Upon Further Review 2016: Offense vs Rutgers

Submitted by Brian on October 20th, 2016 at 1:43 PM


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This concludes your formation notes.

PERSONNEL NOTES: A ton of rotation in the second half. Speight got the first half and then Morris and O'Korn alternated the rest of the way. Bushell-Beatty started at LT and was briefly knocked out; Michigan moved Cole to LT and inserted Kugler at C in response. The second string line was Ulizio-Bredeson-Kugler-Ownenu-Dawson, FWIW.

RB snaps split just about equally; ditto FB with Henderson getting a third of the snaps behind Poggi and Hill. Probably the most interesting depth chart item was snaps past the starters at WR. Those went Ways 19, Crawford 14, Harris 12, McDoom 7, Gentry 6.

[After THE JUMP: trinitite.]

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M29 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 over 8.5 Pass PA TE drag Butt Inc
Play action and then Butt drags across the formation; Asiasi is supposed to impede the relevant player. He doesn’t, as the LB shows good awareness to get around this and is is likely to tackle after a meh gain. Speight gets pressure as Bredeson(-2) is victimized by a push-pull and airmails the pass. (IN, 0, protection 0/2)
M29 2 10 Pistol FB 2 1 2 4-3 over 7.5 Run Counter weak? Smith 2
This is either a weird wrinkle or a bust, as Bredeson pulls like it’s a power play and Poggi heads to the backside of the line to kick out a DE who JBB chipped. These things do not happen on the same play in my experience. JBB(-1) does not actually chip the guy and Poggi has little hope of getting inside. Cole(-1) is discarded by the NT, who we should remind you his a highly legit player. With possible bust Smith doesn’t have many good options and runs directly upfield for what he can get.
M31 3 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even 6.5 Pass Screen Smith -3
JBB out for a bit. Cole to LT, Kugler in at C. M catches a blitz here but they catch one that drops a DE directly into Smith’s lap. It also bumps him as he tries to get into the route; no chance. (CA, 3, screen, RPS -2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 14 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Pistol FB 2 1 2 4-3 over 7.5 Run Split zone Isaac 5
McDoom comes on an orbit motion like he’s going to be an option pitchman in an attempt to widen the DE Hill’s got to block. DE ignores it as it looks like that’s a S responsibility. He dives down and helps close the hole. Bredeson(-2) is firing out for a downblock and gets way too shallow. He’s shed and falls. Isaac(+1) is able to cut back outside and get a decent gain because it looks like RU is overplaying the middle; someone should have this gap outside the DE but they bust. Fortunate.
M25 2 5 Offset I Big 2 2 1 4-4 over 8.5 Pass PA TE dig Butt Inc
Evans(-1) is supposed to cut a DE and misses. He does impede the guy somewhat, but Speight is now getting pressured. He throws a wild pass across the middle that’s behind two different WRs. (IN, 0, protection ½, RPS -1)
M25 3 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 3-3-5 stack 6 Pass Slant Darboh Inc
This may hit Darboh in the facemask. Not conducive to converting, that. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 12 min 1st Q. Braden returns at LG.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M35 1 10 I-Form Big H 2 2 1 4-4 over 9 Run Trap Smith 3
Rutgers is prepped for the trap and the DT who gets left is heading right for the trap blocker, Asiasi. Asiasi(+2) hits this guy, rocks him back, and then gets to a DB lined up at five yards, blowing him back as well. Poggi went in a frontside gap, which may be as intended. It drew a LB. Kugler(-2) heads for that same LB, though, and the second DB type lined up at five yards is there to tackle along with the DT Asiasi had to leave. RPS -1.
M38 2 7 Pistol 3-wide H 1 1 3 Nickel even 6.5 Run Split zone Smith -1
Kugler lets his DT come across his face but that’s not the worst thing in the world on a zone as long as he keeps connected and pushes; he does. Braden(-2) failed to read the slant and released to nobody. Cole(+1) fired his guy inside Smith(-4) cuts to the side of the block the DL is on, which is asking for a TFL, and then he fumbles. Kalis(+1) got a grinding block on a LB and Mags(+0.5) a moving kickout. Compounding this decision is that Smith is cutting away from the best bit of the OL.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 0-0, 10 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Ace 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even 7 Pass Waggle TE hitch Butt 5
RU blitz off the backside means that Speight gets instant pressure and does well to get a ball off to Butt. That’s a one yard gain that Butt(+1) turns into five by dodging a CB. (CA+, 3, protection N/A, RPS -1)
M25 2 5 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 over 7.5 Run Power O Higdon 8
This is a narrow crease; Wheatley(+0.5) gets a little depth on his block and does seal the guy in but it’s not a blowout. Ditto Poggi and Kalis(+0.5). Former gets a little push on a kickout and Kalis gets to a LB charging the LOS. Higdon(+1.5) does a nice job to pick his way through the hole, and trust that it will be there. His late cut to it also helps on the second level, and then he adds about 3 YAC. Really nice run.
M33 1 10 Pistol FB Pepcat 2* 1 2 4-3 over 7 Run Arc zone read keeper Peppers 63
Botched play as Higdon(-1) goes to the wrong side of Peppers, so there’s no choice here. He’s just going to run the arc. Poggi(+1) gets enough on a playside OL and the confusion seems to hold some Rutgers guys in place. That gives Peppers the edge and then a safety takes an angle we can charitably describe as optimistic and it’s off to the races. Rutgers S Cioffi actually tracks him down, so bully for that guy. Peppers +2. RPS +1.
O4 1 G Offset I Big tight 2 2 1 Goal line 8 Run Crack sweep Isaac 4
Starts out as a diamond and Butt motions just outside of an end. Rutgers doesn’t seem to react and then they send a blitz to the interior without widening out the end. End dives inside of Butt so fast he can’t get a hand on the DE, but Isaac doesn’t change his path or get close to tackled so not a problem. Darboh(+1) gets a good block. Poggi(+1) peels back to get a a guy trying to go upfield, and Mags(+0.5) gets enough on a cut block that was probably unnecessary. RPS +2.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-0, 7 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M48 1 10 Ace 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel under 6.5 Pass Fly Chesson Inc
JBB(-2) is beat clean by a DE. I guess he does a good job to hold the guy just a little bit and then throw his hands up to avoid a call? Speight still must throw and just punts it downfield because why not. It’s just beyond the outstretched hands of Chesson on a full dive but in this situation that’s a pretty good attempt. (MA, 0, protection 0/2)
M48 2 10 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 under 7 Run Crack sweep Isaac 12
A couple of shifts and then M replicates the motion they used on the TD on the preceding drive. Again RU watches this with just about no reaction. (One LB widens slightly.) Another crack sweep finds daylight. Butt(+1) seals a DE, gets shed momentarily, and then re-engages. Crawford(-1) has a weak attempt on the playside LB and loses him; Hill has to pick that guy off. Ends up not mattering since Kalis(+1) locates and blocks a LB shooting outside of him. Isaac(+1) shifts inside of that block and has a crease because of Butt. Mags(+1) finds and hits a safety. Isaac gets tracked down by the backside DT(!), who JBB had no shot at delaying.
