Upon Further Review: Offense vs Purdue Comment Count

Brian November 12th, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Personnel notes: Omameh played the whole game at right guard; Huyge played the whole game at RT. Roundtree was the only slot the whole day. Brown saw about four plays late; he was replaced by Grady, Shaw, and Smith.

Formation notes: A lot more two-back sets without a tight end against Purdue. Don't know why.

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 10
Excellent scoop block from Moosman(+1) and Omameh(+1) seals the playside DT and gets Omameh out on the MLB. Shaw shoots up in the hole ahead of Minor and does get enough of the OLB to clear him out of the path; Minor's got a crease and takes it, raging his way until two Purdue guys close him down as he nears the marker.
M29 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read dive Shaw 2
Purdue brings a safety to the line and blitzes two linebackers. Minor heads to the backside of the play to take out the backside DE as Purdue stunts. Ortmann(-1) can't block the DE to his side and Omameh(-1) loses the playside DT as he slants outside; those two guys come down to tackle. Good playcall from Purdue, I guess (RPS -1)
M31 2 8 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Sack -- -7
Purdue blitzes a linebacker right into this and he gets in on Forcier as soon as he rolls out; Forcier manages to school the guy and make him miss. Unfortunately, Minor(-1) loses the DE and that guy cleans up for the sack. Almost a great play from Tate. (PR, 0, protection 0/1, Minor -1, RPS -1)
M24 3 15 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Seam Roundtree 26
Michigan gets to the line very quickly and catches Purdue unprepared for the snap. Roundtree immediately bursts open on the seam; Forcier is looking elsewhere. He comes off the outside receiver and goes to Roundtree, but only after scrambling forward. His pass is way, way short and gives the tampa-2 MLB a better shot at the ball than Roundtree, but Roundtree adjusts and manages to wrestle himself into a simultaneous possession call. If thrown deep this is a touchdown, as Roundtree had the deep middle by yards. (IN, 1, protection 2/2) Replay opinion: absolutely simultaneous possession.
50 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Short bubble Roundtree 10
Differentiating here from the full bubble, which threatens to get outside the outside WR's block, and this adjustment Michigan put in after people freaked out about the bubble where the WR runs a shorter route and heads directly upfield, as Roundtree does here. This is open as the short LB is focusing on the run and the safety is in a soft, soft man on Roundtree. Roundtree's not fast but he is quick in short spaces and does a great job of getting upfield quickly here. (CA, 3, screen)
O40 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Slant Roundtree 11
Linebacker freezes because of a Minor dive fake, which opens up a slant for Roundtree that Forcier nails with perfect timing; Roundtree brings it in and drives for another first down. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O29 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 29
They've made that adjustment I wanted them to make last week: again the lead blocker shoots up into the hole as Michigan gives the playside DT a true double. Shaw(+1) blocks the OLB and Minor hits the the gap in the line, cutting up behind Shaw's block and running through a poor tackle from the Purdue safety. Slowed, he manages to split three more Purdue defenders, stiff arm the safety, and dive in for a touchdown. Probably the first run on Minor's NFL highlight reel. BONUS: Watch Roundtree(+1) realize what's happening on the play and run downfield to truck a safety. How did Kelvin Grady ever get on the field ahead of this guy?
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-7, 10 min 1st Q. Roundtree may have already had the best game of any Michigan receiver all year. Stonum returns kick for nice field position on next drive.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O40 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 5
Same deal with the scoop block on the frontside tackle getting him sealed and Shaw taking on the OLB. Shaw(-1) ends up getting plowed over by his guy, which forces Minor outside; OLB makes an ankle tackle with help from the safety. Could have broken bigger. Omameh(+1) is doing a very good job so far.
O35 2 5 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Out Roundtree 6
Very simple as Purdue is in man and the safety, way off the line, has responsibility here. There's no way he can close down the space before Forcier can hook up with Roundtree for a first down. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O29 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Triple option pitch Minor -5
Sharik says that the problem here is that Forcier screws up the read because the DE is containing, not crashing, and that he needs to give on the dive. More on this later. Small problem: dive won't work anyway because Omameh(-1) blew past the slanting DT and he's into the hole; Shaw will have to cut back into that DE, I think. That, at least, is a better outcome than what happens: Forcier keeps, DE forces an early pitch, and and unblocked safety comes crashing down to smoke Minor in the backfield. (ZR -1) BWS picture-paged this.
O34 2 15 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Throwaway -- Inc
Max pro and Purdue still gets through because Ortmann(-1) gets beaten by one DE and Huyge(-1) loses the other one; Purdue's gotten outside their rush lanes, though, and Forcier can scramble out. Savoy is covered, Roundtree doubled, and Forcier signals Savoy deep before chucking the ball OOB. Maybe had a few yards if he just took off but this is a net positive given the protection. (TA, 0, protection 0/2)
O34 3 15 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Jailbreak screen Hemingway Inc
Pass tipped by a stunting Purdue DT. Play was well set up, with room for Hemingway to get at least ten or so and maybe a first down. (BA, 0, screen)
Drive Notes: FG(51), 10-10, 6 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M27 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Short bubble Roundtree 4
