Upon Further Review: Offense vs Indiana 2010

Submitted by Brian on October 6th, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Substitution notes: Nothing unusual little. It appears the top three outside receivers are all getting approximately equal snaps. Smith played the whole game, I think, with Hopkins the other guy in the lineup on the rare occasions Michigan used a two back set. He never carried the ball. The second slot receiver is being de-emphasized in favor of more lineups featuring tight ends.

Formation notes: nothing new.

Gratuitous video:

Show:

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M24 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Smith 3
Playside DT slants and does not get sealed but also runs himself out of the play so there's a hole-ish; Schilling trips over the legs of that guy and falls, removing a blocker. Whether it's because of this or Dorrestein(-1) not being able to do anything with the backside guy, Smith decides on the full cutback, which is open because the backside DE maintained contain. DE runs him down, etc. This play is a good example of what Smith gives you: he's okay. He doesn't break tackles and isn't fast enough right now to juke opponents. (ZR +1)
RUN+: RUN-: Dorrestein
M27 2 7 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 73
Omameh(+1) blocks down on the playside DT and blasts him out of the hole. Molk(+1) gets out on and seals one MLB; Webb(+1) plugs the other in the hole and Robinson has a lane right up the middle. FS comes up to fill, Robinson goes WOOP, and then he's gone. Stonum(+1) picked up a good downfield block to remove the last guy who might have had an angle. Replay.
RUN+: Omameh, Webb, Molk, Stonum, Robinson(3) RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-7, 8 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M15 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside Zone Smith 4
Schilling(-1) is beaten and falls to the ground, forcing Smith behind him. There's a lane because of an excellent block from Webb(+1) on the backside but it's not open for much as Lewan(-1) was blasted backwards by the LB and falls over. That guy should put this on his NFL highlight tape. Smith has nowhere to go because of the minuses here and gets what he can. Molk(+1) did get a good downfield block on the MLB, which helped create a pocket for these yards. (ZR+1, btw)
RUN+: Webb, Molk RUN-: Lewan, Schilling
M19 2 6 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Robinson 5
This is not the right read with the backside DE setting up outside and another linebacker coming up, plus Stonum getting attacked like whoah by the corner. Anyway, Robinson's on the edge with two Hoosiers but manages to dance past them and pick up some yards; Omameh(+1) had gotten an excellent driving block on the backside DT and his push opened this up for a few more yards that you might expect. (ZR –1, Robinson gets off without a minus because his agility made up for the poor decision.)
RUN+: Omameh RUN-:
M24 3 1 Shotgun 2H 1 2 2 Base 5-2 Run QB lead draw Robinson 27
Smith motions out before the snap; he'll do this before most snaps out of this formation in this game. Molk(+1) and Schilling(+1) momentarily double the playside DT, who hops inside as Denard hits it upfield immediately; Schilling pops out to seal a linebacker. Lewan(+1) has obliterated the playside DE and ends up pancaking him; Webb(+1) runs over a defensive back and Robinson gets into wide open spaces. It looks like he might be en route to a touchdown but a safety just manages to grab him from behind and take him down. I'm not sure if this was ruled a fumble or not but on replay it's clear he was down before the ball is out.
RUN+: Molk, Schilling, Lewan(2), Webb, Robinson RUN-:
O49 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA rollout hitch Hemingway 17
Webb acts as the lead blocker here and Indiana bites hard, leaving Robinson a ton of space to operate in. He hits an open Hemingway in time for Hemingway to turn upfield and get some YAC. Pass was a little high but not too bad. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O32 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Roundtree 32
Indiana is running the same response to this bubble that they did last year: crash the safety at it. Michigan is responding to the response by having the outside WR block the safety—they did this against UW and OSU late last year. Hemingway(+1) picks the safety off and Roundtree(+1) shakes the hesitant, evidently not good corner for a touchdown. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +1)
RUN+: Hemingway, Roundtree RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-7, 5 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M19 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Flanker screen Odoms 5
Grady(-1) whiffs on a safety, which forces Odoms outside if he's going to get anything and robs Roundtree of his blocking angle. Still a decent gain thanks to a quick reaction and stiffarm from Odoms(+1). (CA, 3, screen)
RUN+: Odoms RUN-: Grady
M24 2 5 Shotgn trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass PA doom seam Roundtree 74
