Upon Further Review: Offense vs Iowa Comment Count

Brian October 15th, 2009 at 2:52 PM

Personnel notes: No switching on the OL in this game, with Huyge-Dorrestein the right half of the line for the entire game. I don't think I saw Webb except in rare 2TE situations, and Kelvin Grady had a very limited role. The three-man rotation at the two outside receiver spots seems about even. Roy Roundtree came in on some four WR sets.

Complication notes: attempting a "zone read" metric that gets a +1 when a QB makes a right read and a –1 when he doesn't. Handoffs will usually get zero here. May not be accurate because some plays aren't reads, but better than nothing.

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M26 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Forcier 9
Pretty simple as Iowa has two guys in deep halves and is manning up on the outside, leaving five guys against six in the box; Forcier keeps it (ZR +1) and gets a good gain before getting to the ground. Note: Michigan blocked the backside defensive end straight up here. Hm? I think Forcier is reading the WLB lined up over Odoms(!) here to see what he does.
M35 2 1 Ace trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Minor 9 (Pen -10)
Schilling pwns and pancakes an Iowa DL, somehow drawing a horsecrap holding call in the process. Truly terrible call. Minor(+1) cuts behind the Schilling block and has room up the middle as a stretch-anticipating LB has shuffled himself into a block and the other LB was in man on Odoms, so he picks up 7-8.
M25 2 11 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Draw Minor 2
Huyge(-1) gets driven back, straight back, right into Minor's intended path. Minor has to bounce out and the play's timing is disrupted, so he's tracked down.
M27 3 9 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Post Stonum Int
Linebacker abandons the circle route of Koger, dropping into the throwing lane and picking off a ball that Forcier should never have thrown. (BR, 0, protection 2/2) He had the Koger circle and a square in from Mathews; just a terrible read. Wouldn't have mattered much because either Stonum or Koger lined up wrong and Michigan got a flag. Worst part about this read is that if the LB didn't drop off a safety still would have picked it off.
Drive Notes: Interception, 7-7, 7 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M28 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 9
Iowa really keeping those safeties back, which is problem for them because it leaves just six guys in the box. Here Huyge does not get a seal on the playside DT despite blocking a guy lined up over him, but a great scoop from Moosman(+1) and Schilling(+1) seals away the backside DT and MLB; the SLB has overreacted to the stretch. Minor(+1) reads the hole and shoots up into space, spectacularly flipping over a safety's tackle and picking up a few YAC.
M37 2 1 I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Iso Minor 9
Pretty easy, as Michigan just doubles the playside DT and shoots Grady at the LB over that gap; no one else can reach Minor before the LOS. Minor(+1) meets a safety four yards downfield, then drags tacklers for four more.
M46 1 10 Ace trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Minor -1
Iowa's ignoring contain here, shooting the DE down the line and not leaving anyone for Forcier, but this is from under center and thus not a read, it's just a playcall. Iowa jams the middle of the line, allowing that backside DE to come from behind and tackle in the backfield. Probably some run minuses on the line here, maybe, but the issue really is Iowa selling out and Michigan not catching them.
M45 2 11 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Kooger 8
Man, the linebacker is all over this and Tate should probably look for Stonum outside, but he zips it to the only spot it can be and Koger makes a tough catch. (CA+, 1, protection 1/1)
O47 3 3 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Cross Odoms 6
Odoms beats a linebacker in zone to a spot and Tate zings it to him for the first. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O41 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Edge pitch Shaw 5
This play featured in Picture Pages. It's a clever way to exploit the backside DE's tendency to freak out on the zone. He's unblocked and takes his crash step; Forcier just takes a couple of hops and pitches it outside to Shaw. Odoms(-1) sees his cut block leapt over, and the safety to this side is running downhill right to the play; this basically did not work, and it still picks up five. This would work better against teams that were playing more aggressively, with only one deep safety.
O36 2 5 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Forcier 1
Blocking the backside end again on this. Hmm. Forcier (ZR -1) keeps this and gets swallowed by a scraping MLB; the frontside of the line creased big and Minor would have zinged right into the secondary if Forcier had handed this off.
O35 3 4 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout out Odoms Inc
The quick slot out we've run a bunch for first downs this year; Forcier hits Odoms, but he can't reel it in as he falls to the turf. (CA, 2, protection 1/1)
O35 4 4 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Scramble Forcier 9
Vincent Smith is, for some reason, inserted. He runs a little out that's open. Forcier doesn't care; he sees Iowa stunt and a run lane open up in front of him and immediately decides to take off for the first. Good decision. I'm not going to file this a TA, like I usually do, because this wasn't a decision to run as a last resort, it was a decisive move to exploit a weakness in the D.
O26 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read inside Smith 2
