Upon Further Review 2018: Defense vs Northwestern Comment Count

Brian October 3rd, 2018 at 4:39 PM

[Bryan Fuller]

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. 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: A couple of tweaks: Michigan pulled a linebacker to go with a true 4-1 dime setup on various passing downs. Paired with that was a shift in personnel on those snaps. Michigan's 4-man line on passing downs was Winovich-Dwumfour-Paye-Gary, with Uche replacing Gary after he went out.

rush d

Uche standing to bottom, Paye tucked inside

They did this a bit last week. Since this seems to be a Thing now I've designated it as "Rush" in the package column, with "Rush N(ickel)" indicating two linebackers behind it and "Rush D(ime)" indicating one.

Northwestern was almost all a standard 3-wide spread setup.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Winovich omnipresent. Gary got about two-thirds of the snaps, exiting late. Paye picked up most of that slack; since he also got in on those rush snaps he was out there maybe half the time. Dwumfour got more DT snaps than anyone else, which was up and down; Kemp, Mone, and Marshall split the rest. For whatever reason Aidan Hutchinson barely got in. I think he had one snap?

At LB, Bush omnipresent. Glasgow and Hudson omnipresent in their respective halves. Ross again got more snaps than Gil but it was closer than last week—and probably closer than it should be at this point. Furbush and Uche got maybe a dozen snaps each, functioning more as pass-rush DEs than linebackers.

Secondary was the usual, with injuries knocking the starting safeties out here and there. Brad Hawkins got a fair amount of time. I think Woods might have got a snap or two.

[After the JUMP: a lot and then not much]

