Upon Further Review 2013: Defense vs Penn State Comment Count

Brian October 17th, 2013 at 2:28 PM

FORMATION NOTES: Some additional  things in this game. This was a special situation, but when PSU hurried to the line in the first quarter to attempt it on fourth and one, Michigan responded with the perfect pinched-line D:

4-4 pinch

This punched PSU off the field and earned Mattison a gold star.

Michigan occasionally split their LBs in the nickel package in what I called 5-1-nickel:


And they took to a thing where they're standing the WDE before the snap like so:


This has almost always meant he's dropping.

Finally, everyone milling about presnap with no one with a hand down:


This was just Okie in my book.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Secondary was as per usual, with Stribling getting in on a couple of dime packages in the second half and replacing Avery on the Fatal Bomb Drive. ILB was basically the same; Morgan and Ross spotted by Bolden. SAM saw a three-guy rotation with Beyer, Ryan, and Cam Gordon all getting snaps.

The line was also about per usual: Heitzman/Washington/Black/Clark with Wormley/Ash/Henry/Ojemudia spotting. Ash's snaps were extremely scanty, FWIW. When Washington was out it was more often two of Henry/Wormley/Black than Ash.

[After THE JUMP: a heroic 43 allowed.]

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O36 1 10 Ace 4-4 under Run N/A Inside zone Heitzman 8
Wilson rolled down to the boundary, oddly. DL play is weird, too, with Black straight upfield and Washington diving inside of the C. Heitzman(-1) gets doubled and discarded, creating a crease. Ross(+0.5) pops around the C and initiates an ankle tackle, which is good work against a tough assignment, if not the best finish. Morgan(-0.5) got popped out on by one of the guys doubling Heitzman and could not shed to help.
O44 2 2 Ace 4-4 under Pass 4 PA comeback Taylor 10
Waggle sees Hackenbeg with all day on the corner as Beyer does not rush but drops into a short zone at the sticks. That's good, as there's a TE there who would have a nice catch and run if he's not. Hackenberg can wait for his guy to beat Taylor(-1, cover -1) on a comeback for a nice gain. (Pressure -2, RPS -1). Morgan(-0.5) and Ross(-0.5) had sucked in as well opening up a TE if the outer thing wasn't open. Cover -1)
M46 1 10 Ace 3-wide 4-3 over Run N/A Inside zone Ross 6
This looks like it's going to be snuffed for little gain but somehow Zwinak sneaks between Black(-0.5) and Clark. Even that's not going to get much until Ross(-0.5) gets hit and moved out of the small crease the line provided him. Washington(+0.5) flowed down the line hard to tackle here; Morgan(-0.5) got cut on the backside and was not there to help.
M40 2 4 Ace 3-wide 4-3 under Pass 4 TE seam Wilson INT

Line shifted under by LBs to the field. Clark in two point stance. He drops, Beyer comes, PSU not surprised. Why is Michigan doing this? It's a big flag telling them what you're running. PSU picks it up, no pressure(-1), M gets a bit lucky as Black(+1) pushes his guy into Hackenberg, disrupting his motion. No pressure plus for this because Hackenbeg has a ton of room he just doesn't use. Appears he's going for his TE, who Clark(-0.5) missed a chuck on, but overthrows it, allowing Jarrod Wilson(+3, cover +1) to adjust and make a great diving interception.

