Upon Further Review 2016: Offense vs Hawaii

Submitted by Brian on September 8th, 2016 at 3:00 PM

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FORMATION NOTES: There wasn't anything worth screenshotting as unusual. Here is a picture of how this game went.


[Bryan Fuller]

PERSONNEL NOTES: Speight was your QB until the last three drives when things went O'Korn-Morris-Malzone. The RB depth chart looked to be Smith-Isaac-Evans-Higdon-Davis, with Isaac and Evans getting the bulk of the work once Smith's rib issue sent him to the bench. Poggi (15 snaps) and Hill (21) split things about down the middle at FB.

No surprises at WR, and the lack of passing cut into opportunities to see guys down the depth chart. McDoom may have passed Drake Harris? Way too early to tell. Nate Johnson was about the only guy who surprisingly didn't play, FWIW.

At TE it was all Butt and Bunting early. Wheatley and Asiasi didn't get snaps until the second half, I believe. Those two and McKeon all got around 15.

OL was Newsome-Bredeson/Kugler-Cole-Kalis-Magnuson, with Kugler getting the first and third quarters while Bredeson had the second and fourth. The second team line was JBB-Bredeson-Kugler-Onwenu-Ulizio. With Kugler on both lines he actually got 59 snaps, more than anyone else on either side of the ball. FWIW, Michigan left Newsome out for one drive after the established players left w JBB at RT and Ulizio on the bench.

[After THE JUMP: hair]

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M29 1 10 I-Form Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-3 over Pass Waggle cross Butt INT
Speight looks at a very covered Butt and throws it directly to a LB. Had the WR further inside. (BRX, 0, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Interception, 0-0, 13 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M2 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 over Run Iso Smith 6
M runs a very basic iso to get out from the shadow of the goal line and gets good movement. Kalis(+1) and Mags(+1) combo through a DT with Mags getting to the second level; Kalis will eventually put his guy on the deck as he tries to tackle. Butt gets a one on one block with a DE and does okay but doesn’t control him or get a ton of push and that guy ends up making contact at about a yard or two. Poggi(-1) totally overran his kickout and his guy comes under. On the backside Kugler(+1) gets a pancake one on one. Smith grunts his way for a chunk.
M8 2 4 I-Form Big twin TE 2 2 1 5-2 over Run Power O Smith -3
Butt(-2) crumpled to the ground by an OLB over him. Poggi has to abort to take this guy out and does an okay job. Kalis and Smith have crossed wires as they figure out what to do with this mess now. Kalis decides to bend around to the outside. Smith(-1) does as well but his decision comes in two parts instead of one and this gives Hawaii time to rally on him. Elsewhere this is pretty well blocked with Newsome(+2) getting a great chip-and-climb to a LB. Bunting(+0.5) got a big push on a DE to potentially open up a gap if Butt hadn’t gotten rocked.
M5 3 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel under Pass Slant Chesson 16
This is well timed and right on point but maybe just short of DO territory since it’s a simple throw. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
M21 1 10 Ace 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over Run Jet sweep Chesson 15
Unblocked playside end bites on run action away and Chesson’s past him. Butt(+0.5) gets enough on a LB/S type in space and Chesson(+0.5) can cut to either side. He picks upfield now and beats the CB who was trying to mirror his motion for a chunk. RPS +2.
M36 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 ??? Run Split zone Smith 3
Butt(-2) again can’t control his guy; He ends up shoved backwards by one hand as the UH DE fills an interior gap Smith wants to hit. Smith tries to adjust to go outside now but Butt loses ground such that Smith(+1) impacts him. He manages to grind out a couple he should not but he is Smith so yeah.
M39 2 7 Ace 3-wide H 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass Hitch Smith Inc
Smith motions out to a WR spot opposite Darboh/Chesson. M goes with a triangle read to the Smith’s side, with Speight throwing a ball at nobody that’s kind of close to getting picked off. Miscommunication as I think Speight expects Smith to stop but with a flat route under it, this route is probably supposed to be longer. (INX, 0, protection 1/1).
M39 3 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over Pass Tunnel screen Darboh 31
Timing of this gets goofy as Darboh shoves the CB over him down and then goes down himself. Speight then throws high; Darboh has to jump. This delay allows Hawaii guys to rally past planned blocking angles and forces Darboh outside, where he gets lucky. Newsome falls over when his block goes in an unexpected direction and falls on the legs of the CB who’s just getting up. That’s the edge and a big, almost entirely lucky gain. (MA, 3, protection N/A)
O30 1 10 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Power O Isaac 1
McDoom threatens the jet again, M runs up the middle. Bunting(-2) airballs on the DE over him as that guy slants away. DE gets upfield and picks off Kugler; Isaac is forced into an unblocked LB. Kalis(+0.5) and Mags(+0.5) combined to thump the NT to the ground, though the LB block was a freebie.
M29 2 9 Ace 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even Pass PA Post Chesson 21
Play action with Kalis pulling around and then setting up to pass protect. Doesn’t really cause anyone to bite; Speight has to thread the needle on the post, which he does. (DO, 2, protection 2/2). Can’t throw this better, it’s even a little low to help Chesson avoid getting crushed by the S.
M8 1 G Ace 1 2 2 ??? Run Jet sweep Chesson -4
Poggi’s guy gets outside of him decisively at the start of this play; that’s not on Poggi, dude was just aware. There’s still a big lane inside since Hawaii bites on the interior run fake; Chesson(-3) ignores it and turns a solid gain or even TD into big loss.
M12 2 G Offset I 3-wide 2 0 3 Nickel even Pass Corner Perry 12

Perry’s excellent route(++) convinces the DB over him that he needs to be worried about a post when the corner is on the docket. He stabs outside and then goes vertical, which is a double move, and then he breaks back outside, which is like kind of a triple move. Platonic Ideal Of Grant Perry right here. RPS +1. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)

Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-0, 7 min 1st Q. This is a pretty wonky 98 yard TD drive.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M32 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Iso Smith 14
Right up the gut. Cole(+1) takes a guy slanting across his face and shoves him way down the line. Kalis(+1) has a tougher job since he’s trying to prevent a guy getting across his face; he does. Guy comes upfield of him but that’s way too late for him to have an impact. Poggi(+0.5) stands up a linebacker. Smith(+2) gets to the secondary and it’s time to terrorize the villagers. He runs through two S tackles before finally going down.
M46 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass Crack sweep Isaac 12
Mags pulls around; Chesson(+1) cracks down on the playside LB. He gets shed but he’s done his job. Butt(-0.5) gets shed quickly as well; his guy sprints down the line. Mags(+0.5) gets a kick on a CB; Poggi attempts a flying cut on a safety that is pretty tough and only slightly effective. It did get the DB off balance enough for Isaac to drive him for some YAC. Cole(+1) erased the MLB, FWIW.
O42 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 over Pass Waggle drag Chesson 6
Chesson first fakes jet motion and then sets up as an H back; M has him run the dink drag route attached to waggle plays. With Speight pressured quickly the dump is the only sure thing; he takes it for a meh gain (CA, 3, protection N/A) I wonder if Butt’s supposed to pick off the guy in coverage here?
O36 2 4 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even Run Inside zone read Smith 2
This should be a pull, I think, but I also think it’s probably not a real read. Hawaii slants to the play; Kalis(+0.5) shoves his dude a bit to give Smith a little room but the DE did not respect the zone read and crashes down at the LOS. Smith grinds out a couple. RPS -1.
O34 3 2 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 even Run Iso Evans 7
OL just grinds UH off the ball. Kugler, Cole, Kalis, Magnuson all +0.5 for grinding long doubles; actually Cole gets +1 for getting off his and blowing up a LB. Evans just glides to the pile and surfs it for the first down.
O27 1 10 Offset I Big 2 2 1 4-3 over Run Lead zone Evans 5
Doubles on both DTs as M attempts to scoop their way to yards. Kugler(+0.5) and Cole(+1) can’t get the NT sealed as he slants playside but he is banged a couple yards off the ball. Hill and Kugler end up hitting LBs; Evans cuts back as he appears to read the Cole block. There’s an unblocked LB there; it looks like Kalis was held by the other DT as he tried to release (refs -2) and ends up on the ground. Evans(+0.5) tries to hurdle him and gets a solid gain anyway. Mags(+1) stepped around the playside end for a seal that should have sent Evans to a safety.
O22 2 5 Offset I Big 2 2 1 ??? Run Power O Evans 2
Kugler(-2) gets shed on a downblock and his guy threatens the intended gap. Hill(+0.5) gets a good kick and Kalis heads outside of it for reasons that seem pretty mysterious for me. He’s not reacting to the Kugler block since it’s not in his vision, and it really seems like he should hit it up inside Hill. Evans has to bounce; Kalis(+0.5) buries Hill’s guy and Evans(+0.5) manages a couple because his bounce is quick enough to turn a 0 yard play into a little something.
O20 3 3 Offset I twins 2 1 2 5-4 under Pass Drag Butt 20
UH sends seven and has pure zero coverage behind it. M runs a mesh-ish concept that has two WRs running rub routes to pop the Butt drag open; mission accomplished. (CA, 3, protection 2/2). Speight read some pressure and rolled to his destination, FWIW. RPS +2.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-0, 1 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O48 1 10 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 even Pass Smoke Darboh 6
I used to call these long handoffs; DB eight yards off Darboh, throw it to him, yards. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +1)
O42 2 4 Ace trips tight bunch 2 1 2 4-3 even Run Pin and pull Isaac 5
Butt sees his guy shoot way upfield, picking off Cole. That’s an RPS thing, not his problem. Hill(+0.5) gets a good kick. Mags(+0.5) pulls around and gets to a safety. Bredeson has no real shot at the MLB and Cole can't get to him because of the delay; he tackles. Chesson(+0.5) did enough on his crackback to pick off the playside LB. Kalis(+1) stepped around and sealed a DT skillfully.
O37 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Iso Smith 5
Well blocked; no real plan for the S coming down and Smith can’t break the tackle because he’s faster to the hole this time. Cole(+0.5) turns out the NT and moves on to a LB; Bredeson(+0.5) gets a yard or two on a one on one block on the other DT. Hill(+1) gets a good thump on the MLB. Safety hacks it down.
O32 2 5 Offset I Big 2 2 1 4-3 over Run Lead zone Evans 21
Made possible in large part by a pretty scoop block on the NT with Bredeson(+1) and Cole(+2) sealing away the NT for a reach as Bredeson goes to hit a LB. Hill(+1) thumps and seals the playside LB. Newsome(+0.5) gets an okay kick. That puts Evans in the secondary. Evans(+0.5) jukes a guy who Butt is trying to block and just gets tracked down from behind by the last guy.
O11 1 10 Shotgun 2back twin TE 2 2 1 4-3 under Run Power O Evans 6
Someone on UH busts as a DE and LB end up in the same gap, which happens to be the one M is going after. Mags(+0.5) and Bunting(+0.5) thus get mostly free blocks. Poggi(-0.5) has an iffy kickout that allows a tackle attempt Evans(+1) has to high step over, which he does. Butt(+1) reacts well to the shifting D and gets a good second level block; Bredeson(-0.5) has an odd step in his pull that slows him down and forces Evans to slow up behind him; Evans ends up juking Bredeson’s dude out of his jock.
O5 2 4 Offset I Big 2 2 1 4-4 over Pass Corner Darboh 5
UH elects not to cover Darboh. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-0, 11 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M34 1 10 Offset I twin TE Big 2 2 1 4-3 over Pass PA post Darboh Inc
M runs PA and protects reasonably well. Speight gets blown up but that’s his fault for holding the ball too long. He throws at a well-covered Darboh, and inaccurate on top of that; Darboh does a meh job of adjusting to the ball and making the DB run through him to get it. Instead he fades away and allows the DB a play; it’s nearly intercepted. OTOH, Speight definitely should have come off Darboh and hit a wide open Butt. (BR, 1, protection 2/2)
M34 2 10 I-Form 2 1 2 30 nickel slide Run Power O Isaac 8
Maybe a three man line on second and ten is not really your jam, terrible DL. Hill(+1) gets a tougher than usual kickout on the SAM guy on the LOS. Rest of the DL slants away so successful blocks consist of existing. Bunting(+1) takes a good path to the second level and wipes a linebacker out. Kalis(+0.5) gets around quickly and gets cut, but that’s fine he absorbed a guy. Isaac up the gut in a big hole.
M42 3 2 Offset I Big 2 2 1 ??? Run Iso? Isaac 9
Idiot director who comes to a billion plays late comes to this one so late I can’t tell much. Good job being worse than a static camera shot, idiot director. Near as I can tell Mags(+1) gets a key and effective block.
O49 1 10 Offset I Big 2 2 1 5-2 over Pass PA FB flat Hill 7
This is a tougher catch than it looks since the ball is deflected by a DE. Hill has to adjust and catch it in an awkward spot. He does so. (CA, 2, protection 1/1)
O42 2 3 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Power O Evans 9
M gets caught by a late blitz that’s extremely well timed. Cole (+1) adjusts to the goofy stuff in front of him and peels to hit a DL slanting; Mags(-1) does not read the same thing and lets the LB coming around the outside through unfettered. Evans(+2) tries to slam it up ins the designated hole; LB comes around and initiates a tackle attempt that just flings him into a spin move that helps him burst outside. His speed and a stiffarm that puts a guy on the deck get him to the first down. RPS -1.
O33 1 10 Ace trips TE 1 1 3 4-3 over Run Jet sweep McDoom 15
Another easy gain as the playside end bites inside. Butt(+0.5) gets an effective if not that challenging block and McDoom(+0.5) is fast and able to run through an ankle tackle for a first down. RPS +2.
O18 1 10 Ace twins 1 2 2 5-2 over Run Crack sweep Evans 18
