three read improv rollout: no problem [Patrick Barron]

Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs Rutgers Comment Count

Brian November 15th, 2018 at 7:40 PM

image-6_thumb_thumb5_thumb_thumb_thu[2]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). There are food trucks, beer, televisions, a giant colorful bus, and it's right next to Revelli so the band will march past. Check it out.

When not tailgating Matt is also a person who will get you a mortgage right quick from the comfort of your own home. If you need one, he's the man, man.

FORMATION NOTES: Pretty much the usual with shotgun and pistol dominating Michigan's formations, usually with at least two TEs on the field. 3 WR snaps were limited; there were another 12 snaps with 3 TEs. These latter were usually from under center and made up a majority of Michigan's under-center snaps.

The fullback is not a frequent participant, still.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: The usual at QB and OL. Michigan did not extend Peters's brief-as-possible cameo past the one snap because the ensuing possession with Joe Milton was with the backup line, and Milton got quick pressure as a result.

RB was an almost even distribution of snaps between Evans, Wilson, and Higdon. This might have been Rutgers-related or it might have been because Higdon made a number of bad cuts. Ben Mason was once again facing limited deployment with maybe a dozen snaps.

WR was a nearly equal rotation between the two established starters, Oliver Marin, and Ronnie Bell, with Grant Perry and Tarik Black getting about a dozen snaps. McKeon and Gentry were near-omnipresent at TE, with Eubanks mostly getting in on 3TE snaps. Luke Schoonmaker saw his first action of the year.

The backup OL was Ulizio/Filiaga/Vastardis/Spanellis/Stueber. Jalen Mayfield continues to head for a redshirt.

[After the JUMP: throwz!]

