Upon Further Review: Offense vs Illinois Comment Count

Brian October 9th, 2008 at 1:55 PM
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M37 1 10 Ace 3-wide Base 4-3 Run Inside zone McGuffie 0
Not a good start for the Ortmann(-1)-at-guard experiment, as he gets stood up and eventually tossed to the ground by the Illinois DT. McGuffie attempts to bounce it outside; the backside DE has fought off a block from Moundros(-1) and tackles at the LOS.
M37 2 10 Shotgun 2-back Nickel Pass PA Hitch Mathews 14
Davis crashed down on the last play pretty hard; this appears to be designed to exploit that. Michigan fakes the zone read, drawing Davis up again, and Threet exploits the space between the CB and the safety for a nice gain. Pass was a bit high; good pickup of the DE by Minor. (CA, 2, protection 2/2)
O49 1 10 I-Form 3-wide Base 4-3 Run Iso McGuffie 3
This was continually frustrating for me in the stands all day and promises to be just as bad on review: Illinois is lining up their SLB well inside Odoms, just begging for some sort of bubble screen action, and Michigan never goes to it. Anyway, the play: Schilling's(-1) guy gets inside of him and Moundros runs right up into the mess. McGuffie can't cut to Moosman's side because he's let a DT into the hole between himself and Molk. He tries to cut outside of Schilling, where an unblocked LB—the guy Moundros was supposed to block but couldn't get to—is waiting.
O46 2 7 Shotgun empty Nickel Pass Out McGuffie Inc
McGuffie originally in the backfield; Michigan audibles into an empty set. He runs a short out probably good for five if caught; Threet wings it wide. (IN, 0, protection 1/1)
O46 3 7 Shotgun trips Nickel Pass Scramble Threet 16
Protection good against a four man rush and Threet has a nice pocket to step into. He can't find a receiver and eventually takes off on a rambling scramble that's actually fairly nimble. (TA, --, protection 2/2)
O30 1 10 Shotgun trips Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Threet -4
Backside defensive end crashes down, so Threet pulls it out; the weakside linebacker is coming around the corner and crushes Threet for a loss. Again, there's one linebacker near the LOS on the bubble and the rest of the secondary is literally ten yards away from the ball at the snap.
O34 2 14 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel Pass Sack -- -1
Dorrestein(-1) lets his guy around the corner, causing Threet to step up in the pocket. He doesn't just step up, though, he starts running around awkwardly, keeping his eyes downfield, finding no one. Defenders eventually converge. (TA, 0, protection 1/2)
O35 3 15 Shotgun 3-wide 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Seam? ??? Inc
Ortmann(-2) gets fooled on a stunt and is beaten by the defensive end, so Threet has to chuck this immediately. He does so, but to who? It's either to Koger or Odoms, neither of whom is open, neither of whom is within ten yards of the ball. (IN, 0, protection 0/2, Ortmann -2)
Drive Notes: Missed FG (52), 0-0, 11 min 1st Q. FG is low and partially blocked.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O48 1 10 Shotgun 2-back Base 4-3 Pass PA Flag Odoms 26
Argh Linebacker Odoms Bubble Argh will henceforth be known as ALOBA. So: ALOBA. This is a variant of Michigan's triple option, but this time Threet holds the ball and McGuffie turns his “I'm going to maintain a pitch relationship” motion into a little flare route. A safety gets sucked up by the play action and the ALOBA LB is, too; he stays upfield because of the flare threat. Threet's got Odoms open, hitting him for twenty. Odoms takes a few jackrabbit steps upfield for some YAC. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2)
O22 1 10 I-Form 3-wide Base 4-3 Run Inside zone McGuffie 18
This isn't where the play is supposed to go but hey yards I'll take 'em. Again the interior line can't clear a crease for McGuffie and he ends up slicing back to the backside of the play. Moundros gets a bump on the OLB, which may or may not be enough to get McGuffie outside of him. In any case, he does, shooting upfield and outside of the safety, cutting behind Mathews' block, and ending up tackled at the four.
O46 1 G Shotgun Big Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch McGuffie 4
"Big," in this case == Moundros, McGuffie, and Koger with just two WRs. And, whee, count the guys Moundros(+2) blocks on this play. 1) Dorrestein is getting shoved back by the DE; Moundros pops him and gets that battle going the other way. 2) He hits Martez Wilson, slowing his momentum and possibly giving McGuffie the ability to get outside of him. 3) He crushes the safety. For his part, McGuffie's little stutter-step helped set up Wilson and the safety. Replay BOOM.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-0, 8 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M39 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Run Counter McGuffie 7
