How do you feel about Right Tackle/ Corner Back?

Submitted by ScruffyTheJanitor on September 3rd, 2017 at 10:51 AM

Whilst watching the game yesterday, I was keeping an eye on the two major question marks we had heading into the season: Corner and Right Tackle. My takes:

1) Watson and Hill both stayed with their receivers pretty well. The main take away is that, with a couple of exceptions, they only needed to cover for about 1.3 seconds before the quarterback began to run for their life. With this combination of d-line dominance and army of tweaked-out banshees technically referred to as "Linebackers," the cornerbacks just have to be "OK" to be good.

2) Ulizio was really good when they could get him engaged into a defender. Once his hand were on someone, he could usually move them in the run game and neutralize them in Pass Pro. Against a pure speed rush he had major issues, and I am surprised that Florida didn't do more to attack that spot. One thing I noticed was that they had a number of plays where Wheatley would crash into the DE while Ulizio would sandwich a DT or bury some poor LB, and that we wildly effective in making the running game go. Bottom Line: Ulizio isn't quite up to snuff yet, but he pleanty good enough if the play design allows him to do what he does well: engage and generally neutralize his target.

What say you? Did my amateur observations match yours? Do you feel any better about these spots?



September 3rd, 2017 at 10:55 AM ^

In my initial, slightly tipsy first watch, Ulizio looked like he got burned pretty badly a few times in pass protection, but in run blocking he looked okay. I'm interested to see Brian's take on him in UFR


September 3rd, 2017 at 10:55 AM ^

I think the real answer is "ask again later" for this.

I'm tentatively hopeful for the secondary, but Florida didn't have the real ability to test them consistently.

RT looked like a black hole of suck unless there was a TE there to help...but Florida's DL might be good enough that it would have appeared that way with anyone at RT.

AA Forever

September 3rd, 2017 at 10:56 AM ^

and just need experience. As noted, opposing QBs are not going to have a lot of peace and quiet in the pocket this year.

If Olizio is the best we have at RT, we're in trouble there.

rob f

September 3rd, 2017 at 11:11 AM ^

I'd prefer to give him another game or two before being that harsh on him. Like evenyoubrutus said, his pass pro was lacking at times, but as the game progressed, he looked to me to be holding his own better.

Our ground game was productive overall (against what was supposed to have been a solid defensive front) so I'm expecting him to be graded fairly well there unless and until the UFR proves otherwise.


September 3rd, 2017 at 11:29 AM ^

Agreed. UF has some damn good DEs, so playing that talent on the road for your first game starting is a really difficult circumstance to excel at. I was actually pleasently surprised with his play. Sure he got blown by talented DEs on occassion, however, I often thought the pocket formed and we were able to run to his side relatively better than last year. Would probably give him a B for yesterday, which slightly exceeded my expectations of CHAOS


September 3rd, 2017 at 1:03 PM ^

I think it is real simple. Better QB play and Michigan is a top five team period. I think we will have the number one defense in the country again as we will only get better. If Speight can get a little more locked in with his receivers Michigan is a tough out for anyone in the country. RT and CB's not even a concern if Speight tilts the field like the running backs were doing. One thing is for sure and that is the big ten east is the best division in football. Not impressed with anyone from the west except Purdue. I really like our team as we should only get better and this is the most violent defense Michigan has ever had until next year where I think it might not even be fair. I hope you guys are excited because I sure am. Was just a little pissed off at halftime though. Don't like refs taking points away from us. Crawford stepped off but needs to step back a little more. The one thing I liked was them calling holding because it erased there TD. Imagine how easy iit was for osu's line to hold on every play and know they were not going to be penalized. I don't think I will ever let that go. Oh well. I do think Michigan is the class of the big ten going forward.


September 3rd, 2017 at 1:41 PM ^

Better QB play is directly related to the OL though. If the RT, or any OL, continue to be subpar then it will be tough for any QB to remain upright and not in panic mode. Give any decent QB enough time and he'll make the right read/throw most of the time. But rush even an elite QB (see Tom Brady vs the Giants in both Super Bowls) and he won't be nearly as effective. 