QB lead draw fake sucks the linebackers and the single deep safety up, providing Denard an easy throw to a wide open Roundtree that he hits. Roundtree starts rambling downfield, getting some vague help from Grady but mostly doing it himself, cutting back and then cutting out to get down to the three. (CA+, 3, protection N/A, RPS+3)
O2 1 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Dive Smith 1 (pen +1)
Come to the play late so not really sure what happens, but Indiana has twelve guys anyway.
O1 1 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Yakety Sax Robinson 0
Fumbled snap.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 14-7, 1 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M22 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 2
Schilling(-1) beaten to the playside by a guy he has position on, which forces Smith to ineffectually block that guy too and sends Robinson to the backside of the play, where multiple unblocked IU players meet him.
RUN+: RUN-: Schilling
M24 2 8 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass PA circle Grady Inc
Poor read by Robinson with the safety tearing after this and Gallon breaking open over the middle on the same route Forcier tossed to Roundtree last week; the deep hitch may also have been available. As it is he throws the circle and Grady drops it, though he was going to get blown up for three yards anyway. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M24 3 8 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Nickel 4-3 Pass Tunnel screen Smith Inc
Robinson throws it high; this was getting blown up anyway with at DT running right into Smith as the ball passed overhead. (IN, 0, screen, RPS -1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-14, 10 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M19 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Smith 4
Contain; good handoff (ZR+1). Michigan does block the backside end but the DTs slant past Omameh(-1) and Schilling(-1) to blow up the play and the downfield blocking. Smith(+1) does a good job to cut it back behind Schilling, who just got enough of the DT to give the backside crease; he gets his point back. He hits it upfield until the contain guy comes down on him. This play was blown up and still got some yards.
RUN+: Smith RUN-: Omameh
M23 2 6 ? ? ? ? ? Pass PA rollout hitch Odoms 14
Watching highlights because you suck ESPNU; as we come back Odoms is sitting down in a hole in the zone and Robinson is nailing him for a first down. (CA+, 3, protection 1/1)
M37 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB power off tackle Robinson 13
Schilling and Molk pull around as Koger and Lewan block down. Koger(+1) locks down the DE; Schilling(+2) pulls up to absorb a blow from a charging linebacker; very nice play. Robinson heads outside of that block, then cuts up inside of the corner that Roundtree got a piece of. Molk(+1) gets a downfield block on the last remaining LB; Smith(-1) is surprised by the direction of the guy he's attempting to block and lets him through; his diving arm tackle is just enough.
RUN+: Koger, Schilling(2), Molk, Robinson RUN-: Smith
50 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Roundtree 7
This one barely gets out there, forcing Roundtree to dig it out. He does and manages to dodge the charging safety (who is now chagrined after terrible things happened to him), picking up decent yardage thanks to a good block from Odoms(+1). (MA, 2, screen)
RUN+: Odoms RUN-:
O43 2 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Smith 6
Correct read (ZR +1); we come to this late because of cool graphics but as we do Omameh(+1) has control of Larry Black and is driving him down the line; Webb(+1) pops out on the linebacker that shows up in the B gap and Molk(+1) has both the agility and intelligence to decide he's going to pull around Omameh since this scoop isn't happening, allowing him to plow a safety. Smith runs up his back for a decent gain.
RUN+: Omameh, Webb, Molk RUN-:
O37 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB down G Robinson 28
Just Schilling pulling this time as Molk shoots downfield for a block without coming around. Lewan(+1) and Koger(+1) blast their dudes inside; Schilling(+1) gets that same linebacker, and Smith gets a slight shove on a charging safety that Robinson(+2) just runs outside of. He then picks up an awesome block from Roundtree(+2) that allows him to cut inside and set sail for the endzone, whereupon the guy Schilling blocked(!) runs his ass off to make a shoestring tackle at the ten.
RUN+: Roundtree(2), Robinson(2), Lewan, Koger, Schilling RUN-:
O9 1 G Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 5-2 Run Zone read keeper Robinson 5
So this is kind of interesting here since because of the 2TE set and Indiana's response to this, this looks like midline. Koger kicks out the OLB on the line, leaving the backside DE unblocked; he chases after Smith and Robinson pulls (ZR+1). Lewan(+1) gets a clubbing downfield block but it's for Smith and he guy is able to spin off of it. He's there to tackle once Robinson dances inside the safety who comes up to deal with him.
RUN+: Robinson, Lewan RUN-:
O4 2 G Shotgun 2H 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 1
Backside DT times the snap and beats Schilling(RPS-1) thanks to it; there is a big crease to the right side of Omameh since the playside DE is actually running away from Dorrestein into Webb; Koger heads into it but Robinson can't follow since Omameh(-1) loses his guy; cutback and tackle.