Iowa seems a wise to this; I think Michigan's thrown them a little curveball here by scooping the backside DT and hoping the frontside guy runs himself out of the play so that the RB can hit it straight up the middle. This time Schilling(-1) gets totally beaten by the playside DT, which cuts off the hole.
O24 2 8 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout corner Odoms 21
Another counter to something they've shown a lot, and actually showed on this drive already; the little slot out. Iowa is in what looks like cover two, bashing Hemingway's outside route and shooting a linebacker out into the flat to cover Odoms, except Odoms breaks it deep, getting a step or two on a safety that was anticipating a shorter pass. Forcier lays it in for first and goal. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2)
O3 1 G Shotgun 2-back Big 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 3
Key to the play is doubling the playside DE with Koger and Ortmann(+1), blowing him into the endzone. The DTs beat their blockers down the line but because the DE's been caved  downfield they can only flail at Minor's legs and watch him bash in for six.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 14-10, 1 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M30 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read inside Minor 8
Same play as earlier with a dedicated double team on the backside DT from Moosman(+1) and Huyge(+1) blowing said DT off the ball and opening up a cutback lane for Minor. Huyge comes off the block to peg the WLB and Minor gets five yards downfield before the S comes up to tackle; he falls forward.
M38 2 2 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Edge pitch Minor 2
The least successful edition of this all night, and it's because Grady(19)(-1) runs right by the safety instead of blocking him, which forces Minor outside and holds this down to a couple.
M40 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Yakety Sax -- 5
An attempted bubble screen on which the ball just slips out of Forcier's hand. Um... (IN, 0, screen)
Drive Notes: Fumble, 14-10, 13 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M27 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 7
A more conventional look where the frontside DT gets scooped; this one's supposed to go inside as Grady shoots up into the crease between the C/G and T to block the LB in the hole. He does a pretty decent job but Minor does get forced back inside where the backside LB can tackle. Still excellent YAC from Minor.
M34 2 3 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Koger 4
Five man rush from Iowa with good man coverage behind it; Forcier finds Koger in front of it and hits him with good timing for the first. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M38 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Forcier 6
So here's a great example of why the scrape exchange exists: here Iowa does not run it and the DE stays home; Forcier keeps it anyway.  (ZR –1.) He then fakes outside and smokes the guy to the inside, turning a loss into significant positive yardage. Forcier still should have handed this off, as Minor had a huge cutback lane.
M44 2 4 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Sack -- -10
Live I thought this was terrible; on replay I think it's not that bad. Forcier's looking at a Stonum slant here but doesn't throw it because he's afraid of a LB dropping into the throwing lane. I think he can wing it in there but it's close and not throwing it is ok. However: I think Forcier screwed up here because the rest of the line is blocking as if this is a rollout play, and he does not roll out until much later, at which point he trips over his own feet. (TA, 0, protection NA)
M34 3 14 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Throwaway -- Inc
Iowa DT zips right through Huyge(-1) and Moosman(-1) to pressure Forcier immediately, forcing a rollout and a throwaway. (PR, 0, protection 0/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-13, 10 min 2nd Q. Rodriguez and Forcier have a somewhat heated conversation afterwards; I assume this has to be about the second-down play where the line blocked for a rollout and Forcier did not roll out.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M22 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone counter dive? Minor -3
I don't know what this is. Michigan blocks the backside DE and shoots Grady backside as well, but Grady does not slam it up between the T and the G/C, he heads outside, and Minor follows him. This does not so much work as Minor ends up cutting himself out of 2-3 yards and into a loss. This wasn't going to work but Minor should know better than to do this.
M19 2 13 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Jailbreak screen Odoms Inc
A jailbreak screen that really should work since Michigan catches Iowa in a blitz, but Forcier chucks it way high and not far enough inside, causing Odoms to get hammered and the ball to fall to the turf. (IN, 1, screen)
M19 3 13 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Scramble Forcier 9
DE gets upfield of Dorrestein(-1) and causes Forcier to flush up in the pocket, where a DT spinning off of Huyge(-1) means Forcier can't survey in an attempt to find a receiver. He takes off, gets some yards, but is well short. (TA, 0, protection 1/3, Dorrestein –1, Huyge –1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-20, 4 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M19 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 12
I'll get to more of this later, but this game reminds me of last year's ND game, when the insistence on dropping two deep safeties opened up the opposition for a lot of grinding runs. Here Michigan gets to double the frontside DT and seal him and have Grady(+1) crunch the SLB, which gives Minor a crease he shoots up into, running until a good fill from the safety takes him down.
