Upon Further Review: Defense vs Indiana 2010 Comment Count

Brian October 7th, 2010 at 1:52 PM

Substitution notes: The base secondary was the same and played every snap IIRC. At linebacker Mouton played every down and Ezeh was the MLB but pulled regularly for the dime package; Carvin Johnson started the game but was pulled in the first half and replaced by Thomas Gordon. The line did its usual amount of rotation (mostly Martin, Banks, always RVB, a little Patterson and Sagesse) with one exception: Jibreel Black got a significant amount of time in passing situation, replacing Banks.

Formation notes: A heavy dose of the dime package that pulls Banks/Ezeh off the field for Avery and Talbott. Meanwhile, Indiana had all manner of weird stuff. I called this "Empty bunch quad":


This was "Pistol FB twins"; note that the TE is covered up on this play:


The FB is more of an H-back on this play; he was lined up next to the QB on most other plays of this variety. The rest of it was fairly straightforward.

Insanely long show:

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
M23 1 10 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Rollout throwaway Banks Inc
Roh lines up over the center. Martin and RVB flip positions. Indiana rolls the pocket away from Martin but lets him in free anyway; Banks(+0.5) drives through the tackle to force Chappell to pull up. He has to throw before his receivers can force Floyd(+1, cover +1) into a choice, so he chucks it OOB. (pressure +1)
M23 2 10 Pistol 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run Banks Power off tackle Ezeh 6
Not to be that guy who hates Ezeh but this is pretty much Ezeh. IU brings Doss in motion and fakes an end around, then runs power at Banks. Banks(+0.5) fights inside and Mouton(+0.5) takes on the FB at the LOS, cutting off the frontside. Roh recognizes and attacks through a gap in the backside of the play and could get this at the LOS or in the backfield but slips, so no plus or minus. He does force the RB to head outside of Banks, where he finds room because Ezeh(-1) stepped towards the end-around and did not get back; Martin actually peels off a blocker and heads downfield to tackle.
M29 3 4 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 nickel Pass 4 Slant C. Gordon 14
Michigan threatens blitz and does come, dropping Banks and Roh off into short zones; Indiana picks it up (pressure -1) and a slant comes wide open (cover -2) with Cam Gordon(-1) sinking on a route Rogers should have covered. Good tackle by Kovacs(+0.5, tackling +1).
M43 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass N/A PA WR flare Johnson 15
Fake end around, fake handoff, throwback to Doss after everyone chases after the fake. IU has acres of space since Roh(-1) chased after the fake even though he's the linebacker to this side and abandoning the WR means there's no one out there; Johnson(-1) gets sealed, Rogers(-1) never does get off his blocker, and it's an easy first down (cover -1, RPS -1).
O42 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run RVB Inside zone Mouton 2
Willis decides to cut this back despite no penetration; it looks like they were trying to scoop Martin(+0.5) but he knocked the C back and ended up occupying two blockers; still, Willis might have a crease on the frontside. Instead he cuts it back into a huge space because Banks(-0.5) was kicked out easily; Mouton(+1, tackling +1) reads and reacts to tackle.
O40 2 8 Pistol trips TE 3-3-5 stack Run Banks Power off tackle Martin 24
Man, this should be easy to read: the pulling G starts pulling out before the snap, a dead giveaway. It doesn't turn out that way. Martin(-2) completely misses the pull, fighting into the space the G has just vacated. This opens a huge gap and allows the guy doubling him to get a release on Ezeh; pulling G hits Mouton and the two LBs just have too much space to shut down. Willis is through the crease between them as their waving arm tackles are unsuccessful. Floyd(-1.5) is playing deep safety here and comes up to make a tackle(-1) attempt after ten yards but almost misses it and allows Willis to drag him another 15 yards. This is an example of how useful Cam Gordon is as a run defender; this has happened zero times to him.
O16 1 10 Pistol trips 3-3-5 stack Run Banks Inside zone Martin -1
Some redemption as Martin(+1) drives the C backwards and causes the back to hesitate, allowing Renaldo Sagesse(+0.5), unblocked on the backside, to close and tackle with help from Kovacs(+1), who read the play and shot the gap at the right instant, beating a block and getting in on the TFL.
O17 2 11 Shotgun empty bunch quad 3-3-5 stack Pass 5 Slant Floyd 12
Terrible terrible coverage by Floyd(-2), who has one receiver to his side of the field and is in the redzone and lays off this slant to the point where it's unbelievably wide open on the world's easiest read (cover -2). Michigan had gotten a free rusher and if Floyd is up on this Chappell is running for his life. Terrible pairing of pressure, coverage, and game situation. I really hope this isn't how the play was drawn up. Floyd then compounds things by getting dragged past the sticks by Belcher(tackling –1).
O5 1 G Pistol twins unbalanced Base 4-4 Run N/A End around Kovacs 2
Kovacs(+0.5) is out providing contain and forces the play into Mouton, who helps tackle.
O3 2 G Pistol twins unbalanced Base 4-4- Run N/A Power off tackle Van Bergen -2
Fake end around, hand it off. RVB(+3) comes underneath a guy trying to downblock him, reads the handoff, and meets the tailback two yards in the backfield. He holds him up and help arrives.
O5 3 G Shotgun empty bunch quad 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Improv ? 5
Absolutely forevvvver on a three man rush that gets nowhere and doesn't even have Roh in it (RPS -1, pressure -2). Martin eventually comes through blockers to hit but it's too late as one of IU's receivers has separated from the coverage of Mouton and found an open spot in the endzone.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 0-7, 9 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O39 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Throwaway ? Inc
IU runs a series of hitches that are all covered by Michigan's eight-man drop (cover +1), at which point Martin(+0.5) flushes Chappell and forces the throwaway.
O39 2 10 Pistol trips TE 3-3-5 stack Penalty ? Delay ? -5
O34 2 15 Pistol trips TE 3-3-5 nickel Pass 3 Out Rogers Inc
Rogers in a three-deep zone and beaten badly for at a ten-yard completion but Chappell chucks it well OOB, then starts grabbing his hand. (Cover -1) Actually, I think the player most at fault here is Avery(-1) who sucked in on routes others were covering instead of sinking back into this one.
O34 3 15 Shotgun 3-wide 3-2-6 dime Pass 4 Scramble Roh 10
Floyd lines up as a deep safety, then runs to the LOS to threaten a blitz. Roh rushes! Chappell sets up but can't find an open guy(cover +1) at first, then moves up in the pocket thanks to Roh(+0.5) and Black (+0.5) coming around the end. He takes off to run, which works about as well as you might expect. Roh runs him down from behind. (Pressure +1.)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 7 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O26 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run N/A Power dive Ezeh 3
