Upon Further Review 2013: Defense vs Indiana Comment Count

Brian October 25th, 2013 at 3:19 PM

FORMATION NOTES: Michigan spent every snap in their nickel. This was fairly typical.


That also shows what I called "shotgun triangle" for IU. Wynn is lined up in the backfield behind the QB, but it's shotgun depth, not pistol. Wynn would always motion out after a hand-wave from the QB; this was always a decoy.


Michigan did show a few okie packages. This is Okie two; I designate them by the number of safeties.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Boatloads. Avery went back to safety and spotted Gordon and Wilson from time to time. This led to a lot of Stribling and Lewis, as Michigan played every snap in their nickel. Countess and Taylor did not leave the field, IIRC.

At linebacker the usual Ross/Morgan/Bolden rotation saw Ben Gedeon join. The line was the usual profusion of bodies. Clark or Ojemudia was usually one end with one of Beyer/Ryan/CGordon the other. On the interior, Washington, Black, Wormley, Henry and Heitzman seemed to split snaps almost evenly. Glasgow also got in some.

[After THE JUMP: go go go go go go go go go go]

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel over Pass 4 PA rollout hitch Taylor 6
M line and linebackers react to the PA fake, so the corner's open. Sudfeld has his choice of WRs, picks hitch that Taylor(-0.5, cover -1) is playing soft on and makes a bad throw to pull the guy upfield. RPS -1; no pressure seemed schematic to me.
O31 2 4 Shotgun trips Nickel over Pass 4 Flash screen Countess 1
Instant jet tempo with a big trips w/ TE to boundary. Countess(+1) reacts, takes cut block, stays on his feet, delays Wynn. Taylor(+1) also kept his feet after a cut and forces out. RPS +1.
O32 3 3 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel over Pass 4 Out Ross Inc
M shows corner blitz, IU checks to sideline. M keeps their blitz on. IU slides line and cut blocks the rush, looking for a TE out against man coverage they know is coming. Open, Sudfeld misses. Ross in coverage but didn't have much chance after aligning inside. RPS –1, cover –1.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 14 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O28 1 10 Pistol trips TE Nickel even Run N/A Zone stretch Bolden 4
Ross sent on a blitz and M slants to the playside; Bolden(-2) runs himself out of the play entirely; he's going so hard to the playside that it seems like he's the force guy but that would be really weird. Black(+0.5) gets a lot of penetration to force it behind him; Wormley(-0.5) is flowing behind and gets creased, albeit narrowly. Ross(+2, tackling +2) makes a terrific play to run around the backside and make a leaping tackle from behind as the back hits the LOS. Lot of space otherwise.
O32 2 6 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel over Run N/A Inside zone Bolden 4
Sudfeld looks like he's reading the end but they block him anyway so probably just a straight handoff. C goes for Ross; Bolden unblocked. RB picking between hole between Henry and end or further inside, gives nice outside-in fake that sucks Bolden(-1) into the outer gap as he takes the inner one; Henry(+0.5) and Wormley(+0.5) compress to tackle, pile falls forward as the momentum is with the three IU guys instead of the M two.
O36 3 2 Pistol 4-wide Nickel over Pass 3 Hitch Stribling 5
RB bugs out before snap; Sudfeld reads a few hitches before he finds the one he likes. Pressure -1; both Bolden and CGordon chased the RB to the flat. One of those guys was probably wrong. Stribling already in BTW.
O41 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel over? Pass 5 Fly Taylor 59
Michigan way late, not even set on the line; Taylor is trying to get a call on the snap and is clearly sitting in a zone coverage instead of turning and running as he would with man. Dude open by yards, touchdown, RPS -4, cover -4, not sure what to do with individual minuses. FWIW, Countess blitzed off the corner and the playside S was TGordon, not Wilson. I guess this is probably Taylor(-2), but going light because this is an RPS issue.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 0-7, 10 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel over Pass 4 PA slant Taylor 14
Pop pass. Taylor(+0.5, cover +1, tackling -1) makes life here pretty difficult, almost getting a PBU but not quite able to secure a tackle after he misses that. I'll take that aggression; you get off the field by creating zero plays.
O39 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel over? Pass 4 Comeback Stribling Inc
Pressure(-1) bleah; this is open-ish for a good throw with Stribling in push coverage. Sudfeld turfs it.
O39 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 nickel Run N/A Trap Clark 5
M shows 30 front and LB blitz with Beyer standing up over the TE. IU checks, M backs out of all out blitz. IU traps Clark(-0.5) who gets upfield and kicked out, leaving an absolute ton of room for Bolden to shut down by himself. Black(-1) also ripped upfield. Bolden does what he can, which is make a diving tackle on the RB as he passes. RPS -1; DL here was Heitzman/Black/Clark/Beyer, asking for it.
O44 3 5 Pistol 4-wide Nickel even Pass 6 Out Taylor Inc
M shows blitz, check. M runs blitz after check, argh. All cuts again, M in zone behind their blitz; Taylor(+2, cover +2) roars up to blast the TE as he turns upfield after a catch. Well-earned PBU.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 7 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Pistol 3-wide Nickel over Run N/A Power O Heitzman 3
Ojemudia(-1) gets blown too far outside, opening up a big window. Heitzman(+2) fights through a poorly-executed double and makes a diving ankle tackle that trips the back up. Do feel like I want Ross(-0.5) to take this on a little more outside but hard to tell; Morgan(-0.5) does not read the guard pull and jet for the hole. Taylor(+0.5) read fast as was there if the Heitzman tackle didn't take.
O28 2 7 Shotgun 2-back 3-3-5 nickel Run N/A Inside zone Heitzman 6
TE almost in line with the QB, so I'll call it two back. M shows a 3-3-5 look, slanting playside and sending Morgan as fourth DL. Countess also comes down off the slot. Heitzman(-1) gets pushed past his gap, providing a cutback lane. Morgan(-1) rushes up hard and gets planted by the TE coming backside. That's a gap; Countess(+0.5) shuts it down as the back nears the first down.
O34 3 1 Pistol 3-wide Nickel over Run N/A Power O Heitzman 3
M sends the linebackers, with Ross shooting the backside gap and Morgan going frontside. Heitzman(-0.5) gives up too much ground to a double. Morgan(+1) executes, getting into the backfield and bouncing off a G lead block to tackle; Ross can't quite come around the backside to grab the back and he can slam up the back of the guys blocking Heitzman for the first. RPS push as the excellent blitz is offset by M getting stuck with no NTs on the field and playing an SDE at NT.
O37 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel over Pass 4 Hitch Ojemudia 6 (Pen +5)
Instant snap results in an all-around push six-yard hitch but also gets Ojemudia(-1, RPS -1) lined up offsides.
O42 1 5 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel over Run N/A Inside zone Henry 3
