Upon Further Review 2016: Defense vs Indiana Comment Count

Brian November 23rd, 2016 at 1:01 PM


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FORMATION NOTES: By far Michigan's most common approach:


4-3 even with Peppers as a SAM; press coverage with one high safety. Very, very Durkin. Remains to be seen if they maintain this with a running QB threat. Survey says "no": against most spread teams they've been two high, with one of those guys inserting in the box unpredictably.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: More rotation this week after things got very constricted against Iowa. Charlton led all DL with 58 of 67 snaps. Wormley and Glasgow got 47 and 45; Hurst and Godin got slightly over 30 each; Gary and Mone got around 20; Winovich got 10.

Gedeon, McCray, Peppers, and Stribling did not leave the field. PFF has Jourdan Lewis out for two snaps, but I don't remember what those snaps were; Hill and Thomas both lost a couple snaps to Kinnel, who got 7. There were rumors we'd see more of a few different players; he was the only one to even get on the field.

Brandon Watson was the only other player to appear; he got three snaps.

[After THE JUMP: the usual, and then snow]

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O14 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Half press one high Run N/A Split zone Gedeon -1
Gedeon(+2) times this up spectacularly, driving through a guard with close to zero chance and tackling for loss by himself. If he doesn’t do this, McCray(+0.5) scraped to the backside unblocked and will stuff this. RPS +2.
O13 2 11 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 PA slant Stribling 10
Good route by the WR to bend outside for a moment and then break back in. Difficult for Stribling to deal with, but this is a catch with no harassing. Strib -1, cover -1.
O23 3 1 Manatee twin TE 4-2-5 4-4 under Press zero Run N/A Inverted veer give Peppers 2
Outside give is to the 2TE side as IU tries to match up on the DBs. Don’t really know what to do as far as grading this. Peppers does his Peppers thing and shoots under the block. He can’t get there, missing an arm tackle. He does nearly stop the back; Gedeon moves out unblocked and catches the back, who grinds across the line. Peppers(-1) has to get a ding, I guess, even though I want him to do this. Gedeon has too much space to shut down to do better than this. Wormley(+1) and Glasgow(+1) pounded the interior and a keep was doomed without involving Gedeon.
O25 1 10 Manatee twin TE 4-2-5 4-4 under Press zero Run N/A QB zone stretch Gedeon 3
IU TE misIDs his block. Both guys go for Peppers; Gedeon(+1) free to flow and does, hitting the hole with a thump to stand up the back. Glasgow comes to help out and ends up shoving the back forward for a couple YAC. Godin(+1) held up to a double so McCray could flow; possible this ends up similar without the UI bust.
O28 2 7 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Pass 4 Flare Wormley Inc
Charlton(+1, pressure +2) gets a freebie here as the LT elects not to block him. Instant pressure, QB dumps in the direction of a RB that Wormley(+0.5) is covering out of the backfield with Peppers(+0.5) coming over the top. This was a screen w/ TE blocking down. Expecting man coverage and did not get it. (RPS +1, cover +1)
O28 3 7 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Okie Press one high Pass 5 Sack Winovich -5
This has got to be some terrible play from the LT because Winovich(+2, pressure +3) is around the corner at five yards. Around he is, though, and Lagow’s just doomed. Adding insult to injury is Hurst(+2) ripped through the middle of the field and helps sack.
Drive Notes: Punt, 8 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O4 1 10 Pistol twins 4-2-5 4-4 even Press one high Run N/A Pin and pull McCray 8
Honestly, what does Taco Charlton have to do to draw a holding call? Just watch this. Refs -2. Anyway, Taco can’t get off a guy holding him outside the shoulder-pad for the whole play; McCray(-2) opts to shoot a gap and loses his gamble, running by the back without touching him. Thomas(-1) gets kicked out really far; needs to make a pile by cutting the OL. Gedeon(+1) scrapes over the top of everything; McCray’s absence means there’s a blocker for him and he takes a shove just as he tries to make a tackle. He falls off it, but it’s enough to get the back on the ground.
O12 2 2 Shotgun twins 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Mone 2 (Pen +5)
Lewis(-1) is lining up in press and ends up moving up into the neutral zone just as IU snaps it; he’s fixing it as he looks to the interior on the snap but can’t get back. Play is an IZ that burrows out two yards. Mone(+1) and Hurst(+1) both beat blocks and hit the back at the LOS; LBs get fended off and there’s no extra momentum from them so 3 vs 2 results in a lurch forward. McCray, Gedeon –0.5.
O17 1 10 Shotgun twins twin TE 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Pass 5 Out Stribling 6
Pick route designed to rub Stribling works; he has to bend around Lewis and his guy to get to this. He tackles on the catch after a slightly better than modest gain. RPS -1.
O23 2 4 Pistol twins twin TE 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Run N/A Pin and pull Peppers 1
Peppers(+3) shoots outside and gets passed by both pullers; he recovers to tackle the back. Humans should not be able to do this. Hill(+1) dove inside the other puller and helps slow the guy up but I’m pretty sure this is a solo tackle for Peppers. Wormley(-2) got sealed away and allowed a second level block from the second guy who doubled him; rare TE loss for him. This could be a chunk play without Peppers.
O24 3 3 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Off two high Pass 4 Drag Thomas 2
M switches up their coverage and seems to catch exactly what they want: mesh. Safeties activate on the drag routes, with Thomas(+2, cover +1, tackling +1) making an instant stick the moment the WR catches the ball, forcing a punt. RPS +1; this was a good change of pace but still required an impressive play to come off.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 1 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O1 1 10 Shotgun twins twin TE 3-2-6 Faux 3-4 Off one high Pass 5 Fly Stribling 22
This formation looks utterly insane to me with McCray in the gray area over the slot, Peppers at ILB, and three down linemen. Irrelevant, but Brown did this with another team way backed up too. Stribling moves up on the snap; he’s repositioning and doesn't get quite settled in time for the snap. Then he stops at the first down marker as the outside WR runs past him. Kinnel has no chance to get over. Stribling -2, cover -2, RPS -1. Pressure -1, but this was out pretty quick.
