Upon Further Review 2015: Defense vs Minnesota Comment Count

Brian November 5th, 2015 at 4:50 PM

Sorry about the lateness of the UFRs this week. Finding all the video took forever.

HomeSure-Logo-NMLS-14_thumb_thumbUpon Further Review has a sponsor. We got a couple nice comments on the previous UFR in re: Matt.

I worked with Matt (aka HomeSure lending) and closed my refi last week. Everything went as planned and on schedule. He was easy to work with and there was good communication throughout. I've had other refi's that did not go as planned and caused wasted time for me or were chaotic. With Matt it went really well and I got a lower rate and now my monthly payment dropped and I'll pay it off in the same amount of years. …

Oh and one more thing. When I first called him, he talked me out of refinancing because he was honest and told me my current loan was better than what I was trying to do with him. Once the rates dropped he reconnected with me and that lead to the refi. He seemed really honest and truly trying to do what's right.

That guy has had an account since 2009 in case you're worried about astroturfing. He's got a ticket offer going for a Michigan football or basketball game. If you're buying a home or refinancing, he's the right guy to call.

FORMATION NOTES: Michigan spent a lot of the game like this, with Ross at the buck (standing to the bottom of the DL) and Peppers and Hill flanked outside of the two ILBs.

nickel even 4-4

This was an especially weird game to play Ross as the buck since otherwise you would have expected him to play a lot as a third linebacker. I just called this "nickel even" since Ross was functioning as a DL.

This was "quads inner bunch"; Peppers is about to do something almost awesome.

quads inner bunch

All else per usual.

PERSONNEL NOTES: No Godin, who was injured, so the rotation on the DL was circumscribed. Hurst and Glasgow rotated at the nose with scattered snaps on which both played; Charlton got snaps here and there, but Wormley and Henry had a heavy workload.

Ross bizarrely got most of the snaps at buck instead of Jenkins-Stone; he did not do well. Morgan didn't come off the field; it was mostly Bolden at the other LB spot but Gedeon got a little time; there were a few 4 LB sets.

Secondary was mostly the usual, with Thomas the primary dime back this week. Clark got most of the second CB playing time.

[After THE JUMP: flukes and… not flukes]