Gedeon at MLB. Wormley blows the backside G back, but I think he needs to go a little less vertical. Henry(+1) takes a momentary double that shoves him into what looks like a sealed position but then shoves the other G away and sheds into the hole as the RB gets there, initiating a tackle. An unblocked Ross comes into help; Gedeon(+0.5) did a good job to come under the OL and also assist.
O45 2 2 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Zone stretch Henry 0
Henry(+1) fires out to the playside hard, making it impossible to scoop him; playside G has to stay the whole time just to keep him in check at the LOS; this will allow Gedeon to flow to the hole unimpeded even if the back doesn't trip. Net result is about the same. CGordon(+1) also did a good job to set the edge and then come back down. Ross(+0.5) beat a block to the outside; this is just well played in general.
O45 3 2 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 5 Fly Taylor Inc
Michigan in man free. Less dumb on film than it looked live from Taylor(+2, cover +2), who is step for step with his guy and gets his head around late only a fraction after he should. Sudfeld leaves it short, Taylor gets a PBU and may have had a shot to intercept if the WR doesn't slow up and knock him off balance.
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-7, 2 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun two-back triangle Nickel over Run N/A QB power Ryan 4
Roberson in and will remain in for most of the remainder. He waves Wynn in motion from a position right behind him before the snap; IU runs a zone stretch with the QB. Washington goes upfield and the C steps around him for a reach, but the entire line has stepped left so that's his assignment. Glasgow also goes left, Clark ends up hanging out unblocked on the edge away from the play. The LBs flow to the gap between but IU actually has three blockers for those two guys and they're screwed no matter how they play it. Ryan(+1) makes a nice play to come off his kickout block and tackle from behind after Morgan(+1) manages to make a pile a yard downfield; occupied two guys there. RPS -2; this could have been 20 yards without anyone getting a minus here.
O29 2 6 Ace 3-wide Okie two Pass 5 Dig Stribling Inc
Four-man umbrella with seven guys at the LOS. IU checks. M runs man free with Countess moving up on Wynn on a wheel and Stribling trying to check Hughes on a dig; dig comes open(Stribling -0.5, cover -1) and is probably a ten yard completion but Roberson turfs it. Five man rush picked up (pressure -2).
O29 3 6 Shotgun trips TE Nickel 4-3 even Pass 5 Sack Morgan -9
Wilson rolled down as a WLB, blitzes along with Morgan as Black occupies and then drops into a short spy zone. Indiana blows their protection, leaving both blitzers against the back. Morgan(+1, pressure +3, blitz) is unblocked up the middle; Wilson(+1) gets outside and upfield of that back; Ryan(+0.5) and Ojemudia(+0.5) are upfield in good position to pen Roberson in; he just eats a sack. RPS +2.
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-7, 11 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O43 1 10 Shotgun trips Nickel over Pass N/A In Stribling 11
Good protection, IU runs a pick route that gets two DBs to run into each other. Five yard gain gets some YAC. (Pressure -1, RPS –1, Cover -1)
M46 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide? Nickel even? Pass 4 PA rollout deep hitch Stribling Inc
Shot of bench, come back to play in progress. Looks like a fake jet PA rollout. Black(+0.5) comes through to pressure from the inside; Ojemudia(-1) gets locked out by a TE and tries inside, lots of time. (Pressure -2). Stribling(-0.5) is in coverage on the sideline and leaves it to come up on the QB, who throws as he crosses the LOS. WR stepped OOB.
M46 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 nickel Pass 5 Comeback Taylor 13
30 front with Beyer in a two point stance may tip blitz; M blitzes. IU does not pick up on it. Two guys for Heitzman, free run for Bolden(+1, pressure +3, blitz), he nails Roberson on his throw. It's a wobbly and slow as a result, Taylor(-1, cover +1) jumps it and should intercept, somehow through his hands, completion, bleah. RPS +1; blitz should have gotten a result here.
M33 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 nickel Pass 5 Rollout seam Wilson 33
PSU rolls away from pressure; Clark(+0.5) does cut off the outside and Bolden beats a block to hit Roberson just as he throws (pressure +1, organic). Despite that throw is right on the money to a 5'7” guy 30 yards downfield. Wilson(-2, cover -2) is in a center field zone but he's running to it on the snap and has a long way to go; still, he flattens out too much here and may have a play on the ball if heads for the five instead of the ten. Probably not though. Hard to tell about the coverage with the singularly useless BTN field-level replays. Wilson did line up on the opposite hash from a seam route at the numbers. RPS –2.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-14, 6 min 2nd Q. IU's next drive starts with 33 seconds left in the half.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O32 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Zone read keeper CGordon 14
Cumong man. Gordon(-2) crashes down on an inside zone, getting cut to the ground, Ross(-1) probably isn't expecting the ball to pop out but is late recognizing. Easy first down.
O46 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Drag Ross Inc
IU gets the snap off three second after it's set for play and I'm just like can I have your two minute drill yo. Lot of time(pressure -1); coverage(+3) very good and Roberson has to check down after using a bit of clock. WR drops it. DL did rescue it a bit by forcing Roberson to move around some.
O46 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone Wormley 10
Wormley(-1) gets blown out by a double; normally -2 but with 17 seconds in the half more understandable. Henry(+1) fought through his double to force a cutback away from blocking so Morgan(+0.5, tackling +1) can stand the back up after about six yards. At this point Wormley contacts from behind, followed shortly by three IU OL, and the pile lurches forward another four, at the cost of six seconds. I'll take that trade for M.
M44 1 10 Shotgun trips Prevent Pass 3 TE out Lewis 11
M puts three guys in the endzone, which is goofy. IU has eight seconds and two timeouts, they can easily get another play in. TE out against Jourdan Lewis playing soft is complete, FG range. RPS -1.
Drive Notes: FG(50), 28-17, EOH.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M5 1 G Shotgun trips TE Nickel over Run N/A QB zone Clark 3
M shows cover zero and sends their LBs; IU tries to run off tackle; inside zone blocking but it seems like the target point is outside. Anyway, RB heads off tackle, QB headed there from snap. Looks like a TD for a moment; Clark(+1) fights through a block from the LT to flow down the line; TGordon(+1) gets upfield of the guy trying to block him and the two combine to tackle.
M2 2 G Shotgun trips TE Nickel over Pass 4 Corner Countess Inc
Sudfeld in. Try Wynn on a corner route; he catches it for a moment before Countess(+2, cover +2) executes shoryuken, jamming his hand up through the facemask of Wynn and knocking the ball out.
M2 3 G Shotgun trips TE Nickel over Run N/A Inside zone Clark 2
