to throw this or throw it out of the endzone.
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-17, 11 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O33 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone Black 5
M stunts on the playside, which ends up with Black(-1) kicked out like a mofo, so when the RB has to bounce when Beyer comes inside he has a lane. Ross(+0.5) reads and initiates a tackle.
O38 2 5 Pistol 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Iso Morgan 2
Same iso out of the H-back set as they've shown; H-back is either faking counter or remembers the playcall late. Godin(+1) fights playside and fills a gap; Ojemudia(+0.5) cuts off the outside then disengages to help tackle; Morgan(+0.5) reads the play and gets outside the FB to tackle.
O40 3 3 Shotgun 2-back Nickel even Pass 4 Slant Lewis 6
Too easy in front of Lewis(-1, cover -1). Bad throw still completes it.
O46 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Screen Countess 3
Countess(-0.5, tackling -1) shoots up into this and almost takes it down for a loss but misses the tackle, opening up the corner. TGordon(+0.5) and Ross(+1) combine to tackle rather quickly, with Ross bashing the RB back to hold this to little YAC.
O49 2 7 Pistol 3-wide Okie zero Pass 5 Fade Taylor Inc
Check from O, no check from M. Their check is a hopeless sideline fade? Okay. Taylor(+0.5, cover +1) seemed to have this covered; Beyer(+0.5, pressure +1) avoided a cut and was likely to sack without the chuck. RPS +1.
O49 3 7 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Scramble Clark 7
Either a completely botched stunt or Clark blowing his contain. Either way the field has no contain(pressure -3) as no one even approaches the QB. Time plus no contain. Wow. Coverage(+2) is excellent; QB rolls out and scrapes out a first down. Clark(-1) had an opportunity and went too far upfield; also I suspect this is on him; he also knocked Heitzman down. Ojemudia(-1) and Black had a similar mishap on the other side of the line. RPS -1.
M44 1 10 Pistol 3-wide Nickel over Run N/A Iso Wilson 3
Another H-back iso. M has Wilson rolled into the box. Heitzman(+0.5) gets drive on his guy. Beyer(-0.5) gets upfield, expecting pass. Morgan drives up and redirects to take the lead blocker; Wilson makes an adequate tackle.
M41 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel over Pass 4 Fly Taylor 40
Taylor(-2, cover -2) is beat despite lining up six yards off a MAC receiver and not particularly close, unlike Lewis just was. This is perfectly timed and thrown, though, and with 7 on 4 pass protection there's not a whole lot you can do about this.
M1 1 G Ace Diamond TE Goal line Run N/A Iso Morgan -1
Godin(+1) submarines the playside guys and Morgan(+1) anticipates the leap, bashing the guy down at the LOS.
M2 2 G Pistol Diamond TE Goal line Run N/A Inside zone Godin 1
Washington(+1) gets into the C and pushes him back; making things difficult. Wormley ends up turned, not ideal, but does hold up against a momentary double; Godin(+1) shoots forward, gets his guy on the ground, and is first contact. Akron back makes a nice second effort to get back to the one.
M1 3 G Shotgun trips Goal line Pass 4 Hitch N/A 1
Motion puts a receiver to the boundary, making it trips. M shows man with the motion. TGordon(-1), who probably has the eventual receiver, shoots up on the outside guy, opening this up. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. RPS –1, Cover –1.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-24, 4 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel even Pass 4 In Countess Inc
M in zone, Countess(+0.5, cover +1) is there to tackle for about three yards if the receiver doens't drop the ball. Throw too quick for pressure.
O25 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Post Lewis 24
M sends Ross off the short corner, dropping Clark into a short zone. This plus a twist gets Ross(+0.5) around the corner free(pressure +1); wide open guy downfield. This appears to be man free with the corners playing outside leverage and absolutely no one in the middle of the field. (Cover -4). Taylor's guy is running the same route on the other side of the field and is wide, wide open. Maybe Morgan was supposed to drop into a robber zone? TGordon(-1) was way too far off; Lewis(-1) beat easily. RPS –1, as Michigan had Clark and Morgan sitting uselessly near each other.
O49 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel over Pass 4 Hitch Taylor Inc
Miscommunication between QB and WR results in throw nowhere near the target. Ball way overthrown, else Taylor might have a pick.
O49 2 10 Shotgun 2-back Okie one Pass 6 Slant Taylor 6 (Pen +5)
Countess(-1) sent to blitz, ends up offsides. Throw is a slant Taylor(+0.5, cover +1) hits and tackles on immediately.
M46 2 5 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel over Pass 4 Dig Ross Inc
No pressure(-2); everyone is inside so there's no contain, either, not that that's relevant.. yet. QB tries to hit a dig that Ross(+1, cover +1) breaks up. Behind the WR helps... quite a bit.
M46 3 5 Shotgun 4-wide 3-2-6 dime Run N/A Inside zone Godin 19
Five in the box on third and manageable, Akron checks, no response from M. RPS -2. Godin(-3) plays this really badly, getting rocked back and giving up the corner, which is too bad because Henry(+1) had bulled two guys back and prevented anyone from getting out on Ross; if Godin forces it back this is fourth and three or something.
M27 1 10 Shotgun 2-back Nickel even Pass 4 Post Beyer Inc (Pen -10)
Beyer(+1, pressure +1) shoots inside the LT and gets tackled, drawing a call. TGordon(-2, cover -2) sucks up on a deep in, opening up a post for a TD behind him that the QB just misses. Countess(-1) didn't get a good chuck on the guy underneath, so he was going to be open if Gordon dropped.
M37 1 20 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Dumpoff Clark 4
Pressure is late coming but does kind of arrive as Clark(+0.5) stunts through the line and threatens. Dumpoff ensues. Morgan(+0.5) there to tackle. Cover +2.
M33 2 16 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Improv Clark 22
If I had to guess, Clark(-2) didn't get the call here, which was for him to loop inside of not only the DT closest to him but also the DT away from him, as both those guys slant hard to him. He tries to go around the first but not the second. He ends up in the feet of his other DL, all three hit the ground. QB can roll out with epic acres of time now. Taylor(-3, cover -3) insanely abandons his WR to pressure a no-run QB, giving up a big play. Pressure –4? Yes, the first ever pressure –4.
M11 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel over Penalty 4 Delay N/A -5
Oops.
M16 1 15 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel over Pass 4 Post TGordon Inc
All day (pressure -2). QB tries a post in the endzone that's bracketed (cover +2) but almost completed anyway because the WR is taller than Gordon(+1), who can't bat the ball away. Just goes off the WR's fingertips.
M16 2 15 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel even Pass   Skinny post Morgan? 15
Ojemudia(+1, pressure +1) gets around the corner and is tackled, no call. Refs -2. Hole in the zone between Ross(-1, cover -2) and Morgan(-1), whose drop takes him away from the center of the field relative to the QB, ie the right hash, and makes this quite open.
M1 3 1 Pistol Diamond TE Goal line Run N/A Pitch sweep Morgan -3
Beyer(+1) gets outside of the TE assigned to him and gets penetration, picking off a second blocker leading for the RB. Wilson(+0.5) also out on the edge, making a bounce unappealing. Cutback never had a chance with Morgan(+1, tackling +1) unblocked flowing hard and making one of his trademark bang you're dead tackles.
M4 4 4 Shotgun trips Okie zero Pass 6 Fade TGordon Inc
Beyer(+1) a little off the line and going later after Black(+0.5) gets upfield on the center; Akron's protection gets blown as both gents roar up the middle of the pocket (pressure +2), with Beyer crushing the QB as he throws. Gordon(+1, cover +1) had taken away the slant and the WR's desperate attempt to release to the back of the endzone is badly overthrown. RPS +1.
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 28-24, EOG. Exhale.

