Upon Further Review: Defense vs Wisconsin

Submitted by Brian on November 19th, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Personnel notes: Smith replaced Williams for the whole game, and the linebackers were always Ezeh and Mouton. On (rare) obvious passing downs Floyd came in for Smith. I think there may have been a few plays where Floyd subbed in for Woolfolk, too.

Formation notes: Michigan spent the whole game in an eight-man front; late they moved up Kovacs for nine.

Video note: there was no HD torrent this week so the quality is poor.

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O20 1 10 Ace 4-4 under Pass Dig Ezeh 27 + 15 pen
The first of a thousand of these. Wisconsin goes play action and sucks the linebackers up a little but the problem is that Ezeh(-1) and Mouton(-1) don't get deep enough drops (cover -2) and leave a wide receiver wide open on a two-man route. There is no one threatening either of those guys underneath as Wisconsin goes max protect. Graham had worked underneath and nailed Tolzien just as he throws and picks up a terrible roughing the passer call. Egregiously bad call.
M38 1 10 Ace 4-4 under Pass Scramble Brown 12
Aaand Graham(+1) owns the tackle and is blatantly held, which allows Tolzien to escape the pocket; Brown(-1) hesitates in case Tolzien decides to throw and gives up the corner, allowing a nice scramble.
M26 1 10 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run Inside zone Martin 2
Martin(+1) takes on a double team and gives a little ground but not that much; Mouton(-1) is attacking the line of scrimmage and picks the wrong hole, which gives Clay an open cutback that he attempts to take; he trips over one of the offensive linemen trying to block Martin. Kovacs was filling strongly.
M24 2 8 I-Form Twins 4-4 under Run Inside zone Graham 1
Graham(+1) gets off the ball quickly and gets inside of his blocker, convincing Clay to attempt to cut it behind that mess; Martin(+1) is looping around after taking on a double team and the two of them meet Clay to nail him at the LOS. Pretty sure this was a stunt that worked. (RPS +1)
M23 3 7 Ace bunch Base 3-4 Pass Dig Ezeh 23
Three man rush gets no pressure(-1), partially because Graham is again blatantly held as he attempts to go around the corner. The Wisconsin OL has his hand outside Graham's shoulder pads and is hanging on for dear life; no call. This allows Tolzien to find his TE between Ezeh(-1) and Mouton(-1) wide open (cover -2); Mouton overruns the play, opening it up; Kovacs(-1) then misses a tackle(-1) to give him the last ten.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 0-7, 11 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O20 1 10 I-Form 4-4 under Run Power O Martin -3
Martin(+3) blows past the down-block attempt from the playside guard and is into the backfield like a shot, destroying the play. Clay tries to cut back and is swallowed by Martin(tackling +1). Major TFL by one player = +3.
O17 2 13 I-Form 4-4 under Pass Out Smith Inc
Michigan tipping cover three and Wisconsin goes after the edge, which Smith cannot cover in time (cover -1). Throw is marginal but catchable; it is dropped, costing Wisconsin ten or so yards.
O17 3 13 Shotgun 2-back bunch 4-3 under Pass Sack Graham Inc (Pen -15)
Smith out, Floyd in. Wisconsin going with a screen that Michigan has killed because the DTs stunt and by the time Martin(+1) cuts through the trash it's obvious and he gets out on it, causing Tolzien to hesitate and Graham(+1) to hunt him down. Tolzien ends up turfing a ball five yards from the receiver and gets called for grounding.  RPS +1
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 5 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O8 1 10 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run Power O Mouton 3
Mouton(+0.5) is a little late but does scrape to the hole past a center coming through the middle and meets Clay there, tackling(+1) with help from Kovacs. Ezeh got outside the pulling guard and forced it back.
O11 2 7 Ace Twins Twin TE 4-4 under split Pass Sack Martin -1
I mean, really, what is it going to take for an official to throw a flag on the Wisconsin offensive line? Martin(+3) zips around the center and is instantly into the backfield on this play action; center then grabs his shoulder from behind and starts slowing him down; no flag. Tolzien tries to evade Martin and manages to do so at first but Martin is agile enough to change direction and drag him down from behind. (Pressure +2)
O10 3 8 Shotgun 2-back Nickel Pass Interception Mouton Int
