go time for Kemp [Eric Upchurch]

Upon Further Review 2018: Defense vs Maryland Comment Count

Brian October 11th, 2018 at 3:33 PM

image-6_thumb_thumb5_thumb_thumb_thu[1]SPONSOR NOTE: Reminder that Matt is hanging out at the Charity Tailgate at 327 East Hoover (if you were at the preseason MGoEvents this year and last it's the same place). It's right next to the train tracks on Hoover. The band goes right by it on their way to the stadium, which is cool, it supports charity, there's pizza and barbecue and beer, and the GameDay crew might stop by. Say hi.

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: Most notable development was the near-elimination of 3-3-5 snaps: just six, all of them on passing downs. Maryland ran a bunch of stuff from under center to facilitate their jet sweep game, and brought out a lot of pistol diamond formations when Piggy was in.


Nothing worked until real late.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: With Gary absent and Dwumfour exiting in the first half, the DT rotation was mostly Kemp, Mone, and Marshall. Jeter and Myers came in late. At DE, Winovich was his usual omnipresent self until the final two drives. Paye got the bulk of the Gary snaps with about 10 from Hutchinson and 10 more during the backups portion of the game.

At LB, Bush and Hudson nearly omnipresent. Gil and Ross back to splitting about 50/50, with the usual ten or so snaps from Uche and Furbush. Secondary the usual.

[After THE JUMP: a lot of runs that go nowhere]

