DTs need to make plays [Bryan Fuller]

Upon Further Review 2018: Defense vs Indiana Comment Count

Brian November 21st, 2018 at 1:53 PM

image-6_thumb_thumb5_thumb_thumb_thu[1]SPONSOR NOTE: Matt is no longer hanging out at the Charity Tailgate because there are no more home games. But if you see a bus in Columbus you'll know you've found him. Which bus will be obvious. When not tailgating Matt is also a person who will get you a mortgage right quick from the comfort of your own home.

FORMATION NOTES: Almost all 4-2-5, with occasional dips into a 3-3-5 after Winovich's injury. The double viper formation I'm charting as a 3-1-7(!) made a re-appearance as well, for some effective pass rushes. Michigan was much more heavily single-high in this game for whatever reason and dropped most of their zone looks out of the playbook.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Michigan reduced the rotation after some early issues; DT was mostly Mone and Kemp on standard downs. Marshall was a bit player; Dwumfour got all the passing down snaps and a scattering of standard downs. Solomon was barely more used than Marshall despite being pretty effective. Winovich was on the way to another iron man performance when he got hurt. Paye got most of those snaps, with a few going to Hutchinson; Furbush got most of the Rush package snaps in his stead. Gary got almost all the standard down snaps but was absent in the rush package, still.

At LB, Bush and Hudson omnipresent (or near enough) with another 50/50 split between Gil and Ross. Uche got his usual dozen rush D snaps; Furbush got about as many post-Winovich injury; Glasgow had a cameo or four.

DBs the usual. Ambry Thomas got some time late with guys dinged up.

[After THE JUMP: a slight amount of panic]

