Upon Further Review: Defense vs Penn State Comment Count

Brian October 23rd, 2008 at 2:58 PM
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O35 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Run Yakety sax Mouton -16
Snap flies over Clark's head.
O19 2 26 Ace 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Waggle hitch Warren 15
Warren(-1) gives the receiver plenty of time and space on the rollout (cover -1) and there's a makeable third down. Pressure -1, as well.
O34 3 11 Shotgun 3-wide Okie Pass TE Out Williams Inc
Both linebackers blitz and are picked up (pressure -1), leaving Clark in the pocket for too long. He can't find anyone past the sticks, coming down to a decently covered TE (cover +1, Williams +0.5), who he overthrows badly. Williams was tackling as the ball arrived and would have brought this up short of a first down if complete.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 13 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O26 1 10 Single wing-ish? Base 4-3 Run Off tackle Warren 20
Um... or something. This is a traditional I-formation with Derrick Williams lined up next to the fullback in a two-point stance. Anyone who knows what to call this let me know. They hand off and go off tackle; Mouton blitzes upfield and Graham(-0.5) impacts the fullback, but there's a crease. Warren(-1) is sitting around the LOS; Williams cuts him to the ground, allowing Royster outside. Very poor from Warren; he must keep contain.
O46 1 10 Shotgun 2-back Base 4-3 Pass Screen Mouton Inc
Both linebackers blitz; this could be ugly, but Mouton(+0.5) gets in fast enough to force a high throw that is dropped. (Pressure +1.)
O46 2 10 Shotgun empty Base 4-3 Run QB counter draw Thompson 8
Another blitz sees both linebackers head to the backside of the play; PSU pulls a guard around and shoots upfield. This is terrible recognition from Thompson(-1), who fails to read the pulling guard until he's way out of position, and a poor read from Graham(-1), who's either pulling into a short zone or stunting or something. Thompson(+1) does pound Clark as he nears the first down, popping the ball out. Michigan recovers.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 7-0, 6 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O48 1 10 Shotgun empty Base 4-3 Pass Circle Mouton 8
A little circle route about four yards downfield; Mouton(-0.5) takes a poor angle to the ball and concedes an extra three or four yards after the catch he doesn't have to.
M44 2 2 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Run Zone read counter Harrison 44
Wow. Okay, there's all this stuff in the middle of the field, but watch Harrison(-2) run himself right into the slot receiver's cut block and fall to the ground spectacularly, turning this from a first down into a touchdown. This seems like a pretty crappy play from Ezeh(-1), too, who just sort of sat back, getting shoved by an OL and missing a diving tackle attempt on Royster when he spun free of the mess in the middle of the line.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 10-7, 3 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O40 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Run Zone read counter 3
Thompson(+1) finally takes the outside shoulder of the lead blocker ( a pulling guard) on this, forcing it back inside. Taylor has flowed down the line, tackling on the cutback.
O43 2 7 I-Form 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Waggle cross -- Inc
Martin(+0.5) is stunting outside and provides decent pressure(+0.5 on the perimeter. This may force a low throw on this, which is to an open receiver (cover -1) but low and tough to catch and eventually dropped.
O43 3 7 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Hitch Mouton 1
Effective blitz is about to get Ezeh(+0.5) in on Clark, so Clark dumps it off on a four-yard hitch (pressure +1); Mouton (-1) is way far away (cover -1) and looks like he's about to overrun the play when the receiver starts juggling the catch, eventually ending up back at the LOS and getting swarmed. Lucky.
Drive Notes: Punt, 17-7, 12 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O31 1 10 I-Form 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass Out Warren 7
Warren(-1) in obvious bail coverage from before the snap, so this is a really easy read for both QB and receiver; it's open for a chunk of yards. (Cover -1.)
O38 2 3 I-Form Base 4-3 Run Off tackle Thompson 26
This is just effed from the snap; Graham(-1) gets walled off and Thompson(-1) shoots upfield, leaving zero people on the corner. This is a million easy yards for Royster.
M46 1 10 I-Form 3-wide Base 4-3 Run Pitch Thompson -1
Graham(+0.5) does a good job stringing it out and Taylor(+0.5) gets a lot of push as he flows down the line, breaking up some of the timing on the blocking. Royster's cut up is met by an authoritative Thompson(+1) tackle that gets Spielman all excited. Awww, he's so cute when someone makes a good tackle.
