my name's Kwity and I'm here to say / if you run at me you're going to Paye [Eric Uphurch]

Upon Further Review 2018: Defense vs Wisconsin Comment Count

Brian October 17th, 2018 at 4:33 PM

image-6_thumb_thumb5_thumb_thumb_thu[1]SPONSOR NOTE: Reminder that Matt is hanging out at the Charity Tailgate at 327 East Hoover (if you were at the preseason MGoEvents this year and last it's the same place). It's right next to the train tracks on Hoover. The band goes right by it on their way to the stadium, which is cool. 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: Michigan was content to roll out the base defense against Wisconsin despite the radical change in approach the Badgers are from Michigan's previous spread-oriented opponents. Hudson was omnipresent. There was one tweak on passing downs, with Michigan replacing Gil/Ross with Josh Uche to present a five-man front:


Uche lurking to the bottom of the line; Bush kneeling near the umpire

Note also that Michigan has their three cornerbacks on the field and just one safety. This still comes out as 4-2-5 in my 'package' column but should be something else and will be if it continues.

Just one 3-3-5 snap on a run down in this game, a six yard run.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Winovich and Paye were almost omnipresent; Hutchinson did get a dozen snaps spotting them, mostly late. Kemp, Marshall, Mone, and Solomon got about equal time at the DT spots, with Dwumfour a bit further behind. Michigan tried to confine him to passing downs.

Bush and Hudson omnipresent; Gil and Ross split their snaps about down the middle. Uche played in the package above; Furbush and Glasgow made cameos.

Secondary is what you'd expect save for Kinnel missing some snaps with what looked like cramps. Hawkins got that time.

[After THE JUMP: a lot of running and almost no passing.]