M31 1 10 ??? ? ? ? Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch? Minor 2
We miss this play in favor of shots of the sideline.
M31 2 8 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Scramble Forcier 2
Okay, so this stunt is something Iowa will run lots until the end of the game with great success; the DEs crash inside and the DTs loop all the way around the opposite DEs, getting in clean every time. Forcier manages to juke a guy in clean and then scramble out; he should hit Minor for a first down, or very close to it, but scrambles for some yards instead. (TA, 0, protection 0/2, team)
M33 3 6 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Improv Odoms 37
Good protection for Forcier gives him plenty of time to survey; he finds nothing, rolling out eventually and pulling up to chuck a dangerous ball to Odoms. Nearly intercepted, maybe deflected, aigh! Odoms reels it in, though, and turns it into a big gainer by slipping down the sidelines, dodging a safety, and darting down to the 30. (CA?, 2, protection 2/2)
O30 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 0
No hole this time as Schilling(-1) can't get a seal on the playside DT and can't even wrestle him into position for a scoop from Molk. Minor's got nowhere to go and cuts it up into defenders, fumbling when someone whacks at the ball. Lame.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 14-20, 1 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M33 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 2
This is a missed read by Forcier as they're again blocking the backside end and the MLB is not providing contain (ZR -1). Playside DT beats Huyge(-1), driving him back and making either side of his block unpalatable. Minor gets what he can.
M35 2 8 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Hemingway Inc
Open, and Forcier actually throws it this time after looking off folks to the other side of the field. Throw is hard and low, making this a tougher catch than it needs to be. Hemingway is taken off his feet and can't bring it in. Not routine but you'd like to see him make this catch. (MA, 2, protection 2/2)
M35 3 8 Shotgun 4-wide 1 0 4 Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Roundtree Inc
Roundtree runs a little out that turns into a hitch as it reaches the sideline and Forcier sees no one else open so he goes for it despite the route being a couple yards short of the sticks and unlikely to pick up the first down. It's batted down, the first of the year. (BA, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-20, 14 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M39 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA Rollout TE cross Koger 15
Zone read fake to a rollout pass with outside protection being provided by a pulling Schilling. Koger streaks across the formation and is Forcier's second read, one that he comes to late. By the time he throws he's risking an interception from Sash, but he does zip it in there for a first down. Should have thrown it earlier. (On replay... maybe not.) Extremely impressed by the WLB's ability to stick with an Odoms circle route—the first read—despite the PA fake. (DO, 2, protection 2/2)
O46 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Flare screen Minor 1
This play as run just can't work. The outside WR comes back to crack down on an inside player and the pass is thrown outside, so the corner just shoots upfield. A DL is coming back, too... there's nowhere to go. I don't know if it's timing or scheme or Iowa's D or what. I lean towards something other than Iowa's D since Michigan's screen game has been subpar all year. (CA, 3, screen)
O45 2 9 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Edge pitch Shaw 4
Iowa in press man so Hemingway just runs downfield for ten yards and then starts blocking his guy, taking him out of the play. Odoms gets an effective block on the LB; Sash fills quickly and well, forcing the play to the sidelines. Still picks up five. There's huge amounts of room to cut up into if Michigan can turn this into a speed option and take that backside DE out of the play. As it is Shaw has one cut, outside.
O41 3 5 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Circle Odoms Inc
You like this matchup, with Odoms running another circle on a linebacker but with tons of room outside since it's to the field. Forcier sees it, fires it, Binns knocks it down. Binns wasn't even pass rushing, really, he just gave a little push to Dorrestein and then dropped back. Lazy fortune or telepathic offense destroying tweak? Dunno. (BA, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-23, 9 min 3rd Q. Forcier pooch time. Michigan is very unfortunate to see this kick hit at the eleven but bounce backwards.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M43 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 6
Again they're blocking the backside DE. Michigan cannot successfully scoop the backside DT but the double does end up driving him down the line and downfield a bit, which opens up a cutback since the backside DE is busy. Minor decides to take it eventually, meeting an unblocked MLB two yards downfield and turning it into five. Forcier, again, seems to have the edge if he keeps it.
M49 2 4 Ace trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Minor 5
Michigan to the line quickly, pushing the tempo. This is a virtual replay of the last play when it comes to the blocking, with a hard slant from the backside DT thwarting an attempted scoop and Minor cutting behind that. This time the cut is quicker and Michigan releases downfield on the LB, leaving the backside DE unblocked. He makes a diving tackle attempt that Minor powers through, stumbling for a first down.
