Upon Further Review 2016: Defense vs Iowa Comment Count

Brian November 18th, 2016 at 12:13 PM


SPONSOR NOTES: Here is an article about a rate hike "relatively soon," and it's not from Macedonian teenagers. Those Macedonians teens, always with their incorrect news hijinks and saying WHAT ARE THOOOSE in Macedonian. Anyway, now is a good time to get a loan, and later will be a less good time.

In addition to being a gentleman replete with Michigan tickets, Matt is also a good man to know if you need a mortgage. It's striking that we actually get non-astroturfed comments about positive experiences with Matt not infrequently.

If you're buying a home or refinancing, he's the right guy to call.

FORMATION NOTES: Michigan may have had two "deep" safeties, but they were not very deep. This was MSU-level #disrespekt for Iowa's ability to punish Michigan over the top, and this was a relatively conservative safety deployment for M in this game.

tight safeties

One guy would generally bail while the other shot into the line of scrimmage. Michigan also used its safeties as SAM linebackers with some regularity. Here Peppers is over the slot and Thomas is tight to the LOS to the bottom of the shot:

4-3 even

Also sometimes I hate directors. This is a presnap shot on third and six.

are you fucking kdding me

There is more than the usual sprinkling of ??? in this chart because of things like this.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Massively reduced rotation. Save an injured Delano Hill the back seven got literally every snap, of which there were 68. Taco Charlton did not leave the field; Wormley only rested on four snaps; Glasgow got 50. Hurst and Godin split snaps about down the middle again; Hurst had a slight edge with 30 to Godin's 24.

Kinnel got 23 snaps as Hill's replacement. Spare parts included Mone(15 snaps), Gary (9), Winovich (3), Lavert Hill(6), and Brandon Watson(3).

[After THE JUMP: [very Kirk voice] WAAAAAAAADLEY]

