It lives! When Homesure Lending sponsored these posts, Matt admonished me that his sponsorship was contingent on me actually doing all of them. So, yeah, next time you see him buy him a beer and get a mortgage. Matt just pinged me in case a refi made sense, demonstrating that 1) he's always on the lookout if he can save you money and 2) rates must be even more absurdly low than they were a couple years ago.
Formation notes: I'm not sure if we've seen this before at M:
There are three tight ends to the right side of the formation. "Ace trip TE."
This mess was "tight FB big" and went about how you'd expect:
And this is an example of how Florida spent a big chunk of the first half. Check out the defensive line. That is a huge split between the nose tackle and the defensive end to the bottom of your screen. Michigan had a hard time dealing with it for a couple snaps and then blasted it until UF abandoned it.
Substitution notes: As expected. Rudock, the starting OL, and the FB/RB corps all went the distance. Smith, Houma, and Johnson were your only RBs—no Higdon, no Isaac. I don't think Newsome got any 6th OL time. WR/TE was all Darboh/Chesson/Perry/Butt/Williams until the game was salted away. Michigan put in Ways and Harris in place of the outside WRs, continued playing Perry, and gave Ian Bunting some run.
[After The JUMP: rather big JUMPS forward for a half-dozen guys.]
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||RB||TE||WR||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|M27||1||10||I-Form Big||2||2||1||4-4 even||Run||Inside zone||Smith||8|
|Tough play to grade. M doesn’t block this particularly well. Smith is aiming at the left side of the line. Williams(-0.5) gets stood up by an end and shoved back a bit, so Smith doesn’t see any good holes on the frontside despite a solid kickout from Houma(+0.5). Smith(+2) decides to cut back and finds nothing a gap behind, and then another gap behind, but then, finally, daylight. This daylight comes after Magnuson gets slanted under badly. His guy’s in the backfield immediately, but is too vertical; Mags turns around and hits him, pushing him upfield and allowing this lane. +0.5I guess? Kalis(+0.5) did a reasonable job fending off a DL, aided by the play design. I really like this from Smith. OL… meh.|
|M35||2||2||I-Form Big||2||2||1||4-3 over||Pass||PA TE cross||Butt||11|
|FB motion to the short side with Houma going out in a flat route. He’s actually open as FL LBs bite on the PA but so is Butt to the interior; Rudock surveys and picks the option with more yardage. Think this is just a bust by the MLB, who turns it into a delayed blitz. (CA, 3, protection 1/1, RPS +1)|
|M46||1||10||Shotgun empty||1||1||3||Nickel over||Pass||Slant||Darboh||7|
|Mansome slant catch by Darboh against a DB who pops him a moment before the ball arrives. (CA, 2, protection 1/1)|
|O47||2||3||I-Form twins||2||1||2||4-3 under||Run||Power O||Smith||4|
|Outstanding run by Smith(+3) rescues the play. M does not handle a NG tilted over Glasgow well at all. This probably needs a check at the LOS because I can’t see this play working no matter what any of the OL do. Kalis has to pull, Glasgow has to get the DT lined up over him, and Braden has zero chance on the NT. Kalis(+0.5) bangs into the NT and stuns him for a moment; Smith cuts back behind. LB Kalis was assigned is loose but gets juked out of his jock by Smith, and then there’s a lane thanks to an excellent extended driving block from Williams(+2) and a similarly long but not quite as dominant kickout from Kerridge(+1). RPS -2.|
|O43||1||10||I-Form Big||2||2||1||4-3 over||Run||Inside zone||Smith||14|
|This could be something Smith(+2) is looking for from the start or just a great cut; either way Smith takes an IZ handoff and ruins the entire linebacker level with a decisive one-step cut. Cole(+1) had the SDE and kicks him way upfield. Braden(+0.5) does enough on a DT, and Smith spots that cutback lane and goes right to it. Williams got shot inside and his guy ends up threatening the backfield but he’s falling and I think if Smith presses the frontside he’s still getting a reasonable amount of yardage so we’ll give that a pass. Glasgow(+1) flashed to help Braden and then mashed the MLB, which helps when Smith gets to the secondary. Butt(+1) and Chesson(+1) get excellent downfield blocks that extend the run another half-dozen yards.|
|O19||1||10||Shotgun 3-wide||1||1||3||Nickel over||Pass||Flare||Chesson||Inc|
|Chesson motions from the short side to the backfield as if he’s going to take an end around. UF times a blitz perfectly and gets a LB in the backfield on the snap; Smith heroically erases him. Great block. Rudock has additional problems as Glasgow(-2) goes for an NT slanting way outside, allowing a second blitzer up the gut untouched. He aborts into Chesson on a little flare route that UF has dead to rights and overthrows it. (IN, 0, protection 1/3, throw filed as a screen)|
|O19||2||10||Shotgun trips TE||1||1||3||4-3 under gap||Run||Zone stretch||Johnson||12|
|Same UF alignment that should have crushed the power play earlier on the drive, with the big gap between the NT and the SDE. M runs a stretch at the strength of the formation and Johnson cuts back into that big gap. Butt(+1) doesn’t do a ton except fire off on the snap and step quickly but this is enough to get across the facemask of that end, allowing Cole a free release. NT shoots playside on the snap. Braden(+1) mirrors him and shoves him past the play ,big gap that Johnson(+1) hits. Downfield Perry(+2) destroys a LB with a cut block. Cole(+1) goes and gets a LB, great mobility. Block isn’t devastating, doesn’t have to be. Glasgow(-0.5) has to dance around the Perry block and can’t get the last guy; should at least get some contact. RPS +2.|
|O7||1||G||I-Form Big H||3||1||1||5-3 Bear||Run||Power O||Smith||3|
|Poggi motions until he’s behind the LG. M runs power to him, with Poggi(+1) kicking the playside DE. He gets a pancake assisted by a UF player getting into the feet of his dude. Cole(+0.5) does decently against a DT slanting away. Kalis and Kerridge both run up between these blocks and collectively deal with one LB. That leaves an edge defender unblocked; he comes in from the side to tackle. In another area of the field I’d guess that’s a mistake. Seven yards out probably just manball.|
|O4||2||G||I-Form||2||1||2||5-3 Bear||Run||Pitch sweep||Johnson||4|
|Motion Chesson in, he blocks down. DE he’s supposed to get is upfield fast and Chesson can’t get him initially, but that’s fine since the play is a pitch outside. Chesson(+0.5) does get him eventually. Braden has a tough job on a guy shaded to the play who’s shooting upfield, barely makes it, gives Kerridge some difficulty, push. Cole(+1) pulls around and blocks a DB out, maintaining his block for most of the play. Kerridge(+2) keeps his feet early and then plants his dude in the EZ. Johnson(+1) waits and waits and then makes the right cut for the endzone. Butt(+0.5) did enough on his guy, maybe coulda gotten hit with holding (Refs +1) but did let go relatively quickly.|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-0, 6 min 1st Q. I don’t recognize these RBs.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||RB||TE||WR||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|M35||1||10||Power I||3||1||1||4-4 even||Run||Double Iso||Smith||4|
|Cole(-1) stood up and eventually discarded by the DE; Poggi has trouble getting through the line as a result. Houma(+1) delivers a solid lead block; Braden(+0.5) and Glasgow(+0.5) double a DT well off the ball, with Braden harassing a second level defender. Smith eventually IDs the gap the DT leaves and hits it but it’s not as smooth as his earlier cuts and Cole’s dude tracks him down from behind after a few yards. May have left a couple on the field here.|
