Upon Further Review 2015: Offense vs Rutgers

Submitted by Brian on November 12th, 2015 at 2:07 PM


[Bryan Fuller]

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Upon Further Review still has a sponsor. Hey man the feds are going to raid your meth lab. Or raise rates. I'm not sure which agency we're talking about. Unless they're the same one, which would be weird but again we are talking about an entity that thinks alcohol, tobacco, and firearms are pretty much the same thing. I disagree, feds.

What was I talking about again?

Oh, right: low rates won't be quite as low in the near future if you're on the fence.

Matt'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. (No pants required.)

FORMATION NOTES: Nothing weird in this one. This will be a pattern, as Michigan put the toys away for the most part. The screens were not anything super clever; other than the fullback wheel this was almost all things already put on film.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Exceptions from the usual routine were few and far between in this one. Smith and Johnson were the main tailbacks; Houma got a couple carries that must have induced déjà vu in Rudock. Green and Shallman got in some in garbage time.

Tight end was mostly Butt and Williams; Hill got a few snaps. Bunting may have gotten in once or twice, his playing time has dipped significantly. Wouldn't read too much into that since Williams is doing well.

WR was Darboh, Chesson, and Perry. I don't think Ways played. Newsome got a half-dozen snaps as an extra OL.

[After THE JUMP: accurate Iowa Rudock is a good thing.]