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Pass 4 PA waggle corner Metellus Inc (Pen +15)
Rollout and a two man route. Bush(+1, pressure +1) flies up on the outside and forces a quick decision; Metellus(+0.5) and Hill(+0.5, cover +2) in the respective hip pockets. Bush(-2) then hit with a borderline PF for hitting the QB. I don’t know if he can really pull off by the time the ball is out. RPS +1, covered both guys and got pressure anyway on rollout.
O40 1 10 Flexbone twins 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Run N/A Jet sweep Hudson 6
Jet with one lead guy. Michigan elects to have the back seven cover it without involving DL. Hudson(-1) gets edged a bit here. He’s got Kinnel offering unblocked support inside of him and isn’t aggressive enough in his effort get outside the lead block. Forces it out after a modest gain so not horrible.
O46 2 4 Ace twins twin TE 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Run N/A Zone stretch Winovich 1
Stretch away from more jet action. Winovich(+1) is left alone and has no jet responsibility; he’s able to track down a very small and quick back. Gil(+1) took on a lead block and helped bend RB away from the LOS, giving Winovich a change of direction to take advantage of. Long lurking and might have a play if he needs to. RPS +2, unblocked crash.
O47 3 3 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Cross Kinnel 18
This takes too long, in part because RT has both hands on top of Paye’s pads and materially holds him. Woof. Refs -2. Pressure -1 even so as pocket is clean. Kinnel(-2, cover -2) gets beat; he’s unable to make a play on the ball or tackle. WR can turn it up for a big chunk.
M35 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Drag screen Bush Inc
This pops wide open because the slot WR hammers Hill at the LOS. Debatably legal since the WR may be behind the LOS, but super close. Bush(+1, pressure +2) times his blitz really well and gets in free, back foot throw is off and the deflection is nearly intercepted. RPS –1, coulda shoulda been big.
M35 2 10 Pistol Diamond 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press two high Run N/A Inverted veer give Gil -3
This looks like a solid give decision with two guys leading it out for the RB but M catches up. Gil(+2) starts moving presnap, gets wider than Bush, and doesn’t lose ground; he’s able to thunk this for an impressive TFL. Kinnel(+1) ran through both blockers and is there to help if necessary.
M38 3 13 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Pass 5 Sack Dwumfour -7
Yooo this kind of looks like both of Dwumfour’s guys leaving him but it’s Dwumfour(+2, pressure +3) hurling the C away. Hudson(+2) also beats his guy to constrict available space and help finish the play.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 9 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O24 1 10 Shotgun 2TE 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Pass 5 Sack Hudson -4
Fake jet, G pull, heavy PA. Kinnel(+1, cover +1) is over the jet guy and as the play develops he drops right into the primary slant read; I’m a little surprised Hill didn’t take the bait. He doesn’t, but that just means Hudson(+2, pressure +2) has ripped around the outside and sacks. RPS +2, this could be an INT if QB doesn't see it.
O20 2 14 Ace twins 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Jet sweep N/A 6
Motion into a tackle over. Jet with the tackle leading out. M is confused. I am confused. This could be Kinnel or Bush or Marshall; Metellus is on the edge against the T and plays it soft; he probably should. RB cuts back inside his blocker and trips. This probably costs them just a couple as Kinnel and Bush were there, if a bit late. Marshall never figures out what’s going on. Uh… this is just six yards. RPS -1.
O26 3 8 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 Exotic Press one high Pass 5 Slot fade JKP Inc
Pocket clean(-1) on a relatively quick throw. It’s last year’s slot fade business targeting JKP, who looks beat by a step but is in push coverage; QB misses.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 3 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
50 1 10 Ace twin TE 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Run N/A Zone stretch Mone 4
Mone(+1) lines up outside of a G and manages to shut down a ton of space here; Paye(-1) takes the jet bait and flares outside, so the cutback is there.
M46 2 6 Ace 3-3-5 Exotic Press two high Run N/A Split zone Winovich 2
Games from M as is necessary when you have a light formation against a heavy one. Winovich(+1) is able to redirect after he loops behind Gil; Gil gets shot out of the hole in a flash. M a bit lucky as Maryland OL doesn’t go to S; Kinnel(+0.5) is able to fill.
M44 3 4 Shotgun trips TE 4-1-6 Exotic Press one high Pass 7 Rollout out Uche Inc
MD covers a TE and M takes advantage by going blitz; M matches the bunch really well, with Hill(+0.5) and Long(+0.5) blanketing guys and the deep dude blanketed(cover +3). Uche(+1, pressure +1) dodges a RB block and pressures; throw is more or less a throwaway. RPS +1, again a rollout had zero open guys because of cover design.
Drive Notes: Punt, 3-7, 14 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Pistol Diamond twins 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Run N/A Zone stretch Ross 15
Ross(-2) reacts to the run fake the other way and runs himself out of position. M has it covered with Hudson, Metellus, and Bush. Ross’s absence make this a bit dangerous. Winovich(+1) is able to rip the LT to the ground and gets in a tackle attempt. He can’t make it; he does bring the RB almost to a stop. Kinnel(-1, tackling -1) has an opportunity to finish this after a modest gain and misses. LBs are split by the blockers and a big play beckons until Paye(+0.5) can run it down. Good pursuit.