RUN+: RUN-: Omameh
O3 3 G Shotgun 2H 1 2 2 Base 5-2 Pass PA TE flat Koger 3
Zone stretch fake gets Denard on the edge; three Hoosiers attack him, opening up Koger for six; he flicks it in calmly. (CA+, 3, protection N/A, RPS +1)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-14, 2 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M28 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-4 Run Inside Zone Smith 2
IU playing man with cover zero behind it so Robinson can't keep it (ZR +1) but the safeties in the box let everyone scream towards the playside and forces a Smith cutback into nothing. (RPS -1)
RUN+: N/A RUN-:
M30 2 8 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Hemingway 70
This is what happens when you play cover zero, Larry. Michigan fakes the same play, runs the bubble route, has Robinson pump, then throws a deep slant to a wide open Hemingway, who breaks the tackle of Indiana's terrible corner—same guy who got smoked by Roundtree on the bubble TD—and sets off for the endzone. +1 for employing the Tecmo Bowl zig-zag along the way. (DO, 3, protection 1/1, RPS +4)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 28-21, 14 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M13 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 8
Two MLBs blitz so they're out of the play since M is running to a gap they're not attacking. Smith kind of holds one of them to prevent at TFL but does not get called because it's all subtle-like. I guess he gets a plus? Omameh(+1) gets his guy a yard back and when he tries to reach out for Denard Omameh shoves him so he falls; DE comes off a block to tackle from behind but not before major yards.
RUN+: Smith, Omameh, Robinson RUN-:
M21 2 2 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside Zone Smith 1
Tate comes in as Robinson has dinged himself, and IU sells out to stop what the believe is coming, which comes. No chance for anyone to get out on the second level, guys slanting, no holes for Smith, and since Smith is totally average he can't do anything but get tackled. (RPS -1.)
M22 3 1 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Roundtree 0
Safety comes up on this and kills it when a simple slant would have been wide open; IU again sells out against this package of plays. Two straight. (RPS -1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 28-21, 9 min 3rd Q. This is Forcier's pooch punt. Michigan seems hesitant to let Forcier throw downfield when he comes in like this.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M31 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Slant and go Hemingway Inc
Gaaaah. Denard pumps the bubble and sucks up the safeties, then Hemingway burns the corner. Denard throws a 69-yard touchdown on a platter well long. (IN, 0, protection 2/2, RPS +3)
M31 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Roundtree 13
Safety runs up late and Michigan just goes drop-back pass against man, with Roundtree running an excellent slant and Robinson fitting it in a tight window for the first down. Roundtree makes a good catch. (CA+, 2, protection 2/2)
M44 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Smith 56
Another textbook scoop by Omameh(+1) and Molk(+2) seals the playside guy and gets Omameh(+1 again) out on the second level. Schilling(+1) cuts the hell out of the MLB and Stonum seals off the safety, sending Smith into the open field; he runs through a shoestring tackle attempt at the ten and scores.
RUN+: Omameh(2), Molk(2), Schilling, Stonum, Smith RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 35-28, 6 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M28 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Smith 1
ZR+1 as there is contain. Schilling(-1) and Molk(-1) cannot scoop the playside DT here and the linebackers are flowing downhill super fast, leaving Smith nowhere to go on any part of the play. Still, this is a play someone else might have been able to run through an arm tackle on and get three or four, not one. (RPS -1)
RUN+: RUN-: Schilling, Molk
M29 2 9 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Slant and go Stonum Inc
Blockers left in and three deep routes. Denard overthrows Stonum, who is doubled but has a step on both guys; probably should have come off him and looked to Roundtree on the deep post. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
M29 3 9 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Run QB draw Robinson 8
Five sent and live I thought Robinson spooked but on replay it's obvious the receivers are blocking. Blitz forces Robinson to take a circuitous route out of the backfield and Roundtree(-1) whiffs his block, leaving two guys able to contain Robinson; he shoots up between them but comes up a yard short.
RUN+: RUN-: Roundtree
Drive Notes: Punt, 35-28, 3 min 3rd Q. This is where you go for it, no?
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M30 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Robinson 11
Another midline-ish look with the H-back lined up to the same side the tailback is and Michigan blocking an edge player with him; unblocked backside DE crashes down on the tailback and Robinson pulls (ZR+1, RPS +1), finding open space.
