Upon Further Review 2018: Defense vs SMU Comment Count

Brian September 21st, 2018 at 10:57 AM

[Patrick Barron]

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FORMATION NOTES: Just 15 3-3-5 snaps versus 51 with four DL, and almost all of those 3-3-5 instances were passing down exotics. All but two, in fact. And they got gashed on one. Thus explaining the lack of that.

I should probably stop noting "press" since every single Michigan snap is press coverage, but the split between one (slash zero) and two high is a good proxy for zone snaps versus man snaps. Michigan was in a two-high look for about a third of its snaps.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Less rotation on the DL, which was in its new normal setup of Gary/Mone/Kemp/Winovich backed up by Paye, Hutchinson, and Dwumfour. Dwumfour's snaps in this game were almost exclusively pass rush DT in the 3-3-5. Without Solomon there was no real backup NT; Donovan Jeter only got in on the last drive. Marshall dressed IIRC but did not play.

The usual at LB with Bush omnipresent save injury and Gil and Ross splitting snaps approximately down the middle; Jordan Glasgow came in for Hudson after the targeting call. Furbush was the extra guy when Michigan added a pass rush LB. Uche did not play.

Usual CB rotation with Long ahead of the game in snaps slightly; Ambry Thomas got maybe a dozen snaps late. Brad Hawkins rotated in behind Metellus and Kinnel, with reduced playing time after the big bust. Jaylen Kelly-Powell, who's been quietly hurt, got snaps on the last drive.

[After THE JUMP: slant slant slant slant]