Moundros the TE, lined up off the LOS. This is a man-blocked counter play with Moundros peeling from what would be the playside into a gap between the G and T. Illinois' DT gets doubled and Molk glances off him, shooting downfield; this leaves an unblocked LB towards the middle of the field. Moundros and Miller have a thumping collision; Miller does well but can't bring down McGuffie with an arm tackle. With Illinois' secondary playing so far back and the standard LB-over-Odoms thing there's not much support once McGuffie is outside of Miller; a safety comes up. Great block by Odoms on a much bigger LB.
M46 2 3 Shotgun 2-back trips Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch McGuffie 1
The goofy formation with Mathews covered up. The backside defensive end completely ignores the zone read fake and tracks it down from behind; Threet has to pull this out. With Miller approaching he probably wouldn't get a ton of yards but he's got to try. Schilling(-1) beaten badly on this one, too, forcing a cutback that goes poorly.
M47 3 2 Shotgun 2-back Base 4-3 Run Triple option keeper Threet 6
Dive fake sucks in both linebackers and the backside DE is obviously keying on the dive, too, so Threet's got plenty of room once he pulls it out of Minor's gut.
O47 1 10 Shotgun 2-back Base 4-3 Pass ??? -- Inc
Dorrestein(-2) doesn't realize he's got a blitz pickup coming to the outside from Minor and lets a slanting DE by him untouched; Threet gets plowed as he throws. (PR, 0, protection 0/2, Dorrestein -2)
O47 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel Run Draw McGuffie -5
Illinois blitzes two guys right into it and it never has a chance. They were tipping the blitz, too, and this was a major league ALOBA play.
M48 3 15 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel Pass Seam Odoms 27
Stunt gets a guy in unblocked as Ortmann(-1) has vacated his designated spot in a futile attempt to chase a defensive end Dorrestein is blocking. Protection is otherwise good and the looping stunt gives Threet time to stand in and throw; Odoms is actually covered on this but the LB isn't even thinking about looking for the ball and Threet leaves it a little short. Odoms makes a good adjustment and makes the catch. (DO, 3, protection 1/2, Ortmann -1)
O25 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Run Zone read dive McGuffie 0
Backside DE again crashes down without so much as a thought about Threet; linebackers were heading out to him. Illinois is scheming the zone read to death. This was featured in "picture pages" yesterday.
O25 2 10 Shotgun trips Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Mathews 17
Michigan exploits the obvious linebacker-in-a-zone thing by running a couple of hitches paired with a deeper route from Savoy. Threet looks at the Odoms hitch long enough to bring defenders to him, then goes to Mathews along the sideline. Check the video: when Mathews gets the ball there are three guys swarming Odoms. The look-off bought him enough time to get upfield for the first. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2)
O8 1 G Shotgun big twins Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch McGuffie 2
Koger covered up and can't go downfield, so this is probably a run and yes it is; this one is actually very well blocked, so well blocked that Moundros ends up shooting through the line and has to turn around to find someone to hit. Unfortunately, Koger(-1) got crushed into the backfield and his guy disengages and tackles. Complete whiff by Clemons(-1) downfield, too, not that it mattered.
O6 2 G Shotgun Big Base 4-3 Pass PA Cross Koger 6 (Pen -5)
Well, he made up for it. The zone-read-fake coupled with a RB shooting backside—Moundros in this instance—that got Mike Shaw a touchdown against Utah. This time Threet goes to the back of the endzone and Koger makes a nice grab. Had Moundros on a little dumpoff for six, too, if he wanted it. (CA+, 2, protection N/A) It comes back because Clemons(-1) lined up on the LOS, covering Koger up.
O11 3 G Shotgun 3-wide Nickel Pass Post corner Mathews 11
Excellent route from Mathews gets him open against Davis; Threet lays it in. A little high though, and Davis nearly shoves Mathews OOB. (CA, 2, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-3, 1 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M34 1 10 Shotgun trips Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch McGuffie 0