Drive Notes: Interception, 0-0, 12 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M14 1 10 Ace 4-4 under Run N/A Inside zone Bolden 2
Odd play by the PSU line as they don't really fire out... looks like the center might have gotten the snap count wrong? Washington(+1) gets movement on the C and then discards him when Zwinak commits, flowing down the line and removing cutback lanes. Wormley(+0.5) is getting doubled and giving ground slowly but goes to the ground to make a pile at the LOS, allowing Bolden(+0.5) to flow to the small crease and tackle. CGordon(+0.5) also got movement to constrict the hole and helps tackle.
M12 2 8 Shotgun empty 4-3 over Pass 4 Cross Morgan Inc
Brutal setup as M has Wormley/Ash/Henry/Ojemudia and attempts to get rush with them; they don't get anywhere near. QB must check down to a crossing route for six yards; behind and dropped. (Pressure -2, cover +1)
M12 3 8 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 nickel Pass 3 Dig N/A 12
Three man rush telegraphed and gets nowhere(pressure -2); at least threaten blitz to prevent doubles everywhere, especially when Wormley is trying to be an edge rushers. Coverage eventually breaks down, but that's not their fault after eons in the pocket. RPS -2.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 0-7, 9 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Ace 4-4 under Pass 4 Sack Clark -1
Ryan debuts... and drops into coverage. QB goes through two reads without finding anything he likes (cover +2), at which point Heitzman(+1), who bull rushed and got into the backfield puts Hack off a third. He moves around, allowing Clark(+1, pressure +1, organic) to shove his guy backwards and disengage to sack. Bolden(+0.5) and Taylor(+0.5) had those reads blanketed.
O24 2 11 I-Form 4-3 over Run N/A Draw Black 1
Black(+1) drives a G back and sheds to the inside, absorbing the attempted FB lead and making Zwinak stop in the backfield. A would be TFL is nerfed as Clark gets held (refs -1) and Zwinak can bounce around outside. Taylor(+1, tackling +1) comes up and nails Zwinak with a textbook form tackle to end that bounce.
O25 3 10 Shotgun empty Nickel even Pass 3 Out Wilson 10
M shows six guys going and drops eight. Gets nowhere (pressure -1) and an out opens up(cover -1) for a good gain that is short of the sticks as Wilson(-0.5) tackles. Would like Wilson to tackle on the catch here and make it fourth and two.
O34 4 1 Ace 4-4 pinch Run N/A QB sneak Heitzman 0
M all over this, lining up four DL right over the center and firing at the snap in preparation for this play. Heitzman(+2) is the prime guy here, into Hack's legs almost at the snap; Ryan(+1) and Black(+1) help stack it up. RPS +3. Awesome prep.
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 7-7, 7 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O6 1 10 Ace 3-wide 4-3 under Run N/A Inside zone Henry 0
Wilson over the slot, PSU runs into a stacked front. Henry(+2) blasts a G back, forcing a cutback that he tackles on. Good thing too, as Washington(-0.5) had given a lot of ground on a scoop block and this could have creased otherwise.
O6 2 10 Ace 3-wide 4-3 under Run N/A Counter Morgan 5
M blitzing, sending Beyer and Morgan and folding Ojemudia back. This borks the playcall, as Washington(+1) slants into the backfield and gets a two for one, as does Wormley(+0.5); Morgan(-1) way out of control, though, and overruns the cutback. Beyer had the QB so that's just on him.
O11 3 5 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 under Pass 4 Hitch Taylor Inc
Taylor beaten for five yards on a three step drop; PSU does not execute.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 4 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Ace 3-wide 4-3 over Run N/A Inside zone Morgan 1
Heitzman(+0.5) and Washington(+0.5) both take doubles; they give ground but no one pops out; allowing Morgan(+1.5) to shoot the gap between them, force a cutback, and tackle with some help from Ross(+0.5)
O26 2 9 Ace 3-wide 4-3 even Pass 4 TE out Ross 8
Ross(-0.5, cover -1) is unable get out on this so he can tackle on the catch and also cannot get James down to make this third and two; Morgan pops him to at least prevent the first.
O34 3 1 I-Form Big 5-3 under Run N/A Inside zone Heitzman 0
Rather crappy by Zwinak as he can probably hit it outside to pick up the first and decides on an ill-advised leap. Still, slant makes a heap of bodies with Heitzman(+1) and Washington(+1) providing the enormous pile with some help from CGordon(+0.5). RPS +1.
Drive Notes: Punt, 10-7, 14 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Ace 3-wide 4-3 under Pass 4 TE seam Ryan 20
A couple problems on this play. Ryan(-1) does not get anything resembling a chuck on the TE, which robs Michigan of time to get depth. Bolden(-0.5) steps forward on the snap despite PSU not running any sort of PA fake, making it easier to get it over him. But it's really Taylor(-2, cover -2) who's in cover three here sucking up on a short hitch and not dealing with the TE that's the main issue. RPS -2, as well; tough either way here.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-10, 11 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O39 1 10 Ace twins 4-3 under Run N/A Inside zone Wormley 2
Again M puts WDE in 2 point stance, indicating D flip. Works, though. Wormley(+1) gets into a tackle and upfield, forcing a bounce. Ryan(+1) fends off a blocker and pops outside to make a tackle with help from TGordon(+0.5), who came down over the slot and then read the play to help finish it. Bolden ends up pancaked by a one-arm shove by an OL.
O41 2 8 Ace twins 4-4 over Pass 4 Waggle TE out Ojemudia Inc
M ready for this. Ojemudia(+1, pressure +1, line) shoots up to contain and force a throw moving backwards; Taylor(+1, cover +1) right there to tackle for minimal gain even if this is accurate, which it isn't.
O41 3 8 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 TE out Ross 10
Good pocket(pressure -1) and Ross(-1, cover -1) gets beat by the TE for a first down.
M49 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone Wormley 5
PSU hurries and catches Michigan off guard. Henry(+1) gets a stalemate with his G and bounces Belton to the backside; Wormley(-1) got blown back, opening the cutback lane. Countess(-1) should have that but gets too far inside, which is dangerous for a moment before TGordon(+1) adjusts his fill to compensate and makes a nice open field tackle(+1) to reduce the damage. RPS -1.
M44 2 5 Ace 3-wide tight Nickel over Pass 4 Out Taylor 6
More tempo. Taylor ends up ten yards off Robinson, easy pitch and catch first down. (RPS -1, Cover -1)
M38 1 10 Ace 3-wide Nickel over Run N/A Inside zone Ojemudia 1
Ojemudia(+3) makes a great play to shoot upfield of the TE trying to block him and then redirect into the RB for a near-TFL. If he doesn't make this play it's trouble, as Heitzman(-1) is stuck at three-tech and gets clubbed and the RB has a big gap once that block is made. Ross(-1) made a bad bid to avoid contact, as well. RPS –1.
M37 2 9 Shotgun 3-wide Okie one Pass 5 TE out Ross 13
