Upon Further Review: Offense vs Northwestern Comment Count

Brian November 20th, 2008 at 1:56 PM

(A note on the video: for some reason this format combines oddly with the software I use to make clips, so sometimes there's 5 seconds of junk before the plays. I can't figure it out in a timely fashion; sorry.)

A second note on the video: never mind. Viddler has disabled my account for hosting "pirated" material. Argh fair use anyone?

Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O8 1 G Ace twins Base 4-3 Run Dive Shaw 2
Odoms comes on an end-around fake designed to hold the OLB outside as Ortmann and Ferrara double the Northwestern DT; Shaw is supposed to hit the hole between them and Koger, blocking the DE. Koger(-1) does not seal his guy and since it's an eight man front Northwestern's safety is tight to the LOS. Shaw only picks up a couple.
O6 2 G Ace Bear 5-3 Pass PA FB Flat Moundros Inc
Moundros has the step and a half he needs on the NW linebackers; if Sheridan can loop the ball over the first guy this is a touchdown. Instead it's on a line and one of the LBs makes a diving interception attempt. (IN, 0, protection NA)
O6 3 G Shotgun trips Nickel Pass Slant Stonum Inc
The NW corner jumps the route, breaking it up and nearly intercepting. This is probably a combination of things: Sheridan staring it down, a poor route from Stonum, and Sheridan's lack of arm strength. (BR, 0, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Blocked FG(23), 0-0, 12 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M34 1 10 Shotgun trips Nickel Run Zone read veer Shaw 7
The play on the backside where Michigan tries to slice up past the unblocked defensive end and into the second level lickety-split. On this one there's a pretty decent gap but the DE recovers just enough to tackle a passing Shaw before he can try to burst past a safety.
M41 2 3 Shotgun trips Nickel Run Zone read stretch Shaw 3
Good reach block by Molk gets Michigan that same gap between the playside DT and DE. Unfortunately, Ortmann's attempt to cut the backside DT ends up causing Ferrara to stumble and his cut attempt on the MLB fails; he's sitting in the hole and tackles after a short gain. That one cut block is the difference between two yards and twenty.
M44 3 In Shotgun trips Nickel Run QB lead draw Sheridan 9
First time we've deployed this all year I think. NW only has six in the box for some reason, so Ferrara blocks down on the DT and Ortmann kicks out the DE and Shaw clunks the LB and Sheridan gets the first down easily.
O47 1 10 Shotgun trips Nickel Pass Bubble screen Odoms Inc
Too far in front of Odoms and incomplete. (IN, 1, screen)
O47 2 10 Shotgun 2-back Nickel Run Zone read stretch Shaw -1
Playside DE slants between Moosman and Schilling, getting into the backfield and forcing a cutback from Shaw; there he's getting close down by the backside DE and has to deal with a number of Northwestern defenders coming free of blocks; right now two guys and the slanting DE are five yards behind the LOS. It does not end well.
O48 3 11 Shotgun 2-back 3-2-6 Dime Pass Throwaway -- Inc
Northwestern rushes three; Sheridan can't find anyone and starts rolling up in the pocket, eventually chucking it OOB in the vague area of Mathews as he was about to get sacked. (TA, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-7, 7 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M39 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel Run Zone read keeper Sheridan 8
This is a designed keeper with Moundros shooting backside to block whoever he can block; with the backside DE crashing down hard he actually takes on the NW nickelback; Sheridan takes it upfield for a good gain.
M47 2 2 Shotgun trips Nickel Run Zone read stretch Brown 4
So NW's decided that to defend this they will shoot a DT into Molk on the snap in an attempt to drive him back; this time the guy ends up falling to the ground as Molk is driven back. Brown cuts up behind, where Ortmann and Ferrara are doubling the backside DT. The backside DE is crashing down and forces Brown into the various defenders towards the middle of the field; Brown can't get to the frontside crease fast enough to try and shoot into the secondary but does pick up the first.
O49 1 10 Shotgun trips Nickel Pass Bubble screen Odoms 8
Michigan catches NW blitzing off the corner so this is a good playcall for the situation; Massey does get a good block but Odoms is forced inside of him, where a safety comes up and pops the ball free; it hops out of bounds. (CA, 3, screen)