|M39||2||6||Shotgun 2-back||2||0||3||Nickel over||Pass||Flash screen||Chesson||14 (Pen -4)|
|DB playing way off Chesson and M takes advantage, with Perry getting out to that guy and cutting him. Chesson simply outruns the inside defender, who took a crappy angle. That DB manages a shoestring tackle to prevent Chesson one on one with a safety for a TD. Unfortunately Perry(-2) gets hit with an obvious hold as his failed cut block ends with Perry grabbing his dude’s feet. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +1)|
|M35||2||10||Shotgun 4-wide||1||0||4||Nickel even||Run||Sprint Draw||Smith||8|
|A slight variation on the usual draw that gets Michigan through the line, as Rudock sprints to Smith instead of Smith going to him. This changes the attack point and pops Smith right through the line. Cole(+2) has to pass off a DE and then get out to a linebacker in a ton of space, and he does this excellently. This is why moving him to C is a great idea. Braden watches his guy swim inside of him and Smith is immediately into the second level. Glasgow(+1) gets a very good downfield block as well; Smith is in a ton of space but has to redirect around Cole’s block and slows up, allowing a DB to chop him down. Disappointing finish here; this isn’t Smith’s game. RPS +1.|
|M43||3||2||Ace trips tight bunch||1||1||3||Nickel even||Pass||Out||Darboh||Inc|
|Darboh runs a hitch, Rudock throws an out. Determining which guy was right here is impossible. Based on the body language I’m guessing it’s Darboh? (not charted, 0, protection 1/1, Darboh route minus)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, EO1Q.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||RB||TE||WR||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|M20||1||10||Ace||1||2||2||4-3 even||Pass||PA TE post||Butt||Inc|
|MLB bites hard on the PA and opens up a window for Butt; Rudock hits it. A DB comes from behind in an attempt to undercut the ball and does swipe down at Butt’s arm at the last second, jarring the ball loose. This is catchable but not quite the drop it looked like live. (CA, 2, protection 2/2, RPS +1)|
|M20||2||10||Shotgun double stacks||1||1||3||Nickel over||Run||Zone stretch?||Smith||-4 (Pen +15)|
|This play is pretty weird. Most of it looks like a stretch but Glasgow is trying to pull around Braden. Doesn’t matter since Kalis(-3)runs straight downfield when there is a three-tech lined up on his outside shoulder who he absolutely needs to combo through. That guy obliterates Smith in the backfield. He pulls off Smith’s helmet as he does, which is a big break.|
|M35||1||10||I-Form Big H||2||2||1||4-5 over||Run||Iso off tackle||Houma||0|
|Houma(-3) makes an inexplicable cut here. Kalis(+0.5) gives ground but does get his guy decisively to the inside of him; Houma cuts directly into him. On the outside he’s got two lead blockers and the rest of the line against one unengaged DB. Glasgow(+1) chipped and got through to the LB; Magnuson(+0.5) got a good second level block and Williams got a draw with the DE so this is somewhere between 3 yards and 10 if Houma doesn’t cut away from the play design.|
|M35||2||10||Ace 4-wide tight||1||1||3||Nickel over||Pass||Flat||Perry||-1|
|Everyone’s running outs on this play; Rudock fires immediately upon popping up from under center and gets it wrong, as a corner comes up to nail Perry immediately. This had to be a pre-snap read. Nobody else looks open but maybe Smith gets a few as he pops out of the backfield. (BR, 3, protection 1/1)|
|Perry in the backfield next to Smith; he runs a wheel. M also motions Chesson to that side of the field; Chesson just hitches up at seven yards and then finds out nobody wants to tackle him. I think this is some sort of matchup zone; #8 for UF doesn’t know what he should do as Chesson hitches up and Perry runs his wheel route, that hesitation allows Chesson(+1) to explode past him and pick up a big chunk. (CA, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +1)|
|O42||1||10||Shotgun 3-wide||1||1||3||Nickel over||Run||Inside zone||Smith||3|
|Smith doesn’t have great options here. UF rotates a safety down late and shuffles the backside end; end doesn’t have to care about Rudock because the S will take it. Rest of UF line gets to one side of OL, so nothing looks great. Smith probably should cut direct NS off Braden’s butt and get what he can; instead he starts dancing around slowly. Because he is Smith(+0.5) he Smiths out the same yardage he would have gotten anyway. Braden(-1) had a decent initial block but then got thrown to the ground by his man. RPS -1.|
|O39||2||7||I-Form Big||2||2||1||4-4 even||Run||Split zone||Smith||8|
|Smith(+2) does the opposite of what Houma just did, finding a guy on one side of a block in the backfield and cutting right off his OL’s butt. Braden(+1) stays connected and pushing despite the penetration, which turns into overpenetration and opens up a big gap. Cole(+1) and Butt(+1) get extended kickouts. Butt’s holding his guy like mofo but in the center of his chest so that's fine. Kalis gets a little drive on a DT and then loses him; arm tackle on Smith is no-sold. Glasgow(-0.5) stumbles out to the second level and gets a flailing LB block that only slightly delays him; Smith no sells another arm tackle.|
|O31||1||10||Offset I||2||1||2||Base 3-4||Pass||Throwaway||N/A||Inc|
|Great protection; Darboh is covered, as are the shorter options; Rudock misses a dig by Chesson that is available and starts running around. He’s about to run for it when that gets cut off and chucks it away. (TA, N/A, protection 3/3)|
|O31||2||10||Shotgun 3-wide||1||1||3||Nickel even||Pass||Stop and go||Chesson||31|
|Great job by Kalis to stand up a UF DT who times the snap and is across the neutral zone before the ball is even out of Glasgow’s hand. He gives some ground—about four yards—but w/ Rudock on a deep drop he’s not bothered. Meanwhile Chesson and Rudock combine for an excellent pump fake and double move that turns Vernon Hargreaves into burnt toast. While the ensuing throw here is simple I’m giving the DO for the pump fake that was impeccably timed and sold the double move. (DO, 3, protection 2/2, Chesson route ++)|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown,14-7, 8 min 2nd Q.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||RB||TE||WR||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|M20||1||10||I-Form twins||2||1||2||4-3 under||Pass||Throwaway||N/A||Inc|
|Rudock appears to have Chesson on a quick curl route but pumps it and never throws. Both LBs are responding to the PA fake in this throwing lane and it’s possible that Rudock is worried one of them might pop up and deflect or INT the ball, but they’re in man on the RBs. Chesson is open, this is a miss from Rudock. (BR, N/A, protection 2/2)|
|M20||2||10||Offset I||2||1||2||4-3 over||Run||Lead zone||Smith||5|
|M eats a corner blitz here and still makes it work. Chesson has no chance to box this guy out once he dips inside; he does stay connected and keep pushing. Butt(+1) gets a play-long block on a DE; he tries to shed but Butt sticks with him and eventually puts him on the deck. Cole(+1) and Braden(+0.5) get movement on a DT; Cole pops off to get a good hit on a LB while Braden almost kinda loses the DT but keeps him off balance and unable to attack anything. Backside NT double is meh. They get a little depth and their guy doesn’t get involved but nobody gets to the WLB, who scrapes over the top to tackle. Meanwhile Smith(+1) runs through the CB’s tackle—Chesson helps by making it a leg tackle since he shoves the CB to the ground as he dives—and is about to engage in some epic pile moving when a safety comes in to prevent it. Kerridge(-0.5) made minimal contact on another guy trying to keep the train from firing up. RPS -1.|