TGordon(+1, pressure +1, blitz) walks down and comes, beating the RB's block to hit Hack as he throws. Ross(-1) backs out into a zone and gets beat(cover -1), giving up first down yardage as he can't tackle(-1) the enormous tight end guy.
M24 1 10 Ace 3-wide Nickel over Run N/A Inside zone Black -1
M goes with an obvious slant as they roll an S down over the slot WR but with PSU going at tempo they don't see it and get nailed. Black(+2) ducks under a G and drives the C yards into the backfield. Cutback into Ojemudia(+0.5) and Wormley(+0.5), who both ended up unblocked thanks to the slant. RPS +2.
M25 2 11 Ace 3-wide Nickel over Pass 4 Waggle TE out Ross Inc
Michigan badly aligned as both LBs are shifted to the over side and with those LBs slanting they should be backside; instead they flow. Ross(-2, cover -2) is the WLB who leaves the TE wide open; this is a first down and possibly a TD but the TE drops an incredibly easy ball. RPS -2.
M25 3 11 Shotgun empty Okie zero Pass 3 Corner Avery 25
M backs out extensively. Hack ends up rolling away from decent Ryan(+0.5) pressure (the hold there was not a must call) and hitting a guy on a back-shoulder-ish fade against Avery(-3, cover +1), who's in great position to do something about this and does not. This is a badly-thrown back shoulder fade he can PBU or even INT and does not. Make plays, etc.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 10-21, 7 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M47 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 4-3 even Run N/A Inside zone Washington 5
Michigan's even alignment makes it difficult for the DTs to not get creased. Washignton(-1), does get put away by a guard and a crease up the middle is established. Bolden(+1) makes a nice play to leap past the C and initiate a tackle after a couple yards.
M42 2 5 Ace twins twin TE 4-3 over Run N/A Inside zone Morgan 3
Black(-0.5) gets creased late, providing an outside avenue for Belton. Morgan(+1) sheds a blocker and provides an excellent stick(+1 tackling) that halts Belton in his tracks.
M39 3 2 I-Form Big 4-4 under Pass 4 PA FB flat Morgan Inc
Morgan(-0.5, cover -1) gets beat for the first down; QB misses.
Drive Notes: Punt, 10-21, 2 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 4-3 over Run N/A Trap Heitzman -8
Another tip with Clark in a two point stance. PSU runs something like power for the first time all day and does not read this. Two guys end up taking on Clark; Black(+1) shoots to the outside through everybody. He gets into the puller and causes Zwinak to pull up; Heitzman(+1) gets penetration on the backside, giving the RB nowhere to go. Ross(+2) reads and flows up as the guy who ignored Black looks to wall him off from getting to the other side of the field. He strips the ball; Clark(+2) scoops, evades Hackenberg, and scores. Zwinak is done for the day.
Drive Notes: Defensive TD, 17-21, 14 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O26 1 10 Ace 4-3 under 2PT Pass 5 Improv Clark Inc
Twist blitz from M sends both LBs, drops out Ryan and Clark. PSU picks it up; Black(+2, pressure +2, organic) smokes the RT anyway and almost sacks. QB evades, starts rolling. RB goes with him trying to get open; Clark(+2, cover +1)makes a nice play to not come up but drop with the RB and almost intercepts once Hack throws the ball anyway.
O26 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Draw Ross 2
Great recognition from Ross(+2), who sees the RB lingering and immediately shoots upfield before the releasing OL can get him. He can't quite get the RB down at the LOS thanks in part to that OL harassing him, but he slows Belton significantly and by the time he escapes the rest of the D is there to rally.
O28 3 8 Shotgun 4-wide Okie one Pass 4 Out Black Inc
Michigan stands their entire DL up to play mind games. End up sending only four with Ross seemingly in screen spy mode. That draws attention from a TE so when Black(+1, pressure +2, blitz) shoots from the nose all the way around the right tackle he isn't picked up by anyone. Hack is able to move and find a dumpoff that he misses; Countess(+0.5, cover +1) was there to tackle on a two yard catch anyway. RPS +1.
Drive Notes: Punt, 17-21, 14 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O32 1 10 Ace 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Waggle circle CGordon Inc (Pen -15)
CGordon(+1, pressure +1, organic) is set loose on the edge as PSU pulls a lineman out to account for him; he shoots up inside and pressures the pass. Countess(-1, cover -1) jumps the inside move from the WR and has probably given up the corner and a first down once he cuts out. Gordon-forced wobbler is a tough catch and not made. PSU chop blocks Ojemudia nowhere near the play.
O17 1 25 Shotgun empty Okie zero Pass 6 Out Wilson Inc
M sends house but doesn't get through(pressure -1) as Ojemudia(-1) slips. The playcall does force Hackenberg into a hot read that's a six yard out Wilson(+0.5) likely tackles on the catch. Ball is dropped. RPS +1.
O17 2 25 Shotgun empty Okie zero Pass 5 Out Countess 7
Another blitz; doesn't get home(pressure -1) as Ojemudia and Ryan get pushed upfield and Hackenberg can step up. Wormley is looking like he's going to contain that. Another short out. Countess(+1, cover +1) is there to tackle on the catch after a minimal gain. RPS +1.
O24 3 18 Shotgun 3-wide Okie two Pass 4 Deep hitch Taylor INT
Seven at the LOS with a four-man umbrella behind them. M backs out, sending only four, and again a DE slips, this time Clark. Wilson is one on one with the RB and gets stood up; Hackenberg throws on time to his WR before he's even out of his break and Taylor(+4, cover +3) still steps in front of it to intercept. And this is like four yards short of the first down.
Drive Notes: Interception, 17-21, 11 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O22 1 10 I-Form 4-3 over Run N/A Iso Bolden 3
Pretty much default iso behavior. Washington takes a double and gives a bit but not too bad. Bolden(+1) shoots the backside gap to tackle from behind near the LOS. Beyer(+0.5) took on the FB near the LOS.
O25 2 7 I-Form 4-3 under Pass 5 PA TE out Clark 10
Twist blitz with both WDE/SAM dropping. PSU picks it up (pressure -2). TE out eventually clears the zone at the sideline and is executed; Clark is the guy in coverage but I don't blame him since he's a DE and he gets a good chuck on the TE as he comes across and is there to tackle. This is a pretty narrow window to execute in.
O35 1 10 Ace 3-wide 4-3 over 2PT Run N/A Inside zone Clark 10
Clark two point stance does not lead to a backout. This doesn't help him much, but he's the force guy and this play bounces outside. That is -2; basic thing that should be executed. Once that happens it's yards. Henry(+0.5) had fought through a block well to threaten the inside if there was going to be one. RPS -1.
O45 1 10 Ace 3-wide 4-3 under Pass 4 PA Dumpoff Beyer 9
