Upon Further Review 2017: Defense vs Indiana

Submitted by Brian on October 19th, 2017 at 3:31 PM

2017 logoo_thumbSPONSOR NOTES. Matt's on his way to Penn State as we speak, thinking no doubt about various ways in which US Soccer's surplus can be spent effectively: reducing the cost of A-level coaching licenses, supporting youth clubs that produce USMNT players, building a giant statue of Sunil Gulati being devoured by wolves. Maybe I'm projecting. I'm probably projecting.

Matt's probably thinking about ways to get your mortgage quote even faster, like inventing a time machine or hiring really fast donkeys. Because he gets you quotes fast, like a competent person not in charge of US soccer does.

FORMATION NOTES. Another 60-40 split between the stack package and a four-man line. 31 four man line snaps of which Mone probably got 25, with Dwumfour in on passing downs. 4-3 snaps went down 3 against a spread offense.

Michigan is deploying some dime now, with all three CBs on the field simultaneously. I had them for 11 dime snaps.

Indiana was all spread, never under center. Here is a picture of Indiana:


Other than the usual diet of weird line alignments on passing downs this was basically what you'd expect.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES. Secondary was the usual: Kinnel and Metellus omnipresent except for a play or two after Kinnel got dinged when Woods came in. Thomas and Glasgow both got a few snaps. CBs rotated through snaps, with a half-dozen or so snaps where all three were on the field.

Bush was omnipresent; McCray nearly so except in the immediate aftermath of a cut block when Gil got a play.

Michigan again rotated between two of Hudson, Furbush, and Mone, with the 3-3-5 set far more common than alternatives. Uche got a few of Hudson/Furbush's snaps in the second quarter. The DL did see some rotation, with Solomon, Kemp, Marshall and Dwumfour all getting scattered snaps. Winovich did not come off the field; Dwumfour was usually in as a fourth DL on passing downs instead of Mone.

[After THE JUMP: bolded alter-ego can't maintain the fiction any longer!]