ACK

ACK

ACK ACK TTTPHPTHPT

TTTTPHPTHTPTH

ACK

While I agree with you, eventually one has to start talking in English. This was a weird, weird game. To context up: Michigan's defense yielded 14 points, with seven coming on the pick-six and three more after a shanked punt and three-and out. However, Akron also missed a 45-yard field goal (a 55-yarder at the end of the half was set up by a Gardner interception) and drove to the one yard-line two separate times without getting points. On the first, Jarrod Wilson picked a ball off in the endzone; on the second, Akron tried a pitch sweep that got nailed for a loss and then Mattison sent the house on the last play of the game. They did get the stops.

The drive-by-drive is everything going according to plan until the bridge goes out and the school bus teeters over the crevasse, waiting for someone to breathe wrong:

  1. One first down and out.
  2. Two first downs and out.
  3. Three and out, FG from field position.
  4. Three and out.
  5. 33 yard drive ended by interception.
  6. 47-yard drive ends with missed field goal.
  7. Three and out at the end of the half. (Despite being the end of the half this was important: with 29 seconds left Akron just needed a first down to get a reasonable FG attempt off. They got zero yards.)

That's the first half. Everything is on pace. In six drives plus an end of half situation, Akron acquires 120 yards and gets two reasonable field goal attempts off. That is what Akron-Michigan is supposed to look like.

And then…

  1. 8 play, 75-yard touchdown drive.
  2. Three and out.
  3. One first down and out.
  4. 5 play, 59-yard drive snuffed out by Wilson INT.
  5. 11 play, 67-yard touchdown drive.
  6. 11 play, 71-yard drive ends at Michigan's four yard line.