RUN+: Webb, Robinson RUN-:
M41 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside Zone Smith 1
M blocks the backside end so the read here is the backside LB, who is crashing down on the play. Robinson should pull, but does not (ZR -1), and that LB is right in the play, tackling at the LOS since the slanting DL took away the gap he's not in.
RUN+: RUN-: Robinson
M42 2 9 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB power off tackle Robinson 4
Omameh(+1) pulls around to lead block; he picks off the MLB but Indiana is reacting to this better and he's able to force Robinson inside where Webb(-1) has lost control off the DE after starting to drive him downfield; that guy tackles.
RUN+: Omameh RUN-: Webb
M46 3 5 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Stonum Inc
Indiana goes M2M, it appears, with a robber in the middle of the field; Robinson pumps the RB in the flat but wisely does not throw, then comes off on Stonum. He is well covered but breaking just open about ten yards downfield. The throw is one-hopped. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 35-28, 10 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M39 1 10 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Robinson 3
I think this is Robinson screwing it up. He again pulls it on the midline read (ZR +1) as the DE crashes down on Smith, and should blast it upfield in the gap where there isn't a linebacker for days. Instead he takes an angle way too far upfield and then cuts outside Koger's block, only to cut back up, allowing the DE to recover and tackle. This is a big error, as Michigan had IU dead to rights. (RPS +2)
RUN+: Koger RUN-: Robinson(2)
M42 2 7 Shotgun H-back 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB stretch Robinson -1
Reverse fake to Roundtree, FWIW. Playside DE does a good job not to get sealed by Dorrestein(-1) and then Omameh(-1) gets blasted back and actually pancaked by the IU MLB; Robinson has to cut way outside, where Koger(-1) loses his guy. That guy tackles Robinson in the backfield.
RUN+: RUN-: Dorrestein, Omameh, Koger
M41 3 8 Shotgun empty 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Fly T. Robinson Inc
IU sends six guys but has a couple of them in definite don't-let-DR-escape mode. Dorrestein(-2) gets confused and lets a guy in free; Denard lets it go long to a single-covered Grady but the pass is well long. (IN, 0, protection 0/2, Dorrestein -2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 35-28, 7 min 4th Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M27 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB stretch Robinson 8
Not quite a scoop on the playside DT but Molk(+1) does well enough, giving Denard a crease since Lewan(+1) blew out the DE. Schilling(+1) buries a linebacker; Omameh(+1) got downfield to bash someone, too.
RUN+: Molk, Lewan, Schilling, Omameh RUN-:
M35 2 2 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB draw Robinson 17
Is this a planned counter? I don't know. Robinson takes a couple steps to the TE side of the line, then cuts back. Schilling's guy gets playside of him but then gets shoved past the play; Lewan(+1) buries the DE and then gets a little tug as Robinson passes. He evades the holding call and Robinson is into the secondary, picking up good blocks from Stonum(+1) and Roundtree(+1)
RUN+: Lewan, Schilling, Robinson, Stonum, Roundtree RUN-:
O48 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB stretch Robinson 2
Decent job on the playside by the left side of the line but IU is slanting harrrrd and Dorrestein has no chance to do anything to the backside DT so he's down the line and a cutback is out of the question. Robinson runs OOB after a few; Lewan did a good job to get the corner for him. This probably should have been PA. (RPS –1)
RUN+: Lewan RUN-:
O46 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Fly Hemingway 42
Five men rush with two more in short Denard Zones; Omameh(-2) stumbles out of his stance as Michigan slides the protection and allows Black under him. Not really his fault but he did stumble. Black comes right up the middle to nail Robinson. He throws just before the impact and the ball is a lofted ball in man coverage that's to the receiver's back shoulder; Hemingway adjusts and leaps to catch the ball, stumbling to the ground at the four. THEY TRIED TO MAN UP CRAB. Seriously: if Texas Tech did this you'd be all like "they drill the back shoulder of the WR all the time." Do I think Robinson meant to place this perfectly as he was getting lit up by a DT? No. Can I say for sure? No. Was it the best possible pass in this situation? Yes. (DO+, 2, protection 0/2, Omameh -2)
O4 1 G Shotgun 2H 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run QB off tackle Robinson 4
Dude shoots right into the play; Smith(+1) submarines him and takes him out but that's erased Koger, too, so Robinson has to run away from the other guy shooting up the middle. Webb(+1) walls off the contain, Lewan(+1) rides the DE down the line and again doesn't get that holding call, and Robinson slams it up for the points that win the game.
RUN+: Smith, Lewan, Webb, Robinson RUN-:
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 42-35, EOG, basically. Woo!