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun 3TE H 1 3 1 4-3 under 8.5 Run Power O Higdon 9
Line shifted weak for RU and 2 TES so a lot of meat against not much. Eubanks(+1) blocks down on a guy slanting across his face and gets him down as he trips; JBB(+0.5) goes down as that guy hits him from the side but did enough. Bredeson(+1) and McKeon(+1) pull and find nonobvious targets. Gentry(+0.5) gets a downfield block that’s mostly fencing.
M29 2 1 Pistol twins 1 2 2 4-3 even 8 Run Pin and pull Higdon 9
TEs as wingbacks, covered slot. Runyan(-1) blocks down but gives ground and makes an interior cut unattractive. Ruiz(+1) blows through the NT and climbs to a LB as Onwenu gets out on the NT so there’s some potential for a direct hit up the middle. Slot LB comes down hard into Bredeson, who’s pulling to kick out, and there’s no gap. Slot LB does not set the edge; Higdon(+1) pops outside and gets a fair chunk.
M38 1 10 Pistol 2TE tight 1 2 2 4-3 under 7 Pass PA waggle comeback DPJ 9
PA, rollout, Patterson has time on the edge. Flat covered but DPJ gets a safety one on one and is able to get separation as he peels back. Patterson calmly tosses to him but the flat guy and his defender is in the line of fire and the ball gets deflected. DPJ able to dig out a wobbly, descending ball. (CA, 2, protection N/A)
M47 2 1 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 4-3 under 7 Pass Post DPJ Inc
PA, back left in. DPJ runs a post against a guy who went into bail technique on the snap. Can’t get over the top of him but with the FS sucking up onto a tight end out Patterson has the whole middle of the field to throw him open. Instead long and to the outside. Wind probably has a lot to do with the wobbliness on deep shots. (IN, 0, protection 2/2), RPS +1.
M47 3 1 Ace trip TE 1 3 1 4-3 under 9 Run Inside zone Higdon 2
JBB(-2) gets blasted back and knocked over so Higdon cannot go straight upfield. Eubanks(+0.5), McKeon(+0.5) and Gentry(+0.5) all wash guys down the line enough for Higdon(+0.5) to squeeze by the CB for a first down. This will be relevant later in the drive.
M49 1 10 Ace 3TE 1 3 1 4-3 under 7.5 Run Jet sweep Martin 11
Eubanks pulls around as McKeon is supposed to block down on the SAM. SAM jets straight upfield to the interior, no block possible. McKeon(+1) gives up on him and finds the playside S. This is paid off by Martin(+1) avoiding the reckless LB. Eubanks(-0.5) gets out and harasses a CB but doesn’t really impact him. He’s able to dive and get an ankle tackle in just as Martin’s about to test his deep speed against the Rutgers secondary. RPS +1.
O40 1 10 Pistol twins 1 2 2 4-4 even 8 Run Split zone Evans 2
Wingbacks, covered slot, RU ignoring the slot guy. Runyan(-1) shoved back again so McKeon gets caught up on this block and Evans has to wait for McKeon to get around. He does. He hits the slot guy who’s ignoring the slot. Evans cuts upfield into the unblocked. RPS -1. No read, no threat from the slot. Gentry(+1) did fire in an edge guy well.
O38 2 8 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Nickel over 5.5 Pass Flash screen Evans 11
LB shifted to the boundary here where there are three M players and really just him until the S level. Perry(-0.5) gets outside the guy and barely slows him down enough to provide Evans(+1) a crease down the sideline. Narrow thing there and Evans is so close to the sideline he might accidentally step out. He tightropes it, though. Gentry(+1) blasts a DB OOB to provide another hunk of yards. RPS +1.
O27 1 10 Ace 3TE 1 3 1 4-3 under 7.5 Run Down G Evans 3
Martin motions across the formation to threaten jet and then orbits back the other way on the snap. Play is down G away from this. TEs misread the front. Eubanks(-1) fires inside the playside LB and then tries to deal with him, McKeon(-0.5) is about to block down on that guy when the LB slants over and McKeon redirects. He’s able to hit him and mostly stall his momentum; he is not sealed to the interior. Bredeson(+0.5) is trying to get a kickout bock but with both TE blocks not getting their guys locked inside Evans has to keep extending to the sideline until the party’s over.
O24 2 7 Shotgun 2TE tight 1 2 2 4-3 under 7 Pass TE out Gentry 5
Super soft corners so probably a pretty easy presnap read. Gentry runs an out against a zone weak point and is open for a catch and run to convert; Patterson leaves it low and takes him off his feet. (MA, 2, protection 1/1)
O19 3 2 Pistol twins 1 2 2 4-3 under 8 Run Split zone Higdon 1
Eligible slot here and Rutgers still ignoring him. A quick out is an easy conversion. Instead they run. Split zone, no read. Runyan(-0.5) and Gentry(-1) get driven back a little, McKeon again can’t climb over the backside of the line effectively. He does manage it to get a kickout. Higdon runs straight upfield at this and ends up running into a pile of Rutgers guys. Higdon might have cut to the frontside here but he was going for velocity.
O18 4 1 Ace trip TE 1 3 1 5-3 under 9 Run Inside zone Higdon 0
Runyan(-1) again driven back by a DE, which convinces Higdon(-2) to cut backside. This is not a good idea, especially since Ruiz(+0.5) and Bredeson(+0.5) obliterated the NT. CB runs up and cuts Higdon down for nothing.
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 0-0, 6 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M41 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 7 Run Down G Wilson 15
Wilson in for Higdon, implications. This down G is a different one than usual as McKeon kicks out and Onwenu pulls around to the second level. McKeon(+0.5) gets the kick. JBB(-0.5) about to be defeated, probably, when LB tries to shoot inside Onwenu(+1), who wipes that dude and cuts off the DT. Wilson gets a free pass to the second level. DPJ(+1) hits a DB who is the next most relevant player; that dude gives ground to disengage and DPJ sticks with him. Ruiz(+0.5) climbed super fast to the LB level but his dude went upfield of him so no actual block.
O44 1 10 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 4-3 under 7 Run Reverse Bell 2
Two high look from Rutgers and the S to what is eventually the playside is able to shoot through and tackle near the LOS. Runyan may be able to get off his guy earlier and do something about this; Mason may mis-target a guy that Patterson(?) is supposed to get. Seems bad since you've got two high, which implies zone, and you’re running this without an obvious plan to block the playside S. RPS -1.
O42 2 8 Shotgun 2TE tight 1 2 2 4-3 under 7 Pass TE dig Gentry 16