What. The. Balls. Four of six Akron drives reach the Michigan one-yard line.

WHAT THE BALLS ACK

Well, if you see here this—

ACK

chart. Usual charting context disclaimer: Defensive linemen are supposed to be about +4 to have an average performance. Historically, linebackers over zero have gotten a thumbs up but these days expectations are creeping upwards, and due to the fact that I can't see the secondary most of the time unless the QB thinks the guy they're covering is open, anything over zero is good for DBs. Also there was a large volume of plays in this one: 79, so amplitudes will naturally be larger.

Defensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Heitzman 1 - 1 Little PT in nickel.
Washington 2.5 1 1.5 See above.
Black 7 1 6 Generated more rush than I thought.
Clark 2.5 5 -2.5 Knocking over his own guys.
Wormley 0.5 - 0.5 Henry and Godin took over.
Pipkins 1.5 1 0.5 Nickel equals no PT.
Glasgow - 2 -2 Playing time seriously reduced.
Ojemudia 6.5 1.5 5 More liable to get around a tackle.
Godin 6.5 3 3.5 Had an impressive pressure and a really terrible job on a draw. Will it hold up?
Ash - - - DNP
Henry 6.5 1 5.5 A nice introduction.
Charlton - 1 -1 -
TOTAL 34.5 16.5 18 You'd want better than this against Akron.
Linebacker
Player + - T Notes
C.Gordon 1 0.5 0.5 Next year Mattison will say "we really need to play Cam Gordon," be informed he has graduated.
Morgan 6 3.5 2.5 Negative coverage number should be factored in here.
Ross 10.5 4.5 6 Ditto on the coverage; played pretty well.
Beyer 8.5 1.5 7 Still mostly a DE.
Ryan - - - DNP
Bolden 0.5 7.5 -7 Bit on first Akron touchdown, didn't carry seam in first half.
Gedeon - - - DNP
Jenkins-Stone - - - DNP
TOTAL 26.5 17.5 9 Crunch time PT says it all.
Secondary
Player + - T Notes
Countess 3 3.5 -0.5 Only got one point for the INT.
Taylor 2.5 9.5 -7 Burned over the top, gave up PI. Also some too easy underneath stuff.
Stribling - - - DNC
Hollowell - - - DNC
T. Gordon 7 4 3 I may be too kind here but I can't tell without better angles.
Avery - - - DNC
Wilson 5 - 5 INT was a lifesaver.
Furman - - - DNP
J. Clark - - - DNP
Lewis 2 4 -2 Freshman debut not terrible, not great.
TOTAL 19.5 21 -1.5 Could have been better, but 6.3 YPA and 2 INTs.
Metrics
Pressure 24 18 6 Michigan was getting there sometimes but…
Coverage 24 32 -8 Too many coverages burst open so the ball was gone.
Tackling 8 2 80% Tackles are at least being made.
RPS 9 9 - Push

Sanity-checking what might seem like an excessively positive point of view: Akron threw for 6.3 YPA and 3.6 yards per rush and scored 14 points. They had 13 drives, which is a lot.

While Michigan did give up scads of yards in the second half, they got big plays to keep Akron out, and the Zip QB made a couple of pretty throws to pick up big chunks. UFR tends to give out candy for shortish runs and quick tackles on short passes, and there were a ton in here. Also: coverage metric should override some of the good bits from the secondary and ILBs.

These pressure numbers do not reflect my personal reality.

Yes, because they are just a rough estimate of is Michigan getting towards the QB. It's time to get some more detail in here. I'm going to change the pressure metric next week in an attempt to find success rates of blitzes, false blitzes, stunts, and straight up rushing. The current number is part Mattison, part DL, and I'm going to try to separate those two factors.

Y U NO LIKE FRANK CLARK

It's time to photoshop a bowling ball on Frank Clark's head, but in a sad way. On two critical plays in the fourth quarter the Akron QB escaped into acres of space to Clark's side of the field, and on both he knocked over his fellow defenders. The first one was a holistic cluster, as it appears Michigan stunted both DEs and both of those saw Michigan players bash into each other and fall down:

If Bo Pelini saw Nebraska do this… actually, this would constitute an improvement. But if Bo Pelini saw LSU do this, twirls of smoke would come out of his ears and he would swear colorful imps into existence.

I'm not sure Heitzman is going to contain a whole lot better since he doesn't seem to be going outside too much, but once Clark's botched attempt to come behind him trips him he's done. That's a negative.