O46 1 10 I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Iso Minor 10
Old fashioned power football with Michigan getting a small crease between a DT and DE and shooting Minor into it to take out one linebacker. Grady gets him but doesn't exactly bury him, leaving Minor to hurdle a linebacker, run through an attempted arm tackle from the DE, and RAGE into the secondary, where three guys eventually take him down.
O36 2 In I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Waggle scramble Forcier 1
Ortmann(-2) starts run blocking the backside DE and gets shucked, leaving Forcier one-on-one with this guy immediately and in possession of no open receivers. He does a good job to juke him and head upfield, squeezing out the first down. (PR, 0, protection 0/2, Ortmann -2)
O35 1 10 I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Waggle dumpoff Grady(24) 4
Run fake with the rollout for Forcier; has plenty of time but can't find anyone open. Grady, blocking a DE, eventually lets his block go and slips into the flat. Forcier hits him for a small gain. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
O31 2 6 I-Form 3-wide 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone right Minor 7
Iowa stunting the DTs, so the playside guy runs himself out of the play and the backside guy can fight through the scoop effectively, which he does, all he wants without closing down the hole. Linebacker sees Grady head outside and follows him, allowing Minor to slam it upfield for the first down. Not really good execution, but caught Iowa in the wrong D here. (RPS +1)
O24 1 10 I-Form Twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone left Minor 4
Good reach block by Moosman but not a great one as the Iowa DT releases, gives a little ground, and then starts flowing down the line. That does open up some room between himself and the DE. Two LBs hit the hole and are taken out by Schilling and Grady, but there's not a whole lot of room. The DE comes inside Ortmann to tackle. This happens two yards downfield and the whole mass of humanity is lurching forward, giving Michigan a couple more.
O20 2 6 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Edge pitch Minor 12
The most effective one of these on the night. Odoms, Koger, and Mathews get good blocks on the edge and Minor(+1) first threatens to cut upfield, drawing the LB Koger's blocking inside. He then bounces it to the sideline, picking up the first with room to spare.
O8 1 G Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Shaw 7
Minor out for a blow after running 6 of the previous 8 plays. Michigan runs the stretch, and Shaw decides to attack the gap behind Moosman after Moosman ends up pancaking the playside DT, albeit after he didn't get the reach on him. Michigan's doubled and blown back the backside DT, though. Schilling(+1) pops out on the MLB, giving Shaw a lane he shoots into, falling at the one after hurdling detritus.
O1 2 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Iso Minor 1
Minor slams it up in a mess of bodies, meets a DT at the two, and drags him into the endzone.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 21-23, 4 min 3rd Q. The drive of rage.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M2 1 10 Ace twins 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone right Minor 0
I think this is at least partially on Minor, who takes an angle right into the heart of the Iowa D instead of attacking the gap between the NT and the DE to that side. Other than that it's wholesale OL fail, with Schilling(-1) the culprit who actually lets an Iowa defender through. It pains me to see Iowa eight yards off the LOS on the outside; long handoff is at least a few.
M2 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Improv Fly Stonum Inc
Spectacular pass protection, though M has six guys against four blockers. Forcier sits in the pocket forever, finding no one before loading up and attempting to find Stonum deep; the ball is overthrown. Live I thought this had a chance and Stonum made yet another poor adjustment on a deep ball. (IN, 1, protection 3/3.) No replay, unfortunately, so I can't confirm that suspicion.
M2 3 10 I-Form Twins 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout fly Mathews Inc
Iowa all over this; Hemingway is way, way covered on the out, and Mathews is the only other guy in the route. Forcier just loads up and chucks a hopeful deep ball that a safety comes over and nearly intercepts. Given the situation and the depth of the throw, fine. I don't really know what to chart this. It was a nearly uncatchable throw into double coverage that I would have actually liked to have seen intercepted, as it would have been a 50+ yard punt with no return. I'm not charting it. (N/A, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-23, 13 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M26 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Penalty False start -- -5
Rodrigez... eh... slightly mad.
M21 1 15 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Random chuck Roundtree Inc
Iowa runs the stunt where the DT loops all the way around the opposite DE, and it gets a DT in unblocked. Forcier starts running around, can't find anyone, and just chucks a jump ball to a double-covered Roundtree. Tres horrible. (BR, 0, protection 0/2, team)
M21 2 15 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Draw Minor 1
Huyge(-1) driven back and owned to the inside, as is Moosman, so there's no hole here. Man, Iowa isn't going to go for this in this situation.
M22 3 14 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Throwaway -- Inc