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Ace twins H Nickel even Pass 4 Rolllout corner Clark Inc
Another rollout gets no pressure(-2) like the start of the State game. Coverage(+2) very good downfield, with Clark(+1) all over the corner route and Peppers(+0.5) in the pocket of a shorter throw. Leidner puts it OOB.
O25 2 10 Shotgun 2TE twins Nickel 3-4 Run N/A Inside zone Wormley 3
Looks like an RPO with the TE releasing immediately; Leidner either doesn't have the call or misses the read, because he still hands off. Wormley(+1) gets the RT; he drives him back and extends inside to make a tackle; Glasgow(-0.5) took a double and gave up a little too much ground. Morgan comes down unblocked to finish. Bolden(+0.5) scraped to the hole to also help.
O28 3 7 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 nickel Pass 5 Post corner Thomas 17
Thomas(-3, cover -3) bites inside and this is wide open. M sent five guys and Wormley(+0.5) is coming through but Leidner can drop back and fire his first route so the pressure isn't relevant.
O45 1 10 Ace twin TE 4-3 even Pass 4 Y cross Hill Inc
Charlton at DE with Ross as a SAM. Hill rolls down into the box too. PA; M bites hard. Leidner gets no pressure(-2); he biffs a throw to an open WR for 15 yards. Hill(-1) and Bolden(-1) both bit super hard(cover -2) and Wilson is getting there a bit late. Leidner just misses.
O45 2 10 Shotgun twin TE Nickel even Run N/A Power O Morgan 4
Morgan(+1) sent on a blitz which he times well. He shoots inside the C and picks off the pulling G, leaving nobody in the hole. Bolden(-1) and Hill do a mediocre job of taking advantage of this; they converge but take the hit, with the RB knocking Bolden over. RPS +1.
O49 3 6 Shotgun trips tight bunch Nickel over Pass 5 Out Wilson 7
M initially in man with Lewis following Maye; they motion him across the formation with the two TEs outside of him. M adjusts and ends up with Lewis the deep S. Not great. M then doesn't anticipate the flat route coming with a pattern match. They end up having Wilson(-1, cover -1) chase inside out; he gets beat. Bolden blitzed and got picked up. Leidner comfortable; pressure -2. RPS -1.
M44 1 10 Shotgun twins H Nickel over Run N/A Split zone Glasgow 0
Glasgow(+2) rips through the backside G, hurling him to the turf, and eats the back. Hurst(+1) also discarded an OL and helps tackle to hold this to zero; he was a little slower.
M44 2 10 Shotgun twin TE Nickel over Pass 4 PA out Morgan Inc
Charlton(+1) evades the pulling G and gets in; Leidner does have some time to survey. His first read is covered by Morgan(+1, cover +1) settling back into a TE post against PA. By the time he comes off it Maye is too close to the sideline and Lewis coming over the top ; he throws it OOB.
M44 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel buck Pass 4 Fade Ross Inc
A spot where Ross at buck is actually kind of good. Glasgow(+1) drives the RG and gets pressure of his own; Ross(+1, pressure +2) shoots around it fast and gets up the gut as well. He hits Leidner as he throws. It's an attempted back shoulder fade that Thomas(+1, cover +1) is in great position on but doesn't have to make a play on because it's short.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 11 min 1st Q. I couldn't get the first two plays of the next drive very well.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M49 1 10 ??? ??? Run N/A ??? ??? 1
???
M48 2 9 30 nickel slide Ace Pass 5 Aimless Hurl Peppers 31
PA going deep. M sends five and only gets through late (pressure –1); Leidner really should not throw this but does. It is way, way short. Lewis(-1) has his head around but doesn't seem to find the ball; Peppers(-2) starts throwing his hands up oddly, I think assuming that the TE going down is going to get a PI call and the ball will sail over his head. Cover push, I guess?
M17 1 10 I-Form twins 4-3 even Pass 4 Waggle corner Lewis Inc
PA rollout finds nobody on the edge; frustrating since this happened a lot vs MSU. RJS actually hits the back before heading for the QB; don't know if this is his problem or just an assignment issue. (Pressure -2). A crossing route to the TE is open-ish but Hill recovers enough to make this difficult if Leidner tries it; it's only really open before Leidner is able to survey. Leidner tries to hit a corner route that Lewis(+1, cover +1) is in the back pocket of and throws it OOB.
M17 2 10 Shotgun trips 4-4 even Pass 5 PA pop seam Morgan 11
M has all four LBs on the field along with a heavy line package as Minnesota has a big formation on which they split wide; they motion Maye into the slot to the trips side. Morgan(-2, cover -2) doesn't figure out what that implies, biting up on play action to open up a big window for a first down and first and goal. RPS -1.
M6 1 G Pistol FB 4-3 under Pass 4 PA FB flat Wilson Inc
Pick route on which the outside WR comes in and out-and-out blocks Bolden; no OPI. Refs -2.Wilson(+1, cover +1) is covering over the top here anyway; since nobody else is actually running a route Leidner just turfs the ball in the general vicinity. RPS +1.
M6 2 G Shotgun trips tight bunch Goal line Run N/A Zone read belly Charlton 2
Heavy package with Charlton-Hurst-Glasgow-Henry-Wormley across the front and all four LBs again. ZR on which Minnesota wants to blow out Hurst(+1) and sneak inside Charlton(+0.5) to get most of the way to the endzone; Hurst reads and fights back to the play; Charlton checks the QB and then collapses on the runner. Those guys constrict and hit for a couple yards.
M4 3 G Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Pass 4 Sack Morgan -3 (Pen +2)
Ross at buck. Wormley(+2) gets picked up by the back and just steamrolls his way to the QB for a pressure; Morgan(+1) is sent on a delayed blitz; probably reading the back. He is around in the big gap between Wormley and Henry and sacks to end the drive; dangerous though as Ross(-0.5) got kicked way upfield and never came back when the QB started moving; Hill(-1) is in a spy zone here and also never moves. Leidner is frustrated because he thought he had a TD. Pressure +2. Peppers(-1) dinged for lining up offsides, which is debatable given what we all know about ball movement now.
M2 3 G Goal line Goal line Run N/A Down G Hurst -4
Hurst(+3) displays his tremendous burst by getting off the ball in a flash, zipping through the line before the backside T has a prayer to block him; he thumps the back for a TFL. Henry(+2) discarded the RG and is also in position to wreck this for a loss if Hurst doesn't beat him to it.
Drive Notes: FG(23), 0-3, 5 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun twins 30 nickel slide Pass 4 Sack Morgan -1 (Pen -5)
Morgan(+1, cover +1) reads the PA and drops into the throwing lane to cause Leidner to hesitate; now he's passing the ball while the line run blocks. Glasgow(+1) and Wormley(+1) form up against a runner and then see what's going on; they explode to Leidner and bring him down. Pressure +1. Minnesota hit with an illegal formation call that I'd probably decline.
O20 1 15 Shotgun trips TE 30 nickel slide Run N/A Zone read belly Wormley 6
M not in a great spot to stop this as they have Wormley head up on the tackle instead of outside; tough for him to constrict space here. Meanwhile Bolden has to check the QB before reacting; Morgan is reacting to IZ that belly imitates. Morgan(+0.5) and Bolden(+0.5) do well to converge; do want Wormley(-1) to have more impact here than he does.
O26 2 9 Shotgun 2TE Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone Ross 3
In here are the seeds of a big Minnesota keeper; M lines up in a four-four front with Peppers and Hill flanking the ILBs and ross playing DE. TE flares to Peppers, containing; Morgan plays the IZ straight; Ross collapses down. Glasgow(+1) and Henry(+1) had driven Minnesota back and forced a cutback into nothing, which is currently Ross crashing down.
O29 3 6 Shotgun 3-wide 3-2-6 dime Pass 3 In Hurst Inc
Ross lined up as a standup DT; he backs out. He draws the attention of the C; Hurst(+2, pressure +2) takes advantage to zip inside of the LG and get a QB hurry up the gut. Leidner has to throw early; WR is not out of his break when the ball zings by; Peppers(+1, cover +1) in tight coverage. Wonder why M had two guys sitting in spy zones right next to each other—dropping one LB a bit further back might let this be an INT.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-3, 14 min 2nd Q. Peppers has a nice punt return.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 I-Form twins Base 3-4 Run N/A Off tackle Charlton 2
Ross(+0.5) ends up unblocked on the outside; he comes around and tackles. Charlton(+1) gets a brief double; when the second guy leaves he rips the remaining OL away and shows up in the run lane to hit the back and reduce YAC. Hurst(+1) drove the C back and got to the lane as well. Morgan(-1) blitzed; he got handled and pancaked, so there is a small lane for a couple yards.
O27 2 8 Shotgun 2TE Nickel even Pass 5 TE flat Bolden 16
Corner blitz; TE runs to the flat. M looks to be in a three deep zone and this is a soft spot given the blitz, but Bolden(-2, cover -1, tackling -1) takes a bad angle upfield of a guy coming to pick him off, turning a six or seven yard play into a chunk. (RPS -1)
O43 1 10 I-Form big Base 3-4 Pass 4 Hitch Lewis 7