Then Michigan somehow managed to top that on second and sixteen on the final drive. You remember this play as the one that flipped you from "this isn't happening" to "THIS ISN'T HAPPENING" just before it became very clear that it was happening:

This time not two but three Michigan defensive linemen end up eating turf. I can't be totally sure but my experience strongly suggests that when you see both DTs shoot so hard to the left Michigan wanted to loop Clark around them both. Clark thought it was the usual stunt and runs up the back of both DTs, causing a pile of useless meat to plop into existence. (Also it looks like Black is ripped down to the ground without a call.) That continues a pattern we've had to deal with since Clark was a freshman. The lightbulb has not gone on.

Clark's just part of a larger problem, but part of that problem is the weakside end the world hyped up this year can't get a pass rush unless he's not blocked, so Michigan is fussing around with line stunts on almost every play. Three games in, Clark has zero sacks on 130 opponent attempts, and on maybe one or two of those has he gotten a hurry on something other than a free run. It's just not happening.

Must… find… something… to hold on to… SPOCK. Willie Henry was good?

Yeah, he was. He ate up a big chunk of the second-three-tech time that was so ineffectual against Notre Dame and did well. Here's a stretch on which he gets under the guard trying to block him and gets about five yards in the backfield:

Henry flashed into the backfield on an unsuccessful third-and-short stand, showing impressive burst for a guy that big, and when they folded both tackles inside he flashed the ability to keep linebackers clean like Will Campbell did last year:

By contrast on one of the relatively few snaps Glasgow got, he was turned and put on his knees by a momentary double:

(That snap was the biggest WHERE MY NOSE TACKLES AT of the game. Second and one and your interior linemen are Wormley and Glasgow.)

He even got some pass rush; he should have drawn a holding call on the Countess interception after beating a guard, straight up and everything, no funny business.

I guess Henry must be one of those guys who's not consistently executing his assignments, because there's no question who Michigan's most physically talented three-tech is.

 

Coverage holes downfield. So many coverage holes downfield.

Bolden caught a lot of heat after the game, and deservedly, but he was far from alone The Big Ten Network caveat applies here—BTN almost never shows useful replays—so I don't want to get too strident, but I don't get this coverage at all:

Michigan drops Clark as they send Ross. Everyone appears to be in man coverage. So why are both cornerbacks giving outside leverage to the WR like that? That's unbelievably easy on both sides of the ball and Thomas Gordon is 25 yards off the ball by the time the catch is made. Is Morgan supposed to be in a robber while Clark checks the RB? Or… like… what?

It's really frustrating to watch Akron play press cover on Michigan's receivers and do it well while Michigan is sitting in the parking lot giving up a lot of room, especially when Michigan gets Ross in untouched.

Similarly, this is way, way too easy:

These kinds of breakdowns were almost nonexistent against Notre Dame, which earned almost every yard they got by playing well and hitting the small windows provided. That, like Gardner' performance, was too good to sustain; hopefully this isn't more representative.

But they ran past us! They are Akron! We are not to be Akron unless we are to die!

The long outside completions were also a problem. Not the first one, as Lewis gave Akron's QB about a six-inch window, which he hit:

                                                            ball

                                                             \/

ain't-even-mad2

It's not perfect coverage—ideally Lewis forces the fade route closer to the sideline—but that's a one in a hundred throw from the QB.

The other incidents were not so good. Taylor got beat by a couple yards on his, and the WR barely put a move on. Looked like Taylor was looking in the backfield and thus late to react to the WR going vertical on him. Taylor picked up a pass interference call on the same route earlier in the game. Lewis seemed beat on an earlier one, too, before displaying impressive recovery speed to track the WR down. His recovery speed allowed him to obviously interfere with the receiver before the ball arrived, is all. Akron threw it over the top to the outside five times, got two long completions, a pass interference flag, and should have had another. When Avery's back I hope they put him at corner.

I thought the linebackers were going to be playmakers?

Michigan's started out by playing three extreme passing spreads, and they've spent most of that time playing passive bend-but-don't break defense. A lot of the time there are two 280-pound three-techs playing the DT spots. That's a perfect recipe for invisible linebackers, because most of the time they're dropping into coverage and when they're not they're often eating defensive linemen because the DL isn't holding up.

I do think we're seeing a bit of resurgence in that issue I mentioned last year when Michigan slanted the line and their linebackers did not seem to understand what that meant for where the play would go. Michigan blitzed Beyer on their first snap and slanted away from that; Beyer did get upfield but both linebackers got bashed inside as frontside gaps are obliterated:

I think this is actually Akron's backside H-back iso they ran a lot—good adjustment from the H-back—and is thus designed to hit quick away from zone action; it still bugs me that both linebackers should know that Michigan is slanting away from the strength of the line and they are going to be needed away from that slant.

