Upon Further Review 2013: Offense vs Minnesota Comment Count

Brian October 9th, 2013 at 6:52 PM

FORMATION NOTES: Hello "tackle over":

tackle-over-twins-twin-te

Since these were standard formations that happened to have Lewan and Schofield next to each other I just named them as standard formations and noted them as "tackle over" before hand. I've also started noting the TO goal line formations.

As a reminder, TEs flitting in from the side to show up behind a guard are now designated with an H. This is "tackle over Ace Big H." I still consider these guys TEs.

ace-big-h

Also Michigan's been using this enough (and Seth asked me about it) that I dubbed the shotgun formation where there are three WR to one side of the field with two guys tight to the line stacked "shotgun trips inner stack."

shotgun trips inner stack

Chesson is motioning to line up outside of Funchess and Dileo.

Not to be confused with "shotgun trips stack," where all three WR are lined up over each other on the hash. Or "shotgun double stack," where there are, uh, double stacks.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Offensive line was as before save for the tackle over stuff, on which AJ Williams was always the tight-end type substance on the other end of the line. When Kalis got dinged, Joey Burzynski got three or four snaps.

Butt played a ton as the H-back TE. Funchess was mostly a wide receiver; when he did line up at tight end it wasn't a run. Paskorz got some playing time in the second half as another inline TE when Michigan went to three TE sets.

With Funchess consuming more WR snaps and a ton of looks with just one WR on the field, Reynolds and Jackson saw their playing time decrease substantially. Green got in frequently, picking up ten carries, and Justice Hayes got one snap in a two-back shotgun set on third and long.

[After THE JUMP: manball.]