Martin again seems like he's about to get sealed and let his blocker out on a linebacker, and does cede a big hole here. He jumps back and flows down the line when he reads the play, though, so no minus. Ezeh(+1) reads the play and blasts into the pulling G, forcing the play back inside, where Martin and Mouton come off blocks to tackle after a moderate gain.
O29 2 7 Wildcat 4-wide bunch Base 4-3 Run Banks QB stretch Banks 0
They start out in one formation then motion all around and end up in the wildcat. Why? Who knows. They then run a stretch that Banks(+1) strings out, occupying two blockers and giving no ground. This allows Mouton(+1) to attack the edge when Doss commits to it, tackling for no gain. Roh flowed down the backside to help tackle.
O29 3 7 Shotgun trips 3-2-6 dime Pass 4 Slant Roh 14
Two blitzers up the middle (Black one of them) with Mouton and Roh dropping into short zones. Michigan again pairs a blitz like this on third and medium with a soft zone that sees a slant route open up as Roh(-2) sucks up on a two-yard drag that had no chance at first down. (cover -2) Chappell got wasted by Martin as he threw; just a second more in coverage and this is a stop, but I say that all the time.
O43 1 10 Pistol FB Base 4-3 Pass NA PA TE corner Kovacs Inc
Kovacs initially beaten on this but tracks the TE down by the time this ball gets there and has a chance to maybe make a play on the ball if it's in a certain spot. It's long. Floyd, playing FS here, had been sucked to the other side of the field by a roll away from the route—this is a tough throw. No coverage +/- since this is mediocre.
O43 2 10 Pistol 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Out Rogers Inc
They're going high-low on Rogers and he sinks back so the out is open; Chappell misthrows it. (Cover -1)
O43 3 10 Shotgun trips 3-2-6 dime Pass 4 Drag Roh 6
Roh(+1) rushes. He sets the OT up outside, then dives inside of him to get pressure(+1) on Chappell, hitting him as he throws short (cover +1) to the drag route; Floyd and Mouton tackle.
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-7, 3 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O1 1 10 Ace 3-3-5 stack Run N/A QB sneak -- 1
They get a yard.
O2 2 9 Pistol 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 4? Rollout hitch Rogers 9
Okay, so this is going to happen sometimes but the thing that grinds my gears is that this is a five yard route that a good defense would tackle immediately and ours would give up a first down on, which they do. Rogers -1; his ability to change direction is not so good, and it results in stuff like this here. (Tackling –1)
O11 1 10 Pistol trips TE 3-3-5 stack Pass   Bubble screen Johnson 7
Johnson(-0.5) and Rogers(-0.5) both get blocked, opening up the corner.
O18 2 3 Pistol 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run RVB End around Roh 7
Roh(-1) sucks in on the playfake and even though Johnson(+0.5) does a good job of funneling it back inside Roh's slow reaction opens up a crease for the first. This was the kind of stuff he was always going to be vulnerable to as a linebacker. C. Gordon comes up for a killshot that lands a glancing blow; Roh wraps up from behind.
O25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass 4 Hitch Johnson 5
Roh rushes; neutralized. Martin is coming in on Chappell eventually, forcing a throw. Chappell finds a guy open but could have had a better option to the outside; as it is Ezeh and Johnson(+0.5, cover +1) tackle immediately.
O30 2 5 Pistol FB twins Base 4-4 Pass N/A Waggle corner Floyd Inc (Pen +10)
Floyd does grab his jersey in a flamboyant fashion as the guy cuts outside and uses that to stay in contact and make a good PBU(-1, cover -1). I'd rather see this than Rogers not being within three yards of a guy.
O40 1 10 Shotgun H-back bunch 3-3-5 stack Pass   Long handoff Rogers 1 (Pen +15)
Rogers(+1) does react to this quickly, forcing the WR inside of him at the LOS and allowing Kovacs(+0.5, tackling +1) to plant the guy; Rogers gets flagged for a face mask. I don't minus stuff like this that's accidental instead of dumb.
M44 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Dumpoff Ezeh Inc
Good coverage downfield(+2, Ezeh +1 for a good drop in space that took away the primary read) induces Chappell to chuck a three-yard checkdown that he overthrows and nearly sees intercepted.
M44 2 10 Pistol 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass 3 Out Johnson 7
Another frustrating dink of a pass that should be shut down for little but ends up giving IU third and short. Johnson(-0.5) was too far to tackle right away and Roh(-0.5) was awkward in space instead of aggressive. (Tackling –1)
M37 3 3 Shotgun trips bunch TE 3-3-5 nickel Pass 3 Flare ? 5
With Mouton chucking the TE Chappell reads his flare is open and throws it on the money, giving the RB the opportunity to get the first despite Kovacs(+0.5, tackling +1) coming downhill and making a solid tackle almost on the completion. Excellent execution from IU and a conversion that would not have happened with better tackling on the previous play.
M32 1 10 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Tunnel screen C. Gordon 9
This is a bubble fake that counters into a tunnel screen and gets Cam Gordon(-1) shooting up to the outside of the play; Roh(-1) also headed outside despite watching the OL release downfield; there is much space. Gordon does recover to tackle solidly(+0.5). This is a clever play we should consider adopting.
M23 2 1 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Hitch Floyd Inc
Open in front of Floyd for four yards; in this down and distance whatever, it's probably right to play it safe. Pass is a bit short and dropped.
M23 3 1 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 stack Run N/A QB sneak ? 1
Chappell runs up under center and takes a snap; they get it. Very tough to stop this with how they've spread the field.
M22 1 10 Pistol FB twins Base 4-3 Run N/A Inside zone Johnson 22
So they've been putting Johnson(-2) on the interior on these plays right over the tackle. IU runs right at him and he makes a critical mistake by doing… something, I don't know what. He steps to the right for some reason, maybe because IU has an end-around fake; this allows an IU guard to seal him easily. Ezeh(-1) also stepped right, getting blocked out of the play, and Gordon(-1) moved over too with the WR motion. As a result there's a big hole right where the RB is hitting it up and three players who should be in the area are all gone because they moved to combat a playfake that was not their responsibility and they could do nothing about.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-14, 11 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O31 1 10 Pistol trips bunch TE Base 4-3 Pass 4 Flare Roh Inc
Roh rushes. He draws attention from both the LT and the LG, giving RVB a free run at the QB despite no blitz. Chappell is forced into a quick swing that he throws wide of the tailback. This is pure bust by IU but Roh did run right by the tackle to pressure, as well (+1 Roh, pressure +1)
O31 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass 4 Flat Floyd 9
