Upon Further Review 2013: Offense vs Indiana Comment Count

Brian October 24th, 2013 at 3:45 PM




THING NOTES: Torrent had no audio this week, so neither do the clips. Good news for people who get creeped out by the walrus lovemaking noises in the slow ones.

FORMATION NOTES: A note on nomenclature here: Indiana had a kind of weird system where they had a linebacker/safety type (6'1", 225) out over the slot.


That in itself isn't too weird against spread formations, but he still hung out over the slot when there was one in I-form twins packages and the like, and Indiana brought down a safety.


I designated IU formations  with that guy in the gray area (and no safety down) "nickel" since the defensive formation thing is more about what the O is looking at than personnel packages the opponent has in and I felt their slot LB was a Hybrid Space Player, but I understand if you think IU was just in a 4-3 all game.

As for Michigan, they did not do much exotic in terms of formations. A lot of shotgun 3-wide stuff, some ace, some I-Form, etc. A couple things: I've changed Funchess to a WR in my personnel set tracking, so if you see "shotgun 3-wide" with four WRs that's because Funchess is the TE-type-substance. Also, when there are only four skill position players that's because Michigan has brought in an extra offensive lineman. Tackle over was still employed but rather rare.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Hoo boy. First: QB and RB were pretty obvious, with Green getting more run than he has in some other games in the past. FB was about split between Kerridge and Houma.

WR was a ton of Gallon and Funchess. Dileo went out early with an injury, leaving Jeremy Jackson to pick up most of the slot snaps. Chesson got in a bit but has clearly ceded a lot of PT to Funchess; Reynolds got a few snaps.

TE was mostly Butt and Williams; Williams ceded snaps to a sixth OL and also Jordan Paskorz, who got in some good blocks in the middle of the game. Funchess also lined up at TE from time to time.

And the OL. Burzynski started, tore his ACL, was replaced by Bosch. Glasgow was the C. Lewan was the LT, Magnuson the RG, Schofield the RT, except when guys were flipping all over the place. This game's version of tackle over was almost always a 6 OL with Kalis reclaiming his RG spot and Lewan flanking someone else: Schofield on the left and Magnuson on the right. Much less likely to get your QB murdered.

I noted OL changes in the notes below. Anyone not mentioned is playing their usual position. Apologies for cutesy name shortenings, but you try writing "Burzynski" and "Magnuson" for 80 plays. (Schofield defies shortening.)

[After the JUMP: nuclear samba Gallon.]

