Upon Further Review 2016: Defense vs Maryland Comment Count

Brian November 11th, 2016 at 1:04 PM


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FORMATION NOTES: Maryland was mostly a rote spread team; they did spend a big chunk of the day in this Rich-Rod-esque super wide formation. There are two WRs barely on-screen to the bottom, and you can see the two guys lined up outside the numbers.

double stacks wide

This was an effort to clear the box and limit the things Michigan could do; it was reasonably successful.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: 60 snaps before Maryland's final uncharted drive, and as per usual the starting secondary—including Peppers—got all 60. Gedeon missed one snap.

After that there was a lot of rotation. Mike McCray only got 36 snaps due to a minor injury and some iffy play; Devin Bush got 28 in his stead. Michigan eased off first team DL snaps: Charlton, Glasgow, Wormley, Hurst, Mone, and Godin all got between a third and a half of available snaps; Winovich was your DL leader with 40 and Rashan Gary was close behind with 36.

One item of note in the secondary: Lavert Hill got 17 snaps, more than Watson(14) and that competition appears to be on. Kinnel, Metellus, and Hudson all got around ten snaps, with Kinnel the guy getting PT during non-garbage time, insofar as that existed in this game.

[After THE JUMP: edge edge edge edge edge edge.]

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun double stacks wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Run N/A Counter Charlton -4
Charlton(+2) let go; he flows right down the line and hammers the second puller. He goes back a couple yards and cuts off the RB; RB stops, almost gets nailed by Charlton, gives a bunch of ground, and gets swallowed by McCray(+0.5) and Gedeon(+0.5)
O21 2 14 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Off one high Run N/A Inverted veer give McCray 8
McCray(-2) has the back out of the backfield as Charlton forms up on the QB. I’d rather have that flipped to force the QB to keep it, but McCray has an opportunity to cut this off in any case since he starts with a few yards of lateral field position. He takes a crappy angle and gets edged for a solid gain. Stribling(-0.5) could do more here instead of getting blocked rather meekly.
O29 3 6 Shotgun double stacks wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Pass 4 Hitch McCray 9
This could be McCray(-2, cover -2) or Stribling as both guys cover one WR on a slant route. I’m assuming that Thomas yelling at McCray rather emphatically after the conversion is evidence he was supposed to get out to this out route. FWIW, interesting approach from Gedeon as he attempts to avoid a repeat of the Scott first down vs MSU: he just shoves the back over.
O38 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Run N/A Inverted veer give McCray 2
Virtually identical to the eight yarder two plays ago. This time McCray(+1) mirrors and tackles after a modest gain.
O40 2 8 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press two high Run N/A Counter Godin 8
Godin(-1) gets moved by a single block and it’s too much space for Gedeon to shut down. I do want Gedeon(-1) to know that his help is coming from Peppers and that he should funnel to it; he takes on a block such that the back can go outside of him instead of into the unblocked guy.
O48 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press two high Run N/A Inverted veer give McCray 5
This time McCray(+1) improves yet further, mirroring the back to the boundary and almost getting in a big TFL. He misses that tackle(-1) but he’s still strung this to the sideline and just about stopped the back. Gedeon(-1) got complacent; ditto Godin(-0.5) and Charlton(-0.5). Bet Brown did some yelling about this one.
M47 2 5 Shotgun double stacks wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Penalty N/A False start N/A -5
O48 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-2-6 3-3 stack Press one high Run N/A Inverted veer keeper Gedeon -2
Run blitz eats this as M changes up versus IV. Wormley checks the back to force a pull; M runs a twist blitz that sees Gedeon(+2) jet just off of Glasgow’s butt to thump the QB in the backfield. Twist on the twist blitz: McCray goes to the other side of Glasgow to show up in the running lane if Gedeon doesn’t get this. RPS +3.
O46 3 12 Shotgun trips 3-2-6 3-2 dime Press two high Pass 5 Sack Charlton -6
Charlton(+1) gets around the edge to flush the QB; McCray(+1) tipped his blitz but managed to juke an OL and drives in the middle of the pocket. He’s held without a call(refs -2) and this allows the QB to get past him. He does not go far as Gedeon(+1) is a slightly delayed blitzer; he thumps the RB trying to pick him off and gets off the block to finish the sack. Pressure +3.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-0, 6 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-2-6 Faux 3-4 Press two high Run N/A Bash give Kinnel -5
Outside run from the back with counter motion from the QB; QB gives. One blocker versus many dudes on the edge; Thomas(+1) is acting as an OLB and gets into the lead blocker to string it out some and make the back bend around him. Kinnel(+2, tackling +1) gets on his dang horse when he sees this action and channels his inner Kovacs, making a spectacular TFL for a big loss. RPS +1.
O20 2 15 Shotgun double stacks wide 3-2-6 3-3 stack ??? Pass 5 Tunnel screen Thomas 32
Michigan gets got here as they send five of their six guys in the box and McCray(-1) is the last gent in the area. He’s got a tough job but attacks outside; WR is already leaving that zone as he catches the ball and TBH MD probably doesn’t have to block him. That’s a first down. Thomas(-2, tackling -2) adds another big chunk by overrunning it and getting cut behind. RPS -3.
M48 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Run N/A Edge pitch Peppers 4
Guard pulls here like it’s inverted veer but the back is already to that side of the field so he’s got a head start on running outside. Peppers(+0.5) comes up and contains just outside the hash. Harrison just about has room to jet past the inside pursuit from Gedeon(+0.5) but stumbles on Peppers’s blocker and goes down at five yards. RPS -1; asking Gedeon to make up this presnap lateral deficit is tough.