Roh rushes; LT fends him off. RVB(+0.5) and Martin(+0.5) are crushing the pocket so Chappell has to get rid of the ball (pressure +1); Floyd(-2, cover -2) is jumping a slant route that is not open because Mouton is dropping into it(+1). This opens up a nothing pass in the flat for major yards.
O40 3 1 Ace 3-wide Base 4-3 Run N/A QB sneak ? 1
They get it.
O41 1 10 Pistol Trips TE 3-3-5 stack Pass   Bubble screen Roh 8
Rogers(+0.5) and T. Gordon(+0.5), in for Johnson, recognize this, attack it, and cut off the outside, where Roh(-2) awkwardly overruns the receiver and turns 0 yards into eight. (Tackling -2, Cover +1)
O49 2 2 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Run Banks Inside zone Mouton 3
Linebackers on their heels here. Martin(+0.5) absorbs a double without giving ground or allowing a guy off on a downfield player but Mouton(-0.5) took his first steps into a zone drop and can't hit the hole before Willis is through for the first; he does come up to tackle after the short gain.
M48 1 10 Pistol trips 3-3-5 stack Run RVB Inside zone Martin -1
Martin(+1.5) takes a double and drives it playside by himself, cutting off any hole. Willis has to cut to the backside, where Sagesse is unblocked. He misses but delays the guy, allowing four Michigan players to come through the line and surround Willis; Mouton(+0.5) tackles for a loss; Ezeh(+0.5) had dipped past a blocker to cut off another lane; everyone else just had to run to the ball.
M49 2 11 Pistol 3-wide 4-1-6 dime Pass 4 TE Seam Floyd 27
Roh rushes, Stoned. Chappell is looking right down the center of the field where Mouton and Floyd are; both suck up on a little drag route and subsequently leave a TE seam wide open (cover -3); Cam Gordon comes over to bash the guy to the ground. I am not entirely sure what is desired here but I find it hard to believe that Floyd(-2) isn't supposed to carry the receiver deeper; Gordon may have been late as well.
M22 1 10 Shotgun empty bunch quad 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Slant Floyd 6
Fake blitz gets Banks in free (pressure +1, RPS +1), but there's no zone under the slant to the short side and it's an easy pitch and catch. Immediate tackle from Floyd(+0.5, cover –1).
M15 2 4 Pistol FB twins Base 4-3 Pass 4 Rollout corner Gordon Int
They roll away from the pocket to the wide side of the field and leave everyone in to block; Chappell makes a horrible decision to throw to a guy on a corner route that Gordon(+2, cover +2) has blanketed; he intercepts and manages to not fumble it back.
Drive Notes: Interception, 14-14, 6 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O28 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Run ? Draw Martin -3
Martin(+3) zips between the C and G with evil intent on the QB but has the agility to change direction and swallow the draw well in the backfield.
O25 2 13 Shotgun 3-wide 4-1-6 dime Pass 4 Flare screen Kovacs 12
Guh. Okay, Black(-1) does not recognize this and just runs at the QB. Talbott(-1) eats an OL and doesn't seem to even think about getting off his block. And Kovacs(-1) came up slow, didn't recognize where Mouton was coming from, and ends up making a weak ankle tackle that turns this from third and medium into third and two. (Tackling -1)
O37 3 1 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Hitch Floyd 7
DL tight in case of a sneak so not likely they'll get pressure; IU does not sneak, instead hitting a receiver in front of Floyd's soft zone (cover -1).
O44 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 4 Hitch C. Gordon 17
Zone blitz sees Banks and Martin drop out as two guys come from the linebacker level, getting a free run on Chappell, but since it's backed with a three deep zone he has a wide, wide open guy on a hitch that he hits (cover -2, presure +1). C. Gordon(-1) was not in the deep zone and needs to react more quickly to this; another example of M giving up a ton of YAC. This could have been eight; it's seventeen.
M39 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Throwaway ? Inc
No pressure(-1) but the coverage(+2) is very good and Chappell has nowhere to go when Patterson eventually gets through and flushes him.
M39 2 10 Shotgun trips bunch 4-1-6 dime Pass 4 Corner Rogers? 24
NFW Michigan can defend this as aligned, as Rogers has a nasty choice between giving up the corner or the flat and chooses poorly by not sinking into the corner. (Cover -2, RPS -2); Gordon has no prayer of getting over in time and can only hope to tackle. Also, Avery(-1) appears to be abandoning his zone to ride the WR on a little hitch farther, which means the flat is wide open; Michigan is putting lots of guys in the same areas on their zone drops.
M15 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Slant Roh 13
Roh(-1) fakes a rush and then drops into a zone; his drop is not good and Chappell can just wait for the receiver to clear him on the slant; C. Gordon(+1) does read this and delivers a hellacious hit just as the ball arrives; receiver hangs on but that was a monster hit that could force an incompletion or fumble. (Cover... 0). Also this is an example of Indiana's pass offense being flat good.
M2 1 G Pistol FB twins Goal line Run RVB Inside zone Van Bergen 1
Van Bergen(+1) surges into the backfield, cutting off the RB's intended path and forcing a cutback. Martin(-0.5) has been shoved down the line and eventually collapses in a heap of bodies; Campbell(-0.5) is also on the ground, so no loss here; Mouton(+0.5) and others converge to tackle short of the goal line.
M1 2 G Pistol FB twins Goal line Run RVB Power off tackle Van Bergen -1
Van Bergen(+2) slants past the tackle into the play, absorbing the pulling guard and forcing the RB up the middle of the field, where Demens(+1) forms up and tackles, driving the tailback backwards with help from Mouton, who basically tackled Demens from behind to provide extra momentum.
M1 3 G Shotgun empty bunch quad 3-3-5 stack Pass 6 Circle Talbott 1
Rush gets unblocked guys in (pressure +1) and Chappell has to get rid of it, which he does by throwing a circle route in front of Talbott, who is right there but can't do anything about a perfectly placed pass that required the 6-5 Belcher to lay out. Again: Indiana's passing offense is legitimately good.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-21, EOH. Indiana had 45 seconds and three timeouts when they got to first and goal and still would not have had a fourth down play here.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O24 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass N/A PA WR flare T. Gordon 15
A repeat of a play from the first drive. Roh(-1) hauls ass after the handoff fake despite RVB sitting there unblocked to handle any cutbacks, opening up space for Doss; T. Gordon(-1) also bit inside pointlessly and gave the IU WR a great angle to block him despite having no earthly way to do anything about a hypothetical run from this far outside. C. Gordon makes a solid tackle(+0.5, tackling +1) but not before the first down.
O39 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 5 Hitch ? 11
Easy since M is playing the same soft zone behind their blitzes, giving Chappell plenty of opportunities to hit guys. Man coverage does not exist. (Cover -2, RPS -1). T. Gordon and Rogers tackle after the first.