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O35 1 10 Tackle over I-Form Big H 2 2 1 4-5 under Run Power O Toussaint 4
Formation as explained above. This is how M decided to obliterated Minnesota's light DEs. Schofield(+1) crushes the playside end inside as Lewan(+1) moves to the second level to get a LB. Kalis(+0.5) busts Hageman up, but he's slanting in so it's not that hard. Butt(+0.5) and Kerridge(+0.5) get kicks; Bryant(-1) blocks the same guy Lewan has, leaving the backside S there to tackle Toussaint. RPS +1; had a hat for every guy and could have busted it big. Picture Paged.
O31 2 6 Tackle over I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Power O Toussaint 6
Lewan(+1) kicks the end this time, pancaking him. Schofield(+1) and Kalis(+0.5) club the playside DT inside; Schofield gets out on a linebacker. Kerridge(+0.5) pops a LB; Bryant(+1) gets another; Toussaint(+0.5) hits the hole and a safety tight to the line hews him down. Toussaint gets some YAC. Glasgow(-1) got beat by Hageman and he nearly makes a play; any help from the rest of the Minnesota DL and he may TFL this. Picture Paged.
O25 3 In Tackle over I-Form Big H 2 2 1 4-4 over Run Power O Toussaint 3
Kick from Lewan just decent this time. Schofield(+1) busts the playside DT inside. Butt runs by a LB in search of someone further downfield; Kerridge(-1) picks him up and doesn't make good contact; LB ends up shouldering past and is in the lane upfield of Kerridge, making contact at the LOS; Kalis(+0.5) pulls around and gets okay contact on another LB. Toussaint(+0.5) powers through the tackle attempt to pick up some nice YAC and the first down.
O22 1 10 Tackle over twins twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Zone stretch Green 14
Bryant(-1) fires out vertically at the playside DT and allows him to cross his face. That is probably a missed assignment. DT penetrates now but cannot quite get into the rushing lane as he's probably getting held (refs +2). Bryant harasses the guy enough to avoid a second minus. Lewan(+1) releases downfield, finding absolutely no one to block, and then turns about 90 degrees to pick off the playside LB. Green(+1) hits the small crease he's got well and runs through an ankle tackle to pick up a nice gain; Gallon(+1) got an extended downfield block to help. Butt and Schofield's blocks on the LOS seemed just okay.
O8 1 G Tackle over I-Form Big H 2 2 1 4-4 even Run Power O Green -1
Kalis(-0.5) and Schofield(-0.5) don't get good motion on a double and neither can pop off to pick off a hard charging Minnesota LB. Kerridge(-1) again sees the playside Minnesota LB come under him and constrict a hole; Bryant(-0.5) pulls around and arrives but does not read the hard charge quickly enough and can't seal his guy upfield. Green gets buried by three guys.
O9 2 G I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Counter pitch Toussaint 9
Kalis(-1) doesn't seem to get the playcall and starts moving back into Schofield(+2) who casually shoves him downfield and then releases, getting a hat on the playside LB and giving Toussaint(+1) a lane to cut behind for six. RPS +2; Minnesota bit as a unit on the run action.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-0, 10 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M23 1 10 Tackle over I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 over Run Iso Toussaint 5
Iso at the back side of the line, away from the tackles. Bryant(+0.5) adjusts to a slant and escorts a DT out of the picture. Williams(+0.5) kicks the end well. Glasgow(+0.5) gets out on the MLB well but doesn't really move him; Kerridge(+0.5) does get a pop on a LB. Everything gets forced back into the third LB, who Schofield has no shot at.
M28 2 5 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Iso Toussaint 4
DT blows upfield into Kalis(-0.5) and Glasgow(-0.5); that guy gets penetration and falls into the desired lane. Toussaint(+1) cuts back behind that mess well; Lewan(+1) got a driving backside block to open up a decent lane.
M32 3 1 Shotgun double stacks 1 1 3 3-3-5 nickel Run QB draw Gardner 0
DE threatens blitz, backs off, flows down the line looking for the QB draw and gets it. RPS -3. You got booted on third and one and no one on the field is at fault.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 15 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M2 1 10 I-Form Big 1 2 2 4-5 over Run Iso Toussaint 0
Telling: this is just plain old I Form Big and it's Butt instead of Funchess at TE. Minnesota stunts. Glasgow(+1) does a good job to escort one DT upfield away from Toussaint; Schofield(-1) lunges for a DE and misses; Kalis(-1) stumbles as he releases and ends up not blocking anyone of consequence; Hageman comes around on the stunt and nails Toussaint at the LOS. RPS -1.
M2 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Pass Hitch Chesson 9
Now Funchess at “TE”. Pass? Pass. They're tight on the two slot types but playing off Chesson; pitch and catch. Chesson breaks a tackle for a couple YAC. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M11 3 1 Tackle over I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 under Run Down G QB boot Gardner 2
The usual thing. Butt, the playside TE, doesn't go in a route until way late. Minnesota's edge guys play this all wrong; Lewan(-1) is flared out and can crack back on a LB but picks the wrong one, which means a guy can tackle Gardner for a minimal gain, costing M five or six yards. Kalis(+1) did a good job to adjust and elminate a gap-shooting guy further inside.
M13 1 10 Ace Big H 2 2 1 4-3 over Pass PA TE Out Funchess 13
Big formation with one WR and Minnesota is backed off like this is first and 20. Funchess at TE and no unbalanced. But the LBs bite on PA anyway. Two-man route, Funchess comes open on an out; this was a false waggle type thing on which one S bit to the other side of the field hard but the Minnesota CB on Gallon came off pretty well to challenge. Gardner throws this behind Funchess, requiring him to spin around for a grab... not quite MA but I won't be so kind on the next borderline throw. (CA, 2, protection 2/2, RPS +1)
M26 1 10 Ace twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Counter Green 0
Hageman goes straight upfield and picks off the pulling G, two for one, Green has unblocked LB in face at LOS. Bryant(-1) really needs to do better here; this is not a slant away from him, this is just not getting any control on a DT. Glasgow(-1) probably should have helped.
M26 2 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 over Pass TE Hitch Funchess 7
Wheel/hitch combo. Both actually look open as the playside LB is splitting the difference; Gardner picks the hitch since it's the closer default throw. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M33 3 3 Shotgun trips inner stack 1 1 3 4-3 over Pass Out Gallon 9
Minnesota jumps, free play. Protection's good; Gardner hits a slick out to the sidelines for the first down anyway. (DO, 3, protection 2/2)
M42 1 10 Tackle over I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass Deep out Chesson Inc
Completely fails to fool anyway as M doesn't run anything that looks like a plausible run. Toussaint(-1) fails to cut a DE and a LB is flying up in Gardner's face; he has to throw. He throws a decent ball to a covered Chesson that's high and maybe catchable but broken up. If he had more time there was no deep S and Reynolds was breaking on a post. (MA, 1, protection 0/1, Toussaint -1)
M42 2 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 even split Pass Tunnel screen Chesson 2