Again the same stunt, this time it gets Schilling(-2) confused and a DT through; Forcier scrambles out and dumps it. (TA, 0, protection 0/2, Schilling -2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-30, 11 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M41 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 8
Pretty simple as Michigan just doubles and seals the playside DT and shoots Minor at the MLB. MLB gets banged, then grabs Robinson as he zips by. Robinson keeps the legs moving and picks up four more after contact. Maybe this is more of a QB iso than a draw.
M49 2 2 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB zone stretch Robinson 2
Designed to go outside and gets there thanks to a good job from Dorrestein(+1) on the edge DE; MLB does an excellent job shucking Huyge(-1) and getting to Robinson as he moves up past the LOS; Minor, running past, attempts to react but does so too late.
O49 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Robinson 5
Same play as the first on this drive; this time the MLB attacks immediately, getting to Minor at the LOS and causing some delay from Robinson in the backfield that allows him to tackle earlier and cut down on the YAC. Still, zippy Robinson grabs some yards.
O44 2 5 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout hitch Stonum 9
Spastically wide open as the corner to that side bails out into a deep, deep zone. Robinson hits him. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O35 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB sweep Robinson 3
Michigan pulls Huyge around, attacking the gap up the middle of the field.Robinson thinks he's got a crease behind Koger and in front of the LT because the playside DT has given a lot of ground, but Angerer evades an Ortmann(-1) block and Koger loses his guy, so everything collapses around Robinson after a minor gain. Second level blocking from the tackles has been problematic all year.
O32 2 7 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Scramble Robinson 9
Robinson's got Stonum on that same hitch if he's decisive about it, but he's not. Meanwhile, the linebackers are understandably focused on Robinson and let Odoms by; he reads the safety coming up on him and breaks it outside, waving his arms as the Iowa LBs go into zone drops. Sash comes up. Robinson decides “screw it, I'm Denard Robinson” and takes off. He zips past a couple DL and is into the second level, where he WOOPS Angerer and trips, but after he gets the first down. (TA, N/A, protection 2/2)
O23 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB zone stretch Robinson 8
Excellent sealing block from Moosman(+1) on the playside DT gives Michigan a big crease they use to good effect. Schilling gets a free release on the MLB and gets a block, but Angerer is really good at getting off blocks and grabs Robinson as he zips but; I'd really prefer it if the lead blockers here would whack the linebackers on a double and leave the safeties for Robinson.
O15 2 2 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout hitch Hemingway 6
Same play as earlier; well executed and the Iowa corner is still playing off. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O9 1 G Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Shaw 2
Decent job by Moosman to reach the backside DT but he does not successfully bang him back far enough for Schilling to execute a scoop. Huyge(-1) basically gets beaten by the playside DT, so Shaw has to cut back. Schilling is improvising and trying to block Angerer, which isn't going that well but bothers him enough for Shaw to try a freakin' awesome spin move... that gets him lit up by the backside DE because Ortmann(-1) got smoked. One block from Ortmann from some highlight-reel-stuff.
O7 2 G Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB zone stretch Robinson 4
Moosman seals the playside DT excellently, getting a crease for Robinson to hit. Schilling(-1) again misses Angerer, who's been great on this drive, and forces Robinson back into a morass of bodies that Michigan is shoving towards the end zone. They eventually come to a halt at the three.
O3 3 G Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Goal line Run QB off tackle Robinson 3
Version of a power off tackle we've seen from a lot of opponents with Michigan down-blocking on the line and using Minor as a lead blocker; Iowa's all over it but Minor bumps two separate Hawkeyes outside and the unprepared Iowa line has been crushed inside by the downblocks, allowing Robinson to squeeze under the last remaining Iowa LB for a touchdown.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 28-30, 3 min 4th Q. Weirdly methodical, that.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M17 1 10 Shotgun empty 0 1 4 Base 4-3 Pass Deep comeback Odoms 14
Iowa's DT-outside-DE stunt gets in again but just as the DT is coming around to crush Robinson he zings one right on the money to Odoms between three guys for a first down. Dang. (DO, 2, protection 0/2, Ortmann -1, Schilling -1)
M31 1 10 Shotgun empty 0 1 4 Base 4-3 Run QB sweep Robinson 7
Line pass rushing so he gets outside easily, but Angerer is dropping off and unblocked, so he has to dodge outside into the secondary and does well to pick up seven. Very questionable playcall given the situation.
M38 2 3 Shotgun empty 0 1 4 Base 4-3 Pass Fly Hemingway Int
Aigh. Odoms is running hand-wavingly open after Michigan ran off dudes in zone coverage but a pressured, panicked Robinson chucks it deep at a safety, who picks it off. Maybe Hemingway could have done something with this if he hadn't broken his route off, and I don't know who that's on, but even if Hemingway continues he's throwing it basically at this safety, who didn't even have to move. Guy was covered. Odoms was not. (BR, 0, protection 0/2, team -2). Damn Iowa stunt worked again BTW.
Drive Notes: Interception, 28-30, EOG.