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR DForM Type Play Player Yards
M35 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-4 over Pass PA corner Gallon Inc
Line Lewan-Burzynski-Glasgow-Magnuson-Schofield. Williams covered and essentially sixth OL. I am officially changing Funchess's designation to WR. The first in a blizzard of max pro PA passes is a corner route to Gallon that's open for a good 20 yards. It's a little short and has plenty of room to hit Gallon in the numbers. Still decently catchable; Gallon adjusts to it but can't bring it in. (MA, 2, protection 2/2) RPS +1; this got eight Indiana players to the LOS and left Gallon/Funchess one on one.
M35 2 10 Ace 1 2 2 4-4 over Run Jet sweep Gallon -5
Burzynski(-2) blown up, no chance, instant large penetration by his guy makes Gallon go around him. On backside Magnuson(-1) gets run through immediately too. Butt(-1) is supposed to combo the playside end, hopefully sealing him inside Lewan, but just catches the guy on the snap instead of firing out; Lewan no chance. Glasgow(-1) went vertical and gets on the wrong side of the MLB, so even if this isn't blown up every which way it's probably not going very far. Ugly, ugly.
M30 3 15 Shotgun double stacks 1 1 3 Nickel over Penalty Delay N/A -5
This one is on Gardner, plenty of time to get the snap off.
M25 3 20 Shotgun trips inner stack 1 1 3 Nickel over Pass Scramble Gardner 11
Protection is fine; Gardner gets pushed up in the pocket by a momentary miscommunication between Lewan and Burzynski and decides to take off since he can't find anything. This is a hopeless quest but does get a number of yards for field position, which is not yet a laughable concept. Still, by the book it's (TA, N/A, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 12 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M44 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 4 Nickel even Run Inside zone Toussaint 9
Credible case for a pull here with Funchess flaring to the slot LB and the unblocked DE shuffling. Handoff made. Extended doubles on the part of everyone but Schofield; IU LBs waiting instead of firing. Glasgow(+1) gets movement and pops off on a LB; Magnuson(+0.5) maintains that block okay. Burzynski(+1) and Lewan(+0.5) shove the other DT well back with Burzynski eventually fighting his way around like a determined ferret. One LB reads and reads and then takes off for Gardner way late, so there's a small crease Toussaint(+1) does well to dance through; it's now one on one with a safety time; he slips as he tries to cut. RPS +1; zone threat occupied one defender of a six man box and also a second due to user error on IU's part. Extended doubles made possible as a result.
O47 2 1 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over Run IZ counter Toussaint 9
Williams in for Funchess, slot LB screws down closer to box. Lewan(+2) blows the playside DT into the backside of the play. Burzynski(+1) gets a shove on that dude and then releases to bury a LB taken in by the OL action in front of him. Magnuson(+0.5) almost biffs his pull, running by a linebacker, but manages to adjust and shove him. Williams(+0.5) got a good kick. Toussaint is through the line and into the secondary now; prefer he takes it more NS instead of futzing around Jeremy Jackson's block, but still a nice gain.
O38 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over Pass PA dig Gallon 15
PA looks like the counter they just ran in the backfield; line just pass blocks except Glasgow and Burz kind of fake double the NT with their heads up in case anyone gets any ideas about shooting gaps. Ton of time, Gallon open as he cuts inside for about 15; he sits down in the zone and the LB can't react fast enough to the PA. (CA, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +1)
O23 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 4 Nickel under Run Inside zone Toussaint 10
Indiana botch. They blitz off the corner, DE has no idea, two guys are running at Funchess, huge hole between Funchess and Burzynski, who's trying to block the NT but almost can't because he's running so far away from him. Suppose that Gardner might pull if that DE crashes down. Lewan(+1) gets a second level block and we'll give Burz(+0.5) some credit for chasing that NT; mostly Indiana going borf.
O13 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 4 6-1 nickel Run Inverted veer keeper Gardner 13
Obvious man coverage slot blitz send the house type thing. This should be good enough for IU to get a stop as by going cover zero they get the unblocked guy to Gardner at the LOS but Gardner goes WOOP(+2) and turns a few yards into a touchdown. Funchess(+1) kicked out the slot blitzer well; Schofield(+1) pounded the playside end inside; Burzynski(+1) got a charging safety.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-7, 8 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M19 1 10 I-Form big 2 1 1 4-4 over Pass Throwback screen Gallon 70
Kalis brought in, plays RG. Mags to LT, Lewan super LT. Indiana erases itself on the playfake, leaving a corner, the playside LB, and one deep safety against Gallon, Schofield(+1) and Kalis(+1). OL win their blocks. Safety fills aggressively. Gormless IU LB is not there to do anything about it when Gallon pops inside of the Kalis/Gormless block, and the safety can't make a shoestring tackle. S needs to play this softer and live to fight another day but IU LB is truly gormless here. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +1)
O11 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Zone stretch Toussaint -4
Paskorz at TE. Burz(-3) blown up and discarded, DT right into Toussaint, he ducks that tackle but that's all she wrote. Paskorz(+1) got movement on the end and M actually executed a scoop to the outside. That broken hand might be a secret problem with the season.
O15 2 14 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 4 Nickel over Run SO counter Toussaint -3
Burz(-3) again shot through, this time by a guy lined up outside of him who beats him inside. Guy is clearly grabbing his knee after this play; exits. Attribute some of these minuses to his ligaments.
O18 3 17 Shotgun trips inner stack 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Post Gallon 16
Bosch enters at LG. Protection good despite delayed blitz; M just trying to win one on one against the corner and does not; corner breaks the pass up by raking through Gallon's arms from behind. Ball bounces out, and hovers just in front of Gallon, where he can make a great concentration catch with the DB's arms all up in his business in a temporarily stiff rain. (DO, 1, protection 2/2).
O2 4 1 TO goal line 2 2 0 Goal line Run Down G Toussaint 2
Lewan/Schofield on the left with Kalis back at RG. M runs down G at it, pulling Bosch outside the Ts. Schofield(+1) and Lewan(+1) blow their guys up. Bosch(+0.5) kicks the end guy. Houma(+1) nails the playside LB, and Fitz doesn't get touched. An IU LB had run himself into the line, which made things easier.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-7, 4 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M18 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 4 Nickel over Run Inside zone Toussaint 5
More extended doubles with only six in the box and one of those guys checking Gardner. This is just easier for the OL to execute. Glasgow(+0.5) and Magnuson(+0.5) blow out an OL; LB ducks behind that block to occupy a cutback lane and they've got their two. Bosch(+1) whacks the other DT, allowing Lewan(+0.5) to get a decent but not great step-around block on him. Bosch then gets out on a LB, who is moving forward hard and stands him up; Bosch eventually starts driving him back by the end of the play. Toussaint is burrowing up behind those two when a safety comes down to pop him after a nice gain.
M23 2 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 4 Nickel over Pass TE out Funchess 17
Simple pitch and catch with Gardner reading the slot LB moving out on Jeremy Jackson. Funchess turns it up for some nice YAC. (CA, 3, protection 1/1, RPS +1)
M40 1 10 Ace trips tight 1 1 3 Nickel over Pass Wheel Jackson Inc
Indiana checking on the snap, seemingly confused. Gardner steps up and up and up into a nice pocket and throws it way late to Jackson on a wheel route that was super open. Safety gets over and blasts Jackson on the catch. Ball is accurate but the read taking too long busted this play up. (BR, 1, protection 3/3)
M40 2 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-4 over Run Iso Toussaint 0
Gardner checks. M runs an iso at the weakside as a result, and... nope. Magnuson(-0.5) and Glasgow(-1) lose the NT playside, despite Magnuson helping out quite a bit. Houma gets clunked at the LOS and there's nowhere to go. RPS -1; this featured eight IU run defenders plus a safety about eight yards deep. Schofield(+1) got a good extended kick.
M40 3 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Dig Gallon 20
This play is probably why the CB Bennett whacks Gardner later in the game. Dude is all over this dig route and should have a PBU or INT if he doesn't get a PI call for wrapping his arm around Gallon, which he should totally get. He doesn't. Gardner puts the ball behind Gallon, Gallon goes up and makes a spinning, tough catch. I can't tell you that Gardner meant to beat this coverage this way; results-based charting. Michigan beat perfect coverage. (DO, 1, protection 2/2)
