Upon Further Review: Offense vs Illinois Comment Count

Brian November 5th, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Personnel notes: Odoms did not play and was replaced by Roundtree. Patrick Omameh got a series late in the first half, probably because Dorrestein was injured. It sounds like Dorrestein might miss the Purdue game, with Patrick Omameh his likely replacement at RG. Robinson did not play until the game was over.

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M30 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Long handoff Mathews 5
Illinois walks a safety down. Corner is playing off Mathews a bit so Michigan takes the quick pass for a few yards. (CA, 3, screen)
M35 2 5 ??? ? ? ? ? Run ? Brown 3
First missed play of the day; we cut to Brown with the ball and an indecipherable blocking scheme; think Michigan pulled out something new and it didn't quite work.
M38 3 2 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Koger 9
Good timing from Forcier, with the ball getting thrown before Koger fully turns around, which allows him to pick up a few YAC. (CA+, 3, protection 1/1)
M47 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone veer keeper Forcier 4
Okay, so the veer: here the line blocks one way—they downblock—and the running back comes across the line going the other way, with the frontside DE ending up unblocked. Here Forcier should definitely give it off as the DE came inside (ZR -1), but he does juke the DE in question and turns no gain into three yards. Forcier could have had a couple more but he's clearly been told to get down before he gets hit.
O49 2 6 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read stretch Brown 10
Illinois crashing the DE and using an OLB on a scrape. Schilling and Ortmann are trying to scoop block the backside DT and can't get it done because the DT is serious about flowing down the line but Schilling(+1) adjusts well, deciding to seal the guy instead of attempting to pass him off and head to the second level. Since Illinois has slanted hard to the playside and neither Moosman or Huyge has managed to seal his guy, Brown's only option is to hit it up in the small crease the Schilling block provides. Good read there and he hits the crease, bouncing off Schilling and running through a diving ankle tackle attempt by the backside DT, hitting it up into a vacant second level. This could be a touchdown but Brown bizarrely cuts right instead of left and finds Illini.
O39 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Power off tackle Brown 4
Moundros in. This is a gap-blocked play with Huyge pulling around in an attempt to attack the gap between Koger and Ortmann. Schilling(-1) does not seal his guy, who closes off the intended hole and forces Brown away from the blocks of Huyge and Moundros. Moosman(+1) got a really effective down-block on the backside DT, though, and this gives Brown a cutback behind Schilling. Unblocked LB meets Brown two yards downfield; he picks up two more.
O35 2 6 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Brown 6
Huyge gets a good stretch block on the backside DT, who was lined up in such a way that made this relatively easy as Illinois appeared slightly misaligned at the snap. Schilling loses control of his guy but it's not quite quick enough for that DT—Josh Brent, he's pretty good—to close down the gap. Brown squirts through it and meets a linebacker that Moosman(-1) had a free run at and could not block. He tackles just short of the first.
O29 3 In I-Form Big 2 2 1 Base 4-3 Run Power O Brown 2
Pretty easy, as Illinois' line is slanting away from the play. Moundros(+1) gets a good kickout block on the OLB on the line and Schilling gets a block downfield, clearing the way for a first down.
O27 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run QB power O Forcier 4
Another power run play, this with Forcier as the primary ballcarrier. DE they're running right at slants himself out of the play; Huyge pulls around with the MLB in his sights; MLB attacks the LOS well and is in a difficult spot for Huyge, cutting off the outside hole and then getting inside of Huyge when he tries to block the MLB. Forcier does well to read the play and cut upfield and looks like he's got a big crease; MLB makes an ankle tackle to hold it down. (RPS +1, Huyge -1) Excellent play by 38 here. Our linebackers never do this.
O23 2 6 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Bubble screen Roundtree 8
This is called, as Forcier makes only a token fake to Brown before pulling it out for the bubble. This isn't a true bubble, either, as Roundtree takes a couple steps outside and then sets up; he's not running as the ball comes to him. He makes a good, decisive move outside and picks up first down yardage; good block from Koger. (CA, 3, screen)
O15 1 10 I-Form twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Iso Brown -1
Huyge(-1) is blown back into the backfield by the playside DE, which erases the hole. Brown has no options and gets tackled for a loss.
O16 2 11 I-Form twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Pass Waggle hitch Mathews 14
Schilling pulls around and does a good job blocking on the edge; Forcier pulls up and zings one to Mathews just as he breaks open in front of the DB. On replay, throw is a bit inside, but this close to the sideline that might be okay. (CA, 2, protection 2/2)
O2 1 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Zone stretch Brown 2
Dorrestein(+1) gets off the ball and knocks the playside DE back by himself, opening up the corner and providing a lane for an easy Brown touchdown. Huyge(+1) and Moundros(+1) also erased guys, providing a walk-in.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-7, 3 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M21 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Brown 8
Vincent Smith the other back. Michigan running away from the line shift, and Illinois is slanting away from the play, meaning Moosman hardly has to try to block the playside DT. Schilling(+1) makes a good adjustment to get the slanting DE, Smith(+1) pops the blitzing OLB, and Ortmann seals the MLB. Brown can't cut upfield of Stonum's block because of the flowing WLB and cuts outside where a diving ankle tackle sees him fall.. Pursuit would have limited this to a couple more without the fall.
M29 2 2 I-Form twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Iso Brown 4
Similar to the previous third and short conversion, with the backside DT getting himself easily sealed by Schilling(+1) but no frontside crease; Brown cuts back, where the frontside DT peels and tackles, but not before the first down.
M33 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Long handoff Mathews 15
This is interesting: it's new. It's basically the zone-read-to-bubble play except instead of throwing the bubble it's just a long handoff to Mathews, who is the lone receiver away from the playside. With the CB there cheating down it's open and Mathews(+1) cuts it up for good yardage, making the most out of the room he was given. (CA, 3, screen)