Asiasi as a nearly inline TE, but flanked a yard or two outside the actual line; Chesson just outside him. Feels like a sweep, is a sweep. Somehow Hawaii slants away from this so Asiasi(+0.5) just has to follow the playside DE and maybe barely touch him. He does so to prevent a puller from getting picked off. Chesson(+2) chops the playside LB. Darboh(+2) gets a huge extended block on a CB who he eventually buries. Pulling OL are hustling but can’t make themselves relevant as Evans is fast; Evans(+1) avoids a tackle and then shifts outside to dive for the pylon and the TD.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 35-0, 6 min 2nd Q>
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M32 1 10 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 under Run Split zone Isaac 3
Mostly RPSed as UH stunts a guy; Bunting blows his dude down the line and picks off Newsome in the process. Poggi now hits the DT who stunted and there are two more free hitters in the area. Isaac(+0.5) doesn’t have a lot of good choices and does well to squeeze out a few. RPS -1.
M35 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 ??? Pass Improv Ways 22
Newsome(-2) gets run around in a ton of space but that’s fine since the rest of the UH DL is in a heap under the rest of the M OL. Speight evades the one dude and then points Ways to a destination, hitting him for a nice gain. (CA+, 3, protection 1/3)
O42 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Counter Evans 43
RB shuffle just presnap and a counter step from the back get the LB level hesitant. M catches Hawaii stunting and the loop guy completely vacates his gap, so Poggi has nobody to block. Other blocks are executed well. Kalis(+1) gets a ton of movement as he locks out a DT slanting away. Mags(+1) reads the movement and releases free to a LB who he locks out. Kugler(+1) gets a solid, quick kickout after getting to his spot fast. Asiasi(+1) locks out DB. Evans(+1) just has to run fast right up the gut but some M backs get tackled by the safeties. Evans does not. RPS +2.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 42-0, 13 min 3rd Q. O’Korn enters on next drive. OL now Newsome-Bredeson-Kugler-Onwenu-JBB.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M26 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 under Run Zone counter Isaac 8
Believe this is intended to cut backside as that’s where the handoff is. Looks like inside zone but focus is on shoving guys down the line; FB inserts himself between the LT and TE. Backside DE dives inside McKeon(+1) and the OLB lined up over Hill runs up to hit him; Isaac(+1) reads the lack of contain and bounces outside for a quality gain. RPS +1.
M34 2 2 Offset I Big 2 2 1 4-4 over Run Power O Isaac 4
UH slants away. McKeon(+1) reads the guy moving away from him and redirects to a LB. JBB(-1) does not make the same read and after the slant the playside DE is free and can redirect. He’s not fast enough to get out to Isaac. Bredeson(+0.5) pulls and gets a LB; Hill(+0.5) gets a solid kick. Isaac squeezes out a few.
M38 1 10 Offset I Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-3 even Pass Waggle TE drag McKeon 5
O’Korn gets quick pressure as McKeon chips and then lets his guy go as he gets in a route. Higdon is further outside; he drags the flat defender with him. O’Korn flicks it to McKeon for a decent gain. (CA,3, protection N/A)
M43 2 5 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 under Pass PA FB flat Poggi 3
Yup, that’s what this play is. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M46 3 2 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 under Run Jet sweep McDoom 19
Asiasi(+1) gets a very good block in space against a CB and the playside DE is still running after Higdon even when McDoom is ten yards downfield, so that’s all she wrote. RPS +3.
O35 1 10 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 over Run Lead zone Isaac 2
UH slanting to the play; Bredeson(-2) does not chip the NT and Kugler is in tough against a guy shaded playside and slanting away from him. He does about as well as can be expected; NT gets in a tackle attempt but falls off it. S comes up and while M has a blocker for him that guy no longer has an angle and he can force Isaac OOB. Newsome(+1) flung the playside end outside of him.
O33 2 8 Shotgun twin TE 1 2 2 4-4 over Pass Slant McDoom 8
McDoom doesn’t get any separation here as he doesn’t hit the DB, he just runs the route. Dude is all over him and gets a rake in on a pass that requires full extension; McDoom makes an eye opening catch. (CA, 1, protection 1/1)
O25 1 10 Offset I Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-3 under Run Power O Higdon 19
Wheatley(+2) thunders the playside end off the ball. Asiasi(+2) makes second level contact with a LB and jars him back so much that he has to go block him again, which he does. TWJ’s block cuts off LB pursuit and Asiasi’s puts the S on one side early; Higdon(+0.5) just has to diagnose the hugeass hole and hit it.
O6 1 G I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-4 even Run Power O Higdon 2
UH blitzes two LBs. Newsome(+1) does a very nice job to slide over and cut off the guy trying to shoot the gap created by the pulling G; Bredeson(-2) either gets confused or doesn’t trust the block and aborts his pull. This puts a free hitter in the hole. He hits. Onwenu(+0.5) and Kugler(+0.5) carved out some room in the middle of the line for Higdon to grab a couple.
O4 2 G I-Form Big H 2 2 1 4-5 over Run FB dive Hill 4
Asiasi motions to the left side of the line right behind Bredeson and UH blitzes that side; M hands off to Hill on the other side. Onwenu(+2) stalemates and then steps around a DT, which is a reach block(!) JBB(-2) busts his assignment, running over TWJ and causing him to fall down; the force guy nearly tackles but overruns it; Hill(+0.5) looks oddly natural cutting right off Onwenu and wobbling into the EZ. There is just one guy on the second level. RPS +1.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 56-0, EO3Q. Morris QB, Newsome pulled, JBB to LT as Ulizio comes in at RT.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M28 1 10 I-Form Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-4 over Pass Waggle TE drag McKeon 5
Yes, still this play. (CA, 3, protection N/A)
M33 2 5 Offset I Big 2 2 1 4-4 even Run Iso Higdon 8
Two LB overplay the gap the FB hits. Onwenu(+1) takes a bit but does grind the NT off the ball some distance. Bredeson(+0.5) and JBB(+0.5) double and blow out the other DT; Higdon(+1) makes a smart cut away from the FB and through this gap; McKeon(-1) had a crappy block on the backside end and he almost tackles Higdon; not quite. He does put Higdon off balance and prevents him from making a move downfield; he stumbles down after a solid gain.
M41 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-4 over Run Crack sweep Higdon -1
McDoom(-2) is not Jehu Chesson. His crack attempt is way too vertical and he just falls off. Area for improvement: this. Wheatley(-1) got off balance and shed as well. He does pursue and reattach, but the McDoom block means nothing is going nowhere.
M40 2 11 Offset I 2 1 2 4-4 even Pass Out McDoom 7
McDoom motions away from twins and Hawaii reveals man. Simple speed out for decent chunk, (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M47 3 4 Offset I 2 1 2 ??? Pass PA FB flat Hirsch 15
Pick play time; McDoom sits down and turns around to avoid the OPI. Morris barely gets it by a leaping defender and once Hirsch makes the catch he’s in the clear for a nice chunk. (CA, 3, protection 1/1, RPS +2)
O38 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 even Run Power O Higdon 2
Wheatley(+2) blows in the playside end by himself. Bredeson(-2) tries to go inside this block, which is not the thing to do. UH sent a corner blitz and that guy is unblocked since Bredeson picked the wrong hole; he chops Higdon down for a minimal gain. RPS -1.
O36 2 8 Offset I Big 2 2 1 4-4 under Pass Post Crawford 18
Oh look it’s that throw from Morris that gets everyone hype. This is a dart 20 yards downfield that Crawford snags. (DO, 3, protection 2/2)
O18 1 10 Offset I Big 2 2 1 4-4 over Run Lead zone Hewlett -1
Hewlett(-2) has a lane inside and bounces out for a loss. I am now in minimal grading mode.
O19 2 11 Offset I Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-4 over Run Naked boot Morris 14
Ulizio(+1) gets a cut on the playside end, and that end jumps inside after the cut; Morris gets a big gain with a WOOP at the end. RPS +2.
O5 1 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Crack sweep Higdon 5
Crawford(+1) gets enough of the playside end and McKeon(+1) steps around a LB lined up in bear so he’s got an advantage, and that’s easily the edge for Higdon. RPS +1.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 63-3, 7 min 4th Q. Last few plays not charted.