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O16 1 10 Shotgun double stack 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Pass 5 Dig McCray 14
So this is going to be rough downfield since the camera is tight and IU’s O all but bans replays. M sends five, RG does a great job to get off of Gary and onto Bush and pocket holds(pressure -2). M is in a zone. McCray(-2) pattern matches one route and vacates his area; on the other side Hudson is just straight dropping. Throw on a dig is open; immediate Kinnel tackle. Cover -2. Could be on Long, I guess? Unclear.
O30 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Run N/A Zone read keeper Winovich 3
Winovich(-0.5) shuffles down a bit and gets beat to the edge but can string it out to the sideline. He dives and gets in an ankle tackle attempt that gets Ramsey off balance. Hill comes up to hit near the edge of the field; Ramsey slides down, giving up some yards.
O33 2 7 Shotgun double stack 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Pass 5 Tunnel screen Furbush 2 (Pen -13)
Furbush(+1) recognizes the tunnel action and peels off what looked like a blitz he was sent on. He misses a tackle to a back juke. Bush(+0.5) comes over and also misses a tackle; Gary(+0.5) now rallies and makes no mistake, with help from both LBs. IU hit with a PF for an illegal low block.
O20 2 20 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 4-3 even Press one high Run N/A Inverted veer keeper McCray 5
Momentarily dangerous as M twists their DTs seeking pass rush and as a result Hurst gets hammered. M fortunate an IU OL goes over of his own volition; McCray(+1) reads and scrapes back to tackle. Gary(+0.5) also worked his way back to help tackle. Long was overhanging and likely to tackle even if IU can get McCray blocked for about ten yards. RPS -1; even though this was second and 20 this was set up to get chunked.
O25 3 15 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 5-1 DL split Press one high Penalty N/A Offsides Gary 5
Entire DL jumps. Gary(-1) and Winovich(-1) definitely don’t get back. Hurst might.
O30 3 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 Nickel even Press two high Pass 4 Throwaway N/A Inc
Four man rush gets picked up as an attempted Hurst stunt two gaps over gets picked up by a G. Pressure -2. Coverage(+3) is excellent; Ramsey can’t find anything and has to roll out and punt the ball OOB.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 13 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O13 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Pass 4 Scramble Winovich 3
Coverage(+2) again good for a read or two and then Ramsey bugs out as Gary(+0.5) surges and spooks him. Not strictly necessary. Winovich(+0.5) chases him to the sideline and the gain is minimal. Pressure push.
O16 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 6-0 line slide Press one high Run N/A Split zone Hurst 0
Hurst(+2) hammers the C back into the running lane; RB hits his own man. Furbush(+0.5) helped constrict space and McCray(+0.5) finishes the play.
O16 3 7 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 5-0 line slide Press one high Pass 5 Improv Gary 8
Gary(+2, pressure +2) wins a speed to power rush, ripping inside. IU LT holds him(refs -2) and materially impacts his ability to sack the QB; he’s still sacking the QB, but slower; this does give QB time to get the ball out as Timian provided him a target. Metellus(-1, tackling -1) loses contact and can’t bring Timian down on the catch, and then he manages to squeeze out the first down.
O24 1 10 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 3-2 dime Press one high Pass 4 Dig Hill INT (Pen +9)
Clean pocket(pressure -2); throw is a dig to a guy Hill(-1, cover -1) is in man on. Hill does do too much rubbin’ here. This is not racin’, with one last yank that clearly affects the WR’s motion. Hill might have been better off letting him go because this gets intercepted because it’s well behind the WR.
O33 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Pass 4 Fly Watson Inc (Pen +5)
Furbush(-1) jumps offsides. This is in part induced by the H-back going in sudden motion outside in a debatably false-start-y way. Free play results in a deep shot to Cobbs versus Watson(+1, cover +1), who is in Cobb’s chest and shoves him OOB before he can get his foot down on a vaguely catchable throw.
O38 1 5 Ace trips 2TE 4-3-4 4-3 over Off one high Pass 4 Transcontinental Kemp Inc
Kemp(+2) is not fooled and is checking the QB. Incomplete; guy is getting tackled behind the line anyway. RPS +2.
O38 2 5 Shotgun empty 3-2-6 3-2 dime Press one high Pass 5 Slant Thomas 6
M gets a free run with Winovich(+1, pressure +2) getting a well-timed stunt up the middle, but ball is out too quick. Thomas(+0.5, cover +1) is in excellent position for a rake that gets a PBU but WR comes down with the tough completion.
O44 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nonsense Press zero Run N/A Power O Hurst 2 (Pen +5)
M tries to sub against Indiana without the protection of an IU sub, and this goes like you’d expect. Mone is running on late and barely involved; Michigan sends a 12th guy on the field as well. M stuffs this despite having a nonsense D as Hurst(+1) bulls his guy back to disrupt a pull and Winovich(+1) dismisses one guy, picking up the second puller. Mone then acts as a super jumbo free MLB for the tackle. RPS –1.
O49 1 5 Shotgun double stack 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Pass 5 Scramble Bush 1
Rush mostly picked up. Winovich(+0.5) does make it uncomfortable for Ramsey, who re-sets and then has a cut McCray near his feet and decides to go. Bush(+1) is waiting for him, and Ramsey decides discretion is the better part of valor. Cover +1.
50 2 4 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Hurst -1
Hurst(+3) hurls the RG three yards in the backfield and pops off for a solo TFL.
O49 3 5 Shotgun 2-back 3-3-5 3-3 line slide Press one high Pass 3 Dumpoff N/A 11
Pocket totally clean(-2) until Hurst bulls his way back to the QB but that’s too late. Dump to the back converts. No idea about the coverage(-2), shot too tight. Winovich and Bush aren't really rushing as M anticipates screen. RPS –1.
M40 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Pass 4 Waggle flat Hill Inc
Nowhere to go, really, as Hudson(+0.5) and Hill(+0.5) have the flat bracketed; Gary(+1, pressure +1) beats a block and forces a throw. It’s to the flat guy and OOB.
M40 2 10 Shotgun double stack 3-3-5 5-1 line slide Press one high Run N/A Inside zone McCray 7
Line slide and McCray is a yard to the backside of this play, lined up over the RB. Dwumfour(+1) slants inside and meets a double that he stands up. McCray(-1) is free and gets to this gap, but he doesn’t read it fast enough and can only contact at three yards, and then he gets carried a few more. Kemp(-1) could have helped out by got discarded upfield as he went heavy pass rush. Glasgow in on this play FWIW.
M33 3 3 Shotgun empty TE 3-3-5 6-0 line slide Press one high Pass 5 Slant Watson Inc
Watson(+1, cover +1) in solid position here and is futzing with Cobbs’s hands. He can’t get a PBU or anything but he does appear to force a drop.
M33 4 3 Shotgun 4-wide tight 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Pass 4 Out Hudson Inc
I’m charting this since they played the snap. Hudson(+1, pressure +1) blitzes and knocks this down; fairly good chance that Watson(+0.5) is able to drive on this and tackle short of the sticks.
Drive Notes: Blocked FG(51), 3-0, 2 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 3-2 dime Press two high Pass 5 Sack Hurst -13
Gil and Uche flanking Bush FWIW. CB blitz gets picked up; Hurst(+2, pressure +3) discards a guard and surges up the middle, seemingly held(refs -2) as he falls to the ground. This still spooks QB, who flushes backwards, where Gary(+1) and Long(+1) both pop off blocks, sacking for a huge loss. RPS +1.
O12 2 23 Shotgun double stack 3-3-5 4-1 dime Press two high Run N/A Inside zone Uche 1
Lagow in briefly. Another pass twist that should give running back some room but Uche(+1) slashes inside of the LT and… uh, watches Ellison fall to the ground as he tries to cut. Good job, though. Hurst and Winovich converging so this wasn’t going to go far either way.
O13 3 22 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 4-1 dime Press two high Pass 4 Tunnel screen Kinnel 20
Kinnel(-2, tackling -2) turns this from a routine ten yards and punt into a near first down by firing hard at the tunnel action and missing a tackle almost entirely. Doesn’t force to his help, barely slows the back. McCray(+0.5) is in good position to tackle here if the S doesn’t give up the middle of the field immediately. This gives up 10-12 yards of vital field position and almost a first down.
Drive Notes: Punt, 6-0, 13 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O16 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Run N/A QB power McCray 0
Blitz from McCray(+1) confuses IU and gets two guys blocking him. Hurst stunts around him and eats the puller. Bush(+0.5) is free in the hole and tackles with help from Winovich(+0.5). RPS +1.
O16 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Pass 5 Fade Watson Inc
Man, this is Watson all alone on his half of the dang field against Cobbs. IU goes max pro and it’s Cobbs all lthe way. Pocket holds, pressure -2. Watson(+2, cover +2) is in Cobbs’s grill and gets him to about a yard or two from the sideline as he tries to get past his press. Cobbs goes out of bounds on his own, with some weak handfighting the only push OOB. Refs(-3) don’t throw the hat and then they give him a catch when he jumps from OOB back into the field of play. Replay(+2) rectifies the situation, but yeesh this isn’t even close.
O16 3 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 5-1 DL split Press one high Pass 3 Dumpoff Hill 3
Winovich(+0.5) sort of gets around the corner and forces QB up in the pocket. McCray(+0.5) converts his spy zone into a rush as this happens and spooks QB into a dumpoff that has little chance. Hill(+0.5) comes up to put the RB OOB. Coverage(+2) good as M dropped 7.
Drive Notes: Punt, 13-0, 9 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun double stack 3-3-5 Nickel over Press one high Pass 5 Dig McCray 18
Uche still in, Kemp and Marshall on the DL. McCray playing. Five guys sent; picked up comfortably by IU (pressure -3) and QB can stand in and fire to a WR who’s wide open with McCray(-1, cover -2) unable to keep up in zone.
O43 1 10 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 3-2 dime Press one high Pass 4 Slant Kinnel 8
Another clean pocket on a quick throw (pressure -1); Kinnel(+0.5, cover +1) is draped all over the slot receiver but dude makes a tough catch.
M49 2 2 Shotgun 3-wide H 3-3-5 4-3 over Press two high Run N/A Power O Bush 8