M44 2 6 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel under Press one high Run N/A Edge pitch N/A 16
Same thing, other side of the field. M sends McCray on a blitz and wants Gedeon to clean up behind it; his lateral deficit is huge. Once Winovich(-1) gets flanked it’s going to be a chunk. It’s a chunk. RPS -2.
M28 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Run N/A Edge pitch McCray 0
Third time is once too many; McCray(+1) bugs out for this immediately and runs it down; Hill(+1) beats a block and comes up to whack the back at the sideline to prevent YAC. McCray leaves for a bit w/ minor injury.
M28 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press two high Run N/A Bash give Stribling 3
Peppers attempts to replicate what Kinnel just did but gets a crackback block for his troubles. Peppers(+1) still keeps his feet and bashes another blocker and runs outside to contain; Stribling(-1) needs to replace once the WR dives inside and does so tardily, allowing the back outside of him. He’s fortunate to get a diving ankle tackle in.
M25 3 7 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press two high Run N/A Reverse Stribling 15
Stribling(-3, tackling -3) is in cover two and is totally unfettered on the backside of this play so when the reverse hits he has an opportunity to make a play. He just has to delay and funnel it back for fourth down; he lets the back outside of him for a chunk. Guh.
M10 1 G Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Mone 5 (Pen -5)
MD lines up wrong so this gets erased. Play is an IZ on which Hurst(+1) gets a long double that he stands up to; impingent upon others to make a play. Mone(-1) effectively single blocked; Gedeon has to check two gaps and has no reasonable way to hold this down. He does get to the back and tackle after back commits.
M15 1 G Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Half press one high Pass 5 Waggle RB flat Peppers 14
Orbit motion form a slot forces M to swap the safeties and this leads to a Peppers(-2, cover -2) bust; he’s the player to the waggle side and goes after the QB when he’s the only guy in the area who can cover this little route. Hill manages to get over and force a second down.
M1 2 G Pistol FB Big 4-2-5 Goal line Press zero Run N/A Outside zone Charlton -4
Charlton(+2) dumps the RT yards in the backfield and that’s about all she wrote. Peppers contains and the room Charlton opened up allows a cavalcade of M players to tackle. Hill(+1) and Gedeon(+1) are first to the pile.
M5 3 G Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 4-3 under Press zero Penalty N/A False start N/A -5
M threatens blitz and MD gets spooked.
M10 3 G Ace twins twin TE 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Off two high Pass 4 Sack Wormley -1
MD blows a stunt pickup with Wormley(+1, pressure +2) looping around and up the gut at the QB before he can see much of anything. He bugs out; Glasgow(+1) chases him to the sideline and out of bounds. This was supposed to be a screen but it never came off as Charlton(+1, cover +1) found the back and hit him so that his release was delayed. RPS +1.
Drive Notes: Missed FG(29), 14-0, 12 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun double stacks wide 3-2-6 3-3 stack Off two high Pass 5 Tunnel screen N/A 19
M aligns three LB types to the boundary and sends two of them; no recognition from anyone rushing that it’s a screen. McCray late reacting as he is reading the #1 WR first but I don’t know how much he can do here. He gets blocked by two guys. Kinnel(-0.5) comes up fast and makes the tackle, eventually. He lets the back squirt free and stumble for another chunk of yards. RPS -2. Hills exits after a hit from Winovich that is borderline. Refs +2.
O44 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Run N/A Edge pitch McCray 2
Again improvement from McCray(+1) on this action; Gedeon blitzes and he’s the lone backer; he reads it and flows to get to the POA with Peppers(+0.5) again forcing it back. McCray eventually misses the tackle but it took so long to do so that it’s about as good as an immediate one.
O46 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press two high Run N/A Jet sweep Peppers 3
Peppers as a high safety who activates on the WR action. WR to this side tries to crack down on him, but Lewis(+0.5) is jamming him and he can’t get to the spot. Lewis moves to crack replace and does force the WR to bend around him but can’t make contact. Peppers(+1) takes a good angle and forces him out with help from Lewis. RPS +1.
O49 3 5 Shotgun 3-wide 4-1-6 Nickel even Press one high Run N/A Power O Gedeon 2
H back motions in, Peppers comes with him; Thomas starts in a two high and creeps down presnap, showing in the box. Hurst(+0.5) gets some penetration but it doesn’t end up material to the play as the guy he bumps can still get to Winovich and kick him. Gedeon(+1) fills well, hitting the H-back and getting off him to tackle; Wormley(+0.5) and Peppers help.
M49 4 3 Shotgun double stacks wide 4-1-6 Dime Press two high Pass 4 Comeback Lewis Inc
What are you doing Caleb Rowe? He tries a comeback route on which his WR falls down; Lewis(+1, cover +1) in good position anyway. Angle route with scatback on Gedeon was an easy first down, that’s a problem.
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 21-0, 7 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 Nickel even Press two high Pass 4 Fade Lewis Inc
MD comes at the king and misses. Lewis +2, cover +2. Pressure -1; this was relatively comfortable.
O25 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press two high Run N/A Lead zone Godin 2
Godin(+1) fires his guy back and gets off the block to make a tackle near the LOS; back had to cut to that gap because Glasgow(+1) got off the ground off a double and shot his man back. Gedeon(+0.5) comes up to hit a lead blocker and constrain space.
O27 3 8 Shotgun trips 3-2-6 Okie Press one high Pass 4 Sack Winovich -7
Not real complicated: Winovich(+3, pressure +3) around the corner for a sack. Impressive pass rush.