So this was  definitely not a good defense.

Nooooooo. But you can only play who they put in front of you. Take many of the numbers in this post with a grain of salt since the opposition was so very overmatched, but we have some opponent-invariant things to concentrate on. Like throwing the ball…

…to the dang opponent…

okay, yes, once.

I have concerns about Wilton Speight, because of his interception and the fact that he throws… weird.

It started off not so hot, but after that and one other early goof things were pretty good:

[Hennechart orientation: mouse over column headers for explanations of the categories. + is handed out for a good throw under duress. * is handed out for a very bad version of a bad thing. Numbers in parens are screens. DSR is an attempt to compress the numbers into one overall number. PFF is PFF's grade.]

Good Neutral Bad Ovr
Hawaii 1 8(1)+ 1(1) 1* 2* 73% -1.0

The interception was one bad read. Missing Jake Butt wide open was the other. The INX was a route mixup that was kind of dangerous that I am pretty sure is on Speight but could be on De'Veon Smith. Everything else, in a limited sample on which Speight got pressured once, was good.

The only thing other than the interception that's drawing criticism is the one deep ball he tried. I agree that he missed the read: Butt is wiiiiide open for 30+. The throw got broken up and nearly intercepted, but I've seen a lot worse:

That's a ball on which your WR has a chance; Darboh misjudges it and does not high point the ball. He's fading away and if it does get to him it'll be in his chest. If he correctly judges the flight he slows up and extends to catch or gets run over by the DB for a flag.

