Upon Further Review 2016: Offense vs Indiana Comment Count

Brian November 24th, 2016 at 12:06 PM

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FORMATION NOTES: Ace trips tight bunch was the most relevant formation of the day.

image

Michigan invariably used two tight ends in the bunch.

Indiana's response to this was to have only six guys in the box with and OLB flared way out to the field. This is one of Michigan's favorite crack sweep formations; Michigan ran one crack sweep that got buried for a loss of five yards and repeatedly gashed IU up the middle.

Michigan also went with a lot of big formations; Indiana usually lined up with an even front, a SAM linebacker, and increasingly aggressive safeties. By the third quarter it was MSU out there:

indiana creepin

This run performance was against a statistically good outfit in difficult conditions.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: OL per usual. O'Korn the QB save one Pepcat snap; Peppers got two other plays on offense. Butt (57 snaps) and Darboh(54) got the most run amongst the skill position players, with Chesson (43) running third.

RB snaps were about half Smith, with Evans in second place; Higdon and Isaac got slightly less than ten each. Wheatley(30 snaps) was suddenly preferred over Asiasi(8) as the second TE. Bunting(11) actually came in third. Poggi got 28 FB snaps to Hill's 18; Hill did have another very bad pass pickup that might explain that.

Crawford, Perry, McDoom, Bushell-Beatty, and Harris all got a few snaps.

[After THE JUMP: De'Veon Smith and a buncha nothin'.]