O41 2 2 Shotgun 2-back Nickel Run Zone read counter Brown 1
DT on the nominal playside splits Molk(-1) and Ferrara, forcing Brown to cut back. This would be okay since Moundros is out there blocking the backside DE except said DE has crashed inside. The DE then inexplicably decides Sheridan must have the ball and bugs out, opening up a crease, but Brown has bumped into Moosman and loses his momentum; he ends up falling forward.
O40 3 1 I-Form twins Base 4-3 Run Zone left Brown 0
Yay our old friend, except not yay. A great play from the NW MLB to shoot up into the gap; Molk(-1) is trying to help out on a DT and reacts too slowly to get a hand on him. Brown is slung down for no gain. Again we have a fullback just heading outside, which I really don't understand on third and one.
O40 4 1 Ace Base 4-3 Run Inside zone Brown 3
Moundros is an H-back on this play and shoots backside to take out a defensive end; that defensive end has crashed inside and would force a bounce if Brown were to attempt to go left. He doesn't have to, though, with the backside DE flying upfield—fooled by the playcall—and a doubled DT giving two yards; there's a sizeable crease he hits for the first
O37 1 10 Shotgun trips Nickel Run Zone read stretch Brown 11
Molk gets a reach block on Gill, who killed Michigan last year and is lined up playside here. On the backside Moosman and Schilling execute an excellent scoop; Ferrara gets a free release on one linebacker and Moosman gets out on the second; Brown splits them and is a safety away from six points.
O26 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel Run QB stretch Sheridan 3
Brown motions out; we've run a screen out of this formation a number of times. This time we just run the old QB stretch play. Moosman and Molk scoop the playside DT and Molk gets blown back some but just manages to hold enough ground to provide a crease; Sheridan through the line, meeting the WLB as he lined up and reacted in such a way that Ortmann had no angle to block him.
O23 2 7 Shotgun trips Nickel Run Zone read stretch Brown 17
Northwestern blitzes the linebackers, so the backside DT isn't flowing down the line; Ferrara(+1) cuts one of the LBs down and Molk(+1( manages to abort his current mission, helping the frontside double, to shove/brush/alter the path of the other guy, who Schilling then cuts. Crease, no linebackers, hello secondary. I really wish Brown didn't go down so easily on this one; with Mathews blocking downfield a cut outside might make this a touchdown.
O6 1 G Shotgun trips Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Shaw 3
NW slanting hard to the playside on this one, so the frontside crease we're so used to by now isn't there. Molk can't get the DT sealed, so he rides him upfield. Double on the backside shoves the DT along, opening up some room between him and the backside DE; Shaw takes it up there, meeting an unblocked linebacker and going nowhere.
O3 2 G Shotgun trips Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Sheridan 3
With the third linebacker guy flexed wide Michigan's only got two LB to deal with who can stop this from being a touchdown, and with the DTs shooting upfield there's a gap; Shaw blocks the linebacker, and Sheridan has an easy TD.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-7, EO1Q. By the way: college football presented by Kay Jewelers? Whose brilliant idea is that?
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M21 1 10 Shotgun trips Nickel Run Busted play Sheridan 0
Actually going to be a gap-blocked dive that attempts to go over the left side of the line—is it just me or do they seem to be running over Ortmann and Ferrarra more than Moosman and Schilling?--but Molk provides a high snap that Sheridan does well to field at all; this prevents a handoff. Sheridan gets what he can.
M21 2 10 Shotgun trips Nickel Pass Fly Mathews 24
They pump a flare screen and then Sheridan chucks up a pop fly with Wooten in his face; he beat Moosman(-1) and Molk(-1) to get there as fast as you can. The throw is ridiculously short; Mathews(+1) adjusts on it and reels it in. (MA, 2, protection 0/2)
M45 1 10 Shotgun trips Nickel Pass Long handoff Stonum 3
Eh. (CA, 3, screen)
M48 2 7 Shotgun trips Nickel Run Zone read stretch Brown 3
Molk again just manages to get the reach block without getting driven back into the RB; Brown has to take a more upfield angle then cut hard as he clears Molk. Great downfield blocks from Moosman and Ferrara clear out the linebackers, but Schilling's(-1) backside cut block doesn't even slow Wooten down and he tackles as Brown approaches the LOS. Again, one block from a big gainer.