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O19 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Pass 4 Slant Metellus 10
Metellus(-1, cover -1) beat clean by non Proche, tackles on catch.
O29 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide H 4-2-5 Nickel even Press two high Run N/A Reverse Umpire 14
Ref(-3) is bizarrely trying to move Bush out of the box before the snap as SMU goes tempo. Bush is moving to the sideline on the snap and then comes back to participate. The resulting play is a reverse. I have no ability to grade the LB level because of the ref business. I don’t know if they’re swapping assignments or what. Neither really knows what they’re doing, understandably. Bush does flow out on the reverse but too late and gets blocked by the QB. Long(+1) forced it back reasonably and gets off to tackle to shave 10 yards off this play; Winovich(-1) flows tight to the line and doesn’t bend the reverse guy at all to help his teammates rally.
O43 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide H 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Gary 1
Kemp(+1) gets one of those play long belly doubles where they’re trying to move him out as he attacks IZ. He holds up well. He’s at the LOS and has given up maybe a yard of lateral space. This allows Gary(+0.5) to shuffle and tackle with little space to shut down. Mone(+1) fended off a playside double without moving as well.
O44 2 9 Shotgun 4-wide stacks 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 5 Waggle RB flat Bush Inc
M blitzes Bush(+1, pressure +2) off the edge into this QB rollout. QB feels the heat and wires it high. Metellus(+1) had read his WR cracking down on Gil and was flying up to TFL if complete. RPS +1.
O44 3 9 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 4-1 dime Press two high Pass 4 Tunnel screen Winovich Inc
Winovich(+1) loops around two teammates to the edge and is right in the passing lane; he bats the ball down. M put Hudson(+1) in an overhang spot as they zone this and he was able to zip by the releasing OL and likely has this play dead or delayed enough that it’s the same thing. RPS +1.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 11 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O42 1 10 Shotgun twin TE H 4-2-5 4-3 over Press two high Run N/A Trap Ross 1
Mone let through to be trapped by H-back. Ross(+1) is reading the backfield and creeping up so when the OL can’t get through totally clean Ross is by him and into the gap. Bush(+0.5) stood up a blocker and Hudson(+0.5) also attacked to shut the space down.
O43 2 9 Shotgun 3-wide H 3-3-5 Exotic Press one high Run N/A Inverted veer keep Kemp 10
Running QB in. M in a weird thing and appears to misalign. Definite confusion, with Gary and Kemp flipping. M has no edge to the field. Kemp(-2) blocked down upon and ejected. Hudson and Metellus in a lot of space against blockers and can’t make big time plays. Everyone else is gone on a blitz. Gary and Winovich are looping away from the play, nobody even has to block them. Kinnel(+1, tackling +1) gets a vertical runner to him with no delay and shuts it down really well, putting the guy definitively to one side of him and minimizing the damage. RPS -3.
M47 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide H 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Run N/A QB arc keeper Winovich 1
H back pulls to backside to arc block. Hudson(-1) is in man on him and runs over to try to fend him off; he gets clocked. Doesn’t matter as Winovich(+2) is able to shuffle and redirect really well to contain and tackle solo.
M46 2 9 Shotgun 3-wide H 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Run N/A Insert iso Ross -1
Trying to hit the bubble between Mone and Winovich by inserting the H-back. Ross(+2) gives him the business, blasting him back into the RB. Winovich(+1) has come all the way around the kickout to finish the play. Mone(+0.5) helped a bit by holding his ground.
M47 3 10 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Pass 4 Throwaway Gary Inc
Gary(+2, pressure +3) slants inside and woops right around a G. Then he accelerates in scary Godzilla fashion at the QB… and somehow misses the sack. FFUUU. QB immediately has Bush(+0.5) and Hudson(+0.5) on him and can only chuck it away.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 7 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O2 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Pass 6 Slant Kinnel 13
Kinnel(-2, cover -2) is torched here and cannot even get a tackle attempt in. Only Hawkins-induced delay allows the tackle to happen. M in a run blitz, so read was clear and easy. RPS -1.
O15 1 10 Shotgun twin TE H 4-2-5 4-3 under Press two high Run N/A Jet sweep Watson 0
Lucky here as Hawkins’s charge gets cut off by a WR but still absorbs another blocker’s attention for no reason. Watson(+0.5) is thus free on the edge and forces it out for little gain. Winovich(+0.5) had pursuit and made a cutback impossible.
O15 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide H 4-2-5 4-3 over Press two high Pass N/A Tunnel screen Kinnel -1
Not relevant yet but Hudson is timing up these jet motions and getting across the line in a flash. This is a screen away from him. A bad idea screen. Long is in press but M is zoning so when jet motions away he just presses the target, and is unblocked. Winovich(+0.5) chucks an OL trying to release, delaying him. Kinnel(+1, tackling +1) takes advantage and flashes up for the TFL, with Long(+0.5) in good position behind if necessary. RPS +2.
O14 3 11 Shotgun 4-wide H 4-2-5 Nickel even Press two high Run N/A QB power Dwumfour 1
Running QB. Dwumfour(+3) gets a double, rips one of the two guys away and has the other one release, and then pops up in the hole to solo TF… aw the guy got across the LOS.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 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 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Pass 5 Hitch Hill Inc
Blitz picked up but Paye(+0.5) and Kemp(+0.5) are able to pus h the pocket and force a throw. It’s a dink hitch that Hill(+2, cover +2) breaks up from behind.
O25 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press two high Run N/A Inside zone Ross 14
Kemp(+1) drives his man back and forces a cutback. Winovich(-1) got too far inside and gives up the edge, which might not be a huge problem since this is a zone behind it. Ross(-2, tackling -2) is free on the edge and whiffs. Whiffs, losing leverage, so RB is able to run away from Metellus.
O39 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Paye 2
Bush moves down to edge and comes off as contain. RB goes up the middle. Kemp(-0.5) gets pushed a little too far; Paye(+1) is able to drive down the line and hit the RB at the LOS. Ross finishes it. His blocker fell at the LOS.
O41 2 8 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 5 Slant Hawkins 9
Hawkins is in contact here but is unable to get a grab in or bat at the ball; tackles on the catch. No replay so I can’t see how close he actually is. -0.5, I guess.
50 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Pass 4 Fade Hawkins 50
This is a collective bust between Long(-2) and Hawkins(-3, cover -3), who manage to leave both guys in this stack very open. Long jams the front WR a bit and then both guys go for Proche, who’s just drifting to the sideline long, before stopping and going for the inside WR.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-7, 5 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 over SAM Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Winovich 0
Safety flip when jet is threatened. This allows Winovich to ignore it. Mone(+1) avoids a double and moves his guy back to shut down space; Winovich(+1) shuffles down and tackles. RPS +1.