Dorrestein(-1) pounded backwards by the DE, forcing McGuffie to cut up. The backside DE is again just chasing McGuffie with no thought to defending Threet—they let a linebacker have that responsibility—and McGuffie gets crushed. This play was featured in picture pages yesterday, too.
M34 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Run End around Odoms 3
Aw, come on. They're attacking Martez Wilson's irresponsibility and whoah daddy does it work; Minor(+1) cuts the backside DE and Schilling leaks out to a Wilson who's not expecting the misdirection. Schilling(-2)... runs right by him. Martez speeds out to the sideline, forcing Odoms to the sideline. Without the argh whiff from Schilling a first down easily.
M37 3 7 Shotgun empty Nickel Pass Hitch Mathews Inc
The obvious pass interference on Davis that goes uncalled. The director doesn't give us a replay. WTF. (CA, 1, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-10, 13 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M29 1 10 Shotgun 2-back Base 4-3 Run Zone read sweep McGuffie 1
Koger brought in to crack back on the DE as Dorrestein heads outside of him; this doesn't really work and forces McGuffie to orbit around the charging DE. What it does do is trip Ortmann, freeing up the playside DT, who tackles near the LOS.
M30 2 9 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass Flare screen McGuffie 2
Same play we scored on against ND; this time no blitz and McGuffie(-1) reads it wrong, taking it upfield immediately instead of outside where he's got open space. (CA, 3, screen)
M32 3 7 Shotgun empty 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Wheel Minor Inc
ALOBA! ALOBA! There's no Illinois DB within 12 yards of the LOS and the LB to that side is well inside Odoms. Illinois blitzes, getting like four guys in on Threet; he chucks it downfield in the vague direction of a covered Minor. (TA, 0, protection 0/2, team)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-17, 9 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M29 1 10 I-Form 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass PA Flag Odoms 25
They fake their inside zone and run what's basically a waggle, breaking Moundros into the short flat and drawing the linebacker up; Mathews drives off the corner to that side, opening up Odoms; Threet hits him. (DO, 3, N/A protection)
O46 1 10 Shotgun trips Base 4-3 Pass Long handoff Savoy 7
This is there all day. (CA, 3, screen)
O39 2 3 Shotgun trips Base 4-3 Run Zone read dive McGuffie 3
Illinois slanting at the snap and gets caught at it by the OL; Wilson is the designated guy-who-ignores-threet and tackles McGuffie from the side; they fall for the first. Again: Davis attacking any zone read fake and Michigan is not adjusting.
O36 1 10 I-Form twins Base 4-3 Run Naked pitch McGuffie -1
Unbalanced formation with Koger covered up, we run that fake-dive pitchout thing a lot of teams do; Threet almost chucks it behind McGuffie and McGuffie is fortunate to catch it and get near the LOS. Wasn't working anyway.
O37 2 11 Shotgun empty Nickel Pass Fly Savoy Inc
Aaand this is right in Savoy's chest; he drops the ball. Argh. Insult to injury: he stepped OOB anyway even though #*$& it was well in the field of play. (DO, 3, protection 2/2)
O37 3 11 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel Pass Out Mathews Inc
Ortmann(-1) picks up a blitzer and gets driven back into Threet as he throws; this may have thrown off Threet's pass. He's got Mathews open for the first down and sails it OOB. Maybe harsh, but (IN, 0, protection 1/2, Ortmann -1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-17, 5 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M19 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass Out Odoms Inc
ALOBA, no one near Odoms. Michigan rolls out and Threet ends up attempting to hit Odoms on this out route; Miller deflects it and if it's a yard further outside would have a great shot at an interception. Bler. (BR, 0, protection 1/1)
M19 2 10 Shotgun 2-back Nickel Run Zone read counter McGuffie 21
Minor is actually lined up as an H-back on this one; he dives inside to provide a block. Moosman(+1), helped by the counter action, gets a good block on a DT; Minor(+1) pops Miller and sends McGuffie to the second level for like the first time today.
M40 1 10 Ace 3-wide Base 4-3 Run Inside zone McGuffie -1