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O23 1 10 Offset I 4-2-5 4-4 over Press one high Run N/A Lead zone Glasgow 8
Odd start, as Hill lines up in the box and then bails deep, with Thomas coming up to add the extra guy back. Iowa split their TE out an extra yard or two and it looks like M spread their line in return, so there are some gaps; Glasgow(-2) overpenetrates and gets shoved way upfield out of the hole; lead blockers for both LBs at the LOS; LBs both get off blocks to tackle but there’s a lot of momentum downfield with Thomas(-0.5) unable to do much more than catch the back. Godin(-0.5) the other DT and was unable to have any impact or shut the hole down.
O31 2 2 I-Form twins 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press two high Run N/A Counter pitch McCray 8
Fake FB dive to pitch with the LG pulling outside the LT as a lead blocker. Looks like Charlton and McCray(-2) are exchanging, which successfully gets the LT blocking nobody, but McCray doesn’t immediately book upfield as the force player and gets edged. Stribling does a reasonable job to fall off once his WR cracks and force it back, whereupon McCray is able to recover and tackle.
O39 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Pass 4 Slant Stribling 9
Stribling(-1, cover -1) beat; he can’t impact the WR on the catch but does immediately tackle.
O48 2 1 Ace 4-2-5 4-4 even SAM Half press one high Run N/A Inside zone Glasgow 2
Both LBs fire forward on this and threaten to split gaps, which causes doubles on both DTs to get aborted. Initial hits on both were sufficient to get just enough motion on the DTs for Wadley to pick his way for a couple yards and the first down. McCray(+1) hit his gap with authority and almost came around the edge to end this in the backfield; wish Gedeon(-0.5) did the same. DTs get pushes.
50 1 10 I-Form twins 4-2-5 4-3 even Off one high Pass 5 Post corner Hill Inc
Safety swap with Thomas in a SAM-ish spot and Stribling overhanging. Pass; good pocket(pressure -2) since Iowa went max pro. This is basically a one man route with the other WR running a bubble with no blocker. WR runs what looks like a slant and then breaks vertically, drifting outside until he gets to the numbers. This is very open for obscure reasons. Could be Lewis needed to bail, could be Peppers needed to track that guy; could be Hill not getting over fast enough. I think it’s the latter. Hill -2, cover -2. Beathard throws it a tiny bit off and the ball goes through the WR’s hands.
50 2 10 Ace trips tight bunch 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Half press one high Run N/A Crack sweep Lewis -1
TE attempts to crack down on Wormley(+2). This goes about as well as the old dude rushing the field did. Wormley crumples that guy and flows. Godin(+1) got quick penetration and cut off a puller. Lewis(+1) flies upfield and forces it back at the hash, which is real good work. Gedeon(+1) takes an excellent path and makes contact well in the backfield, tackling with help from Wormley.
M49 3 11 Shotgun trips 3-2-6 3-3 stack Press one high Pass 5 Scramble McCray 3
Both LBs sent; picked up but McCray(+1, pressure +1) is able to get around his blocker quickly enough to spook Beathard and force him to move up in the pocket. M left Peppers(+1, tackling +1) back to cover the RB and he comes up once he sees RB set up to block; he reads the movement and tracks the QB down, shoving him OOB after a minor gain.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 11 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O35 1 10 Ace H 4-2-5 4-4 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Trap McCray 0
Glasgow(+1) let go; FB attempts to trap him. Glasgow throws him to the ground and gets to the gap; McCray(+1) beats him there as he fires hard on the snap to ruin his blocker’s angle and hits Daniels; Daniels spins off. Glasgow there to help stop the RB, with Thomas(+0.5) filling unblocked to create a zero yard gain.
O35 2 10 Ace twin TE 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Pass 5 FB circle Hill Inc
Glasgow(+1) swims through a double up the middle; Charlton(+1, pressure +2) avoids a cut and is coming from behind. Beathard has to dump it and does; Hill(+2, cover +2) has a pretty easy job mirroring a fullback on a double move and does so for a PBU.
O35 3 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 5 Tunnel screen Lewis 1
Timing isn’t quite right for Iowa so Lewis(+2, cover +1) can avoid a cut block and get to the WR to tackle from behind; even if this does not happen M recognizes this much better this week and Glasgow(+1) is running to crush this play anyway.
Drive Notes: Not Quite Punt, 0-0, 7 min 1st Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Ace twin TE 4-2-5 4-4 over Press one high Run N/A Jet sweep Wormley -1
Worst playcall of the night from Iowa as they do their super predictable Wadley jet sweep and Wormley(+2) eats it in the backfield. RPS +2.
O24 2 11 Ace trips tight bunch 4-2-5 4-4 over Press one high Run N/A Lead zone Hurst 0
M send a blitz backside and Hurst(+1) gets over the top of an OL trying to zone him. Iowa FB does a great job to recognize and pick Gedeon up but since Hurst wins there’s no gap. Mone(+0.5) spun back to the play to help tackle; Thomas(+0.5) ran up to blunt the back’s momentum.
O25 3 10 Shotgun trips 3-2-6 Okie Press one high Pass 6 Fade Watson Inc
This ball is a prayer in the direction of a WR as Beathard gets crushed and almost a heroic back shoulder throw on a guy that Watson is in reasonable coverage on. Beathard can’t make it work. Winovich(+1) and Wormley(+1, pressure +2) were both coming through to force this throw.
Drive Notes: Punt, 3–0, 2 min 1st Q. M has the back to back running into the kicker penalties, the second totally bogus, to give Iowa another drive.
O35 1 10 Ace 4-2-5 4-4 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Pin and pull Gedeon 7
The first Wadley spin cycle run. This looks like Gedeon’s issue but it’s also Charlton(-1), who is effectively blocked by the TE to give Wadley the space to spin past Gedeon(-1), who dodged a cut block ably. Gedeon ends up overrunning and getting spin through(tackling -1) as well. Peppers(+0.5) cleans up from behind.
O42 2 3 Ace H 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press two high Run N/A Trap Hurst 1
They try to trap Mone(+0.5) and may have but he pushes the FB enough that the back avoids the intended hole. Hurst(+1) reads this and gets off a block to hit the back at the LOS.
O43 3 2 I-Form Big 4-2-5 4-5 even Press one high Run N/A Iso Mone 3
Mone(-0.5) effectively doubled and McCray(-0.5) eats a block, going backwards, so there’s enough of a gap for the RB to hit for the first down. Charlton(-0.5) similarly unable to make a play. Wormley(+1) dove inside and grabbed the back at the LOS so if there’s support here it’s a stop.