50 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 5 Bubble screen Rogers 3
Blitz caught(RPS -1) and leaves a ton of space since Michigan has sent it from the receiver-heavy side of the field.
M43 2 3 Pistol 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run Banks Inside zone Banks 1
Martin(+1) and Banks(+0.5) shoot through the line immediately, crushing the play's blocking and forcing the RB outside, where Floyd(+0.5) comes up to tackle. Banks let the RB outside, so no +1.
M42 3 2 Pistol 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run RVB End around T. Gordon 0
Van Bergen(+1) sets up outside and maintains contain responsibly, stringing the play out. This allows T. Gordon(+1) to get outside his blocker and string it all the way to the sideline, with Rogers adding the final dainty shove OOB.
Drive Notes: Insane punt, 28-21, 11 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O39 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Fly Rogers 46
This is a cover two that Rogers(-2) immediately gets burned on, a step behind the receiver and unable to do anything about a good pass; Gordon(-1) was also late after not reacting to where the vertical routes were coming from. (Cover -2.)
M15 1 10 Wildcat 4-wide bunch Base 4-3 Run N/A Zone stretch Van Bergen -1
Indiana throws away a down so okay. RVB(+1.5) drives into the backfield, forcing a cutback into Banks(+1), who came under a blocker, and Kovacs(+0.5), who was free on the backside.
M16 2 11 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Flanker screen Mouton 5
So this is what I would like to see on this: okay, you gave up some yards but not that many. Floyd(+0.5) took on his blocker quickly and Mouton(+0.5, tackling +1) thumped the ballcarrier after a modest gain. Not third and one coming up.
M11 3 6 Shotgun 4-wide bunch 4-1-6 dime Pass 6 Out Talbott 8
Blitz does not get there in time (pressure -1) and Talbott(-1, cover -1) is smoked in man coverage.
M3 1 G Pistol 3-wide Base 4-3 Run Banks Power off tackle Banks 3
Banks(-1) tries to slant inside and gets shoved out of the play without taking out another blocker, leaving a lot of space and a lead guy. RVB has come all the way from the backside of the play and Martin is also there; they connect at the LOS but get dragged into the endzone.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 28-28, 6 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O39 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Waggle deep cross Floyd 19 + 15 pen
Linebackers suck up to the playfake but recover decently; Ezeh(+0.5) is just a step behind the receiver and Chappell has to fit it in a tight window (cover +1) since Floyd is on the edge; Floyd(-1) then misses a tackle(-1) and turns this first down into a first down plus like ten more yards. Black(-0.5) shot into the supposed run play and gave up the corner, giving Chappell some time. He then gets a roughing the passer call(-1.5).
M27 1 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Run N/A Draw Martin -1
Another stupid wasted down. Martin(+1) pushes through the IU blockers; no one bothers to stay with him, and since he's so agile he can shut down even mondo space like this. RB does run past him but the blocking angles are screwed up and Ezeh(+1) can read it and move up to make a solid TFL(tackling +1).
M28 2 11 Shotgun trips bunch TE 3-3-5 stack Pass 5 Angle Ezeh Inc
Mouton(+0.5) gets a free run but no RPS plus on this because Indiana has a hot route that looks like it will work since Ezeh(-1) is in man on the RB and flies out expecting a flat route only for the RB to dive back inside. Pass is too hot and dropped. First IU drop of the day. (Cover -1)
M28 3 11 Shotgun empty 3-2-6 dime Pass 3 Throwaway Black Inc
No one open immediately (cover +1) and then Black comes around the corner with enough of an angle to force Chappell to start moving his feet. Black then comes around like he's taking another pass in a bomber, forcing Chappell to the sidelines, where RVB can help chase; they force him to chuck it OOB. +1 Black, I think, and pressure +1.
M28 4 11 Shotgun empty 3-2-6 dime Pass 3 Cross Black Inc
Black(+2) shoots inside the tackle and is tripped by the guard, drawing a holding flag and forcing Chappell to start moving his feet; RVB(+0.5) takes advantage of this to start chasing from the outside. Chappell throws to a guy well-covered by Floyd(+2, cover +1) and the pass is broken up.
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs,35-28, 4 min 3rd Q. Couple of nice plays by Black there.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O20 1 10 Pistol trips TE 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Sack Banks -11
So this is pretty weird from IU, with the RT just sort of holding off Banks and expecting inside help that the G is not providing. This allows Banks to head upfield pretty much unmolested and sack. +2 for him, though that may be generous given the bust, and +1 for good coverage downfield.
O9 2 21 Shotgun trips 4-1-6 dime Pass 3 Dumpoff Mouton 5
Martin playing DE here and though there's not much pressure Chappell gets spooked and tosses a dumpoff (cover +1) that Mouton(+1, tackling +1) closes down.
O14 3 16 Shotgun 4-wide 3-2-6 dime Pass 3 Deep hitch Avery 17
BWS picture-paged this and I agree: Avery(-2) abandons his zone responsibility to essentially play man on the slot receiver and opens up a 20-yard completion. (Cover -3) Rogers(-1) was also passive here; he's never close to receivers.
O33 1 10 Pistol 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass 4 Long handoff Floyd 12
Floyd(-1.5) sucks in on play action and gives up an easy first down. (Cover -1)
O45 1 10 Pistol trips TE 3-3-5 stack Run RVB Dive Mouton 3
Martin(-0.5) controlled and sealed though he doesn't give up too much room; Mouton(+1) slams into the lead blocker at the LOS and Black(+1) chucks his blocker away, forcing a cutback from the RB that Kovacs(+0.5, tackling +1) tackles on.
O48 2 7 Pistol 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 7(!) Out ? Inc
Inevitable someone gets a free run here and it comes right up the middle; quick throw is wide of the WR. Rogers did not have very good coverage. (Pressure +1)
O48 3 7 Shotgun trips bunch 4-1-6 dime Pass 4 Hitch Avery 10
Roh(+1) spins inside the RT and nails Chappell as he throws (pressure +2) and Banks(+1) is coming around the edge; any hesitation and this is a sack. There isn't any because Avery(-2) has again totally vacated his zone in favor of chasing a guy across the field, providing a huge window in which to throw (cover -2). I can't believe they haven't ditched this package yet; Avery has no idea what he's doing.
M42 1 10 Pistol trips TE 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Out T. Gordon 12
Plenty of time (pressure -2) but good downfield coverage(+1) leaves nothing but a short out; T. Gordon(-2, tackling -1) is there and whiffs, turning four into a first down.
M30 1 10 Shotgun trips Base 4-3 Pass 3 Flare screen Floyd -1
No one out on Floyd(+1) so he rolls up on the RB and makes a solid open field tackle(+1) for loss. I assume the WR busted here?
M31 2 11 Pistol 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass 3 Sack Martin -15
