Upon Further Review 2017: Offense vs Michigan State

Submitted by Brian on October 12th, 2017 at 2:17 PM

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FORMATION NOTES. It's Michigan State.

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With limited exceptions Michigan was not inclined to (or able to) force MSU out of their 4-3 over with two safeties at 8-10 yards, and so this happened the whole game. This could have been okay, but it was not okay, but that's what all the stuff below is about.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES. O'Korn the whole way at QB. OL was Cole/Bredeson/Kugler/Onwenu/Ulizio until just before the half when JBB came in, and remained. No Runyan or Ruiz this time out. TE rotation was fairly even between Bunting, Wheatley, Gentry, and McKeon, but the latter two got the bulk of the at-bats. Wheatley is still mostly a blocking option since he's got a cast on.

WR was DPJ, Crawford, and Perry with a number of McDoom and Ways snaps. Schoenle did not play. Injury, I assume. FB alternated between Hill and Poggi, as per usual, but Mason got maybe a half-dozen snaps.

RB was about half Higdon, half Evans, with Isaac filling out the remaining snaps. Isaac's fumble obviously limited his playing time.

[After THE JUMP: medium numbers multiplied.]

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over 7 Pass PA FB flat Hill Inc
Hill open by a step and probably turns this up for five or so. O’Korn misses a zero yard throw; Hill can only throw out one hand to try to stab it. (IN, 1, protection N/A)
M25 2 10 Ace 4-wide tight 1 2 2 4-3 over 7 Run Trap Higdon 6
First trap of the year; DT to be trapped by Onwenu goes to a knee for no apparent reason. Onwenu(+0.5) does move him on contact. Cole(+1) and Bredeson(+1) get excellent second level blocks and Higdon(+0.5) pops through the gap and threatens to break it; MSU was in zone so Crawford doesn’t run off the CB on his way to the S; that guy can tackle. Refs(-1) short Higdon a yard.
M31 3 4 Shotgun empty TE 1 1 3 Nickel over 6 Pass Slant Perry 19
Excellent throw and a poor decision, as both McKeon and Crawford are wide open, in part because O’Korn stares at this the whole way. LB reads it and nearly undercuts, but Perry(+1) makes the grab and can turn up for a chunk. Results-based charting but this was close to a PBU or worse. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
50 1 10 Offset I 3-wide 2 1 2 4-3 over 6.5 Run Crack sweep Evans 5
Wheatley motions outside of DPJ and then just before the snap motions in and it’s suddenly crack time. Wheatley(+2) clobbers the playside end, wiping out a DT in the process, and now Bredeson can add himself. DPJ(+1) cuts off a linebacker. Cole(+1) slashes another to the ground. Hill(+0.5) gets a kickout. Bredeson heads for the backside safety. Evans(-1) is alone with the other S and gets wiped out. Cutting to one side of this guy and getting tackled and getting 8-9 yards is one thing; Evans seems to see the guy late and ends up cutting outside, giving up his momentum. Potential big play spurned. RPS +1, this crack caught MSU off guard.
O45 2 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over 6.5 Run Power O Evans 8
MSU shifts a LB outside late and blitzes around the corner. Onwenu adjusts to pick him up but this looks weird and awkward for second, like it won’t work. Wheatley(+1) drives a DE and pancakes him when he tries to reach for Evans; Cole(+0.5) reads his duty has changed and gets the MLB; Bredeson(+0.5) has a guy slanting away and gets some motion. Evans(+1) does a good job to pop through a small gap and hop around a tackle to add some bonus yards.
O37 1 10 Offset I Big H 2 2 1 4-3 over 7.5 Run Power O Isaac 2
MSU blitzes a safety and has true numbers in the box. Blitz and slant handled poorly; Ulizio(-2) leaves Gentry alone with a DT on the key double that is supposed to provide a running lane for the play. Onwenu(+1)… uh, escapes a minus because he recovered from a bad read initially to kind of one hand shove a DT past the play? Gentry(-1) alone against a DT doesn’t go great and the puller gets swallowed up. Isaac scrapes over to the intended hole but has no lead blocker and the rest of it is academic.
O35 2 8 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 even 7 Pass Scramble O’Korn 5
PA and a good pocket with just five blockers. O’Korn has DPJ running past a CB with a ton of room to the sideline and doesn’t throw this. He also has Poggi completely alone in the flat. He moves to the side of the field where guys are covered and eventually scrambles for a few yards. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
O30 3 3 Pistol 3-wide H 1 1 3 4-3 even 6.5 Run Inside zone Evans 2
Blitz off the edge that Gentry(+1) picks up; MSU stunts inside of this and Michigan again runs a zone play where they’re releasing to the second level based on a presnap read only and ask a free-releaser to make a block he has no angle on. In this case it’s Kugler. M does a reasonable job on the playside twisters, with Cole(+0.5) getting a bit of a shove. Kugler chases the LB to the ball; Evans(+0.5) makes a move to near the first down. RPS -1.
O28 4 1 Ace 4-wide tight 1 1 3 4-3 pinched 7 Run Inside zone Evans 2
Tempo from M, MSU lines up pinched and one of their DEs is way off the ball. Everyone dives inside, with a LB jumping over the pile. Evans(+1) just glides outside into the vacated gap and powers through a tackle.
O26 1 10 Ace FB 3-wide 2 1 2 4-3 even 6.5 Pass TE stick Bunting 6
Higdon motions wide leaving a FB and only a FB behind O’Korn. Double A twist blitz picked up, but M just has some short stuff on and Bunting is tackled immediately. (CA, 3, protection 3/3)
O20 2 4 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over 6.5 Run Inside zone Higdon 3
M does combo through on this IZ, or at least makes an effort to do so. Their efforts are hampered since the LBs are firing on this action and are almost across the LOS as the mesh happens, but M does get off on both of them. Kugler(+0.5) and Bredeson(+0.5) do a better job than the backside guys, who will give a slightly generous push to, but because of the blitzball stuff Higdon is still faced with zilch. He bounces(+1) smartly, running through a tackle from a DE who Cole(-1) fell off of.
O17 3 1 Offset I Big H 2 1 2 4-3 over 8 Run FB dive Hill 3
Crawford motions in as an H-back. Frippery; FB dive gets it done, with Kugler(+0.5) and Bredeson(+0.5) clobbering the NT off the line for the first down.
O14 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over 6.5 Run Inside zone Evans 3
MSU leaves a bubble on the playside with a guy shaded inside of Kugler and nobody on Bredeson. Clear place to look to attack, and Kugler(+1) wins his block on a guy he has the angle to win on; Cole(+0.5) kicks, Bredeson(+0.5) free releases to the linebacker. Evans cuts away from it because Onwenu(+1) and Ulizio(+1) clobber the backside DT; McKeon is expecting his guy to contain the zone read, but he doesn’t, instead blocking him, more or less, and preventing him from getting to a linebacker. That guy clogs and McKeon’s guy tackles. RPS -1; no respect for the QB run pays off.
O11 2 7 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 4-3 over 5.5 Pass Wheel McKeon Inc
O’Korn locks in on a very very covered McKeon and tries a no-chance lob to the endzone on a guy who’s been put into the sideline. Gentry is breaking open in the middle of the field. No pressure; just refuses to come off a covered first read. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
O11 3 7 Shotgun empty TE 1 1 3 Exotic 6 Pass Fade McDoom Inc
Why O’Korn is throwing at a 5’11” guy on a fade when he’s got Grant Perry wide open for a first down is beyond me. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: FG(28), 3-0, 8 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M27 1 10 Offset I H 2 1 2 4-3 over 7 Run Reverse DPJ 6