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O44 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 PA slant Long 7
PA, not an RPO, as the OL aren’t moving downfield. A G has a fairly convincing impression of one; LBs suck up. This clears the decks for slants. Kinnel probably beat but not tested. Long(-0.5) only able to tackle on the catch. Gil(-1, cover -1) got lost and never read pass, I bet he’s supposed to buzz these.
M49 2 3 Shotgun 3-wide H 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Run N/A Scramble Gary -1
Zone read, pull, trying to hit the TE on a flare screen that looks pretty good to me. Thorson doesn’t throw it, I guess because Kemp(+0.5) is dissuading it after looping around on a stunt. Gary(+1) is able to get out and tackle Thorson for a loss despite having his jersey yanked twice(refs -1).
50 3 4 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 Nickel over Press one high Pass 5 Flare Gil 9
Bush(+1, pressure +2) gets a free run up the middle and forces a hot read. That’s a simple flare in the flat that Gil(-2, cover -2) is beat badly on, out-athlete’d. He’s not even picked. You’d really want this to be a punt.
M41 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide H 3-3-5 3-3 weak stack Press two high Run N/A Zone stretch Glasgow 4
Leftmost DL is Gary shaded outside a guard as M runs something weird, which never seems to work out on run downs. LB twist to fill in the blanks is picked up, seems fairly predictable. Glasgow(-1) is free as the slot goes for a jet fake and sets up deeper, backing off and losing any momentum. When he redirects to tackle he’s catching the back a couple yards downfield. Brown often converts vipers who get motion away from them into blitzers, wonder if this is a missed assignment.
M37 2 6 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Pass 4 Tunnel screen Kinnel 36
I thought this was Kinnel but now I think it’s both him and Gil(-2). Gil starts flowing out and then stops, seemingly trying to dart back inside of the OL. He then redirects back out but gets cut off. Kinnel(-1) is filling pretty hard and is assuming Gil is going to force it back. If he had this might be third and short. Instead he ends up right up Gil’s back and the WR can break it big. Hill(-1, tackling -1) misses a tough tackle attempt. Metellus(-1) read this and tried to blow it up in the backfield; he didn’t succeed but did use up a blocker and almost got the guy; a jersey yank isn’t enough.
M1 1 G Goal line GL Goal line Press zero Run N/A QB sneak N/A 1
They get it. Michigan had a gap right between a C and a G.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 0-7, 10 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O36 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even Press two high Run N/A Pin and pull Winovich 2
Winovich(+1) drives his guy back and cuts off a puller, allowing Bush(+0.5) to flow free down the line. RB wisely decides to cut back. He can because Dwumfour(-1) got washed upfield. Marshall(+0.5) flows well and cuts down the space; Glasgow(+1) sheds a blocker expecting an outside run to tackle after a modest gain.
O38 2 8 Shotgun trips bunch 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Out Metellus 15
Metellus(-2, cover -2) beat on the top of the route by this out. Coverage is pretty poor here as this throw is suboptimal and still gets no contest. He’s beat by alignment, mostly, as he’s inside on the snap and he does have a safety he can funnel to. Pocket comfortable(pressure -2).
M47 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Dumpoff Gary 9 + 15 pen
Gary(-2) gets a hands to the face call as he tries to go speed to power. He does flush the QB up in the pocket, where Dwumfour is able to contain; Kinnel(-1, cover -1) gets lost on Nagel after he stops his route.
M23 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Pin and pull Glasgow 1
M slants away and shoves the LBs over. Glasgow(+1) sets the edge and gets off it quickly; back delays as he sees Ross(+0.5) and Bush(+0.5) scrape over and keep square; he then gets what he can. RPS +1. Free hitter relevant.
M22 2 9 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Pass 4 Slant Kinnel 8
Kinnel(+0.5, cover +1) in on this one, getting a rake in and requiring a perfect pass. Executed.
M14 3 1 Goal line 4-2-5 4-4 over Press zero Run N/A QB sneak N/A 3
Nobody on the C except Bush, and that goes like you’d think. Bah. RPS -1.
M11 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press two high Run N/A Pin and pull Mone 0
M catches a bit of a break as Mone(+1) just gets run by. He flows well and tackles. Gary(+1) got in the running lane and stood up a puller to create a slight delay that allowed Mone to finish the deal.
M11 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-1-6 Dime over Press two high Pass 4 Cross Glasgow 3 (Pen -15)
Mesh from NW on which one WR gets too aggressive and blocks Glasgow(+1, cover +1) downfield. He’s able to keep his feet and tackle despite this to hold it down; flag thrown. Pressure(-1) a bit late but three guys break through here to force a throw after the mesh develops.
M26 2 25 Shotgun 3-wide H 4-1-6 Dime even Press two high Run N/A Off tackle Winovich -4
I don’t know what this is supposed to be for NW. RB comes across the QB and heads outside but this doesn’t seem like bash. Winovich(+2) doesn’t get 3 here because the OT oles him because he missed a read or someone else screwed up; he’s direct to backfield and makes it count. Dwumfour(+0.5) stood his man up and controlled him; this probably wasn’t going anywhere.
M30 2 29 Shotgun 4-wide 4-1-6 Dime even Press two high Pass 4 Drag Glasgow 3
Glasgow(+1, cover +1) able to tackle immediately on a drag route. Forced throw as Winovich(+1) dove inside and a desperate tackle goes with him; he bowls over that guy and a running back, leaving Paye(+0.5, pressure+2) a free run around the corner.
Drive Notes: FG(45), 0-10, 4 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O48 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Pass 4 In Hill Inc
Hill(+2, cover +2) dominates the route and gets a PBU. Some rubbin’.
O48 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Run N/A Split zone Winovich 3
Winovich(+2) stacks and sheds the LT with a Glasgow rip and then shuts down the back. Back still gets a little yardage as Kemp(-0.5) and Mone(-0.5) both get driven a bit.
O49 3 7 Shotgun trips 4-1-6 Dime even Press two high Pass 4 Dig Kinnel 11
Pretty frustrating here as Kinnel(-2, cover -1) is sitting to the interior here, clearly looking to snipe in-breaking routes at the sticks. He gets an in-breaking route at the sticks, and loses. He’s able to tackle on the catch but Brown had this set up. RPS +1. Dwumfour(+0.5) able to dodge a block on a stunt to force a throw on a pressure push.
M40 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel under Press one high Pass N/A Slant Metellus 9
Sometimes the offense wins. Here Thorson puts a slant low and way and Nagel digs it out with a diving catch. Metellus in push position and has a play on some balls. Not this one.
M31 2 1 Shotgun 3-wide H 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press two high Run N/A Split zone N/A 9
Gah, you’ve got a three man line with Dwumfour at NT and you’re blitzing two LBs behind him, and you tip it, and they get picked up easily and blown out. Three man lines as a run defense are not happening. Glasgow gets blown out as Furbush hangs out over the slot? WTF? RPS –2.