Oh my gaaawd we scored so faaaaast.

Yeah. I'm pretty sure that's mostly Indiana's doing. Their defensive philosophy was totally different from Michigan's, especially in the second half. IU came out and shut down a run for nothing by sending both safeties on a kamikaze mission, so on the next play Magee calls this:

One clunky-lookin' white dude who's already given up a touchdown on a bubble screen versus Hemingway on a deep slant with no one else within ten yards == RPS +4. That's the main takeaway from this game, IME.

ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS: 14 – 7 = +7

Plus seven is a big number. Michigan had a lot of plays on which gaining 70 yards was as easy as slipping a tackle, and since IU decided they couldn't sit back they opened themselves up to a lot of big plays when they guessed wrong. They could have bled Michigan down the field if they wanted to.

So all your complaining about Michigan's passivity in the defensive UFR should keep this in mind. I mean, the numbers for Denard were ridiculous and his—

Chart.

—chart was actually a tiny bit lame this game:

DENARD ROBINSON

Opponent DO CA MA IN BR TA BA PR SCR ZR DSR
2009, All Of It 1 7 6(2) 3(1) 4 4 - - ? - 44%
UConn 2 15(6) - - 3 2 - - 2 - 68%
Notre Dame 3 25(8) 3(1) 4 1 - 4(1) 2 - - 71%
UMass 4 10(3) - 1 1 - 1 1 - - 73%
BGSU 1 4(1) - - - - - - - 1/1 N/A
Indiana 2 8(2) 1(1) 5(1) - - - - - 9/11 66%

(Tate threw one screen that I didn't bother charting since we already know he can throw screens.)

Two of his misses were out-and-out bombs UFR is generally forgiving about, but on one Stonum was magnificently wide open and Robinson could have put it in a five-yard radius for a completion but overthrew it badly. His strike rate on those is still pretty good: with the two from BG and the one completed one to Hemingway, he's at 60% on the year.

His reads on the zone were strong and his failures are a small portion of his overall resume at this point; I'm not worried he's going to go backwards. I think we all knew his miraculous lack of inaccurate passes from the UConn game was not sustainable long-term.

A note: I could have handed out a BR on another circle where he got his slot receiver lit up (see: you're killing Roy Roundtree) but gave him a CA since it should have been a short completion.

Receivers:

  This Game   Totals
Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Stonum 2 - - - 3 - 3/4 11/11
Odoms - - - 2/2 - - 3/4 11/11
Hemingway 1 - 1/1 2/2 2 - 2/2 4/5
Jackson - - - - - - - -
Roundtree - - 2/2 1/1 5 2/3 3/4 20/20
Grady 1 - - 0/1 3 - 1/1 6/7
T. Robinson - - - - - 0/1 - 2/3
Gallon - - - - 1 - - 1/1
                 
Koger - - - 1/1 - - 1/2 3/3
Webb - - - - - - - -
                 
Smith 1 - - - 1 - 0/1 4/4
Shaw - - - - 1 0/1 0/1 3/3
McColgan - - - - - - - 1/1
Hopkins - - - - - - - -
Toussaint - - - - - - - -

Not much action because everyone scored so quickly; highlights were Hemingway plucking that 42-yarder out of the air just like his recruiting profile said he would and Roundtree grabbing a slant nicely. The one drop was the aforementioned three-yarder so no big deal.

Protection actually has a ding for a tackle. PROTECTION METRIC: 10/14, Omameh –2, Dorrestein –2.

10/14 isn't a great number but the sample size is so low it's not a big deal.