Other than that minor hiccup Speight was highly accurate. There might have been some slight timing issues but everything was right on point as far as location goes. The opening first down conversion was a weight off of everyone's shoulders:

Cunningham starts groaning about how that's late but Harbaugh said "you can't throw that better," and I know who I'm going with. Ditto this post later on the same drive:

I'm not sure if it's intentional or not but getting Chesson to the ground prevents him from getting blown up by the safety for a potential PBU or worse. Everything else was not only accurate enough but right in the WR's chest. The only non-routine balls I had on Speight throws were that post, which is actually a good thing from the QB, and said deep ball.

Data is of course lacking. We still have close to no information on how Speight deals with pressure or throws in a chaotic situation. Or, like, at coverage. He did get a plus on his chart for moving around and hitting Moe Ways.

Yeah, the throwing motion is a bit odd. It gives up a couple of inches of height, but Speight has that to spare, and I think it's out pretty quick. The Chesson slant above is out in nine frames; the post is out in ten. The Perry TD to finish that drive was also ten. I went back and checked several Rudock throws from the Citrus Bowl and usually had him around 11 or 12. If the ball's out fast and accurately Speight can do whatever wonky thing he wants.

FWIW, PFF had big negatives for the Butt miss and the INT and Speight couldn't catch up in just 13 throws, many of them easy.

Smith should be a fullback now, we have Evans.

I would like to see more of Evans, but Smith wasn't bad on his limited carries. I thought he made an early Butt crumple worse, but that was a pretty tough situation, and when he did get delivered to the second level you know what happens then:

Even if Evans is the truth you need some thunder to his lightning, especially because he's so slight. Smith's going to play and play well and maybe lose more carries to his backups than I thought.

But Evans?

I'm not saying that wasn't a damn good debut. I mean, let's look at the





So I'm busting up the charts a bit. Here is the backs and receivers run chart, which now has 1) rushes for those who rush and 2) blocks for WRs. All WR blocks are assumed to be run blocks; I'll tell you if there are exceptions. I'm also including PFF grades; again if there are any wild swings not about running (for backs) or blocking (for WRs) I'll tell you about it. WR grades are run only.

Player Rushes + - T PFF Notes
Speight 0   0 N/A
Smith 6 3 1 2 0.2 One stompy run before exit.
Isaac 9 1.5 1.5 0.5 Looked fine.
Evans 8 6.5   6.5 2.2 I would like to know more.
Higdon 6 1 1 0 Thought he was solid.
Peppers   DNP
Johnson       DNP
TOTAL 29 12 1 11 2.9 Not a tough environment but still encouraging.
Player Blocks + - T PFF G Notes
Darboh 11 2 2 -0.1  
Chesson 8 4 3 1 1.9 –3 for big jet sweep run error.
Perry 3        
Ways 10  
Harris 7        
McDoom 2 0.5 2 -1.5 0 PFF offered –0.5 for blocking and +0.5 for running. 
Crawford 10 1   1 0.3  
TOTAL - 7.5 5 2.5

+6.5 on eight carries is a thing, there.

I mean, the 43-yard touchdown is barely worth talking about. "Can run fast in straight line" is something we already knew. What I liked was his vision and short-area change of direction. His first carry was an iso on third and two where he jogged up to the back of his linemen and looked for a place to pop out. It was a patient piece of running.

The next carry deserved more but Kalis got held by a DL without a call and couldn't release to the linebacker. I still like that Evans reads the block in front of him and knows where he's going immediately:

His shallow jump there gets over traffic and results in a solid gain despite the unblocked linebacker. And then this is only six yards but was Evans's best moment on the day. Come for the little hurdle and stay for the short-area juke:

Love that. He picks up his feet seemingly on instinct at the exact moment guys dive at his ankles, and then that move is an ankle breaker. Reminds me of a clip I put in his recruiting profile:

A guy who has that ability and good vision and the information processing ability to avoid the ankle tackles in the clip above is probably going to be really good, small sample size be damned. Also this:

I'm in, man. Evans hype train is leaving the station, all aboard, choo choo.

Anything of note from WRs on the ground?

Chesson and Darboh didn't have much to do in the air but they did collectively spring Evans for his first touchdown with a pair of +2 blocks, one a linebacker cut, the other Darboh getting a play-long CB block that ended in a pancake:

I might have missed Darboh biffing something that would result in a flat PFF grade; if I didn't he's not getting enough credit for paving that dude flat. Meanwhile Michigan ran a bunch of crack sweeps on which Chesson displayed his blocking chops and Eddie McDoom rather dramatically did not.

So you split off the actual blockers.

Yeah. Bear with me as I try to organize this. If anyone's got suggestions I'm listening since this is a ton to sift through:

I've separated out some metrics and plan to add a couple more.

Player + - T Notes
Protection 19 2 91% Newsome –2.
RPS 20 3 +17 Jet sweeps were free all day.

The "error rate" in the table below is protection minuses divided by available protection positives, not snaps. Once the line gets settled down this will be a distinction without a difference unless there's an injury.

Offensive Line
Player Snaps + - Total PFF Snaps Pass- Error% PFF
Newsome 30 4.5 4.5 -0.2 16 2 10% 0.6
Kugler 39 3.5 2 1.5 0 20 - - 0.3
Cole 23 7.5 7.5 1.6 13 - - 0.5
Kalis 23 6.5 6.5 3.2 13 - - -0.1
Magnuson 23 7.5 1 6.5 1.9 13 - - 0.5
Bredeson 16 2.5 6.5 -4 -0.6 7 - - 0.1
Butt 15 2 4.5 -2.5 -0.1 0 - - -
Bunting 14 2 2 0 -2.6 2 - - 0.1
Wheatley 8 4 1 3 -0.1 0 - - -
Asiasi 10 4.5 4.5 1.4 - - -
Hill 12 5 5 0.7 3 - - -
Poggi 12 0.5 1.5 -1 -0.7 1 - - -
TOTAL - 49.5 18.5 73%

Note that the table doesn't include players I don't think have a reasonable chance of seeing the field this year in the competitive portions of the contests. These guys include:

  • Juwann Bushell-Beatty: 0.5-3=-2.5, mostly for knocking over Wheatley on a play. JBB scraped over positive per PFF. Discrepancy discussed later.
  • Mike Onwenu: 3.5-0=3.5. Discussed below in the lightning round. Onwenu got a +1.1 from PFF based mostly on run blocking.
  • Sean McKeon: 3-1=2. +0.3 from PFF for those same blocks I bet.