Good time (pressure -1) on a four man rush before Martin(+0.5) does work his way through a double and to the quarterback. Tolzien fires to a guy open between Ezeh and Brown, but before the ball can get there Mouton(+1) deflects it and Kovacs(+2) digs out a tough, low interception of the deflected ball. (Cover +1)
Drive Notes: Interception, 7-7, EO1Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 Ace Twins Twin TE 4-4 under Pass Waggle hitch Roh 9
Absolutely no one on the corner (pressure -2) and Tolzien has epic time to wander towards the sideline in case someone gets open. Eventually, someone does. Roh(-1) got himself way far inside in anticipation of the stretch.
O34 2 1 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run Iso Heininger 9
Martin(+1) gets playside of his blocker and cuts off the intended hole but Heininger(-1) has gotten upfield and gets crushed/sealed out of the play, opening up a cutback lane. Mouton(-1) overpursued to the front of the play, which might be understandable, but then he misses a tackle(-1) and cedes another five or six yards.
O43 1 10 I-Form Big Base 3-4 Run Power O Ezeh 11
Wow. Watch Ezeh(-2) on this play. He watches and watches and waits and then he's got a center on him blocking him and he's about five yards downfield without having moved as this play develops and as a result there's no one at all to help after Brown forces the play upfield; Roh(-1) also looked pretty goofy as he goes to cut the FB at the wrong spot on this play, which allows a pulling guard to come around; he neither delays the RB nor takes out two-for-one.
M46 1 10 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run Power O Smith 8
Hey, same exact play, virtually identical result. Here Graham(-1) cuts inside and gets absorbed by single blocking; he's cutting out of the area in which he can help. Smith(-1) gives up the corner and no one can flow to the ball carrier.
M38 2 2 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run Iso Graham 3
Graham(+1) zips around the tackle trying to block him and is in great position to potentially make a TFL if Martin(-1) can just hold up better against single blocking; he doesn't, getting banged inside and giving the RB a crease. Graham makes a diving tackle with help from Kovacs and Mouton, but not before the first down line.
M35 1 10 I-Form Big 4-4 under Pass Out Smith Inc
Smith(+1) is blitzing from the edge and is in lighting quick, too quick for the RB to slide over to get much of a block. RB does get a cut; Smith ends up falling into Tolzien's knees as he throws. Resulting pass is inaccurate. (Pressure +1) Good thing, because out was wide open in front of Kovacs (cover -1)
M35 2 10 I-Form 4-4 under Run End around Brown 5 (Pen -9)
Brown(+1) is flowing down the line to string this out when the TE grabs him, holds him up, and then cuts him to the ground. Gilreath gets a crease for a few yards; comes back for the hold.
M44 2 19 Ace 4-wide 4-4 under Pass Corner Mouton Inc
Mouton(+1) gets a good zone drop as Wisconsin is running a couple of routes to the short side of the field, one a short out and the other a corner. Mouton does take a step to the out, which is not his responsibility, before recovering deep and getting enough depth to deflect the ball; TE catches it on the deflection but out of bounds. (Cover +1) Pocket was too clean: pressure -1.
M44 3 19 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel Pass Screen Graham -1
Graham(+1) is shooting inside his blocker and reads this screen, possibly because Tolzien is dropping too deep for it to be a real pass, so he peels off to tackle with help from Roh(+1), who also stopped in his tracks and recovered. (RPS +1, cover +1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 10-7, 11 min 2nd Q. Roughing the kicker on Smith(-2) gives Wisconsin another opportunity. More about this later.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M30 1 10 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run Power O Heininger 4
RVB(-1) blown off the ball by a double; not a real surprise with that guy going up against the Wisconsin line. Heininger(+2), however, fights inside of his guy on the backside and gets inside quickly enough to make a diving tackle on Clay as he nears the LOS. Ankle tackle = YAC, but still a remarkable play; good thing, too, because Ezeh(-1) again sat around aimlessly near the hole and got blocked right out of it; Mouton(-1) had picked the backside of the line and without this play from Heininger Clay is probably scoring a touchdown.
M26 2 6 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run Power O Smith 7