Drive Notes: Punt, 28-0, 3 min 2nd Q. Next drive is a one minute drill.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Pass 4 In Thomas 15
Backup line in; RB motions out just before the snap, taking McCray with him. Man coverage and a comfortable pocket(pressure -2). Thomas(-1, cover -1) in somewhat tough spot as he’s lined up to prevent an outside break but he does get beat to the point where he can only tackle afterwards. He does so.
O40 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Dime Press two high Pass 4 Comeback Stribling 9
Stribling(-1, cover -1) is off balance when he scrolls back on the screen after some sort of contact with the WR and cannot explode back upfield to contest this route. QB just about throws it wide; nice diving catch.
O49 2 1 Shotgun 4-wide 3-2-6 Okie Press one high Pass 4 Drag Gedeon 3
Winovich(+1, pressure +1) stunts inside and then relocates once his initial move is cut off, getting a hit on the QB and forcing a throw, albeit a bit late. Gedeon(+0.5, tackling +1) in space and tracks down this route for a minimal amount of damage. Given the situation the first down doesn’t really mean much.
M48 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 3-2-6 Okie Press one high Pass 4 Fly Thomas Inc
Peppers(+1, pressure +3) ends up free up the gut and nails Rowe; he punts it down the sideline. This is super accurate given the situation; Lewis is pushed off more severely than Harris did on the OPI call (refs -2) without a flag; Thomas(+2, cover +2) comes over the top and separates the WR from the ball. RPS +2.
M48 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide 3-2-6 Okie Press one high Pass 4 Tunnel screen McCray 46
McCray(-2) goes upfield of a block and that’s super irritating in this situation where he should be giving ground to get over the top and pursue. He’s in a bad spot to start the play but with this much time on the clock I don’t want to RPS this. Lavert Hill(-2) gets chopped and reacted super-late to his man pivoting to block Lewis; Thomas(+1) gets a lead blocker and manages to slow the WR down enough for McCray to get him down from behind.
Drive Notes: EOH, 35-0.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Pass 4 Flare screen Hill 7
Gedeon in man on the back and has to go around a WR cracking down from the slot. He goes upfield and usually I hate that but he does manage to get out on the back at about three yards. He has no support because Hill(-1) failed to read the crack block quick enough to replace and gets cut off by an OL. Gedeon lets the guy get some YAC as a result.
O32 2 3 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Run N/A Zone dart give Gedeon 6
C pulls around the LG and MD tries to hit that gap. McCray(+1) pops up in it; Glasgow(+1) fights over the top of his guy to join him. Cutback works as Godin(-1) gets sealed out for too long and isn’t flowing down the line; Gedeon(-1, tackling -1) is unblocked but played it conservatively and gets beat by Harrison in the hole.
O38 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Gift #1 Glasgow INT
Glasgow(+2, pressure +3) whips the C and comes up the gut; he gets tackled from behind without a call(refs -2); Charlton(+2) is literally right behind him as he spun through the LT in a flash. Rowe throws it directly to Hill(+1). Last year’s Maryland flashback.
Drive Notes: Interception, 35-0, 14 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O35 1 10 Pistol twins H 4-2-5 4-3 over Off one high Run N/A Waggle flat screen Peppers 10
Waggle action with a slot WR slipping into the flat as Peppers gets blocked by the other slot. Legal because the ball is caught behind the line. Stribling comes up to tackle at about five; WR cuts back. Peppers(-0.5) overran it and opened it up; still want Stribling(-0.5, tackling -1) to slow this guy up a bit more. Gedeon is next to take a crack at the stick and almost has this guy spin off him, but he does go down. RPS –1.
O45 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Run N/A Bash give McCray 21
McCray(-2) again edged because he took an iffy angle; he also bites as the back slows down as if he’ll cut back. Everyone else is dealing with the QB action. Lewis gets off a block and forces it in at the numbers; Thomas(-1) cannot do the same to hold this down to about a first down.
M34 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press two high Run N/A Counter Hurst -1
Hurst(+1) surges on the backside and takes out one of the pullers. Charlton(+1) slants inside to hit a second deep in the backfield, which forces the back to McCray(+1, tackling +1), who secures a TFL against a slippery back.
M35 2 11 Ace 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Pass 5 Waggle throwaway Hurst Inc
Stunt sends Hurst(+1, pressure +2) to the outside and his burst closes the distance faster than you’d expect. Peppers(+0.5, cover +1) is on the flat route and QB just dumps it. RPS +2.
M35 3 11 Shotgun trips TE 3-2-6 Okie Press one high Pass 5 Curl Stribling Inc
Excellent route from the MD WR gets Stribling(-1, cover -1) off of him and the QB gets the ball out on time; just dropped. Wormley(+1) and Charlton(+1) had worked through blocking to both hurry the QB(pressure +2) so this throw had to get out right now.
M35 4 11 Shotgun 4-wide 3-2-6 Okie Press one high Pass 5 Fly Watson Inc
Watson(+2, cover +2) gets a terrific jam off the line and dominates this route; he can’t INT an overthrown ball but this is the best snap he’s had at Michigan, probably. Charlton(+2, pressure +2) ran over the LT and will sack if QB holds the ball any longer.
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 38-0, 8 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O14 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 4-2-5 Nickel over Press two high Pass 4 Wheel Gedeon 35
Gedeon(-2, cover -2) is in a tough spot here but his tendency to go upfield does bite him, as he can’t recover on the wheel. Meanwhile Hill is flying up on the other RB in the flat, and it really seems like this should be a pattern match that swaps these two assignments. There isn’t one and Gedeon gets outrun for a big gain. RPS -2.
O49 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Run N/A Zone dart give Gedeon 3