O40 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Inside zone Green 8
First of two Heiko trolls. M fakes a bubble, runs IZ. Bubble fake sucks out the slot LB but because Glasgow and Bosch can't seal away the NT that is not relevant. Glasgow(-1) maintained contact and kept that guy at the LOS… ish. Still feel DT controlling him. On the backside Magnuson(+0.5) and Schofield(+1.5) double and blow the other DT yards off the ball, providing a cutback Green(+1) takes smartly. Williams(+1) and Butt had also shot a DE off the LOS; Butt engages after Williams goes to the next level and does a meh job. That guy and an S tackle.
O32 2 2 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Power O Green 6
Mags pulls to Lewan and Williams. Lewan(+1) buries his guy. Williams gets a stalemate at best. M fortunate that his guy dives inside along with a linebacker. Mags(+1) reads that guy trying to shoot a gap and halts to erase him. Funchess(+1) blows through both the CB trying to check him in man coverage and the S he's going for to delay both. Green(+1) pops outside the inside hole to hit the outer one and gets a quality gain.
O26 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 4 4-3 even Run Inside zone Green 2
Indiana slants away and shoots their LBs to the vacated gap. M actually deals with this pretty well. Lewan(+1) goes with the slanting DE and pancakes him. Bosch(+0.5) has no angle on the LB headed outside but sticks with him, making him attempt a diving ankle tackle on Green that does work but may not in all circumstances. Not sure about the bounce here; feel that slamming it up once you clear the Lewan block is probably for the best. RPS -1.
O24 2 8 Shotgun 4-wide tight 1 1 3 4-3 over Pass TE out Butt Inc
IME Gardner blows this read presnap by going to the short side of the field. He's got three guys on the wide side and Toussaint's flare is going to be open as M runs a triangle there. Instead he's looking at the wheel/out combo M is running a lot this year. Both are covered; Gardner tries to fit a ball into Butt in a tiny window, LB breaks it up. (BR, 1, protection 1/1)
O24 3 8 Shotgun trips inner stack TE 1 1 3 Nickel even Run QB draw Gardner 13
Both IU tackles hop outside, fearful of letting those gaps go, because the DEs are gone upfield. Gardner goes straight up the middle. Gallon(+2) gets under a linebacker and drives him up and out of the play; great extended block. Bosch(+0.5) gets out, gets a shove on a linebacker, can't contain him because he's always inside of him. Toussaint(-0.5) figured Bosch had the guy and ran by looking for someone else; in this case that's maybe not the right move. Gardner(+1) runs through that guy's tackle attempt after he comes through Bosch and gets the first down. RPS +1.
O11 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass PA back shoulder fade Gallon Inc
IU CB ready for this, makes play on it, breaks it up. Nice play, IU guy. (CA, 0, protection 1/1)
O11 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 4 4-3 over Run Inverted veer counter Gardner 6
Major hole as Schofield(+1) gets a great kickout and Magnuson(+1) gets the playside DT inside. Glasgow(+1) gets push on a backside end and gets into the linebacker level; Lewan pulls around and leads Gardner(-1) through the hole; Gardner runs outside of Lewan, exposing himself to a safety and costing himself a few very important short-field yards. RPS +1.
O5 3 4 Shotgun 2-back 2TE 2 2 1 4-4 over Pass Sack N/A -17
Gardner doesn't read it right or just lacks the patience to hold up a bit and take the Butt corner route that is the read in this pure man situation. He's looking right at it, too. He starts running around as Magnuson(-1) loses a DT, and then it's crazy times. He should dump it OOB; instead he runs around, throws it away at the last second, gets grounding call. (BR, N/A, protection ½, Magnuson -1)
Drive Notes: Blocked FG(39), 14-7, 12 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M41 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 4 Nickel under Pass Sack N/A -5
A couple of nothing hitches for Gallon and Funchess are blanketed. Gardner pumps the Gallon one, looks to Funchess, nothing, starts scrambling around, makes a bad decision to not go directly upfield for a few yards, rolls out, is sacked. (TA, N/A, protection 2/2, RPS -1)
M36 2 15 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Throwback RB screen Toussaint 27
M rolls the pocket, lots of penetration for IU, looking bad, oh it's the throwback screen. IU hugely suckered. Gallon's trying to crack back on a linebacker or something and eventually just turns back upfield because there's no one anywhere near him. Lewan(+1) gets a downfield block; Glasgow can't but he is leading, still four or five yards ahead of Fitz as he passes the sticks, and just a presence out there is nice to have. Fitz steps out as he tries fancy footwork on the sidelines. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +3)
O37 1 10 TO I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Power O Green 3
Lewan super RT. Indiana brings a safety in the box, has another seven yards off the LOS, and their gray area defender goes right for the run at the snap. Effectively nine run defenders. Lewan(+2) ejects a DE from the play. Schofield(+1) goes to help on a DT, sees Magnuson(+1) has it taken care of, and extends to the LB level to cut off interior pursuit. Bosch(+0.5) gets around and walls off a linebacker; Kerridge(+1) blows a safety type off the ball. Gray area defender makes a tackle at the LOS because M cannot account for him. RPS -2. Green(+0.5) did a nice job to get a couple yards after contact.
O34 2 7 Shotgun trips TE 1 0 4 Nickel even Run Inverted veer keeper Gardner 4
Not entirely sure but this appears to be a DT twist by IU as Glasgow's guy disengages and attempts to flow behind his buddy, who's going right pretty hard. IU's playside LB is inside of Jackson, who's cracking down on him in case the DE goes for the QB and M hands. Bosch(+0.5), pulling, IDs him as a threat and blocks him; think that's right. Glasgow is now chasing his man into the hole and the DE is crashing down; Glasgow(+0.5) manages to push the guy past Gardner(+1), who breaks a tackle and manages to get something out of nothing, RPS -1; stunt made this really hard to block.
O30 3 3 Shotgun trips inner stack TE 1 1 3 6-1 nickel Pass Rollout out Gallon 6
Aggressive cover zero look from IU. IU is sending six and then a seventh when Toussaint sets up to pass block with man everywhere. Butt runs off a press defender on Gallon, Funchess runs off an outside defender, quick out to sideline open for a first down. (CA, 3, protection 2.2, RPS +1, basically impossible for IU to cover this.)
O24 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel under Pass PA pop hitch Gallon 17
Not sure how but Gardner reads corner blitz and runs a pop hitch as M run blocks. This may actually be packaged... really hard to tell. Anyway, Gallon open for quick hit, S misses tackle, Gallon picks up a nice bundle of YAC. (CA, 3, protection N/A, RPS +1). Picture paged.
O7 1 G TO Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 Nickel over Run Backside zone Toussaint 7
Overhang corner and S rolled up tight but still a surprising amount of pass respect shown here at the seven in this formation. This is... weird. Super weird. IU slides their LBs hard to the overload side, Gardner checks. Bosch(-2) and Glasgow momentarily double the NT and then both guys leave. Glasgow should; Bosch definitely shouldn't; Bosch then blocks the guy who Glasgow is already blocking. This leaves the NT in a ton of space; the nickel LB has already filled unblocked even if this doesn't work out. In a hypothetical world where the NT is blocked Toussaint can probably slam it up for a few. Toussaint(+1) bounces, Michigan gets lucky that Williams(-1) isn't called for a hold (refs +2) and an IU safety blows his contain, touchdown. Mags(+1) beat up the other DT, btw.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-7, 7 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M9 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Counter Toussaint 5
Paskorz(+1) blows in the playside end. Lewan(+0.5) gets the tackle. Mags(+1) pulls around and gets a sealing block on one LB; Jackson(+0.5) gets a block on a hesitant slot LB. One IU LB reacts quickly, getting around Bosch before he can release from his double, and fills. Toussaint tries to bounce, gets tackled by a safety.
M14 2 5 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Zone stretch Toussaint 4
Paskorz(+0.5) gets a little motion on the playside DE as he tries to scoop the guy; Funchess(+1), the slot, comes down to bang the slot LB. He gets enough push on him to drive him into backside pursuit, picking off one of the backside LBs. A quick-reacting LB got past this and a safety fills. Kerridge(-1) gets blown up by a safety running full bore at him; Toussaint makes a quick cut behind the LB with the space afforded by the TE blocks.
M18 3 1 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 even Run Iso Green 3
Kalis RG, Mags LT, Lewan Super LT. Paskorz(+1) gets a nice kick on IU's nickel LB, opening up a big hole. Kerridge(+0.5) submarines one LB; Schofield(+1) comes off a DE block to slow another LB running to the hole, and Green(+0.5) pounds it up for a first down, picking up a couple YAC.