|M25||3||5||Ace twins twin TE||1||2||2||Nickel over||Pass||Wheel||Chesson||12|
|This catch rivals Darboh’s against BYU for catch of the year. Chesson has press coverage and has to more or less run a bubble route to get outside on this dude in his grill. He does get outside and start moving upfield; DB grabs his jersey and tries to waterski downfield. Flag thrown. Rudock still throws it despite zero separation; ball is absolutely pinpoint and Chesson goes up and makes a leaping over the shoulder catch. Hot dang. (DO, 1, protection 2/2)|
|M37||1||10||Power I||3||1||1||Base 3-4||Run||Double Iso||Johnson||17|
|Glasgow(+2) nerfs a perfectly timed blitz, shoving a dude who was flying across the LOS barely after the snap. Once that guy’s gone it’s 4 v 4 to the playside. Cole(+1) drives his guy back a yard or two. Braden(+0.5) does enough. Houma(+1) plugs a guy trying to run through those two OL. Poggi(+1) kicks the playside OLB. Johnson hits the hole and ain’t nobody for miles. Safety tackles after a bunch. RPS +1.|
|O46||1||10||Shotgun 2-back||2||0||3||Nickel even||Run||Split zone||Smith||1|
|MLB is creepin at the snap and gets into Glasgow(-2) quick; Glasgow’s gotta see that and leave his double ASAP. MLB rips through Glasgow and grabs Smith at the LOS. If Glasgow can cut this guy off the backside of the play is developing nicely as Braden(+1) washes his guy out and Cole(+0.5) redirects to the other LB. Crease was there.|
|O45||2||9||Shotgun 2-back||2||0||3||4-3 even||Pass||Wheel||Perry||24|
|Johnson sprints out of the backfield presnap. He runs to the twins side of the field, and this blows up UF coverage. For one, nobody goes with Johnson. For two, the CB tight to the LOS shoots upfield on the snap in an effort to prevent a screen to Johnson, which is not forthcoming. Chesson runs a stop that absorbs a corner, and Perry’s wheel route is wide open. Rudock nails it. Great pocket, too. (CA, 3, protection 3/3, RPS +2)|
|O21||1||10||I-Form big||2||2||1||4-5 over||Run||Iso||Houma||8|
|Rather rough up front as Braden(-1) gets blown back a yard; DL extends but can’t do much as the guy next to him loses his footing and gets buried by Kalis(+1); it’s a pancake but one with an assist from the turf. Kerridge(+2) does a great job to alter his flight path to get around the difficult Braden block and stand up a linebacker coming in hot. Cole got a free kickout as his guy runs away from him; Glasgow(+1) gets a very good downfield block on the MLB. Houma(+1) makes the same cut Kerridge does and bursts into open space.|
|O13||2||2||I-Form big||2||2||1||Eagle 3-4||Run||Lead zone||Houma||4|
|UF slips an end inside and then walks a LB up; Glasgow appears to point him out as a blitzer and then takes him. That leaves the nose free; Kalis(-2) does not get Glasgow’s call and moves out on that end, who’s taking a gap further outside than his alignment suggests. Kalis whiffs on this dude anyway. NT unblocked into backfield; Houma(+2) goes WHOOP and jukes him. LB level is all headed to the playside so when Houma cuts back there’s a big gap. Glasgow(+1) got that blitzer, as mentioned; Cole(+0.5) and Braden(+0.5) stalemate and engulf the backside DT. Houma gets taken down by the S.|
|O9||1||G||I-Form||2||1||2||4-3 even||Pass||PA dumpoff||Johnson||2|
|UF appears to cover everything here, with Darboh getting bracketed on a post. Rudock takes the checkdown. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)|
|O7||2||G||Shotgun 2back TE||1||1||3||Okie zero||Run||Inside zone||Johnson||4|
|Chesson in the backfield, another sprintout presnap. He takes the S with him, leaving UF with eight guys all on the LOS. Two of them are on the backside of the play and don’t appear to know what they’re doing. NT surges outside of Glasgow on the snap; Glasgow(+1) stays attached and pushes him way upfield. DT is stunting behind this; Braden(+1) gets a shove that puts him past Johnson(+1), who is slaloming through some unexpected gates. Cole(-2) fired out at the stunting DT and is confused when he leaves; he does not find the second level defender, who is a LB who backed out at the snap. This LB is the only thing standing between Johnson and an easy TD; he starts a tackle that Johnson(+1) smiths through for a mansome 3 YAC.|
|O3||3||G||Shotgun 2TE||1||2||2||Eagle 3-6||Pass||Throwaway||N/A||Inc|
|Nobody is open, like, at all, and Rudock just punts it OOB. Mags(-1) got beat around the corner so Rudock doesn’t have any options. (TA, 0, protection ½)|
|Drive Notes: FG(20), 17-7, 1 min 2nd Q.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||RB||TE||WR||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|M31||1||10||Ace||2||2||1||4-3 over||Run||Inside zone||Smith||2|
|UF is using the tilted nose guard here and it gives M difficulty. I’m having difficulty assigning credit and blame again. Glasgow(-0.5) gets shoved back by the NT; Braden(+0.5) hits him and extends to a LB. Cole(-0.5) engages a DL diving inside him and does get him eventually but allows a significant amount of penetration. Smith(+1) has to redirect in the backfield, which is not a strength, and a safety at ten yards and shooting down hard at the snap is there to tackle at the LOS as Darboh has zero chance to successfully crack down on him. Smith gets his plus by not going down and churning out three yards instead of zero. RPS -1; S run blitz gets him in free. This play is a slightly different version of Smith's decisive cut on the first drive.|
|M33||2||8||Ace 3-wide||2||1||2||4-3 under||Pass||Stop||Darboh||17|
|Offset I twins formation at first; Smith motions out to the empty side. UF appears to be in cover two with a corner who sucks up in the flat for a step before realizing he doesn’t have a threat there and dropping. Rudock seems to read the step and go for a ten yard stop route on the outside that is juuuust about open, except that the DB has recovered enough to get a fingertip on it. Darboh brings the ball in, gets obliterated by a safety, and hangs on. MA? MA. (MA, 1, protection 2/2)|
|50||1||10||I-Form Big||2||2||1||4-3 under||Run||Power O||Smith||-1|
|UF nose tackle lines up in that tilt again and then shifts the instant before the snap between Kalis(-1) and Magnuson(-1); dude splits those two guys. This is impeccably timed by a high NFL draft pick and is thus understandable but results based charting. He’s in the backfield, picking off the pulling G, and Smith has nowhere to go but down. Braden(-1) did get dismissed and falls to the ground. Otherwise Smith might get back to the LOS. Brantley’s a dude, dude. RPS -1; snap count timed.|
|M49||2||11||Shotgun 2-back TE||1||1||3||Nickel even||Pass||Delay screen||Butt||11|
|Chesson in the backfield, motioning out to two WRs to the boundary. He’s running an RB presnap motion so I’ll call it two back. It’s ostentatious frippery. And hey it’s that double fake screen play! What good frippery. Rudock fakes a screen to Chesson, erasing half the D, and then flips around to fake it to Johnson, erasing the other half, and Jake Butt is all alone in the middle of the field. (CA, 3, protection 1/1, RPS +3)|
|O40||1||10||I-Form||2||1||2||4-4 over||Run||Power O||Smith||0|
|Kalis pulls. A guy lined up over Kalis shoots directly at him and blows him up, then tackles. This feels like a blown call at the LOS. If you run power here you pull Magnuson given the formation. You could just run at the weakside with an ISO and that works fine. Pulling Kalis is doomed to fail. RPS -2? A player might be to blame here but hell if I know.|
