Upon Further Review 2014: Offense vs Minnesota Comment Count

Brian October 23rd, 2014 at 3:40 PM

FORMATION NOTES: I didn't find anything particularly unusual from Michigan but I need something visual so here's a gopher annoying a rich incompetent person.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Aside from Morris, the usual. Magnuson was out for this FWIW, and Green was still available.

[After THE JUMP: nothing you want to see.]

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 I-Form twins 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Lead zone Green 2
Blocked pretty well with Kalis(+0.5) and Miller(+0.5) getting a lot of drive on the NT; he is set up such that Green(-2) needs to cut back behind that double. Green doesn't, running into a DT and a linebacker that the zone could have blocked with a cutback. Glasgow(-0.5) didn't get great contact on the linebacker behind and this may have been a meh gain anyway but it's probably a meh gain of 6 instead of 2.
M22 2 8 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 even Pass Flanker screen Funchess 4
Absolutely wide open with the CB to this side of the field eight yards back and dropping; Chesson(-2) airballs his block and Funchess gets chased out after a few. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +1)
M26 3 4 Shotgun trips tight bunch 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Hitch Funchess Inc
Four yard pass thrown well outside Funchess's body; still catchable but much tougher than it has to be. (IN, 2, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 9 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M7 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Lead zone Green 2
Sneaky lead block from Butt, who's lined up as a wing TE and takes on the Kerridge role. Williams(-1) beat around the edge very quickly, erasing Green's thoughts of bouncing outside even though that looks open. Glasgow(-0.5) and Cole(-0.5) don't get an effective double on a DT; DE ends up to the inside of Cole as Glasgow tries to release downfield and that's a recipe for no second level blocking angle. Green doesn't have much choice other than to bang straight ahead into a unblocked LB.
M9 2 8 Ace trips tight bunch 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Trap Green 1
Minnesota treating the tight bunch with 2TEs as inline blockers given their DL configuration. They attack to the interior and this should work... Braden(-3) engages and then is thrown to the ground by a DT so when Green tries to hit the hole in front of him he gets swallowed. RPS +1. Kalis(+0.5) did a good job to find a LB to block after releasing and finding no one at first; Glasgow(+0.5) got to his pull with alacrity.
M10 3 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Seam Funchess Inc
Ball is about ten yards overthrown and to a bracketed Funchess. Corner route on other side was the move. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 4 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M22 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-4 even Pass Sack N/A 0
More all hitch with Kerridge running a flat route. Morris has that or the outside hitch for eh yardage, doesn't pull trigger, gets sacked as a result. (BR, N/A, protection 1/1)
M22 2 10 Shotgun 2-back TE 1 1 3 4-4 over Pass PA rollout drag Funchess 14 +15 pen
Norfleet motions to the backfield. Zone stretch fake to him with Hayes pulling across; basically shotgun waggle. Morris gets pressure from an end who disengages and runs up at him; too late as Funchess has cleared one guy in a zone; Morris rifles it in. (DO, 3, protection N/A) Roughing call adds 15.
O49 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 4-4 under Run Pin and pull zone Smith 6
Hill(+2) with a great block on the playside end, pancaking him. Braden(+0.5) gets an okay kick; Miller(-1) has a bad bendy pull that actually forces Smith to shove him in the right direction as the pair approaches the LOS. All this earns Michigan a play where Smith(+1) gets hit two yards past the LOS because Minnesota has 11 guys within nine yards of the LOS on the snap; Smith grinds out four very manly YAC.
O43 2 4 Ace trips tight bunch 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Inside zone Smith -2
Quite a cluster. Kalis(-2) appears to be running a stretch, stepping backwards and trying to get lateral depth; this play goes straight upfield, as does the NT; Kalis ends up three yards in the backfield; Smith runs into everybody. Glasgow(-2) runs into Miller as he steps right as the rest of the line steps left, not that it really matters.
O45 3 6 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Nickel over Pass Hitch Butt Inc
Crappy route from Butt as Minnesota goes with a full bracket on Funchess and leaves the middle of the field wide open for some sort of double move by the TE, but M is using a new QB and doesn't ever take advantage of that stuff. Butt turns around, DB right there for a PBU, Morris didn't have any other good options. (CA, 0, protection 2/2, RPS -1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 14 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O47 1 10 Shotgun double stacks 1 0 4 4-3 over Run Inside zone Smith 7
M spreads Minnesota out with double stacks; Gophers respect Funchess to the field and have 6.5 in the box. Simple IZ allows Miller(+1) and Glasgow(+1) to take two guys; Miller pops off on a blitzer effectively and Glasgow gets a yard or two of depth. Cole(+0.5) kicks the DE; Smith(+0.5) gets some YAC. RPS +1.
O40 2 3 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 4-3 over Run Inside zone Smith 28