September 3rd, 2017 at 10:59 AM ^

I think we'll know much more after next week. If the OL still has a hard time blowing Cincy off the ball, then we've got more issues than Time Magazine. If it looks like there's significant improvement, then maybe it was more an indication of the strength of Florida's DL. 

Frankly, I think CB is going to be an issue all year.


September 3rd, 2017 at 7:10 PM ^

Had been looking for info on that for a while as they never updated during the game. I don't recall ever seeing him come back and actually I remember seeing a lot more of Watson (who played pretty solid in coverage) after he went out. Even remember catching Drake Harris in there over the slot at one point. You sure he came back in?

The Baughz

September 3rd, 2017 at 10:59 AM ^

CBs were pretty good. Definitely need David Long to stay healthy. Thought Watson did a good job. Hill had some lapses but played well in his first game. He's very physical. Ulizio was up and down as expected. Pass pro will need some work, but we won't see DEs like that for a while. He did ok in the run game I thought. Also thought Evans missed some cuts that may make the oline look bad but was really on him. I will have to watch the game again but those are my initial thoughts.


September 3rd, 2017 at 11:00 AM ^

I really feel like both spots need some revaluation after yesterday's game. Levert hill had like 3 int opportunities he missed out on. Maybe Drake harris would of caught them. Nolan U, Had ups and downs.


September 3rd, 2017 at 2:43 PM ^

Kinnel had a good run stop, maybe tackle for a loss, that I can remember. Stood out and it felt very un"boring." Also, I remember at least one if not two passes defended with very good coverage. When Don Brown says all his secondary can cover or they won't play, I believe he means that all his secondary can cover or won't play.


September 3rd, 2017 at 11:01 AM ^

In his first start, he went up against a SEC D-Line and held his own. Yeah, he got burned on the speed rushes, but I can see why he started. I think he only gets better as the season progresses.


September 3rd, 2017 at 12:48 PM ^

I mean, I think this attitude is a touch casual. The elite tackles don't, the good ones a handful of times per year. He was beat multiple times in the same game pretty clean. He held his own in the run game, but I think the staff did a lot to protect him so it wasn't an ugly performance. 

It's not JBB vs Rutgers, but it will be an issue likely all season long.


September 3rd, 2017 at 11:10 AM ^

Ulizio had more downs than ups and seemed a little hesitant. I think it may take him a game or two to to piece it all together. Remember this is basically his only experience against other cfb ones outside of practice.

Hill seemed to play better as the game went on. Watson made a couple of nice plays and then got worked on at least one long completion. I did not see a lot of Long and honestly was more mesmerized by the bitzes and how it could have been much worse if not for some missed sacks and holding calls.

One difference I noticed on the CBs was a certain reluctancy in run defense. Also keep in mind that Florida's receivers are nearly as green as the Michigan DBs and their QBs have little experience in the system, so they probably would have struggled more against Oklahoma or USC than Florida.


September 3rd, 2017 at 11:45 AM ^

You are right. My point was more that I noticed the difference between where Lewis or Stribling was on the LoS when a runner was on the edge and the CBs yesterday. It's a bigger deal against UAFA, Wisconsin, PSU, MSU, and OSU.

Like Ulizio, I think they will get better. He was the obvious weak point to any opposing coaching staff and got thrown everything. It should get a little easier for him when he is confident of what to do.


September 3rd, 2017 at 11:06 AM ^

Corners played as well as we can expect..the first deep ball levert gave up he was in good position playing trail technique with a safety over top but that was a perfect throw by their qb, the other one he gave up he had issues tracking the ball thats gonna get better with experience. Long did come back in but he left again so i hope hes ok


September 3rd, 2017 at 11:12 AM ^

CBs played well but I'm really worried about depth when we play teams who can throw better than FL.   I thought Watson looked much better than years past...looked to be stronger and moved well in coverage. This has been beated to death already but our team speed looked much improved across the board. A lot of times with young players they seem to play a few steps slow because they are second guessing things...did not seem to be the case last night. 


September 3rd, 2017 at 11:15 AM ^

Looking at the schedule, there really aren't any great passing teams that we're going to play. Yes, PSU and OSU will be good at throwing it, but they aren't world beaters. They beat teams by running it. I think I'm more impressed by Indiana's first half passing game