Same short bubble with the LB lined up over the second slot receiver getting to the outside, which is right where Michigan wants him as Roundtree again heads upfield inside. Safety reacts more quickly this time and holds it down. (CA, 3, screen)
M31 2 6 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 3-4 Run Zone read veer Robinson -3
Robinson in as an RB, and they block down, leaving the frontside DE unblocked. He keeps contain; Forcier hands it off anyway (ZR -1) and Robinson gets smoked.
M28 3 9 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel Pass Scramble Forcier 11
Forcier has plenty of time and a nice pocket, but can't find anyone open. He's only got three options and Purdue has dropped off very deep, so no one's open. He decides to take off, and gets the first down. As per new policy, not charting good scrambling decisions as TAs. (Protection 2/2)
M39 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Dive Minor 7
Not a read: Michigan blocks the backside DE and pulls Omameh around after Schilling down-blocks the playside DT into oblivion. LBs are not expecting this and Omameh gets a block on the MLB, allowing Minor to hit it up for good yardage.
M46 2 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Bubble screen Roundtree 4
Roundtree loses his footing as he brings this in and is unable to cut this upfield; he ends up stumbling into the WR/DB block and pushing ahead for a few. (CA, 3, screen)
50 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Penalty False start Mathews -5
M45 1 15 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 55
Purdue shifted a bit towards the wide side of the field, where Roundtree awaits a potential bubble. Instead the stretch. Michigan cuts the lead blocker up into the hole this time as Schilling(+1) and Moosman(+1) execute an excellent scoop block on the playside DT, sealing him. Schilling releases to kick out the OLB; the MLB is hunting around the backside of the play. Grady(+1) then gets just enough of the safety to spring Minor into the secondary, where he shows a good top gear. Hurray for actually using the lead blocker on the stretch.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 17-10, 14 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M8 1 10 Ace 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone stretch Minor -1
Purdue MLB is flowing very fast downhill here and Omameh has no shot at releasing into him despite going downfield immediately. Moosman(+1) has sealed the playside DT and there is a crease for Minor but that linebacker fills it and the play goes nowhere. Not sure what's wrong with this play; as designed it looks like it can't work. Waggle would probably catch guys out of position, I guess.
M7 2 11 Pro Set Twins 2 1 2 4-3 under Pass Hitch Savoy 5
Don't know why this isn't from the shotgun but okay whatever. Simple rollout hitch that's basically on time; immediate tackle. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
M12 3 6 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass TE Hitch Koger 10
Excellent timing from Forcier this time as the ball is already halfway there by the time Koger turns around, which prevents Purdue from getting to Koger before he catches it; Koger even gets a yard or two after the catch. (CA+, 3, protection 1/1)
M22 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout fade Savoy 22
Michigan has run this all year; usually they end up hitting the underneath receiver running an out as they run their version of a cover-two beater. Here the CB pulls up a bit and Forcier goes for the fade. Excellent timing and location away from the safety; nice catchable ball for Savoy. Precision. (DO, 3, protection 1/1)
M44 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Deep Post Roundtree Inc
This is a deep, deep drop, as Forcier wanders back from his shotgun position and ends up tossing the ball ten yards back from the LOS. First time I've seen this all year. Purdue is blitzing and leaving man coverage on the outside. Michigan in max protect and sliding the coverage; Shaw and Grady both do just okay on their guys and I think Forcier has to throw this a half second before he wants to. Roundtree is breaking past the safety on a post but the ball, thrown off the back foot, is well overthrown. (IN, 0, protection 2/3, Shaw –1, RPS +1)
M44 2 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB draw Forcier 17
With Purdue thinking pass after the last four plays Michigan goes with the draw and it opens up as Omameh and Moosman down-block the playside DT out of the picture and Grady(+1) gets a pop on the OLB; the other linebackers were heading into man coverage. Watch Omameh(+1) peel off the DT and run downfield to get a block on the MLB after the sticks.
O39 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Sack -- -4
Intended to be a bubble screen but the Purdue corner jumps it and Forcier decides not to throw the ball. Good decision. Better decision would have been to wing it out of bounds. Forcier starts scrambling around but that's not going to work. (TA, 0, screen, RPS -1) Need to hit them up with the fake bubble-seam thing to keep 'em honest.
O43 2 14 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 3-4 Pass Deep Post Roundtree 57
Michigan's got a tipoff on Purdue's blitzes or something because the Boilers bring six this time and leave two guys manning up on the RBs; it's again man zero on the wideouts. Forcier takes another deep drop and this time gets protection, throwing a 20-yard dart downfield to Roundtree(+2) on the post. Roundtree then stiffarms the safety at the 15 and rolls in for a touchdown. (DO, 3, protection 3/3, RPS +3)
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 24-10, 8 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O49 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Smith 7

Purdue slants the line away from the direction of the stretch—never happens in one RB sets—and this gives Smith the corner as Huyge does a pretty decent job of sealing the playside DE and preventing him from darting into the backfield. Er. Correction: Huyge holds the hell out of him. No call.