Forever for Patterson, who might miss Collins on an obviously open out for the first down; he hangs in the pocket and eventually hits Gentry to convert anyway. (CA, 3, protection 3/3)
O26 1 10 Shotgun empty quad 1 1 3 Dime even 5 Pass Hitch Evans 15
Zone look, bail from the field corner, Evans hitches up and is able to get a chunk of YAC as the WR inside of him drives the CB back with a vertical route. (CA, 3, protection 1/1, RPS +1)
O11 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 under 7 Run Down G Evans 4
Same inverted down G approach from the Wilson run on this drive. M is not able to get out to the second ILB as Ruiz gets obstructed by a DT. Gap is still there and Evans(-0.5) should hit it but for whatever reasons he bounces. He manages to dodge a TFL and get four yards, which is what he’s probably getting if he runs the play, but geez. JBB, Onwenu, and Gentry(+0.5 each) all did fairly good jobs.
O7 2 6 Pistol FB TE 2 1 2 4-3 under 7 Run Lead zone Higdon 4
RU slides the DE over Runyan inside and shoots him to the interior; again ground is given. Not a whole lot he can do about this and most obvious way to turn that off are off because Rutgers. Runyan is able to stall the guy enough and the rest of the line clobbers, with double blowing the other DL off the ball. Ruiz(+0.5) and Bredeson(+0.5) get one guy; Onwenu(+0.5) and JBB(+0.5) get the other. Higdon(-1) inexplicably goes right at Runyan’s guy when the giant gap on the fourth down is still there. WTF. If he gets to the backs of non Runyan OL he gets another two critical yards probably.
O3 3 2 Pistol 3TE H 1 3 1 Goal line 10 Run Split zone Mason 2
Luxury. M blocks this fine; because it’s from the three two guys meet Mason(+1) a yard downfield; he runs them over to almost score. Eubanks(+0.5) and McKeon(+0.5) paved the way, such as it was.
O1 1 G Goal line 2 2 1 Goal line 10 Run Down G Higdon 1
Gentry(+0.5) and JBB(+0.5) get the key motion on dudes to provide the lane.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-0, 1 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M35 1 10 Ace twins 1 2 2 4-4 under 8 Pass PA Post DPJ Inc
PA, three guys in the route plus Wilson adding himself late. DPJ gets one on one with a safety. It’s odd that this isn’t a corner route? DPJ’s running a post; S hops inside of him. Patterson does a good job of throwing his guy open here; the ball is outside and away from the DB. DPJ does not anticipate this. He gets his head around late and can only make a difficult stab at the ball; given the position of the DB he should be looking over his other shoulder, right? DPJ then gets two hands to it but too late, incomplete. (CA, 2, protection 2/2)
M35 2 10 Pistol 2TE 1 2 2 4-3 under 7 Run Down G Wilson 6
Runyan(+1) gets a bunch of depth on the DE he’s blocking down on; McKeon(-1) whiffs on the playside LB and is lucky not to get a holding calls(refs +2). With the help of a yank around the waist he’s able to resume contact and push his guy. That guy is now in the intended gap so Wilson(+1) has to cut behind it. He does. Ruiz(+0.5) works to the second level to get a LB block. Onwenu passes up the NT, who flies by Wilson. This might be as intended since the guy usually can't do anything about down G?
M41 3 4 Shotgun empty tight 1 1 3 Nickel over 6 Pass Improv DPJ 7
Mesh and quick outs against zone; RU appears to cover everyone short as they rush just three. Edwards is probably coming open late to the right side of the field but Patterson is looking left and his timer goes off. He’s able to escape the pocket and survey, finding DPJ downfield after DPJ sought the space he did not on that play against Wisconsin. (DO+, 3, protection 2/2, DPJ route +) DPJ(-1) then gives back a bunch of yards trying to get a big play.
M48 1 10 Ace tight 1 3 1 4-3 under 7 Run Power O Evans 4
Targeting issue for Eubanks(-1) as he’s lined up outside of Gentry and goes after the SAM; Gentry is also going after the SAM. That double goes a long way but playside LB gets over the top of Eubanks. McKeon(+1) comes around and cleans it up despite that not being his assignment. Bredeson(+0.5) gets a kickout and Evans hits the gap between the two, getting met by the MLB who McKeon was not permitted to get to.
O48 2 6 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 4-3 under 7.5 Pass Hitch Martin 7
Easy pitch and catch against off coverage as Martin drives and stops; Patterson gets it out fast. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O41 1 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7.5 Pass RPO out Bell 12
M hits the quick out to the slot guy RU has been giving M. RPS +1. (CA, 3, RPO) This is a legit RPO.
O29 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 over 7.5 Pass PA post Martin Inc
Jet fake. Pocket mostly clean; OLB does get a late rush. Runyan decided he wasn’t coming and went to help Bredeson; then he has to run out to deal with this guy. He does enough to avoid a negative; Patterson does have to step up, but he can and does. He finds Martin, who got over the top of a CB and then bent his route to the inside as a TE occupies the safety. Patterson dials it up and hits him but the wind blows this ball out of its spiral and Martin appears handcuffed by it. On the other hand, it hit him in the facemask. (DO, 3, protection 2/2)
O29 2 10 Pistol twins twin TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7.5 Pass Bubble screen DPJ 9
Slot LB blitzes, gone. S starts at about 9 and can’t quite shut it down; Collins(+1) gives DPJ(+1) enough room to run by the S and near the sticks. No RPS here as the S was in relatively good position and M had to make a play. (CA, 3, screen)
O20 3 1 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-3 under 8.5 Run FB dive Mason 0
The crazy dive. Ruiz(+1), Onwenu(+0.5) and JBB(+0.5) carve out plenty of space. Mason’s(-3) surged three yards downfield and is headed for five yards when he decides to try to bounce this outside. Woof.
O20 4 1 Goal line 2 2 1 4-3 under 10 Run Down G Higdon 4
Gentry(+2) pancakes the SAM, who is wee. McKeon(+1) stands up a LB creeping to the line and halts his momentum, then shoves him back. Bredeson’s(-0.5) kickout isn’t great; it allows the CB under him and could be a problem in some other situations. Mason shoots through the gap and doesn’t have anyone to hit; easy conversion.
O16 1 10 Ace trip TE 1 3 1 4-3 under 7 Pass Waggle Y cross Martin 15
M might tip this with Gentry’s alignment a yard further back than usual. Rutgers doesn’t notice. Flat covered; Eubanks runs to the endzone. Martin(route+) gets a full step from his release, successfully selling fade before breaking across the middle. Patterson calmly hits it. Martin doesn’t extend for the pylon, which is probably the right move. (CA, 3, protection N/A)