Eight man drop sees no one open immediately (cover +1) and Martin(+3) shoves the center backwards, forcing him to trip over one of his linemates. Free, Martin consumes Chappell's soul.
M46 3 26 Shotgun 4-wide 3-2-6 dime Pass 3 Dig ? 10
No one gets near Chappell this time (pressure -1) and he has plenty of time to find a WR for about half of it; Roh(-0.5) overruns a tackle but Mouton(+0.5) makes up for it and they get him down about where he catches it. In this situation, fine.
M36 4 16 Shotgun 4-wide 3-2-6 dime Pass 3 Scramble Van Bergen 7
Coverage(+1) at first, then RVB(+1.5) chucks away a guard and threatens to come up the middle, flushing Chappell; Black(+0.5) comes from behind to chase and Chappell has to scramble fruitlessly. (pressure +2)
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 35-28, 12 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O18 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Run RVB Dive Ezeh 2
RVB(+0.5) heads upfield and past his blocker and Ezeh(+1) thumps into the pulling guard at the line, causing the RB to head to the backside where Mouton(+0.5) is unblocked and makes the easy play.
O20 2 8 Pistol 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Throwaway ? Inc (Pen +15)
Michigan blankets all three of the bunch receivers(cover +2) and then Martin(+0.5) fights through blockers to force the dumpoff. Michigan is hit with a borderline roughing the passer call as Martin bangs into Chappell after the throw (-2).
O35 1 10 Pistol trips TE 3-3-5 stack Run Banks Zone stretch Banks 0
Banks(+1) takes the double but doesn't get sealed, leaving Mouton(+0.5) to slam up into the frontside gap before the OL can get out on him. This forces a cutback into Ezeh(+0.5), who is unblocked but in good position and tackles(+1) for no gain.
O35 2 10 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Hitch Ezeh Inc
Michigan has this bunch set down and has again covered(+1) the options. Ezeh(+0.5) drops right into the TEs route, and Chappell has to scramble as RVB(+0.5) comes free. He chucks it at one of the covered receivers; pass goes wide. (Cover +1, again.)
O35 3 10 Shotgun trips TE 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Post Floyd Inc
This same route package with one exception: deep receiver to the bunch side runs a post. Short guys covered, deep guys covered, and Floyd(+2) drops right into the targeted area. Chappell throws it well long, which is fortunate for IU (cover +2).
Drive Notes: Punt, 35-28, 9 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Rush Play Player Yards
O20 1 10 Pistol FB twins 3-3-5 stack Run Banks End around Kovacs 13
Kovacs(-1.5) is too focused on the dive playfake and gets thunderously cut to the ground; Banks(-0.5) also sucks inside, leaving Doss wide open on the corner; Floyd(-0.5) comes up and gets run over without so much as an attempt to wrap up; he doesn't force the ballcarrier back into help, either.
O33 1 10 Pistol 3-wide 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 PA WR flare Rogers 8
Third time for this play; this time T. Gordon(+0.5) gets into his blocker and forces a choice, which is outside; Rogers(-1) beats his blocker but overruns the play to the point where he runs up between Rogers and the guy trying to block him. Cam Gordon makes a solid tackle after all that.
O41 2 2 Pistol trips TE 3-3-5 stack Run Banks Inside zone Martin 2
Martin(+1) jams up the frontside, forcing a cutback with help from Banks(+0.5); IU G attempting to block Martin successfully diagnoses that he's screwed and makes a really smart play to peel off and hit Ezeh just as he's about to hit the RB at the LOS, allowing him a tiny crease for the first.
O43 1 10 Pistol trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Bubble screen Roh 9
T. Gordon(+0.5) does zip past his blocker and get into the WR at the LOS. He could/should have this for nothing but the throw is a ltitle bad—inside and upfield—which gives the WR some momentum away from where Gordon expects him to be and he ends up missing the tackle. He's still disrupted the play, but Roh(-1) bit on the run fake and is late, and Rogers(-0.5) makes a really weak tackle(-1) that sees the guy pick up 4-5 YAC. Our corners don't tackle well.
M48 2 1 Pistol FB twins Base 4-3 Run N/A Inside zone Patterson 8
Patterson(-1) sealed easily enough for the C to pop out on Mouton(-0.5) who had a tough job but had help in the box from Kovacs and should have attacked the hole here more aggressively. Ezeh had another gap that was open to sit in.
M40 1 10 Pistol FB twins Base 4-3 Penalty   False start ? -5
M45 1 15 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Hitch ? 5
Open. T. Gordon and Rogers are running out on it but it's upfield and the WR can't catch it and stay on his feet. M has pulled Roh for Fitzgerald on this play.
M40 2 10 Shotgun trips 3-3-5 stack Pass 3 Dumpoff Roh 5
Roh's absence was very temporary; he's back. Good coverage(+1), no pressure(-1); Chappell dumps it off, where Roh(+0.5) does make a good tackle(+1) after little gain.
M35 3 5 Shotgun trips bunch 3-2-6 dime Pass 3 Hitch Roh Inc
Chappell misses an open out in favor of throwing a deep hitch that Roh(+1, cover +1) is right in front of. Chappell throws it really high and uncatchable; if not this high could have been deflected/picked.
M35 4 5 Shotgun empty bunch quad 3-2-6 dime Pass 3 In Roh 11
Man. Black(+2) smokes the LT and gets inside of him, nailing Chappell as he throws (pressure +2) and forcing a throw short of the sticks. This is a little in that Roh(-1, cover -1) is just a yard or two too deep on but there was a route behind him. This is just outstanding from Chappell to get this pass off and get it to the right place. I do think Roh took his eyes off the QB for a moment for whatever reason and that's why this ends up in a first down.
M24 1 10 Pistol FB twins Base 4-3 Run N/A Dive T. Gordon 0
Mass of bodies, no creases in the line, and T. Gordon(+1) moves up into the gap, hitting the lead blocker in the backfield and forcing a cutback. Kovacs peels back and Mouton(+0.5) stands up the RB at the line.
M24 2 10 Shotgun empty bunch quad 3-2-6 dime Pass 3 Dumpoff Patterson Inc
Time(pressure -2) but good coverage(+2) and Patterson(+0.5) bides his time, coming through blockers as Chappell starts moving around the pocket to force an inaccurate throw on a dumpoff.
M24 3 10 Shotgun trips bunch 4-1-6 dime Pass 4 Middle screen Martin 5
Just one LB in the middle of the field and Indiana runs an RPS+2 play against it that could/should obliterate this D except for Martin(+2) peeling back and tackling the RB from behind. How many DTs can do this? That saves Michigan's bacon temporarily.
M19 4 5 Shotgun trips bunch 4-1-6 dime Pass 4 RB flat Talbott 19
This is another clueless freshman essentially playing man in zone; do not listen to the man with the telestrator blaming Mouton. Talbott(-2, cover -3) runs with the slant way too far, opening the RB flat wide open and giving up the first down. Kovacs(-1, tackling -1) makes a heady, gritty play by missing the tackle and giving Denard time to work with. That's the ticket!
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 35-35, 1 min 4th Q. Last drive happens with 12 seconds and is not charted, but Talbott does make a good play on the slant that was play 1, FWIW.