Wheee they do the same thing to one side or the other over and over. On this one Smith(-1) shoots upfield instead of getting into the pulling guards and spilling the play, leaving Ezeh and Mouton one-on-one with two pullers; Mouton has to get outside of one and does; Ezeh(-1) is crushed by the other one and can only make a desperation tackle eight yards downfield.
M19 1 10 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run End Power O Smith 13
Em. Well, it's the same play except this time they hand it to the pulling TE instead of Clay. Smith(-2) again gives up the corner, getting crushed backwards and giving Kendricks acres of space to head out in; Clay had fallen and if this play got forced back inside it probably wasn't getting much. Smith is every bit as bad as Williams.
M6 1 G I-Form Big 4-4 under Run Power O Graham -1
Graham(+2) ducks under the offensive lineman trying to down-block him and ends up in the backfield, where the pulling TE attempts to block him; too late, he's in the path of the play, and Clay goes down meekly.
M7 2 G Ace 4-4 under Pass Rollout corner Woolfolk? 7
Ezeh heading out for some contain if Michigan can get this covered, though he runs himself right into a cut block and falls. Doesn't really matter because Woolfolk(-1) got sucked out his zone by the outside receiver and opens up the corner. (Cover -1)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 10-14, 8 min 2nd Q. Smith is not a panacea.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O25 1 10 I-Form Big 4-4 under Pass PA TE Corner Brown Inc
Roh(+0.5) gets outside and avoids a cut to provide decent pressure on Tolzien, forcing a throw; Tolzien tries to hit his TE on the corner route that's killed M all year but on this one Brown(+2, cover +2) is running the TE's route for him and if this pass is accurate can intercept. It's not.
O25 2 10 Ace Twins Base 3-4 Pass Hitch Mouton Inc
Mouton(+1) blitzes through and does a good job avoiding the RB's block, forcing a throw (pressure +1) to a guy who looks like he's plenty covered(+1) downfield. Doesn't matter since Campbell(+1) bats the ball away.
O25 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide 4-3 under Pass Sack Graham -25!
Both LBs blitz, leaving Graham(+3) one-on-one with the backup RT, and Graham duly destroys the guy and then destroys Tolzien, sacking him and forcing a fumble that RVB(+1) sees, scoops up, and runs into the endzone. Replay.
Drive Notes: Fumble + defensive touchdown, 17-14, 3 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O26 1 10 Ace 3-wide tight 4-4 under Pass Counter pitch Brown 6
Brown(-1) bites on the counter action, stepping inside. Roh(-1) gets blasted down the line and tries a futile spin move past the UW TE as three OL pull around. This wastes a good play from Banks(+1) who gets out, avoids a cut block, and is flowing down the line to tackle if only someone can force the play back to him. Not possible.
O32 2 4 Ace 4-4 under Pass Hitch -- 6
No pressure(-1), allowing Tolzien to step and fire to a TE underneath the zone.
O38 1 10 Ace 4-4 under Pass PA Dig Various 35
Incredibly open dig #3. Ezeh(-1), Mouton(-1), and Kovacs(-1) are the nearest players(cover -2); no one anywhere near Tolzien(pressure -2). I mostly blame Ezeh: he's just sitting there with no one in front of him. He should be drifting back the whole time and in position to do something about this.
M27 1 10 I-Form 4-4 under Pass PA TE Seam Ezeh 24
Incredibly open dig/seam #4. Partially on Roh(-1), who doesn't get an effective chuck on the TE; partially again on Ezeh(-1), who has no one in front of him and still doesn't get a good zone drop (cover -2). No pressure(-1) again.
M3 1 G Goal line Goal line Run Power O ? 2
Wide angle on this makes it really hard to tell what happens; I'm using an SD torrent this week... so I can't really tell you much other than it looks fairly well defended and Clay pops outside where he's met by a couple tacklers and John Clays his way for two yards.
M1 2 G Goal line Goal line Run Power O -- 1
Clay leaps over the top and is thumped back by Graham, but apparently not before he got the ball over the line. It's reviewed and stands; I think this is one of those plays that's so inconclusive that the call on the field will stand whichever way it's called.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 17-21, 1 min 2nd Q. RR should have called time out after the first and goal play.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O20 1 10 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run End around Graham 3