M overloads to TE side and sends Wilson off the edge; Clark, further inside, also unblocked. Wilson goes for QB; Clark(-3) goes for QB. With DL crashing hard to the other side of the play and Ross and Gordon the two guys trying to hold up on the backside, the TD is easy once that happens. Black(-1) did get blown out in a bad way. RPS +1; this should have been a stop.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 28-24, 13 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O29 1 10 Shotgun trips Nickel over Run N/A Zone stretch Black 20
M shades Bolden over the slot, leaving Ross the only LB with a prayer of doing anything about this so once Black(-2) gets creased by a scoop block it's a big gain. RPS -2.
O49 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Throwaway Beyer Inc
First read covered(+1); at that point pressure(+1) comes through sort of as Beyer(+0.5) threatens the edge and Clark and Black start threatening. Stribling(+0.5) makes a dumpoff unattractive(another cover +1); Roberson pumps and tosses it away.
O49 2 10 Pistol 3-wide Nickel under Pass 4 Hitch Stribling 26
M shows blitz a little, creeping Ross to the line and Wilson down; IU busts as Ross goes and Beyer drops off, with no one taking Clark(pressure +3, RPS +1); Roberson does have a quick hitch for a few yards that Stribling(-2, tackling -2) turns into a big gain by missing a tackle on a stationary WR.
O23 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel over Pass N/A Flash screen Wilson 9
M walks Wilson over the TE and has two on one to the boundary here so this should be pretty easy to stop. Wilson(-2, tackling -2) gets way far upfield and misses the tackle. Stribling's taking on a TE and gets into him around the LOS, cutting off the outside and delaying the WR significantly. Then physics takes over and he starts moving backwards. IU WR keeps his feet, and despite this taking forever he can eventually run up the sideline. Bolden(-1) turns this business from five yards into a near first down with a lackadaisical jog to the sideline.
O14 2 1 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel over Pass 5 Corner Countess Inc
Countess(+1, cover +1) in good position right on the back of the WR and has a play on anything but a perfect throw. This is basically perfect, and it seems like Countess still bothers it, resulting in a drop. Ross(+1, pressure +1, organic) was sent, beat a RB block, and was about to hit the QB.
O14 3 1 Shotgun 2-back triangle Nickel over Run N/A Zone read keeper TGordon 6
TGordon(-1, tackling -1) put in space against Roberson and can't even touch him. CGordon(-1) created problems as he gets instantly pancaked on his slant, which created a lot of space and acted as a weak cut block on Bolden(-1) that got him out of the play.
O8 1 G Shotgun 4-wide 5-1 nickel Run N/A Inside zone Bolden 3
30 front with Morgan only ILB. He blitzes as Bolden, lined up outside of Glasgow, folds back. M slanting, Clark(+0.5) and Washington(+0.5) both occupy two guys, no one releases, Bolden folds right back into the gap where RB is attacking and tackles.
O5 2 G Shotgun 3-wide Nickel over Pass 4 Out Countess 5
CGordon(+2, pressure +2) zips around the RT and is into sack if M can cover a second longer; they can't as Michigan has Stribling and Countess on the outside WRs with Gordon also there. Stribling is sinking on a corner route as Wynn goes to the front of th endzone at the sideline, with no one else in the area. Looks like it's got to be Countess(-3, cover -3) as Stribling covering the Wynn route means wide open in the back of the endzone. RPS –1; tempo'd.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 35-31, 9 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O33 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel over Pass 4 Throwaway Ryan Inc
Hurrah Jake Ryan chaos play! Ryan(+2, pressure +2, organic) left unblocked as IU goes with a zone read PA, hoping to pick him up with the tight end. Ryan momentarily thinks he needs to go inside, then shoots upfield at Roberson with velocity, almost sacking; Roberson manages to evade and just chucks it away.
O33 2 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 nickel Pass 5 Scramble Ross 1
M not set at the snap as the three DL are still getting into position. Ryan(+0.5, cover +1) drops into a hitch that's the first read. A hole appears to form, so Roberson decides to take off. Ross(+1, tackling +1) is blitzing, reads the scramble, and makes an ankle tackle.
O34 3 9 Shotgun 3-wide Okie two Pass 4 Slant Taylor 11
IU check moves back into the backfield from a wide spot. M sends four; Roberson fits a slant in a tiny window between Black(+0.5) and Taylor(+1, cover +1), who has a swat at the ball and almost breaks this up. SYGB.
O45 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel over Pass 4 Fly Lewis 32
Seven man protection; no one near QB(pressure -2). Lewis(+1, cover +1) has got to be thinking YOU'RE KIDDING ME, RIGHT after this one, a ball dropped in just over his head as he's running in the WR's chest that he can't quite break up until after the WR hits the ground outside and he finally rakes it out.
O13 1 10 Shotgun trips Nickel over slide Run QB zone Avery 3
M slides Ross over a TE in the slot and brings down Avery. IU again goes QB zone aiming outside the tackle with the RB leading. Avery(+0.5) blitzes, getting upfield of a tackle and forcing it back inside. Bolden is headed for the outside hard with an OL chasing him; Roberson cuts it back. Henry(+0.5) has driven his guy back along the line, making the crease small and the cut difficult. Roberson starts to trip a bit; Wormley(+0.5) avoided a cut and flowed down the line to finish the play.
O10 2 7 Pistol 3-wide Nickel over Run N/A Zone stretch Wormley 4
Wormley(+1) is doubled and they attempt to seal him; they can't. He gives a little ground but gets to the hole; Ojemudia(+0.5) also helps close it down. Cutback required. Back bangs into guy blocking Wormley and Henry(+0.5) finishes the play.
O6 3 3 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Fade Taylor Inc
Useless BTN, etc. Live this looked like it could have been interference, still hard to tell. Taylor really, really jammed his guy off the line and by the time the ball is in the air his helmet is literally in the chest of the WR. He's not using his arms to hold the guy though and Latimer throws him away in an attempt to catch that ends up futile. Think it's legit, so that's pretty awesome coverage(+2, cover +2).
Drive Notes: FG(23), 35-34, 6 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O17 1 10 Shotgun trips TE Nickel even Pass 4 Flare Countess 6
Bubble action with Indiana looking to get deeper passes when M reacts. Countess(+0.5) and Gedeon(+0.5) drop into the desired zones, so Roberson dumps it to the bubble guy at the sidelines. This should be no gain with Countess(-2, tackling -2) coming up with the sideline as a buddy but Countess attacks after first breaking down and whiffs.
O23 2 4 Shotgun trips TE Nickel even Pass 4 Out Countess 7
M barely set on the snap. IU goes with a triangle with their WRs, little out just in front of Countess complete, immediate tackle, pressure -1.
O30 1 10 Shotgun trips TE Nickel over Run N/A QB power Clark 3
G pulls and goes up the middle as the QB and RB go outside. Odd. Clark(+1) compresses the hole on the inside and then releases outside, grabbing a foot and slowing. Morgan is to the hole but slips; he at least forces a cutback to CGordon(+0.5), who flowed around the back of the play and can tackle with the delays.
O33 2 7 Shotgun trips TE Nickel even Pass 5 Fly Stribling 67