O1 1 G Goal line 2 2 1 Goal line 11 Run Down G Higdon 1
Down G to the other side; Gentry(+1) and McKeon(+1) fire back a LB with McKeon able to get out to a second LB. Higdon walks in.
Drive Notes: Touchdown,14-7, 9 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M47 1 10 Pistol 2TE 1 2 2 4-3 under 7 Run Stretch G Wilson 4
Eubanks(-1) releases to the playside ILB and gets run around, mostly; his attempt to recover is probably a hold(refs+1). That LB flashes in the gap between Bredeson(+0.5) and Runyan(+0.5), who both got adequate but not great blocks. Wilson(+0.5) decides to bounce it as the force guy isn’t upfield, and he’s able to run over the S for 3 YAC.
O49 2 6 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 under 7 Pass Back shoulder fade DPJ Inc
Again trying out the tough stuff. Patterson puts up a throw that’s short and outside; DPJ misjudges it. He gets his head around and sees the ball; he continues taking steps downfield and is forced into a tough diving attempt. (CA, 2, protection 1/1, DPJ route -)
O49 3 6 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel over 6 Pass Comeback Collins 10
Man to man on Collins with a zone defender under this but he doesn’t get enough depth; Patterson is able to throw it well wide and high of him as a result. Collins has broken back to the ball at about ten yards and Patterson puts it in his facemask. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
O39 1 10 Ace tight 1 2 2 4-3 under 7 Pass PA TE screen McKeon Inc
Heavy PA; late slip out from the TE. Patterson tries a little flip that either slips out of his hand or gets caught by a gust; no chance. DT was closing on this so probably not a great play anyway. (IN, 0, screen)
O39 2 10 Shotgun 2TE twins 1 2 2 4-3 over 7.5 Pass RPO out Bell 3
Safety has seen this before and reacts in time to sling Bell down on the catch. (CA, 3, RPO, RPS -1)
O36 3 7 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Exotic 6.5 Pass Post Collins 36
Giant Rutgers bust gives M a free TD. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-7, 5 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
50 1 10 Ace trips TE 1 1 3 4-3 over 7 Pass PA post DPJ Inc
DPJ in the slot, gets one on one coverage versus the safety and appears to win over the top. Patterson loads up and hammers it downfield, but this throw is too much to ask given the wind, I think. It’s well short and DPJ actually ends up breaking it up. Harsh, but (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
50 2 10 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 4-3 under 7 Run Unicorn salad Higdon 5
It’s back! Michigan pulls guards for down G in both directions. It’s Rutgers, so give. Runyan(+1) fires a guy way down the line but that much ground given means he can’t be cut off. That guy is able to dip outside. Bredeson should come back inside in an ideal world but that’s pretty unrealistic; he hits the same guy. Higdon has a ton of room up until about 5 yards when a couple of unblocked guys come in. McKeon(+0.5) got a solid kickout.
O45 3 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even 6 Run Pin and pull Higdon 2
McKeon(-1) off the LOS and at a disadvantage here but gets run at by an OLB and gives ground; both pullers clear this but have to bend. Higdon decides to cut this up inside. That exposes him to unblocked guys who converge. Onwenu(+1) did win against a DT to give him the room. RPS -1, why not make the TE inline here? Asking for this.
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-7, EOH.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M27 1 10 Pistol 2TE twins 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Arc zone give Higdon 1
Covered slot, arc keeper threat from M that Rutgers ignores. Both TEs move to the second level; a keep is good yardage; Rutgers. Covered slot doesn’t help either as RU is able to apply nine guys here. LB level fires at the LOS and is there before anyone can get off a block or move the first level with a double much. Higdon burrows for a couple. RPS -1.
M28 2 9 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 3-4 7 Pass Fade DPJ Inc
Throw is wide; DPJ can’t make a spectacular leaping grab on it and would have been OOB anyway. Patterson does have an in for Collins and probably a slant for the first down for Perry but comes off it quickly to take the shot. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
M28 3 9 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Exotic 6 Pass TE seam Gentry 21
Pressure gets through right at the end but this is a really long developing route and Patterson is clean through the throw so they get away with it. Throw is a seam route to Gentry that starts out horizontal before Gentry turns it up at the hash. He blasts through an attempted chuck and goes up to get a pass right at the top of his catching radius as the DB tries to rake it out; he can do this because he held, getting called for it. (DO, 1, protection 2/2)
M49 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 4-3 under 6.5 Run Pin and pull Higdon 5
Rutgers’s weird LB level here is tested and eh. M runs a pin and pull at the open side of their line. Runyan(+0.5) blocks down and mostly eliminates the playside DE, but he does come around late when Higdon cuts back. Bredeson(+0.5) gets a kickout; McKeon(+1) moves out a linebacker. Perry(-1) is trying to crack down on someone and gets lost. NT folds all the way back to the POA here with Ruiz(+0.5) shoving him the whole way. Ruiz falls off but he’s done enough; Onwenu(-0.5) stops for that guy and doesn’t go to the S. Higdon(+0.5) did make a nice cut.
O46 2 5 Shotgun 3TE H 1 3 1 4-3 under 8.5 Run Counter Higdon -3
Higdon(-3) turns a modest gain into a 3-yard TFL here by bouncing outside of a set edge. Eubanks(+1) thinks he’s doubling the playside SAM with Gentry(-2) and popping off to the LB level. He does this; Gentry has not picked the block up and instead slides down inside. That SAM is able to pursue now and spooks Higdon, who bounces. Very set edge, TFL. Bredeson(+0.5) set this edge; JBB(+0.5) fired in the playside DT.
O49 3 8 Shotgun twins twin TE 1 2 2 Nickel even 6 Pass Rollout corner DPJ 33
M rolls Patterson out away from his throwing arm. Patterson’s able to get enough depth that he can start moving to the LOS late in the play. He gets his shoulders square and fires it to DPJ for 30 yards. This is slightly behind DPJ and requires a nice catch but I mean, geez. (DO, 2, protection 1/1)
O16 1 10 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 4-3 under 7.5 Run Unicorn salad Higdon 0