 Answer the question one more time. And don't fake like you don't know what I'm talking about.

If I'm going to do that I'll need a—



(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


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 - -

This will be no surprise, but that was Forcier's worst game of his career. The only thing that came close was the who-cares Eastern game and that didn't approach this one in terms of damage. The downfield success rate* in this game was 8 / 16 = 50%, which is not good and is way short of the 70% he picked up against Michigan State. Also, the chart doesn't quite get how disastrous a couple of the throws were: one screen IN was a fumble and one of the BRs was the game-opening "anything you can do, Stanzi, I can do better" interception.

Forcier's zone read metric was +1, –3 = –2.

Robinson, on the other hand, was doing awesome until he ignored a hand-wavingly wide open Martavious Odoms on the last play of the game. I have seen Odoms ignored on more hand-wavingly wide open routes than anyone to date; someone get that midget a neon helmet.

*((DO + CA) / All Throws Not MA or PR)

So… the question?

Aw, hell, I don't want to talk about it anymore. If you were just going on the Iowa game it made total sense. If you incorporated Forcier's previous late game magic, it still didn't. The charts basically say what everyone already new: Forcier played very poorly. That was never in question.

So… more charts?

More charts.

The receivers didn't have a lot to do:

This Game Totals
Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Hemingway 1 - 0/1 1/1 3 - 1/2 7/7
Mathews - - - - 7 1/4 1/2 6/6
Stonum 1 0/1 - 1/1 2 1/3 3/4 9/9
Savoy - - - - 2 - 0/1 3/3
Odoms 1 0/1 1/2 2/2 4 1/3 4/6 12/13
Grady-19 - - - 0/1 2 - 1/1 8/11
Roundtree 2 - - - 3 - 1/2 -
Rogers - - - - - - - -
Koger - 1/1 1/1 1/1 - 3/4 3/4 6/7
Webb - - - - 1 - - 2/3
Minor - - - 1/1 - - - 1/1
Brown - - - - - 1/3 1/1 5/6
Shaw - - - - - - 0/1 -
Smith - - - - - - - -
Grady-24 - - - 1/1 - - - 1/1

I may have been generous in filing a couple of those 2s; they were borderline and you'd like to see Odoms and Hemingway catch those, though you can understand why they might not have. The most interesting things on the chart to me: no attempts to Mathews, who also may have lost his punt return job after the muff, and Koger's picked up 6/8 tough or moderate catches so far this year. He needs the ball more, I think.

As for the protection:

PROTECTION METRIC: 25/41, Team –6, Huyge –2, Moosman –1, Dorrestein –1, Ortmann –3, Schilling –3.