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 even SAM 7.5 Run Lead zone Smith 8
M runs away from the strength of the formation; Smith ends up cutting back to it. Bredeson(-1) gets blown well back and this could be a problem if there was any backside to this play; as it is Smith(+1) has to cut back and could well get tackled by the safety shooting down. Braden(+2) hammers the backside end outside the hash, which gives Smith room to avoid a safety Butt(+0.5) didn’t get much on but did shove. This is enough, with Smith(+1) Smithing out four YAC. Cole(+1) got a long second level block to facilitate the cutback.
M33 2 2 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-4 over 8 Run Power O Smith 3
Backside blitz with an IU LB filling behind; line slants to the play. Cole(-1) get hit by the nose tackle and gets driven back, nearly sealing the gap closed. Braden(+0.5) and Poggi(+1) both end up hitting a DT who slants outside; they get enough movement on him that there’s enough of a gap for Kalis(+0.5) to get a second level block. Smith hits that gap and gets the first down; Cole’s guy tackles. Bredeson broke to the second level and found nobody to block; he peels back for a guy way on the backside. Prefer that he extends to the safety, but that’s ultimately irrelevant.
M36 1 10 Ace trips tight bunch 1 2 2 Nickel even 6 Run Inside zone Evans 10
Interesting choice by IU here. They try to make up for the light box with a double A gap blitz that M picks up. Cole(+1) does an excellent job to pick up the first guy; Kalis does an iffy job on the second, mostly waiting to get hit instead of hitting him. He’s still blocking the right guy, which is the biggest battle on this play. Evans(+1) cuts back behind Kalis and escapes an arm tackle attempt; he’s got good room as Braden(+1) and Darboh(+1) both kick out LB/DB types. RPS +1, six in the box.
M46 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 even 7.5 Run Lead zone Evans 1
Another weakside run that has a good cutback lane. Unfortunately, Poggi(-2) runs past the SAM LB in favor of a deeper guy and Evans gets hacked down on his cutback by the more dangerous player who showed in the gap he’s in. Hard to tell what Evans gets without this biff but it’s probably five or so yards as Cole(+0.5) and Kalis(+0.5) had driven the NT off the ball and while Michigan hasn’t gotten a huge crease everyone in the area is at least being harassed.
M47 2 9 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 under 7 Pass Screen Isaac 23 – 12 Pen
M catches a blitz right where the screen is and executes. Cole(+1) adjusts to a LB trying to shoot upfield of him and gets in a shove that’s enough to ruin his angle. Bredeson(+1) gets a cut block well downfield. Chesson(-2) comes in with a block from behind that gets flagged and brings this back, albeit not so far it’s not a first down. Isaac did step out at the UI 30 so it’s not that huge a play that gets called back. RPS +2, (CA, 3, screen)
O42 1 10 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 under 7 Run Power O Higdon 5
M motions Chesson tighter and gets a CB blitz for their troubles; this forces Higdon away from a well-blocked play. Poggi(+1) got a thumping kickout and Butt(+1) drove his guy well down the line. Gap closed by the blitzer; Higdon(+1) cuts to the backside. He manages to slip a tackle and get into a large gap there that exists because Cole(+1) was able to stay attached and shove his man as he tried to rip him away and get to the designed POA. RPS -1.
O37 2 5 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 4-3 under 7 Run Zone read give Isaac 1
This is a bit odd-looking. Poggi goes in a route. Everyone ignores him. M is running the ball, so now they’re down a guy. Magnuson(-2) fails to read a blitz that IU tips a little early and goes to hit the same guy Kalis is. That guy blows up Isaac in the backfield; Isaac(+0.5) manages to grind out some YAC. Cole(-0.5) also got shoved into the backfield.
O36 3 4 Ace empty TE 1 1 3 Nickel over 6 Pass Slant Darboh Inc
Wide open for the first down and way off. (IN, 0, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 11 min 1st Q. Hated this punt at the time. After seeing the rest of the game… uh, maybe.
M48 1 10 Ace trips tight bunch 1 2 2 4-3 under 7 Run Counter zone Evans 10
I assume this is a designed cutback because the handoff is away from the line’s zone action. Big hole as Wheatley(+2) clubberates a DE all the way past various teammates; Butt(+0.5) has a hand-fighting kickout. Evans(+2) gets a hard charging safety in the gap and WOOPS him. Ankle slurry tag unlocked. Evans is just about to hit the jets and get off to the races when Scales comes from behind to grab him. The one problem with the TWJ block is that he hit his dude into Braden, preventing him from sealing Scales away.
O42 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 under 6.5 Pass Hitch Darboh Inc
Batted down at the LOS. While this is probably just bad luck note that Speight has almost never had this happen to him this year. Read and timing seem right. (BA, 0, protection 1/1)
O42 2 10 Pistol FB TE 2 1 2 4-3 under 7 Run QB power O’Korn -2
Made difficult with a blitz from the playside. Hill(+0.5) reads it and gets a hit on a guy slanting inside of him; this is good recognition but he can’t sustain it. Butt(-0.5) allows some penetration, which delays Bredeson. O’Korn(-2) lacks the patience to let Bredeson get out there and cut upfield of him, which isn’t going to be great because an IU LB did a good job to give ground and scrape outside Mags through no fault of his. Still a difference of like 5 yards. Need some counter action or something. RPS -1.
O44 3 12 Shotgun empty tight bunch 1 1 3 3-3 Nickel 6 Pass Circle Chesson 11
Blitzer through free but he comes from so far back that this is rather comfortable. Given the play here I guess that’s a pressure push. Butt powers through a chuck and gets in the way of a DB trying to check Chesson; O’Korn throws a dodgy ball well behind him that Chesson is able to catch and keep his feet on. He grabs a bunch of YAC, but with a throw that doesn’t take him back to the DB this is probably a first down. (MA, 2, protection 1/1) RPS +1.
O33 4 1 I-Form Big 2 2 1 5-3 over 8 Run Iso off tackle Smith 3
M opts to run outside as IU presents 5 DL. They motion Chesson in and send him at a safety, apparently assuming this CB won’t have an angle to do much about the run. This is correct. Hill(+1) rattles a LB who shows; Wheatley(+0.5) doesn’t get a super block but does control the relevant end, and Smith runs through that CB’s tackle that wasn’t going to prevent a first down anyway.
O30 1 10 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 even SAM 7 Pass Sack N/A -1
Hill(-2) completely blows another pickup, and there is no happy ending on this one. Really frustrating because this is max pro and still an insta-sack. (PR, N/A, protection 0/2). Big different with Speight, maybe.
O31 2 11 Pistol FB TE 2 1 2 4-3 even 7.5 Run Zone read give Higdon 0
IU blitzes off the corner and the guy comes in at an angle where he occupies Poggi and O’Korn still hands off, so IU has a LB totally free in the box. He tackles. Not sure O’Korn should pull here given the angle of the guy and the fact that there’s a LB who can flow inside out; Poggi(-2) has to go hit the other LB and then O’Korn pulls. RPS -2.
O31 3 11 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 3-3 Nickel 6 Pass Sack N/A -7
This isn’t on O’Korn, as he appears to ID Harris on a y-cross that looks like it might pick up the first down when Harris(route--) goes down in a heap. O’Korn pulls the ball down and gets sacked. (MA, N/A, protection 2/2). O’Korn should probably still chuck it deep at Darboh, nothing to lose there, but I’m not going to get on him about it.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 3 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M37 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-3 over 7.5 Run Power O Smith 4
Backside DT and DE stunt, with the DE getting into the running lane. Braden can’t do anything about this. Cole(+0.5) cuts off the NT as Bredeson pulls around; Poggi(-1) isn’t really relevant but gets blown up by a DL. Kalis(+0.5) and Mags(+0.5) get OK second level blocks and Smith hits the hole. DE tackles from the side, Smith smiths forward. RPS push, I guess. Stunt got IU an average result.
M41 2 6 I-Form Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-3 even SAM 7 Run Power O Smith 4
Blocking probably deserves a little better here, as Wheatley(+1) again shoots a DE slanting away from him well down the line. He spins off eventually, but he gave a ton of ground. Braden(+1) and Asiasi(+1) get second level blocks they maintain for a long time; Kalis(+0.5) leads out and kind of catches a guy who flung himself at Kalis’s feet. Smith(-1) has a cutback behind Kalis runs himself into a free CB and the Kalis/DB mess.
M45 3 2 Ace trip TE 1 3 1 4-4 under 8.5 Pass Waggle throwaway N/A Inc
Hoo boy do I hate this playcall. Huge TE overload invites IU to shoot up on that edge and they do so O’Korn turns around on this Atari 2600-ass waggle with a dude in his grill and the flat route blanketed. He should just chuck it OOB but tries to spin back, almost gets sacked, and dumps it at Asiasi’s feet. (PR, N/A, protection N/A, RPS -2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 14 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
O44 1 10 Ace trips tight bunch 1 2 2 Nickel even 6 Run Inside zone Evans 0
