Upon Further Review 2013: Offense vs Penn State

Submitted by Brian on October 17th, 2013 at 8:29 PM

FORMATION NOTES: More tackle over stuff. This is the aforementioned play in Picture Pages that's just an I-Form with Lewan and Schofield flipped, mostly notable for PSU's super heavy package on the DL. Penn State brought this out three or four times.


They had one snap in an offset pro-form with Hayes in the backfield.


And, of course… this.


SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Gardner all the way at QB save one Morris snap after Gardner's helmet popped off. Toussaint almost all the way at RB; some scattered Green, and one Justice Hayes snap in a two-back look. Norfleet got one snap, a fake jet sweep that led to a middle screen.

At TE, Butt and Williams played a ton; Funchess put his hand down every once in a while but was mostly part of the WR rotation. That rotation has almost entirely come down to Gallon, Chesson, Funchess, and Dileo; Jackson got one snap IIRC and Reynolds none.

The OL was a revolving door. Magnuson first came in to replace Williams in tackle over sets after Williams gave up a sack, then replaced Lewan, with Schofield moving to left tackle and Magnuson generally existing on the right. Burzynski first replaced Kalis after his personal foul and then played most of the second half and overtime in place of Bryant.

[After THE JUMP: probably a rainbow of kittens]

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M30 1 10 TO I-Form Big H 2 2 1 4-4 over Run Power O Toussaint -3
M shows a conventional I-Form Big with Williams at FB that's an illegal formation and motions into their over formation. PSU shifts in response, playing over. Glasgow(-3) tries to block the playside DT, leaving the NT free to shoot into the backfield and TFL. Butt(-1) got blown up by the guy he was trying to take on and there was no gap anyway. Gallon buried a safety, though. Yeah. Other blocks are mediocre at best and PSU goes basically cover zero against this. RPS -1.
M27 2 13 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Run Inverted veer counter Gardner 4
Looks like inverted veer but has Schofield pulling to the backside of the play. PSU WLB reads this well and ends up hitting Schofield(-0.5) at the LOS; rocking him back. Schofield does get control after the initial hit and with a good Lewan(+1) kick that gives Gardner a crease; Bryant(-0.5) lost his down block eventually and that DL and a safety combine to tackle. RPS +1; this erased the MLB and required a couple of nice plays to hold down.
M31 3 9 Shotgun 3-wide 1 2 2 3-3-5 nickel Pass Comeback Funchess Inc
M rolls away from a six man pressure and does momentarily get the corner; with a safety coming down this is seven guys so pure man behind it. Gardner pulls up to throw to Funchess, who slips on his break. Ball sails OOB. I'm not charting this for Gardner because it could have been accurate or not and there's no way to tell. (N/A, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 13 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M19 1 10 TO I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-5 under Run Zone stretch Toussaint -3
They run away from the TO side with lol results. Williams(-2) and Bryant(-2) both get blown three yards in the backfield and Lewan has no shot at dealing with the backside tackle so there's no cutback. Schofield(-1) should have hit him instead of releasing. PSU again in pure cover zero. RPS -1
M16 2 13 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Pass TE hitch Butt 5
Gardner misreads this presnap I think, as he's got Chesson running an out against a LB lined up almost in the box that will be a catch and big YAC. Instead he looks the whole way at the crowded short side of the field, eventually hitting a well-covered Butt for a mediocre gain. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M21 3 8 Shotgun 4-wide 1 2 2 3-3-5 nickel Pass Hitch Gallon INT
Double hitches with the corner over Gallon bailing out deep. Nickel corner leaves Dileo all alone, Gardner fails to read this, throws terrible INT. (BRX, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Interception, 0-0, 10 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M14 1 10 TO twins Ace H 1 2 2 4-4 over Run Power O Toussaint 12
Running with seven blockers into an eight man box, and it works this time. Not on the playside, because of course not, as the LB meets Bryant two yards in the backfield. This should be disaster but Schofield(+1) has punched the DT inside and upfield, providing a crease. Kalis's block on the MLB is weak at best but does prevent him from tackling; Glasgow(+1) gets an extended block on the NT that ends up a couple yards downfield , and two PSU players pick the same side of him, allowing Toussaint(+2) to cut back all the way and pick up a first down.
M26 1 10 Pistol twins 1 2 2 4-3 over Pass Zone read keeper Gardner 15
DE shuffles down as Butt goes for the backside LB and PSU plays super soft on the edge, so Gardner(+1) keeps and takes off. He is fast, no one is on the edge. RPS +2.
M41 1 10 Ace 3-wide stack 1 2 2 4-3 under Pass PA Post Funchess 59
Corner blitz leaves this basically one on one coverage with Funchess and Gallon against two guys anywhere near them. Toussaint picks up the blitz and Gardner has a huge pocket to step into. As Funchess breaks to the post he pumps, S bites huge, Funchess wide open over the top. (DO, 3, protection 3/3, RPS +3)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-7, 8 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O33 1 10 TO trips TE 1 1 3 4-3 over Run Counter Toussaint 1
PSU shifts their LBs and brings a corner in to act as a third LB. WLB reads the counter before Glasgow has a chance to get out on him and flows to the hole along with the corner, so Toussaint has an unblocked guy in the hole. Glasgow(-0.5) could have gone more vertical but PSU also lined up a guy right on his nose, making it hard for him to get out. Bryant(+0.5) seals the NT away; Williams(+0.5) kicks a DE; Kalis(-1) catches a DT and is then shed so when Toussaint cuts back that guy is there to help a linebacker finish. RPS -1.
O32 2 9 TO I-form twins 2 1 2 4-4 over Pass PA sack N/A -7
Williams(-2) beat because he is not a left tackle. Kalis(-1) whipped by Jones as well; nowhere to move up, sack. RPS -2. (PR, N/A, protection 0/3)
O39 3 16 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over Pass Rollout fly Funchess Inc
Funchess gets over the top of a cornerback and Michigan protects the edge well enough to let Gardner step up and fire. Funchess is hand-fighting a bit with a corner and can't just cut inside because this is covered well enough that that would put him in a defender. He ends up reaching out for a ball that's too far inside; looked closer than it really was, as the corner knocked him off stride. Ball needed to be further outside. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 5 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M47 1 10 Near tight 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass Scramble Gardner 19