M47 2 11 Ace empty 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Cross Ezeh 9
Three-man rush (ick); Ezeh(-1) overruns his zone expecting a hitch, opening up this little crossing route for good yardage. (Cover -1) Good tackle from Mouton holds it short of the first down.
M38 3 2 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Run QB sweep Graham 2
They get it but no complaints from here; Graham(+1) did a great job of stringing it out, making contact behind the LOS. He just doesn't have enough momentum to prevent Clark from diving out and getting the first down.
M36 1 10 I-Form Base 4-3 Pass TE Flat Thompson 9
Graham(+1) beats the LT, getting pressure on Clark and forcing a quick throw. He dumps it out to the tight end for what would be a few yards; Thompson(-1) misses a tackle, turning this into something near a first down. (Pressure +1, cover -1)
M27 2 1 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass Throwaway Graham Inc
Graham(+1) bulls the LT back into the quarterback, then disengages and attempts to tackle. Clark escapes the first attempt; Graham grabs his leg. Clark then chucks it OOB. He's inside the pocket here... is this grounding? (Pressure +1)
M27 3 1 I-Form Base 4-3 Run QB sneak -- -2
Clark fumbles the snap, and when the FB picks it up his knee is down. No one in the booth ever informs us there's a fumble.
Drive Notes: Missed FG(45), 17-7, 6 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O16 1 10 Single wing-ish? Base 4-3 Run Off tackle Mouton -1
Excellent blitz from Mouton(+1) stones the fullback in the backfield and eventually drives him backwards. Graham(+0.5) has maintained good position on the outside, containing. Royster tries to jump back inside and is swarmed.
O15 2 11 Ace 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Screen Brown 4
Martin(-1) is actually tasked as a spy here and does not get to the running back releasing on PSU's middle screen; both linebackers have charged upfield and are out of the play. Brown attacked the play and got cut to the ground in front of Royster; Royster attempts to cut and slips. Lucky.
O19 3 7 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Hitch Mouton 6
Three man rush gives Penn State forever(pressure -1); Clark can't find anyone until he's running around thinking about taking off (cover +1). This is Royster, who's released into the flat way late. He makes the catch a couple yards short of the sticks and looks sure to get the first before Mouton(+1) makes a great, square tackle, driving him back. Penn State comes up just short.
Drive Notes: Punt, 17-7, 3 min 2nd Q. Okay, before we get to the next drive a note: Penn State starts it at the 41 due to two huge special teams mistakes. One is Criswell's personal foul. The other is Mathews failing to field a 38-yard punt and turning it into a 53-yard punt with no return. If those items don't happen Penn State has the ball at its 11 yard line and likely plays for halftime. Instead, this will be a touchdown drive.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O41 1 10 Ace 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Deep hitch Warren 17
Five man rush gets nowhere near Clark (pressure -1); Warren(-1) is well off the receiver on the catch (cover -1). Miss the tackle, too, allowing Butler to get OOB.
M42 1 10 Ace 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Waggle TE out -- Inc
This is open(cover -1); Penn State's TE drops the ball.
M42 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Run Draw -- 10
Michigan screwed on this from the snap. We're in that stupid 3-3-5; PSU has two timeouts and two minutes and can obviously run the ball here. We're in a three-man rush with the DT dropping off into a spy, so both DE's are thinking pass rush only and head upfield, leaving four blockers against one DL and two pass-dropping LBs. Awful defensive call from Shafer.
M32 1 10 Ace 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Run Counter -- 14
I have no idea what Michigan thinks it's doing because we're on a closeup when the ball snaps but they've overloaded one side and dropped Mouton off significantly; Penn State just runs off tackle. With no linebackers, this is easy. Meanwhile, no one reads the pulling guard and we get no safety fill.
M18 1 10 Ace 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Penalty Offsides Taylor 5
M13 1 5 Ace 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Screen Graham 3
Great job by Graham(+1) to backtrack and tackle immediately on this.
M10 2 2 Ace 3-wide Base 4-3 Run Delay Ezeh 5
Director Jackass just loves lingering way too long on players and takes us to the play after the snap; impossible to tell what's going on. Ezeh(-1) does move unblocked to the hole at the LOS and miss a tackle.
M5 1 G Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Run Counter Mouton 1
Mouton(+1) looks like he's going to get crushed by the pulling guard, but then Royster decides to cut up, allowing him to flow to the ball and tackle effectively.