PA; Lewis(-0.5, cover -1) is too far off on Maye and can't react to stop this play even though Leidner throws it well upfield of his target; that could have been a PBU or deflection. Charlton(+1, pressure +1) beat a tackle to get in Leidner's face.
50 2 3 I-Form big 4-4 under Penalty N/A Offsides Hurst 5
Freeze play; Hurst(-1) jumps.
M45 1 10 Shotgun 2-back TE 4-3 even Pass 4 PA wheel Hill Inc
Jet sweep fake with Leidner rolling the opposite way and looking deep for a wheel route. Hill(+0.5, cover +1) is beat for a second but recovers well; ball ends up vaguely catchable but RB pushes himself OOB by leaping up and pushing off Hill.
M45 2 10 Shotgun trips tight bunch Nickel even Run N/A Split zone Henry 8
A tiny crack in the line that Brooks squeezes through as Henry(-0.5) gets shoved down the line a bit too far; he does come back and almost tackle in the hole. Morgan(-1) hits the OL releasing to him but can't get off the block; Wormley comes off and tackles from behind. Normally I might ding guys more here but this was barely a crease.
M37 3 2 Shotgun trips TE Nickel even Run N/A Zone read keeper Ross 12
Ross(-2) gets edged as he over-reacts to the potential belly and can't recover to get Leidner. M had blitzed and slanted away with Bolden moving up to fill the cutback lane; Ross did not even have this gap he's overpursuing to.
M25 1 10 Shotgun 2TE Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone Ross 11
Frontside jammed as the DL generally win. Glasgow(+1) and Henry(+1) dominate single blocking and force the back to the backside. Ross(-2) gets handled when the back cuts back; he eventually gets driven well downfield, opening up a backside crease. Hill(-1) gets cracked on by a wide receiver; Stribling(-1) is trying to replace that and ends up hesitant; Hill never gets off this block and there's a lane backside.
M14 1 10 Shotgun 2TE Nickel even Run N/A Zone read keeper Peppers 1
Hill has the backside contain and is in place to deal with it; WR cracks down on him; Leidner bounces to Peppers(+1, tackling +1), and Peppers bursts upfield to tackle in space. Leidner does get a yard or two of YAC due to physics.
M13 2 9 Shotgun twins twin TE Nickel over Pass 4 Slant Peppers Inc
Peppers(+2, cover +2) locked up in man coverage; QB goes high, which gives him an opportunity to leap for the ball and come over the top for the PBU.
M13 3 9 Shotgun 2TE twins 4-3 under Pass 4 Seam Wilson Inc
Maye in motion; Lewis goes with him and Wilson alerts. M plays a full bracket on Maye with Wilson responsible for outside stuff and Lewis inside; Wilson(+2, cover +2) reads and PBUs a questionable decision to throw. RPS +1. Pocket pretty comfortable, pressure -1.
Drive Notes: FG(30), 14-6, 7 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M24 1 10 I-Form 4-3 over Run N/A Trap Morgan 23
Sizeable gap opens up as Glasgow is let go and then picked up by a short puller. In fact, the FB. Henry(-2) gets blown out by a double; Morgan(-2) takes on a pulling G and blows him up… which opens up a huge lane; Gedeon is waiting outside of him and if he funnels to a teammate this gets very little. Ross(-1) has a somewhat difficult job but doesn't read it fast enough and misses an ankle tackle(-1); RB direct to the secondary. On replay it's clear that Morgan goes and hits this pulling G when G is not even aiming for him.
M47 1 10 Ace Base 3-4 Run N/A Power O Ross 0
Nothing. Ross(+1) clubs the FB back into the hole, jamming the POA. Charlton(+1) rips a guy away and comes around to initiate a tackle; Glasgow(+0.5) got kicked briefly but also comes around to snuff the play out.
M47 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide tight Nickel even Pass 4 PA rollout corner Wilson 53
The back shoulder corner route that Clark(+1, cover +1) has dead to rights before Leidner misses serendipitously. Wilson(-3, tackling -2) badly overruns a not very fast receiver, turning a 30 yard gain into a TD.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-13, 4 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O44 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 3-2-6 dime Pass 4 TE seam Thomas 39
Henry and Ross stunt; Henry(+1) comes through and then swims through a RB block to force a throw from Leidner (pressure +1); that throw is a super bad idea that Thomas(+0.5, cover +1) should pick off but instead only deflects and deflects it right to the WR. FFS, football gods.
O17 1 10 Ace twins twin TE Dime even Pass 4 Corner Wormley Inc
Wormley vs TE, which only goes one way. Wormley(+1, pressure +1) rips past and gets in; he can't sack but he forces Leidner to move around and grabs his jersey; bit frustrated here with the late reaction of Hill to an opportunity to go get a delayed blitz sack. He does come up but Leidner has just enough time to get off a back foot hurl that is... an inch perfect corner route Lewis(+2, cover +2) has to PBU? What have you done with the real Mitch Leidner?
O17 2 10 I-Form Nickel over Run N/A Trap Glasgow 2
I swear I've never seen as many traps against M as this year. Glasgow(+1) avoids a FB cut; Henry(+1) presses his single block backwards; must cut back. Morgan(+0.5) read and hit a free releaser quick but it never gets to him. Back pops backside, where Peppers and Bolden wait.
Drive Notes: FG(32), 14-16, EOH. In a preview of coming attractions Minnesota runs the clock from 18 seconds to 2 before this FGA.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O21 1 10 Shotgun trips TE Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone Glasgow 2
Henry(+0.5), Glasgow(+1), and Wormley(+1) all whip single blocking and engulf this play. Henry maybe a little less than others; back can squeeze out a couple.
O23 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel buck Pass 4 Wheel Morgan 40
Very disappointing as Leidner was about to get wrecked. Wormley(+2, pressure +2) rips through the LT on a straight up pass move and just about hits on the throw; Glasgow(+1, pressure +1) got through on a stunt. Guy was dead to rights; Morgan(-3, cover -3) first stepped forward without even seeing any PA and then got outrun by Brooks. I can kind of understand this if there was any run action. Without I'm just confused.
M37 1 10 Ace Nickel even Pass 4 PA post Wilson Inc
PA with a roll to the short side and a four-man flood on the sideline. All of these guys are covered(+3) but Leidner's like F IT I AM GROSSMAN and hurls a punt at a double covered WR in the endzone that Wilson(+1) is there to PBU, but this was an INT opportunity on which he did not high point the ball; this probably should have been picked off.
M37 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 30 nickel slide Run N/A Inside zone Ross 2
Hurst(-1) blown out a bit by a double; somewhat dangerous situation. Henry(+1) fires off and drives into the backfield; he gets put down but forces the back to go behind him, which gives Ross(+0.5) enough time to read and get to him for a tackle. Pull might of worked here; if Ross isn't coming down here this is yards.
M35 3 8 Shotgun 3-wide 5-1 dime Pass 6 Sack Wilson -7
Morgan on the line, drops out into a spy zone; late move spurred by motion gets Wilson to the LOS and then he comes. Charlton(+0.5) gets around the corner enough to start the QB moving up in the pocket; Wilson(+2, pressure +3) times his blitz excellently and finishes it with no mistake. RPS +2.
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-16, 9 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M33 1 10 Ace twin TE Nickel over Pass 4 Hitch Lewis 7
Henry(+1, pressure +1) spins off the RG and forces a throw. It is a quick hitch for the standard five yards and a tackle against zone coverage. Maye manages to squeeze out a couple more, but this is still a push.
M26 2 3 I-Form Big Base 3-4 Run N/A Power O Wormley 3
M sends Morgan on a blitz that ends up away from the pull; Wormley(-1) is unable to get enough penetration to pick off a puller or get playside; he ends up falling. Bolden(+1) does a good job to hit the FB and get off to make a tackle near the LOS but M can't rally to help him stop momentum quickly; MN has an extra guy for a couple seconds so the pile lurches forward.
M23 3 IN Shotgun 2TE 4-3 even Run N/A Zone read keeper Hill 23
Hill(-3) completely blows his assignment and chases Leidner to the EZ. RPS -1, too. M has been so bad at ZR in this game that I'm pulling the persistent infringement RPS minus out.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-23, 6 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O20 1 10 Shotgun 2TE Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone Glasgow 4
Plain IZ with a zone read element that allows Minnesota to get a few yards. Glasgow(+1) shoots into the backfield to remove all frontside possibilities; Brooks cuts back and Ross(+0.5) shuffles down to tackle. W singles on the DL the ILBs can't get there to hold the YAC down. Would like to see scrape exchanges here but M hasn't seen a lot of ZR this year. RPS -1; this is four yards on which nobody really does anything wrong.
O24 2 6 Shotgun 4-wide tight Nickel even Pass 4 Throwaway Wormley Inc (Pen +15)
PA on which Wormley(+0.5) gets out reasonably fast; Leidner finds nothing open(cover +2) and just puts it OOB. Lewis briefly grabs the ear-hole of Maye and gets a PF which is just kind of like... you could let that go. Lewis -1.
O39 1 10 Shotgun trips 30 nickel slide Run N/A Zone read keeper Morgan 2