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 over Run Counter sweep Johnson Inc
Chesson as an inline TE; Butt to the top of the screen and Williams motions there as well. M runs a counter pitch type thing with Williams blocking down on the end and both the RT and RG pulling around him. Johnson drops a very slightly forward pitch, which I guess I'm going to apply a run minus(-2) to. That is highly unfortunate because M had a big play in some way shape or form otherwise. Playside end does well to immediately cede ground and try to get around Williams(-0.5), who sticks with it but gets off balance and eventually discarded; probably wouldn't have mattered much as Kalis(+1) seals the nearest LB inside. Butt(+0.5) likely had enough to get Johnson to the second level; Mags(-1) takes a shot at the same LB Kalis hits and falls without really impacting much. Braden(+1) got a nice second level block to remove a LB; Glasgow(+0.5) stepped around a guy who made it easy; Cole(+0.5) got a cut. Johnson had a big cutback lane if he'd held on.
M25 2 10 Ace trips tight bunch 1 2 2 4-3 under Run Inside zone Houma 6
Houma your tailback, Rudock changes the play. M doesn't get the NT sealed away as Glasgow(-0.5) gets no push on him despite a decent chip from Kalis. Braden(+1) gets attached and seals and kicks a DE; Houma(+1) takes the cutback lane and runs over a linebacker who is coming off a block for a nice gain. Could have went further playside as Mags(+0.5) and Williams(+1) blew up an end, with Williams providing most of the motive force. Could have creased Rutgers over there, but NT threatened.
M31 3 4 Offset I 3-wide 2 1 2 4-3 under Pass Corner Darboh 17
PA draws the linebackers hard; M leaves backside end unblocked and Smith chops him down with authority. Glasgow(-1) beat by a DT after a second; Braden does a nice job to see this and come off his guy, who he's doubling, to get a shove in and buy Rudock another moment. By this point he's read low to high on a smash route combo with Houma in the flat and Darboh running the corner behind; corner stayed low and he hits the deeper route. (CA, 3, protection 2/3, Glasgow -1)
M48 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-4 over Run Outside zone Smith 2
Presnap alignment really suggest a slant with two LB/DB types hanging off the weak side of the line. Chesson(-2) doesn't realize this and attempts to come down on a DE; DE slants away hard and Chesson belatedly realizes he's got to get the DB who is now EMLOS. DB threatens outside; Smith has to cut up. Kalis(+1) and Glasgow(+1) adjust to the slant well with Kalis getting a kick and Glasgow latching onto a DL who he will deposit well downfield; slant gives little shot for Braden to do much, though; Glasgow might have been able to pass his guy off but very dubious. Smith cuts but it's a ponderous cut and by the time he's pushing off a LB is in his grill tackling; not going to ding him but this is a play where a quicker guy might be able to slip behind Braden for more significant yardage. RPS -1.
50 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 Pass Slant Darboh Inc
Johnson motions out looking for a flare screen presnap, but that has nothing to do with the play, which is a basic slant Darboh gets open on and Rudock hits with excellent timing; Darboh drops it. DB does wrap his arms around to tackle but the ball was already out. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
50 3 8 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Screen Johnson 28
Rutgers sends six with a DE trying to drop off on Butt in man coverage. Rutgers is in man free across the board and either someone busts or they just don't have anyone checking the screen so when Johnson catches the ball there is nobody in front of him forever. Darboh(+2) gets a great eliminating block on a CB that pushes him inside; Johnson has the sideline. Glasgow(+0.5) gets a hit. Kalis(-1) never checks behind to see if he should cut off a DT; he should and does not and when Johnson cuts back that guy tackles. RPS +3. (CA, 3, screen)
O22 1 10 I-Form Big heavy 2 1 1 4-3 over Run Outside zone Smith 0
Newsome in at LT with Cole a TE outside of him. DE over Newsome shoots playside hard; Newsome gives ground but kicks adequately; Smith has to go inside that. Braden(-1) should be able to step around and seal the guy further backside but stops moving his feet and gets ripped through; he does stay attached and allows a cutback. Smith cuts back. Glasgow(-1) dove at the feet of a LB who dodges his cut and that guy nails Smith at the LOS.
O22 2 10 Offset I twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass FB flat Kerridge 6
Same play that was the original third down conversion. DB drops into the corner route a bit more this time, though it still looks like there is a window; Rudock plays it safe with the flat route. Again Smith cuts an unblocked DE and Rudock has limited time. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O16 3 4 I-Form Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-4 over Run Counter Iso Johnson -3
M runs the iso counter play they've shown a few times before; Rutgers blitzes into the fake destination and gets a TFL uncontested. M had blown up the playside. Poggi(+1) and Cole(+1) drove their guys yards downfield; Williams(-1) fell over and allowed a LB through but this could have worked for a nice gain. Kalis(-3) is your prime culprit here as he blocks the inside linebacker. Glasgow(+1) read it and hit the right guy.
Drive Notes: Missed FG(37), 0-0, 11 min 1st Q. Rewatching this FG it is definitely that sudden gust of wind that takes it wide. It looks like a hook but it's not.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O46 1 10 Pistol FB 2 1 2 4-3 even Pass PA FB wheel Houma 32
What's good for the juggalo is good for the gander. M runs a fake jet sweep and a fake Peppers sweep and gets Houma wide wide open. Rudock's pass is slightly short, allowing a LB to recover and tackle from behind. (CA, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +3)
O14 1 10 Ace trips tight bunch 2 1 2 4-3 under Run Outside zone Johnson 1
Man, they do the hard bit and blow the easy stuff. Cole(+1) and Braden(+1) do a great job to reach the playside end, with Cole extending to a LB. Chesson flares out and SAM goes with him to be force, totally standard. Butt(-2) takes an angle way too deep and allows a DB to jet by him on the inside. Any block there as the LB dives inside is a TD with Kerridge(+1) cutting the safety effectively. Instead that guy is through immediately; Kalis(-1) came out way too vertical on his release and can't get a hand on a LB; that block too could have sprung Johnson thanks to the seal block.
O13 2 9 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 4-3 under Pass Post Chesson 13
Peppers comes on a fake jet sweep that draws LB attention and means the CB gets zero jam on Chesson; Rudock throws the strike for a TD. (DO, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +1)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-0. 8 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M42 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 under Run Inside zone Houma 2
This is actually a pretty good cut by Houma and decent blocking but Rutgers starts shuffling down a safety presnap and he plugs Houma in the hole. Glasgow(+0.5) and Kalis(+0.5) blew the NT back eventually; the delay there might induce the cutback. Braden(+0.5) and Cole(+0.5) also put a guy on the ground; Houma could shoot upfield up the gut and get a good gain but his cut back is something I like; he's got the crease and that cut puts guys on the wrong side of blocks. S comes down so hard to meet him at the LOS that the gain is held down. RPS –1.0
M44 2 8 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-4 over Run Inside zone Smith 7
Slant to the play and a blitz behind. Glasgow(+0.5) does a good job to stick with his guy and kick him out. Kalis(+0.5) and Mags(+0.5) both find the LBs and annoy them for the play; Smith(+1) makes his zone cut behind Glasgow and then drags a harried linebacker for 3 or 4 yards of YAC.
O49 3 1 I-Form Big 2 2 1 6-3 over Run FB dive Kerridge 1
M barely squeezes this out as Rutgers has a LB seemingly tasked with hitting this play. Braden(+0.5) sees it and gets some kind of hit on the guy, but barely, and Kerridge manages to fall forward for the first down. RPS -1. Fortunate, but still successful.
O48 1 10 Offset I twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass PA TE post Butt 20
Butt(route +) turns around a safety; LBs actually get good depth on their drops but this is 20 yards downfield and out of the scope of their coverage. Rudock has great protection; he sets up and fires for the chunk play. This is borderline and I've put some previous throws in CA, so here's some candy (DO, 3, protection 2/2)
O28 1 10 Ace trips tight bunch 3 1 1 4-3 under Run Counter pitch Peppers -10
Peppers your lone back. He executes the pitch sweep counter Michigan's run fairly regularly this year and man it is just about to work. Playside end comes crashing down; Kalis(-2) is pulling and sets to block him. He gets ripped through. Poggi(-1) does not read this and abort to help; DL extends upfield to tackle Peppers. Could have been a big play if they just get this guy blocked.