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Bush 3
Kinnel over the slot and Hudson withdrawn as the FS. Bush(+1) blitzes late and fires through an OL to plug the hole for Mone, who’s sort of intentionally running out of the picture? Odd. Gil is sliding behind the Bush blitz to stick Scott at the LOS after he cuts back, as he must. Scott gets 3 YAC. Winovich hit from behind so understandable.
O28 2 7 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Slant Metellus Inc
Flare motion from the back presnap to clear out Bush and open up the slant. Metellus(+2, cover +2) is able to make up the outside shade and get a slick PBU.
O28 3 7 Shotgun quads Rush D Quarter even Press two high Pass 4 Scramble Paye 15
The fluky run after a sack. The sack is the T-E stunt getting through as Winovich(+1) drives the tackle superbly to give Paye(+1, pressure +2) a quick run around the corner. I know he doesn’t tackle, quite, but this is a 1% fluke.
O43 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Run N/A Counter Bush 5
Gary(+1) fires inside and picks up the first puller, second puller runs into first and Gary starts giving ground but the play is spilled. Bush(-0.5) and Gil(-0.5) both get edged a wee bit, allowing Scott to get a decent gain. Bush looked like he was blitzing before scraping over and Gil was just free so I dunno.
O48 2 5 Shotgun 4-wide tight 5-1-5 5-1 nickel Press one high Pass 5 Drag Long 2
Tempo, M gets set, barely, still collapses this pocket real well. Mone(+0.5) and Uche(+0.5) are forcing a throw(pressure +1) and Long(+1, cover +1) is able to tackle immediately on it.
50 3 3 Shotgun quads 5-1-5 5-0 nickel Press one high Pass 5 Drag Metellus 4
Winovich(+2, pressure +2) dusts the LG immediately and will sack but the ball is already out as Metellus(-1, cover -1) didn’t react quickly enough as his guy broke inside. No challenge on the catch; just a tackle after.
M46 1 10 Shotgun trips H 4-2-5 Nickel even Press two high Run N/A Zone stretch Solomon 1
Marshall(-1) gets mostly reached by the LG and C, so there’s some danger to the front. He’s able to keep moving down the line to mitigate the damage. Bush(+1) is able to duck around the guy coming off Marshall and fill the hole; Solomon(+2) splits his double and runs the back down from behind.
M45 2 9 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Pass 5 Fly? N/A Inc
Looks like miscommunication on Indiana’s routes. Metellus is on the slot and gets run over by the outside guy, which should be OPI if this ball isn’t thrown 30 yards downfield to nobody. Which it is. Paye(+0.5) coming through enough for pressure(+1) even after M seemed to tip its blitz and got it picked up.
M45 3 9 Shotgun quads 3-1-7 30 viper split Press one high Pass 5 Drag Metellus 6
Bush pulled wide by the RB, box is the three man line an the two vipers. Both vipers off the edge with Glasgow(+1) and Hudson(+1) getting around the corner(pressure +2), aided by Ramsey drifting back. Metellus(-0.5) on the drag and doesn’t do a great job, cant tackle on the catch. Some danger of a YAC first down that Dwumfour(+0.5) and Winovich(+0.5) are able to prevent with their pursuit.
M45 4 3 Shotgun empty 3-1-7 30 viper split Press one high Pass 5 In Bush INT
Vipers come again, this time Hudson(+1) dives inside and jets by unprepared RG. Glasgow(+0.5) dips inside and gets a free run(pressure +2), ball’s gotta come out now. IU tries to pick Bush(+2, cover +2), who isn’t having any of that and blows the guy up on the catch. Dwumfour(+1) catches the deflected ball for -1 yards but hey whatever man it’s cool.
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 3-0, 7 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O24 2 6 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Run N/A Split zone Winovich 35
Winovich(-3) ends up ripped inside by the LG, partly of his own doing. He gets sealed inside and with Hudson checking the TE moving backside and Ross blitzing off the edge Bush is checking basically all the gaps himself. He’s got no shot at Scott, into the secondary. Ross(-1) never tried to come back and shut down the space, not that it would have done much. If contained probably pretty good for M as Mone(+1) beat the C and was in position to threaten for a TFL.
M41 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Winovich -1
Winovich(+3) is able to swim inside the LT’s block and make a TFL.
M42 2 11 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 5 Slot fade Kinnel Inc
Kinnel does not line up with outside leverage on the slot to the boundary and they go right at the slot fade. Pressure(-2) not getting there on a five man rush; comfortable pocket. Kinnel(+0.5, cover +1) is in good position and probably punches a lot of potential completions out; as it is this one is dropped by the WR without his intervention. Did make it difficult.
M42 3 11 Shotgun empty 3-1-7 30 viper split Press one high Pass 5 Scramble Dwumfour 29
You know, this looks like it’s on Gary but he gives absolutely no thought to keeping his lane and is clearly driving in such a way that would make way more sense if there was a twist on, which there probably is but Dwumfour(-3) misses it. If this is a straight rush by Gary he’s going to bull this guard back, it’s what he does on interior rushes. Whatever the reason, giant gap in the line and man coverage so Ramsey gets a free scramble. Kinnel(-1, tackling -1) airballs a tackle for another 10 yards or so.
M13 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel under Press one high Run N/A Split zone Marshall 13
Marshall(-2) reached by the RT solo. RG doesn’t even touch him and goes right to Bush(-1), who gets aggressive and put on one side of a block. M’s run defense cannot live with DTs getting reached and free releases to the second level.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 3-7, 4 min 1st 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 Nickel over Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Solomon 9
DTs creased as IU goes right to the LB level. Solomon(-2) the culprit here as he loses his balance and nearly goes down. This should be holding but you never get these calls on the interior. Bush(-1) takes a false step and gets locked out. Gil(-1) attacks the OL releasing at the LOS and doesn’t check the back until he’s through and gone.
O34 2 1 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Pass 4 Drag Bush 6
Tempo, little pressure(-1) though Gary(+0.5) is driving through. Winovich(-0.5) got stalled out by the RT and isn’t able to contain a rollout from Ramsey. Mesh from IU covered(+1) well but M can’t cover it this long. Dink to guy in the flat after dragging through the middle converts.
O40 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Run N/A Split zone Solomon 3
Solomon(+1) able to stand up the C and extend to the gap; Winovich(+1) does the same thing. Gil(-1) came up and hit the free releasing G at the LOS but stops his momentum and adjusts and then he loses the momentum battle. The DL are able to tackle but Gil turns this from 0 into 3.
O43 2 7 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Penalty N/A False start N/A -5
Oops
O38 2 12 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 5-1 under Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Bush -2
Giant IT’S A TRAP thing from Michigan as three DL align outside the RG. Then Bush inserts in between them on the snap. IU picks up the DL. Bush(+2) jets through untouched and TFLs. RPS +3.
O36 3 14 Shotgun 4-wide Rush D Dime even Press two high Pass 4 Throwaway Dwumfour Inc
Dwumfour(+2, pressure +2) whips the RG immediately and surges up the middle, or would except the RG grabs him. Flag. Uche(+1, pressure +1) around tight and chasing; ball thrown away. Penalty declined.
Drive Notes: Punt, 6-7, 12 min 2nd 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 Inside zone Kemp 5
IU slides a TE really tight and has him go at Gary, no kickout block here. Gary(-1) is shocked and gets hit back. Kemp(-1) washed down the line. M has a free hitter but it’s Hudson; he’s able to hit Scott once he commits with no delay but Scott’s grinding out YAC against a S every time. RPS +1, extra guy at 2 yards.
O30 2 5 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Slot fade Kinnel 30
Michigan not aligned on the snap, RPS -1. Kinnel(-2, cover -2) beat on the slot fade and can’t recover; not the absolute worst because the window here is sort of narrow but bleah. The whole D is based on having this not happen. He has help to the inside. Pretty bad, tempo based.
M40 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Solomon 3
Solomon(+1) wins, rips inside, and forces a cutback. That cutback is more successful than you might expect because Gary(-1) again gave a bunch of ground against this TE. Hudson(+0.5) is able to come down and help tackle with Gary after he discards but this is another 3 yard run that should probably be 0-ish.
M37 2 7 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel under Press one high Pass 4 Slant Hill Inc (Pen +10)
Weak holding call on Hill as he grabs the shoulder momentarily and the guy’s pad flops out; none of this affects the WR or Hill’s dominating coverage. If this is a hold Michigan is missing multiple flags in this game already. Refs -2. Push cover IMO.