O23 1 10 Pistol twins twin TE 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Zone stretch Gary 3
Charlton(+1) sets the edge and then rips back inside to force a cutback. Godin flows well and forces it back behind him; he gets cut as the RB cuts back but that’s still a push. Gary(-1) cut off effectively and gives ground without getting over the top of his guy. Thomas(+1, tackling +1) takes an excellent path to the ball and tackles with authority to hold the gain down.
O26 2 7 Pistol twins twin TE 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Pin and pull Gedeon 6
Gary(-1) doesn’t fire off on the snap and that delay gives a TE enough momentum to fend him off long enough for the back to squeeze just beyond him after Peppers(+1) dodged a TE block and shot up to take on a second blocker, one of the pullers. Hill(+1) buries himself in a good spot to prevent a bounce and constrict space. Meanwhile a stunt removes DT pursuit. Gedeon(-1) flows over free and hits at about four yards but gives up a few yards of YAC since he’s hitting from the side. He’s hitting from the side because he stepped the wrong way on the snap.
O32 3 1 Shotgun twins twin TE 4-2-5 4-3 under SAM Off one high Pass 5 PA out Charlton Inc
Charlton(+1, pressure +1) reads the quick game PA and bats the ball down. McCray(+1, cover +1) had dropped right under this and there’s a decent chance this is a pick six if Charlton doesn’t get it.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 13 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 under Press one high Pass 4 PA slant Thomas Inc
Could definitely be called interference as Thomas wraps his hand around the WR (refs +2), but rubbin’s racin’. Thomas(+2, cover +2) makes good on the tug by getting a PBU on a slant against a slot waterbug, impressive for a safety.
O25 2 10 Pistol 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press two high Pass 4 Slant N/A 8
Flare motion out of the backfield; McCray passes his assignment to Gedeon and takes his, undercutting a hitch route from the #3 WR to the trips side. Unfortunately, Stribling and Thomas don’t adjust; Stribling sets up outside as M is in some sort of zone but w/ McCray out of the picture there’s no one underneath the slant; easy completion. Thomas does hit immediately to force a third down. Cover -2, RPS -1.
O33 3 2 Pistol twin FB 4-2-5 4-4 even Off one high Run N/A Zone read keeper McCray 9
Zone read action and nobody on the edge. Wormley shuffles down and tackles the back; McCray(-1) takes a false step before redirecting back outside. Since Wormley didn’t change his decision mid-play my assumption is that this is on McCray. McCray does recover in time to force a bounce, whereupon Thomas is held(refs -2) to give IU the edge. This is getting absurd.
O42 1 10 Manatee 2-back twin TE 4-2-5 4-5 over ??? Run N/A Inverted veer keep McCray 1
Nobody really on the edge for M; surprised this is a keep. Diamont is the lead blocker on the edge so maybe this isn’t a real read. Winovich(+1) dives inside, hitting one of the puller and then moving to the second one; McCray(+1) is unfettered on the edge, possibly because of that, and dives in to tackle. RPS +1; IU spent two guys on the edge and M didn’t buy it.
O43 2 9 Shotgun twins twin TE 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Penalty N/A False start N/A -5
O38 2 14 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 3-3 stack Press two high Run N/A Pin and pull Stribling 14
Taco removed from the LOS and placed in a Demens 3-3-5 spot just off the butt of the NT. This gets got. Lack of men on the line allows IU to double Wormley(-2) who gets sealed and gives ground such that McCray gets cut off. Glasgow(+1) sheds the C but because of his initial positioning he can’t quite make up the ground for a spectacular TFL. Stribling(-2) is supposed to hold the edge and gets out to undercut one of the pullers. Unfortunately he does this two yards downfield of the LOS so RB just runs outside of him.
M48 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Pass 4 PA Y Cross Hill 31
No pressure(-3) at all, and Hill(-3, cover -3) falls over in the secondary, giving Indiana the easiest chunk of yards anyone’s gotten all year.
M17 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Zone stretch Godin 2
Glasgow(+1) pushes his guy into the backfield, cutting off the frontside; Godin(+1) flowed, avoiding a cut, to get the back on the cutback. Gedeon(+1) had dismissed a C who released downfield and was there to clean up for the same amount of yardage if Godin couldn’t quite get this done himself.
M15 2 8 Pistol trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Run N/A Pin and pull Wormley 0
Goes much better when this is at Peppers. For one, four DL gives Wormley(+1) a one on one with a TE that he wins, getting outside the guy and forcing it back behind him, away from a puller. Peppers(+1) shoots up and forces it back; OL literally hugs him(refs -2). Once it’s back inside Gedeon(+0.5) redirects to the gap to tackle with help from Mone(+0.5)
M15 3 8 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 Nickel under Press two high Pass 4 Slant Peppers 10
Really don’t get putting Lewis over a TE instead of Peppers; Peppers(-1, cover -1) beat on a slant.
M5 1 G Manatee 2-back twin TE 4-2-5 4-6 even Press zero Run N/A Midline zone give Hurst 3
Gary forms up on the QB; give. Hurst(-1) gets hammered from behind and blown out; Peppers(+0.5) is unblocked and tackles despite the extra room popping up. RPS -1; this was tough to do much with.
M2 2 G Manatee twin TE 4-2-5 4-5 even Press zero Run N/A QB zone stretch Gary 2
Tempo gets M; pointing and confusion on the snap so when Gary(-1) gets sealed inside it’s over. RPS -1.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 3-7, 4 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Pistol twins 4-2-5 4-4 under Press one high Run N/A Pin and pull Charlton -2
Thoroughly whacked, with Peppers(+1), Charlton(+1), and McCray(+1) all driving guys into the backfield, surrounding the back. He ends up running into his own OL and then tripping over a second, with Charlton finishing.
O23 2 12 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Penalty N/A Offsides Godin 5
Godin -1.
O28 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Run N/A Split zone Wormley 2 + 15 Pen
No creases and Wormley(+1) drives the TE across the formation and tackles the back. Glasgow(+0.5) took a double and just about ripped back to the RB but can’t quite; he does shut down space. Charlton(-3) gets a PF after this play and it deserved; he elbows his blocker in the face.