This gives Smith the corner; the MLB flows to the ball too quickly for Schilling to get out on him and makes a good tackle after a few yards; Smith almost runs through it but bangs into Minor and falls.

O42 2 3 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Pass Sack -- -8
Same play that was the Roundtree TD and it again catches Purdue in man zero. Forcier pumps, which makes me think they're running a stop and go but there's no confirmation of that. After the pump he loads up to throw... and gets killed by a guy who beat Schilling(-2) one-on-one. (PR, 0, protection 0/2) Forcier fumbles and Schilling recovers.
50 3 11 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Jailbreak screen Stonum Inc
Stonum was dead meat anyway because a stunting DT came around and knocked Schilling to the ground as he tried to release downfield and the guy Schilling was supposed to block was coming in to murder-death-kill Stonum. Still... gotta catch the ball. (CA, 3, screen, RPS -1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 24-10, 5 min 2nd Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M21 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 6
Hard to tell exactly what's going on here because BTN is checking out the suites; when we cut to the play Moosman(+1) has sealed the playside DT and Minor is heading through the gap; Grady gets a lead block on the OLB and Omameh(+1) is killing the MLB; safety comes up to clean up after seven.
M27 2 4 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 4
Virtual replay; seal isn't quite as good this time and the OLB attacks the hole more quickly; Grady ends up cutting him but Minor has to gingerly pick through the mess. He does so, falling forward for near first-down yardage.
M31 3 In Ace 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB sneak Forcier 2
Insert complaint about Illinois goal line stand here.
M33 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 0
Em... maybe some variation? Purdue slants under the play; Omameh(+1) does a good job of adjusting to it; he's getting driven back but gets playside of the guy and prevents him from making a tackle. Minor to the edge, but the MLB has again leapt past the attempted second-level block from Schilling and filled the hole, where he does a great job of forcing Minor out for no gain. Michigan's not doing enough to make him hesitant.
M33 2 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Triple option pitch -- -14
DE is totally crashing down so the pull is the right move, but the cornerback to the playside is either blitzing or has this play dead to rights because he is coming in for the triple option on the snap. He's the guy who's out on Forcier, which is weird because he should probably take Minor; Forcier does a terrible job of reading this and ends up making a huge mistake by pitching the ball; corner deflects it and Purdue recovers. (RPS -2)
Drive Notes: Fumble, 24-10, 13 min 3rd Q. Stonum gets another good return.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O46 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch(?) Minor 1
This is like the sixth play the BTN has missed part of. This is ridiculous. Minor gets a yard; I don't know what went wrong.
O45 2 9 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Quick wheel Minor Inc
Looks like it's breaking open as Purdue is in cover three so the CB to this side is bailing out and Minor will get the ball with an opportunity to thump some guys; Forcier throws it at Minor's knees and he can't dig it out. (MA, 2, protection 1/1)
O45 3 9 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Hitch Mathews 28
Not going to get a first down but it's a hot read with Purdue blitzing; Mathews(+2) breaks a tackle from the Purdue CB and turns it into a big chunk of yards. (CA, 3, protection 1/1) Better read was probably the TE seam but it works.
O17 1 10 Shotgun trips 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Short bubble Roundtree 7
Another play they miss the start of because they're showing eight replays. Michigan runs the short bubble again and Roundtree zips upfield, juking past the safety and getting down to the ten. Good timing on these things and Roundtree is good about catching them in a spot where he can dart immediately upfield. (CA, 3, screen)
O10 2 3 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Run Power O(!) Minor 4
Gap-blocked play with a pulling Schilling. Omameh(+1) kicks the Purdue DL down the line by himself; Huyge releases into the MLB; Koger(-1) loses the DE and forces Schilling to block him instead of head to the second level. Good adjustment from Schilling. Minor cuts behind that and the Huyge block to plow for a first down.
O6 1 G Shotgun Twins 2TE 1 2 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Forcier 6
Excellent read from Forcier here as the Purdue DE crashes on Minor; the OLB has sucked up to the line and is eliminated by Webb(+1) and the MLB is not scraping so Forcier's got a lane. Safety hits Forcier(+1) at the two but he manages to fall in. (ZR +1)
Drive Notes: Touchdown(Missed XP... sigh), 30-17, 11 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M18 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read keeper Forcier 1
DE crashes down so Forcier pulls it but Purdue has shifted right before the snap and brought a safety down for QB contain; he gets out on the keeper and shuts it down. A perfect play for the RPS metric. This one is a -1.
M17 2 9 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Short bubble Roundtree 0
Back to the well one too many times; OLB is right there on the catch. (CA, 3, screen, RPS -1)
M17 3 9 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Sack -- -7
Max pro. Purdue in zone coverage that looks like a cover-3. Forcier decides to scramble up as Koger(-1) is chucked out of the way by a DE; there he meets a guy who's shot by Schilling(-1) then come around his futile attempt to resume the block; Forcier gets sacked. Seven blockers, four rushers. (PR, 0, protection 0/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 30-31, 3 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M16 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass PA short seam Roundtree 16
The counter to the well they went to too many times on the last drive: bubble fake, Roundtree runs straight upfield, Forcier nails him, some nice YAC.. (CA, 3, protection NA, RPS +1)
M32 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read dive Minor 3
Michigan now expects the MLB to have to respect the play they just ran and runs it directly where he probably shouldn't be. Play opens up pretty well but Omameh(-1) gives too much ground and Minor has to slow down as he awkwardly cuts past the mess, which gives the OLB time to react. Some seam PA would kill these guys.
M35 2 7 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout scramble Forcier 4
Roundtree's out is covered by the Purdue OLB and the deep route is doubled, so Forcier's out of throwin' options and decides to take off behind the pass block of Minor. Guy comes off the block to make a tackle as Forcier passes; nice play. (TA, 0, protection 1/1)
M39 3 3 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB lead draw Forcier 4
Purdue prepared for this, with the playside DE slanting inside Ortmann and forcing Forcier outside. Minor reads it and heads outside, as does Forcier; Minor pops the MLB but Forcier has no choice but to hit it up into the same guy. Their combined momentum pushes the pile forward and over the line.
M43 1 10 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Power dive Minor 0
Omameh pulls around. Schilling(-1) doesn't do well with his guy and Omameh gets delayed, which allows the MLB to attack his block near the LOS and forces Minor to hop around, delaying this and turning it into not much of a gain.