M22 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 under Press one high Run N/A Zone stretch Winovich 0
Winovich(+2) drives the LT back straight upfield so far that the back decides he has to awkwardly cut back inside of this. Then he disconnects to tackle. Gil(+0.5) is able to come under a block that no longer has an angle to help finish. Torn about Dwumfour(+0.5) here. He drives his guy a fair ways before going to a knee. That does enough to force the back into Winovich, so here’s a cookie. Half a cookie.
M22 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-1-6 Dime over Press two high Pass 4 Angle Glasgow Inc
Winovich(+1, pressure +1) around the corner and into the back of QB’s legs. Throw does get out. Glasgow(+1, cover +1) does an impressive job to redirect and get back after the TE sells him on an out route and then breaks back inside. Resulting window is close to nonexistent.
M22 3 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-1-6 Dime over Press one high Pass 4 Fade Long Inc (Pen +15)
Option A appears to be mesh with two guys trying to pick a gent in man coverage; M anticipates and slides Kinnel over it. Plan B is YOLO. Long(-2, cover -2) disappointingly beat over the top by their big slow WR and commits an obvious PI. Rough. Pressure -1, pocket comfortable.
M7 1 G Wildcat twin TE Rush D 4-3 under Press zero Run N/A QB power Dwumfour 4
Michigan’s lineup here is baffling. They’ve got a dime package with Paye at DT after a penalty. NW lines up a slot WR at QB and runs, pulling playside G and C. Dwumfour(-1) locked out by a single block. Bush(-2) probably has an MA here as he slides to the backside to contain as Metellus does the same. Winovich sheds again but is only holding the edge. Glasgow buries himself in one puller but too much space to shut down. Paye(+1) managed to flow down the line and prevents the TD. RPS -1, what is this lineup?
M3 2 G Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 under Press zero Run N/A Inside zone Dwumfour 3
Dwumfour(-2) blasted out by a double and Gary can’t shut the space down.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 0-17, 13 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 under Press two high Run N/A Split zone Gary 3
Gary(+1) rips away an OT and fires upfield when the RB tries to bounce his way. Can’t seal the corner entirely but forces a bend that allows Metellus(+0.5) to rally and tackle. Winovich(+1) forced the bounce by running around the H back pulling to him on the split.
O28 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Pass 5 Scramble Kemp 6
Metellus hurt on last play, Hawkins in. Mesh from NW again. Ross(+1, cover +1) blasts the TE trying to cut across the field and causes a Thorson pump and scramble. M sends Bush, who gets picked up. Gary(+1, pressure +1) goes speed to power and flushes after the pump. Kemp(-2, pressure –2) has not looped around Dwumfour to fill this interior gap. Thorson can escape the pocket; Ross knocks him out.
O34 3 1 Wildcat twin TE 4-2-5 Exotic Press one high Run N/A Down G Glasgow 4
Frontside G and backside T pull. Gary does fairly well to shed his guy but he’s a yard off the LOS on the snap; dunno why. Glasgow(-0.5) in tough as a little guy against TEs and cedes ground; Kinnel(+0.5) holds the edge and then comes back to tackle with Gary.
O38 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Pass 5 Throwaway Ross Inc
Ross(+1, pressure +1) fires hard and nearly splits two OL, as they’re busy trying to pick up a DT twist. He clears the path for Marshall(+1), who takes an efficient route to the QB; Hill(+0.5) and Long(+0.5, cover +2) are in the pocket of their guys and dissuade a throw. Thorson chucks it OOB.
O38 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Run N/A Off tackle Winovich -3
Winovich(+3) off the line so fast that he blows between two NW OL and solo TFLs. Dang. RPS +1, this was an exchange that worked.
O35 3 13 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 Exotic Press one high Pass 4 Slot fade Hill Inc (Pen +10)
Guh. Hill(-2, cover -2) is set up outside and grabs Nagel as he breaks out. He’s not even in bad position really, he just freaks out. I don’t know what happened to last year’s Hill in this department.
O45 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 under Press one high Pass 4 Slant Hill Inc
Hill(+0.5) does force the WR to break his route a little flatter than you’d want. Thorson misses; Bush(+0.5) buzzing under this was probably going to light the guy up for 4-5 yards anyway. Cover +1.
O45 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Winovich 3
No read here so Winovich(+1) can tear ass after the back. He duly does so. Mone(-0.5) gets a play long double and cedes ground that allows a modest gain. RPS+1.
O48 3 7 Shotgun 3-wide 3-2-6 Dime under Press two high Pass 4 Sack Paye -12
M zones this and covers(+3) everything. If this isn’t a sack sack it’s a coverage sack. It’s mostly a sack sack. Dwumfour(+1) surges up the middle and goes down in a heap, possibly held but threatening all the same. Winovich(+1) drives the LT to the QB and flushes; Thorson rolls past this just in time for Paye(+1, pressure +3) to clobber him.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-17, 5 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O5 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Gary 3
Gary(+1) drives down the line and reaches the back; back can fall forward because Kemp got moved a bit by a double. Not enough to provide a real crease, but enough for a few yards. Push. Mone(+1) drove his double a yard in the backfield, forcing the cutback.
O8 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 under Press one high Run N/A Split zone Winovich 3
Winovich(+2) rips through the LT, facemask gets grabbed but no call. It was pretty quick. He rips around to tackle. Back can again squeeze out some yards as Mone(-0.5) and Kemp(-0.5) get doubled to heck and back. If they’re going to do this it’s tough to stop them from gaining meh yardage unless you’re in short yardage and selling out. Bush(+0.5) came up to hit and help out on the tackle.
O11 3 4 Shotgun 3-wide Rush N 4-3 even Press one high Run N/A Outside zone Bush 3
Stretch. Not sure how I feel about Dwumfour, who does get turned in by the LG. Well, he discards the guy to the interior. Outside gap there. Winovich(+0.5) comes off his kickout block to dissuade; Kinnel(+0.5) flows up hard to the outside; Bush(+1) beats a blocker to get to the sideline as well. Winovich gave up the edge but needed to, and the inside-out cut of the back gave his back seven time to rally.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-17, 2 min 2nd Q. Really conservative. NW gets the ball back with 49 seconds left and runs a drag to run out the clock.
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 Run N/A Inside zone Mone 3
Bush(+1) rolls up over the C and blitzes. Picked up. He penetrates and cuts off the front. Cutback. Mone(+1) has started to get washed down the line but keeps his head up and gets back to the RB to tackle at the LOS. Ross(+0.5) helps shut down the guy’s forward momentum. Winovich(-1) too aggressive upfield and mostly responsible for the big gap.
O28 2 7 Shotgun empty 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Slant Kinnel 14
Kinnel(-0.5, cover +1) provides a tiny window and Thorson hits it. Metellus(-1, tackling -1) comes up for a big hit and doesn’t wrap up; both those guys miss a tackle and Hudson has to clean up after they give up 5-6 more.