M4 2 G Shotgun empty 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Out Graham Inc
Graham(+1) again pressures Clark but can't bring him down; Mouton(-1) got pulled way off the receiver unnecessarily, opening up a receiver in the endzone; Clark's being harried, though, and it's incomplete. (Pressure +1, cover -1.)
M4 3 G Shotgun empty 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Hitch Williams 4
Williams(-1) is in a short zone and way too far off the receiver. (Cover -1)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 17-14, EOH. Someone kill the three man line. Just kill it.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O14 1 10 Ace 3-wide Base 4-3 Run Dive -- 4
Miss the start of this play for a VT-BC ad; this looks completely adequate all around with no standouts and no one doing anything particularly wrong.
O18 2 6 Ace 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Run Draw -- 9
AAAAAAAAAARGH IT'S SECOND AND SIX AGAINST A RUNNING TEAM AND MICHIGAN HAS FIVE GUYS IN THE BOX. Michigan does that linebacker overload blitz they've been trying, where the two LBs attack the gap between the NT and a DE, and PSU runs a draw at it, creasing the stunting line and shooting into the secondary. Again, this is on Shafer, as the players had zero chance to stop this given the playcall.
O27 1 10 I-Form offset 3-3-5 Nickel Pass PA Dig Stewart 13
This is not a real I-form, they've got Williams as the nominal tailback with Royster offset in the backfield. Jamison(+0.5) contains this waggle rollout pretty well, but Clark throws some sort of jump pass to a wide open receiver beyond the sticks; Stewart tackles (cover -2). Ezeh(-1) dragged light years out of position by the play action fake.
O40 1 10 Single wing-ish? Base 4-3 Pass Throwaway Graham Inc
Graham(+1) is given one of those temporary blocks before the TE releases; he gets good pressure(+1) upfield, forcing Clark to toss the ball away in the general direction of covered wide receivers.
O40 2 10 Ace 3-wide Base 4-3 Run Iso Thompson 4
TE off the line is used as a lead blocker; Thompson meets him and I guess does all right, holding his ground. He was tardy reacting, though, so that ground is two yards downfield and in the mess there's four yards for Penn State.
O44 3 6 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Run QB draw Ezeh 9
Oh, just shoot me now. Graham slants inside due to the playcall, removing himself from the play, as Michigan blitzes heavily to the backside of the play. The tackle peels off and pulls around, acting as a lead blocker; Ezeh(-1) fails to read this, getting too far inside and blocked by the tackle; Stewart actually beat a blocker and could have helped stop this short but there's too much space because of Ezeh.
M47 1 10 I-Form Base 4-3 Pass Flare Graham Inc
Graham(+0.5) shoots around the LT again, raking at Clark's hand and bumping him up into the pocket, where Mouton(+0.5) has come on a blitz and begins to sack Clark. Clark attempts to dump it off to Royster, but it's dropped; would have been a loss of two, anyway (Pressure +2).
M47 2 10 Ace 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Mouton 11
Mouton(-1) is slow to react, then overruns the play, turning five yards into 11. (Cover -1) Taylor makes a punishing downfield tackle.
M36 1 10 Ace 4-wide Base 4-3 Pass Flare screen -- 8
Michigan actually has this dead to rights with Trent(-0.5) and Taylor(-0.5) reading the play; both of them overrun it, allowing Williams to duck inside. (Cover +1)
M28 2 2 Ace 3-wide Base 4-3 Run Dive Ezeh 4
Thompson actually does a good job of taking on the pulling guard; Ezeh(-1) runs up out of the play, gets engaged with a linebacker, and ends up ten yards downfield.
M24 1 10 Ace 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass Fly Warren Inc
A bomb down the sideline that Warren(+0.5) is actually in pretty good coverage on; the throw is excellent. Butler makes a diving catch, but the ground knocks it loose. (Cover +1.)
M24 2 10 Ace 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Drag -- Inc
Ezeh in man-to-man with a dragging Derrick Williams... this is not a good idea. Michigan is blitzing and Mouton(+0.5) manages to harry Clark a little bit, I guess; the pass falls incomplete. (Pressure +0.5, Cover -1.)
M24 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Flag Graham Inc
Three man rush; this time Graham(+0.5) gets some small measure of pressure(+0.5), which I think causes Clark to toss the ball away. At least I think that's what he's doing, because his throw is five yards too high and to a covered(+1) receiver.
Drive Notes: Field Goal(42), 17-17, 6 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
50 1 10 Ace Base 4-3 Run Off tackle Taylor 3
Taylor(+0.5) holds up pretty well against a double, and there's no crease up the middle. From there it's hard to tell what happens; Royster squeezes through the line for three yards when it looked like he would get stopped for zero.