O38 2 20 Ace 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 under Pass PA screen Smith 31
Another double fake with a fake handoff and fake Chesson end around. M then hits the screen to Smith, the original fake destination. Four DL end up gone, two LBs end up extending to the end around, and that's pretty much it. Glasgow gets a meh block on a LB trying to contain that delays but should be better. Braden(+0.5) gets a decent open field hit, and Smith runs and runs. RPS +3. (CA, 3, screen)
O7 1 G I-Form Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-3 over Pass Throwaway N/A Inc
PA with a one man route behind it. It's not open. Rudock just gets rid of it. This is technically a TA but there is no open receiver at all and I don't put that on him. (TA, 0, protection 2/2, RPS -1)
O7 2 G Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Run Power O Smith 3
Cole(+1) gets a solid block on the playside end that shoves him inside and gets some depth. Kalis(+0.5) pulls around and kicks out a LB; Smith(-0.5) bounces outside this block. While a LB scraped over the top to fill the interior hole I feel like if Smith cuts up his Smithness grinds out an extra couple yards and sets M up in a run/pass position. As it is he bounces to a DB who Chesson can't get to and only gets a few.
O4 3 G Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Pass Scramble Rudock 4
Rutgers covers absolutely everything here; protection is good but they have the routes dead to rights. Rudock sees it and bolts; eventually managing to burst upfield about an inch from the sideline for a pretty badass TD. (SCR, N/A, protection 2/2, RPS -1, Rudock +2 run) Chesson(+1) got a good block to help out.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-3, EO1Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M40 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 5-3 under Pass PA TE corner Butt 17
IZ PA with Houma your tailback. WR runs off the corner and Butt breaks outside on the safety, which is a good matchup and Rudock just f-ing throws it, hooray. S in decent position, pass up high, Butt brings it in despite a decent contest, nice gain. (CA, 2, protection 2/2)
O43 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 5-3 under Run Split zone Houma 2
Nine man box; M looks to run a split zone play but Kerridge(-2) appears to change his mind halfway through. I think this is because Rutgers drops a safety down late for the force and Kerridge doesn't see it so he goes and looks for work, but once that happens Houma has basically no choice but to run into a bunch of unblocked dudes for a minimal gain. RPS -1. This was definitely supposed to hit backside since the handoff is to that side.
O41 2 8 Ace 4-wide tight 1 2 2 4-3 under Pass TE Flat Butt 9
Plenty of time; Rudock checks down. He has multiple options and picks Butt on the sideline. He can't quite step into this but he also has an easier throw to Smith and sails the ball so Butt has to leap to grab it, making the catch tougher and costing M a few YAC. (MA, 2, protection 2/2)
O32 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 4-3 over Run Inside zone Smith 3
Rutgers rotates a safety down late and blitzes off the corner, slanting to the play. M blocks it well but the backside LB times his blitz perfectly, ripping around Magnuson's butt and getting to Smith as he gets to the LOS. Nobody else can help, though, so M gets a few. Kalis(+2) deposited a DT on the ground like a boss; Cole(+1) got a great second level block; RPS -2.
O29 2 7 Shotgun twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 under Pass Screen Smith 14
Actual resistance this time. DL is gone, which helps. Braden(+1) gets a kickout on one LB; Kalis(+0.5) barely gets to anther; Smith(+1) cuts behind smartly and gets a solid chunk of YAC as a DL tries to throw him down. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +1)
O15 1 10 Offset I 1 2 2 4-4 over Run Counter Iso Smith -3
M eats a LB blitz up the gut that Glasgow(-0.5) has a vague shot at blocking but the timing here is great and M let 'em have it with the motion. RPS -2.
O18 2 13 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 4-3 under Pass Flare screen Peppers 18
Braden(+1) gets a very good cut on the backside LB; Butt(-1) loses the playside guy; Kalis(+1) buries him, though this was kind of easy due to the guy having to escape. Johnson(+0.5) just gets a hand on the first guy to provide Peppers(+2) an opportunity to cut inside and then his acceleration carries him past at least one guy who should definitely obliterate him. Glasgow(+0.5) also gets a second level block. (CA, 3, screen)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-3, 10 min 2nd Q. Ensuing KO returned for TD.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O43 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Power O Smith 11
Rutgers slants to the play. Mags(+1) recognizes the guy blitzing off the backside and turns to shove him upfield instead of releasing to the second level. Backside end pushes off of Glasgow and gives ground in an attempt to get to the hole. Braden(-1) airballs on the guy slanting to him; Cole(-1) doesn't see the guy coming to him and extends into nobody. Smith(+2) has a cutback lane thanks the the RU DE vacating so quickly and hits it; he plows through secondary tackler to the first down marker.
O32 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 under Run Zone stretch Johnson 2
Kalis(-2) decides to fire out on a DE outside of him who is lined up inside of Mags; in doing this he does nothing with the NT, who is shaded directly over Glasgow. Glasgow(-1) gets handled by the NT but one on one here is tough. Mags(+0.5) and Kalis get depth on their double until the guy rips Mags away. Williams(+0.5) gets a good kick but the NT forces Johnson so wide his guy can come off to tackle despite giving up a significant amount of ground.
O30 2 8 Pistol FB twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass Fly Darboh 28
Blitz off the edge sends five. M picks it up until Glasgow(-2) inexplicably leaves his guy to go double a gent further outside; must have been confused by the blitz. Doesn't matter as RU elects to not cover Darboh at all. (CA, 3, protection 1/3)
O2 1 G Goal line heavy 2 2 0 Goal line Run FB dive Kerridge 1
Nothing extraordinary either way here, just M digging out a yard and Rutgers barely giving it up.
O1 2 G Goal line 2 3 0 Goal line Pass PA TE corner Butt Inc
RU covers it pretty well; Rudock's pass is reasonable but a little too low. Butt doesn't have to jump to try to catch it and the LB can punch the ball out when it arrives. (MA, 0, protection 1/1)
O1 3 G Goal line heavy 2 2 0 Goal line Run Outside zone pitch Johnson 1
M gets the edge and this is a walk in thanks to Houma(+1) getting a solid cut on the relevant playside LB. Braden(+0.5) and Newsome(+0.5) both put their guys on the ground. They were always likely to go there on a goal line play from the one.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 28-10, 8 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O40 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 under Run Pitch sweep Johnson 10 + 15 Pen
M doing it a little differently in this game with players coming down from the outside as they pull playside T and G. Chesson(+1) erases a SAM who isn't prepared to get hit from that angle and M gets the edge. Playside LB should be bailing to sideline in any attempt to get edge but instead goes upfield. Braden(+0.5) adjusts and walls him off. Houma(+1) and Cole(+1) get good open field blocks, Houma's a cut, and Johnson ends up with the last guy tackling him. He yanks the facemask. RPS +1.
O15 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Power O Smith 4
Butt(-1) gets shoved back by a DE. Kalis manages to get around it but he's a bit delayed. Smith runs straight upfield and gets hit when a cut to the outside to follow both his lead blocks has the promise of a solid gain. Smith manages to pop out of that tackle and stumble forward for a solid gain so a grudging push for him.
O11 2 6 I-Form twins 2 1 2 5-3 under Pass Flare screen Peppers 3
Peppers threat is supposed to get Rutgers to freak out but they stay at home. Rudock dumps it to Peppers after a pump fake because why not. Pass is high; Peppers grabs it and gets a few. (MA, 2, protection 2/2, RPS -1)
O8 3 3 Shotgun empty twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 under Pass Corner Darboh 8
Corner route in an NFL window that Rudock nails. This was the only route combo he had with Chesson underneath on an out and he had little choice but to try to fit this in. No hesitation. (DO, 2, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 35-13, 2 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M15 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Power O Smith 3