O42 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Run N/A Zone read keeper Kemp -2
M stunts on the backside here. Gary plunges down, pull. Kemp(+1) loops around and contains. NW has attached a third option bubble but Metellus(+0.5) is in press man and takes it away. RPS +2. Zero blocks had to be beaten.
O40 2 12 Shotgun 3-wide Rush N Nickel even Press two high Run N/A Zone stretch Dwumfour 9
Dwumfour(-2) shoots straight upfield, allowing OL directly to Bush. He doesn’t get over to close the gap; Paye(+0.5) gets a double and actually gets one guy back; he gets widened by does not allow second level block. Tough for Bush in a lot of space with a blocker; have to rely on cavalry to assemble.
O49 3 3 Shotgun 3-wide tight 4-2-5 4-4 even Press zero Pass 6 Sack Winovich -8
WInovich(+1, pressure +3, RPS +2) gets a free sack.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-17, 12 min 3rd Q.
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 Slant Kinnel 8
M has a switch on here on slant action with Kinnel(-1, cover -1) supposed to come under it as Metellus bails out deeper once he sees the slant action. Kinnel takes a bad path and lines up too far away from the trips side to get there. He can only hit on the catch. RPS +1, this should have been a PBU or even an INT.
O33 2 2 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Run N/A Split zone Dwumfour 4
Another switch on the backside; Gary(+0.5) drives his guy down the line to close the gap the loop leaves. Dwumfour(-0.5) gets doubled and gives ground to create a lane. Bush is expecting him to hold and fires to the other side; Hudson is tracking the TE in man coverage. Winovich(+0.5) is able to shed and get there as the back hit one of Dwumfour’s guys.
O37 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Pass 5 Fade Watson Inc
Watson(-0.5) is jamming and then a head fake gets his momentum going one way; he’s beat momentarily. He’s able to catch up but the WR is inside of him and can box out; ball is off. Winovich(+0.5, pressure +1) coming through to force a throw.
O37 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 Exotic Press two high Run N/A Zone stretch Marshall 3
Three man DL shifted way weak, and then Bush blitzes over there too. M very lucky to not get gashed here. Winovich(+1), your NT type substance, is able to get over his guy and force a cutback away from a bunch of small guys getting blocked by big guys. Marshall(+1) covers a lot of ground to finish it after a minimal gain.
M40 3 7 Shotgun trips Rush D Nickel even Press two high Pass 4 Sack Dwumfour -7
Sans Gary this lineup is Uche, Paye, Dwumfour, Winovich. Dwumfour(+3, pressure +3) wins to the outside of the LG and sacks. Uche(+1) got around at eight as well, helping constrict space.
Drive Notes: Punt, 10-17, 5 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 4-3 even Press two high Pass 4 Rollout hitch Watson 9
PA, rollout, M’s defense has no edge. Wheel/post combo from NW on the edge; Watson switches it and starts running with it; can’t recover when WR stops. Kind of think this is Hudson(-1, cover -1) more than Watson; he does not have run responsibility here and ends up wandering around at about four yards before trying to get some depth. He needs to dissuade this, not Watson.
O34 2 1 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel under Press one high Run N/A Split zone Dwumfour 2
Same swap on the backside; Dwumfour(+1) does better with the double. He’s able to shed one guy and catch the back at about a yard. First down, fine, M’s not really trying to jam it up.
O36 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Pass 4 TE out Bush Inc
Quick throw against zone; Bush(+2, cover +2) immediately looks up the TE and PBUs. This zone covers(+1) everyone else too; first option appears to be a slant that is not a good idea. RPS +1.
O36 2 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 Exotic Press two high Pass 4 TE in Ross Inc
Another quick hitter as NW tries to dink and dunk the zone. Ross(+2, cover +2) hammers the TE as the ball arrives and jars it loose.
O36 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide Rush N Nickel even Press two high Pass 4 Slant Long Inc
Long(+1, cover +1) in tight coverage here and forces a PBU; uhhhh could have been PI(refs +2). Long is fine until the WR turns away from him and he’s still grabbing that shoulder. Iffy risk to take when you can just tackle him after five yards. Results based charting.
Drive Notes: Punt, 13-17, 13 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O28 1 10 Shotgun trips TE bunch 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Zone read belly Paye 3
Marshall(-1) washed down the line big time; Paye(+1) does well to shut this down before this is a chunk play; he tackles at the LOS, which is like dang.
O31 2 7 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Pass 4 Slant Metellus Inc
Another throw low and away from the DB; this time it’s too low and away. Metellus in push coverage, annoying but not dominating.
O31 3 7 Shotgun 3-wide 4-1-6 Dime even Press two high Pass 4 Sack Uche -1
Max pro by NW; M communicates on some motion and covers(+2) both field-side WRs. Thorson has a clean pocket and bugs out. Uche(+1) is able to bring him down as he tries to escape. Pressure push, no gaps.
Drive Notes: Punt, 13-17, 10 min 4th Q. M goes ahead on their next drive. NW takes over down 3 with 4 minutes left.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Pass 5 Improv Watson Inc
Thorson bugs out again as Furbush(+0.5) threatens; he’s able to step up and throw but Paye(+1, pressure +1) is there to hit him as he moves up. Watson(+1, cover +1) is moving up on the targeted WR and nearly INTs. Bad throw though.
O25 2 10 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Fade Long Inc
Kemp(+1, pressure +1) gets up the gut; throw is a fade at Long(+0.5) and inaccurate. Long seemed to be in good position.
O25 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-1-6 Dime even Press two high Pass 4 Sack Dwumfour -10
Dwumfour(+2) swims through two guys and gets quick pressure up the gut. Thorson can roll out. Uche wasn’t coming around the corner hard, instead keeping pocket integrity. Paye(+1) is able to track and finish the play. Pressure +3. Watson(+1, cover +1) had the panic option well covered, preventing a throw even in a desperate situation.
Drive Notes: Punt, 20-17, 3 min 4th Q. NW gets it back with 34 seconds left.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O15 1 10 Shotgun trips Rush D Dime even Press two high Pass 4 Drag Hawkins 10
Winovich(+2, pressure +2) around the corner at 8 and into the legs of the QB. Must throw, throws, drag. Hawkins(-2, over -2) is two steps slow and can’t tackle until the guy gets OOB after a first down.
O25 1 10 Shotgun trips Rush D Dime even Press two high Pass 4 Hitch Hudson 9
Hudson(+0.5, cover +1) there to tackle immediately, clock runs. Pocket(pressure -1) okay. NW clocks it, skip to third down.
O34 3 1 Shotgun trips Rush D Dime over Press two high Pass 4 Improv N/A 15
Coverage(+2) good despite two S playing in the parking lot. Pressure (-2) not. Thorson rolls out after timer goes off and finds a WR for a chunk. Winovich held pretty blatantly (refs -2) to facilitate. Another clock.
O49 2 10 Shotgun trips 3-1-7 3-1 quarter Prevent Pass 3 Sack Uche -5
Uche(+3, pressure +3) with the perfect edge rush to prevent a Hail Mary.
Drive Notes: EOG, 20-17.