O49 3 4 Shotgun empty 2TE Base 4-3 Pass Rollout – hitch Savoy 6
Two h-backs; Moundros comes in motion to the right side of the field, doubling up over there, and Michigan rolls that way. Sheridan gets some time until an OLB comes up; Savoy is wide open for the first down and Sheridan hits him, but forces him off his feet, removing the possibility of YAC. (MA, 2, protection 1/1)
O43 1 10 Shotgun trips Nickel Pass Long handoff Savoy Inc
Dropped. (CA, 3, screen.) Wasn't going anywhere anyway. No one is scared of Laterryal Savoy's Death From Above.
O43 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Brown 8 (Pen -7)
Same story as the last stretch, mostly: Molk almost gets blown back into the ballcarrier but he holds enough ground to create a crease. This time the MLB to that side is very aggressive, attacking the LOS; Moosman(+1) gets a shove on him as he passes, then comes back to hit him as he rises to attempt a tackle; Brown runs through the flailing arms, and Brown is away for a good gain. Ferrara gets dinged for a downfield hold, and, yeah, he did. Unnecessary, too.
50 2 17 Shotgun 4-wide Base 4-3 Pass Throwback screen Mathews Inc
Winged well over Mathews' head. (IN, 0, screen)
50 3 17 Shotgun 4-wide 3-2-6 Dime Run Draw Brown 17
Only five guys in the box so this is likely to go for some yards; Massey and Ferrara(+1 each) get good downfield blocks and Brown splits the two linebackers, then jukes a safety(+1), picking up the extra five yards he needs for the first.
O33 1 10 Shotgun trips Nickel Run Zone read stretch Brown 0
Molk(-1) gets beat on this one, giving up too much ground and allowing Gill to come underneath him. Brown has to cut back. He heads upfield and should try to bounce it all the way back behind Sheridan—Steve Slaton used to do that to good effect—but instead just runs into a bunch of dudes.
O33 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide Nickel Pass Out Koger Inc
Open as they catch NW in man. If Koger has another yard or two to the sideline he can turn this up; as it is he ends up running OOB. Oh, and also dropping it. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O33 3 10 Shotgun 3-wide 3-2-6 Dime Pass Rollout – hitch Stonum 7
Similar play as the previous hitch out of a different formation; Sheridan rolls and rolls, finally finding Stonum well short of the sticks. Stonum picks up another three and makes going for it plausible. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O26 4 3 Shotgun trips bunch Base 4-3 Pass Rollout – hitch Stonum Inc
A linebacker comes flying up as Sheridan gets into his roll, forcing an early throw. Sheridan tries to get it to Stonum only to see the ball undercut and nearly intercepted. (BR, 0, protection 0/1, team)
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 7-7, 8 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M1 1 10 Ace Base 4-3 Run QB sneak Sheridan 2
Acquisition of breathing room.
M3 2 8 I-Form twins Base 4-3 Run Iso Brown 11
Corner rolled up tight so this is an eight-man front with one deep safety. This is a pure iso up the gut on which Moundros(+1) obliterates the MLB, sending Brown into the secondary, where he makes a sweet spin move to evade the rolled up corner and safety. Free of those two, he picks up the first down. Major + play from Brown here.
M14 1 10 I-Form twins Base 4-3 Run Iso Brown 1
Same play; on this one Moundros and the LB collide a bit further upfield, which causes Brown to hesitate, at which point he is set upon by NW DL breaking through their blocks.
M15 2 9 Shotgun 4-wide Base 4-3 Run Dive Brown 2
Gap blocked with Molk pulling around Moosman, but Northwestern has two linebackers shaded well inside of the outside receivers and one of them pops Brown just as he arrives at the LOS. Play cries out for a bubble screen. Inexplicably, NW does not call timeout with the clock running under a minute and M facing a third and seven inside their own twenty.
M18 1 10 Shotgun trips Nickel Run QB lead draw Sheridan 2
No one is surprised by this and it picks up a couple as Michigan is content to run, burn a TO, and punt.
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-7, 1 min 2nd Q. Important conversion by Brown basically robs NW of an opportunity for a short-field two-minute drill.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M31 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Brown 3