Similar to the previous instance here. Winovich(+0.5) gets sufficient drive to cut off the outside. McCray(+0.5) funnels back, and Gedeon(+0.5) is there to tackle.
M48 2 7 Pistol diamond twins 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Run N/A Zone read keeper Peppers 3
Peppers in a deeper LB spot and starts moving backside on the snap; with no clear edge defender QB pulls. Peppers(+1, tackling +1) gets on his horse and shuts this down after a modest gain.
M45 3 4 Shotgun double stacks wide 4-2-5 Okie Press one high Run N/A QB power Gedeon 2
Fake the edge pitch; not sure if this is a read or a called play. Pitch fake draws Winovich upfield and away; MD tries to attack back inside. Gedeon(+1) gets outside to funnel back and then redirects to tackle; Mone(+1) had flowed around from the back to cut off space and he meets Gedeon at the LOS.
M43 4 2 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press two high Run N/A Bash give Gedeon -5
This should probably be a keep but since it isn’t Winovich(+1) blowing upfield at the mesh point causes the back to bend and gives Gedeon(+2) more time to check this. He gets square in the backfield and delays the guy, then mirrors him to the sideline. He initiates contact and can't quite get the TFL himself but the cavalry has now arrived.
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 38-0, 3 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O26 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Scramble Winovich 1
Winovich(+1, pressure +1) again around the corner, but not quite at eight yards. He shoots past the QB, diving at his ankles as he moves up in the pocket. QB stumbles but keeps his balance; Hurst(+1) gets off his block to tackle just beyond the LOS.
O27 2 9 Shotgun double stacks wide 4-2-5 NIckel over Press one high Pass 4 Tunnel screen Bush 4
M doesn’t blitz here so they’ve got an extra guy or two available; Bush(+1) gets a bit lucky here as one of the OL stumbles out and gives him a lane to the WR, but he takes it and tackles. Thomas(+0.5) reacted much more quickly to occupy an OL and constrict space.
O31 3 5 Shotgun trips 3-2-6 Okie Press one high Pass 5 Slant L. Hill 8
Presnap flare motion from the back takes Gedeon to the sideline; that plus a route designed to pick Lavert Hill off is a lot of traffic and Hill can’t get through it. Pressure(+2) was coming, but too late. RPS -2.
O39 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel over Press two high Run N/A Zone dart give Glasgow 4
Glasgow(+1) again fights through a downblock to get to the POA and tackle; Winovich(+0.5) also got back off a kickout block. Bush(-0.5) kind of waited for a cut block and can’t help prevent YAC.
O43 2 6 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Bash keep Hurst -7
The other half of this bash play is the QB running a sweep with a couple lead blockers. M stunts, so two guys end up blocking Gary and Hurst(+2) loops around, coming under the two pullers and jetting into the backfield, where he closes the ground and makes a big TFL. RPS +2.
O35 3 13 Shotgun 3-wide 4-1-6 Nickel even Press two high Pass 4 RB seam Bush 37 + 15 pen
Big pocket as both DEs try to go around the edge and get stoned. Glasgow is dropping off into some sort of spy zone for a screen or something and Hurst is all alone; QB runs up in the pocket with his eyes downfield(pressure -2). He finds the back. Bush(-2, cover -2) misses a jam and gets beat; he gives up a long conversion and then a significant amount of YAC. Bush(-1) then gets hit with a facemask.
M13 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-4 under Press zero Run N/A Pin and pull Hurst -6
Another monster TFL from Hurst(+3), who fires upfield in a flash so that the guy trying to downblock him has no shot. He runs through a guy trying to pull and extends to the backfield for a solo TFL.
M19 2 16 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Pass 4 Fade Lewis Inc
One of those quick fades that get out before the pressure can get there. Lewis(+2, cover +2) does what he does, getting in the pocket of the WR and getting a PBU.
M19 3 16 Shotgun trips 3-2-6 Okie Press zero Pass 6 Fade Lewis Inc
This seems familiar. Lewis +2, cover +2.
Drive Notes: FG(36), 45-3, 10 min 4th 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 even Half press one high Run N/A Zone down G give Bush -2
Variant on the usual inverted veer action with a guard pulling outside to lead the edge give. MD WR moves to crack down and then changes his mind, hypothetical -2 for that guy. This allows Bush(+0.5) to run up unfettered and cut off the outside. Winovich(+0.5) is a bit further inside and forces another cut by getting upfield; Gedeon and Peppers(+0.5 each) flow and react to the cutback, tackling for loss.
O23 2 12 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Half press one high Run N/A Zone read give Miller 4
Walk-on NT in there; M stunts him; Miller(-1) gets shoved out of the hole for a little crease. Gedeon(+1) reacts to that crease opening and redirects after initially heading backside; he gets through a block and forces it to help to hold it down; Winovich(+0.5) is that help.
O27 3 8 Shotgun 4-wide 3-2-6 Okie Press one high Pass 5 Wheel Hill 23
Pocket comfortable(pressure -2) despite a five man pressure; Hill(-1, cover -1) is in good position but turns his head at the exact wrong time and is neither able to shoryuken his man or get his head around to defend the pass.
50 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Y cross Thomas Inc
Gary(+1, pressure +1) gets around the corner and is then held. Refs(-2) in pity mode let this happen. QB can scramble out and try to find someone; Thomas(+2, cover +2) is in the hip pocket of the crossing route and gets a PBU.
50 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Pass 5 Fly Hill INT
Stribling plays outside leverage and is beat by maybe a step; ball is way off and Hill(+1, cover +1) comes over to intercept. Winovich(+1, pressure +1) dove inside the LT and ran through the RB to get quick pressure and force the throw.
Drive Notes: Interception, 52-3, 7 min 4th Q. Last drive is deep bench and perfunctory, not charted.

