Upon Further Review: Defense vs Wisconsin Comment Count

Brian November 15th, 2007 at 4:45 PM
Ln Dn Ds Form Def Type Yards Brief
O34 1 10 I-Form Base 5-2 Pass Inc Dig
M sends five and does not get there (pressure -1); Crable picked up. Stocco [Yes, I called him "Stocco" here and had to mentally correct myself several other times. Wisconsin quarterbacks all look alike. -ed] throws behind a well-covered Hubbard. (Cover +1, Englemon +1)
O34 2 10 Ace Twins Nickel Run 3 Off tackle
ABC is in a really wide view here as they introduce the offense and I can't pick out anything specific. Taylor(+1) with a tackle two yards downfield.
O37 3 7 I-Form 3-wide Nickel Pass 22 Dig
BG stunts around both a DT and a DE as CGraham blitzes into the spot he vacated. They pick up the CGraham blitz but not the looping stunt; said stunt takes so long to loop around that Donovan has just enough time to get off a throw to a decently covered Hubbard. BG pounds him just after the ball is released. No, on replay Warren(-1) gave up position right away and was beaten easily. (Cover -1)
M41 1 10 Ace Twins Base 5-2 Pass Inc TE Seam
Actually goes to the non-Beckum UW TE as Michigan sends seven(!) guys. BG gets cut but gets up; Ezeh(+1) in unblocked on a well-timed delayed blitz; both get there just as Donovan throws. The resulting throw is long and uncatchable. (pressure +1)
M41 2 10 Ace Base 5-2 Run 1 Zone right
Taylor(+1) holds up against a double team and Crable(+1) takes a momentary double without getting sealed; Crable's push and disconnect slows the RB long enough for help to close from the backside.
M40 3 9 Ace 3-wide Nickel Pass 2 Cross
Michigan again blitzing heavily; both linebackers come. Ezeh gets in unblocked due to a UW miscommunication, hitting Donovan as he releases the ball. Adams(+1) reads Beckum's crossing route and comes up to tackle immediately. (Cover +1, pressure +1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 12 min 1st Q. A couple of impressive plays on the part of Donovan already. I think this might be the hidden story of the game: Donovan playing his ass off.
Ln Dn Ds Form Def Type Yards Brief
O18 1 10 I-Form Base 5-2 Run -9 (pen) Counter Trap
Adams comes up very hard right in the intended gap between the FB, who's crushed Crable(-1) inside, and the pulling guard. This forces Brown outside and should give Michgian time to react; Ezeh(-1) is late. Good reaction from Trent(+1) holds the play down. Hubbard, who came down to block Adams, picks up a holding call.
O9 1 19 Ace 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass 25 Improvisation
Base personnel; Crable lined up in zone over the slot receiver. BGraham(+1) gets quick pressure from a four man rush but in doing so gives up contain as he's fought inside of the OT. I have a hard time blaming BG here, as the alternative is to sit around not getting pressure, something we've seen a lot of against mobile QBs. Donovan rolls out, finding Hubbard open for a big gainer and a first down. (Cover -1.) Another excellent play from Donovan.
O34 1 10 I-Form Base 5-2 Pass Inc Flag
Wooo for getting CGraham in coverage against a WR. The outside WR runs a fly, driving Trent off and creating a huge pocket for Hubbard to find another 20-yarder; Donovan overthrows it. (Cover -2, pressure -1). Adams blitzed and was through, but was forced to his knees and could not get to the QB.
O34 2 10 Ace 3-wide Nickel Pass Inc Stop
The pocket starts collapsing from all sides as Donovan finds Beckum open on a stop route. He can't step into the throw and sails it. Um... pressure +1.
O34 3 10 Ace 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Inc Slant
Trent(+2) jumps a slant, breaking up the play and nearly intercepting the ball. (Cover +2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 8 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds Form Def Type Yards Brief
O45 1 10 I-Form Big Base 4-4 Pass 0 (penx2) Interception
Donovan gives Henne's INT back as Crable shoots into the backfield and forces a horrible throw; Adams picks it off. (Cover +1, pressure +1). A stupid, legit roughing the passer call follows. Crable(-3). A late hit on UW evens out the yardage.
O45 1 10 I-Form Base 4-4(!) Pass 14 Out
Are you kidding me? Michigan is in a 4-4 with two safeties as UW comes out in a big formation, then splits Beckum out. The man covering Beckum: Tim Jamison. It's irrelevant, as Trent(-1) has given Hubbard a huge cushion, which UW exploits for an out; Trent can't make an immediate tackle and Hubbard drags him for another five yards. (Cover -2)
M41 1 10 I-Form Big Base 5-2 Run 5 + 15 Option