This trips bunch is really spreading Indiana out and providing big opportunities that aren’t quite coming off yet. Evans(-2) misses a huge opportunity here. Another double A twist blitz gets picked up with Cole(+1) and Kalis(+1) picking up the LBs. Evans goes past Cole and never puts his foot in the ground to make one hard cut. With Wheatley(+1) getting a big kick, Mags(+0.5) zoning a DT who overcommits to Evans’s declared flight path, and a safety jetting up too hard, if Evans cuts behind Magnuson 50/50 this is a TD. Instead he runs straight into one of the LB Kalis blocked.
O44 2 10 Offset I twins 2 1 2 4-3 even 7 Pass PA FB flat Hill 4
A staple for Michigan this year, but one that you really want man coverage on. IU is clearly zoning and the CB falls off Butt’s route to tackle. Possible that this should have gone to Butt on a deeper route. FWIW, Peppers was a slot receiver to the other side here, running a route but mostly existing as a decoy. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O40 3 6 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Okie 6 Pass Out Perry 4
Michigan runs one of those subtle routes that sends Perry slightly inside to draw the attention of a defender and then breaks him outside. This works, with a LB bugging out of his zone and Butt wide open deeper. O’Korn misses it and throws the Greg Davis route to a double covered Perry. (BR, 3, protection 2/2)
O44 4 2 I-Form Big 2 2 1 Pinched 3-4 8.5 Run Iso off tackle Smith 33
Wheatley(+1) fires in an OLB over him to give M a crease; M motions Darboh(+1) in; he gets under a DB who blitzes; CB blitzes in return and just runs past Smith. Hill hits the same guy Darboh does but I’m not minusing that on fourth down. He’s leaving the deep S free but helping M get the two yards they need. Smith(+3) TRUCKS(!) that safety anyway to turn this into a big gain.
O11 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 5-1 nickel 6 Run Zone read give Isaac 2
This is tough but Isaac(-1) misses an opportunity here. IU blitzes off the edge and then stunts just inside of it. Bredeson(+1) and Braden(+0.5) manage to stay attached to these guys. Bredeson’s guy is gone upfield. Braden gets a shove on his guy; if Isaac cuts off Braden he scores. Instead he runs directly into the stunter. Cole’s(-0.5) second level block was extant but meh, so Isaac gets hit by two guys and can’t grind out a couple more.
O9 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 2 2 1 4-3 under 6.5 Run Zone read give Isaac -1
O’Korn(-2) blows a clear keep read. With Bredeson(-1) driven back by the NT Isaac has to cut back into the unblocked end.
O10 3 9 Ace trips tight bunch 1 2 2 3-3 Nickel 7 Pass Throwaway Peppers 0
Pitch to Peppers, who looks for Butt in the endzone. On third and nine from the ten this has close to zero chance of working. M blows the pin and pull, with both Mags and Kalis trying to pull as a DE slants inside of them. Mags(-1) aborts the pull but too late as DE gets penetration and Kalis gets cut off. No protection; Chesson looks to block someone and then pulls out as another passing option. Peppers just runs OOB. Not charted, RPS -2.
Drive Notes: FG(27), 3-0, 9 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M24 1 10 I-Form Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-3 over 7 Run Naked boot O’Korn 0
Man, O’Korn does not look fast on this at all. Easily tracked down by a CB who fell off late. Braden(-1) got beat so there’s not a lot of room for him to cut back. RPS -1.
M24 2 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 3-3 split 6 Pass Drag Perry 6
Don’t really know what this route is from Perry, who’s waving all over the place and doesn’t get much separation from a LB. O’Korn manages to fit the ball in for a completion; he doesn’t have any other options than this. Not bad. Too short for a DO, I think. (CA, 2, protection 2/2, Perry route -)
M30 3 4 Offset I twins 2 1 2 3-3 stack 6.5 Pass PA post Darboh Inc
This also isn’t bad. PA FB flat on which both short routes are covered so O’Korn tries the deeper shot; it’s in Darboh’s hands but the safety comes over to separate him from the ball. You can maybe criticize O’Korn for not holding Darboh up a bit to keep him away from the S but this is making the best out of a bad situation. (CA, 2, protection 2/2, RPS -1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 3-7, 2 min 2nd Q. O’Korn’s throw with 20 seconds left is not charted.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
O41 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 even SAM 7.5 Run Lead zone Smith 3
Smith has a big cutback lane but I can’t blame him for not taking it as Kalis(-1) gets driven back by the NT. This makes Smith cut early and he takes the safe route. Mags(+0.5) and Wheatley(+0.5) hit a DE and move him; they do not seal him. Poggi(+1) puts an OLB on the ground. Smith shifts outside and tries to shoot up between Mags and Wheatley; CB brought into the play by the WR motioning in ankle tackles.
O38 2 7 I-Form Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-3 even SAM 7.5 Run Power O Smith 13
Really odd alignment from IU with a huge gap between one DT and a DE lined up outside both TEs. M runs at this huge bubble and finds profit. DT slants outside into Mags(+1) and is sealed away without much ground given. Poggi gets a default kick on the end. Two TEs and a puller shoot at two LBs, with Kalis joining the party. Both LBs get doubled. Smith runs up between these. RPS +2. This was almost free. Bredeson(+0.5) and Wheatley(+0.5) get some credit for good second level blocks.
O25 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 even SAM 7.5 Run Crack sweep Evans 5
Darboh(+1) picks off the OLB. Braden fortunate to not get a hold on his kickout block(refs +2) but I have no idea what a hold is anymore. Wheatley(-1) doesn’t get much if any delay on the playside DE and he has to be taken out by a pulling Cole(+1); that does leave the MLB to flow. Hill(+1) slashes down the playside S; backside OLB flowed hard to this so Kalis has no shot and tracks it down with the MLB missed.
O20 2 5 I-Form Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-3 even SAM 7 Run Power O Smith 4
IU really crowding the line now and M still hitting it for decent yardage. IU slants away from this. Butt(+1) and Asiasi(+1) grab their guys and shoot them down the line without giving up penetration. Bredeson(+1) gets around these guys with maximum efficiency; Hill gets an okay kick. Smith can’t get much because a safety starting from eight yards hits him but nears the first down all the same. RPS getting hard to judge here. I’m okay with this despite various good blocks not resulting in all that much.
O16 3 1 I-Form Big 2 2 1 5-3 over 9.5 Run Iso off tackle Smith 1
Barely eke this out. Butt(-1) thumped back and Hill(+1) deflects off this block. He still has enough momentum to get Smith just enough crease. Smith(+0.5) smiths it out. RPS -1; second time to the well here and really quick LB reactions almost nerf it.
O15 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-4 over 8.5 Run Crack sweep Higdon -5
The crack sweep that just got buried. While this isn’t going anywhere, Higdon(-1) has an opportunity to cut hard upfield and get back to the LOS; he doesn’t read it as well as Hill(+1), who saw the CB blitz and hit that guy. In general the CB blitz plus slant is super hard to deal with and this is more RPS than anything. RPS -2.
O20 2 15 Shotgun 4-wide tight 1 1 3 4-3 over 7 Pass Dumpoff Chesson Inc
Worst play of the day from O’Korn, who bails immediately. I have no idea if these blocks are going to work because O’Korn just bugs out in a flash. O’Korn eventually heaves it at a wide open Chesson, who would have been exactly as open if he’d stood in and fired; O’Korn leaves it short because he’s 20 yards from the LOS and throwing off his back foot. (INX, 0, protection ???)
O20 3 15 Offset I Big 2 2 1 Base 3-4 6.5 Run Power O Evans 5
Give up and FG. Faith in QB: defined.
Drive Notes: FG(33), 6-7, 10 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M34 1 10 Ace twins 1 2 2 4-3 even 6.5 Pass PA TE out Butt Inc
Butt’s open; O’Korn throws it significantly behind him. Butt either falls or just goes to ground in an effort to catch the ball; he’s in an awkward position and the ball clangs off his hands. (MA, 2, protection 2/2)
M34 2 10 I-Form twin TE 2 2 1 4-3 even SAM 7.5 Run Power O Isaac 2
Double A blitz gets this. Both TEs run downfield at nobody, with Asiasi(-1) missing a safety coming down; Wheatley(-1) runs at nobody. Kalis kind of gets off a double to harass the second guy and Isaac manages to run past the first; Mags(-1) fell off his block and that guy hits Isaac(+1) who did well to run through an arm tackle and not get hit behind the LOS. RPS -1. Bredeson(+0.5) manages to get a hit on a LB he’s surprised to see.
M36 3 8 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 3-3 Nickel 7 Pass Scramble O’Korn 30
Smith(-2) just whiffs on a LB who comes directly upfield. Bredeson(-1) also looks like he’s giving up pressure but he’s tossed his guy well upfield so it’s not quite as bad; O’Korn(+2) finally books out towards the LOS, breaking the pocket and getting a block from Chesson(+2) that results in a chunk. (SCR, N/A, protection 0/3)
O34 1 10 Ace trips tight bunch 1 2 2 Nickel even 6 Run Counter zone Smith 34
Again this formation spreads Indiana super wide; they have just six in the box. Bredeson(+2) buries a DT, pancaking him in the backfield, and that’s most of the room on the backside. Kalis and Wheatley don’t do much with their guys but Smith can cut into a huge gap backside. Cole(+2) drives and buries a second level block; Darboh(+2) blows a safety three yards downfield on his crack block. Mags(+1) turned out a second level blocker. Smith(+2) negotiates the second-level slalom and dives for the pylon, hitting it. RPS +2.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 13-10, 4 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M35 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 even SAM 7 Run Inside zone Smith 2