M47 2 7 Ace 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass Fade Warren 25
Mouton(+1) comes on a blitz and gets there, forcing a quick throw; Warren(-1) lined up in man near the LOS, gets to bump on the receiver and gives him far too much room to the sideline on this fade. (Cover -1.)
M22 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Run Counter Mouton 21
Time and again we see this happen where two players on the D attack the same gap. Here's it's Mouton(-1) shooting upfield, causing Royster to bounce it out; Graham(-1) has gotten pushed back to the LOS and lost contain. Royster bounces outside and has plenty of green grass; a late-filling Brown(-1) gets blocked by Clark, turning this into a major gain.
M1 1 G Goal line Goal line Run QB sneak -- 1
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 26-17, 3 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M37 1 10 Ace twins Base 4-3 Run Counter Martin 14
Mouton(-1) and Ezeh(-1) sit back and accept blocks from linebackers; Martin(-1) failed to hold up to a double team and got creased, providing a cutback lane for Royster.
M23 1 10 Ace 3-wide Base 4-3 Run Off tackle Johnson 3
Johnson(-1) gets scooped, sealed away from the frontside of the play and the second guy gets a block on Ezeh; Harrison(+1) comes up quickly and tackles after a small gain.
M20 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Run Zone read keeper -- 5
Again five guys in the box at the snap, with two of them blitzing up the middle; no linebackers. Ezeh attempts to scrape outside but the crappy angles Michigan players have because of the play call end up allowing one pulling tackle to block two guys and pancake Ezeh.
M15 3 2 Ace 3-wide Base 4-3 Run Dive Johnson 1
Johnson(+2) fights through a double team by himself, slices into the path of Green, and tackles him short o the sticks. Big play with no help.
Drive Notes: Field goal(33), 29-17, EO3Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M19 1 10 Ace twins Base 4-3 Run Dive Johnson 3
Taylor(-0.5) blown back a bit by a double; Johnson(+1) fights through it and drives his guy back to the LOS, where Royster has to stall before cutting to one side of him. Ezeh cleans up after a couple yards.
M16 2 7 Ace 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass End-around pass Graham Inc
Graham(+1) gets upfield on this, forcing Williams back a few yards and probably making this inaccurate. Stewart(-1) has an interception in his hands and drops it.
M16 3 7 Ace 4-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Cross Harrison 15
Five rushers get nowhere near Clark (presure -2), giving this long drag time to develop. It's in front of Harrison(-1, cover -1), caught, and turned up for near touchdown yardage.
M1 1 G Goal line Goal line Run QB sneak Martin 0
Sneak fails; tough to tell who to credit but I think Martin(+1) got under Shipley and pushed him back.
M1 2 G Goal line Goal line Run QB sneak -- 1
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 36-17, 12 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O41 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen -- Inc
For whatever reason, Clark decides not to throw this, then chucks it OOB.
O41 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Hitch Trent 11
Graham(+1) does manage to get pressure(+1) pretty quickly on this three man rush. No matter, though, as Butler is open(cover -2) between Trent(-0.5) and Mouton(-0.5)
M48 1 10 Ace twins Base 4-3 Run Off tackle Martin 6
It is really frustrating how poor the linebackers are at reading all these pulling guards. Here Ezeh(-0.5) runs himself upfield and gives the OG an angle to block him, which makes Mouton(+1) excellent job of standing up the OL pointless. Martin(-1) also sealed away too easily.
M42 2 4 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 Nickel Run QB draw -- 18
Michigan blitzes and gets out of position; Brown is filling decently here but Graham(-1) gets driven so far back on this that he allows Clark a lane outside, which he takes.
M24 1 10 Ace 3-wide Base 4-3 Run Delay Martin 4
Martin(-1) sealed away and eventually pancaked here; big gap. Ezeh(-0.5) fails to read the play and lets Shipley seal him away; Harrison(+0.5) fills near the LOS ably.
M20 2 6 I-Form Base 4-3 Run Sweep -- 0
Michigan brings up both safeties and has nine in the box on this one, and strings it out.
M20 3 6 Ace 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass Out Warren 7
Warren(-1) is bailing out deep and this simple out at the sticks is wide open. (Cover -1)
M13 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Run Counter Mouton 3
Mouton(+0.5) attacks the pulling guard well, closing this hole down to very little; Taylor finishes after the Mouton-induced delay.
M10 2 7 Ace 3-wide Base 4-3 Run Off tackle Taylor 6
Taylor(-1) gets blown back, and does anyone really care at this point?
M4 3 1 Goal line Goal line Run Iso -- 0
Eh, whatever.
Drive Notes: Field goal(21), 39-17, 5 min 4th Q. End of charting.