Soooo... are we concerned yet? You dismissed the fourth quarter of the MSU game pretty hardcore a couple weeks ago.

This was more concerning than the MSU game. Reasons why:

  • Maryland had some stuff that I assume was new but they repeated it over and over again; their ability to move the ball early wasn't based on a meticulously scripted drive and intricate motions that petered out as soon as they went off script.
  • They moved the ball consistently through the first three quarters, unlike MSU.
  • They were not the beneficiaries of ludicrous, drive-extending penalties and did not hold their asses off to get most of their yards after the first drive.
  • The tackling issues that were new, and potentially a fluke, against MSU cropped up again and are likely a real problem.

This isn't little spinning panic guy time—Michigan gave up 3 points and had five turnovers, three of them on downs. They were always going to come down from their unsustainable, should-give-up-less-than-a-point heights from early in the season.

But, yeah, man. There are some holes.

First let's check the






was that you being an edge run



aw, cumong man


[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 25 2.5   2.5 0 1.3   1.4 Going to be a lot of slim run D numbers because edge edge edge.
Glasgow 28 6 6 0.6 0.9   1.6
Hurst 31 9.5 9.5 2.5 1.3   3.9 That's a lot of work in 31 snaps. I said this last week, down to the snap count.
Charlton 24 12 0.5 11.5 1.9 4.3   6.2 Second straight monster week.
Gary 36 1   1 0.2 1.7   2.0 Held rather flagrantly in pity reffing time.
Mone 20 1 1 0 -0.5 -0.4   -0.8 Um. Let's hope he's not all the way back.
Godin 19 1 2.5 -1.5 0.6 0.8   1.4 Really limited snaps.
Winovich 40 8 1 7 1.4 3.4   4.9 Seven rush events on 22 tries. Not bad.
Jones 8   0.5 0.6
TOTAL   41 5 36         NT Garrett Miller got a –1. Maryland tried to avoid this matchup as much as possible for obvious reasons.
LB UFR grade PFF grade  
Player Snaps + - TOT Run Rush Covr Ovr Notes
Peppers 60 7 2.5 4.5 1.6 0.2 0.9 2.8 Not a huge impact day but quietly good.
McCray 36 8 9 -1 -0.4 0.6 0.8 1.1 I was less sanguine about the run D.
Gedeon 59 12 5 7 3.7 1.1 -0.7 4.2 Enormous swing from last week's outing that PFF hated and I thought was meh. Excellent day.
Bush 28 1.5 3.5 -2 1.6 0.6 -0.4 0.7 -1 for the facemask from PFF overshadows a good performance. I dinged him for that completion.
Furbush 8   0.5   0.6
TOTAL   28.5 20 8.5         Get McCray right and this will be fine.
DB UFR grade PFF grade  
Player Snaps + - Run Rush Cvr Ovr Notes
Lewis 74 7.5 7.5 0.4   3.1 3.6 go ahead try a fade
Stribling 74 7 -7  0.8 -0.9 0 So... yeah.
D. Hill 74 4 2 2 2.3   2.3
Thomas 74 6.5 4 2.5 0.8 0.5 1.3
Watson 14 2   2 0.1   -0.5 -0.4 I liked his fade D on one test. 
Kinnel 11 2 0.5 1.5 0.7   -1.5 -0.8 Dunno what the pass minus is for. Tunnel stuff?
Metellus 8   0.2     0.3   
L. Hill 8   2 -2    -1.3 -1.3 Slashed down on tunnel right before half. 
TOTAL   22 15.5 6.5          
Pressure   25 7 +18 See also: DL grades.
Coverage   16 12 +4 LB issues really brought this down
Tackling   4 8 -4 Better than last week but still rather looming.
RPS   12 12 0 Eh.

Relatively thin numbers for the DL and a bunch of stuff for the linebackers as Maryland correctly decided any attempt to block a Michigan DL was likely to go badly. That +/- ratio is unprecedented. 

What happened to the +17 and +20s of my youth? I mean, +12 is fine. But I mean cumong man.

Can I assuage your hurt with clips?

Taco Charlton built on an excellent game last week with a bunch of plays that didn't show up in the box score but were nonetheless key. He provided all manner of back seven gents with a free flight path on the second and goal TFL that preserved M's shutout for a long while:

On the ensuing third down Charlton blew up a screen by going after the back so he couldn't get in his route. This game was validation of the UFR concept, because a half sack was his only contribution in the box score when he was Michigan's best DL on the day.

Unless it was Mo Hurst, who remained absurdly disruptive. His ability to shoot into the backfield has been destructive to opponents even when they're running away from him.

Also when they're running towards him. Trying a pin and pull when he's on the field is waving a red flag in front of the bull.

Get in his belly.

He had a ton of production in just 31 snaps; when crunch time comes I think he'll be out there with the first team line. In a walkover against Maryland, fine. Even early against OSU, fine, he can be second team. In the second half he's going to be next to Glasgow and those guys aren't coming off the field much, if at all.

Finally, Chase Winovich added to his burgeoning highlight reel.

Winovich got more pass rush opportunities than anyone else—22—and had a sack, three hits, and three hurries. That's excellent production. Jake Ryan as a DE: on track.

Uh... so you hated Stribling.

Stribling picked up some scattered negative half points on edge runs where he didn't get off a block; he got a –3 on the reverse because he was set up in the backfield unblocked and let the guy outside for a first down on what should have been fourth down.