The Stribling phaseout. M blitzes, mostly picked up though Morgan(+0.5) does get around a tackle and will pressure if QB goes to a second read. He probably should, as Stribling(-4, cover +2) is step for step and this ball is underthrown. WR just takes it away, and then runs a good long while. TGordon(-2) probably could have forced it out but bit on a juke, slowing up and missing a tackle(-1) that would have left IU at the 15.
M3 2PT 2PT Shotgun 2TE 4-4 under Pass 4 Reverse pass Countess Inc
Kind of an odd call when you're doing so well, but it mostly works, getting the TE out on an out route with an opportunity to catch the ball. Countess vaguely there and has maybe an effect on the play; mostly a drop.
Drive Notes: Touchdown(missed 2PT), 42-40, 3 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun trips Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone Black? 17
Black or Ryan doesn't get a call here as Black seems to be heading outside and Ryan doesn't try to loop around. Instant release for a G, ton of space right up the middle, dangerous. Morgan does well to get to the back about five yards downfield and grab an ankle; back runs through that but loses his balance and can't do anything but get tackled by Wilson. RPS -1; this was a wide open box; Black -2.
O42 1 10 Shotgun trips Nickel even Pass 4 PA TE seam Morgan 20
Pop pass brutal after last play. Morgan(-1) and Ross(-1) suck up, big space behind them, big easy gain, RPS –1, cover –2.
M38 1 10 Pistol trips Nickel even Penalty N/A Offsides Black 5
Black -1.
M33 2 5 Shotgun trips Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone Ryan 15
Ryan(-2) flies upfield, huge gap, he can't come back down to hold a gain down. Black(-2) goes right at a guard; should still be playside of him; way late realizing and trying to get out. Does not demand double at all so Ross has a guy on him and Taylor(-1) plays it badly on the edge, opening it up.
M18 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone Black 3
M actually plays a run D that looks like it makes any sense. Black(+1) shoves right, taking two OL with him and forcing a cut behind. Ross(+1) is free as a result and cuts back with the back to tackle in the hole.
M15 2 7 Pistol 3-wide 5-1 nickel Pass 5 Scramble Wormley 15
IU rolls the pocket; Morgan(+0.5) blitzing off the edge cuts it off; Clark(+0.5) comes through a little further inside; Henry(-1) flowing as a spy; Ross(-2) flowing too. They're lined up right over each other; someone has to delay to actually be in the cutback lane. Neither is, and Roberson scoots for a touchdown. Wormley(-2) got way out of his lane on a rollout and opened up the lane.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 49-47, 12 min 4th Q. Somehow, this is the last IU score.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O2 1 10 Shotgun 2-back triangle TE Nickel 4-3 even Run N/A QB zone Wormley 6
Wilson rolled down over the TE side, anticipating a run to it. Line steps away from the play, poor luck, everyone recovers to flow save Wormley(-2), who just goes straight upfield, getting penetration that only opens up a big, big gap. Wilson(+0.5) chucks a blocker aside to get the edge; Ross(+0.5) tries to shoot the big gap and gets shoved by a TE coming down off the edge; Roberson hits it and Ross(+1 tackling) just barely trips him up as he turns on the jets.
O8 2 4 Shotgun trips TE Nickel 4-3 even Run N/A Zone stretch Bolden 6
Sudfeld in as Roberson dislocates his thumb. No gaps to the interior as Wormley(+1) flows through and gets some penetration as he moves down the line. Henry(+1) also flows; he doesn't come through but he does occupy two guys the whole play. Beyer's on the edge but he gets tripped from behind by the guys Henry is dealing with; he does force it outside. Bolden(-2, tackling -2) is running up unblocked and has an opportunity for a TFL; he barely gets a hand on the back. First down.
O14 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Fly TGordon INT
This is maybe less scary after reviewing it. This isn't a blowby on Taylor; he is in zone and forcing the WR upfield just outside the hash. M is in quarter-quarter-half with TGordon(+4, cover +3) over the top on Taylor, and while this throw is way too much on a line and as a result very interceptable, it looks like this is exactly what the WR expects. A lofted throw probably draws a different reaction from Gordon. Here he makes a play. Pressure -1.
Drive Notes: Interception, 49-47, 8 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun trips Nickel even Run N/A Zone stretch Washington -3
Roberson back. Washington(+2) chucks the C's attempted reach by him and looms in the hole. CGordon(+1) got the LT back and can burst upfield when the back bounces for a TFL.
O22 2 13 Shotgun trips Nickel even Pass N/A PA scramble Ross 5
Stretch fake, Roberson looks to pass, huge gap opens up. Ojemudia(-1) got way upfield as the rest of the guys react to the fake. Glasgow(+0.5) recognizes that Roberson's taking off pretty early and chucks a guy away to pursue. That helps cut it down for Ross(+1), who breaks down and forces Roberson out after a gain much more modest than it looked like it would be.
O27 3 8 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 nickel Pass 3 TE out Ross 11
CGordon in the middle, used as a spy. No pressure(-1) from the three rushers. Ross(-1, cover -1) beat by the TE on another one of those outs, tough in man coverage. RPS -1. Frustrating amount of time.
O38 1 10 Pistol 4-wide Nickel even Pass 4 In Lewis 8
Black(+0.5) drives his man back and is going to pressure without a quick throw against Lewis(-0.5, cover -1), who Latimore shoves away and gets room to YAC on a two yard route.
O46 2 2 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone Black 1
M scraping; Black(+1) dives inside of a tackle to force the RB backside. Ryan(+1) also dives in, taking a hit but keeping his feet and tackling. Morgan comes into help after flaring for a possible keep.
O47 3 1 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone Ryan 2
M slants away, sending Countess off the corner for contain. Ryan threatens to get inside and then the TE going backside decides to bash Ryan. He goes over, RB goes right up Indiana's back, Morgan can't get around that in time. Well played.
O49 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Hitch Taylor 6
Taylor(+0.5, cover +1) pulls a Marcus Ray on a high throw, immediate inbounds tackle is good in this situation.
M45 2 4 Pistol 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Power O Ross 15
Oof, Ross, man. Wormley(+1) holds up against a double, giving no ground, so both LBs can flow free. Ross(-2) is filling first. He gets whacked back by the G, which is understandable, but he also gets sealed inside, which is real bad. Morgan is right there if he just gets outside the G's shoulder; he doesn't and the RB breaks it to the secondary. Taylor(-1) gets inside and doesn't trust Wilson to fill for his job, so the RB can bust outside for yet more yards.
M30 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel over Pass 4 Fly TGordon INT
No pressure(-2); this ball is way overthrown whether because of miscommunication or thumb. Lewis deflects it, Gordon(+1) intercepts.
Drive Notes: Interception, 56-47, 3 min 4th Q. Somehow there's even more of this game. IU's final drive is not charted since it's all extreme desperation and Michigan playing really really soft, as they should.