Looks like wheel/hitch again for the secondary, sucks in all four OL, just one LB to deal with, Bryant(+0.5) gets a hat on him, and Chesson runs right into him as he turns around. Argh. It seems like Gardner throws this late as he takes a couple of back-up steps before throwing, but Chesson(-2) has to sit the hell down and shoot directly upfield after catching it on the hash. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +1)
M44 3 8 Shotgun 2-back 2 1 2 Nickel over Pass Dig Funchess Inc
Hayes in, goes in a route. Good pocket, Gardner sets up and fires putting one a bit in front of Funchess; we never get to see how that works out because of blatant uncalled PI. Woo. Refs -2. (CA, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 4 min 2nd Q>
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O38 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Nickel over Pass Improv Funchess 18
Wheel/hitch gets M in trouble as Minnesota drops a DE with Toussaint and Gardner has to abort. Hageman gets pressure by putting his hands all up in Glasgow's face, causing Gardner to scramble around; he hops around that pressure and starts moving around the pocket without spinning backwards. He finds Funchess as he nears the LOS and zips a dart to him. (DO+, 3, protection 2/2)
O20 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over Run Inverted veer keeper Gardner 5
Gray area decision as the playside end makes it tough; default is pull. End runs by Gardner and then he makes a not great decision to cut away from his blocking. Bryant(-0.5) lost his guy playside, as did Funchess(-0.5), but Dileo(+1) put his guy on the ground and Kalis can either get the S or put out fires that arise. Gardner does feel that Minnesota overplayed it and has a case; weird result of the Gallon crackback block on a safety ends up convincing Gardner to go outside until it's clear he can't, which costs him some yards. Glasgow(+1) got an extended Hageman block that helped get those yards.
O15 2 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over Pass Sack N/A -9
Showing pure man with a guy right over Funchess inside of a DE; Bryant(-3) gets smoked and gives up a sack. (PR, N/A, protection 0/3, Bryant -3)
O24 3 14 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 3-3-5 nickel Pass Post Funchess 24
Minnesota shows one deep safety and apparent man coverage. That's what they run, shading a safety over Gallon, alone on the single WR side. Funchess, the outside guy on the trips formation, has room to go outside or in, fakes out, goes in, gets separation, and that's all she wrote. Throw again a bit behind, but Funchess don't care. (CA, 2, protection 2/2) Picture Paged.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-7, 1 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Tackle over I-Form H 2 2 1 4-4 over Run Power O Toussaint 14
Schofield(+1) blows the playside DT in. Lewan(+0.5) kicks the end; Kerridge(+1) takes a charging LB to the ground as Kalis(+1) gets around to get a second LB. Butt(+1) gets out on a corner and drives him way back; Toussaint(+1) runs through a couple weak tackle attempts and nearly breaks it before stepping OOB.
M39 1 10 Tackle over I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-4 over Run Power O Toussaint 5
Schofield(+0.5) and Bryant(+0.5) block down on the playside DT; Lewan(+0.5) gets another kick on a DE that gets aggressively upfield. Houma(+1) plows a LB who's not as aggressive this time; Kalis(-1) pulls through and doesn't find the MLB, instead staring down an overhang corner and ending up blocking no one. MLB tackles. LBs really hesitant here, which gets M the yards.
M44 2 5 Tackle over I-Form H 2 2 1 4-4 over Run Power O Toussaint 8
Flip the tackles now and pull Bryant instead of Kalis. Schofield(+1) and Kalis(+1) club the playside DT out of the play, big hole. Bryant(+0.5) gets to the POA and seals a LB inside; Houma gets a pop on the other guy there; neither really gets movement. Toussaint(+1) squeezes through the gap and manages to keep his balance, then grabs a couple YAC.
O48 1 10 Tackle over I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-5 over Run Zone stretch Green 9
For whatever reason Green's getting a lot of stretch plays. Kalis chips the NT a little but this is really Glasgow(+2) getting around by himself for an old fashioned Molk solo reach. Williams(-1) could not do the same so without Glasgow's gap a cutback is doomed. Both Lewan(-0.5) and Schofield(-0.5) give up some penetration, which would make a bounce awkward and likely blown up. But Glasgow got his reach so Green(+1) has a gap. Kalis(+0.5) releases to get a downfield block that's pretty easy since the LB is running away from him.
O39 2 1 Ace Big H 1 3 1 4-4 over Penalty False start Lewan -5
Paskorz in now as second inline TE with Williams. Both he and Lewan jump(-0.5 each)
O44 2 6 Ace 3-wide stack 1 2 2 4-3 under Pass Corner Chesson 22
Minnesota slanting hard one way with a LB coming behind; DE gets under Schofield(-1) and is picked up by Green pretty nicely; this still leaves the LB unblocked. Gardner has to throw, has plenty of time, doesn't really step into it, and leaves a corner route to Chesson pretty short. Chesson adjusts for the completion. This is where the previous iffy-ish throw comes home to roost. (MA, 3, protection ½, Schofield -1)
O22 1 10 Tackle over I-Form H 2 2 1 4-4 over Run Power O Toussaint 0
Minnesota a wee bit sick of this, methinks. They split their DL to the backside of the play, causing Schofield and Bryant to pick up individual DL lines up in the playside A/B gaps while flaring the backside end out. Glasgow and Williams both go for the backside end and Bryant blocks the NT, who's headed straight upfield, out of the hole. LB can now shoot a gap to the inside and does. Glasgow(-1); feel he should release to the LB level and leave the backside end to Williams. Lewan(+0.5) gets his usual kick; Schofield(-1) sees his down block spun off of, and Kerridge(-1) just runs right by a LB who ducked his head. The two LBs combine to tackle for no gain. RPS -1, as the line shift confused guys, but also kind of ugly.
O22 2 10 Ace Big H 1 3 1 4-4 even Pass Drag Williams? Inc
Funchess in, so yeah passing. Minnesota stacks LB/DE types over the TEs and drops them into coverage. M goes half-ass PA, sliding the line, Toussaint gets an excellent cut on the playside end, Schofield(-2) spends the entire play checking for pressure from the inside and just lets a delayed blitz from an LB go right by; Gardner gets heavy pressure from that and ends up chucking it in the direction of Williams and Gallon, both of whom have stopped a few yards downfield about three yards from each other. Ugly. (PR, 0, Protection 1/3, Schofield -2)
O22 3 10 I-Form 2 2 1 4-3 over Pass PA Corner Funchess 20
Funchess at WR, Williams TE. Play action on third and ten, good protection, another corner route, this one to Funchess. It's low and away from the defender; should be high up and may be a touchdown. As it is a big guy has to go down and get it, which is tough; Funchess does it. (MA, 2, protection 2/2)
O2 1 G TO Goal line 2 2 0 4-5 under Run Down G Green 2
Run at Lewan/Schofield with playside G Bryant pulling around them. Schofield(+0.5) pushes the playside DT upfield and inside as he's trying to burrow; Glasgow(+0.5) cuts a linebacker; Bryant(+1) gets good movement on his pulling block, Lewan(+0.5) escorts a dude outside, but he's freaking out about Gardner so that's almost too easy, and Green and Kerridge can mosey in with two footballs if they want. RPS a two yard play? Yeah, I guess. RPS +1; this is the thing that's easy because people are freaking out about the Gardner boot.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-7, 10 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Tackle over I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 over Run Iso Toussaint 2