And… exhale. So. This was a dominant performance by everyone except a few people.

Uh, that Butt number.

Yeah. Butt struggled on the ground. This is not something I expected to see from him against Hawaii:

He couldn't get his guy delayed much at all on Michigan's first crack sweep, and he was held off one handed on another early run that didn't get much. We've seen enough of him to know that he's not a huge liability; this was not a good start as he tries to get towards solid or even good. 

But the PFF number?

A mystery to me; I didn't think many of his minuses were disputable. Maybe they mixed up 88 and 89 since those guys look very similar and have numbers very easy to mistake.

And then it looks like the left guard spot was not so hot.

I thought Kugler was the clear choice at left guard and decent overall. He may get overrun by bigger and badder dudes but he got to his blocks and maintained them. His pull across the formation on the Evans TD up the gut was efficient and the impact on arrival notable:

He got shed once on a downblock and got a play blown up but when I noticed him he was generally doing a good thing, and I didn't catch any mental errors.

Meanwhile Bredeson looked like the freshman he is, the freshman who had been at left tackle for a bunch of fall camp. It is never good when you do something and then stop doing it halfway through the play, as Bredeson does here when he aborts a pull:

Newsome has that covered and in any case once you start doing something you need to keep doing it. Turning back just means you're 100% going to be wrong.

This was a flashback to several runs early last year; Bredeson fails to read that Wheatley is escorting his gentleman to the sideline and runs into an already very, very blocked guy:

The force defender is unblocked and makes the tackle. I also thought he was a bit slow through the hole on an Evans run that could have been a TD if he was able to make contact with a defender before Evans got on his back.

He looked promising when he got his head on straight—again, that scoop with Cole was well done—but amongst all the guys who are plausible starters he was the most error prone.

Braden's projected return will make this irrelevant unless someone else goes down. I'd bet Kugler gets the call if it's an interior OL. (Caveat: Bredeson will get better faster and could overtake him by midseason.) Neither guy did enough to make me think they were a serious threat to a healthy Braden.

But the rest of the stuff was good, right? I mean, it has to be or we're dead meat.

Yes, struggles against Hawaii would have been real bad. They did not struggle. The right side of the line was particularly efficient and excellent per both myself and PFF.

To me the biggest story coming out of this game is a close to flawless performance from Kalis. Since so many of his problems weren't about what he was doing but what to do, there's opponent-invariant improvement to observe. I don't have a minus for him in this game.

I didn't have him for a ton of positives for various reasons (just 36 snaps, a lot of crack sweeps on which he's way away from the play), but as I was breaking down the film he just felt like a different guy. That's very very handwavy and could get blown up as soon as we run into Big Ten teams. I dunno, man, I just thought he seemed surprisingly agile…

…and had the usual level of power:

And if he's not blanking on what he's supposed to do a bunch that's a real good lineman. I'm still concerned about his pass protection against people who were actually good—that was a weakness last year not related to busting—but on the ground this was a step forward from the bowl.

Meanwhile Cole looked like everyone thought he would: excellent. Whether it was driving a guy who slanted across him or getting out and getting around a linebacker on the second level or this pretty scoop block in concert with Bredeson…

…Cole was capable of doing all the things centers need to do, and again some of these things are opponent invariant. That scoop gets a seal against way better DL because he's around fast. His margin for error is big.

And in typical Magnuson fashion I didn't clip anything from him because he just got the job done consistently. Harbaugh said he graded out as their best lineman and he's more or less in a three-way tie here. Not a huge surprise since last year he was very consistent and not very powerful.

Newsome was pretty solid for a guy who we've been fretting about for months. He delivered a blow and moved on to the second level a couple times:

That DT moves big time on contact and then Newsome's immediate redirect seals out a LB. I haven't seen that done well much in… well, about five years. He did get beat for a pressure:

I have a feeling that might be a recurring issue. The good news on this play is that while that one dude was harassing Speight, the rest of the Hawaii DL was doing their best impression of poi:


This is literally the worst contain I have ever seen. Hawaii could be bad at football.

And the blocky/catchy types?

Hill was very good. An insider who talks to me relayed that Hill graded out as one of Michigan's top players (the other two: Delano Hill and Mike McCray), and while he didn't get sufficient snaps to get a huge UFR number he was solid on the ones he did receive.

He also made a nice catch on a deflected ball and scored on a late fullback dive. Poggi actually got more snaps but Hill pulled ahead in the fullback battle.

Catch chart?

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

Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Darboh 0/1 3/3 0/1 3/3
Chesson 1/1 2/2   1/1 2/2
Perry 1/1   1/1
Ways 1/1   1/1
McDoom 1/1 1/1   1/1 1/1
Crawford 1/1   1/1
Butt 1 1/1   1 1/1
Poggi 1/1  
Hill 1/1   1/1
Smith 1   1
McKeon 2/2   2/2
Hirsch 1/1   1/1

Perry got a route ++ for his corner route TD.

Not much here: McDoom had the slant catch and I thought Darboh should do better on the bomb; that was the only remotely catchable ball that was not brought in. Next week the metrics will have the distribution of catch difficulty in them.

I need another lightning round.


Ty Isaac.

Looked fine. Nothing amazing, solid speed and power.

Karan Higdon.

Good burst and hit the holes quickly. I'll be interested to see more; on the limited opportunities he's had to hit a hole he's looked good. PFF indifference surprising.

Eddie McDoom.