Pick one.


The wind through your eviscerated guts, sort of thing.


Gavrilo Princip was a poor nationalist with delusions—


A disclaimer first: the combination of Indiana's offense and BTN director guy's refusal to use angle that might actually tell you something about a play—must be related to Michigan Stadium's Vice President Of Replay Utilization—makes it hard to figure out exactly what the hell happened quite often. This was not a skycam game featuring Chris Spielman.


Right. My theory of this football game is that they were completely unprepared for Indiana's pace and melted in the harsh fast-forward glare of it. This manifested in a pile of mental mistakes, some obvious (dude racing past cornerback who never gets a call and thinks he's got safety help) and some less so. After the fumble, Mattison managed to hold Indiana out for two plays and then dialed up a blitz that should have worked, as it got Clark and Wilson free off the edge. Indiana is going at mega tempo, though, and both guys go for the quarterback:

Maybe that happens if Indiana's playing tortoise-ball; we've seen things like that from Clark in the past. Given the sheer number of mental mistakes Michigan made, usually against ultra jet tempo, I think shock was a major factor in the carpet-bombing they suffered.

Indiana touchdowns:

  1. Jet tempo, Taylor doesn't get call, doesn't get zone help he expects.
  2. Jet tempo, Wilson can't get over to seam route at numbers from opposite hash, may be misaligned.
  3. Jet tempo, Clark and Wilson both run at a non-mobile QB.
  4. Jet tempo, Michigan is in a borked coverage that leaves Wynn wide open at the goal line. Three man route at the five yard line and there isn't a guy within five yards of Wynn.
  5. Check. Michigan shows 5-1 nickel with blitz and man free. IU rolls pocket away from blitz, Roberson scrambles up middle of vacated pocket for TD.

It's just brutal on you when you've just given up a 17 yard run thanks to 5.5 in the box and the next play comes a second after the ball is put down and it's a pop seam to the tight end. At that pace you are just reacting, and probably reacting to the thing that just happened instead of considering the fact that the line is pass blocking. Do I think that Michigan could have played this better? Yes. But so much of what the game felt like was guys panicking because the ball was about to be snapped. That is a preparation issue, and not a talent one.

The other thing Indiana's tempo gave them was an opportunity to see what the defense was doing and react with a check, or not react, as the case may be. IU's first play after Michigan scored to go up 35-24 was a zone run against five guys in the box; presnap Roberson checks with the sideline, and the sideline is like, uh, yeah, we're good.

Black needs to do a lot better there, but he's not a nose tackle and he's play nose tackle, so… yeah.

That's the third thing IU tempo did: wear out big dudes and make Michigan rotate even more than they usually do. Ben Gedeon, Jourdan Lewis, and Graham Glasgow all saw time after having been excised (or never in) previous gameplans.

So Mattison did not prepare us at all for this game.

He did get smoked. Is anyone surprised, though? This Is Michigan, which means going out to the Rose Bowl and watching USC run the ball zero times in the second half of a 3-3 game that you lose, or, you know, the Horror. A couple of people emailed me this week, worrying about a seemingly dismissive answer Hoke gave about the idea that they'd have to change things to prepare for IU tempo. Heiko's recap of that presser reveals a much less standoffish version of what happened:

A lot of teams use two scout offenses to try to simulate Indiana’s tempo. Have you done that at all?

“We pretty much all year practice high tempo. I run the scout cards for the defense, so I have the offensive line with me. We do it at a pace so we can get reps of what the plan might be against certain plays so that we can see it as coaches and evaluate it if it’s good and all that. So we do that constantly. We’ve got two sets of skill people on both sides, so they’re ready to go. The offensive linemen, they do a tremendous job of finishing and wherever the ball is spotted, I’m running over there. I know it’s hard to believe. We go pretty quick.”

Has you added to that this week?

“It’s pretty much the way we practice.”

I'm sure Hoke believes that Michigan goes pretty quick… or at least did.  When the rubber hit the road here, Indiana showed Michigan what quick really was.

To me the issue goes deeper than Mattison. This is a whole-program issue, one that I think we all wondered about when Michigan hired a guy who was all about manball. If Michigan can't get a two-minute drill executed in under eight minutes, how can we take the idea that Michigan is comfortable at high pace seriously? They suck at it on offense; they suck at it on defense. This goes back to the guy in charge.

At least we can take solace in the fact that a lot of teams seem to be having trouble with the Hoosiers, who are second in the FEI rankings. And that's an attempt to make Indiana's offense look less impressive statistically since their tempo distorts metrics that don't divide, like total offense. FEI takes a drive, figures out how well an average offense expects to do against the defense you're up against, and gives you points based on how far away from that average you end up. It is tempo-immune, and it says the candystripers can play.

Why are you so nice to Mattison instead of Borges /something about PPG

are you seriously using ppg as a stat in a year when the offense is handing teams free touchdowns all the damn time and the defense is intercepting all the things

I'm from the internet. Yes, I am.

I see. Well, FEI can spit out some goofy results from time to time but it reflects what I think is going on with Michigan's units: defense is 17th, offense 35th, special teams a miserable 88th. This defense is still in the same range it was the last couple years, which is what I expected before the season. Thus: overall contentment.

I think it's fundamentally much more difficult to deal with Indiana's offense than Penn State's defense. That stuff is hard, man. MSU will be a test for both coordinators. Borges has an opportunity to show he can do anything against a top notch defense; Mattison has an opportunity to shut down a bad offense.


I didn't even… oh. I see what you did there.

[Reminder that DL is a MAKE PLAYS position and being neutral is bad; for a full game you want +4 to break even.]

Defensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Heitzman 2 1.5 0.5 Rotation, exhaustion, etc.
Washington 2.5 - 2.5 Did not play that much; probably should get more time.
This is not a recording.
Black 4 9 -5 Repeatedly gashed on ground trying to get pass rush.
Clark 3.5 3.5 0 Had a sack on final useless drive. Cost M four points with bust after fumble.
Wormley 4 5.5 -1.5 Weak for DT at this juncture.
Pipkins - - - DNP
Glasgow 0.5 - 0.5 Half dozen snaps maybe.
Ojemudia 1 4 -3 Out of position.
Godin - - - DNP
Ash - - - DNC, did get a few snaps.
Henry 5.5 1 4.5 Every standard down should have Henry or Washington.
Charlton - - - DNP
TOTAL 23 24.5 -1.5 Tempo saw three guys do something, fourth get gashed.
Player + - T Notes
C.Gordon 4.5 3 1.5 Surprising amount of DE PT.
Morgan 4.5 2.5 2 Blitzed effectively.
Ross 7 7.5 -0.5 Faded late. Tired?
Beyer - - - Invisible.
Ryan 5 2 3 Coming on a bit.
Bolden 1 7 -6 Not a good way to follow up a good performance.
Gedeon 1 - 1 Looked relatively comfortable.
Jenkins-Stone - - - DNP
TOTAL 23 22 1 A passing grade, but only just.
Player + - T Notes
Countess 5 5 0 PBUs, wide open Wynn.
Taylor 9.5 5.5 4 Some issues were RPS. Had some great coverage.
Stribling 0.5 7 -6.5 needs weight room, badly.
Hollowell - - - DNP
T. Gordon 6 3 3 Bail-out interception second time this year he's made the key defensive play to win.
Avery 0.5 - 0.5 Yay?
Wilson 1.5 4 -2.5
Furman - - - DNP
J. Clark - - - DNP
Lewis 1 0.5 0.5 ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME –Jourdan Lewis
TOTAL 19 25 -6 Taylor explained in detail.
Pressure 16 15 +1 +9 blitz, +7 organic
Coverage 25 17 8 IU made some crazy throws.
Tackling 5 10 33% Major issue.
RPS 6 19 -13 Tempo destroyed M.