M48 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read veer Forcier 2
This doesn't really work because Illinois is running a scrape. Result: backside DE crashes down on Brown, causing Forcier to pull it (ZR + 1), but the scraping OLB gets out on Forcier and prevents him from picking up any yardage. When Michigan was running this against Iowa and Penn State they were blocking the backside DE and reading the OLB; I guess they thought Illinois would adjust to that. They didn't.
50 2 8 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Edge pitch Brown 2
Roundtree(-1) fails to get a block on the OLB to that side, so the play gets strung out. There was not really an option for a cut up since this is not a true option play and Forcier did not take the DE away by forcing him to come up.
O48 3 6 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Throwaway Brown Inc
Wholesale OL failure as both OTs get run around and Forcier has to step up in the pocket, where Huyge and Schilling have both failed to control the IU stunt/blitz. The pocket collapsing, Forcier steps up, finds more pressure, and just tries to get rid of it to Brown; ball is understandably inaccurate. (PR, 0, protection 0/2, team)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 13 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O43 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Brown 5
Omameh in at right tackle(!). I didn't notice this live but Craig Ross did, and it's true. Dorrestein is apparently having injury issues. Omameh kicks out the DE on the stretch; DE gets upfield enough to take out Smith and force Brown up behind him. Playside DT gets doubled by Moosman and Huyge; that double takes long enough that the release into the second level does not get the MLB, who can tackle Brown. Still a decent gain.
O38 2 5 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Smith 4
Hell of a four yard run as this is epic OL fail. Omameh(-1) gets slanted inside by the DE and he's going to crush the play for a four yard loss but Smith runs through the tackle. Corner comes up to try to finish it off and misses; Smith spins through his tackle attempt past another DL, where he meets a diving linebacker, avoids him, and falls forward. This is basically 8 YAC; great, Hart-like run. Announcers are talking about Halloween costumes.
O34 3 1 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 split Run Power O Brown 2
Koger and Ortmann double the playside DE, driving him off the ball; Moundros(+1) pops the OLB, knocking him backwards and giving brown enough room to pick up the first. It's remarkable how bad Brown is about contact.
O32 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read stretch Brown 19 (Pen -0)
Only six in the box for Illinois as they are manning up on the outside with a single deep safety. Omameh is blocking the backside end since Michigan assumes a scrape and they're right; MLB eliminates himself as Forcier contain. SLB then freaks out to the playside, giving Brown a huge cutback lane as Huyge(+1) slices the backside DT to the ground. Brown jets into the secondary. He cuts outside a good block from Mathews to make the safety chase and gets down to the 13; Mathews gets a somewhat ticky-tack holding call... but I can see it. Dumb. It comes back and we have a do over, basically.
O32 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Sack -- -2
PA stretch fake with Grady rolling out for some pass pro. Forcier appears to have a hitch for a few but doesn't throw it immediately and then the CB comes up, then definitely has a corner route for lots but doesn't throw that, either, and eventually starts running around, taking a sack. Should have thrown it. (BR, 0, protection 1/1)
O34 2 12 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 ? Pass Tunnel screen Roundtree 4
Late to the play again. This is not actually a bubble, as Roundtree is moving inside at the catch. Probably an attempt to take advantage of people over-reacting to the bubble, but on this play Illinois does a good job of staying responsible and holds it down. (CA, 3, screen)
O30 3 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Sack -- -8 (Pen+15)
A couple of blitzers. One of them attempts to spectacularly hurdle Minor and gets owned, but that blitz and the general tendency of the OL to give ground spooks Forcier and he ends up attempting to roll out against DEs way upfield; he rolls himself into a sack. Should have stepped up in the pocket, where the spectacular leap attempt would have given Forcier a lane to escape the pocket and do his Forcier stuff. He gets facemasked on the tackle. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
O15 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Smith -1
Poor read by Smith(-1) as he does not have faith that Moosman can seal the playside DT. Moosman eventually does in the manner of many successful stretches. By that point Smith has abandoned the idea and attempts to hit it up behind Moosman, which ends with Smith getting tackled by the unblocked MLB.
O16 2 11 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone veer keeper Forcier 5
Michigan's version of what Illinois does all the time. They must have practiced this all week to prepare for it and threw it in the playbook. Downblock the line, fake the handoff, Forcier(ZR -1) makes the wrong read again when he should give it off, I think, jukes the DE again, and gets a decent gain out of it. Man, this thing can be dangerous if run by a huge fast guy.
O11 3 6 I-Form twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout corner Mathews Inc
Good playcall gets Illinois in man and should see this open up but the corner here makes a good play and Mathews doesn't sell his route; his in cut does not turn the CB, possibly because it's a rollout, and the guy is close enough to grab Mathews's shoulder as the pass arrives. It's high and as a result Mathews can't extend to bring it in. Pass interference? Technically, yes. The grab came before the pass arrives. Does this ever get called? No. So it's a good play by the DB. (MA, 1, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: FG(28), 10-7, 7 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M46 1 10 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Pass PA short seam Hemingway 21
New item! Michigan runs a zone read, basically, but Forcier pulls it out and immediately throws to Hemingway, who is open because his guy has set up to play on the corner, allowing Hemingway to lope past unmolested. Forcier hits him for a first down. (CA, 3, protection NA, RPS +1)
O33 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Zone read stretch Brown -7
Schilling(-1) fails to pick up on the slanting DT and just runs by him; slanting DT shoots into the backfield. Brown(-1), for his part, should instantly slam it up behind the failed block and hope he doesn't get run down by the backside DE. Even if he does it would be a minimal loss; as it is he tries to stretch it out to the sideline and ends up giving a ton of ground and getting tackled for a big loss. Brown is fast as hell but has little in the way of RB skills.