On the previous play he was tasked with replacing the safety after his guy cracked down, and he just about gave up the same gain. His tackle was a shoestring thing that turned a should-be TFL into three yards. His run support is an issue. His guy was also open the two times that Maryland threw at him.

Sometimes this just happens. Because I'm grading a subsection of players on each play variance can be severe, especially for DBs. I assume he was in good coverage on various other throws that I cannot grade because he's not on the screen; I still think he's a good player.

Also, the PFF grade is considerably different. Some people have left comments to the effect of why I bother with them if they have a different opinion that I do and I justify mine. As always, I am an amateur and I welcome any and all sanity checks. PFF and I are in close agreement about 80-90% of the time, so the differences are interesting to me. They might be right, after all.

But yeah man that reverse was WTF.

I didn't know you could build the whole plane out of edge runs.

I mean... you can't, really. Michigan didn't play those particularly well but since those were entirely reliant on one-on-one matchups without blocking they were more about Michigan than anything Maryland is doing. Maryland drives petered out because eventually you're going to get tackled at or near the line of scrimmage, and then you've got to do something else.

Maryland's tendency to run the same thing from super-wide formations repeatedly isolated the same Michigan players in the same situations, so we got to see Mike McCray undergo The Evolution of Man on various edge runs.

Edge run #1: McCray takes a crappy angle, gets edged, recovers well, tackles after eight yards.

Edge run #2: McCray heads to the edge much quicker, tackles after two yards.

Edge run #3: McCray takes an even better angle and is about an inch from a tackle for loss.

He misses that tackle and his buddies got a little complacent about it so the guy can get a few yards, but most of the time that play is going to be lucky to get back to the line of scrimmage if McCray plays it like that.

At this point Maryland ditches running inverted veer from these super-wide formations and moves on to a different thing, a bunch of edge pitches. This switched the linebacker Maryland was testing on the edge from McCray to Gedeon and again finds that LB successfully flanked:

It's the first step here that gives Maryland five yards or so. Gedeon's going vertical; Maryland is going horizontal. The next two plays were the same thing; Michigan got severely RPSed on one and then McCray was like eff this, man.

The linebackers got better and demonstrated they have the athleticism to get to the sideline against a super quick scatback. If they rep it and rep it, as I imagine they will over the next few weeks, I think they can get it down and mitigate many of these issues. That's not to say they won't get got on these plays—when Maryland returned to testing McCray one on one on the edge in the second half he got beat for 21 yards. I expect OSU to run a bunch of edge stuff and get chunks of yards. I expect they'll be less consistently successful.

They'll rep both LBs and Stribling constantly on edge run support the next few weeks and insert various changeups to defeat the kinds of things they struggled against in this game. Hopefully it pays off. I mean, this could be a blessing in disguise.

Wait, what?

I'd rather not have the issue. If there is an issue I'd much rather have it pop up now than in three weeks. I enjoyed watching Ohio State get gashed by Wisconsin's various manball shifts, but also hated it because the Wisconsin game gave OSU a very clear picture of problems they need to fix before Michigan gets to town. This is similar. 

And then they didn't actually gain many rushing yards.

No, they didn't. Remove three sacks for 15 yards and Maryland acquired 93 yards on 35 carries, 2.7 an attempt. It felt much worse than that because Michigan gave up chunk plays a bunch. Those were offset by a whopping 38 yards of TFLs. That is an inevitable cost of going wide all the time. You are exposing yourself to Tyree Kinnel getting on his horse.

Or a linebacker getting it really right, or a corner blitz, or whatever. If you run side to side you will eventually get TFLed.

And when Maryland went anywhere other than the edge, this was the inevitable result.

Maryland's gameplan was predicated on the absolute fact they could not hope to block Michigan's defensive line, and it did relatively well in those circumstances. That fact remained a fact, and eventually the edge stuff peters out.

Once it did peter out, any passing down resulted in the quarterback being overrun by rushers.

This was so severe that Maryland started punting up fade routes at Jourdan Lewis because that was their best option to get anything on a passing down. Sometimes they punted up fade routes at Delano Hill because two different guys were arguing about which one got to eat Caleb Rowe's bones.

How did those shot at Lewis go?

You know the answer to this.


They went the same way they always do, man.

No sale, no sir. One time the receiver almost got a catch because he pushed off—that offense was more severe than the OPI on Drake Harris—but Dymonte Thomas came over the top and separated the WR from the ball.

Even when it wasn't Lewis, Michigan was crushing downfield attempts. This is probably Brandon Watson's best snap at Michigan:

That's what he did throughout high school and it's a little odd he has been asked to do things that aren't that.

But they passed for ten yards an attempt nonetheless?

Hills and Rowe had 276 yards on 27 attempts, yes. 103 of them came on four tunnel screens. 72 came on two plays that hit against linebackers: Gedeon got beat badly on a wheel route and Devin Bush was unable to keep up with one of their running backs on a seam route. Everything else averaged 4.6 YPA.

Here again is a clear issue of limited scope: Michigan has frequently been gashed in the passing game when their linebackers get stuck in downfield coverage.

Gedeon fruitlessly chasing a wheel route has been a theme on the rare occasions something does go wrong for the defense.

Unlike the edge stuff, I think this is a permanent issue that Michigan needs a tactical response to. That wheel route sees Delano Hill run up past everybody into the flat; ideally Gedeon has the flat and Hill pops back over the top to deal with the wheel.

Meanwhile, Michigan got gashed on three first half tunnel screens. These were mostly Michigan calling rock against paper. The first saw a six man box and five guys blitz:

That's ten yards and then poor safety play extends it. The second tunnel was almost exactly the same thing; the third ended up with Michigan sporting a five-man box since a running back motioned out, taking Gedeon out of the equation.