Minnesota shows corner blitz early and runs it; Kerridge(+1) picks that CB off. That still leaves the backside LB unblocked but M's line does a great job with the slant and Smith can avoid that guy. Cole(+1) drives the slanting end down the line; Glasgow(+1) and Kalis(+0.5) get second level blocks; Smith(+2) runs right off Cole's butt to avoid the WLB and then runs through a tackle for some nice YAC.
O12 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Inside zone Smith 2
Late shift leads to OL screw up. Miller(-1) gets driven back one on one; Cole(-1) runs past the backside end and he and Glasgow end up in the same spot. Glasgow is supposed to be there, Cole not so much. Smith(+0.5) burrows effectively to get something.
O10 2 8 Ace 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Run Zone stretch Smith 10
Glasgow(+2) reaches a Minnesota DT shaded outside of him, crease time. Cole(+1) gets a good second level block, leaving Smith(+1) one on one with the safety; he makes a quick NS cut for six. Butt(+0.5) got a good kick; Miller(+0.5) didn't really have to do much but got to the second level for another LB. RPS +1; Minnesota seemingly unprepared.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-0, 11 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M14 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over? Pass Out Funchess 7
Quick out... really rifled, forcing a good catch out of Funchess, and immediate tackle. (CA, 2, protection 1/1)
M21 2 3 Ace Biggish 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Inside zone Smith -1
One bad block on the backside blows this up; Glasgow(-2) gets the nose tackle slanting to him and runs by without at hit, which puts Cole(-1) in a bad spot. Cole still slows up and catches the DL; if he gets some drive he may give Smith a cutback opportunity. As it is, he just escorts the NT to Smith's facemask. Miller(+2) deposited the other DT in a heap; Kalis(+0.5) got a second level block; Butt(-1) chased an end way upfield when he's got an end around fake holding that guy; Williams(-1) caught by the slant and also escorts his guy to Smith; Braden hit him for a decently long time and then had to get to a LB so Williams had time to step around, or at least try to. Never does.
M20 3 4 Shotgun trips TE 1 2 2 Nickel over Pass Out Butt 7
Very smooth pitch and catch; good timing and the ball is there in a flash so no play for Minnesota. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M27 1 10 Ace twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 over Pass Scramble Morris 2
No replays so hard to tell what Morris is looking at downfield; Funchess looks bracketed but zips by an attempted jam so fast that he's way past one guy and there should be a significant window in front of the safety; Morris doesn't trust it. Has a late-releasing Butt wide open for a decent gain, but has already taken off at this point and gets a couple. (TA, N/A, protection 2/2)
M29 2 8 Shotgun double stacks 1 0 4 4-3 over Run Inside zone Smith 5
Backside DE sells out on the IZ with no scrape so a keep here will work; Morris(-1) doesn't see it and hands off. Blocking actually excellent on this play, with Kalis(+1) and Glasgow(+1) getting good movement on their guys; Braden(+0.5) releases to the second level to get a linebacker; Miller(+1) does the same, getting a couple yards of motion as a bonus. Smith(+0.5) gets hit from the side by the DE and can get some nice YAC as the only other guy available to hit is a linebacker who lined up on the other hashmark outside the box.
M34 3 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over Pass TE out Butt 6
Another quick rhythm throw that looks smooth. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M40 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Run Counter power Green 3
Again blocked pretty well but Michigan ends up running a slow-developing counter play at a safety who's hanging out at eight yards presnap so when Green does get past the line he's there to hit for minimal gain. Making things more frustrating: Funchess is to the same side as this safety with a guy in press coverage. Oh well. Anyway: Kalis(+1) takes out a linebacker who's coming hard, with both going down to clear out space. Cole and Glasgow double an end and don't do a great job; the end ends up to the inside, where Cole(+0.5) does take him to free up the gap Green hits but they've comboed such that Glasgow has a really hard time getting to the linebacker he's going for. He gets there but his angle's all messed up and Green ends up tackled by the safety and that guy. RPS –1.
M43 2 7 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 over Pass Hitch Chesson Inc
Timing again excellent with the ball coming out at Chesson turns around; tiny bit high but only a tiny bit and the ball goes right through Chesson's hands. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M43 3 7 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Dumpoff Hayes 2
Morris misses Funchess breaking open for the first down easy and dumps it off to Hayes; ball is well behind Hayes and requires a spectacular one-handed stab to bring in. This throws Hayes off stride and allows a DT tracking him to tackle; without that there is some chance he gets to the marker. (IN, 1, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 3 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M12 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Run Power O Green 0
Sure to go down on the list of legendarily bad Derrick Green cuts. Michigan executes this excellently; Green(-3) sees Kalis(+0.5) get to the linebacker in front of him and kick him out and runs directly into him. One: Green needs more patience to watch which side of the block he runs to. Two: this is a situation for an out-in cut because you know the LB is thinking contain, leverage. Butt(+1) Glasgow(+1) and Cole(+1) had all won blocks and Green is getting ten yards at least if he makes an obvious cut.