Nobody picks up the backside end and that guy is aware enough to cut this off at the pass. Nobody else is, though, so DPJ(+1) can cut inside of him. This does put him in an area where a safety can flow to him after a modest gain; Ulizio(-1) whiffing downfield forces DPJ to make some early moves as well.
M33 2 4 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 over 7 Run Iso Evans 6
Onwenu(+1) read and picks up a stunt as MSU sends a LB outside. Kugler(+0.5) has a guy slide outside of him; he fends him off adequately. Poggi(+0.5) gets a solid lead block and Evans can squeeze through for the first down.
M39 1 10 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 over 7 Run Split zone Isaac 7
Huge backside gap as DE runs after the QB and Poggi doesn’t even have to kick out. Cole(+1) and Wheatley(+1) both read the twist blitz and ID guys to hit, so there’s a big cutback lane that Isaac hits. Isaac’s(-3) about to set up second and short when he fumbles.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 3-0, 5 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M14 1 10 Ace 4-wide tight 1 2 2 4-3 even 7 Run Power O Higdon 3
Onwenu(-2) pulls and inexplicably stops halfway through to hit a DT. This looks like he’s running a trap and everyone else is running power. Cole(+1) gets his guy off the line to provide a bounce despite the issue and this could still work despite McKeon(-1) picking a CB instead of a LB when he sees the DE shoot inside. Michigan’s backfield action slowed the LBs and allowed this to get some yards despite derfs. RPS +1.
M17 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over 7 Pass Out Gentry Inc
Apologies to DPJ, who I sort of blamed this on in the game column. He’s not at fault. M runs a flood and O’Korn picks out Gentry; he throws this high and inside, allowing the MSU safety to get over and get a breakup after it looks like Gentry snagged it. (MA, 1, protection 2/2)
M17 3 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Exotic 6 Pass Drag McDoom 4
Excellent protection, four yard throw against zone on third and seven that has little chance of getting the marker. (TA, 3, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 3-7, 2 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M15 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 over 7.5 Pass TE flat McKeon 5
Everyone super tight to the line here. O’Korn checks into a quick out to the TE; Crawford is breaking open deeper on a slant but it’s five yards I guess. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M20 2 5 Ace 1 2 2 4-3 over 7 Pass PA improv Perry 7
This protection has Bredeson pulling outside to the DE, which he just gets right. Some problems as Onwenu(-1) and Ulizio(-1) don’t anticipate a line slide and almost get split, holding(refs+2) to get away with it. Evans is doing what he can on the other side and does get enough for O’Korn to break the pocket since he can’t step up; he hits Perry to convert. This is significantly behind him. (CA+, 2, protection 0/2)
M32 1 10 Offset I 3-wide 2 1 2 4-3 over 7 Pass PA drag Ways 3
Bunting motions in like it’s a crack sweep and there’s a lot of pointing. M does not take advantage of the opportunity. M has two on two with Gentry and DPJ deep; O’Korn checks down on a drag against zone. (MA, 3, protection 1/1)
M35 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 under 7 Pass Fade DPJ Inc
Another pass that feels like a presnap read he doesn’t change. MSU is clearly moving from a DPJ bracket to one on one and O’Korn fires this out there super quick as if he’s trying to beat the bracket. His throw is out in front and DPJ can only get a diving one handed stab in. Coverage is okay but DPJ is running by this guy and holding the ball a bit gives him more time to beat him. (MA, 1, protection 1/1)
M35 3 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel under 6 Pass Throwaway N/A Inc
MSU brings a CB off the edge and this is one thing. Another thing is Ulizio(-2) not even getting a hand on an OLB lined up two yards outside. Maybe if the CB is the only issue O’Korn can roll out and find some one. As it is the pressure is too fast and he can only dump it. (PR, 0, protection 0/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 3-7, 12 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M34 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over 7 Pass Bubble screen Perry 4
Well, it’s a default bubble screen. (CA, 3, screen)
M38 2 6 I-Form 2 1 2 4-3 over 7 Run Lead zone Evans 2
Sky cam only here so a little tough to decipher. Onwenu and Ulizio(-2) combo a DT, Onwenu provides a good hit; Ulizio does nothing with it. He does not step around, he just attempts to drive, ineffectually. DT tackles. Play is otherwise well blocked with Kugler(+1) controlling his guy and Poggi(+1) redirecting to find a linebacker at the second level. Evans might be able to cut outside of Ulizio productively? Hard to tell.
M40 3 4 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Nickel under 6 Pass Scramble O’Korn 5
Ulizio(-1) beat here but not immediately; O’Korn is actually bugging out before he absolutely needs to here. His only real option is a quick hitch to Perry but he makes his decision after seeing man coverage and it’s a good one. (SCR, N/A, protection ½)
M45 1 10 Ace 4-wide tight 1 1 3 4-3 over 7 Pass Improv Crawford 55 (Pen -10)
McKeon(-2) left in and immediately beat around the edge by Cooper. O’Korn rolls out. Higdon(-2) gets a very obvious holding call as O’Korn breaks the pocket, and there’s a version of this where he lets go and doesn’t get the call and this still happens. O’Korn finds a wide open Crawford, for naught. (DO, 3, protection 0/4)
M35 1 20 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 over 7 Pass Screen Evans Inc
MSU DT in the passing lane and ball is turfed intentionally. (not charted, 0, screen, RPS -2)
M35 2 20 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Dime 5 Pass Smoke Evans 14
DB eight yards off on the smoke screen and runs up hard; Evans(+2) jukes him and rips off a nice chunk. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +1). Actually this is Frey.
M49 3 6 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Dime 7 Pass Improv Ways Inc (Pen +10)
O’Korn bails on a clean pocket. He’s got DPJ at the sticks but doesn’t throw it, instead trying a deeper shot that he throws out of bounds. Double bad read. (BR, 0, protection 2/2). M gets bailed out with a hold on the other side of the field. It is a terrible call. Refs +3.
O41 1 10 Shotgun empty TE 1 2 2 Dime 5 Pass Drag DPJ Inc
Clean pocket again. DPJ runs a drag and then kind of stops? With guy in man coverage? O’Korn throws it but the stop gives his guy time to PBU. Didn’t look like much anyway. (MA, 0, protection 2/2, DPJ route -)
O41 2 10 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 over 7 Run Split zone Evans 1
Honestly what the hell is Michigan doing. Bredeson(-1) leaves immediately on a zone when he has a guy shaded inside. DT fills the gap behind Kugler almost uncontested and now Bredeson is chasing a LB he has no angle to into the gap. Kugler(-1) gets driven by the DT to make things worse. Onwenu(+1) does hit his guy effectively and just about gets to a blitzballing LB. Ulizio(-1) again gets nothing on a DT he had help on. Hill(-1) driven back by a DE who’s crashing hard and there’s nothing.
O40 3 9 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Exotic 5 Pass Sack N/A -14
This isn’t great from Ulizio(-1) but he does get the guy around at ten yards. This gives O’Korn reasonable time to find someone. It runs out, he’s almost sacked, he escapes, he stops, he holds the ball further, and is sacked. (TA, 0, protection ½). This is four verts and Crawford is open. Also third and nine at the O40. Throw. The. Ball.