|O40||2||10||Offset I twins||2||1||2||???||Pass||Rollout corner||Chesson||Inc|
|Play gets Chesson one on one with an S; Rudock hesitates for a beat or two and then throws an only-my-guy-can-get-it throw that Chesson spectacularly catches a foot OOB. Would have preferred him to spectacularly catch it a foot in bounds if Rudock throws this same pass on time. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)|
|Easy conversion as UF has five guys at the LOS and might blow a coverage here. Two guys go to Smith out of the backfield; guy nominally on Butt is way outside so once he cuts in he’s wide open. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)|
|Come to this late. Some guessing. Williams(+2) helps blow out a DE with a double that Magnuson(+1) finishes; he peels off to kick out a linebacker and Smith hits this hole hard. Kalis(+1) nailed a DT and extends to a LB to erase him. Smith gets a big ol chunk, easy.|
|O18||1||10||Pistol twins FB||2||1||2||4-4 over||Run||Inside zone||Smith||6|
|DL vacate the center on a play that looks like the MSU double A blitz except one LB doesn’t get the memo. Maybe that’s the plan? I don’t know. Kalis(+1) seems prepared for the shift and blocks the blitzing LB as Glasgow(+1) moves to the LB who may have missed the call. Both guys get wiped. Williams(-1) missed the call here as he kicks out a DE that Houma is also kicking out; he should extend to the LB on the snap, which could give Smith a cutback lane. Mags(-0.5) did a bleah job on his guy, who constricts space and gets an arm tackle in. Smith(+0.5) got his YAC.|
|O12||2||4||Offset I||2||1||2||???||Run||Power O||Smith||2|
|Another play late, and this one so late that I can’t really judge it. Relatively well blocked except for a guy surging through the back, but sometimes that’s the plan for a defense. Punt is probably okay overall on third and four from the 12.|
|O5||1||G||2FB big||2||2||1||Goal line||Run||Yakety snap||N/A||-2|
|So much weird, so little product. This is the fault of jibber jabbering around until there is one on the play clock and the UF NT is all about that. RPS -2.|
|O7||2||G||Ace 3-wide||1||1||3||Nickel over||Penalty||Offsides||N/A||4|
|Very NA section of the game here|
|O3||2||G||Shotgun 3-wide||1||1||3||4-5 over||Pass||Out and slant||Perry||3|
|The almost pick from the S that is a TD to Perry. Lost in the relief here is that this is a righteous route from Perry that beats the UF DB who set up with inside leverage. MLB reads it and almost picks but does not; Perry won this route all the same. (CA, 3, protection 1/1, Perry route +)|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 24-7, 8 min 3rd Q.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||RB||TE||WR||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|M42||1||10||Offset I twins||2||1||2||4-3 over||Run||Pitch sweep||Smith||3|
|Smith(-2) does blow this one. He’s had a great game so far; this is a relapse. Michigan brings in the two WRs tight to and runs to them, trying to overload the edge of the UF D. They get a crease as the guy lined up over Cole(+0.5) jumps inside to the B gap and the SAM type guy over the slot shoots outside. Glasgow(+1) gets around and gets a solid thump on a linebacker who he kicks out; Smith puts himself on the defender’s side of this block and gets tackled. Smith gets a decent chunk if he runs to the correct side of this block; Darboh(-0.5) had gotten shed as he attempted to block a LB but that’s a high DOD block for him. RPS +1; M’s alignment seemed to induce a bust and this crease was an easy one.|
|M45||2||7||Offset I big||2||2||1||4-4 under||Pass||PA post||Chesson||45|
|Eight guys in the box and one deep safety; M motions Butt to the short side and sends him deep, occupying that guy. Chesson is thus in one on one and successfully gets to the post against Hargreaves, though Hargreaves stays within a step. Middle of the field is open and Rudock hits Chesson dead in stride for a big gain. So pretty. (DO, 2, protection 3/3, RPS +1, no deep S against post)|
|O10||1||G||Ace twin TE||1||2||2||5-3 over||Run||Zone stretch||Smith||7|
|Functionally an under front with a guy who’s a straight up fifth DL in the SAM spot. Uh. Actually, now that I look at the play, Florida lined up a 220 pound freshman LB at WDE. Cole(+2) crushes this man, driving him almost to the goal line by the end of this play. Smith is headed outside from the drop on this play and easily gets the corner. His first seven yards are free and it’s a surprise when a safety nails him for no YAC at the three. RPS +2.|
|O3||2||G||Shotgun 3-wide||1||1||3||Goal line||Run||Inside zone||Smith||2|
|Smith(+3) makes this on his own as UF sends blitzers off both edges. They threaten to converge on Smith; Smith makes a smart cut past one, powers through a diving tackle attempt from the other, and drives two more guys almost to the goal line. Mags(-2) seems to blow this assignment here as he’s blocking down on a guy already running away from him; he lets the DL in free. Seems to expect Butt will get him; Butt has to deal with one of the guys off the edge. Cole(-1) also beat; his guy dives inside and he’s slow to react.|
|O1||3||G||Goal line||2||3||0||Goal line||Run||FB dive||Houma||1|
|Kalis(+1) and Mags(+1) put their dude in the endzone; Houma follows.|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 31-7, 3 min 3rd Q. This appears to conclude the portion of the game in which Florida really gives a crap.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||RB||TE||WR||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|M11||1||10||Power I||3||1||1||4-4 even||Run||Double Iso||Smith||3|
|There is a cutback lane here but with a safety at seven yards it’s probably worth about as much as Smith got. Poggi(-0.5)has a kickout block that knocks his guy back for a moment but then does not kick dude out; Cole(-0.5) get stalemated and then his guy releases to tackle at the LOS. With this game into garbage time I’m not RPSing stuff like running at two safeties real close to the LOS.|
|M14||2||7||Ace 3-wide||1||1||3||Nickel under||Pass||Scramble||Rudock||14|
|UF lines up in an under front, Butt motions across formation, no reaction. M waggles and Butt is trying to cut off pursuit. He has no one to cut off. Rudock has plenty of time, doesn’t like his options downfield, and takes off. (SCR, N/A, protection 2/2, RPS +1)|
|M28||1||10||Ace||2||1||2||4-3 even||Pass||FB flat||Houma||Inc|
|I’m just calling this Ace but it’s got Butt and Houma in H-back spots with the WR s on the LOS. Glasgow does a great job to pick up a guy coming in hot on a blitz; Rudock checks down and throws it wide of Houma, who has to dive to grab it and can’t bring it in. Was open for a decent gain. (IN, 1, protection 2/2)|
|M28||2||10||Offset I twins||2||1||2||4-4 over||Pass||Fly||Darboh||Pen +15|
|UF jumps offsides, free play. Kalis(-2) gets shed one on one by a DT and allows pressure up the gut; Rudock gets decked, which causes the ball to come up short as Darboh tries to burn UF deep. Darboh comes back to the ball and almost makes a nice adjustment catch when UF’s DB tackles him by his helmet. Ball pops loose. I’m not charting this for WR. QB gets a PR. Kalis -2 on the protection and RPS +1 for the hard count.|
|M43||1||10||I-Form Big||2||2||1||4-3 over||Run||Lead zone||Smith||2|
|I think Cole(-1) is uncertain of the call or his assignment as he doesn’t fire off the ball but momentarily looks like he’s going to pass set before engaging the DE. DE rocks him back and wins the block, getting to the POA more or less free. Glasgow(-0.5) also gets rocked back. Very little room; Braden releases to the LB who’s hitting it hard outside of Cole’s block. He trips over Cole’s guy but I see no way he actually makes this block. Would like to see him write that dude off and move to the secondary. Houma(+0.5) does get to a gap further outside than I think he wants to go at play’s beginning and thumps the dude Braden can’t get to; Smith is funneled back inside where Cole’s man makes the tackle.|