Four man rush doesn't get super near the QB but Clark(+0.5) does get around the LT to spook and grabs the QB's leg as he throws. It's short so no disruption but pretty close. Beyer(-1, cover -1) is chucking a TE and maintains that coverage too long, opening up a catch and run underneath by Belton.
M46 2 1 Shotgun twin TE twins 4-3 under Run N/A Inside zone Wormley 1
OL immediately releases downfield; M wins the inside gaps thanks to a slant with Washington(+0.5) and Wormley(+0.5) getting into the primary rushing lanes. Wormley contacts and tackles but with no help can't prevent RB from falling forward.
M45 1 10 I-Form 4-4 over Pass 4 Comeback TGordon 12
PSU at line with about 20 seconds left, takes a ton of time on sideline checks. Both M corners are at about 8-9 yards, PSU runs a hitch at Taylor. While this looks like his deal this is cover 3 and with no underneath threats TGordon(-1, cover -1) rolled up to the line should probably get underneath this throw; he even checks the WR as he makes his drop. RPS -1; got checked on.
M33 1 10 I-Form 4-3 under Run N/A Draw Morgan 3
Ross reads pass pro from the line and starts dropping into coverage. Morgan(+1) starts creeping to the line and then reacts as the draw reveals itself; he takes on a lead block from a TE playing FB and rocks him back and then looks to shed; this delays the back and allows Wormley to track back and TGordon to fill for a meh gain. Washington and Wormley created a big gap here but both fought back to constrict and tackle, so pushes for them.
M30 2 7 I-Form 4-4 over Pass 5 PA sack Black -7
LG inexplicably decides he doesn't need to take Black(+1, pressure +3, stunt). LT takes Heitzman. Black appears to be slanting outside on a stunt while Heitzman does not get the call? My best guess. Works out as Black arcs around and sacks. RPS +1?
M37 3 14 Shotgun trips Nickel over Pass 4 Screen Morgan 8
Just PSU trying to get into field goal range, or go for it range. M understandably ceding yards here, though too many since this is a part of the field where giving up this many yards is a significantly bad thing. Morgan(+1) leaps a downfield OL block to constrict the space and Wilson(+0.5) comes up to end the play well short of the sticks. RPS -1.
Drive Notes: FG(45), 20-24, 4 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 under Pass 5 TE out Bolden 5
M playing cover two; PSU throwing all five yard outs. PSU executes, M executes, five yards.
O30 2 5 Ace twins twin TE 4-3 over Run N/A Inside zone Henry 6
Henry(-1) jumps offsides. This puts him upfield and lets him get locked away with instant releases from the OL; Morgan comes off to tackle but it's basically the same thing as the penalty.
O36 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 under Pass 5 Out Bolden Inc
M runs their twist blitz. This gets Bolden(+1) through clean as PSU busts the protection; QB tosses it away. Should be grounding as there's no one in the area but they never call this. (Pressure +2, blitz)
O36 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 over Pass 4 TE out Ross 11
Ross(-1, cover -1) is not close enough to this out to tackle on the catch and slips to the ground, turning five yards into ten.
O47 1 10 Ace 3-wide 4-3 over Run N/A Inside zone Black 12
PSU goes uptempo. Black(-1) gets sealed inside. This allows a guy out in to Ross(-1) quickly but Ross should manage to set up outside with Ojemudia(+0.5) coming down effectively and does not; Belton pops out and picks up a nice gain. RPS -1.
M41 1 10 Ace 3-wide 4-3 under Run N/A Inside zone Heitzman 2
Another hurry. TV doesn't get the start of the play but as we come back M is slanting with Ojemudia folding back and the LBs scraping to the slant. Confuses PSU; Henry(+1) comes around the outside to tackle as Heitzman(+1) stacks up his guy and gets penetration; Washington(-1) got blown back and allows the RB to fall forward. RPS +1.
M39 2 8 Ace 3-wide 4-3 over? Pass 4 TE Hitch N/A 9
M not even close to set on the snap. Simple hitch is open for first down yardage despite a weird soft dying throw from Hack. Deflected? M takes an illegal substitution, as well. RPS -1.
M30 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-4 over Pass 4 Stop and go Countess Inc
Countess(-2, cover -2) beat badly on a stop and go on which Robinson literally stops. Pressure(-1) didn't get there, though this wasn't forever in the pocket. M lucky Hack misses.
M30 2 10 Ace twins twin TE 4-3 over 2PT Pass 5 TE seam Wilson Inc
Front shifted, 2 point stance for Clark, slant implied. Slant occurs. Bolden sent. Blitz picked up; coverage(+2) good as James, the target, is bracketed by Taylor(+1) and Wilson(+1) and the window here is all but nonexistent.
M30 3 10 Shotgun empty Okie zero Pass 3 Comeback Black Inc
Show six, rush three. Black(+1, pressure +3, blitz) gets through free as PSU is out of sorts. He hits the QB as he throws way off his receiver. RPS +2.
Drive Notes: Missed FG(47), 13 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Ace 3-wide Nickel over Pass 4 Slant Taylor Inc
Taylor(+2, cover +2) plays the slant excellently, getting a PBU on a throw that was a bit behind. Even if the throw is on point this is still probably a PBU.
O25 2 10 Ace 3-wide Okie zero Pass 4 Throwaway N/A Inc
M shows all out blitz and backs out, sending only the DL. Hack doesn't know what he's looking at and coverage(+3) good for a long time as pressure(-2) is not forthcoming. Hack rolls out when it finally does get there and throws it away.
O25 3 10 Shotgun 4-wide Okie one Pass 4 TE out Morgan Inc (Pen +13)
Pressure(-1) again not coming; Morgan(+0.5) stuck in man coverage with Carter. Grabs a bit but before the ball is in the air, gets pretty dang phantom PI penalty once the ball is in the air. Cover +1, refs -2.
O38 1 10 Ace twins twin TE Nickel over Run N/A Inside zone Wormley -5
Wormley(+2) isn't really blocked, but still does well to swim under a guy who's thinking about blocking him and then get the tackle in the backfield.
O33 2 15 Shotgun empty Okie zero Pass 3 Dig Wilson Inc
Wilson(+2, cover +2) breaks on the rounded in by James and breaks up the pass.
O33 3 15 Shotgun 4-wide Dime even Pass 4 Deep out Stribling 14
Stribling in along with the other three corners. Pressure(-2) doesn't get there; Hack can step up and rifle a ball in against Stribling's guy. No replay, but this was man and Stribling did get beat(-1, cover -1).
O47 4 1 I-Form Big Goal line Run N/A Iso N/A 2
They get it. I'm not minusing a one yard run but Black is the small issue here, as there's as bubble next to him and he gives just enough ground to give Belton the crease.
O49 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel over Pass 4 Hitch Avery 13
Way too easy as this is cover three with a stop route on the outside that Avery and Countess are nowhere near. Cover -2, RPS -1. I'm not sure if that's on Countess or Avery.
M38 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel over Pass 4 Comeback Morgan 16
Heitzman(+0.5) gets around the corner to get a little bit of pressure; Hack steps in and throws a high hard one to Robinson, which is brought in. Coverage basically fine; if lower Morgan has a chance at a PBU or INT; just a DO in a tight window.