M sends Bolden over the bunch, which is to the short side. He comes off the corner; Ross crashes on the back, Leidner pulls. Bolden forms up and forces it back; Morgan(+1) makes a good read and gets there to plug Leidner near the LOS and prevent this from turning into 4-5 yards as Leidner falls forward. RPS +1.
O41 2 8 Shotgun empty quads inner bunch Nickel even Pass N/A Bubble screen Peppers Inc
M lines up just Peppers over a three man bunch and Minnesota is like okay let's try that, which is a good idea and also a totally dumb idea. Peppers(+2, cover +2) shoots inside the guy on the LOS and explodes to the passing lane, nearly intercepting for a holy pants pick six. Instead he just gets the PBU.
O41 3 8 Shotgun 2TE 3-3-5 nickel Run N/A Zone read keeper Clark 6
Morgan(+0.5) reads and forces it to the outside, where Clark(+0.5) is able to force it out short of the sticks. Handoff was doomed with Glasgow(+1) popping free.
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-23, 1 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O26 1 10 Shotgun twins H Nickel over Run N/A Split zone Hurst 17
This is really good from Minnesota since they just saw a scrape for the first time and they hit it immediately. Morgan flares out to contain the QB; Minnesota motions a tailback to an H position just inside the tackle; he comes to the backside to cut off Ross. Henry(+1) gets penetration, cuts off space, and almost gets a one handed ankle tackle. Hurst(-2) fights to the wrong side of his block given that Ross is coming down and does get to the gap that he incorrectly puts himself in. Thomas(-2) comes down as a late extra guy in the box; he stands and waits for a long time and never actually sees what he has to do; he chases the guy eventually and tries to tackle from behind. That's the other half of the big gain.
O43 1 10 I-Form twins Nickel over Pass 4 PA FB seam Morgan 23
TE motions to an FB spot close to the LOS; PA; Morgan(-3, cover -3) bites really hard, not bothering to notice that the guy has run right by him and opening up a big seam route.
M34 1 10 Shotgun 2TE Nickel over Run N/A Zone read keeper Ross 2
This is a bit dodgy as Ross(+0.5) barely gets an ankle and Leidner could pop out of this; he does get the guy down. Thomas(+0.5) beat a block to get there shortly after the tackle and this wasn't going to go very far anyway. Probably.
M32 2 8 Shotgun twins twin TE ??? Run N/A Split zone Bolden 2
Bolden(+1) sent on a blitz that nails a G backwards and puts him in the hole. Glasgow(+0.5) fights to the hole as well; Morgan(+0.5) runs up and hits a block quickly, contributing to the pile that is tackling.
M30 3 6 I-Form 4-3 over Run N/A Power O Glasgow 1
Really, really conservative call that I guess I kind of get given the situation. Morgan(+0.5) and Bolden(+0.5) fire to the releasing guys; RJS(+0.5) is probably offsides (refs +1) but that doesn't get called; he constricts well; Glasgow(+0.5) fights to the hole and helps tackle.
Drive Notes: FG(47), 21-26, 11 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O20 1 10 Offset I Nickel even Pass 4 PA FB flat Thomas 3
Thomas(+1, cover +1) seems to realize late that with the TE motion he should move up and attack it but he does in time to get there for a quick tackle and set up second and long.
O23 2 7 I-Form Big 4-4 over Pass 4 Throwaway N/A Inc
Unless I'm crazy a heavy bite from Hill should open up a first down here but maybe there's an S over the top. Leidner elects not to throw and then has nothing (cover +2) and takes late pressure from Wormley(+1), who again treats a TB like he is air; Leidner bails out and tosses it OOB without leaving the pocket, which should be grounding. Refs -2.
O23 3 7 Shotgun trips tight bunch TE Okie one Pass 5 Sack Ross -12
Coverage(+1) good for a read, maybe two; blitz gets through at that point with Ross(+2) scraping through some traffic and then jetting to Leidner for a sack. Pressure +2. Ludicrous flag comes in but is eventually picked up after Harbaugh vows revenge on the crew's family.
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-26, 8 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun 2TE Nickel over Run N/A Inside zone Henry 0 (Pen -12)
Henry(+1) and Glasgow(+1) put their guys in the backfield like they have every time they've been singled up. RB has to go outside Henry, where Morgan(+0.5) shows up to help out. He doesn't really have to beat the block because the DL play has blown up the blocking angles. Minnesota gets hit with a chop block on Bolden.
O13 1 22 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel even Run N/A Inside zone Bolden 5
Works better with extended doubles. Henry(+0.5) doesn't go anywhere but he doesn't wreck stuff; RB cuts behind him. Bolden(-1) is free but catches the back and just kind of hops backwards as the back drives; contact here is a yard downfield and the back grinds out a ton of YAC. Bolden let the back get under him. Tackling –1.
O18 2 17 Shotgun trips tight bunch Nickel even Pass 4 Peppers Inc
PA; M in man. Peppers(+1, cover +1) is in the TE's back pocket and should have a shot at any accurate ball; Leidner badly overthrows it. Glasgow(+0.5) discarded an OL to get late pressure after the PA was clear.
O18 3 17 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 nickel Pass 4 Screen Morgan 17
Man coverage with two deep safeties starting at about 15 yards. Motion from Maye and Lewis goes with it; M actually only sends three. Ross is sitting at the LOS in a spy zone; Morgan(-3, tackling –1, cover -2) is in man on the RB and starts looking at the QB instead of the back; he can take a direct path to the back and tackle for nothing with Ross causing some confusion; instead he ends up in the wrong spot way upfield and misses a tackle from the side. That's about 15; back does a good job to run over the S for the first down. RPS -1.
O35 1 10 Shotgun 2TE Nickel over Run N/A Inside zone Charlton 7
Glasgow(+1) and Henry(+1) do their usual; Charlton(-2) is the force guy and lets the RB bounce as he overplays the interior, which is very much under control. Wilson(-0.5) takes a dubious angle as the RB breaks outside. Lewis(-1) did not get off a block for the duration of the play.
O42 2 3 Shotgun 2TE Nickel even Pass 4 Skinny post Lewis 14
This is not really a throw you expect Leidner to make. Henry(+1, pressure +1) splits two DL and surges up the gut, almost hitting on the throw and forcing Leidner to fire. Lewis(+0.5, cover +1) disrupted Maye's route and is right there; ball comes in hot and high; Maye just gets his head around to make the catch and survives a Lewis rake at the ball. I ain't even mad about this one.
M44 1 10 Shotgun 2TE Nickel even Run N/A Zone read keeper Ross 5
Ross is the QB contain guy and manages to let Leidner upfield inside of him. That's because Glasgow(-1) did give up too much ground laterally.
M39 2 5 Shotgun 2TE twins Nickel even Run N/A Split zone Morgan 0
M sends Hill down to contain Leidner, allowing Ross(+0.5) to head inside and take on the split block early. Glasgow(+0.5) drives his guy back and doesn't get displaced this time; Morgan(+1) hits a releasing OL back and stands up the back; rest of D rallies for the tackle.
M39 3 5 Shotgun trips tight bunch Okie one Pass 5 PA FB flat Charlton Inc
M shifts late and blitzes right into the rollout, with Charlton(+1, pressure +2) exploding to the backfield and hitting Leidner. Bolden is also there. Pass falls short of the TE; Wilson(+0.5, cover +1) was in position to tackle immediately for nothing anyway. RPS +2.
M39 4 5 Shotgun 3-wide Dime even Pass 6 Slant Lewis 12
Morgan now at buck with Ross and Hill your nominal LBs. M sends the house and gets through. Henry(+2, pressure +2) surges through himself and forces a back foot throw; Hurst(+1) went around Henry and also gets through. Leidner throws a bullet that Lewis(+1, cover +1) is absolutely all over but the throw is inch perfect. Maye kind of catches it. He has it trapped between his hands, never makes a football move, and the ball obviously hits the ground. If that's a catch the rules are dumb.
M27 1 10 Shotgun twins H Nickel even Run N/A Zone arc keeper Peppers 4
Momentarily super dangerous as Ross crashes down; Peppers fills to contain. Split block suddenly goes around Ross. Morgan(-2) doesn't read the keep at all and never gets back to find the ball. As a result Leidner has an absolute ton of room. Peppers comes up to force... Peppers(+2, tackling +2) comes around the force to grab Leidner's ankle and prevent a huge play. RPS -2.
M23 2 6 Shotgun 2TE twins Nickel even Pass 4 Slant and go Stribling 22
Stribling(-3, cover -3) smoked super crispy on a slant and go by Wolitarsky. Gah. W/ Minnesota in FG range already with 30 seconds left this is so so bad. Pressure(-2) nonexistent.
M1 1 G Shotgun empty 2TE Goal line Pass 4 TE throwback Hurst Inc
Hurst(+3, pressure +3) through the line in a flash and forces a throw way early. Ross(+1, cover +1) has the throwback dead to rights and the throw is not even close. This took 17 of 19 available seconds because derp.
M1 2 G Goal line Goal line 2FB Run N/A QB sneak Glasgow 0
BANG. Glasgow quotes here. Glasgow(+2) and Hurst(+2) drive the most relevant guys back and then hold up when all the meat hits the fan. Henry(+1) joins in somewhat less emphatically. Morgan(+0.5) and Bolden(+0.5) hit to prevent forward momentum as well, and then rest of defense and everyone and no push.
Drive Notes: EOG, 29-26.