This is the UFR that never ends / it just goes on and on my friends / some people started charting it not knowing it was the 2010 Indiana game / and they'll keep on charting it forever just because…

Michigan gave up a lot of first downs, yes, and many of them were on stuff like this:

That should be two yards, and then it should be four yards, and then it is six. The next play is a little flare that Kovacs tackles on immediately:

That's about as well as you can play that and if Michigan had held two yards to four it would have been fourth down (and Indiana would have gone for it). This happened a lot. When you're playing against Indiana a lot of defensive execution is keeping dink passes dinky, and Michigan did not do this well at all. This is because of crappy tackling, the lack of defensive backs athletic enough to tackle on the catch, and…

This is the UFR that never ends / it just goes on and on my friends / some people started charting it not knowing what it was / and they'll continue charting it forever just because…

I mentioned this in the game column and saw it when I reviewed the game: Craig Roh is oh exploitable in space.

As we'll see in a bit, this was not a good day from him and it was mostly stuff like that; you'll note that the clip in the first section above also features Roh being uncertain about attacking the guy with the ball.

I'm confused by the decision to play him at LB in this game after we saw him be effective against a passing spread at DE in the Notre Dame game. Okay, Brandon Herron is out, but how much worse than Herron can JB Fitzgerald be? And isn't the passing-down upgrade from Banks to Roh worth it?

The only thing I can think of is that Roh is not a guy who is going to beat two blockers and Michigan was addicted to the three-man rush, but even that's weak.

This is the UFR that never ends / it just goes on and on my friends / some people started charting it not knowing what it was / and they'll continue charting it forever just because…

The natural effect of the three-man rush is to not give up anything long—Indiana's long reception on the day was a 46-yarder to Doss on one of the few instances where they tried to play man and Rogers got burnt. The next longest was a 24-yarder, again to Doss. It also does a crappy job of getting negative plays and booting people off the field, yielding lots and lots of long drives.

This is the UFR that never ends / it just goes on and on my friends / some people started charting it not knowing what it was / and they'll continue charting it forever just because…


This is the UFR that never ends / it just goes on and on my friends / some people started charting it not knowing what it was / and they'll continue charting it forever just because…

This is going to sound like the self-serving thing fans do where the opponent is total crap that will fall weakly until they actually do, at which point they were a colossus overcome by derring-do and iron, but you can check the game preview to confirm this is what I thought after taking in the Western Kentucky-IU game: Indiana has a legitimately very good pass offense. They had 41 opportunities to make catches and made 40. Chappell almost never went to the wrong guy and missed on maybe five of his 65 attempts. Their receivers are tall and fast and shifty. One dollar they're the most productive pass offense in the conference at the end of the year.

This is the UFR that never ends / it just goes on and on my friends / some people started charting it not knowing what it was / and they'll continue charting it forever just because…

Chart. Keep in mind that the numbers for DL will be inflated to the positive simply because of how many plays they got; similarly, the defensive back minuses will be larger than usual.

Defensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Van Bergen 12 - 12 Excellent against the run, got some pass rush, mentally round this down to a +8.
Martin 16 5 11 Actually got beat out by someone, also round this down to +7 or so.
Banks 8 2.5 5.5 Still adequate, though his sack was a gift.
Sagesse 0.5 - 0.5 Hardly used.
Patterson 0.5 1 -0.5 Also infrequent.
Black 7 3 4 Nice performance for a freshman.
Campbell - 0.5 -0.5 One short yardage play.
TOTAL 44 12 32 Or around +20 for three DL, which is a decent, not great day.
Player + - T Notes
Mouton 9.5 1 8.5 Er?
Roh 5 12 -7 I totally took clips off all his bad stuff so people wouldn't yell at me. Not deployed properly; this is hardly his fault.
Johnson 1 4 -3 IME the primary guy on the long Willis TD..
T. Gordon 3.5 3 0.5 I think he's the starter here for a bit.
Leach - - - DNP
Moundros - - - DNP
Demens 1 - 1 Goal line only.
Herron - - - DNP
Fitzgerald - - - One play IIRC.
TOTAL 26 23 3 Players other than Mouton struggled tackling in space.
Player + - T Notes
Floyd 7.5 11.5 -4 Busy day came out to the negative mostly because of bad tackling.
Rogers 1.5 7 -5.5 Beat up pretty good for the first time.
Kovacs 3.5 3.5 0 The king of moderate-moderate-0.
C. Gordon 4 5 -1 More on him later.
Talbott - 4 -4 Zone vacancy.
Christian - - - DNP
Avery - 6 -6 Zone vacancy II.
Ray Vinopal - - - DNP
TOTAL 16.5 37 -20.5 Chappellbombed
Pressure 14 11 3 I'm still having a hard time judging what is reasonable in the three man rush.
Coverage 28 34 -6 Possibly too kind.
Tackling 11 11 0 I should change this to a percentage: 50% on this sample size is not good.
RPS 1 8 -7 Chappell found holes in the zone all day.