Drive Notes: Punt, 3-14, 4 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M11 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Nickel under 6 Pass Sack O’Korn -7
Ulizio pulled. JBB(-2) gives up a terrible sack on his first play, hooray. O’Korn maybe had a chance to throw the out to Perry. (PR, 0, protection 0/2)
M4 2 17 I-Form tight 2 1 2 4-3 over 7 Run Iso Higdon 5
Almost a solid play as OLBs don’t fire immediately; MLB does, submarining Poggi(-0.5) at the LOS. Kugler(-0.5) got driven back and didn’t do much; Higdon(+0.5) does cut away from this only to get hung up; Onwenu(+1) got a good hit and moves to the second level. JBB(+0.5) picks up after Onwenu leaves and does a decent job maintaining the block.
M9 3 12 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 under 7 Pass Fly DPJ Inc
Argh. Argh. Argh. Argh. Clean pocket and DPJ blazes by a CB who is set up at eight yards. By the time they reenter the picture DPJ is two steps past the guy and has 3-4 yards to the sideline. O’Korn’s throw takes him outside, too far outside. DPJ still has a shot but he catches this in his chest instead of high-pointing. (MA, 2, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 3-14, 2 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M37 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Exotic 5 Pass Bubble screen Perry 9
No real gray area guy so this is pretty open. DPJ(+1) gets a good block and Perry executes for a solid gain. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +1)
M46 2 1 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel under 7 Pass Sack N/A -11
Looks like Evans(-3) totally blows his protection as he releases to a side of the line where there are many dudes. A dude to the other side roars in and sacks. (PR, 0, protection 0/3)
M35 3 12 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 3-3 nickel 6 Pass Improv McKeon 30
JBB is lined up in the backfield, no call, refs +1. O’Korn again bails on a clean pocket, throwing on the run as he nears the LOS, hitting McKeon for a first down and a big gain. McKeon(-3) is at the 35 when he struggles for like zero extra yards and gives the opposition a chance to rake the ball out, which they do. Hooray. (DO, 3, protection 1/1).
Drive Notes: Fumble, 3-14, EOH.
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 Iso Isaac 2
Onwenu hits and gets to the MLB but doesn’t get a seal as he’s coming hard. Playside OLB dives at Poggi’s feet on his lead block and sprawls into the hole, Isaac can pick through this but he’s off balance and has no power to deliver when the other LB hits him. RPS -1; MSU approach and aggressive LBs were effective.
M39 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 even SAM 7 Pass Cross Perry Inc
DE dives inside of JBB(-1), who barely gets anything but does just get enough. O’Korn can flush. He looks to have a decent short option with Isaac but does find a deeper open route to Perry… and he misses wide. (IN, 1, protection ½). I mean, sort of? Perry doesn’t put both hands out. I think this is IN 1 but could be MA 2.
M39 3 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over 7.5 Pass Scramble O’Korn 6
CB blitz; McKeon(-2) stays in and comes off the DE way too late, allowing a guy straight through the line. O’Korn steps up and runs through a tackle. He grabs a few before he’s gang-tackled. (PR, N/A, protection 0/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 3-14, 11 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
O33 1 10 Ace FB 2TE 2 2 1 4-3 over 7 Pass Improv Hill 18
Isaac motions out so another FB only look. Protection is okay for a beat and then Kugler(-1) gets beat, but his guy trips on someone else and falls into O’Korn’s feet. He can break the pocket and does. He finds Hill for a first down and a chunk more on a throw he was a tiny bit late on, allowing a DB to hit and try to dislodge it. (CA+, 2, protection ½)
O15 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 even 8 Run Lead zone Isaac -2
Someone blows an assignment here and it blows up a well blocked play. Kugler(+2) turns in the NT who shades outside of him; Bredeson(+0.5) free releases into the MLB, and Cole(+0.5) kicks out his guy. McKeon goes for the CB on the edge… and Hill goes out there too. F. I have to assume this is Hill(-3) since everyone else appears to be running a different play. Isaac runs away from an unblocked OLB and into a mess for a loss.
O17 2 12 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over 6.5 Pass PA Post Perry 16
PA sucks in the LBs and O’Korn pops up for a polished, open throw down to the one. A unicorn of a play. (CA, 3, protection 2/2, RPS +2)
O1 1 G Goal line 2 3 0 Goal line 11 Run FB dive Hill 1
Hill(+1) gets stood up to start but manages to keep his feet and lurch inside.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 10-14, 8 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M19 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 over 7 Run Iso Higdon 5
M trying to split the DTs; LBs hammer for the gap. Bredeson has to leave quickly and does; DT slides into the gap. Higdon(+1) cuts away from it into a hole further outside thanks to a Bunting(+1) kick and Cole(+1) driving the DT down the line.
M24 2 5 Offset I Big H 2 2 1 4-3under 7.5 Run Power O Higdon 6
JBB(+0.5) gets a big shove on a DE, but DE spins off. He’s able to get a dive in after a couple yards and Higdon goes into grind mode. He can grind some because M is pushing MSU back. Bunting(+0.5), Bredeson(+0.5) and Gentry(+0.5) all find second level players and do decently with them.
M30 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 over 7 Run Iso Higdon 6
Successful scoop! By Onwenu(+2) and JBB(+1), who steps around and seals very well. Onwenu then puts it on a LB. JBB does allow his guy to get around the other side a little bit. He reaches out an arm and slows Higdon. Submarine attempt by MLB doesn’t work because of the space the scoop gets M and Higdon can matriculate downfield. Arm tackle ends up costing him 3-4 yards. Other combo w Kugler(+0.5) and Bredeson(+0.5) does enough.
M36 2 4 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 over 7 Run Lead zone Higdon 6
MLB blitz. Ownenu(+1) reads that he has no first level guy and picks up the MLB. JBB(+1) kicks his guy with authority. Big gap. Kugler(+0.5) gets out and Higdon(+1) cuts behind him effectively. Safety is creepin’ and cuts this down after only a handful of yards. It’s raining a lot, don’t know that I can RPS this.
M42 1 10 Offset I Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-3 over 7 Pass Improv Poggi Inc (Pen -10)
Blitz; Bredeson(-2) beat clean and Higdon(-1) run over. O’Korn has to go. He breaks the pocket, draws a LB, and flips to Poggi, who drops it. (CA+, 3, protection 0/5). Cole(-2) gets a holding call, too.
M32 1 20 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over 6 Pass Scramble O’Korn 8
Clean pocket, O’Korn has plenty of time. No throw. Has soft coverage against a slant to the bottom of screen and comes to it and then bugs out. I’m not a fan of the inability to find a receiver but the result here is good enough. (SCR, N/A, protection 2/2)
M40 2 12 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel under 6.5 Pass Dig Crawford INT
This absurd pinball of a play sees O’Korn find a WR and throw a ball that looks like its on point until MLB gets a fingernail on it, which takes it just past Crawford. Crawford reaches out and deflects it onto the arm of a guy covering Perry, and that bounces right up to him. Life. Don’t talk to me about life. (CA, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Interception, 10-14, 4 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M15 1 10 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 over 7.5 Run Off tackle Evans 1