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Offset I 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press two high Run N/A Iso Mone 6
Straight up iso because quien is mas macho. Mone(-1) slants outside, oddly, double doesn’t have to happen and one guy can kick him. Mone comes around and almost makes a play but does not. Gil(+1) gets a free releasing OL and stands him up. FB flies up between Gil and Kemp, falling down, no hole. Kinnel(-1) does not read the gap forming and get over. Taylor runs by him. Metellus finally tackles.
O31 2 4 I-Form 4-2-5 4-3 over Press two high Run N/A Iso Kemp 7
Mone(+1) stands up RG, drives him a bit, sheds. To no avail as Kemp(-2) gets doubled and ends up on the ground. Guy on double is able to shove Bush and provide a lane. Bush, Hudson and Gil converge.
O38 1 10 Offset I 4-2-5 4-3 even Press two high Run N/A Iso Gil 4
Better on the DL as Mone(+1) again controls his man in the backfield; Taylor doesn’t want to test that and cuts away from his FB. Mone can’t quite get off the block to close it down but shouldn’t have to; unfortunately Gil(-0.5) bites on Taylor’s outside threat when Kinnel has that covered. He overruns the gap and is unable to provide any force to prevent Taylor from surging forward as Mone tackles him from the side.
O42 2 6 Ace 3TE 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Paye 0
This is probably duo since the paving doubles are super extended. The DTs can’t get off these blocks but don’t get hammered. Paye(+2) blows through a TE who’s an OL in an eligible number; they’re two yards into the backfield and in the running lane. Taylor has to cut away from the gap forming thanks to the doubles and gets slowed up; Winovich(+1) has done his rip and gets to Taylor to finish it.
O42 3 6 Shotgun empty 3-2-6 Exotic Press one high Pass 4 Slant Bush 4
Deeply weird formation that turns into a four man rush; Bush(+2, cover +2) sits down in a no-slants zone and bats the ball. Could go anywhere; UW fortunate that it goes to the outside WR. Still short. 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
O23 1 10 Ace tight 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Pass N/A Waggle cross Watson 12
PA, waggle, flood. PA wipes out edge pursuit. Hornibrook has time. Coverage(+1) pretty good all around. Watson is able to catch up to his guy but can’t quite get in a punch at the ball before its’ complete; immediate tackle. Push. RPS -1; no edge at all here because M is on the run.
O35 1 10 Ace tight 4-2-5 4-3 even Press two high Run N/A Power O Kinnel 4
UW trying to run a tight power that hits an inside gap. M slants down and sends the LBs over the top. This spills; puller doesn’t re-gap, so M has numbers. Bush is tackled(refs -2) just as he’s about to scrape to Taylor at the LOS. Kinnel(-1, tackling -1) comes in and gets juked; without the hold this is a zero yard gain because Kinnel is missing into where Bush(+0.5) should be. Marshall(+0.5) comes around from a long way away to tackle from behind. Solomon(+1) got some drive and ripped to the interior gap to help force the bounce. RPS +1.
O39 2 6 Ace tight 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Run N/A Counter Solomon 7
Michigan has this fairly well contained but there’s a cutback lane as Solomon(-2) gets pancaked; he engages with the LG and when the LT gives him a chip he collapses to the ground. Winovich(+1) had dodged a lead block and was there to potentially TFL; Taylor veers away and finds a gap. Bush(+0.5) is able to redirect and hit, which allows Metellus to tackle safely. Otherwise this was potentially very dangerous.
O46 1 10 I-Form twins 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press two high Run N/A Iso Kinnel 1
Kinnel(+1, tackling +1) is lined up at eight presnap and shoots down on run action as Metellus bails to single high. Marshall(+0.5) is able to get a tiny bit of motion on an OL and Bush(+0.5) flows up to hit the FB at the LOS. Small gap, Kinnel fills it and sticks Taylor for 0 YAC. RPS +2.
O47 2 9 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Pass 4 TE cross Ross 10
Four man rush not quite getting there(pressure -1). M has again left the LBs back to patrol the middle; Hudson is in man on a TE but sets up outside because of this approach. He’s behind; Hornibrook fires it in; the ball goes about six inches beyond Ross’s hand. Mr. Tight Windows did make a cameo. Would like Hudson(-0.5) to be a wee bit closer so he’s got a shot at this. Cover push. Maybe +1, but no.
M43 1 10 I-Form twins 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press two high Pass 5 PA Drag Hudson Inc
M shows two high again; again Kinnel shoots down as Metellus bails. PA from Wisconsin. Both deep WRs break inside, where Metellus is waiting over the top of the CBs(cover +2). Hornibrook wants to check down to the TE, but this time Hudson(+1, cover +1) in his hip pocket. Some motioning and then Ross(+0.5) is able to spin off an OL and get pressure as Hornibrook drifts out of the pocket. He doesn’t set his feet and turfs it.
M43 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 under Press one high Run N/A Counter Paye 2
Paye(+2) sees the T and G over him pull and drives hard inside, getting inside of the TE trying to block him and eventually erasing most of the inside gaps himself. Winovich(+1) comes down to hit one of the pullers and is then able to redirect outside when the back bounces. Good thing the DEs did some work here because Mone(-2) gets hammered out by a single block. Bush(+0.5) read the counter and got there as well.
M41 3 8 Shotgun trips 3-1-7 3-2 dime Press one high Pass 5 Sack Bush -2
Three DL; Bush; Hudson and Glasgow. M moves the entire LB level to the LOS as the snap approaches and sends two and a half of them. LG realizes he’s got Hudson coming but the C didn’t pick it up and focuses on Bush. This gives Dwumfour(+1, pressure +2) a free run. Hornibrook is able to duck past him, but now he’s moving and that’s not great for him. Hudson(+0.5) and Glasgow(+0.5) are really good at being DTs containing a QB; Hornibrook makes one move and then another and tries to break out of the pocket, where Bush(+1) seals the deal. RPS +2.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, EO1Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O29 1 10 Offset I 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Run N/A Iso Mone 5
Jet fake, again directly up the gut. Really attacking the DTs. Taylor decides to abort for reasons that are slightly obscure. Bush(+0.5) got a decent thwack in on the FB, I guess. He’s able to find a gap outside. Winovich rips through the tackle can’t quite come around; Mone(-1) cut off and shoved a yard downfield. Watson(+0.5) is in man on the jet guy and comes off to make a nice tackle after a modest gain.
O34 2 5 Ace tight 4-2-5 4-3 over Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Hudson 10
Right up the gut again; this time there’s not a ton that’s dominating either way. Taylor is just able to squeeze through a gap between Winovich and Mone but it’s tiny. Once Hudson(-2 tackling -1) reads run he activates and is a bonus LB; he is free. With Kinnel ripping down outside Taylor has to check the middle; Hudson doesn’t trust his teammates and starts bailing for a bounce. This plus the tiny crack gives Taylor a shot, and then dude grinds out a ton of YAC.
O44 1 10 Ace tight 4-2-5 4-4 even Press one high Run N/A Power O Mone 23
M slanting away and shoving LBs at this. Almost works but Mone(-2) is pancaked. Winovich(-2) also dives inside but the TE, who is an OL, clubs him to the ground; he picks off nobody and is unable to recover on the cut. Hudson(-1) also overpursues to the frontside. Metellus(+1, tackling +1) gets a nightmare and is able to shut it down.
M33 1 10 Offset I 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press two high Run N/A Jet sweep Watson 33
This is a very bad situation for Michigan no matter what. They track they’ve got two defenders at all relevant. Kinnel(+1) actually does a great job to run through a crack block; Watson(-3) realizes way too late that he needs to crack replace. But even if he had there was a UW fullback running directly at his face. Not great. RPS -2.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-7, 11 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O38 1 10 Offset I 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Run N/A Draw Kinnel 9
Solomon(-1) and Marshall(-1) locked out, gap right up the middle. Ross buries himself in the fullback, who is not in the gap, but tough to come off that so quickly. Bush gets free releasing C; able to hold his ground mostly and force back to help. That is Kinnel(-1, tackling -1), who hits at about two yards but hits high and gets run over by Taylor. This is 7 full yards of YAC with Kinnel draped on his back.
O47 2 1 Offset I 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Press one high Run N/A Yakety snap N/A -2
O45 3 3 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 5-1 nickel Press one high Pass 5 Sack Uche -9
The first of the baffling Chryst decisions. Run the ball, beefo. Also maybe block the pass rush specialist? Wisconsin gives Uche a free run for reasons that I don’t understand at all, setting their line left when the TE is the main focus of the play (pick flare to him) and the RB is lined up to the left as well. This is a fumble, BTW, that Hornibrook immediately recovers. Uche +1, pressure +3, RPS +1 I guess.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 7 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 I-Form twins 4-2-5 4-3 over Press two high Pass 4 PA out Long INT
Trap coverage strikes. Long lines up in man and appears to run with the fade pattern; when Hornibrook throws Long(+2, cover +2) converts to cover two and comes off his previous man to contest this throw. He’s able to PBU; ball falls kindly to Metellus(+1). Pocket is clean(pressure -2). RPS +2.
Drive Notes: Interception, 10-7, 4 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Offset I 4-2-5 4-3 over Press two high Run N/A Iso Hudson 3
Odd approach from UW leaves two guys on Paye, who’s not really relevant, and leaves Nobody for Hudson. Assumption: they thought Hudson(+0.5) was going to be at SAM and didn’t adjust to him in the backfield. He is thus free to hit. He does. Kind of wish he’d been more aggressive here but no pile of YAC This time. Solomon(+0.5) busted through a double but couldn’t quite get to the back in the backfield;; Kemp(-0.5) does similar but is much farther away from the play and helps create space to shut donw.
O28 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel over Press one high Pass 5 Rollout out Metellus Inc
UW rolls Hornibrook opposite his throwing arm, always awkward. Bush(+1, pressure +1) jukes the RB leading out on the rollout and will hit; must throw. Throw is low and away from a guy Metellus(+1, cover +1) is all over; dude can’t dig it out.