O46 1 10 I-Form twins 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press two high Run N/A Lead zone Peppers 22
Glasgow is firing hard playside to cut off the front gaps like this is a goal-line play, and I guess he does that. FB does a good job to cut behind this into Gedeon and stand him up. Too quick for Gedeon to do much. Godin(-1) effectively single blocked and this creates the crease. Peppers(-3, tackling -3) is help for Gedeon and takes a conservative tack, getting cut behind. It’s one thing if he misses a tackle and slows the guy and he picks up 7; instead he airballs and Wadley gets a chunk.
M32 1 10 I-Form 4-2-5 4-4 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Glasgow 3
Wormley moves to DT here with Gary at SDE. Glasgow(+0.5) and Wormley(+0.5) both win blocks and force a cutback that is moderately successful as Thomas is less aggressive than he could be.
M29 2 7 Ace twin TE 4-2-5 4-4 over Half press one high Run N/A Inside zone Gary 3
Jet sweep lookin’ formation and the fake duly comes. Gary(+1) is supposed to get fooled by this and does not; cutback comes as the rest of the D plugs the middle and Gary tackles; RB falls forward.
M26 3 4 Shotgun trips tight bunch 3-2-6 3-2 dime Half press two high Pass 5 Sack McCray -2
McCray(+2, pressure +3) times his blitz excellently and gives the LG a near impossible task; he drives to the QB and forces him up in the pocket, whereupon Charlton(+1) fights back underneath to finish the job. RPS +1.
Drive Notes: Missed FG(45), 3-0, 13 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O20 1 10 Ace twins H 4-2-5 4-4 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Lead zone Glasgow 16
M creased up the middle. Glasgow(-2) blown out big time. Disappointing. Wormley ends up on his knees but that’s not his fault; Gedeon(-1) blitzed behind him and was too close, tripping his own man. Thomas(-1, tackling -1) tries to fill and gets run over. Hill(-1, tackling -1) gets run over. Gah.
O36 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Pass 4 PA slant Stribling Inc
Handfighting on the slant, which is again basically the only route. WR is trying to push off and Stribling is grabbing the arm he’s trying to push off with. Stribling(+2, cover +2) ends up in great position and PBUs.
O36 2 10 Ace 3-wide 3-2-6 3-3 stack Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Charlton 8
Glasgow(+1) slants away and gets under the RG he ends up diving at the back in the backfield and cannot make the tackle but if he gets any help he might. No help, though. Not entirely sure what assignments are but I think both Charlton(-2) and McCray(-2) mess up assignments. Charlton keeps contain instead of slanting along with Glasgow; it looks like M is using Peppers, who was two yards behind the LB level, as the guy who cleans up on the edge after a forced bounce. McCray meanwhile steps the wrong way on the snap and gets blocked on the second level; Gedeon had the same thing happen but if McCray hits this right his guy should be waving at him as he passes by. Gary(+1) almost makes a spectacular play after running over the backside tackle, but cannot.
O44 3 2 I-Form Big twin TE 4-2-5 4-5 over SAM Press zero Run N/A Power O Gary 0
Hill(+1) on the edge; he gets under the FB’s kickout block and shoves him backwards, getting upfield and containing; this constricts space. Gary(+3) makes a ridiculous play to throw away a tight end and then change direction in a flash to get out on this and tackle for zilch. Gedeon and Lewis there to probably stop this if Gary doesn’t kill it before they arrive.
Drive Notes: Punt, 10-0, 7 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O31 1 10 I-Form 4-2-5 4-3 over Press two high Pass 5 PA RB seam Thomas Inc
Comfortable pocket; Hill threatens a little bit late but not really. (Pressure -2.) More Wadley as Iowa tries to clear out the CBs to one side and then hit him over the top out of the backfield. Throw is way long and Thomas(+1, cover +1) is step for step. Would have had to been in a tiny window to work.
O31 2 10 I-Form 4-2-5 4-4 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Split zone Hurst 2
Refs(-1) miss a WR false start. M also moves early but not across the line; they recover. Wormley(+1) and Hurst(+1) both beat blocks to show up in the backfield and force a cutback. Charlton(+0.5) dodged a force block and Glasgow(+0.5) stood up to a double so those guys can converge.
O33 3 8 Shotgun trips 3-2-6 3-3 stack Press one high Pass 5 Throwaway Gedeon Inc
Pocket gets real tight real fast as Charlton(+0.5), Wormley(+0.5), and Gedeon(+1) drive the pocket, with Gedeon’s shove on the RB bumping Beathard and convincing him to roll out. Peppers(+1, pressure +2) is containing; he’s out in a flash to hit Beathard on the throw. Throw flutters to the turf. Coverage(+1) good for a beat at the start.
Drive Notes: Punt, 10-2, 5 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O48 1 10 I-Form twins 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press two high Run N/A Lead zone Charlton 0
Exchange from Charlton(+2) and McCray(+0.5) gets Taco in the gap just after the FB passes; Taco blasts the OL back and jams up the middle. McCray and Wormley(+0.5) there to clean up. Mone(+1) also slanted way into the backfield to prevent frontside options from working. RPS +1.
O48 2 10 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 Nickel even Press two high Pass 5 Angle McCray 28
McCray(-3, cover -3) in space against Wadley and while that projects to go badly, Wormley(+1) chips the back specifically to help his buddy out and McCray still gets beat so badly he can’t even attempt a tackle. Pressure -1; relatively comfortable on a quick throw.
M24 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Pass 4 Screen Gedeon 7 + 8 Pen
Wormley(+1) gets out on this and forces it back inside at the numbers, which allows Gedeon(-2, tackling -2) a free run; his tackle attempt at the LOS is spun through. Peppers(+0.5) dodged a block and is next;Wadley spins through that tackle again but Peppers holds on. Spin still gave up some YAC. Mone(-2) gets a PF afterwards.
M9 1 G Ace H twins 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Trap Hurst 1
Hurst(+1) and Wormley(+1) both rip through their blockers. Hurst is close to a big play but ends up falling so he can’t tackle in the backfield; he still forced a bounce from the RB. Glasgow(+1) was being trapped; he runs over the FB. Wormley and Glasgow combine to tackle with some help from Gedeon.
M8 2 G Shotgun trips 3-2-6 3-3 stack Press one high Pass 4 Rollout out Lewis 5
America’s rollout out; ball arrives just ahead of Lewis(+1, cover +1), who blasts an airborne WR and punches at the ball; WR manages to hold on because that’s just how this game went.