Crable levels Donovan, picking up a completely garbage PF; meanwhile the pitch is out and the FB makes a nice cut block on a charging Adams; linebackers are nowhere to be seen. Adams had a really tough assignment here and I'm not sure what he could have done other than this.
M19 1 10 I-Form Big Base 5-2 Run 7 Iso cutback
Englemon at the LOS for another guy in the box. Stunt gets Jamison(+1) right in the intended POA, forcing a cutback. On the backside Taylor has gotten a little penetration but not much. BGraham(-1) left unblocked, is owned by the fullback, creasing the backside and getting Smith into the secondary. Ezeh(-1) again late and cannot tackle at the hole.
M12 2 3 I-Form Big Base 5-2 Run 2 Iso
UW unbalances its line, tipping run with a covered up TE. Also no Beckum. Ezeh(+1) blitzes from the corner and gets stood up by the FB, but disengages as the RB passes and makes a diving tackle.
M10 3 1 I-Form Big Base 4-3 Pass 10 Waggle throwback
We do have extra guys in the box on these last two plays, evening up the blocking. UW goes with the waggle, shooting Beckum out to the backside of the formation. CGraham(-1) loses him and whoever the safety is is just gone. Appears to be Englemon(-1). (Cover -2)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 0-7, 4 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds Form Def Type Yards Brief
O25 1 10 I-Form Twins Base 5-2 Run 5 Iso
Both DTs single blocked and pretty much controlled; Taylor avoids a minus by flowing down t
he line and tackling. Johnson(-1) however, was pancaked and blown out of the play.
O30 2 5 I-Form Base 5-2 Run 6 Off tackle
Taylor(-1) can't take on a double, crumpling on contact and allowing the second guy to get out on Ezeh. CGraham(-1) runs up into the hole, meeting the FB and getting plowed backwards. Result: first down.
O36 1 10 I-Form 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass 34 Flag
Beckum is the third "wideout." He's a matchup problem, that guy. Crable lines up over him in zone; they run the flag again, it's wide open again, and this time Donovan makes the throw. Getting bludgeoned by this route. (Cover -2). Crable is basically a DE now and he's trying to cover the best receiver on UW. Wait... is this man? I think it might be man. Oh god. I can't tell.
M30 1 10 I-Form Base 5-2 Pass 11 Scramble
Crable(-1) blitzing into this play action; he comes up too far inside and gives up contain. Donovan scrambles for good yardage.
M19 1 10 I-Form Base 5-2 Run 3 Off tackle
Same power off tackle they've run much of the day; this time Crable(+1) blitzes and stands up the fullback in the backfield, forcing Smith to bounce it outside. Ezeh(-1) gets caught up way to the inside, turning a potential TFL into a three yard gain.
M16 2 7 Ace Twins Nickel Pass 5 Dumpoff
Crable knifes through the line but can't keep his feet; the extra moment or two allows Donovan to hit the other UW TE, who's slipped out of the backfield to provide a late option. CGraham(+1) tackles immediately. (Cover +1)
M11 3 2 I-Form Base 5-2 Run 1 Off tackle
Johnson(+2) drives into the backfield, picking off the pulling guard with his man's butt and creating a huge mess at the POA. Brown attempts to cut back behind it but falls and the drive ends.
Drive Notes: FG(27), 0-10, 12 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds Form Def Type Yards Brief
O41 1 10 I-Form Big Base 5-2 Run 3 Iso
Johnson(+1) again drives his guy backwards, fouling the hole and causing a cutback. Taylor(+1) has also driven his man back a bit and disengages to tackle; Adams(-1) had an opportunity to stick this for a small loss or no gain but whiffed.
O44 2 7 Ace Base 5-2 Pass Inc Middle screen
The middle screen that's killed us the past couple years against Wisconsin re-emerges; we have apparently figured it out. ("Killed us" in last year's game == got a couple first downs.) Ezeh(+2) reads this and is there as the ball shows, breaking it up. (Cover +1)
O44 3 7 Ace 3-3-5 Nickel Pass 18 Scramble
As soon as Ezeh(-2) gets chopped and flies wildly past the QB, we're dead meat. CGraham has shot into the line and Jamison has stunted around him, leaving acres of space as Michigan mans up. Donovan can run for days. (Pressure -2)
M38 1 10 Ace Nickel Run 9 Zone counter
Yeah, you know those effective runs from the Oregon game that we shelved? This is that. Other UW TE comes in motion and sets up over the guard, looking like he's going to help on a frontside run. The play starts and the blocking looks like a zone stretch; the TE comes to the backside and cuts Crable. A slow-reacting CGraham(-1) doesn't scrape(!) correctly, allowing an OL to get out on him. Bam, Smith into the secondary.