What the hell?

I don't know, man. Yeah, Penn State's second half point explosion was heavily aided by Michigan screwups on special teams and offense, but it's not like this is an aberration. Illinois put up 45, after all, and did that by running it all over the place; in this game Royster averaged nearly ten yards a carry. Whatever hopes you have for this defense should now be dead.


Sigh. Chart.

Before we get to it, a caveat: I didn't expect the numbers to be this ugly, and at this point in the season I may be excessively harsh due to general malaise and anger. By the last drive I was obviously not objective. But, yeah, they did put up 46 points and largely stopped themselves in the first half.

On with the show.

Defensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Jamison 0.5 - 0.5 Has a total of 0.5 points, positive or negative, over the past two games.
Johnson 3 1 2 One big third and short stop.
Taylor 1.5 2.5 -1 Disappeared.
Graham 9 4.5 4.5 Best player on defense without question.
Patterson - - -  
Banks - - -  
Van Bergen - - -  
Martin 1.5 4 -2.5 A lot of negatives late when he was in as a 4-3 DT; unsurprising he took a beating from Shipley & Co; he's just a freshman.
TOTAL 15.5 12 3.5 Basically Brandon Graham and disappointment.
Player + - T Notes
Ezeh 0.5 8 -7.5 Holy Christ.
Thompson 3 3 0 Forced a turnover.
Panter - - -  
Evans - - -  
Mouton 7 6 1 Still terrible in coverage; turning into a good blitzer.
TOTAL 10.5 17 -6.5  
Player + - T Notes
Trent - 1 -1 See "coverage".
Harrison 1.5 3 -1.5 One of the primary culprits on the long touchdown.
Warren 0.5 6 -5.5 More later.
Cissoko - - -  
Dutch - - -  
Stewart - 1 -1
Brown - 1 -1  
Williams 0.5 1 -0.5  
TOTAL 2 13 -11 Enormous disappointment.
"Pressure" 9.5 6 3.5 Largely thanks to Graham and Mouton.
"Coverage" 5 19 -14 #$**#$$F*#$($.

Let me just tackle some of the guys you're probably going "urk" about:

Obi Ezeh. Hey, when you're the middle linebacker and the opponent rushes for 6.3 YPC you probably get a massive negative in UFR. I don't really blame him; if Michigan had recruited more than one high-profile linebacker since Crable and Burgess Ezeh would probably be waiting his chance on the bench.

Isn't it time to start getting Fitzgerald some time? A drive here and there; he's basically got to play next year.

Donovan Warren. I really, really hope he's had one of those injuries that's just not quite bad enough to knock you out of the game, and I hope he's had that most of the year. Because he hasn't made a single play, and a lot of Penn State's success was going right at him.

That coverage number. What can I say? Michigan let guys run all over the field. When they were in zone, Penn State found holes. When they were in man, Penn State ran drags.

It appears your goodwill towards the coaching staff is beginning to ebb.

Defensively, yes. I'm willing to put the crappy linebacker corps on Carr's extremely poor recruiting at the position, but the secondary has been a disaster zone with a bunch of highly-rated recruits. While the offense has tried a bunch of different things in an attempt to escape the basement, the defense has rolled out a 4-3 all year unless they're going to the 3-3-5. Said 3-3-5 has not been effective at rushing the passer and has been a complete disaster against the run, but it got rolled out on third and one last week and second and six this week, with predictable results.