|M45||2||8||Shotgun 4-wide||1||2||2||Nickel even||Pass||Scramble||Rudock||4|
|Michigan does not do a good job with a stunt; Mags and Kalis end up chasing their dudes instead of passing them off. Mags does stay on his dude and push him past Rudock, so he escapes a minus. Kalis… I mean he does okay. Sure, individual minuses rescinded. Both stunting guys get pushed past Rudock, who steps up in the pocket smartly and takes off. (PR, 0, protection ½, team -1)|
|M49||3||4||Shotgun 3-wide||1||1||3||Nickel even||Pass||TE dig||Hill||24|
|Clever route combo sees Perry tuck inside of Hill, the inline TE, just after the snap, and then break out just beyond the sticks. This naturally draws a lot of attention and opens up Hill a bit deeper. Rudock reads it and throws a rope for a big chunk. This LB who got worked here was duped by Perry moving into his zone at first before breaking back into someone else’s. Subtle and effective. (CA, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +2)|
|O27||1||10||I-Form Big||2||2||1||4-4 under||Run||FB dive||Houma||2|
|Florida slants to this and that puts M in a tough spot with their blocks. Glasgow(-1) gets beat back by the NT, who constricts space and then disengages to tackle around the LOS. Mags(+0.5) does a decent job to fling another DL upfield to provide a small crease. RPS -1.|
|O25||2||8||Shotgun empty||1||1||3||Nickel even||Pass||Drag||Ways||Inc|
|All day for Rudock, who comes off three WR to the top who are all covered; he tries to salvage it by hitting Ways underneath, but the umpire(-2) moves up into the play such that he picks off Ways, not the guy following him. (not charted, 0, protection 3/3)|
|O25||3||8||Shotgun 4-wide||1||0||4||Nickel even press||Run||Draw||Johnson||12|
|This is Michigan’s draw where they move the QB to the RB so he’s got a different attack angle than most draws. UF sends a fifth rusher and this looks pretty bad for a second. Braden(+1) gets on the NT going hard upfield and puts him on the ground; Cole(+2) shoves a DE slanting inside and has the wherewithal to then extend to one of the LBs who is sitting at the LOS. He gets enough of that guy, giving Johnson(+1) the time to read the situation and burst outside, with Rudock(+0.5) getting a cutoff block on the gent Cole left. RPS -1.|
|O13||1||10||I-Form Big||2||2||1||4-5 under||Run||Lead zone||Smith||3|
|NT attempts to rip through Kalis and Glasgow and emerge in the backfield in an instant. Kalis(+1) deals with him ably, putting him on the ground, but Glasgow gets blown up as he tries to release to the second level and NT gets inadvertent two for one. This leaves an MLB free. Mags(+0.5) blows out a DL slanting away; Williams(+0.5) gets a solid downfield block, so Smith can get a few before the LB and a safety who started at seven yards can tackle. I see no way for Glasgow to get out here so I don’t want to neg him. RPS –1.|
|O10||2||7||Ace trip TE||1||3||1||4-3 under||Pass||Scramble||Rudock||2|
|M lines up with three TEs cheek to cheek and then passes out of that formation; I think they were thinking that UF would overreact to the run threat. They do not. Rudock sees nothing, and neither do I. He gets flushed up in the pocket and just decides to take off instead of trying to fit it in a narrow, dangerous space. (SCR, 0, protection 2/2, RPS -1)|
|O8||3||5||Shotugn 3-wide||1||2||2||4-5 under||Pass||Wheel||Johnson||8|
|Wheel route is wide open as UF guy in coverage gets stuck lined up a couple yards behind Johnson laterally and then has to work his way through double slants. No chance for UF because of the playcalls. (CA, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +2)|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 38-7, 12 min 4th Q.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||RB||TE||WR||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|O41||1||10||Offset I twins||2||1||2||4-3 even||Run||Split zone||Smith||0|
|Mags(+0.5) takes the DE and kicks him effectively for a moment; Butt flares out to the CB in a zone overhang over him. This leaves Kalis(-2) and Glasgow to combo through the DT to this side. DT slides inside and Kalis hits him and keeps hitting him and continues hitting him some more, which is very effective at blowing up the DT but leaves the SAM totally unmolested in the hole the double just made. Smith decides to cut away from this but there’s nothing on the backside either, because there’s an extra DT there now and also a free guy coming off the slot. Would have been better off just ramming into the SAM but can’t blame a guy for trying. Braden(-0.5) didn’t get much push on his dude; Glasgow(+0.5) read the slant from the DT and shoved him way out his gap, albeit with help.|
|O41||2||10||Ace 3-wide||1||2||2||4-3 over?||Pass||PA slant||Bunting||17|
|M pulls Braden around and gets heavy bites from both ILBs. Bunting(route+) beats a safety trying to playing him both ways, getting good separation as he breaks in. With the LBs out of position this is easy for Rudock; Bunting flashes the hands for a natural-looking catch and gets a healthy chunk of YAC. (CA, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +2)|
|O24||1||10||I-Form Big||2||2||1||4-3 under||Run||Iso||Smith||-1|
|Mags(-2) airballs on a DE lined up unusually far outside as UF returns to their big split DL. Someone’s gotta fill that gap and it’s the DE; Mags does not anticipate this and gets ole’d on the block. DL into the backfield, TFL. Kalis(+1) gets a good bump on the NT and extends to a LB who he nails; Houma(-1) got tossed the ground by his guy after some initial movement backwards.|
|DB wins here as Ways gets no separation from Hargreaves on press coverage; by the time the ball arrives Hargreaves is coming in front and gets a PBU. (CA, 0, protection 1/1, Ways route -)|
|O25||3||11||Shotgun 3-wide||1||1||3||Nickel even||Pass||Scramble||Rudock||14|
|Pocket is very good against five man rush. Rudock can’t find anyone early and then has to start moving up as one of the DEs threatens to come around the corner. Once he breaks the pocket he sees big piles of space and takes off, pointing at Perry(+1) to block his defender. Perry does and Rudock(+1) nimbly cuts off Perry’s back and picks it up. (SCR, N/A, protection 3/3)|
|O11||1||10||Ace||2||1||2||4-3 under||Run||Inside zone||Houma||5|
|Both TEs in H-back spots; UF responds by bringing down both OLB over them. Bunting(+1) gets matched up against a sophomore OLB and kicks him out effectively. Cole(+2) first cuts off a DE who may have blown an assignment; he seems to head to the same gap as the guy next to him. Cole still has to move around and anchor, which he does effectively. Then he lets that guy go at the right moment and gets downfield to get a second block. Houma squeezes through and gets a solid pickup; only thing preventing a bigger gain is a safety who starts at six yards. Glasgow(+0.5) got out to harass the MLB Cole finishes the play by hitting.|
|O6||2||5||Offset I Big||2||2||1||Goal line||Run||Double Iso||Houma||-1|
|Williams(-0.5) gets thrust back by a DE. He does turn him inside, and with both FB types headed outside of him I think he does enough to make this play work. Poggi(+1) stands up the end guy and Kerridge shoots through the gap at a safety, but the outcome of his block is unknown since Houma spotted a huge cutback lane that looks like an easy touchdown and slips trying to cut to it. Braden(+1) and Cole(+0.5) got control of their guys for the lane to open up. Houma -1, turf -2.|