McGuffie shoots outside on this one as Moundros(+1) owns the DE something wicked. Unfortunately, he stumbles on his cut, giving a hard-charging Davis—he's been killing us with his aggressive reaction to run plays—the opportunity to cut him down for no gain. If McGuffie can stay balanced and put a move on Davis this can be a big gainer.
M39 2 11 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel Pass Throwaway -- Inc
Illinois coming up hard on the rollout, forcing Threet to chuck it OOB. Looked like this was meant to go downfield. (TA, 0, protection N/A)
M39 3 11 Shotgun empty Nickel Pass Fly Clemons Inc
Ton of time for Threet; he steps up into the pocket and throws it to a double-covered Clemons. This is way OOB and I assume a throwaway, but man... try to find someone, or run it or something. This is not the time to toss the ball away and punt. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-17, 2 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O48 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel Run Zone read iso(?) Minor 6
We've got Moundros lined up as an H-back; this time we double the playside DT, driving him back, and shove the playside DE upfield with Moundros tasked with crooshing linebacker. He does a pretty good job of this. Davis is again crashing recklessly—and well—and ends up tackling. 1) Minor should have cut outside of him for mondo yards. 2) Minor should not have fumbled yet again. Anyone wondering why Minor doesn't get more touches: fifteen carries, three fumbles.
O42 2 4 Shotgun 2-back Nickel Pass Cross Odoms Inc
Ortmann(-2) lets a slanting DT right by him, getting Threet killed just as he releases the ball and causing this to be way inaccurate. (BA, 0, protection 0/2, Ortmann -2)
O42 3 4 Shotgun 2-back Nickel Pass Seam Odoms Inc
Overthrown; I think Odoms let up a bit due to a miscommunication or something or just a desire to not run his route into the safeties. This is still inaccurate, and he had other options, and just... man. Just man. Man. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: #*$&. Punt, 14-17, EOH.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M30 1 10 I-Form 3-wide Nickel Run Inside zone McGuffie -2
This is a terrible cut from McGuffie, who should head up between Dorrestein and Ortmann for a good gain. Instead he misreads the blocks and tries to cut it outside, where Dorrestein has sealed the defender. Said defender disengages and tackles.
M28 2 12 Shotgun trips Nickel Pass Flare screen McGuffie -3
Both Savoy(-1) and Odoms(-1) completely whiff on their blocks and McGuffie has no chance. (CA, 3, screen)
M28 3 15 Shotgun trips Nickel Pass Sack -- -4
Yeesh. Schilling, Dorrestein, and Moosman are all crushed, and Threet is sacked by like three different guys. (PR, 0, protection 0/3, Schilling -1, Dorrestein -1, Moosman -1.) Threet fumbles; we're fortunate to recover.
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-24, 11 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M27 1 10 ??? ??? Penalty Substitution -- -5
I think this is McGuffie's fault.
M22 1 15 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Odoms 6
Freakin' finally. Mathews never actually makes contact with the guy he's supposed to be blocking; he dives and makes an ankle tackle, and this still picks up seven. (CA, 3, screen)
M28 2 9 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass Sack -- -8
The zone-read waggle thing with the FB releasing into the flat and some guys on deeper routes. Threet thinks he can outrun Miller to the corner and buy himself some time; he tries it; he is wrong; should have hit Moundros for somewhere between five and ten yards. (BR, 0, protection N/A)
M20 3 17 Shotgun 2-back Base 4-3 Pass Sack -- -9
Moundros and Shaw both take the outside guy. I don't know who's fault this is, but I think it's probably Shaw since he's a freshman. (PR, 0, protection 0/2, Shaw -2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-24, 6 min 3rd Q. I sort of feel like I'm in Alien. Kill me. Please kill me.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun 2-back trips Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 2
Again the backside defensive end crashes down, pursuing Minor down the line of scrimmage and tackling him as he reaches the hole. Miller was there, unblocked, as Michigan's double on the playside DT didn't push him back far enough to impede his progress, to tackle as well; Minor might have gotten two or three more without the DE pulling him down from behind.
M22 2 8 Shotgun 2-back trips Base 4-3 Run Triple option pitch Minor 6
Wilson is sitting on the pitch here and forces it, leaving Davis one-on-one with Minor, as this goes to the side of the field absent any wideouts. Minor lowers his shoulder, running through Davis for a decent gain.