I don't really know what to do with that one. There are seven seconds left in the half so Michigan's not expecting a screen, and Maryland again has three blockers for two guys anywhere near the LOS. McCray needs to push the panic button here and give a ton of ground to get over the top; instead he goes under the block and is fortunate to catch up at the one.

This obviously has to get fixed. It should, but since the answer is likely the defensive back in off coverage reacting much more quickly that will leave Michigan vulnerable to getting hit over the top. The one tunnel in the second half saw Thomas react much more quickly to that action, which helped Bush out by opening up some extra room he could attack.

Remember the jet sweep against Penn State? PSU had been atrocious at defending it. Michigan ran one and lost five yards; they then got a big play from Peppers after a jet fake took multiple PSU defenders out of position. Michigan will rep these screens and defend them much better; it's the counter to Michigan's counter that worries me.

Did we get any cool Don Brown things? I feel like the defensive UFR needs one of these sections as well.

Michigan briefly returned to the 3-3 package they've been playing with against spread teams, getting an RPS-heavy TFL from Gedeon on a blitz that crushed inverted veer:

Michigan went away from the 3-3 shortly afterwards, sticking with four man lines most of the rest of the day. Brown still schemed up the occasional large TFL. Here Hurst and Gary stunt; Hurst ends up totally unblocked and the results are pleasing:

Michigan is getting many more TFLs this year because of unblocked guys teleporting into the backfield, and seeing these items that seem directly targeted at OSU staples is heartening.


Charlton and Hurst were first amongst destructive equals on the DL. Gedeon had a very solid performance as Maryland sought to test him again and again. Someone threw fades at Jourdan Lewis.

Maybe not so heroic?

McCray wasn't terrible but he did end up slightly negative in my grading; Stribling missed one very consequential tackle and was beat twice when targeted.

What does it mean for Iowa and beyond?

Taco taco taco taco. The Wilton Speight of the defense; he's blown up the last few weeks. He has unlimited NFL potential; would be real nice to see him start hitting that down the stretch here.

Chase Winovich crushes bad OLs. He had a game like this earlier in the year where he was like +14 or something despite playing only half the snaps. He's been up and down since; the potential is clearly there.

Michigan has work to do on the edge. This is mostly a Mike McCray and Stribling thing; while Gedeon gave up a little bit here and there it's telling that they only tested him a couple times and then gave up on it. McCray has the ability to do it, as we saw. He doesn't have the margin of error Gedeon has.

I'm going to be worried about Stribling making a tackle until I see him do it repeatedly. He's reached Early Season Kenny Allen status.

Maurice Hurst is just waiting to be unleashed. Expect a big role for him as the opponents ramp up at year end. He's killing it, and can take another chunk of snaps.

Rep those tunnel screens man. That's a big flashing DO THIS sign on a defense that doesn't have many others.

Linebackers are vulnerable in coverage. I don't think they can be anything but; Michigan needs to design some responses to wheel routes that involve safeties instead.



November 11th, 2016 at 1:35 PM ^

On this play, I did not like the fact that Gary just kinda jogged around after geting blocked.  If he put in full effort, could have got him around the 20.


Anyone else agree?


M25 3 7 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press two high Run N/A Reverse Stribling 15
Stribling(-3, tackling -3) is in cover two and is totally unfettered on the backside of this play so when the reverse hits he has an opportunity to make a play. He just has to delay and funnel it back for fourth down; he lets the back outside of him for a chunk. Guh.


Also embeded above as: 2016 Maryland at Michigan 1st Half part 13


November 11th, 2016 at 1:53 PM ^

Even though Gary makes the tackle, it looks pretty obvious that Gary was slowing down and could have been running harder.  If Gary was running harder, the ball carrier is probably tackled around the first down marker instead of 5-7 yds beyond it.


November 11th, 2016 at 3:17 PM ^

A lot of guys did the same on the McCray missed tackle (where Brian dinged them all -0.5). You definitely don't want to see that, but it's just human nature when you're in a not competitive game against a bad opponent. I'm not too worried about stuff like that against better teams.

Mr. Elbel

November 11th, 2016 at 1:33 PM ^

We still have an opponent watch, game preview, and live from the Bo store to get through today. Thank you, that thing that happened this week, for blessing us with an awesome Friday of #content.


November 11th, 2016 at 1:34 PM ^

To get experience with this offense. Had that been the Buckeyes we definitely wouldn't have shut them down. The problem with the Buckeye offense - with their playmakers - is that many of the mistakes we made against Maryland are going to cost us points against Ohio State.


November 11th, 2016 at 2:56 PM ^

Curtis Samuel. They're going to try to isolate him with Gedeon or McCray in space. This is something Michigan needs to figure out how to hide them in space.

We can expect OSU to tempo Michigan defense if they have sub-optimal personnel package. Make no mistake, their bread and butter play always will be the power run game.


November 11th, 2016 at 3:53 PM ^

Simple question here, Samuel would be an obvious mismatch for basically every LB in the country. Why don't they always get him matched up with one? Do other teams use different schemes that prevent that from happening? It would seem that they would be able to do it routinely and have success whenever they choose to but their offense (At least for parts of the year) has not been doing that.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad

Mr. Yost

November 12th, 2016 at 8:31 AM ^

There's no reason Peppers shouldn't be on him the entire game.

Blitz Hill have you have to send someone. The only time I'd even think about taking Peppers off Samuel is if they're inside the 10 and he can't get behind you. Then put Hill or Thomas on him and let Pep get that goalline stand.