Double on the relevant DT is pretty weak, getting little movement. Braden(-1) is the main guy and gets no power into his block. Cole(-0.5) didn't help much. LB reads and fires down, hitting Kalis at the LOS; not much room. Smith(+0.5) finds a little backside crack and gets into it for at least a few yards. That's there because Glasgow(+1) kicked the NT with authority; Mags(-0.5) doesn't do a great job on the backside DE.
M18 2 7 I-Form Big heavy 1 3 0 4-4 over Pass Sneaky sneaky Butt 40 (Pen -9)
The intent to deceive play. (CA, 3, RPS -1)
M9 2 16 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 under Run FB dive Houma -2
No trap here. M in clock kill mode given the situation and with no frippery this is the likely out come of a FB dive since the blocks don't have a chance to develop; I can't even really evaluate them. RPS -1.
M11 3 14 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 3-3-5 nickel Pass Bubble screen Perry 11
Excellent block by Darboh(+1) helps open this up; also this is a compromise between O and D kind of play where M wants the TO burned and the field position and RU wants the punt. (CA, 3, screen)
Drive Notes: Punt, 35-13, 30 sec 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M40 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 over Pass PA TE post Butt 56
PA sucks up the LBs; Butt runs into the vacated space; easy pitch and catch. (CA, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +1) After the catch Butt splits the safeties and extends this from a first down and change into a huge play. More Rutgers fail than anything M did but Butt demonstrates his near-DB speed once he's in the open.
O4 1 G Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 30 nickel slide Run Inside zone Smith 4
M spreads the field with two stacked WRs to either side of the line, which leaves Rutgers with five guys in the box on the four yard line. M just caves in the DL with doubles for the TD. Braden(+1) and Glasgow(+1) crush the NT and get to the sole LB. Kalis(+0.5) and Mags(+0.5) do the same to a DE without having to handle a LB. RPS +1.
O3 2P 2PT Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over Pass Scramble Rudock 3
Rudock is about to have Perry on a circle route he stops when the DB breaks outside on him. Rudock decides to bug out before this is clear. He gets the corner as Butt's guy gave it up in an effort to get a sack; Chesson(+2) gets a terrific block on the goal line to prevent a DB from coming up and Rudock scampers to the endzone. (SCR, N/A, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Touchdown(2PT), 43-16, 11 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M24 1 10 Offset I twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass PA improv Chesson 7
Nothing much seems open; protection is good. Pocket begins to break down; Rudock bugs out, finding Chesson underneath for a few yards. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2)
M31 2 3 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 under Run Pitch sweep Smith 10
A more conventional pin and pull with the C and playside T pulling. Chesson(+2) completely wrecks a DE(!), nailing him six yards downfield by the end of the play. Rest of the play doesn't go quite as well but is decent. IMO Smith should bounce or at least threaten to bounce as the force guy doesn't really set up to force, but he makes up for it. Playside LB does a good job to get to the POA. Glasgow(+0.5) does get a shove in on him, which puts him on his knees as he tries to tackle. Smith runs through this. He then takes hits from two guys who aren't really wrapping up because they've been hit by Houma(+0.5) and Cole(+0.5). Smith(+2) drives through them and dismisses another DB before finally going down.
M41 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 over Pass TE corner Williams 21 + 15 pen
Peppers your tailback, with Butt split wide and Chesson inserted as an inline TE. Rutgers appears to see this, because they don't align like Chesson is a blocking threat. Neither does sending Peppers on a decoy flare route really do much, but whatever Jake Rudock's just going to nail AJ Williams for a chunk play anyway. (DO, 3, protection 2/2) Roughing the passer tacks 15 on.
O23 1 10 Ace twins 1 2 2 4-3 under Run Pitch sweep Johnson 7
Covered slot WR is Butt with Chesson inline to the backside block down with th TE and pull playside G and T again. Williams(+1) blows up the playside end. Butt(+0.5) cuts off a linebacker. Mags(-1) whiffs his cut on the edge guy; Kalis(+1) nails the last LB yards back. Johnson has to hurdle Mags and his guy tackles as he does that; if Mags just runs and gets the force kickout Johnson gets a few more.
O16 2 3 Shotgun empty 1 2 2 4-3 over Pass Out Chesson Inc
Chesson crosses with Hill; Hill runs an out with Chesson just in side of him. Hills route pulls a zone defender with it and opens up a first down route. Rudock hits it; Chesson drops it. (CA, 3, protection 0/2, Kalis -2). Kalis got beat on a spin move and Rudock just about got blown up.
O16 3 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Slant Darboh Inc
Darboh gets the CB to flip his hips outside and beats him to the slant easily; Rudock sees it; batted down at the line. (BA, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Field goal(33), 46-16, 6 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M18 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 under Pass Smoke Chesson 16
DB off about seven yards and dropping; easy. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +1.) Chesson +1 for speed and stiffarm.
M34 1 10 Ace trips tight bunch 2 1 2 4-3 under Run Zone stretch Smith -2
Mags(-2) runs past the playside end with zero impact on him; he tries to extend an arm but that does nothing DE bursts upfield of Kalis. Glasgow just managed to get a tough reach block; he gives a bunch of ground and is just getting around when the guy falls; he is in the cutback lane Smith wants to take; Smith holds up and everyone converges on him. I get why Smith does this but his cut here is probably a step early; you want to cut right off the butt of whatever OL you're cutting behind and make one sharp decisive cut; this is not that. This is a chop chop chop step. But Smith isn't really a zone back.
M32 2 12 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 over Pass PA Fly Chesson Inc (Pen +15)
Rudock throws this way short; the problem is that Rudock waits way too long to throw this ball. It would be a 50-60 yard throw if it was going to be accurate, and he doesn't have that arm. DB runs Chesson over. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
M47 1 10 I-Form Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-4 over Run Power O Smith 25
Someone must have busted on Rutgers because they blitz from the backside of this play and then relevant DE slants away, which is not something you usually see. They end up with just one LB and a bunch of guys futilely chasing. Kerridge(+0.5) gets a kick; Williams(+1) moves the playside DE; Poggi(+1) finds and hits a slanting SAM; Braden(+1) gets around quick and seals the last LB in, Smith to the secondary. RPS +2 on a basic power ? I guess.
O28 1 10 I-Form Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-4 over Run Pitch sweep Johnson 9
Williams(+1) and Poggi(+1) fire in the playside end and LB, respectively, sealing them away. Mags(+0.5) pulls and kicks a CB. Kerridge(+1) cuts a S well downfield and Glasgow(+1) thumps the last free LB. Johnson(+0.5) hurdles Kerridge like it's track and might be off to the endzone when the backside DT, who bailed on a pursuit angle as soon as he saw the pull, gets him.
O19 2 1 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 under Run Iso Smith 3
Your basic iso. Glasgow(+0.5) kicks the NT well. Kalis(+1) drives a DT. Nice hole, but two LBs with one blocker because this is a standard iso. Houma(-1) lets his guy under him and he sheds athe LOS; Smith(+0.5) runs through him for a successful conversion.
O16 1 10 Goal line heavy 2 2 0 4-4 over Run FB dive Houma 3
I used to call a lot of running plays a wad of bodies and the development of this column is about me moving away from that origin point. But this is just a wad of bodies. M fires out, many blocks on which M gets a little push, Houma grinds for about the number of yards you get on a FB dive with no frippery. Houma(+0.5) does keep his feet and is just about to grind for even more yards when they blow it dead.
O13 2 7 I-Form Big heavy 2 1 1 4-3 over Run Power O Smith 3
MLB gets to this and hits it. Cole(+0.5) and Poggi(-0.5) double the playside end, who goes down; Poggi cannot get to this LB as he tries to get to the second level. Braden(+1) gets a hit on the playside LB on his pull and moves him; nice block. Houma(+0.5) gets a good kick. MLB looking for this all the way which helps him; decline to RPS because obviously.
O10 3 4 Shotgun empty TE 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass Post Darboh Inc
Only the second materially bad throw of the day; Darboh(route +) beats press over the top and then shoots inside for a TD; Rudock throws it well behind Darboh, allowing the DB to rake it out. (IN, 1, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: FG(27), 49-16, 13 min 4th Q. Speight gets the rest of the game. Here is the Shallman truck stick.