Another questionable cut from Higdon(-1). LB tries to shoot the gap inside Onwenu(+1) and gets stoned. Onwenu pins him inside. He can either test the gap right outside Onwenu for not much or, yes this time he does have the bounce as the guy Gentry is on is fading inside and DPJ is cracking down. He’ll have a safety to deal with but that’s a good trade. Instead he runs directly into the guy Onwenu blocked.
O16 2 10 Ace 3TE 1 3 1 4-3 under 8.5 Pass Improv Martin 16
An astoundingly goofy playcall. It’s second and ten, so PA with two guys in the route. Okay. Eubanks gets bracketed; Martin loses and falls; he gets back up and runs to the sideline. After forever and a day Patterson is flushed and rolling ot the same side Martin is; he fires and Martin’s able to reach out and bring in a tough catch. (CA+, 2, protection 2/2, RPS -2)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 28-7, 11 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M7 1 10 Pistol FB 2 1 2 4-3 under 7.5 Run Down G Wilson 1
FB heads to the backside and M runs down G the other way. Wilson(-1) misses a bounce here. Playside SAM kind of moves outside but not very emphatically; McKeon(-1) should pass him up so Onwenu can kick him out and go to the LB level. Instead he blocks the guy most of the play and only realizes late that he probably messed up. DPJ(+2) thundered down and pancaked one S but there’s not much room because Wilson should have bounced and McKeon didn’t go to the LB level.
M8 2 9 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 4-3 under 7 Run Zone read belly Evans 2
Mostly setting a down on fire here. JBB(+1) moves the backside DT well down the line but the DE is shuffling very close to that as RU sends both S and one covers Patterson, nowhere to go, RPS -2.
M10 3 7 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Nickel even 6 Pass Slant DPJ 25
LB splits out just before the snap to get over DPJ, which just makes this slant more obvious. Patterson fires it out, YAC beckons. DPJ(+2) makes contact after 14 yards and gets another 10(!). (CA, 3, protection 1/1, RPS +1)
M35 1 10 Shotgun 3TE H 1 2 2 4-3 under 7 Run Reverse Bell 0
Legit reverse as Patterson takes off right before flipping it to Bell. This is a tackle over with Collins to the heavy side acting as a bonus TE; M pulls Ruiz(-2) and leads out with Mason. Action baffles the D; Mason(+1) gets out and shoves a CB. Ruiz airballs on the safety.
M35 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even 6.5 Pass Back shoulder fade Collins Inc
Collins gets yanked by the DB as he tries to come back no call, refs -1. Still has an opportunity here as the ball is about on point but cannot bring it in. (CA, 1, protection 1/1)
M35 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even 6 Pass Slant Perry Inc
DB sitting on the slant and provides a very small window; Perry takes this oddly vertical after his initial break and doesn’t help in that regard. Patterson puts it behind the window, such as it is. (IN, 0, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 28-7, 5 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
O42 1 10 Ace twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 under 7.5 Run Down G Wilson 13
Jet fake, down G the other way with Mason inserting to a backside DT like against Nebraska, except from a wing TE spot. Runyan’s guy gets upfield of him by going inside. Wilson(+1) has to go around this in the backfield but once he’s gone there’s some space. Push, I guess. Wilson makes a decisive upfield cut right after this and hits the gap the DT left. M trying to reach the NT after Ruiz bumps him but can’t really; Bredeson(+1) is able to come around and thump the LB into the NT and wipe both out. Ruiz(+0.5) releases and then does a hard right turn to get to a LB that Mason is holding. This is correct, as he passes up the guy Bredeson will hit, but kind of want him to climb to the S and bet this guy can’t make it. But anyway LB level gone and Wilson’s outside feint got Gentry some depth on his block as his man dips outside and then comes back inside. RPS +1.
O29 1 10 Shotgun twin TE 1 2 2 4-3 under 7.5 Run Down G Wilson 8
Wilson(+1) again presses outside before a late cut that set his blocks up enough to grab a small crease. McKeon(+1) has a man head up on him and doesn't get a seal but does drive him. Onwenu(+0.5) comes around this and gets to a charging LB. Can’t seal but does stop him. Eubanks(+0.5) stalks and shoves the edge guy; Wilson cuts right off this to shoot through the gap.
O21 2 2 Shotgun 3TE 1 3 1 4-3 under 7.5 Run Down G Wilson 8
TE motions over and widens out the OLB so he’s left for Onwenu(+1) to kick; JBB(+0.5) does enough with the DT to provide a crease as McKeon(+1) gives it to a LB. Ruiz(+1) blew through the NT and got to the other guy; Wilson ends up in a little space with a corner Black didn’t quite run off; he’s able to tackle from the side.
O13 1 10 Shotgun 3TE 1 3 1 4-3 under 7.5 Run Down G Wilson 3
RU slants to the play here. JBB(-0.5) can’t prevent the DE from crossing his face, which is mostly fine, but when he starts driving the guy he gets off balance and can’t control the guy. Wilson again makes a good cut as the playside is jammed; for a second this looks like it’s going to work but Bredeson(-1) bounces off the NT after Ruiz(+1) again puts him three yards downfield. If Bredeson can stick to this guy and push Wilson can scoot behind him; instead the space is filled with two DL.
O10 2 7 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 4-3 under 8 Pass Back shoulder fade Collins 10
A bad-ass throw that is indefensible and nestles gently into Collins’s outstretched arms. (DO, 3, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 35-7, EO3Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M39 1 10 Shotgun trips H 1 1 3 4-3 even 7 Run Split zone Evans 61
Weird look from Rutgers as this formation sees three LBs at the LB level but two of them are spread outside the tackles. Guy to the playside is unblocked and shuffles down to a spot where he should be able to tackle after a modest gain when he suddenly loses the courage of his convictions and takes a false step outside in case Peters is on a keep. Evans zips through. He can do this because Bredeson(+2) and Ruiz(+1) paved a DT and the other RU LBs flow hard to the split zone area on the backside. So does the S. Evans(+1) just has to run straight but he’s fast. RPS +1 I guess.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 42-7, 11 min 4th Q. Milton goes three and out with the backup line on the next drive and then it’s Sessa time. I didn’t see anything worth getting into.