Evans(-1) has a bizarre cut here. DE slants inside Gentry(-1), who gets knocked back. Cole chips him to help but Gentry’s already lost and can’t get around to seal. Cole(-1) then can’t get a good block on the aggressive MLB. Mason(+1) does whack an edge guy so there’s a hole right off tackle that probably isn’t going to be great but will be 3-5 yards. Evans cuts away from this, to the gap the play probably intends to hit. This is a one cut run that got a bad block that Evans doesn’t come off of.
M16 2 9 Ace 4-wide tight 1 2 2 4-3 over 7 Pass Sack N/A -1
Some short stuff on the outside is covered; O’Korn misses a wide open Evans checkdown in front of his face in favor of running around and getting sacked. (BR, N/A, protection 2/2)
M15 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Exotic 7 Pass TE throwback screen McKeon 12
Five man rush is gone and others are dropping to the sticks; screen is wide open. Kugler(+1) and DPJ(+1) get good downfield blocks; Perry’s is iffy but sufficient. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +2)
M27 1 10 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 over 7 Pass Fly Crawford Inc
Four man rush picked up; O’Korn comes off a primary receiver and throws a bomb at Crawford. This is impeccable. Crawford should probably draw a penalty from the DB being all up in his business, but he should also catch this. It goes through his hands and hits him in the helmet. Make one play. (DO, 2, protection 2/2)
M27 2 10 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 over 7 Run Trap Higdon 7
The rain has been drizzling up until this point. Now it monsoons for the rest of this drive and the next MSU one. Trap works. DT again falls on it for no reason. Bredeson(+0.5) is the wham guy but has little to do. Kugler(+0.5), Onwenu(+0.5), and JBB(+0.5) all get effective blocks, with the latter two free releasing to the second level. Higdon jets to the second level and is a hair away from a big play; Perry(-0.5) could not get a full cut on a safety.
M34 3 3 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Nickel even 5.5 Pass Improv Gentry INT
This is a Hurricane Katrina decision here. It is POURING. It is third and three. Run the ball. M goes to the gun. OKorn fumbles the snap. He picks it up, and breaks the pocket; JBB(-1) holds pretty blatantly as he does, but this will happen when QBs break the pocket. O’Korn gets outside and throws a horrible INT at Gentry when Perry is open outside of him. (BRX, 0, protection ½, RPS -2)
Drive Notes: Interception, 10-14, 14 min 4th Q. Rain tapers off to a moderate intensity for next drive.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M36 1 10 Offset I Big twin TE 2 2 1 4-3 over 7 Pass PA waggle FB flat Hill Inc
Open for an eight yard catch and rumble but flat out dropped. (CA, 2, protection N/A)
M36 2 10 Offset I 2 1 2 4-3 over 7 Run Split zone Evans 1
Evans(-2) runs directly into an unblocked LB instead of making a cut. MSU DT slants to the main gap and forces Bredeson to take him. Bredeson does okay. Cole releases behind this and has no angle on the back. Evans runs directly into this guy. Cut.
M37 3 9 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over 6 Pass TE seam Bunting INT
O’Korn throws this about eight feet over Bunting’s head. (INX, 0, protection 2/2) Had a window.
Drive Notes: Interception, 10-14, 11 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Offset I 3-wide 2 1 2 4-3 even 7 Run Crack sweep Higdon 12
Second time they’ve run this crack version with Wheatley going outside of DPJ and then motioning back in. Wheatley(+1) plants an unprepared DE. DPJ(+1) nails a linebacker into another LB, who Kugler(+0.5) hits some more. Mason(+0.5) kicks a CB, JBB gets out in space and can't get a block but that’s fine since Higdon(+1) still uses him effectively. Cole can’t cut the last guy but that’s a really hard block to try to make. He’s there to prevent a truly big play.
M32 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over 6.5 Run Power O Higdon 1
Guh. Power. Bredeson pulls around and playside LB dives inside of him. This is a mistake that should see Higdon(-2) bounce outside. Instead he runs directly into this guy. Outside is open since Wheatley(+1) shoved his guy off the ball. Onwenu(+0.5) and JBB did a number on the DT but JBB got off balance and MLB can get by him scot free.
M33 2 9 Goal line 2 3 0 4-4 over 8.5 Run Crack sweep Higdon 4
Strung out by the DTs so this isn’t going great. McKeon(+1) can’t seal a DE expecting this but does drive him significantly downfield. Charging CB tries to submarine Cole and forces Higdon(+1) inside a bit, where he has to run through a DT tackle. Gentry(-1) does not widen out enough or get a cut in and his guy flows to the POA, where Poggi(+2) erases him from the earth. This allows the S to come in and chop Higdon down. RPS -1, MSU expecting this.
M37 3 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over 6 Pass Bubble screen Perry Inc
Doomed. MSU blitzes off slot corner, safety comes over to help and is running directly at this so even if it’s not behind Perry he’s just getting lit up on the catch. (IN, 0, screen, RPS -2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 10-14, 7 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M35 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 over 6.5 Run Split zone Evans 0
Frustrating. M motions in McKeon from outside and runs split zone, hoping to pick off a DE and get a cutback. Evans’s flight path is directly upfield on the handoff. DE who is nominally supposed to check the QB simply dives inside. No cutback. No pull, probably because this is not actually a zone read. Safety is coming down to contest but this is a must pull situation if this is an actual read. Evans(-1) does have an opportunity to bounce playside as MSU hammers to the interior gaps but tries to cut all the way back, and the MLB grabs him. M has no blocker for him. RPS -2.
M35 2 10 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 4-3 under 6 Pass TE stick McKeon 6
McKeon and Perry in the same area, like right on top of each other, and I think McKeon hits Perry after a short catch on a stick route, which prevents him from falling forward. Otherwise this is third and short. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M41 3 4 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 under 7 Run Counter draw Evans -3
Stunt destroys this, running a guy directly into Perry. Kugler or Bredeson maybe could have stopped this but the line call is busted and M is F’d. RPS -3.
Drive Notes: Punt, 10-14, 4 min 4th Q. 34 seconds to go 80 yards on last drive.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 3-2 dime 5 Pass Dumpoff Higdon 15 + 15 pen
Checkdown to Higdon(+2), who does an excellent job to juke a guy and get OOB after a significant pickup. PF after the play moves M to the 50. (not charted, 3, protection 1/1). Not charting dumpoffs against prevent.
50 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Exotic 7 Pass Y cross McDoom Inc
Six man pressure picked up. O’Korn gets spooked and moves out of the pocket, then stops as he’s pressured himself, and flings a dart to McDoom at the 30. Who drops it. (CA, 3, protection 3/3)
50 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 3-2 dime 5 Pass Dig DPJ Inc
Basically a two man rush. O’Korn finds DPJ on a dig. He throws it low, which might be fine given that it’s a tight window. DPJ goes down and the ball goes through his arms. (CA, 2, protection 1/1)
50 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 3-1 quarter 4 Penalty Delay N/A -5
FFS
M45 3 15 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 3-1 quarter 4 Pass Dumpoff Higdon 18
I guess it’s a chunk. (not charted, 3, protection 1/1)
O37 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 3-1 quarter 4 Pass Hail Mary N/A Inc
It didn’t work.
Drive Notes: EOG, 10-14.