Combo blocks on the interior are bad and should feel bad. Braden(-1) never steps around; he just kind of shoves a guy and then leaves; Bredeson(-1) also leaves, so DT in the hole unblocked and tackling. Cole(-0.5) and Kalis(-0.5) didn’t do much better. They were stood up at the line. Mags(+1) blew out a DE so if this double gets some depth Smith might be able to make a dart in this gap. Instead unblocked LB prepared to hit it; Smith just goes straight upfield for a couple.
M37 2 8 Offset I Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-3 over 7 Pass PA TE circle Asiasi Inc
This looks wide of Asiasi but I think he’s got to continue his route away from the LB and O’Korn throws it at the right spot; Asiasi just isn’t in it. He can still reach outside his body and try to bring it in; clangs off the hands. (CA, 2, protection 2/2, Asiasi route -)
M37 3 8 Ace 4-wide 1 2 2 Nickel even 6 Run Offset draw Evans 3
Yeah, I’d expect a draw on this as well. IU stunts a DE inside; he loops behind a LB to create what’s essentially a double A twist blitz. DTs slanting outside prevent Evans(+2) from hitting the intended gap. He recognizes this and heads to the interior, where the DE pops up untouched. Evans jukes that guy, turning a four yard loss into a few. RPS -2.
Drive Notes: Punt, 13-10, 1 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
O39 1 10 I-Form Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-3 over 7 Pass PA corner Darboh Inc
CB jumps up on a potential run so this is Darboh one on one with a safety; he breaks out and has significant separation. Many throws here are complete; some are touchdowns; O’Korn overthrows Darboh by a few yards. (IN, 0, protection 2/2, RPS +1). Wind, maybe.
O39 2 10 Offset I twins 2 1 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Counter Smith 39
FB offset to the weak side; M runs to the strong side. Counter action either catches the right defensive playcall or fools the entire IU D very badly. Kalis(+1) and Mags(+1) drive in DTs and seal them away; Poggi and Bredeson pull around to find one solitary LB. He tries to funnel back. No one to funnel back to. Wheatley’s kickout was odd here as it looked like he was trying to edge the OLB as if it was a sweep or something so the OLB keeps running to the sideline and blocks himself, mostly. Smith(+1) runs into the open spaces; Crawford(+1) gets a downfield block on the last man that doesn’t quite seal the guy away but makes his tackle easy to run through. RPS +3.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 20-10, 1 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
O42 1 10 Shotgun trips tight bunch 1 2 2 Nickel under 6 Run Zone read give Isaac 2
Again you have to wonder if this is even a read because O’Korn(-1) should be keeping this if it is. IU line slants to this play and drives guys into the backfield as M doesn’t double anyone. Bredeson(+0.5) gets a reasonable amount of drive; Kalis(-0.5) gets shoved back a bit, and Isaac squeezes between them, getting tackled by Kalis’s guy.
O40 2 8 Offset I twins 2 1 2 4-3 over 7 Run Power O Smith 4
Michigan unlucky here as Smith’s helmet gets ripped off without a call and this costs Michigan two critical yards. I don’t know how grabbing a helmet off someone’s head is legal, but apparently it is. Hill(+1) blew out a linebacker to create room for this play; Butt(+1) stood up and then watched his guy leave; Braden(+1) got a good hit on the OLB. Backside LB makes up a lot of ground to tackle this where he does; Smith popped off the tackle and got six yards but once the helmet comes off you’re done.
O36 3 4 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Okie 7 Pass Drag Chesson 1
Michigan runs mesh and not real well, as there’s no rub on the LB following Butt; Butt is still open by a step or two and can probably turn up for the first down. O’Korn throws to Chesson, who’s immediately tackled. Evans leaked out of the backfield into the same area of the field, which must be a mistake. O’Korn did get hurried as Bredeson(-2) whiffed on a guy who stunted to him, but he had time to find Butt. (BR, 3, protection 0/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 20-10, 12 min 4th Q. No problem w/ this punt given game situation and M’s offense.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M7 1 10 I-Form Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-3 over 7.5 Run Zone stretch Smith 2
Kalis(-2) does not chip a DT shaded inside of him, and then he mostly misses the MLB he’s leaving early for. Cole can do little but shove the NT down the line; mandatory cutback for Smith; Bredeson(-1) gets his angle wrong but this is in part because of the cutback. He’s expecting the LB to flow down the line instead of hit it up in response to a cutback. He also immediately left so maybe that’s the plan? I am much more likely to believe that for the backside block than the frontside one.
M9 2 8 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 under 7 Pass Scramble O’Korn 1 + 15 Pen
O’Korn has Poggi in the flat for a short gain but does not throw, and then a LB rallies to make that a bad idea. O’Korn can’t find anyone and runs out of bounds, where he’s blasted… about a microsecond after his foot lands OOB. This got a call because O’Korn gave himself up before he got OOB and is a super cheap call. Refs +3. Why do both our QBs let themselves get face-mashed like this? (TA, N/A, protection N/A)
M25 1 10 Ace trips tight bunch 1 2 2 Nickel over 6.5 Run Inside zone Evans 1
Ugly. Only six guys in the box and M’s approach here gets a guy through. It’s a DT. Bredeson(-2) and Braden(-2) get split by him because Bredeson leaves and Braden doesn’t have any sort of angle. I can only assume they’re supposed to long-term double but this guy doesn’t move and then pops through the line for a big hit.
M26 2 9 Pepcat pistol FB twins 3* 1 2 4-3 over 7.5 Run QB counter Peppers 2
Peppers extends as if to provide a mesh point before bugging out for the sideline with a convoy. Playside ILB still hacks it down. Counter action does not fool anyone and IU runs to the play; playside DE extends without anyone touching him. I don’t know why. Chesson cracks down on an OLB and they pull Kalis instead of Cole, who I’d think would be the better option given the play and the DL. Poggi(-2) gets stuck behind Kalis and then goes upfield of him, removing himself from the edge; he blocks nobody. Kalis(+1) gets around to hit that DE; Smith kicks a DB; Chesson(+1) got that crack block; Braden(-1) did not do much with the other ILB; doesn’t matter as with Poggi gone there’s nobody to block the playside one. RPS -1.
M28 3 7 Ace trips tight bunch 1 2 2 Okie 7 Pass Drag Darboh 12
O’Korn bails as M struggles to contain a blitz; this drag to Darboh is open the whole way and he should just stand in and fire it. Instead it’s Madden Rookie time as he ends up 16 yards behind the LOS before throwing. It’s a drag. It’s one yard downfield now. Darboh(+1) jukes the DB trailing him and picks up the yards for the first down himself. (Grudging CA, 3, protection ???)
M40 1 10 I-Form Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-3 even 7 Penalty Offsides N/A 5
Kalis(+1) deliberately false starts once the guy moves into the neutral zone.
M45 1 5 I-Form Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-3 even SAM 7 Run Power O Higdon 1
At this point Indiana going for broke with everyone within five yards of the LOS. Butt(-1) doesn’t get much if any movement on the OLB and this creates a complicated situation for Kalis, who has two gaps he can pick from, one of them hard to get to. He moves into the interior one, hitting Scales as he shoots into said gap. Scales wins that, knocking Kalis(-1) back and providing no crease between Butt and himself. Higdon burrows for one.
M46 2 4 Pistol diamond TE 2 2 1 4-3 even SAM 8 Run Split zone Smith 4
Arc block and a zone read fake that draws LB level attention. Smith is trying to hit the gap just inside of where the QB would go; Hill is clearly trying to seal the end inside. LB reacts heavily and shows up unblocked; Smith(+1) cuts back. He can as Braden(+0.5) fended off one DT adequately; Cole(+2) put the other one five yards downfield so Smith’s got a gap.
50 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 under 8 Run Iso off tackle Smith 4
Hill(-1) leading out into an OLB who was let go. OLB hitting it hard but Hill takes the brunt of the blow and falls off; OLB fights back inside to tackle. Wheatley(-0.5) didn’t get much of a hit on the DE; Mags(+0.5) doesn’t step around or control him but did get him a couple yards off the LOS; those guys converge. RPS +1; this really should have worked better, with Indiana aligned so the LBs had difficult jobs to get to this. Smith(+0.5) got most of these yards himself.
O46 2 6 Offset I twins 2 1 2 4-3 under 8 Run Split zone Evans 4
Doesn’t look imposing but that’s tough. Mags(+1) redirects after the whiff on the guy he thought he had to hit a LB. This is just enough room to get the first down.
O42 3 2 I-Form Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-3 under 7 Run Power O Smith 1
DE slants outside Mags and to Wheatley(+0.5), who stands him up. Mags(+1) redirects to hit a LB; Kalis(-1) gets stood up and the DT discards him as Smith passes, tackling.
O41 4 1 I-Form Big twin TE 2 2 1 5-3 under 9 Run Power O Smith 5
Wheatley(+1) and Butt(+1) double a DE, with Wheatley getting of the block and clocking a safety trying to get over. Poggi(+1) plugs a DB to make this an easy conversion.
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 20-10, 1 min 4th Q. I’m skipping the last four plays because 1) I can’t see anything, 2) the conditions are preposterous, and 3) they’re academic.