O28 3 7 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 5-1 nickel Press one high Penalty N/A False start N/A -5
WR adjusts. Meh, let it go.
O23 3 12 Shotgun trips 3-2-6 Dime wide Press two high Pass 4 Screen Paye Inc
Might be luck here but M ends up stunting Paye, nominal DT, into this. Paye(+2) comes around the corner and bats the ball down. Bush was running to this apparently unspotted by the two OL releasing so probably not going much of anywhere anyway. RPS +2.
Drive Notes: Punt, 13-7, 2 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O26 1 10 Offset I 4-2-5 4-3 even Press two high Run N/A Split zone Solomon 3
Iso look morphing into the FB headed backside. Solomon(+2) blasts the RG into the backfield and erases all those gaps. TFL on the table but Paye(-0.5) is a yard downfield vs the TE. He’s still able to come off and tackle as Taylor tries to pass.
O29 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Run N/A Split zone Marshall 6
Asking for this. Furbush is in man on the TE and is gone. M sends Hudson off the back and slants to this but RB wants to test the front because of the huge bubble between Marshall and Winovich. Not a bad idea. Marshall(+0.5) does well to flow and almost shuts it down; cannot. Ross(-0.5) gets a free releasing guard and gets the worst of the contact; he is able to come back and tackle. Bush(+0.5) is being tackled, no call, as he dives into the RB and is still able to get there. RPS -1. 3-3-5 not on a passing down is a decent or better run every time.
O35 3 1 Ace diamond TE 4-2-5 4-3 even Press one high Run N/A Double iso Solomon 4
Solomon(+1) again stands up his guy and forces a bounce to another gap. Ross(+1) plunges to the LOS and stands up the FB in that gap. Winovich(-1) is ripping past the tackle, which is often a good move but here the tackle lurches out of the gap and suddenly Hudson(-1, tackling -1) is attacking a larger gap and Taylor can shift outside to break his tackle.
O39 1 10 Ace tight 4-2-5 4-3 even Press two high Run N/A Inside zone Bush 3
The Bush(+1) rip on their AA center. Back has nowhere to go except right up the gut as Mone(+0.5) and Kemp(+0.5) hold their ground. Ross(+0.5) and Paye(+0.5) both take on blocks and scrape to the hole for a gang tackle. I know I just gave a two yard run +3 but it’s Wisconsin, ok.
O42 2 7 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 Skinny post Winovich Inc
The second absurd non-call on Winovich(+1, pressure +1), who gets around the LT and is tackled. Outright tackled. This allows a pass to get off; Watson(-1, cover -1) is beat clean; WR drops it. Bush was very close to another deflection.
O42 3 7 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Exotic Press two high Pass 5 Drag Watson Inc
Dwumfour(+0.5) doesn’t do a lot here but he does get enough depth before getting buried that Hornibrook thinks about moving out and has to reset his feet. He’s now looking for whatever and tries a drag that Watson(+2, cover +2) again slingshotted past with a grab early in the route that goes undetected. Refs +2. Hornibrook is lucky his pass is wide or this is going the other way.
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-7, 7 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O9 1 10 Ace tight 4-2-5 4-3 even Press two high Run N/A Power O Kemp 3
Kemp(+1) is able to shoot into the backfield and pick off the second puller. WR removes self on end around and this is probably supposed to be irrelevant but the Kemp play makes it so. Winovich(-0.5) really wants to get to the play and rips inside. Understandable but less than great because this puts Taylor on the edge with Long(-1, tackling -1), who is a very good corner and also a corner. Taylor zips past him; Kinnel(+1) is able to fill well to hold it down.
O12 2 7 Ace trips TE 4-2-5 4-3 even SAM Pres one Run N/A Jet sweep Paye 38
TE releases, widens out Hudson, he has to force it back. With Long(-2) coming across the formation in man, LT releases and cuts him. Paye(-2) is edged immediately despite a little bend Kemp provided after he was let free; Paye tries to recover but misses an ankle tackle, turning this into a big play. Hudson(-1) ripped upfield instead of back to the ballcarrier, removing himself. RPS –2.
50 1 10 Ace 4-2-5 4-3 even Press two high Run N/A Jet sweep Watson 2
M in zone this time. Watson(+1) tight to the LOS; when WR moves inside to crack, he replaces. He does so at the LOS; TE widening out doesn’t see him. RPS +1.
M48 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 4-3 over Press two high Run N/A Down C Watson 6
Again on Watson to replace but this time he appears to be in man. Marshall surges upfield but is passed up; Paye(+0.5) gets a double and does fairly well to take it and then fight to the playside and cut off gaps. Hudson and Hawkins are both coming up and get whacked by a G; Hawkins was charging hard from deep and got cracked. Watson(-0.5) a little tardy on the replace.
M42 3 2 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 5-1 nickel Press one high Pass 5 Cross Marshall Inc
Pressure(+1) here isn’t great but it is enough as Uche(+0.5) and Marshall(+0.5) both drive their guys to the QB. Hornibrook doesn't fully step into his throw and it wings wide. Looked open-ish as Long is in push coverage. Ish.
Drive Notes: Punt(!!!), 21-7, 2 min 3rd Q. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TURTLE
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O15 1 10 Ace 3TE 4-2-5 4-3 even Press two high Run N/A Pin and pull Paye 5
Paye(-1) sealed inside by a TE who is an OL. He also gives ground vertically so Ross(+0.5) has a more difficult time scraping over this. Ross does and tackles but is unable to do much to prevent YAC since he’s hitting from the side. Metellus is in the area and draws a block from the second puller so Ross is free.
O20 2 5 Ace trips tight bunch 4-2-5 4-3 even Press two high Run N/A Down C Paye 3
Paye(+1) puts the RT in the backfield and cuts off the intended gap. Three yards of depth; Kemp(-1) got cut to the ground on the backside and is not available to flow down the line and cut off the gap Taylor has to hit now. Mone(+0.5) and Ross(+0.5) are able to power through blocks and tackle.
O23 3 2 Ace diamond TE 4-2-5 5-1 nickel Press two high Pass 5 PA drag Kemp INT
PA. Watson(-2, cover -2) gets lost as M is not quite set on the snap and the TE is open for a catch and run of some distance. Ball never gets there as Kemp(+3, pressure +2) steamrolls two different UW OL and forces a bizarre throw that Hill(+1) is able to spear and return for a TD.
Drive Notes: Defensive TD, 31-7, 10 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O30 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-2-5 4-3 even Press two high Pass 4 Out Long Inc
Trap coverage again with Long converting to cover two on the snap. He’s able to fall off his man on a quicker throw than the INT earlier in the game and force a PBU(+2, cover +2).
O30 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel under Press one high Run N/A Inside zone Bush 8
Bush(-2) slides over presnap and splits a DE and DT; M successfully schemes him a free run. He trips as he tries to adjust to an unexpected run; that prevents a thunderous TFL. Marshall(+0.5) fights back to the hole and while he can’t tackle he does spin the back, slowing him, and draws attention from an OL who could be blocking Gil. Gil removes himself from the end of the line to be the MLB and has a long way to go; he is able to track the back down. RPS +2.
O38 3 2 Shotgun 3-wide 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Run N/A Split zone Winovich 0
Bust by UW tackle lets Winovich(+1) inside largely unfettered. He’s able to force the back into the OL and eventually tackle. Gil(+0.5) able to picks his was through a lot of trash to help finish.
Drive Notes: Punt, 31-7, 8 min 4th Q. What are you doing, Turtle?
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Pack Front Cover look Type Rush Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 Nickel even Press one high Pass 4 ??? Winovich Inc
Coverage(+2) good; Hornibrook doesn’t have a first and maybe second option. He then bugs out as M’s DEs spook him despite the fact that both are fairly well blocked. He rolls out. Coverage continues to hold; Winovich(+1) got pushed around at ten yards but is Winovich so his relentless pursuit gets him a hit on the QB, sending whatever this was into the turf.
O25 2 10 Shotgun trips 4-2-5 5-1 nickel Press one high Pass 5 Dig Uche Inc
Uche(+1, pressure +1) able to dip around the RT at eight and will sack if Hornibrook holds onto the ball. He gets rid of it; Ball is way high on a guy Long(+1, cover +1) is in the back pocket of. He’s able to disrupt the jump, though I don’t think that mattered.
O25 3 10 Shotgun trips 4-1-6 4-1 dime Press two high Pass 4 Wheel Bush Inc
Stunts picked up(pressure -2) and a clean pocket. Coverage(+2) good enough; Bush(+1) is able to pick up the back when he leaks out and force him to run OOB when he tries to turn his route upfield. Subsequent completion is OOB and illegal touching anyway.
O25 4 10 Shotgun trips 3-2–6 4-1 dime Press two high Pass 4 Improv Uche 36
Uche(+1, pressure +1) again able to get around the RT productively, forcing Hornibrook up in the pocket to scramble. Dwumfour(-1) falls, and then falls getting backup, so pursuit is delayed. This gives Hornibrook time to roll out and fire a heave at a TE who Hudson(-1) is now out of position on. Long time to cope with a scramble drill here. No replay.
M39 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Pass 4 Screen Bush 9
Hudson(+1) is blitzing from depth here but is able to redirect out when he sees the screen, get outside the T, and force it back almost at the hash. This gives Paye(+0.5) time to catch up. Bush(-1) is trying to do the same job Hudson is and has to redirect when the back cuts. He’s able to but his tackle attempt actually blows up Paye’s tackle attempt and turns 4-5 yards into 9.
M30 2 1 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 3-3 stack Press one high Pass 5 Improv Hudson Inc
Hudson(pressure +2) gets a free run and overcooks it; Hornibrook is able to leave the pocket. Hudson stays with it and forces a quick throw so push. Ball is at Thomas(+1, cover +1), who is over the top of the WR after he stopped his route.
M30 3 1 Shotgun trips 4-1-6 Exotic Press one high Pass 5 Fade Hill 25
Pocket clean(pressure -1) on one of those quick fades. Hornibrook hits a too little too late DO as Hill is in the pocket of the WR but can’t do anything about this. Cover +1.
M3 1 G Shotgun trips 4-1-6 Goal line Press zero Pass 6 Slant Hill 3
Hill(+0.5, cover +1) gets a swipe in on this as he’s in great position. Alas.
M3 2PT 2PT Shotgun 3-wide 4-1-6 5-1 nickel Press zero Pass 5 Stop N/A 0
Route is a screen with no blockers? Okay?
Drive Notes: Touchdown(failed 2PT), 38-13, 3 min 4th Q. EOG for D.