*drinks bleach*

oh my god where did you get that bleach

the bleach store

oh man i gotta go get some

all sold out, last one

hey man can i have some bleach, i really need some bleach

sorry i am dying now goodbye

...

Fine, it was Fresca.

Can I have some Fresca?

Fresca is for people who do UFRs on time and don't care about soccer.

Doesn't really have the same ring as "coffee is for closers."

WELL MAYBE I'M JUST DISPLAYING THE SAME LEVEL OF COMPETENCE AS THE MICHIGAN OFFENSE. LET'S DO THIS I'M SICK OF THIS INTRODUCTORY SENTENCE. GIVE ME THE BAD NEWS, DOC.

O'Korn's Purdue game currently looks like a huge outlier, as he regressed back towards his Houston/Indiana level of play. It wasn't as bad as the Indiana game, but it was not good.

JOHN O'KORN

  Good   Neutral   Bad   Ovr
Game DO CA SCR   PR MA   BA TA IN BR   DSR PFF
Indiana 2016   6(1) 1   2 3   1 1 3* 2   46% -2.5
Florida 1     1     1*   50% -
Purdue 6++ 14(2)+++   3 2   1 3 2   75% -
MSU 3 16(4) 2   4 5   2 4*(1) 6*   60% -

I don't think that's harsh; one of those INTs was a CA I gave him since he threw a good ball undone by one fingernail. That is a lot of BRs, and he could have had a couple more if he hadn't escaped pressure he created himself a couple times.

After a couple of completions O'Korn's day started to fall apart at the end of Michigan's first drive. After going over the whole game I have the distinct impression that O'Korn made up his mind where he was going with the ball before the snap on most plays. This made everything look hard and resulted in a number of terrible-idea throws. When O'Korn's first read did pop open everything was fine.

 

When they didn't it was almost always play over. The frustrating thing is that the third-and-goal hopeless fade at McDoom was the exact same play as Michigan's first third-down conversion earlier on the drive. On the first one O'Korn stares down Perry for the whole play and barely fits it in a tight window of his own devising:

That's a bit amateurish what with the staring at one guy the whole way. It works. barely, as the first read. Then, the third down fade catches man coverage and Perry is wide, wide open with no complicating zone guy coming from the middle of the field.

#88 slot WR

5'11" guy who is not your best WR on a fade versus open easy throw. No idea why this happens. Against Purdue O'Korn was finding good presnap reads and executing them. Here not at all, and this isn't something tricky MSU is doing. It's just man coverage, and man coverage that is pretty obviously going to see Perry break open.

The play before that was equally frustrating because Michigan appears to leave a wide receiver at the line of scrimmage specifically to get Gentry one on one with a safety in man coverage. Gentry is in front of the S and an enormous pogo stick man...

image_thumb[3]

...and O'Korn takes another low percentage sideline shot. This sack wasn't great from Ulizio but he makes Frey go around at ten yards as M runs four verts and I'm just like... throw the ball. Throw it to Crawford, who's open, or Gentry, who might be open or might not be but is definitely not a huge sack:

That is third and nine. A deep INT is a punt. Throw the ball.

On other plays it seems like O'Korn went momentarily blind. This play action on Michigan's first drive sees a safety suck up and DPJ left in one on one press coverage where he's running a fly route inside the numbers. O'Korn looks at this ideal situation for a fly route against press and...

#9 WR

Cumong man. Also nobody covered Poggi so at least check down to him. But really, throw the damn ball downfield. That's exactly what you want. Later he'd throw a drag route that got blown up when he had Gentry and DPJ running deep, two vs two; a few plays after that he missed DPJ on a fade route in part because he threw it so quickly, which didn't give DPJ time to run away from the DB. That too felt like a presnap read that didn't change, as it looked like DPJ was going to get a bracket and then MSU moved away from it before the snap.