M3 3 G Shotgun 3-wide 3-2-6 3-3 stack Press one high Pass 5 Fade Stribling Inc
Stribling(+2, cover +2) never lets his guy get off the LOS, his jam is so comprehensive. Beathard just airmails it. Check Glasgow(+1) grabbing Wadley, as well.
M3 4 G Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Okie Press zero Pass 5 Dumpoff McCray 3
Three problems on the TD. McCray(-1, cover -1) does not immediately bail for the back. Hurst(-1, cover -1) does not whack, hit, grab, or otherwise impede him like Glasgow and Wormley have done before. And McCray gets held(refs -2) as he tries to disengage.
M3 2PT 2PT Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 under Press zero Pass 5 Slant N/A Inc
M goes straight man against a bunch and gets Thomas picked off(cover -2, RPS -2); not OPI and nothing Thomas can do. Guy is wide open and just drops it. Possible there’s a bust here and someone is supposed to be in a zone here but it doesn’t look like it.
Drive Notes: Touchdown(misssed 2PT), 10-8, 1 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
M43 1 10 Ace 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press two high Run N/A Reverse McCray 8
This should get little or nothing as Wormley(+1) appropriately bails and goes to the edge at all costs, giving ground to do so. He cuts the WR off and forces him to slow up; he forces it back; McCray(-2) overruns the play. Thomas(-1) does little better.
M35 2 2 Ace 4-2-5 4-4 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Godin 0
Godin(+1) fires his guy in the backfield; Wormley(+1) does something similar with a partial double. Gedeon(+0.5) scrapes to the gap outside and back just runs up the back of his blockers for nothing.
M35 3 2 I-Form Big 4-2-5 4-4 over Press one high Run N/A Lead zone Godin 1
M late getting lined up but still gets this, with Godin(+2) getting across the face of a G who has a great angle to block him and getting to the gap up the gut. He manages to tackle from his knees. McCray(+1) picked his way to the fullback and hits him back into the RB to help.
M34 4 1 I-Form Big 4-2-5 Goal line Press zero Run N/A QB sneak N/A 2
M loads up the center and would have this stoned but Beathard reads that and manages to sneak outside the pinched DL and over Hill for the first down, with the fullback basically tackling him forward across the line to gain.
M32 1 10 I-Form twins 4-2-5 4-3 under Off one high Run N/A Counter zone Stribling 12
Looks like split zone but the handoff is to the nominal backside of the play and this is a designed cutback all the way. M’s safety swap backfires as Stribling is in an overhang position and is unblocked. Stribling(-2, tackling -2) sits there as the play develops and gets easily juked; an actual safety likely runs up at this and hits it near the LOS. Peppers peels back to tackle and barely gets the guy down. Stribling’s backing out well after this is obviously a run against a team that is avoiding passes at all costs; really frustrating.
M20 1 10 I-Form 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press two high Run N/A Split zone Glasgow 12
Glasgow(-2) does not make good on the playcall, which has both LBs shooting backside and M slanting hard to the play. He drives and then stops; Gedeon’s got an OL blocking air and is in the gap that Glasgow’s stop apparently checks; this whole D is built on forcing the back into the LB heavy backside. Instead Wadley through to no second level; Thomas(-1, tackling -1) whiffs to hold it down short of the sticks.
M8 1 G Ace trips tight bunch 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Run N/A Iso Gedeon 4
Glasgow(-1) blown out by a double and manages to recover somewhat but there’s a gap directly up the gut. Godin(-1) controlled by a single block and irrelevant. Absence of Hurst questionable. Gedeon(+2) hammers the FB lead block and gets off it to get an authoritative tackle that prevents a TD.
M4 2 G Ace trips tight bunch 4-2-5 4-5 over SAM Press zero Pass N/A Waggle sack Hill -3
Exemplary coverage(+3) as Thomas, Lewis, and Peppers(+1 each) all blanket their guys despite this being the first pass of the drive. Hill(+1, tackling +1) is free and gets edge pressure, sacking the QB as he tries to take off for what he can get.
M7 3 G Ace trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Off two high Pass 4 Throwaway Glasgow Inc
Glasgow(+1) dismisses a guy and presses up the middle; Hurst(+1) stunts around and gets pressure from the edge. Beathard bugs out. McCray(+0.5) there to contain; Beathard turfs a ball in the general direction of an escaping RB. Pressure +2.
Drive Notes: FG(24), 10-11, 10 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O15 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 Nickel even Off two high Run N/A Outside zone Thomas 1
Not even a hint of a zone read so M is free to collapse on the back. Charlton(+1) drives his guy inside and induces a cutback to Thomas(+1), who dives at Wadley and gets a tackle(+1). Wadley is able to dive forward for a couple.
O16 2 9 Ace 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Hurst 3
Hurst(+1) flows down the line and tackles; Mone(+1) took on a double and won it; McCray was sitting in the playside hole to induce a cutback.
O19 3 6 Shotgun trips 3-2-6 Okie ??? Pass 4 Sack Winovich -6
Excellent coverage(+3) as Lewis, Stribling, and Gedeon(+1 each) all blanket routes. Beathard bugs out but Winovich(+2, pressure +1) is around the corner and sacks just after he decides to leave the pocket.
Drive Notes: Punt, 10-11, 6 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O20 1 10 I-Form twins 4-2-5 30 nickel slide ??? Run N/A Outside zone Wormley 4
Iowa sees this wide three man line and checks to a stretch. Wormley(+1) drives his man back and then fights back inside to cut off most of the available space. Gedeon(+1) hit and coped with a free releasing G, getting off of that guy to tackle. RPS -1; this was two good plays to hold something down to four yards.
O24 2 6 I-Form twins 4-2-5 4-3 under Press one high Run N/A Edge pitch Charlton 5
M trying to get tricky and it doesn’t go well for them. Kinnel takes a step or two to the LOS and then bails for a deep zone; prior to this he was in perfect position to handle an outside pitch. Lewis(+1) comes up to force it in at the hash again but Charlton(-2) bit very hard on the interior motion and can’t get out to the POA despite the excellent contain. Mone(+0.5) does an impressive job to clean up after a few yards; his tackle is almost run through, giving up a chunk of YAC. RPS -1.
O29 3 1 I-Form Big 4-2-5 4-4 under Press one high Run N/A QB sneak N/A 2
This is third and inches; M just about stacks this up. It looks like Beathard does get it just over the line. He gets a spot that’s a half-yard generous.
O31 1 10 Ace H 4-2-5 4-3 over ??? Run N/A Trap Godin 8