O25 2 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Run N/A Inverted veer keep Hudson -4 (Pen+5)
Hudson(+3) uses the implied snap count from the WR coming in motion to fly across the LOS on the snap and solo TFL in the backfield. Awesome! He is called for offsides when he is not! FFFFUUU! Refs -3.
O30 2 5 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 5 Sack Gil -6
Winovich(+1) flushes by getting around the corner at 8-9 yards. Can’t get all the way around but M sends five and Gil(+1) converts to a blitzer when he sees the back block. He’s directly up the middle moving at moderate speed and can attack when he sees the opportunity. QB tries to get around. Mone(+0.5) and Kemp(+0.5) have pushed the pocket shut and Kemp gets off the block for the sack. Pressure +3.
O24 3 11 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 Exotic Press two high Pass 5 Post Hudson 32
Cut blocks from the OL, which is bizarre but will start being a thing. Kemp(+1, pressure +1) is able to avoid two separate guys diving at him and get pretty quick pressure up the middle. QB says YOLO and throws at a very very covered Proche, hitting a window about six inches above Hudson(-1, cover +1)’s hand. Hudson’s in great position here but ends up stumbling or something; he doesn’t jump and it doesn’t seem like he’s even at his full height. This a DO DO DO throw though.
M44 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Pass 4 Sack Winovich -7
Winovich(+2, pressure +3) around for the sack this time despite getting the old collar yank halfway through the play. He can’t quite tackle but the pocket got pushed by Kemp(+0.5) and Mone(+0.5), with Mone finishing.
O49 2 17 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Slot fade Metellus Inc (Pen +15)
The first of the dubious PI flags. The only contact here is Metellus grabbing an arm early in what looks like very typical handfighting. And… yeah, you could call that. Does it usually get called? No. Metellus push, cover +1, pressure -2.
M36 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 Exotic Press one high Pass 5 Wheel Metellus INT
Paye(+0.5) and Hutchinson(+0.5) are delivering some pressure but this is mostly just a horrible decision by the QB to toss a wheel directly at Metellus(+3, cover +2), who has excellent awareness to check for the ball and break on it before the WR. He then runs for a TD.
Drive Notes: Defensive touchdown, 21-7, EO1H.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel over Press two high Pass 4 In Watson Inc
No replay here but live I thought Watson(+2, cover +2) got a tomahawk in just when the ball got there and made this a real PBU instead of a harassed drop.
O25 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Pass 4 Slant Bush Inc
This is an adjustment by Brown to have Bush(+1, cover +1) run under this slant. Running QB, who’s in for most of the rest of the game, wings it high and wide. Bush clobbers the WR, legally, and then gets hurt for a bit. RPS +1.
O25 3 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Dime Press two high Pass 4 Scramble N/A 0
Hudson pulled back to a deep S spot and Michigan shows a two high man look. SMU does something weird, freezing two OL for no apparent reason. Many people run at the QB, who scrambles. Winovich(+0.5) and Kinnel(+0.5) track him down. RPS+2, because lol what.
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-7, 14 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O13 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press two high Run N/A Inside zone Mone 1
Mone(+1) reset the LOS and gives back very little room. Kemp(+0.5) gets moved out a bit but takes two blockers and there is no LB release. Bush(+0.5) is back from his injury issues and also unblocked and makes no mistake.
O14 2 9 Shotgun empty H 4-2-5 4-3 over Press two high Run N/A QB power Gary 0
WR in motion and threatens inverted veer but mesh is fake and keep guaranteed. Gary(+1) fends off a TE and jams up the puller and the interior. Hudson(+0.5) comes up from the edge to tackle; Kemp(+0.5) was able to fight through a double to help finish the play.
O14 3 9 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 Exotic Press one high Pass 5 Slant Kinnel 12
Cut blocks again and this is a pretty clever play that’s supposed to look like a tunnel screen, with inside WRs set up to stalk block until the #3 breaks inside on a slant. Kinnel(-1, cover -1) gets beat but somewhat understandably. He can tackle just after the catch. RPS -1.
O26 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 5-1 split Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Kemp -2
Mone(+0.5) and Gary(+0.5) win single blocks and stay at the LOS to make their gaps unpleasant to contemplate. Kemp(+2) does the same and sheds to tackle when the RB tries to test his. Winovich(+0.5) almost came around the kickout and does constrict space.
O24 2 12 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 3-2 dime Press one high Pass 4 Tunnel screen Gary 2
Timing on this isn’t quite right so the receiver has to dodge an OL before he can start trying to go downfield. This gives Gary(+1) time to track him down despite being the DE away from this play. Gil and Bush in the area to help and this probably isn’t a big gain either way.
O26 3 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 4-1 dime Press one high Pass 4 Wheel Kinnel Inc (Pen +15)
Extremely garbage PI call on Kinnel, who’s over the top of this wheel route that goes five yards OOB. Kinnel should just turn and run with the guy and find the ball but FFS. Pressure -1, cover +1, Kinnel push.
O41 1 10 Shotgun double stacks 4-2-5 4-3 over Press two high Run N/A QB power Hudson 5 + 15 Pen
Paye(-1) gets washed inside and sealed so there’s a gap. Bush(+0.5) is able to force it back to help and pursuit is there to keep this to a relatively minimal gain. Hudson(-2) comes in and goes for a high killshot that is asking for a targeting call, which he gets.
M39 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Bush 2
Bush(+1) moves late and zips through the line, forcing the back into Mone(+1), who held up and gets off to tackle. Paye came back fairly well.
M37 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide H 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Run N/A Power O Glasgow 1
M plus one in the box and this doesn’t option a guy off. Hutchinson(+0.5) doesn’t get washed and is able to constrict space and affect the pull. Glasgow(+1) comes down hard and meets that puller a yard in the backfield, coming through to help tackle; Bush(+0.5) is there with the uncontested stick.
M36 3 7 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 Exotic Press one high Pass 5 Out Kinnel 8
Proche motions across the formation and Kinnel gets picked by the interior two WRs. Don’t think he can do anything about this. Cover -1, RPS -1. Rollout and quick throw is pressure push; Glasgow was coming through.
M28 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Winovich 7
This is going to be another nothing run up the gut but the RB is able to dodge Winovich(-2) and burst to the outside. Long(-0.5) also misses a tackle(-2) but Glasgow(+0.5) is able to come in and clean up after coming from a deep S position. Mone(+1) had blown through his guy and forced it back for what should have been nothing.
M21 2 3 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Mone 0
Mone(+2) again drives his guy into the backfield. This time back tries to test it. Mone discards his blocker for the tackle.
M21 3 3 Shotgun trips H 4-2-5 4-3 over Press zero Run N/A Inside zone Winovich -1