O40 1 10 I-Form Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-3 over 9 Run Power O Higdon 1
This doesn’t look like it’s blocked for much but Higdon(-1) ends up cutting away into not much at all and he’s better off following his blocking. Playside LB creeps down and I think Butt(-1) needs to change his evaluation of that guy and block him. Instead he heads to the second level. Hill(+1) comes and hits him and along with Braden(+1) they shove that guy and another LB who showed up yards downfield. With Asiasi(+1) turning in a DE I think Higdon can follow the meat shield to the play design for a good gain. FWIW, it kind of looks like Wheatley’s admonishing him about the run when Higdon comes to the sideline.
O39 2 9 Pistol twins twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 over 8 Pass PA Dig Chesson Inc
Solid time here and when pressure does come I think it’s because Speight set too deep and kind of pressures himself. He’s able to step up in the pocket and fire but he probably should be just plain old firing. He finds Chesson and throws it to Tacopants. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
O39 3 9 Ace trips tight bunch 1 1 3 Nickel even 6 Pass Slant Darboh Inc (Pen+7)
Michigan trying to get Darboh to YAC out the first down and then go for it if that doesn’t work. CB plays it well and gets a PBU, but he grabbed Darboh around the waist and spun him around, drawing a flag. Almost but not quite good coverage. (CA, 0, protection 1/1)
O32 1 10 Pistol Diamond Big 2 2 1 4-3 over 7.5 Run Double iso Smith 2
Cole and Kalis double the NT and he manages to squeeze through, with Cole(-2) getting thrown past the NT and Kalis releasing of his own volition after a solid hit. Smith can still get a big play if he breaks a tackle. He does not.
O30 2 8 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 4-3 even 6.5 Pass Wheel Chesson 30
Pass protection is a bit dodgy. JBB does a solid job on the edge; Braden(-1) struggles with a blitzer. He gets a pickup momentarily but ends up losing that guy after a bunch of shoving. Not horrendous but the LB does get a pressure. Speight moves up in the pocket and throws an inch-perfect 30 yard pass on the run, which okay! (DO+, 2, protection 2/3)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-0, 4 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
O48 1 10 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 over 7.5 Pass PA Dig Chesson Inc
Probably the worst throw of the night. Rain has stopped and Speight is untouched forever here. He leaves the ball well short and to the inside; Chesson cannot dig it out. (IN, 2, protection 3/3)
O48 2 10 Pistol FB H Pepcat 2* 1 2 4-3 even 7.5 Run Arc zone read give Isaac -1
Peppers(-2) has got to be reading the DE and the DE shuffles down, which should be a pull. Butt and Hill both arc around the outside and M has blockers for both the playside LB and S; this could be another touchdown if it’s kept. Peppers hands and I’m like cumong man.
O49 3 11 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even 6 Pass Dig Chesson 21 (Pen -10)
Speight finds Chesson running open over the middle for the first down and a big chunk more. Perry appeared to draw a ton of attention nearer the sticks. Ball is kind of behind Chesson and forces him to slow up and catch it behind him, robbing him of an opportunity to score, which he probably will on an accurate ball. Deep enough downfield for a CA. It all comes back because JBB got beat and draws a holding call. (CA, 2, protection 0/2)
M41 3 21 I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Okie two 6 Run Draw Evans 9
Give up and punt.
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-0, 1 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
O7 1 G Pistol 3-wide Pepcat 1* 1 3 4-3 even 7 Pass Scramble Peppers 7
This is a legit pass but Rutgers plays it straight up and this is doom either way then. Peppers(+1) reads that his guy is covered and takes off, breaking one guy’s ankles and bursting for the endzone. (not charted, RPS +1)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-0, 14 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
O49 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 over 8 Run Counter zone Evans 5
Set up to look like iso in the backfield, with Poggi shooting at a gap to the field and Evans taking the handoff there. M blocks IZ the other way, though, and this is a designed cutback. JBB(+1) gets to and seals out a DT. Braden(+1) picks off a blitzer and kicks him way upfield. Kalis(+1) fires out the other DT. Cole(+1) erases a LB. Mags goes hunting the CB, which is probably his assignment but is also unfortunate. Evans makes his backside cut only for that S to come down hard and tackle him after a modest gain, which you really don’t expect with one high S on first and ten. I guess that’s an RPS push but I loved this little tweak.
O44 2 5 I-Form twins 2 2 1 4-3 over 7.5 Run Lead zone Evans 43
Excellent counter to the crack sweeps they’ve been running. M shows it by motioning Butt to a not-quite TE spot like they’ve done before and then they hit the gap just inside that with a lead zone play. Braden(+1) turns in the playside DT. JBB(+0.5) kicks a DE who had widened out in anticipation of the sweep. Cole(+1) gets a second level block and M gets lucky here as a Rutgers player trying to avoid that block runs away from it, knocking over the good Rutgers S. Poggi(+0.5) gets his block, and that’s a first down. Evans(+3) makes it a big play by breaking two tackles and being one explosive dude. RPS +1.
O1 1 G Goal line 2 3 0 Goal line 11 Run FB dive Hill 1
Vulture gonna vulture. This one is more up the gut and based on Cole(+0.5) more than the other guys.
Drive Notes: Touchdown(2PT good), 29-0, 12 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M43 1 10 Pistol FB 2 1 2 4-3 over 7 Pass Improv Chesson 4
M looks like they’re trying to get some short catch and run stuff to the short side. Nobody’s open and a DE is missed entirely. Probably a pickup issue from Hill or Evans? Speight pumps, gets the DE in the air, and then runs up in the pocket, flipping a ball to Chesson for a decent gain. Ball is pretty high but yardage here is good. (CA+, 2, protection 0/2)
M47 2 6 Offset I Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-3 even 8.5 Pass Post Darboh 45
Nobody from Rutgers deeper than eight yards so M goes play action and gets a free shot. Excellent protection; Speight loads up and goes for it, throwing the ball a bit behind the ideal location. Darboh makes the adjustment, slowing up and doing a reasonable job of high-pointing the ball. (CA, 2, protection 2/2, RPS +2)
O8 1 G Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 even 8 Run Split zone Smith 5
Jet fake to Crawford and M attacks on the backside of this. JBB(-1) gets shoved by the DE he’s passing up as he tries to release and then has an awkward moment where he can’t figure out who to get to; he chooses a LB and then doesn’t really go get him. Braden(+1) blasts a DE slanting away from him; Hill(+1) pops that DE and actually gives Smith a hole inside. Smith(+0.5) passes it up to bounce outside; that’s probably a wash. He grinds out a slice of YAC.
O3 2 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 even 10 Run Iso Evans 2