Fake the power O and use the TE coming around on the end-around. Graham(+1) tears through the line and into the backfield; he can't make a tackle but does delay the TE. Smith(+0.5) gets deeper into the backfield this time and manages to occupy two blockers but does let a crease develop between himself and Mouton, which the TE hits; delay allows Ezeh and others to close it down. Runner fumbles; Wisconsin recovers but loses a couple yards. Kovacs(+1) forced it.
O23 2 7 Ace Twins 4-4 under Run Down G Smith 21
Man, Smith(-2) just sits at the LOS with no idea what to do here instead of coming up to the line and forcing the play inside. He gets nailed by a G and driven literally ten yards downfield, which allows the RB the corner; Warren(-1) comes up to whiff a tackle(-1) that was made hard by the Smith crushage.
O44 1 10 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run Power O Martin -2
Smith does attack on this one as Wisconsin goes back to the power O scheme. I think they spent halftime coaching him up on this but he failed to recognize the down G scheme. Not much a hole as a result but it doesn't matter because Martin(+2) ripped through the line and tackles(+1) in the backfield, crushing the play by himself. I think Michigan was misaligned here because there are two guys on the backside who end up unblocked; this could have broken for a lot without Martin's play.
O42 2 12 Ace 4-4 under Pass Out -- Inc
Tolzien has time for a quick throw and finds a receiver moderately open in front of Woolfolk but the pass is poor and not caught.
O42 3 12 Ace 4-wide bunch 4-3 under Pass Post Mouton? 21
Graham(+1) tears around the corner and hits Tolzien in the back with one arm as he throws; a half-second more in coverage and this is a sack. But... no. This has got to be a huge zone bust by someone... it's third and freaking twelve and three players to that side of the field are short; I get Roh and RVB since it's a zone blitz but Mouton is covering no one. (Cover -2) ARGH. Is this Warren? How the hell do you cover this?
M37 1 10 Ace 4-4 under Run Down G Smith 2 (Pen -10)
Smith(+1) does get upfield on this one, taking a blocker and forcing the play inside. Ezeh and Warren are there; two guys on one blocker, and they get a stop. Smith draws a holding call. Not that it will matter.
M47 1 20 I-Form 4-4 under Pass Dig Brown? 18
Incredibly open dig #4. I don't know what the coverage is here, but it looks like man, which would make Brown(-1, cover -2) the culprit. Or maybe it's zone? I have no damn idea. If it's zone it's Ezeh again getting ridiculously dragged out of position and opening this up. All these can't be on Ezeh, right? They'd pull him, right?
M29 2 2 Ace 4-4 under Pass Waggle comeback Woolfolk? 14
Waggle gets Tolzien forever(pressure -2) and allows him time to set and fire to a receiver on a comeback (cover -1) in front of Woolfolk.
M15 1 10 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run Power O Mouton 0
Linebackers read the play direction and are all flowing into the hole; Ezeh's headed outside in case it spills. Line creases because RVB is slanting away from the hole and he gets down-blocked; Mouton(+2) makes a really nice play to dodge the pulling guard and tackle(+1) at the RB's knees.
M15 2 10 Ace Twins 4-4 under Pass Waggle throwaway Roh Inc
Michigan better prepared for this as Roh(+0.5) does not get sealed inside by the tackle and eventually shakes free, drawing Tolzien's lead blocker and allowing Ezeh(+0.5) to shoot into the backfield, forcing Tolzien to chuck it. (Pressure +1) Graham was, of course, coming hell for leather from the backside. Whatever hell for leather means.
M15 3 10 Shotgun 4-wide 4-3 under Pass Fade Warren 15
Warren(-1) has great position but doesn't get his head around and ends up allowing Toon to make a spectacular catch; Warren also gets flagged for PI. I've made my opinion on PI known. No cover +/-.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 17-28, 10 min 3rd Q. Aaaaaaaaaaargh
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O34 1 10 Ace 4-4 under Pass Deep out -- 25 (Pen -10)
Tolzien has a zillion years (pressure -1) as Wisconsin max protects and Graham is getting a breather. He eventually finds a receiver wide open (cover -1); can't blame the secondary too much because of the protection but maybe a little bit. One reason for the time: Roh(+1) is getting held by the LT like whoah. It comes back, not that it will matter.
O24 1 20 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run Power O Ezeh 33