O40 1 10 Pistol Diamond TE 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press two high Run N/A Zone read belly Dwumfour 0
Dwumfour(+1) fires directly into the legs of an OL and ends up crawling to the back in the backfield, which dissuades from the play design. Hudson(+1) is able to chuck the TE away and shuts down the cutback lane. RB bounces to the outside; Kinnel(+0.5) makes no mistake after the bend.
O40 2 10 Pistol Diamond TE 4-2-5 4-4 over Press two high Pass 4 Dumpoff Dwumfour 1 (Pen -10)
Point of the diamond flares out presnap; PA with a puller. Kinnel(+1, cover +1) doesn’t buy it and gets over the top of a wheel route and yes maybe you get a little extra credit for covering a wheel. Piggy checks it down. Ross(+0.5) there to force it out. Dwumfour(+1, pressure +1) draws a hold. Kind of looks like he trips but he’d driven straight into the OL’s chest and the guy has an arm wrapped around the back of his jersey, dude was asking for it.
O30 2 20 Flexbone 4-2-5 30 nickel Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Paye 1
Paye(+2) drives a yard in the backfield and comes off his blocker. He’s able to force it to Winovich(+0.5) and Marshall(+0.5); important as Dwumfour(-2) got blown out by a double. Dwumfour exits for game.
O31 3 19 Shotgun 4-wide 4-1-6 Dime even Press two high Pass 4 Drag screen Kinnel 4
Piggy still in. M’s rush is meh(pressure -1) but he doesn’t have the patience and bugs out. Another drag route on which Maryland is straight up blocking the man coverage; Kinnel(+1) comes down to tackle(+1). I guess this is behind the LOS this time. RPS +1, M had this beat.
Drive Notes: Punt, 10-7, 5 min 2nd 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 4-3 even Press one high Run N/A Split zone Kemp 3 (Pen -5)
Kemp(+0.5) and Mone(+0.5) both stand up single blocks and drive a little bit. RB tries to head between them and gets nothing but the pile is able to lurch forward a bit. Illegal formation brings it back.
O35 1 15 Ace twins 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Run N/A Jet sweep Metellus 5
Metellus(-1, tackling -1) in space against RB and whiffs; did at least force it inside of him and likely expose RB to Kinnel. RB falls as a result of his move, saving M 6-8 yards. RPS +1.
O40 2 10 Ace twins 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Penalty N/A False start N/A -5
O35 2 15 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Run N/A Zone stretch Bush 3 (Pen -15)
M exchanges on the frontside. Paye(+1) is able to drive a little and force a bend. Kemp(-0.5) edged but not horrible; Bush(+1) is able to run it down. Paye was facemasked, send it back.
O20 2 30 Ace 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Zone stretch Paye 0
Paye(+1) able to get upfield of the OL and force it back; Marshall(+1) there to tackle after flowing down the line well. MD is doing a ton of jet frippery and just running this same stretch over and over despite it never working.
O20 3 30 Ace 3-2-6 Nickel even Press two high Run N/A Yakety sax Uche -6
MD misses the jet handoff. QB tries to run it himself. Uche(+1) takes advantage, showing some impressive athleticism on the edge.
Drive Notes: Punt, 17-7, 12 min 3rd Q. Johnson dorfs the ensuing kickoff.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O2 1 10 Goal line 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Bush 2
Hutchinson(-1) turned in by a double. He gets sealed away and when Bush(+1) attacks down the middle it looks like he might safety until one of Hutchinson’s guys gets a desperate late shove in that is enough. Ross(+1) scrapes over and lays the wood to the back, standing him up.
O4 2 8 Goal line 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Hutchinson -1
Hutchinson(+2) stands up and rips through the LT. DT stunt put Marshall(+0.5) through and Kemp(+0.5) draws a slightly dubious holding call(refs +1) that the guy did kind of ask for by wrapping his arms around Kemp entirely. The stunt forces the back to test the gap Hutchinson is checking and he responds.
O3 3 9 Goal line 4-2-5 Goal line Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Uche 2
Hutchinson(+0.5) again stalemates the OL; this helps but he doesn’t rip outside when the back goes out there. Uche(+1) took an aggressive upfield tack to start but is able to redirect and tackle with help from the Hutchinson pairing. Bush and Kinnel rallying so this wasn’t likely to get much more than a couple yards further down the field if Uche doesn’t make a play.
Drive Notes: Punt, 20-7, 5 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 4-2-5 4-3 under Press one high Run N/A Jet sweep Metellus 5
Tackle over with an OL pulling into space to lead the jet. Metellus(+1) is the primary defender here and bangs the OL to the ground(!) but in doing so does give up the corner a wee bit. Probably 3-5 yards if he sets the edge because Gil(+0.5) and Winovich(+0.5) both have good pursuit angles. But I can’t minus a guy for this play. RPS -1? M does have a S coming down from ten, eight would be a big difference, and this is a covered slot play.
O30 2 5 Ace twins 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Jet sweep Metellus 14
Same deal other way with much less support. DBs have to take both WRs seriously as they’re both eligible; tackle over gets an OT in space against the S. No LBs this time. Hutchinson(-1) dives in and never redirects out. Gil also lost to the frontside but that might be okay; Hutchinson has Kemp right next to him. Metellus(+1) does about as well as you could expect. He takes on the OL, disconnects when RB commits, and tackles. RPS -2.
O44 1 10 Ace 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Kemp 3
IZ with the OL immediately jetting for the second level, no doubles. Hutchinson(+0.5) and Kemp(+0.5) both do okay, with Hutch dissuading a bounce and Kemp coming off to tackle as the back passes. Hudson(+0.5) reads the play and comes inside a blocker to help stall momentum.