OL grinds ‘em off the ball here. Butt(+1) and Mags(+1) drive their guys; Kalis(+0.5) and Asiasi(+0.5) help but are less authoritative. S shoots a gap and makes a nice ankle tackle to prevent the TD.
O1 3 G Goal line 2 3 0 Goal line 11 Run Iso Evans 0
Evans(-1) misses a cut as Wheatley(+1) pounds the edge guy into the endzone and a cut just off him is a walk-on. Kalis(-1) gets submarined; Mags(-1) also gets no push. Evans gets stood up at the LOS.
O1 4 G Goal line 2 3 0 Goal line 11 Run FB dive Hill 1
Vulture gonna vulture. While M gets in here it’s a very close thing and I’m not inclined to hand out positives. Easily could have been down a hair short.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 36-0, 7 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M40 1 10 Ace diamond 2 2 1 4-3 over 7 Run Double iso Evans 15
This gets confused as Rutgers slant/blitzes. NT crosses Cole’s face right into Asiasi’s lane. Asiasi(+2) hammers that guy. He goes from in the gap to two yards downfield and sealed by Cole(+0.5). On the other side, Poggi and Braden go after two linebackers. There’s nobody for the third because this slant is designed to get a free hitter. Evans(+1) sees the gap and cuts away from it to the one Asiasi pounded out. This buys back the LB and sends Evans to the S. Kalis(-1) got run around and almost sees his guy end this near the LOS; Mags(+0.5) got out and mirrored a CB to remove him.
O45 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 over 8.5 Run Lead zone Evans 11
Asiasi motions to a spot that’s often crack sweep time; instead M runs a lead zone a gap inside the LT. Braden(+1) fires out and seals a DT lined up inside of him. JBB(+0.5) gets a kick on a DE who strives to string the play out… aw, hamburgers it’s inside of him. Huge gap. Asiasi(+1) removes the CB who went with him on his motion; good block in space. Poggi(+1) thunks a linebacker. Safety at seven yards runs down hard at Evans and misses, and now a big play is on the docket. Cole(+1) gets to the second level fast and gets a block on the last LB. FS comes down and tackles. RPS +1.
O34 1 10 I-Form H 2 1 2 4-3 over 7 Run IZ counter Isaac 4
Looks like IZ, designed to attack the backside. RU shifts and slants away from it as they blitz a corner. Corner makes the play after a decent gain as JBB(+0.5) and Poggi(+1) both get their guys. RPS push, I guess? This was the best case scenario for Rutgers against this.
O30 2 6 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 over 7 Pass PA comeback Darboh 20
Pore-o-vision on this play and no replay (this game has about 1 replay per quarter) so no idea how Darboh pops so wide open. He does. Speight hits him. (CA, 3, protection 2/2, Darboh route ++)
O10 1 G Ace 3-wide offset 2 1 2 4-3 even 7 Run Pitch sweep McDoom 6
Double stacks from the WRs close to the center of the field and Isaac offset; McDoom comes in motion and takes a pitch. Poggi(+1) gets a solid sealing block on the SAM. Butt(-0.5) cuts off the DE but gets shoved the whole play and ends up almost at the numbers at the critical moment. Isaac(-1) leads out and takes an awkward cut from the S, which forces McDoom(+2) outside. He’s in a lot of unfriendly traffic but manages to hop past one guy and get a solid gain. Kalis(+1) turned in and wrecked a DT to help.
O4 2 G Shotgun 3-wide 1* 1 3 4-3 over 11 Pass Rollout circle Perry Inc
Peppers run fake one way and three WRs to the other side. Cioffi reads it and covers the drag from Darboh. Speight hesitates after his primary’s gone and tries to hit Perry, late. There’s a tiny window here and it’s possible Cioffi deflects this ball; I can’t tell and no replay because off course. Ball is behind Perry and potentially intercepted. (IN, 0, protection N/A, RPS -1)
O4 3 G Pistol Diamond Pepcat 3* 1 1 4-3 over 7.5 Run Power O Peppers 4
Fake to Isaac the other way and the Peppers jets into space with Kalis, Hill, and Butt leading him out. Hill(+2) again gets that edge two for one by hitting one LB and then extending to bang a DB. DE manages to get outside of Butt but takes a bump and that’s game over as Peppers(+0.5) sees the corner and go gets it. Darboh(+1) blocked the CB real good.
Drive Notes: Touchdown,43-0, 2 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
O35 1 10 Offset I Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-3 even 8 Run Lead zone Evans 3
O’Korn enters. Still first team OL. RU DL does a good job with this, as Kalis(-1) gets stood up and his guy is able to flow down the line. Meanwhile Mags(+1) turns in the playside end but Poggi(-2) shoots inside of him, hitting the same guy. Evans bounces outside like he should when the end gets sealed in on a zone but there’s a free hitter because Poggi went inside and he has to duck back into the interior pursuit.
O32 2 7 Pistol Diamond Big 2 2 1 4-3 even 8 Run Double iso Evans 5
Another slant fouls the hole Asiasi(+1) wants. He adjusts, picking the gap behind Braden, and gets a pop on a linebacker. JBB(+1) gets a long kickout. Kalis(+1) and Cole(+1) both handle their guys, and the safety has to pick a side of the Asiasi block. With the right cut Evans probably scores. Evans… does not make the right cut(-3). He’s already at the LOS when he bizarrely decides to bounce outside of JBB. He manages to break a tackle(+1) and get a decent gain but this is a truly inexplicable cut.
O27 3 2 Ace twins 1* 2 2 4-3 over 8 Run Crack sweep Isaac 5
Excellent job by Crawford(+2), who drives through a press coverage corner to get the RU safety trying to run up and nerf this play. S will never get off that block. Hill(-1) gets controlled and discarded by the end but did at least shoot him back a couple yards before falling off. Mags(+0.5) reads it and slightly annoys the dude so Isaac can get the edge and the first down.
O22 1 10 Offset I twins 2 1 2 4-3 over 7.5 Pass PA FB flat Hill 8
Playside LB bites heavy on the PA and doesn’t even have to get picked off for a good YAC catch here. (CA, 3, protection 1/1, RPS +1)
O14 2 2 Pistol FB 2 1 2 4-3 even 7 Run Split zone Evans 3
Orbit motion from McDoom tells RU when to blitz; Cole(+1) picks it up ably and shunts the LB to the side. Triple option look now that’s probably just for show. M runs the dive. RU does not respect the outside stuff and they have an extra guy in the area. Kalis(-0.5) and Mags(-0.5) get confused and both block the same guy. They get some depth on him so Evans can run up the middle and get the first down.
O11 1 10 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 over 7.5 Pass FB flat Hill 11
Relevant Rutgers guy gets picked by McDoom and Hill has the edge for the TD. (CA, 3, protection 2/2), RPS +1)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 50-0, 10 min 3rd Q. Backups for rest of game.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Offset I big 2 2 1 4-3 over 8.5 Run Naked boot Morris 3
Crawford(-1) loses the only relevant block unfortunately early. Still some yards.
M28 2 7 I-Form Big twin te 2 2 1 4-3 over 9 Run Power O Evans 57
Excellent work by McKeon(+1) and Asiasi(+2) to do the heavy lifting on the DE. Asiasi then pops to a LB and absolutely thumps him. Henderson(+0.5) and Bredeson(+0.5) get enough on kickouts to give Evans that lane up the gut. Onwenu(+0.5) got to the second level and hit a CB. Crawford(+1) gets a second level block and Evans(+1) uses it well, fending off the last guy with a stiffarm to add a ton more.
O15 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 even 8 Run Iso Higdon 15