M12 2 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 4-3 over Pass Out Darboh Inc
Darboh falls down on an out, allowing a DB to jump the route and nearly intercept. No idea if he gets this aggressive other wise or if this could be completed so not charted. (NC, 0, protection 1/1, Darboh -2 on route)
M12 3 10 Shotgun 2-back 1 0 4 Nickel over Pass Screen Hayes 8
Norfleet motions to backfield. They fake a flare screen to him and come back to Hayes; Minnesota is looking screen with a DL, who backs out and forces one of the Michigan OL to take him. This allows a LB to flow free. Glasgow gets chopped accidentally by Chesson(-1) trying to crack down and can't get out; CB contains and free LB ends the play. (CA, 3, screen, RPS -1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-10, 13 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M7 1 10 Ace Biggish 1 2 2 4-3 over Pass Sack N/A -5
Funchess motions in and takes an end around fake; also IZ fake. Morris sets up. Has Darboh one on one with a safety and may as well throw it but does not. Williams(-1) gets overwhelmed by a blocker at this point; he gets a holding call that is super fortunate to not be a safety. Morris starts rolling out, falls over for a safety, fumbles so it's not, picks ball up, runs as far as he can. So basically this is two safeties fortunately escaped. Hooray! (TA*, N/A, protection ½, Williams -1, Morris -3 run)
M2 2 15 Ace Big 1 3 1 4-4 over Run Inside zone Smith 2
Michigan blocking desperately to get room for a punt with Minnesota slanting by a bunch of lunges. Kalis(-1) and Glasgow(-1) lurch and fall over; Miller(+1) latches onto a slanting DT and escorts him out of the middle; Cole(+0.5) and Butt half-heartedly double a DE and Smith manages to get a few.
M40 3 13 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 3-3-5 nickel Run Draw Hayes 3
Give up and punt. Not even a good one as Braden(-1) is driven back and then the DE dives inside to tackle.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-10, 11 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Shotgun twins twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 over Pass TE corner Butt Inc
M runs a snag concept to the boundary that sees no one take Green; Morris tries for Butt on a corner route that the Minnesota S has covered and makes a nice play on for a PBU. Ball is on point and this is a play on which you're giving your guy a a chance so okay. (CA, 0, protection 2/2). I might BR the next one though.
M25 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Pass Out Funchess INT
Just one of those things. Morris has and finds Funchess for five and YAC, but the ball is batted directly to a Minnesota defender for a pick six. (BA, 0, protection 0/3) Cole(-2) did blow a blitz pickup to get Morris nailed and Braden(-1) whiffed on Cockran, who deflected the ball.
Drive Notes: Defensive touchdown, 7-20, 6 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Iso Smith 0 +15 pen
At this point Minnesota DGAF about the possibility of a pass and has everyone within eight yards of the LOS. M runs an iso at this. With the LBs filling HARD because of safety help at four yards M has no chance to create much crease. Glasgow(-1) and Miller(-1) neither handled the NT or get an effective block in the MLB, so that compounds things but with a free hitter at three yards this isn't going anywhere anyway. RPS -2. M lucks out with a facemask call.
M40 1 10 Ace biggish 1 2 2 4-3 over Run End around Funchess -5
No hope at all on this. DE flaring out to deal with it on the snap; Butt(-1) is beaten and that guy submarines Kalis to get two for one. Cole has no hope of getting to a LB looking for this all the way; Funchess swarmed. RPS -2.
M35 2 15 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over Pass TE out Butt Inc
A route Morris threw well a couple times; this time he misses entirely. (IN, 0, protection 2/2). M did pick up a blitz well.
M35 3 15 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Sack N/A -5
Minnesota only rushes three; Cole(-1) does get blown back a bit but Morris has an opportunity to move up in a nice pocket and then sacks himself by fumbling without being touched. (TA*, N/A, protection ½, Morris -3)
Drive Notes: Fumble, 7-20, 5 min 3rd Q. Why am I doing this? Michigan puts Morris BACK ON THE FIELD after this.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Pass Out Funchess Inc
It's hard to tell without a replay if this is more Morris or Funchess; Funchess gets one hand on a rapidly moving ball outside the frame of his body but it kind of looks lazy; he could go get it with two hands maybe? It's a short throw though, so... (IN, 1, protection 1/1)
M25 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Run Inside zone Green -2
Slant with a blitz; Kalis(-1) runs by one DT and Braden(-2) inexplicably stops blocking the guy so he shoots through the line. Miller(+1) picked up a stunt well and Glasgow(+0.5) kicked a guy so this would be a nice hole if Michigan didn't give up massive early penetration on the backside.
M23 3 12 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 3-3-5 nickel Pass Dig Funchess Inc
Smith(-2) is looking at a delayed blitzer and doesn't see the non-delayed guy stunting inside until it's too late; guy goes right through. He gets knocked over almost accidentally by Kalis, who's peeling back to maybe help Braden dealing with an edge rush. Morris has to back away from this and reset, doing so and firing to Funchess. Or at least trying. He's being grabbed and can't step into the throw so it's behind him and almost intercepted. A bad throw here is understandable but one to a defender is still bad. (IN, 0, protection 0/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-27, 1 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M26 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Pass Dumpoff Hayes 6 (Pen -10)
