Upon Further Review: Defense vs Notre Dame Comment Count

Brian September 25th, 2008 at 1:26 PM
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M11 1 10 Ace Base 4-3 Pass PA Post Brown Inc
This is a two-man route; Brown(+1) is sitting in a short zone that takes away the post (cover +1); Graham(+1) shucks a guy and comes free, forcing Clausen to scramble out and throw it away. Warren(+1) in good coverage here, too.
M11 2 10 Ace 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass Scramble Trent 4
ND rolls the pocket; Trent, Stewart, and Mouton set up such that Clausen doesn't like either of his options (Cover +1), so he starts running around and stuff. Thompson(+1) strips the ball and it appears that Harrison falls on it; the entire defense sees it and reacts, then someone wrests it away from him.
M7 3 6 Ace Base 4-3 Pass Out Trent Inc (Pen + 5)
Trent(-1) interferes with Floyd, grabbing his jersey; they throw the flag. (Cover -1)
M2 1 G Goal line Goal line Run Off Tackle Jamison 2
Completely terrible by Jamison(-1), who flies upfield and right out of the play. On first and goal from the two. Meanwhile, Mouton(-1) slips on the turf, compounding the issues and making this an easy walk-in.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 0-7, 12 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M14 1 10 Ace Twins Base 4-3 Pass Wheel Warren Inc
Two man route; Warren(+1) in good coverage on this (cover +1) and Clausen throws it out of the endzone.
M14 2 10 Ace Twins Base 4-3 Run Counter Thompson 4
Michigan blitzing up the center with Mouton and Ezeh; this is a counter, IMO, with a TE shooting backside into an unblocked Jamison. Thompson(-1) fails to read this and ends up moving up into a hole where the play isn't going. Taylor(-1) got blasted by the LT, though that may have been just bad luck because of the respective playcalls; he was expecting that Jamison would end up blocked by that guy and the G would have to pick one of two players.
M10 3 6 Ace Twins Base 4-3 Pass Fade Trent 10
Trent(-1) gets turned around too late and find himself flailing, unable to jump; Grimes leaps over him and hauls it in. (Cover -1) Again: two man route.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 0-14, 11 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O37 1 10 Ace Base 4-3 Pass Fly Warren Inc (Pen + 15)
Max protect: a two man route. Warren(+1) has this blanketed and breaks it up beautifully; Michigan gets a flag like 5 seconds after the play. Awful, awful call. (Cover +1)
M48 1 10 Ace Big Base 4-3 Pass Fly Tate 48
The one-man route featured in song from last week. I don't know who to blame. There's a “miscommunication” according to Trent and both Brown and he let Tate by him. -4 for Trent based on the analysis of GSimmons. (Cover -3)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 0-21, 5 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O37 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass Throwback screen Warren -3
Michigan sitting in a zone so Warren(+1) is reading Clausen all the way. When he comes back to the near side of the field he knows what's going on, breaks on it, and makes the TFL. Will Johnson was also crashing back.
O34 2 13 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass Out Warren 8
Man is open for six or so; Warren(+1) is there to tackle immediately and strips the ball out. Harrison kicks it back to Tate, and Tate's gotten off the ground to advance the ball. Son of a...
O42 3 5 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Fade Trent Int
Trent(+2) in perfect coverage, gets his head around, and intercepts. (Cover +1)
Drive Notes: Interception, 7-21, EO 1st Q. Unfortunately for Michigan, this turnover functions as a 31 yard net punt and is worth about 6-8 yards of field position instead of, like, 50.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O13 1 10 Ace 3-wide Base 4-3 Run Dive Taylor 2
Both DTs get straight double teams; Johnson(-1) is bowled over by his; Taylor(+1) stands up to his; Mouton(+1) uses the room to shoot up into the hole and be the first tackler to arrive.
O15 2 8 Ace 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Slant Brown 60
Warren(-1) beaten on a slant by Tate and can't make the tackle. He does, however, slow Tate down immensely, at which point Brown(-4) comes up to a nearly stopped receiver, overruns him, and turns ten yards into sixty. Tate must not be that fast because Thompson and Stewart ran him down.
M25 1 10 Shotgun Empty Base 4-3 Pass Slip screen Trent 9
WTF? Thompson(-1) reads the QB and decides the play is going inside or something, running himself out of contention. Trent(-1) is playing way, way back and reacts slowly, too. (Cover -1)