Absurdly easy. LB tips a blitz and Bredeson(+2) not only picks it up but gets under the guy and blasts him yards back. Ulizio(-1) shed to the outside but it doesn’t really matter; other RU LBs are assuming the blitz is going to do something to jam up the center. Since it doesn’t Higdon can run straight into the endzone.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 57-0, 8 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M36 1 10 I-Form Big twin 2 2 1 4-3 even 8 Run Power O Higdon 2
Higdon(-1) again cuts away from a power play for little gain. Asiasi(+1) again gets a chip and release to the second level; McKeon(-1) doesn’t get any depth but it’s probably fine. To be fair to Higdon, Dawson(+1) and Onwenu(+1) do blow out at DT and then get to a second level player so the gap inside might be there; Higdon gets blindsided by a DE who drove Ulizio(-1) back and then released inside. Ulizio was expecting that guy to be force; RU sent a CB.
M38 2 8 Ace twin TE 1* 2 2 4-3 over 7 Run Jet sweep Crawford 4
Jocz and Wheatley both head for the playside LB and kick him out. This leaves nobody for the S, who comes down and tackles. Wheatley(-1) is probably the guy who needs to read the LB going outside and come off him since he’s the inside player.
M42 3 4 Offset I twins 2 1 2 4-3 over 7.5 Pass Sack N/A 0
Ulizio(-1) gets beat here and allows pressure but it takes long enough that I feel O’Korn should be able to find an option. He bugs out instead and gets nothing. (TA, 0, protection ½)
Drive Notes: Punt, 57-0, 4 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M41 1 10 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 over 7 Run Power O Higdon 15
Ulizio(+1) gets motion on a DE and then pops out on a LB; Onwenu(+0.5) gets around to kick a LB. Henderson(+0.5) pops another guy. Higdon(+1) sheds an arm tackle and bursts upfield.
O44 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 over 8 Run Split zone Higdon 3
Blocks are mostly a push all around with a quick reacting S holding the play down. Kugler(+0.5) and Bredeson(+0.5) get the crease by holding up a DT just enough as Kugler goes and gets the LB.
O41 2 7 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 over 9 Run Trap Isaac 5
Tight bunch of players to the field looks like a sweep but is not. M whams the backside DL and Isaac(-1) definitely misses a backside cut. Blocks again middling; Kugler(+0.5) gets to a second level guy and seals him out, though he’s not giving max effort. Hill(+1) gets a good pop on a DL let free and Isaac can squeeze through a gap for a solid gain.
O36 3 2 Offset I Big tight 2 2 1 4-3 under 9 Run Crack sweep Isaac 6
That weird sweep where Morris acts as a lead blocker as well. Asiasi(+0.5) doesn’t dominate his guy but does get him sealed and then that guy goes upfield and runs himself out of the play. Ways(+1) ejects the playside CB from the premises and then comes off on a LB, which isn’t a great block but harassing him does help. Morris(+0.5) gets in the way of a guy.
O30 1 10 Ace 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over 7 Pass Slant Ways Inc
Morris turfs an open slant. Rutgers thinks they intercept it for a touchdown; they do not. (IN, 0, protection 1/1)
O30 2 10 Ace 4-wide 1 3 3 Nickel over 6.5 Run Offset draw Isaac 11
Not quite the blowout it often is but still not bad. Dawson(+1) chucks his guy upfield and then gets to a LB. Onwenu(+0.5) seals the DT inside. Kugler(+0.5) gets to the other LB on the second level but can’t corral the guy entirely. Isaac gets tackled by that guy after the sticks. RPS +2.
O19 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 even 8 Penalty False start Ulizio -5
Ulizio -1.
O24 1 15 Offset I Big 2 2 1 4-3 over 8 Run Power O Higdon 2
Ulizio(-1) and Bredeson(-1) get split and their guy drives into the backfield, cutting off the puller. Kugler(+0.5) does get a good block on the C so Higdon can go directly upfield for a minimal gain.
O22 2 13 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over 6 Run Zone read give Isaac 9
Gentry in as a slot(!). M runs a zone read; Onwenu(+1) gets a ton of drive on his guy and this allows Isaac(+1) to cut behind him and run past the DE who has to check Morris before coming down.
O13 3 4 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 over 7 Run FB counter trap Henderson 13
Jet motion and M traps the other way with the FB. Onwenu(+0.5) shoves a guy moving away from him. Dawson(+1) releases immediately and gets a thumping LB block. Ulizio(+0.5) gets in the way of a confused guy and Henderson(+1) makes a nice cut for six. RPS +1.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 64-0, 12 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M49 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 over 8 Run Iso Higdon 5
Henderson(+1) with a thumping lead block; Ulizio(+0.5) gets a good kick and Jocz(+1) gets a second level block.
O46 2 5 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 even 8 Run Split zone Higdon 2
Dawson(-0.5) and Onwenu(-0.5) have an opportunity to combo through the DT but Onwenu doesn’t step around and Dawson doesn’t get a ton of movement so he ends up pushing the hole just about closed. Higdon trips, understandably, as he slices through the line.
O44 3 2 Ace 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel under 6.5 Run Offset draw Higdon 44
Insultingly easy TD here. Ulizio(+1) does a good job to hurl the DE upfield and then cut off the only relevant Rutgers player. RPS +3 if we’re tracking, but we’re not.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 71-0, 9 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M37 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over 7 Run IZ counter Higdon 7
MLB really has to get after this faster; Ulizio(+0.5) turns in a DE slanting under him. Henderson(+0.5) gets a good kick; Higdon(+0.5) cuts off his butt for a solid gain.
M44 2 3 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 even 7.5 Run FB dive Henderson 9
Dive/pitch combo fools the playside end, who vacates for the pitch. Bredeson(+1) pounds a DL inside; Kugler(+0.5) gets an easy second level block; Ulizio(+0.5) finds a LB as well after nobody showed at the first level.
O47 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over 7 Run Lead zone Isaac 6
Ulizio(-1) gets shoved back by his guy and that gent extends into Poggi to cut off the play design. Isaac(+1) cuts back smoothly. He’s got options as Onwenu(+1) and Dawson(+1) club a DL off the line with Onwenu getting a second level block as well. Wheatley(+0.5) got a solid backside block but his guy eventually comes off to tackle.
O41 2 4 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over 7 Run IZ counter Isaac 3
Run blitz works here, to an extent. Dawson blocks down and needs to, I think; RU pops an unblocked LB into the hole. Isaac(+1) runs that guy over to near the first down.
O38 3 1 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over 7.5 Run FB dive Henderson 4
This is a midline version of this play. Edge pitch, DT left free, easy conversion as he bites. RPS +1.
O34 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 under 8 Run Lead zone Higdon 0
Henderson(-2) does not read the hard slant from the DT and run into him instead of moving to the gap further inside; free MLB tackles.
O34 2 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 even 9 Run Split zone Isaac 34
Excellent cut from Isaac(+2) and a broken tackle sends him to the endzone. Kugler(+1) aided the cutback by driving a DT off the line; Onwenu(+1) helped on that double and then peeled off to pick off a safety.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 78-0, 3 min 4th Q. Final M snaps are kneels.