M27 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel under Press one high Run N/A Split zone Winovich 0
Ross(+2) blitzes and is able to impressively split two blockers. This forces a redirect outside, where Winovich(+2) is able to grip n rip past the LT for a tackle in the backfield. Scott manages to power it back to the LOS.
M27 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 5-1 under Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Ross 4
M again goes with the shifted line and overload blitz from Bush. They pick most of it up. Kemp(-0.5) gets doubled and stalled out; Mone(-1) is given a free path to the back but overruns it. Ross(+1), in a SAM spot, folds back and finds Scott for a tackle unblocked anyway. Bush(+0.5) is able to come all the way around and help. RPS +1.
M23 3 6 Shotgun quads tight bunch 3-1-7 3-1 quarter Press one high Pass 5 Throwaway Hudson Inc
M hides Hudson just outside the bunch of WRs IU has to the field. Bush(+1) holds his water and times a blitz to this side of the line, drawing the requisite attention, and Hudson(+1) gets a run because of it. Ramsey is able to avoid Hudson but Hudson redirects quickly and Ramsey is reduced to just punting it OOB. Pressure +2, RPS +1.
Drive Notes: FG(41), 9-10, 7 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even Press two high Pass 4 Drag Gil 9
Pocket just holds for IU but coverage(+1) is good and this is more or less a checkdown. Gil(-1, tackling -1) comes up for the tackle and whiffs, giving up another 3-4 yards.
O34 2 1 Shotgun trips H 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Run N/A Zone stretch Mone 5
Tempo, M gets aligned and is mostly fine. Kemp(+1) drives to the backfield and cuts off the frontside. M probably doesn’t have the guys on the backside to prevent a conversion; Mone(-1) does not reset the LOS and gets moved out for the gap. Hudson and Winovich shut it down.
O39 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press zero Run N/A Inside zone Gary 1
Gary(+2) runs over the TE on him now that he knows what’s coming and tackles at the LOS.
O40 2 9 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Kemp 2
Threatened blitz, check. M twists their DTs. Kemp(+1) burrows right and goes down but that’s a lot of prone meat across three gaps. Mone(+0.5) loops around and makes the rest of it not so great. Scott oddly jumps over the pile. RPS +1.
O42 3 7 Shotgun empty Rush D Dime even Press two high Pass 3 Scramble Paye 7
Frustrating for Brown as he baits this scramble and it still works. Paye threatens rush and then pops back. Dwumfour drives left, leaving the obvious hole to hit as he pushes the pocket. Paye(-2) takes way too long to recognize what’s happening when this is probably the plan and gets outrun by Ramsey to the sticks.
O49 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Paye 2
Marshall(-1) gets washed down the line by not much of a double. M attacks hard with the LB level and it’s mostly just a one on one block that’ll put Marshall completely out of the play. Paye(+1) gets the TE down to him and wins that block; Solomon(+1) wins his block again and forces it back. Once Paye contains he tackles as well; Scott’s able to fall forward because Marshall is not in the building.
M49 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Fade Watson 41
M not at all rushing, really, on second and nine. Pressure -2. Watson(-2, cover -2) airballs on a jam and can’t recover. He’s two steps behind and in ohshit tackle mode.
M8 1 G Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Marshall 2
Center holds as Marshall(+0.5) is able to endure a brief double and throw himself in the A gap. Solomon(+0.5) buckles briefly but then splits; Bush(+0.5) is able to beat a block and provide the finishing touch.
M6 2 G Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press two high Pass 4 Fade Long 6
Long(-1, cover -1) beat clean and Ramsey puts it on him.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 17-15, 1 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun trips H 4-2-5 Nickel even Press two high Run N/A Power O Winovich 1
M comes out in a zone look with a disregard of the covered slot. IU runs power away from this. Winovich(+1) ducks inside, pounds the first puller, and exposes the back to Kinnel(+1), who comes off the edge and tackles. Ross(+0.5) also there to help.
O26 2 9 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 In Metellus Inc
Pocket holds but is contained(pressure -1), not too bad. Metellus(+1, cover +2) executes a pass off here after looking like he’s running man coverage on a guy on a drag. Once that guy gets to Ross’s zone he stops. In route behind this isn’t that open as Hill(+1) is there but this is another trap situation where an INT is likely on an accurate throw and the QB probably pulls the string late. RPS +1.
O26 3 9 Shotgun quads Rush D Quarter even Press one high Pass 4 Throwaway N/A Inc
Ramsey pressures himself here, mostly. OL picks up the interior as M loops both DTs all the way around the opposite side DEs. Dwumfour(+0.5) and Paye(+0.5) are coming through but time to stand and deliver not taken. Coverage(+3) seems excellent on everything visible. Ramsey throws a duck in the vague direction of a drag.
Drive Notes: Punt, 15-17, 14 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 30 nickel slide Press two high Run N/A Inside zone Furbush 1
3-3-5 with Furbush over the slot. Odd front, Hudson moves down to a SAM spot and blitzes, line slants to the play. Kemp(+1) gets drive on the C and shows up in the lane a yard in the backfield. Bounce looks like it’s there as Gary(-1) got too far upfield but Furbush(+1) shows up by darting inside a WR and Scott oddly kind of stops to get hit by him?
O26 2 9 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press two high Pass 5 In Gil 14
Michigan mistimes a blitz; Bush(-0.5) and Hudson(-0.5) are’re late (pressure -2). Hudson does get free up the middle but not fast enough; dink route pretty open as Gil(-1, cover -1) doesn’t come off a deeper route decisively and allows a chunk of YAC.
O40 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Back shoulder fade Hill Inc
Odd route from the IU WR is almost like he’s blocking for a second before trying to release down the sideline. Hill(+1, cover +1) doesn’t buy it and Ramsey has to resort to a very difficult back shoulder throw. He just about hits it but the WR can’t get around in time and the ball gets through his hands. Pressure (-1) not getting there.
O40 2 10 Shotgun trips H 4-2-5 5-1 nickel over Press zero Penalty N/A False start N/A -5
oops
O35 3 15 Shotgun 4-wide 3-2-6 3-2 dime Press two high Pass 5 Drag Watson 20
M blitzes Hudson off the slot and replaces with Metellus; straight man and no help underneath. Pocket comfortable(pressure -2) despite the blitz, Watson(-1, cover -1) gets picked legally and big catch and run happens. RPS -2, this is catching man coverage for an easy chunk.
M45 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Paye 1
Bush(+0.5) fires at the LOS to prevent and extended double. Mone(+0.5) and Marshall(+0.5) both hold and force a cutback to Paye(+2), who surges to the backfield and punches the ball out. Hudson(+1) falls on it.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 22-17, 8 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O40 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Bubble screen Hudson 4
Metellus 15 yards off the LOS and Hudson shaded inside the slot WR, so this is open. Bad throw is caught but takes the WR off his feet, saving Michigan about 4 yards. RPS -1.
O44 2 6 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Throwaway N/A Inc
Winovich cheapshot play. Coverage(+2) very good; QB bugs out, where Bush(+0.5) contains him and the ball gets booted OOB. Pocket clean(Pressure –2).
O44 3 6 Shotgun trips Rush D Dime even Press two high Run N/A QB draw N/A 8
Furbush instead of Winovich on the Rush package. Presnap flare motion from IU drags Bush out of the box. QB draw. M is stunting across the line but IU picks it up. Kinnel is in a baffling spot, eight yards deep to the boundary which has 1 v 1 coverage. He reacts and is able to cut this down but not before the sticks. Would really like him to be firing down on the snap because he’s not going to cover anyone here. RPS -2.
M48 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Kemp 19 -15 pen
Dwumfour(+1) drives the C back to force a cutback, but M linebackers are attacking now because the DTs aren’t trusted to do this. Hutchinson(-2) stops instead of shuffling down the line; he cannot recover. This turns this from a pedestrian gain of 5 or 6 into a big play. Kemp(-1) got washed down the line as well. Hudson(-1, tackling -1) gets his tackle run through after about 10 yards. Thuggy McHoosier then takes a cheap shot at Paye to give 15 back.
M44 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 5 Sack Gary -11
Bush slides down outside Gary; Gary(+2) runs right through Thugsy Bogues. Sucks to suck. Bush(+2) is the beneficiary of the interior rush but is also coming around super fast, no escape. Pressure +3.
O45 2 21 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Screen Ross Inc