No idea how this happens but Peppers is at ILB and McCray over the slot. Iowa traps and gets a big hole up the middle as Godin(-2) thinks it’s IZ and is fighting to not get creased in the wrong direction. Mone(-1) stood up by the fullback. Peppers(-1) eats a block, as he tends to when stuck out of position. Gedeon(+2) in a brutally difficult spot; he throws away his blocker and tackles with some help from Thomas. RPS -1.
O39 2 2 I-Form twins 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM ??? Run N/A Split zone Godin 6
M has a run blitz on that sends Mone and Charlton outside as Gedeon tries to fill. Godin(-1) and Mone(-1) handled one on one; crease directly up the gut. Gedeon(-1) can’t do anything with the OL this time and gives ground; Stribling(+1, tackling +1), who lined up at six yards, is able to cut Wadley down before he hits the open field.
O45 1 10 I-Form twins 4-2-5 4-3 over Press two high Run N/A Iso McCray 1
Michigan has just about had it with the backup DTs and puts Glasgow and Hurst in. They aren’t relevant to this play. McCray(+1) blitzes, stands up an OL, and sheds him to the hole. Kinnel(+1) is inserting into the box and comes down hard, thunking Wadley at the LOS. Gedeon(+1) ran right through the FB; those three guys meet at the back.
O46 2 9 I-Form twins 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press two high Pass 4 PA sack Wormley -12
Stribling(+1, cover +1) mirrors an attempted double move; this is literally their only route. Beathard hesistates and Wormley(+3, pressure +2) goes from run D mode to pass rush in a flash, surging directly up the center of the line faster than I thought he could move. He is in the process of sacking Beathard when Beathard chucks it at nobody, drawing a grounding flag.
O34 3 21 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Press two high Run N/A Shovel delay Hurst 6
A give up and punt; McCray(+1) reads it and gets over the top of his intended blocker, forcing a cutback. Hurst(+2) is agile enough to turn around and tackle once that cut is made. This only saves a few yards, probably, but with Wadley in space I am very happy to see a tackle from behind.
Drive Notes: Punt, 10-11, EO3Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O22 1 10 I-Form twins 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press two high Run N/A Counter zone Peppers 5
Looks like IZ, supposed to go to the backside, where Peppers takes on a lead block from the fullback. Peppers(-1) hesitates and takes the block, getting edged. Kinnel was coming up unblocked to tackle near the LOS if Peppers can keep it contained. He does get off that block and force Wadley out after five yards, so not the worst.
O27 2 5 I-Form twins 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Pass 4 PA slant McCray Inc
PA suckers the entire Michigan front; not really sure who is supposed to be dropping back here but I think it’s got to be the ILBs. WR wide open (cover -2), though Stribling can tackle on the catch. There is no catch, as the ball is a bit high and clangs off the fingers of the WR. Gedeon and McCray(-1 each) never read pass and both are stuck at the LOS when the ball is thrown.
O27 3 5 Shotgun 3-wide 3-2-6 Okie Press one high Pass 4 Throwaway Charlton Inc
Charlton(+3, pressure +3) around the corner in a flash and hits just after a throw that’s probably an intentional throwaway since Stribling(+1, cover +1) was in excellent position on a fly route.
Drive Notes: Punt, 13-11, 8 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 I-Form twins 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Edge pitch McCray 5
This is the third time M has seen this and McCray(-1) is still late to read this. Charlton(+1) drives his man back and forces the lead blocker to bend around so it’s really just who can run faster to the sideline. Wadley can.
O30 2 5 I-Form twins 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Counter zone Stribling 4
Thomas lined up at SAM here and gets the same play they just ran on the last drive. He contains. He gets blown out a bit, but he contains. Stribling(-1, tackling -1) is not hitting this gap hard, or at all, and it’s fortunate that Hurst(+1) has fought off a double and gets to this to prevent Wadley from making a move.
O34 3 1 Goal line 4-2-5 4-5 over SAM Off zero Run N/A QB sneak N/A 2
Another nearly jammed play and a generous spot.
O36 1 10 Offset I Big 4-2-5 4-4 over Press zero Run N/A Crack sweep Charlton 10
Charlton(-2) and McCray(-2) both fire upfield on the snap with no awareness this is very much a sweep setup despite M running this all the time. Lewis(+1) falls off and picks off a lead blocker to force it back early but there’s no support so that’s for naught. Gedeon held and ripped back inside(refs -2); Thomas(+1) does a good job to take on a blocker and force the ball OOB.
O46 1 10 I-Form 4-2-5 4-4 even SAM Press one high Pass 5 Fly Charlton INT
Charlton(+2, pressure +2) slants inside, running over a tight end and coming directly up the pocket. He hits Beathard on the throw, which leaves the ball short; Stribling(+2, cover +2) comes over to pick it off.
Drive Notes: Interception, 13-11, 2 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
M36 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Pass 4 Screen Peppers 10
I have no idea what Peppers(-2, cover -2) thinks he’s doing; he starts bailing to the center of the field when he’s got nobody outside of him and two eligible receivers lined up to his side. TE goes in, he bugs out, and Akrum f-ing Wadley is wide open. The entire Iowa offense. Worst part is that the OL was way late getting out and Peppers would have had an opportunity to blast Wadley on the catch.
M26 1 10 I-Form twins 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press two high Run N/A Split zone Hurst 2
Hurst(+1) jets through the line so fast I don’t even know if the C can help the LG. He can’t tackle but does delay Wadley; Glasgow(+1) dismisses an OL and flows down the line to tackle with help from Thomas(+0.5), who took advantage of the induced delay.
M24 2 8 Ace 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Charlton 0
Michigan secondary deeply confused here all because Iowa lines up three wide. Doesn’t matter as it’s a run; Charlton(+2)dives inside and takes on a brief double; he drives the OL back and opens up a window for Gedeon(+1), who is relocating as M blitzes McCray and shows up in the hole unblocked. RPS +1.
M24 3 8 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Run N/A QB draw N/A 8
How on earth you don’t go zero here and blitz every gap is a total mystery. They have no passing yards and this is currently a 40 yard field goal. Every yard is precious. M goes full on pass rush here and gets split up the middle; Beathard is easily down a yard short but the refs(-3) rob Michigan of a chance to respond. RPS -2.
Drive Notes: FG(33), 13-14, EOG.