Yeah, me neither. Michigan clubbed Wisconsin into submission with seven meaningful points and barely 200 yards of offense before their academic final drive. But man did bits of that feel Not Great.


Yeah, me too. Drive chart:

  • Five drives that are three and out except two are INTs that are returned for a TD and to the UW 14.
  • Two first down-and-outs.
  • Two longish drives of 34 and 49 yards ending in bad-idea punts.
  • Two 70+ yard TD drives, one of them the academic one at the end of the game.

That's against the #8 S&P+ offense in the country entering the game, without Rashan Gary.



Paul Chryst helped though?

True. Any sane person might have noticed that Michigan had zero non-sack TFLs (or seen the UW OL every day in practice) and pounded the ball on three separate occasions:

  • Third and three from the UW 45 in the first half.
  • Third and two from the M 42 in the second half, down two TDs.
  • Third and two from the UW 23, late. 10 minutes left down 24 and you're probably boned either way but the way this drive went was insane: two runs, run the clock all the way down, then pass on the one defensible rushing down. Then punt!

Anyone with a damn lick of sense pounds the ball in the first two situations, twice if necessary, and then we're on one of those 16-play epics that wear down your defense and shorten a game in which you're an underdog. Unless Michigan came up with a stop that seemed very unlikely, the complexion of the game changes radically if Chryst plays it right.

Remember that Indiana game two years ago when Kevin Wilson went for it on three separate occasions on early Ishtar drives and by the second half Michigan's DL was getting gashed on a regular basis? Yeah, that could have been this game if Chryst isn't a toadstool.

So about the no TFLs…

Well, first, how about a

////***#$$$$ vvv TRANSMISSION: activate gamma, the time has come vvv $$$$#***////

chart? Volume is again low as Wisconsin had just 49 plays.