This was a blowout.

Yeah. Aided by a collection of short fields, Michigan put up five first half touchdowns, a sixth on a three play drive to open the second half, and then coasted home.

The biggest difference here was the sudden re-emergence of a confident and accurate Jake Rudock. Yes, the opponent had a lot to do with it. Rudock had not demonstrated anything near that level of performance this year even against some wobbly defenses. This is quite evident in

a pleasantly corporeal chart

the chart.


Jake Rudock 2014

Maryland 2 38++(2) 4(1) 2 2* 6 3 7 1 75%
Northwestern 5+ 7+(1) 3(1) 3 - 1 1 - 1 71%
Illinois 3 13(2)+ - 2 1 2 - - 3 77%
Wisconsin 5+ 16(3)++ 7 1 1 3 1 2 2 80%
Nebraska 3 20(1) 2 5 4** 2* 1 5 1 66%

Jake Rudock 2015

Utah 5+ 18+++ 2 4* 4* 4 - 1 1 71%
Oregon State 3+ 17(3) 2 2 1* - 1 2 2 76%
UNLV - 13(4) 2 5** 2 2 - - - 50%
BYU 1 12(2) 2 1 2* 5 1 2 4 63%
Maryland 2 13(3)+ 3 4 4 5* 1 3 2 50%
Northwestern - 16(1)++ 4   1* 3 1 2   75%
Michigan State 2 9(1)++   7(1) 2 1 2(1) 5   50%
Minnesota 3 10(2)+ 1 5* 2* 1 2 1 1 55%
Rutgers 4 14(6)+ 3 2 1 1 2 78%

Wilton Speight 2015

Minnesota 1 3+     2* 1     1 63%

That is a nice clean day on which I could have moved a couple of those marginal throws to CA since they were completions.

The stats speak for themselves even if you hack out the screens. Rudock was dealing in the intermediate zones all day. Other than the deep pass on which Chesson got run over I only have one outright inaccurate ball, a slant that was well behind Darboh and subsequently broken up by a defensive back.

The rest of the day was more or less Rudock's first attempt on repeat…

…rhythm passes on the money against a defense that's not making much difficult.

While the opponent has a lot to do with Rudock's performance you can detect maybe a little bit more comfort seeping in. This is the second straight week his passes to Jake Butt have tended to be in the Butt Zone a half foot above any defensive back's reach.

And here and there you get a shot of the super accurate Rudock I thought I saw last year.

Rutgers facilitated some of the success; that one will work against anyone.

How sustainable is that? I don't know. Rudock was kept almost 100% clean by his OL, which certainly helps. Rutgers's secondary certainly helps. Ask again later.

Screens! How do they work?

Rutgers doesn't know and neither did the people behind me. One of them—an adult male!—asked if "that was some sort of set play" after the first one. It will not surprise you that these people have come to two games this year, showed up late, and left at halftime. Sometimes Michigan fans are the worst.

But anyway Rutgers paired a number of blitzes with man coverage and that didn't go great when they didn't have a guy for the back. On the first the biggest challenge Michigan had to surmount was Braden ending up in the way of the throw.

Not much to say when executing consists of running downfield wondering if you're in the opening scene of a zombie movie. Wait: I do have one thing. Kalis got a knock here because he never checked his six and that DL chasing the play made the tackle. Last week I mentioned that I liked Glasgow's awareness when he ends up in space; Kalis didn't have that awareness here.

This was a nice day for the ol' Rock Paper Scissors metric with those screens and the fullback wheel Michigan stole from the State playbook. Or at least it should have been?

Wait what?

Before you interrogate about the run game let's see the chart.

Offensive Line
Player + - Total Notes
Cole 7 1.5 5.5 The usual.
Braden 10.5 3 7.5 Hard to believe this is the same guy from the Utah game.
Glasgow 8 3 5  
Kalis 9 9 0 Couple of big negative plays; physically dominant when not making big errors.
Magnuson 3 4.5 -1.5 Not real good on perimeter.
Newsome 0.5   0.5 Half dozen snaps.
Butt 1 4 -3 Not his best day as a blocker.
Williams 4.5 1.5 3 Harbaugh.
Kerridge 2.5 2 0.5 One mental error.
Poggi 3 1.5 1.5  
Houma 4.5 1 3.5 +1 for a run and filed there.
Hill       DNC
TOTAL 52.5 31 63% Hair below benchmark, run game got RPSed.
Player + - T Notes
Rudock 2   2 Scramble TD was nice.
Peppers 2   2 Screen TD was nice.
Smith 6 0.5 5.5 Good game.
Isaac       DNP
Green       DNC
Johnson 1 2 -1 Near fumble on first play.
Higdon       DNP
TOTAL 12 2.5 9.5 Houma plus in here.
Player + - T Notes
Darboh 3   3 Nice block on first screen.
Chesson 7 2 5 Block got the two point conversion, killed a DE once.
Harris       DNP
TOTAL 10 2 8 Nice day from WRs.
Player + - T Notes
Protection 34 5 87% Blowout, again. –3 Glasgow, –2 Kalis.
RPS 17 14 3

Despite the screens.

So: positive numbers all around and a big meh in the results. This is because the RPS plusses all piled up in the pass game and the negatives piled up on the ground. Michigan killed it with screens and play action against a hyperactive Rutgers rush defense that never really got out of U8-soccer mode. That's how you get 13.5 YPA without hitting anything truly downfield. That's been the Rutgers plan all season.

Also M did not hit the 2:1 benchmark that's what you want for a pretty good day. Come up a bit short there and short in RPS and you get a day like Michigan: basically fine but not a blowout against a bad D.

Why can't we run? This is a bad run defense and I feel bad.

I just said…

Well, okay, but still, Rutgers.

There was a smattering of the usual: safeties occasionally ended up hitting at or near the LOS since there wasn't a ton of respect for Rudock's ability to get deep. Rutgers has an aggressive blitzing defense and occasionally they just got Michigan:

Michigan will move guys around presnap in the hopes of giving themselves an advantage as Rutgers fails to adjust but here they get got because the LB who blitzes times the snap perfectly thanks in part to the fact that he thinks he should go as soon as Butt settles into that offset I spot. He's right and Glasgow has very little chance of blocking him since that blitz came out of nowhere.