Orbit motion from a slot one way, attempt to screen the other. Mone is incidentally stunting around here and ends up in the throwing lane for a long time. Ross(+1) comes up and whacks the back, who goes down for a second, and that’s enough for Ramsey to pull the cord and turf it. Bush(+0.5) and Long(+0.5) in the area as well, this is doomed. RPS +1.
O45 3 21 Shotgun 4-wide Rush D Dime even Press two high Pass 5 Bubble screen Long 2
Give up and punt. Long(+1) does a good job to stand up the WR and confuse Timian about which way he should go, giving Ross(+0.5) time to rally and lay a hit. Doesn’t wrap up; rallying D does that for him.
Drive Notes: Punt, 22-17, 5 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Run N/A Zone read belly Gary 5
Kemp(-1) gets washed down the line really far; Gary(+0.5) is able to close it down, barely.
O30 2 5 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Slant Gil Inc (Pen +10)
Gil(+1) and Bush both creep to the LOS on play action. Gil stops at the LOS when it’s clear it’s a pass and is able to bat the pass down. Hill(-2, cover -2) had the same holding action he got called on last time, and this time it’s more prominent.
O40 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Slot fade Metellus Inc
Metellus(+1, cover +1) doesn’t quite get over the top of this but he’s in-phase and able to get his head around. It would take a pinpoint pass; this is well off. Lack of rush from DTs is hurting here as they can just double Gary. Pressure -1.
O40 2 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Gary 4
Bush slides down again and Gary fires inside. Kemp(-1) gets fired out of the middle way too quick even though he’s slanting. Gary(+1) gets a late shove from the RT but is able to get an ankle tackle in No help from LB level because one’s blitzing and the other got a free releaser.
O44 3 6 Shotgun empty quads 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Scramble Kemp 9
Both DTs put themselves to one side of OL and lose. Kemp(-1) and Dwumfour(-1) part right up the middle, pressure -3. Gil’s blitzing around the side so there’s nothing else behind the line, first down.
M47 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Pass 4 Throwaway Gil Inc
Gil(+1, cover +1) sucks up a little on the PA fake but is able to halt, look up a WR slanting inside, and get enough depth to dissuade a throw. Mone(+0.5) kind of coming through. Ramsey moves out and throws it away. This is just outside the tackle box, but it is outside.
M47 2 10 Shotgun trips 2-3-6 3-2 dime Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Paye 0
This is a line of Uche, Paye, and Furbush, so some goofy business is required. It is executed. Paye(+1) goes from one A gap to the other B gap and splits two OL who don’t know what’s coming. Furbush(+0.5) and Gil(+0.5) do enough to dissuade on the frontside. Uche(+0.5) alone on the backside and tackles. RPS +2.
M47 3 10 Shotgun empty Rush D Dime even Press one high Pass 4 Drag screen Metellus Inc
Attempted drag screen with WR deliberately blocking Hudson in man coverage as the WR retreats back behind the LOS. Metellus maybe probably has this before it gets to the sticks; we don’t get to find out as the pass doesn’t come off.
M47 4 10 Punt Punt Punt return N/A Run N/A Reverse Bush 4
Michigan shouldn’t need Bush(+2) here, but Metellus(-1) doesn’t widen out despite having Hawkins right next to him and the ballcarrier gets the edge. He’s going to get him after like 7 probably, but Bush climbed over a block and made it academic.
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 25-17, 14 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun double stacks 4-2-5 4-3 even Press two high Pass 4 Dumpoff Hudson 8
Pressure(-2) again not getting through; coverage(+2) good but time to check down. Hudson(-0.5) tackles but can’t help but get dragged three yards by Scott.
O33 2 2 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Run N/A Split zone Ross 1
M moves Hudson down and blitzes him around the edge. Gary(+1) ends up hitting the RT and the TE pulling backside, so unblocked LB. Never gets to Bush because Ross(+2) also blitzes and slices through the line, coming around to tackle at the LOS. RPS +1.
O34 3 1 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Run N/A Speed option Bush 2
Gary on the edge and forces a pitch, but spends himself, not ideally ambiguous. Bush(+0.5) climbs over an OL trying to get to him and almost does but gets a shove and stumbles; this causes him to overrun Scott. Still forces it back, Gary(+0.5) is able to recover and tackle from behind. Very close to a stop.
O36 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Slot fade Metellus Inc (Pen +15)
The horrible PI on Metellus(+2, cover +2), who wins this route over the top and is just running in front of the WR. WR tries to jump over Metellus’s back and can’t get to the ball. Refs -3. Woooooof.
M49 1 10 Shotgun trips H 4-2-5 Nickel over Press two high Run N/A Inside zone Paye 3
Bush blitzes, picked up, one on one for DTs. Mone(+0.5) gets a little drive and falls in a gap, cutback. Paye(-0.5) there to tackle at the LOS but Scott again drives out a lot of YAC. Kemp(+0.5) also drove his guy to force the cutback.
M46 2 7 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass N/A Throwaway Ross Inc
M not set as IU goes tempo but covers(+2) a couple reads to start and then Ross(+0.5) and Paye(+0.5) are able to come through(pressure +1) and flush Ramsey, who throws it away. Probably? This is in the vicinity of a WR who dives at it but unsuccessfully.
M46 3 7 Shotgun empty quads Rush D Dime even Press one high Pass 5 Drag Hudson 22
Woooof. Hudson on the back; simple drag route, a little bit of traffic, and he’s gone. Hudson lined up outside the guy; Bush has been well inside. Hudson(-2, cover -2) has no shot at a tackle; RPS -2. Pressure -2.
M24 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Bush 7
M slides away and tries to stunt the DTs, which doesn’t do much; Ross blitzes and appears to split two OL before going over in a heap. Bush(-1) is solo in a lot of space against Scott; he plays it soft and gets run over.
M17 2 3 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Ross 2
Ross(+2) again blitzes, gets a free releasing OL, and fires him back. He drives through the guy and into Scotts legs; Paye(+0.5) comes back off the kickout to tackle and might actually give the guy a yard or two of YAC he would not otherwise get.
M15 3 1 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Exotic Press zero Run N/A Speed option Metellus -4
Metellus(+3) must be prepped for this or something. M gives a look that’s a seven man front with a LB shift to the boundary; IU checks to speed option away from this. Might be a good idea except Metellus, who appears to be in man coverage on the slot, checks the backfield first and fires upfield. Slot can’t react in time; Gary runs inside out to force the pitch; Bush comes over to get the blocker; Metellus plants Scott just as his eyes get back downfield. RPS +2. Baited.
Drive Notes: FG(36), 28-20, 6 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide Rush D Dime even Press two high Pass 4 Throwaway Dwumfour Inc
Dwumfour(+2, pressure +2) swims through Thugginson and gets quick pressure up the middle that forces a flush; Ross(+1, cover +1) has the dumpoff blanketed and the ensuing throw is probably not a real attempt to complete a pass.
O25 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide Rush D Dime even Press two high Pass 3 Throwaway N/A Inc
Paye drops out as a spy again. Coverage(+3) great, nobody is open at all. Ramsey has to bail and get rid of it.
O25 3 10 Shotgun 4-wide Rush D Dime even Press two high Pass 3 Dig Kinnel 15
No pressure(-2) on another three man rush with a spy; Kinnel(-1, cover -1) can’t drive on the dig fast enough to do anything but tackle after the fact.
O40 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide Rush D Dime even Press two high Pass 3 Drag Bush 4
Uche and Furbush provide a little bit of heat here and induce a dumpoff to a drag. Bush(+0.5) and Metellus(+0.5, cover +1) are able to flow and tackle and keep the clock running. M will take this all day.
O44 2 6 Shotgun 4-wide Rush D Dime even Press two high Pass 4 Fade Long Inc
Way too much time(pressure -2) as the RB is able to neutralize the Uche stunt dip. Ramsey eventually moves up in the pocket and flings one at Long’s(-1, cover -1) guy, who broke open by a step or two ; dangerous, but hard to make this throw.
O44 3 6 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Dime even Press two high Pass 4 Sack Gary -6
Not the rush package as Kemp and Gary come in. This is Gary’s first snap on this drive. Aaaand it’s gone. Gary(+3, pressure +3) goes speed to power and damn near knocks the RT over before swallowing Ramsey. Dunno why he wasn’t out there before minus Winovich.
O38 4 12 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Dime even Press two high Pass 3 Improv Gary Inc
Gary(+1, pressure +1) drives again, as M only rushes three and drops more spies. A spooked Ramsey GTFOs. Thuggy Potter then executes the same move he did on Winovich, hold this L tho. Paye(+0.5) comes up and contains. Desperate heave defended by Hudson(+1, cover +1).
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 31-20, EOG.