Defensive Line

Player + - T Notes
Gary       DNP
Kemp 4.5 3.5 1 Huge play on pick six, picked on otherwise.
Mone 3 6 -3 Run over three times.
Winovich 6 3.5 2.5 Also two uncalled holds.
Paye 8.5 3.5 5 M's best DL run defender(!)
Dwumfour 1.5 1 0.5 PT reduced as M sheltered him.
Solomon 4.5 3 1.5 Pancaked once, otherwise v good.
Hutchinson       DNC
Marshall 3 1 2 Lone DT to not eat dirt.
TOTAL 31 21.5 9.5 This is an L the way I grade, but pretty close. Not as close if you cut out pass rush.
Player + - T Notes
Hudson 3 6.5 -3.5 Not a 4-3 LB, asked to do so for team. Couple coverage issues.
Glasgow 0.5   0.5 Helped on the Bush sack.
Furbush       DNC
Bush 9 3 6 PBU, C rip, etc.
Gil 1.5 0.5 1 Stood up a G once.
Ross 3 0.5 2.5 Mostly +0.5 cleanups. Right place.
Uche 3.5   3.5 Second straight week there are 3-4 plays in ~10  snaps.
TOTAL 20.5 10.5 10 Dogfight they mostly won.
Player + - T Notes
Metellus 3   3 Deep S most of day so insulated from Taylor.
Kinnel 3 3 0 Run over a couple times but one big stick.
Hawkins       DNC
Hill 1.5   1.5 Couldn't do anything on the two late completions. Offense wins sometimes.
Long 5 3 2 2 PBUs; got chopped on one of the big jets.
Watson 3.5 6.5 -3 -3 on jet TD, got lost on pick six.
Kelly-Powell       DNP
TOTAL 16 12.5 3.5 I'll take it.
Pressure 14 6 +8 UW OL only okay at this, as a reminder.
Coverage 20 3 +17 The windows were tight or not there.
Tackling 2 5 -3 Taylor hurt M a little.
RPS 14 6 +8 Whoopin'.

The main bad feeling coming out of this game is about the defensive tackles, who got stomped on early. I haven't had to say this bit for a while: if you are a DL and come out of a game even that's an L. DL, like RB, is a MAKE PLAYS position.

So: Michigan's DL scuffled against the ground game. Multiple guys ended up on the ground, and it was all perfectly legal. Kemp goes over on the second play from scrimmage, which wipes out what's actually a nice play from Mone:

#2 DT to top, also incidentally #90

Even when Michigan was able to close off gaps there was usually someone else who wasn't able to hold up and a cutback became available. Both Winovich and Mone got pancaked on the Taylor run that immediately preceded the jet touchdown:

It's tough to get anyone down in the backfield when the OL is consistently able to reset the LOS a couple yards downfield, or when someone's on the ground.

#5 DT to top

Michigan's DTs were not quite up to it against the Badgers. This was always going to be a tough matchup, but the L here was a bit worse than hoped for. Michigan doesn't have a disruptor. Mo Hurst is a generational player who you can't replace but I was hoping there'd be a Ryan Glasgow maybe. Doesn't look like it.

The main, if sporadic, exception was Aubrey Solomon. Despite what had to be a lot of rust he was the lone Michigan DT who was able to explode off the LOS and reset it in a negative direction:

#5 DT to top

That's Benzschawel, a returning AA and potential second round pick.

He was able to do that a bit against the left guard, Michael Dieter, and while he ends up in a heap here the difference between one yard forward and one yard backward should be clear. By the time Solomon goes down he's forced a bounce that should be a zero yard run but for Devin Bush getting tackled from behind:

#5 DT to top

seriously though what does it take to get a hold

He suffered a couple of blowouts himself but at least in his case it looked like he was a physical match for the Badgers. He's the guy to watch going forward. If he can turn the above into consistent production against worse OLs that takes Michigan's defense up another notch.

Mone also had his moments, but Michigan couldn't pay them off particularly well. He too was able to rock the RG back, forcing an early decision from Taylor. Unfortunately Taylor's able to sell Gil on a bounce and he can only tackle from the side:

#90 DT to bottom

Kemp had a backfield jet on a power play as well. There were flashes here and there.

Things did get better in the second half. Moving to the over added Hudson to the LB level and increased pressure on Wisconsin's interior OL to get them blocked. This resulted in more immediate releases. When not exposed to Wisconsin's devastating double teams Michigan was able to lock in. This is one on one across the board; nobody really wins but nobody really loses. Except Bush, who gets to flex after ripping their AA C down. But that doesn't really matter, what matters is a giant wad of bodies at the LOS:

And once Wisconsin got in second and seven they were dead meat.

It also felt like there were a lot of plays where Michigan should have gotten Taylor down 4-6 yards before they did?

Yeah, Michigan's other main issue was getting the LBs and safeties to pay it off when the DL or Brown got a win. There is nothing here for Wisconsin and free hitters in Kinnel and Hudson:


This turns into ten yards as Hudson starts bailing for a bounce and ends up catching Taylor, on his heels, three yards downfield. Taylor then grinds out seven yards after contact.

Hudson had a rough go in general. Michigan started with him lined up as a SAM over the TE but moved to that over front after a drive or two; that drew Hudson back to the LB level, where he was uncomfortable. He's not a read-and-fill inside linebacker. Michigan asked him to become one. The move helped the defense recover from the ominous first drive; Hudson made a number of errors. In addition to the above Michigan had an opportunity for a third and one stick with Hudson moving up as a free hitter. It did not happen:

#7 LB hopping around pointing at stuff

I thought Winovich was also partially at fault there since his rip move actually created space for Taylor at exactly the wrong time; still would like to see Hudson get in the kind of bone-jarring hit he can deliver.

The rest of the tackling issues came when cornerbacks or safeties had to fill. Kinnel missed a couple tackles and also lost some YAC battles as well; that's a cost of playing a spread-oriented defense against Wisconsin. Kinnel did have one righteous stick:

But he was always likely to lose this matchup, because Jonathan Taylor. Coming out even… I'll take it.

What happened on the jet sweeps?