You certainly took your sweet-ass time putting this together.

As I mentioned on twitter, I lovingly crafted this with


...maybe played a little too much X-Com.

That sounds much more realistic.

But I did do the whole game!


I have no idea.

why would you do that

So I could put together this chart?

i'm supposed to interrupt you but i'm just thinking about your poor time management

this is like not calling your timeouts on defense

you need a Madden 14 year old for your life

Anyway, let's kick it off with the blockers, who I thought were murderous and PFF was like whatever:

Offensive Line
Player Snaps + - Total PFF   Snaps Pass- Error% PFF
Bushell-Beatty 26 3.5 2 1.5 -0.2   15 4 17% -1.6
Braden 27 5 2 3 2.2   14 1 4% 0.1
Cole 29 7 3 4 0.1   18 0.7
Kalis 29 6 3.5 2.5 -2.1   18 0.8
Magnuson 29 5 1.5 3.5 -0.1   18 -0.1
Bredeson 33 4 3 1 0.6   6 -0.3
Butt 19 3* 1.5 1.5 0.9   2 0.1
Bunting 0   - -
Wheatley 17 2 1 1 0   1 - - 0.1
Asiasi 23 11 11 -0.1   0 0
Hill 15 5 1 4 -0.3   - -
Poggi 14 6 2 4 1.0   1 0.1
TOTAL - 56.5 20.5 74%

*[+1 for a run after catch not in total]

Note that the metrics below only cover the first half and first drive of the second half, since that's how long the starting OL played.

Player + - T Notes
Protection 14 10 58% JBB –4, Team –2, Bredeson –2, Evans –1, Braden –1
RPS 10 5 5 Rutgers.

Special bonus backup takes:

  • Dawson: +0.9 on the ground per PFF. +3.5 in UFR charting.
  • Onwenu: +1.3 on the ground; +6.5(!) in UFR. 
  • Kugler: 0.0 per PFF; +3.5 per me.
  • Ulizio: –3.8 overall, –2.7 on the ground per PFF. I had him at –1.

This time I don't get PFF's numbers; Michigan mauled the second and third levels of this defense, repeatedly busting huge runs because the peripheral blockers dominated their matchups. Asiasi got handed a –0.1 for a performance I thought was totally dominating.

I do tend to grade based on results, so if Michigan gets eight yards I'm extremely likely to hand out some combination of +/- that ends up +3 or +4. PFF is evidently not doing this since Michigan rushed for 8.6 yards a carry and the starting OL actually ended up negative in run blocking. I didn't see that. I saw a lot of movement.

You sound like you're about to defend your Asiasi grade with clips.

Well... yeah.

Offering Asiasi the #3 spot in Known Friends and Trusted Agents was somewhat speculative; on review he absolutely deserved it. He repeatedly bashed DL, got movement, and then popped off onto a second level block. Sometimes he did this solo:

Sometimes he helped out an offensive lineman and single-handedly changed that block:

The above is an excellent example of why double iso is closer to a zone run than plain old gap blocking iso. Rutgers slants. They want Evans in the lane behind the NT, because they've moved their LBs there to get a free hitter. Asiasi sees the NT slanting and blasts him; this is just as good as hitting a linebacker since if he gets Evans the gap he's in the LB is in the wrong spot. Regular-old iso mostly gets two or three yards since it has little recourse against slant. Double iso is a run play that can break for chunks.