Actually I'm fine now.

Ah, I see. Bolded Alter Ego Per Half.

So what was the deal with Northwestern scoring buckets and then doing nothing?

You got me.

Is this going to be a shorter post than usual then?

Uh. What I mean is: there wasn't anything that jumped out as a problem that got fixed or a clever thing Northwestern was doing. Well, one thing. Michigan's start on special teams and offense set Northwestern up with short fields. Their first three drives started on their 44, 36, and 48.

Other than that, the first drive was a couple of bad Devin Gil biffs. Michigan gets a free rusher to the QB on third and four but Gil is flat-footed and gets beat for nine yards despite not getting a rub:

That is super frustrating. Swap Gil and Bush on this play and there's no way this happens, and indeed Michigan seemed to think the same thing. Bush was relatively quiet in this game because Michigan stuck him on the back and let their DL go to work in the pass rush. He was often offscreen as Thorson got sacked.

A couple plays later I think it's Gil that bears the most responsibility for the tunnel screen breaking big. At first I thought it was Kinnel, but I hadn't seen Gil hesitate as he takes on a blocker here. Gil starts this play running for the sideline, fighting to get over the OL releasing to him, and then he changes his mind:

LB #36 to top

Kinnel is coming up hard expecting that Gil will force it back to him, and then suddenly Gil is on the same side of the blocker as he is. That turns third and short or maybe a first down into basically a touchdown. (Also note that Bush has been put on RB duty.)

I'm pretty sure that Gil only got one more drive the rest of the game.

I am curious about the disposition of the second drive.

The second drive was

  • an out on which Metellus gets beat clean, seemingly because he aligns way inside despite having safety help,
  • a dumpoff on which Kinnel gets lost followed by a Gary hands to the face penalty, and
  • a slant that Thorson hits perfectly.

Then they get stuffed on first down, commit an OPI on second down, and it's academic from there.

And the third?

Drive three is a third and seven conversion on which Michigan brackets the primary receiver and Kinnel gets beat anyway. This probably made Don Brown hopping mad:

That's the thing the defense is designed to prevent. Kinnel is set up to PBU or INT this and still gets beat across his face. What else can you do if you're Brown? Recruit Daxton Hill, I guess.

The rest:

  • Metellus is in coverage on an un-coverable slant low and away.
  • Michigan aligns in a 3-3-5 on second and one and gets two LBs blown out; they tip a Glasgow blitz and send Furbush into coverage.
  • David Long commits obvious PI on third and ten.
  • Dwumfour is not a good run defender once Northwestern gets inside the ten.

There does seem to be a theme here.

Yes, attack Michigan's man coverage at weak spots like WLB and safety. The slants are open because Michigan is setting up outside whenever they get slot receivers versus safeties; last year they'd line up head on. That exposed them to the dreaded slot fade. This exposes them to a bunch of slants that gain 7-9 yards.


And Michigan's corners are prone to getting beat and then getting grabby in a way they were not last year. Set aside the SMU game, which had a bunch of penalties I'm not mad about because the DBs won their assignments and got ticky-tack calls. Michigan's had 4-5 incidents like Long's penalty mentioned above, which was indisputable. There was another third and long conversion in this game when Lavert Hill panicked and grabbed Flynn Nagel when he broke outside. Hill can turn and run with Flynn Nagel. If Northwestern hits that, fine. Don't give it to them for free.

These are CBs getting beat and panic-interfering, not the usual level of rubbin' being racin'. The flags that come out from time to time when you do that are the symptom of a good defense. Grabby must-calls are not. Neither is rubbin' when its third and ten and they're trying to slant you. This was a refs +2 because Long could easily have drawn a flag for never letting go of the WR's shoulder:

The risk-reward there is off. Dude is going to be three yards short if you tackle on the catch. Someone get Mike Zordich in front of a mic at a rap battle.

Dwumfour was a bad run defender? Wasn't he a Known Friend this week?

Uh... yeah. First, a

i've lurked in your heart waiting for a way out; you kept the door closed, vigilant, for so long; all men falter


Defensive Line

Player + - T Notes
Gary 5.5 2 3.5 The usual ground excellence, only neg the penalty.
Kemp 2.5 3 -0.5 Quiet day with few snaps.
Mone 3 1.5 1.5 Lot of play long doubles he either held up against or didn't quite for half-points either way.
Winovich 22.5 1 21.5 Deservedly leads nation in TFLs. Dominant.
Paye 6   6 Coped as DT, cleaned up rushes well.
Dwumfour 8.5 6.5 2 What we have here is a Live Wire. A Loose Cannon.
Solomon       DNP
Hutchinson       One snap.
Marshall 2.5 1 1.5 JAG, which is fine as a backup.
TOTAL 50.5 15 35.5 Winovich sucked up all the oxygen.
Player + - T Notes
Hudson 0.5 1 -0.5 Didn't get kicked out.
Glasgow 5 1.5 3.5 Nice run stuffs, two good coverage instances.
Furbush 0.5   0.5  
Bush 7 2 5 Devin Bush is so good people complain about a lack of impact after +5.
Gil 0.5 5 -4.5 First TD drive mostly him IMO.
Ross 5   5 Let's just go with him.
Uche 5   5 These points might be better filed as DL.
TOTAL 23.5 8.5 15 We have a starting WLB? I mean, surely?
Player + - T Notes
Metellus 1 4 -3 Got beat clean for 15 yards on poor ball.
Kinnel 1.5 5.5 -4 Various issues.
Hawkins   2 -2 Beat on drag, no tackle, on final drive.
Hill 3 2 1 The holding call; otherwise v. good.
Long 2 2.5 -0.5 PI was obvious, could have had another.
Watson 2 0.5 1.5  
Thomas       DNP
TOTAL 9.5 16.5 -7 Coverage number makes up for this somewhat.
Pressure 27 8 +19 Slow start, emphatic finish.
Coverage 27 15 +12 Slow start, emphatic finish.
Tackling   2 -2 Fine.
RPS 10 4 +6 NW didn't really have anything creative.