O47 2 7 Ace twins twin TE 4-2-5 4-3 under Press one high Run N/A Zone stretch Hutchinson 1
Kemp(+1) and Hutchinson(+1) both get a little depth on these stretch blocks and win their gaps. Kemp forces it outside. Hutchinson holds his gap; RB hits his blocker and then Hutch can tackle.
O48 3 6 Shotgun twins 4-2-5 ??? Press one high Pass 5 Waggle TE flat Hudson? 19
M tempoed here a bit and it’s tough to tell what happens because of some Conor McGregor business. M looks misaligned on the first frame of football.Three guys are to the boundary, which has one eligible receiver. Bush is the closest guy to the TE in the flat and attacks the QB; WRs run off the DBs to that side and it’s an easy chunk conversion. Let’s extrapolate from the next play, which has Glasgow instead of Hudson(-2).
M33 1 10 Ace twins 4-2-5 4-3 under Press one high Run N/A Zone stretch Kemp 1
Kemp(+1) and Paye(+1) both drive to the backfield and give the RB few choices. Bush(+0.5) able to track and tackle in a place where no one has an angle to him.
M32 2 9 Ace trips 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Pass 5 PA waggle flat Watson 5
MD executes a jet yo-yo that gets Watson(-0.5, cover -1) stuck at FS. He reacts slowly to the action in front of him and allows the flat WR, who is Jacobs, the WR, a decent edge. Metellus(+1) comes up well after being blocked to mitigate the damage.
M27 3 4 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Pass 4 Slant Kinnel 8
Kinnel(-1, cover -1) beat clean. Tackles on catch. Refs(-2) miss a really obvious false start.
M19 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Fade N/A Inc
WR runs hitch, QB throws fade.
M19 2 10 Shotgun twins twin TE 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Kemp 1
Kemp(+1) again drives his man to the backfield and options get bad. Cutback. Marshall(+1) is driving down the line and tackles solo.
M18 3 9 Ace twins 4-2-5 4-3 even Press two high Run N/A Jet sweep Woods 8
Again M overplays the field with just Woods(-1, tackling -1) to the boundary. He misses his tackle despite being unblocked; he does force it back and you’d hope someone could shut it down before this. RPS +1, Woods was unblocked.
M10 4 1 Shotgun trips 5-2-3 Goal line Press zero Penalty N/A False start N/A -5
M15 4 6 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 Exotic Press one high Pass 5 In JKP 12
Kelly-Powell(-1, cover -1) in the slot and beat clean. I get M’s approach here this year but surely 4th and six is the time to force the slot fade instead of the slant; JKP lines up outside. Pocket is getting crushed and must throw; can throw. Pressure +1.
M3 1 G ??? ??? ??? Press zero Run N/A Inside zone? Marshall 0 (Pen +1)
Tempo catches TV off guard. Marshall(+1) plugs the RB for no YAC; can’t tell much else. Sub in neutral zone as M gets tempoed, RPS -1.
M2 1 G Goal line GL Goal line Press zero Run N/A Jet sweep Metellus 1
Jet to Johnson met by Metellus(+2, tackling +1), who stands him up and allows Paye to rally and tackle.
M1 2 G Goal line GL Goal line Press zero Run N/A QB sneak Kemp 0
This really looks like a TD(refs +1) but is not called as such. Kemp(+0.5) and Jeter(+0.5) are the most relevant bits of the front.
M1 3 G Goal line GL Goal line Press zero Run N/A Jet sweep Metellus 1
Metellus in man here but this is really about guessing right; M does not.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 27-14, 11 min 4th Q. Jeter, Kemp, Jones, Hutchinson your DL for next drive.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O251 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Jones 6
MD manages a gap between Jones(-1) and Jeter, who both drive blocking to the backfield but neither gets off to tackle; Jones has the opportunity and Jeter would be in tough to do so. Bush comes round a T and forces the play back to Kemp.
O31 2 4 Shotgun empty twin TE 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Run N/A Inverted veer keep Hutchinson 1
Should be a give as it’s 2 v 2 on the edge and adding in the jet guy looks good. Keep is a mistake. Hutchinson(+0.5) squeezes down and comes through an OL a little bit, which would allow Ross to scrape over the top and tackle if Piggy didn’t try the backside because of this. Jeter(+0.5) and Jones(+0.5) do better about getting off their blocks this time.
O32 3 3 Shotgun 4-wide 4-1-6 Dime even Press two high Pass 4 Flare Bush 7
Bush(-1, cover -1) beat to the corner; he did have to bend around some mess and was in a bad position laterally to start. RPS -1, this was a 5 man box on third and three that didn’t have the two LB setup that would have given Bush a better shot.
O39 1 10 Shotgun empty TE 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Run N/A Inverted veer keep Jeter 6
Jeter(-2) doubled; second guy shoves him to the ground and releases to Ross(-1), who over-pursues the edge guy who is Bush’s responsibility. Jones(+1) dips inside the puller and almost makes up for it but misses an arm tackle. Hudson cleans up.
O45 2 4 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 5 Rollout wheel Ross Inc
Ross(+1, pressure +1) appears to trigger on this rollout and fires upfield. His closing speed is impressive here; he hammers the QB just after the ball is gone. WR is bracketed by Kinnel(+0.5) and Metellus(+0.5, cover +2) and ball is OOB anyway.
O45 3 4 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Pass 5 Drag Watson INT
Heinously illegal(refs +3) as Watson(+4, cover +2) initially loses laterally as the WR breaks inside but grabs the guy around the waist and uses him as a CAR TO DRAFT OFF OF in the most literal rubbin’s racin’ OF ALL TIME. Delightful. Also a pick six.
Drive Notes: Defensive TD, 42-14, 4 min 4th Q. Final drive is beside the point and not charted. The big play is a really good zone read mesh point and Jones getting dusted, FWIW.