M43 2 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 4-3 under Run Zone read veer Minor 21
This is the inverse of the play that was picture-paged Tuesday, with the line blocking down, Minor heading upfield, and Forcier the threat that needs to be contained. This time Tate hands it off as the DE is running upfield at him; to me this is an angle that makes it really hard to tell what to do. Zone read stuff is hard. (ZR +1) I think the key is that the DE here is taking an angle and running at a speed that makes it hard for him to defend anything. Anyway: handoff, Minor zips past the DE and the rest of the Purdue D is anticipating a stretch so Minor can run behind the block of Schilling; Ortmann doesn't even have anyone to take on. MLB reacts late and can only dive at Minor's feet; from there he's gone until the safety manages to make a touchdown-saving tackle from behind.
O36 1 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Smith 4
Play is well blocked with Moosman(+1) getting the playside DT seal he's gotten virtually all day and Grady getting out to pop the OLB that should be the last thing between Smith and a big gainer; Purdue's safety was coming up for a short zone/run contain on the snap, though, and is there to fill as Smith pops out of the crease.
O32 2 6 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Smith 1
Same play from O and D. The Purdue DT doesn't get sealed quite as authoritatively and Smith only has a small crease to dart through, that one it takes a little bit longer for him to get to. This allows the meh backside scoop block to screw up the play; Ortmann is escorting his guy down the line—delay, no seal, and when Smith pops through he's there along with the guy Schilling(-1) failed to cut downfield. No joy.
O31 3 5 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Rollout hitch Stonum Inc
Oh, man. Forcier does see Stonum open is and darts it to him, at which point a Purdue safety makes a great play to come up and bat the ball away from behind. All credit to that guy. Terrific play. But, a necessary consequence of that is Roundtree's wheel route opening up for a potential TD. He'd have to see it quick and get rid of it quick with a guy coming up to contain but maybe that's a play he makes later in his career? (CA, 0, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Missed FG(48), 30-31, 12 min 4th Q
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
M22 1 10 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Scramble Forcier 2
Forcier has to scramble out because Omameh(-1) and Moosman(-1) get split by a DT as they're trying to slide the protection, and then Minor(-1) gets owned by the DE he's trying to pick up. Forcier does well to move up, move out, and scramble for a few yards. (PR, 0, protection 0/3)
M24 2 8 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Edge pitch Brown 6
Roundtree gets outside of the OLB, which isn't too hard because the OLB is lined up inside of him, and gets Brown the edge. Safety fills quickly, forcing Brown back into the flowing linebackers.
M30 3 2 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Scramble Forcier 1
Thought this was a called play live but apparently not; the WRs are running routes. Forcier just sees the hole open up in front of him as a DT stunts around and thinks he can take it; he doesn't account for Huyge(-1) getting tossed aside like a rag doll and that guy making a tackle. Unfortunate; this really looked like it was an easy first down. Not charted.
Drive Notes: Punt, 30-38, 9 min 4th Q. Zoltan launches one after a stupid delay call because Michigan thinks about going for it.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O31 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read dive Minor 11
Purdue still fighting to the stretch side of these block and Minor gets a cutback lane as Michigan is blocking the backside DE and Schilling's(+1) escorted the backside DT away, leaving a crease. Moosman(+1) releases downfield late but manages to get a block on the MLB that Minor can cut behind. He then jukes the safety and is trying to cut behind another LB when he trips to the ground over Roundtree.
O20 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 20 (Pen -10)
Omameh and Moosman are trying to scoop the playside DT and manage to do it okay. Koger(+1) blocks the playside CB and the MLB misses a tackle, springing Minor into the endzone. For naught, as Huyge(-1) gets called for holding his guy. Stupid, as he got his arm up around the neck for no reason. This did not affect the play.
O30 1 20 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Sack -- -1
Michigan trying to get Purdue to bite on a bubble fake and go to the fade; Purdue is not having it. Forcier might have an opportunity to do something else but Huyge(-2) has gotten beat around the corner and he has to scramble up, where a linebacker and DT combine to sack. (TA, 0, protection 0/2, Huyge -2)
O31 2 21 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Run QB draw Forcier 11
Forcier does this mostly by himself as Minor(-1) whiffs his block and Forcier has to make the OLB miss; he does. He then spins through the corner's tackle and falls forward through an ankle tackle from another linebacker. Excellent run.
O20 3 10 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 4-3 Pass Out Savoy Inc
I'm not 100% sure this is accurate but it looks like it will be; Savoy stumbles out of his break and is nowhere near the ball as it falls to the turf. Argh. (CA, N/A, protection 1/1)
O20 4 10 Shotgun 2-back 2 0 3 Nickel Pass Crazy Thing Brown 8 – 5 Pen
On Forcier. He's got a pocket he can step into, and does, and no one's coming for him and it's fourth and ten and he chucks a lateral to Brown that has virtually no hope of getting the first down. Brown makes a meal of it, though, breaking a couple tackles and attempting to pitch the ball as he's going down. Huyge grabs it and gets the first but on review it's ruled a forward pass. Correct call. (BR, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 30-38, 4 min 4th Q. Hemingway gets a big punt return.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Type Play Player Yards
O11 1 10 Shotgun 2-backTE 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Run Zone read stretch Minor 2
Great reach by Moosman(+1) as the DT does not flow down the line; this opens up a crease. Lead-blocking RB heads outside. Argh. This leaves the MLB unblocked when Minor cuts up and he makes a tackle after a short gain.
O9 2 8 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 Base 4-3 Pass Scramble Forcier 7
This seems like a busted route by someone, probably Koger, since both WRs to that side just run right into the endzone. Maybe they're clearing out for Brown, but that doesn't work as an OLB is dropping directly into the area he is. Forcier does have a lot of room on the edge and eventually takes off, nearing the first down. Not filed as a TA.
O2 3 1 I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Power O Minor 1
Schilling pulls around as Michigan attacks the edge. He and Grady double the unblocked DE on the end of the line, blowing him into the endzone, and Minor runs through a diving tackle from the OLB, falling just short of the goal line.
O1 1 G I-Form Big 2 2 1 Goal line Run Power O Minor 1
Same play, though on this one Purdue is slanting and it's just a mess and Minor decides to head right upfield, picking up a touchdown when a crease magically opens just as he nears the line.
O3 2PT 2PT Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel Pass Sack -- -3
Huyge(-2) gets mauled and Kerrigan comes around to crush Forcier. I think Purdue had covered the first read, Koger, and he was moving up to find another guy. After the game he said he was about to throw it. (PR, 0, protection 0/2)
Drive Notes: Touchdown(Missed 2PT), 36-38, 2 min 4th Q. Last drive not charted as it is under extreme conditions.