A pretty bleah day for the safeties and Gil but otherwise what you'd expect from established players, with a side of bonus young contributors chipping in.

That Dwumfour number is not too encouraging. But the sacks?

The things that Dwumfour did that were obvious live are still very good things. He was the primary driver on three of Michigan's sacks. On the first he drives eight yards into the pocket through most of a double team:

Thorson cannot step up; he has to roll and is thus exposed to Paye, who flashes serious acceleration to end the play. His other two sack-creating incidents were even more clearly his deal. One is his all the way, a +3 solo sack:

And the other saw him break through clean, again flushing Thorson into the waiting arms of Paye (eventually):

That is lot of impact from a DT. Mone and Kemp do not have that in their toolbox, and with Gary down Michigan needed some extra pass rush oomph.

But Northwestern blew him up on the ground. A lot. Dwumfour is in sophomore Hurst mode where he goes straight upfield no matter the occasion, so various stretch plays saw him end up sealed away. Various down blocks blasted him out of the hole.

DT #50 to top

This happened a lot. On most side to side action, Dwumfour was gone. He goes vertically on this stretch play and the gap is right in front of him; Bush is meanwhile dealing with a guy he didn't delay at all:

DT #50 to top

He also had trouble holding up to doubles; Northwestern's second TD was a walk-in that cut right behind Dwumfour:

He is an outright bad run defender right now who caused 3 sacks to happen.

So why did he play more than anyone else?

Well, he did cause three sacks to happen. And the other DTs weren't impactful either way. I guess Michigan would rather be swingy than have some average guys doing average things. That's a very Don Brown attitude and likely the reason that Dwumfour got so much offseason hype: he was making a ton of flash plays and nobody noticed the bad ones, because offseason.

Got dang, Chase Winovich.

Winovich turned in an elite game, a Mo-Hurst level performance where he was ripping through someone on just about every play. His biggest impact was probably on the ground. He was able to jet through gaps the OL didn't expect him to test and get to the backfield for solo TFLs, twice:

the viking

Those are big plays one way or the other once Winovich shoots the gap. He was the winner on both.

When actually drawing blocks and not shooting gaps he was about as effective. Several times in the game he pulled the Ryan Glasgow grip 'n' rip, leaving his blocker on the ground while he went to go eat:

#15 DE to bottom, also viking

#15 DE to top


And he was able to drive and disengage on stretch plays:

#15 DE to top

That's the whole menu for a DE on the ground, and he was a major driver of Michigan's pressure even though the sack he got was a freebie a busted line call gave him. He is tracking towards AA status.


No, cut that out. They did get better. Northwestern was 4/7 for 5.6 YPA when throwing slants; just a couple incompletions takes a slant from a good play to a bad one. It is true that Long and Hill were primary cover guys on two of the incompletions and Thorson was 4/5 against safety-covered slants, but even these were covered much better than they had been in previous weeks. This is the sort of coverage I give a +0.5 for because you're asking for a perfect throw and tough catch:

That level of coverage will make slants a bad option if it continues.

Brown is also mixing in some specific slant-combatting mix-ups. This ended up a completion but if Kinnel plays this more aggressively he's in PBU or INT territory:

Despite the hit there that was a –1 for him and an RPS +1 because he has no threats and should be buzzing the slant immediately. Note that Metellus is bailing out deep as he swaps with Kinnel once the WR breaks inside. If Michigan can polish that up they're going to get some pick-six opportunities.

Michigan also forced some action elsewhere by mixing in zone looks, and not always from two high coverage:

NW WRs to bottom running slants

I should probably start distinguishing between man and zone specifically in the chart, though that gets complicated since matching zone and switching man to man converge into each other. Anyway, on this play Michigan blankets every NW WR; the look at Bush's guy is Thorson's best option and still ends up in a no-chance PBU.

The next play was the jaw-rattling Ross PBU; that too is zone against slants, albeit this time from the two-high look that generally tips zone for M:

About a third of Michigan's snaps were from two high; with some extra zone in there this might have been another 60-40 man-zone ratio. It's getting mixed up.

If the slants were fine why did both safeties come in negative?

Slightly negative, I should point out, and with a +12 coverage score that probably brings them back up to average-ish. They didn't have bad days—teams that get bad days from two safeties give up more than 17 points.  Northwestern had one play of more than 15 yards, which was the screen. The safeties are humans who happen to be near Devin Bush.

They did have meh days. Kinnel's minuses were on the tunnel screen and in-cut at the beginning of the embed section and the slant issue right above; Metellus's ding was for a 15-yard out that he seemed to line up way too far inside on and could not recover on despite a bad throw.

So, uh... that's a rather large Gil/Ross discrepancy.

It is. Gil's day is encapsulated above: two real bad plays on the first drive and then one other drive. The snap gulf between Gil and Ross would have been larger if Michigan didn't play a bunch of second-half dime snaps. That prevented the snap ratio from going to 3:1 Ross; it was already 2:1.