The jet sweeps weren't anything special but did give you a glimpse at his speed, which is considerable. The slant catch was righteous:

He had a miserably bad attempt at a crackback block late; other than that he looked up to par. Still haven't seen him put someone to the test on a route. On track early.

Kekoa Crawford.

Very much looks the part of an outside receiver and had a post catch from Morris that zipped into his hands:

Tyrone Wheatley Jr.


And Devin Asiasi?

Wheatley fell off a block once but got two +2s as he just blew guys yards off the ball. Asiasi had a couple of similar moments, and this Higdon run was the Kaiju package* offering up its promise:

I don't think either guy is going to be awesome this year against good competition, because we are talking about freshmen. It is going to be something when both are locked and loaded down the road. This is a different level of blocking tight end than I've seen at Michigan. And both are athletic enough to be threats 20 yards downfield.

FWIW, I think the disconnect between UFR and PFF on Wheatley is probably based on the Hill TD. I think Wheatley got knocked over by Bushell-Beatty from behind; it could definitely appear to another charter like he just falls off a block.

*[This is what I am calling a twin TE set with Wheatley and Asiasi next to each other. You cannot stop me from doing this.]

Sean McKeon.

Potential player down the road. Had a couple good blocks based on his read of the game; expect that he would get wrecked against a Big Ten DE.

Michael Onwenu.

Moved some guys because when he decides to go in a direction it takes an army of millions to hold him back.

Kind of feel he's not firing off the ball there and just wins on mass, so that'll be something to work on. Was actually most impressed with the nimble feet to get around and anchor on Hill's touchdown:

I'd be really surprised if he could be a positive contributor on the OL this year and support him playing nose tackle just in case; he does look pretty good against weak competition.

Not enough data?

Moe Ways, Drake Harris, Nolan Ulizio, Juwann Bushell-Beatty, Kingston Davis, Ian Bunting, John O'Korn.

Any Stanford stuff?

No, not really. Michigan ran a bunch of basic jet sweeps that worked for free yardage almost every time, but that's hardly a new wrinkle. It was a very basic playbook consisting mostly of staple plays everyone runs. No reason to put it on film yet.


The right side of the OL including Cole. Chris Evans. Khalid Hill. The Kaiju.

Maybe not so heroic?

Bredeson had a number of mental errors. Bunting and especially Butt had disappointing days blocking.

What does it mean for UCF and the future?

Braden's going to get the LG job back. He's not being pushed by #6 and #7. However, I think we saw enough from Kugler to pencil him in on next year's line. I assume Bredeson is going to get there as well, so that's 4/5 slots Michigan should be reasonably confident in.

Cole is an excellent center and Kalis might be putting it together. Former is confirmation of something suspected. Going to have to wait another couple weeks before I start venturing that Kalis has turned the corner. Good start.

There's probably not going to be a Butt quantum leap as a blocker. Is what it is.

Chris Evans is legit. Love that Harbaugh saw it, love that they put him in. Can you imagine what Hoke would have done with him?

The Kaiju package is something to watch going forward. Better competition level needed to check but put those guys together and send Butt to go hit some DBs and that's a Stanford-like formation that could drive people crazy.

If kept clean Speight is very accurate. TBD how he does at going to second reads and buying time in the pocket. 

Khalid Hill could be a very good fullback. Always had the pop in his pads and good hands; if he's gotten enough technique in him that's the total package.



September 8th, 2016 at 9:17 PM ^

I know it's tough to run a business so I can get why they raised their subscription fees, but even assuming that keeps their revenue flat, I just feel like the production values are dropping and they're shedding their best talent to find the next layer of cheap wannabes.  You sometimes get the feeling they're not even trying anymore.  Their latest "Best Buttcrumples of East Lansing" got atrocious reviews and was so disappointing I sent them an angry e-mail.

/ I totally made that up and have no idea if this is real site or not
// no, I'm not going to check


September 8th, 2016 at 11:10 PM ^

Harbaugh found him at a camp because OSU dragged its feet and never offered him until he had already committed to UM.  If it were Hoke here, UM wouldn't have looked at him.  And I don't think OSU would have even offered...  He'd probably be blowing up defenses for IU, or some such mid-level P5 program.  Leaving us to wonder why we never looked at him.

Thank God for Harbaugh's camps!


September 8th, 2016 at 5:47 PM ^

Overlooking the obvious fact that Hoke would not use Evans properly:

I think Evans is a considerably better talent than Norfleet. Norfleet was shifty and elusive, yes. But he wasn't fast. Evans is fast and explosive in ways that dovetail with such elusiveness and turn ten yard gains into touchdowns. 

Juking your way out of a phone booth requires both the moves to laterally destabilize potential tacklers and the explosive acceleration and speed to escape before they or others gain their bearings. Norfleet had the moves but not the speed. Evans appears to have both.


September 8th, 2016 at 3:14 PM ^

Regarding Speight's throwing motion looking "weird", he looks very similar to how Devin Gardner threw the ball, which makes me a bit sad, to think how good - possibly great - Devin could have been had he received proper coaching.  Michigan did a disservice to that young man.


September 8th, 2016 at 3:52 PM ^

Not an expert on throwing motions, but I believe one of the tenants is that your elbow should be at least at shoulder height or higher to get a full extension through the throw. When you drop the elbow, you get the 'shot put' motion. It looks shot putty to me, but I can't tell from the film if that's because the elbow is low or the forearm is at a weird angle. Harbaugh has said he doesn't really care where the forearm and hand are as long as the elbow is at shoulder height.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


September 8th, 2016 at 9:18 PM ^

Well, that's good to know.  I think anoher aspect of the "shot-put" motion is a lack of follow through in the arm motion.  Usually, that means here will be less arm strength.  Think about the difference between throwing a fastball and throwing a dart.  And to that effect, it plays out.  Shane Morris has a ton of follow through on his throws.  His throwing motion is a literal sight to behond, and that ball travels at an incredible velocity.  It's just a matter of, how important is it to throw the ball fast?  By fast, I don't mean the wind-up.  I mean the velocity of the ball itself.  Honstly, it's probably nice, but not crucial.