Well, that wasn't too terrible.

No, it wasn't. And though Purdue is not a great defense they've been decent so far this year. They're currently #67 in total defense at about 370 yards per game, and Michigan gained 427 on 12 drives, 397 of those on the 11 actual drives they had before the looney tunes at the end. That's exceeding the average performance of Purdue opponents and I'll take that against anyone at this point in the year. Michigan got big gains on the ground, stretched the field vertically, broke out some new wrinkles, and didn't turn the ball over a billion times.

After 20, 21, 10, and 13 points of offensive production plus sufficient turnovers to choke a horse, this was a major step forward and the best performance from the unit since the Indiana game.

To show this I'll need some—



[Hennechart legend; MA is "marginal", screen results are in parens.]


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

The Purdue zone read metric—still in its infancy—was +2 – 2 = 0. More on that a bit later.


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

Screens held down Forcier's downfield throws. This week's downfield success rate: 9 / 16 = 56%. Not great, but the DSR is only a vague metric and I think this was one of Forcier's best games. One of the INs was a bomb under pressure, the BR was the ill-fated Brown pitch on fourth and ten, and the rest of it are TAs where his receivers were all legitimately covered. He didn't make a big mistake all game, and many of his unsuccessful attempts were making the best of a bad situation.

The big downer was the fumble, which was a huge error on Forcier's part but also an understandable one since Purdue blitzed right into the option and Forcier was not prepared to deal with the corner there. He should have eaten the ball and taken the loss, but he's a freshman running his second live triple option. I don't blame Forcier for freaking out, or Rodriguez for calling it; sometimes you do something well in practice and screw it up the first time you let it loose in the wild.