Hayes(+1) dodges a tackler at a yard and gets a nice gain out of nothing after Morris can't find anything early. Kalis(-2) called for holding. (CA, 3, protection 0/2)
M16 1 20 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over Run Counter power Hayes 4
Blocked just fine with Braden(+1) blasting a guy well off the ball and Butt(+0.5) chasing a stunter inside with Glasgow(+1) getting a quick, effective pull; Hayes(+0.5) finds the crease and hits it hard, safety who started at eight yards is unblocked to fill. RPS -1.
M20 2 16 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Fade Funchess Inc
Morris holds the ball for an extra beat, momentarily trying to bug out when there are no lanes and then re-setting, which gives a blitzer just enough time to get around Miller(-1); Morris throws a panicked ball to a blanketed Funchess that is well OOB. (IN, 0, protection 2/3)
M20 3 16 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 3-3-5 nickel Pass Rollout hitch Darboh Inc (Pen + 15)
Infamous doom play. Before the hit Morris threw the ball about five yards over Darboh's head. (INX, 0, protection N/A)
M35 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over Pass Dig Funchess Inc
And they throw afterward... spectacular. Great pocket, Morris throws a wobbler that's so far outside of Funchess it's nearly intercepted. (INX, 0, protection 2/2)
M35 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over Pass Hitch Chesson 9
Gardner enters, throws out in rhythm to Chesson a little outside but still reasonable. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M44 3 1 Ace 1 1 3 Nickel over Run QB sneak Gardner 2
Tempo sneak. This one is hard to get.
M46 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Scramble Gardner 11
Protection good for a beat and then a long stunt where a DT loops around two guys gets home as Braden(-2) totally vacates his lane and allows the guy through free. Gardner(+2) is in considerable space with the DT and jukes past him, taking off as he signals Hayes to block for him. (SCR, N/A, protection 1/3, Braden 2). Gardner loses helmet, disaster 2.
O43 1 10 Ace 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Run Inside zone ? Hayes 3
This is pretty weird, with M going for cut blocks on a DT and a LB threatening blitz. Glasgow(-1) airballs his but Miller's gets home and the other DT stunts behind all this, so it's really just a Butt(+0.5) kickout that he does well and a Braden(-1) block on a linebacker before the secondary; Braden ends up catching the LB and giving ground to the outside; Hayes(+0.5) has to shoot outside of that at an awkward angle, which allows a CB to come up and costs Hayes some yards and the ability to cut past a guy.
O40 2 7 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Scramble Gardner 18
Oh, man, Gardner bails on this pattern just before it shoots Darboh wide open downfield as Minnesota busts hard. Protection is good for a while and then Hayes loses a DE, understandable; he loses him in such away as to open up the corner, though, but getting a good hit on him,. Gardner(+1) breaks the pocket, gets a guy in the air with a pump fake, and is fast. (SCR, N/A, protection 2/2)
O22 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Sack N/A -11
This sack is largely Gardner's own making, as he wants Norfleet but then a guy jumps in the passing lane; if he moves up he's good but by falling back in the pocket he allows the two DEs, who are pushed too far upfield to really be effective without this QB error, to combine to sack. (TA, N/A, protection 2/2)
O33 2 21 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Out Chesson 18
Excellent protection against a six man pressure; Gardner finds Chesson for a big chunk. (CA, 3, protection 3/3)
O20 3 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 3-3-5 nickel Pass Bubble screen Funchess 17
Hey they block one of these. Darboh(+0.5) gets it done and Funchess(+1) evades a tackle for a nice gain. (CA, 3, screen)
O3 1 G Shotgun empty TE 1 1 3 4-3 even Run QB power Gardner 3
Pretty obvious intent here but power instead of a draw is a good way to not get RPSed here. Kalis(+1) turns in a DT authoritatively; Cole doesn't even have to kick a nutso pass rush from the DE, Glasgow(+0.5) gets to the LB and occupies him and that's it. RPS +1.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-30, 7 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR DForm Type Play Player Yards
M5 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over Pass Out? Funchess? Inc
Yeesh, more all hitch action with an out and fade to one side of the field; Gardner hesitates, and then protection breaks down. He barely gets a throw off that is almost intercepted. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
M5 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over Pass Fly Darboh Inc
Basically a go-get-it with no separation. Pretty accurate for a 45 yard pass, would like it farther outside, but that's life. (CA, 1, protection 1/1)
M5 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over Pass Out and up Darboh Inc
Protection here okay; Glasgow(-1) does allow inside penetration that forces Gardner to keep moving after the ends suggest he goes up in the pocket. Ensuing throw while in motion is well overthrown. (IN, 0, protection ½)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-30, 4 min 4th Q. Michigan quits.