[RPS is "rock, paper, scissors." Michigan gets a + when they call a play that makes it very easy for them to defend the opponent, like getting a free blitzer. They get a – when they call a play that makes it very difficult for them to defend the opponent, like showing a seven-man blitz and having Penn State get easy touchdowns twice.]

Again, there are a lot of factors throwing off the numbers: a vast number of plays. The reliance on the three-man rush. The 3-3-5. I'm still searching for my footing in a new environment. These things are just supposed to be guides surrounded by plenty of context, though, not gospel.

As for the guides: I thought Mouton was good, Kovacs and Gordon okay and reliable, and all cornerbacks not good. Floyd is the best of the bunch right now and he has major issues tackling; his coverage is much better than last year but still only brushes up against adequate. Rogers plays it safe because whenever he doesn't he gets burned. Roh was covered above: he's not being done a favor by this D.

Any bright spots?

I like Cam Gordon. He imploded magnificently against Notre Dame but this week very little of what went wrong can be put on his head. There was the interception, of course. And he did this:

I know he didn't get a PBU or wrap up but that's a hit with the potential to jar a ball free. When was the last time a Michigan safety did that? In contrast, this is JT Floyd moonlighting at safety:

That stuff happens all the time with defensive backs trying to tackle, but so far Gordon has not fallen victim. Through five games the longest run an opponent has had on Michigan was the 29 yards Armando Allen picked up on an edge pitch that Michigan was doomed on because they were blitzing Kovacs right past it. While he took a dodgy angle on that one it's hard to remember another run on which I thought "argh Cam Gordon." The run minuses have been few and far between for him.

He's off to a good start for a redshirt freshman who just flipped to defense. As he gets more comfortable the wood will be brought with more regularity.

Elsewhere, the linebackers who are actual linebackers did little that was objectionable, though the big tests for them come the next two weeks. And Jibreel Black got a +4 in limited time, showing good pass rush ability against an Indiana line that is at least competent at protecting the passer. That seems like the first step on the way to a productive career; if he can push through a competent Banks into the starting lineup that will be encouraging int the same way Lewan's emergence has been. Even if he just ends up in heavy rotation and does fairly well with it that will probably plug one of the three holes in next year's starting line up with an upgrade.


Martin, Van Bergen, Mouton. I thought Kovacs and Gordon had a lot of opportunities to make big errors and did not, as well.


Any of the four cornerbacks, and the linebacker version of Roh. I think all save Rogers (who is what he is as a fifth year senior) can and will get better, but in this game they were the guys most responsible for giving up 35.

What does it mean for Michigan State and beyond?

Maybe not that much since Michigan is done playing passing spreads until they meet Purdue; I'm actually more worried about what happened in the UMass game re: MSU, Iowa, PSU than anything that happened against Indiana. Okay, a veteran, accurate quarterback and his band of tall, excellent receivers burned Michigan's secondary. This is not shocking. Michigan State is not likely to come out throwing on 80% of first downs anyway.

I think this dime package can work once the freshmen get some more experience; many of the errors were correctable. If guys start dropping into the right zones Michigan's front three has shown enough pass rush to get opponent offenses off the field somewhat regularly, and "somewhat" should be enough.

Roh should and probably will play way more defensive end against the rest of the schedule; at the very least when he's a linebacker Michigan should be sending him on blitzes at least 70% of the time. The extra guy in coverage just isn't that useful compared to the extra pressure he can bring. 

Some issues are fixable, but the lack of raw talent in the secondary isn't. Roh's inability to move like a linebacker and the lack of pass rush from the starting DEs are also issues that will persist throughout the year. The best I can offer is that I'm not 100% sure that State will shred Michigan's D for 500 yards because the linebackers have picked up their play and this could turn out to be an all right run defense and Indiana could turn out to be the best passing offense in the league by some distance. I don't think it's quite as bad as it looks right this instant.

I will reserve GERG bashing until I see what happens the next two games. There are clear problems that can be addressed by player development or scheme adjustments; hopefully Michigan can get the ship somewhat righted.



October 7th, 2010 at 2:11 PM ^

i like him and i think he's improved but  what exactly was so special about that hit??? the receiver didn't go down. cam didn't wrap and the guy spun off and almost scored. hit the guy and wrap for god sake. great INT and no 90+ yd bombs but IMO this hit wasn't nearly as bone crushing as you make it out to be.


October 7th, 2010 at 2:26 PM ^

When I was watching it live time seemed to stop as if watching a train wreck.  I immediately assumed that the receiver would be killed.  Then time sped up, the receiver simply spun around and actually gained more yards.  I found myself wondering WTF?  Wrap the guy up, Cam, especially at the goal line!


October 7th, 2010 at 2:43 PM ^

Agreed.  Cam anticipated and almost made a play on both the ball and the receiver, which rarely happens.  Usually our safeties are making tackles after having been run into, or arrive a couple of steps after the receiver has caught the ball.  The play itself wasn't great, but it's nonetheless promising.


October 7th, 2010 at 2:22 PM ^

I think (hope) your right. Roh is a hundred times better on the line at DE. His pass rushing skills are killer compared to his pass coverage skills. I agree with Brian, can JB Fitzgerald be that much worse than having Roh drop into coverage? I think not, at least having Herron come back this week should help. As long as we can get some pressure against Cousins and stop the run, we should have a pretty decent day on defense Saturday and come out with a much deserved and needed victory.


October 7th, 2010 at 2:29 PM ^

as bad as Roh did play...did anyone else notice what Ezeh did when his key...the backside guard pulled?  99% of the time the pulling guard will take the linebacker to the play...however Ezeh decided instead to bounce on his feet without stepping towards the line and filling the hole.  And guess who ran right by a diving Ezeh...Willis.  He does this every week...how is it that we do not have a more capable linebacker?


October 7th, 2010 at 2:19 PM ^

"yeah I really do think" (Alaniss Morissette circa 1996)

The UFR, my favorite mgoblog staple:

is longer than ever before...not for good reasons

Huntington Wolverine

October 7th, 2010 at 2:36 PM ^

I would +1 you if not for the veiled shot at RR.  As it is, I agree with you and don't understand all the GERG hate.  Our young guys are developing and you can only do so much in a short amount of time.  One of the comments on another thread made a great point that the real downside of our quick strike offense is the inability to coach up and make adjustments during the game. 

los barcos

October 7th, 2010 at 4:09 PM ^

for the thinly "veiled shot at RR" ill make myself more explicit:


rr has been horny for the 3-3-5 ever since his days at wvu. he's like a beast in heat, frothing at the mouth when it comes to the stack.  GERG, meanwhile, has never used it as his base defense, to the best of my knowledge.  so why all of a sudden the stubborn refusal to not use anything but the 3-3-5? 

i cant understand how anyone can look at the situation and come to the conclusion that the defensive alignment is GERG's ingenious idea.