M16 2 1 I-Form Base 4-3 Run Iso Thompson 7
Thompson(-1) takes on the wrong shoulder of the fullback, blowing contain instantly and letting Hughes outside of him.
M9 1 G I-Form Base 4-3 Run Iso Thompson 8
Thompson(-1) decides he's not going to wait for the fullback to come to him again and shoots up into the hole, where he proceeds to overrun the play, miss the tackle, and give the RB a major gap.
M1 2 G Goal line Goal line Pass PA Cross Warren Inc (Pen +1)
Jamison gets a free run at Clausen, forcing him to chuck one up off his back foot. Warren(-1) has a better shot at the ball than the receiver; as he's tracking it he gives the WR a little pushoff that gets flagged. Sigh. (Pressure +1, cover –1)
M1 1 G Goal line Goal line Run Iso Sagesse 1
Eh, first and goal from the inch line.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 10-28, 8 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 I-Form Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Van Bergen 4
Actually a pretty good job by RVB(+1) take on the FB block, remain upright, disengage, and move outside to tackle when he bounces it outside. Warren helps.
O29 2 6 Ace Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Ezeh 1
This seems more like an ND screwup than good play from Michigan: the RG doubles Johnson and leaves Ezeh totally unblocked; Ezeh makes a tackle at the LOS.
O30 3 5 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Quick out Trent 4
Michigan drops eight into coverage and Clausen throws a quick out; Trent(+1) is on it quick enough to prevent the receiver from picking up the first down, with an assist from Harrison.
Drive Notes: Punt, 17-28, 4 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O14 1 10 Ace Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Jamison 16 + 15
Jamison(-2) runs right upfield idiotically on what's almost guaranteed a run. Michigan blitzed up the middle and got stoned but Ezeh is coming free if only there wasn't such a cavernous gap on that side of the line. Morgan Trent gets the world's weakest personal foul afterwards.
O47 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Okie Pass Slant Thompson Inc
Thompson gets a free run at the QB as Notre Dame just busts the pickup; Clausen chucks it behind his tight end. (Pressure +1)
O47 2 10 Ace Okie Pass Long handoff Trent 1
Good job by Trent(+1) to come up and tackle quickly for a very minimal gain. (Cover +1)
O48 3 9 I-Form Okie Pass Fly Trent Inc
Trent(+1) has this blanketed; he's interfered with, drawing an offensive PI flag. (Cover +1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 17-28, EOH.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O30 1 10 Ace Twins Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Ezeh 4
Mouton(-1) gets way too far inside; Ezeh reads the play and scrapes outside into a hole that's open because the OG has blocked down on Mouton. Good play to get there but his tackle attempt is spun through and the RB falls forward.
O34 2 6 I-Form Base 4-3 Run Iso Brown 0
Poor from Thompson(-1), who has to take on a fullback block and gets knocked back. He needs to get to the outside shoulder of the FB to force the RB back into Ezeh; this does not happen. Brown(+1), however, reads the play, gets up past the block of the WR, and turns this into a minimal gain. Notre Dame is doubling the DTs on all these plays and leaving LBs unblocked; they aren't making plays.
O34 3 6 Shotgun 3-wide Okie Pass Throwaway Martin Inc
Clausen's first read—whatever it is, he drops back so far we see none of the routes—is covered(+1) and a blitz/stunt from Martin and Thompson gets pressure up the middle(+1 pressure), forcing Clausen to scramble out of the pocket and throw it away. Martin +1, I think, for beating an interior lineman.
Drive Notes: Punt, 17-28, 13 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O18 1 10 Ace Base 4-3 Run Dive Thompson 0
Graham(-1) worryingly crushed off the ball and backwards. Taylor slants to the other side of the play, and there's a lot of space for ND to play with on the backside of the play. Mouton(+1) sets up well, forcing the RB up inside, and Thompson(+1) finally makes ND pay for not blocking him by slicing up and making a tackle for no gain. Does anyone want to correct me on what I should call this play?
O18 2 10 I-Form Base 4-3 Pass PA Stop Warren 11
No complaints here, as Ezeh(+1) isn't fooled by the play action, blitzes, beats a block, and forces Clausen to throw early. (Pressure +1). Warren is breaking on the ball (+1, cover +1) and rakes just as it gets there; Tate manages to haul it in. Extremely difficult play for ND to make; they made it.
O29 1 10 I-Form Base 4-3 Run Iso Thompson 7