Anyway: the one good bit of the Rutgers defense is their DL against the run and Asiasi reliably moved those guys and found second-level blocks. Usually those second level blocks saw him drive his man yards downfield.

That combo of agility and power was the single biggest key to Michigan's 8.6 YPC. I'll be eager to see if he can continue these performances against good rushing defenses like... uh... Indiana I guess? What a world.

It is in this way that I have pointed out many good things Asiasi did and therefore garnered my grade.

Bushell-Beatty gave up pressure on 17% of his opportunities?

More or less. That protection number is alarming and Bushell-Beatty's performance was most of it. Other starting OL gave up one hurry-type substance when Braden had some difficulty with a blitzer. Bushell-Beatty was beat clean twice. One time he managed to hold a bit and get away with it on a pass that Speight missed on. The second time he did get hit with the hold.

That's two ole blocks on just 15 pass protection snaps against Rutgers. I am really skeptical he can put it together and strongly prefer a move back to Cole at LT with Kugler coming in. Cole did struggle against top end rushers last year. He did not struggle against Rutgers.

I guess there was some insight into the depths of the, uh, OL depth chart?

There was. We saw the contingency in the event of an injury to Bushell-Beatty: Cole flips out to tackle and Kugler enters at center. I wouldn't be opposed to that being the plan going forward, but that's just me.

We also got further confirmation that Bredeson is a true freshman OL, and not of the Cole variety. Michigan's first run play was a schmozz for little on which Bredeson pulled as if it was power while everyone else seemed to block split zone:

That might be correct since Harbaugh(!), but spending yourself on a dude already on the ground is not ideal.

On the next drive he got shed by the Rutgers NT in somewhat embarrassing fashion:

That guy, Darius Hamilton, is legit. That's still an ugly couple plays on the first two drives, and Michigan immediately inserted Braden. They were trying to sit him after a minor injury the previous week; Bredeson did not allow that to happen. (FWIW, he did have a key block on a Higdon TD late.)

I'm sure Bredeson is going to improve a lot and feel like Kalis does this year but in an ideal world he's redshirting. It probably doesn't matter since Michigan looks set to bring in an enormous pile of top linemen this year; his playing time is a warning sign about OL depth more than anything else.

So if PFF didn't like the OL they must have adored the running backs?

Sort of. Sort of not.

RB chart (WR grades are run only):

Player Rushes + - T   PFF   Notes
Smith 5 0.5 4 -3.5   -1.4   All but yanked after fumble.
Isaac 13 7 2 5   2.3 Excellent day.
Evans 12 6 4 2   1.5   Had a pass pro minus. Run minuses all one weird cut.
Higdon 13 3 3 0   -0.4   Many of his runs too easy to score points on.
Peppers 3 3.5 2 1.5   0.8   Thought he missed a keep read. 
Johnson               DNP
TOTAL 36 20 15 5   +2.8    
Player Blocks + - T   PFF G   Notes
Darboh 18 2   2   0.8    
Chesson 8     0  
Perry 3     0  
Ways 18     -0.1    
Harris 11         0    
McDoom 4 2   2   0.4   Elusive on jet opportunity.
Crawford 10 3 2 1   -0.1 One good crack block, one bad one..
TOTAL - 7 2 5

Smith only got five carries and then ate bench?

An early fumble was probably the catalyst there. Also on that play Rutgers stunts and Smith cuts directly into a DL who is obviously to one side of Kugler:


This isn't going to be amazing if he cuts to Kugler but he'll get something and set up third and four; that cut makes Kugler look terrible when he is attached to a guy and pushing him. The fumble is a turd cherry on top.

So now you hate everyone again?

No! Why do you keep asserting this?


Merph. Fie on you, bolded alter-ego. Fie.

I again liked Higdon and Evans and Isaac, although the former two both had the occasional WTF moment. Nonetheless, Higdon's ability to patiently wait for this tiny crease to open up and then hit it is pretty friggin' good:

That's a power play where that is always the gap that is supposed to appear. Higdon doesn't cut to it until the last second, which freezes the LB level. It may also help the crease appear since maybe a DL doesn't fight over a down block. A crafty change of direction in the backfield is always going to help you out, and that was indeed crafty. The two or three yards of YAC is a bonus.

Unfortunately, on a later power play this did not happen. Higdon didn't cut to the intended gap, and Asiasi ended up shoving a DE into him because of it:

I like the idea that he's looking for a potential cutback if it's there. It's not there. Higdon should be moving back outside to the play's intent unless it's really obvious. Higdon did blow the playcall on the long Peppers run, FWIW. I still like his potential as the kind of darting inside runner Michigan hasn't had in a minute.

Isaac, meanwhile, consistently made the right cuts. I complain very frequently about backs who don't read the guy in front of their face and cut off their OL's butt; Isaac made a first down out of a crack sweep that Rutgers had managed to string out with a cut like that (and an assist from a very good block from Butt):

Michigan's final offensive play aside from kneels was Isaac finding a small gap and powering through a tackle to the endzone:

He is mostly delivering on the offseason chatter.

I admit I got a bit frustrated with Evans live since he's settled into a phase where he always gets tackled by the first guy. As soon as I complained about this to my friends he ripped off this run:

Never tweet things, just say them to your friends. Evans was consistently explosive and hit all the right holes except for this inexplicable run:

That's a first down and possibly a touchdown if he doesn't make that crazy cut. Aside from that he was mostly bursting into the open field and getting taken down by the first guy.

I like 'em both, and I like both the others too. Michigan has a deep and diverse collection of backs who seem greatly improved from where they were a year ago; they're not perfect but no longer am I pulling my hair out on a weekly basis.

I don't even want to ask about Speight, man.

All right.

But I have to.

You don't.

I do.

[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
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

Very few buckets in this one. Speight threw some inaccurate passes. He had the one terrific bomb on the run..

...and the rest were rather boring chain-moving.

It's hard to remember since this turned into a 78-0 romp but Speight was outright bad for the first few drives. His accuracy was massively off on plays where he got little or no pressure:

That was little; this is no:

Slow starts now seem baked into his performances, and in games like this one there isn't much time to make up for it since you stop throwing in the second quarter and don't play in the second half.

Speight missing simple throws is a major issue and one that I am concerned will hamper Michigan against OSU. I'm not seeing much if any progress from him.

But really we should just make Peppers the QB.