Well, that.

Yes, that. Was that.

I guess it's good nobody got out of position.

That is good. A thorough review of the game did not turn up many additional opportunities or Michigan busts. I thought Josh Ross got lost on the weaving 15-yard run McFarland managed; even that required two broken tackles to get the yardage it did. There were a couple of blips on the Maryland touchdown drive. That was it.

Maryland got some yards on edge runs but never enough, consistently enough, to keep them out of third and long, and at that point they were in trouble. Their main gambit was a bunch of shifts and whatnot, jet action on just about every play, and then... handoffs up the middle that Michigan ate up. The first one was almost the only dangerous one and that goes for a yard because Winovich tracks it down from behind:

Almost everything else aside from some jet sweeps was crushed.

To the point where there's not that much to say?

I mean, yeah. I only charted 50 plays and many of those plays were the same thing: a jet paired with run action the other way. There were eight jets, eight inside zone plays, and seven stretch plays, almost all of the latter two off the same under-center jet action. That's half their scanty snaps. The jets usually got a little bit of yardage as Michigan assigned a safety and relied on inside-out help. The zone plays were almost uniformly crushed. Aside from the aforementioned broken tackles the long on the day was 6 and there were zero other plays that could be considered successful.

Here's a

my name is my name which is Murderwolf

chart. Numbers are obviously low due to volume.

Defensive Line

Player + - T Notes
Gary       DNP
Kemp 5 0.5 4.5 Drove single blocking, mucked up many interior runs.
Mone 1.5   1.5 Didn't actually play a ton?
Winovich 4   4 Little opportunity as he was run away from all day.
Paye 5.5 1 4.5 Held up.
Dwumfour 4 2 2 The -2 could have been injury related.
Solomon       DNP
Hutchinson 4.5 2 2.5 Impressive rip move.
Marshall 4   4 Also stood some guys up.
TOTAL 28.5 5.5 23 Jones's +0.5 and Jeter's –1 are not in the total.
Player + - T Notes
Hudson 5.5 3 2.5 Admittedly guessing on a –2.
Glasgow       DNC
Furbush       DNC
Bush 3.5 3 0.5 -2 for for the borderline roughing, otherwise low volume but good.
Gil 3.5   3.5 Couple nice plays, bounce-back.
Ross 1.5 3 -1.5 Lost a couple times.
Uche 3   3 3 nice plays in ~10 snaps.
TOTAL 17 9 8 Blips and bloops only as not much got to them.
Player + - T Notes
Metellus 5 1 4 Did well when asked to come up and tackle.
Kinnel 5.5 4 1.5 Up and down.
Woods   1 -1 Missed tackle.
Hill 1   1 Not targeted, I think.
Long 0.5   0.5 Same.
Watson 4 0.5 3.5 INT.
Kelly-Powell   1 -1 DNP
TOTAL 16 7.5 8.5 Those CB numbers are absurdly low.
Pressure 12 3 +9 everything is tiny
Coverage 11 6 +5 so wee
Tackling 2 3 -1 Could have been worse against the flying smurfs.
RPS 9 7 +2 Canada defanged.

This has happened a few times over the Don Brown era: the numbers get very thin. Winovich is coming off a 21-point outing against Northwestern; here he racks up just four points. The thing to look at is the ratio, then, and Michigan DL did almost nothing wrong all day.