The iso to the backside that is their non-power play here. Bryant(-1) has good position on the NT after Glasgow gives him a bit of a shoulder but gets driven back into the hole. Kalis(+1) busts the playside end out of the play; Glasgow gets an eh second level block on an MLB. Kerridge(-0.5) doesn't react that well to an ILB taking a slightly more outside path and that fellow comes around to help tackle along with Bryant's guy.
M27 2 8 Tackle over I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-4 over Run Zone stretch Toussaint 1
Playside tackle just burrows his way into the backfield, which takes out both Bryant and Glasgow but also creases the line. Kerridge(+1) hits the crease and buries the MLB. Usual good Lewan(+0.5) kick. Schofield(+0.5) got a free release and got one guy; Toussaint gets hacked down by an overhang S quickly. If one of the OL that got blown up at the start of the play could get out maybe this works better; this is well blocked in general but nine in the box kills it. RPS -1.
M28 3 7 Shotgun double stacks 1 1 3 3-3-5 nickel Pass Hitch Dileo 12
Out/hitch combo. Minnesota could cover it but doesn't; Dileo open, pitch and catch. (CA, 3, protection 2/2). Dodgy snap from Glasgow FWIW.
M40 1 10 Tackle over I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-4 over Pass PA post Gallon 30
Double posts from M as Minnesota again puts nine in the box with nothing approximating a safety. Protection is good; Williams actually looks pretty natural as a pass blocker. Gardner can pick a target, takes Gallon. Throw is a dart that ends up behind Gallon, making it a moderately tough catch; if in front of Gallon this could be a catch and run TD. Since it's a 25 yard throw I'll cut some slack but this is still (MA, 2, protection 2/2, RPS +2)
O30 1 10 Ace Big H 1 3 1 4-4 over Run Power O Green 1
Paskorz(-1) loses his downblock after getting a little motion; Kalis(-1) sees that happen and comes down to whack that guy, which he doesn't have to do. Butt(+0.5) had whacked his guy inside, with help from that guy, and the corner opens up for Green. Unblocked overhanging LB comes down for an immediate tackle. Opportunity for Green to make a play here, but nyet.
O29 2 9 Ace Big H 1 3 1 4-4 over Pass Scramble Gardner 3
Funchess instead of Paskorz, throwing times. Amazingly, no one on the corner for the waggle. Butt gets held up in traffic and can't get out in his route; can't see downfield but Gardner doesn't think he's got anything. Gardner(+1) dodges a couple of guys in the backfield and turns a loss into some yards. (SCR, N/A, protection N/A)
O26 3 6 Shotgun trips stack 1 1 3 3-3-5 nickel Pass Scramble Gardner 14
Another three man rush with two guys hanging back covering Toussaint and spying. DEs get upfield, Gardner doesn't like it downfield, Gardner(+1) takes off, spy guy comes up and is like I AM SPYING ON YOU BUDDY... and then gets dusted. (SCR, N/A, protection 1/1)
O12 1 10 Tackle over I-Form Big H 1 3 1 4-4 over Run Power O Toussaint 12
M sends Butt and Kerridge and Bryant through the intended gap, which is huge. Schofield(+1) blocks a guy inside who seemed to be slanting in on the snap. Usual Lewan(+1) kick espectacular. Butt goes to get a CB; Kerridge(+1) clunks a linebacker, Bryant clunks... the same LB. That does blow the guy back and force the safety to slow up a bit. Toussaint(+1) runs through a couple arm tackles for six.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 28-10, EO3Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M29 1 10 Tackle over Ace twins 1 2 2 4-4 over Run Zone stretch Toussaint 4
Torn on this one. Bryant bashes the NT really hard and that's all she wrote for that guy. Glasgow steps around and finishes the pancake but he hardly had to do anything. Bryant now releases. Toussaint hits a gap between Schofield and Lewan, where there's a LB filling that Bryant is chasing. Toussaint(+1) grinds through that tackle attempt for 3 YAC. It seems like everyone about did their job but Bryant can't get a hit on the MLB. MLB is a yard or two back at the snap, which helps. RPS -1? I guess I'm going with that.
M33 2 6 Tackle over I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-4 under Run Power O Toussaint 1
Kalis(+0.5) and Schofield(+0.5) double the playside end and crush him back; with Kalis getting out on an overhang guy. Glasgow(+0.5) handles Hageman well. Houma(+1) gets a nice driving block on the playside LB; Bryant(-1) gets submarined by a LB, who makes a diving tackle at the LOS. If not for that guy this breaks big. Obligatory Lewan(+0.5) kick of doom.
M34 3 5 Shotgun trips stack 1 2 2 4-3 under Pass Rollout out Dileo Inc
Stack gets an out open; no idea why anyone thinks Dileo should catch this as it deflects off his fingertips. (IN, 1, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 28-13, 8 min 4th Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M31 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-4 under Run Zone stretch Green -1
Nose tackle just barrels forward at the snap. Bryant tries to hit him, then releases. Glasgow gets shoved way back in the backfield by this but does just manage to deal with the guy as he falls near Green's feet. Bryant can't get out on at LB charging hard and when Green hits the hole that guy is there to tackle. RPS -1; M not prepared to handle this sort of response. Bryant(-1) has gotten beat like this a second time, though; needs to read the NT maybe and release at a different angle?
M30 2 11 I-Form 2 1 2 4-4 under Penalty Offsides N/A 5
So.
M35 2 6 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 over Pass Yakety snap N/A -5
Fumbled snap.
M30 3 11 Shotgun trips inner stack 1 2 2 Nickel under Pass Dig Funchess 22
Excellent protection; Funchess shows a fly route, then cuts inside for dig, getting separation again. Tantalize! (DO, 3, protection 2/2)
O48 1 10 Tackle over I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-4 over Run Iso Green -2
Glasgow(-1) leaves immediately; Bryant(-1) gets beat by Hageman pretty badly; Hageman TFL.
50 2 12 I-Form 2 1 2 4-4 under Run Zone stretch Green 0
This one's on Green, as the playside end dives inside of Lewan(+1) and is contained; Kerridge sees it and hits the gap between Lewan and Williams(+0.5) kicking out; Green(-2) inexplicably cuts back into the guy Lewan has sealed inside.
50 3 12 Shotgun 3-wide 1 2 2 Nickel even Pass Fly Funchess 46
Press man from Minnesota and a zone blitz that leaves one deep safety. Funchess just runs by the corner over him; Gardner hits him. Excellent protection. (DO, 3, protection 3/3)
O4 1 G TO Goal line 2 2 0 Goal line Run Down G Toussaint 2
Burzynski(-1) came in a couple plays ago as Kalis went down with a boo boo. He pulls, and doesn't get a block. He hits the same guy Kerridge(+0.5) plugs, allowing inside pursuit to bounce Toussaint to the sideline. Toussaint(+0.5) does well to avoid it and get some yards.
O2 2 G TO Goal line 2 2 0 Goal line Run Iso Green 0
Playside DT submarines Bryant; NT tries to do the same to Burzynski and gets handled but seems to knock Glasgow(-0.5) off balance; Glasgow does get a hit on a linebacker but picks the same guy Paskorz, leading through the hole, does. A guy to the weakside is thus unblocked and comes through a lot of traffic to tackle. Kerridge(+1) had buried a linebacker and Burzynski(+1) sealed away a guard. Green gets form tackled by this dude impressively and doesn't seem to have other options.
O2 3 G TO Goal line 2 2 0 Goal line Run Down G QB boot Gardner 2
Stop that if you can. Magnusson(+1) turned in the playside end effectively. Kalis(+0.5) got a bump on a LB; Gardner(+0.5) is fast.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 35-13, 2 min 4th Q. M doesn't see the ball again.