M21 1 10 Ace 3-wide stack 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass PA dig Gallon Inc
Excellent time; Green drag route takes a guy out of the middle and nickel LB has little chance of keeping up with Gallon; Gardner hits in stride for 15 yards plus YAC; Gallon drops it. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
M21 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Hitch Jackson 11
Token PA; IU zone, Jackson sits down at the sticks, easy. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
M32 1 10 TO I-Form twins 2 0 2 4-3 over Pass PA comeback Gallon 10
Kalis RG, Schofield LT, Mags RT, Lewan super RT. Play action, good protection, Gallon on a comeback route about a yard in front of his CB, M executes. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
M42 1 10 TO I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Power O Green -1
Paskorz LT, Lewan super RT. IU shows blitz up the middle, sends it. With the overhang corner and S moving at the LOS from five yards deep, that's straight up nine in the box. DT shoots right under Mags as he pulls, no chance for Schofield to block him. Mags feels that and tries to ride that guy and still be useful. He can't do anything with the DE who swam outside Bosch; Bosch let him to to get a LB, so fine. Green has to cut back into two unblocked dudes. RPS -3, no hope.
M41 2 11 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Draw Toussaint 12
Pump fake, all LBs drop, IU rushes the passer. Glasgow(+0.5) got a good push to open up the gap; Mags only did okay. Bosch(+1) releases and gets a block on a LB that allows Toussaint(+1) to burst outside of him and pick up the first down. RPS +2.
O47 1 10 Ace 3-wide stack 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass PA scramble Gardner 14
Gardner(+2) doesn't like whatever he sees; great protection; takes off after LBs drop, dodges one guy, nice gain. (SCR, N/A, protection 3/3)
O33 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Hitch Jackson 12
Dangerous pass that gets out late and is not far from being undercut for a pick. We are a results-based charting service, though, and while usually a window this narrow is a DO this ball did need to get out earlier. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
O21 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Throwaway N/A Inc
M rolls to the left, which I'm always bler about since it's hard for Gardner to set his feet effectively when he does this. He doesn't find anyone open and when a LB comes up Gardner nears the sideline he flings it sidearm out of bounds. (TA, N/A, protection 1/1, RPS -1)
O21 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Post corner Gallon 21
IU sends an extra guy; picked up. Plenty of time, Gallon shakes the corner on a post-corner move, wide open. Gardner lays in a ball that takes a while to get there but probably the move with the guy this open. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 28-14, 41 sec 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M24 1 10 Pistol 2TE 1 1 3 4-4 even Run Inside zone read Toussaint 4
Butt flares for a corner; Gardner reads the end, who shuffles. Lewan(+1) puts a DT on the ground as he tries to shoot upfield; Bosch(+1) helped a little there and then got to the second level, where he moves a LB well out of the hole. Glasgow(+0.5) and Mags(+0.5) also got two guys sealed away; Toussaint is through the hole, where a safety filling from nine yards and the shuffle DE shut him down. Meh gain for good blocking. RPS -1, as executing perfectly and getting four yards is bleah.
M28 2 6 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Counter pitch Toussaint -10
Safeties really nailing down now, both seven yards off the LOS. Michigan's iso action plus outside pitch thing; Toussaint(-3) just fumbles it; Funchess(-1) whiffed on the slot LB anyway so this wasn't going anywhere.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 28-17, 14 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M26 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 Nickel even Run Inside zone Toussaint 7
Fake bubble doesn't matter since the line caves IU in so badly that Toussaint can pick a hole. Lewan(+1) kicks with authority. Bosch, Glasgow, Mags, Schofield all execute on doubles; Bosch loses his guy after getting motion and gets +0.5; all others get +1. Williams(+2) obliterates backside end; Toussaint(+1) cuts back; Butt(+0.5) sees and adjust to kick. Toussaint hewed down by safety filling from nine yards.
M33 2 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Counter Toussaint 2
Williams(-1) gets no push on the playside end, who dives inside to the intended hole; Mags(-0.5) could read that and adjust outside but does not, Toussaint does, lowering his shoulder into the resulting unblocked LB to near the first down.
M35 3 1 I-Form Big 2 1 1 4-3 under Run Down G Toussaint 15
Schofield LT, Kalis RG, Mags RT, Lewan super RT. Bosch(+0.5) pulls from the playside and kicks a blitzing SAM. Schofield(+1) blows in the playside end. That's a nice gap. Williams(-2) releases free into the MLB and gets blown back two yards, which momentarily looks like it might submarine the play. That guy gets past Houma, too, who got hung up on Williams once he got blown up; playside C is in straight man on Funchess and does not come off it, like, at all, so instead of banging forward through him for like a yard or three Toussaint(+1) rips through to the sideline for a big gain.
50 1 10 Ace twin TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 over Pass Hitch and go Gallon 50
IU does have a safety over M's WRs but they're trying to play zone it looks as the slot LB does not carry anyone deep, leaving it basically one on one. Singularly useless BTN director never shows a replay of the actual damn route, but I assume this is a double move by Gallon that gets him over the top. Protection is very good what with max protection against three guys; Gardner hits Gallon right in stride. (DO, 3, protection 1/1, RPS +3)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 35-24, 11 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Ace H 1 2 2 4-3 even Pass Comeback Funchess Inc
Max pro, good protection, Funchess open. Gardner turfs it. (IN, 0, protection 1/1)
M25 2 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 Nickel even Run Inverted veer give Toussaint 5
IU does not contain; give. Gardner(+0.5) is a decoy. Not too many yards as Chesson(-0.5) gets chucked by the nickel LB and he forces it inside at the hash where a safety can deal with things. Funchess(+0.5) got a bump inside on a LB that sealed him away. Schofield didn't really have a shot at a LB scraping hard over the top.
M30 3 5 Shtogun 4-wide 1 0 4 Nickel over Pass Comeback Gallon Inc
IU sends a LB; drops a DL, picked up. Gardner goes for Gallon, who slips out of his break on a ball that seems accurate. Punting, though. (N/A, N/A, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 35-31, 8 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M11 1 10 Ace twin TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 even Pass PA comeback Funchess 12
Token PA, max protect, Funchess in the slot turns around after about 15 yards and comes back to 11 to catch. (CA, 3, protection 1/1, RPS +1)
M23 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 4 Nickel even Run Inside zone Toussaint 5
Maybe it is a packaged play after all: IU shows corner blitz off of this, Gardner looks to the Gallon hitch, and then when it's not there he hands off. Unfortunately, Lewan peeled off to pick that corner up and has a tough time recovering to get a useful block. Bosch(+1) wins against a DE, getting him back and to one side. Glasgow(+1) also does, as his guy trips over Bosch and Glasgow pancakes him. Mags(+0.5) and Schofield(+0.5) drive the backside guy way back. Lewan(-1) is trying to get back to deal with the LB, cannot, Toussaint(+0.5) runs through his tackle but the delay is enough to allow the backside end time to tackle. Picture paged.
M28 2 5 TO I-form twins 2 0 2 4-3 over Pass PA out and up Gallon 70
Schofield LT, Kalis RG, Mags RT, Lewan super RT. Indiana continues to load up when this presents itself, leaving M in basically man coverage on the outside since their nickel LB isn't going to be covering anyone downfield. PA fake, eight guys go to LOS, tons of time, bomb over the top. (DO, 3, protection 3/3, RPS +3). This held up Gallon just enough for the DB to catch him inside the five, but it was 40 yards in the air and Gallon gets 30 YAC; DO man.
O2 1 G Goal line 2 2 0 Goal line Run Down G Toussaint 1
Butt(-0.5) gives ground to a LB, which delays Kalis(-0.5). Kalis has a tough job but goes out to kick a guy out that Houma is already kicking; IU slanted this hole open and has two guys in it to finish the play.
O1 2 G Goal line 2 2 0 Goal line Run Down G Toussaint 1
This one to the other side of the line. Bosch(+0.5) pulls and kicks. Lewan(+1) blows in the playside end. Houma doesn't really do much with a filling LB but in trying to stay on his feet the guy pauses and Toussaint(+0.5) pops outside to score.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 42-34, 4 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 4 Nickel even Run IV counter Gardner 0