O40 2 17 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Scramble Forcier 16
Forcier does have a pocket this time and steps up into it as a DE comes crashing around the outside of Ortmann. Seeing no one open, because there is no one open, he takes off for good yardage. I won't chart this, because it's a good decision and doesn't deserve a TA. Protection 2/2.
O24 3 1 I-Form Big 2 2 1 4-4 split Run Power O Brown 2
Another good double on the playside DE blows him back; Moundros(+1) kicks out the OLB, and Schilling pulls around into the SLB. Brown has the first down before he hits anyone, at which point he goes down immediately.
O22 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Brown 5
Very similar situation to the seven yard loss, with the playside DT slanting hard; this time Brown makes the hard cut upfield and because Huyge(+1) got a great block on the backside DT he's out of the play. Brown can run up into folk for a decent gain. I think Molk is getting some of these reach blocks and the cutbacks aren't so constant.
O17 2 5 I-Form twins 2 1 2 4-4 split Run Iso Brown 0
OL sliding over to run an iso off tackle; Huyge(-1) is pwned and blown back into the intended hole. I'd rather see Michigan double the guy and leave Brown with the linebacker; instead they shoot Omameh at the linebacker and leave Huyge to get pwned. Brown heads outside and is lucky to get back to the LOS.
O17 3 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Sack -- -8
Actually very good protection from the tackles, who don't let the DEs tear around the corner this time, but Schilling(-2) is just beat one-on-one by an Illinois DT—no trickery—and the immediate pressure up the middle gives Forcier no choice but to eat a sack. I do think Forcier had a slant for the first but just did not have the confidence to throw it. Still... (PR, 0, protection 0/2)
Drive Notes: FG(41), 13-7, 1 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Brown -2
Illinois shifts a LB late and Michigan busts his pickup as Ortmann doubles the playside DE with Schilling. Koger(-1) lets the LB right inside of him without getting a block; that guy tackles for loss.
M18 2 12 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB draw Forcier 5
I don't know what Forcier's looking at because he's got a crease between Ortmann and Moosman that Brown's heading up into to provide a lead block, but Forcier heads directly upfield instead. On his way through a small crease someone knocks the ball loose; Michigan is fortunate to recover.
M23 3 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Post Roundtree 77
Excellent pocket this time gives Forcier time and room to step up and throw; he rifles a ball 20 yards downfield that hits Roundtree right in stride. A trailing safety is beaten, but a Roundtree stumble gives him a shot at a tackle; he misses it. Roundtree is on the 45 and gone until Hawthorne tracks him down. (DO, 3, protection 2/2)
O1 1 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Iso Brown 0
Schilling(-1) is blasted back by a single blocker on the backside; the frontside DT double gets him moving backwards and should be enough for Brown to get in but for Schilling falling backwards and giving him no room. Brown falls forward to about the half-yard line; probably could have extended it in.
O1 2 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Power O Brown 0
They've got a gaping hole to run a sneak but they don't check to it. Argh. Dorrestein(-1), back in for Omameh, gets blown back and Schilling runs into him, falling right in Brown's path. Resulting unblocked guy tackles Brown just short of the line.
O1 3 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Inside zone Brown 0
Brown's fault: the interior line freaking caves the DTs back and if Brown hits it up immediately this is a walk-in touchdown. His vision has always been bad, though, and he waits too long, and his balance has always been bad so he can't run through a tackle here.
O1 4 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Outside zone Minor 0
Again a missed read from the RB as Grady takes an interior LB charging up and the OL has slammed Illinois into the endzone. Minor should still get in, but ends up tackled as his elbow hits.
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 13-7, 11 min 3rd Q. After the review, Rodriguez looks like Don Draper on this week's Mad Men.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Smith 0
This looks like it's going to go pretty okay as a double on the frontside DT looks like it's working. Playside DE gets upfield so there's a crease; Schilling pops off the double to block the playside LB, at which point the DT they were doubling beats Moosman(-1) and shoots up into Smith at the LOS. My kingdom for a Molk. This play has one of my persistent pet peeves about the stretch: Brown goes outside the playside DE and basically makes himself useless. If you tell him to shoot it up then the players never have to stop doubling the DT here and this is a good gain.
M20 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Flare screen Brown 7
Good gain; great cut block from Roundtree gets a DB to the ground and the Illinois DL sucked up, removing themselves from the play. Dorrestein(-1) manages to whiff on the charging safety, but Brown cuts up behind him, where a DT and the CB the outside WR was blocking converge. (CA, 3, screen)
M27 3 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB stretch Forcier 2
Michigan hurries to the line and catches not one but two Illinois players on the field of play as they snap the ball. No call. Ridiculous. Anyway, again Brown just heads outside the tackle and Forcier has to cut it up; a quick-reacting corner blazes past Stonum and Schilling can't block the backside DT, so Forcier gets taken down after just two. If Brown was acting as a lead blocker maybe they get this; I really don't get this blocking scheme on third and short.
Drive Notes: Punt, 13-14, 7 min 3rd Q. That is a ridiculous noncall.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M36 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Koger Inc
Quick hitch identical to the first one from earlier; Koger drops a ball that hits him in the hands. (CA,3, protection 1/1)
M36 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Roundtree 4 (pen -15)
Come to the play late as it's being thrown so not much detail; simple pitch and catch for just four. (CA, 3, protection 1/1) Moosman gets a dumb, unnecessary chop block call.
M21 2 25 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Corner Stonum Inc
Stonum runs what looks like a slant at first before breaking it out into a deep corner route on which he's got a step and there's a window. Good pocket for Forcier breaks down with a delayed blitz but Forcier can stand in and throw just before he gets hit; the ball is a couple yards long. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