How on earth did they win this game?

Mostly because of Michigan's offense.

Yeah, but they did acquire 12 points.

You are disappointed by this defensive output?

I mean... kind of?

That's absurd, but it is true that Michigan's defense could have done a hair better and won this game.

So not absurd.

If we're assigning blame for this loss about 2% goes on the defense, so yes, absurd. But there are more minuses on this chart than there have been in recent weeks, as Iowa did something no Michigan opponent has been able to do all year: put together some drives.

[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 64 17   17 3.4 0   3.7
Glasgow 50 9 7 2 0.5 0.1   0.7
Hurst 30 10 1 9 3.4 0.1   3.6
Charlton 68 12 7.5 4.5 0.1 0.8   1.2
Gary 9 5   5 0 -0.1   -0.1
Mone 15 2.5 4.5 -2 0 -0.1   -1.1 -1 from PFF for a late hit.
Godin 24 4 5.5 -1.5 0.2 -0.2   0
Winovich 3 3 3 0 0.7   0.8 Got a sack in three snaps.
TOTAL   62.5 25.5 37         Still a significant win but many more negatives than usual
LB UFR grade PFF grade  
Player Snaps + - TOT Run Rush Covr Ovr Notes
Peppers 68 4 6 -2 -2.3 0.4 0.5 -1.3 I am disappoint, more later.
McCray 68 8.5 14.5 -6 1.2 0.4 -0.7 0.9 Don't get that run grade.
Gedeon 68 10.5 6.5 4 -1.9 -0.6 0.2 -2.2 Same.
TOTAL   23 27 -4         Edge and RB coverage.
DB UFR grade PFF grade  
Player Snaps + - Run Rush Cvr Ovr Notes
Lewis 68 8 8 0.9   1.0 1.9 Avoided; never let anyone open, good against run.
Stribling 68 10 4 6  -0.1 1.5 1.5 Great in coverage, and repeatedly tested one on one.
D. Hill 45 4 3 1 -0.1 0.4 1.2 1.6
Thomas 68 5.5 3.5 2 0.8 0.3 1.2
Watson 3   2 0   -0.5 -0.5
Kinnel 23 1 1 0.9   0.1 1.0 Thundered into the box on one notable play.
L. Hill 6         0.1 0.1
TOTAL   28.5 10.5 18          
Pressure   17 5 +12 Hammering.
Coverage   22 14 +8 Again, big dichotomy between LB and DB coverage.
Tackling   4 12 -8 Waaaaadley.
RPS   4 7 -3 Don't get the approach on the last play.

That's a win for the defense against almost everything.

You will not lose many games when the opposition has 66 passing yards. 66 yards is impressive enough. 21 of those came on three screens. The remaining completions are a 9-yard slant against Stribling, one instance of America's Rollout Out on which Lewis hammered the WR on the catch, and the angle route and dumpoff TD to Wadley.

Iowa missed two opportunities to hit open receivers, one for about 20 yards on their opening drive, one for about 15 on a play action slant. That and the slant were literally the only open receivers—as opposed to running backs—Iowa had all day. This was a comprehensive domination by the pass rush and the secondary. More or less every pass was a variant of this one:

Beathard throws because he's about to be destroyed and Michigan gets a PBU.

Check the coverage on this Winovich sack. Stribling disrupts his guy's route so badly that it no longer exists; Gedeon drops into the TE crossing route Greg Davis loves so and erases that; Thomas in good position on a deeper crossing route that is reaching an area of heavy LB zones:

This was almost every play. If this game goes a bit differently and Iowa is forced to start throwing the ball because they're down two or three scores, the floodgates open. Alas.

In an effort to get any sort of pass off, Iowa had a bunch of plays on which they went max protection and left one of their WRs at the LOS. This was an effort to isolate Stribling and win one on one. That worked once. It did not work again.

It really, really did not work most of the time.

In addition to not having anyone open, any dropback was a gamble that Beathard would make a good decision with someone bearing down on his ribs. Per PFF, Beathard was pressured on 50% of his dropbacks, and when he tried to go more than a few yards downfield that number was probably closer to 100% than 50. Chris Fowler saying that Michigan "has not hit Beathard as much tonight as they'd hoped to" an instant before Charlton warped around the right tackle and induced a prayer was not a Great Moment In Play By Play Announcing:

Iowa approached this game like passing was poison and they were right to do so.

Those Wadley plays were kind of important, though.

McCray versus Wadley went about like you would expect, unfortunately. Credit to Don Brown for anticipating this and directing his linemen to bash Wadley over rushing the passer. On the 28-yard gain on a nothing pass that set up the Iowa TD, Wormley suddenly aborts his rush to hit Wadley. He does so, and yet:

Woof. We are have reached "it is what it is" with Michigan's linebackers in man coverage.

Bashing Wadley out of the backfield was something Michigan tried to do most of the night:

So that touchdown is only partially on McCray. I think he needs to bail out before the OL can latch onto him, but 1) the OL holds him without a call and 2) Hurst needs to hit Wadley instead of run by him:

If Hurst disrupts Wadley, Michigan likely gets a sack and a win.



well maybe a tiny bit

but mostly no

can i tell you the thing that disappoints me


So Iowa starts their final drive with a screen to Wadley. Wadley is their offense. Wadley literally has 75% of their yards in this game. Nobody covers Wadley out of the backfield.  I can only assume this is a terribly depressing Peppers bust:

The worst bit is Iowa is super-late getting out so a Peppers that is covering Wadley blows this up on the catch, and Iowa is now in second and 12 with zero passing game.

So... yeah, that sucks.

They could run on us some.

Yeah. About half of this was Wadley getting his proper share of work because Kirk Ferentz is his best Kirk Ferentz when he coaches against Michigan. This guy is receiving fewer than half of Iowa's carries:

Good job, Kirk.

The rest of it was a hodge-podge of things. Two stood out as consistent issues. One: more edge stuff. McCray was flanked repeatedly. On this early pitchout McCray is exchanging with Charlton and hesitates to the inside:

He did this against Maryland on an even bigger gain so I guess this is some progress; the consistency with which opponents get solid gains on the outside rankles more every week. A crack sweep came with extra rankle because Michigan runs it all the damn time and yet McCray again gets cracked down on because he doesn't look at his blocker; he seems to have no idea the ball's going outside despite Iowa lining up in a formation that causes him to widen out in case there's a sweep:

Charlton is also culpable there but his edge issues have been occasional, not consistent.

The second consistent issue: Michigan's backup DTs are not nearly as good as Glasgow and Hurst. Iowa ran a number of trap plays in this game; Glasgow obliterated any fullback or tight end who dared wham him. Mone not so much:

The play after that both backup DTs got handled one on one on a six-yard split zone and Michigan yanked them from the game.