|O7||3||6||Shotgun empty quads||1||1||3||Nickel even||Pass||Slant||Harris||Inc|
|Kalis(-2) beat clean by the DT, who nails Rudock on the release. He overthrows Harris, who was well covered by the S; Rudock came very close to putting it in the only spot he had a chance. (PR, N/A, protection 0/2)|
|Drive Notes: FG(25), 41-7, 6 min 4th Q.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||RB||TE||WR||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|M32||1||10||I-Form Big tight||2||2||1||???||Run||Pin and pull zone||Johnson||9|
|Goal line formation with Ways as a TE, more or less. M runs a pin and pull with three lead guys. Bunting(+1) gets into and erases the playside OLB. Cole(+1) has the mobility to get out to a CB and shoves him, giving Johnson(+1) a ton of room to the corner. He needs it. Ways(-1) gets driven back badly, forcing the two interior pullers to go upfield of him. This kills Braden and makes Kerridge change his flight path. He can’t get to the LB he’s targeting but does maybe make him stumble a bit, and then Braden’s guy falls over him. +0.5? Sure. Johnson uses his burst and the Cole block to get past the LB and then makes a safety miss for a couple more yards.|
|M41||2||1||I-Form Big||2||2||1||4-3 under||Run||Off tackle||Houma||5|
|M blocks down on the SDE with Bunting(+0.5) and Mags(+0.5), who shoot him inside and open up a lane. Poggi(+1) takes on an OLB, bashing him back to the LOS and opening up the corner; Houma(+1) sees it and makes the adjustment for a nice chunk.|
|M46||1||10||Shotgun trips||1||1||3||Nickel even||Pass||Screen||Smith||0|
|UF moves a safety late and directly into this play. Braden(-1) doesn’t release quickly and then gets his targeting wrong, going after the same guy Glasgow is, but I don’t think he makes this play either way. RPS -2.|
|M46||2||10||I-Form Big||2||2||1||Base 3-4||Run||Split zone||Houma||7|
|Aiming at the backside of this play and they get it as Bunting(+2) has a textbook chip-and-release. He seals Mags's(+0.5) block for him and then goes to club the MLB. Kerridge(+0.5) gets a kickout and Houma(+0.5) takes the lane afforded him, running through an S tackle for a few bonus yards.|
|O47||3||3||Shotgun trips tight bunch||1||1||3||Nickel even||Pass||Angle||Perry||11|
|Perry running underneath Bunting and Harris out of the bunch. Harris runs off the LB with a drag, Bunting momentarily takes two on a corner, and Perry wins his route against the corner, albeit in an advantageous situation for him. Rudock hits him in stride (CA, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +1)|
|O36||1||10||I-Form Big||2||2||1||4-4 over||Run||Power O||Smith||4|
|Kalis(+1) does a nice job adjusting to the DT slanting under him and shoves him out of the POA. Playside LB shoots the gap and absorbs both Braden and Poggi. This limits the play but Smith’s bounce to the outside is questionable since there’s an unblocked DB out there. S may be going too fast here to avoid a crackback by Ways; Smith can cut inside of him, and there’s a little crack of space thanks to another very solid block by Bunting(+1). He’s going up against backups here but this is a 250 pound former four star recruit he clubs. Smith manages to Smith himself a few yards. Mags(-1) did not react to the DL as well as Kalis did and ends up blocking nobody at the second level.|
|O32||2||6||Offset I twins stack||2||1||2||4-3 over||Pass||Rollout corner||Perry||14|
|This is Harbaugh trying to add to Rudock’s NFL reel, what with Rudock rolling out and having to throw across his body awkwardly. He does so to an open Perry, who makes a nice catch outside the frame of his body for a first down. (CA, 2, protection 2/2)|
|Nobody does the worm 0/10|
|Drive Notes: EOG, 41-7.|
Well, this is timely.
Do you want to keep doing this or… talk about the game.
One more. Harrumph.
This was a pasting. Michigan had eight real drives before a clock killer to end the game. Those drives:
- 9 plays, 73 yards, TD
- three and out
- 8 plays, 80 yards, TD
- 12 plays, 77 yards, FG
- 12 plays, 69 yards, TD
- 5 plays, 58 yards, TD
- 12 plays, 84 yards, TD
- 9 plays, 34 yards, FG
Even the clock killer went 49 yards before Michigan kneeled it out. To crack 500 yards in a game this short means you were basically unstoppable. Michigan was basically unstoppable.
Florida totally didn't want to be there, though.
There's probably some truth to that, especially after Michigan extended the lead to 17 in the second half. With Treon Harris at the controls on the other side the prospect of a comeback was dim indeed. Meanwhile this Florida team was coming off back-to-back demoralizing losses against FSU (27-2) and Alabama (29-15, but felt worse than that thanks to under 200 yards of total offense). Several players had already declared for the draft.
I can only judge the things I see happen in front of me and not the mental state of the players. It is worth keeping in mind.
The silver lining is that Michigan and its first year coach was coming off a demoralizing loss of their own, and they took this game and the preparations for it very seriously. That paid off. Several players had their best games in a Michigan uniform. As a whole this offense looked far more polished and intelligent than it had all year. And there's no one who stood out more in this regard than a guy who was half whipping boy this year.
Underclass Stevie Brown.
These aren't even offensive players.
Now you're not even trying.
Yes! De'Veon Smith.
So. Smith came to play in this game. I don't know if a month off got Smith's ankle healthy or allowed Wheatley to finally drill running back decision matrices into his head or what, but Smith was a different dude. The opening carry saw him check hole after hole until he found an actual gap, which he hit as efficiently as possible:
That blocking is mediocre all around and Smith feels his way past four gaps of nothin' until daylight. He breaks into the second level with barely any separation between himself and his OL and makes the most out of a meh situation. Remarkably, this was a consistent feature.
This was run #2, a borked mess of a play on which Florida aligns itself in the unusual fashion you can see at the beginning of this post, Michigan gets the line call wrong, and Smith is presented with a defensive lineman in the backfield. Then he's Mike Hart all of a sudden:
That's an eight yard swing based on something I flat out did not think Smith could do. You always take reports of nagging injuries healed with a grain of salt since everyone's always hurt and will get hurt again, but that's an eyebrow cocker. A version of Smith with that agility and the ability to use it is another level of back.
Previous UFRs had frequently complained that Smith was not a "one-cut" back who made a decisive change to his flight path and went; instead Smith would change direction more than once as he took unwise angles. This was carry #3:
Smith probably could have ground out some yards by following the play design there—Williams has enough of his guy that Smith can bend it to the outside and get his burrow on. The instant decision to hit the big gap to the backside is a big gain, and reminds me of that video from the sidelines of the Stanford-VT Orange Bowl. Harbaugh kept yelling "back door, back door" at his tailback and sure enough he made a cut very similar to this to blow through the line. I wonder if someone is seeing this presnap, as Florida's formation is vulnerable to this cutback if the backside DE gets blown out, as he does. Michigan shifted from getting blown up by that alignment to blowing it up very quickly. (They got inside the ten on a zone stretch that hit that gap as well, about which more in a second.)