Is this what Achilles felt? An odd sensation, dismissable except for the sheer novelty. The distant blooming of a heretofore unknown sensation: pain. At first met with contempt, then fear, as the poison crept ever farther away from its source. The reassertion of dread mortality. The final, fatal moment—a man still in disbelief as his head is sliced from his body, eyes wide and all-seeing as he's placed upon the gibbet, there to look down upon all his failures until the end of time itself!

uh

Lo, pricked by some fearful squire! Not even mighty Hector could slay him, but an arrow from afar! A coward's weapon!

So here's a drive chart?

  • one three and out; three first-down-and-outs
  • Three drives of about 30 yards ending in two turnovers on downs* and a fumble.
  • FG drives of 52 and 56 yards
  • 80 and 75 yard TD drives

*(Ish. One is the INT by Dwumfour that's a turnover on downs until he catches the ball and the other is the thwarted fake punt.)

This is not to the usual standard. It's not horrible; it isn't the ridiculous beatdowns Michigan's been handing out more often than not. FWIW, S&P+'s percentile performance metric says this was a 73% outing, about on par with the Wisconsin and Northwestern games and well short of the various hamblastings Michigan handed out earlier this year. That's still good; it is within the realm of the mortal.

But they did stuff!

They did do some stuff. IU's interior offensive line had a clear W against Michigan's DTs in the first half, who could not stand up to double teams. This turned into a mini version of the Wisconsin game or last year's Penn State game. Michigan got burned early as their DL wobbled. When they adjusted they stuck to man free coverage and those adjustments necessarily opened some other things up. Michigan bent more and broke a little.

Scotts first big run was an uncharacteristic clobbering suffered by Winovich. He's been superb at controlling OL and ripping them down, but here he gets turned inside and sealed away:

#15 DE to top

Mone's also in that gap so that can't be right. That's a modest gain if anything if Winovich just forces it back; nothing fancy.

The rest of it was mostly DTs. Marshall's playing time came to a prompt and near-total halt after the first Indiana TD, where he got reach blocked by the RT:

#93 DT to bottom

No defense can live with that. That is a complete seal from an OL a full gap behind that didn't even require a chip. That == doom. Whenever you see a zone play that's that easy it's because this happens. After this happened Michigan went with Mone and Kemp with the occasional Solomon cameo; Scott got some more chunks across the first half before Michigan shut him down in the second, about which more later.

Another genre of big run plays were Ramsey third down conversions on the ground. Most of these were not called but were scrambles, and Mike Dwumfour was a frequent culprit. After looking at the first and most damaging scramble in detail I think this is not in fact on Gary but it's Dwumfour missing an assignment. Gary's inside plunge makes no sense unless this is a stunt without a looper:

DE #3 to bottom also NT #50

Gary generally does not do that when he's got an interior rush. He bulls guys back and then disengages. Immediately committing to one side of an OL in that fashion is out of character. (Getting too deep on a speed rush is a different thing.) Maybe Gary's blowing the assignment but since a Dwumfour loop looks like a really good idea that's probably the thing.

Dwumfour and Kemp both put themselves to one side of an OL on this third and six, creating a gaping hole up the middle.

both DTs

Very frustrating. This is rookie stuff that hasn't been a major issue since a couple years back.

One issue that looked like a Dwumfour thing was not. Ramsey's tight third and seven scramble conversion saw Michigan drop Paye out as a spy. Dwumfour drove left, which makes sense, as a reckless DT surge that direction would induce a scramble away from the guy who might have a shot at blocking Paye. Unfortunately Paye doesn't have the rhythm of this call down just yet and he's a step too slow to shut Ramsey down:

DT #19 to top, also DT #50 to bottom. Both DTs.

He does want to wait to definitively put Ramsey to one side and prevent cutbacks, but tackle the guy after three yards please.

The one item that was called was baffling from Michigan. What is Tyree Kinnel going to do in this spot presnap?

Michigan runs pure man to man on backside receivers in 3x1 sets 100% of the time, so he's not going to help on that guy. It feels like he should be running up to trap this very play but his first steps are backwards on third and six. I RPSed this since it was a four man box against five blockers but I kind of suspect it might be a missed assignment.

So what do you do about that?

The scramble stuff is easy: stay in your lane, the end.

Michigan's DTs being just guys is a harder problem. Michigan has to cover for them some.

This is new. For much of his Michigan career, Don Brown has been able to play his base front six and stomp people flat with it. That's what happens when you have Mo Hurst. After some early hiccups in 2018 the DTs stabilized themselves enough to resume that approach. Indiana challenged that with an interior line that—at least against the run—is the best Michigan's seen outside of Wisconsin. Unlike Wisconsin, Indiana spread the field out so that the six man front was more or less it.

In these situations, Don Brown will get weird. Not all the time, but on high-leverage downs. After an iffy first quarter Brown pulled out this goofy-ass thing on second and twelve:

image_thumb[5]

Zero people between the guards. When that comes out you know something wacky is about to transpire but figuring it out is hard to do. On this play Michigan inserted Bush, the MLB above, in-between Kemp and Gary—IE, outside of the RT—and let him make the distance up with his general Bush-ness.

The ensuing third and fourteen did not convert; punt. Brown came up through Maryland and UConn and BC, places where Mo Hurst was just a rumor. He's got a whole bag of these things. Now he's got occasion to use them.

There's also a fairly easy fix for wonky DTs that doesn't require aligning in massively weird ways, and that's inserting a fifth guy on the line of scrimmage. Michigan did this a lot in the second half and limited Stevie Scott to about three yards a carry. When the fifth guy shows up someone has to block him and you lose one or both of your DT doubles, depending on whether you've got a tight end attached. The fumble play is jammed on the frontside because Bush blitzes and the two DTs are able to stall out single blocks:

MLB #10; also DTs flanking him

This comes with obvious costs in your coverage and to some extent your pass rush—Bush is run blitzing here with the express intent to go whack an OL, not avoid him.

Brown will have a plan for OSU, especially a version that's restricted to using their quarterback as a quarterback, for the most part. He's exceptionally crafty, as he demonstrated on a key third down right before Michigan's offense shut the door entirely. James Light:

Bush indeed widens out to take the lead blocker, which means that once Metellus activates there's nothing but Stevie Scott in front of him:

Bang. Bait and switch.

Also they threw the ball! Some!

A chunk of Michigan's issues were just running up against a quarterback who could throw straight. Lewerke and McSorley had opportunities to complete passes for 15 yard chunks there were unable to take for whatever reason. This was closer to what Michigan will seem like against OSU, which has a large and accurate QB. You may have concerns about this, but Ramsey had 5.6 YPA, under 50% completions, and turned in his second-worst game of the year. Context is important. Things like this happen to defenses all the time:

They happen to Michigan much less frequently.

I did get a bit frustrated by Michigan's seeming over-reliance on man coverage. There were a number of long-ish catch and run events that were super easy because Michigan showed man coverage and ran it.