I SEE CAVERNS

Dead caverns?

Caverns are inanimate objects. They're actually the absence of material. Something that is not there cannot be dead. To die one must have lived.

Man, you sound depressed about the commercial breaks.

That's you!

I get over these things.

Anyway, yes, caverns. Here's Toussaint's touchdown from the 12 from the endzone cam view.

td-4

Yodel in that, homeboy. That was a consistent theme once Minnesota decided that they wanted Lewan kicking out their DE. Lewan would put that guy near the numbers and Minnesota would have to try and shut down about five lateral yards once Kalis/Bryant and Schofield blew in whichever DL was in the area.

image

hole visible from space

Watch Schofield just move the DT here:

While we are under no illusions that Minnesota's defense is anything but odious, that could be said about Michigan's last two opponents, and this was a totally different kind of thing going on.

But they got barely over 100 yards on the ground.

They had 52 plays.

And and they got only 3.2 YPC! That's got division in it, buddy.

Reconfigure that for reality and you've got:

  • Toussaint: 17 for 78, 4.6/att
  • Green: 10 for 23, 2.3/att
  • Gardner: 6 for 26, 4.3/att

Michigan had a long of 14 on the day. I understand that the numbers are not all that different from teams that are not good at running. I also saw a lot of very well-blocked plays that got hewed down after a few yards because Minnesota was selling out with both formation and reaction against a setup announcing that eight out of ten times Michigan was running behind Lewan and Schofield.

Did that make sense in this game? Let's see by drive.

  1. 35-yard manball drive all on the ground.
  2. Two isos get M in third and one, QB draw snuffed out by clever defensive call.
  3. M passes its way out from its own two to the 42, pass pass pass (uncalled blatant PI) punt.
  4. 38-yard touchdown drive with one run, an inverted veer for five.
  5. 75-yard TD drive kicked off by four straight runs for 36 yards, has one unsuccessful first and ten run late.
  6. 75-yard TD drive that is mostly passing until cavernous touchdown above.
  7. Three and out on which two runs set M up with third and five.
  8. 69-yard TD drive that is mostly failed runs and long passes to Funchess.

Minnesota did figure things out on the final three drives, on which Toussaint and Green combined for one twelve-yard touchdown and 10 other attempts for 8 yards. By that point Michigan was up two or three scores and endeavoring to eat clock. Because this game was so short, those late runs on which game theory dictates you eat a bunch of crappy plays just to get out of there were a disproportionate percentage of the effort on the day.

RUNS PRIOR TO 4TH Q: 25 for 121.
4th Q: 8 for 6 yards. (Fumbled snap ignored.)

Given the HI WE'RE RUNNING OVER HERE nature of the offense, that's an encouraging step forward. Michigan told Minnesota what it was doing and did it for almost five yards a carry and one meaningful TFL, without having anything resembling a long run. Advanced stats guys will track something called "line yards" they use to rank offensive lines. That's based on various complicated regressions and the intuition that lines get you four yards and beating unblocked guys gets you 50; Michigan's line yards were great in this one.

Long runs are important.

Also random, and also Michigan was very close to a few. Here a Minnesota linebacker heroically/stupidly submarines Chris Bryant and gets a near-TFL that was either going to be a near-TFL or a big ol' run.

But that's going to get us killed against a real defense.

I don't disagree that if Michigan comes out in a formation that is 83% we-run-here against a good defense they're going to be eating splinters all day and the Borges Internet Opinion Rollercoaster will plunge towards another low, but in this game they didn't have to show everything their new toy could do. It's possible they could tackle over with 70% run, and that would be acceptable.

The most important thing is that Michigan found a way to make their veteran tackles the heart of the run game, something that shows in the—

Don't quarterback CHARTs come first?

—chart. (Not today, bolded alter ego, not today.)

Weekly context: with only 52 plays to their name these numbers were acquired in double-time and high numbers should be e'er more impressive.

Offensive Line
Player + - Total Notes
Lewan 9 2 7 Dismissive one handed block finish, check.
Bryant 4.5 7 -2.5 Had his share of issues.
Glasgow 5.5 5 0.5 First start, dealt with Hageman, I'll take it.
Kalis 7 5 2 A little more consistency at finding dudes please.
Schofield 10 3 7 Consistently bludgeoned DTs.
Williams 1 1 0 A trend coming.
Funchess - 0.5 -0.5 Marginalized blocking?
Butt 2 - 2 Yes pretty much.
Magnuson 1 - 1 -
TOTAL 42 24 64% Burzynski also 1-1-0, Paskorz –1.5. 9% uptick from UConn.
Backs
Player + - T Notes
Gardner 2.5 - 2.5 Reduced role.
Morris - - - DNP
Toussaint 7.5 - 7.5 Didn't leave one yard on the field.
Green 2 2 0 Two nice zone reads, one blown one.
Smith - - - DNP
Hayes - - - DNP
Rawls - - - DNP
Houma 2 - 2 Nice cameo.
Kerridge 6 3.5 2.5 Let some guys under him.
TOTAL 26.5 16.5 10 Toussaint number is a surprise to me.
Receiver
Player + - T Notes
Gallon 1 - 1  
Jackson - - -  
Chesson - 2 -2 Biffed a screen.
Reynolds - - -  
Dileo 1   1  
Norfleet - - - DNP
York - - - DNP
TOTAL 2 2 0 Tough day for Chesson all around.
Metrics
Player + - T Notes
Protection 27 7 79% Bryant –3, Schofield –3, Toussaint –1.
RPS 8 8 0 Not an RPS kind of game.

Turns out what everyone saw about the TEs is also what the coaches saw: they were almost totally marginalized in this game. (As blockers.) Michigan ran away from Williams, ran once when Funchess was inline (an inverted veer), and used Butt as an H-back a little.

Meanwhile, Toussaint: as mentioned in the most recent picture-pages, Toussaint cut the dancing out of his game completely and bashed forward, breaking arm tackles and squeezing through small holes. He left zero yards on the field.

And the tackles were the heart of the run game.

You are the prince of lies. Everything is better with Bryant.

Michigan's going to roll with this configuration for a while and Bryant did consistently get to the hole and hit someone once in it on power. His ability to do that is impressive at his size, and Kalis seemed less consistent about finding guys.

He did have some issues. Obviously there was the sack. He got blown up on an unsuccessful counter, as well. He should have gotten a holding call on Green's first stretch success. Less obviously, on a couple of zone stretches on which Green got buried it was Bryant's attempted block doing the burying. Example:

I know what Green's trying to do: blast the NT with his shoulder so Glasgow can deal with him. That NT submarines Glasgow all the way and Bryant's release is too vertical for him to get a paw on the MLB. Not sure if that's just an RPS for the Gophers or a problem for Bryant. Judging from the similar block on the backside it does seem like Bryant needs to change his release angle.

On another play, Bryant helped Glasgow make a block on an NT who actually needed to get blocked and then saw his LB kill Green, and I wonder if Michigan might have tipped that because the MLB is off the line another couple yards—helpful for getting around Bryant—and flowing fast.