Why did you do this?

People get mad at me if I don't.

Seriously? Like… what kind of people?

Seemingly normal ones? For a given definition of normal? Who otherwise seem to make sane and hale decisions in their everyday life?

But enough about Michigan's decision to start Shane Morris.

Actually not quite enough. Here is the chart—?


--for Morris, which is pretty much what you were expecting.

[* on chart == extreme version of bad event]

Shane Morris

Central Michigan - 4 - 1 1* 1 - - - N/A
App State 1 2 1   1*          
Utah 1 4   5** 1* 2 1 1 1 40%
Minnesota 1 8(2) - 8** 2 3** 1 - - 33%

(Also Gardner stuff:)

Devin Gardner 2013

Central Michigan 2 10(1)+ 1 1 2* - - 1 3 82%
Notre Dame 7+ 16(1)++ 4(1) 2 3* - 1 4 4 82%
Akron 3 14(2) - 5 3** 2 1 3 1 59%
UConn 2 13(1) 1 5*+ - 1 - 5 5 76%
Minnesota 4+ 7(1) 4 1 - - - 1 2 92%
Penn State 7+ 12(2) - 5+ 2** 3 1 4 4 66%
Indiana 5 18(3) 1 1 3 3 - - 5 78%
Michigan State 1 15(2) 1 5 4* 6 - 4 1 50%
Nebraska - 17(1) 1 4(1) 2* 5 - 6 - 62%
Northwestern 5 21(6) 3 5 6***** 1 2(1) 6 4 65%
Iowa 3 12(5)+ 2(1) 5(1) - 2 2 4 3 68%

Devin Gardner

App State 1 11(4) - 2(1)   1 - 1 1 82%
Notre Dame 3 17(3) 2 1 6(1)** 3 - 2 2 68%
Miami(NTM) 1 9(1) 1 3 2 - 1 2 2 65%
Utah 2 9(2) 5 5** 1* 1 1 4 3 60%
Minnesota   3   1 1 1     2 N/A
Rutgers 4 14(3) 1 3* 2 2*     4 73%
Penn State 2 12(3) 2(1) 4   4 1 1 1 57%

I thought it was inexplicable to start Morris given what we'd seen and Gardner's ability to gain yards here and there, but some people disagreed. No one can disagree that Morris was left in way, way too long. Michigan put him back out there after he fumbled without anyone touching him, and then Michigan went three and out, and then they put him out there again. Without the head injury, Gardner never appears in this game, and then you start wondering about what happens the rest of the season.

Does Michigan just roll with Shane Morris because uh he's the quarterback now? You'd have to think no, but then again Michigan saw something that indicated Morris was at all plausible when he had 49 passing yards deep into the second half that was actually still competitive.

What was the issue? All things. Morris seemed to have no idea what he was looking at most of the time, opting to wildly overthrow a bracketed Funchess here instead of try the open-ish corner on the other side of the field or just dump to Hayes:

If you're going to punt it up, punt it up in an area where a catch is hypothetically possible.

Here he has a big window to hit Funchess for the first down and checks down with a ball that requires a one-handed stab:

On the rare occasions he did find an open receiver downfield he threw a few nice passes and zinged a number way off target. The thing Michigan found to work even a little were five yard outs to the slot, and even those were a dodgy proposition what with balls hammered too far outside a few times. The pick six was another one of these; you wonder if this was an instance of going back to the well on which Minnesota's DE had a high chance of deflecting a throw that was likely to come.

Morris had no business playing against Minnesota. Inserting him at all is malpractice and leaving him in past halftime is all but throwing the game.

Okay… the ground game?

This was not as bad as it was against Penn State. Most of the OL held their ground.

Offensive Line
Player + - Total Notes
Cole 4.5 2.5 2 Overpowered a little but still okay day.
Glasgow 8.5 8 0.5 Some zone ID misses.
Miller 7 3 4 Good day.
Kalis 5.5 4 1.5 Doing okay.
Braden 2 7 -5 Got embarrassingly tossed to the ground.
Magnuson       DNP
Williams   2 -2  
Kerridge 1      
Hill 2   2 One kickass block.
Butt 2.5 2 0.5  
TOTAL 33 28.5 54% Not good enough to be consistent on the ground but we've seen worse of late.
Player + - T Notes
Gardner 3   3 Fast, scrambly.
Morris   7 -7 Fumbled twice, missed a zone read.
Green   5 -5 Missed two obvious cuts, added nothing of his own.
Smith 5.5   5.5 YAC machine.
Hayes 2   2 Free Justice.
Johnson       DNP
Shallman - - - DNP
Kerridge N/A N/A N/A moved to TE for now
Houma       DNP
TOTAL 10.5 12 -1.5 Eh.
Player + - T Notes
Funchess 1   1  
Chesson   3 -3  
Darboh 0.5      
Canteen   - - DNC
Dever - - - DNC
Jones - - - DNP
TOTAL 1.5 3 -1.5 Eh.
Player + - T Notes
Protection 38 13 75% Cole 3, Braden 3, Kalis 2, Smith 2, Miller 1, Glasgow 1, Williams 1
RPS 5 7 -2

Where are big plays?