On the very next snap Smith demonstrated that he hadn't lost his touch at the parts of his game that were already top notch:
While that play ends up a zero because Rudock got spooked, Smith's blitz pickup there makes me wish "mansome" was in the thesaurus. That's the least surprising of these plays because he's always been a plus blocker; few of his plus blocks have been as difficult and executed with such aplomb. I want to emphasize that these were four of the first five plays on which Smith had heavy involvement. (The fifth was a three yard run near the goal line that presented no opportunities to put an exclamation mark over my head.)
And this continued! Presented with a DL penetrating almost to the handoff point Smith cut off his OL's back and blew through an arm tackle. On the three, Smith turned negative two yards into two by juking two dudes and running through a couple tackles. Even on certain runs where it looked like he'd screwed up, the tape revealed he was trying to make the best of a bad situation only to find that there was no relief elsewhere. It took me a couple takes to realize that this was Smith avoiding a wholly unblocked LB in the hole:
As I said in the table above, he's probably better off running right at the guy for a few yards but I prefer Smith seeing trouble and adjusting even if it doesn't work out. Early in the second half Smith cut to the backside of the line and got hewed down early because a safety blitz prevented Darboh from getting to the guy. That's an RPS minus; without the playcall Smith is ripping off another backside cut. Even with it if Cole had cut off penetration a little better Smith can attack the S head-on, and that usually ends badly for the DB.
This is a sea change. There was a big argument in the aftermath of the Minnesota UFR when I didn't like Smith just running into a DL instead of making a cut, ill-fated or not, on this run:
If he cuts off the butt of his OL that play probably ends up a lot like the one just above, with not much gained. But sometimes you end up gliding to the backside of the line and finding the secondary, as Smith did on his first run. Or you pause and cut off the butt of your OL and manage to turn second and fourteen into second and six. Even on the plays that gained little or nothing I thought Smith was seeing the field in front of him and running with purpose.
Drake Johnson also got in on the act. Towards the end of the opening drive that Smith was ripping it up on he came in, getting the same formation with the big gap in the line that Smith hit for his cutback. Michigan ran a zone stretch and as soon as the NT committed outside of Braden, Johnson hit the gap. He'd finish the drive with a sharp cutback off his OL's back:
In the aftermath of Michigan's opening drive I sat blinking very quietly for a moment. This blog has hypothesized that Fred Jackson went into coast mode late in his career and that an ambitious Ty Wheatley might be a meaningful step up. Through 12 games there was precious little evidence in support, but it really felt like the bowl practices made things go "click" for Smith and—to a somewhat lesser extent—Johnson. Johnson even got his Smith impression on when he made a couple nice cuts and then powered out 3 YAC near the goal line.
There was very little to criticize from any of the backs. Sione Houma did have one outrageously bad cut, but he also juked an NFL first round DL in the backfield and generally looked like the package of power and agility that got me to compare him to Matt Asiata coming out of high school. (You may remember Asiata taking shotgun snaps directly up the middle over and over again in yet another of those Utah losses.) Smith put himself on the wrong side of a Glasgow block on a sweep that otherwise had potential. That was the only complaint I had against a half-dozen moments where he made the most of his opportunities.
This is probably a good time for the
This chart has a lot of big numbers. Michigan had 77 offensive plays, which is a lot for them, and I charted them all since they left the starters in most of the way. Amplitudes are thereby increased.
|Cole||17.5||6||11.5||Really really good in space.|
|Braden||9||4.5||4.5||Maybe Adam's draftageddon pick wasn't totally bonkers.|
|Glasgow||11.5||5||6.5||Solid sendoff for a guy who saw some terrible things|
|Kalis||8.5||8||0.5||Mental issues persisted.|
|Butt||4.5||4.5||Did work against OLB/WDE types.|
|Williams||4.5||2||2.5||Goodnight sweet exemplar of Harbaugh player development|
|Kerridge||6||0.5||5.5||Sometimes there's a man|
|Poggi||4||0.5||3.5||No targeting issues in this one.|
|Bunting||5.5||5.5||That's an eyepopper right there.|
|TOTAL||76.5||33||70%||That's a W against the #5 S&P+ run D last year.|
|Rudock||1.5||1.5||Got a blocking half-point.|
|Smith||15||2||13||Discussed extensively above.|
|Houma||7.5||5||2.5||Most of this running rather than blocking so he goes here.|
|Johnson||6||6||Also discussed extensively above.|
|Protection||56||8||88%||Kalis –4, Glasgow –2, Magnuson –1, Team –1.|
Lot of tilted nose went well or badly so big numbers here.
Michigan put up 225 rushing yards in this game at 4.9 a pop and spent a lot of carries near the goal line, which have limited upside. It was a rushing performance Michigan has not seen since Denard, and if we're talking about a pro-style offense probably not since Chris Perry was going bonkers in 2003. And their pass blocking was great.
The offensive line was... good? Against that level of competition?
Motivation caveats apply.
Yeah but I mean even so.
Our target for run +/- for a successful day is 66% and Michigan cleared that, but they had a lot of help from the blocky/catchy types to do so. The OL's run blocking was… okay.That feels like a win given the level of competition. Caleb Brantley wrecked three guys on one play…
…and I wasn't even mad. That late shift is perfectly timed and he is a freakish athlete. The two DTs in this game were formidable opposition. The DEs were not. I don't remember if Florida had some guys out but their edge rush was horrendous—one minus between both tackles on 35 or so passing attempts—and while I like Butt and Bunting for those guys to collectively rack up +10 and no minuses says something about the opposition.
Glasgow is/was very good and demonstrated that in this game and in the NFL draft; good luck to him at the next level. As far as guys around next year go, Cole really is terrific in space:
I think he's going to be a great center. Centers end up releasing direct to the second level more frequently than anyone else, and Cole was A+ at that. He's got the power to cope and the intelligence to walk into a starting lineup as a true freshman. Glasgow had a couple of blitz pickups in this game that resulted in big gains that I'm hopeful Cole will be able to replicate. The whole rushing offense felt more polished and coherent after these bowl practices, and maintaining that level of comfort at the spot that makes the line calls is the main way to keep building on this performance.
Kalis remained disappointingly inconsistent. This stood out since various other players seemed to make major leaps forward between the regular season and the bowl. Kalis not so much. The run above where Smith hits the eject button despite having a nice looking hole failed because Kalis overcommitted to a DL and let a linebacker in free. He's still blowing past guys he needs to block with disturbing frequency:
There are alignments in which blowing by that dude is correct because the guy behind you can help out. That's obviously not one of them. At the very least you need to chip him and I'm about 90% sure that Kalis and Magnuson need to combo through a guy that's lined up on Kalis's outside shoulder. Unfortunately this was not an isolated occurrence. The Houma WHOOP on Brantley was needed because Glasgow was forced to pick up a blitzing LB. Presnap he seems to point this out to Kalis, who ends up blocking a guy moving to a different gap:
Florida's in a 3-4 and both DEs are lined up super tight. When the LB walks down it seems like Glasgow realizes the purpose of the unusual formation is to get the NT or LB in free; he interprets the data and wants to make a change. Kalis just sees the guy over him and decides to block him. On the stretch he saw a guy outside of him and decides to leave him. The subtleties escape him. Four years into a five-year career I'm not super hopeful the light goes on.
Don't get it twisted, though: Kalis did have a number of plays on which he diagnosed who he should block and did so. He scraped above zero against those DTs. He's all right. I project that he'll be a little better next year, which makes him good-ish.