M22 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Draw Wormley 4
Wormley(+1) drives his man back into the flight path of the RB. He pops off to fill a lane; cutback is there as Ryan(-1) is gone upfield at the QB and Henry got pushed back by a double. Henry(+0.5) rescues it a bit by chucking an OL away from him as Belton nears, tackling.
M18 2 6 Shotgun 3-wide 5-1 nickel Penalty N/A False start N/A -5
M23 2 11 Shotgun 3-wide 5-1 nickel Pass 5 Sack Clark -3
Pressure isn't great; coverage(+3) is there for two reads with not that many guys back there. Clark(+2, pressure +1) drives a TE deep then spins off to sack.
M26 3 14 Shotgun 3-wide 5-1 nickel Pass 4 Throwaway Wilson Inc
M creeps Wilson down and sends him, dropping other dudes. Wilson(+1, pressure +2, blitz) comes in at speed; LT doesn't recognize it and lets him through. Hack tries to step around, but Wilson latches on and is about to sack as Hack throws it vaguely in the direction of a WR to preserve FG position.
Drive Notes: FG(43), 34-27, 6 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O20 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Deep hitch Taylor 14
Michigan gets decent pressure with Clark(+0.5) forcing Hackenberg up in the pocket; pressure up the middle is not great though so he can step up and fire. Taylor's in decent position here, but Penn State completes a one-toe-in catch about three yards OOB. What are you going to do?
O34 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Fly Stribling 29
Pressure(-1) more bleah this time; they do make Hackenberg move around a little but he's comfortable as he throws a fly route... to a totally covered dude. Stribling(-1, cover +1) is in great position and should pick the ball off, as it hits him in the hands, but just deflects it to the WR. Cumong man.
M37 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Fly Stribling 36
Pressure(-1) again meh. Hackenberg puts up a punt to a covered(+1) Robinson; Stribling undercuts and jumps pretty dang high, gets it right, ball goes over him, Robinson manages to pull it in. Merph.
M1 1 G I-Form Big Goal line Run N/A QB sneak N/A 1
They get it.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 34-34, 30 sec 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Ace 3-wide 4-3 even Run N/A Inside zone Washington 7
Washington(-1) goes straight upfield and ends up giving up a crease. Bolden(-1) takes on a G releasing free and kind of catches him, giving up ground, so Morgan(+1) making another OL go "ole" doesn't allow him to tackle because there's enough of a gap that he can't shut it down.
M18 2 3 Ace 3-wide Nickel even Pass 5 Sack Wormley -5
M telegraphs corner blitz by S alignment, PSU checks, but Wormley(+2) firing out to the right is fast enough to get around a guard who screws up (pressure +2, stunt) and he sacks. Only 2 because this also a PSU error. RPS +1.
M23 3 8 Shotgun trips Nickel even Pass 4 Hitch Countess Inc
Pressure(-1) still not bothering Hackenberg. He steps up and throws to a bracketed WR that Countess(+0.5) and Bolden(+0.5, cover +1) have ; Hackenberg has a small window and misses it; WR deflects the ball, Countess can't catch it.
Drive Notes: Missed FG(40), 34-34, OT1
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Ace 3-wide Nickel over Run N/A Inside zone Heitzman 6
Heitzman(-1) gets blown up by a double, ceding enough ground that Belton can cut back behind him. Washington(-1) had gone way upfield and the cutback here is huge. Just too much room for the LBs to hope to shut down.
M19 2 4 Ace 3-wide Nickel over Run N/A Inside zone Morgan 0
Same play. Heitzman almost jumps offsides and then buries himself at the LOS. He doesn't give ground but he's given himself up one for one here; he is annoyingly in the way of everything. Push. Morgan(+2) makes a great play to jet upfield of a releasing lineman once he puts his head down and makes a tackle at the LOS.
M19 3 4 Ace 3-wide Nickel over Pass 4 TE out Morgan Inc
Morgan(+1, cover +1) on the back of the TE without interfering and has a great shot at a PBU if this isn't well behind the WR anyway. Pressure mediocre, but may have bothered a little bit.
Drive Notes: FG(36), 37-37 EOT2
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 I-Form Nickel over Run N/A End around Clark -6
Robinson just fumbles the ball. Clark recovers.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 37-37, OT3.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Ace 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone Black 5
No Washington, cumong man. Black(-2) pancaked instantly, bad things beckon; Beyer(+1) sheds and comes inside to initiate a tackle as the RB hits the crease. Morgan(+0.5) takes on a block and sheds to help end the play. Bolden(-0.5) got confused and almost dropped into coverage. RPS –1.
M20 2 5 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel over Run N/A Inside zone Wormley 1
M lucks out. Wormley(-1) blown off the ball; cutback lane available. Belton slips. Morgan might have been able to shut this down and Wilson was coming down, but that saves Michigan at least 4 yards.
M19 3 4 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone Wormley 3
Beyer(+1) shoots inside to force a cutback away from Black(-1), who got blown up by a double. Wormley(-1) doesn't give as much ground but a guy pops off of him and he's still just pushing against an OL, not trying to actually tackle. Bolden(+1) has a tough job in significant space with a blocker; he dives at Bolden's feet and gets a tackle in, but can't prevent the RB from falling forward. RPS -1. Where is Quinton yo.
M16 4 1 I-Form Big 5-3 under Run N/A Iso N/A 3
Man, with a chance to win right there I don't know why Michigan has two safeties back. Black(+1) buries himself in the backfield, creating a pile. Morgan(-1) goes too vertical, so there's a crease outside him. Clark(-0.5) is also not being aggressive enough in the hole; instead being responsible in case of a bounce. Take the chance this time. Belton squeezes through. If Wilson was just in the box this might be a stop.
M13 1 10 Shotgun 2TE Nickel over Pass 5 Fade Countess Inc
Quick throw fade or Clark(+1, pressure +1) was coming through to hit/sack. Countess(+0.5, cover +1) in good position; ball dropped before he can swipe but he does swipe and may get a real PBU if necessary.
M13 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone Ryan 2
M stunting; Ryan(+1) dives inside as Clark(+1) sheds to the interior; both combine to tackle. Heitzman(-0.5) gave ground to a double and gave the RB room to fall forward.
M11 3 8 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Dig Wilson Inc (Pen +9)
All day (pressure -2) as no one gets through. On replay, Wilson(-2, cover -2) is overreacting to Robinson, who is undercut by Bolden. If he just takes it easy he has inside position; instead he overheats it and has to interfere once he breaks in.
M3 1 G I-Form Big Goal line Run N/A Iso TGordon 3
TGordon(-1) gives up the edge. Maybe it's a score anyway, but can't give up the edge.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 40-43, EOG.