A virtual replay of the iso from earlier this half that Brown shut down except Harrison doesn't make a great play. Unfortunate playcall erases Mouton and has Ezeh sitting back trying to watch two holes; Thompson(-1) is blasted by the fullback again and loses leverage. Instead of getting funneled to Ezeh he hops outside and zips for a good gain. Ezeh(-1) didn't help matters by taking a nonsensical step to the other side of the play, providing ND an angle to block him.
O36 2 3 I-Form Base 4-3 Run Iso Thompson 13
Thompson(-1) again gets blown up by the fullback and allows the RB outside of him. Ezeh reads this one much better and shoots out to meet him; he gets stiffarmed(-1) to the ground.
O49 1 10 Shotgun Empty 3-3-5 Nickel Pass TE Screen -- Inc
Through the receiver's hands; this didn't look like it was going anywhere anyway.
O49 2 10 I-Form Base 4-3 Run Iso Graham -1
Same play they just sprang for 13. Graham(+2) does a much better job of taking on the FB block, gets outside, and tackles for loss.
O48 3 11 Shotgun 3-wide Okie Pass Throwaway Martin Inc
Three man rush sees Martin(+2) smoke the center, shoot past the guard, and get in Clausen's face immediately. (Pressure +1.) When your three-man rush gets to the QB like that there's no where to go. Clausen rolls out and throws the ball away, getting nowhere near the LOS. This should have been a 20-yard intentional grounding call.
Drive Notes: Punt, 17-28, 7 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O7 1 10 Ace Base 4-3 Run Counter(?) Johnson 2
They're peeling a tight end to the backside of the play to block the DE similar to some of the isos on the last drive so I think this is nominally supposed to be headed to the backside. Johnson(+1), finally single-teamed, pushes into the backfield right in the RB's path. He decides to bounce it outside, where Van Bergen and Ezeh track him down.
O9 2 8 Ace Twins Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Graham 7
Appears to be a bad stunt. Graham and Ezeh are swapping; this allows an ND OL to use his momentum against him and shove him out of the hole. Still: –1 for Graham. Ezeh, having beaten his blocker, would have a shot at a TFL if Graham hadn't gotten blown back. Taylor, by the way, slanted to the other side of the center and was taken out of the play by the call.
O16 3 1 Ace Twins Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Brown 3
Johnson(+1) fights to the inside of his guy and closes down the hole; he and Ezeh(+1), who sliced through the traffic, meet Hughes at the LOS; Hughes is forced to spin back. IMO, Brown(-1) was too passive here, allowing Hughes to build up momentum; he ends up tackling but not before Hughes makes two yards here.
O19 1 10 Shotgun Trips Base 4-3 Run Draw Johnson 1
I don't think Allen is much good and this is a play that might indicate that. Martin is in; they double him and get a little push but not much. Johnson(+1) has gotten push on his single blocker; he reads the play and starts to disconnect as Mouton comes up, allowed the space because ND's OL is busy with Martin and didn't get out on him.
O20 2 9 I-Form Base 4-3 Run Iso Taylor -1
For the first time in forever they don't double Taylor(+2); he blasts the center right back into the path of this attempted iso, destroying it.
O19 3 10 Ace 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Stop Trent Inc
Clausen hesitates on his first read (cover +1) as the various guys in the short zone have their counterparts covered. Clausen rolls out and eventually throws as he reaches the sideline; the pass is short of the sticks and dropped anyway.
Drive Notes: Punt, 17-28, EO3Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O11 1 10 I-Form Base 4-3 Run Iso Graham 5
Michigan blitzes outside; Graham(-1) flies upfield and Ezeh gets blocked by the FB.
O16 2 5 Ace Twins Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Taylor 4
Taylor(-1) is crushed downfield, ending up pancaked on his face three yards past the LOS. It took two and a half guys to do it, but when you get blown that far back it's hard for LBs to get to the hole on time.
O20 3 1 I-Form Base 4-3 Run QB sneak -- 1
They get it.
O21 1 10 Ace Base 4-3 Run Inside zone -- 2
Wad of players; everyone does okay to better than okay and there's nowhere to go until Taylor gives a little ground; the RB is swallowed up by a number of players. If I gave out +0.5 I'd probably provide them to RVB and Taylor.
O23 2 8 I-Form Base 4-3 Run Draw Taylor -1
Taylor(+2) pushes his man back three yards and disengages for a TFL.
O22 3 9 Ace 3-wide Okie Pass Bubble screen? Trent -1
Tate runs a slant instead of blocking Trent, so this isn't particularly difficult to stop.
Drive Notes: Punt, 17-35, 9 min 4th Q. The last seven minutes are run run run and are not charted.