Neither LB is reacting to the veer here; both guys end up in the hole. Schofield(+1) and Mags(+1) had blown a hole open with no problem and Lewan gets there, but by stripping M of Toussaint without getting any misdirection payoff they get eaten. RPS -2.
M25 2 5 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 even Pass PA hitch Gallon 12
Iso play action, pitch and catch with Gallon(+1), Gallon breaks two tackles to pick up some YAC. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
M37 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Iso Toussaint 4
IU shows blitz, Gardner checks, but probably only to flip the side of the play. It's an iso. Mags(-1) and Glasgow(-1) get no movement on the NT, who sits at the LOS and threatens. Kerridge(+0.5) gets one LB; with no motion from that other block another LB can flow free; Toussaint(+1) cuts back. Lewan(+1) buries the backside DT, who gets his legs tangled with a teammate; Williams(+0.5) helping out some as well. Bosch(+0.5) gets to the second level; unblocked backside blitz guy who's #8 in the box grabs Toussaint; tackle broken but help right there.
M41 2 6 Shotgun trips TE 1 0 4 Nickel even Pass Tunnel screen Gallon 7
Wheel hitch combo runs off some defenders; just the two LBs in the middle. Glasgow(+0.5) gets one, at least somewhat; Mags(-1) doesn't affect his guy at all; Gallon(+0.5) slithers through a tackle to prevent this from being third and two. (CA, 3, screen)
M48 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 Nickel even Pass PA hitch Gallon 34
The WHAT ARE YOU DOING play for IU's defense where they leave Gallon all alone 300 yards of receiving into his day. Both guys go with Funchess, which isn't right, I don't think. RPS +1, I guess. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
O18 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 under Pass Rollout scramble Gardner 11
Under shifted front leads to slot LB blitz, and that should work but Gardner is fast yo. He gets outside and just takes off. (SCR, N/A, N/A)
O7 1 G Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Zone stretch Toussaint 1
M now pulling Lewan around the backside G on these in some situations, which looks weird. Mags(-1) has a tough time with his DT, who he should be able to get around but instead goes right at him; this doesn't get movement and doesn't get a seal. Schofield could have helped a little more. Williams(+1) gets a big kick to provide a gap; Schofield releases to get a linebacker, safety playing close to the line and he has time to come down and hit. Toussaint may have missed a cutback lane here as Glasgow(+1) and Bosch(+1) had taken care of a blitzing LB and DT respectively, but that's probably not his first read.
O6 2 G Offset I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass Waggle scramble Gardner 6
Gardner on edge, has guy in face, pumps, guy leaps, Gardner gone. (SCR, N/A, N/A)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 49-40, 14 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 even Pass PA Deep Out Gallon 26
Rinse, repeat, etc. No pressure; Butt's out sucks up a linebacker and Devin drops it over him. Gallon does his thing for a few extra. (DO, 3, protection 2/2)
M46 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Power O Toussaint 5
Schofield(+2) bangs Magnusons(+0.5) guy so that he gets sealed and then pops out on the MLB. Williams(+1) gets a big kick on the edge. Houma(+1) blasts a LB out of the hole. Bosch(+0.5) gets there but doesn't get much motion; Toussaint hits it up, safety coming down on the snap hits him after a few.
O49 2 5 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Nickel over Run Draw Toussaint 12
Hole opens up as Bosch(+1) handles a guy trying to swim past him and takes him out of the play. Lewan(+1) slings his guy upfield with one arm. MLB is unblocked since the relocated hole is away from anyone releasing; Toussaint(+2) sets him up and goes around, then does the same for a guy Reynolds is blocking, going straight upfield despite that guy being to the inside. Safeties fill, etc.
O37 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 even Pass Scramble Gardner 18
M picks up a six guy blitz until Magnuson loses a DT upfield. He's able to maintain contact and Gardner moves up in a cavern, as the LBs moving up the field got way out of their lanes. It's scramble time. Gardner(+2) WOOPs a guy with a throw fake and runs through another ankle tackle. (SCR, N/A, protection 3/3)
O19 1 10 TO I-Form Big 2 2 1 5-3 under Run Zone stretch Toussaint 0
Lewan super LT, Schofield LT, Williams RT. Bosch goes with a double at the DT. NT attacks the gap to the right of Glasgow(-1) and blows him back, but that's tough. Seems like Bosch should help on that. Toussaint headed outside; Houma gets cut in the backfield by a charging linebacker. Lewan(+1) latches on to a LB and drives him back; Butt(-1) starts looking to the outside, finding no one, and peels back but can't get to the LB who shot the inside gap, who tackles at the line. RPS -1.
O19 2 10 Shotgun trips inner stack 1 1 3 4-3 even Pass Rollout out Funchess 17
Usual thing from this formation with Butt, the forward receiver in the stack, getting a bit of a pick on a guy trying to cover Funchess on an out. Gardner hits Funchess in the hands on the run, allowing him to turn it up for a nice gain once the IU LB futilely hurls himself at the pass. (CA, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +1) Funchess leaps tall buildings at the end here.
O2 1 G Goal line 2 2 0 Goal line Run Yakety snap Gardner 0
Cue shifty-eyed dog man.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 49-47, 8 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O5 1 G TO I-Form Big 2 2 0 Goal line Run Down G Toussaint -2
Mags LT, Lewan super LT, Kalis RG. Schofield(+2) boots the playside DE completely out of the play. Glasgow(-1) falls at the feet of the NT trying to cut him; he doesn't. Williams(-2) has a free release at the MLB and whiffs entirely. Kerridge(+0.5) rocked his guy back; Toussaint gets buried by the missed Williams and Glasgow blocks.
O7 2 G TO Pistol twins 2 2 0 4-4 even Run Speed option Gardner 1
Same personnel, M motions to a wide package with Butt and Kerridge WRs to the boundary. Speed option to the field, Indiana seems like they felt this was coming. Playside DE goes hard playside; Lewan(-0.5) and Magnuson(-0.5) can't lock him inside. Dude on the edge sets up; Toussaint will be tracked down on a pitch, probably, Gardner(-1) should probably try it because he's not getting anywhere.
O6 3 G Shotgun double stacks 1 1 3 6-1 nickel Pass Scramble Gardner 6
Toussaint(-2) blows the blitz pickup as the line slides left, he's right, and he looks to the left. Unblocked dude in on Gardner. Gardner runs around him and takes off. Nice to have that guy sometimes. (SCR, N/A, protection 0/2, Toussaint -2)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 56-47, 6 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M17 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 0 4 Nickel over Run Inside zone Toussaint 3
IU flows hard playside; Glasgow(+0.5) kicks the NT upfield, as does Bosch(+0.5) with a DE. Cutback isn't there because Mags(-1) doesn't get a seal on a guy he does have leverage on presnap. Toussaint(+0.5) does well to dance backside and lunge for a few.
M20 2 7 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 over Run Iso Toussaint 1
LB moves down late and blitzes right into Glasgow's(-0.5) face. He manages to fend him off but gives ground. Houma(+1) does a good job to cut behind this and pick off a LB so Toussaint can cut backside, right into the unblocked guy. RPS -1.
M21 3 6 Ace H 1 1 3 6-1 nickel Pass TE Flare Funchess 38
All of the pick route. Chesson runs into his guy, LB going for Funchess runs into Chesson, Funchess open on edge for first down. (CA, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +1) Funchess turns this into a big play by being fast as hell for a TE, which he's not but whatever, and running past a tackle attempt.
O41 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Inside zone Toussaint 13
Mike Hart action here as the NT swoops right around Magnuson(-1), forcing a cutback. Magnuson does manage to maintain contact and shove the guy past the play, avoiding a worse fate. This puts Toussaint backside with extra guy in box, who he has no right to smoke but holy pants does he(+3). That's a first down entirely his doing. Butt(+0.5) did get an extended kick on a guy who was checking Gardner at first.
O28 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 under Run Power O Toussaint 1
FWIW, the TV shows IU with a TO but they do not have one. M can kneel this out, but do not. Bosch(-1) messes up his pull, getting too deep, almost running into Gardner, and paying the price by getting submarined in the backfield; Schofield(+1) blows it open enough that it wouldn't matter if Indiana wasn't flinging guys at the line in desperation.
O27 2 9 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 under Run Power O Toussaint 27
Lewan(+3) blows DE into next week. Butt(+0.5) kicks LB way upfield. Houma gets cut, push, Mags pulls and stalemates a dude. But because Lewan has essentially flung the entire Indiana DL four yards away (ok Bosch(+1) helped), Toussaint(+2) can set up the free hitter on one side of the Mags block and pop inside it to score.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 63-47, 1 min 4th Q.