At cornerback, similar except the sheer lack of numbers either way until Watson's INT tells you what kind of day it was for Maryland's outside receivers: they were spectators. The pressure and coverage metrics confirm. Maryland avoided throwing at all costs, and when they did they avoided the cornerbacks at all costs.

So... was anything... bad?

On the rare occasions Maryland was able to sit back in the pocket for more than two seconds, safety coverage did pop up again. Kelly-Powell got some time and gave up an in route. Here Hill has too long in the pocket to expect Michigan's coverage to hold, but it is pretty disappointing when Kinnel can't get a tackle attempt in on the catch:

He's not even lined up in the "no slot fades" position; he's shaded slightly inside the guy on the snap.

In Kinnel's defense, this space talked about using the backside guy on these jet RPOs better after one of many slants over the past month or so. Kinnel did this effectively on Hudson's sack, running under what looked like Hill's primary read:

#23 S to top of screen

That gives Hudson time to get home.

In other safety news, this jet did reach the corner a little but I did not have the heart to ding Metellus for it. Hopefully the reasons for this are obvious:

#14 S to bottom

That's an OL leading it out there as MD goes tackle over with a covered slot; Michigan didn't quite have the recognition they needed there to realize this formation was 90% run. Metellus was generally very good at containing these jets, whether he got a blocker or not.

I seem to remember yelling something profane on a couple plays? Because of WR blocking?

Maryland had a couple of plays that looked like flagrant offensive pass interference but may have been legal if the ensuing throw was to a WR behind the line of scrimmage. This one is borderline:

#24 CB to top in press also WR dragging

That looks like he goes a yard downfield and therefore the flag should come out, but then you're asking a referee to retroactively decide a block that was temporarily legal is now not legal. Not a huge surprise that doesn't get made. This drag screen is increasingly popular—I first saw Colorado running it a couple years ago—and might need a response since it is super effective against man coverage like this. Kinnel did come down and end one after four yards when Maryland tried it on third and forever, so they're aware.

The weakside linebacker battle remains unresolved, yes?

Gil struck back a little in the ongoing WLB competition—naturally just after I'd declared it should be closed. He got one of Michigan's rare TFLs on what was either a lucky break as he tried to flip spots with Bush or spooky play anticipation:

Given the butt-tap he gives Bush I lean towards the former but he didn't lose any ground when running right next to him so that's something. Ross didn't have much to clip but may have one-upped Gil with this late edge rush. This is a ton of ground to cover:

He had a couple plays where he got out of position.

This is not much data relative to previous weeks. Very few plays even got to the linebackers as Maryland decided to single up Michigan's DL and got the ratio in the chart above.



I guess we could talk about various young defensive linemen?

Sure. Kwity Paye's day was fairly quiet. So was Winovich's because this was a game where the DEs were often keeping the edge or chasing from behind; rush opportunities were rare. His best play was this drive and shed:

He was able to do that a couple times when he was singled from the start of the play:

#19 DE to top

That was Maryland's strategy on the ground: leave immediately to go find Bush and hope you can find a way through the line. With limited exceptions, the Terrapins could not. Paye played his part.

Carlo Kemp bounced back from an unimpactful Northwestern game to resume his encouraging play. You'll note in the clip above that Kemp is also controlling his guy about a yard in the backfield. This was consistent.

DT #2 to bottom

Kemp fell off the radar a bit last week and doesn't have a big score this week, but that's largely circumstance. When tested he was consistently making plays like this. A little more evidence that Kemp is a good to very good run defender. Pass rush has been limited to pocket-pushing thus far.

Aidan Hutchinson resumed his rotation status after being limited to one snap against the Wildcats; he looked an awful lot like Winovich on a run near Maryland's goal line. Winovich has been using this push-pull rip with great effectiveness:

#97 DE to top

Hutchinson's having a sufficient number of moments like this to expect that he'll be ready to step in and perform next year.

Mike Dwumfour again flashed the pass rush ability he'd displayed in the last couple games, sending an OL flying before completing the deal with an assist from Hudson:

#50 NT

That was a lot more impressive than it looked at first. I'd assumed that both OL had left as they miscommunicated; not so. Dwumfour chucked the guard out of his way.