M29 2 1 I-Form Base 5-2 Pass 24 TE Post
No pressure(-2) on Donovan at all. He has a huge pocket and can step up unfettered; this he does, finding Beckum just in front of Warren, who is draped on him and ready to rake as the ball arrives. A perfectly placed ball prevents him from making a play.
M5 1 G I-Form Big Base 4-4 Run 4 Off tackle
Crable does a good job crashing down on this but Ezeh(-1), even though he's seen this play like a half-dozen times already, just waits to get blocked by an OL. He gets off it and since Crable's crashing delays the RB he has a chance to make a play near the LOS, but he whiffs on the tackle. Also -1 to BGraham, blown way off the ball.
M1 2 G Goal-line Goal-line Run 1 Bootleg
Waggle bootleg to give Donovan a run-pass option. He might have the TE open but decides not to chance throwing over Crable and heads for the corner. BGraham can't quite get there in time.
Drive Notes: Touchdown,0-17, 7 min 2nd Q. Impressive drive from UW here.
Ln Dn Ds Form Def Type Yards Brief
O35 1 10 I-Form Base 5-2 Run 1 Inside zone
No pull from the guard and the FB shoots off to cut the unblocked backside DE: this is a zone play. Taylor(+1) absorbs a double team and flows down the line to tackle after the G gets a tardy release; BG and Johnson also do well to cut off any room.
O36 2 9 Ace 3-wide Nickel Pass Inc Fly
Both TEs in two point stances. Delayed blitz from CGraham doesn't get there, Taylor bullrushes a guy back into Donovan, which might cause him to shorten up his stride and sail it a bit. No plus but no minus on pressure. Donovan tries a bomb to Beckum that's well covered by Warren(+1, cover +1)
O36 3 9 Ace 3-wide Nickel Pass 27 Improvisation
One of the many plays that make me scream profanity during the game. BG gets a break here as Brown, trying to pick up a blitzing CGraham, picks off the guy blocking him; he gets in for what looks like a drive-killing sack but Donovan spins free and miraculously manages to keep his balance, split through the mess of OL and DL and roll out. He signals Hubbard downfield and hits him for a 30-some yard completion. I find it hard to blame anyone in particular on this except maybe BG. I mean, what is Harrison supposed to do here after six seconds covering a guy a foot taller than him? I dunno. BG(-1) for missing the tackle. Pressure(-2) for losing contain.
M37 1 10 Ace Twins Nickel Run 5 Zone right
Slocum in; he takes a momentary double, then stands up the OL and closes what looks ike the intended crease. Johnson's(-1) single blocked and handled, creating a crease between the two DTs. Ezeh(-1), unblocked, does not react. CGraham was trying to deal with a huge Wisconsin OL and managed to not give ground.
M32 2 5 I-Form Nickel Run 6 Off tackle
Slightly different blocking scheme here as Crable's blocked on the first level whereas before he has been let free for the FB to handle. Maybe this is designed to go outside? Think so. Crable(+1) beats his guy and eventually draws attention f
rom three badgers; Ezeh(-1) overruns to the frontside and CGraham(-1) is obliterated by an OL; a cutback lane opens and Smith takes it.
M26 1 10 I-Form Big Base 5-2 Run 12 Iso
Johnson(-1) crushed out of the hole and way to the outside, creating a cavernous gap CGraham can't hope to fill. Taylor(-1) also blown back by a double. He gets blocked by the FB; Ezeh(-1) is caught inside waiting for a cutback that never comes and can't close him down to the outside. Englemon(-1) whiffed on a tackle downfield.
M14 1 10 I-Form Big Base 5-3 Run -10 (pen) Pitch sweep
UW shifts before the snap, pulling TEs to create huge overload to one side. Jamison drops off the line and lines up as a WLB. They run a pitch play which gets down to the two, but largely because Crable(+2) had shot into the backfield and was held to prevent a major TFL.
M24 1 20 Ace Twins Nickel Pass Inc Wheel
Adams blitzes and doesn't quite get there; the two linebackers, delayed, do, forcing a throw from Donovan. (Pressure +1) It's way overthrown and just as well for UW as Warren(+1, cover +1) has Beckum blanketed.
M24 2 20 Ace 3-wide Nickel Run 2 Draw
Taylor(+1) reads the draw, fighting inside to close down the desired gap between the DTs; CGraham also does a good job of coming up. As Brown cuts it outside Taylor fights back to the other side of the OL and dives to make a tackle at the LOS.
M22 3 18 Ace 3-wide Nickel Pass Inc Post
Five guys blitz but no one gets there; Donovan has a nice pocket. (Pressure -1) He finds Hubbard open enough (cover -1), but misses.