We need Speight or we're gonna die.

Yup.

That's it? Yup?

I mean, I guess they could win 10-9. But that's probably what it would take.

Aren't you supposed to be talking me off the ledge?

If John O'Korn 1) playing and 2) making decisions like he did against Indiana, Michigan's in a bunch of trouble against OSU. This was a home game in which Michigan shielded O'Korn as much as possible and a majority of what he did was some variety of bad.

[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.]

WILTON SPEIGHT

  Good   Neutral   Bad   Ovr
Game DO CA SCR   PR MA   BA TA IN BR   DSR PFF
Hawaii 1 8(1)+       1(1)       1* 2*   73% -1.0
UCF 3 21(1)     5 2     2 2(1) 2   82% 1.0
Colorado - 14(2)++++ 1   4 3   2 - 5 6**   50% -3.5
Penn State 1+ 17(2)++ 1   1 4   1(1) 2+ 8(1) -   68% 1.0
Wisconsin 3 16(3)+   5+   1 2+ 4 5*   57% -0.5
Rutgers 1+ 10(1)++   1   5   67% 0.5
Illinois 5+ 10+ 1 2 3   1* 3   79% 4.5
MSU 4++ 11(1) 2 6   4 2*   70% 2.5
Maryland 4 16(1)+++ 2 3(1)   1 2   88% 6.5
Iowa 2+ 14(2)+ 1 1 2   1* 7* 2*   60% -1.5

JOHN O'KORN

  Good   Neutral   Bad   Ovr
Game DO CA SCR   PR MA   BA TA IN BR   DSR PFF
Indiana 6(1) 1   2 3   1 1 3* 2   46% -2.5

In addition I had him –3 as a runner, with a missed zone read pull and a bad cut the main culprits.

Iffy passes are one thing. It's windy, it's cold, maybe you can explain that away. Given the length of most of these passes I don't think you can sell the wind thing very convincingly. This is just off.

That is a four-yard throw. The wind is not the problem. That gets filed as "MA" because it is catchable but it's way more difficult than it has to be, and like Speight against Iowa he turned some would-be easy completions into more difficult plays for his wide receivers. Yes, there were one or two drops on moderately difficult balls you want the receiver to bring in. Yes, a batted pass isn't really his fault. For the most part the offensive struggles were on him.

More concerning than the iffy accuracy was O'Korn's decision-making. He had a horrendous case of happy feet, to the point where I'm not even sure if protection was breaking down on a couple of dropbacks. He drifted backwards like a rookie Madden player—something that was a problem at Houston—and ended up throwing some hilariously long zero-yard passes.

I'm pretty sure the protection is fine. O'Korn reacts like the dead have risen in front of his eyes.

Later he made a play by doing the exact opposite of this: he waits, sees the protection is not in fact there, and steps up between two players:

That was by far the best thing he did all day.

When staying in the pocket, O'Korn missed reads. This completion goes to the wrong person, as Michigan brings out a play they used in the Citrus Bowl to screw with the MLB's zone. Perry breaks in at first and the LB chases him when he goes back out; Butt's wide open behind. What it looked like in the bowl:

What it looked like against Indiana:

That rankles because the play is designed to get that very bite from the LB and open up the deeper route, and it should be O'Korn's first priority. Instead he short-circuits.

By the fourth quarter, O'Korn was so wobbly that he eschewed an open fullback flat route on a waggle. That's a half-field read and zero yard throw directly in front of your face; nope.

Michigan got bailed out by a horrendous late hit call. If it was a late hit it was late by a microsecond. O'Korn drew it by doing the same thing Speight has a tendency to do: give up before you get out of bounds and get blasted. This is the instant O'Korn's foot edges out of bounds:

late hit_thumb

It's not the defender's fault that O'Korn stopped playing. Refs +3.

When given opportunities to run the ball he missed cuts. Here he can set up a Bredeson block and get something; instead he runs outside and loses two yards.

He failed to pull the ball in an obvious pull situation later in the game.