Dwumfour did get blown out by a double on a play that Michigan rescued with a nice play from Paye, but he had some positive blips on the ground as well. This is... unconventional but gets the job done:

#50 DT to bottom

FWIW, the play where he got blown out was his last so he may have stopped playing because of his injury. I should probably mention in print that a –2 handed to him last week on the second Northwestern TD should have gone to Marshall.

Michigan obviously needs him back just for depth purposes; he's also rounded into an impact rusher. Donovan Jeter doesn't seem ready just yet after transitioning from DE. His one notable play in his 11 snaps was getting clobbered by a double:

#95 DT to bottom

Michigan did not rotate him in after Dwumfour exited, choosing instead to go with a three-man rotation. Depth is getting worryingly thin. Hopefully Solomon and Dwumfour can come back soon.

Finally, Josh Uche didn't get a ton of time; he did make a couple of plays. One was on a busted jet sweep where the handoff never got made; Uche did track down Hill in space well. The second was dodging an attempted cut block to force a throwaway:

Not bad.

There were holdings!

There were. Dwumfour went over on the first with an OL's arms wrapped around him. It looked like he tripped; the OL was asking for it with his hand positioning. The second one was similar but maybe slightly dubious? Maryland's OL does wrap his arms around Kemp but I can't tell you how many times I've seen similar infractions go uncalled:

#2 DT to top

That looks like he wins more or less fairly and thumps Kemp to the ground. The wrap plus the falling makes it a thing, I guess? I dunno. I thought this on Paye was more of a holding call:

DE #19 to top

That's a speed to power rush that never happens because the OT has both hands on Paye's shoulder pads and is holding on for dear life. Naturally that flag didn't fly.

Long may it last. Shoot every OL who puts his hands outside the shoulders into the sun.

Obligatory "wha happen" about the few things that actually happened?

Maryland's first touchdown drive was a few RPS plays (finally), a third and four conversion on a slant vs Kinnel, a missed tackle by Woods,–who was briefly on the field for some reason—and then Jaylen Kelly-Powell getting beat on an in route on the ensuing fourth and six. The safeties come up a bunch in that list, but two of those plays are against backups and whenever we say anything negative about Michigan safeties we should have a big blinking sign that says OPPONENT HAD LONG OF 20 YARDS BEFORE WALK-ON TIME.

While I've been an apologist for Michigan's (relative) slant weakness this year, I will quibble with Michigan's approach on the fourth and six. Kelly-Powell sets up outside and very soft here.

Surely this is a situation where you'd rather force the fade, which is a tougher throw. The problem with fades versus slants is if you give up a slot fade you've given up 20-30 yards instead of, like, 7. Here that equation doesn't apply.

Is there anything that is the living embodiment of MGoBlog lingo?

I frequently say "rubbin's racin'" when defensive backs get away with being handsy, because a long time ago the Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman NASCAR movie Days of Thunder—it didn't make much more sense at the timewas on constant cable rotation at a point where aimlessly watching movies on TV was a thing I did frequently. Robert Duval—yes, seriously, movies in the 1990s were bizarre—plays the crotchety pit crew chief and utters the "rubbin', son, is racin'" line*. So this is a stock car metaphor.

Never did I expect to see a defensive back literally use the momentum of the man in front of him to catapult past the guy for an interception, ie draft off the man in front. Well, here's Brandon Watson getting in a strategic, massively illegal, and un-flagged yoink in for a pick six:

Nothing will ever be more "rubbin's racin'" than that. Brandon Watson, I salute you.

*[Shut up, Seth, Cruise says "rubbin's racin'," exactly, later in the movie. /shakes fist]


Watson for the above section. Metellus was good against the jets. The DL had no individual star but was collectively dominant.

Maybe not so heroic?


What does it mean for Wisconsin and the future?

Acid test for the DTs. Mone, Marshall, and Kemp have not been impact rushers but they have held the fort against inside runs for the most part. Wisconsin will likely take the same approach Maryland did and focus on getting to the LBs as quickly as possible, giving the DTs one on one matchups they have to win semi-consistently. The outcome here is uncertain. Kemp in particular has done as much as is reasonable to suggest he's a good interior run defender.

Safety coverage remains the spot to attack. Most of Maryland's non-jet damage came when they were able to hit guys in safety coverage. M is rotating in Jaylen Kelly-Powell some on passing downs, apparently because they think he might be better. That has not shown on the field yet.