September 8th, 2016 at 3:27 PM ^

I think this is intentional...? and helps a ton (eliminates the need for multiple replays to locate). Didn't think there was a tangible way for you guys to upgrade the user experience in reading UFRs, but you have managed to do so.



September 8th, 2016 at 3:47 PM ^

Saw Butt get destroyed live and, man, that is not what I wanted to see.  Hopefully 1st game weirdness.  Also, we know what Hoke would with Evans.  We saw it with Norfleet and Hayes.  Also one downer of Evans being legit: he won't play safety.  He was another candidate to move to DB and looks like that may not happen now.   OSU offered him as a DB, Brian projected him there down the road, and Evans himself said he wanted to play DB; though his better long term prospects were there.


September 8th, 2016 at 4:05 PM ^

uh, I'm with them.

"Yeah, the throwing motion is a bit odd. It gives up a couple of inches of height, but Speight has that to spare, and I think it's out pretty quick. The Chesson slant above is out in nine frames; the post is out in ten. The Perry TD to finish that drive was also ten. I went back and checked several Rudock throws from the Citrus Bowl and usually had him around 11 or 12. If the ball's out fast and accurately Speight can do whatever wonky thing he wants."

Pepto Bismol

September 8th, 2016 at 4:42 PM ^

Phillip Rivers has a jacked-up throwing motion and releases from an almost-sidearm position.  Think he needs to iron that out too?  Is his release point a problem?


And before you say "that's just one guy", be sure to note that that's all it takes to prove the point that style doesn't matter.  Can you get the ball to it's target on time?  That's really the only thing to consider. 


uncle leo

September 8th, 2016 at 4:51 PM ^

Make a point, and then completely saddle what the logical argument is? 

If you want to be the best in the NFL at the quarterback position, you need to maximize the form in order to get the most out of the throw. Did Speight's throws look like tight spirals to you? They weren't, and he's always going to have trouble throwing with the highest velocity when you throw almost sidearm. That's not just an opinion. That's basic mechanics.

The best of the best in the NBA follow a similar style. For every guy like Shaun Marion, there's 500 of them who release at the proper apex of the shot.

The best hitters in baseball, while they have difference stances, get the same motion from bat to ball in terms of their follow-through.

There's a reason that these QBs go through camps like Gruden's or whatever QB camps they deal with. Those mechanics HAVE to be corrected.

By the way, Rivers has made it work because he dinks and dunks like a mother fer. He has ZERO velocity on his throws. It's a horrible example.


September 8th, 2016 at 5:23 PM ^

You have a point. Speight will want to clean that up if he wants to be the best QB in the NFL.

But guys like Rivers, Tebow, Wuerfful, and a lot of others have been great college QBs despite having bad mechanics, quirky motions, or long deliveries. Because the Windows close much slower at this level.

Speight's delivery is a thing. It's not a hindrance unless it proves to be one. Relax.


September 8th, 2016 at 6:13 PM ^

It's rhetorical. He is attempting to isolate Rivers as an exception that proves his rule, so guys like 71 are addressing and defeating his arguments on his own terms. Rivers is a better NFL QB, but Reader71 is correctly identifying that the scenario here is college, and producing other guys with non-prototypical motions that had great success in college (and he's missing a few, including the reigning Rose Bowl winning QB Kevin Hogan) that saw great success. 

The argument is, "Yeah, well BESIDES Rivers!" And the response is, "Fine, even without Rivers, your argument is wrong and here's why."


September 8th, 2016 at 5:43 PM ^

People made the same points to avoid drafting Russell Wilson, with his height being an issue. That sure worked out.

Dude, you are way, way overselling this. We are talking about college football; you are treating this like a draft room debate for a top five pick in the NFL. There is no game on the schedule and no conceivable postseason game in which a reduction of two inches in the starting point of a Speight pass is going to make the difference between winning and losing.

Meanwhile, there is copious evidence in college football of QBs lacking some prototypical NFL characteristics ably leading their teams to great seasons, bowl wins, and national titles. You're dying on a tiny, meaningless hill miles from the battlefield here.

Pepto Bismol

September 8th, 2016 at 5:54 PM ^

Phillip Rivers is currently #14 on the all-time NFL passing yards list.  Before he's done, he'll likely be firmly in the top-10.  He's #11 on the all-time NFL passing TDs list.  He's a 5-time Pro-Bowler, led the entire league in yards in 2010 and TDs in 2008.

But yeah, he blows. 

Does WIlton Speight wish to be a 5-time NFL Pro-Bowler and finish as a top-10 quarterback in the history of the NFL?  Is that okay?  Then his throwing motion won't be any more an issue than Phillip Rivers' is.


Just shaking my head at that last paragraph.  How pathetic.  Remember earlier this week when you tried to teach me about Penn State despite not knowing a damn thing about their offseason coaching changes?  This feels a lot like that.  What's the phrase?  "Way out over his skis"?  That seems appropriate for you. 


But be sure to email JIM HARBAUGH and tell him his QB's mechanics are going to be a problem.  I'm sure he'll appreciate the info.  I can't imagine this ever came up when reviewing the QB battle with guys like Tim Drevno and Jedd Fisch.  Thank God you're here.


September 9th, 2016 at 8:48 AM ^

The best WRs in the NFL aren't 5'7". But Jeremy Gallon did okay in college. The guy was the #22 pro-style QB and #452 overall coming out of high school. Now he's starting for the University of Michigan in a Jim Harbaugh offense over a former college starter (O'Korn) and a couple blue-chip recruits (Morris, Peters). What exactly are you complaining about? That the #452 overall player in the country doesn't look as pretty as the #1 QB in NFL history?

Personally, I'm disappointed that Grant Newsome's face isn't as round as Orlando Pace's, and I'm upset that Kyle Kalis isn't 6'9" like Jonathan Ogden, and Jake Butt is never going to be as good as Tony Gonzalez unless he can dunk a football over the crossbar...