And Ross did well with his time. Ross forcibly separated the ball from a tight end, had a couple other good coverage incidents, and flashed the ability to blitz effectively. Here he's able to clear a path for Marshall and force a throwaway:

#12 LB to bottom, also #93 DT to top

He's the starter by snaps if not by actual starts; probably time to make it official.

Is there anything you don't like about our shining mustache of a defensive coordinator.

Uh... yes? Please don't shower me in badges and guns.

I love Don Brown like any sane human but I do wish he'd cut out his occasional forays into goofy standard-down defenses. This is second and one; Michigan deploys a 3-3-5 and uses Glasgow, not Furbush, as a blitzer to fill in the gaps. This might work if you fool Northwestern, but Michigan's shows a blitz presnap and runs it and it gets picked up; from there it's an easy nine yards:

I resign myself to a gash when Michigan pulls out their 3-3-5 on a running down. It's not delivering guys to the backfield like it has to if it's going to survive.

On the other hand, Michigan used a backside stunt to good effect several times. Gary moves down on the back here, inducing a keep; Kemp pops up to contain the QB. In this particular instance there's a bubble attached, but that's covered:

Zero blocks had to be beat there for a TFL, and that's the definition of an RPS plus. Northwestern had basically nothing in the RPS department except the occasional times when Michigan would put out Kwity Paye and a baby vole as DTs on run downs.

Glasgow-check in?

For the second straight week Jordan Glasgow was mostly notable when he was doing something well. When tested in coverage he was there for quick tackles and able to recover surprisingly well when beat:

Northwestern's TE was pretty ponderous. That's still an eye opener; Glasgow clearly bites on the outside action and is still able to winnow the throwing window down to a slit.

He set the edge on a couple times and was occasionally able to rip through blocks. This stretch play has a threatening cutback he shuts down by ripping away a WR:

#29 OLB to bottom

Reminiscent of the fake punt stop. Glasgow's got his head up; he feels the pressure coming and gets his hands locked on his blocker; when it is appropriate he uses them to chuck the guy away.

Anything to say about Uche?

Uh, this was good.

As Gus Johnson said, "wow!"

This is not detailed.

No. Wow!


I thought you might ask that.

I'm not BWI!

No, but sometimes you have to wonder. Here Gary gets yanked back by the jersey twice:

#3 DE to top

And Chase Winovich on the second-to-last play:

Now all of these plays feel like the lost holding calls that someone is storing in a vault underneath Mount BTN. Are both of those 100% calls? Eh... is anything? Holding is the most subjective thing in football, and these aren't anywhere near the worst non-calls I've caught over the past few years. Those usually involve OL with hands outside the Michigan player's shoulder pads tackling them. I'm suspicious! I have suspicions.


Winovich. The young sack crew.

Maybe not so heroic?

Dwumfour's run defense. Devin Gil's brief time on the field didn't go so hot.

What does it mean for Maryland and beyond?

To repeat myself. Ross is the starting WLB and should probably be the full-time WLB.

Slant issues are being addressed. They were not clearly good plays for Northwestern despite a couple of pinpoint passes from Thorson that M had no shot at getting to. Zone mixups were effective and Brown's got a couple of plays that could bait the opposition into interceptions.

Dwumfour is a high amplitude sine wave. Was outstanding rushing the passer. Was... not that against the run. At least he's adding a bunch of plays made; earlier in the year he wasn't getting much done while getting pushed around on the ground.

The cornerbacks need to be a bit less grabby. They're grabbing in situations where you don't have to grab. Hill's going to catch up to Flynn Nagel. Long can tackle after seven yards when it's third and ten. The aggression is dialed up to 11 and should probably be at 9.

Hello young rushers. Uche and Paye didn't have run issues—in Uche's case that's a lack of exposure—and did get after the QB productively.

The safeties remain mortal. They're fine. Again, long of 15 if Gil doesn't change his mind halfway through that screen. They're not great in man to man coverage.



October 3rd, 2018 at 6:30 PM ^

I don't like that the answer to Kinnel mistakes is "recruit Dax Hill" - 

1) Too thin! Nice to have his commitment, but where have those ever gone wrong before?

2) I better like the answer "let's see what guys on the team NOW can do!"

They've got Safeties, highly regarded ones, who barely see the field. Kinnel is beaten too often (as is Metellus at times) to get nearly 100% of snaps. 


October 3rd, 2018 at 5:43 PM ^

Dwumfor's first step is legitimately as fast as advertised. Those three sack videos (first looks like he jumps offsides), are impressive. Maybe he's not Mo Hurst light, but his jump does live up to some of the hype. 


October 3rd, 2018 at 5:49 PM ^

Dwumfour will learn. He's doing stuff that can't be taught, which is good. The overly-physical DB play was incredibly frustrating against these completely unathletic receivers. It'll be necessary against PSU and OSU, but come on dudes. Not against whatever accounting major from Oak Park is running out there for NW. 


October 3rd, 2018 at 8:43 PM ^

Northwestern does not offer accounting as a major. You will take some accounting courses as part of a Business Institutions minor and you can elect to take accounting as part of an Economics Major but there is no Accounting by itself. Lol that’s SO DePaul. Which is not a knock on DePaul, we NU grads will fill our accounting departments with DePaul grads as long as we can find an Illini Ph.D. To be our CFO. Ahhhhh....employees. 


October 3rd, 2018 at 5:55 PM ^

the penalty on gary for hand to the face. what a joke, he is being held during his entire rush and pulled around the qb. his hand grazes the face mask as he is being held. but gary gets the penalty?