WLB more up in the air. This round goes to Gil.

Next year's DL should be fine. Paye, Dwumfour, Kemp, and Hutchinson have all been playing pretty well and are in the early stages of their careers were significant steps forward can be expected. Uche may well be a standup WDE option by next year as well. Add in Solomon and find a couple contributors currently redshirting and Michigan should be close to their usual Don Brown standard.

They're organized. No busts. Two weeks straight, I think.


Diagonal Blue

October 11th, 2018 at 4:06 PM ^

Great defensive effort. Safety play is still a huge concern for PSU and OSU games. Dax Hill is starting day 1 next year. Disappointed Kinnel hasn't really improved all that much from last year. 


October 11th, 2018 at 4:37 PM ^

This may be the most informative UFR I've ever read - because until now, I had no clue what "rubbin's racin'" meant.

I figured it was something they talked about at the cool kids table. Knowing that it comes from a mediocre Cruise movie makes me feel much better.


October 11th, 2018 at 8:30 PM ^

That phrase does NOT come from a stupid Tom Cruise movie!  It's been a natural part of stock car racing for 100 years!  Seriously, not from the movie.  

I draw this knowledge from my previous life of being a NASCAR fan with tickets to several races (Charlotte, Martinsville, Richmond, Darlington, and Bristol).


October 11th, 2018 at 4:40 PM ^

The "Rubbin' Racin'" line drives me nuts because you shouldn't break the rules.

That said, I have no idea what you're looking at on that play.  The receiver is at the line of scrimmage, and the ball hasn't been thrown yet.  Contact is legal.  Pass interference only occurs for contact beyond the neutral zone, and the ball must be in the air.  It wouldn't be defensive holding either, by Rule 9-4(e):

Defensive players may ward off or legally block an eligible pass receiver until that player occupies the same yard line as the defender or until the opponent could not possibly block him. Continuous contact is illegal

snarling wolverine

October 11th, 2018 at 7:19 PM ^

The "Rubbin' Racin'" line drives me nuts because you shouldn't break the rules.

But is it fair that the offense can get away with holding constantly, illegally send men downfield on RPOs, get away with picks, and so on?  There's a lot of gray areas in this game. 

At any rate, I agree that this play doesn't look illegal.


October 11th, 2018 at 9:03 PM ^

No, so that should be penalized as well, and I don't want to see Michigan getting away with those either.  Up to the edge of the rule, fine, but I really don't care for the idea that they're going to scheme to break rules constantly.

The correct response to the opposition breaking the rules is not to copy them, but rather to get them enforced.  I have no desire to sink to Staee's level, whether it helps win extra football games or not.


October 11th, 2018 at 5:45 PM ^

Same here. Brian is implying that Watson pulled on him to "catapult" himself. Like you said it looks like contact you tend to see on short routes. I slowed it down to see if there is an obvious loss of momentum that happens when someone gets pulled really hard from behind and i don't see it.


October 11th, 2018 at 5:49 PM ^

Maybe this doesn't hold up on re-watch, but something seemed new to me:

I felt like Michigan was waiting to line up, even *disguising* the way they lined up until Maryland committed to a formation. Almost like the defensive choo-choo formation. Have they done this in the past and I just missed it? 


October 11th, 2018 at 6:19 PM ^

For all of Hokes faults, he did recruit several good players... Watson turned out to be a very good player, probably our best in the secondary, and that is saying alot....

El Jeffe

October 11th, 2018 at 6:33 PM ^

Brian, you often describe the low or high amplitude of the points you award. Have you considered adjusting them for tempo as they do in NBA advanced stats unless you're Mike Wilbon and you think everything should be divided by 48 because that's how many minutes there are in an NBA game?


October 12th, 2018 at 4:58 AM ^

Question.  In the video under "#14 S to bottom," is the slot really covered?  Maybe I'm misunderstanding. He looks a yard and a half off the line.

Just standing there

October 12th, 2018 at 12:32 PM ^

"In other safety news, this jet did reach the corner a little but I did not have the heart to ding Metellus for it"

I'd give him a +1 or at least +.5 on that play.  It would've been a solid play if he'd merely taken out the MD lineman so someone else could make the tackle downfield.  He's giving up nearly 100 pounds and he knocks the guy over and makes the tackle for a reasonable gain on what was set up to be a big play.