O45 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Zone stretch Charlton -5
Charlton(+2) fires the LT five yards in the backfield and not only disrupts the back but forces him into an awkward bounce. McCray(+2) beats a block with more holding (refs -1) and gets out for a solo TFL and big loss. This was getting swarmed either way but McCray maximizes the loss.
O40 2 15 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Run N/A Zone stretch Charlton -2
Glasgow(+1) hammers down the line, driving his man a yard or two in the backfield; this allows Charlton(+2) to get all the way around the RT to TFL.
O38 3 17 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Run N/A Pin and pull Wormley 11
A give up and punt. Not going to be too harsh but Wormley(-1) fights inside instead of extending to the sideline and this is the source of Michigan’s issues.
Drive Notes: Punt, 3-7, EOH.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Power O Glasgow -3
This is the backside tackle pulling, not the G, but I’m not inventing a new name for this unless I starts seeing it frequently. I probably won’t. M stones this. Glasgow(+3) throws his blocker to the ground and hits the puller into the back. He’s doomed, just a matter of how badly. He bounces out, where Charlton(+1) is waiting after going out-in-out; Glasgow tackles before Charlton can.
O22 2 13 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 under Press one high Pass 4 PA fly Lewis Inc
Comfortable pocket on a quick-ish throw; pressure -1. Lagow takes a deep shot… at Jourdan Lewis(+2, cover +2) and is lucky not to get picked off, with the WR playing defense.
O22 3 13 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Okie Press one high Run N/A Power Ox2 Thomas 20 (Pen +3)
M gets exploited on a pass rush exotic and bailed out by a holding call. Cannot believe all the stuff they let go and this draws a flag. Anyway. IU pulls both backside players and M has just Wormley to the field. Wormley(-2) really needs to hold the edge. He does not. With M in cover 1 and two guys unblocked but useless on the backside it’s scramble time. Hill(+1) does get off that block despite the hold call to force it back; Thomas(-2, tackling -2) overruns this badly, into space Peppers has covered, and that’s the last four or five yards. Not going to RPS this because M had an opportunity to boot off the field for punt. Seriously, if this is a hold what are they doing on every other play?
O25 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-2-6 Okie Press one high Pass 5 Fly Stribling Inc
Pressure push as it’s getting there on a quick throw; Lagow punts it up at an outside WR; Stribling(+1, cover +1) in good position and helped out by the wind knocking the ball down; WR and DB both jump and then the ball is so short that neither can get a hand on it. Wind, man.
Drive Notes: Punt, 3-7, 14 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Run N/A Zone stretch Glasgow 2
This cutback absolutely should work as Hurst(-2) goes upfield and gets cut. Glasgow(+3) drives the C back and sheds, coming back to the lane inside of his assignment and tackling by himself. Gary and Gedeon maybe probably hold this down to 5-7 otherwise.
O27 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Run N/A Zone stretch Gary 1
Gary(+1) drives his guy back and gets outside to force a cutback. Hurst(-1) sealed enough; falls; maybe held; not in position to help. Charlton(+1) and Gedeon(+1) converge to tackle, with Taco making up a ton of ground from the backside and Gedeon defeating a block.
O28 3 7 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 under Press one high Pass 4 Fly Stribling 37
Yes, this play. Random armpunt downfield at Stribling(+1, cover +2), who is in the chest of the WR and suffers a spectacular grab on his face, except he definitely rips the ball out such that it hits the ground. Is this a catch? No. If the WR does not re-clutch it after Stribling rips it out every ref in America calls this incomplete he does, but after he has lost possession a split second after impact, Good job by that guy, but refs -3.
M35 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Run N/A Power O Wormley 0
Tackle pulls again. Irritating. Wormley(+2) has seen this before now and on the tackle pull he shoots down the line, following that guy and blowing through an attempted TE tackle. McCray(+1) does a good job to run up and contain, allowing Wormley to finish the job.
M35 2 10 ??? 4-2-5 ??? ??? Pass 4 Rollout deep out Hill 13
M unprepared on the snap (RPS -1) and Lagow rolls out without pressure(-1); short stuff covered and Lagow hits a tiny window Hill(+0.5, cover +1) leaves on the slot guy. Hill’s there to rake and this is one foot in and then out. Offense executed perfectly, can’t blame the cover guy.
M22 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 under Press one high Pass N/A Flare N/A Inc
Fumbled snap; not sure if the throw to the RB is supposed to be caught or just a convenient do-over.
M22 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 under Press one high Pass 4 PA wheel Thomas 15
Thomas gets a little lost on this and has to recover so he does not have time to turn around and find the ball. That’s fine. Sometimes that happens. Then you shoryuken the guy after he leaps over you. If the ball passes by your hip to the inside and the guy still makes the catch, he makes the catch. This was a Leidner special; bad throw on which opposition got lucky. Thomas gets a push. Pressure -1.
M7 1 G Pistol 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Run N/A Split zone Gedeon 2
Glasgow(+1) takes on a long double and gets back to his spot after the second guy leaves; cutback; Gedeon(+1) shed an OL and tackles near the LOS. Hurst(-1) was driving to help cut this off and then stopped to shed an OL; he can’t make this zero instead of two.
M5 2 G Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even Press zero Run N/A Zone read keeper Peppers -1
Dumb playcall. Even if you totally fool Peppers with your sneaky zone read keeper, this happens. That is Peppers(+2) redirecting outside and suplexing your QB. RPS +1.
M6 3 G Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Power Ox2 Glasgow 1
Doesn’t work quite as well against a four man line. Glasgow(+2) rips through the C and shoots the LG back and gets off that block to tackle once the RB commits inside. Hurst(+2) rips through a blocker and gets there as well; he tackles Glasgow, but the thought counts.
Drive Notes: FG(22), 6-10, 6 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Pin and pull Glasgow 6