Well how about that.

It's a lot of points.

What about Borges now, Mr. Mad Pants?

I've got that teenage post-Iowa 2011 feeling.

When Michigan went I-Form twins in this one, whether it was with extra tackles or not, Indiana loaded up with seven guys in the box, one in the gray area, and a safety 8-10 yards off the LOS looking run first.


7 guys box, 2 guys half in box, S more aggressive than usual here.

This was a quarter-quarter-half type coverage that turned into man once the two outside guys went vertical—the slot guy was not carrying deep. Michigan turned this into pudding.

Hooray. They kept the gas pedal down all game because they needed to and IU never backed off this please-murder-my-CB stuff. Never. Insofar as anyone gets credit for stomping this IU defense, credit given. Twins against QQH coverage when you've got a safety and a dink against Gallon and Funchess is easy money.

I just look at the above shot and think…


stills from 27 for 27


…pucker, pucker, pucker. After watching PSU DBs against UCF and this Indiana outfit, plus their totally ineffective attempts to cover outs by Gallon on the late TD and one play on which M tried to get yards in their two OT-FG-to-win drives, I think the criticisms leveled at the Penn State gameplan are if anything sounder in the aftermath of the wake up call. It probably wouldn't have worked quite as well against a defense that's not a complete tire fire, but… uh… they kind of are in the secondary. Check the Bortles/Sudfeld lines.

Michigan went big so much against Penn State, taking one of their best weapons off the field to put in a not too good player, and got little in return. Even against the worst defense in the universe they got stuffed on 4/6 runs. There was a 15 yard run when an IU corner didn't keep contain (on third and one, when a big formation makes sense), the 27-yarder for Toussaint that came well into don't care time, and runs of 3, 0, 1, and –2 yards. (The throwback screen really should have been 7 yards but IU humped it hrrrrd.) A real defense gave them nothing.

They were fortunate to get a blizzard of turnovers and 19 drives to get the yardage and points they did, because they ran into a brick wall so much. After doing so a couple times early, Michigan finally said "eff it, going deep" against Indiana. Which, hooray. Doesn't change the results last week. Michigan ran more effectively from the shotgun than under center and tore up IU with play action featuring their best weapons on the field. I liked it. I'm still waiting for the other, gross shoe to drop sometime in November.

They ran more effectively from the shotgun, you say?

Yeah. The numbers were a bit distorted by the should-we-even-still-be-playing touchdown at the end, but the shotgun did do better per play even so. Michigan was able to enjoy the luxury of extended double teams on their zone plays.

With a DE held by the zone threat and IU's linebackers trying to read instead of screaming banzai, Michigan gets to blow both DTs off the ball with double-teams and then play from there. M saw some of this in sets under center but less so; shotgun PA can come out so quick that LBs have to respect the pop pass unless they're going to get aggressive with safeties. Also, the run threat is more pronounced. Here it drags a linebacker to Gardner even though he doesn't have the ball. That doesn't happen under center.

Encouragingly, Michigan showed a coherent set of plays they executed. The play after this was a counter that showed inside zone and then went backside for nine yards. That drew a corner blitz; Michigan responded to those corner blitzes first with the pop pass and then the packaged run that featured in Picture Pages. The play right after the counter was play action of an inside zone look that prevented a LB from getting into a drop and opened up a 15-yard dig. All of those fit together and Michigan went from the base you must respond to to a couple of constraints and then back to the base after IU had been constrained. It clicked together. I assume the many and various Funchess/Gallon routes did as well, but BTN's tendency to show you useless sideline replays made that hard to judge.

Borges argued that they got more yards from under center than the shotgun, which okay. There are plenty of teams ripping it up from shotgun attacks and with a QB like Gardner it seems to make more sense to be a primarily shotgun team—passing from it didn't seem to be much of a problem, either—but that's never going to happen because… well, no one's ever deigned to explain it in a presser so I don't know. Probably something about toughness. It is what it is.

Speaking of toughness, Please tell me Bosch can play.

There's got to be some reason he was stuck behind Burzynski, who I should point out picked up two –3 plays because he was playing with one ACL, tops, and I've set those aside below in the


chart. But even before that it seemed pretty clear that any largish defensive tackle was going to be flinging him into the backfield. For Bosch to be behind him speaks to inconsistency, missed assignments, what-have-you.

Anyway. Numbers.

Offensive Line
Player + - Total Notes
Lewan 18.5 1.5 17 are these DEs or frisbees amirite
Bosch 12 3 9 UPGRADE (probably) (maybe)
Glasgow 8 6.5 1.5 Very fast for an OL. Not a particularly useful trait, but there you go.
Magnuson 10.5 7.5 3 Lightness can crop up problematically.
Schofield 16 - 16 lol frisbees
Williams 6 6 0 Frisbees plus whiffs.
Paskorz 3.5 - 3.5 Really moved guys. If healthy may steal PT from Wiliams.
Butt 1.5 2.5 -1 Eh.
Kalis 1 0.5 0.5 Got maybe a dozen snaps.
Burzynski 3.5 2 1.5 Also –6 for two plays that happened post ACL tear.
TOTAL 80.5 35.5 69% 74% if you take out Burzynski. Indiana!
Player + - T Notes
Gardner 8.5 2 6.5 probably should have given some more scramble points.
Morris - - - DNP
Toussaint 14.5 3.5 11 Quietly playing very well last few weeks.
Green 2 - 2 Flashes.
Smith - - - DNP
Hayes - - - DNP
Rawls - - - DNP
Houma 2 - 2  
Kerridge 2.5 1 1.5  
TOTAL 29.5 6.5 23 Made plays.
Player + - T Notes
Gallon 3.5 - 3.5  
Jackson 0.5 - 0.5  
Chesson - 0.5 -0.5  
Reynolds - - -  
Dileo - - -  
Norfleet - - - DNP
Funchess 3.5 - 3.5 miracles
TOTAL 7.5 0.5 7 Indiana.
Player + - T Notes
Protection 55 3 95% Magnuson –1, Toussaint –2. Lol.
RPS 24 15 9 Unleashed the dragon.

Yeah. Indiana is real, real bad. (I would ask you to guess which play that is but you already know.) I know you know this. But watching Michigan's finesse tackle fling guys to the ground or launch them across the formation brings it home after a week in which they could do little even when they did draw defensive ends. One of the bubble troll plays featured Michigan blowing the entire IU line about three yards off the ball:

Does not compute. Anyone telling you they know more about the offensive line after this one is engaging in wishful thinking. These guys may have run into tougher competition in high school.

Also, like… pressure. One guy came anywhere near Gardner all game, and he just ran around the dude and flipped into the endzone like he was a ninja. One guy. Indiana, I sing of your awful defense! It's bad! You should try harder!