Soooo... yeah. That's up there with certain Russell Bellomy, Nick Sheridan, and Shane Morris performances.

That was rather harsh.

Under 60 yards passing speaks for itself. I do think he got unlucky some. Indiana covered the FB flat thing once and he correctly went to his deepest route; Darboh had an opportunity to make a play and did not.

The wind probably pushed his corner route long; Jake Butt appeared to fall to the ground on another iffy but catchable pass. An ugly quick route on second and eight is on Asiasi, as need to be running a circle route that drifts away from the LB recovering from the inside. This ball is in the right spot. Asiasi is not.

For the second straight week, Michigan's receivers did not help their quarterback out. They didn't have many opportunities; they didn't make the most of them.

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

  THIS WEEK   SEASON
Player 0 1 2 3   0 1 2 3
Darboh 3 0/1 1/1   18 3/10 4/7 37/40
Chesson 1 1/1 1/1   12 0/2 11/16 19/20
Perry   1/1 1/1   9 2/2 7/7
Peppers           1/2 2/2
Ways                 1/1
McDoom           1/1   3/3
Crawford         1/1   2/3
Harris       2   1/1 1/1
Butt 0/1   5 2/3 3/7 28/30
Bunting         1     2/2
Wheatley       1     1/1
Asiasi     0/1       0/1 2/2
Poggi               5/6
Hill     1/1   1 1/1 2/2 8/8
Smith     4 1/1 3/3 7/7
Isaac       1/1         1/1
Evans       1 0/1   5/5
Higdon         1      
McKeon                 2/2
Hirsch                 1/1

ROUTES: Harris --, Perry –, Asiasi –.

The route minuses are the worst bit, as each of those was a potential completion that ended up not getting much.

I feel bad for being all like WTF SPEIGHT last week.

To be fair, WTF.

Still...

Yes. Going from Speight to O'Korn brought Speight's outstanding pocket awareness into relief. We got a near-replica of a Speight third down conversion from a couple weeks ago when Khalid Hill airballed another pass protection. Speight feinted up in the pocket before breaking back outside. O'Korn goes where he indicates he will go with his initial step and gets sacked.

This was the most understandable reaction he had in the pocket all day; in this instance this is more a positive thing about Speight than an O'Korn negative. To go from really good pocket awareness to... this was jarring.

Harbaugh stuff? I feel we must have had a lot of it to win.

Michigan ended up slightly negative in RPS on the day but that's got to be taken in context. When your QB is struggling that badly so much of your playbook is closed off to you and the opposition can take shots at what's left. Add in the weather and even approaching even is good.

Michigan's most successful tactical gambit on the day was running a bunch of non-sweeps out of a very sweep formation—the tight bunch mentioned above the fold. Indiana really didn't want sweeps to work and left six guys in the box, which did not work. Blitzes were predictable and picked up:

When Indiana did not blitz they were stuck with six guys in the box against six blockers. The first Smith touchdown was out of this formation and you can see the big ol' spaces Indiana left when Michigan went to this.

Michigan only really needs two blocks to spring this to the safety level: Bredeson burying his guy and creating a huge gap on the line and Cole pancaking a MLB he got a free release to. Jake Butt is blocking the Indiana OLB and he's barely on the screen.

Darboh turns this from a first down into a touchdown by hamblasting the safety. Yes, the same safety Smith trucked earlier in the game. Kudos to that guy for not quitting football immediately after this game and moving someplace warm and full of lemurs.

Anyway: Michigan got a bunch of snaps with six in the box despite their passing game being totally nonfunctional, and their crack sweeps from earlier this year bought them that. It's no exaggeration to say that this formation matchup won Michigan the game.

Michigan also had a couple of big runs by running power at a huge gap in the Indiana line. A straight up power play was a first down on which nothing was particularly hard, and then when Michigan added a little counter action two lead blockers pulled around to find they only had one guy to block between them:

I don't know why Indiana did this or why they thought they could get away with it; this, too, felt like something Michigan saw on tape and knew how to go after.

I hated that waggle though.

I KNOW. The worst bit is I bet they get a first down if they just run the ball weak.

Instant pressure, everybody covered, third and two on the 45 so if you do get just a yard running the ball you can very easily go for it. Waggle towards a hilariously overloaded formation strength is just... why?

I also disliked the attempted Peppers pass, since it came on third and nine from the ten. The opposition is extremely unlikely to bite in that situation. First and ten, sure. Nobody in coverage is going to overplay a sweep to the boundary on a red zone passing down. It was up and down, the RPS.

He got a lot of yards on the ground, though, so that's good.

Mostly? The OL's performance was erratic, but they just about hit the 2/3rds metric for a good day on the ground.

Offensive Line
  RUN   PASS PRO  
Player Snaps + - Total PFF   Snaps Pass- Error% PFF
Braden 45 6 4 2 -1.8   21 1.1
Bredeson 45 6.5 6 0.5 -4.6   21 3 13% -0.2
Cole 45 11 2.5 8.5 -0.6   21 -0.8
Kalis 45 6 6 0 -4.5   21 0.9
Magnuson 45 8 4 4 -0.8   21 0.6
Bushell-Beatty 0  
Butt 40 5 2.5 2.5 -1.2   0
Bunting 8 0.1   1
Wheatley 23 8 2.5 5.5 1.3   5
Asiasi 6 2 1 1 0.4   1
Hill 13 5.5 1 4.5 0.1   1 2 100% -1.5
Poggi 23 4 7 -3 -0.4   1
TOTAL - 62 36.5 66%

No adjustments this week.

Metrics
Player + - T Notes
Protection 17 7 71% Bredeson –3, Smith –2, Hill -2
RPS 13 16 -3 Tough environment with QB play.

Guys alternated bad blocks with good ones. However, I think PFF's take—a collective -10.6 run block grade—is hard to countenance given the production. Take out a TEAM rush, John O'Korn's rushes, and the four runs at the end of the game when Indiana had no timeouts and Michigan was just trying to run clock and not fumble, and Michigan averaged 5.5 YPC. On the year Michigan's second to OSU in the league with 5.2 YPC, and it seems like every week the OL gets a bleah or worse. Something has to be going right. I don't know how  you can reconcile that YPC with the OL being collectively horrible.

Anyway. Michigan's first run of the game saw Bredeson get shoved way in the backfield, which forced a cutback that probably would have ended in a minimal gain except for the fact that Braden clobbered his kickout:

That pattern continued, with iffy blocks working because someone else kicked some ass. Wheatley was a frequent rescuer of plays; Bredeson made up for the above on the first Smith touchdown. Sometimes not so much, as when Braden and Bredeson got split on a double team:

Woof.