Gedeon got DESTROYED on a angle route by the RB on 4th down and the QB threw it to the wrong man. Griese ID'd it right away. We HAVE to stop that from happening, stop letting him get iso'd on a RBs. Especially on 3rd and 4th down.

I'm not worried about the screens or the edge, those are so obvious they'll rep them over and over and they'll get cleaned up. I have no doubt.

But there is history of Gedeon struggling with RBs. We need to stop that shit.


November 11th, 2016 at 4:00 PM ^

Absolutely right. I've been worried about this since we got edged for that TD against UCF. Samuel vs. our linebackers, along with JT Barrett runs after fake screens, is THE matchup in The Game in 15 days. They will run Samuel to the edge. They will send him on wheel routes. These are clear issues on Michigan's mostly great defense and Samuel is the perfect player to exploit them. 

I mention the JT Barrett part because Brian said he was worried about the "counter to the counter." Seems logical that Michigan's counter will involve more support outside to deny a tunnel screen, and OSU's logical countermove to that is to have Barrett attack the empty middle of the field with his legs.

OSU has the tools to take advantage of revealed weaknesses in our defense; can we eliminate those and outscore them?

It's going to be a tense couple of weeks.


November 11th, 2016 at 10:20 PM ^

to shadow JT Barrett, then Gedeon or McCray will have to cover Samuel which is suboptimal.  They could use Jabrill to cover Samuel but that would leave one of the LBs exposed to JT's legs.


My best guess is Don Brown will try to gamble with Jabrill covering Samuel but Jabrill is a bit tight hipped that any quick hitting routes will give him trouble. Better Jabrill than Gedeon and McCray covering Samuel.


November 11th, 2016 at 2:41 PM ^

I think Gedeon, McCray and Dline can contain the Barrett/Weber combo, we need Pep to stop Curtis Samuel... you know Meyer is already scheming to RPS what we put on film here in terms of stopping inverted veer etc. I hope Brown has his own "Jordan Rules" in his back pocket with Pep playing the role of Joe D. for The Game.


November 11th, 2016 at 2:49 PM ^

Through my eyes, the bad stuff will get corrected.
With Stribling, it's just a matter of holding the edge and funneling it back inside, which he isn't doing.
With McCray at LB, he seems to be pinching inside too much... let's see if next game we find McCray lining up a shade closer to the sideline.
To the smarter guys here, am I wrong?


November 11th, 2016 at 3:14 PM ^

Through my laymans eyes, the bad stuff will get corrected.
With Stribling, it's just a matter of holding the edge and funneling it back inside, which he isn't doing.
With McCray at LB, he seems to be pinching inside too much... let's see if next game we find McCray lining up a shade closer to the sideline.
To the smarter guys here, am I wrong?


November 11th, 2016 at 3:08 PM ^

I think that Hurst is your #1 3-tech, easily. My guess is  that  the coaches have been treating this more like Hockey lines than "starters". Hurst is your 6th man (yep, three-sport-analogies are happening) - he gets some early run against the opponent backups/tired guys, then helps you close.

Wormley/Godin/Glasgow/Taco and Gary/Hurst/Mone/Winovich as two lines are better than

Worm/Hurst/Glasgow/Taco and all legit "backups". When it's crunch time and we don't need to change lines? We'll see the best 4 out there.


November 11th, 2016 at 3:18 PM ^

It seems to my untrained and poor camera angle having eye that the defense has been much more conservative the last few weeks then previously. Is that true? Is it possible that has something to do with our 'struggles'?


November 11th, 2016 at 3:23 PM ^

Loved that Tyree Kinnel TFL on their second drive.  I was watching it live and could see him make a break for it out the peripheral side of the screen.  It looked like he got shot out of a cannon.  Great angle, great hustle, great anticipation and great solo tackle.  


November 11th, 2016 at 5:10 PM ^

He's really good as a pass-rushing DE, and with Glasgow and Charlton and Wormley and possibly Hurst vacating the DL we'll need him there. Moving a guy who is effective into a place where he's unproven (and, given what our defense needs, probably not agile enough to be useful) seems unwise. We are recruiting massive quantities of LBs, Bush is growing steadily, and McCray has proven to be quite good where he is. As stated above, someone like Furbush or Hudson will probably take the Peppers spot.

The DL needs more players and it's losing more key guys. Fellas like Rashan Gary may move inside, as well. Winovich is going to be a key player at DE next year.


November 11th, 2016 at 3:44 PM ^

It was pretty obvious Durkin was going to target the linebackers and force them to make reads.  They were gashed a little bit but will get better with more reps.  They won't be great, but they'll understand their responsibilities more thoroughly, which will make them a split second faster.



November 11th, 2016 at 3:44 PM ^

not much more difficult than tackling athletic dudes in open space and stribling has never been much of a run defender - but he obviously still must play with technique and leverage and ensure, above all else, that he forces that reverse inside to help.  so while its a tough tackle to make for a loss, its inexcusable to allow that conversion, especially by getting outside him.

peppers and lewis have been pretty flawless open field tacklers and while im guessing the coaches dont expect 8 to make that tfl every time, i guarantee they chewed his ass for losing leverage and not forcing inside


November 11th, 2016 at 6:18 PM ^

Can we keep Peppers on Striblings side of the field, keep McCray in the middle and have Gedeon on Lewis's side of the field to limit our edge issues?


November 11th, 2016 at 6:40 PM ^

on that Winovich sack.  Like any good host, Charlton escorted the right tackle and introduced him to the QB.  Rudely, Winovich interrupted them before the handshake and guffaws could take place.