CB #28 to bottom

That is a super easy third and 15 conversion, and a bit ominous for OSU. This is a super easy third and seven conversion, same:

Haskins hit those crossing routes late in last year's game and their offense this year is Indiana with faster WRs: Haskins has the second-shortest average depth of target in the Big Ten and OSU has the most yards after catch in the league. As PFF details, this matchup is all about yards after the catch. But also Michigan is 4th in the country at preventing YAC despite the above. Our perceptions are all out of whack after watching most of this season.

Brown has changeups for this stuff, too, like this incompletion that look like a QB having an ohshit moment just as he's about to throw an INT. Watch Metellus start off in man coverage against a drag route and then fall off it right into the in route Hill is covering:

S #14 over slot

Yet another pending INT that gets winged wide of the target. One of these days, I tellya.

But they got to stand in the pocket some!

Okay… yeah. I'll give you this one.

Michigan's lack of pressure was a bit concerning. IU was extremely organized; Michigan's various stunts and blitzes almost never got someone through completely clean. That's a credit to IU, and when that happens Michigan was in tough because the non-Dwumfour DTs were complete non-factors. Four man rushes were set up to single up the DTs and then double-team Michigan's most dangerous rusher, which was Winovich for a while and Gary later. The Winovich cheapshot was an excellent example:

Both Gary and Winovich get outright doubled. Michigan has nothing resembling a complete DT this year so on a play like second and six Indiana can single up the DTs with impunity and Michigan can't play Dwumfour.

Michigan needs to prevent this from happening against OSU in order to take advantage of the Isaiah Prince matchup. Prince has resumed occupying the struggle bus after an okay junior season and if Michigan can get him singled up against Gary or (please) Winovich they're going to feast, as Kenny Willekes and Carter Coughlin did.

Okay, so in sum?

Would you like a…

i lie in wait, arrow cocked

chart?

Lot of numbers here with way more plays than usual, and a generally positive outcome since IU averaged just over 5 yards a play—not good. The ratios here are different, with the DL coming in just okay.

Defensive Line

Player + - T Notes
Gary 12.5 3 9.5 Killer sack at end, forced a second.
Kemp 3.5 6 -2.5 This is Not Good.
Mone 2.5 2 0.5 Not real good either.
Winovich 9.5 3.5 6 Got on long Scott run, otherwise Winovich.
Paye 7.5 2.5 5 Solid run defender, unexciting rusher.
Dwumfour 7 4 3 Out of his lane a couple times but got some rush.
Solomon 5.5 2 3.5 Should have played more. Hurt?
Uche 2   2 Impact muted.
Marshall 1 4 -3 In like a dozen snaps.
Hutchinson   2 -2 Culprit on the one successful second half Scott run.
TOTAL 51 29 22 Kind of meh combined with pressure metric, which is even-ish for the first time all year.
Linebacker
Player + - T Notes
Hudson 5.5 5 0.5 Caught on drag for 22 yards.
Glasgow 1.5   1.5 Couple blitzes.
Furbush 1.5   1.5 20 minutes of Winovich subbing.
Bush 14.5 4 10.5 +2 on the punt, fwiw. Very good.
Gil 2.5 3.5 -1 50% of WLB snaps.
Ross 10.5   10.5 50% of WLB snaps. Make the decision.
Anthony       DNC
TOTAL 36 12.5 23.5 Ross the per-snap UFR champion.
Secondary
Player + - T Notes
Metellus 9.5 2.5 7 +2 on his PI, YMMV. But FFS. Also: he's very good.
Kinnel 1.5 4 -2.5 Missed a couple tackles.
Hawkins       DNP
Hill 2 2 0 Couple of holding calls. Not frequently challenged.
Long 2.5 2 0.5 Beat a couple times. Cover number goes to CBs.
Watson   3 -3 Failed to get jam on their long completion.
Kelly-Powell       DNP
TOTAL 15.5 13.5 2 Cover number though.
Metrics
Pressure 25 24 +1 DTs hurt here too.
Coverage 30 14 +16 Blips but really not much unless they got a rub on man coverage.
Tackling   3 -3 Merph.
RPS 14 8 +6 IU didn't do much creative but got some rubs. Brown had some weird stuff.

Obligatory grading statement: DL is a Make Plays position and if you are on it and turning in a 0 you are a below average player. The only DTs with an argument they may have held their own are Dwumfour, who is largely limited to passing downs, and Solomon, who played very well but got an inexplicably low number of snaps.

Mone is just a guy; Marshall is just a guy; Kemp is currently just a guy who Michigan hopes to get to More Than Just A Guy status next year.

Note that the DE numbers are down on a per-snap basis: no +22s or anything. Both guys got solid wins on the day but IU's OL handled them better than just about anyone to date. Winovich did swim past a tackle for a solo TFL:

But that was a relative rarity.

Wait so their best DT got… 20 snaps? Ish?

Thereabouts. Solomon's lack of snaps is a bit baffling. He turned in the best instance of run defense of any Michigan DT midway through the second quarter…

#5 DT to bottom

…but got probably under 20 snaps for the game. He did eat a –2 on a nine yard run as he went to his knees after losing his balance but a couple plays later he was able to stand up the C and help defeat a run:

NT #5

He forced a cutback on a similar +1 win on the next drive:

DT #5 to bottom

And again:

DT #5 to bottom

He's not on the rush package; fine. But with the other guys scuffling I could have used some more Solomon. The contrast between the above and a number of plays the other DTs turned in was obvious. Here Mone gets a single block from the left guard and is controlled rather than vice-versa:

DT #90 to bottom

Mone's been adequate and exactly that for the duration of the year. He usually checks in with a +1.5-1 score in UFR, or thereabouts, which is a guy who's just a guy.

Here's the hope: Solomon was still recovering from the thing that held him out of the Rutgers game and will be ready for 40+ snaps on Saturday. He was the only DT in this game to look like a consistent threat.

Why was that guy so mad?

Thuglington Whatshisface started whacking guys after the play pretty early. This was likely because Michigan ate his lunch. He racked up at least 8 protection minuses in hypothetical Indiana blog UFR. Six got clipped, starting with this Dwumfour zip:

Rashan Gary goes right through him on the thunderous sack that killed their third-quarter drive:

Dwumfour again:

#50 DT to top

Dude was real tough when blindsiding guys and then jumping on them once they're on the ground. When he had to face Michigan one on one he got whipped. Sucks to suck. He sucks.

This section can also stand in for the things that Dwumfour is able to do that the starters cannot. He caused a couple of scrambles, one of them on what I assume is a mental error, the other via excessive aggression. He still came out pretty well; he even had a couple of run positives. His trajectory is positive and will hopefully round into an all-around threat in 2019.

That's a lot of points for Metellus.

I think Metellus might deserve to be an All Big Ten safety? He's been an excellent tacker and his coverage has been very good all year. In this one he had a slant PBU worthy of Lavert Hill…

#14 S over slot to bottom

…and while he drew a PI on a slot fade it was of the absurd variety. Metellus won over the top and had the WR jump on his back.