That doesn't take away from the fact that these guys are not getting free runs to the ballcarrier, so when they make a play it's a tough one:

And Beyer's a linebacker, too. Beyer's my guy now. He is the guy who strung out the Akron sweep at the end of the game, getting outside and upfield of the TE to force it back to an unblocked Morgan. He is plausible in coverage and is the best rusher of any defensive lineman.

Heroes?

Brennen Beyer is consistently making plays; also it is easy to see Michigan getting smoked from the one late if a guy who is not really responsible is out there. Ross quietly did well for himself. Wilson did not seem involved in any long completions and bailed Michigan out hardcore with his interception.

Maybe not so heroic?

Think about 60 Akron yards are on Bolden's pass coverage. Taylor really struggled. Clark messed up late stunts badly.

What does it mean for UConn and the future?

I personally guarantee that Beyer remains a starter when Jake Ryan reclaims his job. Brennen Beyer is the best WDE/SAM type guy they have now by a large margin and there's no way he's going back to the bench when Ryan returns. Corollary: Frank Clark is only marginally better than he was last year.

Willie Henry should be the second three-tech. At least until such point as this performance evaporates in a sea of missed assignments. He has an impressive combination of size and explosiveness. Time to find out what we have there.

Matt Godin announced himself in the SDE competition, if we ever see an actual Big Ten offense again. Godin had one really terrible play on which he gave up the corner on a draw in the dime package; other than that he was quite good. He hasn't been run at like Wormley yet, so his flaws may not be as apparent. Like Henry, he's earned a chance to continue showing it on the field.

Zone drops need work. I didn't understand a lot of what was going on in the secondary. This may be me being dumb, but I think it's also the goings-on back there not making sense.

Jibreel Black is a pretty good interior rusher. Needs some help.

When Courtney Avery returns he should probably be a corner. The rotating nickel guy is not a good sign, Wilson has been good so far, and Michigan could really use a smart veteran like Avery to help paper over some of the Kovacs awareness gap.

Michigan should start whittling down their defensive line rotation. Two guys at a spot plus some spot snaps for other guys to get breathers/keep them interested. If we ever see nose tackles again that one's obvious. I vote Heitzman/Godin at SDE, Black/Henry at 3T, and Ojemudia/Clark at WDE until Beyer pushes one of those guys further down.

It's going to be okay. There were some disturbing moments, sure. They will figure it out.

Except the pass rush, organic division. Jake Ryan, please hurry.

Comments

DingleberryFinn.

September 19th, 2013 at 3:07 PM ^

If they keep rotating Heitzman with Godin, that position could hold up the rest of the season. Potentially not be a weakness, and more productive than expected.

 

But wait....it's only Akron. /s

reshp1

September 19th, 2013 at 4:08 PM ^

I agree, but the caveat is if protecting him and giving him easier decisions by playing 2 deep safeties is hampering the rest of the defense. I wonder how much the soft coverage by the corners and LBs not getting deep enough in zone drops can be attributed to the coaches trying to play it safe with the last line of defense.

robmorren2

September 19th, 2013 at 7:10 PM ^

Same thoughts here. Safety is not an easy position to play, but when you're playing 2-high and the corners are playing back ... it doesn't seem very hard. Add to that the fact that linebackers are consistently dropping into pass coverage and it gets even easier. I wonder if the soft coverage and lack of blitzes is symbolic of the coaching staff not feeling comfortable about Wilson (or both safeties possibly). They are either playing EXTREMELY conservative, or they have the training wheels on Wilson still.

turd ferguson

September 19th, 2013 at 3:28 PM ^

I've seen "October" a number of times, but have we heard anything more specific about Ryan's expected return date?

Here's the upcoming schedule:
9/21 - @ UConn
10/5 - Minnesota
10/12 - @ Penn State
10/19 - Indiana
11/2 - @ MSU

JimBobTressel

September 19th, 2013 at 3:33 PM ^

I was completely and utterly wrong about Brennen Beyer and I now humbly eat crow. "Wasting Clark's snaps", I said. "Should be in the rotation at tight end", I said. "Not athletic enough to pass rush", I said.

Ojemudia needs more snaps at WDE.

On the other hand, I've been beating that Jarrod Wilson drum since day 1.

rogerdorn

September 19th, 2013 at 3:33 PM ^

seems like is who ever has the best week in practice. First is was Stribling  in the CMU game, then it was Hollowell against ND (though this maybe due to him being a junior versus true freshmen) and last week it was Lewis. Was kinda hoping Thomas would have made his way to nickel by now. Also seems the Clark hype train has officially derailed. Never thought in the offseason Beyer would be the best bet at WDE this year.