Refs(-1) miss an illegal formation. Dunno if M anticipates this or what but they go zero against what should be an unbalanced formation that heavily implies run. Hill(+0.5) comes off the edge to force a give and Winovich(+1) is able to crash with impunity as M has not given him contain. He TFLs. RPS +2.
M22 4 4 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Exotic Press zero Pass 6 Rollout out Watson 7
America’s Rollout Out against a clear zero blitz. SMU stacks the WRs and the front guy gets a good rub on Watson. Watson might still be able to drive on the WR for the PBU… but falls down. -2, cover -1.
M15 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Pass 4 Fade Hill Inc (Pen +7)
Absolutely absurd flag as Hill(+2, cover +2) wins over the top with a jam and turns around to find the ball. Refs -3.
M8 1 G Shotgun twin TE H 4-2-5 4-3 under Press zero Run N/A Split zone Glasgow 6
M loads up and comes after this and still gets edged as Glasgow(-2) does not pop outside to set it, which he absolutely has to do. Ruins Gary(+1) coming through his guy like he’s not there. Watson does a good job to prevent the TD.
M2 2 G Shotgun 2TE H 4-2-5 Goal line Press zero Pass N/A Fade Hill Inc
Well thrown fade almost brought in with a circus catch as Hill(+0.5, cover +1) forces the perfect throw/catch combo. Proche barely doesn’t make it.
M2 3 G Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Goal line Press zero Pass 4 PA TE Flat Glasgow 2
M again caught with no switch on a rub route. Glasgow does get beat here but has to get through traffic and that’s asking a lot on a two yard pass. Cover -1, RPS -1.
Drive Notes: Touchdown(missed XP), 28-13, 1 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O20 1 10 Shotgun twin TE empty 4-2-5 Nickel even SAM Press two high Pass 4 Fly Ross Inc (Pen +15)
I take back what I said about the PI here in the game column. This is very tenuous. Ross(-1, cover -1) more or less gets beat clean and gets an arm grab in on an overthrown ball; flag comes out. I don’t even know man. Refs -2.
O35 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 Nickel over Press two high Run N/A Zone read belly Gary 9
Gary(-2) is more or less it on this play. He’s got a TE to his side of the line. He lunges out at that guy as dude releases to Kinnel, stumbles, way too upfield, and RB can cut behind for a good gain. Kemp got moved a little bit but not too much and any reasonable shuffle here is nothing.
O44 2 1 Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 Nickel over Press two high Run N/A Inside zone Kinnel 12 (Pen -10)
DL has this stacked up, more or less, with Kemp(+1) getting penetration and forcing a very unwise bounce. Kinnel(-3) is the edge guy and inexplicably thinks he should go do someone else’s job, running back towards the middle of the field just as the RB decides he should take the edge because there’s nothing else. Gary(+1) manages to draw a hold with a demonstration despite that not really affecting the play. Refs +1.
O34 2 11 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 Exotic Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Gary 3
Gary(-1) slants in as M presents a weird blitz package and gets doubled and blown out; kind of stood straight up there.Kemp(+0.5) is able to hold up and shed; Furbush(+0.5) comes around after backing out to help tackle. Ross(+0.5) took on a lead block and shed to help stop momentum as well.
O37 3 8 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 Exotic Press two high Pass 4 In Watson 7
Watson gets a push here as he’s not contesting on the catch but is able to immediately tackle and force fourth down. Refs(-2) spot the ball for first down; replay(+2) corrects it.
O44 4 1 I-Form 4-2-5 Exotic Press zero Run N/A Counter pitch N/A 16
All RPS. SMU breaks huddle with tempo and M is trying to line up, pointing ensues, guy in motion, more pointing, once pitch made there’s no M player with any chance. RPS -2.
M40 1 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 4-2-5 4-3 over SAM Press two high Pass N/A Reverse QB wheel N/A 14
I guess you could break out a trick play in this situation. RPS -1.
M26 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press two high Run N/A Power O Ross 2
Tough to grade. Kemp gets some penetration and sheds after taking a momentary double but gets run by. Gary(+0.5) fights back from his kickout to threaten. RB is trying to cut behind various blocks as he reaches the LOS when own blocker trips him. Probably boxed in and gave up a yard or three only. Ross(+1) rocked back the relevant OL who gets tripped upon.
M24 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Pass 4 Slot fate Metellus 24 (Pen -10)
Well, it’s a slot fade. Metellus is in good position and is unfortunate that the ball doesn’t deflect off him. It finds the hole and Proche is able to catch it at his waist. I dunno man. I’d rather Metellus grab some stuff but this crew, and Proche never puts his hands up because the ball is short-ish. Turning around is bad and I dunno man. Push. Paye(+2, pressure +1) does induce a clear hold even if it isn’t material.
M34 2 18 Shotgun 3-wide H 4-2-5 Nickel over Press two high Pass N/A Flare screen Bush 2
Inverted veer basically, but no mesh and RB flares out for a screen. Bush(+2) anticipates the crack, runs around, it and gets sideline to sideline to minimize the damage.
M32 3 16 Shotgun double stacks 3-3-5 Dime even Press two high Pass 4 Scramble Thomas 25
Pocket collapses instantly with Winovich(+1) and Dwumfour(+0.5) surging up the gut. QB bails. Thomas(-2) and Metellus(-2) are both trying to figure out routes here and pay zero attention to the QB; Thomas is the edge guy here and completely loses himself on a route well short of the sticks. Pressure +1.
M7 1 G Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 even SAm Press one high Pass N/A Flare screen Bush -1
I mean, why? Glasgow(+0.5) helps clear the way for Bush(+1, tackling +1). RPS +1.
M8 2 G Shotgun trips TE 4-2-5 Exotic Press zero Pass 6 Slant Metellus Inc
Cut blocks and a must throw situation. Ross(+1, pressure +1) is able to dodge his and get into the QB’s feet; Metellus(+2, cover +2) blankets this, gives a bit of a wrap yank, but doesn’t get called. Refs +1. a
M8 3 G Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel over Press two high Pass 4 Scramble Gary 6
Huge pressure but it doesn’t cohere. Winovich(+1) and Dwumfour(+1) surge up the middle as Gary(-1) tries to go speed to power. Gary gives up the edge. Bush(-1) is on a delayed spy/blitz thing and doesn’t get out on it fast enough. Metellus(+0.5) and Bush do well to track QB down and shove him OOB.
M2 4 G Shotgun 2TE twins 4-2-5 Goal line Press zero Pass 4 Out N/A 2
Straight man against a rub loses. Gotta switch this. Banjo! They call it banjo. RPS -1, cover -1.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 35-20, 10 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O20 1 10 Shotgun trips H 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Run N/A Insert iso Kemp 0
H-back pulls and inserts in the gap in the Michigan line. Back ignores this. Okay. Kemp(+1) stands his guy up and tackles. Gary(+0.5) and Mone(+0.5) do similarly in other gaps.
O20 2 10 Shotgun trips H 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Run N/A Split zone Mone -1
Blitz plus a playside slant. Gary(+1) drives his guy all the way across the formation to cut off space; Mone(+2) sheds his guy and TFLs.
O19 3 11 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 Exotic Press one high Pass 5 Throwback screen Winovich 5
Freeze from the OL and RBs. Winovich(+2) smells a rat and stops well before the throw is made. He’s able to force the RB OOB well short of the sticks.
Drive Notes: Punt, 38-20, 6 min 4th Q. Last drive not charted, EOG.