Nine frigging guys in the box and this still happens. Jesus. Heininger(-1) gets crushed inside and pancaked by the down-block. Kovacs(-2) totally misreads the play and actually tries to tackle the TE, and Ezeh(-2) hits inside of the Kovacs mess, leaving no one in the secondary. I can't believe he hasn't gotten pulled yet.
M43 1 10 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run Power O Ezeh 6
Ezeh does a good job of banging into the lead blockers right at the LOS, cutting off the hole, but then inexplicably starts spinning, which allows an OL to start driving him downfield. Brown(-1) then eats a block passively, allowing Clay to lurch forward.
M37 2 4 Ace Big 4-4 under Pass Waggle cross Floyd 13
Floyd(-1) in man on the outside WR and is nowhere near the route; no pressure(-1) on the edge. (Cover -1)
M24 1 10 I-Form 4-4 under Run Power O Mouton 4
Mouton(+0.5) does a good job of getting into a lead blocker behind the LOS, forcing Clay behind him; he trips over his OL. Graham(-0.5) had gotten caught by the snap count and blown off the line, ceding the room that Graham uses to pick up the yardage he gets.
M20 2 6 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run Naked boot Kovacs 1
Odd. Fortunate, too, as Graham had torn into the backfield and would have tackled this for a four yard loss. Instead Tolzien takes it himself and gets on the edge one-on-one with Kovacs(+1, tackling +1), who forms up and takes him down.
M19 3 5 Ace 4-4 under Pass TE Hitch -- 12
Brown(pressure +1) gets a free run at Tolzien on a blitz but Tolzien impressively stands in an nails a tight end (cover -1) in between like four guys. At this point, I am swearing like a sailor. ARGH
M7 1 G I-Form Big 4-4 under Run Power O Graham 0
Graham(+1) is just a beast, tearing through the backside(!!!) tackle and pancaking him(!!!) en route to the tailback, who runs into Graham's side and slows, allowing Roh(+0.5) and Ezeh(+0.5) to converge and tackle for no gain.
M7 2 G Ace Twins 4-3 under Pass TE flat -- 7
Wisconsin basically blocks Kovacs(cover -1), who's got coverage on the flat, and gets away with an obvious offensive PI. Touchdown. Anger.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 24-35, 2 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O40 1 10 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run Power O Martin 7
Actually well defended at the POA with linebackers rushing to the FB and taking out the hole right there but Martin(-1) attempted to come inside of the center and got sealed out of the play, opening a cutback lane.
O47 2 3 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run Power O Mouton 3
To the other side of the line. Kovacs is rolled up so this is a true nine-man front. He takes out a lead blocker, allowing Mouton(+0.5) to scrape to the hole and meet Clay there; Clay pops through a tackle somewhat and manages to fall forward for the first down.
50 1 10 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run Power O Mouton 13
Mouton(-2) gets lost in the middle of the field and there is no one to take on the tailback after Ezeh gets outside of the lead blocker. He's supposed to be there, unblocked, on this play and he's not, so it's a huge run.
M37 1 10 I-Form Big 4-4 under Run Power O Mouton 3
Mouton(-1) manages to get it right this time and shows up in the hole but misses the tackle(-1) and allows the RB to fall forward; Roh(+0.5) had peeled off to help.
M34 2 7 Ace 4-4 under Run Counter pitch Brown 16
Roh(-1) gets crushed inside and Brown(-2) gives up the corner, then gets escorted almost 20 yards downfield by a pulling UW OL.
M18 1 10 Ace Twins 4-4 under Run Power O? Smith -2
Maybe? I think the center is pulling but he gets delayed because Graham(+0.5) blew into him, allowing a blitzing Smith(+1) a free run at the tailback, which he uses to tackle.
M20 2 12 Ace Twins 4-4 under Pass Waggle flat Ezeh 6
I can't help but notice both Mouton and Ezeh are two feet from each other as the rollout begins, which opens up the little flat route as Ezeh(-1) slowly chases. Quick fill from Brown(+1, tackling +1) ends up as a solid tackle to keep the gain down.
M14 3 6 Ace Twins 4-3 under Run Down G Mouton 14
Both the C and the playside G pull around to the short side as UW overloads the wide side and there's no one except Roh and a couple of quasi- or actual defensive backs over there. Roh(-1) gets crushed back, and Mouton(-2) overruns the play, giving the RB a crease between Roh and Warren when if he had just taken the inside gap this is little or no gain.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 24-42, 12 min 4th Q. Wisconsin gets the ball back up three scores with nine minutes left and chokes out the rest of the game. Charting ceases.