When good things did happen it was in the usual way: O'Korn breaking the pocket and finding a guy downfield. This is legitimate talent he has, but it turned into a crutch this game. There were several dropbacks where he had a clean pocket and then started moving around for apparently little reason. This led to holding calls, the occasional sack, and unproductive half-field improv business that resulted in incompletions. This pocket is clean:

Also by the time he decides to throw the DB on DPJ has ceded the first down. Instead he tries an ambitious, out of bounds bomb.

image_thumb[7]

Clean pocket, wide open dumpoff to Evans, sack:

This was a reversion to O'Korn Classic, and given his track record and his age I'm guessing the Purdue game is the outlier, not this. FWIW, the interceptions were:

  1. a fine throw in a tight window that a LB gets a literal fingernail on, which takes it just past the outstretched arms of Crawford, who deflects it on to a defensive back's arm, whereupon the ball bounces directly to that guy,
  2. a terrible playcall in a monsoon, a fumble on the snap, and a terrible decision to throw to a very covered guy when Perry is open outside of him, and
  3. a vast overthrow, of an open Bunting possibly caused by rain.

#1 is mostly on fate, #2 is a combination of a terrible playcall and O'Korn panicking once he left the pocket, and #3 is on him and the weather. They aren't actually the most frustrating part of his day. That would be the resort-to-fade stuff early.

If O'Korn struggles I think we see Peters against Indiana. Don't believe any of that crap the internet is spewing about Peters being in the doghouse or a malcontent or whatever. He's on the radar.

Okay, but this performance was a pass protection debacle and it's on the OL?

Yes and no. Michigan was actually perfect in pass pro through the first drive, when O'Korn made his first two bad reads. He was not sped up, he was just not seeing the field. As things went along, though... woof.

Offensive Line
Player + - Total Notes
Cole 7 2 5 Fine.
Bredeson 5 1 4 Ton of half points.
Kugler 8.5 1.5 7 Clear win on most relevant blocks.
Onwenu 9 2 7 PFF ABT this week, FWIW
Ulizio 1 6 -5 Ghost by halftime.
JBB 3.5 3.5 At least this was okay.
Ruiz DNP
McKeon 1 4 -3 for fumble not included in blocking total
Bunting 1.5   1.5
Gentry 1.5 3 -1.5
Eubanks   DNP?
Wheatley 6 6 Moving people.
Hill 1.5 4 -2.5 Charged with a big MA, could have been McKeon.
Poggi 3.5 0.5  3 Couple of pounding blocks.
Mason 1.5   1.5  Getting some more PT now.
TOTAL 50.5 24 68% An encouraging performance limited by aggressive safeties.
Backs
Player + - T Notes
O'Korn   Didn't have a called run.
Isaac 3 -3 Fumble, ghost.
Evans 4.5 5 -0.5 Disappointing set of missed bounces late. Inline stuff is significant minus since +2 on smoke
Higdon 8 +3 for late catch and run stuff.
Walker       DNP
Samuels     DNP
TOTAL 12.5 10 2.5 Reminder that RB is a MAKE PLAYS position and 0 sucks.
Receivers
Player + - T Notes
Crawford  
Black DNP
DPJ 5   Nice crack blocks.
Perry 1 0.5  0.5 
Schoenle  
Martin        
McDoom      
TOTAL 6 0.5 5.5
Metrics
Player + - T Notes
Protection 45 25 64% Ulizio –5, JBB –4, McKeon –4, Evans –3, Higdon –3, Cole –2, Bredeson –2, Onwenu –1, Kugler –1.
RPS 7 15 -8 Possible that O'Korn and OL obscured good things. Also rain.

Note that pass pro number was +12 on the first drive and afterwards it was nearly 50/50 as to whether any particular pass play will be an overwhelming disaster. 70% of that was the OL; 30% was O'Korn chipping in a number of snaps where he bugged out of a clean pocket. Everyone claimed their own bit of ignominy, but –9 from the right tackles combined stands out.

Those are some good blocking numbers for everyone except Ulizio, McKeon, and Hill. Michigan was 68% on the ground? With 3.8 YPC from their running backs?

Yes, Michigan hit 66% for the first time this year. They also only ground out 3.8 YPC. What gives? Three things:

  • Michigan's pass pro was so bad that MSU never had to back off from their old-style quarters defense, so safeties chopped down a lot of plays just as they got to 6-7 yards.
  • Rain allowed MSU to tee off in the second half even more.
  • Running backs did not make a lot of plays. Higdon had a few positives here and there but his +6 is more like +3 when we're talking about the run game, as he got some positives late on catch and run stuff. Evans had –0.5 but it is –2.5 on interior stuff since he got +2 for a smoke screen. Also, Isaac fumbled.

This is a situation where Bill Connelly's stats are a godsend. Michigan had 3.2 line yards per carry, above the national average of 2.9. They had an opportunity rate (5+ yard runs) of 49%, well above the national average of 38%. After gaining five yards they gained 1.3 "highlight yards" per opportunity. National average? 5.2.

Upshot: the OL consistently delivered Michigan backs five yards downfield and then nothing happened. The run blocking was a significant improvement all around after Bushell-Beatty came in.

So the running backs are bad again?

I mean... maybe? I thought Evans had a poor game. He did not make many yards on his own and when presented with opportunities he didn't make anything out of them. This early crack sweep catches MSU off guard and delivers Evans to a safety. He manages to turn 10 yards into 5 here:

That guy is flowing up hard and desperate to maintain leverage. Slashing inside of him should be easy. Instead, that. Here he runs directly into an unblocked linebacker.

Cut. Change direction. There is a cutback as Michigan blows a dude off the ball, and you win when people change direction. Offseason hype about Evans's vision is now looking not so hot. 

Evans did give Frey the business on one smoke screen:

Would have liked to see them line up like that again and try to hit something deep if the LB creeps up closer to the line.

Higdon had a number of solid runs on which he made the right cuts and got what he should; he did average 5.4 YPC. But Michigan did not pop a single long run and it's tough to have any sort of respectable looking number when your long on the day is 12 yards.

    WHY ARE WE THROWING THE BALL IN HURRICANE KATRINA MAKE PLAYS

    I kind of agree, angry sir. The rain, when it came, was light except for one ribbon of doom-storm. Unfortunately, the doom-storm kicked in just before Michigan faced third and three and decided on this:

    GTFO with that. It is pouring and you're going with a shotgun snap and a throw on third and three. Run the ball.

    Aside from that it seems unlikely that Michigan could have ground down the field six yards at a time. Maybe without the INTs Michigan can grind themselves into a short field and field position themselves another TD, like they did early in the second half, but for most of the game it felt like the only way Michigan would drive the field was with a big chunk play. It didn't work out. It didn't seem crazy to me to try. At some point your OL is going to put you in third and forever and you're punting.

    But: Michigan did end up with a big negative RPS number. In part that is the circumstances. It's tough to RPS when you suck at things, because nobody's overreacting. And it's tough to RPS when it's raining. However, Michigan didn't have much of anything like MSU's screen touchdown where you're just like "yep, good play." Maybe the TE screen. That's about it. But maybe I missed a bunch of stuff downfield because of the OL and O'Korn. I don't know man.