Uh... I might be with you? I usually hate wildcat stuff because it's so predictable but when you've got a talent like Peppers and the beef to move people I can get behind a redzone package heavily focused on Peppers at QB. Also maybe outside the redzone. The guy is just electric:

His first touchdown was in fact a rollout pass on which he read that his guy was covered and just took off:

I mean... I would keep doing this until anyone stops it.

If there is a problem it's that Peppers is too conservative about keeping the ball. I thought there were a couple keep reads on which he didn't keep in the last game; here he didn't pull the ball on a play that got battered despite the end shuffling:

With both those lead blockers arcing around any shuffle should be a pull; Peppers hands it. That's the third or fourth time I thought he should pull, and the clearest example.

That was kind of new and cool. I'm sure that was the only new thing we saw in this ridiculous blowout.

There was actually far too much cool tweaking in this game for my tastes. The Pepcat package was expanded in a few different ways discussed above; none of those were needed to win the game and I'd rather pull those out in a more competitive situation. I mean... this was so easy and I think it would be that easy against teams not named Rutgers if it was new:

Harbaugh has this stuff every week, though, and probably has a dozen other Pepcat items he's squirrelled away. At this point they must have such a backlog of stuff that some of it leaks out even when you're up a zillion.

Still, I wanted to destroy every tape of this lovely counter trap off jet action, especially after OSU had their struggles with the jet in the first half against Wisconsin:

Michigan had a series of runs that played off Michigan's tendency to run jet and crack sweeps. Watch the playside end here. Butt motions to his side of the field and he spends his energy running outside to combat a sweep that never comes:

This happened repeatedly. Michigan would motion a tight end just outside a tackle and then run inside that tackle as the playside DE and LB widened out to contain. That's such an obvious counter to the jet that you might as well put that on film; hopefully Harbaugh has something further up his sleeve.

FWIW, in the second half against Wisconsin OSU started flipping their coverages when the receiver threatened a jet: the cornerback on the receiver would run back to safety as that S activated towards the line of scrimmage. I expect to see a ton of jet motion if OSU continues this because it promises to remove Gareon Conley, who is by far their best cover guy, from a matchup on Jehu Chesson and hands it to one of the safeties. Malik Hooker has had some big plays but has also been vulnerable:

Buckeyes safety Malik Hooker had three interceptions over the course of Weeks 1 and 2, but has given up catches five of seven times he was the primary defender each of the last two weeks and has given up a QB rating of at least 94.8 both weeks.

Conley, meanwhile, has the same stat line Jourdan Lewis does. Opposing quarterbacks targeting him are garnering a 0.0 QB rating.

Also I don't think Michigan has put this subtle counter on film yet:

That looks like iso but is designed to cut behind.


Mostly uninvolved. Darboh dropped a third down conversion; both he and Chesson made some challenging catches as well.

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

Player 0 1 2 3   0 1 2 3
Darboh 1 1/1 1/2   11 1/3 2/2 22/25
Chesson 2   2/3   6 0/1 6/8 10/11
Perry 1     9 1/1 5/5
Ways                 1/1
McDoom             1/1   2/2
Crawford                 1/1
Butt   1/1   4 1/2   17/19
Bunting         1     2/2
Asiasi               1/1
Poggi               4/5
Hill     2/2       2/2 5/5
Smith 1/1   2 1/1 2/2 7/7
Evans       1 0/1   3/3
McKeon                 2/2
Hirsch                 1/1

ROUTES: Darboh ++++

Darboh did bail out Speight on a throw a few yards too far inside:

I didn't clip much in the second half for obvious reasons, but a few things did pop out. Kekoa Crawford got an excellent block on a crack sweep:

He's had some struggles this year as a blocker but was reputed to be terrific in that department coming out of high school.


Asiasi. Isaac. Hill and Poggi. To a lesser extent, the OL aside from Bushell-Beatty.

Maybe not so heroic?

I just don't see it with JBB. Smith fumbled and then hit the bench.

What does it mean for Illinois and beyond?

Not much. I mean.

Asiasi is developing into an impact blocker rapidly. He's a people-mover. Had some mental issues early but now that he seems to be locked in he is just crushing LBs and DBs.

Bushell-Beatty is alarming in pass protection. Small sample sizes. Small sample sizes of bad things.

Uh. Rutgers is real bad?



October 20th, 2016 at 2:01 PM ^

I'd imagine this would be a hard UFR to get through due to sheer boredom and irrelevancy towards performance against still-breathing opposition.

The defensive UFR will be even worse: "UM dlineman bursts into backfield as though Rutgers Oline is no more substantive and a hologram. Here have a +2 or +3 or whatever."

Big Boutros

October 20th, 2016 at 2:02 PM ^

It's odd that JBB actually did a better (or less worse) job in pass protection against Wisconsin, the vastly superior defense. He got dinged so early against Rutgers -- perhaps he was sore and immobile.

I mean he wasn't the preseason starter for a reason, but hopefully there are one or two mitigating circumstances for playing matador tackle against Rutgers.

It's still a patchwork OL. We're on track for such a terrific season and the offense, statistically, is humming -- I think we're the only remaining team averaging 50 ppg. Maybe Louisville. But the truth is that Harbaugh's offense isn't even close to being constructed. He's not playing his QB from scratch and he's not playing his custom-built OL. It's insane to think how this offense will perform in three years.


October 20th, 2016 at 2:09 PM ^

I dont see it at all with Speight and for all the talk that he's a solid "game manager" that plays cause he doesnt make mistakes he's had several INTs dropped that, if held on to, would change that narrative dramatically.  To my untrained eye he appears to be getting worse, not better, as teams get increased film on him.

Maybe he makes the O'Korn jump but man I'm just not seeing it right now.  And against OSU and MSU (forget their record) they will absolutely jam the running lanes to force us to throw.  


October 20th, 2016 at 2:12 PM ^

Which lays them open to some of his really nice deep throws(I would have said balls, but, y'know, phrasing).  I agree his short range accuracy has been off, but if he can just hit a few of thos big throws it will back them off of the running lanes a bit.


October 21st, 2016 at 3:59 PM ^

Yeah, I don't think you can ding Speight and Smith too hard for the early game throwing and fumbling issues as it was really pouring and it even prompted them to change away from their super slick gloves.


October 21st, 2016 at 5:55 PM ^

at home against a bad opponent I still won't feel better.  For all their faults, at MSU should be a good test for him, because they have some talent and they're going to bring it. Playing well there, will ease the concerns a bit.