Let's just go to the…



Player + - T Notes
Jamison - 3 -3 Had some issues flying upfield against runs.
Johnson 3 1 2 Spent basically the entire day fighting double teams and was quiet.
Taylor 5.5 2 3.5 See above.
Graham 3 2 1  
Patterson - - -  
Banks - - -  
Van Bergen 1 - 1  
Martin 3 - 3 Appears to be the DT of choice for three-man lines in passing situations
Ezeh 2 2 0 Ezeh might absorb some of Thompson's minuses. See the blockquote below.
Thompson 1 7 -6 Ugly.
Panter - - -  
Evans - - -  
Mouton 1 2 -1  
Trent 6 7 -1 An interesting day.
Harrison - - -  
Warren 5 2 3 Even when passes were completed on him he was right there making it tough; one PI call was awful, the other stupid.
Stewart - - -  
Brown 2 5 -3 Even if the Tate TD wasn't his fault his play on the slant was awful.
Chambers - - -  
"Pressure" 5 0 5 Uh.
"Coverage" 11 8 3 Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

Notre Dame's offensive strategy was to keep the defensive line quiet by doubling the ends on pass plays and the tackles on run plays. They would take their chances with Michigan's linebackers. And that pretty much worked. You can see Thompson's enormous negative score up there; every time he took on the ND fullback he lost. It's here I should interject this seemingly knowledgeable objection to the Getting Thumped post from a couple days ago:

Update: extremely strong objections on this from the coaches/former players in the comments, FWIW. I'm with them now.


I just read your post on ND's iso against Michigan.  Thompson was not wrong; that's how Michigan plays it.  The damning photo is "bad iso 3."  If you notice, Thompson meets the FB at the 29, which was the LOS.  Then you see him extend and try to escape over the top.  It actually is a pretty good job by Thompson.  The mistake was by Obi Ezeh.  By design, Ezeh is supposed to fast flow over the top and be outside of Thompson.  If the back sees this and cuts back, he does so into the waiting arms of Terrance Taylor.  Ezeh's used to the old way--which was played as you suggested.  If you re-examine "bad iso 3," Ezeh is flat-footed instead of screaming over the top, which is what the scheme calls for.  And that's why Thompson spilled the block again on the next play.  The bad part is that Ezeh messed it up again.  But that's hard to get corrected in a loud stadium on back-to-back plays.  I'm sure that once Ezeh came to the sidelines, he was corrected.

Steve Sharik

…so maybe some of the Thompson minuses should migrate over to Ezeh.

The net effect is the same: the linebackers were bad, largely incapable of shutting down a weak rushing offense despite spending the day unblocked.

Those are a couple of interesting scores for "pressure" and "coverage."

Uh… yeah. They system has difficulty hashing out the true impact of big plays allowed and could use some tweaking—probably a "tackling" metric. But I think they're pretty much on point.

It was hard for me to offer a –1 when Notre Dame kept eight or nine guys in on the early plays, especially because after the first bit of time ND bought with the avalanche of blockers there was always a Michigan guy coming up to make him run around. And once Michigan gave ND that big lead they shut up shop; when Clausen threw later it was always a three step drop or he had a guy in his face. It was clear ND was terrified of their offensive line in pass protection. Much to Michigan's dismay, they found themselves in a position where ND could get away with that terror.

As for the coverage, it was mostly good except for Trent's misadventures.

Yeah, about him…

I don't really blame him for the fade touchdown, which is really hard to defend if executed properly. I also kind of suspect that Brown ran the wrong coverage on the Tate touchdown, not Trent, if only because Brown seems horribly mistake prone and Trent is an intelligent fifth-year senior. (I still gave the negative to Trent because the general opinion of guys who know more than me was it was on him.) The Floyd PI was obvious and extremely harmful.

Outside of those minus-drawing errors, Trent picked up +6 for various good plays, including a number of incidents in which he totally blanketed Floyd down the sideline. I still think he's a pretty good corner.

Is this defense any good?

It's some good, but it's nowhere near where Michigan needed it to be to avoid an ugly season. Brown has given up at least one huge play every game, and Stewart only escape that fate because Miami couldn't execute. The linebackers are just bad, equally poor in pass coverage and rush defense.

Yes, Michigan held ND to 250-ish yards on the day, but for much of the game they were playing it safe to run out the clock. The consistent misplays by the linebackers and the two massive opportunities yielded by the secondary every game don't happen to good defenses.