Hayes in as a second back, PSU drops off into pass coverage because obviously, still doesn't really cover Hayes out of the backfield, but Gardner doesn't like the throw. Good news is since this is so obviously a pass, the LBs drop way out and once a lane develops up the middle Gardner has a free first down. (SCR, N/A, protection 2/2) Gallon(+1) gets a nice downfield block for ten more; Hayes(+1) got an extended block on a corner type.
O34 1 10 TO I-Form 2 1 2 4-4 over Run Counter pitch Toussaint 0
Tackle over except Magnuson is where AJ Williams is. PSU has a DE flared out to the short side of the field, and he is just sitting on this play. RPS -2; this had zero chance because it seemed like PSU was waiting for this specific thing. Magnuson(-1) didn't get out on a linebacker and spun around like a top, FWIW.
O34 2 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Nickel even Run QB draw Gardner 9
Toussaint(+1) delays his release, which allows him to read that the playside end is shooting inside and go outside of him. Gardner does the same, Toussaint gets a bler block but Gardner(+1) bursts outside, breaking a tackle for 3-4 YAC.
O25 3 1 Goal line 2 3 0 Goal line Run Yakety snap N/A 0
Gardner recovers, gets zero yards.
O25 4 1 Goal line 2 3 0 Goal line Penalty False start Kalis -5
Kalis(-1) pulls early as it looks like Michigan is going to the Gardner boot well again.
Drive Notes: FG(47), 10-7, 1 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 1 1 2 4-4 over Pass Circle Gallon -2
Another 6 OL formation. Michigan puts two guys in a pass route, running Gallon on a circle route (in that breaks out) that is open. Gardner is checking Funchess deeper and doesn't come off it fast enough; Toussaint(-2) is left one on one with a LB as three DL get doubles and whiffs a block; Gardner is hit as he throws. Gallon inadvisably catches it. (PR, 3, protection 0/2, Toussaint -2)
M18 2 12 Pistol 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-4 over Run Inside zone read Toussaint 1
Gardner(-2) blows the read, and hyper aggressive PSU LBs streak through the gaps before the inside zone double can do anything about it. PSU doesn't respect M's passing game at all. RPS –1; difficult for OL to react quickly.
M18 3 11 Shotgun 3-wide stack 1 1 3 3-3-5 nickel Pass Scramble Gardner 13
PSU sends six and gets through as Glasgow(-1) intends to pass Jones off to Kalis but Kalis and Schofield both have guys to deal with. Jones up the middle immediately, Gardner(+2) avoids him and bugs out, outrunning a linebacker, cutting inside of another, and lunging for a first down. (SCR, N/A, protection 0/2, Glasgow -1, Team -1)
M31 1 10 TO Ace H 1 2 2 4-4 over Run Power O Green 3
4 DT package for PSU. Less than zero playside so Green(+1) cuts it back. Schofield leaves a DE too early for Lewan to get under him but with PSU loading the box and firing the linebackers with impunity they would have to be amazing to execute this. Glasgow(+1) gets good motion on a DT on the backside to give Green the small slice of hole he does get. RPS -1.
M34 2 7 Pistol 2TE 1 3 1 Base 3-4 Pass Hitch Gallon INT
S walks down and blitzes, Gardner playfakes to nobody as Green goes to the other side. PSU drops an end to the playside, but he's in a two point stance, so it's something you should pick up. Gardner throws a hitch that looks open and Zettel, the DE/OLB, intercepts. (BRX, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Interception, 10-7, 11 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 TO I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Zone stretch Toussaint 0
Glasgow gets a shoulder into the NT lined up over him and that guy goes behind him so he releases; Kalis(-1) does not step around and instead just goes laterally; gets beat. Schofield(-1) gets rocked back by Jones as Lewan kicks a DE. Toussaint has no cutback, follows Kerridge(-0.5), who doesn't really have much of a chance against a linebacker since Jones is making creases nonexistent but even so doesn't bother the guy much and that guy makes the tackle.
M25 2 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Nickel over Run Inverted veer keeper Gardner 2
Kalis(-2) gets shed easily by the NT, on a down block. Bryant(-2) whiffs entirely on a linebacker who is getting cracked down on by Dileo and has only one direction he can go. Those two combine to tackle. RPS +2; this should have broken large.
M27 3 8 Shotgun 3-wide stack 1 1 3 3-3-5 nickel Pass Corner Chesson Inc
PSU sends five. M picks it up. Chesson gets open by a couple yards on a corner route and Gardner hits him. Ball is a little low but this is 20 yards downfield and easily catchable; it is not caught. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 10-14, 10 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M28 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-4 over Run Iso Toussaint 2
S walks down late. MLB is shooting at the LOS at the snap and Kalis can't get off the NT double in time to handle him. Bryant(+0.5) and Lewan(+1) get an excellent push on the backside DT and Toussaint(+0.5) cuts back away from the MLB mess, safety ends it. RPS -2. Permitted LB overaggression and running at eight in the box. Lewan gets hurt here as Fitz plows his hip.
M30 2 8 TO I-Form trips 2 1 2 4-4 over Run Zone stretch Toussaint -2
Michigan has five OL, no Lewan, and runs against eight in the box with no left tackle. Idiotic. Kalis(-1) gets blown back; Bryant(-1) ditto. Nowhere to go. RPS -3.
M28 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 2 2 Nickel even Pass Dig Funchess 15
Good protection; Gardner steps up in a nice pocket and zings a dart to Funchess to move the sticks. (DO, 3, protection 2/2). Lewan, back in, gets hit on the same hip and goes out permanently.
M43 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Run Zone read keeper Gardner 2
Good pull by Gardner(+1); Dileo(-2) whiffs a block in on a playside LB and that turns this into a crappy gain.
M45 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Pass Middle screen Funchess 0
Norfleet cameo. M runs a screen off the jet motion they've run three times before this year against a defense that is packed in with a straight seven guys in the box agianst a nominally spread formation. Two of the three LBs stay home, as does a DT, and those guys crush this play. RPS -2. (CA, 3, screen)
M45 3 8 Shotgun 3-wide stack 1 1 3 3-3-5 nickel Pass Out Gallon Inc (Pen +10)
PSU sends six; picked up. Gardner goes for Gallon on and out; PSU DB gets there way early, flag. Actually called a hold, not PI, but whatever. (CA, 0, protection 3/3)
O45 1 10 Ace twin TE 1 3 1 4-4 over Pass Improv Funchess Inc