M28 3 2 Shotgun trips Nickel Pass Hitch Odoms 5
Quick hitch as Illinois' DBs start bailing out—weird on third and two. Easy pitch and catch. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M33 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel Run Zone read stretch Shaw 6
Schilling shoved backwards and Shaw has to orbit around him, which is usually not a good idea. Wilson gets doubled, though, and with Miller on the backside containing Threet there's no linebacker to hit Shaw as he rounds the corner. Davis comes up to tackle; Babb ran right by him instead of blocking him.
M39 2 4 ??? ??? Pass Screen Shaw 7
We miss most of this play for a replay of the previous one. (CA, 3, screen)
M46 1 10 Shotgun trips Nickel Run Fumble -- 0
And there goes that drive. Shaw gets the third degree from Rodriguez so I assume it's on him.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 14-24, 2 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M27 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Odoms Inc
And we're looking at the top ten instead of the start of this drive. I hate you so much, director. Threet stares this down, drawing a linebacker to Odoms; Odoms drops it anyway. (CA-, 3, protection 1/1)
M27 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel Pass Seam? Odoms? Inc
Yards overthrown, and to a guy who was bracketed, too. BR or IN? Eh, (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
M27 3 10 Shotgun 2-back Nickel Pass Flag Odoms 30
Nice blitz pickup from the line and Threet can step into a throw; again it's Odoms on a flag route. Accurate throw, good catch, good play. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2)
O43 1 10 Shotgun trips Nickel Pass Fly Babb Inc
Babb gets no separation from Davis and Davis gets his hand locked in with Babb or grabs or whatever, one of those things that's technically interference but never gets called, and Babb is reduced to attempting to spear the throw with one hand. He can't. Excellent throw, though. (CA+, 1, protection 1/1)
O43 2 10 Shotgun 2-back Nickel Pass Fly Mathews 31
Another good blitz pickup, though the OL gets help from both RBs this time. Mathews just runs by the cornerback and the safety isn't over fast enough to break it up; Threet hung this up there longer than he should have but it's a long completion anyway. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2)
O12 1 10 Shotgun 2-back Nickel Pass Waggle flat Odoms 10
The shotgun waggle action we've been running except this time there's no fullback running in the flat; Odoms just sort of stands there waiting. The S they've got as their third linebacker in this nickel package approaches, then backs off a bit, and when Threet finally chucks it to Odoms he's only a couple yards away; Odoms is quick enough to dart inside of him and head for the first down. (CA, 3, protection N/A)
O2 1 G I-Form twins Goal line Run Inside zone McGuffie 0
McGuffie can't follow the fullback because Moosman(-1) is getting driven back and must cut back into the unblocked.
O2 2 G Shotgun 2-back Goal line Run Zone read keeper Threet 2
Threet just keeps it and heads upfield; he's initially ruled in but it's called back. Appears to be the right call.
O1 3 G I-Form twins Goal line Run Pitch sweep McGuffie -1
Dorrestein(-1) beaten by his man; Wilson fends of Moundros(-1); McGuffie swallowed at the LOS. Don't understand why you don't just sneak it here.
O1 4 G I-Form 2-back Goal line Pass Waggle flat Moundros 1
Wide open; Threet hits him. (CA, 3, protection N/A)
Drive Notes: Touchdown (XP missed), 20-31, 12 min 4th Q. Michigan gives up two touchdowns immediately after this, as Odoms fumbles the kickoff after the first one. Michigan's still trying to run their offense so I'll chart the rest of it but I'm not putting a lot of stock into this bit.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M36 1 10 Shotgun empty Nickel Pass Yakety sax -- -12
Fumble flies out of Threet's hand backwards. Whee! (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
M24 2 22 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel Pass Flag? Babb Inc
Molk(-2) fails to read this stunt, blocking the DT and letting the DE whizz by and nail Threet as he throws. The pass is well errant. (BA, 0, protection 0/2, Molk –2)
M24 3 22 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel Pass Post Babb Inc
Actually sort of open with this S/LB hybrid guy trying to run down the field in man; pass is overthrown and almost intercepted. Tough spot to try to fit it in. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 20-45, 5 min 4th Q. No, nevermind. This last drive is not worth charting.