Drive Notes: FG(39), 7-20, EOH.
Ln Dn Ds Form Def Type Yards Brief
O20 1 10 Ace Twins Base 5-2 Run 8 Off tackle
Sort of on the formation. Beckum not quite on the line in a two point stance. One WR lined up just to the outside and back of him; TE offset behind him. Wisconsin then flips the formation, moving the TEs to the other side of the field, then bringing in the other WR as the RB goes from offset to directly behind the QB: they've moved from an obvious pass formation into a run formation that overloads the other side of the field. Crable switches sides, then starts motioning for a timeout that the refs don't give him. Jamison and Johnson get split but Johnson's absorbed a double team so there's no one to block Ezeh(-2), who sits back , fails to attack the hole, and lets Hill – in the game for a couple carries – burst by him.
O28 2 2 I-Form Big Base 5-2 Run 2 Inside zone
Odd alignment by the D with Jamison in a two point stance; he passively accepts a Beckum block. Weird, but looks like his assignment. Johnson slants into the backfield but is taking Donovan on a rollout fake; Crable shoots into the backfield from the other side as Michigan brings a run blitz; the FB takes him out but Hill's path is altered. Taylor(+1), doubled, holds up and makes a diving tackle as Hill passes. Still a first down.
O30 1 10 I-Form Twins Base 5-2 Run 2 Draw
Adams brought as a blitzer. He's taken out by the fullback; Taylor's gotten some penetration but allows the RB to slip behind his block. Ezeh(+1), unblocked, makes a tackle after a small gain.
O32 2 8 Ace 3-wide Nickel Pass 7 Scramble
Harrison sent on a blitz; Wisconsin has a wall of blockers out there and Donovan has tons of time. (Pressure -2). Can't find anyone (cover +1), starts rolling out towards Harrison then flips around and starts running for it. Crable can't track him down... Donovan's a fast dude.
O39 3 1 I-Form Big Base 5-3 Run 2 Iso
Pure straight ahead power from a FB as UW puts out a huge set in the backfield. Good job by Johnson to penetrate but he can't get there in time; Slocum in but not able to make a play.
O41 1 10 I-Form Base 5-2 Pass -10 (pen) TE Out
No pressure(-2) at all; excellent pocket and Donovan has plenty of time to step up and fire. The TE runs an out in front of Warren in zone coverage; Warren is close enough to take a diving stab at the ball and attempt to rake it out but it's just beyond his reach and a completion. Carimi gets called for holding; BG(+1) drew it but it was unnecessary.
O31 1 20 Ace 3-wide Base 5-2 Run 10 End-around
Same flip UW executed on the first play of the drive. Ezeh(-2) gives up contain immediately; Adams(-1) comes up hard but too hart, allowing Jefferson to beat him to the corner.
O41 2 10 Ace 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Pass 19 Hitch
Blitz from Michigan; Ezeh(+1) plows right into the center and starts driving him back, forcing Donvan to throw; he finds Hubbard on a comeback route in front of Warren(-2, cover -2), who compounds the meh coverage by whiffing on a tackle and yielding significant YAC. (Pressure +1)
M40 1 10 Ace Twins Base 5-2 Pass 7 Waggle scramble
Waggle action from UW; they use a pulled TE to block the backside DE and give Donovan some time. Coverage(+1) is good and Donovan decides to scramble. Ferrara(-1) overruns the play and Johnson(-1) was pancaked, so there's no one to clean up as he cuts back and scrambles.
M33 2 3 I-Form Big Base 5-2 Run -2 End-around
End-around to Beckum(!); this time Crable(+2) is shooting in from the strongside unblocked. He's past the FB – who seems to let him go – and the RB, almost too far upfield to make a difference on the play but he grabs Beckum's leg and eventually hauls him down for a loss.
M35 3 5 Ace Nickel Pass 15 Comeback
Again with the long-looping stunt of Graham around the DT and DE; it is about to get to Donovan but it's too late as he finds Jefferson wide open on a comeback route in front of Englemon. (-1, Cover -1, pressure -1)
M20 1 10 I-Form Big Base 5-3 Run 4 Iso
Mouton in the game as an extra LB. Taylor(+1) drives into the backfield towards the hole, closing it just as the FB passes. Smith has to cut it back; the linebackers have all run themselves to the frontside of the play and gotten blocked, so it takes Englemon coming up to make this tackle. I should hand out a -1 somewhere... Mouton.
M16 2 6 I-Form Big Base 5-3 Pass 8 Stop
Mouton out, Jamison in in Crable's usual place over the TE; he drops into coverage. Crable playing as a WLB. Beckum motions out to be a seco
nd receiver and runs a simple stop route in front of Trent(cover -1).