M21 3 25 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 3-3-5 Nickel Pass Improv comeback Stonum Inc
Third and twenty five sees a four-man rush that's picked up well; instead of stepping confidently and firing to someone, Forcier hesitates, bringing his eyes down and then scrambling out. He pulls up to fire deep to Stonum, who's trying to get open, and throws it a bit wide of a covered receiver; ball is deflected away. Trying to make the best of a bad situation and a throw that was okay after finding no one open, so... (TA, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 13-21, 4 min 3rd Q. Michigan's trying to avoid the hellacious wind and ends up with a line drive rugby punt for little yardage.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Brown 17
Michigan again blocking the backside DE so maybe this is supposed to be a cutback sort of thing. Huyge(+1) cuts the backside DT, who leaps over the block and stumbles wildly; scraping MLB runs himself out of the play chasing Forcier and the SLB move out anticipating a stretch; huge cutback lane. Brown cuts behind the out-of-control backside DT and heads right up the middle, grabbing a chunk of yards before the safeties close him down.
M37 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass TE seam Koger 22
Bubble fake with Koger faking a block on the LB lined up over him, then releasing beyond him; Forcier hits him as he clears the second level but before the safeties get up on him. Poor block from Huyge(-1) gets a guy in Forcier's face and forces him to get rid of it when he had two receivers breaking deep against one safety and could have waited for a home run if a guy wasn't in his grill. Good play anyway; throw is a bit high but Koger brings it in. (CA, 2, protection 1/2, Huyge -1)
O41 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Brown 17
Excellent blocking by the interior line with Schilling getting a seal on the backside DT easily. He's out of the equation. Moosman and Huyge double and blow back the playside DT, with Huyge releasing onto the MLB; he gets outside and threatens to hold it down but the blocks by Moosman(+1) and Schilling have provided a major crease; the backside DE is getting blocked so he's out of the picture, too, and the scraping backer has run himself out of the play for Forcier. Brown's got space and this is what he's good at: darting into the secondary. Again the safeties close him down.
O24 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Forcier 2 (Pen +5)
Backside DE unblocked this time and stays home but Forcier pulls it out(ZR –1). He's one on one with the DE and jukes him pretty well... and then fumbles for no reason whatsoever. The ball is juggled and he brings it back in; the distraction may have prevented him from fully juking this guy. Result is two yards; Michigan finally gets the “hey you have 12 guys on the field” call as Illinois is egregiously late getting off.
O19 1 5 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Brown 9
Backside DT slices into the backfield past Schilling and Ortmann and threatens to make a play but he needs Brown to get delayed and that doesn't happen. Brown runs past, then cuts up. Schilling's gotten out on the MLB and a double from Moosman(+1) and Huyge(+1) has stoned that guy; Brown slices through a crease between Schilling and Moosman before getting taken down by a safety.
O10 1 G Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Brown -6
Three fold: Huyge(-1) gets absolutely blasted back into the backfield by the playside DT and Moosman, attempting to get the same double he did on the previous play, ends up running at no one, with a linebacker coming behind him. This is not a good situation. Brown should just cut up behind Huyge and take his 0 yards, but instead he tries to get outside—preposterous—and ends up giving up a ton of yards. Freshman mistake.
O16 2 G I-Form twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Pass Waggle throwaway -- Inc
No idea why this is so open; Illinois should have someone cruising in to crush Forcier on the rollout. It's second and goal from the sixteen. It is open, though. Forcier doesn't like his deep options and should throw to Moundros in the flat for a few yards but doesn't and ends up getting to the sideline and throwing it away. Borderline BR, but (TA, 0, protection 1/1)
O16 3 G Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Sack -- -4
Dorrestein(-2) gets completely destroyed by the DE, run around like the other guy is Brandon Graham. Huyge(-1) is bowled over, too, so Forcier has no lane to scramble up in. He gets the ball banged loose and Illinois recovers. (PR, 0, protection 0/3, Dorrestein -2, Huyge -1)
Drive Notes: Fumble, 13-28, 14 min 4th Q. Michigan fit all that in like two minutes of game time BTW. Jet tempo is fast.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Stop and go Mathews Inc
Great stop and go route from Mathews coupled with a pump fake from Forcier gets Mathews open deep for what could be a long completion. Mathews looks inside for the ball the whole way, adjusting only when it's clearly farther outside than he thought it was going to be, at which point it's too late. Mathews had plenty of time to adjust and just did not. The throw as not great but it wasn't that bad, either; this is more evidence that the receivers aren't adjusting to balls well. (MA, 1, protection 2/2)
M20 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Deep post Hemingway 66
Great protection allows Forcier to step up in the pocket and nail Hemingway as he smokes an Illinois safety, getting two and half steps on his guy. Hemingway has to break stride a tiny bit, allowing the safety to catch up, but the end result is still a huge gain. These last two plays invite the question: why are these the first deep balls of the day? (DO, 3, protection 3/3)
O14 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Roundtree 4
Roundtree has a bunch of space and manages to cut inside the crashing safety for a few yards. Timing seemed a little off on this; also if this was Odoms maybe he makes the guy miss totally? (CA, 3, screen)
O10 2 6 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Hemingway Inc
Hemingway has this for near first-down yardage when a DB comes up to hit him, jarring the ball loose. DB made it tough but you'd still like to see him make the catch here. (CA, 2, protection 1/1)
O10 3 G Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Flare screen Brown Inc
This is too far in front of Brown but it's possible this is on Brown for not running the route right or adjusting to the pass as it came. Still: (IN, 2, screen)
O10 4 G Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Stonum Inc
Forcier finds a window to zing this in to Stonum. It'll be a tough-ish catch with the safety breaking to possibly make a play on the ball, but it is there; Forcier wings it high and wide. (IN, 0, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 13-31, 8 min 4th Q. Charting stops as this game is over. Forcier fumbles on the next play after a blocked punt.