As we saw earlier in the year, the momentary doubles in the stretch are a tricky balance between letting the nose rip into the backfield and having something like this happen. (Also, these plays were with Michigan up 28-13 with seven minutes left, so it was full on sell-out time for the Minnesota D.)

Bryant's not an instant offensive line out of the box, unfortunately, but he is worth exploring further.

How's Glasgow's center transition?

Some rough spots including one fumbled exchange and a dodgy shotgun snap that Gardner handed with aplomb. Otherwise highly encouraging. Glasgow got a couple of vintage David Molk reach blocks on stretch plays:

He generally handled his duties on power. He had some issues with Hageman that are reflected in his numbers, but after he ended up very negative against Louis Nix scraping above zero in his first start as a C against a very good player is a win.

Kerridge seemed to have some issues.

Not his best game. Early on Minnesota linebackers had a knack for getting under his pads and through his block to be useful in the hole.

At one point he ran through the hole without touching anyone, though some weird play from the Minnesota LB had the effect of a defensive juke.

Derrick Green is a bust? He's a bust!

I didn't think he could do much with the runs he couldn't do anything on. But he hasn't shown a whole lot of power yet, which is worrying. He goes down on first contact a lot for a power back.

What about… that guy. You know, that one. The one who gets the ball from the other guy. The center guy.

Right.

Devin Gardner 2012

Opponent DO CA MA IN BR TA BA PR SCR DSR
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

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

Shane Morris

Opponent DO CA MA IN BR TA BA PR SCR DSR
Central Michigan - 4 - 1 1* 1 - - - N/A

Obviously take that DSR with a grain of salt since there were so few throws. Annoying to hear the color guy harp on Gardner's accuracy, but he wasn't wrong. Gardner put it behind Funchess twice and Gallon once and left corner routes to Chesson and Funchess short. Many of those throws were borderline CA/MA things and I tended to split them down the middle. He avoided anything resembling a big mistake, averaged 13 yards an attempt, and was probably robbed of another deep completion by a blatant PI on a panicking DB. It was actually a bit like his Minnesota game last year, when he had a number of iffy deep throws that his WRs pulled out of the fire for him. These weren't quite as bad (or were to Funchess, who is the most forgiving target imaginable).

But… they were complete, and when Gardner messed up he messed up in such a way as to let his receivers make a play on the ball, keeping it away from DBs. His four incompletions were:

  • Out to Dileo too high. (IN)
  • Uncalled pass interference on Funchess on a ball he would have had a good shot at (CA)
  • Pressured ball to a covered Chesson is broken up (MA)
  • Gardner gets pressure from delayed blitzer right up the middle, has two covered WRs three yards from each other, just flings it as he's hit, possibly to get rid of it. (PR)

Michigan brought Gardner into the game slowly and was rewarded with no bad decisions, no turnovers, and a number of nice throws. A bounce-back.

Gardner didn't have many opportunities to move around in this one; he still encouraged with one, as when Hageman bulled his way back into the pocket with aid from an illegal hands to the face he started moving around in the pocket itself before breaking to the outside and nailing Funchess:

If you want to move some MAs to IN or whatever, okay.

Receivers?

[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     1/1 1/1   12   9/10 16/18
Jackson           2     3/3
Reynolds           2 0/1 1/1 2/2
Chesson   0/1   3/3   3 0/2 1/3 5/5
Dileo   0/1   1/1   3 1/2 1/1 5/5
Norfleet           1     3/3
York                  
Funchess 1   3/3 4/4   4 1/2 3/6 11/11
Butt           1 0/1 0/1 6/6
Williams 1         1      
                   
Toussaint           1     5/5
Hayes                  
Green                  
Smith                  
Kerridge                  
Houma                 1/1

Basically a perfect day, with the only mistake that affected anything the aforementioned incompletion where Gallon and AJ Williams ended up standing next to each other. Note that the transition from Jackson/Reynolds to Chesson seems complete, as he's got nine targets in the last two games to J/R's two.

FUNCHESS.

Yeah, man. Yeah, man. I am really trying not to flip out about this, because I assume Minnesota's secondary is bad. It's going to be a whole different ball of wax in November. But still!

He just runs by that cornerback. No double move, no hijinks, just flat out running by a cornerback at 6'5", 235. The crazy thing about his day is that he didn't really have to use his height, a la Hemingway. Minnesota simply could not cover him. He threatened deep, and came inside, and got yards of separation.

And he's got pretty damn good hands. He has yet to record a flat drop in UFR charting and while he's had a bit of a rough start with the harder stuff this year, his sheer size makes tough catches seem easy. He dug out that short corner route in this one and has clearly proven he can reach behind himself to bail out his QB.

Borges check?

There's not a whole lot to argue with except the long-term viability of Starsky And Lewan. Even when Michigan got booted off the field—only three times—players had opportunities to do things, most prominently a middle screen to Chesson that would have broken big if Chesson would have turned directly upfield:

I also liked Michigan bringing out a playside guard pull on the goal line that was a tailback handoff. A linebacker booked out to the edge, expecting Gardner to have the ball, and both Kerridge and Green basically walked into the endzone.

The one thing that I thought was pretty bad was the QB draw that ended Michigan's second drive. After eight straight runs, going back into the shotgun on third and one screamed QB draw, and Minnesota baited Michigan into it by emptying the box and running a play specifically designed to snuff out a QB draw, which it did.

I'm fine with using a shotgun run with your QB on short yardage, just make it a run, you know? They've got a three man line, blow one guy up with a double and you're across the line.

Other than that, I might not have chosen this particular identity but to have one and execute it while flipping a crappy team the bird the whole time is major progress. Hopefully they can maintain that, or play off it.

Heroes?

Lewan and Schofield. Funchess. And Gardner. Toussaint as well.

Maybe not so heroic?

Bryant showed some things; overall he'll need to improve to hang onto his job.

What does it mean for Penn State and the future?

Expect unbalanced lines until someone stops it. They'll have to diversify against Penn State (maybe—Penn State's defense has been pretty bad), but running power at Schofield and Lewan marginalizes the bad bits of their blocking and allows the guards to do the thing they're best at right now: pulling.