On the RPS: I just don't see Michigan finding things that might work and exploiting them. On this third and medium Minnesota sends two guys in motion with Funchess, indicating a bracket and man coverage all around. They have no deep safeties for anyone else; Michigan throws an out to Butt that gets jumped.

Okay. It happens. Michigan never tried to find this again, never tried to bust out an out and up here to see if you can get an easy long throw. They keep running these all-hitch/all-out five yard routes that find opponents in Michigan's shorts and have not gotten anything over the top.

It's rock paper scissors so sometimes you get got; where is Michigan getting the opponent? I mean, how many times this year has Michigan eaten big plays because opponents have IDed their obvious man coverage and run rub routes? Lots. How many times has Michigan done it? Not at all? It might be not at all. I liked Minnesota's little middle screen they broke out in this game, which was a clever call at the right time, and I again thought about how I almost never think similar thoughts about Michigan.

I mean, I did like that Michigan got a couple things from double stacks; here they get a hat for a hat in the box by spreading the WRs way outside, which demands respect when one of those guys is Funchess:

That is seven yards, not 37, though. They did come back to this, taking advantage of Minnesota's response to get a nice zone read gain from Smith despite the fact that no one bothered to check Morris:

Again, that's five yards; Michigan did not try it again to see what would happen after a Morris keep. They just don't pressure a defense effectively. With Nussmeier on the sideline this is something that Hecklinski or someone in the box needs to be on top of and attack.

They don't, and to me that's yet another sign that the program is shockingly disorganized in year four, with faint prospects for improvement.

Is this just more spread zealotry?

Oh, probably. It drives me f-ing nuts when Michigan blocks a play right for once and gets three yards because a safety is hammering down on the snap:

If you cannot punish that aggression you're doomed, and Michigan has one long play of any significance this year: the Funchess bomb on which they got lucky.


Green's done for the year of course but we did get some more information about him going forward. It was not of the nice variety. This may be his all-time worst cut:

It's less the cut than the lack of patience; he needs to be a step back so he can see which side of the block that defender ends up on. Heck, even if he is up there he should understand that Kalis's block is 90% likely to be a kickout and 100% if he jukes from outside to inside. He does that and he's getting a nice chunk. Instead it's second and ten.

Oh and this:

Huge drive by the OL that demands a cutback; worst case scenario there is that Green rams a linebacker who's being harassed by Glasgow and falls forward for five. Instead he ignores the block which almost has to be his primary key and gets a yard.

He may look like Superman but going into next season there will be serious doubts about his ability to stay in front of his competitors.

Smith showed his uncanny knack for taking hits and keeping his balance some…

…and then Michigan ran him once in the second half. They didn't have many opportunities to run him, I guess, what with the three-and-outs.

Have any examples of that thing you said on the podcast about how the guy chasing a DL to the ballcarrier is not always the guy at fault?

Mostly. Smith got snowed under on this run as Minnesota slants away. Glasgow, highlighted, sees the guy cross his face and does not so much as touch him, giving Cole a tough job:

This happens to Michigan a lot. They are bad about helping out the guys next to them when the DL does anything remotely fancy; I know this is not what Funk wants. He wants that DL to take a "shoulder spear," as he puts it in clinics, to blunt the DL's momentum without unduly hampering the guard's release. Do that and give Smith another yard to make a decision and this could be a nice gain. Instead, bupkis.

Cole needs to do better here as well; if he can shove the guy in any direction, be it down or across, Smith has the opportunity to cut back in a big hole. Instead he eats a TFL. (Does another back make this cut anyway? Maybe. Mike Hart probably does. Justice Hayes might. Smith has not shown that level of agility.)

[BONUS ZONE COMPLAINING FROM THIS PLAY: if you care to, watch the Williams/Braden block to the bottom of the screen. That doesn't make any sense, either. The double lets the DE inside and then pops Braden off to the second level; combo blocks want to get both guys on the same side of it.]

But the offensive line is so young?

I guess you can flog youth as an excuse for this kind of stuff, but when OSU is doing what it's doing with an offensive line with one more year of experience (total years on campus: 10 for M, 11 for OSU) I don't buy it.