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

This Game Totals
Player 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3
Hemingway 1 - - - 4 - 1/2 8/8
Mathews - - - 1/1 8 1/6 3/4 12/12
Stonum 1 - - 0/1 7 1/3 3/4 10/11
Savoy - - - 2/2 2 - 1/2 6/6
Odoms - - - - 5 1/3 4/6 16/17
Grady-19 - - - - 2 - 2/3 9/12
Roundtree - 1/1 - 8/8 5 1/1 1/4 13/13
Stokes - - - - - - 1/1 1/1
Koger - - - - - 3/4 4/6 7/11
Webb - - - - 1 - - 3/5
Minor - - - - - - - 1/1
Brown - 0/1 - - 1/4 2/4 6/7
Shaw - - - - - 1/1 0/1 -
Smith - - - - - - - -
Grady-24 - - - - - - - 1/1

A good day from the receivers, and by "receivers" we mean "Roy Roundtree." The one drop didn't hurt much since it was on a screen that was going to get blown up anyway. Minor could have helped out by pulling in a low throw by Forcier, too. Other than that: Roundtree, Roundtree, Roundtree. The 1 he pulled in prevented an interception on Michigan's first drive of the day, converted a first down, and lead to a touchdown.

Plus he did this:

Martavious Odoms just saw his job come under howitzer fire. Odoms has been valuable, too, so he won't just go away, but Kelvin Grady's time just got eaten up and I think Roundtree is the starter even when Odoms is healthy. This might also presage some dual-slot formations that have been absent so far in Rodriguez's tenure at Michigan. Kid's pretty good, and quicker than  you'd think given the Hawthorne incident last week.

And this will come as no surprise given the 5 in PR above, but the protection metric is ugly again:

PROTECTION METRIC: 14/29. Huyge –5, Schilling –3, Minor –2, Ortmann –1, Shaw –1, Koger –1, Moosman –1, Omameh –1.

That is by far the lowest percentage in UFR history. The culprits are the usual by now: Huyge on the edge, Schilling getting blasted back into the pocket, and several other folk having individual moments of struggle. The only way Michigan could threaten deep was to max-protect and drop Forcier back like he was a Madden 2005 QB, and even on one of those play Forcier ended up throwing off the back foot because Shaw could not contain the guy. The two point conversion was Huyge getting beaten by Kerrigan clean.

Yuck. Is there any hope for the OL going forward?

Well, Omameh had a very good day, and not just for a redshirt freshman. His agility is as advertised:

He was sealing DTs with Moosman all day; he seemed to have a grasp on pass protection, too. He was so obviously  good that he's now your starter at RG, no questions asked, as Huyge and Dorrestein fight it out at right tackle. That's an important step forward for him. If he's languished on the bench as Ferrara got the start the hype on him would be heading towards Grady Brooks territory; as it is he's beaten out some more experienced options and played well as a redshirt freshman. You can now put him in pen somewhere on next year's line.

As for the rest of the line… man, the pass protection issues are not letting up and the second-most vulnerable guy other than whoever the right tackle is has been Schilling, which isn't good. You can sort of understand why a two-star sophomore who had only MAC offers is struggling at tackle. Schilling's at an easier spot and is a five-star junior. At this point he's probably not going to live up to the hype. That's not to say he's bad, but pass protection breakdowns from the LG spot are really frustrating, especially when there are many incidents where Schilling doesn't lose his guy but gets shoved so far back in the pocket that Forcier has nowhere to go when someone comes tearing around the right tackle.

Why does our option play make us die when we haven't run it all year?

I suggested in the game column that Forcier was maybe not at the point where the dive is an actual read, which has been explained to me is a very silly thing to suggest. More likely: it is a read that Forcier screwed up. Steve Sharik:

Purdue can defend it b/c the QB missed the read.  Both times the DE was shuffling, not crashing.  Tate should've handed it off on the dive both times.  Tate misses a ton of reads in the zone read scheme, and these times were no different.  We can't defend it b/c our defenders aren't sound in their assignments. So, whether it's us on offense or us on defense, the simple matter is that we aren't doing what we're coached to do and the opponent is. 

It doesn't make a difference what option it is, if you miss the first read (the give/pull) then bad things happen, especially if the QB pulls when he should've given.  If the QB gives when he should've pulled, the dive gets tackled for no gain.  If the QB pulls when he should've given, a negative yardage play is the best result.  And then if the QB compounds this error by pitching off a defender who is not the pitch key, then that pitch key is free to attack the pitch player, with a turnover the not just possible but likely outcome.


This is not hugely surprising given Forcier's lack of experience. I doubt we see this option the rest of


Roundtree, Forcier, and Minor.

Not so heroes?

The entire offensive line in pass protection, especially Huyge and Schilling.

What does it mean for Wisconsin and beyond?

After a brief period of suck, the Wisconsin defense has resumed being pretty good: they're 19th in rushing D and 22nd in total D. They've got some issues in the secondary—Ben Chappell just went off for 323 yards on 25 of 35 passing, and the Purdue implosion was mostly on Purdue receivers—but are good about getting to the quarterback, which means Michigan might see a bunch of receiver run open as Forcier scrambles for his life.

Michigan's rushing offense continues to be good, not  great, and I think they'll be able to grind out a respectable total if Minor is healthy. Whether Michigan scores a lot will be up to the pass protection and Tate.