Why is Mattison getting a free pass from you? Wait, what? Am I asking you this question?

You are.

I don't like looking like a doofus, you know.

I'm sorry, but People on the Internet have come at me with that this week.



Well, lay it on me.

Penn State had 19 drives. Breakdown of these drives:

  • 6 three and outs, some of which resulted in FGAs since it was OT.
  • 5 turnovers: two INTs, a four-and-out turnover on downs, a fumble returned for a TD, and the unforced OT fumble. PSU got one first down on all these drives combined.
  • 3 short TD drives of 14, 20, and 25 yards.
  • 3 moderate length drives ending in FGAs: 50, 45, 49 yards.
  • 61-yard TD drive.
  • 80 yard desperation game-tying drive.

That's quite good, and it's reflected in PSU's YPA: 3 for the backs, mid-sixes for Hackenberg. On a rough points-allowed-relative-to-field-position metric the defense earned 13 with the TD and two drives they set up in FG territory and ceded 32 if you count the short TDs as 4 and the medium length FG drives as 2 each since none of those FGAs were chip shots. That's 19 net points—one per drive. To quote Lloyd Carr, that ought to be enough.

I'm probably more optimistic than the numbers because of the optics. Michigan was on the razor's edge of bashing PSU off the field with nothing on the FG drive that preceded the Great Leaping Disaster. To start they'd acquired three straight incompletions when a phantom PI extended the drive; on the next series PSU barely squeezed out a fourth and one; Hackenberg's knee was about three inches from a disastrous sack that would have put them in 4th and 20-ish and forced them to try a 50-yarder Sam Ficken would have been hard-pressed to make.

But they gave up 80 yards in like 20 seconds.

Yeah. That. That was

  1. A toe-drag completion on a ball three yards out of bounds.
  2. A ball miraculously fit in a window between two defenders.
  3. A ball miraculously fit in a window over Channing Stribling and somehow still in bounds.

On replay #2 is pretty weird. Stribling seems to jump but not jump and a ball that should be intercepted somehow gets through him. I'm not sure if he misjudged it or what, but 9 times out of ten that ball gets at least deflected for an incompletion. I guess you can criticize the coaching staff for throwing Stribling out there, but if that's Courtney Avery is the result any different? It probably goes further over the DB's outstretched fingers. Ditto the Robinson catch.

Sometimes you just get beat. Penn State rolled an 11 and back-to-back 12s. Boom. Headshot.

You're seriously not going to put any of that on Mattison for dumping a freshman in at a critical time in the game?

He was in position to make plays and almost made plays. If he'd blown a coverage or something I could see it. Michigan's other options there weren't making those plays either, in all probability.

You do not demand excellence.

Nope here's a chart.


Boom. Headshot.

[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 7 3.5 3.5 Showed a little rush in this one.
Washington 5.5 3.5 2 Not a great day.
Black 12 5 7 Sack was kind of a freebie.
Clark 10 3 7 Neither sack was a BG-style pillaging but made effort plays.
Wormley 8 3 5 Also got a couple freebies.
Pipkins - - - DNP
Glasgow - - - DNP
Ojemudia 5 1 4 Ryan-like play to get near TFL most of this.
Godin - - - DNC
Ash - - - DNC, did get a few snaps.
Henry 5 1 4 Displayed strength on one particular inside zone blow up. Nice bounce-back.
Charlton - - - DNP
TOTAL 52.5 20 32.5 Step up games from most of DL.
Player + - T Notes
C.Gordon 2 - 2 May end up buried.
Morgan 9.5 4 4.5 Rough start, strong finish.
Ross 5 8 -3 Struggles covering TEs in space, also tackling them.
Beyer 2.5 1 1.5 Time decreased because of…
Ryan 3.5 2 1.5 …this gentleman.
Bolden 5.5 2 3.5 Telling: got OT playing time over Ross.
Gedeon - - - DNP
Jenkins-Stone - - - DNP
TOTAL 24 17 7 Mostly pass coverage issues.
Player + - T Notes
Countess 2.5 4 -1.5 Burned on stop and go that PSU missed.
Taylor 10 3 7 +4 INT, a couple other PBUs.
Stribling - 2 -2 Around the ball, now needs to MAKE PLAYS
Hollowell - - - DNP
T. Gordon 2 2 0 Boring safties.
Avery - 3 -3 Really should have PBUed PSU TD.
Wilson 8 2.5 4.5 Had a monster game until last OT PI.
Furman - - - DNP
J. Clark - - - DNP
Lewis - - - DNP
TOTAL 22.5 17.5 5 Won coverage too.
Pressure 22 23 -1 +7 line, +10 blitz, +5 stunt
Coverage 28 21 7 Freshman QB probably helped.
Tackling 3 1 75% I need to revamp this metric.
RPS 16 16 - Mattison's slants and blitzes versus hurry.

Enthusiasm for the defensive line should be tempered a bit as the pressure metric is mediocre at best and only that because a couple of three-techs took their rush wide and were subsequently ignored by the Penn State OL. Black's sack was more PSU screwup than beast mode, and same thing happened on Wormley's sack: M slanted away from the guard, guard decided that wasn't his guy, Michigan sends DE at tackle to that side, free rush up middle.

Speaking of Black, he's pretty bad at standing up to double teams, something PSU exploited on their winning drive when M sent he and Wormley out there as the DTs on the first series. But he's slanting quite a bit and he has the agility to pop out on an offensive tackle and be a credible edge rush threat, which gives Michigan flexibility with their rush calls. When Michigan slants him he's shown the ability to get under offensive linemen and drive them back. It's just those double teams that get him.

The item that probably jumps off the page is Ross coming in negative. That's because there was a lot of this:

Four or five of James's receptions were on TE outs like this where Ross was not able to react, and often gave up some YAC on the tackle. On the first one or two, okay, but at some point you have to get there faster—to tackle on the catch, at least. On that clip if Hackenberg puts it in front of James he's got a nice catch and run.

It did not seem like the defensive line got that much pressure.

Four sacks on 44 attempts is pretty good, and there were a few other instances where Hackenberg was almost sacked and just got passes off. Also, if you're only getting a push in the pressure department that's mediocre. Even with the sacks, it was a mediocre day.

Can we just decide if Raymon Taylor is good or not?

Yeah, a couple weeks after losing his starting job to Avery he goes out there and is more responsible for anyone else for shutting down Allen Robinson (M didn't switch on him; he was always outside, unlike Avery and Countess). He also scores one of the better INTs Michigan's seen in the last few years.

Taylor's interception was pretty badass because Hackenberg throws the ball on time. It's out of his hand before the WR is out of his break and right at the sideline; Taylor still undercuts and intercepts.