It all started so well.

Yes, it did, but then.

But then.

Yes.

Chart?

Chart.

As always, the Threetsheridammit chart legend.

STEVEN THREET

Opponent DO CA IN BR TA BA PR
Utah 1 11 5 1 3 2 1
Miami (NTM) - 6 4 1 - 2 -
Notre Dame 3 12 5 2 1 - -
Wisconsin 1 15 9 3 7 2 1
Illinois 3 18 7 3 4 2 3

Another day that was about par for Threet's current course: intermittently good with sustained bursts of inaccuracy or indecision or both.

As the weeks go on I get more optimistic Threet can be an acceptable long-term solution. This is the third straight week he's been at least mediocre, and he again showed Northwestern QB-level mobility.

You expect that the freshman moments will recede as he gathers experience, reducing the extracurricular BR-TA-BA section of the chart and funneling that into DO and CA; my main concern long term is that IN column. Is accuracy something you can develop? Eh… I don't know. I'd feel more confident in that if Loeffler was still around. I do buy that at least some of the issues have to do with inexperience on the part of the wideouts and that even if Threet were to remain static we'd see some modest gains as clues begin to perpetrate themselves within the heads of the youngsters.

The screens—a bugaboo so far this year—were better, with six CAs to no INs, but I think Michigan's reluctance to exploit what looked like an extremely favorable matchup (at times—at other times the bubble screen was a non-issue) stemmed from Threet's earlier issues with the simplest throws available. They didn't want to push it.

That's a lot of "PR"—pressure—isn't it?

Uh, yeah. That thing I said yesterday about Michigan being better at pass blocking than run blocking? Against Illinois…

PROTECTION METRIC: 30/47. Ortmann –6, Dorrestein –4, Molk –2, Team –2, Shaw –2, Schilling –1, Moosman –1.

…holy pants they were bad. Ortmann's move inside exposed him to a wide array of stunts and slants he was unprepared to deal with and led to those guys smacking Threet in the face. Dorrestein conspired; the left side of the line was confused and often responsible for getting Threet hamsandwiched. No wonder the rotating left guard will rotate once again against Toledo.

I still think they're more physically capable of pass blocking; I haven't seen them consistently dominated like Molk and a couple others have been against tough opponents.