For the long-term future: the sudden emergence of Roundtree and Omameh, both freshmen, is an excellent sign. The slot position now seems solid and picking up another solid lineman for next year means Michigan will have kind-of-sort-of four starters back; this is the silver lining of the Molk injury. The dark cloud: if Molk is available, Michigan probably wins at least one of Michigan State, Iowa, or Purdue, right? Aigh.



November 12th, 2009 at 3:48 PM ^

The dark cloud: if Molk is available, Michigan probably wins at least one of Michigan State, Iowa, or Purdue, right? Aigh.

...all three?

Angry Michigan Offensive Line Hating God, FTL.


November 12th, 2009 at 3:53 PM ^

where has the kid been? I am not saying he is all-Big Ten, but damn, the kid gets down field in a hurry. It makes the entire post-Molk shuffle of RT to RG, insert RT more curious. The dude looks better than anyone not named Moosman at RG. Maybe it was just a favorable match up with Purdue for him, don't know.


November 12th, 2009 at 3:56 PM ^

Playing with your 2nd through 6th best offensive linemen is NO EXCUSE for losing games (Oklahoma and Iowa say hello). Every team suffers injuries throughout the course of a season, and our injuries this year are nothing out of the ordinary - in fact, we've been relatively *lucky* with injuries this season.

Assuming complete health for the duration of the season is bad science, IMO.


November 12th, 2009 at 4:42 PM ^

Are you suggesting that the ability of your backup center to snap the ball back to the QB without a 10-yard loss isn't a meaningful skill in the game of football? The lost yards due to those snaps shouldn't be blamed on Molk's injury, they should be blamed on the poor play of our 2nd string center - one of our 6 best linemen, and someone whose abilities and weaknesses *fairly* influence the outcome of the game.

If crazy circumstances force you to start Nick Sheridan at center (or anywhere, for that matter) then you blame injuries (or other circumstances). When your #2 center - hell, maybe your 2nd best lineman! - can't effectively SNAP THE BALL, the blame goes to the player, not to the injury.



November 12th, 2009 at 5:51 PM ^

Go ahead. Blame Moosman. Do it in every thread you post in. I hope it makes you feel better.

I'm pretty certain Moosman knew he snapped a ball wrong the minute he did it. But hey, you need to prove a point on an Internet message board.


November 12th, 2009 at 8:41 PM ^

But your posts don't make a lot of sense. Losing one 0-lineman is not the same for each team. It was critical for our team because of the snaps (they are very difficult, I was a center and was a great longsnapper but struggled with shotgun snaps), but more importantly because Molk set the tone for us attitude wise, was very adept at blocking in our schemes, and allowed Moosman to play his best position.

You say it's no big deal to lose your best lineman, than you turn around and say that it is a big deal for us, except it doesn't count because Moosman is solely to blame. Huh? How does personally blaming Moosman change the fact that an injury created a situation that has held back the offense?

Indiana was a close game solely because of snaps. In many other games the snaps clearly frustrated our young QBs. In the Penn State game a snap scored for the other team. And this is completely aside from the blocking issues which are at least as important.

O-line is a weakest link type of group. If you need evidence watch our 2-pt conversion against Purdue. Would good blocking at RT have tied the game and sent it to overtime? Very possible. Introducing a new weakest link to your line can be a very significant issue, depending on the dropoff involved.

matty blue

November 12th, 2009 at 10:28 PM ^

have SIGNIFICANTLY more depth than we do. when oklahoma loses a lineman, they trot out a 4-star. when we lose a lineman, we trot out a converted defensive tackle.

i'm exaggerating, obviously, but without looking it up, i'd guess that oklahoma and iowa's 6th best offensive linemen are significantly better than ours.

i'd also point out that our best running back has been healthy for maybe half of the offensive snaps this season.


November 12th, 2009 at 4:25 PM ^

and you have Kelvin Grady there, not to mention Gallon, thats 4 underclassman for one spot. Sure, sometimes two, but usually not. Whats with recruiting Dileo and Drake? Especially when you can put Shaw, Stokes, or another WR into the slot in a pinch. What other position has 4 capable underclassmen plus lots of plan B type depth and yet still gets two scholarships allocated to the recruiting class. Is it just me or is this a preposterously inefficient use of a scarce resource.

...not to be bitchy recruiting complainer guy or anything


November 12th, 2009 at 4:48 PM ^

specifically stated in an interview that he is being recruited to return punts. That will be his primary position and after what we have seen the last two years, I can't wait for him to get here. As for Drake, I think it is ok to pick up two running backs when you are losing three and Drake is the small guy to Hopkins big. The fact Drake might be an ok slot just makes him versatile. I don't know if Kelvin is guaranteed a scholarship next year either. Finally, if we put two slots on the field at the same time you probably want at least six scholarship guys available for that spot


November 12th, 2009 at 5:44 PM ^

If Dileo is competent as a kick returner he's worth 2 scholarships alone. Good point about Drake as a RB. But if so, he's one of three in the class, which seems heavy. Especially when you're adding 4 outside receivers.