This defense ain't Joe Flacco.

I mean, okay, some things went wrong. But I mean FFS. Leidner threw at least four balls that should have been intercepted that he got away with, and several others that were not at all good ideas. This is a complete fluke.

Nobody can ever tell me that Leidner was trying that. Wilson shouldn't overrun it after, sure, but that's… it's… ugh, let's not even talk about it.

This is a complete fluke.

I mean, sure, Dymonte Thomas needs to wear gloves instead of old Nintendo controllers taped together, but for that to go directly to the WR is a complete fluke.

This is like 90% fluke.

The TE starts falling over, whether intentionally or not, and that confuses the DBs. Peppers throws his hands up to show that he didn't commit PI because he thinks the TE is out of the play. Want him to play that better but dude, WTF.

If Michigan gets even half of those this is not that game. I have some worries coming out of this one, but the DL was still dominant, Lewis still a superior cover corner, and Peppers is emerging into a star even in coverage.

So many of the things were flukes or fixable that part of me wants to fling this in the memory hole and move on.

I detect palpable holes, though.

Yeah, this was the defense's worst game of the season even if we discount Mitch Leidner cracking pocket aces four times. The opposing ground game was extant, and Leidner found a relatively large number of open dudes.

Before we get into what went awry let's

hurl a CHART into downfield coverage that is somehow not intercepted

get ourselves a baseline. I gave up wrestling with the ESPN3 replay, so I missed the first two plays of Minnesota's second drive. Seth provided the first heave; the other play was a one yard run on which I probably missed another opportunity to +1 a couple DL.