Again M ends up in a situation with McCray primarily a pass defender and Hudson in the box as essentially the MLB. They’ve also folded Kemp to NT and have Uche as a DE outside of this, and things don’t go well. Kemp(-1) takes a double and gets stalemated by it; one of his guys can quickly leave for Bush. He does get off to get at tackle attempt in but misses it. He does slow the back. Bush(-1) gets a blocker and mostly catches him. He fights inside, away from help. Hudson has no chance once that happens; IU gets a blocker to him. RPS -1. Hudson instead of McCray is a head scratcher here.
M41 1 10 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 Nickel over Press two high Pass 4 Scramble N/A 6
Starters back in. Another questionable stunt call that sees Hurst and Gary loop way far around. That takes forever; both guys diving inside get doubled and there’s a lane up the middle from the playcall. Ramsey doesn’t like his first read(cover +1) and takes off. Large number of players in short coverage rally and force him out after a solid gain. RPS -1, pressure -1.
M35 2 4 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 Nickel even Press one high Run N/A Inverted veer keeper Gary 1
Covered slot WR should be a run tip, not sure if it is. Gary(+2) plays both sides of this option, dissuading the handoff and then crashing down to tackle the QB for a minimal gain. Woods, in for Kinnel briefly, helps clean up. Hurst(-1) lost to a double so if QB can get Gary to commit upfield this could be a nice gain.
M34 3 3 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Penalty N/A False start N/A -5
Notable that the 5 does not include Hudson but all three CBs, with Hill in the slot. Also, oops.
M39 3 8 Shotgun 2-back 3-2-6 3-2 dime Press one high Pass 5 Throwaway Winovich Inc (Pen +10)
Pressure gets home this time as Winovich(+1, pressure +3) is through the LOS before IU OL realizes their mistake, which is a Hudson(+1) blitz the LG didn’t see. Ramsey bails out of the pocket. Hudson chases and grabs at his feet as he throws one away near the sideline. Long(-2, cover -2) is hit with a pretty blatant hold to convert for IU.
M29 1 10 Shotgun empty 3-2-6 3-2 dime Press one high Pass 5 Throwaway Bush Inc
Bush(+1) gets a free run despite tipping a blitz; Hurst(+2) is around his guy immediately; Winovich(+2) beats his guy at eight yards and is also about to sack. QB boots it OOB in the general direction of a guy on a wheel route but well outside. Pressure +3.
M29 2 10 Shotgun empty TE 3-2-6 3-2 dime Press one high Pass 5 Rollout flat Bush Inc
Bush pulled out of the box on the slot WR, with Hudson creeping up to blitz and Metellus a nominal LB. Slot motions across the formation and runs into the flat as IU rolls to him. Gary(+1) left alone and shoots up into the QB; Bush(+1, cover +1) is able to get to the flat route despite being a LB versus a slot; QB turfs the ball. RPS +1. No idea why IU thinks this is going to work.
M29 3 10 Shotgun empty 3-2-6 3-2 dime Press one high Pass 5 Fly Hurst Inc (Pen +13)
The three penalty play. Hurst(-1) does jump. He is then not picked up by the line and attacks the QB, hitting and tackling him a moment after the release. Refs(-3) hit him with a ludicrous PF. We don’t get a good replay of the hold on Watson but that too looks extremely sketchy. Push, I guess. Silver lining: refs(+1) put the ball at the 16, not the 14.
M16 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel under Press two high Pass 4 Screen McCray Inc
McCray(+1, cover +2) is on the back and stays on him despite the frippery, running through a wave of OL to get to him in the backfield. QB turfs it again. RPS +2.
M16 2 10 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 5-1 line slide Press two high Run N/A QB power McCray 2
Another covered slot, because DeBord is SMRT. Michigan basically ignores him. M invites a run away from the line strength and gets it. Bush(+1) is blitzing and alters his flight path once he sees the QB pull, getting to a gap and hitting the TE. McCray(+2) reads and gets a little lucky as a pulling G mis IDs him, momentarily going for Kinnel. McCray doesn’t give him a chance to recover and slashes in to tackle after a minimal gain. Dwumfour(+0.5) helps out a bit too.
M14 3 8 Shotgun trips bunch 3-3-5 5-1 DL split Press one high Pass 5 Slant Bush Inc
Bush(+2, pressure +2) runs through a cut block from the back without losing his feet and is about to sack, forcing a throw. It’s right at Hudson but Hudson’s at the LOS so he doesn’t have much time to deflect or INT it; goes through his hands, might be deflected. Watson(+1, cover +1) in the back pocket of this WR and will tackle for fourth down unless M gets unlucky; ball is well wide anyway.
Drive Notes: FG(31), 13-3, 1 min 2nd Q. I wonder if there’s ever been a UFR scoring drive with five straight incompletions before.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O36 1 10 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 3-2 dime Press one high Pass 4 Slant Hill Inc
All cut blocks from the OL except on Hurst; QB knows he has a very limited amount of time for a short pass. He pumps and throws wide of a guy trying a slant on Hill. Pump is because McCray(+1, cover +1) is running under this slant and threatens to INT. Hill(+1, cover +1) in the back pocket and forces a difficult throw. RPS +1.
O36 2 10 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Run N/A Inside zone read Hudson 31
Hudson(-3) is vastly too aggressive here as the zone read defender. Ramsey is not much of a threat and can be shuffled against; Hudson attacks upfield like it’s 2004. Gary(-2) gets wiped down the line by the TE and there’s a huge gap.
M33 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Run N/A Inside zone read Solomon 6
Hudson cools it this time and there’s no cutback. Tempo catches M off guard; Solomon(-1) takes a double and gives ground, allowing an OL to get to Bush(-2), who is caught off guard by the tempo and eats a block. He’s wiped out and can’t even get an arm tackle in; play is going to the S when McCray(+1) gets off his block and gets a tackle in a few yards downfield. RB can fall forward. RPS –1.
M27 2 4 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Run N/A Inside zone read Solomon 0
Solomon(+2) does better this time, firing the C into the backfield and getting off to tackle. Furbush(+1) inserted as a bonus DL just behind this and wins his block, getting to the back to help stop him in his tracks.
M27 3 4 Shotgun 4-wide tight 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Pass 5 Improv Metellus 19
All short stuff that’s covered(+2) and then the protection breaks down with Bush(+1) and Winovich(+1, pressure +2) coming through on a stunt. QB flushes. WR Metellus is on first breaks deep and comes back. He goes out of bounds (refs -2) and there’s no illegal touching call when he catches it. Metellus(-3, tackling -3) somehow airballs on a tackle to the outside when his guy is pinned to the sideline, turning fourth down into a big play.
M8 1 G Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press zero Run N/A Inside zone read Furbush 8
Furbush(-1) at the LOS with no forward momentum; he gets blown out and sealed. Bush(-1) again gets hit by a free releaser and sealed out; Kemp(-1) should be diving into this gap with Hudson behind him but just never gets off his block despite shooting the TE into the backfield.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 13-10, 12 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O12 1 10 Shotgun empty 4-2-5 4-1 dime Press one high Run N/A QB power Winovich 4
TE motions in and M brings down a safety in response, anticipating. Winovich(+1) slides in after he’s let go and hits the puller; QB has to go outside. Winovich redirects to tackle but doesn’t get any help; Bush(-0.5) got a free releaser and couldn’t get off. Metellus got kicked.
O16 2 6 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Run N/A Inside zone read Gary 1
Hudson(+0.5) farther off the line; he comes up and is there to contain on the cutback. Cutback necessary as Mone(+0.5) holds up to a double and Gary(+2) fights inside to cut off a backside gap and then somehow comes through his blocker from behind to tackle once Hudson forces it back.
O17 3 5 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 5 Slant Kinnel Inc
Kinnel(+2, cover +2) gets the slot receiver and dominates his route. This may not be an actual PBU but his hand is reaching out for the ball between the WR’s hands and I can’t imagine this being completed, so +2. Pass rush coming through as Bush(+1) runs over an attempted RB pickup and a Hurst(+0.5) stunt gets home with help from Mone(+0.5, pressure +2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 13-10, 7 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O15 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press two high Run N/A Inside zone read Hudson 2
Orbit motion from the slot and a threatened triple option. Handoff. M has a CB blitz on so Hudson(+1) can ignore the outside action and crash down on the run. Gary(+1) muscled into an interior gap to force a cutback to Hudson. RPS +2.
O17 2 8 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel under Press one high Run N/A QB counter Winovich 1
Winovich(+2) gets a pulling G to him and rips him away. McCray(+1) reads and comes up to force back; QB has no choice but to get walloped.
O18 3 7 Shotgun trips 3-2-6 3-2 dime Press one high Pass 5 Sack Hurst -8
Hudson shoots up and blitzes as Bush drops off. Mostly picked up. Hurst(+2) goes WOOP around a G trying to get him and surges right up the middle of the pocket. Gary(+1, pressure +3) there to prevent any scramble ideas; QB goes down screaming "not in the face."
Drive Notes: Punt, 13-10, 4 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O15 1 10 Shotgun double stack 4-3-4 4-3 even Press two high Pass 5 Batted Bush Inc
Pressure(-1) is actually not great here, comfortable pocket that QB can step up into and throw. Bush(+1) rescues it with a batted ball that Furbush barely misses an INT on. Gary(+0.5) was coming through.
O15 2 10 Shotgun empty 4-3-4 Nickel under Press one high Pass 5 In Bush 3
Coverage(+2) good for a beat and then Bush(+1) is right there on a checkdown in to the slot WR. Pressure(-1) again mediocre.
O18 3 7 Shotgun 4-wide 3-2-6 Nickel line split Press one high Pass 5 Back shoulder fade Long Inc
Rush better here with Winovich(+1) around the corner productively as Bush(+1) barrels the RB back into the QB(pressure +2). QB makes a bit of a panic throw sort of at Cobbs. It’s nominally a back shoulder throw but Long(+1, cover +1) has jammed Cobbs and he turns around late; ball is nowhere near anyway.
Drive Notes: Punt, 13-0, 1 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O32 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Pass 4 Tunnel screen Kinnel -3
Slot CB is way too tight for IU to run this. As soon as WR breaks for tunnel he’s right after. Also, they let Winovich(+1) go as if it’s zone read and he shuffles, so it’s easy for him to redirect. Kinnel(+1) is the CB and tackles with Winovich but this was a gift. RPS +3.
O29 2 13 Shotgun empty 4-2-5 Dime even Press one high Pass 4 Tunnel screen N/A 12
Refs(-3) miss another blatantly illegal block below the waist that could take out McCray’s knee. This takes out McCray and M is vulnerable. I don’t know why because this is pore-o-vision. RPS -2.