October 3rd, 2018 at 6:13 PM ^

Nice to watch Don Brown adapt his defense (or maybe expand as people learn) as the season goes by mixing in some slant busters and some zone coverage. That's what makes him capital 'E' Elite


October 3rd, 2018 at 6:51 PM ^

Did anyone actually see Hutchinson get his one play?  I didn't.  I found this strange after a week of hype from the previous game and with Gary getting hurt.  I keep dreading the moment I click refresh on this site and see a post about him being injured.  


October 3rd, 2018 at 6:58 PM ^

We have enough data. Long and Hill have regressed, at least in the man-to-man stuff they were unbeatable in last year.

What has changed?

Well, they have, thanks to Herbert's strength program. In the preseason someone floated a pretty vague report from Arkansas message boards that AR fans thought that Herbert maxed out strength at the expense of speed. 

It's impossible to tell if there's any less speed on the team. Guys saying "I'm still just as fast as last year" isn't a data point. But I'm starting to wonder if Hill and Long have lost some agility by beefing out.


October 3rd, 2018 at 7:23 PM ^

I'm not sure Hill and Long were ever mentioned in the "Herbert got them jacked!" threads.  I am not ready to draw any huge conclusions from a handful of plays for each.  They do seem to have regressed slightly, but the opportunities have been pretty limited for each.  Too soon to tell and neither worries me at this point.  Let's get Gary healthy, Ross more snaps, Hudson staying on the field, and we'll be fine. 


October 3rd, 2018 at 11:31 PM ^

You and AC1997 both make fine points. And, yes, third-hand gripes from an AR message board aren’t data points. 

But something seems off. I’m not sure my point even qualifies as a hypothesis. But it’s an idea. The SC coach change is one significant variable. And, re. the reasonable point about Hurst, the pass rush was not a problem Saturday. 


October 4th, 2018 at 5:40 PM ^

I'm not sure how much actual weight they've gained; per the phonebooks Hill gained 4 pounds, Long 11 (!) and Watson 4.  Long has seemed weird all along with his weight; he apparently committed at 176 pounds, which would mean he's gained 22 pounds since coming on campus.  I don't follow guys all that closely, but that would be a pretty significant weight gain for CB and not something a staff would openly encourage unless they thought it was helping him.

The other two have your usually couple of pounds increased based on maturation.  

My guess is that they might be a shade off, but also this team hasn't given up a lot of completions to anyone yet, so I do wonder if this is a bit of weird variance that happens with a small sample size.  

The Man Down T…

October 3rd, 2018 at 8:09 PM ^

Chase could have gone pro and been an early round draft pick.  I think coming back has elevated him to the first round, maybe even first 10 of the first round.  He's been dominant.  On the flip side, I can't imagine where we'd be without him this season.  It's a mutually beneficial return for him


October 3rd, 2018 at 9:38 PM ^

Chase wouldn't have been an early draft pick. DE class is pretty deep with talent. You have Chubb, Landry (who fell due to medical issue), Davenport, Sweat (who fell due to medical issue), etc. Winovich would likely have been a 3rd round pick which is still day 2.

Winovich isn't being looked at as a top 10-15 pick. End of 1st round? Maybe. He has elevated himself into at the very least top of 2nd round pick. He lacks the elite athleticism that some of the top DE/OLB has in spade.  Beside DE/OLB will be the deepest. You have Bosa, Ferrell, Sweat, Jelks, Burns, Polite at EDGE. Then you have DT with Oliver, Gary, Lawrence, Simmons, Davis, Wilkins, Tillery, Jones, etc.

It's hard to tell the landing spot for Winovich due to the DL depth. Winovich is being looked at as a DE or stand up OLB depending on the team.


October 3rd, 2018 at 10:33 PM ^

Nope, NFL aren't as high on Winovich like you think they are. Winovich is a great college player but has limited upside. He doesn't have that explosive first step, a bit tight on the hip and lacks the power to jolt OT backward with his hands like Gary and Bosa is capable of.

Bosa is considered to be among the top prospect in the draft and Winovich is likely being looked at as a day 2 pick. That's a pretty significant difference between the two in how NFL viewed both players.


October 3rd, 2018 at 8:26 PM ^

I said in the off-season Ross would be the starter. I guess I was partly wrong, but he should be the starter. My guess is Gil is one of those smart coachable gritty guys who does everything the coaches want everyone else to do, so he knows the defense. Just doesn't have the raw talent to pull it off.

Little concerned neither Anthony or Singleton are getting snaps. Bush wont be here next year.

Edit: Ross would be starter and Bush is a Junior, so he gone.


October 3rd, 2018 at 10:04 PM ^

Safeties need to get better, very quickly.  PSU and OSU will kick their ass if they don't get better.  The safety gafs are killing us against mediocre offenses ... time to get better with practice but time is of the essence ... the gauntlet is coming.

Hail Harbo

October 3rd, 2018 at 10:33 PM ^

Winovich, not a Viking.  Looks like a viking, but named for a Slav.  Vikings did venture into the lands of Slav but not in great numbers and were quickly assimilated.  No, Winovich is not a viking but let's not cut him short, he is of the southern Slavic warrior class, the Cossacks.  If instead of Chase he was named Vlad, opposing offenses would rightfully refer to him as "The Impaler."


October 3rd, 2018 at 11:24 PM ^

Does anyone know which game was the "Mo Hurst has set an unbeatable record" UFR?

I've been looking but I can't find it. Would like to compare to Winovich this year.