M8 1 G I-Form Big Base 5-3 Run 5 Naked bootleg
Hey, wow, haven't seen this in a while. Run all the way here with no one in a route. Crable(-1) gets cut to the ground, opening up the backside; Warren makes an adequate tackle to prevent a TD.
M3 2 G Goal-line Goal-line Run 2 Iso
Hill in, and we send out the big boys: NT Taylor, DT Slocum, DT Kates. Our DEs are usually DT Johnson and sometimes DT Graham. They run at Slocum(-1), who's stood up by one blocker. Taylor(+1) has burst into the backfield and delayed the progress of a couple pulled guys, forcing a Hill cutback and an eventual tackle just short of the goalline.
M1 3 G Goal-line Goal-line Run 0 Iso
Full credit to CGraham(+2), who launches himself forward, plowing into the FB, stoning him, and driving back as Hill arrives, eventually sticking him short of the endzone. Taylor(+1) also helps make this play, eventually driving the center back and preventing Hill's added momentum from driving the pile forward. At the time I just thought "oh, god, put me out of my misery" but if things go a bit differently in the fourth quarter this could have been a deciding play.
Drive Notes: FG(18), 7-23, 5 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds Form Def Type Yards Brief
O23 1 10 I-Form Big Base 6-2 Run 3 Iso
Johnson(+1) slants past his blocker into the desired path of this play, forcing a cutback. Patterson disengages to tackle as the RB passes him near the LOS, but can't prevent him from falling forward.
O26 2 7 I-Form Base 4-3 Pass 10 Out
No pressure(-1) from a four-man front; Hubbard wide open in front of Trent(-1, cover -1).
O36 1 10 I-Form Big Base 6-2 Run 7 Off tackle
Greg Banks(-1) is doubled, immediately crumbling and getting pancaked. Crable(-1) stoned by the FB as a guard and Beckum pull around from the strongside of the formation. Taylor's again fought to get himself into the hole – I can't believe what a monster game he's having given the results on the field – but Johnson(-1) is easily handled by his guy and can't do likewise; there's a major gap between them.
O43 2 3 I-Form Big Base 5-2 Run 3 Iso
Jamison(-1) is stunting around the DT and right into this hole; he should at least take out the FB and allow a linebacker to close unblocked; instead he shoots upfield uselessly. Ezeh(+1) and Taylor do a good job of closing the hole, but the momentum of the back bowls them over and he sqeezes out near the first down.
O46 1 10 I-Form Big Base 5-2 Run 5 Inside zone
Michigan slants hard to the left, which means Taylor takes himself out of the play and Ferrara(-1) is slanting into a double team that crushes him. Ezeh, blitzing up the middle, comes up hard but the back can slant away from him because of the large gap. Adams makes an arm tackle as he passes.
M49 2 5 I-Form Big Base 4-3 Run 4 Delay
Highlight of this one provided because I'm not sure exactly what to term it and not precisely sure what everyone's responsibilities are. Anyone who can chip in, please do. We're laying back and blitzing hard at the snap; Ezeh(+1) meets the C and stands him up, making this hole smallish – think Brown should cut back here into big space as Ferrara's run himself way out of the play and into trouble, but he does not – but Adams(-1) does not fill it, instead moving outside to follow the fullback, which appears to be Crable's responsibility. Result is that the RB can slip up this crease for four as Ezeh and Slocum disengage to tackle.
M45 3 1 I-Form Big Base 5-2 Run 0 Iso
Johnson(+1) slants hard inside as Jamison(+1) loops around behind him on what's not really a stunt but a sellout to stop the hypothetical iso. Both guys get there, stuffing this at the LOS and forcing a punt.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-23, 14 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds Form Def Type Yards Brief
O30 1 10 I-Form Base 5-2 Pass Inc Out
Taylor(+1) gets interior pass rush and nails Donovan as he releases the ball(pressure +1); it's a bit of a duck. Warren(+1, cover +1) is there to rake the ball out as it arrives. Stevie Brown in the game.
O30 2 10 Ace 3-wide Base 5-2 Run -1 Off tackle
Same formation UW ends up in after the flip, but they just line up in it this time. M shows man press. And end-around draws two players two it, potentially opening up a running lane. Crable(+1) blitzes from over the WR and is not blocked; BG(+1) slashes past his blocker and into the backfield; the pair tackle for loss.
O29 3 11 Ace 3-wide Nickel Pass Inc Middle screen