Mmmm Hmmm

September 19th, 2013 at 3:33 PM ^

On the second drive on 2nd and 6 from the Akron 41, why is Black minus one and all the other linemen zero when Black is the only one who got pressure (albeit late)? I'm not debating Black getting a minus, it is more of a surprise that everybody else gets zero on what seems like a worse outcome. I understand if Black was the only one single blocked or the play was designed to free him, but that is not mentioned in the narrative.

It occurred to me that most D-linemen are probably not getting great penetration or pressure on most plays but the default score on each play is zero. You noted that a plus four is the minimum for a decent day, so is the expectation that the D-lineman should win at least four more battles than they brutally lose per game? Or is that a statement of observation that good games when viewed by other metrics tend to be +4 or better?

BlueVoix

September 19th, 2013 at 3:36 PM ^

So my sort-of drunk comment during the game, "Damnit, when are they going to call holding against them!" doesn't seem so crazy and homer-ish now?  Good to hear.

Space Coyote

September 19th, 2013 at 3:43 PM ^

But for the most part this is what I saw play-to-play as well. DL working as a unit is a problem. Defense as a whole working as a unit is a problem. It's inconsistency that is the problem, not the talent that is on the field.

DelhiGoBlue

September 19th, 2013 at 11:00 PM ^

that there are no identified starters on the DL, rather there are three shifts and they're all starters.  Reminds me of hockey, but I digress.  Given that there is not a job to own, there is no incentive to continue holding it and since they're all getting PT, there is no reason to excel because with the rotation they'll get their snaps.  It is odd that in a game of competition Mattison has foresaken competition for his front four.

Space Coyote

September 19th, 2013 at 11:06 PM ^

Then they would play more. There is certainly incentive to be named a starter, or be in at the end of the game, or simply because you're competitive and you are competing with your teammates to perform better. I disagree with what you're saying.

And by "not doing their job", I'm saying that they are failing to do their assignment properly. They still have an assignment, or job, regardless of rotation.

El Jeffe

September 19th, 2013 at 3:51 PM ^

I feel like the rhetoric and playcalling from Mattison has changed over the years from much more aggressive and multiple to much more "inside and in front" and vanilla. Any thoughts on this? Since you asked, I have three (non-mutually exclusive):

  1. Mattison got used to desiging defenses for Ed Reed and Ray Lewis and tried to import that to Michigan and then got burned (that late TD against ND in UTL1) and has now decided to play it safer.
  2. When JMFR comes back (assuming in full force) Mattison will unleash the dragon a bit more.
  3. Hoke and Borges assured him that we'll have a much more explosive offense this year so there is no reason to take chances.

Thus far the strategy has worked against a horrible team when the offense is playing well and a good team (ND, probably, right?) when the offense is playing well, and has looked problematic against a horrible team when the offense is not playing well.

I wonder if the Akron experience will lead Matiison to rev things up a bit as a hedge against future anemic offensive performances, or whether he will wait until the return of Ryan.

Space Coyote

September 19th, 2013 at 3:56 PM ^

He's always been a prevent the big play guy first and foremost. And I think if you look at the numbers he isn't really as far off from previous years as he looks. With that said, I don't think he's exactly comfortable right now that when he sends blitzes that people will do the right thing behind the blitz. He's still looking to get playmakers in the secondary.

I think there is something to them not checking out of calls. Be it worry for miscommunication or what. I would expect them, going forward, to start giving blitz looks and backing off more, especially once they feel comfortable with everyone knowing their assignment and being athletic enough to add more deception.

BILG

September 19th, 2013 at 4:28 PM ^

Perhaps he was hoping that as they got more of their own recruits into the program they could run the "vanilla" defense they want.  IE...Good enough to rush 4, no need for a bunch of crazy blitzes.  Unfortunately it doesnt look like we are there yet, so still need to scheme around our roster holes.  Not sure if this is an offense/defense game balance decision between Hoke/Mattison/Borges as much as perhaps Mattison believing we could rush 4 and play base defense against Akron because that is what you do against a "cupcake."  This one was obviously too close for comfort.