He also had an impressive PBU on a slant.

He's been a little up and down this year, but that's life as a cornerback. When you play great you usually don't show up on the screen; we're dealing with a low sample size here. He's been beaten over the top less than Countess at this point, though. He just had the misfortune to draw an accurate throw. I expect that, like last year, Avery's brief run as a starter will give way to Taylor permanently.


This was his best day at Michigan considering level of competition. He of course had the two flashy sacks and a touchdown. I'm more encouraged by Clark's consistency of performance. When he made plays in the past they were outliers; here he was on the verge of making various other plays when Hackenberg got rid of the ball. He was beating PSU's left tackle consistently, and if he's grabbing at the legs of the QB to no effect on some plays, his extended effort resulted in a coverage sack:

His other sack was also just an okay rush that took a lot of time but got there and in his lane. I'll take it.

The fumble recoveries are just fluke events, especially the second, but Clark displayed why he's the world's worst guy to give a free run on the first. He's fast for 280. Even the one thing he blew—giving up the outside on one Belton run—was somewhat understandable, as Michigan had him in that two-point stance. That's uncomfortable for him.

Morgan is your binky, man.

I'm hoping we can dispel the early-season notion that Michigan's linebackers were underperforming after another game in which Michigan's safeties are barely involved in the run game. This wasn't quite "Thomas Gordon has one tackle" like Minnesota was, but PSU's long run of the day was 13 yards. The three ILBs were Michigan's three leading tacklers with 10, 8, and 6 respectively.

Both Morgan and Ross turned in impressive plays. Morgan is beginning to show a Harris-like ability to juke OL as they release into him. If this doesn't work it's a sure wag of the finger, but when it does, and consistently, I be like dang:

A couple other incidents like that didn't quite result in tackles because of other issues but were still the best way to get to the ball, and I didn't see any time that Morgan ended up out of position because he avoided contact. He takes that contact well; this is just another addition to his arsenal.

Example of taking contact:

I like that play a lot. He's in a lot of space, he impacts the lead blocker, he gets under him, extends, peeks inside, and then immediately goes back outside. The peek inside may convince the back to head to the other side of that block, and then Morgan is out there too. On purpose? That may be crazy, but it looks like something to get the back on the same side of the block as he is.

While Ross had his struggles in coverage, this play recognition on a draw is the kind of thing everyone was getting hyped about this offseason:

Bolden also came back strong after an iffy day against Minnesota. Moments during which he didn't bring the thunder were fewer (but extant) and he didn't blow a coverage. He was out there instead of Ross late, FWIW.

Again: long of 13 for running backs. Michigan hasn't even needed Kovacs-style saving tackles on the ground this year.

Anything you're not sure on?

Many things. This one is Call For Help Of The Week that will probably draw conflicting opinions:

Annoyed at the ease of this here. Seems like M is in obvious cover 3, which I felt absolved Taylor. Thought Gordon should have sunk under that route, but is this just not a particularly coverable route against this coverage?

Any HEY WE'RE RUNNING THIS hand-wave worries?

Wait, is this the offense UFR?

It's not and I do. Michigan's begun standing their WDE from time to time.

This is almost always that slant-based defense inversion discussed earlier in the year in Picture Pages. IIRC, every time but one. Showing your hand there.


Taylor and Wilson, yes despite the last PI. Clark and Black. Morgan.

Maybe not so heroic?

Ross got burned in coverage a bit much for my tastes; Stribling does have to MAKE PLAYS, specifically that one before doomy doom drive.

What does it mean for Indiana and the future?

Michigan's going to have to straighten out some tempo stuff. They got the fourth and short stop, but also had a number of plays where they were barely set before the snap and took an illegal substitution penalty. Indiana plays at lightning pace.

He's back. Jake Ryan's working his way back to full doombat.

The defensive line seems to be making steps forward. This was a much better performance for the line as a whole against an offensive line that's pretty experienced. Clark made plays against blocking, Henry had a nice day after Minnesota struggles, and Wormley made a few plays—albeit kind of free ones. Still, it's progress.

Progress is not going to progress towards dominance, unfortunately. Squeezing the pocket and getting patience sacks is the upside this year.

Michigan's going to have to fix their TE coverage. Penn State found a hole on those TE outs against Ross a week after Minnesota found a different hole against Wilson. To the adjust-mobile.

Raymon Taylor may be pretty good. He had a bad game earlier this year; this was an awesome one. If he can string together a few more of those that looks like a pretty good corner pairing.

Desmond Morgan is pretty good. I want to see a couple more games before I start stumping for All Big Ten recognition; it seems headed that way.

One more game away from safety apocalypse fears. Long stuff all to the sidelines against cover three. Wilson and Gordon haven't been culprits on either long pass or long run so far this year, IIRC. The spirit of Kovacs be with you.



October 17th, 2013 at 2:54 PM ^

This could be payback karma for the Denard jump balls Hemingway would always come up with in 2011.

Stribling doesn't make the play but I can't really fault his effort. The athleticism shows and I love the aggressiveness. He wasn't timid going up for that ball at all. He probably sees the softball INT that Hacks lays up for him and he gets a little anxious and jumps a tad early for it because, freshman?

And I look at Robinson's vertical and it looks pretty damn close to 40 inches. In full pads. And he's 6'4. And his hands are above his head. Who else in the Big Ten could make a play on that ball?


October 17th, 2013 at 5:03 PM ^

Combined with him not being that highly rated, Rich not really showing that much interest in him, and Hoke not taking over till well after he committed to PSU. If he would have even taken the local guy as a receiver when he wasn't taking out of state guys there.  But to have him in the backyard and get the last laugh after a not so great game up to that point hurts.


October 17th, 2013 at 3:50 PM ^

Should Stribling just shove him out of bounds as he catches this and before he lands instead? I forget what the rule is in college, but in NFL if he lands OOB for any reason it's incomplete. Granted coaches told him to go for picks. Probably also easier said than done with a guy as big as Robinson.