O41 3 1 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 under Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Bush 0
Thanks, Mike. IU runs straight at Hurst and Mone. Bush(+1) runs up and plugs the C at the snap, firing him back. Mone(+2) does the same except moreso. Those guys meet at the back. Hurst(+0.5) helps out after getting around his block.
Drive Notes: Punt, 13-0, 12 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Run N/A Pin and pull Hurst 4
This is dangerous for a second here. Hudson(-1) is off the LOS and gets locked up by the TE. McCray(+1) sees pin and pull and rips outside, which is good since there’s no edge now; RB has to cut back. Mone(-1) goes upfield first and is pushing but does get sealed; so there is a gap; Hurst(+1) shuts it down from behind after being let go. RB can still grind out a decent gain because he’s burly.
O29 2 6 Shotgun double stack 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Flare screen Hill -4
WR comes in to backfield and then motions back out as IU tries to catch Michigan’s S inversion. Flare screen, one blocker. Hill(+2, tackling +2) is getting blocked and then his dude leaves to block Metellus. So he runs up and makes an impressive open field tackle. RPS +2; this had three guys in the area against one blocker.
O25 3 10 Shotgun trips 3-2-6 3-3 stack Press one high Pass 5 Drag Metellus 6
Winovich(+1, pressure +1) drives his guy and forces a re-set by the QB. Also a throw. That’s a drag against man coverage but not one that got a pick. Metellus(+1, tackling +1) is able to track and tackle to force a punt.
Drive Notes: Punt, 20-10, 8 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O32 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Press two high Pass 5 Hitch Hudson 8
6 minutes left and a two score lead so we’re getting to the point where dink and dunk being permitted is reasonable. Not yet, though, and not 8 yards. Hudson and McCray get run off by a TE(cover -1) and three yard hitch turns into eight. Pressure(-1) not particularly threatening.
O40 2 2 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Fade Hill INT
Pressure(-1) not getting there again on a relatively quick throw that is just Hill isoed against a WR. Hill(+4, cover +3) dominates the route and spears a fantastic leaping interception that is textbook.
Drive Notes: Interception, 20-10, 6 min 4th Q. Punt return sets up next drive.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Pass 4 Wheel Kinnel Inc
Wheel route that Kinnel(+2, cover +2) puts in the sideline; zero window. QB apparently throws it away. Pressure push as this is quick and folks converging.
M20 2 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 Nickel DL split Press one high Pass 5 Improv Long Inc
LT wraps his arm around Winovich’s neck; clear hold(refs -2) that’s not called. QB starts bugging out quickly as Bush(+0.5) is a threat against the RB. He flushes to the boundary. He’s got a drag route at that sideline that Long(+2, cover +2) is in on and seemingly breaks up with some arm-grabbing. Pressure +1.
M20 3 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Pass 5 Dig Kinnel 12
M sends five. Pocket holds(pressure -2). Bush drops out and has to track the back as he releases. This leaves the two safeties in the middle of the field. Metellus is nominally in man coverage but is way outside the interior slot receiver and appears to be forcing it inside to Kinnel(-2, cover -2), who’s 15 yards deep and dropping at the snap. He’s looking up Cobbs but as soon as Cobbs breaks outside for a fade he should get off that read and look for something coming to the center of the field. He doesn’t; he’s late to this dig which is just under Cobbs.
M8 1 G Shotgun trips 3-3-5 3-2 dime Press one high Pass 4 Fade Long Inc
Long(+2, cover +2) jams Cobbs’s ass off and this has zero shot.
M8 2 G Shotgun trips 3-3-5 6-0 stack Press one high Pass 5 Throwaway Long Inc
Looking for a slant to Cobbs that Long(+1, cover +1) is in the back pocket on with Metellus(+0.5) coming over the top. That read is gone and QB is out of time. Winovich(+1) bulls his guy back and forces a flush; Gary(+1) is a terror on the edge. QB dumps it. This is four yards short of the LOS but there’s a guy about five yards away… blargh. You shouldn’t get this call if you can’t even get it across the LOS.
M8 3 G Shotgun trips 4-1-6 4-1 dime over Press two high Pass 5 Drag Kinnel 8
Hill gets picked on a debatably legal play. I’m not surprised it didn’t get flagged. Kinnel is sitting on the hash on the goal line at the start of this play and does have to dissuade a post route from Cobbs first. Pressure(-3) is not good enough as M sends five and gets split. Winovich(-2) dives inside but overruns the play; he’s gone upfield and QB can step up for an easy drag throw. Bush has to check the QB; Hill got picked, and the throw is short because QB could run up in the pocket so reaction times are cut down. Dude gets to the corner and the endzone. Uh. Cover -1. Hill -1, he’s gone. Kinnel -1.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 20-17, 3 min 4th Q. Next drive starts on the 30 with 1:05 and no IU TOs.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
M30 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Press two high Pass 4 Dig Kinnel 9
Dwumfour out there, not Mone. Pocket clean(pressure -1) for the throw; Gary does come through late. Throw is a dig at the sticks that Kinnel(+0.5, cover +1) hits immediately on and could jar the ball loose on; Cobbs does hang on.
M39 2 1 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel over Press two high Pass 4 Dig Bush 24
Some extreme loops by the DL do zilch and give a totally clean pocket(pressure -2). That’s on Brown, these loops are goofy. M is playing coverage softer now with two deep is; Bush(+0.5, cover +1) is actually in really good position on this and is about two inches away from getting a PBU here but Ramsey puts it just past the outstretched arm and nails his WR with a DO. RPS -2, this pass rush had no hope.
O37 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 6-0 line slide Press one high Penalty N/A False start N/A -5
O42 1 15 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 6-0 line slide Press one high Pass 5 Throwaway Bush Inc
This should be the ballgame. Hurst(+1) and Bush(+1) both surge through the middle, with Gary(+1) around the corner to flush QB into a Bush sack. QB is still in the pocket and throws it… anywhere. At nobody. That should be grounding, 8 yard loss, runoff, GTFO. Instead, incomplete. Refs -3. Pressure +3. Cover +1.
O42 2 15 Shotgun trips 4-1-6 4-1 dime Press two high Pass 4 Dig Long 14
M shows two deep and then has Kinnel creep up in a robber zone with Metellus deep. Rest of the coverage is man across the board. Long(-1, cover -1) gets beat here; he’s able to get Cobbs down a yard short of the sticks and keep the clock running, avoiding a -2. Kinnel(-1, cover -1) is not reading the QB effectively and appears to be looking at that drag from the TD too much; this is a totally different situation and that drag is not a priority. Instead of drifting into this throwing lane and creating havoc he’s basically irrelevant.
M28 3 1 Shotgun 4-wide 4-1-6 4-1 dime Press two high Pass 4 Throwaway N/A Inc
IU hurries to the line and snaps with five seconds on the clock. Bizarrely this isn’t a spike. QB throws the ball OOB. Two seconds left.
Drive Notes: FG(45), 20-20, EORegulation
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Pass 4 Back shoulder fade Long Inc (Pen +13)
Long(+1, cover +1) does the thing where he dominates Cobbs on a fade. All he’s doing is jamming the guy. He’s over the top; he’s in great position. The ball is yards behind Cobbs on a back shoulder he’s not even looking for. Flag? Flag. Refs -3. These guys are rubes.
M12 1 10 Shotgun trips bunch 4-2-5 Nickel even Off one high Pass 4 Scramble Mone 9
Coverage(+1) good for a beat and then a gap in the front opens up. Winovich(-1) gets stalled at eight yards but that’s not the wosrt. Mone(-1) is just driving back his guy and doesn't get off this at all. He’s a negative in these situations; can’t close any space down. QB pops out and runs. McCray(-1, tackling -1) in space, gets beat, whiffs on a tackle. Gives up another 3 yards.
M3 2 1 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 even Press zero Run N/A Inside zone Bush 1
This is impressive from the IU RB, who eats Bush(+1) in the backfield as he blitzes untouched up the gut and still manages to lurch forward and get the first down. Here Mone(+1) is useful as IU doubles him the whole play. He goes nowhere. Bush gets his free run and makes the most of it; OL on Hurst lunges at him at the last second and may disrupt him a bit, preventing a head on collision.
M2 1 G Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 even Press zero Run N/A Inside zone Gary 0
This felt predictable as IU got to the line and M was prepped for their inside zone tempo thing. All LBs to the LOS and now it’s up to one on one wins. Hurst(+1) fires into the C, gets picked up by G, gets penetration, forces a cutback to Gary(+2), who fires back a TE and disengages, Wormley-style, for a zero yard tackle. RPS +1.
M2 2 G Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 over Press zero Pass 4 Rollout out Kinnel Inc
IU brings their slot in motion back and forth. Metellus chases and gets way behind the guy presnap; inside WR is picking whoever and outside guy is running a corner route. Should be an easy TD except for Kinnel(+2, cover +2) flowing out as a free guy; instead of attacking the QB he turns momentarily and runs back to the WR. He’s still two yards away but he’s right in the passing lane. A left handed QB or an on-the-run genius might get this but a right handed guy has to get his hips around to make an accurate throw, so he has time to get back. His throw now needs to be perfect, and it’s way wide. Watson(+1, cover +1) also did a great job to split the difference between the WRs. Also this is an illegal formation on IU, refs -1 but at this point you be you.
M2 3 G Shotgun trips H 4-2-5 4-3 under Press zero Run N/A Inverted veer keeper Gary 0
Beginning to doubt the handoff is a real read here because you have to give this if it is. Walk in TD if they hand it. As it is, they don’t. Gary(+1) stands up and sheds a LB coming to him. QB is forced into Gary largely because this is a walk-in TD on the handoff. Furbush closes it down because he’s in position to. RPS plus or minus two.
M2 4 G Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press zero Pass   Rollout corner Winovich INT
Winovich(+2, pressure +2) anticipates the roll and gets through the T and an RB to get quick pressure on the edge. Everything is blanketed (cover +3). McCray(+1) and Watson(+1) are in the pocket of the short guys. Hill(+1) is getting his work in on Cobbs; Kinnel(+1) is a free agent in the middle of this as M anticipates this rollout (RPS +2) and picks off a desperation pass.
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 27-20, EOG.