Ron Utah

September 19th, 2013 at 3:58 PM ^

Thoughts:

  • Michigan plays outside technique on the outside WRs just about every single down.  Like 99% of the time.  This is part of the "inside and in front" mantra.  You better have excellent LB and S coverage if you're going to make that work, because those WRs can cut under you for easy yards if you don't.  This game, our LB coverage SUCKED.  And our outside technique didn't save us from two long pass plays and a pass int call.
  • If you had told me that Beyer and Wilson might be our best two performers after three games, I would have said something like, "Yeah right, and we'll probably lose to Akron too!" (too soon?)  While you could argue some other guys deserve to be in the conversation, the fact is that Wilson has vastly exceeded expectations and has not caused me to panic at all, and Beyer...he probably has been the best all-around defender on the team.
  • Too much damn stunting.  Clark looks slow off the line, which tells me he's thinking too much, because speed has NEVER been his problem.  I agree with Mattison's self-criticism: it's too complex.  Just let the dogs loose.
  • Speaking of loose, soft coverage + terrible pass rush = easy yards.  Mattison needs to change something here.  If we can't get a rush, we're going to have to take more chances with blitzes and/or bump/tighter man coverage with safety help.  The zones are looser than [insert your joke here].
  • Bolden, Taylor, and Clark all sucked.  They sucked like Tommy Tomasino.  If three of your major contributors have a sucktastic suckfest on defense, you're in trouble.  For Bolden and Taylor, this was their first suck.  Clark is reaching Dyson levels of suck at this point.
  • I stated before the season that our success would hinge on the O-Line and the pass rush.  The O-Line has been serviceable, and far better than last year.  Fitz has not helped.  The pass rush blows goats.  Have proof.

Predictions:

  • Taylor had an awful game.  Hoke is not the type to give a guy a quick yank or to yell in his face on the sideline.  But with Lewis, Hollowell, and Stribling appearing to be viable options, if Taylor has another lousy outing against UConn, expect him to be warming the bench.  Remember, he had a bad spring, and can't seem to stay consistently focused.
  • If Clark doesn't have some serious production in the next couple of weeks, he will be sharing snaps with Beyer when Ryan comes back.  And by sharing, I mean he'll be backing-up Beyer.  Ojemudia has been our best pass-rushing WDE.
  • Jarrod Wilson will be All-B1G before he graduates.
  • Countess will not be moved outside in the Nickel.  Not at all this season.  Dymonte will not see significant snaps on defense this season.  Lewis, Stribling, and Hollowell will more than hold their own.
  • Bolden will rebound with a monster performance against Akron.  Taylor will be okay.  Clark will still be bad.
  • The O-Line will do a nice job this week and we'll rack-up over 170 rushing yards.  Lots of those yards will come on power and iso plays, with a little less stretch.  The D-Line (guys with their hand in the dirt, which will often include Beyer) will ring-up 3+ sacks this week, the team will have 5+.

 

ESNY

September 19th, 2013 at 4:37 PM ^

It is really Taylor's first time being terrible?  It seems like he had been targeted successfully against ND too and maybe even CMU.  Not many pass break ups, lots of room on the receivers.  Maybe he is just a frequent target so I noticed it more but I have been none too impressed.

Ron Utah

September 19th, 2013 at 5:21 PM ^

I think Taylor's had a great start to the season.  I actually thought he out-played Countess against CMU and was very good against ND.  UFRs aren't gospel, but he had a very positive outing against very good ND receivers, and did well in the CMU game too.

He is targeted the most, but until this game, he's held-up well.

Indiana Blue

September 19th, 2013 at 4:08 PM ^

to Stribling and Thomas ?   They hardly saw the field.  I think both of these guys are "play-makers".  They're quick and seem to have football instincts.  If the scheme is a soft zone - which ONLY works with a good pass rush ... it doesn't matter who's in the secondary.

Go Blue!

MVictors97

September 19th, 2013 at 4:10 PM ^

I've been high on Godin since the spring.  I have not broken down anything in depth, but he's just passing the eye test for me. Im sure he's made plenty of mistakes. But he's just got nice size already, he fires off hard and is always active and getting around the ball. Heitzman is probably your most steady guy at SDE as far as doing his job against the run but I wouldn't be surprised to see Godin start taking more playing time from him and Wormley as we get into Big Ten play. Wormley in my opinion will end up being a 3 tech next year.

Space Coyote

September 19th, 2013 at 4:18 PM ^

Is almost certainly cover 3. First, I don't think they are going to give that much room and play man without at least a safety robber. Second, watch the eyes of everyone in coverage: they're on the QB. Bolden appears to be spying the QB/RB in case of a screen, and I'm honestly not sure Clark drops into the right spot. A strange defense that doesn't seem terribly sound, but I'm almost certain it's cover 3 and someone messed up in the middle, and, more accurely, the CBs didn't do a good job with their "hang" coverage (see how the Akron CB played hang coverage on his INT for an example, you should be able to break on things inside rather quickly as WRs can't get outside of you without fighting across/through your body).

MVictors97

September 19th, 2013 at 5:05 PM ^

Ya to me this looks like cover 3. Taylor, Gordan and Lewis are playing the deep 3rds. Wilson is breaking to the flat and Countess is hanging around in the flat on the bottom of the picture. Clark appears to be dropping into the seam without much depth. I would think you'd want Bolden to be doing the same thing on the side Ross vacated. Don't know if it was a mental error on Bolden or if he saw some sort of tendancy that told him a screen was coming. But anyways it looks like Michigan has no intention of covering the middle of the field on this either by design or screw ups.