Michigan has the POA dominated, with Wormley(+1) and Godin(+1) driving guys back and erasing any lanes. Glasgow(-2) rips through his guy, but to the wrong side, so there’s a cutback lane. The LBs shut it down but not before a solid gain.
O31 2 4 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Pin and pull Wormley 1
Wormley(+3) drives through a TE to the point where the RB has no choice but to cut directly into Wormley to get what he can. RB manages to fall forward.
O32 3 3 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Pass 4 Slant Lewis Inc
Good idea, throw at Lewis. Lewis(+2, cover +2) is in the pocket of the WR and wraps his arms around as the ball arrives to punch the ball out for a PBU.
Drive Notes: Punt, 13-10, 3 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O10 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Pass 4 PA out Thomas Inc
Pick play that probably should be called OPI(refs -2) as the WR aims right for Thomas and nearly runs him over. Open WR, Lagow misses, probably a first down if caught. (RPS -1)
O10 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Run N/A Zone stretch Charlton -2
Charlton(+2) drives the LT back and then two-gaps him; back can’t decide which side of him he’s supposed to go on and gets swallowed in the backfield as Hurst(+1) and Glasgow(+1) get off blocks and flow to tackle.
O8 3 12 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Pass 4 Slant McCray Inc
McCray(+2, cover +2) is running right under this and almost certainly walks into the endzone if the throw is accurate. It is way behind the WR and high so no luck; maybe Lagow saw it at the last second and dumped it. Stribling(+1, cover +1) in good position to PBU if the ball is accurate and McCray didn’t exist.
Drive Notes: Punt, 13-10, 1 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Run N/A Zone stretch Glasgow 2
Charlton(+1) and Glasgow(+1) shove their guys back, forcing a cutback. Godin flows down the line and should be there for a stick, but he gets cut. He’s cut directly into the RB’s feet, so RB goes down, but he’s able to leap over Godin and get a few yards. Wormley and the ILBs converging on this as well; not likely this gets more than a couple more yards even if RB successfully hurdles.
O27 2 8 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Slant Lewis 13
Flare out the back presnap to make a zone undercutting this diffcult. McCray is standing in the middle of the field passively as Lagow looks wide side first, holding him. Lewis(-2, cover -2) is palpably beat on this; catch is a yard or two short of the sticks but Lewis can’t recover until he’s well past them. That’s rare. Pocket collapsing, quick throw, push.
O40 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Pass 4 Dig Wormley Inc
More RB flare action; Lagow checks two players downfield who he doesn’t think are open(cover +2) and at this point Glasgow(+1) has thrust his way into Lagow’s lap, forcing him to move up in the pocket. Wormley(+1) comes off a block and hits Lagow just as he approaches the LOS. This appears to make his throw wide of his target, which is an open dig route in front of Stribling(-1, cover -1); afterwards Stribling is furious about OPI. No replay that confirm or disconfirm such a thing.
O40 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Pass 4 In Stribling Inc
M unprepared for the snap here and no pressure (-2) coming; more LBs undercutting slants but this turns into an in route beyond McCray’s reach. It’s only going to get a couple yards if complete in any case. Stribling(+2, cover +2) gets a PBU on an iffy ball to not even give that up.
O40 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Pass 4 Fly Stribling Inc
Again a quick snap gets M not even lined up and the rush sucks(pressure -2). Play here is just two fade routes and then the slot receiver running a stop; none are at all open(cover +3). Stribling(+1) is the guy tested and is in the hip pocket of his man; overthrown.
Drive Notes: Punt, 20-10, 14 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O20 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Pass 4 Screen Hurst 1
Peppers(+1) reads and reacts to force this back a yard or two inside the numbers, which allows Hurst(+1) to double back and tackle after a minimal gain. Cover +1.
O21 2 9 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Run N/A Pin and pull Gedeon 17
Peppers on the edge, runs up, forces it inside of him. Gedeon(-2) does not get outside of the next guy because he slows up to check a gap when the back jukes to it; McCray would have that. The juke gets Gedeon sealed inside and gives the back the corner. Gary(-2) drove his guy a little but when he tries to rip outside the OL latches on and puts him on the ground.
O38 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Pass 4 Deep out Hill Inc
Clean pocket; pressure -2. Lagow loads up and fires to Mitchell Paige; Hill(+2, cover +2) is in perfect position and gets a hand up so that only a perfect pass gets this completion; Paige can only get one hand on the perfect pass and it falls to the ground. Usually I want a PBU to give +2 but any catchable ball here is a PBU, so there it is.
O38 2 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Cross Thomas 11
McCray(+1, cover +1) covers a wheel route that is the first look, so maybe they’re making some progress in that department. Lagow just has time to come off of that and throw further inside, with Charlton(+0.5) and Glasgow(+0.5) closing. The ball is low and away from Thomas(+0.5, cover +1), who has a play on almost anything other than this; Paige secures it. Thomas rips it out afterwards but that’s academic.
O49 1 10 Shotgun 2-back twins 4-2-5 4-3 even Off one high Run N/A Zone read keeper Peppers -1
Peppers is just hanging out; H-back is moving as if to arc block him and never really gets to him; when Diamont pulls and he’s unblocked that’s game over, man. Peppers +2, tackling +1, RPS +13. This is a bad spot since Diamont gave up a yard himself before Peppers contacted him, should be second and 12. Refs -1.
O48 2 11 Pistol FB twins 4-2-5 4-4 even Off one high Pass 4 Wheel Lewis Inc
Double frippery before Diamont sets up to pass. Plenty of time(pressure -2); M is in zone, though, and when Diamont goes for the wheel Lewis(+2, cover +2) flashes in front of it for the PBU; this is behind the WR and an accurate throw is a pick six.
O48 3 11 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel under Press one high Pass 5 Sack Gedeon -7
Gedeon(+1, pressure +3) gets a free run up the gut at IU busts their protection. He gets his sack ducked under; Charlton(+1) cleans it up. RPS +2.
Drive Notes: Punt, 20-10, 9 min 4th Q. IU gets the ball back with a minute left in ridiculous conditions down two scores; that’s not worth charting.