A pretty appalling DL performance; it is mystifying to me how Michigan can put Black and Wormley or Heitzman out there as the DTs. Henry and Washington are not rushers, but they would give Michigan a fighting chance with six guys in the box.

Everything else is also flames, though the starting linebackers coped pretty well, as did Raymon Taylor. Which I think you're probably going to point at right about…

Our defensive backs are shambling meat-sacks. MEAT SAAAAACKS.

I'm actually not that down on them. Stribling obviously had major issues, not only by phasing out of our reality but also by turning a simple five yard out into 26 yards by missing a tackle. He needs 15 pounds. He is a freshman. He actually might be pretty good next year.

Countess was solid when not falling prey to the mental errors that beset everyone. The wide open short touchdown had to be on him, because Stribling wasn't going to be able to cover two guys to that sideline. Other than that he was probably the best guy out there. I said he'd gotten burned in the game column, but the longer Wynn touchdown was not on him. It was more on Wilson and a defense that was vulnerable to that particular play given how they aligned. He got a PBU on a corner route that was straight out of pressing Michael Floyd and living; he was close enough to bother IU receivers; he is pretty good. He's not the crazy star we thought he'd be, at least not yet.

Meanwhile… Taylor is the 2013 Jonas Mouton Memorial Huge Plays Both Ways defender. You can assign some of his performance to the team-wide inability to keep pace with the Hoosiers. The opening touchdown was that, obviously. What's left after you slice out the stuff where he didn't know what he was supposed to be doing is a combination of nice plays, like a PBU that got Michigan one of those punt things, and boggling almost-plays, like the should-have-been pick six that was not.

I think he's getting better. Set aside confusion that was a defense-wide issue and Taylor's day is actually kind of good. When they tried a fade route on him that he was in man coverage on he got his head around and had the throw hit him in the shoulder. Even when Indiana was getting completions on him they were often narrow things. The shoulda-pick-six is one; this slant is something I'll take from a CB all day:

Useless BTN director never showed a replay of Taylor's coverage on a fade route he broke up in a way that really seemed like it could have been interference:

From the stands I can tell you that Taylor simply would not let the WR release. By the time the ball was in the air, Taylor was in the guy's chest and gave him no chance to catch and underthrown ball. If it's not interference that's great coverage.

I did have an issue with a couple of plays where IU got to Taylor on run plays and he attempted to fight inside instead of holding the edge. Let the safeties do their jobs, man. I still think Taylor's day was considerably more good than bad.

Finally, Jourdan Lewis as got be just… like…

…I'ma quit this bull and go be a monk.

Any indication that Jake Ryan is back to being Jake Ryan?

Just flashes here and there. Ryan had a trademark chaos play as he forced a throwaway:

He did not get a ton of playing time, and did have one flight upfield on first and five that was one of three contributing factors to a 15-yard run.

Linebacker play seemed not so good.

It kind of was, it kind of wasn't. Ross got bashed out of a hole on power and made a rookie move by getting sealed to the same side as his help. That's a bad memory of linebacking corps from a few years ago. Bolden whiffed a potential TFL in space, thought he was the force player on a zone run that Ross bailed him out on, but Ross did bail him out. That TFL miss was bad, though:

Bolden was out there in OT against PSU, earning that PT with a good game, but he reverted to the overwhelmed guy we saw in the first half of the year. Bad game for it, because it's hard to get him out of there once he starts struggling.

Anything else?

Here is the Norfleet return that was fun.


Uh… yeah, I'm going with Raymon Taylor. Thomas Gordon bailed Michigan out with the IT late.  Willie Henry was Michigan's best run defender.

Maybe not so heroic?

Team-wide, Michigan was not prepared for IU's speed. Put that on Mattison if you want, to me that is a Hoke issue that stems from his philosophy. Black got gashed, a lot, and did not provide extra pass rush. Stribling needs to make plays.

What does it mean for Michigan State and the future?

Hopefully not much. Indiana's tempo is a program-defining thing. You can install a tiny fraction of it in a couple weeks, but Michigan's not going to see much if any of that against Iowa and MSU. Nebraska, Northwestern, and OSU all have elements of that in their offense but to a much smaller extent. They might burn Michigan for a play here and there, but it won't be the foundation of a gameplan. Also, Michigan just got a huge wakeup call right before a bye.

Raymon Taylor is improving. I think he's quality. I know that's a contrarian take after that game, but his issues were neither technique or athleticism; I'll take a guy who just barely misses an INT a week after he jumps a route for a badass one.

At the other corner spot I guess you just roll with it and hope the things we've seen are small sample size outliers. I think you can make the case for that. In defensive backery, 80% of success is just showing up.

Michigan needs to have a nose-type person on the field in any standard down. Henry or Washington; this business with a 280 pound SDE lined up next to another SDE who is probably a freshman is an invitation to get gashed. It's been like this all year, though, and I don't expect it to change.

Ryan's showing flashes. Come on, baby.

Gedeon may start eating into Bolden's PT. I speculated Michigan might drop him just in time for a good game against PSU; after another worrisome outing there is now a contender for his snaps.



October 26th, 2013 at 12:01 PM ^

When your defense is already rotating in a bunch of guys by design anyway (i.e. you have adequate depth) then the way to negate the absurdly fast (dare i say gimmicky?) jet tempo is to fake a cramp and stop play.

Sorry if this seems like poor sportsmanship.  It's also called a winning strategy.  Just win, baby. It's not like you're hurting anybody.  This is not like hitting late or twisting a facemask.

Simply frustrate the IU offense with stoppages.  I am dumbfounded that the M coaching staff didn't start using this tactic.  

If you want run your offense at a ridiculous tempo that requires the refs and chain gang to sprint around like chickens with their heads cut off, then we are going to cramp up. SORRY! 

Deal with it.  


October 25th, 2013 at 3:43 PM ^

Those DL numbers are really troubling. It is one thing to be overwhelmed by tempo, but it seems like none of those guys could make any plays at all. 

Ryan is getting into the swing of things. I am hopeful that, with a bye and a slower tempo opponent, he will be a much bigger factor next week. There's no way they could have played him most of the snaps against Indiana and I think they knew that from the outset, so his contribution against IU was always going to be limited.

I think Brian's grasp of the top-down philosophy of the program is pretty much accurate. It's the same top-down philosophy that compels Al Borges to throw whatever he can against the wall to try to run the ball from under center. It's a systemic thing and I don't really like it, even if guys like Nick Saban have the same philosophy and win national championships.