Anyway:

Defensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Henry 16 2.5 13.5 Not blocked except about once.
Glasgow 17 1.5 15.5 This will be a trend.
Wormley 10 2 8 More TE blocking discarded.
RJS DNC
Charlton 6 2 4 Not a bad day for limited snaps.
Hurst 14 4 10 Critical goal line gap shooting.
Godin DNP
Marshall DNP
Pallante DNP
TOTAL 63 12 51 Boy am I glad PFF started doing college so I have a sanity check.
Linebacker
Player + - T Notes
Morgan 7 19 -12 Exploited all day in coverage. Did not find ball.
Bolden 3.5 5 -1.5 Eh.
Ross 7.5 5.5 2 This is a DL grade; it's not great for a DL grade.
Gedeon DNC
TOTAL 18 29.5 -11.5 Morgan discussion below.
Secondary
Player + - T Notes
Lewis 4.5 3.5 1 Mostly avoided. Maye had some tough catches on him late.
Stribling 4 -4 All but cost M the game on the final drive.
Peppers 9.5 3 6.5 Near pick six would have been huge.
Wilson 6.5 4.5 2 More eventful day than usual.
Hill 0.5 6 -5.5 Blew assignment on ZR TD.
Clark 2.5 2.5 Thought he was very good.
Thomas 3 5 -2 Missed INT doesn't bother me so much as indecision.
TOTAL 26.5 26 0.5 Lotta ups, lotta downs.
Metrics
Pressure 37 12 +25 Leidner threw a lot of inadvisable balls instead of taking sacks.
Coverage 33 20 13 Leidner threw a lot of inadvisable balls.
Tackling 3 6 -3 Part of LB struggles.
RPS 8 8 0 Push.

The constant here is the defensive line. They wrecked Minnesota's OL. Pressure induced a number of the bad-idea throws that still worked, and every time—every time—Minnesota tried to single up Henry and Glasgow both of those guys would put their blockers two yards in the backfield.

Glasgow was his usual fierce self:

No matter who Minnesota put on him he ended up standing that guy up in the backfield.

Hurst was a 280 pound dude shot out of a cannon on several critical redzone plays. Michigan held Minnesota to a bunch of field goals in large part because Hurst showed up in ur base inside the ten all day:

(Note that Henry also wrecked his guy for insurance.) He was through the line in a flash on the penultimate play; he pressed so hard on various stunts that he got through up the gut for pressure.

There are some minuses in there for occasional blowouts or people popping into the wrong gap. Hurst was largely responsible for a 17-yard run when he put himself in the wrong gap when he ripped his OL away. Not sure if that had anything to do with Michigan moving guys around to cover for the absence of Godin or not; he was playing nose there so probably just a freshman brainfart.

Now I have just remembered that Hurst is a redshirt freshman. I am happy about that.

Henry and Wormley were also good but didn't feature as much given the way the Minnesota run game was attacking; they were in Leidner's face a lot but didn't get the sacks because Leidner just threw the ball anyway.

And then the capper:

Go read Ryan Glasgow on that play; it's better than anything I can tell you.

PFF called defensive line the best in the country after the game and they might be right about that.

What was with Ross playing at buck?

Your guess is as good as mine. Jenkins-Stone was apparently not suspended or injured and in fact played on scattered snaps. Ross got about as much time as Ojemudia did before he got injured, and he was bad. This year's season preview noted that one of Ojemudia's great strengths was his ability to play both sides of a zone read when he was the optioned guy. Ross does not have that ability. (Nor would you expect him to.)

So early Minnesota was handing off and Ross would duly collapse down to make a tackle. He shuffled too fast and furious, though, and when Minnesota came back to that to test him they found him wanting.

M blitzed and slanted away with Bolden filling backside; Ross doesn't need to play this anywhere near as aggressively as he does. Costs of a midseason switch to a position you've never played before.

On the next play Brooks would find a cutback lane as Ross pushed inside too far and then gave a bunch of ground once the size disparity of the matchup won out over Ross's initial momentum.

He did get around on a stunt really fast to help pressure an incompletion, but any marginal improvement on Michigan's ability to stunt from that spot was more than offset by the fact that Ross is 225 instead of 255 and also a linebacker.

I'm surprised I collected so many positives for him in this game, but keep in mind that he's playing a DL spot and those slant towards positives because I don't individually hit guys for not getting pass rush but they do get plusses for getting there. (Not so much a problem this year, but in previous years I have often said "yes, but look at the pressure metric.) He was a dropoff from RJS.

We have safety problems? I remember safety problems. I hate safety problems.

Sadly, yes. While we can probably dismiss Jarrod Wilson overrunning the back-shoulder corner as an uncharacteristic error unlikely to repeat, I am less sanguine about his running mates. Delano Hill had a massive bust on a Leidner zone read TD:

This is now the point at which we get a little worried. That happened. The FB wheel against MSU happened. The UNLV touchdown was set up by Hill getting beat and missing a tackle. BYU had a shot over the top on which Hill managed to recover, but that was dodgy for a bit. That's a trend.

Hill was spotty elsewhere, getting sealed inside on a crack block on which he offered no resistance. He didn't offer anything positive to offset his mistakes in this one.

Meanwhile, Dymonte Thomas remains fast and in the wrong place a lot. Minnesota's opening drive featured him getting righteously shook on a post-corner:

One big run happened when Thomas came down as an extra guy in the box and sat doing nothing for a while. Hurst made the first eight yards happen; he had the next:

He was in a great spot when he got manned up on a fade route, because that asked him to run fast in one direction. Other stuff is questionable. Yes, it is amazingly frustrating that a player like that didn't redshirt and got bounced between several different positions.

Wilson is what he is: usually reliable, not much of a playmaker. This game was a bit weird because he did things of note. In the second half Leidner put up a punt at a double covered WR that felt similar to the Thomas missed interception, but where Thomas broke on the ball and high-pointed it Wilson drifted back with the wide receiver. He got a PBU, but the opportunity for a turnover was gone.

Wilson also got a PBU when Michigan bracketed Maye on third and goal; on that one I thought he did a good job to see an attempted back shoulder (maybe) and get to the ball:

He also was the beneficiary of a well-timed blitz from Durkin that got him a sack. He's not a star but he was fine aside from that one long touchdown on which he was probably so gob-smacked he had anything to do that he momentarily shorted out.