Adams is creeping forth at the snap – a spy, maybe? -- but not blitzing, so he's in perfect position to read this screen and break it up(+1, cover +1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-23, 12 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds Form Def Type Yards Brief
O24 1 10 I-Form Twins Base 5-2 Run 2 Draw
Johnson(+1) does a good job holding up against a double team; Ezeh sort of comically plows into the back of one of his teammates and falls as the running back approaches the LOS, which forces a spin and eventually a fall due to the traffic the immobile Johnson has created.
O26 2 8 Ace Nickel Run 12 Zone left
Crable(+1) shoots past a blocker but is flat-out tackled, opening up a huge gap for the RB to exploit. No call. Ezeh(-1) got blocked right out of the play and ther was no second-level help.
O38 1 10 I-Form Base 5-2 Run 3 Iso
BGraham(+1) fights outside of his blocker and gets into the hole the FB is running up into. He gets blocked out of the play but he's successfully stripped the RB of his crease and his lead blocker. Johnson(-1) gets blown back by a double, forcing Ezeh to go around the guy still blocking Johnson and whiff an arm tackle; he gets pushed a couple yards downfield and turns this from 0 into 3.
O41 2 7 Ace Twins Base 5-2 Run 0 Inside zone
Actually more of a 6
-2 as CGraham comes to the LOS and Adams moves up to be a second linebacker. Crable gets upfield and Jamison is doubled, creating a large crease between the two; Adams(+2) comes up and fills with authority, tackling for no gain.
O41 3 7 Ace Base 6-2 Pass Inc TE Out
Michigan crowding the line, threatening major blitz. They come with seven guys and have Brown come up to play spy, leaving three downfield recievers in man coverage. No one nears Donovan (pressure -2). He finds Beckum; Adams(+2, cover +2) is all over him, diving to break the pass up near the sticks.
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-23, 9 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds Form Def Type Yards Brief
O26 1 10 Ace Twins Base 5-2 Pass 29 PA Flag
Adams comes up as an eighth man in the box; Wisconsin runs a play-action fake and sets up as Michigan shows man free. Warren(-1) gets beaten on a flag route by Hubbard; Donovan hits him on it. Nice pocket this time (pressure -1, cover -1)
M45 1 10 I-Form Base 5-2 Pass Inc PA Out
Ezeh sent on a blitz that the UW FB screws up real bad, moving out to block Crable, who's already dealing with an OT, and allowing Ezeh a free shot on Donovan. The resulting, hurried throw is well wide. (Pressure +1) Donovan bangs his finger on Ezeh's helmet; Allen Everidge comes in. Question: why was Donovan, who had clearly hurt his finger, allowed to sit on his butt in the middle of the field? I've seen neck injuries that took less time. Obvious gamesmanship by Bielema; it's up to the refs to get Meathead under control.
M45 2 10 I-Form Base 6-2 Run 2 Off tackle
Michigan stacks the line and comes; Jamison stunts into the gap that's attacked but is blown out of there by an OL. Johnson(+1) has driven into the backfield and disengages to tackle at the LOS.
M43 3 8 Ace Base 5-2 Pen -5 False start
M48 3 13 Ace 3-wide Nickel Pass Inc Out
BG(+1) nearly gets past the OG and is very close to being held. He doesn't get to Everidge, but does convince him to scramble out into an onrushing Jamison(+1). Everidge just gets rid of it. (Pressure +2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-23, 6 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds Form Def Type Yards Brief
M33 1 10 I-Form Big Base 5-2 Run 1 Inside zone
Adams comes up for an eighth guy in the box; both Johnson(+1) and Taylor(+1) stand up to double teams, Johnson splitting his and leaving an OL in the hole looking for someone to block. As the RB reaches the hole he bangs into the OL and Taylor reaches over to tackle and finish the play.
M32 2 9 I-Form Big Base 5-2 Run 19 Iso
Taylor(-1) gets effectively scooped; there's a crease between the two DTs as Johnson gets some penetration that might be voluntary on the OL's part. CGraham(-1) comes up to fill and gets pwned by the FB. Brown(-1) misses a tackle, turning this into 10 additional yards for UW.
M13 1 10 I-Form Big Base 5-2 Run 7 Off tackle
BG(-2) obliterated by the OT, falling flat on his ass immediately. Ezeh(-1) and CGraham(-1) get blocked out of the resulting hole; another big gainer.
M6 2 3 I-Form Big Base 5-3 Run 6 Off tackle
Same play; this time Brown cuts it to the backside. Jamison(-1) ran himself out of the play; Johnson(-1) blown back by a double team, and woop touchdown.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-30, 3 min 4th Q. Charting stops here, as the rest of the game is academic.