The starters were gashed! Alarms! Klaxons! And the like!

We are incredibly spoiled so things like "only two DL having monster games" feels like a problem. It is true that this was a step back for the line as a whole; it was a step back from the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers to merely excellent.

Wormley has not featured much in this column this year because he's an established player who is good but not often spectacular. I'll post a clip or two to remind folks that he's quite good and move on. This game demands something a bit more extensive, because he was rampant. Of all the Chris-Wormley-versus-tight-end events I've seen over the past few years, this is the most emphatic:

His sack saw him go from defending the run to attacking the quarterback like a much smaller person.

He's been somewhat quiet the last few games mostly because the opposition is trying to avoid testing the line in the run game and he's not the kind of guy who's going to get a ton of flashy pass rush, the above clip notwithstanding. Even on that play where it looked like he was the culprit because he went to his knees that wasn't his fault but rather Gedeon's. He crushed everything in front of him.

Glasgow had a number of bad moments—he overpenetrated on Iowa's first play and got blown out big time on a Daniels carry up the gut. Worse was a big Wadley run where it looks like Glasgow has beat his guy and will either tackle or force it back into many persons; Glasgow holds up, and that's the crease:

He absolutely has that stoned until he stops of his own volition. I dunno man. This was not a game up to his usual standards. Barely edging above zero is not great for a DL.

Charlton was in a similar boat. He was a menace whenever Iowa dropped back to pass. His ability to go from run D to all-out QB assault got Michigan a nearly-sealing interception.

On the downside, he had three separate instances where I gave him –2 because he messed up an assignment or got flanked. Still more good than bad.

Hurst did not have any problems except a lack of snaps. Hurst is the starting 3-tech, if you're going by playing time in the fourth quarter. He is the backup if we're talking about the first snap.  I am at a loss to explain why Michigan continue to split snaps down the middle with Godin, who's fine. Hurst is not fine. Hurst is killing it.

Godin had the occasional play in this vein. He was the main force on a third and short stop in the third quarter; he was also contained much more frequently and effectively than Hurst. This kind of flow down the line was common from Hurst and rare from Godin:

Michigan went with Hurst in crunch time almost exclusively and he still barely edged out Godin in snaps.

Where's Gary? Nine snaps?

Yeah, I dunno. He did something ridiculous on one of them:

I'm not going to criticize the coaching staff too much for not playing a true freshman when they've got Charlton and Wormley on the ends, especially in a slow game. Possible that I missed something that PFF and the coaches both noticed.

You seem to have a major disagreement with PFF about the linebackers.

I do. I'm not sure what they saw in Gedeon's performance that I didn't. This was the second straight week I thought Gedeon did very well after a poor game against MSU; PFF has whipsawed from "real bad" to "real good" to "bad".

Gedeon has made out much better in this new era of teams going to the edge all the damn time. His ability to read and flow through traffic almost always gets him to the spot he needs to be. There's a reason it's always McCray chasing stuff outside: opponents are trying to set it up so that he's the main edge defender. Gedeon's also capable of mansome moments on the interior. He hasn't had to take on many blocks from guys releasing free this year, but he did when the backup DTs were in and mitigated damage impressively:


He had some issues, like any linebacker does. I still think he's clearly Michigan's top ILB and tracking towards the NFL draft.

McCray's weakness on the edge has been much discussed. Despite that issue he is also turning in enough positive plays to hover at or above even, depending on the game and grading system. (Not so much in this one for me, but this is an outlier.) He brings a load; he reacts well; he is an excellent blitzer.

Here he has the beef to get through a block from the side without leaving the hole:

He can't tackle but the ability to get a hit in is the prime motivator for an unsuccessful run. He's a good player with an obvious vulnerability.  I expect Michigan will slide him to MLB next year and have Bush do all the edge stuff. For now, it's just about getting better as we go along here.

I got mad at Stribling a couple times. Yes/no?

Yeah... Stribling was still dodgy as a run defender. He's five yards from the LOS on this play and he bails out despite an OL releasing well downfield with Iowa on their fifth straight run, on first and ten, on a night where Iowa was avoiding passing at all costs. The defense is set up with Stribling as a free hitter, and then:

Whatever his key is, it is obviously blocking well before he steps back. He does contain, I guess, but this should have been a Michigan DB slashing Wadley down in the hole. It is not.

More pleasantly, Tyree Kinnel had a second straight game with an impressive play against the run. He's tasked with being the extra guy in the box on this play and beats a crackback block to help the linebackers tackle:

That's the second straight week he's had a Kovacs play.

What about that three man line stuff?

It didn't appear much because Michigan was playing a pro-style team; when it did it didn't quite work out. This was an interesting play to me because Michigan lined up Peppers as a super-deep MLB and it looks like his job is to be the force player on either side of the line. He doesn't get to execute that assignment because Charlton doesn't fight inside:

If Charlton rips inside his blocker that RB is bouncing into Peppers on the edge and that's a very good thing for Michigan. I have a visceral negative reaction to Michigan's three-man lines when I watch them live; on review it usually seems like Michigan had a good idea and they didn't execute it right.


Wormley and Hurst were dominant. Lewis and Stribling were impeccable in coverage, and Lewis added various positive plays in the run game.

Maybe not so heroic?

That Peppers bust on the Wadley screen is super depressing. McCray's inability to keep up on the edge or in the pass game was a a major factor in Iowa scoring any points. Glasgow did not have a game up to his standards.

What does it mean for Indiana and the future?

Hurst for all the snaps. I mean, not all the snaps. All the snaps he can reasonably acquire, and early ones. Better play early means fewer plays to defend and fresher legs late.