Got the ol' hopes up, I see.


Well, can't blame you there.


I mean… eh?


This was a return to Michigan's early-season approach where the quarterback wasn't a run threat, and things suffered a bit because of it. Rutgers knew from the drop that Patterson wasn't going to run against them and used that to stuff up various plays. Michigan occasionally helped by covering the slot; here there's no read and no need to cover the slot WR so the gray area LB comes down. McKeon kicks him out, which leaves an unblocked guy to grab Evans after two yards:

Rutgers slot LB to bottom; MLB will be unblocked

This was a theme. Rutgers wasn't very good at stopping Michigan at the line of scrimmage but was able to apply unblocked guys to the ballcarrier in the 3-6 yard range frequently.

Meanwhile the first snap featuring a non-Patterson quarterback went for 61 yards largely because for the first time all day a Cable Subscriber LB thought the QB might have the ball:

Rutgers LB #56 to the bottom inside the slot area

Even eight carries a game from your QB changes your run game profoundly. In Michigan's case the lack of it gave Rutgers a bonus guy to help keep things in check. The Evans run doesn't make S&P+'s advanced box score since it came in garbage time, and without it Michigan's highlight yards per opportunity—ie, once you get five yards how many more do you get—was a dismal 2.7. Does this mean anything down the road? Probably not.

Here's a run chart anyway:

Offensive Line

Player + - Total Notes
Runyan 3 3 0 No pass pro minuses again. But that's everyone this week.
Bredeson 7.5 2 5.5 Mobility an asset this week.
Ruiz 8 2 6 Ran through the NT to LBs a lot. 
Onwenu 6 0.5 5.5 Agile; mashing.
JBB 4.5 3 1.5 Eh.
Stueber       DNC
McKeon 10 3.5 6.5 Inline mostly and killed their OLB.
Gentry 7 3 4 One pancake, one -2.
Eubanks 3.5 3.5 0 Some targeting issues.
Mason 2 3 -1 Only +1 of this from blocking.
TOTAL 50.5 20.5 71% So much goes off the edge in 2TE sets.
Player + - T Notes
Higdon 2 7 -5 Bunch of weird cuts.
Evans 2 0.5 1.5 Is fast.
Samuels       DNP
Wilson 3.5 1 2.5 Not flashy but effective.
Turner       DNP
TOTAL 7.5 8.5 -1 Off day for Higdon.
Player + - T Notes
DPJ 6 1 5 Crushed a safety, also took four guys for a ride.
Collins 1   1  
Perry   1.5 -1.5  
Martin 1   1  
TOTAL 8 2.5 4.5 Eh
Player + - T Notes
Protection 31 0 100% Wha?
RPS 8 9 -1 No funny stuff.

Again just a ton of numbers for the tight ends as Michigan's offense run a bunch of Down G to 2TE sides. In those situations I usually have numbers for the TEs, who block down on relevant DL, the puller, and maybe Ruiz if he climbs to the second level in a relevant fashion. I do not have numbers for the rest of the OL, who get blocks so far away from the play that I don't really judge them.

This week those numbers come out really well. In part this is because the OLB Michigan was going at looked like a DB.

In part it was because there was less on their plate. Last week McKeon came in for some clucking because he was running arc blocks on plays without reads and running like he was going to go kick out when he needed to climb to the linebacker level. He also got +11 for actually blocking people. With split zone and related plays largely excised (just four) since Patterson wasn't going to keep, McKeon got to make contact on almost every play and win those blocks. He did a nice job of Never Turning Upfield on the Martin end-around:

That's negligible contact but it's enough; he's able to read that whatever happens with that DE it's in God's hands now.

The rest of it was just whooping up on guys who aren't very good.

Uh, so… Higdon?

He had four separate plays on which I dinged him on 15 carries, and a couple of them were just baffling. Here he bounces himself into a 3 yard TFL.

And here Mike Onwenu staples a charging linebacker definitively to his left; Higdon runs into him anyway.

Vision issues have popped up from time to time with him and here they were especially prominent.

The failed fourth down conversion had its genesis in a couple of earlier plays. Higdon converts a third and one a few plays before the fourth and one in a very similar situation. JBB gets bowled over, so the lane Michigan carves by crushing the NT isn't attractive; also there's a LB who shows up. Higdon does have to cut back here and the CB isn't as aggressive so he manages to get it:

Then on the third and two prior to the turnover on downs Michigan runs split zone; Rutgers tries to do the thing they did on the previous snap by bowling over Runyan. They don't. Higdon isn't reading anything here, he's just running flat-out at the split zone point, which is filled with Rutgers players.

I get that as a short yardage approach when you've got a fullback and a gap blocked run. On zone… eh, maybe not.

Then Michigan returns to the same inside zone that Higdon converted on earlier in the drive. Runyan again gives ground but does not get bowled over like JBB did; the DL shoving him does not cross his face. Higdon makes the same cut to the backside he did, and the CB does not make the same mistake he did on the first play:

You can see from the endzone shot that Higdon's initial aiming point ends up being the dead center of Runyan. Higdon got yanked until the next drive got inside the ten. Rutgers? Or displeasure? I lean the latter. Michigan's done really well with these runs from the 3 TE formation because Michigan can get a crushing double directly up the field. Higdon had to abort the first one; he absolutely didn't have to do it on the second. 

But Wilson was pretty good?