Blue Mike

October 20th, 2016 at 3:22 PM ^

It would be nice if they would give O'Korn a shot in a game situation that was more than "get the game over with as quickly and painlessly as possible." What is with splitting series with Morris in the second half?  If camp was truly "Speight and O'Korn are 1A and 1B", they sure aren't acting like it during games. It would be nice if O'Korn had some real experience this year if Speight were to go down.

The only thing I can think of is that Harbaugh knows that Speight isn't ever going to make the "Rudock leap", and by keeping O'Korn off the field he is preventing any sort of quarterback controversy messing with Speight's confidence if things start going south.


October 20th, 2016 at 6:36 PM ^

I would bet one dollar the reason JOK doesn't get impactful game snaps is bc harbaugh doesn't want to shake Speight or the teams confidence at all. i dont think we've seen enough to warrant a change but there might be whispers inside and outside the locker room if JOK had a couple great outings compared to Speights meh ones. so why risk it?

I Want To Believe

October 21st, 2016 at 5:52 AM ^

Jim Harbaugh is the best possible QB coach / QB groomer in the country. To all of you keyboard quarterbacks on this blog: Shut the fuck up about John O'Korn. If O'Korn was better or even close to Speight he would see the field wayyyy more than he has. Did u read what u just typed? Lmfao so now we have QB conspiracies!!!

Again, it's going to be Speight's 7th career start. I'm glad you've completely written the kid off after 7 starts in a legit pro style system.


Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


October 22nd, 2016 at 12:44 AM ^

Just no.  Speight is the starting QB, meaning the coaches think he is the best QB.  They probably know what they're talking about.  So why would we possibly want the next best guy playing when the game is still in doubt just to get him experience?  If you're the game remotely in doubt, keep your best guy in there, maximize your chances at points, and keep getting him more experience.


October 20th, 2016 at 4:01 PM ^

The best player on every team is the backup QB.  An under the radar recruit gets an offer and everyone on the board is all about trusting the staff and Harbaugh but apparently we don't trust Harbaugh to be putting out the better QB after getting to see them compete in practice for over a year?  That makes sense.  Speight is playing because he is a better QB than O'Korn, I think its pretty simple. 

Blue Balls Afire

October 20th, 2016 at 4:04 PM ^

He is my biggest concern as well.  Against OSU, he won't just need to make all the easy throws, he will need to make some great throws as well for us to win.  With the way Michigan's D is playing, I think we need to score 22 to win--down from my earlier estimate of 32.  Can Speight help put up 22 in Columbus?  I'm not so sure based on the way he's playing now.  Look at the Wisc-OSU game.  Hornibrook came through with some huge big-time throws to help put Wisc in a position to win.  We'll need those too.  Please make the Rudock leap!  


October 20th, 2016 at 4:12 PM ^

making the Rudock leap.  Rudock had almost two years of starting experience under his belt when he came to UM.  Rudock's leap most likely happened because he finely became comfortable with the offense, plays and wr's.  

Speight doesn't have the experience Rudock had.  It doesn't mean Speight isn't going to improve during the second half of the season, but I'm not expecting him to make a Rudock type leap.


October 20th, 2016 at 10:35 PM ^

must think Wilton is the best of the lot and will continue to work with him. I think he can improve and hit those slants and use Butt more often for those 10 to 15 yard passes. I would like to see more of our RBs in the passing game.


October 20th, 2016 at 2:14 PM ^

Am I seeing it right? Zone read, but Higdon runs BEHIND Peppers, completely blows the play (doesn't seem like a "Harbaugh!" thing), Rutgers doesn't bite and chases Peppers...and catch him 63 yards later. 

Jabrill Peppers--so good, it probably doesn't matter that you screwed up.


The Claw

October 20th, 2016 at 2:15 PM ^

That's not as dominent in grading that I though it would be.  Let's hope the next five week they continue to improve and are then close to flawless against our rival.


October 20th, 2016 at 2:45 PM ^

I can kinda see this idea of doing fun new stuff every week that always works.  How much good does it do Urban Meyer to tell his team, "ok guys, when they line up like this, be ready for these nine different plays"?

Blue Mike

October 20th, 2016 at 3:27 PM ^

What's what I'm thinking also.  At some point in the season, doesn't it make more sense to put a ton of stuff "on tape" and make your opponents gameplan for all of it, especially with Harbaugh's reputation of tweaking the offense each week and never running the same thing twice?  Seems like the more you show, the more confused the defense is going to be.  


October 20th, 2016 at 3:43 PM ^

Coaches don't care for the fun new stuff that isn't part of the core base of the offense. They concentrate on stopping their core base while preparing for any possible wrinkles.  The new stuff Harbaugh brought in are mostly aren't part of the core base.

Harbaugh does a great job of putting up a lot of window dressing with formations and motions before running his base plays. That's what screws defense more than the fun new stuff.


October 20th, 2016 at 2:54 PM ^

Ok, so the passing game has to be a concern. Brian clipped two really inaccurate throws here. they weren't turnovers, so maybe Speight is erring on the side of caution (and with this defense, that's not a bad move) but they were open guys on chain-moving routes that he just totally missed.

I don't think Speight is all of it, though. Right after the first TD Brian gives a grade of MA for a pass just beyond the outstretched fingers of Jehu Chesson. Not great, not awful.

But Chesson is absolutely blanketed by his defender. Speight had to hit a window that was about 18 inches across to complete that pass.

And that has happened a lot this year. Chesson can't seem to beat his man. Even against scrub teams like Rutgers, nevermind first-round picks like Hargreaves last season.

And Chesson is a poor jump-ball receiver, so Speight can't adjust to tight coverage like that by slightly underthrowing, either. Good jump-ball receivers expand the target for their QBs by providing multiple options for a good pass, and Chesson just doesn't have that in his toolbox. And he's not burning guys, either. I wonder if his agility has been hampered by injury. 

Darboh is slightly better at jump balls, but Brian clipped that long pass to Darboh and observed him doing an ok job of high-pointing it, and I didn't think his adjustment was all that great. Darboh has struggled at other times adjusting to balls out of his way before this season, too.

I think this has hurt Michigan's downfield passing game as much as Speight's accuracy, because he can't just hurl the ball to his man and expect him to get it. He has hit the occasional dime, of course, but dimes are required more often than with receivers that can win 50-50 passes with regularity.