Blue in Yarmouth

October 18th, 2013 at 10:36 AM ^

It's hard to tell where this question is going to end up in relation to the thread because of all the replies but when I watched the replay during the game on Saturday night it really looked like Stribling got a tip on the ball. Regardless it was a great catch, but I was pretty sure during the slow motion replay he actually got his fingers on the ball and Robinson adjusted mid air and caught it. I was astounded at regular speed when it was just him jumping out of the stadium to catch it, but when I saw what I thought was a tipped ball too I was really impressed. Can anyone confirm or refute that it was tipped?


October 17th, 2013 at 5:57 PM ^

I doubt he has any idea where Robinson is at that point, he's thinking INT or deflection all the way. That seems to be his MO according to Brady and Mattison, good ball skills and lots of INTs in practice (not sure how that reflects on Gardner). That's probably the right approach anyway on a Hail Mary situation, instead of trying to stay in the hip pocket of the receiver and maybe get a PI because you've got your back turned.


October 17th, 2013 at 2:41 PM ^

I noticed that on the first play on the tying TD drive, Taylor is caught looking at the QB. Wilson is back deep but I'm not sure how deep. They could have gone over the top here.

Also, this is painful: 


October 17th, 2013 at 2:43 PM ^

especially pressure that stifles the play--be the measure rather than sacks? On series after series through the second half we had Hackandstuff running scared. 

Eye of the Tiger

October 17th, 2013 at 2:57 PM ^

Comes entirely from "rush 4, everyone else in zone coverage" looks that repeatedly did not work. Hackenberg is not good under pressure, but pretty good and has Allen Robinson to throw to when given time. I don't get why we gave him time as often as we did. This is also at least partially to blame for why Maxxxxx got so many receptions during the Minnesota game. 


October 17th, 2013 at 3:09 PM ^

But it's a solid game plan.  Lay back, get some pressure with four, make the kid execute and wait for mistakes.  He made a couple of big ones, and M held the O in check for large chunks of the game.

What you can't plan for is TO's on your end that end up giving easy field position right back, calming the kid down in front of his home crowd.  Or for some pretty awful playcalling and OL play keeping the game close.  Or for missed kicks in OT.

Eye of the Tiger

October 17th, 2013 at 4:22 PM ^

If this were still 2011, and we had:

1. Mike Martin on the DL.

2. Jordan Kovacs in the secondary 

3. Solid pass coverage from the linebackers.

But we're not getting much rush, if any, without blitzes, we lack a guy at the back who can read the QB and get to the right place consistanty to help out where needed, and our LBs (save Morgan) have been abysmal in pass coverage.

So that means, when we rush four and keep the rest in zone, we're essentially giving QBs like Hackenberg the time to wait until a receiver almost inevitably gets separation, sometimes far down the field, and before we have a safety over to assist.

By contrast, when we put pressure on we force opposing QBs to make quick decisions and throw shallow. Obviously some QBs we face will be able to handle this, but I saw Hackenberg repeatedly fail to do so when we got in his face.  



October 17th, 2013 at 8:38 PM ^

Playing coverage theoretically makes the freshman make a lot of throws, and you hope to capitalize on a few mistakes. Blitzing opens your own defense to mistakes that the freshman can exploit on accident. Hit a quick slant against man coverage and its 7. You don't want to give up any unearned plays. Personally, I have no preference, but I see where the staff is coming from.

You are grossly over rating Kovacs in coverage. Jerrod Wilson is better right now, as a true sophomore. Love Kovacs, but not because he could cover.

And I don't think you're advocating a lot of pressure on the last drive of regulation, but if you are, good luck finding a coordinator that you like.


October 18th, 2013 at 12:38 PM ^

particularly with a freshman QB.  They tend to rattle easily (as we saw in limited opportunities in this case), and once you hit them a few times, they tend to have happy feet the rest of the game.  I think the risk/reward favors blitzing when you consider this lingering effect.


October 17th, 2013 at 2:59 PM ^

Disagree on Clark's other sack.  He absolutely runs through that OT, BG style.  He's not as sudden, but the power he showed on that play was the most encouraging thing I've seen from him all year.

Look at how he chucks the OT at the end of the play.  Literally falling on his ass backward. 


October 17th, 2013 at 3:43 PM ^

Sorry to do this, but apparently I can't help myself:

when M sent he and Wormley out there

is ungrammatical. "He" should be "him." M sent him out there and M sent Wormley out there.

Great job as always.


October 17th, 2013 at 4:57 PM ^

It's kind of amazing how invisible T. Gordon has been this year. When do you ever his name called? Basically never. He does nothing and it's glorious. Keep doing nothing my man

Double Nickel BG

October 17th, 2013 at 6:50 PM ^

it looks like Thomas Gordon is misaligned in that one. It appears to be cover 3, man under and they are trying to bracket Allen Robinson while still showing a strong box with a tight, 2 back formation.

Cam Gordon runs with the TE off the snap, the 2 ILBs take a couple steps forward until they see the backs break off in pass pro and Hackenburg doesn't attempt a play fake.  I think Gordon should be further outside taking away the quick slant, comeback and in.

That doesn't absolve Taylor because he has no one else to threaten his zone over top, and he should break better on the throw, but its hard to tell without seeing the whole field.


October 17th, 2013 at 8:02 PM ^

Did anyone key in on Jake Ryan while watching/re-watching the game? Obviously Brian did, but I doubt he'll see this question. I wondered how he looked (compared to his old self). I had trouble focusing on him while watching live. From what I do recall, the hand fighting and quick reactions were still good, but he wasn't running nearly the same. Maybe it's because I haven't seen him play for a long time, and all we've been seeing is highlights of him on MGoBlog for the last year. How'd he look to you guys?


October 17th, 2013 at 10:48 PM ^

Brian - I think the 'everyone stand up and walk around' defense is called Radar.  And I also think you're right, that backs will read where a defender's helmet is to determine which hole to pick.  I bet Morgan was coached to do the helmet flash, pop back outside move.


October 18th, 2013 at 3:43 AM ^

Apparently being pancake blocked doesn't count as a minus for linebackers... otherwise there is no way in hell Bolden ends up in the positive.  His coverage may have been better than Ross, which isn't saying much, but damn he sucks at shedding blocks.  He can't even stand up to a blocker.


October 18th, 2013 at 8:26 AM ^

He's all of about 15 months into playing CB seriously.  Prior to the 'M' camp before his senior year he was all about playing WR.

Something tells me when we get through these freshman growing pains we are going to be VERY happy with him on the field....