They broke big as Michigan played man. Michigan does flip their CB and safety on the first one, and you can see the advantage that provides as Kinnel's able to run through the WR who's cracking down. That might allow Michigan to shut this down but Watson completely fails to crack replace:

On the second one Michigan does not switch and UW sends the LT to cut Long as he tries to track the guy, which leaves Michigan down numbers on the playside. Paye also does not read the give and can't quite finish off an impressive recovery:

The third immediately followed on from the second; Michigan zones. Watson just stays at the LOS.

The end.

Moral of the story: swap your safeties and crack replace.

But despite this Michigan got a huge RPS win?

Yessir. Mr. Tight Windows became Mr. Squeaky Bum thanks in large part to Michigan throwing him looks he wasn't ready for. Hornibrook got rattled. This happens to a lot of quarterbacks against Don Brown, but usually it's the pass rush doing the rattling. This time it was Michigan's coverage. 

Okay, also sometimes the pass rush. One of Michigan's sacks was a clever 5.5 man blitz. Michigan has their LB level super deep on this presnap and then they start coming. Wisconsin's guys pick up on this and it ends up being to their detriment. LG is focused on Hudson and wants to pass Dwumfour off to the C. Bush is creepin' and the C is like oh dang Devin Bush better get him. Dwumfour ends up turned free:

Bush, who is actually in man on the back, has the center staring at him the whole play.

But mostly it was the coverage. Michigan shut off Wisconsin slants before they even began by playing man with linebackers in short zones. Bush gets a deflection on Wisconsin's first drive to boot the Badgers off the field:

That was Wisconsin's only slant of the game until their final play. That comes at a cost—Bush is not rushing, and he's not able to fire hard against the run—but it was clearly a good tradeoff to make.

Mr. Tight Windows was able to thread the needle a couple times but it was striking how even Hornibrook's rare on-point throws were inches away from the outstretched hand of a Michigan linebacker.

Other throws were not made, probably because of this. There was a notable lack of easy anything.

Michigan's other tactical win in this game was trap coverage, which forced the first interception…

…and also got Long another PBU. Those are huge wins that most QBs probably fall for. You'd have to be a savant to spot the trap presnap. Hornibrook could never be sure what he was looking at and frequently had to hit a small spot as man coverage was fronted by Michigan's ILBs. This led to a period of indecision from Hornibrook, and led into the final thing that blew his day up.



Modest pressure?

Yes. Hornibrook was not chased screaming out of the stadium. Michigan was able to get him off his spot a bit. Brandon Watson executes the same rubbin's racin' move he did against Maryland on this drag and is poised for another pick six but the ball zings wide. Why? Look at Hornibrook's feet:

Mike Dwumfour didn't do much there but he was able to put Hornibrook into indecision mode between moving and staying; Hornibrook is not able to reset his feet before the throw. A later failed third down conversion was a similar issue, albiet less goofy from the DL. Marshall and Uche are able to drive their guys and Hornibrook cannot complete his follow through.

I think this is another secret Hornibrook thing. Nobody has ever assaulted him with brooms in the offseason; when things break down he's done.

I don't think that's illegal coverage by Watson.


No but some people in the comments last week…

Right. Well, when you're behind the WR and reach out and grab him and use that momentum to pass him on a drag route, that's holding. It's super sneaky and hard to catch since the relevant official is on the sideline and your body is blocking him from your nefarious actions, but it's holding. Prepare for Michigan to give up a first down on it later in the season. Worth it so far though.

Kwity Paye: best run defender? Chart says.

Chart does say.


Paye is not Rashan Gary but little of Wisconsin's success, such as it was, could be put on him. Twice he was able to reset the LOS on Wisconsin's bonus OL. This is not a tight end he staples into the backfield, nor is it 180 pound freshman WR AJ Abbott, who's listed as 89 on the roster. It is a Wisconsin offensive lineman:

#19 DE to bottom

Kemp is getting caved by a double here so if Paye can't make a version of this play Michigan's in a little trouble. And the version he does make is on the more impressive end of the spectrum. His guy goes for a ride.

This one is similar but a little less impressive since M has a slant on. He's still able to win laterally and shut off every interior gap. Is Winovich kicked out? Not anymore.

#19 DE to top

When engaged with Wisconsin OL he won more than he lost, even when he was going up against Edwards. This is another gap eraser:

#19 DE to bottom

He didn't get much pass rush but he just passed the stiffest test on the ground Michigan will face all year. Pretty easily. I had scattered minuses but the biggest negative was on a jet screen he got edged on, which isn't about holding up physically. Hopefully Gary gets back immediately but if he doesn't Michigan's got a guy who's ready to go filling in.

Speaking of emerging players…?

Josh Uche got a special package that gave him a guaranteed solo edge rush and paid it off. His sack was a freebie but he did make it count. More impressive were a couple of eye-opening edge rushes late. The first is a sack if Hornibrook has to hesitate at all and may induce a wild throw at a covered WR:

A couple plays later he was around the corner at eight and forced a flush that may have been a sack if Dwumfour hadn't fallen down. Those two plays were in addition to the errant throw he helped force mentioned in the Hornibrook section above.

All three of those were against the right tackle David Edwards. You know, the returning first-team All-American and projected first round pick. Uche had like ten snaps in this game and three Ws against an AA. Winovich-two-years-ago vibe: building.

Any clarity at WLB?

Not really. Ross's early lead seems to have evaporated; he and Gil split snaps almost down the middle. Ross came out a hair better in my grading but that was mostly scattered +0.5s as he helped clean something up. Gil had the most impressive play from the pair. Here he gets a free releasing G on the first play and stands him up to erase the iso gap this play wants to hit:

#36 ILB to bottom

The fullback ends up zipping through a hole that doesn't exist; he falls and becomes dust. If Mone is able to hold his ground or Kinnel reads the gap better this is a minimal gain.

Help I'm stuck between two large guys and would like to see them thrown large distances, perhaps forgetting what they're doing entirely and pursuing some other line of business.

You should call Carlo Kemp for that. Kemp got his revenge for a day of being pushed around in the ground game with the pass rush that forced the pick six.

#2 DE/DT to top. The one throwing guys.