PA doesn't get any PSU LBs biting at all; PSU LB jets on a delayed blitz once he sees a gap open up with no one in it and nearly sacks; Gardner gets around him. He then escapes the pocket; rolling against his body he finds Funchess for a huge gain but doesn't float it, instead throwing it on a line where a DE covering Green can make a great play to leap and deflect it. Man, what to do with this one. (IN+, 0, protection 2/2, RPS -1)
O45 2 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Nickel over Run QB draw Gardner 5
Blitz sent, which blows up any planned escape route and forces Gardner to pick whatever he sees, which is between Kalis(+0.5) and RT Magnuson(+0.5). S comes up to hit after an okay gain as Dileo(-1) again can't get much of a block.
O40 3 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Sack N/A -13
PSU threatens blitz, Gardner starts checking with six seconds on the clock, M probably doesn't get the play off, delay not called. M shifts their line left, has Toussaint left, leaves a DE totally unblocked. PSU covers wheel/hitch on the TE side, Gardner pumps, doesn't like it, gets obliterated, fumbles, not his fault except insofar as he couldn't get the right protection on in the last five seconds. (PR, N/A, protection 0/3, team -3, RPS -1)
Drive Notes: Fumble, 10-21, 3 min 2nd Q. M gets the ball back on their 20 with 1:29 left and 1 TO.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Ace 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Pass PA hitch Chesson 9
Inside zone looking play to a pop pass to Chesson that's open for not quite first down yardage; Chesson doesn't get OOB. (CA, 3, protection N/A)
M29 2 1 Ace 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Run Inside zone Toussaint 0
Clock 58 seconds on snap. Bryant(-2) gets bulled back; Funchess(-1) also dominated by his DE; Glasgow(-1) leaves immediately, allowing the backside DT to get under Kalis and then falls down as he tries to block the MLB; Kalis's nominal block comes and eats Fitz after he dances through the first set of problems.
M29 3 1 Goal line 2 2 0 5-3 under Run Power O Toussaint 0
M has Erik Gunderson in as an extra OL. Butt(-1) gets knocked back on his kickout, running into Kerridge. Glasgow(-1) sees a downblock beat and his guy moves through. Magnuson(-1) can't get any motion. Woo.
Drive Notes: Punt, 10-21, EO2H
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M39 1 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-4 over Run Inverted veer counter Gardner 9
WLB again all over this, blasting Magnuson in the backfield and getting outside of him. Schofield(+1) locked out his kickout really well but Magnuson(-1) lost that battle with the LB and Gardner(+2) stops. He reverses field, jukes a safety, and gets near first down yardage. Hard to win a battle here when the WLB is running at you like this.
M39 2 1 TO Ace H twins 1 2 2 4-4 over Run Power O Toussaint 0 - 15 Pen
Tackle over frippery with no Lewan yay. Magnuson(+1) actually does a nice job on Jones, getting some push and keeping him locked inside, but three(!) PSU LB types are jamming into the hole on the snap. Bryant gets blown up two yards in the backfield and there's an unblocked guy besides. Fitz buried. RPS -2. Kalis(-2) gets an unsportsmanlike for not stopping at the whistle.
M24 3 16 Shotgun trips inner stack 1 2 2 3-3-5 nickel Pass Sack N/A -3
Burzynski inserted for Kalis. PSU sends six and this is actually picked up reasonably well. When PSU threatens the edge Gardner steps through it; Burzynski loses his guy now, but that was probably inevitable no matter who it was. Gardner has to run for his life and shockingly gets tracked down. (PR, N/A, protection 2/3, Burzynski -1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 17-21, 12 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O26 1 10 Pistol 2TE twins 1 2 2 Base 3-4 Run Zone read keeper Gardner 18
PSU showing man on the outside and M runs the CBs off. WLB shows blitz presnap and then backs out, trying to cover Funchess downfield. MLB dives inside, which leaves the outside completely open after Gardner(+2) pulls and is fast. The pass assumption here based on formation is amazing. RPS +2. Chesson(+1) and Gallon(+1) got good extended downfield blocks.
O8 1 G Shotgun trips 1 1 3 4-3 even Run QB draw Gardner 3
PSU sends most of its DL upfield and drops a DE back on a stunt. Big cavern up the middle. Glasgow(-1) engages the DE folding back, shoves, and then gets shed. Jackson(-1) didn't take an inside angle to get another LB so Gardner can't bounce and gets a minimal gain. Gardner's helmet pops off so he has to leave.
O5 2 G I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Power O Toussaint -1
THIS DOWN IS ON FIYAAAAH. M has little chance with three PSU guys plunging at the frontside of the play. Kerridge picks a safety who's coming down so hard he looks like a linebacker. Bryant(-1) doesn't block either guy who presents, not that it would have mattered. Williams loses a downblock(-1), not that it would have mattered. RPS -1.
O6 3 G Shotgun 3-wide 1 2 2 4-3 even Pass Back shoulder fade Funchess Inc
Oh, man, this is way easier than I thought it was, hitting Funchess in both of his meaty paws. (DO, 3, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: FG(23), 20-21, 9 min 3rd Q. This game is seriously never going to end. Burzynski enters for Bryant and goes the rest of the way at LG.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M27 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 even Pass Comeback Gallon 24
Burzynski(-2), now playing RG in place of Bryant, smoked by Jones; Gardner smoothly steps around it up into an otherwise nice pocket and nails Gallon in front of a defender for an excellent pickup. (DO+, 3, protection 1/3, Burzynski -2)
O49 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 4-4 over Pass Dig Gallon Inc
Token PA, max protect two man route. Gardner has few options, obviously, tries to fire a dart in between three defenders to Gallon and ends up turfing it. Probably should have taken off. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
O49 2 10 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 Pass Hitch Gallon Inc
Twist blitz by the ILBs is tipped and picked up; Gallon open for 5+YAC; DE bats it down. (BA, 0, protection 1/1)
O49 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide stack 1 1 3 3-3-5 nickel Pass Deep Hitch Gallon Inc (Pen +11)
Five sent with a delayed blitz; picked up. Gallon gets no separation from Amos but does get in front of him; Amos hits him way early and gets a PI flag. (CA, N/A, protection 3/3)
O38 1 10 Ace 3-wide stack 1 2 2 Nickel under Pass Comeback Gallon Inc
PSU runs a weird stunt that sends a DE inside and then stunts a DT all the way around another DT and that guy. Magnuson(-1) loses the DE to the point that Toussaint has to pick him off. DT now coming around the edge; Gardner steps up and fires to Gallon, short. Ball hits the turf before he has an opportunity to catch it. (IN, 0, protection 1/2, Magnuson -1). Verging on MA.