What on earth happened to Desmond Morgan?

I don't know. This was the worst game I've seen Desmond Morgan play, ever. He started as a true freshman. But in this game he had a hand in probably a third of Minnesota's total offense.

You're probably aware of the wheel route.

There's not even play action there; Morgan creeps to the line of scrimmage and steps forward after the snap as the line pass drops. That was only the tip of an iceberg that gave the impression of a guy who had sudden amnesia.

Morgan also bit hard on a few other play action passes to open up huge lanes.

A second half seam was equally bad—possibly worse. The third and seventeen screen that picked up a first down on Minnesota's final drive was also a Morgan biff: he took a very weird outside angle despite being given a clear path to the tailback, who he appears to be in man coverage on. His path to the back meant he could go straight upfield immediately; any delay there lets the safeties rally and either forces a punt or a fourth down conversion.

His trademark ability to rock an OL backwards when they release to him was occasionally on display, but Minnesota successfully confused him with a bunch of pop passes, zone read variants, and run/pass options. This is not usually what I see when I see Morgan take on a block:

He didn't know what he was looking at for big chunks of the day, and that was never more evident than on a trap*. Morgan went to hit a pulling lineman who wasn't even headed for him, and while he blew that guy up he forgot about something:

Woof. I don't know what was going on with him but let's hope it was just a one-game jinx. That is so far out of step with his other performances this year. It makes no sense.

He did cover one pop pass well, and that immediately paid off with a sack. The rest of it was unbelievably ugly.

Let's pretend this never happened.

*[I've seen more traps run at Michigan's D this year than I have in a long time, undoubtedly because teams are now practicing them as they prepare for M.]

Bolden was basically fine. I still wish he'd hit someone. I mean:

Same thing's been going on for four years now. Minnesota converted the ensuing third down by a yard. Bolden also went upfield of a guy on a (legal) pick play on which Michigan got RPSed; he exacerbated the problem.

BUT PEPPERS THOUGH

Yes, also Peppers here. I'm actually more excited about what Peppers did on defense in this game than anything else. After six or seven weeks on which Peppers was a little weak in coverage, against Minnesota he stuck to his guys like he was Jourdan Lewis. This was most prominent on his leaping PBU:

But he was also in the hip pocket of a WR on an earlier third down, and at multiple other points during the game when I was able to check his coverage on guys who didn't end up thrown to he was almost always in the same position Lewis would be. Now, this was against a lot of tight ends and a possession receiver type so the degree of difficulty wasn't enormous. Still encouraging.

Meanwhile, the opponent's weekly Maybe I Should Throw A Screen At Jabrill Peppers freakout nearly resulted in a spectacular pick six:

His hybrid space player ability was also critical on the final drive when Michigan got RPSed by an arc zone read keeper on which Peppers was the only guy in Leidner's zip code. Morgan—sigh—never realized Leidner had the ball, so the only thing between Minnesota and a touchdown was Peppers first forcing it back inside and then doing his Peppers thing to teleport around the tight end and grab an ankle.

He was the man in this game in every phase.

And while we're here, the Peppers return was his ability to field all manner of punts paying off in a big way.

Video angle isn't great but that is a 40 yard punt to the near hash. Peppers lines up probably 45 yards deep close to that hash. I'm pretty sure he chose to catch that on the fly on a punt he could have easily fielded while stationary, and that's 80% of the return.

Speaking of that arc keeper… we seemed so rickety in this game. What was going on?

Michigan's faced a lot of spread offenses so far this year but this was the first one that really put the screws to Michigan with a ton of tweaks on zone reads and pop passes. Previous opponents haven't had the QB experience to run a bunch of different stuff. Michigan, meanwhile, doesn't rep this stuff much in practice. This game felt like the bad old days when spread offenses were going to outperform against Michigan.

Hopefully a blip caused by an unwise decision to play Ross at DE and an anomalously grim game from Morgan.  But the RPS still came out even, so ¯\_(?)_/¯

Lewis got a negative grade from PFF. So… overhyped earlier?

That's slightly harsh. Maye had a couple catches against him on the final drive, but they came in the same way most catches against Lewis come: with an angry lemur on your back trying to rake your eyes out.

Most of the time that kind of coverage against Mitch Leidner results in this:

Except Leidner doesn't throw an inch-perfect corner route while on the move off his back foot. Leidner went into Unstoppable Throw God Trevor Siemian mode on a number of second-half throws. I have no problem with the way Lewis played any of his snaps. Sometimes the bear eats you, just not usually a fire-breathing gopher.

That first clip about Lewis was a fourth down conversion they reviewed. Catch?

Hell if I know, hell if anyone else knows. It's dumb that a ball that the wide receiver has not clearly secured can hit the ground and still be ruled a catch. Maybe it is by the current rules, because the current rules in college and pro sports are hand-waving nonsense. If the ball hits the ground before you have clearly secured the ball by cradling it as ball carriers do, it should not be a catch.

Heroes?

Holy crap, the defensive line. Peppers.

Maybe not so heroic?

Morgan. The decision to play Ross at buck. Hill. Stribling. The football gods.

What does it mean for Rutgers and beyond?

RJS should be the buck. He's 30 pounds heavier than Ross and has been at the position way longer. He's played well. I have no idea why nobody wants to use Ross at ILB behind a defensive line that must be doubled, but whatever: RJS is the buck.

Let's pretend this never happened for Morgan. He played the entire game with a wallaby in his pants. That's the ticket.

The safeties for next year give me the heebie-jeebies. Big mistakes from Hill and Thomas.

Clark has emerged as the #2 corner. Or #3 depending on how you look at Peppers, but whatever. Stribling was not featured much in this game; he only really came into play on the near-disaster at the end. At least when Clark got hit for a big play it was A TOTAL FLUKE THAT WILL BROOK NO DISCUSSION.

This defensive line though.

Yes, that is a dubstep Seven Nation Army. Deal with it.

Comments

BornInAA

November 5th, 2015 at 5:43 PM ^

Well, I am convinced that Leidner went to the same devil that Mike D'antonio did, tried to sell his soul.

Then at the end of the fourth, the check bounced because he is from Minnesota, not Lansing via Texas and South Carolina, and as such, his soul had too much goodness to take. 