Is there any hope for this offensive line?

I don't see much of one. It's clear there are some irreparable deficiencies. Michigan's going to be rotating through their fourth attempt at left guard this week. It's disturbing that LG is the big problem when the center is often lifted by the scruff of his neck and gently placed in the running back's chest.

And the blitz pickups are wonky and the options outside of the starters are 1) a defensive tackle, 2) a redshirt freshman Michigan snatched from the MAC two years ago, and 3) the guy they hate at LG so much they yanked him for the defensive tackle and then replaced him with Ortmann and then when Ortmann flopped decided to replace him with Schilling and move Ortmann and thus move Dorrestein and basically you get the impression that the last thing anyone on the coaching staff ever wants to see again is Tim McAvoy on the field. Which is weird because I didn't think he was doing that bad.

The best thing to hope for is that this Schilling thing works out and they can do the thing where they gel and cohere and adhere and all that stuff, and gradually step away from the suck as the year progresses.

BONUS weird biographical note I just stumbled across: David Moosman was born in Amsterdam. Johnny Sears is so jealous.

And the wideouts?

The receiverchart:

This Game Totals
Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Clemons 1 - - - 3 - - 2/2
Stonum - - - - 4 0/3 3/3 2/2
Mathews 1 0/1 2/2 2/2 5 2/6 4/6 9/10
Hemingway - - - - 1 0/2 2/2 -
Odoms 4 - - 7/8 9 0/1 3/4 19/21
Babb - 0/1 - - - 0/1 1/1 1/1
Savoy - - - 1/2 - - - 1/2
Butler - - - - 2 1/1 0/1 2/2
Koger - - 1/1 - - 0/1 1/1 1/1
McGuffie 1 - - 2/2 3 - - 11/11
Brown - - - - - - - 3/3
Shaw - - - 1/1 - - - 4/4
Minor 1 - - - 2 0/1 0/1 3/3
Moundros - - - 1/1 2 - - 1/1

There was, of course, the mindboggling Savoy drop along the sideline that turned a first and goal into a punt. Other than that it was fine. There was one meaningless Odoms drop on what would have been a two-yard catch.

It's obvious by now that Mathews and Odoms are the two main targets, especially in the absence of Hemingway and Stonum. Stonum should get back into the action in the near future; those three are your starters.

Unfortunately, I think it's telling that even down two receivers Clemons was largely overlooked. It didn't help that he whiffed his few opportunities to block and caused an ineligible man downfield penalty  by lining up wrong. As the season moves along and he continues to languish on the bench the chances he ever ends up contributing sink alarmingly.

So… Koger is a new guy. How is he doing?

You remember both of the times he's been thrown the ball since both were touchdowns—the second one was called back—and that's about all he's done so far. His blocking is iffy, which is why they're moving Moundros around a lot more.

Speaking of Moundros: boom? Tough actin' foot remedy?

Moundros is slowly growing into the Owen Schmitt role minus any of the ball-carrying business. They even shot him out to the backside of the play on fourth and goal, getting an easy touchdown out of it; this was highly reminiscent of Schmitt last year.

This week they moved him from the backfield to tight end/h-back and used him to authoritatively thump a few guys on successful runs. I think you'll see him get more time as Michigan tries to eke whatever they can out of the run game. As far as blockers go, he's the best Michigan has at any position.

Heroes?

Odoms got open a ton, caught everything that came his way, and made some yards out of nothing. Moundros provided some mmm good blockin', and Mathews was solid when involved.

Goats?

The left side of the offensive line was harrowing this week, more so than usual.

What does it mean for Toledo and the future?

Well, we should be able to move the ball on the Rockets. God help us if we can't.

At this point, the offense seems half functional. Threet's not good but he's not as bad as it seemed earlier in the year. He's able to move the team down the field in fits and starts. Mathews and Odoms are a decent 1-2 punch at receiver; if Stonum gets right that's an acceptable to good trio for the next couple years. Koger needs to get Barwisized, but he's looked good so far.