That is not good, and is responsible for a lot of Forcier's running around. He was willing to sit in the pocket when he got one, but that wasn't often. And I'd say 60-70% of the negatives—all of the "team" negs and probably half of the player-specific ones—came on this:

This stunt never failed to get pressure and never opened anything up for Michigan; very frustrating they couldn't adjust to it even after Iowa had run it 6, 7, 8 times. Michigan did get a couple of good runs out of it, but in pass protection they got killed.

The run game bounced back from the State game, didn't it?

Absolutely. Watch Schilling and Moosman:

With Minor in Michigan did that a lot, doubling the backside DT and blasting some RAGE right up the middle of the field. That, too, was a new wrinkle in the run game that didn't show up against Michigan State.

And here watch Moosman seal the defensive tackle by himself:

That basically never happened against MSU, and I don't think it's got much to do with the quality of Iowa's DL versus Michigan State's. The offensive line bounced back from the ugly day against State, further suggesting that Dantonio has put a lot of effort into defending the spread 'n' shred and Michigan must go into next year's game prepared to break any and all previous tendencies.

Here's where we get back to the stuff about the Iowa defense: I wonder if Norm Parker will be this two-deep and passive against Michigan in future years. This game reminded me a lot of Corwin Brown's Notre Dame defenses, which absolutely loved leaving two safeties back on every play and got gashed by Michigan every year until he was deposed by Tenuta. It worked for Iowa in this game, though just barely, because of a slew of unforced errors and that damn stunt above. Given the Iowa D's rep, I bet they'll sit back even when Michigan has the spread 'n' shred up at full thresh, and in years like that they'll get blown apart. Watching the film, I was struck by a lack of adaptation on Iowa's part. They're fundamentally good but very boring, and I think that will play to Michigan's advantage going forward.

Why couldn't Michigan break this sort of stuff out against Michigan State?

The edge pitch is pretty obvious: don't want to debut a new play that can result in a fumble if your dinged up quarterback doesn't throw it in the right spot. The subtle variations in the run game, though, could have been inserted and I'm not sure why they weren't. Michigan blocked the backside defensive end quite a bit in this game, and that opened up a lot of cutback runs a crashing DE would have wiped out. I also think it convinced that backside DE that Michigan was not running a zone read and caused him to give up quarterback contain, because it certainly didn't look like there was anyone on Forcier much of the day. Not that it mattered, because Michigan was creasing the line time and again.

The only thing I can think of is that they were still trying to figure out the basics with their reconfigured offensive line and weren't confident enough in those, so they spent their time trying to get that down instead of putting in bells and whistles. Even that explanation is not very convincing. Maybe they just screwed up.


I'd say Minor but for the fumble. How about the interior OL, which had a very good day against the Hawkeye front? Also, Koger and Odoms are productive and look like they'll continue being productive.


Forcier and the Mysterious Reason Michigan Couldn't Block That Stunt.

What does it mean for Delaware Penn State and beyond?

The debacle against Michigan State appears to be the lesser of two evils: MSU has just turned in anomalously good rush defense performances two straight years. The run game is not a smoke-and-mirrors fraud. Almost 200 yards against Iowa is a good output, especially when the long run of the evening was twelve yards*. If Michigan could have put together a decent passing game or not, you know, been –4 in turnover margin, we'd be spending this week rhapsodizing about the offensive line and MINOR RAGE.

Minor's ankle might not be totally healthy, but it's good enough for government work.

In the passing game: Odoms has taken hold of the slot receiver position and it looks like Mathews is getting a little marginalized. It's hard to tell given the output there. Forcier had a bad game but remains the #1 guy, without question. Robinson should get a lot of time against Delaware State, where we can all see him wing some bad passes and fret about it.

*(General theory here is that long runs are sort of random and very distorting.)



October 15th, 2009 at 2:58 PM ^

off" was that the previous "comeback kid" Tate was never this bad. He generally didn't throw passes so recklessly, and his numbers show that. In the MSU game his numbers before his miraculous comeback were not bad and most of the time they were just flat out drops by the WRs but this time things were different.

I still think that keeping in DR was the correct call and as the HenneChart showed in comparison to the MSU game it really wasn't even a comparison or even comparable situations.


October 15th, 2009 at 3:11 PM ^

Is it just me or does the idea of Robinson running that edge pitch with the option to run make you salivate?

It seems like the pitch wasn't a read, just an automatic play, but I could easily see that turning into an option play.

los barcos

October 15th, 2009 at 3:30 PM ^

as my avatar will suggest (circus catch against WMU) i love the kid. except at state, he seemed to catch everything tacopants can catch and then some.

really want to see him get more involved...