O38 2 10 Ace 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Run Inverted veer counter Gardner 10
Hey: with less run crazy LBs this works. Magnuson(+1) buries the playside end, eventually. Kalis(+1) blows the playside DT out. Glasgow(+0.5) gets out on the MLB, who is taken in by the playside run action. Schofield(+0.5) gets around and gets a hit; Gardner has a crease. RPS +1.
O28 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Run Inverted veer keeper Gardner 4
Gardner pulls as the playside end contains. PSU has a gray area defender to the playside who Dileo is trying to block and does but is always not going to be inside of. I think this causes Gardner to lose faith in the design of the play, which is probably not the right move. He'll get a decent gain if he just hits it up. Schofield(+0.5) and Burzynski(+0.5) have gotten motion on the playside end and while Funchess(-0.5) lost his guy sort of Kalis(+1) sees him flash and blows him up, driving him backwards. Gardner(-1) tries to reverse field, decides better of it, and gets upfield for a modest gain.
O24 2 6 TO I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 over Pass Scramble Gardner 8
Large gap between Funchess, our nominal LT, and LG Burzynski after Schofield motions to the right. This is not surprising PA. FB and RB head backside to pick up the slack from the unbalanced; M gets lucky as a LB sucks up beyond the LOS and then starts backing out, covering no one instead of coming on what would have been a tough delayed blitz. Gardner doesn't like what he sees in his two man route and takes off. (SCR, N/A, protection 2/2)
O16 1 10 Ace twins 1 2 2 4-4 under Run Inside zone Toussaint 0
Kalis(-2) blown back by a DT, and that's it. Williams(-1) also blown up. Glasgow(+1) and Burzynski(+1) had actually scooped the backside guy well but the frontside got so crushed it didn't matter. Also PSU has eight in the box and a ninth guy 7 yards off the LOS because they expect run here and get it. RPS -1.
O16 2 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-4 even Pass Deep out Gallon 16
Token PA, Butt leaks out of the backfield to take a LB out of the picture, and it's Gallon one on one versus one of PSU's corners. He feints in, goes out, Gardner nails him. (DO, 3, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 27-24, 1 min 3rd Q. M's first drive type substance of the night has three runs, two of which are from the shotgun and work. The third from ace is a zero yarder.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M30 1 10 Ace 3-wide 1 2 2 4-3 over Pass Throwback screen Gallon 14
Corner way off and dropping on the snap so even though Funchess basically whiffs he's not part of the play. Playside LB is shaded over the slot but sucks in and should be easily blockable; instead he almost gets through to end the play as Schofield(-0.5) doesn't get around and Kalis(-0.5) actually pushes him towards Gallon. Gallon runs past, if only just, and it's an easy first down. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +2)
M44 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Iso Toussaint 5
Gardner sees two deep and checks. Glasgow(+0.5) and Kalis(+0.5) get decent movement on a DT, Kalis comes off to get a linebacker. Kerridge(+1) buries the SAM. Burzynski(+0.5) and Schofield(+0.5) seal off a DT, and all this gets five yards, as a safety comes down to stop it as Fitz threatens to pop through the line.
M49 2 5 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 Pass Scramble Gardner 1
Jones swims outside of Williams(-2) and gets quick pressure. Magnuson tries to compensate and does give Gardner a lane to step up into; instead he spins out. That's on Gardner. Once he's on the edge he's on the other side of the field from the two guys in the route and has no choice but to run. (TA, N/A, protection 0/2, Williams -2)
50 3 4 Shotgun 4-wide stack 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Hitch Dileo 13
PSU confusion presnap (IS THAT A SLOT RECEIVER?!?!) leaves Dileo wide open, pitch and catch, first down. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O37 1 10 Ace twins stack 1 3 1 Base 3-4 Pass Post Funchess 37
PSU blitzes a LB lined up over Funchess and tries to match up their MLB with him downfield. Meanwhile, M picks up a five man pressure with more max protect; Gardner steps up into a nice pocket and lets it fly. (DO, 3, protection 2/2) PSU had one safety in the area and he picked Gallon. RPS +3.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 34-24, 10 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M34 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 1 3 1 4-4 over Run Zone stretch Toussaint 8
PSU slants too hard to the frontside of this play. Burzynski really has nothing to do with it, as he gets rocked back by a DL who is in control; Schofield(+1) does shove him along and then extend to the second level to get a safety. Toussaint(+1) finds the frontside totally jammed and cuts back; backside end is checking Gardner too long to shut the hole off. Magnuson(-1) released and ran by a guy; Kalis(-1) ended up on the turf in the backfield.
M42 2 2 Ace twins H 1 3 1 4-4 even Run Power O Toussaint 4
Magnuson(+0.5) gets Jones inside, whereupon he and Kalis get their feet tangled up; both go down. Butt(+0.5) and Williams(+0.5) get good kicks. Burzynski gets to a LB but in the backfield as he pulls; Toussaint(+0.5) shifts around that thanks to the nice kicks.
M46 1 10 Ace twin TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 Run Zone stretch Toussaint 0
No one on the OL has an angle to block one of the ILBs, who flows behind and shoots a gap. No cutback as Burzynski(-1) is being handled with one arm by a DT; both Butt(-1) and Williams(-1) go for a DE, who they get no motion on; Williams comes off to block nobody. Toussaint is forced to pop outside, where a safety fills.
M46 2 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-4 even Run Power O Green -2
Previous to this Gardner tries to check, runs out of time, calls TO. PSU has four actual LBs in the game, sends all of them at the line, all gaps shot, Green exploded, RPS -3.
M44 3 12 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 3-3-5 nickel Pass Out and up Gallon Inc (Pen +15)
PSU sends six, M picks it up... and has sent three WRs at least 30 yards downfield. Okay. Gardner does start getting pressure, throws, nowhere near WR, flag. Very tight call, as this is legal if the ball's not in the air but not legal if it's not and it happens during the release. I actually think contact was made before the ball is thrown but extends until after. No idea how you call that. (not charted, 0, protection 3/3)
O41 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Inside zone Green 0