I don't have much to say about Braden or Magnuson. Braden generally latched on and got a bit of movement. He's cut down on the lunging and spent the second half of last year as a consistently decent guard. He does most of the good stuff Kalis does with fewer outright mental errors. Magnuson ended up slightly negative, and that's a bit of a concern. He's had a hard time getting his head above water this year.
This was the game that Jehu Chesson arrrived! I mean, yeah? Right?
It was certainly the best game of his career. The two big plays against Vernon Hargreaves, just months away from being the #11 pick in the NFL draft, catch the eye. Chesson has a veritable media hype train behind him now based on those two plays. And while they're nice plays, teams and players often get overrated because of a bowl game or a few flashy plays in said bowl game. If Chesson just had those two items I'd be more worried this was an anomaly; he didn't.
Chesson's speed was also apparent on a 24-yard catch and run on which one defensive back was loathe to close on him—possibly because of matchup-zone-based confusion—and another simply could not keep up. Check #7 as he enters the frame here:
Chesson's distancing himself from a 5'10" safety the whole way. A replay of that infamous Jason Witten catch in a bowl game that was the inverse of this game.
If Chesson's speed is not news, how about a couple of crazy catches? This play drew an interference call that Michigan got to decline because dang:
And this was about six inches from entering the pantheon of all-time Michigan catches with Walker, Avant, and Woodson:
Combined with the two wins against Hargreaves that's nearly a half-dozen eyepopping plays in a single game. The hype he's getting is warranted, and the sample size supporting it is relatively large.
This progress thing is nice.
Yes.Chesson took a leap and he wasn't the only WR to do so. After an early penalty that caused Michigan twitter to moan "here we go again" about Grant Perry's star-crossed year, he suddenly ceased seeming like a deer staring down a road full of headlights. He popped open on a wheel route thanks to play design more than anything he did, but he caught it, looked comfortable doing it, and didn't look back. Try to ignore the heartstopping near-interception on Perry's touchdown and just focus on his route:
That DB set up inside, turned his hips, and got beat inside. That's some good slot work. He'd repeat that on a late angle route.
Michigan yanked the starting receivers while allowing Rudock to work on his NFL tape, so it was Perry that got the cherry on the sundae. He reeled in a wheel route with a relatively tough catch outside of his body:
This was the guy who caught a zillion passes in high school: not overly physical, where he's supposed to be all the time, good hands. It's not exactly a surprise that he got there by the end of year one, but it is another example of the offense-wide improvement. Michigan took their bowl prep extremely seriously.
Also I clipped this mansome Darboh catch on a slant despite the DB arriving early is straight out of the Avant playbook:
This was exclusively for season preview purposes.
Any late revelations to get hyped about this year?
Michigan left the starting OL, Rudock, and Smith/Johnson in the whole way so this question boils down to the receiving positions. I do have a name: Ian Bunting. All caveats about a bowl blowout apply; all the same I checked on the guys he was beating up and they were generally four star recruits in their second or third year, like Bunting. And he did beat some guys up. Unfortunately by the time he got significant snaps the already-shaky director was regularly cutting to plays post-snap. So I cannot put a box around him to make things clear here, but on this play he gives M the edge by turning in a DE and sticking with it for the duration:
This is a textbook chip-and-then-get-the-linebacker:
He'd finish his blocking performance by driving a WDE type a couple of yards off the ball to offer a cutback lane to Smith. Given the situation all these developments should be taken somewhat lightly, but for a guy whose blocking is the biggest question about his game this was a very encouraging series.
Meanwhile on his one catch he flashed the hands and made me double check that "89" wasn't "88."
He should start working into the lineup as Michigan attempts to find out how close he is to a Butt clone.
Tweaks and such?
There wasn't a ton of flashy stuff. Michigan won the tactical battle when Florida lined up like this:
Florida managed to use this overload to confuse Michigan a couple times but Smith escaped a big loss and then Michigan went to work on it, as described in the running back section above.
Michigan did use a diversity of formations that seemed a step up from the regular season. The yo-yo thing where a Harbaugh team would go from a big formation to four or five wide was more prominent. There were a few callbacks to things from the regular season, like that draw where the QB sprints to the RB and the double fake screen we saw Khalid Hill catch against BYU. (This time it was Butt.)
My favorite thing was a subtle route alteration that got Khalid Hill wide open. Here Perry tucks his route inside off the snap. The linebacker clearly checks him a couple times… and then Perry breaks back to the outside. A distracted linebacker with no depth is then easy pickings for the second-level throw to Hill:
I haven't seen a similar thing from Michigan's offense. I'm sure it's commonplace in the NFL. The combination of Harbaugh and Fisch feels like it should be good at figuring out these little things that screw with matchup zones (and regular ones) by messing with keys.
(Also of note on this play is how natural Hill is as a receiver, something we've seen from time to time. He may not be able to run like Houma; he should still be a two-way weapon.)
We're a million words into this and you still haven't mentioned Jake Rudock.
Right. That guy.
Jake Rudock 2014
Jake Rudock 2015
Wilton Speight 2015
The light remained on for Rudock. He had an easy time in this game since his OL kept him very clean—those three PRs are almost the only time anyone got anywhere near him. Two inaccurate passes and almost ten YPA will do just fine. Here's to Rudock as the new Todd Collins.
And the wide receiver chart?
[0 = uncatchable, 1 = circus catch, 2 = moderate difficulty, 3 = routine]
ROUTES: Chesson ++, Perry +, Bunting +, Ways –, Darboh –.
Unless he had a flat drop against OSU I don't remember Butt will get through the season perfect on routine balls and really good at tougher catches.
Smith was a new man. Rudock continued being Rudock. The left side of the line was very good, and the blocky/catchy types blew out their opposite numbers. Chesson blew up.
Maybe not so heroic?
The right side of the line wasn't awful but they were a relative weak point. Kalis had a number of mental errors and gave up a couple of quick pressures up the middle.
What does it mean for 2016?
I go to work. The #1 thing that leapt out about this game was the progress a half-dozen players made. Chesson, Perry, Smith, Johnson, Bunting, Poggi, and Braden all may have played their best games. Michigan players keep talking about how this is a different world for them, one in which they are pushed and improve as a result of that. This face-punching after an extended period of practice behind closed doors is the clearest evidence in favor of that not named AJ Williams.
That's why they put Smith on ice this spring. The guy who played this game is not the guy who played most of the rest of the year. If Citrus Bowl Smith shows up for 12+ games this year, Chris Perry and Toby Gerhart will be referenced repeatedly. One game samples and all that.
Chesson is worth the hype. I didn't even embed the Hargreaves plays because you know 'em and I had other things to focus on. He's a legit 6'3" and faster than the Florida secondary, and he's just about polished. Dude is gonna be a dude.
The offensive line is still a potential issue. Cole and Braden will be fine, with Braden shading towards legit good at the end of the year. Kalis and Magnuson are replacement level; while both should improve I don't think either is going to be All Big Ten level or particularly close to it. If concerns about Newsome turn into real problems, they could take a step back despite bringing four starters back. I don't think that's likely, but I would have liked to have seen more progress from the right side of the line.
Grant Perry can get his Roundtree on this fall. Not the Roundtree that streaks wide open through the secondary because of Denard, but the other one who is a slot option with some more downfield upside because he's a bit bigger than your usual slot. His polish was obscured by early freshman jitters; he became a reliable option in this game and over the course of the spring.
Ian Bunting is probably ready. All caveats aside he looked just as capable as Butt as a blocker and in his league as a receiver.