Aigh! 20 points ceded to a team that seems real bad at football!

Yeah. I mean.

Two Ishtar-length TD drives!

Well, you know.

Panic? We should probably panic!

I don't know if I'd go that far. There are clearly some bits of the defense coming in below expectations and the unit as a whole does not feel like the ball of knives the 2016 defense was. I think we're talking about a reframe from A+ to A or, at worst, A-.

And this game is tough to judge from a thousand-foot distance, because:

Michigan got four pass interference calls in this game that could be charitably described as "marginal." On each there is a moment of contact that provided a tenuous justification for the call. One, on Metellus, appears to be an I-grab-your-arm incident:

Proche is leaving his arm in there to ward off Metellus's torso and that's why you rarely see anything plausibly mutual in the handfighting department called.

The above call on Kinnel and the call on Hill saw Michigan DBs win over the top of guys, briefly jam, and then turn to run:

Those calls are... rarely made. Because the DB won. He's got his body between the WR and the ball. I can't recall many flags like that in the past, let alone two in a game. Also the call on Kinnel is on  ball that lands five yards out of bounds.

#4 was on Josh Ross and might have been holding—the replay angle wasn't too useful—but the WR's momentum didn't seem to break at all and it was called PI. On this:

On an average day with a crew of average competence you're maybe suffering one of those calls, and you're not getting a killer Hudson TFL wiped off the board incorrectly. This is the frame where the center starts moving the ball on Hudson's backfield slash that got called offsides:

not offsides_thumb[1]

These items extended drives; the Kinnel one was the worst from a game competitiveness standpoint because if that call isn't made SMU's long TD drive halts after one first down.

That's a lot of stuff to throw your hands up about in one game.

Okay but they did move the ball semi-consistently.

Things were less dominant than you'd hope. Some of that is pretty easy to write off. I have no earthly idea what Sonny Dykes was doing in this game, but he spent a reverse, a QB throwback off that reverse, and a hurry-up fourth-down counter pitch in a game he wasn't going to win. That's 40 of their yards. 50 came on the bust they scored their first touchdown on, and 56 more were on their pointless final drive.

The run defense did do pretty much what you'd want them to. Excise the reverse (which had the weird Bush-ref event), 31 yards on three scrambles, and the two sacks SMU suffered and they come in with 78 yards on 25 carries. By the second half SMU runs up the middle were wasted snaps that inexplicably kept getting wasted.

The pass defense-





(Mitigating factor for Kinnel on that last one: it's set up to look like a tunnel screen, with the WRs stalk-blocking, or looking like they will, before he #3 slices inside. Clever.)

These weren't quite as common as it felt like because there were a couple other in-breaking routes that were outside WR/CB  matchups instead of slot/S matchups. There were six. Four were complete for between 9 and 13 yards, one got under-run by Devin Bush and broken up. Only on the last was a Michigan safety able to make a play on the ball:

That's a good play but when your safeties are 1/5 on even contesting that's not so hot. I wouldn't have minded the slants if a couple were open and the rest were those plays where someone's on the WR's back and raking but it doesn't quite work out. That was not what happened.

So our safeties can't cover?

The slants were not encouraging; a holistic view is a little bit better. There were four other instances where their coverage got tested against slots. Two were slot fades where Metellus was on Proche. One was the arm-grabby PI above. The second was downright strange:

Neither of those is exactly inspiring coverage. Metellus is able to disrupt Proche into an incompletion on the first, barely, at the cost of a flag that gets thrown a low percentage of the time. He's a bit unfortunate that his positioning doesn't get an accidental PBU on the second but that's still a guy chasing the whole way with no ability to go find the ball.

The two wheel routes went better. Kinnel got the above-embedded dubious PI call after winning that route; the other one was the Metellus pick-six.

That's an inexplicable ball; Metellus takes advantage.

That's nine episodes—we're not counting the Bush undercut—where a Michigan safety was a primary pass defender. I'd say three of those (the two wheels and Metellus slant PBU) were good events, one was neutral (the called-back TD), and the other five were poor. There was a big difference between safety and CB coverage on similar routes. When Hill or Watson's been called into duty on them they're in the area, making life difficult and requiring perfect throws:

CB #28 to top

The safeties are mostly tackling after the catch.

Michigan can address this by running more zone and having more man coverage plays in which someone is in a "rat" zone like Bush was.

#10 MLB

That does mean the rat isn't blitzing and is a tradeoff. It's probably one Michigan needs to make. Safety coverage on slots doesn't seem much better than it was last year.

Kinnel did have a couple of good tackles in space, FWIW.

Can't Michigan use a third CB?

They can but if they're going to flip the safety down on motion the opposition can get that safety matchup anyway. And if you don't then you're not in a great spot for a jet sweep or similar. It's a bit of a hole.

Something something CHART

this is not how this goes

too late sucka

Fine. I would like to mention that this was one of the best-directed BTN games I've charted and while it may not have been up to Rick standards there wasn't too much that didn't get a useful replay and no snaps were outright missed. Also the camera wasn't so tight on third and fifteen you couldn't see the slot receivers. Go this guy.