And well… Kalis had a rough few plays. On an early third and four Michigan brought out that counter iso they've run a bit and got it blown up in the backfield. Kalis was the main issue. Rutgers tips the blitz and brings it; watch Glasgow see those dudes and quickly discard the nose tackle so Braden can pick him up. He hits a linebacker. Kalis hits a linebacker… the same linebacker:

That boots Michigan off the field and induces a missed field goal attempt, and since Rutgers waved a flag that said "we are blitzing here" I put that on the player instead of RPS. Later in the game Michigan ripped off its best power play of the season when Rutgers loaded up for a very similar blitz. Cole would shuffle down to cover the gap Braden vacated with his pull:

He blocks nobody there but he made the backside guys go the long way around. Different play, different responsibilities; point is Cole is very consistent mentally and Kalis is not.

Later Kalis would chase his block to Jabrill Peppers on the pitch counter Michigan's run a half-dozen times this season:

Woof. That one missed block changes the perception of the ground game a ton. If Kalis gets that instead of a ten yard loss that's probably a good chunk of yards and things feel much closer to fine.

So that's frustrating. Kalis occasionally gets attached to a dude and drives him into a heap, flashing the talent that made him such a highly regarded recruit, but all that stuff about how he was the most college-ready guy in X years out of Ohio was about as accurate as a Big Ten ref trying to determine what targeting is. Kalis is still trying to figure out what to do too often.

Stanfordization of the week?

Other than the obvious (FB wheel, screens) I don't have anything super cool this week. Michigan ran some misdirection, but it was all stuff they've shown before. The screens were fairly basic and hit at the right time.

The only new thing on the ground I saw was a slightly different pitch sweep regime in which the playside G pulled instead of the center. On plays like that sometimes it's the defense that determines who pulls by their alignment, so even that is probably just the same stuff.

Michigan didn't need to pull out the stops here, so they didn't. I expect they'll offer Indiana more respect.

We are running all the things, don't you hate running all the things?

Yes, Michigan's kitchen sink playbook does mean that they don't execute anything great just yet. This is a version of the Al Borges issue from a couple years ago. It is far less severe because it's basically the same offensive line with two years of additional experience. Asking these guys to execute the full gamut of run plays isn't completely insane; it is a bit difficult. So you get plays on which Michigan does something really great and something really bler.

On this stretch Michigan hooks and seals the playside end, which should be a ticket to a big gain. It's not because Butt doesn't even get a hand on a DB, and the backup plan fails because Kalis fires out too vertically and can't get a shove on the LB who ends up tackling:

If Michigan runs a ton of stretch all year that doesn't happen, but neither is Michigan as likely to hook the end. They have three or three and a half guys who are executing pretty consistently—Braden is night and day from Utah—and just can't get every block.

/spittle shields at 70% and dropping

Actually… I got nothing this week. I thought the backs did well. I complained about a lead zone run last week. Michigan didn't block it well; Smith mechanically ran into the gap he should go in if they in fact did block it well. He ate a DT for minimal yardage. I didn't care if Smith actually got anything on the play, I just wanted to see him see what was going on in front of him and put a foot in the ground to give himself a chance.

He did that on this one:

That cutback doesn't look like it'll amount to much when he makes it but Michigan gets on some blocks and Smith runs through some guys and it's a nice gain. If he'd gotten swallowed by an unblocked LB back there it's still the right cut.

Smith also found a cutback lane on a power that Rutgers had slanted to and just about blown up:

Those are his yards. So too were a chunk on one of the sweeps Michigan ran. He stomped through a number of off-balance tacklers en route to ten yards. His ability to keep his feet really is terrific. He's the platonic opposite of Carlos Brown.

I did have a minor complaint or two (inside the ten on a power Smith should be rage mode instead of trying to bounce). Actually, this one is a moderate complaint. It's another power on which Smith runs hard to the hole and ends up nerfing Michigan's blocking.

But even on that one he managed to Smith four yards anyway.

Johnson didn't do much that I thought was out of the ordinary either way, but I would like to point out a thing he does well since I just said I don't know what he does well other than be fast. When presented with guys who are on the ground he is able to jump over them efficiently.

He gets nailed there as a DT took a deep pursuit angle; he got a chunk play against Maryland thanks to that trait. It will not surprise you to find out Johnson was a very good high school hurdler.

Finally, here's Shallman's truck stick:

That is a fullback/h-back with Houma-like upside carrying the ball, if he can just stay healthy.

Peppers Peppers Peppers.

I mentioned Matt Millen's breakdown of the Chesson post TD in the game recap and here it is if you ignored it then:

Michigan took advantage of the Oh No Peppers effect on the fullback wheel, where three guys chased Peppers, and even on the counter that got blown up deep in the backfield. That was set up for great success because the defense saw Peppers get the ball and go one way and they bugged out for it.

And Peppers isn't bad when you actually give him the ball:

Michigan faked a repeat of that and Rutgers somehow stayed home.

Houma at tailback? What?

In case you were wondering whether the coaching staff is approximately as frustrated with the running back corps as this space is, that happened. It looked exactly—exactly—like Mark Weisman down to the guy handing off. That's not the worst thing in the world.

But I don't think it's much of a solution either.


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

Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Darboh 1 0/1 1/1 2/3   9 1/6 6/7 28/31
Chesson 1     3/4   11 0/2 4/7 16/18
Perry       1/1   2   1/2 3/4
Harris           2 0/1 2/2 3/3
Ways           1     2/2
Peppers       2/2   1     3/3
Butt     2/2 3/3   3 2/2 6/7 24/24
Williams       1/1   2 1/1   9/9
Bunting           1     6/6
Hill                 5/5
Poggi               1/1  
Smith       2/2   3 1/1   8/9
Isaac                 2/2
Green                 1/1
Johnson       1/1   1     3/3
Jones           1      
Higdon                 1/1
Kerridge       1/1       1/1 4/4
Houma       1/1   1     5/6

A couple of drops for the primary WRs and everything else got caught across the board. Since it's been a while, let's mention Chesson's +5 on the ground. Here's Chesson kicking a defensive end's ass:

Then Smith runs through the dude at the end. That was not a happy film session for him.

Meanwhile, Darboh got a great block on the first screen and the tight ends were productive all around.

Jake Butt had a big day. Why doesn't Jake Butt always have big days?

He was overplayed by defenses a ton in the middle of the season as opponents assumed covering him would end drives, and they weren't exactly wrong. Michigan established AJ Williams a bit and is now using Jabrill Peppers to draw attention and things are opening up a bit again.