And, finally, a run chart:

Offensive Line
Player + - T Notes
Huyge - - - DNP
Lewan 8 1 7 Not getting called for holding, so those are on the plus side.
Schilling 7 3 4 More slant trouble.
Molk 8 1 7 Had a clever play to impromptu pull on a zone.
Omameh 8 3 5 This qualifies as an off day.
Barnum - - - DNP
Dorrestein - 2 -2 Big difference in impact between him and Lewan
Webb 6 1 5 H-back club is clubby.
Koger 3 1 2 They're playing more than the slots lately and for good reason.
TOTAL 40 12 28 On a per-play basis, ridiculous.
Backs
Player + - T Notes
Robinson 12 3 9 Still Denard.
Gardner - - - DNP
Forcier - - - Wasn't involved in his two plays.
Shaw - - - DNP
Smith 4 1 3 Long run was pretty easy.
Cox - - - DNP
Toussaint - - - DNP
Hopkins - - - Did a little blocking.
McColgan - - - Didn't get to see the one play he was relevant on.
Jones - - - DNP
TOTAL 16 4 12 Maybe I should plus Denard more, but I don't know.
Receivers
Player + - T Notes
Stonum 3 - 3 Great block on Denard's long touchdown.
Odoms 2 - 2 --
TRobinson - - - --
Roundtree 4 1 3 Showed zip on his TD.
Grady - 1 -1 --
Gallon - - - --
Hemingway 1 - 1 --
TOTAL 10 2 8 Consistent quality.
Metrics

The charting did not keep up with the long runs. A 70-yarder is going to be +10 or something but 7 ten yard runs are going to rack up a lot more than that. Maybe I should had out a FLAWLESS VICTORY award for everyone when the play is successfully executed by everyone and Denard bursts downfield for six.

Anyway, the chart above seems to be the developing story of the season: Michigan has four very good offensive linemen and a serviceable right tackle. The tight ends are effective and versatile. Denard is a ninja. Vincent Smith is a reliable blocker and receiver without much wow to him even when he hits a 50-yard touchdown. And the receivers will block your ass. Together they result in Denard having more rushing yards than most D-I teams and some leftovers.

Oh no Denard's effectiveness waned after the usual injury?

Well, yes it did but I don't think that had anything to do with reduced physical ability. Michigan's first three plays of their game-winning drive were Denard runs on which he looked spry as ever. Drives after he came back:

  1. Misses Hemingway for sure TD, nails Roundtree on slant, watches Vincent Smith score a long TD.
  2. Indiana sells out to stuff first down run. Denard overthrows doubled Stonum when he should have come off on Roundtree. Denard's QB sneak comes up a yard short when Roundtree whiffs block.
  3. Keeper for 11, blown up handoff because Robinson did not pull when he should have, four yard Robinson run, Indiana goes man to man and Robinson misses Stonum.
  4. Robinson keeper should go for many yards but Robinson does not have faith in his read; stretch blown up; free rusher forces inaccurate bomb to Grady.
  5. Gamewinning TD drive on which he carries four times and bombs it to Hemingway.

Robinson was still running a ton, but he made some mental mistakes and poor throws. If he was damaged it didn't change Michigan's playcalling; more likely we're just talking about a true sophomore who is going to have some moments when he doesn't do the right thing.

Any hints of new stuff we might see against Michigan State?

I mentioned this after the Bowling Green game but Michigan has gone away from its all-zone-almost-all-the-time run game and has started putting in a number of power plays. Here's something straight out of the Michigan State playbook:

State features a jumpy, slanty defensive line and mixing plays up will either keep them from swarming the zone stuff or burn them badly when they get something other than what they expected. For all the Greg Jones talk, Michigan State gave up 5.5 YPC to Armando Allen and 6.6 to Wisconsin's Clay/White combo, and it was clear that Clay was laboring for much of that game. I'm not sure how much better their run defense is than, say, Notre Dame, and Notre Dame got gashed.

Also, Steve Sharik brought up the midline option in a diary and that's something I've been crying for for ages. By now defensive ends are pretty good about containing; tackles are not and tend to tear after the tailback. ND got us on the midline a few times, and no one is going to confuse their quarterbacks with Denard Robinson. Michigan showed something like it a couple times:

Okay, this is still the DE Michigan is optioning off of but Magee noticed that IU was using the WLB as a contain guy, so you block the contain guy and option of a guy who is not expecting to contain. That's similar in principle: do not allow the defense to know which guy is going to have to contain the QB before the snap. With Worthy a guy who absolutely loves to penetrate, running the midline at him seems like it could bust big.

Heroes?

Denard, most of the OL including the TEs, and Junior Hemingway's ability to high-point the ball.

Goats?

Again, when you put up 42 points and almost 600 yards there really aren't any but I am still hoping someone pushes Smith to third string. Dorrestein is clearly a step behind the other guys on the OL.

What does it mean for Michigan State and beyond?