But, then again, what we saw may have been partially due to Michigan's inability to run consistently, if you believe that high-tempo teams tend to produce lousy defenses (with Indiana being a perfect example of this). Michigan could not count on four yards from scrimmage consistently, so they varied the gameplan and successfully fielded an offense that Indiana had no chance of stopping. Unfortunately, that means they also scored quickly, since there were a lot of big plays. I think in the ideal world of Hoke, Borges, and Mattison Michigan is grounding IU's offense with long, punishing drives that score points but reduce possessions by 30%.



October 25th, 2013 at 3:44 PM ^

We got "tempo'ed" a lot in this one but overall I thought the defense was alright. Indiana has a good offense. Against MSU I think we'll see just how good we are. The offense has put the D in bad field positions for an alarmingly large amount of opposing drives. If we can limit turnovers going forward I'm confident that our D can help us win 9-10 games this year

Space Coyote

October 25th, 2013 at 3:47 PM ^

First, the 2 minute drill looked pretty good at the end of the half here, in which Michigan didn't huddle and ran a few plays to score a quick TD.

Second, other "manball" teams have been able to adjust to pace. I don't really agree that because we're manball it means we can't defend fast-paced teams. Michigan probably can't run it themselves, that doesn't mean they can't defend it.

I do think Indiana probably moved faster than what players/coaches were prepared for to a degree. I think a lot of it has to come from improved/simplified communication. Do I think pace causes issues? No doubt. But I think the supposed lack of answers and the "we'll never be able to defend it" conclusion are quite overstated.

FWIW, a big reason tempo works is because the offense works. If Michigan stops Indiana a few times, holds them to zero yards, tempo doesn't really mean a whole lot. Tempo catches you after big plays, when you mind is still on the previous play or your struggling to get in position after being somewhere else. If Michigan does better holding down the big plays, I don't you see many of the successive big plays due to tempo.


October 25th, 2013 at 3:56 PM ^

but there were potentially two game changing plays missed by Taylor and Stribbling.  If I remember correctly, Taylor's phantom pick 6 came when they had just seven points, and it may have been in the second quarter by then.   He picks that and takes it back and it is 28-7.  From there, the rest is academic. 

Which leads into my theory of the second half.  I think it was more a focus/effort problem than anything.  It looked like the defense was expecting them to start mailing it in at some point, and they played like it.  To Indiana's credit they just kept swinging. 

 I think we defended it well for much of the first half.   Whatever, we won the game comfortably. They put up 28 on State and that means that they put up like 75 on them in dog years.  Everything is cool.

Space Coyote

October 25th, 2013 at 3:59 PM ^

Let's say they only had 6, because the one before the end of half was simply a bad decision to run a hail mary defense with 8 seconds left, otherwise that's a drive without enough time to judge either way.

So regular drives in which Indiana scored 2 TDs, both on long plays, at least one of those because Michigan got tempo'd after a play that shouldn't have happened. I'm not saying you just throw it out the window like it didn't happen, it still did. But you negate that play, say it's just a knock down, and suddenly Michigan is looking fine against the tempo.

Michigan's defense is alright. They aren't great, they aren't terrible. But simply mistakes allowed Indiana to use tempo. With that in mind, the "systemic problem" answer seems like a cop out answer to me. That's my opinion.

FWIW, I'm agreeing with you to a large degree, I was editing my post when you replied to it, so I'm using this as a way to reply to you and edit my post. There are obviously still issues with the defense, and tempo did hurt them after some of the issues revealed itself. But cut down on the mental issues before getting tempo'd and you don't see tempo affect Michigan to a degree where it being a system problem becomes the answer.


October 27th, 2013 at 9:28 AM ^

The rest is academic? If you think a team can just mail it in (which you also apparently believe with an 11-pont lead) because they're up 21 early in the 2nd, you're crazy. It's one thing if they were up 28-7 against State.

Space Coyote

October 25th, 2013 at 4:08 PM ^

A important play, if not big. Still, I agree that doesn't drive home my point, and I'm not saying fast-tempo is pointless outside of after big gains, but that is when tempo really started rearing it's head and getting Michigan on their heals. Watch how fast-tempo teams start behaving after getting bogged down a bit and you'll see an opposite affect lots of times. It's the team that's doing good that wants the tempo increased.

Regardless, my overall point was that, to me, to throw up your hands and say "it's a problem because it's going to be a problem with the coaches we have and place and there's nothing we can do about it" doesn't ring true. A stop here, a play that's made that should be made there, and a lot of the "we'll never be able to defend it because we don't run it" is out the window. Getting tempo'd is much more because of the defensive performance and poor communication than it is a problem coming from the top, and by top I mean the manball gods that decree that this is Michigan and so we therefore can't stop up-tempo teams.

And for what it's worth, I'm not saying that things don't need to change. The communication needs to improve. The technique needs to improve. The defense as a whole needs to improve. I just don't jive with the idea that this can't/won't improve because Hoke is here and therefore manball and death against non-manball offense.

Space Coyote

October 25th, 2013 at 4:21 PM ^

This year has taken a brief step back at times. But at the same time, look how many times teams have struggled to tackle Michigan guys. I think it's always easier to remember the tackles Michigan missed and forget that on many of the big Michigan plays, it required someone on the other team to miss tackles.

In the past (more prior to Hoke arriving), a lot of the problems were players built for a a different thing (like huge, cement footed LBs) trying to tackle athletic QBs in space or small, undersized young guys trying to tackle large RBs.


October 25th, 2013 at 4:40 PM ^

At the game, Indiana seemed to be getting off its plays at an absolutely unbelievable pace.  From the stands, and it seemed like this particularly happened on plays that followed a first down play or a significant play, Indiana was lined up and snapping the ball before those of us in the stands could even tell that it had been placed and made available to be snapped by the refs.  On those plays - and the first TD was one of them - the pace was so fast that it is not surprising that we were caught a little flat footed.  What was most amazing to me was that IU could even get lined up, be set for a second and still be able to get the play off that quickly.


October 26th, 2013 at 1:53 AM ^

look it up.  That's it not going to read the rest of these comments.  Defense was not good.  Bye week.  We will never see this tempo again unless we win out and Baylor loses one.

Bring on the Spartans. Go Illini! I seriously think Sparty is going to eat a look ahead loss trying to figure out who Michigan is. Maybe that is a good thing.

Space Coyote

October 26th, 2013 at 11:29 AM ^

"The adjective systematic means (1) carried out using step-by-step procedures, or (2) of, characterized, or constituting a system. It typically describes carefully planned processes that unfold gradually.Systemic, which is narrower in definition, means systemwide or deeply engrained in the system. It usually describes habits or processes that are difficult to reverse because they are built into a system."

I'm pretty sure systemic is exactly what I was going for. Maybe I'm wrong, but it it seems pretty dead on.


October 26th, 2013 at 1:14 PM ^

The difference is small and, frankly, I'm not sure it matters all that much in this context. One is "constituting a system" the other is "deeply engrained in the system". Systemic might actually be the better word, but systematic isn't exactly incorrect either.