So I'm still having this ichor problem.

Man… man. This is going to sound insane, but if Michigan just stops turning the ball over they'll have a pretty good offense.

If my eyes weren't empty sockets dripping with a viscous black goo, I would have perfect eyesight.

Hush, tentacled alter-ego cornerback.

Ain't sayin' it. In fact, here's a chart—





big-ten-2009 HA HA HA


(Hennechart legend; MA is "marginal", screen results are in parens.)


Western Michigan 2 14 1 2 1 2 - 3
Notre Dame 5 20 (6) 2 4 3 3 - 4
Eastern Michigan 1 8 (2) 1 1 (1) 1 4 (1) - -
Indiana 3 13 (3) 1 (1) 2 5 3 - 2
Michigan State 5 19 (3) 2 4 3 3 - 5
Iowa 1 8(1) 1 3 (2) 2 3 2 2
Delaware State - 2 (1) - - - - - -
Penn State 3 9 (3) - 4 (2) 4 2 1 1
Illinois 2 13 (6) 2 3(1) 2 2 - 2


Western Michigan - 1 1 1 2 - - -
Eastern Michigan - 1 1 (1) 2 (1) - - - -
Indiana - 1 1 (1) - - - - -
Michigan State - - - - - 2 - -
Iowa 1 2 - - 1 1 - -
Delaware State - 2 2 - - - - -
Penn State - - 1 - 1 1 - -

Robinson DNP until garbage time late.

Forcier had a decent game. He was not asked to do a whole lot until late. Illinois was apparently vulnerable to screens, so we saw an uptick in little short throws that were effective until the last one. The downfield success rate is good, not great: 9 / 15 = 60%. And the BRs weren't killer interceptions but just poor reads or poor decisions where to scramble, which is progress. I might need another category for "aigh."

The fumbling issue remains a problem, though: Forcier was irresponsible with the ball and coughed it up twice, once on a QB draw he made a poor read on. Michigan lost one, causing everyone to turn the TV off. Hopefully this is a major point of emphasis in the offseason; Forcier can't be as careless with the ball going forward or the offense is never going to get off the ground.