This play was emblematic of Michigan's overall confusion. Most of the team appears to run an inside zone to the left. Kalis, though, appears to think he's running a stretch; Glasgow steps to the right instead of the left:

Or this one. Kalis gets a bit of a spear; Braden just stops blocking the guy when he should be stepping around to seal him out.

And this from Braden was…

…woof. Pulled out a –3 there.


[0 = uncatchable, 1 = circus catch, 2 = moderate difficulty, 3 = routine]

Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Funchess 5 0/1 1/2 3/3   14 2/5 7/10 26/27
Chesson       2/2   4 0/3 2/3 8/8
Darboh 2     1/1   7 2/3 3/3 10/11
Norfleet             0/2 0/1 11/12
Canteen           2   1/1 2/3
Butt 3     2/2   3 3/4   7/8
Hill           2 0/1 0/1 3/3
Williams                 2/3
Heitzman                 1/2
Jones           1   1/1  
Green             1/2   1/1
Smith 1         2 0/1   1/1
Hayes 1 1/1   2/2   3 1/1   4/4
Kerridge             0/1   1/1

ROUTES: Darboh –2, Butt –1.

Not much opportunity to blow anything; I wonder if I am ever going to hand out a route plus. Wither Dileo?


De'Veon Smith fired off hard and didn't blow any cuts he could reasonably make. Gardner scrambled up Michigan's other TD.

Maybe not so heroic?

Whoever decided Shane Morris was viable. Green's vision is super questionable. Braden had a rough day.

What does it mean for Michigan State and the future?


Monocle Smile

October 23rd, 2014 at 3:49 PM ^

You're a bit overly critical of Green in the post-plays section after the fact, given that the Rutgers game showed an epic turnaround.

I didn't get to see most of Morris' time, and it looks like I wasn't missing anything. That's even worse than I thought. What exactly is going on in practice?

Walter Sobchak

October 23rd, 2014 at 3:58 PM ^

Leaving Morris in long after it was apparrent he was not competent enough to lead the offense is a fireable offense.   It was pure bullheadedness on Hokes part.  Morris was limping to the huddle for 3-4 drives.   Factor in the fact that this loss may keep UM out of a bowl game, and its even worse.   It appears if Gardner had played the whole second half, we'd have won.   Hoke really lost my support in that 3rd quarter.   

Vengeful Barbarian

October 23rd, 2014 at 4:30 PM ^

I think what Hoke was doing was sending a message to Gardner to step it up by benching him and starting Morris. At the same time I think he was giving Morris a chance to progress by keeping him in instead of yanking him. Shane is still young, and doesn't have much experience, so Hoke was trying to give him a chance to learn in a real game. Hoke has shown a great leadership which is why his players are so loyal to him, and in return he is loyal to them. 


October 24th, 2014 at 12:00 AM ^

and a victory are more important than any single message Hoke needs to send to any single player, no matter who it is.  I'm sure a majority of folks wanted to see Morris get a chance that day, but a similar majority also figured out that it was simply not happening, way the hell before Hoke did.  That whole day was BS coaching.  

I hope the next coach is able to show a little better "reaction time" on such things.


October 23rd, 2014 at 4:00 PM ^

This was against a defense that just gave up 450 yards to Purdue, 298 of them on the ground.

There are no words to describe this team's epic coaching fail.  It is easily the most poorly coached offense in the country. 


October 23rd, 2014 at 7:42 PM ^

We still wouldn't have been that good.  People are forgetting how nonfunctionally awful Gardner was against ND and Utah.  He has still sucked ass horribly this year.  Four games played against Power 5 teams and he has thrown one TD and seven INTs.  If he plays this game we probably gain 300 yards but we still lose handily.  The offense is almost universally abysmal.  Purdue rushed for over 8 ypc against Minnehaha and we rushed for 3.0.  That everyone on this staff hasn't been fired yet is incomprehensible to me.   


October 23rd, 2014 at 4:06 PM ^

I thought this team could go 10 and 2 this year makes me feel real stupid. we've beaten a terrible app state team, a Miami team who has lost for 2 consecutive years and a Penn state team that was basically playing without an offensive line...


October 23rd, 2014 at 4:06 PM ^

Just how drastic a change did Nuss bring in?  Is his scheme a fundamental shift from what Borges was doing?

The offense appears broken on many levels.  Even when the OL gets a good push, the backs don't run to the correct holes / follow blocking.



October 23rd, 2014 at 4:40 PM ^

One week later, Green had a very good game against Rutgers and Smith looked pretty bad.  In the Rutgers game, Green had 12 carries for 74 yards and had 2 runs that totaled at least 20 yards called back as a result of penalties that had nothing to do with his runs.  So, being so hard on Green seems more than a little unjustified.  He may be backing up Ty Isaac next year, regardless.


October 23rd, 2014 at 4:44 PM ^

I tend to fall into the youth and lack of peers when trying to figure out why we are awful. You cannot say we lack talent, or coaching- these guys have turned less talent into winning teams/offenses. 