Bosch looked the part, physically. He pulled with some effectiveness and comboed effectively, for the most part. This is a pretty good play here:

The quick shoulder spear visibly rocks the DT into a spot where Lewan should be able to handle him and then he's out to a linebacker; stalemate at first but by the end of the play guy is moving backwards with some velocity. I liked his control on a draw play, too. On that he got in space and kept himself moving at a pace that didn't allow him to blow up the LB but he made contact and held his ground, which is good enough when you're in acres of territory. Just make the guy shed you and the RB is gone.

Bosch felt heavy on tape, if that makes any sense. Lewan feels heavy. Magnuson does not feel heavy. When Bosch impacts you, you go places, generally. If you're Indiana. If you're anyone else… ask again later.

Williams was even. Progress?

I don't know, man. Look at those tackle scores and compare. Indiana was running out frisbees at DE. Sometimes it's just like… wow.

That is TJ Simmons blasting through there, a true freshman. He did that again on first and goal in the fourth quarter. (On a play with other problems, granted.) I'm down with their Kalis sixth OL thing, since Williams hasn't run a pass route of more than two yards all year.

Give me your huddled Toussaint yearning to breathe free. I want them, my Tousssaints.

This is…

He made some yards.

Right.  This game was a reminder of what it was like to have Fitzgerald Toussaint when he was able to operate in space. It is pretty nice.

His pointless touchdown was similar. (A commenter pointed out that Toussaint really has a flair for pointless late touchdowns, which… yeah. That was at least the third to go with 2012 Minnesota and 2011 Illinois.)

That is why he seemed like Mike Hart but fast after his sophomore year: given space in which to do something, he can do it. I'm not sure we'll ever see it again what with the state of the line and the Indiana defense's ability to paper over that, but I'd take a late flier on the guy in the draft. Not even Mike Cox would look like an NFL back with the blocking he's had the last couple years.

Did I detect a flash from Derrick Green?

You may have, yes. Green had a smooth cutback on one of the trolltastic fake bubbles and busted a gap outside of plan on a power play. Both were excellent feet for a large man, and he looked quicker. Still going down on first tackle attempt all the time, though. He did squeeze out an impressive couple of yards after contact on one power run.

I feel that we're not talking about something sort of important.

The throwing, probably.

Yeah, probably the throwing.

Here is the throwing.

Devin Gardner 2012

Minnesota 3 7(1) 4 2(1) 2* 2 - 3 4 72%
Northwestern 4 16(2) 2 1 3* 2(1) 2(1) 2 5 79%
Iowa 3 16(4) - 2(1) 2 1 - 1 4 83%
Ohio State 3 11(1) 2 5* 2 1 - 3 2 65%
South Carolina 4 16(2) 2 8 3 4 - 2 2 57%

Devin Gardner 2013

Central Michigan 2 10(1)+ 1 1 2* - - 1 3 82%
Notre Dame 7+ 16(1)++ 4(1) 2 3* - 1 4 4 82%
Akron 3 14(2) - 5 3** 2 1 3 1 59%
UConn 2 13(1) 1 5*+ - 1 - 5 5 76%
Minnesota 4+ 7(1) 4 1 - - - 1 2 92%
Penn State 7+ 12(2) - 5+ 2** 3 1 4 4 66%
Indiana 5 18(3) 1 1 3 3 - - 5 78%

Shane Morris

Central Michigan - 4 - 1 1* 1 - - - N/A

A ball to Funchess in the turn, a few garden-variety bad reads, a scramble on third and twenty, and a couple of throwaways on which there was really no one, and that's the negative bits of Gardner's day. And I may have been super harsh! A catchable throw to Butt in a tight window was marked BR since I thought Gardner went to the wrong side of the field; the throw itself was basically perfect given that there is a dude all up in Butt's business. STOP TITTERING. I thought a throw in a tight window to Jackson was questionable because it was late and marked it CA instead of DO.

What else is there to say? The guy had target practice and took it. No PRs, tons of guys hand-wavingly open all over the field, etc. This was a shooting gallery.

One excellent thing: the Gardner redzone ninja thing came through in a vengance in this game. Michigan got a couple of scramble touchdowns, one when Gardner faked a throw that probably still has the IU DE in the air, the other after a busted protection.


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

Player 0 1 2 3   0 1 2 3
Gallon 1 2/2 0/1 12/13   20 2/2 9/11 35/38
Jackson   0/1   2/2   2 0/1   5/5
Reynolds           2 0/1 1/1 2/2
Chesson           3 0/2 1/3 6/7
Dileo           3 1/2 1/1 6/6
Norfleet           1     3/3
Funchess 1     4/4   7 1/2 3/6 19/20
Butt   0/1       1 0/2 0/1 6/6
Williams           1      
Toussaint           1     5/5
Hayes       1/1         1/1
Houma                 1/1

Jeremy Gallon, man. He had that easy drop on a dig route that would have been a lot of yards, but he also did this:

That jump by the corner is the jump that would result in 70 yard touchdowns to Gallon and he still makes the catch. He showed a lack of breakaway speed on a couple of these… because his route was good enough to get him open by yards. Such a good player.

Have we somehow underestimated how much of a freak Devin Funchess is, despite asserting that he is essentially an albatross-themed pro wrestling gimmick?

Maybe. Maybe.

The worry was that Funchess was not a mismatch because he can't block. That's no longer a worry, because he is still a mismatch against anybody who tries to cover him, blocking or not. He really does seem to have 4.5-type speed, and he can leap like that. The possibilities are becoming plain, and Michigan's occasional use of the guy as a tight end has resulted in plays like that and the PSU touchdown where their middle linebacker tried to carry him 40 yards downfield. If he has production against MSU, it's over and he's a star. Since the move to mostly WR he's averaging over 100 yards a game; keep that up and Michigan will have two WRs crack 1000 yards in a season.



Maybe not so heroic!

Joey Burzynski's ACL! Epic dick move, dude! Ligament! Whatever.

What does it mean for Michigan State and the future?

NOTHING. But other than that…

Bosch is the guy for now. Looked the part, big recruit, enrolled early, seemed to know what he was doing. No idea if that holds up against MSU. Honestly, would be more surprised if Magnuson kept the RG job over Kalis if Kalis can fix some of his issues than if Bosch got passed by Bryant.

TOUSSAINT BACK? Buried buried buried last week, good here. Think he's played really well since the first bye week and the accompanying threats about pudding.

Tackle over is dead-ish. De-emphasized, used a bit, mostly with short yardage and an actual tackle at tackle.

If you don't pressure Gardner he will put it on your face. On your face. When he gets antsy with his feet his mechanics break down and bad things start happening. Here he was 100% confident in his protection, with good reason, and he was incredibly accurate.

Gallon and Funchess should be isolated to one side of a formation and Michigan should run max protect until someone stops it. Go go gadget enormous WR and tiny WR. Remember what the ND offense was like the year they had Golden Tate and Michael Floyd and they just ran eight man protections all damn day? That. That's what they should do.


Double Wolverine

October 24th, 2013 at 4:16 PM ^

That very last paragraph sticks out for me. That Floyd/Tate passing attack was nearly impossible to stop. Given Gardner's stat lines when he has time vs. not that could really be something.