    So: not happy after this game but playcalling is about 80th on my list of concerns.

    That's a nice number for Wheatley.

    Wheatley made his presence felt a few times. Michigan devised a way to run their crack sweep that didn't tip off the defense and on both of his opportunities Wheatley clobbered the playside end.

    He generally moved guys and did not fall off; I got a little peeved at the backs late because Wheatley was opening up the bounce and they just ran into a pile of crap. This from Higdon was especially bad; MSU's LB screws up by going inside and not funneling to his help and Higdon just runs into him:

    That bounce is open because Wheatley put his guy two yards off the ball. I expect his playing time will increase as we go along here. He's still got a small cast on that makes him a bit of a run tip. But he's mashing guys.

    Are we ever going to see Ulizio again?

    This year? Probably not. I won't rule out down the road. He's been awful in pass protection. One last example:

    #70 RT

    Woof. The ground game is more difficult to suss out because assignments and zone and whatnot are difficult to parse but I still feel like he spent most of his tenure as a starter running by guys he needed to block, badly. This one was especially egregious because it's not even zone, it's power, and he runs by a  DE who is the #1 priority on a power play and must be doubled:

    #70 RT

    You'll note that Ulizio doesn't even get the second level block.

    Ulizio's out of nowhere rise to claim the starting job always seemed like a bad sign, and we now have 4.5 games of confirmation that indeed it was. The most likely explanation for his rise is that everyone else was terrible and they thought he couldn't be worse. They were wrong. I hope.

    Five games into the season it looks like Michigan's OL plan was crazy. They rode with Runyan at RT until deep into fall, when suddenly Ulizio emerged. How, I don't know. Runyan is now getting some run at guard and surviving, because he is a guard. Meanwhile Bredeson—who is Michigan's highest-ranked non-freshman and was supposedly neck and neck for the LT job last year—doesn't get any shot at the right tackle job. Runyan isn't given the RT shot; that goes to Bushell-Beatty, who looks about like he did last year. His first snap was a terrible sack given up to a walk-on.

    #76 RT

    I have no idea how Michigan could have had Ulizio and JBB in practice for two years and not tried Bredeson at tackle.

    FWIW, JBB did provide more oomph in the run game. This is a big kickout:

    #76 RT

    He is a big boy and maybe Michigan can grind more with him in the game. I have very limited hopes for his pass protection.

    I imagine it will be JBB for at least the next game or two. 50/50 that Michigan is then forced to do something drastic like play a freshman or flip Bredeson out. Yes, I think about losing Grant Newsome just about every day.

    Speaking of MAKE PLAYS, wither the wideouts? Have they MADE PLAYS all year?

    With the exception of Grant Perry, not really. And on our pain train goes: nobody is helping out the QB. Crawford had a deep shot go through his hands. He was getting harassed by a DB but at some point you are out there to MAKE PLAYS. Crawford has not caught a contested ball this year. DPJ also blew an opportunity down the sideline on a somewhat marginal ball from O'Korn. DPJ fades to the sideline too much and does not high point this ball, allowing the DB to shove him out:

    O'Korn should be putting that yards further inside since there is no safety help and DPJ has a step. DPJ still could have made a play; he did not.

    Here's the receiving chart, and it's an ugly one:

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

      THIS WEEK   SEASON
    Player 0 1 2 3   0 1 2 3
    Crawford 1   0/1 1/1     1/4   0/2  7/9 
    Black       1   0/1 10/11 
    Perry 1 0/1 1/1 3/3   1/3 4/4   12/12
    DPJ 0/1 0/2     4 0/1 1/3 3/3 
    Schoenle           1/1 1/1 
    McDoom 1     1/2   3   3/4
    Ways 1     1/1   2      2/2
    Wheatley                   1/1  
    McKeon 1       4/4           14/14   
    Gentry   0/1       0/1   1/1 5/6 
    Eubanks           1/1 1/1 
    Bunting         1/1           1/1
    Hill   0/1 1/1 0/1     0/2   1/1 0/1   
    Poggi       0/1               1/2
    Evans     1/1    1           2/2  
    Isaac                  2/2
    Higdon       2/2     1        3/3

    ROUTES: DPJ –, McDoom –.

    Three flat drops, one that will live in infamy, and very little help on harder catches. Nobody has made a play like MSU's WR did in the second quarter seemingly all year. One wonders how much different this offense feels with Braylon Edwards. Survey says: a lot.

    You mentioned on the podcast that Michigan changed up its running game?

    Yes. Michigan returned to a run game more like Harbaugh's first two years in Ann Arbor. The traps came back, to good effect. Oddly, on more than one of them the DL who was supposed to get trapped just fell, perhaps out of bafflement.

    #50 RG Onwenu

    Michigan was a bit of luck away from a big play on these. Here Higdon gets chopped down by a corner in zone. If that guy is in man and trying to crack replace Higdon might break a big run.

    Michigan ran 11 zone plays versus 14 gap-blocked plays. (FB dives, crack sweeps, and the reverse are excluded from this analysis.) That is a significant shift away from zone. That still remains a part of the playbook, obviously... but a crappy one. Those 11 plays gained just 25 yards. Michigan suuuucks at zone.

    There were costs to the returning diversity. Michigan had a couple of plays on which it looked like someone busted an assignment. Onwenu appeared to be running a trap on a play that was not a trap, and either Hill or McKeon busted on this Isaac TFL. Michigan blocks a big cavern in the middle that has an unblocked LB, and then Hill runs outside. Isaac follows him, because follow your fullback:

    I gave that to Hill but that could be what he's supposed to do; in that case McKeon needs to be doubling on Cole's guy and leaving the force player for Hill. YMMV. Either way it's a mental mistake that turns a promising play into a TFL.

    Heroes?

    Tyrone Wheatley had a whomping day on the ground. Kugler and Onwenu both checked in very positive on the ground with single pass pro minuses.

    Maybe not so heroic?

    Don't expect we'll see Ulizio for a while; JBB's pass protection was no better. Isaac fumbled and exited; Evans failed to make yards himself, and O'Korn fell about halfway down the cliff at the bottom of which is last year's Indiana game.

    What does it mean for Indiana and the future?

    After trying to be a zone team they're now a gap blocking team in mild denial. Big uptick in power and iso in this game, and it was effective. Expect at least an even split going forward and I bet it shades towards power, because Michigan now has a lot of power on the right side of the line.

    Improvement week did work, sort of. Michigan's run blocking here was better than it's been all year with the exception of the gent who got yanked.

    The black hole is slightly different. Ulizio goes out; JBB immediately gives up sack. Michigan will roll with it and see if he's improved. He did do work on the ground.