Okay the left tackle is probably trying to get out to Winovich. He still gets shoved into a vertical line with the back. Then the move to attack the G as he comes to you, knock him back three yards, and then go get the QB… hello.


I mean. FFS.

#15 DE to top

/throws hands up, walks out


Paye shut down more of Wisconsin's ground game than any other DL, with limited errors. Bush turned in his usual excellent performance, shading to more coverage in this one. Uche had impact on limited snaps. Long forced an INT and another incompletion.

Maybe not so heroic?

The DTs as a whole took a loss; Mone was on the ground three times. Hudson had a rough day in an awkward position. Watson had crack replace on the first TD and really did not replace.

What does it mean for MSU and the future?

Gary's loss is survivable. There's a dropoff to Paye but it seems way smaller than it should be. Dude just powered through various Wisconsin OL and did not get his ass kicked even once. Gary wasn't providing a ton of pass rush when he went out, perhaps because of the shoulder, so if Paye comes through the Wisconsin game as a "hero," well, what's he going to do against worse OLs? (Still, please come back soon Rashan.)

The DTs are not on Wisconsin's level. Maybe nobody is. Aubrey Solomon had some promising moments and is the unit's best hope for an all-around star emerging late in the year.

Hudson is not a read and react LB. Probably won't ever be. Won't be particularly relevant going forward—maybe MSU could test that some but their OL is so bad I don't know how many plays they could get to him.

Got some jet work to do. Craaaack replace.

Josh Uche is hinting at his potential. Second straight week he posts 3-4 positive plays in scanty snaps. These were against an All American. LFG.

Slants are solved. The slantiest QB in all the land just got dissuaded from throwing them. (Note: may not apply to RPO slants.)

Busts are still… gone? Watson got lost on the pick six but other than that I don't think there was a legitimate missed assignment all day. That more than anything else is why this is the #1 S&P+ defense.



October 17th, 2018 at 4:59 PM ^

So many nightmares of Dantonio out coaching our teams. I hope so badly that this game is a chance for Brown to really cut loose and take advantage of a terrible offensive line and just annihilate Sparty's offense. 


October 17th, 2018 at 5:04 PM ^

It's not the same play, Brian.  This one is clearly defensive holding / PI that got missed, because it's downfield and the receiver was beyond the defender (holding vs. PI depending upon whether the ball was in the air when the referee saw the contact).  The Maryland play was at the line of scrimmage and the receiver was lateral to the defender -- contact is legal.


October 17th, 2018 at 8:30 PM ^

You are allowed contact within 5 yards but you still aren't allowed to hold or grab a player to prevent them from getting open.  Defensive holding is called (rarely) on lineman and it always occurs within 5 yards of the l.o.s.  My understanding of the rule is you are only allowed to grab or hold as a densive player once a pass has been completed or a runner has crossed the line, when attempting to disengage from blocks.  By your definition of the rule a defender could tackle a receiver before a pass is thrown as long as the contact occurs within 5 yards.


October 17th, 2018 at 9:30 PM ^

I didn't see the hold against maryland inithe UFR  but after these two plays I'm inclined to agree that it was there.  Great move by Watson no doubt but it's still against the rules.  You can't grab an offensive player to prevent him from getting by you or to improve your position .  And J's argument is you can hold as long as it's within 5 yards, that's not true.  


October 17th, 2018 at 11:43 PM ^

This falls under Rule 9.  Here are the relevant articles.  Note that Article 3 refers to the offense and Article 4 to the defense, but that I've added part of Article 3 because it's included by reference into Article 4.

ARTICLE 3. a. Use of Hands. A teammate of a ball carrier or a passer legally may block with his shoulders, his hands, the outer surface of his arms or any other part of his body under the following provisions.

  1. The hand(s) shall be:
    (a) In advance of the elbow.
    (b) Inside the frame of the opponent’s body (Exception: When the opponent turns his back to the blocker) (A.R. 9-3-3-VI and VII).
    (c) At or below the shoulder(s) of the blocker and the opponent (Exception: When the opponent squats, ducks or submarines).
    (d) Apart and never in a locked position.

  2. The hand(s) shall be open with the palm(s) facing the frame of the opponent or closed or cupped with the palms not facing the opponent (A.R. 9-3-3-I-IV and VI-VIII).

b. Holding. The hand(s) and arm(s) shall not be used to grasp, pull, hook, clamp or encircle in any way that illegally impedes or illegally obstructs an opponent.

ARTICLE 4. a. Defensive players may use hands and arms to push, pull, ward off or lift offensive players:

  1. When attempting to reach the runner.
  2. Who are obviously attempting to block them.

b. A defensive player legally may use his hands or arms to ward off or block an opponent in an attempt to reach a loose ball (Rule 9-1-5, Exceptions 3 and 4 and Rule 9-3-6, Exceptions 3 and 5):

  1. During a backward pass, fumble or kick that he is eligible to touch.
  2. During any forward pass that crossed the neutral zone and has been touched by any player or official.

c. When making no attempt to get at the ball or the runner, defensive players must comply with Article 3, paragraphs a and b above.

d. Defensive players may not use hands and arms to tackle, hold or otherwise illegally obstruct an opponent other than a runner.

e. Defensive players may ward off or legally block an eligible pass receiver until that player occupies the same yard line as the defender or until the opponent could not possibly block him. Continuous contact is illegal (A.R. 9-3-5-I).

It doesn't say anything about five yards (that's an NFL rule).  It does say that you can make contact with players that are lateral with or in front of you (Rule e) provided that you do so in accordance with the rules for the offense (Rule c).  You can't tackle an eligible receiver or wrap him in a bear hug, but you can absolutely shove him, and you can do so with your hands provided they're inside the body.  If you get a fist full of jersey, you've held.  If you get your arms outside the receiver's body, you've held. I still didn't see anything in that Maryland clip that showed holding.  I just watched it five more times.  Maybe Watson put his left hand on the Maryland player's hip as he passed him, but if he grabbed him there, he did it immediately in front of the umpire.  (Granted, the umpire might not have been looking for that contact).  Other than that, it looks like he just accelerated inside of him, and I didn't see anything beyond incidental contact.