I just don't get it, man. You cannot put five guys in the box on a potential running down, especially when two of them are defensive ends, two of them poor linebackers, and the other a freshman NT. And yet.

Fire somebody?

No. There's an obvious deficiency in talent on the D and whenever you switch regimes you can expect some issues. Any discussion about booting guys is Auburn-level premature.

But, yeah, my confidence level in Shafer is dipping.


Brandon Graham was consistently good, and Mouton's developing into a pretty decent player.


Ezeh pulled that big negative for a reason, and pick someone in the secondary. Also, Shafer's inexplicable deployment of that 3-3-5 on Penn State's final drive of the half greatly aided that game-turning touchdown.

What does it mean for the future?

Well… I think we're going to be okay against Michigan State. Brian Hoyer is really bad and a little dinged up and their offense is a lot like Wisconsin's, against whom Michigan actually did pretty well. This is a game in which the DL will be very relevant. We'll have problems and give up points; I'm not expecting State to go nuts or anything.

As for the future: any team that can take the DL out of the game is going to put up a lot of points if they're any good. Purdue probably isn't; Northwestern and Minnesota might be, and who knows about Ohio State?



October 23rd, 2008 at 3:45 PM ^

If I see Michigan in that 3-3-5, I'm thinking I might run a draw--especially if I'm Tressel and I can call a QB draw on 3rd and 6. Look at what draws did against that defense.  Standard smash mouth against the Ballerina Defense.

Mon-L The Magn…

October 23rd, 2008 at 4:09 PM ^

Uggghhh. So painful. IMHO Warren is hurt. He was not getting tested like this earlier.

Shafer has called some headscratchers. I recall a 3 man rush against Wisky that let them stroll down the field late. Maybe picking a coach you never met ,based on a couple years at non-traditional powers is not such a hot hiring plan.


October 23rd, 2008 at 5:27 PM ^

Alright, so it is somewhat believable that Michigan's offense might find slightly more success running something that more suits their personnel.  Instead, they are developing a system for the future.  This is okay with me, as this year is just about a throw away.  That being said, I can not stand the 3-3-5 on the other side of the ball.  In order to run this effectivley, you need a strong nose tackle to anchor, and linebackers who are exceptional at making reads and tackling in space.  You also need DB's who are willing to function as "hybrids" in run support.  Does this sound like Michigan to you?  How about in the next five years?  No?  Then don't run it.  Perhaps you run an offense without all the pieces just to get the system in place.  When the personell required to run the 3-3-5 aren't even on the horizon, it is time to scrap it.


October 23rd, 2008 at 5:50 PM ^

No footage of Taylor's fierce downfield tackle? That was the defensive highlight of the game imho.

Another highlight, more like an ironic "I'm laughing because I don't know how to cope with this kind of exceptional nonsense" was the late TD ... Spielman exclaim's "Only Morgan Trent!...." (at this point I am already laughing, seeing the inevitable outcome). Trent characteristically lets his body fall limp at his opponents feet in what some might call a tackle attempt (I wouldn't).

Perhaps Shafer's mind-boggling calls are his overcompensating for the players he's been dealt? These are young coaches, I tell myself, who at times seem they are just trying too hard.

MI Expat NY

October 23rd, 2008 at 6:20 PM ^

For some reason, I'm not seeing any video right now, seems like it was there when I first looked at it. 

Anyway, seems to me what your'e describing is a non-traditional power I look.  Traditional Power I puts a second fullback next to the fullback of the I formation.  I'm not sure what the point of having Williams there though.  Must be setting up for something.

Swayze Howell Sheen

October 23rd, 2008 at 8:10 PM ^

Shafer is not doing a great job. Perhaps he was not ready for this big of a job. We can make a lot of excuses, but the bottom line is that the defense should be better than it is. I bet if the D has another bad year next year they will find a way to ease someone else in to help at D-Coord. In fact, I have a suggestion. His name starts with Shhhh, and ends with ee-an-o. And he won't be coaching Rutgers or Penn St. in a couple of years if things keep going as badly as they have been. Any guesses who I am talking about?

-Coach S.