In contrast, Wilson consistently set up and used his blocks effectively. His first run was mostly a freebie; on others he made slices of yards by himself by making decisive cuts after threatening the edge:

His ability to see blocks developing and use them to maximum effect is top-notch. Here McKeon airballs on a LB and recovers. He's now on the other side of the guy on a play where 90% of the time you're going to want to press outside. No problem for Wilson, who uses his arm to fling himself back across the block and pick up a nice gain:

Here he bends around some trouble in the backfield and then appears to lock eyes on Gentry's block. When he sees the OLB shift his weight outside, foot in the ground, straight upfield. He's created Gentry's block for him and committed a CB outside:

The one thing I dinged him for was a bounce he could have taken but did not.

The anti-Michael Shaw, that's Tru Wilson. He is a walk-on RB so that's probably something he learned the hard way in practice against Devin Bush. He's going to take conservative north-south angles inside and make the most of them, and he'll grind out a couple yards after contact despite being a wee bit wee. He's not going to be a killer but he'll be a reliable option that will take some doing to beat out as a member of what's probably a three-man RB  platoon next year.

All this discussion about running. What about PFF NATIONAL QB OF THE WEEK SHEA PATTERSON?

PFF had Patterson their best quarterback in college football this week and my charting pretty much agrees:


  Good   Neutral   Bad   Ovr
Notre Dame 2+ 18(4)+ 1   5 1   1(1) 2 2 1*   77% -
WMU 3++ 9(2)++     2 1     1 2     77% -
SMU 3+ 9(1)+ 3     1     2 1 2*   74% -
Nebraska 2 11(2)+     1         2 1   79% -
Northwestern 2 12(2)+ 3   1 3     3* 4     68% -
Maryland 3 17(1) 1   1 4   1   1 1   87% -
Wisconsin   15(2)     2 3     4** 1 1*   68% -
MSU 2 9(1)+ 1   2 3   1 3* 4** 1   55% -
Penn State 1 11(2)+       3     2   3   66% -
Rutgers 5+ 14(2)+       1       5(1)     81% -

Patterson's only errors were some errant throws, most of which were affected by the wind. If PFF is grading those on a curve then there's almost nothing negative about his day in the air. Michigan's protection obviously had a lot to do with this. Rutgers did not touch him. Patterson went through a football game without taking a single hit.

Anyway: the wind. It was significant, per Harbaugh after the game, and Patterson's pattern on deep shots certainly made it seem like it. DPJ's open on this post if Patterson throws it inside and short, but it's way long. This was going right to left:

Later DPJ is again open, this time over the top, and the ball ends up short. Now Michigan's going left to right:

The wide open Collins TD was a little short, too, and after the game Patterson said he had to load up and fire it as hard as he could just to get it there. I believe him. A lot of balls when Michigan went left to right got blown out of a spiral. You can see it on the Martin drop in the endzone:

just watch the ball

I graded these out like I would any other throw; YMMV. The repeated deep shots felt like a test, to see if he could navigate conditions that might recur over the next couple weeks. Results were mixed. To date he's been one of the best QBs in the country at hitting deep shots. The errancy here is nothing to worry about.

When not chucking deep balls into heavy wind Patterson was on point. His comfort in the pocket was notable. It's difficult to imagine the early season version of Patterson bugging out before this throw comes open:

Ditto that hit to Gentry, which is both a long time to hang in the pocket and a go-get-it throw to the Ent.

When he did break the pocket it was after an appropriate amount of time to let his routes develop, and he hadn't lost any of his wandering moxie. Here he appears to check  two different covered guys before his eyes alight on DPJ and he hits him despite rolling away from his throwing arm:

DPJ also does a good job of working his way open; he's running a mesh from the bottom of the screen and sits down. When Patterson exits the pocket he gets to the hole between the LBs and the safeties—something he did not do on one notable throwaway against Wisconsin. Then he gives like ten yards back, but one thing at at time.

And then there was this, a 30-yard throw down the sideline moving opposite your throwing arm.

Okay. Do that. That playcall and the two-man-route from the 16 seemed like coordinator-to-QB middle fingers that Michigan deployed largely to amuse itself. Michigan got a 30-yard hit and a TD out of them. Alright alright alright.

The capper:

/giphy "chef's kiss"

If Patterson can maintain this in a game where he's a threat to run the ball Michigan's offense is going to be a bear to stop.


A more eventful day than usual. I may have been excessively stingy with the grading here what with the wind.

[0 = uncatchable, 1 = circus catch, 2 = moderate difficulty, 3 = routine]

Player 0 1 2 3   0 1 2 3
DPJ 3   2/4 2/2   6 1/4 3/6 25/25
Collins   0/1   3/3   1 1/4 6/7 18/19
Martin       2/3   2 1/3   6/7
Perry 1         5 0/2 2/3 9/9
Bell       2/2       1/1 4/4
McCurry               1/1 1/1
McKeon 1         2   3/4 8/9
Gentry   1/1 1/1 1/1   5 1/2 7/7 19/21
Eubanks           1 0/1 1/1 3/3
Mason                  1/1
Evans       2/2   1     11/11
Higdon             1/1    0/1 5/5
Wilson                 2/2
Thomas                    0/1

Routes: DPJ +, –. Martin +.

Patterson could have had some more completions if his receivers had been a little bit on point. Martin and DPJ both narrowly missed deep shots that may have been taken by the wind. This is a (potentially random) good job of throwing Peoples-Jones open by Patterson when he's got one on one coverage to the inside; DPJ doesn't quite get his head around in time and he's got to spin all the way around to get his hands on it:

I think that's more DPJ than wind because he's not looking back for the ball until the last moment. Tough, but these are the little bits of polish Michigan's sophomores still lack.