Funchess is a wide receiver. Mike Williams, Megatron, Mario Urrutia: pick one. Even if he's not open, he's open, and he gets open a shocking amount of time.

Chesson is your starter, if Funchess isn't your starter. That's two weeks now; he's moved past the veterans. Good sign.

Gardner can do things that are not turn the ball over. Keep him calm, max protect quite a bit—they'll have to from tackle over—and see if that gets you a lead. If not, break glass in case of emergency.

Bryant/Glasgow will continue to be the pairing. Bryant has issues he needs to hammer out still; they'll give him that chance.

Comments

Zone Left

October 9th, 2013 at 7:12 PM ^

Assuming we continue the unbalanced lines, expect defenses to try and force Lewan into kicking the end out on contain while making everyone else do harder things. There's no one outside of OSU who has a semi-realistic shot at beating Lewan 1-1 on a given play. 

The question is how Borges counters. I think strong side tosses with a pulling playside guard might be the ticket. I give Lewan a 80%+ chance to hook any DE in the conference on a given play.

SituationSoap

October 10th, 2013 at 1:09 PM ^

I believe that in order to do that, you'd have to announce to the refs that Lewan is reporting as eligible on that play, since he wears an OL number. Essentially, you'd have to tip your hand immediately or else do it a couple times a game now and do nothing with it until you really need it.

UMgradMSUdad

October 9th, 2013 at 7:14 PM ^

I think the -2 for Chesson on that play is too harsh. Yes, if he had stopped on a dime and spun around there was open field, but that seems a bit much to expect from him.

funkywolve

October 9th, 2013 at 11:58 PM ^

Garnder is the reason for the timing being off but yet you place the full blame on Chesson.  To my amatuer eye if you watch the play and pause about every second, if Chesson sits down that becomes a much tougher throw and also could prossibly bring the trailing Minny dlineman into the picture. 

mgobaran

October 10th, 2013 at 10:36 AM ^

I only watched the play one time (live), but I immediatly thought that Chesson needs to do a better job there with his route. I didn't know how to fix the problem at the time, but setting down makes sense. 

The play was there, the pass was caught, all yards from there on out rely on the WR's ability to get yards after the catch, and the line's ability to block down field. Chesson did not give the line that opportunity.

Michigan Arrogance

October 9th, 2013 at 7:21 PM ^

I think this game was certainly more encouraging than not. But I still can't help but think about the coaches taking this long to realize they could put Funchess at WR-- They moved DG to WR before they tried this just this week.

Kind of the same with moving the line to make sure the OTs are the focus of the line blocking - plus that lets the guards do what they do best: pull. why didn't the coaches recognize this as a possibility in the spring? why not put funchess at WR much earlier?

I'm not being critical of the coaches here- I think it's a good sign that they adapted as a result of extreme struggles. hindsight is 20/20.

ChiBlueBoy

October 10th, 2013 at 12:39 PM ^

I think the idea pre-season was to have Darboh, Gallon and a rotation of others (Chesson by late in the year primarily) on the outside, with Dileo/Norfleet in the slot to challenge the secondary. With Funchess doing what he does to CBs, imagine what he could do to the poor LB trying to keep up with him? A complete nightmare of DCs. Two issues arose with that plan, though. 1) Darboh's injury; and 2) Funchess' blocking.

Next year, I foresee Darboh, Chesson and Norfleet gashing DBs. If Funchess can improve his blocking, I see him back at TE, Borges has a full swiss army knife to play with, and many a LB has a waking nighmare trying to cover Funchess and Butt.

funkywolve

October 9th, 2013 at 11:55 PM ^

I think there's a couple reasons why this wasn't explored more in the spring.  First, I'm guessing the coaches wanted to get Funchess as many reps as possible at TE to try and improve his blocking.  Second, Butt hadn't emerged.  I think the emergence of Butt as a viable option at TE this fall has helped in allowing the coaches to move Funchess around. 

reshp1

October 10th, 2013 at 9:43 AM ^

At the beginning of the season you had AJ Williams and then a true freshman (Butt) and a guy with a club for a right hand (Paskorz). Then you had WIlliams go down with a boo boo. TE is so important to what these guys want to run that they pretty much had to keep Funchess there even though he busted assignments as often as he made plays.

The stacked OT's thing is not an optimal solution. It basically is screaming "we're going to run here" over the PA. There are counters sure, but it's still more of a bandaid than a base play (a bandaid we desperately needed).

Michigan4Life

October 9th, 2013 at 7:50 PM ^

He doesn't have the burst to get to the holes and is too much of an upright runner which is why he goes down on first contact. That's a bad combination if you're a RB.  You can get away with being a upright runner if you have the burst like AP for example.  It's very difficult to completely change a RB's running style because they have run this way in their entire life.

That being said, Green is a only a true freshman. He has ways to go before he can be a significant contributor.

Bigku22

October 9th, 2013 at 8:24 PM ^

I'm not one to overreact, but I can't place a Green carry this year that's stood out as impressive in anyway. No significant burst, no powering through a guy, no getting a few yards that weren't blocked for him. Not saying he won't get there, but as a 5 star guy I expected some type of unique skill he possessed to jump out at me. I won't play the bust card, cause calling a true freshman that is stupid, but at some point towards the end of the year ok would like him to make a couple plays your average run of the mill back wouldn't make.

ijohnb

October 10th, 2013 at 9:47 AM ^

but this Green stuff is ridiculous.  He has had a few carries in two games, he is inexperienced and playing behind a struggling offensive line.  I think that the rather dull times since the Notre Dame game have resulted in some serious overanalysis here.  He is true freshman, he is a monster, he is going to be fine.  Back up from the microscope a little.

schreibee

October 10th, 2013 at 3:01 PM ^

Do you recall/can you picture TJ Yeldon's 1st couple carries last year? I can, too vividly! He had burst, acceleration, vision, balance, power. It really isn't too much to expect, or at least hope for, in a 5* frosh.
It goes without saying, and doesn't need a UFR, that he was operating behind a more accomplished OL, but still...

reshp1

October 10th, 2013 at 9:51 AM ^

His acceleration has impressed me. For a big guy, he turns on the jets in a hurry. On each of his two longer runs, he went from jogging laterally along the line waiting for a crease to develop, to bursting full speed through it. That's not something you see for a bigger back too often. Unfortunately, he hasn't done much to take advantage of the "for a bigger back" caveat, in which case he's no more effective than a Fitz type back that's just as quick.