20 points allowed! A step back! A palpable step back!


They almost got 300 yards of offense in an OT game!

i mean

Dude, I can't pretend to be worried about the defense. This is a leap too far for even bolded alter-ego.

I... okay. You're probably right about that. I apologize for making you Devil's Advocate this. Drive chart reprise:

  • 8 three and outs if you count the two-and-out INT
  • 1 first down and out
  • 21-yard turnover on downs in OT
  • 3 FGA drives of 54, 61, and 42 yards
  • 20-yard TD drive after punt return
  • 64 yard TD drive

That's close to part for the defense, which tends to give up one legit TD drive and 2-4 drives of any length otherwise, with points derived from those based on field position. This was 15 drives, and they gave up 20 points with two of those drives starting at the Michigan 20 and 25. They're the #2 D in the country to S&P+ and yards per play. Indiana averaged 3.8 YPP. It was the same game from the same elite D.

Thank you. Give me that sweet Rick chart.

The chart is Rick, our favorite FOX director who is not actually named Rick; I should mention that due to the nature of the Indiana offense this director was handcuffed. He also tended towards hateful zooms even on passing downs, which was doubly unfortunate with the lack of replays. There's more guessing about downfield stuff than usual here.


(also there were 72 snaps in this game, which is a little high, so numbers are correspondingly higher)


Defensive Line

Player + - T Notes
Gary 18 3 15 Elite game, his first.
Hurst 16 2 14 What's this hoser doing with +14, get him out of here
Mone 4 2 2 Shut down two short yardage plays.
Winovich 17 4.5 13.5 Over-aggressive on second TD, properly so in OT.
Kemp 2 3 -1  Some rush yards on him.
Solomon 2 1 1 Tempoed once, very good play another time.
Dwumfour 1.5   1.5 DNP
Paye       DNP
Marshall       DNP
TOTAL 60.5 15.5 45 Caveat: pressure number less of a blowout.
Player + - T Notes
Furbush 2.5 2 0.5 Silent, generally effective.
Bush 16 4.5 11.5 Should have had game ending sack.
McCray 11.5 5 6.5 Couple coverage issues, v strong vs run.
Uche 1   1 One stop on a long yardage run.
TOTAL 31 11.5 19.5 Bush's play didn't match his stats here.
Player + - T Notes
Hudson 4 4 0 Main culprit on 31 yard run.
Metellus 1.5 4 -2.5 Ugly whiffed tackle to set up first IU TD.
Kinnel 9 6 3 Not at all boring. Discussion below.
Hill 9 2 7 INT, almost had another.
Long 8 5 Whooped Cobbs.
Watson 7.5   7.5 Also whooped Cobbs.
Thomas 0.5   0.5  
TOTAL 39.5 19 20 4.6 YPA speaks for itself.
Pressure 33 22 +11 60% positive ratio is a step down.
Coverage 49 18 +31 Straight up clobberin'.
Tackling 3 8 -5 Unfortunate source of leaked yards.
RPS 18 10 +8 Naturally.

Much of this will look familiar. The main differences: the opponent was competitive in pass protection, Gary had a breakout game, the tackling leaked a bunch of yards, and the cornerbacks handed out an unholy beating. When your 'worst' cornerback is +5 against Simmie Cobbs you're in business.

So now the corners are great?

Maybe? I'd caution that Cobbs is a very particular kind of battleship wide receiver and they may have a tougher time against a 6'1" guy with great speed. The guy on the other side is a freshman, and none of these guys were five stars.

But... Michigan "gave that work" to Cobbs, as the kids say. Everything he attempted was heavily contested except for one late dig on which Long got beat. All else was a struggle. Watson kept in contact on slants, materially impacting his ability to catch the ball. Watson got singled up on Cobbs with nobody in the galaxy around to help him; Watson forced Cobbs into the sideline on that would-be 62 yarder:

I don't think he even pushes the guy. His arm's out as more of a guide; Cobbs goes out on his own in an attempt to get around Watson. That should have been illegal touching and that's a win for the CB.

Long was equal or better. Virtually every time IU tried to go at that matchup Long had dominated Cobbs over the top, leaving IU to throw it away or try fruitless back-shoulder throws. Cobbs was visibly frustrated by the second half:

#22 CB to bottom of screen

That is an extremely tenuous flag-throw pantomime there. Dude just jammed you into oblivion, man. Ain't nothing wrong with that. Also ain't nothing you can do about it:

#22 CB to top

On the very next play IU would try to go back to Cobbs, who feinted outside before breaking to the slant; Long is still in this dude's cookies.

#22 CB to top

Long did get beat on a dig at the tail end of regulation, but he and Watson collectively held Cobbs to under four yards a target. That is bad ass. Even the extremely dubious flag Long got in OT was bad ass:

#22 CB to top

That's just jamming a guy, and they throw a flag on a back shoulder ball Cobbs has no shot at. Whatever. That's the cost of kicking a dude's ass sometimes.

Cobbs had 11 catches for 149 yards against OSU's projected first-round CB Denzel Ward, and the only reason that even slowed down was OSU dedicating a safety to Cobbs from about the middle of the second quarter on. Michigan offered far less help to their #2 and #3 corners and they decisively won the day.

Oh and the other guy... Levert or something.

Lavert Hill: sort of good.