Defensive Line

Player + - T Notes
Gary 9 4 5 You are permitted 0.68 units of concern
Kemp 9.5 2.5 7 Ejected once otherwise maintained MAC-crushing level from last week.
Mone 11.5   11.5 SMU could not block him on interior runs. Pushed pocket on a couple of passes.
Winovich 15 4 11 Lot of pursuit in this one.
Paye 4 1 3 Drew an obvious hold.
Dwumfour 4.5   4.5 Solo stuff on QB draw on 3rd and 11 is most of this.
Solomon       DNP
Hutchinson 0.5   0.5 PT hard to come by.
Marshall       DNP
TOTAL 50 11.5 38.5 Hurst-era rampant in this one.
Player + - T Notes
Hudson 5 4 1 Doing well until ejection.
Glasgow 2 2 0 Functional.
Furbush 0.5   0.5 Scanty snaps.
Bush 8 1 7 They tried two flare screens. Why?
Gil 1   1 Quiet, few plays got to him because of DTs.
Ross 4 3 1 Less boring, discussion below.
Uche       DNP
TOTAL 22.5 10 12.5 Ross coronation delayed.
Player + - T Notes
Metellus 6.5 2 4.5 Keeck a touchdown
Kinnel 2.5 6 -3.5 Inexplicable bust turned 0 yard run into 12.
Hawkins   3.5 -3.5 Bust on TD.
Hill 5   5 Yeah he got a +2 on a PI flag. He deserved it.
Long 1 2.5 -1.5 Also busted on TD IMO.
Watson 2.5 2 0.5  
Thomas   2 -2 Got lost on the scramble.
TOTAL 16.5 18 -1.5 Honestly don't remember the last negative unit grade.
Pressure 15 3 +12 SMU resorted to cut blocking everyone.
Coverage 15 14 +1 Too close for comfort.
Tackling 3 4 -1 Couple of escapes for edge yards.
RPS 11 10 +1 Ok.


I think we already talked about the DB issues.

Mostly. The long TD was a –5 from me because both Long and Hawkins got confused and covered nobody. The inside receiver here is also open:

That's a communication issue and won't happen again unless it does, which it might.

At what point in the Vince McMahon GIF are we about the DTs? I mean, the grades are all right.

Still phase one.


They were good. Michigan needed very little from their linebacker level to shut down the SMU running game because Mone and Kemp were consistently re-setting the LOS in the backfield.

#90 DT to top

When that happens RBs have to decide immediately and LBs can flow without hesitation. Also you'll note on that play that no one even releases downfield because three guys are trying to fend off Kemp and Gary. They do, but the play is doomed in part because of it.

Mone had his best game of the year, going from extant person who holds up pretty well to a drive-and-discard machine:

#90 NT

I'm guessing that's more a function of the opposition than a sudden switch flip.

SMU's OL probably isn't very good but Kemp holding up against a long double team like this...

#2 DT to top

...is encouraging all the same. He's able to swim one guy past and just kind of burrow in there. Like a tick. We'll call him The Tick. That's not taken, is it?

Like last week Kemp was consistently able to whip single blocking:

#2 DT to bottom

#2 DT to bottom

That latter is textbook: hands inside, in control of your man, shed when the back picks a gap. When a DT gets a solo TFL he's having a good game. Kemp did get ejected from the gap on the backup QB's first snap, but Michigan was running around in an exotic 3-3-5 look and he may have not been entirely prepared for the snap. It was out of character. Which is a nice thing to be able to say two games in.

Meanwhile Mike Dwumfour had a more limited role but did well with it. He had one play of note where he ripped through a guy for a solo run stuff:

Reset those goals: effective pass-rush DT and able to spot Kemp for 15-20 snaps, and let's go from there.

You know I am sensitive to the performances of Michigan's DTs.


Both Kemp and Mone are both Regular-Ass DTs. Set absurd Mo Hurst goals aside. Let's focus on Ryan Glasgow. Neither guy is anywhere near Glasgow as a penetrator, disruptor, or pass-rusher. Both guys are pushing the pocket and whooping up on single blocking in the run game against poor competition. This is a good base to operate from. But they've still got to establish themselves as top end run defenders against Big Ten competition. And the bit where you fall over backwards in the chair seems permanently out of the question. Which is mostly fine.

I wanted to be falling backwards out of my chair about Gary. And...

You're not. I know. Gary has not yet made the transition to all-conquering absurdity. He doesn't seem a whole lot different than last year, which means he's holding steady at a first-team-All-Conference level. He is not rampant. Occasionally he displays his full, scary athletic package:

#3 DE to top

But events like that haven't been particularly common. Gary picks up a ton of +1s on the ground and is often around the corner a little bit less quickly and effectively than Winovich. I think I've mentioned this before but I'd prefer Gary take a Taco Charlton approach where he usually tries to hammer through the OT after forcing him to expect his edge rush. When he edge rushes we've seen this probably a half-a-dozen times already this season:

He's around but a half-yard deeper than Winovich and maybe a step slower. There it works out because the DTs have hammered the pocket shut; other instances could really use Gary on a rush where he does damage if the QB has to step up.

Gary's tracking towards a mid-first round pick per PFF, which is still a most excellent person to have on your defense. The opposition seems to be avoiding him in the ground game at all costs, which is one reason Winovich keeps getting funneled points. The thing where he's ripping through to the QB on every other rush hasn't happened and probably won't at this point.

The WLB battle didn't exactly resolve itself?

No. Last week's creeping certainty that Ross was the guy didn't show up in the snap counts—Gil and Ross split them down the middle—and SMU's general inability to even test the WLB on the ground meant neither guy featured that much. Ross was the higher-event player by some margin, which was good and bad. Good:

#12 LB to top

That's reminiscent of his brother getting it right. Ross blasts the H-back so hard that he seals a somewhat sizeable gap by himself. Nice.


#12 LB to bottom

That's probably his first missed tackle but it's a pretty bad one.

Gil barely registered in my grading. Which isn't bad, necessarily.


I know that's my meme but I cannot agree.


I mean:

That is the top of Hudson's helmet earholing the ballcarrier and will be an ejection every time. Should be an ejection.

Before he got the axe Hudson wasn't super prominent but did have a couple of instances where he timed up SMU's implied snap count. The first one didn't count for much because it was a tunnel screen; the second was a "tackle everybody at the mesh point" thing and was terrific:

Naturally it got called back incorrectly.

The negative, such as it was, was a third and long conversion where he was maybe a half step behind Proche and couldn't jump at the critical moment:

That's an absurd throw into a tiny window and Hudson at least forced that.