Even with the midseason lull, perspective should be kept.  He's by far the most productive tight end in the league; I have him bringing in everything that's not a complete circus catch attempt this year, and he can split the safeties and run for 50 yards:

Brady Hoke did leave Harbaugh a collection of blocky/catchy types to work with.

Sometimes you wouldn't know it, though. Hello, AJ Williams.

AJ Williams averaged under one receiving yard per game under Brady Hoke. He has just about quadrupled his career receiving yards in nine games this year. The number of successful blocks is probably about the same. Here he is on the edge caving in the Rutgers D:

I can't tell you the number of times Michigan tried to do similar things over the last few years only for Williams to end up chasing a guy to the ball. Michigan's had excellent success the last few games hitting it outside and Williams is a major part of that. Michigan had no choice but to play him as a freshman because Rich Rodriguez brought in zero tight ends over his tenure, but man I wish I could see how he would do in a hypothetical fifth year.


Rudock and Butt (catching edition); left side of the line.

Maybe not so heroic?

Butt(blocking edition), right side of line.

What does it mean for Indiana and beyond?

Signs of life from Rudock. Yeah, yeah, Rutgers, but just look at the passing charts for UNLV and Maryland and such. Anything approximating this performance is progress against anybody.

Can he maintain it? Hell if I know. I'm done guessing at Michigan's quarterbacks until I say John O'Korn is the worst next year in an attempt to anti-jinx things. He does have an opportunity to replicate that performance (if not the YPA) against a similar Indiana defense, and then maybe hopefully he'll be locked into Good Rudock for the critical final two games.

Ben Braden is no longer the #5 OL. I'd go with either of the guys on the right side of the line. This is mostly because Braden has improved drastically. I haven't seen him fall off a guy because he's leaning too hard in a long time, and he has a good grasp of the mental side of things. He is not as powerful as Kalis but he makes fewer mistakes.

Kalis, meanwhile, reads the game slower. As a redshirt sophomore we are reaching the "it is what it is" point, but maybe if it comes together…

Cole is about 90% a star. Pass blocking against elite ends is the main shortcoming. If he moves to the interior next year I am thinking Rimington finalist.

Butt's blocking is still a work in progress. Again, not a Funchess level of worry; he's not exactly a two-way guy. Not like AJ Williams is!

Chesson can blow up crappy defensive ends. I dunno, I found it entertaining.

Smith progress for right now. We've seen blips before; I'm putting it in the Rudock-is-not-a-sad-ghost bin and saying "ask again later."



November 12th, 2015 at 2:26 PM ^

Hoping RU-Rudock is the norm the rest of the year. We've been hoping that Harbaugh would develop him into the best version of himself, and finally saw it last week. If Harbaugh sees the gist (aka "jizz" to birders) of an NFL QB, who are we to argue?

EDIT: Also, holy disappearing DEs, Chesson. The room must have erupted when that was shown on film.


November 12th, 2015 at 2:27 PM ^

Kyle Kalis is a RS Junior I believe (RS 2012, played 2013, 2014).  Sooo, yeah, not sure how much more improvement we can expect going into next year, his senior and last year.  Shame he didn't have Drevno his whole career.  Maybe he would read the game faster and put those physical gifts to better use.


November 12th, 2015 at 4:46 PM ^

Given that Bill Bellichick has been quoted as saying that it takes three years for an offensive lineman to be any good in the NFL, I think we can hold out some hope that the mental side of Kalis' game will continue developing.  It doesn't appear to be a physical issue and the O-line has been subjected to a lot of malpractice.  Learning to read the game and get comfortable in both your assignments and technique takes time.  I'd say there's still hope for him given he can do some physically dominant things.  


November 12th, 2015 at 2:49 PM ^

The tags are particularly awesome this time around.  That or I just don't normally notice how awesome they are.

Also, excellent execution of "the Butt Zone."


November 12th, 2015 at 2:35 PM ^

is virtually indefensible.  This is the same play that OSU gains almost consistent 7-10 yards on. Base:  pistol / shotgun with one HB lined next to QB.  WR comes in motion (for OSU, it would be Marshall / B. Miller), and it turns into a triple read option of sorts.  For OSU... as an opposing defense, how do you even defend this play?  You have the monster that Ez Elliot is, downhill speed / power 0-60 in 3 seconds ready to bash into the line, or you have the tall + strong C. Jones or the agile JT Barrett ready to make a fool out of the LB corps / DBs, or you have B. Miller ready to burn you on a sweep.  That is just too much.  Watching the MSU OSU game from last year, that was the play that killed MSU.  MSU could score, but they could not stop that motion WR read option play.  

This is what I am worried about when we play OSU.  

How awesome would it be if we ran this play in the redzone vs OSU, give them a taste of their own medicine, with Jabrill at QB (assuming he can throw the ball 10-20 yards), Deveon at HB, and Chesson coming in motion, with Butt / Darboh running routes into the endzone?  Who do you cover?  !!!!! 

also, Rudock can run, granted, not like the OSU QB corps, but still..


November 12th, 2015 at 3:33 PM ^

To be fair, and not sure if you're just referencing the movie or the character, but Smith has Simon Phoenix hair. The Demolition Man was Stallone's character, John Spartan. It's not the first time I've heard even professional sports casters call someone with that hair dye job a 'demolition man', and for some reason it always irritates me.

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November 12th, 2015 at 3:22 PM ^


Rutgers doesn't know and neither did the people behind me. One of them—an adult male!—asked if "that was some sort of set play" after the first one. It will not surprise you that these people have come to two games this year, showed up late, and left at halftime. Sometimes Michigan fans are the worst.


Let's be fair, that type of fan can be found in every stadium.



November 12th, 2015 at 3:29 PM ^

I would not be surprised to see Houma end up in the NFL. Seems like every few years, USC has a FB named Sua Tua'Vili who ends up in the league. This year, that guy is Houma. He's so versatile - catching, running, blocking. I wish he had another year with Harbaugh.


November 12th, 2015 at 3:31 PM ^

Before the season, I predicted AJ Williams would be our most improved player, simply because it is unfathomable that a guy could play that many snaps without the light going off. This rationale is what leads me to believe Kalus will break out next season. He hasn't been great. I didn't think the day would come when I could say, with certainty, that Braden is the better player as of today.