That was horrible.

Pretty much. Wisconsin had 12 drives and scored on six of them. Two of UW's field goals were chip shots; Michigan was fortunate to hold in the redzone. Early on, I was just "oh, okay, Donovan is making some great throws." Late, though... ugly.

It is worth mentioning, though: Donovan did play a great game and Travis Beckum is an impossible matchup.

It seems to me that some of the blame on the UM defense is related to the offense's lack of production. When the offense is constantly going three and out the defense gets tired and tends to reach to make big plays. This leads it open to both missed tackles and big plays. It seems when the offense is able to move the ball the defense can stiffen up and hold the other team in key situations. But when the offense is ice cold the D seems to give up more ground.

Is this fair? Or are they unrelated?

[Actual question from actual reader. -ed]

I think there's some blame to be assigned to things that aren't the defense, but it's not due to fatigue. Look above: after a couple stops Michigan gives up five consecutive scoring drives of significant length, both in terms of yardage and plays, one of which is right after halftime. If we were seeing an exhaustion effect it wouldn't start in the first quarter and end midway through the third. And if there is an exhaustion effect, it's just as much on the D for being unable to get on the field as the O for being unable to get off it. Maybe if Michigan started off with a series of three-and-outs and put together a noble front before crumbling, I could see it. But not here.