So our goal line wall of righteousness saved a young man's soul on Halloween.

alum96

November 5th, 2015 at 5:03 PM ^

Ty Kinnel..please be very good next yr as I don't want this top 5 defense to have a LOL hole in it. Thank you for your compliance.

Like you I will chalk this up to "it happens once in a blue moon" for Morgan...not worried.

Worried about word getting out to exploit the safeties...Indiana has tools to do so.

BlueGoM

November 5th, 2015 at 5:15 PM ^

Was what I was afraid of when I was watching the game.  LB's and safeties had a bad game.  At least we have a stout DL and good corners / Peppers.  Not sure why the LB's had such a rough outing.  

Here's hoping they bounce back this week.

JWolve

November 5th, 2015 at 5:16 PM ^

Reading the UFRs, Harbaugh's redshirting strategy is coming into focus. He'll burn your redshirt this year if you're going to be needed next year.

Losing Glasgow: Get Newsome's feet wet so he can fill in at left tackle
Safties are Shakey: Play Kinnell a little so he can fill that void if the other guys don't improve.
RBs can't find holes: Give Higdon a shot.

It's almost like he's being intentional in building a team...it's going to be fun watching how these guys have developed next year.

gwkrlghl

November 5th, 2015 at 5:22 PM ^

Now I have just remembered that Hurst is a redshirt freshman.

Just saw he's actually a RS Soph, but still. He's gonna be hella fun to watch. Might be time to fire up the HE'S TOO SMALL FOR THE NFL train. Toot toot

alum96

November 5th, 2015 at 6:03 PM ^

Yes in a perverse way I am totally fine with the redshirt for him as he did not as a freshman.  Not that Mone would agree I am sure.  But with Hurst and Glasgow manning his position this year we are fine.

So now we get Mone for 2016-2018 and Hurst for 2016-2017.  We will need those 2 badly in 2017 as the entire rest of the 2 deep on this D will be gone in 14 months (sad).  And now we get Mone most likely for 2018 as well.

Not sure how they are going to fit all these guys in next year to be honest.  Hurst might go to DE like Henry as a 280 lber (??) since Glasgow and Money are 300ish.

Gulogulo37

November 7th, 2015 at 9:52 AM ^

Not sure why Brian and some others are so down on the safety play in the future. OK, they've made some mistakes but it's nowhere near like the problems we've had in the past. Isn't Michigan still the best in the nation limiting big plays, even with Leidner's luck this game?
 

Also, isn't it reasonable to expect our already decent safeties to maybe improve next year?

WichitanWolverine

November 5th, 2015 at 6:17 PM ^

I felt like I was watching Mike Williams trying to defend the ZR against Juice Williams all over again.

We are so much better off just sacking the QB and letting the other 10 guys deal with the RB. It's so frustrating. I feel like 99% of the time anyone gets burned on a ZR it's a keeper. So just take away the QB.

funkywolve

November 5th, 2015 at 11:20 PM ^

Broncos had a run a few roll outs with Peyton and a couple of times where he handed off and faked like he was rolling out.  Finally, on one of the fakes Mathews gave him a pretty solid hit, Manning stayed on his feet, but the Broncos didn't have Petyon fake the roll out after that.

SoDak Blues

November 5th, 2015 at 5:29 PM ^

Week in and week out, the defensive line has just been ridiculous. I imagine they are pushing record UFR numbers. With most coming back, next year could be amazing. Get the safety situation and LBs figure out, and wow, I would not want to be an opposing offensive lineman (or quarterback)  

kevin holt

November 5th, 2015 at 5:31 PM ^

The fact that Peppers is lined up as the only defender on a trips formation, that we (seemingly) weren't misaligned, that we weren't worried about it, and that he fucking turned it into a pick six-turned-PBU is legendary. Seriously that might be the most underhyped, and maybe even the best play I've ever seen

FanNamedOzzy

November 5th, 2015 at 5:45 PM ^

DL: Hoooooly jeebus that's ridiculous. Can't even imagine what it must be like to ever go against those guys. That's scary and ridiculous...and you barely lose anyone on it. Add in a healthy Mone and possibly (knocks on wood) Rashan Gary and that is an absolutely terrifying unit. If it's already this good now...think about where it could be with another year of experience and those players. That's fun.

Morgan: Throughout the game it felt like we didn't have him out there. Or every replay on a broken coverage out of the backfield or something just seemed like it was his doing. Now, it's never good to see someone do that poorly in a game...however, Morgan isn't the guy who does this. Having THAT poor of a performance is the definition of an anomaly. He'll bounce back.

Peppers: I think it's funny how many fans of the opposing fanbases mock Michigan fans for being hyped about this kid. They say things like, "Yeah but they have Peppers /s" constantly. Watch this game and tell me it's the same outcome without that guy on the field. You won't if you're sane. How many players are in a position to score a TD in all 3 phases of the game? Sure, he decided to run into the punter on the punt return and forgot how to use his hands on the screen pass, but he was there for those plays. He's the definition of a weapon. Easily one of the most physically and mentally gifted football players we've had in a while. Special talent.

PopeLando

November 5th, 2015 at 5:51 PM ^

I like the weekly "Maybe I Should Throw a Screen at Peppers." If he learns to catch, or masters the cause-a-fumble tackle (seriously, he hits like a freight train), then he'll score more TDs on defense than offense.

m1jjb00

November 5th, 2015 at 6:00 PM ^

as the rules are treated now.

I agree with BC about what the rule should be.  Make it a simpler black-white question insteady of toucy-feely stuff like control.  BUT, the way the rule is now, it was a catch, and I was unsurprised that it wasn't overturned.  So, that wasn't a screwjob by the refs.

Gulogulo37

November 7th, 2015 at 9:55 AM ^

It looks like maybe it shifts a bit but I wouldn't call it a double clutch. Anyway, it can hit the ground and it can move. The rule is if you catch it and it hits the ground it's OK as long as the ground doesn't aid you in making you the catch. I think it's a catch also by the current rules.

Swayze Howell Sheen

November 5th, 2015 at 6:03 PM ^

Once in a while, I think: what if someone critiqued my every move (say, when completing a homework or exam) when I was in college?

But then I think: nobody cares about how I did my homework. 

And yet it still amazes me how detail we can get into about these young folks playing a game...

Maybe Morgan just got dumped by his gf or something. Otherwise I bet it's a long day against Ohio.