Insert all the blah blah about improving here. I figure there's a chance the safeties get themselves sorted out, but the linebackers are too thin and too poor to be positives down the road.


Donovan Warren was very good outside of the silly PI in the endzone. Taylor held up to his doubles all day and crushed single blocking when they gave it to him.


Brown turned a first down into sixty yards; Thompson and Ezeh couldn't take advantage of the fact that one of them was unblocked on just about every run play.

What does it mean for Wisconsin?

Ugh. If Michigan's ability to shut down opponent iso plays is dodgy against Notre Dame, Wisconsin could bludgeon them. The Badgers are the Badgers and unless we get a massive week-to-week improvement it could be ugly, especially with Travis Beckum healthy and ready to exploit the massive gaps between the linebackers and the safeties.

This is a bad, bad matchup even if they struggled to put up 13 points against Fresno State. I hope Michigan can get Wisconsin in long yardage situations and doubt they will.



September 25th, 2008 at 2:19 PM ^

I'm willing to listen to explanations to explain why they do things that way, but I just don't understand why UM would try to have Thompson take the inside. Why would you give the outside guy inside responsibility and make the inside linebacker race through the muck to get outside (going right past the place where the OLB lined up)? It just seems like a scheme destined to fail.


September 25th, 2008 at 2:12 PM ^

So much for Thompson being excellent against the run.  After the last few years it seems crazy to think that we match up better against Illinois' spread than Wisconsin, but I definitely think that is the case.

Mundy must feel pretty good seeing that pair of (-4)s.  I don't ever remember YAM getting hit w/ that.


September 25th, 2008 at 2:15 PM ^

Not sure who Steve Sharik is, maybe he is a defensive coach with Shafer, or with michigan, in which case i appologize.  But i have never in all my years, heard of a scheme, where a backside ilb is expected to turn shoulders and run full flow down the los, with an isso read.   Even on a full flow sweep read, the backside lb,  checks inside gap for counter while scraping...   never ever, ever, ever.. would you ask a ilb to scrap over the top of the playside lb, and expect him to make a tfl, or even a tackle for little gain.    On an outside isso like this is,  the lb should be meeting that fullback BEHIND the LOS, and forcing it back to his buddy....       The only time we would see what steve is descrbing is on a power O scheme...  where the tackle and te are blocking down.. and the fullback is trying to kick out essentially forcing the playsdie linbacker to fill the gap and attack,  making the play bounce to a flowing lb, with safety contain....  but without it being met in the backfield, no way for backside flow to make a play wihtout it being a big gain...

The Original C

September 25th, 2008 at 2:22 PM ^

He was on mixing it up with Sam Young, while the play was going away from him...was he responsible for backside pursuit??? Looks like he just ran right up to RT and engaged him for nothing. If he hadn't done that then he could have had the cut back lane, right next to Taylor, covered (at least until Young came out to him or he could have doubled Graham along with the RG) and Ezeh could have flown to the ball carrier as was mentioned  (still this view seems far fetched considring the ILB has to flow all the way out)...dunno what the call was!


September 25th, 2008 at 2:33 PM ^

like it was a c gap weak stunt, or something allong those lines, he was obvioulsy asked to take the c gap..   which really wouldnt have matterd, the de on the pinch move took away the gap that he would have had anywya, they just exchanged gaps.   but even if he was back, in a true 4-3... your olb' alwyas force the play back to the mlb, and the mlb, forces the play to the olb's  it really is not that difficult...

The Original C

September 25th, 2008 at 2:37 PM ^

Well it was a BS call but what i want to hear form the coaches present here is the safety play. The coverage shell looks exactly like what it was on the Tate bomb, Brown a little shallow and Harrison a little deeper, but the CBs are presssing. On snap the both safeties move up suspecting run and get caught looking in the backfield for a longtime, only when Emu steps up to throw does Brown, who seems to be the deep safety, gets ready to fly back to the deep pattern.

 Question is, are our safeties so susceptible to play fakes (slow to get back in coverage) or are they forced to do this due to all the cleaning up they have done on the run plays due to poor LB play (these two cases were early in the game so....) Methinks this is a little of the latter and a lot of the former.

contra mundum

September 25th, 2008 at 2:37 PM ^

I agree with GSimmons, with only one caviate. I was taught a technique in college my position coach called "Texas Tackling"..in which I was expected to stack up the FB..shed and attempt to make the tackle in the hole on ISO. It was VERY difficult to do and as often as  not, I didn't manage it..but the backside LB was asked to flow quickly and make the play if I did not.