Eh. Whatever.

Are you that complacent?


Can we at least agree to reset expectations after this year?

Sure, yeah.

You're lying.

I'm totally lying! This defense is average and any that fail to live up to it will meet with eternal scorn!

You really mean that.

I do.

I know.

You hate me.

I do.

Anyway. Let's drive chart this thing. I'm leaving out the last Indiana drive (which gained one first down before a sack ended the game, FWIW) for Hoth reasons:

  • 11 play, 75 yard TD
  • 11 play, 68 yard FG
  • nine other drives ranging from 3 to 7 plays and –2 to 31 yards averaging 15 yards a drive

That isn't quite a comprehensive hammering. Indiana moved the ball a bit. S&P+ has them an exactly average D-I offense and they almost got 300 yards. This is in line with our late-season re-evaluation of the defense from "historically good" to "indisputably elite this year." Especially because that field goal drive was a bunch of ridiculous catches that can happen to anyone. Also, almost half the touchdown drive came when Delano Hill fell down in coverage. While I think you should not fall down in coverage that's not a problem unless it's a problem, if you get my drift, and Hill has been pleasingly upright the rest of the year.

Michigan had some edge issues, albeit of a new variety not concerned with Mike McCray, some Things Happen catches, and didn't give up much of anything else. Here's the...



you say chart now

I suppose



CHART, which is not at all being scorned by completely irrational expectations from certain bolded alter-egos around here.

[NOTE: PFF grading works out differently than mine. In UFR zero is bad for DL; it's average in PFF. Their scale seems to be about a third or a half of mine. PFF has a "penalty" section that I've elected to omit for space's sake, which is why the individual components might not add up to the "overall." number. I'll note when it's a big discrepancy.]

DL UFR grade PFF grade  
Player Snaps + - T Run Rush Cvr Over Notes
Wormley 47 10.5 7 3.5 2.8 0.7   3.7 Had some ups but I thought he got sealed away more than once. PFF offered a mondo score.
Glasgow 45 17 2 15 1.9 2.3   4.3
Hurst 31 7 5 2 -1.4 0.5   -0.8 Slashed down once or twice.
Charlton 58 14.5 3 11.5 2.5 1.5   3.3 -0.8 for PF, but OTOH that made him mad.
Gary 19 1 5 -4 -1.3 -0.9   -2.2 Rough day.
Mone 21 1.5 1.5 0.1 -0.1   0.1
Godin 35 3 1 2 0.9 -0.3   -0.3 Offsides responsible for PFF discrepancy.
Winovich 10 3 3 0.5 0.5   1.0 7 rushes, 1 sack
TOTAL   57.5 23 34.5         Like last week, a very good performance that is not an absurd blowout like earlier in the season.
LB UFR grade PFF grade  
Player Snaps + - TOT Run Rush Covr Ovr Notes
Peppers 67 12 2 10 2.9 -1.1 -0.1 1.8 Two zone read keepers at him are easy money.
McCray 67 9.5 3.5 6 -0.3 -0.2 1.5 1.1 Could have had two pick-sixes in this game but for fate.
Gedeon 67 8.5 3.5 5 0.2 -0.2 0.6 0.7
TOTAL   30 9 21         Bounce-back after rough outing against Iowa. Missed tackles greatly reduced.
DB UFR grade PFF grade  
Player Snaps + - Run Rush Cvr Ovr Notes
Lewis 65 6 3 3 0.3   2.6 1.9 -0.9 for that offsides call seems harsh
Stribling 67 6 6 0  -0.3 0.8 0.5 Run/pass dichotomy now standard
D. Hill 63 5.5 3 2.5 0.5 -0.1 0.1 0.6 Really good except for falling over and giving up 31 yards
Thomas 65 5.5 3 2.5 -1.1 -0.2 0.6 -0.7 PFF and I thought the pin and pulls had different success vectors. Did have one badly missed tackle.
Watson 3     0   0 0
Kinnel 7 -0.4   -1 -1.4 I didn't notice him at all.
L. Hill        
TOTAL   23 15 8          
Pressure   9 15 -6 Apply to DL grades above for more measured take.
Coverage   30 12 +18 LBs not exploited so we're back to the huge numbers.
Tackling   3 2 +1 I enjoy not playing Wadley.
RPS   10 7 +3 Eh.