The interception that got wiped off the board because of PI was probably PI, but the jersey tugs that he made are often the kind of thing that gets screened from referees and you get away with. Hill also made an impressive open field tackle on a flare screen, adding to the tackling resume he started against Air Force.

Michigan's cornerbacks are good. They might be great. They're all back next year. Giggity.

Okay but there was this one time where Ramsey dropped back to pass and he sat there for like three seconds without someone chopping his head off with a battle axe.

It's true. Aside from some tackling dorfs, the main concern coming out of this game was Indiana's ability to keep Ramsey relatively clean. Emphasis on "relatively": Michigan still won our pressure metric with 60% of the assigned numbers. Previous games have been 75% or 80%. This was a step back.

What happened? There were a number of different facets. First and foremost, Indiana got inside Michigan's head with a bunch of fake clappy snaps that got Michigan to bounce offside. In the immediate aftermath of those events Michigan's rush was notably less ferocious.

Second: Michigan ran several stunts that were so XTREME that they are going to be sponsored by energy drinks. Michigan repeatedly stunted defensive tackles around two other defenders. Frequently they did this with both guys. Here Hurst and Gary both take the scenic route:

#73 DT and #3 DT

That got picked up every time, and it wasn't even close.. This was a bit mystifying since Hurst is an elite interior rusher and if you point him at the QB he's going to light that guy up sooner or later. He was the motive force behind the Gary/Long sack that ended a second quarter IU drive before it started:

#73 NT

And also a third quarter sack that ended Yet Another Indiana Drive. I get stunting him a gap over, but if he's not contacting an OL until the play is almost over something's wrong.

Three: sometimes Michigan was sacrificing guys to hypothetical screens. Here Winovich is given to the tunnel screen gods on third and five:

#15 "NT"

Bush also seem to abandon his rush as soon as he's picked up. This is a very passive play for a Don Brown defense.

Four: sometimes it was Michigan's backups not being their starters. A second-quarter dig route found excellent protection; that front six featured Kemp, Marshall, and Uche. That will degrade your ability to get to the QB. It's good that Michigan is getting enough confidence in a set of 5-6 second string options that they're willing to get them live-fire reps in a competitive game, but those guys aren't Hurst, et al.

So... something to keep an eye on going forward. I don't think this is a major problem. Indiana's better than their stats when their starting right tackle is in, as he was this week. And Ramsey got tagged with some frequency.

The step back here was from "absurd blowout" to "solid win."

I was promised a Discussion Below about a non-boring safety.

Yeah, Tyree Kinnel was very un-Jarrod-Wilson in this one. I had a love-hate relationship with him in this game. He continued his trend of missing tackles when he comes in at maximum speed, turning a routine give-up-and-punt screen into 20 yards and almost a first down:

That approach saved a touchdown in the Cincinnati game but he's whiffed on three or four plays like this since. The risk/reward here is off: if he takes it slow and occupies that blocker and forces the WR to cut around him, Michigan rallies after a ten yard gain and there's zero danger of a first down.

I also suspect that he was supposed to be Don Brown's secret weapon against the drag route TD in the fourth quarter. He's in a robber zone and feels that QB has come off of Cobbs behind him but his initial steps are false:

#23 S on left hash

If he reads that drag—and that's in front of his face and pretty predictable—he gets to it before the endzone. As is he's only a step away. Brown's probably a mite peeved about that; he probably felt the playcall was likely to bait the drag throw and get a stop. (In Kinnel's defense, the pocket cracked open and he is threatened by the QB run.)

I thought something similar was the case on this third down conversion. Key points: 1) Kinnel is sliding to Cobbs and looking him up first; when Cobbs breaks for a fade he should start looking for work, 2) Metellus sets up with outside leverage, clearly giving this up, and therefore 3) Kinnel is late here:

A couple of slow reactions that Indiana found when their pass protection held up make me wonder if there have been opportunities like this all year that opposition QBs simply don't have time to find.

On the other hand, he had three or four instances of superior coverage. This is a +2 because his hand goes right through the WR's mitts and it's difficult to imagine this being a catch:

#23 S vs man in motion

And it was primarily Kinnel, not the deeper Watson, that fouled up the second and goal play for Indiana that looked open. Kinnel rolls out, realizes what's happening, and then turns around to get more depth. By the time Ramsey—who is a right-handed QB rolling left—has gotten his body around enough to throw Kinnel is sitting directly in the passing lane. Ramsey tries to wing it but is, again, a right-handed guy rolling left. The ensuing pass would be difficult for Tom Brady, let alone a redshirt freshman:

#23 "OLB" to top

(Also this is an illegal formation from IU, hooray.) The number of throws there that get to the WR without being batted or intercepted, while on the run away from your throwing arm is miniscule.  Kinnel made up for the playcall dusting Metellus with back-and-forth motion; this was clearly IU's best two-point play and Michigan made it very tough.

So... I have mixed feelings about Kinnel. He was not very boring in this game, and this was close to evenly split between good and bad. I'd rather have a 3-0=3 safety than a 9-6=3 safety, but I'd rather have a 9-6=3 safety than most guys I've charted. The safeties are coming in for some clucking largely because there's nothing to cluck about elsewhere.

There were a couple things to cluck about, though.

Sounds like it's time for our weekly "oh god someone scored" section.

Yeah, and it was mostly the other safeties. IU's TD right out of halftime got about half its yardage on a rookie mistake from Khaleke Hudson, who responded to a zone read like it was 2008:

#7 OLB to bottom of screen

IU went tempo after this and went right back to the same play; IU found a hole to the frontside but you can see a probably-chagrined Hudson taking a more conservative shuffle trajectory:

If that does cut back to him the gain is minimal.

The rest of that drive was Metellus with an inexplicable airball on a receiver he had penned in to the sideline...

...and an eight yard run with Solomon and Kemp locked on the field. The Metellus missed tackle was just bizarre. I was concerned the WR would squeeze out the first down before getting shoved out; to not even force the guy out of bounds and turn maybe four yards into 20 is something else.

This is why the safeties seem a little sketchy. Hudson did scrape back up to zero with his play the rest of the day; Metellus not so much, but that was his only major error.

Is there anyone you would describe as cursed on this year's team?

Poor damn Rashan Gary cannot get a sack to save his life. He had 2.5 TFLs and a precious sack in this game but it should have been more:

I am outraged on behalf of defensive linemen everywhere. Also note that Gary is held there, and this outside-the-shoulder-pads grab blunts his momentum long enough for the QB to get that pass off instead of going over like a sack of potatoes.

When not being robbed of sacks, Gary was a constantly disruptive presence, barely outscoring his linemates. Oddly, I didn't clip much from him. This happened to Wormley last year, where dude would put out a blizzard of +1s and I'd clip Mo Hurst flinging a guy.

I... I could be interested in seeing that.

Here's the same section about Hurst you've gotten for three years now. Surprise: still Mo Hurst.

#73 DT

Crying laughing dot emoji:

#73 NT


Just dumping blockers in the backfield on almost every play, like one does. I didn't have him at the absurd heights he hit last week but PFF had him on their national team of the week as the nation's top defender again, so... yeah, he's good. Playing his way into the draft, even!

What happened to all of Bush's lovely sacks and TFLs?

He's still here making plays, man. IU did a better job of not allowing him free runs than previous opponents—something that was inevitably going to happen as he emerged into a star—and usually got a running back over to contest him. This didn't go well for the running back very often:

#10 MLB

At other times Bush reprised his spring game performance by just running the dude over. And despite this attention he should have had a game-sealing sack at the end of regulation but the referees elected not to throw a grounding flag, because they are bad and should feel bad:

Bush remains real good, folks. He did get thunked a couple times because he wasn't ready for tempo. He was otherwise the same guy with a bit worse luck.