    Tyrone Wheatley can mash. Very good, consistent, no-falling-off day. Add him on the regular and get that cast off and Michigan could actually power some guys off the line.

    It's Higdon at RB. Until he fumbles again. Evans spurned a lot of yards and Isaac lost a second fumble this year. It'll be Higdon, who had better vision this week than he has so far this season. Hopefully that continues. Don't be surprised if Kareem Walker gets a run out next week.

    My kingdom for a wide receiver. No offense, Grant Perry, but Michigan needs more than just Grant Perry. Black going out looks like a killer. Schoenle did not play this week and I have to assume that's an injury. Michigan needs him back.

    Flowers for O'Kornernon. Heavy regression this week. This wasn't nearly as bad as the Indiana game but it was a harsh reality check after a week in which he looked like a totally different quarterback. He's not. He's a better John O'Korn.

    Comments

    bamf16

    October 12th, 2017 at 4:33 PM ^

    Confirmation of what I thought I saw standing in section 39 all night.

     

    Michigan has a somewhat average to maybe even slightly above average run blocking offensive line when they run ISO and power and give up on this zone blocking bullshit that's just not working. I remember all the hoopla surrounding the Broncos in the late 90s and their zone blocking schemes, run with the lightest offensive line in the NFL and a HOF running back behind them.

     

    Michigan's trying it with a 350 pound RG who should be more road grader than zone blocker.

     

    Tim Drevno as OC hurts two different elements of the coaching; the offensive line is effing up b/c their coach is in a coaching box and the offense in general is struggling b/c Drevno seems to be effing up calling plays.

     

    Great stuff again. Thanks as always for doing this.

     

    poppinfresh

    October 12th, 2017 at 2:30 PM ^

    we still shoulda won this game. also games like this make me miss devin asiasi big time. 

    someone answer me this... simply. will our line be better next year? 

    goblue4321

    October 12th, 2017 at 5:27 PM ^

    lose cole and kugler, u got bredeson ruiz onwenu for guard center guard, tackles???? filiaga? stueber? i would not count on newsome playing at a D-1 level every again, missing on isiaha wilson was actually a big miss in recruiting 

    michgoblue

    October 12th, 2017 at 3:01 PM ^

    Brian specifically said that there was improvement during improvement week.  The run blocking was much improved.  There was stuff open.  There were areas of improvement.  Unfortunately, much of that was mitigated by:

    1.  weather;

    2.  O'Korn playing terribly and missing the open guys;

    3.  RBs who either fumble or can't make plays;

    4.  a no-longer-starting RT who was getting O'Korn killed for the first half (which may have contributed to O'Korn's happy feet)

    But, there was improvement.

    TrueBlue2003

    October 12th, 2017 at 4:25 PM ^

    1) The run game seemed good live and I think was mostly confirmed by charting (save for RBs not making plays, and I have to think Evans has it in him and this was just a little fluky, or that Higdon will get more share going forward).  Before the game, Brian was talking about not running at all, and the expectation was that we'd have a very hard time with their DL but our OL mostly mauled them in the run game.

    2) Maybe I still don't know what is the legal way to press cover in college, but when you're running with a receiver and you're pushing him out of bounds with arm bar, isn't that PI?  I thought both the fades in the endzone were PIs.  Someone please let me why I'm wrong there (was it not egregious enough?). And if I'm not wrong, they don't seem like such bad reads. He had the matchups he wanted and both guys failed to get separation because they were interfered with.

    Unfortunately, we're probably not going to find a fix at RT and our receivers are young and can't get open and I don't know how that changes in a couple weeks.  So whichever QB is in the game isn't going to get much help and it's clear JOK suffered from a bit of Poor Devin Garnder Syndrome with an early clock in his head.

    JOK IS NOT A JOK

    October 13th, 2017 at 6:06 PM ^

    4 points made with 2 of them being contradictory. Okorn sucks or RT is making Okorn suck? Brian has everyone jumpin off the USS Harbaugh based on Okorns 2 bad weather games and I mean bad weather games as in BAD WEATHER.  Mgoweather where are you?

    Harbaugh's Lef…

    October 12th, 2017 at 2:35 PM ^

    Painful read. I agree that if JOK struggles in the 1st half on Saturday, we see Peters in the 2nd. JOK, while protection wasn't good, bails on good pockets and locks in on his first read, never goes through his progression.

    WolverineMan1988

    October 12th, 2017 at 6:45 PM ^

    It's kind of hard to argue against giving Peters some playing time if O'Korn continues to struggle.  There were four plays on the first drive alone where O'Korn either missed an open receiver or simply just locked on to his first read and tried to fit the ball into a ridiculously narrow window.  The worst one is the last play of the first drive.  Grant Perry is crazy wide open in the middle of the field and I have a hard time believing that Eddie McDoom was the first read on that play anyway.  

    I'm willing to give O'Korn the benefit of the doubt for his second half performance because of the rain, but reading Brian's review just makes me think, "I hope the only reason Brandon Peters isn't starting is because they think O'Korn's experience gives them a slightly better chance to win big games."  Honestly, while O'Korn has some bright spots, it doesn't seem like his deficiencies have decreased very much in the two years that he has been at Michigan. 

    I wanted to think that the pass protection was just terrible and that our wide receivers were just not open but clearly this is not the case.

    JFra

    October 13th, 2017 at 9:20 AM ^

    His lock-on tendancies are really going to bite him in the ass against B1G defenses. These CBs can read his eyes. He (apparently) got lucky against Purdue, I remember thinking, wow those are tight throws on covered receivers. Better defenses will tip/pick those balls off.

    I honestly do not feel great about this game on Saturday.

    Maynard

    October 12th, 2017 at 2:35 PM ^

    Great analysis. I agree with you on O'Korn and the disaster of those first read decisions. I think there is a very good chance we see Peters before the end of the game Saturday.

    BornInAA

    October 12th, 2017 at 2:38 PM ^

    I guess I'll hand in my koolaid and take the bleach.

    Hurts to say, but the early season pundits were right about a 4 loss season. And that was with a returning starter QB. Now the entire offense looks like a high school team.

    Having a bye to prep for a rival at home didn't help at all. This bodes ill for prep for PSU, Wisc and OSU.

    Kevin14

    October 12th, 2017 at 2:38 PM ^

    People have been getting on Harbs and the coaching staff a lot this week, but if Harbaugh hadn't placed that extra emphasis on post-turnover offensive tackling drills after week 1, this game could've been a blowout.  

     

    michgoblue

    October 12th, 2017 at 3:03 PM ^

    The offense was pretty vanilla, and has been all season.  While I have defended that arguing that the generally crappy OL and the youth of our entire team might be the reason, there is NO reason that we couldn't have had a few wildcat plays with some of our speedier guys.