Kalis reminds me a lot of Matt Lentz. Powerful guy, good drive blocker, pretty good speed on the pull, but neither was ever a real hammer on the power pull. I think it's a mental thing. Unless he has a clear assignment, he plays tentatively. He has targeting issues on the pull. Look at that counter toss -- he's the lead man, he has to expect to hit the first thing that shows. Instead, he's surprised. Gotta clean that up.


November 12th, 2015 at 3:40 PM ^

While I do think every guy will improve incrementally wouldnt it be fair to say Kalis has played way more than AJ Williams?

At least Magnuson missed most of a year with injuries and losing his job so there is hope in terms of on field experience lacking leading to a big jump (2014 was a lost year for him).  Kalis played all of 2014...and 2013...and 2015.  Granted 2 of those years he got totally Funked but man for "the most college ready guard we've seen in a decade" out of HS...


November 12th, 2015 at 4:13 PM ^

The college-ready hype honestly does not enter into my calculus at all. I don't follow recruiting, and I have zero respect for the scouting that those services provide, for OL at least. I think what they mean is that his measurables and his build look most like an NFL player. This does me no good.

I don't think he is playing poorly, I just think he has the tools to be playing a lot better. Also, I value consistency more than most, I think. For example, I think Magnuson has had the better season. Kalis has probably had higher highs, more real + blocks, more pancakes, but Magnuson has had fewer minuses. Give me five Magnusons and my line would look a lot like 2014 M. A line of five Kalises looks a little more like 2013 M with a bunch of good blocks nerfed by one bad one.

Hail Harbo

November 12th, 2015 at 11:38 PM ^

Interesting, "the most college ready guard we've seen in a decade" was totally funked, but a freshman OL straight out of HS not only saw PT as a true freshman, he has started every single game that Michigan has played since he arrived.  So explain to us how a college ready guard is still struggling, because Funked, and Mason Cole who was Funked as a Freshman, is as a sophomore, the rising star of the OL.  



November 13th, 2015 at 8:36 AM ^

That's pretty obvious, no?

Cole starting every game since he arrived, while impressive for him, is an indictment of the previous staff's handling of the OL. There's just no way a 280-pound true FR starts at LT unless things were seriously botched,

As for Kalis, it's pretty clear he hasn't developed much. Funk had him for 3 years, including the redshirt. Given that Braden, Magnuson and Kalis all spun their wheels, and that none of the scholarship guys before Cole ever impressed, logic suggests the problem was systemic. That's not to say that the coaches did nothing right (Glasgow is a positive), but it's hard to believe anyone is defending their OL stewardship.

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November 13th, 2015 at 6:54 PM ^

I think there is a morsel of truth in there, but I think it is a bit overstated. This isn't a defense of Funk, btw, just a few observations.

All of the guys have developed. Glasgow is outright good, and was under Hoke/Funk. Kalis HAS developed, perhaps not as much as we like, and in fact has shown less development under Drevno, which is the biggest source of frustration.

What people don't seem to want to talk about is how this OL is on it's third OC in as many years. As you can see on some of these clips, playing OL is really hard mentally. The defense moves before the snap, which changes your job. It also moves after the snap, requiring near-instant changes, on the fly, across 5 players. We always consider that when discussing QB, but not RG. It's quite possible that Kalis's issues, because they seem to be mental, are the result of switching schemes/coaches. There's no doubt Drevno is better than Funk, but he hasn't gotten through to Kalis yet. Whereas, whatever he has done with Braden has been a miracle. I've never seen a leaner like Braden get that fixed so quickly, if at all.

Year of Revenge II

November 12th, 2015 at 9:17 PM ^

Line play has been improved beyond my wildest expectations, both offensive and defensive.  Guys are a year older, more experienced, but it looks like the change in staff helped too.

Your deductions about Kalis make sense to me, as I too have seen him looking about with no real plan to go anywhere, no intetnion of taking on the closest threat to the ball while the play ends without him taking on anybody.  Another year wiser next year?  Let's hope so.  He still looks like he could be a force.  

Wolverine fan …

November 12th, 2015 at 3:33 PM ^

and also get some rest on the offensive side of the ball. He needs to be well rested for the PSU & OSU games. The distraction/fake jet sweep play was perfection. Defenses have to respect Peppers now that he a proven offensive weapon, which opens up the field for all sorts of yards if there is any over commitment from a LB/DB. And it's not like anyone is going to man up on JP in space and take him down one-on-one. Damned if they do, damned if they don't. Hopefully the staff won't have to dive too deep into the playbook against the Hoosiers; just want to see another Peppers TD (or two) and keep him on the other side of the ball as much as possible leading up to The Game. This would be a great time to see Rudock put up big yards against another bad D, build confidence and roll into the last 2 with some momentum. 


November 12th, 2015 at 3:38 PM ^

Just curious what Butt's blocking #s are YTD - he seems to be +1 to mid single negative a lot.

Not for my own info but for NFL scouts info.  Well no seriously I am just curious myself as well - he does seem to struggle in the blocking game a lot more than I anticipated this year.

As with you we'll see if that was a Jake exception or real improvement the last 2 weeks.  Indiana's pass D is better than rutgers but that's not saying much - I believe they are 116th out of 127 and with all the suspensions kicked off teams it was a bunch of freshmen out there.  Jake also has yet to really put together a solid game on the road which is needed.  Utah was "kind of good except for you know...the INTs (partly on Perry on 1)"

p.s. where do you put INT in your DSr table?  Seems like INTs should be in a category and obv penalize dsr.

Happy to see Braden step up ....Magnuson is paired with Kalis in the categorically meh world.  Unfort as these were 2 prime time prospects.

I've put the run game in the Joe Bolden box at this point - it is what it is.  Need Smith healthy and angry and Drake to be relevant in the same game as Smith (it seems it is either or not both) for PSU and OSU.

snarling wolverine

November 12th, 2015 at 6:39 PM ^

Pardon my lack of hipness, but I'm not real familiar with the expression "Woof" the way Brian uses it. I get that it denotes something bad, but what level of badness are we talking about here? Is it like, "Eh, that's not particularly good" or more like "OMG this is awful"?


November 12th, 2015 at 7:14 PM ^

"kyle kalis accidental murder spree"

At first I thought it meant he was destroying guys and he was going to end up +10.

Then, I saw all those big negatives he was getting and thought he was going to get a -10.

The final result? +9 -9 = 0. In other words, Kyle Kalis explodes in all directions.