For the first time all year we've got a negative in the "pressure" metric, as Lagow mostly had clean pockets when he threw long. This was due in no small part to a number of snaps on which Indiana snapped the ball before Michigan was able to properly set; M was tardy getting off the ball and IU had an easy time of it. That is more preparation than talent.

Meanwhile that cover number is back to where it was midseason after a couple of games where it was closer to 50/50. This is largely because the linebacker level did not get burned repeatedly. McCray and Gedeon got on top of a wheel route each and McCray undercut two slants that easily could have resulted in pick-sixes; Charlton batted one down and the other was well behind the WR and thus out of McCray's reach.

PFF and I were pretty close again this week. Hurst's grade may look different, but +2 on the DL in 30-some snaps is not great in UFR, and –0.8 for Hurst seems about right to me. The big difference is that they were very high on Wormley and I was so-so. I thought he got sealed in a couple times on those big pin and pull runs; from the grading it looks like PFF charged more of that to Thomas.

Those Charlton/Glasgow numbers are something.

That's the story of this DL. Every week someone has a monster game, and often two guys. Charlton took a bad personal foul towards the end of the first half that was deserved. He clearly elbowed a guy across the facemask. Let us spend this sentence tsk-tsking that.

Otherwise he was rampant. The zone stretch stuff that killed Michigan last year did almost nothing for Indiana this year. This is in part because their OL has taken a step back; it is in part because Taco Charlton and Graham Glasgow shattered those guys into tiny bits. Any stretch play where multiple frontside guys penetrate under control is going to go badly for the offense, and that was a constant theme:

Those two plays immediately followed the personal foul and were almost worth it. (They were not because Michigan didn't get an opportunity to run a one minute drill.) They were not isolated incidents; the sudden dropoff in IU's run game effectiveness was largely Charlton going nuts on these goobers. On just about every stretch play he'd hold the edge with authority and the cut off a gap or two inside of said edge.

That is textbook. The only thing that I minused him for was the penalty.

Meanwhile, Ryan Glasgow also had his most impactful game in a while. This is because Indiana made him relevant. The last four or five weeks opponents have been avoiding him as much as possible or hitting him with extended double-teams that are difficult to do anything with. Glasgow did yeoman work holding up to those doubles, but the flashy plays naturally migrated elsewhere.

They returned in this game as Indiana tried to block down on him and run away, or zone him one on one. Incorrect choices, both of them.  This was a reminder of his explosiveness:

Few DTs in my experience have been able to just bat away the first blocker, burst into the second, and disconnect to tackle:

That list: Mike Martin, Ryan Glasgow. The end. Other guys have their merits. I will always have a soft spot for the sideline-to-sideline nose tackle because of these dudes.

With Indiana running a ton of the zone stretch stuff that murdered Michigan last year it was heartening/depressing to see what some of those runs might have looked like with Glasgow on the field. While Hurst was much improved against these plays this year, on this one he shot upfield and got cut much like 2015. Glasgow bailed the defense out:

That should work. I've seen a lot of stretch plays in my time and I basically never see a DT peel back like that to make a play. Glasgow remains devastating.

I am very nervous about Curtis Samuel. Hold me, TomVH.

That's not... nevermind.

Samuel is very good and will be a level above any slot guy Michigan's faced so far this year. But Michigan has faced a bunch of slot guys, and they haven't done much. I mentioned excellent games from both safeties in the game column and I'm even more impressed after a detailed film review. Mitchell Paige isn't Curtis Samuel but he's a relatively good analogue. Thomas and Hill shut him down impressively, whether it was Thomas lighting Paige up on a drag route...

...or Hill mirroring him to the point where even the perfect throw was incomplete...

...or Thomas doing the same thing.

Paige did make a few catches in this game but all of them were heavily contested, offense-executes-perfectly kind of plays. He had one against Hill, two against Thomas. I issued positives on those plays because that's how I grade. Guy does something crazy against your excellent coverage, I hand you a plus. Also one of the ones on Thomas was totally Leidnering it. Thomas was 100% ready to SHORYUKEN a well-thrown ball, and then it ends up under his hip for a catch. That was the definition of Things Happen.

If Michigan can approach that against Samuel they'll go a long way towards winning. Let's not forget that both Thomas and Hill are extremely athletic in their own right.

Jourdan Lewis says he will also to match up with Samuel on Saturday. Given how the safeties are playing I imagine that will be passing downs only unless OSU forces Michigan out of its comfort zone; the safeties are playing well enough to give them the first at-bats against the slot version of Samuel, especially because that keeps the rest of the defense intact during the inevitable motions OSU will utilize to get the matchups they want.

Should Samuel prove a bad matchup for the safeties, Lewis... eh... will be okay.