S.G. Rice

October 15th, 2009 at 3:54 PM ^

That's a lot of minuses for the line in general.

Still, the run blocking seemed to be pretty effective - Iowa didn't seem to have an answer to either the I formation drive or the all-Denard drive. Let's hope it continues.


October 15th, 2009 at 4:18 PM ^

So, Michigan Monday magically dismissed 53 rushing yards from the Minor TD drive because those runs were out of I Form. By my count, 30 of the rushing yards from that drive were out of shotgun.

So yeah, more head scratching about Michigan Monday's odd analysis.


October 15th, 2009 at 5:18 PM ^

That column is garbage anymore. The author doesn't take the topic seriously, always going for the dumb jokes and cheap rips on Michigan. If the author doesn't care about crafting a legitimate assessment of Michigan's team, why should we waste our time reading it? I've got better things to do with my time than get agitated by a meathead Buckeye.


October 16th, 2009 at 9:42 PM ^

Yes, you'll always get a couple of cheap shots . . . he's writing it for an OSU blog after all.

But it's not a hatchet job. You get some legitimate analysis that adds a fresh perspective to our often insular maize-colored world.


October 15th, 2009 at 7:35 PM ^

I'm disappointed with the running game despite the fact that they ran for 195 yards. Iowa played in nickel for the entire game and Michigan failed to take advantage of it because they should be able to run on them all night long but they didn't. I'd understand if Iowa used their base 4-3 defense instead of nickel but since it's not, Michigan have them beat in numbers.


October 15th, 2009 at 9:50 PM ^

but Iowa defense never deviate from the nickel package so Michigan should be able to do a lot more with 5-6 men in the box. I actually gave the running game a B- despite the 195 rushing yards. You better average about 7-9 yards a carry if they are facing against nickel defense to force them to go to their base 4-3 defense. That will open up the passing game.

Regarding your analysis, of course the running game has improved from MSU. It's not hard to improve when you have 5-6 men in the box for the entire game.


October 16th, 2009 at 10:05 AM ^

someone get that midget a neon helmet.

This, by the way, is the exact reason they all have wings on their helmets in the first place.

Okay, joking aside, quarterback BRs are becoming kind of a thing, now.

So I'm going to suggest a culprit: height?

Just hypothesizing here, but Tate and Denard are both shorter than any lineman, offensive or defensive, they have yet faced. I can't help but wonder if the tremendous trouble Tate has been having with the zone read is because he can't see it. Same with some of the downfield reads.

Until this week, we've largely avoided the BA stat because of scrambly/rollouty throws, but both of these came from linebackers sitting like a monkey-in-the-middle. If it's Drew Henson tossing a ball to David Terrell rather than Forcier to Odoms, there's a lot more room to zing this one -- a PBU from a sitting linebacker isn't even a second thought.



OTOH, on the last play of the game, it's complete impatience. The LB is sticking with Odoms for the first part of his route, but then drops into a middle zone, which gives Odoms the open look. However, the second this happens, Denard is already loading up for a downfield prayer. If Robinson keeps his composure for half a second longer, he can see Odoms, and M has a 1st down at the 50 out of bounds.

So though size matters, my null hypothesis is so far kind of bunk. Size does matter, but it's not nearly as troublesome as being a scared little freshman.


October 16th, 2009 at 10:05 AM ^

Watching the game I didn't realize the difference. We had 6 possessions in the first half and Iowa only stopped us once. (the others were 3 turnovers, 1 TD and an unforced stumble for 3rd and long) In the second half though, Iowa stopped us on 4 of 5 Forcier led drives. They seemed to adjust to us and shut our offense down until Denard came in. I can now totally understand why Denard stayed in. Can't fault Rodriguez for the decision imho. Also, it really sucks that we beat ourselves in this one.

On the other hand, I predicted we would get crushed by 20 points. Now I look at the schedule and think there isn't anyone left who we don't have a good chance of beating. Not that we will win out, but I have a lot more hope for this team than before.


October 16th, 2009 at 12:32 PM ^

the phrase "good enough for government work" was used during world war II as a compliment-----that is, only the best quality ammo, weapons, etc., were good enough for the soldiers, sailors, who were to use them. only later did the phrase come mean "adequate" or something similar