The two attempts at back shoulder fades were also a wee bit disappointing. To me these throws from Patterson are pretty good but the WR aren't reading them right.

This time DPJ's head is around, and early, but he continues running down the sideline instead of making the hard stop that would allow him to convert the back shoulder.

To be fair, Collins has an argument that he was interfered with. Also the wind made things hard for them as well.

Offsetting these minor issues with advanced WR play… wanna see a dead body?

WR #9 to bottom

In related news, here's ten yards of DPJ YAC with four Cable Subscribers hanging off of him.

DPJ criticisms are nits. This was a game in which Michigan decided to pick at all the passing game nits they could find.

Oliver Martin, meanwhile, got doinked in the facemask and should have caught the ball on that 30-yarder, but some of that can be chalked up to the wind. When not doing that he looked pretty promising. His catch down to the one was won at the line of scrimmage, as he was able to sell the fade and turn the DB's hips out for a second:

WR #80 to top

This is the thing Oliver Martin needs to be doing to be Oliver Martin.

Probably not going to get anything here, but: tactical developments?

Not much from the depths of the playbook escaped into the real world but they did throw a couple RPOs:

A second one was an immediate tackle from that safety for three yards.

The other infrequently used item that got unearthed was the weird play where both guards pull to opposite sides of the line. I regret that I threw up my hands and named this "Unicorn Salad" now:

It baffles linebackers and hasn't done much else to date. But when it does, well, boy I tellya.


Patterson, TEs, interior OL. No pass pro minuses!

Maybe not so heroic?

Higdon left a significant number of yards on the field.

What does it mean for Indiana and beyond?

Rudockening? Hard to tell, but Michigan entered this game determined to make it as meaningful for Patterson as possible. He passed with flying colors.

Better have some OLBs against Michigan. This guy got paved and when McKeon's been able to get his hands on people it's gone much the same way all year. Gentry is up and down but good enough.

Tru Wilson is closing in on the Order of St. Kovacs. I have no trepidation about his carries or the prospect of giving him 150 next year. He maximizes situations a lot. Also he blocks.

A little more polish for the WRs would be nice. They're very good; they're almost killers. Get that back shoulder down and we're talking.

Another week, another medal for Warinner. Very few OL minuses on the ground and a 100% pass pro outing.


Diagonal Blue

November 15th, 2018 at 8:20 PM ^

Glad it wasn't just me that was wondering where Higdon was going on some of those runs. And Shea is looking like every bit the top 5 player he was purported to be coming out of high school.


November 15th, 2018 at 8:36 PM ^

Gyatdamn, the attention to detail. We're spoiled. 

I know it's said every week but this is some great sh*t. 



November 15th, 2018 at 9:02 PM ^

After reading both UFRs I don't feel too bad about even the bad things:  top running back who has been excellent when needed most had the mental letdown at Rutgers - probably means some rest and an excellent two weeks ahead. Back up safety blows a few plays in a Blue was going to win regardless situation - he'll be better for it in the coming weeks and next year.

Durham Blue

November 15th, 2018 at 9:18 PM ^

As crazy as this sounds, I wanted to hear that the cause of the lack of Higdon's rushing production was related to poor cuts and not OL blocking.  The former is more easily fixed than the latter.


November 15th, 2018 at 10:56 PM ^

If Shea comes back and all the receivers stick around and are healthy next year...

I mean, they're rounding into really good form now. We're a step or two from having a devastating all-around offense with significant implications for THIS season. Next year is going to be huge. 

I want to see Black get serious targets this week. Partly because he's good; partly because he wants to get them (as his social media history suggests, per the thread earlier this week). And significantly because DPJ in the slot could be absolutely huge. That YAC slant? He's in the slot. Imagine what he'll do if Harbaugh can get him matched up on a bad safety or an LB.


November 16th, 2018 at 12:36 AM ^

The wind may not have shown up on the telecast, and I gather that the announcers didn't mention it, but I promise you it was a real thing.  We didn't realize how real until the group of people that spent the entire first half standing in the row in front of us went to warm up at halftime; they'd been blocking the wind.

I would absolutely have expected it to affect long passes.  It was mostly in one direction; if I remember correctly, it was right to left as viewed from Michigan's sideline (the same angle as the main TV camera), so Michigan would have had the wind in the 1st and 4th quarters and gone into the wind in the 2nd and 3rd quarters.  (That would be consistent with each team electing to kick with the wind to open the half).

Hail Harbo

November 16th, 2018 at 1:08 AM ^

That scrambling throw to Martin in the EZ was worthy of the Grbac-Howard hook up, though of course it was Rutger, not ND.  On the other hand Grbac would never have made that scramble from the left hash mark to the right sideline.

Truth be told, I think Patterson needs a full season of proving that he has the pocket presence and patience to compete in the NFL.  No /s.  I think it quite possible that he could move from a 2nd or 3rd round project to a top 10 franchise pick.  Not that I'd second guess him should he take the plunge, and I'm sure M would be in quite capable hands should he leave.  That said, the selfish me would really like to see Michigan have a top flight QB return for another season for the first time in over a decade. 

Patterson returning for 2019 would be like having Henson return for 2001.  OMG, I just remembered, Patterson was drafted by the Tex Rangers and has signed a contract.