How did Glasgow do replacing Hudson?

He was up and down, as you might imagine. He seemed to know what he was doing and was appropriately aggressive when that was called for. Getting to the backfield from this starting depth and setting the edge so far inside is pretty good:

#29 LB to top, deeper

Here Michigan lines him up as the free safety and despite the fact that he pulls a lead blocker—the quarterback!—he's able to tank the hit and shut down a dangerous play:

#29 FS

He offset those plays with a pretty bad one when he failed to set the edge:

#29 LB to top

That robbed Gary of a thunderous TFL and was probably the difference between a field goal and a TD.

That was about it as far as grading goes. He'll probably be fine against Nebraska. He's got the defense down, from all appearances. Maybe he's not the athlete Hudson is but Don Brown's done just fine with guys like him at that spot at his previous stops.


Both DTs. Winovich. Bush. Metellus.

Maybe not so heroic?

The God of Pass Interference. Hawkins was the main guy on the long TD. Kinnel had some slant issues and one bizarre edge facation.

What does it mean for Nebraska and the future?

Gonna have to have some slant beaters. That's mostly going to be LBs getting involved underneath I'd imagine but I worry what happens when the opposition goes RPO, which will suck those LBs right out of the equation again. I don't think the safeties are going to suddenly be real good at that. Caveat: Proche is legit. Not so legit slots might be easier to deal with.

Another Kemp increment. He and Mone beat up SMU pretty good.

Gary worries are permitted. He's probably not going to be the all purpose annihilator who goes in the top 5. He's a giant flashing DO NOT RUN HERE sign; he's consistently not quite as good at Winovich at getting around the edge.

Glasgow's fine. Not dynamic, not going to be the blitzer Hudson is. He's not a glaring issue.


Durham Blue

September 21st, 2018 at 11:18 AM ^

I want to believe Gary has not hit his pinnacle yet.  Not sure how a consensus #1 rated recruit who is also a beastly 6'5" and 285lb, who is quick and runs fast, who has his head screwed on straight, who has D. Brown and Mattison coaching him, can't NOT be at least as effective as Nick Bosa.  Hell, even Winovich for that matter.  Sigh.  I wait patiently.

I Like Burgers

September 21st, 2018 at 12:43 PM ^

I don't buy that for a second because you have Winovich on the other side that's a pretty damn good counterpoint to that argument.  Also, Mattison's long track record at coaching guys up.

It could honestly be as simple as Gary lacks that "high motor" trait you always hear about.  Or lacks a super aggressive "I'm going to destroy you" trait.  All the crazy measurables and speed in the world don't mean much if you're trying to go around someone when you're capable of going through them or you're only going 75-80% on every snap.

Or maybe he has a lingering injury that doesn't prevent him from playing, but only allows him to go 75-80%.

//insert shrug emoji


September 21st, 2018 at 11:56 AM ^

It's all about the pass rush plan and countermoves. If Gary's initial move works, he's pretty much unblockable, but if OT stonewall his first pass rush move, Gary doesn't have a countermove in his arsenal. You often see Gary go up without a plan and not know what to do based on alignment, down/distance situation. Gary has that freakish athleticism gift to get by in college level but he won't get by in the pros where OTs are much better.  If you want to see why Bosa gets the #1 overall pick hype, watch what he's doing on any given play. He can set the edge but can do pass rush with his hands, athleticism and knows how to use countermoves.

Look at Winovich by contrast. Winovich uses his hands better, has better pass rush plan and knows how to string moves together where it makes sense without losing speed.

Gary pretty much has bullrush and can bend around the corner but that's it. Funny thing is despite his athleticism, he doesn't really bend like the elite pass rusher does so I want to see more power rush moves from him by going right through the OT's body while threatening the edge with his burst. I don't see a lot of rip, swipe, arm over, hammer fist, etc. in his arsenal. That's a prerequisite if Gary wants to stay at edge position in the next level. NFL are pretty much projecting him at 3-tech where it's not much of a concern and where he can use his explosiveness to his advantage.


September 21st, 2018 at 4:47 PM ^

Yeah, it's pretty unfair to compare Gary to Bosa or even Winovich.  Bosa is playing alongside players at least as good which gives him better match-ups.  Winovich is great but gets less attention because of Gary.  A lot of plays that Gary would have made last year were gobbled up by Hurst or other blitzers.  You'll see Gary blow up at some point unless he's been playing hurt.


September 21st, 2018 at 12:15 PM ^

I just don't think he's best suited as an edge guy. I think in an ideal world Michigan recruited the DE spot better and Gary is in Kemp spot and just a penetrating destructive menace on the inside. He doesn't have that bend and explosive first step necessary to be an elite edge rusher.


September 21st, 2018 at 2:25 PM ^

Any idea why he's never been tried at DT?  That was his position according to recruiting.  He was 6'5", 287 lbs as a true freshman, which seems pretty DT-esque to me. And he isn't that great at DE.  

When he was a freshman, I figured it was a depth thing.  There was a lot of depth at DT that season, and DE was a little more thin.  It would also give him time to put on a few lbs before moving to DT as a sophomore.  But that never happened. 

Even just mixing it in every one and a while, with Kwitty and Winovich on the edges, seems worth a try.  


September 21st, 2018 at 12:51 PM ^

It's possible, but the injury he's reputedly playing through is a shoulder and he seems to be doing the things you need a good shoulder for extremely well (e.g. holding up to doubles/triples, using his hands to control and shed defenders).

Mostly, I think people just need to reset expectations for what kind of player he is. He's close to 290, which is 20 lbs heavier than you really want as a pure edge terror. On the other hand, he's able to erase an edge in the run game by himself and moonlight on the interior without being a liability. That's equally valuable, if not as flashy. 