NW blitzing away from the play, which allows them to slant hard to the playside. Molk gives up on the idea of getting out on the playside DT, leaving him for Moosman; Brown cuts up behind him. No real crease; missed cut on the backside DE, who's flowing down the line, leads to a tackle by that guy and maybe cuts down the gain by a couple yards.
M34 2 7 Shotgun 2-back Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Sheridan -3
WLB has the contain here; he reads the keeper excellently and cuts down Sheridan immediately.
M31 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel Pass Flare screen Brown 2
Brown motions out to make this an empty set; Michigan throws this little flare screen. Odoms(-1) completely whiffs his block, though to be fair this seems like an obvious playcall. This forces Brown to evade the safety, delaying him and allowing NW DL to peel back and tackle as he nears the LOS. (CA, 3, screen)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-7, 13 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M23 1 10 Shotgun 2-back Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Shaw 3
So in this half NW has been slanting hard to the playside such that Molk isn't even trying to get to the playside DT and is instead releasing. This means the hole should be between Ferrara and Moosman with Molk blocking someone downfield; on this play Moosman(-1) doesn't get a seal and the backside DT meets Shaw at the LOS; they fall forward
M26 2 7 Shotgun 2-back Base 4-3 Pass Hitch Mathews Inc
This is so inaccurate I think it might be a mis-run route, but results based charting service and all that. (IN, 0, protection 1/1). Also, it's Mathews so I think this is probably on Sheridan.
M26 3 7 Shotgun 2-back Base 4-3 Pass Rollout – hitch Stonum Inc
This got a “pass interference!” roar from the stands but here it's hard to tell and we get no replay. As it is, Sheridan attempts to chuck it to well-covered Stonum, who does not make the catch because of either excellent coverage or horrible uncalled PI; Clemons was open on a hitch for likely first down yardage. I don't really know what to file this. I think (BR, 1, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-14, 10 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M39 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Clemons 3
Open by NW's formation and should go for a good gain with Savoy coming down to block the guy tasked with flying out and killing the bubble; he gets tossed to the groun but the delay should be enough to get Clemons outside, where the safety's playing off and will have to give up six to eight. Instead Clemons cuts inside, meeting the guy who discarded Savoy. (CA, 3, screen)
M42 2 7 Shotgun trips Base 4-3 Run ISQD Feagin 1
Molk/Moosman manage to get the reach, but Schiling(-1) has been pushed away by the DE and there's a LB in the hole. Brown tries to block him; there's no crease and Feagin goes down at the LOS.
M43 3 6 Shotgun trips Nickel Pass Improv Massey Inc
Sheridan hangs back in the pocket, finding no one. Eventually, a DT comes through the line, forcing him to scramble out. He finds Massey open for the first down the sideline but throws it well out of bounds. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-21, 8 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M29 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass Rollout – seam Odoms Inc
Sheridan rolls out; Moundros clocks a linebacker, giving him time, and Sheridan throws it two yards over Odoms' head. He was covered; outside receiver or Moundros was open. Pretty awful play. (BR, 0, protection 1/1)
M29 2 10 I-Form twins Base 4-3 Run Pitch sweep Brown 4
Actually an eight-man front here. Schilling(-1) driven way back by the DT, forcing Brown to take an angle upfield. He would get killed but for a linebacker Moosman's trying to get a block on tripping over a prone Mathews. Moundros pops the guy who Mathews cut and Minor manages to squeeze between the two guys at the LOS, hop over the prone Moosman couplet, and gain four yards before NW shows up in force.
M33 3 6 Shotgun 2-back Base 4-3 Pass Rollout – sack -- -1
Our formation with both backs to one side of Sheridan. Michigan rolls the pocket; Sheridan looks deep and finds no one. Schilling's guy went right around him and he's now hunting Sheridan from the backside and doing a sack/strip job. The ball wanders around until Odoms comes back to pick it up. (TA, 0, protection 0/2, Schilling -2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-21, 5 min 3rd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M4 1 10 Ace Base 4-3 Run Dive Brown 1