He got beat once in this game for a first down but if you are throwing at him in an attempt to move the chains you are going to punt way too often.

I am totally down with Lewis matching up on passing downs. OSU's other WRs have been inconsistent at best; stick Stribling on Noah Brown and I'm fine with Watson or Lavert Hill on whoever else.

There was one annoying play Indiana kept running where it seemed like four OL blocked a safety. What's the deal with that?

Indiana repeatedly attacked Michigan's edge not by raw speed but by running pin and pull just off tackle. "Pin and pull" is a zone/gap hybrid run where the OL decides which OL will block down and which will pull based on the DL's alignment; it's what Michigan runs on all their sweeps. Indiana eschewed the WR blocking down and ran it to the tight end side.

It was their most consistently successful play. A whopping ten pin-and-pulls gained a total of 62 yards; Indiana's other 22 carries gained just 31. There was no middle ground on these runs. Michigan stoned four and gave up 6 to 14 yards on the other six.

Michigan always had a DB-type guy to the playside of these, and which guy mattered a ton. Channing Stribling slashed down one of the pullers, but he did so three yards downfield so the back just ran outside of that for a huge gain:

There are other issues on that play; even if those don't occur this still goes for the same yardage because M lost leverage.

Peppers set the edge much better, but sometimes other issues cropped up and Michigan gave up chunks. Here Gary gets sealed inside and Gedeon bites on a feint from the running back:

That's pretty clever by the RB, as the delay there gives his OL time to get outside of the LB and gives him the edge. Gedeon should probably know that McCray will clean up if the RB does hit that gap, but it's really hard not have a Pavlovian reaction to a running back threatening to cut back.

On another one McCray gambles, shooting an interior gap, and loses.

Expect to see this, except with JT Barrett carrying, in the first half. Michigan needs to get better at defending it approximately... now.

Peppers set the edge better? I thought he was overrated.

Peppers didn't rack up a ton of stats but this might have been his best game as a linebacker at Michigan. Most of those pin and pulls were fired right at his face, and he consistently forced the play back quickly. Once he was (probably) the difference between a yard and a big ol' chunk:

No replay—Indiana games are understandably short on them—but I'm pretty sure it's Peppers making that tackle with an assist from Hill and not vice-versa.

Indiana occasionally tried to test him in the zone read game, and that was dumb.

It was very, very dumb.  One point for Indiana for reminding us that Peppers is elite in this department; this season has seen opposing offense almost entirely avoid situations where the above can happen.

He did give up a slant on the Indiana touchdown drive; it was the first time he'd been targeted since UCF, I think. That more than anything else should tell you how well Hill and Thomas are doing in coverage—Peppers doesn't play it because he doesn't have to.

I seem to remember shaking my fist at Stribling for some reason?

Yeah. Stribling did get beat on Indiana's first down from the one, but I didn't totally hate it. For one, he gets some crap luck as M shifts a couple of guys just before the snap and he ends up moving forward on it. For two, his pause at the sticks is a reasonable guess as to what IU is going to do. If correct that's a monster play.

He got it wrong and I gave him the requisite minuses, but anyone who tells you he struggled is overreacting. There were a couple instances where he gave up a completion of middling yardage; some of those were Stribling not being Lewis, others were pick plays. He made up for those with a number of exemplary plays:

Of his six minuses on the day, four are from the mental error and crappy pin-and-pull edge above. When he's locked in man coverage he is a tough out. Stribling criticisms tend to be harsher than they should be because of the overall dominance of the defense and the existence of Lewis. He's one of Michigan's best corners since Leon Hall. Against the pass, anyway.

Chase Winovich: sneaky productive?

He only did one thing in this game. But it was kind of a thing. Winovich got around the corner at five yards:

When that happens the OL plays a major role. It is still his fifth sack of the year, and this is a guy who's on the field maybe a quarter of the time—if that.

You got pretty snippy about holding in the table, as is your wont. What's the deal?

Sometimes I wonder just what the hell anyone is seeing out there. Refs let this go:

They called this:

That doesn't make any sense to me.

I'm dead certain both fanbases are going to be screaming about uncalled holding after Saturday's game, and they'll both be right. From what I've seen of both teams this year the OLs frequently get away with holds I can't believe are uncalled and the DLs get tackled with nary a sniff from the refs. It's driving me nuts that whenever a holding flag does miraculously emerge the announcers sagely intone "yep, you can't do that" when blockers have been doing that and worse for the duration. All I want is some consistency.


Charlton and Glasgow were rampant. The linebacker level in general was very good.

Maybe not so heroic?

Gary had an outright bad game and both Wormley and Hurst were middling at best. Stribling fought back to even with some excellent coverages but about 40 yards of Indiana's totals were on him.

What does it mean for Oh God Saturday?

I am fairly confident Michigan's safeties will handle standard down Curtis Samuel. They've been excellent in coverage and should have the raw athleticism to keep up. When they run Samuel that's more on the DL/LBs to contain him. When they put him in the slot on standard downs it'll be the safeties.

On passing downs it'll be Lewis.

If Michigan's DL isn't ready to dominate this game they never will be. Charlton versus Prince should be a big Michigan advantage. So too true freshman Michael Jordan against Glasgow or Hurst. Michigan is more or less healthy; they're super experienced; they don't have weak spots like OSU does. OSU has a couple of top notch players; it shouldn't be enough to keep OSU from getting swarmed. If it is, Michigan loses.