I realize this isn't a new complaint/opinion, but if you have 22 scholarships it should at least roughly correspond to the 22 position players you see on the field.


November 13th, 2009 at 1:12 PM ^

Forgot about Austin White. And in general, I agree with you that we should be shooting for a player for every position on the field, which means you would have 4 players on scholarship for each position. That would be nice depth. I am not totally sure I understand the recruiting philosophy this year but I am trying to give the benefit of the doubt.


November 12th, 2009 at 4:51 PM ^

As many points as we put up, I was pretty disappointed with the second half.

1st- 5 possesions, 3 td, 1 fg and no 3 and outs

2nd- 7 possesions, 2 td (missed xp), 1 missed fg, 1 fumble, 1 turnover on downs and 2 three and outs. This trend is disturbing.


November 12th, 2009 at 5:58 PM ^

36 points. The team is led by two true freshmen quarterbacks. I'm pretty sure they have the highest scoring average in the Big Ten. Next year, the offense will have something close to 18 of its 2-deep returning. Don't be disturbed with the trends - this is part of the learning experience, and look at the vast improvement from 2008 with this offense, even without its best lineman.

In 2010 and every year going forward, averaging 32 or so points per game is going to win Michigan a lot of games. GERG will get the defense sorted out through recruiting, continuity and experience. If the D can bring in some more talent, it's obvious GERG can scheme to victory (the fact that a redshirt freshman safety who had knee surgery last fall and has had little time with Barwis is starting, the team has had to reconfigure 3/4 of its D-backfield, the team hasn't given up 50 ppg this season, and the D gets stops when they're needed in many games, is a sign that GERG is a pretty darn good coach and will improve the defense IME).


November 12th, 2009 at 4:55 PM ^

I think that both Roundtree and Odoms have done a lot of good things. However, it still seems to me that if Michigan favors a "run-oriented" spread attack, then the team would be better off with a bigger blocker in one [or two] slot positions [like Koger, or Webb] and one smaller player in the remaining slot [Odoms, Roundtree, etc.]. I am not saying Michigan's slots cannot block. I am saying that I think a bigger player could be more successful as a blocker.

steve sharik

November 12th, 2009 at 7:51 PM ^

I feel compelled to make a correction on a previous statement I made.

On the fumbled pitch on the veer triple option early in the 3rd quarter, I previously stated that Tate missed the read and should've handed it off. This was not the case. Tate correctly pulled the ball. However, he did pitch when he wasn't supposed to. The pitch key ends up being the safety, and Tate really pitched off no one--perhaps the ILB, but he did so way early. Really, it was good defense by Purdue. They used "scrape exchange" and also knifed the corner (something our defense was using early in the season). Tate also pitched too early on the one in the first half that should've been a give. The best we could've hoped for on the fumble play is Tate keeping the ball and getting tackled by the LB for about a 2 yard gain.


November 12th, 2009 at 9:38 PM ^

Why are we having these problems? Apparently, "less than half of our roster is freshmen and sophomores according to ESPN."

According to Ron from Ann Arbor, 11-12-2009 WTKA Big Show.


November 13th, 2009 at 9:20 AM ^

on scholarship. If you count 5th yr seniors, juniors, and RS juniors on scholarship, the total is 26. RS sophs, sophs, RS frosh, and pure frosh come to 45. My math is a little rusty, but I think 45>26. Even if you put RS sophs in with upperclassmen (silly in my view), the breakdown is 38 vs 33.

Some people just don't want to be bothered with the facts.


November 13th, 2009 at 1:20 PM ^

Ron said he got the info from ESPN about all players on the roster, which is like 126 or something. That separates the players by eligibility (so 3rd year rs sophomores are "underclassmen) and includes all walk-ons. I guess we have a lot of upperclassmen walk-ons, but those dudes are not playing and shouldn't be used, imhe, as a sign we have a veteran team.


November 13th, 2009 at 2:08 AM ^

After all of the shit that I've felt the last 2 weeks, this UFR makes me feel much better. Our youngest starters are making big impacts. I see a lot of progress (even though it's not showing up in wins) and while the defense has a long way to go I think we can expect 35 ppg for a long time coming


November 13th, 2009 at 8:04 AM ^

What I thought I saw watching the game live was confirmed here - it looks like Robinson made it in for one play, was given the ball, and stopped easily.

I wonder if it might also be useful to use him as a distraction every once in a while - put him on the field with the intention to use him as a fake to free someone else up?


November 13th, 2009 at 10:38 AM ^

I agree. Carr used to do that with Woodson a lot in 1996 & 97. Even if he didn't get the ball, just trotting him out there every once and a while (on offense) made the other sideline hop around like crazy. I remember this vividly with Joe Pa and PSU in AA in 96.


November 13th, 2009 at 9:23 AM ^

when your starters go down are the same sort of folks who were blasting Lloyd Carr each week for not doing better with "top five recruiting classes every year." The fact that he didn't have "top five recruiting classes every year" never seemed to enter their thinking.