Kinnel didn't have the same impact. He got hit for Michigan's first slot fade of the year, amongst other issues:

That's tempo and it looks like he gets caught off guard, but no jam and palpable separation is a flashback to last year and unpleasant. Metellus's PI-type substance was much better coverage. Kinnel also missed a couple tackles.

Neither safety is bad or anywhere near it, as Michigan's near-total lack of long plays ceded when the starters are both in amply demonstrates. Metellus is actively good.

Did you also go GRRAAAAAH when Gary did the Gary thing?

Yes. It suuuucks that the two years Michigan had him at what should hypothetically be full blast were both derailed by shoulder injuries. Gary is going to have to have his Donkey Kong Suh year in the NFL. He's wild at times; he can get caught off guard and fail to use his physical tools; when he gets it right it's over. This was most fun on his solo sack late. This is the speed to power rush I've been yelling about all year:

Get some. Ramsey was terrified of a repeat on the next play and bugged out of the pocket as soon as Gary loomed.

Gary took a couple whacks from a TE he was not expecting, racking up a couple –1s. Once he knew what was coming, there was only one outcome:

DE #3 to top

A couple games left to leave his mark. He can get there. Cumong.

Bush!

Yeah he's Mo Hurst at LB. The number of linebackers who can get to this like it's nothing is small.

LB #10 topmost M player

I don't have much else to say about him, he is a perfect modern linebacker.

Okay,  but Ross/Gil? Huge disparity this week.

Yeah. I officially Do Not Get the WLB rotation anymore. Ross was PFF's player of the game, at least on a per-snap basis, with a whopping 88 rating. My opinion isn't far off that, as he was able to slice through OL sometimes…

LB #12

LB #12, ends up at MLB

…and at other times hit them in the face and drive them back. This an exclamation point play, one that I don't know if Bush is capable of:

LB #12 to top

He was +10.5 with no minuses. He's fast, he's a heavy hitter, he's in the right spots at the right time. He's going to be a star next year when he gets every snap. (Please?)

Gil, on the other hand, barely scraped above 50 to PFF. I didn't catch him doing a lot of egregious stuff but he's way out of position on this little drag route that should be five yards and third down:

LB #36 to top

He had a couple of good moments—a batted pass, a tackle here and there—but one guy's a dude and one guy's a guy.

Heroes?

Ross and Bush. Metellus. To a slightly lesser extent the DEs.

Maybe not so heroic?

DTs not named Solomon and Dwumfour. Kinnel had some issues. Gil was pretty meh.

What does it mean for The Game?

Unleash the up and coming DTs. OSU is a passing team. Dwumfour is the only DT who can rush the passer. He's got to get regular snaps, run weakness be damned. Similarly, Aubrey Solomon has had a star-crossed year but was clearly Michigan's most explosive and effective DT. There should be a rotation to keep guys fresh but the starters and backups should probably flip.

Ross for full-time snaps. Long past time.

Uche vs Prince. Uche didn't have his best game here but we saw a guy a lot like him—Coughlin—absolutely give it to Prince earlier this year. If Winovich is not ready to go or limited, he will put it on OSU's face.

Josh Metellus is a very good safety. He took a lot of mostly unwarranted heat after last year's game and will seek redemption on Saturday.

Michigan needs to trap Haskins. There's going to be a ton of quick throws that try to get YAC; Michigan should be able to get an interception or two by using man-to-zone looks like the Metellus instance above. He's good, but he's still young, and putting the fear of Brown into him is possible.

Comments

stephenrjking

November 21st, 2018 at 2:24 PM ^

I have to believe that:

1. Michigan left a bunch of stuff in the bag to mug OSU's offense with;

2. Solomon's low snap count was related to recovering from that illness he was said to have suffered recently. 

robstien

November 21st, 2018 at 2:30 PM ^

Man i hope so badly the first drive is 2 sacks and scramble that shakes Haskins for the whole game and Don Brown just twirls his mustache smiling wickedly the entire time

 

schreibee

November 21st, 2018 at 5:23 PM ^

But you have watched this series past years, yes? 

Just don't spend a lot of time wishing & hoping that M will befuddle them into submission on O & on D, while our superior athletes push them around the field. You'd be better served buying a bunch of lotto tix!

Prepare for a gut wrencher, many inexplicable lapses on both sides of the ball, what should be a comfortable W not secured til the last minute. That's just the way it is... I've come to terms with it, reluctantly 🤦‍♂️

bluepalooza

November 22nd, 2018 at 8:49 AM ^

Many explicable lapses?  Please, this team, as every team will miss an assignment, have a big play against, but many? This is the most discipline team (offense and defense) Harbaugh has had.  But, they are playing a very talented team and coaching staff on other side. This year, I expect much more good than bad. On the other hand, OSU fans expect much more bad than good. OSU reminds me of Michigan in 2016 only opposite sides of ball issues.  2016 Michigan defense was really good but very unreliable offense.  This year OSU has a really good offense but unreliable defense.

Many honest OSU fans and media types are writing "if" OSU can do this and "if" OSU can do that they can win.  When was the last time you read those type of comments for "The Game"? Nobody is saying OSU Defense can shut down Michigan's offense.  No one is saying that OSU offense won't score, but can they score enough. Yes, it has to be proven on the field that Michigan can beat OSU.  Enough of us feeling like a second class citizen in a first class rivalry. On this Thanksgiving day, enjoy a good meal, enjoy the fellowship of family and/or friends and have confidence that Saturday will be different, that Saturday will be the realignment of this storied rivaly.  And one more thing.......... GO BLUE!

StirredNotShaken

November 22nd, 2018 at 10:04 AM ^

Absolutely what I'm expecting. I believe we'll see the best OSU team all year Saturday. It's still a top 3 roster talent wise in the country led by one of the great head coaches in the history of the game, playing their biggest rival at home. Over the past 16 years OSU always seems to find ways to make the biggest plays to get the win. I expect the game to feel like 2016, redux. Hoping this year we have the team to pull it out at the end. I think we do. 

Blue In NC

November 21st, 2018 at 3:08 PM ^

That's not even close to stomping.  IU player's leg moves, Chase may or may not have meant to step on him but nothing close to stomping.  72 also has a cheap shot on Paye (called), Gary and also against Mone in the back in the clip above.  That guy was Mandarich on roids so no, I am not giving him any benefit of the doubt.

If Chase did mean to step on his leg, I am not condoning it but equating the two is not fair either.

Nothsa

November 21st, 2018 at 3:47 PM ^

Stepping twice makes it seem intentional. If the jerseys were swapped no one on this board would excuse that action. Chase is a huge, strong guy, and getting cleated on the back of the leg like that would really hurt. I didn't make this post to equate any actions, but simply to point out that there's a lot going on between players that we fans rarely see, and reality is not as simple as saying 'their guy' is a thug and 'our guy' is a saint. Because that isn't true.