 BTW...I hated it..much easier to come hard at the FB and turn this thing back inside.


September 25th, 2008 at 3:06 PM ^

and sure i would love to have the lead lb make a play on the football, which is best case scenerio, and we teach how to hit and shed.  but at the end of the day, the lb's are a group, as is the 11 men on the field, and they have a job to do, and like you said no coach ever EXPECTS that a kid can take on a blocker, and make the play...     never in my coaching career, have i ever heard someone tell me,  from pete caroll to bob stoopes to lloy carr, to dick butkis, tell me an olb should force the play outside, unless they are on some kind of blitz

contra mundum

September 25th, 2008 at 10:46 PM ^

I had never done anything like it in HS. I'm dating my self here, but we ran the old 52 defense....not altogether different from the 3-4. We ran the same 52 in HS and I played ILB the first year was always taught to turn the play inside...Played SAM my JR year in a Split 6 scheme and often got alot of ISO action..always turned the play back inside.


September 25th, 2008 at 3:00 PM ^

Played LB and coach them now....I've never heard of the above described LB technique.

It seems to me that it would make the play susceptible to a mini cutback: Play side LB takes on iso block with OUTSIDE shoulder. Backside LB is supposed to run over the top and make a tackle? THat means the backside LB has to go full speed over the top and somehow prevent the RB from cutting back slightly. Awkward and not likely, if you ask me.

Why make things complicated. Take on the iso with the inside shoulder with outside responsibility and have the backside LB come in and clean up. It's classic run defense by the LBs.


On another note: How long are we going to suffer with these two at LB. Isn't there SOMEBODY on the sideline who is capable of reading and reacting? Son of a bitch, you "ham and egger!"

Let's GO Blue!


September 25th, 2008 at 3:20 PM ^

I wasn't really pointed to this blog until the coaching search, but I must say, I love the level of analysis in threads like this.  I was woefully undercoached in high school, and am learning a ton from you all.  Thanks!

oriental andrew

September 25th, 2008 at 3:26 PM ^

That it's great you coaches and former players who actually have a clue or three are posting here.  It really helps confuse me further.  Seriously, it's great information that I, as the non-playing, non-coaching fan, can use to better understand the game.  Thanks...


September 25th, 2008 at 3:32 PM ^

So it's looking like Wisconsin will block the same way they did last year.  Ezeh in particular needs to step up.  Also I like the idea of employing more 3-4 (or 50, as it were). It will also be interesting to see if the Wisconsin interior line is better than ND's.  Probable answer: yes they are.  So if we could rotate through Jamison/Graham - Taylor/Martin - Johnson I think we'd fare better.  It's pretty clear that Ezeh is struggling with two gap reads.  Given a diagnosis of the play (or merely one gap to protect) he's been good.  I think it will also give us a better chance to stay with Graham and Beckum.

Hooray for HTTV being super relevant!

The Original C

September 25th, 2008 at 3:57 PM ^

How about getting JB to play Mike, him being an athletic and "natural" Mike and all, and push Ezeh to Sam. This was what they were doing in fall practice initially right, but made the switch to get our best players!! in or something to that effect. IN fact Thompson was considered to be more of a run stuffer, while Ezeh was the more athletic one!!

I shudder to even think about Wiscy running play action on first and ten, with Beckum releasing and running through the seam unmolested and "oh wide open"!!


September 25th, 2008 at 4:45 PM ^

While I agree I worry about putting Fitzgerald out there against a good opponent when he hasn't had any game time at linebacker yet, I sure as hell hope they use him at some point otherwise it seems like a totally wasted year using him on special teams.


September 25th, 2008 at 5:53 PM ^

because the idea of coaching anybody to use that scheme to successfully defend the run is a "bad" idea, right?

What Steve Sharik described makes no sense.

And regarding our dicey DB play this year (blown assignments, etc.):

Is it too soon to officially miss Vance Bedford?  I mean, he was the DB coach in 1997, then again last year when our secondary made a huge and immediate improvement from 2006.  Then while our other coaches poked around looking for jobs, Vance gets gobbled up in a nanosecond by Urban Meyer.  That guy is a good DB coach.

Just sayin'.

Anonymous Coward (not verified)

October 10th, 2008 at 1:59 AM ^

not sayin' that's the correct way, it's the way michigan does it.  i went to the michigan clinic and watched shafer describe this exact play.