I think he'll get there eventually. Getting on campus not in shape, and then getting hurt was a big set back for him that he's probably still trying to catch up on. He seems to be getting a lot of carries on stretch plays for whatever reason that I'm not sure really suit his style. Once he gets more familiar with the play book and gets more downhill runs I think he'll be in a better position to truck some people, especially if our line can get him to the defensive backs clean.

Michigan4Life

October 10th, 2013 at 10:38 AM ^

because i don't see the burst from Green.

Not getting into good shape entering his freshman season is not a good sign especially if he doesn't have injury to nurse.  Given his weight problem in the past, that's a big concern.

It's not that he can't truck people, he is too much of an upright runner to run through arm tackles.  He got taken down by smaller players which is bad considering he's 240 lbs.

wolverine1987

October 10th, 2013 at 1:01 PM ^

I can recall Minor, Hart, Chris Perry and a couple of other top M freshman backs, and while they all made mistakes and needed improvement, with each one of those guys there was a run or two early in the first year where you said "whoa he looks like he's got talent." While so far the sample size is small, I don't think anyone has thought that about DG yet. Does mean he won't show that? Nope. But the signs of elite talent have not been shown yet

Salinger

October 10th, 2013 at 11:43 AM ^

Borges addressed this in his presser. It takes awhile for young running backs to adjust to the college defense, which is much more disciplined. In HS he could count on his speed/power to overcome adversity by bulldozing lesser players or jumping out to the edge. You can't do that at the college level. He'll figure things out as the coaches bring him along. I don't think we've seen all there is to see from Derrick Green yet.

UMgradMSUdad

October 11th, 2013 at 8:58 AM ^

I agree, and one of the most frustrating things about this season so far is that the games that should have been blow outs, allowing ample time for freshmen to get playing time were such nail biters that there has been no real chance to get some younger guys playing time.

I dumped the Dope

October 11th, 2013 at 9:28 AM ^

I think he definitley has the "raw material" to be great.  I think the key is another year in the weight room.  While he looks big, he needs to "develop his mass" into more muscle.  Trying to drive thru weights while lifting builds explosiveness that I think is missing.  My guess is he was able to dominate at the HS level with pure physical tools.  So going thru a D1 strength training program for a year's time is going to put him on another level.

Also like the idea that a large human is built with a better structure (bones, ligaments, etc) than the rest of us mortals.  In other words there's a reason the biggest guy on a construction crew handles the jackhammer.  I would like to think that translates into durability over several seasons of pounding.

 

dnak438

October 9th, 2013 at 7:28 PM ^

Brian, I assume that this is an error:

Bryant's not an instant offensive line out of the box, unfortunately, but he

How's Glasgow's center transition?

robmorren2

October 9th, 2013 at 8:11 PM ^

I'd give Borges a pass on that QB draw on 3&1 to end the 2nd drive. I thought Devin was hesitant and a little too shifty for a 3&1. Maybe he thought he was going to be able to break that for a longer run, because he could have easily powered forward and got a first down on that play. Also, there have been a million times in the last few years where I was begging for Borges to call QB runs on short yardage situations, so I can't be too hard on him. I think Devin picks up a first 8 times out of 10 on that same call.

MVictors97

October 10th, 2013 at 8:59 AM ^

I agree with Brian. I don't like the call. Yes it could have easily been converted if you get anything out of the two blocks and if Gardner is a little more decisive. But Michigan had been pounding the ball in power formations and they get to 3rd and 1 and go to a Shotgun draw? Just lineup in the unbalanced and pound the power off tackle again. This was the only Borges call I didn't care for.  But like I said, it still should have gotten them a first down.

Schembo

October 9th, 2013 at 9:48 PM ^

I agree.  HIs recruiting rankings were somewhat based on his potential rather than the back he currently was at the time.  I think he's got a great future here but he needs to get carries.  The lack of playing time in the Akron and UConn games probably stunted his growth a little bit going into conference play.  I think we subscribe to the theory that runningbacks should be great right off the bat a little too much.

maizenblue92

October 9th, 2013 at 8:46 PM ^

The name I thought of watching Funchess at WR was Mike Evans at A&M. He is just big (6'5", 235lbs) so they throw the ball up to him and no CB can get near it (a al the Alabama game).

R Kelly

October 9th, 2013 at 9:23 PM ^

It refers to the coach's ability to call the right play at the right time and/or have the right play design for the situation (e.g. properly throwing rock when the opposing coach throws scissors).

Bobby Boucher

October 9th, 2013 at 9:29 PM ^

I don't see tackle over plays as being successful at Penn State since it tips our hand at what the next play will be.  They may have gotten burned by Indiana, but that wasn't via manball.  Penn State has a better front seven.  All they've got to do is sell out and that 3.6 YPC will drop.  And I hate to say it, but we won't win the game with that being the bread and butter gameplan.

RadioMuse

October 9th, 2013 at 11:17 PM ^

I think I agree with you wholeheartedly that the tackle over package probably isn't going to work on the better defenses in this conference.  It should be reasonably effective against the bad ones left on the schedule (Indiana, Nebraska, MAYBE Iowa) and the one with an undersized line (Northwestern)...  I could see it not working AT ALL against State or Ohio, and to a lesser degree, Penn State.

The good news is that we haven't run much for counter-plays out of it yet (really) and it's relatively ripe for those as long as everyone else can hold their own (and teams have to sell out to stop it). Additionally, based on the ND gameplan, Borges is perfectly willing to go after weaknesses in a teams secondary if that's where the weakness lie.  If anything I think we're in a better position to go pass-happy now with Funchess roaming around at WR.  I think we can run legit 3-reciever sets all day with either Gallon / Funchess / Chesson or Gallon / Funchess / Dileo.  Though this was a rough game for Chesson I still think he's trending upward...  though I'd also like to see The Threat deployed more too.