October 7th, 2010 at 4:39 PM ^

Personel is the only reason I can see us using the 3-3-5. I think we have a shitload of linebacker/strong safety hybrid types and very few viable defensive linemen. You need at least 8 capable ones and we have Martin, Roh, Van Bergen. Campbell, Sageese and Banks would be the rest other than true freshmen, walkons or Steve Watson. Without at least a two deep they can't run a consistent 4 man front.

I don't blame this on Greg Robinson or Rodriguez. They had two defensive linemen back out of their commitment at the last second and Campbell isn't working hard enough to develop as we expected. If Jibreel Black, Kenny Wilkins, Talbott and Richard Ash develop well over the offseason, I expect us to use a lot more 4 man fronts next year.


October 9th, 2010 at 12:29 PM ^

I wish Rich Rod would have just hired a D coordinator that has used a 3-3-5/4-2-5 defense before. I think GERG is a good coordinator and I think the 3-3-5 can work but I don't like paring a coordinator who doesn't know the formation with a weird formation and a young defensive backfield. 

I really wish we hired TCUs D coordinator Dick Bumpas. Oh well.


October 7th, 2010 at 2:38 PM ^

i just have a hard time believing the 3-3-5 stack is his call...

Yeah, but I don't think he'd be here if he wasn't willing to work with it. We'd have a 2007-like mess if that was the case.

I agree with the first sentence, though. People have to look at what options are available for the secondary and stop thinking some magical scheme change is the answer.

Crime Reporter

October 7th, 2010 at 2:23 PM ^

The defense did a good job keeping IU out of the endzone while our offense was too busy to seal the game with three and out drives.

I agree about Roh. I hope to see him on the DL more with Herron back. We could use his pass rushing abilities this week to frustrate Cousins.


October 7th, 2010 at 2:24 PM ^


I feel like this is directly out of Halloween, the movie, where no matter where you run or what you climb, Michael Myers will find you and kill you in his slow, methodical style. I can't help but feel like I've ran for 5 games now in denial about Michigan's defense and how the Offense will get us by.


Last week was that scene where the killer was seen chasing behind us down the street and we are running away, and we trip....and scrape our knee bad....and you say "Get up Get up" as the killer gets closer and closer....and just as when we are within arms reach from the killer, Denard Robinson throws a bomb to Junior hemingway and we run into the nearest empty house.


But I fear that the State Game will be right when the killer grabs our ankles as we're climbing up the stairs away from him... The question is, are we going to be quick enough to kick the killer in his face to give us another week of breathing room, or do we just give up now?

Or i think poignantly I'm trying to figure out if we are the main character, hero who will live (after all the cameras are on us), or if we're just the annoying best friend who gets killed a few minutes before the cops arrived.


October 7th, 2010 at 3:15 PM ^

O god, i hope you are wrong. Are we just becoming that movie franchise that you see the sixth installment of it at the video store, and go "they're already on number 6?" I don't even remember them making a number 4. And it's because 4, 5, and 6 all went straight to video with all B-actors.


Is that what Michigan is becoming? As our kids grow up, it is just a novelty video rental, but in our minds, we tell ourselves, "I remember when Michigan mattered."



October 7th, 2010 at 2:26 PM ^

This is a good breakdown.  Our LBs are horrible.  Mouton had a good day.  We had better play a 4-3 or at least a rolled up 3-4 or MSU will gash us with the run and that will open up their play action pass.  Which will destroy us.


October 7th, 2010 at 2:27 PM ^

After reading this, I went back and re-read the UFR against UMass.  Perhaps it's the closed head injury talking, but there is reason for optimism vs. State.

1) Herron back, Roh more with his hand on the ground.  Minimizes Roh-no in LB, maximizes Roh-yes as DE.

2) Mike Martin.

3) State isn't a spread team-  they are more aggressive than usual, but still, a traditional attack.


October 7th, 2010 at 3:09 PM ^

Another reason for optimism -- although very weak (hey, I'm clinging to whatever I can) -- is that this will be MSU's first road game of the year after 5 consecutive home games.  Playing your first road game, in a newly loud Big House, against this year's version of Denard, is not a recipe for success. 

This'll be a great test for Michigan.  A win here and I start thinking about a New Year's Day bowl.  Who would have even considered that as a realistic possibility at the beginning of the year?


October 7th, 2010 at 4:59 PM ^

... that you, Brian, are able to cram so much detail into UFRs.  They must just take forever and it is incredible that you are able to churn them out every week.  I thought there was no way you'd get this one done on time.

Steve in PA

October 7th, 2010 at 2:30 PM ^

Even in the preseason, he was pushing Ezeh according to GERG

"The competition at middle linebacker is really heating up between Obi Ezeh and Kenny Demens, who has come on strong this spring. "This is a dogfight," Robinson said."

Resisting the urge to say bad things about kids trying their hardest, Ezeh has shown clearly and repeatedly he is not the answer.   His UFR numbers are -3.5, 3, -8, 2.5, 3= -6 further justifying my negative opinion of his performance as a senior.

Demens' are dnp, dnp, dnp, 1, 1=+2 which, if nothing else, means he's not a liability thus far.


Pibby Scott

October 7th, 2010 at 2:39 PM ^

is really excellent. I know I'm wasting space writing a congratulatory post about your pun. But I like it and I think it'll be a good nickname for the dude when he's a senior and hitting the hell out of toons


As for now, here here

to him cracking a few green skulls this saturday.



I'm so excited for this game I feel like Jesse Spano at the height of her diet pill binge. 


October 7th, 2010 at 2:38 PM ^

watch the film from Indiana and reach the same conclusion as you, that our pass D is horrible, and we can be gashed by short dink and dunk passes? Why don't they just change their philosophy a bit and instead of power run, use this strategy?

If it's only that their coaching staff is stuborn, I'm not sure I believe that. They could at least incorporate the short passing game more for Michigan. Cousins is a decent to good QB (he's accurate and MSU has shfty recievers. This is what makes me nervous about MSU.