October 17th, 2018 at 5:05 PM ^

Solomon emerging in his first game back was quite the surprise. We weren’t even sure if he was going to play. No other team on the schedule has an oline of this caliber, so that should give some us all some relief. 


October 17th, 2018 at 5:08 PM ^

It may seem minuscule, but I think a factor that could be playing a part in the Watson PI/non-PI plays the past couple weeks is him wearing white gloves covering an away player in a white jersey. 


October 17th, 2018 at 5:11 PM ^

Sure, MSU's "OL is so bad" up till now.. Guarantee they dominate our DL on Saturday. Uncanny how they're able to turn season-long weaknesses into massive strengths vs. Michigan every year.


October 17th, 2018 at 6:10 PM ^

Seems like in so many years MSU has some huge glaring weakness that we expect to abuse, then come gametime and suddenly it's a push. I've heard "but the MSU O-line is terrible" in several years where they ended up holding up just fine.

It's the extra disrespekt juice / steroids on this game that always seems to elevate that stupid team


October 17th, 2018 at 8:53 PM ^

MSU's Oline will be exposed on Saturday in a good Michigan way.  You will see plenty of Lewerke scrambling and NOT making the plays.  The state crowd will be filing out late in 3rd quarter.  There will be some booing because MSU will struggle to make first downs in second half. I see MSU with less than 200 yards total offense.  Yes, the game will be close early with MSU D playing tough for the first qtr.  But, as game goes on, the Michigan Oline will take control by second half.  This will be a satisfying win and just one more reason to believe this is Michigan's year.

Yinka Double Dare

October 17th, 2018 at 5:20 PM ^

Solomon holding up reasonably well against that OL despite just coming back from a leg injury and surely not close to 100% is a positive. In a month he's probably looking like the beast we expected him to be coming in. And allowing Dwumfour to used primarily on passing downs even when he's back to 100% will also be pretty useful. 


814 East U

October 17th, 2018 at 5:21 PM ^

Why isn't Uche playing more? He received a ton of hype during camp. Then there were rumors he was in the "dog house" and didn't play in 1 or 2 games.

MSU will probably attempt 40 passes. Uche provides better pass rush than others on this M defense.


October 18th, 2018 at 1:46 AM ^

Right now Uche appears to be good at basically one thing: rushing the passer. 

So he gets out there on downs where the passer is going to get rushed for sure. 

To get him on the field more they need to yank a really good player and risk him getting hammered by opposing offenses eager to exploit his weaknesses. Mark Dantonio would loooove Michigan to put Uche out there on even marginal running downs; he’ll run right at him. 

The good part of this is that Michigan has some useful situational players that provide extra flexibility. Teams that get into must-pass situations are staring down the barrel of Michael Dwumfour, Chase Winovich, and Josh Uche charging toward the QB while David Long, Lavert Hill, and Brandon Watson blanket his favorite receivers. 

Oh hey look OSU is a passing team this year. 


October 17th, 2018 at 5:43 PM ^

To think the only difference between a 25-point smackdown (that should have been even more lopsided than that) and a loss is a coach making better in-game decisions is rather....ugh...

No amount of Chryst making better decisions would have helped Hornibrook throw the ball better in that game. It could have been closer sure, but I don't think Wisconsin was on any path to win with that QB play. They had to throw the ball at some point.

Why do M fans love to see the worst in everything???



October 17th, 2018 at 7:10 PM ^

I would love to know the logic behind this.  They barely cracked 200 yards of total offense, and 75+ of that came on a drive when they were down 30 points with a couple minutes to play.  If you think a couple of fourth-down conversion calls were the difference between winning and losing, I'd love to hear it.

Mind you, Wisconsin showed very little ability to shut down Michigan's offense, and if this game got into a shootout I'd be pretty happy with Michigan's chances.


October 17th, 2018 at 8:18 PM ^

I think Brian nailed the preview perfectly:

Cheap Thrills

Worry if…

  • Wisconsin goes on a 15-play eon of a drive and then Michigan goes three and out.
  • Hornibrook is slanting with impunity.
  • The defensive tackles are on skates.

Some competent play calling from Wisconsin on the first drive would have given them 2/3 there. 

Wisconsin also did a horrible job of using the amazing run offense to set up the pass. They hardly threw the ball until they were down big, and its easy to imagine some off-schedule play action would have given our pass defense way more trouble than what they actually saw.

I don’t think it would have been a shoot out at would have been a methodical grinding and even shorter game.

All that’s not to say that we didn’t leave points of the board ourselves, and maybe some more competent play calling on our end less forced trickery could have made these adjustments by Wisconsin a wash. But at the end of the day, Wisconsin left 9-21 points on the table and it was a criminally negligent coaching performance by Chryst.


October 17th, 2018 at 11:05 PM ^

I don't see how them not going for it on a couple of 4th downs means they would have scored on said drives.  As for passing, their receivers didn't get open at all during this game.  Maybe Hornibrook drops a ball or two in, but this wasn't a game where Wisconsin was going to just be able to march up a down the field, especially in that second half where Michigan absolutely put the clamps on them.

Wisconsin threw 7 times in the first half compared to 14 runs.  They barely threw in the second until the 9 attempts on their last sad drive.  Thats a typical Wisconsin game throwing the ball, and a good part of their reluctance was because UW recievers couldn't get open.

I get a sense you are worried about something with MSU, which is fine.  But be worried about that, not how a team that doubled up the yardage and beat another ranked team by 25 points should have lost because a team ran into the #1 defense in the country by a number of relevant metrics didn't look as good as expected and, thus, must have been terribly coached.

Mr Miggle

October 17th, 2018 at 7:46 PM ^

Reminds me a little of Lovie Smith's post-game comments.

"We need to be better at finishing games." We missed a big kick."

They lost 46-7.

One thing Illinois and Wisconsin had in common Saturday was they were the inferior teams by a wide margin. The games weren't decided by a few plays and their opponents made mistakes too. If Michigan had lost, fans would be criticizing their playcalling too.