Let's just get to the chart.

Before we get to this, I should say that I might have lost my mind at some point in the third quarter and started shooting out minuses to particularly incensing players on particularly incensing plays and some of the numbers may be exaggerated. It's tough to say that given the end result of the game, but I kept attempting to check my desire to throw out huge negative numbers; some rage probably slipped through into the numbers.

But, yes, chart.

Defensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Graham 13.5 1.5 12 Poor pressure metric should slightly degrade your opinion here, though he did get two sacks and forced a defensive TD.
Heininger 2 2 0 One impressive play, a couple not so impressive ones.
Watson - - - DNP.
Roh 4 6 -2 Wisconsin was always going to be the team to own him.
Herron - - - DNP?
Martin 12.5 2 10.5 Huge day, especially early.
Van Bergen 1 1 0 Not a major factor.
Banks 1 - - One nice play for naught.
Sagesse - - - DNP
Campbell 1 - - Batted a pass.
TOTAL 35 12.5 22.5 21 tackles from the big two… you should have a great day against the run with that contribution.
Player + - T Notes
Ezeh 1 11 -10 I can't believe he didn't get pulled.
Mouton 6.5 11 -4.5 Jonas Mouton: big positive, bigger negative.
Brown 4 6 -2 Gave up the edge a few times.
Fitzgerald - - - DNP
Leach - - - DNP
TOTAL 11.5 28 -16.5 ARRRGH
Player + - T Notes
Warren - 2 -2 Had no work, basically.
Smith 3.5 7 -3.5 This should actually be filed under LB, maybe.
Floyd - 1 -1 Eh.
Turner - - - DNP.
Woolfolk - 1 -1 Also mostly a non-factor
Williams - - - DNP
Emilien - - - DNP
Kovacs 4 4 0 Did pretty okay. No idea why they moved him to deep safety; he's pretty effective in the box.
TOTAL 7.5 15 -7.5 Not much to do.
Pressure 6 13 -7 Poor BG.
Coverage 7 19 -12 Ratio is awful.
Tackling 6 4 2 Still need to definite this more precisely.
RPS 3 0 3 Small number because UW just did the same thing over and over.

[A reminder: 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.]

If I'd charted Wisconsin's last grinding drive that ended in a field goal and game over, man, the numbers here would have been even worse but general policy is not to chart stuff after the game is effectively over, and down three scores when the other guy has the ball with nine minutes left is over.

You rage, contrary to the above statement, seems particularly well-focused.

Yes. Most of the poor performances on the chart that can be explained by size or youth or confusion or all three. Roh was always going to get pwned by beef machine OL 100 pounds bigger than him. Brown is basically a safety playing LB. And poor Brandon Smith is a redshirt freshman with no playing experience who has flipped positions twice this year.

What positions can't be explained by talent or youth or whatever… well, you know the story: Mouton and Ezeh. Wisconsin's passing game was almost exclusively zingers over the middle to incredibly open receivers 20 or even 30 yards downfield. On every damn one both MLBs were vastly out of position and the throws were easy. The pair was also very poor in run support: Graham and Martin combined for 21 tackles. They combined for eight!

These are returning starters and redshirt juniors. They have gotten so much worse this year, and it's obvious to everyone from Bret Bielema to stupid bloggers with charts. There is not quite enough data to outright support the ouster of a coach but I find it hard to believe that Jay Hopson could be any good. Maybe he just got stuck with mugs, but Jesus these guys can't even scrape to the right hole when Wisconsin is literally running the same play to different sides of the line four times in a row. Is this a defensive scheme change? I don't think so. Run to the damn hole.