Receiver chart is interesting mostly for its distribution:

[Receiver chart explanation: throws are rated on how difficult they are to catch. A 3 is a totally routine ball that would induce groans if dropped. 2 is moderately difficult; you'd like to see players catch 50-70% of these. 1 is a circus catch on which the QB is bailed out by a great play from a WR or, more usually, not bailed out. 0 is totally uncatchable and mostly exists to chart how often a player is targeted.]

This Game Totals
Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Hemingway - - - 1/1 3 - 1/2 8/8
Mathews - 0/2 1/1 2/2 8 1/6 3/4 11/11
Stonum 3 - - - 6 1/3 3/4 10/10
Savoy - - - - 2 - 1/2 4/4
Odoms - - - - 5 1/3 4/6 16/17
Grady-19 - - - - 2 - 2/3 9/12
Roundtree - - - 5/5 5 - 1/4 5/5
Stokes - - - - - - 1/1 1/1
Koger - - 1/1 1/2 - 3/4 4/6 7/11
Webb - - - - 1 - - 3/5
Minor - - - - - - - 1/1
Brown - 0/1 1/1 - 1/4 2/3 6/7
Shaw - - - - - 1/1 0/1 -
Smith - - - - - - - -
Grady-24 - - - - - - - 1/1

Roundtree tied for the most looks with Mathews, and Stonum is the new Roundtree. Roundtree has passed Grady on the depth chart in what looks like a permanent way because when he is thrown a ball that hits him in the hands it does not fall to the ground. At least, not yet.

Koger also had another bad drop, further sullying his crazy start to the season. He's kind of a tight end version of Braylon, capable of making spectacular catches and dropping routine ones.

And PROTECTION METRIC: 22/27, Schilling –2, Team –2, Huyge –1.

Actually a good day here, though it was against a poor pass rush and Michigan got smoked a couple times. Note the low overall number: Michigan was ground- and screen-heavy.

Why the hell couldn't we get it in from the one?

In four ugly acts:

  1. Schilling is blown back into the path of an iso play that otherwise would have worked. Even with the pwnage Brown should have an opportunity to extend the ball over the goal line; he does not.
  2. Michigan attempts to run off tackle where Dorrestein, who's apparently injured and missed the last drive of the first half in favor of Omameh, gets blown off the ball; Schilling runs into him and Brown has no lead blockers.
  3. Brown waits way too long on a stretch play that sees Illinois's line cave in.
  4. Minor fails to read the blocking in front of him as Illinois's line again caves in and cuts to the wrong side of Grady's block.

Minor scores on third down and possibly second down if he's in, assuming he is healthy, which is a bad assumption. Actually, at this point I'd rather see Vincent Smith down on the goal line instead of Brown, who is a terrible short-yardage back. Brown's quick and nimble but has no balance or power: you hit him and he's tackled. Sometimes if you wave at his foot he's tackled.

Does this make you want to rage about the coaching?

Yeah. If Minor was healthy enough for fourth down he's healthy enough for first down. I think the coaches thought, as everyone did, that a sustained goal-line stand from Illinois was highly unlikely and didn't think it was a good risk. I can understand that on first and second down. On third, though, it was painful to see a play that Minor would have slammed into the endzone easily end short.

The other major coaching bitch from the game: why didn't Michigan take timeout with a minute left in the half? There was another possession waiting against a terrible defense there if Michigan would have just taken it. I'm willing to live with Rodriguez taking risks like the ones at the end of the first half against Iowa as long as he does it when it's a good idea, too. 

My theory as to why Michigan did that, FWIW: they wanted to come after the punt hard but didn't want to give Illinois a chance at a drive afterwards if they got a penalty. That was why they waited to take TO but eventually did at about 30 seconds. Michigan did come after Illinois punts hard all day and blocked one. So it might not have been a terrible decision.

What is wrong with the run game?

Remember that it did pretty well against Penn State so failures against Illinois are not a trend. But issues exist:

  • Brown is not an effective short-yardage runner. He's very fast and the risk-reward with him is good on normal downs where a zip into the secondary is a possibility. On short yardage he is bad because his vision and cuts aren't great and he goes down very easily. Without Minor or Shaw, Michigan could either deploy Cox or Smith in those situations; they are freshmen.
  • Moosman is not as good as Molk on tough reach blocks. Lot of cutbacks against Illinois because the playside DT did not get sealed. Cutbacks are tougher sledding, usually.
  • For whatever reason, Illinois was blowing guys back all day. I don't know if they were timing the snap count or just beastlier or whatever, but there were many instances where the playside DT would shoot into the backfield, which is very bad. Backside DT you can run past; playside DT not so much. This, again, is a Molk issue but it's also a RG/LG issue and a RB issue. Brown compounded problems twice by not cutting his losses and turning zero-ish-yard plays into huge TFLs. This goes back to his lack of vision. Moving Moosman out of the RG spot hurts Michigan there, too.
  • Dorrestein is apparently hurt.

Here's a successful run from Brown on which Moosman does not seal his guy and Brown has to hit it up behind Moosman in front of Schilling:

From what I've seen, Molk is more likely to actually get that block on the frontside. He won't do it all the time and the cutback can be effective but then you're relying on the backside block, which is often a tough one.