September 21st, 2018 at 1:06 PM ^

Seriously, Gary is much larger than a DE, its not his best position to be on the edge and the fact that he is there just shows that Michigan's coaches don't love the backup DE's yet. 

Gary is 6'5 283

Winovich is 6'3 255

Bosa is 6'4 263

Hell Clowney was only 266 on a 6'5 frame and Aaron Darnold is 280.

Gary is  heavier than you see in elite pass rushers. What he does off the edge at his size is amazing and the sign of a freak athlete but there is only so much you can do heavier compared to other freak athletes. He belongs inside.


September 21st, 2018 at 3:32 PM ^

You're naming a bunch of WDEs and saying Gary is bigger - which is true and should be how it is. Gary is playing Anchor in our system and needs to be bigger (like Wormley) -  a better comparison for Gary is JJ Watt (in size, not production). 

Also, Donald is like 6'1, so 280 on his frame is definitely not a DE. Plus, he had trouble against doubles which is why he wasn't a top 10 pick (obviously that was a mistake). 


September 21st, 2018 at 11:40 AM ^

My biggest take a way is that an excellent secondary that returned all 4 starters plus has more depth is now struggling a little this year. Don’t think it’s panic time by any means but they need to get things cleaned up quickly. 


September 21st, 2018 at 12:44 PM ^

I don't really think the slants are much of a concern.  It appears that SMU looked at Michigan's entire defense and deduced that, based on their personnel, they could complete slants against our safeties to get some chunk yards here and there.  I don't think I have ever seen a team "slanted to death" or where the slant with an immediate tackle after the catch becomes so unstoppable and damaging to a defense that it loses the game.  Eventually the field shrinks on the offense and they can't keep going to that well.

My concern has more to do with the PI calls.  Our cornerbacks under Brown have always been grabby.  They almost have to be to play that kind of press man.  They are very good players but at some point you are either Dion Sanders or you aren't.  I know the consensus is that the PI calls were bad, and while the calls on Hill this year have been kind of 50/50, our d-backs do initiate a lot of contact with receivers and I worry that the word is out and we will see this parade of flags going forward.

I Like Burgers

September 21st, 2018 at 1:01 PM ^

Think it just might be as simple as the secondary was never as good as we thought it was, and was the beneficiary of a front 7 that got to the QB and collapsed pockets awfully quick last year.  The defense isn't getting to the QB nearly as quick as they were last year which is giving the WRs more time to get open and the QBs more time to find them.

Couple of early stats to back that up:

Opp. completion percentage 52.2% through three games (29th nationally) vs. 48.7% for all of last year (3rd)

Sacks: 2 per game (58th nationally) vs. 3.23 per game (7th)

TFLs: 7.67 per game (24th nationally) vs. 8.77 per game (1st)

Third down conversions: 34.8% (58th nationally) vs. 26.1% (1st)


Overall I don't think the concern is that the defense isn't going to be the A+ we thought it was going to be and will rather be an A- at worst, its that its going to be a solid B.  Because the only thing they've really been at an A or higher level is yards allowed per game (276 pg, 12th).  But the three offenses they've played are at 100th, 48th, and 126th nationally in yards per game.  So....not a whole lot to beat your chest about. (Also shout out to Western for being the best offense they've faced).


September 21st, 2018 at 1:09 PM ^

Also look at MSU's secondary. Big ten offenses, especially the QB's were trash last year and that inflated some reputations. How many receivers are there better than Proche in the big ten? The one time we faced a team with that kind of athleticism at wr OSU had open crossing routes all day last year.


September 21st, 2018 at 11:44 AM ^

I don’t put as much blame on Hawkins as Brian does for the SMU passing TD. In this play I see Long losing his footing and is completely beat off the line of scrimmage. Hawkins at this instance has to make a quick decision to cover the inside or outside receiver, he chooses wrong, but if he chooses the outside receiver the inside receiver also picks up a bunch of yards. I would give Hawkins a -1.5 and Long a -2.5. If Long doesn’t stumble, Hawkins covers the outside receiver properly.


September 21st, 2018 at 12:47 PM ^

Long lost his footing because of the run blocking the inside WR did out to 4 yards off the LOS.  If that had been a run play to the left, Long was blocked completely out of position - easily.  Since it was a pass play, the flag should have been thrown; but incompetent officials were incompetent.  In either case, Hawkins was reacting to the run blocking look that Long ate, so I wouldn't blame him as much as Brian did, either.

Wallaby Court

September 21st, 2018 at 11:52 AM ^

Rick is the nom de blog for the the camera operator or game director at Fox who consistently produces nice, wide-angle shots and replays for Michigan games. He receives acclaim because BTN and ESPN have a track record of pore-o-vision and missed plays that made UFRs really difficult. Brian had trouble grading safeties, corners, and even linebackers because the camera operators and directors frequently left them out of frame.


September 21st, 2018 at 12:21 PM ^

Actually, BTN, being a FOX run affair also has Rick at times. By far the worst offender in pore-o-vision is ESPN/ABC.

Oddly, I like the closeness of the NFL cameras, so I'm assuming ESPN just can't position their cameras as effectively for those close-in shots; nor can they have as many camera operators given the sheer number of college games.


September 21st, 2018 at 12:52 PM ^

There are also not a lot of places to locate a camera in Michigan Stadium.  Lo, in most college stadiums.  The NFL houses have been built with TV cameras specifically in mind for great shots.  I believe there are plenty of cameras/cameramen to go around to all of the games ESPN produces.  Most of the crews are outsourced to independent production companies, anyway.  Those guys provide the cameras, crews, and mobile production facility (ie: the truck), and ESPN flies out the on-air 'talent' (as it were).