The only possible mitigating factor is that maybe I'm not perceiving some errors by the defensive line that make it really difficult for guys to play linebacker. If one of the coaches who hangs around these parts thinks this is the case, please let me know and I'll post something about it. But I don't think that is.

Q: where were Leach and Fitzgerald? They busted a couple times against Purdue but good lord at some point I think you have to put them in just in case they do better. I thought they were okay.

Is Brandon Smith better than Mike Williams?

No. His contributions were on a couple of unblocked blitzes; he was very hesitant in the run game and often got blocked into the next county. He looked like a freshman in his first game in a new system, which he is. He's still got a lot of time to get better, but having Williams on the field was a necessary evil.

Is there anything we can take out of this for next year?

Well, Mike Martin probably turned in the best game of his career. He was in the backfield a ton, picking up a sack and a couple other TFLs amongst double-digit tackles, and nearly matched Graham's typically Graham-like performance. It's just one game and Martin fell off after a gangbusters first quarter, so it's possible that Wisconsin was just not prepared for his quickness, but if he can do something half (maybe two-thirds) as good against Ohio State that will be a step towards Martin turning into the death beast everyone thinks he can be and Michigan will need with Graham off to terrorize people in the NFL.

The rest? Bupkis.


Graham and Martin.


MLBs. See above.

What does this mean for Ohio State and next year?

See above about Martin. For Ohio State: doom.



November 20th, 2009 at 1:36 AM ^

Moles typically will say things like this to illicit an obvious response from you guys, and he in turn will "win the argument" with a phrase like "but yeah, Carr had a winning record though"

OSU moles are here because they are secretly really, really threated by Rodriguez. They know he's intelligent and they know he can recruit speed that they won't be able to contend with. Take it as a positive sign, just realize them when you see them!


November 19th, 2009 at 7:28 PM ^

You sir do not know what you are talking about. Have you heard any players speak of RR? Have you heard RR himself? He knows how to coach and how to motivate players. These players go to bat for RR every week. They are out there playing their asses off and your sitting here criticizing the man that they play hard for.

Its not about RR! Its about the talent deficiency that Michigan is currently experiencing. RR will fix that given time.


November 19th, 2009 at 7:51 PM ^

Listen I know who came up with the quote and any true Michigan fan loves and respects Bo. I cried when Bo passed away. I knew he was legend and unfortunately someone I never had the privilege of watching coach because I was too young.

I know this is tough. Hell its tough on all of us. However, RR needs full support to turn this around. Imagine if all this shit was not going on right now and everyone united around RR, what would happen? I promise things would be better and the ship would be righted much faster.

Michigan football is bigger than you or I, and even RR and Bo. What made Michigan great was not one man here or there but the unity of a great school and a great fanbase. To get back to "the Michigan Way" we must unite around RR and show him we support him. The more united we are the less rumors you will hear, I guarantee it.


November 19th, 2009 at 9:21 PM ^

There is bound to be attrition with a new coach, let alone a completely different system.

RR runs the defense? I thought it was the Defensive Coordinator's job to install a defensive system.

Your conclusion is baseless. RR is not gone until at least next season's end.

Also, you suck.


November 19th, 2009 at 6:38 PM ^

Do you guys remember that photo from the beginning of the season where Obi hurdled that Western guy... what a bust - i was so pumped for an awesome season out of him...


November 20th, 2009 at 2:16 AM ^

A lot of traffic will be hitting this site for a few days, especially tomorrow, so the OSU fraud brigade will be trying really hard to blend in as reasonable Michigan fans who want Coach Rod to leave. Their intent is to dissuade recruits, so generally they will know at least more than a recruit will about our history, what happened a few years ago, what happened under BO, etc.

Fraud, as you know if you are a law student or lawyer, is one of the hardest crimes to prove, but in the circles I run with, we believe it is one of the most depraved acts a human being can commit. Over the next few days, maybe wonder why someone would be calling for Coach Rod's head when you and me, as Michigan fans, just have butterflies in our stomach.