Threet in. Moundros is headed backside to take out the normally unblocked DE, but he's crashing down the line and Moundros(-1) mostly misses; no hole, many bodies, end of run.
M5 2 9 I-Form twins Base 4-3 Run Iso Brown 13
Right up the gut. Blocking makes it look like this is a stretch so the DT over Molk starts slanting and gets shoved out of the hole by Ferrara; backside DE sealed on a good block from Ortmann(+1). Molk(+1 pops one linebacker and Moundros (+1) crushes the other. Crease and first down.
M18 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Brown 3
I don't know what's going on here, as no one tries to block the playside DT; miscommunication from Moosman and Molk(-1 each). He's into the backfield quickly but not quite quickly enough and Brown can just squeeze by as he makes a diving tackle attempt that just trips Brown up. Big play if he can keep his feet.
M21 2 7 I-Form trips Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Brown -1
Our covered receiver formation only out of the I. NW slanting hard so there's no chance Ortmann can cut or really do anything with the backside DT; backside DE is crashing down and there's nowhere to go. The running game is looking Debordian this half, need to mix it up some more.
M20 3 8 Shotgun 3-wide Base 4-3 Pass Wheel Brown Inc
Brown wheels out of the backfield and Threet attempts to hit him; it's a couple yards short of the sticks and the throw is a little late and low, so even if this is caught Brown's going to his knees and has a safety on him and Michigan will have to punt; he drops it. (MA, 2, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 14-21, EO3Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
O44 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide Base 4-3 Run QB draw Threet 2
Ferrara(-1) shoved back forcibly by the DT, who then gets to the inside of him (and is held, no call) and closes down the draw as it nears the LOS.
O42 2 8 Shotgun trips Nickel Run Zone read stretch Brown 10
Playside DT has fought off the reach well enough to prevent a hole between the C and T from forming on the playside; a well-executed backside scoop has sealed the other DT, though, and there's a crease there. Good downfield blocks from Ferrara and Moosman take out the linebackers; Brown is indecisive with the safety and gets taken down.
O32 1 10 Shotgun trips Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Brown 3
Same play; this time neither DT gets sealed well and Brown just makes what he can between them.
O29 2 7 Shotgun trips Base 4-3 Run QB stretch Threet 5
Trips sort of: there are two receivers stacked in the slot, one of them being a RB. We run a lot of screens with that RB out there. NW not surprised and a double on the playside DT doesn't get him anywhere. The WLB beats Ferrara to the spot and is thus not really blocked; Ortmann fails to cut the backside DE. Threet does well to spin off the LB's tackle and get a few yards.
O24 3 2 I-Form twins Base 4-3 Run Iso Shaw 2
Crease up the middle as DT Gill drives Ferrara back, but too far back; Molk(-1) gets a free release but does not effectively deal with the MLB, who Shaw manages to evade before contacting the safety and going down.
O22 4 In I-Form twins Goal line Run QB sneak Threet 1
O21 1 10 I-Form twins Base 4-3 Run Iso Brown 1 (Pen-10)
NW really loading the box all day, and they're jumping these with abandon. Lack of functional QB killing us. On this play the MLB reads instantly and jumps into the hole; Ortmann tackles him, drawing a flag.
O31 1 20 Shotgun 4-wide Base 4-3 Run Draw Brown 8
Michigan stacks the receivers and as a result pulls two LBs well out of the middle, so there's only one guy past the DL. Michigan runs a draw and this LB must be on a delayed blitz or something, because he runs himself right out of the play. Brown has good space until the secondary shuts him down.
O23 2 12 Shotgun trips Base 4-3 Pass Post Stonum Inc
I don't even think I blame Threet on this because this looks like a really lazy, poor route from Stonum that allows the NW DB to jump it and nearly intercept, except the ball is low and not particularly catchable. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
O23 3 12 Shotgun empty Nickel Pass Seam Massey Int