After youth I have to go to scheme, and this is where i think our coaches can still be very good but are failing to understand what is occurring. It seems like they are trying to cut back more and more, to simplify it so our Oline can form a base of working pays/blocks, etc.

This is entirely wrong and I'm not sure they see it, it WILL help our Oline to understand roles, blocking assignments etc to do that BUT they are forgetting the Dline lined up over them. The more you simplify it, the easier it is to defend it. Other teams simply know they are getting base plays and very little iterations off that. When you feel comfortable and/or know what you are facing, it creates a powerful advantage. 

All these game break downs that last 3 year (sadly yes years) has been the same issue.  We try to install something new as base and within 1-3 drives other team understands it see it counters it, and they know we have nothing else to throw at them- pin ears back and destroy us. 

We cannot run the ball because it's RPS fail to run into 8-9 man lines or 5-6 man lines with 2-3 running straight at us upon snaps. We cannot protect QB so he looks like a sandlot QB with no idea or plan every time we hike the ball. 

Funny part is NEXT coach will look like a genius as he will have an experienced line/team, and will be able to teach from here forward instead of going back and dumb-ing it down further and further every week.



October 23rd, 2014 at 5:36 PM ^

Basically the reason why no one does (or needs to) answer when someone throws out the "but other olines do it" is that it isn't relevant, you cannot simply assume everything else on the other team is equal to the ones on UM, and you def. cannot assume an individual is same as another individual. 

So "OSU has slightly older Oline then us and they aren't as bad"...ok Does Osu have same QB, WR, TE, etc? No

A running QB (as seen by, all hail, #16 DR) can make a younger line look fine! Our QB can run but doesn't (injury, scheme, choce, who knows). Our Wr's are not as fast as OSU (unti to unit) etc.

it's a cope out to throw away age/experience on Oline. And since the battle is won/lost in trenches, I think we can easily use oline as main reason for failure. Note: not only reason)





October 23rd, 2014 at 6:27 PM ^

OSU hardly missed a beat when it had to replace its very experienced and highly touted QB with a freshman.  We have a highly mobile 5th year senior and cannot get it done, 2 of the most highly rated RBs in the 2013 recruiting class and a freak WR.  Coaching is the problem, not youth and not lack of talent.


October 24th, 2014 at 5:40 AM ^


I am not buying any of this. OSU does not have a Funchess and they had to plug in a QB who had no idea he would see the field at all days before he was the full-time starter. OSU running backs were not higher ranked than Green/Smith. Either the M coaches are doing a very poor job of evaluating the talent they recruit or the M coaches cannot train the talent they have to look competent against anyone but App St and NTM. Either way that is coaching. It's not only OSU who is far outperforming M with similar youth, last years Auburn o-line was every bit as young as M is this year and like OSU, could execute enough spread concepts to keep defenses honest.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


October 23rd, 2014 at 4:48 PM ^

The Friday before we hired RR i took a flight to USVI, and experienced heavy turbulence..



A. I died this is hell (MSU & OOSU own us)

B. I'm in a twisted reality where UM is the bad school not MSU

C. I ht head and i'm dreaming all of this...


October 23rd, 2014 at 4:56 PM ^

Starting Morris and leaving him in with a bum ankle and very little production while you have Gardner on the bench sent a much more powerful message to the team and the fans than Hoke could ever have hoped to have sent to Gardner. And none of that message is positive. Hoke's willing to cut off his nose to spite his face.

Leaders and best.


October 23rd, 2014 at 4:58 PM ^

I love the site & esp the UFR's, but what the hell's with the timing of bringing us back to this nightmare, two games & three weeks ago, when in just two short days we're about to experience an even worse nightmare that may be the end of Mich Football forever (hoping that's hyperbole)


October 23rd, 2014 at 8:34 PM ^

I mean, It's Brian's blog & he can get to the UFRs whenever he wants, but since the Minny fiasco, there was Rutgers, PSU, and the bye. It was a month ago almost. The timing was painful, almost a whole month after that fiasco & just two days before the (likely, but we can still hope otherwise) beat down in ELansing


October 23rd, 2014 at 5:01 PM ^

Appreciate the Minnesota UFR and all....however when you see out of orders game UFR's it really gacks things up a little. 

Since this minnesota game Smith has been very very bad with his reads while Green looked a 100 times better the next week at Rutgers.

At this point it is safe to say no skill player on offense trusts this OL to get the job done and are all hesitant to ever believe the OL will complete the block or at least keep their guys upright.


October 23rd, 2014 at 5:25 PM ^

Was that this really, really needed to be said...

"Morris had no business playing against Minnesota. Inserting him at all is malpractice and leaving him in past halftime is all but throwing the game."

...and while this may have seemed obvious to many of us while watching the game, taking the time to UFR this game helps provide meaningful evidence to demonstrate that this was the case.

Thanks, Brian.