Do we have some sort of verdict on Mone after two games where he got a bunch of snaps?

Yeah. He is a space eater, and only a space eater. He's lovely to have around for third and one:

#90 NT

He's a non-entity as a rusher. He attempts to push the pocket a bit but he's mostly just saving himself. Indiana's scramble in OT saw Winovich get around the corner at eight yards, which is usually good for a pressure. Mone didn't get any push, though, so there was a huge gap between him and Winovich that the QB exploited. Mone can't shut down space. He's a two-down player.

Useful player, not a star. Some rumbles from fall camp that Michigan was displeased with his size seem to be on point. A version of Mone minus 20-30 pounds is probably just as effective on third and short and much more useful against the pass. Hopefully he can get there next year.

You've been very patient and not at all smug so far

OH MY GOD YES LET'S TALK DEBORD. Mike DeBord's bright ideas for this game were:

There was one tunnel that got 12 yards on second and thirteen that I gave an RPS –2 to; almost every other RPS minus was something Michigan was more or less doing to itself. (That dual DT stunt I didn't like much got –3 across deployments, for one.) That's it. And DeBord ran a basic inside zone up the gut on third and one after the screen. Guess how that went?

IU's tempo wasn't particularly effective—the first and goal hurry-up-and-inside-zone was obvious from space and stuffed—for a second straight year, but this was on another level as far as uninspired game plans goes. Maybe they spent all their time on blitz pickups and hoped to have Cobb go off? That would be a very DeBord approach.

There was one play that Michigan was clearly screwed on: the third and goal in overtime. If the QB hands this ball off, it's a touchdown.

Now, sometimes a read is a read and sometimes it's just misdirection. I have to believe that's just misdirection because the person checking the edge for Michigan is Nobody At All. In which case, RPS plus. If it's a read that the QB blew, RPS minus. Fickle and mysterious are the ways of football.

The ensuing fourth down was not at all mysterious. Michgian anticipated rollout, blanketed every WR, and got quick pressure. Comprehensive doom.

I was happy to be on the Don Brown side of this matchup.

You fulminated about the referees on twitter. Valid, or in-game anger?

Valid. Very valid.

They were indeed terrible. My favorite moment was when they gave Mo Hurst a fictional roughing the passer call and then doubled down on the derp by giving Indiana 13 yards. My least favorite was when Mike McCray suffered a direct shot to the knee on a tunnel screen that knocked him out:

That is a 15 yard penalty, one that Indiana had in fact already been hit with earlier in the game. It is also a cheap shot that could have destroyed McCray's knee. Pass interference and various comical calls are one thing. Player safety is another.

Also, who would you say is "in the area" on this throw?


That should have been a loss of eight and another runoff. And a Bush sack.

Add in the Wheel Of Pass Interference and an inability to detect IU receivers out of bounds and it was clownshoes. Michigan escaped a couple of holds and got that INT called back, so it went both ways. Until the mean man yelled at them, and then it didn't. Real bad. Hire full time refs, please.


Entire DL, Bush, all cornerbacks. So seven guys. Yes.

Maybe not so heroic?

Nobody really. Metellus and Hudson gave Indiana 50 of their yards on their long TD drive, but I mean... nobody, really.

What does it mean for Penn State and the future?

Hello, cornerbacks. This was a test against a passing-oriented offense that hasn't shed the Kevin Wilson competence just yet, featuring a potential first round WR. Michigan's cornerbacks crushed it. Penn State will be another test; at this point it's one I expect they pass.

Please dump the weird stunts. Bleah!

Gary is emerging. He beat his compatriots in my grading for the first time.

Bryan Mone is a space-eater only. He's not the #3 guy on the team from two years ago. He is a nice piece on short yardage.

The safeties are a tiny bit wobbly. I'm going to repeat this until Michigan is giving up under 150 yards of offense, probably.

Depth is building bit by bit. Michigan played 7-8 backups in this game, on purpose. They didn't perform to the level of the starters but Uche, Solomon, Dwumfour, and Thomas all turned in positive plays.


Larry Appleton

October 19th, 2017 at 3:52 PM ^

But, but . . .

The defense was SHREDDED on the last drive before OT!!!!

We're giving up one long TD drive EVERY GAME!!!!

That should NEVER happen!!!  This is MICHIGAN!!!!  




October 19th, 2017 at 5:57 PM ^

even six games in, we've only faced one offense better than 70th (!!!) in S+P+ and that was Air Force at just 44th (Florida 83rd, Cincinnati 113th, Purdue 70th, MSU 78th, IU 90th...wooof). 

It is great to be dominating bad offenses.  That's the best you can do.  It'll be a great matchup to see us go against a good offense this weekend.


October 20th, 2017 at 1:14 AM ^

is opponent adjusted so that theory doesn't hold. It normalizes for differences in opponent strength.

It's not a total offense (yards) stat, which is not a very good indicator of offensive quality because it doesn't adjust for tempo or opponent quality. Besides, it would be stupid to remove our game from our opponents and not remove the game against the best defense that another team faced.  Of course that would rise them up some spots. It's not even apples to apples.


October 19th, 2017 at 3:57 PM ^

i really cant wait for Minnesota/rutgers/maryland to really give our youngest guys a chance to play. last year's success in games especially in front half of schedule really gave those guys reps. Hoping this 3 game stretch really afford this development more so than AF or Cincy allowed.


October 19th, 2017 at 4:23 PM ^

That block would be a legal cut block if McCray was inside the tackle box, but you can't hit a guy in the knee while running in the open field.

With all due respect to your beautiful flow chart, all it shows is that, in that situation, it is legal for the IU player to block McCray at that position on the field. He can do so by hitting McCray in the chest or at his waist. He cant just dive at the knees.


October 20th, 2017 at 7:41 AM ^

As much as I wish it were illegal (I think all below the waist blocks should be illegal)  - it isn't.




In what situations is blocking below the waist always illegal?
Blocking below the waist is always illegal during a down that includes a free kick or a scrimmage kick. It is also illegal after a change of possession. In both cases, the ball carrier is excluded: it is OK to block the ball carrier below the waist.

What is a “10-2 block”?
Think of a player’s arms extended, with his left hand being at “10 o’clock” and his right hand at “2 o’clock.” This defines a region directly in front of him. A “10-2 block” is one that an opponent makes from the front within that region.

What is a “crackback block”?
The crackback block is a block below the waist directed toward the line that runs lengthwise through the original position of the ball at the snap. This block is illegal unless the ball carrier is clearly beyond the neutral zone.

What is a “peelback block”?
The peelback block is a block that is directed back toward the offensive team’s end line. This block is illegal if the ball has left the tackle box.

Is 10-2 block below the waist always legal?
No. Any block below the waist, including a 10-2 block, is illegal if it is:
 - During a kick down—free kick or scrimmage kick.
 - After a change of team possession.
 -  A crackback block.
 -  A peelback block.


What may an unrestricted player legally do that a restricted player is not allowed to do?
An unrestricted player may legally block below the waist from the side as well as from the front (10-2) as long as he has not left the tackle box or as long as the ball has not left the tackle box.
There is one exception: an offensive lineman may block an opposing defensive lineman below the waist at the side. Although the offensive lineman might technically be outside the tackle box when he makes this block, the spirit and intent of the rule is to allow it.

However, if the offensive lineman goes to the second level and blocks below the waist at the side, it is a foul.