I continue to find myself baffled at what Michigan thinks they're doing on stretch plays. These are always a constraint thrown in to be tricky and I assume they are not heavily repped. I still find myself baffled when OL run right by guys shaded inside of them. If it ever worked I might get the idea; if they ever chipped these plays might ever work.

I am projecting the way RichRod ran outside zone onto a different coaching staff so maybe this is right, but... uh, it ain't right. The prosecution submits Michigan's average gain on outside zone as exhibit A and rests.

Also erratic: the fullbacks. Khalid Hill had another totally busted pass pickup and was not rewarded with a first down completion this time, as mentioned above. Poggi was meh, combining some targeting issues with less than forceful blocks. Here he determines pre-snap who he's hitting and runs by the first guy who shows in the hole:

That costs Michigan at least a few yards as Evans is cutting back into a reasonable amount of space. Poggi also blocked a corner blitz when Michigan was running read option—he blocked the optioned player. A free linebacker buried Evans immediately.

Was there anything, like, legitimately good?

Wheatley was a consistent positive. The sudden shift in playing time amongst the Kaiju came after a rough performance from Asiasi against Iowa, and Wheatley mostly paid that off. He blew some dudes up.

That was the most emphatic block on the day; there were others less comprehensive but still productive. He smoothly reacted to a slant on a fourth-down conversion and got the key block:

He'll probably regress against OSU because young players do that; this was his best game as a blocker at Michigan. Encouraging sign going into next year.

I have issued a formal apology to De'Veon Smith for my faithless ways and await placement in the woodchipper.

That won't be necessary. Smith has plenty of viscera laying around after this.

He's all stocked up.

RB chart (WR grades are run only):

Backs
Player Rushes + - T   PFF   Notes
Speight   0
Smith 24 10 1 9   2.6   -2.2 pass blocking.
Isaac 5 1.5 1 0.5   -0.1 Missed TD opp
Evans 9 5 2 3   -1   Did miss a cut but also two broken ankle runs.
Higdon 4 1 1 0    -0.1  
Peppers 3 0   -0.1  
O'Korn 2 2 5 -3    0.4   DNP
TOTAL 45 19.5 10 9.5   1.7   Smith destroys.
Receivers
Player Blocks + - T   PFF G   Notes
Darboh 34 5   5   1.3 Huge on first TD.
Chesson 26 3 2 1   -0.6   Block in the back, otherwise good work.
Perry 1    
Ways        
Harris 0            
McDoom 1    
Crawford 3 1   1   Helped finish second TD.
TOTAL - 9 2 7

Another strong performance from the running backs, highlighted by Smith and Darboh repeatedly turning #19 into a weepy mess. Smith did miss an opportunity or two; he ran into Kyle Kalis on a well-blocked power play that should have been a first down; Michigan's goofy-as waggle playcall on the next drive resulted in a punt.

I liked Evans a lot except on one very big missed opportunity. That opportunity:

image_thumb[7]

Indiana ran another double A twist blitz with Michigan in that bunch formation. They more or less pick it up. Evans runs straight, and runs straight into that LB Kalis is shoving. At this point Evans has got to see more or less three guys headed straight for him and make a cut behind Magnuson, where there is a huge lane that also removes that safety.

This was apparently severe enough to PFF to get him a –1 on a day where he did some nice things.

When not turning a potential TD into bupkis he was excellent. This slick pocket juke on a charging safety calls for the deployment of the ankle-slurry related Chris Evans tag:

If you give Evans enough space to make some moves he will make the opposition look silly. Also sometimes if you don't. Michigan caught a defense that crushed the offset draw with a slant/stunt, and Evans pulled a Mike Hart by turning a four yard loss into a three yard gain.

May this be the first and last time this year I'm reminded of Mike Debord while writing this column.

Higdon mostly got buried through no fault of his own. I did think he had the opportunity to decisively cut inside on the crack sweep that got buried and his failure to do so turned zero yards into –5.  Isaac, however, also missed a cut, as Indiana stunted. The left side of the line didn't switch it but both guys stayed on their dudes and there's a cutback opportunity if Isaac is a little more patient and cuts behind Braden.

That's some advanced stuff but it is a missed opportunity.

Heroes?

Big day for wrinkly scaled beasts stepping on buildings, as both Smith and Wheatley destroyed various Tokyos. Darboh had little opportunity to do anything in the air but made his run blocks count when they became relevant. I thought Cole had a very good day.

Maybe not so heroic?

O'Korn. Poggi again struggled with IDing blocks. The guards both scuffled to days around 0, which is not good in my system, and PFF was even harsher.

What does it mean for Oh God Saturday?

Need Speight. The end.

I am somewhat dubious that Michigan's offensive line is going to be able to grind it out. On the other hand, I've seen the MSU and Wisconsin lines, which aren't great, and they managed just fine. With Smith acting as a relatively close Clement/LJ Scott analogue. It could happen. Or they could just get overwhelmed. Not much will surprise me other than a 7 YPC blowout.

Chris Evans can make you miss in small spaces. If he'd seen that cutback his day would have been truly excellent.

Wheatley up, Asiasi down. More based on playing time than anything else. Encouraging that there's some growth there.

Darboh is a good blocker. He blocks 'em good.

Comments

Night_King

November 25th, 2016 at 10:36 AM ^

Highly doubtful, at this point of their careers at least. Darboh & Chesson appear to be very above-average run blockers as WR's. Chesson has made some head scratching mistakes this year though (like the block in the back last weekend). I would argue though that Crawford is already the best blocking WR on this team, which is incredible for a true frosh. 

MonkeyMan

November 24th, 2016 at 12:46 PM ^

Its a pity the O-line is not better than this. I realize getting a golden QB is not easy- but JH should have that O-line playing better than they play in year 2. I am starting to wonder a little more about him. 

Reader71

November 24th, 2016 at 2:57 PM ^

That's true, but they are going on two full seasons with a line coach who has an excellent track record.

We should forget the star rankings the second these kids sign. The talent simply isn't there and and no recruiting expert can convince me otherwise. Magnuson isn't strong enough, Kalis is too stiff, Braden doesn't have the body control. Period. Those guys have all had pretty good careers, but they have weaknesses that will never allow them to be top guys.

It's talent, not coaching. Not when we're talking about 5th year players with dozens of games under their belts. They are OK. Nothing more, and it's solely because of recruiting stars that we expect more from them.

schreibee

November 24th, 2016 at 3:28 PM ^

That is a pretty Damning (and unfortunately accurate) assessment by someone who knows.

71, forgive me if this is public knowedge, but you did play for M right? Have you ever revealed your true identity? Or is it like Clark Kent, where Reader71 IS the true identity and the other person is the disguise?