It's further confirmation that this offense is for real, though not a lot. Indiana's defense was as preposterously bad as expected. We didn't learn much we didn't already know except that maybe Junior Hemingway is a downfield weapon on jump balls, Marquise Walker-style. We always suspected it but he could never stay on the field long enough for anyone to confirm.

Everything else is par for the course.

Comments

BleedingBlue

October 6th, 2010 at 4:52 PM ^

Newport Bar and Grill in Lakeview at Newport and Southport is a newer Michigan bar (after Take 5 closed Newport picked up the flag).  They've added a million TV's the last couple years and the good is ok.  Beer specials on gamedays as well and much cheaper than Duffy's.  Slightly older crowd with significantly lower get-puked-on likelihood.  I heard Can's in Bucktown is now a Michigan bar as well, but I can't vouch for it since I haven't been there in a couple years.

betheballdanny

October 7th, 2010 at 2:47 PM ^

Oberon or Amber?  You can get both at any grocery store, and Oberon at any bar, but Amber seems to be harder to find when you're out.  Matildas might have to be the place if they have Amber.  Problem is, I've been there for a normal night out and don't remember it having a ton of TVs.  It was years ago, so maybe they've changed?

Germany Shultz

October 6th, 2010 at 4:30 PM ^

Anyone else surprised/concerned that Schofield hasn't eclipsed Dorrestein the way Lewan beat out Huyge? Looking back over the years, it's always been a great indicator of future success when a redshirt freshman cracks the lineup on the OL. I know we have one. But I'm greedy.

BleedingBlue

October 6th, 2010 at 4:55 PM ^

From what I understand, Stonum's block on Smith's 56 yard TD run is a Crack Back, right?  He's blocking outside-in on a player flowing out to the play?  Is it not a crack back because he is pretty much stationary when he blocks the defender?

True Blue In Ohio

October 6th, 2010 at 5:17 PM ^

Home field advantage with a servicable Mike Shaw and Denard's bruised knee having one more week of healing (minus the bumps on Saturday) have me thinking a win over Sparty!  The defense will have the new Big House crowd behind them and play much better than last week. 

StephenRKass

October 6th, 2010 at 6:37 PM ^

There is no room to complain, but . . . 

When Denard manages to pass the long ball more accurately, and 

When Shaw and Toussaint push Smith to 3rd string,

we will be even MORE difficult for a defense to stop.

Oh, I also am amazed at the O-line . . . they must receive lots and lots of credit.

YEAH!! Go Team!

Paskanen

October 6th, 2010 at 6:55 PM ^

I try to refrain from questioning the coaching genious Rod Almighty. But, why did we keep trying the drive-killing, down-field bombs to Taco Pants when we needed a first down in the second half? I understand that connections on these plays=touch down, but we need to put the odds in our advantage given the defense situation.

MichFan1997

October 6th, 2010 at 7:15 PM ^

all the people (average fans of course) who think Michigan is a one-dimensional offense, run on the ability of Denard alone. And I love seeing the other team stop Michigan, only to have our offensive brain trust use the opposition strategy against them. That was the most frustrating thing about the play calling pre-RR. I can't wait to see what the RR and Calvin come up with for the MSU game plan.

yossarians tree

October 6th, 2010 at 8:54 PM ^

Gotta be a nightmare for opposing DC when this offense is clicking and in rhythm. Substitutions happen so fast, the O lines up so quickly, and then they stand at the line while the coaching staff assess the defense and sends in a play that will exploit the defensive set-up. It has got to be extremely difficult to become proficient in this offense, but once you do it is pretty damn well going to get you 30 to 40 points a game against good competition.

msoccer10

October 7th, 2010 at 11:53 AM ^

Some guy says to me how Denard is our whole offense and we are doomed if he goes down. Setting aside the fact that I think Forcier and Gardner are pretty good quarterbacks in their own right and that Smith had a 56 yard touchdown, I told him we had two wide receivers go for over 100 yards and a touchdown and he was speechless. People have no clue. The major media talk non-stop about Denard (and I don't really blame them) but our entire offense is solid right now.

STW P. Brabbs

October 7th, 2010 at 1:19 PM ^

Maybe 'doomed' is a bit drastic, but you're discounting the fact that those receivers are so wide open, in part, because of the threat Denard poses on every single snap.  When Tate and Devin came in - and this was against a terrible defense - the offense became something of a traditional offense.  Not in scheme, but in outcome: with Tate and Devin, proper execution brought positive yardage, and there were occasional probes downfield for big plays.  With Denard in, every single fucking play is a big play waiting to happen, and those passes downfield are consistently there for the taking. 