The other thing on this play: why in the hopping hell does Brown cut right instead of left? This could be a touchdown if cut left, but instead Brown heads into three guys. I mean this…


…leads to…




Forcier, I guess, and Roundtree, I guess. I didn't think anyone on the OL played particularly well, and Brown's drawbacks were evident.


Brown? I know he had a good number of yards but he was one of three players primarily responsible for the goal-line stand, with other demerits going to Schilling and Dorrestein.

What does it mean for Purdue and the rest of the season?

I still think this can be a fairly effective offense when it doesn't turn the ball over willy-nilly. Is that ever going to happen this year? I don't know.

That effectiveness is seriously lessened by Molk's absence. A healthy return for Minor—which is supposed to happen this weekend—would help out; Brown and Minor have their strengths and when Michigan has only one the effectiveness of their game is compromised. Getting Odoms back would help, to. Though Roundtree had a good game, Odoms has proven himself a tough blocker and reliable option more likely to break a screen long, and maybe he won't fumble punts.

I think they'll be able to move the ball against Purdue effectively, with stupid mistakes the difference between a good output and the Illinois game. Wisconsin and Ohio State are a little dodgy with Molk out.



November 5th, 2009 at 2:10 PM ^

The Dammit chart sounds and looks about right.

Roundtree, a hero? I feel that. Not sure if half the board wont howl at that notion, though.

He stood out at the Spring Game, and its nice to see that parlay itself into the real season.

He and Tate should make a nice connection for the next three seasons.

Otherwise, awesome work as always, Brian!


November 5th, 2009 at 2:16 PM ^

I looked at the replay of the third down run by Brown several times and it really looks like he scored. It wasn't reviewed by the officials and the announcers didn't say anything. Am I going crazy or did anyone else think he was in?


November 5th, 2009 at 2:47 PM ^

On not calling timeout at the end of the first half, I wasn't happy about that either.

I think I remember reading that Rich said he wanted to go after the punt but not give them time in case something went wrong (like fumbling the catch, emphasis mine). So he made the decision based on a real reason and not just because he's a bad coach (which he is not, emphasis mine).


November 5th, 2009 at 2:56 PM ^

Brown is carrying the ball in his right hand, and the safety right in front of him is slightly to his left (or at least the angle he's taking points in that direction). In that split second, he might have mistakenly thought that going right gives him a chance to stiff-arm the safety and outrun everyone else. Conversely, if he'd chosen to cut left the ball would have been exposed to the tackler, forcing him to either switch or cover up, which might cut down on his speed.

Obviously, I base this theory almost entirely on my experience playing NCAA07 on PS2.

Really, it could be just as simple as "The guy directly in front of me is shading me to the left, so I will go right."


November 5th, 2009 at 3:02 PM ^

Where the hell is Moundros???

That is my question. He was blowing people up in the 1st half (See all of Brian's +1's). Grady at FB was not good on that series. Needed Moundros at FB and either Minor or Grady at TB. If so, touchdown Michigan.


November 5th, 2009 at 3:27 PM ^

I'm not sure why the o-lineman seemed to get blown off the ball or "beat to the spot". Maybe the d-lineman could predict the count just like MSU did. I haven't checked the credentials of the Illinois d-lineman to really know if they are good or not. They could just be flat out stronger. Which Barwis should (have) improved by doing endless power cleans and Roman deadlifts.

I'm not a huge fan of Perry Dorrestien. Just go by the name alone. Does a "Perry" intimidate you?

I don't subscribe to the thought that RR offenses are finesse, but a little more smash mouth would have helped on the momentum changing goal line plays.


November 5th, 2009 at 3:30 PM ^

Koger's continued march to TE oblivion is really killing this offense. When the offense was clicking, Koger was holding up blocks in the second level and was acting as the safety blanket all QBs need. When he is on, the defense has to either send a fast LB or one of its safeties to keep an eye on him, which really opens up the field for the pedestrian WRs. I'm not sure what can be done this late in the season, but hopefully Koger can pull it together a bit and return (at least somewhat) to the player he was against Notre Dame and Indiana.


November 5th, 2009 at 4:05 PM ^

I agree he's in a slump, but I still love the kid's game and his overall progression.

He has 2.5 times more catches this year than all of last year. On pace to go from 6 to 20 catches.

I wonder if his struggles with the dropsies in recent weeks, prevents them from wanting to use him in the red zone? Seems like he could be a good weapon to get points out of the passing game in the red zone.

I just think this whole team is having problems pacing themselves over the course of the year. Yes, Koger played last year, but sparingly. I think this young team has just hit a wall, and its going to be up the corches to find a way to recharge them.

I've resovled to cheer as loud as I have in years on Saturday at the Big House, just in the mere hopes that sort of positive feedback will hope. Yes, I can have an impact!!

Otherwise, you're right about how key he is for the whole offense and how his slump is a big factor in the team's losing streak.


November 5th, 2009 at 3:47 PM ^

I do think there needs to be a little more mention of Roundtree getting run down. I was at the game and he had a 15-20 yard head start on that guy in a 40 yard dash. Now maybe he stumbles out of the gate and he's not good on the lead, but you cannot get run down like that.