Kalis gives a shoulder to Jones, knocking him back significantly; Magnuson(-1) can do nothing with him despite this. Kalis(-1) then gets air on a second level block. With the NT fighting playside Green's move is the cutback but there are two guys back there unblocked.
O41 2 10 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Zone stretch Toussaint 3
Playside end gets locked inside by Butt(+0.5) a bit and Magnuson rides him; PSU flows hard as that looks like danger. Jones surges upfield to cut that off anyway. Kalis(-0.5) lost ground but did okay to lock him out. Toussaint has to cut back. Glasgow(+0.5) gets a shove on Jones and then comes back to pop the MLB, which may be necessary but that guy is getting touched up by Burzynski. LB headed outside reads the cutback, falling, and when Toussaint hits the lane he's there to grab his ankles.
O38 3 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 2 2 Nickel over Run QB draw Gardner 10
Really, Penn State? They stunt their way out of the middle with Magnuson locking out a DE who's coming inside. Glasgow(+0.5) kicks Jones upfield; Toussaint(+0.5) gets a block on the MLB and Gardner(+1) is fast. RPS +1.
O28 1 10 Ace twins H 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Power O Toussaint 1
Butt(-1) gets rocked back. Magnuson(-1) gives ground; Burzynski bumps into him and can't get to the hole. No crease, Toussaint gets what he can.
O27 2 9 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 even Run Inside zone Toussaint 0
MLB shoots a gap. Kalis has no chance at him. Guy is through the line at the handoff and while Toussaint dances past him that's all she wrote. RPS -2; nothing anyone could do about this with the call.
O27 3 9 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-5 under Penalty Delay N/A -5
O32 3 14 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-5 under Run Zone stretch Toussaint -3
All DTs for PSU. Williams(-1) blasted back by Jones. Schofield(-1) peels off a block of the DT to shove a linebacker... past Kerridge. Oof. Another failed scoop by Glasgow(-1) and Kalis(-1) means a cutback gets eaten, but without the FB screwup this has a chance to gain yards.
Drive Notes: Punt, 34-27, 1 min 4th Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M35 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Improv Gallon 25
Protection is good; Gardner doesn't have to move but decides to for some reason. He nears the sideline and uncorks a 30 yard pass to Gallon a the sideline. (DO, 3, protection 2/2)
O40 1 10 Spike 1 1 3 3-3-5 nickel Spike Spike N/A Inc
O40 2 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 1 2 Nickel even Pass Swing Hayes 5
Hey look high low of a corner it can happen. Hayes leaks out of the backfield and screws up, as he does not slow his momentum as he approaches the sideline and goes OOB as soon as he catches the ball. He should slow up and get the 4-5 YAC that would make this a more makeable FG. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Missed FG(52), EO4Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 4-4 over Run Zone stretch Toussaint 1
Infamous screenshot play on which PSU dares M to pass in any manner and M says naw, I'm good. Schofield(-1) releases downfield and tries to block the WLB; WLB goes right through him. Jones is controlling Burzynski(-1) anyway, and Fitz has to slow up to let all that pass. When he starts moving forward again he's lucky to get to the LOS. RPS -1.
O24 2 9 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Iso Toussaint 1
Two LBs are stacked right next to each other and both shoot the A gap, waiting for this play. Kerridge stacks them both up to no avail. Toussaint gets anything because Glasgow(+1) blew the NT off the ball providing a small cutback lane. RPS -1.
O23 3 8 Goal line 2 2 1 4-3 under Run Derf Gardner 0
This is not a play.
Drive Notes: Missed FG(40), 34-34, EO1OT.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Run Inside zone Toussaint 3
Scoring offense comes out. Gardner sees the DE upfield and holding, gives. Magnuson(-1) cant' get any motion on a DT; Glasgow(-1) loses the nose tackle; Toussaint(+1) cuts back. Burzynski loses his block on the LB; but after a while. That guy fills the backside gap. Fitz slips, preventing a few more yards.
O22 2 7 Pistol 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Pass PA slant Gallon 9
Secondary playing in the parking lot, PA sucks in LBs, easy pitch and catch. (CA, 3, protection 1/1, RPS +1)
O13 1 10 Pistol 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-4 over Run Zone read keeper Gardner -3
Once too many times to the well. DE just runs up into the mesh point. Gardner keeps, gets tackled, probably had the same result coming on a handoff. RPS -1.
O16 2 13 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 3 1 4-4 over Pass Wheel Butt Inc
Get Butt in single coverage against a LB on this play, Gardner throws it up to the right spot, PSU makes a great play. (CA, 0, protection 2/2)
O16 3 13 Shotgun 4-wide stack 1 1 3 4-3 even Pass Scramble Gardner 9
Gardner gets happy feet and does not wait for someone to come open, instead going on a hopeless quest for yards. (TA, N/A, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: FG(25). 37-34, OT2
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-4 over Run Iso Toussaint 0
LBs fling selves at line on snap, jamming up the hole. Kalis does get out on the MLB and Kerridge gets the SAM but this at the LOS and there's no room. Toussaint wants to cut back; can't as the eighth guy in the box comes down unblocked to tackle. RPS -2.
O25 2 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass Out Gallon 10
Frustratingly easy. CB bails, Gallon out, you could have done this all goddamn day. (CA, 3, protection 2/2). Clearly a terrible spot, reviewed, still marked short of the first down line. Refs -2.
O15 3 In Goal line 2 2 0 Goal line Run Down G Toussaint 0
Line gets zero push. Burzynski(-2) pulls, hardly affects Jones. Magnuson(-1) gets hit back. Toussaint buried.
Drive Notes: Missed FG(33), 37-37 EOT3
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR DForm Type Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 even Pass Waggle throwaway N/A Inc
When Gardner turns around he's got a guy in his face and pumps, throwing it away. Four PSU DBs blanket three M receivers; had nothing. (TA, N/A, protection N/A, RPS -1. )
O25 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Pass Out Dileo Inc
At least five and maybe more if Michigan can exploit this mismatch. Gardner throws it wide. (IN, 1, protection 1/1)
O25 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Penalty Delay N/A -5
O30 3 15 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Pass Scramble Gardner 7
Looks for Gallon, doesn't like the looks, comes off, and decides to take off. No hope of getting a first down but given the situation the yards are worth it. (SCR, N/A, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: FG(40), 40-37, OT4. M loses on PSU's subsequent drive.