I think people might have a point - considering our defense - that if Denard goes down we will struggle to beat any but the worst Big Ten teams.  Our offense would still put up points without him, but not at the same 'go ahead and hit the showers, Hagerup' pace.  And I'm not sure it would be enough to overcome our defensive deficiencies. 

I don't think there's any shame in admitting that, although Denard wouldn't be having the season that he is without some great talent around him, our offense would honestly be an entirely different beast without him.  Right now, the offense is just video-game stupid, and we need to recognize the fact that without the singular talents of Mr. Dilithium it would likely be reduced to merely "quite good."

The Rake

October 6th, 2010 at 9:06 PM ^

I want this game more than any the rest of the year. We need to put MSU back to little brother status where it belongs, in the process get RR's hot seat effectively snuffed out and become bowl eligible all in one fell swoop.  I would love a convincing victory, say 14 points or more, but in truth, I am worried. Still, I think Sparty got props for beating ND just becuz of the balls of Pequeno Gigantes. We won in ND, they won at home, and needed OT to do so.  I honestly think if we get this game, this could really become a special year with the only true underdog game being v. OSU. Lets get these b*stards and #GOBLUE!!! FIRED UP!!!

Oh, BTW, does anyone have any idea if there are any Michigan bars in Los Angeles? THere were a few back in the day that have since closed down or changed locales and I can't find any. I'd love to gear up with some BLUE fans out here.  Peace!

ProfMurdoc

October 6th, 2010 at 9:54 PM ^

Picking nits with a team that can score in seconds:

I would like some more confidence in the deep ball. I think UFR has been generous with rating Denard's accuracy, especially deep. If we're talking results-based charting, fine, it's working, so why worry? It would seem that hitting a receiver in stride as he's running away from you is a pretty basic throw. Not easy, but common. It is the essence of the deep ball, catch and run. Except for one from last week (that I may be dreaming up) where it was arced in ahead of the receiver (and maybe making him stumble?) I don't think we have that in Denard. Tate can, but bringing him in just to throw deep makes about as much sense as all the times last year Denard went in just to take a snap and run and get tackled due to obviousness. Not to mention instantly taking away our best weapon.

The deep routes are open, this much is abundantly clear. This even seems to be because of Denard. Having his feet in the game means any run fake create that much more space. No doubt it's being worked on. But right now it's more on the receiver to make the play, to slow down, to turn and contort, to come back to the ball, to lose valuable momentum, angles, whatever. It seems apparent that the reason they haven't been throwing it deep is because there are still accuracy issues that can't be solve by making easy passes. 

 

YAC stats on catches made 20+ downfield?

WorldwideTJRob

October 7th, 2010 at 4:59 AM ^

I'm not the biggest V. Smith fan, but i thought he desrved more than a +1 on the TD run. He did a nice job of shaking a tackler and keep his balance all the way to the endzone.

Magnus

October 7th, 2010 at 9:51 AM ^

Smith has his positive points.  He's a decent blocker, although not the great one that many seem to be asserting.  He's a good pass catcher.

But I say again: If the best things you can say about your starting running back are "He blocks well and he can catch" then he's not a good running back.  He's average at best.  Good running backs should be able to...I dunno...run.

joeyb

October 7th, 2010 at 6:30 PM ^

If he didn't score on that play, it would have said more about him than if he did score. That hole was as big as the one that Fitz ran through against BGSU and he got caught from behind. His only saving grace was that he was able to get out of the tackle. I would bet that all other things being equal, everyone of our backs would have scored on that play.

RayIsaac91

October 7th, 2010 at 7:56 PM ^

What is your test of a good running back? Does he need to carry five opponents on his back for 8 yards, like you know, the 2 minute drill for quarterbacks?

Go through everyone's running plays and adjust out runs that had good blocking. Let me know how far you get with that ok?

The guy puts the ball in the end zone constantly. His only sin is that he just isn't MIke Hart.

rpel84

October 7th, 2010 at 11:26 AM ^

whats the deal...the kid does what he is asked.  The other backs need to step up and work harder.  We used to think we had a lot of depth at this position.  It appears that the other backs believe they wont play and arnt working to their potential.  There is no excuse for Mike Cox or Steve Hopkins to step up and take the spot.