Doesn't excuse the goal line stand.


November 5th, 2009 at 4:17 PM ^


Did you notice anything to make you think that the true read option is no longer being called? One play that I saw when I was doing my diary had the line moving the opposite direction, which made me think that it was a called QB keeper. I didn't go through the entire game and I haven't done as much play evaluation as you have so I thought I would ask you if this was a correct assessment or if it was just that one play.


November 5th, 2009 at 4:32 PM ^

I'm a bit confused about the receiver chart. It appears Hemingway was targeted 3 times in the game but only shows up on the chart once. Is there a minimum yardage threshhold, or am I a moron? Or both?


November 5th, 2009 at 4:40 PM ^

I was at the game and absolutely flipped shit when they missed not one but TWO Illini defenders with their feet clearly on the playing field when the ball was snapped. Absolutely lost my mind in anger.

At least the B10 refs looked very comfortable in their Snuggies.


November 5th, 2009 at 5:04 PM ^

That Matt Millen is the preferable football choice to anything or anyone, but I'm sorry Mike Patrick has lost his fastball and Craig James is not good enough to carry him. Blackledge clearly covered a lot for a slipping Patrick the last couple of seasons.

Oh and charts good, graphs better, three dimensional vortexes of anger and hate, best!


November 5th, 2009 at 5:08 PM ^

It might be just me but if that was Odoms instead of Roundtree that would have been a easy touchdown. I do think Vincent Smith needs a lot more playing time, for a little guy he is one tough kid. Hopefully Minor and Shaw can make it back healthy this Saturday, because we need some toughness in our running game, something that Carlos Brown has never had and will never get.


November 5th, 2009 at 5:08 PM ^

New plays on offense? this is a good thing. Growth and diversity in the offense. Tate is learning more of the offense. It seems most of the new plays worked, for the most part, as well.


November 5th, 2009 at 5:18 PM ^

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Illinois had the wind in that situation so that would play into the decision not to take the timeout. The other factor was the earlier muffed punt, so I figured RichRod just wanted to keep momentum and the lead going into halftime and not risk the fact that we can't HOLD ON TO THE DAMN BALL!


November 5th, 2009 at 5:40 PM ^

That group of Big 10 refs tend to overlook ticky tack things, such as the 12th and 13th man on field and defensive off sides.

It was the same group against MSU last year, where they timed many snaps, but were off sides a lot too. Especially on our designed play to draw a team off sides.

I'm not whining about the refs, but they are consistent about it, so we can't count on them making those calls going forward. They do it in other games as well.

I'm too lazy to look up the guy's name, but the head referee is the older, taller, gray haired gentlemen, who looks like he could be Lloyd Carr's brother.

He annoyed the heck out of me, against MSU last year, where Threet was arguing that we had drawn them off sides, accurately, and this gentlemen gave him the condescending hand wave.


November 5th, 2009 at 6:05 PM ^

reminded me of the past regimes, being happy with a 6 point lead and not bothering to take a shot. I'm sure the lack of a punt returner (whose fault is that anyway?) helped his decision, but then he called a timeout after letting 30 seconds go off the clock, just didn't make any sense.

As for the lack of a punt returner, how can a team with this much talent not have anyone who can do the job? Every one of these guys probably returned kicks AND punts in high school


November 5th, 2009 at 7:04 PM ^

the weekly break downs. Of course, the opposite chart, the "Holy Shit, look at our offense" chart will enter the UFR.

Also, why the hell couldn't Roundtree have taken an angle to the left back pylon on the last 20 yards of the run? Hawthorne would have had to run farther and Roundtree scores and we're not where we have been all week. You never run straight down the field unless there's no one else there.


November 5th, 2009 at 7:23 PM ^

Player X runs at A speed and Player Y runs at B speed, where B > A. Player X is n yards ahead of Player Y.

How much time does Player X have until Player Y catches up with him?

A*t + n = B*t

t = n / (B - A)

How far can Player X run before Player Y catches up with him?

d = A * t

What angle should Player X run at to maximize the distance he can run toward the goalline? (consider perpendicular to the goalline to be 0 raians)

d2 = d * cos(theta)
d2' = d * sin(theta) = 0
sin(theta) = 0
theta = 0, pi

let us only consider the area where he is not losing yards

theta = 0

:. Player X should run directly toward the goalline to maximize the the distance he can run toward the goalline.



November 6th, 2009 at 1:07 PM ^

n changes based on the angle to the goal as long as the player Y is not directly behind player X in respect to the perpendicular of the goaline. If player Y is directly behind player X, then yes, player X should run directly at the goaline. However, if player Y is to the right or left of the player X then player X should run towards the near pilon to maximize n. Of course maximizing n also increases t, thus allowing player Y more time to catch up.


November 6th, 2009 at 7:16 AM ^

without minor available (oh, wait...he actaully was able to play...what?) i was hoping to see a moundros-grady backfield to pound the ball for the score. i know grady hasn't had much run at TB, but put those two wrecking balls in the I and get the damn yard. just somehting i was thinking at the time while watching brown run like my 9 year old niece.