The line? Will be a major problem the rest of the year. Look for incremental improvement and try not to hope for more.

Comments

colin

October 9th, 2008 at 3:25 PM ^

has been basically the same every week regardless of opponent, which basically means our talent and ability to execute are severely lacking at the moment.  Pretty much everyone who has spent more than a year in the program sucks.  I guess that's what happens when your entire offense leaves?  Damn.

colin

October 9th, 2008 at 3:35 PM ^

More: Threet's inaccuracy is the result of bad mechanics.  Those ARE fixable, but we don't really know what Magee's track record is like wrt this kind of thing.  We'll see I guess?  Loeffler and Campbell in particular are two coaches I wish had stayed.  Our WR blocking this year has been abysmal.  I get why Lloyd put guys like Matthews and Avant on the field first because they could block. 

caup

October 9th, 2008 at 3:53 PM ^

If I'm RR, I'm threatening to fire the WR coach. That piss-poor excuse for WR blocking doomed many plays from either succeeding or going for a big gainer.  There's a big part of your "soft" right there.

Moundros is the second coming of Kevin Dudley. Welcome back. We NEED you. 

Threet missed Hemingway and Stonum. We could've used those two weapons.

If this offense isn't jelling (and the OL positions solidified) by the MSU game on 10/25, then feel free to panic, because our no-losing-season and bowl-game streaks will be in serious, serious jeopardy.

msoccer10

October 9th, 2008 at 4:26 PM ^

You have now been sentenced to second string fullback. Really bummed out about him, Brown and Shaw. I'm sure they would look better if healthy and with a better o-line, but who wouldn't.

Farnn

October 9th, 2008 at 4:29 PM ^

I wonder how many of the incompletions are due to poor route running by our younger players.  I know some of them land on Threet, but with so many young players isn't it possible for them to either run poorly timed routes or have a miscomunnication with the QB(which could be Threets fault also)  The reason I wonder this is because at times Threet throws a perfect pass and sometimes he is just so off.  However, this is one of those things you probably couldn't tell unless you were the coaches.

caup

October 9th, 2008 at 4:45 PM ^

Threet is a really smart kid, valedictorian of his HS class.  IMO, his intelligence is one of his biggest assets in trying to hold onto the QB job beyond this year.  But make no mistake, unless he starts really producing, RR will yank him for a speedster next year, and RR might do it regardless.

  

jamiemac

October 9th, 2008 at 4:48 PM ^

......for mentioning Moundros.

I really did think the run game was more than serviceable when he was in there as a lead blocker, either out of the backfield or in that H back slot.

Just line him up and tell him to hit someone.......with him, I think Michigan can expect plays to at least be moving forward. 2nd and 7 is a whole lot better than 2nd and 13 and something this young offense and QB can work with.

Its good to see that others, especially the UFR, saw what I saw out of MM......I am ok with a regular backfield of Sam and Moundros.

Blue Balls

October 9th, 2008 at 5:19 PM ^

How would you like to be a running back getting the ball handed to you with this offensive line.  Now that is a scary thought.  With this offensive line, this team will have to set up the run with the pass.  I would use the quick slants, quick outs, and the screens to slow down the defesive line surge.  To think Michigan can just line up and run the ball is scary-if your a running back.  Threet's arm mechanics are in need of an overhaul but he does throw a nice ball to catch.  Odoms can run away from the coverage and I would pepper this guy with passes.  I would also have Minor in the backfield  pass blocking for longer passing routes.  I do believe this team is getting better and if not for turnovers this team would be looking better than most fans are giving them credit for.  I think Toledo is the right team at the right time and will allow this offense to try things that it normally wouldn't against some other teams-the day will come  this season when our offense and defense show up on the same day-be ready fans for a good ole fashion wtf-where has this team been hiding.