Well… yeah. For the same reasons that the defense's 390 yards allowed and 43 points allowed were actually okay, Michigan's 390 yards gained and 40 points acquired are actually bad. Michigan had 18 drives, setting the compressed one at the end of regulation aside. They got two bombs to Funchess, had one legit touchdown drive, had two FG drives of about 20 yards set up by the defense and for a variety of reasons did nothing on their other possessions. Even setting aside the two OT drives on which they weren't trying too hard, that's 21 plus maybe a point or two for the FGs over 16 drives. The hits over the top were not enough to rescue this.

Blame for that obviously gets spread around, what with Gardner throwing two quick interceptions and the WRs dropping a couple of important passes and … oh right 30 Michigan tailback carries averaging under a yard each.

Let us dispense with the frippery. Overtime.

They coached scared, and dumb. The first overtime has been hashed and re-hashed. Neither running play had a prayer and the chance of a turnover/sack if Michigan runs a simple high-low read on a corner with no one anywhere near him to help is negligible. Or you know what. The play that has no name.

The third OT was hardly better. I've seen a lot of "but they threw that one time" in the comments from the guys dying on Borges Hill. Yeah, they threw that one time. When they finally tried it, it was so, so easy.

It was the one-play equivalent of the 2008 Citrus Bowl. You had these corners trying to check Gallon one on one all day. What took you so long? Now I have conflicted feelings of happiness at this small success and larger-picture rage/depression.

Gallon gets a bad spot and Michigan is short of the line. On third and one they go tackle over and pull Joey Burzynski into 320-pound Da'Quan Jones while Erik Magnuson tries to fend off 300-pound Anthony Johnson. They end up short. Why do they end up short?


Because they set first down on fire and lost a third of a yard flinging an iso into a stacked line.


As a consequence of setting first down on fire and running a play at PSU's best defenders—after telling them where they should line up—with a walk-on and a freshman who give up 30-40 pounds to those guys, Michigan ends up with a 33 yard field goal attempt that misses.

Most of the time this grumbling ends up a side note about how that's going to bite us someday. This is the time it bit us. The problem's the same: fear caused Michigan to make bad decisions. They overrated the chance of a turnover or sack and reverted to tight, weak behavior.

They did this on their four-minute drill at the end of regulation as well. They got lucky on one particular zone stretch that cut all the way back to the unblocked end, who played it badly and let Toussaint squeeze through, and they got Actual Run Of Four Yards. Then it was third and twelve and Penn State was picking up an extremely tenuous pass interference call*; then it was third and seven and Penn State stunts their way out of the middle on the world's most obvious QB draw. In that situation, the free yards on the edge are so worth taking a shot at, but nope. Let's set up third and 12 and see what happens.

*[If the ball was in the air, it's PI. If not, it's legit. Looked like the ball was still in Gardner's hands when the contact came to me.]

For the love of god shut up about bubble screens?

Unfortunately, the bubble screen thing has taken on a life of its own. It's just a play. I brought it up in the first place to point to a larger issue with the way Michigan's offense seems to work. Michigan is setting itself up for failure by willingly running into fronts designed to stop their running game without forcing the opponent to make any hard decisions about whether they really want to isolate their corners. We saw Penn State play a bunch of guys in the box and then have a corner eight yards off and the final safety 10 yards off. The bubble is the dumbest, most basic way to make them do something else.

There are others. Michigan actually tried to exploit Penn State's formation with a curl/out combo on the last drive. Dileo's out seemed unnecessarily upfield and close to the linebacker, and Gardner missed him.

That's unfortunate. Unlike running the ball into eight and nine man fronts with an iffy offensive line it is the right call regardless of outcome, because your expectation of success executing that easy route is high and the payoff is potentially large. Trying that once in the fourth overtime is more taunting than coordinating.

It is depressing that Michigan is in a situation where they can't run at all and a cornerback lines up eight yards off a wide receiver and you don't have a hot check to a long handoff when you're just trying to run clock. Except they do. They got seven yards throwing one to Jeremy Jackson against ND—and that corner was closer to the LOS. None of this stuff is a fix for the larger problems of the offense but it would have won this game.

Borges put his players in positions to succeed.

We wondered about the Big Tactical Innovation after it was moderately successful against Minnesota. It turned into an enormous bust.

Including goal line plays since none of them actually happened on the goal line (but excluding the "let's center the ball" play and a fumbled snap), Michigan had 13 plays on which a tackle lined up next to another tackle. These plays were 11 runs that gained 8 yards (more than all of them on Toussaint's long run of the day, a 12-yarder), a seven-yard sack given up by Williams, and a scramble that gained eight yards. That is the product of three weeks of practice time and the futility there was only stopped by Lewan's injury.

Many of these plays could not be blocked by anybody, because Penn State was so aggressively overplaying run that they were in the gaps before Michigan could do anything about it.

Three guys for two blockers with the WLB meeting Bryant a yard in the backfield. If Kalis tries to pursue #40, the MLB, he blocks no one instead of an irrelevant guy. On second and one, a great PA down that a lot of DCs will just give you.


Meanwhile, when Michigan tried counters they were not able to get them to work because of PSU's extra guy and their defensive alignments. This play has been the source of much discussion because I think it's doomed and some people think it's on Glasgow:

It's pretty much doomed. Glasgow can't release vertically because he has a nose tackle lined up directly over him; even if he can straighten out more than he does he will probably only delay, not seal.

Even if you believe that these plays can be blocked you have to admit that it's very hard to do so with defenses putting eight in the box and ripping towards the line hell for leather. Watch the differences in the MLB and WLB on this Gardner counter play. Beginning of second half, first and ten:

After five straight passes to Gallon, second and ten:

Most of Michigan's runs in this game featured the former reaction. After this drive ended in a TD and Michigan started the next one with a throwback screen, Penn State actually played two deep; Gardner checked into an iso and Toussaint was able to cut back for five. (Apparently he can only check into runs.)

Meanwhile, Michigan's big bomb counter to the tackle over stuff was lining Devin Funchess up where AJ Williams normally goes and hoping Penn State didn't notice. We've secretly replaced the offensive-line-looking guy with a lanky bringer of doom every single one of you was told all week to identify as a pass tip. Let's see if you notice. Michigan got lucky that a linebacker backed out into a short zone instead of ripping up into a delayed blitz that would likely have been another sack.

Putting your players in positions to succeed should also mean playing your best guys, and Michigan clearly isn't doing that. AJ Williams is struggling immensely. Examples abound but here's a crystal clear view of his inability to get a simple down block on one of those 250 pound defensive ends Indiana was blowing to the sideline:

Despite most plays ending up like the above, Michigan is so set on keeping him on the field that they've installed a package no team in the recent history of college football has tried to use regularly. They benched Chris Bryant for similar failures so they could insert a 6'1" walk-on, but the idea they might spread the field with an actually good player (and a senior) is beyond the pale. That is truly magnificent stubbornness.

Asking players to do things they cannot do is not putting them in a position to succeed.

All this business about Borges, but doesn't Hoke bear responsibility, too?

Yes. It's impossible to tease out how much of this comes from above and how much is Borges's doing. I tend to focus on Borges because Hoke is relatively hands off with him, and that's from the man himself. The tackle over business, the constant deployment of tight ends: likely nothing to do with Hoke.