Gardner can still pass for 400 yards; all he needs is 2 200 yard receivers... or 1 300 yard cloaking-receiver and 1 100 yard mega-receiver.

Double Wolverine

October 24th, 2013 at 6:42 PM ^

I'm thinking of the 2009 team. While Michigan won thanks to Tate Forcier, Tate/Floyd had 246 yards and 3 TDs in the game. They accounted for nearly 2300 yards and 24 TDs in 2009. They also accounted for nearly 2300 yards and 17 TDs in 2008...

They had some impressive stat lines in the O:





October 24th, 2013 at 11:45 PM ^

But do we have a RB, an H-back, and a TE who can block in an 8-man max protect scheme?  The answer is no.  The correct offense would be to line up Funchess and Gallon to one side, and send Jake Butt from the TE position and Dennis Norfleet/Derrick Green from the RB position out on routes as well, while keeping only an H-back in the backfield to block.

Lather, rinse, and repeat, while throwing in the occasional draw play.

Space Coyote

October 24th, 2013 at 4:24 PM ^

But my feeling was that the fumble by Fitz was a bad pitch by Gardner. That ball has to be put cleanly to Fitz, too far out in front is on the QB (which is how I remember it).

Indiana Blue

October 25th, 2013 at 8:31 AM ^

not the best pitch, but Fitz had both hands on it, and so it shouldn't have resulted in a fumble - but it did.  Shit happens .. and I'm not sure I've seen a player working as hard as Fitz every single play this year.  He has set an excellent example for the underclassmen.

Go Blue!

Space Coyote

October 25th, 2013 at 9:39 AM ^

There are a few replays, but on the very last one it looks like he's only able to get a single, out-stretched hand on it. And it's low. Maybe Fitz should still make that catch, but in the realm of pitches, in my mind, that was considered a bad pitch by Gardner. That's the risk of this play, and I thought overall Gardner played a good game, but you can't put the ball where he did on that pitch, in my opinion.


October 24th, 2013 at 4:31 PM ^

Majority of the I form plays were obvious runs with 5-6 linemen and a fullback against a stacked box of 7-9 defenders, most of the runs from shotgun were with 6 linemen against 6 in the box worried about the threat of a pass. I swear we should run from the shotgun and throw from the I for the rest of the year, or at least for the rest of the next game..


October 24th, 2013 at 4:41 PM ^

After Gallon torched Notre Dame, teams rolled over and bracketed him, leaving light coverage on Michigan's second receiver. When that was Jehu Chesson, forced into the role by Darboh's injury, the results were mediocrity. Bad reads, covered receivers, and events like that Gardner INT that was a catchable deep ball thrown to Chesson.

So the coaches pulled Funchess from blocking duties that he wasn't particularly good at and put him outside, and he has left a trail of smoking ruins. He looks terrific, and as Brian said, he appears to be a matchup nightmare for anybody he plays.

Of course, he hasn't played anyone good yet, but the MSU game will give us a good idea of how effective he can be. With how productive he has been, though, I have to believe that he will either continue to develop as a large possession-type receiver in the Terrell Owens mode, or learn to block and project as another unbeatable tight-end. If he learns to block he can be a top-15 draft pick after next season.

And now his presence forces teams to account for him, and they can no longer bracket Gallon. Poof! Gallon is open again. His ceiling isn't as high, but he is vital for Michigan's offense.

And as bad as the OL has been, the emergence of a second star receiver has been vital for the offense. This was what allowed Michigan to score as many points as it did in the PSU debacle, and it keyed Saturday's breakout. Also, this helps clarify how devastating the Darboh injury was to Gardner early.

I'm genuinely excited about Michigan's receivers for the first time since Mario and Adrian were out there.


October 24th, 2013 at 4:52 PM ^

Green is going to be good. Very good.

The power play where he bounces a hole outside and gets upfield immediately after is the play. He sees the designed hole plugged, plants his right foot, takes 3 steps to the left where he has a seam, plants his left foot and gets upfield in a hurry. The quickness of the play and his vision is a great sign for things to come from him. 

Channeling my inner Fred Jackson, he is going to be Mike Hart.. but bigger. He isn't going to pop off 40-50 yard gains.. but defenses will struggle to get him down before he picks up 4-5 yards. And Michigan hasn't had that since Hart left. 


October 25th, 2013 at 10:37 AM ^

I don't know, I'm still a little worried that a guy Green's size has a little more Carlos Brown than Brandon Minor in him when it comes to first contact.

But he's a freshman, and got time before he needs to take the reins. Plus, if he wants to be the vision guy with limited YAC to Smith's limited vision with all YAC, that would probably work out just fine.


October 25th, 2013 at 11:54 AM ^

I'm well aware that Smith has played in one blow-out game, but in his very limited time, he would basically plow into the line and push for his couple of yards. (Not to mention, from what I remember, keeping his balance upon contact and pushing for extra yards was his HS MO, as well.) Which is kind of the opposite of Green's play thus far.


October 24th, 2013 at 5:04 PM ^

I told someone after the game that Jeremy Gallon is the WR version of Mike Hart. Not big or a great athlete, not someone the NFL is drooling over, but dammit if he's not one of best Michigan has had at that position.


October 24th, 2013 at 10:45 PM ^

It's an interesting comparison, but Gallon is going to go much higher in the draft than Hart (who was a sixth round pick).  I thought he'd be a Top 100 pick earlier this year, and his play since then has done nothing to change my mind.

Gallon's small size won't nearly hurt him as much as it did Hart b/c of the position he plays. Teams like the Pats, Broncos, Eagles or Saints will want to snap him up.


October 25th, 2013 at 11:18 AM ^

I didn't say he doesn't have an NFL future, I said he's not a guy the NFL is drooling over. I agree he could carve out a role for himself on a number of NFL teams, but I think he's probably a day 3 pick, NTTAWWT. The first rounders will be big and fast, and the guys in the next few rounds will be one or the other. But Gallon will get picked up.

But yeah, a big part of that is due to his position. You can make it as a small, heady WR easier than you can as a RB.


October 25th, 2013 at 8:30 AM ^

with the way the NFL is moving more and more towards spread passing O's with little guys like Welker becoming stars, i could see Gallon as a good fit in that kind of offense from the slot, especially because of his crisp routes and good hands. Hope the Patriots, Broncos, or Saints see some value in him in the mid to late rounds. Funchess looks like he could play anywhere, and he definitely has some speed. He is surely faster than the likes of Marquis Walker.

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October 24th, 2013 at 5:17 PM ^

If you ever tell us that Lewan threw someone into the backfield, and only used one arm to do it, I believe you are legally obligated to provide video of it.  If I'm honest, I occassionally only watch Lewan on the video clips to see him destroying defensive lines.


That being said, it makes absolutely no sense that this team doesn't run better considering that they once again have a the destroyer of worlds at LT.  It makes it even worse that they have a guy who would be getting 1st All-Conference mentions if said destroyer of worlds had gone pro.

So fuck it.  Throw the ball.  Looks awesome.  I'm nominating Rex Grossman for OC.  When it doubt, throw it deep.