Shine is off the DL depth. The backup DEs barely played and the backup DTs both ended up in the red. Michigan does not have two starting DLs. On the other hand, I would not read much of anything into off games from Glasgow and to a lesser extent Charlton.

Tyree Kinnel is going to be just fine next year. I mean, probably. He has the look of an excellent run support safety. Coverage hasn't been tested yet but he was supposed to be a CB/S combo out of high school; if anything the Kovacs stuff was supposed to be a hole in his game. If that isn't the case Michigan shouldn't miss a beat at one of the safety spots.

McCray, edge, coverage, etc. It's a thing. No denying it now.



November 18th, 2016 at 12:25 PM ^

Well I suppose we should be grateful it took this long for McCray's difficulties with tackling and on the edge to be so throughly exposed.  Now the questions seems to be what to do about it?


November 18th, 2016 at 2:24 PM ^

Joe Bolden for, what, three years?  Hopefully, that's not the case here.  It does seem like he's making incremental progress on the edge stuff.  Probably not quickly enough for what's ahead, though.  But I mean, his one vulnerability is just about that only defensive weakness...and Stribling run support.  That's a good problem to have.


November 18th, 2016 at 4:42 PM ^

his tackling position is too upright and his eyes are aimed too high. Like on that last punt coverage, why the heck was he looking in the guys grill and taking a swipe so high? He needs to break-down and get his eye level on the hips and drive to that focus. Locking eyes with the RB means he has you juked enough to wif the tackle. McCray could be a great player, needs to work on tackling technique.


November 18th, 2016 at 12:37 PM ^

I have it on good authority that they have moved on from yelling, "WHAT ARE THOOOOSE" and are now annoying their parents with ceaseless bottle flipping. That's that game where you take a half full bottle of water and flip it in the air, attempting to get it to land right-side up. It's all the rage with the kids these days.


November 18th, 2016 at 12:42 PM ^

All three will see action this week. Bush will get more snaps in obvious passing situations. Gedeon has been a liability against the spread at times. Kinnel has earned more PT. Furbush will provide some rest.


November 18th, 2016 at 12:46 PM ^

this is a game we expected in August - D plays better than good enough to win, O doesn't - we just didn't know if it would be in EL or Iowa.  As the season played out, we didn't think it would be at either, but alas it came - and with a heavy dose of ST disasters (Brian - have another UFR in you?)

I can recall many games that had that "if not for that one play", but I can't recall one with so many, and in all phases.

I thought the D was still stout, even with missed opportunities, and put in bad spots much of the night.  Beat Indiana.


November 18th, 2016 at 12:50 PM ^

Yep, Iowa's longest scoring drive was 52 yards. Even putting 2% of this on the defense seems a bit much. Offense had a ridiculously bad game and we didn't catch a single break. I have very few concerns about the defense still at this point.


November 18th, 2016 at 12:51 PM ^

Crazy that Gary only saw 9 snaps all game. On those 9 total snaps, he made two extremely impressive plays that I can remember off the top of my head. Wormley was outstanding and I can see why him and Taco don't come off the field hardly ever anymore, but I still wish Gary could see more playing time. I'd like to see Wormley and Hurst as the DT's and Gary and Taco on the outside for a series.  


November 18th, 2016 at 2:09 PM ^

It's disappointing we lost, but I think this UFR showed that outside of Alabama, there are zero teams that wouldn't switch defenses with us in a second. We have two lockdown corners, two extremely good safeties, a dominant startin DL, a capable DL with guys who have different skill sets, and two good to okay-ish LBs. 

I'm a little down because it's pretty clear that there's only a couple of ways to move the ball on Michigan: edge runs towards McCray and Stribling, get LBs 1-on-1 with a RB, and maybe some zone run stuff that goes away from Wormley. We haven't really done anything to mitigate those plays from a scheme perspective.

But, again, they gave up 12 points and a little over 200 yards. It wasn't a world-eating performance, but it wasn't 2015 Indiana/Ohio State/Minnesota either. 


November 18th, 2016 at 2:51 PM ^

I frequently hear about someone being a "great blitzer", but never a poor blitzer.  What, other than being fast, makes someone's blitzing abilities better than a mediocre blitzer?

snarling wolverine

November 18th, 2016 at 3:20 PM ^

It's a huge nitpick but I wish Stribling could have stayed on his feet after the interception.  He had a ton of running room if he had.   If he returns that midfield, we most likely get out of there with a win.




November 18th, 2016 at 3:45 PM ^

I seem to recall hearing from The Edge of the Internet or another such place that Glasgow's playing through an injury, which might explain the subpar performance by his standards for this game. (Maybe UMbig11 or someone else can confirm?)

I'd also echo those above who'd like to see more Gary. Particularly on passing downs, I'd rather give Glasgow/Mone/Godin a breather and see Hurst and Wormley on the interior and Gary and Taco at end, with a healthy helping of Winovich as well.

But this is a minor quibble. This defense is still very, very good, and if we manage somehow to win the next two games and get to the Big Ten championship, it'll be because they give us a great chance to win any game we play, no matter how much the offense sputters.


November 18th, 2016 at 4:28 PM ^

When I watch the games live it, I have far more pessimism, so I tend to think the defense is doing worse than it is.  Thanks for doing these Brian, they help keep me sane about how the D is actually performing.

Question though, and probably stupid, but how does PFF get through so many games so quickly?  Do they hire former coaches players etc?  Is is possible that the points vary because Brian puts in more time on this specific team rather than speeding through a ton of games to get paid content out by a deadline?


November 19th, 2016 at 12:11 AM ^

Can't give it to the entire Alabama team. No individual player close to transcendent. I don't follow MLB very closely, but doesn't it occur occasionally that no one is inducted?

Or just give it to McCaffrey for last year's performance. That would puts everyone off, including McCaffrey.