Full disclosure: I'm an M fan from an early childhood in Ann Arbor and an IU alum. This was, as always, my least favorite game to watch all season. I hope Chase plays on Saturday.

Squash34

November 22nd, 2018 at 12:30 AM ^

Come on man, chase is taking a step, while not looking down, and the IU linenan starts to move his leg to get up, which goes right to where chase is stepping. 

If he did it intentionally, you would think he would be looking down at where he was aiming. You know, so he doesn't miss where the guys leg.

 

evenyoubrutus

November 21st, 2018 at 6:06 PM ^

Man, I hate your reasoning so much. "If it was X player from rival team..." I've defended rival players. I've highly criticized our own players (Taylor Lewan, for example). If a guy is being a douche he's being a douche no matter who he plays for. If you watch the video, I have no idea why anyone WOULD think he did it on purpose unless you're a fan of a rival team. Are you?

Nothsa

November 21st, 2018 at 10:53 PM ^

I'm clear about my connections to both programs in the post above. If you don't view actions by players for teams you support differently than players opposing your team, you are in a tiny minority of humans, and good for you. Most people are tribal and can't help but excuse behavior about their tribe that they condemn in others.

In this case I see Chase intentionally mashing #72s leg. Twice. The slow motion is really pretty clear. I'm not the only one in this thread who sees it either. 

Look, I don't think Chase is an evil bastard, I think that stuff happens a lot in football - it's a violent game. My point is that reality is not as simple as "IU dude's a devil, my dude's a sainted angel".

In response to the post below, its also clear #72 was getting beat on a lot of plays. Not disagreeing at all about that. That certainly could have led to the pancake, which was a gratuitous action. So could getting his calf stabbed with cleats.

It's worth noting that Harbaugh didn't raise this after the game. If he thought IU was an especially dirty team i imagine he wouldn't hesitate to say it. Look at his response to Purdue's facilities last season....

Diagonal Blue

November 21st, 2018 at 2:51 PM ^

Metellus is the most improved player on the team. He's had a great year. Not surprised our 5* DT is our best DT and not surprised our top 247 WLB is better than our low generic 3* linebacker. Staff is hitting on their highly ranked recruits.

 

Blue In NC

November 21st, 2018 at 3:12 PM ^

Are you surprised that our 3-4 star DE (Chase) is playing at an All-American level or that our lowish 4-star LB is one of the best LBs in the country?  Not to mention the 3-star Metellus.  Oh and our second best DT is the 3-star Dwumfour.  How about 3-star B Watson who has played at a very high level this year?

Indonacious

November 21st, 2018 at 2:52 PM ^

I think we are spoiled with respect to our defense. It’s pretty difficult for each position group to be elite in college football. Most projected our DTs to be a softer spot, especially with Solomon limited for most of the season (and losing Hurst via the draft). last year everyone criticized the safeties and now Metellus is being talked up. 

robpollard

November 21st, 2018 at 2:53 PM ^

What are the rules on blocking the back?

I feel I know them on kickoffs/punts (just don't do it!) and on runs past the line of scrimmage & catches (same thing). But is all's fair with DLs and LBs who are trying to sack the QB?

I did read something like "there's no such thing as clipping within 3 yards of the line of scrimmage" (which makes sense -- on a typical run play, if a DL turns his back to an OL at the line of scrimmage and the OL hits the DL, that should not be a penalty).

But, for example on the 4th and 12 play with 1:29 left -- Gary gets 8 yards up the field, attempting to sack the QB, and an OL clearly blocks him in the back. While that doesn't look right, I'm assuming it's OK because it doesn't seem to get called?

AC1997

November 21st, 2018 at 2:59 PM ^

UFR came at a perfect time for me to kill some lazy afternoon at work.  My thoughts:

  1. I thought I heard that Solomon was a little dinged up and unable to go the full game.  
     
  2. I worry that our DTs will be even more exposed against OSU if Winovich is out.  I hope that Uche can show he's nearly a full-time guy. 
     
  3. I don't get the Gill/Ross thing just like I never got the Bolden/Gedeon thing.  Is there a way to creatively ask about that in a press conference?
     
  4. For some reason, the UFR videos are always misaligned for me.  When Brian refers to a video at the bottom half of the post, it isn't the one he's referring to.  They're shifted by one or something.  Annoying. 

bluepalooza

November 22nd, 2018 at 12:13 PM ^

The only thing I think of with the Gill/Ross thing is rest.  I think it is very obvious that The Don is keeping the snaps down on his players so they can go 100% on every play.  When players start getting tired the YAC and RAC start to add up.  Michigan on defense, substitutes more than any team I have watched all year.  The upside is rest and experience for the non-starters. The down side is that in most cases, the 2nd string is 2nd string for a reason so blown assignments are more likely.

markp

November 21st, 2018 at 2:59 PM ^

Our perceptions are all out of whack after watching most of this season.

That is so true. I find myself getting annoyed at all plays that allow more than 2 yards.

ak47

November 21st, 2018 at 3:28 PM ^

They ok yardage numbers but against good defenses have too many hiccups that prevent points. Against defenses with a pulse our offense put up 10 points against Nd (I don’t count a kickoff return), 20 points against nw, and 21 against MSU.

the only game against a good defense our team has put up more than 20 points is psu. And that was at home, and greatly aided by short fields from the defense. Osu isn’t a good defense so it should be fine this week but our offense hasn’t performed in a way that you expect in order to win a game when the defense has a lapse.

Squash34

November 22nd, 2018 at 12:50 AM ^

ND was week one and they are currently the 3rd ranked defense in the S&p rankings. NW us the 26th ranked defense and it was early in the year when Michigan was just gelling. They spent most the game running their base run plays into a 9 man box, as if the staff was telling the line that "if they can't get these basic plays down the season is over. So get it done."  MSU is the 4th ranked team in the S&p and Michigan wore them down, accumulating the most rushing yards verse them this year. 

OSU is the 38th ranked defense, which is just slightly better than Wisconsin at 40. 

Bottom line, after it started clicking for the offenae they did very well verse the good defenses they have played. 

markp

November 21st, 2018 at 3:30 PM ^

Disagree. The defense is doing quite well by allowing less than 2 TDs per game (13.5 pts), but the offense is no slouch either, scoring over 36 pts (5 TDs and change) on average*.

Average score this year is 36-13 Michigan. Let's take a moment to appreciate how good we have it right now.

*I didn't filter out D/ST scores, but still

Reggie Dunlop

November 21st, 2018 at 3:49 PM ^

We've scored 38 points or more in 7 games this year. That would have to be a catastrophic failure on defense to lose those games. We're 24th in the nation in pure points per game offensively, and that has no adjustment for our pace which is one of the slowest in the nation (which means those points-for are more meaningful).

So basically, what you said is nonsense.