Happy Thanksgiving Quentin Tarantino and every one else too!

Reader71

November 24th, 2016 at 8:44 PM ^

I don't mean it to be damning of our guys. Like I said, they've had good careers, MUCH better than mine.

I mean it to be damning of OL recruiting rankings. It's not fair to expect Kalis to be Hutchinson because someone said he's a 5 star player. Kalis is who he is: a pretty good player with some weaknesses that will keep him from being an all-timer. There's nothing wrong with that.

Fans just have to recalibrate their expectations. What these guys do on the field is what matters, not what we imagined they would do on the field when they were in high school.

schreibee

November 25th, 2016 at 3:10 PM ^

Ok, I ducked out to eat some turkey, watch some football, so I missed your reply. I had left the page open to my last post to you, so found your reply upon refreshing,

Keeping your ID confidential? that's cool.

But if 71 or anyone else returns to this thread, I kinda have to disagree with the dismissal of the star system. We get composite star breakdowns thrown at us repeatedly on this board (and all others I imagine) showing that starz do matter in the aggregate. So if starz said Hutch was a can't miss prospect and he was, at what point do we stop expecting Kalis (as an example) to reach his predicted level?

Especially with all the coaching turmoil these players have endured... and the fact Kalis WAS playing at his highest level pre-Iowa! It's difficult to just dismiss expectations when we have nothing else to grade them against. We don't see practice, so all we have to go by if Kalis is starting is that JH thinks he's the best we have. And if he's NOT developing at the pace previous similarly ranked players did, is that coaching or were the sites just wrong?

By the time we figure that out it's usually too late...

Hail Harbo

November 24th, 2016 at 3:03 PM ^

So you're saying there is as shelf life for learning skills?  If they haven't learned them by the end of the RS Sophomore season they are unable to learn new skills in following years?

Here's a novel thought.  Maybe, just maybe, Michigan has, as a group, mediocre talent on the OL.  And maybe, just maybe, Tim Drevno coaches best when he has the best raw materials to coach.

uminks

November 24th, 2016 at 10:11 PM ^

I think they were pushed in to starting positions way too early and may have developed some poor techniques. I was excited by these OL recruits back in 2012 and 2013. However, WI develops 2 and 3 star recruits into excellent OL but may be their coaches were better at evaluating High School talent then some of the top programs.

PowerEye

November 24th, 2016 at 12:59 PM ^

How should we expect OSU to defend Kaiju and other types of Big personnel package plays? Do they stick with a base personnel, or embiggen their DL or DBs?

I should know this, but watching OSU play football is like watching Benny Hinn revivals, except without the joy.

Leonhall

November 24th, 2016 at 1:20 PM ^

We need to oline to play a helluva lot better. I think they need specific plays for okorn; roll outs, jake butt needs 8-10 catches. Keep it simple for okorn, same goes for speight, quick throws. I think one of the RB's will breakout.

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I Like Burgers

November 24th, 2016 at 1:53 PM ^

Not to go all Debbie Downer here, but they did or tried all of that against Indiana and it failed spectacularly. They can only call plays O'Korn is capable of executing and he appears incapable of doing anything at all. Those run backwards for 20 yards and then throw or wild inaccurate throws into the secondary will get turned into pick six's by the Buckeyes.

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Michigan4Life

November 24th, 2016 at 2:18 PM ^

O'Korn is the exact same QB who got benched at Houston. He hasn't changed at all. Pretty clear why Speight won the starting job. They need Speight back the worst way or OSU is going to eat Michigan for lunch

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uminks

November 24th, 2016 at 2:39 PM ^

If Wilton cannot play, I say bring in Peters. He can throw and probably has the playbook down. O'korn will just get murdered, he has no confidence. Yuck, I hoping for Wilton, it would suck big time if OSU blows us out again!

kevin holt

November 24th, 2016 at 5:52 PM ^

Yep. His redshirt senior year is not as important as the shit we have on the line this season. I would support the decision if he looks even a little better than O'Korn and Morris. But obviously I dont see him in practice so I don't know how he looks. But in this type of season the redshirt is not a consideration for me.

uminks

November 24th, 2016 at 2:39 PM ^

If Wilton cannot play, I say bring in Peters. He can throw and probably has the playbook down. O'korn will just get murdered, he has no confidence. Yuck, I hoping for Wilton, it would suck big time if OSU blows us out again!

mikegros

November 24th, 2016 at 3:34 PM ^

A couple plays that O'Korn is criticized there seem to only be a little on him. 

 

On his horrendous case of happy feet, Cole gets beaten badly straight up the middle, so O'Korn can't step up in the pocket. I don't know how Cole doesn't get a -1 or -2 for allowing immediate pressure right up the middle. O'Korn fades back and that causes Kalis to lose his block, so I wouldn't put that added pressure on Kalis. O'Korn does well to keep his eyes downfield and find Darboh there. He probably shouldn't have faded so far back, but he did okay with it.

 

On his running play, I don't see how he could go anywhere there - there was a trailing defender right behind Bredeson. Slowing up to either use Bredeson's block either to cut back or to fake inside to set Bredeson up and then head outside, has a good chance of getting caught by 17 there. Even if he avoids 17, Smith misses his block and there is another unblocked linebacker within 3 yards of the LOS, so he maybe turns -3 into 0. I don't see what he's expected to do there. 

Squash34

November 24th, 2016 at 5:51 PM ^

That was immediate pressure up the guy his number one goal should be to not give up a sack at that point. To me, the play was a plus because it did not lead to a negitive play.
The run is also crazy to use as a negitive. To me, it looked like Smith should have blocked the lb and let bredeson pull around. If they do that the play goes for 5+. If he shows down to let bredeson get the lockout he gets destroyed from the guy in pursuit. Smith running by the play wrecked the play. Binging the qb because he did not slow diwn and cut behind one block to get 2 or 3 yards us harsh and pretty unrealistic expectations.
Additionally, I'm not 100% sure the pull read he said he blew was a read option and not a called give. Typically,harbaugh has not let his qb have the read option, and it's a called give. I am talking all the way back to last year.
Lastly, that roughing or personal foul on the sideline was not a +3 for the refs. With the rule changes that emphasize player safety, a qb going out of bounds like that is him giving up and like a slide. That is literally called every single time a qb slows down and heads out of bounds. That should not be used as a negitive on okorn.

kevin holt

November 24th, 2016 at 5:29 PM ^

PFF must just have a guy for each team because it seems like their grading is really inconsistent across teams. Otherwise idk how our OL is so terrible and OSU is top 10. One clue is that some recaps have a "game ball" (game MVP) whereas others don't.