Threet has Massey open for a touchdown and throws it to Tacopants, allowing a NW safety to intercept. Argh. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Interception, 14-21, 9 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M23 1 10 Shotgun 2-back Nickel Run Zone read long handoff Threet 1
We saw this a few times early in the year, where Threet would keep the ball, then chuck it to a WR as he neared the LOS. This time a cornerback nails Mathews immediately. (CA, 3, screen)
M24 2 9 Shotgun 4-wide Nickel Pass Hitch Mathews 5
Camera angle so tight on this we don't actually see Mathews catch it; this is a checkdown allowed by good protection. (CA, 3, protection 2/2)
M29 3 4 ??? ??? Pass ??? Mathews 8
Mathews has already caught the ball by the time we get back to the game. Hurray ESPN! (CA, 3(?), protection 2/2(?))
M37 1 10 Shotgun 2-back Nickel Run Reverse Odoms 0
Open enough; Threet needs to cut block the DE but instead just gives him a shoulder and he cuts off the outside.
M37 2 10 Shotgun empty Nickel Pass Hitch Mathews 8
Open and simple pitch and catch; Mathews taken down just short of the first. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M45 3 2 Shotgun empty 3-2-6 Dime Run QB draw Threet 3
This is just too easy with only five guys in the box. Moosman(-1) just kind of ambles downfield, blocking no one, and the WLB shoots into tackle Threet just as he clears the sticks; Threet goes out injured.
M48 1 10 Shotgun empty Nickel Pass Improv Shaw Inc
Sheridan can't find anyone and eventually bugs out, rolling to his right and throwing it well short of Shaw. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
M48 2 10 Shotgun empty 3-2-6 Dime Pass Cross Brown 8
Sheridan hits Brown as he runs a simple crossing route. Five yards on the catch and he turns it up for three more. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O44 3 2 Shotgun empty 3-2-6 Dime Pass Improv Stonum Inc
Five hitches across the field and if Sheridan times it right he's got the one he's looking at (Brown); instead he hesitates and ends up rolling out and tossing one to a covered receiver; it's low and hits the turf. (BR, 0, protection 1/1) NW has four in the box on this play; shouldn't we be checking into a QB run of some variety?
O44 4 2 Shotgun empty 3-2-6 Dime Run QB draw Sheridan 11
Well, yeah. NW does it again and I would want murder if I was a NW fan. The DL actually does a good job forcing a bounce but there's no one to react to it because obviously. Terrible angle by an OLB allows Sheridan outside, where he finds the corner and gets good yardage.
O33 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 3-2-6 Dime Pass Wheel Odoms Inc
Ooh, I like this variation on the bubble: Odoms runs a bubble route, Sheridan fakes it, drawing the LB up, then Odoms runs a wheel behind it. Sheridan hits Odoms and he's going to gain like eight yards; he drops it. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O33 2 10 Shotgun 4-wide 3-2-6 Dime Run Zone read stretch Brown -3
Here's the season for you: Michigan runs against what's essentially a five man front, gets a vast gaping hole and will pop Brown into the secondary for somewhere between eight and a zillion yards, and Brown falls harmlessly to the turf three yards in the backfield.
O33 3 13 Shotgun empty Nickel Pass Deep hitch Mathews Inc
I thought this was obvious PI live; it's not. This is just pure arm strength or lack thereof, that allows the NW corner to react on the hitch route at the sticks and break it up. (CA, 1, protection 2/2)
O33 4 13 Shotgun empty 3-2-6 Dime Pass Improv Massey Inc
Sheridan looks, finding no one, and decides to scramble out you know the drill he throws it at like two NW players and they knock it down whatever. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 14-21, 2 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form D Form Type Play Player Yards
M42 1 10 Shotgun 2TE 3-2-6 Dime Pass Deep post Odoms Inc
Odoms gets loose behind the coverage and Sheridan overthrows him just a tad. Harsh, but (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
M42 2 10 Shotgun empty 3-2-6 Dime Pass Improv Mathews Inc
Again he can't find anyone and starts running around and stuff. He eventually tries to hit Mathews two yards downfield and it's high and uncatchable. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
M42 3 10 Shotgun empty 2TE 3-2-6 Dime Pass Rollout – fly Mathews Inc
Mathews is triple covered. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
M42 4 10 Shotgun empty 3-2-6 Dime Pass Hitch Mathews Inc
Tacopants. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 14-21, EOG.