Specific tactical stuff in this game is on Hoke. Obviously, the mind-bending delay penalties. I'm guessing he directed the nature of the four-minute drive and the FG-to-win OT periods. This was a blow to the constantly repeated theme here that Hoke is one of few CFB coaches I wouldn't leap into a game of poker with.

I still think people are overreacting a little bit. This was bad, but Hoke's correct level of aggression has already paid off (the OSU win in 2011 was significantly aided by a go-for-it decision) and one blunder does not mean this is going to be Carr-era frustration all over again.


Yes. In addition to all the things previously discussed, Michigan's offensive line is looking at Gardner with two  seconds on the playclock. Michigan snaps it with zero already showing—probably not actually a penalty because there is a natural delay before the ump looks at the ball to see if it's still there—and slides their line against a four man rush with no tailback to pick up the DE:

That turnover is a tangible cost of Michigan's inability to get to the line with 20 seconds on the clock consistently.

I think we do something here.


A chart.

Yes. For similar reasons to last week we lead with the run blocking.

Offensive Line
Player + - Total Notes
Lewan 2 - 2 Tell me you'll be okay.
Bryant 1 8.5 -7.5 Pulled for Burzynski just after halftime.
Glasgow 6 9.5 -3.5 Would had been even if he didn't ignore a nose tackle on the first play? Is that positive?
Kalis 3 14 -11 Absolutely brutal.
Schofield 4.5 5 -0.5 Closest thing to a win you see here.
Williams 1 6 -5 Throw it to Dileo.
Funchess - 1.5 -1.5 Or him.
Butt 1 4 -3 Oof.
Magnuson 3 8 -5 Pressed into duty he's not quite ready for.
Burzynski 2 4 -2 Double walk-on time is panic time.
TOTAL 23.5 60.5 28% Wow.
Player + - T Notes
Gardner 10 3 7 save us luke denardwalker
Morris - - - DNC
Toussaint 6.5 - 6.5 how…
Green 1 - 1 also how
Smith - - - DNP
Hayes 1 - 1 A downfield block.
Rawls - - - DNP
Houma - - - DNC
Kerridge 1 0.5 0.5 Blocks couldn't even become relevant.
TOTAL 19.5 3.5 16 Could have been worse.
Player + - T Notes
Gallon 2 - 2  
Jackson - 1 -1  
Chesson 1 - 1  
Reynolds - - -  
Dileo - 3 -3  
Norfleet - - - DNP
York - - - DNP
TOTAL 3 4 -1 Whatever.
Player + - T Notes
Protection 58 16 78% Team –4, Williams –4, Burzynski –3, Toussaint –2, Glasgow –1, Kalis –1, Magnuson –1
RPS 18 33 -15 I'm over tackle over.

So… yeah. I probably don't have to tell you that's a massive record for the negative from the line in the brief tenure of the run charting. I don't think it's ever dipped under 50%, let alone 30%. The pass blocking was a pleasant surprise. They should do more of that, I  think.

I thought bringing in Burzynski seemed almost petulant, but apparently it was justified that he replace either guard. Bryant was doing poorly, to be sure. Kalis was possibly worse. Unfortunately, Burzynski was not an upgrade and was just physically incapable of doing anything to the players Penn State presented him with. He kicked things off by forcing Gardner to make an awesome play lest Jones sack him; later on a stretch a PSU DT fended him off with one arm, like he was Taylor Lewan and Burzynski was some guy who plays for CMU.


A weird game.

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%

Shane Morris

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

Well… it could have been better. Penn State did a good job messing with Gardner's reads on two passing downs early; the first interception kind of seemed like a brilliant improvisation by the underneath PSU corner, who left Dileo wide open to undercut Gallon's hitch after seemingly dropping with the slot. The second interception was Zettel dropping off on a zone blitz to cover another Gallon hitch. PSU clearly entered with a gameplan to undercut Gardner's favorite receiver in confusing ways and executed that; Michigan obliged with the hitches and reacted like a scalded dog. Point PSU DC. That and the 4 DT look were clever ways to exploit Michigan tendencies.

On the other hand, Gardner had three opportunities to sting PSU deep and connected perfectly on two while narrowly missing the other. He flung some darts after avoiding pressure and kept drives alive with his feet. He was the offense.


[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 7     7/7   19   9/10 23/25
Jackson           2     3/3
Reynolds           2 0/1 1/1 2/2
Chesson       1/2   3 0/2 1/3 6/7
Dileo       1/1   3 1/2 1/1 6/6
Norfleet           1     3/3
Funchess 2     4/5   6 1/2 3/6 15/16
Butt           1 0/1 0/1 6/6
Williams           1      
Toussaint           1     5/5
Hayes       1/1         1/1
Houma                 1/1

Gallon derangement syndrome was costly early, but a couple of those zeros were penalties on PSU so the ratio of good things at Gallon versus bad ones was 9 to 5, which is still pretty good. Funchess had one drop on the back shoulder throw he really should have had; the longer incompletion I didn't think was actually catchable.


Uh. I guess Gardner despite the turnovers. Obviously Funchess and Gallon.

Not so heroic maybe?

Literally every offensive lineman and tight end.

What does it mean for Indiana and the future?

The offensive line is worse than last year. Joey Burzynski couldn't crack the lineup last year.

Michigan should be a 3-4 wide pass-oriented outfit the rest of the year. Ride or die with Gardner interceptions.

Devin Funchess is a monster. Second straight game he's flat run by a cornerback on a fly route. He's going to have some crazy numbers by the end of the year.

I need a drink.



October 17th, 2013 at 11:02 PM ^

Do they not trust Devin to do this?

It seems as though we have the WRs, and the consensus is this line can do adequate in pass pro. Even when they don't, Devin is very capable of escaping the pocket when it breaks down. If it seems like the best idea, and there's evidence of Borges doing it not only in his career but at his last job, then what on earth is going on? Could they possibly not see all this? Could this really be a Hoke philosophy thing? A Brandon marketing thing? (wow i just came up with that and i don't think i've heard it before. As crazy as that sounds, we know how Brandon is with his branding/identity stuff - i could never actually believe this though lol)

Sorry, I guess I'm not asking you, but you're observation about his airing it out in the past is just driving me nuts. It's almost more sickening they've not deployed it yet. And the more I think about it the more I'm starting to lean on it being more than a Borges thing. 