October 25th, 2013 at 3:46 PM ^

I think Hoke is basically saying "screw Indiana and their tempo,"  were not going to spend an entire week gameplanning for friggin Indiana."  And I kind of agree with him.  I mean it got a little uglier than I think anybody wanted but did anybody really feel that threatened by Indiana despite the absurdity of the offensive numbers on both sides.  I mean maybe he will rethink it next year but I just think he thought that Indiana would wear down and eventually their defense would break more than ours.  And he was right.



October 25th, 2013 at 3:45 PM ^

"Ben Gedeon, Jourdan Lewis, and Graham Glasgow all saw time after having been excised (or never in) previous gameplans."

Was Graham Glasgow actually in on defense or do you mean Ryan Glasgow?


October 25th, 2013 at 3:53 PM ^

Borges and Hoke have forgotten more about football than Brian knows. Some of these conclusions Brian makes about "the program" with his limited access to information are preposterous. A little more humility is in order especially after the trashing of Borges followed by a 63 point explosion.


October 25th, 2013 at 4:17 PM ^

Stop. Everyone is allowed to their opinion, certainly, but this is getting stooopid. Brian thinks it's systematic. You think its binkies. I think opions are like (insert anatomical joke here) - everyone's got 'em. 

If you think this is a humility problem then don't read the content. Don't let Brian ruin your day, brah.


October 25th, 2013 at 4:41 PM ^

Is how FEI is used to justify the viewpoint, but the #35 ranked offense rated a week of "fire the guy!" If the answer is "competition," well, hasn't the defense played the same bad teams?

Now if you want to talk about getting rid of the special teams guy due to FEI....


October 25th, 2013 at 4:46 PM ^

I suspect the argument is that UM hasn't played much in the way of competent defenses so far, yet has faced a couple of decent-ish offenses.  Let's see if UM is still at 35th after playing the MSU/Iowa grouping, though I agree that the Fire Borges rhetoric isn't backed by the stats right now.  Of course, he's had a couple of years crapping out offensively, while the defense has consistently been better, if not particularly spectacular.


October 25th, 2013 at 11:34 PM ^

If you go to the FEI website the offenses that UM has played rank: 2, 39, 66, 94, 100, 105 and 115 for an average of 74.  The defenses that UM has played rank:  14, 29, 31, 70, 97, 112 and 117 for an average of 67.  Through 7 games, the defenses that UM has faced are a little better than the offenses.  After this weekend it'll be even a bigger gap.  MSU comes into the game with ranks of 80 on offense and 4 on defense.


October 25th, 2013 at 5:46 PM ^

This line of thinking would make football very simple, albeit boring.

All we need to do is determine who is the most knowledgeable about football. That person is the only one allowed to opine about football. That person will determine the best team at the start of each season and award the national championship trophy.

All disagreements about the BCS are instantly resolved, and we won't need to play the games, so concussions will drop precipitously.


October 26th, 2013 at 2:49 AM ^

My problem with Brian recently has been the fact that he has become a zealot. Shotgun, spread, tempo = good. Everything else = bad. In my opinion, he has become the mirror image of the guys who used to claim that RR would fail because "the spread can't work in the B1G." It's silly.

Also, there is a logical disconnect between offense and defense. If the spread is so great, if it is the only good offense, if its concepts are so hard to defend, why judge our defense so harshly?

We ask our offensive coaches to spread the field to make running easier. Fine. But if running out of a spread is inherently easier, why do we complain when our defense is spread out and fails to defend the run? Of course defense will fail, the offensive system is almost impossible to defend. Why is Lloyd Carr infamous on here for fielding defenses that failed against the spread, when the spread is basically a magic bullet for all offenses, including ours.

All offenses have strengths and weaknesses, and the same goes for defenses. Some match up better than others.


October 27th, 2013 at 11:05 AM ^

He is not a spread zealot (ok maybe he is but bear with me) and I don't think many of us that generally agree with him on this point are--I would argue that we are "what works" zealots, and what works for Michigan, with regard to the running game, is to run from the spread rather than under center. That is a fact, not an opinion, and one that Borges completely ignores when he talks about how many yards we got "under center."

Now I will admit that I think that, with the exception of goal line or 4th and inches, it is stupid to ever be under center, shotgun is best for both running and passing IMO, and that the huddle is a relic of another time that should be discarded. But having said that, if we succesfully executed the running game using manball principles, I'd be all for it. But we don't.

Blue in Yarmouth

October 29th, 2013 at 9:38 AM ^

I don't think Brian (or anyone else here that agree's with what he has said about our offense) is saying "we love the spread and you need to run it at all cost" We are simply looking at what this teams does well and asking why the hell the coaches won't let them run with what has been proven to work and I think either you know that and are just being an ass or you aren't very good at reading comprehension. 

I couldn't really care less if UM runs manball, snowball, paintball or spread offense, so long as they win games and allow their players to do what they do best I'm fine with that. Now I won't lie and say I don't find the spread style offenses more fun to watch, but for my team, I just want them to win and I would bet every penny of my paycheck that Brian feels the same.



October 26th, 2013 at 3:29 PM ^

as much as I understand what you are saying, why read what brian has to say about it in the first place?

The UFRs are a joke if you think of them as anything more than speculating on speculation, but if your cool with that it provides some interesting information...  Its like sports talk radio in print.  I can't just sit around and read academic text all the time so why not 'slum it' and read some mgoblog?




October 26th, 2013 at 5:37 PM ^

Comparing the UFR to ANYTHING on sports radio is ridiculous.

If we had access to coaches video it would be no different than what every football team in the country does to break down performance of the team and individual players.

Are they a record of opinion? Sure, but there's a difference between opinion backed by evidence and just rattling off nonsense. The latter is what 99% of sports radio consists of.

This whole theme of coaches knowing better simply because they're the coaches is nauseating and I don't have the slightest idea of what anyone with that mindset is doing reading mgoblog.

Bill James' quote on opinions is quite appropriate for most of this thread.


October 27th, 2013 at 1:08 AM ^

you know UFR is just one dude watching a replay of the game, guessing what the players were supposed to do, and then rating the players on one dude's interpretation right?  there is no way he knows the play called or the read on the field.    He doesn't even have the tenacity to break down film from the 'crushing' losses unless, like PSU, it furthers his own objectives...

I don't see much difference between Brian Cook and Mike Valenti... chew on that one a while;  they post are fairly well informed, the both love their alma mater, and they both use statistics and numbers to articulate their points... 

The only difference is Brian is smart enough to 1.) not waste time defending himself 2.) pretty much ignores the 'listeners'...





October 25th, 2013 at 3:54 PM ^

Think about the secondary next year. You'll still have Countess, Avery, and Wilson. Then you add Stribling with more weight and Lewis who plays fundamentally sound but gets beat by perfect throws.

At safety I'm assuming Dymonte gets a shot to take Gordon's place.

And next year, Peppers shows up. Where does he fit in?