TXmaizeNblue

September 19th, 2013 at 4:22 PM ^

runs up the back of Black while the OB just trots towards the sideline for an uncontested completion is just inexplicable.  Is this the same Clark that we were hearing great things about in the spring???

Brian

September 19th, 2013 at 7:09 PM ^

Clark has always done stuff like that. His introduction to the fanbase was flat-out blowing two or three zone reads against Illinois. It looked like he'd never even seen a zone read. At this point we may just have to resign ourselves to the fact that he's going to bust a lot of plays.

Magnum P.I.

September 19th, 2013 at 4:27 PM ^

Seems like we just have a bunch of guys on defense this year. Somewhat solid. No playmakers. That might be enough to get through most Big Ten games.

Unfortunately, I think all the preseason hype about certain guys "making the leap" was just that: hype. 

We miss Ryan a lot.

JimBobTressel

September 19th, 2013 at 4:37 PM ^

I won't quite say the defense took a step backwards, but we seem to merely be treading water. Then again, last year's defense was senior laden, while this year's is still pretty young. So who's to say what happened?

Hannibal.

September 20th, 2013 at 8:32 AM ^

You are right that we probably aren't worse than last year, but shouldn't we be better?  We lost some seniors, but they weren't big impact players other than maybe Kovacs, who was more of a "dont make mistakes" guy than a playmaker.  I, like most people, assumed that we would make a lot more plays this year -- TFL, sacks, passes getting broken up by a safety smashing into a receiver, etc.  It hasn't happened at all, and that appears to be mostly due to the defensive line not doing much of anything (+18 total for the DL in the UFR against Akron is really bad considering how the system funnels points to D-linemen).  The LBs and DBs haven't fallen too short of expectations, as far as I can tell.

reshp1

September 19th, 2013 at 4:46 PM ^

Did anyone notice what Akron or we changed to at the half to account for the wildly different performance? It would seem if guys came out unfocused because they underestimated Akron, they would play worse in the opening half rather than the second when the game is on the line. 

turtleboy

September 19th, 2013 at 5:20 PM ^

There were numerous reasons and subtleties as to why the defensive unit as a whole got burned like it did, but there were some glaringly obvious problems, too. We played mostly out of the nickel in the second half, our defensive front in that look was just too small to get consistent push for an entire half, the coverage was way, way too soft, and Taylor had another really bad game. We could've used some more creative blitzing to try and stifle the momentum Akron kept building seemingly unchecked. I also hope Avery comes in as a corner.

BayWolves

September 19th, 2013 at 5:27 PM ^

If the defense is incapable of making adjustments based on the opposing team's offenseive checks then we are royally screwed.  I see a lot of teams across the country that are able to make adjustments on D but our highly touted Michigan Men can't? Something is seriously wrong with this picture. Teams both young and old, talented and not so talented can be observed communicating, signaling, and making adjustments on defense effectively. Akron was one of them were they not?

If the Michigan D has become that freaking predictable and unable to adpat then it is going to be a very disappointing year. I pray this is Mattison concealing some things for B1G play but dammit, it is time to unleash the dragon!  Also, I reallly think Q needs more game time, Nickel or not.

Bodogblog

September 19th, 2013 at 5:31 PM ^

 

(That snap was the biggest WHERE MY NOSE TACKLES AT of the game. Second and one and your interior linemen are Wormley and Glasgow.)

Wormley pushes that Guard a yard back in the backfield, and could have kept on going.  You can see the potential there, he's incredibly strong, effortlessly so at times.  He's going to be good.

I've liked Godin for a while, missed that quick inside move on the pass rush.

joeyb

September 19th, 2013 at 5:55 PM ^

Doesn't it look like the line purposefully pinched on that first play in the Frank Clark section? The linebackers were nowhere in sight once the play started, so maybe that was the play call to prevent a QB draw. Clark got out there once he saw the QB leaving the pocket, so it seems like it was designed this way. Let clark stretch the QB to the outside and then have someone else come down to help make the tackle before the first down marker. It almost worked too. I don't know, but it just seems like it was called this way and it was RPS +1 (coverage was good and no QB draw) until it wasn't.

UMgradMSUdad

September 19th, 2013 at 6:27 PM ^

While I was appalled at the yardage and points given up throughout the game, I was most disappointed by the last series.  The offense takes the lead, and the defense can't hold (o.k., technically, they did prevent the TD) Akron from marching right down the field in two minutes?