Rogers Redding
Secretary-Rules Editor
NCAA Football Rules Committee


kevin holt

October 19th, 2017 at 6:39 PM ^

With this rule "from the front" is a stricter definition than a block in the back (where you get the benefit of the doubt). McCray is moving laterally and is very much blindsided by the block; I don't think it's the correct interpretation to say it was technically from the front just because McCray turns a bit as he is about to be impacted. Also a crackback is before the ball is "clearly" beyond the neutral zone which I could argue it wasn't. Anyway don't be so smug about it because that block SHOULD be illegal and it's complete horseshit if it's not; people are understandably upset about it.

kevin holt

October 19th, 2017 at 6:45 PM ^

Oh also it's arguably targeting because he contacts his knee/thigh area with the crown of the helmet:

"No player shall target and make forcible contact against an opponent with the crown (top) of his helmet."

"Passer A12 inside the tackle box is looking for an open receiver. Before or just as he releases the ball, A12 is hit from the side at the ribs, thigh or knee by B79, who dives forward and leads with the crown (top) of his helmet."

It's a penalty.


October 19th, 2017 at 4:13 PM ^

Brian, if you have press box access, (idk if you do or don’t) why don’t you have someone film the game with a wide view, so you can look at that in parallel when the broadcast sucks. Your charting deserves it.


October 19th, 2017 at 8:42 PM ^

The referee that is in the picture didn't throw his hat but I'm pretty sure the referee in the picture to the right of Watson and Cobb threw his hat.  During the game when they were showing replays on TV you could see a referee's hat on the ground.


October 19th, 2017 at 5:17 PM ^

It's weird seeing how little yardage Michigan gave up and still see how lucky they were to win this game.  Concerns me that PSU will Milton Berle this game and show just enough to win, but at the same time McSorley against this secondary is going to be interesting.  I don't see Barkley consistently getting yardage, and no PSU WR fills me with the fear of god.  


October 19th, 2017 at 6:42 PM ^

Michigan rushed for 271 yards and you think the only reason they won is because Michigan blocked a field goal? Holy shit.

IU had one scoring drive the entire afternoon (I guess I missed all these scoring opportunites between their 9 three and outs), they were the beneficiary of 16 penalties (most of them horsehsit) on Michigan, and they were only able to tie the game after this sequence of events happened: multiple uncalled blocks in the back on a punt return, illegal pick play near the endzone, and an uncalled intentional grounding that would have ended the game. But yeah, Michigan was totally lucky to win.

This fan base is incredible.


October 19th, 2017 at 10:03 PM ^

They don't block that field goal and Michigan loses 23-20 because the offense still can't get a critical first down in the fourth quarter and the defense gave up a long drive at the exact wrong time.  Whatever other factors existed don't change the fact that IU scored 10 points with 4:00 remaining in the game.  

Not sure why acknowledging that is some sort of crime.


October 19th, 2017 at 10:58 PM ^

Win expectancy is a bit of an abstract statistic, taking into account components of the box score but, as noted in his definition, no opponent adjustments are made and, as far as I can tell, penalties are not factored in either.  Just logically speaking, a team that has a 41% offensive efficiency performance and a 78% defensive efficiency performance isn't necessarily a 90% near-lock to win a game, even though IU underperformed as well.  And I'd argue that if Michigan truly was a lock to win by 11+ points, the fact they went to OT and won on a TD is validation it was luck.  They play so poorly that a game that should have been a comfortable win went down to the wire.  Winning that game, then, is definitely a bit "lucky". 


October 20th, 2017 at 1:41 AM ^

to win by 11.  It basically means if the game we're played again a bunch of times with the same success rates, field position, turnovers, yards per play, big play rate, etc,  Michigan would have won by an average of 11 points in all those games.

There would be a distribution of outcomes, of course, such that 10 percent of the time, we'd lose.  That feels low given that it went into OT but IU was pretty lucky to get there, apparently.  And I think that does account for penalities because success rate should include penalties.

And to say that if we didn't block that kick, we'd have lost, is failing to consider that it was a 51-yard kick.  Odds are he misses that even if it's not blocked. Plus, we'd have called our defense differently if it was tied during their last drive (rather than playing off and giving up underneath stuff to prevent anything deep, etc). We also may have been more aggressive on offense rather than settle for running it into the line three times and punting.  The game would have gone entirely different if he made that kick.



October 20th, 2017 at 10:27 AM ^

No, the win expectancy meant that if you played this game X number of times, the average margin of victory for Michigan would be around 11 points.  That denotes a bit of a lock; it assumes that even when Michigan does lose, it wouldn't be by a lot.  And as noted, it doesn't seem to take into account penalties, which are a major x-factor in games.  It gets subsumed a bit in field position, but that's usually only from where drives start and then drive efficiency picks up penalties a bit.  But as we've seen, penalties can have an outsized effect on the oucome.

I never said the blocked kicked mattered; that was someone else.  I agree that would have probably changed the future playcalling, but I think it also highlights how close the game was that a couple of plays really could have swung the outcome.

What seems to be the sticking point here is our personal definitions of luck.  I think Michigan had a lot of bad luck in letting the game get this close, but they were also lucky to survive a road game against a good team after so many close calls and so many shots to their feet and other body parts.


October 19th, 2017 at 10:50 PM ^

I find it hilarious that someone who starts whole threads to overreact to anything John Beilein has ever done is questioning Michigan fans' ability to view games with a clear perspective.

Literally everything you posted is true, yet doesn't refute the fact Michigan got lucky.  They shot themselves in the foot with 16 accepted penalties.  They gave up a big punt return where said uncalled blocks were, as you stated, uncalled.  Then a bunch of other calls were not made (mind you, Michigan also benefitted from a poorly-called PI that wiped out a pick), which can 100% happen in a football game, and IU was able to score 10 points in a couple of minutes of gametime.  Also, Michigan failed to get a first down at any point after going up 10 points despite, as you noted, 271 yards rushing.  Of course, that's probably because they only picked up 58 yards passing.

So yes, and I hope this matches the condescension you are going for perfectly, Michigan was lucky to get a win like this on the road given how poorly they played offensively and how slanted the penalty yardage was.  You are free to feel otherwise, but questioning my ability to view a game like this with perhaps a slightly less optimistic eye than you doesn't make me irrational. 


October 19th, 2017 at 10:44 PM ^

This game.  You know, the one where Michigan went to OT and won because Higdon was able to make lemonade out of a poorly-blocked lemon, then they were able to stop IU from scoring from anywhere between the 1 and 4 yard lines.  Yes, Michigan was the better team this game, but they were also the better team against MSU and we all saw how that played out.  Any other game, holding a team to under 300 yards of total offense on the road means you win by 20, not barely pull out a win in OT.  


October 20th, 2017 at 10:35 AM ^

Per S&P, Michigan is the 76th offense in the country, 79th in ppg, while MSU is 78th and 100th in ppg.  Defensively, Michigan is 2nd and 8th, while MSU is 9th and 18th.  Michigan is slightly less efficiency offensively but is more explosive.  The same is true on defense, where MSU is better at limiting explosive plays but Michigan is better at efficienctly shutting down drives.  About the only thing MSU is better turniover margin (called, helpfully, "turnover luck"), where Michigan is worse than their expected performance by about 7, which MSU +2.  So I can give you a lot of examples of how UM is probably the better overall team but lost a weird game by a thin margin.


October 19th, 2017 at 8:18 PM ^

be a truly generational group. The starting 11 should be better than this year if Winovich and Mone stay.

If Solomon/Jeter/Dwumfour can take the next step, Paye/Vilain are the real deal, the three true frosh LBs are as good as DB hints, Ambry/St Juste/Sims stay healthy, and even 1 of the 2nd string safeties make a little progress in addition to Woods - the second 11 could be a top 10 D by itself. That's a lot of ifs, but DB replaced 10 starters and has the #2 defense.

Hurst will be hard to replace, but sheer numbers and 1 year of maturity for all these guys could solidify UM's defense in the Bama sphere of "elite and reload".