Well, that was ugly.

Oh you have no idea. To really see, you have to check the…





Utah 1 11 N/A 5 1 3 2 1
Miami (NTM) - 6 N/A 4 1 - 2 -
Notre Dame 3 12 N/A 5 2 1 - -
Wisconsin 1 15 N/A 9 3 7 2 1
Illinois 3 18 N/A 7 3 4 2 3
Toledo 1 6 N/A 3 1 1 - -
Penn State 2 5 1 1 1 3 - 2
Michigan State 4 13 3 2 7 3 1 3
Purdue 1 7 2 7 2 2 2 1
Northwestern - 4 1 2        

And suicidal kitten:


Minnesota 2 20 4 3 2 1 - -
Northwestern - 9 2 9 7 2 - -

Sweet hopping Moses. This will come as no surprise to anyone who watched the game and found Sheridan totally overmatched; that little interlude against Minnesota was, as expected, not replicable.

Other metrics: PROTECTION METRIC: 33/38, Team –1, Moosman –1, Molk –1, Schilling –2.

Good day from the OL against a pretty tough defense; Sheridan often couldn't find anyone and ended up scrambling around, which may have made the OL look worse than it actually was. Also, he spent way too much time in the pocket on that one play where he got crushed from behind, fumbling.

And the receivers:

(remember: 0 is uncatchable, 1 is a circus catch, 2 is a somewhat difficult one, and 3 is a routine one)

This Game Totals
Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Clemons - - - 1/1 4 - 1/3 11/11
Stonum 4 0/1 - 1/1 8 0/6 5/6 7/9
Mathews 5 0/1 1/1 4/4 14 3/10 5/7 23/24
Hemingway - - - - 1 0/2 2/2 -
Odoms 2 0/1 - 1/2 18 0/3 5/7 38/42
Babb - - - - - 0/1 1/1 1/1
Savoy - - 1/1 0/1 1 - - 1/2
Rogers - - - - 2 - - 2/3
Butler - - - - 2 1/1 0/1 2/2
Koger - - - 0/1 4 0/1 2/3 4/5
McGuffie - - - - 3 - 3/3 15/15
Brown - - - 2/2 - - - 5/5
Shaw 1 - - - 3 0/1 1/1 4/4
Minor - - - - 3 0/2 1/3 4/4
Moundros 1 - - - 4 - - 1/2

Also, Mike Massey was targeted three times, all of them uncatchable. This is the Golden Law of Mike Massey: whenever he is open for a touchdown, the ball will be overthrown. Mike Massey could be open by ten yards against OSU and the quarterback will throw it so high it hits a bird.

Okay, quarterbacks resume being DEATH, but what about the running game?