The item that might mitigate the D's performance: Zoltan's suddenly crappy punting -- the past two weeks he's regressed badly -- and Michigan's consistent inability to stop any kickoff return before it reaches the 35. Look at UW's drive starts early: 34, 18 (bad pooch punt), 45, 25 (bad punt), 41, 35. That's losing the field position battle.


Chart. This one's a doozy.

Player + - T Notes
Jamison 3 2 1 No pass rush at all. What happened to this guy?
Johnson 8 7 1 Caved several times; several other times made nice plays. Confusing day.
Taylor 11 3 8 I thought he was great, but grant you that you might be skeptical. Nine tackles is a hell of a number for a DT, though.
B. Graham 5 5 0 Meh.
Crable 9 7 2 Stupid PF was a huge turning point.
Slocum - 1 -1
Ferrara - 2 -2
Patterson -
- -
Banks - 1 -1 A hidden source of damage: sparsely used backups, collectively -4.
Thompson - - -
Ezeh 8 15 -7 Not ready for prime-time, IMO.
C. Graham 3 6 -3 Is who he is.
Logan - - -
Trent 3 2 1 Gave up a couple outs, otherwise not tested much.
Harrison - - - Mostly watched.
Warren 3 4 -1 Relatively tough day.
Adams 6 3 3 Should he be playing LB?
Englemon 1 3 -2
Brown - 1 -1
"Pressure" 10 18 -8 This should color your views of the DL significantly.
"Coverage" 15 17 -2 Okay, not great; flag routes killed them.

A huge positive score for Taylor and a huge negative score for Ezeh jump out. Taylor I'm pretty confident on after checking the box score and seeing the aforementioned nine tackles. That's outstanding for a DT, especially since AFAIK every one of them was at or near the LOS. He was a standout.

Ezeh... well. Is UFR presdisposed to hate linebackers? I don't think so. I went back to a few games last year and found no negative scores except a 1-2-(-1) put up by a wounded Burgess in the OSU game. Is it reasonable that he's playing really poorly? Yes, he's a redshirt freshman in a run defense that's consistently gotten gashed up the middle; Michigan was so worried about their linebackers they brought in their first JUCO in ten years. So the ugly number above is legit, IMO. Ezeh is the Ryan Mallett of the defense, forced on the fiwaeld a year (or two) early.

Arrrgh Crable aaaargh.

Yes, pretty much with the personal fouls and the containment issues and all that jazz, but do note he was positive for the game despite taking a -3 on the first PF (the second, being complete bullcrap, did not draw UFR-scorn). He remains a net positive on the defense and will be important against Ohio State. If he can make Boone look as silly as Florida's southern-speed laced DL did, we might have a chance.

I would also like to point out that Meathead has a basic lack of football knowledge if he thinks Crable would get ejected for two personal fouls.


Taylor and Jamar Adams.


Ezeh, Crable, and everyone assigned to rush the passer.

What does it mean for Ohio State?

If Michigan's performance against Michigan State was a "please ask again later" in re: Michigan's run defense versus a pounding, between-the-tackles ground game, the Wisconsin game was "outlook not so good." Beanie Wells is way better than anyone Michigan's faced the past two weeks and the Ohio State offensive line is likely to be at least the equal of MSU and UW. Unless we have some magic schematic mushroom in our pocket, expect Wells to go nuts.

The passing game will be more even, IMO, and will require Ohio State to play off the run -- note that this is not "set up" the run; a first-snap play action bomb would terrify me -- to neutralize a Michigan DL that's highly effective at getting to the quarterback when there is no threat of a handoff but could not get to Hoyer or Donovan on play action or even just your average run-pass down. If Boeckman makes a mistake here or there or a blitz gets in or one of our DBs makes a play or two... but it'll take a fluke event or three to keep Ohio State from moving the ball effectively.

Yes, despite the Illinois game. Illinois has J Leman. He is a real American hero. Do we have real American heroes? Not on defense. Not at linebacker.