October 18th, 2013 at 9:52 AM ^

that they are trying like hell to establish the run to prevent really quick 3 & outs or really quick possessions of any variety.  We have a pretty significant lack of depth on the defensive line and really in the secondary too, as we see playing true freshman at key positions back there can be a recipe for disaster.  I think that a lot of the formula being used with the endless huddling and the overall sleepy pace on offense is to a certain degree calculated to prevent over exposure of a defensive that holds its own at a glance, but is very vulnerable upon close inspection.  I think that if we get in the business of shootouts and increased pace and possesions that it is going to become evident that our current defensive personnel cannot support such an approach. 


October 18th, 2013 at 11:58 AM ^

Our DL has plenty of depth. It doesn't have stars, but the backups are serviceable. Even if that's the issue, the absolute worst strategy is to run hopeless handoffs that will lead to a 3 and out. Even if you go no-huddle, you don't have to snap the ball with 20 seconds left on the play clock. You can see what the defense is doing, maybe check into another play, snap the ball with under 10 seconds.

Going forward, the offense basically has to be a passing spread because we don't have the personnel to run anything else. We have to go 1 back, 3 wide, and Funchess as a hybrid TE/WR. Our OL can pass block but can't run block. There is little point to playing a FB, and the TEs (unless you count Funchess) don't add enough. Any handoff is a constraint play at most.



October 17th, 2013 at 11:02 PM ^

I think Gardner would absolutely destroy defenses if they went 4 wide. If the defense goes man he should be able to run all over. If they go zone Gallon and Dileo could find soft spots with Funch and Cresson over the top.

One concern I have, and it keeps popping up, is Gardner getting confused by coverage. I think he is having a lot of trouble reading the coverage.


October 18th, 2013 at 9:24 AM ^

you just posted something logical and would in all likelihood work out well...don't you know we have to continue running into brick walls time after time to make the Borges supporters happy????

EDIT: sarcasm implied, obviously, and I agree with your post


October 18th, 2013 at 10:51 AM ^

disputing the horrid number of interceptions, but has anyone looked at just how many of them are due to either:

A)  Longer developing routes that force the awful o-line to block longer
B) On 3rd and long (or 2nd & very long) situations where the opposing D can correctly assume pass.
C) a little used formation that screams pass to the D

Where are the quick safe outs to the heavily cushioned WRs, the wheels to the running backs, etc.?



October 18th, 2013 at 11:13 AM ^

I don't have it in front of me, but my impression is that most are short routes that get undercut. The two in this game were. Beyond that, we have the DERPtastic throwaway at ND, and a couple of tipped balls underneath in the middle of the field. One long one Chesson should have broken up... oh, a screen pass gone wrong, I'm missing one or two, but yeah, they seem to be mostly short throws where he miss reads coverage.

ND Sux

October 19th, 2013 at 11:43 AM ^

When the DB is ten yards off Gallon (or any other receiver), you hit that three or four times for 5-7 easy yards, or even break a tackle for a huge play.  After they decide to step up and stop it, you have them set up for a bomb. 

Instead I feel we play right into the D's hands far too often, because of WWRD...'WE WILL RUN DAMMIT!"

Our Oline pass blocks reasonably well.  I hope this can change, but we are a pass-first team.  Everybody and their grandma knows this except Al Borges.  WWRD!


October 17th, 2013 at 8:48 PM ^

Does anyone actually think that the coaching staff will change this offense to more of a spread passing attack? I get the sense that that is what most of us want (besides an O-Line obviously) but I am hesitent to think that it will actually come to that.


October 17th, 2013 at 8:55 PM ^

does Green going the wrong way hurt there? It's one of those weak fake hand-offs by design, but maybe if the RB actually participates, it pulls that DE down long enough to let the pass by. Or at least put him in a worse position, to maybe deflect instead of intercept


October 17th, 2013 at 9:04 PM ^


Watching the game live I thought I saw Michigan run a couple of packaged plays, one of which was a pass completion to Chesson.

I didn't comment here given the rage-storm, but I figured you'd pick it up on the UFR.  Was I seeing things, or did we run a couple of packaged plays?

EDIT: Your description of the play was "Inside zone looking play to a pop pass to Chesson".  When I watched it live, I thought Gardner was reading a linebacker there.


October 17th, 2013 at 8:59 PM ^


  • Devin Funchess is a sudden downfield terror
  • The line pass blocks ok?
  • Both guards are terrible
  • We have glue handed Drew Dileo riding pine a lot
  • AJ Williams is being destroyed by everything

And we will continue to try to power the football. I'm just angry I guess. We all know Borges is too stubborn and/or dumb to make the changes we need. Here's to 2 ypc on 25 carries/game for the rest of the season! Cheers


October 17th, 2013 at 10:18 PM ^

Adding to the list:

  • With the emergence of Funch, Mich has 2 (and probably 3 if you count Jehu) legitimate downfield threats.
  • Mich has a good-to-great slot man in Dileo
  • Mich has a good pass-catching TE in Butt
  • Mich has a sure-handed RB in Toussaint to catch check-downs
  • Mich has a QB who is able to compensate for a piss-poor OL with otherworldly scrambling ability.
  • In other words, Mich has the potential on offense to outscore nearly everyone.
  • Mich also has a very good defense that does decently when put in bad positions by offensive turnovers. Given a fair field, the defense is at least competitive with top-tier B1G programs.

Even the most casual observer knows what we should be running. That we're not running it in a giant kick in the sack to Michigan fans.

We really should chip in and buy Al Borges a Mustang. He's clearly compensating for something with his neolithic offense.


October 18th, 2013 at 1:56 PM ^

That meme is completely untrue. The only job he's really been "fired" from (he resigned, but not by choice) was Auburn. He went from I-AA to Oregon, a 5 year gig at UCLA that he left for a $50k raise, then to Indiana after the head coach got fired at Cal, and left Indiana for Auburn.  Then he worked for Hoke.  So if 1 out of 9 is much of his career, well....


October 17th, 2013 at 9:12 PM ^

It was clear that our running game was bad and depended on our QB in the beginning of the year. Maybe if we ave 4 recievers out there, it might open some running holes for te running backs. I will take 300+ yds and 3/4 TD and 2 INTS. 


October 17th, 2013 at 9:19 PM ^

Watch AJ Williams in the videos. He is THE last guy to move on the snap. Obviously he's further away from Gardner, but Butt moves and and he's right next to Williams. He can't hear the snap count and literally everyone on the field has a jump on him.

It's tough enough blocking when you're not real good at it. It's impossible when your a half second late starting.