Michigan had 181 yards on 46 carries, with one of those being the one-yard sack mentioned above. So, 182 / 45 = 4.0 YPC. That's meh, but when you consider that Michigan quarterbacks were collectively 12 of 36 for 83 yards and an interception it looks better. Add in the weather and the opposition (NW is averaging 3.7 YPC defensively) and it continues to look better.

Here's a testament to the Rodriguez running game that might evaporate in the arms of various Ohio State players, so let's just get it out now: despite having this pile of backups and freshmen in an injury riddled offense without Mike Hart and Jake Long and, like, a functional quarterback, Michigan's average YPC is better in 2008 (4.03) than it was in 2007 (3.97).

There is a long, long way to go, but if Michigan can improve that YPC by a half yard and not have the worst quarterbacking situation in the conference you can see the outline of competence in there. That's the most encouraging thing that's happened over the past half-season.


Carlos Brown got out of the grave and turned in an excellent running day, though a series of slips and stumbles prevented him from breaking a long one, and that last zone stretch on which he turned a likely first down into third and thirteen was a killer.


Not to be too harsh on a couple kids who should be career backups or guys no one ever hears about, but you can't win with these QBs. Also, Martavious Odoms had a hard time catching/holding the ball in the cold, and Darryl Stonum's routes looked really bad to this observer, though I am not confident in that opinion.

What does it mean for 2009?

You can see a light at the end of tunnel for the running game. Four of the last five games they've been somewhere between passable and good. John Ferrara has emerged as a viable candidate at guard going forward and the line no longer seems like a giant pile of suck that prevents anyone from doing anything. This is enormous progress, and while I don't think the line's going to be great or anything next year it should be stable and competent. That is a win.

The running back situation should be fine; I'm concerned about the receivers. Though it's hard to tell who is any good when the QB play is what it is, Stonum's freshman year was disappointing. He needs to take a big step forward or Junior Hemingway needs to bust out in a major way (which certainly looked possible) when he returns next year.

QB… you know the story.



November 20th, 2008 at 2:13 PM ^

You could win a whole bunch of bar bets on that one.

So... is McGuffie leaving or not? Does this go down in internet tubes history as a companion to Kirk Ferentz getting the Michigan job?


November 20th, 2008 at 2:14 PM ^

Stonum has two bad habits on route running. He rounds his cuts and does not accelerate out of his break. If he does those two things, that pass break up is a TD. This is a technique thing, and is correctable. I'm sure the coaches see this, and he will get much better in the future.


November 20th, 2008 at 2:31 PM ^

Damn Brian, this is grim stuff but I had to LOL when I read this:
"This is the Golden Law of Mike Massey: whenever he is open for a touchdown, the ball will be overthrown. Mike Massey could be open by ten yards against OSU and the quarterback will throw it so high it hits a bird."

Comedy Gold, thanks!!

Six Zero

November 20th, 2008 at 2:34 PM ^

Very hard to not factor in quarterback play, but if you look beyond them the rest of the offense is growing ever so slightly. Let's just hope the developmental pace accelerates over the off-season... I've had enough of this plate-tectonic speed of improvement to last me until next September.

BELIEVE. Beat the damn Buckeyes


November 20th, 2008 at 2:49 PM ^

Actually, it is not that often in recent years, the UM's YPC is above 4.0.

I consider that an amzing sign of progress that this O is going places.

We're getting a D grade from our QBs right now--and thats being generous, as I would bet most would say F and Incomplete Grade--but if we can get C grade type of play, thats going to mean 2 to 3 more wins, at least, next year.

And, we should be able to run the ball out of the gate next season, unlike this year, where it took half a season to become only competent.


November 20th, 2008 at 4:18 PM ^

Brian, I think you are legally allowed to use those clips if they are less than a certain length. However, you might get approval from the UM-AD if you ask nicely. Did you get a DMCA takedown notice from Viddler? You should find out what the request to take down the clips was based on then you can respond.