They will still give up chunks on the edge. McCray will get edged; Stribling will be tested and probably come up short a few times. Michigan's not going to shut this run game down, especially with JT Barrett getting 20 carries.

Michigan owns passing downs. Barrett will be under duress; Peppers will be lurking as a delayed blitzer/spy to clean up, and OSU's best shot is getting a third WR who has done zero this year on Watson or Lavert Hill.

I don't know what Brown has up his sleeve. This has been a heavy man, cover one defense of late, and that's the same thing OSU ripped to shreds a year ago. I have to believe Brown will come in with a plan and a backup plan, but Urban Meyer is no slouch either. The tactical matchup will swing like a pendulum, and I expect Michigan to eat an RPS –3 play or two that hits at the chinks in their armor.

I also expect this to be Michigan's best defensive performance against OSU in a long time.



November 23rd, 2016 at 2:34 PM ^

was respectable with less than 400 yards of total offense and 26 points given up (only 2 FGs in the second half).  That's probably the best in the last ten years, including the 2006 game, so yeah, not great Bob.

I think we need to be better than that Saturday.  300ish yards of offense and 20ish points will give us a great chance.  Would need to be even better than that if the offense is truly a disaster, which I don't think it will be.  We'll have something well planned.

I Like Burgers

November 23rd, 2016 at 1:39 PM ^

This defense hasn't looked like the top defense in the country for a few weeks now.  Still top 5'ish, but not the best.  That's clearly Alabama.  With the way bad offenses have been able to move the ball on them (albeit sporadically), they've got their work cut out for them on Saturday.  Ohio State the is best offense they have faced since Colorado, and Colorado was punching Michigan's defense squarely in the face until Sefo got hurt.


November 23rd, 2016 at 2:17 PM ^

Colorado was punching Michigan's defense squarely in the face until Sefo got hurt.

They moved the ball on us for a quarter and then we settled in.  Here's the defensive UFR from that game.  After the missed FG with 13:00 left in the second quarter, they didn't do much the rest of the game, aside from a single huge play (the 70-yard bomb) in the third.  Prior to the bomb, we had forced them into four consecutive punts, and we forced another in the subsequent possession, at which point he left the game.



November 23rd, 2016 at 2:24 PM ^

Agreed. The first quarter was just plain bad quarter, and 7 of Colorado's points came on that fumble return as it was. I was comfortable with Michigan's defensive play even before the Sefo (please don't make me spell his last name) injury.

And Montez played well for Colorado in Sefo's absence, he wasn't a scrub out there taking snaps. He won games this year.

Michigan was missing two of its best defensive players and was also down an important depth backup, too.

Not to say that I think the D is perfect, but the Colorado game is not the one that worries me.

I Like Burgers

November 23rd, 2016 at 2:57 PM ^

I know Michigan settled in, but that also largely happened after Liufau got banged up.  He played for a while hurt, and was then eventually knocked out from the game and that was all she wrote for CU's offense.

And either way you slice it, that was the best offense Michigan has faced and they took it to the Wolverine's defense pretty good early on.  Michigan doesn't have the offense these days to come back from a 21-point hole (I'm aware one of those TDs was a defensive one) early on while their defense settles in and figures things out.


November 23rd, 2016 at 3:02 PM ^

We should also keep in mind that 1) that was only our third game with Brown as DC and 2) Lewis and Charlton didn't play.  I don't know how much we should draw from that performance (which was pretty solid after the first quarter anyway).

Incidentally, I'd say PSU is the best offense we've faced.  



Goggles Paisano

November 23rd, 2016 at 1:40 PM ^

Keep Samuel in check and we have a great shot.  I know it is tough to get a clean shot on Barrett, but we need to punish him and keep on punishing him all game long.  Let it all hang out for this one boys.  

Shop Smart Sho…

November 23rd, 2016 at 1:46 PM ^

I'm still amazed that IU couldn't get a better LT than a kid from the smallest division of Indiana high school football.  Not only that, but they have to start him as a freshman.  

I remember the board wondering how good Indiana high school ball was when Chris Evans was recruited.  Now you can see the difference between 6A (Evans high schoool), and 1A (Cronk's high school).


November 23rd, 2016 at 1:49 PM ^

I can see scenarios where OSU drops another 42 on Michigan.  I can also see scenarios were Michigan goose-eggs OSU.  Because if Meyer gets the matchup he wants, like Samuels vs. McCray at the edge, it's going for yards.  If Brown wins, OSU's going backwards.

This is going to be a ludicrously high-variance game.  If I was a betting man, I'd put money on. . . hard liquor.


November 23rd, 2016 at 2:32 PM ^

Of all the scenarios in the huge gamut of outcomes, I think a back-and-forth battle might be the least probable.

I'm now a big Doc Brown fan but he's occasionally too clever by half, tries to force the pressure issue and can get RPSed with no easy way to adjust at halftime.  His stuff will either destroy Meyer or not work at all.

So it's either going to be a long afternoon of throwing stuff at the screen or cackling with glee, depending on which side is better prepared.


November 23rd, 2016 at 2:44 PM ^

because I think there's going to punches and counter punches going on all game between UM's defense and OSU's offense.  Neither of the coaches wait until halftime to make adjustments - they are both very good at in game adjustments.  I'm figuring there are going to be a decent amount of in game adjustments taking place.

Durham Blue

November 23rd, 2016 at 2:01 PM ^

This UFR makes me excited to see what Taco and Glasgow will do on Saturday.  I envision Barrett under big pressure and running for his life 7 or 8 times during the game.  Hopefully he makes the wrong decision a few times and launches the ball into coverage.